The Daily Show
Oct 29, 2008
They found Sarah Palin in the wild, taught her everything, and set her loose, but they forgot one thing: she couldn’t be contained.
by Kellia Ramares
Speaking Truth to Power
Oct 28, 2008
Thursday, 30 October 2008
Israel and Iran: Which country comes foremost in US foreign policy, the United States or Israel? Sometimes it’s hard to tell. The Israeli-centric approach to US Middle East foreign policy, which is unfair to the Palestinians and dangerous to a United States dependent on foreign oil, will not change in an Obama Administration.
A Truth To Power Exclusive
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Which country comes foremost in US foreign policy, the United States or Israel? Sometimes it’s hard to tell. The Israeli-centric approach to US Middle East foreign policy, which is unfair to the Palestinians and dangerous to a United States dependent on foreign oil, will not change in an Obama Administration.
Which office is Obama running for?
On June 4, 2008, the day after Barack Obama clinched the Democratic nomination, he spoke to AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. Here are some excerpts of that speech:
I want you to know that today I’ll be speaking from my heart and as a true friend of Israel. And I know that when I visit with AIPAC, I am among friends. Good Friends. Friends who share my strong commitment to make sure that they bond between the United States and Israel is unbreakable today, tomorrow, and forever.
… I was drawn to the belief that you could sustain a spiritual, emotional and cultural identity. And I deeply understood the Zionist idea – that there is always a homeland at the center of our story. … We know the establishment of Israel was just and necessary, rooted in centuries of struggle and decades of patient work. But 60 years later, we know that we cannot relent, we cannot yield, and as president I will never compromise when it comes to Israel’s security….Those who threaten Israel threaten us. Israel has always faced these threats on the front lines. And I will bring to the White House an unshakeable commitment to Israel’s security. … Let me be clear. Israel’s security is sacrosanct. It is non-negotiable. The Palestinians need a state that is contiguous and cohesive, and that allows them to prosper – but any agreement with the Palestinian people must preserve Israel’s identity as a Jewish state, with secure, recognized and defensible borders. Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided.1
Understand that Zionism is a political philosophy and is not the same as Judaism, which is a religion. One does not have to be Jewish to be a Zionist. In fact, Christian Zionists are prominent as supporters of and elected officials from the Republican Party.3 Some Christian Zionists, particularly the Dispensationalists,–the late Rev. Jerry Falwell was one–want Israel to claim all of Palestine because they believe that this is a necessary precursor to the Second Coming of Christ.4 However, these Christian Zionists also believe that the Jews and all other non-Christians will be condemned on Judgment Day. So they don’t have any particular love for the Jewish people.
American Stories, American Solutions: 30 Minute Special
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Updated: added Olbermann’s Campaign Comment; see below
McCain Racism, Hypocrisy on Khalidi Issue
The increasingly sleazy John McCain, who once promised to run a clean campaign, has now attacked my friend Rashid Khalidi and attempted to use him against Barack Obama. Khalidi is an American scholar of Palestinian heritage, born in New York and educated at Yale and Oxford, who now teaches at Columbia University. He directed the Middle East Center at the University of Chicago for some time, and he and his family came to know the Obamas at that time. Knowing someone and agreeing with him on everything are not the same thing.
I know it may seem a novel idea to people like McCain and Palin, but it would be worthwhile actually reading Khalidi’s book on the Palestinian struggle for statehood. (I urge bloggers interested in this issue to link to his book, which the American reading public should know).
At the least, read a whole essay Khalidi has written.
Charlie Rose – Rashid Khalidi / Antonia Fraser
August 26, 2007
Segment 1: Columbia University professor Rashid Khalidi discusses his book “The Iron Cage: The Story of the Palestinian Struggle for Statehood”.
Segment 2: Antonia Fraser, author of “Love and Louis XIV: The Women in the Life of the Sun King”.
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by Alan Maass
October 28, 2008
John McCain says Americans should be worried that Barack Obama wants to “spread the wealth around.” And why is that a bad idea, asks Alan Maass?
A SPECTER is haunting America. Or at least haunting the fevered brains of John McCain and his fellow Republicans.
It’s the specter of “socialism,” in the form of Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama and his alleged determination to “spread the wealth around.”
It comes as a little bit of a surprise to us here at SocialistWorker.org that Barack Obama is one of us, because we haven’t seen him at any of the meetings.
But Michelle Malkin is certain about it. “There’s no question,” the right-wing commentator declared, “that Barack Obama has been steeped in and marinated with the socialist ethos.” Talk radio host Glenn Beck fumed, “I believe there’s a socialist agenda there for America.”
