Monday, September 17, 2007

A Whoops for Richardson

I was at an SEIU conference today, mainly to see how the leading Democratic candidates--Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and John Edwards--would do in front of the influential union group. All were scheduled to speak to the unionists. Obama gave a rousing address that brought audience members to their feet many times. It was one of the best stump performances of his I've seen. Then came New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson. He, too, was warmly welcomed and offered up many serious policy proposals in trying to convince the crowd that he ought to be regarded as a major player. As I listened, I wondered why he has not been taken more seriously as a candidate--a smart, accomplished governor of Latino heritage. Then I found out.

At the end of his speech--after noting all the ways he would defend the Constitution and redress global warming--he waved farewell to the crowd and shouted, "Thank you, AFSCME!"

AFSCME? Wrong union, governor. He left and the audience repeatedly shouted, "S-E-I-U!" A polite reminder.

Posted by David Corn at September 17, 2007 03:43 PM


capt said...

Mr. David Corn,

Bill has been a darn good governor here in NM but if I had known he might mess up the initials of some group to whom he is speaking - well that would do it for me too and it makes sense the MSM has ignored the Richardson candidacy (in anticipation of his lack of serious concern for initials and acronyms).

What kind of insanity would ever have the UAW confused with the UMW?

At least Bill doesn't have an expensive haircut or is short of stature. He does live in a mansion and uses electricity so maybe we can justify the MSM being so ignorant for other reasons too?

For sure . .


capt said...

ATM Fees Soon to Surpass Minimum Wage

Last week, the banking behemoth Bank of America quietly raised the fees it charges non-customers to use its ATMs, to $3 per transaction, a record high. The rest of the big banks are likely to follow suit, according to USA Today. The Bank of America fee is likely to come on top of fees charged by the non-customers' own bank ATM fees, too, meaning that getting fast cash will cost many Americans nearly as much as an hour of work at a minimum wage job.

Bank of America defended the increase with the dubious claim that it will improve ATM access for its own customers. But I suspect that it's not a coincidence that the fee increase comes at the same time the mortgage industry is melting down. Banks can make a lot of money by nickel and diming the public. I wonder how high the fees will have to go before people will simply stop using ATMs and go back to standing in line at the branch?


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

This is the world in which we live?

Billions of people live on less than $2 dollars a day.


Gerald said...

A Whoops for the United States of Evil

Gerald said...

The problem was a moral one, however. From the very start, everyone knew that the invasion would involve much more than the breaking of inanimate objects or simply capturing or killing Saddam Hussein. It would also involve the killing of Iraqi people — many, many Iraqi people. That’s why some U.S. soldiers were consulting with military chaplains prior to deployment. They wanted to know whether killing Iraqi citizens was consistent with God’s laws. In my opinion, they were right to be concerned, for God does not say “Thou shalt not kill unless the victims are Iraqis or unless the killing is done in the pursuit of democracy, stability, regime change, or other political goals.” He says, “Thou shalt not kill.”

After hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children had died as a result of the brutal economic sanctions that the United States enforced for many years against the Iraqi people, UN Ambassador Madeleine Albright reflected the mindset of U.S. officials and people such as Mike Huckabee when she told “Sixty Minutes” that the deaths of those Iraqi children had been “worth it.” She was saying, in other words, that it was worth sacrificing all those lives for the sake of the political goal known as regime change.

Albright’s mindset, with its callous attitude toward the value of Iraqi life, is obviously the mindset of U.S. officials today as well as the mindset of Mike Huckabee and all the rest of the people debating whether the “surge” has been successful and whether U.S. forces should remain in Iraq. Implicit in all the discussion is that killing more Iraqis might yet be considered “worth it,” if we’ll just stay the course. Is that not a rather cavalier attitude toward the value of Iraqi life?

In the minds of the pro-war crowd, there is actually no upper limit on the number of Iraqis who should be sacrificed for the achievement of these noble political goals. After all, the sanctions, the invasion, and occupation have together taken the lives of an estimated several hundred thousand Iraqis. That’s not a small number of dead people — people who cannot be fixed. Yet Mike Huckabee and many other conservatives want U.S. forces to remain in Iraq, which necessarily means even more Iraqi deaths that cannot be undone.

