Saturday, May 31, 2008

Britain's Woeful Rape Prosecution Rate

"According to government statistics, only 5.7 percent of rapes officially recorded by police in England and Wales end in a conviction."

With a record like this, Britain certainly lacks the credibility to point out women's rights abuses in other nations.

excerpt from:
In Britain, Rape Cases Seldom Result in a Conviction
By Mary Jordan
Washington Post Foreign Service

In Britain, a nation whose justice system has been used as a model around the globe, government officials and women's rights activists agree that rape goes largely unpunished.

Solicitor General Vera Baird, who oversees criminal prosecutions in England, estimated that 10 to 20 percent of rapes are brought to authorities' attention. According to government figures, 14,000 cases a year are reported and 19 out of 20 defendants walk free.

"There will never be proper female equality and appropriate dignity afforded to one-half of the population if it's possible to rape somebody and get away with it," said Baird, one of the highest-ranking women in the British government.

Thousands of victims each year once chose not to go to police because of shame, women's advocates say. Now, the advocates say, the bigger reason is that rape victims feel the system is stacked against them.

A 2005 report commissioned by the police found a "culture of skepticism" in the justice system when it came to rape cases, and recommended shifting the focus from seeking reasons not to believe the accuser to gathering evidence to support the charge.

Lisa Longstaff, spokeswoman for the London-based group Women Against Rape, said rape cases are "not a priority" for busy police and prosecutors and, as a result, "so few rapists get locked up that those who do feel unlucky rather than guilty."

Even some cases that do end in a guilty verdict stir outrage. Last year, a judge sentenced a 24-year-old man to two years in prison for having sex with a 10-year-old after concluding that the girl had "dressed provocatively."

Friday, May 30, 2008

Tell Congress That You Deserve Quality Media

I just wrote my representatives in Congress, asking them to stand up for better ( if not always balanced) media in America. There is a bill in the House right now that would protect journalism, diversity, and competition. Urge your representative to support the bipartisan "Resolution of Disapproval" (S.J.Res 28 / H.J. Res. 79)

Please visit the URL below to learn more about this campaign and to urge your elected officials to stop big media:

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Rethink That Vacation in Alaska

According to the Alaska Travel Industry Association website, "Alaska is the premier destination for adventure and ecotourists seeking a personal connection with nature, wilderness and the local people" Well here's something for anyone considering an Alaska wildlife vacation to consider.

Reuters is reporting that the State of Alaska is planning a lawsuit to overturn the US Department of the Interior's decision to place the polar bear on the endangered species list.

excerpt from:
Alaska to Sue to Block Polar Bear Listing
By Yereth Rosen

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Reuters) - The state of Alaska will sue the U.S. government to stop the listing of the polar bear as a threatened species, arguing the designation will slow development in the state, Gov. Sarah Palin said on Wednesday.

Palin said the state will file a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Washington challenging U.S. Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne's decision to grant Endangered Species Act protections to the polar bear.

The Republican governor has argued that the ice-dependent polar bear, the first mammal granted Endangered Species Act listing because of global warming, does not need additional protections.

"We believe that the listing was unwarranted and that it's unprecedented to list a currently healthy population based on uncertain climate models," said Alaska Assistant Attorney General Steven Daugherty.

In the following clip Daniel Siberg of CBS News reports on why polar bears have been placed under the protection of the Endangered Species Act.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Days We Are Never Ready to See

Nearly 20 years ago my father had a stroke and within a few months passed away. And despite the fact that I was a "late life" baby and my father had lived a very long life, I wasn't ready to lose him.

A few years ago my mother, my rock and my role model, was diagnosed with a condition that has changed her life (and mine) drastically. I wasn't ready for that but by the grace of God and the support of good family friends we're doing OK.

This past Saturday when I heard that Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) had been rushed to the hospital with stroke like symptoms I realized that there are a few more things that I'm still not ready to see.

It's utterly amazing how news about someone whom you've never met and likely never will can deeply touch you. As I mentioned on Catherine Morgan's post on Senator Ted Kennedy's diagnosis, there has never been a day in my life when a Kennedy has not been in the White House, the Justice Department or the Senator.

In fact, when I look back at the factors involved in my decision to attend college in Boston versus Syracuse, I have to admit that the Kennedy mystique was a definite factor. Places like Beacon Hill, Brookline and Martha's Vineyard held just as much interest for me as Bunker Hill and Lexington and Concord.

Earlier today Senators Robert Byrd (D-WV) and Arlen Specter (R-PA) Expressed What So Many of Us Are Feeling

For better or for worse the name of Senator Ted Kennedy is synonymous with the modern Democratic Party and American politics. Today has been a day that many of us were not ready to see.

My thoughts and prayers are with Senator Kennedy and his family.

Monday, May 19, 2008

More MCain Campaign Staffers Fail to Meet His New Ethics Policy

excerpt from:
More Campaign Staffers Out Because of New Ethics Policy

Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, May 17, 2008; Page A06

The campaign of Sen. John McCain continued to dismiss staff members this week for violating its new ethics policy, as Democrats ratcheted up pressure on McCain advisers for their lobbying backgrounds.

McCain dismissed two staff members Thursday after unveiling the policy, which prohibits staffers from lobbying, representing a foreign agent or participating in outside political groups. A memo from campaign manager Rick Davis asked aides to disclose previous lobbying ties and to make sure they aren't currently registered as lobbyists or foreign agents.

One staffer, Craig Shirley, was dismissed after the Politico reported that he worked for the attack site Another, Eric Burgeson, left Thursday after it was disclosed that he lobbies the federal government on energy policy.

McCain's campaign created the policy following two other forced departures -- regional campaign manager Doug Davenport and Republican convention chief Doug Goodyear -- for representing the military government in Burma, also known as Myanmar.

When "Aid" Becomes A Loan

excerpt from:

Anger over climate change loans

By Roger Harrabin
BBC environment analyst

Development campaigners have accused the UK government of making a stealth cut to an £800m fund designed to help poor countries adapt to climate change.

Ministers said they were proud to have set a moral lead when the Environmental Transformation Fund was launched.

The government now says an unspecified amount will go out as interest-free loans but insists it never pledged all the money would be used as aid.

One campaign group attacked the loan element of the fund as "outrageous".

The £800m total was confirmed in last year's Budget. The word "loan" was not mentioned at the time, so it was assumed by campaigners the money was aid.

