Let me hop on my African-American soapbox and I'll try not to place a foot on my lesbian soapbox as well.
Jeremiah Wright is offensive and the only thing that is even more so is seeing White media make excuses that boil down to, "That's what those colored people do when they're alone!"
Never in my life, and I was raised in the church and still attend on holidays, have I heard a Black pastor/preacher/clergy ever damn the United States. It is not normal. It is not acceptable.
I am a citizen of the United States. My ancestors were slaves (and probably some slave owner blood in there as well, let's be honest) in this country. I believe firmly in reperations. I do not believe in damning my country. I don't feel that's it's tossed riches at my feet, no. But I don't feel it's tossed riches at most people's feet regardless of skin color.
I don't think it's ever lived up to its own American dream either. But I do believe it can.
There is a world of difference between racial critiques and damning the US. Some of Wright's racial critiques I can nod my head to. But when he damns the United States, I don't nod. When he does that I am appalled. And the idea that this is juz wha uz colored folk do when Whitey's not around is INSULTING!
Wright is an ego-maniac whose church built him up. That's why they're so offended. They applauded it, they thought it was cute when he cursed (including "s**t") in sermons. They were tickled. They thought it was funny when he was making sexual jokes and thrusting his hips on stage. And he thought he was cute and funny as well. Of course they defend him, they are part of the problem. They build him up, stroked his ego, got him so far from God and what is acceptable behavior from THE LEADER of the church that they are as responsible as Wright is.
My uncle is a pastor. Not only does this not fly with him, but it doesn't fly with any. He related a family story I've heard forever. It's folklore. About how 'good' Christians go bad. He and my aunt were married for about two years, she was pregnant (with my oldest cousin) and he got on at a church. They loved him. He was filling in as part of a rotation when their pastor died. They picked him to be their pastor. All the women were calling on him with personal problems. Suddenly there were just so many personal problems that the congregation informed him he'd have to quit his other job and just be the pastor full time. As soon as he did, these 'good' Christian women went from what was ignored (by him) flirting to making passes.
He didn't know what to do. Should he tell my aunt or not? He finally told her he was going to resign the next Sunday and, remember, she's pregnant and they have no other income. She wanted to know why and he told her. He told her that about seven women were asking for his 'help' and everytime he went over to their house or they stopped by the church they were coming on to him. She told him, "You're not quitting."
She showed up five minutes after his next church appointment was due to start and stood at the door listening to a forty-plus year-old woman going on about her breasts and how my uncle (the pastor) couldn't resist them if he saw them. My aunt stormed in there, walked right up to the shocked woman, grabbed the top of her dress and ripped it right off. She said, "If your breasts are so important, I think I need to see them too. Now do you have ANYTHING else to say to my husband?" That woman ran out of the office crying (and holding the top of her dress up) and the message quickly got out, don't be flirting with the pastor.
But that's what happens. You get a pastor and some fools start pushing for non-religious things and pretty soon you've got an ego-maniac standing up in front of the church forgetting all about religion.
(My aunt would never let that happen to my uncle. His favorite saying is, "When God forgets to humble me, I can always count on my wife." And he doesn't mean that as an insult.)
But you've got a lot of frustrated people in a congregation and they can push and prod and if you're weak, you can go along with it and leave the area that you're supposed to be in. That's what happened to Wright. I'm not saying he slept around or any woman came on to him. I am saying that he was not treated as a pastor but was instead encouraged to leave that role by 'fans' who seemed to forget what Sunday sermons are about.
So get it through your heads White media, this is not how all Black churches behave. And what Wright has been saying is inexcuseable. You do not damn the country. You do not refer to Italians as "garlic noses." You do not preach hate. He's getting a pass because Bambi gave that speech trying to push Wright's inexcusable words off as "race related."
It's not race related, it's hate. It doesn't belong in the house of the Lord and if Wright were Pat Robertson, you better believe White media would be calling him out. But because he is African-American, they instead insult the entire A-A community by pushing the notion that this is juz what us colored folk do.
It is not what we all do. As offensive as Wright's remarks were it may be more offensive that White media insults all African-Americans (who I'd argue are a lot more patriotic in terms of percentage) than many White Americans. I think you certainly see a lack of patriotism at The Nation and all the other White 'left' media that has ignored the offensive remarks by Wright.
