BELIEVE IT OR NOT, ON THAT SENATOR SWEEITE IS TELLING THE TRUTH. SO IS THE MEDIA, HOWEVER.
A NUMBER IN THE PRESS ARE RUNNING WITH BARACK'S PROMISE TO WITHDRAW ALL US (COMBAT) TROOPS FROM IRAQ WITHIN 16 MONTHS OF ENTERING THE WHITE HOUSE. IN FEBRUARY, SPEAKING IN HOUSTON, TEXAS, BARACK ANNOUNCED HE WOULD WITHDRAW ALL US (COMBAT) TROOPS WITHIN 10 MONTHS OF BEING SWORN IN.
THE MEDIA IS CORRECT THAT BARACK HAS BROKEN HIS PROMISE.
BARACK IS CORRECT THAT IT'S NOT DIFFERENT FROM WHAT HE'S BEEN SAYING . . . IF YOU JUST GO BY JUNE AND IGNORE HIS CAMPAIGN PROMISES DELIVERED TO WILD CHEERING. ON JUNE 5TH, BARACK TOLD CNN, WHEN ASKED IF HE WAS STILL PROMISING A WITHDRAWAL, "WELL, YOU KNOW, I'D NEVER SAY THERE'S 'NOTHING' OR 'NEVER' OR 'NO WAY' IN WHICH I'D CHANGE MY MIND. OBVIOUSLY I'M OPEN TO THE FACTS AND TO REASON. AND THERE'S NO DOUBT THAT WE'VE SEEN SIGNIFICANT IMPROVEMENTS IN SECURITY ON THE GROUND IN IRAQ. AND OUR TROOPS AND GEN. PETRAEUS, DESERVE ENORMOUS CREDIT FOR THAT. I HAVE TO LOOK AT THIS ISSUE FROM A BROADER PERSPECTIVE, THOUGH."
BY JUNE, BARACK WAS PUBLICLY 'REFINING' HIS POSITION AND BREAKING HIS CAMPAIGN PROMISE. IT ECHOED WHAT SAMANTHA POWER, THEN HIS FOREIGN POLICY ADVISOR TOLD THE BBC IN MARCH, "YOU CAN'T MAKE A COMMITMENT IN WHATEVER MONTH WE'RE IN NOW, IN MARCH OF 2008 ABOUT WHAT CIRCUMSTANCES ARE GOING TO BE LIKE IN JANUARY 2009. WE CAN'T EVEN TELL WHAT BUSH IS UP TO IN TERMS OF TROOPS PAUSES AND SO FORTH. HE [BARACK] WILL OF COURSE NOT RELY UPON SOME PLAN THAT HE'S CRAFTED AS A PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE OR AS A US SENATOR."
TRANSLATION, HE LIED ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL. POWER KNEW HE WAS LYING IN HIS 'PROMISE' AND TOLD THE BBC THAT IN MARCH.
TRANSLATION, TOM HAYDEN AND ALL THE OTHER PANHANDLE MEDIA REJECTS SHOULD HAVE KNOWN ABOUT THE INTERVIEW IN MARCH. WHERE THE HELL WERE THEY? (PROSTITUTING THEMSELVES FOR THE CAMPAIGN OF BARACK.)
