Or - "Why the Arizona Republic is the world's most asinine newspaper".
They endorsed John S. McCain III yesterday, with the most duplicitous commentary I have ever read published by a major paper. Oh sure, blogs can be silly to a degree of ridiculousness that would astound the average bear, but newspapers generally like to put their best face before the public. I would recommend against reading the drivel they published and to protect your from their mendacious meanderings, I have presented below - for your reading pleasure - a brief but deadly assault on their methodology.
Your "revived form of welfare" comment is as misleading as your professed confusion over those votes of "Present" Obama made as a state legislator. Since I have no hope of teaching you Robert's Rules of Order in the width and breath of this post, I will leave that to your further study.
To claim that Obama wants to give a tax credit to people who pay no federal income tax is accurate - albeit inauthentic. Since you are making this endorsement at the end of an almost two-year long campaign season, you have had ever opportunity to learn to be authentic, but I will endeavor once more in the hopes that you might still be encouraged to sip from the stream of knowledge.
This tax credit is going to go to 95% of working families; your attempt to tie it to welfare implies a subsidy to people who are home, sitting on couches, watching televisions and adding to the population more dependents as opposed to being productive citizens.
That is inauthentic on your part.
While it has been many years since my last trip to Arizona, I am sure you still have people who fall into the category commonly known as "the working poor". Furthermore, with the rise in food and energy prices, consumers of all economic categories are feeling the pinch at the pump - where they pay a federal gasoline tax - and at the store - where they pay state and local sales taxes. Additionally, with the economy slowing down, salaries are stagnate to in decline, so even the working middle class - and all of the money they pay in payroll taxes - are seeing their incomes squeezed.
So, you are wise enough to know that not every working family pays income tax, but that also means you are wise enough to know that every working family pays a multitude of other taxes - federal, state and local - all of which prevents them from having money at the end (or even the middle) of the month to use towards the other necessities of life. Presumably, you are also wise enough to know that 75% of our economic growth is based on the activities of consumers. Stop me if I am giving you too much credit for being wise.
Obama - unlike John McCain and George Bush before him - sees these hardworking families for whom they are. He knows they are in just as much - if not more - need for tax relief than the fat cat CEOs of the banks and the oil companies - who have availed themselves of billions of dollars of tax relief over the past eight years (and billions more taxpayer dollars for bailouts), while hardworking Americans "too poor to pay income tax" have received no relief at all.
Tell me, how well did those tax cuts for the people earning the most money go for the economy? Did the tax breaks they received trickle down to those of us below and raise us all up on a tide of prosperity?
No - instead it led to an increase in income inequality in our nation, such that more and more wealth was concentrated in fewer and fewer hands. Tell me, how did that work for the investment banks, who grew fat serving their wealthy clientele? What's that? You say there are no more investment banks? You say they either plunged into bankruptcy or into the waiting arms of commercial banks or begged the Feds to come under the warm bosom of regulation that is a commercial bank directly?
The tax policies of George Bush - which John McCain proposes extending ad infinitium - have failed miserably, for themselves, their supporters and our nation. For you to endorse their continuation - and in such a snide manner - only reveals the piracy that lurks within your own heart.
Or - "Why the Arizona Republic is the world's most asinine newspaper".
I grind my teeth and clamp shut my jaws as Republicans and fawning members of the press exhort the mythical memory of Prince Valiant - in his modern-day guise as John McCain.
We need to be informed of the dirty-tricks the Republicans have in motion already to steal this election from us and we need to be prepared to act to prevent their tactics from stealing yet another election from the people. Read this article. Forward it onto your friends and neighbors. Contact your local election officials to ensure that they have not and will not countenance similar tactics in your district.Sphere: Related Content
Hmmmm . . . You mean to tell me that 72-year old John McCain, was totally flummoxed by the racism behind the question from an apparently equally old woman? It is almost as though McCain came of age in an era before black people were afforded many (much less all) of the same civil rights as white citizens of this country.
