Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Barack as he says, not as he does

Tuesday! So much going on and I'll probably just focus on the presidential campaign, FYI. Tony e-mailed me Foon Rhee's "The basics of 'fundamentals':"

Barack Obama has been raking John McCain for two weeks now for saying on the day the Wall Street crisis ballooned that the fundamentals of the economy were strong.
Now, Republicans are jumping all over Obama for saying what they argue was something very similar.
“After this immediate problem, we’ve got the long-term fundamentals that will really make sure this economy grows," Obama said today in Colorado.
That was just after he repeated his criticism of his Republican rival: "You see, Senator McCain just doesn’t get it -- he doesn’t get that this crisis on Wall Street hit Main Street a long time ago. That’s why his first response to the greatest fiscal meltdown in generations was to say that the ‘fundamentals of the economy are strong,’ and why he didn’t say the words 'middle class' once in an entire 90-minute debate.”
McCain tried to clarify that he was talking about the fundamental strength provided by American workers, but by then it was too late.

Here's AFP on same topic:

Republican White House hopeful John McCain Tuesday released an ad slamming rival Barack Obama as a "hypocrite," drawing an immediate rebuke from the Democrat's campaign that it had twisted a quote out of context.
The ad, which appears on the website YouTube, attacks Obama's stance on the financial crisis gripping the United States and includes a brief sound bite of the Illinois senator speaking at a rally in Colorado on Monday.
"Who's Barack Obama?" the announcer asks in the ad.
"First, Obama attacked McCain. Then said: 'We've got the long term fundamentals that will really make sure this economy grows,'" the ad said, inserting a video clip of Obama speaking at a podium.
"Strong fundamentals?" the announcer asks. "Is Obama saying McCain's right? Or is Obama saying his own attacks are shameless? Either way, Obama's a hypocrite."

It's funny when Barack screws up. :D Now his campaign is attempting to say something else was meant. I thought he was the Great Communicator? The next Ronald Reagan? Guess that was a myth, huh?

Barack as he says, not as he does. :D Oh! I'll have the snapshot in full but on that "Barack as he says, not as he does," I need to pull one section out right now:

CBS News' Maria Gavrilovic reports that Barack Obama thinks the meltdown is just groovy because it allows talking about issues: "I mean, there was a time pretty recently when we were talking about lipstick and pigs." We? We? Barack plagiarized a Washington Post comic and made insulting remarks but it's "we". He can always grab credit for what he hasn't done, he just never takes accountability for what he did do. Where it gets really funny is if you compare Maria Gavrilovic's reports today. In one, Barack is saying that the economic meltdown is "not a time for politics" and, less than an hour later, Barack's stating the economic meltdown allows for a good test of the candidates. But who will he cheat off of?

So one hour "it's not time for politics" when it comes to the economic meltdown and the next Barack's claiming the economic meltdown is a great test for the presidential candidates? That's hilarious. So is his notion that the presidential candidates are just him and John McCain.

There are other candidates running for president. There's Cynthia McKinney, Bob Barr, Chuck Baldwin and the candidate I'm supporting, Ralph Nader. This is from Kevin Howe's "Nader blasts limits on presidential debates:"

Peace and Freedom Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader and vice presidential running mate Matt Gonzalez brought their campaign message to Monterey Peninsula College on Monday. It is summed up by a quote from the late labor leader Eugene Debbs: "Don't vote for what you don't believe in. You might get it."
The two told a rally of little over 200 that they have been shut out of national debates by the "unjust, restrictive and undemocratic" Commission on Presidential Debates, which has limited space in the national spotlight to the two major party candidates.
A symptom of that, said Nader, an attorney, author, consumer advocate and several times third-party presidential candidate, is that California's 34 million people will be ignored by the major party campaigners, taken for granted by the Democrats and written off by the Republicans.
Historically, he said, minor parties have been the messengers of what became acceptable major change: abolition of slavery, women's suffrage and this year, Nader-Gonzalez's opposition to legislation designed to bail out the nation's major financial institutions from the collapse of the mortgage market.

