Sunday, June 15, 2008

Truest statement of the week

"The Democratic National Committee either doesn't get it or refuses to admit it. Nothing short of a lengthy, detailed mea culpa by the DNC and by Obama himself, directed to Clinton supporters for the sexist name-calling and personal, nasty characterizations Clinton was alone forced to endure, will do. Even that may not persuade these voters to consider supporting the party this fall. The DNC, Democratic Party leaders in Congress, and Obama should have been at her side, calling her treatment by the media (and even by some Obama supporters) unacceptable."

-- Bonnie Erbe, "Obama and the Democrats Owe Hillary Clinton and Her Supporters a Formal Apology for the Campaign's Sexism" (US News & World Reports). Erbe is also the host of PBS' To The Contrary.

A note to our readers

Hey --
Are we late this week? Some don't think so. The reality is that everyone's tired and pointing out that at 3:00 a.m. EST, when the roundtable finished, we should have been done. It was made clear that no one wanted to continue (as I'd suggested) and that we'd get back together this evening.

So let's start with who helped create this edition:

The Third Estate Sunday Review's Dona, Jess, Ty, Ava and Jim,
Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude,
Betty of Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man,
C.I. of The Common Ills and The Third Estate Sunday Review,
Kat of Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills),
Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix,
Mike of Mikey Likes It!,
Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz,
Ruth of Ruth's Report,
Wally of The Daily Jot,

And of course Dallas who found links, was a soundboard, and helped in so many other ways. Here's what we've got.

Truest statement of the week -- Bonnie Erbe was the clear winner. For those wondering about Katie Couric, Ava and C.I. are focusing solely on that so we didn't put Couric on the nomination list. That wasn't a slap to Couric and her very true words but since there was an entire feature article on that, we didn't consider her as a nominee. Erbe was the clear choice and there were only two other nominees, neither of which said anything all that important.

Editorial: Nader's a real candidate with real stands -- The editorial and we did it early on. The roundtable was the second to last thing we did. This is a strong editorial and we're all pleased with it. But we'll probably move away from editorials on the political campaigns (Dona says, "As sure as you type that, another one will come up next week"). Okay, we'd like to move away from them. That doesn't mean we'll stop covering Nader. It does mean that we would like to move that to articles. The silence in existance on war resisters since winter 2006 continues and we probably should make that our focus. Whether it will turn out that way or not, who knows?

TV: Strength greeted with confusion, attacks & silence -- Ava and C.I.'s commentary. The promise I made was if they wrote long, hit hard and worked on this we'd all be done quickly. That didn't happen as everyone but Ava and C.I. pointed out. They worked on this longer than anything they've ever worked on. They started Saturday evening and, by Saturday night, were reading portions of it to friends (feminists and women working in broadcast and cable). They incorporated all feedback and did another draft. Then they did their editing. When they were done, they handed it to me and I read it outloud. We immediately went to work on the editorial because everyone was jazzed by this. We were working full speed throughout the edition as a result of this. Which is why, when the roundtable was done, and some started noting the time, there was some real resistance to working some more. It was pointed out that while Ava and C.I. worked on this, I was telling the rest that everyone was tired and if we could get a strong editorial and one or two strong short pieces, we'd do a shorter edition and everyone could get some sleep. It was pointed out that Ava and C.I. busted their asses on this (they really did, I don't argue that point) and I was still saying we had other pieces to do. Betty's opinion was that this was the finest thing Ava and C.I. have done and that "if you're thinking anything we're all going to produce right now, as tired as we are, will be up to that level, you are kidding yourself."
This really is strong and powerful. And funny. Ava and C.I. disagree and they have several sections that they edited out to make it flow better. We may try to work on those discards in future weeks to revisit the topic but Ava and C.I. really say it all. And say it so damn well. There was a gasp and a laugh at the use of "bitch" because Ava and C.I. don't use that term. That came from the feedback over the phone from friends who were repeatedly stating what Dr. Kathy qualified her for that term. As they heard it over and over, they agreed they'd try to work that point in somehow. They went with a quote from Death Becomes Her. This really is something. And you should be asking, because journalists were raising this point to Ava and C.I. in their feedback, why did Bill Moyers discuss the 'tearing up' moment by supplying a clip that wasn't of that moment? It is true that journalists are supposed to be use primary sources when available. So why didn't Bill Moyers air the video of Clinton? Why did he instead air the attack by Jesse Jackson Jr.? Why did he go with an attack and a distortion when the journalistic thing to do was to play the moment so the viewers could see it for themselves? Bill Moyers needs to answer that question.

Where are the demands? Where is the knowledge? -- C.I. and Elaine's brains and C.I. journals were picked for this. We are serious about continuing to explore the history of war resistance during Vietnam and we think it's appalling that the history isn't explored by all our 57 mags/websites and they've got nothing to say. If we make this topic the editorial next week, we'll cover it. Otherwise we probably won't because next week will be our summer read.

Roundtable -- First. Dona says, "Augustana, Holly Near, Ashford & Simpson, Carly Simon, Jefferson Airplane and Jack Johnson were what we listened to this edition." She didn't realize how late it was and, in the roundtable, referring to Barbara's e-mail, said we'd note what we were listening to. Everyone was too tired. Second, this is a wide ranging roundtable and I did attempt to include as many e-mails as I'd read. Ty and Dona did as well. There was a huge section that got deleted. This was typed this afternoon and Dallas didn't do links because C.I. sent Dallas packing. C.I. rightly noted that it was bad enough we always expect Dallas to do links but to ask him to work all night and then call him back this evening was just outrageous. We all agreed with that. Dallas, thank you for your work, it is appreciated. We shouldn't abuse all you do expecting you to constantly give time and give time especially when it's due to my poor planning. Time permitting, we'll put in some links this week.

Barack and his use of racism -- This was the last piece we had to write. Again, we were are working the e-mails. We know what you're interested in and following. The realization that Barack, in Jamie's words (and we couldn't fit it into the article, so I'm sorry but we'll include it here) that Barack cried "Fire!" in a crowded building over and over is really starting to tick people off. We should all be ticked off. Originally, the final draft was much longer. As Dona pointed out, Betty makes the point strongest and we just need to end with her words.

Cockburn's SewerHose -- Does the left really thinking mocking John McCain's POW years is a winning strategy? Do they really think that taking the word of someone who either participated in torture or condoned it with his presence is how we honor the victims of torture? This is the second time in recent weeks that we're aware of CounterPunch getting this sleazy. It needs to stop.

Things to do -- A listing of three events taking place this week.

Highlights -- Mike, Elaine, Betty, Kat, Marcia, Rebecca, Ruth, Cedric and Wally wrote this and also picked out highlights unless otherwise noted.

And that's what we've got. Next week the plan is the summer fiction read. After that, Dona and I will be off for a week, then Ty will be off the week after. This was addressed in the edited out section of the roundtable (edited because "It's dull, it's too personal and there's no reason to include it" -- in the words of one participant).

We'll see you next week.

-- Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess, Ava and C.I.

Editorial: Nader's a real candidate with real stands

The issues, lamented many in the last months, when can we talk about the issues?

Barack Obama tried that as well whenever he was confronted with an issue that went to his own character. Well Barack's proclaimed himself the nominee and last week John McCain talked about Iraq. It was appalling, no question, he wants to see Americans in Iraq for many years to come in a manner similar to the US bases in Japan, Germany, South Korea, etc. The Dems? Did they grab that moment to talk about "the issues"? Of course not. They attempted one-liners and smears lobbed at McCain.

"I would veto any attempt to extend the so-called PATRIOT Act or anything else that came across my desk that was designed to circumvent the civil liberties of the American People. The PATRIOT Act grants excessive power to the government to abuse civil liberties through wiretaps, monitoring internet usage, authorized 'sneak and peek' of our homes, and forces libraries to turn over records of the books read by their patrons--and those abuses of power have been used repeatedly by Bush and his Justice Department."

Who said that? You know it wasn't McCain, you know it wasn't Barack. Independent candidate for president Ralph Nader addressed issues on Friday. That's where Nader stands? McCain? He voted for the 2006 re-authorization. Barack? As always with Bambi there is what he says and what he does. Say Anything To Get Into Office Obama promised that, if elected to the Senate, he would repeal it but he got into the Senate and ended up voting, like McCain, to reauthorize it.

Any empty 'promise' he makes on the campaign trail needs to be weighed against the reality of his words while running for the Senate against what he actually did when he got into the Senate.

And Iraq. The topic McCain wanted to talk about last week that the Dems wouldn't talk about. Where does Nader stand on Iraq?

* A complete, rapid, negotiated withdrawal of all U.S. military, mercenaries and corporate interests from Iraq.

* Cutting the wasteful and bloated U.S. military budget which makes up 50 percent of U.S. discretionary spending.

* Reversing U.S. Middle East policy, including a re-evaluation of the Palestinian-Israeli dispute, and supporting the Israeli and Palestinian peace movements.

* Increased emphasis on diplomacy, humanitarian aid and reducing the underlying causes of stateless violence.

Nader is currently polling at 6% nationally. An impressive figure that's higher than he was polling this time in 2000 and amazing considering the media blackout.

The media blackout?

We're sure 'sympathetic' articles are in the works. Self-confessed lover of Joe Klein's political 'wisdoms' Ruth Conniff was dispatched by The Progressive to do the magazine's hit-job on Ralph in 2004. It was really something to marvel over. And she got away with it.

We're sure others will get away with it this go-round.

But here's the thing, on the issues there's only one candidate that so-called "progressives" can support and it's Nader. There's no need for you to hold your nose or choose the least worst candidate when there's a candidate who stands for everything you do.

If you're a Barack supporter we realize that reason isn't stocked in your medicine cabinet, but by making a show of support for Ralph, you would be tactically smart because the only thing that will keep Barack from going further to the right (he ran to the right throughout the Democratic primary) is pressure.

Pressure didn't take place on the Democrats in 2004. Everyone lined up behind John Kerry, held their tongues and just knew if he got elected he would somehow deliver things he never promised to.

That's the same 'logic' at work with Barack.

In 2004, 'progressives' elected to pressure Ralph.

A lot of them disgraced themselves by taking part in a "Ralph Don't Run" campaign. Hate monger Randi Rhodes (who finally got her walking papers after cursing out Hillary Clinton and Geraldine Ferraro) insisted, "We can't afford you." "We"? That was Randi Rhodes first day as a national broadcaster. Regional Randi, finally given a national platform, decided to speak for "we". And she got away with it. (She also ambushed and trashed Ralph's support Patti Smith in one of the earliest signs of just what a sexist pig she actually was.)

Who the hell was Randi Rhodes to speak for "we" or decide what we could or couldn't afford?

Michael Moore disgraced himself by dropping to his knees on TV and begging Ralph not to run. Ralph was kind enough not to drop to his own knees and beg Moore to try acting like an adult.

And voters were told, over and over, be patient, Kerry's going to win and he's going to do it by running to the right of Bully Boy!

He didn't win.

He lost. Loser.

If all those people voting for Kerry had voted for Nader, maybe the Bully Boy wouldn't have had a second term and the illegal war would have ended January 2005? They would have been joining other voters and, had they done that in the lead up to the elections, there might have been enough excitement in the press to draw in voters who stayed home to take part in a historic election.

We could have spent the last four years talking about President Ralph Nader and his policies instead of the Bully Boy and his crimes.

What is known is that no pressure was put on John Kerry and John Kerry promised nothing.

Support for Ralph right now should stem from the fact that he's the politician we all say we want.

But if that's too hard for some to grasp, they need to realize that as long as they apply no pressure to Barack, he's only going to run to the right more and more.

If you're for peace, you're for the candidate with the peace plan. That would be Ralph and not the man who told CNN two weeks ago that he would decide what to do about Iraq when he got into the White House.

If you're for peace, you're for the candidate calling for an end to the illegal war, calling for US troops out of Iraq, calling for mercenaries out of Iraq.

Where's the pressure on Barack going to come from?

Panhandle Media?

Not only did they refuse to pressure Kerry, you already saw Tom Hayden and Laura Flanders both endorse Barack Obama in February and show up mere days later with their columns about holding Barack's feet to the fire. They told you that Barack needed pressure and, if you had common sense, you should shouted back, "How do you think endorsing him is putting pressure on him?"

