Monday, October 20, 2008

News That Matters - October 20, 2008

News That Matters
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Good Monday Morning,

Last week we started a new feature for News That Matters in order to keep the volume of email down. For those of you who would like to post to News That Matters, to comment on a story or to alert us of something new, or just to start a new discussion, please point your web browser to: That will bring you to a blog page (we're using Wordpress). In order to post you'll need to create an account and sign in and once you've done that, you're free to post new messages or comment on already existing ones.

For a while, at least, as new messages are posted to the blog I'll alert y'all on this list that it's been done so they can go over and see what's up. Anyone can read and comment. Here's that link again:

The News That Matters blog is being picked up by major search engines and hundreds of people each week are reading NtM at Blogger and Postrous. I'll be moving those folk over to PlanPutnam over the next few weeks and concentrate all our efforts here, rather than all over the web.

Yes, it's another change in format, but for those of you who are getting NtM via email, nothing will change. For those of you reading this at Google Groups, that will not change either. However, with the blog at PlanPutnam you will now be able to comment, write, pontificate and explore.

One last word: if you're not civil when you post, I'll eliminate your account so fast the 'tilde' on your keyboard will spin. I'm the only one that can call anyone a doody head. And, if you're going to accuse some politician of something evil, you'd better have your facts straight. If you like personal attacks, bring yourself over to the B10509 board.

Sometimes I can't believe the inaction of my own readers! In our Presidential Poll, only 28 of you have voted. Here's the tally so far.

Selection   Votes
Charles O. Baldwin, Constitution Party  0% 0
Bob Barr, Libertarian  0% 0
John McCain, Republican  7% 2
Cynthia McKinney, Green  11% 3
Ralph Nader, Independent  14% 4
Barack Obama, Democrat  68% 19

I'll leave the poll up for a few more days so... get in there!

Honestly, I can't believe that 70% of NtM readers are voting for Barack Obama and only 7% are voting for John McCain. Come on you right-wingers... get active!

On Friday evening, Richie and I went to see Oliver Stone's latest, "W." Josh Brolin does an excellent job portraying GWB and Richard Dreyfuss was diabolically evil as Dick Cheney. The film is a fairly straightforward look at the man and not his Presidency so don't expect any politics - just a look at the man who, through odds that boggle the mind, was elected President. (We'll leave Ohio and Florida out of it for now.)

So, what ever happened to the Ball/Degnan race for the 99th Assembly district? Well, Greg went downstate the other day to attack Governor Spitzer for his attempt to give ID to undocumented workers. Yeah, I know... Spitzer's been gone for a while and the issue is as dead as single-payer health care is in this campaign, but I'm guessing Greg has yet to figure that out. If you have no record to speak of, you go after whatever you've got - even if there's nothing there.

The way I look at it, if just 25% of voting Republicans in the 99th Assembly district would pull the lever for John Degnan, we can put all this behind us. 25%! I feel like Lot bargaining with God over Sodom and Gomorrah:

God: "Jeff! If you find me 5000 Republicans who will vote for Degnan, I'll rid thee of Sheldon Silver!"
Me: "5000? How about 2500?"
God: "4250".
Me: "How about 3500?"
God: "3500? It's still not enough."
Me: "Wait! Wait! Okay... how about this: I'll find 3500 Republicans who will vote for John Degnan and I'll be nicer to people."
God: "Nicer? Hmmmm... you'd be nicer to Democrats?"
Me: "Jeez bud, you're tough!" Okay. I'll be half nice to Democrats, and I'll stop playing Celine Dion records backwards."
God: "Okay, okay, it's a deal."
Me: "Hey, um... one more thing... "
God: "If you must!"
Me: "About the Cubs,"
God: "Enough!
Me: "All right. Thanks, dude."
God: "Sure kid, anytime."