On the bailout bill, this is from Josh Richman's "Nader campaigns in Bay Area:"

The bailout bill the House rejected Monday should be "scrapped forever" and replaced with mortgage aid for struggling homeowners and prosecution of Wall Street robber barons, independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader said Tuesday.
Nader began a daylong Bay Area blitz with a news conference outside the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco with running mate and former San Francisco Supervisor Matt Gonzalez as well as "peace mom" activist Cindy Sheehan, an independent congressional candidate challenging House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
The Federal Reserve is "a secret government within a government; it is out of control; it is not accountable to Congress and never has been," Nader said, demanding such accountability as well as annual audits. Without such control and transparency, he said, the Federal Reserve will continue to do banks' bidding, leading to a devalued dollar, higher interest rates and a declining quality of life for most Americans.
Meanwhile, he said, Congress should hold public hearings on this financial meltdown's causes and potential cures, rather than rush to judgment on a bailout plan advanced by "the most criminally recidivist administration in this country's history."

But Barack -- who didn't want protections for home owners in the bill that got shot down -- is insisting today that it must be passed. It failed because the people flooded Congress with calls. But what does the opinion of the people matter when Barack has to please his corporate suiters? This is just like the FISA vote where Barack comes out on the wrong side -- where Barack sides against the people. Remember his pledge not to vote for it? And remember how he said not only would he not vote for it, he'd filibuster! He voted for. He voted to let the telecoms off for their breaking of the law. The telecoms are big money. Barack always come through for big money.

This is from The CBS Evening News with Katie Couric:

The governor told us though she's not a member of any church, she visits a couple of them regularly when she's home. She took issue with news reports that one of them, The Wasilla Bible Church, sponsored a conference where gays could be made straight through prayer.
Palin: Well, it matters though, Katie, when the media gets it wrong. It frustrates Americans who are just trying to get the facts and … be able to make up their mind on, about a person's values. So it does matter. But what you're talking about, I think, value here, what my position is on homosexuality and you can pray it away, because I think that was the title that was listed on that bulletin. And you know, I don't know what prayers are worthy of being prayed. I don't know what's prayers are going to be asked and answered. But as for homosexuality, I am not going to judge Americans and the decisions that they make in their adult personal relationships. I have one of my absolute best friends for the last 30 years happens to be gay, and I love her dearly. And she is not my "gay friend," she is one of my best friends, who happens to have made a choice that isn't a choice that I have made. But I am not going to judge people.

Wow, great communicator Barack never said anything like that, now did he? No. He brought up that he took an AIDS test in a debate and then had to make it a joke. He's disrected gays and lesbians for two years now and done so publicly. Okay, community member Lloyd wrote a great e-mail and had a great idea. I shared the idea with others and I think everyone's going to note their favorite part of C.I.'s "2007: The Year of Living Useless (Year in Review)" tonight.

Out lesbian Laura Flanders took to The Nation's website to plead with Barack days after his South Carolina event that provided homophobes stage space to express their homophobia. Flanders chose to plead with Barack. To stop putting known homophobes on stage? No, to plead with him to dump Democratic king-maker Richard Daley over Daley's stance on torture. Forget themselves, Sisters Are Doing It For Barack.

Reality check would require noting that when you're personally insulted there's often a response of, "Am I making too much of this? Is it just me?" Point, Flanders isn't the only one who could have or should have called it out. In fact, as 'liberals,' progressives or whatever, it was incumbent upon all of us to stand up. Heterosexuals registering their offense would have sent a strong message that this wasn't acceptable. Instead all but the Black Agenda Report appeared to suffer from laryngitis. (And though we're not here to hand out lolly pops, it bears noting that Glen Ford, Bruce Dixon and Margaret Kimberley packed more life, more independence and more thought into any one week of 2007 than most 'independent media' could manage the whole year.)

I chose that section for a couple of reasons. One, because it's funny and made me laugh when I read it the first time and still does today. Two, because Barack's use of homophobia has been so little called out. Three, it gives a shout out to Ford, Dixon and Kimberley. Four, Laura Flanders has been a HUGE disappointment this election cycle. Such a disappointment that I really have no plans to ever listen to her again. I know that doesn't matter much because AAR's supposed to pack up shop after the election but I won't be watching her TV show either. She came on like an independent voice and when she was that I would have gladly followed up on any action she advised. Now she's become a hypocrite and I have no use for her. For people like Flanders, it's not like I can pick them back up after the election. They didn't just make me mad or sad, they betrayed what they were and I no longer trust them.

