From the DeSoto Times: OLIVE BRANCH — A White Power summit billed as the International Euro Conference featuring former Neo-Nazi and Klansman David Duke and other white supremacists will apparently go on as planned at Whispering Woods Hotel and Conference Center in Olive Branch Nov. 8-9.
The conference will go on despite the fact the hotel may have been duped into believing the conference involved environmental concerns.
Jacob Flowers, director of the Mid-South Peace and Justice Center in Memphis, said it’s his understanding the conference organizers may have misled the conference center’s management about the conference’s goals and objectives by representing the group as an environmental organization.
“Our concerns are many,” Flowers said. “Especially from a group that espouses such hateful beliefs. We recently had white power terrorists in our area.”
Flowers was referring to three young men from the Mid-South who planned to murder and behead 14 African-Americans at random and then attempt the life of Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama. The three men reportedly communicated via Internet sites such as the Stormfront Web site.
Whispering Woods issued a statement that they "were not initially informed that the ultimate user of the facility would be the Euro Group."
Hotel representatives said they do not endorse the purposes of the Euro Group.
Law enforcement agencies will be out en force to monitor the activities of the group.
McCain/Palin and the corporate media elites have been attacking Barack Obama's plan to allow the Bush Tax Cuts on the rich to expire (and return to the 36% rate under Clinton!) by accusing him of being a "socialist" who wants to redistribute wealth. And what is wrong with that? The top 1% earn more income than the bottom 50% and more wealth than the bottom 90% in the United States. Economic inequality is the greatest it has been since the Great Depression! Republicans support redistributing wealth from the bottom UP, but It is time to REDISTRIBUTE wealth from the bottom down!
Obama Assassination Plot Disrupted by ATF ATF disrupts skinhead plot to assassinate Obama October 27, 2008 4:35 PM EDT WASHINGTON - Federal agents have broken up a plot to assassinate Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama and shoot or decapitate 102 black people in a Tennessee murder spree, the ATF said Monday.
In court records unsealed Monday, federal agents said they disrupted plans to rob a gun store and target a predominantly African-American high school by two neo-Nazi skinheads. Agents said the skinheads did not identify the school by name.
Jim Cavanaugh, special agent in charge of the Nashville field office for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, said the two men planned to shoot 88 black people and decapitate another 14. The numbers 88 and 14 are symbolic in the white supremacist community.
The men also sought to go on a national killing spree, with Obama as its final target, Cavanaugh told The Associated Press.
"They said that would be their last, final act - that they would attempt to kill Sen. Obama," Cavanaugh said. "They didn't believe they would be able to do it, but that they would get killed trying." ----
It seems like only a few glandular cases are obsessed with the fact that Barack Obama knows Bill Ayers, the vintage '60s "revolutionary" and former mad bomber, with everyone else including the New York Post dismissing the charge as a low blow.
But the Ayers controversy is only the spearhead of a massive Internet campaign by McCain supporters to brand Senator Obama a "socialist," the timing of which is exquisitely (if unintentionally) comic.
It goes like this: Sometime in the distant past, Obama won the endorsement of the Chicago chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America, or D.S.A.—a rather moderate group of activists by left-wing standards, who have always believed in advancing such radical concepts as universal health care, green technology, union jobs at decent wages, as well as many other worthy ideas that are now boringly mainstream.
The D.S.A. was founded by the late Michael Harrington, a wonderful writer and Jesuit-educated idealist whose great 1962 book, The Other America, inspired President Kennedy to begin the war on poverty. Mike was a close friend of Robert Kennedy and Pat Moynihan. He lived in a Westchester suburb and could scarcely have been more respectable, for a socialist.
So, back to Obama, that socialist. If we unpack the blog post that claims to expose his connections to the D.S.A., very few of the links actually prove what is advertised. The truth is simple and hardly scandalous.
Like many African-American Democrats, Obama was supported by the Democratic left in his community. They had so little familiarity with him, however, that even when the Chicago D.S.A. endorsed him, they repeatedly misspelled his first name.
