Sunday, August 07, 2016

Truest statement of the week

Desert Sage has argued previously that Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson and the Green Party’s presumptive nominee, Jill Stein, should be permitted by the Commission on Presidential Debates to share the debate stage with Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Johnson and Stein have both qualified for ballots in enough states to establish a numerical path to the electoral vote necessary to win the presidency. By definition, it is false to say that Johnson or Stein have no chance of winning, although the odds are obviously against them. Stein, in particular, would have to run the table in nearly every state where she is on the ballot. Nonetheless, their campaigns have demonstrated a level of organization and public support more substantial than matchup polling.
Opening up the political process to parties competing with the traditional duopoly will enhance our politics even if other parties do not win elections right away. Recognizing more ideas and critiques in political discourse expands what is possible in politics, and our stodgy traditional parties might be compelled to improve if they had to compete with parties that made credible appeals to the working class. Indeed, it is hard to imagine Trump’s populism being so effective if American workers had not been betrayed.

-- ALgernon D'Ammassa, "Greens, Libertarians need to be ready for media glare" (LAS CRUCES SUN-NEWS).

Truest statement of the week II

Here’s how. There are 43 million young people – and not so young people – who are locked in predatory student debt, with no prospects for getting out. And there is only one candidate who will cancel that debt – and you’re looking at her. And by the way, we bailed out Wall Street, the guys who crashed the economy with their waste, fraud and abuse. It’s about time we bailed out the young people who are the victims of that abuse. So if young people come out on election day 2016 to vote green to cancel their debt, they can actually take over the election, not only to cancel student debt, but to advance the whole agenda for justice. And the world will be a better place for it! And millennials are the self organizing demographic that can do this.
So we do have the power to end student debt, and to make public higher education free. This is the right thing to do to provide the younger generation with economic security in the 21st century, just like free high school education provided security in the 20th century. And it pays for itself by a 7:1 margin, as the results of the GI bill demonstrated following the 2nd World War.

-- Jill Stein, Green Party presidential candidate, Saturday, August 6, 2016, in her acceptance speech.

A note to our readers

Hey --


At last.

Let's thank all who participated this edition which includes Dallas and the following:

The Third Estate Sunday Review's Jim, Dona, Ty, and Ava,
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),
Mike of Mikey Likes It!,
Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz),
Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix,
Ruth of Ruth's Report,
Wally of The Daily Jot,
Trina of Trina's Kitchen,
Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends,
Isaiah of The World Today Just Nuts,
and Ann of Ann's Mega Dub.

Our first edition without Jess.

And what did we come up with?

A columnist worth noting.
Jill Stein gets a truest.
Iraq ignored repeatedly, ignored constantly.

Ava and C.I. weren't planning on going to Houston.  It was a last minute decision and they didn't even share it ahead of time.  But we're glad they went.  This is a really strong piece.
Transphobic Dan Savage is on the attack yet again.
It's time to go.
C.I. took down most of this speech while she and Ava were at the convention -- and she put it in the Saturday Iraq snapshot.

No, they don't.
We're not voting for him but you may be.
Jill Stein is now the presidential nominee of the Green Party.
And Tweets.

On Tweets, more time and we would have included this as the Tweet of the Week:

. Ambassador w/ Myrna, 10, at an abandoned mall where she used to live in Erbil,


-- Jim, Dona, Ty,  Ava and C.I

Editorial: Nothing Ever Changes

Nothing ever changes
You know it doesn't
Nothing ever changes
Oh, you know it doesn't
-- Stevie Nicks, "Nothing Ever Changes" (first appears on her album THE WILD HEART)

In June 2014, US President Barack Obama insisted only a political solution could solve Iraq's political crises.

It's over two years later and nothing's been done in that regard.

The White House has dropped bombs on Iraq daily.

It has sent ever more US service members back into Iraq.

(And more into Kuwait.)

But it has refused to work on diplomacy.

And the government of Haider al-Abadi is just as estranged from the Sunnis as the previous government was.

Is that a surprise when Haider was a member of Nouri al-Maliki's political party (Dawa) and also a part of Nouri's self-created political slate (State of Law).

