Thursday, April 26, 2007

7 Roundtables and Jeremy Brcher & Brendan Smith

Thursday. Barely! :D Wally and Cedric got their joint-post up just in time -- "THIS JUST IN! BEAUTY CONTESTS GET SLEAZIER!" and "There she is, Miss America" -- right before it was roundtable time for the gina & krista roundrobin. You have seven roundtables in tomorrow's editions so check your inboxes! Seven!

How did that happen? Gina asked C.I. to announce this roundtable. C.I. did and pointed out that it was for all members. Krista asked Elaine to announce that every members was welcome because, although she'd gotten some questions and suggestions, she'd gotten a lot less requests than she thought. She and Gina both thought there would be huge interest. But Gina got nothing. Billie e-mailed C.I. last night and C.I. saw the e-mail this morning. Billie was fine with not being picked for the roundtable because she's taken part before but she did wonder about the level of interest because she'd read Elaine's note. Now C.I. and Gina had talked about Billie because Billie's African-American (so is Gina) and this was a topic she'd been interested in before so they'd both wondered, "Is Billie busy?" No more than usual, judging from the e-mail she sent C.I. So C.I. calls Gina this morning and says, "Gina, Billie's not upset but she seems to think she wrote you. Do you think you're missing some e-mails?"

Gina goes no and goes into her AOL e-mail while she's on the phone and nothing really in the inbox. Then she looks at a corner of the screen and sees this huge number next to her spam folder. Everything but Media Matters' alerts were going straight to her spam folder. There was huge interest in this roundtable and most members had e-mailed Gina about it but it had gone to spam. So Gina gave C.I. a list of the members who'd e-mailed (Gina had to get work) and C.I., Martha, Shirley, Eli and Jess e-mailed them to make sure they were still interested and still available. Most were but a few had made other plans (no surprise there and no one to blame for that). So there was WAY TOO MUCH to do one roundtable. They broke it up into seven.

1) Gina chaired one
2) Krista chaired one
3) Ava and C.I. joint-chaired one
4) Cedric and Wally joint-chaired one
5) Billie and Eddie joint-chaired one
6) Betty and Rebecca joint-chaired one
7) Ty, Kat and me chaired one

I did ask questions and participate but I was no help with taking down everything said. Dona scheduled everything and figured out the groups. That's because usually Gina and Krista have this all done early but most of the people participating had e-mailed Gina and since that stuff went to spam, they were way behind today. So Dona got the list of people who'd responded to the e-mails this morning (from C.I., Martha, Shirley, Eli and Jess) and broke it up into groups. She called me this afternoon and asked if I'd be willing to cho-chair with Kat and Ty and I said sure but reminded her I'm lousy at taking notes. (We all pretty much rely on Ava and C.I. who take notes really good.) She said that was fine but she was trying to be sure there was a mix. She split up Gina and Krista (which they were fine with) since it's their newsletter figuring that most members would be fine if they got Gina or Krista. But she wanted to be sure everyone in the other groups were cool with it too. And you know the people she put into Ava and C.I.'s group were probably in heaven! :D

That was Ty's big concern. That people were going to be going, "Oh, I got stuck in Ty's group!"
I bet no one would have complained about that. Ty's cool and a lot cooler than he knows. But because he was worried, she asked Kat and me both if we would co-chair and we were both flattered and all for it. There was enough Texas interest that she could put people in Texas in one group and put Billie and Eddie in charge of that without worrying there. I don't know how people got picked for Betty and Rebecca's group but Dona worked out everything so big thanks to her.

We were talking about race for the big topic and second big topic about voices who have been a huge let down including people like Stab and Pollitt who don't seem too concerned with race when confronted with an issue that is about both race and gender. Gina figured it would be a big issue and it was. And I think most members wrote her because they were including notes about racism they'd experienced or seen. But Gina wasn't seeing those and, like I said before, she and Krista were both puzzled by it and thinking, "I guess this topic wasn't as interesting to the community as we thought it was."