The International Institute for Environment and Development, based in London, has criticised the decision.

Spokesman Saleem ul-Huq said: "Rich countries like the UK have caused the climate problem and poor countries are predicted to suffer most.

"It is outrageous that the UK is prepared to make poor countries even more heavily indebted trying to combat a problem they did not cause".

He welcomed the principle of the fund but said it was not nearly enough, and insisted that loans should be ruled out.

Friday, May 16, 2008

What Is Children's TV Teaching Young People About Gender?

Many of my fellow bloggers and I have been more than taken aback by the level of overt misogyny that surfaced during the Democratic Presidential Primary race. However, after reading
Ammu Joseph's, article for Women in Media and News (WIMN) maybe we shouldn't have been.

Is it possible that the "baby boomers" have actually raised a generation that has a harder time accepting a women in a leadership role than they did?

In her article "The Stories That Children Are Watching", Ms. Joseph reports:

In the largest-ever detailed analysis of children’s television worldwide, researchers based in different parts of the globe tracked gender representation in nearly 20,000 fictional programmes from 24 countries. According to the international, scholarly team led by Dr. Maya Götz, who heads the Munich-based Internationales Zentralinstitut fur das Jugend und Bildungsfernsehen (IZI) and Prix Jeunesse International, the results show under-representation and stereotypical depiction of female characters across the world.

Studies of children’s television in the United States of America and Germany (”The main characters of German children’s TV,” Maya Götz, 2006) have already established gender imbalances and stereotypes within the national context of those countries.

Close scrutiny of over 26,000 fictional characters revealed certain clear trends. For example, there are twice as many boys as girls on children’s television across the world:

• Only 32% of all main characters on children’s TV are female, while 68% are male

• In animation programmes, the imbalance is even greater: 87% males and 13% females — especially in shows featuring animals as main characters

The demographic reality of 51% females to 49% males in the world population is obviously not represented on children’s television.

Another trend concerns race/ethnicity: the majority of heroes and heroines in children’s television is white. In their analysis of the skin colour of the nearly 15,000 human characters included in the study, researchers found that 72% were Caucasian (white). Only 12% had what could be viewed as Asian physical traits, 6% were black and 3% could be classified as Latina/o.

Interestingly, women/girls seem to be represented as Asians, Africans or Latinas more often then men/boys.

Clearly Senator Hillary Clinton found more support among older women than their younger counterparts. Given the fact that Senator Clinton and Senator Obama's voting records are, for the most part, identical what was the deciding factor for younger voters? It would make an interesting study.

Just one more thing to consider when analyzing those election demographics.

Can The Secret Service Be Trusted to Protect Barack Obama?

Recent revelations about racist behavior within the US Secret Service raise this serious issue.

excerpt from: -
Jesse Jackson Wants To See Secret Service Files On Himself

Racially, Sexually Explicit Emails Surfaced In Civil Rights Suit Filed By African-American Agents

CHICAGO (CBS) ― The Secret Service is under fire for racist and sexist e-mails, including one aimed at Chicago's Rev. Jesse Jackson.

CBS station WBBM-TV's Chief Correspondent Jay Levine reports the e-mails were just released by the Secret Service as part of a long-running civil rights suit filed by African American agents. They contain racist and sexist jokes and pictures.

The one about the Rev. Jackson has now led to a demand for the release of any other insulting references to members of the Jackson family in Secret Service files.

Rev. Jackson's dealings with the Secret Service date back to his two campaigns for the Democratic presidential nomination in the 1980s. He actually asked for and was assigned protective details before other candidates back then.

The Secret Service e-mail, WBBM-TV obtained from a court filing in Washington, was titled "The Righteous Reverend," and jokes about the deaths of Jackson and his wife when a missile strikes their plane. The e-mail ends with, it "certainly wouldn't be a great loss and probably wouldn't be an accident either."

"This e-mail today tells me I have a lot less confidence in the secret Service than I did before it was exposed," said U.S. Rep Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) Reacting to this and the other e-mails, a Secret Service spokesman told the New York Times: "We are deeply disappointed by any communication or action on the part of our employees that exhibits racial or other insensitivity."

When WBBM-TV reached him by cell phone Tuesday afternoon, the Rev, Jackson said he wants all Secret Service communications which mention him, all the way back to the 1980's. Asked how his father took the comments, Jackson Jr. said, "Well, he wasn't quite as charged as Mrs. Jackson was. My mother wants to know what she has to do with this at all."

Like Jackson in 1983, Sen. Barack Obama also received early Secret Service protection, more than a year ago, when crowds at his events got very large. Rep. Jackson said he didn't question their commitment to protecting the probable Democratic nominee. "But suffice it to say that if supervisors at the United States Secret Service are passing around racially explicit e-mails and sexually explicit e-mails, there's a problem at the highest ranks of the Unites States Secret Service that deserves all of our attention," Jackson Jr. said.

What Every Woman Needs

Forget the Anthony Robbins tapes, every woman should have someone in her corner who supports her this much.

WOW! Can you bottle that energy?

Have A Great Weekend

Oops, title correction. :-)

Veterans with PTSD Denied Compensation Via MisDiagnosis

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) and have released an e-mail obtained from a Veterans Affairs (VA) employee directing VA staff in Temple, TX to refrain from diagnosing soldiers and veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and instead making a diagnosis of “Adjustment Disorder” -- a difference which denies veterans as much as $2,500/mo in disability compensation.

excerpt from:

Official Urged Fewer Diagnosis of PTSD

Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, May 16, 2008; Page A02

A psychologist who helps lead the post-traumatic stress disorder program at a medical facility for veterans in Texas told staff members to refrain from diagnosing PTSD because so many veterans were seeking government disability payments for the condition.

"Given that we are having more and more compensation seeking veterans, I'd like to suggest that you refrain from giving a diagnosis of PTSD straight out," Norma Perez wrote in a March 20 e-mail to mental-health specialists and social workers at the Department of Veterans Affairs' Olin E. Teague Veterans' Center in Temple, Tex. Instead, she recommended that they "consider a diagnosis of Adjustment Disorder."

VA staff members "really don't . . . have time to do the extensive testing that should be done to determine PTSD," Perez wrote.

Adjustment disorder is a less severe reaction to stress than PTSD and has a shorter duration, usually no longer than six months, said Anthony T. Ng, a psychiatrist and member of Mental Health America, a nonprofit professional association.

