Progressive Calendar 01.11.08
From: David Shove (
Date: Fri, 11 Jan 2008 15:05:54 -0800 (PST)
             P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R   01.11.08

1. CloseGitmo/orange  1.11 11:30am
2. Pray for peace     1.11 6:30pm

3. Rachel Corrie/play 1.12 9:30am
4. Water/MidEast      1.12 10am
5. EJAM founders day  1.12 10am
6. NWN4P Minnetonka   1.12 11am
7. MN labor v war     1.12 11:30am
8. New Hope vigil     1.12 1pm
9. Northtown vigil    1.12 2pm
10. Palestine/CTV     1.12 9pm
11. Youth media/TV    1.12 10pm

12. Dave Lindorff - Diebold/did Hillary really win New Hampshire?
13. Manuel Garcia - Presidential campaigns & Aesop's fables
14. Glen Ford     - Barack, Hillary, and sinister nothingness
15. Cindy Sheehan - And the Oscar goes to . . . [Hillary!]

--------1 of 15--------

From: MN Impeach <lists [at]>
Subject: Close Gitmo orange 1.11 11:30am

Close Guantanamo Orange Day
Meet Friday, January 11, 2008 [at] 11:30am.
Hennepin & Lagoon Ave in Uptown, in front of the Library.

The ACLU of Minnesota and Impeach for Peace are coordinating a protest on
the 6 year anniversary of the first prisoners from Afghanistan arriving at

Bring Signs, tell your friends, bring your friends, wear orange! Impeach
for Peace will have members wearing Guantanamo Bay Orange Jumpsuits and
Black Hoods.

Below, read a statement by the ACLU MN as well as find a link to purchase
your own orange arm band...

ACLU is calling on people of conscience to wear orange on January 11th to
demand the closing of the prison at Guantanamo Bay and an immediate end to
6 years of injustice.

Make sure you're ready.

Go to the ACLU website today and get a "Close Guantanamo" armband.

On January 11, 2002 the first prisoners from Afghanistan arrived at the
prison at Guantanamo Bay.

In the six years since, the prison has been a mark of shame for our
country. In fact, three years after the military tribunals were first
established there, there has yet to be a single trial completed for any
person in custody.

Every day that the prison at Guantanamo stays open is an insult to our
values and makes a mockery of our commitment to justice and the rule of

That's why on January 11th, the ACLU is leading a nationwide movement
calling on people of conscience to wear orange and demand an immediate end
to the injustice at Guantanamo Bay. By standing in solidarity we can shift
the debate on this national disgrace. So, we're teaming up with
organizations across the country to demand the prison be closed and asking
ACLU members to get involved.

To help you participate in this national day of action, we're asking ACLU
members to wear an orange "Close Guantanamo" armband on January 11.

The fact is the Bush Administration decided to hold prisoners at
Guantanamo because it believed the offshore location would be beyond the
reach of our courts. This turned Guantanamo into a laboratory for
indefinite detention and cruel treatment.

Yesterday, the Supreme Court heard two cases that challenge the Bush
Administration's policy of holding prisoners without charging them. As we
stated in our brief to the court, "heir confinement in military custody
without charges or trial for more than five years violates fundamental
principles of due process of law." And, at Guantanamo Bay, the ACLU
continued to monitor the latest kangaroo court-style hearing.

Guantanamo has become a stain on our nation's honor. That is why it is so
important you join hundreds of thousands of Americans who are demanding
the closure of the prison at Guantanamo on January 11th. You'll soon be
hearing about the January events happening across the country and online.

Thank you so much for your involvement today as we fight to reclaim our
constitutional heritage and restore the full vibrancy of our democracy.

--------2 of 15--------

From: Erin Parrish <erin [at]>
Subject: Pray for peace 1.11 6:30pm

Friday, January 11: Justice Commission of the Sisters of St. Joseph of
Carondelet & Consociates 11th Day Prayer for Peace. Observing National
Migration Week 2008. Featuring: The Liberian Children's Choir. 6:30-7:15
PM at Presentation of Our Lady Chapel, St. Paul. More info: 651-690-7054.

