I know, another “anti-Hillary” strip. And yes, I am prepared for the onslaught of emails proclaiming I “have gone too far.”
How is Barack lacking in experience? Surely the sum total of the man’s work is more than one speech? Obama has more than eleven years of legislative experience under his belt with most of it in arguably one of the roughest political state arenas – Illinois. Hillary has about eight years.
And no, being First Lady of the United States doesn’t count as “experience” to be president. Exactly who would claim Laura Bush has legislative experience? How about Barbara Bush? Nancy Reagan perhaps?
Also, being the First Lady of Arkansas is even less of reason to claim the mantle of experience. I can just see the McCain ad now – “Whitewater – A Resume of Experience.”
Hillary does have eight years of experience in government and while there she has been incredibly damaging to the issues I care about. Let’s just start with Iraq – bad. Her support of Bush’s Iran sanctions, in light of how bad Iraq was, was even worse. No, I require someone with a tad more discernment skills than Hillary has exhibited.
Trade policies? Hillary sure does love to vote for trade policies, to the detriment of the country. That is bad.
Health care in this nation is an out-of-control mess. Hillary’s 1992 health plan, while not magic, would have been better than the HMO mess we have now. However, now she has a hard time depositing all the money her health care lobbyists give her. They insist all is well in our emergency rooms, doctor offices and pharmacies nationwide. It is a health care utopia according to her lobbyist friends, pals and donors. For “we the people,” not so much. Actually, it is a nightmare.
Just because one is experienced, doesn’t mean it is quality experience.
John McCain is an experienced pilot, just not a very good pilot.
I believe Obama is more than a man with a speech, he has managed to accomplish what NO OTHER POLITICIAN in American history has been able to do, bridge the racial divide in America – unite us together and inspire individuals who have become disenchanted with the American political landscape to participate in the process.
Obama’s Iowa victory speech concluded with “we are ready to believe again” and his whole speech reminded me of Bobby Kennedy. His Brother John gave one of the most memorable speeches a President has ever given – “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”
However, “I never had sex with that woman” just doesn’t do it for me.
Presidential aspirant Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks of her ample experience. The Senator from New York reminds us in advertisements and advisements that she, the former First Lady is abundantly qualified to serve as President of the world’s superpower, the United States of America. For decades, Clinton gave to her country and the community. She would like to continue to work for the people; perhaps, in a more profound manner. As Hillary Clinton affirmed of herself, “I have crossed the Commander-In-Chief threshold.” However, some question her qualifications.
We agree; Senator Clinton has already walked within the private quarters of the White House. She was privileged enough to inhabit the residence. She, and her spouse, were selected by the people, not once, but twice to represent this nation. In her position as First Lady, the Presidential hopeful gained much wisdom. As Senator, she expanded her knowledge.
Hillary and husband Bill Clinton are deeply connected. The pair has been through trying times. Yet, repeatedly, they triumph. Nearly a score ago, William Jefferson Clinton coined the term “comeback kid” about him. From his first Presidential bid to has last, and then again after he left office, the boy from Hope, Arkansas never lost his. This extraordinary man married a woman who mirrored his amazing ability, Hillary Rodham. On March 4, 2008, Presidential hopeful, the wondrous Hillary Clinton did as her husband had done well over a decade ago. She too can now be called the quintessential candidate who will not be kept down. Despite a mass of primary and caucus wins, Barack Obama, learned as many before him had, the experienced candidate, Hillary Clinton will carry on with greater vigor until she realized substantial victories.
As near newlyweds, Bill and Hillary governed in Arkansas. Against all probability, the fresh young couple, from a small Southern state, entered the national scene. Together, they engaged in many difficult and persistent disputes with the privileged political notables. Hillary argued against all claims cast against the couple. She spoke of a vast “Right-Winged Conspiracy.” Ultimately, the Clintons prevailed and came to occupy the Oval Office.
They endured when others lost faith. Bill’s hometown, Hope, provided him with extraordinary will. Apparently, Hillary had the same ability to dream and create the impossible. The two are practiced. They have been beaten down, and just as the Phoenix, they rise from the ashes.
Many Americans recall when the Governor of Arkansas and his bride first appeared on the national scene. people recognized Hillary was not and would not be the woman behind the man; the two were as one. The First Lady of the Natural State was as articulate, erudite, experienced, and eloquent, just as her Rhodes Scholar husband Bill was and is. The couple met in college. Each attended and graduated form Yale Law School. Each was and is a professional in his or her own right. In 1991, the thought was elect one and the nation would have two esteemed and eligible individuals working in the White House for “us,” the citizens of the United States.
Thus, Americans were convinced. The Clinton’s, as they are often called, moved into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Bill Clinton and Hillary shared a bed. They exchanged secrets. The two lawyers understood the complexity of their given roles. They were familiar with the particulars in each other’s lives. Couples communicate. Americans saw evidence of what the Clintons could do. The deficit was reduced. A surplus produced. The people prospered. Many would say, ‘life was good under the Clinton’s.’
Hence, there is reason to believe as Louis Murray of Barry, Vermont declared, on a cold day in March 2008, as he emerge from the polls. Mister Murray told a National Public Radio reporter, “She is truthful, truthful.” We can only wonder of the rest of his statement, “[T]his Obama, I don’t know. I don’t know. I just don’t trust him. I am not prejudiced or anything. I just don’t trust him.”
Perhaps Louis Murray mirrors his mentor. Hillary Clinton, only days before the March primary vote expressed her reticence. She was questioned about her faith in Barack Obama, or at least she cast doubt on his. In a 60 Minutes interview with Steve Kroft, Senator Clinton was asked of a concern expressed by many constituents. ‘Is Barack Obama a Christian?’
“Of course not. I mean, that, you know, there is no basis for that. I take him on the basis of what he says. And, you know, there isn’t any reason to doubt that,” she replied.
“You said you’d take Senator Obama at his word that he’s not…a Muslim. You don’t believe that he’s…,” Kroft said.
“No. No, there is nothing to base that on. As far as I know,” she said.
“It’s just scurrilous…?” Kroft inquired.
“Look, I have been the target of so many ridiculous rumors, that I have a great deal of sympathy for anybody who gets, you know, smeared with the kind of rumors that go on all the time,” Clinton said.
This terse and tentative dismissive of the rumors that Barack Obama may be Muslim, hence a threat to the Jewish population, or pro-Israel policy, is but one of many stealthy, subliminal actions in an ample arsenal of Clinton agendas. The experienced campaigner and her cohorts have been up to much mischief. However, they deny, or refuse to comment, on claims and confirmations.
The comment seemed like a casual aside. Ann Lewis, a senior adviser to Hillary Clinton, was touting the New York senator’s strong support for Israel during a conference call in January with leaders of major American Jewish organizations. During the call, Lewis energetically contrasted Clinton’s pro-Israel credentials with those of Barack Obama. To make her point, she said that Obama’s “chief foreign-policy adviser” is Zbigniew Brzezinski, says one participant who would talk about the call only if he were not identified.
Brzezinski-the former national-security adviser to Jimmy Carter-is not Obama’s “chief foreign-policy adviser.” That is the job of a triumvirate who once worked for Bill Clinton: Anthony Lake, Susan Rice and Greg Craig. But Brzezinski, who tells Newsweek he has advised Obama “only on occasion,” has a reputation that is close to toxic in the American Jewish community. “When Brzezinski’s name appears on an advisory list, that’s a red flag right away,” says an influential American Jewish leader who did not want to sour relations with the Obama campaign. Many American Jews mistrust Brzezinski because he endorsed a 2006 article, later a book, called “The Israel Lobby,” which blames many U.S. foreign-policy problems on Washington’s ties to Israel.
Lewis’s aside is not an isolated incident. (She did not respond to a request for comment.) As the race between Clinton and Obama has sharpened in recent months, other Clinton campaign operatives have sent around negative material about Obama’s relations with Israel, according to e-mails obtained by Newsweek. In addition to Brzezinski, the e-mails attack Obama advisers such as Rob Malley, a former Clinton negotiator at the 2000 Camp David talks who has since written articles sympathetic to the Palestinian point of view, and they raise questions about Obama’s relationship with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, the former pastor at Obama’s Trinity Church in Chicago. Wright has criticized Israel, and Trumpet, a publication run by his daughter, gave an award for “greatness” to Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who once called Judaism a “bloodsucking religion.” (Obama disagreed with bestowing the award.)
Yet, regardless of Barack Obama’s denouncement, and rejection of talk or actions against Israel, irrespective of his support from and for the Jewish people, the Clinton Camp rages on. Repeated assaults, similar to those the Clinton’s “experienced” when they first entered the political fray are not being used against the man they consider the enemy, presumed Presidential nominee, Barack Obama.
In an e-mail sent Feb. 4-a day before Super Tuesday-Clinton finance official Annie Totah passed along a critical essay by Ed Lasky, a conservative blogger whose own anti-Obama e-mails have circulated in the U.S. Jewish community. Totah wrote: “Please read the attached important and very disturbing article on Barack Obama. Please vote wisely in the Primaries.” (She didn’t respond to a request for comment.)
While no definitive evidence exists, there seems to be a direct correlation. A region is flooded with electronic mails that claim the devout Christian Barack Obama is Muslim, just before a primary or caucus in that given territory takes place. Search after search proves the gossip is false. Barack Obama is not and was not Muslim; nor was he educated in a radical Muslim school known as a “madrassa.” Yet, a fearful public reacts to rumors with venom. Possibly, probably, an experienced and educated Clinton has read the research.
Fueled with more fire, and fiercely familiar with what it takes to command a lead a country, Hillary will do what she feels she must to triumph. As the former First Lady asserted, for Hillary Clinton, this campaign “is personal.” Hence, her campaign avowed, they would ‘throw the “kitchen sink” at Barack Obama. The Obama momentum, 11 straight wins, would be derailed. The New York Senator would to be regain her title. After all, she, and her husband, are the Comeback Clinton’s.
The infinitely experienced and esteemed Hillary Clinton is able to evaluate a situation and a person perfectly. She has done so for thirty-five years. When Senator Clinton states Barack Obama is not prepared to be Commander-In-Chief, those who trust her as Louis Murray does, look and listen. Most forget; for years, Senator Clinton prepared for her coronation and cultivated military connections.
Hillary Clinton brings home the dollars for New York’s defense contractors
by Kristen Lombardi
April 26th, 2005 12:00 AM
When someone like Newt Gingrich commends a Democrat’s service on the Senate Armed Services Committee, you know, you’re looking at a serious hawk. That hawk is Hillary Clinton, junior senator from blue-state New York and possible presidential candidate in 2008.
Gingrich, with an eye on his White House bid, told a group of newspaper editors last month that she’d make a formidable opponent. “Senator Clinton is very competent, very professional, very intelligently moving toward the center, very shrewdly and effectively serving on the Armed Services Committee,” the GOP hard-liner said. Gringrich should know: He sits with her on a star-studded Pentagon advisory group.
When not fending off terrorists or bucking up the troops in Iraq, Clinton has been equally fierce about defending defense dollars for her home state.
Just ask Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, who got the back-off sign from her at an April 19 budget meeting of a Senate Armed Services subcommittee. Clinton isn’t assigned to this smaller group, but she showed up anyway. And we know what she said, because her aides sent out a press release and video snippet of their Democratic boss fighting the good fight on Capitol Hill.
Lieberman, a fellow committee member, had sought a coveted $1.7 billion contract to build the presidential Marine One helicopter in his home state. The deal was awarded January 28 to Lockheed Martin-in upstate New York. Now Clinton feared he would try to block its funding.
She spoke briefly, telling the subcommittee: “Now that the contract has been awarded, we think it is important we proceed expeditiously.” Cut this money, in other words, and you’re crossing me.
As countless knew long before the March 4, 2008 primaries,, and as Barack Obama now understands more than he hoped to imagine, do not threaten Hillary Rodham Clinton or her desired rise to power. The wrath is far greater than a woman’s scorn.
Contempt from the Clinton Camp is intended to crush any member of Congress or rival candidate. The experienced Senator Clinton is skilled in her craft. She is clever and deftly able to avoid confrontation as she did a week prior to the Ohio, Rhode Island, Texas, Vermont primary elections, during a Democratic Debate, the honorable former First Lady was asked of her position on the North American Free Trade Agreement. There was much controversy surrounding her stance.
In 1997, Hillary Rodham Clinton expressed her support for the action. “The simple fact is, nations with free-market systems do better,” she said in a 1997 speech to the Corporate Council on Africa. “Look around the globe: Those nations, which have lowered trade barriers, are prospering more than those that have not.”
At the 1998 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, she praised corporations for mounting “a very effective business effort in the U.S. on behalf of Nafta.” She added: “It is certainly clear that we have not by any means finished the job that has begun.”
She continued to endorse the accord for quite some time. Once in the Senate, Clinton voted inconsistently on trade policy. Hence, the issue was [and is] of great import. Specifically, in Ohio, where the most recent debate was held, workers struggle to survive. Jobs once held by American laborers are ‘outsourced.’ Since the North American Free Trade Agreement [NAFTA] was initiated, employment is fragile. Yet, when given the opportunity to discuss what Senator Clinton would do about trade agreements as President of the United States, Clinton deviated from the subject and instead voiced her objection. She did not speak to how the economy was hurt by NAFTA. She addressed her own distress.
Before focusing on the topic, she said she found it “curious” . . . that, according to her, at the “last several debates” she seemed to be targeted for the first question.
We can’t recall if she’s right about that. But we’re pretty sure the matter will have been thoroughly vetted by morning. It also will be interesting to see if Clinton will be seen as standing up for herself or acting a bit petulant.