Veterans diagnosed with PTSD can be eligible for disability compensation of up to $2,527 a month, depending on the severity of the condition, said Alison Aikele, a VA spokeswoman. Those found to have adjustment disorder generally are not offered such payments, though veterans can receive medical treatment for either condition

This is a disgrace and demands an immediate Congressional investigation. If you are outraged by this please contact:

Senator Daniel Akaka (D-HI), Chair of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee
Click here to go to Sen. Akaka's website, send a fax to (808) 545-4683 or use the contact information below:

United States Senate
141 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
Tel: (202) 224-6361
Fax: (202) 224-2126

and both Texas Senators:

Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-TX) member of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee
Click here to go to Sen. Hutchinson's website or use the contact information below"

284 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510-4304
202-224-0776 (FAX)
202-224-5903 (TDD)

Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) member of the Senate Budget Committee
Click here to go to Sen. Cornyn's website or use the contact information below:

517 Hart Senate Office Bldg.

Washington, DC 20510
Main: 202-224-2934
Fax: 202-228-2856

Thursday, May 15, 2008

In Search of Answers to the Foreclosure Crisis That Won't Make Matters Worse

Most Americans are now aware of the rippling impact that the home mortgage foreclosure crisis has had on the real estate and banking market. But as summer approaches there's a new concern ... mosquitoes and the spread of West Nile Virus.

KCRA in Sacramento aired the following story in February

The one thing about the current foreclosure that everyone ( consumers, politicians, bankers and health officials) seems to agree upon is that something has to been done about it quick and in a hurry. However, very few parties agree on the correct course of action.

In April, Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) appealed for a long-term solution to this crisis which is impacting every area of the economy.

As Sen. Klobuchar stated, "Congress must work together to get this done". However one of the major points of contention is how to help those in true need without rewarding speculators and those who created this crisis in the first place. The following two stories which were recently featured on point out this troubling conundrum.

First Nicholas von Hoffman reports on Federal Reserve Chairman, Ben Bernanke's demonstration of concern in his article, "Bernanke's Federal Reserve Freakout"

What's got Bernanke scared is that "about one quarter of subprime adjustable-rate mortgages are currently 90 days or more delinquent or in foreclosure. Delinquency rates also have increased in the prime and near-prime segments of the mortgage market.... foreclosure proceedings were initiated on some 1.5 million U.S. homes during 2007, up 53 percent from 2006, and the rate of foreclosure starts looks likely to be yet higher in 2008."

Spooking Bernanke is the Fed's discovery that many thousands of delinquencies are not caused by unemployment or even, perhaps, inability to keep up with payments but rather by the quick, steep drop in the price of real estate. "Sharp declines in house prices, and thus in homeowners' equity, reduce both the ability and incentive of homeowners, particularly those under financial stress for other reasons, to retain their homes," he said.

The denouement Bernanke and not a few others fear is that "high rates of delinquency and foreclosure can have substantial spillover effects on the housing market, the financial markets, and the broader economy. Therefore, doing what we can to avoid preventable foreclosures is not just in the interest of lenders and borrowers. It's in everybody's interest. "

The Fed's remedy is apparently, first, to stop the drop in prices, and next to push them back up to the point that real estate is at least worth the mortgage debt it carries. A bill presently in Congress aims to do that, although nobody can be certain about its succeeding, since such a thing has not been done before.

The cost would be immense in dollars and in civic morale, since any broad save-the-real-estate scheme would include saving speculators, wealthy people's vacation homes, those who lied to fraudulently obtain mortgages, and spendthrifts who put their homes under water so that they could buy large sailboats and/or Cadillac Escalades. The mere thought of such a bailout has the millions who saved for down payments, bought sensibly and have sacrificed to keep up with their mortgage installments somewhere between a slow boil and a tooth-grinding rage.

...the much respected Floyd Norris, a premier business writer of the New York Times, says, "The government may eventually decide that it is necessary to bail out the undeserving as well as the deserving, no matter how repugnant that seems at the moment, and no matter how bad the inflationary impact may be."

The following is an excellent article which I recommend that anyone with an interest in finding a solution to the US home foreclosure should read in it's entirety.

excerpt from

Three Things That Won't Help The Foreclosure Crisis

By Dean Baker and Liz Chimienti, Center for Economic and Policy Research.

Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research. Liz Chimienti is a domestic policy analyst with CEPR.

Falling home prices, rising foreclosures rates, and a slowing economy have created a perfect storm for homeowners who bought in bubble-inflated markets, or used subprime, adjustable-rate mortgages to purchase their homes.

Members of Congress have responded to the crisis facing their constituents by proposing various measures, some strong, like amending the bankruptcy law to cover primary residences, and some misguided. The following are three major proposals that would actually do more harm than good. As Congress seeks to pass legislation to stem the foreclosure crisis, legislation containing elements of these proposals should not be on the table.

Subsidies for Home Buyers

Homeownership can be a useful way for families to accumulate wealth and to provide good secure housing. However, if families are buying homes with bubble-inflated prices, then they are not likely to accumulate any wealth in their home, since the price is likely to fall back to its trend level before they sell their home. (The median period of homeownership for moderate-income families is just four years.) Furthermore, they are likely to pay far more in housing costs each year, than they would to rent a comparable unit.

In the case of moderate-income families facing serious budget constraints, the additional housing costs associated with owning an over-priced home are likely to come at the expense of other necessary items, such as health care and child care. It is difficult to see how the government will have helped a family by encouraging them to buy into such a situation.

. Artificial Price Floors

This has nothing to do with linoleum, and everything to do with how prices get set for homes that are refinanced and backed by FHA loans as proposed in legislation being considered by Congress.

If prices continue to fall, then many homeowners will again find themselves owing more than the value of their home. This situation leads to defaults for two reasons. First, if a homeowner owes more than the value of her home, then she does not have the option to borrow against equity in order to make her mortgage payments. This eliminates an important source of security if job loss or unusual expenses leaves the homeowner temporarily unable to pay his or her bills.

The other reason why this situation increases default rates is that homeowners who owe more than the value of their home can effectively save themselves money by simply surrendering their house to the bank. If a homeowner owes $200,000 on a home that is currently worth $180,000, the homeowner can effectively save $20,000 by just giving the house back to the bank. While this move will hurt the homeowner's credit rating, if they don't have any special attachment to the house, a homeowner may choose this option.

