CODEPINK Protests Guantánamo at the Supreme Court (video)

“Illegally invade countries, but don’t put your foot on the steps!”  Way to go, CODEPINK, my heroes! ~ Lo

Dandelion Salad

WHYNotNews

Dec. 5, 2007

US Supreme Court Hears Guantánamo Arguments

While the justices and lawyers entertained arguments about the legal niceties surrounding the Bush Administration’s policies of torturing and detaining so-called military combatants inside the toasty chambers of the Supreme Court, protesters and the weather itself provided the backdrop for the chilling effect those policies have had on the American psyche, American jurisprudence and American prestige worldwide.

see

Guantanamo Detainees’ Fate at Stake by Prof Marjorie Cohn

Olbermann: Nuclear Fallout + Faith Based Intelligence + Homeland Insecurity + Worst Person (videos)

Dandelion Salad

heathr234

Dec. 5, 2007

Nuclear Fallout

Keith weighs in on the recent news of the NIE and how it affected the NPR Democratic debate and the problems it also presents for the Republican candidates who have been so hawkish on Iran. Dana Milbank weighs in.

Faith Based Intelligence

Keith gives his report on the continuing spin surrounding the NIE by the Bush administration and the other neocons like John Bolton. Howard Fineman weighs in on the administration’s lack of credibility and the repurcussions of that lack of credibility.

Homeland Insecurity

A new report just came out by CREW on the waste and fraud which has occurred in the Department of Homeland Security. Rachel Maddow weighs in on the theft and handouts for government cronies which has been going on at FEMA and the DHS.

Worst Person

And the winner is….Mitt Romney. Runners up Charles Krauthammer and Bill O’Reilly.

see

Iran Intelligence Report: Another Psychological Warfare? By Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich

Kucinich: New NIE Report Shows Bush Admin Has Once Again Tried To Falsify Grounds For A War With Iran + calls Dem candidates’ judgment into question (updated)

Screw You Sudan! Also, No Nukes in Iran — Attack!! by William Mac (video)

Fact-Checking Dobbs: CNN Anchor Lou Dobbs Challenged on Immigration Issues (link)

College Student to Kucinich: Will I Waste My Vote? + Business as an Agent of World Benefit (videos; Elizabeth)

Dandelion Salad

Jamethiel1

A college student asks Kucinich if a vote for him is a wasted vote. Hear his response!

Kucinich–Business as an Agent of World Benefit

Jamethiel1

Dennis and Elizabeth speak of their vision for the future of American business at a town hall meeting in Keene, NH, 11/25/07.

see

Kucinich Wins & Loses NPR’s Post-Debate Analysis By Manila Ryce + Kucinich, Gravitational Field

Determined, Steady Kucinich Quadruples Support By Joe Shea & Ted Manna + Kucinich First, Edwards Second in PDA Straw Poll

Kucinich: Can’t be bullied + A Child Asks Kucinich About Environmental Education (videos)

http://december152007.com/

Kucinich Wins & Loses NPR’s Post-Debate Analysis By Manila Ryce + Kucinich, Gravitational Field

Dandelion Salad

By Manila Ryce
The Largest Minority
Published Wednesday, December 5th, 2007, 2:49 pm

Kucinich Wins and Loses NPR’s Post-Debate Analysis

I don’t expect any more enlightenment from NPR than I do from the cable news networks, so it wasn’t too surprising that Dennis Kucinich and Mike Gravel had less time to speak during NPR’s Democratic presidential debate than the main three media darlings of the Democratic Party. While NPR may be more reliable than other corporate news sources, I agree with FAIR’s assessment that, “NPR’s guestlist shows the radio service relies on the same elite and influential sources that dominate mainstream commercial news, and falls short of reflecting the diversity of the American public.” In short, NPR is just a more palatable version of the corporate media.FAIR’s criticism is justified by the following example. Richard Wolffe, a commentator for MSNBC and Senior White House Correspondent for Newsweek, was called on by NPR to give his post-debate verdict. You can listen to his analysis here. While I applaud Wolffe for recognizing that Kucinich had won the debate (who else in the media has ever acknowledged that?) he did so reluctantly and condescendingly. He couldn’t bring himself to say that Dennis won the debate without prefacing it with “I hate to say this BUT…” or “A Kucinich administration doesn’t make any sense to me BUT…“. Rather than offer an objective point of view, the NPR host merely laughs at Wolffe’s backhanded compliments. I’d like to know what is so horrible about Kucinich that makes recognizing him as anything other than a fringe candidate or a kook that sees UFOs an unforgivable sin? Stop apologizing and try to show some journalistic integrity you fucking hacks.