Turning to the US presidential race. Barack Obama? Arab News notes, "For Obama, who recently changed his positions on campaign finance and a wiretapping law, the suggestion that he was also changing course on a central premise of his candidacy holds particular peril. While Obama has long said he would consult commanders in the field when withdrawing troops, that point might have been lost on many Democratic primary voters who supported his call to end the war." What's going on? A bit of reality on War Hawk Barack. Suzanne Goldenberg (Guardian of London) puts it this way, ".Barack Obama was yesterday fending off charges from right and left that he had abandoned the core premise of his candidacy - the withdrawal of all US combat forces from Iraq within 16 months of taking office - in an attempt to attract voters from the political centre." Suzanne's a little out of it. So were Katrina vanden Heuvel and Arianna Huffington on ABC's This Week last Sunday. Withdrawal in 16 months? That's 'so January 2008.' Barack promised withdrawal of all (combat) troops within 10 months in a speech in Houston, Texas. Always one to carry water for Barack, Tom Hayden immediately penned "End the War in 2009" (which popped up online at The Nation, Feb. 20th and elsewhere a bit later). Hayden: "In his victory speech in Texas Tuesday, Barack Obama promised to end the Iraq war in 2009, a new commitment that parallels recent opinion pieces in The Nation. Prior to his Houston remarks, Obama's previous position favored an American combat troop withdrawal over a sixteen-to-eighteen-month timeframe. He has been less specific on the number and mission of any advisors he would elave behind." (The Texas primary was in March. Barack was in Texas campaigning, for any more confused than usual by Tom-Tom's bad-bad writing.) Texas community members saw the 10 month 'promise' pushed in advertising as well as on the campaign trail. Those were his words (and Tom-Tom notes 'words matter') so let's all drop the nonsense that Barack's plan was 16 months (or at least leave the lying to Katrina who's become so very good at it). Goldenberg's uninformed, ignorant or lying -- take your pick. In her piece (dated tomorrow), she traces the uproar to Thursday when Barack said he might 'refine' his Iraq 'plan.' If that's when the uproar started, is Arianna Huffington psychic? Arianna was calling him out for 'refining' on Iraq Sunday on This Week. More water carrying from the allegedly 'independent' Guardian of London (which never wrote about the Downing Street Memos because 'independence' did not include informing people that Tony Blair lied England into an illegal war -- no time for 'truth-telling' while Blair was in office at any rate.) CNN reports that presumed GOP presidential candidate John McCain and the RNC are calling Barack a "flip-flopper" and they quote Barack's 'clarification' where Barack lies and says he has always said 16 months. No, Barack, you went to ten months in February. AP reports he celebrated the 4th of July in Butte, Montana (Kansas, he's done with you, he got what he needed) eating a hot dog. Tom Baldwin (Times of London) observes, "Grassroots activists whose energy and donations have helped to propel Barack Obama towards the White House are suddenly choking on the bitter pill of disillusion.
In less than a month since clinching the Democratic nomination, he has performed a series of policy pirouettes to assuage concerns about his candidacy among a wider and more conservative electorate." Geoff Elliott (The Australian) points out, "Barack Obama has started a dramtic reversal of the policies that helped him defeat Hillary Clinton for the presidential nomination, softening hardlines stances on the Iraq war and troop withdrawals.
Campaigning in North Dakota, Senator Obama said that while the US could not sustain a long-term presence in Iraq, his trip to the Gulf nation this month might prompt him to "refine my policies" on the war." John Bentley (CBS News) quotes Brian Rogers of the McCain campaign stating, "Today, Barack Obama reversed that position, proving once again his words do not matter. He has now adopted John McCain's position that we cannot risk the progress we have made in Iraq by beginning to withdraw our troops immediately without concern for conditions on the ground. Now that Barack Obama has changed course and proven his past positions to be just empty words, we would like to congratulate him on taking John McCain's principled stand on this critical national security issue. If he had visited Iraq sooner or actually had a one-on-one meeting with Gen. Petraeus, he would have changed his position long ago." Jonathan Weisman (Washington Post) terms it Barack exploring "the possibility of slowing a promised, gradual withdrawal from Iraq". NPR has two audio reports here. How bad it is? A friend just called to laugh at ____'s latest nonsense. In place of a now killed feature for Third, we may address ____'s latest nonsense and his plethora of lies throughout the campaign. Poor ____, it's even harder to airbrush out reality today than it was following his expulsion from the Red Family commune in his "smash the state" days (when he fancied himself Chris Jones in Wild In The Street).
Ralph Nader is opposed to the illegal war and has always been opposed to it. He called it before it started and throughout. He has not waffled like Saint Barack. Yesterday he spoke at the University of Hawaii-Manou. Craig Gima (Honolulu Star-Bulletin) reports:
In a news conference before the speech, Nader said Hawaii voters are being marginalized by the major candidates.
"When political candidates do not campaign in a state, voter turnout suffers," Nader said, adding that he has campaigned in all 50 states in the last two elections.
Nader said he supports the Akaka Bill and native Hawaiian rights, and said Hawaii should be a model for the rest of the country in renewable energy.
"This is the only place in the world where every form of renewable energy occurs," he said.
Nader also said that if elected he would push for universal health care, an increase in the minimum wage to $10 an hour and the repeal of what he called the anti-union Taft-Hartley Act.
