And so it begins. That's from Jake Tapper and Jennifer Duck's "Obama Clashes with Christian Conservative Leader" (ABC News) and Dobson is James Dobson. And Barack? He's an idiot.
C.I. has pointed out, as early in 2004 -- go to the archives of The Common Ills, how it works with religious radio, how it is always underestimated. Rebecca's talked about that as well. Dobson is a creep. He's also a 'big dog' in the religious right circles. When Dobson moves in, it's a signal to every religious broadcaster to move in. And they will. And they will do so off the radar. Barack's an idiot.
Dobson's national. He's not even the problem. He just gave the go-ahead today. It's all the small broadcasters that will carry this out. Stations you are not aware of, that you'd never listen to, will be spending hours and hours on Barack and Christianity now. A community member in Missouri knows that as well. And he made a point to listen to the low wattage signal in his area today. He e-mailed to say, "They're hitting on 'who baptized Barack?'"
Of course they are. He's insisted publicly that he is a Christian -- to the point of being insulting to Muslims. But the faith requires that you are baptized and Barack apparently was not baptized.
He's never written about, he's never talked about it. When defending Wright, he would note that Wright married him and that Wright baptized his two children. He would never say, "Wright baptized me."
Barack was not baptized as a child. His mother did not believe in God and he was not raised religious. Coming to God in the Christian faith as an adult, he would need to be baptized for his faith -- and for most Christian faiths in the US.
Barack fell back on his usual crap today, of how he doesn't think Dobson's comments are worthy of discussing. Guess what? People will be discussing it. Around the country. From now until the election.
I don't like James Dobson (I'm a lesbian so he doesn't like me either). But Dobson knew what he was doing. This wasn't a scattershot, crackbrain move on Dobson's part. He was sending the message to all religious-right broadcasters that Barack's religious state needs to be explored and they will do so now endlessly.
Barack threw gasoline on the fire with his remarks about Dobson and, no doubt, some will find that surprising considering Barack's clinging to Jeremiah Wright and Michael Pflegger for all those years. Dobson's a hate monger but what are Wright and Pfleger?
We (C.I., Rebecca and I) were all betting the blow would come from Dobson. That's because he's craved power forever. And this is where he excerpts his influence in an effort to become a power broker. His statements today were an announcement: "Release the hounds." Like in Gladiator. Dobson's been attempting to become 'the' power on the religious right for sometime and due to trench work for decades and the deaths of others, he is now in the position to be that person. This is where he proves whether he is or not. And Barack's campaign is so stupid they don't even see it coming.
If you look at the election, as C.I. and Elaine have pointed out repeatedly, the most likely outcome is that the winner could win by something like 37% of the votes. That's because Cynthia McKinney has a real chance of getting 5% of the votes. That drops it down to 95%. My guess on Bob Barr is at least 8% of the votes. That drops it down to 87%. I think McCain can count on a huge chunk of votes. I think Ralph Nader (who I'm supporting) will get a healthy chunk of votes and, if he works hard and we work hard, it could be he wins. But he, Barack and McCain are going to be -- my guess -- the three going for votes. They have to split that 87%. At least 25% will go to McCain. That's about the same percent that's stood with the Bully Boy throughout the Iraq disaster. That leaves 52% -- provided McCain doesn't increase his support significantly (and he could). Where are they going?
I really do think Ralph has a good shot this year and, in fact, that this year will be his best shot at the presidency. And I do believe that Barack's tested the patience of Democrats. Too many scandals, too many lies, too many broken promises. And he's not even the nominee yet. When he is, mistakes and lies will be tolerated less. I think the fall could be where Barack finds out he is shedding even more voters. Right now he's got a huge problem but foolishly believes people have no where else to go so he doesn't have to work for them. I think support for Nader will only grow over the summer and, if Barack sheds, Nader will pick up a lot of those votes.
And imagine how amazing that would be? We'd have a president that wasn't a Democrat or a Republican. We'd have a president that Big Business had not purchased. That would be amazing.
The Times of London reports that Heinz mayonnaise has pulled a commercial that featured two men kissing after one week of airing due to pressure groups. Thank you to Pru who e-mailed me that. I will attempt to do a pride and shame tomorrrow but I really did want to focus on the ABC News story.
