# War

Five links for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day to the Bleeding Heartland community. Here are some links I enjoyed today.

Mother Jones put together a slide show on how we got this holiday, with photos of those who helped, and those who stood in the way.

Here are a couple dozen quotes from the civil rights leader.

Listen here as MLK explains, “Why I Am Opposed to the War in Vietnam.”

The AFSCME blog compiled some of MLK’s comments about labor.

Susannah Heschel describes the relationship between Dr. King and her father, Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel.

This is an open thread.


The 22nd annual event hosted by the Iowa Department of Human Rights and the Iowa Commission on the Status of African Americans took place this morning at the Iowa Historical Building. Branstad was scheduled and listed in the program as signing a proclamation as well as delivering an address.

Branstad arrived around 10:40 a.m., signed the proclamation and made a few statements.  He was then overheard apologizing to some of the event organizers, saying he was too busy to give the address, noting that this is one of his first days in office. Branstad was sworn in Friday.

Branstad then took a few questions from the press before he and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds left.

Tim Albrecht, a spokesman for the governor, said Branstad was in meetings today that weren’t open to the public.

Wonder who he made time for on the holiday.

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Obama may regret giving this speech

Tonight President Barack Obama addressed cadets at West Point and announced:

And as Commander-in-Chief, I have determined that it is in our vital national interest to send an additional 30,000 U.S. troops to Afghanistan. After 18 months, our troops will begin to come home. These are the resources that we need to seize the initiative, while building the Afghan capacity that can allow for a responsible transition of our forces out of Afghanistan. [...]

The 30,000 additional troops that I am announcing tonight will deploy in the first part of 2010 - the fastest pace possible - so that they can target the insurgency and secure key population centers. They will increase our ability to train competent Afghan Security Forces, and to partner with them so that more Afghans can get into the fight. And they will help create the conditions for the United States to transfer responsibility to the Afghans.

Charles Lemos posted the full text of the speech here. My comments are after the jump.

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What will Clinton do on Iraq and Iran? And Edwards?

I love how the Edwards campaign is getting so bold and so...well...I guess it could be described as snarky. As others have said before me, the truth can never be an attack, but the truth can sure hurt. Here's another example.

Now John Edwards has asked Senator Clinton to answer 5 simple yes or no questions on Iraq. Should be easy, right? It also should be something a presidential candidate should be ready to do. Will she do it?

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Drop the Partisanship People!


I'm a Democrat and I am worried.  In the beginning of the year I couldn't wait for 2008.  I couldn't wait for a Democrat to take office and turn this nation around.  I knew it wasn't a matter of if, but when.  Unfortunately, the tides have turned.  American citizens are sick and tired of the partisan bickering in Washington.  They are tired of waffling politicians who promise one thing, but don't deliver.  It is evident in the polls.  Only 11% of Americans approve of the job the Congress had done.  Only 10 months into a Democratic lead Congress and the nation already wants us gone.  If we are going to win the White House, we need to clean ourselves up and stand at attention.  We need to get our people to do their jobs and serve the American public.  The biggest challenge we face is partisanship.  Though it may be the Bush Administration’s fault America and our leaders are so divided, it is our job, as Democrats, to fix the problem.  There was a time, not long ago, that Republicans and Democrats worked together, ate together, discussed issues together.  We need to return that era of respect and goodwill and leave the partisan stabs behind.  The only way we are going to move this nation forward before 2008 is by getting Republicans to vote for Democratic bills.  The only way to do that is to show respect and integrity.


As voters in a democracy, we have a voice and we must stand up and use that voice.  If we are going to end the division in Washington, we need to show our leaders that we are willing to work with Republicans.  We shouldn't criticize a fellow Democrat when he or she reaches their hand across the aisle and asks for a Republican's support.  Just yesterday, Joe Biden, a liberal Democrat, and Sam Brownback, a conservative Republican, came together and held a town hall meeting to share a plan to end the war in Iraq.  Though the two Presidential candidates share nearly no political opinions, they do share one, and that is how to get out of Iraq.  Because they came together and showed unity, they were shunned by the bases.  Democrats have called Joe Biden "too conservative" and Republicans have criticized Brownback for working with a "liberal".  This however, baffles me.  When you build a bipartisan consensus things can actually get done.  We need to stop questioning Joe Biden and all other Democrats when they try to build bipartisanship.  Just recently, Joe Biden enticed 26 Republicans to vote for his federalist solution for Iraq.  He called it the "first ray of hope" while a fellow blogger, desmoinesdem, criticized Biden saying it "annoyed " him and that Joe Biden was out of line because he "threw Senate Republicans a life raft".  The only thing Joe Biden did was be the first person to be able to convince Republicans to publicly rebuke George W. Bush and his policies in Iraq.  Besides, the only people who need a life raft are the Democrats.  I hate to say it, but it's true.  We have been too dead set against compromise to end this war.  If we are going to win the General Election in 2008 we are going to have to 1.) Begin to end the war by adopting the only political solution with the ability of overriding a Presidential veto and that would be Joe Biden’s and 2.) We need to nominate a Democrat with a history of bringing people together.  That is Joe Biden. 


As Democrats, we must remember, in General Elections we rely on the independent vote.  Unfortunately, Hillary Clinton, who is currently leading in all of the early states, does not appeal to independents.  During the 1990s, when Clinton gave her began effort to achieve Universal Healthcare, $100 million was spent on the Harry and Louise campaign alone.  This idea of Universal Healthcare is still called HillaryCare by many Republicans and the term was used in the latest Republican debate, not to mention the fact that Clinton's name alone was brought up six times.  Candidates like Clinton are much too partisan to win in a general election.  She will energize Republicans and alienate independents.  Nominate Clinton and we will lose.  Nominate Joe Biden, a man with a solid record going back 35 years, and we Democrats will take back the White House!




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Bill Richardson: Surge Has Failed, Withdraw All Troops

Today, Governor Richardson reiterated his belief that the so-called “surge”in U.S. forces in Iraq has been a failure, and responded to Senator Clinton’s change of heart regarding the lack of progress in the war.

“I am pleased that Senator Clinton, today, recognizes that the surgehas produced no progress of any long term significance to the Iraq debacle.That is different from what she said yesterday to the Veterans of ForeignWars. But, it is that audience, who has sacrificed more than any of us, whodeserves to hear a clear statement that our sons and daughters and mothersand fathers are not going to be sacrificed because of an irrational commitmentto a failed strategy.

…  The only way out of the Iraq mess is to remove all U.S. troops, and to usethat leverage to get the warring parties to resolve their differences, andsurrounding Muslim nations to help stabilize the countr Any residual U.S. force reduces the chances for success, and exposes our troops as targets.  Our brave troops, and the American people, deserve better.”

Go to No Troops Left Behind to learn more.

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