Wednesday, January 30, 2008

NY NOW Puts Sen Kennedy on Blast For Endorsing a Man

The New York chapter of NOW released a scathing rebuke of Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) for endorsing a black man over a white woman:

"Women have just experienced the ultimate betrayal," NOW's New York State chapter said in a scorching rebuke. "Senator Kennedy's endorsement of Hillary Clinton's opponent in the Democratic presidential primary campaign has really hit women hard."

On Monday, Kennedy, D-Mass., his son Patrick and his niece Caroline Kennedy announced their support for Obama. Edward Kennedy said the country needs a leader who can bring people together and create change.

But the move angered the state chapter of NOW, which called Kennedy's decision the "greatest betrayal."

"We are repaid with his abandonment!" the statement said. "He's picked the new guy over us. He's joined the list of progressive white men who can't or won't handle the prospect of a woman president who is Hillary Clinton."

Wow, that’s pretty strong stuff. (And since they mentioned Ted Kennedy’s race, I felt it appropriate to mention Sen. Clinton’s and Sen. Obama’s. It only seemed fair, given how strongly they condemned Sen. Kennedy for endorsing a black man over a white woman.) The national office released its own statement, backing away from the New York chapter’s acidic words:

"The National Organization for Women has enormous respect and admiration for Senator Edward Kennedy," NOW President Kim Gandy wrote. "For decades Senator Kennedy has been a friend of NOW, and a leader and fighter for women's civil and reproductive rights, and his record shows that."

Gandy said her group respects Kennedy's decision to back Obama.

"We continue to encourage women everywhere to express their opinions and exercise their right to vote," she said.

If NOW considers Sen. Kennedy’s endorsement of Sen. Obama a betrayal, then that is their prerogative. Many of Sen. Clinton’s supporters are backing her explicitly because she is a woman, as is their right. Given that there are many others who will oppose her for the same reason, it strikes me as only fair that they try to shore up as much support for her as possible to cover any lost ground. I don’t begrudge NOW’s support for Sen. Clinton, but I do begrudge the audacity of implying that anything less than gleefully enthusiastic support for the senator from New York is a betrayal of women everywhere.

To reinforce my point, let me do a run-down of betrayals by Sen. Clinton:

1. Labor.

Hillary Clinton says she’s a supporter of labor, but I have doubts about her sincerity, based on her actions and her affiliations. In 2003, Clinton brought an Indian outsourcing firm to Buffalo, NY, which reportedly did more harm to Buffalo than it did good:

In 2003, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton helped the high-tech firm Tata Consultancy Services of India (TCS) to open a office in Buffalo, N.Y. by hoping that it would bring jobs to the area. Clinton later said the deal showed that outsourcing firms could create jobs both in their home countries and in the United States.

As a part of its program to expand its US presence, TCS will provide advanced IT training to new recruits. The training center is aptly named "Chrysalis", a word signifying the evolution of a larva into a butterfly. Company executives explained that the name alludes to the transformation of bright new talent into advanced IT professionals who would lead the technology industry in the future. The firm said it had already hired 20 new recruits, primarily from western New York, and had plans to triple that number by the middle of next year. But over that same period, Tata sought H-1B visa certifications to import nearly 500 foreign computer programmers and other specialists to upstate New York.

Since 2003,"the reality is that it probably created many more jobs for workers overseas and displaced lots of American workers according to leading news papers.

NRI Sudesh Agnihotra from New York told our representative that NYC residence are very up-set that about 500 foreign computer programmers and other specialists were dumped in their State and they had no gain.

Clinton always said, the United States benefits by admitting high-tech workers from abroad. She backs proposals to increase the number of temporary visas for skilled foreigners.

As a blue-collar kid (and IT professional myself), this kind of hits home for me. Tata couldn’t find any computer programmers in the Buffalo area? I find that hard to believe. If they had hired 500 American programmers, that would have been a boon to Buffalo. Instead, it’s simply a boon to Tata.

Let’s also talk about Mark Penn, CEO of union-busting firm Burson-Marsteller Inc. and Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman:

Penn sheds a few crocodile tears over the questions about his firm’s anti-labor activities, but he clearly wasn’t broken up about the big bucks that those activities netted him. To head a firm that engages in anti-labor activities while claiming to be pro-labor because his father was a union man is a level of double-speak worthy of a Clinton campaign. I can see why they picked him.

And then there’s this from Palast:

But first, let’s stop at Wal-Mart. Read an official biography of the Senator and you’ll find her six-month stint on a child-protection task force. Yet you won’t find her SIX YEARS on the board of directors of Wal-Mart Corporation. She may have earned a Grammy for “It Takes a Village to Raise a Child.” But it takes a Governor’s wife to provide cover for Wal-Mart’s profiteering off systematic wage-enslavement of children in its factories in South America.