Having seen Dobson and others lead attacks on the LGBT community, I think it's rather obvious that when the LGBT community ignores his attacks, they suffer. It is not surprising that Barack Obama wouldn't know that. He used homophobia to get votes in South Carolina. His mentor (until recently) was Jeremiah Wright and I don't believe anyone other than Ava and C.I. caught the fact that in the laughable interview Bill Moyers did with Wright, Wright railed against sodomy. Then there is Homophobe Meeks, Barack's best buddy. So the point is that if Barack was more in touch with the gay community (or even!), he would realize the kind of damage a James Dobson can do. Barack doesn't have a clue.
Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for today:
Tuesday, June 24, 2008. Chaos and violence continue, the US military announces more deaths, a bombing in Sadr City, and more.
Starting with war resistance. May 21st was when Corey Glass was told he would be deported. Corey Glass is an Iraq War veteran and a US war resister. He went to Canada seeking asylum -- the kind of welcoming Canada provided to war resisters ("draft dodgers" and "deserters") during Vietnam. After being told he was being deported, he's been 'extended' through July 10th. June 3rd Canada's House of Commons voted (non-binding motion) in favor of Canada being a safe harbor for war resisters. Canada's War Resisters Support Campaign will hold a "Rally to Stop the Deportation of Parkdale Resident Corey Glass" July 3rd, begins at 7:00 p.m. (with doors opening at six p.m.) at the May Robinson Building, 20 West Lodge, Toronto: "In 2002, Corey joined the Indiana National Guard. He was told he would not have to fight on foreign shores. But in 2005 he was sent to Iraq. What he saw there caused him to become a conscientious objector and he came to Canada. On May 21, 2008, he got his final order to leave Canada by July 10, 2008. Then on June 3 Parliament passed a motion for all the war resisters to stay in Canada. However the Harper government says it will ignore this motion." Meanwhile the Vancouver branch of the War Resisters Support Campaign needs help housing war resisters in that area:
Dear friends; the two things that we need help with most right now in Vancouver are housing for war resisters and your participation in our outreach and lobbying in Conservative ridings and keeping up the media visibility.
Below is a housing appeal, please pass it on freely.
Also in Vancouver we will be doing another visit to a Conservative riding, probably either Emerson's in Vancouver or Nina Grewal in Fleetwood-Port Kells. That is tentatively planned for Saturday June 28.
War Resister Housing Appeal
Do you have an extra-room or a fold-out couch in your home? Do you want to help end the war in Iraq? Would you like to see Canada, once again, become a sanctuary for American soldiers refusing to participate in an illegal war?
If you answered yes to the questions above, the War Resisters Support Campaign in Vancouver needs you!
The War Resisters Support Campaign helps American soldiers who have come to Canada seeking sanctuary. These young men and women face imprisonment in the US because they obeyed their conscience.
They turned their backs on George Bush's war.
We need volunteers to house US war resister for a few days to a few months, while we help them to get settled in and work their way through the refugee immigration process.
Right now in Vancouver we are in urgent need of housing for two war resisters.
If you can house a war resister in the lower mainland, for at least a week starting this week please contact James Leslie at firstname.lastname@example.org or (604) 736-9804
After Friday June 20, 2008 call or email Sarah Bjorknas at 778-837-1475 or email@example.com
For more info, or to volunteer housing in other parts of BC or the rest of Canada, please see our website http://www.resisters.ca/
Dear Campaigners; As you know, on June 3, the House of Commons did a pretty important thing. The MPs voted 137-110 for the War Resisters Motion, which would make it possible for the war resisters to apply for permanent residence in Canada, and which would stop the deportation of any of them, including Corey Glass, whose deadline to "leave or be removed" is now July 10.
The CBC and Newsworld, had a 7-minute report the previous Sunday (June 1), with Terry Milewski, a prominent reporter, anchoring the story. It was a great piece, and it mentioned that the vote would take place on the following Tuesday.
Then, on Tuesday, NOTHING -- NADA -- ZERO -- ZILCH!
