Saturday, August 30, 2008

Taxi ride

I'm playing Thomas Friedman. We took a cab from the airport to Trina's this evening.

The cab driver was from Nigeria. He is so thrilled with Barack. He is a huge Barack supporter.

He loathes Sarah Palin. That's who John McCain picked for his running mate.

He starts in on that and C.I. looks over at me.

"She's not even qualified! She's only been governor for two years!"

"Which would be the same as when Barack declared he was running for the president," C.I. said.

I know that look.

The man went, who didn't know the look, went on and on about how she is not qualified.

C.I. cuts him off with, "You're saying you wouldn't vote for her because she's a woman."

"Absolutley!" he snarls.

Then it seems to hit him that, except for Wally, it's all women in his cab.

And he shifts nervously as he looks in the mirror back at us.

He's silent for a few minutes and then going on about Hillary has no experience either.

Ava lets him have it while I'm watching C.I. dial the phone.

He says women should know their place and blah blah blah. And note this is said to a cab full of women plus Wally.

He's insisting that women are worth nothing at which point C.I. says stop the car.

He does and looks around. C.I. doesn't say a word.

We sat there for about two minutes in silence and everyone except C.I. is wondering, "What's going on?"

C.I. points out the window and we see another cab at the intersection. C.I. had called a cab from the cab. (And said, "Get here quick and I tip a hundred.") C.I. pays the fare and says, "I want you to know that we think you are worth something." C.I. then hands the man a tip: one penny.

You knew C.I. was ticked. C.I. overtips. Always. (And, in fact, in this case because the man wasn't even worth a penny.)

He's scowling, and C.I. says, "You earned it."

Wally asks, "How did you get a cab to come so quick?" C.I. says, "I told them I'd tip a hundred."

I steal from Pretty Woman and look at the cab driver with a smile and say, "Big mistake. Big."

We get in the other cab and drive four blocks to Trina's. C.I. tips a hundred.

(Overtips? If a cab ride is $12.00, C.I. just hands a twenty. If it's over $20, even just $21, C.I. hands two $20s. If it reaches $27.00, add in another twenty. If you ask, C.I. will say, "Well they work hard.")

But the point of the story is this is the Barack crowd. This is what they think of women.

That's not an endorsement of John McCain's run. I'm voting for Ralph Nader.

But already, they are gearing up to do the same thing to Palin that they did to Hillary.

I went to the e-mails and everyone wants to know how C.I. is? Unless you look closely, you don't notice the redness in the corner of the eyes.

I was there for the first health scare. C.I.'s not giving anything away now anymore than then.

Will Ava and I still be speaking? Or Rebecca? We're going to do some local women's groups and some local student groups. Those are with C.I. C.I.'s attitude then was, "If I don't have something else to focus on, I will wallow." It's the same attitude as now.

I did not know. Elaine did and Ava and Jess. C.I. told Elaine and Ava. I suspected because it's very unusual for C.I. to miss anything scheduled let alone ask Dona to clear the calendar. C.I.'s stated reason at the time was, "I need a break from the road." And who would doubt that? It's been every week since after the summer of 2006.

Who knows what's happening inside, but on the outside, C.I. is the portrait of calm. Elaine looked more upset than C.I. did. She asked me, "More upset or more tired?" They were on the phone to each other all Thursday night. Elaine cancelled her appointments (which happens about as often as C.I. cancelling a scheduled event) and stayed home Friday sleeping in. Mike was with her, of course. But C.I. didn't get any sleep. And you'd never know it to look. Except for the redness at the corners of the eyes.

Rebecca and I did sleep but only after two in the morning. We've all been up all night still. And I'm really tired. (Flyboy went back to the house, for those wondering why he wasn't in the taxi. He took another cab. He wanted to get some new clothes to wear. He took the news about as hard as Rebecca which was pretty hard.) Wally was Wally. The rock you can always count on.

