Saturday, December 29, 2007

Zucchini Farfalle

I did a very brief post on Christmas ("My oven doesn't work!") that a few wanted to add to or had questions. If you haven't read it, you just need to know a woman's oven went out after guests had arrived and two hours before the meal was supposed to begin.

Rita wanted everyone to know that it happens, "Please tell that woman that if you cook long enough, you'll realize it's just one of those things. I am sure all her guests understood but if anyone didn't, they just haven't lived long enough." Anna shared it happened to here in 2002 and she's still "highly embarrassed but I can laugh about it now." Monty said, "I'm sure it turned out to be a wonderful Christmas meal and drove home to those who showed up without anything just how much work goes into producing a spread." Theresa wondered about the issue of a microwave and that would be my fault if I wasn't clear, the woman didn't have a microwave. She had a stove top and and a toaster oven. (She also had a crock pot but that wasn't going to be of any help when she was trying to finish the cooking quickly.) Sarah "just wants to know if she made it through okay?"

Yes. She e-mailed yesterday to note that, "It wasn't the meal I planned but it did turn out okay." And that's really all cooking ever is. You can plan in great detail ahead of time but something will always pop up. A handle falls off a pot, you thought you had more salt then it turns out you did, turns out you didn't have the item you told yourself in the store you had at home, you picked up semi-sweet chocolate and the recipe calls for sweet, the serving dish you were so eager to use has a crack in it . . . You just adapt the best you can.

I'm sure there are a few fortunate souls for whom the sun always shines and it never rains, but for most of us, we're making do with whatever's thrown at us at the last minute. And that's just life.

Having been made aware of how many do use canned goods (I do as well) this year and how it appeared I was insulting them (I wasn't and my apologies to anyone who took that way), I have been attempting to think of a quick, easy recipe. I've found a canned good that I think makes for the basis of a quick and easy meal. I've adapted it for four people (I never have only four people eating at my table but that seems to be the most common).

Zucchini Farfalle
Two cans of Del Monte's Fresh Cut Zucchini
1 16 ounce bag of dry farfalle
Parmesan cheese
1 clove of garlic, sliced

As part of their "Specialties" series, Del Monte has "Fresh Cut Zucchini with Italian Style Tomato Sauce" in a 14 1/2 ounce can. It's currently my favorite canned good. You'll need two of these. Empty the contents of two cans into a sauce pan and add a clove of garlic (sliced) for flavor. If you don't have fresh garlic on hand, you can sprinkle with garlic powder. While you heat the contents of the sauce pan, boil a large pot of water. I salt my water for pasta or else add olive oil depending upon my mood. Salt supposedly allows the sauce to stick better while olive oil adds to the taste (the two cancel each other out, so I use one or the other). Add farfalle once the water boils and cook according to package directions. Farfalle is a past what resembles bow ties. You can use whatever pasta you like or have on hand. I think it works better with a short pasta but that's just my preference. You can use a long, stranded pasta if you prefer. Serve the pasta on a plate hot (meaning use hot water in the rinsing process after cooking the pasta and not cold water), ladel sauce on top of each plate of pasta and then sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. If you have another cheese on hand, feel free to use it instead.

Serve it with bread and you've got a simple, easy meal in less than a half hour. If you're throwing this together at the last minute, you can toast slice bread to serve with it. When I only have sliced bread on hand, I generally melt some butter with some grated garlic or garlic power and put that on the toast.

Monty also wrote that she's voting for Dennis Kucinich in the primaries (hers will take place on "Super Duper Tuesday") and she wishes it was already here because she's so sick of the "spectacle" and the lack of serious attention to Iraq.

She says she's preparing herself for the fact that he may not win the nomination but hoping everyone votes for who speaks for them and not just who they think is electable. She had a question that I'll answer in a moment but she wanted to share that she holds "The Nation magazine responsible for the uphill battle Dennis is fighting. If they'd covered him the way they have War Hawk Obama, he would stand a better chance of winning. I find Obama disgusting and pandering and my husband and I are not renewing our subscription to the magazine. It's gone from a political weekly to an Obama fan club bulletin. It seems like every time I turned around, there he was on the cover. He does not stand for their stated beliefs and to see them spend so much time salivating over him, so much time ripping apart Hillary and so little time even mentioning Dennis has turned me against the magazine forever. I do not remember the last primary cycle being this bad."

