Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Michigan -- the unspoken primary

John Nichols titles a column "On to Michigan, Nevada… and Maybe Oregon" but in his very long column, he never mentions Michigan. Wores he writes this:

Of course, the candidates of both parties will follow a long campaign trail between now and then. They will compete in Nevada’s January 19 caucuses, South Carolina’s January 19 Republican and January 26 Democratic primaries, and probably in Florida’s January 29 primaries.

Michigan's primary is January 15th. Where's independent media?

Diane Rehm could and did express her disbelief that the national Democratic Party would really ban delegates from Michigan from the DNC convention.

Where's independent media?

The DNC is threatening that.

Why? Because the state of Michigan decided to move their primary up.

Where's independent media?

Are they in the pocket of the DNC?

Amy Goodman stated today that the Republicans would have a primary in Michigan.

Amy, so will the Democrats.

Now their 'limp star' Bambi decided not to get on the ballot as did John Edwards.

That's their mistake. They thought it was more important to please the DNC then to compete for Michigan's primary vote. Maybe that's why we're not hearing about Michigan?

It doesn't fit the narratives that Hillary just cares about herself?

Hillary put her name on the ballot. It's a shame that the others were more beholden to the DNC than to Democratic voters in the state of Michigan.

John Nichols puts "Michigan" in his title but somehow forgets to write about it?

That's cute.

It's not reporting, it's not journalism, but it's cute.

This community has members in Michigan and in Florida. They wanted an earlier primary. They think it is unfair that Iowa and New Hampshire always get to go first.

And they're right.

Where's independent media?

It's supposed to be a bottom-up process in independent media. But independent media won't stand up for the people. They're too busy covering for the Democratic National Party.

It's ugly, it's disgusting.

Most of all, it's disappointing. There are few in independent media that any longer strike me as independent. But I did believe Amy Goodman and John Nichols were populists.

But they, like others, can and will dismiss the Michigan primaries because it doesn't fit into the pre-ordained Bambi narrative. It's amazing that they want us to believe they stand up for people but neither will stand up for Michigan.

We weighed in on it at Third Christmas weekend. Wally and Cedric were asking for that topic and C.I. was backing them up. (All three had covered it at their sites. Wally lives in Florida.) Cedric and Wally both got a ton of new readers from both states for sticking up for the people. And C.I., as only C.I. can do, demonstrated that it was an issue for all of us. When we finally weighed in, Jim (who was on vacation that weekend) said, "I should have listened to Wally, Cedric and C.I." He should have. But Jim can admit his mistakes (and will). He didn't realize how big of a topic it was. (He realized it before he checked the e-mails, to his credit. He realized it based just on the piece we wrote.)

With Galludet, that was another topic that kept getting put off. What finally happened is that C.I. and Wally were advocating on that (I believe Ava as well and you can be sure Elaine) and it was, "That's interesting." It was interesting and needed to be written but there were other more pressing topics. What ended up happening was C.I. took everyone of the "well let's wait" votes to Galludet. C.I. took them there and showed them what was happening. They couldn't believe it. They couldn't believe that it wasn't a story driving independent media.

That's really C.I.'s gift (or one of them). And I'm sure that's due to the fact that C.I. travels to so many campuses. But it's also because C.I. can sense moments. We stood on the right side with Galludet and we're standing on the right side with Michigan and Florida.

Where's independent media?

I didn't need to be convinced on Galludet because I had an uncle who was deaf. (He died when I was in my early teens.) I learned the sign language alphabet. I was so proud of myself. He was so patient with me when I 'spoke' with him. If there's one deaf or hard of hearing person in the audience when we go to a campus to speak to students, C.I. is standing and signing.

I wondered and then I finally asked, "Did you have someone in your family who was deaf?" C.I. answered probably but that signing was learned when a Vietnam vet was trying to speak (during Vietnam) and trying to 'hear.' C.I. saw him struggle and thought, "How stupid we all are to think we can speak with veterans and not grasp the basic disabilities." Elaine tells me C.I. had signing down within a month. When we were all in Dallas for a Saturday in September, I asked, "How good is C.I.?" (C.I. was signing.) I asked because C.I. always apologizes and down plays it. The woman I was asking (who could hear) signed to her husband (who was deaf) and he said, "C.I. is wonderful" at signing.