Incentives to Build More Homes

Not letting prices fall back to their equilibrium (see above), or giving generous tax credits to homebuilders will encourage them to build more homes. The more homes that get built, the greater the over supply. This will imply a longer adjustment process and a larger price decline. There is no public interest in taking any steps that can delay the process of price adjustment in the housing market. This process is very painful, but delaying it will only make it more painful

Hopefully Congress, the Fed, and the banking industry will come up with a solution that helps those who are hurting the most. Until then some cities are taking matters into their own hands.

Related posts:

GOP Stalls Vote on Senate Housing Bill

Everybody Takes Advantage of An Opportunity

We're A Long Way From Bedford Falls

IRS: Some stimulus checks sent to wrong accounts

excerpt from:
IRS: Some stimulus checks sent to wrong accounts
-- --

Through the wonders of modern technology, some of those federal economic stimulus checks are being deposited directly into recipients' bank accounts.

But some are not - and are instead winding up in the bank accounts of complete strangers.

"We do know of instances of problems; we've heard of situations where stimulus checks have gone to the wrong people's bank accounts," conceded Kevin McKeon, the Internal Revenue Service spokesman for the New York region. "We're getting a lot of calls to the toll-free number."

One local taxpayer, who asked not to be identified, reported that he had discovered an unexpected deposit of $1,800 in his bank account. He said a review of his bank records revealed that it was a deposit from the IRS bearing another taxpayer's Social Security number. He said he contacted the IRS and was told by an agent that the deposit was one of 15,000 misrouted checks sent out incorrectly as a result of a computer programming glitch

"Overall, the vast majority of stimulus payments are going out timely and accurately to taxpayers," the IRS said in a statement issued in response to questions from Newsday. "To date more than 29 million stimulus payments totaling more than $27 billion have been issued.

"As taxpayers contact us with questions regarding the amount or the timing of their own stimulus payment, the IRS is providing answers and resolving taxpayer-specific issues."

McKeon directed those awaiting stimulus or 2007 tax refund checks to,,id=181665,00.html , or the toll-free service Refund Hotline at 800-829-1954.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Cracked Dam Poses New Threat to Earthquake Ravaged China

Al Jazeera's Melissa Chan is in Bei-chuan, one of the areas hardest hit by the quake.

South Korean News agency reports:

" The hardest-hit city of Mianyang in Sichuan Province, China, was seen dotted with makeshift shelters housing the victims of the earthquake that shook China three days ago.

The strongest quake in 32 years has wreaked havoc on the lives of Sichuan Province residents, who have been fighting fear and chilly temperatures in makeshift tents while searching for their displaced family members.

A 40-year-old woman hunkered down in a corner of a tent was still trembling in fear, saying, “I still feel the shaking. I can’t get into my house.”

Most shops in the city were closed for fear of aftershocks, except some grocery stores selling living commodities. Dong-A special correspondents visited a gym that reportedly houses the largest number of victims.

A temporary home to 12,000 victims, the gym was packed to capacity with people. Tents were mushrooming outside the gym, swarmed with people searching for their missing family members. In total, 50,000 people were moving in and out of the gym.

Despite police shutdown of the roads a kilometer ahead of the facility, roads moving pass it were almost like parking lots crowded with vehicles and people.

A farmer from a rural prefecture was peeping into tents, holding a board with the names of his three sisters written on it. He lamented, “I can’t find my three sisters.”

A 27-year-old mother, eyes swollen from crying, grabbed every one she bumped into, searching for her husband and 7-year-old son."

Tim Johnson of McClatchy Newspapers reports on how this natural disaster has encouraged the Chinese government to momentarily relax its control over the media:

" BEIJING — Amid a national outpouring of grief over Monday's huge earthquake, China has relaxed its grip — perhaps only briefly — on the Internet and some media outlets.

Chinese witnesses to the devastation in Sichuan province have flooded Web sites with homemade videos, filled chat rooms with commentary and let text messages fly from their mobile phones.

The disaster has provided an opportunity for "citizen journalists" to disseminate tidbits of information at a furious pace rarely seen before, experts said.

China's conventional media, initially lagging behind bloggers and users of instant messaging services, also have found greater freedoms, showing often-distressing images of quake-ruined areas without the sanitizing that censors usually demand.

"This is pretty special in terms of letting a lot of reporting happen," said Andrew Lih, a technology author living in Beijing and former scholar of new media at Columbia University.

The death toll from the earthquake, which registered a calamitous 7.9 magnitude, reached 14,866 people Wednesday. As many as 25,000 others may still be buried under the rubble of devastated towns in rugged Sichuan province.

"You just can't hide it. It's a gigantic event. You've got citizens with cell phones with cameras and video filing stuff," Lih said.

China leads the world for mobile phone and Internet users. Some 574 million Chinese have mobile phones, and 221 million regularly use the Internet, slightly more than in the United States. Also hugely popular are an array of instant-messaging services accessed either by computer or by mobile phone.

Wary of citizen efforts to access sensitive information or conspire against the government, China's one-party state normally employs a vast array of human and electronic means to keep the digital arena sterile, including maintaining barriers to foreign Web sites through what has been dubbed the Great Firewall of China.

But unlike a series of crises earlier this year — such as weeks of snowstorms that paralyzed central China in January and February, or violent unrest among Tibetans in March — the earthquake united the nation in mourning and action. "

Was Obama Endorsed By the Next AG?

photo courtesy of AP

You know that I hope so!

As you've probably heard by now former Senator (NC) and Democratic Presidential Candidate John Edwards officially endorsed Senator Barack Obama's candidacy for the Democratic Presidential nomination.

As reported by AP, "Edwards praised Clinton's
"strength and character" but said it was time for Democrats to come together against McCain."

While many of the media pundits are stating that this endorsement is coming a little too late, I think that the timing was perfect in light of the general tone of political conversation following the West Virginia primary in which race played such an obvious factor.

Let the healing begin.

Webb As VP Pick?

Taegan Goddard's Political Wire thinks that Senator Jim Webb (D-VA) will be at the top of the list for Vice Presidential choices.

In a post entitled "A Time to Fight" they state:

In early 2000, Sen. Joseph Lieberman raised his national profile by writing a book, In Praise of Public Life, that helped position him to be Al Gore's running mate. The slim manifesto essentially showed he shared Gore's passion for good government.