It's not.

Foot rubs, they can offer. Feet to the fire, they're not interested.

Which is why they have the nerve to lecture you (in February) to hold Barack's feet to the fire and they've done nothing to do that themselves, all this time later.

Both of them avoided noting Barack's remarks to CNN -- as did Amy Goodman. But they all played dumb when Samantha Power revealed the same thing (that Barack's 'promises' on the campaign trail weren't genuine) to the BBC. The Washington Post could and did report on that. The Nation, Democracy Now!, The Progressive, et al stayed silent. They played you stupid.

Here's the interview Panhandle Media couldn't tell you about:

Stephen Sackur: You said that he'll revisit it [the decision to pull troops] when he goes to the White House. So what the American public thinks is a commitment to get combat forces out within sixteen months, isn't a commitment is it?

Samantha Power: You can't make a commitment in whatever month we're in now, in March of 2008 about what circumstances are going to be like in January 2009. We can'te ven tell what Bush is up to in terms of troops pauses and so forth. He will of course not rely upon some plan that he's crafted as a presidential candidate or as a US Senator.

When Power gave that interview, she was still his foreign policy advisor. And backing up her claims that promises weren't really promises, here's Barack speaking to Candy Crowley June 5th on CNN when asked about his 'promise' to withdraw (combat troops):

Well, you know, I'd never say there's 'nothing' or 'never' or 'no way' in which I'd change my mind." Obviously, I'm open to the facts and to reason. And there's no doubt that we've seen significant improvements in security on the ground in Iraq. And our troops, and Gen. Petraeus, deserve enormous credit for that. I have to look at this issue from a broader perspective, though.

In April Power tells the BBC that Barack's 'pledges' and 'promises' on Iraq are non-binding and, if elected, he'll decide what to do then. June 5th, Barack echoes that to CNN. And Panhandle Media works overtime to ignore reality.

And if you like being played, you'll love what they have planned.

On Barack they're going to continue to offer up puff pieces on his inherent goodness (we hope it's only a rumor that John Nichols is currently in search of a woman in Boise rumored to have been cured for adult acne at a Barack campaign rally after the Christ-child broke wind). And they also intend to scare you.

To scare you.

That needs to be emphasized. In one of the most tabloid-ish headlines in 2004, The Nation insisted 2004 was the "torture election." Look for more purple prose for them this year as they try to ratchet up the hysteria and convince that there's a huge gulf between Barack and John McCain.

"Independent" media isn't independent. They're in the tank for the Democratic Party and proved that throughout 2004 as they will in 2008. Public television? Gee, has Bill Moyers even noted once that Ralph Nader is running? Hard as it might be for Moyers to accept "public television" is not Democratic Party Television. He'd be the first to castigate other programs for their tilts and he'd be the last to point out his own.

A 'media' conference took place last weekend and it wasn't about reforming media at all. It was about electing Democrats. It was an embarrassment and only revealed how those media 'reformers' were envious of the Republican echo-chamber and desperate to start one for the Democratic Party.

Why wasn't Ralph invited to speak?

If the real problem was, as they like to allege, corporate control of the media, why wasn't the original Corporate Crusader invited to speak?

Ralph Nader's running for president. He's not Cynthia McKinney announcing that "victory" will be 5% of the votes. He's running for president.

He's a real candidate with a real platform.

It's only threatening to the toadies in 'independent' media because he's not on the Democratic ticket.

If you're concerned about the peace movement you need to not only be following Nader's campaign, you also need to be following your peace 'voices'. John Kerry's campaign destroyed the peace movement in 2004 and it took forever to rebuild it. The Iraq War can't be put on hold. But for Barack pushers, it can be. For Barack pushers, nothing is more important than getting the Christ-child into the White House (which is why they ignore Barack's use of homophobia and sexism).

So you need to watch those peace 'voices' and pay attention to whether they hold Barack accountable. Hint: Holding Barack accountable is not tearing John McCain apart and then offering a weak critique of Barack.

On the Iraq War, Barack's offering nothing. He made that clear on CNN. Samantha Power made it clear on the BBC back in April.

Ralph Nader's offering real change. Ralph Nader's offering an end to the illegal war.

So watch for Panhandle Media to alternate between shutting him out and ridiculing him.

The Nation, The Progressive and Democracy Now! aren't doing a damn thing to end the illegal war. They haven't reported on war resisters, they haven't done anything. So you can listen to them and their theatrics over the coming months as they try to manipulate into supporting War Hawk Barack or you can show some self-respect and support the only peace candidate running for president. (Repeating, running for 5% of the vote is not running for president.)

TV: Strength greeted with confusion, attacks & silence

Wednesday, Katie Couric opened her "Notebook" (CBS Evening News) and proved the old adage, "If every woman in the world told the truth at the same time, the world as we know it would change forever."

If you doubted it, you missed what followed Couric calling out sexism. An intense effort to play dumb, attack or stay silent. On Friday, The New York Times went with with the first tactic. In a long article that said very little (no women in broadcast or cable news were sought out for the story), Katharine Q. Seelye and Julie Bosman offer "Critics and News Executives Split Over Sexism in Clinton Coverage." Heavy on featuring men (all quotes on the front page are from men) and short on women. All women featured show up late in the story (and inside the paper where it continues). Among the tiny number featured is one our readers know very well, Dr. Kathy:

"Largely, the problem was on cable and in the blogosphere and on the Internet, and that's a relatively small audience," said Kathleen Hall Jamieson, director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania. "But while it was limited, it was limited to influential people."

Oh, Dr. Kathy, we try to be nice. We tried. But as Staci Lattisaw once suggested, "Nail It To The Wall." "It" would be your ass, Dr. Kathy. Dr. Kathy lied to The New York Times and let's deal with that first. "Relatively small audience," she insisted last week. Well, golly, what did she say in May?

"Secondly, we know something about how the electorate is using the new media environment," Dr. Kathy told Bill Moyers on May 2nd. "Meaning lots of cable channels that you have an option to go to, even when you're watching traditional, mainstream broadcast. People aren't watching 30 minutes of NBC or CBS or ABC anymore. There's a whole part of the electorate that is watching a segment of it. It gets what it needs of politics, and it starts to channel-surf to find other political information. And over a third of the electorate says, it's done that at least once or twice in this most recent viewing experience."

To the paper last week, she insisted "the problem" (what is it, vaginal odor -- she can't say "sexism"?) was exposed to a "very small audience." Yet last month, on PBS, she was stating one-third of the electorate (ONE THIRD!) was utilizing cable channels and the web for information. Dr. Kathy has always struggled to build a relationship with the truth. The two remain estranged.

During the primary campaign, Dr. Kathy was brought on frequently as an 'expert' by Bill Moyers (to his Bill Moyers Journal -- which airs on the non-cable PBS and has a very large audience). On one of those segments (January 9th), Senator Hillary Clinton 'crying' was addressed. Hillary didn't cry but Dr. Kathy felt the need to bring that moment up and, 'expert' that she is, she credits it with Hillary's success in New Hampshire despite the fact that late breaking voters identified their reasons for going with Clinton as the Saturday debate. From the transcript of the January 9th broadcast:

KATHLEEN HALL JAMIESON: But that's not the whole story. In the Hillary moment, characterized very differently by people-
BILL MOYERS: The moisty moment?
KATHLEEN HALL JAMIESON: Well, whatever adjective or adverb you use, Hillary Clinton has this moment in the diner.
BILL MOYERS: The national press was cynical. Clinton is hoping that showing that other side will bring women in particular to the polls, almost as if she had done it deliberate. We don't know whether she did or not. But the two significant newspapers in New Hampshire didn't cover the event at all. And local television coverage in New Hampshire was pretty matter of fact about it. It became a bigger national story than it did a local story.
KATHLEEN HALL JAMIESON: Mm-hm. But what's also interesting to me is you're not sure whether she did it deliberately or not.

What's interesting to us is that 'expert' Dr. Kathy brought it up on her own, interjected it and didn't know what the hell she was talking about. What's interesting to us is that Bill Moyers calls it a 'moisty' moment -- oh, ha, ha, you are so very funny.

But along with trying to be funny, he also likes pranks. The same episode.

JESSE JACKSON, JR.: We saw a sensitivity factor…But there are a lot of issues for which we can be emotion on this campaign.

That's how the transcript 'plays' that moment. It is not how it played on TV. (And we called it out in real time.) The "..." was not used on PBS, Jackson's actual words (aired on MSNBC) were. Dr. Kathy wants to tell The New York Times it was the bad world of blogs and the bad world of cable. But Moyers played Jackson entire sexist attack on Hillary. (Watch the episode online if you doubt us.)

And Dr. Kathy? Not a word. Brought on as an 'expert.' Moyers plays the sexist attack on Hillary and Dr. Kathy responds?

BILL MOYERS: What do you think?
KATHLEEN HALL JAMIESON: Much of the commentary about that moment is simply a Rorschach read on people's ideological relationship to Hillary Clinton. The question for the electorate at large is: Does it speak to her capacity to lead? It's the same question that one should ask of everything one sees of candidates.

Jackson has just falsely lied and attacked Clinton in sexist terms and Dr. Kathy doesn't address that. She doesn't point out that he's lying when he says she cried about her appearance and she certainly doesn't point out that he had a chunk of his intestines removed to lose fifty pounds -- so who is he to accuse anyone else of vanity?

Dr. Kathy just let it skirt on by. Dr. Kathy can insist it was 'cable, all cable!' But people like Bill Moyers amplified it by replaying on non-cable and Dr. Kathy was present for that. And it should be noted that journalists know the difference between primary and secondary sources. Meaning? Bill Moyers should explain why he REFUSED to play Clinton's moment but was happy to air an attack on that moment while pretending he wanted to address the moment. But Dr. Kathy was present and she didn't call out the lies or the sexism. She just called it a "Rorschach read." Dr. Kathy, you're an embarrassment.

Don't believe us? Check over her various visits 'explaining' what was what to Moyers. Dr. Kathy, even when Hillary won New Hampshire, never attempted to portray it as anything for women to take pride in or to connect it to the centuries old and ongoing women's movement. But golly, bi-racial Barack was to be connected to history.

Check out the babble from the January 4th broadcast, after Barack won Iowa, "echo of Martin Luther King, Jr." (Dr. Kathy), MLK and Moses (Moyers), "Civil Rights movement" (Dr. Kathy), "Selma and Montgomery" (Dr. Kathy), "father from Kenya" (Dr. Kathy), "transcend the racial divide" (Dr. Kathy), "unification" (Dr. Kathy), "Obama changes the metaphor; because King took his people to the mountain, Obama can take them somewhere else" (Moyers and, yes, it is racist as well as laughable since Barack's bi-racial and made no promises to America's Black community), and that's all from one appearance. In that appearance she also casts Hillary "as the establishment" -- Dr. Kathy would argue she said the press did but Dr. Kathy was brought on to 'see beyond' the press spin as Moyers stated ("Her calling is to mine the facts hidden in all the spin," Jan. 11th, BMJ)) and she didn't question and certainly didn't point out that Barack, first entering the Illinois state legislature in 1995, was no political virgin.

Speaking to The New York Times, Dr. Kathy left out the fact that whatever happens on cable is amplified elsewhere. She seemed to 'forget' Jackson's MSNBC attack was re-played by Moyers on PBS and that she was present for it and that she didn't call out. She forgets a lot.

'The internet is unimportant.' (Big words for someone sobbing over our past criticism of her s**t poor sense of fashion.) Well golly, we'd think the internet was vastly more important than text messages. Wouldn't you?

