Saturday, September 06, 2008

Kwame Kilpatrick's disgrace

Saturday. I'm posting late. Been a rough week for the community as everyone knows. Let'st turn to some good news. Kwame's getting international press! This is from Rupert Cornwell at the Independent of London:

Detroit, one of America's most troubled cities, suffered new indignity yesterday when its mayor was sent to prison after pleading guilty to felony charges.
Under a deal that ends months of embarrassment for city and the Democrats, Kwame Kilpatrick, 38, admitted that he committed perjury, obstruction of justice and misconduct in office. He will spend four months in jail and five years thereafter on probation. He also must pay $1m (£565,000) in restitution.

And here's the Guardian of London:

He came to office as Motown's hip-hop mayor, saying that God had chosen him to lead and that he would "never quit on" the people he had been elected to serve.
But after six years as mayor of Detroit, Kwame Kilpatrick has stepped down after he was found to have lied about an extra-marital affair with his chief-of-staff.
In a Detroit court on Thursday, Kilpatrick pleaded guilty to charges of obstruction of justice. He faces four months in prison. Under a plea bargain, he agreed to pay the city $1m (£565,000) in restitution and serve five years on probation, during which he cannot hold public office.
It was unclear when Kilpatrick would step down. While prosecutors said he would go immediately, Kilpatrick said he would leave on September 18, shortly before a formal sentencing hearing. As the Detroit Free Press, which was instrumental in uncovering Kilpatrick's perjury, noted: "Until he leaves, Detroit will be run by an admitted felon."

Fat Ass Kilpatrick didn't resign. That's the real kicker. He's now an admitted felon and still in office. This is from Macomb Daily:

Friends Lisa Bartold of Eastpointe and Valentina Berishaj of Sterling Heights listened to court coverage on the radio, and both thought the plea let Kilpatrick off too easy.
"It wasn't enough jail time," Berishaj said.
Bartold added, "He should have had to pay more money."
John Caron of St. Clair Shores said Kilpatrick's resignation, expected to take effect in two weeks, will not wipe away problems in Detroit. Several council members, the mayor's father, and possibly Kilpatrick himself, are reportedly embroiled in an FBI corruption probe over a sludge disposal contract.
"There's still the FBI to deal with," Caron said. "It's not over ... but at least now they can start to move on."

No he didn't get enough time. He's getting off very easy. If you doubt it, this is from Tammy Stables Battaglia's report in the Detroit Free Press:

The only given -- whether or not Kilpatrick returns to the county jail near Greektown where he was held overnight last month for a bond violation -- is that the mayor will not be incarcerated with the general population, Roach said.
"That's definitely one of the concerns as it was when he was here for one day," Roach said. "Having him in the general population could be a problem in keeping order in the facility, as well as for his own safety."

It's amazing the concern for the felon. I'm sure most people aren't served well by being in with the "general population" but I'm sure they don't get special protection. By admitting he was a felon, Kwame Kilpatrick admitted he was a common criminal. He doesn't deserve any special benefits and should be treated the same as everyone else.

Now get this, he thinks he's Richard Nixon! Ha. Well, they're both crooks. This is from Susan J. Demas' column in Capitol Chronicles:

As Michigan's pride and joy, Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, emerged from his time in a green jumpsuit, the Detroit Free Press snapped a pic of him flashing a "V" for victory sign a la Dick Nixon.
As my colleague Rick Albin of WOOD-TV remarked before we taped Off the Record last week, the timing was notable. Kwame emerged from the slam on Aug. 8, the day before Nixon resigned 34 years ago.

Like Tricky Dick, he believes in protecting those who helped him break the law. This is from the Detroit Press:

Totally classless is the only way to describe soon-to-be ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick's decision to hand fat raises to some of his top aides on his way out the door.
It smacks of the same disrespect for the public interest, and selfish motivation, that led to his downfall in the first place.
Raises when the city's budget is tragically out of whack? When somewhere between 800-1,000 employees will need to be laid off just to balance the books? And these weren't just pittance raises. Many reached 11% -- far more than anyone toiling in a position covered by the city's collective bargaining agreements might ever expect.

Felon Kwame didn't just hand out raises, he also cost the city a ton of money with his criminal actions. This is from Detroit News:

Worthy said she had wanted up to 180 days in jail and settled on 120. Kilpatrick will be sentenced on Oct. 28.
"He could have resigned right away and my position (on jail time) would have been much more favorable," Worthy said. "It did not help that the region was dragged through this."
Under Kilpatrick's orders, the city spent $8.4 million in an attempt to hide incriminating text messages sent by the mayor and Christine Beatty, his former chief of staff, that seemed to indicate they had an affair and conspired to fire police officer Gary Brown.
As for the restitution, Worthy said she intended to ask a judge to require the payment if Kilpatrick had been convicted because taxpayers and the City Council were swindled by a secret side agreement to hide the texts.
In court Thursday, Kilpatrick admitted he "lied under oath ... with the intent to mislead the court and jury and impede and obstruct the fair administration of justice."

Here's a section from WSWS:

First elected in 2001, Kilpatrick became the youngest mayor of Detroit at age 31. His administration won the support of the city’s corporate establishment for its “business-friendly” policies, including the establishment of tax-free enterprise zones. Kilpatrick’s efforts to “revive” Detroit included more cuts in social services, the sell-off of city assets, the privatization of services, and the hosting of sporting extravaganzas, including the 2006 Super Bowl.
Kilpatrick enjoyed national prominence in the Democratic Party. He spoke at the 2000 and 2004 Democratic conventions and was elected vice president of the National Conference of Democratic Mayors. However, his lavish lifestyle in a city ravaged by unemployment and poverty drew unfavorable notice. He charged more than $200,000 in entertainment expenses to the city and used public funds to lease a luxury vehicle for family use. Rumors of a wild party involving exotic dancers at the mayoral mansion further tarnished his image. The subsequent murder of one of these dancers, Tamara Greene, in an apparent contract killing, led to a lawsuit by members of her family, who say city officials obstructed the investigation into her death.

They skirt the issue of Barack Obama and act like Barack called for Kwame to step down at some reasonable point. Barack issued his call only after the governor moved to remove Kwame. He stuck by him until then which was more bad judgment from Barack.

I got an e-mail saying we shouldn't emphasize Democratic scandals. We? I'm the one writing this. Second of all, Democrats should especially be emphasizing this. If they're silent, people may think they agree with Kwame. Calling him out is the only way to draw a strong line between his criminal actions and the Democratic Party.

Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Friday, September 5, 2008. Chaos and violence continue, the US military announces another death, no cutbacks (let alone withdrawals) is the word, al-Maliki pretends his feelings are hurt, Adam Kokesh shares his thoughts at a rally in Minn., and more.

Starting with the news of no 'cutback' (forget withdrawal).
Tony Capaccio (Bloomberg News) explains, "Top U.S. military advisers have recommended that President George W. Bush delay futher combat-troop withdrawals from Iraq until early next year, according to two administration officials." Julian E. Barnes (Los Angeles Times) reveals, "Under the recommendation, the current level of about 140,000 troops would remain in Iraq through the end of Bush's presidency in January. Then a combat brigade of about 3,500 troops would be removed by February a senior Pentagon official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the recommendation has not been made public." Al Jazeera adds: "The recommendation that George Bush withdraw one combat brigade, or up to 5,000 soldiers, from Iraq only early next year was contrary to expectations that improved security in Iraq would allow for quicker cuts." At the White House today, Dana Perino declared, "I don't recall in the last few times when President Bush has worked with, or has gotten recommendations from General Petraeus, that we have gone too far outside. Of course we -- the President gets an update, as he did on Wednesday evening from Admiral Mullen and Secretary Gates. They took Secretary -- I'm sorry -- General Petraeus' recommendation and ran that through the chain of command. And then they presented it to the President. He's obviously talking to his national security team, and we'll be consulting with members of Congress before we move forward." US forces aren't leaving. Two presidential candidates (Barack Obama and John McCain) have no intention of withdrawing US troops. At what point does the Iraqi puppet face the wrath of the Iraqi people (many of whom have already figured out that Obama and McCain are the same on Iraq)?

UPI reports on yesterday's press conference held by Iraq's Sunni vice president Tariq al-Hashimi. The press conference focused on the proposed treaties between the puppet government and the White House and al-Hashimi declared, "I think that we are not in need of an agreement that does not guarantee sovereignty and brings Iraq out from under Chapter VII, and also guarantees Iraqi law as a whole." Which would seem to put al-Hashimi in a better position with the Iraqi people than the puppet Nouri al-Maliki. However, al-Maliki was handed a gift today with advance publicity for Bob Woodward's latest book due out Monday. The book asserts that the White House spied on the puppet. Not a shocking or surprising claim. (A) He is there puppet and they don't trust him (as well as see him as inept). (B) This is the same White House that spied on the United Nations in the lead up to the illegal war. But al-Maliki's trying to turn it into a national pride issue. BBC reports that the puppet government is making noises about being shocked and how, gosh darn it, they think they maybe plan to ask the White House if this is true! Maybe.

At the US State Dept today, Robert Wood (Deputy Spokesperson) handled the press briefing and was asked about the charges made in Woodward's forthcoming book. He stated originally, "I don't have anything to say other than, you know, I read books, but I don't do book reviews, basically." Pressed later, he would state he hadn't read the book and "I'm not going to give you a review of it." The most Wood would offer was, "Well, again, I'm not going to get into the substance of this book and, you know, our characterization of it, except to say that, look, we have a good working relationship, a strong working relationship, with the Government of Iraq. We've worked very closely with Prime Minister Maliki. We'll continue to do so and -- in our efforts to strengthen Iraq's democracy."