Adds one-time contender for the Republican presidential nomination Mike Huckabee: “When you punish people for making more money, and you reward them for nothing, that is socialism. And that’s a terrible, terrible way for this country to move.”
So what is this national tragedy in the making? The McCain campaign (including its new national mascot, Joe the Plumber) is irate about Obama’s proposal to rescind tax cuts enacted under George Bush for households with an adjusted gross income of $250,000 and over–the richest 2.3 percent of U.S. taxpayers, according to Citizens for Tax Justice.
John McCain Is A Loser
Don’t take my word for it. Ask Neil Cavuto for his opinion:
John McCain, I figured out today why you’re a loser. Your positions are always changing.
You voted for the $700 billion rescue package. Yet today lumped your opponent with the Bush Administration for essentially pushing the same package.
What’s the deal with the Straight Talk Express?
He voted for this rescue, but now says Barack Obama and the White House, who voted for the same rescue, apparently voted for something different. Specifically, McCain wants to target the $700 billion into solving the mortgage crisis, not helping Wall Street banks. Look, I wasn’t for this rescue, but I kind of knew what it was about…shoring up the banks. If Senator McCain didn’t know that, he shouldn’t have voted for that…maybe he should have read that. Because he is smarter than this, and the verbal gymnastics that rival anything John Kerry was ever for before he was against…way, way before this. Not that Barack Obama’s positions are any more encouraging…but they are consistent. I don’t like the left-leaning, spread-the-wealth approach, but it’s a consistent approach and the Democratic nominee has never veered from it. You can accept him and his views or not. With John McCain I’m not so sure. But I am sure I’m not the only one confused. …confused by a man who says he hates government spending, but supports pushing $300 billion to bail out folks behind on their mortgage. You can’t say you’re against earmarks when you’re earmarking that kind of dough, Senator. Or adding more than $50 billion to a stimulus plan you cannot pay for…all the while blasting your opponent for coming up with programs he can’t pay for. Frankly, neither of your numbers adds up. But I’ve come to see a consistent pattern in Obama’s. For the life of me, Senator Straight Talk, I see no such straight thing with yours. Obama argues big government d spells out why we need it…accept it or reject it. You rail against big government, yet continue to push cockamamie spending plans that make a mockery of it. That’s why you’re losing right now, Senator McCain. Not because you don’t have the courage of your convictions. But because on economic matters, you have no convictions, period.
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No presidential candidate has ever used massive amounts of money to so effectively stalk voters. You cannot escape the Obama sales pitch wherever you are, whatever you watch, whatever you read. His campaign will go down in American history as the most successful advertising and marketing effort to sell a product.
While people on the left love to talk and bitch about Republicans stealing elections, what should worry people is how a candidate can buy the presidency, because they have conned millions of people to donate money while at the same time using those smaller campaign contributions to block the truth that a huge fraction of all the money has come from the same corporate, business and wealthy fat cats that have always funded both Republicans and Democrats. This ensures that Obama will never, ever take any action to remove the tyranny of the status quo two-party plutocracy.
It certainly helps that John McCain does not deserve the vote of any halfway intelligent person. Indeed, this election is like a national IQ test. There will surely be tens of millions of voters that go for McCain. They are overwhelmingly the least smart, least informed, and most delusional Americans that have actually fallen for McCain’s lies, distortions, terrible judgments, and imbecilic arguments.
This was the year that Americans should have overwhelmingly seen that BOTH Democrats and Republicans have brought this once great nation to its knees and rejected BOTH major candidates. But, alas, I fear that third-party presidential candidates will end up getting just about what they have always received: no nationally significant percentage of votes.
In this delusional democracy voters overwhelmingly delude themselves about whoever they vote for, except those that have the courage and true patriotism to vote their conscience and vote against the two-party plutocracy. Worst of all are those who consider themselves “progressives” but who will enthusiastically, once again, go the lesser-evil, delusional route and eagerly vote for Obama. When Obama fails to keep nearly all of his campaign promises and fills the Executive Branch with crowds of loyal Democrats (not true independent thinking progressives that are not registered Democrats) all those Obamatons will probably keep deluding themselves and come up with rationalizations why Obama had no other choice. And they will keep fantasizing that eventually Obama will show himself to be the political messiah that they think he is.