It all might have been mainly a ruse to work in that reference to the SNL spoof that showed Obama being fawned over by media types. Here was the entire Clinton remark, when the NAFTA query was kicked her way:
“Well, could I just point out that, in the last several debates, I seem to get the first question all the time. And I don’t mind. You know, I’ll be happy to field them, but I do find it curious. And if anybody saw ‘Saturday Night Live,’ you know, maybe we should ask Barack if he’s comfortable and needs another pillow.”
Hillary Clinton, as was obvious through her numerous odious remarks did not care whether her adversary was cozy. Indeed, she intended to ensure he was not. Behind the scenes and far off in Canada, the Clinton campaign worked to establish that Barack Obama or one of his advisers might be insincere. Early on, there was no mention of the mendaciousness within the Clinton Camp. Hillary and all those who help her focused on what presumed was her manifest destiny. However, as time marches on, Americans have a truer picture. Will Louis Murray have reason to pause?
(CNN) – Hillary Clinton’s campaign is denying a Canadian report Thursday that suggests her campaign called representatives of that nation’s government to re-assure them that despite campaign rhetoric, they would not seek changes to NAFTA – an allegation they used against Barack Obama’s campaign in the days leading up to Tuesday’s critical primary votes.
“Unlike the Obama campaign, we can and do flatly deny this report and urge the Canadian government to reveal the name of anyone they think they heard from,” Clinton spokesman Phil Singer said in a statement. . . .
The Canadian government has said it is investigating the source of the leak. The Canadian Press reported Thursday that the comment that sparked the original story may have come from Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper’s chief of staff, Ian Brodie – and that his remark had implicated Clinton’s campaign, not Obama’s.
The Thursday story also said CTV’s Washington bureau had initially decided to report on Clinton. The New York senator was mentioned in the final report, but it focused on Obama’s aide. . .
Earlier this week, the Obama campaign admitted Goolsbee and consulate officials had spoken, but not under the direction of the campaign, and said that a leaked Canadian government memo implying otherwise had mischaracterized the substance of the discussion.
Substance is a shaky matter. The experienced candidate comprehends this. Hillary Clinton who has achieved an image of strength understands the weight of her words. When the Senator from the Empire State chided rival Barack Obama, she set a tone and advanced an agenda that would be the impetus for further insinuations.
Clinton’s gambit may have struck some of those critiquing the debate as woeful, but SNL opened its latest show with another skit depicting Obama as the media’s darling — and her as its victim. More to the point, the coda to the sketch was an “Editorial Response” — delivered by the candidate herself.
Hillary Clinton learned her lesson well, when her husband’s affaire de coeur was revealed. Clinton realized if the public feels her pain, she garners admiration, appreciation, and awe. The Presidential hopeful was reminded of this recently. In New Hampshire, tired and distressed, the forlorn former First Lady tearfully spoke of her despair. The people responded. In that race as well, Hillary Clinton snatched victory from the jaws of defeat.
This experienced elected official, knows how to play the game, and even make the rules. Hillary Clinton rants; she rages. She is a self-proclaimed “fighter.” The soon to be coronated Commander-In-Chief, if she has her way chuckles when a coy response is required. She croons and catches America off guard. Hillary Clinton cries, and many weep with her. People relate to the rhetoric of Hillary Rodham Clinton, and why would they not.
Clinton loaded her speeches with a laundry list of policy promises . . . She boasted of the endorsements she has received from retired admirals and generals, including two former chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (both of whom, as it happens, served under her husband). “I’ve been very specific in this election,” she said in a serious understatement.
And she’s been equally specific in her blistering critiques of Obama of late. On Monday, after the Associated Press reported that Obama’s senior economic adviser had indeed privately told Canadian consular officials not to take the candidate’s anti-NAFTA rhetoric all that seriously, Clinton lit into both Obama and the media. She said the alleged communication, which the senior adviser claimed had been misinterpreted, shows the Obama campaign has “done the old wink-wink. Don’t pay any attention. This is just political rhetoric.” She also suggested the media would be treating this more seriously if she had done it. “With this story, substitute my name for Senator Obama’s and just ask yourself.
Oooops. It seems of late we might have to, for as noted earlier in this essay, the tale may be as true if not truer for the Clinton folks than it ever was for the Obama campaign. The circumstances of this conundrum are yet to fully be realized. However, the situation does not look good for the Clintons. Yet, that “truth” does not deter Hillary “Comeback” Clinton. She continues.
At times, it seemed Clinton was all but accusing Obama of being an empty suit. She warned voters not to be swayed by speeches that left them thinking, “That was beautiful, but what did it mean?” Defending her provocative television ad suggesting he was not up to the challenge of answering the White House phone at 3 a.m. in a crisis, she told reporters at a news conference Monday in Toledo: “I have a lifetime of experience I will bring to the White House.
I know Senator McCain [the presumptive Republican nominee] has a lifetime of experience he will bring to the White House. And Senator Obama has a speech he made in 2002″ – a reference to the address in which Obama, before being elected to the Senate, had publicly opposed the Iraq invasion that she and McCain had voted to authorize.
While the clamor increases, few are able to focus on the more quiet and calm candidate, the Presidential hopeful who displays calm in a storm, Barack Obama. On the defensive as he has been forced to be in the first week of March, the candidate remains cool. The Senator from Illinois does not squeak and therefore, may not receive the oil. Nor must reporters toil in order to gain access or information from Barack Obama. While this subtle nuance is rarely discussed, it may be quite significant. At least it is to the Assistant Managing Editor, of “Newsweek”.
Evan Thomas spoke of his bewilderment on Hardball, with Chris Matthews. As a group of pundits bandied about the details of the March 4 election results and all the doings that led to the conclusion, a sweeping Clinton win, the conversation turned to talk of who would be the best Commander-In-Chief. The 3 Ante Meridian red phone call commercial crept into the dialogue.
Evan Thomas, Assistant Managing Editor, “Newsweek”: One thing I don’t get about the ad, the whole idea of 3:00 a.m. is, you want coolness and detachment, right?
She is not cool and detached. She is really either hot and angry or she’s icy cold and tough. But I don’t think of her as being cool. I think of Obama as being the cool, detached guy. Now, maybe he doesn’t have the experience, but I think, if you peel this onion, there is something about it that just doesn’t make sense to me.
I mean, she doesn’t strike me as the person who is the cool, detached, steady person at the other end of the phone.
Barack Obama however, is steady. The potential President said of himself in an interview with Time Correspondent, Joe Klein. “It’s just not my style to go out of my way to offend people or be controversial just for the sake of being controversial. That’s offensive and counterproductive. It makes people feel defensive and more resistant to changes.” Barack Obama does invite inquiry; however, in a mild tone. Frequently, the less ferrous candidate asks Americans, might we fully examine Hillary Clinton’s experience? Perhaps, we, the people, should. If we are to truly trust Hillary Clinton as Louis Murray does, it is important that we know why we have faith in this future leader.
As first lady, Hillary Rodham Clinton jaw-boned the authoritarian president of Uzbekistan to leave his car and shake hands with people. She argued with the Czech prime minister about democracy. She cajoled Roman Catholic and Protestant women to talk to one another in Northern Ireland. She traveled to 79 countries in total, little of it leisure; one meeting with mutilated Rwandan refugees so unsettled her that she threw up afterward.
But during those two terms in the White House, Mrs. Clinton did not hold a security clearance. She did not attend National Security Council meetings. She was not given a copy of the president’s daily intelligence briefing. She did not assert herself on the crises in Somalia, Haiti and Rwanda.
And during one of President Bill Clinton’s major tests on terrorism, whether to bomb Afghanistan and Sudan in 1998, Mrs. Clinton was barely speaking to her husband, let alone advising him, as the Lewinsky scandal sizzled.
Perhaps, pillow talk was not always pleasant in the Clinton household. Granted we know the two stayed together. We can assume they worked through the problems that presented themselves in those earlier troubled times. Bill was there for Hillary when she decided to run for her Senate seat. The former President is his wife’s chief cheerleader. Bill, just as Hillary boast of her record and the résumé.
In seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, Mrs. Clinton lays claim to two traits nearly every day: strength and experience. But as the junior senator from New York, she has few significant legislative accomplishments to her name. She has cast herself, instead, as a first lady like no other: a full partner to her husband in his administration, and, she says, all the stronger and more experienced for her “eight years with a front-row seat on history.” . . .
And late last week, Mr. Obama suggested that more foreign policy experts from the Clinton administration were supporting his candidacy than hers; his campaign released a list naming about 45 of them, and said that others were not ready to go public. Mrs. Clinton quickly put out a list of 80 who were supporting her, and plans to release another 75 names on Wednesday.
The competitive, confrontation, conduct of Hillary Clinton is consistently clear. Possibly, her character traits are the qualities she thinks define her as a Commander-In-Chief. The experience the former First Lady speaks of may entail more than her thirty-five years with Bill. Certainly, her persona has been with her for a lifetime. It seems her duties as the First Spouse were negligible.
Mrs. Clinton’s role in her most high-profile assignment as first lady, the failed health care initiative of the early 1990s, has been well documented. Yet, little has been made public about her involvement in foreign policy and national security as first lady. Documents about her work remain classified at the National Archives. Mrs. Clinton has declined to divulge the private advice she gave her husband.
An interview with Mrs. Clinton, conversations with 35 Clinton administration officials and a review of books about her White House years suggest that she was more of a sounding board than a policy maker, who learned through osmosis rather than decision-making, and who grew gradually more comfortable with the use of military power.
Her time in the White House was a period of transition in foreign policy and national security, with the cold war over and the threat of Islamic terrorism still emerging . . .
She did not wrestle directly with many of the other challenges the next president will face, including managing a large-scale deployment – or withdrawal – of troops abroad, an overhaul of the intelligence agencies or the effort to halt the spread of nuclear weapons technology. Most of her exposure to the military has come since she left the White House through her seat on the Senate Armed Services Committee.
My personal experience may serve to enlighten. Each morning I awaken and we talk. He tells me tales. Barry details his dreams, those he experienced in his sleep and those he aspires to achieve throughout the day. We reflect on what was the day before. Barry and I discuss as we did before bed, what occurred in the office. His suite is not oval is shape. The walls in his workplace are angular.
When my significant other, my partner, thought to “stay the course,” an associate advised him that might be best. Business decisions can be brutal. As an authority figure within the corporate structure Barry, must be sensitive to his base, the people who support him in his struggle to succeed. I questioned that truth, or did I comfort Barry, assure him that he must accomplish the mission. Whatever I said, most definitely, I shared his burden.
I have helped my closest friend and confidant through many a corporate crisis. I listened and offered opinions. Yet, his experiences in his work were not mine. I am capable; yet, I could not do what Barry does daily. Barry and I are a couple. We are extremely close, intimate, and united. However, we are not one. Who he is, what he thinks, says, does, and feels, is distinctly unique to him. I have never been his eyes, his ears, and certainly, I do not have his heart. I may know Barry better than any other human could. Couples have told us they have never met two people that speak more openly or often than the two of us.
Nonetheless, after all these decades, I could not walk into his executive suite and do his job as though I had done it forever. Indeed, Barry commands with finesse. Perchance, I could be as eloquent. However, I will never be Barry. Nor was his experience my own. I stand alone, as me, myself, and I.
Yet, in this election season, I and all other Democratic voters are asked to suspend disbelief and forget Hillary Clinton’s own account.
Mrs. Clinton said in the interview that she was careful not to overstep her bounds on national security, relying instead on informal access. . . .
She said she did not attend National Security Council meetings, nor did she have a security clearance.
When osmosis, access, right of entry, and contact defines experience, we need not wonder why the State of the Union is dismal. If a person who we sometimes share a bed with qualifies as our alter-ego, then perhaps we have had many women Presidents.
Hillary Clinton is exceptional in that her experience encompasses manipulation, exploitation, and ethics a peacemaker who not value. The depth and breath Clinton alludes to is arguably, illusive. Her excellent management style leaves a staff, as the Washington Post notes, even in victory, battling itself. Yet, these qualities have impressed voters such as John Murray. What does this say of us, a people so ready to attack another country, that before we bombed innocent men, women, and children, we did not verify the “intelligence?”
While not cool, calm, or collected, Hillary Clinton exudes a strength that leads many Americans to believe she has been and will continue to be Commander-In-Chief. Congratulations Senator, former First Lady, and possibly President Hillary Rodham Clinton. You have convinced citizens to suspend disbelief and many do.
Shame seems to be the issue of the day. The North America Free Trade Agreement is also among the topics discussed. Health Care plans are reviewed. As the Presidential campaigns progress, let us reflect, and recall why these matters move the media and the people.
It was a cold day in January. The year 2007, after much debate and ample discussions, Hillary Rodham Clinton concluded the time was now. The climate was ideal. The former First Lady sat poised on a couch. The colors in the room were warm. A lamp placed behind the sofa was lit. Sunlight streamed into the room. Photographs of the family were visible on a table nearby. Finally, the stage was set. The New York Senator looked into the eyes of her visitors. Gently she smiled. Hillary Rodham Clinton opened her home and her heart to an American audience desirous of change. The woman many had hoped would be the first woman President of the United States affirmed “I’m in.”
Hillary Clinton invited us all to join her in a conversation. She mused, she had a feeling; it was going to be very interesting. Indeed, it is. Weeks ago, the candidate realized a deep dip in the contributions. This drop in donations caused much clamor. On February 21, 2008, during the Democratic Debate, First Lady Clinton offered her admiration to the man who appeared to be more prominent in the eyes of the people, Barack Obama. Then, a mere forty-eight hours later Hillary Clinton attacked her adversary.
