Nothing sexual, I'm a lesbian, he's straight. I felt bad for asking because, Wally being such a sweetheart of a guy, I knew he wouldn't say "no" even if he wanted to. But it's already confusing enough, without a nightmare, waking up in a bed that's not your own, in a room you're trying to recognize. I know Ava (The Third Estate Sunday Review), C.I. (The Common Ills) and Kat [Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills)] have no problem with that because they're used to being on the road but the only time I ever stay in a hotel is if I'm going to an extended relatives funeral (in which case, mourning already has me on edge) or if I'm on vacation (in which case, I'm sleeping in until at least nine in the morning if not later). So thank you to Wally.
It also makes it easier to get going in the morning. When the alarm goes off, if one of us is still sleepy, the other's already up and get ready. And that's helped both of us. Though it has made me jealous. I'm only semi-joking. Wally gets out of the shower and, if there's time, he shaves, if not, he'll use an electric razor while we're in the car. I've got to shower, do the make up (and I'm not a glamor girl, so it's not an intensive thing, really just mascara and lipstick), do something with the hair, etc. Wally's out of the shower and pulling on clothes and ready long before I am. (Even if he shaves in the bathroom.) I don't straighten my hair (and I don't have a weave) so my hair doesn't take a great deal of time but Wally doesn't even have to comb his. He just lets it dry naturally and it will look perfect all day. I tease him that he's Hubbel (Robert Redford's character in The Way We Were).
We were doing some rural areas yesterday and the response to Hillary was really strong. I had not grasped how out of touch Barack was with rural voters until then. He really can't relate to them and that is partly due to his insulting comments about Small Town Americans "clinging" to things but it is also due to the way his campaign is set up. And the way he carries himself. I could provide concrete examples but in case some Barack groupie reads this, I won't. He's buried himself and I'm not going to help him dig himself out of the grave.
Because I'm African-American, a number of African-Americans come up to me at the end of it, all week in fact, and say how glad they are that I'm speaking out. Especially after the attacks on Tavis Smiley, there's a real reluctance on the part of some to be public about their support of Hillary but I think that's breaking. She might do better in this state with that group. (Not because of me. I think there's a building backlash to what's been done to Tavis and others. But Tavis is the most mentioned when people come up to me after Wally and I speak.) It's also true that the Black community is not the monolith so many think it is. In my own area, there are many who speak out against Al Sharpton and Rev. Jesse Jackson. (I like Rev. Jackson, I'm indifferent to Sharpton.) There's a feelling that they show up whenever the cameras are around. (I always defend Jackson, Sharpton's on his own.) And I'm seeing that same sort of distrust building in Indiana. I really think the attacks on Tavis, combined with the non-stop playing of the race card by the Obama campaign, have rushed the process that was already happening.
Equally true is that Bambi's trying to sound "working class" and does, if you're idea of working class is working class habits described by the Dining In section of the New York Times. (I have two perfect examples -- two things he's emphasizing -- that are really building a backlash against him, but I'm not going to provide them here. Again, let him bury himself.)
Okay, this was our lunch break and I've got to get something to eat. Wally's working, on the phone, with Cedric on their joint-post so I'll order for both of us.
Fair is Fair: In an op-ed in the Washington Post, Clinton campaign strategist Geoff Garin writes: "The bottom line is that one campaign really has engaged in a mean-spirited, unfair character attack on the other candidate -- but it has been Obama's campaign, not ours. You would be hard-pressed to find significant analogues from our candidate, our senior campaign officials or our advertising to the direct personal statements that the Obama campaign has made about Clinton." Read More.
$$$: "Hillary Clinton raised $10 million in the 24 hours after winning the Pennsylvania primary, aided by contributions from 80,000 new donors." Read more and keep it going at http://www.hillaryclinton.com/.
An Open Letter From Dr. Maya Angelou: Poet and activist Dr. Maya Angelou wrote an open letter about her commitment to Hillary's candidacy. "Hillary does not waver in standing up for those who need a champion…. I am supporting Hillary Clinton because I know that she will make the most positive difference in people's lives and she will help our country become what it can be." Read More.
In Case You Missed It: Paul Krugman writes in today’s NYT: "From the beginning, I wondered what Mr. Obama's soaring rhetoric, his talk of a new politics and declarations that ‘we are the ones we’ve been waiting for’ (waiting for to do what, exactly?) would mean to families troubled by lagging wages, insecure jobs and fear of losing health coverage. The answer, from Ohio and Pennsylvania, seems pretty clear: not much. Mrs. Clinton has been able to stay in the race, against heavy odds, largely because her no-nonsense style, her obvious interest in the wonkish details of policy, resonate with many voters in a way that Mr. Obama’s eloquence does not." Read more.
Bringing Troops Home with Honor: Yesterday, Hillary highlighted policies for veterans at "Solutions for America" events in Fayetteville and Asheville, NC. It's rare for a former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs to endorse a candidate but General Hugh Shelton is backing HRC. In NC yesterday, he said: "Unlike any other candidate, [Hillary] understands that maintaining a well-prepared armed forces goes beyond providing dollars...She is the only candidate who has offered a responsible plan for bringing our troops home with honor." Read more.
Electable…Without FL or OH? The Obama campaign released a memo yesterday on electability, but as Chris Cilizza highlights, "two states that are not mentioned in the Obama memo are Florida, the key battleground in the 2000 presidential race, and Ohio, the Florida of the 2004 contest." Read more.
