Responsibility Or The Loss Of Credibility

copyright © 2008 Forgiven. The Disputed Truth

One of the many things that trouble me about the wealthy in particular and the Republicans in general is their apparent lack of shame for their blatant hypocrisy. For decades the mantra of the wealthy and their Republican mouthpieces has been the lack of personal responsibility of the poor. According to these people the problem with liberalism is that they have tried to use the government to “bail-out” the bad choices made by these unfortunate individuals and if they would only exercise some personal responsibility they would be alright. It is not the business of the taxpayers to support the bad lifestyle choices of individuals.

While this analysis is wrong on so many levels, it is important with the current bail-out plans being discussed and enacted in Washington to discuss it on its face value. My question is, “If it has been bad policy in the past to “bail-out” bad personal choices and decisions for individuals why is it now good policy to “bail-out” these same bad decisions now being made by CEO’s and financiers?” It is precisely this type of hypocrisy that has helped to fuel the largest transfer of wealth from the public coffers to the wealthy in our history. Government payouts only seem to be in the interest of the country when they are being given to the wealthiest amongst us. There is something wrong with a system that takes the wealth of the middle and lower classes and gives it to the richest in the faint hope that they will not be greedy and will provide some return on those funds.

As the financial meltdown has unfolded around us it has revealed this strategy for what it is; another bankrupt idea of the wealthy and the Republicans being perpetrated against the American public. It was amazing to hear John McCain try to mock Senator Obama for his comments to “Joe the plumber” about “spreading the wealth”. Why wasn’t anyone mocking the rich during the many transfers of wealth to the rich by the Reagan and Bush tax-cuts? I guess it is ok to spread the wealth if it is going in an upwardly direction. This is just a further illustration of why the Republican brand has lost all of its credibility with the American public. Not only has this crisis reinforced their lack of principles and convictions but there has been a history of similar situations in the past. Here is a short list of some of the most egregious examples of their untrustworthiness.

No Nation Building – One of the first and costliest in a long string of credibility gaps was then candidate Bush’s pronouncement that he would not use the military to engage in nation building.

Weapons of Mass Destruction – Can any of us forget the infamous pronunciations of a host of Administration officials on this subject? Sorry General Powell

Trickle-Down Economics Work – Can anyone besides McCain and a diehard Republican supply-sider argue that this policy has bankrupted our economic system?

No Regulations/Let Markets Rule – Another aspect of the vaulted Conservative Republican agenda was the systematic dismantling of regulatory agency powers and budgets. Let the markets rule! How is that working out America?

What almost no one at the beginning of this process and many still have not been realized is the deep level of desire for change that is permeating through the American population. It is still my belief that I have shared for the last two months that this election will not even be close. By 10:30 on election night the winner will be known to all. This weekend has only increased my enthusiasm for the outcome of this election. On Saturday I attended the Barack Obama rally in Kansas City, Missouri and I have never witnessed a political event or any other event for that matter that carried the electricity or the enthusiasm that this event did. It was surreal to see red-necks and blacks sharing the same belief and hope in a political figure. There were about 70,000 people that showed up to just be a part of history. Maybe 5,000 people could actually see Senator Obama, so the other 70,000 were just there to hear him or to just be a part of history. One of the most often stated lines was, “We’re making history or we are witnessing a history making moment.”

The other event that has increased my enthusiasm is that I was watching the Republican mouthpieces on the Sunday talk shows talking about the Obama Presidency. There are many Republicans who feel that the current Republican Party and its focus is an abomination to what the Republican Party stands for. When have you heard Republicans hinting, let alone saying publicly that their Party needs to lose? The difference in this election will be two-fold. The first will be the influx of new voters that have been registered by the Obama campaign’s voter drives in many of the swing states. The other deciding factor will be the number of suburban Republican voters who will sit this election out. They won’t vote for Obama, but they are not going to support McCain either.

It is time for personal responsibility for all of us, not just the poor and the middle-class. Electing Barack Obama will be a major step towards that goal.

Many of us believe that wrongs aren’t wrong if it’s done by nice people like ourselves.  

~ Author Unknown

A negative feeling

To view the original art, please travel to A negative feeling

copyright © 2008.  Andrew Wahl.  Off The Wahl Perspective.

I’m starting to get worried about the Democratic race – and about the increasingly nasty tone of both candidates. At the end of the day, this election isn’t really about them.  This week’s toon, “A Word From the Middle Class,” tries to put that in focus.

A ‘bitter’ reality check

To view the original art, please travel to A ‘bitter’ reality check

copyright © 2008.  Andrew Wahl.  Off The Wahl Perspective.

How do you make an “elitist” charge stick against someone with Barack Obama’s background?  The whole line of attack – which is the subject of this week’s toon, “Who’s Out of Touch” – just seems disingenuous to me.

Clinton, Obama, Edwards; The Three Are One

Des Moines Register Debate: Advisors (full)

copyright © 2007 Betsy L. Angert

The Des Moines Register Democratic Debate was an event like no other.  Gaffes, gossip, gushing, and gabble were all present and accounted for.  Former Senator Mike Gravel was not.  Nor was Congressman, and potential President, Dennis Kucinich.  Each of these aspirants would have been happy to meet and speak with the people of Iowa, just as they have for months.  However, they were intentionally excluded in this more formal forum.  

Excuses were made, and easily  countered.  Nevertheless, evidence to the  contrary mattered not to the Des Moines Register.  The Editors had spoken and so too would their ultimate first choice for the office of President of the United States speak.  Hillary Clinton clones, and future Cabinet appointees would have an opportunity to commune with the local and television audience.  America had all it needed on the platform, powerbrokers and their pawns, those the wealthy tell us are prepared to be President.

The Register believes “preparedness” must be the primary consideration.  Thus, they were ready to dispute any claims that they may be less than equitable.  Interestingly, among the arguments, explanations, and assessments the Carolyn Washburn, debate moderator and Editor of the Des Moines Register offers an odd evaluation of the event.  The prideful host reflects . . .

I’m pleased to say reaction has not been all one-sided.  I’ve received a slew of e-mails from people thanking us for a civil discussion that gave the candidates equal time, on important issues, with smart questions.

Each person permitted to stand on the stage may have spoken for the same number of minutes.  Nevertheless, The Register in its infinite wisdom did not give Presidential hopefuls identical access to the television audience.  No one cannot deny that even among those who publish in the Register there is some question as to whether all the aspirants were treated alike.  Kevin M. Cashman, Grinnell  also wonders whether Leaving candidates out of debate compromises democracy  Principles our founders established centuries ago may be of no consequence to the Des Mines Register.  Electability may be the one subject of import.  Perhaps a presumed winner is the only issue of worth.  Moderator, Carolyn Washburn made her stance known early on.  The Editor explained the rules and the audience gasped.

“We won’t talk a lot about issues like Iraq.”

~ Carolyn Washburn, moderating the presidential debates in Iowa

To not speak of the war that dominates American policy seemed unthinkable.  However, this restriction was only one of many constraints.  There was much deemed unmentionable in this televised discussion.  The names Kucinich and Gravel would not mouthed.  Although that, for the candidates on stage, was great.  The Big Three had long hoped to narrow the field.  For months, each said to the other, I need more time and attention.  At this assembly, more than the two men excluded from the debate were labeled  taboo topics.

Washburn, the earnest and schoolmarmish editor of the Des Moines Register, stunned the political world when she announced, at the beginning of the Republican debate on Wednesday, that she did not want to talk about Iraq and immigration, at least not in any “concentrated” way.  She continued that policy Thursday with the Democrats, asking not a single question about Iraq.  The words “terrorist,” “Iran,” “Pakistan” and “al-Qaeda” didn’t get even a single mention.

What did viewers get instead?

“Tell us your New Year’s resolution for 2008,” Washburn proposed.  Groans emanated from the media room down the hall.  Hillary Clinton said she would exercise more.  Barack Obama said he would be a better father.  Richardson pledged to lose weight.

Weight was lost.  Little of substance was discussed in this silly “debate.”  What was touched on; yet never fully explored was the inevitable .  Clinton would control the White House, regardless of whether the publication ultimately endorsed Hillary, Barack, or John.  Former Governor Bill Richardson, Senators Joseph Biden, and Chris Dodd were never a consideration for more than Cabinet positions.  With the latter three on stage the Register could offer a façade of fairness.  

Richardson, a former Clinton appointee would walk in lockstep.  Dodd also accepts much of the status quo; he is agreeable when Hillary craves a defense.  Dodd and Joe Biden are formidable legislatures.  They are certainly not Presidential material.  They are not cut from the charismatic Clintonian cloth.  These gentlemen are well versed in how to closet what is.  Neither, in debate, or in deliverance of policy will be the voice of change that must be muffled.

For thirty-five years, or so we are told again and again, Hillary Clinton has trained for this coronation.  As critical as the New York Senator might have been of the young Baracks’s youthful essay in which he declared his desire to be President of the United States, the former First Lady always knew, even if Obama had an edge, if Obama were to win, she would still be in the White House.  This was confirmed at the Des Moines Register Debate.  

While individuals in the media and even some of the candidates complained, the Register Debate offered no revelations, there was at least one  enlightening moment.  America now knows, there is no reason to quarrel over whether Hillary or Barack ultimately become Commander-In-Chief.  Either way Clinton will be in the White House.

[R]eporters  . . .  sensed a major story when Clinton interrupted one of Obama’s answers with a burst of laughter.  When Obama was asked how he would “rely on” so many of former president Bill Clinton’s advisers, his wife cackled, then blurted out, “I want to hear that!”

“Well, Hillary, I’m looking forward to you advising me as well,” Obama replied, and Clinton laughed again.

The question was asked.  The quip of an answer was widely appreciated, and reported on the national news.  Had Americans reacted with more than quick laughter, they might have cried with disgust.  Perhaps, upon hearing the banter, a thoughtful public would have pondered, and then exclaimed, “The more things “change,” the more they stay the same.”  We learned regardless of which of the top tier candidates Americans choose, change will only be a word, never said above a whisper.  There is little difference.  The Clinton experience will cloud the Oval Office if either of these marvelously manipulative candidates is Americas choice.

Years ago, the Former First Lady roamed from room to room at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.  As she strolled the hallways, she encountered those who advised her husband and now counsel her opponent, Barack Obama.  

Barack Obama does not hide his list of advisers, or at least not completely.  A short trek to his website, and Americans can look into the future Obama Oval Office.

For Obama’s presidential bid, Senate staffer Mark Lippert is the critical link between the campaign, the Senate staff and the senator.  Lippert has accompanied Obama on the three international trips Obama has taken while in office.  Lippert, who has a master’s from Stanford in international policy, has had a hand in every major Obama speech and statement on international affairs and deals with the senator daily.

Lippert, a lieutenant junior grade in the Navy Reserve, came to Obama after working on the Senate Appropriations Committee Foreign Operations Subcommittee for five years and has handled foreign policy and defense issues for the Senate Democratic Policy Committee.

Besides Lippert, the core Obama group consists of three people who worked in President Bill Clinton’s administration: former National Security Adviser Anthony Lake and former senior State Department officials Susan Rice and Gregory Craig.  They meet regularly in Washington.  Lake was the NSA adviser during Clinton’s first term.  Rice was the senior adviser on national security affairs for the Kerry-Edwards campaign in 2004, an assistant secretary of state for African affairs and a special assistant to the president at the National Security Council at the Clinton White House.