The Senator from New York claimed, while in the crowd at an event in Cincinnati, Ohio, just days prior to that State’s primary, she was handed two mailers. A brilliant woman, organized, and aware, ready to take on the responsibilities of the Oval Office the day she crosses the threshold, did not realize that ten days earlier, the Ohio Daily Blog published an essay which spoke of the brochures. Jeff received his copies. Yet, Hillary had not yet sampled hers.
The experienced, professional politician fumed as she spoke, of the accounts. As a mother scolding her child potential President Hillary Clinton shrieked, “Shame on you Barack Obama!” The genteel First Lady pointed her finger and challenged her rival Senator Obama to “meet me in Ohio, and let’s have a debate about your tactics and your behavior in this campaign.”
As Americans listen to the words of the woman we once thought would receive her just coronation into the White House, we are reminded, this political campaign has never truly been about issues. Personality, popularity, electability, and the ability to connect to wealthy contributors have long been the focus among the candidates and by extension the electorate. Voters are subject to the voice of those who speak of what is important to them personally. We might recall the times a candidate or two expressed what is true. For them, this campaign is personal, full of personal attacks.
A day later, the Clinton Camp announced they would engage in a calculated campaign of smear. Conduct unbecoming a possible Commander-In-Chief, when named Barack Obama is quite befitting of a potential President Clinton.
In the robo-call voiced by Clinton, she said she wants to set the record straight. “Sen. Obama has sent out attack mailers that distort my record on NAFTA, but I believe Ohio deserves the truth,” Clinton says, “NAFTA has hurt Ohio families and I have a plan to fix it. My opponent does not. I’ll appoint a Trade Prosecutor to enforce our trade agreements, and crackdown on China’s unfair trade practices. I’ll eliminate tax breaks for companies that ship our jobs overseas, and invest in creating good jobs right here in Ohio.”
The Clinton attack mailer cites press reports of Obama praising NAFTA and other trade deals. “Don’t be fooled by Barack Obama.” [or Hillary Clinton?]
Might we take a moment to reflect. Let us begin with the records. The text of Barack Obama comments may enlighten us on the issue of tactics and behavior, the topics Hillary Clinton would like to discuss in an Ohio debate. The background also offers insights.
(Alan Keyes wanted to withdraw completely from trade agreements.) “Keyes, the Republican nominee, said the United States should move away from negotiating multinational trade agreements, arguing the country can cut better deals by bargaining one-on-one and imposing tariffs on countries that undercut American farmers with cheap products. ‘Why is it in American economics that you say ‘tariffs’ and everybody thinks you cursed,’ Keyes said. ‘We need to make sure we get a fair deal.’ He also called for complete elimination of the inheritance taxes, as well as the income tax.
“But Democrat Obama said Keyes’ ideas could lead to trade wars that would harm farmers, who are always looking for new markets willing to buy American crops. He said the United State should continue to work with the World Trade Organization and pursue deals such as the North American Free Trade Agreement, but the country must be more aggressive about protecting American interests. ‘We don’t want to set off trade wars. What we want to make sure of is that our farmers are treated fairly,’ Obama said. ‘The problem in a lot of our trade agreements is that the administration tends to negotiate on behalf of multinational companies instead of workers and communities.'” (AP, 9/8/04)
Hillary Clinton took a stand on the North American Free Trade Agreement and has for years. The Former First Lady spoke in support of her husband’s Bill’s legendary policy.
Clinton promoted her husband’s trade agenda for years, and friends say that she’s a free-trader at heart. “The simple fact is, nations with free-market systems do better,” she said in a 1997 speech to the Corporate Council on Africa. “Look around the globe: Those nations, which have lowered trade barriers, are prospering more than those that have not.”
Praise for Nafta
At the 1998 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, she praised corporations for mounting “a very effective business effort in the U.S. on behalf of Nafta.” She added: “It is certainly clear that we have not by any means finished the job that has begun.”
Clinton “is committed to free trade and to the growing role of the international economy,” said Steven Rattner, a Clinton fundraiser and co-founder of Quadrangle Group LLC, a New York buyout firm. “She would absolutely do the right thing as president.”
However, as Hillary Clinton herself reminds us, speeches are not solutions. While at a General Motors plant, the Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton proposes, “That’s the difference between me and my opponent, I offer solutions. It’s one thing to get people excited. I want to empower you to live your dreams so we can all go forward together.”
“Now, over the years, you’ve heard plenty of promises from plenty of people in plenty of speeches. And some of those speeches were probably pretty good. But speeches don’t put food on the table. Speeches don’t fill up your tank, or fill your prescription or do anything about that stack of bills that keeps you up at night.” Only jobs and a stable income can keep Americans safe and secure; hence, the need for American policymakers to assess the North American Free Trade Agreement. As Senator, Clinton could finally take actions that would rescind a policy that haunts her husband and his heritage. Thus, she did or did not. Please ponder the documentation.
Voted against CAFTA despite Bill Clinton’s pushing NAFTA. (Oct 2005)
Voted YES on free trade agreement with Oman. (Jun 2006)
Voted NO on implementing CAFTA for Central America free-trade. (Jul 2005)
Voted YES on establishing free trade between US & Singapore. (Jul 2003)
Voted YES on establishing free trade between the US and Chile. (Jul 2003)
Voted NO on extending free trade to Andean nations. (May 2002)
Voted YES on granting normal trade relations status to Vietnam. (Oct 2001)
Voted YES on removing common goods from national security export rules. (Sep 2001)
Rated 17% by CATO, indicating a pro-fair trade voting record. (Dec 2002)
What is a voter to think? Hillary Clinton Biographer Carl Bernstein avows, Hillary Clinton’s economics, the ones she preached to her husband in the White House are much closer to John Edwards then you would think. She argued with Bill Clinton when she was First Lady, her husband, she said ‘Bill, you are doing Republican economics when you are doing NAFTA.’ She was against NAFTA. Yet, as the author expresses in his own assessment of the candidate . . .
A new biography’s unflattering portrayal of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton as someone who “camouflages” her real self for political gain is starting to attract attention – and not for the salacious stories, most books recount about the Clintons.
“A Woman in Charge,” by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Carl Bernstein, gives scant attention to the tense days the former First Lady spent in the White House when Bill Clinton was sneaking around with his intern, Monica Lewinsky. Instead, the former Washington Post reporter, who helped blow the lid off Watergate, attempts to portray Hillary Clinton as someone who is willing to rewrite her own history to advance the political career she put on hold when she moved to Arkansas with her college sweetheart who would later become president.
“This is a woman who led a camouflaged life and continues to,” Bernstein told TODAY host Matt Lauer on Friday in an exclusive interview. “This book takes away that camouflage.”
The Bernstein book, which the writer refers to as the first “real biography” of Hillary Clinton, is a recent edition. There is ample, additional information; Hillary Clinton was for, no against, the North American Free Trade Agreement [NAFTA]. Hence, again, we can only do as Hillary advises; look at the votes for verification. As we observe, duplicity and a commitment to convenience, seem apparent.
This inconsistent configuration is no less obvious in the banter and behavior of Barack Obama. The expressions of Barack Obama and the conduct of Hillary Clinton are, as the First Lady imagined them to be many months ago, interesting.
Words are not separate from work, whether we speak of one candidate or the other. Even constituents can be considered complex beings. We have wants, needs, among these are Universal Health Care. Barack Obama understood this on that cold frigid day in Springfield, Illinois. In February, on the 10th day of the month, in the year 2007, Illinois Senator Barack Obama stood in front of the Old State Capitol building. A throng of supporters frozen; yet full of fervor positioned themselves where they could best see the man they admired.
Dignified as he spoke Presidential hopeful Obama reminded Americans that more than a century ago, on these same steps, Abraham Lincoln called on a divided house to stand together. Barack Obama stated that in Springfield, Illinois he learned that “common hopes and common dreams still” live. Then, the man who speaks and writes of the audacity of hope offered . . .
Let’s be the generation that finally tackles our health care crisis. We can control costs by focusing on prevention, by providing better treatment to the chronically ill, and using technology to cut the bureaucracy. Let’s be the generation that says right here, right now, that we will have universal health care in America by the end of the next president’s first term.
Yes, we can . . . be the generation that declares we will provide medical coverage for one and for all. Yet, Barack Obama is, as of yet unwilling to propose that we, the people be insured equally. Senator Obama, has not worked towards Universal Health Care. Indeed, he argues against it, and presents a proviso, the plan may changed if need be.
Like former senator John Edwards (N.C.), who outlined his health-care goals in February, Obama would pay for his plan, which could cost more than $50 billion, by increasing taxes for people earning more than $250,000 and reversing tax cuts that President Bush approved. Obama would require almost all employers to offer insurance to workers or face a tax penalty, an idea that many businesses abhor and that is also in Edwards’s proposal. This employer mandate drove much of the opposition to the Clinton plan in 1994.
Like Clinton, who in a speech last week laid out some of her health-care ideas, Obama is focused as much on reducing the costs for those who are insured as on expanding coverage to the estimated 45 million Americans who are not. He called for the federal government to pay part of the costs for patients with chronic illnesses, so that employers would not have to do so, but also emphasized the importance of preventive care. It is important to “listen to our wives when they tell us to stop smoking,” he said, referring to his own unhealthy habit.
Like many Democratic politicians, he blamed drug and health insurance companies for stopping the passage of more expansive health-care proposals.
The lack of new ideas in Obama’s health plan in part reflects his approach. He has emphasized his freshness as a rationale for his candidacy, but that freshness has been much more about his tone and his rhetoric about hope and bipartisanship than his policy proposals . . .
One concept that Obama’s plan does not include is a popular idea from both Democrats and Republicans who work on health-care issues: an “individual mandate” that would require every American to buy health insurance. . . .
The Clinton and Edwards campaigns quickly criticized Obama for not offering a plan that would require insurance for all. ” . . .
Obama’s advisers argued that such a mandate is less important than adding subsidies and other ways to make health care more affordable. . . .
“The key is not the mandate,” said David Cutler, an economics professor at Harvard, who advised Obama on the plan. “It’s the affordability and the accessibility.”
It seems Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, neither of whom offer a Single Payer, Not For Profit, Universal Health Care can tout as they do with credibility. Each vocalizes, “I will be the people’s President.” Yet, as the nation peruses the plans it remains evident, that if either of these aspirants [or the Republican rival] enters the Oval Office in 2009, all men will remain unequal. Those who lost jobs to Free Trade agreements will likely remain unemployed or become underemployed. Circumstances for the constituents will continue to be dire. Millions of citizens will be unable to afford or access medical care at any cost, to say nothing of the twelve or more million migrants who go without health care. Mailers be damned. Shame on Barack Obama? Shame on Hillary Clinton? It is a shame that the people were never given a voice or entrée into the election.
Dennis Kucinich, potential President of the people, a live-time Union member, the one person to actively propose an end to the North American Free Trade Agreement [NAFTA], the war in Iraq [remember that refrain?], and Single Payer, Not For Profit, Universal Health Care, I miss you.
Well over a week ago, I was elated when I first heard broadcasters on National Public Radio’s Morning Edition state they would host a Democratic Debate. I thought; finally, Presidential hopeful, and an authentic Progressive, Dennis Kucinich would actually have a chance to speak. People would hear the words of the most mainstream candidate for more than a minute. Congressman Kucinich could truly discuss the issues in some depth and possibly detail. Perhaps, a publicly supported media service would at least grant Dennis Kucinich equal time.
The announcer encouraged audience members, nationwide, to submit questions. I raced to my computer and eagerly typed my query. As I clicked the button to post, I realized I neglected to do as the instructions advised. I did not include my hometown. Troubled by my error, I telephoned the main National Public Radio switchboard. I was transferred to the person in-the-know. The producer and I discussed what I had done, how I could correct my mistake, and my excitement for the upcoming debate. I was told to resubmit my question and I did as directed.
Expectant as I pondered the possibilities, I wondered. Might this be the debate of my dreams? I hoped this panel discussion would be as the Heartland Presidential Forum. During that event, citizens of the region had an opportunity to hear from each candidate. With the exclusion of one unscripted, unforeseen technical glitch, that allowed Hillary Clinton to speak for moments more, every Presidential hopeful had equal time to address what matters to the common man. Aspirants stood unaccompanied by adversaries. Face-to-face with real people, contenders for the Office of the President heard the tales folks told and answered their questions. It was a beautiful assembly to behold.
Then, on December 3, the day prior to the National Public Radio Democratic Debate, my dreams were shattered. I listen to a lengthy program, where the journalist discussed their plans. My heart sank. As the correspondents described the format, I was certain, this get-together would be as all those seen or heard on “popular” media, slanted towards the supposed front-runners.
I chatted with a friend that was also looking forward to the transmission. We shared our sorrow; yet, we hoped we would be wrong. Indeed, my interpretation for what was to come was accurate.
On December 4, 2007, I scheduled my life around the National Public Radio debate. As I listened, again my heart sank. The speakers were as they have been in each mainstream program. Hillary, Obama, and John were the focus and featured prominently. The powerful three are so well known, Americans recognize and address them by their first names. Joseph Biden was the sometimes foil. Mike Gravel was the candidate not-to-be-taken-seriously, and Dennis Kucinich was to-be avoided-at-any-cost. If the Congressman were allowed to speak, he might connect with the listeners in an authentic manner. Then, what would this nation’s powerbrokers do?
What, a listener might say, National Public Radio is pure. It is the people’s choice. Are there not studies or polls that state this is the least biased broadcast service. Perhaps there were or are; however, we must consider an image built in the past may linger.