***

Dennis Kucinich, Gravitational Field

by Laura Conaway
NPR

Interesting tidbit on darkhorse candidate Dennis Kucinich from Newsweek’s Richard Wolffe, after NPR’s Democratic presidential debate on Tuesday:

“Think what you like about Kucinich and UFOs, but this Democratic field has essentially moved to the Kucinich position on trade, on Iraq, on a whole range of things where people thought he was a real outlier. They’re all pretty much in agreement now, when it comes to some of these big issues like trade, like diplomacy and war. And they are where Dennis Kucinich is.”

(Ed. Note: go to this blog to put your 2 cents in. ~ Lo)

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

see
NPR Iowa Public Radio Democratic Debate (audio link) + Iran Sparks Fireworks

Democrat base gives Kucinich third major win in nationwide poll + The Nation Poll

Determined, Steady Kucinich Quadruples Support By Joe Shea & Ted Manna + Kucinich 1st, Edwards 2nd in PDA Straw Poll

http://december152007.com/

Determined, Steady Kucinich Quadruples Support By Joe Shea & Ted Manna + Kucinich 1st, Edwards 2nd in PDA Straw Poll

Dandelion Salad

By Joe Shea and Ted Manna
After Downing Street
American Reporter

BRADENTON, Fla., Dec. 5, 2007 — It’s been a long time coming. Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH, 10th), the former mayor of Cleveland who is serving his fifth term in the House of Representatives has quadrupled his standing in the polls, according to the current USA Today/Gallup Poll.

The poll of Democrats and those leaning toward the Democrats in the 2008 presidential election shows Kucinich tied with Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE), the well-known chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and New Mexico’s Gov. Bill Richardson; he is far ahead of second-generation Conn. Democrat Sen. Chris Dodd.

Rep. Dennis Kucinich has started emerging from the margins and polls show his popularity up sharply as voters respond to a populist message aimed at working Americans.

Among progressives, according to a presidential straw poll released today of 15,000 members of the grassroots Progressive Democrats of America (PDA), Kucinich is far stronger than the rest of the Democratic field. Kucinich placed first in the poll with 41 percent of the vote; his nearest competitor was former Sen. John Edwards, with 26 percent. Among other candidates, only Barak Obama, with 13 percent, scored double digits in the poll.

These improvements come as Kucinich’s message of competence, integrity and foresight is reaching a wider audience through the multiple debates sponsored by the parties, CNN, YouTube and the major television networks. He has also had to fight off ridicule after NBC debate host Tim Russert asked him if he had seen a UFO.

Kucinich, like President Jimmy Carter and orbiting NASA astronauts, admitted that he had – during a visit to the home of Shirley Maclaine – and precipitated a wave of late-night jokes aimed at his supposed gullibility.

But Russert didn’t ask Kucinich why he had stood alone in the House in opposition to the initial resolution empowering the President to start the Iraq War, or his singular opposition to the PATRIOT Act – matters that have far more import – but despite the distraction, Kucinich has finally gained parity with the top “second-tier” candidates and is determined to move up again.

Kucinich’s Colorado state chair, Paige Tomson, 31, credited Kucinich’s recent surge to his stance on Iraq and Iran and the recent interest in beginning impeachment proceedings against current Vice President Dick Cheney.

“His platform is the same as the Democratic Party’s platform,” Tomson told the American Reporter Tuesday. “He is the one candidate in sync with the platform of the party,” she said.

He’s earned it the hard way: by letting time prove him right. As recently as Monday, Kucinich was still a lonely voice in the House of Representatives as he urged moderation and diplomacy in dealing with Iran, while many lawmakers of both parties voiced support for a strike against purported nuclear weapons factories in Iran.

Kucinich was vindicated by a National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) done by America’s top 16 intelligence agencies, which was released on Monday and revealed with “a high degree of confidence” that Iran halted work on nuclear weapons projects in 2003.

In the wake of the NIE Tuesday, he said in a press release the report “is proof positive that this pro-war Administration has been manipulating intelligence,” and added, speaking of other presidential candidates, that the report “reflects their inability to recognize when they’re being duped – again.

“Whatever those candidates say today, remember what they said before: ‘Iran must be stopped at all cost.’ The fact that Iran stopped pursuing nuclear weaponry four years ago is more than an inconvenient revelation for those candidates. It’s an indictment of their judgment and their qualifications to lead this nation,” Kucinich said.

The American Reporter talked with Rep. Kucinich at the CNN Las Vegas Democratic presidential debate about his stand on China trade and his standing in the polls.

