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Liberation 23 March 2008

Posted by marisacat in 2008 Election, AFRICOM, Border Issues, Culture of Death, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Israel/AIPAC, The Battle for New Orleans, WAR!.

        James Cone

In all the swirl and whirl… I remembered that Moyers had James Cone, of Black Liberation theology, on his show a few months ago… dug up the transcript

BILL MOYERS: What does it say to you? I mean, Jena’s one thing because of the tradition and history of the south. But, how do you explain the presence of these nooses anonymously– placed in the New York area? Columbia, as you say? Long Island where I lived for 25 years. Not far from where we’re sitting right now. How do you explain that phenomenon?

JAMES CONE: You know, racism and white supremacy is– was not confined to the south. It was all over America. It’s just expressed in different ways. So, it’s as deeply– in many ways, more deeply felt and present in the north of the – or outside the south largely because it was not acknowledged.

BILL MOYERS: We just — recently saw this book called Lynching in the West:, photographs from Ken Gonzales-Day, as he went searching for California’s lynching trees. This is California.


BILL MOYERS: Three hundred–

JAMES CONE: Yes– yes.

BILL MOYERS: –lynching trees he found out there. I mean, that’s the far west. That’s not the south. That’s–

JAMES CONE: Lynching happened all over. In Pennsylvania, in New York, in California. All over America lynching happened. Now, it was more prominent in the south like Mississippi and Georgia. But and the terror – was deeply embedded there. But, it was a part of America. And that’s why Malcolm X said, “Mississippi is America.” It’s not– you know, it’s not separate. And so, you know, Malcolm X came from the north. And his voice was a lot more militant than King’s who came from the south. And so Malcolm was trying to get people to listen to something that they didn’t want to listen to. Now, King knew. His truth was obvious. Malcolm’s truth was not so obvious.

BILL MOYERS: The truth that?

JAMES CONE: Truth that white supremacy is as present in New York City as it is in Jackson, Mississippi. That’s the truth. And when America can see itself as one, not just the south did the lynching, but it is a part of American culture, then we can figure out how we can start to overcome that. You can’t overcome something if you never acknowledged its presence.

BILL MOYERS: Do you acknowledge the presence of crucifixion and lynching today?

JAMES CONE: Yes, I do.


JAMES CONE: It’s in the prisons. It’s in prisons. It’s all over. Prisons, I would say, is the most prominent.

JAMES CONE: Crucifixion and lynchings are symbols. They are symbols of the power of domination. They are symbols of the destruction of people’s humanity. With black people being 12 percent of the US population and nearly 50 percent of the prison population, that’s lynching. It’s a legal lynching. So, there are a lot of ways to lynch a people than just hanging ’em on the tree. A lynching is trying to control the population. It is striking terror in the population so as to control it.  ::snip::


He touches very briefly on Obama during the discussion, he does not know him personally.

Moyers was prompted to have Cone on as he caught a tape of a 2006 speech Cone gave at Harvard on The Cruxifixion and the Lynching Tree.  I tried to attach a link to the video of the speech but it seems (and I had suspected) that part of the freeze and crash I have been having relates to some videos.  Whether I run them or not, something in the code or whatever hangs up the computer.

Sorry… but if anyone wants to see the speech it is eaily googlable.




1. wu ming - 23 March 2008

madman – my easy test for rooting out one’s inner misogyny is to look at whether one responds to every forceful female politician – cynthia mckinney comes immediately to mind – in the same way as one does hillary. while i’m pretty sure that the rhetoric of misogyny is more often than not stubbornly present – in the back of one’s mind if not on the tip of one’s tongue – the tip off is when someone defaults to the same dismissive put down regardless of their politics.

but given how gendered the language we speak is, and how gut-level misogynist our culture and cursing vocabulary tends to be, once one is adamantly opposed to a politician like hillary, it is maddeningly difficult not to reach for the loaded language.

actually, that’s one of the things i found most impressive about samantha powers’ description of clinton as a monster – totally devoid of any gendered spin or undercurrent, unusual for such a strong denunciation of a female politician.

2. wu ming - 23 March 2008

in the same sense, one might also ask oneself whether one responds to irritating, corrupt, insider hawkish male politicians with the same vehemence or in the same manner.

3. Madman in the Marketplace - 23 March 2008

link to the video Marisa mentions above.

4. Madman in the Marketplace - 23 March 2008

the tip off is when someone defaults to the same dismissive put down regardless of their politics.

That’s a good test. Thanks. I do try to check myself, though, because when I was younger and dumber I think I did fall into that very trap sometimes.

Oh, and thanks for fleshing out the Taiwan/China dynamic.

5. marisacat - 23 March 2008

whack a monster.

Well as part of that sort of discussion, I wore out on the demonisation of BUSH, years ago.

The most salient, pertinent thing I ever read about Nixon was

He comes from us.

I read so much for years on Watergate, Nixon, the whole flap, that I wish I could remember who wrote that.

But that is the truth.

America needs to internalise the demonisation (plenty of which is propagated byt he Democrats to offload facing ANY reality).


The other valuable thing I read about Watergate itself, was that ‘the system did nto save us. We got lucky’…Soem writers tried to tamp down the victorious bullshite of how glorious we were to be open about Watergate… etc… and WHY we got lucky is pretty much a mystery.

Like so many crucial cross roads in America.

6. marisacat - 23 March 2008



7. Madman in the Marketplace - 23 March 2008

no problem.

I run into some sites that don’t like my browser too … it’s damned frustrating. For mine it’s usually MSM sites that try to force a popup or something past the blocks I have turned on. MSNBC is particularly bad since their latest “upgrade”. I basically can’t read anything there anymore. Freezes, then crashes.

8. marisacat - 23 March 2008

SUCH a precise science:

Latest Delegate Counts

MSNBC: Obama 1,626, Clinton 1,506
CNN: Obama 1,622, Clinton 1,485
ABC: Obama 1,618, Clinton 1,493
AP: Obama 1,617, Clinton 1,498
CBS: Obama 1,616, Clinton 1,485

9. NYCO - 24 March 2008

The New York Times, doing its kindly bit to keep the woggies down where they belong…


Bite back on that schadenfreude over the woes of the elect at Bear Stearns! Horrible, horrible things could happen if the rich are threatened.

Our new Governor Paterson has been saying some veeeery interesting new things to some very interested audiences this past week. He is smart enough to say them quietly at this point, though…

10. wilfred - 24 March 2008

Petraeus says he has evidence that Iran was behind Green Zone attack yesterday. Cheney must be salivating at the thought.


11. James - 24 March 2008
12. marisacat - 24 March 2008

oops James

if you are sstill around, think the link failed…

13. marisacat - 24 March 2008
14. liberalcatnip - 24 March 2008
15. liberalcatnip - 24 March 2008
16. liberalcatnip - 24 March 2008

From Juan Santos:

Obama plays the role of a Black Cinderella. He does for Black folks what Cinderella does for girls. He shows that oppression and silence can be good for you — at least if you are the one the prince chooses, or if you are the one who gets to be the prince. It’s total fantasy. It’s a glass slipper that will break at the arch and be turned on us like a broken beer bottle or a jagged-edged knife; the same knife Obama has threatened to turn on the people of Iran and Pakistan.

The Cinderella reference is interesting. I’d read a column last week titled “Obamarella” and had been thinking about writing a post related to that fairy tale, but from a different perspective with Hillary as the wicked stepmother who was holding Obama back from reaching the prize (the “prince”, the presidency, his “rightful” future) etc.

