Thursday, April 24, 2008

Political fighters, England's non-withdrawal, etc.

Thursday! We just got done with the roundtable for the gina & krista round-robin and you can read the decision tomorrow in the round-robin. I have no problem sharing my thoughts. Let me back up, Cynthia McKinney is running for the Green Party nomination. Yesterday on Amy Goodman's crap-ass show, Ted Glick was on as a Cynthia supporter and stated that Cynthia McKinney knew she couldn't win the presidential election and she was just running to get 5% of the vote to qualify the Green Party, in 2012, for other things in a presidential election. That kind of ticked me off yesterday and I thought, "She doesn't need that kind of support!"

But today her website has posted a link to the interview under the headline he speaks for her. I don't back faux runs. I don't back chickens. If you don't think you can win I'm not sure how you expect to get people to vote for you. "Vote for me because, I'm not going to win, but I just want 5% of the vote!" What do you say to that? "YEA!" I don't see it.

Now maybe that's practical and helping to build a party and that's fine. I'm not saying, "Drop out, Cynthia!" I'm just saying we have real candidates fighting to win and I'm not interested in wasting my time on a candidate who's not running to win. I could share Jess' thoughts but I don't want to spoil the round-robin.

But those are my thoughts. If you disagree, check out the round-robin tomorrow to see if anyone feels like you do. Four of the strongest Green Party members (not including Jess) were brought into the roundtable to discuss this.

I really am shocked that Cynthia McKinney's doing that. She's a fighter and I thought she'd be in there fighting to win. C.I. offered (I'll be brief) that the link might have been offered without the campaign hearing the interview in full. That could be. If an explanation like that comes along, great. But otherwise, I have other stuff to focus on. Like C.I. says in the snapshot, "Life is too short."

Okay, here's Howard Wolfson's "HUBdate: The Tide is Turning:"

Today on the Trail: Hillary highlights policies for veterans at "Solutions For America" events in Fayetteville and Asheville, NC. Hillary will be joined on the campaign trail by American hero and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Hugh Shelton, Ret.
$$$: USA Today reports "One day makes $10 million difference for Clinton." Keep going to Read more.
Superdelegate Watch: Congressman John Tanner announced his support of Hillary: "in my opinion, the best person to lead this critical effort is Hillary Clinton...Hillary is a smart, pragmatic leader who understands the grave situation our country faces" Read more.
"No Brainer" OH Gov. Ted Strickland said on a conference call yesterday: “This is for me a no-brainer...If we're going to plan to win in November, we need to choose the candidate that has the greatest strength in the states that are necessary to get us the electoral votes we need...I hope the superdelegates are paying attention." On the same call, NY Gov. David Paterson said "I don't think the tide is turning, I think the tide has turned."
Read more and more.
Sen. Obama Calls Debates a "Game:" The Indianapolis Star is calling on Sen. Obama to accept an invitation to debate Hillary in the Hoosier State….In OR, Clinton "proposed two debates, including one on the challenges facing rural Oregonians." Sen. Obama responded "call[ing] Clinton’s challenge 'an old, Washington game.'" Since when did debating the issues and giving voters a choice become a "game?"
Read more and more. Watch the challenge here.
Jobs, Jobs, Jobs: Yesterday in Indianapolis, Hillary said: "This campaign for me in Indiana is about jobs, jobs, jobs and jobs…This is not about speeches. It is about solutions."
Read more.
Oregon Compact: Yesterday, Hillary "issued the most detailed, on-paper description to date from any of the presidential candidates on their intentions for Oregon. The 13-page document gave specific descriptions of how she intended to deal with each issue." Read more.
Montana Momentum: "Montana for Hillary announced the endorsements of seven more Montana legislators, leaders and Democratic activists, demonstrating [Hillary’s] growing support throughout Montana."
Read more.

And staying with political races, this is Pete Becker's "Some votes rejected over address, wrong party" about Wayne County provisional votes:

According to Cindy Furman, Director, Wayne County Bureau of Election, some people had not voted before in the Primary and may have been unaware that they had to be registered either as a Democrat or a Republican and are limited to voting in that party. In the November General Election, anyone registered to vote may vote for any party they choose.