[L]ittle evidence has ever been presented for a left bias at NPR, and FAIR’s latest study gives it no support. Looking at partisan sources-including government officials, party officials, campaign workers and consultants-Republicans outnumbered Democrats by more than 3 to 2 (61 percent to 38 percent). A majority of Republican sources when the GOP controls the White House and Congress may not be surprising, but Republicans held a similar though slightly smaller edge (57 percent to 42 percent) in 1993, when Clinton was president and Democrats controlled both houses of Congress. And a lively race for the Democratic presidential nomination was beginning to heat up at the time of the 2003 study.
Partisans from outside the two major parties were almost nowhere to be seen, with the exception of four Libertarian Party representatives who appeared in a single story (Morning Edition , 6/26/03).
Republicans not only had a substantial partisan edge, individual Republicans were NPR ‘s most popular sources overall, taking the top seven spots in frequency of appearance. George Bush led all sources for the month with 36 appearances, followed by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld (8) and Sen. Pat Roberts (6). Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, Secretary of State Colin Powell, White House press secretary Ari Fleischer and Iraq proconsul Paul Bremer all tied with five appearances each.
Might we consider another account; NPR Touts Pro-Nuke ‘Environmentalists’ Network’s own nuclear links undisclosed. In August 2007, a likely too scant readership learned of what some sharp listeners surmise.
One factor that is relevant to NPR’s cheerleading for nuclear power is its own financial links to the industry. According to NPR’s website, between 1993 and 2005, the public radio service received between $250,000 and $500,000 from Constellation Energy, which belongs to Nustart Energy, a 10-company consortium pushing for new nuclear power plant construction. During the same period, another nuclear operator, Sempra Energy, donated between $50,000 and $100,000 to NPR. This potential conflict of interest was not disclosed in the August 15 segment, or in any other of NPR’s recent largely industry-friendly reports. (NPR has, in the past, insisted that the corporate “underwriting” money it receives has no bearing on its coverage–a defense that would seem to undercut the rationale for NPR’s existence as a noncommercial broadcaster.)
To think, no one, no organization is influenced by those who allow them to survive is an interesting notion, although common sense would tell us this is quite a stretch. Without money to endure, there is no National Public Radio. Do listeners not hear that claim during each fund drive.?
National Public Radio may hope we will believe that the evidence is only circumstantial; however, there is ample reason to believe “Public” radio leans towards monied moguls. Curious souls who search, further discover there is much to call into question. Why might the once six-year Wal-Mart Board member,, Hillary Clinton be allotted so much more time to speak than a less well-connected candidate? Perchance it is because National Public Radio receives major, as in Million Dollars Plus, donations from this corporation. Wal-Mart, a company that more than profits from the National Free Trade Agreement [NAFTA], obviously would not wish for Congressman Dennis Kucinich to speak.
The people’s candidate, Dennis Kucinich advocates an end to the “free” trade agreement, just as the American workers do. Representative Kucinich understands the harm this contract caused and the hazards that will befall laborers in this country if the policy continues. However, Dennis, a lifetime Union member was not given an opportunity to speak on the topic, although he tried to.
Some citizens in Marshalltown turn in illegal immigrants, some take them in. There’s actually a person who’s been indicted for sheltering immigrants, which raises a question that I’d like to put to you: What obligations do American citizens have when it comes to illegal immigrants?
And let’s start with Senator Obama. Would you expect Americans, if you’re president – January 2009, immigration reform, whatever you want hasn’t happened yet. Would you expect Americans to turn in illegal immigrants when they come across them?
Of course, let us begin with Barack Obama. He is in the same league with National Public Radiobackers [bankers]. Time Warner is among the corporations that fund the broadcasters and Barack. The Illinois Senator loves their financial support [contributions or backing], as does NPR. Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, JP Morgan Chase & Company, and Morgan Stanley, who contribute to the Obama campaign, certainly, these institutions are sensitive to the immigration situation. Barack Obama takes the expected strong stance against immigration, and then reminds the business brass they need not fear a loss of laborers. The individuals already in the States will realize a pathway towards citizenship.
Corporations are consoled and the candidate confident all will be well. As long as we do what has been done there will be no change, and after all, is that not the truest issue. Profiteers do not wish to relinquish power.
Mister Inskeep understands this idea. What is ideal for the powerbrokers is perfect for his employer. Thus, in the spirit of judicious journalism the moderator moves on to an aspirant not thought a likely nominee; however, Christopher Dodd is not a threat to the system or the status quo. Inskeep inquired.
Inskeep: You interview a number of applicants. They all seem very nice. They seem like they would take care of the kids, but it would appear that their documents may not be in order. What would you want an American to do?
Senator Dodd responded. As he spoke, he dared to include the unthinkable issue. He referred to trade agreements and how as a nation we must consider what we do on both sides of the border. Christopher Dodd offered . . .
Instead of improving the quality of working conditions that would give people in these countries a chance to stay in their own nations, which most of them would prefer to do, we’re encouraging people to come here by not having trading agreements that don’t insist upon –
Corporate sponsors may not wish to discuss that topic. Low wages, high profits, that seems sensible to those that benefit from such inequitable practices. Aware of the delicate balance between big business interests and that of the immigrant and American worker, moderator Steve Inskeep redirected the discussion.
Inskeep: We’re going to talk more about that, those issues, as we go along here.
Unexpectedly, the host dared to turn to Dennis Kucinich; however, he carefully crafted his approach. National Public Radio must broach the discussion of trade with caution, if at all. Inskeep, as he posed his inquiry, reminded Congressman Kucinich of the limits. He was kind enough to acknowledge that Dennis might know of real people.
Inskeep: But sticking with real people, Congressman Kucinich, the real person in that situation, what should they do?
Representative Kucinich: Rely on the Constitution. You know, we don’t encourage vigilantism in this country. We have a Constitution, we have due process, we have equal protection, we have habeas corpus. This administration, as – like – you know, would like to shred the Constitution and deny people all those rights. But when we get into that, what we do, we take the path of denying constitutional rights, and we’re back to Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo and all those other violations of rights that we’re ashamed of now. And I’m saying that we have to realize that these are economic refugees from NAFTA.
You know, I’ve said it over and over. Cancel NAFTA. Negotiate a new trade agreement with Mexico based on workers rights, human rights, [and] environmental quality principles. Give a path to legalization for the people who have been here. You can’t send them home willy-nilly. You have to have a way in which our immigration policy resonates with the deeper principles of inclusiveness in America, as symbolized by our Statue of Liberty.
Inskeep: We may get to NAFTA as well, time permitting.
However, astute listeners grasp there are only moments enough for what works well for the corporate sponsors and contributors that offer enough cash to shape the agenda. Perceptive persons acknowledge time is a fascinating construct. Man makes time for what he or she thinks a priority and has not a second for what might cause great concern. Correspondents understand conflicts of interest are ill-advised. Sponsors would not wish to air dirty laundry. Hence, if National Public Radio broadcasters are to direct a question to the one Presidential aspirant that could provide the people with a voice, they must remember, Dennis Kucinich must be silenced swiftly.
Norris: Representative Kucinich, very quickly.
Dennis responds speedily. He reminds the audience that he was not late to realize we are a global community. Every nation is connected to the other. We must understand the effect of every given decision. Our actions cause reactions. Dennis Kucinich helps us understand that we can no longer react belatedly. We must do more than read briefs. Before a President devises a plan, he or she must look at the broader picture.
Representative Kucinich: Yes. And I may be the only one up here who actually voted against China trade because of the concerns I had that the U.S. was not going to be able to maintain its manufacturing base, which is central to maintaining a middle class. What we’ve seen is that without solid trade policies, we’re undermined. Without a strength-through-peace doctrine of rejecting war as an instrument of policy, we’re going to keep borrowing money from China. Let us not forget we’re borrowing money from China to finance the war in Iraq. And in addition to that, the speculation on Wall Street has weakened our economy.
We need a policy of constructive engagement with China, stop the arms race with them, work to make sure we have a global climate change treaty with China, get them to transition out of nuclear and coal and oil. You know, I’m talking about a whole new direction that’s based on a doctrine of strength through peace, and I have a voting record up here to back it up, unlike some of my esteemed colleagues.
The hosts listened without much enthusiasm or interest. Each knows which side of the bread holds the butter. Without any caution or concern for the minutes the Senator from New York might need to make her point, moderator Michele Norris offered Hillary Clinton more than enough moments to explore as she might.
Norris: Senator Clinton, do we need them more than they need us?
Apparently, in the hearts, minds, and pocketbooks of National Public Radio and its corporate sponsors, America needs the Former First Lady Clinton more than we need, [or want] Dennis Kucinich. Regardless of The Nation Magazine Poll, the Democracy for America (DFA) survey, or the Progressive Democrats of America sample each of which places Dennis Kucinich as America’s first choice among those that gather information from more than mainstream sources, citizens of this country are told Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and John Edwards are the only candidates of note.
Indeed, Dennis Kucinich is not a recognized name. Many Americans ask, “Who?” We need not wonder why. When the media does mention Presidential hopeful Kucinich, they frequently misrepresent the Congressman. Rarely, was our possible President, Dennis Kucinich, given an opportunity to speak during this skewed NPR Democratic Debate. In truth, there were very few occasions in which Presidential hopeful, Kucinich, was granted a chance to speak. Once more, we might muse, do the Journalists at National Public Radio think America might wish to hear from Congressman Kucinich, or will these broadcasters tell us what the Representative believes, that is, if they have the time. Perchance, the former Senator Edwards will articulate for Dennis Kucinich, or ensure that the Congressman cannot express himself.
Mister Edwards: Well, everyone – everyone at the table would acknowledge that Iran represents a serious issue for the Middle East and for us –
Representative Kucinich: No, I do not acknowledge –
Inskeep: Congressman Kucinich does not, but –
Mister Edwards: Let me finish, if I can.
Representative Kucinich: Let me characterize my own remarks.
Mister Edwards: If I can just finish, Dennis, for just a second . . .
Siegel: And I’m Robert Siegel. We’re discussing Iran, the lessons learned from the war in Iraq.
A moment ago when Congressman Kucinich objected to or interrupted the statement from Senator Edwards that everybody agrees Iran is a threat, you say, Congressman Kucinich, I misinterpreted your earlier remarks that Iran is not a threat.
Representative Kucinich: All I did was raise my hand. I wanted a chance to respond.
Representative Kucinich: Thank you.
The point that Senator Clinton made was a valid point with respect to the comments of Senator Obama and also the comments of Senator Edwards at the Herzliya conference. See, when people say all options are on the table, as the three senators have, they actually encouraged President Bush and licensed his rhetoric. And what I’m saying is that I’m the only one here who in Congress repeatedly challenge, in every chance and every legislation, repeatedly challenge this mind-set that said all options are on the table and that Iran had nuclear weapons programs.
Siegel: OK. Cleared up.
Representative Kucinich: I’m the only one who can make that claim.
Siegel: Clarified . . .
What is clear to me is Americans are not able to hear an open, honest discussion between the candidates, not even on National Public Radio. If the people are to truly know of the one and only candidate for change, they will have to find a source of information that is truly fair and accurate, one that is not sponsored by corporate bigwigs [Archer Daniels Midland Company, Wal-Mart, AT&T], insurers [Farmers Insurance Group of Companies, Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America Allstate Insurance Company, Liberty Mutual Insurance Company], financial institutions [Prudential Financial, T. Rowe Price, The Hartford Financial Services Group], energy companies [Sempra, Constellation Energy], car manufacturers [Acura, Honda, Ford Motor Company, Saturn Corporation], petroleum interests [ConocoPhillips Company] all of which have an interest to serve, other than the American people.
Oh dear, National Public Radio I had such hopes. I still do, although I realize the media giants and the conglomerates that give them life have substantial clout.
Nevertheless, I continue to believe as Dennis Kucinich espouses when he quotes Spanish Philosopher and Writer, Miguel de Unamuno . . .
“Only he who attempts the absurd is capable of achieving the impossible.”
Thankfully, Progressives such as I, and Presidential hopeful Dennis Kucinich will continue to create opportunities. We will challenge conventions and accomplish what many think not viable. National Public Radio perchance, we might meet again at the Kucinich inauguration. I look forward to your interview with President Dennis Kucinich. I will tune in on January 20, 2009. My hope is then, you will have the time to speak with the people’s President.
Each and everyday we hear the drum beat, the drone of a dynamic Presidential hopeful. Hillary Clinton howls and hollers; “I have thirty-five years of experience. Numerous beings question that truth. Those not in Camp Clinton retort. Perchance, she might claim she has six decades of familiarity, for indeed, Senator Clinton was first planted on this planet some sixty years ago.
The esteemed former First Lady wants Americans to believe that her time in the White House was invaluable. The years she spent in “public service” make her infinitely qualified to hold the office of President of the United States. At times, it seems the Senator believes she already held this honorable post. She, with her husband at her side, guided the country. Bill and Hillary brought prosperity to America. The two, wish to do so again. Bill Clinton [affirms] Hillary wants me to restore America’s image. Citizens are lead to believe, the Clintons can, and will, heal all wounds globally.
Hillary Clinton persuades US, the American electorate, the job of Commander-In-Chief is a challenging one. Amateurs need not apply. Hillary knows. She has been there and done that. As the Presidential hopeful spoke to the citizens of Iowa, Clinton clamored . . .
“There is one job we can’t afford on-the-job training for – our next president. That could be the costliest job training in history,” Clinton said. “Every day spent learning the ropes is another day of rising costs, mounting deficits and growing anxiety for our families. And they cannot afford to keep waiting.”
The Presidential candidate claims to be trustworthy, and above reproach. Yet, as we assess her record we discover there is much to question, and more to criticize. The Former First Lady has been an elected official for seven short years. All of the other candidates on the Democratic Primary Election ballot have held public office for far longer than the ‘New York applicant has. Yet, Clinton, the women, not playing the gender card, continues to claim she is infinitely more qualified. She is “experienced” and can easily take the reigns. Only she can state she lived in the White House and served, to some degree, as President of the United States.
