Friday, October 31, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
PRAYER OF GRATITUDETO THE TRICKY GODDESS OF BENEVOLENT MISCHIEF
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
The Jed Report put together this little video mashup of WFTV's Barbara West, giving us a nice side-by-side contrast of her respective interviews with Joe Biden and John McCain.
You can see the full Biden interview here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TW_wQgWviZ8 and the full McCain video here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JOCF0t2BkqQ
The latter is especially instructive in that we see just how far out there West is; mostly she's obsequious to the point of outright cheerleading with McCain, and her idea of a "tough" question for him is to ask him why he's not being wingnutty enough!
OTOH, you've just gotta love when she quotes Marx and then asks Biden why "spreading the wealth" isn't Marxist. Someone's been drinking the Bircher Kool Aid, which is in fact a direct ticket to Planet Bizarro.
Well, over at Firedoglake, http://firedoglake.com/ they have a petition up asking for the station to apologize for sponsoring such bizarre behavior and such biased treatment. Go sign it. http://action.firedoglake.com/page/petition/apologyplease
Monday, October 27, 2008
Friday, October 24, 2008
How the Government Is Helping Mining Companies Destroy Our Water
Posted by Bruce Nilles, Sierra Club at 2:50 PM on October 23, 2008.
The last remaining legal impediment to devastating mountaintop removal coal mining is now just one step away from being abolished.
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And then there were none...The Stream Buffer Zone Rule, the last remaining legal impediment to devastating mountaintop removal coal mining is now just one step away from being abolished, thanks to an Office of Surface Mining decision announced late last week.
On Friday, the Office of Surface Mining (OSM) released its assessment of stream buffer zones - basically giving mining companies the environmental green light to dump mining waste in or near streams.
For years the OSM has failed to enforce the Stream Buffer Zone Rule, which prevents mining within 100 feet of streams, in communities across Appalachia. So instead of enforcing the current law, the OSM decided to just get rid of it - saying this is best possible protection for the environment. In fact, OSM failed even to consider the concept of enforcing the current rule to protect streams and limit the size of mining waste disposal areas in its decision making. All the alternatives considered involved mining in and around streams.
This decision seems to only aim for expediting mining without regard to environmental damage. And considering how frequently the Sierra Club and others keep finding coal mining companies conducting illegal mining (see Ison Rock, VA; Jellico, TN; and Fish Trap Lake, KY) and releasing unsafe amounts of toxic selenium (see Zeb Mountain, TN; and Hobet and Fola, WV) - you can see how this is just another excuse for these companies to avoid environmental regulations.
There is no doubt that mountaintop removal coal mining is devastating to water quality - one Environmental Protection Agency study found that 93 percent of streams downstream from mountaintop mining waste sites were unfit to support aquatic life.
The Environmental Protection Agency is now the only one standing between the mining companies and our waters. The Stream Buffer Zone cannot be repealed without EPA approval. A poll released today shows that two out of three people opposed repealing the rule, so contact the EPA today and demand that they to side with the American public.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Read the full story::: over at alternet....
Three years ago when Green For All founder and green jobs advocate Van Jones started writing The Green Collar Economy, it was a book about how to get green solutions to poor people. But by the time he was done and the book was released this fall, its scope had grown: Global warming had become common parlance, and the economy was on everyone's mind, regardless of class.
His new book looks at how we can fix our environmental and economic crisis with a program that will create jobs, lower pollution and return some dignity to working Americans.
It sounds great, but what's in the fine print? AlterNet's staff writer Joshua Holland and managing editor Tara Lohan sat down with Jones and talked about whether green jobs are actually legal under our international free trade agreements, what happens if we get an Obama White House, and how the progressive movement must go from "opposition to proposition, from protest to governance" in order to lead our country out of the crisis.
TL: Tell me about your vision for a green economy.
VJ: We've got an opportunity as soon as the election is over to move in that direction with a green recovery program to make sure the stimulus package (Treasury Secretary Henry) Paulson is talking about includes green stimulus. The best thing we can do now to get the economy going is to invest in repowering and retrofitting America.
We have millions and millions of homes that are going to be facing extremely high energy bills this winter. I think we should immediately support cities and utilities that want to begin to weatherize and retrofit those buildings -- so if costs jump up 20 percent, but the home is 30 percent more efficient, then people are actually held harmless.