Craig — quarterback of Clinton’s impeachment defense team — was director of policy and planning at the State Department under former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.  In 2000, Craig was at the center of the fight over Elian Gonzalez, representing the Cuban youth’s father in his custody fight.  Craig met Obama in 2003 at a fund-raiser for his Senate bid at the home of Washington powerbroker Vernon Jordan.

The Obama circle widens, depending on the need for expertise.

During the Clinton administration, Jeh Charles Johnson was general counsel for the Department of the Air Force. . .

The Obama foreign policy team deals with counterterrorism, democracy development and the inter-related matters of energy and the environment, global health, homeland security and nuclear nonproliferation, among other issues.  There’s also a cadre of former Clinton officials who are very involved with the Obama campaign who for now want to stay below the radar screen.

Interestingly, Barack Obama could have obscured this substantial connection to the Clinton White House, for originally, this report was published in the Chicago Sun Times.  Prominent Journalist Lynn Sweet offered this glimpse into the crystal ball months ago.  However, rather than hide the snapshot into another Clintonian strategy, Barack Obama proudly beams.  The Clinton advisory staff is on his side.  Now, we know Hillary will be among them if perchance she is not the President.

When Barack Obama offered Hillary Clinton what some thought a slight, many took delight.  Absorbed in laughter, few pondered the profundity.  A vote for the lead gal or the guy is one in the same.  The truth is, if the Senator from Illinois becomes President of the United States, we may still have the two Clintons in the White House Along with all their counsel.

Numerous Progressives tout, John Edwards is different and he is, in that he is not a woman, nor is he an African American.  A white American male is certainly a novel concept, or so the former Senator Edwards wishes it was.  Beyond this classic characteristic, well . . .

I shouldn’t have to say this – what matters is what the candidates stand for and to whom they’ll be beholden if elected.  My problem is the three don’t look so far apart to me – certainly not enough to justify demonizing one and canonizing another, as my left-wing correspondent does.

The differences seem more like branding: the strong, experienced woman; the black (but not too black) inspirer of hope; the hands-on economic populist crusader.  Or if you prefer, the evil pro-corporate phony and everyone else.  No sooner had Clinton announced her health care plan, for example, than my colleague John Nichols denounced it as a gift to the insurance industry.  Fair enough, but this is the same health care plan that Elizabeth Edwards said with some annoyance was copied from the one her husband – the man who cares about poor people – had put forward months before.

Obama’s plan is similar.  Likewise, on the same day that my colleague Laura Flanders wrote that an Obama campaign rally in New York City was buzzing with progressive energy, I read in The New York Times about his attempt to woo McCain voters in New Hampshire.  Both these things can be true – but isn’t being all things to all people a bit, well, Clintonian?

How real are the differences among the top three?  Let’s take a look.  All three candidates want to disengage troops from Iraq while maintaining some kind of military handle on the place.  If getting all the troops out ASAP is your top priority, vote for Richardson, Kucinich or Gravel.  All of the top three are largely uncritical of Israel (Clinton, in fact, voiced support for a Palestinian state in 1998 and was creamed for it).  Clinton probably is a shade more hawkish than the others, but all three buy the trope of the “war on terror” – in August, Obama even said he would strike Pakistan if that’s what it took to capture Osama bin Laden.  Maybe that was a slip or a mini-pander to 9/11 voters (well, not so mini if you’re a Pakistani).  He has since made more peaceful noises and followed Edwards in supporting the global abolition of nuclear weapons (a position originally put forward by Ronald Reagan, and now by Henry Kissinger, Sam Nunn and George Shultz, so let’s not get carried away).

On domestic policy, the three have similar boilerplatish positions on education and immigration; all three are pro-choice without qualifications.  Hurray!  But, although nearly three in ten Americans are poor or near-poor, only Edwards has made a campaign issue out of social and economic inequality.  Only Edwards seems to grasp the significance of our widening class divisions.  Obama, indeed, has suggested he’ll reduce taxes on “the middle class,” which may be code for “expect no big government initiatives.”

How tied in are the top three with corporations and Wall Street?  Hillary Clinton is notoriously unapologetic about receiving large donations from wealthy interests.  But Obama has received a lot of corporate and Wall Street money too – in fact, he’s received more money from hedge funds than Clinton.  Edwards has refused to accept donations from lobbyists (Obama soon followed his example), but this could be merely a nice piece of branding: there are plenty of ways for the interest groups’ lobbyists to put favors in the favor bank besides writing a check to the candidate.  

As we scan a list of the top contributors to John Edwards campaign, we understand the significance of this statement.  Goldman Sachs, Citigroup Incorporated, Deutsche Bank, appear prominently among a list of law firms.  Of course, we might say this is the nature of politics.  If candidate is to be effective, he, or she must communicate their message broadly.  Commercials and print correspondence are costly.  A treasure chest filled with riches is required.  Cash might be nice; it is more difficult to trace.  Paper trails give evidence to what any Presidential aspirant may wish to avoid, the truth.

Vowing not to accept contributions from lobbyists isn’t a foolproof plan for Edwards or Obama.  Both still accept money from state and local lobbyists, employees at law firms that offer lobbying services, family members of lobbyists and former lobbyists.  Contributions from Washington lobbyists have still managed to seep into both Democrats’ coffers.

At the end of the 3rd Quarter, the Edwards campaign listed $4,500 in contributions from seven registered lobbyists, according to Federal Election Commission reports.  The campaign returned one of these contributions in early November, a spokeswoman said, and the refund will be reflected in year-end filings.  When Capital Eye alerted the campaign to the other donations that would appear to violate Edwards’s policy, the representative said the campaign had missed those contributions and would return them promptly.

The Obama campaign had collected nearly $34,500 from 29 registered lobbyists by the end of the campaign’s first nine months of fundraising, according to FEC reports.  The Obama campaign did not respond to several requests to review those records.

Obama and Edwards also refuse money from political action committees controlled by corporations and other interests, but they and every other presidential candidate accept money from employees of corporations and other interests that employ lobbyists.  According to the Center for Responsive Politics, 14 of Obama’s top 20 contributors employed lobbyists this year, spending a total of $16.2 million to influence the federal government in the first six months of 2007.

Of Edwards’s top 20 contributors, only seven have employed lobbyists this year, spending a total of $6.3 million.  But the plaintiff attorneys who dominate the list of Edwards’s top donors are well represented in Washington by the influential American Association for Justice (formerly the Association of Trial Lawyers of America), which has spent at least $3 million on lobbying this year alone.  As for Clinton, all but four of her top 20 contributors have employed lobbyists this year.

Hence, it is easy to understand why the Des Moines Register acted as they did.  Congressman Dennis Kucinich and former Senator Mike Gravel would offer unwelcome nuance to a stage full of affluent agents for the status quo.  Those that think policy as usual is preferable have no reason to rattle the profiteers that sponsor the standards.  Perchance, the periodical’s own endorsement, offered shortly after the Iowa Debate explains what we all knew.

The job requires a president who not only understands the [insert . . . minimal and on paper only] changes needed to move the country forward but also possesses the discipline and skill to navigate the reality of the resistant Washington power structure to get things done.

That candidate is New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Indeed, for the staff of this Iowa periodical Clinton is the perfect Presidential hopeful.  She speaks eloquently of transformation and has already altered the face of Clinton.  Bill becomes Hill.  More importantly, Hillary Clinton, the first presumed electable, formidable female aspirant, is deftly able to follow the map laid out before her.  After all, she is, and has long been a audacious part of the White House landscape.  With Hillary Clinton in the Oval Office, we will have Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, and John Edwards, all rolled into one.  

Question: What could be more glorious?  Answer:  For me, sheer bliss would be Dennis Kucinich, as President of the United States of America.  I am not alone in my belief.  One need only acknowledge that in numerous polls the truest candidate of change leads all others Democrats.  Dennis Kucinich is the people’s pick for President.  The aspirant is the one person funded and followed by common folk.  Imagine; if the periodicals, pundits, and the politicos who grab the floor would give the people a choice.  I do dream; I trust the thought is not absurd.  Achieving a Kucinich Presidency is possible.

“Only he who attempts the absurd is capable of achieving the impossible.”

 ~ Miguel de Unamuno [Spanish Philosopher and Writer]

Sources, Sponsors, Secrets, and Special Interests . . .

National Public Radio Lowers the Volume [Boom] On Dennis Kucinich

copyright © 2007 Betsy L. Angert

Dear National Public Radio . . .

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.

Inskeep:  Candidates, we’ve just been doing some reporting in the last few days from Marshalltown, Iowa, a city that I know many of you have visited. This is a city with a lot of immigrants, a number of illegal immigrants. There have been immigration raids there. And that raises questions about citizens in places like that all over America.

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 Radio backers [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.

Siegel: Yes.

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.

References and Reasons for this Reaction . . .

Once Upon A Clinton Time; Bill Opposed Iraq War From The Beginning

GMA – Bill Clinton Says He Was Against the Iraq War?

copyright © 2007 Betsy L. Angert

We heard his message.  The die was cast and many would perish.  The safety and security of citizens  within the United States was threatened.  A defiant Saddam Hussein and arms in Iraq were the issues of import.  Iraqi despot Hussein would not comply with demands to disarm.  The Commander-In-Chief proclaimed Americans were patient; however, we could wait no longer.  

The President decided it was time to take mattes into his own hands.  He addressed a world audience and proclaimed.

Good evening.

Earlier today, I ordered America’s armed forces to strike military and security targets in Iraq. They are joined by British forces. Their mission is to attack Iraq’s nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs and its military capacity to threaten its neighbors.

Their purpose is to protect the national interest of the United States, and indeed the interests of people throughout the Middle East and around the world.

Saddam Hussein must not be allowed to threaten his neighbors or the world with nuclear arms, poison gas or biological weapons.

I want to explain why I have decided, with the unanimous recommendation of my national security team, to use force in Iraq; why we have acted now; and what we aim to accomplish . . .

The international community had little doubt then, and I have no doubt today, that left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will use these terrible weapons again.

The United States has patiently worked to preserve [United Nations weapons inspectors] UNSCOM as Iraq has sought to avoid its obligation to cooperate with the inspectors . . . So Iraq has abused its final chance . . .

The decision to use force is never cost-free. Whenever American forces are placed in harm’s way, we risk the loss of life. And while our strikes are focused on Iraq’s military capabilities, there will be unintended Iraqi casualties . . .

Heavy as they are, the costs of action must be weighed against the price of inaction . . .

Because we’re acting today, it is less likely that we will face these dangers in the future . . .

In the century we’re leaving, America has often made the difference between chaos and community, fear and hope. Now, in the new century, we’ll have a remarkable opportunity to shape a future more peaceful than the past, but only if we stand strong against the enemies of peace.

Tonight, the United States is doing just that.

These are the words of Bill Clinton.  The date was December 16, 1998.  At the time, the Republicans were skeptical.  On impeachment  eve as the sound of proceedings resonated within the Halls of Congress and the White House.  Many thought the intent to attack Iraq served to divert attention on matters at hand.  The subject of the upcoming censure was William Jefferson Clinton. At the time, White House officials insisted the President Clinton was not attempting to distract the Congress or the country.  The portent of impeachment did not influence the President’s decision to attack Iraq.  U.S. planes were in the air as the drone of detractors voiced cynicism about the timing of this announcement.  Certainly, the question of when this nation might best assail another loomed large within the Beltway.

Just as members of Congress criticized the Commander-In-Chief in 1998, years later the former commandant railed against the man who followed him into the Oval Office.  Clinton questioned why the George W. Bush White House wished to bomb Iraq when they did. Witness the words of Bill Clinton six years after his own pronouncement.  