Twain perhaps captured the "art" of statistics better than any critic before or since, but how many psychologists did he know? Okay, that was harsh - but hear me out.
CBS primetime last week introduced me to a psych concept known as "decoy effect", whereby introducing a third option to a decision matrix can favor one of the other two choices. A quick internet search and I was reading this article - http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/01/AR2007040100973.html -
from last year in the Washington Post, that discussed ways for Obama and Clinton to parry the presence of Edwards to their benefit - individually - and it also included this throwaway line on Nader:
"Many people lavished hate on Ralph Nader for presumably taking votes away from the Democratic front-runner in the 2000 presidential election," said Scott Highhouse, who has studied the decoy effect at Bowling Green State University. "Research on the decoy effect suggests that Nader's presence, rather than taking votes away, probably increased the share of votes for the candidate he most resembled."
Intriguing concept. Ralph Nader actually increased voter support for Al Gore in the 2000 election. I certainly never looked at the world like that before, so I am going to spend some time mulling this one over.
Parlez-vous francais? Non!
So, I watched yet one more presidential debate last night. Not because I expected anything to happen that would change my mind on whom our next president should be, but because I do prefer to have my own base of knowledge - my own foundation - before the pundits and the press proceed to tell me what should be my takeaways from the event.
I can do my own takeaways, thank you very much.
So I will not pretend to proscribe for you - dear reader - what your takeaways should be either. What I will say is this: was it just me, or did McCain resemble a bull on stage last night? He paced restlessly around the arena - I keep seeing him appear and then disappear in the background of Obama's commentaries in response to questions - and even when he was answering questions, he paced relentlessly backwards and forwards, apparently in attempts to engage as many members of the hall as possible. And of course, he was constantly on the attack, always searching for an opening that could be used to gore Obama - like with that snarky and childish, "that One!" remark, which seemed to please him to no end.
But what I also saw, was a man so light of foot - so graceful - that these awkward advances were easily paried. I saw a man playfully - and without a hint of the anger that could clearly be seen in McCain - and professionally dance away from the charging bull, but always leaving the bull with a cut here, a stab there to remind him of the dangers of the charge.
Of course, the bull cannot help but to charge again, for that is what a bull does.
The matador, his job is to allow the bull to weaken himself, to expend his energy on foolish and costly charges back and forth across the arena, always being sure to bloody the bull for his efforts. Until - at last - the matador strikes the last blow, right to the heart of the bull.
Can't wait to see the third debate.
That there used to be these things called, "investment banks" and that they lasted for hundreds of years in America, across all sorts of financial ups and downs - until the age of George Bush the Lesser.
Then, it was found that these banks lost their way, amidst a sea of unregulated acronyms like CDO and fierce beasts known as swaps - which were supposed to be financial instruments to manage risk. And these tools made the banks wealthy until they grew too unwieldy to maneuver with grace and dexterity and they were hoisted on their own petards.
And then, make sure you let your children know, that although the favorite American boogeyman - black people - were trotted out to be slaughtered upon the ritual alter of the scapegoat, a wise young politician led the people to stay their hand with these words:
"You chumps! The CRA is for commercial banks, not investment banks. Commercial banks road through the CDO storm just fine - barring a savings and loan or two (and you know they always catch hell). Nay, it was not the presence of CRA or any other regulation - but the lack of regulation that allowed the insurance companies and the investment banks to fly too close to the sun. Begone!"
Sphere: Related Content
Nice analysis. It does lump commercial banks (e. g. - Citigroup, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase) with investment banks (e. g. - Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns, Merrill Lynch). Commercial banks are highly regulated; investment banks were not. I say "were not" as they no longer exist.
The two defining musical influences of my life are Prince and Public Enemy; that perhaps gives you a framework - a lens - through which to view my thoughts. Most of APAB has drawn from the Chuck D side of my philosophy, but the more hopeful side - the side that sees the issues we face today but believes we can surpass them on the way to a brighter future, just sent the below series of thoughts to the Obama/Biden campaign. Herewith, my attempt to define the future.