At the center of all this discussion and debate on whether the United States should remain in Iraq is one critical point: Americans had no right, moral or legal, to kill even one Iraqi. They still don’t.

Gerald said...

My guess is that the United States of Evil does not understand God's words, THOU SHALT NOT KILL!!!!!

Gerald said...

When we go before God in judgment, how will we answer God on the killing of his children? Will you say that His direct commandment to LOVE ONE ANOTHER AS I HAVE LOVED YOU does not apply in our killing of Iraqis and Iranians???

Posters, we would not want to hear God's words. His words may be something like LEAVE ME YOU EVIL, VILE, AND WICKED PERSON AND GO TO THE PLACE THAT IS PREPARED FOR YOU FOR ALL ETERNITY IN THE DEPTHS OF HELL.

Killing of God's children means that we will not be God's friend for all eternity.

The United States of Evil's Middle East policies damns the United States of Evil for all eternity.

Gerald said...

On a personal note, the United States of Evil IS DAMNED for all eternity. The problem is that Nazi Americans will not believe it until the LAST JUDGMENT.


"It's not that Christianity has been tried and failed. It's that it has never been tried." - G. K. Chesterton

Gerald said...

John Paul II said that the Iraq war was wrong and immoral. I remember one Catholic cleric say during his homily that Bush is an honorable man.

Is Bush an honorable man? By following Bush he is marching our souls into hell!!!

Gerald said...

The Cross of Iron

Gerald said...

In the words of Gandhi, "I will not be a traitor to God to please the whole world." To betray those who depend on our voice for their very life is a violation of the ties that bind us together as human beings.

Gerald said...

Come! See the wonders
God does across the earth:
everywhere stopping wars,
smashing, crushing, burning
all the weapons of war.

An end of your fighting!
Acknowledge me as God,
High over nations, high over earth.

Psalm 46

Gerald said...

As spiritual people, numbers should not be the measure of moral evil - the death of one innocent Iraqi should put us in sackcloth and mourning. But the fact that our tolerance for evil has grown to the point that we can sit (or kneel) calmly while one million of our brothers and sisters are slaughtered with our silent complicity shouts out spiritual shame, the pathetic state of our souls. Such a situation is a symptom of degeneration that would throw a truly spiritual people into agony.

In the meantime, I simply ask, "Where is the rage?!" - Iraq War Veteran Justin Cliburn.

Gerald said...


Gerald said...

It is time for some zzzzz!

capt said...

I thank God that at this hour I am dangerous to the war profiteers of this country who rob the people on the one hand, and rob and debase the government on the other; and then with their pockets and wallets stuffed with the filthy, bloodstained profits of war, wrap the sacred folds of the Stars and Stripes about them and about] their blatant hypocrisy to the world.

Kate Richards O'Hare's Address To the Court Proceedings on the Sentencing of Mrs. Kate Richards O'Hare by Hon Martin J. Wade, 1 P. M., Friday, Dec 14, 1917.

When people who are honestly mistaken learn the truth, they will either cease being mistaken, or cease being honest! : Anonymous

"I would rather have free a press and no government, than a government and no free press." --Thomas Jefferson

"The most consistent and ultimately damaging failure of political journalism in America (is that it) has its roots in the clubby/cocktail personal relationships that inevitably develop between politicians and journalists." From "Fear and Loathing On the Campaign Trail '72" by Hunter S. Thompson

"As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there's a twilight where everything remains seemingly unchanged, and it is in such twilight that we all must be aware of change in the air, however slight, lest we become victims of the darkness." Justice William O. Douglas


Thanks ICH Newsletter!

capt said...

General Accounting

Last December, the Army released a document entitled “Counterinsurgency,” an updated field manual designed to guide United States forces to victory in guerrilla wars. “Legitimacy Is the Main Objective” is one heading above its thematic advice. To defeat a resistance force in irregular war, the manual observes, it is essential to recognize “that political factors have primacy” and may account for as much as four-fifths of the struggle—an insight ascribed, a little showily, to a strategist on Mao Zedong’s central committee.