Sam Walton called Hillary, “My little lady.” Sam paid her an eyebrow raising sum for a director - equal to 60% of her entire not-insubstantial salary as a lawyer. By contrast, Wendy Diaz (her real name), a 13-year-old in Honduras, was paid 25 cents an hour to make shirts for the “little lady’s” label.

Hillary’s rake-in was made possible by Wal-Mart’s 100% union-free operation and out-sourcing of 100% of its manufacturing, some to prison factories in China. Now, you could say that Hillary couldn’t hear the screams of the kiddies in Kamp Wal-Mart in Honduras. After all, she relied on the intelligence provided her by the President (of Wal-Mart).

2. The Iraq War.

The one consistent thing about Sen. Clinton’s position on the Iraq War is how dishonest she’s been about it.

October 2002:

Clinton gives a long-winded speech on the Senate floor, in which she commits herself to exactly no position at all and angles to cover her ass if things go badly.

Then she votes for the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002, while claiming that she wasn’t explicitly authorizing the use of military force against Iraq. This isn’t just typical Clintonian hair-splitting or triangulating; it’s just old-fashioned lying.

Skip past the long list of “whereas” statements, and you get to the meat of it:


(a) AUTHORIZATION. The President is authorized to use the Armed Forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in order to

(1) defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq; and

(2) enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions regarding Iraq.


In connection with the exercise of the authority granted in subsection (a) to use force the President shall, prior to such exercise or as soon there after as may be feasible, but no later than 48 hours after exercising such authority, make available to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President pro tempore of the Senate his determination that

(1) reliance by the United States on further diplomatic or other peaceful means alone either (A) will not adequately protect the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq or (B) is not likely to lead to enforcement of all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq, and

(2) acting pursuant to this resolution is consistent with the United States and other countries continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations or persons who planned, authorized, committed or aided the terrorists attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.


(1) SPECIFIC STATUTORY AUTHORIZATION. -- Consistent with section 8(a)(1) of the War Powers Resolution, the Congress declares that this section is intended to constitute specific statutory authorization within the meaning of section 5(b) of the War Powers Resolution.

(2) APPLICABILITY OF OTHER REQUIREMENTS. -- Nothing in this resolution supersedes any requirement of the War Powers Resolution.


(a) The President shall, at least once every 60 days, submit to the Congress a report on matters relevant to this joint resolution, including actions taken pursuant to the exercise of authority granted in section 2 and the status of planning for efforts that are expected to be required after such actions are completed, including those actions described in section 7 of Public Law 105-338 (the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998).

(b) To the extent that the submission of any report described in subsection (a) coincides with the submission of any other report on matters relevant to this joint resolution otherwise required to be submitted to Congress pursuant to the reporting requirements of Public Law 93-148 (the War Powers Resolution), all such reports may be submitted as a single consolidated report to the Congress.

(c) To the extent that the information required by section 3 of Public Law 102-1 is included in the report required by this section, such report shall be considered as meeting the requirements of section 3 of Public Law 102-1.

Bottom line: the President was required to determine that inspections were not working, send a report to Congress, and bombs away! How is that not an explicit authorization to do whatever the fuck he wants, whenever the fuck he wants? Did Sen. Clinton even read the resolution before voting on it? I know she didn’t read the National Intelligence Estimate beforehand.

Then, nearly five years later, Sen. Clinton votes for the Kyl-Liebermann amendment, described correctly by Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) “as a backdoor method of gaining Congressional validation for military action.” By declaring the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist organization, it labels Iran as a nation which harbors and supports terrorists. Not hard to see how that could lead to the U.S. going to war with Iran -- unless you’re Hillary Clinton, of course.

I’ll continue this venture tomorrow, as this entry has taken a bit longer to put together than I’d originally anticipated.


Progressive Geek said...

Great post. I am disappointed that both of the more progressive candidates have pulled out of the race. Now all we have is Corporate Lawyer #1 and Corporate Lawyer #2 left to choose from for the Democratic Party. Both of whom have promised Silicon Valley more cheap foreign labor through increased Visa caps.

CarbonDate said...

Thanks for reading and commenting. Actually, Hillary was a corporate lawyer, but Obama was a civil rights attorney.

(Just double click on the URL and then copy and paste it; the full URL will still copy.)

From the article: "As the first black president of the Harvard Law Review, Obama had his pick of top law firms. He chose Miner's Chicago civil rights firm, where he represented community organizers, discrimination victims and black voters trying to force a redrawing of city ward boundaries."

World of difference there, as far as I'm concerned. I've endorsed Obama for that reason, among others.