Okay, that's it for me tonight. Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Tuesday, September 30, 2008. Chaos and violence continue, the US military announces another death, Iraqi refugees forced out of Jordan, a 'turnover' takes place tomorrow, and more.

On the medical front,
Jormana Karadsheh (CNN) reports that along with allowing Iraqi doctors to carry guns, Nouri al-Maliki's council also decreed that they cannot be "detained by police without Ministry of Health approval" and notes the International Committee of the Red Cross' March report (PDF format warning, click here) which stated over " 2,200 doctors and nurses have been killed and more than 250 kidnapped since 2003" and that there were "34,000 register doctors in 1990" but "at least 20,000 have left the country." Karadsheh goes on to site the Iraqi government's figure of 8,000 having "left their jobs" (and "some fleeing the country") but "about 800 doctors have returned to their jobs". The Iraqi government figures are bunk. (Credit to Karadsheh for crediting the source on those figures -- other outlets present them as facts with no sourcing.) As noted in the August 4th snapshot, Dr. Essan Namiq (Deputy Minister of Health for Grants and Loans) and Dr. Kahmees al-Sa'ad (Administrative deputy Minister of Health) held a press conference in the Green Zone August 3rd in which many fanciful claims were floated in which Dr. Essan Namiq declared that "more than 80% of the Iraqi doctors" had returned. They just make up the numbers with whatever they think make looks them good and never worry about their own figures matching up at a later date with . . . their own figures. 80% of 8,000 is not 800.

That's really what told on them immediately in the Myth of the Great Return -- they released a figure over the weekend and, by Monday, you had to add more zeros to the abusrd claim. The myth started in the fall of 2007. Fall is here again and it's time to make it appear the Iraqi refugee situation isn't all that bad . . . really. The country's oil wealth allows them to call in favors.
Hani Hazaimeh (Jordan Times) reports that 74,000 barrels of oil were shipped to Jordan from Iraq "in the past 10 days" and quotes Jordan's Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Khaldou Qteishat declaring, "The ministry is cooperating with its Iraqi counterpart to overcome several challenges in order to meet the daily target of 10,000 barrels as stipulated in the agreement, to be increased gradually to 30,000 barrels." The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates there are at least 4.7 million Iraqi refugees -- internal and external. Of the over 2 million external refugees many are in Jordan or Syria (with some estimates of 700,000 in each country; others of 750,000 in Jordan and as many as 1.5 million in Syria). But when Iraq buys you off on oil, you're happy to eject refugees. IRIN reports, "The Iraqi embassy in Amman is organising the repatriation by planes of dozens of Iraqi families who wish to return home, despite warnings from UN agencies about the security situation. Iraqi diplomats in Amman said they had charted a plane to repatriate the Iraqis later this week, during the Muslim holiday of Eid al Fitr. Disabled people and the elderly will be among the Iraqis leaving in what, according to the Iraqi ambassador, will be the first official return by air to the homeland since the US-led invasion in 2003." The disabled and the elderly. The most vulnerable. Sent back to the violence in Iraq. China's Xinhua reports that 2 "busloads of Iraqis" have already been shipped out and that some on the buses "said they were forced to return due to difficult economic conditions in Jordan." To be clear, Jordan turned a penny on the refugees long before the oil infusion. Nicholas Seeley (Christian Science Monitor) reported at the start of July that while Jordan refused to allow the refugees to work and while they were dependent upon assistance, Jordan was spending aid money for the refugees: "In 2007, 61 percent of UNHCR's operational budget was given directly to Jordan, along with millions of bilateral aid from the European Community and the United States" "a large portion of the aid . . . has gone to address Jordan's own urgent national priorities." Turning a profit from human misery, that's all it was. Meanwhile the UNHCR set up tents for Ramadan in Amman, "For the second straight year, the UN refugee agency has provided iftar to needy Iraqis and Jordanians during the month of Ramadan, which ends on Tuesday. Muslims believe that feeding someone iftar (the evening meal during Ramadan) as a form of charity is very rewarding." It's apparently a thought passed over the Jordanian government -- which represent a citizenry that is 94% Muslim.