Opponents on the Right ridicule what Democrats seem reluctant to state. Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, the Grand Old Party front-runner according to national polls, offers, “Honestly, in most respects, I don’t know Hillary’s experience. She’s never run a city, she’s never run a state. She’s never run a business . . . So I’m trying to figure out where the experience is here.”
Multi-millionaire, Entrepreneur, and another electable, Mitt Romney, muses “She has never run anything.” Romney notes; Clinton has not run a corner store, a state, or a city. He inquires can the presidency be considered an internship.
Nevertheless, a haughty Hillary Clinton is certain that she can, and will do the job. In her mind, she has done it. Apparently, she has convinced others.
In an Oct. 3 release announcing the American Federation of Teachers endorsement of her candidacy, she said, “Throughout my 35 years of working on education, I’ve seen the dedication that American teachers demonstrate day in and day out.”
In September, Clinton issued a release on Hispanic Heritage Month that stated, “Thirty five years ago, I traveled through South Texas, registering Latino voters ?”
Describing her healthcare plan, Clinton said that “a family is a child’s first school, and I have a long history going back 35 years as a child advocate ?”
Clinton’s proponents have echoed the figure. When Rep. Diane Watson (D-Calif.) endorsed Clinton late last month, the congresswoman said in a statement, “Her 35-year record fighting for children and families makes her uniquely qualified to hit the ground running.”
Similarly, Nevada State Assemblyman Harry Mortenson lauded Clinton’s 35 years of experience when he backed her last month.
We have all heard of the “Big Lie” theory, repeat a tale often enough and the people will believe. Characteristically, this reference is made in regards to Adolph Hitler or George W. Bush; however, once more, it seems applicable.
Asked for comment for this article, Clinton spokesman Phil Singer said, “The people who are most important – the voters – think Hillary’s 35 years of advocacy, strength and experience is what counts, which is why one poll after another shows her leading by wide margins on the question of who is most experienced.”
The Clinton campaign suggests that the Senator’s experience dates back to before her marriage to Bill Clinton in 1975.
Interestingly enough, years into the marriage, when William Jefferson Clinton ran for President, it was said he had little if any experience. We may recall that when Bill Clinton first appeared on the national scene, he was considered less than qualified for the most powerful post on the planet. His Republican rival, George H. W. Bush was among many that noted the former Governor of Arkansas was not ready or able. He was only willing. Granted, some learn well while in office , most merely repeat their personal history.
Hillary obfuscates on the issues, obliterates the competition; she is combative when she perceives there is an enemy. Senator Clinton sees foes under every Bush or Barack and presumes any comment to be part of a conspiracy.
When asked of the “Do not ask; do not tell” decision, Clinton falters. Later, she states, the policy, had its time and place. Yet, today, desirous of the Gay and Lesbian vote, the former First Lady thinks now the nation is ready for a change.
On immigration, Hillary is for drivers’ licenses; she thinks these would make our streets safer. However, when questioned further, Clinton is flustered, again. Certainly, the Boys are ganging up on her. [might they be part of the Right Wing Conspiracy of years gone by?] Then, with time to consider she needs every vote the First Lady is once more firm. Hillary Clinton offers a definitive “No” when asked if she thinks it would be wise to issue a legal form of identification for immigrants.
This is the voice of experience. Hillary Rodham Clinton knows to her core what it takes to get elected.
Today American must ask them selves; ”Is this the type of experience we crave.” Do we wish to recycle a family, a familiar fuddle of truth, a fantasy that led us to believe one Clinton felt our pain.’
As Hillary avows much of what America experienced under Clinton One did not work well, she assures us she will do better. We must have faith. Senator Clinton understands situation, our circumstances, and us. She always has. She fought for us in the 1990s and she will again, if we grant her the ultimate power. The Former First Lady reminds us each day . . .
“We need a president who understands the magnitude and complexity of the challenges we face and has the strength and experience to address them from day one.
As President of the United States the Former First Lady intends to force those that cannot afford Health Care to buy into her program. As a peaceful Progressive, Hillary Clinton plans to send more troops to Afghanistan. Senator Clinton states, she maybring the troops home in her second term, depending. Yes, “your girl” is practiced, polished, and professional. In the past, Hillary Clinton ‘influenced’ policy, possibly. The question is, does she have the seasoning needed to responsive to the people, to be an effective President, or will her habits hinder her efforts. Might Hillary in the Oval Office be the best choice for America, or will she be merely a Clinton successful in her personal quest for power.
In America, you are not permitted to discuss the great migration of immigrants into this country in a reasoned rational manner. The well funded PR by corporate interests; has Americans labeled as racist, bigoted, and intolerant. The immigration of old – is held up as a banner of ‘give me your tired and huddled masses who yearn to be free’. Since few know history, you can tell them anything today. Everybody can identify Ronald McDonald but only a small fraction of the population can name the Secretary of State, discuss a trade agreement with you, or give the year of the Civil War. None that I personally know can describe our monetary system or the history of the Federal Reserve. Few realize that these numerous trade agreements, written for the benefit of multinational companies (absent any loyalty), are the reason for this great worldwide dislocation. Including the victims!
It is not the immigrant (illegal or otherwise), or the American out of work, and burdened down with taxes, who is to be fully blamed. People (deliberately so) are being propagandized into taking their frustrations, anger, and fears out on one another. Daily we hear the drumbeat of violence on the border, Mexican gangs, schools overrun with illegal students, hospitals going bankrupt, and small town America being overrun with thousands of immigrants. The owners of the world want to keep the victims attacking one another. They certainly don’t want this being identified as a ‘class’ issue! The few – ruling the many for their own good pleasure and profit!
The truth of the matter is – the America of old is no more. While the immigrants of yesterday (exploited though they were) helped build a nation (bridges, railroads, highways, steel mills, textile mills, manufacturing, farming etc). These are all things of the past. Yesterday’s immigrants built a nation. Today’s immigrants are meant to labor for cheap wages, on the new corporate plantation. Someone has to serve the rich and fight their ungodly wars for more and more gold, oil, timber, water, etc. The immigrant of today, unlike yesteryear, is afforded all kinds of assistance, relocation funds, housing allowances, job assistance counseling, stipends, etc.
None of this existed for those who first immigrated. Today, the small farm is being put out of business by the corporate farms with their genetically altered Frankenstein crops. Mexicans are flooding across the border due to a failed NAFTA (Hillary says she just remembers graphs and lines). The small village farms in Mexico can’t compete with the tons of corporate farm produce flooding their market. Besides, China has underbid them in cheap labor, so now even their factories are leaving. China also is building huge ports in Mexico thus bypassing American ports (dock workers – warehousing etc). The Mexican trucks (who cares if they’re insured or safe) now pouring in by the thousands should end the jobs for our truckers. Fishing is already gone (visit New Bedford). Now we’re buying seafood from China!
The auto plants, textile mills, manufacturing plants, steel mills, paper mills, and supporting industries in America, have all gone belly-up. Maytag (no breaking news) laid off thousands, a few weeks back and left for foreign shores! With the help of federal subsidies etc, (helpful politicians) these industries have all been shipped to foreign lands; that accommodate the corporate hucksters of today with a larger profit margin. They don’t have to contend with bothersome health, safety, or environmental protections in third world countries. Labor standards – ha, work till you drop -is the corporate mantra. Americans meantime, cannot compete with slave labor, making 32 cents to a dollar an hour! No matter that the junk coming in; is inferior, laced with lead, or other poisons.
China now holds America hostage, with its funding of our perpetual war- that goes about the world, bombing -shattering – melting, and shredding. The borrower is always slave to the lender. It’s pretty lamentable knowing that a Tiger Woods makes more for endorsing NIKI, by wearing their logo on his cap, than all the slave labor combined making these costly shoes. What a world. Same with the other gladiator sports stars.
Our prisons (our newest growing industry) are filled with millions (largest incarceration in the world). A for profit industry, needs products (prisoners), thus many imprisoned today, are there for non-violent crimes. Would that they were in government, they’d get a pardon for their crimes. Corporate America, has found that producing their product with prison labor; saves them the bother of a livable wage, health insurance, or maintaining a facility. Best of all no unions and no strikes. Old Joe Hill (early labor activist) would be put in solitary confinement.
While the news today is filled with announcements of the invasion of Mexicans, the truth is, thousands – upon tens – of thousands; are being imported from distant war torn lands. Then we have the multitudes of guest workers that Congress has voted to bring in – to keep their corporate funders happy. These visas cover everything from help for the various tourist Mecca’s, (once a place where youth worked in the summer to earn money for college) to the professional fields (teachers, nurses, doctors, engineers, and information technology).
Since all of this is happening incrementally and insidiously – the full scope of the problem is not seen. News is kept localized, thus those who live in Kansas have no idea of the thousands of Somalians who’ve relocated to an old mill town in Maine, nor do folks in Oklahoma, know of the paper mills closing in New Hampshire. Who’s talking about the closed textile mills, or Detroit, that resembles a wasteland out of a Mad Max movie?
You’ll not hear ‘breaking news’ of American workers having to train their replacements. If they refuse, they risk losing any chance of severance pay.
When building a global plantation, with the ultimate goal being a redistribution of the wealth (leveling in quality of living standards); rest assured that this redistribution is our money they’re talking about, not those raking in the profits, and banking offshore, or maintaining their money in ‘hidden trusts’. China now imports tons of contaminated products; yet, these various trade agreements disallow any inspections – recalls – or refusals. Least we forget, globalists (not democrats) Hillary and Bill gave us NAFTA (thus the exodus from Mexico) and Most Favored Nation trading with China. Hillary, meantime, promised those in Silicon Valley that she would see to it, that more guest visas would be given, to import thousands of more foreign workers.
Republican or Democrat, makes no matter, we now have a corporate controlled government. One can see that those ‘working’ (I use the word lightly) in Foggy Bottom, are; merely treading water. They have accomplished zero in the few days that they work per week. They are punctual in voting their yearly cost of living raises and other perks (millions in earmarks for their corporate friends back home). Remember, the name of the GAME, is to stay in office (get that obscene pension) not to serve the people.
Over these past several years, our governmental agencies have been quietly decimated, with corporate appointees replacing those in key positions. Privatization of governmental services (such as the military) is being contracted out. Thus, the disgusting mess at Walter Reed – and having to prove (true); that your missing face, missing arm, and brain damage, is a total disability! It’s ‘be all you can be’ till you come home all smashed up. Everything is broken in this country – everything!
The fort like department of education, meantime, throws out new social engineering mandates to the states on a regular basis. Thus, the children of today can ‘feel’ good about being failures, unable to read, write a coherent paragraph, discuss a work of literature, or the history of our nation. The workers of tomorrow (cannon fodder for war) are being conditioned to groupthink – non-think – and passive, servile, compliance. We’re not training the next Hawkins, Eisenstein, or Mark Twain. A look at America’s rating with the rest of the world proves my point. The children of the elite – well connected etc, are isolated from tomorrow’s servile masses, and are being educated in private schools, with the best of equipment, teachers, and courses. No bathroom classrooms for them, or having to contend with gangs, drug addicts, or antiquated books. Their schools aren’t prisons with fences, security, metal detectors, and barbed wire. They have hundreds of acres of sports, fields, science buildings, computer labs, and libraries that would put many a town’s to shame.
The schoolroom of today with its special needs students, and children of various ethnic backgrounds (many not speaking English) are nothing more than holding pens. The emphasis is on passing the TEST not understanding the subject. I can study the driver’s manual – why I could memorize it. To what end? If I have never sat in a car, let alone started it up – what does it matter that I got a passing percentage! I am still stupid in the ways of the road. The point is, that I can ‘feel’ good knowing that I can’t drive! Furthermore, it is a great disservice, to mix special needs/handicapped children, into a regular classroom. A point for another discussion – in the end all the students are being robbed of reaching their full potential – but then maybe that’s the objective?
What we are seeing across the nation, from Georgia, to Oregon, to the heartland, and northeast, is an ethnic cleansing of small town America. Various cultures, languages, religious ceremonies, dress, foods, etc, make strangers of us all. But then strangers are less apt to be unified or untied in any solidarity should there be a crisis or grave injustice that needs addressed. The approximate 192,000 homeless veterans (including the Iraq War), and hundreds of thousands of other homeless; living in tents (the Gulf – Seattle) and in shelters, abandoned cars etc, many displaced from their jobs by immigrant labor, are naturally angry, seeing immigrants afforded every kind of help with housing, jobs etc.
Texas (Houston): “There are parts of Houston where if you didn’t know better, you’d think you were in Mexico. In Sugarland our homeowner taxes are through the roof – our schools are rife with ESL classes. My grandchildren are in the minority in their ‘wonderful diverse student body. Muslim students are given special accommodations while Christmas can no longer be celebrated.” Bud Hamilton
Like Maine – Emporia, Kansas is preparing for an influx of Somali refugees. Emporia is a small city near the eastern Flint Hills in the sunflower state. Emporia has a major beef processing plant for Tyson Foods.(the Clinton’s buddies). Thousands are needed for cheap labor – thus, aha, refugees. Because Somalis are certified as ‘humanitarian refugees’ under out State Department rules, they are to be supported by social services provided by the Office of Refugee Resettlement (Dept of Health and Human Services).
