SENATOR SWEETIE BARACK OBAMA DECLARED THAT HE "DOES NOT LOSE SLEEP OVER LOSING THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION." OF COURSE NOT.
HE DIDN'T LOSE SLEEP OVER LOSING THE DEMOCRATIC PRIMARIES EITHER.
BUT WHEN REACHED BY THESE REPORTERS, HE WAS UNDER THE MISTAKEN IMPRESSION THAT THE GENERAL ELECTION WAS LIKE THE DEMOCRATIC PRIMARIES.
"I ONLY HAVE TO WIN A FEW STATES," HE EXPLAINED, "AND THEN THE COUNTRY HAS TO GIVE ME THE PRESIDENCY. VOTES DON'T MATTER."
SHH, DON'T WAKE SENATOR SWEEITE. HE NEEDS THAT BEAUTY SLEEP.
On Democracy Now! today, a vice presidential debate took place between Matt Gonzales (Ralph Nader's running mate) and Rosa Clemente (Cynthia McKinney's running mate). During their debate, they were shown clips of GOP v.p. nominee Governor Sarah Palin and Democratic v.p. nominee Joe Biden weighing in on various topics from last night's debate.
JUAN GONZALEZ: Governor Sarah Palin and Senator Biden, talking about the war in last night's debate. Rosa Clemente, Green Party vice-presidential nominee, what's your viewpoint on the war?
ROSA CLEMENTE: Well, the Green Party's viewpoint -- and Cynthia has been very clear, and the party has been very clear -- an immediate end to the war, an immediate withdrawal of troops in Iraq, but also in Afghanistan. And, you know, one thing Cynthia agrees with a former colleague of hers, Dennis Kucinich, is that we now have to talk about creating departments of peace. And we have to also talk about withdrawing troops wherever they reside in other people's homelands. I always found it interesting -- or, you know, the fact that we, as the United States government, and we, as the people in this country, allow our military to be placed in other people's homelands. And being from Puerto Rico, I'm very clear on why the military does what it does. But we would never allow another country to have a military base there. And that might be a little simplistic kind of thing to throw out there, but I also think it speaks to the way we want to move forward in the future. And I don't think that either party is planning on ending the war. I think that the Democrats are more about transferring troops to Afghanistan and potentially preparing for a war in Pakistan. And even yesterday, Joe Biden talked about the possibility of putting troops in in Darfur. And I think that's something that we have to say immediately is unacceptable and that the majority of young people in this country have been clear for the last five years that we want an end to the war right now.
AMY GOODMAN: Independent vice-presidential candidate Matt Gonzalez?
MATT GONZALEZ: Well, I certainly -- and Ralph Nader supports getting our troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan immediately. I think the problem with a lot of the rhetoric that we're hearing is that if you concede that the surge is working, which we do not concede--but the moment you do that, you are going to run into a problem with the so-called timetable. Are the Democrats going to stick to a timetable if, as they start to draw down troops, there's increased sectarian violence? And I think the answer to that is really unclear, and probably no. I think the only way that we can successfully get out of this country is if, at the outset, we make it clear we're going to -- we're going to work quickly to get our troops out of the region, that we're part of the reason why the region remains unstable.
And we'll also note this section of the debate:
AMY GOODMAN: Matt Gonzalez, I know you have to leave, so I'm going to give you the first stab at this, as you catch a plane. And also, a correction: in 2004, yes, Ralph Nader was an Independent candidate, as well. He was, 2000, the Green Party candidate. Your comment on same-sex marriage?
MATT GONZALEZ: Well, obviously, Nader and I support marriage rights for all. I think it's insulting to hear these candidates want it both ways. They're essentially trying to appeal to both conservative voters who are opposed to gay marriage and somehow also appeal to progressive voters who want to see equality. You know, I think Ralph Nader, you know, when you step back and look at his history, he is somebody who is an enormously important voice against the growing corporate greed in this society and what concentrated capital does when it's left alone. And I think he's not somebody who has decided to fight against the two parties. You know, he has, his entire life, been fighting against these parties -- it's not a recent conversion -- on a host of issues. And I think he should have been in this debate. I think he has a legislative record that's stronger than the candidates that we saw in that debate. I mean, Joe Biden should have been asked about his support of credit card companies in Delaware, of the federal sentencing guidelines that he helped pass in the 1980s that, you know, has disproportionately hurt people of color. These were things that were absent. And I think if Rosa and I had been in that debate, it would have been a better debate.
AMY GOODMAN: And, Rosa Clemente, your perspective on gay marriage?
ROSA CLEMENTE: I mean, full 100 percent equal rights for everybody. I also take it a step further for it being about human rights. LGBT people are human beings, and they have a right, like anyone else, to get married, to get divorced, to not get married. But if I could just quickly just say, yes, Cynthia did leave the Democratic Party after twelve years, but while she was in there, it was Cynthia McKinney that had a hearing on the issue of political prisoners, the first-ever congressional hearing on that. It was Cynthia that pushed the envelope about what happened on 9/11. It was Cynthia that wrote the articles of impeachment. And I think that speaks highly to someone who will leave a party, finally, based on principles and values and then pick someone that truly represents what the majority of this country is going to look like. I think if me and Matt were on there, and if Cynthia, Bob Barr, [Chuck] Baldwin, Ron Paul and Ralph Nader were allowed to debate, the presidency on November 4th would look radically different and would represent the majority of American people.
