COUNT ALL VOTES

I know some of you have already signed one or more of these three petitions to save Florida and Michigan from disenfranchisement (and some of you disagree and won't sign them).  But to those of you who haven't signed them all and agree with the effort to save FL and MI, please click links below to read and sign, and then please forward to everyone you can.  My mom is one of the disenfranchised  Florida voters, and I want her vote counted.  Thanks!  (These were already circulated a couple weeks ago, but I want to keep them going and growing.)

Petition # 1:  read and sign petition on website:   http://florida-delegates.com/petition/

Petition #2:  sign here: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/hey-dnc -count-every-vote

Petition #3:  sign petition to get Florida votes to count: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/seato urdelegates/
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meanwhile back at the WH

This press release came out a couple days ago, but I want to make sure everyone is aware of it. link follows.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 12, 2008
8:55 AM

CONTACT: Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washinton (CREW)
Naomi Seligman Steiner at 202.408.5565
nseligman@citizensforethics.org

CREW Calls on FBI to Investigate White House Destruction of E-mails -- Including Plame Wilson Discussions

WASHINGTON, DC - March 12 - Today, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) called on FBI Direct Robert S. Mueller to open an investigation into whether White House officials obstructed justice by destroying documents relevant to the criminal investigation into the leak of Valerie Plame Wilson's covert CIA identity. CREW's request relies in large part on evidence recently disclosed by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, which documents that for the period September 30 through October 6, 2003, there were no e-mails for the entire Office of the Vice President (OVP) on either the White House servers or on a back-up tape created on October 21, 2003, with the exception of e-mails that had not yet been erased from individual OVP employee mailboxes.
.......
On February 4, 2008, CREW had asked Attorney General Michael Mukasey to appoint a special prosecutor to look into the disappearance of millions of White House e-mails, but the Department disregarded that request, instead sending a form letter suggesting that CREW contact the FBI with any information about possible crimes.  

CREW's chief counsel, Anne Weismann said today, "There is now credible evidence that someone in the White House may have obstructed justice by destroying documents related to the leak of Ms. Wilson's identity. Confronted with this evidence, the FBI, as the nation's top law enforcement authority, has an obligation to investigate."

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is a non-profit legal watchdog group dedicated to holding public officials accountable for their actions.
###

http://www.commondreams.org/news2008/031 2-02.htm

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Earl Hutchinson Defends Geraldine Ferraro

Here are excerpts from two recent columns by Earl Ofari Hutchinson on race and gener in the Dem primary campaigns.  Nice to hear from someone who actually thinks rationally and sticks to real facts. (Earl Ofari Hutchinson's forthcoming book is "How the GOP Can Keep the White House, How the Democrats Can Take it Back." -- sounds like a must read.)

The Hutchinson Report: Ferraro Flap Raises a Key Question -- Does Race Trump Gender or Is It Vice Versa?
Date: Thursday, March 13, 2008
By: Earl Ofari Hutchinson,  BlackAmericaWeb.com

(http://www.blackamericaweb.com/site.aspx /bawnews/stateof/hutchinsonreport313)

A defiant Geraldine Ferraro told ABC's Diane Sawyer that she had "absolutely" no regrets about saying that Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama was getting the kid-glove treatment because he's black. Ferraro could be defiant. The former Democratic VP candidate and Hillary Clinton advisor had just voluntarily stepped down in response to the howls from the Obama camp for Clinton to fire her for what they called her racist and insulting remarks.

The Ferraro-Obama flap was just the latest in the long and rancorous, name-calling and finger-pointing attacks that Clinton and Obama have leveled at each other. But the Ferraro tiff did raise one intriguing question: Does race trump gender, or is it the other way around? That question has been perched on the lips of pundits since Obama and Clinton tossed their hats in the ring last year.

In the case of Obama, the question was always whether whites would back an African-American for president. In the case of Clinton, the question was whether men would back a woman for president. Ferraro flatly said that the media was sexist and that it had relentlessly dumped on Clinton because she's a she. Obama, in his retort, hinted that race was an obstacle and that he had worked doubly hard to cast his campaign above race and stick to the theme of change, presumably meant change for all.
...