All that will be proven with the Obama presidency is that you can have a very intelligent person in the White House and not just an idiot like George W. Bush who ends up preserving and encouraging the two-party plutocracy that keeps the Upper Class and corporate state safe from attack while letting the middle class continue to slide down into a larger Lower Class. I would rather have had the first truly independent president elected than the first African-American one, someone like Ralph Nader.
[Joel S. Hirschhorn is a co-founder of Friends of the Article V Convention. Contact Joel S. Hirschhorn through www.delusionaldemocracy.com.]
This video may contain images depicting the reality and horror of war/violence and should only be viewed by a mature audience.
Mosaic needs your help! Donate here: http://linktv.org/contribute
“International Activists’ Boat Arrives in Gaza,” Al Jazeera TV, Qatar
“Jewish Extremists Can Demonstrate in Arab Villages,” IBA TV, Israel
“A Message to Nasrallah,” Syria TV, Syria
“Iraqis Divided Over Security Agreement,” Abu Dhabi TV, UAE
“160 Killed in Earthquake in Pakistan,” Dubai TV, UAE
“Talking to the Taliban,” Saudi TV, Saudi Arabia
“Kuwaiti Parliament in Crisis,” Al Arabiya TV, UAE
“Pakistan Faces Bankruptcy,” Dubai TV, UAE
“Women Taxi Drivers in Tehran,” Al-Alam TV, Iran
Produced for Link TV by Jamal Dajani.
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October 30, 2008
Negative Advertising v. Negative Advertising
As we enter the last week of the presidential election campaign, much has been made and much continues to be made of “negative campaigning.” The mainstream media makes much of the issue, even though it has a long-standing tradition in American politics going back to the early 19th century. But I’m confused. The MSM’s usual take on what’s going on is “a plague on both your houses,” as if both campaigns were engaging in the same kind of campaigning that can described as “negative.” So the McCain campaign says Sen. Obama is a “socialist” while the Obama campaign says that Sen. McCain voted for Bush policies 90% of the time. Sarah Palin says that Sen. Obama has been “pallin’ around with terrorists,” while Sen. Obama points out that Sen. McCain’s proposed tax cuts benefit only the wealthy. A McCain Minnesota robo-call, which ends with the statement “this call as approved by the Republican National Committee and Sen. John McCain” says that Sen. Obama was a “close associate of the terrorist [Prof. William] Ayers,” (demonstrably untrue) while Sen. Obama points out that Sen. McCain is on record as proposing to appoint Supreme Court justices who would vote to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Somehow I don’t see these two kinds of ads as comparable. McCain/Palin attack Obama with half-truths, fully un-truths and character assassination (while letting people at their rallies scream death threats with very infrequent comments from the podium). Obama attacks McCain on policy issues and yes, sometimes does use the word “erratic,” one that many Republicans have used to describe his behavior during the campaign. Since McCain has made “suitability for the office” a campaign issue (and with his choice of Palin it surely is), it would seem that “erratic” is a word hardly in the same category as “terrorist.” But I guess that I must have missed something. Because the MSM continue to tell us that this is a negative campaign and that both sides have contributed equally to the negativity.
On to ACORN
ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (now that’s a scary name, isn’t it?), has become the whipping boy for the Republican Party and their media hacks as they maneuver to find a cover for their obvious attempts to suppress Democratic votes once again and once again steal the election (as they did in 2000 and 2004). Actually, if you listen to the Fox “News” Channel, otherwise known as the Voice of The Republican National Committee (and I do, along with listening to Limbaugh and Hannity in admittedly small doses — gotta know what the Republican Radical Right is really saying), you would think that their role in registering voters is one of the top ones in this campaign, if not THE top one.
First the Republican Scream Machine, as with the Fannie and Freddie fiction, led by Hannity and the self-same Fox “News” Channel. Then, again, McCain-as-echo-chamber himself in that last debate. “ACORN is fraudulently registering voters.” We are going to hear this right up to Election Day, and very likely well after it, for the Republicans seem to be gearing up, gearing way up, to try to steal yet another election. The problem with this one is that ACORN does not register voters. Only election boards do that. ACORN simply circulates forms and submits the filled-out ones to the local Boards of Elections, which then make their decision on the qualification of the applicant in each individual case.
Yes, some of their overzealous workers (overzealous for a variety of reasons, for they do get paid by the piece) have submitted or attempted to submitted fake forms. But: A) state laws require ACORN to submit every form they collect, B) ACORN itself flagged all of those forms they determined to be even possibly fake, and C) ACORN has fired workers caught doing the wrong thing.