In our home, we stopped reading the rag when it was obvious 2007 was about nothing except the primaries and, specifically, Obama. I heard about a mailing that we haven't received yet where Victor Navasky asks former subscribers to come back. He doesn't put it that way, he just offers a trial subscription and stresses the magazine's allegedly strong points. But the mailing is going out (in e-mail and snail) to former subscribers. I would assume that circulation has continued to drop because I doubt there are enough groupies to support a magazine dedicated to Loving Bambi.

At Christmas dinner, one of my nephews stated he was supporting Obama because he was "really a socialist." I am aware that the faux left has been putting out the "stealth socialist" lie for months now. (And I wouldn't be surprised if feather brains like Katrina vanden Heuvel believe it.) That might have played at a faux left dinner but the bulk of my relatives (by birth) are socialists. The joke on the others (such as myself) is that we're Democrats because we're too lazy to be socialists. So that rumor landed at the wrong house on Christmas day. My father, who had heard the rumor for weeks and laughed at how "stupid" so many on the left are, quickly walked my nephew through the facts on how Obama wasn't a socialist and how, in previous election cycles, candidates have been sold on that before causing people to waste their votes on candidates who weren't left and triangulated their way through their time in office.

Nothing in Bambi's sleight record indicates a support for liberal, let alone socialist, beliefs. We talk politics at the table and always have. My father was not attempting to convince his great-grandson not to support Obama, he just wanted to get across that it's never been helpful for anyone when we vote based on rumors as opposed to records. He used a number of illustrations such as the people who voted for Bully Boy in 2000 telling themselves he was a 'compassionate Christian' or that he had to pander to the base but wasn't really like that. Bully Boy's record in Texas ended up being his record in DC: a lot of vacations and real damage when he actually did some work. In 1992, people told themselves that Bill Clinton was more left than he was campaigning as and that Clinton had to campaign that way to get the nomination and, later, to win the election. Clinton's mixed record as governor ended up being not significantly different from his mixed record as president.

Bambi's supported by a number of imperialists and one group will probably be mentioned in Ava and C.I.'s upcoming TV commentary tomorrow at The Third Estate Sunday Review.

In the snapshot I will be reposting at the end of my post, C.I. addresses the realities about Barack Obama and the illegal war. When you read that (and use the links if it comes as a shock to you), grasp that The Nation has LIED repeatedly. I would include disappointment with Democracy Now! as well as The Nation. It's not become campaign central but it has repeatedly pushed Obama all year. It finds whatever alleged zinger Bambi's delivered to Hillary and quotes it repeatedly (twice in Friday's broadcast) or shows the clip. But no one 'zings' Bambi. Amy Goodman has refused to explore -- and remember Democracy Now! bills itself as "the war and peace report" -- the stands on the war of the candidates which allows the zingers and 'testimonials' from Bambi supporters to imply that Bambi is against the illegal war.

He's a craven and corrupt politician and if you didn't live through the inflated 'scandal' of Whitewater you might not think about the fact that his friend is under indictment or that said friend and Bambi had a little land deal. If the press could spend years on the non-scandal of Whitewater, you better believe they'll go after the parcel 'gift' from a friend under indictment for attempting to buy influence with politicians.

I'm going to be focusing on his campaign homophobia in a minute but there are a number of issues that are not being addressed and he's gotten a huge pass from The Nation, from Democracy Now! and others. On my own end, my son may forgive a left writer who promoted Bambi for screaming at him (Mike) in an e-mail; however, I do not. And if you want to claim in an e-mail to my son that you don't support Bambi, then stop schilling for him on TV. If you want to say you would never support Bambi, say it in your public writing or in your TV appearances. Don't scream at my son for quoting you (quoting you correctly). It wasn't Mike's fault that you endorsed Bambi by comparing him to a legend. In fact, you're a cowardly man because you wanted to play the game in public of Rah-rah-Bambi and when Mike noted your quote in passing and that it was a little disappointing coming from you, instead of griping to my son for what you DID SAY on Democracy Now!, you should have taken your e-mail and turned it into a column. You supported Bambi publicly on TV.

Yes, it's hard when Koo Koo Katrina controls who gets this or that grant. But a kiss-ass it just a kiss-ass and that's all you are now in my opinion. My son may have forgiven you, but I never will because you insist you don't support Obama but, on TV and radio, you supported him. You never corrected that and you're just a liar. You cheapened your own name to play the game. It doesn't make you a 'brave' voice, it makes you a kiss-ass and that's all you'll ever be.