The politically correct view is that Clinton and Obama's entrance into and drive for the presidency will permanently alter the hostile mindset of many men that a woman is not equipped to hold the highest office and the thought of many whites that a black man is not equipped to be president. Yet, in Democratic primaries in January and February, Obama held his own or surpassed Clinton's vote total with white men. He did it in some of the most traditional bastions of white male voter resistance to backing a black candidate in elections past. Meanwhile, Clinton got substantial white male support in her big primary win over Obama in Ohio. But the racial divide did appear with a vengeance in the Mississippi primary, where Obama got the bulk of the black vote, and Clinton got the bulk of the white vote.

So whether Ferraro was totally on the mark about men and Clinton and race and Obama will continue to be debated, squabbled over and picked apart by the two Democrats. One thing that's for sure: The candidate who has a Cheshire cat-like grin on his face at the rancor between them over race and gender is named John McCain.

-----------------------------

Ferraro Keeps Getting it Right, Obama Should Apologize to Her
    March 14, 2008  by Earl Ofari Hutchinson
(http://www.huffingtonpost.com/earl-ofari -hutchinson/ferraro-keeps-getting-it-b 91495.html)

A justly defiant Geraldine Ferraro just keeps getting it right. She told NBC that if anyone should apologize for playing the race card it's Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama. She flatly and rightly blasted Obama for virtually calling her a racist for merely saying what Ray Charles (may he rest in peace) could see and that's that the media has employed a blatant, no grotesque, double standard when it comes to tip toeing around any criticism no matter how slight and muffled of the hyper thin skinned Obama. Yet let rival Hillary Clinton (or God forbid hubby Bill) even breathe the R word about Obama and the screeches from the clinically obsessive Hate Hillary Clubbers are swift and loud.

Ferraro bore the full brunt of their noisy howls and the double standard when she dared intimate that the media and much of the public has turned like Lot's wife into a stone mute on race with Obama while unleashing a 24/7 barrage of sometimes thinly veiled and other times outrageous sexist innuendos, wisecracks, taunts and ridicule of Clinton. As Ferraro correctly noted if you scratched out gender from the cracks at Hillary and penciled in race and made the same veiled and not so veiled racial digs at Obama the howls of protest would be heard on the Moon.

A textbook case was the Martin Luther King, Jr. versus Lyndon Baines Johnson flap a couple of months ago. Clinton in an innocent and in fact praiseworthy and totally factual statement said that Johnson played the major role in getting the 1964 Civil Rights Act through Congress. Oh Boy! Clinton was: take your pick: A. a maligner of Dr. King B. a slanderer of the civil rights movement C. a closet bigot. When Clinton fought back the by now all too predictable pattern from the Obama camp kicked in. First self-righteous indignation, followed by deliberate distortion of her actual statement, followed by personal attack and slander, and then the capper, plausible deniability that Obama never made an issue of it in the first place.

But here's the bigger problem with all this. The great strength of the Obama campaign has rested squarely on his pitch that he's the post-civil rights guy, with a broad based, issue driven, non-racial appeal. That's the front door, image enhancing spin. The back door, under the table pitch is to subtly play race at every turn... to snatch at every chance to turn even the slightest reference to race by Clinton or anyone in her camp, such as Ferraro, into a federal case. This tired act is wearing thin and thankfully a few that have not totally abandoned all sense of reason are seeing through this melodrama...

The even bigger problem with all of this is that this shows beginning warning signs of backfiring. That was plainly evident in the Mississippi primary. Obama would have gone down to a crushing defeat if it wasn't for the black vote. His on the surface hope and change message fell flat on its face with white voters. He won exclusively with the black vote (90 percent). Clinton got the overwhelming bulk of the white vote. The racial polarization was in the Democratic primary! If Obama is the eventual Democratic nominee it isn't political rocket science stuff too figure out how he'd fare in the general election in the state if he had to depend on the black vote alone.

Now back to Ferraro. She didn't just ask for an apology from Obama for virtually calling her a racist, she also warned that if the Obama camp persists in this shell game on race, that he risks alienating many Democrats... She included herself in that category. It may already be too late on that score. Race is just too good and too juicy a plum to abandon when it serves a campaign purpose. In other words, Geraldine, while you certainly deserve an apology from Obama, don't hold your breath waiting for it.

New America Media National Political Affairs Writer Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst.