--------3 of 15--------

From: "wamm [at]" <wamm [at]>
Subject: Rachel Corrie/play 1.12 9:30am

Dramatic Reading: "Rachel Corrie, A Life for Others"

Saturday, January 12, 9:30 a.m. (Refreshments) 10:00 a.m. (Presentation)
Lutheran Church of Christ the Redeemer, 5440 Penn Avenue South,

A dramatic reading of the life and death of Rachel Corrie, written by
Frances Ford of the War Plays Project; directed by Sally Childs.
Professional actors read from Rachel's actual journals and email
exchanges. At age 23, Rachel from Olympia, Washington, was run over by a
bulldozer in Gaza on March 16, 2003 while trying to protect a Palestinian
home from demolition. Sponsored by: Middle East Peace Now (MEPN). FFI:
Call Florence Steichen, 651-696-1642 or email <steichenfm [at]>.

--------4 of 15--------

From: Meredith Aby <awcmere [at]>
Subject: Water/MidEast 1.12 10am

*The Role of Water in Middle East Conflicts: Dr. D. J. Mulla, Department of
Soil, Water, and Climate, University of Minnesota
SAT, 1/12, 10am-noon, Van Cleve Community Center, 901 15th Ave. SE, Mpls.

MN Metro Women's International League for Peace & Freedom (WILPF) hosts an
event to discuss water resources in Middle Eastern countries, water usage
patterns by Israelis and Palestinians, and history of conflicts in the
region from the perspective of water scarcity. Dr. Mulla has worked on water
resource issues in Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, and India.  Discussion,
refreshments, free, all welcome!  Questions call 952-927-8391.

--------5 of 15--------

From: Karen Monahan <karenejam [at]>
Subject: EJAM founders day 1.12 10am

Please spread the word.  Environmental Justice Advocates of Minnesota 5th
Annual Founders' Day
Environmental Justice from the Bottom Up

  Saturday January 12, 2008
  Registration 10:00 am
  Program 10:30 am - 5:00 pm

  Minneapolis Urban League
  2100 Plymouth Av. N, Mpls.

  For more info. call Karen Monahan 612-436-5402

Keynote speaker: Cecil Corbin-Mark, Program Director of WE ACT

WE ACT is a non-profit organization based in Northern Manhattan. They are
working to improve environmental quality and to secure environmental
justice in predominately African-American and Latino communities.

  Event Includes:
Update on EJAM's Climate Justice work and what you can do to help
Workshops on various issues in the EJ community
Youth workshop and youth participation
"Town hall forum" open dialogue with the community
Performance, vendor tables, sign up for upcoming actions.

FREE EVENT! Donations welcome. Light lunch and snacks provided                  
   Congressman Keith Ellison

--------6 of 15--------

From: Carole Rydberg <carydberg [at]>
Subject: NWN4P Minnetonka 1.12 11am

NWN4P-Minnetonka demonstration- Every Saturday, 11 AM to noon, at Hwy. 7
and 101.  Park in the Target Greatland lot; meet near the
fountain. We will walk along the public sidewalk. Signs available.

--------7 of 15--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: MN labor v war 1.12 11:30am

Saturday, 1/12, 11:30 am, MN Labor Against the War meets at Mayday Books,
301 Cedar Ave, Mpls.  coreymattson [at]

--------8 of 15--------

From: Carole Rydberg <carydberg [at]>
Subject: New Hope vigil 1.12 1pm

Saturday, 1-2PM - Weekly NWN4P vigil for peace in New Hope at the corner
of 42nd (Co. Rd. 9) and Winnetka Ave. N.  We usually park in the
Walgreen's lot or near McDonald's. You may use one of our signs or bring
your own. All welcome. Carole-763-546-5368.

--------9 of 15--------

From: Vanka485 [at]
Subject: Northtown vigil 1.12 2pm

Below are the people of the peace vigil at Northtown (Old Hwy 10 &
University Av.), every Saturday 2:00 -- 3:00 PM.