The benefits of that are that jobs go up. Right now our construction sector is idle. Why have all these people sitting around doing nothing? Let them rebuild America. Energy bills will come down for regular homeowners, but if we weatherize a couple billion homes, that will cut demand for energy, which will bring all prices down. So everybody benefits.
It also means the air will be cleaner, which means asthma will come down. These kinds of programs will bring down carbon and pollution and will bring up jobs and home values.
This is the kind of eco-populist, social uplifting environmentalism that we need to put forward so people will increasingly associate green politics with saving them money, with helping them to earn money, and it will not be the kind of politics that is going to cost them a lot of money.
TL: So who gets to participate in this?
VJ: A lot of the home weatherization stuff can be done by regular contractors, including people of color and women-owned enterprises. They can be pulled into this. A lot of the initial energy auditing can be done by high school students that can be trained in a month to walk around with a clipboard and to begin to help bring some income into struggling homes.
So, the wingspan on the green economy goes from the people with the green lab coats on to the people with the green hard hats on, the skilled laborers who frankly built this country and can help rebuild this country. I think a part of talking about green jobs and a green economy is to restore the dignity of labor to the national conversation.
We got sold a bill of goods for 30 years by both parties to go down this reckless road of globalizing, not just to get more products, but globalizing risk, recklessness and building up our country based on credit cards. You cannot build a sustainable economy on credit cards, but you can on solar panels, on retrofitting, on a wind sector that comes back on building a national green energy grid.
TL: So do you initially see the funding for this coming from the federal government?
VJ: Sure, the big trick here is to get private capital unleashed -- that's going to be the answer. Right now it is frozen. Before that it was on the side of the problem makers in the U.S. economy -- the warmongers, the polluters, the prisons -- that's where you had the federal government steering dollars and private capital following.
We want to see the federal government on the side of the problem solvers -- in the wind industry, solar, geothermal, community-based organization -- all the people who are actually trying to fix stuff.
Since 2006, U.S. Army censors have scrutinized hundreds of medical studies, scientific posters, abstracts, and Powerpoint presentations authored by doctors and scientists at Walter Reed and other Army medical research centers, documents obtained with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) reveal—part of a little-known prepublication review process called "Actionable Medical Information Review."
The program is intended to deny Iraqi and Afghan insurgents sensitive data such as combat injury and death rates. But dozens of studies reviewed under the program did not involve research related to combat operations. They did, however, include potentially controversial research, such as studies of the effects of war on soldiers'children and families, hospital-acquired infections, veterans' post-deployment adjustment issues, refugees, suicide, alcoholism, vaccines, cancer among veterans of the 1991 Gulf War, and problems with military health care databases.
More than 300 scientific documents have been reviewed by Army censors to date. Overall, fewer than half have been cleared for publication in their original form. In 2007, 6 percent of papers were denied permission for public disclosure, but so far this year that denial rate has nearly tripled to 17 percent.
Medical journals contacted by epiNewswire had not been informed that the review process exists, or that Army researchers' scientific papers may have been altered at the behest of censors.
Army researchers whose work is suppressed or altered by censors have few appeal options, and to date, no appeals panel has been convened. The program "stifles scientific discourse," according to one Army epidemiologist who faces disciplinary action after writing a letter to the editor of Stars & Stripes without seeking censors' permission. "Those who stand to lose the most from this policy are the service members it was ostensibly designed to protect," he contends.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Brave New Films Exposes the Truth About ACORN Posted by Lindsay Beyerstein, Firedoglake at 7:28 AM on October 21, 2008.
Brave New Films released a new short film yesterday debunking the McCain campaign's smears against ACORN. The film argues that spurious charges against the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now are part of a larger Republican strategy to depress the turnount of low income, minority, and young voters in battleground states. If the propaganda onslaught succeeds, the Republicans could steal the election. If it fails, the GOP has laid the groundwork to contest the legitimacy of an Obama victory.