Clinton Backs Bush on Iraq War But Questions Invasion’s Timing

By John F. Harris?

Washington Post

Sunday, June 20, 2004; Page A04

Former president Bill Clinton said he agreed with President Bush’s decision to confront Iraq about its potential weapons programs, but thought the administration erred in starting a war in 2003 rather than allowing United Nations weapons inspectors longer to carry out their work.

“In terms of the launching of the war, I believe we made an error in not allowing the United Nations to complete the inspections process,” Clinton told CBS News’s Dan Rather in a “60 Minutes” interview to air tonight.

Clinton made similar comments in an interview with Time magazine, in which he said he “supported the Iraq thing” but questioned its timing. Portions of both interviews — part of the publicity campaign in advance of this week’s release of Clinton’s memoirs — were distributed in advance by the news organizations.

Clinton croons, ‘Time is my side; yes it is.’  It is best to move in the moment that helps maximize an individual’s personal message.  In this case the person is former President Bill Clinton.  When hearings were arranged and the President was to be held in contempt, the time is ripe.  Bill was ready.  

In 2004, as Bill promoted his newly released book, it was, once again, time to recapture the attention of Americans. Once more, the opportune moment was now.  However, regardless of the instant or the message, the essence is muddled.  Which statement are we to believe and which Clinton speaks the truth, or when.  Bill did change his focus and alter his feelings, and Hillary does.   Granted we all grow in “time;” however, the current concern is not for the change.  It is the re-write of history that we must call into question.

In October 2002, the former first Lady, as Senator, expressed her support for the then President George w. Bush.  She cautiously calculated the options and concluded, we, as a nation, must give Mister Bush the power to act.

In 1998, Saddam Hussein pressured the United Nations to lift the sanctions by threatening to stop all cooperation with the inspectors. In an attempt to resolve the situation, the UN, unwisely in my view, agreed to put limits on inspections of designated “sovereign sites” including the so-called presidential palaces, which in reality were huge compounds well suited to hold weapons labs, stocks, and records which Saddam Hussein was required by UN resolution to turn over. When Saddam blocked the inspection process, the inspectors left. As a result, President Clinton, with the British and others, ordered an intensive four-day air assault, Operation Desert Fox, on known and suspected weapons of mass destruction sites and other military targets.

In 1998, the United States also changed its underlying policy toward Iraq from containment to regime change and began to examine options to effect such a change, including support for Iraqi opposition leaders within the country and abroad . . .

It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons. Should he succeed in that endeavor, he could alter the political and security landscape of the Middle East, which as we know all too well affects American security.

This is a very difficult vote. This is probably the hardest decision I have ever had to make — any vote that may lead to war should be hard — but I cast it with conviction . . .

And perhaps my decision is influenced by my eight years of experience on the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue in the White House watching my husband deal with serious challenges to our nation. I want this President, or any future President, to be in the strongest possible position to lead our country in the United Nations or in war.

Secondly, I want to insure that Saddam Hussein makes no mistake about our national unity and for our support for the President’s efforts to wage America’s war against terrorists and weapons of mass destruction. And thirdly, I want the men and women in our Armed Forces to know that if they should be called upon to act against Iraq, our country will stand resolutely behind them . . .

So it is with conviction that I support this resolution as being in the best interests of our nation. A vote for it is not a vote to rush to war; it is a vote that puts awesome responsibility in the hands of our President and we say to him – use these powers wisely and as a last resort. And it is a vote that says clearly to Saddam Hussein – this is your last chance – disarm or be disarmed.

Although, she currently claims she did not think President Bush would unilaterally attack Iraq.  She thought Bush would be more prudent.   Senator Clinton cast her vote based on the information she had at the time.

What Hillary won’t say about Iraq

As transcripts show, Sen. Clinton’s views on the war have slowly changed since 2002, but she still can’t say her own vote to authorize force was a mistake.

By Tim Grieve

Feb. 14, 2007

At a campaign stop in New Hampshire over the past weekend, a voter asked Hillary Clinton if she could say — “once and for all, without nuance” — that her October 2002 vote to authorize the use of force in Iraq had been a “mistake.”

Clinton couldn’t do it.

“Well,” she said, “I have said, and I will repeat it, that knowing what I know now, I would never have voted for it … I have taken responsibility for my vote. The mistakes were made by this president who misled this country and this Congress into a war that should not have been waged.”

Let’s go through that again. Clinton said that, knowing what she knows now, she wouldn’t have voted to authorize the use of force. She said that George W. Bush made mistakes. But Clinton didn’t say that she was wrong or that she made a mistake back in 2002.

Upon reflection, days, weeks, months later, some persons do not change. They consider certain types of progress a disadvantage.  Resolute resolve, for persons such as Senator Clinton shows strength.   With time, the telling differs, not the definition of right.

In time, people project, forget, and realize others will not recall.  Thus, today, weeks before another Clinton milestone, Bill and Hillary Clinton, again consider the timing and their history.  Perhaps before the Presidential hopeful is put to the ultimate test, it is time to generate a new tale.

The Iowa caucus is close at hand.  The New Hampshire primaries occur within weeks.  As the polls show her numbers are slipping, Hillary Clinton has reason to believe her coronation is not eminent.  Bill also must acknowledge he may not be able to perform with preeminent power.  Each does not wish to jeopardize their chance to reside and reign in the White House once again.

The Clinton’s, a term often adopted by supporters, are falling in the polls.  The Iraq war is a popular issue amongst the public.  Hence, Bill and Hillary are called upon to address this crisis.   Neither wished to explain the New York Senator’s speech on the house floor in October 2002; nor do they wish to apologize.  Thus, the dilemma, dichotomy, and duplicity in the Clinton camp consume the campaign.  

As the pressure mounts and the public makes clear they want an end to the war in Iraq, an unapologetic Hillary took a stand against the combat.  Although, Senator Clinton voted to fund the combat from before the beginning, in September she considered another option.

Clinton: I won’t fund Iraq war without withdrawal plan

Washington (CNN) — Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton said Sunday she won’t vote for any more money to support the four-year-old war in Iraq without a plan to start bringing U.S. troops home.

“I’ve reached the conclusion that the best way to support our troops is begin bringing them home,” the New York senator and former first lady told CNN’s “Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer.”

“I don’t believe we should continue to vote for funding that has an open-ended commitment, that has no pressure on the Iraqi government to make the tough political decisions they have to make, or which really gives any urgency to the Bush administration’s diplomatic efforts.”

However, days later, Hillary Clinton turned or returned to her more hawkish stance.  In a MSNBC Democratic Debate held at Dartmouth College the Senator was asked why she not might commit to end the war in Iraq immediately after taking office.  Once more, timing was the theme.

Hillary Clinton: Goal to remove all troops from Iraq by 2013, but no pledge

Q: In 2006, Democrats were elected to the majority in the House and Senate, and many believed that was a signal to end the war. You have said that will not pledge to have all troops out by the end of your first term, 2013. Why not?

A: It is my goal to have all troops out by the end of my first term. But it is very difficult to know what we’re going to be inheriting. We do not know, walking into the White House in January 2009, what we’re going to find. What is the state of planning for withdrawal? That’s why last spring I began pressing the Pentagon to be very clear about whether or not they were planning to bring our troops out. And what I found was that they weren’t doing the kind of planning that is necessary, and we’ve been pushing them very hard to do so.

You know, though, about the Democrats taking control of the Congress, I think the Democrats have pushed extremely hard to change this president’s course in Iraq. The Democrats keep voting for what we believe would be a better course.

Source: 2007 Democratic primary debate at Dartmouth College Sep 26, 2007

The better course may be to stay whilst we proclaim we are and were against the mission from the first.  At least that seems to be Bill Clinton’s plan.  Late in November 2007. Bill Clinton states he objected to the Iraq War from the beginning, although there is much to dispute this claim.

Bill Clinton’s Claim of Opposing Iraq War From Outset Disputed

By Glenn Kessler and Anne Kornblut

Washington Post

Thursday, November 29, 2007; Page A08

A former senior aide to then-national security adviser Condoleezza Rice disputed Bill Clinton’s statement this week that he “opposed Iraq from the beginning,” saying that the former president was privately briefed by top White House officials about war planning in 2003 and that he told them he supported the invasion.

Clinton’s comments in Iowa on Tuesday went far beyond more nuanced remarks he made about the conflict in 2003. But the disclosure of his presence in briefings by Rice — and his private expressions of support — may add to the headaches that the former president has given his wife’s campaign in recent weeks.

Hillary Mann Leverett, at the time the White House director of Persian Gulf affairs, said that Rice and Elliott Abrams, then National Security Council senior director for Near East and North African affairs, met with Clinton several times in the months before the March 2003 invasion to answer any questions he might have. She said she was “shocked” and “astonished” by Clinton’s remarks this week, made to voters in Iowa, because she has distinct memories of Abrams “coming back from those meetings literally glowing and boasting that ‘we have Clinton’s support.'”

It seems history is a matter of time.  In the moment we are certain, committed, and clear.  Yet, as days pass the story, his, hers, and ours changes.  Perchance the Clinton’s and their Cabinet have reason to reflect and rewrite their legacy.  Former Secretary of State Madeline Albright certainly has.  You may recall her infamous declaration . . .

“We Think the Price Is Worth It”

By Rahul Mahajan

Lesley Stahl on U.S. sanctions against Iraq: We have heard that a half million children have died. I mean, that’s more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?

Secretary of State Madeleine Albright: I think this is a very hard choice, but the price–we think the price is worth it.

–60 Minutes (5/12/96) . . .

It’s worth noting that on 60 Minutes, Albright made no attempt to deny the figure given by Stahl–a rough rendering of the preliminary estimate in a 1995 U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) report that 567,000 Iraqi children under the age of five had died as a result of the sanctions.

Indeed, there was more said in this interview, all of it worrisome.  Madame Secretary reflected aloud as she considered . . .

Whose fault is it? Iraq has long blamed the U.N. sanctions regime, and the U.S. State Department has long blamed Saddam Hussein. In a 1996 interview with 60 Minutes, then-Secretary of State Madeleine Albright admitted there was a “human tragedy” occurring in Iraq. But Albright accused Hussein of building 48 presidential palaces since the Gulf War, at a cost of $1.5 billion. Albright also said that Iraq wanted to import goods such as “Italian marble, videos, perfume, leather jackets,” and not food and medicine.

“I think this is a very hard choice, but the price–we think the price is worth it,” Albright said. “It is a moral question, but the moral question is even a larger one. Don’t we owe to the American people and to the American military and to the other countries in the region that this man not be a threat?” Albright added that her “first responsibility is to make sure that United States forces do not have to go and refight the Gulf War.”

Perhaps, in those sixty minutes Madame Secretary had too much time to speak and not enough to ponder.  Years later, as the former Secretary mulled over  her moments in the sun, she realized she had regrets.  Albright was sorry she expressed herself as she had.   In her memoirs, the Clinton Secretary of State offered her newfound rumination. Madeline Albright wrote of her responsibility and self-reproach.  She blames herself, or is it Saddam Hussein she faults.  It is difficult to tell.

