Friday, August 29, 2008

Sarah Palin: Maverick or Just a Neophyte?

What do you think about John McCain's Choice of Sarah (who??) Palin as VP?

Risky Palin Pick Raises Questions About McCain
by Peter Wallsten, The Los Angeles Times:
"...For a candidate known to possess a quick temper and an unpredictable political streak, the decision raises questions about how McCain would lead -- whether his decisions would flow from careful deliberations or gut checks in which short-term considerations or feelings outweigh the long view...."
John Cheney-Lippold (Truthdig) reports:
"...Palin’s policy work and history as a “maverick”—however drained that word is in recent political discourse—are those of a line-toeing conservative who vehemently supports the war, loves guns, is anti-abortion and wants to kill polar bears. No, seriously. As governor she recently sued the federal government, claiming that the 1973 Endangered Species Act, which protects polar bears, is unjust because it prohibits Alaska from fully exploring oil and natural gas sites. She wants to be able to kill polar bears to drill for oil. How Republican is that?

Her support for big oil companies, destruction of polar bears aside, leads her to advocate strongly for drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, an idea that has for ages been disregarded as a reactionary and foolish Band-Aid on the larger problem of the country’s dependency on oil, foreign or domestic.

She further displays her Republican convictions through wanting to overturn Roe v. Wade; not believing in even the bastardized idea of gay civil unions; and being a proud, gun-toting/photo-oped member of the NRA...."
Jeremy Funk, Americans United for Change, writes:
"At Americans United for Change, we've already done a little digging, and it turns out Sarah Palin fits in perfectly with John McCain's backwards energy policy, disregard for the environment, and cozy relationship with Big Oil.

Palin has argued again and again in favor of oil-drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, despite clear dangers to surrounding wildlife.

This year, Palin sued the federal government for adding polar bears to the endangered species list, arguing the move would interfere with oil and gas drilling efforts.

Palin's close relationship with Big Oil fits right in with John McCain's reckless energy plan: take millions in campaign donations from oil companies, and in return give them massive tax breaks and free reign to drill in environmentally sensitive areas.

This is not the path to a future of renewable energy free of our addiction to oil.

[...]

John McCain may have chosen a fresh face as his running mate, but the more we learn about her, the clearer it becomes that Sarah Palin's policies represent more of the same.
Photo Credit: Sarah Palin. (news.aol.com)

Also See:

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Cable News Covering The DNC With Republican Cue Card.

While obviously not canned, the DNC coverage this week definitely appears to follow a preordained law: When the Republicans attack, repeat the attack over and over. When the Democrats attack, attack the Democrats. For lack of a better term, let's call it Scarborough's Law, in honor of Joe "The Shovel" Scarborough.

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Running for War President at Any Cost

Robert Scheer, Truthdig, reports:
Just great! Nuclear-armed Pakistan is falling apart, Iran’s nuclear program is unchecked and congressional legislation on cooperation with the Russians on controlling nuclear proliferation is now dead in the water. Horrid news except for Sen. John McCain, who thrills to a repeat of the danger lines of the Cold War...
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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Must See: Naomi Klein on Obama

Klein speaks about Obama and the intellectual and political integrity of the progressive movement:



Bio:
Naomi Klein is an award-winning journalist, syndicated columnist and author of the international and New York Times bestseller The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism. Klein's previous book No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies was also an international bestseller. Klein is a former Miliband Fellow at the London School of Economics and holds an honorary Doctor of Civil Laws from the University of King’s College, Nova Scotia. For more information on The Shock Doctrine visit http://www.naomiklein.org/main

Jon Stewart Lectures Reporters For Lazy Coverage

Many of us have been saying the very same thing as Jon..the media takes things at less than face value and reports it as if it were truth, without investigation or giving a factual response.