Watch the clip and pass it on. Do your part to defuse these poisonous allegations before they hurt more people
PAUL JAY, SENIOR EDITOR, TRNN: Endless wars, abuse of powers, declining living standards, and the climate change crisis—the stakes couldn't be greater in the US 2008 presidential elections. And with your help, we're moving our news operation to Washington, DC, where we'll focus on money and corruption. For example, big oil and arms companies shape American economic and foreign policy with far-reaching effects on the lives of ordinary people, with allies in government, trade unions, the media, and the think tanks. They are a hidden hand that controls the commanding heights of American politics. Taking on the industrial-military complex is what real change requires. Even former presidents and high administration officials have said so, but corporate television news treats such positions as marginal. Well, we think it's the decisive issue in the coming presidential elections. Uncompromising journalism requires questioning assumption, interrogating structures of wealth and power. Corporate TV news just won't do it. Only a news organization that's truly independent can tackle such issues with courage and tenacity. And we'll take on corporate TV news live. You'll watch TV news with our panel of writers, journalists, scientists, historians. You'll be able to join in by phone, web cam, chat. Together, we'll discuss and debate what's the real story and take on the myth and the propaganda. But this is only possible if you support us now. We need to prove that a viewer-funded model works. So if you want The Real News, we need you now. Please click on the donate button and give generously. Now is the time to decide if you want The Real News to thrive.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Mainstream Media is Dead
Mike Papantonio talks about how Mainstream Media is dead, but there is a new rise of the "citizens' media".
Taken from "Ring of Fire" www.ringoffireradio.com/mike_papantonio.asp
Mike Papantonio is a senior partner of Levin, Papantonio, Thomas, Mitchell, Echsner & Proctor, P.A., one of the largest plaintiff's law firms in America, having handled thousands of cases throughout the nation including Asbestos, Breast Implants, Pharmaceutical Drug Litigation, Factory Farming, Securities Fraud, the Florida Tobacco Litigation, and other mass tort cases. "Pap" has received numerous multi-million dollar verdicts on behalf of victims of corporate malfeasance.Papantonio is listed in the publications, Best Lawyers in America and Leading American Attorney. He is also a Fellow in the International Academy of Trial Lawyers and the International Society of Barristers. Both organizations invite only 500 trial lawyers throughout America to participate as members. Papantonio is also a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates; the American Association for Justice (formerly the ATLA); the Southern Trial Lawyers Association; and the Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers; where he served on the Board of Directors for five years. He is a Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer who has authored and co-authored instructional articles on handling complex litigation for trial lawyers. Papantonio also is the founder of the cutting edge continuing legal education seminar organization, Mass Torts Made Perfect, which has and continues to train thousands of lawyers in how to better their legal practice. The organization has hosted speakers such as former President Bill Clinton, James Carville, Al Sharpton, Johnnie Cochran, Bob Woodward, Elliot Spitzer, Jack Kemp, Arianna Huffington, Dick Morris, and Paul Begala.An author of four motivational books for lawyers, Papantonio regularly lectures at trial seminars throughout America. He is also the co-author of Air America: The Playbook; listed by The New York Times as a Political Best Seller. In 1998, Mike Papantonio teamed with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., the Hudson Riverkeepers, and Water Keeper Alliance, to establish a Riverkeepers program in Northwest Florida, known as the Emerald Coastkeepers, Inc., a full-time organization that serves the community as a public advocate for the waterways of Northwest Florida. Emerald Coastkeepers and Riverkeepers are reputable for their willingness to take polluters to court. In 2001, Mike filed two lawsuits against polluters, which lead to a $70 million settlement. In 2007, as lead trial counsel in the environmental class action case of Perrine v. Dupont, Mike received a jury verdict award for a West Virginia community with an estimated value in excess of $380 million. Mike Papantonio and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., also currently host Ring of Fire, a nationally syndicated radio show, which airs on the Air America Radio network, additionally from which Papantonio is featured in the movie, Jesus Camp, which was nominated for the 2007 Academy Award for Documentary Feature. Papantonio is also the founder of GoLeft.TV, an innovative multi-media Internet television and video-sharing portal which provides an outlet for news, political commentary and special reports on the major issues facing Americans from the Progressive point of view. Papantonio has frequently discussed and debated these issues also on national television programs such as Good Morning America, MSNBC, CNN, and Fox News.
Keith Olbermann offered a "Special Comment" tonight on his show Countdown, criticizing the McCain campaign and other Republicans, like Michele Bachmann, for their use of divisive politics during the campaign.
Do take the time...it could not have been spoken more eloquently. More precisely.
