Thursday, December 23

The Sexual Case Against Julian Assange

Julian Assange has caused quite an international stir in recent months, but one that that is actually hardly being discussed is that seriousness and validity of the sexual misconduct charges against him.

Author Naomi Wolf and Women's Advocate Jaclyn Friedman debated this issue rather contentiously on Democracy Now this week.



The tangled web of allegation and counter allegation in this case isn't completely illuminated in the back and forth between Naomi and Jaclyn, but they do highlight how two people can look at the exact same matters of fact in the record and come to two completely different outcomes, even with the best of faith.

The First paper to reveal the details of the allegations was the Guardian last Friday on Dec 17th. According to reporting from the Guardian, which reviewed the police reports and also talked to a associate of both Assange, the first complainant is referred to as "Miss A".

Apparently this all occurred during a trip to Sweden which had been arranged for Assange by Miss A. The same woman also arrange for Assange to stay in her flat as she had planned to be away during that time. But she didn't stay away, she returned only two days after Assange had arrived on his 10-Day trip and they had dinner and return back to the flat together on Friday August 13th.

Things grew affectionate and physical between them, and her account to police was that he was aggressive - but not abusive. She did not object or tell him "No" until she realized that he intended to have unprotected sex, she attempted to reach for a condom but he was allegedly "holding her arms and legs down" to which she objected - at which point he reluctantly agreed to wear a condom. They proceed to have consensual sex. Her contention is that the condom failed or broke, and she argues that he "did something to it" to cause it to fail. Assange disputed this in his eventual statement to Swedish police, and that he continued to sleep in her bed - with her present - for the almost a week without her bringing up the subject of a broken condom.

The next day, Saturday, Assange met the second woman involved - Miss W - who had asked to attend a Seminar by Assange arranged by Miss A. Miss W and Assange had lunch later that day, and attended a movie that afternoon together where she and Assange grew affectionate in the back row.

Apparently, rather than discuss the broken condom issue with Assange himself, Miss A complained to friends about it during a party she threw for Assange at her flat on Saturday Evening. And to another friend she said that her sex with Assange was "the worst sex ever. Not only had it been the world's worst screw, it had also been violent." But she didn't call it "Rape". Assange remained in her flat, she simply no longer had sex with him.

On Monday Miss W called Assange, met with him and took him back to her flat which was near Stockholm. They began to initiate sex, but she protested since it was unprotected. Assange lost interest, they stopped and both of them fell asleep. But they later both woke up and began again. She brought up the condom again and reluctantly, Assange agreed to wear a condom. They had consensual sex.

The next morning, Tuesday, Miss W got up and made breakfast then layed back down in bed with Assange. She then fell (half) asleep according to the Guardian Report, but woke up to Assange having unprotected sex with her. The Guardian reports what she later told police about their interchange.

She had awoken to find him having sex with her, she said, but when she asked whether he was wearing a condom he said no. "According to her statement, she said: 'You better not have HIV' and he answered: 'Of course not,' " but "she couldn't be bothered to tell him one more time because she had been going on about the condom all night. She had never had unprotected sex before."

She didn't tell him to stop, or to get a condom - but there is a legitimate question as to whether she fully "consented" to this second sexual contact since she wasn't fully awake when it began. It also could be argued that this was in the morning, after she'd already gotten up and had breakfast, not in the middle of the night and Assange may or may not have even realized that she had fallen back asleep.

So what we have are two issues - 1) Whether Miss A was "held down" and the condom failed or was "sabotaged" on Friday Night and 2) whether Assange deliberately had unprotected sex with Miss W on Tuesday morning while she was semi-asleep and unable to protest and stop him before things went past the point of no return, even after they'd already had consensual protected sex the previous evening.

I'm not sure I really know the answer to those questions, because the answer changes based what assumptions your making in terms of either Assange's intent or the Women's responsibility to make sure they made clear their lack of consent to continue. Is "Yes" still "Yes", even after you've debated into it? Is it "Yes" if you've been tricked? Did he try to stop Miss A from reaching the condoms, then break it on purpose? Did he take advantage of Miss W being asleep deliberately so he could avoid the entire condom argument once again? Were these two incidents simply a matter of happenstance or were they part of a pattern and practice on the part of Assange to duck, dodge and override his various partners consent for unprotected sex?

Is it Rape even if he did both these things when both women ultimately consented?

Is it Rape if they consented to the sex, but not to sex without protection?

My feeling is that this case, if fully vigorously perused could go either way depending on the testimony and credibility witnesses, but at this point in time I'm not comfortable that what I've read from the Guardian completely and various opinions really answer all those questions satisfactorily.

Anyway, after all the action was technically over, Miss W called Assange, and asked him to take an STD test which he initially refused saying he "Didn't have time". She herself had taken a "morning after" pill and had an STD test.

On Wednesday Miss A told a third party, a Swedish Wikileaks coordinator they refer to as "Harold" that she was distressed that Assange was still staying at her flat. She had taken to sleeping on the couch, and after further sexual advances by Assange, sleeping at a friends. Harold - who apparently talked to the Guardian directly - confront Assange on Thursday, who said he knew nothing about the issue with the broken condom and had not even been asked by Miss A to leave the flat.

On Friday Miss W texted Miss A looking for Assange and it's at this point where the two women eventually talked to each other and compared notes that things truly escalated. Miss A then called Assange on Miss W's behalf and demanded that he take the STD test and threated him with going to police if he didn't. He refused, considering that "blackmail", but he eventually relented that evening and tried to find a clinic, unfortunately they had closed for the weekend. She also confronted him, finally, about the torn condom and he denied that he'd done it on purpose. After this conversation Miss A complained to the police, but they told her they couldn't make Assange take the test and that the complaint would have to go to a prosecutor.

That night the story - somehow - leaked to the local Swedish Press and by Saturday morning Assange was being confronted with reporters questions about it, by which point Assange was in "Lawyered Up" mode.

His attorney's have intimated that the women may have colluded either to punish him, extort him and sell the story for profit (based on some of their text messages), and that this was some kind of "dirty trick" to attack him and undermine the legitimacy of Wikileaks. Assange did speak eventually to the police, but they only asked about the incident with Miss A, not about Miss W.

In the course of four days this guy has hooked up with two women and had sex with both of them. He reluctantly agreed to have Protected Sex per their request the first two times but there was a problem with the condom the first time causing the protection to fail, and the 3rd time it was the woman who reluctantly agreed to have - or continue having - unprotected sex. He didn't "force" either of them to do anything.

The real sticking point in all of this was Assange's initial dickish refusal to go take an STD test and I have to seriously wonder that if he'd done that immediately, then there never would have been a police report filed in the first place. Miss A only used it as threat, and only went through with it because his refusal - it's clear she only wanted the police to coerce him to take the test.

I do take this seriously, but while reading through all of it I was sometimes reminded of an episode of Judge Judy. IMO there seems to be a lot passive aggressive actions by Miss A. Rather than confronting Julian days earlier over what she didn't like about his behavior she went through third parties like her friends at the Party and then Harold. She didn't ask Assange to leave, instead she slept on the couch, then at a friends. Finally she tried to use the Police to get what she wanted. Jaclyn argues that this behavior is common for someone who is 'scared and traumatized' by the initial experience (behind held down) and she may have a point, I'm not an expert on these matters. It just seems to be me this could have all be resolved in a far more adult manner, if everyone involved had behaved like adults.

Assange eventually left Sweden and was scheduled for a follow-up interview with a prosecutor in October but he didn't go. An international warrant was put out for Assange, but at this point I'm unclear as to whether this is simply an attempt to get him to have the second meeting with the prosecutor, or whether there's actually an judicial warrant for him based on the complaints. (Edit: According to Amy Goodman's report, there is no warrant for his arrest - so this is all about the prosecutor trying to get his own interview with Assange)

His defense attorneys have argued that neither woman has alleged rape or sexual assault, both of them admit that their sex was consensual - the entire dispute seems to be about how and why the first condom failed and the STD test. They contend the issue of initiating sex while Miss W was asleep doesn't seem to be something she's complaining about, only the STD test - however the British extradition order mentions both this and "holding down" Miss A.

Jaclyn and Naomi agree that the level of pursuit of Assange is politically motivated and far more aggressive than the norm for Swedish justice - they disagree on their interpretations of the allegations, but not on this.

I'm not certain how a Swedish Judge or Jury would treat this issue, but as to why Assange is reluctant simply to return to let Swedish authorities take him into custody for another interview - Naomi lays that out in great detail.