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Saturday, August 23, 2008

Cheney Linked To Ted Stevens Corruption Trial

A two-year-old letter by Vice President Dick Cheney that push-ed a controversial Alaska natural-gas pipeline bill is getting renewed scrutiny because of recently disclosed evidence in the Justice Department's corruption case against Sen. Ted Stevens.
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Docs reveal PR push for Iraq war preceded intel findings

A new report on the documents presents compelling evidence that the Bush administration pressured the CIA and other intelligence agencies to tailor their reports to back-up Bush's desire to invade. The report suggests the bulk of this effort was run out of Vice President Dick Cheney's office, backing up numerous...

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Michael Moore Dares to Ask What's So Heroic About Being shot

Like Iraq, Vietnam was not a noble cause. It's time we stopped letting politicians and the press perpetuate the McCain War Hero myth.

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And the winner is: Joe Biden!

Read all about it:

t r u t h o u t | Biden Pick Gives Obama What He Needs | John Nichols

Also See:


Susan Eisenhower Quits Republican Party

Reflections on Leaving the Party
By Susan Eisenhower
:
I have decided I can no longer be a registered Republican. For the first time in my life I announced my support for a Democratic candidate for the presidency, in February of this year. This was not an endorsement of the Democratic platform, nor was it a slap in the face to the Republican Party. It was an expression of support specifically for Senator Barack Obama. I had always intended to go back to party ranks after the election and work with my many dedicated friends and colleagues to help reshape the GOP, especially in the foreign-policy arena. But I now know I will be more effective focusing on our national and international problems than I will be in trying to reinvigorate a political organization that has already consumed nearly all of its moderate “seed corn.” And now, as the party threatens to trivialize what promised to be a serious debate on our future direction, it will alienate many young people who might have come into party ranks.

My decision came at the end of last week when it was demonstrated to the nation that McCain and this Bush White House have learned little in the last five years. They mishandled what became a crisis in the Caucusus, and this has undermined U.S. national security. At the same time, the McCain camp appears to be comfortable with running an unworthy Karl Rove–style political campaign. Will the McCain operation, and its sponsors, do anything to win?

This week, I changed my registration from Republican to independent. The two political parties as they exist today, and the partisanship that they foster, reflect the many fights of the cold war, the Vietnam era, the post–cold war and the 9/11 periods. Today we are in a different place altogether, where our security as a nation is challenged not just from abroad but also close to home. The energy, health-care and financial crises threaten our national prosperity and well-being, just as surely as any confrontation overseas or an attack by radical terrorists.

As an independent I want to be free of the constraints and burdens that have come with trying to make my own views explainable in the context of today’s party. Hijacked by a relatively small few, the GOP of today bears no resemblance to Lincoln, Roosevelt or Eisenhower’s party, or many of the other Republican administrations that came after. In my grandparents’ time, the thrust of the party was rooted in: a respect for the constitution; the defense of civil liberties; a commitment to fiscal responsibility; the pursuit and stewardship of America’s interests abroad; the use of multilateral international engagement and “soft power”; the advancement of civil rights; investment in infrastructure; environmental stewardship; the promotion of science and its discoveries; and a philosophical approach focused squarely on the future.

As an independent I will now feel comfortable supporting people of any political party who reflect those core values.

It was not easy taking this step, since politics, like religion, is something learned on the knee of one’s parents and grandparents. And like anything else inherited, it is imbedded in one’s own identity. This makes leaving even harder.

But there will be some joy for me in my new status since I will be able to speak for myself, and not as a member of a party that has, sadly, lost its way.
Photo Credit: Susan Eisenhower. (nti.org)

Also See:


Friday, August 22, 2008

An Anthem For Change

Dave Stewart: Exclusive Premiere:



For thoughts behind the song and video from Dave Stewart, click here.


FactCheck Examines McCain's Charges Against Obama on Rezko

McCain's off the mark.

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Now That’s Rich

"One thing’s for sure: Barack Obama isn’t planning to raise taxes on the middle class, by any reasonable definition."

Paul Krugman, NYTimes.com:
"...[A]ll the evidence in the world won’t stop Republicans from claiming, as they always do, that Democrats are going to impose a crippling tax burden on ordinary hard-working Americans. But it just ain’t so."