The same posts note with horror that D.S.A. belongs to the Socialist International, which sounds very sinister but includes many parties that have been staunch American allies for decades, notably the British Labor Party. That's right. Tony Blair belongs to the Socialist International! And yet Blair and George Bush are great pals. Ready for another shocker? The C.I.A., former employer of Larry Johnson, whose No Quarter site is spreading this earnest nonsense, used to give money to socialist parties in Europe, many of which were likewise members of the Socialist International. Not only that, but Bill and Hillary Clinton still have many friends in the Socialist International, including the former heads of government of Italy, Germany, South Africa and Spain, among others, whom they invited to the White House to discuss their shared visions of the human future. Wow. Scary!
But that isn't why this is funny. Calling out Obama as a "socialist" is funny—in the dark sense that may be the only way anything in politics or economics is funny these days—because we are in the midst of a massive nationalization of finance that is sweeping the capitalist world. To my knowledge, the D.S.A. has never proposed anything quite as radical as President Bush's takeover of the nation's largest insurance company, or Senator McCain's desperate debate proposal for the government to buy up bad mortgages and renegotiate rates and principal.
Of course, I never gave much credence to those far-right screeds warning that McCain was a "Manchurian Candidate," but who really knows? ------ DSA National Chair Responds:
This story in various forms has been circulating on the web for at least 18 months. It is hardly surprising that in their panic that they might lose this elections right wingers are desperate to get it take seriously. It shows how little most people know about socialism and its values that they would think that this centrist politician espouses socialist principles. The $700 billion bailout which--like Bernie Sanders the independent socialist in the U. S. Senate--DSA opposed, was not a plan to change or even reform the American financial system. It was a plan to preserve it, just like the bailout of the Savings and Loan industry in the 1980's. American socialists support single payer national health care, an end to the war in Iraq, the right of unions to organize and progressive taxation, to name just a few of the more pressing issues. To learn more about who we are and what we stand for your readers should visit our website: www.dsausa.org Of course we do feel that people should vote for Obama over McCain, not because he is one of us or is even friendly to us and our positions, but because there is no hope of real change without a president that progressives and social movements can pressure to sign legislation that provides universal, affordable health care; reestablishes unions' ability to organize, reexamines our trade agreements and withdraws our forces from Iraq as quickly as possible. Frank Llewellyn National Director Democratic Socialists of America
"Apple is publicly opposing Proposition 8 and making a donation of $100,000 to the No on 8 campaign. Apple was among the first California companies to offer equal rights and benefits to our employees’ same-sex partners, and we strongly believe that a person’s fundamental rights — including the right to marry — should not be affected by their sexual orientation. Apple views this as a civil rights issue, rather than just a political issue, and is therefore speaking out publicly against Proposition 8."
A new anti-gay offensive has been launched against Democratic North Carolina state senator and U.S. Senate candidate Kay Hagan. Campaign literature produced by the North Carolina Republican Party has been mailed to households in the state.
A new mailer in support of incumbent Sen. Elizabeth Dole claims that Hagan's agenda, with the help of "liberal judges," will be to advance a "radical homosexual agenda" which includes same-sex marriage, removing "Under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance, and forcing the Boy Scouts to accept gay and atheist troop leaders.
Hagan's opposition to an anti-gay amendment is the focus of the mailer. "Across America," it reads, "liberal judges are overturning state laws banning gay marriage. In North Carolina a state constitutional amendment is needed to protect traditional marriage and prevent liberal judges from imposing their gay marriage agenda on the state."
Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama has opened up a 10-point lead over Republican opponent John McCain two weeks before the November 4 U.S. election, according to Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll released on Tuesday.
The poll found 52 percent of voters favor Obama compared with 42 percent for McCain, up from a 6-point Obama edge two weeks ago, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The 10-point lead is the largest in the Journal/NBC poll to date and represents a steady climb for Obama since early September, when the political conventions concluded with the candidates in a statistical tie, the newspaper reported.
The poll also found that the popularity of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has fallen. Voters are less likely to see the Republican vice presidential nominee in a positive light, and much more likely to report negative feelings, the Wall Street Journal said.
Forty-seven percent view Palin negatively, compared with 38 percent who see her in a positive light. Fifty-five percent of voters say Palin is not qualified to be president, up from 50 percent two weeks ago.
Keith Olbermann offered a "Special Comment" tonight on his show Countdown, criticizing the McCain campaign and other Republicans, like Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann, for their use of divisive politics during the campaign.
