Thursday, October 16, 2008

Now he's concerned? Now?

Today the US military announced: "A Multi-National Corps - Iraq Soldier died of non-battle related causes at approximately 10 p.m. Oct. 15 in Baghdad." And they announced, "A Coalition force Soldier was killed in an indirect fire attack Oct. 16 in Diyala."  The announcements bring to 4185 the number of US service members killed in Iraq since the start of the illegal war.
Yesterday the Republican and the Democratic presidential candidate were invited to a debate that barred all other presidential candidates.  Barack Obama, Democratic candidate, and John McCain took part in a debate hosted by CBS News' Bob Schieffer -- here for transcript (and video), here for Katherine Q. Seelye's live blogging at the New York Times.  Among the issues Schieffer probed was abortion.  For those who've forgotten, Barack always knew he could use sexism throughout the primary because he had the club of "What will happen to Roe!"  He knew -- or thought he did -- that women would have to flock to him -- like a battered wife to an abuser? -- because they had no where else to go.  Mike caught the moment, "Mainly we got to see Barack was even more right-wing than we knew as he talked about 'partial-birth abortions' and said he wanted to end late-term abortions (except for health!). Except for health? He's already made clear what he thinks about that. So he's going to chip away at abortion rights the same way the Supreme Court has. Barack's apparently pro-life on the installment plan. He'll do away with Roe bit by bit if elected. There's no Democrat in the presidential race, sadly."  Madamab (The Confluence) also points to Barack's embarrassing answer, "Didja catch that, ladies? First the veiled threat about Roe v. Wade, which events in the past eight years have proven to be fearmongering of the most despicable type. Then, Obama assumes that before making a decision about our own bodies and our own babies, we naturally "consult with" an entire committee of people. Does he actually know anyone who's had to deal with this choice? (At least he has finally realized that some women are not Christian! Mr. Sensitivity has substituted the words 'religious advisers' for the more exclusive word 'pastors.') It never occurs to Senator Obama that women can make these decisions without "consulting with" anyone. It never occurs to Senator Obama that some women would not dream of going to any religious figures to ask whether or not to get an abortion, because some women are atheists or agnostic, or know that their 'religious advisors' would not support them in their decision. (DUUUUHHHH.) And it never occurs to Senator Obama that some women are pregnant BY members of their families, and that going to their families would be the LAST thing they would do in that case. Anyone who is at all familiar with the attempts by the religious right to try to force women to get the consent of their parents before getting an abortion, would be aware of that fact. (Double DUUUUUHHHHHH.)"  Heidi Li (Heidi Li's Potpourri) wonders why Barack refuses to make support for Roe v. Wade a litmus test when appointing Supreme Court justices if he's elected: "What does matter is that Senator Obama, whose party is committed to upholding Roe, refused to commit to treating that as a make or break issue when it would come to his judicial appointments.  And another thing: why does Senator Obama think that women need to consult with doctors, families, and religious advisers when deciding what to do with their own bodies?  I have no objection to anybody consulting with anybody about any decision, but Senator Obama's committee of consultants approach suggests that once again he misses the point when it comes to women's empowerment."  Lambert (Corrente) explains, "Either the woman is in the 'best position,' or a sort of committee, composed of the woman (indeed, we've come a long way), her family, and various religious and medical experts is in the 'best position.'  Why would Obama believe that a committee is in the 'best position' instead of the woman herself?"
Another exchange was focused on by Cedric and Wally (joint-post) and by Kat.  This was when Barack refused to call out his supporters wearing t-shirts proclaiming Governor Sarah Palin was a c**nt or yelling to "stone her, old style."  Instead Barack elected to lie.  In fact, it was the Tawana Brawley campaign tactic.  Play Barack as the victim and drive up the sympathy factor.  Barack yammered on in that annoying uh way of uh his and at some point declared "all the Republican reports indicated were shouting, when my name came up, things like 'terrorist' and 'kill him' . . ."  As Ava and I noted Sunday, " Based on one report (in The Washington Post), Goody tried to tease out a story of Governor Sarah Palin speaking to a crowd that yelled 'Kill him!' about Barack Obama. That didn't happen and your first clue is that only one outlet covering the speech mentioned it. Your second clue came when the Secret Service investigated the paper's allegation and found no evidence to support it."  Eileen Sullivan's "Secret Service looking into Obama threat at rally" (Associated Press) reported yesterday, "Last week, The Washington Post reported a similar incident during a Palin rally in Clearwater, Fla. The Secret service investigated that allegation and found no indication that 'kill him' was ever said, or if it was said, that the remark was directed at Obama.  Listening to tapes of that rally, the Secret Service heard 'tell him' or 'tell them,' but agents never heard 'kill him,' Secret Service spokesman Eric Zahren told The Associated Press on Wednesday."  Sullivan also noted a media claim that it had taken place in Scranton and that the Secret Service was now investigating.  Gqmartinez (Corrente) wonders, "Are we going to trivialize death threats the same way we trivialized racism? If Obama does win and we disagree with his policies, are we going to be called racists or, worse, be implicated in plots against him? Death threats are real and, in my view, very serious. Throwing out unfounded allegations to tarnish the opposition is not only a disgusting tactics, but it takes away focus from the real threats that may be out there."  