CELEBRITY IN CHIEF BARRY O AND HIS SPOUSE SHE-HULK NEVER LOOK LESS NORMAL THEN WHEN THEY ATTEMPT TO PLAY REGULAR FOLKS.
SHE-HULK AND GWEN STEFANI CO-HOSTED A FUNDRAISER SUNDAY AND SINCE SHE-HULK IS NOT A SINGER, ONLOOKERS WERE LEFT TO DRAW OTHER COMPARISONS. A STAGGERING NICOLE RICHIE TOLD THESE REPORTERS BEFORE FALLING TO THE GROUND, "I GUESS THEY'RE SAYING SHE-HULK'S A BEARD TODAY. YOU KNOW LIKE HOW WE ALL KNOW GWEN'S HUSBAND SUCKS COCK BUT WE PRETEND LIKE WE DON'T? LIKE WE ALL DON'T KNOW GAVIN HAD A HOT AND HEAVY AFFAIR WITH CROSS DRESSER MARILYN BEFORE HE MARRIED GWEN? LIKE BOY GEORGE HAS SPENT EVERY YEAR OF GWEN'S MARRIAGE GIGGLING TO THE PRESS ABOUT HOW GAVIN IS GAY? SO I GUESS WE'RE SUPPOSED TO CONCLUDE THAT THE LADIES RELATE ON THAT AND BARRY O IS GAY TOO. IF HE'S BLOWING GUYS AS WELL THAT WOULD EXPLAIN ALL THOSE DEEP LINES AROUND HIS MOUTH."
MEANWHILE BARRY O WENT TO IOWA WHERE HE WAS PHOTOGRAPHED WITH TOM VILSACK AND DECLARED THAT THE GOVERNMENT WOULD BE SPENDING MILLIONS HELPING FARMERS BY BUYING MEAT. AND THE PROBLEM?
WHEN YOU SAY "MEAT" TO MOST AMERICANS, WHAT COMES TO MIND?
THAT'S RIGHT: BEEF.
BARRY O HAS A 'MEAT' PROGRAM THAT EXCLUDES BEEF. ONLY THE MR. SPOCK OF POLITICS COULD BE SO DETACHED THAT HE WOULDN'T CATCH THAT. MAYBE BARRY O CAN HANG OUT WITH GAVIN ROSSDALE WHO CAN TEACH HIM ALL ABOUT MEAT.
FROM THE TCI WIRE:
Moving over to the US where Bradley Manning's court-martial is scheduled to begin September 21st. Monday April 5, 2010, WikiLeaks released US military video of a July 12, 2007 assault in Iraq. 12 people were killed in the assault including two Reuters journalists Namie Noor-Eldeen and Saeed Chmagh. Monday June 7, 2010, the US military announced that they had arrested Bradley Manning and he stood accused of being the leaker of the video. Leila Fadel (Washington Post) reported in August 2010 that Manning had been charged -- "two charges under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. The first encompasses four counts of violating Army regulations by transferring classified information to his personal computer between November and May and adding unauthorized software to a classified computer system. The second comprises eight counts of violating federal laws governing the handling of classified information." In March, 2011, David S. Cloud (Los Angeles Times) reported that the military has added 22 additional counts to the charges including one that could be seen as "aiding the enemy" which could result in the death penalty if convicted. The Article 32 hearing took place in December. At the start of this year, there was an Article 32 hearing and, February 3rd, it was announced that the government would be moving forward with a court-martial. Bradley has yet to enter a plea and has neither affirmed that he is the leaker nor denied it.
Bradley has been locked away for "805 days as of last week," as noted on this week's Law and Disorder Radio, an hour long program that airs Monday mornings at 9:00 a.m. EST on WBAI and around the country throughout the week, hosted by attorneys Heidi Boghosian, Michael S. Smith and Michael Ratner (Center for Constitutional Rights) . Their guest this week was attorney and author Chase Madar. Excerpt.
Michael Smith: Chase, start with Manning joining the military and bring us up to date to the point where he got arrested.
