BULLY BOY PRESS & CEDRIC'S BIX MIX -- NYC.
NPR AND AP 'SHAPE' THE TRUTH WHILE COMPARING SENATOR HILLARY CLINTON AND STILL IN HIS FIRST TERM SENATOR BARACK OBAMA.
I. (1) THEY SAY OBAMA TOLD THE RENO GAZETTE-JOURNAL THAT "HE ADMIRED REAGAN'S SENSE OF INNOVANTION"
FALSE: HE BRAGGED ON REAGAN AND DIDN'T USE THE TERM "INNOVATION"
"EVEN IF HE DID NOT AGREE WITH THE SUBSTANCE OF THOSE IDEAS"
FALSE: HE DIDN'T SAY HE DISAGREED WITH THE IDEAS WHILE MEETING WITH THE EDITORIAL BOARD. THAT STATEMENT CAME ONLY AFTER BAMBI GOT CRITICIZED.
II. HEAR THEY WHITE WASH BAMBI'S INVOLEMENT WITH SLUMLORD TONY REZKO:
Obama later became acquainted with Rezko, who became a campaign contributor to several Chicago politicians, including Obama.
In 2005, Obama and his wife also bought a 10-foot-wide strip of land from Rezko's wife; the land was adjacent to the Obama family's Chicago home. Some Illinois politicians criticized this land deal as an apparent conflict of interest. Rezko was widely reported to be under grand jury investigation at the time of the transactions, although Obama said this week that he had had no indication of any problems.
COMPARE THAT TO WHAT THE NEW YORK TIMES REPORTED LAST YEAR:
Mr. Obama has portrayed Mr. Rezko as a one-time fund-raiser whom he had occasionally seen socially. But interviews with more than a dozen political and business associates suggest that the two men were closer than the senator has indicated.
Mr. Obama turned to Mr. Rezko for help at several important junctures. Records show that when Mr. Obama needed cash in the waning days of his losing 2000 Congressional campaign, Mr. Rezko rounded up thousands of dollars from business contacts. In 2003, Mr. Rezko helped Mr. Obama expand his fund-raising for the Senate primary by being host of a dinner at his Mediterranean-style home for 150 people, including some whose names have since come up in the influence scandal.
And when Mr. Obama and his wife, Michelle, bought a house in 2005, Mr. Rezko stepped in again. Even though his finances were deteriorating, Mr. Rezko arranged for his wife to buy an adjacent lot, and she later sold the Obamas a 10-foot-wide strip of land that expanded their yard.
The land sale occurred after it had been reported that Mr. Rezko was under federal investigation. That awkward fact prompted Mr. Obama, who has cast himself as largely free from the normal influences of politics, to express regret over what he called his own bad judgment.
OH! YEAH! THAT WHOLE BUYING THE HOUSE PART. YEAH, NPR AND AP FORGOT ABOUT THAT. HOW BAMBI COULDN'T AFFORD THE VACANT LOT SO HIS BUDDY GANGSTA REZKO JUST HAPPENS TO BUY IT AT THE SAME TIME.
WHEN REACHED FOR COMMENT, NPR STATED THEY WERE HEAVY PETTING WITH AP AND PRETTY SURE "THIS IS GOING ALL THE WAY. CALL BACK LATER!"
FROM THE TCI WIRE:
Starting with war resistance.
A Lieutenant in the army
in his heart and his soul he believes
in the land of the free
and the home of the brave
now he's standing on trial
for he will not behave
as they wish
He said "I believe the constitution
to dfend it and uphold
I will not fight your war for profit
no sir I will not go"
So sings Melissa Ethridge on track fifteen ("Imagine That") of her lastest CD The Awakening about Ehren Watada. [The Awakening gets a strong review from Detorit's Metro Times.] Watada is the first commissioned officer to publicly refuse to deploy to Iraq. He has rightly termed it an illegal war. After a kangaroo court-martial in February, Watada -- whose service contract ran out in December 2006 -- remains in the military as he waits to see what happens next. The Constitutional provision against double-jeopardy should mean he can't be court-martialed again and, thus far, the court of appeals has held that to be the case with Judge Benjamin Settle noting in November that Watada will likely win on the double-jeopardy clause.
Some war resisters refuse to go, some refuse to return. In both groups, some go to Canada and attempt to be granted asylum. On November 15th, the Supreme Court of Canada refused to hear the appeals of war resisters Jeremy Hinzman and Brandon Hughey. Parliament is the solution.Three e-mails addresses to focus on are: Prime Minister Stephen Harper (firstname.lastname@example.org -- that's pm at gc.ca) who is with the Conservative party and these two Liberals, Stephane Dion (Dion.S@parl.gc.ca -- that's Dion.S at parl.gc.ca) who is the leader of the Liberal Party and Maurizio Bevilacqua (Bevilacqua.M@parl.gc.ca -- that's Bevilacqua.M at parl.gc.ca) who is the Liberal Party's Critic for Citizenship and Immigration. A few more can be found here at War Resisters Support Campaign. For those in the US, Courage to Resist has an online form that's very easy to use. Both War Resisters Support Campaign and Courage to Resist are calling for actions from January 24-26. The War Resisters Support Campaign has more on the action in Canada:
The War Resisters Support Campaign has called a pan-Canadian mobilization on Saturday, January 26th, 2008 to ensure : 1) that deportation proceedings against U.S. war resisters currently in Canada cease immediately; and 2) that a provision be enacted by Parliament ensuring that U.S. war resisters refusing to fight in Iraq have a means to gain status in Canada. For listings of local actions, see our Events page. If you are able to organize a rally in your community, contact the Campaign -- we will list events as details come in.