While the U.S. media has been busy chasing after ACORN, following the fraudulent claims of the Republican Party that the Obama is stealing the election through "voter fraud," the BBC has been investigating how the Republican Party is going to try to steal the 2008 Presidential election using the same ELECTION FRAUD tactics it used in 2000 and 2004! Greg Palast has done a series of investigation reports on the Stealing of the 2008 Election on BBC
Peter Tatchell in The Guardian, "Don't Trust The Opinion Polls" "The scale of voter disenfranchisement in America could put the Republicans back in the White House."
Palin told CBN that she supports a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. John McCain voted agasint the FMA in 2004 and says the matter should be left to the states.
“In my own, state, I have voted along with the vast majority of Alaskans who had the opportunity to vote to amend our Constitution defining marriage as between one man and one woman. I wish on a federal level that that's where we would go because I don't support gay marriage.
“I'm not going to be out there judging individuals, sitting in a seat of judgment telling what they can and can't do, should and should not do,” she said. “But I certainly can express my own opinion here and take actions that I believe would be best for traditional marriage and that's casting my votes and speaking up for traditional marriage that, that instrument that it's the foundation of our society is that strong family and that's based on that traditional definition of marriage, so I do support that.”
IN the VP debate, Palin got away with seeming to be opposed to discrimination against LGBT people, while as Gov. of Alaska she was legally forced to veto a bill that would have withdrew Domestic Partnership Benefits, but she supported an effort to amend the state constitution to do so.
Once again, the Republican candidates, and their apologists in the Gay community, are trying to hide their hostility to equal rights for gay people.
The right-wing smear machine has successfully got the corporate media to focus on alleged "voter registration fraud" by ACORN (American Communities Organized for Reform Now) to cover up massive ELECTION FRAUD by the Repubican Party. Get the FACTS:
William Timmons, the Washington lobbyist who John McCain has named to head his presidential transition team, aided an influence effort on behalf of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein to ease international sanctions against his regime.
The two lobbyists who Timmons worked closely with over a five year period on the lobbying campaign later either pleaded guilty to or were convicted of federal criminal charges that they had acted as unregistered agents of Saddam Hussein's government. ----
Let's see, which is more serious, aiding SADDAM HUSSEIN, or being on the same board as Bill Ayers, a "radical" anti-war protester from the 1960s ??
Evidently my attacks on Becky Ruppe (the "pro-life, pro-gun", anti-gay "Democratic" candidate for the TN Senate) are getting under her skin. She is now quoting me in her campaign flyers! Read more about Becky Ruppe's attacks on gays, me and the U.S. Constitution over on the Scott County Liberals (& Friends)
"If there was any doubt that Becky Ruppe is an authentic social conservative, she has dispelled it with a campaign circular distributed in area newspapers this week. She seems so eager to distance herself from the more socially progressive platform of her party's national committee that the word "Democrat" is altogether absent from this piece of campaign literature. (Neither, for that matter, does she declare her party affiliation anywhere on her campaign website, nor in the one radio advertisement I've heard for her candidacy.) Again, it's not unusual in the South for Democrats to buck the party's national-level agenda. What gives us pause is her willingness to belittle an entire section of the traditionally Democratic constituency in order to get elected.
The last page of the circular reads like it might have been written by any fundamentalist Republican candidate. Ruppe repeats her commitment to the "Rural Tennessee Values" of being "Pro-life 100%" (I'm not sure exactly what that means; are there exceptions for adult rape, or rape of a minor, or incest, or endangerment of the woman's health or life? Ruppe hasn't been forthcoming that I can determine); "100% pro-gun" with an "A" rating from the National Rifle Association; and the pledge that she will "make all [her] decisions regarding [the legal rights of gay couples] based on Christian values." Of course, Ruppe doesn't use the term "legal rights of gay couples"; she casts up the distracting smokescreen of defense-of-traditional-marriage and raises the specter of "gay marriage" as though it's something more than a phantom issue, a dodge to rally popular support. "Gay marriage" isn't a religious issue or even a moral issue: it's a civil rights issue, a question of whether or not the equal protection of the laws as mandated in our Constitution shall extend to all citizens. The Democratic platform for 2008 understands this. Of course, the distinction is an easy one to avoid when you're running for office, and Becky Ruppe does so with the all the deftness of a biblically-correct Republican.