Not if you were Dr. Kathy. From the February 29th broadcast:

KATHLEEN HALL JAMIESON: And part of what they're doing on this channel is different, candidate to candidate. So when you look at the ads for Barack Obama across the recent primaries and caucuses, in some of those ads, you see an instruction that I bet went past you when you saw all those spots. And certainly, it passed me, until I asked one of the students what it was doing there. It says, "Text hope." And then it gives you a number.
KATHLEEN HALL JAMIESON: H-O-P-E, the theme of the Barack Obama campaign and then, a number. That's a communication to say if you have text messaging on your cell phone, text in "hope" and that number. And the Obama campaign begins to communicate directly to you. You're putting in a zip code, and it tells you where the nearest rally is, when you're supposed to be voting, when the caucus is being held.
And so, the channels of communication this year are highly diverse. And then there's one more. I'm in Pennsylvania. We've been watching the internet communication that candidates deliver through E-mail. Now, why would they want to text message, rather than E-mail? Remember, Pennsylvania primary, 22nd of April-- have been instructions about how to get together in order to be trained to participate in the volunteer pool to get people to the polls. That's a form of advertising. Text messaging advertising, Internet advertising. And then, an unprecedented amount of money on the air. This is a year in which there's been more communication than ever in the history of primary, to more people about candidates.
BILL MOYERS: Aren't these text messages going to kids who aren't old enough to vote?
KATHLEEN HALL JAMIESON: They may be. But they're not going to people who aren't old enough to volunteer. There's no age barrier to volunteering. And what's important also, in the advertising stream this year, is that there is advertising to the young about issues of concern to the young.
The Obama campaign has pioneered this. There is one Hispanic language ad for Senator Obama, in which a young person basically explains why it's important to get your parents involved for Obama. We know there's a generational divide. Older voters, more likely, particularly older women will be with Senator Clinton, younger, with Senator Obama. This is a trickle up theory. Get the young to influence their parents.

Uh, Dr. Kathy, what was that other than a commercial to promote Barack? It wasn't commentary, it wasn't analysis. The segment would also feature multiple radio ads . . . from the Obama campaign. It's amazing how she and Moyers had nothing critical to say about Barack -- who would go on to lose the Latino vote in Texas despite his attempts to buy it, it should be remembered. But they were saving their darts and knives for Hillary.

Dr. Kathy: Let me read you a line from the NEW YORK TIMES, from March 6th, 2007, that tells you what one construction of Hillary Clinton is, as opposed to another. THE NEW YORK TIMES, March 6th, 2007. "As a Senate candidate in 2000, Mrs. Clinton embraced the role of an attentive listener. As opposed to the power hungry climber many have suspected."
In Hillary Clinton's biographical past is the health care reform efforts in 1993-94, in which she is accused of conducting a process that was closed door, that didn't bring the friends that might have been there to help her, into the room to help work it out. Hillary Clinton, who is accused with Bill Clinton, of not working through the compromises with those who had legislation pending that might have worked with the Clinton proposal, to ultimately produce health care reform in spring of 1994. So, closed, secretive meetings. Climber, aggressive, calculating.

Meow. As Goldie Hawn says to Meryl Streep in Death Becomes Her, "On guard, bitch." We're not in the mood for your lies, Dr. Kathy. We're not in the mood for your crap. Let's stay with that broadcast where Barack was praised through the roof (for texting and Spanish language ads) and let's note Dr. Kathy's response to Hillary being "given a pair of boxing gloves" in Ohio.

The problem with boxing gloves is it's the wrong kind of fighting. First, a woman's naturally disadvantaged the minute you go to a boxing metaphor. But more importantly, that moves into a game reference point, not to the point that she highlights in one of her ads, in which she features the fighter theme, but she showed her identification with people who came back from the National Guard. And it identifies her with her issue position, fighting to get them benefits.

Oh, really, Dr. Kathy, you sexist, little troll. Really? You want to play 'analyst' and also talk about women and their 'innate nature'?

She should be asked about that specifically on Tuesday. She should be asked about a lot of 'wisdoms' and silences she offered throughout the campaign season. Tuesday?

Women's Media Center holds a panel discussion at The Paley Center for Media (25 West 52nd Street, NYC) which starts at nine and is scheduled to conclude at noon. The event is free and open to the public. The panelists include Dr. Kathy, Juan Gonzalez, Christiane Amanpour, Sue Carroll, Courtney Martin, Celinda Lake, Mika Brzezinski, Catalina Camia, Geneva Overholser, Ron Walters and Dr. Patti Williams. (Click here for the announcement and for information on registering.) It should be lively especially if even half the women we've spoken to ask the needed questions and raise the needed points they aren't so sure the panel will. Dr. Kathy needs to be specifically asked about the attack on Hillary Clinton where Jesse Jackson Jr. went on MSNBC right after Clinton won New Hampshire and said she'd cried, implied she was a racist and that she cried out of vanity.

Here's what actually happened:

Hillary Clinton: And I couldn't do if it I just didn't passionately believe it was the right thing to do. You know I have so many opportunities from this country [the eyes tear] I just don't want to see us fall backwards. You know? So. This is very personal for me. It's not just political, it's not just public. I see what's happening and we have to reverse it. And some people think elections are a game, it's like, who's up and who's down. It's about our country, it's about our kid's futures, and it's really about all of us together. You know some of us put ourselves and do this against some [sardonic voice] difficult odds, and we do it, each one of us because we care about our country. But some of us are right and some of us are wrong. Some of us are ready and some of us are not. Some of us know what we will do on day one and some of us haven't really thought that through enough. And so when we look at the array of problems we have and the potential for really spinning out of control, this is one of the most important elections America has ever faced. So [smiling] as tired as I am, and I am, and as difficult as it is to keep up what I try to do on the road like occasionally exercise, and try to eat right, it's tough when the easiest food is pizza, I just believe so strongly in who we are as a nation. So I'm going to do everything I can to make my case and then the voters get to decide.

Here's some of how Jesse Jackson Jr. lied about it:

Not in response to voters resp-, uh, not-not in response to Katrina, not in response to uh-uh other issues that have devastated the American people, the war in Iraq, we saw tears in response to her appearance. So her appearance brought her to tears --

Again, that was on MSNBC. For some strange reason, Bill Moyers elected to discuss the 'moisty' moment not by providing viewers with a clip of what actually happened. It was more important to him, to play Jackson's clip (in full) and to let lies stand. Dr. Kathy, asked about the Jackson clip, let the lies stand as well. She needs to answer for that. The clip was played on PBS, on her segment, and, when it ended, Moyers specifically asked her for her 'analysis.' She didn't call out the sexism, she didn't call out the lies. She mumbled the sort of b.s. that never offends any sexist pig. She enabled and encouraged the trashing of Hillary and she has to answer for it.

So The New York Times at least took the issue seriously enough to offer a 'confused' article. Uber Cess Pool Keith Olbermann elected to call Couric out for her speech the night before and for her "Notebook" as he awarded her Worst Person of the Week. It's really important to the pigs that they never be found out. That's why they attacked Gloria Steinem, that's why they attacked Robin Morgan, that's why they attacked any woman who stood up and called out the sexism. The pigs (male and female) used sexism throughout the primary race. They thought they were going to get away with it. In terms of Hillary's campaign, they may have. But sexism is never about one woman, it's about all women. And that's why so many people (women and men) are enraged. So Keithie feels the need to trash Katie Couric in the hopes that his fat ass will intimidate other women and lead to their not speaking up.

Keithie tried to pretend his attack on Couric was over her calling out, in her speech, an unnamed TV personality who confessed he couldn't be objective about Barack. Keithie felt the need to name who he thought Couric was speaking of: Lee Cowan. And Keithie felt the need to insist that Cowan was balanced and fair. That he thinks his image allows any but his knuckle-dragging nimrods to see him as able to make that call is hilarious.

As many laughs as Gibson provided, it was more shocking what was going on at NBC/MSNBC. Correspondent Lee Cowan confessed on air to Brian Williams that it was "hard" for him to be objective about Barack Obama, whom Cowan was assigned to cover. Now in the world of a functioning mainstream press, Cowan would have immediately been reassigned. And should have been. Reporters are supposed to be objective and just the hint that you aren't, forget confessing on air that you find it "hard," is enough to damage the credibility of the news organization. At NPR, Michelle Norris has a set list of things she can do and cannot do in election cycles due to her husband's work. It's not that Norris couldn't be objective, most assume she could be, but it's that they don't want even the appearance that they're not being objective. Brian Williams, who bragged of his desire to censor the news before he took over as anchor (bragged on air to Jay Leno -- which is where all the really great news anchors go, right?), embarrassed himself by posting to his blog, "Lee was talking about the swirl of excitement that has hit the Obama campaign after Iowa -- the crowds, the hoopla -- all of it. Today we learned that rival political efforts were spinning this as some kind of 'bias' on the part of either Lee, or me, or this News Division, and that's just ridiculous. My response is as it always is in these situations: look at it again, listen to what's being said, and judge us by the quality and fairness of our journalism." Guess what, in a functioning news organization, you're biggest complaints wouldn't be coming from candidates, it would be coming internally. The fact that NBC didn't grasp the problem, didn't immediately pull Cowan off the beat and reassign him, goes a long way towards explaining the destruction of news standards in the MSM.

"Lee was talking . . ." only follows an announcement that, "To avoid the appearance of conflict, Lee Cowan will now be covering the Mitt Romney campaign after having stated on air that he found objectivity 'hard' when covering Obama." But we don't have a functioning press, do we?

Our call was correct in real time and Couric's was on the spot Tuesday. If you doubt it, you can go back to your media 'watchdogs' and see how none of them weighed in. Not FAIR, not CJR, not Danny Schechter. Not anyone. The reason is because to note what happened would require calling Lee Cowan out.

If you're still confused try this:

Gas bagging to Brian Williams, White House correspondent Lee Cowan confessed it was 'hard' for him to be objective when it came to discussing the Bully Boy. "I just find George W. Bush so inspiring."

They all would have been on Cowan. Because it was Barack, whom they support, they look the other way. A strange way for media 'critics' to behave. It's not as if they hadn't called out Cowan in the past. In 2003, when Cowan was at CBS and an 'embed,' he could be called out for bias by the same sort of 'watchdoggies' that refused to bark in January and played stupid last week.

Jeff Besocwici (Portfolio) revealed his own bias Friday while attempting to defend a friend. He wanted to ask "a different" question: "What is the acceptable level of racism in the media? Because no matter how we try to police it, the level is never going to be zero, nor -- depending on how you define 'racism' -- should it be." That's outrageous and we think most people would agree. The level of racism should never be zero? But, thing is, you need to put "sexism" where we've put "racism" because Jeffy was writing about sexism and, because it's sexism, we're not supposed to be outraged. Because it's sexism, he thinks he can argue (a) that there is an acceptable level of sexism the media can traffic in and (b) that sexism should always exist.

Jeffy was trying to defend his buddy John Neffinger who infamously dubbed Hillary "shrill." John-o aired his own defense and he took it to Aging Socialite's Cat Litter Box because what sexist doesn't know Arianna Huffington will let him air trash? She already allowed an 'actor' to tell 'jokes' about mentally challenged children which really underscored how she has no standards.

John-o tried to dismiss charges that he engaged in sexism by pointing to a study that found women's voices are higher than men's. So what he's offering in his defense is (a) his comments were on all women and not just Hillary (doesn't clear you, John-o) and (b) it took a study for the allegedly educated John-o to grasp something most people notice in childhood. But high pitched is not "shrill." Were it, we would have called Clarence Lusane "shrill" in our critique of him. There are few women in the world who speak in higher tones than Lusane.

Gwen Ifill offered her own dismissing on Washington Week Friday. She announced Hillary gave a speech the Saturday before and that already seems so long ago to Gwen. Hence, no need to discuss sexism. That would be the same Gwen who got praise from the press when she went on NBC's Meet the Press and called out Don Imus for racism.

That really says a lot right there. A woman calls out racism and she gets applause. Katie Couric calls out sexism and The New York Times tries to play confused while pigs attack Couric and where are the feminists?

Like the media 'watchdogs,' Ms. magazine played dumb yet again. On Friday, they foolishly posted an item that decried 'sexism' and 'racism' against . . . Michelle Obama. As Betty has demonstrated so aptly, it was neither. And unless Ms.' 'Feminist' Daily Wire intends to go back and retroactively criticize press reports on Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise, they don't have a leg to stand on. Ms. elected to headline their FDW nonsense "Sexist Campaign Coverage Continues."