I bring this up because C.I. catches those things. A Vietnam veteran who is going out of his way to follow would result in a lot of us saying, "Wasn't that great." Or maybe, "Good for him." Some of us might even think, "We should do something so we can communicate better." But most of us wouldn't.

C.I.'s instincts may be why I grasped the importance of Florida and Michigan. I say that to offer that John Nichols and Amy Goodman may not have grasped it and to make sure it doesn't sound like I'm saying, "I'm smarter than Goodman and Nichols!" (I'm not smarter than those two.) But I would hope even without C.I. or Wally or Cedric, I would've grasped this issue.

And I grasp that "Mr. Unity" Obama, Mr. "Change" Obama had a chance to stand up for people and chose instead to remove his name from the Michigan ballot. The DNC didn't want the primary and that was more important than all the Democratic voters in that state.

It seems pretty obvious to me but maybe that's because of who I'm around. Maybe, otherwise, I would have missed it.

Too lazy for links tonight. I mentioned:

The Third Estate Sunday Review's Dona, Jess, Ty, Ava and Jim,
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,
Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz,
and Wally of The Daily Jot

Closing with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Wednesday, January 9, 2007. Chaos and violence continue, the US military announces more deaths, Big Oil is salivating for Iraq, Matthew Rothschild accuses Bill Clinton of distortions but, in this case, it's Rothschild who is distorted, and more.

Starting with war resisters. Earlier this week Andrea Stone (USA Today) reported on Darren Manzella who is a sergeant in the US army and openly gay. Stone noted that he discussed this recently with 60 Minutes "and the program aired a home video that showed him kissing a former boyfriend" and there's been no fallout. Stone also notes that the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network estimates there are 500 out troops currently. Who knew the US military brass was so laid back? Of course the reality is that they aren't but have little choice but to enter this century as a result of the Iraq War. War resister Bethany "Skyler" James shared her story upon arriving in Canada. She explained to Ariel Troster (Capital Xtra) back in October that her plan was to be low key about her sexuality but she "was ridiculed daily by other soldiers and even received hate letters" which led Skyler to be more open "even hanging a rainbow flag in her room at the military base, despite a rule which prohibits anyone who 'demonstrate(s) a propensity or intent to engage in homosexual acts' from serving in the US army." So what was going on? Troster explains, "You would think that by disclosing her identity, Skyler would have received a 'get out of the army free' card. By outing herself, she was clearing contravening regulations in a way that should have earned her a discharge. But according to Skyler, it isn't that easy. The US military is so desperate to enlist more troops to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan, that they are willing to turn a blind eye to even the most blatant homosexual conduct -- leaving people like Skyler to endure the double injustice of fighting in wars they don't agree with, while also being subjected to harassment and intimidation from their fellow soldiers."

This is another example of what is missed when independent media doesn't cover war resisters. And note that the MSM view puts foward a concept of tolerance when the reality is that the military can't afford to kick anyone out.

Skyler is in Canada hoping to be granted refugee status. November 15th, the Supreme Court of Canada refused to hear the appeals of war resisters Jeremy Hinzman and Brandon Hughey. Parliament is the solution.Three e-mails addresses to focus on are: Prime Minister Stephen Harper ( -- that's pm at who is with the Conservative party and these two Liberals, Stephane Dion ( -- that's Dion.S at who is the leader of the Liberal Party and Maurizio Bevilacqua ( -- that's Bevilacqua.M at who is the Liberal Party's Critic for Citizenship and Immigration. A few more can be found here at War Resisters Support Campaign. For those in the US, Courage to Resist has an online form that's very easy to use. Both War Resisters Support Campaign and Courage to Resist are calling for actions from January 24-26. The War Resisters Support Campaign has more on the action in Canada:

The War Resisters Support Campaign has called a pan-Canadian mobilization on Saturday, January 26th, 2008 to ensure :
1) that deportation proceedings against U.S. war resisters currently in Canada cease immediately; and 2) that a provision be enacted by Parliament ensuring that U.S. war resisters refusing to fight in Iraq have a means to gain status in Canada.
For listings of local actions, see our Events page. If you are able to organize a rally in your community, contact the Campaign -- we will list events as details come in.