This agency in turn contracts via state Department of Social Services with providers such as Catholic Charities to deliver services. U.S. Taxpayers pick up the tab (this is nationwide). Food processors like Tyson couldn’t be happier, given the tightness of the low skilled labor pool in the area. Emporia (as is most of the heartland) is becoming a major destination for these foot soldiers of Islam. Because of its size (Emporia), not unlike Lewiston, Maine, will see this influx have a substantial and taxing impact. Other cities that have seen this influx are Indianapolis, Minneapolis, Lincoln, Kansas City, and Nashville, to name a few. In New Orleans, (Gulf) thousands of immigrants were imported for the work of clean up. Meantime, the tens of thousands dislocated Katrina victims, across the nation, remain in limbo unable to return with no housing or jobs.
These immigrants (from Bosnia – Somalia etc) are being recruited for the lowest of low-end jobs – butchering and meatpacking. At Swift and Company (beef processor) in Lincoln, Nebraska, butchers and meat packers quit their jobs because of insufficient ‘prayer time’. This was accommodated and they returned. Imagine this happening in the coalmines, steel mills, or rail line employment of former immigrants to this country. These low paying jobs are further subsidized with the ‘earned income tax credit’ monies. This has low earners compensated, with thousands more per year (a subsidy really for corporate owners). This is taxpayer money.
And so it goes across the land. The Democrats want the votes of these immigrants, and the Republicans want the cheap labor. The immigrants, really our new slave labor class, are mostly unskilled and illiterate. When my husband’s family immigrated here from Newfoundland and Ireland; they had to have a sponsor and medical clearance. My grandparents from Russia settled in Pennsylvania. There were no relocation agencies or housing vouchers etc. My grandfather worked as a skilled stonemason, saved, and bought a farm. Also a skilled carpenter, he built his home and barn (helped neighbors with theirs). Farming his acreage, he was totally self sufficient, and sold the excess, which they took to market by horse and wagon. When he dropped dead in the field at age 43 my grandma and her eight children, ran the farm.
The language of the old country was not spoken in their home. The one room school house my aunts and uncles attended had no remedial language classes. Somehow, despite the hardships of rising early to attend to chores, and walking four miles to school, they all graduated, and went on to various professional jobs, including a doctor, nurse, newspaper editor, engineer etc. NO – they didn’t have the excuse of being too ‘stressed out’ to excel. It was the same thing in the mill town where I lived as a youngster. The population were mainly immigrants. The number one priority of parents was education. Disrespect in the classroom was not heard of. There were no gangs, no graffiti, no designer clothes, no violent videos, or TV. Teachers were allowed to teach. Parents didn’t park their kids in a nursery school at age two and have strangers raise them.
The politicians and special interests groups, who are championing this importation of immigrants and refugees, from all corners of the globe, are not in the work a day world, having their jobs taken over by a guest worker, or having a job underbid by an unscrupulous contractor who employees cheap immigrant labor. Sometimes they get paid (immigrants) and sometimes not. Being illegal has them rendered voiceless. They live in wealthy, gated, or removed villages that are absent needed; social services, or they vote in zoning protections to keep out cheap housing. Their children are educated in private schools. Their children won’t be competing with immigrant labor for that nursing job, IT worker, carpenter, or meatpacking job. A man could once earn a decent living (thanks to Sinclair’s The Jungle) at a meat packing plant. No more – these dangerous jobs now pay an approximate $8.00 an hour.
Sociopaths (or their lap dogs) are running most of the major governments of the world, and most of the major industries and financial institutions. Sociopaths are not much interested in mutual uplift and global benefit for the great bulk of the human race. They are primarily interested in war, plunder, destruction, cruel domination, violent subjugation, and ruthless social control. So much to plunder; so much to loot and so little time. Meantime who cares about Mexico emptying its land of the poor, dispossessed, illiterate, and sick. More for the few hogs that run that corrupt country.
Meantime – home on the range, we have these theatrical cartoon characters running for office (the winner has already been anointed – duh). The corporate media has programmed the mindless masses to the next Clinton regime. True, some people are so ignorant they’d vote for someone just because of gender! Bush, Clinton, Bush, Clinton – why, in a country of some 300 million + we’ll have 28 years of the same elitist appointed dynasty. Meantime, few are aware of the implosion of America, and the massive plantation that is being constructed. Now for the ‘chip’ to keep track of all these ‘human resources’. Hey, isn’t that what all this fuss is about over licenses and immigrant ID? In days of old it was unsightly branding! The old Hegelian Dietetic – works every time. See article below of Iowa going global!
Note – Times Article on Iowa Filling Up With Latinos
Corporate water barons are having a field day in communities (states) begging for business, any business, in this day of outsourcing, echoing mills, and rusted plants with box stores filling the void! Local folks are out maneuvered, in the jabberwocky language of global takings. Ripe for the taking! Too late, the people find themselves sold down the river (literally), with none the wiser as to the language of trade agreements etc, that have stolen their rights! Not even their elected officials whom they naively think are informed on such matters of importance are aware.
Communities in this the 21st century must educate themselves to privatization – public private partnerships, and the language of International Trade Agreements, if they wish to protect their resources, zoning, environmental, employment and health polices – laws – regulations.
Why is it imperative that these trade agreements be studied? Ask Governor Lynch. Not reported in your local press and given barely any state coverage NH and the CAFTA agreement is one example.
Buried deep in fine print – Annex 9.1.2(b)(i), to be specific of the recently ratified trade agreement among the United States, five countries in Central America and the Dominican Republic, are provisions that dictate how the state of NEW HAMPSHIRE (other states) will conduct business with firms that want contracts to sell us goods or services /locate business here etc. How our state found its way into an obscure provision of the international agreement known as CAFTA, and why it stayed there, despite Governor John Lynch’s request to remove us, are illustrative of the threat that agreements like CAFTA pose to our state’s sovereignty and to democracy itself.
The text of CAFTA is 3,746 pages long! While you may be aware of the intimate details of a Brittany Spears, and her drunken escapades, or the score of the World Series, the media has not (or your U.S. Congressmen/Senators) informed you that CAFTA includes 22 chapters, three annexes, seven tariff schedules and 31 side letters. The provisions pertaining to how our state spends taxpayer dollars are described in the agreement’s Chapter 9, dealing with government procurement.
CAFTA’s procurement rules limit the policies of that federal/state government can follow. For example, if our elected officials were to pass a law limiting the foreign ‘outsourcing’ of public – sector jobs, such as call service centers /state agencies etc, that law could be challenged as an unfair ‘barrier to trade”. Under NAFTA for example; a company withdrawing X tens of thousands of gallons of water for their business, could challenge any local ordinance or law that would hinder their profits (in an International Court – tribunal). For example, with a company from Canada or Mexico, entering your community you would (seemingly?) want to study Chapter 11 of the NAFTA agreement. Your well paid local consultants/ Economic Development personnel should be doing this!!
But the rules go far beyond simply stating that New Hampshire (other states) cannot express preference for a local firm over one based in a foreign country. For example, a state law prohibiting the purchase of uniforms made in sweatshops could trigger a trade dispute even if the law applied equally to sweatshops from all countries. That is because CAFTA (Article 9.7.2) prohibits the use of “technical specifications ” that deal with how goods are made or how a service is provided.
Whether such procurement laws are good public policy is NOT the point! The point is whether it is our elected officials OR the members of international trade tribunals who should be able to decide!! It is supposed to be up to each state to decide whether to be governed by CAFTA’s procurement chapter. But it is not that simple.
On Nov 18, 2003, Governor Benson (hardly headlines!) authorized (without informing state legislators/ no debate/no discussion) authorized the federal government’s trade negotiators to list New Hampshire among the states that agree to bring their purchasing policies in line with CAFTA’S specifications, which at the time were incomplete and secret, even from the governor.
You can’t seem to awaken the people to the seriousness of such an authorization! He never READ what he bound us to!! As I recall there were only 5 legislators who were up to speed on this and alerted the new Governor – Gov.Lynch. It must also be understood that on the federal level none of these massive agreements are read or debated. There is only an up or down vote. If they had read NAFTA they would stop all the posturing and hair brained excuses they are giving to an uninformed public on just why there are millions of Mexicans streaming across our southern border. A reading of NAFTA explains it all!
When Governor Lynch was elected, he sent a letter to the U.S. trade representative instructing him to take New Hampshire out of CAFTA. He reasoned that if Governor Benson could put the state into CAFTA, he could take us out. BUT the trade representative took NO action, instead claiming he would have to renegotiate the whole agreement. I found the notice of this, in an out of town newspaper, in a small paragraph, buried in the back pages! Nope no headline story this!! In fact, all but a handful of states (unbeknown to local officials – state representatives – citizens) are bound by this agreement. Nobody was paying attention! They still aren’t.
If you read the official version of CAFTA approved by Congress with the votes of our state’s senators and representatives, New Hampshire is still there. In other words, CAFTA’s provisions are like a lobster trap; once you get inside, it is impossible to get out again. The other CAFTA countries (like Canada and Mexico in NAFTA) can now bring complaints to international tribunals if they believe NH decisions about how to spend our tax dollars deviates from CAFTA rules.
WATER- (NAFTA) Investor- to-state: Hiding behind the ‘ambiguous and innocuous’ phrase dispute resolution allows this power tool to sue governments for compensation. If laws or regulations cause actual or anticipated loss of company profits! This provision is also in CAFTA and FTAA. This would allow subsidiaries of European corporations in any of these countries to sue, claiming that regulation of water resources or water/sewer services threatens their PROFITS.
Long before NAFTA there was GATT. Under GATT, once bulk water is exported as a commodity to another country, it is very difficult for governments to limit the quantity exported even when there is a critical water shortage. In California companies have proposed to sell bulk water from coastal rivers and even from an aquifer under the Mojave Desert.
While there was zero news coverage locally (NH), Save Our Groundwater was formed in 2001 after USA Springs Inc. applied to withdraw over 400,000 gallons of water a day from an aquifer in the rural communities of Nottingham and Barrington, NH. USA Springs Inc, owns about 100 acres of land including the watershed of three rivers potentially impacted by this project: Oyster River, Lamprey River, a federally protected wild and scenic river, and Bellamy River. THOUSANDS of seacoast residents and local businesses in ten communities depend on the watersheds of these rivers for their freshwater supplies.
Despite victories along the way (note how it is always the unpaid citizens who come forth to protect a state’s resources/ rally against toxic poisons etc) in a process that defies common sense, the NH DES accepted the application from USA Springs! Olivia Zink a Save Our Groundwater member said “We are reminded of the movie ‘Groundhog Day’ where he keeps reliving one day over and over.” Alarm! If European investors are involved or if USA Springs is sold to a foreign corporation, international trade rules under WTO come into play.
Resident concern about the possibility of foreign acquisition was heightened when Hampton Water Co, was bought by Aquarion, a subsidiary of the Kelda Group, a British firm, and Pennichuck Water Works in Nashua went up for sale with Vivendi as a possible buyer. NOTE – In 2004, Aquairion was chosen over an American company, by Claremont City Council. A FEW citizens tried, to no avail, to inform the council of UK Keldra and the implications of making such a deal. Though there has been ZERO announcements, on the local level, an Australian investment bank bought out Aquarion in 2006!
If anyone thinks that their state Department of Environmental Services is looking out for their interests they are sadly mistaken!! For anybody (we with waste matters) who has been to Concord – its one big rush of lobbyists who rule the day/ and write the legislation! Anything done for residents is by accident (my informed opinion).
Cleverly water companies (bottled water – plastic) do an end run around select boards, (in various states) councils, and citizens, dealing with unelected economic development personnel, consultants, and volunteer boards (others not versed in water/trade agreements). Citizens find themselves sold out with never being informed by their elected officials or the media!! Bottled water is the way companies are taking the human right to safe, affordable, accessible drinking water and turning it (tap water no less) into a commodity to be sold at market prices – 1,000 times the cost of tap water!
More than 10 billion plastic bottles end up as garbage (landfills – toxic incineration) each year. Bottled water (of which local economic personnel – local officials etc, know zero) introduces a new stream of toxic plastics, from the manufacturing of the plastic, to the punching out of the bottles putting plastic dust into the waste stream, to the leaching of hormone disruptor’s from plastics into the drinking water, etc. As to the amount of water that will end up being siphoned off – who knows? There’s no contract (per DPW director) and representatives of Ice River (planning a bottling plant in Claremont) saw NO reason why a planning board should be looking to protect the water.
It is simply inconceivable that foreign companies & global corporate water interests can enter into a state/various communities and write their own meal tickets. But then, the waste companies have, so why are we surprised? These hucksters count on an uninformed population – (unelected) economic development councils, usurping the democratic process ( business over resource/health protections) – and the usual legion of lobbyists in legislative sessions.
Just as a waste company could care less about its toxic pollution/ millions of tons of garbage destroying a local community (Bethlehem, NH – once a health resort) they are not concerned about droughts, costs, or citizens complaints. In this, the 21st century, the name of the GAME is plunder for profit – Rural folks, not familiar with the hijinks of global corporate hucksters – cannot imagine that they are dealing with high powered (carnivals of old) polished snake – oil – salesmen who would steal pennies off a dead man’s eyes if it would benefit the bottom line. Interesting also, that this is election season, and the people are dutifully being distracted. If I were coming to steal water – I’d pick this time!
Bottled Water is NOT tested by the EPA. It is regulated by the FDA which does NO testing. The FDA can’t control lead drenched toys, and toxic drenched foodstuffs, from entering into our country. God knows what people are drinking?
Information from: Sierra Club – Save Our Groundwater, NH – Alliance for Democracy – Trade Agreements
For years, four years plus, the well-researched, well-versed, thoughtful, and full of thought Dennis Kucinich has been shunned by Mainstream Media. Often, this truly compassionate Congressman, and Presidential hopeful, has been absent in political discussions. Periodicals do not site his stance. Radio and television programs do not devote time to this man or his message.