Earlier this year, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace provided this overview:

Understanding Iraqi Sunni Estrangement

  • Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has not convinced many Iraqi Sunnis that he can offer something different from his predecessor, Nouri al-Maliki, whose policies contributed to Sunni estrangement from the state and the political process.
  • Iraqi Sunnis are disillusioned by the monopolization of power by a few Shia elite and the impunity of perceived sectarian Shia militias that are part of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF).
  • Some Iraqi Sunnis support the Islamic State and more remain indifferent. For example, a large portion of Mosul’s population appears supportive of or indifferent about the group.
  • There is no united authority, cause, or identity driving the Sunni movement, which makes it difficult for Iraqi Sunnis to engage with the state and adapt to changing circumstances.
  • Further disrupting the community’s cohesion are internal political differences (such as over whether to work with Abadi) and ideological disagreements (such as about whether to mobilize as a Sunni party or front).
  • Following Mosul’s 2014 fall to the Islamic State, much of the Sunni leadership has shifted course and seeks greater local autonomy.

The Islamic State will never be defeated while the Iraqi government persecutes Sunnis.

Media: The ignored political party convention

Jill Stein declared Saturday, "The corporate parties are not going to save us. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. Together we can build an America and a world that works for us all, that puts people, planet and peace over profit. The power to create this world is not just in our hopes. Not just in our dreams. Right here. Right now. It’s in our hands. And together, we are unstoppable."

We looked around as the crowd went wild.

We were in Houston, last we checked, part of the United States.

And we looked in dismay at the press turnout.


In 2008, we attended the DNC convention in Denver and covered it with "TV: The endless non-news"  while we covered the Republican convention with "TV: More sexism, more self-promotion."

That was more than enough for us.

And, eight years later, we still haven't recovered.

But as we've repeatedly noted, the Green Party gets nothing from our so-called 'left' and 'independent' media.

Five minutes, if they're lucky is used on DEMOCRACY NOW! to cover their party's convention.

Contrast that with the ten hours the same program devotes to covering the RNC convention and the ten hours that the DNC convention receives.

We're not Greens and yet we're the ones complaining and objecting.

Of course, we had to head down to Houston -- otherwise, we were no better than those we were whining about.

The US media landscape?

Far smaller than anyone ever wants to admit.

It's quadrennial circus time in the United States yet again.

And it's our third time observing the elephants and asses being fawned over for the occasion.

But what's missing?

The Green Party.

So we went there, to the University of Houston, on Saturday.

In fairness, NPR, POLITICO, THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER and a few other outlets have done a better job this go round than ever before.

But when we're confronted by the likes of THE NATION magazine with a chart on media ownership, we're encouraged to see the likes of PACIFICA RADIO as independent and needed.

It's neither.

Glen Ford:  Kevin Alexander Gray: But first, the two major political parties have chosen their presidential contenders we spoke with veteran activist and author Kevin Alexander Gray in Columbia, South Carolina.  With Hillary Clinton, the corporate War Hawk, heading up the Democrats and Donald Trump, the White nationalist, in charge of the Republican Party, what's a progressive voter to do?

Kevin Alexander Gray: You know, there's always options.  I voted for Jill Stein the last election, I'll probably vote for her this election.  There are a lot of options. There's the Socialist option.  There's the Libertarian option.  There's the Green option.  You don't have to vote for the -- in this case with Clinton and Trump, it wouldn't even be "the lesser of two evils." It'd just be two evil people.  There are choices that people can make. And it's just good now that there are people running and various third parties to give Americans on the third party system, on proportional representation, on cumulative voting, on parliamentary government,  just all kinds of things that we could be educating people on in this election as opposed to watching them make one of the other bad choice.

That's from BLACK AGENDA RADIO.  It's not a PACIFICA RADIO program.

PACIFICA RADIO is so-called public radio, listener-sponsored radio.

The Green Party, Jill Stein announced Saturday in Houston, is "the only party of, by and for the people."

Which is what public radio should be.

PACIFICA RADIO is not public radio.

"Telling truth and bearing witness to justice," Cornell West explained in his speech Saturday, "that's what the Green Party is all about."

And that's what Lewis Hill created PACIFICA for.

But that's what PACIFICA RADIO is today.

It's a fear-based outlet that frets over taking on the Democratic Party.

That's been true for some time.

But it was only made more clear in this four year cycle when the Green Party took their national convention to Houston.