Members were interested. There was a huge interest. So when you look at your inboxes tomorrow and see this huge K e-mailed newsletter it's because you've got seven roundtables, not just one. I know you've got Ava and C.I.'s addendum to their TV commentary ("TV: Pigs and Prigs on PBS' NOW "), Beth doing her ombudsperson column, Gina and Krista's columns but I don't know what else is going to be in there, sorry.

Sorry too because I'm not doing Law and Disorder tonight. If I put it off until tomorrow, like I'm doing, it will probably be rushed. But if I do it tonight, it won't just be rushed. I'm exhausted and I will be tired and sleepy so I won't give it the credit it deserves. So I'm holding off on it for tonight.

C.I. passed on an article and at first I was like, "What the hell?" I called C.I. and was all, "I'm not highlighting Nation people!" :D C.I. goes the article wasn't in The Nation. And pointed out that the two writers did cover Ehren Watada and it wasn't their fault that their articles didn't make it into the print edition. That's true. They didn't slave away on those articles thinking, "Oh boy, I hope this goes online! Wouldn't that be great? To have an online exclusive at a magazine website!" If they took the trouble to write it (and they did cover Ehren well), they had to be thinking, "This is going in the issue!" Or at least, "This stands a good chance of going in the issue!" It's not their fault that the woman selecting what gets included is the peace resister.
So I'm going to talk about Jeremy Brecher and Brendan Smith's article and avoid the easy thing of including an excerpt because if I did that, as tired as I am, I'd put up the excerpt and go, "Read it!" and call it night.

So Jeremy Brecher and Brendan Smith have written "The 'Stab in the Back' Trap" and, sadly, it's not about Stab. :D Seriously, it's about one way (only one way) Democrats and the left and the peace movement mis-stepped after Vietnam. The area they're focusing on is how there was no serious investigation into how that illegal war was started and kept going. By not exposing this, the lie was allowed to set in. I'm not going into all of that, I'm just saying "the lie was allowed to set in" because C.I. has addressed this over and over, for years and years, at The Common Ills and at The Third Estate Sunday Review. From all of that, you should know C.I.'s talk about the revisionisms. But that took hold. Brecher and Smith put foward that the Dems are setting up the same trap for themselves. I'm going to include one sentence because when I got off the phone with C.I. and read the piece, it really reminded me of something. Here's the sentence from Brecher and Smith, "By framing the war as lost because of mismanagement, poor planning, or being bogged down in a civil war, Democrats cede the argument that the war itself was a 'noble cause'." Now if you're like me, you cringed at "framing." They really need to let the hula hoop go! :D But put in "arguing" and see if that sentence doesn't remind you of
Ava and C.I.'s "TV: Pigs and Prigs on PBS' NOW"? Ava and C.I. were taking on the crappy 'exploration' of the war done by NOW and how it never questioned the war, just the strategies:

Today's lie exists for a reason and a real journalist should be expected to explore that. The lie exists because War Hawks want to keep war front and center as an option of first choice. So they offer up platitudes about how Iraq would have been wonderful today were it not for the lack of planning. As if anything happening in Iraq today is (a) a surprise or (b) not planned. The planning goes far back (and it's one reason War Hawk Hillary Clinton still won't call out the illegal war). At one point, that could have emerged. Hughes mentions years-old (they predated the Bully Boy) plans for Iraq. Brancaccio seizes upon that but not to make the point that the illegal war was sought for years, just to note that there were other plans.
Yes, there were other plans. But we can't explore that on NOW. We can get Brancaccio repeating the lie (as fact) that roses were strewn in the paths of soldiers. If you're one of the people who identify left and applaud this crappy show, it may be time for you to confront reality.
If that doesn't do the trick for you, maybe you could take offense at Brancaccio embracing and repeating another (false) selling point for the war: Saddam Hussein was Hitler. He does that by, while discussing the Baath Party, noting that they had to be removed because the same thing was done with the Nazis. The Baath Party is now the Nazis?
Saddam Hussein was a petty tyrant put in place and supported by the US government for decades. When he became less pliable, it was time for him to go (in the eyes of the US government). It had nothing to do with human rights abuses or torture. Watching Brancaccio make the comparison of Baath Party members to Nazis, we were reminded that as much as we loathe the Bully Boy, we've yet to liken the GOP party faithful to Nazis. But if we're going to discuss torture, secret prisons, et al, Bully Boy and Saddam Hussein aren't all that different. Of course, Brancaccio didn't touch on that either. He shied away completely from the Abu Ghraib scandal because that really doesn't jibe with the myth that "if only the power had been turned on sooner, Iraqis would love them some America!"
There's a reason for that. It's not against the war. It's against the strategies used. That's why it works in a (really bad) advertising blitz for the piece of crap that is No End In Sight.
The half-hour broadcast accepts the premise that war was the answer. That needs to be pointed out and pointed out loudly. Brancaccio and company are only interested in dickering over strategies.
How is that different from the right wing? (Brancaccio is a centrist.) It's not. Four years and counting, the 3400 mark of US military fatalities around the corner, the 1 million mark of Iraqi fatalities around the corner, and 'brave' is supposed to be offering the same crap that you can find in a column by David Brooks?
The left needs to grow the hell up. That means cutting out some of their trusted voices who push this crap. An illegal war was launched not in response to an attack but because Iraq might someday (this was the lie) attack the US. A pre-emptive war of choice was engaged by the US government and sold on lies and along comes Brancaccio gladly sidestepping those realities, making comparisons of the Baath Party to Nazis, lying about roses being strewn in the paths of US soldiers and wanting to dicker about the strategies utilized -- while never noting the reality that Iraq today did not result from a lack of planning -- everything was planned.

That is a strong review! But back to the article. Brecher and Smith are arguing that by refusing to seriously explore the war, then the US troops leave (and they will leave), the Republicans will do their smear campaigns. Since the hows of the illegal war were not seriously addressed, the lies will compete on an equal playing field. Or even a tilted playing field because even at this late date, not everyone gets how we were lied into the war. And C.I. would go, "Oh Mike . . ." over that. So let me clean that up (but I'm tired). People do get the lie. On a level right now, they do get the lie. They feel it. They sense it. But that's because we've lived through it and it's fresh. That's not because the press has really gone out of their way to explore it. When the feeling isn't fresh and when you've got people who didn't live through it, the revisionists are going to come along in ten years to start selling the lie that "Iraq was winnable" the same way they do about Vietnam. Brecher and Smith are arguing that Democrats in Congress need to be exploring the issue of the illegal war in committees, exposing the whys, the corruptions, getting it into the public record and getting the people informed.

The thinking (I think) is that by getting that out now, it will be that much harder for revisionists to show up in a few years when some people have forgotten and some people too young to remember will be hearing about it for the first time and sell them lies.

Now C.I.'s been sitting on something all week. Read the snapshot today (below) and you'll be prepared for something that's coming at The Third Estate Sunday Review. It's about the unnamed program (yeah, I know which radio show it was) and the guests they had on. One of the guests presented something that C.I. didn't touch on. C.I.'s slid it over to The Third Estate Sunday Review where we could all work on it. So Sunday, you'll see that. But there are a lot of lies out there. (C.I. slid it over saying, "I don't think the guest is lying, I think the host refused to follow up but it needs to be noted.") But it ties in with this and that's probably one of the reasons that C.I. slid the article by Brecher and Smith over to me. (Another reason is probably to gear me and my readers up for what's to come Sunday.) But if you want to really do your homework for Sunday, read Brecher and Smith's article and think about it because (a) it is a good article and (b) this topic's about to go in a different direction Sunday.

And that's going to be it for me tonight. Let me say thank you to C.I. for the link in the snapshot. I wish I had time to read the e-mails that came in today as a result but I'm too tired. I'll probably put off noting those until Monday so I can focus on Law and Disorder tomorrow.
Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Thursday, April 26, 2007. Chaos and violence continue in Iraq, two high profile terrorists stalk the continental United States, US war resisters launch a tour, students REMAIN active (they always have been -- no matter what the old cranks say), and more.