The general who oversaw the field manual’s rewriting, David H. Petraeus, was dispatched to Iraq upon its completion in order to apply its principles to one of the less credible wars in American history. Since then, Petraeus, perhaps the most scholarly American officer ever to wear four stars, has been preoccupied by a political imperative—justifying the “surge” of thirty thousand additional troops who accompanied him to Baghdad. The General, a fitness compulsive who excels at pushups, has given much time to hosting congressional delegations and providing journalists with interviews, which he often conducts amid the stirring atmospherics of his airborne command helicopter. This summer, Petraeus crafted a campaign to publicize signs of progress he claimed to see in Iraq, and it became clear that he regarded America’s restive democracy as a theatre in his counterinsurgency operations.

By the time he returned to Washington last week to deliver a flinty and unrevealing report on the war, the General’s achievements on the Iraqi front appeared, at best, to amount to a muddle, but his success at forestalling war skeptics in Congress looked more impressive. Petraeus has arguably made himself more important to the future of Iraq’s war than has the lame-duck President he serves—a situation that President Bush, understandably, seems pleased about. The General was tense and uncharismatic during his congressional testimony, yet he exuded integrity; after his second day at the witness table, the Times felt compelled to publish a graphic annotating his medals.

Petraeus is not Bush’s lackey; his views of the Iraq war overlap with the President’s, but they arise from very different antecedents. In 1987, Petraeus completed a three-hundred-and-thirty-seven-page doctoral dissertation at Princeton entitled “The American Military and the Lessons of Vietnam,” a lucid and subtle review of civil-military relations in the United States from the Korean War until the mid-nineteen-eighties. In his conclusion, Petraeus argued against the Army doctrine that had been reaffirmed in reaction to the Vietnam War—an “all or nothing” approach, as he labelled it, which held that the United States should enter wars only with overwhelming force and with clear, achievable objectives that would enjoy public support. This was later called the Powell Doctrine, for General Colin Powell, its practitioner until he endorsed the inadequately manned invasion of Iraq four and a half years ago.

Petraeus saw the doctrine as potentially unrealistic because small, nasty wars—where there would be no “clear-cut distinction between peace and war”—seemed to him the coming trend. He quoted approvingly former Defense Secretary James Schlesinger’s belief that the United States should not limit itself to fighting only “popular, winnable wars.” To prepare for such a future, Petraeus argued for rebuilding America’s counterinsurgency capabilities.

He observed that American public opinion often wavers during a protracted conflict, and he quoted General George C. Marshall’s admonition that “a democracy cannot fight a Seven Years War”; his tone betrayed a hint of professional irritation at weak-kneed tendencies among the people. Still, Petraeus could see that not all counterinsurgencies are easily won, no matter the public’s fortitude. He cited in particular the Soviet Union’s brutal struggles in Afghanistan:

After all, if a country with relatively few public opinion concerns or moral compunctions about its tactics cannot beat a bunch of ill-equipped Afghan tribesmen, what does that say about the ability of the United States —with its domestic constraints, statutory limitations, moral inhibitions, and zealous investigative reporters—to carry out a successful action against a guerrilla force?

Academic questions of that kind require field work to answer; two decades later, Petraeus has his controlled experiment, and his research is remarkably well funded. It is far from clear, however, whether he is asking all the right questions.

If General Petraeus privately believes President Bush’s facile rhetoric about the pursuit of “victory” in Iraq, it would be a departure from the thinking evident in his dissertation and counterinsurgency field manual. More likely, the General sees himself as scrapping toward a moderately intolerable mess in Iraq, as an alternative to utter cataclysm. He has compared his goals to the British campaign in Northern Ireland, which produced “a level of violence that actually the Northern Ireland citizens learned to live with.” Britain’s democracy, however, saw crucial interests in its historical ties to Northern Ireland. The American public has made plain that it sees no comparable interest in the interminable pursuit of a less bad Iraq.