Wood was more expansive on the issue of the "Awakening" Council members, stating, ". . . we believe transitioning some members of the Sons of Iraq into the Iraqi security forces, while providing the others with vocational training and other employment opportunities, will be key to sustaining the security gains that have been realized in Anbar and elsewhere in 2007. But I don't have anything beyond that." In other words, "Thank goodness the puppet government might soon start paying the thugs so we don't have to. Liability concerns, you understand." They certainly have the money to pay it since al-Maliki sits on millions and millions while Iraqis suffer. At Inside Iraq, one of McClatchy's Iraqi correspondents contributes "
Why Does Iraq Need This Loan" which notes the central government in Baghdad issued a press release Wednesday proclaiming the Italian ambassador and Iraq's Minister of Finance addressed the topic of the "400 million euro" loan:

Until now, everything seems normal and logical. A third world country takes loan money from an industrial country. That would be completely acceptable if this third world country is a poor country but is it acceptable for a country that gained 32 billions dollars only as supplementary budget from the increasing of oil prices?Why does Iraq need this loan? Our government wastes millions of dollar everyday in putting more blast walls, renewing pavements and of course in buying new armored vehicles for the enormous and increasing number of Iraqi officials. We can buy thousands of agricultural machines with the millions that have been wasted for the faked projects. Of course I'm not talking about the millions that had been stolen by the former ministers or even by the contractors.

Puppet al-Maliki better hope he can get some traction with his mock outrage of "The White House Spied On Me! Who Could Have Guessed!"
James Denselow (Guardian of London) contemplates al-Maliki, "So how has this situation come to pass and how are things likely to develop? Is Maliki going to detach from his perceived political masters in Washington and be allowed to show independence? Or will such posturing result in Maliki suffering a similar fate to his predecessor, who was replaced when he became too independent?"

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


Reuters notes Ahmed Chalabi was the target of an assassination in Baghdad today via a car bombing that claimed the lives of 2 and left seventeen injured (Chalabi was not among the dead or injured).


Sahar Issa (McClatchy Newspapers) reports Dbdulameer Hasen Abbas ("Advisor to the Ministry of Defence") was assassinated in Baghdad.


Sahar Issa (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 1 corpse was discovered in Nineveh Province today (a police officer who was kidnapped yesterday).

Today the
US military announced: "A Multi-National Division – Center Soldier died of non-combat related injuries in Baghdad Sept. 5." The announcement brought to 4154 the number of US service members killed in Iraq since the start of the illegal war.

This as
Ann Scott Tyson (Washington Post) reports, "Suicides among active-duty soldiers this year are on pace to exceed both last year's all-time record and, for the first time since the Vietnam War, the rate among the general U.S. population, Army officials said yesterday. Ninety-three active-duty soldiers had killed themselves through the end of August, the latest data show. A third of those cases are under investigation by the Armed Forces Medical Examiner's Office. In 2007, 115 soldiers committed suicide." Pauline Jelinek (AP) adds, "As officials have said before, [Brig. Gen. Rhonda L.] Cornum said the main factors in soldier suicides continues to be problems with their personal relationships, legal and financial issues, work problems and the repeated deployments and longer tour lengths prompted by an Afghan war entering its eighth year and Iraq campaign in its sixth."
While the military does keep saying the same thing over and over, it really doesn't hold up. Take the case of Dustin Mark Tucker whom
Mary Callahan (The Press Democrat) reported on Thursday. The doctors can't explain the death (kidney failure is suspected -- the cause, no one knows) and his family can't either:

"He has no family history or personal history of any kind of medical issues," said his mother, Cindy Tucker. "He didn't complain of not feeling well . . . He was happy. He was busy. He was excited for his vacation. He was on top of the world."Tucker, 22, was home for an 18-day leave, his first since his March deployment as a gunner with the Army's 7th Squadron, 10th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division out of Fort Hood, Texas. He was thrilled to be home, where his family had planned plenty of free time for golf, fishing and other activities. He was fatigued and jet-lagged after days of traveling from Baghdad to Kuwait, then Ireland, Atlanta and Los Angeles before finally flying into San Francisco and the embrace of his family. Despite the lengthy trip, he seemed ready for some fun, they said. Since arriving home Aug. 25, he had visited family and friends, played golf, bought a motorcycle and was looking forward to a family fishing trip at Clear Lake this week. He complained of no pain, discomfort or illness, but did mention being tired Aug. 27 when he decided to hang out with his two brothers rather than go out with friends, Cindy Tucker said.

Dustin Mark Tucker, apparently healthy, got on the couch and died there. And there are no answers. And there doesn't appear to be a great deal of interest in finding out what happened -- the same way they're not all that interested in the suicides. It's a pattern of pass-the-buck that hasn't been deal with despite the scandals of the Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

Turning to the US presidential race.
Yesterday's financial goal for the Ralph Nader campaign was to reach $100,000 in the donations for the Nader Media Fund which led to some mocking in the press. Not only did they reach $100,000, the campaign surpassed it, hitting $104,500 via donaors from around the country -- Texas, Wisconsin, Arizona, California, Oregon, Illinois, Colorado, Hawaii and elsewhere. Meanwhile Richard Winger's Ballot Access News reports Ralph Nader is currently on the ballot in 38 states (the Green Party in 31, the Constitution Party in 33 and the Libertarian Party in 42 -- see chart at the top of the page). Hamza Shaban (The Cavalier Daily) observes, "What Democrats have failed to realize is this: Nader is most dangerous when he is ignored. As a politician on the fringe, he does not seek the broadest coalition but makes new ones. If his platform is not integrated into the Democratic party's, then he will relentlessly go after the disaffected and carve out his own demographic. What loyal Democrats call "spoiling," Nader calls a systemic and deliberate boycott." Team Nader notes:

The Invisible Man, song by 98 Degrees -
Justin Jeffre and Jeff Timmons.

The revolution will not be televised - but thanks to your help, it will be on youtube.
We passed our media fund goal of $100,000 and brought in over $20,000 yesterday alone!
This video is our highlight reel from the "Open the Debates" super rally in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The rally took place on September 4, at the same time as the Republican National Convention in neighboring St. Paul. I flew to Minnesota to shoot video of this exciting event, then stayed up all night editing - I hope you enjoy the
result. Also, because of your generous support, you will see much more coverage of future events.
Please forward this video to your friends & family. Also please help us -
subscribe to our youtube channel and rate our videos and comments!
Haven't had a chance to help our media fund grow? There's still time...
contribute to our campaign today.

The RNC wrapped up their convention last night. John McCain is the Republican nominee. Governor Sarah Palin will be his running mate.
CBS Evening News' Cynthia Bowers reported on Palin (link has video and text) today. CBS Evening News with Katie Couric found the anchor interviewing Cindy McCain on Wednesday (link has text and video). Barack supporter Hillary Rosen (CNN) shows a stronger grasp of feminism than a number of leaders when she compiles her reasons for not supporting the John McCain-Sarah Palin ticket but first calls out rank sexism, "I am a woman who someone took a chance on several years ago when they gave me a job that had only previously been done by old white guys. Experience? How do you get any if no one takes a chance on you? And the decision to take a chance can be instinctive, as John McCain said. And what about the argument that she is a negligent mother who will be distracted from her important role? I am a mother who constantly feels the pressure from others about whether I am fit to be a parent, whether I put my kids first often enough and whether my children get enough of my attention. Who has the right to judge my family? My grandmother always said, 'You can't tell time on someone else's clock.' Judgments about people's personal lives are better left unsaid and unrealized."

Tuesday night in Minneapolis,
IVAW's Adam Kokesh participated in the Rally For The Republic. Kokesh has posted a video of his speech at his website and below is transcription of the remarks he delivered:

Adam Kokesh: Thanks to a few neocon, chicken-hawk draft dodgers I was sent to Falluja in 2004 with the Marine Corps Civil Affairs Team and I found out the hard way that the greatest enemies of the Constitution of the United States of America are not to be found in the sands of some far off land but rather right here at home. It's not enough to understand that the war in Iraq is simply unjust, illegal, unconstitutional, costing us a horrendous amount of money and destroying our military. The issues before us today are a matter of life and death. I continue to serve my country today as a member of
Iraq Veterans Against the War, Veterans for Peace and the Campaign for Liberty. It is through the Campaign for Liberty that we will take Ron Paul's message, we will take the torch of freedom that he has borne so well for us, we will take it back to our communities and set brushfires of freedom in the mind of every liberty loving man, woman and child in this great country. I'd like to take a second to recognize the veterans in the room -- if you would please stand -- and any active duty service members please stand. These are the brave men and women who swore an oath with their lives to support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America. And while it is our responsibility now to resist tyranny civily while we still can, there may come a time when we will say to the powers that be "With your blood or ours, we have come to water the tree of liberty." And it is those veterans and myself, we will be on the frontlines. Who will stand with us? Thank you for taking that stand. To all of you loyal soldiers in this new revolutionary army, it is an honor to count myself among your ranks and I salute you. You want a revolution? You better be ready to fight for it. Now I want you all to get back on your feet, take that stance for liberty with me, with all the veterans in this room, make for yourself the same committment with your lives, your fortunes and your sacred honor to our cause and make that pledge from your hearts where the fire of liberty burns that we will not rest 'till we achieve our goals and we get this new revolution in America. Now I want you to stay on your feet for just for just another minute -- you're going to want to stay on your feet for this -- because now I have the great pleaure of introducing on behalf of the Campaign for Liberty, someone you have all been waiting to see, Aimee Allen.