When I was a little girl -- years and years ago -- there were some kids who wouldn't play with me because my father was a socialist. They confused socialism and communism. And my parents would always tell me that people like that weren't worth knowing. By the same token, 'radicals' that have provided cover to Barack Obama aren't worth knowing. Mike was really upset by those e-mails and my father read over them because (a) Mike was hurt by them and (b) Mike really values his grandfather's opinion. He told Mike it reminded him of a communist who tried to get him (my father) kicked out of the union in the fifties. The communist was saving his own ass because everyone knew the man was a communist from way back and the red scare had hit even our liberal area. So the man passed himself off as a Democrat and began pointing to my father (who never made a secret out of the fact that he was a socialist). My father never defended himself by outing the communist. That would have been easy to do. He could have pointed out that "the barking dog" was barking so loudly to cover his own beliefs. He suffered a little because of it but he never lied about who he was. While he feels sorry for that man, I don't. I drove by his funeral in the 90s and watched with amusement as the man was lowered into the ground with only two people present (none of which were his children). He tried to save his own ass by destroying my father and I never forget that or forgive it. And I hope the man screaming at my son in e-mails meets the same fate. I think fakes and phonies do the most damage in the world.

In terms of this community, my son's the only one who will ever highlight that man. Like my father, my son's trying to be the bigger person. The rest of us don't have to and if you think I'm angry about the fake's nonsense, you should hear Wally or C.I. talk about it.

Turning to homophobia, what is Southern Voice? Allegedly, it's a gay news publication and they run the following:

Six Democratic presidential hopefuls made history -- and headlines -- when they joined in an Aug. 9 forum broadcast live on gay cable channel Logo. The event, sponsored by the Human Rights Campaign, drew some criticism from its format of having the candidates appear separately to answer questions from a panel comprised of HRC President Joe Solmonese, lesbian rocker Melissa Etheridge, and journalists Jonathan Capehart and Margaret Carlson.
Longshot candidates Mike Gravel and Dennis Kucinich offered the most ringing endorsements of gay rights, both backing full marriage for gay couples. The event featured plenty of platitudes from leading candidates Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards about why they support "equality," while backing civil unions but not gay marriage, and also a few cringe-inducing moments, such as New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson saying that homosexuality is "a choice" in response to what should have been a softball question from Etheridge.
But it also proved how far the fight for gay rights has come in just a few years, as all of the candidates supported overturning "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," banning job discrimination, and allowing some form of legal recognition for gay couples — positions that remain untenable for their GOP counterparts even today.

What a load of bunk and, since they're geared to gay readers, what a sham. They go on to call out the GOP but neglect to tell their readers that one candidate openly put known homophobes on stage at a campaign event and allowed homophobia to pour down from the stage: Barack Obama in South Carolina. Here's Larry C. Johnson in "Remember Punjab-Gate, Homophobia-Gate, Wasted-Lives-Gate?" (Atlanta Free Press):

Homophobia-Gate: From Radio Left blog's, "Senator Barack Obama, Tarnished Angel," November 3, 2007:
Obama organized a series of gospel concerts for black evangelicals in South Carolina. The objective was to bring them into the Obama for President camp.
Donnie McClurkin, a black gospel singer who claims to be cured of his homosexuality through Jesus Christ, headlined the events. (To see Mr McClurkin prance around the stage, you would never guess he had gone back into the closet.) When challenged about McClurkin by LGBT and civil rights groups, Senator Obama ignored the concerns and not only kept McClurkin on the program, but allowed him to talk to the audience from the stage. Mr. McClurkin, as would be expected, told them that homosexuality is a sin and he had been cured through prayer.
Senator Obama apologized, and hired a gay evangelist to appear at later concerts in the series.
Totally necessary Senator Obama made a mistake that demonstrates his lack of experience -- a primary concern about his candidacy. Worse, it was totally unnecessary. He could have allowed McClurkin to sing, but not make a speech. He could have engaged another gospel singer who doesn't have McClurkin's baggage. McClurkin's comments and McClurkin himself were not a requirement for Obama to successfully reach out to black evangelicals. To me, that is the saddest and most hurtful aspect of the entire affair.
Barack Obama owes that audience an apology for subjecting them to Donnie McClurkin's diatribe against gays.
So, far all Obama has done is make an incomplete apology and step into it again.