NAOMI WOLF: Well, I mean, what I’m interested in is equal justice and the rule of law. And so, I do believe that everyone who’s accused of a serious crime needs to know that they are acting without someone’s consent. So I’d like, going forward, for—you know, I think it’s incumbent upon people to express to each other if they are consenting or not. And so, to me, I agree that there should be a hearing, obviously. But I think it should weigh very seriously, as it does for me, reading these, as a supporter of rape victims, as a crusader on the issue of rape—it is important that I don’t see anywhere these women expressing a lack of consent. In fact, I see them indicating consensual willingness to engage in sex, consensual willingness to engage in sex without a condom. I see that from the record. So, to me, an impartial hearing would be ideal, if improbable.

And I have to say, I think we are being naïve. And I am kind of reluctant to be drawn into this side of the debate, because the larger picture is, why is the guy resisting coming back to Sweden? He’s resisting coming back to Sweden the way any journalist would, because in Sweden they will extradite him to the United States, where he is facing, you know, prolonged isolation, like Bradley Manning, which drives people insane, according to human rights activists. He’s facing being called an “enemy combatant” by some of our most senior political leaders, which would mean that they could ship him to Guantánamo, you know, where they’re still torturing people, where they’re still holding people in kangaroo court conditions, where there’s still—you know, people are dying mysterious deaths in Guantánamo, even in Obama’s Guantánamo, where he’s facing abuse or mistreatment of hideous kinds and the possibility of never having due process, because we now have, you know, a banana republic situation off the coast of Cuba, where people can get lost in a black hole, where their innocence or guilt doesn’t matter. And so, to be talking about, you know, these discussions about these complaints—you’re right that they’re not charges—without putting it in the larger picture of he’s not every guy who doesn’t want to go back to where women have accused him of sexual impropriety. He’s a guy who, if he goes back, is going to lose his freedom and his life, because he’s being made a scapegoat and a martyr, you know, on behalf of journalists everywhere by the most powerful government on earth, that doesn’t want whistleblowers shining any kind of light on their wrongdoing, even as they continue to surveil us, wiretap us, break the Fourth Amendment every single day. So, I think we have to keep that larger picture in mind.

I would like justice to be done. I would like a hearing. But I would also like my country to behave according to the rule of law and my country to stop acting like a global bully, you know, intimidating other nations and other judicial systems, which is clearly what happened here, into bullying and intimidating journalists, because, believe me, Amy, if he is taken into custody, if he is prosecuted under the Espionage Act, which closed down dissent in this country for a decade, and he’s made an example of in this way—wrongly, because he’s the New York Times, not the Daniel Ellsberg in the case; he is just the publisher—then you and I are not going to be safe doing our jobs as journalists any longer.

It should be noted that there's more than a spec of truth to Naomi's complaints about the treatment of Bradley Manning. One of his friends whose apparently been the only person to talk to him while he's been in solitary confinement for the last several months states that the Pentagon has been lying about his treatment. He isn't getting any exercise, and his mental state appears to be deteriorating.



Now just as I think it's wrong to dismiss the complaints of these women out of hand because of the political aspect of this, I also think it's wrong to dismiss how completely out of character the prosecutor is behaving so far when no charges have been filed against Assange - and there may indeed have a political component even if Assange himself may seem prone to a certain level of grandiosity and paranoia.

We already know, from the information that actually has been released by Wikileaks that the U.S. State Dept has interviened and threated countries like Spain with Diplomatic Sanctions in order to shutdown their investigation and prosecution of various Bush Administration Officials or Torture and War Crimes.

Soon after the request was made, the US embassy in Madrid began tracking the matter. On April 1, embassy officials spoke with chief prosecutor Javier Zaragoza, who indicated that he was not pleased to have been handed this case, but he believed that the complaint appeared to be well-documented and he'd have to pursue it. Around that time, the acting deputy chief of the US embassy talked to the chief of staff for Spain's foreign minister and a senior official in the Spanish Ministry of Justice to convey, as the cable says, "that this was a very serious matter for the USG." The two Spaniards "expressed their concern at the case but stressed the independence of the Spanish judiciary."

Two weeks later, Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) and the embassy's charge d'affaires "raised the issue" with another official at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The next day, Zaragoza informed the US embassy that the complaint might not be legally sound. He noted he would ask Cándido Conde-Pumpido, Spain's attorney general, to review whether Spain had jurisdiction.

So if U.S. Officials can push a Spanish case they don't find politically convenient to be dropped, what exactly is there to stop them putting pressure on a Swedish prosecutor to lean hard on the case against Assange after the Vice-President has called him a "High Tech Terrorist", when Mike Huckabee has called for him to be "Assassinated" - as if we should have a drone strike authorized for the midlands of England - and the Pentagon may be leaving Manning in solitary confinement simply to pressure him to give up information on Assange?

Sometimes when you think people are out to get you, you're not paranoid - you're just paying attention.

Clearly the women should be taken seriously, although neither is alleging rape, that legal threshold just might have been crossed - but let me repeat Charges Against Assange have not even been Filed. His conviction is questionable as I still doubt whether either woman would even be willing to testify after this has blown up into an international incident, apparently one of the women has retreated to Palestine. Be that as it may, Assange's allegations of political manipulation and warnings of extra-judicial murder, kidnapping and detention in retaliation for his information releases should be taken seriously too.

At the very least Assange is a bit of a Dick in my opinion not only for delaying getting an STD test but for also hooking up with two women within days of each other who were apparently friends and were bound to talk to each other, however just because you are an ass-nozzle in your personal life doesn't mean that the people out to get you for political reasons are necessarily "Heroes." And sometimes even an self-aggrandizing Dick with a Bond Villain Fetish can do something Heroic like expose the crimes committed under the guise of flexing America's foreign policy and military muscle.

Vyan

Wednesday, December 22

Thank You, Mr President

After two long and difficult years of ups and downs, from the economic collapse and loss of 8 Million U.S. jobs, to the BP Oil Spill, rampant spraying of Corexit 95, specter of Whistle-Blower persecution, indefinite detention, loss of the Public Option and extension of the Paris Hilton Tax Cuts... many of us have doubted you.

But during this final month of your second year, you certain proved nearly all of your critics wrong.

I for one, never lost faith, never lost hope, and right now all I can say is - Thank you, Mr President for showing us that all our hopes were not misplaced.



My favorite portion of the Press Conference was this part in response to a question about the difficulty you've had in closing Guantanemo Bay. Rather than go "small ball" and reduce your goals in the light of the Republican Control of the House - you managed to double-down on ultimately implementing your agenda.

Obama: America is more than just it's economic & military might - we also must implement our Ideals even when it's difficult.


Doing the Right Thing isn't always doing the Easy Thing, or what might make one more popular.

And I especially appreciated this answer on the issue of Immigration.

Obama: My Admintration has done more on Border Security than *Any* other in resent years, but we still need the Dream Act!!


With Predator Drones for Surveillance, additional Border Guards and supporting National Guard Troops this is absolutely true. The number of illegal border crossings have dropped to a relative trickle, and the actually number of undocumented immigrants has gone down significantly for the first time in decades - a record that no Republican President can lay claim to.

(Sept. 2) -- With immigration as a hot-button issue ahead of this year's midterm elections, a new report shows that the number of illegal immigrants to the U.S. fell last year in its first and biggest drop in two decades.

There were 11.1 million immigrants living in the U.S. illegally in March 2009, down from a peak of 12 million two years earlier, the Pew Hispanic Center said in a report issued Wednesday. From 2007 to 2009, the number of illegals entering the country shrank to about 300,000 per year, down by nearly two-thirds from the estimated 850,000 per year from March 2000 to March 2005.

"The decrease represents the first significant reversal in the growth of this population over the past two decades," the report said.


Republicans have no leg to stand on when it comes to criticizing you on Immigration issues.

Despite all the challenges you've faced, not the least of which being a recalcitrant, obstructive and surly Republican minority intent on derailing your Presidency rather than helping the American people - you've managed to accomplish all of this.



Besides all this you salvaged the America Auto Industry, successfully Ratified the START Treaty to help control and contain Lose Nukes, have just this year generated as many if not more private sector jobs than George Bush produced during his entire 8 Year Administration, pushed BP to close and cap the Gulf Oil Spill weeks sooner than any other comparitive spill has ever been stopped while managing to get a $20 Billion commitment from them to compensate those impacted by the spill.