Would they please steer us to their previous coverage? They don't keep workable archives, so allow us to set you straight. On January 18th, they carried one item on sexism which noted that NOW, Feminist Majority Foundation(the organization that now owns Ms. -- a fact left out of the brief), WMC and the National Women's Political Caucus were calling out "sexist comments" by Chris Matthews. They never even quoted the comments (though they were 'fair' enough to include Matthews clarification posing as an 'apology'). On February 11th, they noted David Shuster was suspended for saying Hillary had "pimped out" Chelsea. After MSNBC suspended him, Feminist Daily Wire (also called "Feminist Daily News" and "Feminist Wire") could note it. Not before, not when it needed calling out, but after he was supsended. The same way they waited until Chris Matthews issued a response to write about his sexism.

That was it. On June 4th, they declared Hillary's campaign over ("The Legacy of Hillary's Run So Far"). With the run over, they could note (June 11th) that WMC was launching a campaign to combat sexism.

Yet on June 13th, when the Obama campaign was telling everyone in the press that Michelle was the victim of sexism, it was time for 'the wire' to spring into action with "Sexist Campaign Coverage Continues." It's a pity that in real time, when it mattered, 'the wire' couldn't cover sexism. Two items don't count for coverage but, rest assured, while Ms. magazine couldn't do a damn thing to speak out against sexism aimed at a woman who 'dared' to run for president, they're happy to fret over the state of a potential First Lady. How very 'traditional' of them. Good Housekeeping couldn't have made themselves more useless if they'd tried.

Three to four items a day is not uncommon (Monday through Friday) for 'the wire' but somehow they only had time in all the sexist attacks on Hillary Clinton (while they saw her as a candidate) to file two news briefs. One on the fact that their foundation and others were decrying sexist remarks (in January) and one when David Shuster was suspsended for his sexist remarks. They couldn't even do a brief when Shuster made his remarks. They never went out on a limb. But, be sure, they're going to do so for Michelle Obama because the sad reality is that those in charge do not and did not support Hillary Clinton. So much for the sisterhood.

It's not that they weren't aware of the sexist attacks on Hillary. E-mails circulated by Ms. staff demonstrate that they knew about them throughout the campaign . . . and that they found them 'funny.' The magazine needs a top-down shake up immediately and first to go should be Michele Kort. Ms. stayed silent throughout the sexist attacks on the first woman and they stayed silent on homophobia. Kort's head is the first one that should roll.

How did Ms. magazine make the decision to ignore Barack Obama's use of homophobia? How did Ms. make the decision to ignore the sexist attacks on Hillary? They need to explain to the readers.

On March 30th, Kort explained to a few readers, via e-mail, why the sexist attacks on Hillary were not being called out, why the magazine (and online site) were not following the campaigns of Hillary and Cynthia McKinney:

I just want to point out to you that we haven't covered the presidential campaign NOT because we don't care--we all care deeply--but because Ms. is owned by the Feminist Majority Foundation which is a 501c3 nonprofit. By law we are NOT allowed to make endorsements or do anything that is seen to be an endorsement, because we could lose our tax-exempt status.

That's not just a lie, it's a damn lie. Their tax status did not prevent coverage, it only prevented making an endorsement. We noted it was a lie in real time. Any who doubted we were right should pick up the latest issue of Ms. In that, Kort runs Donna Brazile's nonsense Ms. where Brazile identifies herself as "Black. Woman." -- somehow Brazile forgets "Lesbian."

So Donna Brazile, who has trashed Hillary non-stop in e-mails that have been posted online everywhere, and who was always supporting Barack (as CNN's Campbell Brown pointed out to her on air) was the only one Michele Kort allowed to weigh in on the Democratic primary. Ms. readers should be outraged (and judging by our e-mails, most are -- if it helps, some at Ms. are outraged as well). And here comes 'the wire' signaling that they'll document anything the Obama campaign calls 'sexist' -- whether it is or not.

Kort needs to go and we're very serious about that. Her appeals to mutual friends to "call them off" aren't working and will not work. She revealed herself as a fraud, we just pointed it out. Like the Emperor, her exposure is no one's fault but her own. Ms. elected to stay silent on the sexism throughout the race. They filed nothing on the "nut crackers," they filed nothing on "shrill," they filed nothing on Olbermann's suggestion that a man should beat Hillary so badly that she couldn't leave or a room (or he may have been suggesting she couldn't leave because she'd been killed), they filed nothing on Glen Beck, on anyone. Two briefs. From January to June when they declared Hillary's campaign over.

And we're going to repeat: They did not file anything on Couric winning an Alice, anything on her acceptance speech or anything on her Notebook. A network evening news anchor called out the sexism in the media coverage of the campaign and to Ms. that wasn't news?

You need to be disgusted. You need to be outraged.

Until it's called out, it never ends.

Katie Couric, as women in network news pointed out to us Friday, did a very brave thing. Brave to call it out period. Brave to call it out while knowing you would slammed for doing so. Here's what Ms.' 'wire' didn't consider news.

Katie Couric: Over the last week it's been almost impossible to pick up a newspaper or turn on a cable show and avoid the endless post-mortems on Hillary Clinton's campaign. Senator Clinton has received her fair share of the blame and so has her political team. But, like her or not, one of the great lessons of that campaign is the continued and accepted role of sexism in American life -- particularly in the media. Many women have made the point that if Senator Obama had to confront the racist equivalent of an "Iron My Shirt!" poster at campaign rallies or a Hillary nutcracker sold at airports or mainstream pundints saying they instictively cross their legs at the mention of her name, the outrage would not be a footnote, it would be front page news. It isn't just Hillary Clinton who needs to learn a lesson from this primary season, it's all the people who crossed the line -- and all the women and men who let them get away with it. That's a page from my Notebook, I'm Katie Couric, CBS News.

And all the women and men who let them get away with it.

And continue to let them get away with it.

Seeyle and Bosman's article notes that Howard Dean now takes it seriously (that would be a change, as Mike pointed out last week) and is calling for a national dialogue. That might seem like a good thing . . . until you read on. In the fifth to last paragraph you confront a woman who, for those women who still have the scars of Miami, will seem very familiar. She has a different name and a different face but any woman at the 1972 Democratic convention will damn well remember how pathetic George McGovern stabbed women in the back and then hid behind women who had no self-respect and were more invested in McGovern's run than in the cause of equality. From the article:

In response, the Obama campaign directed a reporter to Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Democrat of Florida who supported [Ms.] Clinton but who is now speaking for the Obama campaign. She said Mr. Obama had no specific plans for a speech on sexism, partly because he already incorporated themes of discrimination as a societal problem in his speeches.

So Howard Dean says we need a national dialogue and Barack, who allegedly wants women's votes, says there's no need to speak about the topic. He's talked about "discrimination" in other forms. And he's going to get away with that?

(And Wasserman Schultz is going to be stupid and craven enough to run interference for him with the press? Debs, talk to the women who did that for McGovern in 1972 and ask them how fallow the next few years were for them. It wasn't a pretty time. It wasn't just friendships that ended, the gender traitors found out that the job markets dried up as well.)

Sexism can be lumped in with other "discrimination." It's not important enough for the Christ-child to call out. That could be due to the fact that he'd have to call out himself and his own campaign. He used sexism and we're sure his campaign would say "We got what we wanted." That, after all, was their sole public comment when they used homophobia in South Carolina.

He got away with it then because 'feminists' refused to call him out on it. They refused to make an issue out of it. Must not ever upset the Christ-child's rise to power. So the LGBT community can just suck on it and so, apparently, can all women.

It's interesting because Barack's campaign has repeatedly claimed he'd never have a problem with women, he was married to one! And he had two daughters! If that laughable 'logic' resulted in laughter, you probably remember the RNC arguing the same about Dan Quayle. Women were offended by that back then. They should be offended by what's going on today. Including 'Women' For Obama which saw the ridiculous (and non-feminist) Megan Beyer trotted out on PBS' To The Contrary last week to tut-tut over "illegal immigrants." If there's anyone more White bread than Megan, we've never seen them. But women can take comfort that while Barack 'reaches out' to us by dismissing us, he also seems to think the way to shore up the Latino vote is by tossing out today's Anita Bryant to moan about those "illegal immigrants."

Self-identified "Homemaker" Beyer gave $4,600 to Barack's campaign in March of 2007. Working outside or inside the home, we don't think most women will identify with Megs.*

As two women who will never vote for Barack, we intend to watch the nonsense as long as it lasts. We've already witnessed MSM journalists insist that, any day now, they will stop filing fan club clippings on Barack. They insisted that in December, in January, in February . . . If we couldn't laugh at them, we'd have to cry.

The same with media 'critics' who want respect for their 'tough calls' but refuse to call out homophobia or sexism. What you're witnessing is a collapse of all known standards on the left. And while CounterSpin (which only noted sexism once this year) can be counted to 'notice' Katie Couric when it's time to deliver a 'media critique' on the 'issue' of ratings, it -- along with all 'FAIR' outlets -- works overtime to ignore Couric's words of truth.

They were delivered. And they were heard. As important as Couric's comments were so was the reaction and, in fact, you could argue the reaction was all the more telling. And it was only surprising if you ignored what has repeatedly happened this year and how everyone from Bill Moyers to Keithie have participated in it, reinforced it and allowed it.

*Added: After this posted a male friend at NBC News called us to say we'd missed one of the more hysterical moments of Megs Beyer. This is Meggie praising Barack in February of this year: "In many ways, he really will be the first woman president." Yes, she really is that pathetic.

Where are the demands? Where is the knowledge?

In "Reefer resister" (Metro Spirit), Charles Tremblay floats the false notion that becoming a conscientious objector is a skip and leap.

Reading his ill-informed garbage (which is an attack on war resister Ryan Jackson), you can practically hear him singing, "It's so easy, it's so easy, Yeeeaahhhh, So doggone easy, It's so easy . . ."

It's easy to call him an idiot but how much of his stupidity is his own fault and how much of it goes to a media system that doesn't give a damn about truth or history we don't know.

Here's what we do know. This is a presidential election, the illegal war is vastly unpopular with the public, and neither major candidate is promising anything regarding Iraq that matters.

Agustin Aguayo is a war resister who was court-martialed for desertion. If he was going to be court-martialed, it should have been for being AWOL since he was gone less than 30 days and turned himself in. But Aguayo signed up already having religious beliefs. He served in Iraq and what he saw there only deepened his religious beliefs. He filed for CO status. The military's 'judgment' was that they saw no way that he could claim religious objections to the Iraq War. The military decided that they were the judge of religion in America and that the rejected every religious narrative that says beliefs grow and deepen. That's a slap in the face to all churches in America and should have led to a huge outcry. Certainly, the stories of Jesus are stories of someone struggling and overcoming, someone who becomes more as a result of his beliefs deepening.

When Aguayo was told he was shipping back to Iraq, his appeal of the military's decision was due to be heard in the US Federal Courts. That didn't stop the military from trying to get him to Iraq -- telling him that if they had to put him in chains, they'd ship him over to Iraq.

Stories like these are stories Tremblay seems ignorant of. And it needs to be noted, with the military also turning down some CO applicants with the argument that they are not religious, religion isn't required to be granted CO status. But let's turn to another war resister, Camilo Mejia.

Mejia was stationed in Iraq. His contract had expired when he was in Iraq. As Chris Hedges notes in the "Afterword" to Mejia's Road from Ar Ramadi: The Private Rebellion of Staff Sergeant Mejia, "His commitment to the army was extended until the year 2031." He was stop-lossed. And some try to act like that stop-loss might be mad but does it really matter? We'd argue it's illegal period and that is our opinion. But in terms of Mejia, it is illegal period and that is fact.

Camilo Mejia was not a US citizen. Non-citizens, check the code, cannot be extended by the military. That's the way it is. And, when this point was raised in Iraq, and a call to the US was made, it was made very clear that, yes, Camilo has to be discharged. The 'solution' was to hang up the phone and say the call was lost.

(By the way, to repeat, Dalia Hashad, though called out on air by a guest when she made this point about Camilo's contract being extended, was correct and possibly people should read a book before attempting to tell someone else that's not what it says?)

Both Agustin and Camilo were prosecuted for desertion, both had been rejected in their attempts to be granted CO status.

That's current history. There are many other examples (such as Robert Zabala who is among the many who have had to go to civilian courts to be granted CO status -- a process Tremblay appears ignorant on). But let's go back in history to Vietnam.