The opinions and plans Dennis Kucinich presents are frequently ignored, or just not included. Space is saved for those the influential Democrats deem savvy. It is difficult to grasp the knowledge of one that is intentionally not invited to debates, or is purposely kept at a distance when he is made available. Thus, the prospect to look at or a listen to an authentic altruist aspirant Dennis Kucinich is unusual.
In 2008, election coverage focuses on the few, the front-runners. Clinton, Obama, and Edwards court the financers, and in turn, the fundamentally wealthy woo the power elite. The press is persuaded to follow the leaders.
Forced absence for this Presidential aspirant is not new. Dennis Kucinich was barred from Democratic forums during his 2004 campaign. The history of exclusion is expansive. “Electability” is often the excuse.
Dennis is short in stature; yet, the future President of the United States is elevated in principles. His faith in people and peace sustains him.
Dennis Kucinich trusts in every man, woman, and child. He is as the common folk are. Congressman Kucinich was poor and hungry. [Please view Dennis Kucinich on Leno 9-24-07 video. See below.] Kucinich struggled to succeed in a world that caters to the rich. This future President realized his mission at an early age. He understood as the nation’s youngest Mayor of a major city, the importance of people power.
Intimidation has not deterred Dennis Kucinich. He is accustomed to the climb from obscurity. Dennis perseveres as he shares his message of Strength through peace. Sadly, most Americans miss the words and wisdom of a man similar to them. However, with thanks to Public Broadcasting Services, News Hour we have a rare opportunity to meet Dennis Kucinich for more than the moment he is awarded in a televised debate. I am pleased to present Dennis Kucinich in all his glory.
Judy Woodruff: Finally, in our ongoing series of conversations with Democratic and Republican presidential nomination candidates who are competing in the primary contests, tonight, Ohio Democrat Dennis Kucinich, who is serving his sixth term in the U.S. House of Representatives. He is the former mayor of Cleveland, and he ran for the Democratic nomination for president in 2004. I spoke with Dennis Kucinich earlier today.
Congressman Kucinich, thank you very much for talking with us.
Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D), Ohio: Thank you very much. Good to be here, Judy.
Judy Woodruff: You were the only 2008 presidential candidate who, five years ago this week, voted against giving the president the authorization to go to war in Iraq. Now, Barack Obama was also against the war at that time. Right now, it’s also Bill Richardson and Mike Gravel who want to get U.S. troops out of there right away, just like you do.
So how do you distinguish your position today from the other candidates?
Rep. Dennis Kucinich: Well, it’s very easy, Judy. I not only voted against it, but I did an analysis five years ago that totally debunked the Bush case for war.
As a matter of fact, the analysis that I did was 100 percent spot-on in asserting that there was no proof that Iraq had the intention or capability of attacking the United States, that they had anything to do with 9/11 or al-Qaida’s role in 9/11, and certainly there was no proof that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.
My analysis was chapter and verse. And furthermore, it isn’t — you know, to me it’s not sufficient to say that you said something against the war, but when you get to the Senate — as Senator Obama did — and voted 100 percent of the time, up until recently, to fund the war, there’s a contradiction there.
Judy Woodruff: But what about today? How is your position different?
Rep. Dennis Kucinich: But today what’s different is this, that not only did I reflect the capacity for judgment and wisdom at the moment of crisis when it really counts, but also today I have a plan that would bring our troops home and stabilize Iraq at the same time, and also leave Iraq in control of their oil.
It’s embodied in H.R. 1234. It’s a plan to end the Iraq war. I submitted versions of that plan immediately after the invasion, but today there are many people who talk about ending the war, but I have the plan to do it and a way to stabilize Iraq at the same time.
There’s no one else who really has presented that awareness or who is saying, look, the privatization of Iraq’s oil or the partition of Iraq is a path to continued war.
Judy Woodruff: What do you think Iraq will look like after U.S. troops are out of there?
Rep. Dennis Kucinich: Well, you have to keep in mind that my plan calls for a parallel process. We end the occupation, close the bases, bring the troops home in parallel with an international security and peacekeeping force that moves in as our troops leave. I mean, that’s the way you bring an end to the U.S. involvement in Iraq.
Otherwise, you have the plans of Senators Clinton, Obama, and Edwards, all of which will leave a U.S. presence in the region. And, frankly, we have to get out of there. We have to bring our troops home.
So, you know, I’ve been consistent on this. And I’m the only one running for president who’s been right from the start on this issue and has demonstrated a quality of judgment that people have a right to expect in a president of the United States about matters of international security.
Judy Woodruff: You have described yourself, I think, as a committed pacifist. Help us understand what that means. I mean, for example, after 9/11, the terrorist attack on the United States, if you had been president, what would you have done?
Rep. Dennis Kucinich: Well, I think that we had a right to strike at the training camps. As a matter of fact, I voted for the resolution that gave the president the ability to do that.
But, you know, the response has to be measured. What we’ve done in this search for top people in al-Qaida, we’ve destroyed a lot of villages along the border of Pakistan. You know, these missile strikes in places like Damadola killed a lot of innocent villagers under the pretext that somehow we were getting top-ranking people in al-Qaida.
You know, we have done this all wrong. This administration has been wrong with every aspect of their international policy, beginning with the response to 9/11, continuing with the war against Iraq, and up to this moment planning for an attack on Iran. This administration’s policy of peace through strength, the neoconservative policy, which endorsed preemption, unilateralism, first strike, I reject totally.
I’m talking about strength through peace. No unilateralism, no preemption, no first strike, adherence to international law, and working with diplomacy, direct engagement, leader talking to leader in order to create security for our nation and for the world. I mean, that’s the approach that a Kucinich presidency would bring.
Kucinich’s Department of Peace
Judy Woodruff: You’re the only candidate, I think, who’s talking about a Department of Peace. How would that work? And what would it mean for the Defense Department?
Rep. Dennis Kucinich: Well, first of all, the idea of a Department of Peace has both domestic and international criteria.
On a domestic level, everyone watching this understands that American families are beset by a lot of problems that result in domestic violence, spousal abuse, and child abuse. I’m talking about creating programs that would help families get out of that really deep rut that creates a lot of emotional problems and strife inside families.
But also, when you look at the issues of gang violence, violence in the schools, racial violence, violence against gays, the Department of Peace would also supply help to deal with that.
On an international level, we’d look at those areas that help conflict percolate and get involved before they develop into something that requires troops. It’s really a very wise approach that uses the principles of Gandhi, of Christ, of Dr. King, and others to try to lift us out of this idea that war is inevitable. War is not inevitable. Violence is learned, and non-violence can be learned, as well.
‘Tis true. Brutality is not inborn; it is bred into us. What we witness in the world abroad is a reflection of what we see on the streets of America.. the war is on our shore. In homes and neighborhoods conflict abounds. People are combative. Thus, perhaps we must speak to defense. There is much that offends. Presidential hopeful Dennis Kucinich considers the need to protect America and those that reside in the United States of America.
Judy Woodruff: So you’d still have the Defense Department? This would be in addition?
Rep. Dennis Kucinich: Of course you’d have the Defense Department.
Judy Woodruff: You’ve also said that you admire the foreign policies of Jimmy Carter, President Jimmy Carter. Tell us about why. What is it that you admire about him?
Rep. Dennis Kucinich: He’s been the one president who has shown a real capacity to reach out, and deeply, into the Middle East to understand that America must take an even-handed approach.
Look, I’ve been to Israel, and I’ve met with the Israelis, and I’ve met with the Palestinian people, and I’ve met with people throughout the region. My wife and I have been to the region twice in the last year and two months. And there is a deep desire for peace on all sides.
But the United States must take an even-handed approach. We have to do everything we can to help Israel survive. And Israelis perceive this existential threat; we must be attuned to that. At the same time, the Palestinians are crying for justice that they can’t receive with walls and fences and losing their property.
There has to be a United States presence that assures the survival of the Israelis and the rights of the Palestinians. And, frankly, here again, I’m the only one running for president who’s even talking about this.
And this is really — the door to peace in the Middle East going right through Jerusalem. And anyone who would be president of the United States has to have the capacity to talk not only to the Israelis and the Palestinians, but the Syrians, the Iranians, the Iraqis, the Jordanians, and all of the others in the region. And I have that capacity.
Domestic tranquility is built into the Constitution. Yet, it is not evident in our communities. We must ensure that at home all is well. Currently, it is not. Crime is a constant. Jobs are not secure. Health Care is in a state of crisis management. Prices are high. Interests rates, well, they are in flux. With mortgages in default and Middle Class Americans fearful they will have no shelter, there is much to discuss.
Judy Woodruff: Let me turn you to a couple of domestic questions, the current subprime mortgage crisis. What do you think the cause of it is? And what would you do about it? Who would you go after, or whom or what?
Rep. Dennis Kucinich: Well, there’s a number of different areas that needed to be looked at initially. The Fed has not had proper oversight of banks. The Securities and Exchange Commission has not had proper oversight of hedge funds. So you take those two conditions, and you see what’s burst forward now, which is hedge funds in trouble because of their investment in subprime mortgages, and you see millions of Americans losing their homes because there wasn’t a cop on the beat.
So, obviously, what needs to happen is there needs to be a financial mechanism that basically creates a wraparound mortgage that would help protect the people who are in danger of losing their homes, that’s number one. But, number two, we have to get to the underlying issue of predatory lending here.
There are many areas in our cities that have basically been red-lined, cannot get access to credit. And that is a violation of the Community Reinvestment Act, Judy. During the Carter administration, the Community Reinvestment Act was put forth so that inner-city areas would have access to credit.
And what’s happened is that the credit for homes has dried up. Minorities in particular were offered these subprime products, no-document loans. As chairman of the Domestic Policy Subcommittee, I was the first one to put my finger on this and identify it and begin to ask the questions.
But this is a broader issue that deals with: Can Americans have a dream of homeownership? Can the government form a role in protecting that? Can we get these banks to be honest with their credit policies? Do they have a responsibility to provide capital to people who happen to be minorities? What about these adjusted prime rates that are going to start coming in and forcing people’s mortgages up on a monthly level? There’s going to be more people losing their homes.
This is a profound economic crisis and a moral crisis in this country.
Politics is Economics. As long as voters are content financially, there is little need or want for change. As executive earning increase exponentially, blue collars find themselves awash in red ink. This is a calamity caused by an implied inequality. Candidates must address this topic. Most of those we see on the stump cannot relate to the “little’ guy or gal. Kucinich can.
Dealing with income inequality
Judy Woodruff: I’m going to tick off a couple of other issues that I know people are interested in. Income inequality seems to be growing in this country. The other candidates are talking about rolling back the Bush tax cuts, doing away with those. Would you go further than that? Do you think taxes need to be raised on some Americans?
Rep. Dennis Kucinich: To me, income inequality comes from a couple things, first of all, the fact that there are many people who don’t have jobs. That creates inequality. Secondly, the people need a living wage. And in many communities, people are not making the kind of money they should be making for the work they’re doing. So we need to raise the level of wages in our society.
We also need to have more competition in our economy. You have more jobs when you have more competition. We need to break up the monopolies. Teddy Roosevelt understood this more than a hundred years ago. We have too many monopolies governing our economy, and that is creating less competition, and actually it’s shaking out a lot of jobs.
So, in addition to that, one of the ways that you help lift up people’s economic standing is to have health care for all. I’m the only one running for president — it’s pretty shocking, actually, that no other Democrat is ready to take a firm stand to say it’s time to end the for-profit health care system with a universal, not-for-profit system, Medicare for all. And, Judy, I’m the co-author of that bill. And I’ve helped organize about 83 members of Congress in support of that bill.
What occurs in the workplace is felt in our homes. A stressed worker is more likely to need health care. A happy laborer, able to attend to prevent inevitable illness and injury benefits the community as a whole. However, as long as Big Business Insurers and Pharmaceuticals control the Health Care system nothing will change. Privatized medicine dictates patients are profits. People consume services; care is not bestowed upon those in need. Currently, costs are exorbitant and expected to increase. The consumer feels the crunch. Presidential hopeful, Dennis Kucinich understands this.
Judy Woodruff: For most people, single-payer health care system, most people, their image of that is what Great Britain has, what Canada has. Would it be something like what’s in those countries?
Rep. Dennis Kucinich: Yes, it would, and we’d have the quality, as well. You know, the problem is that people are trapped into premiums, co-pays, and deductibles. Everyone watching this knows that there’s no control over these insurance companies, that the insurance companies make money not providing health care. They tell doctors what they can and cannot do.
Under my plan, people have the doctor of their choice, and they’re also able to get the care they need. They don’t have to worry about losing their homes or going bankrupt as, frankly, half the bankruptcies in America are connected directly to people not being able to pay their hospital bills.
So my plan, which is Medicare for all, where you recognize that the money is already there to provide the care that’s needed for people, plus vision care, dental care, mental health care, prescription drugs, and long-term care.
See, what’s happened is the Democratic Party, we’re forgetting who we’re supposed to be. We’re supposed to be the party of the people. We’ve become the party of the insurance companies. We’ve become the party of the oil companies. We’ve become the party of the arms merchants. And somebody has to stand up and say, “Hey, where are the Democrats? Where are the real Democrats?” And I’m a real Democrat running for president.
Then there is trade. As a lifelong union member Dennis Kucinich understands this reality more than those that walk a picket line for minutes or hours. For Dennis Kucinich labor concerns are not a photographic opportunity; they are a enduring commitment.
Judy Woodruff: You’ve also said you would have the United States pull out of NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement, the World Trade Organization. You’ve been a vocal critic of globalization. How do you see the United States shifting if none of those trade agreements were in place?
Rep. Dennis Kucinich: Well, I mean, actually, before NAFTA, we had trade. Before NAFTA, we weren’t in the rut that we’re in now, which is close to a $850 billion to $900 billion imbalance in our trade.