And Gqmartinez highlights Andrew M. Seder's "Secret Service says 'Kill him' allegation unfounded" (Scranton Times-Leader).  Seder advises that the Scranton Times-Tribune reported that 'kill him' was cried "while congressional candidate Chris Hackett was addressing the crowd"; however, "[t]he agent in charge of the Secret Service field office in Scranton said allegations that someone yelled 'kill him' when presidential hopeful Barack Obama's name was mentioned during Tuesday's Sarah Palin rally are unfounded."  Seder goes not to note the way various outlets began 'reporting' it after the Times-Tribune's error. (Language Warning) Joseph (Cannonfire) also notes the Times-Leader article and compiles the threats against Hillary Clinton before wondering, "The disgusting behavior of the Obama culstists should have been an issue of national discussion -- and would have been, had the media deigned to cover the story. Why didn't they?"  So let's review.  Two published reports of one person yelling "kill him" and two investigations that found no proof of the claim.  But it sure was a nice talking point for Barack last night.  Ruth pointed out the best moment in the debate, when John McCain declared, "Senator Obama, I am not President Bush.  If you want to run against President Bush, you should have done it four years ago."
Elaine focused on Barack's refusal to answer the question regarding mandates (a mandate does mean those not in compliance will be penalized and that's generally a fine but maybe it's jail time as well?  Barack was happy to insist to Tim Russert that Hillary would fine because she had a mandate but he never wants anyone pointing out that his health care for children is mandated as well).  Rebecca called the debate for McCain and noted how the forum was not to Barack's benefit.  (For the perfect example of that, watch or read The CBS Evening News with Katie Couric's "Candidates Discuss Why Politicians Cheat" -- and those dependent upon the transcript should know it is very kind to Barack, leaving out all his uh-uh-uhs.)
Still on the topic of the debates, Ralph Nader is the independent presidential candidate and his campaign issued the following which provides perspective on Barack's claims during last night's debate:
Well, on three key issues last night -- energy, health insurance, corporate crime -- Obama stood with the corporations against the interests of the American people. 
Compare Nader to Obama. 
Last night, McCain challenged Obama. 
Tell me one time you have stood up to the leaders of your party, McCain said. 
Obama couldn't name one time when he stood up to the corporations that control his party. 
So, instead he named a couple of times when he stood with the corporations. 
And against the interests of the American people. 
I voted for tort reform, Obama said.  
Brave of you Barack.  
You stood with the National Association of Manufacturers against injured people. 
I support clean coal technology, Obama said. 
Wow Barack, you stood with the polluting coal industry against people who suffer the consequences. 
When McCain accused Obama of supporting a single payer, Canadian style national health insurance system, Obama said he didn't.  
And he doesn't. 
Despite the fact that a majority of doctors, nurses and the American people want it.
On national health insurance, Obama stands with the insurance industry and against the American people who are demanding single payer.  
Over 5,000 U.S. physicians have signed an open letter calling on the candidates for president and Congress "to stand up for the health of the American people and implement a nonprofit, single-payer national health insurance system." (Here's the ad that ran in the New Yorker magazine.) 
Obama says no. 
McCain says no. 
Nader/Gonzalez says yes. 
Yes to single payer. 
Yes to solar and no to coal. 
Yes to protecting the American people from corporate recklessness and crime, no to tort deform. 
But that is right on the issues. 
Today, while Obama fronts for his corporate donors, Ralph Nader, Matt Gonzalez and the Nader Team will be on Wall Street protesting corporate America's sustained orgy of excess and reckless behavior. 
Nader/Gonzalez continues to stand with the people. 
Against the corporate criminals and their candidates in the two major parties.
Onward to November. 
Shorter version, via Mike, "There's no Democrat in the presidential race, sadly."  . . .  Commenting on the exclusion of Cynthia McKinney (the only female presidential candidate this year), Kimberly Wilder (On The Wilder Side) noted, "This year, one of the pre-debate educational events at Hofstra University in Long Island will include a historical re-enactment presentation entitled 'Women's Rights: Conflicts and Schisms', which will include the character of Victoria Woodhull.  Though, would Victoria Victoria Woodhull, a third party presidential candidate, have been allowed to participate in the Presidential Debates at Hofstra?  If Victoria Woodhull was excluded -- as modern, woman presidnetial candidate Cynthia McKinney is slated to be -- what would Victoria Woodhull have done?"  And, of course, Cynthia was excluded last night.  File it under hypocrisy and see Marcia's post on hypocrisy in the 2008 election.
"John McCain won tonight's debate with strong, clear straight talk about setting a new direction for our country and fighting for working families. He outlined a specific, bold plan for creating jobs, helping those near retirement, keeping people in their homes, curbing spending, lowering health care costs and achieving energy independence. He vowed to fight for 'Joe the Plumber' every day he is President and he affirmed his belief that we shouldn't raise taxes just to 'spread the wealth.' While Barack Obama is measuring the drapes and campaigning against a man not even on the ballot, John McCain demonstrated that he has the experience, judgment, independence and courage to fight for every American."

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