Note, Adam is co-chair of IVAW. He was speaking for himself at the Ron Paul rally as do all IVAW members participating in political campaigns for candidates. IVAW does not endorse any single candidate, they do not belong to or serve one party. IVAW is a diverse group in all ways including politically. Their shared beliefs include an end to the illegal war, reperations for the Iraqi people and that US veterans' service is honored (and promises kept) by the US government.

Green Party presidential candidate
Cynthia McKinney has held multiple events in Wisconsin today and has more planned for tomorrow: Today she held a lunch (10:30 a.m.), a town hall (Walden III School, Racine) at one p.m., and a Park Six meet and greet starting at 4:30. Saturday she will be speaking at the Fighting Bob Festival (Baraboo, Wisconsin at 10:20 in the morning and will be hosting another meet and greet this time at High Noon Salloon in Madison beginning at 5:30 p.m.).

NOW on PBS begins airing tonight in most markets. (Check local listings.) On the program this weekend (the above is a web exclusive and not a part of the show), Brancaccio interviews Christine Todd Whitman (billed as a moderate Republican) about the state of the GOP. Bill Moyers Journal brings back Dr. Kathy -- no doubt because America doesn't have enough worthless gas bagging on TV. The program moves into reality with a look at the National Guard members serving in Iraq. Gwen and the gas bags reteam to scare America on the latest installment of Washington Week. The Washington Post's David Broder and Vanity Fair's Todd S. Purdum are the two names that can be mentioned with minimal shudders. The others would produce screaming. In terms of radio, The Next Hour airs on WBAI Sunday (eleven to noon EST) and this week Janet Coleman and David Dozer "appear with yarrow sticks and The Book of Changes." Bill Moyers Journal tackles protests (and, some would say attention getting) so we'll include this section:

Perhaps the most prominent arrest was that of journalist Amy Goodman, anchor of the daily television and radio news program, "Democracy Now!" Police had taken two of her producers into custody as they were trying to cover the news. Goodman went out looking for them, but didn't get very far. She was stopped, slapped into handcuffs, and hauled into a detention center, along with almost 200 hundred other people. They had come to demonstrate, she had come to report on them. Goodman was released a few hours later and back on the job anchoring her daily radio and TV show, a favorite of listeners and viewers who go to her for news they won't find in the mainstream or rightwing press.

Winship is very kind to attention seeking Goody and what she actually offers. The essay is available in full online at
Bill Moyers Journal.

adam kokesh
iraq veterans against the warmcclatchy newspapersthe los angeles timesjulian e. barnes
the washington postann scott tysonmary callahan
the next hourjanet colemandavid dozerwbaiwashington weekbill moyers journalpbsnow on pbs
michael winship

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Kwame the felon

Thursday. One day until the weekend.

So Kwame Kilpatrick is an admitted felon as of today.

Here's the New York Times quoting the felon:

"I want to emphasize tonight that I take full responsibility for my own actions. I wish with all my heart that we could turn back the hands of time and tell that young man to make better choices. But I can't. Our challenge now is to put the anguish and turmoil of recent months behind us and join in a common cause to love our city, to love one another and move forward together."

"Tell that young man"? He took office at 31. He took office after running for it. He wasn't "a young man." He is a felon. He needs to own his crimes and quit blaming them on others.

CNN reports the felon is already insisting he'll make a comeback and they include this from his plea:

Prompted by the judge to recount his wrongdoing, Kilpatrick admitted Thursday, "I lied under oath in the case of Gary Brown and Harold Nelthrope versus the city of Detroit. ... I did so with the intent to mislead the court and the jury and to impede and obstruct the fair administration of justice."

In a seperate court matter, he also pleaded guilty to assault.

Democrats don't need Felon Kwame. It's time Kwame was sent packing. No comeback. No more political life for the felon.

Here's the felon in his I-am-resigning speech sliming the governor of the state (a Democrat):

I'm stepping down because the new spirit of this city, the new expectations and standards that we've set for excellence in the past six and a half years has been tangled up in what I believe is the pursuit of many people's own political ambitions, even our governor, Jennifer Granholm, who I wish well. Rather than focusing on finding solutions to the huge issues that are facing our state, the record home foreclosures, the lack of affordable health care, and record unemployment in our state, Kwame Kilpatrick was at the top of her list.

No, Kawme, you're stepping down because you're now a felon with a record. You're stepping down because you're trash. He goes on his speech to say people asked him how he could be strong through all of this. All of this? His crimes. He's a felon. He copped a deal that allowed 6 other felonies to be dropped and 1 to be reduced. He's a liar and trash.

He stepped down because he's a felon. The Financial Times of London is the only one I see that notes Kwame is a Barack supporter.

The Detroit Times outlines the three reasons he finally agreed to enter a plea agreement:

First, the mayor's lawyers, who had been polishing an array of legal defenses to a complex perjury case in which the admissibility and authenticity of text message evidence was not a sure bet, found themselves confronted with new and relatively open-and-shut assault charges against the mayor stemming from a July 24 incident in which he shoved a sheriff's officer trying to serve a subpoena at Kilpatrick's sister's front porch.
Second, the opening on Wednesday of removal hearings for the mayor before Gov. Jennifer Granholm threatened to take away one of the mayor's only bargaining chips and threatened Kilpatrick with swift removal -- not the two-week transition period he won under his plea deal.
"There was no other time that a deal was going to be made after today," Kilpatrick lawyer James C. Thomas said Thursday, on what would have been the second day of an anticipated three-day hearing before a governor who was giving every signal she was ready and willing to oust the mayor.
Third, Kilpatrick's plunging popularity raised doubts about finding a jury that would acquit him. Going to trial on the perjury charges and losing could earn him a sentence of 19 to 38 months in prison, Webb said.

From The Detroit Free Press, here are some reactions to the sentencing:

Alfred Pergjoni, of Macomb Twp
"If he stole the taxpayers' money, he deserves to go to jail. If any one of us did it, we'd go to jail, what makes him different?"

"It's a shame, it's a shame. The state of Michigan deserves better."

Jon McMillan, 30, Dearborn
"The text messages, lieing under oath, money laundering—and 9 months later, he pleads guilty? I'm surprised it took this long."

Rena Moussa, 23, Macomb
"He put Detroit in a bad spotlight; but, four months in jail and $1 million in restitution is too severe. I think it would have been more fair if he spends his 5 years probation servicing the city he embarrassed.

After today, he should be done with politics for good. Criminals should not run for office."

Ramona Prater, 40, Pleasant Ridge, Mix 92.3 radio personality
"A brilliant man has now left office in disgrace. He has accomplished as much as he has done wrong. I am so disappointed that he pulled out the race card. He placed such in emphasis on race during this case.

It's about wrong or right not black or white: racial issues further divide the city and the suburbs."

Marlon Mirafelix, 39, Shelby Township
"They let him off too lightly. I would have thrown the books at Kwame. He was probably guilty of more: I'm still not convinced that he didn't have anything to do with that stripper's murder in '03. It's good that he's out."

And this is from a column by Rochelle Riley (Detroit Free Press):

And thus ends -- for now -- the saga of the mayor and his women:

Tamara Greene, the stripper who reportedly said she was beaten at the Manoogian Mansion by … Carlita Kilpatrick, the mayor’s wife, whose alleged dustup with Greene was not properly investigated by …

Ella Bully-Cummings, an upstanding cop who could not withstand a bullying mayor and his entourage that included …

Sharon McPhail, who once claimed the mayor rigged her City Council office chair to electrocute her, but later gave in to his charms and defended him in front of …

Gov. Jennifer Granholm, a compatriot from Ed McNamara’s political machine who embraced an ouster request from the City Council, whose new president will be …

Monica Conyers, the unpredictable wife of Congressman John Conyers, who called for the mayor to resign, then changed her mind in the case involving the mayor and …

Christine Beatty, former chief of staff, who pled guilty to NOTHING yesterday and who holds the key to a Pandora’s box containing any and every secret the mayor has had in the past six years.

So Kwame's going off behind bars. And remember, it was that young man that did it, not Kwame. He was a youth . . . at 31. Poor little Kwame.

Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Thursday, September 4, 2008. Chaos and violence continue, the US military announces more deaths, we're back to Waiting on Petraeus, the 'dodgy dossier,' and more.

Gordon Lubold (Christian Science Monitor) reports that the US Congress still wants Gen David Petraeus to testify before Congress about Iraq while the US Defense Dept continues to refuse "that request, ostensibly because of scheduling issues. But as the Pentagon struggles to muster more troops for Afghanistan, officials worry that the general's testimony on Iraq will upstage other needs." Dropping back to the August 27th snapshot:

At the US Pentagon today Gen James Conway declared that there might be a drawdown of some marines because "to do more in Afghanistan, our marines have got to see relief elsewhere". No, that would not be withdrawal, no that would not be troops home. Now or later. It is an acknowledgement -- public -- by a marine commander ("The Commandant of the Marine Corps," says the Defense Dept) that the US military is stretched to the limit fighting two illegal wars that neither the White House nor the Congress has the guts or desire to end.

Lubold notes that "public plea" and quotes "one official close to the debate on troop levels within the government" stating of Conway, "He's the first four-star who ha sopenly challenged Dave Petraeus's view of Iraq." Meanwhile Thomas Harding (Telegraph of London) quotes Petraeus stating "Conditions permitting, yeah," to the question of whether 16,000 US service members could be withdrawn by July 2008. There are approximately 146,000 US service members currently in Iraq. 16,000 is supposed to pass for something? Apparently the press is too excited lining up their final interviews with Petraeus as commander in Iraq (he becomes CENTCOM Commander this month). Patrick Walters (The Australian) lands "an exclusive hour-long farewell interview" -- why, it's like Carson's last show. (Johnny Carson.) Petraeus tells Walters, "We will see in the coming week that we can get to the point where we have the confidence to make some additional recommendations." Is that what 'we' will see?