Starting with news of war resisters.
Courage to Resist reports that war resisters Camilo Mejia, Pablo Paredes, Agustin Aguayo and Robert Zabala will be speking out from May 9th through 17th in the San Francisco Bay Area. This will be Aguayo's first publicly speaking appearances since being released from the brig earlier this month (April 18th). The announced dates include:

Wednesday May 9 - Marin

7pm at College of Marin, Student Services Center, 835 College Ave, Kentfield. Featuring Agustin Aguayo, Pablo Paredes and David Solnit. Sponsored by Courage to Resist and Students for Social Responsibility. More info:

Thursday May 10 - Sacramento

Details TBA
Friday May 11 - Stockton

6pm at the Mexican Community Center, 609 S Lincoln St, Stockton. Featuring Agustin Aguayo.

Saturday May 12 - Monterey
7pm at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 490 Aguajito Rd, Carmel. Featuring Agustin Aguayo and Camilo Mejia. Sponsored by Veterans for Peace Chp. 69, Hartnell Students for Peace, Salinas Action League, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom and Courage to Resist. More info: Kurt Brux 831-424-6447

Sunday May 13 - San Francisco
7pm at the Veterans War Memorial Bldg. (Room 223) , 401 Van Ness St, San Francisco. Featuring Agustin Aguayo, Camilo Mejia and Pablo Paredes. Sponsored by Courage to Resist, Veteran's for Peace Chp. 69 and SF Codepink. More info:

Monday May 14 - Watsonville
7pm at the United Presbyterian Church, 112 E. Beach, Watsonville. Featuring Agustin Aguayo, Camilo Mejia, Pablo Paredes and Robert Zabala. Sponsored by the GI Rights Hotline & Draft Alternatives program of the Resource Center for Nonviolence (RCNV), Santa Cruz Peace Coalition, Watsonville Women's International League for Peace & Freedom (WILPF), Watsonville Brown Berets, Courage to Resist and Santa Cruz Veterans for Peace Chp. 11. More info: Bob Fitch 831-722-3311

Tuesday May 15 - Palo Alto
7 PM at the First Presbyterian Church (Fellowship Hall), 1140 Cowper, Palo Alto. Featuring Camilo Mejia. Sponsored by Pennisula Peace and Justice Center. More info: Paul George 650-326-8837

Wednesday May 16 - Eureka
7pm at the Eureka Labor Temple, 840 E St. (@9th), Eureka. Featuring Camilo Mejia. More info: Becky Luening 707-826-9197Thursday May 17 - Oakland 4pm youth event and 7pm program at the Humanist Hall, 411 28th St, Oakland. Featuring Camilo Mejia, Pablo Paredes and the Alternatives to War through Education (A.W.E.) Youth Action Team. Sponsored by Veteran's for Peace Chp. 69, Courage to Resist, Central Committee for Conscientious Objector's (CCCO) and AWE Youth Action Team.

Camilo Mejia's book
Road from Ar Ramaid: The Private Rebellion of Staff Sergeant Mejia will be published by The New Press on May 1st. He is part of a movement of war resistance within the military that also includes Ehren Watada, Terri Johnson, Dean Walcott, Camilo Mejia, Linjamin Mull, Joshua Key, Augstin Aguayo, Justin Colby, Marc Train, Camilo Mejia, Robert Zabala, Darrell Anderson, Kyle Snyder , Corey Glass, Jeremy Hinzman, Joshua Key, Mark Wilkerson, Camilo Mejia, Patrick Hart, Ricky Clousing, Ivan Brobeck, Aidan Delgado, Pablo Paredes, Carl Webb, Jeremy Hinzman, Stephen Funk, David Sanders, Dan Felushko, Brandon Hughey, Clifford Cornell, Joshua Despain, Joshua Casteel, Katherine Jashinski, Chris Teske, Matt Lowell, Jimmy Massey, Tim Richard, Hart Viges, Michael Blake and Kevin Benderman. In total, thirty-eight US war resisters in Canada have applied for asylum.