Courage to Resist notes:
Join and support January 25 vigils and delegations in support of U.S. war resisters currently seeking sanctuary Canada. Actions are being planned in Washington D.C., New York, Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Supporters will meet with officials at Canadian Consulates across the United States in order underscore that many Americans hope that the Canadian Parliament votes (possible as early as February) in favor of a provision to allow war resisters to remain. Download and distribute Jan. 25-26 action leaflet (PDF).Supporting the war resisters in Canada is a concrete way to demonstrate your support of the troops who refuse to fight. Help end the war by supporting the growing GI resistance movement today!
Details January 25-26 actions/events in support of U.S. war resisters.
Sign the letter "Dear Canada: Let U.S. War Resisters Stay!" and encourage others to sign.
Organize a delegation to a Canadian Consulate near you .
Host an event or house-party in support of war resisters.
There is a growing movement of resistance within the US military which includes James Stepp, Rodney Watson, Michael Espinal, Matthew Lowell, Derek Hess, Diedra Cobb, Brad McCall, Justin Cliburn, Timothy Richard, Robert Weiss, Phil McDowell, Steve Yoczik, Ross Spears, Peter Brown, Bethany "Skylar" James, Zamesha Dominique, Chrisopther Scott Magaoay, Jared Hood, James Burmeister, Eli Israel, Joshua Key, Ehren Watada, Terri Johnson, Clara Gomez, Luke Kamunen, Leif Kamunen, Leo Kamunen, Camilo Mejia, Kimberly Rivera, Dean Walcott, Linjamin Mull, Agustin Aguayo, Justin Colby, Marc Train, Abdullah Webster, Robert Zabala, Darrell Anderson, Kyle Snyder, Corey Glass, Jeremy Hinzman, Kevin Lee, Mark Wilkerson, Patrick Hart, Ricky Clousing, Ivan Brobeck, Aidan Delgado, Pablo Paredes, Carl Webb, Stephen Funk, Blake LeMoine, Clifton Hicks, David Sanders, Dan Felushko, Brandon Hughey, Clifford Cornell, Joshua Despain, Joshua Casteel, Katherine Jashinski, Dale Bartell, Chris Teske, Matt Lowell, Jimmy Massey, Chris Capps, Tim Richard, Hart Viges, Michael Blake, Christopher Mogwai, Christian Kjar, Kyle Huwer, Wilfredo Torres, Michael Sudbury, Ghanim Khalil, Vincent La Volpa, DeShawn Reed and Kevin Benderman. In total, at least fifty US war resisters in Canada have applied for asylum.
Information on war resistance within the military can be found at The Objector, The G.I. Rights Hotline [(877) 447-4487], Iraq Veterans Against the War and the War Resisters Support Campaign. Courage to Resist offers information on all public war resisters. Tom Joad maintains a list of known war resisters. In addition, VETWOW is an organization that assists those suffering from MST (Military Sexual Trauma).
Meanwhile IVAW is organizing a March 2008 DC event:
In 1971, over one hundred members of Vietnam Veterans Against the War gathered in Detroit to share their stories with America. Atrocities like the My Lai massacre had ignited popular opposition to the war, but political and military leaders insisted that such crimes were isolated exceptions. The members of VVAW knew differently.
Over three days in January, these soldiers testified on the systematic brutality they had seen visited upon the people of Vietnam. They called it the Winter Soldier investigation, after Thomas Paine's famous admonishing of the "summer soldier" who shirks his duty during difficult times. In a time of war and lies, the veterans who gathered in Detroit knew it was their duty to tell the truth.
Over thirty years later, we find ourselves faced with a new war. But the lies are the same. Once again, American troops are sinking into increasingly bloody occupations. Once again, war crimes in places like Haditha, Fallujah, and Abu Ghraib have turned the public against the war. Once again, politicians and generals are blaming "a few bad apples" instead of examining the military policies that have destroyed Iraq and Afghanistan.
Once again, our country needs Winter Soldiers.
In March of 2008, Iraq Veterans Against the War will gather in our nation's capital to break the silence and hold our leaders accountable for these wars. We hope you'll join us, because yours is a story that every American needs to hear.
Click here to sign a statement of support for Winter Soldier: Iraq & Afghanistan
March 13th through 16th are the dates for the Winter Soldier Iraq & Afghanistan Investigation. Dee Knight (Workers World) notes, "IVAW wants as many people as possible to attend the event. It is planning to provide live broadcasting of the sessions for those who cannot hear the testimony firsthand. 'We have been inspired by the tremendous support the movement has shown us,' IVAW says. 'We believe the success of Winter Soldier will ultimately depend on the support of our allies and the hard work of our members'."