There's still much more to do, there's the Dream Act and Full Comprehensive Immigration Reform, a final resolution of the GITMO issue, maintaining the funding for and implementation of Wall Street Reform, Consumer Financial Protection, Health Care Reform. crafting a Comprehensive Green Enegy Plan, updating our Trade Policies, and the final resolutions of both the Irag and Afghanistan Wars while reforming and updating our overall Counter-Terrorism Strategies and Diplomacy Efforts in the Mid-East, but this week you showed us all that you are a Baller!

Of course, we should have known that by your response to the threat of the Somali Pirates in early 2009.

Even though we may disagree with some of the details of your style, and some compromises you may have made, even your Republican critics such as Charles Krauthammer have begun to sing your praises. Kinda.

Obama’s presidency has sparked “an extraordinary national debate over what kind of nation we are – who we are as a people, what we believe in,” Krauthammer said.

There is “something intrinsically healthy and clarifying” about this great debate, Krauthammer said. “It’s been a healthy debate, it’s been an important debate, it’s been a spontaneous debate” and one of the most significant in American history.

Obama “thinks very large in world historical terms,” Krauthammer said. He compared Obama to Ronald Reagan, adding: “Obama sees himself as the anti-Reagan….the man who will reverse Reagan” and take the nation “back to a new liberalism.”


Although I never lost my faith, now more than at any time in the last 2 years, I feel that my vote in November of 2008 was the correct one and I look forward with you to the challenges and battles of the future.

Good Job Mr. President, Good Job.

Vyan

Julian Assange Calls Palin & Huckabee "Terrorists" for Inciting Extra-Judicial Kidnapping & Murder

In a startling interview with Cenk Uyger on MSNBC, who standing in for Dylan Ratigan, Jullian Assange unloaded with both barrel's against all his critics in a tour-de-force defense of the First Amendment and the Rule of Law - correctly pointing out that those who have called for his Extra Judicial Assasination and Kidnapping are advocating the "Very Definiton of Terrorism" by supporting the use of illegal violence to achieve poliical gains.



I think Assange makes a ton of good points. First that it's a false issue to question whether Wikileaks is or isn't a journalistic endeaver, particularly when many of the releases where implement in complete co-ordination with and vetted by the New York Times and the Guardian.

Let's remember that it wasn't that long ago when the Right Wing and Bush Administration called for similar New York Times Editor Bill Keller a "Traitor" when his paper revealed that Americans were being illegally wiretapped?

ill Keller, the executive editor of the New York Times, sat on a couch in the Oval Office of the White House, three feet from President George W. Bush, and listened.

For a meeting without historical precedent, the president of the United States had called the Times to the White House to personally try to prevent a state secret from appearing in print—an exposé of the National Security Agency’s efforts to monitor phone calls without court-approved warrants that the Times had held back on for over a year. Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. sat in a wing chair facing Bush, while Keller and Washington bureau chief Philip Taubman sat across from Bush’s lawyer, Harriet Miers, and national-security adviser Stephen Hadley. General Michael Hayden, the then-director of the National Security Agency, sat alongside Bush with a thick briefing book in his lap.

After stiff pleasantries, Bush issued an emphatic warning: If they revealed the secret program to the public and there was another terrorist attack on American soil, the Paper of Record would be implicated. “The basic message,” recalls Keller, “was, ‘You’ll have blood on your hands.’ ”

Here's a typical example of what the Right-WingNut-o-sphere had to say about it at the time.

Once again treason is in the air as the fifth estate (or should that be fifth column?) led by the Treason Times under the tutelage of the worm-like ‘Pinch’ Sulzberger and the terrorists’ fellow-travelling Bill Keller do what they can to aid and abet America’s barbaric enemies in their endeavours to murder as many US citizens as possible, particularly if they are troops.

The fact that what the Bush Adminstration was doing was a clear crime in violation of the FISA Act never seem to occur to these people.

Assange:

All members of the Press, and the good American people who believe in Freedom, and the good foundation principles of the Revolutionary Founders have to pull together to resist the attack on the First Amendment

Just as Keller was attacked then, Assange is being attacked now. It is interesting to note - as Assange openly admits - the technology of Wikileaks is one where they don't even know who their sources are as files can be uploaded to their servers by Whistle-blowers annonymously which does present a problem of accuracy and Vetting. This is a subject that was brought up by Rachel Maddow while discussing Wikileaks with Michael Moore last night.



Rachel makes an excellent point that the one element that hasn't been seriously considered is that Wikileaks may be an excellent tool for spreading Disinformation, just a Scooter Libby was able use Judith Miller to spread WMD Disinformation about Iraq and attempt to reveal the ID of a Covert U.S. Operative through the pages of the New York Times - yet we hardly ever hear the Right Wing complaining about those Traitorous Illegal Leaks now do we?

People who argue that Richard Armitage was the first source for Robert Novak ignore the fact that Armitage only discovered that information because of Libby and the fact is that Libby gave Classified informatoin WMD and Plame to Judith Miller a month previously. The only reason Miller didn't scoop Novak is the fact that the Timees spiked her story. Legally, Libby was the first source of the leak, regardless of who was the first to publish. IMO both he and Cheney (who told Libby about Valerie Wilson connection to the CIA in the first place) should be in the military brig right now under solitary confinement right next to Bradley Manning - for Treason.

They only escaped because Libby commited perjury and obstruction of justice to save Cheney.

Assange responding the Joe Biden calling him a "High Tech Terrorist".

Assange: Let's look at the definition of terrorism. The definition of Terrorism is a group that uses violence of the threat of violence for political ends. Now, no one in our four years of publishing covering over 120 countries has ever been physically harmed. And that's not just us saying that, that's The Pentagon Saying That. That's NATO and Kabul saying that. No one, not a shred of evidence.

Beleive me, if they could find or even easily manufacture evidence of this they would be doing that immediately. So it's clear whoever the terrorist are here - it's not us.

But, we see constant threats from people - Republicans in the Senate trying to make a name for themselves, Sarah Palin, to Shock Jocks on Fox and unfortunately also members of the Democratic Party - calling for my Assasination. Calling for the illegal kidnapping of my staff.

Just a few days ago on Fox, that was the phrase used. "Illegal." "He should be illegally murdered, if neccesary. Assasinated by the law if possible. If a not, lllegally."

What kind of message does that say about the rule of law in the United States? That is conducting violence in order to accomplish a political end. The elimination of this organization,or the threat of political violence to eliminate a publisher. And that is the Definition of Terrorism.

Cenk: How do you respond to Mike Huckabee - "Anything less than execution is too kind for you". Or Sarah Palin who says "We should persue him as we would al Qeada"?

Assange: (He's) Just another idiot trying to make a name for himself (and herself). If we are to have a civil society, you can not have senior people on making calls on national television to go around the judiciary and illegally murder people. That is an incitement to Commit Murder, that is an Offense. That is not a Country that obeys the rule of law. Does the United States obey the rule of law, because Europeans are beginning to wonder...

When people call for the illegal murder, deliberate assasination and kidnapping of others they should be charged for incitement to commit Murder.

In all honestly, regardless of whatever his own current legal problems are in the sexual misconduct case, he makes a serious point. if some hyped up wingnut does make at attempt on Assange's life, or attacks is staff - which would be a bit difficult considering the fact they are in Europe - would not that put people like Huckabee and Palin far beyond the bright Brandenburg Line for incitement of violence?

If they're going to carelessly toss the "T-Word" at him for simply sharing information, he has every right to toss it back with double-strength based on their own words - especially when it fits.

He also goes on the make the point that it's like that Bradley Manning may be being held in long-term solitary confinement largely to get him to flip and give up information against Assange for inticing him to commit treason.

If that's true - that horrifying. That's coercian, and further - as Assange points out - they Don't Solicit Classified Information, the point of his site is that much like Wikipedia, the information is provided voluntarily by the public, not solicited by their members.

But then again, anyone could theoritically put up a website with illegally gather classified information could they - only they would fail to have what Wikileaks provides, a bulwark of annonymity and confidentiality and a connection to various mainline journalists such as the Times who can provide vetting and validation of the information.

Even Wikipedia doesn't provide that.

Vyan

Update: While I was typing this Cenk posted the entire transcript.

Tuesday, December 21

An Open Letter from a Progressive to Sarah Palin

I know we haven't really bothered to have a conversation, but it's well past time to sit down and really have it out and put everything on the table. One Progressive to One Sarah Palin.

One thing is clear, you really seriously don't know much about us "Not Real" Americans, but we know plenty about you considering how much the Media fawns over your every minor comment and tweet. And of course there's your new book and Manifesto "America By Heart".



Extended Excerpts from ABCNews.

Take a seat, get a Coffee, this is going to take awhile to get all this off my chest.