That really should be the rule period. If you're not a Republican, stay out of GOP primaries, if you're not a Democrat, stay out of the Democratic primary and if you belong to another party, no one wants you butting in to either. Work on getting your party together and stay out of the GOP and the Democratic primaries.

I had an e-mail asking me why I wasn't noting the (US) Socialist Worker these days? I'm not interested in their bulls**t. My grandfather (who's been a Socialist longer than the rag's been around) called it right, they're enlisting into the Bambi campaign. It's a Democratic primary, they need to butt the hell out. Second of all, they've got an article about "bitterness." I'm tired of stereotypes and I'm tired of insults. My family's working class, I don't need some candy ass bullsh**ers telling me about the working class. When they decide the truth is more important than being the advance team for Obama, let me know. Until then, they can f**k off. Referring to them and others like them, my grandfather says they drive people away from Socialism. He says they're so bound and determined to speak down to people that they drive them away. He said in his day, they didn't create walls between each other, they tore them down. These days they come off like the snottiest kids in the class and who wants to hang with that? They really need to do a self-check.

If you missed it, England's called off their so-called "withdrawal" from Iraq. This is from The Scotsman:

BRITISH troop numbers in Iraq will only be further reduced "if conditions allow", Des Browne, the Defence Secretary, said yesterday.
Ministers still planned to cut the 4,000-strong force during the next six-monthly rotation, he told MPs in the House of Commons.

However, the Defence Secretary added: "While the situation on the ground continues to evolve rapidly, and while military commanders continue to assess the changing environment in Basra, it remains prudent that we take time to fully consider further reductions."

In other words, Tony Blair lives on in Gordon Brown. Forever. Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Thursday, April 24, 2008. Chaos and violence continue, the US military announces more deaths, the National Security State is addressed in the Senate, whose the man calling a woman vain when he's had surgery to reduce his weight, and more.

Starting with war resistance. In June 2006,
Ehren Watada became the first officer to publicly refuse to deploy to the Iraq War. He cited the war was illegal and his duty to the Constitution. For his bravery, the US military brass attempted to railroad and an embarrassing court-martial was staged in February 2007. Judge Toilet (aka John Head) called a mistrial (over defense objection) and then tried to railroad through another one. The Constitutional provision against double-jeopardy should prevent another court-martial. While that matter is settled, Watada waits and continues reporting on base every day even though he was supposed to discharge out of the military in December 2006. Watada has made history. As such, he is often cited. "I'm not another Watada," Sabrina M. Wiener tells Mike Barber (Seattle Post-Intelligencer) and she isn't. She isn't against the war. She was ordered to go to Iraq but didn't feel her Navy training prepared her so she refused. She's already been discharaged. Meanwhile, Robert L. Jamieson Jr. (Seattle Post-Intelligencer) feels required to state school teacher Carl Chew "just pulled 'a Watada'" for refusing to give a standardized test (one mandated by the hideous No Child Left Behind aka No Child Left Time To Learn). Becoming a cultural reference is a sure sign of just how much you have permeated a society.