"I believe that we have marched as far as we can go; signed as many petitions as we can; knocked on too many Congressional office doors; and sang too many verses of 'We shall overcome.' This campaign is the most significant action an anti-war person can be involved in until November 4th." That's
Cindy Sheehan explaining why she's running for the US Congress from California's 8th district. Joshua Frank (Dissident Voice) interviews her about her decision to run for the seat currently occupied by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Cindy explains, "I decided to target Pelosi because she is the number one Democrat in Congress and she was the number one obstacle to ending the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. My reasoning was and is that if she refused to hold Bush accountable, then someone needed to hold her accountable. I am not the kind of person to wait for someone else to do something that needs to be done. So here I am." In other elections news, Iraq's Shi'ite vice president, Adel Abdul-Mahdi has declared that even if the Iraqi Parliament does not pass a law for provincial elections this year, they will take place. Reuters quotes him stating, "The elections will take place at the end of this year. If the parliament doesn't approve the (new) elections law, there is an old law. The government cannot delay the elections." That would mean ignoring the issue of oil-rich Kirkuk, as well as the United Nations which has stated they were working on a proposal that would be released shortly. Deborah Haynes (Times of London, link has video) reminded everyone of the realities of Kirkuk at the end of last month, "Yet there is no sewerage system, the roads are cracked, rubbish is strewn all over the pavements, unemployment is as high as 40 per cent and there is no sign of any improvement. Even more worrying - to the Government as well as to the US-led coalition - is that the city is being pulled between different ethnic groups, making it the most dangerous issue facing Iraq." How the Kurds would respond to a move to push through elections with Kirkuk unresolved is not an issue raised in today's reports.

In England the focus is on the recent past. Though the
New Statesman has nothing up thus far, they'll probably be hitting the topic in the coming days. For background we'll drop back to Chris Ames' "Secret Iraq dossier published" (New Statesman) from February:

The secret first draft of the Iraq WMD dossier written by Foreign Office spin doctor John Williams has finally been published after a ruling back in January under the Freedom of Information Act. The document contains an early version of the executive summary of the next draft, which was attributed to Intelligence chief John Scarlett. The document places a spin doctor at the heart of the process of drafting the dossier and blows a hole in the government's evidence to the Hutton Inquiry. Last month the Foreign Office was ordered by the Information Tribunal to hand over the Williams draft, which I first requested under the Freedom of Information Act in February 2005. From the time that the row first erupted over Andrew Gilligan's allegations that the dossier had been sexed-up, the government has claimed that Scarlett's draft, produced on 10 September 2002, was the first full draft and produced without interference from spin doctors. But the Williams draft, dated a day earlier, shows that spin doctors were sexing up the dossier at the time the notorious 45 minutes claim was included.

That was February. Today's development?
Sky News reports, "The Government has been ordered to release more detail relating to the 'dodgy dossier' that may have exaggerated the case for the Iraq war. The ruling by the Information Commissioner follows a three-year battle by journalist Chris Ames to obtain drafts of the dossier, as well as comments made about them by officials and spy chiefs in the run-up to its publication in September 2002." James Macintyre (Independent of London) adds, "Richard Thomas, the information commissioner, has told civil servants to release undisclosed material which could provide 'evidence that the dossier was deliberately manipulated in order to present an exaggerated case for military actions'." Jon Swaine (Telegraph of London) reminds, "The dossier, which detailed claims that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction, was published on 24 September 2002 and set out the Government's case for the war commenced the following March. Its production was overseen by the then head of the Joint Intelligence Committee, Sir John Scarlett." Nicholas Cecil (Evening Standard) gets a bit more specific than Swaine, "The dossier, which included the claim that the Iraqi dictator could launch WMDs within 45 minutes, sparked a huge row between the BBC and the Government over claims that it had been 'sexed up'. Dr Kelly, a biological weapons expert, committed suicide in July 2003 after being named as a source of a BBC story about the document. He was questioned by the Commons foreign affairs select committee over his role." Cecil also quotes journalist Chris Ames stating, "The commissioner has laid bare the Government's farcical cover-up, which included shamelessly playing the national security card. He has also given a strong hint that the Government has concealed evidence of sexing-up to save political embarrassment."

Erica Goode (New York Times) reports on "Awakening" Council 'commander' Ali Abdul Jabbar who fretted throughout Wednesday that Iraqi forces would arrest him. Left unexplored was the issue of 'warrants' and how the Iraqi 'government' appears to have a host of warrants already drawn up and ready to be issued at a moment's notice. Lourdes Garcia-Navarro (NPR's Morning Edition) reports that "Awakening" Council member Mullah Shihab also worrieds that he'll be arrested. and that his "name, along with hundreds of his fighters, is on an arrest warrant -- and the only ones safeguarding them now are the very people they used to fight against." Again, this seems to be a pattern in the Iraqi 'government,' always have a warrent at the ready for anyone who might become a political enemy. Ask Moqtada al-Sadr or Ahmed Chalabi. Tina Susman and Ned Parker (Los Angeles Times) note that yesterday's 'friendly fire' incident claimed 7 Iraqi lives and observe, "Wednesday's deaths were likely to rev up debate among Iraq's leaders about the issue of immunity for U.S. forces in this country. Though soldiers are immune from prosecution for incidents that occur on combat missions or that are deemed not the result of negligence or wrongdoing, friendly fire incidents invariably arouse anger among Iraqis who feel that American forces don't do enough to prevent such mistakes."

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


Laith Hammoudi (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a Baghdad roadside bombing that wounded four people, a Diyala Province roadside bombing that claimed 1 life. Reuters notes a Baghdad grenade attack that wounded three people.


Laith Hammoudi (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 2 Iraqi troops wounded in a Baghdad shooting, a Mosul shooting that claimed the life of 1 police officer and, dropping back to yesterday, a "Kurdish child" shot dead in Mosul late Wednesday in Mosul and Nabeel Abdul Hasan Muhsin ("general director of the projected department in the ministry of transporation") in Baghdad.


Laith Hammoudi (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 1 corpse discovered in Baghdad.

Today the
US military announced: "Two Multi-National Division -- Baghdad Soldiers were killed while on patrol as a result of a terrorist attack using an improvised explosive device in eastern Baghdad at approximately 12:15 p.m. Sept. 4."

Turning to US presidential politics, Ralph Nader makes an ill informed remark to John Nichols ("My Running-Mat is More Qualified," The Nation) that Matt Gonzalez is more qualified than Sarah Palin. Matt Gonzalez was not the mayor of San Francisco -- he did run for it, he did lose to Gavin Newsom. Gonzalez has many strong qualities, being mayor is not one of them and to imply that mayor and Board of Supervisors President is the same thing is to ignore that we elect different people to those posts and we decided not to elect Matt. That is the way it went. While president of the board is an important position, it is not mayor. And it's a real shame Ralph allowed himself to be put in the position of doing Team Obama's work for them. It scores no points for Nader to get into that conversation. It allows the attacks to be launched on him -- attacks people like Kim Gandy are more than willing to make. He put himself in a very bad position and shouldn't have done so. Repeating, since the issue was raised elsewhere, we could have voted Matt Gonzalez mayor of San Francisco, we chose to vote Gavin Newsom into that office. Those of us who voted in that election made the decision. When Ralph makes the comment, "San Francisco is a lot bigger than Wasilla," he takes it into a penis measuring contest whether he intends to do so or not. And he does it over someone (Gonzalez) who has never been mayor. It's not the same thing and all the boys need to stick their privates back into their pants before they do more damage to their images. If you get sick of the whose-is-bigger commentary that the mainstream and panhandle media traffic in,
Catherine Morgan has and is compiling a resource list for women bloggers. She explains, "Answering the question…Where are all the women political bloggers? I decided to take some time today and surf the Internet for as many women blogging on politics that I could find. The refreshing thing about women political bloggers is their diversity…and here are 100 300 500 of them."

Amanda Hess (Washington City Paper) notes, "Tonight, Nader will not only stage a rally, but a 'Super Rally,' pulling out even superer celebs: Sheehan. Ventura. Rovics*--in an attempt to get to the $100,000 mark--only 10,000 $10 bills." Team Nader notes:

We knew you wouldn't let us down.
We're rapidly approaching our goal of $100,000 by midnight tonight.
Now, we're in striking range.
Just a little over $10,000 away.
That's just 1,000 of you -- our loyal supporters --
contributing $10 each now.
Then, tune in tonight 7 p.m. Central, 8 p.m. EST.
Live from Minneapolis.
It's Ralph Nader.
Then, tune in tonight 7 p.m. Central, 8 p.m. EST.
Live from Minneapolis.
It's Ralph Nader.
And Matt Gonzalez.
And Jesse Ventura.
And a lot more.
In the belly of the Republican beast.
The Nader/Gonzalez Open the Debates Rally.
If you are in the area, hope to see you there at Orchestra Hall.
If not, you can
watch it the live stream here at 8 p.m. EST.
(Sorry it didn't work out with the Denver stream. We'll try and make sure this one works.)
As you watch, keep an eye on the last day of our $100,000 fundraising campaign.
We're so close, we can almost touch it.
So, as you watch Ralph Nader rip into the corporate Republicans and Democrats.
Ask yourself this:
Who else is in this election year is standing for the American people?
Who else is standing against the candidates of perpetual war?
Who else is standing for shifting the power from the corporate goliaths back into the hands of the American people?
And if you answer Ralph Nader, then
drop $10 -- we need 1,000 of you -- our most loyal supporters -- to do that today.
And we'll reach our goal.
Watch the event.
And drive us home.
Remember, if you give $100 or more now, we'll send you three DVDs -- the Denver rally, the Minneapolis rally, and a special debate DVD. (Three DVD offer ends tonight at 11:59 p.m.)Onward to November
The Nader Team

Green Party presidential candidate
Cynthia McKinney has multiple events tomorrow and Saturday in Wisconsin including a lunch (10:30 a.m.), a town hall (Walden III School, Racine) at one p.m., and a Park Six meet and greet starting at 4:30. Saturday she will be speaking at the Fighting Bob Festival (Baraboo, Wisconsin at 10:20 in the morning and will be hosting another meet and greet this time at High Noon Salloon in Madison beginning at 5:30 p.m.).

iraqchris ames
mcclatchy newspapers
laith hammoudi
joshua frank
the new york timeserica goode
the los angeles timesned parkertina susman
deborah haynes

Wednesday, September 03, 2008


Hump day. Almost the weekend. Who knows what sneaky trick Gutter Trash has in store? She ruined all of our weekends last week and you know I don't tolerate that. I'm sure she'll try something again.