What did then President Gerald Ford do? He created an amnesty program for "draft dodgers" and "deserters" which required that they jump through hoops and maybe get amnesty. It was a bad program. What did his clemency board find when they began examining some cases of individuals who applied for the program? Charles E. Goodall was the chair of the clemency board and on November 29, 1974, he spoke publicly of the findings. Some of the applicants were, he stated, genuine CO's but didn't know how to use the process. Still true today. And he stated that the military needed to improve their information systems to increase awareness. That was never done. There was another group he identified as coming from low education backgrounds who had trouble with the process and he stated, "Basically, these people just didn't know how to take advantage of their rights under our legal system. They just didn't know how."

When the military ignored the clemency board's directions to improve the awareness of the CO status, they fostered many of the problems with the process today. In 1974, the process was being called out, by the president's commission. And it was never improved.

Goodall spoke of another category and used one man (unnamed) as an example. The man was in prison. Serving a sentence. Despite the fact that he had actually won CO status. But he had refused orders to instead go to a hospital and work there. The man was a Jehovah Witness and his refusal was in keeping with his beliefs because the hospital would still have been part of the military. He was granted clemency by the board, as he should have. The 'judge' over the case that sentenced the man to prison should have found another alternative than imprisonment.

All the findings of Ford's clemency board were ignored and they're forgotten today. Just as it's forgotten that Ford ordered the release of all "draft dodgers" and "deserters" that were currently serving prison sentences if they applied to the Clemency Board.

Ford's actions were not seen as left and his program was a joke because it did not go far enough. Jimmy Carter would follow Ford into the White House. He would ignore "deserters" -- though, sadly, some recent accounts continue to get that wrong -- but issue a clemency for all "draft deserters." Yet both Ford and Carter were offering far more than anything we're hearing from Barack Obama. Barack the 'anti-war' candidate.

On the campaign trail in 1976, Jimmy Carter declared, "So for a long time it was hard for me to address the question in objective fashion, but I think it's time to get the Vietnam War over with. I don't have any desire to punish anyone. I'd just like to tell the young folks who did defect to . . . come back home, the whole thing's over."

That was Carter running for president, running and winning.

Where are today's candidates on the issue?

After Carter won the election but before he had been sworn in, December 26, 1976, Tom Wicker ("Clemency: It's Not So Simple," New York Times) would call for Carter to do more:

Two major categories is particular exactly reflect his description of young men who didn't know enough to dodge the draft or flee the country:

*Vietnam veterans with less-than-honorable discharges, all awarded administratively not in sentences for criminal action but typically for trouble-making and dissent -- refusing to be assigned to Vietnam, for example, or distributing antiwar literature. These "bad" discharges went to perhaps 790,000 Vietnam veterans and constitute a lifetime barrier for most of them to decent employment and equal opportunity.

*Armed service deserters, of whom there may be about 20,000, only about one in a thousand of whom actually deserted on the battlefield. The Ford Administration's clemency board found that of deserters appealing their cases to it, a fourth were Black or Hispanic, three-fourths were high school dropouts and 57% were from low-income families.

The plea would go ignored but it was made. October 10, 1977, Anthony Lewis ("Meaning What You Say," New York Times) would remind the now-president Carter of his words as opposed to what Carter was actually doing:

This past weekend President Carter signed into law a bill that strips much of the compassion from one part of the program he put into effect, as promised, his first week in office. The law will deny veterans' benefits to many of the ex-servicemen whose discharges have been upgraded under the program, among them some men who had long service in Vietnam and were even decorated before getting into trouble.

So all you little Barack groupies out there convinced that he's going to end the illegal war (when even his laughable 'promise' to pull combat troops isn't a promise as he told CNN two weeks ago), where are your demands? Or do you think cheering "YEAH!" every time he yells, "We want to end the war!" cuts it as a demand?

In 1976, Carter was forced -- all the Democratic candidates for president were pressured in the primaries -- to do something on the issue. Speculation that, as he left office, Ford would offer greater clemency or even pardons, only pressured the Democrats more. In 1976, the Democratic Party's plank included amnesty not only for those who "deserted" or "dodged," but also for civilians who were arrested for protesting peacefully. Written into the plank was that their records would be stripped of those convictions.

Exactly what does The Cult of Bambi plan to do besides get a little wet in their undergarments each time he speaks?

You're putting no pressure on him and he's already saying his campaign promises weren't promises. You're putting no pressure on him and he's drifting further to the right. (He's proposing tinkering with Social Security and some are cheering that on not realizing what's coming, "To have this step, we will need to compromise and reduce ___.")

You're a marvelous fan base, a great cheering section. But don't confuse yourself with the political class because, in the words of Stevie Wonder, "You ain't done nothing."

And you should also grasp that applies to the peace 'leaders' and Panhandle Media who are keeping this information from you. Only an informed public can make demands. Instead of informing what was once possible so that we can build on that today, 'leaders' and Panhandle Media go out of their way to hide the history which only causes each generation to have to 'reinvent the wheel'. It's a very Spinoza like 'progression' they advocate through their continued silence.


Jim: Roundtable time, this will be a rush transcript. If there's an illustration, it's done by Betty's eldest son. Participating are The Third Estate Sunday Review's Dona, Jess, Ty, Ava and, and me, Jim, Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude, Betty of Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man, C.I. of The Common Ills and The Third Estate Sunday Review, Kat of Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills), Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix, Mike of Mikey Likes It!, Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz, Ruth of Ruth's Report, Wally of The Daily Jot, and Marcia SICKOFITRDLZ. We have a number of topics to discuss and that includes e-mails. I'm going to let C.I. address the first one which is from Joe in New Hampshire who is not TCI community member Joe. This Joe is a regular reader of our online magazine who has written repeatedly since July 2006. This time he writes, "With Hillary out of the race, I'm voting for John McCain. I'm happy to read any Nader coverage you may have but I've pretty much decided I'm voting for McCain. I assume I can continue to enjoy Ava and C.I.'s feature articles on TV but will probably have to ignore the rest of the features."


C.I.: I'm not sure why that's tossed to me. First off, I won't be voting for McCain. That's been made clear at The Common Ills since it started, over and over. But I don't care who you vote for. Your vote is not my vote. I have no right to control your vote. If you're comfortable with it -- and Joe appears to be from what Jim just read -- then that's the vote you need to cast. At The Common Ills, I'm speaking for the community. In Ava and my pieces, we're trying to make a point and be funny and we're much looser and less representative than I'd have to be if I were covering the same topic by myself at The Common Ills. In terms of this edition, we just did an editorial for this edition that I almost had to take my name off of because I don't want to tell anyone how to vote. A change was made to something like 'you should follow Nader's campaign' from you should you vote for Nader. That's why my name stayed on the editorial. And that's nothing against Nader, who the community supports, but just that I don't like "You will vote for . . ." pieces. In terms of McCain, we've got a piece this week that will go up this edition defending him on one thing -- which deserves defending and someone deserves calling out. Speaking only for myself, I'm not out for McCain's head on a stick. Ava and I defended him in one piece over the attacks the Obama campaign was launching on his age and that may have been why Joe singeled us out. I'm not going to write anything that I can't live with. I don't think any of us are -- correct me if I'm wrong -- and an election's an election. I'll leave it to the Katty-van-van crazies to treat it like it's the rapture and you must repent. Joe seems clear in his choice so obviously he's made the choice that is right for him. When McCain needs calling out, we'll call him out. We won't worry about tone. But if the concern is that this is going to become McCain Bashing Central, I don't think any of us would go along with that and, since Elaine and I know Cindy McCain, we will, of course, refuse to take part in anything that doesn't seem reasonable by our standards. We'll call him a wacko for his support of the Iraq War, for instance, but we're not going to join the chorus lying that he doesn't give a damn about those serving. Ava?

Ava: And as C.I.'s pointed out at The Common Ills, those serving include McCain's own son. If he says something ridiculous, we'll cover it but we're not going out of our way to include McCain. This is a site for the left and will always be more focused on that. I do know many friends, Latinos and Latinas, who are going to vote for McCain. That's not going to end my friendship with them. I'm sorry that Joe is worried that he's not welcome. We'll try to be very specific if we call out McCain supporters so that it's clear who we are calling out and that we're not calling out all of his supporters. I'm not interested in being Katty-van-van and increasing the rhetoric, raising it, until it seems like the entire world's future rests on one election. That's alarmist talk. It's "End of Times" talk. Let's all try to be grown ups and realize that elections are just elections. After two terms of the Bully Boy, you'd think we'd have a little perspective and be more interested in what people were doing to change things and less interested in who gets installed.

Dona: I've exchanged e-mails with Joe over the last two years. I wasn't aware of this one. The editorial that C.I. mentioned, along with C.I. wanting a line change -- actually several but the one we all agreed to ended up being enough -- C.I. pointed out that war resisters could have been the editorial. That's very true. In the future, we'll probably be more inclined to do electoral pieces as feature articles and use the editorial for topics that aren't getting enough attention or for calling out the pathetic Panhandle Media.

Jess: I want to be clear on something because I did read Joe's e-mail and it does continue past that point[read by Jim] to list websites where he no longer feels welcome, as a Democrat voting for McCain. Jim didn't read that part and that's fine. He, Ty and I debated naming those sites. But one of his concerns along with McCain being bashed over trivial matters is that we're going to become part of the chorus singing Barack's praises. That is not planned. For Barack to get praise from us, he'd have to actually stand for something. In order for him to stand for something, he'd have to receive real pressure and there's not going to be any pressure on him. I-Need-Attention-Benjamin hasn't protested him over his speech to AIPAC or his telling CNN two weeks ago that he'd decide what to do about Iraq when he got into the White House. He's not going to be pressured and he's not going to move to the left. We're not going to turn into a Bambi fansite. Or write the "I am now a reluctant supporter of Barack" piece. It's not happening. Joe has seen it happen at various sites last week and he's concerned that it could happen here. I'm saying to Joe, "Keep reading and you'll see that it's not happening."

Ty: He was specific about, among others, Taylor Marsh and I thought I'd toss to Mike on that.

Mike: Elaine and C.I. both called Marsh's nonsense out. A few months back her position stated at her site was 'look I'm an American first, not a Democrat' as she explained she'd consider not voting for Barack if Hillary didn't get the nomination. Then it became, "If Barack's the nominee, I can't cheerlead him here because I know my readers and they know what I've said." Now it's "People, this is what Hillary wants!" Those are paraphrases. But over a few months time, she's indicated she would vote for McCain, then stated she would work for the Democratic Party but not Barack and then stated 'I'm koo-koo for Obama Puffs!' It's disgusting. I share Joe's disgust with it. I don't know the other sites mentioned but that site is a joke. I don't see it as my job to get Democrats elected. I see it as my job to tell my truth the best way I can. I would also encourage Joe to check out Ruth's site. Last week she highlighted a number of things on McCain and, though she won't be voting for him, she's not going to join in whatever ridiculous meme MoveOn is putting out.

Ruth: No, I'm not. If I see something to call out, I will call it out. But you have to remember, I'm a Democrat and there's very little Republicans can do at this point in my long life that would shock me. So I'm more apt to roll my eyes. I would have called out Bomb-Bomb-Iran if he'd done the song last week. Something like that, where he raises the level, I'll call out. But I'm not interested in repeating talking points from Democratic blogs. A) I don't read those websites. B) What I write may be dull or boring or badly written, but it's got my name on it and I wrote it. Anything else and I couldn't live with it and would just shut the site down tomorrow.

Rebecca: I'm going to jump in because I can guess which sites Joe named in his e-mail and they are appalling. "Reluctant supporter for Obama." I've gotten the same "Come over to the Dark Side, we will rule the world" crap e-mails everyone else participating has. I'm not joining the bandwagon and I will assume that those "Reluctant" supporters popping up last week decided to believe the promises of 'future riches.' Sell your soul and you have nothing.

Jim: Okay. Melinda is very mad at me because I didn't note her comment. I was going to try to do so last week but we didn't have a mailbag or a roundtable. So I'll note it here. Melinda says we left a very important movie star off the list, Liza Minnelli.