MEDIA COVERAGE NOW IS SUPER IMPORTANT IF WE ARE TO GET THE CONSERVATIVES TO IMPLEMENT THE WAR RESISTERS MOTION.
PLEASE TAKE THE TIME TO DROP A LINE TO THE CBC AT
AND LET THEM KNOW YOU WANT
MORE COVERAGE OF THE WAR RESISTERS ISSUE!
And by the way -- don't be shy about writing to your local media, or to "national" media like the Globe & Mail, which has ignored the story except for a teensy little paragraph that whispered "don't read this" the day after the vote.
The Tories would love this issue to disappear from view. Don't let them have their way.
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. In addition, VETWOW is an organization that assists those suffering from MST (Military Sexual Trauma).
Yesterday we noted the death of two US service members. Today Alexandra Zavis (Los Angeles Times) reports a split in the who of the shooting with Iraq's Ministry of Interior stating the shooter was "a local official and said he emerged from the building with the Americans" while eye witnesses insist the shooter "was a former council member who joined the Sunni Muslim insurgency after he was outsed from his job in sectarian fighting in 2006." Ernesto Londono (Washington Post) identifies the shooter as "a council member" and notes that three other service members were injured as was 1 Iraqi translator. Citing eye witnesses Rafi Sleiman and Abu Dawood, London names the shooter as Raed Hmmod Ajil. Mohammed al Dulaimy and Hannah Allam (McClatchy Newspapers) reported yesterday that Raed Mahmoud Ajil was the council member who did the shooting. Those deaths took place as the Government Accountability Office released a report yesterday which James Glanz (New York Times) sums up as detialing a decline in violence and that "several crucial measures the Bush administration uses to demonstrate economic, political and security progress are either incorrect of far more mixed than the administration has acknowledged." 2 US service members killed yesterday, more today and we're supposed to accept that there's been an improvement in violence?
Really? In Berlin today, US Secretary of State delivered the following statement: "The attack in Sadr City that killed State Department employee Steven L. Farley, along with Department of Defense civilian and military personnel today, is a terrible reminder of the dangers that our colleagues face daily in advancing our critical foreign policy goals. Steven Farley's devotion to public service was reflected in his many years of duty in the United States Navy Reserve, and to his hometown of Guthrie, Oklahoma. Farley was mobilized shortly after September 11th, and served with distinction on the staff of the U.S. Seventh Fleet in the western Pacific. Along with thousands of other citizen-patriots, he volunteered to serve in Iraq, joining the State Department in April of 2007. He was one of the hundreds of dedicated men and women serving on Provinicial Reconstruction Teams, helping the citizens of Iraq to rebuild and revitalize their local governments after years of Saddam's tyranny. Our heartfelt sympathy and gratitude go out to Steven Farley's family and his wife Donna, and to the numerous men and women who worked alongside him in Iraq. I have conveyed my sympathy to Ambassador Ryan Crocker, I salute the courage and commitment of all of our colleagues in Iraq." That's included in full because it's the first time this year (or last) that Rice has remembered she's the head of the State Dept. (On her last visit to Iraq she forgot/refused to acknowledge the work done by the State Dept and, judging by her comments and whom she praised, appeared to think she was heading the Defense Dept.) So what's Rice talking about? James Hider (Times of London) explains: "Four Americans were killed today when an explosion ripped through a Baghdad council meeting they were attending as part of efforts to boost reforms in Sadr City, one of the capital's most sensitive trouble spots." The US military announced: "Two Coalition forces soldiers and two civilians serving with Coalition forces were killed after an explosion inside the District Advisory Council building in a southern neighborhood of Sadr City district at approximately 9:30 a.m. today. One Coalition forces soldier and three DAC members were also wounded in the attack." The announced deaths brought the number of US service members killed in Iraq since the start of the illegal war to 4106 with the total for the month so far to 22. AFP notes 6 Iraqis died in the blast and that the wounded include 1 "US soldier, three members of the district council and seven other Iraqis". CBS and AP report: "Tuesday's blast occurred in the office of the council's deputy chief as Americans and Iraqi officials were gathered nearby about half an hour before a meeting to elect a new chairman, said Hassan Karim, Sadr City's top administrator." Ernesto London and Saad al-Izzi (Washington Post) offer, "A spokesman for Sadr's office in Sadr City suggested that U.S. officials staged the bombing to 'create chaos and strife.' He said the explosion occurred in an area where only U.S. and Iraqi security forces can drive into." Gina Chon (Wall St. Journal) points out that, "The explosion shattered the relative calm that has been seen in Sadr City since a truce in mid-May ended fighting there between the Mahdi Army and the Iraqi government." Alissa J. Rubin and Graham Bowley (International Herald Tribune) note: "The neighborhood meetings are held regularly and well publicized, and they therefore can make relatively easy targets. The visit by the American troops to the meeting had been unexpected, however, the council spokesman, Ahmed Hassan, said. 'American forces do not attend regularly and that is why we were surprised this morning,' he said. 'The explosion happened inside the room where some members of the council and Americans were' in discussion, he said."
