Monday, May 28, 2007

HRC Trying To Trump Obama/A Must-Read Article

On Memorial Day, the Clinton campaign is working undermine Barack Obama. The Illinois senator had long ago scheduled a speech tomorrow In Iowa, in which he would unveil his health care proposal. In other words, Tuesday is a big day for Obama. So what did the Clintonistas do? On the afternoon of Memorial Day, they sent out an email to reporters: Senator Clinton To Deliver Major Policy Address in New Hampshire. And when would she do so: the next day.

READ THIS. There was no more appropriate article published this Memorial Day weekend than Andrew Bacevich's immensely sad piece in The Washington Post. Bacevich has long written in opposition to the Iraq war. Two weeks ago, his son, a GI, died there. A sampling:

To be fair, responsibility for the war's continuation now rests no less with the Democrats who control Congress than with the president and his party. After my son's death, my state's senators, Edward M. Kennedy and John F. Kerry, telephoned to express their condolences. Stephen F. Lynch, our congressman, attended my son's wake. Kerry was present for the funeral Mass. My family and I greatly appreciated such gestures. But when I suggested to each of them the necessity of ending the war, I got the brush-off. More accurately, after ever so briefly pretending to listen, each treated me to a convoluted explanation that said in essence: Don't blame me.

To whom do Kennedy, Kerry and Lynch listen? We know the answer: to the same people who have the ear of George W. Bush and Karl Rove -- namely, wealthy individuals and institutions.

Money buys access and influence. Money greases the process that will yield us a new president in 2008. When it comes to Iraq, money ensures that the concerns of big business, big oil, bellicose evangelicals and Middle East allies gain a hearing. By comparison, the lives of U.S. soldiers figure as an afterthought.

Memorial Day orators will say that a G.I.'s life is priceless. Don't believe it. I know what value the U.S. government assigns to a soldier's life: I've been handed the check. It's roughly what the Yankees will pay Roger Clemens per inning once he starts pitching next month.

Money maintains the Republican/Democratic duopoly of trivialized politics. It confines the debate over U.S. policy to well-hewn channels. It preserves intact the clich├ęs of 1933-45 about isolationism, appeasement and the nation's call to "global leadership." It inhibits any serious accounting of exactly how much our misadventure in Iraq is costing. It ignores completely the question of who actually pays. It negates democracy, rendering free speech little more than a means of recording dissent.

Powerful stuff. Read the entire piece.

Posted by David Corn at May 28, 2007 09:46 PM


capt said...

Mr. David Corn,

An immensely sad piece indeed.


micki said...

Earlier today I read Andrew Bacevich's sad piece. But, I thought, too bad the son followed in his fathers's footsteps. The necessary lesson of the futility and the folly of war didn't get passed on to the next generation.

As far as HRC upstaging Obama. Get real! Whether we like it or not, this is the way the game is played these days. (It's a rotten stinking game, and if you compete...stop your whining!)

Maybe next time, Obama's people will upstage Hillary. For gawdsakes don't make a mountain out of a molehill.

capt said...

Good Riddance Attention Whore

By Cindy Sheehan

I have endured a lot of smear and hatred since Casey was killed and especially since I became the so-called "Face" of the American anti-war movement. Especially since I renounced any tie I have remaining with the Democratic Party, I have been further trashed on such "liberal blogs" as the Democratic Underground. Being called an "attention whore" and being told "good riddance" are some of the more milder rebukes.

I have come to some heartbreaking conclusions this Memorial Day Morning. These are not spur of the moment reflections, but things I have been meditating on for about a year now. The conclusions that I have slowly and very reluctantly come to are very heartbreaking to me.

The first conclusion is that I was the darling of the so-called left as long as I limited my protests to George Bush and the Republican Party. Of course, I was slandered and libeled by the right as a "tool" of the Democratic Party. This label was to marginalize me and my message. How could a woman have an original thought, or be working outside of our "two-party" system?

