January 15, 2008


DK gets ripped in Sin City

Having checked news reports into this evening I tuned in to MSNBC expecting to see four candidates at the Las Vegas debate. But alas, at the wire:
Nevada Supreme Court Rules
In Kucinich Debate Dispute

Associated Press
January 15, 2008 8:45 p.m.

LAS VEGAS -- A lower court order that Democratic presidential hopeful Dennis Kucinich be included in a MSNBC candidate debate Tuesday was tossed out a few hours before the debate by the Nevada Supreme Court.

Lawyers for NBC Universal Inc. had asked the high court to overturn the lower court order that the cable TV news network include the Ohio congressman or pull the plug on broadcasting the debate Tuesday night with Hillary Rodham Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards.

The Supreme Court's unanimous order said that blocking the debate unless Mr. Kucinich got to participate would be "an unconstitutional prior restraint" on the news network's First Amendment rights.

Justices also said the lower court exceeded its jurisdiction by ordering Mr. Kucinich's participation even though "he first requested and was denied relief" from the Federal Communications Commission.

"It's a matter of being on stage and answering questions. That's the issue," lawyer Bill McGaha argued for Mr. Kucinich during a hearing before four justices in Las Vegas. Three other justices participated by closed-circuit video conference from Carson City.

Donald Campbell, a Las Vegas lawyer representing NBC Universal, accused Mr. Kucinich of trying to make a jurisdictional "end run" around the FCC and federal courts by suing in Nevada state court to be added to the debate.

FCC broadcast rules do not apply to cable TV networks, Mr. Campbell said, adding that forcing MSNBC to add Mr. Kucinich or not broadcast the debate amounted to prior restraint and would be a "clear and unequivocal" violation in First Amendment press freedom.

"Mr. Kucinich's claim .. undermines the wide journalistic freedoms enjoyed by news organizations under the First Amendment," Mr. Campbell said in his appeal.

What's up with this same old MSM bullshit? In spite of the public overwhelmingly wanting him in the 2000 debates they excluded Ralph Nader in similar fashion. How dichotomous that the Supreme Court can rule that campaign contributions are a form of protected free speech but the two dominant political parties can conspire with the dominant corporatist media to shut out a dissenting voice from the free exchange of ideas?

Legal schematics aside, this is once again cowardice of the highest order on the part of the mainstream media and the Democratic Party as well. I for one am through with them. I will not vote for their nominee. They are caterers of a bland buffet of mashed potatoes with chicken gravy, cauliflower and navy beans. This country gets what it deserves for gorging at the Beltway sheep trough.

Go Air Obama ! We need change ! You got two fives?
Go Mike Huckabee ! May Earth live another 6,000 years !

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i filled in my absentee ballot tonight, and will mail it off to ukiah tomorrow. it felt so right, casting my vote for dennis. oh, and the debate sounded likeke:"blah...blah...change...blah" what a surprise.
I just flipped the tube back to American Idol tryouts. I needed some levity after this debacle.
Yes Tim, cowardice, complicity and the cremation of the American promise of Democracy.

But before you decide to become part of the problem by allowing these bastards to neutralize you by convincing you not to vote (and that IS their intention,) remember that The Big Boys win the instant we concede defeat.

I'm not moving to Canada. I'm not disappearing into the desert. I'm STAYING RIGHT HERE AND FIGHTING TO MY LAST BREATH, God dammit!

And I'm VOTING, even though it will be for the lesser of two evils. Al Gore was the lesser of two evils, and those "liberals" who voted for Nader or DIDN'T VOTE gave us eight years of George W. Bush.

I have children to face the Day After Election Day. And no matter how it shakes out, I want them to know that I personally made the commitment to do EVERYTHING I COULD to assure the future of Democracy in America.

We need you, Brother. I need you. I can't do this alone.

Do I have to beg you folks not to surrender to these pigs? Because I will.
CR - I voted for Nader because he pointed out that the two major parties are essentially the same. That best represented my view and I feel that if more people could follow that (and more importantly be made aware of dissenting views, aka the crux of this very post and of course a big reason for my support of DK), then we would be on our way to change.

Yep, I'm an idealist to a fault. I've been through the "don't throw your vote away" conversation many times, and I feel that I have to pursue the avoidance of voting for the lesser of two evils for as long as possible (I did vote for Kerry, FYI). There is a lot to be done and perhaps you are right to assert support for the Democratic nominee, but at this point I remain convinced that Americans need things to get worse before they get better. People just aren't listening, and these campaigns, satisfying as a bowl of ramen noodles, is proof. Clinton or Obama will only be a band-aid for the ills that conservatism has wreaked (hell, any president can only do so much). Are you convinced that they would IMMEDIATELY roll back the executive powers usurped by Bush?

Anyway, at this point I feel I would be doing true democracy a disservice by casting less than what DK so correctly refers to as "a courageous vote."

Thanks for stopping by!
BTW folks, the two previous comments have come forth from Cunning Runt's most excellent post on the state of American political affairs.

Join the fun!
What I've gleaned from these comments is that, if you're a progressive in the US, you either have to vote for the 'lesser of two evils' or you can vote expressively for a 'third candidate'... in the knowledge that he/she doesn't have a shit-show of winning...

So your situation is very much like the one I face in the UK - under our first-past-the-post, winner-take-all method.

Surely then, it's the electoral system that is in need of the biggest shake-up?
Cheezy - My ideal, a longshot at best for our lifetime, is that we'd have a viable multi-party system (4 or 5 perhaps) in which coalitions must be formed to get things done. It would eliminate the two-party staring contests and bring out what I'd consider a positive force in "strange bedfellows" on issues that various factions can agree. For ex, liberals and evangelicals generally agree that preserving the environment is important. No one would always get their way, i.e. get to be The Decider.
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