Kucinich was only 23 when he was elected to the Cleveland City Council, a young firebrand with a sharp message of dissent that galvanized his working-class district. Elected Mayor in 1977 at age 31, he soon found himself at odds with the Establishment over an effort by banks with strong financial and directorship interests in the private Cleveland Electric (CEI) power utility to take over city-owned Muny Light, the city’s far-cheaper electricity producer.

Rep. Dennis Kucinich, talking with AR’s Joe Shea, says working-class Americans are beginning to understand what his progressive agenda means for them. His support has quadrupled in recent weeks.

Long before the age of Enron, Kucinich saw the plan for what it was. The six banks that demanded that the city give up the public’s utility owned 1.8 million shares of the private CEI, and the banks had eight of their own directors on CEI’s 11-person board. The result was a vicious, all-out 1978 mayoral campaign against Kucinich, generously funded by the banks’ and the utility’s shareholders.

Facing the first loss of his career, Kucinich remained steadfast to his principles, a stand that cost him the race. But Cleveland Magazine in the mid-’90s summed up the underlying victory of his stand: the savings of more than $195 million that Cleveland utility subscribers would have paid the CEI utility, and several hundred union jobs.

Undaunted, Kucinich returned to service on the City Council, and was soon elected to the Ohio State Senate. He was elected to Congress from Cleveland’s 10th District in 1997.

Few Members of Congress can talk convincingly about poverty, but when Kucinich tells of nights his homeless family of seven was forced to sleep outside in a car, and what it was like to live in 21 different places before he turned 17, he can utterly still a restless audience. Few can leave a speech by the Cleveland Democrat without understanding his deeply he feels an obligation to America’s poor, jobless, homeless and abused, or deny his determination to expand and protect America’s middle class.

Today, he serves as chair of the House’s Domestic Policy Subcommittee and brings the same urgency that compelled him to face off against the Cleveland banks to his goals of ending the war in Iraq, preventing an attack on Iran, bolstering health care for America’s children and uninsured, and preserving immigrants’ rights.

On Friday, Dec. 7, Rep. Kucinich will speak at 7:45 p.m. at the Lane Auditorium in the Albemarle County Office Bldg. at 401 McIntire Road (at Preston Road) in downtown Charlottesville, Va. At least one activist, David Swanson, believes the candidate is going to make major news at the event.

But then again, he often has, with a progressive agenda that is finally making progress in the mainstream.

Joe Shea interviewed Rep. Dennis Kucinich on Nov. 15 at the CNN Las Vegas Democratic presidential debate. Ted Manna shot the video and contributed to this report from Denver.

***

Kucinich First, Edwards Second in PDA Straw Poll

By Tim Carpenter
National Director
After Downing Street
www.pdamerica.org

Not surprisingly in a field of eight contenders, no candidate came close to gaining a majority of the total vote in PDA’s recently completed presidential straw poll. But two candidates–Dennis Kucinich (41%) and John Edwards (26%)–combined for more than 2/3 of the total vote. Over 15,000 PDA activists voted in the presidential straw poll. Full results here.

Read the story here.

PDA, for whom election protection is a key issue, made that a priority of this survey, adding extra layers of security to our online voting process in order to strengthen the integrity of the poll. We thank the members of the PDA community who participated in the poll–extra kudos to those who persevered after experiencing problems.

Now, please contact the campaign of your choice and volunteer your time and skills. And, remember to take the Progressive Agenda with you!

In peace and solidarity,
Tim

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

see

Democrat base gives Kucinich third major win in nationwide poll + The Nation Poll

Kucinich calls for Congressional investigation of NIE handling

Iran Intelligence Report: Another Psychological Warfare? By Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich

Dennis Kucinich for President – Contribute

http://december152007.com/

Chavez and the referendum + Chavez and why the referendum failed (videos)

Dandelion Salad

TheRealNews

More at http://therealnews.com
Gregory Wilpert on the Venezuelan referendum

Chavez and why the referendum failed

see

The Red Devil By Pepe Escobar

Venezuelan Referendum: A Post-Mortem and its Aftermath by Prof. James Petras

Iran Intelligence Report: Another Psychological Warfare? By Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich

Dandelion Salad

By Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich
12/05/07 “ICH

‘To subdue an enemy without fighting is the acme of skill…’ – Sun Tzu

Under the current administration, it is increasingly difficult to know who the enemy is, but what is certain is that the latest National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) is a brilliantly executed psychological warfare by way of misinformation. This dastardly plan is so devious that even the anti-war groups are jubilant at its release, and they are naively sharing its contents. Perhaps non are as enthusiastic about the report as the most powerful lobby group in America hostile to Iran. Continue reading

The Red Devil By Pepe Escobar

Dandelion Salad

By Pepe Escobar
12/05/07 “ICH

The sweeping constitutional reforms proposed by President Hugo Chavez that would “open the path to 21st century socialism” were rejected on Sunday’s dramatic referendum in Venezuela. But the devil, of course, is in the details, largely overlooked by global corporate media. The “Yes” lost to the “No”, as Chavez himself identified, essentially because of a low turnout. According to Venezuela’s National Electoral Council the No got 50.7% and the Yes 49.3%, with a 44% abstention.