I believe Energy & Transportation must be the core focus area for this upcoming Obama/Biden Administration. A focus here would yield benefits in to many other areas, that it announcing plans on a scale even greater than Eisenhower with his interstate highway program, should form the tent pole of your first 100 Days.
For more than 10,000 years coal has been a source for fuel and it was the motivating force behind the steam engines that powered the start of Industrial Revolution in the latter stages of the 18th Century. That revolution brought us into the era of economic growth and since that time we have been burning carbon - first from coal, then expanding with oil and natural gas - in ways to generate more and additional forms of power. We use carbon to heat our homes, heat our water, to fuel our cars and to generate electricity.
And that worked so well for us for so long, that most people did not even think to look elsewhere.
But we know what burning carbon - whether from coal or oil or natural gas - has done to our environment. Today, we have rivers - too polluted for us to drink; today we have air - that when we breathe gives us asthma; and that is not the half of it. The "easy" seams of coal to mine have already been brought to the surface; to get what is left, we now do "mountain top removal", which dynamites mountains and shoves the resulting rock down into valleys and the rivers below.
Try hunting near one of those.
The point is this: carbon, as a source of energy, has become to costly to our health, our businesses and our society. Oil at $140 a barrel showed us that.
But we know what we need to do. The shortest path to more energy is to more efficiently use the energy we do have. That means smarter appliances that turn themselves off when not in use and less usage of incandescent light bulbs that generate more heat than light, but even this will not be enough.
We need to ignite the wind and solar power era.
We have enough wind off our Atlantic coast, to power heat and electricity for our homes and businesses and even our transportation up and down the population centers of our Eastern Seaboard. We have enough wind across our great plains to power the megalopolises of the Midwest and we have so many sunny days across our Southwest that our entire Western flank can be powered for heat and electricity with capacity to spare. And we can store solar power now, as thermal energy that we use to run steam turbines. And we can do the same with wind, by using excess electricity over current demand to heat molten salts, that again is used to power turbines when the wind slows. We can connect up these "power generation factories" off the Eastern seaboard with underwater DC cabling so that power generated in one place can be shifted to where it is needed. We can use underground DC cabling to connect our wind farms to our Midwestern cities and our solar farms to our Western cities.
And we can use this network of power to build a national power grid, so that we would have fail-over protection we lack today. And we can also use this network of power to connect our nation with high-speed rail links - all powered by clean, renewable electricity. With high-speed rail links connecting our major cities, air travel can be reduced to transcontinental and intercontinental use. This will take a major source of pollution down to almost a background level of emissions. With a network of national, regional and local rail lines, we can move people from where they are to their destination in an environmentally friendly fashion. And we will have the renewable forms of generating electricity that we can use to power the electric and gas-electric hybrid vehicles produced in our revamped factories.
No Natural Gas / Oil.
These were the solutions of earlier generations and they served a purpose at the time. Our purpose has changed. We need to use forms of energy that are locally sourced, so that the money circulates within our economy and is not sent offshore to countries that seem to love our money, but us - not so much. We have a chance to lead the world in the generation of clean, renewable energies. Students will once again flock to our colleges; our teachings and our technologies will bring light and power to the world. And with those ties will come the search for common dreams, dreams that lead toward brighter tomorrow's and away from the sorrows of the past.
Lets see what we know:
- There is absolutely no reason to trust any statement made by any Bush Administration official.
- Corollary to Statement 1 - no reason to trust any statement made by any Bush Administration supporter.
- Any McCain campaign staffer must be considered as equivalent to a Bush Administration official, as well for indeed, some of them are former Bush Administration officials.
- McCain has at least one lobbyist on his campaign team, who "formerly" worked for Georgia.
- Former Nixon aide and current VP Dick Cheney, is traveling to Georgia, weeks before the election.
- Nixon created perhaps the first "October Surprise", with his back channel negotiations in Vietnam, to prevent Johnson from winding that war down in 1968 before the election and turning the tide toward the Democrats in that year, which - apropos of nothing - was the same year MLK and RFK were assassinated.