Ava and C.I. are like twins. Their jokes were a little darker but, otherwise, you wouldn't have caught on to any differences. Speaking? Big difference. Ava ripped into you know what group repeatedly and you know why.

I don't think C.I.'s going to sleep until the plane home. There's been a lot of talking to Mike to make sure he was okay. (He's not. His eyes were bloodshot when we got here.)

Who did I mention in this? I don't know. I told Ruth I was too tired to go back and look and she said do what she did and link to everyone.

Trina of Trina's Kitchen

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,

Mike of Mikey Likes It!,

Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz,

Ruth of Ruth's Report,

Wally of The Daily Jot,


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

Friday, August 29, 2008. Chaos and violence continue, the US military announces another death, John McCain declares a running mate, Cynthia McKinney campaigns this weekend in Michigan, and more.

Starting with the US presidential race. Independent presidential candidate
Ralph Nader held a Super Rally in Denver Wednesday and took the stage to the tune of "This Land Is Your Land." Below are some of his opening remarks and you can see the video here:

Ralph Nader: . . . one of the best songs of social justice ever written. And for those of you concerned, all this [points to confetti] can be recycled. Well, where do we start? Let's start with something dealing with Colorado. The Democratic Party Convention selling sky-boxes. And guess who paid big money for those sky-boxes? Coors. One million dollars. How about this one: Excell, one million dollars. Qwest, six million dollars.
Well, you know, if they are really a part of working people, the way they used to say they were, fifty, sixty years ago, under Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman. They'd have hospitality suites, not for these fat cat corporate lobbyists who are tearing the heart and soul out of America, they'd have hospitality suites for workers, for farm workers, for nurses, for patients trying to get health care, for consumers being ripped off, for students who are being gouged by student loans. They'd have all kinds of hospitality suites and maybe they ought to go and see how some people in Denver live on the other side of the tracks, to see the poverty and the desperation and the lack of affordable housing and the lack of insurance when they get sick.
This party is sick. It's decaying. It's lost its soul. And its leaders can't ever get up on the stage like at the Pepsi Center -- the Pepsi Center, imagine after you say "The Pepsi Center" -- I'll bet you the tax payer built that center.
You never talk about the poor. That's a no-no in Democratic Party dictionary. You talk about the middle class, which they've helped shrink through NAFTA and WTO and all the way they've crushed opposition to corporate power. Corporate power has crushed so much of its opposition they've brought trade unions to their knees. They've made it almost impossible for industrial or commercial workers to even form a trade union because of the Taft-Hartley Law and other obstructive laws that no other western country puts before it workers.
The Democrats are dialing for the same dollars, the same corporate dollars the Republicans are dialing for. And they don't even bother covering it up. They're being winded and dined by the corrupters, the corporate predators, the corporations who have ripped off American consumers and workers that depleted their pensions who are outsourcing your jobs when you get out of college. Who are saying to you when you get out of college, "You got a skill but try getting a good paying job, try getting affordable housing, try getting affordable health insurance, try getting anything that your forebearers were able to get." You know what you're doing? I'm talking to young people in the audience, you're the first generation that's ever polled and said they aren't going to be as well off as their parents.
And the indicators are all coming down. More and more, millions of Americans, not making a living wage, not even close. Wal-Mart wages. K-Mart wages. Millions and millions of people who have to get sick or become sicker or even die because they can't afford health insurance. Just think of that.
This is the richest country in the world and the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Science, just to give you a fact, says 18,000 people a year in this country die because they can't afford health insurance. That's six 9-11s. Washington turned the country upside down after . . . 9-11. In a lot of bad ways, as we know. They don't turn the country upside down for 58,000 people who die every year from work-related diseases in the mines and foundries. They don't turn the company upside down for 65,000 Americans who die from asphyxiation or cancer due to air pollution. They don't turn the country upside down for the 100,000 people who die from medical negligence and malpractice in hospitals.
They don't turn the country upside down for any form of violence -- however preventable it is -- if it's source is corporate crime, corporate negligence, corporate greed and corporate power.
You know some people ask me this around the country, "Nader, what are you doing this for? What do you expect to achieve?" Well look at what we've achieved tonight. You have seen the young leaders of the future on this stage. You have seen not only veteran advocates like Cindy Sheehan, you've seen Ashley Sanders. You've seen Rosa Clemente. You have seen Nellie McKay. You've seen someone you're going to hear a lot more of in the next few months, you've seen Rev. J Wait and see. He's only 21-years old and he's breaking away from this notion that although many of us have always hoped there would be an African-American ascended to the presidency of the United States. He's saying something more than that. He's saying that's not enough, that may be an unprecedented career move into the White House but it's got to mean more than that, it's got to mean standing up to the corporate subjugation of the American people. It's got to mean pushing forward a war against poverty. It's got to mean coming from your background, something more than if it were just a White man or White woman in the White House, it's got to mean a peculiarly insistent sensitivity to the bottom 100 million Americans in this country who are at the bottom of the income scale: African-Americans, poor Whites, Latinos who do the most dangerous work, who do the most dangerous work for us, who do the most thankless work for us, who raise our children, take care of our children, be with our ailing parents, harvest our food, service us in all kinds of ways while they're underpaid and overcharged, while they're excluded. While they're disrespected. While their marginalized. And the only time they're held up before the country is when they ask them to go overseas and fight our criminal wars for us.