In Canada, many US war resisters are currently hoping to be granted safe harbor status and the Canadian Parliament will debate a measure this month on that issue. You can make your voice heard. Three e-mails addresses to focus on are: Prime Minister Stephen Harper ( -- that's pm at who is with the Conservative party and these two Liberals, Stephane Dion ( -- that's Dion.S at who is the leader of the Liberal Party and Maurizio Bevilacqua ( -- that's Bevilacqua.M at who is the Liberal Party's Critic for Citizenship and Immigration. A few more can be found here at War Resisters Support Campaign. For those in the US, Courage to Resist has an online form that's very easy to use.
There is a growing movement of resistance within the US military which includes Matt Mishler, Josh Randall, Robby Keller, Justiniano Rodrigues, Chuck Wiley, James Stepp, Rodney Watson, Michael Espinal, Matthew Lowell, Derek Hess, Diedra Cobb,
Brad McCall, Justin Cliburn, Timothy Richard, Robert Weiss, Phil McDowell, Steve Yoczik, Ross Spears, Peter Brown, Bethany "Skylar" James, Zamesha Dominique, Chrisopther Scott Magaoay, Jared Hood, James Burmeister, Jose Vasquez, Eli Israel, Joshua Key, Ehren Watada, Terri Johnson, Clara Gomez, Luke Kamunen, Leif Kamunen, Leo Kamunen, Camilo Mejia, Kimberly Rivera, Dean Walcott, Linjamin Mull, Agustin Aguayo, Justin Colby, Marc Train, Abdullah Webster, Robert Zabala, Darrell Anderson, Kyle Snyder, Corey Glass, Jeremy Hinzman, Kevin Lee, Mark Wilkerson, Patrick Hart, Ricky Clousing, Ivan Brobeck, Aidan Delgado, Pablo Paredes, Carl Webb, Stephen Funk, Blake LeMoine, Clifton Hicks, David Sanders, Dan Felushko, Brandon Hughey, Logan Laituri, Jason Marek, Clifford Cornell, Joshua Despain, Joshua Casteel, Katherine Jashinski, Dale Bartell, Chris Teske, Matt Lowell, Jimmy Massey, Chris Capps, Tim Richard, Hart Viges, Michael Blake, Christopher Mogwai, Christian Kjar, Kyle Huwer, Wilfredo Torres, Michael Sudbury, Ghanim Khalil, Vincent La Volpa, DeShawn Reed and Kevin Benderman. In total, at least fifty US war resisters in Canada have applied for asylum.
Information on war resistance within the military can be found at
The Objector, The G.I. Rights Hotline [(877) 447-4487], Iraq Veterans Against the War and the War Resisters Support Campaign. Courage to Resist offers information on all public war resisters. Tom Joad maintains a list of known war resisters. In addition, VETWOW is an organization that assists those suffering from MST (Military Sexual Trauma).

Apparently breaking news. This is
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's statement from yesterday:

The next CENTCOM commander and field commander in Iraq will have to help the next President with a number of critically important challenges: making America more secure, restoring America's power and influence in the world, fixing our costly strategy in Iraq, and articulating a more effective strategy for winning in Afghanistan and defeating Al Qaeda in Pakistan.
Our ground forces' readiness and the battles in Afghanistan and against al Qaeda in Pakistan have suffered as a result of the current costly Iraq strategy. These challenges will require fresh, independent and creative thinking and, if directed to by a new President, a commitment to implementing major changes in strategy.
The Senate will carefully examine these nominations and I will be looking for credible assurances of a strong commitment to implementing a more effective national security strategy.

Harry Reid is the US Senate Majority Leader. His statement is neither a power grab nor an attempted coup; however, reading today's press you might wonder.
William M. Arkin (Washington Post) actually knows the beat he covers and a thing or two about American democracy which is why he grasps that Gen David Petraeus has been nominated. But it's far too much for many to grasp. We'll be kind and not note all the Brits who get it wrong (US democracy may not be their natural area expertise) but let's point out that Australia's ABC understood what many did not -- including many US reporters for US outlets. Ann Scott Tyson and Thomas E. Ricks (Washington Post) also grasped the difference between nomination and confirmation. Gordon Lubold and Howard LaFranchi (Christian Science Monitor) don't grasp it. They also miss that news reporting is documenting what happened and seeing into the future is left for the likes of a psychic and a 'life coach.' (Petraeus, they write, "will now be promoted to command the wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan). It's, sadly, a very long, long list of reporters who don't grasp US democracy. (We noted Nancy A. Youssef's article this morning.) The even sadder thing is some outlets report that US Secretary of Defense Gates has promoted them. US Senator Joe Biden also issued a statement on Petraues' nomination:

I have great respect for General Petraeus and the job he has done in Iraq. But if confirmed, Gen. Petraeus' mission will no longer be just Iraq -- it will be the entire region, including the Afghnistan-Pakistan border area where those who actually attacked us on 9-11 have regrouped, where our Ambassador to Iraq [Ryan Crocker] acknowledged to me that Al Qaeda is a bigger threat, and where we do not have enough troops because of Iraq. Congress must ensure that Gen. Petraeus does not bring an Iraq bias to his new job, at the expense of America's broader security needs.