Now, Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) has a new book coming out that just might help him be Sen. Barack Obama's running mate.

According to the book jacket, A Time to Fight: Reclaiming a Fair and Just America "presents a clear-eyed, hard-hitting plan of attack for putting government to work for the people, rather than special interests, and for restoring the country's standing around the world."

Marc Ambinder notes the timing "is impeccable: right when Obama is starting to look around, ah, here's a guy who can go toe-to-toe with John McCain on national security, is beloved by white working class voters, puts Virginia into play instantly, and has a charming way with the media."

I certainly agree that Jim Webb would be a plus to the Democratic ticket in the Fall. I just hope that he doesn't end up like Joe Lieberman (I-CT).

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Mysteriously Under-reported Campaign Story


NOUN: 1. The belief that race accounts for differences in human character or ability and that a particular race is superior to others. 2. Discrimination or prejudice based on race.
* * * * *

I once knew someone who took great pains, during any conversation that seemed to broach the subject of race, to proclaim that he was color-blind. My friend repeated this statement so often that I started to wonder if he was trying to convince others or if he was really trying to convince himself. To twist a phrase from Shakespeare -- my friend did protest too much, methought.

I didn't hold these frequent protestations against my friend. I actually applauded him for trying so hard. Many people don't make that much effort. I never told my friend that he was missing the point. The goal is not to be color-blind. The goal is to see and appreciate the differences in color (gender, religion, culture, etc) without attaching a value judgment.

My friend was not a racist, a long way from it. He was just someone trying to integrate the values of his culture, his personal beliefs and his life experiences with living in a multi-racial, multi-cultural society. And isn't that the story of the United States. Not to be a melting pot but a rainbow.

Most Americans aren't overt racists. They're just people struggling to live in a world that includes people who are very different than the nuclear family and community in which they were raised. On most days they're people who are kind, loving, generous and fair. Yet they're often people, who given the right nudge, can think, say and/or do things that shock even themselves. Racial understanding is a journey and some people are a lot further down the road than others. Unfortunately, the 2008 Democratic presidential primary campaign has proven that as a nation we're not as far down that road as most of us thought.

During this campaign I have heard statements from some of my Black, White and Hispanic associates that have (forgive me for saying this) shocked the sh!t out of me. And I'm a very hard person to shock.

Yes, we all knew that there is a segment of our society comprised of card carrying Aryan Nation, KKK, Neo-Nazis. And yes, most of us knew that there is an element in the GOP that views anyone whose ancestors didn't arrive on the Mayflower as a drain on American society. But did any of us realize that there was a dark under belly to the Democratic party? Or, that this ugly little secret would become so visible during a primary election season that should have exemplified everything that the Party was supposed to stand for?
In many cases the Democratic presidential primary campaign, and the media coverage of it, has been both subtly racist and sexist. Both campaigns have, in their own way, manipulated the racial divide while simultaneously declaring that the voters are "better than that".

On the other hand, the media coverage (mainstream media and the partisans in the blogosphere) has been there to give the faithful just the right nudge. Can you count the stories devoted to Bill Clinton's comments in South Carolina, Michelle Obama's "proud to be an American" comment, Geraldine Ferraro's stumble, Jeremiah Wright's sermon, bitter Pennsylvanians -- need I say more?

Meanwhile, virtually all serious discussion of the issues (like the Iraq War) has been put aside. And has any of this lead to an open and honest discussion of race relations in America? Judging by the following story, not really.

excerpt from:Racist Incidents Give Some Obama Campaigners Pause

By Kevin Merida
Washington Post Staff WriterTuesday, May 13, 2008; Page A01

    For all the hope and excitement Obama's candidacy is generating, some of his field workers, phone-bank volunteers and campaign surrogates are encountering a raw racism and hostility that have gone largely unnoticed -- and unreported -- this election season. Doors have been slammed in their faces. They've been called racially derogatory names (including the white volunteers). And they've endured malicious rants and ugly stereotyping from people who can't fathom that the senator from Illinois could become the first African American president.

    The contrast between the large, adoring crowds Obama draws at public events and the gritty street-level work to win votes is stark. The candidate is largely insulated from the mean-spiritedness that some of his foot soldiers deal with away from the media spotlight.

    Victoria Switzer, a retired social studies teacher, was on phone-bank duty one night during the Pennsylvania primary campaign. One night was all she could take: "It wasn't pretty." She made 60 calls to prospective voters in Susquehanna County, her home county, which is 98 percent white. The responses were dispiriting. One caller, Switzer remembers, said he couldn't possibly vote for Obama and concluded: "Hang that darky from a tree!"

    Documentary filmmaker Rory Kennedy, the daughter of the late Robert F. Kennedy, said she, too, came across "a lot of racism" when campaigning for Obama in Pennsylvania. One Pittsburgh union organizer told her he would not vote for Obama because he is black, and a white voter, she said, offered this frank reason for not backing Obama: "White people look out for white people, and black people look out for black people."

    Obama campaign officials say such incidents are isolated, that the experience of most volunteers and staffers has been overwhelmingly positive.

    The campaign released this statement in response to questions about encounters with racism: "After campaigning for 15 months in nearly all 50 states, Barack Obama and our entire campaign have been nothing but impressed and encouraged by the core decency, kindness, and generosity of Americans from all walks of life. The last year has only reinforced Senator Obama's view that this country is not as divided as our politics suggest."

    Campaign field work can be an exercise in confronting the fears, anxieties and prejudices of voters. Veterans of the civil rights movement know what this feels like, as do those who have been involved in battles over busing, immigration or abortion. But through the Obama campaign, some young people are having their first experience joining a cause and meeting cruel reaction.

    On Election Day in Kokomo, a group of black high school students were holding up Obama signs along U.S. 31, a major thoroughfare. As drivers cruised by, a number of them rolled down their windows and yelled out a common racial slur for African Americans, according to Obama campaign staffers.

    Frederick Murrell, a black Kokomo High School senior, was not there but heard what happened. He was more disappointed than surprised. During his own canvassing for Obama, Murrell said, he had "a lot of doors slammed" in his face. But taunting teenagers on a busy commercial strip in broad daylight? "I was very shocked at first," Murrell said. "Then again, I wasn't, because we have a lot of racism here."