So, speaking of misogyny as well, I wonder how much of that wicked stepmother character (the “cackling” etc) subtlety comes to mind in the minds of anyone who’s ever been exposed to that fairy tale when they see Obama as a victim – a role he doesn’t mind playing as he proudly touts his underdog status – to the powers that be: that wicked, evil woman who must be stopped.

Your pumpkin coach awaits, Obama. See you at the inaugural ball.

17. James - 24 March 2008

Thanks. I guess I goofed the html code.

18. marisacat - 24 March 2008

HA! I had saved the graphic from the Obama-rella column i read, it was an edition of The Note, a few days ago.

What a hoot! Because the clock striking midnight will nto be pretty.


No problem James. Very interesting article. I will take a look at Part 1 too.


19. Miss Devore - 24 March 2008

16. one could also gauge misogyny by how men treat women closest to them.

20. marisacat - 24 March 2008

An earlier Juan Santos, Feb 10, on Barack O.

21. liberalcatnip - 24 March 2008

18. When I Googled to try and find the article, I saw that the Obama as Cinderella meme has become quite popular, involving different perspectives.

We’ve already been well-schooled (those of us who have chosen to be, anyway) on the power of myths (James Campbell) and of symbols and the unconscious (Carl Jung), not to mention the impact of those Disney-styled fairy tales (lifted and reformed) and how they impact our lives’ prejudices, yet they all continue to play largely unexamined by a media (MSM and blogs) that’ are addicted to the latest soundbites, videos, speeches, the endless examination of words and quotes, and the sensationalism that goes along with that. So, much of the public rides that wave without giving much thought to what they’re actually reacting to internally – even the so-called “intellectuals” who’ve written column after column in favour of this or that candidate. No wonder political issues (ie. the war, foreign affairs, the economy, health care etc.) have taken a back seat to feelings.

22. cad - 24 March 2008

“Clinton Doesn’t Care” — What Whining B.S. (2+ / 0-)

Recommended by:Bob Love, jksesq1

I don’t agree with what Clinton is doing, but the smug, self-righteous, arrogant, petulant, immaturity of the Obamacult here — up to and maybe especially including this website’s founder — is stupid and counterproductive to the max.

People might not agree with what Clinton’s campaign is doing, but to say that they don’t care is flat wrong. They have the right to campaign for the job. The woman is obviously ambitious, and she’s been angling for this for years and years.

Hillary Clinton was a Democrat when “Kos” was soiling his diapers. Saying she doesn’t care is that kind of crap that WILL split the party. Tell me, “Kos,” what is politics to you? A massive exercise in the extension of your own ego, or the art of persuading people to see it your way?

We all know that Obama will be the nominee. The numbers couldn’t be clearer. The actual voting, etc., is going to be anticlimactic. What might NOT be so anticlimactic, on the other hand, is the deafening silence that greets your arrogance when you ask for help from the same people you’ve spent several months shitting on.

by Rambler57 on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 12:21:31 PM PDT

23. liberalcatnip - 24 March 2008

What might NOT be so anticlimactic, on the other hand, is the deafening silence that greets your arrogance when you ask for help from the same people you’ve spent several months shitting on.

He doesn’t care. People who disagree with him are expendable. (Kind of Bush-like, when you think about it.)

24. marisacat - 24 March 2008

Trouble in River City!

Shoot out at High Noon in Dodge!

works for me.

Actually while I hope Obama-Rama gets the nom… I don’t think it is anywehre near a sure thing. One reason the drum beat is up again for her to drop out. His supporters and his handlers want to try to avoid the primaries coming up. If they can.

They still think they are running aginst Daffy Duck.

I laughed pretty hard over Richardson, the whole thing…. And I think that “Judas” slam had to do with ass covering done for Richardson during hmmmm, was it Wen Ho Lee?

We’ll know more after PA… and NC and Indiana.

25. NYCO - 24 March 2008

I think Hillary is in this for the very long haul; she wants to move the goalposts, and I don’t think her opponents are prepared for that. I think she’s campaigning for 2012 right now, to be honest. It would be tragically hilarious, or hilariously tragic, if she fought this up to the convention but didn’t show at the convention. Now that would be jiu-jitsu.

As I said before… I think both the Democratic campaigns are triumphalist this year, at a time when it just seems cognitively dissonant to sound such a triumphalist note. Especially Obama’s campaign. This sense of “Now it’s our generation’s turn, we get the prize, yay us, and once it’s won, the world will bow down and worship us again as shining leaders of right and truth…” — um, no, I don’t think so. That ship has sailed.

26. mattes - 24 March 2008

Cheney has been traveling back and forth between Israel and Saudi Arabian this week. Easy to figure out what they were talking about.

Cheney to Saudi King: Please process more oil.

Saudi King to Cheney: Solve the Palestintian issue before the whole ME blows up.

Israelis to Cheney: We don’t have to listen to anyone. Bomb Syria and Iran for us, then we can talk….

27. lucid - 24 March 2008

um, no, I don’t think so. That ship has sailed.

You America hater you! 😉

28. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 March 2008

26 – I don’t think it has anything to do w/ short-term oil supplies. I think it’s part of a build up to try again to drive for an attack on Iran. The countries he visited this time are much the same as the tour he took before the US invaded Iraq.

29. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 March 2008
30. XP - 24 March 2008

I just cannot help but laugh when it comes to the whole “Clinton must drop out” meme. The whole Obama camp purposely overlook the Texas primary considering the count is no where near being completed.

Boyd Richie, Chair of the Texas Democratic Party, recently wrote an op-ed telling people to take a chill pill

At the end of the day, Democrats will decide how the Democratic Party allocates national delegates for future elections, not a few reporters who don’t try to understand the process or editorial boards that fail to understand that the Texas caucus system currently in place, much like the early voting period, is a continuing process and not a single event.

The caucus process, which allocates 67 of our 228 delegates to the Democratic National Convention, began on primary election night, continues through the Senate district and county conventions, and concludes at the Democratic state convention in June.

While I realize that a continuing process doesn’t lend itself well to newspapers’ desire to declare an instant winner, participatory democracy isn’t done for the convenience of newspaper deadlines; it is accomplished for the good of people.

Texas’ caucus system wasn’t created as a continuing process to annoy editorial boards; it was designed to ensure that presidential campaigns would have to organize at the grassroots level and could not forget about Texas voters the day after the primary election. The system requires that a candidate either continue to organize in Texas until the state convention in June or risk losing delegate strength. Since Texas has been an afterthought to presidential efforts in the fall, this has served Democrats well for years.

Time had an interesting article about the whole process – So Who Really Won Texas? The article states pretty much the same thing thing I wrote.

But both campaigns now realize that they must ride herd on their delegates each step of the way to be sure their anointed delegates remain loyal to the candidate. As with most caucuses, they are allowed to switch their candidates even after the actual caucuses are finished, at least until the county convention ….

Can’t help but wonder if they read my blog post.

31. marisacat - 24 March 2008

ooops found two of madman’s in Spam file…

I set them free!


32. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 March 2008


33. liberalcatnip - 24 March 2008

30. The whole Obama camp purposely overlook the Texas primary considering the count is no where near being completed.

I didn’t know that. The last thing I saw about it was victory being declared for Obama on the BBBs. Hmmm… Thanks for posting that.

34. marisacat - 24 March 2008


Last I looked, Obama ’08 on their main page claims both TX and NV as wins.

check the map.

35. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 March 2008

Chris Floyd: Still Not Worried? Petraeus Blames Iran for Green Zone Attack

Yesterday, we noted the story that the Saudi government is now preparing plans to deal with “any sudden nuclear and radioactive hazards” that may arise from an attack on Iran’s nuclear reactors. This was reported by a top Saudi newspaper, Okaz, and relayed by a leading German news service, dpa — one day after Dick Cheney paid a visit to the kingdom. As we noted, no one knows exactly what was said at that confab of allied authoritarians — but something sure lit a fire under the Saudis, and convinced them that urgent action is needed to brace for the lethal overspill from a strike on Iran.

Now today comes word that the sainted General David Petraeus, commander of U.S. forces in Iraq — and recepient of perhaps the most copious bipartisan tongue bath ever given to a serving military officer by the U.S. Congress — has blamed Iran for the multiple mortar attack on Baghdad’s Green Zone on Sunday.

36. liberalcatnip - 24 March 2008
37. liberalcatnip - 24 March 2008

Iraqis in moderation.

38. XP - 24 March 2008

I have a feeling this is being done on purpose by the BBB as a way to force the delegates to vote for Obama, especially if they can get Hillary to drop out.

39. marisacat - 24 March 2008

liberalcatnip and Madman out of Spam…


40. liberalcatnip - 24 March 2008

Patriot Act haunts Google service

Google Inc. is a year into its ground-shifting strategy to change the way people communicate and work.

But the initiative to reinvent the way that people use software is running headlong into another new phenomenon of the information technology age: the unprecedented powers of security officials in the United States to conduct surveillance on communications.

Eighteen months ago, Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ont., had an outdated computer system that was crashing daily and in desperate need of an overhaul. A new installation would have cost more than $1-million and taken months to implement. Google’s service, however, took just 30 days to set up, didn’t cost the university a penny and gave nearly 8,000 students and faculty leading-edge software, said Michael Pawlowski, Lakehead’s vice-president of administration and finance.

U.S.-based Google spotlighted the university as one of the first to adopt its software model of the future, and today Mr. Pawlowski boasts the move was the right thing for Lakehead, saving it hundreds of thousands of dollars in annual operating costs. But he notes one trade-off: The faculty was told not to transmit any private data over the system, including student marks.

The U.S. Patriot Act, passed in the weeks after the September, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States, gives authorities the means to secretly view personal data held by U.S. organizations. It is at odds with Canada’s privacy laws, which require organizations to protect private information and inform individuals when their data has been shared.

At Lakehead, the deal with Google sparked a backlash. “The [university] did this on the cheap. By getting this free from Google, they gave away our rights,” said Tom Puk, past president of Lakehead’s faculty association, which filed a grievance against Lakehead administration that’s still in arbitration.

Professors say the Google deal broke terms of their collective agreement that guarantees members the right to private communications. Mr. Puk says teachers want an in-house system that doesn’t let third parties see their e-mails.

Some other organizations are banning Google’s innovative tools outright to avoid the prospect of U.S. spooks combing through their data. Security experts say many firms are only just starting to realize the risks they assume by embracing Web-based collaborative tools hosted by a U.S. company, a problem even more acute in Canada where federal privacy rules are at odds with U.S. security measures.


41. liberalcatnip - 24 March 2008

Here’s a news story on that “win”:

Obama wins delegate fight in Texas

Posted: Wednesday, March 05, 2008 at 3:31 p.m.

AUSTIN — Obama Texas State Director Adrian Saenz issued a statement on the projected primary and caucus results that show Senator Obama won more Texas delegates than Senator Clinton.

“By fighting the primary to a near-draw and earning a resounding victory in the caucus, the people of Texas have moved Barack Obama one step closer to claiming the Democratic nomination for president,” said Adrian Saenz. “Texans in both parties and of all ages sent a clear message that the American people are ready for the kind of change that Barack Obama will bring to Washington, DC as our 44th President.”

Because of the close finish, Senator Clinton will likely net only two delegates up-for-grabs in the Texas Primary. Based on a large sample of caucus results in all 31 state senate districts, Senator Obama is projected to post a substantial victory in the Texas caucus and, thereby, net at least seven delegates. This means that Senator Obama will win at least five more pledged delegates from Texas than Senator Clinton.

Yes, propaganda is quite efficient.

42. liberalcatnip - 24 March 2008

One of the dkos diaries.

Update 4 6:18PM MST
Well Keith Olberman just said the magic words. Obama WON Texas! If there was any doubt before, it’s gone now. The MSM has indeed picked up on this.

And everybody knows that if KO said it, it must be true.

That diary got over 5,000 diggs even though digg had to offer this disclaimer:

Warning: The Content in this Article May be Inaccurate
Readers have reported that this story contains information that may not be accurate.

43. liberalcatnip - 24 March 2008

Frontline tonite (here):

Bush’s War – Part 1 of 2 (new)

44. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 March 2008

Dems Consider Mini-Convention to Pick Nominee

The mini-convention would bring together nearly 800 superdelegates after the last primaries are held in early June.

Given the current math, superdelegates – party officials and elected leaders – will decide the nomination, one way or another.

“There would be a final opportunity for the candidates to make their arguments to these delegates, and then one transparent vote,” Tennessee Gov. Philip Bredesen suggested in the New York Times.

Superdelegates, both pledged and unpledged, reacted cautiously to the idea. But they all agreed that something needed to be done to bridge the growing gap between Clinton and Obama supporters.

“We’ve got to stop the bickering that’s going on,” said Leila Medley of Jefferson City, Mo., an uncommitted superdelegate. “There’s no doubt about that.”

“While you trade barbs, McCain is uniting the Republican Party,” U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio of Oregon wrote both campaigns in mid-March. “In the next six weeks, McCain can sit back, amass his war chest, concentrate his base and delight as you deconstruct each other.”

That outcome seemed unthinkable just weeks ago, when record voter turnouts, the ongoing Iraq war, a slumping economy and a fat bank account convinced many Democrats they had a clear path to the presidency.

But new polls tell a different story: Some last week showed McCain beating Obama and Clinton, after he trailed both candidates just two weeks ago.

A focus on race and gender hasn’t helped. Neither did more name-calling after Florida’s Democrats, then Michigan’s, failed to reach agreement on a plan to seat their disputed delegates.

And the party still hasn’t figured out how its superdelegates should vote – as independent agents or as a reflection of the popular vote.

“It seems to me if we have a nominee come Labor Day with a very deeply divided party and morally exhausted party, I think we have a problem,” Bredesen said.

He promised any superdelegate gathering would be “tight” and “businesslike,” helping the party avoid “brutal and unnecessary warfare” this summer.

They really are a fucking joke.

45. marisacat - 24 March 2008

catnip out of spam, Madman out of moderation, or the reverse.



46. Miss Devore - 24 March 2008

nytimes commemorates 4000 US dead in Iraq with an interesting picture:


47. wilfred - 24 March 2008

#43 Just finished PBS Frontline “Bush’s War” Part 1.

Blistering, very well done.

48. liberalcatnip - 24 March 2008

Looks like Paterson is on a pre-emptive mission to confess all of his sins publicly. Stay tuned next week when he admits to wearing women’s lingerie.

49. marisacat - 24 March 2008

… waiting for it to come on here…

50. marisacat - 24 March 2008

LOL what is the matter with Paterson?

Can he not just blame the white granny or the black pastor?

Blame someone!

Tell him to get with the Dem party programme.

51. liberalcatnip - 24 March 2008

47. It was …and infuriating once again as well.

52. liberalcatnip - 24 March 2008

Tell him to get with the Dem party programme.

