Thursday, January 15, 2004

All's Fair? Clark Rivals Irked by an Aide's Tactics
So is this where a lot of the "Gotcha! Dean said (fill-in-the-blank) eons ago" is coming from?
Should we be thanking Chris Lehane? Is it better to get the old crap out in the open now(and soon forgotten by a forgetful public)..before Bush gets to Dean? Or is Chris Lehane systematically destroying the party for whom he's worked so hard by slicing and dicing his own? (Especially when there's doubt being raised by fellow candidates that Wesley Clark actually is one of their own). This vicious activity could backfire on the good General. Caution should be used.
You wouldn't see the GOP doing this. If it was going on within the GOP, the press would never get a hold of the gory details, I assure you. Are Democrats really this desperate and/or foolish???? Do they want to destroy their own party?
Who's giving out advice to Wes Clark? I hope they don't steer him down the vicious path.
I thought better of him...didn't think he'd sink low like this. It just doesn't seem "Wesley-an". ;)

At the same time, Dean should be careful about calling Clark "a Republican". As Juan Cole pointed out today at "Informed Comment":
"... Clark has to be judged on the program he puts forward in 2004, not how he voted in the 1970s. Ironically, Dean's attack on Clark isn't that damaging if Clark emerges as the Democratic candidate, and might even help him.."

While at Informed Comment, see Professor Cole's entry regarding the typical media "gotcha"-attempts. This one's about Wesley Clark's consistency on Iraq and al-Qaeda
"...And why is consistency only being demanded of Clark, anyway? I remember W. campaigning on a platform of "no nation-building." Now he has more state orphans to raise than the old woman in the shoe. As Don Rumsfeld, that
Buddhist sage, has said, "Things change."

This doesn't sound like a Republican to me: Clark is asking if Bush's war decisions were criminal. He thinks Congress should take responsibility on behalf of the American people to determine whether President Bush's march to war in Iraq amounted to a criminal offense.

It's clear that Wes Clark does not like what George Bush has done with Wes Clark's Army.
Richard Cohen (quite fairly, in my opinion) writes about Clark's strengths and weaknesses as a candidate.
General Clark will likely have a domestic-policy doughnut-hole in need of filling. The yin and yang of Clark/Dean..Dean/ becoming clearer every day as the near-perfect completion of the dream-team.

Document raises more DCAA questions about HALLIBURTON's $61.7 million Oil Overcharges
".....The Army Corps of Engineers document, obtained Thursday by The Associated Press, raises new questions about Vice President Dick Cheney's former company two days after Pentagon auditors requested an investigation of possible criminal wrongdoing....
-The Defense Contract Audit Agency on Tuesday asked the Pentagon's inspector general to investigate a "suspected irregularity" involving the Halliburton contract to provide gasoline to civilians in Iraq....
-Rep. Henry Waxman, the top Democrat on the House Government Reform Committee, said Thursday that another Pentagon agency and an Iraqi oil company pay less than half of Altanmia's price for fuel trucked into Iraq from Kuwait. Waxman and other Democrats have called for further investigations of the matter and criticized the Halliburton contract as evidence of the Bush administration's rewarding its corporate friends.

....and HERE.
Go here...don't ask questions...just go here. ;)

Why is the Iowa Democratic Party asking for a media black-out/delay at polls on Caucus night?
What happened to freedom of the press?
".....We fear the premature release of your findings may jeopardize or handicap the outcome in the first-in-the-nation caucuses."
Jeapordize the outcome by reporting? Really??

"....Releasing your results just 30 minute later could make a huge difference in keeping our caucus night free from outside interference.."
As if these people haven't heard (and read) all the other TRIPE from the press already!!!!!

Latest Iowa Zogby poll termed "crack for the weak" by pundits-
Many say poll numbers do not accurately reflect local insider opinions

David Yepsen is relying on the Zogby numbers when he warns Dean and Gephardt to watch their backs while they are absent from Iowa at the end of this week. Mr. Yepsen believes "as Dean slips, Kerry benefits. As Gephardt slips, Edwards profits."
We shall see.
ABC NEWS (The Note): "(Caveat: The svengalis at ABC News and some major papers don't like Zogby's tracking. One ABC guru calls this poll "crack for the weak." Perhaps. But, since it's the only crack on the street right now, political junkies — like the people who have read this far — have come to at least enjoy a small toke. It does square with the gut feelings Iowa insiders and local politicians have about the contest.)"

As Martin Luther King Day approaches...

A new generation....a new hope..a new dream.
If it wasn't for the inspiration which Martin Luther King Jr. provided, we would not recognize the real weapons of mass destruction....the oldest weapons of mass destruction...hatred, fear, and division.

Because of Martin, we DO recognize the real enemy and we DO understand what we need to get our country back on the right path.

The new messenger is the courageous Howard Dean.