Crucially, what this means is that roughly one-third of Venezuela wants to forge towards democratic socialism no matter what; one-third prefers to remain under the standard liberal capitalist system; and one-third has not made up their minds yet, or was just too busy surviving to bother to vote. This de facto three-way tie, in itself, is also a major political earthquake. In virtually every country in South America, except fierce US ally Colombia, a similar referendum might yield similar results. The world is definitely not flat.

The (red) devil will bounce back. Chavez, perhaps more than anyone, knows how the radical but peaceful battle for more social justice – not only in South America, but globally – will be a long and winding road. After suffering his first defeat in no less than seven elections spanning almost nine years he could not but concede, sensibly, that his sweeping reforms were stalled, “for now.” At the Miraflores palace in Caracas, he said he would never be satisfied with such a Phyrric victory, with the slimmest of margins. Add to it his graceful acceptance of the popular verdict. No rigging. No attempts at disenfranchising voters. No “hanging chads”. No soap opera in a Supreme Court to overturn a result. No military coup.

Me rich, you poor, and that’s it

Global corporate media’s monomaniac, hysterical blitzkrieg was that a victory of the Yes would have allowed Chavez, a “power-hungry autocrat”, to be re-elected for life. If the Yes had won, that’s the proof there’s no democracy in Venezuela. But the NO has won – to global corporate media’s thunderous embarassment. This means only when Chavez loses there’s democracy in Venezuela.

The presidential re-election for more than two terms was just one among 69 constitutional reform proposals to socialize political and economic relations in Venezuela. The reforms would have given more power to communal councils; reduced daily working hours from 8 to 6 hours (thus creating 200,000 extra jobs for “informal” workers); enshrined an array of social programs in the constitution; and allowed pensions to housewives and informal workers. Any progressive individual in any global latitude and under any political regime is able to recognize that these Venezuelan reforms were a huge step ahead in terms of social inclusion, participatory democracy, alternative (non-neoliberal) economic development, and a more effective central government. Reform, not revolution; the Chavez government itself stressed this was a “transition” towards “21st century socialism”, not the end of the road.

The overall purpose of the revised constitution was wealth redistribution: more state money to develop poor or neglected parts of the country – while fighting back against local corruption. This is something huge masses in South America, Africa, Asia or the Middle East can easily relate to. The dozens of thousands of “people’s councils” would be empowered. They are actually the basis of Venezuela’s democratic socialism – instrumental in empowering the huge masses of up-to-now excluded blacks and Indians, referred to by local elites as “monkeys”.

No wonder the elites had to be afraid, very afraid. Venezuela’s political class, be they self-styled “social democrats” or demo-christians, has traditionally been among the most savage, vile, crass and corrupt in the whole of Latin America. This simple fact alone explains why almost 70 % of the population of a country so rich in natural resources was poor when Chavez was first elected in 1999. The difference is that now the poor – in Venezuela and elsewhere in South America – have understood true democracy has nothing to do with what they had experienced in the past.

To the horror of Milton Friedman acolytes, Washington Consensus cheerleaders, structural adjustment practitioners and assorted “disaster capitalism” neocons, Venezuela is a country where peasant collectives are evolving into cooperatives. Article 112 of the proposed new constitution said the state would promote “different kinds of economic enterprises” – private, mixed, or run by a local community – with the target of “collective and cooperative construction of a socialist economy.” If Chavez was Salvador Allende in 1973 Chile everybody knows how Washington would “liberate” him.

Another article stated that at least five million independent workers – up to now totally unprotected – would have access to a guaranteed minimum wage, social security, pensions and paid holidays. This concerned masses of peasants, fishermen, taxi drivers, hairdressers, housewives and domestic servants.

What the elites were terrified of was not so much the possibility of Chavez being re-elected for years; what they needed to defeat at any price was the constitutional status of the ongoing social justice/wealth redistribution project.

President Lula in Brazil, as well as his Workers Party – one of the largest political parties in the world – were very much in favor of the Yes, in spite of marked differences with Chavez’s strategy and non-stop “attack mode” political style. Lula is always branded by Wall Street and US power elites as the “acceptable” face of a progressive South American leader, in contrast to (red) devil Chavez.