Everybody all set on the players?
What does this mean?
Anyone - and I mean anyone - who does not think more stuff will hit more fans over the next seven weeks is beyond a delusional state and should not be consulted on the weather, much less the el ection. I expect to witness no less than the most amazing, death-defying, dazzling display of election theft and vote rigging ever attempted by man, woman or child.
I am predicting some turbulence, as we seek to re-establish government of the people, by the people and for the people - to this nation and perhaps to the world. Everyone, please buckle your seat belts and know that our captain has a plan to bring this baby home in one piece. Near as I can read my from my safety page from the seat-back pocket in front of me, we are instructed to:
and Communicate across every hill, dale and yonder with your neighbors, colleagues, coworkers and friends about the importance of this election and why it is requisite upon us all to cast our votes - by any means necessary.
Encourage every sentient being with whom you come into contact, to vote for Senator Barack Obama. Sphere: Related Content
I am certain of an Obama victory come this fall; I am just as certain that the pollsters are either unable or unwilling to accurately gauge the electorate this year. Their inability to poll accurately became legendary throughout the Democratic Primary process and the erratic nature of the polls since only tells us that they have not gotten a handle on what to do.
Regardless of their intentions, their daily, weekly and monthly polls do have an effect on the voting populace. In a very real sense, they do not just report on how the electorate is feeling - they shape how the electorate feels.
They know (this) http://books.google.com/books?id=DdSPsxHX5BQC&dq.
This tells us that their actions are in furtherance of whatever their goals are. While we are not privy to their internal discussions, we can know this much for certain: their goal - stated or unstated - seeks to reduce the enthusiasm of the Democrats and increase the enthusiasm of the Republicans, in a pathetic attempt to prevent the change we as a nation seek to make from coming to pass.
It will not work.
They will not succeed.
Their attempts are growing more patently obvious by the day.
But all of that is mere words and in truth, purely preamble. Here is the analysis that proves the above hypothetical statements true.
From the latest AP Poll (http://www.ap-gfkpoll.com/), we see the following top-line numbers:
- McCain - 48%
- Obama - 44%
The first lie these numbers tell us is they are based on "likely voters". Now, every pollster has their own "secret sauce" for how they determine "likely voters", but suffice it to say for the external viewer that it consists of a formula based on previous voting experience; demographic data; and enthusiasm. Translated more directly (and we are family here, no?), that means newly registered voters have their responses discounted; impact of white voters is raised - due to their historically higher voting rate compared to other demographics; and adding Sarah Palin to the ticket has boosted Republican enthusiasm - which was beyond lackluster for John McCaain. Three debatable assumptions - as they look backward and not forward - that pollsters treat as gospel.
But there is more wrong with this poll:
View Picture 10 and you will see that the Democratic voters total out to 33% of the "likely voters" polled and Republican voters totaled out to 31% of the same population. Nationally, Democrats have a more than 11M - (according to the AP) http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5iyCjg56QEYy3r8Gz2X09TnpaWOMwD9317JU00 - registered voter advantage over Republicans - and that is in states where registration also capture party affiliation. Other news sources (USA Today from 2004) http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/columnist/neuharth/2004-01-22-neuharth_x.htm say that the Democratic advantage is almost 20M - and that lead is only growing with each passing day, as the Obama campaign continues to press for new registrations. And as these folks are registering just for this campaign, they have to be considered more likely to vote! Any poll that does not show a Democratic lead in the poll responders, it flat out false.
But there is even more wrong with this poll:
View Picture 11 and you will see that of the likely voters questioned in this poll, a full 10% more voted for George Bush in 2004 than John Kerry! Now, we are all sad that Kerry lost, but he did not lose by 10%; in fact, his margin of defeat was a mere 2.4%. This means that what this poll is actually showing, is that some folks who voted for George Bush in 2004 are planning on voting for Barack Obama in 2008; I bet you did not see that in any headlines.