Petraeus’s recent strategy of playing for time through the application of spin politics is straining the health and vitality of the Army to which he has devoted his life. It is also deepening mistrust between civilian politicians and the military. Surely, for example, the General is conscious of the partisan Republican campaign to promote him as “Bush’s Grant,” and is aware of the cause: the Party expects to lose the next Presidential election because of the war, but Petraeus offers hope, however faint, that a Republican nominee might find something in Iraq to embrace. Petraeus’s ambition is legendary; his pride and his professional devotion to counterinsurgency have now become entangled in an exploitive electoral machine.

Petraeus also apparently clings to the belief that Iraq’s sectarian leaders might reconcile if American forces stay the course. This opinion, shared by many in the Bush Administration, has encouraged yet another generation of unconvincing strategic plans that assume that a unified Iraq governed from Baghdad is attainable and that thousands of American troops might help patrol the capital’s streets for years. A more plausible strategy, devoted to managing as successfully as possible the informal sectarian partition of Iraq which is already well under way, has again been postponed, along with substantial troop reductions.

American majorities repudiated the Vietnam War and have repudiated the invasion of Iraq. They did not lack guts then or now; they saw past the false promises and manipulations of their leaders, and called time. George W. Bush and Osama bin Laden appear to share the belief that the United States is chronically afflicted with a cut-and-run syndrome, but they are both wrong: the most striking aspect of American democracy during the catastrophe in Iraq today is not the public’s inconstancy but, rather, its capacity to absorb thousands of casualties on behalf of a war that is widely understood as a mistake and has no foreseeable end.


Gerald said...

The Camden 28

Gerald said...

Finally came the trial. Howard Zinn brilliantly testified under oath about how the Pentagon and presidents lied about Vietnam, and waged the war in order to steal the natural resources of the region. Sitting front row was Elizabeth Good, the well-respected mother of one of the defendants. Her other son had recently been killed in Vietnam.

As Zinn finished his devastating testimony, she burst into sobs, a cry that testified to an absurdity that couldn't be escaped. A realization descended: her one son had died in vain; now the government had set its sites on the other who dared say no to the needless killing. The absurdity broke her heart and swayed everyone in the courtroom, including the judge and the jury.

Defendants made other unwelcome connections, for instance, between Vietnam and the war zone of Camden, one of the poorest, most disenfranchised cities in the nation. Fr. Doyle, pastor of a Camden parish, then and now, testified last saying that because people die in Vietnam, they die concomitantly in Camden and elsewhere. Fr. Doyle continues ministering to this day at his Camden parish. Poverty has worsened, he said, and wars rage on.

Gerald said...

Is the Blackwater group of hired contractors in Iraq nothing more than paid murderers?

Gerald said...

War with Iran seems certain

Gerald said...


I love Hitler Bush because he loves children. He said that he wanted to be our father. How can anyone not love their father?

Gerald said...

As Robert Borosage commented earlier: "faced with a choice of providing children with health care or protecting the profits of private insurance companies, the president chooses the latter."

Gerald said...

Bush Setting America Up for War with Iran

Gerald said...

David Walker who heads the General Accounting Office says the Medicare will bankrupt America. Why all the fuss now?

I guess the hefty tax breaks are okay but to help the aging popuation with help in health care is not okay.

The rich need to pay their share in taxes.

capt said...

New Thread

Gerald said...

Biblical Scriptures


You will be hated by all because of my name, but not a hair on your head will be destroyed. By your perseverance you will secure your lives. Luke 21:17-19


Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were put around his neck and he were thrown into the sea. Mark 9:42


Father, they are your gift to me. I wish that where I am they also may be with me, that they may see my glory that you gave me, because you loved me before the foundation of the world. John 17:24


Why do questions arise in your hearts? Look at my hands and my feet that it is I myself. Touch me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you can see I have. Luke 24:38-39


Learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart. Matthew 11:29


Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you? Neither do I condemn you. Go, and from now on do not sin any more. John 8:10-11


Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind regain their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have the good news proclaimed to them. And blessed is the one who takes no offense at me. Matthew 11:4-6

Jesus did not leave us orphans. He did not leave us in the dark, not knowing which way to go. Jesus is the Way, and through Him, we have access to God, the Father! May His words be ours as we grow in loving union and prayer with God, the Father!