I guess he didn’t get that memo. 😉

53. XP - 24 March 2008

41 gotta love that propaganda … Texas style

The way things are going with the Dems, I guess we can look forward to our 100 years war.

It is obvious that why Obama is taking that anti-war stance, he favors using mercenaries in Iraq.

“If Barack Obama comes into office next January and our diplomatic security service is in the state it’s in and the situation on the ground in Iraq is in the state it’s in, I think we will be forced to rely on a host of security measures,” said the senior adviser. “I can’t rule out, I won’t rule out, private security contractors.”

Who the hell needs the army, when you can use black ops (no pun intended) to do all the dirty work.

54. marisacat - 24 March 2008

Think XP named the culprit, 2012. St clair agrees.

55. liberalcatnip - 24 March 2008

Bill Richardson: one one of the shows – Blitzer’s, I think – he said he didn’t want to talk about Carville’s Judas remark. He said he wants to talk about the issues instead. And now, here he is on Larry King tonite repeating, for the umpteenth time, that he doesn’t want to get “into the gutter” like that again. For someone who doesn’t want to talk about it, he sure is talking about it a lot.

56. liberalcatnip - 24 March 2008

53. Thanks for that quote. I’ve written about his “plan” a few times but that’s the first time I’ve seen him admit wanting to keep the contractors there. He doesn’t like “dumb” wars. He does like “quasi” wars, however.

57. liberalcatnip - 24 March 2008
58. liberalcatnip - 24 March 2008
59. liberalcatnip - 24 March 2008

I thought it was funny today when Clinton speechified about her plan for a panel of economic advisers to solve the HUGE depression that awaits, Obama’s campaign (releasing a statement from him because he’s off on his vacation in the Virgin Islands – I doubt they used cheaptickets.com for that trip) said the panel thing was their idea from last year.

It reminded me of that female SNL character who always one ups everybody, Oh yeah…I have a panel too…a really big panel with a lot more people…big names…and they actually fixed the economy yesterday…

60. liberalcatnip - 24 March 2008
61. sabrina - 24 March 2008

Hilllary accused of plagiarism now? The Obama campaign might not want to bring that up again ….

This story illustrates the priorities of this country. Breaking International laws against torture gets you promoted, but have an affair and lie about it, and you’ll be fired.

Navy: Former commander fired for lying

WASHINGTON (CNN) — A former military aide to President George H.W. Bush, who later became commander of the U.S. 6th Fleet, has been fired for providing “false and misleading” information to the Department of Defense inspector general, the U.S. Navy confirmed Monday.

John Stufflebeem speaks to the press November 9, 2001, during a briefing at the Pentagon.

Vice Adm. John “Boomer” Stufflebeem was relieved of duty by the chief of naval operations on Friday, according to Rear Adm. Frank Thorp, the chief Navy spokesman.

Navy Times, a privately published newspaper, was the first to report details of the incident.

Thorp confirmed the inspector general had begun a preliminary investigation into an allegation that Stufflebeem had an “inappropriate relationship” while serving as a military aide to the former president in 1990.

Thorp emphasized to CNN that Stufflebeem was removed because the inspector general found he had provided “false and misleading” information, not because of the allegation.

Thorp also confirmed that in 1999, the inspector general had investigated the same allegation, but at that time did not find sufficient evidence to pursue it.

Stufflebeem became well known in the initial months of the war in Afghanistan, when he often conducted on-camera television briefings as a Pentagon spokesman. He was then deputy director for global operations on the Joint Staff.

He was commander of the 6th Fleet from May 2005 to September 2007. During that time, he also was deputy commander of Naval Forces Europe, joint force maritime component commander in Europe, commander of strike and support forces for NATO, and allied commander with Joint Command Lisbon.

After returning to Washington, he became director of Navy staff.

I remember him at the Pentagon briefings … he must have stepped on someone’s toes pretty badly …

62. marisacat - 24 March 2008

I definitely rmember his name from the briefings…

63. sabrina - 24 March 2008

Yes, I remembered his name and his photo in the article was familiar right away … it’s odd to fire a Navy Commander for something like that … I bet there’s more to it …

64. marisacat - 24 March 2008

LOL Think this sums it up (full text, arrest me!):

Changing the Goal Line

By Taegan Goddard | March 24, 2008 8:56 AM | Permalink | Comments (7)

As the Democratic presidential nomination fight moves into April, the only thing certain is that superdelegates will ultimately pick the party’s nominee. Supporters of Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. Hillary Clinton are now engaged in a fight of picking the appropriate metric for how the superdelegates should vote at the convention.

Some say they should vote the same way their constituents did. Some say they should vote for whoever wins the most pledged delegates. Some say they should vote for whoever leads in the popular vote. Some say they should just vote their conscience.

The confusion is made worse by a nomination race that awards delegates differently in nearly every state. Some states have primaries. Some states have caucuses. Some states even have both.

To further confuse matters, some states let only Democrats vote. But others let Democrats and independents vote. And some states even let Republicans vote in the Democratic primary.

The idea that the Democratic nominee will be chosen democratically is fiction. There is little that’s democratic about this selection process. In fact, two of the largest states — Michigan and Florida — will probably have no say at the convention since they broke party rules in scheduling their primaries.

Considering many Democrats feel Al Gore lost the presidency in 2000 in an un-democratic way, it’s surprising the party would tolerate such a mess in choosing their nominee.

65. sabrina - 24 March 2008

What a mess they’ve made …. and polls are now showing McCain ahead of each of them … unbelievable that McCain whose campaign was over just a few months ago, arose from political death and won the nomination … so it’s not as though he’s all that popular and yet, he’s beating them both ….

The Dem Party’s only alternative, if they want to win in Nov., seems to be an Obama/Hillary or Hillary/Obama ticket. I don’t know how many from each side would stay home or vote for Nader, if their candidate doesn’t get the nomination, but some will and it might be enough to let McCain win …

Lol, but then there will be a battle over who gets the VP spot …. and it’ll start all over again …

It would almost be worth Hillary winning the nom. to see how quickly Kos spins around to support her ….

People are shocked that he opposed her. I don’t know why, it’s a very comfortable place for him to be in, slamming a Clinton. People forget who he was during the Clinton presidency, a typical, gay-hating rightwinger, one of those who were obsesssed with Clinton …. it’s why he wrote his little diatribe about gays seeing him in his underwear ….

So, to be back where he started out, with a Clinton to bash, he’s got to be in virtual heaven …

66. NYCO - 25 March 2008

I cannot wait until next spring. These presidential campaigns suck up political oxygen and give nothing back in return.

67. JJB - 25 March 2008

According to a report I saw on the “Today” show just before leaving for work, there’s been an incident in the Suez Canal where an ordinary looking freighter that is in fact a US naval vessel (hired on a short-term contract to ship cargo) fired on some small boats owned by people who go around to the ships in the canal and offer cigarettes and various trinkets for sale to the crewmembers. Seems they got too close, and the sailors opened fire (after, of course, firing warning shots and flares, they’d never panic and just open fire first). One of the trinket dealers was said to have been killed, and a few others wounded. Here’s the only story I could find about it.

Also, Basra is seeing some very heavy combat between the so-called Iraqi Army and the militias that are in control of the city:

Heavy fighting has been raging in Basra as thousands of Iraqi troops battle Shia militias in the southern city.
At least 12 people have died in the operation, which is being overseen in Basra by Iraqi PM Nouri Maliki, a day after he vowed to “re-impose law”.

British forces carried out air strikes to support embattled Iraqi army tanks and artillery on the ground.

Oil-rich Basra is in the grip of a bitter turf war between armed groups, including the Mehdi Army, say analysts.