But there is still more wrong with this poll:
View Picture 12 and you will see that the pollster is once again forecasting 17% of the electorate will be in the under-30 voter group - which is what we saw in 2004. Ask yourself if you - the average observer of this year's political season - thinks that more, less or about the same number of voters in the under-30 demographic will hit the polls this November? You can take as much time as you like in answering this question and remember - this will count as 25% of your final score!
But there is yet one more thing wrong with this poll - and I am not even a statistician (although I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night):
View Picture 13; here you will see that the pollster is once again forecasting 7% of the electorate will be Hispanic/Latino, as it was in 2004. This almost goes without saying but the primary season alone showed a huge increase in the turnout of Hispanic voters. To believe that they have all decided to vote in the primaries - only to return to previous levels in the fall - is an assertion without evidence in support of it (others might call it an out and out lie, but I am too charitable for such strong language).
I hope this has shown that this latest poll from AP/GFK is more cotton candy than high cotton; I encourage everyone to go to the poll themselves and see just how many others holes are in this thing. All snapshots of poll data taken from the AP source data here: http://www.ap-gfkpoll.com/pdf/AP-GfK_Poll_91208_Topline_findings_final.pdf.
For comparison, you can find details on the 2004 election here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidential_election,_2004. Sphere: Related Content
I used to think that I would forever remember the events of 11 September 2001; now I am beginning to wonder. Herewith are my recollections from that day.
All of this analysis was merely preamble to this prescription:
"A good start would be for Obama to apologize to Clinton supporters for not coming to her defense during the primaries and helping her battle a torrent of sexist media criticism."
It seems that what has really gotten stuck in Ms. Urbe's craw is the thumpin' her candidate took at the hands of this impetuous upstart. You see, according to Ms. Urbe, it is not the voters who select presidential nominees, no - that prerogative belongs to the media elite. The fact that Senator Obama would deign to go over her head and speak directly to the people is - in her eyes - just more proof of his elitism!
"How dare he!, she cries, "How dare he!"
No, Ms. Urbe, how dare you.
Mostly because, they certainly don't think about me.
But this VP selection by McCain does have me flummoxed.
I was certain that Rob Portman would be his choice: Portman is known as a budget hawk - so he plays into the "I am going to trim the federal budget meme; Portman is from Ohio - and that is a state McCain wants to attempt to win; and Portman may have had a role in the Bush Administration - but who holds the OMB Director accountable for the mistakes like Katrina?
When I heard the initial reports, I assumed it was some false fire being sent out to misdirect the media and keep everything secret until the announcement. Instead, the story I thought to be too crazy turned out to be true.
Never to old to learn a new trick, I guess.
If you disrespect everybody that you run into - how in the world do you think anybody gonna respect you?
In this piece from Friday (still returning to normal; long trip back from the DNC in Denver), respected (?) journalist provides his analysis on the convention speeches - with his greatest focus on Obama's acceptance speech and the themes it contained. How does his analysis conclude? Well, like so many in the press, he has some advice for our young hero, so that the good ship Change - as navigated by Obama - does not run aground on the rocky shores of reality. The reality in this case being, attempts to portray this son of a single mom, raised by his grandparents will have a hard time convincing people he is not an elitist - given how thin he is and how "difficult it is to imagine Obama - so disciplined and imperially slim - wolfing down a Big Mac".
This qualifies as political analysis nowadays? One perhaps should not be surprised by this piece from this author and from this journal; after all - it was the National Journal who trumpeted to the world the very liberal status of this Senator from Illinois. Somewhat obviating the fact that his voting record - on which this claim was based - was necessarily impacted by his travel schedule for the 18 months of this presidential campaign. Regardless, let me keep my focus on that "difficult to imagine" line from this "analysis"; apparently - if you are black - you can be too rich and too thin. Sure, Obama is not as rich as John McCain - for all of her charms, Michelle Robinson Obama has never been described as an heiress - but his books have made him wealthy (damn those people who have the temerity to be good writers! John McCain knows that Senators are supposed to have their books ghost-written for them). And his tendency towards frequent exercise and healthy living has led him away from a fast food diet - two tendencies that are most certainly not shared by our increasingly overweight and diabetic society. So of course, it is entirely appropriate for an analysis of four days of convention speeches to zero in on the major problem Obama has: "imperially slimness" and an inability to credibly "[wolf] down a Big Mac".