Before we begin let set some facts straight. When you're railing about the "Left Coast" and those progressive who just want to sit on their laurels for a hand-out let's just remember which states are actually doing most of the financial providing in this country.

Map of Federal Tax Donor and Begger States:



It seems to me that it's us on the West Coast with our innovation and entrepreneurial Silicon Valley, our California Bread Basket and Entertainment Industry (Where America Ranks #1 in World Wide Exports), as well as the Financial Sectors on the East Coast that are all DONOR States for Federal Taxes which are raked in by the "Heartland" in Farming Subsidies and other largess.

So when it comes to being American Entrepreneurs, we don't just talk about it - We Do It. Unlike Alaska who for all their Frontier Spirit are all individually paid a Government (Welfare) Stipend of between $600 and $1500 every year, we have to make it on our own.

But somehow Obama is the one attempting to Redistribute Wealth by putting the tax code back to where it was when we had a booming economy and budget surplus?

We on the Progressives and Left side, not being all that afraid of the "Book Learnin'" or the Google Search are well aware that You Didn't say "'Thanks, but No thanks' to the Bridge to Nowhere". Congress Did that - but You and Alaska still took the money anyway.

In your book you talk about your favorite movies such as Mr. Smith Goes to Washington while railing that Hollywood wouldn't make such a movie today.

Call it corny, but Mr. Smith Goes to Washington is one of my favorite movies. It's a movie about hope. It's a movie about good triumphing over evil and idealism defeating cynicism. Most of all, it's a movie about the timeless truths of America handed down to us from our forefathers and foremothers. In other words, it's a movie Hollywood would never make today.

In case you've forgotten, Mr. Smith is about an American Everyman, Jefferson Smith, who goes to Washington to fill the Senate seat of a corrupt senator who died in office. The political machine chooses Smith because he is an ordinary man, a nonpolitician, and they think they can control him. But he holds fast to his ideals—the ideals of the American founding—and eventually defeats the machine. The movie was made in 1939, but its message is timeless: there may be corruption in politics, but it can be overcome by decent men and women who honor America's founding principles, the way the American people do.

Want an example of recent successful uplifting Hollywood film that pits a lowly underdog against the powerful corrupt Government? Try Fair Game featuting Mr. and Mrs. Wilson which has an 83% Rotten Tomatoes Rating. You say Hollywood is afraid to make our soldiers look like heros in movies like Green Zone, except that Matt Damon IS the Hero - while still managing to be a soldier. And did you forget a minor little Academy Award Winner like "The Hurt Locker"?

Here's a Newsflash: Mr. Smith was trying to get an Earmark. He wanted to spend government money on some needy people, orphans, instead of having the money spent on business interests. He was doing something very much like Trying to Get Health Care for 9/11 First Responders. Of course, if you only watch Fox News you would think it was the Democrats who stopped that bill - but the truth is that our real life Mr Smith is Senator Bernie Sanders who railed against giveaways to corporate fat-cats for eight hours, not Senator Jim Bunning who blocked much needed unemployment relief while whining that he's just missed a Basketball game. Also the film's "Smith" wasn't just an "everyman" he was a beginner, a Freshman - arguably if he'd been more experienced he might have gotten exactly what he wanted without all the drama, more like Charlie Wilson's War.

You do know that Eddie Murphy essentially remade "Mr Smith" over a decade ago with The Distinguished Gentleman??, Also - Right?

But to you it seems, the ideals and drama count for far more than the facts.

Jefferson Smith loves the words of the Declaration of Independence, not because he's mindlessly pro-American, but because, as he says, "behind them, they . . . have a little bit of plain, ordinary, everyday kindness and a little lookin' out for the other fella, too." He understands that those words are a gift, not just to Americans, but to all humanity. But that gift is being corrupted by special interests and forgotten by Washington.

That's what I think so many of the people who make the big laws, run the big corporations, write for the big newspapers, and make the big movies today have forgotten. Americans love this country because it means something, and it has since the beginning. That meaning, many of us feel, is being lost today.

First of all, most of us in Blue Donor America haven't forgotten any of that. We don't all personally "make big laws, run big corporations, write for big papers or make big movies" - although we may work with people who do, or they may be part of our families - we still continue to believe in those ideals, and further we try to live by those ideals in order to prove, not just assume, that America does indeed mean something. We believe that America stands for Justice. That means Justice for all persons regardless of race, sex, religion, orientation, or the circumstances of their arrival on these American shores. It means that the power of the Government should not only be used to Kill people, but also to Save Them.

But apparently those ideals are not what you truly believe.

When Dr. Laura berated a Black Woman on the Air for being "Oversensitive" and used the N-Word with her 12 times - you told her not to "Retreat, but to Reload". You think her N-Word Bandoleer needed a Refill? When Rahm Emmanuel said that the ideas of some progressives were "F-ing Retarded", you claimed he should resign and apologize for attacking Your Son Trig, who to my knowledge has never advocated any Progressive Policies.

"Just as we’d be appalled if any public figure of Rahm’s stature ever used the "N-word" or other such inappropriate language, Rahm’s slur on all God’s children with cognitive and developmental disabilities – and the people who love them – is unacceptable, and it’s heartbreaking,"

Any public figure, except for Dr. Laura it would seem.

Then when Rush Limbaugh actually did call Progressives themselves "Retarded People" - you defended him while proclaiming...

"They are kooks, so I agree with Rush Limbaugh," she said, when read a quote of Limbaugh calling liberal groups "retards." Rush Limbaugh was using satire...

Yes, Rush is great big comedian who should be excused for using satire - but apparently David Letterman isn't and shouldn't get an inch of slack because he can't tell one Palin daughter from the other.

But of course Franklin Graham deserves all the benefit of doubt, even though he'd said "Islam is a very evil and wicked religion, " you criticized his being dis-invited to the Pentagon's National Day Of Prayer.

"Are we really so hyper-politically correct that we can't abide a Christian minister who expresses his views on matters of faith?" Palin asked. "What a shame. Yes, things have changed."

Yes, it is a shame. Especially when Franklin went on to claim that Obama was born with a "Muslim Seed" - even though as a point of fact, his father was an Athiest.

You were also the one who thought it was politically convenient to say that Obama "Palled Around with a domestic Terrorist", except that the man you were talking about has never been tried or convicted of any violent crime . Ever. Thanks to COINTELPRO. As a result there's no legal reason NOT to "pal around with him", meanwhile you pal around with Glenn Beck while one of his supporters got into a shootout with police on his way to Murder members of the ACLU and Tides Foundation. How Domestic Terrorist-Adjacent of you.

When David Brock stepped forward and asked you to condemn the Bomb Threats against NPR for the firing of Juan Williams you laughed at him. So okay, you're not responsible for your choice of pals like Beck or other Fox Contributors like Bernard Goldberg whom admitted Murderers have credited for their inspiration, and even though G. Gordon Liddy and Oliver North appear on Fox News everyone else there isn't responsible for Watergate or Iran-Contra but somehow Barack Obama is responsible for what Bill Ayers wasn't prosecuted for almost 40 years ago when he was 8-years-old?

That thinking isn't Fair or Balanced.

As a result of this an other KOOKY and/or MEAN politically opportunistic statements of yours - we progressives aren't your biggest fans, but I guess you know that. In fact, I'm sure of it. You seem to thrive on it. Swat the Liberal seems to be your favorite game.

But the point here is (most of us) don't HATE you. Most of us think you're embarrassing, hilarious and ridiculous, some may think you're dangerous to the nation and a Serial Fact-Mangler - some of may resent being repeated called some Lesser Form of American - but for those outside Alaska who you haven't done anything to personally, there's no reason to really Hate. However it seems pretty clear that You May Hate Us.

The epitome of progressive thinking was Barack Obama's promise, just before the 2008 election, that "we are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America." I guess you could say he warned us! But the problem is that Americans don't want a fundamental transformation of their country. Americans are awakening to the fact that, of course our country has changed a great deal since it was born, but our Founders hit on some timeless truths that will never change and should never change. More and more of us view our founding truths as a bulwark, not just against bigger government, but against losing that fundamental sense of decency that Senator Smith fought for. If we forget these truths—or reject that they are timeless—we lose something fundamental about ourselves. No, "transformation" won't save America; "restoration" of our honor, dignity, and freedoms will save America.

Here's another Newsflash: Obama isn't a Progressive - he's a Pragmatist and a Centrist. The America he was talking about was one that would reach across the political and partisan divide to accomplish BIG THINGS in the name of Nationalism and Patriotism. He was expressing a fervent Hope that America could come together and succeed as a Team, not as a rag-tag band of petty rivals.