Barack Obama should have left the church and he was a coward not to. So much for his fabled judgement. But what does it say about the likes of Amy Goodman, Katrina vanden Heuvel, et al that they can't call out what he said? Or even honestly address it in their usual stumbling manner?
It's insulting and don't scapegoat Black people as damners of the United States just because Barack Obama's ego-maniac preacher was out of control. Again, his church should have humbled him. They should have. They didn't and that's why they're rushing to defend him.
Now let me step on my lesbian soapbox. Tammy Baldwin got into Congress as she was. This wasn't Barney Frank forced out of the closet due to a sex scandal. She is who she is. That is a HUGE step and I am proud for her and for the LGBT community. She told it like it was and her bravery proves that there's nothing to hide. That's my intro to her latest bit of telling of it like it is, "Celebrating Women: A Note from Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin:"
As the first woman from Wisconsin and the first out lesbian elected to Congress, I can tell you from personal experience that having a seat at the table matters. I don't have to tell you that the seat at the head of the table matters most.
The need for health care for all is the issue that brought me into politics and the issue that keeps me here. It is unconscionable that we have nearly 47 million uninsured people in the wealthiest country on earth. Because of Hillary Clinton’s longstanding commitment to that issue and her experience before and during her service in the Senate, we are really poised for an opportunity to get this job done under her presidency.
She is uniquely qualified to assume the office of President, repair the damage of the past eight years, redirect our energy and resources to solving our most pressing domestic problems, end the war in Iraq, and restore American’s moral and political leadership in the world.
I don't support Hillary “because” she is a woman, but instead because she is the strongest, most capable candidate who happens to be a woman. I support Hillary Clinton because she and I share an unequivocal and total commitment to health care for all in this country. And nothing could make me prouder than to work with her to achieve universal health care in America.
And that's called truth telling. Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"
Thursday, March 27, 2008. Chaos and violence continue, the US military announces another death, Puppet al-Maliki painted in a corner, Bully Boy apparently high, fighting continues in Basra and throughout Iraq, and more.
Lawrence Toppman (Charlotte Observer) disses Kimberly Peirce's brave new film Stop-Loss but we'll noting his opening paragraph, "Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Born on the Bayou" sears the soundtrack, a young man chooses between a tour of duty overseas and exile in Canada, an unpopular president sends people to war against their will -- did I fall into a time machine before the screening of 'Stop-Loss'? It felt as if I'd flown back 40 years, as I watched somebody go AWOL while dealing with a "de facto draft" that shoves soldiers into combat more than once." Stop-Loss opens tomorrow.
In the meantime, war resisters in Canada need support as a measure is expected to be debated next month. For those in Canada, the nation's Parliament remains the best hope for safe harbor war resisters have, you can make your voice heard by the Canadian parliament which has the ability to pass legislation to grant war resisters the right to remain in Canada. Three e-mails addresses to focus on are: Prime Minister Stephen Harper (http://us.f366.mail.yahoo.com/ym/Compose?Tofirstname.lastname@example.org -- that's pm at gc.ca) who is with the Conservative party and these two Liberals, Stephane Dion (http://us.f366.mail.yahoo.com/ym/Compose?To=Dion.S@parl.gc.ca -- that's Dion.S at parl.gc.ca) who is the leader of the Liberal Party and Maurizio Bevilacqua (http://us.f366.mail.yahoo.com/ym/Compose?To=Bevilacqua.M@parl.gc.ca -- that's Bevilacqua.M at parl.gc.ca) who is the Liberal Party's Critic for Citizenship and Immigration. A few more can be found here at War Resisters Support Campaign. For those in the US, Courage to Resist has an online form that's very easy to use.