However, when I started to hold the Democratic Party to the same standards that I held the Republican Party, support for my cause started to erode and the "left" started labeling me with the same slurs that the right used. I guess no one paid attention to me when I said that the issue of peace and people dying for no reason is not a matter of "right or left", but "right and wrong."

I am deemed a radical because I believe that partisan politics should be left to the wayside when hundreds of thousands of people are dying for a war based on lies that is supported by Democrats and Republican alike. It amazes me that people who are sharp on the issues and can zero in like a laser beam on lies, misrepresentations, and political expediency when it comes to one party refuse to recognize it in their own party. Blind party loyalty is dangerous whatever side it occurs on. People of the world look on us Americans as jokes because we allow our political leaders so much murderous latitude and if we don’t find alternatives to this corrupt "two" party system our Representative Republic will die and be replaced with what we are rapidly descending into with nary a check or balance: a fascist corporate wasteland. I am demonized because I don’t see party affiliation or nationality when I look at a person, I see that person’s heart. If someone looks, dresses, acts, talks and votes like a Republican, then why do they deserve support just because he/she calls him/herself a Democrat?

I have also reached the conclusion that if I am doing what I am doing because I am an "attention whore" then I really need to be committed. I have invested everything I have into trying to bring peace with justice to a country that wants neither. If an individual wants both, then normally he/she is not willing to do more than walk in a protest march or sit behind his/her computer criticizing others. I have spent every available cent I got from the money a "grateful" country gave me when they killed my son and every penny that I have received in speaking or book fees since then. I have sacrificed a 29 year marriage and have traveled for extended periods of time away from Casey’s brother and sisters and my health has suffered and my hospital bills from last summer (when I almost died) are in collection because I have used all my energy trying to stop this country from slaughtering innocent human beings. I have been called every despicable name that small minds can think of and have had my life threatened many times.

The most devastating conclusion that I reached this morning, however, was that Casey did indeed die for nothing. His precious lifeblood drained out in a country far away from his family who loves him, killed by his own country which is beholden to and run by a war machine that even controls what we think. I have tried every since he died to make his sacrifice meaningful. Casey died for a country which cares more about who will be the next American Idol than how many people will be killed in the next few months while Democrats and Republicans play politics with human lives. It is so painful to me to know that I bought into this system for so many years and Casey paid the price for that allegiance. I failed my boy and that hurts the most.

I have also tried to work within a peace movement that often puts personal egos above peace and human life. This group won’t work with that group; he won’t attend an event if she is going to be there; and why does Cindy Sheehan get all the attention anyway? It is hard to work for peace when the very movement that is named after it has so many divisions.

Our brave young men and women in Iraq have been abandoned there indefinitely by their cowardly leaders who move them around like pawns on a chessboard of destruction and the people of Iraq have been doomed to death and fates worse than death by people worried more about elections than people. However, in five, ten, or fifteen years, our troops will come limping home in another abject defeat and ten or twenty years from then, our children’s children will be seeing their loved ones die for no reason, because their grandparents also bought into this corrupt system. George Bush will never be impeached because if the Democrats dig too deeply, they may unearth a few skeletons in their own graves and the system will perpetuate itself in perpetuity.

I am going to take whatever I have left and go home. I am going to go home and be a mother to my surviving children and try to regain some of what I have lost. I will try to maintain and nurture some very positive relationships that I have found in the journey that I was forced into when Casey died and try to repair some of the ones that have fallen apart since I began this single-minded crusade to try and change a paradigm that is now, I am afraid, carved in immovable, unbendable and rigidly mendacious marble.

Camp Casey has served its purpose. It’s for sale. Anyone want to buy five beautiful acres in Crawford, Texas? I will consider any reasonable offer. I hear George Bush will be moving out soon, too…which makes the property even more valuable.

This is my resignation letter as the "face" of the American anti-war movement. This is not my "Checkers" moment, because I will never give up trying to help people in the world who are harmed by the empire of the good old US of A, but I am finished working in, or outside of this system. This system forcefully resists being helped and eats up the people who try to help it. I am getting out before it totally consumes me or anymore people that I love and the rest of my resources.

