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Cindy Sheehan gets 40 Seconds to speak to Nancy Pelosi
by Robert B. Livingston (confetti [at]
Wednesday Oct 29th, 2008 6:05 PM
Having refused to be a guest on KQED´s public affairs program Forum because she was not allowed equal time, America´s leading peace activist Cindy Sheehan audaciously called in to the program this morning to get a chance to address House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Upon stating that Nancy Pelosi has ducked her responsibility of meeting with her San Francisco constituents since 2006, the impatient program host, Michael Krasny, interrupted Cindy to prod her to ask the question his call screeners had agreed to. In all, Cindy Sheehan was granted less than 40 seconds to speak, and was not allowed to respond to Nancy Pelosi´s answer. Cindy Sheehan is running against Nancy Pelosi for California´s District 8 Congressional Seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Cindy Sheehan gets 40 Seconds to speak to Nancy Pelosi

San Francisco, California
October 29, 2008
Robert B. Livingston

According to the Wikipedia, KQED 88.5 FM is the the most listened to NPR station in the United States. Between 9 and 11 AM weekdays, tens of thousands of the San Francisco Bay Area´s more civic-minded residents tune in when the radio station broadcasts Forum, a public affairs call-in program.

This morning in a nod to democracy, Forum devoted the hour from 10 to 11 to giving its listening public a chance to get to know the candidates in this year´s District 8 Congressional race.

District 8 represents the greater part of San Francisco-- and it has an especially noteworthy race this year because America´s leading peace activist Cindy Sheehan is in the race as an independent candidate.

As has been largely its custom in past major political races, Forum gave the bulk of its program (the first half of the program´s hour) to the sitting incumbent, in this case, House speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Forum allocated the second half of the program to two of her challengers, the Republican Party candidate Dana Walsh and the Libertarian Party candidate Philip Berg.

Cindy Sheehan, although invited to share the second half-hour with Walsh and Berg, had refused to attend on principle: because the program´s time was divided unfairly among all the candidates.

Nevertheless, Cindy took advantage of the opportunity Forum dangles to all its listeners to have a say, and managed to call in to the station and address Nancy Pelosi shortly before the Speaker´s time ran out.

¨I just want to know why you haven´t represented the people of your district and why you haven´t impeached George Bush and Dick Cheney?¨ Cindy was able to ask Pelosi.

Nancy Pelosi thanked Cindy for her call and expressed her admiration for her courage.

¨If I honestly believed that the president had violated the Constitution of the United States, and if my colleagues believed that, I think you would have seen the president impeached,¨ she answered.

As an independent appealing to voters in all parties, Cindy Sheehan has been significantly endorsed by the Green Party whose members have out-polled Republicans in San Francisco in recent years.

Many keen political observers can only guess at how election results may differ if real debates between incumbents and challengers were allowed in public-- or on the airwaves.

Cindy Sheehan has repeatedly challenged Nancy Pelosi to a debate, but Pelosi has always refused.

Since before becoming the powerful Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi has neither met with local anti-war activists nor held a public town-hall meeting to address her constituents´ concerns.

Here is a transcript of this morning´s brief exchange between Cindy Sheehan, Forum host Michael Krasny, and Nancy Pelosi:

[Nancy Pelosi finishes answering another caller´s question.]

Krasny: Well, we´ve got a caller here who I think maybe... familiar to you Speaker Pelosi. It´s Cindy Sheehan on the line....

Pelosi: Good morning Cindy.

Sheehen: Good morning Ms. Pelosi.

Pelosi: Good morning to you.

Sheehan: It´s nice to talk to you.

Pelosi: My pleasure.

Sheehan: Um. Well first you answer the question about the debate which I think that you-- if you really cared about the voters in San Francisco you could find an hour to debate your opponents, because you do have some opponents here in San Francisco. You haven´t had a town hall meeting...

Krasny interrupts: ´Scuse me, Cindy Sheehan, you had a question you wanted to ask the Speaker?

Sheehan: I do. I do. Over 60% of this district in 2006 voted for an impeachment resolution and I just want to know why you haven´t represented the people of your district and why you haven´t impeached George Bush and Dick Cheney. And you still have time.

Krasny: Alright, thank you for that direct question.