When King Juan Carlos of Spain – who forgot that he reclaimed the monarchy thanks to fascist dictator Francisco Franco – told Chavez to “shut up” at the recent Ibero-American summit in Chile, Lula tried to smooth things over by praising the “democratic” character of the Bolivarian Republic. For Lula, it’s perfectly acceptable for a President (or a Prime Minister) to remain in power for more than a decade. He has referred to European parliamentary democracies and long mandates by Margaret Thatcher, Tony Blair and Felipe Gonzalez.

Lula’s opinion anyway was drowned by the vast corporate, center-right anti-Chavez front in Brazil, which counts on Washington’s enthusiastic support and tries by all means to frustrate the official Venezuelan entry to the regional Mercosur common market.

Green and Red Zones

This time Chavez had to fight not only powerful business tycoons, financial capital, the landowning class, the Catholic Church, corrupt union leaders and myriad manifestations of US muscle – mirrored in the formidable demonization-of-Chavez global corporate media blitzkrieg; in sum, as Gramsci might put it, a coalition of all the forces pertaining to the Old Order.

He also had to fight the inevitable erosion of an ongoing, slow revolutionary process; the skepticism and most of all apathy of “light Chavistas”, who were not sufficiently informed on what Bolivarian socialism would look like; corruption charges against sectors of the state apparatus; some high-profile defections like his former Defense Minister Raul Baduel and his ex-wife Marisabel Rodriguez; and most of all a young, upper middle class, formerly apathetic student movement.

There was nothing about “the conscience of a country” in these vocal student protests. A few students hailed from public universities but most come from elite private universities such as Andres Bello, the top Catholic university in Caracas. Mirroring the color-coded revolutions in the former Soviet sphere, student groups were lavished with funds from the US Agency for International Development (USAID) under the cloak of “conflict resolution” or “democracy promotion”. But as much as the Bush administration may be eager to instrumentalize them, the fact is the absolute majority of university students in Venezuela still support Chavez.

The polarization of the whole country is more than glaring in Caracas, with upper-class Altamira, who voted overwhelmingly No, contraposed to the hilly, crowded January 23 neighborhod, who voted overwhelmingly Yes. It’s the perfect metaphor of a world divided into Green Zones and Red Zones. In the Green Zone people are avidly consumerist and their idea of paradise is Miami. In the Red Zone people benefit from the work of a mision – a social program to bring secondary education to poor areas.

In the Red Zone – with most of its walls painted red, splashed with pictures of Bolivar, Chavez and Che Guevara, and teemig with self-described “social militants” – a victory of the No is interpreted as a defeat for all of Latin America. In the Green Zone it’s interpreted as the last gasp to stop the revolution – equaled to dictatorship – in its tracks. Had the No lost most of Altamira would have boarded the first flight to Miami.

So many enemies, so little time

Argentine political scientist Atilio A. Boron has characterized the referendum as a “baptism of fire” to see how crucial transformations in Latin America – the most unequal region in the world in terms of social justice – may be implemented: peacefully or violently. We’re not there – yet.

If Chavez – at least for a while – lost basically to voter apathy, a ruthless Plan B was already in the works, echoing the dark days of the US-backed or engineered 1970s dictatorships. Less than a week before the referendum the CIA-orchestrated Operation Pincer was unmasked by Venezuelan intelligence, with its emphasis on instantly disallowing a majority Yes vote by claiming fraud and then pushing towards a coup. As Boron stresses, “imperialism does not admit changes, either by the insurrectional or the institutional way”.

Before the referendum Chavez had insisted that “To vote ‘yes’, is a vote for Chavez and the revolution, to vote ‘No’ is a vote for Bush”. This might have been essentially true to many (not only in Venezuela but all over Latin America) but tactically it was a huge mistake. Chavez may have insisted “Our true enemy is US imperialism” but in fact he made no effort to convince at least part of what he terms “the pawns of imperialism” – corrupt Venezuelan elites.

The elites for their part made the best use of a lot of propaganda money from the US embassy in Caracas (US$ 8 million, according to an intercepted embassy memo), unlimited free time on right-wing media, the power of the Church, and the I-love-Miami student crowd while Chavez and the government machine were not able to convince a lot of people that the reforms would not benefit Chavez more than they would benefit the people. Thus a new political phenomenon was born – the Chavista who votes No (estimated at a huge 8 percentual points in the week before the vote, according to the Datanalisis polling firm).