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The Clintons and Civil/Human Rights

How did Dems get to this place of arguing over racism? As I said in another comment, MLK would be rolling over in his grave if he knew people today were saying that a statement asserting that he and LBJ worked together to further civil rights was racist.  He would say get a grip, and don't let yourselves be divided and conquered.  In every election, divisive social issues end up benefitting Republicans, and are what get the Republicans elected.  It bugs me that I'm even writing this diary; I feel we've all let ourselves be sidetracked when the country is on the brink of going down the tubes.  However, I want to remind Obama's supporters that the Clintons actually have a history of furthering civil and human rights.  I thnk Obama's supporters largely consider themselves progressive, and yet here they are attacking people who their whole lives have worked on civil and human rights issues.  Some of you say you don't care about the good work Hillary Clinton has done in the past; that somehow is irrelevant to you.  I disagree.  History is important.  Good works and good deeds are important.  Actual accomplishments are important.  So, I'm going to bring up some of the Clintons' history on civil/human rights.

For lack of space and time, I can't cover too much, but here are a few salient points.  (I'm not saying as much about BC beacuse he's not running for president; I wanted to include him tho because a lot of the racist talk has been directed at him.)

Hillary:

As a high school student, Hillary took a strong interest in civil rights.  When she was 14 years old she went with a group of young people to hear MLK speak in person. (Some kids when they're 14, like to go out for ice cream and to dances; Hillary did things like go see MLK!!)  When she 17 years old, she brought an AA school friend of hers to Sunday church service.  That probably doesn't seem all that impressive to you younger people now, but at that time the churches were still segregated and it was pretty radical of the young Hill to do that.

In 1972 (24 years old), Hillary the law student, worked to further the end of school desegregation in the South.  She traveled to Alabama and Georgia, where she gathered information on the Nixon Administration's  failures to make sure laws related to school desegration were enforced.

In her Arkansas years, she focused a lot on children and rural poverty, as well as other human rights issues:

She co-founded Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families.

She chaired the Rural Health Advisory Committee, where she worked on expanding medical facilities into Arkansas' poorest areas (bringing much needed help to many poor AAs).  

She served on the Legal Services Board of the Arkansas Children's Hospital and chaired the Children's Defense Fund.

From 1987-91, Hillary chaired the ABA Commission on gender discrimination in the legal profession.

As the country's First Lady, in her foreign travels HRC made a point of focusing on the issue of sex trafficking of young girls, an uncomortable subject, but she brought it up nevertheless. I still remember that speech she gave in China on human rights, where she directly and specifically spoke of China's human rights violations.  The world as a whole was quite shocked and impressed that she would dare to speak out so bluntly to the Chinese Government.  (The gov't actually was so mortified it blocked out portions of her speech.)

Bill:

As a junior in high school (1963), Bill Clinton was chosen by his state to represent Arkansas youth at Boys' Nation in Washington D.C., where he debated for Civil Rights legislation (and went to the Rose Garden to shake JFK's hand).  After MLK was assassinated in 1968, BC volunteered for the Red Cross, helping to take clothing and food to people whose homes were destroyed in the aftermath's resulting riots.

Fast forwarding now to his WH years, as president BC appointed a record number of minorities as Federal Judges, Cabinet members, and other government officials. He also directed the Department of Justice to end the practice of racial profiling.  

I'm leaving a lot out, but I'll close with:  in 2003, the National Civil Rights Museum (Memphis, TN) presented former President Clinton with their highest honor, the Freedom Award.
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In closing, I would like to propose that (1) we all drop the race card talk and that (2) everyone encourage their respective candidates to get together to hold a town hall forum style event, where they would directly engage the electorate, take questions directly from the citizens, and compare/contrast their respective plans for the future of our country.

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right-wing joins progressives

headsup:

"Progressive" Arianna Huffington is returning to her right-wing roots, big time. Of course, Huff Post has favored Obama and has been more in the anti-Hill camp for a long time, but now the post has taken another corner that's downright freaky.  There are two columns on Huff Post today by rightwing Hillary-haters, placed right near the top of the website, one by Dick Morris and another by Andrew Sullivan.  I will not copy the columns over because they are too creepy, but here's the headlines:

Dick Morris to Clinton: It's Over,   by Dick Morris

The Clintons, A Horror Film that Never Ends,  by Andrew Sullivan

What has happened to the progressive movement?!

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Florida Debacle

This email was forwarded to me from a Florida Dem County Chair, and I thought it would be of interest, so am passing it along. I'll add a copy of the referred-to attachment as well.