Amy Goodman calls out Pelosi

Cheney, Bush and Habbush
By Amy Goodman (Truthdig) :
"House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is on a book tour in which she is being hounded by activists and questioned about her declaration that “impeachment is off the table.” She responded on the TV talk show “The View,” “If somebody had a crime that the president had committed, that would be a different story.”

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ron Suskind may have provided the evidence she doesn’t want to see. Suskind has just published a book called “The Way of the World.” He makes an explosive charge: that the Bush administration instructed the CIA to forge a letter that would support its claims that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and was linked to al-Qaida. He also charged that the person whose name is on the forged letter, the former head of Iraqi intelligence, the man who was the jack of diamonds in the U.S. military’s “most wanted” deck of cards, Tahir Jalil Habbush, was given $5 million in hush money.

[...]

...The upcoming presidential conventions will be filled with vague promises of change. Congress should prove it and fully investigate Cheney, Bush and Habbush."

Thursday, August 21, 2008

This Is Not the Change We Hoped For: House Concurrent Resolution 362

Camillo "Mac" Bica, t r u t h o u t, writes :
"...If the Democrats truly wish to distinguish themselves from the Republicans and offer a 'new direction for America,' as Representative Ackerman claims on his web site, they must draft a new resolution - one that demands not threats of violence but diplomacy, not blockade but face-to-face negotiations with no preconditions, not sanctions but the exchange of ambassadors, not embargo but the opening of embassies, not covert operations intended at inciting unrest, ethnic conflict and regime change, but a nonaggression pact - all with the condition, of course, that both nations abide by the terms of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT). That is, in return for an Iranian guarantee that its nuclear program is intended only for peaceful purposes and its cooperation in ensuring scrupulous inspections, the United States must end its bellicose posturing, sanctions and embargo, and abide by Articles I, II and VI of the NPT and reduce its nuclear arsenal, cease its development of a new generation of tactical nuclear weapons, and end its deployment of nuclear weapons around the world. This is the change we hope for; this is the new direction for America we must demand."
CAMILLO "MAC" BICA, PH.D., IS A PROFESSOR OF PHILOSOPHY AT THE SCHOOL OF VISUAL ARTS IN NEW YORK CITY. HIS FOCUS IS IN ETHICS, PARTICULARLY AS IT APPLIES TO WAR AND WARRIORS. AS A VETERAN RECOVERING FROM HIS EXPERIENCES AS A UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS OFFICER DURING THE VIETNAM WAR, HE FOUNDED AND COORDINATED FOR FIVE YEARS THE VETERANS SELF-HELP INITIATIVE, A THERAPEUTIC COMMUNITY OF VETERANS SUFFERING FROM POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER. HE IS A LONG-TIME ACTIVIST FOR PEACE AND JUSTICE, A MEMBER OF THE VIETNAM VETERANS AGAINST THE WAR, AND COORDINATOR OF THE LONG ISLAND CHAPTER OF VETERANS FOR PEACE. ARTICLES BY DR. BICA HAVE APPEARED IN CYRANO'S JOURNAL, THE HUMANIST MAGAZINE, ZNET, TRUTHOUT.ORG, COMMON DREAMS, ANTIWAR.COM, MONTHLY REVIEW ZINE, FOREIGN POLICY IN FOCUS, OPEDNEWS.COM AND NUMEROUS PHILOSOPHICAL JOURNALS.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Did John McCain Lie About His P.O.W Record?

Related Videos:

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Is the Fourth Estate a Fifth Column?

Bill Moyers, In These Times:
Corporate media colludes with democracy's demise

...Sadly, in many respects, the Fourth Estate has become the fifth column of democracy, colluding with the powers that be in a culture of deception that subverts the thing most necessary to freedom, and that is the truth.

But we're not alone and we know what we need to say. So let us all go tell it on the mountains and in the cities. From our websites and laptops, the street corners and coffeehouses, the delis and diners, the factory floors and the bookstores. On campus, at the mall, the synagogue, sanctuary and mosque, let's tell it where we can, when we can and while we still can.