Good-bye America…you are not the country that I love and I finally realized no matter how much I sacrifice, I can’t make you be that country unless you want it.

It’s up to you now.


*****end of clip*****

I know how Cindy feels about partisan BS. Partisan perspective is a crock - either side.


Gerald said...

Cindy Sheehan's letter of resignation summarizes very well some of my personal feelings.

I have not endured the loss of a loved one through war as of this postiong but I still feel the pain from a country that has abandoned democracy, personal freedom, and human dignity and rights.

I see a damned country that has lost its soul for money.

I see a country that has gravitated toward bushianity as its religion. Bushianity is a religion of eight principles - hatred, murders, torture, war crimes, corruption, decadence, greed, and lies.

I see a country that will endure endless pain and suffering because it will not repent for its sins against humanity.

But, most of all I see the demise of the United States of America and I say good riddance to her pimps, prostitutes, and johns that make up the majority of Nazi America.

Ivory Bill Woodpecker said...

Interesting that Gerald chose eight. Buddhism has the "Eightfold Path of Salvation", while Bushianity has an Eightfold Path of Damnation.

Ivory Bill Woodpecker said...

If anyone needs a break from the grimness, go to and scroll down to "And I thought it was illegal": one funny picture of a sign and three terminally cute pictures of the blogmistress's 2-year-old niece.

capt said...

Cute kid - no doubt. I see such pictures and am forced to ask myself: "How badly have we failed the children" - all of them.

Here are a few cutesy pictures of the children whose country we saved:

The Iraqi Red Crescent Society has been trying to help Iraqi refugees newly displaced from the violent Diyala province northeast of Baghdad. This girl belongs to one of the 900 families living in a tent city in Baghdad.

More of the world's refugees now come from Iraq than from any other country in the world. It is a trend that promises to continue this year.

Europe and the United States have both made millions of dollars available to help Iraqi refugees. But most countries and Europe have been reluctant to accept Iraqi refugees themselves. And the US has accepted only a handful.


capt said...

Humans hard-wired to be generous

WASHINGTON, May 28 (UPI) -- A study by government scientists in Washington indicates humans are hard-wired to be unselfish.

Neuroscientists Jorge Moll and Jordan Grafman of the National Institutes of Health say experiments they conducted have led them to conclude unselfishness is not a matter of morality, The Washington Post reports.

Rather, the two say altruism is something that makes people feel good, lighting up a primitive part of the human brain that usually responds to food or sex.

Grafman and Moll have been scanning the brains of volunteers who were asked to think about a scenario involving either donating a sum of money to charity or keeping it for themselves.

They are among scientists across the United States using imaging and psychological experiments to study whether the brain has a built-in moral compass.

The results are showing many aspects of morality appear to be hard-wired in the brain, opening up a new window on what it means to be good.


*****end of clip*****

Humans are hardwired to be liberal. The only thing that perpetuates the hate that is called conservatism these days is child abuse. All adults that hate freely felt hated as kids. We can fix that.


capt said...

Democrats in Washington want to keep impeachment off the table

WASHINGTON - The push to impeach President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney is gaining a hearing in some parts of the country, but not in Washington.

More than 70 cities and 14 state Democratic parties have urged impeachment or investigations that could lead to impeachment. The most common charge is that Bush manipulated intelligence to lead the country into the Iraq war. Other charges include spying on Americans and torturing suspected terrorists in violation of U.S. and international law.

Most recently, the Massachusetts Democratic Party voted to push impeachment of both men. The 2,500 state convention delegates voted almost unanimously against Cheney; the vote against Bush was closer.

Massachusetts' Democratic Party thus joined 13 others on the investigate-or-impeach bandwagon, including: Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin.

Among the cities and towns, the largest and most recent is Detroit, where the city council voted 7-0 this month to urge Congress to impeach Bush and Cheney for "intentionally misleading Congress and the public regarding the threat from Iraq in order to justify the war."