Monday, October 20, 2008
Law professor Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and journalist Greg Palast are launching an investigation. We want to know: where are these votes? Who swiped them? How? And how do we prevent it from happening in November?
Will the GOP's campaign to deter new voters and discard Democratic ballots determine the next president?
ROBERT F. KENNEDY JR. & GREG PALASTPosted Oct 30, 2008 11:10 AM
From the Issue: Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Greg Palast on GOP Vote Blocking
10/17/08, 11:07 pm EST
In the current issue of Rolling Stone, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Greg Palast write about the tactics Republicans are using to deter new voters and disregard Democratic ballots. They explain what went into a staggering number of ballot dismissals during the primary season and wonders how it will impact the national election. Click below for the entire article.
• Block the Vote: Will the GOP Campaign to Deter New Voters and Discard Democratic Ballots Determine the Next President?
• Video Special: Behind the Story With Kennedy Jr. and Palast
We are witness to a man who is a Great Leader....I never thought I would see this in my life time....These are historic moments....be a part of it.
He just shut down those idiot pundits on MSNBC...those who use an alternet reality to run their programs...the guys who repeat talking points--ad naueseum. Ya gotta see this....it is superb, done with eloquence and intelligence....
Who is he really???? ( description from Wikipedia)
He is a Polish-American political scientist, geostrategist, and statesman who served as United States National Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter from 1977 to 1981. Known for his hawkish foreign policy at a time when the Democratic Party was increasingly dovish, he is a foreign policy realist and considered by some to be the Democrats' response to Republican realist Henry Kissinger.Major foreign policy events during his term of office included the normalization of relations with the People's Republic of China (and the severing of ties with the Republic of China), the signing of the second Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT II), the brokering of the Camp David Accords, the transition of Iran to an anti-Western Islamic state, encouraging reform in Eastern Europe, emphasizing human rights in U.S. foreign policy, the arming of the mujaheddin in Afghanistan to fight against the Soviet-friendly Afghan government, increase the probability of Soviet invasion and later entanglement in a Vietnam-style war, and later to counter the Soviet invasion, and the signing of the Torrijos-Carter Treaties relinquishing U.S. control of the Panama Canal after 1999.
He is currently professor of American foreign policy at Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies, a scholar at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and a member of various boards and councils. He appears frequently as an expert on the PBS program The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.
WATCH IT>>>> after watching this...i know there is HOPE for this country.
Friday, October 17, 2008
FROM THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE EDITORIAL BOARD
Barack Obama for president
2:33 PM CDT, October 17, 2008
However this election turns out, it will dramatically advance America's slow progress toward equality and inclusion. It took Abraham Lincoln's extraordinary courage in the Civil War to get us here. It took an epic battle to secure women the right to vote. It took the perseverance of the civil rights movement. Now we have an election in which we will choose the first African-American president . . . or the first female vice president.In recent weeks it has been easy to lose sight of this history in the making. Americans are focused on the greatest threat to the world economic system in 80 years. They feel a personal vulnerability the likes of which they haven't experienced since Sept. 11, 2001. It's a different kind of vulnerability. Unlike Sept. 11, the economic threat hasn't forged a common bond in this nation. It has fed anger, fear and mistrust.On Nov. 4 we're going to elect a president to lead us through a perilous time and restore in us a common sense of national purpose.The strongest candidate to do that is Sen. Barack Obama. The Tribune is proud to endorse him today for president of the United States. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/chi-chicago-tribune-endorsement,0,1371034.story
Racist McCain Supporter Hangs Obama in Effigy in Ohio Neighborhood
It turns out that I'm living a few miles away from a racist guy in Fairfield (Ohio) who decided that it would be a wonderful sight for children on Halloween night to see an effigy of Barack Obama hanging from his tree.Mike Lunsford is the racist fool who decided to hang this display at his home over on Symmes and Hicks Road in Fairfield.A local reporter spoke with Mr. Lunsford. He isn't shy about what the make-shift ghost, hanging from a noose above the 'McCain-Palin' sign. A Barack Obama sign attached upside down. Obama's middle name: "Hussein" spray painted and misspelled.Mike Lunsford hung the ghost in his yard. He says make no mistake: He doesn't want an African American running the country.Lunsford says he believes Barack Obama is not a "full blooded American." And he says the United States is a white, Christian nation - and only with white Christians should be in power.