There is a growing movement of resistance within the US military which includes Matt Mishler, Josh Randall, Robby Keller, Justiniano Rodrigues, Chuck Wiley, James Stepp, Rodney Watson, Michael Espinal, Matthew Lowell, Derek Hess, Diedra Cobb, Brad McCall, Justin Cliburn, Timothy Richard, Robert Weiss, Phil McDowell, Steve Yoczik, Ross Spears, Peter Brown, Bethany "Skylar" James, Zamesha Dominique, Chrisopther Scott Magaoay, Jared Hood, James Burmeister, Eli Israel, Joshua Key, Ehren Watada, Terri Johnson, Clara Gomez, Luke Kamunen, Leif Kamunen, Leo Kamunen, Camilo Mejia, Kimberly Rivera, Dean Walcott, Linjamin Mull, Agustin Aguayo, Justin Colby, Marc Train, Abdullah Webster, Robert Zabala, Darrell Anderson, Kyle Snyder, Corey Glass, Jeremy Hinzman, Kevin Lee, Mark Wilkerson, Patrick Hart, Ricky Clousing, Ivan Brobeck, Aidan Delgado, Pablo Paredes, Carl Webb, Stephen Funk, Blake LeMoine, Clifton Hicks, David Sanders, Dan Felushko, Brandon Hughey, Logan Laituri, Clifford Cornell, Joshua Despain, Joshua Casteel, Katherine Jashinski, Dale Bartell, Chris Teske, Matt Lowell, Jimmy Massey, Chris Capps, Tim Richard, Hart Viges, Michael Blake, Christopher Mogwai, Christian Kjar, Kyle Huwer, Wilfredo Torres, Michael Sudbury, Ghanim Khalil, Vincent La Volpa, DeShawn Reed and Kevin Benderman. In total, at least fifty US war resisters in Canada have applied for asylum. Information on war resistance within the military can be found at The Objector, The G.I. Rights Hotline [(877) 447-4487], Iraq Veterans Against the War and the War Resisters Support Campaign. Courage to Resist offers information on all public war resisters. Tom Joad maintains a list of known war resisters. In addition, VETWOW is an organization that assists those suffering from MST (Military Sexual Trauma).
Before we get to Basra, a factoid from UPI's "The almanac" worth noting, on this day "In 2003, U.S. President George Bush, seeking to calm concerns that the war in Iraq is proving tougher than expected after its first week, said the United States and Britain will battle Saddam Hussein's forces 'however long it takes to win'." And you can be sure that, five years ago, some idiots not only applauded, they high-fived.
Turning to Iraq where the assault on Basra receives more criticism. This morning Sudarsan Raghavan and Sholnn Freeman (Washington Post) reported that "independent Kurdish legislator" Mahmoud Othman was staing that there was no discussion of the assault "with parliament or other political groups" and is quoted declaring, "Everybody is aksing, 'Why now?' . . . . People have ill-advised Maliki. The militias like the timing. Iran likes the timing. They wnat to show there's no progress in Iraq." People have ill-advised puppet of the occupation Nouri al-Maliki? Who could do advise a puppet? Nancy A. Youssef (McClatchy Newspapers) reports that the US government is concerned over bragging rights with both the White House and the Pentagon rushing forward yesterday to attempt to grab "partial credit for the Iraqi government's new military offensive". This despite the fact that, as Youssef notes, "There was no sign from the ground, however, that the new offensive, which involves 15,000 Iraqi troops and police units, was suceeding." Let's see, even Gen David Petraeus, due to 'report' to Congress next month, is calling out al-Maliki. Democrats and Republicans in both houses of the US Congress are calling out the puppet. Who would think a 'show of strength' would go over well? The US administration. How's it going over in Iraq?
Sudarsan Raghavan, Sholnn Freeman and Howard Schneider (Washington Post) report, "Thousands of supporters of hard-line cleric Moqtada al-Sadr poured into the streets of the Iraqi capital Thursday to protest an ongoing security crackdown against Sadr's militia . . . Demonstrators rallied in the Shiite stronghold of Sadr City and the neighborhood of Kazimiyah, carrying a coffin decorated with a picture of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki -- a symbol of the political risks Maliki has run by ordering Iraqi security forces to move against Sadr's Mahdi Army and other politically backed armed gangs in Basra." Leila Fadel (McClatchy Newspapers) explains that on the coffin, under the photo, "were the words 'The New Dictator'." Today's chant goes, "Maliki, keep your hands off. People do not want you." Leila Fadel and Ali al Basri (McClatchy Newspapers) described a popular chant in Najaf on Tuesday, "Oh Nouri, you coward. You spy of the Americans." James Glanz and Graham Bowley (New York Times) note, "In direct confrontation with the American-backed government in Iraq, thousands of supporters of the powerful Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr and his Mahdi Army militia took to the streets of Baghdad on Thursday to protest the Iraqi Army's asault on the southern port city of Basra, an intense fighting continued there for a third day." The photo by Joao Silva of those demonstrating should make the front page of the Times tomorrow -- note how many are marching. Adam Brookes and Crispin Thorold (BBC) quote a Baghdad protestor declaring, "We are very patient but if the government does not respond to our demands, something bad will happen" and the demands are defined "the prime minister must resign; foreign troops must leave Iraq; the operation in Basra must be halted." Glanz and Bowley quote demonstrator Jabbar Azem Hassan: "They are killing our sons and they are harming innocent people. We need to reform the national government from all parts of the Iraqi populace."