If "We the People" want to stop warfare and militarism, then we should not
yield to the deceptive siren songs coming from the electoral contest of
the two-headed party of the establishment. We should redouble our efforts
instead. One form of action is to cover all the junctions of the Twin
Cities metro area with small groups of peace vigils, such as the Northtown
group below. Already there are about 14-15 such groups. If each of the 70
organizations of the Minnesota Alliance of Peacemakers (MAP) alone creates
two such groups of 4-7 people each, we are going to jam the cities with
messages of peace and we will show the aspiring politicos that we do not
fool around with the important matter of war or peace. And they will have
to tell us clearly where they stand. We have had enough of wishy-washy
talk." We the People" must make clear to them that we are very well aware
of our constitutional powers as well as of their constitutional

--------10 of 15--------

From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at]>
Subject: Palestine/CTV 1.12 9pm

Most excellent Minneapolis Television Network (MTN 17) viewers:

"Our World In Depth" cablecasts on MTN Channel 17 on Saturdays at 9pm and
Tuesdays at 8am.  Households with basic cable may watch.

Sat, 1/12 9pm and Tues, 1/15 8am   "Ali Abunimah: Where Next for
Palestine-Israel: Peace, Apartheid or Democratic Inclusion? Part 1"  Talk
by Palestinian American given at the U of M in Oct. '07. (a repeat)

--------11 of 15--------

From: Mike Hazard <mediamic [at]>
Subject: Youth media/TV 1.12 10pm

MAKING A SCENE is an hour-long documentary about the rise of youth media
around here produced by Daniel Bergin at Twin Cities Public Television
with the Twin Cities Youth Media Network. From vivid video poems to vital
documentaries about current issues, the show rocks.

See the broadcast on the Minnesota Channel TPT 17 at 10pm, Saturday
January 12, 2008 and 8pm, Sunday February 10. (Check local listings.)

People are also invited to come to the party and meet the makers at SPNN,
beginning at 7pm on Saturday. (You can download the details at the Network

To learn about our network at:
Zoom, Media Mike

--------12 of 15--------

More Questions About Diebold Voting Machines
Did Hillary Really Win New Hampshire?
January 11, 2008

Could someone have messed with the vote in New Hampshire?

That is what some people are wondering, after looking closely at the
totals in the votes for surprise Democratic primary victor Hillary
Clinton, and for Barack Obama, who placed instead of winning as all the
polls had predicted he would. And thanks to candidate Dennis Kucinich, we
are likely to find out. Kucinich today filed a request, and a required
$2000 fee, to order up a manual recount of the machine ballots cast in the

Polls taken as late as the day before the Tuesday vote showed Obama up by
10 to 15 points over Clinton, whom he had just beaten the week before in
Iowa, but when the votes were counted, Clinton ended up beating Obama in
New Hampshire 39.4 per cent to 36.8 per cent. In a replay of what happened
in Ohio in 2004, exit polling reportedly also showed Obama to be winning
the New Hampshire primary.

When that's not what happened, shocked polling firms and surprised
pundits, all of whom had been expecting a big Obama win, were left
stumbling for explanations for the Hillary comeback from an 8 per cent
drubbing in Iowa (even the Clinton campaign, whose own internal polling
had predicted her defeat, were at a loss). Explanations ranged from her
teary eyed final public appearance before primary day and some sexist
heckling she had received, to dark talk about a wave of hidden racism in
the voting booth.

But there were anomalies in the numbers that have some people suggesting
something else: vote fraud.

What has had eyebrows raised is a significant discrepancy between the vote
counts done by voting machine, and the ones done by hand.

In New Hampshire, 81 per cent of the voting was done in towns and cities
that had purchased optical scan machines from the Diebold Election Systems
(now called Premiere Election Solutions), a division of Diebold Corp., a
company founded by and still linked to wealthy right-wing investors. In
those towns, all voting was done on the devices, called Accuvote machines,
which read paper ballots completed by voters who use pens or pencils to
fill in little ovals next to the candidate of their choice. The ballots
are then fed into, read, and tallied by the machines. The other 19 per
cent of voting was done in towns that had opted not to use the machine,
and to use hand-counted paper ballots instead.

The machine tally was Clinton 39.6 per cent, Obama 36.3 per cent - fairly
close to the final outcome. But the hand-counted ballot count broke
significantly differently: Clinton 34.9 per cent, Obama 38.6 per cent.

Could something have happened in those machines to shift some votes away
from Obama or some of the other candidates in the race, and over to the
Clinton total?