I am so glad this is being called out....the GOP is out of control and is desparately trying to divide this country. Why?
UNITED WE STAND....DIVIDED WE FALL.
Check out this link with Keith Olbermann
Obama Camp Connects ACORN Probe to US Attorneys Scandal
By Zachary Roth - October 17, 2008, 3:01PM
Add the Obama campaign to the growing list of players who think that DOJ's election-eve investigation into ACORN is a repeat of the politicization of the department that we saw in the US attorney firings scandal.
"With this voter fraud [investigation], we're seeing an unholy alliance of law enforcement and the ugliest form of partisan politics," Bob Bauer, an elections lawyer with the Obama camp, said on a conference call with reporters just now. Bauer compared the decision to launch the investigation with the US attorneys scandal, in which several US attorneys were fired for their unwillingess to pursue politically charged cases, including voter fraud, with sufficient aggression to satisfy the Bush administration.
Bauer released a letter sent to Attorney General Michael Mukasey calling on him to have the issue taken on by Nora Dannehy, the prosecutor he appointed to investigate the US attorney firings.
Bauer went on to accuse John McCain of "trying to create a much greater doubt about the electoral process altogether," by alleging that ACORN voter fraud could threaten the fabric of our democracy, as McCain claimed in the debate Wednesday night.
House Judiciary chair John Conyers, as well as David Iglesias -- whose firing as US attorney was a direct result of his reluctance to pursue GOP-pushed claims of voter fraud, according to the recent OIG report -- have also connected the FBI's ACORN investigation to the kind of politicization exposed in the firings saga.
Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 12:42:43 PM PDT
Per Josh Marshall:
The General Counsel of the Obama campaign is currently holding a media conference call to "Announce Major Action Taken Today To Address Illegal Conduct and Improprieties in the Sham "Anti-Fraud" Campaign Orchestrated By McCain-Palin and the RNC."
drational's diary :: ::
Remember Todd Graves getting replaced by Brad Schlozman in Missouri when Graves failed to aggressively prosecute ACORN in 2006?
Remember Attorney General Gonzales changing the DOJ rules on starting investigations before elections?
Remember FOX news harping on ACORN and "Voter Fraud" for the past week?
Now we come to the last ditch plan of the GOP to try to salvage this election for McCain. The AP announced yesterday the DOJ was orchestrating an FBI nationwide investigation of ACORN.
Obama is finally bringing forth the clear link between the US Attorney Scandal and the present election shenanigans of the GOP, especially their use of the FBI to go after ACORN: More Details at TPMmuckraker:
"With this voter fraud [investigation[, we're seeing an unholy alliance of law enforcement and the ugliest form of partisan politics," Bob Bauer, an elections lawyer with the Obama camp, said on a conference call with reporters just now. Bauer compared the decision to launch the investigation with the US attorneys scandal, in which several US attorneys were fired for their unwillingess to pursue politically charged cases, including voter fraud, with sufficient aggression to satisfy the Bush administration.
Be sure to check out the PDF version of the Obama letter to Mukasey at the above link- it is a strong attack on the GOP dirty tricks.
Private Military Contractors Writing the News? The Pentagon's Propaganda at Its Worst
By Liliana Segura, AlterNet. Posted October 17, 2008.
see the full story here: http://www.alternet.org/waroniraq/103345/private_military_contractors_writing_the_news_the_pentagon's_propaganda_at_its_worst/
Less than a week after the Washington Post reported that the Department of Defense will pay private contractors $300 million over the next three years to "produce news stories, entertainment programs and public service advertisements for the Iraqi media in an effort to 'engage and inspire' the local population to support U.S. objectives and the Iraqi government," Virginia Sen. Jim Webb wrote a strongly worded letter to Defense Secretary Robert Gates. "I have serious reservations about the need for this expenditure in today's political and economic environment," he wrote. "Consequently, I am asking that you put these contracts on hold until the Armed Services Committee and the next administration can review the entire issue of U.S. propaganda efforts inside Iraq."