CNN plays stupid so before we get to the violence and its effects on the Iraqi people, let's address the nonsense Michael Ware pushes that "the Iranians" have a relationship with Moqtada al-Sadr. No more so than with al-Maliki. But the reality that's being missed is that al-Sadr was neutralized and on his way to little importance before the assault. It was widely accepted that, as he continued his education, he was a hotel clerk in Najaf. Not the stuff of legendary rebels (even allowing for the "Pirate Jenny" aspect). He was out of Baghdad and that had turned some followers against him for the basic reason that while he was seen as 'getting on with' his own life, they felt they were under daily attack from al-Maliki's forces and militias. The break-aways going public and criticizing were doing a very natural thing -- if your leader abandons you and the movement (and that's how it looked), he is no longer in charge. Had the Basra assault not taken place, al-Sadr would have continued to decrease in influence. What al-Maliki has done is 'rebrand' al-Sadr, turn him into Moqtada! and make him even more influential (regardless of the outcome) than he was before. His influence was fading and it had nothing to do with "the Iranians" which CNN chatters on about (having absorbed that crap from the US military brass). Basic realities, when a leader and his/her followers are apart and the leader appears to have things easier, the followers toss him or her aside. al-Sadr's strength was waining and without the assault on Basra someone (more likely someones) would step forward claiming to be the true leader of Sadr City in Baghdad. That person would have to gather strength slowly (and ward off rivals). That was six to eight months time the US and al-Maliki would have had without any real issues. Instead, they've armed al-Sadr by turning him into a rebel all over again. No matter what happens in Basra, al-Sadr now has more power today than he ever had and that power will only continue. Should he be killed, he will only be even more power and mythic. But as it is, he is now seen as the one person in Iraq who is defending the Iraqis, defending the country. This elevates him higher than in 2004 because in 2004 he had others on the scene to compete with. Today, thanks to actions by the US and the puppet, he is Iraq.
Tina Susman (Los Angeles Times) underscores how al-Maliki has yet against set himself against the people of Iraq in his referring to those associated with al-Sadr was "criminal gangs". Leila Fadel (McClatchy) quotes Nouri insisting, "The government does not negotiate with a gang; the government does not sign understanding memorandums with outlaws." Not only has the assault increased al-Sadr's power, it's weakened al-Maliki's. This morning, James Glanz (New York Times) reported, "American officials have presented the Iraqi Army's attempts to secure the port city as an example of its ability to carry out a major operation against the insurgency on its own. A failure there would be a serious embarrassment for the Iraqi government and for the army, as well as for American forces eager to demonstrate that the Iraqi units they have trained can fight effectively on their own." Patrick Cockburn (Independent of London) offers, "A new civil war is threatening to explode in Iraq as American-backed Iraqi government forces fight Shia militiamen for control of Basra and parts of Baghdad. . . . The gun battles between soldiers and militiamen, who are all Shia Muslims, show that Iraq's majority Shia community -- which replaced Saddam Hussein's Sunni regime -- is splitting apart for the first time."