And this man hopes to be taken seriously as a respected journalist.
Now, I know not what is in Ron Brownstein's heart; I only know the man by his actions. And for him to write that Obama cannot seriously be credited with humble beginnings because he is both now successful - usually a good trait in those we seek for our highest office - and disciplined (horror of horrors!) is to enact journalistic malpractice and or malfeasance. One has to wonder what crosses the mind of a man as he commits such words to electronic ink: do they cause his heart to fill with the simple pride of a job well-done? I know that much is made these days of how little esteem the public holds for the press: I say the press must first respect themselves to engender respect from the public.
When you put your name to a piece of analysis that proffers the difficulties a candidate would face in credibly downing a Big Mac, you disrespect yourself and your profession.
This shouldn't bother me; its just a throw-away line mostly ancillary to the larger point the author is attempting to make:
In my Avis Rental car yesterday, I was treated to an XM Radio discussion on POTUS08 with the author of "The Faith of Barack Obama"; there were several misstatements of Black Liberation Theology as well as what Obama's faith means to him and although I do not have as large a podium as an internationally - indeed, intergalactic - broadcast radio program, I do want to address those with you here in this letter.
We have an apathetic electorate.
Why do black Americans fret about our membership numbers in the Republican Party? They do not fret about it. Did you see McCain's presence at the NAACP and NUL conventions as more than just going through the motions?
The Republicans made an explicit choice after Goldwater lost in 1964, that they would be the party of all interests antithetical to black people. There were black Republicans; Democrats coveted our votes and so they pursued Civil RIghts legislation. We left the Republican Party as for more than a century after the Civil War, their promises to look after our interests were met with sullen statements about how they could not get simple laws passed that required our voices to be heard. Now, you might put the start date with FDR and someone else might put it with Truman, but the fact is by 1960, the Democratic Party was no longer the party of Woodrow Wilson - who hosted the KKK in the White House and that noxious movie, Birth of a Nation - and it was the party of JFK.
There is a reason that man's photo still hangs in the houses of our aging grandparents.
In five years, the coalition JFK and LBJ built did for black Americans what Republicans had failed to do for well more than a century.
(NB: Have you heard about that book - Slavery by Another Name?)
So has the Democratic Party fallen short in areas since the 60s?
Has the Democratic Party coasted on the good graces earned by their representatives from the 60s?
Perhaps, the problem was not with the Democratic Party. Perhaps - with the candidacy of Barack Obama - we are beginning to see that it was not just the amorphous noun, "the Democratic Party" that was lying stagnate, but it was the black political consciousness - such as it is.
And now that we are experiencing a revival - you want to discuss going back to our former home? The home from which we were thrown and the home in which Rush Limbaugh now lives?
First rule for observers of the American political scene is to ignore any media analysis that posits a "horse race" meme. Here are several reasons why:
- Journalists interpret their commitment to objectivity as requiring them to balance ever positive statement of a candidate with a negative statement. Reporters, anchors and editors fear applying any value metric - that's subjective! - and so they merely present tables of "this helped candidate X; this hurt candidate X.
- Media outlets need to sell papers and get ratings. Conflict, division, battle - these are the themes that attract attention from viewers and readers. Witness how early polls that showed Obama with a wide lead were immediately discounted as false.
- Focus on an allegedly tight national poll ignores the fact that we do not elect presidents that way; we elect presidents on a state by state basis. And yet even here - where Obama has held a consistent 20 electoral vote lead by the most conservative estimate since the conclusion of the Democratic primary season - the commentary from journalists tend more toward, "why isn't his lead even larger?" This is the classic case of comparing Obama to a "generic" Democrat and saying that he is not doing as well as that "generic" candidate. This ignores the fact that he was not in a contest against a "generic" Democrat, he was in contest with Clinton, Edwards, Biden, Richardson, et al. Then and now he is performing better than any of those candidates.
