This season of SNL will have so much to work with... ?You can just feel it simmering,? says Darrell Hammond while walking down the hallways of Studio 8H with his hands out, as if he can touch the energy around the new season of ?Saturday Night Live? pulsating from the walls. read more | digg story
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The discouraging part first: An Obama video called "Still" makes the case that the world has changed (computers! e-mail!) since McCain first went to Washington, but McCain hasn't changed: he doesn't know how to use stuff; his tax policy is still regressive; and so on. This is supposed to show that he's old, out of touch; unhip. (If you're going to say he's unchanged, at least still say that he never had the temperament to be president and he still doesn't.) I imagine it's supposed to get to the young. In any case, I hope no serious money's being spent to send "Still" out to general audiences. The main thing the campaign needs to be saying right now is that McCain is mercurial, unsteady, unreliable; he's worse than a flip-flopper, he's rudderless, a man with no ballast, a poseur; there was once a McCain with a claim to honor but that McCain has changed--into a mendacious, unscrupulous Republican like a certain current resident of the White House.
Now for a morning bonus, my favorite wingnut reaction to Charlie Gibson: "Gibson is a tool. This will only help the GOP ticket. It never ceases to amaze me just how dumb these intellectuals are." In the eyes of the Base, the Devils who run The Media, along with anyone who knows anything, are (gasp) Intellectuals, and enough said about them.
By way of Johnathon Schwarz, writing at This Modern World, I see that there is yet another glaring example of Johnathon Sidney McCain the Third (Esq.) abusing his Senate staff and powers to cover up the illegal drug use of his beer baron trophy wife Cindy. It also appears that there is a determined [...]
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McCain has been avoiding giving press interviews for the best part of a month now and decided to answer questions from Rob Caldwell, a reporter for WCHS. Perhaps McCain felt he would be safe talking to a regional as opposed to a national reporter; he was wrong.
Q: Let 's move on to what you say is the number one issue facing the United States in our time. And that is the challenge of addressing Islamist extremism. What credentials does Gov. Palin have -- in national security, diplomacy, foreign policy -- that qualify her to be your partner in that, on that issue: the fight against Islamic extremism?
McCain: Well, obviously the economy is also a major challenge facing America.
Q: No, I'm using your words, Senator McCain, you have said, this summer...
McCain: No, I said...
Q: That the number one challenge of our time is Islamic extremism...
McCain: No, I said the greatest challenge of our time is national security threats. I've also said that jobs and the economy are the number one issue facing America.It would take a sharper brain than mine to work out the difference between "the number one challenge" and "the number one issue", so I'm not even going to try.
McCain: And second, take the lead in fighting this transcendent issue of our time: the battle and struggle against radical Islamic extremism.So that Islamic extremism thing really is quite important, even if it's not the first thing on your list, so how's she gonna help out with that?
McCain: Energy. She knows more about energy than probably anybody else in the Unites States. She is governor of a state [pause] that 20 percent of America's energy supply comes from there.Leaving aside the fact that Alaska is not responsible for producing 20% of America's energy supply, what is the linkage he seeks to make between energy and the defeat of radical Islamic extremism? There is simply no link between the two at all.
Sarah Palin Foreign Policy ExpertThe Bush Doctrine: Isn't That The Brush Cutting Operation In Crawford?9/11 and Iraq: You Can't Tell Me Saddam Wasn't Involved After All 19 Of The Hijackers Were from Saudi Arabia Friday's Headlines: As Options Fade,[...]
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Honestly, I feel as if this election is intentionally, malevolently designed to destroy everyone's few remaining functioning brain cells. Leaving aside, just for the moment, that the Democrats and Republicans fundamentally agree on every issue of importance, and that they are determined to preserve and expand the identical goals -- an authoritarian-corporatist state at home and endless violent interventions abroad -- just on the level of political strategy, the following is obliteratingly stupid. Note the last paragraph in particular:
Democratic jitters about the US presidential race have spread to Capitol Hill, where some members of Congress are worried that Barack Obama?s faltering campaign could hurt their chances of re-election.As many others have observed over many, many years, one spectacularly successful losing strategy for Democrats is to run as crypto-Republicans. A determinative number of voters might well say, as they often have: "Well, if you're gonna get a Republican, might as well vote for the real one instead of the pretend one." And yet, the Democrats are doing it again.
Party leaders have been hoping to strengthen Democratic control of the House and Senate in November, but John McCain?s jump in the polls has stoked fears of a Republican resurgence.