I thought I'd talk about a few things tonight. First, Kwame Kilpatrick. When you're a mayor facing charges, you resign. When you're a mayor that your governor has to hold a hearing (as happened today) to determine if they can remove you, you resign.

No, surprise, Kilpatrick's a long time Barack supporter. Corrupt attracts corrupt. The whole affair is so smutty and so disgusting and every town and city deserves better. The judge has already had to put Kilpatrick in jail once. The sitting mayor was behind bars. But Kilpatrick can't do the right thing and step down. He can't be a grown up and just leave to fight his legal battles. He's all in it for himself -- just like Barack.

This is from the Detroit News:

A slim, 5-4 majority of council members sought the governor's action, accusing the mayor of abusing his power to hide damaging text messages that emerged following the officers' whistle-blower trial and failing to tell council members about the full details of the settlement. A Wayne State University law professor said the details of the settlement agreements were "fishy."
"Your eyebrows start to raise," said professor Peter Hammer.
He was referring to the evolution of the agreements from Oct. 17 to Nov. 1. An early settlement agreement called for the city to pay the officers and their attorney $8.4 million; in return for settling the case, the officers' attorney would return damaging text messages involving the mayor to him.
But after the Detroit Free Press asked for copies of the settlement, attorneys for the city and mayor called that document a "draft" -- not subject to release -- and crafted a new deal. This one had similar provisions, but City Council only saw the portion of the agreements that referred to the $8.4 million. It did not learn about the cash-for-text messages provision until months later.Mike Stefani, the attorney for the officers, later told Granholm how he used the existence of the text messages to prod a settlement.
In the weeks after a jury awarded two officers $6.5 million, finding that they had been punished for checking into wrongdoing by the mayor and his bodyguards, Stefani sought to get the city to approve attorney fees on a case that had dragged on for four years.
But negotiations were stalled on Oct. 17 when he revealed he had the text messages, obtained after the trial, that he said showed that Kilpatrick and his former chief of staff, Christine Beatty, had lied during the trial and during earlier depositions.

Now this is from the Detroit Free Press:

Having dinner in downtown Detroit, Larry Davis, 56, and Linda Davis, 55, both of Detroit, said they were pleased to learn about a possible deal.
"I thought something needs to be done to let him know he’s not above the law just because he’s in office," said Larry Davis, a General Motors Corp. retiree.
"He needs to take the deal and start a new life somewhere else," said Linda Davis, who added she had had high expectations for Kilpatrick as mayor. "I was so proud and then he acted like he didn’t care. He was so selfish, so we’re going to be selfish, too, by telling him to take the plea and leave."
Washing machines whirred Wednesday afternoon at the Lupita Wash & Dry Laundromat in southwest Detroit. Cartoons and Spanish-language soap operas played on the televisions.
Referring to Granholm, Sandra Lyon, 50, of Detroit said: "She’s got to do what she's got to do. He’s the mayor and he should know better."
She said she watched the hearing before going to the laundromat.

Is there a plea deal that will put the crook behind bars for four months or not? Even the Detroit News can't figure it out (mainly because the prosecution is working on a deal, released a press statement and Kilpatrick's attorneys at first confirmed it and then said they hadn't).

Barack sure does have a lot of trashy friends and supporters.

Like attracts like.

Meanwhile Peggy Noonan thinks Sarah Palin is a bad choice for McCain's running mate which probably proves Palin's the best choice for McCain. But here's the thing, there's print Noonan and there's caught on microphone Palin. Someone should ask Peggy to step away from the op-ed forum now that America knows even she doesn't believe the crap she churns out.

Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Wednesday, September 3, 2008. Chaos and violence continue, China gets a windfall, US forces and Iraqi forces clash, reporters remain targeted and more.

Starting with Monday's 'handover' of Al Anbar Province.
The Los Angeles Times filed an interesting report . . . at the paper's blog Babylon & Beyond. The byline-less article (16 paragraphs) talks about the very clear tensions evident in the for-show ceremony itself with Abdul-Salam Ani ("head of the Anbar provincial council") stating the tribal leaders were "trying to stir up sedition with their claims that the Islamic Party leaders ar corrupt" and Sheik Ahmed B. Abu Risha, a tribal leader and "Awakening" Movement 'fellow' who claimed it was the other way around. The article reminds, "The sharp words at the podium highlight the reason that the original handover date, in late June, was delayed. There are concerns among locals and officials that the political animosity could lead to an unraveling of the security here. Despite the tribes' actions since 2006, they remain politically disadvantaged in Anbar because they did not take part in provincial elections in 2005. Hence, the Islamic Party holds 36 of the provincial council's 41 seats."

The provincial elections will most likely not take place in 2008. Time is running out to put them in place in what remains of this year. Over the weekend
Leila Fadel (McClathy Newspapers) reported that puppet of the occupation Nouri al-Maliki was said to be "on a roll, and American officials are getting worried." al-Maliki is the White House puppet. He wasn't the choice of Iraq. (He wasn't even the first-round pick in the puppet pageant.) But most puppets have some form of brain. Bully Boy's on the way out. Bully Boy can't protect him. The puppet does not the "Awakening" Council members in the Iraqi military or the Iraqi police. He controls both and has staffed them with Shi'ite thugs so he doesn't want to allow in Sunni thugs. Since the start of the illegal war the US has repeatedly sided with thugs within Iraq because it was hoped that a thug could 'snap' the people into 'order' quickly. So they leaned towards Shia extremists early on and the Sunni extremists came into play only after reports on the Interior Ministry's 'security' guards' actions and other issues became news. That leaves the "Awakening" Council as a very real threat to al-Maliki. They may be more of a threat currently than the White House. Ned Parker (Los Angeles Times) reported over the weekend that al-Maliki had tossed out the "negotiating team" that was representing his interests in the treaty with the US. So al-Maliki has a new team advising him? B-b-but we were told it was all taken care of! (Told by the press rushing to create a story where there was none and ignoring repeated remarks by the US State Dept that no agreement had been reached).

So al-Maliki has a new team. Where's the team fighting for Iraqis.
Sarmad Ali (Baghdad Life, Wall St. Journal) observes the US concerns over oil prices but has "a harder time understanding why Iraqis -- with their oases of crude oil reserves and untapped oilfields in the south and the north -- have had to put up with high oil prices and severe shortages of gasoline, diesel and cooking gas." Ali explains that "ordinary Iraqis still face fueld shortage and high rates . . . three-hour lines of cars queued up for gas . . ." Nouri al-Maliki (my point, not Ali's) sits on millions and refuses to use them to make life better for the Iraqis. And the money just keeps rolling in. Eric Watkins (Oil & Gas Journal) states the oil contract to China National Petroleum Co (CNPC) has been approved by the Iraqi Oil Ministry today. Today's Azzaman sees an exclusion of the US from the oil deals and insists this is due to pressure from Iran. David Berman (Globe & Mail) dismisses "the concern about China cornering Iraqi oil, it's nonsense". BBC via redOrbit documents the press conference in Baghdad today, presided over by Husayn al-Shahrastani

Reuters new photographer Ibrahim Jassam Mohammed has been held by the US since the first of the month.
Reporters Without Borders is calling for Ibrahim's immediate release and notes: "Ibrahim Jassam was picked up from his home in the capital and soldiers took him to an unknown location after checking the ID of members of his family and seizing four cameras along with his phone and laptop computer. His family still do not know why he was arrested. Jassam had worked for Reuters for four years and had received a number of anonymous death threats. More than 20 journalists have been arrested in Iraq in similar circumstances since 1st January 2008, all of whom have been released after spending days or even months in custody without any charges being made against them." Reuters quotes their Editor-in-Chief David Schlesinger, "We are concerned to hear about Jassam's detention, and urge the U.S. military to either charge or release him once an initial investigatory stage is concluded. Any accusation against a journalist should be aired publicly and dealt with fairly and swiftly, with the journalist having the right to counsel and present a defense. Iraqi journalists llike Jassam play a vital role in telling this story in the world."

Anna Johnson (AP) reports on a shootout between the US and Iraqi forces -- yes, "between" the two -- that resulted in the deaths of at least 6 Iraqis and involved US boats, US helicopters (two) and who knows what else. Johnson reports the dead includes 2 Iraqi police officers, 2 Iraqi soldiers and 2 "Awakening" Council members. Reuters reports 10 more Iraqis were wounded. Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) contacted M-NF and received this comment, "We have initial reports that while coalition forces were conducting operations against suspected AQI there was an incident involving weapons fire between Coalition and Iraqi Security Forces north of Tarmiyah, Baghdad. Reports indicate ISF sustained casualties. Coalition aircraft were involved in this incident. It is always regrettable when incidents of mistaken fire occur on the battlefield; a review of the circumstances is under way."