This is from Don Frederick's "Obama's link to gospel singer sparks controversy" (Los Angeles Times) this month:

Barack Obama is drawing fire for including Donnie McClurkin, a Grammy-winning gospel singer who has crusaded against homosexuality, on a concert and political tour that the Democratic presidential candidate will launch in South Carolina later this week.
Commentator Earl Ofari Hutchinson, author of "A Colored Man's Journey Through 20th Century Segregated America" and several other books that examine race relations,
posted a blog over the weekend calling on Obama to "cancel and repudiate" the tour -- "and do it now" -- because of McClurkin. Hutchinson terms the singer a "notorious gay basher" and charged that Obama "ripped a page from the Bush campaign playbook" by traveling with him.

And let's be really clear that he didn't just put one homophobe on stage. A friend asks why C.I. always notes "homophobes" and then citex McClurkin (who campaigned for Bully Boy in 2004 and took to the stage at the GOP convention that year)? Because Obama had a host of homophobes on the stage. Kevin Alexander Gray and Marshall Derks explained it last month:

Oddly, Obama threw a premature haymaker but it wasn't aimed at Clinton. The target was the GLBT community. Obama's wild swing involved having four of the most abrasively anti-gay gospel singers represent his campaign on his "Embrace the Courage" gospel music tour in South Carolina. The gay bashing headliners included Reverends Donnie McClurkin and Hezekiah Walker, Pentecostal pastor of Brooklyn mega-church, the Love Fellowship Tabernacle and Mary Mary (a sister act duo).
The Mary Mary sisters compare gays to murderers and prostitutes. In an interview with Vibe magazine, one of the singers said, "They [gays] have issues and need somebody to encourage them like everybody else - just like the murderer, just like the one full of pride, just like the prostitute."

Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" from yesterday:

Friday, December 28, 2007. Chaos and violence continue, the lies of Bambi Peace King continue, the 3900 mark still remains largely unnoted and a peace organization decides to start a petition and do a tribute . . . to a media circus, all those disappointments and more.

Starting with war resistance,
A Power Governments Cannot Suppress is a collection of Howard Zinn's essays and "Soldiers In Revolt" (pp. 173 -177) deals with war resistance within the military ranks:

It is undoubtedly the nature of this war, so steeped in deceptions perpetrated on the American public -- the false claims that Iraq possessed "weapons of mass destruction" and was connected to 9/11 -- that has provoked opposition to the war among the military. Further the revelations of the country from bombardment, foreign occupation, and sectarian violence, to which many of the dissenting soldiers have been witness, contribute to their alienation.

Zinn notes Jeremy Hinzman's remarks to CBS News (
60 Minutes) "I was told in basic training that, if I'm given an illegal or immoral order, it is my duty to disobey it, and I feel that invading and occupying Iraq is an illegal and immoral thing to do." Zinn also notes Jimmy Massey testifyng "that he and his fellow marines shot and killed more than thirty unarmed men, women and children, and even shot a young Iraqi who got out of his car with his arms in the air."

In early 2005, Naval Petty Officer Third Class Pablo Paredes refused to obey orders to board an assault ship in San Diego that was bound for the Persian Gulf. He told a U.S. Navy judge: "I believe as a member of the armed forces, byond having a duty to my chain of command and my President, I have a higher duty to my conscince and to the supreme law of the land. Both of these higher duties dictate that I must not participate in any way, hands-on or indirect in the current aggression that has been unleashed on Iraq."
For this, Paredes faced a year in the brig, but the navy judge, citing testimony about the illegality of the Iraq War, declined to give him jail time, instead gave him three months of hard labor, and reduced him in rank.

As Zinn draws his essay to a conclusion, he quotes IVAW's Kelly Dougherty speaking to "an audience at Harvard" where she explains that her experience in Iraq led her to see, "I'm not defending freedom, I'm protecting a corporate interest." Again, that's Zinn's
A Power Governments Cannot Suppress.