Thank God we've had these men of courage to lead us through the most confusing of times.
The 60s....and now the beginning of the new century when fear and hatred is prevalent and hope and inspiration is most needed.

I hope for Howard Dean..and for all of us American people!

"Where would Martin Luther King Jr. stand on the issues today? Some of us that lived through the '60s know he would be against the war in Iraq. He would be against poverty, and he would be against ignorance. He would remind us that one man with courage is a majority. We have one man like that from Vermont. That man is Howard Dean."

"I want you to imagine where we would be today if Howard Dean had not had the courage to stand up, and if hundreds of thousands of Americans had not had the courage to stand up with him.
We'd be left with a personality contest between the same old Washington politicians—hedging their bets, following the polls, retreating from a single controversial word.
Instead we are filled with hope. We've awakened a movement. And we've made
this election meaningful—a real referendum on the direction of our country.
-both statements by Martin Sheen 1-14-04


Nearly a Thousand Protest Bush Visit to MLK Tomb
"...Nicholas was among about 700 people who booed, chanted and beat drums near the typically placid grave site, angry that Bush was there on what would have been the slain civil rights leader's 75th birthday...
....Bush's visit to observe King's birthday upset some civil rights activists who said the president's policies on Iraq,
affirmative action and funding for social services conflict with King's legacy. They also complained that the scheduling conflicted with their own plans to honor King.
-"If Dr. King was here today, he'd be protesting too," said Petite Hammonds, a protester from Atlanta."


In 1968, Martin was not much more than a terrorist to the government.
A terrorist.
Think about that.

"..there was going to be a crackdown in America because of a terrorist threat. He was on that list to be immediately arrested and so the media had a certain kinship with the government... a position that Dr. King put them in a difficult bind. I should never forget our last staff meeting before going to Memphis, really. And he had been agonizing on the terrible attacks by the media and by the government..."
-Rev. Jesse Jackson 01-15-04 on Democracy Now

I looked up the word "easily-confused asswipe" in the dictionary.
Gawsh darn it--look at the picture I found!
*same photo found under:
'Hey, babe-remember those 20 minutes when you had that other talk show?'*

The guy on the right used to be the guy on the left. Forgive him..this is just another one of those uncomfy growing stages. He has yet to bloom into a man who can show he has an ounce of common sense.
Most blatant lie of the day:
The National Center for Public Policy Research is "non- partisan"

and I'm Britney Spears.
This National Center for Public Policy Research is nothing more than a tiny rightwing husband and wife outfit.
Look at the Bush-sucking think-tank's PRESIDENT Amy Ridenour's weblog..the latest "good one" is "Maybe Jefferson Was No Democrat".(BARF)
One look at her blog weblinks will show you where her head is at.

No one in Washington seemed ever to have heard of this so-called "think tank" outfit until this curious little op-ed appeared in the Washington Times in summer, 2001.
Do any of you remember the curious NCPPR fiasco? Amy Ridenour wrote a piece for the moonie-Washington Times warning the U.S. not to support Anwar Ibrahim in Malaysia??-HELLO?! MALAYSIA??- This warning came from Amy with a bogus-then/bogus-now claim that the National Centre for Public Research is a "non-partisan American think-tank" when it is a reactionary, 'free market/conservative', Reagan/Bush campaign operation and the Washington Times (also a bastion of American conservatism and the Republican right). The piece dealt with Ridenour and/or NCPPR attempting to link the people's legitimate, constitutional opposition in Malaysia to Islamic militancy, violence and radicalism. (Ibrahim vs. Mahathir).
Although Amy Ridenour denies that she and her organization had been paid by the Malaysian Government or any other entity for her outrageous report, she never identified who were the Malaysian officials and individuals who had fed her with the materials for her questionable article.

Today, the contrived Drudge Report front-page links an article with NCPPR blasting Gore on global warming, tiltingly titling the link: "GROUP: Gore's Speech 'Demagoguery'... "
Even Drudge is too embarrassed to say WHAT group.
Lame, lame, lame.
Islam and the contemporary crisis of humanity
by Yusuf Al-Khabbaz

One major problem related to the lack of humanity in modern technological societies is selfishness. Many people, including Muslims, don’t seem to have time to help others, or they use various restrictions as excuses to keep them in their own worlds rather than being out helping others – they want to ignore the other people around them.

"...It is possible to look at prophecies, and all traditions have them, often conflicting with one another, but this endeavor may not be fruitful at this point in time, since like any tradition, prophecies can also be pressed into service to suit the particular ideological constructs of the age in which they are invoked....