US Senator Hillary Clinton's statement on the nomination:General Petraeus has been an able and respected leader in Iraq under incredibly difficult circumstances. In this new role, General Petraeus will face responsibility broader than Iraq. It will be critical that he takes a wide view of the serious challenges facing the Central Command area of operations, including the threat posed by Al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan. As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, I look foward to considering his nomination and hearing from General Petraeus how he will meet these important changes.

Senator Barack Obama does not serve on the Armed Services Committee and maybe that's why he's issued no statement? Senator John McCain does serve on the committe and, like Barack, he has issued no statement. Senator Russ Feingold did issue a statement yesterday:

During his testimony before Congress, General Petraeus stated that since his focus has been on Iraq, he was unable to comment on why the threat from al Qaeda has increased, specifically in Afghanistan and Pakistan. As CENTCOM Commander, General Petraeus will be responsible for assessing the entire region, including the impact our presence in Iraq is having on our ability to combat al Qaeda and its affiliates throughout that region. The truth is our perceived occupation of Iraq is destabilizing the region while the administration's myopic focus on Iraq has overlooked the rising threat of al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan. General Petraeus's predecessor, Admiral Fallon, understood the need for a comprehensive strategy for the Middle East which extended beyond Iraq. As he begins the confirmation process to become the next commander of CENTCOM, General Petraeus must answer the most important question we face, which is not whether we are winning in Iraq, but why we are not defeating al Qaeda.

Senator Ted Kennedy also issued a statement:

In his new position, General Petraeus will have a much larger regional and strategic responsibility especially as to how our mission in Iraq affects Afghanistan and our role in the Middle East as a whole. For too long, President Bush has pursued an open-ended commitment of our troops in Iraq, with no regard for the impact it has on them, their families or other critical national security challenges. That's not a plan for success. It's simply a delaying tactic to hand off the problem to the next President. I look forward to hearing the views General Petraeus has on these and other important questions during his confirmation hearing.

Hopefully, the process is now grasped by all. No "promotion" has taken place unless the nominee is confirmed (or unless Petraeus were to be a recess-appointment). What has many curious (to use the mildest term) is that the White House is doing this with a goal of confirmation by the end of May. Bully Boy is a Lame Duck and why he would want to tie the future president's hands to Petraeus is seen as curious (mildest term possible). While he focuses on personalities, real problems are ignored. And Petraeus is an interesting choice considering the
April 9th Congressional performance:

US House Rep Ellen Tauscher noted the opposition to the Iraq War, that more people are saying (in polls) that the Iraq war was "not worth it) and how "my constituents repeatedly tell me that we can't sustain" the costs (human and monetary). Tauscher noted that a new president would be elected in November and sworn in at the start of 2009. "If you report to a commander-in-chief . . . that wants a plan" for withdrawal "what would you advise?" Petraeus stated, "My response would be dialogue again on what the risk would be." He then tried to take the curtness off his response by noting the US military is under civilian control: "we are not self-employed, we take orders and we obey."

[. . .]

He [Brad Sherman] asked Petraeus, "Will you begin on November 5th . . . to prepare plans to execute the policies of the incoming president or alternatively, will the incoming president . . . find a dilemma where if they order immediate withdrawal it will be an unplanned withdrawal" which would lead to more of the same currently going on (stuck in a quagmire).

Petraeus: Congressman, I can only serve one boss at a time.

"As a transition approaches," he continued, "obviously there is going to be back and forth to facilitate and not me, this will be the Secretary of Defense, the chair of the Joint Chiefs and, at some point, there will be contingency plans directed."