It's always true that a team working together can accomplish far more than any single individual working alone. You ought to know that from your Basketball days Miss Barracuda.

Rugged Individualism is great, fine and often necessary - particularly if you're playing Checkers or Table Tennis - but in the real world, what really works is Teamwork, especially when we as a nation are in competition with other nations who certainly will not hesitate to commit their national resources to beat our team technologically and economically. America is hardly number #1 in anything anymore, except as I said exporting films, and building mountains of debt.

Some problems exist on a scale and scope that is far too broad for single separate individuals to address, and simply because groups (either industry or government) attempt to address the problem it does not mean that "individual freedom is diminished". It means the problem gets fixed. I have yet to see a single individual build an Aqueduct, Interstate Highway System, or Space Program. Big jobs and big problems require big teams to tackle. To me, and many progressives, whether they are public or private teams is largely besides the point as long as there's a minimum of graft and price gouging.

No, it's clear you don't have the first clue about what Progressivism is, nor do you seem to care.

It's worth asking: Who are the real "progressives" in America today? As President Coolidge said, to deny the principles of our founding isn't to go forward (to "progress") but to go "backward toward the time when there was no equality, no rights of the individual, no rule of the people."

Those who run down American values and think our founding principles are somehow intolerant or theocratic have it exactly backward. The words of the Declaration of Independence, brought to life in the words of the Constitution, are the most liberating, most human-rights- respecting words ever written. They assert the moral and political equality of all men and women, no matter who their parents are or how much money they have. What could be more "progressive" than that?

On this we would agree, the words of the Declaration of Independence ARE Progressive. Very Progressive. In fact, America is Progressive by design and in it's creation. The crux of the problem has been with America's Failure to actually Live up to those Ideals.

Words are one thing, Actions are another. Fulfulling Americas promise requires more than being a flag waving Cheer-leader, it requires getting things done. Difficult things. Things that just might piss some people off.

Take the recent health care debate as an example. The folks pushing President Obama's government health care bill seemed to think that we could be bought. But when we say we believe that our rights are God-given it means something.

Those words in the Declaration of Independence mean that our rights are sacred; government can't legitimately violate them or add to them. The proponents of government health care didn't seem to think that Americans understood this principle—or, if we understood it, we didn't really mean it. They seemed to think we could be bribed by pie-in- the-sky promises; that we were gullible enough to believe that government could manufacture a new "right" to health care and we wouldn't pay the price with our freedom, such as our freedom to keep what we earn, to choose our own doctor, and to buy—or not buy—health insurance.

Basic facts, the Declaration of Independence isn't the Constitution and the Constitution can be added to and changed. This is something that Conservatives never seem to get right. They seem to read the Preamble, about half the First Amendment, 2/3rds of the Second Amendment then Skip to the Tenth Amendment and miss everything else in between. Particularly the Ninth Amendment which says this...

Amendment IX. The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

The Rights of the People are indeed Sacrosanct, but the Constitution is not a Laundry List of those rights, rather it is a list of responsibilities, powers and limits on Government.

Part of those responsibilities includes "Providing for the Common Defense and General Welfare of the People" through all "Necessary and Appropriate" means. That may mean Defending the Nation from an Invading Army or an Invading Disease.

Our private Health Care system has massively failed the American people, it is now absolutely necessary and appropriate for Government to take a role in correcting that problem in order to provide for the Common Defense of the people.

Just as our Second President and Founding Father John Adam's determined when he signed the First Health Care Mandate into law 212 Years Ago

In July, 1798, Congress passed, and President John Adams signed into law "An Act for the Relief of Sick and Disabled Seamen," authorizing the creation of a marine hospital service, and mandating privately employed sailors to purchase health care insurance.

This legislation also created America's first payroll tax, as a ship's owner was required to deduct 20 cents from each sailor's monthly pay and forward those receipts to the service, which in turn provided injured sailors hospital care. Failure to pay or account properly was discouraged by requiring a law violating owner or ship's captain to pay a 100 dollar fine.

So is Obama violating the Principles and Ideals of our Founding Fathers or is he Implementing Them when they've gone ignored for so long?

Apparently you don't think that Americans really should be protected from all that will harm, kill or maim them - even when they've already done their best to protect themselves.

They were wrong, and for proof you don't have to look any further than the shameful way in which Obamacare was written and passed. It was written in secret, behind closed doors, far from the promised C-SPAN cameras. And it wasn't long before we found out why: To win the support of nervous politicians, President Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid had to resort to trading pork in the bill for votes, cutting sleazy deals behind closed doors like the infamous "Louisiana Purchase" (in which a Louisiana senator's vote for the bill was secured in exchange for $300 million in extras for that state) and the "Cornhusker Kickback" (in which a Nebraska senator's vote was secured in a similar fashion). Not only that, but to pass the bill, congressional Democrats had to resort to all kinds of legislative shenanigans to avoid an up-or- down vote. At one point, Speaker Pelosi told a national audience that we'd have to pass the bill to "find out what's in it." She even hatched a plan to pass the bill without the House ever actually voting on it!

And why? Because the support in Congress wasn't there. And the support in Congress wasn't there because public support wasn't there.

You mean C-Span Cameras like these?



First of all, cutting deals and making concessions are always how Congressional Bills are made and always how they will be made. Secondly, the so-called "Cornhusker Kickback" was removed from the bill using the "legislative shenanigan" of Reconciliation. Nancy Pelosi didn't actually USE "Deem and Pass" to assume the Senate Version of the bill as already passed through the house. And lastly, all the polls showed that the American People wanted and support Health Care Reform - only that the majority actually wanted Even Stronger reform than was ultimately passed, not weaker.

It was the lack of Stronger Reform that Depressed Democratic Turning this November, not the passage of Health Reform in general.

At President Obama’s recent health care summit, Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and other Republicans breathlessly touted an “average” of recent public polls showing large majorities opposing health care reform. McConnell’s polling average was dubious to begin with, but he was also getting well ahead of himself.[i] In fact, a flurry of recent polls show support for health care reform slowly but surely on the rise. A new survey from The Economist/YouGov released yesterday shows majority supporting passage of reform for the first time since December.[ii] Moreover, recent polls that dig deeper than the topline numbers demonstrate even more support for passage of reform, with the most recent Ipsos survey showing a majority of Americans either supporting the current reform option or hoping for an even stronger reform package.

In this case yet again, it was Democrats who were at least trying to fight against the Fat Cats of the Big Insurance Industry who've been gouging and denying care to 50 Million Americans, leaving them like Mr. Smith's Orphans out in the cold, where an estimated 45,000 of them DIE every year. (Most) Democrats were fighting to help them, while Republicans (and some Democrats) were blocking and fighting to help the Fat Cats.

Still, the bill was passed and the damage has been done. In the end, this unsustainable bill jeopardizes the very thing it was supposed to fix: our health care system. Somewhere along the way we forgot that health care reform is about doctors and patients, not the IRS and politicians. Instead of helping doctors with tort reform, this bill has made primary care physicians think about getting out of medicine. It was supposed to make health care more affordable, but our premiums will continue to go up. It was supposed to help more people get coverage, but there will still be twenty-three million uninsured people by 2019.

There are 50 Million Americans uninsured now, so "leaving 23 million Uninsured" is frankly a vast improvement - one that "Tort Reform" has shown no evidence of correcting. There's nothing in this alternative that addresses Pre-Existing Conditions, nothing that addresses better Preventive Measures or greater efficiencies to bring down costs, nothing that increases access to Medicaid or Local Clinics. Nothing that solves the problem of price gouging by Big Insurance and Big Pharma.

But of course the real issue of the Health Care Debate wasn't the facts - it was the "Race Card" being played.

The worst thing you can say about a fellow American in politics today is that he is a racist. It just doesn't get any more damning than this accusation. That's why so many of us were horrified to hear news reports that people protesting the passage of the health care bill had shouted racial epithets at an African American congressmen as they walked to the Capitol to cast their vote. It was a serious charge, made by supposedly serious men, and repeated endlessly in the mainstream media. At a critical moment in the debate, it overshadowed all the arguments that opponents of Obamacare had made—that the bill would put government in control of our health care, cost too much, and explode the deficit. The racism charge painted opponents of the law with the lowest form of hate, not the best interests of their country or their neighbor.

But was it true? Despite the fact that everyone walks around these days with a cell phone capable of capturing video, evidence to support the charge has never emerged. In the weeks and months after the alleged incident, conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart even offered huge cash rewards to anyone who could produce proof that the health care protesters had shouted racial slurs. No proof ever emerged.