External refugees that return frequently become internal refugees. That's due to the fact that (a) they left the region due to violence and threats and (b) their former homes are often occupied. The Institute for War and Peace Reporting's
Zaineb Naji (via Kansas City Star) states that Iraq's internatl refugees are not registering (72,000 have registerd to vote in what may (or may not) be upcoming provincial elections, "just 2.6 per cent of the total figure for those uprooted by the conflict") and reminds, "According to a report in July by the International Organisation for Migration, IOM, IDPs do not have adequate shelter or access to drinking water, food, health care, education and electricity. Many are squatting in public buildings, mud huts, or in houses abandoned by other families. The latter is a widespread problem preventing many IDPs from returning home. Surveys have shown that more than 60 per cent of the displaced want to go back to their towns and villages."

Meanwhile, the
New York Times' Erica Goode (at the paper's blog, Baghdad Bureau Blog) writes of spending the night at the home of an Iraqi friend which required her to wear a a black abaya and hijab and climb a darkened staircase to ensure that no neighbors grasped an American visiting. In the apartment with her friend, her friend's husband and the couple's three-year-old daughter on a 114 degree day, they saw frequent 15 minute burst of electricity (apparently making up -- when combined -- the few hours of electricity outside the Green Zone Baghdad sees each day): "The electricity shortage, they said, is a problem not just for comfort but for the refrigerator in the bedroom, which goes off and on all day, making it difficult to store food. The water in the sink and shower, too, is unpredicatble, sometimes working, sometimes not. . . . We drank fruit juice and bottled war -- even when there is tap water, it is not potable." And that's Baghdad (outside the Green Zone), not a distant province in the country. Five years after the start of the illegal war, that's life in Baghdad. An Iraqi correspondent for McClatchy Newspapers reports (at Inside Iraq) on taking a taxi through the Dora neighborhood of Baghdad: "Meanwhile, we saw graffiti on the walls. 'There is no place for betrayers in the Islamic State of Iraq,' someone had spray painted on one wall. The saying refers to the Islamic state, a front for a Qaida in Iraq."

Moving to the the oil-rich northern region,
Anna Fifield (Financial Times of London) reports that Ibril is the 'hot spot' in the Kurdistan region of Iraq where "prices have almost doubled in the past two years and are still climbing" in the "English village -- complete with cul-de-sacs lined with identical two-storey houses, garden gnomes on front lawns and Range Rovers in driveways". A British investor, Russell Jones, raves, "There is an enormous amount of free money here being kept under people's mattresses." It helps to have name oil and, of course, name lobbyists to advocate for you. But in Baghdad? Corinne Reilly (McClatchy Newspapers) notes, "Dumped bodies are once again appearing along Baghdad's streets. Two years ago, Iraqi police recovered an average of 50 bodies a day across the capital, most of them shot in the head with their hands tied behind their backs. By this summer, the bodies had all but disappeared, but this month, they began to show up again, usually one or two a day." The corpse count climbs as a 'handover' approaches. The US military is due to hand the "Awakening" Council members over to the puppet government in Baghdad. Pakistan's Daily Times reports: "The US military will this week begin handing over control of 100,000 Sunni anti-Qaeda fighters to Iraq's Shiite-led government, a move that risks undermining hard-earned security gains. The Iraqi government and the US military have agreed in principle to the transfer of responsibility of all 'Sons of Iraq' from October 1, beginning with 54,000 men in the province of Baghdad. . . . Iraq will start paying the salaries of Sahwa men in Baghdad -- a monthly bill of around 15 million dollars -- from November 10, Major General Jeffery Hammond, commander of US forces in the Iraqi capital, told reporters." This transfer will come at a time when unemployment is already a big issue around the country. Corrine Reilly (McClatchy) notes
"most approximations put unemployment across Iraq at between 30 percent and 60 percent. . . Iraqi and American officials agree, the country's soaring unemployment rate must come down. They say that if more Iraqis don't find work soon, people here will pay the cost in blood. . . . The link between unemployment and bloodshed is in especially sharp focus right now, as the U.S. military prepares to hand authority over the Sons of Iraq to the Iraqi government. . . . If the government fails to pay the Sons of Iraq and they don't find other employment, many fear the former insurgents will turn back to violence."