Again, Obama chose not to bring this one up in that last debate, or since. The obvious strategy, which has been there since the beginning against HR Clinton and all her charges of “inexperienced” and “questionable character” (Wright and Ayers), has been to stick to the issues, and in the debates to “look Presidential” by doing so. So far it is working. Let’s hope that it continues to do so, through Election Day and with enough votes, both total and in the key states, to overcome the Republican Election Theft Machine, now obviously operating at full throttle.
Kristol v. Kristol
Bill Kristol has had a major influence on this presidential campaign. He was one of the Right-Wingers who discovered Palin on a political vacation in that neighbor of Russia – Alaska — in 2007. In his Sept. 29, 2008 column in The New York Times, Kristol laid out just how McCain could win. By doing things such as hustling back to Washington for the first meeting on the “bailout” (in which he apparently sat there and said nothing of significance — anyway how could he? He knows little about economics by his own admission); “liberate” his running mate; reintroduce the Rev. Wright to the conversation; and go on the all-out attack against Obama as an all-out “liberal.” This was all to be managed by McCain’s great campaign leaders, Rick Davis and Steve “Bullet Head” Schmidt.
Then comes Kristol on October 13, 2008, in The Times. “Fire the Campaign,” the headline read. McCain and Palin should go back to being their “cheerful” selves (not there is any public evidence that either is very cheerful, even though Palin smiles a lot. There is the real danger, heaven forefend, of a Democratic Presidency AND a Democratic Congress (which Republican operatives such as David Frum said over a week ago on the Rachel Maddow show, where he made a complete fool of himself). Seems to me that Republicans didn’t fuss about that issue for the first six years of this decade, but you know, consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds. Boy I tell you, ol’ Bill makes powerful (sic) arguments on both sides of the question.
Like McCain/Palin telling us in one breath all of the things they are going to do when they have control over the government to fix “what has been wrong with the last eight years,” in the next telling us that “all that has to be done for the American people is to get government out of their way,” and in the next reading from the Obama Agenda of things that need fixin’, such as health care and education (especially for special needs children) and the environment, all apparently at no cost because they are going to continue the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy while continuing on with the $12 billion per month Iraq War, until “victory” is achieved.
And then on Monday of this week, after two weeks of McCain/Palin burrowing further into the muck and obviously not taking his second set of advice but continuing on with his first set, Kristol is still at it (The New York Times, Oct. 27, 2008). “Remember the Marne (referring to a famous battle at the beginning of the First World War): A Battle Plan for John McCain.” There is no sign that McCain/Palin are going to start anytime soon just “being themselves,” in Bill’s current terms. Following his original recommendations, the real ones do seem to have come out already. It couldn’t be that Kristol is just trying to cover his behind so as to have some hope of still maintaining a modicum of influence in a Republican Party that is increasingly going in the direction of slime-all-the-time. Could it? Hey Bill, that’s going to be tough. Maybe you had better go back to your first recommendation, real quick, before Coulter and Limbaugh and Hannity totally dominate the “it’s The Liberals” who are the cause of every single one of our country’s problems, and “Something will have to be done about Them” school of Republicanism.
Steven Jonas, MD, MPH is a Professor of Preventive Medicine at Stony Brook University (NY) and a www.TPJmagazine.us Contributing Author; a regular Columnist for BuzzFlash; a Special Contributing Editor for Cyrano’s Journal Online; a Contributing Columnist for the Project for the Old American Century, POAC; and a Featured Writer for Dandelion Salad https://dandelionsalad.wordpress.com/.
Oct 29, 2008
Jane Mayer on “The Insiders: How John McCain Came to Pick Sarah Palin”
Republican vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin has cast herself as an antidote to the elitist culture inside the Beltway. But a new article from New Yorker reporter Jane Mayer says Palin’s sudden rise to prominence owes more to members of the Washington elite than her rhetoric has suggested. [includes rush transcript]
by Paul Donovan
Oct. 30, 2008
“It’s kind of hard to figure how Warren Buffett endorsed me, Colin Powell endorsed me, and John McCain thinks I’m socialist.”- Barack Obama
Numerous attempts have been made throughout the presidential race to link the Democrats Party nominee with some now well known controversial political and religious figures, or to use the establishment’s words “domestic terrorists and extremists”. For those that can’t buy into the notion the Junior Senator from Illinois is an actual Islamic terrorist, McCain had a “plan B”, which was to suggest that Obama’s inexperience and past associations were strong evidence of how dangerous, and naïve he could be, or more simply stated “do we really know who the real Barack Obama is”?