Pelosi: Thank you Cindy. First may I commend Cindy for her race for congress and again express the respect that I have for her for her courage in speaking out in what she believes in, so articulately.

The issue of impeachment is a very controversial one in my own caucus and certainly in the country. The idea that if we disagree with the president we should begin impeachment proceedings is one, that is again, controversial. There are those who believe they have the evidence that the president would be convicted if impeached. Um. I don´t know that we have seen that. I have said that the people who would like to see the president impeached the most are the Republicans. They should love to see the Democrats, as soon as we took power, go down the path of impeaching the president, dividing the country, and neglecting what we wanted to do on minimum wage, and children´s health, and veterans´ benefits and the rest of that, because it would totally consume the congress. It is, again, again, controversial, but if I honestly believed that the president had violated the Constitution of the United States, and if my colleagues believed that, I think you would have seen the president impeached.

Krasny: Let me see if we can get a quick other call in here. Brian go ahead. You´re on.

Brian: Hi. I´m Brian. I´m very interested in....
§Cindy Sheehan
by Robert B. Livingston Wednesday Oct 29th, 2008 6:05 PM
This photo was taken last week in front of the San Francisco Chronicle where activists protested its censorship of news about impeachment and Cindy Sheehan´s independent congressional campaign.
§Short MP3 recording of Cindy Sheehan calling KQED Forum
by Robert B. Livingston Wednesday Oct 29th, 2008 6:05 PM
Listen now:
Copy the code below to embed this audio into a web page:
... and Nancy Pelosi´s answer.
§Cindy Sheehan gives a speech against the establishment media
by Robert B. Livingston Wednesday Oct 29th, 2008 6:05 PM
Last week, on the steps of the Mint building in front of the San Francisco Chronicle building, Cindy Sheehan gave a speech against the establishment media which ignores the interests of the people in favor of corporate interests.
§Recording of Cindy Sheehan´s Speech last week.
by Robert B. Livingston Wednesday Oct 29th, 2008 6:05 PM
Listen now:
Copy the code below to embed this audio into a web page:

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Robert B. Livingston (confetti [at]
Wednesday Oct 29th, 2008 6:14 PM
My apology to the school kids who are trying to learn the difference between the word ¨its¨ and ¨it´s¨ (the first denoting possession and the second meaning, ¨it is¨.

Don´t take my example-- or maybe a kind editor might clean it up for me?

If I look harder-- will likely find more errors--

But I hope the story is told....

Thank you.

by Repost from Sheehan Campaign e-mail
Wednesday Oct 29th, 2008 6:46 PM
October 29, 2008

Dear Friends/Supporters,

We are in the final days of our historic campaign against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. We have come so far with your help and I would first like to thank you for that.
We have accomplished so much against the odds and against every naysayer out there who said that we wouldn't even get on the ballot and have to compete as a "write-in" candidate. Well, we did achieve ballot status and won the luck of the draw by being number one under U.S. Congress.

We have dodged the slings and arrows of outright lies and smears, to the doggedness of the mainstream press' determination to silence our campaign. Through this all, we have been able to raise over a half a million dollars to mount a fierce campaign that will never back down or bow to the status quo of corporatism over the interests of the people.

I stayed in the ditches in Crawford, Tx for the first time on August 6th, 2005. That night, only six people joined me and that small nucleus grew into a movement that encompassed hundreds of thousands of people and we broke through the lies of BushCo and the concerted effort of the mainstream press to silence the anti-war movement. With seven people at first we opened the floodgates to make anti-war sentiment the mainstream here in the US.

On August 9th, 2007, we launched our campaign with credit cards and savings and are now holding our heads high that we have run a campaign that never sold out its original principles and has run with integrity, honor and perseverance. I am proud of the incredible endorsements I have received: Ralph Nader, Cynthia McKinney; The SF Green Party; Matt Gonzalez (Former President of the SF Board of Supes and VP Candidate); Russ Mirkarimi (SF Board of Supes); Mark Sanchez (SF School Board President and Candidate for D9 Supe); Eric Quezada (Community Activist and candidate for D9 Supe, too); Christina Olague (President of the Planning Commission); Jack Hirschman (Poet Laureate of SF); the SF and California Peace and Freedom Party; The Bay Guardian and SF Bay View (Newspapers) The League of Pissed off Voters and the League of Young Voters; Shirley Golub (Democratic primary opponent to Pelosi); Melissa and Tammi Etheridge; Rosie O'Donnell: Roseanne Barr; Willie Nelson; Sean Penn; The Bay Area Labor Peace Council and dozens of labor activists; etc!