PACIFICA RADIO owns the following stations: KPFA, KPFB, KPFK, WPFW, WBAI and KPFT.

Where's KPFT located?

Houston, Texas.

Same place as the Green Party's convention was held.

But instead of using their resources to cover the convention live, they aired such 'important' programs as world sports and ZONA LIBRE.

In fact, at the end of the latter coffee clatch, they broke from their usual block of programming few listen to in order to carry two hours on the convention, about 25 minutes of a discussion/analysis while floor voting took place (David Cobb and others), about 39 minutes of speeches and then analysis.

Ignoring the floor vote meant missing statements on known scandals such as the corporate take over of Detroit, the lead water scandal in Flint and lesser known scandals that should have been on the radar.

But apparently you can't cover everything.

At least not in two hours.

That was, however, just enough time for them to brag about themselves as they begged for money, "Reporting like this is why you know and trust PACIFICA RADIO.  And we hope you will consider making a financial contribution to see it continue.  We are taking donations right now in the studios of our sister station of KPFK in Los Angeles."  (You can check the KPFT archives, as we did.)

They skipped earlier moments, moments that maybe especially needed highlighting.

"Right now, in Texas especially, only a very small minority of the people who are eligible to vote vote," declared Martina Salas.  She is running for Texas Railroad Commissioner and maybe a little coverage of her race -- even just 1% of the rah-rah national press wasted on media star and failed candidate Wendy Davis -- she might stand a chance at some real fundraising.

Not only was her campaign undercut by the refusal of PACIFICA RADIO to cover her speech, but democracy and voting were undercut as well.

"A wasted vote." Salas addressed that charge against voting Green.

Martina Salas:  You know what?  In Texas it's so red a blue vote is a wasted vote.  It is an illogical fallacy that needs to be turned upside down and erased.  A wasted vote is wasted when you vote against your conscious.  When you vote for the establishment whether it is blue or red they think that you are with them. The only way that they will know that you do not agree with what they say and do is when you vote against them.

A wasted vote?

We've long argued that no one should vote out of fear.

We've also long argued that candidates have to win your vote -- you don't owe them anything.

But it's also true that the duopoly has nominated two candidates -- Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump -- who stand out as two of the least popular people to ever head the top of a presidential ticket.

Is that what's driving people to look at the Libertarian and Green parties this go round?

That's got to factor in to it.

But so does the two terms of Bully Boy Bush and the two terms of Barack Obama.

From 2001 through 2008, Democrats told the American people that Bully Boy Bush was destroying the country with his wars and his illegal spying and his executive orders and so much more.

Then came 2009 through today with Barack Obama and Barack's got all the same programs and so much more.

The hypocrisy long ago went public.

Add in the last seven years have seen a lousy economy that's only benefited the extremely rich and that, with talk of the 99% and the 1%, Americans now are fully conversant in what's happening and more than willing to use the terms to describe it.

These realities were touched upon in Jill Stein's acceptance speech:

We face unprecedented crises that call for transformational solutions, a new way forward based on democracy, justice and human rights. And that won’t come from corporate political parties funded by predatory banks, war profiteers and fossil fuel giants. It will come from we the people, mobilized in a broad social movement, with an independent voice of political opposition, because, as Frederick Douglass said, “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never has. It never will.” And we must be that demand.  They say we’re in a recovery but in fact it’s an emergency. We’ve lost good jobs - replaced by part time and temporary jobs. A generation of young people is locked in predatory student debt. Black lives are on the firing line. Immigrants face mass deportation. Wars for oil are blowing back at us with a vengeance. And the climate meltdown threatens civilization as we know it in our lifetimes. Meanwhile, the super-rich party on, richer than ever. Twenty-two of these super-rich people have the wealth equivalent to half of the US population. And the political elite that serve the economic elite are making things worse, inflicting austerity on everyday people while they squander trillions on wars, Wall Street bail outs, and tax favors for the wealthy. No wonder people are in revolt. And the good news is that we actually have the power to turn this around, the minute we stand up with the courage of our convictions. Because we have the vision and values of the American people. And, as a broad coalition for justice, we have the numbers to win the day.

But it's not just the realities in the US.

It's also the never-ending war that has become the norm with Bully Boy Bush and Barack Obama -- the duopoly has insisted not just that we always be on war time footing but that we also always be engaged in wars.