On November 15th, the Canadian Supreme Court refused to hear the appeals of war resisters
Jeremy Hinzman and Brandon Hughey? Does he even care? Judging by his column, the answer is no. An over hyped voice of the 'left' gives the greatest gift of all in 2007: The reality of how little the alleged 'left' cares about ending the illegal war. (Give to the DNC! Give to two presidential candidates who refuse to promise, that if elected in 2008, they would pull out the troops by 2013!) That just about sums it all up. In the real world, the Canadian Parliament has the power to let war resisters stay in Canada. Three e-mails addresses to focus on are: Prime Minister Stephen Harper ( -- that's pm at who is with the Conservative party and these two Liberals, Stephane Dion ( -- that's Dion.S at who is the leader of the Liberal Party and Maurizio Bevilacqua ( -- that's Bevilacqua.M at 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.

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, Carla 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).

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.

Yesterday's snapshot noted: "The US military announces 11 people were killed in Al Kut and states they were 'terrorists' which required 'fire, and . . . supporting aircraft'. The US military also announces 12 'kills' from December 22 to 25th in Diyala Province and, again, tosses around the term 'terrorists'. AFP notes, 'Iraq officials said the dead included two civilians'." Today Solomon Moore (New York Times) quotes eye witness Jameel Muhammad explaining, "The American helicopters shelled our neighborhood for three hours. Dead bodies were scattered here and there. Houses and cars were set on fire, and people were scared and running all over the place." Moore also quotes Hassan Jassim who saw "three bodies lying in the street near his house" and he declares, "American helicopters fired on our houses." A press that could explore the assault? Thankfully Moore did but there's a media circus going on, in case you didn't notice.

In some of today's reported violence . . .


Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 8 dead from a Baghdad car bombing, a Baghdad mortar attack left 1 dead and another wounded and a Zighaniya roadside bombing that claimed the life of 1 "child and injuring another." Reuters notes the number dead from the Baghdad car bombing is now 10.


Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a police officer shot dead in Baquba and a home invasion (the assailants were dressed as Iraqi soldiers) in Sadaa village that claimed the lives of 2 men and ejected a woman from the home which they then planted with bombs (which were defused) -- both men killed were members of the so-called 'Awakening Council'.


Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 3 corpses discovered in Baghdad

Free Bilal. Bilal Hussein is the Pulitzer Prize winning AP photo journalist who has been imprisoned by the US military since April 2006. On Sunday, attorney Scott Horton (Harper's magazine) walked readers through the latest on Bilal and we'll note this section:

The Pentagon was particularly concerned about the prospect of Bilal Hussein getting effective defense from his lawyer, former federal prosecutor Paul Gardephe. The judge was told to refuse to allow Bilal Hussein's U.S. lawyer to participate in the case. The judge accepted this advice. Consequently, the U.S. military has a five-man team to press its case, but Bilal Hussein's lawyer is silenced and not permitted to participate - and all of this has occurred as a result of U.S. Government intervention with the court. The irony of course is that under Iraqi law, the U.S. military has no authority or right to appear and prosecute, but Bilal Hussein's chosen counsel has an absolute right.The U.S. military continues to keep Hussein in their custody and will not allow his lawyer, Gardephe, access to him to conduct interviews or trial preparation without having both a U.S. military representative and an interpreter in the room at all times. Under international norms, this means that Bilal Hussein is not permitted access to counsel: a serious violation of his trial rights. And note that the violator is not the Iraqi authorities, who have no control over Bilal, but the United States Government.

The US military & government have repeatedly changed their stories since taking Bilal a prisoner on April 12, 2006. Now they're refusing to let him meet with his attorney and they occupy the country he will supposedly receive a 'fair' trial in. Never forget his 'crime' was reporting.
Free Bilal.

Turning to presidential candidates because the LIES are getting to be too much. Monica Davey (New York Times) reported July 26, 2004 in "
A Surprise Senate Contender Reaches His Biggest Stage Yet:"

He opposed the war in Iraq, and spoke against it during a rally in Chicago in the fall of 2002. He said then that he saw no evidence that Iraq had unconvental weapons that posed a threat, or of any link between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda.
In a recent interview, he declined to criticize Senators Kerry and Edwards for voting to authorize the war, although he said he would not have done the same based on the information he had at the time.
"But, I'm not privy to Senate intelligence reports," Mr. Obama said. "What would I have done? I don't know. What I know is that from my vantage point the case was not made."

Do you get that, do you grasp it? Barack Obama told the New York Times in 2004 that he didn't know how he would have voted on the resolution HAD HE BEEN IN THE SENATE.