Dear Democrat:

     If you haven't already received this it will make you real mad.  Open up the attachment and then open the link to Democratic Rep Ron Gelber's exchange.  The importance of this it gives us a true picture of the attitude of the Republicans in Tallahassee.  You will hear the Republicans mock and laugh at Rep Gilber as he pleads with them not to move the Presidential Primary to January 29.  Remember it was a Republican Legislature and the Republican Governor that made this happen.  Please forward this to your friends; we need to get the word out.  

Chair, Hernando County Democratic Executive Committee
Spring Hill, FL  34611

NEWS FROM THE FLORIDA DEMOCRATIC PARTY

For Immediate Release: March 7, 2008

re:  Crist's Concern for Dem Voters

TALLAHASSEE - While Florida's governor plays the role of nonpartisan leader on television, he's a true partisan Republican in real life. During his week-long media tour to "help" Democrats, Crist seems to have conveniently forgotten that he vowed to veto legislation proposed by Democrats to move the primary to February 5th.

Last year, Florida Democrats asked the Republican-controlled Legislature to set the primary on February 5th. The proposal elicited laughter and mocking from Republicans on the floor of the Florida House. Click here for the audio:
 http://www.dangelber.com/audio/RepGelber exchangewithRepRivera3May2007.wma

The Governor was no more helpful. "Crist said Tuesday that he would veto any bill attempting to change Florida's presidential primary to a later date... "It doesn't have a chance," said Crist, a Republican. "I think Florida's doing the right thing." [Associated Press, 9/4/07]

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Art Of War

I recently heard a conservative journalist the other day touting Sun Tzu's book the Art of War as a good guide for winning elections.  Specifically he liked the book's advice to do everything possible to infiltrate and create chaos and confusion on the other side (the enemy); which will create more division which in turn further secures the other side's being conquered.

Well, take a look at Florida. Did the Republicans there (and their out-of-state Repub advisors) know how much of the above they would be effecting by putting forth legislation to change the primary date?  The DNC fell right into the trap.  The whole thing is a horrible mess now.  Couldn't have more confusion, chaos, and division.  At the least we have millions of alienated Democratic voters; and Donna Brazille responds, well that's too bad, but there's nothing we can do about it now (paraphrase).

No matter how it plays out, great damage has already been done. The Repubs threw one little pebble over to the other side; the ripple effects of chaos, division and confusion has been enormous. The Art of War wins the day.  

How can the Democratic leadership be so utterly stupid?!

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Going Negative

It's interesting when Hillary Clinton wants to focus on issues of National Security and NAFTA, it's called by the Obama camp (and MSM) "going negative".  National Security and NAFTA, however, are important issues that need to be addressed. (We citizens also need to know if the candiate's words are sincere or political rhetoric.) It seems BHO has a pattern of avoiding the hard questions.  Sen. Clinton has invited Sen. Obama over and over to join her for town hall meetings to engage citizens directly.  He refuses.  He ducks.  He sidesteps.  He's too busy firing it up.

When she brings the hard questions up, instead of debating her on these issues, he announces his campaign will start fighting back with his own brand of going negative.  So he starts asking for her tax returns and his advisors resort to calling her names. (btw;  taxes aren't due till 4/15)

If HRC's brand of negativity is to bring up the tough issues for debate, and BHO's brand of negativity is to avoid the tough questions and resort to name calling;  I'll take Hillary's brand.  Let's debate the tough issues.  What to do about the foreclosure tsunami, health care, national security?

Senator Obama, for the good of the country, please take up Senator Clinton on her invitation to join her for town hall forums.

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Caucus Irregularities in Texas

I just found this posted on Huff Post. (thanks to sarainitaly) very interesting.  anyone know who Lyn Utrecht is?

March 4, 2008

MEMORANDUM

TO: Interested Parties

FROM: Lyn Utrecht
Campaign Counsel

RE: Caucus Irregularities

The campaign legal hotline has been flooded with calls containing specific accusations of irregularities and voter intimidation against the Obama campaign. This activity is undemocratic, probably illegal, and reflects a wanton disregard for the caucus process.

The three most egregious categories are:

1) Irregularities: Prematurely Taking Precinct Convention Packets by Obama Campaign

Numerous calls have shown that Obama supporters prematurely removed convention packets from polling places. Packets may not legally given out until 7:15 PM or when the last voter has cast a ballot in the primary. The Texas State Party warned the Obama campaign in writing that they may not take these packets early or remove them from the polling locations. The Party directed that these irregularities be reported to law enforcement "since they amount to criminal violations." The Party stated "removing convention packets . . . will not be tolerated."