Yeah, and despite all the UFO's flying around there aren't any good cell phone pictures of them either. Imagine, that?

The arguments that the Health Care Bill would "Explode the Deficit" were baseless - since the CBO had repeatedly Scored that it would REDUCE THE DEFICIT by $132 Billion - so that issued drowned itself out by simply being a Lie.

You say no "Proof" has emerged? Here's proof of Tea Party Bigotry right here from John Lewis's answering Machine.



(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

CALLER: I ain‘t getting the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) health insurance, that (EXPLETIVE DELETED). Don‘t tell me I got to get some (EXPLETIVE DELETED) health insurance. I ain‘t paying no (EXPLETIVE DELETED) a fine. Tell that (EXPLETIVE DELETED) he can come put my (EXPLETIVE DELETED) in jail if he don‘t like it. (EXPLETIVE DELETED) worthless (EXPLETIVE DELETED), all them other (EXPLETIVE DELETED) that voted for that (EXPLETIVE DELETED) Obama and all them white trash honkies that voted for that (EXPLETIVE DELETED) communist socialist stuff. Dumb mother (EXPLETIVE DELETED).

I ain‘t getting the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) mandatory health insurance son of a (EXPLETIVE DELETED) mother (EXPLETIVE DELETED) bunch of (EXPLETIVE DELETED) white trash honkies, son of a (EXPLETIVE DELETED) communists voting for this (EXPLETIVE DELETED).

I ain‘t going to fight no (EXPLETIVE DELETED) war, I‘m not going to be forced to do something I don‘t want to do. So (EXPLETIVE DELETED) all y‘all (EXPLETIVE DELETED). You, John Lewis, you (EXPLETIVE DELETED) worthless, communist (EXPLETIVE DELETED).

(END AUDIO CLIP)

Also what's the excuse for Barnie Frank being called "Faggot" in the Halls of Congress because that was caught on Video, not just on Audio like the N-Word-athon above? What? Is "N**ger" a bridge to nowhere too far for you, but "Faggot" is just Okey Doke?

Brietbart was Wrong about Acorn, and Wrong about Shirley Sherrod - he was also wrong about the N-Word (and F-Word) used against Congressional Democrats as the Health Care Bill was passed because there were Eye-Witnesses to the Event.



Despite all the protestations, the facts show that Tea Party Conservatives really are Far more Racially Biased than almost anyone else.

In a broad study of adults in Georgia, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, and California conducted between February and March, the University of Washington Institute for the Study of Ethnicity, Race, and Sexuality (WISER) asked a number of questions about "racial resentment" — such as whether blacks don’t try hard enough or have gotten more than they deserve. Conservatives are 23 percent more likely to be racially resentful, and Republicans 15 percent more likely than Democrats. However, the institute found that this racial sentiment isn’t simply a byproduct of white conservativism:

[E]ven as we account for conservatism and partisanship, support for the Tea Party remains a valid predictor of racial resentment.

It is untrue, as political commentator Dave Weigel argues, that racism in the Tea Party is merely reflective of its conservatism. The WISER study found that compared to other conservatives, Tea Party supporters are:

– 25 percent more likely to have racial resentment.

– 27 percent more likely to support racial profiling.

– 28 percent more likely to support indefinite detention without charges.


Tea Party supporters are also significantly more likely to hold racial stereotypes, with a majority believing blacks are not hard-working, intelligent, or trustworthy. Their fear of others transcends race, however — the WISER study found that a majority of tea party adherents distrust Latinos, Asians, and other whites as well.

Now, I don't point this out to Smear Conservatives in general. Any individual within any particular group may or may not subscribe to any of these biases, including Progressives. Nobody and no broad group is perfect. This is just looking at the general trend - y'know - kinda like a PROFILE, which is something You seem to Support when you don't think you're going to be on the receiving end of it.

It's also interesting that you don't seem all that shy yourself (even if it is the worst thing you can say about someone politically) to accuse others of Racism when it suits your purposes.

People like Reverend Wright.

The second reason the charge of racism is leveled at patriotic Americans so often is that the people making the charge actually believe it. They think America—at least America as it currently exists—is a fundamentally unjust and unequal country. Barack Obama seems to believe this, too. Certainly his wife expressed this view when she said during the 2008 campaign that she had never felt proud of her country until her husband starting winning elections. In retrospect, I guess this shouldn't surprise us, since both of them spent almost two decades in the pews of the Reverend Jeremiah Wright's church listening to his rants against America and white people.

So the Real Racist is Reverend Wright, eh - whatever happened to letting a "Christian Minister have his views?" Amazing that you dredge up this old argument, yet here it is. For those few rare people who actually bothered to listen to More than just 5 Seconds at a Time of Wright's statements it becomes clear that his larger point was that we should "Trust in God, Not in Governments." That "Governments may Fail us - and have, but that God Does Not". And most importantly, that "Even if God may Condemn, and Damn our actions - he also Forgives and Redeems".

When Wright Said the following was he more out of line than Jerry Falwell's comments blaming 9-11 on God's wrath over the ACLU and Gays - or was he actually making sense?

"We bombed Hiroshima, we bombed Nagasaki, and we nuked far more than the thousands in New York and the Pentagon, and we never batted an eye," Rev. Wright said it a sermon on Sept. 16, 2001.

"We have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and black South Africans, and now we are indignant because the stuff we have done overseas is now brought right back to our own front yards. America's chickens are coming home to roost,"

Is Wright a Racist because he's NOT ENEMIES with Louis Farrakhan, when Farrakhan has said something very much like your pal Franklin ("Islam is Wicked") Graham when he claimed that "Judiasm is a Gutter Religion?" Your friend says "Wicked", his friend says "Gutter" - how's someone supposed to keep up and Refudiate it all?

Would it shock you to know that Wright was actually quoting Reagan Ambassador Edward Peck, and that the basis of his comment is backed up by former CIA Bin Laden Desk Chief Michael Sheuer in his book "Imperial Hubris"?

In the context of the ideas bin Laden shares with his brethren, the military actions of al Qaeda and its allies are acts of war, not terrorism; they are part of a defensive jihad sanctioned by the revealed word of God, as contained in the Koran, and the sayings and traditions of the Prophet Mohammed, the Sunnah. These attacks are meant to advance bin Laden's clear, focused, limited, and widely popular foreign policy goals: the end of U.S. aid to Israel and the ultimate elimination of that state; the removal of U.S. and Western forces from the Arabian Peninsula; the removal of U.S. and Western military forces from Iraq, Afghanistan, and other Muslim lands; the end of U.S. support for the oppression of Muslims by Russia, China, and India; the end of U.S. protection for repressive, apostate Muslim regimes in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Egypt, Jordan, et cetera;

Do you really think former U.S. Marine Jeremiah Wright is a bigot and an Anti-American because he's made claims, based on history and research, that sound a great deal like your own "Death Panel" charges - or do you simply think he's a handy political foil? Fact is, even though he may be a bubble and half off plum, Jeremiah Wright has been just as misquoted and misconstrued as Shirley Sherrod.

Would you like to see some extreme sounding comments from your own Church and Pastor Muthee, about Witchcraft Exploited in this way?



Playing the Wiccan Card really didn't do much for Christine O'Donnell.

Or do you think that taking one isolated event, or comment, and blowing it completely out of proportion and applying it to an entire 20 year history (as the "Lame-Stream Media" is certainly wont to do) is just as completely unfair as taking a small set of horrifically bigoted signs by Tea Partiers and assuming that all Tea Party Members are Bigots?.

That sword cuts both ways Sarah.

But I didn't write this just to go tit-for-tat on the political posturing, or play Quien es Mas Bigoted. The real issue is what our various competing visions of America really entail. For example you say this.

It also makes sense, then, that the man President Obama made his attorney general, Eric Holder, would call us a "nation of cowards" for failing to come to grips with what he described as the persistence of racism.

But at the same time you proclaim that "political correctness" blocks of from addressing sensitive issues and subjects - well - Those are the Same things.

Eric Holder was absolutely correct, America has hidden from it's legacy and failed to courageously address them in a way that could help finally correct it's problem rather than exacerbate them. It's only by having the Courage to confront these issues and challenge our own preconceptions - knowing full well that at least some of them might be true- that we can hope to move anywhere on Race issues. Pretending there are no issues, has let them simply fester unattended for decades, if not centuries.

It's on THIS that we disagree.

Many on the left also believe that the current call for a smaller federal government and a return to federalism—otherwise known as states' rights—is code for a return to white supremacy.