There is a growing movement of resistance within the US military which includes James Stepp, Rodney Watson, Michael Espinal, Matthew Lowell, Derek Hess, Diedra Cobb, Brad McCall, Justin Cliburn, Timothy Richard, Robert Weiss, Phil McDowell, Steve Yoczik, Ross Spears, Peter Brown, Bethany "Skylar" James, Zamesha Dominique, Chrisopther Scott Magaoay, Jared Hood, James Burmeister, Eli Israel, Joshua Key, Ehren Watada, Terri Johnson, Carla Gomez, Luke Kamunen, Leif Kamunen, Leo Kamunen, Camilo Mejia, Kimberly Rivera, Dean Walcott, Linjamin Mull, Agustin Aguayo, Justin Colby, Marc Train, Abdullah Webster, Robert Zabala, Darrell Anderson, Kyle Snyder, Corey Glass, Jeremy Hinzman, Kevin Lee, Mark Wilkerson, Patrick Hart, Ricky Clousing, Ivan Brobeck, Aidan Delgado, Pablo Paredes, Carl Webb, Stephen Funk, Blake LeMoine, Clifton Hicks, David Sanders, Dan Felushko, Brandon Hughey, Clifford Cornell, Joshua Despain, Joshua Casteel, Katherine Jashinski, Dale Bartell, Chris Teske, Matt Lowell, Jimmy Massey, Chris Capps, Tim Richard, Hart Viges, Michael Blake, Christopher Mogwai, Christian Kjar, Kyle Huwer, Wilfredo Torres, Michael Sudbury, Ghanim Khalil, Vincent La Volpa, DeShawn Reed and Kevin Benderman. In total, at least fifty US war resisters in Canada have applied for asylum.
Information on war resistance within the military can be found at The Objector, The G.I. Rights Hotline [(877) 447-4487], Iraq Veterans Against the War and the War Resisters Support Campaign. Courage to Resist offers information on all public war resisters. Tom Joad maintains a list of known war resisters. In addition, VETWOW is an organization that assists those suffering from MST (Military Sexual Trauma).

Meanwhile IVAW is organizing a March 2008 DC event:
In 1971, over one hundred members of Vietnam Veterans Against the War gathered in Detroit to share their stories with America. Atrocities like the My Lai massacre had ignited popular opposition to the war, but political and military leaders insisted that such crimes were isolated exceptions. The members of VVAW knew differently.
Over three days in January, these soldiers testified on the systematic brutality they had seen visited upon the people of Vietnam. They called it the Winter Soldier investigation, after Thomas Paine's famous admonishing of the "summer soldier" who shirks his duty during difficult times. In a time of war and lies, the veterans who gathered in Detroit knew it was their duty to tell the truth.
Over thirty years later, we find ourselves faced with a new war. But the lies are the same. Once again, American troops are sinking into increasingly bloody occupations. Once again, war crimes in places like Haditha, Fallujah, and Abu Ghraib have turned the public against the war. Once again, politicians and generals are blaming "a few bad apples" instead of examining the military policies that have destroyed Iraq and Afghanistan.
Once again, our country needs Winter Soldiers.
In March of 2008, Iraq Veterans Against the War will gather in our nation's capital to break the silence and hold our leaders accountable for these wars. We hope you'll join us, because yours is a story that every American needs to hear.
Click here to sign a statement of support for Winter Soldier: Iraq & Afghanistan

March 13th through 16th are the dates for the Winter Soldier Iraq & Afghanistan Investigation.