Information on war resistance within the military can be found at
Center on Conscience & War, The Objector, The G.I. Rights Hotline, and the War Resisters Support Campaign. Courage to Resist offers information on all public war resisters. In addition, the documentary Sir! No Sir! traces the war resistance within the military during Vietnam and it will air at 9:00 pm (EST) on The Sundance Channel followed at 10:30 p.m. by The Ground Truth, a documentary that features

Turning to news of terrorism, two high profile terrorists have been issuing threats against Americans, America and the democratic process that is supposed to be the bedrock the United States exists upon. US joke and 2008 GOP presidential candidate Rudy Giuliana, speaking in New Hampshire on Tuesday,
declared that Democrats will not remain on the offensive with terrorism and will wave a white flag as he attempted to subvert democracy in his desperate bid to win the GOP nomination. Not to be outdone, Crazy John McCain, also competing for the GOP 2008 presidential nomination, took The John McCain Showboat Express to South Carolina where he declared, "If we leave Iraq there will be chaos, there will be genocide, and they will follow us home."

Reality check for Senator Crazy: Iraq already has chaos, already has genocide. When the US leaves (and the US will leave at some point) there will be violence in Iraq. That's what can happen to puppet governments, when they have to stand on their own, the people may erupt in violence (mitigated somewhat when appointed puppets get the hell out of the country -- see Marcos and the Phillipines). To state that "they will follow us home" suggests that Senator Crazy may need to undergo a psych exam before continuing in the Senate. After the first Gulf War, the US left (much quicker) and violence did take place. It did not "follow us home." Senator Crazy is attempting to terrorize a nation to drum up some support -- a cheap and should-be illegal stunt. Rudy G? He continues to demonstrate that municipal politics and the national stage do not go hand in hand. The oft dubbed "America's Mayor" should probably focus on pot holes and leave the big subjects to those qualified to weigh in unless he's intent on joining the
VOTE INSANE! VOTE JOHN MCCAIN! ticket. In the United States, anyone can run for president -- even nut cases.

Other than missing their morning meds, what could have the two so upset? McCain was responding to the votes today and yesterday, Rudy G was anticipating them.
AP reports that today the Senate followed the House's vote (House voted last night) to pass a reconciliation of the measures that earlier passed both houses. The non-binding, toothless measure is now headed to the White House where it awaits a signature from the Bully Boy (in which case it becomes law) or a veto. If Bully Boy vetoes, it goes back to Congress where a two-thirds majority vote of each house is necessary to override the veto. (Bully Boy can also refuse to veto it, do nothing, and after 10 days it would become a law without his signature and without requiring another Congressional vote.) Bully Boy has stated he will veto the bill. AP quotes US Senator Robert Byrd declaring, "The president has failed in his mission to bring peace and stability to the people of Iraq. It's time to bring our troops home from Iraq." Such statements may confuse some people and lead them to believe the measure that has now passed both houses does that; however, it does not "bring our troops home from Iraq." It may allow some US service members to return to the US (or be deployed to Afghanistan); however, there are so many built in escape clauses for the Bully Boy that it's silly to promote the bill as "troops home now" or, for that matter, "troops home" in 2008. AFP observes, "The bill provides more cash than Bush sought to bankroll operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, but says US troops are to start withdrawing from Iraq on October 1, with a non-binding target of completing the pullout by March 31, 2008."

Before the Senate vote today, Andrea Lewis spoke with Leigh Ann Caldwell (
Free Speech Radio News) and Chris Toensing (Middle East Report) on KPFA's The Morning Show about Congress and Iraq.

Chris Toensing: Well, I have never been able to shake the suspicion all along that the Democrats are engaged in an elaborate show of political theater -- that they do not really intend, in the end, to pass, to insist, that Bush sign legislation which would contain a binding timetable of any sorts. And that they are willing to water down those provisions even further to the point where it's entirely at the president's discretion -- it already almost is. But they're willing, I think, to water it down even further in order to chip away some Republicans who will vote for something like that and then they can claim to the public that they're trying to tie Bush's hands and they're trying to assert their Constitutional oversight role in helping to end this disasterous war and yet not really have their finger prints on Iraq policy. And I've never been able to shake this suspicion that that's really the Democrats game and I'm not speaking about the Progressive Caucus or the Out of Iraq Caucus who have a much clearer goal in mind and a much sounder political strategy in mind but I'm talking about the big national Democrats, the Emanuels and Pelosis in the House, the Schumers and Levins and so on in the Senate. And I think the goal of this is - is to make sure that the war is solely Bush's albatross and solely the Republicans albatross rather than to bring the war to a speedy conclusion.

