Statement to Ron Paul Supporters
Today, along with other third party candidates, I joined Congressman Ron Paul to endorse a common agenda that stands up for the US Constitution by ending illegal wars, and protecting the privacy and civil liberties of all persons under US jurisdiction. We also jointly called for an immediate halt to the increase in the national debt, an end to corporate subsidies and taxpayer bailouts of corporations, and to start aggressively pursuing prosecution of corporations that commit crimes and frauds.
Both Congressman Paul and I also support holding President Bush and Dick Cheney to account for their transgressions against our Constitution.
Today's coming together of third party candidates marks the beginning of the realignment of American politics.
While Congressman Paul and I do not agree on all things -- such as health and safety regulations and health insurance systems and how to handle areas where the market fails or is not up to the task of getting the best outcomes for the American people -- on the overriding foreign policy, reckless waste financed by deficit spending, and civil liberties issues of the day, we stand together. He is a stalwart who has consistently stood up for what he believes in and never wavered when he is opposed by the legions of commercial interests and lobbyists that swarm the Capitol.
Congressman Paul said today, "the strongest message can be sent by rejecting the two-party system, which in reality is a one-party system with no possible chance for the changes to occur which are necessary to solve our economic and foreign policy problems." He also called on his supporters to vote for Nader/Gonzalez or one of the other non-establishment, principled candidates, who support the joint statement issued today.
For all the millions of people who have broken free from the establishment parties' domination over our dwindling democracy, Nader/Gonzalez presents a clear choice for those who want to support a candidate who will stand up against the war and stand up for personal liberties and privacy that have been trampled on by the notorious, misnamed, PATRIOT Act, the FISA 'snoop' Bill, and the unilateral dictates of the Bush/Cheney regime.
Some unfairly paint the Nader/Gonzalez candidacy as being for big government. Nothing could be more untrue.
Nader/Gonzalez supports a government of the people, by the people, for the people. We agree with Congressman Paul that government is rife with waste and corporate demands, and needs to be scaled back in many areas -- most of all the bloated, wasteful US military budget, which is half of the government's total operating budget.
We are also against big government doling out hundreds of billions in corporate welfare, subsidies, and bailouts to companies.
We support abolishing income tax on the first $50,000 of income to be made up with a fraction of a percent Wall Street speculation tax, especially on derivatives.
Click here to listen to Ralph's remarks at today's press conference.
So good for Team Nader and good for Ron Paul. You better believe others would have liked his endorsement so that's really wonderful that he decided to support the independent and third party candidates.
And other than that, what I really wanted to write about was . . . Jeremiah Wright.
On "Gossip to Go" (with Flo) today, she was all over the story about the 'rev' and his latest trashy ways.
Remember when he went away for a little bit (after his "G** damn America" tape surfaced). He showed up on this little publicity tour (which included being applauded by the NAACP). And he was in Texas and people were saying, "Oh, he's really a good man."
No, Honkeys, you never got it.
Believe it or not, I made it my whole life without every using the word "Honkey." When did I start using it? During the Democratic Party primaries when a bunch of White people who were not Democrats kept insisting how wonderful Wright was.
I warned you. I told you he was out of control. I told you about how 'rev's like that end up having affairs. And during his whole "I'm back!" tour, he was traveling with his young chippie (who was White, FYI).
Now he got his second wife when she and her husband came to him (they were members of the church) for marital counseling. Well, as En Vogue might say, whatta man, whatta man, whatta man. Wright counseled his way into her bed and married her.
That was your first sign that the man was a low life hiding behind the cloth.
But the woman he was just sleeping with is suing him. She lost her job, she lost her marriage.
Yeah, he was sleeping with another married woman.
Jeremiah Wright who was thrusting his hips in church to mock Bill Clinton.
Hey, Honkeys, I warned you.
I told you that IS NOT how things go in a Black church unless the leader is seriously out of control.
But all you little Closet Communists and Socialist and a few Greens just knew everything. Didn't matter that you weren't Church people let alone Black Church people.
You made your excuses for him, you offered these deviant (and racist) excuses for him.
And the whole time the 'rev' was cheating on his wife with a church employee who he knew was married.
Maybe next time, you'll shut the f**k up? Maybe next time, you'll stop in your lustful trashing of Hillary to grasp that you don't know a DAMN THING.
But didn't you all write your sweet little posts and columns to Wright?