Returning to the issue of provincial elections, eNews 2.0 offers "
Iraq's unity threatened by lack of minority quota" which explains that the bill that passed the Iraqi Parliament on provincial elections last week continues to be a source of scorn -- specifically for failing to provide "a clause that defines the quota of minorities in provincial councils" and Ageel Abdel-Hussein of Moqtada al-Sadr's movement states, "Minorities should be given their rights in the provincial councils to contribute to the building of the Iraqi state." The write-up also informs that in Nineveh Province, Iraqi Christians protested Sunday in numbers exceeding 5,000.The bill will be nixed or approved by the Iraqi presidency council made up of the president and Iraq's two vice presidents. Iraq's president is Jalal Talabani and The Jordan Times reports that he returned to Iraq Monday after spending "nearly two months in the United Sates for medical treatment" (not noted in the article was his wife, Hero Ibrahim Ahmed, visiting Los Angeles in attempt to find a distributor for her film Saturday) and that he is stating the treaty between the US and the puppet government (wrongly called a SOFA) must go through.

In some of today's reported violence . . .


Laith Hammoudi (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a Baghdad car bombing that claimed 4 lives (with nine people wounded) and a Diyala Province roadside bombing that targeted the Kudristan Democratic Party's Jamal al Sayd Khalili who was wounded in the bombing.

Laith Hammoudi (McClatchy Newspapers) reports two police officers wounded in a Mosul shooting.


Laith Hammoudi (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 2 corpses discovered in Baghdad. Reuters notes 1 corpse discovered in Mosul yesterday.

Today the
US military announces: "A Multi-National Division - Baghdad Soldier died of wounds at approximately 12:45 p.m. at a Coalition force's Combat Support Hospital Sept. 30. The Soldier was wounded when his patrol came under small-arms fire in northern Baghdad at approximately 12:15. The Soldier was medically evacuated by air to the medical facility, however, the Soldier later succumbed to the wounds. The Soldier's name is being withheld pending notification of next of kin and official release by the Department of Defense." The announcement brings to 4176 the number of US service members killed in Iraq since the start of the illegal war with 25 announced for the month thus far. That is one shy of the July figure (13) which was trumpeted as 'big news' and yet another 'turned corner.' It is two more than the number of deaths for August (23).

Reuters notes, "Defense Secretary Robert Gates predicted on Monday that growth in U.S. military spending would level off in the coming years but not face severe cutbacks, despite the current economic crisis." No surprise there. Chalmers Johnson (at The Asia Times) explains, "On Wednesday, September 24, right in the middle of the fight over billions of taxpayer dollars slated to bail out Wall Street, the House of Representatives passed a $612 billion defense authorization bill for 2009 without a murmur of public protest or any meaningful press comment at all. (The New York Times gave the matter only three short paragraphs buried in a story about another appropriations measure.) The defense bill includes $68.6 billion to pursue the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which is only a down payment on the full yearly cost of these wars. (The rest will be raised through future supplementary bills.) It also included a 3.9% pay raise for military personnel, and $5 billion in pork-barrel projects not even requested by the administration or Secretary of Defense Robert Gates." Meanwhile Joseph Gerth (Kentucky Courier-Journal) reports on a state poll which found "54 percent of Kentuckians support the U.S. presence in Iraq, and 62 percent favor the U.S. presence in Afghanistan."

Turning to the US presidential race.
Sunday on CBS' 60 Minutes (link has text and video), the US top commander in Iraq, Gen Ray Odierno, explained to Lesley Stahl that he doesn't vote and why: "I will say this. I made a decision when I got promoted to colonel that I would not longer vote in national elections because I feel it's my job to serve the commander-in-chief. So I have not voted. Probably a bad American for not voting, but I made that decision because of the position that I have." Voting or not voting is a personal decision. So is taking accountability which the Democratic presidential nominee cannot apparently do still. CBS News' Maria Gavrilovic reports that Barack Obama thinks the meltdown is just groovy because it allows talking about issues: "I mean, there was a time pretty recently when we were talking about lipstick and pigs." We? We? Barack plagiarized a Washington Post comic and made insulting remarks but it's "we". He can always grab credit for what he hasn't done, he just never takes accountability for what he did do. Where it gets really funny is if you compare Maria Gavrilovic's reports today. In one, Barack is saying that the economic meltdown is "not a time for politics" and, less than an hour later, Barack's stating the economic meltdown allows for a good test of the candidates. But who will he cheat off of?