Turning to some of today's other reported violence . . .
Mohammed Al Dulaimy (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a Baghdad roadside bombing that wounded one person, a Baghdad mortar attack that wounded two people and a Ninevah Province car bombing that left 2 people dead (plus the driver of the car) and fifty-seven people wounded. Reuters notes the number wounded from the Mosul car bombing has risen to seventy-three.
Mohammed Al Dulaimy (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a mayor in Kirkuk was shot dead. Reuters notes a police officer (who was also a college student) was shot dead at the University of Mosul.
Reuters notes 4 college students kidnapped in Mosul -- two of which were later released.
Mohammed Al Dulaimy (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 4 corpse discovered in Baghdad. Reuters notes 1 corpses discovered in Mosul.
Turning to US politics. In "The Triumph of double-think," Joseph (Cannonfire) examines the way The Cult of Barack requries that up be up until Barack says it is down. He specifically examines Barack's NAFTA nonsense -- Barack's lying about Hillary Clinton's stand, Barack's printed handouts and the way, and when it was revealed that Barack's 'tough' talk on NAFTA publicly came as his campaign's Austin Goolsbee rushed to assure the Canadian government that these were just words tossed out and Barack didn't mean of them. He goes into how an effort then took place to smear Hillary with an unsourced whisper claiming it was her campaign in talks with the Canadian government and charts how that lie was repeated online. But it wasn't just repeated online. Amy Goodman's Democracy Now! is available online, on radio and TV. March 9th, Ava and I observed:
Noting that Nichols was in Canada, Goody let Nichols smear Hillary Clinton with a false whisper (that two days later still hasn't panned out) presented as a "revelation" by never-a-journalist John Nichols. Remember how Bambi talked big and strong in the Texas debate about NAFTA? Probably not because he mainly repeated the answers Hillary had already given. But he did. He talked big, he talked strong. Down with NAFTA! But his campaign also talked to the Canadian government and assured them that, basically, you have to say certain things to get elected, you know, you have to put one over on those stupid American voters.
Amy Goodman likes to put one over on viewers which is why, before the show began, she was laughing with John Nichols about how they could introduce the unsourced smear against Hillary. (We are actually told she was "cackling.") Goody did that on the program with this fanciful lie, "Well we have covered the Barack Obama aspect of that [NAFTA] quite a bit. What are they saying about Hillary Clinton?" Goody thinks she covered Bambi's NAFTA-Gate "quite a bit"? No, she just thinks her viewers are too stupid to remember reality and that they are too lazy to check the archives
[. . .]
So informed viewers were most likely laughing when Goody declared that she had "covered the Barack Obama aspect of that quite a bit." She did two headlines. One minimized what had taken place by leaving out the fact that his campaign had offered non-stop denials over a series of days that only ceased when AP published the memo, the other that attempted to act as if the leaking of the memo was the story. (Yes, this is the same Goody who grandstanded recently on the shutting down of Wiki-leaks. Leaks are only good when they don't effect her candidate. And again, she calls this distract-from-the-discovered-lie-by-launching-an-investigation-into-the-leak nonsense out when the White House does it.)