The economic stimulus plan that Congress is now contemplating has been my stimulus plan for months, now: Put people to work; help people stay in their homes; extend unemployment and food stamp benefits; clean the environment; work to create green jobs and repeal free trade agreements that oppress workers and dirty the environment.

Today, I actually got a chance to ask Nancy Pelosi ONE question on KQED's The Forum. She had already answered why she refused to debate her Congressional opponents by saying that her time was "compressed." She was on KQED for an entire ½ hour this morning: Why couldn't she debate us then? She also said that she has no "hesitation" to debate anyone, so I am here and will cancel any prior commitment to debate her at her convenience. I asked her about her not impeaching George Bush and Dick Cheney like 2/3rds of her constituency voted for in November of 2006. She said that a president can't be impeached over "disagreements" and she hasn't seen any evidence that he has violated the Constitution! She should talk to Dennis Kucinich about that!

In this interview, Pelosi also said that she was "responsible for electing more Democrats to Congress." I have scoured the Constitution many times and have seen that impeachment is mentioned six times, and nowhere is it mentioned that a Speakers' job is to elect "Democrats" as a matter of fact, the word "Democrat" doesn't even appear there. She says she is "mentally" in DC, which is also a little scary since when she has been there, she has funded George's wars; taken impeachment off the table; passed the FISA Modernization Act which eliminated the 4th Amendment; and gave Wall Street banksters 700 billion dollars!

I am very excited to show you our new commercial that begin airing in SF today. It was hard for me to watch, because there is a clip of Casey and I on a Cable Car in 1994: Ten years before I lost him to the war machine. [Go to URL Below.]

I hope you like it and I hope that you can dig into your pocket one more time to help us beat the Imperial Corporatist, Nancy Pelosi.

Help me to open the floodgates wider and continue to build the movement to usher in a new era of true representative government.

The initial steps have been taken. Help us go further!

Love always and Peace soon,
by Robert B. Livingston (confetti [at]
Wednesday Oct 29th, 2008 11:21 PM
Although the two hours that Forum broadcasts in the morning between 9 and 11 AM is normally live-- one of the two hours is rebroadcast as a repeat program in the evening between 10 and 11 PM.

Would it be any surprise to learn that of the two hours broadcast live this morning, the first hour (during which two professors and a staff writer from the San Francisco Chronicle discussed the topic of immigration and the presidential race) was chosen to air in the evening-- instead of the program that Nancy Pelosi hogged during the second morning hour?

Had the second hour aired this evening-- Cindy Sheehan could have earned a total of 80 seconds and caught the attention of many more thousands of her neighbors with her brief but vital question she put to Nancy Pelosi!

When a campaign for the U.S. Congress boils down to a 40 second lop-sided interchange between its two leading candidates citizens should worry.

Here is the webpage for the KQED archived program:
by Sigrid
Thursday Oct 30th, 2008 8:29 AM
That is so outrageous. One might think that the NPR hosts would at least be able to come up with a better excuse or justification. They are familiar with the debate over third party exclusion, and can do better than treating Sheehan like a prank caller. Nader, Sheehan, Barr etc. are prominent figures.
by Jody Paulson
Thursday Oct 30th, 2008 11:21 AM
If we continue to settle for a "representative" that doesn't represent us and refuses to hold a public forum or debate with her political opponents.

I've lived and been politically active in a lot of places, and Pelosi is hands-down the most unresponsive "representative" I've ever had. Help restore democracy to San Francisco and the entire country ... vote for Cindy Sheehan and/or contribute to her campaign with your time or money. Go to .
by Glaurus
Thursday Oct 30th, 2008 2:34 PM
Censorship is wrong. It shows yet again that there is more democracy in Cuba than their is in the USA. But what can one expect from someone who when asked to comment on Cindy's positions can only come up with the 'really' intelligent description of "dumbass."