I must have been crazy; I should have answered the question by reframing it and pointing out the inherent flaws in the premise behind it. Saddam Hussein could have prevented any child from suffering simply by meeting his obligations…. As soon as I had spoken, I wished for the power to freeze time and take back those words. My reply had been a terrible mistake, hasty, clumsy and wrong. Nothing matters more than the lives of innocent people. I had fallen into the trap and said something I simply did not mean. That was no one’s fault but my own. (p. 275)

There is one thing for sure, those in the Clinton Camp, Cabinet, campaign, or clan can certainly turn a phrase, turn time back the hands of time, and tell tales.  Perhaps, they hope we the people will forget in an instant, or be mesmerized by their charm, charisma, character, or disposition, no matter how dubious.  

The old adage states the ability to choose the best moment to say or do what enthralls means more than the message.  Obviously, the Clintons count on that.  Beguiled and bewildered Americans may cast a ballot for the Clinton’s who understand what to say and more importantly when to say it.  

Perchance, Madeline Albright, who supports the second, third, or fourth Clinton term,  offered a conclusion that works well at any time.  When we contemplate war, be it with Iraq, Iran, or the combat that ensues during an election we must understand the principles [that guide the Clintons.]

I believe a just war is possible. According to the just war tradition, resort to force is morally acceptable if undertaken by a competent authority with moral intentions in a rightful cause. The effort must have a reasonable chance of success, with the expectation that it will result in no greater harm than the injury that produced it.

There is a time and a season for everything.  If war as an option enthralls you, perhaps, this is Clinton time.

Clinton’s Cometh and Triumph In Time. . .

  • Transcript: President Clinton explains Iraq strike.  Cable News Network. December 16, 1998
  • Republicans skeptical of Iraq attack on eve of impeachment vote.  Cable News Network. December 16, 1998
  • Floor Speech of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton? on S.J. Res. 45, A Resolution to Authorize the Use of ?United States Armed Forces Against Iraq.
  • Bill Clinton’s Claim of Opposing Iraq War From Outset Disputed. By Glenn Kessler and Anne Kornblut.  Washington Post. Thursday, November 29, 2007; Page A08
  • pdf Bill Clinton’s Claim of Opposing Iraq War From Outset Disputed. By Glenn Kessler and Anne Kornblut.  Washington Post. Thursday, November 29, 2007; Page A08
  • Clinton: I won’t fund Iraq war without withdrawal plan. Cable News Network. September 23, 2007
  • Sept. 26 Democratic debate transcript.  MSNBC News. September 26, 2007
  • What Hillary won’t say about Iraq.  Salon. February 14, 2007
  • “We Think the Price Is Worth It.” Media uncurious about Iraq policy’s effects- there or here.  By Rahul Mahajan.  Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting. December 2001
  • Madam Secretary: A Memoir. by Mirsky, Jonathan. The Spectator. November 1, 2003
  • Albright “Apologizes.” By Sheldon Richman, November 7, 2003
  • Rural Americans Lunch With Lobbyist or Cash For Clinton

    copyright © 2007 Betsy L. Angert

    Once again, the Clinton Clan exceeds expectations.  It is widely known that the Senator and her spouse are inexorability linked to lobbyist money.  The public understands Hillary Clinton’s unwillingness to commit.  The American people accept that she cannot know what her friend, the son of Bill’s best bud, will leave behind.  Whether we discuss war or children, George W. Bush has abandoned all.  Thus, the stroll down the breezeway to the Oval Office will not be an easy jaunt.  There is much damage to undo, re-do, or create anew.

    Hillary holds out hope.  She does not know what she will find in White House that George built.  She will not assert that she can stop the Iraq war by 2013.  She will put more troops in Afghanistan.  Universal Health Care, well, she commands all Americans be insured.  However, she offers little to those unable to pay the premiums.  Hillary wants to help . . . those that help her, and lobbyists do.

    The former First Lady indebted to Industrialists, Insurers, and Capitalists, invites Rural Americans in Iowa to lunch with her entourage in a corrupt and corporate lap.  Luxury is on the menu as is the loot that lets her continue as she as.  With mega-millions in her purse, and she, deep in the pockets of polluters, now professional Genetic Engineering despoilers such as Monsanto Hillary Clinton howls and hollers, “Vote for me.”  I am your girl!

    Senator Clinton offers an Invitation to Rural Americans for Hillary Lunch and Briefing.  She reaches out to voters in Iowa.  The one time occupant of the White House wishes to express, those outside the beltway matter.  

    So later this month, according to THIS INVITATION, the presidential campaign of Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, is holding a “Rural Americans for Hillary” lunch and campaign briefing at the end of this month . . .

    . . . but she’s holding it in Washington, DC . . .

    . . . at a lobbying firm . . .

    . . . and specifically, though it’s not mentioned in the invitation, at the lobbying firm Troutman Sanders Public Affairs . . .

    . . . which just so happens to lobby for the controversial multinational agri-biotech Monsanto.

    You read that right: Monsanto, about which there are serious questions about its culpability regarding 56 Superfund Sites, wanton and “outrageous” pollution, and the decidedly unkosher (and quite metaphoric) genetically-bred “Superpig.”

    . . . A company that the website “Ethical Investing” labels “the world’s most unethical and harmful investment.”

    Holding an agri-summit in the plush halls of the lobbyists for Monsanto doesn’t sound like the kind of “rural Americans,” a presidential candidate would necessarily want to be photographed with.

    Particularly if Clinton’s two primary opponents — former Sen. John Edwards, D-NC, and Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill.  –  don’t take money from lobbyists and are trying to depict the frontrunner as too much a part of the corrupt Washington system, lobbyists, corporate America, et al….

    But then again, it doesn’t say Clinton will attend this luncheon — just senior staffers and congressional endorsers!  (Is that better or worse?)

    Response from the Clinton campaign to come….

    Perhaps, Hillary will not appear at the luncheon in the posh offices of Monsanto.  A physical appearance might pollute the already murky land and sea of scandal.  At the Yearly Kos August Convention we might recall Hillary Clinton spoke of how lobbyist indeed worked for the people.  However, some question the potential President’s truth.  

    Monsanto Hid Decades Of Pollution

    PCBs Drenched Ala. Town, But No One Was Ever Told

    By Michael Grunwald

    Washington Post

    Tuesday, January 1, 2002; Page A01

    Anniston, Ala. — On the west side of Anniston, the poor side of Anniston, the people ate dirt.  They called it “Alabama clay” and cooked it for extra flavor.  They also grew berries in their gardens, raised hogs in their back yards, caught bass in the murky streams where their children swam and played and were baptized.  They didn’t know their dirt and yards and bass and kids — along with the acrid air they breathed — were all contaminated with chemicals.  They didn’t know they lived in one of the most polluted patches of America.

    Now they know.  They also know that for nearly 40 years, while producing the now-banned industrial coolants known as PCBs at a local factory, Monsanto Co. routinely discharged toxic waste into a west Anniston creek and dumped millions of pounds of PCBs into oozing open-pit landfills.  And thousands of pages of Monsanto documents — many emblazoned with warnings such as “CONFIDENTIAL: Read and Destroy” — show that for decades, the corporate giant concealed what it did and what it knew.

    In 1966, Monsanto managers discovered that fish submerged in that creek turned belly-up within 10 seconds, spurting blood and shedding skin as if dunked into boiling water.  They told no one.  In 1969, they found fish in another creek with 7,500 times the legal PCB levels.  They decided “there is little object in going to expensive extremes in limiting discharges.”  In 1975, a company study found that PCBs caused tumors in rats.  They ordered its conclusion changed from “slightly tumorigenic” to “does not appear to be carcinogenic.”

    Monsanto enjoyed a lucrative four-decade monopoly on PCB production in the United States, and battled to protect that monopoly long after PCBs were confirmed as a global pollutant.  “We can’t afford to lose one dollar of business,” one internal memo concluded.

    Perchance that is the reason Monsanto now sponsors the presumed future President of the United States, Hillary Clinton.  They say it is not what you know, but whom that helps.  It is important to associate with persons in high places if you are to ensure profits.  Monsanto illustrates the wisdom of the statement, “Follow the money,” or “Follow the leader.”  With fifty percent of the votes in her camp, Clinton can certainly secure earnings for all those companies that endorse her.  Senator Clinton, with the help of rural Americans physically and financially invested in agriculture, can give credence to the Monsanto movement towards Genetically Engineered crops.

    A Bridge Too Far.


    Rio Grande, Mexico – Mexicans are being forced to swallow Monsanto’s seeds of destruction, while back in the US, Monsanto is not allowed to grow its genetically engineered (GE) cotton for fear of GE contamination.  To expose this double standard our activists blocked a trainload of GE contaminated maize as it crossed the Rio Grande into Mexico.

    It’s not just a case of double standards – the US administration continues to ride roughshod over the rights of people around the world to say no to genetically modified organisms.

    The latest scientific analysis shows that one third of US maize entering Mexico is contaminated with GE varieties from Monsanto. Mexico is the centre of diversity of maize, one of the world’s three most important food crops and it’s at serious risk from GE contamination.

    Teosinte, for example, is the wild relative of maize. Recent scientific research from the US found that genes from GE crops could rapidly take over those in wild relatives like teosinte. When most of the wild populations of teosinte are already under threat, contamination from escaped GE maize could push them over the edge.

    Yet the US and Monsanto have no scruples in dumping their GE maize into Mexico, even though, back in the US, Monsanto is not allowed to grow its GE cotton in the South of Florida, because of concerns about contamination of related cotton species.

    Perchance, the rural Americans invited to this luncheon will be briefed on what is good for the goose or the gander.  Genetically Engineered seeds may be on the menu.  Whatever is served, we can be certain there will be more cash for candidate Clinton.  Citizens impressed by her interest will likely cast a ballot for her.  Monsanto has.

    Update . . .

    Admittedly, this treatise was an instant reaction to the ABC News Senior Correspondent, Jake Tapper’s exposé on the Hillary Clinton affair.  I focused less on personal in-depth research and more on the original story in Political Punch.

    In an online conversation with a presumed Clinton supporter, my notion of the Clinton connection to Monsanto was brought into question.  Therefore, I wish to provide further references for your perusal.  Please consider, currently, Hillary Rodham Clinton supporters refer to the earlier era as the “Clinton’s Administration.”  Please enjoy this meal . . .

    Likewise, outraged members of the British Parliament and many of the country’s environmentalists have accused U.S. President Bill Clinton of intruding in a sensitive domestic matter. “It is quite wrong for the British Prime Minister to be conspiring behind the back of the British public about American business interests,” said Norman Baker, Liberal Democrat environment spokesman. What had the British so angry is the report that Clinton personally intervened with British Prime Minister Tony Blair to stop Britain from halting the controversial production of genetically engineered foods.9

    It is no accident that Clinton should be promoting genetically modified crops. Their primary U.S. manufacturer, Monsanto, has been one of five companies spearheading Clinton’s welfare-to-work programs. Monsanto was among those donating thousands of dollars in “soft money” to the Clinton 1996 election and which the President singled out for praise during his State of the Nation address in 1997.10 In addition, currently sitting on Monsanto’s board of directors is former U.S. Secretary of Commerce, U.S. Trade Representative, and National Chairman for the 1992 Clinton-Gore Campaign -Mickey Kantor.11

    ~ Source . . . Food First/Institute for Food and Development Policy

    US Government – Monsanto Collusion Reported

    (excerpts from story Dec. 27, 1998 by Bill Lambrecht Post-Dispatch

    Washington Bureau WASHINGTON)

    A $7.5 billion company with 25,000 employees needs to be well-connected, and Monsanto works to keep it that way. The company plies political parties equally and recruits people with deep ties in Washington.