But is it racist to believe in the principles of the American founding? To revere the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights and to invoke the Tenth Amendment? To want leaders and national policies that respect the wisdom and humanity of these documents?

No, it's not. We on the Left remember that it was President Bill Clinton who actually DID shrink the Federal Government by an average of 15%, while improving it's efficiency, bolstering the economy and balancing the budget at the same time. We aren't AGAINST those ideas in principle. But many of us on the left realize that if not for Federal Intervention Slavery would never had ended. If not for Federal Intervention Segregation would never have ended - if not for Federal Intervention the Great Depression would have left us with a permanent underclass, decimated in despair, poverty and sickness - particularly the elderly. Many of us realize, unlike Conservatives who support the traitorous concept of "Nullification", that the Constitutions Supremacy Clause makes Federal Law - the Final Law of the Land.

The States are NOT Supreme under the Law or Constitution, they are not Countries onto themselves. We are United. The Strongest of us, strengthens and supports the weakest to become stronger.

Again you invoke "The Constitution" but you clearly haven't read all of it, only the parts you like (or can exploit). You ignore the 4th Amendment, the 5th Amendment both of which limit Federal Power and protect personal privacy and Liberty, and as I mention before the 9th Amendment which shows that the Constitution is not a LIMIT on the rights of the people, only a limit on the powers of Government.

You seem to have the Constitution confused with the Articles of Confederation which actually did grant supreme power to the individual states and was a complete and total failure. Individual States couldn't have fought and protected the Nation during the War of 1812. Or during any serious conflict from the Spanish American War to World War I or World War II.

But your question is vital and shouldn't be ignored - should the wisdom of the Constitution be respected? Of course.

The answer is important, because it speaks to the kind of country we are, and the kind of country we were meant to be. Did our founding values produce the country of Reverend Jeremiah Wright's rants? A place where African Americans or any minority would be justified in saying, "God damn America," instead of "God Bless America"? Or did our Founders enshrine a set of principles that gave birth to a just society, despite the obscenity of slavery? Did they, in fact, set the stage for the elimination of slavery? Does America really need, in the words of President Obama, a "fundamental transformation" in order to be a good and decent nation?

I would argue that their values did not produce the country or the atrocities that Wright speaks of, but their actions and failures to act did.

Americans can well ask how, in light of these historical facts, the idealistic words of the Declaration are not the words of hypocrites? How can the meaning of the Constitution not be that African Americans were, and were destined to be, considered less human than white Americans in the United States? If you've attended an elite college or even taken a high school history course, you have probably heard the infamous three-fifths clause denounced as evidence that the founding generation was morally blind, thus all of their works are irredeemably tainted, just like that label on the Constitution warned.

Seeing as you never went to such an "Elite College" how exactly would you know what they teach there? You then go on to argue that the ideals of the Constitution were ultimately destined to overthrow it's flaws, such as the 3/5th clause - which you say was really an attempt by the North to diminish the power of the South. Yet, it also reduced their taxes, so it's not fair to argue the South received nothing from the deal.

In this argument you ignore the prohibition on Congress from ending the importation of slaves until 1808. You ignore the Fugitive Slave Clause which required Non-Slave states to enforce and bolster Slave State Laws. You ignore that all of these elements, not just the 3/5th clause led directly to the Dred Scott Decision which stated that the Constitution Simply Did Not Apply to Africans whether they were Slaves or FREE.

Some of us would say that's a rather severe flaw, but the larger issue is that the 14th amendment which removed and was intended to fix all these flaws - also failed to accomplish that task largely because of the Plessy V Ferguson Decision which established Separate and Unequal in 1896 despite the clear equal protection language of the 14th. Yet again, the promise and ideals may have been there - but the actual practice and implementation wasn't, leaving the promise empty and ideals a hollow shell without substance until the 1954 Brown V Board decision.

But do Conservatives openly welcome that correction? No! They instead attacked the nomination of Justice Elena Kagan because she had clerked for Justice Thurgood Marshall, who had been the victorious lead Attorney in Brown.

To our great and lasting shame, slavery continued in the United States for almost a century following the adoption of the Constitution. Although the controversy never went away, in the end it took the bloodiest war in our nation's history to end the evil practice. Hundreds of thousands of Americans died, but slavery finally died with them. And in an important and overlooked way, our Founders began this painful process.

In other words, when it comes to America, there is a difference between hating the sin and hating the sinner. To acknowledge honestly the stain of past slavery and racism is not the same thing as saying that America is a fundamentally racist country.

Of course it isn't.

The difference between Jeremiah Wright's position and yours is you seem to think Slavery (and Racism) ended with the Civil War and that's simply not true.

In fact, it wasn't even completely ended by the 13th Amendment which has a rather large exception built into it.


Amendment XIII. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.


So you tell me did we end slavery, or did we simply transfer it into the Criminal Justice System? Does that not explain why people have color have become targets of law enforcement, particularly for drug crimes, even when they aren't anywhere near the most prevalent users of drugs?

The fact is that the despite the 14th Amendment which promised the "Equal Protection of the Laws" we still had the "Black Codes" and Jim Crow for nearly 100 years. The fact is despite the 15th Amendment which "guaranteed" Blacks the Right to Vote - there were still Poll Taxes and "Literacy Tests" used to deny that right, also for again, nearly 100 Years AFTER the End of the Civil War!!.

How many Centuries are we supposed to wait for America's Ideals to become America's Reality?

The fact is that it takes more than empty platitudes and ideals to protect and preserve the rights of people. It takes Action and a commitment to implement those values even when it's the most difficult thing to do.

Without Action, the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act are just empty promises with no real meaning, something that Reagan knew all too well as he did everything he could to dismantle the implementation of them both, leading us to lingering issues such as the Agriculture Dept. Pigford Discrimination Suits.

The repeated failure by conservatives to walk their own talk is easily shown by the fact that they can't find a Conservative Bigot with a GPS, Map, Flashlight and Magnifying glass even when one of them is Running The Tea Party Express. And when any "Liberal" group tries to point it out people - like you Sarah - attack them, and demand they apologize to Mark Williams, the bigot who repeatedly claimed Obama was a "Indonesian Muslim turned Welfare Thug-In-Chief".

I'm sure the NAACP is still waiting for it's apology from you now that Williams and the entire TPE were kicked out of the National Tea party Conference.

You quote and reference Brietbart, but Shirley Sherrod hasn't received a sincere apology from him yet.

You see, Sarah, living up to your ideals sometimes means doing the Right Thing even when that requires going against people on "Your Side" when their wrong.

As a nation, it means we don't give in to the temptation to use Torture to gain a tactical intelligence advantage, especially since it was General George Washington who originally banned it during the Revolutionary War.

It means we don't toss the 1st, 4th, 5th, and 8th Amendments out the window at the first sign of a threat, or a Scary Muslim Multi-faith Prayer Center in Manhattan that also happens to have a 9/11 Memorial inside it.

As Eric Holder said, living by our ideals take Courage, not Fear.

Rather than wishing that America be "Fundamentally Changed" in a manner that somehow violates the Ideals of the Founding Fathers, what Progressives want is for America to Actually have the COURAGE TO LIVE UP TO THOSE IDEALS.

We want to take the American Dream out of the realm of fantasy for so many and into the world of reality.

That requires recognizing that bigotry has not disappeared, that racial, religious, gender and economic injustice continues, it's not just a fading memory of the past. It's not what it used to be, but It all lives on. The facts and the Statistics on this do not Lie.

White Applicants with Criminal Records are more likely to be called back for a second interview then Black Applicants without one, even when all other qualifications are the same.

Black Males with College Degrees are more than twice as likely to be out of Work than thier White Conterparts.

Companies like Wells Fargo were deliberately roping black borrowers (to whom they referred as "mud people") into high-cost loans, targeting them for these instruments, and even falsifying credit histories to make black applicants look like greater risks than they were, so as to justify the scam?

Neither do these pictures, please note all of this happened After Slavery and the one in the upper Right hand Corner was During the 80's.



After all this we had the fascist racial terrorism, shootings, beatings and lynchings of Ron Settles, Yula Love, Rodney King, Johnny Gammage, James Byrd, Abner Louima, Amadour Diallo, the Jena Six, and most recently Oscar Grant.

When exactly did the oppression ever "End" because that's not what I call Over, but neither would I simply say "America is Racist". America Tolerates and Excuses Racism far too easily. It tolerates Injustice far too often.

Just as you would like to argue that it's Not Racist to criticize Health Care Reform, it's also Not Racist for people like Reverend Wright to Criticize America's repeated failure to embody the ideals that it expounds with events such as the Tuskeegee Experiment.