What I envision is this: Cancel NAFTA and the WTO and have trade that’s based on workers’ rights, human rights, and environmental quality principles. You lift up the wage levels in the United States and in other countries. You assure that workers have the right to organize, the right to collective bargaining, the right to strike, and all the other rights. No child labor, no prison labor, no slave labor, protection of the air and water.
And this is much more desirable than the conditions we have right now. Judy, I’ve been all over this country, and I’ve seen grass growing in parking lots where they used to make steel, where they used to make cars, and washing machines, and bicycles. And now there’s grass growing in the parking lots, padlocks on the plant gates.
I’m saying: NAFTA is directly responsible for the decline of American manufacturing. I want to restore American manufacturing, actually have an American manufacturing policy where the maintenance of steel, automotive, aerospace, and shipping is seen as vital to our national economic security.
Religion is often a taboo topic. Kucinich embraces the opportunity to share his deeply held beliefs. For Kucinich, faith is a guide. Dogma does not deter his vision, it enhances and advances a trust that we can realize strength in every aspect of our lives through peaceful means.
Judy Woodruff: This is a different subject area. Just this week, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of St. Louis said that he would deny communion to any presidential candidate who is Catholic who favors abortion rights, as you do. Does this in any way make you rethink your position on abortion or rethink the Catholic Church?
Rep. Dennis Kucinich: Well, no. And let me just tell you something. Much of my public policy comes from what I’ve learned as growing up Catholic. My economic policies were deeply informed by Leo XIII’s Rerum Novarum, by encyclicals of Pope Paul VI, Populorum Progressio. And so I have a deep respect for the Catholic Church.
On the issue of abortion, I think that we need to do everything we can to make abortion less necessary. And I think you can do that through promoting birth control, through making sure that you have prenatal care, postnatal care, child care, universal health care, a living wage.
I think I’m the one candidate for president who can help heal this nation in this intense divide over abortion by recognizing the concerns that people have, including in the Catholic Church, about abortions, but by creating circumstances where abortions are less likely to occur. So I think it’s time for a president who brings a healing hand to this country on this issue.
Judy Woodruff: Four years ago, you changed your position, is that right, on abortion?
Rep. Dennis Kucinich: Well, you know what? It was long before I ran for president the first time that I came to an understanding of how this issue was tearing America apart and how it’s possible to simultaneously stand for a woman’s right to choose and, at the same time, work to make abortions less likely. I think it’s possible to do both.
We’re called upon, those of us who run for president, to have a kind of wisdom which comes from understanding what people go through, not that I’m smarter than anyone else, but I understand the kind of difficulties that people have, how complicated life can be for people.
So when you come with the intention of not rejecting the teachings of the church, but of trying to create a society where the concerns of the church are given full effect and, at the same time, make sure that women have this right to choose so that they can — and create a society where women can choose what is best not only for themselves, but for the society, as well.
I think a president who takes that approach is someone who can heal this great divide which the issue of abortion has created.
As in any campaign, there are naysayers and rumors. At times the gossip is more gripping than the truth. There are a few that would have us believe that a candidate that lost a re-election campaign is considered an outcast in the city that once called him Mayor. In truth, decades later the Cleveland Mayor Kucinich made. Even in the 1970s Dennis Kucinich understood the error of privatization. His refusal to sell Muny Light and Powers saved the citizens of this community $200 million dollars. That is quite a sum. The people are grateful.
Rep. Dennis Kucinich: I ran the last time, and I was re-elected to Congress. You have to remember something. The people in Cleveland, they know me as someone who will stand up and speak out when no other person will.
I saved the municipal electric system years ago in Cleveland. It saved the people of Cleveland hundreds of millions of dollars, because I took a stand that no one else would. I helped save a steel mill in Cleveland with close to 2,000 jobs because I took a stand after the mill had already been closed. I made sure we saved the mill and saved a hospital. I’m the one who takes a stand.
And on the war, all these other candidates were either quiet or they went the wrong way or, if they spoke up, they voted to fund the war later. People know me as being someone who’s not afraid, and it’s because I come from Cleveland. That’s what I represent: the kind of person who will stand up and speak out when others are quiet and who’s not afraid to take on big challenges.
I mean, frankly, that’s the kind of spirit that the Cleveland Indians have. That’s why they’re in the playoffs. You know, that’s why I’m in this race for president, because I have that kind of Cleveland spirit that’s tough and, at the same time, informed.
Judy Woodruff: Dennis Kucinich, we thank you very much for talking with us. Thank you.
Rep. Dennis Kucinich: Thank you. Appreciate it.
Judy Woodruff: Appreciate it.
I too appreciate this fine dialogue. I am grateful for the time given to discuss the issues with a candidate that is truly mainstream, a man of the people. My hope is that many will stop for a moment and sit quietly away from the hype. I invite you dear reader to reflect and absorb with an open mind and heart. I appeal for a moment more. If you would, please ponder the interview with Jay Leno. As Mister Leno stated, my expectations were not realized, and I am thankful. For me, this conversation on a program often known for comedy is one that brings tears. Truth is often a source of enlightenment. This interview illustrates illumination comes from the most casual of conversations.
I thank you for your time. I appreciate the look, the listen, the forum, and the opportunity to introduce our future President, Dennis Kucinich.
Let us ponder as Kucinich has, free trade, globalization, income inequity, war, and peace. May we proceed with intent. Let us heal a world torn asunder, and a nation that crumbles from within. Might we appraise and raise the consciousness of all throughout the plant. When we are strong, we embrace peace.
References, Resources, The Reality, Dennis Kucinich . . .
In 2004, I had no doubt. I voted for Dennis Kucinich. By that time, I felt justified in thinking President George W. Bush must be impeached. The President had violated many laws. However, hordes of voters disagreed, or did not care. Congress clearly rejected and continues to reject my belief; at least they act as they do. Nothing has been done to prosecute the President and his pals. Even today, Progressives have questioned my conviction. They say, “This “man” and his clan have not committed “high crimes and misdemeanors.” As much as I believe they have, I cannot convince Congress or citizens en mass to take action. Censure is not assured.
Therefore, I must communicate and cajole. Yet, I am not expectant. Change is a challenge.
I accept I need to carefully consider my vote in each of the upcoming elections. Actually, I always have.
My own attention to the issues caused me to cast a ballot for Kucinich in 2004. I am not surprised that Representative Kucinich is speaking out, stating we must indict this insolent Executive officer. Congressman Kucinich has always quietly though consistently been an advocate for truth, justice, and what I believe is the American way. Kucinich cares about the people!
It is for this reason that in the last Presidential election, I cast my ballot for principles; popularity is not my preference. Most of my friends and neighbors mused, “The man is not electable.” We need to take back the House, the Senate, and the White House. Vote for Kerry. Assuredly, he will guarantee us [we the people] a win.
Perhaps it is just I; nevertheless, I do not choose to work with an associate in hopes my image will be improved. Credentials may be impressive; however, they are not enough. I do not gravitate to a perceived strength. I want substance! If a candidate or colleague says, ‘Trust me. I will protect you.’ That, for me, is not enough.
I do not wish for a mate so that he might complete me. I am whole already, me, myself, and I.
I do not purchase shoes knowing they look spectacular; yet, they hurt my feet. A dress, a pair of pants, or a purse must be more than pretty. Trends do not excite me.
Having a beer with a likable guy or gal does not appeal to me. You may recall, for quite a few voters Bush seemed a likable drinking bud. Actually, I do not drink. I have been told that drinking either dulls the senses or intensifies what is within. I desire authenticity in a Presidential applicant, in my associates, and in my allies. If a President or pal states they are compassionate, I do not what that to be a character trait they only display when with a select few.
Early in 2007, Tom Vilsack captured my attention, for admittedly I fear America is not ready for a reserved, yet real gem such as Kucinich. I was considering giving the former Governor from Iowa a chance. I did accept that if Vilsack left the scene for any reason I could and would willingly commit to Kucinich. Now, again I experience as I did in 04, the mainstream media and even the so-called Progressives would focus on a supposed winner. Flashes in pans, stars, and the well heeled are popular in political forums.
I have never believed in winning. The oft-promoted concept of win:win for me is trite. It is a mere attempt to lessen the blow of a loss for anyone or everyone. I believe in growth, reciprocal reverence, and shared visions. I have no desire to be victorious. Nor do I take pleasure in a conquest. It is my belief if there is a winner, there must also be a loser. I trust that we can all grow greater together.
When I say I want no war, I am not intending to fund what I claim to condemn. I do not believe the world can wait. Lives are lost; limbs are crushed. Eyes are missing and the pain is plentiful. For me, Dennis Kucinich takes a thorough and thoughtful perspective on this war.
Kucinich unveils comprehensive exit plan to bring troops home, stabilize Iraq
Dennis J Kucinich
Monday, January 8, 2007
In November of 2006, after an October upsurge in violence in Iraq, the American people moved decisively to reject Republican rule, principally because of the conduct of the war. Democratic leaders well understand we regained control of the Congress because of the situation in Iraq. However, two months later, the Congress is still searching for a plan around which it can unite to hasten the end of US involvement in Iraq and the return home of 140,000 US troops.
There is a compelling need for a new direction in Iraq, one that recognizes the plight of the people of Iraq, the false and illegal basis of the United States war against Iraq, the realities on the ground which make a military resolution of the conflict unrealistic and the urgent responsibility of the United States, which caused the chaos, to use the process of diplomacy and international law to achieve stability in Iraq, a process which will establish peace and stability in Iraq allow our troops to return home with dignity.
The Administration is preparing to escalate the conflict. They intend to increase troop numbers to unprecedented levels, without establishing an ending date for the so-called troop surge. By definition, this escalation means a continuation of the occupation, more troop and civilian casualties, more anger toward the US, more support for the insurgency, more instability in Iraq and in the region, and prolonged civil war at a time when there is a general agreement in the world community that the solution in Iraq must be political not military. Iraq is now a training ground for insurgents who practice against our troops.
What is needed is a comprehensive political process. And the decision is not President Bush’s alone to make.
Congress, as a coequal branch of government has a responsibility to assist in the initiation of this process. Congress, under Article 1, Section 8 of the US Constitution has the war-making power. Congress appropriates funds for the war. Congress does not dispense with its obligation to the American people simply by opposing a troop surge in Iraq.
There are 140,000 troops remaining in Iraq right now. What about them? When will they come home? Why would we leave those troops in Iraq when we have the money to bring them home? Soon the President will ask for more money for the war. Why would Congress appropriate more money to keep the troops in Iraq through the end of President Bush’s term, at a total cost of upwards of two trillion dollars and thousands of more troop casualties, when military experts say there is no military solution? Our soldiers stand for us in the field, we must to stand for them in our legislature by bringing them home.
It is simply not credible to maintain that one opposes the war and yet continues to fund it. This contradiction runs as a deep fault line through our politics, undermining public trust in the political process and in those elected to represent the people. If you oppose the war, then do not vote to fund it.
If you have money which can be used to bring the troops home or to prosecute the war, do not say you want to bring the troops home while you appropriate money in a supplemental to keep them in Iraq fighting a war that cannot be won militarily. This is why the Administration should be notified now that Congress will not approve of the appropriations request of up to $160 billion in the spring for the purposes of continuing the occupation and the war. Continuing to fund the war is not a plan. It would represent the continuation of disaster.
The US sent our troops into Iraq without a clear mission. We created a financial, military, and moral dilemma for our nation and now we are talking about the Iraq war as our problem. The Iraqis are forgotten. Their country has been destroyed: 650,000 casualties, [based on the Lancet Report which surveyed casualties from March of 2003 to July of 2006] the shredding of the social fabric of the nation, civil war, lack of access to food, shelter, electricity, clean drinking water and health care because this Administration, with the active participation of the Congress, authorized a war without reason, without conscience, without international law.
The current combat is not all that troubles me. Much that is occurring in present day America and throughout the globe causes great distress. I want us to embrace every aspect of life completely. Reform for me is not wise if it is random. I have no desire to change for the sake of change. My interest is in encouraging equality for all. May we live for the Seventh Generation. As I assess the Kucinich agenda, I believe this Representative has our shared health in mind. Kucinich states . . .
I want to inspire America to take a new path, a different direction.
I envision an America which has the capacity to reconnect with the heart of the world; an America which proceeds in the world optimistically and courageously. An America which understands that the world is interdependent, that it is inter-connected, and that what we do today impacts future generations.
I want to break the shackles of fear which have deprived our citizens of rights. We need to change the way this country values humanity, so that instead of fear and lies, we can live our lives based on principles of peace and hope. We need to regain the trust of the American people and we need to have a government which trusts the American people.
It’s time for America to resume its glorious journey; time to reject shrinking jobs and wages, disappearing savings and rights; time to reject the detour towards fear and greed. It’s time to look out upon the world for friends, not enemies; time to counter the control of corporations over our politics, our economy, our resources, and mass media.
It’s time for those who have much to help those who have little, by maintaining a progressive tax structure. It’s time to tell the world that we wish to be their partner in peace, not their leader in war. Most of all, it is time for America to again be the land where dreams come true, because the government is on the side of its people.
As much as I believe there is a need to arraign this Administration, I fear that will not be possible. Those that can take action have delayed and deferred their responsibility to the people. Our nation is suffering. Much in America needs our attention. I ask, “If not now, when?” I can only hope that by 2008, America will be courageous. Citizens will not choose a candidate for their charisma and panache. A bankroll will not impress and thirty-second commercials will not sway a savvy voter. I invite you to travel to Congressman Kucinich’s site. Read what is more than rhetoric; then decide. As Hillary proposed, I would like to begin a genuine conversation.