    The bigotry has gone beyond words. In Vincennes, the Obama campaign office was vandalized at 2 a.m. on the eve of the primary, according to police. A large plate-glass window was smashed, an American flag stolen. Other windows were spray-painted with references to Obama's controversial former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, and other political messages: "Hamas votes BHO" and "We don't cling to guns or religion. Goddamn Wright."

    Ray McCormick was notified of the incident at about 2:45 a.m. A farmer and conservationist, McCormick had erected a giant billboard on a major highway on behalf of Farmers for Obama. He also was housing the Obama campaign worker manning the office. When McCormick arrived at the office, about two hours before he was due out of bed to plant corn, he grabbed his camera and wanted to alert the media. "I thought, this is a big deal." But he was told Obama campaign officials didn't want to make a big deal of the incident. McCormick took photos anyway and distributed some.

    "The pictures represent what we are breaking through and overcoming," he said. As McCormick, who is white, sees it, Obama is succeeding despite these incidents. Later, there would be bomb threats to three Obama campaign offices in Indiana, including the one in Vincennes, according to campaign sources.

Interesting, very few of these racially motivated incidents have made the evening news. Strange, for a media that seems to be obsessed with election night analysis by racial demographics. Don't you think?

Could it be that no one really wants an open and honest discussion of race? After all that might involve a little self examination and, no one wants to realize that they've been guilty of giving that little nudge.

Updated 5/14/04 12:48am

Sorry I just had to add this. It seems to make the point.

Where IS This Oil Addiction Leading?

"When crimes begin to pile up they become invisible.
When sufferings become unendurable, the cries are no longer heard.
The cries, too, fall like rain in summer."

--Bertolt Brecht

Just how far are governments willing to go in order to supply those who can still afford it with oil?

And just how many lives are you willing to risk in order to maintain your oil high?

excerpt from:
Reuters AlertNet - Mexico's flood survivors blackmailed into biofuels

Written by: Gregory Berger and Ben Wisner

A Mexican couple wades through floodwaters in Villahermosa, Tabasco, the state neighbouring Chiapas, November 2007.
REUTERS/Manuel Lopez

Did you know that Mexican farmers who lost everything in floods last year are being forced to grow African oil palms for biodiesel?

I was in southern Mexico covering another story, and found flood victims being offered loans and grants by the Mexican government to resume their farming activities, but with a catch. They need to agree to stop growing corn and beans - their traditional crops - and replace them with the oil palms that are native to West Africa.

I was told this by multiple, reliable sources who wish to remain anonymous for fears of their own safety.

African oil palm has also promoted as a "substitute crop" by U.S. government agencies assisting countries such as Bolivia and Colombia in eradicating coca leaf cultivation, used to produce cocaine.

Small-scale farmers have lost their land, and in Colombia the resulting large-scale African oil palm producers have been linked with paramilitary organisations.

All this is happening as we witness a steep rise in worldwide food prices stirred up by a "perfect storm" of factors. One of the factors identified by the U.N. special rapporteur on the right to food and others is the shift of farm land from food crop production to biofuel production.

Competition with U.S. industrial corn producers under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has driven many small Mexican farmers out of business.

Even before the current crisis, the maize-based staple - flat corn patties called tortillas - became more costly as a result. Conscious of this recent history, displaced flood victims are likely to have second thoughts about relying on biofuel production for income to buy food. Rural Mexicans traditionally value their ability to grown their own food and are adverse to risk.

There are certainly pros and cons to African oil palm production. However, the displaced farmers from San Juan Grijalva should be able to decide themselves whether they want to grow them.

Farmers may see its advantage if oil palm is grown on small-scale, mixed farms, marketed in an honest way, and used as a local energy source.

But under coercion and in the face of rapidly changing market conditions for both biofuel and food, they probably fear the worse and feel trapped between a rock and a hard place.

Here in the United States many farmers who once raised corn crops used to produce livestock feed are instead selling those crops to the ethanol production plant. A move which is certainly contributing to rising food prices. And as mountain-top mining is poisoning the drinking water of thousands in Appalachia, there is support for adopting technologies to convert coal to liquid fuel.

How much of our souls are we willing to sell in order to keep driving Escalades and Humvees?

In the following video Meredith Danluck and VBS correspondent Derrick Beckles went to West Virginia to show how mining companies are destroying entire mountains in order to get at the coal inside them.

Does This Bother You?

Related posts:

It's Time for An Intervention

When Knowledge Obviously Was Not Wisdom

Much Talk About Oil But Little About Water

What Is Your Bank Doing to Fuel Global Warming?

Aid Finally Arrives in Burma As Another Storm Grows

photo by Christian Holst/Getty Images for Save The Children

The aid may have finally arrived in Myanmar/Burma but the question remains of whether it will be distributed to those in desperate need. Certainly, it is already too late for many.

This situation is unconscionable. If ever there was a regime that could be labeled as "evil" it is certainly the military junta of Myanmar.

One also has to look closely at any nation that chooses to maintain a close relationship with a regime that so callously refuses aid to its own citizens.

excerpt from:

First US Aid Flight Arrives in Burma As A New Storm Looms

By Brian Rex in Rangoon for The Independent
Tuesday, 13 May 2008

The first shipment of American emergency supplies arrived in Burma yesterday as aid agencies warned that the number of people in desperate need of help had risen to two million. In some camps set up by the government, whole families are being given just one cup of rice a day.

The C-130 cargo plane loaded with supplies including water, blankets and mosquito nets arrived in the main city, Rangoon, from Thailand and was met by ministers from the regime. Two more cargos of aid are scheduled to land today.

While a trickle of aid had started to arrive in Burma after days of obstruction by the authorities, relief organisations say the fate of hundreds of thousands of people lies in the balance.

"It's still a very serious situation. There are up to two million people in urgent need of assistance. Assistance is getting through but not fast enough," Richard Horsey, a spokesman for the United Nations' humanitarian operations, said in Bangkok. "There are four key requirements: clean drinking water, shelter, medical support and food ... All are sorely lacking."

In the Irrawaddy delta, home to most of the victims of Cyclone Nargis, people said the military authorities were continuing to hinder the relief effort.

"The government is very controlling," U Patanyale, the abbot of a monastery in the delta city of Pyapon, told the Associated Press. "Those who want to give directly to the victims get into trouble. They have to give to the government or do it secretly. They follow international aid trucks everywhere. They don't want others to take credit. That's the Myanmar government."