In other of today's reported violence . . .


Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a Baghdad roadside bombing that left two people wounded, a Diyala Province roadside bombing that claimed the life of 1 Iraqi solider with four more wounded, 2 Mosul roadside bombings which claimed 1 life and left seven wounded and a Tikrit roadside bombing that left "[s]ome policemen injured".


Reuters reports 1 Iraqi soldier shot dead in Mosul yesterday (as well as 1 civilian shot dead in Mosul). Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a US house raid in Salahuddin province that resulted in student Tahseen Mikhlif being shot dead.


Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 1 corpse discovered in Baghdad.

Turning to two journalists. John Pilger will tale questions at an event this Friday in London (Institute of Education). For ticket prices and other details
click here for the notice by the UK Socialist Worker. (Click here for Pilger's most recent article at The New Statesman.) Second, independent journalist David Bacon details (at Truth Out) an immigration raid in Mississippi and quotes the National Immigration Law Center's Marielena Hincapie stating that "raids drive down wages because they intimidate workers, even citizens and legal residents. The employer brings in another batch of employees and continues business as usual, while people who protest get targeted and workers get deported. Raids really demonstrate the employer's power." Bacon's latest book has just been released: Illegal People -- How Globalization Creates Migration and Criminalizes Immigrants (Beacon Press).

Ralph's Daily Audio is a segment of the Nader-Gonzalez presidential campaign that offers audio commentaries. This is "Nixon and Ford Now Seem Progressive:"

This is Ralph Nader. In recent weeks, I've been making the point that if voters don't condition their vote on some response by the candidates to the priority issues on the voter's minds, every four years both parties will become worse. Because, twenty-four seven, the corporate lobbies are pulling on both parties and if voters who are liberal or progressive are not pulling in the other way to make the least worse candidate accord with the important priorities favored by a majority of the American people, then the corporate interests have a pull without any pull in the other direction and you know where that leads. I was reading the other day some of the policies by Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford in the 1970s. Richard Nixon, for example, besides signing into law with enthusiastic statements, the EPA Bill, the OSHA Bill, the Product Safety Bill, among other legislation we pressed through Congress in those heady days. He offered a policy on drugs in the streets and addiction that emphasized rehabilitation of drug addicts, not incarceration and imprisonment. He proposed a health insurance plan that observers say was better than the Clinton plan, He supported and articulated a minimum income plan to move the country toward abolishing poverty No other president has done that since. And he favored vocally the voting rights for the disenfranchised citizens of the District of Columbia.
Can you imagine a president today demanding an excess profit tax on the oil companies and demanding higher fuel efficiency for motor vehicles in no uncertain terms? Well that's what President Gerald Ford did following Richard Nixon in the 1970s.
See what I mean about both parties getting worse when we as voters freak out, vote for the least worst and let the least worst be pulled by the corporate interest closer to the worst every four years? This is Ralph Nader.

And this is "Corporate Hands in Your Pockets:"

This is Ralph Nader. I was watching the
CBS national Evening News with Katie Couric on Friday. And she came on with an interesting segment about how people are charged for services they never receive. She highlighted one woman who had a back operation and She was billed about $60,000 and it turned out $40,000 of that $60,000 were for phantom charges -- things she never received, were never treated with. Well that's just the tip of the iceberg. The General Accounting Office years ago estimated that billing fraud in the health care industry is 10% the entire health care bill of the whole nation. This year that would mean $230 billion.
Imagine $230 billion dollars. Malcom Sparrow the applied mathametician at Harvard who specialises in health care billing fraud thinks that that is the most conservative estimate. Have you ever heard any of the presidential candidates talk about billing fraud phenomena year after year that costs more than the war in Iraq?
Have you ever heard any of the presidential candidates -- John McCain, Barack Obama, or the primary candidates for that matter in the Republican-Democratic Party ever mention or pay attention to a rip-off phenomon that is costing more than the Iraq War at least in dollas --
Well that's why the Nader - Gonzales is so necessary to provide the contrast, the alternative to focus on the need to crack down on corporate crime, fraud and abuse that is looting or draining trillions of dollars from consumers, worker-pensions, savers, mutual funds
It's all reported in the mainstream press except this billing fraud that I just mentioned from Enron to Wall St. and yet John McCain and Barack Obama have no program to engage in the necessary resources and willpower to crack down and prevent corporate crime fraud and abuse including corporate crime ripping off Medicare in the billions of dollars.
Just another difference between Nader-Gonzalez and McCain-Obama the corporate candidate. Thank you.

Ralph Nader in the independent presidential candidate.
Cynthia McKinney is the Green Party's presidential candidate. Cynthia willl be on C-Span1's Road to the White House this Sunday (September 7th) which will air at 6:30 p.m. EST (repeating at 9:30 p.m. EST the same night). Among those supporting Cynthia's run are the one and only Roseanne, Black Agenda Report and Carolyn of MakeThemAccountable. In the August 26th snapshot, we noted her interview with Gabriel San Roman (Uprising Radio). Gabriel San Roman provides a text version of that audio interview at Black Agenda Report this week:

GSR: How do you seek to redefine sources of electoral power come November?CM: My political career started in the state of Georgia as a member of the Georgia Legislature. When I ran for that particular position, the corporate press all touted the fact that I was not going to win and yet we were able to win. We won because of people power. We went outside the existing electorate. We brought new people in. That is, of course, one of the hopes that we have with this campaign. We hope we are going to bring new people into the political process and let them see the efficacy of their vote. Now how is it that we can do that? We have to talk about the fact that we are operating in a political environment that lacks election integrity. One of the things I have been able to say quite convincingly because of the precedent set four years ago by the Green Party and David Cobb is that the day after the election when there are reports of disfranchisement and fraud, the Green Party is going to be there when the Democratic Party capitulates. It was in 2000 that we know that the voters of this country gave the Democrats the White House and instead they didn't even fight for the victory that the voters gave them. They capitulated to the Republicans and allowed George W. Bush to assume the presidency. Again in 2004, John Kerry promised that we would not see this kind of action on behalf of the Democratic Party that took place in 2000. In 2004, on the very next day, even as the reports were coming in from Ohio, John Kerry conceded. He gave up once again. He gave up the White House, so that George W. Bush could continue this reign of terror on people inside of this country and outside this country.
So now comes 2008. We understand that there are already efforts afoot to disenfranchise certain populations through the Voter ID laws that have been passed in various legislatures as well as with voter caging. Voter caging is just a fancy way of saying you show up at the polls on election day and you find out that your name is not on the voter list. What is your recourse? You have none. You don't get to vote. If you have the opportunity to cast a provisional ballot, there's no guarantee that the provisional ballot will be counted. We still have to deal with the electronic voting machines. The ills of the 2000 election remain with us. The ills of the 2004 election remain with us. New ills have been placed on top of those ills for the 2008 election. It will be the Green Party and activists across this country who will demand election integrity and who will move from protest to resistance. That is what we have to do now.

GSR: You mentioned protest. Define a vote for Cynthia McKinney in this election. Is it a protest vote or something more substantive?CM: It's a values vote. What we are asking people to do is vote their values. I am so proud to say that at a recent meeting with Rosanne Barr she said, "I'm sick and tired of being put in a box. I'm going to vote my values. I'm going to vote Green." We invite people to join the Power to the People campaign. This is a campaign that seeks to include everyone. We want to draw from every population that feels that somehow their values are not represented by the powers that be. They are not represented by the two corporate parties. They are not represented by any other way, shape, fashion or form. And so perhaps the Power to the People campaign and the Green Party can express the views and the values of people who want peace for a change. They want ecological wisdom for a change. They want social justice for a change. They want real democracy for a change. That's what the Green Party vote represents and so I invite everyone to vote your values and vote Green.
Glen Ford (Black Agenda Report) explains, "Cynthia McKinney and Rosa Clemente are running for president and vice-president on the Green Party ticket, but their larger goal is to reignite a mass movement based on principles that are anathema to the financiers that call the shots in the Obama campaign. They are among the voices that have not been silenced in this deformed election cycle." Meanwhile Chris Hedges encourages people to examine the health care plan Barack is proposing and to show spine, "We on the left, those who should be out there fighting for universal health care and total and immediate withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan, sit like lap dogs on the short leashes of our Democratic (read corporate) masters. We yap now and then, but we have forgotten how to snarl and bite. We have been domesticated. And until we punish the two main parties the way big corporations do, by withdrawing support and funding when our issues are ignored, we will remain irrelevant and impotent. I detest Bill O'Reilly, but he is right on one thing-we liberals are a spineless lot. . . . We need to throw our support behind alternative candidates who champion what we care about, whether Cynthia McKinney or Ralph Nader."

david bacon
john pilger
glen fordblack agenda report
uprising radio
chris hedges
mcclatchy newspapers
hussein kadhim
leila fadel
the los angeles timesned parker
sarmad ali
the wall st. journal
cbs evening newskatie couric

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Not much

Tuesday and I'll be honest with you that Gutter Trash's little stunts just have me not wanting to blog. At all. I'm sick of b.s. like her's and I'm sick of her 'organization.' I will probably be writing a blistering post about both shortly.