Wright was pillaried for saying AIDS may have been deliberately spread, but it is true that the Reagan Adminstration was shamefully slow in responding to the epidemic contributing to the deaths of thousands, and whether it's origin was indeed manmade is still an open and hotly contested question that various Scientists, including Harvard Researcher Leonard Horowitz have looked into, but we now know that the U.S. Government actually did experiment with Syphilis by deliberately Injecting it into Guatemalan Patients. Isn't that horrible enough?

America can do better than that. It has to be better than that. It can do better than the reflexive and paranoid internment of Japanese during WWII. It can do better than resorting to profiling. It can do better than GITMO and Abu Ghraib. And it seems at times, that you know this too, when it's convenient...

Of course, the answer to the slavery question was already embedded within our Constitution—a Constitution that had at its very core the ideal of equal citizenship under the law; a Constitution that promised its people liberty, and justice, and a union that could be and should be perfected over time.

My only wish is that President Obama would follow through on this hopeful view of America. To want a better and brighter future for our country does not mean a rejection of our founding or a "fundamental transformation" of who we are. Instead it means following, in part, the wisdom of the most powerful American voice for civil rights of the twentieth century, the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Famously, Dr. King called not for a rejection of America's founding principles, but for America to "rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed."

It's interesting that you invoke Dr. King within pages of intimating that Rep. John Lewis - who Marched with King into Selma and had his head bashed in for his efforts - is now some kind of Race-Baiting Liar.

It's also interesting that you champion now Dr. King's message when at the time he actually made his statements he was called "Socialist, Marxist and Anti-American" by the Conservatives of his time exactly as Barack Obama has been recently, just as you complain the Tea Party has been labeled simply to delegitimize their message. Yeah, that tends to be the problem with all forms of name calling, facts get lost in the finger-pointing.

Be that as it may, you have the answer half right, the answer to the problem was indeed contained in (part) of the Constitution and it simply required living up to those ideals and correcting the flawed parts. But that didn't happen without Sacrifice, Struggle and an ONGOING TRANSFORMATION of this Country.

True Progress isn't easy or comfortable. I see Barack Obama, even with the various disappointments we Progressives have with him, as being far more of a person attempting the bring America in Line with it's True Constitutional Ideals than I see coming from ANY Conservatives, including yourself.

He's not perfect, despite your attempts to paint him as a Anti-Constitutionalist Obama opposed the Individual Mandate and only included it in a bill as a way to appease and attract corporate support and Conservatives who championed that idea since the Nixon Administration including the Heritage Foundation.

But as part of that contract, it is also reasonable to expect residents of the society who can do so to contribute an appropriate amount to their own health care. This translates into a requirement on individuals to enroll themselves and their dependents in at least a basic health plan - one that at the minimum should protect the rest of society from large and unexpected medical costs incurred by the family. And as any social contract, there would also be an obligation on society. To the extent that the family cannot reasonably afford reasonable basic coverage, the rest of society, via government, should take responsibility for financing that minimum coverage.

Just like the Founding Father's who had to make a bargain over Slavery in order to establish the country with the hope that it would get better over time, Barack Obama bet on America to ultimately work this issue out. He made a similar deal to preserve Unemployment Insurance, and continue his stimulative tax breaks to business, and payroll tax cuts to individuals. Time will tell if these pay off.

What we want is what Dr. King wanted. Conservatives (both Democrat and Republican) led by then Republican Presidential Candidate Barry Goldwater stood against the Civil Rights Act - Progressives and Liberals (again, both Democrat and Republican) fought for it. Progressives want to see America finally fulfill it's promising and reach it's potential, not fall backward to an idolized period where the reality was that those promises rang far more hollow than they do now. A time that Conservatives seem to reflexively idolize, without analyzing the context or circumstances of Jim Crow, Robber Barons, Child Labor and an 80% Top Marginal Tax Rate that existed then. Conservative Presidents from Reagan to Bush have repeatedly tried to pull us back and Regress This Nation by undermined the implementation or Civil Rights and progress without repent, and today I still I don't see most Conservatives standing up for Equal Rights as they vote overwhelmingly against measures like the Pigford Settlement or repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell". Far from it.

You're own daughter Bristol said this to Margaret Cho when she criticized her reasons for appearing on Dancing with the Stars ending with this comment.

After first worrying for me in terms of being exposed to those who hate us for what we believe in, both my mom and my dad became my number one supporters.

...

I will set the record straight, though my mom already did in her bestselling book "Going Rogue"; there were a number of reasons President Obama won in 2008, but the primary reason was that the economy was starting to falter and the majority of voters thought Obama could do a better job than my mom and John McCain. It turns out, two years later, the majority of voters were wrong, but we can talk about that another time.

...

To my friend Margaret Cho, if you ever have a question, call me girlfriend. Don't ever rely on "sources" who claim to know me or my family. You will be taken every time. And we need to talk. You say you "don't agree with the family's politics at all" but I say, if you understood that commonsense conservative values supports the right of individuals like you, like all of us, to live our lives with less government interference and more independence, you would embrace us faster than KD Lang at an Indigo Girls concert.

Bristol argues that Senator McCain and yourself lost in 2008 because of the economy and that now people "know that Obama wasn't a better choice" because he hasn't fixed the economy (yet).

Except what he has done so far, is this - which saved us from a another Great Depression.



President Obama and his policies are on track to create as many, if not more, private sector jobs this year than President Bush did in his entire Presidency - so the argument that simply implementing more of Bush's policies and nothing more would have produced a better result is frankly ridiculous. No serious economist supports that idea.

Many people online frm Perez Hilton to TMZ have responded to the Cheap KD Lang crack but I think that's irrelevant and childish. The important part is her statement of your "Fear of being exposed to people that hate you for your beliefs".

That's called "cowardice", good on you both for not giving in to that fear.

I'll tell you something honesly, I know I don't hate you for your beliefs - but I do think that you're beliefs are based on Hatred of Others whom you don't think aren't "REAL AMERICAN" enough for you.

Despite the perky smiles, the "ah schucks" homilies, and your need to defend yourself from every attack however slight or correct. the venom is never that far from the surface. It comes out in your criticism of people working for Big Business, Big Entertainment, Government Workers, Unions Workers, and those who've gone to "Elite Colleges". (Big in and of itself isn't bad, Corrupt is bad) It's clear you HATE us. Or worse, you're simply willing to exploit the Envy and Hatred of others for your own gain.

Somethings are worse than being a Bigot or a Racist, and that's being a Bigot Enabler. Hating Liberals and Progressives isn't an less bigoted than hating Black or Gays - particularly when it's often the same exact thing and the same persons on the receiving end.

Further Bristol, perhaps channeling your own arguments, claims essentially that Gays like Margaret Cho should feel welcomed by "Common Sense Conservatives" while just about everything Conservatives are doing in terms of policy is Use the Government to Repress their Freedom, including their ability to marry the consenting person of their choice or volunteer for military service without living in fear of being fired for telling the truth.

It's not a coincidence that the Conservative Family Research Council was recently ranked as a Hate Group.

This is enhanced, as we see Senators McCain and Graham retaliating over the passage of DADT by reversing their support on START. So it seems some Conservatives Hate Gays and Progressives more than they fear al Qeada getting lose Nukes.

They apparently care more about "their side" than the American people, or for that matter, the World.

You want to know what we really don't like about you? It's the fact that you are trying to Twist and Pervert the facts and reality to fit your own self-aggrandized, ever-the-victim view of the world.

You. Are. Not. A. VICTIM. and not everyone is out to GET YOU or Todd.

And no, It's not the fact that you're not our perfect ideal of a Feminist, it's that you can't even admit a simple honest mistake, when doing so would cost you nothing. You don't have the courage to "Refudiate" even the most ridiculous and extremely divisive political positions. When challenged, rather than fix what's wrong and improve yourself and your argument - you DIG IN and double down on the mistake.

And then there are many thousands look up to you and take their cues from you, emulating your slanted view of History, limited understanding of the Constitution, and your "they're all out to get ME" paranoia and narcissism. Permanently Dis-informed and resistant to correction or improvement. Trapped in their own Perpetual Regressivism.

We may or may not ever be friends with you and your Red States of Semi-Real America, but please while you taking our hard earned cash, and benefiting from our innovations, education and perseverance to Progress - try not to piss on our shoes and tell us it's rain.

"Thank You" for actually Implementing the Ideals you claim to believe in would be nice also, but I'm not holding my breath.

Vyan