Such a review, if it were to happen, would be a formidable undertaking, one that would have to start with the declaration of the "War on Terror" itself. It's a project the Bush administration has always approached as a PR campaign as much as a military one. Who can forget former White House Chief of Staff Andy Card's explanation for the need to introduce the Iraq War to Americans in September: "From a marketing point of view, you don't introduce new products in August." And remember the short-lived attempt by administration officials to re-brand the "War on Terror" by renaming it the "Global Struggle Against Violent Extremism"? (Reports at the time were that administration officials worried that the original phrase "may have outlived its usefulness," due to its sole focus on military might.)
Regardless of what you call it, the so-called "War on Terror" has cost American taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars in propaganda costs alone. As with so much of modern war-making, most of this work is carried out by private military contractors. With the word "Halliburton" now shorthand for waste, fraud and abuse for many Americans, taxpayers' tolerance for war profiteering has reached new lows -- especially when private military companies operating with no oversight undermine the very "hearts and minds" that mission propaganda is supposedly meant to advance.
Selling the War to Americans
Perhaps one of the Bush administration's most egregious PR undertakings in the war on Iraq was revealed this spring, when the New York Times blew the lid off the Pentagon's military analyst program, in which more than 75 retired military officials were recruited to spout pro-war rhetoric on major networks in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq. These "message force multipliers," as they were branded, were provided with thousands of talking points by the Department of Defense starting in 2002. In one memo, dated Dec. 9, 2002 and titled "Department of Defense Themes and Talking Points on Iraq," a quote from Paul Wolfowitz -- "We cannot allow one of the world's most murderous dictators to provide terrorists a sanctuary in Iraq" -- was followed with a bullet point: "Saddam Hussein: A Global Threat."
The investigative piece by the Times said the project "continues to this day," seeking to "exploit ideological and military allegiances, and also a powerful financial dynamic: Most of the analysts have ties to military contractors vested in the very war policies they are asked to assess on air."
"Records and interviews show how the Bush administration has used its control over access and information in an effort to transform the analysts into a kind of media Trojan horse -- an instrument intended to shape terrorism coverage from inside the major TV and radio networks." It would be hard to overstate the implications of such a program, particularly for a country that claims to be a beacon of democracy.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Looks Like McCain Vetted Joe the Plumber as Closely as Sarah Palin
October 16, 2008, 1:52PM
Turns out that Joe the Plumber is actually not a plumber (licensed one anway), has a lien against him for failing to pay his taxes (maybe explains his opposition to taxes), is not an undecided independent (registered as a republican), hates social security (http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/237630.php) and may even have an indirect relationship to Charles Keating and Savings & Loan Scandal (I am not asserting this last one as fact - but here is the link:
I am always amazed when stories are dissected to their intellectual truths......thanks to the alternet folks for this fine technique.
"AlterNet readers respond to the latest evidence of just how bad Sarah Palin is for an office that puts her a heartbeat away from the presidency.
Over the weekend, a perfectly good PR opportunity was ruined for Sarah Palin when the audience at a Philadelphia hockey game booed the Alaska governor during the ceremonial dropping of the Philly hockey fans have not been the only ones to loudly express their disapproval of Palin in recent weeks. The VP candidate's spiraling drop in popularity is reflected in polls, in the press and among prominent by everyone, that is, but the die-hard fans who still eat up Palin's forced folksiness at campaign events."
"Palin's drastic loss of support has been driven in large part by the endless revelations about her competence and character that have emerged since her nomination -- revelations that can't be glossed over with frantic winks and "you betchas."
Last week, AlterNet compiled yet another list of new_stomach-turning_revelations about Palin, ranging from her attempts to undermine trust in Obama with racially tinged rhetoric to her shady history as governor of Alaska.
AlterNet's readers had a lot to say about the latest evidence of just how bad Sarah Palin is for an office that puts her a heartbeat away from the presidency. We've compiled some of the best reader comments below.
Many of our commenters were especially incensed by Palin's recent character assaults on Barack Obama. Several readers attacked the unfathomably skewed logic used by both Palin and McCain in their attempts to paint Obama as dangerous:
Bgroat makes the point that by McCain and Palin's standards, McCain would be considered a "terrorist":
... the fact that McCain has worked with Obama for the past four years puts him in the same boat. In other words, they can't paint Obama as a terrorist using their logic without simultaneously painting McCain as one, as McCain, through working in the Senate with Obama, has done exactly the same thing they accuse Obama of doing (associating with former member of the Weather Underground Bill Ayers
Waimea Witch agrees, pointing out that if we judge politicians by their "associates, we should be deeply concerned that every Washington senator is on the verge of lobbing bombs at federal buildings:
... Senator Robert Byrd is an ex-KKK member, so, does that make every member of the Senate a domestic terrorist by association?