Now let's go to the
June 3rd 'debate' in New Hampshire. The topic is the illegal war, we're picking up with John Edwards

But I have made very clear from the outset that the way to end the war is for the Congress to use its constitutional authority to fund. They should send a bill to the president with a timetable for withdrawal, which they did. The president vetoed. And then it came back. And then it was the moment of truth. And I said throughout the lead-up to this vote that I was against a funding bill that did not have a timetable for withdrawal, that it was critical for the Congress to stand firm. They were given a mandate by the American people. And others on this stage -- Chris Dodd spoke out very loudly and clearly. But I want to finish this -- others did not. Others were quiet. They went quietly to the floor of the Senate, cast the right vote. But there is a difference between leadership and legislating.BLITZER: You want to name names?EDWARDS: No, I think it's obvious who I'm talking about. BLITZER: It is to me, but it might not be to some of the viewers out there.EDWARDS: Senator Clinton and Senator Obama did not say anything about how they were going to vote until they appeared on the floor of the Senate and voted. They were among the last people to vote. And I think that the importance of this is -- they cast the right vote, and I applaud them for that. But the importance of this is, they're asking to be president of the United States. And there is a difference between making clear, speaking to your followers, speaking to the American people about what you believe needs to be done. And I think all of us have a responsibility to lead on these issues, not just on Iraq, but on health care, on energy, on all the other issues.BLITZER: I'm going to give both of them a chance to respond to you. Senator Obama?OBAMA: Well, look, the -- I think it is important to lead. And I think John -- the fact is is that I opposed this war from the start. So you're about four and a half years late on leadership on this issue. And, you know, I think it's important not to play politics on something that is as critical and as difficult as this.

"I opposed this war from the start"? The public record shows Obama gave a speech calling it a "dumb" war before it started. Then it started. He went on to then tell the New York Times that he wasn't sure how he would have voted had he been in the Senate.

He DID NOT oppose all along. He made some weak-ass statements before the illegal war started and then he got on board with the illegal war. "Dumb" war is not a position a lawyer should take. "Dumb" war might play well as a faux folksy talking point for Fred Thompson, but, as Patti Williams can't stop gushing, Barack Obama was the president of the Harvard Law Review. "Dumb" war is a "dumb" thing and a weak thing for a legal mind to state. And he admitted, in 2004, he didn't know how he would have voted if he'd been in the Senate in 2002. But that didn't stop him from calling out John Edwards and saying Edwards was "four and a half years late on leadership" in the New Hampshire debate this year.

And here's the thing, Bambi didn't just make the "I don't know how I would've voted in 2002 if I'd been in the Senate" statement once. And he was still making it in late 2006. Speaking to David Remnick (The New Yorker, November 2006), he was asked about differences between himself and Hillary Clinton.
He responded:
I think what people might point to is our different assessments of the war in Iraq, although I'm always careful to say that I was not in the Senate, so perhaps the reason I thought it was such a bad idea was that I didn't have the benefit of U.S. intelligence. And, for those who did, it might have led to a different set of choices. So that might be something that sort of is obvious. But, again, we were in different circumstances at that time: I was running for the U.S. Senate, she had to take a vote, and casting votes is always a difficult test.

The conversation with Remnick is also
available as an audio download. Casting a vote can be 'difficult.' Chicago's WBEZ reported (link has text and audio) last week that Obama "missed more than 160 votes on the Senate floor" as a result of "campaigning" and that "Obama's missed more than a third of the Senate's votes this year, about the same tally as two other senators running for the president: Joe Biden and Chris Dodd. Hillary Clinton has missed significantly fewer votes than Obama, while Republican John McCain has missed far more." Bernie Tafoya (WBBM) narrowed it down, "During September and October, Senator Obama missed 71 -- or nearly 80 percent -- of the 89 votes that have taken place in the Senate." That included the Iran resolution, the one Bambi wants to hiss, "Bad Hillary! You voted for it!" But he was a member of the Senate and he knew about the vote and chose not to show up. He says Iran says something about Hillary Clinton. It says a great deal about him: He didn't vote one way or the other. Is that what he would have done in 2002? Ducked the vote?