The Mehdi Army – which supports radical Shia cleric Moqtada Sadr – called a nationwide campaign of civil disobedience in response to recent detentions of its followers.

The powerful militia declared a truce last August which had been credited with helping restore stability to parts of Iraq.

The BBC’s Adam Brookes says three Iraqi army brigades were deployed from Baghdad to Basra as back-up for the offensive, and that up to 15,000 troops could be involved.

Some of the fiercest fighting in the operation – dubbed Saulat al-Fursan (Charge of the Knights) – has focused on Mehdi Army strongholds.

68. marisacat - 25 March 2008

Thanks JJB….

I had heard nothing of the Suez…

And did just see street fighting in Basra. Seems to be the wave of the future.

69. Miss Devore - 25 March 2008

in todays candidate zoological methaphors, it is Barack who is the beaver and Hillary is ….the trout?


70. JJB - 25 March 2008

Love this headline over at TPM:

Petraeus: I’ve Decided Not to Make a Decision on Troop Withdrawal

Was that before or after he forgot what he’d forgetten to forget?

Also note that the Mehdi Army controlled (more or less) by Muqtada al-Sadr is involved not only in the fighting in Basra, but has enforced what appears to be a general strike in West Baghdad (from Juan Cole):

Al-Hayat reports in Arabic that the Sadr Movement announced a “civil disobedience” campaign on Monday in every region of Iraq. The Sadr Movement follows Shiite cleric Sayyid Muqtada al-Sadr. The movement is complaining that the government continues to target is supporters.

McClatchy reports of Baghdad:

“On Monday, the Sadrists all but shut down the neighborhoods they control on the west bank of Baghdad. Gunmen went to stores and ordered them to close as militiamen stood in the streets. Mosques used their loudspeakers to urge people to come forward and join the protest.

Fliers were distributed with the Sadrists’ three demands of the Iraqi government: to release detainees, stop targeting Sadrist members and apologize to the families and the tribal sheiks of the men.”

The move to exert some kind of central government control over Basra appears to be part of a concerted effort to once again rein in al-Sadr’s militias, who are the most powerful of the various groups in control of the southern port city. Whether or not anyone considered that he might strike elsewhere in retaliation is not clear. Anyway, Iraq’s nominal prime minister is actually in Basra, and said to be directing the effort. Also, it appears we wanted the Brits to send in troops to do it, and Gordon Brown said “NO!”, although he is backing up al-Malicki’s effort with air power.

71. mattes - 25 March 2008


Saudi king rejects Cheney’s belligerency

US Vice President Dick Cheney in Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah in a meeting with visiting US Vice President Dick Cheney has rejected any US military strike against Iran.

King Abdullah Expressed his opposition to any US military strike against Iran, Saudi official sources said.

Cheney who arrived in Saudi Arabia on Friday discussed Iran’s nuclear program and its increasing influence in the Middle East with senior Saudi officials, DPA reported.

Saudi Arabia, along with other Persian Gulf Arab countries, sees negotiations as the best way to resolve the standoff between the US and Iran.

The king also told Cheney that the Middle East should be free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, the sources added.

The Saudis say any nuclear non-proliferation efforts should include Israel, which is widely believed to be the only nuclear power in the Middle East with around 200 nuclear warheads.

The US vice president’s efforts to drum up support for Washington’s war mongering policies against Iran comes as a recent NIE report declared that Tehran is not pursuing any nuclear weapons program.

The Islamic Republic says, as a signatory to the non-proliferation treaty (NPT), the country is entitled to use the nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.

72. marisacat - 25 March 2008

wispy little thread fluffer. All in a dither.

I really recommend renting Coppola’s The Conversation, one of the best political (and suspense) movies of all time.

Take a deep breath and face that it is all sides. Both sides. Everyone.

73. wilfred - 25 March 2008

Love “The Conversation”, one of my all-time favorites.

Btw, 4 rockets hit the Green Zone today. Fubarama.

74. liberalcatnip - 25 March 2008

wispy little thread fluffer. All in a dither.

Somebody has a little anger management problem.

Take a deep breath and face that it is all sides. Both sides. Everyone.


61. Hilllary accused of plagiarism now?

What’s that about, sabrina?

75. liberalcatnip - 25 March 2008

Afghan aid money spent on high salaries

Not exactly a newsflash…

KABUL, Afghanistan – Too much money meant for Afghanistan aid is wasted, with a vast amount spent on foreign workers’ high salaries, security and living arrangements, according to a report from humanitarian groups published Tuesday.

The prospects for peace in Afghanistan are being undermined because Western countries are failing to deliver on aid promises — and because much of the aid money they do send is going to expatriate workers, according to the Agency Coordinating Body for Afghan Relief, an alliance of 94 international aid agencies.

Since 2001, the international community has pledged $25 billion in help but has delivered only $15 billion, the alliance said. Of that $15 billion, some 40 percent of it — or $6 billion — goes back to donor countries in corporate profits and consultant salaries, the report found.

“A vast amount of aid is absorbed by high salaries, living, security, transport and accommodation costs for expatriates working for consulting firms or contractors,” the report said. The costs are increasing with a recent deterioration in security, it said.

The cost of a full-time expatriate consultant working in Afghanistan is around $250,000, according to the group.

This is some 200 times the average annual salary of an Afghan civil servant, who is paid less than $1,000″ per year, the report said.

Amy Frumin, an international affairs fellow with the Council on Foreign Relations who spent a year in Afghanistan as an officer on a U.S. Agency for International Development reconstruction team, said blaming high expat salaries is unfair.

“You have to pay them good money to do that. They’re still having trouble finding people to fill these positions. It’s a dangerous place. Not many people are willing to risk their limbs,” she said.

What about the Afghans who risk their limbs every bloody day?

The report said that Afghanistan’s biggest donor, USAID, the U.S. government’s aid arm, allocates close to half of its funds to five large U.S. contractors and that “it is clear that substantial amounts of aid continue to be absorbed in corporate profits.”

The five companies are KBR, the Louis Berger Group, Chemonics International, Bearing Point and Dyncorp International, the report said.

Donors, especially the United States, should ensure the primary objective of aid programs is poverty reduction and that they address genuine Afghan needs and build Afghan capacity, it said.

The report also said the United States has not delivered $5 billion worth of aid it pledged to help rebuild Afghanistan, and other donors have fallen short by about that same amount.

80% of US money spent in Afghanistan goes to the military. Reconstruction is just a myth.

76. liberalcatnip - 25 March 2008

Oops…screwed up the html. Sorry.

Btw, I just heard Hillary answer a question about possible VPs and she mentioned Ed Rendell. Don’t take my word for it though. I was only half paying attention.

77. JJB - 25 March 2008

Heavy fighting is spreading throughout Iraq:

Heavy fighting broke out Tuesday in Basra and Baghdad, after Iraqi ground forces and helicopters mounted a major operation in Basra against Shiite militias, including the Mahdi Army, whose months-long cease-fire is credited with reducing the level of violence during the troop surge. There were also serious clashes in the southern cities of Kut and Hilla.

In Basra, Iraq’s most important oil-exporting center, thousands of Iraqi government soldiers and police moved into the city around 5 a.m. and engaged in pitched battles with Shiite militia members that have taken over big swathes of that city.

What appeared to be American or British jets also soared through the skies, witnesses said, providing air support. The operation, which senior Iraqi officials had been signaling for weeks, is considered so important by the Iraqi government that Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, who went to Basra on Monday, intended to personally direct the fighting, several Iraqi officials said.