US civilians have been in Iraq (that comment isn't recognizing mercenaries as civilians) and one example is Jamie Leigh Jones. Amy Goodman (Democracy Now!) noted today, "The Pentagon's top watchdog has announced he won't investigate rape allegations made by a former employee of the war contractor Halliburton and its subsidary KBR. The alleged victim, Jamie Leigh Jones, says she was gang-raped by co-workers in Iraq. Jones has accused KBR and the US government of covering up the crime. On Tuesday, Pentagon Inspector General Claude Kicklighter said he won't look into the charges because the Justice Department still considers it an open case. Democratic lawmakers and Jones' defense team both criticized the decision. A criminal probe has already last more than two and a half years with no charges filed." Yesterday, ABC News' Justin Rood reported on the latest and noted the office of US Senator Bill Nelson (Florida) says, "We're not satified with" the non-response and Rood noted, "Despite deferring to the Justice Department, Kicklighter's office told Nelson it was willing to pursue other questions Nelson raised about Jones' case. Kicklighter agreed to explore 'whether and why' a U.S. Army doctor handed to KBR security officials the results of Jones' medical examination, a so-called "rape kit," which would have contained evidence of the crime if it had occurred." Justin George (St. Petersburg Times) reports that Nelson is focused on two cases specifically -- Jamie Leigh Jones and another, unidentified woman: "The Tampa woman alleges she was sexually assaulted by a drunken male colleague while working in Ramadi, Iraq in June 2005 for KBR Inc. subsidary Service Employees International Inc. Nelson has said the Navy Criminal Investigative Service turned its finding over to the Justice Department, but nothing has come of the matter. The woman sued KBR, claiming the company failed to protect her from foreseeable harm." That's Tracy Barker. Today David Ivanovich (Houston Chronicle) reports that in addition to determining that, "The Inspector General's office also is trying to learn how many other rape examinations have been performed by U.S. military doctors in Iraq, as well as what steps federal departments are taking to ensure similar criminal cases are properly investigated." Ivanovich also cites Republican US House Rep Ted Poe (who was informed of the gang-rape and imprisonment of Jamie Leigh Jones by Jones' father and began pressing the US State Department to expalin why a US citizen was being held against her will by a contracting company with State Department knowledge) stating, "Who is in charge here? With a $400 billion budget, you would think that the Defense Department would have the resources to protect Americans overseas and maybe even a little left over to investigate allegations of criminal activity as well."

While the White House has shown no interest in the assaults on women in Iraq, Bully Boy did get a briefing on the non-progress in Iraq. CBS and AP report that "John Jones, the provisional reconstruction team leader in Diyala province northeast of Baghdad" gave the feel good performance of the day. "The key thing for us," said Jones of Diyala, "is we're making small steps." That would be the province Stephen Farrell (New York Times) reported on today where "American troops began a major offensive on Tuesday". Farrell quotes Major General Mark P. Herling (you thought the Times would quote rank and file?) who declares, "What has been happening in Baquba and Wajihiya specifically has been somewhat of a deception effort. We have allowed the enemy to believe that Diyala has been wide open while we have been generating forces in here to nail them." The deception is in Herling's remarks. The 'plan' was a last-minute scramble to use the surplus forces the escalation provided before significant numbers are deployed out of Iraq. CBS and AP forget to name the province (might it hurt Jones' feel-good report on Diyala? -- no need to worry, reality hurt Jones' feel-good report when the US military announced multiple deaths in the region today) but note that "No. 2 U.S. commander, Lt. Gen. Ray Odierno, announced the new operations and took pains to say it would focus on bettering Iraqi lives". Two things. Odierno was among those stating publicly last summer that the escalation would end this year because the US military did not have the numbers to maintain it. Second, for those who want to believe Herling's lies, they need to immediately call for him and others above him to be brought on charges of War Crimes. If you really believe the lie that this was planned months ahead -- to route violence into Diyala Province -- then the US military brass willfully made Iraqi civilians living in that area a target which would be a violation of the rules of law.