I, Cynthia McKinney, pledge to use my candidacy, whenever feasible, to advance the preservation of democracy. I will officially challenge the results of the election as provided by law if the combination of election conditions, incident reports and announced election results calls into question the reliability of the official vote count. I will wait until all valid votes are counted and all serious challenges resolved before declaring victory or conceding defeat. I will involve my campaign volunteers in actions to enhance the accuracy and verifiability of the election in which I am a candidate. I will speak out publicly during the pre-election period about the importance of fair, accurate and transparent elections and about this pledge. I will designate a liaison between my campaign and "Standing For Voters" so that "Standing For Voters" can alert me to any red flags they are aware of regarding my election.
Meanwhile independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader weighs in on the economic bailout. Click here for his post before the House voted today (it passed) and here were his thoughts prior to vote:
People often ask me -- what forces shaped you, Ralph?
I reply simply:
"A lucky choice of parents."
Among other things, my parents passed down many traditions.
Traditions that were handed down from generations before them.
Traditions that served as a counterweight to the addictions.
Of modern life.
Traditions such as:
The tradition of listening.
The tradition of scarcity.
The tradition of discipline.
And the tradition of civics.
A couple of years ago, I sat down at my manual Underwood typewriter and wrote a book titled The Seventeen Traditions (Harper Collins, 2007).
It's about growing up in my hometown of Winsted, Connecticut (above is a picture of me standing next to my mother Rose).
And it details the seventeen traditions of my youth.
It's the only book that I've written that everybody loves.
When you get a copy, you'll know why.
Flipping through a copy of the book the other day, I asked myself --
If the majority in this Congress was governed by the traditions that we grew up with in the New England of my youth -- wouldn't they have acted to prevent Wall Street's "sustained orgy of excess and reckless behavior" -- as Richard Fisher, the president of the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank put it last week?
Surely they wouldn't then turn around and reward that behavior with a $750 billion bailout?
By now you know that McCain, Obama and Bush all support the bailout.
And Nader/Gonzalez are opposed.
And we again urge all members of the House to vote against the bailout today.
But no matter how the House votes today, Nader/Gonzalez will be barnstorming the country in October.
Putting front and center our platform of shifting the power from the corporations back into the hands of the American people.
We're on the ballot in 45 states and the District of Columbia.
We've deployed a contingent to each state to coordinate our get out the vote drive.
And we're raising money to drive the campaign home to election day.
But we need to raise $1,000,000 in October to get it done.
Our first October goal is to raise $250,000 by October 12.
Yes, that's a heavy lift.
But it's been heavy before, and you've come through every time.
So, here's the idea:
If you donate $17, or $170, or $10, or $50 -- whatever you can afford to donate -- by midnight tonight, we'll e-mail to you tomorrow a signed one pager listing the 17 traditions.
You can share it with your friends and family.
Or just stick it in your drawer for posterity's sake.
If you donate $100 now, we will send you a copy of the 150-page hard cover edition of The Seventeen Traditions -- my favorite book.
And I'll autograph it.
In my humble opinion, this book makes a wonderful present -- for the upcoming holidays, as a wedding present, birthday present, Mother's Day present, or for a baby shower. (This Seventeen Traditions book offer expires on October 12, 2008 at 11:59 p.m.)
So, stock up now.
The more the merrier.
The proceeds will power our campaign during this momentous October.
Thank you again for your generous support.
Together, we are making a difference.
Onward to November
Thursday night, Governor Sarah Palin and Senator Joe Biden debated. The John McCain - Sarah Palin campaign issued this statement regarding the debate:
Statement From Communications Director Jill Hazelbaker
ARLINGTON, VA -- McCain-Palin 2008 Communications Director Jill Hazelbaker issued the following statement on tonight's Vice Presidential Debate:
The McCain - Palin campaign also quotes Geraldine Ferraro, the first women to make the ticket of one of the country's two major parties (1984, the Democratic ticket of Mondale - Ferraro). Ferraro stated on NBC: "I really wanted her to get up there and do a good job, and I think she did. . . . I think it was a good evening for -- certainly for Governor Palin. . . . . I think she showed she is certainly capable of going toe to toe with a man who is more than qualified to be vice president, if not president of the United States."
Quickly, TV notes, NOW on PBS offers a look at New Mexico which is seen as a battleground state in the 2008 election and speak to various voting groups as well as to Governor Bill Richardson. Washington Week finds Gwen sitting around the table with four journalists including the AP's Charles Babington. (And for others, 'journalists' is being generous.) In a book note, independent journalist David Bacon's latest book is Illegal People -- How Globalization Creates Migration and Criminalizes Immigrants (Beacon Press) which came out last month. The Oakland Institute notes: "Since NAFTA's passage in 1993, the U.S. Congress has debated and passed several new trade agreements - with Peru, Jordan, Chile, and the Central American Free Trade Agreement. At the same time it has debated immigration policy as though those trade agreements bore no relationship to the waves of displaced people migrating to the U.S., looking for work. Meanwhile, a rising tide of anti-immigrant hysteria has increasingly demonized those migrants, leading to measures that deny them jobs, rights, or any pretense of equality with people living in the communities around them. To resolve any of these dilemmas, from adopting rational and humane immigration policies to reducing the fear and hostility towards migrants, Uprooted: The Impact of Free Market on Migrants, a new Backgrounder from the Oakland Institute, suggests the starting point has be an examination of the way U.S. policies have both produced migration and criminalized migrants."
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