This results in much more than a loss of money that could be spent at home in the US, it also results in death and destruction around the world.

It's a point that the Greens aren't willing to be silent on as singer and activist YahNe Ndgo demonstrated in her speech on Saturday:

It is not revolutionary to have a president drop a microphone and then drop a bunch of bombs on a bunch of people across this earth. It's not revolutionary for us to not criticize a president simply because he's a Black man.  And to hold on to him as somebody who's too important to criticize because he got swag, because he's walking around with a good looking face and a smooth voice. It's not revolutionary for us to criticize the [former] Secretary of State and act like that man is not her president, to act like that man is not her boss. That coup in Honduras that she supported?  He supported that s**t too.  And I want you to understand that when you don't fight for the people of Honduras, you are fighting against me.  If you don't stand with the people of Rawanda, then you don't stand with me.  You stand against me. Those are my brothers and sisters in Rawanda.  Those are my brothers and sisters in Honduras. Those are my brothers and sisters in Haiti.  Those are my brothers and sisters in Iraq.  Those are my brothers and sisters in Libya. Those are my brothers and sisters in Syria.  It don't matter that they are on the other side of the world. 

We are connected.

We are living on the same earth.

We are related.

We need to move beyond these wars of empire and these illegal attacks on self-rule that the US government is carrying out around the world.

In her acceptance speech, Jill Stein touched on some of these themes:

And finally we can create a foreign policy based on international law, diplomacy and human rights, not on global military and economic domination, which has been catastrophic. This policy will have cost us $6 trillion dollars including the costs of caring for our wounded veterans, which translates to $75,000 per American household on average. Over a million people have died in Iraq alone, which is not winning us hearts and minds in the Middle East. And tens of thousands of US soldiers have been killed or maimed. And what do we have to show for it? Failed states, worse terrorist threats, and mass refugee migrations that are tearing the EU and the Middle East apart.  More of the same failed war on terror is not the answer. It’s time to stop ISIS in its tracks and end the Wars for Oil with a new kind of offensive in the Middle East, a Peace Offensive -- including a weapons embargo to the Middle East, and a freezing of the bank accounts of countries that are funding international jihadism, including the Saudi’s, who comprised 15 of 19 9/11 attackers, and who were identified as still the leading funder of Sunni extremist terrorism worldwide in State Department cables signed by Hillary Clinton in 2009, released by Wikileaks.  I's important to recognize where this violent extremist threat came from in the first place. A global terrorist movement linked to Saudi wahhabism was an idea cooked up  CIA and Saudi Arabia in Afghanistan to grow the Mujaheddin to stop the Soviet Union. And it has continued with Saudi schools --  madrassas -- that continue to be a recruiting and training ground for tomorrow’s terrorists.  We can’t simultaneously fight terrorism with one hand, while we and our allies fund terrorism, train terrorists and arm terrorists with the other. The only ones benefitting from this catastrophic policy are the war profiteers themselves, who are calling the shots in foreign policy by funding the establishment parties and their politicians. In fact, US foreign policy has become fundamentally a marketing strategy for the weapons industry. We started the terrorist threat. Now it’s time to shut it down. That is what our campaign alone will do.  This is the world we can create outside of the two corporate parties sponsored by predatory banks, fossil fuel giants and war profiteers. So it’s time to vote for our deeply held beliefs, not against what we fear. Because that politics of fear has delivered everything we’re afraid of.  

The politics of fear.

We remember when we rejected it.

It was THE NATION magazine declaring an election was the terror election, that if the results went wrong, everything was over, everything!!!!!!

We're so sick of hacks and liars.

We're so sick of people who try to scare you to vote or try to scare you to vote one way.

In a functioning democracy, a candidate earns votes or doesn't.

We haven't had functioning democracy in some time.

"Are you ready to make history?"

That's what Ajamu Baraka asked the assembled on Saturday.

We looked around at those cheering.

"I said: Are you ready to make history?"

As he repeated the question, we looked to the sparse media turn out.

Clearly, the people are ready to make history -- it's just the media that's holding back.

"Let America be America again," the 2012 Green Party vice presidential candidate Cheri Honkala insisted as she introduced the 2016 Green Party vice presidential candidate Ajamu Baraka.

Let America be America again, she was quoting the late poet, activist, novelist and playwright Langston Hughes.