.....if others want to see compassion and humanity, they will see them, and if they want to see cruelty and selfishness, they will see those too. It is like reading the poetry of Rumi and Hafez: readers can apprehend the poem wherever their nafs is, in, for example, understanding the frequent references to love and intoxication in different and conflicting ways. But this question has at root an important point. What matters is how people live, and this point can be expanded a bit more to include the idea of living as a member of humanity, in light of the points made above, and then reflecting on how that new-found sense of humanity translates within the Islamic tradition. To help reflection on this point, questions must be asked such as, how is it that Muslims feel they do not show their humanity? What does that mean? What is an example of some one who does or does not show their humanity? In other words, how is what it means to show compassion and humanity being judged?"

Rumi's Life to be Put on Film
"....Saban Calis started screenplay preparations one and a half years ago.....Calis summarized the goal of the film project this way: 'to contribute to world peace and induce tolerance between people by introducing Mevlana in the international arena at its best.' ..."

hear Haale here

Iranian-American singer serves Rumi rock with a twist --In New York, the crowds love Haale
-even if they don’t understand the Farsi lyrics

Today's League of Liberals Featured Blogs:

ACT (A-Changin'Times)

According to Veralynne at ACTblog, Al Gore exposed Bush on the environment and global warming in NYC today. She also mentions the 17 "what ifs" in an article titled "What If We Had A Progressive Vision That Offered Corporations Big Profits?" by Rob Kall that she believes are 'very doable'.

My favorite featured article on ACT is one by Stephen Dinan titled "two waves of change"
It provides much food for thought.

Recent HuckUpChuck Blog features some intereting thoughts on the Bush-Hitler comparison fiasco.
As Vermont governor, Dean didn't appoint minorities to his Cabinet. Minority leaders say it was not for lack of trying in the nearly all-white state.

It's way below zero here in in the Northeast.
My fingers feel frozen, even as I sit in a heated house. I've been wearing a hat all day..both indoors and outdoors.
I'm wearing two layers of clothing...three socks (on each foot;).
The furnace at the local SPCA broke down last night-see VIDEO at this site. People have donated hundreds of blankets to help keep the poor animals warm. My brother and sister-in-law own a thoroughbred horse and I'm sure they've been keeping him company out in his chilly stall. We'll all be happier when the next heat wave comes along..ushering in 10-degree temperatures!

Chris Suellentrop questions Wes Clark campaigning statements
I guess the press is making a lame attempt to be "fair"(?)...uh..let's see..hmm..maybe we can find some Wes Clark gaffes...
(*rolling eyes*).
" I'm Al Franken. I'm here to present the funniest ad award.
I'm a last-minute substitution, former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill was supposed to be the presenter, but unfortunately he was murdered."

-Al Franken at Awards in NYC
*A White House official, who asked not to be identified, was present in the same National Security Council meetings as O'Neill immediately after Bush's inauguration in January and February of 2001. He/she corroborates O’Neill’s account. Contrary to Bush's misleading (blame Clinton) lie in Mexico the other day, the official says Bush "went beyond the Clinton administration's halfhearted attempts to overthrow Hussein without force." Bush was hyperfocused on Saddam. *

The Soldiers At My Front Door
by John Dear

A lone voice from the desert of New Mexico tells us that God does not want us to kill anyone.
I was blessed to have been in the presence of Reverend John Dear shortly after 9-11. He spoke of his experiences. He was living in NYC at the time of the attack. He looked into the eyes of parents who'd lost their children in the terror attack; he provided comfort and counsel to the families of the lost, and was told they wished for no further violence as an answer to violence.
Violence was to come, anyway. We all knew it would be so.
When I read Rev. Dear's latest commentary, I thought about Dennis Kucinich and his political message. My hope is that whoever emerges as the Democratic nominee will not forget Dennis Kucinich and his great idea for a U.S. Department of Peace.* see comments below*

"....I looked out the front window of the house where I live, next door to the church, and there they were--all 75 of them, standing yards away from my front door, in the street right in front of my house and our church, shouting and screaming to the top of their lungs, ?Kill! Kill! Kill!? Their commanders had planted them there and were egging them on.
-I was astonished and appalled. I suddenly realized that I do not need to go to Iraq; the war had come to my front door. Later, I heard that they had deliberately decided to do their exercises in front of my house and our church because of my outspoken opposition to the war. They wanted to put me in my place...
...I decided I had to do something. I put on my winter coat and walked out the front door right into the middle of the street. They stopped shouting and looked at me, so I said loudly, publicly for all to hear, ?In the name of God, I order all of you to stop this nonsense, and not to go to Iraq. I want all of you to quit the military, disobey your orders to kill, and not to kill anyone. I do not want you to get killed. I want you to practice the love and nonviolence of Jesus. God does not bless war. God does not want you to kill so Bush and Cheney can get more oil. God does not support war. Stop all this and go home. God bless you.?
-Their jaws dropped, their eyeballs popped and they stood in shock and silence, looking steadily at me. Then they burst out laughing. Finally, the commander dismissed them and they left... "

"...If we are to change the direction of our country, and turn people against Bush?s occupation of Iraq, we are going to have to face the ire and persecution of our local communities. If peace people in every local community insisted that our troops be brought home immediately, that the U.N. be sent in to restore Iraq, that all U.S. military aid to the Middle East be cut, and that our arsenal of weapons of mass destruction be dismantled, then we might all find soldiers marching at our front doors, trying to intimidate us. If we can face our soldiers, call them to quit the military and urge them to disobey orders to kill, then perhaps some of them will refuse to fight, become conscientious objectors and take up the wisdom of nonviolence. If we can look them in the eye and engage them in personal Satyagraha as Gandhi demonstrated, then we know that the transformation has begun..."