A Democratic fundraiser for Congressional candidates said some planned to distance themselves from Mr Obama and not attack Mr McCain.
Concern was greatest among first-term representatives who won seats in traditionally Republican districts in the landslide of 2006. ?Several of them face a real fight to hold on to those seats,? the fundraiser said.
Tony Podesta, a senior Democratic lobbyist, said members of Congress were ?a little nervous? after Mr McCain shook up the race with his choice of Sarah Palin as running mate and intensified attacks on Mr Obama.
?Republicans have been on the offensive for the past two weeks?.?.?.?You don?t win elections on the defensive.?
The campaign manager for a first-term Democratic congressman from a blue-collar district in the north-east rejected suggestions that Mr Obama had become a liability. He said his candidate would reach out to Republicans and avoid attacks on Mr McCain.
Two items in the news offer us rare glimpses into how public policy is actually arrived at and what differences there really are between Democrats, even progressive Democrats - let alone centrists such as Obama - and Republicans.
The first item concerns the Minneapolis City Council?s role in the police state tactics used at the St. Paul RNC and the other item concerns foreign policy and Pakistan in particular.
Both are related directly to the so-called war on terror: what both major parties call the central issue of our time.
It is clear that the fulcrum for today?s politics involves the ?war on terror? and whether the dominant paradigm about it that both major parties subscribe to will carry the day, or a different paradigm wins out that originates from among the people.
At OpEd News on September 11, 2008 Michael Calvan reported the inside dirty dealing in the all progressives Minneapolis City Council in which the council gave the green light to the police to use the storm trooper tactics before and during the RNC. I quote from the piece at some length as follows:
"In the months before the Republicans came to town, there had been a flurry of activity. Local activists were keeping a close eye on their local elected officials. Initially, there had been a so called Free Speech Committee set up, supposedly to look at how authorities could allow free speech during the RNC and keep order.
"We found out that the Free Speech Committee did not allow any members of the public to add our input. Only City Council members on the committee and lawyers were allowed to speak. There was no free speech allowed at the misnamed Free Speech Committee.
"Nonetheless, activists followed the Committee's actions closely and were present during each meeting. The City Council of Minneapolis is almost 100% Democratic. In fact the only real opposition in Minneapolis is the Green Party which currently has one Green on the City Council, Cam Gordon, who was a small light in a very dark room. But, we were to discover, even that light was to be extinguished.
"The so called Free Speech Committee would change the time and locations of its meetings?There was also discussion on protest groups being required to register themselves and even their members, to be 'allowed' to protest. At these times, Cam Gordon spoke eloquently on behalf of the community and in opposition to these repressive measures?
"Then suddenly [after months] we found out that the Free Speech Committee had their last meeting, July 16th. The meeting itself was unannounced, unlike the other meetings which at least had a pretense of openness and public inclusion. At the next Minneapolis City Council meeting July 25th, the recommendation of the misnamed Free Speech Committee was announced. The Free Speech Committee Resolution passed unanimously, even by our one small light, Councilman Cam Gordon.
"The Minneapolis Police were given 'legal' authority to shut down any protest or group of 25 people or greater. They were also authorized to use rubber bullets, mace and the other array of non-lethal weapons on innocent, peaceful demonstrators, practicing our First Amendment Rights. Also violated repeatedly was the Fourth Amendment Right protecting us citizens against illegal search and seizure. Police violated the laws of assault and battery and destruction of evidence of their crimes, as evidenced by their targeting journalists. [Emphasis added]"
Calvan notes, probably correctly so, that even if the city council had not approved these fascistic tactics that they would have been by-passed and the police and various state and federal officials would have done it anyway.
Despite months of efforts by grassroots activists and even a Green on the City Council - making grand speeches about protecting free speech - despite the people doing the very best that they could to monitor, participate and speak out, the fix was in and democratic participation was merely a charade for the real power being exercised, even on the nearest thing to local control as you can find in the government - at the City Council level ? and even in one of the most left-influenced places in the country.
As reported by the New York Times on September 11, 2008, in July 2008 Bush secretly approved Spec Ops forces to launch ground military attacks inside Pakistan without prior approval from the Pakistani government. The NYT essay notes: ?It is unclear precisely what legal authorities the United States has invoked to conduct even limited ground raids in a friendly country.? It?s unclear because such actions are blatantly against international law. (During the Vietnam War when President Nixon announced on April 30, 1970 that he had begun bombing Cambodia and thereby expanding the war, a fury broke out in America. During the widespread protests that followed, four students were famously shot and killed by National Guardsmen at Kent State University in Ohio on May 4.)