As late as October the Yes was winning. But then the opposition started banging on the Holy Grail – the article restricting private property. On top of it Chavez had no political opponent to battle with (“Imperialist” Bush, after all, is a foreigner). So he fought Colombian President Alvaro Uribe instead – a US-backed visceral right-winger, very close to extreme right-wing paramilitaries, who unilaterally terminated Chavez’s mediation to liberate hostages in power of the Marxist FARC guerrillas in Colombia (the Bush administration would never allow Uribe to allow Chavez such a worldwide PR success). The problem is there are one million Colombians living in Venezuela. They may well have been the masses that tilted the vote towards the No.

I’ll be back

Then again, this is just a skirmish in a very long battle. Chavez, even in defeat, emerges as the leader of a true democratic republic (even people in France are comparing him favorably with Bonapartist Nicolas Sarkozy). Chavez will take the package to Parliament approval and may call another referendum after 2010 (the new presidential election is in 2012). Washington also won’t quit. The CIA didn’t have to deploy Operation Pincer – at least for now.

As usual the CIA was relying on bad HUMINT: the agency was counting on a Yes victory by 57%, with 60% abstention. Anyway the US destabilization effort this time was way more subtle than in 2002 when, after the US and Spain-supported coup against the elected Chavez government, the local elites forced an oil industry shutdown in which US$ 10 billion of the Venezuelan economy went up in smoke.

Chavez remains so popular all across the developing world because he’s the man who spells out what everyone is thinking. Take, for instance, the recent OPEC summit in Riyadh, where he was side by side with another “devil”, Islamic revolutionary and Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad: “The empire of the dollar is crashing”. The next day, in Paris, after he discussed with Sarkozy his mediation in the Colombian hostages drama, he says that “Iran is a power and Venezuela is becoming one. We want to create a bipolar world. We don’t want a single power.”

Most of all Chavez is so dangerous for Washington and right-wing comprador elites in Latin America because he is pushing, no holds barred, towards democratic socialism. For Washington and Wall Street elites this is way worse than the spectre of totalitarian communism branded throughout the Cold War. Everyone in Latin America remembers how Allende in the early 1970s was demonized as a Stalinist dictator by a CIA-funded propaganda campaign. But it was Henry Kissinger who got the whole point, when he told then President Nixon how Allende had to be taken out because he was such a bad example for the rest of the developing world. Chavez is the 21st century Allende. He has already survived a US-backed coup, in 2002. And he knows others – the sons of Operation Pincer – are in the works. Still, even if the Yes had won, he would not have as much institutional power as George Bush.

Meanwhile, expect the (red) devil to be routinely pillored by global corporate media. Of course there is crime, corruption and government waste in Venezuela – like anywhere else. But the most important point, from a global perspective, is to examine how the Chavez experiment evolves, as a trial-and-error revolutionary process, and if and how social justice is spreading.

According to the UN, in 2006 alone poverty in Venezuela fell from 37.1% to 30.2%. Extreme poverty fell from 15.9% to 9.9%. Venezuela is on the way to reach its first Millennium Development Goal. The No vote has not reversed what eminent US Latin American expert James Petras describes as “the most promising living experience of popular self-rule, of advanced social welfare and democratically based socialism.” The resistance – or micro-resistances, on individual and small collective levels – continues. That’s how the liliputians will eventually topple the neoliberal Gulliver. You cant’ beat a (red) devil that easily.

Pepe Escobar is the roving correspondent for Asia Times (www.atimes.com). He’s the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007). He may be reached at pepeasia@yahoo.com

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

see

Venezuelan Referendum: A Post-Mortem and its Aftermath by Prof. James Petras

The Harris Pole 2007: Based on My Annual Interview with Santa Claus by The Other Katherine Harris

by The Other Katherine Harris
Featured writer
Dandelion Salad
Dec. 5, 2007

For the complete Harris Pole experience, please see the illustrated version HERE.

Happy Holiday Wishes to You and Yours! Continue reading

Democrat base gives Kucinich third major win in nationwide poll + The Nation Poll

Dandelion Salad

by Dennis Kucinich’s campaign

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Democratic Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich has won another major poll among grassroots Party activists most likely to vote in caucuses and primaries, capturing 41% of the vote from Progressive Democrats of America (PDA), which has more than 80,000 members across the nation.

In the field of eight candidates, the Ohio Congressman was the overwhelming winner, easily out-pacing second-place finisher former Senator John Edwards, who received 26% of the vote. Senator Barack Obama came in third with 13%, followed by Senator Hillary Clinton with 9%, and New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson with 5%. The other Democratic candidates were in the low single digits. Kucinich was also the top vote-getter among PDA members in the early-voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire.

It is the third exceptionally strong finish by Kucinich in polls among active, grassroots Democrats. Last month, he topped all other candidates in 47 of 50 states in a poll sponsored by Democracy for America (DFA). Also, a poll conducted by the progressive The Nation magazine showed Kucinich with 35% of the vote, Obama second with 24% and Edwards third with 13%.