He added: "So far we have enough water by collecting rain. But we do not have food any more." Such is the junta's suspicion of the West that only a small number of foreign aid officials have yet been given visas to enter the country – something that relief organisations say is holding back efforts.

Only Burmese nationals have been permitted to travel to the far south of the delta where the worst of the damage took place. Indeed, it appears the police have been ordered to set up roadblocks to stop foreigners. Yesterday I passed one such police check while travelling in the opposite direction.

"They say they will call, but it's always wait, wait, wait," said Pierre Fouillant of the French agency Comité de Secours Internationaux, which has so far been refused visas. "I've never seen delays like this, never. It's a crime against humanity. It should be against the law. It's like they are taking a gun and shooting their own people."

In a related story, Josh Marshall of TPM exposes the Myanmar lobbyist who are not working for John McCain's presidential election campaign.

Nominate Your Hero for A Brave Nation Award

The following is a trailer from the new documentary series from Brave New Foundation and The Nation

A Message from the Brave New Foundation

What inspires you? Who are your heroes?

Van Jones on green jobs? Pete Seeger's 70 years of activism? 17-year old Ava Lowery who has been protesting the Iraq war since the age of 14? Brave New Foundation and The Nation magazine have teamed up to produce This Brave Nation, a documentary series in 5 parts that celebrates these remarkable champions of the progressive movement. And now we want you to nominate your heroes.

Who do you know who is making a change at the local level? Take a minute to think about it. Do you know someone who speaks for those who cannot? Is there someone working to make your community a cleaner space in which to live? Are you actively working to make this world a more just place? The Brave Nation Award will recognize one of these exceptional individuals.

Watch the video:

This Brave Nation is what happens when the premiere magazine for progressives in America teams up with the country's most revolutionary media pioneer. You will see Tom Hayden, Dolores Huerta, Carl Pope, Bonnie Raitt, and Pete Seeger in one-on-one conversations with the next generation of progressive stars like Majora Carter, Van Jones, Naomi Klein, Ava Lowery, and Anthony Romero.

These are our heroes, but who are yours? The Nation and Brave New Foundation are also uniting to create the Brave Nation Award - presented to the country's most inspiring local hero from a pool of candidates nominated through an online contest and selected by the ten featured heroes themselves.

We want to be inspired by YOU. We want to know about the people in your life you call "hero."

Go to the Brave Nation web site now to nominate your hero, and join with us in This Brave Nation!


Robert Greenwald, Katrina vanden Heuvel
and the Brave New Foundation and The Nation teams

Monday, May 12, 2008

It's Time for An Intervention

photo courtesy of The Cartoonist Group

As Daniel J Weiss reported in his article "Up, Up and Away" the escalating oil prices in America can be attributed to a number of factors.

He writes:

Analysts suggest that there are five primary factors contributing to the year-long rise in crude oil prices:

  • the low value of the dollar,
  • increased demand from China and India,
  • dwindling supplies,
  • political instability in some oil producing nations, and
  • an assumption from speculators that prices will continue to rise."
I'd also add to the analyst's list:

  • the lack of a government energy policy that benefits the consumer not just the oil industry
  • a failure on the part of the oil industry to reinvest its profits into the development of alternative energy
  • corporate greed and collusion, and
  • a failure to be honest with the American consumer

The truth that most politicians don't want to tell you is this:
  • the low value of the dollar is tied to the sub-prime mortgage and credit crisis as well as the US trade deficit.
  • demand from China, India and other developing nations will continue to increase and there's nothing that the US government can do about that
  • It took millions of years to create the fossil fuel that it has taken the world a little over a hundred years to consume. There is a limited quantity left in the world and when it's gone, it's gone. So running the risk of destroying pristine wilderness or coastline for centuries will only buy consumers another decade or two of oil.
  • the US should not ( and cannot ) intervene in the political affairs of every oil producing nation just because we need their oil and,
  • in a generation whose mantra is "greed is good", there will always be speculators.
In short, oil prices will continue to go up. As long as Americans are addicted to oil they'll do anything to get their fix and the Oil pushers will bank the profits while they can. Have you heard the phrase "Get It While the Getting Is Good".

It's Time for An Intervention

There is an answer to the problem of high oil prices. It's called adjusting our lifestyles as we switch to alternative energy solutions. Think of it as a form of detox and rehab that involves a serious commitment and a lot of discomfort. But that's not the answer that most people want to hear. And, it's not an answer that will get most politicians re-elected.

Republicans like Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) want to convince you that the US oil crisis and consumers'
discomfort will be eased by allowing drilling in the Artic Natural Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) or along the California and Florida coastlines (S.2958). In fact, Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AL) argued before Congress today that drilling in ANWR is reasonable, environmentally feasible, and will correct the "supply and demand" imbalance that is driving up oil prices. Iaf you buy that argument then you probably still believe that the Iraq oil revenues are paying for the US invasion of Iraq. You are in denial.

At a recent campaign rally Sen. McCain expressed support for drilling for oil domestically, as long as states allow it, and also pushed development of solar, wind, tidal, and nuclear power.

On the other side of the aisle, the Democrats ( and even Republican presidential candidate, John McCain) are suggesting that the government stop adding to the US strategic petroleum reserve. Senator Hillary Clinton has proposed a "gas tax holiday". These two are short term solutions that are beginning to remind me of giving morphine to a dying patient to ease the pain.

Don't get me wrong, I am as financially affected by rising gasoline prices as the vast majority of American consumers. Any idea that will help give me a break at pump, the supermarket, anything that is shipped and on utilities will be welcome but haven't we learned from the credit crisis that the party now and pay later concept just doesn't work.

American consumers need an intervention. They need politicians, journalists, scientists and environmentalist who are willing to speak the truth. Americans need to be told that the pain that they are experiencing today is not going to get easier just by putting it off for a few years.

To borrow a phrase from Al Gore this is just one more "inconvenient truth".

In the following articles New York Times op-ed columnist Paul Krugman explains that referring to the rising price of oil as an "Oil Bubble" is misleading and his colleague Mark Clayton of the Christian Science Monitor reports that economists predicted two years ago that today's oil prices would lead to recession.

excerpt from:
The Oil Non-Bubble
by Paul Krugman for NYTimes
All through oil’s five-year price surge, which has taken it from $25 a barrel to last week’s close above $125, there have been many voices declaring that it’s all a bubble, unsupported by the fundamentals of supply and demand.