Meanwhile another province, Al Anbar, is the focus of a corporate struggle. Robin Pagnamenta (Times of London) reports that Shell and Total both want "to develop a huge gasfield" in Al Anbar -- in an area that "is thought to contain up to seven trillion cubic feet of gas -- up to 6 per cent of Iraq's estimated total of 112 trillion cubic feet. The field is capable of producing up to 50 million cubic feet a day, but this could be raised to 450 million cubic feet per day if developed further." Pagnamenta states Shell maintains the Iraqi Oil Ministry requested their involvement. Thomas Financial reports that talks were held by the Iraqi government "with a number of potential companies last week". Last week, Ahmed Rasheed (Reuters) noted, "Iraq has set a Jan. 31 deadline for international oil firms to register to compete for tenders to help develop the world's third-largest oil reserves, the Ministry of Oil said today."

While the corporations rub their hands eagerly, others are less eager to enter Iraq. Sue Pleming (Reuters) notes, "Nearly half of U.S. diplomats who do not want to serve in Iraq say a key reason is because they do not support the Bush administration's policies there, according to a union survey released on Tuesday. The survey by the American Foreign Service Association, which represents the rank-and-file diplomatic corps, not political appointees, also found that most U.S. diplomats were frustrated by what they saw a lack of resources." The American Foreign Service Association has the report [PDF format warning] by Steve Kashkett entitled "ASFA Opinion Poll Results Highlight Disturbing Trends" which notes early on, "With regard to Iraq, a clear majority believes that war-zone postings should remain voluntary; some 68 percent oppose directed assignments as unneccsary and undesirable. More than 2,000 FS members -- including 110 currently serving in Iraq and 295 who said they had previously done tours of duty there -- provided comments on ways to encourage more people to volunteer for Iraq assignments. Many themes emerged repeatedly: increasing the Separate Maintenance Allowance, getting tax exemptions for war-zone service, awarded meritorious step increases, shortening the length of a standar unaccompanied tour. But a large number of comments suggested a fundamental disagreement with the whole approach of seeking evver greater incentives to staff an escalating list of Provincial Reconstruction Teams and an expanding embassy; instead, many hundreds of employees urged a downsizing of the U.S. mission there, both for practical and policy reasons."


Laith Hammoudi (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a Kirkuk car bombing that wounded one person and another that wounded two, a Khalis bombing that wounded a police officer and a Baquba bombing that left four people wounded.

Laith Hammoudi (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a suspected member of al Qaeda in Mesopotamia was shot dead in Salahuddin and two people were woundedin a Baquba shooting.

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

Today the US military announced: "Three Multi-National Division -- North Soldiers died from injuries sustained during an attack while conducting operations in Salah ad Din province Jan. 8." And they announced: "Six Multi-National Division -- North Soldiers were killed by a house born improvised explosive device while conducting operations in Diyala Jan. 9. Additionally, four MND-N Soldiers were injured in the explosion and evacuated to a Coalition Forces' hospital." Peter Graff (Reuters) notes the six deaths today is "one of the highest daily death tolls for U.S. troops in Iraq for months and followed the deaths of three soldiers in the operation a day earlier."

Meanwhile, CBS and AP report, "The number of Iraqis fleeing their homeland has declined in recent months, primarily because neighboring countries refuse to let them enter, the U.N. refugee agency said Tuesday." IRIN notes the UN World Food Program is ready to begin in Iraq, "will run for a year and target 750,000 of the most vulnerable internally displaced persons (IDPs) inside Iraq, as well as over 360,000 Iraqi refugees in Syria."