Purple Girl invokes yet another fine illustration of the maxim about stones and glass houses, pointing out that unlike Barack Obama, Sarah Palin actually shares the ideologies of many domestic terrorists:
Sarah has some Ideologies which are akin to some rather notorious Domestic Terrorists -- McVeigh (hated U.S. Govt too), Charlie Manson (End Of Dayer, with Death Valley as the "Refuge"), and of course the "Pro Lifers" who thought nothing of Bombing Planned Parenthood Clinics, assassinating MD and Blowing a Pipe bomb Off in the middle of the Atlanta Olympics. Strike 3 Sarah, YOU ARE A BONAFIDE SOCIOPATH. Terrorist Doctrines spew out your mouth, and have been unearthed from your Recent History.
Jest2007 highlights another worrisome aspect of Palin's history:her connection to the Alaskan Independence Party, a radical organization that calls for Alaska's succession from the United States: Maybe this would be a good time to examine Palin's association with the AIP. The AIP's creation was inspired by the rabidly violent anti-Americanism of its founding father Joe Vogler. The central purpose of the AIP is to drive Alaska's secession from the United States. In 1992 Vogler renounced his allegiance to the United States explaining that, "The fires of hell are frozen glaciers compared to my hatred for the American government." He cursed the stars and stripes, promising, "I won't be buried under their damned flag ... when Alaska is an independent nation they can bring my bones home." Palin has never denounced Vogler or his detestable anti-Americanism.
dayahka optimistically argues that all the recent revelations about Palin are essentially irrelevant since soon enough the Alaska governor will disappear from the national spotlight:
Palin will shortly return to Alaska and will probably be recalled, impeached, censured, and/or jailed. But what of the reckless fool who put this scum on the national scene?
But Truthteller is less optimistic, writing that despite Palin's recent embarrassments, she could still help the Republican ticket pull in a last-minute win:
I've been saying for a long time that I believe the fix is in and McCain is going to "win" another stolen election. I just couldn't see how they could get it close enough to steal before the Palin selection. Now, I can. All the arguments are in place to explain away the theft like they were four years ago -- religious voters make last-minute turnout surge, they don't like talking to exit pollers, or lie to them to fuck with the results.
Tom Degan agrees, pointing out that there's nothing new about Republicans appealing to their base with incompetent candidates: Twenty years ago, Poppy Bush nominated a man who had all the substance of a department store mannequin -- and yet the GOP won that election! The Democrats have every reason to be cautious. Given the American people's absolute genius for doing the wrong thing in the voting booth, anything can happen between now and Election Day -- and probably will.
Lreal also argues that while Palin's methods are detestable, they may turn out to be effective: The history books of the future will show that the Republicans from 1980 to present and probably at least 10 years into the future is a party of dangerous demagoguery. Sarah Palin, and the acceptance by the majority of people in her own party shows that a demagogue mentality can get you far within this sector of the population no matter your true and obvious intellect. This also shows that if you can magnify this demagogue quality, then it can replace intelligence as a matter of accepted quality; and any opponent with a bit of intelligence is a liberal elite, no matter how much more humble they are than the subject.
Spritgirl writes that McCain and Palin are resorting to the usual Republican tactics using Rovian character assaults to get bad candidates into office:
... the McShame/Failin ticket should not be rewarded for their efforts! These tactics of appealing thru peoples fears are straight out of the Lee Atwater/Karl Rove book, they are despicable and dangerous! Since they cannot run on the issues, they should both just sit down and shut up!!! These are extremely desperate attempts by two very unqualified individuals to get into the Oval Office! Their theory of divide (the body politic) and conquer appeals to those sheeple that want to be led around, and hopefully they will lead themselves and their sheeple off a cliff!
Whether or not the McCain campaign's tactics will be successful in swaying voters, McCain's desperate gambit to include and keep Palin on the ticket -- despite the unending stream of revelations throwing her character into question -- has added a terrifying component to the election.