If all the votes cast had split the way the hand counts split, Obama would
have won New Hampshire by over 10,000 votes, instead of losing to Clinton
by about 5500 votes.

"My suspicion is that nothing untoward happened here," says Doug Jones, a
professor of computer sciences at the University of Iowa and a member of
the board of examiners that approved the use of the same Diebold optical
scanning machines in Iowa. "But at the same time, the Diebold machines are
vulnerable to viruses that can be spread through the machines by the
PCMCIA memory cards, and there are other things that can go wrong too. I'd
be much happier if they had a routine random audit procedure in New

A random audit, he says, would involve doing hand counts of some towns'
optical scan ballots, and comparing those results with the results of the
machine reading of those same ballots, as recorded election night.

While California does conduct such random audits as a matter of course,
most states, including New Hampshire, do not. According to the New
Hampshire Secretary of State's office, any recount of ballots would have
to be requested by a candidate, and would have to be paid for by the
candidate making the request.

An official in the press office of Obama's campaign in Chicago, contacted
on Wednesday, claimed not to know about the discrepancy between the
machine and hand-counted ballots. She said that there was no plan to call
for a hand count of machine ballots.

As Prof. Jones notes, requiring a candidate to initiate any hand count
makes such hand counts unlikely, since unless the evidence of vote
tampering or fraud is overwhelming, such a call would open the candidate
to charges of "poor loser."

Kucinich, in making his recount request, resolved that problem.

There is good reason to be suspicious of the results. The counting of the
machine totals, in New Hampshire as in all states using the Diebold
machines, is handled by a private contract firm, in this case
Massachusetts-based LHS Associates, which controls and programs the
machines' memory cards. Several studies have demonstrated the ease with
which the memory cards in the Accuvote machines can be hacked, with some
testers breaking into the system in minutes.

There are, to be sure, alternative quite innocent possible explanations
for the discrepancy between the machine and hand votes for Clinton and
Obama. All the state's larger towns and cities, like Nashua, Concord and
Portsmouth, have gone to voting machines. While there are many small
communities that have also opted for machines, it is almost exclusively
the smaller towns and villages across the state that have stayed with hand
counts-most of them in the more rural northern part of the state. So if
Obama did better than Clinton in the small towns, and Clinton did better
in the large ones, that could be the answer.

But that explanation flies in the face of logic, historic voting patterns,
and most of the post election prognosticating.

If it is true that there was "behind the curtain" racism involved in
people saying to pollsters that they were for Obama, while privately
voting against him, surely it would be more likely that this would happen
in the isolated towns of northern New Hampshire where black people are
rarely to be seen. Clinton was also said to have fared better among people
with lower incomes-again a demographic that is more prominent in the rural
parts of the Granite State. Finally, Obama, in New Hampshire as in Iowa,
did better among younger voters, and that is the demographic group that is
typically in shorter supply in small towns, where job opportunities are
limited. Furthermore, in Iowa, it was in the larger municipalities that
Obama fared best, not in the rural towns, so how likely is it that his
geographic appeal would be reversed in New Hampshire?

David Scanlan, New Hampshire's deputy secretary of state for elections,
whom I contacted Thursday, said that while town election officials are
required to do test runs of the Diebold machines in the days before an
election, "to make sure that they are reading the ballot markings
accurately," and that at that point the machines and the memory cards are
sealed until the actual election day, there is no way for his office to
independently conduct a post balloting test. The ballot boxes are sealed
and the only way they can be opened if for a candidate to request (and pay
for) a manual recount, or for a court to order one." Scanlan says that the
same is true for the voting machines and the memory cards. While the
sealed ballots are retained "for years," however, the memory cards will be
back in the hands of the contractor, LHS Associates, in "a few months," to
be erased and prepared for use in the general election next November.

Scanlan says that the state legislature is currently considering
legislation to provide for routine audits of machines after elections, but
that won't help this election cycle.

Scanlan said that because the machines are freestanding, there is no
chance of their being hacked from the outside, but critics note that the
hacking can be done in advance to the memory cards, which can pass changes
to each other like a virus as each is programmed for a particular

Jonathan Simon, an attorney and co-founder of the group Election Defense
Alliance, says that the vote discrepancies between machine and hand counts
in New Hampshire's Democratic primary are troubling, and defy easy

"The trouble is, whenever you have a surprise result in an election, and
it runs counter to the polls, the media always say the problem is the
polling, not the counting." But he adds, "The thing is, these things
always work in one direction-in favor of the more conservative candidate,
and that defies the law of quantum mechanics."