She goes one better in her campaign flyer and dives headlong into the sort of religio-social warfare that would do Sarah Palin proud. She wastes no time in identifying Jim Maynard, a gay rights activist in Memphis who has been critical of Ruppe, as "a gay atheist" (which he is) who "says he is a gay, atheist, humanist, socialist" (so he does). She quotes Maynard's defense of the Constitution as a wholly secular instrument of government (which it is) as though he's not only wrong, but that his clear understanding of this nation's foundational principles somehow represents a threat to the American way of life. She quotes another internet commenter as pointing out that one might expect a female candidate for office who would have had no legal electoral rights a handful of decades ago to be "more open minded." Given that Ms. Ruppe quotes this as an example of an attack against her and her stand on gay rights, should we take from this that she considers open-mindedness in public service a bad thing? When she quotes this woman as saying that "she [Ruppe] will work to stop us... from being able to adopt, stop us from having the same legal rights that other married or even 'common law' couples will have" and does so without comment or clarification, should we assume that if Becky Ruppe is elected she would do exactly that? " --
And Congratulations to the Scott County Liberals for withdrawing their endorsement of Becky Ruppe!
"As gay rights activist Jim Maynard has observed, it's better to lose on principle than to win by sacrificing one's principles. We can't afford to settle for just any ol' Democrat, much less one who campaigns on fear and loathing."
I thought Obama did "OK," but once again he held back on many punches that should have knocked John McCain out of his chair. McCain was on the offense again and was punching away. Obama played it calm and cool, which seems to be working for him. I understand that, but I just wish Obama would have hit back more on a few issues.
First, Obama has not yet pointed out that John McCain OPPOSED the Bush tax cuts, which he now supports. When McCain starts spouting the right-wing "class war" talking points, Obama should quote John McCain's arguments AGAINST the Bush tax cuts.
Obama should make it clearer to the voters that we have to PAY for government somehow. The issue is WHO should be paying more and who should be paying less. Yes that is class war, and the middle class has been losing that war. It is time for the RICH to do more to pay for the Bush-McCain Iraq occupation. When McCain attacks Obama for "raising taxes" during an economic crisis, Obama should respond that no president has ever CUT taxes on the rich during war time!
If anyone had any illusion that John McCain is a "moderate" Republican, McCain showed tonight that he has caved in to the right-wing religious fundamentalist base of the Republican party. The scariest thing I heard in this debate was John McCain's rhetoric accusing pro-choice people of being "pro-abortion," and referring to "women's health" exemptions on abortion as an "extreme pro-abortion" position!
Not only should this debate move the remaining "PUMA" Clintonites back to Obama, McCain will loose more independent voters as well.
Obama seems to be winning these debates without much effort, without even throwing any hard punches.
Keith Olbermann tells John McCain to "SUSPEND YOUR CAMPAIGN"!
Olbermann: McCain, suspend your campaign The GOP ticket is inciting supporters to violence against Barack Obama SPECIAL COMMENT By Keith Olbermann Anchor, 'Countdown' updated 8:07 p.m. CT, Tues., Oct. 14, 2008
And this is where the satire ends and the Special Comment begins. Because this is not even remotely funny.
1:25 p.m. Eastern Time, today, in Scranton, Pennsylvania. During the warm-up act by a red meat Congressional candidate aptly named Chris Hackett, Hackett mentions Obama and a Palin audience member shouts, “Kill Him.”
And Gov. Palin, as usual, does nothing about it; says nothing to these thugs and psychos. She may not have heard this one. It is impossible to believe that by now she has not heard about the other ones. Her silence is deafening. Just as, Senator McCain, you have done nothing when violence has been asserted. Correction. You have done one thing.
Asked why, in real time, you do not repudiate this hatefulness, you act as if you are the victim. Speaking today to our NBC Station in Washington:
McCain: “Sure and I repudiated it as I have on several occasions. Unfortunately, Congressman John Lewis is an American hero who I admire who made the worst, most unacceptable statement a couple days ago that I have ever heard. He accused me and Sarah Palin of being involved in segregation, George Wallace and even made reference to a church bombing where children were killed. Senator Obama has not repudiated that statement. Senator Obama should do so immediately. Its the most outrageous thing that I have heard since in politics…it is disgraceful.” Disgraceful?