Cynthia McKinney is the Green Party presidential nominee and here's an important statement regarding her campaign:Green Party National Women's Caucus challenges NOW to support the historic McKinney/Clemente presidential campaignMonday, 29 September 2008 19:38Distributed by the Green Party of the United States National Women's Caucus of the Green Party of the United States For Immediate Release Monday, September 29, 2008 Contact:Morgen D'Arc, Spokesperson, 207-761-7797, morgenizer@yahoo.com Linda Manning Myatt, Spokesperson, 248-548-6175, lmmyatt@wowway.com Green Party National Women's Caucus challenges NOW to support the historic McKinney/Clemente presidential campaign WASHINGTON, DC -- The National Women's Caucus of the Green Party of the United States has sent an open letter to the National Organization for Women (http://www.now.org) urging support for the Green Party's presidential ticket. The text of the letter is appended below. The letter cites Green nominee Cynthia McKinney's six terms in Congress and her unmatched dedication to the principles of equality and human rights championed by NOW. The National Women's Caucus emphasizes the historical role that alternative parties have played in the struggle for women's suffrage and rights, and notes that NOW has failed even to recognize the significance of America's first national campaign by two women of African descent: Ms. McKinney is African American and running mate Rosa Clemente is Black Puerto Rican. OPEN LETTER TO NOW, THE NATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR WOMENNational Women's Caucus of the Green Party of the United StatesSunday, September 28, 2008Dear National Organization for Women leadership and members: The National Women's Caucus of the Green Party of the United States is dismayed that your recent endorsement of Senator Barack Obama for President of the United States did not acknowledge the first all-female ticket in recent U.S. history. Cynthia McKinney and Rosa Clemente are running for President and Vice President, respectively, on the Green Party ballot line. Cynthia McKinney served six terms in the U.S. Congress and two terms in the Georgia General Assembly. She is a global human rights and peace activist with a substantial voting record supporting women. Rosa Clemente is a community organizer and journalist who was one of the founders and primary organizers of the first national Hip Hop political convention. Their "Power to the People" campaign goal is to ensure that public policy reflects the Green Party values of ecological wisdom, social justice, grassroots democracy, and nonviolence. Cynthia McKinney has been a steadfast supporter of full reproductive rights for women throughout her legislative career, including funding for contraception and UN family planning, and opposition to "abstinence only" sex education. Rosa Clemente has been an outspoken advocate on issues affecting people of color, particularly women, and has directed her campaign toward the 48% of young people who don't vote, to encourage participation in the electoral process. Additional positions of the McKinney/Clemente campaign that will benefit women include: - Equal Rights - End to forced sterilization and coerced or uninformed consent procedures, - Immediate end to the War in Iraq and reinvestment of the money into our communities - Single-payer, universal "Medicare for All" - Election integrity where every vote is counted - Right to same-sex marriage - Free higher education - End to the drug war - Right of return of survivors of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita - Withdrawal from corporate trade agreements such as NAFTA that are devastating economies worldwide - Promotion of renewable energy (no coal or nuclear) to create hundreds of thousands of new manufacturing, construction and service jobs Neither Obama nor his Republican opponent John McCain support these positions. The National Organization for Women PAC repeatedly praised Congresswoman McKinney during her six terms in U.S. Congress; and her record, on every relevant issue, surpasses those of the male endorsees. But now, these two women of color -- powerful and power-challenging, real choices, and nominated by a political party that proudly boasts Feminism & Gender Equity among our Ten Key Values -- don't even receive acknowledgment. The National Organization for Women, at all levels, has long struggled over diverging feminist paths -- choosing either to press for change within the existing power structure, and its institutions, or to step outside of the expected and challenge the institutions themselves. In the view of the National Women's Caucus of the Green Party of the United States, NOW has best served women when NOW has recognized, in the words of Audre Lord, that "when you look back on the road you've come, and see pain, and look forward to the road you're on, and see pain, then, step off the road, and make a new path." We recall when NOW distributed buttons proclaiming that "Women were not born Democrats, Republicans, or YESTERDAY." We recall when the heroines of our heritage were Belva Lockwood, Alice Paul and Sonia Johnson, each willing to form her own political party, or run for president independently, or both. They were willing because that path provided fewer barriers to telling the plain truth, the truth that needed to be heard, than did service to the establishment parties. We even recall when NOW announced the formation of its own, alternative, political party, the "Party for the 21st Century," with Dolores Huerta at its head. We rejoiced when NOW sought to make a new path, because the old political road was simply too filled with the pain of condescension and compromise, deferment and settling for what was offered. Even when NOW, through its political action committee, decided in the last two decades to bestow its endorsement on candidates from the over-represented political parties, it was to reward them for actually moving closer to the day when a woman might be president, with a Geraldine Ferraro and a Hillary Clinton sitting in the candidate car, and not just trudging behind it, pushing. But this past week, that endorsement reward was offered without even that, out of the same "fear of the alternative" that has driven women to set our own hopes, dreams and destinations aside, time and again, to let the men drive the car. Belva, Alice and Sonia did not become president of the United States, but, with the support of the feminists of their time, speaking truth, each re-formed the vision that America had about women. While men can be feminists too, their institutions can only be deemed feminist if they produce equality. The dearth of elected women, at every level, is its own condemnation of the party structures that are the paved road of American democracy. It disappoints us greatly, that earlier this month, NOW has not made a new path. By failing to commend, or even comment on, the presidential candidacy of Cynthia McKinney and her Green Party running mate, Rosa Clemente, NOW is driving on the wrong side of history. We invite the National Organization for Women, and feminists everywhere, to support the Green Party and the McKinney/Clemente campaign. Come walk the walk with us, and make a new path. Sincerely, National Women's Caucus, Green Party of the United States Nan Garrett, Co-Chair Ginny Marie Case, Co-Chair National Women's Caucus Member Claudia Ellquist, National NOW Board member, 1990-94, participated in the drafting of this letter National Women's Caucus Green Party of the United States 1711 18th Street NW Washington, DC 20009 202-319-7191 202-319-7192 MORE INFORMATION Abortion and contraception: McKinney is a firm supporter of abortion rights, appearing on EMILY's List of pro-choice women. She has also supported federal funding for contraception and U.N. family planning programs. Quite a long statement on Women, Families and Children [. . .] * Voted YES on reducing Marriage Tax by $399B over 10 years. (Mar 2001)* Supported funding child care, child health, & child housing. (Jul 1999) McKinney immediately challenged Georgia House rules requiring women to wear dresses by wearing slacks Green Party of the United States 202-319-7191, 866-41GREEN Fax 202-319-7193 Cynthia McKinney/Rosa Clemente 'Power to the People' Campaign for the White House http://votetruth08.com http://www.runcynthiarun.org Cynthia McKinney on video http://www.youtube.com/user/RunCynthiaRun http://www.youtube.com/profile_videos?user=RunCynthiaRun • Press conference, September 10 at the National Press Club in Washington, DC http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_5ivgS4asc • Speech in Denver, August 24: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rPxgcjOjUEc • Music video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gx1NPlQjkqo