Dave Lindorff is the author of Killing Time: an Investigation into the
Death Row Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. His book of CounterPunch columns titled
"This Can't be Happening!" is published by Common Courage Press.
Lindorff's newest book is "The Case for Impeachment", co-authored by
Barbara Olshansky.

He can be reached at: dlindorff [at]

--------13 of 15--------

Aesop and the Usual Suspects
Paying No Attention to the Presidential Campaigns
January 11, 2008

Politics in the United States is so broken that the impressions of a
non-observer may be as worthwhile as the view of the experts. My cursory
impressions of some of the candidates follow. I envision them dressed in
togas, addressing the Senate in Rome, perhaps on the first of April, 44

Obama: "We see ourselves as the successors of the successful; we have no
responsibility for the past, and every right to the full bounty of the
future. Race doesn't matter among us because our allegiance is to our
pocketbooks, not our skin color. Under my rule, Blacks won't cost you.
Long live the Empire"

H. Clinton: "We can make nice and still make money for the Big Money.
Managing the rabble is cheaper and easier by corporations making nice (as
every woman knows) than by sloppy brutality. It only has to look like we
care about gals and coloreds, our allegiance is to our pocketbooks, not
our skin color or sex. Long live the Empire."

McCain: "The decorum of the Great White Fathers is the pillar on which to
drape the hierarchy of ownership from its snowy peak to its dank and dusky
base in the jungle of humanity. Under my rule the Fathership will resume
dispensing its Authority by the traditional values of our Establishment,
and the power of this example will rectify the comportment of the lower
orders. Long live the Empire."

Edwards: "I want it so bad, I am willing to lead the rabble in a charge
against the corporate ownership of this country. Under my rule we will
mute that assault after a few fresh hunks of fat have been tossed out, as
this should easily quell the distractable infantile minds of the masses.
We can preserve the fundamental engine of prosperity, and retain the
engineers that steer it, to the general satisfaction of all. We are united
by our allegiance to our pocketbooks. Long live the Empire."

Romney: "I want it because then we have the power to bring more of the
people who avoid living under the cultist repressions we place on
ourselves, to heel. Under my rule national power will be brought to bear
to segregate the chosen from the unclean, the prosperous from the losers,
and heathenish races will be kept far at bay from our domain of ownership.
Long live the Empire."

Huckabee: "I want it because then the decent people who live their lives
filled with the blue-eyed Jesus can finally assert their authority to
bring more of the people who avoid living under the cultist repressions we
place on ourselves, to heel. Under my rule our blue-eyed Jesus inspired
Love will rectify the comportment of the lower orders, and fill all
pocketbooks with the bounty they deserve by our reckoning. Our allegiance
is to a hierarchy of prosperity under the umbrella of our cult. Long live
the Empire."

Candidates who do not salute "Long live the Empire" don't count. I may
have some or all of these candidates wrong; as I said, I've not followed
the news. Your reaction to any particular candidate is a function of your
perception of their "we," "us" and "them." You like the candidates whose
"we" is your type (so you think) and whose "them" is not; and you dislike
the candidates who give you the opposite impression.

What does it mean for the country? The usual. The "campaign" is the period
of time during which the deals are cut that will operate the country
through the next cycle. The USA is run as a cyclic plundering organized by
patronage. The victors of the next election (not primary) get to choose
the order in which patrons line up for the dispensation of the booty. The
difference between a Hilliary and a McCain would matter intensely to oil
and insurance companies, because for them it's a battle over who is ahead
in line. For you and me, mere voters, it is irrelevant. The Big Money
entities own the line, we get the carcass after all the lions have belched
and left it as too rank for any but flies and vultures. As in Aesop's
fable of "The Lion's Share," you are always welcome to share the burdens
of "the great" (send campaign contributions, chase down voters on rainy
nights, see your Army recruiter), but you are not welcome to share the
spoils. Why imagine that things have changed since the days of Aesop?
Evolution doesn't work that fast.