This is from a letter to the Leader-Telegram Online in Wisconsin:

For those interested in hearing legitimate criticism of Obama and having real access to a presidential candidate, Ralph Nader and his running mate, Matt Gonzalez, will be speaking free of charge at 1 p.m. Friday in the Council Fire Room in Davies Center at UW-Eau Claire. Republicans, Democrats and independents are all welcome.

Ralph Nader's campaign keeps picking up steam.

Okay, along with Dallas, here is wh helped out at Third.

The Third Estate Sunday Review's Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess, and Ava,
Rebecca of
Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude,
Betty of
Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man,
C.I. of
The Common Ills and The Third Estate Sunday Review,
Kat of
Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills),
Cedric of
Cedric's Big Mix,
Mike of
Mikey Likes It!,
Elaine of
Like Maria Said Paz,
Ruth of
Ruth's Report,
Wally of
The Daily Jot,
and Marcia

And here's what we got:

Truest statement of the week -- C.I. had lobbied for Susan early in the week. Susan does a lot of great work and really doesn't get the attention she deserves for it so read this and then check out her blog.

Truest statement of the Week II -- we have 3 statements because we couldn't ignore Marie Cocco. That woman has just been hitting them out of the park and she deserves some major credit.

Truest statement of the Week III -- Kat found this one and we agreed it had to be a truest too. We had five other nominees and easily could have had four truests but we agreed these three were the three strongest.

A note to our readers -- Jim breaks down the edition.

Editorial: Ignoring the only news out of Denver -- This is a great editorial and we wrote it after regrouping. I'm really proud of this one.

TV: The endless non-news -- Ava and C.I. I know from talking people Friday, everyone expected Ava and C.I. not to have a TV commentary after last week's attacks and C.I.'s illness. Jim told them it wasn't necessary. Then he tried suggesting they just work on that and forget the rest of the edition. They worked their asses off on this edition and you can see it in this piece by them. Ava and C.I. will be taking on coverage of the RNC tomorrow.

Sexism -- This was based on six paragraph thing C.I. wrote that was brilliant. We monkeyed with and didn't do such a good job. I was told it's great on campus today and maybe I'm too hard on it because I know what it was before we reworked it.

MSNBC's Weiner Dog -- The idiot Keith Olbermann.

The overview of Gutter Trash's attack -- Ava and C.I. worked on their TV commentary and we worked on a two-part thing about Gutter Trash. This walks you through the basics.

How it started and who started it -- And this talks about how Gutter Trash made a fool of herself and worse by breaking the law.

A rare moment when John Edwards told the truth -- short piece!

Highlights -- Marcia, Wally, Cedric, Rebecca, Betty, Kat, Ruth, Elaine and I worked on this.

That's really all I have tonight. It's not from not having the time, I had the time. It's from not having anything I wanted to say.

Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Tuesday, September 2, 2008. Chaos and violence continue, propaganda continues, the US military announces a death and more.

On Monday, Al Anbar Province was 'turned' over to the Iraqis (don't try to define that term -- it's in dispute) and
M-NF (Multi-National Forces) issued a press release officially and unofficially in the New York Times via their backchannel boy Dexy Filkins. There's not a great deal of difference between the two, there never is. The US military spits and Dexy's mouth is open trying to catch it. Nowhere in that overly long article does he even acknowledge that the 'handover' was repeatedly announced and repeatedly postponed. It's all rah-rah from Dexy. Reality, the US military long ago realized that they couldn't have any impact on Anbar. Which is why the "Awakening" Councils (Sunni thugs placed on the US payroll) were originally created. If the US couldn't scare the hell of out of the inhabitants, lets put thugs on the payroll, put them in charge and let that scare the hell out of the inhabitants. It's not a 'success' strategy but, hey, Dexy got to attend a parade and who knows how much praise he'll get from the US military for his 'reporting' this go-round. He certainly got plenty last time and, as Thomas E. Ricks revealed in the Washington Post (after Dexy left Iraq the first time), the US military considered Dexy to be their go-to-guy. As Christian Parenti long ago noted (2005), the reality is that Dexy of the paper and Dexy in person bear no recognizable relationship to one another. As if to prove that point made earlier today, this afternoon The Atlantic has published Jeffy Goldberg and Dexy's dishing in Q&A form and there's Dexy saying "I don't think so" (to whether Iraq is a democracy") and offering this on 'progress' and 'safety': "A couple of days later I went to Sadr City, also at dusk. Sadr City is a vast slum that takes in about three million people. It's the stronghold of the Mahdi Army, the Shiite militia, and it's been the scene of heavy fighting, as recently as a few months ago. I was with some Iraqi friends. It felt perfectly normal. Then one of my Iraqi friends said to me, 'What do you think would happen if you were alone?' And I said, 'What?' And he and the other Iraqis laughed and said: 'You'd be dead in ten seconds'." Go down, Dexy indeed.

In order to sell Anbar as 'progress' a number of facts need to be forgotten such as how many times Anbar was already supposed to have been handed over (last June most prominently). Forgetting is also required of last Thursday's Baghdad press confrence when 'freedom of the press' got a little too 'free' for US Lt Gen Frank G Helmick as he barked "one question, please, at a time" when realities began emerging about Anbar in the questions. Among the many hard-to-find-rah-rah-in-that statements was Iraq's Interior Minister Jawad al-Bulani's insistence that, "We're having a plan to develop the capability of Anbar police through providing them with arms." Good to know you're having a plan, to bad it's a bad plan and one that's not even implemented.
AFP quotes US Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker (whom they call "US ambassador to Bagdhad" -- which is certainly more telling) declaring limited success with Gen David Petraeus at the Monday events as the Americans cautioned that they were just withdrawing to their base and would still be around 'as needed' should the need arise. (Think the UK and Basra.) AP quotes US Maj Gen John Kelly at the same ceremonies declaring, "Al Qaeda has not been entirely defeated in Anbar, but their end is near and they know it." And, apparently, so does Psychic John.

No one's supposed to notice that Monday's big to do about nothing was to cover the fact that Iraq is no closer to holding provincial elections (a White House imposed benchmark) before the end of the year.
AFP reports that there are exactly two weeks left for Iraqi lawmakers to come to agreement or else there will be no elections until next year,

Turning to the "Awakening" Councils. They are the thugs on the US payroll (men are paid $300 a month, women are paid far less -- and on one lodged an objection to that). They are the thugs who sold their allegience for coin. al-Maliki has surrounded himself with Shi'ite thugs and has always been threatened by the prospect of their Sunni counter-parts. He's made clear that the bulk of them will not be absorbed into any Iraqi body (police or military) and, in fact, has launched attacks on the Diyala Province.
Erica Goode (New York Times) reports the al-Maliki government says it will begin issuing payment at the first of October and she quotes "Awakening" commander in Baghdad Ali Bahjet dismissing all the Happy Talk by noting that he has been "assured" by the US military "that 'our contracts will be renewed for the next six months, beginning Sept. 1'" and quotes him adding, "We are sure that the American will continue financing our program because this program . . ."

Turning to some of today's reported violence.


Mohammed Al Dulaimy (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 2 Baghdad roadside bombings that claimed 4 lives and left twenty-three wounded, a Ninevah car bombing that claimed 7 lives and left seven peopl injured and, dropping back to Monday, a Kirkuk roadside bombing that claimed the life of 1 child and left his father and brother wounded. Reuters notes a Mosul car bombing that claimed 4 lives (plus the drive) and left six people wounded.


Mohammed Al Dulaimy (McClatchy Newspapers) reports "a mother and her two children" were kidnapped in Nineveh.


Reuters notes 2 corpses were discoverd in Suwayra.

Today the
US military announces: "Multi-National Division -- Center reported a non-combat related death in Baghdad Sept. 2." It's the first death M-NF has announced for Septemeber (which doesn't mean it's the first death, especially considering how often they forget to do their job of announcing) and it brings the total number of US service members who have died in Iraq since the start of the illegal war to 4152.

Barbara Starr (CNN) reports US Secretary of Defense "Robert Gates is expected to present proposals to cut U.S. troop levels in Iraq to President Bush, along with proposals for beefing up American forces in Afghanistan". Barring some huge change of direction at this week's Republican Party convention, the two major parties will both be offering the American people cuts and calling them "withdrawal." Turning to the US presidential race, not content to disgrace themselves on the front page of the New York Times today, the press decided to do so at the White House. "One last question for you," a reporter who will remain nameless asks, "because this is another on that you hear a lot -- this issue is raising a lot of questions and sort of prompting a lot of debate about -- the idea of Sarah Palin, mother of five, soon to be grandmother of one, coming to Washington potentially as a vice president, in the most demanding job one could imagine. Any issues raised there about the whole motherhood-work divide?" Pay attention to Dana Perino (White House flack) responding because even WMC blows it (and Feminist Wire Daily still doesn't appear to have noticed a woman had been named as a running mate), " You know, I don't think that those questions would be asked if it was Todd Palin that was the nominee. And I think that Sarah Palin has proven that you can choose as a woman to be a mother and be a strong executive, and to have a wonderful, loving family. And that's what she's chosen to do. And I think that's why the party has rallied around her so fully." Exactly right. Dana Perino got something 100% right today -- a rare thing for her. But not only was it rare for her, it's too much for many 'lefties.' The question WOULD NOT and HAS NOT been asked of a man. But Palin, John McCain's running mate pick if he gets the GOP nomination, is being 'probed' in what should damn well remind many of the crap Kimba Woods and others had to put up with over 15 years ago. It wasn't right then, it's not now. The paper of little record tries to hide behind "Mommy Wars" to 'cover' the non-story. Susan (Random Thoughts) gets right to the point, noting no one gives a damn about Barak's two children while he's on a ticket but Palin is supposed to be uanble to have kids and run for VP: "The article reeks of sexism. The message is clear: If you're a woman and you've just had kids, don't bother running for high political office." Joseph (Cannonfire) notes the garbage that's been thrown at Palin already (false rumors) and where it's coming from: The Daily Toilet Scrubber and Andrew Bareback Mountain Sullivan. Somehow Bob Somerby, covering similar terrain, can only hiss at Andy Sullivan -- well Somerby's always been scared of his own shadow. As for a non-rumor regarding Palin's family that is also non-news, my opinion is here and Anglachel offers her own here. It's a real shame that Stephanie Miller (who wants no one digging through her closets) has chosen to demonstrate just how trashy she is on this topic and it's even sadder that Women's Media Center finds her to be a voice worth quoting in an article. As pointed out here last night, "And 'scoring' a 'win' for Barack via smut only further adds to the perception that he has nothing to run on and no qualifications. Why else would you be tearing into a young girl?"