In the waning days leading up to the November 4th election, the McCain campaign has rolled out a “plan c” or what could be called “plan communist”. McCain and Palin are trying to paint Barack Obama “red” by using cold war McCarthyist tactics. McCain suggests that Obama’s plan of downward wealth redistribution, in the form of a 3% progressive tax, is somehow socialist. It should be noted, that to McCain’s credit he is somewhat correct, in so far as that redistributing wealth in order to achieve some modicum of equality is a quasi-Socialist tool.
Rarely is this economic instrument implemented by the American elites, who tend to be more fanatical about the wonders of the free-market than our European counterparts. However, in extreme cases these methods have been relied upon to breathe life into an again ailing Capitalist system, and to quiet the feelings of anger, fear, betrayal, and frustration among the working public. More often than not, all of this is not done out of some genuine humanitarian concern for those who work the hardest and receive the least, but simply to shut people up. The irony of Barack Obama is that he may actually be using this brand of progressive populism out of genuine concern for the mob, which could be the reason the public is so enamored with his inspirational stump speeches. Either Barack Obama is an honest man, or he should have picked a career in acting instead of politics.
by Glen Ford
Wednesday, 29 October 2008
“Whatever [President] Barack Obama spends on people’s needs will take a back seat to propping up the corporate sector, and feeding the all-devouring military industrial complex.”
“All of Obama’s economic advisors, the ones that count, are steeped in the corporate culture: organized theft.”
The election is now upon us. Barring massive theft – and only a fool thinks the Republicans will not steal as massively as they possibly can – it appears Barack Obama will be the next President of the United States. There is something that is much more certain than Obama’s election, and that is, that the current economic crisis will deepen, punctuated with increasingly frequent upheavals as the capitalist system convulses in the throes of insurmountable contradictions. And there is another certainty: that Barack Obama will respond to these convulsions as his corporate friends and backers demand. He will try to do something about rebuilding U.S. infrastructure, but not necessarily in ways that benefit the inner cities, and certainly not in ways that clash with corporate plans for urban America – plans that reserve little space for populations that presently live there. And whatever Barack Obama spends on people’s needs will take a back seat to propping up the corporate sector, and feeding the all-devouring military industrial complex.
We know this is true, because Obama has already shown it to be so. The bailout of Wall Street, which he embraced instantaneously, is but the first of many demands that will be made on the national treasury. All of Obama’s economic advisors, the ones that count, are steeped in the corporate culture: organized theft. They serve government in order to serve their class. Obama picked them, so there is no reason to doubt he will follow their advice. Which means every economic measure they undertake will be geared to corporate health, not popular welfare. They will build barricades to preserve what is left of the corporate order, but it will never be enough to withstand the shocks that are in store. And the people will wind up with little to nothing.
The BBC says it has obtained evidence that the Georgian army may have committed war crimes during Augusts military offensive in South Ossetia. Britains flagship broadcaster heard testimonies during the first unrestricted visit to South Ossetia by a foreign news organisation since the conflict ended.
by William Blum
Oct. 30, 2008
Read this or George W. Bush will be president the rest of your life
Don’t tell my mother I work at the White House. She thinks I play the piano in a whore house.
The Republican presidential campaign has tried to make a big issue of Barack Obama at one time associating with Bill Ayers, a member of the 1960s Weathermen who engaged in political bombings. Governor Palin has accused Obama of “palling around with terrorists”, although Ayers’ association with the Weathermen during their period of carrying out anti-Vietnam War bombings in the United States took place when Obama was around 8-years-old. Contrast this with who President Ronald Reagan, so beloved by the Republican candidates, associated with. Gulbuddin Hekmatyar was an Afghan warlord whose followers first gained attention by throwing acid in the faces of women who refused to wear the veil. This is how they spent their time when they were not screaming “Death to America”. CIA and State Department officials called Hekmatyar “scary,” “vicious,” “a fascist,” “definite dictatorship material”.1 None of this prevented the Reagan administration from inviting the man to the White House to meet with Reagan, and showering him with large amounts of aid to fight against the Soviet-supported government of Afghanistan.
Oct 29, 2008
Keith has a campaign comment for “Joe the Plumber” who certainly looks like he’s putting his interests first before “country first” and who Keith reminds us is no longer an “average Joe” who’s not named Joe.
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Chris Matthews Responds to the Obamamercial
Following Obama’s 30 minute ad buy, Chris Matthews weighs in on what he thought of it. He looked like he was visibly moved by it.
And the winner is…Dennis Prager. Runners up an un-named Fox News spokesperson and Elizabeth Dole.