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Witnessing the Courage of Iran, Part 2

BBC photo from Tehran today

BBC photo from Tehran today

Here is a new thread on the courageous Iranian protesters and their fight for freedom. Please use the comments to post any news you have and to discuss the ongoing situation.

Roger Cohen has a new report from Iran at the New York Times. He thinks Ayatolla Khamenei may have miscalculated with yesterday’s hardline speech followed by the bloodshed today.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader, had used his Friday sermon to declare high noon in Tehran, warning of “bloodshed and chaos” if protests over a disputed election persisted.

He got both on Saturday — and saw the hitherto sacrosanct authority of his office challenged as never before since the 1979 revolution birthed the Islamic Republic and conceived for it a leadership post standing at the very flank of the Prophet. A multitude of Iranians took their fight through a holy breach on Saturday from which there appears to be scant turning back.

Khamenei has taken a radical risk. He has factionalized himself, so losing the arbiter’s lofty garb, by aligning himself with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad against both Mir Hussein Moussavi, the opposition leader, and Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a founding father of the revolution.

He has taunted millions of Iranians by praising their unprecedented participation in an election many now view as a ballot-box putsch. He has ridiculed the notion that an official inquiry into the vote might yield a different result. He has tried pathos and he has tried pounding his lectern. In short, he has lost his aura.

Cohen also notes the continuing involvement of Iranian women in the protests. Continue reading

You’re not my father!


Tomorrow is Father’s Day, and I am eagerly anticipating some really cool gifts from my kids to add to my collection of singing fish and kung-fu hamsters. The last thing I need is some sycophantic drivel like this:

President Obama donned his father-in-chief hat on Friday, devoting much of his afternoon to emphasizing the importance of mentors and father figures for young people and to prodding young men to be better parents.

Excuse me? Father-in-chief? Where the f*ck does it say in the Constitution that the President is our #1 Dad?   George Washington was the father of our country but Barack ain’t even our step-daddy, and Michelle ain’t our mommy-in-chief neither. Jeebus! Can you say “patriarchy?”

“When fathers are absent, when they abandon their responsibility to their children, we know the damage that does to our families,” Mr. Obama told teenagers and community leaders in the East Room of the White House, beginning what he called a “national conversation on responsible fatherhood and healthy families.”

Oh goody! Another “national conversation.” That “national conversation on race” worked out so well.

That Mr. Obama was giving such attention to the issue at a time of crisis in Iran and high-stakes debate on health care and financial overhauls shows how personally he takes fatherhood, White House officials said.

He takes fatherhood so seriously he devoted a whole speech to it! By the way, what exactly is he busy doing about Iran, health care reform and our FUBARed economy anyway?  Consulting with his Dairy Godmother?

During the question-and-answer part of the event, one student, who introduced himself as Larry Holmes from St. Albans School, asked Mr. Obama: “Traveling from state to state, country to country, being the president, which one is funner? Being a father or being a president?”

“There’s nothing more fun than being a father,” Mr. Obama said, then quipped, “Now, my kids aren’t teenagers yet, so I don’t know whether that will maintain itself.”

Fatherhood is sooo important that Barack left his family in Chicago when he was elected to the U.S. Senate, then spent the last two years running around the country without them while he ran for President. That’s four years of being gone more than he was home, starting when Malia was six and Sasha was three.  Now he wants to give lectures on fatherhood to the rest of us?

Gee Mr. President, maybe you don’t realize it but some men sacrifice their ambitions for their children.

That’s real fatherhood.


p.s. – Someone needs to tell Daddy Dearest that his “kids” need health care.

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Krugman on Froomkin: If you’re right, you’re not a serious person

Dan Froomkin, dismissed for unseriousity

Dan Froomkin, dismissed for unseriousity

It’s odd that peopleon the left, like Krugman, can see the right-left dynamics so clearly but sometimes can’t see what’s going on within their own party.  Nevertheless, this blog post by Krugman is worth reading.  He lays out the unspoken laws of American journalism dynamics for the past decade.  Movement Conservatives were in and they were not to be mocked.  Lefties?  Ehhhhh, not so much.  Froomkin was an apostate.  He was a real journalist who did his job and exposed the follies of the Bush admin.  He was useful, for a time, as a sort of WaPo version of Alan Colmes.  The token liberal.  But Froomkin turned out to be right and that can’t be tolerated.

Now, you might think that the way things turned out — the total failure of movement conservatism in government, and the abrupt, humiliating end to the Permanent Republican Majority — would lead to some soul-searching. But that’s not how human nature works. Instead, it became more urgent than ever to assert that those who didn’t get with the program were flakes and moonbats, not worthy of being listened to, while those who believed in the right to the bitter end were “serious”.