The RNC is currently holding their convention and will select their presidential nominee (presumably John McCain). Amy Goodman's already found attention getting stunts to get her name in the headlines. She could have pulled the same stunts in Denver and faced the same police treatment. But Denver was about her selling the Democratic Party and Minneapolis is about her tarring and feathering the RNC. (Most years, we generally let the RNC tar and feather itself. But it's CrackPot time these days.)
Ava and I addressed Goody's garbage Sunday but two things need to be noted Obama Groupie Patricia Wilson-Smith LIED on air and got away with it. She said early on (sticking with the talking point) that she was for Hillary originally, as she became more heated she wanted the whole world to know about the work she's been doing: ". . . I've been working so tirelessly over the last year and a half for Senator Obama". It's not both ways. Wilson-Smith lied. Get used to it. You'll see a lot more woman trying to tell you they were Hillary supporters at the start and then went over to Barack with the implication being that you can as well! Don't believe liars. Do what you want, but don't believe liars. The second thing is that, as noted, there was no convention bounce for Barack. As Ava and I noted:

The Thursday speech was a whimper (and
as we feared last week, no one taught Barack to modulate). The entire week was a Love-In. Only, unlike past love-ins, it wasn't about "us" (however, you define the noun), it was about Barack. Try to get it if you support Barack (we don't) because you (his supporters and the media) continue to hurt his chances of winning in November. Americans want to elect a president to work for them. Americans aren't electing a Love God, a Second Coming, a Homecoming King. James Carville has famously (and rightly) called the first night as a disaster. It was a disaster. The disaster continued all week, with few exceptions. The convention was supposed to bring America on board. What was being sold? It wasn't the Democratic Party. It wasn't a need to make the country better. It was Barack, Barack, Barack, Barack. Over and over. Here's reality that the campaign better start accepting: Barack is not experienced. That's a reality. America will gladly take a chance on a candidate if they believe the candidate has something to offer them. You need to accept the reality and you need to drop the testimonials. If you're serious about getting Barack into the White House (we plan to offer advice when we cover the GOP convention as well), you need to start making it about America and not about Barack. It was a vanity parade. It was grown adults embarrassing themselves like Baby Soxers. It was never about where American can go, only that Barack could lead.
"Change to what?" was the question created during the primaries by the campaign refusing to be specific. "Lead us where?" is the question they replaced it with as a result of the convention. And, just like during the primaries, they had no answer to the question their actions raised. Four nights of non-stop infomercials told you there was a product named Barack and that you should buy it. But no one could ever tell you what Barack could or would do. Now people may buy a number of things from infomercials. They might buy a treadmill or a hair care product or anything else. But the infomerical has to tell you what it does. Repeating "It's great!" over and over doesn't sell the product. And the convention didn't sell to America. It may have picked up a few converts. It didn't provide what Barack needed or anything he could build on. Four percent is what we're told the 'bounce' was. Four percent isn't a bounce and isn't even beyond the statistical margin of error. In other words, four four days, a non-stop infomercial ran and it didn't sell a damn thing.

Yesterday, Cedric's "
The polling doth not riseth" and Wally's "THIS JUST IN! CHRIST-CHILD FALTERS!" noted the polls being released reflected no bounce. This is where reasonable take their heads out of their asses and begin to notice there is a problem -- yes, even if they are Barack supporters. Someone who is not a Barack supporter is Eric Patton (Dissident Voice) and he demonstrates how the right plays to win and the left plays to lose

The right wing makes their candidates earn their support. They don't beg and plead. On the other hand, it seems like the only thing liberals know how to do is piss, whine, cry, moan, complain -- and especially beg and plead.
If you have to do a "Progressives for ," instead of doing it after the candidate has wrapped up the nomination, a better strategy -- if you really want to win -- would be to pick a candidate like Kucinich (whom I personally am not enamored with for reasons that go beyond the scope of this essay; however, there is no doubt he was the farthest left of the Democratic candidates, and massive left support for him would not have been, I don't think, a bad tactical move) and get behind him strongly at least two years before the election, if not sooner.
Let's put this another way: Suppose McCain wins, which I think is likely. If you must support somebody, then begin in December 2008 planning for the election in November 2012. Find out if Kucinich is planning on running again. If he is, start your Progressives for Kucinich website then, bust your ass for four years, and see what happens.
So why didn't the liberals behind Progressives for Obama do that? Because for them, it's not about winning change -- it's about electing Democrats. It's about the home team. It's about the gang colors. As Obama was making his expected (by radicals) moves to the right, the phenomenal left-wing writer Paul Street asked Obama supporters how far was too far? Their answer was, in effect, that it made no difference.

Cynthia McKinney and Ralph Nader are running for president and both candidates want a real end to the illegal war, not smoke and mirrors, not word games, just the illegal war ended.
At McKinney's website John Judge outlines the differences between the Green ticket and the Democrat ticket:

As the Democratic National Convention continued, Green Party leaders called attention to sharp differences between the Democratic ticket and Green nominees Cynthia McKinney and Rosa Clemente.
Greens congratulated Mr. Obama on his historic nomination as the first African American presidential candidate of an established party in the US. But Greens noted that the nomination of Cynthia McKinney and Rosa Clemente in July is also historically significant -- the first time a national political party has chosen two women of color. Ms. McKinney is African American and Ms. Clemente is Black Puerto Rican.
"There's a whole list of urgent issues that Cynthia McKinney and Rosa Clemente are talking about, while Barack Obama and Joe Biden remain silent," said Cliff Thornton, co-chair of the Green Party of the United States and co-founder of Efficacy, Inc. ( "The Democrats don't want to discuss the
devastation caused by the failed War on Drugs, or abuses by the police, courts, and Homeland Security authorities. They won't mention the theft of the 2000 and 2004 elections by the Republicans or address the mass displacement of poor and African American people from New Orleans. For Cynthia and Rosa, these are major issues affecting the future of our country."

Meanwhile, the
Ralph Nader-Matt Gonzalez ticket files for the ballot in Kentucky tomorrow and their state coordinator, Jim Wiese, will hold a news conference at the Secretary of State's office at three o'clock in the afternoon tomorrow: "A broad range of issues face Kentucky voters this election. Kentucky has one of the nation's highest illiteracy rates, compounded by fluctuating, and sometimes frozen, teacher salaries. Coal strip mining continues in Eastern Kentucky, despite its devastating effects on the environment. Lastly, a universal health care plan is definitely needed in a state which holds a high incidence of diabetes cases. The Nader/Gonzalez Campaign offers solutions to these and many other problems facing the working families of Kentucky that Obama /McCain fail to offer. For example, Nader and Gonzalez will guarantee a decent education for all, ban mountaintop removal and launch a "Marshall Plan" to repair the Nation's crumbling schools, clinic, roads, bridges and other important infrastructure, creating millions of new jobs. Nader/Gonzalez favors a Canadian-style, private delivery, free choice of hospital and doctor, public health insurance system." Team Nader notes:

The general election campaign kicks off today.
To rev up our engines,
drop $8 on Nader/Gonzalez now.
That's one dollar a week between now and election day--November 4.
I've worked on all three Nader campaigns--2000, 2004, and 2008.
And trust me on this one. This year, we have the best chance to break through.
There's a serious and growing independent movement away from the corporate Democrats and Republicans.
We're going to be on more state ballots this year -- 45 states (plus the District of Columbia) compared to 34 in 2004 and 44 in 2000.
We're heading toward double digits in a number of key state polls.
And because we are going to implement a nationwide get out the vote drive that will put 2000 and 2004 to shame.
Translation -- we're shooting for a three way race.
The last sixty days between now and election day will be a blur.
We have our Minneapolis rally coming up later this week. (If we don't all get arrested first -- apparently the police in Minneapolis arrest you for political organizing.)
We're in the process of transferring our ballot access crew over to our nationwide get out the vote drive.
And then it's going to be all out, pedal to the metal --- precinct by precinct drive --- until November 4--to let the American people know that they have a choice.
It's been one helluva year so far.
And it's going one knock down drag out fight.
Bring it on.
But first things first.
Thanks to your help, we have not missed one fundraising goal this year. And we don't plan to start now.
We're entering the home stretch of our most recent drive.
We're at $55,000.
But we need to hit $100,000 in three days -- by this coming Thursday September 4. That's $15,000 a day. It's go time.
So, give whatever you can afford now -- $10, $20, $50, $100.
And remember,
if you give $100 or more now, we'll send you three DVDs -- the Denver rally, the Minneapolis rally, and a special debate DVD. (Three DVD offer ends September 4 at 11:59 p.m.)
Onward to November.
And what we hope will be a three-way race.
Jason Kafoury, National Campaign Coordinator

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