Derrick DePledge (Honolulu Advertiser) notes that no presidential candidate has campaigned in Hawaii since Richard Nixon in 1960, notes Nader is already on the ballot in Hawaii for the presidential election and quotes him explaining, ""I didn't start running for president until the doors started closing in Washington against consumer, environmental, labor and other citizen groups. So when you don't have a chance to have a chance to improve your country on Capitol Hill and before the regulatory agencies, you either close up shop and go to Monterey and watch the whales or you go into the electoral arena." Third Party Watch covers it here. Ahead of the apperance KHNL, AP and KITV reported on it. Thursday the Reno Gazette Journal reported Nader's campaign had turned in their signatures to be on the ballot in Nevada. The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that the campaign collected 12,000 signatures -- far more than needed to qualify. KRNV reports that if the Democrats attempt any of the manuevers they did in 2004, the Nader campaign will fight it.
On the sexism front, notice the new target? We don't highlight Maureen Dowd at this site. I'm not a Dowd fan. But, if you missed it, it's time for Bash the Bitch and it's Dowd's turn. Maybe you didn't notice that? Maybe you think David Brooks or Frank Rich just isn't deserving of calling out for their own problems -- which really do exceed Dowd's. (And for the record, leaving facts aside, Dowd can out-write either of them -- both of whom also leave facts aside.) It's brewing. You saw Judith Miller take the fall not just for her own bad work but for Michael Gordon and a hundred others. Now it's time to throw another woman on the fire and it appears it will be Maureen Dowd. Can ____ honestly say he's referred to a male journalist being "spanked" before? Can ____ pretend that they've focused on any male the way they're focusing on Dowd now? Watch them try to if anyone calls them out. More than likely, no one will. Dowd's not above criticism. But we're not talking about criticsm. We're talking about (nod to Blondie) "Rip Her To Shreds" and note the "her." Dowd's got a twice-weekly column. Are we honestly supposed to believe that anything she could do the MSNBC no-stars don't out do her on? There's a free floating rage over a number of issues and it appears it's about to glom on Dowd. As usual, the woman's male peers will remain exempt. And let's see when anyone will stand up and say: "That's about enough." I doubt they will. And this nonsense of you have to like Dowd to defend her is nonsense. All you have to support is fairness and equality. But that's never existed online and let's stop pretending it will by magic. In the meantime try to pretend that Dowd's actions are worse than Keith Olbermann or Chris Matthews, et al. And try to pretend that sexual degredation that's aimed at her would be used to 'critique' a man. (That's not a tone argument. We came up with Todd S. Purdum 'cupping' the story here in response to all the 'knee pads' nonsense about Elisabeth Bumiller. It's noting that, regardless of the 'tone' you choose to use, you apply it fairly regardless of gender or you're a sexist pig.) If it's summer, it's Bash The Bitch.
Turning to the US race for president, Dominic Lawson (Independent of London) reflects on Primary Barack and the flip-flops that have ensued of late, "Those who actually supported Obama during this process now divide neatly, if unevenly, into two groups. The first, smaller, group is full of buyer's remorse. The blogosphere is hissling like a catherine wheel with their anger with Obama, obviously, but above all with themselves. The second, much bigger group, continues to buy Obama's story. They argue that everything and anything is justified if it helps to get a Democrat back in the White House; some of them add that 'of course' Obama doesn't believe any of the things he is now saying to woo the 'redneck states' and that once in the White House he will revert to his 'true beliefs'. To this group we must address a simple question. How do you know what Obama really believes in, other than his own destiny -- and, of course, his conscience?" As Brian Montoli (CBS News) observes today, "What a difference a presidential campaign makes." Yeterday, Montopoli was notingTime's report of the religious right coming together in Denver to support Senator John McCain (the presumptive GOP nominee).
Meanwhile Hillary Supporters Vote Nader lists four reasons why: "(1) Single Payer Health Care will be back on the table, (2) The Wasteful, Bloated and Secretive Military Budget will be brought back to the forefront of the American People's minds. (3) Renewable Energy and American Jobs back on the front burner. (4) Persecution Protection From Corporate and Political Criminals will be spotlighted. This includes: Net Neutrality, Telecom Spying and the outrageous lies that put the American and Iraqis People in harms way, destroyed the US economy and our children's future. McCain and Obama have taken all these issues off the table." This as Honolulu's KITV notes Ralph Nader will be at the University of Hawaii tonight while Barack "has no immediate plans to campaign here" and the McCain campaign says "Hawaii is not on his schedule."