    By virtue of a friendly relationship between Monsanto chief operating officer Robert B. Shapiro and Clinton, Monsanto is identified in Washington as “a Democratic company.” Monsanto and its employees spread the political contributions. In the last two years, donations to Democrats totaled about $100,000; Republicans received $140,000. The company invests much more in bringing aboard influential people. Among them:

    • Monsanto board member Mickey Kantor is a former U.S. trade representative and chairman of Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign.
    • Marcia Hale, Monsanto’s international regulatory director, was a top Clinton assistant.

    The Application of Biotechnology to Nutrition: An Overview

    Maureen Mackey, PhD, FACN

    Monsanto Company, St Louis, Missouri

    A similar project has been initiated by Monsanto Company, in cooperation with Michigan State University, USAID and the Tata Energy Research Institute in India. The project was developed in part to respond to a greater effort to enlist private sector collaboration in the Global Vitamin A partnership program, which was initiated by then First Lady Hillary Clinton. Monsanto developed the technology to insert the enzymes of the phytoene synthase pathway into Brassica napus (canola). Concentrations of 1000-1500 µg carotenoids/g fresh weight of seeds were achieved.

    Going Backwards:

    Clinton Administration Appoints A Former Monsanto Corp. Lobbyist To Represent US Consumers On Genetically Engineered Food Issues

    by Tom Abate

    Leading consumer and environmental groups are fuming because the Clinton administration has appointed a former Monsanto Corp. lobbyist to represent U.S. consumers on a transatlantic committee set up to avoid a trade war over genetically engineered foods. . . .

    What angered critics most is that during her lobbying days, Foreman helped Monsanto — the firm most closely identified with genetically engineered foods — win approval for bovine growth hormone, a chemical that stimulates milk production.

    “We think it’s a big mistake to appoint a person to represent consumers who’s been so closely tied to the biotech industry,” said Dan Seligman, the Sierra Club’s representative on trade issues.

    My hope is that we might ponder how well those who lunch in our interest serve us.

    Sources of Slop . . .

    Grim, Tortuous Fairy Tales, By Bush Administration; Ghost Writer, Justice Department

    ( – promoted by Betsy L. Angert)

    copyright © 2007 Betsy L. Angert

    Sit down my child and you shall hear the tale I tell of what was once revered.  I know you are sleepy and need your rest.  Perhaps, this parable will be the best anecdote for a body too busy to slumber.  Close your eyes and count the sheep, as I whisper words that might make you weep.  The fable is horrific, as most fantasies are.  Nonetheless, my hope is the narrative will bestow great wisdom.  When we contemplate the harsh realities of life we learn lessons.  There are principles to digest, my darling.  Too few discover; too many forget.

    Once upon a time, on the morning of October 4, 2007, The New York Times reported, the United States government endorsed the use of severe and cruel methods during interrogation.  The decision was delivered in secret. 

    Two years earlier Americans were told the Justice Department forbade such measures.  Yet, in truth they never had.  This, dear one, is characteristic in a White house gone wild with power.  In this our surreal Orwellian world, to torment is to be compassionate.  To crush the body and spirit of a living soul is apparently considered conservative, neoconservative.

    Americans in the year 2007 are as Alice in Wonderland.  We observe ourselves in the looking glass, and we wonder.  Is up, down; is the mission accomplished, or is this a protracted exercise extended indefinitely into the future.  My child I sense you are confused and disheartened.  So too am I.  Take heed.  In time, sleep will come.  Dreams will fill your head.  My hope is you will forget all the misery I speak of, just as others have done so many times before you.

    I remind you of what we each experience daily.  In recent years, the public has become dubious.  Most suspect the current Bush Administration, our nation’s leaders, falsify, tells half-truths, conceal, claim confidentiality, fabricate, or flounder.  Nonetheless, citizens remain complacent.  This recent October surprise is not treated as a revelation.  It does nothing to excite or incite us into authentic action.  As citizens, we do as we have done before, as you too shall do soon.  We sleep.  We utter barely a peep.

    Granted, residents of the United States rant from the comfort of their over-stuffed chairs.  Countrymen complain as they, we choke on the fumes from our grand gas-guzzlers.  Yet, we drive.  Millions of people fly inter and intrastate.  Many travel abroad, just for fun, business too.  Americans continue to pollute the skies.  We resent the war for oil, the profits made on such a repugnant endeavor. 

    Citizens carp as we contemplate the cost of combat.  The people are aware, that money could have been spent at home.  The nation mourns the loss of life, American deaths and at times, the passing of an Iraqi.  In cyberspace, communities clamor through their keyboards.  Then we rest on our laurels.

    Progressives say they elected a Democratic Congress.  Certainly, that would make a difference.  The 110th Congress, with Democrats in control, claim the first one hundred days a success.  Yet, the war marches on. 

    For soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, time stands still.  Families and friends hold their breath, fearful fathers, mothers, sons, and daughter will never return home.  Those that have returned to native shores are not the same.  Although, ‘enemy forces’ have not captured the American soldiers that found their way back to the States, the troops have been tortured.

    Soldiers dressed in camouflage have stayed away too long.  Each day American men and women awake in a land far from their native shore.  Enlistees that once believed they had purpose; they could bring freedom to Iraqi have seen the cost of liberty is not cheap.  The price is far greater than these young persons ever expected to pay.  Children, barely out of high school have seen blood and the guts of their friends splattered on their shoes. 

    War on the streets of Baghdad is nothing like the battles on a video screen.  Death, in the name of democracy, or G-d is not as holy as our leaders would want us to believe.  American troops have witnessed an effective insurgency, one beyond imagination.  Rebels that feel they have a cause are never as groomed in warfare as a trained soldier may be.  Speaking on the resourcefulness of Iraqi revolutionaries Sergeant Benjamin Flanders, Army National Guard states . . .

    It was very effective, and the thing they have us beat at is the human intelligence side.  Maybe you can speak more to this, but they can use cruel and unusual methods in order to extract information from people that we couldn’t use.  There is sort of this, like, torture — that word is getting thrown around — well, the true torture is when you behead innocent civilians and throw them on the side of the road, which we came upon more than once.  That’s how they get their message across.

    Torture is the topic of the day.  It was in 2005.  It has been the source of much discussion for years, ever since this strange, fantastic, dreamlike drama began.  You my dear sweetness might recall, we read fables together so long ago.  By candlelight, on another quiet evening, we gazed upon the pages and pondered.

    I tucked those texts away.  There they sit safe on the bookshelf.  I sensed when we read these memorandums together they were too severe, too shocking; they upset you so.  My darling the words on those pages, the images they evoked were too much for me.  In truth, I was emotionally paralyzed by the verbiage.  What I envisioned weighed on my heart.  What have we wrought.  The havoc, the harm, one human might do to another.  It is unthinkable.  Perhaps, one day we will wish to review the references again.  For now, may they just remain close at hand.

    Ah, but that was so long ago my adorable beloved.  We studied that ghastly folio when you were but a baby in my arms.  We cooed.  We cuddled.  In those, medieval days, the Dark ages, you and I were certain man would never be so cruel.  Thus, we drifted off to dreamland and trusted.  We had faith in our fair leader as we must today for the President, and his Cabinet, remain steadfast.  “We do not torture.”  The words ring out and have for what must be eons, no matter the evidence to the contrary.  Indeed, since the latest exposure the frequency of this rhetoric has increased.  The volume is vociferous.

    Only days ago, George W. Bush proclaimed, America does not persecute, cause undue harm, harass, or forcefully torment those in custody.  The President postured, the United States does not torture.  Our government captures, confines, holds enemy combatants in custody, and castigates forcibly in order to safeguard Americans from harm.

    Bush Says US ‘Does Not Torture’
    By Jennifer Loven

    Washington (AP) – President Bush defended his administration’s methods of detaining and questioning terrorism suspects on Friday, saying both are successful and lawful.

    “When we find somebody who may have information regarding a potential attack on America, you bet we’re going to detain them, and you bet we’re going to question them,” he said during a hastily called Oval Office appearance.  “The American people expect us to find out information, actionable intelligence so we can help protect them.  That’s our job.”

    Bush volunteered his thoughts on a report on two secret 2005 memos that authorized extreme interrogation tactics against terror suspects.  “This government does not torture people,” the president said.

    The adorable Press Secretary, Dana Perino substantiates the declaration.  Defiantly, this wily and wondrous woman mesmerized the media as she denounced the conclusion, Americans torture.  Secret decrees aside, we would never do anything that was not in the best interest of the people.  United States Intelligence does as is necessary.  Their mission is as the President’s and the Justice Department’s, to protect and defend the nation.

    In this new war, which is an unprecedented war, facing an enemy unlike we’ve ever faced before, sometimes — oftentimes the best information that you get is from the terrorists themselves.  They know where the other terrorists are hiding and what the other terrorists are planning.  And to win the war on terror we must be able to detain them, interrogate them, question them, and when appropriate, prosecute them — in America — when we capture them here in America and on battlefields around the world.  The policy of the United States is not to torture.  The President has not authorized it, he will not authorize it.

    But he had done everything within the corners of the law to make sure that we prevent another attack on this country, which is what we have done in this administration.  I am not going to comment on any specific alleged techniques.  It is not appropriate for me to do so.  And to do so would provide the enemy with more information for how to train against these techniques.  And so I am going to decline to comment on those, but I will reiterate to you once again that we do not torture.  We want to make sure that we keep this country safe.

    “Safety” is the sanctuary that gives credence to what occurs in those corners of the law.  It is for security sake that we retain the President, our protector.  This magnificent man has decided to spread democracy aggressively, and we the people follow his lead, no matter where it takes us.  George W. Bush is the law.  He is the Commander-In-Chief.  If this compassionate conservative thinks the mission is worthwhile, apt, or accomplished, who are we to argue.

    Soldiers may see the war effort differently.  However, if they do not understand the purpose and the profound contribution they make to the greater good of our society then they must be “phony soldiers.”  In a News Hour interview that aired just two years ago, we can sense the inner struggle a service man or woman might feel.  Patrick Resta, a former combat medic was among those that spoke.  Specialist Resta shared his thoughts.

    Margaret Warner:: All right, let me get Patrick Resta in here.  And Patrick Resta, you were a combat medic with the Army National Guard.  How did all of this look from your end in terms of the U.S. troops’ tactics and, for that matter, equipment?  Did it appear to you that the U.S. approach was making progress?

    Specialist Patrick Resta: No, it didn’t.  I was told I was going there to help the Iraqi people.  And then once I got there, I found out that I could not treat them unless they were about to die and the injury had been caused either directly or indirectly by U.S. forces, such as an IED going off or a car bomb going off or somebody being shot at a checkpoint, or something like that.  So I don’t think that’s really conducive to getting people on your side.

    There was one night in particular where a local Iraqi walked to the gate of our camp after he had been beaten up pretty severely and pistol-whipped, and basically the people in town told him that if he came back to town they would kill him if they saw him in town again.  And he came up to our gate begging for help.  I went out there, you know, to dress his wounds and take care of him.

    And he was begging me to save his life and he was just, you know, turned away and told, you know, “Go to the Iraqi police and they’ll help you,” which, you know, it’s after nightfall and the police aren’t functioning, especially not in my area.  So it was that kind of callous disregard that really set in what’s really going on over there for me.

    Oh sweetness, I know this tale is hard to take.  I see you are troubled.  Breathe deeply my love.  Take heart.  Americans raged.  They released the anger they felt.  However, ultimately, they accepted.  There was not time then; nor are there sufficient days now to impeach this President or his Cabinet.  Congress cannot act.  Such measures might detract from the broader coalitions purpose, to get elected in 2008.