Democracy only works when ordinary people claim it as their own.
Photo: Bill Moyers is the president of the Schumann Center for Media and Democracy and the host of Bill Moyers Journal on PBS. (InTheseTimes.com)


Risky or Smart? Obama's Big Bet on the Ground Game

Obama is betting big on the importance of the ground game, but will it payoff?

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Majority of Middle Class Supports Progressive Policy

AlterNet:
"A new poll from the Drum Major Institute shows that most middle class Americans agree with progressive platforms."

Must Read: Mike's Election Guide 2008



Peter Cavanaugh:
"Michael Moore once again proves he is far and away America's best and brightest political observer with this exceptional offering - brilliantly written, tightly edited and perfectly presented with scalpel sharp humor. Delightfully declarative. Unambiguously incisive. Barry Obama! Read this book!"

Republicans Have Handed Democrats a Winning Election Issue

AlterNet:
But so far, Democrats have been refusing to accept the gift....

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Must See: Bill Moyers Interviews Andrew J. Bacevich

Bill Moyers Journal:
Is an imperial presidency destroying what America stands for? Bill Moyers sits down with ... Andrew J. Bacevich who identifies three major problems facing our democracy: the crises of economy, government and militarism, and calls for a redefinition of the American way of life....

As campaign ads urge voters to consider who will be a better "Commander in Chief," Andrew J. Bacevich — Professor of International Relations at Boston University, retired Army colonel, and West Point graduate — encourage[s] viewers to take a step back and connect the dots between U.S. foreign policy, consumerism, politics, and militarism....
For video, transcript and more information, Click Here.

Photo: Andrew J. Bacevich. (pbs.org)


Monday, August 18, 2008

The Candidate We Still Don’t Know

By Frank Rich,
The New York Times
:
"With the exception of McCain’s imprisonment in Vietnam, every aspect of this profile in courage is inaccurate or defunct...."
Photo: Frank Rich. (Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times)


Friday, August 15, 2008

Baracky: John McCain vs. Barack Obama

Enjoy:
The primaries are over... the general election is on. Watch a mashup of Barack Obama and John McCain fighting it out as if they were characters in Rocky.



Sunday, August 10, 2008

Why You Should Stop Watching Mainstream News

Paul Jay, CEO of The Real News Network, is interviewed by Daljit Dhaliwal, host of PBS Foreign Exchange:



The Real News Network:
Paul Jay, is CEO and Senior Editor of The Real News Network. TRNN is independent of political parties, is viewer supported and not-for-profit. TRNN does not accept advertising, government or corporate funding. This funding model allows for uncompromising broadcast journalism. Now in ‘start up’ phase, its mission is to be a daily video news service for a mass audience – online and on television. Prior to TRNN, Jay was for ten seasons the creator and executive producer of CBC Newsworld's flagship debate programs, counterSpin and FaceOff. Jay has produced and directed more than 20 major documentary films including "Return to Kandahar", “Lost in Las Vegas” and Hitman Hart: wrestling with shadows, a feature length documentary, that was screened in 25 major festivals and won more than a dozen awards. It's been called "one of the most acclaimed Canadian films in years"(eye magazine), "A tale as bizarre as Kafka and as tragic as Shakespeare" (Ottawa Citizen) and "one of the best films of 1998"(Peter Plagens, art critic for Newsweek). A past chair of the Documentary Organization of Canada, Jay is the founding chair of Hot Docs!, the Canadian international documentary film festival.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Stupid is as Stupid Votes

Know-Nothing Politics
By Paul Krugman,
NYTimes.com
So the G.O.P. has found its issue for the 2008 election. For the next three months the party plans to keep chanting: “Drill here! Drill now! Drill here! Drill now! Four legs good, two legs bad!” O.K., I added that last part.

And the debate on energy policy has helped me find the words for something I’ve been thinking about for a while. Republicans, once hailed as the “party of ideas,” have become the party of stupid.