Debate Watch: Hillary is willing to debate Sen. Obama in North Carolina, Oregon, and Indiana while Sen. Obama continues to resist. His excuse today: "It's not clear that another debate is going to be the best use of our time." Meanwhile Sen. Evan Bayh said this yesterday: "We have thousands of people in Indiana who...deserve an opportunity to see both candidates stand side by side...We in Indiana don’t want to be treated as second-class citizens." Read more and more.
Today on the Trail: In North Carolina, Hillary hosts a "Solutions for America" event in Jacksonville, NC. In Indiana, she hosts "Solutions for the American Economy" events in Bloomington, East Chicago, and Fort Wayne. She also meets with steelworkers to discuss creating and protecting jobs in Gary.
Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" from Friday:
Friday, April 25, 2008. Chaos and violence continue, the US military announces more deaths, an oversight exploration announces Iraqi Forces figures are wrong, the VA scandals continue and more.
Starting with war resistance. Claudia Feldman (Houston Chronicle) reported a week ago on consientious objector Hart Vines and his participation at Iraq Veterans Against the War's Winter Soldier (IVAW's Ronn Cantu who started the first IVAW chapter in Texas, at Fort Hood, is also covered in the article). Feldman reports:
One of his jobs in Iraq was to stand guard with a .50-caliber machine gun while his buddies searched houses supposedly inhabited by insurgents and enemy combatants. At the conference, searches of that kind were described vividly. Sometimes soldiers kicked in the front doors. Sometimes they upended refrigerators and ripped stoves out of walls. Sometimes they turned drawers upside down and broke furniture.
One day Viges was instructed to search a suspicious house, a hut, really, but he couldn't find pictures of Saddam Hussein, piles of money, AK-47s or roadside bombs.
"The only thing I found was a little .22 pistol," Viges said, " ... but we ended up taking the two young men, regardless."
An older woman, probably the mother of the young men, watched and wailed nearby.
"She was crying in my face, trying to kiss my feet," Viges said. "And, you know, I can't speak Arabic, but I can speak human. She was saying, 'Please, why are you taking my sons? They have done nothing wrong.' "
And, dropping back to a September 2005 speech he gave, here's what happened once he returned to the US:
And after I came home I've come to realise that we've got to make better choices, I applied for Conscientious Objector [status]. I was able to remember the Sermon on the Mount. I'm a Christian, what was I doing holding a gun to another human being? Love thy neighbour. Do good for him. Pray for those who persecute you, don't shoot them.
I get my Conscientious Objector packet approved. I'm alone. I'm free, I'm done. It's all gone now, right?
No! I still swerve at trash bags
fireworks. I'm looking at everyone's hands and faces [tonight] to see who's going to want to shoot me.
I can't express anything, I can't express love. All my relationships are falling apart because they can't f**king understand me. How do they know the pain that I've gone through or the sights that I've seen, the dead bodies? The innocence gone, stripped, dead?
I couldn't do it myself. I couldn't stand the pain. People were leaving me. I was alone. I couldn't cut my wrists. So I called the police. They come stomping through my door. I have my knife in my hand. "Shoot me. Shoot me".
All of a sudden I was the man with the RPG, with all the guns pointed at him. Misled, miseducated, thinking that "Yes, we can solve all the world's problems by killing each other". How insane is that?
Lucky enough I lived through that episode as well. See, you can't wash your hands when they're covered in blood with more blood. It's impossible; the wounds carry on. Families are destroyed.
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, Jose Vasquez, 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, Jason Marek, 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).
[. . .]
A second factor has been the employment of Coalition and Iraqi Forces have grown significantly since September, and over 540,000 individuals now serve
in the Iraqi Security Forces. The number of combat battalions capable of taking the lead in operations, albeit with some Coalition support, has grown to well over 100 [Slide 10]. These units are bearing an increasing share of the burden, as evidenced by the fact that Iraqi Security Force losses have recently been three times our own. We will, of course, conduct careful after action reviews with our Iraqi partners in the wake of recent operations, as there were units and
leaders found wanting in some cases, and some of our assessments may be downgraded as a result. Nonetheless, the performance of many units was solid, especially once they got their footing and gained a degree of confidence, and certain Iraqi elements proved quite capable.
Underpinning the advances of the past year have been improvements in Iraq's security institutions. An increasingly robust Iraqi-run training base enabled the Iraqi Security Forces to grow by over 133,000 soldiers and police over the past 16 months. And the still-expanding training base is expected to generate an additional 50,000 Iraqi soldiers and 16 Army and Special Operations battalions throughout the rest of 2008, along with over 23,000 police and 8 National Police battalions.
The day before this ad went on the air, David Axelrod, Barack Obama's chief strategist, appeared with me on "Meet the Press." He was asked whether Hillary Clinton would bring "the changes necessary" to Washington, and his answer was "no." This was in keeping with the direct, personal character attacks that the Obama campaign has leveled against Clinton from the beginning of this race -- including mailings in Pennsylvania that describe her as "the master of a broken system."
So let me get this straight.
On the one hand, it's perfectly decent for Obama to argue that only he has the virtue to bring change to Washington and that Clinton lacks the character and the commitment to do so. On the other hand, we are somehow hitting below the belt when we say that Clinton is the candidate best able to withstand the pressures of the presidency and do what's right for the American people, while leaving the decisions about Obama's preparedness to the voters.
Who made up those rules? And who would ever think they are fair?
the new york times