Did, Andrea Lewis wondered, Toensing think that US service members would be returning to the US in the fall of 2008?

Toensing: I think it's possible, and actually probably likely, that some troops will be withdrawn, some combat brigades -- as they say. What's not going to happen is an end to the US deployment writ large. There are still going to be, I think, combat brigades there. I think there are also going to be large "enduring bases" various kind of advisors and trainers and support personnel who will be working with the new Iraqi army. I think that the underlying strategic goals of the US are just simply not served by leaving Iraq in its current state. The only conditions under which I can see either a Republican or a Democratic administration withdrawing completely from Iraq would be either if Iraqis themselves unified across all kinds of sectarian and ethinic lines and faught a kind of Pan-Iraqi Infintada against the US that would be unmanageable so that would be one circumstance. The other would be if they were able to find some kind of Iraqi strongman who would be able to ensure that the government would be stable and pliable-- according to Washington's interests -- after the US withdrew all the troops. That's the, that's all along been the underlying strategic goal and I haven't seen too many national Democrats, the ones with presidential ambitions, speak to the heart of US policy in the Persian Gulf and as long as that's not changing I think the US is going to be in Iraq for a long time.

Lewis noted, "Except maybe Dennis Kucinich" which Toensling agree with Leiws on. Dennis Kucinich is a US House Rep and candidate for the 2008 Democratic nomination for president.

In Iraq,
AFP reports, the non-binding "timetable for military withdrawal from Iraq brought mixed reviews from Iraqi members of parliament, some of whom doubted the government's ability to meet US demands for faster political reconciliation." The BBC notes Iraq's foreign minister and all around redundant loud mouth Hoshayr Zebari who is yet again screaming that the US cannot leave. If the tired, old song seems familiar, he's been singing it for years.
But when exiles and Kurds are made leaders, put in positions of power (put in by the US -- and Zebari is one of Bully Boy's favorites), it's not really surprising that they don't have the support of the average Iraqi and need a military force to protect them.

In Iraq today, many went without protection. Some of the violence.


Reuters notes a Khalis bombing that killed 10 Iraqi soldiers (15 wounded), a bombing in Jbela that killed a student and left six more wounded, Baghdad mortar attacks that killed 4 (wounded 11), a Baghdad car bombing that killed six (15 wounded) "near Baghdad University," Mosul bombings that killed 3 people (59 wounded), car bombings in southwestern Baghdad that killed 1 (three wounded), a roadside bomb in centeral Baghdad that killed 2 (10 wounded) and a mortar attack in Mahmudiya that "killed a woman and wounded three others".


Reuters reports a woman and her niece shot dead in Tikrit.


Laith Hammoudi (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 26 corpses were discovered in Baghdad.
Reuters notes one corpse discovered in Mahmudiya and three corpses were discovered in Kirkuk.

In student activism news,
Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez (Democracy Now!) spoke with the University of Maryland's Sergio Espana about the five-day fast, Hungry For Peace, that kicks off Monday. Espana stated, "So we're having students and faculty having a fast and a sit-out for five days, protesting the illegal US occupation in Iraq. Every day of the fast will represent roughtly 100,000 of the more than 500,00 Iraqi civilians that have died as a direct consequence of this illegal occupation. We'll also have a lecture series. Now, across the nation, thanks in large part to the Student Peace Action Network, we've had universities from California to Vermont who will also be contributing. So these fasts are nationwide. For example, in Minnesota -- apart from the fast, there will also be rallies going into their Congressional representatives, turning in petitions, letting them know that the American public wants them to do the job that they were actually elected to do -- which is to, you know, support the American public, support the troops and to end this immoral and atrocious war." UMBC Solidarity Coaliton is asking more campuses to sign up -- this include merely wearing black arm bands next week, protesting, fasting, etc.