Chase Madar: Okay, so Bradley Manning enlisted in the US Army in October 2007. He's deployed to Iraq after all kinds of training in Army intelligence in October 2009. He allegedly begins leaking things in early 2010 and he is arrested in late May 2010, over two years ago now. He was held in solitary confinement, in very strict, punative isolation at Quantico Marine Corps Base in Virginia from July 29, 2010 'till April 2011 -- almost nine months in pre-trial isolation. And that was against the medical advice of the brig's psychiatrist. And that was against the advice of an independent psychiatrist who was called in to examine Manning. He was transferred -- in large part, due to international pressure -- to Fort Leavenworth where he's in the medium-security population of that military brig in April 2011 and he's been held there for over a year. His court-martial will probably not start until January. So we're looking at two-and-a-half years of pre-trial confinement. That's very problematic. The first nine months of that was in a very harsh, punative and very gratuitous solitary confinement. I think solitary confinement is gratuitous just about all the time but in this case it was especially nasty.
Michael Smith: The material that Bradley Manning leaked has been characterized as just bombshell material. Can you go over just some of that material with us so our audience gets an idea of the significance of the information that came to light because of Bradley Manning?
Chase Madar: You could divide up the WikiLeaks leaks allegedly supplied by Bradley Manning in about three categories. First, you have the Iraq material. And I think the most viral and most sensational document from that is the Collateral Murder so-called video -- the gun site video shot from the gun site of an Apache warship about a mile and a half up in the sky over the Baghdad suburb of New Baghdad, from July 2007. And you can see through that gunsite video, these Apache helicopters opening fire on a crowd of mostley civilians [. . . I am editing out an assertion he makes as fact that cannot be proven as fact, it's not in the video]. And that is just a very stark and very shocking look at what this war has been like for many people. No one would say that that's the whole story but that's a large part of the story and it's important that we all see that. There are also thousands of war logs -- these are SIGACT reports, very raw reports from the field in Iraq, filed by soldiers, about individual incidents. And you get this great moasic portrait of a war going terribly in Iraq. You have a similar set of documents for the Afghan War -- the Afghan War Logs -- which are full of tales of night raids gone wrong, of checkpoints gone wrong and civilians getting killed, of small bases getting built and then abandoned. It's also a composite portrait of a war that is weirdly aimless, unsure of any real mission and not going very well at all.
Michael Smith: When you describe what Bradley Manning leaked -- first with respect to Iraq and then Afghanistan -- it was reminiscent to my mind of what Daniel Ellsberg did with the Pentagon Papers. Had you thought of those comparisons?
Chase Madar: Absolutely and a comparsion to Daniel Ellsberg's famous mega-leak, the Pentagon Papers is a very instructive way to look at Bradley Manning's alleged leaks -- both in the content and in their reception. You see a great deal of difference in how they've been received because Ellsberg is now seen as a national treasure, the State Dept circulates a video worldwide, a documentary about Ellsberg and what a hero he is. But there is not that kind of warm feeling even among most Democratic Party oriented party intellectuals and media for Bradley Manning. And even many of the same people who supported Dan Ellsberg back in the day, say Norman Dorsen, a former ACLU stalwart, are eager to condemn Bradley Manning. I think there's a real generation gap there. I think it has to do with also the fact that these wars don't have the same sense of urgency despite their near total failure for our intellectual class -- in a large part because there isn't a draft anymore and with our all volunteer army, our intellectual class, whether in the media, the law schools, the non-profits, just doesn't have much skin in the game and therefore although they welcomed Ellsberg's leaks, Manning they are quite happy to marginalize and just dismiss as a malcontent and a wierdo and a saboteur when he is really nothing of the kind.
Heidi Boghosian: Many of us were disappointed because Obama came into office pledging to do more to protect whistle blowers and yet his administration has gone after more whistle blowers than any other. Why do you think that disconnect?
Chase Madar: Well it's-it's a huge disappointment, what you're saying, that Obama did campaign as the whistle blower's best friend and he has prosecuted more than twice, no, twice as many as all previous administrations combined using the Espionage Act of 1917 which was never intended as an official secrets act to begin with but there you have it. Why is he doing this? What does he have to gain. Here's one theory that I find very persuasive [. . .]
Heaven help us all.
It makes no difference if Barack prosecutes more because it helps him get off sexually or because it he thinks it'll make it rain. It doesn't matter why. It matters that he does it.
Quit making excuses for him.
By its very nature, the intellecutal class wasn't in threat of being drafted during Vietnam. If you were an intellectual, you were studying or teaching in academia. Therefore, you weren't at risk of being drafted -- look at Dick Cheney's college deferments. The poor were the ones at risk of being drafted. They could try for marriage and child deferments. But the reality is that during that time period if you were going to Yale you weren't getting drafted unless you wanted to. It just didn't happen. There is the mythical story -- and it's told, not surprisingly, by a lot of White men -- about the draft and how it would save us from wars. That's b.s. The draft did not end the war in Korea, it did not end the one in Vietnam.