Despite the fact that the AP had to publish not just the stories of NAFTA-gate but also the memo before Goody could get off her tired ass and note NAFTA-Gate, on Friday, she was eager to set John Nichols up so he could turn an unsourced whisper into a "revelation." It was nothing and not worth repeating. It certainly wasn't journalism but, hey, consider the two goons we were watching.
Yes, John Nichols of The Nation. And Amy Goodman. Who had nothing for the March 7th Democracy Now! broadcast. But he smeared and he lied with encouragement from Goody. "So this story just gets deeper and deeper and more complex," lied Nichols from Canada, 'hunting down' the story that was a non-story. But it was never about reality. It was about launching a smear, an unfounded rumor against Hillary because Barack had been caught lying. Saint Barack wasn't so saintly and it was really important to spread rumors and lies about Hillary to take the focus off that fact. As Joseph explains, "Even though Austan Goolsbee initially asserted that he never spoke about NAFTA with Georges Rioux of the Canadian Consulate General in Chicago -- and even though the Obama campaign officially denied the CTV report -- all parties now admit that Team Obama lied. Lied. The Canadian government conducted an investigation which confirmed the existence of the Goolsbee/Rioux meeting and sought to assign blame for the leak." Hillary's campaign was never in talks with the Canadian government about NAFTA. Barack's campaign was telling the government to ignore what Barack was saying, that it was just words. And now? Nina Easton (Fortune magazine) reported last week, "In an interview with Fortune to be featured in the magazine's upcoming issue, the presumptive Democratic nominee backed off his harshest attacks on the free trade agreement and indicated he didn't want to unilaterally repopen negotiations on NAFTA. 'Sometimes during campaigns the rhetoric gets overheated and amplified,' he conceded, after I reminded him that he had called NAFTA 'devastating' and 'a big mistake,' despite nonpartisan studies concluding that the trade zone has had a mild, positive effect on the U.S. economy. Does that mean his rhetoric was overheated and amplified? 'Politicians are always guilty of that, and I don't exempt myself,' he answered." The article also notes Goolsbee's being dispatched to "the Canadian counsul general in Chicago" February 8th to provide "assurances that Obama's rhetoric was 'more reflective of political manuevring than policy'" according to a new memo that Fortune got a hold of. Yes, Barack lied. He lied to get votes when he needed them. He was caught out in the middle of lying and he denied it. His Holler Monkeys had to distract from the damaging revelation so they tried to drag Hillary into it and smear her with lies. Now that he thinks he has the nomination, Barack admits he never meant what was he was saying -- something he had Goolsbee tell the Canadian government in real time. He LIED to American voters while telling the Canadian government he was LYING. And he thinks he's qualified to be the leader of the United States?
Ralph Nader is running for president with Matt Gonzalez as his running mate. AP reports that they turned in over "50,000 signatures" yesterday and are now should be on the Illinois ballot in November. Team Nader notes:
Tomorrow, Senator Obama has a choice.
He can vote to defend the American people and the U.S. Constitution.
Or he can vote with the snooping Bush White House and the telephone companies.
The bill in question grants immunity to the phone companies that illegally participated in the White House's warrantless wiretap program.
Obama says he will seek to remove the immunity provision - but will vote for the bill if that doesn't succeed.
Senator Russ Feingold (D-Wisconsin) calls the bill a capitulation to the phone companies and to the White House.
According to Senator Feingold, under under this bill, "the government can still sweep up and keep the international communications of innocent Americans in the U.S."
Last October, Obama said he would "support a filibuster of any bill that includes retroactive immunity for telecommunications companies."
Now he says he will vote for it.
Liberal Democrats are surprised and outraged that Obama would flip-flop this way.
But we're not surprised.
From the beginning, we saw through Obama's "Change You Can Believe" mantra.
Obama is just another corporate candidate.
At times, he might sound like a progressive.
But he's not.
That's why we're here.
We're here to give the American people a choice in November.
You can support the corporate candidates - Obama and McCain.
Or you can shift the power from the corporate candidates and the corporations to the people.
Increasingly, progressives and liberal Democrats are seeing the light and breaking away.
What's your breaking point?