    I understand dear heart.  There is much frustration.  Sleep tight.  This too shall pass.  Signing statements, secret judgments that allow for torture, substantiation, Bush Began to Plan War Three Months After 9/11, nothing seems to prompt the people to act.  Perchance they too are tired.  Rest your head on my shoulder love.  Soon, it will all be over. 

    Yes, yes, the Administration misled the public; citizens recognize this.  However, no matter the depth of deception, most Americans choose to relent.  Our countrymen believe they can do nothing to stop what this White House does.  If a former Prisoner of War, one that avidly supports the war effort, cannot help this Administration see the light, what can a lowly citizen Progressive do.  Possibly, those on the Right that now reject the need for this battle are too embarrassed to express what they also observe.  The Emperor has no clothes.  Nor do we, the jesters.

    My child, the words of Senator John McCain were strong.  He spoke from experience.  McCain challenged conventional wisdom and the Commander-In-Chief.  Yet, his profound assessment fell on deaf ears.  You recollect.

    Obviously, to defeat our enemies we need intelligence, but intelligence that is reliable.  We should not torture or treat inhumanely terrorists we have captured.  The abuse of prisoners harms, not helps, our war effort.  In my experience, abuse of prisoners often produces bad intelligence because under torture a person will say anything he thinks his captors want to hear-whether it is true or false-if he believes it will relieve his suffering. 

    There was a glimmer of anticipation, as improbable as it was.  Publicly Progressive rejoiced.  Even the hardened delighted.  A legal decision was handed down in December 2004.  The Justice Department publicly proclaimed the deliberate infliction of severe physical pain is “abhorrent.”  Politically astute, no matter the Party, citizens truly welcomed this judgment.  Yet, we knew.  The most informed among our countrymen were well aware that as day turned to night, we could not deny, nothing was different.  Nor would it be in this nightmare of a novel.

    Friend and foe alike were subject to torture.  George W. Bush and the neoconservatives were and are on a mission.  While they say it was accomplished, they also acknowledge without a win, we, the Americans will not leave the land we have destroyed.  A legacy is at stake.

    Americans hold onto hope.  The President is expected to leave office in January 2009, G-d willing.  Thus, the people of this country are encouraged.

    My sweet child, the electorate must purposely delude themselves.  Whimsy is the only action that might allow them to remain sane.  People do not wish to think of the pain they, the American people inflict on soldiers, innocent Iraqi civilians, women, and children at home and abroad.  Civilians prefer to ponder change will come when Bush exits the White House.  Thus, the people wait patiently.  They can, for Americans sleep well in their cozy beds.

    Fluff the pillows.  Snuggle up in the comforter.  Bring another blanket into the room.  It is chilly out there.  Perhaps it is colder in our hearts.

    When the Iraqi government felt a need to recess, for the temperature was one hundred and twenty degrees plus, Americans were angry.  Plump people seated in air-conditioned rooms expressed their disdain for those that struggle to work in a war torn country with little to no electricity.

    Understandably, Americans are distracted.  They are excited.  An election is on the horizon.  A large percentage of the population longs for the 2008 appointment of a President.  Each state can hardly wait to participate.  The Primaries cannot come soon enough.  From Florida to California, every region wishes to be the first to pick the “winner.”  With a sigh I state, I believe we are all losers.  I wonder how we sleep.  I can only muse.

    The peaceful among us, those that honor humanity, and the rules of Geneva Convention chose to forget what they, we, wish were not true.  Oh, they protested with vigor; however, ultimately, they had jobs to consider, bills to pay, a family to support.  Their strength was quelled by the demands of life.  Assertive pacifists understood as they have throughout the President’s term, this White House deliberately and delicately defines the term “torture.”  In America, the Bush Bunch is the medium and the message.

    The White House and the Justice department were kind enough to hide the truth for a time.  Cognitive dissonance can be so wonderful; it allows for necessary rest.  Peaceniks needed time to feel settled, to sense that they made a difference.  The stress was too much for the non-combative.  They, my dear were losing sleep.  That would not do.  In a Capitalist society, the everyday chump must be fit, fresh, and ready to take on the most routine of days.

    In times of war, production is important.  There are profits to consider.  Ah, my child.  Do not fret.  Perhaps, this tale too is but a dream.  Official opinions come and go.  I know you heard as I did, the good President Bush Defend[ed] CIA’s Clandestine Prisons.  He said, ‘We Do Not Torture.’  Well, perhaps we do, just a pinch.  Nonetheless, it was good to stay in the dark.  The light hurts my eyes.  Does it not bother you my little love?  What is it they say, “ignorance is bliss?”  Ah, to be joyous again.  However, the real news invades our space once more.

    The Justice Department issued another opinion, this one in secret.  It was a very different document, according to officials briefed on it, an expansive endorsement of the harshest interrogation techniques ever used by the Central Intelligence Agency.

    The new opinion, the officials said, for the first time provided explicit authorization to barrage terror suspects with a combination of painful physical and psychological tactics, including head-slapping, simulated drowning and frigid temperatures.

    Mr. Gonzales approved the legal memorandum on “combined effects” over the objections of James B. Comey, the deputy attorney general, who was leaving his job after bruising clashes with the White House.  Disagreeing with what he viewed as the opinion’s overreaching legal reasoning, Mr. Comey told colleagues at the department that they would all be “ashamed” when the world eventually learned of it.

    Later that year, as Congress moved toward outlawing “cruel, inhuman and degrading” treatment, the Justice Department issued another secret opinion, one most lawmakers did not know existed, current and former officials said.  The Justice Department document declared that none of the C.I.A. interrogation methods violated that standard.

    The classified opinions, never previously disclosed, are a hidden legacy of President Bush’s second term and Mr. Gonzales’s tenure at the Justice Department, where he moved quickly to align it with the White House after a 2004 rebellion by staff lawyers that had thrown policies on surveillance and detention into turmoil.

    Congress and the Supreme Court have intervened repeatedly in the last two years to impose limits on interrogations, and the administration has responded as a policy matter by dropping the most extreme techniques.  But the 2005 Justice Department opinions remain in effect, and their legal conclusions have been confirmed by several more recent memorandums, officials said.  They show how the White House has succeeded in preserving the broadest possible legal latitude for harsh tactics.

    Progressives did not doubt that this truth would be exposed, eventually.  Still, they do not act as they might.  Perchance, they are too war weary to do what they no longer think possible.  Too much time has passed.  In late 2007, the public says there is no time to impeach this President or his Vice.  Liberals listen to interviews.  We mumble and crumble.  We hear the words and yet, we sit still.

    In defense of such an odious offense, Homeland Security Advisor, Fran Townsend speaks to the media.  Journalist, Wolf Blitzer of The Situation Room inquires of the torment inflicted on a previous guest.

    Blitzer: We’re joined by the White House homeland security adviser, Fran Townsend.  She’s joining us from the White House.  You just heard this former inmate — this former detainee at Guantanamo Bay say I was beaten, shackled, spat at, kicked, punched, stripped naked, left in isolation sometimes naked, hog tied.  What do you say to that charge that he’s making?  In effect, experts say, that amounts torture. 

    Fran Townsend, White House Homeland Security Advisor: OK.  Well, let’s back up and be very clear.  You’ve heard Dana Perino say it today.  You heard the president say it numerous times — the United States does not torture.  Do we have a program? 

    Yes, we do.  It is — it is very limited.  There have been fewer than 100 people in it.  But it has pro — and the people who participate in that program are carefully trained, with more than 250 hours of training.  The average age of an interrogator is 43.  They’re not just interrogators who are part of the team.  There are also subject matter experts and individuals who are there to monitor the health and psychological well-being of the detainee himself. 

    We start with the har — the least harsh measures first.  It stops after it — if someone becomes cooperative.  And let’s be clear, Wolf, this — this is a — this is a program that was used when Abu Zubaydah was in custody and not being cooperative.  He had clearly been trained in resistance techniques to interrogation.  This — this — and these techniques… 

    Blitzer: All right, well, let’s go through… 

    Townsend: Well, wait a minute, Wolf. 

    Blitzer: Yes. 

    Townsend: These techniques were used on Abu Zubaydah.  It produced actionable intelligence that resulted in the capture of Ramzi Binalshibh.  This is — this — these programs stop attacks. 

    Blitzer: All right, well, let’s go through some of the specifics and you tell us if you’re doing that.  For example, the “New York Times” says these memos authorized not only slaps to the head, but hours held naked in a frigid cell, days and nights without sleep while battered by thundering rock music, long periods manacled in stress positions or the ultimate — water boarding.  “Never in history,” the “Times” says, “has the United States authorized such tactics.”  Is that true? 

    Townsend: Now, Wolf, obviously I’m not going to talk about each individual and specific technique that we used.  The director of Central Intelligence has talked to members of both Intelligence Committees in the House and the Senate.  He — what he did was he understood this was not just a legal question, but there was a policy issue and there’s a political willingness question. 

    Frankly, Wolf, if Americans are killed because we fail to do the hard things, the American people would have the absolute right to ask us why. 

    We inquire, then, we wait.  Americas do not move en masse to the streets of Washington, New York, Los Angeles, or Des Moines.  Small town USA remains quiet.  While boulevards are bustling, the sounds are not of crowds up in arms.  What we hear is commerce in action.

    Congress may be in session; however, they continue to be disconnected.  Americans, distrustful and with reason, do not telephone House Leader Nancy Pelosi and state, “Impeachment must be on the table.”  Those proud to be labeled rebels excitedly await the 2008 election.  Most are so overjoyed by the prospect that they might throw the Bushies out.

    I know my love, ’tis true, as the Democrats dance and dicker, people in foreign lands fight for their lives.  Again, the ability to hold two distinct beliefs simultaneously is quite the art.  It calms the soul and lives large amongst all of us.  Many think one of the three lovelies is their only hope. 

    If George W. Bush is the sinister character in this drama, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Barack Obama, and John Edwards are the dynamic duo or trio.  Surely, one of these three will save the day.  Hillary is high in the polls.  She is strong, savvy, and brings Bill with her.  Obama supporters purport he is the one.  This man has style.  Barack is smooth, article.  People gravitate to him as they would a rock-star.  Edwards is as a prince to those enamored with his casual charismatic manner, his broad grin, and his profound gaze.  He has charm, chutzpah; and a wife that won the hearts of a nation.

    People throughout the nation presume to believe they can pick a winner and will before the November 2008 general election.  Thus, impatient Americans gather together to support the sole candidate that they trust to prevail, regardless of the fact that the war will not end under her, or his leadership.

    Dems can’t make guarantee on Iraq troops
    By Beth Fouhy
    Associated Press
    Wed Sep 26, 9:26 PM ET

    The three leading Democratic presidential hopefuls conceded Wednesday night they could not guarantee that all U.S. combat troops would be gone from Iraq by 2013.

    “I think it’s hard to project four years from now,” said Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois in the opening moments of a campaign debate in the nation’s first primary state.

    “It is very difficult to know what we’re going to be inheriting,” added Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York.

    “I cannot make that commitment,” said former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina.

    Nonetheless, the public does not pause or blink.  Presidential hopefuls pander in their attempts to explain what they truly meant, or at least some do.  It matters not.  When charmed, captivated, and determined to believe the Democrats must and will conquer the eyes glaze over.  Ear cavities close.  Brain cells become numb.  People refuse to give up that dream; the troops will come home if a Democrat is in the Oval Office. 