Most say one thing Angel, that was a really advanced pre-school you attended. If you had managed to graduate they would taught you in kindergarten that such words are a no-no.
by clifford roddy
Thursday Oct 30th, 2008 10:58 PM
Hi Robert,

Here is a link to 15 minutes of footage covering your article re Cindy Sheehan given 40 seconds on public radio.

by Robert B. Livingston (confetti [at]
Friday Oct 31st, 2008 1:01 PM
Thank you all for your positive comments to my article. Thanks especially to Clifford Roddy for his adding the link to his fascinating video.

It is excellent.

Interesting to see Cindy´s reaction when KQED hung up on her.

Michael Krasny, besides being the host, is the senior editor of Forum, and was probably most responsible for the way the program was formatted and executed.

I admire Cindy Sheehan for not sacrificing her principles for the sake of getting wider attention. Good people have done it regularly in the past because it is nearly impossible otherwise.

Becoming the media ourselves may be an answer-- but our slingshots are aimed against some very powerful guns. We are David to Goliath.

Thinking of the way KQED apportioned the time on Forum, I can´t help retelling this story which illustrates the injustice of it:

Two children argue over a piece of cake.

The first says, ¨Why don´t we split it? You get half, I get half.¨

The second wants it all however.

An adult arrives to break up the quarreling.

¨Why don´t you compromise?¨ she asks them.

The children agree.

The adult gives the first child a quarter of the cake, and three quarters to the second who wanted it all.

So long as people think of compromise in these terms-- bullies will rule.
by Cliff Hoeft
Monday Nov 3rd, 2008 10:12 AM
I frequently listen to C-span's 'Washington Journal', I love the American spirit in the phone calls.

I cringe everytime I hear a caller preface their statement by saying "Thank God for C-span, its the only truth I get."

C-span is a corporate entity that commonly has opposing arguments from a Washington Times editor and a Council on Foreign Relations senior fellow.

And Americans are thanking God for this and NPR / PBS are running commercials for exxon and ADM.

SHAME on us for our slothfull ignorance and our pusilaminous subservience.

We as a people deserve the enslave that is coming.

by Ric Abreu
Sunday Nov 16th, 2008 8:14 AM
I believe the reason Pelosi has tabled impeachment is because she was privy to the information of illegal wiretaps etc. and agreed to let Bush do it. If Bush acted illegally then that would make Pelosi & Co. complicit. If Bush/Cheny ever get tried for his many crimes against us and all humanity, Pelosi and other key Democrats should stand trial with them. Obama's mantra "Got Hope?" is bull, how about, "Got Justice?"
by Robert B. Livingston (comfetti [at]
Tuesday Dec 16th, 2008 11:51 AM
Nancy Pelosi: "...if I honestly believed that the president had violated the Constitution of the United States, and if my colleagues believed that, I think you would have seen the president impeached."

Senate Report Links Bush to Detainee Homicides; Media Yawns

By Glenn Greenwald

The culpability which the Report assigns for these war crimes is vast in scope and unambiguous:

In this article:

Here -- from July of this year -- is one of the more remarkable quotes of the Bush era; it's from Nancy Pelosi, who was explicitly briefed on the CIA's torture program in 2002:

Q: You’ve ruled against impeaching George Bush and Dick Cheney, and now Kucinich is trying to pass that. Why do you insist on not impeaching these people, so that the world and America can really see the crimes that they’ve committed?

PELOSI: I thought that impeachment would be divisive for the country. . . . If somebody had a crime that the President had committed, that would be a different story.

It's not like there's any evidence that Bush committed any crimes or anything, said Pelosi. From Jane Mayer's The Dark Side

One year of the Afghan prison operation alone cost an estimated 100 million, which Congress hid in a classified annex of the first supplemental Afghan appropriation bill in 2002. Among the services that U.S. taxpayers unwittingly paid for were medieval-like dungeons, including a reviled former brick factory outside of Kabul known as "The Salt Pit." In 2004, a still-unidentified prisoner froze to death there after a young CIA supervisor ordered guards to strip him naked and chain him overnight to the concrete floor. The CIA has never accounted for the death, nor publicly reprimanded the supervisor. Instead, the Agency reportedly promoted him.

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