Today Bryan Bender (Boston Globe) reports that the number of recruits to the US army who hold a high school diploma has reached "a 25-year-low" and had "dropped more than 12 percent between 2005 and 2007" -- "from almost 84 percent in 2005 to less than 71 percent last year" according to a new study conducted by the National Priorities Project. Let's flashback to the October 31, 2006 snapshot: "In ridiculous news, CBS and AP report that the White House (which can't even give an accurate count on how many US troops have died in Iraq -- not even one that matches their own Pentagon's count) is attacking US Senator John Kerry as a 'troop basher' because he noted in a California speech on Monday: 'You know education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don't, you get stuck in Iraq.' The truth in those remarks (recruiters target the lower class with less hopes of a college education) struck to close to home with the White House leading Tony Snow to demand that Kerry apologize to all those serving. The apology should come right after Bully Boy apologizes for (a) starting the illegal war and (b) using Daddy's connections to get out of serving in Iraq and yet not even bothering to show up for his National Guard Training." The February 14, 2007 snapshot noted that 'moral' waivers to recruits who had criminal records had increased by 65% and that " Lizette Alvarez (New York Times) reports this increase has come in the last three years, that '[t]he number of waivers for felony convictions also increased, to 11 percent of the 8,129 moral waivers granted in 2006, from 8 percent,' and that '[t]he Defense Department has also expanded its applicant pool by accepting soldiers with criminal backgrounds and medical problems like asthma, high blood pressure and attention deficit disorder'." Today on KPFK's Uprising Radio, Sonali Kolhatkar addressed the findings noting that "the army's failure to meet the benchmark last year is part of a downward trend since 2005." What's not being noted are the lies the army only recently put out. Lolita C. Baldor (AP) reported on January 10th of this year that the army was singing the praises of their Active First program for recruits and "The Defense Department also announced that all services met or exceeded their recruiting goals in December." Really? A twenty-five year low on recruits with at least a high school diploma is 'meeting or exceeding' goals? As Kolhatkar noted the Department of Defense's goal was 90% and it didn't meet it. Exceeding goals? Josh White (Washington Post) notes that "Army officials confirmed that they have lowered their standards to meet high recruiting goals in the middle of two ongoing wars" and quotes the National Priorities Project's Anita Dancs stating, "The trend is clear. They're missing their benchmarks, and I think it's strongly linked to the impact [of] the Iraq war." Dancs was Kolhatkar's guest today for the first segment of Uprising Radio and they addressed how the Freedom of Information requests resulted in the data and other topics.
Sonali Kolhatkar: Now the army attributes this drop in getting high school recruits to declining high school graduation rates over all. Is that something that the National Priorities Project agrees with?
Anita Dancs: No. I think -- that may be a slight factor. But the real factor we're talking about is the impact of the Iraq War. This just, our analysis of army recruiting data, just points to the larger failure of the Iraq War. Increasingly youth are realizing that the Iraq War was an unneccessary war, it was one led by deception on the part of the administration, it's bad foreign policy, and youth -- and youth that have alternatives, other alternatives, are just much more reluctant to go into the army and fight in a war that is unnecessary and that, at this point, looks like it's never going to end.
Sonali Kolhatkar: Now I understand the military has had to increase the number of waivers and raise enlistment bonuses
Anita Dancs: Right
Sonali Kolhatkar: -- to try to entice people and I think at the same time, as I mentioned, your group found that upper-middle and high income neighborhoods were under-represented among US army recruits. Essentially, are we seeing a trend towards an army of poorer and poorer Americans?
Anita Dancs: Right. I think, I think the first time we did this study was with 2004 data and what we found was that the upper-middle and high income neighborhoods are under-represented but with this most recent study of the 2007 data we found that those neighborhoods are even less represented than they were in 2004. And low to middle income neighborhoods are even more over-represented and I think this really speaks to when you're looking at the strategies by the Department of Defense that has been increasing enlistment bonuses, increasing re-enlistment bonuses, introducing new bonus programs where kids in high school can sign up to join the army later and get paid a thousand dollars a month now. It's crazy but they're using economic incentives and it does appear that the youth with the fewest alternatives who maybe can't afford to go to college or maybe didn't make it through high school are being recruited into the army because they don't have other economic alternatives.
Part of alternatives is knowing that they are out there, a point Aimee Allison and David Solnit's Army Of None cover in their book. Dancs felt that counter-recruitment was having some effects but noted that the are up against the overwhelming US military budget (funded by tax payers). Earlier this month Brandi Cummings (South Carolina's WIStv -- link has text and video) reported on military recruiter Sgt. Robert Jordan going to the local Target and inserting cards in clothing there in violation of the "no solicitation" policy that Target has. Leigh Nichols tipped the station off after she bought her thirteen-year-old son a pair of pants and they found Jordan's business card. At the National Priorities Project you can find more information.
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