A point missed by the Bully Boy of the United States. Speaking at the Wright Patterson Air Force Base's National Museum of the United States Air Force today, Bully Boy declared, "The military achievements in Iraq have been accompanied by a political transformation." Whatever he's smoking, shouldn't he be arrested for it? He spoke of non-existant political gains and claimed his 'surge' was a success ("But this much is clear: The surge is doing what it was designed to do.") With Tony Blair and John Howard gone from power, Bully Boy needs a new boy-crush so he inflates and elevates Nouri, "And as we speak, Iraqi security forces are waging a tough battle against militia fighters and criminals in Basra -- many of whom have received arms and training and funding from Iran. Prime Minister Maliki's bold decision -- and it was a bold decision -- to go after the illegal groups in Basra shows his leadership, and his committment to enforce the law in an even-handed manner. . . . Prime Minister Maliki has traveled to Basra to oversee it firsthand." That last statement may have been a speechwriter getting in a jab over Bully Boy's failure "to oversee" the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina "firsthand." In terms of Iran, there is still no proof, only baseless accusations intended to sell another illegal war. As Ruth noted yesterday, the New York Times' Steven Lee Myers appeared on NPR's The Diane Rehm Show and continued to insist -- with no proof -- that the Iranian government was supplying weapons to Iraqi resistance fighters. He needed to insist on that even when, as Ruth noted, Rehm pointed out that weapons tend to travel over borders all on their own without government assistance of any kind leading Myers to reply that this was true which was why he wasn't sure which branch of the Iranian government was passing on the weapons but . . . He has no proof and repeatedly lied to claim a connection he can't back up. Bully Boy did the same today. The paper has enlisted in selling the next war. Anna Mulrine (US News & World Reports) notes the "postive spin" Bully Boy attempted today and that US military officials do not share his upbeat evaulation. One is quoted explaining, "It' snot a sign of success. . . . It's too early to tell." Adam Brookes and Crisipin Thorold (BBC) note that Nouri's deadline has less than 48 hours left yet "the militiamen -- in particular those of Mehdi Army, loyal to the cleric Moqtada Sadr -- show no signs of doing so. . . . Mehdi militiamen are holding key points around Basra, say local sources, and are harassing Iraqi troops from alleyways and back streets, where armoured vehicles find it hard to manoeuvre." Sam Dagher and Abdul-Karim al-Samer (Christian Science Monitor) report, "At the moment, witnesses in Basra say there appears to be no sign of any letup in fighting between government forces and the Shiite gunmen, who are said to still control 75 percent of the city."
On the ground, Alexandra Zavis and Peter Spiegel (Los Angeles Times) observe, "Basra residents trapped in their homes by raging gun battles worried that food was running out with no end in sight to the clashes between Iraqi security forces and followers of radical Shiite cleric Muqtada Sadr and other armed factions." At McClatchy's Inside Iraq, an Iraqi correspondent explains that their mother's eye surgery was scheduled for Tuesday but due to the strikes in Baghdad, the clinic the surgery was to take place had shut down and they had to make multiple trips just to get to a hospital (Sadrists turned them away on the first three attempts). Charles Levinson (USA Today) observes, "Al-Sadr's ironclad control over Iraq's health system and other key ministries has come under renewed scrutiny following recent clashes between his Mahdi Army militia and the Iraqi army. . . . The Health Ministry has been under al-Sadr's control since 2005, when his political party gained more seats than any other group." AFP counts "[a]t least 105 people" who "have died countrywide in clashes since" the assault on Basra began. Richard Beeston (Times of London) cautions, "The battle for Basra now raging on the streets of Iraq's second city shows every sign of turning into a nightmare for the dwindling British forces near by" and notes that British troops might have to be added to the region or "[t]he only other option would be for Britain to admit finally that it has lost the fight in southern Iraq."
Turning to some of today's reported violence . . .