    I suspect my love, those that truly yearn for peace long to sleep through the night.  That is the only thought that might explain why people that profess peace happily embrace the notion of five more years of battle.

    I have to trust numerous Americans tossed and turned too frequently in the dark of night since America attacked Afghanistan and then Iraq.  I did.  Perchance, some are so desperate for relief they say, anyone but Bush.  I do believe war can wound the psyche, planet wide.  When soldiers and civilians die, I have to believe sensitive souls feel the pain, consciously or not. 

    Perhaps, my beloved I am in error.  I observe brutal battles among those that claim to be Progressive.  In cyberspace, communities crumble under the weight of differences.  Defiance in the name of self-defense thrives.  On the street corners, I hear peace protesters scream with delight as they dodge and weave the barbs thrown at them.  Often, those that march in the name of harmony aggress against those that support the wars.

    Maybe sweet one, some genuinely catch a snooze.  For a few, peace protests may be a crusade.  Professed pacifists, some, also wish for victory.  Possibly, they sleep when they sense blood in the water.  Could it be, for such Democrats, Progressives, and Liberals a win at any costs is the mantra they embrace just as those on the Right do?  I know not young one.  I only wonder how those that think, triumph is strength, sleep.  Perhaps the answer is obvious.  Americans when distressed; find respite in drugs.  A Pharmaceutical stupor might explain why we the people are willing to accept what we do. 

    War through 2013 is now wonderful, practical, and Presidential.  Torture is not a high crime nor is it a misdemeanor.  When without slumber, a prolonged war is peace.  Poverty is prosperity.  What was grim is welcome.  Yes, my dearest, Americans have been down so long it is beginning to look like up and we have been up too long.

    Oh precious one, I know this tale is distressing.  The trauma, the drama, the dreadful torture, and the time, it all slips away as we watch and wait for more what, Godot.  We heard the President, his Press Secretary, and the homeland Security Adviser, Fran Townsend say “America does not torture.”  We are not reassured.  Americans may ask, “How do they sleep at night?”  The answer must be as the question, “How do we!”

    I wish you pleasant dreams little one.  Say your prayers.  “Now I lie me down to sleep.  Pray the Lord my soul to keep, for if one more person dies before I wake, if another individual is tortured as I slumber . . . Oh G-d, Allah, the Almighty, the greatest powers within the universe let the planet sleep.  Please bring serenity and peace to us all. 

    Little love, I promise, tomorrow will be a better day.  I will share the story of a Don Quixote Dennis Kucinich.  The miracle man tilts at windmills.  He imagines what others think the impossible dream.  The Kucinich tale is inspirational.  The narrative uplifts the soul.  As the big business bullies battled with Dennis, decades ago, when they demanded he give up his principles and bow to them at the expense of the common people, dreamer Kucinich remained strong and resolute.  This magnificent man did not allow the brutes to intimidate him.  Muny Light remained the people’s utility.

    Years later as a nation declared war.  Dennis Kucinich spoke only of “Strength through peace.”  This Presidential aspirant helps us believe in man’s humanity to his fellow man.  My child, you will wake and all will be well.  With Dennis Kucinich in your mind, heart, and in the Oval Office we can bring the troops home, cut the funds, and truly cast the President and Vice President aside.  If only I had read the Kucinich legend to you long ago, perhaps we could have removed the scourge  before they had done so much damage. 

    Perchance, with the wisdom I share when you awake, my dear heart, you too will feel empowered.  Honey Bun, might the legend of Don Dennis Kucinich help encourage us all to impeach our present rulers, to be the change we imagine.  The time left in their term is already too long.  I cannot endure more tales of torture; can you?

    The Tortuous Details.  The Drama.  The Trauma . . .

  • Secret U.S. Endorsement of Severe Interrogations, By Scott Shane, David Johnston, and James Risen.  The New York Times. October 4, 2007
  • Bush Says US ‘Does Not Torture’ By Jennifer Loven.  Associated Press. October 5, 2007
  • Bush Began to Plan War Three Months After 9/11, Book Says President Called Secrecy Vital.  By William Hamilton.  Washington Post.  Saturday, April 17, 2004; Page A01
  • pdf Bush Began to Plan War Three Months After 9/11, Book Says President Called Secrecy Vital.  By William Hamilton.  Washington Post.  Saturday, April 17, 2004; Page A01
  • First One Hundred Days A Success.  By Michael Link.  The Democratic Party. April 16, 2007
  • Soldier’s Stories. Interview with Margaret Warner.  New hour.  Public Broadcasting Services. July 1, 2005
  • Soldier’s Stories. Interview with Margaret Warner.  New hour.  Public Broadcasting Services. July 4, 2005
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill, Except in a Popular Video Game at Church, By Matt Richtel.  The New York Times. Sunday, October 7, 2007
  • Dems can’t make guarantee on Iraq troops. By Beth Fouhy.  Associated Press Wednesday, September 26, 9:26 PM ET
  • Clinton Widens Lead In Poll  By Jon Cohen and Anne E. Kornblut.  Washington Post. October 3, 2007; Page A01
  • Bush Defends CIA’s Clandestine Prisons, ‘We Do Not Torture,’ President Says.  By Michael A. Fletcher.  Washington Post.?Tuesday, November 8, 2005; Page A15
  • In Latest Poll, Good News for Both Clintons
    By Dan Balz and Jon Cohen.  Washington Post.  Thursday, October 4, 2007; A01

  • The Media’s New Rock Star, By Howard Kurtz.  Washington Post.?Tuesday, December 12, 2006; 7:42 AM
  • John Edwards Wins Over Audience At First MTV/MySpace Presidential Dialogue, By Gil Kaufman.  MTV Networks. September 27, 2007
  • Press Briefing by Dana Perino.  Office of the Press Secretary.?October 4, 2007
  • The Situation Room; Transcripts. Cable News Network.October 4, 2007
  • pdf Standards of Conduct For Interrogation Under 18 USC.  Memorandum From Albert Gonzales. August 2002
  • Dec. 2, 2002: Defense Department Memo Regarding “Counter-Resistance Techniques” Washington Post.
  • GTMO Interrogation Techniques.
  • Potentiasl Legal Constraints Applicable to Interrogations.
  • Humane Treatment of a1 Qaeda and Taliban Detainee.
  • U.S. Dept. of Justice Memo To Alberto R. Gonzales, White House Counsel. February 7, 2002
  • Letter from U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft to Pres. Bush.
  • Application of Treaties and Laws to al Qaeda and Taliban Detainees.
  • Waiting for Godot.  Theatre History.
  • Democrats Dance United; Kucinich Differs. Exit Iraq, 2007 or 2013

    New Hampshire Democratic Debate September 26, 2007 part 1

    copyright © 2007 Betsy L. Angert

    For months, Senator Hillary Clinton stressed, she and her fellow Democratic hopefuls agree on the issues.  Clinton leads in the polls.  Ultimately, she guides the electoral dance.  The former First Lady steps to the Right and the rest stride with her.  When Hillary courageously asserts, her companions perceive they too have permission to be bold.  As the graceful “girl” glides, so too do the boys. 

    What the potential Commander-In-Chief does not say speaks volumes.

    Well, Tim, I’m not going to answer that . . .

    [T]hese hypotheticals are very dangerous . . .

    I think it’s dangerous to go down this path . . .

    Well, I don’t talk about my private conversations . . .

    Tim, I think that’s one of those hypotheticals that . . .

    [T]hat is better not addressed at this time . . .

    I’m not putting anything on the proverbial table until . . .

    Hillary anxiously awaits the time when the table, the chairs, the floor, and the forum are solely hers.  Perhaps, the gentlemen that share the stage and the spotlight with this lovely lady can breathe a sigh of relief.  They too can sidestep the conversations.  After all, the expectation is that they will join her in the White House.  That glory is good enough for them.  To partner with the President is grand enough.  As long as Joe, John, Bill, or Barack is in the ballroom.  Dodd too may only wish to enter the door of the Oval Office.  Thus, it is a delight to discover, the tango is taboo. 

    Let us dance with delight.  A slower paced foxtrot may be preferable to those comfortable in the clothes of a frontrunner.  The samba, a salsa, the rumba may rile too many on Right The perceived President-to-be, Clinton guides the Democratic gamers to one side or another as she subtly stays above the fray.  Clinton claims all the candidates are essentially of one mind. 

    Each Democratic aspirant says they want to end the war, or did prior to the New Hampshire debates held at Dartmouth College on September 27, 2007.  All believe in Universal Health Care.  However, granted, only one, Dennis Kucinich has submitted a program that actually advocates authentic single payer and universal coverage.  Nonetheless, that is a minor point when candidates posture for position.  Nuances are a nuisance.  They distract us from the main event or issue.  Democrats must win.

    Senator Clinton assures us, the Democrats differ with George W. Bush not each other.  Our Party is united; thus, we will stand.  As each of us understands, “Divided we fall.”

    However, John Edwards reminds us we are a nation divided.  Edwards also scoffs at the idea that he and the other candidates are comparable.  John Edwards does not take donations from lobbyist.  Concurrently, he excuses the contributions that come in from hedge funds.  Former Senator Edwards told us, Hillary had yet to introduce a Health Care Plan, Universal or otherwise.  However, when she did her proposal was as his.  Perhaps the Senator from New York is practically correct; she and John Edwards are one.

    Last week, Edwards resigned himself.  Reluctantly he accepted; perhaps he and she have some common stances.  Elizabeth Edwards, wife of the candidate retorted.

    Mrs. Edwards also said that she sees almost no differences between Clinton’s health care plan, unveiled Monday in Des Moines, and that of her husband.

    “I don’t call it Senator Clinton’s health care plan,” Edwards said.  “I call it John Edwards’ health care plan as delivered by Hillary Clinton.  The truth is that anyone who tries to describe Hillary’s health care plan will run through every material part of John’s health care plan.

    “I just have to wonder, if John released his plan at the beginning of February, what took her seven and a half months to endorse it?  We’re glad for the endorsement.” 

    They say imitation is the highest form of flattery.  Perhaps that is why even when the front-runners offer divergent views; ultimately they come together.

    On diplomacy, there is a disagreement, or was at one time.  [However, as we later observed, the dancer turned, and tempted her favored partner, Barack Obama to stride as she did.] 

    At first blush, Hillary Clinton, critical of George W. Bush for not speaking to other world leaders, said she would refuse to meet with Presidents, Prime Ministers, and perceived autocrats in her first year.  Clinton clarified a fear that some States leaders might have an agenda.  A President Clinton will not be a pawn or subject to a possible ploy.

    Well, I will not promise to meet with the leaders of these countries during my first year.  I will promise a very vigorous diplomatic effort because I think it is not that you promise a meeting at that high a level before you know what the intentions are.

    I don’t want to be used for propaganda purposes.  I don’t want to make a situation even worse.  But I certainly agree that we need to get back to diplomacy, which has been turned into a bad word by this administration.

    And I will purse very vigorous diplomacy.

    And I will use a lot of high-level presidential envoys to test the waters, to feel the way.  But certainly, we’re not going to just have our president meet with Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez and, you know, the president of North Korea, Iran and Syria until we know better what the way forward would be.

    Diplomacy, Hillary style is selective balance.  The steps are timed, calculated, and convenient.  Perchance, after reflection, as Obama observed the twists and twirls he realized that this design is the preferred manner for peacekeeping.  Thus, the Illinois Senator assumed the stance too. 