You're a joke, and you made yourself one.
That's all I wanted to say tonight.
Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"
Today the US House Armed Services Committee held a hearing on the Security and Stability in Afghanistan and Iraq: Developments in US Strategy and Operations and the Way Ahead. Appearing before the committee were US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, the chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm Michael Mullen, DoD's Under Secreatry of Defense for Policy, Eric S. Edelman and the Director of Strategic Plans and Policy for the Joint Chiefs of Staff Vice Adm James Winnefeld. Ike Skelton is the chair of the committee and his opening remarks included that "I remain concerned about the pace of political progress. The Iraqis have still not been able to even come to an agreement on holding provincial elections, much less address more fundamental questions like the future of Kirkuk. Given this, I have a real question of why we are not redeploying additional forces -- both to bolster our efforts in Afghanistan and to keep the pressure on the Iraqis to come to a sustainable political accomodation." Later in the hearing he would note the "Sun Tzu precept that says 'A war should not be entered into without considering the end of that war'."
The highest ranking Republican on the committee, Duncan Hunter, made a fool of himself as was expected. His dubious statements included, "We are winning in Iraq. The United States is going to be leaving in victory." During Robert Gates' opening remarks he noted these "challenges:"
* Political progress remains too slow -- as seen recently by the inability of the parliament to pass an election law. This means that provincial elections, which we believe will continue and enhance the process of reconciliation, will in all likelihood be pushed back until at least December. Elections also mean the possibility of increased violence.
* There have been some worrisome reports about sectarian efforts to either disrupt or slow the process of assimilation of the Sons of Iraq ["Awakening" Council] into the Iraqi Security Forces. It is a reminder that sectarin tenaions still exist and have the potential to undo recent progress at the local and national level.
* Despite Iran's pledges last year to stop providing weapons, training and funding to armed militias, evidence suggests that this support continues. [These are Gates' words. There is no proof/evidence that Iran has supplied anything. There has never been proof of that.]
* Iraqi security forces still lack many key capabilities. Many of their operations would simply not have been possible without Coalition enablers. That will remain the case for some time to come.
* The threat from al Qaeda and other militant groups has receded, but is still very real. In the last few months, we have seen a number of suicide attacks -- as well as tactical shifts, such as the increased use of women. This is a reminder that al Qaeda still retains the ability to inflict mass casualties, the operational capacity to assess and change strategies and is still trying to sow chaos and reassert itself. [Again, Gates' words. al Qaeda in Iraq has always been inflated and was not present until after the illegal war started. The administration tends to blame any and all violence on "al Qaeda in Iraq" unless they're targeting Iran for blame that day.]
* Similarly, there is the possiblity that Jaish al-Mahdi could return.
Gates insisted the US had "now entered that end game" in Iraq "and our decisions today and in the months ahead will be critical to regional stability and our national security interests for the years to come."
Chair Skelton had serious concerns about a number of issues and they included where the US money is going and why the Iraqi billions are not being spent. He noted two chief concerns, first that "they [Iraqis] have a lot of money on their own and number two the choice of projects" on which they spend money. At this point he requested that the committee be supplied with a list of all US expenditures over $120,000. He expressed concern over Iraq's stated plan "to build the world's largets ferris wheel" and wondered "why are we funding" construction such as hotels with US tax payer money when the central government in Baghdad sits on so many billions that are not being used?
No surprise, no one had an answer for Skelton though a list might be workable at some point.
US House Rep Susan Davis also wanted to know what was happening with the money. She pointed out that the Iraqi air force is lacking in training and equipment and that it went far beyond that with Iraqi security forces stating that even "batteries that are needed for communication" aren't in supply and "they're saying it's just not getting to them." Was it an issue of corruption, she wanted to know, where was the breakdown? Edelman replied, "We're now in the process of getting to those issues." Now? Five years after the illegal war began?
There were no answers supplied to the questions and neither side seemed overly surprised by that (Congress or the witnesses). Gates spoke of success while also maintaining that the United States would be in Iraq for many "years to come -- although in changing and increasingly limited ways." US House Rep Solomon Ortiz wondered, "What planning and work has been done to enable the next administration to make its own decision about force levels upon taking office after who wins the presidency? And what limits does the president's recent decision place on force level changes?"