Manuel Garcia can be reached at mango [at]

--------14 of 15--------

Barack, Hillary, and the Sinister Nothingness of "Change"
by Glen Ford / January 9th, 2008

When politicians offer nothing, and the people demand nothing, then the
powers-that-be are free to continue doing whatever they choose. The death
knell of participatory politics can often be a very noisy, celebratory
affair - such as we have witnessed in the call-and-response ritual of
"Change!" "Hope!" and other exuberant but insubstantial campaign
exercises. Finally, the most accomplished slickster in presidential
history, Bill Clinton, was compelled to expose Barack Obama's "fairy tale"
anti-war history - some truth for a "change". Black Agenda Report knows
the story very well, after more than four years of observing Obama's
descent from vaguely progressive rhetoric to shameless pandering (to
whites) and vapid "Change!" mantra nonsense. Only the rich can win this

Although "change" may come, it will be at the direction of the rich.

The scam of this still-new century enthralls and envelopes the nation, a
narrowly-packaged farce in which political twins Hillary Clinton and
Barack Obama pretend they are not joined at the hip on every public policy
issue that has been allowed to enter the corporate media-vetted discourse:
health care, Iraq, trade. Even these points of (non)contention disappear
in the din of purely commercial marketing mantras with infinitely
malleable meanings: "Change," "Hope," "Reform".

When no real change is offered - when both frontrunners are wedded to a
lingering presence in Iraq and to reestablishing U.S. hegemony in the
world; when insurance and drug companies are left virtually untouched by
duos' tepid forays into broadening health care coverage; and when neither
offers a whisper of an idea on halting the corporate-engineered global
Race to the Bottom, then it is certain that, although "change" may come,
it will be at the direction of the rich who have brought the nation and
planet to the very brink of catastrophe.

The biggest fairy tale I've ever seen.

Ironically, it was Bill Clinton who, on the eve of the New Hampshire
primary, exposed the bogus nature of the stage-set battle between his wife
and Barack Obama:

"It is wrong that Senator Obama got to go through 15 debates trumpeting
his superior judgment and how he had been against the war in every year,
enumerating the years, and never got asked one time - not once, 'Well, how
could you say that when you said in 2004 you didn't know how you would
have voted on the resolution? You said in 2004 there was no difference
between you and George Bush on the war. And you took that speech you're
now running on off your Web site in 2004. And there's no difference in
your voting record and Hillary's ever since. Give me a break. This whole
thing is the biggest fairy tale I've ever seen".

When the Great Triangulator and Supreme Snake Oil Salesman tells you a
scam is going on, take it from an expert, and believe.

The Real Story on Obama

Actually, Clinton got one of the dates wrong. We at Black Agenda Report
know - because we have been closely scrutinizing Obama since his Illinois
state senate days, and engaged him in a month-long interchange in June of
2003. Obama's October 2002 anti-war speech first disappeared from his U.S.
Senate campaign site, not in 2004, but in 2003, when public perception of
the war and occupation - with the exception of Black opinion - had
dramatically shifted towards war. At the time, Bruce Dixon and the core
Black Agenda Report crew, including myself, were housed at

Dixon, a native Chicagoan who had worked with Obama in a massive Illinois
voter registration drive in 1992, noted on June 5, 2003 that ". . . . a
weeks ago, Barack Obama's heartfelt statement of principled opposition to
lawless militarism and the rule of fear was stricken without explanation
from his campaign web site, and replaced with mild expressions of
'anxiety'". In place of the speech that Obama's handlers would five years
later wave as proof of his resolute opposition to the war, Obama stammered
and stuttered:

"But I think [people are] all astonished, I think, in many quarters,
about, for example, the recent Bush budget and the prospect that, for
example, veterans benefits might be cut. And so there's discussion about
that, I think, among both supporters and those who are opposed to the war.
What kind of world are we building?

"And I think that's - the anxiety is about the international prospects and
how we potentially reconstruct Iraq. And the costs there, then, tie in
very directly with concerns about how we're handling our problems at

What a difference a shift in public opinion on war makes. Bruce Dixon put
it well: "His passion evaporated, a leading black candidate for the US
Senate mouths bland generalities on war, peace and the US role in the

Obama's name turned up in one of our periodic searches of the Democratic
Leadership Council.