A country free of The PATRIOT Act, a country free of Wall Street control of the elections, a country where the people actually lead and the people actually matter.

Why will some people be voting Green this November?

Let America be America again -- sounds like a pretty solid reason to us.

Granddaddy Queerest Dan Savage

If you want to know how to suck a cock, Dan Savage is your go-to

If you want to know how to perform a Dirty Sanchez, an Alabama Hot Pocket, etc.

But if you want to know politics, Grandaddy Queerest is the last one to go to.

51 is what -- 103 in White, middle-class gay years?

He's like twice the age of Dear Abby and Ann Landers combined -- if you missed the reference, don't fret, just means you are vastly younger than Dan.

He recently decided he could weigh in on the Green Party.

DAN SAVAGE: Alright, blah blah blah. Sorry I had to stop you. Yeah, let’s talk about the Green Party for just a moment, or third parties, getting a third party movement off the ground here in this country. Because we are sick of the two party system!Here’s how you f**king do that: you run people not just for f**king president every four f**king years.

Is that what you do, Granddaddy Queerest?

You're not a Green, right?

But you're entitled to tell them what to do?

We seem to remember a time when you railed against non-gays trying to instruct the LGBT movement.

He went on to bitch that the Green Party was, "Just this griping, bullshitty, grandstanding, fault-finding, purity-testing, holier than thou-ing, that we are all subjected to every four f**king years by the Green Party candidate."

Thing is, we remember some similar statements being made against those proposing marriage equality.  But Dan is the ultimate hypocrite and feels that however he was wronged is how he will wrong everyone else.

Dan then huffs that a vote for Jill will bring about disaster, "And the people who’ll suffer are not going to be the pasty white Green Party supporters — pasty white Jill Stein and her pasty white supporters."

Pasty White?

What is that?

A color for anal bleaching?

And what color does Dan Savage think he is?

He appears to be Anglo White.

Yes, Jill Stein is Anglo White.

The Green Party is not.

There's Kevin Alexander Gray, among other prominent supporters.

Saturday, in Houston, Ava and C.I. saw many people of color at the Green Party national convention.

They didn't see Dan Savage there but why would they?

He doesn't need to do research to offer insults.

Hanging out with and was a ball!

Pasty White?

Like Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine?

That's the Pasty White Democratic ticket.

Like Donald Trump and Mike Pence?

That's the Pasty White Republican ticket.

Like Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka?


Of the three tickets, only one includes a person of color.

We can just see a cold cream faced Dan Savage hollering, "DJ, bring me the axe!"

Time for Carnegie Endowment to fire Andrew S. Weiss

As a global, independent, and nonpartisan institution, we have not only the capacity but also the responsibility to foster conversations that cut across borders and boundaries. Over the past year, we have launched a new dialogue series with members of the U.S. Congress and the diplomatic corps, and held hundreds of public and private forums at our centers around the world and on every conceivable online platform. We had the privilege of hosting heads of state, ministers, and business leaders from around the world as well as one-fifth of President Barack Obama’s cabinet. And we continue to invest in the next generation of scholars and policymakers, through our distinguished Junior Fellows Program and our network of rising scholars across our global centers.

So announced William J. Burns after becoming president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Prior to joining the organization, Burns was a distinguished and well respected member of government.

He earned a reputation for fairness.

That reputation is now at risk as a result of Andrew S. Weiss.

The vice president of the organization has been Tweeting . . .

has been Tweeting McCarthyistic smears.

  1. Wherein 's running mate claims Russia was blamed unfairly for 2014 MH17 shootdown
  2. More video from 's bizarre 12/15 trip to Moscow to celebrate Kremlin propaganda TV channel
  3. Pic of at dinner w Putin, pal Gen Mike Flynn in Moscow in Dec 2015 at RT anniv party
  4. Fun fact: attended same Dec 2015 w Putin as Trump crony . RT's 10th anniversary party.

  5. Creepy video from Moscow gushing over Russian support for human rights, dinner w Putin, RT anniv party
  6. Marginally better than chanting Putin! Putin! Putin!

Carnegie supposedly exists to foster dialogue but here's v.p. Weiss smearing someone for conversations.

He needs to apologize and then he needs to go.

If he doesn't, it's Carnegie Endowment's image that will suffer.

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