In last month’s DFA poll, Kucinich received almost 32% of the 150,000-plus votes cast, more than Edwards and Obama combined. There, too, he won both Iowa and New Hampshire.

In announcing today’s results, PDA said, “The Congressman’s showing indicates that Progressive Democrats are still in sync with the Kucinich agenda: Out of Iraq; no attack on Iran, single-payer healthcare, fair trade, etc.” The poll was open only to PDA members, and the organization said it added “extra layers of security” to protect the integrity of the survey.

In an analysis of the recent polls in The Nation today, Washington correspondent John Nichols wrote that Kucinich’s “pointed opposition to the war in Iraq and outspoken advocacy of impeachment of Vice President Cheney has echoed the sentiments of the Democratic base” and “party activists who do the heavy lifting.”

Nichols also noted, “The DFA and PDA poll results give Kucinich an additional measure of credibility as he reaches out to key activists, including Democrats who are currently leaning toward other contenders…”

Kucinich’s national and state-by-state poll numbers have risen noticeably in the past several weeks. Not only is he the only Democratic candidate who voted against the Iraq war authorization in 2002 and every supplemental funding measure since, he also is the only Democratic candidate who voted against the Patriot Act. And, his early opposition to hostile moves by the Administration towards Iran was validated earlier this week when the National Intelligence Estimate revealed that Iran had abandoned its nuclear weapons program four years ago.

Kucinich, sponsor of a resolution calling for impeachment proceedings against Cheney, has called for a Congressional investigation of the handling of the NIE findings by the Administration. He said that such an investigation “will further build the case for the impeachment of both the President and the Vice President.”

***

Kucinich Tops Progressive Democrats Poll…

The Nation
Dec. 5, 2007

Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich, whose pointed opposition to the war in Iraq and outspoken advocacy of impeachment of Vice President Cheney has echoed the sentiments of the Democratic base, continues to prevail in surveys of members and supporters of activist groups on the party’s left flank.

Kucinich, who last month won the most votes in a survey conducted by Democracy for America, has now come out on top of an online poll of members of Progressive Democrats for America. Kucinich’s strong showing in the PDA survey will not, in and of itself, bring the congressman any closer to the top tier of contenders in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination. But it provides him with new arguments for why his campaign matters, especially to the party activists who do the heavy lifting at the grassroots.

Out of more than 15,000 votes cast in the PDA vote, Kucinich won 6,510 votes, for 41 percent.

continued…

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

see

Kucinich calls for Congressional investigation of NIE handling

Gore Vidal on Dennis Kucinich + New Poll

Kucinich: I am a candidate of the mainstream By Jayson Whitehead (interview)

http://december152007.com/

Kucinich calls for Congressional investigation of NIE handling

Dandelion Salad

by Dennis Kucinich

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

DES MOINES, IA – Democratic Presidential candidate and Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich issued the following statement today to elaborate on comments he made yesterday regarding the U.S. intelligence reports revealing that Iran ended its nuclear weapons program in 2003.

“When taken in concert with the statements and actions of the Administration over the past year regarding Iran, the National Intelligence Estimate reveals a pattern of willful deceit directed at the U.S. Congress, the American people, and the rest of the world on the critical matters of war and peace. As I have been saying since the beginning – and the NIE has finally confirmed – there is no evidence of an Iranian nuclear weapons program.

“More than three months ago, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said Iran was cooperating with inspection procedures and demanded that the Bush Administration disclose any alleged evidence regarding such a program. None was provided. More than a month ago, Russian President Putin revealed findings by his own nation’s intelligence services and announced that there was no credible evidence of an Iranian nuclear weapons program.

“Yet, in the face of both sets of findings, this Administration continued its drumbeat for war. Just this past week, Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns, with the NIE in his hands, was trying to arm-twist our NATO allies and the Republic of China into pressuring the U.N. Security Council to impose additional sanctions on Iran because of its alleged weapons program.

“I call on the Congress to launch an immediate investigation into what our intelligence agencies knew and when they knew it. I believe such an investigation will further build the case for the impeachment of both the President and the Vice President. The fact that the President recently raised the specter of a possible World War III in public comments regarding Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons program — when he knew full well that Iran had no such program – should seriously be considered as a high crime. And, the fact that he and his Vice President have pursued plans for our military to drop 30,000-pound bunker buster bombs on Iranian nuclear research facilities constitutes a war crime.”

Kucinich introduced Articles of Impeachment against Cheney on April 24. Article III of the resolution details the Iran-related basis of the charges against the Vice President. (Click here.)