And we're stopping there to note
Hispanic Business trumpets today that the US army has launched its "Leaders Among Us" tour in Illinois after having been through San Antonio, Dallas, Houston, NYC, Miami and Puerto Rico. Just reruns the press release as though it were a good thing. "Leaders Among Us" is a recruitment effort -- long on rah-rah, short on facts. Natalia Montemaor (The Ranger) told the sad, sad tale of the efforts in San Antonio and how everyone was just so mean to the ROTC. ROTC instructor Micheal Trujillo didn't conform to the rules and wants to whine about the unfairness of it all. Why can't he just he make his own dates for events? And what happened to the $300 he was promised by someone -- he doesn't say who -- that his field trip to the Bataan Death March cost. "Those funds were not promised through the office of student life," said its director Jorge Posadas. But it's a conspiracy by the well funded counter-recruitment forces who are bankrolled in the millions by the US government while the US army must depend on the donations of individuals and is not on the tax payer payroll -- oh, wait, it's the other way around. Someone explain it to the ROTC.

From the recruiting tricks to its outcome: violence in Iraq.


Laith Hammoudi (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a Baghdad bombing that claimed 1 life and left another person wounded.


Rueters notes police shot dead 1 person in Tal Afar that they suspected was a bomber.


Laith Hammoudi (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 2 corpses discovered in Baghdad.

Today the
US military announced: "A Coalition force Soldier died in a non-combat related incident Aug. 28 while conducting operations in Ninewa." The number of US service members killed in Iraq since the start of the illegal war stands at 4150 and, for the month, at 22.

It's Friday, very little violence gets reported. So who's going to end the illegal war? Not Barack Obama. But he's going to rip off the film The American President,
as Delilah Boyd (A Scrivener's Lament) makes clear. Next up, Barack pretends he's Harrison Ford in Air Force One. Jeremy Lott (Guardian of London) observes of the speech in front of the mock Pagan Temple, "It was made-for-cable catnip. Obama looked at the last four years and yelled 'Enough!' He promised to end the war in Iraq but to do so 'reasonably.' . . . Obama prissily informed us that he's 'ready to have' that debate about all this. With all due respect, no he's not." Lott notes the usual MSNBC male orgy for Barack. Greg Mitchell (Editor & Publisher) reports that Olberman's yet again on attack, "So the liberal Olbermann was outraged that the AP's Babington had written, in his analysis of the speech, just off the wire, that Obama had tried nothing new and that his speech was lacking in specifics. He read the first few paragraphs on the air, lamented that it would be printed in hundred of newspapers on Friday, and concluded, 'It is analysis that strikes me as having borne no resemblance to the speech you and I just watched. None whatsoever. And for it to be distributed by the lone national news organization in terms of wire copy to newspapers around the country and web sites is a remarkable failure of that news organization. Charles Babington, find a new line of work." Babington (whom I know) is not light with the facts. His work can strike some as 'boring' because he does not play the drama game in his copy but sticks to the basics: Who, what, where when. Babington has a long resume filled with many accomplishments. Olbermann? He's got a mike to yell into as he stars in a low rated, basic cable yuck-fest. The telling part of Olbermann's comments can probably be found when he whines that Babington's reporting will be in "newspapers around the country and web sites".