Now, I don’t mean that G.O.P. politicians are, on average, any dumber than their Democratic counterparts. And I certainly don’t mean to question the often frightening smarts of Republican political operatives.

What I mean, instead, is that know-nothingism — the insistence that there are simple, brute-force, instant-gratification answers to every problem, and that there’s something effeminate and weak about anyone who suggests otherwise — has become the core of Republican policy and political strategy. The party’s de facto slogan has become: “Real men don’t think things through.”...

Continue reading
Cartoon: Glen McCoy | t r u t h o u t


Israel, Iran and the New Neocons

ANP: Neocons say Bush should let Israel attack Iran after election day before new president takes office

American News Project:
Washington's neocons are alive and well, advising both John McCain and President Bush. Now many are saying Bush should permit Israel to attack Iran's nuclear facilities after Election Day before the new president takes office. ANP investigates as we chase down John Bolton, Bill Kristol and Frank Gaffney to see how far ahead these hawks are thinking. And a new report says the whole plan could backfire.
The Real News Network - Story



Wednesday, August 06, 2008

John McCain, Paris Hilton, and the Politics of Nothing

Arianna Huffington:
"...it's not exactly a surprise that the Republican election machine would resort to trying to make the entire election into an issueless sideshow. I mean, what else do they have?

But it is still a sad spectacle to see John McCain going along with it with such glib eagerness. The man who once pledged to run a 'respectful campaign' and who said that Obama 'would rather lose a war in order to win a political campaign' has made it clear that he'd rather lose everything he has stood for than lose the White House."

The Forged Iraqi Letter: What Just Happened?

Ron Suskind reports:
"What just happened? Evidence. A secret that has been judiciously kept for five years just spilled out. All of what follows is new, never reported in any way..."

Continue reading

Iraq Has $79 Billion Surplus — What's the US Deficit Again?

CitizenSugar reports:
"Thanks to rising oil prices, Iraq will enjoy a $79 billion surplus by the end of the year, according to a report requested by a bipartisan group of senators. While the US has spent $48 billion in American taxpayer money on Iraq's reconstruction since 2005, Iraq has spent only a fraction of its oil revenue on reconstruction projects. And, Iraq spent only 1 percent of its 2005-2007 budget to maintain existing projects already funded by Americans or Iraqis. Thus, preinvasion promises that Iraqi oil money would finance the rebuilding of Iraq have gone unfulfilled...."

Continue Reading.

Help Shed Light on McCain's Lobbyests!

From Campaign Money Watch:
John McCain’s connections to high-powered lobbyists are so numerous it’s hard to keep up with all of them. But you can help us keep up and point us to any stories you’ve heard or read that you think deserve some attention on this blog.

Just send your tips to our new e-mail address: tips@mccainslobbyists.com. We’ll sift through what we receive and will post the good stuff (including a hat-tip to whoever sent it in).
And remember, if you want to know whose interests a candidate will embrace once he is in office, all you have to do is follow the money.


Why Voters Say they Don't Really Know Barack Obama (and Why They Don't Really Know Much about John McCain, Either)

For anyone out there who is a frustrated as I am by Obama's inability to recognize that he is losing the current political media battle with John McCain, Drew Westen (Huffington Post) has some words of wisdom for the Obama campaign:
"...McCain has made abundantly clear since infesting his campaign with Rove prote�g�es a few weeks ago that he intends to run a relentlessly negative campaign. For many of us, it was a relief this week to see Obama starting to run an occasional offense this week, instead of running a prevent defense with too few players on the field. What is not as clear is what the Obama campaign learned from the relentlessly negative campaign Hillary Clinton ran against him in the last half of the primary season. They clearly remember that he won. But what is not so clear is whether his campaign took away anything from the fact that he lost two-thirds of the primaries after Hillary turned to her slash-and-burn strategy and that many voters came away with an uneasy feeling about him.

His campaign needs to understand why that happened, because it's the same thing that happened to Al Gore and John Kerry. It's about narratives....