Turning to US politics. On Saturday the Democratic nominees for president (minus Mike Gravel) debated in New Hampshire. On Monday, Matthew Rothschild (The Progressive) weighed in with observations such as "Obama played it cool throughout and projected calmness to Clinton's desperation." While Rothschild channeled Whoopi in Ghost ("Molly, you danger in, girl" became "Hillary is in deep trouble") for Hillary, he laid it on thick for Bambi: "played it cool throughout," "projected calmness," "Obama's eloquence," "his eloquence," etc. On Ava and my scale, egg on your face for failed attempts at humor and awkwardly worded statements don't qualify as "eloquence," but whatever . . . except, post-New Hampshire results (last night), Rothschild ponders how Hillary won in New Hampshire last night and offers, among other things, "It could have been Obama's lackluster debate performance Saturday night . . ." Huh? The one where he was "cool throughout," the one Rothschild found so eloquent he had to note the eloquence twice in what appears to have been a 21 sentence column? (Check my math.) Help 'em out, do they hum along to "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?" or "The Morning After"? The Bambi-boys are needing a tune today that will carry them over to the primary after next.

Rothschild maintains, that the Clintons are going to make it "uglier" (as opposed to the gauzy haze the press has created?). Rothschild declares we can see that in a speech Bill Clinton gave (isn't it funny that Elizabeth Edwards has called out both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton repeatedly in the press -- even in the pages of The Progressive -- but that's never an issue?). Rothschild writes that "Bill said the media had fed the public a 'fairy tale' about Obama, and then he distorted Obama's record on the Iraq War." Goodness me! I thought it was the press' job to distort Bambi's record on the illegal war (in his favor). Turns out, Bill Clinton didn't distort Bambi's record, Bill Clinton told the truth (try it, it's liberating). The Chicago Tribune has the video and text online. Here's Bill Clinton:

"But since you raised the judgment issue, let's go over this again. That is the central argument for his campaign. 'It doesn't matter that I started running for president less a year after I got to the Senate from the Illinois State Senate. I am a great speaker and a charismatic figure and I'm the only one who had the judgment to oppose this war from the beginning. Always, always, always.' "
"First it is factually not true that everybody that supported that resolution supported Bush attacking Iraq before the UN inspectors were through. Chuck Hagel was one of the co-authors of that resolution. The only Republican Senator that always opposed the war. Every day from the get-go. He authored the resolution to say that Bush could go to war only if they didn't co-operate with the inspectors and he was assured personally by Condi Rice as many of the other Senators were. So, first the case is wrong that way."
"Second, it is wrong that Senator Obama got to go through 15 debates trumpeting his superior judgment and how he had been against the war in every year, numerating the years, and never got asked one time, not once, 'Well, how could you say, that when you said in 2004 you didn't know how you would have voted on the resolution? You said in 2004 there was no difference between you and George Bush on the war and you took that speech you're now running on off your website in 2004 and there's no difference in your voting record and Hillary's ever since?' Give me a break.
"This whole thing is the biggest fairy tale I've ever seen...So you can talk about Mark Penn all you want. What did you think about the Obama thing calling Hillary the Senator from Punjab? Did you like that?"
"Or what about the Obama hand out that was covered up, the press never reported on, implying that I was a crook? Scouring me, scathing criticism, over my financial reports. Ken Starr spent $70 million and indicted innocent people to find out that I wouldn't take a nickel to see the cow jump over the moon.
"So, you can take a shot at Mark Penn if you want. It wasn't his best day. He was hurt, he felt badly that we didn't do better in Iowa. But you know, the idea that one of these campaigns is positive and the other is negative when I know the reverse is true and I have seen it and I have been blistered by it for months, is a little tough to take. Just because of the sanitizing coverage that's in the media, doesn't mean the facts aren't out there.
Where's the distortion, Rothschild? That the resolution wasn't seen as an automatic greenlight? I believe Elizabeth Edwards has made that point herself . . . in the pages of The Progressive. That wasn't flagged in the article as a falsehood. Is Rothschild now saying Elizabeth Edwards lied? The White House wanted the Iraq War to start. That was not in doubt. Some, like Senator Chuck Hagel, did believe that the resolution passing would mean war would only break out if a resolution passed in the United Nations or other conditionals. So Bill Clinton is correct on that point. In fact, let's hear how that resolution was explained not all that long ago: "And the resolution wasn't really to go to war. The resolution, if you remember, was forcing Bush to to the U.N. first. Of course, we expected him to actually listen to the U.N., which didn't happen. The resolution was actually a slowing technique".