Is it not the very definition of insanity to do what "experience" has taught you to do and still expect a different result? We know what experience told us to do when it comes to energy supplies: go to war to obtain the energy resources needed. That is what WWII was all about, was it not? Did we not cement our alliance with the House of Saud as a result of that war? So when two oilmen enter the White House and develop an energy plan in secret - can we not assume that the plan was developed from their experience?
Experience is changing our environment, this is a confirmed fact that we can all see every day. We do not know what the new environment will be and we do not know if we can live in that environment; why should we risk finding out? Why would we bet the lives of our children and all of their children in some selfish quest to do what our experience tells us to do?
We have a need; we can call that need "change", but what we need is to do something new. We cannot do what we did before - what our experience has taught us to do - as that way is the path to death. The human - the animal - instinct for survival compels us to veer off the well-trod path of experience.
McCain wants you to think that Obama is risky. Nothing could be more risky than electing a man who is so incapable of learning something new - of doing something different - that he has his staff "bring him interesting information off the internet." Sphere: Related Content
To whom should we - the citizens who have ennobled and enriched the free press and its associated television reporters, anchors and commentators - lodge our complaints of malfeasance against the ABC News organization and their corporate overlords at Disney?
I was reading Glenn Greenwald today on Salon.com and he laid out a fairly prima facie case that tied ABC News and their atrocious reporting on the anthrax case to the thin fibers of a causus belli for war to depose Saddam Hussein. What we know now - in the absence of honest reporting by ABC News - is that government officials deliberately lied to ABC News to get an implication of Saddam Hussein's involvement in that anthrax attack. These repeated insinuations have been cited by as high an authority as President Bush as an exemplar of Saddam's status as an original member of the "axis of evil" and just the sort of evil dictator who could no longer be allowed to operate in a post-9/11 world.
- ABC News has information on several government sources who spread false information about that anthrax attack.
- ABC News has not revealed which government operatives were spreading those lies that implicated Saddam Hussein in that anthrax attack.
- We are approaching our second presidential election since a war against Iraq was launched - resulting in the deaths of more than 100K people, final toll TBD - and a "news" organization with critical information on how and why we are at this point is sitting on it; for what reason?
This is beyond a complaint letter to an ombudsman. This is not something that the Justice Department can even begin to investigate as they are hopeless compromised. There is no independent counsel law and who would trust one appointed by this President. Congressional hearings have been debased from the point of view of the public.
To what institution can we turn to redress this ill?
What follows is my latest attempt to check fools - this time on "John in Carolina". This comment has not made the cut there - yet.
Tarheel Hawkeye: let me be more clear; apparently, I was too diffuse earlier.
Obama has not questioned McCain's status as an American.
McCain has - implicitly - questioned Obama's status as an American ("The American President the American people have been waiting for" - and he did so with a dangling participle)
McCain attacked Obama's status as an American through Obama's African - black - father.
McCain was the first to play the race card in this presidential contest and he did so in the most incorrigible way possible: by insinuating that by the "black blood" Obama carries directly, he cannot be the American President the American people have been awaiting.
This statement was a direct descendant of the thinking that led to the decision in the Dred Scott case of 1854, wherein the Supreme Court of this land stated that no black man had any rights which need be respected by law. The drafters of the Constitution denied citizenship - American-ness - to the African residents of this country; the Supreme Court reinforced that otherness in Dred Scott and nameless other decisions as well. John McCain reincarnated that philosophy with his initial campaign ad of the general election.
I know you have named this blog "John in Carolina", but I hope and pray that it is not beholden to the same old tired rhetoric that claims blacks are not citizens and can never be citizens.
A war was fought over that idea.
Many people died over that question.