Brad Sherman asked, "So you would expect to get contingency plans?" And David Petraeus replied, "I'm very uncomfortable candidly describing" this. He spooks so easy.

That's whom Bully Boy wants to put in charge of Centcom, a post he would begin in the fall -- the same fall that the 2008 elections will be held in.

Today the US Senate's Foreign Relations Committee held a hearing that should receive a great deal of attention but may not. The title was "Implementing Smart Power: Setting an Agenda For National Security Reform." Committee chair Joe Biden explained the importance in his opening remarks:

Today the Committee on Foreign Relations holds the second in a series of hearings on smart power. It is part of a larger effort to reexamine our nation's foreign policy and present a new vision for policy makers. As the current administration ends, we face a multitude of new challenges. The emergence of China and India as major economic powers. The resurgence of Russia floating on a sea of oil revenue. A unifying Europe. The spread of dangerous weapons and leathal diseases. The shortage of secure sources of energy, water and -- as witnessed by rioting in several countries -- even food. The impact of climate change. Rising wealth and persistent poverty. A technological revolution that sends people, ideas and money hurling around the planet at ever faster speeds. The challenge to nation states from ethnic and sectarian strife. The struggle between modernity and extremism. That's a short list of forces shaping the 21st century. These challenges raise the question: Do we have the right non-military instruments, the right institutions and the right relationships among those institutions to deal with new threats and opportunities?

Senator Richard Lugar is the ranking Republican on the committee and he noted in his opening statements:

It is clear that the US government is paying insufficient attention to fundamental questions about whether we are building national security capabilities that can address the threats and challenges we are likely to encounter in the future. Although our defense, foreign affairs, homeland security, intelligence, and energy budgets are carefully examined from the incremental perspective of where they were in the previous year, our budget process gives neither Congress nor the Executive Branch the ability to adequately evaluate whether the money flowing to these areas represents the proper mix for the 21st Century. In the process, funding for diplomacy and foreign assistance persisently falls short.

Richard L. Armitage and Joseph S. Nye Jr. appeared on the first panel and anything Armitage has to say judged of interest (ask Valerie Plame) usually leaks to the press. Note that
the hearing is archived online. The issue Lugar was raising about funding was an issue that the second panel addressed and it was the more informative of the two.

Due to a vote about to take place on the Senate floor, many senators had to leave during the second panel so it was mainly Biden and the two witnesses -- James R. Locher III and Gordon Adams -- involved in an exchange. Locher noted in his opening statement a concern, "the lack of prepardeness of civilian departments and agencies to rapidly deploy their expertise overseas. The problem of the underfunding and under-preparedness of civilian departments and agencies stem in part from our outdated concept of national security." Adams' concerns included:

First, our civilian national security tools -- primarily diplomacy and foreign assistance -- are weak, poorly focused, and dispersed. Diplomacy is not adequately linked to foreign assistance, and the foreign assistance agencies are scattered and poorly coordinated. Strategic planning is not used, and both strategy and budget planning are not pulled together. And, they are woefully understaffed and underfunded.

The National Security State" is a phrase many writers have long used (long before 9-11) and there seems to be some idea on the part of some that, were a renewal of that 1947 Act to take place, we'd play closer attention this time. That time has come and -- like Petraeus' nomination -- this could have huge implications for the future.

To tie it into Iraq, Biden spoke of the raw sewage he saw in Sadr City and how the US government has a half-billion dollar contract to fix it and that may happen -- years on down the line. But there are people on the ground who think they could fix it right now. He spoke of the issue of potable water in Iraq and noted he was told, "Senator we produce and built the biggest water fountain in the world." He was told that because "it's not hooked up to anything. Not a joke. Not hooked up." Which means the people of Sadr City who need potable water are required to go out with a bucket. Biden spoke of how "Iraq used to be the breadbasket of the Middle East in the fifties" and how some on the ground feel that investing strongly in farming right now would mean that the militias would shrink. He spoke of how the best diplomats he sees in the field tend to have stars on their shoulders (meaning military) and he feels their hands are too often tied. "Is there a need for a change," he asked, "in the culture at the State Dept? Is there also a need for us to go out and attract something other than -- and we haven't even been attracting them -- the typical foreign service mentality?" He wanted to exploring changign the curriculum, changing the training, for the foreign diplomatic staff.