That had better be correct, even for Rothschild, because it was printed -- without challenge -- in The Progressive. It's from Ruth Conniff's "Elizabeth Edwards Interview" which The Progressive printed last fall. As for Bambi, Elizabeth Edwards stated in that interview, "Obama gives a speech that's likely to be extrordinarily popular in his home district, and then comes to the Senate and votes for funding." (She also notes, "So you are going to get people behaving in a holier-than-thou way." Gee, whom do you think she was referring to?)

His second point? Clinton maintains Bambi "got to go through 15 debates trumpeting his superior judgment and how he had been against the war in every year, numerating the years, and never got asked one time, not once, 'Well how could you say, that when you said in 2004 you didn't know how you would have voted on this resolution? You said in 2004 there was no difference between you and George Bush on the war and you took that speech you're now running on off your website in 2004 and there's no difference in your voting record and Hillary's ever since?' Give me a break." First Whoopi, now he channels John Stossel.

Bill Clinton told the truth. Matthew Rothschild is either ignorant of the truth or he is lying. It pains me to say that but that is reality. Bill Clinton could have carried the 2004 point through to 2006 and noted that Bambi told The New Yorker he didn't know how he would have voted in 2002 if he was in the US Senate at that time. Again, Bill Clinton is correct. Bill Clinton didn't distort a damn thing, Matthew Rothschild, however, has -- intentionally or not. And he needs to get his facts right -- facts, after all, are supposed to be his business.

It is a "fairy tale." We've used that term and many others to describe the lies about 'anti-war' Bambi. The New York Times? I believe we last noted Bambi telling them he didn't know how he would have voted in the January 4th snapshot: " Obama tells Monica Davey (New York Times, July 26, 2004) he doesn't know how he would have voted if he'd been in the Senate. Two years later, he's telling David Remnick (The New Yorker) he doesn't know how he would have voted." Bill Clinton noting the disappearence of the speech Obama is now so proud of? Glen Ford and Bruce Dixon (then at The Black Commentator) pointed that out before Bambi made it to the Senate (the date of that is addressed later in the snapshot). Bruce Dixon (Black Agenda Report) reminded people of that again on December 12th of last year. Where's the distortion, Rothschild? There is none. Either Rothschild is suffering from the fairy tale Bill Clinton rightly noted or else he's lying. Hopefully, it's the former and not the latter. The reality is that the media -- Big and Small -- have fed the public a fairy tale on 'anti-war' Obama and. The reality is that Bill Clinton didn't distort Bambi's record -- the distortions have been done by the media. Matthew Rothschild joins in the distortions today and needs to do a reality check real quick.

Does independent media follow independent media? Glen Ford, Bruce Dixon and Margaret Kimberley (Black Agenda Report) have done tremendous and amazing work but maybe Little White Media sees "Black Agenda Report" and scurries off in fear? (If so, apparently Ford, Dixon and Kimberly changing the title to "Biracial Agenda Report" would make the site more 'friendly' for some Whites.) Let's start with Margaret Kimberley's latest and in the excerpt below, she's commenting on New Hampshire:

The media have already begun making fantastic claims attributing the backhanded treatment to his multi-racial heritage. Those ridiculous assertions must be dismissed out of hand. There is a lot less to Obama than meets the eye. He is little more than a very slick and very savvy politician. He knows how to impress and please powerful people, and speaking up for black Americans accomplishes neither one of those things.
Obama has masterfully out maneuvered the amateurish Hillary Clinton. She isn't smart enough to know that she should at least attempt to give Democratic voters a little bit of lip service. While she voted in favor of a senate resolution against the Iranian government, Obama stayed on the campaign trail and conveniently missed the vote. In fact he is just as willing to go to war as she is.