And this lie needs to stop.
Heidi gave him a chance to get to the truth with her question but he didn't want to take it. What's the difference between Daniel Ellsberg and Bradley Manning. If you set aside that Bradley was active duty and serving while Daniel was working in the civilian world, the only real difference boils down to the White House occupant. Daniel was up against the low class and ridiculed Richard Nixon. (I loathe Richard Nixon, I'm not excusing him in this.) Whereas Bradley's up against the media crush Barack Obama.
I love Barbra but she's not an intellectual or of the intellectual class. I don't say that to imply that she's stupid. She's a very smart woman and far smarter than the bulk of the intellectuals. But Barbra won't do a damn thing for Bradley. She fund raised for Daniel. She answered phones for Daniel. She sang requests over the phone for Daniel. She won't do a damn thing for Bradley Manning.
Why is that?
Because Barbra won't ever do anything that might look bad for a Democratic Party president. And I'm not mocking her for it. That's who she is and who she always was. Cut her and DNC pours out of her veins. She could support Daniel because of the fact that Richard Nixon was a Republican.
People like Barbra don't bother me. It's the ones to the left of Barbra that do. The ones who insist -- when a Republican's in office -- that they'd call out anyone who does what ___ [whatever Republican] does. And then a Democrat gets in office and these same people won't even say "Boo!"
Bradley can't be blamed on Bush. The leak takes place when Barack's in the White House. The arrest takes place when Barack's in the White House. The imprisonment takes place when Barack's in the White House. The person prosecuting Bradley -- hell, he's already pronounced Brad guilty -- is Barack Obama.
You can be as stupid and ridiculous as Chase Madar. You can sound as stupid as he does -- and he does sound stupid since his speaking voice sounds like that of the late Phil Hartman voicing Troy McClure (The Simpsons). But unless you want to bed down and wallow in stupidity, lose the red herrings. It's got nothing to do with the draft. It has to do with people like Chase Madar who can't call out Barack. Grown adults who are too willing to lie to themselves. If it weren't for Barack, Brad would be free right now. Barack has that power. He won't use it.
There's one reason and only one reason that Bradley's behind bars right now: Barack Obama.
Turning to the US presidential election, there's some news today. We'll note this from US House Rep Carolyn Maloney's office:
New York -- Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) applauded the announcement by the Commission on Presidential Debates that Candy Crowley, the widely respected political journalist and anchor of "State of the Union" on the Cable News Network (CNN), to serve as the moderator of the presidential debate taking place in Hempstead, New York on October 16, 2012. Crowley is the first woman reporter to moderate a presidential debate since Carole Simpson of ABC News in 1992. Today's announcement followed a movement to urge the Commission to select a female moderator, which included an on-line petition drive organized by high school students in New Jersey and a joint letter from several Members of Congress to the Commission that was initiated by Congresswoman Maloney.
"Candy Crowley is an eminently qualified veteran reporter and interviewer, and I am thrilled that the Commission on Presidential Debates has selected her as a moderator. I think it's entirely appropriate that she'll be moderating the debate taking place in New York State, the birthplace of the movement for equality for American women," said Congresswoman Maloney, a former Co-Chair of the Congressional Caucus on Women's Issues.
"I was proud to champion the grass-roots effort to refocus the spotlight on the glaring lack of female moderators in the last four elections, which was launched this year by three young women from Montclair, New Jersey -- Emma Axelrod, Sammi Siegel, and Elena Tsemberis. Their grass roots efforts show how democracy can work if everyone uses their voice and their vote to make things better. Their drive and determination bring to mind the famous saying attributed to Margaret Mead: 'Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world,'" said Representative Maloney.
In their joint letter to the Commission, U.S. Representatives Maloney, Barbara Lee (D-CA), Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) wrote "to urge to the Commission on Presidential Debates to select at least one woman as moderator for the Presidential debates this year," and that "it defies reason to believe that there has been no woman with the gravitas to moderate a Presidential debate in the last twenty years."
Four women make up two presidential tickets this year: Jill Stein has the Green Party's presidential nomination and her running mate is Cheri Honkala and Roseanne Barr has the nomination of the Peace and Freedom Party and her running mate is Cindy Sheehan. Also on the presidential news front, over the weekend Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney made an announcement, as Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "The New VP Candidate" notes, he picked US House Rep Paul Ryan to be his running mate.
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