Obviously, Senator, you haven’t heard your own speeches, and Gov. Palin’s, and what people shout during them. And you haven’t heard your state GOP Chair in Virginia, Jeffrey Frederick, giving talking points to 30 of your field-operatives heading out to canvass voters in Gainesville, Virginia, with a reporter present, telling them to try to forge a connection between Barack Obama and Osama bin Laden to emphasize bombings and terrorism. And you haven’t heard those volunteers, your volunteers Sen. McCain, shout back, “And he won’t salute the flag” and “We don’t even know where Sen. Obama was really born.”
Sen. McCain, these people are speaking for you! And how dare you try to claim Congressman Lewis was linking you to Gov. George Wallace’s segregation? He was linking you, aptly, to Gov. George Wallace’s lynch-mob mentality.
“As public figures with the power to influence and persuade,” said Congressman Lewis, “Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin are playing with fire, and if they are not careful, that fire will consume us all.”
Sen. McCain, your supporters, at your events, are calling Obama a terrorist and traitor and are calling for him to be killed. And yet you keep bringing back these same rabid Right Wing nuts to deliberately stir these crowds into frenzies. And then you take offense when somebody who remembers the violence in our political past, calls you on it. You, sir, are responsible for a phalanx of individuals who are shouting fire in a crowded theater.
There are some things to respect and honor about you, Sen. McCain, but on this you’re not only a fraud, Senator, but you are tacitly inciting lunatics to violence. If you want to again grand-stand and suspend your campaign here’s your big chance. Suspend your campaign now, until you, or somebody else, gets some control over it and it ceases to be a clear and present danger to the peace of this nation.
Well you wouldn't know it up here in North Arkansas where I'm taking a few days of "vacation," but McCain/Palin are loosing the election. McCain/Palin signs are everywhere up here. Driving to Blanchard Springs from my mother's place near Mtn Home I actually saw a large hand painted sign that said "Use Your Brain, Vote McCain" with a picture of what I hope was Osama Bin Laden with a noose around his neck, but it could have been Obama!
The white folks up here are scared to death of Obama! Maybe they have been listening to Sarah Palin too much. They are in denial of reality.
I haven't been able to post all the Sarah Palin news up here, but you probably saw that Sarah Palin was found GUILTY of "abuse of power" and violating Alaskan ethics laws, but for some reason the McCain/Palin campaigns keep saying she was found NOT guilty... huh?
Some good news, I put a Obama sign up in my mom's yard, and brought another one for my brother, and a few bumper stickers I was going to give to family, but an old couple drove by and begged me for my other Obama yard sign and a bumper sticker. The Democratic Party here did not order any Obama/Biden signs!
Why is it that the Republicans got their McCain/Palin signs spread all over Memphis and North Arkansas but the Democratic parties couldn't support their candidates and provide their people with signs and bumper stickers? Oh well..
Recent polls are not looking good in the effort to stop Prop. 8 in California, which would amend the CA Constitution to take away the right of gays and lesbians to marry in that state. One poll shows the Prop. 8 with 47% support, 43% opposed. The anti-gay groups supporting Prop. 8 have raised $10 million more than the No on Prop. 8 campaign.
1. MCCAIN PROPOSING NEW HOUSING PLAN. McCain today said he had a new plan to allow the Treasury to purchase and restructure mortgages. The truth is that this is not a new proposal and is already part of the rescue plan that was signed into law. It was Obama, not McCain who called for this move two weeks ago.
MCCAIN TAX PLAN IS BETTER. McCain said, “It is my proposal not Senator Obama’s” that will “take care of working families.” The reality is that even the Heritage Foundation agrees Obama will provide a middle class tax cut that studies have found is three times larger than under McCain’s plan. In contrast, the McCain plan’s benefits would overwhelmingly go to the wealthiest Americans and would leave out 101 million middle class households.
MCCAIN’S PLAN FOR HOUSING CRISIS. McCain said, “We have got to give some trust and confidence back to America” to solve the housing crisis. But Politifact agrees that McCain was taken by surprise by the mortgage crisis and was “a latecomer” to the debate. He even said “I don’t claim to be smart enough” to solve the housing crisis and newspapers have found that McCain “overstates” his past actions on housing regulation.