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

see

Kucinich: New NIE Report Shows Bush Administration Has Once Again Tried To Falsify Grounds For A War With Iran

Kucinich: I am a candidate of the mainstream By Jayson Whitehead (interview)Wild Pitch: Curveball and Selling the Iraq War (long video)

http://december152007.com/

Kucinich: Can’t be bullied + A Child Asks Kucinich About Environmental Education (videos)

Dandelion Salad

Dennis Kucinich: Can’t be bullied

iowacaucuses

Ohio Congressman and Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich met with The Des Moines Register’s editorial board Thursday, April 12. Kucinich tells the board he doesn’t bow to special interests and cannot be bullied.

Added: November 30, 2007

h/t: Dennis Kucinich (the ORIGINAL UNOFFICIAL Page)

A Child Asks Kucinich About Environmental Education

Jamethiel1

Clip of a child asking Dennis Kucinich what he will do about environmental education in public schools. Keene, NH, 11/25/07.

Added: December 02, 2007

h/t: Dennis Kucinich (the ORIGINAL UNOFFICIAL Page)

see

Dennis Kucinich: 2008 Intro at Mock Primary + Speaks after Brown & Black forum (videos)

NPR Iowa Public Radio Democratic Debate (audio link) + Iran Sparks Fireworks

Kucinich: New NIE Report Shows Bush Administration Has Once Again Tried To Falsify Grounds For A War With Iran

Kucinich: I am a candidate of the mainstream By Jayson Whitehead (interview)

Kucinich on Kucinich health plan Brown & Black Forum (video)

http://december152007.com/

Dennis Kucinich: 2008 Intro at Mock Primary + Speaks after Brown & Black forum (videos)

Dandelion Salad

Dennis Kucinich 2008 Intro

mfsprimary

Introduction video for the Dennis Kucinich campaign in the MFS Mock Primary Election.
Read more at www.mfsprimary.org

Added: December 04, 2007

h/t: Dennis Kucinich (the ORIGINAL UNOFFICIAL Page)

Kucinich – Speaks after Brown and Black forum

videoselectiontv

Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich speaks after the Dec. 1 Brown and Black forum in Des Moines.

Added: December 04, 2007

h/t: Dennis Kucinich (the ORIGINAL UNOFFICIAL Page)

see

NPR Iowa Public Radio Democratic Debate (audio link) + Iran Sparks Fireworks

Kucinich: New NIE Report Shows Bush Administration Has Once Again Tried To Falsify Grounds For A War With Iran

Kucinich: I am a candidate of the mainstream By Jayson Whitehead (interview)

Kucinich on Kucinich health plan Brown & Black Forum (video)

http://december152007.com/

Putin and a new pan-Slavism (video; Margolis)

Dandelion Salad

TheRealNews

More at http://therealnews.com
Eric Margolis comments on Putin and Russia’s Duma elections

Wednesday December 5th, 2007

As contributing editor for The American Conservative and Sun Media, and Founding Committee member of The Real News Network Eric Margolis says: “The reason I was drawn to [The Real News] was the fact it seemed to me to be the voice that I and many others had been looking for.”

see

Putin’s Landslide By Eric Margolis

Putin is Stalin? Garry Kasparov and the Far-right Cuckoo’s Nest By Mike Whitney

United Russia party celebrates victory in parliamentary vote (videos)

Vladamir Putin: “The world’s most popular leader”? By Mike Whitney

Monitors denounce Russia election + Putin cements power in Russian election

12.04.07 Uncensored News Reports From Across The Middle East (video; over 18 only)

Dandelion Salad

Warning
.
This video may contain images depicting the reality and horror of war and should only be viewed by a mature audience.

Selected Episode

Dec. 04, 2007

linktv

For more: linktv.org/originalseries
“US Intelligence Estimate Report Causes Worldwide Uproar,” Al Arabiya TV, UAE
“Iran Still Tries to Develop Nukes,” IBA TV, Israel
“Report is an Embarrassment to Bush,” IRIB2 TV, Iran
“Ahmedinajad Attends GCC Summit in Doha,” Abu Dhabi TV, UAE
“Lebanese Getting Closer to Electing a President,” Al Jazeera English, Qatar
“Sudan Frees British Teacher,” Al-Alam TV, Iran
“Sarkozy Criticizes French Colonial History,” Dubai TV, UAE
“Opposition Demands End of Emergency Rule in Pakistan,” Dubai TV, UAE
“11 Year Old Mother in Egypt,” New TV, Lebanon
Produced for Link TV by Jamal Dajani

see

Screw You Sudan! Also, No Nukes in Iran — Attack!! by William Mac (video)