Obama put The Speech back on the site. But there was another shock in
store. During the same week, Obama's name turned up in one of our periodic
searches of the Democratic Leadership Council's membership list. Could a
man widely perceived as a rising star in the progressive Black firmament
have signed on to the DLC, the corporate bagman and center of all things
Republican Lite in the Democratic Party? We challenged Obama again,
directly, as reported on June 19, 2003 in an article titled, "Not
Corrupted by DLC, Says Obama?:"

"Illinois State Senator Barack Obama rejects any 'suggestion' that
'inclusion of my name' on a Democratic Leadership Council/New Democrats
membership list amounts to 'an endorsement on my part of the DLC

"In a June 13 letter to The Black Commentator, the Black candidate for
U.S. Senate defended his civil liberties, anti-war, and social welfare
legislative record, and requested "that folks take the time to find out
what my views are before they start questioning my passion for justice or
the integrity of my campaign effort".

"Specifically, State Senator Obama maintains that an October 2002 anti-war
speech was removed from his campaign web site because 'The speech was
dated once the formal phase of the war was over, and my staff's desire to
continually provide fresh news clips..."

Testing Obama

Naturally, we didn't believe a word about either The Speech or Obama's
supposed lack of knowledge about the DLC's claim to his person, despite
his lengthy, written protestations of innocence and ignorance.

We decided it was pointless to go back and forth with Obama on whether he
was technically a member of the DLC or just sympathetic to their
pro-corporate policies. Instead, we challenged Obama to take a test. If he
answered three questions in the affirmative, he should not be in the DLC.
Otherwise, he is a bird-of-a-feather, and should continue in their
corporate company. The "bright line" questions put to Obama on June 26

1. Do you favor the withdrawal of the United States from NAFTA? Will you
in the Senate introduce or sponsor legislation toward that end?

2. Do you favor the adoption of a single payer system of universal health
care to extend the availability of quality health care to all persons in
this country? Will you in the Senate introduce or sponsor legislation
toward that end?

3. Would you have voted against the October 10 congressional resolution
allowing the president to use unilateral force against Iraq?

In the summer of 2003, Obama was ranked third of fourth in the field of
contenders for the Illinois Democratic senate nomination. He didn't want
to alienate any constituency, and so agreed to take our test. He also
agreed to ask the DLC to take his name off their list of New Democrats,
albeit reluctantly.

Obama's response to our "bright line" questions was as follows:

"My views on universal health care, the unilateral use of force in Iraq,
and NAFTA are in fact what you might expect given my previous history and
voting record.

"I favor universal health care for all Americans, and intend to introduce
or sponsor legislation toward that end in the U.S. Senate, just as I have
at the state level..

"I would have voted against the October 10th congressional resolution
authorizing the President to use unilateral force against Iraq..

"And although I believe that free trade - when also fair -p can benefit
workers in both rich and poor nations, I think that the current NAFTA
regime lacks the worker and environmental protections that are necessary
for the long-term prosperity of both America and its trading partners. I
would therefore favor, at minimum, a significant renegotiation of NAFTA
and the terms of the President's fast track authority"..

Clearly, Obama failed the test on repeal of NAFTA and "slicked" his way
through the universal health care question. But we fudged his grades, and
passed him, anyway - and have regretted doing so, ever since. A year
later, Obama's name was briefly back on the DLC list; their site manager
said he assumed that Obama belonged there. Also in 2004, as Bill Clinton
angrily recounted, Obama told the New York Times he doesn't know how he
would have voted on the 2002 War Powers Act if he had been in the U.S.
Senate at the time. Later, the winds of war opinion changed, and Obama's
handlers celebrated the 5th anniversary of his 2002 anti-war speech as if
it ranked with the Magna Carta in historical significance.

"Slick Willy" knows a scammer when he sees one, either in the mirror or
opposing his wife. After more than four years of documenting Obama's
machinations, so do we.