TIES TO FANNIE/FREDDIE. McCain talked about “Senator Obama and his cronies and friends in Washington” and blamed them for Fannie and Freddie, while news accounts have pointed out his “deeper” ties to the companies. His campaign manager Rick Davis fought against greater regulation for years, and then his firm was revealed to be taking $15,000 a month until this summer from Freddie Mac, after denying any recent ties.
MCCAIN WILL MAKE HEALTH CARE AFFORDABLE AND AVAILABLE. McCain said “We can do them all at once,” talking about affordability and availability of health care, but he failed to mention that experts say his plan may require some to pay more or get less coverage, that millions would lose their employer-based coverage, and that even he has admitted that his plan will raise taxes on some.
SMALL BUSINESS TAXES. McCain said Obama’s plan “will increase taxes on 50% of small business revenue,” when the Washington Post found similar attacks “untrue,” and studies show 97% of small business owners wouldn’t see higher taxes under Obama’s plan. Factcheck.org said the attack used “a false and preposterously inflated figure.” TAX CUTS FOR THE WEALTHY. McCain said “I am not in favor of tax cuts for the wealthy.” While he once said that the Bush tax cuts were “too tilted to the wealthy,” now he wants to make them permanent.
2005 ENERGY BILL. McCain attacked Obama for his vote for the 2005 energy bill, saying it had “billions for oil companies.” The truth is that FactCheck.org called this “an old canard” and a “false attack.” The non-partisan Congressional Research Service said the bill actually raised taxes on the oil and gas industry.
94 VOTES FOR HIGHER TAXES…AGAIN. McCain once again repeated the attack that Obama voted 94 times for higher taxes, calling it “his record.” This attack has been debunked by the Associated Press, the Cleveland Plain Dealer, CNN, the New York Times and FactCheck.org, among others.
OBAMA RECORD ON NUCLEAR POWER. McCain said, “Obama is opposed to that,” when the reality is that this attack is “false” according to FactCheck.org. Obama supports nuclear as long as it’s “clean and safe.”
HEALTH COVERAGE FOR PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS. McCain said his health care plan would let people cross state lines to get plans, suggesting it would improve care and not telling Americans that it would weaken patient protections and does nothing to require insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions. McCain’s plan would create a situation the GOP chair of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners said would cause a “race to the bottom.”
HIGHER HEALTH CARE COSTS FOR SMALL BUSINESSES. McCain attacked Obama’s health care plan, suggesting that Obama will fine small businesses and make health care more expensive for them. ABC pointed out that he was “omitting key details about Obama’s plan to mitigate costs” for health care for small businesses. McCain also omitted his record of voting repeatedly against tax credits for small businesses to help with health care costs and that the majority of members of the National Federation of Independent Businesses oppose his plan.
JUDGMENT ON IRAQ. McCain said that he had “the judgment” to make national security decisions, ignoring his record of misguided statements during the course of the Iraq war. In 2005 he said the war would be over within 18 months. In 2003 he said “we will be welcomed as liberators,” and that “we will win it easily.”
RUSSIA AND GEORGIA. McCain said Obama “was wrong about Russia when they committed aggression against Georgia” when Obama had condemned Russia’s actions and called for an immediate ceasefire.
SURGE IN IRAQ. McCain again attacked Obama on the surge, when news accounts show that Obama “said at the time” that the increase “could improve security in certain neighborhoods but that it would not solve the long-term political strife.” Meanwhile McCain said only 10,000 troops would do the job.
NEGOTIATIONS. McCain attacked Obama on diplomatic engagement, but the Washington Post has said McCain is “distorting history when he suggests that Barack Obama is bucking American presidential tradition in expressing a willingness to meet with the leaders of countries hostile to the United States” and that McCain is “incorrect.”
17. SOMALIA. McCain held up Somalia as an example of failed American foreign policy, saying “we ended up having to withdraw in humiliation.” McCain ignored the amendment he introduced in 1993 to cut off funding for troops in Somalia.
"They say that Senator McCain's strong suit is the town hall debate. If this was, in fact, Senator McCain's strength, he might as well go home. Sorry... homes.