Locher noted, "There is no intergancy culture" at the Dept of Defense and Biden wondered, "What do we do change that? . . . It goes back to the president -- the next president choosing the Secretary of State and Defense." Biden was running for the Democratic presidential nomination until recently and he noted that if he were president, "The single most important task" he'd have "would be to make sure my Secretary of State and Defense were on the same page."

Adams felt that the recruiting process was key and how those recruited for the foreign diplomatic service were rearded and moved up but "the problem here is developing that capacity both near term and long term" and that the job is "develop program, budget program, implement program and evaluate program." All those steps, Adams argued, must be taken while looking at today's needs as well as tomorrow's. He also explained that while he was at OMB he used to budget first for State and then Defense and, though he says it was a minor tool, it was an important one becuase "you need to take some of the key purposes" and ensure that they are focused on. Biden asked him to conceptualize these needs into a document and noted that "they" -- Hillary Clinton, John McCain and Barack Obama -- "all think of this . . . they all get a sense of this" and how important it is to the future of the United States.

Biden noted that earlier reforms "didn't contemplate then that we might be deploying for xis and up to twelve months our national reserves. . . . They are breaking. . . . We're a hundred billion dollars short now in equipment for the states in terms of them responding to national emergencies -- you saw what happened to the town in Kansas that had that tornado that just devasted the town. They didn't have the trucks. They're in Iraq." Across the US, "you're talking about these governors being over a hundred million dollars short just to handle national disasters or, God forbid, another terrorist attack."

The discussion should be of interest to everyone because it does have to do with what future is being charted for the US and, again, many writers have warned of the National Security State. So this is something to follow. What was agreed upon -- Biden was the sole committee member attending the hearing in full -- was that the two witnesses would visit with him and other senators "to get much deeper into the weeds" as they continued to explore the topic.

Turning to some of today's reported violence in Iraq . . .


Laith Hammoudi (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a Baghdad bombing injured three members of the Iraqi military, a Baghdad roadside bombing wounded two Iraqis, a Baghdad bombing claimed 3 lives and left fifteen wouned, a Baghdad car bombing claimed 1 life and left six injured, another Baghdad car bombing claimed 1 life and wounded three and a Baghdad mortar attack left two people wounded. Reuters notes that the US military called in an airstrike at "the al-Rashad mental hospital near Sadr City" and that at least 4 'fighters' were killed and that US airstrikes (by the US military's own statements) claimed 6 other lives throughout Baghdad and that a Baghdad rocket attack "hit Poland's embassy inside the Green Zone" resulting in at least one guard being wounded.


Laith Hammoudi (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 1 police officer was shot dead in Mosul and a drive by shooting in Diyala province left District Commissioner Wayis Mohammed Zaidan and his driver injured.


Laith Hammoudi (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 3 corpses discovered in Baghdad.

Today the
US military announced: "Two Multi-National Division -- North Soldiers were killed when their vehicle rolled onto its side during movement to a combat outpost in Salah ad Din Province, April 23. Another Soldier and one interpreter were injured in the incident and taken to Coalition force medical facilities for treatment." The deaths bring the total for the month to 38 and the total number of US service members killed in Iraq since the start of the illegal war to 4050.

Turning to US presidential politics and the always chatty independent Douglas Wilder. Let's repeat that because he keeps being credited as "a former Democratic governor" when he is in fact a former Democrat. There's no lie to big for Wilder (who executed 14 people and feels damn good about that).
When Bill Clinton rightly noted Barack Obama was telling a fairytale about his Iraq stand, independent -- read, not part of the Democratic Party, he left the Democratic Party -- started insisting that Bill Clinton had called Barack a fairytale and that fairytale was racist. Give it a rest, tired and old, give it a rest. He left the Democratic Party so what does or does not happen in a Democratic primary really should be none of his damn business. But that hasn't stopped him.