John McCain's showed no more indication of ending the Iraq War than has Barack Obama. And no doubt Keith will be spewing his usual sexism tonight at the McCain campaign because today McCain announced his running mate: Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin. The
Chicago Tribune's Mark Silva and the Los Angeles Times Michael Finnegan pretty much write the same exact story except Silva's obsessed with one beauty pageant and, in fairness, neither writer wrote a story -- the Obama campaign did. It's the Obama camp's narrative in both: She's inexperienced!

Seems Sarah Palin's crime is daring to go for the vice presidency with a little less than two years of being the governor of Alaska. But, Team Obama insists, you can declare the presidency with less than three years. Unlike Obama, Palin has an actual resume -- one that the press tries to trivialize -- which includes having been elected mayor and having been elected to city council twice. She and her husband Todd are also the parents of five children. Palin's not pro-abortion, she's not pro anything for the left. She also isn't someone who deserves to be derided as "beauty queen" or mocked for her gender which has already become all the rage online since the surprise announcement today.
Klownhaus notes, "Sarah Palin is young and telegenic, and any attack on her lack of experience opens up the GOP counter-punch of attacking Uh-bama's lack of experience. When the He-Man Woman Haters Club launches misogynistic attacks on Palin (and they have already begun) it puts the GOP in the position of supporting and defending women." It's noted that her oldest son will deploy to Iraq shortly.

Geo Beach (Christian Science Monitor) observes:

McCain gets a running mate who is young (diminishing the perceived negative of his age), female (snookering Obama for Hillary's hold-outs), executive (to his legislative) and most important, both by her deserved reputation and by the impact of the choice itself, re-establishes McCain's eroded credentials as a genuine maverick candidate. That appeals to the middle voters who will decide the election.
Plus, McCain's choice of Palin achieves what McCain himself can never do -- it took the words right out of Obama's mouth.
The acceptance speech that was so essential to Obama has been filed in the dusty back drawers of political history, as if the text had never been given voice. Media are addicted to the new and the now, and now the Labor Day Weekend will be all I Dream Of Sarah and no echoes of I Had A Dream. Magic.

The McCain team's Matt Lira blogs of Palin:

Governor Palin is a tough executive who has demonstrated during her time in office that she is ready to be president. She has brought Republicans and Democrats together within her Administration and has a record of delivering on the change and reform that we need in Washington. Governor Palin has challenged the influence of the big oil companies while fighting for the development of new energy resources. She leads a state that matters to every one of us -- Alaska has significant energy resources and she has been a leader in the fight to make America energy independent. In Alaska, Governor Palin challenged a corrupt system and passed a landmark ethics reform bill. She has actually used her veto and cut budgetary spending. She put a stop to the "bridge to nowhere" that would have cost taxpayers $400 million dollars. As the head of Alaska's National Guard and as the mother of a soldier herself, Governor Palin understands what it takes to lead our nation and she understands the importance of supporting our troops. Governor Palin has the record of reform and bipartisanship that others can only speak of. Her experience in shaking up the status quo is exactly what is needed in Washington today.