“The prime minister is keen to be on the ground near the operation, dealing closely with the issue rather than dealing with it through reports,” said Sadiq al-Rikabi, the prime minister’s political adviser.


The scale and intensity of the clashes in Baghdad kept many residents home. Schools and shops were closed in many neighborhoods and hundreds of checkpoints appeared, government-controlled in some neighborhoods and militia-run in others. Barrages of mortars and rockets pounded the fortified Green Zone area for the second time in three days.

Sadr City, the Baghdad neighborhood that is the center of the Mahdi Army’s power, was sealed off by a double-cordon of troops, some Iraqi, and others said to be American. A photographer who was able to get through the cordon found more layers of checkpoints, each one manned by about two dozen heavily armed Mahdi Army fighters clad in tracksuits and T-shirts. Tires burned in the city center, gunfire echoed against the shuttered stores and teams of fighters in pick-up trucks moved about brandishing machine guns, sniper rifles and rocket propelled grenades.

Tuesday’s violence raised fears across Iraq that the cease-fire declared by Mr. Sadr was in danger of collapsing, erasing the security gains of the past six months. Officials from Mr. Sadr’s party said that while the cease-fire was still in effect, the crackdown on Shiite militias had made it more and more difficult to keep Mahdi commanders from fighting. Some of those commanders appealed to an edict by Mr. Sadr saying that if they were attacked, their militias had the right of self-defense.

At a checkpoint in downtown Baghdad, a policeman’s radio crackled the news of the sniper shooting of police officer in a nearby neighborhood. “We’ve heard that Sadr has canceled the cease-fire, is this true?” he asked motorists whose car he was searching.


Saeed Ammar, a government employee, said that he was standing near policemen in the Huriya neighborhood this morning when he was approached by Mahdi Army members. “They told me not to stand near checkpoints. They said, ‘We are waiting for the word from Moktada al-Sadr to attack the checkpoints — it may come at any moment.’”

If this keeps up, the much vaunted “surge” will be seen for the charade it’s always been.

78. liberalcatnip - 25 March 2008

Exploding kossack heads over what Hillary said she would do if she had a pastor like Wright.

“He would not have been my pastor,” Clinton said. “You don’t choose your family, but you choose what church you want to attend.”

Apparently, that response was just beyond the pale and the crowd is going nuts in the comments saying she opened the door to be asked why she stayed with Bill (as if that’s anybody’s business – who cares??).

There sure are some judgmental Dems who are relishing the chance to bring up Lewinsky every chance they get. How many years has it been now and they’re still angry? What’s wrong with that picture? Sheesh. Get over it already. She has.

79. liberalcatnip - 25 March 2008

This comment in that thread got 21 recs:

Ugh, what a pig. (21+ / 0-)

Recommended by:
dansac, Cool Blue Reason, AlyoshaKaramazov, bustacap, serrano, watch out for snakes, Timothy J, Statusquomustgo, Reagan Smash, mnguy66, dagnabbit, allie123, Mile High Progressive, Bule Betawi, Shhs, jenontheshore, marley619, Lava20, Muzikal203, Tricky, Dougie

I don’t like lattes. I like Obama.

by jamesparenti on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 09:56:52 AM PDT

There are some seriously disturbed people over there.

80. liberalcatnip - 25 March 2008

And this one:

What a filthy human being n/t (8+ / 0-)

Recommended by:
cookiesandmilk, DraftChickenHawks, golconda2, haruki, jenontheshore, The Mort Man, Lava20, Dougie

by DemocraticCitizenSoul on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 09:59:45 AM PDT

Orange Freeperland.

81. Hair Club for Men - 25 March 2008

“He would not have been my pastor,” Clinton said. “You don’t choose your family, but you choose what church you want to attend.”

Ishmael Reed in Counterpunch


If two CNN reporters on the show Ballot Bowl surmised on Sat. that Obama’s association with Rev. Wright hurt him, why doesn’t Hillary Clinton’s association with Billy Graham, her spiritual advisor, hurt her? In a Time interview, Hillary Clinton reported that the evangelist “fulfilled a pastoral role during the Monica Lewinsky scandal and helped the First Lady endure the ordeal.”At that time, Clinton said,”Graham was ‘incredibly supportive to me personally. And he was very strong in saying, ‘I really understand what you’re doing and I support you. ‘ He was just very personally there for me.'” Billy Graham in a conversation with Richard Nixon described the Jews as “satanic” and offered that they owned the media and peddled pornography.

82. liberalcatnip - 25 March 2008

Billy Graham in a conversation with Richard Nixon described the Jews as “satanic” and offered that they owned the media and peddled pornography.

Did Hillary know about that at the time? Didn’t those tapes surface this century? And, afaik, Hillary hasn’t attended Graham’s church for 20 years, has she?

83. Miss Devore - 25 March 2008

81. Billy Graham was a white protestant. {always hated every US president having to kowtow to him}

84. liberalcatnip - 25 March 2008

On top of that, what’s wrong with her response? She just said what she’d do if she found herself in that situation. She didn’t say anything about Obama’s decision to stay with the church.

Every little statement is seen as an attack on Obama, the poor victim. Is that who you want in a president? A perpetual victim? He even said he disagrees with some of Wright’s statements but his supporters are jumping all over each other to support those statements Obama has disavowed. Maybe they should be attacking Obama for condemning the words of his pastor if they feel that strongly about the idea that Wright has been misinterpreted.

The hypocrisy is stunning and his online attack dogs are just making themselves look like fools.

85. Hair Club for Men - 25 March 2008

Did Hillary know about that at the time? Didn’t those tapes surface this century? And, afaik, Hillary hasn’t attended Graham’s church for 20 years, has she?

Part of the reason I don’t know the answer to this question is that the media hasn’t asked it.

If Hillary and Graham were black, I bet I would.

But hmm, when did those tapes with Nixon come out.

Looks like 2002.

BUT I’ve seen photos of Hillary with Graham that look very recent.

And John Kerry certainly knew about the Pope’s shielding Cardinal Law in 2004. There’s a double standard.

86. liberalcatnip - 25 March 2008

What’s the double standard? She said if she heard her pastor at her church make those comments, she’d leave the church.

87. Hair Club for Men - 25 March 2008

What’s the double standard? She said if she heard her pastor at her church make those comments, she’d leave the church.

There’s a double standard about the standards the media holds a particular church and it’s about politics.

The conservative evangelicals or Catholics get off easily.

The more liberal churches are held to a higher standard.

I also think Hillary’s participatig in the religious test being applied to Obama. Her response should have been “I don’t believe in religious tests for office, period.”

88. Hair Club for Men - 25 March 2008

Kerry in 2004 was never asked about Cardinal Law at the Vatican.

The only thing he was slammed for was his DISAGREEMENTS with the Catholic church. The media became the Pope’s enforcer.

89. liberalcatnip - 25 March 2008

87. There’s no doubt that the fundie connections aren’t big news anymore. I think that’s just because everybody and their dog has already heard about the crap that they spew.

How is Hillary “participating in the religious test”? She simply answered a question about Obama’s pastor problem. No “religious test” there – not from where I sit, anyway. Afaic, if America did an honest job of really separating church from state, these situations wouldn’t happen. But, as long as there’s a blend of the two that the majority decides it can live with, issues like this will keep coming up. In terms of sexism, racism, religiosity and other issues, America still has a very long way to go. The cultural/political climate fuels these stories.