Robert Gates: Mr. Ortiz, I think first of all, that the new president will have a full array of options when he enters office in terms of troop levels in -- in -- in Jan- in Iraq. Uhm. As I indicated in my opening remarks, I hope that whoever the new president is will listen closely to the commanders in the field and senior military leaders. I've made the comment before that those who worry and are concerned that the military view was not taken sufficiently into account at the beginning of the war would not neglect it as we get deeper into the end game. But-but there is nothing in place that would contrain the decisions of a new president in terms of policies or anything else that, uh, that a new president could not -- could not change. So new president will have complete flexibility and constrained only by his view of our national security interests.
He? There is a woman running for president. (Rep Michael Conway also referred to "our guys" repeatedly in the hearing. Just as Gates can't picture a woman as president, Conway is unaware that women serve in the US military.) Ron Paul ran for the Republican Party's presidential nomination and lost to John McCain. Last week, he held a rally with his supporters in Minnesota. NOW on PBS has an online exclusive with Paul and they also examined his campaign in 2007. Today, he held a press conference with Ralph Nader (independent presidential candidate, now to be on the ballots in 45 states), Cynthia McKinney (Green Party presidential candidate), Chuck Baldwin (Constitution Party's candidate) and Bob Barr (Libertarian Party presidential candidate). Ralph Nader explains, "Today, along with other third party candidates, I joined Congressman Ron Paul to endorse a common agenda that stands up for the US Constitution by ending illegal wars, and protecting the privacy and civil liberties of all persons under US jurisdiction. We also jointly called for an immediate halt to the increase in the national debt, an end to corporate subsidies and taxpayer bailouts of corporations, and to start aggressively pursuing prosecution of corporations that commit crimes and frauds. Both Congressman Paul and I also support holding President Bush and Dick Cheney to account for their transgressions against our Constitution. Today's coming together of third party candidates marks the beginning of the realignment of American politics." Third Party Watch reports:
Dr. Paul turned the podium over to the others, and Cynthia McKinney, the Green Party's presidential candidate, thanked him for bringing this group together. She recalled that "it took 72 years of struggle and sacrifice, from the beginning of the women's suffrage movement, for women to get the right to vote. I believe today we are starting a new movement of independence from the orthodoxy of our day." (Let's hope it doesn't take 72 years to achieve most of this group's goals!)
Chuck Baldwin, the Constitution Party's presidential candidate, said "the real issue in 2008 is not between Republicans and Democrats, liberals and conservatives, but between globalists and constitutionalists. McCain and Obama are globalists. Baldwin is a constitutionalist."
McCain, Baldwin said, always refers to the U.S. as an "interdependent nation." "But the Founders didn't sign a Declaration of Interdependence. We are fighting for the preservation of our very form of government, and that's why what Ron Paul is doing today is so important, and why our coming together today is so important."
And, as Baldwin always reminds his audiences: "I supported Ron Paul. It's because the GOP rejected Ron Paul that I'm here today as a candidate."
Ralph Nader, the Independent candidate for President, seemed the most enthusiastic and optimistic about Paul's coalition. "I think when McKinney, Barr, Baldwin and Nader agree with Ron Paul on these four major areas--I think that's the beginning of a realignment in American politics." And later: "I'm very proud that we've been able to put aside our differences on other subjects--such as health and safety regulations [chuckles from the audience]--to come together on these four important subjects."
During the recent Obama pander tour -- the one in which he spent about a week trying to win over conservative religious voters -- the presumptive Democratic nominee unnecessarily endorsed President Bush's faith-based initiative, a sort of patronage program that rewards religious activists for their political support with public grants. Then in a St. Louis speech, Obama declared that "I let Jesus Christ into my life." That's fine, but we already have a president who believes this was a qualification for the Oval Office, and look where that's gotten us.Obama's verbal meanderings on the issue of late-term abortion go further. He has muddied his position. Whether this is a mistake or deliberate triangulation, only Obama knows for sure.
One thing is certain: Obama has backhandedly given credibility to the right-wing narrative that women who have abortions -- even those who go through the physically and mentally wrenching experience of a late-term abortion -- are frivolous and selfish creatures who might perhaps undergo this ordeal because they are "feeling blue."
My colleague Sally Quinn put it most provocatively. "Is she prepared for the all-consuming nature of the job?" Quinn wondered. "When the phone rings at three in the morning and one of her children is really sick, what choice will she make?"