Must we repeat that war in the 21st century?
McCain chose to play the race card, because he believes - cynically - that it is his best hope for bypassing the failures of the administration he seeks to succeed.
His act was beneath him.
Defense of that act is beneath you and I alike.
PS - I brought up Helms and Gantt simply for the connection to Carolina and it seemed a nice corollary to the point that bringing up race has long been a component of Republican electoral strategy. A quick read through comments that call Obama an "affirmative action candidate" - firms up that tie-in as affirmative action was the culprit in that Helms ad against Gantt then too.
Black people are not now and have never been the enemy of this country. We have fought for the American ideal in every war this nation has ever waged - even before the fruits of freedom were secured for us and our kin. Anyone who attempts to drive a wedge between Americans of "different" racial backgrounds is seeking to build up their own power base and not to build up our nation.
If I had a nickel for everytime someone told me not to get overconfident in planning for an Obama presidency . . . well, I would have a great many nickels.
I'm just saying.
2008 is not the same as 2000 or 2004 and here is why: the batteground is not limited to just one or two states. In 2000, FL and NM were the states where the vote went down to the wire; in 2004 it was Ohio. A historical review shows that Democrats and Republicans only really contested a few states and Republicans did what it took to win those states. Now, we can debate whether "by any means necessary" included breaking the law, but the fact remains GWB was declared the victor in both those elections.
In 2008, this election will be contested in OH and PA and FL and GA and VA and NC and MT and NM and CO and perhaps even KS. Not even the great and powerful Oz (Rove) can rig elections in that many states on one day. This means that all we - the people - need to do is ensure that we are driving the vote across these states.
I heard a man say once that the people - united - can never be defeated.
Register every voter you can and the people will take care of the rest.
And ignore the national polls! Use the state polls to stay motivated:
Delusional. No other word can describe Joe's thesis that the NY Times "outed" Deuce Martinez because, "he not on their side, they don't like what he is doing".
Martinez, gets information from terrorists by talking to them - not by torturing them. Ipso facto, he is not on Joe's side; Joe has been the Morning Joe voice in favor of terror.
One can only conclude that Joe has become delusional on this point, as he seeks an avenue through which to hammer the NY Times over the revelation of a CIA-agent's identity.
But he has a problem here too: there is no motive in the NY Times revelation - other than gettng the best story (and we all know that without the name, opponents of the paper would have cried 'foul' and insisted it was fabricated). Whereas the Plame revelation by the President, clearly had the intent to discredit a critic of his plan to attack Iraq (and isn't it amazing how a 'slam dunk' policy could need such scurrilous defending; almost leads one to the conclusion tha the President didn't believe his policy was so strong).
Furthermore, outing Plame may not have endangered her life, but as any Tom Clancy novel tells us, the CIA often has assets in front companies, whose role it is to recruit covert operatives in foreign lands - in the hopes that they will be better able to blend in with foreign cultures than the average American.
How many of those recruits who were seen with that pretty, blond American woman (nah - who could have remembered her?) found themselves scrambling through streets all around the world in a desperate run out of town and country?
Oh well, its not like we need CIA assets.
This article raises more questions than answers: what makes the Disney movie "more" racist than the stories of Harris; from whence did the "Atlanta society ladies" come by their belief that they were doing with the will of Harris - when he had no will; what was the purpose of raising the essay by writer Alice Walker, if you were not going to analyze her criticisms and either validate them or repudiate them?
Actually - you seemed to come down on the side of repudiation - but you provided no evidence for the reader as to how you made that choice (were that actually your decision, which again was unclear from the reading).
With no evidence presented to the contrary and with all of the evidence presented showing in the affirmative (pre-Civil War Southern male, no discussion whether he fought for our against the South; stated opposition to integration - might this be from whence those Southern ladies drew their conclusions?; profiting for generations from the tales of slaves - with no evidence given how how he pro-offered remuneration to those slaves and their descendants) how are we to conclude otherwise but that Harris was as racist as the Disney movies made from his stories?