On CBS' Face The Nation in February (link has text and video) Wilder declared that if Barack was not given the nomination there would be "chaos" -- "there will be chaos at the convention. And if you think 1968 was bad, you watch; in 2008, it will be worse." For those who can't grasp what Wilder was doing (PDF format warning: click here for full transcript), the last guest, Roger Simon clarified: "My impression is that Doug Wilder came close to predicting riots in the streets, literally if Barck Obama is not -- enters the convention with the most elected delgates but that decision is overturned by superdelegates." Doug Wilder's not a super delegate and he's not one because he left the party. So he really needs to butt the hell out of what the Democratic Party does or does not do while THEY select their candidate. Like anyone else, he's welcome to support in a general election. But, having left the party, what the party itself does is really none of his damn business and when the press interviews him these days, they need to make it very clear that he's not a super delegate and clear as to why he is not one. He left the party in 1994 -- 14 years ago. Old and tired, non-Democratic Party member Wilder is race baiting yet again. Heidi Przybyla (Bloomberg News) quotes tired and old saying Barack experiences more "ingrained difficulty" than Hillary Clinton in the race and Wilder goes on to offer stereotypes and distortions which is all the old fool has left to offer: "hissy fits," "the crying and the weeping". There was no reason for Bloomber or any other outlet to run the garbage. Wilder's a sexist and has long been one (born in 1931). Hillary did not "cry" or "weep". She did tear up -- not, as Jesse Jackson Jr. has repeatedly lied, over her appearance. Let's review that because it wasn't something we covered in the snapshot but since LIARS are going to repeat it, let's clear it up. Hillary didn't cry and she didn't cry about her appearance but guess what Vain Male Peacock (never afraid to parade) smeared her with those lies?

Hillary Clinton: And I couldn't do if it I just didn't passionately believe it was the right thing to do. You know I have so many opportunities from this country [the eyes tear] I just don't want to see us fall backwards. You know? So. This is very personal for me. It's not just political, it's not just public. I see what's happening and we have to reverse it. And some people think elections are a game, it's like, who's up and who's down. It's about our country, it's about our kid's futures, and it's really about all of us together. You know some of us put ourselves and do this against some [sardonoic voice] difficult odds, and we do it, each one of us because we care about our country. But some of us are right and some of us are wrong. Some of us are ready and some of us are not. Some of us know what we will do on day one and some of us haven't really thought that through enough. And so when we look at the array of problems we have and the potential for really spinning out of control, this is one of the most important elections America has ever faced. So [smiling] as tired as I am, and I am, and as difficult as it is to keep up what I try to do on the road like occassionally exercise, and try to eat right, it's tough when the easiest food is pizza, I just believe so strongly in who we are as a nation. So I'm going to do everything I can to make my case and then the voters get to decide.

That's the reality of what happened and there were no tears streaming down her face ever. No tear even spilled over the eye lid. Her eyes moistened. Doug Wilder should not be allowed to repeat his lies but no one stopped Jesse Jackson Jr. Junior refuses to call Hillary "Senator Clinton" -- then again, he struggles with "Clinton," and stumbles out "Crinton". But he managed to go on MSNBC and LIE to Norah O'Donnell. Here's kind of what he said -- he lacks his father's speaking ability --

Not in response to voters resp-, uh, not-not in response to Katrina, not in response to uh-uh other issues that have devastated the American people, the war in Iraq, we saw tears in response to her apprearance. So her appearance brought her to tears --

No, Jesse Jackson Jr., that never happened and your lies and attacks were and are embarrassing. Hillary wasn't worried about appearances but, of course, Jesse Jr. was.