Or as US House Rep and Democratic Party contender for the presidential nomination
Dennis Kucinich declared today in New Hampshire, "Senators Clinton, Edwards, Biden and Dodd voted to give the President the authorization to go to war in Iraq. Their judgment was wrong. They and Senator Obama have voted to continue funding that war. Their judgement was wrong."

We've gone remedial because Democracy Now! twice (
here and here) offered Barack Obama's campaign spokesmodel David Axelrod's statement on today's show: "Barack Obama had the judgement to oppose the war in Iraq. And he warned at the time that it would divert us from Afghanistan and Al Qaeda, and now we see the effacts of that . . . Sen. Clinton made a different judgement. Let's have that discussion." Obama's position on the Iraq War has been all over the map. (Tariq Ali demolishes the other points from Bambi's spokesmodel.) Last night we noted the large number of Republican and Democratic presidential hopefuls rushing in to offer their thoughts on the thug and crook Benazir Bhutto. They should all be ashamed of themselves. We took media to task last night and yesterday as well. Add another group that's got some explaining: CODEPINK. Bhutto died yesterday. For Bhutto they can rush to offer a "tribute" and offer a "Petition." What was our complaint about media and the candidates? What were they not noting?

Amy Goodman (Democracy Now!) notes it, "In Iraq, the U.S. death toll has topped 3,900. Two soldiers were killed on Wednesday in Mosul." And that's it from Democracy Now! For those wondering, the 3900 mark prompts nothing from our peace groups. We didn't call them out yesterday, they're volunteers and they're not news outlets or running for votes. But when CODEPINK has time to create a tribute (for someone who doesn't deserve it) and to start a petition, they DAMN WELL have time to note that 3,900 US service members have died in Iraq since the start of the illegal war. As we noted last night, "'Independent' media (broadcast and some print) largely offered us state propaganda. Meanwhile the candidates for both major parties telegraphed just how little American deaths mean to them." And, again, US presidential wanna-bes are running to become the President of the United States, not the Prime Minister of Pakistan. A peace organization that has time to weigh in on breaking news has time to note the 3900 dead and, if they don't make that time while they rush to note some 'hot' topic, they send a message -- intentionally or not, they send a message.

Since we've noted Democrats running for president, the Green Party has an upcoming debate.
Kimberly Wilder (On the Wilder Side) notes that January 13th, 2:00 p.m., Herbst Theater (410 Van Ness) in San Francisco, there will be a Green Party Presidential debate featuring Ralph Nader, Cynthia McKinney, Elaine Brown, Jared Ball and Kent Mesplay. For a list of candidates -- from all parties -- that may be running, see Kimberly and Ian Wilder's candidates page.

Naomi Klein will be on PBS' The Charlie Rose Show. Klein's new book is The Shock Doctrine: The Rise Of Disaster Capitalism. Also today on PBS, NOW with David Brancaccio, the program "investigates the partnership of a Republican congressman and the Idaho Conservation League to protect a vast swath of the state's natural environment. Does their compromise legislation come at too high a price? The legislation, the Central Idaho Economic Development and Recreation Act (CIEDRA), transfers some public land -- land Americans across the country pay for -- to private local ownership in exchange for protection of nearby wilderness. It also leaves land bordering the wilderness open to further recreational use, especially involving off-road vehicles." Among those speaking out on the program against the sell-out of public lands is Carole King -- King of Goffin & King in the 60s (chronological sixties), writing the music to more charting hits than may be humanly possible, easing into a group at the tail end of that decade (The City), going solo in the seventies, releasing the landmark album Tapestry, etc., still writing, still performing and working on the issue of the ecology for many, many years. Check local listings for the times both programs will be aired. Sunday on NYC's WBAI (streams online) from 11 a.m. to noon EST, The Next Hour will offer: "Author/actor/racounteur Malachy McCourt hosts his brothers Frank, Alf and Mike in what has come to be an annual McCourt family radio reunion." While Monday on WBAI's Cat Radio Cafe, 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm EST, "In an epilogue to WBAI's recent 'Celebration of Norman Mailer' (The Next Hour, December 16, 2007, 11 am-1 pm, archived at, legendary actor Rip Torn weighs in on his old friend and fellow improvisor, along with an encorse airing of Joyce Carol Oates' observations on Mailer; and political satirist Will Durst with the Top Ten Comedic Stories of 2007. Hosted by Janet Coleman and David Dozer."

democracy nowamy goodman

Charlie Rose Show