As John Orford writes: "AlterNet is giving me sleep problems ... I keep dreaming McCain died and then I can't get back to sleep.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
connect the dots with this story and the story about the silenced scandal over at the Justice Department ....just ask Don Sieglemen!! http://donsiegelman.org/
The GOP Escalates Its Nutty Attacks on ACORN
Think Progress. Posted October 14, 2008.
Republican smears have reached fever pitch.
In recent weeks, conservatives have escalated their attacks on ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. Conservative lawmakers were able to remove a provision aimed at aiding low-income housing programs from the Bush administration's $700 billion economic bailout bill by calling it a "slush fund" for ACORN. Before that, conservatives blamed ACORN for "precipitating the subprime crisis." And last week, they alleged that the "purpose" of ACORN is to engage in voter fraud. However, as columnist Joel McNally correctly noted, the "underlying motive for attacking ACORN" seems to be that it is the "nation's largest grassroots community organization of low- and moderate-income people." "It is an organization that engages in that dreaded community organizing," McNally wrote. "It actually tries to give a voice to the poor and most vulnerable among us." Indeed, after years of enacting policies catering to the wealthy, the right-wing seems to be fearful of millions of new low-income voters registered by ACORN casting their ballots in favor of progressive policies.
VOTER 'FRAUD': In early October, ACORN announced that it had registered 1.3 million new voters for the November election. Seizing on reports of apparently fraudulent voter registrations in some states, conservatives began claiming that the "purpose" of ACORN is to commit "voter fraud." However, all that was found during a raid of ACORN's office in Nevada was apparently fraudulent voter registration forms, which do not constitute voter fraud. "It's not voter fraud unless someone shows up at the voting booth on election day and tries to pass himself off as 'Tony Romo.'" And who would try to do that?" wrote Rep. Jesse Jackson (D-IL). As New York University's Brennan Center for Justice noted, "[T]here are no reports that we have discovered of votes actually cast in the names of [false] registrants." Under most state laws, in fact, voter registration organizations like ACORN are required to turn in all the forms they receive, even the suspicious ones. Furthermore, as Brad Friedman pointed out in the Guardian, "[I]f [ACORN] can't authenticate the registration, or it's incomplete or questionable in other ways, they flag that form as problematic ... In almost every case where you've heard about fraud by Acorn, it's because Acorn itself notified officials about the fraud that's been perpetrated on them by rogue canvassers."
THE ECONOMIC CRISIS: Before alleging that it was engaging in voter fraud, conservatives claimed that ACORN was responsible for the subprime crisis and the ensuing financial meltdown. Stanley Kurtz wrote in the National Review that ACORN "had a major role in precipitating the subprime crisis," and then said in the New York Post that ACORN helped "undermine the US economy by pushing the banking system into a sinkhole of bad loans." Thomas DiLorenzo claimed that ACORN forced lenders to make bad loans to low-income people "through a process that sounds like legalized extortion." However, the claim that ACORN -- or loans to low-income people in general -- caused the financial crisis by enabling lower-income families to buy homes has been debunked again and again. As Daniel Gross wrote in Newsweek, "[D]id AIG plunge into the credit-default swaps business with abandon because ACORN members picketed its offices? Please." Most economists blame the current crisis on market failure and sparse regulation, but conservatives are attempting to draw attention elsewhere by smearing the victims of predatory lending and implicating ACORN.
A LONG-RUNNING CAMPAIGN: Last Friday, conservative members of Congress "sent a letter to Attorney General Michael Mukasey requesting the Department of Justice ensure that the actions of ACORN did not violate federal laws." But conservatives have gone down this road before, only to find nothing. In 2004, ACORN faced three lawsuits pertaining to alleged voter fraud, all of which were dismissed. As noted at the time, "several politically motivated law firms brought baseless charges of voter registration fraud against ACORN in an effort to inhibit its work to register low-income and minority voters."
But the Bush administration was so intent on furthering these trumped-up charges of voter fraud that in 2006 attorneys from the Department of Justice -- including New Mexico's David Iglesias -- were fired for not pursuing fraud cases "to the satisfaction of their bosses." Revealing the shallowness of the conservative outrage though, the New York Times reported last week that "tens of thousands of eligible voters in at least six swing states have been removed from the rolls or have been blocked from registering in ways that appear to violate federal law."
This has garnered scant attention compared to the uproar surrounding ACORN.