**Rev. John Dear, S.J., and Rep. Dennis Kucinich both received the Dorothy Eldridge Peacemaker Award on April 21, 2002. LINK HERE-"Kucinich Discusses Proposed Department of Peace"
"Dear, a Jesuit priest, long-time peace activist and author who served as coordinator of the Ground Zero chaplains spoke movingly of counseling the bereaved as ?heartbreaking? but at times inspiring. He quoted the wisdom of a woman who had lost her 30-year-old son as ?the real response of a peacemaker?: ?John, I have no room for anger. Bombing the hijackers will never bring back my son, heal my grief or my suffering." **


Sean Penn is back from another Iraq trip.


This article by Paul Loeb at Working For Change comes close to my own heart.
It's title is:
Dean and Kucinich
On two candidates who are fighting for something more than the nomination

".....Like many progressives, I've felt torn between Howard Dean's and Dennis Kucinich's respective strengths...
-This leaves me with Dean or Kucinich. If Kucinich's role is to raise the best possible issues, even if he'll never get nominated, I can see arguments for helping him stay in the fray, particularly in states where delegates are allocated proportionately. If Howard Dean wins, there will still be plenty of work for ordinary citizens in building grassroots support for the best of his proposals and challenging him on those we don't support, and come up with creative alternatives. I don't agree with Dean's every stand, but I'm tremendously heartened that a Democratic candidate who stands for something is actually leading the pack. It's a vast improvement from a year ago, and to the degree the other major Democratic candidates are now speaking out against Bush, Dean deserves much of the credit. If he can keep building enough momentum to lock up the nomination early on and focus entirely on distinguishing his vision from that of George Bush, this gives him a greater chance of winning. And because he's willing to fight and involve new people, he has a decent shot. To me, that's a gamble worth risking. Whether its promise is fulfilled may depend on what the rest of us do from this point onward..."


VILLAGE VOICE-Stephen Elliott-"The Dennis Kucinich Polka
What's so funny about peace, love, and the Dems' Great Ignored Candidate?"

".....there's nothing worse than being ignored and if Dennis wants to take on The New York Times I'm right there with him. Those elitist bastards have never once given me so much as a mention....
..There is no other press traveling with Kucinich. ABC apparently pulled their full-time reporter after Kucinich made a mockery of Ted Koppel at the debate in Durham, New Hampshire.....
...Late at night before the house party, I experience a deep connection with Kucinich. I can't believe there is no other press covering him. They assign 10 press people to watch John Kerry implode. Why ride in the back of the death bus when the front seat is open and waiting in the happy van?....
.... Just before I go to sleep I ask myself, Why not love your fellow man, why not peace on earth? In the morning the sun has risen over the enormous Coral Ridge shopping mall, the biggest in Iowa. And the shoppers from Iowa City and Cedar Rapids are pulling in like ants returning to a hill. I ask myself the same question, Why not peace on earth? And the answer occurs to me immediately—because the other guy wants to rape your women and kill your children..."

Judy Dean Comes Out
for People Magazine

Reading this was so much nicer than having to endure another Maureen Dowd harpy-piece.

NY Times' Jodi Wilgoren throws in her two cents on Judy Dean.
"...Political experts say spouses often help humanize the candidates they are married to. A spouse, the person presumably closest to the candidate, also provides a window into a politician's character, they said, and acts as a kind of validator..."
I really don't see Howard Dean as lacking in the "humanization" department simply because his responsible wife is back in Vermont working in a career she sees as important to the people who depend upon her. When you take away the gossip-mongering journalism-diarreah, you are left with a perfectly good, intelligent woman with a husband who, quite simply and respectfully,respects her wishes.
An important component to marriage is allowing one another to blossom into what they need to become while fiercely maintaining the intimate connection that is inaccessible and impenetrable to any outsiders. I don't care if the partners are Presidents or paupers. This obssession with Judy Dean, while predictable, is tired...and tiring.

Moseley Braun to Drop Presidential Bid and
Endorse Howard Dean

"Bill Clinton was a master politician ... but that was a different time..I think this is a time to fight.." says Howard Dean.