Junior's the former fatty who had surgery to lose weight while serving in the US Congress. Originally he claimed he "got shots in the butt once a week for three months to boost my metabolism" and apparently that claim fell by the wayside as concerns about "juice"ed athletes became a big deal.
Ebony reported he had "undergone bariatric surgery in 2004 . . . He began to tell me about the procedure he went through, something called a DS or duodenal switch." For those not up on the surgery, you're getting rid of two-thirds of your stomach because you're unable to STOP PIGGING OUT and they then rearrange your small intestine. So Mr. Vanity Jesse Jackson Jr. -- who didn't want to be a fatty but couldn't put the fork down or get off the couch -- had a costly operation to lose weight quickly. And Mr. Vanity then wants to LIE and claim Hillary cried about her appearence? Waist Deep in a Big Fatty looked in the mirror, found his greatest fear and then attempted to smear Hillary with it. (The proper term is "projection.")

We were going to note Cynthia McKinney today. I would be happy too. It's on hold and will be decided tonight (in the roundtable for the gina & krista round-robin). What happened? A man went on a program yesterday and stated McKinney knew she couldn't be elected president, that she's only running to get 5% of the national vote. That wasn't an issue yesterday because, who cares what a supporter says? But now her campaign has posted a link to that interview with the headline that he "speaks for Cynthia McKinney." Most likely we are done with Cynthia McKinney presidential coverage because we are covering candidates who are trying their hardest to win. When Dennis Kucinich gave his supporters away (or tried to) in Iowa (to Barack), he lost all community support. Those who aren't running to win aren't going to be covered. Life is too short and we all have better things to do.

Ralph Nader's running for president. (Tip, Ralph, curb Matt Gonzalez before he ticks off more potential voters by weighing in on topics that have already caused offense.)
Team Nader documents the rise in the polls Nader's experiencing including one in March that found "one in seven voters (14 percent) would seriously consider voting for Ralph Nader for President in November" (that would be less than a month after he declared his intent to run) while a new poll finds 4% of Pennsylvania voters cite Nader as their choice and it "could potentially quadruple, as 17 percent of Democratic respondents said that if their first choice does not get the Democratic nomination, they may vote for Nader." Ralph Nader's campaign has also just opened their Nader Store where you can purchase buttons, etc. Nader is a independent run so I have no problem noting his store. In fairness, we'll also note that Hillary's store is here. John McCain's is here. Cynthia McKinney doesn't appear to have one (I couldn't find it and the friend I'm dictating this too can't) and Obama says any orders may take two to three weeks to fill -- they're low on stock. That was a one-time only where everyone could have had their stores noted. Yet again, the Obama campaign appeared to be on vacation. Dr. Maya Angelou gets the last word. From her piece at the Clinton campaign:

I am writing to tell you about my friend, Hillary Clinton, and why I am standing with her in her campaign for the presidency. I know the kind of president Hillary Clinton will be because I know the person she is.
I am inspired by her courage and her honesty. She is a reliable and trustworthy person. She is someone I not only admire but one for whom I have profound affection.
Hillary does not waver in standing up for those who need a champion. She has always been a passionate protector of families. As a child, she was taught that all God's children are equal, and as a mother, she understood that her child wasn't safe unless all children were safe. As I wrote about Hillary recently in a praise song: "She is the prayer of every woman, and every man who longs for fair play, healthy families, good schools and a balanced economy."
It may be easy to view Hillary Clinton through the narrow lens of those who would write her off or grind her down. Hillary sees us as we are, black and brown and white and yellow and pink and relishes our differences knowing that fundamentally we are all more alike than we are unalike. She is able to look through complexion and see community.
She has endured great scrutiny, and still she dares greatly. Hillary Clinton will not give up on you, and all she asks is that you do not give up on her. She is a long-distance runner. I am honored to say I am with her for the long run.
I am supporting Hillary Clinton because I know that she will make the most positive difference in people's lives and she will help our country become what it can be. Whether you are her supporter, leaning towards her, undecided, or supporting someone else, I believe Hillary Clinton will represent you -- she will be a president for all Americans. It is no small thing that along the way we will make history together.
Vote for Hillary Clinton and show your support at I know she will make us proud.

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