Sahar Issa (McClatchy Newspapers) reports an east Baghdad mortar attack that claimed 1 life and wounded two people, a central Baghdad mortar attack that wounded one person, a Baghdad car bombing damaged one wall of the Red Crescent office, the Baghdad Da'wa Party (al-Maliki's party) was "torched, causing only material damage" a Baghdad mortar attack on a bus station claimed 2 lives and left fifteen wounded, a Baghdad mortar attack on a commercial area wounded two people, a Baghdad mortar attack on the Ministry of Interior claimed 1 life (an employee) and left four more wounded, a Baghdad mortar attack on an apartment complex wounded two people, an RPG attack on Amara's Badr Organization Bureau which left a civilian wounded, a Baiji bombing claimed the life of 1 Iraqi soldier, a Khanaqin roadside bombing wounded two people, a Kirkuk car bombing claimed the life of Capt. Tayib Mahmoud ("a Kurd security intelligence agency" officer) and wounded two "of his security detail" plus five more people, the torching of the Hilla "offices of al-Da'wa and the Supreme Council" that resulted in the deaths of 3 police officers (four more wounded) and, on Wednesday, Mona Ajaj was killed from a Baiji mortar attack that also wounded two adults and three children. This morning Reuters reported: "A giant column of black smoke was visible near the U.S. embassy in Baghdad's Green Zone on Thursday after an apparent mortar strike, a Reuters reporter said." CBS and AP note 1 "American was killed . . . a government employee whose identity was being withheld" and CBS News Lara Logan "reports the Green Zone, not long ago one of the safest areas of Baghdad, has become in recent days one of the deadliest. In a visit to one of the foreign embassies inside the area, Logan says she and her crew had to quickly move into protecitve bunkers four times with one hour due to the relentless rocket fire. She says all non-essential movement of personnel within the Green Zone has been restricted." AFP notes a Basra car bombing targeting Maj Gen Abdul Jalil Khalaf (police chief) that he walked away from but in which 3 police officers died.
Sahar Issa (McClatchy Newspapers) reports "the Commander of Garmian Peshmerga Forces" was shot dead along with 4 members "of his security detail," 5 Iraqi soldiers were shot dead in Basra, a Salahuddin Province home invasion targeting a member of the "Awakening" Counil that claimed the life of the US collaborator and his son (wounding two women), 2 people were shot dead at Yugoslav Bridge (seven more wounded) from the crossfire exchanged by the Iraqi and Mahdia armies, 1 Iraqi soldier and 2 police officers shot dead in Hilla during an armed clash that also wounded thirty others, seventeen Iraqi soldiers were wounded in Basra (and transferred to Baghdad for treatment), three Iraqi soldiers were wounded in Baghdad, in Talbiyah's armed clash eight Iraqi soldiers received injuries, 1 father a thirteen-year-old son were shot dead in Talbiyah and a Baghdad shooting that wounded one person. Reuters notes 3 police officers killed (three more wounded) in Hamza
Sudarsan Raghavan, Sholnn Freeman and Howard Schneider (Washington Post) report "gunmen seized a well-known member of Maliki's government, storming the home of Tahseen al-Sheikihli and taking him prisoner. Sheikhli is a chief spokesman for the Baghdad security plan, in charge of a big to build public support for Iraqi efforts to quell violence in the city." It does not appear that his job has worked. Tina Susman (Los Angeles Times) notes that "at least one of" his bodyguards is reported wounded during the kidnapping and that "Sheikhly has appeared frequently at news conferences alongside U.S. officials discussing what they consider progress of the security plan. The bold abduction, in the middle of the afternoon, was a sign of the spreading insecurity since the Basra offensive began."
Sahar Issa (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 5 corpses discovered in Baghdad, 5 discovered outside Baquba, 4 were discovered "south of the town of Baladruz," and 4 corpses were discovered "south of the town of Baladruz."
Today the US military announced: "A Multi-National Division -- Baghdad Soldier was killed at approximately 4:30 p.m. March 27 after being struck by an improvised explosive device in eastern Baghdad while conducting a combat patrol." The announcement brings the number of US service members to 4004 killed in the illegal war since it started.
Returning to the violence and economcis. Mark Mooney (ABC News) notes "a bomb blasted a crucial oil pipeline in Basra, triggering a massive fire and threatening the country's ability to export oil" causing the price of crude oil barrel to rise to $107. Remember the shock months ago when oil reached a hundred dollars a barrel? Atul Aneja (The Hindu) states that the bombing's impact will be huge, "Oil exports are expected to be affected in a big way as Zubair 1 -- the main pumping station -- has also been shut down. Nearly one-third of the oil produced in the area is transported through the affected pipeline." Mark Shenk (Bloomberg News) states that prices have actually risen "above $107 barrel". Australia's Sydney Morning Herald notes, "US crude oil futures ended higher for the third consecutive day on Thursday, fueled by a rally in heating oil futures and as traders remained edgy over a major oil pipeline explosing in Iraq."