"There's a lot growing in support," said Tim Carpenter, the director of the liberal group Progressive Democrats of America. "Whether Congress will respond, that's another question."

Indeed. The Democrats who run Congress have no interest in impeaching Bush or Cheney, despite pressure from their party's base outside the Beltway.

It's noteworthy that impeachment pressure is coming from the home states of the two Democratic leaders in Congress, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada.

Pelosi said last year that impeachment "is off the table." Under the Constitution, the House impeaches; the Senate then decides whether to convict and remove from office.

It's also interesting that one of the resolutions came from Detroit, home to Rep. John Conyers, who as the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee would lead any impeachment hearings.

The Detroit resolution was co-authored by Monica Conyers, the congressman's wife. But she hasn't had any noticeable clout at home: Conyers said last year that he wasn't interested in impeachment - just oversight investigations - and he hasn't changed his stand.

There are both policy and political reasons that Democratic leaders are risking the anger of their base.

One is that some don't see an impeachable offense in what Bush has done, what the Constitution calls "high crimes and misdemeanors." They might find such evidence in any of the many congressional investigations, but they haven't yet.

Another is that they fear a political backlash from voters similar to the one that punished Republicans after they impeached Bill Clinton. One factor on the side of the pro-impeachment crowd: Clinton was much more popular than Bush.

The third is that they're eager to keep Bush and Cheney around as punching bags for Democratic candidates in the 2008 campaign.

"The political lens they're looking through is the 2008 election," Carpenter said. "They want to see Bush and Cheney dangling so the election is a referendum on them. That is not the correct lens."

To him, the right lens is the last election, when voters threw the Republicans out of power in Congress. Those people, he said, now want Bush and Cheney out.

"There is a groundswell here," Carpenter said. "Pelosi says it's off the table. It's our role to put it on the table."


*****end of clip*****

Silly me, I thought DC was serious when he observed "Obama is a groundswell - impeachment is not". Maybe I lack the inside the beltway perspective.


O'Reilly said...

Andrew Bacevich lost his son in the BushCo military adventure to secure oil and colonize Iraq.

Like Cindy Sheehan, Bacevich has found the oppposition party to be lacking in the political will to make new policy.

Reason, the backbone of political discourse, is crippled. Policy ideas, heretofor tested in public debate are untested ideological dicta rolled out like the fall product line with sophisticated propaganda like the clever commercials that convince folks to buy buy buy.

Where to from here Andrew Bacevich? I am sorry for your loss.

David Corn, thanks for today's post. I had not seen the Bacevich article. As far as the machinations of HRC campaign and Obama campaign, I'm glad to be made aware of them, the nature of the thing, but campaigns are also about ideas. Where is the substance in campaign coverage?

It's interesting that the soap opera aspects of campaigns are covered extensivly but the substance of the policy debate is not.

How about fact-checking the candidates claims? While it is less sensational and lucrative for the press, it seems to be far more pertinent to the choice voters will make.

For example, Romney claims to have balanced the budget in Mass. without raising taxes. He cut local aid to cities and towns by $700 million as governor. Cities and towns had to raise the lost revenue to pay for services, which means first and foremost public schools. All local cities and towns raised their real estate taxes to do so. So how did Mitt Romney balance the budget? You see what I mean? I don't claim to be the smartest guy in the room but I know many of the folks campaiging for president are making claims that are not true and I rarely hear the press point them out.

Gerald said...

Cindy Sheehan has resigned but I want her to know that she is still one person of five women who would be "The Prfect Date" that I have mentioned from time to time.

It is easy to become very discouraged in this on-going struggle to keep our democracy.

This struggle reminds me of the person who continues to beat his head against a brickwall. When he was asked why he beats his head against a brickwall? He said because it feels so good when I stop.

Cindy has decided to stop beating her head against a brickwall and to start to feel good. Good luck, Cindy, and thank you for all your effort and work!!!

capt said...

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