Now, speculators do sometimes push commodity prices far above the level justified by fundamentals. But when that happens, there are telltale signs that just aren’t there in today’s oil market.

Saying that high-priced oil isn’t a bubble doesn’t mean that oil prices will never decline. I wouldn’t be shocked if a pullback in demand, driven by delayed effects of high prices, sends the price of crude back below $100 for a while. But it does mean that speculators aren’t at the heart of the story.

Why, then, do we keep hearing assertions that they are?

Part of the answer may be the undoubted fact that many people are now investing in oil futures — which feeds suspicion that speculators are running the show, even though there’s no good evidence that prices have gotten out of line.

But there’s also a political component.

Traditionally, denunciations of speculators come from the left of the political spectrum. In the case of oil prices, however, the most vociferous proponents of the view that it’s all the speculators’ fault have been conservatives — people whom you wouldn’t normally expect to see warning about the nefarious activities of investment banks and hedge funds.

The explanation of this seeming paradox is that wishful thinking has trumped pro-market ideology.

After all, a realistic view of what’s happened over the past few years suggests that we’re heading into an era of increasingly scarce, costly oil.

The consequences of that scarcity probably won’t be apocalyptic: France consumes only half as much oil per capita as America, yet the last time I looked, Paris wasn’t a howling wasteland. But the odds are that we’re looking at a future in which energy conservation becomes increasingly important, in which many people may even — gasp — take public transit to work

excerpt from
Oil Shock 2
by Mark Clayton for CSMonitor

Two years ago a leading economist published a study provocatively titled: "What would $120 oil mean for the global economy?" Answer: a global recession, if the price stayed there for a year.

Now the future has arrived, with the United States and other nations getting a double whammy from both the mortgage crisis and oil futures hovering at $120 per barrel. If oil prices stay stratospheric, the cost of fueling cars and planes could slash US economic growth up to 2.3 percent and global growth by 3.6 percent, says Robert Wescott, former chief economist of the president's council of economic advisers and author of the $120 oil report.

While many energy-security experts worry about a terrorist attack that suddenly crimps global oil supplies and hammers the US economy, Dr. Wescott and other experts say a terror attack is hardly the only, or even the worst, oil threat the nation now faces. "What we are seeing today is more of a slow-motion, rolling oil crisis rather than a sharp shock, yet ultimately we end up with the same sorts of impacts [as a terror attack]," says Wescott, now president of Keybridge Research, a Washington economic-consulting firm.

Unlike the 1970s, when an oil embargo left Americans waiting in long lines at gasoline stations and paying higher prices, today's oil crisis has been stealthy. Its economic impact has been masked by consumers tapping credit cards and home equity to cover the rising cost of energy and some consumer goods.

But where there is awareness of the problem there is hope. Perhaps nobody knows better what the nation could do – but mostly has not yet done – than Amory Lovins. An American energy guru since the gas lines of the 1970s, he has focused like a laser beam on how the nation can save energy. "What we need to do to cut oil consumption is quite clear," says the cofounder of the Rocky Mountain Institute, an energy think tank in Snowmass, Colo. "But attention keeps getting focused on the wrong things – like subsidies for the oil industry to find more oil. That's the wrong way to go."

Congress's move last year to raise vehicle fuel-economy standards to 35 miles per gallon by 2020 was a good first step – but not enough, he says.

In today's slowly unfolding yet serious oil crisis, Mr. Lovins would slash 9 percent of the nation's oil demand in one year with more than 30 fuel-saving measures. Among them:

•Reduce speed limits to 60 miles per hour for light vehicles, 55 m.p.h. for heavy trucks. Expand HOV-lane use to include alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs), hybrids, and all-electric vehicles.

•Encourage mass-transit use by letting all citizens deduct the cost from their taxes. Require "parking cash-out" so employees can take cash instead of free parking at work.

•Extend federal tax credits for AFV, hybrid, and electric vehicles to many more than the current 60,000 vehicles per manufacturer limit.

•Require one-engine-only idling for jet aircraft waiting to take off. Offer US loan guarantees to airlines upgrading to efficient aircraft and tax credits for replacing heavy interior parts with lightweight materials.

Related posts:

Shell and BP's Blowaway Numbers

Big Oil Takes A Page Out of the Pentagon's Playbook

Just Why Did Comcast Refuse This Ad?

People are wondering.

The following is a message from the
Shirley Golub Campaign ----

Comcast, which has a history of censoring political content is STILL 
abusing their monopoly power to suppress political speech. Last week
in San Francisco they REFUSED to accept the new Shirley Golub TV ad,
in her congressional primary challenge against Nancy Pelosi.

Stop Comcast Censorship Action Page:

Apparently they did not take kindly to Golub's comparison of the
political behavior of the current Speaker of the House to a rubber
chicken, for her cowardice in not standing up to the Bush
administration. But that's not their call, and in the meantime the 3
major non-cable broadcast outlets ARE running the ad and they all
think it's a delightful hoot.

The real problem is that Shirley wanted to place these ads
specifically to support Keith Olbermann on MSNBC cable, and Comcast
by their action is making it immensely harder for her to mobilize
those who are Olbermann's viewers, her natural base. It is simply
outrageous for Comcast to refuse to air perfectly acceptable
political speech because THEY don't like the content. We must flood
them with complaints, or Olbermann himself, with his own
uncompromising commentary, may not be far behind.

The action page above will send your message of complaint to Comcast
CEO Brian Roberts, and let Keith Olbermann and MSNBC know what's
going on.

With more that 30,000 YouTube views already this amazing TV ad is
having a real impact. It was a featured news story for a full news
cycle the first day it aired. And it is only because of your
contributions that this is happening. Please watch it again, and if
you can make a donation to run even more of these spots on the
stations that are accepting them, we can really put the heat on

Rubber Chicken TV Spot:

You can make a real difference right now by telling Comcast that they
need to back off.

The courage of Shirley Golub is a breaking news story. With your help
in a matter of days we can break her out as true national leadership
figure, and then won't Nancy Pelosi be running scared.

Paid for by Shirley Golub for Congress

Please take action NOW, so we can win all victories that are supposed
to be ours, and forward this alert as widely as possible.

If you would like to get alerts like these, you can do so at

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