...There need be no contradiction between Obama's high-road message and a realistic campaign that addresses all four quadrants of the message grid. If he wants to retain the high road, the least he can do is to counterpunch every time McCain tries to tell a story about Obama or undermine Obama's own story, with a simple, 'There you go again--that's exactly the politics of division that has led us to where we are in Washington....'

...From a neurological standpoint, positive and emotions play different functions, arise in different ways, and even have largely distinct neural circuitry. If McCain creates enough ambivalence about Obama, Obama will need to create enough ambivalence about McCain to cancel it out. No one has ever won an election by saying what a great guy he is, letting his opponent pummel away at his character, and refusing to define his opponent or derail the glorious narrative his opponent is telling about himself.

Perhaps Obama will be the first. But he should study the stump speeches and convention addresses of the only Democrats to win an election when Republicans controlled the White House since FDR: JFK in 1960, Jimmy Carter in 1976, and Bill Clinton in 1992. All three ran positive, forward-thinking campaigns, but all three ran against the incumbent and his party with a strong story that resonated with the American people. None was afraid to mince words about his opponent.

Obama needs to remember that one of the most 'negative' political documents ever written was the Declaration of Independence."
Photo credit: The McCain and Obama macho match. (Slate Magazine)


A different kind of hybrid or flex-fuel

Left I on the News reports:
In the U.S., "hybrid" car is pretty much synonymous with the Toyota Prius and similar cars which can run on electricity or gasoline; "flex-fuel" is synonymous with cars that can run on either gasoline or what used to be called (I haven't seen the term in quite a while) "gasohol." But there's a different kind of hybrid car I'd never heard of, and one of the world leaders in its production is...Iran:
Iranian companies have increased production of dual-fuel vehicles as part of the general plan to manufacture less gasoline-powered cars.

“Iranian automakers have produced more than 120,000 vehicles that use natural gas and regular gasoline in the first quarter of the current (Iranian calendar) year (March 20-July 21),” Iranian Minister of Industries and Mines Ali-Akbar Mehrabian said on Sunday in Tehran.

“Hybrid car production rose to 429,000 last year from 20,000 two years ago,” Mehrabian said at Iran's first national conference on CNG, which was held in the capital from August 2 to 3.
For comparison, there are only 150,000 natural gas vehicles in the entire U.S., a country with more than four times the population of Iran.

Hopefully the Administration and corporate media won't learn about this; I'm sure they'll figure out the nefarious motive behind it and call for additional sanctions.

Update: By the way, ever the stickler for the precise use of language, I note that the first sentence in the quoted article should read "fewer gasoline-powered cars," not "less."


A War of Self-Destruction

Chris Hedges (Truthdig) reports:
"An attack on Iran, which Israeli and Bush administration officials appear set to carry out if Iranian uranium enrichment is not halted, would ignite a regional war in the Middle East and lead to economic collapse and political upheaval in the United States...."
Photo Credit: Iranian protesters burn a U.S flag in a demonstration marking the anniversary of the Islamic Revolution. (Truthdig) (AP photo / Hasan Sarbakhshian)


Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Paris Hilton Responds To John McCain's Celebrity Ad

Watch Paris's video from Funny or Die via Huffington Post:
Now it's Paris Hilton's chance to tell off John McCain for putting her in an Obama attack ad. Late Sunday Paris's mother Kathy slammed McCain for the waste of money, time and attention given to the ad in a blog for Huffington Post (excerpted below). But Paris has gone a step further and taken her response to the camera in a scripted piece, saying she'll "see you at the debate, bitches."
See more funny videos at Funny or Die



Friday, August 01, 2008

Jon Stewart Busts McCain on the Paris and Britney Ad

This Obama elitist strategy may have worked, as the media starts to question his arrogance. It's a good thing John McCain is so unassuming....



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In a Perfect Storm of Economic Stagflation,The Yachting Set Says: "Let Them Eat Pizza"

"Officially, 'stagflation' is a thing of the past, but a deeper look reveals a different, very current reality for most Americans."
This is a Josh Holland "Must Read."

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