    Barack Obama at first stated he would speak to world leaders.  However, when hounded with the label “inexperienced,” he felt a need to assert that he too could be a hawk, bold, and brutal.  A perceived peril, verified of course, as were Weapons of Mass Destruction, would be enough for this possible Commander-In-Chief to forego diplomatic discussions.

    Barack Obama, a leading Democrat candidate in the US presidential race, provoked anger yesterday by threatening to send troops into Pakistan to hunt down terrorists – even without permission from that country’s Government.

    Standing in front of a Stars and Stripes flag, Mr Obama said: “There are terrorists holed up in those mountains who murdered 3,000 Americans.  They are plotting to strike again . . . If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and President Musharraf won’t act, we will.”

    Again, we acknowledge that perhaps Hillary Clinton is correct.  Her charisma exudes confidence.  There is a reason others wish to attend the ceremony with her on their arm.  Each supplicant that seeks the highest office in the land is as the other.  Might the many be as wolves in sheep’s clothing?  The adage may be applicable.  We must beware. 

    Were we to believe as the mainstream media and even Progressive pundits profess, a politician is a politician, a performer, and a person on stage for the glitz and glory applause brings.  An election is nothing more than a beauty contest, or a dance competition.  May the petitioner with the best personality, better banter, or prospects for success, win. 

    Indeed, it seems the public is satisfied with such a notion.  We, as a political Party, must win that is all that matters.  Each of us flatterers wishes to be in the photograph with the prom King or Queen, the First truly Grand Lady and her Gent.

    Even if we, as individuals, cannot sit on the throne elegantly placed in the Oval Office, it seems Americans desire to say, “I voted for the bell of the ball, the first woman President of the United States, Commander-In-Chief Hillary Clinton.  /citizens of this country are willing to sacrifice the lives of allied soldiers and Iraqi citizens for another year, another four-year Presidential term, and then an additional 365 days, all to vote for the presumed practical, courageous, and albeit aggrandized Hillary Clinton.

    Possibly, the desire to win, or appear to be with the life of the party, supplants the need to be more than a mirror of your fellow challenger.  As a Party, we must maintain a unified front.  Democrats must be duplicates of each other.  The Left, in order to be right for the nation, must speak as one.  Victory will be ours if we work together. Perchance that is why so many follow the leader.  In 2008, Hillary Clinton is the champion.  Thus, everyone, or at least forty-six percent of the American public are sycophants of her.

    Predictions forecast a Clinton win.  She is considered an attractive and viable candidate.  Hillary Clinton stands center-stage.  Her proposed plans and postures are declared perfect, profound, and then these are placed prominently before the people.  This may be why we witnessed as we did during the Dartmouth Debates.  Hillary Hawks flamboyantly circled the floor, and with a panache pronounced, the war will continue, at least for a year, two, three, four, and Hillary herself states more.

    New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson said he would get all troops out within one year, by January 2010, even at the expense of abandoning some military equipment:

    Russert: How can you do it in one year?…
    Richardson: This is what I would do. I would bring them out through roads through Kuwait and through Turkey. It would take persuading Turkey. The issue is light equipment. I would leave some of the light equipment behind.

    Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut promised all troops out sometime during the four-year term:

    Russert: Will you pledge as commander in chief that you have all troops out of Iraq by January of 2013?
    Dodd: I will get that done.
    Russert: You’ll get it done.
    Dodd: Yes, I will, sir.

    Former Sen. John Edwards said he couldn’t promise to get all U.S. troops out in four years, but he said he’d leave behind only a few thousand and none in a combat role:

    Russert: Senator Edwards, will you commit that at the end of your first term, in 2013, all U.S. troops will be out of Iraq?
    Edwards: I cannot make that commitment…. I will immediately draw down 40 [thousand] to 50,000 troops and, over the course of the next several months, continue to bring our combat troops out of Iraq until all of our combat troops are in fact out of Iraq. [But we] will maintain an embassy in Baghdad. That embassy has to be protected. We will probably have humanitarian workers in Iraq. Those humanitarian workers have to be protected. I think somewhere in the neighborhood of a brigade of troops will be necessary to accomplish that – 3,500 to 5,000 troops.

    Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York said that her “goal” is to have all U.S. troops out of Iraq by 2013 but that she can’t promise that would happen. And some combat troops might remain.

    Clinton: Well, Tim, it is my goal to have all troops out by the end of my first term. But I agree with Barack. It is very difficult to know what we’re going to be inheriting…. I will immediately move to begin bringing our troops home when I am inaugurated…. [But there] may be a continuing counterterrorism mission, which, if it still exists, will be aimed at al Qaeda in Iraq. It may require combat, Special Operations Forces or some other form of that, but the vast majority of our combat troops should be out.

    Sen. Barack Obama took a very similar position, saying some U.S. troops would remain for an indefinite period for “counterterrorism activities,” which we presume means combat troops.

    Russert: Will you pledge that by January 2013, the end of your first term more than five years from now, there will be no U.S. troops in Iraq?
    Obama: I think it’s hard to project four years from now, and I think it would be irresponsible. We don’t know what contingency will be out there. What I can promise is that if there are still troops in Iraq when I take office [and] if there’s no timetable [for withdrawal], then I will drastically reduce our presence there to the mission of protecting our embassy, protecting our civilians and making sure that we’re carrying out counterterrorism activities there.

    Among the front-runners, and one on the fringe that longs to be linked with the “electables,” timetables are flexible.  Schedules stream far into the future.  Some of the hopefuls envision they will do the work; however, it will be done in their second term.  There is plenty of time to wait as the war rages on.  Body bags do not enter into the electable equation.  Again, Americans will allow for combat, as long as the Democratic candidate wins.

    What we witnessed, as we watched the debate, was a definitive dance.  Democratic Party leaders selected the future Commander months ago.  The public concluded only the strong survive.  Thus, a warrior was wanted.  A determined Clinton took the lead early on.  She continues  to move forward.  [Where have we heard that term before?]  Hillary, the Presidential hopeful, seeks a partner and the people wish to assist her.  An electable team will provide those on the Left with a “certain” success.  Hence, just as the candidates altered their priorities, so too have the citizens.

    Peace is no longer essential.  It is not a component of electoral conquest.  Oh if it were, we might have heard the one that remains steadfast.  Dennis Kucinich vowed to bring the troops home immediately years ago, and he proclaimed the promise again last evening.  With Kucinich in the Oval Office, American boys and girls will come home. When Tim Russert asked the Congressman and Presidential candidate if he would bring the troops home within his first term an enthusiastic Dennis Kucinich responded.

    Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich said he’d get all troops out within three months of taking office:

    Russert: You’ll pledge to have all troops out by January of 2013?
    Kucinich: By – by April of 2007, and you can mark that on your calendars if you want, to take a new direction.
    Russert: Well, it’s September of ’07 now, so we’re going to have a problem. (Laughter.)
    Kucinich: Well, make that – make that 2009.

    Dennis Kucinich stated as he has consistently.  He is not deterred by the dynamics of the Democratic dance.  As President, this principled man will lead us out of Iraq within months.  Kucinich will do as the people said that want done.  A Kucinich Presidency will be different. 

    Granted, there was a chuckle or two as the Presidential aspirant, anxious to do as he promised to do years ago, inadvertently avowed he would have the troops home by April 2007.  Nonetheless, good-heartedly, as Russert noted that date already passed, Kucinich quickly, without hesitation, replied, “I am ready to be President today!” 

    Dennis Kucinich is ready to rock and roll.  A rumba is not too daring for this diplomatic delegate.

    ‘Tis a breath of fresh air to find a campaigner that cares to do more than dance with the leader.  A man that wants more than a personal victory, or a position on the dance ticket can and does move in marvelous ways.  Dennis Kucinich expresses his genuine concern for the country, for the troops, for the global community in every gesture. 

    A Kucinich presidency is more powerful than any might imagine it would be.  When Dennis leads the beautiful ballet that is America, the world superpower, partners look passionately into each other’s eyes.  They connect authentically on the floor.  The pace is energetic.  The quality of exchanges is empathetic.  The leader does not mandate the direction, for he understands that it takes two to tango, to cha-cha. 

    Dennis Kucinich will do as he has done in the past.  He will welcome the weight and ways of the other people, no matter their station in life.  Compassion is strength.  If we act with character, dance in delight of the motion, we will achieve peace.  Let us march to the beat of this different drummer and truly support the troops.  Bring the boys and girls home before another term or person passes. 

    Be bold, be different, and be unique.  Enter the ballroom yourself.  On Primary Election Day, strut on in.  Saunter, bee bop, romp, or rock your vote.  Cast a ballot for an expeditious exit from Iraq.  Let the ballet that brings the troops home, and calms a country ready to retreat from civil distress, begin.

    Dennis Kucinich – Dartmouth Democratic Debate 9/26/07

    Strength through peace.
    ~ Dennis Kucinich

    Follow the Leader or Source of Strength  . . .

  • Democrats Debate On Style as Lead For Clinton Grows, By Christopher Cooper and Susan Davis.  Wall Street Journal. September 27, 2007; Page A12
  • Kucinich Leads Presidential Hopefuls on Health Care for All, By Jonathan Springston.  Atlanta Progressive News. March 19, 2007
  • Bloomberg: Edwards Begins Presidential Bid Amid Katrina’s Scars. John Edwards 08. December 28, 2006
  • Edwards, Obama Press Lobby Issue. By Perry Bacon Jr.  Washington Post. August 6, 2007
  • Clinton ripped off Edwards’ health care plan says wife,  Cable News Network. September 20, 2007
  • A Healthy Nation, By Dennis Kucinich.  Dennis For President.
  • Health Care in America; Uninsured, Underinsured, Universal Woes, By Betsy L. Angert. September 23, 2007
  • Fourth Democratic Debate. The New York Times. July 24, 2007
  • pdf Fourth Democratic Debate. The New York Times. July 24, 2007
  • Obama willing to invade Pakistan in al-Qaeda hunt, By Tom Baldwin.  Times Online.  August 2, 2007
  • Stuck in Iraq? Democratic candidates are pinned down on how quickly they would bring troops home from Iraq. Fact Check. September 27, 2007
  • The Democratic Presidential Debate on MSNBC.  The New York Times. September 26, 2007
  • pdf The Democratic Presidential Debate on MSNBC.  The New York Times. September 26, 2007
  • Hillary, I am in no mood for 2013!

    To view the full pictorial image please click your heels on this path and journey inward.

    © copyright 2007 Storm Bear Town Called Dobson

    I am honored to present the work of an artist I admire.  Storm Bear publishes and resides in a Town Called Dobson.  I am privileged to offer his message at BeThink.  I am often amazed by his quickness and quip.  The wit and wisdom Storm Bear shares can captivate the mind and open a heart.  I hope you will take pleasure in this political contemplation.  Please ponder the words and pictorial perspective of Storm Bear.

    Last evening Democrats debated in New Hampshire.  The hopefuls shared their strategies.  [Some refused to state their agenda.]  Iraq was the issue of most import for many.  The host, Tim Russert, inquired, ‘If you were President when would you issue orders to bring our troops home.’  An expectant audience hoped to hear when the candidates thought we might exit Iraq.

    Artist and political analyst, Storm Bear heard the answers the aspirants offered and went to work.  Please travel within and reflect as Storm Bear has.

    © copyright 2007 Storm Bear Town Called Dobson

    Please view the artist original work . . . Hillary, I am in no mood for 2013!

    HRC can’t make a commitment to bring the troops home before 2013?

    Well, I am terribly sorry, then it seems I can’t make a commitment to vote for her.  I am looking for a President, not a wanna-be.