interviewed today was CODEPINK's Medea Benjamin. Excerpt:

AMY GOODMAN: Well, the founder of
CODEPINK, Medea Benjamin, joins us now from Washington, D.C. She's a longtime peace activist and also co-founder of Global Exchange. Welcome, Medea, to Democracy Now! You are changing the face, in a sense, of lobbying in Washington. Explain what you're doing.
MEDEA BENJAMIN: Well, these hearings that are going on every day, Amy, they used to be very staid gatherings, where you'd have the K Street lobbyists and you'd have the staff aides and a maybe a sprinkling of tourists. Now, you have CODEPINK lining up early in the morning to get into each of the hearings and turning them into really public affairs. We try to participate in them. We certainly participate with our messages on our bodies. When we can get away with it, we participate with signs. And we often get carried away when we hear them saying things we don't like and get up and say something, sometimes get kicked out, sometimes get arrested, sometimes get tolerated. But we've really turned them into public gatherings, which I think they should be.
Yesterday, when General Petraeus tried -- well, he actually did a hearing behind closed doors, we were outside there yelling, "Let the public in! The public wants to hear!" And so, I think we're really changing the face of the way the proceedings are going on in Congress and demanding a lot more transparency.
JUAN GONZALEZ: Medea, given the number of times you've been ejected in recent months from Congress, you must be probably the best-known security question for the security guards there. Are they watching you and following you constantly?
MEDEA BENJAMIN: They've actually become our friends. We're on a first name basis. When we enter the Capitol buildings, they usually get on their walkie-talkie and say "OK, CODEPINK is here." They follow us around. They go to have lunch with us. They're really quite nice to us and quite sympathetic to our cause, as are a lot of the people that we find in these hearings. Things are really changing in Washington, and they're changing because groups like ours are keeping the pressure on.
And one thing I really want to say to your listening audience is that we need more of you here. We have rented a house, a CODEPINK house, with five bedrooms. We're encouraging people to come from all over the country, stay with us for a week or two weeks. There are people who have left their jobs and are really determined to be on the Hill during all of these discussions about supplemental money. So we need more people to come to Washington, get up in the morning with us, go out to these hearings, let them see that the people are determined to end the war in Iraq and not start another one in Iran.

Turning to media news,
Rolling Stone magazine celebrates 40 years in their May 3-17, 2007 double issue. Online, it's not worth checking out. In print, Jane Fonda and Patti Smith are interviewed -- the only two women. There are no people of color. So on a diversity scale, it fails. They do find time for the token neo-con -- the aging (badly aging) boy wonder of the right wing, Tom Wolfe who apparently showed up for the interview after a drunken party at the Buckleys. Strong interviews can be found with Fonda, Smith, Michael Moore, Neil Young, Jackson Browne, Bill Moyers, Norman Mailer and Martin Scorsese. The strong interviews find the subjects reflecting on the last forty years and the changes they see in the country. We'll note Jane Fonda's response to "What indicates to you that young people are hopeful?"

Jane Fonda: Anger. Resistance. They're pissed off, as well they should be. Natalie Maines [of the Dixie Chicks] embodies that. It's that, "F--k it, man -- this not what I want this country to be." There's a lot of young people who feel that way. The young people I work with and who come to my events, they're beginning to feel their power in a very different way than in the Sixties and Seventies.

One young person,
Mike (Mikey Likes It!) covered the case of Jake Kovco on Tuesday and I should have linked to it already.

Finally, Wednesday, May 2nd at 6:30 pm in The Great Hall, Cooper Union (NYC),
Howard Zinn and Anthony Arnove will be presenting readings from their Voices of a People's History of the United States featuring music performed by Allison Moorer and Steve Earle and readings and vocal performances by Ally Sheedy, Brian Jones, Danny Glover, Deepa Fernandes, Erin Cherry, Harris Yulin, Kathleen Chalfant, Kerry Washington, Opal Alladin, Staceyann Chin and Stanley Tucci. Zinn and Arnove will provide both the introduction and the narration.