Former Army Sgt Nick Morgan found himself unconscious on the ground last Thursday night, cheekbone broken from a police baton, and trampled by police horses. His friends pointed out the police horse that had trampled him after he was pulled from a crowd outside the Presidential debate at Hofstra University in Uniondale, LI. They begged police to get him the help he needed for his injuries. Instead, the police insisted he request transfer to a hospital himself. Friends brought him out of his unconscious state and tried to explain his situation to him, broken cheek, bloody face, hoof marks on his ribs and all, and it took some time before he was able to mumble the words on his own. In the end 15 people were arrested by Nassau County police, 10 of them veterans, and only FOXNews covered the arrests while the other corporate media outlets watched Iraqi War vets being arrested without acknowledgment during a non-violent, peaceful protest.

Those arrested include, Marine Sgt. Adam Kokesh, Army Sgt Geoff Mallard, Marine Captain Maralissa Grogan, USN Seaman Nathan Peld, Marine Corporal James Gilligan, Army Sgt Kristofer Goldsmith and several others. All but one were released by 1AM on Friday morning and sent home charged with disorderly conduct. Several of those arrested did multiple tours of duty in this war.

Why the police riot and arrests? Six veterans attempted to enter Hofstra University to request that questions be asked of Senators Omaba and McCain about services to veterans and the war in general. They were stopped at the entrance where police immediately began assaulting the 6 and their supporters behind them, pushing them back with batons. Retreating to regroup, the veterans and their supporters found themselves being pushed until there was no where left to go at which point mounted police arrived and charged the crowd.

In order to disperse people, police force their horses into a spin by jamming their spurs into the horses sides. The horse, in an attempt to ease its pain, reels away from the assault thus slamming wildly into anyone nearby.

This was Army Sgt Kristoffer Goldsmith's question for Senator McCain:

"My question is addressed to Senator John McCain. Senator, as a veteran who claims that he has been endorsed by every major veterans’ organization in America, you continually refused to fund the VA. In the years 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, you have refused or voted against VA funding. We currently have 1,000 service members, 1,000 veterans, attempting suicide each month in this country. We have an average of seventeen or eighteen succeeding in killing themselves each month in this country. Senator McCain, what are you doing? Are you prepared to fully fund the VA system? Are you prepared to fully staff the VA system? And what are you going to do about your poor voting record according to Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America and the Disabled American Veterans?"

Here is part of an interview given to a FOXNews reporter:

Woman One:
"There was no violence by anybody. They called for non-violence."

Woman Two:
"All of us said that it was non-violent. They sent out press releases that told all the men in charge that it was going to be a non-violent protest."

"I got pushed with horses, I got pushed down by a man with a nightstick. I got pushed down onto the ground by a SWAT team. We kept on saying "non-violent, non-violent," and they continued to push all of us."

Brandon Sanders:
"They weren't just backing us up slowly, they shoved her to the ground. And that officer did not have a badge, or any kind of identification on his chest, so that we could know who our civil servant is that's supposed to be protecting us. Who shoved her to the ground so carelessly, and putting her life in danger?"

"The same officers who led their horses out of control that might have killed an Iraqi veteran here tonight, stomping his head with their horse."

An IVAW member said to Amy Goodman on her Democracy Now! radio show:

"They were arrested for trying to use their freedom of speech, arrested for trying to ask a question that did not come through—you know, through the filtered process in which we elect our presidents. They’re elected to actually bring a little bit of grassroots democracy to America. And you saw tonight how veterans of this country are treated. And that’s a shame.

At least one, we believe two, were trampled, because another one was knocked down. His name is Geoff Millard. And another woman was trampled, as well. And I have not seen injuries like that since Iraq, seeing him laying on the ground like that. I don’t need to go through that here in the streets. I don’t need to go through that here in America. I don’t need to relive that. And this is what I got tonight trying to peacefully bring a message to these candidates which we’re trying to elect. And both of them claim that they support veterans. And this is how we got supported tonight, by being pushed back, trampled and arrested."

More information about this event can be found here, here and here.

And for today, that's the News That Matters.

The image Sgt. Nick Morgan was taken by Bill Steer.

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