90. JJB - 25 March 2008

You know, clergycritters say stupid things all the time. The Brits like to joke that their gentry always sent the family idiot into the vicarage. A great many Jewish comedians have reaped gales of laughter lampooning the idiocies spoken by rabbis. Catholics tend to keep their anti-clerical jokes in-house, but are only too happy to regale each other about the soporific nature of many priests’ sermons, their fondness for alcohol, and shamelessness with regards to demanding more money in the collection plate. I really don’t care what any of these Persons of God say, and think it’s particularly obscene that this “issue” is dominating the news at a time when the situation in Iraq and possibly Iran seems to be reaching the point of critical mass.

91. liberalcatnip - 25 March 2008

The media became the Pope’s enforcer.

It’s been that way for as long as I can remember.

92. marisacat - 25 March 2008

Ismael Reed has said interesting things about Barack as well. Which have been posted here. And are at Counterpunch.

As for WRight, issues of and arising from, the thing I find interesting is that I am supposed to get excited. In any direction.

Poor Marty Peretz, who supports Obama, is lost in his scrabble writings (and of course he has other posts on Wright! The Phenomenon!,, including one that points to a very settled upbringing in Philadelphia).

But here is a bit of a comment, to the first post linked, that sums up close to what I feel…

eudoxie said:

Mr. Peretz,

You aren’t a poor man. Buy a friggin’ plane ticket and take yourself TO Trinity UCC and see for yourself. This is what bothers me most; you writing these idiotic posts like this, when you can go see for yourself.

I still think it’s a crock of garbage; this insistence that BLACK FOLK are somehow RESPONSIBLE for what other GROWN BLACK FOLK SAY.

I don’t see this with any other group.

I don’t give a rat’s ass if Jeremiah Wright said ‘ God Damn America’ every single Sunday. Do we or do we NOT have a 1st Amendment.

Because, I can read; because I can research, I already know that he didn’t say it every Sunday.

Because I know about the Prophetic Tradition of Preaching in the Black Church, nothing he said, nor his tone are a shock to me.

You need to get over it. And, you need to see for yourself.

I find it utter lunacy.

The Trinity UCC Congregation are, with overwhelming numbers,

THE most connected Black folks to ‘ The System’ in America.

THESE are the folks that the Right Wing uses to beat over the head of the Black Underclass – pointing at them and saying, ‘ SEE! They’ve ‘ made it ‘ in America’. Why can’t you?’

So, the thought that 8,000 of The Talented Tenth, are somehow the recreation of Angela Davis and Huey P. Newton, just makes no damn sense to me and makes me think the media has lost its damn mind.

March 24, 2008 9:25 PM

93. liberalcatnip - 25 March 2008

it’s particularly obscene that this “issue” is dominating the news at a time when the situation in Iraq and possibly Iran seems to be reaching the point of critical mass.

Amen to that.

94. Hair Club for Men - 25 March 2008

There’s no doubt that the fundie connections aren’t big news anymore. I think that’s just because everybody and their dog has already heard about the crap that they spew.

Because the media accepts it. Remember, nobody in the media called Obama on his Christian faith when he used it to reject gay marriage. That was fine. It was only when it became about israel and about racism. Then Obama had to swear an oath of loyalty to Israel and the white race.

95. marisacat - 25 March 2008

The difference is that the Catholic Church has global adherents. In big numbers.

Graham is known, rather like J Edgar, to hold a succession of presidents in his grasp.

The Wrights are still knocking at the door. And make no mistake, they do want in.

I did laugh when I read the text of him (part of the Jan 13 sermon tha ttouched on Bill and Monica as well) selling oBama from the pulpit as a “Black Liberator”.

No difference other than Wright’s power is much more local than either the Pope’s, or a US bishop or Graham. . I realise the defenses of him claim a global ministry, but it is not there yet. His political power is essentially local.

96. marisacat - 25 March 2008

The Democrats pander to and make use of the elements of the Black church that is homophobic.

Works for them.

97. liberalcatnip - 25 March 2008

94. I’m not disagreeing with you about the way the MSM goes after these issues and, with respect to Obama’s pastor problem, my only point has been that it will no doubt be used against him in the GE (because that’s obviously to be expected). What Obama decides to do or say about that problem isn’t my concern. Afaic, he can attend any darn church he wants to. It’s still, supposedly, a free country.

As for the I/P situation, I see the ZOA (Zionists of America) are really pissed with him. I don’t know why since Obama’s certainly not throwing their concerns off the bus (like he is the Palestinians’). I think that’s a manufactured controversy.

98. marisacat - 25 March 2008

Oh Menwhile Wright says, Thanks for Asking!

Supposedly he has been spotted taking an Easter break at the Ritz Carlton in PR.


99. liberalcatnip - 25 March 2008

Wright’s going on a road trip after his vacation: Rev. Wright to Deliver Sermon at Florida Church

100. liberalcatnip - 25 March 2008


UPDATE: Wright’s three-day appearance was cancelled today, according to the St. Petersburg Times. The church’s Rev. Earl Mason said at a press conference that Wright’s scheduled appearance had become a media circus and was detracting from the 10th anniversary celebration for the congregation.

101. liberalcatnip - 25 March 2008

Iraq would fall apart if al Sadr wasn’t holding back. (Well, fall apart more, that is). That tells us who’s really in charge of things over there.

102. liberalcatnip - 25 March 2008

Once again, I learn something new (via CNN):

The Delegate Selection Rules state:

12 I: No delegate at any level of the delegate selection process shall be mandated by law or Party rule to vote contrary to that person’s presidential choice as expressed at the time the delegate is elected.

12 J. Delegates elected to the national convention pledged to a presidential candidate shall in all good conscience reflect the sentiments of those who elected them.

So, “pledged” delegates don’t really exist. Interesting.

103. Hair Club for Men - 25 March 2008

As for the I/P situation, I see the ZOA (Zionists of America) are really pissed with him. I don’t know why since Obama’s certainly not throwing their concerns off the bus (like he is the Palestinians’). I think that’s a manufactured controversy.

ZOA is a group that’s to the right of AIPAC. They’re a grotesquely fascist organization that no presidential candidate would ever be asked to denounce.

Afaic, he can attend any darn church he wants to. It’s still, supposedly, a free country.

Let me suggest something. The United Church of Christ and the Presbyterian church (both liberal) have resolutions against the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.

Had it not been for Jeremiah Wright, the fact that the United Church of Christ decision to divest its holdings from Israel would have been used anyway. It might not have had the same resonance but it would have been used.

The sad truth is that there’s a state religion in the USA, conservative evangelical Protestantism. Right wing Catholics and Jews are also OK but liberal protestants are largely considered no better than atheists.

Note. Dean was also slammed for it in 2004.

104. Arcturus - 25 March 2008

Basra looks to be an effort to further implicate/highlight Iran in Iraq – we’re ‘only’ going after Shia militia ‘elements’ w/ an Iranian conection – ahem . . .

Sami Ramadani:

An urgent message this morning from an Iraqi trade union activist in Basra referred to resistance to the government forces in several Basra neighbourhoods and “savage” attacks against the resistors. The message stressed that “security plan began in the same barbaric manner that the criminal Saddam had used”. This is a reference to the March 1991 uprising that began in Basra and which was brutally crushed by Saddam’s forces.

The demonstrators, in several areas of Baghdad as well many southern cities, held placards and chanted slogans against the military campaign in Basra, Iraq’s second biggest city. Their most prominent slogan is “Kella, kella lil ditatoriya al-jedida”: No, no, to the new dictatorship. Other slogans include: “No to the US”, “No to the occupation”, “Yes to Iraq”. Sadr movement spokesmen made many announcements today pointing to a massive campaign of arrests against Sadr supporters across Iraq.