Back to the Present

And now we are left only with the politics of "Change" - which is anything
the various audiences want it to be. Through relentless pandering to white
desires for an end to Black agitation and reminders of enduring
institutional racism, Obama has proven his ability to amass huge white
support. As a result, much of Black America may become convinced the last
hurdle to putting a Black Face in the Highest Place has been overcome, and
shift overwhelmingly to Hillary's estranged Black political twin.
Corporate America, never threatened by either candidate, has long been
comfortable with the outcome of this race, whichever way it goes - that's
why they put their money on both Barack and Hillary.

After Obama thanked his supporters for making him a close second in New
Hampshire, the sound system blared a Stevie Wonder song with the hook,
"Here I am, baby, signed sealed, delivered, I'm yours".

For whom were those lyrics meant?

Glen Ford is Executive Editor of Black Agenda Report, where this article
first appeared. He can be contacted at: Glen.Ford [at]
Read other articles by Glen, or visit Glen's website.

This article was posted on Wednesday, January 9th, 2008 at 9:00 am and is
filed under "Third" Party, Activism, Democrats, Elections. Send to a

--------15 of 15--------

And the Oscar Goes To . . .
by Cindy Sheehan / January 9th, 2008
Dissident Voices

. . . Hillary Clinton! For phoniest display of belated emotion in a
Presidential campaign!

Hillary's recent emotion at the tanking of her multi-million dollar; mass
pandering campaign reminded me of a scene in Mike Myers' Wayne's World
where he, as Wayne, throws water on his face and emotes about something
while "Academy Awards Clip" flashes on the screen. Hillary Clinton does
not do anything that is not coldly, if not icily calculated. However,
seeing her ambitions and life's work of becoming the first female
president go down into the primordial-primary ooze may be something for
which she might exhibit a little emotion.

She showed no emotion when I met with her along with another Gold Star
Mother: Lynn Braddach from Oregon, whose son Travis Nall was also KIA in
Iraq. We poured our hearts and souls out to her and she hardly even
blinked, let alone shed a tear for our heartbreak that she had been a
major neo-connette chearleader for.

That meeting happened in September of 2005, just a few short weeks after
we left Camp Casey in Crawford, Tx on August 31, 2005. Anti-war sentiment
was high and the apex was a mass march and rally that hundreds of
thousands of like-minded (many for the first time) attended in the belly
of the evil empire on September 24th. Since then, the motivation and
energy of the anti-war movement has ebbed and flowed with each subsequent
fresh assault on peace and democracy by BushCo with the help, support and
justification of "Democrats" like Hillary Clinton.

After Hillary was booed at a campaign event in New Hampshire over the
weekend, I am sure that there was a high-level meeting of her campaign
that came up with the strategy of the new and improved and "emotional, but
not too emotional" Hillary Clinton. This is the same campaign that thought
Hillary could demonstrate that Senator Mike Gravel (who chastised her in a
debate about her vote to sanction Iran) was crazy by laughing at him like
she was the insane one with a very bizarre and disturbing cackle. This is
the same campaign that told Ms. Clinton that she should under no
circumstances apologize to the families of the needlessly and tragically
fallen for her support of the war that killed them. This is essentially
the same campaign that handed the White House over to Bush again in 2004.
Kerry's campaign was such a resounding "success," Hillary thought she
could run the same careful and calculated one and be victorious - seems to
be a disconnect here.

America is tired of panderers and blatant political animals that carefully
campaign to as not offend anyone by telling the truth.

The truth is something that has been profoundly lacking in most political
discourse for many, many years - BushCo did not invent lying and
deceptions, they have just elevated dishonesty to an art - the truth is
hard and can be as cold as Hillary in New Hampshire in January, but I
believe we all thirst for it and will drink from the cup of the candidate
who offers it to us.

The top tier Democratic candidates can not run on their records, so they
have to run on an ephemeral and hard to quantify promise of "change". We
need change, but do any of the top tier candidates really offer it, or
will it always be more of the same old, same old until we break from the
mold of the two-party duopoly that is designed to block democracy, not
elevate it.

"People before Politics"
Support Cindy for Congress!

Cindy Sheehan is the mother of Spc. Casey Sheehan who was killed in Bush's
war of terror on 04/04/04. Sheehan is a congressional candidate running
against Nancy Pelosi in San Francisco. You can visit her campaign website
at She is the co-founder and president of Gold Star
Families for Peace and The Camp Casey Peace Institute. Read other articles
by Cindy.


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