The Times? article continues: ?Pakistan?s government has asserted that last week?s raid achieved little except killing civilians and stoking anti-Americanism in the tribal areas.
??Unilateral action by the American forces does not help the war against terror because it only enrages public opinion,? said Husain Haqqani, Pakistan?s ambassador to Washington, during a speech on Friday. ?In this particular incident, nothing was gained by the action of the troops.??
What gives this story even more resonance is the fact that the Bush regime is now finally embracing the tactics that Obama had called for back in August 2007. At the time, Bush, John McCain and the other Democratic presidential hopefuls including Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton derided Obama for offering such a bellicose proposal. Bush said: ?he?s going to attack Pakistan? in disbelief.
As Reuters reported on August 1, 2007: ?Obama said if elected in November 2008 he would be willing to attack inside Pakistan with or without approval from the Pakistani government, a move that would likely cause anxiety in the already troubled region.
?If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and President Musharraf won't act, we will,? Obama said.?
So there you have it: the reactionary Bush White House has now adopted a plan that it previously publicly described as overly aggressive ? can you imagine this White House thinking anything is too aggressive? ? a plan offered up by the Democratic Party?s standard bearer, Obama, the man that many progressives pin their hopes on.
This reminds me of the line from a comic who wondered what the world is coming to when the world?s best golfer is black and the best rapper is white.
What is the world coming to? The labels certainly don?t tell you the story. You have to look carefully and critically at what people are actually saying and what they are doing. And you have to examine carefully how political policy is actually made, not how you might have learned about it in civics class and not how it is presented everyday in the news.
Obama himself has said ? correctly so - that people should pay attention to what he?s saying. He does not oppose all wars, just ?dumb wars.? He approves of the war on terror. His differences are over tactics and whether the goals of the ?war on terror? are being best pursued. In other words, is the US imperialist empire doing what is in its best interests? This is like campaigning for Godfather and saying that the existing Godfather isn?t being efficient enough in his extortion, racketeering, drug running, torture, brutality and death dealing.
If the city that may be second only to Berkeley in the degree to which progressives hold political office colludes, conspires and cooperates with the police state, even while some of the progressives make fine sounding speeches but vote with the gendarmes when push comes to shove, and if the one ?realistic? choice on the national level that the people are being given to oppose the Bush regime?s reign of terror is a man whose foreign policy is now being adopted by the very same hated Bush regime that Obama says he is a ?change? from, then what?s realistic now? What good does your vote do? Just what kind of democracy is this?
The only ones we can trust are the people themselves acting independently of the political parties and the normal, acceptable political channels. You must speak out, protest, show how you feel and call on others to do the same. A movement of the people that becomes a mass movement that must be reckoned with by public officials and the media and that does not subordinate itself to either public officials or corporate media must come into being. What is more democratic than that?
It is the ONLY realistic path. It is also the only moral stance possible. Participating in the existing structures and channels is a fool?s errand and worse: it amounts to collusion in crimes against humanity.
Stand up for those who have stood up such as the RNC 8. Wear orange daily and spread the resistance. Don?t kick yourself after the November 2008 election and say, why the hell didn?t I recognize the signs? Why did I allow myself to be sucked in once again? Why didn?t I fight the burgeoning police state when we still had a chance?
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Just got the following email from Joe Sudbay:
Listened to the Obama campaign press conference call this morning. The very first question from a reporter is why the campaign hasn't highlighted the rape kit story. The reporter said, every time I tell someone that story they look at me like I said there is no Santa Claus.And they wonder why people are panicked.
Obama campaign chief spokesman Bill Burton's response... "We're familiar with it. Saw the AP story. We are familiar with it."
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WASHINGTON ? Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund today endorsed Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.) for President and Vice President of the United States. Below is a statement from the organization's president, Rodger Schlickeisen.
"John McCain's choice of Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate confirmed that the only candidates we can truly count on to protect our air, land and water are Senators Obama and Biden, and we are proud to today offer our endorsement of the Obama-Biden ticket," said Schlickeisen.
More at: http://www.defendersactionfund.org/
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By Sheri Rivlin and Allan Rivlin, Co-Editors CenteredPolitics.comJohn McCain wants to make George Bush’s tax cuts for the wealthy permanent. It is the centerpiece of his economic prescriptions. This fact alone should be enough to wipe that[...]
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