Turning to US presidential politics, why does Amy Goodman distort for Bambi? (We know why.) Today on her crap-ass show, which she claims informs (she also claims she's an author but Ava and I will put that lie to rest next month at Third), she declared, "In other campaign news, Senator Obama's former pastor has canceled scheduled appearances in Texas set for this weekend. The Reverend Jeremiah Wright has come under heavy criticism from political pundits for linking the attacks of September 11 to US foreign policy in the Middle East and for saying the United States was founded on racism. In a statement, Reverend Wright cited safety concerns for his decision to cancel his appearances." Jeremiah Wright has come under heavy criticism for damning the United States. Amy Goodman may pretend otherwsie but that is what he's under fire for. As for his cancelling apperances, those appearances were cancelled for him. When institutions that had invited you make it clear that you're no longer wanted, you really don't need to cancel. In the real world, MSNBC's First Read notes that Barack Obama is attempting to target Pennsylvania's 30% Catholic voters (not a chance) and will do so so by attempting to "play down the Rev. Jeremiah Wright issue." The issue's not going away. Play it up, play it down. It's here to say and liars like Amy Goodman (who is in real danger of losing NPR outlets due to her 'ethics') can keep lying through their yellowed teeth but the controversy will continue. First Read also notes that "Clinton backers Kathleen Kennedy Townsend and Robert F. Kenney Jr. last week wrote a letter to Pennsylvania Catholics emphasizing her plans on health care, mortgage foreclosures and fuel costs." Bruce Fisher (ArtVoice) appears to right the obituary for the Obama campaign today and cites Jeremiah Wright. Joe Wilson (via No Quarter's reposting) notes, "Among other things, Wright preaches that the United States government unleashed the HIV virus in Africa to kill blacks. (Having worked in African for much of my adult life, including with one of the early AIDS researches, Dr. Jonathan Mann, I can safely say that there is absolutely no evidence to sustain Wright's reckless charge.) Obama had no choice but to address his 20-year close relationship with a man he still considers, as he made clear in his speech, a mentor." Joe Klein (Time magazine) weighs in on the topic of what he calls "Jeremiah 'G-- damn America'" Wright. Democrats will soon learn how damaging that relationship might be in a general election." And this morning on NBC's Today, Andrea Mitchell offered some of the latest:
Andrea Mitchell: And now even more controversy regarding Rev. Wright. An internet search reveals church bulletines over the past year with controversial pastor pages from the reverand. Some reprint anti-Israel writings from a range of people -- from Archbishop Desmond Tutu to an advisor to Elijah Muhammad and Louis Farkahn of the Nation of Islam and Hamas leader Musa Abu Marzook. One of Marzook's columns, reprinted by the church from the Los Angeles Times, says "Why should any Palestinian recognize the monstrous crimes carried out by Israel's founders and continued by its deformed modern apartheid state?" Obama told the Jerusalem Post the church was outrageously wrong to reprint the article and he denounced Hamas. And Trumpet, a magazine run by Wright's daughters quotes him as saying "White supremacy is clearly in charge" and slurring Italian's quote "garlic noses" and he also calls Jesus' crucifixion "a public lynching Italian style."
And that, which is offensive, is the only thing that Michal Tomasky (American writing for the Guardian of London -- no link to Tomasky's trash) is bothered by, calling the slur against Italians "inconceivable". Mitchell also a noted a Wall St. Journal - NBC poll which we're not interested because of the oversampling error Taylor Marsh draws to everyone's attention. It wouldn't fly in any research and methodology class and it's amazing that the two outlets didn't scrap the poll when they learned of the oversampling. In other campaign news, Taylor Marsh highlights MSNBC's Race for the White House where Richard Woffe (a Brit still nursing his political crush on Joe Lieberman) gets called to the carpet by Joe Scarborough who pounces on Wright's "we" to point out, "We? You said that's how 'we' decided it? If that's the way the Democratic Party decided it then they wouldn't have super delegates! Let me tell you what 'we' love to do. 'We' in the media love to tell everybody, which 'we' have been telling everybody for months that the numbers don't add for Hillary Clinton, she can't get enough delegates . . . Well guess what? The numbers don't add up for Barack Obama but 'we' don't tell that side of the story, do 'we'?" The super delegates are the rules of the Democratic Party and they can go any way they want."