A number of female 'leaders' have taken to trying to forcibly escort women onto the Barack bus (the one that they were previously thrown under) and they love to make statements, "Well, like Hillary asked, were you in it just for her?" It's time for those same 'leaders' to prove whether they are in it for women or just the Democratic Party? Sarah Palin becomes the second woman to run for the vice presidency on a ticket of one of the two-major parties. Are they going to demand that she be treated with the same respect/tone a male running would be? Or are they just going to stay silent? Put up or shut up. Feminist Wire posts two items today -- neither noting Palin's nomination. Do they needed to be reminded of their tax free status? Or do they need to lose it? That really needs to be explored since their tax status forbids them from endorsing but Feminist Wire likes to 'fact check' McCain's statements while just reposting Barack's without any 'checking.' Today a woman was named to be the running mate of the GOP presumed nominee and Feminist Wire couldn't find a thing worth noting?

Geraldine Ferraro, the first woman to run for the vice-presidency from one of the country's two largest political parties. could note Palin's significance. Kristine Johnson (CBS) quotes Ferraro declaring today, "I've spent a lot of time over the last 24 years saying, 'Gosh, I wish I weren't the only one.' So I welcome seeing a woman on the ticket. . . . The potential for a woman to be vice president will really make a difference for girls in this country." NOW on PBS notes that they interviewed Palin for a broadcast earlier this month "about her efforts to clean up corruption in her home state." But Feminist Wire? Nothing.

Which is indicative of the 'coverage' they've given
Cynthia McKinney for her presidential run. McKinney is the Green Party nominee and Rosa Clemente is her running mate. Does Feminist Wire really think that one brief, on July 14th, cuts it as 'coverage' of McKinney's run? And then later they wonder why Ms. is falsely seen as "White, White, White" and when Ms. is seen that way, feminism gets seen that way. Feminist Wire exists on the Feminist Majority Foundation's tax-free status -- as does Ms. these days -- and they are forbidden from endorsing candidates. So it's about damn time they started offering coverage for all the candidates -- and there's never a need for a feminist publication to explain why they cover female candidates. (Though there is a need for Ms. and Femnist Wire to explain why they failed to call out the attacks on Hillary.)

The Green Party of Michigan notes Cynthia will be campaigning in Michagan August 30th through September 1st. She's working the holiday. Maybe Feminist Wire could do the same? Saturday night (7:00 pm) she'll be speaking at the International Institute in Detroit at a press conference with a rally immediately after (7:30). Sunday, Cynthia will appear at the National Welfare Rights Union Awards Dinner where she will deliver a speech on poverty. Monday, Cynthia will be standing shoulder to shoulder with union members as they march down Woodward Avenue in Detroit to mark the historic workers struggle in this country that produced the 40-hour work week, that produced a respect for the workers in this country and that produced the Labor Day holiday (among many other things).

Meanwhile, China scores big!
Erica Goode and Riyadh Mohammed (New York Times) announce that China National Petroleum signed a contract with the puppet government in Baghdad. With the DNC speeches this week repeatedly hitting on the borrowing from China, that will probably not go over well in this country. Some examples:Mark Warner: "Two wars, a warming planet, an energy policy that says let's borrow money from China to buy oil from countries that don't like us. "Al Gore: "As I have said for many years throughout this land, we're borrowing money from China to buy oil from the Persian Gulf to burn it in ways that destroy the future of human civilization."Hillary Clinton: "The biggest deficit in our nation's history. Money borrowed from the Chinese to buy oil from the Saudis."

Ava and I cover the DNC convention Sunday at Third. Ralph Nader's Super Rally took place in Denver and, with little media attention, Team Nader turned out a large crowd of 4,000. As the huge crowd gathered and the event geared up Wednesday, Jesse A. Hamilton (Hartford Courant) reported that Sean Penn had spoken and notes "major cheers" for Nader's "amnesty talk for non-violent drug offenders" and quotes Nader stating: "Every politician I've ever known from the major parties . . . starts flattering the people. Oh, how they flatter the people! Because that's what gives the people weak knees. . . . Read the grim lesson of history, here and abroad. When people do not turn on to politics, politics will turn on them." Not noted is that Ralph noted the historical importance of the week (19th Amendment enacted). Something that Barack skipped out on but no one's supposed to notice that. Team Nader notes:

What a wild last 24 hours.
With the help of more than a hundred Colorado volunteers and our best roadtrippers we worked day and night to pack 4,000 people into the University of Denver's Magness Arena.
(As usual, this was done with zero help from the Denver media. For example, not a mention all week in the Denver Post, the city's largest newspaper, before or after the event.)
Now we're re-focusing and gearing up for the RNC.
I just flew into Minneapolis and we need your help to fill thousands of seats for our September 4th rally at Orchestra Hall.
Right now nearly a dozen Nader's Raiders are driving across the country in three large vehicles armed with
sandwich boards, our two large inflatable props, and boxes of promotional material.
Before they can join us in Minneapolis, they have to make an emergency stop in Wisconsin where we need 3,000 more signatures over Labor Day weekend or we won't make the ballot.
It's just that simple.
Before we can crank up the energy this week in Minneapolis, we need you to
donate right now to help us fuel our roadtrip team through the cornfields of Iowa to the dairy lands of Wisconsin.
A donation of $10 helps provide a roadtripper a hearty and (as Ralph would say) nutritious meal.
A donation of $50 helps put a roof over their heads.
A donation of $100 helps outfit our roadtrippers in the new Buffalo Nader '08 t-shirts like you see our team wearing in this photo.
To meet our most recent fundraising goal, we've got to raise more than $70,000 more on our way to $100,000 in less than one week.
give whatever you can, to help us knock out Wisconsin fast so we can hit the streets this week at the RNC and demand that McCain invite Nader/Gonzalez into the presidential debates.
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

Tonight and over the weekend on PBS (check local listings)
NOW on PBS (debuts Friday night in most markets) explores affirmative action and state-ballot measures attempting to overturn it. Katty van van sits down for a chat and chew with Bill Moyers -- hope he brings the oats and remember to keep the kids out of the room. Cat Radio Cafe does not air on WBAI Monday (fundraising) but The Next Hour features Michael Heller, Harvey Shapiro and John Taggart on the topic of Pulitzer Prize winning poet Goerge Oppen broadcasting from eleven to noon Sunday on WBAI. And iIndependent journalist David Bacon's latest book officially is released next week, Illegal People -- How Globalization Creates Migration and Criminalizes Immigrants (Beacon Press). (Some bookstores already have it in stock currently -- and you can order at the link if you order online.)

Finally. The 'peace' organization passes on e-mails. A number of visitors and members have e-mailed to explain that they complained about what went down and their 'reward' was to have their e-mails passed on. They end up getting the Gutter Trash's stark raving partner screaming at them in e-mails. Well, we know they have no ethics. Until Third on Sunday, that's all I plan to say. We will address it there and some community sites will address it now. Visitors also e-mail to ask that it be passed on: Don't bother posting to Gutter Trash''s blog. She will not allow you statement to go up. Of course not, she can't play victim and get her small posse to lie with her by allowing outside voices. Best visitor e-mail runs in Polly's Brew (with sender's permission) this Sunday -- it's a Canadian who's had it with the "pushy American" who is "as phoney as Madonna's British accent." We're done promoting the organization. There were questions about that in e-mails. They've been pulled from the links and I'm weighing whether or not to pull their chapters from the links. We were not speaking of
Courage to Resist, for visitors who e-mailed asking about that. Courage to Resist is a real organization and remains linked at this site. I've passed on the e-mail to Mike (I've never read Gutter Trash's site) that asks if he gave permission for his e-mail to be posted (Gutter Trash apparently claims to be concerned about "niceness" in reposting people's e-mails). No, he did not. He will address that at his site tonight as well as what Gutter Trash leaves out.

the new york timeserica gooderiyadh mohammed
mcclatchy newspapers
david bacon
charles babington
now on pbs
bill moyers journal