That reality (not a distortion, Rothschild) matters for a number of reasons. Kat noted one reason last night with AP reporting that exit polls in New Hampshire found those citing the Iraq War as the top issue resulted in "an advantage" for Obama. That's due to what Bill Clinton, rightly, called a "fairy tale." (We'll address another reason at The Third Estate Sunday Review this weekend.) Also citing Bill Clinton is Glen Ford -- no surprise, Clinton was citing work he and Bruce Dixon have been doing for years -- who notes, "Actually, Clinton got one of the dates wrong. We at Black Agenda Report know -- because we have been closely scrutinizing Obama since his Illionis state senate days, and engaged him in a month-long interchange in June of 2003. Obama's October 2002 anti-war speech first disappered from his U.S. Senate campaign site, not in 2004, but in 2003, when public perception of the war and occupation -- with the exception of Black opinion -- had dramatically shifted towards war. At the time, Bruce Dixon and the core Black Agenda Report crew, including myself, were housed at Black . . . What a difference a shift in public opinion on war makes. Bruce Dixon put it well: 'His passion evaporated, a leading black candidate for the US Senate mouths bland generalities on war, peace and the US role in the world." Ford goes on to offer a walk-through for those who missed reality in real time. (Ironically, Matthew Rothschild was one of the few in indymedia not to be taken in by the nonsense Barack offered at the 2004 DNC convention -- Rothschild rightly called it out in real time, one of the few who did.)

As Glen Ford again notes, Barack and Hillary are siamese twins. He notes they are "political twins" on Democracy Now! today where Amy Goodman hosted a debate between him and Michael Eric Dyson (Dyson being a long-term Barack supporter only recently out of the closet as such):

GLEN FORD: Well, it wasn't really a loss. He only lost by a couple of points. I think with New Hampshire and Iowa, Barack Obama has won a great unprecedented historical victory in proving that he can win the support of huge numbers of white people in essentially white primaries. And by doing that, he has accomplished the central mission of his entire campaign, which is to prove that a black man can be embraced by masses of white people. The problem is, he has done that at the expense of black people, by constantly, relentlessly sending out signals to white people that a vote for Barack Obama, an Obama presidency, would signal the beginning of the end of black-specific agitation, that it would take race discourse off of the table. And he's gone to extraordinary lengths to accomplish that. He said things that white Democrats would--that no white Democrat would ever say--for example, the ridiculous statement that blacks had already come 90% of the way on the road to equality, with the implicit idea that a vote for him would take black people the other 10% of the way. Now, it's a ridiculous statement. It's based on no substance whatsoever. No indexes show blacks 90% of the way towards equality in any area of life. We've never made 65% more in income than white people. Black median household wealth is one-tenth white median household wealth. And on and on and on and on. In fact, we can't find 90% figures relevant, outside of NBA teams and prison. But no white man, no white Democrat who said that would avoid being excoriated by the entire spectrum of black political opinion.

Goodman stated "this is part one of of this debate" so look for continued coverage on Democracy Now! and it's needed. It's not just the 'public' that's assuming myths of 'anti-war' Bambi, Matthew Rothschild does as well. In other New Hampshire primary news, Dennis Kucinich had a "narrow" fifth place "win." He received approximately 417 more votes than the sixth place winner when 100% of the precints had reported. Both he and the sixth place "winner" received one percent of the vote. Who was sixth place? "Total Write-ins." So Kucinich managed a "narrow" fifth place upset over the write-in candidates. The Concord Monitor has the results on the front page of their websites and, again, that's with 100% of the precints reporting. Also Michigan holds primaries January 15th, Democratic and Republican. Ted Roelof (Chronicle News Service) reminds that the DNC has attempted to punish Michigan as it's trying to punish Florida. This issue was raised on NPR's The Diane Rehm Show today around the forty-minute mark of the first hour). Stuart Rothenberg (The Rothenberg Political Report) offered, "At the end of the day, I can't imagine a Democratic Convention without Florida and Michigan delegates that would be crazy," Rehm agreed, "I mean, it just doesn't make sense." Roelof notes of Michigan, "A squabble between state and national party officials over the state's early primary date led Obama and Edwards to withdraw their names. Clinton faces token opposition from Ohio congressman Dennis Kucinich, and former Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel. The other name on the ballot, Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd, dropped out last week."

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