A sampling of the precincts where this occurred are:

659 " Tarrant
709 " Houston
2316 " Tarrant
1205 " Dallas
3127 " Bexar
3082 " Fort Bend
18/224 " Harris
3221 " Dallas
87 " El Paso
851 " Houston
115 - Harris
470 " Galveston
388 " Harris
3000 " Dallas
1214 " Dallas
20 " Medina
205 " Walker

2) Voter Intimidation: Lock-out of Clinton caucus goers by Obama Campaign

Numerous calls have been received that the Obama campaign has taken over caucus sites and locked the doors, excluding Clinton campaign supporters from participating in the caucus. The Clinton supporters have been unable to enter the premises to caucus. In at least one instance, law enforcement was called and forcibly opened the caucus site.

A sampling of the precincts where this occurred are:

4401 " Dallas
2052 " Tarrant
4402 " Dallas
75 " Harris
18 " Hardin
259 " Harris
124 " Nueces
4050 " Tarrant
115 " Harris
6 " Roma County
78 " Jefferson
117 " Denton

3. There are numerous instances of Obama supporters filing out precinct convention sign-in sheets during the day and submitting them as completed vote totals at caucus. This is expressly against the rules. The sign-in sheets were copied by the Obama campaign from the Texas Democratic Party website and taken by supporters to various polling places to sign-up caucus goers prior to the start of the caucuses

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Iraq Resolution Clarification

Hillary's vote for the Iraq War Resolution in 2003 (S.J. 45; H.J. 114) has been coming up in the MyDD comments the last couple days.

There are many progressives who say they can't vote for Hillary because of her vote on the resolution.  Sometimes these progressives ironically seem to be parroting George Bush.  When things started taking a really bad turn for the worse in Iraq, he started saying:  hey, it's not all my fault; the Congress supported the invasion too. We have Bush, the MSM, and many progressives all repeating this over and over so it has now become the accepted reality.

The truth is, however, the resolution was not a blank check for a pre-emptive invasion.  Allow me to quote directly from Res. H.J. 114.

In the resolution, Bush agreed to, quote:  "work with the U.N. Security Council to meet the common challenge posed by Iraq. . ."   

On 3/7/03 the U.N. inspectors reported there was no evidence of a WMD program and requested more time to complete their work.  Bush dismissed their report, declaring the U.S. forces were on their way.  Mr. Bush therefore did not abide by the critically important condition of the resolution to "work with the U.N. to meet the challenge of Iraq" and broke his word to our own representatives in Congress and the Senate.

Senator Webb has recently stated that legal action should be taken against Bush for other matters. Bush also needs to be held accountable for breaking his binding agreement with Congress as per the Iraq Resolution. I'm not an attorney, but if the resolution was binding, wasn't Bush legally bound to the conditions set in the resolution?  Bush himself keeps shifting the blame onto others for his potentially illegal war--and many  progressives (naive? misquided? unwitting tools of Rove machine?) are helping him out.

Joe Wilson also recently pointed to Obama's seemingly complete misunderstanding of the facts of the resolution, and I will directly quote Wilson here:

"Obama never mentions that Hans Blix, the chief United Nations weapons inspectors, declared that without the congressional Authorization for the Use of Military Force the inspectors would never have been allowed into Iraq. Hillary's approach -- and that of the majority of Democrats in the Senate -- was to let the inspectors complete their work while building an international coalition. Hillary's was the road untaken. The betrayal of the American people, and of the Congress, came when President Bush refused to allow the inspections to succeed, and that betrayal is his and his party's, not the Democrats."

We've got to stop blaming others for Bush's pre-emptive war. I don't want to offend any progressives who understandably hate the war (as do I), but it's important to get the facts straight and not be duped by the MSM and Bush/Cheney/Rove manipulations of the truth.

And if Senator Obama is the superior statesman he implies he is, he ought not to be enabling the Bush admistration to divert responsibility for Iraq, but rather defending his fellow Dems and Senators who voted to keep the U.N. involved.

p.s. My intention is not to offend Obama's people either; but sometimes the "devilish details" have to account for something. I wish the press would do more factual background checks, but it doesn't.  And even in the most ideal dream, there's got to be an occasional time-out for a "reality check."
 

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Diaries

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