In other news, Mike Gravel has left the Democratic Party. AP reported yesterday that Gravel sent out an e-mail to supporters stating that the party "no longer represents my vision for our great party. It is a party that continues to sustain war, the military-industrial complex and imperialism -- all of which I find anathema to my views. . . . I look forward to advancing my presidential candidacy within the Libertarian Party, which is considerably closer to my values, my foreign policy views and my domestic views." Meanwhile Cynthia McKinney, who also left the Democratic Party, is running for the Green Party presidential nomination. Larry Pinkney (Black Commentator) notes, "Sister Cynthia McKinney has both the credibility and the capacity to truly excite the people in a substantive vs. superficial fashion; and can inspire people to see that they themselves/we oursevles are the only viable solution to the Republicrats and their flawed and corrupt electoral system. We must move the people from being excited about meaningless superficialities that do nothing to address systemic change -- to being excited about substance that is the catalyst for systemic change." The indepdent Ralph Nader and Matt Gonzalez ticket is collecting signatures for ballot access and have currently set up a location in Albuquerque where they are gathering signatures.
And we'll note this statement from the Hillary Clinton campaign:
Yesterday, a Pennsylvania editorial board asked Sen. Clinton how she would have "responded if [her] pastor had said some of the things that Rev. Wright said?" In response, she said Rev. Wright would not have been her pastor, an honest view shared by many Americans.
The Obama campaign's response? Attack Sen. Clinton and accuse her of trying to divert attention from the Bosnia trip story and her record of foreign policy experience.
Sen. Clinton's response was sincere. The Obama attack was disingenuous.
We are happy to discuss Sen. Clinton's foreign policy experience and her record overall. Unfortunately, the Obama campaign doesn't want to discuss its candidate's record and prefers personal attacks instead.
Sen. Obama knows that if he focused on his experience, he'd get questions about the shortcomings in his record and the efforts he has made to embellish it.
He'd have to deal with the fallout from this week's Washington Post report on his gross exaggeration of his role on immigration reform and housing policy.
Sen. Obama would have to explain why the New York Times reported that he claims credit for passing nuclear leak legislation that never got out of committee.
He'd have to confront reports from FactCheck.org and other independent organizations that say his claims of providing a universal health care plan are based on selective, embellished and out-of-context quotes from newspapers.
He'd have to discuss the LA Times story that reported on how his fellow organizers say he took too much credit for his community organizing efforts.
He'd have to explain why he regularly claims he was a law professor when in fact he held no such title.
Sen. Obama seems to think disingenuous attacks on Sen. Clinton will address the concerns voters have about his record and readiness to be the Commander-in-Chief and the steward of our economy. They won't.
In the end, Sen. Obama's words cannot erase Hillary's 35-year record of action because when all is said and done, words aren't action. They are just words.
Meanwhile West Virigina University's student body president Jason Parsons explains his support for Hillary's presidential campaign, "As the student body president at West Virginia University and as an ordinary college student, I talk to my friends everyday who are saddled down with debt and college loans. They face the dilemma of tuition going up while financial aid is going down, and many have fallen victim to predatory student loan companies. Hillary Clinton, throughout the course of her presidential campaign, has talked consistently about the challenges college aged people face and she has offered solutions. That's why I support her. The 35 years of experience she brings to this race is so important at a time when our country needs real change and when young people need to believe that our best days are still ahead." To be creeped about by Obama groupies, check out the video noted by intranets (Corrente) which is like a Hitler moment and there's no other word for it. As intranets notes, it is "creepy". Truly, like Hitler campaign propaganda. (If you view, pay attention to the background and not the cult-like testimonials, pay attention to the subliminals. It truly is the GOP's 2000 campaign.) And as the topic returns to Bambi, Anibal Acevedo Vila, governor of Puerto Rico and pledged super delegate for Barack Obama "was charged Thursday with 19 counts in a campaign finance probe, including conspiracy to violate U.S. federal campaign laws and giving false testimony to the FBI."
the diane rehm shownpr
the new york timesjames glanzmcclatchy newspapers
leila fadelnancy a. youssef
tina susmanthe los angeles timesalexandra zavissudarsan raghavanthe washington post