C.I.: Can I grab that? First, there are many left off the list and if there was someone you wanted noticed, by all means e-mail. On Liza, absolutely. The period is 1060 to 1979. Liza emerged as a movie star during that period. She has an Oscar that she earned. Every few years a studio or network toys with the idea of doing a Mame remake. Liza is the best choice for that role and never mentioned. She has the screen stature needed for the part, she obviously has the voice to sing the score and she would be able to bring a different shading the part. I know Liza and that's why I'm grabbing this. I'm not even sure that everyone participating has seen her movies and I want to be sure that she gets her earned praises. She is a huge talent. And a very nice person. Along with stellar performances in The Sterile Cookoo and, of course, Cabaret, she was amazing in Stepping Out -- after the period we're discussing but I will note that -- and, like many actresses, suffered from the lack of roles for women. New York, New York is already slowing being reconsidered. I think Lucky Lady is badly paced but that she, Gene Hackman and Burt Reynolds rise above the plodding direction.

Jim: So there you have it, Melinda, strong agreement from C.I. on your choice. And I'll add I'm sorry it got so long for your point to be included here. Jewell e-mailed to ask why we didn't note Hillary's speech last week?

Betty: I'll grab that. There was a lot of discussion about the speech while we were writing. The edition, the four parts ["Piggies on parade," "What Did You Do In The War, Mommy?," "Norman Solomon remembers 'the ladies'" and "Ms.went from playing dumb to outright insulting"] were already sketched out by Jim, C.I. and Mike before we got to planning the edition. We were all agreed, when we heard about those four articles, that we wanted to write them. Hillary's speech was announcing she was suspending her campaign. That didn't please us, needless to say. But it made the need to call out the sexism all the more important. We also knew that her speech would get praise.

Wally: And from some of the same people who used sexism to attack her while her campaign was active. They'd want to weigh in with their happiness because they got what they wanted. Like Betty's saying, it was, in fact, a comment on the speech in many ways. We wanted to address what she was going through the entire primary. We knew the pigs like Tom Hayden would praise her in a "I come not to bury Caeser, I come to praise" manner. I think we made the right choice on that. There are always things that we run out of time for, while we're working on the editions, but a "Let's talk about her speech" article was not anything we were intending to write. It was a great speech but we knew the reaction would be "I loved it! She's out!" and we didn't want to cover the speech because we weren't glad she's out.

Ty: And the e-mails on the four-part series were intense. People loved it and we're glad. Joanne loved it and also pointed out typos. We don't have time to fix them. We're all coming down from the work we were doing to get the vote out for her and, to steal from Kat, it is what it is.

Jim: And Sharon wanted it noted, in her e-mail on the series, "We're not stupid. And people like Norman Solomon better start grasping that. We have eyes. We saw what went down. We don't need their half-assed, semi-criticism of the sexism used. Everyone minimizing the sexism needs to be put on notice that we no longer consider you media critics. You never said a word and Amy Goodman, Norman Solomon, Janine Jackson, Katrina vanden Heuvel and all the rest, you are disgusting." Of the four features, the one on Solomon drew the most e-mails. The second one was the feature on Ms. magazine. Those were the ones that warranted the most specific to one feature e-mails. And, of course, the biggest number of e-mails came in on Ava and C.I.'s "TV: The Ugly People's Orgy." They've already written their commentary this week and I asked them to knock it out early so they could address some questions in this roundtable. If it wasn't done, they'd beg off and say they don't talk about the process while doing it. But Jeff wanted to know how hard it was to write that since it was just about a TV drama and they had been covering news programming.

Ava: C.I.'s pointing to me. You know it was hard to write but it was harder to watch Swingtown. It's a really bad show. Our big concern was we hadn't done a commentary focused just on entertainment since the writers strike. So you're going back many, many months. And we did wonder if we'd be able to jump back into it and all of that. Which is one of the reasons we did it, fear is a great motivating factor. Specifically to Jeff's question, we knew we'd tackle the issue of "Go Your Own Way." Other than that, after we decided to do strictly entertainment TV, we didn't know anything we were going to write about. With public affairs or 'news' programming, we knew A, B, C, D, etc. and only wondered about the order. So this was going back to the old way where we toss things back and forth and have no idea where we're headed and then one of us says, "We need to put something on paper." We start doing that and it flows. It was good to know we could still do that.

Jim: Fernando wanted to know when the next entertainment one would be coming?

Ava: Again, C.I. is pointing to me. We don't know. We had toyed with the idea of one show for this week; however, Katie Couric's important commentary came along mid-week and that obviously had to be the focus. It may be next week, it may be later on.

Jim: Katie Couric's commentary was on the sexism in the primary race and Lou wondered if we were "part of the crowd that says the fight for the nomination ends now?"

Cedric: No. Everyone here thinks Hillary should take the fight to the convention floor. We hope she does that. But that's her deicison and she'll make it. What we'll do in the meantime is focus on getting the word out on Ralph Nader who is a worthy candidate, someone who needs attention and someone who would make a great president.

Mike: I agree, we all do, with what Cedric said. And we're all aware of the verbal attacks on Hillary Clinton and aware that she may or may not want to go to the convention floor. We had serious discussions about that last weekend, while we were working on the edition, about how do we handle it and not just here but when we were writing at our own sites over the week? And the feeling was, we could make our opinions known and note it was her decision but we didn't want to get into every day we're writing, "Convention floor!" Because maybe she won't want to and the attacks were intense. We don't want to corner her or pressure her or take part in that. What we're trying to convey is that the support is out there and it remains. And if she decides, "I'm taking it to the convention floor," she'll have our backing. She'll hopefully have backing from a lot of people. But I can tell by reading Corrente and others that some are 'moving on' and rushing to get on the Barack bandwagon.

Marcia: So, as a community, we would work on promoting Ralph and if it ends up that Hillary's going to take it to a convention floor fight in August, that would mean this fall we would have two candidates worth promoting. If she wasn't going to take it to the floor, we would have gotten the word out on one worthy candidate. And Cedric and Mike said it very well. For myself, when we were having those conversations, I was referencing Al Gore in 2000. He fought, his team didn't and Lieberman stabbed in the back, but he fought. And you could tell it was taking a toll on him before the Supreme Court decided the election. And, for me, I didn't want to take part in pressuring Hillary to go through that. If she decides to, that's great and I'm so there. But I don't know that she'll want to.

Ruth: It's also true that if Barack implodes through some scandal, Hillary won't have to take it to the convention floor, the super delegates will be for her and since she won the popular vote, that will be that. It's the point C.I. was making about how the nomination was not decided despite the press saying it was and that what was going on now was Barack's long audition process that lasts between now and August. If some new scandal or some existing scandal flares up, he's out.

Wally: The thing that bothers me has been seeing Taylor Marsh or Vast Left at Corrente do their embraces of Barack -- however reluctantly they want to pretend. And I do worry in terms of if she decides to fight on the floor how much support she'll have after having suspended the campaign and people having rushed over to Barack.

Jess: Well, as Ruth pointed out, a new scandal will really upset everything. Barack's presented himself as the nominee, Hillary's suspended her campaign. A new scandal means he'll be dealing directly with the Republicans on it and it will be harder for the Hillary Hatred -- which is sexism and is the press hatred of all things Clinton -- to benefit him. Jeremiah Wright, and I probably need to go on record since I'm a Green and so many in my party have disgraced themselves over this, would have sent him into a nose dive opposite McCain. The Republicans didn't go to town on that the way they could have choosing to save their ammo and let the Dems bicker over it. But I don't care who you're talking about, Abraham Lincoln or Jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford or JFK, if anyone who became a president had belonged to a church where the pastor damned the United States, that would have been that for them and they never would have become president. Greens offered a lot of pathetic excuses for that which basically boiled down as "They have suffered!" Doesn't matter. Lots of people have suffered. If you want to be president of the United States, you don't belong to a church that damns the country. You can't have it both ways. You can't claim to want to be the country's leader and sit in the pews while the pastor's daming the country. It's like deciding you want to be the spokesperson for pudding and it turns out your pastor says junk food is the food of the devil. It's inconsistent and in conflict. It's got nothing to do with race though a number of Greens -- a number of White Greens -- wanted to pretend it did.

Betty: You know I agree with you on that. And you know I was pissed at all the White people trying to pass it off as something that Black churches did. I have heard slavery called out, I have heard racism called out, but I have never in my life heard a pastor damn the United States. I have belonged to the same church my entire life, yes, but I have gone to other Black churches as well when I was a young girl and stayed over with friends on a Saturday night. That's crazy talk to claim that's normal. And it feeds into the image that Blacks are less patriotic so I found it really offensive, as a Black woman, to hear all these White people treat it as normal. My community was against the Iraq War when it started and I well remember the White, conservative attacks and the claims that we must be a less patriotic people so to have the White left turn around, only a few years later, and feed into that with their whole "This is what those people do" nonsense was extremely offensive.

Cedric: Well remember that the Barack campaign fed the press Michael Pfleger and he was treated, in this time, as normal and a White guide to the African-American world. That was really insulting and like watching City of Hope and wondering why a film on India kept cutting to Patrick Swayze. It was the same thing. And, as it finally emerged, Pfleger was a crackpot and as bad as Jeremiah Wright. Only after Wright went after Obama did the press finally 'discover' that not all African-Americans thought Wright was goodness and greatness. Only after the attacks could we turn on the TV and find African-American members of the clergy criticizing what Wright has been doing.

Ty: If I can jump in to try to explain it to any White reader, especially if they were stupid enough to defend Jeremiah Wright who thought AIDS was a government plot to kill off African-Americans as well as damning the US, in the United States, African-Americans are not usually treated like full citizens. Our loyalties are always questioned by the larger society. As bi-racial Barack is finding out. So when you take a crackpot damning the United States, Kimberly Wilder, when you take him and turn him into "normal" and try to White Momma your way through an explanation of racism, you may think you are being helpful but you are feeding into a racist stereotype that African-Americans are less supportive of the United States than White Americans. You are saying it is normal for us to damn the United States. And long after the 2008 election is over, however it ends, there will be a number of Whites in this country who will believe that African-Americans just naturally damn the country. You were not helpful, you were hurtful and fed into the racist belief that African-Americans have divided loyalties and are not as patriotic as other Americans. That stereotype predates this election by many, many years. Instead of calling it out, you backed it up with your 'helpful' attitudes. Every White person doing that should have been called out loudly because what they were offering was racism -- intentional or not. And it's damaging and the African-American community -- not the White 'helpers' -- are the ones who will be living with the damage for many years to come.

Cedric: As Betty's mother would say, "I think you just said something."

Betty: You've made my mother's day. When she sees that you quoted her, she'll be grinning all day. That's her catch phrase whenever you make a good point: "I think you just said something." But I want to take it away from race because we've got a feature on race that we still have to write and I know I'm biting my tongue in this so as not to use stuff that could go into that. But I've seen what Mike has, the rush to get away from Hillary and embrace Barack, and, like Mike or the reader Joe, I find it disgusting.

Ruth: I wonder how much 'unity' will take place. I'm thinking about C.I.'s point about how these things fester.

C.I.: Well, Ruth's referring to last Tuesday's snapshot, after that went up, a friend called and said I was making the same point with polling data -- that these attitudes, for women, do not leap around, that they only increase -- that Susan Silver, a writer, has made for many years based on experiences. Her theory was that a man will hate someone but still work with him or play sports with him or whatever. But with women, if you don't like someone, you don't like someone. And whether you want to look at experiences or study long-range polling data on any issue, I think you see that.

Jim: And I asked you about the snapshot and you backed it up in the middle of the week. But my question is what about the polls they keep citing?

C.I.: Taken after Hillary's speech. There was going to be a bounce and you saw it. There will not be another bounce -- short of Barack offering Hillary the v.p. slot and her accepting. That's the last bounce. And it did not look promising despite the glowing write ups but remember that reporters are general study majors, they do not study polling or demography or methodology. Few of them know how to examine raw data and most think they've really done some work if they glanced at the polling questions.

Jim: Right but you also talked about the demonization and I was hoping you'd address that.

C.I.: Jeremiah Wright is not an issue, the press told the country over and over, and anyone who thinks it is is out of touch. They were able to demonize and cow for polling. People fell in line. But they didn't fall in line in the context they could control, such as letters to the editor or at the ballot box. And they won't. If tomorrow the press decided to paint everyone who watches The Price Is Right as a drug addict, a poll on do you watch The Price Is Right would find a large number saying "no." But ratings would demonstrate that people still watched but were aware enough to give the answers that were expected. The press can't control the ballot box, they can -- through repeated messages -- sometimes control polling outcome. But already there shtick about 'unity has taken place in the Democratic Party' has gone overboard and helped plant the seeds for the very real backlash.