For more on the embarrassment that was the NOW PAC endorsement, see the
Sept. 16th snapshot. Ralph Nader is the independent presidential candidate, Matt Gonzalez is his running mate. Team Nader notes:

Got $3?
Donate it now to Nader/Gonzalez.
We're just $25,000 from reaching the $3 million mark.
Three million dollars for the year!
That might be peanuts to McCain and Obama.
But it's real nutrition for Nader/Gonzalez.
And it's literally three times what any other third party or independent campaign has raised so far this year.
October promises to be a month of surprises -- for both Obama and McCain -- but also for Nader/Gonzalez.
But before we deal with October, we have to finish off September.
And we need to reach our $3 million goal by midnight tonight.
So, we need 8,400 of you, our loyal supporters, to donate $3 now.
Because we've always liked Ralph. (pictured here in his hometown of Winsted, Connecticut at age 11.)
And because at midnight tonight we close our books for the month of September. And report to the FEC.
All the national pundits will ask -- hey Nader/Gonzalez.
How much money have you raised with one month left until the election?
And we can say -- $3 million.
Donate $3 dollars now -- or whatever you can afford.
If 8,400 of you do it, we'll meet our goal of $3 million by the end of tonight.
And we'll also meet our most recent Three Way Race fundraising goal of $150,000 by midnight tonight.
So, let's crank 'er up.
And get it done.

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