Thus we still live in an era in which you have to have been wrong to be respectable. You’re not considered serious about national security unless you were for invading Iraq; you’re not considered a serious political analyst unless you spent the last 3 years of the Bush administration predicting a Republican comeback; you’re not considered a serious economic analyst unless you dismissed the idea that the Bush Boom, such as it was, rested on a housing bubble.

That’s why the firing of Dan Froomkin now makes a perverse sort of sense. As long as the right was in power, he was in effect the Post’s designated moonbat, someone who attracted readers but didn’t threaten the self-esteem of the self-perceived serious people at the paper. But now he looks like someone who was right when the serious people were wrong — and that means he has to go.

Yes, there’s nothing that will get you shunned so quickly as being right, even by your so-called friends. Heck, Krugman himself still cites Digby, even though she’s lost all credibility to those of us who were right from the beginning.  *We’re* still perceived as “flakes and moonbats” instead of way ahead of the pack.

We feel your pain, Dan.

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Saturday: Witnessing the courage of Iran

Update: I am going to sticky this post for the rest of the day.

President Obama has worked up enough emotion for a statement.  Here it is:

“We mourn each and every innocent life that is lost,” he said, adding: “Suppressing ideas never succeeds in making them go away. The Iranian people will ultimately judge the actions of their own government. If the Iranian government seeks the respect of the international community, it must respect the dignity of its own people and govern through consent, not coercion.”

Funny, he seemed to positively approve of gaming the caucuses and having his whips threatening to get delegates at the convention fired if they didn’t change their votes.  No amount of coercion seemed to be too much back then, as long as he was winning.   My question is, does President Obama regard votes as sacred and does he believe in self-determination through the electoral process?  I would like to hear him say that unequivocally.  I would like to hear him promise that none of the cheating that he used in 2008 will happen in 2010.  What say you all?  Does the Obama WH believe in protecting the vote?

The NYTimes reports that Moussavi has told his followers that he is ready for martyrdom and if he is arrested, they are to go on indefinite strike.  There have also been reports that the crowds have been successful in keeping the militia at bay in Gisha.  There is a very disturbing video of a young woman shot to death by basij.  And there are reports that various embassies have opened their doors to the wounded.  I only wish we had an embassy there.

I found this video through Twitter of a woman’s poem during the cries of Allahu Akbar last night.  I hope she knows that the whole world is watching.

There are conflicting reports from Iran.  Is today’s planned demonstration on or off?  Unconfirmed reports from Engheleb square in Tehran say that Moussavi is on the march from his office with a crowd of 10,000, that there are riot police everywhere and that tear gas has been used.  Yesterday, the protestors were instructed to bring a copy of their Quran and to sit down if they were attacked.  There are various reports that internet service has been blocked and that cell phone signal in the area of the protest has been jammed.  Nevertheless, truth has a way of getting out.  Where there’s a will…

Put aside the politicians for a moment.  The people of Iran seem to be taking on this task themselves for their own reasons.  It’s clear that they do not trust their government and they want a new one.  They want their votes to count.  They don’t want the facsimile of a government by the people without the actuality of their votes having meaning.  Those of us who lost our votes during last year’s primary can sympathize.  When your leaders can disregard your vote, they don’t have to listen to you or represent you.  They can run the country any way they please.  You are no longer master of your own fate.  You don’t get to end wars you don’t like, ensure that all people are treated with dignity and equality, make sure your financial institutions don’t cheat or reform healthcare.

The protests in Iran really have nothing to do with Ahamadinejad or Moussavi.  This is about a people taking back their rights to rule themselves.  Good Luck to them, our PUMA brothers and sisters in Iran.

PUMA Power

Here are some sites to follow for the latest:

Twitter’s #Iranelection

The Lede at the NYTimes

Informed Comment (Juan Cole)

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Red Herrings and Fall Guys

You don’t need Daniel to read the writing on the wall – we ain’t getting a health care reform pony.  Our last hope for getting real reform anytime soon died on May 31, 2008

The video was prepared by Americans United For Change:

Americans United For Change is a powerful movement bringing together independent voices for new policy priorities and real leadership – to focus our elected officials on the issues that really matter to the lives of everyday Americans and get America moving in the right direction again.

It doesn’t say so but it’s a Democratic front group.

Brad Woodhouse former President of Americans United for Change, is now communications director for the Democratic National Committee under Barack Obama.

The video is meant to distract you from the truth.   They want you to blame the Republicans for blocking health care reform.

It will be Obama and the Congressional Democrats fault. Blame them.

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