Jim: Which will be big or small?

C.I.: Which will be significant. If Barack's the nominee, it will be significant in November.

Ava: Which he and his campaign do not get.

C.I.: I was waiting for Ava to continue but she's nodding to me. He doesn't get it and Ava and I note in our piece this week that he's refusing to address sexism. He's hiding behind female surrogates who tell the press 'He's already addressed discrimination.' He used sexism. His refusal to address the topic harms him. Everything he does is filtered through a new lens. He is not the fresh face no one knows about. Anything to do with women comes with a close examination from here on out for Barack. As usual, the campaign is stupid and doesn't grasp that.

Rebecca: Well, I didn't hear the conversation but I heard of it from Jim. As I understand it you think the damage, if Barack's the nominee, will be a number of voters staying home?

C.I.: I do. I think they will say they're going to vote but they won't. People offended by the sexism, by the homophobia. You're asking people to go to a polling place in the middle of the week, a Tuesday, and give up their time that they don't have. A candidate who excites them can get them to do that. One who insults them? They have a hundred other things to do on any given day.

Marcia: I agree with that and my mother was actually polled last Monday. I heard her tell the pollster she'd vote for Barack. After she got off the phone, I told her I was surprised. She said she just told him what he wanted to hear to get him off the phone and that she wasn't going to vote for president. She thinks she'll vote in the election but not for president. And then she added, "You know Marcia, I've got so much to do, I might not even vote." And my mother does not skip elections so I was just shocked. I've tried to talk to her about Nader and she's not interested.

Ruth: Because?

Marcia: It's not one thing she can pin down. She likes his stands. But I don't know.

C.I.: Nader has failed to speak to women. McCain will pick up Hillary supporters. How many, who knows? But he's addressed it and there are women -- we've encountered them last week on the road -- who are going to vote for him. What was done to Hillary was very insulting.

Ava: And Howard Dean compounded the insult very early on by pretending he was addressing it and immediately rushing to the topic of racism. Nobody needs your damn lecture on racism, Howard Dean. We heard about racism from the press non-stop throughout the race. Did a month go by without Bill Moyers raising the issue? At that media 'reform' conference last weekend, an idiot was asked about the sexism, said about three sentences on the topic and then went off into a lengthy talk about racism. In both cases, the lack of attention given to sexism, the rush to leave the topic and run to racism, implied that sexism isn't a serious problem, that when forced to say something, you'll muster a few sentences but here's the big problem.

Elaine: Which only makes it worse. Women were hectored and lectured -- by Mark Karlin, Tom Hayden, Normy Solomon and others -- that they shouldn't take pride in Hillary's run, that they shouldn't vote out of any indentification based on gender. And African-Americans were never given the same speeches by these 'leaders'. We were told from the moment that Hillary won New Hampshire that we weren't voting smart, that we weren't smart. And every other week it was time to celebrate bi-racial Barack as Black. There was no celebration of women, there was no encouragement, while the race was on, to take pride in the history being made. So now, after sexism was used non-stop, when you are forced to mention it for a few sentences and then rush off to racism, the attitude is, "I've heard that speech before." Look at the press coverage from any outlet, for any week, from New Hampshire to Puerto Rico and you will see that over and over. It is good to vote based on race, it is bad to vote based on gender. "Look at all the African-Americans flocking to Barack, isn't it wonderful?" versus "Look at these bitter women supporting Hillary." That's how it played out over and over.

Mike: So after sexism was used nonstop by the media -- and include that supposedly liberated and supposedly left media of beggars like The Nation, Democracy Now!, The Progressive and all the rest -- when you rush forward to say, "Yes, sexism is a problem. But so is racism. And it is historic that Barack was able to run. And it is blah blah blah." No, you're again insulting. And no one's in the mood for it. There was never a real discussion of race in the United States during that period, but as C.I.'s pointed out at The Common Ills, how could there be when a bi-racial man at the center of the coverage was repeatedly called "Black"? But lip service was paid over and over to the idea that a discussion on race was taking place. The same wasn't done for gender.

Wally: And Bill Moyers is the perfect example because Crazy Bill can't shut up about racism. It really makes you wonder what he did all those years ago in Marshall, Texas. A city, by the way, that still has a White side and a Black side as Cedric and I found out when we were getting out the vote for Hillary in Texas. Bill Moyers doesn't tell the truth about Marshall because the town wouldn't be the way it is today if it was all the happy talk Moyers puts out on it. But, like Elaine said, wait, it was Ava, when did Bill ever do the examination of gender? Never. Shelby Steele come on down and let's talk race. Jeremiah Wright come on down and let's talk race. Over and over he did his segment on race. He never did a segment on gender. Not even during Women's History Month. In March, his "public television" show didn't feel the need to note Women's History at a time when a woman was in the race for the presidential nomination of a major political party. But if you notice, there aren't a lot of women on his show anyway. He can do lengthy sit downs with men over and over but few women ever get invited on. And, as Ava and C.I. have pointed out, when it's a segment with a man and a woman, Bill's tossing to the man repeatedly. That crap needs to be called out but no one will. He's the Great God we're all supposed to worship.

Cedric: I agree completely. And I'm glad Wally said it. And let's point out something else, he'll interview people from various points on the right spectrum. They can be Republicans or some other point on the spectrum. And admit that publicly. And he'll chat with them. But if you get on his show from the left you either better be a Democrat or willing to pretend. How does Mr. Public Television get away with ignoring Greens, Socialists and others week after week? How is that reflecting the diversity in the country or giving voice to those shut out by corporate media? Isn't that why PBS was invented?

Jess: Which is a good point but I've got a feeling Jim's about to move on and I want C.I. to clarify the statement about Nader. Kim Gandy, president of NOW, interviewed in a recent roundtable by Amy Goodman said she couldn't vote for Nader.

C.I.: Well she's not alone in that. And it's a handicap for Nader. I think there were numerous mis-steps by his campaign last week. He should have had something that targeted issues women would respond to. His platform is one women can get behind. But in a week when sexism was being discussed, he, due to the news cycle, is charting how his critique and questions of the NBA were accurate. There's a place for that but, especially when that's being emphasized and when you do have disenchanted Democrats, you really do need to do a reach out. McCain did and that's why he'll benefit. He could have talked about, for example, college. He could have addressed the skyrocketing tuition. That's something that women care about -- as do men -- and they could have heard about that and said, "Let me take a look at Nader." He could have -- and still should -- addressed the imbalance in the VA, where women are receiving worse care than men, who aren't receiving even good care. What Kim Gandy is referring to is many things but for most women it is the 2000 statements about aboriton and the Supreme Court. To many, those statements to Rolling Stone and amplified elsewhere, came off as flippant or uncaring. It created a wall between and some potential female supporters. There are other things from the past as well. But the point is, in this campaign, he can address them. And if he does, he'll change the dynamic. On the abortion issue, he could steal it from the Democratic Party. The Democrats are using abortion as a threat to get people to vote for Barack. That is what we noted they'd do months ago and it's what they will continue to do through the election if Barack's the nominee. But they're not going to make speeches on abortion, the Obama campaign. If they do, it will be through surrogates. So distanced and weak. Nader could steal the issue from them and shore up support.

Rebecca: You really think he could seize that issue from the Democrats?

C.I.: Based upon what I'm hearing from friends with the Obama campaign and the DNC, yes. And based upon the Harper's roundtable which was pure nonsense. Five White men plotting the destruction of the Republican Party and the dominance of the Democratic Party. Five White men telling you the world has changed. If it had changed all that much, maybe it wouldn't have been an all White, all male panel. Any reader should have grasped it that it was just more of the same. Thomas Schaller was the only one who was aware that abortion rights are the majority position in the country -- or aware enough to note that -- and Kevin Baker's saying that it's "a waning issue." This push is nothing new. Drop back to 2004, look at the Kerry campaign. Look at the post-election analysis when idiots were saying that the Democrats needed to drop abortion, that it had cost them the election. Look at The Daily Toilet Scrubber, run by Henry Hyde's little buddy that we're supposed to believe is a Democratic now and all of his attacks on abortion rights as well as on women. There has been a very real push to abandon abortion rights. Nader could seize that issue. Cynthia McKinney could seize it. A libertarian could seize it. The last Democratic candidate to speak willing on the issue was really Bill Clinton. But let's not emulate him, after all, he was only elected president twice. If I can go on a little bit more --

Jim: Absolutely.

C.I.: I was talking about how now there is a test for Barack whenever it comes to women, as a result of the sexist primary season. That has raised awareness and the closest thing to that in recent times is the treatment of Anita Hill in 1991. Women are watching with a similar view to what they did in 1992. Ralph did a wonderful thing that we highlighted at The Common Ills last week where he was talking about the struggles that have helped this country progress and he spoke of women's suffrage. Great. If anyone saw that, they realized he was inclusive. If he could do that with abortion, he'd be seeing some real increases. And the Democrats do not want to discuss abortion. Remember, one of the 'leaders' on the national campaign is Nancy Pelosi who doesn't talk about abortion anymore. She stepped away from it as she revealed to Leslie Stahl on 60 Minutes in October 2006. There is a way to let people know that they are included in your plans for a presidency. The same prism that women will be looking through, the LGBT community will look through as well because a candidate who uses homophobia is a candidate they are always second guessing. I'm referring to Barack. A simple statement by Nader to the effect that, "Americans believe in marriage and marriage should be open to all Americans" would generate excitement. It would also generate press coverage which the campaign needs. And let me repeat a point I make repeatedly regarding Howard Dean's coverage. Howard Dean did not, as the MSM likes to pretend, suddenly pop onto the scene in 2004 with all this support or late 2003. The MSM ignored him and shut him out. The campaign was smart enough to realize that they could sell Dean to other media. It's how he ended up on the cover of The Advocate when his national name recognition was not that high. The MSM does not break news in most cases. They notice what is bubbling up elsewhere.

Jim: Let me ask a question that's going to produce groans. You criticized the Democrats last week, and we all agree with you, for not responding to McCain on Iraq with their own plan. You said that they offered one-liners and smears and the take-away to the average voter not paying close attention was that McCain had some plan for Iraq and the Dems apparently had none. Barack's not for withdrawal, we know that. But if he were for it, how would he sell it?

C.I.: I'm going back to that awful roundtable in Harper's. All of them accept -- and Schaller pushes -- the idea that you can't win and oppose the illegal war while "troops are on the ground." That's not just a mistaken perception, it's a historical lie. Democrats picked up Congressional seats due to the withdrawal in Vietnam. The first president elected after the withdrawal was Jimmy Carter. He was an 'unknown' and an 'insurgent' to read the press then -- sound familiar -- and he was running against Gerald Ford who was the incumbent. People can remember Ford as a bumbler as the parody version makes clear but it's equally true that Ford's faults were nothing compared to Richard Nixon, whom he replaced, and that America was collectively breathing a sigh of relief when Ford took over the presidency. So this notion that supporting withdrawal hurts Democrats is a myth. They all want Barack to stress the money, in the Harper's roundtable. That's a mistake.

Jim: You stopped. I want the commercial that Barack could do.

C.I.: Marcia's groaning. I'll give it, but Barack won't do it and I'll go into why after. Here's the commercial. Headlines of the death toll in Iraq, cut to Barack's somber face. "America entered into a war they never should have. The war has gone on for five years even though there were no WMDs. The war continues to go on. John McCain is promising you US soldiers will remain in Iraq. Text of the rising cost on the screen. In my family, we do what you do. We don't buy something we can't afford. We all know that. But somehow Washington never learned that lesson. It's time to for leadership and that requires grown up action. It's time for adults to say enough and end the war that should never have started. Maturity is confronting a mistake head on, not ignoring it." Then the "I'm Barack and I approved this message." That's off the top of my head. But that would be a winner for Barack. It takes the argument for withdrawal and stresses that adults fix things and don't just let them continue. It takes the position to an issue of maturity. And, if you missed it, that's an issue Barack needs to shore up. So in that commercial, he would be saying he's more mature, he's the grown up. And any response from the McCain camp would likely look petty and create the impression that the Obama campaign wants to about McCain. But Marcia, he's not going to do that. He wants to increase the size of the military, he wants to pursue new wars. This commercial would be an anchor around his neck if he were president. So I didn't just give them a tip they're going to use.

