Tuesday, July 15, 2008

on dickwads:

I'm a bit late on this one, but Ren and Belle are spreading word about Kyle Payne, who is a blogger - a man who both blogs and does IRL conference stuff against pornography - who has pleaded guilty to breaking into a woman's bedroom, assaulting her and taking nude photographs of her in her sleep. He is still merrily blogging away, and presumably will continue to do so until he gets put away. What. As Belle reports, he is facing an open sentencing at Buena Vista County Courthouse, Storm Lake, Iowa on August 11th. If you live nearby, you might want to show up and have your word on that.

Someone else is being a dickwad lately: Obama and a supporter of his, comedian Bernie Mac. Lisa K is just plain mad about this. Gina brings the context:
Most Black women know that the standard fare for African American comedians is anti-Black woman attacks. It is always acceptable to make us the butt of their jokes. They usually get a pass however by the Black community, because the people they are insulting are Black women and nobody really cares about us anyway. No Black woman is immune from the anti-Black woman musing of these Black comedians, not even a potential Black First Lady, afterall, she’s a Black woman, and nobody really cares about us anyway. The only people that get into hot water for disparaging Black women are White people.

[...]Let’s be clear, Bernie Mac didn’t get shouted down because of his sexism, he got shouted down because he embarrassed Barack Obama. Sexism and misogyny by Black entertainers is permitted and even rewarded. It was refreshing to see someone confront it, whatever the reason. They were right, implying that Black women are inherently unsuitable to serve as First Lady of the United States of America is not funny to me.

I am avoiding most threads about this one; my fee-fees, they are slighted. (Yeah, pass me a hanky). But ultimately I'm reminded of Obama's early ties to gay-bashing preachers - something that put me off a lot at the time but later became a 'teachable moment', and also a tool with which to extract promises and declarations of tolerance. (Promises. Declarations. Yeah.)

My fee-fees. But get down to blood and bone and there's something that matters far more; Iraq, and the continuing and consistent commitment to getting out. A commitment to not continuing, or repeating, such massive bloodshed and extortion. I'm going to c/p from a MoveOn mailing here, even though I hate their tone, because it has all the important bits in it:

Iraqis want U.S. Troops out. No one was expecting Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to speak up in favor of withdrawal—after all, he's close with the Bush administration. But with elections in Iraq coming up, and a great majority of Iraqis opposed to a prolonged U.S. occupation, Maliki can't afford to toe the Bush line. So he's surprised everyone by standing up this week for a timetable for troop withdrawals and a date certain to end the war. The LA Times headline reads, "Iraqi prime minister advocates withdrawal timeline."

As a result, the "endless war agreement" Bush has been pushing fell through. Since January, hundreds of thousands of us pushed Congress to stand up to President Bush's proposed treaty with Iraq, which would have tied the next President's hands and made it much harder to get out. This week, the Washington Post reported that that agreement has fallen through—Iraqi leaders are putting their feet down and demanding a much shorter agreement.

And now even the Pentagon is considering faster timelines. According to reporter Michael Hirsh at Newsweek, "a forthcoming Pentagon-sponsored report" will recommend a big drawdown of troops—suggesting "that U.S. forces be reduced to as few as 50,000 by the spring of 2009, down from about 150,000 now."

In other words, it's now clear: Most Americans are for a timeline, and so are most Iraqis. And even experts in the Pentagon agree.

For his part, Barack Obama is using these developments to hammer home the point that John McCain and President Bush are now isolated in their resistance to any kind of timeline for withdrawal. He wrote an Op-Ed in the New York Times yesterday that reaffirmed his commitment to a timeline that would have all combat troops out of Iraq in 16 months.

It concludes, "Unlike Senator McCain, I would make it absolutely clear that we seek no presence in Iraq similar to our permanent bases in South Korea. . . [F]or far too long, those responsible for the greatest strategic blunder in the recent history of American foreign policy have ignored useful debate in favor of making false charges about flip-flops and surrender. It's not going to work this time. It's time to end this war."

They added a thing Obama said today:

George Bush and John McCain don't have a strategy for success in Iraq—they have a strategy for staying in Iraq. They said we couldn't leave when violence was up, they say we can't leave when violence is down. They refuse to press the Iraqis to make tough choices, and they label any timetable to redeploy our troops "surrender," even though we would be turning Iraq over to a sovereign Iraqi government—not to a terrorist enemy. Theirs is an endless focus on tactics inside Iraq, with no consideration of our strategy to face threats beyond Iraq's borders.

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