Why I support John Edwards:
Okay, I used the present tense just now simply to get your attention, and because I have a puckish sense of humor. The man's political career is over; I accept that fact. Still, this powerful piece
by a former (albeit brief) Edwards campaign staffer reminds us of our choices during the previous campaign:
Back then, the other potential Democratic nominees, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, were widely and correctly perceived as timid centrists who had a knee-jerk tendency to run from conflict the second conservatives ruffled their feathers. Edwards, on the other hand, spoke convincingly of how change couldn’t come from “negotiation and compromise,” arguing that the idea that corporate interests would voluntarily give away their power is “a fantasy.” Long before the economic crash and Occupy Wall Street forced major Democratic politicians to address the question of growing inequality, Edwards’s famous “two Americas” rhetoric helped force the issue onto the table. Occupy boiled it down to the 1 Percent vs. the 99 Percent, but back in 2007, Edwards was taking cracks at “the very rich vs. everyone else.”
In the rush of headlines about Edwards’s despicable sexual behavior, what’s forgotten is how much his campaign haunted the primary contest between Clinton and Obama long after he dropped out. An early push in the campaign season from Edwards on healthcare reform set the tone for the rest of the election season on this issue. Edwards put out a plan for healthcare reform before the other candidates, forcing the other candidates to release competing plans that were likelier farther to the left than they were comfortable promising.
I don't think that Edwards' populist rhetoric was just
rhetoric. Yeah, he's rich. But as a lawyer, Edwards had always stuck up for the little guy.
If Edwards had not committed a sexual sin, he would now be someone the media would consider quotable. And if he were offering views on current politics, I feel confident that he would never have referred to Romney's record at Bain as "sterling." Bill Clinton did just that.
What a wretched thing to say! My god, but the Clintons have been incredibly disappointing lately.
Bill Clinton has steered clear of the Occupy movement. Edwards would have been in the park with the protesters.
As I've said before: Most of the great mistakes I've made in life occurred when I let Downstairs Cannon overrule the judgment of Upstairs Cannon. In the case of Edwards, Little John royally screwed things up for Big John. But we should not forget that Big John was the only person in 2007-08 who said the right things -- and in doing so, he forced his competitors to speak the same language.
Why declassifying the JFK records matters:
I don't care where you stand on the JFK controversy -- or where you stand on Russ Baker, whose book Family of Secrets
is not universally admired in the assassination research community. Baker's new piece in Salon, on the Obama administration's efforts to undermine transparency
, is must reading. The issue goes far beyond the great unpleasantness of 1963.
The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has been holding forums on which government records should be declassified.
The #1 most popular idea? Get those Kennedy records out — before Nov. 22, 2013, the fiftieth anniversary of the Dallas tragedy.
That is, in fact, what we were promised. What we got was very different...
Here’s what actually happened at the NARA forums.
The first was held in 2010. The assistant archivist, Michael Kurtz, said that withheld JFK assassination records would be processed, along with other documents, for declassification — and that the process should be completed by the end of 2013.
But by 2011, Kurtz, who had been at NARA for decades, had retired. At the 2011 forum, Jim Lesar was told that JFK assassination records are not part of the declassification process. Hence, they will not be reviewed for release.
Huh? What Happened
For some perspective, meet Sheryl Shenberger. She’s the head of the Archives’ National Declassification Center. What would you guess Sheryl’s professional background would be? Library of Congress? Academic research? Nope. Before NDC, Sheryl worked for … the Central Intelligence Agency.
Why on earth would Barack Obama put a "former" CIA employee in charge of declassification of records? Traditionally, there has been an adversarial relationship between the CIA and the forces favoring transparency.
When things like this happen, I start to wonder if my previous speculation about Obama's spooked-up family might have validity.
has an interesting resume...
Prior to working in the declassification field, Ms. Shenberger worked in the CIA Counter Terrorism Center (2001 – 2003), the CIA Crime and Narcotics Center (2000 – 2001), and the National Geo-Spatial Intelligence Agency (previously known as NIMA and NPIC; 1988 – 2000).
Let me state this in very plain terms. We don't want anyone connected in any way with the CIA to make any decisions about which JFK documents get released because -- as John Newman (himself formerly of Army intelligence) has proven beyond the point of rational debate -- people in the CIA fucking did the crime
To be specific: James Jesus Angleton planned the murder. And right now, this country is being overrun with nutty, extreme-right paranoids who are Angleton's spiritual heirs. (I was going to write "intellectual heirs," but many of the extreme-right paranoids we see today -- Bachmann, Beck -- resist any application of the term "intellectual.")
Contrary to latter-day myth, "Poppy" Bush had no real connection to the assassination. Got that, Russ Baker?