. . . the attack does not come as a surprise to people in Basra, where tension has been rising for the past two weeks amidst rumours that Iraq’s main port of Um Qasr was about to be taken over by the Iraqi forces who would wrest control over the port, Iraq’s only outlet to the sea, from the port workers’ union, which is part of a coordinating committee of the province’s unions, led by the Iraqi federation of oil unions (Ifou).

more there on coincidental timing of Cheney’s past visits to various mosque bombings. irrc, J Cole (or D Jamal ?) were writing about efforts to break the oil workers’ unions back in 2003-4.

. . . Reports are now pouring in that clashes have spread to the southern cities of Kut, Nassiriya and Diwaniya. All entrances to Sadr City in Baghdad were closed by occupation and Iraqi forces in the past few hours.

105. liberalcatnip - 25 March 2008

ZOA is a group that’s to the right of AIPAC.

I figured that out when I saw their site. They’re apparently a big organization though – yet another one on the attack. Based on what? I’m not sure. Obama doesn’t believe in the right of return for Palestinians and seems quite fine with the occupation as it is (in general), along with Israel’s so-called “right to defend herself”. I don’t see how his presidency would change what’s going on there any more than McCain’s or Hillary’s.

Wexler is his spokesperson on the issue: Obama is a strong friend of Israel

Obama supports Israel. Period.

106. marisacat - 25 March 2008

On the delegate thing, exactly… A point I have made.

IF this reaches the convention, Super Dels and so called pledged dels will vote on the 1st 2nd 3rd etc ballot.

There are no rules at all for Super Dels. None. Nor limits or caveats on persuasions that can be used.

So called “pledged” delegates are ultimately free to move as well. Tho I would think they would move as blocs, more likely.

107. liberalcatnip - 25 March 2008

Obama’s in moderation with Israel.

108. liberalcatnip - 25 March 2008

105. Well, this is all very tenuous then and the pledged delegate numbers being pushed by the MSM and the BBBs are just a smokescreen – a feeling. Democracy sucks, I guess. 😉

109. wu ming - 25 March 2008

attacking candidates who are willing to accept 75-80% of our agenda in order to whip them even closer to your position is pretty commonplace, especially with the effective israel lobby. both dean and obama are pretty middle of the road labor-likud friendly dems, but by zeroing in on any slight deviation from the hard right israeli agenda, they send a message to everyone else out there.

if hillary was to the left of obama on this issue, even if just a step, they’d be flaying her publicly, like they did back in the 90s when she treated the palestinians with a modicum of respect as first lady, before the NY senate seat’s political calculus pulled her way to the right.

it’s the difference between relative and absolute positions.

110. wu ming - 25 March 2008

as or iraq, if the madhi army gets fully into the mix, and makes common cause with sunni insurgents as juan cole has suggested could happen, things in iraq could end up changing pretty quickly.

or it could just be sadrists positioning for the 2009 elections by locking down shiia cities. if they get ahold of basra, there are some pretty huge assets that go along with it.

111. liberalcatnip - 25 March 2008

if they get ahold of basra, there are some pretty huge assets that go along with it.

No one could have foreseen the breach of the levees…

112. marisacat - 25 March 2008

LOL She won’t be air kissing Suha Arafat in public… not anytime soon.

And I am pretty sure that Obama did what worked in his church and his district. And if he could get back the photo of him sitting with Mr and Mrs Edward Said, he would.

113. marisacat - 25 March 2008

nu thred



114. sabrina - 25 March 2008

#82 – Catnip ‘did Hillary know’ about Billy Graham’s comments about Jews to Nixon …. well I knew, but of course that doesn’t mean Hillary did … she didn’t know about Saddam not being a threat to the US, eg, when simple, ordinary people around the world knew.

What is wrong with Hillary’s response to the question about Wright is that she is feeding into the notion that religion has any role in a presidential election …. of course she already believes it should, as her involvement with the rabid, religious righties demonstrate ….

Her response, as a Senator, or even just a citizen, should have been along the lines of ‘I fail to see the relevance of this question. I have no knowledge, nor do I wish to have, of the religious beliefs and practices of other Americans, including those running for office.’

Either you support the Consitution regarding protecting the rights of all Americans to practice their religion without state interference, and to prevent any religion from ever becoming the religion of the state, or you don’t. Prying into what sermons someone heard over a 22 year period in their church, how they were affected by them etc., why they chose their church, questioning their right as a parent to bring their children to a particular church, all of this is so offensive that it is difficult to put in words and elected officials like Hillary should refuse to answer such questions, and use the opportunity to remind people of the danger of mixing religion with politics.

Instead, she caters to the media frenzy, and imo, because either she does not believe in the separation of Church and State, or she does but is willing to ignore it for political reasons …

115. marisacat - 25 March 2008

Most politicians are very amenable to religion becoming an ever more potent force in public life, politics.

Because USA USA REligion, black white and other colors too is mostly all about control. Power and money. Very little good works for the amount of foolishness. Just enough good works so everybody feels good.

In fact it is easy to read that very thing (him running is good for religion in the public square) said about Obama (Ej Dionne, a Catholic, but also Dawkins who as a proponent of Black Liberation is being widely quoted but often only identified as a member of TUCC, not as a major pusher of BL) and for it to be noted as highly desirable.

What a fucked game of shit sandwich they ALL are serving us.

WIth crosses branded onto the toasted bread.

Oh yes baptised Catholic here and fully in love with the ritual. But not the power games and lecturing finger and so on.

116. sabrina - 25 March 2008

Yes, I know they all appear to be on board for religion in politics. One of my main objections to Obama early on, was his catering to the notion that ‘faith’ was desirable in politicians and that liberals rejected it, basically slamming the base of the Dem Party whenever the subject came up. Maybe now he can see why it is always a bad idea to mix the two and that many of the liberals he tried to distance himself from, were not against religion, some even quite religious themselves, but were aware of how it would be used, as it is now, against him.

If anything there is a real irony in the fact that he, of all the Dem candidates, who pushed to have ‘a conversation’ among liberals about ‘faith’, should be in the position he is now in.

He was warned, but I suppose he thought he could do what has never been done before successfully, introduce religion into politics without consequences. I objected mostly to the notion he played into, that when liberals who are privately religious, choose not to broadcast their beliefs, they must therefore object to religion entirely.

It was a constant irritation to hear him react defensively to attacks from the right on ‘godless liberals’, as even if all of them are ‘godless’ that is their right, as it is HIS right to choose what church he goes to with his family. I never understood why he did not see the trap that waiting for him by his publicly supporting introducing religion into the political arena ….

117. marisacat - 25 March 2008

He was not concerned about any possible trap and very apparently did not even plan for the contingency. LOL No Plan B. Not too smart.

I think the reason he was comfortable being so oblivious is that furthering religion in politics is something he was handed as a JOB.

From Wright to state senator Rev James Meeks of Chicago (another Obama booster, mad an ad for him in 2004) to Billy Graham and in between, these religions are politicised. (And, imo, far less radical than many suppose.)

And as such, fodder for discussion. Wright pushed Obama the candidate from the pulpit. Game over. Graham and his ilk enjoy a place of privilege for being the acknowledged State Religion. All but.

It would be so nice to put the genie back in the bottle. But the genie is wearing a military uniform and armed.

118. sabrina - 25 March 2008

Interesting that the press didn’t ask Hillary about Wright’s visit to the Clinton WH ….

You may be right as far as ‘state religion’ – it certainly seems that way.

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