Marcia: I certainly hope not.

Jim: Okay, Dona, e-mail.

Dona: One of the problems is how tired we all are from everything. Kat, Ava and C.I. are on the road every week. The rest of us are not so used to doing it over and over. I don't remember if it was West Virginia or Kentucky when we all started hitting the road -- some of us just on weekends -- but we have really been pushing it. And certainly Marcia and Wally have because they were on the ground in Indiana from three weeks before the primary. But I say all of that to explain to Miles why we forgot what he pointed out in his e-mail Thursday: It's summer, where's our fiction edition?

Ty: We had all forgotten about that. When Dona mentioned his e-mail, we were like, "Oh yeah, it is June."

Cedric: And there were e-mails and phone calls about it. Ava and C.I. didn't think there was anyway for them to make their article this week into a short story. They were too tired and there were too many factual things and quotes that had to be included in it. So we're hoping for next week.

Rebecca: The plan is for next week to be the fiction, summer read edition. That will depend on inspiration as well as on time. It's funny because Ava was talking about how she and C.I. were nervous about doing the entertainment review last week because they felt rusty and that's how I feel going into the summer read edition. Anyone else?

Dona: My big concern is always will we have enough pieces. I'm the least interested in the quality. Jim's more concerned about that. I'm more like, "Good! Another piece!" If you're new to that regular summer read, it will contain an editorial which will not be fiction, it will contain highlights, Jim's note and Ava and C.I. on TV. Marcia will be new to it in terms of writing if she wants to participate.

Marcia: I'm looking forward to it. I don't know how much help I'll be but having seen them the last three summers, I'm really curious to see how they're put together.

Jess: Expect to be more puzzled about how they're put together after the edition is finished. There is no rhyme or reason and when we're short on ideas, we'll ask anyone participating who keeps a journal -- that's Dona, Elaine and C.I. -- to grab one and read from it as we search for another idea. I'm honestly not looking forward to it. I think our best was in 2005 and then in 2007. I think it would be smart to say, "And now we're done with it." I have the same sort of apprehension that Rebecca was talking about.

Kat: But it is what it is. And readers know that. I think, from what I've heard in terms of feedback, the big thing is always, "Yea! You tried a fiction edition!" And that's due to the fact that so many used to offer summer reads -- at one point even Rolling Stone was offering them -- and now they don't. It's not like we're promising Nabokov, just a quick read for summer time. And, what everyone's forgetting, is that Jim, Ava and C.I. and Wally as well on the last two, usually come up with a humor piece when we think we have nothing. So unless you're Jim, Ava, C.I. or Wally, there's really not that much pressure. I don't want us to scare Marcia before we're even starting that edition.

Marcia: I think I'm already there.

Jim: Well, it's not like these normal editions where all the pieces go through numerous drafts and discussions. We generally do a basic discussion where we're tossing out ideas. People add a little to ideas they like. Then we generally break up into groups and some will be finished just by one group, some will need rounding out but it's actually a lot easier in terms of the process. That's why, back in March, I suggested we do a fiction edition and everyone shot it down. But everyone was tired and I think it would have been a much easier edition. Ty?

Ty: Lewis, community member, wants to know how C.I. is supposed to write anything with Jim peering over the shoulder?

Jim: I'm laughing. That's in reference to Friday morning's entries. Dona, Wally, Jess and I were on the road with Kat, Ava and C.I. all last week. Friday morning's entries went up right before noon EST. The time stamps on them is when they were started. "Other Items" is basically as it was written that morning with no additions. "Pelosi v. Reid," the first section is as written that morning. But C.I. was on the phone discussing The New York Times article and writing it on the laptop and I was saying, "No, no! You have to save that for Third." I'm sure it was a pain in the ass. Finally, we had to go to speak so nothing went up and C.I. told me, "If anyone complains about that, I'm blaming you." After we got done speaking, C.I. got back on the laptop to redo the second part of the first entry and I was reading over the shoulder still. A lot of time I am saving something for this site, no question. But, in my own defense, I was also aware that Ava and C.I. were going to be covering the topic here and knew if a lot of things went into it, like too much on Dr. Kathy, they wouldn't be able to cover what they'd already been discussing and would instead have to find a completely new angle. So my motives were semi-pure for a change. If I'm around when C.I.'s writing, or Mike or anyone, I'm usually reading over their shoulders.

Ty: Barbara e-mailed to note that we used to do "What we're listening to" and that it was always interesting for her to read and that she figures it was quick to write so she wonders why we don't do that anymore?

Dona: There's never time. We're planning a shorter edition this weekend with Ava and C.I.'s article and this transcript piece being the two big pieces so we can do it this weekend and will for Barbara. But the reality is that when you get all of us discussing music it can go on forever. If we just made it a top ten list of what was playing during the edition with no comments, it would be a very quick piece to write.

Wally: And Dona's right that the discussions do go on a long time but I like doing those. And from the discussion, we'll maybe have one or three sentences for each CD we list. It's a time waster, yes, but it's also an enjoyable time.

Cedric: I'd second that.

Jim: Okay, we need to wrap up and Dona says Ruth, Kat and Elaine have spoken the least. That may not turn out to be true in the transcript because there's a section that I know will be pulled from the transcript. I've got one more e-mail I have to note. Jonas should have been noted last week and we didn't have time to do a roundtable or mailbag. He writes: "With Hillary out, I'm on board with Nader. I know the best case scenario is Nader wins and we get a president who truly wants change and wants to improve the living conditions for all Americans. But can we talk about what happens if Nader loses. I assume McCain might become president. Have we accomplished anything? That's my father's argument and if you can give a strong enough argument, he's willing to listen."

Ruth: Oh, I wish C.I. was taking this. What have I accomplished in voting for Nader if he loses? I have voted for a candidate I truly believe in which is never something to minimize. I have said the existing two-party system is not serving the country. Now you know why I mainly listen. But I really do think it matters that you vote for what you believe in. Whomever you are voting for, you should believe in them. If you are not able to, you should go for the least worst, sure. But when you have the chance to vote for someone who you believe in, that's who you should go for. If Barack's the nominee, Mr. Nader has my vote and I will have a vote I am proud of.

Kat: Well look it, if McCain is elected, he's going to be elected because he got the most votes. You can't worry about that. It would be like a bakery deciding to only serve glazed doughnuts because they were afraid other items would take away from that. To force something on someone, you have to rig it. Ralph will get the votes he wins. Other candidates will get the votes they win. But if McCain gets into the White House, let's lose the notion that it's the end of the world. A president is only one third of the federal government. Congress and the Supreme Court can do their jobs. If they don't, as they didn't recently, we end up with what we've been living under. I think we all got hyped into "End of Times" in 2004. I'm not going to bet my sanity on a presidential election. Many Americans don't vote because they don't think it makes a difference. The argument is that if Nader voters had voted for Gore in 2000, we never would have had the Iraq War. No one knows that. There's no indication that Bully Boy wouldn't have sued regardless. He already had plans to sue if he won the popular vote but lost the electoral vote. They were ready to make the argument. Equally true is that while Al Gore did speak out against the illegal war as the drum beats got intense, he earlier was supporting it publicly. That break's never been explained. On my end, I attribute it to Gore coming across better information. There's no fact that would demonstrate he would have done that if he'd been in White House. It's all conjecture. Certainly it was more than Dick Cheney wanting war with Iraq. Based on the war patterns of both parties, there's no guarantee that Gore wouldn't have started a war in another part of the world. I like to think that because he's obviously an intelligent man, his response to 9-11 would have been different. But I don't know that. With Bully Boy, we got support from the media for his attacks. If Al Gore had been in the White House and had responded more rationally -- I do not approve of the Afghanistan War -- and the same media that wanted war didn't get it, they would have attacked him and how long would his White House have stood up to that? I don't know. But this idea that you vote out of fear needs to end. And this make every election the key moment in our lives nonsense is nonsense because every four years there's going to be another one. The Nation has turned it into a prime time soap operat's season ender. 2004 was Dynasty after the wedding slaughter. Each time, you have to raise it and raise it and soon people lose interest. And the comedowns from those cliff hangers is always rough.

Elaine: I think Ruth and Kat both made strong points and just want to try to tie them together. They're both talking about the power of your vote. That's your vote. You own it, no one else. If it matters to you, you'll vote for who you think will do the best job. That is what an election is supposed to be about. Let me take it to marriage. If you see some man or woman you want to marry, someone who is the perfect fit for you but you tell yourself that he or she wouldn't be able to make it to the alter -- probably thinking that they're out of your league -- then whomever you settle for is a comedown. And you're not getting the person you really love. So you're not going to be happy and they're not going to be happy. If, in marriage, we know that we should marry the person we love -- even while denying all Americans the right to marry, we know that -- why is it that in an election, the foundation of democracy, we tell ourselves to settle for the second choice, to walk down the aisle holding our noses? I don't want to upset anyone but my own opinion is that although Hillary should take it to the convention floor, she'll be pressured not to for 'the good of the party.' Got to kill a lot of lambs to please the Party Gods. A vote for Ralph Nader is not wasted if he doesn't win. I'll be voting for Ralph and hoping he will win. But if he loses, a message is sent. He's running a campaign on issues and the more votes he gets the more chance that the two political parties will have to grab his issues in the future. That is historically what has happened. I voted for Al Gore and I am comfortable with that vote. In 2004, I voted for John Kerry and I'm not comfortable with that. The Kerry leading into the convention and the Kerry of the convention and after were two different candidates. Like Ruth says, it's your vote and you have to own it. You have to live with it. If you're considering Nader, as Jonas notes, the best outcome is he will win. The worst outcome is that you will have said you want real change. You won't have voted out of fear. You won't have accepted the nonsense that we have no long range vision in this country and drop all our standards every four years to vote for the lesser of two evils. I think you'll also send a message to the media -- big and small -- that, no, you don't control me. Ruth wants to say something so I'm going to yield to her.

Ruth: Thanks. I am very bad when put on the spot. Call me Barack Obama. But listening to Kat's response and Elaine's made me want to add to my own. If the choice for you is between Mr. Nader and Mr. Obama and you are leaning towards Mr. Obama because you think he is 'electable' you need to ask what message you are sending? If he is elected, you are saying that homophobia is okay. That message will be picked up. It will be used by Democrats in future races because he got away with it. If he is elected, you are saying that sexism is okay. That message will be carried on long after he has left office. You are not just sending a message that the two parties are not serving your interests, you are also sending a message that Democrats cannot pander to homophobia and use sexism. You are saying, "That is unacceptable." That is a strong message to send.

Elaine: Ruth's nodding to me. Kat, jump in if you want, but the election is in November. No one knows what is going to happen between now and then. So if you are for Ralph Nader, I would encourage you to talk about that with friends. I have a friend who is scared to tell anyone she is voting for Nader. She only told me because of my blog. I worry that a number of his supporters may be supporting him and planning to vote for him but wanting to keep the support secret. So if you're for him, or even just following his campaign, it's really important that you share that.

Kat: I wasn't planning to add on anything, I think Ruth and Elaine said it all. But I will add a point on excitement. You can build excitement. 6% is great but we can take that higher. We can make sure people know Ralph is in the race and what he stands for. Say we get the support up to 33%. In most election years, that wouldn't win you the race. But we're looking at four potential candidates pulling a large number of votes: Nader, Barack, McCain and Bob Barr. I'm not for the 5% campaign but hopefully Cynthia will emerge victorious in what she's set out for. So my point here is that this isn't Bob Dole versus Bill Clinton. If Nader gets up to 33% that could be enough to make him the winner. Say Cynthia gets the 5% that leaves 95% up for grabs between McCain, Barack, Barr and Ralph. In other election cycles, he might need 50% or greater. This is do-able. And I'm cribbing badly from advice C.I. gave a young woman who stated last week she was voting for Nader but getting a lot of flack for it. C.I. responded that you're looking at a race with a lot of contenders and, if everyone stays in, it's unlikely that the winner will have emerged with 50% of the vote.

Jim: I had forgotten that. It's a good point to go out on.
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