While not as smirky as the first debate, Senator McCain was jittery, reptilian (the darting tongue), scattered and overall just plain creepy. At no time was this more obvious than when he referred to Senator Obama as "that one," calling to mind some of the not-so-subtle race baiting that has been the spasmodic, desperate tactic du jour for McCain and his airheaded coward of a running mate.
Meanwhile, while Senator Obama spoke, Senator McCain appeared to wander aimlessly around the stage -- lurking in the shadows like a hissing "gangrel creature with an ill-favored look" -- Gollum with a mic....
Following this debate, McCain must know that he's lost this election, barring some major national event. Indeed, he could very well have lost this one tonight."
Here's something that has not made headline news--JOHN MCCAIN SUPPORTED TERRORISTS!
McCain linked to U.S. Council for World Freedom The Iran-Contra Organization with ties to Nazi Collaborators, anti-Semitism and Right-Wing Death Squads! The Council for World Freedom was behind the selling of military arms to IRAN (terrorists!) to fund the Contra guerillas (terrorists!) in Nicaragua which committed acts of terrorism against civilians to overthrow the government of Nicaragua in the 1980s.
Palin told a group of donors at a private airport, "Our opponent ... is someone who sees America, it seems, as being so imperfect, imperfect enough, that he's palling around with terrorists who would target their own country." She also said, "This is not a man who sees America as you see America and as I see America."
QUESTION: HOW CAN MCCAIN AND PALIN GET AWAY WITH CLAIMING THAT THEY WANT TO STOP THE "PARTISAN BICKERING" IN WASHINGTON D.C. WHILE CALLING THEIR OPPONENTS TERRORIST-LOVING LIBERALS WHO ARE NOT REAL AMERICANS??
Joe Biden clearly won the V.P. Debate tonight. He answered the questions, Palin did not. He had facts, Palin recited talking points that usually had nothing to do with the questions she was asked. I thought she was the same dingbat we have watched in horror the past week babbling with Katie Couric. But, she stood on the stage with Joe Biden and didn't faint, which is considered a "victory" for the Palin supporters.
Biden did a masterful job of linking McCain (and Palin) to failed Bush Administration. He demolished Palin's "maverick" talking points, showing that McCain has NOT been a maverick on most important issues.
Palin made a scary argument that the Vice President should be given more power! She sounded like Dick Cheney!
Palin seemed to agree with Biden that gay couples should have the same civil rights as heterosexual couples, when actually, McCain/Palin do not support the legal recognition of any of those rights! She keeps trying to fool people into thinking she is "tolerant" of those who "choose" to be gay when her policies are not tolerant at all.
Biden flubbed the question about "domestic partnership benefits" and gay marriage as well. Like Obama and other squeemish Democrats, he opposes marriage equality for gays and lesbians but tried to say he supports "equal civil rights" for gay couples? Huh? Didn't make any sense. Instead of letting the question about D.P. benefits in Alaska make it appear that Palin supports those beneifts, Biden should have pointed out that Palin only signed the bill into law because of a court decision that said it was unconstiutional, in Alaska, to deny those benefits to gay couples. She actually supported an attempt to amend the Alaska constitution to make it legal to deny the beneifts!
Patrick Buchanan said she clearly won the debate--what planet does that fascist live on?
Luckily the viewers seem to be smarter than Buchanan, according to the CNN Polls:
After Debate, 53% Still Believe Palin Unqualified Despite Palin exceeding expectations, majority still think Palin unqualified to take over as president.
Who Did the Best Job In the Debate? Biden 51% Palin 36%
Biden did better or worse than expected? 64% better 14% worse 20% same
Palin did better or worse than expected? 84% better 7% worse 8% same
Tonight the U.S. Senate passed the “revised” Wall Street bailout (“rescue plan”) of American Capitalism, making this article by Barbarah Ehrenreich even more timely: As Karl Marx's epic document marks a big birthday, "free enterprise" seems willing to mark the occasion by dropping dead.
This year marks the 160th anniversary of The Communist Manifesto and capitalism--a k a "free enterprise"--seems willing to observe the occasion by dropping dead. On Monday night, some pundits were warning that the ATMs might run dry and hinting that the only safe investment left is canned beans. Apocalypse or extortion? No one seems to know, though the populist part of the populace has been leaning toward the latter. An e-mail whipping around the web this morning has the subject line "Sign on Wall Street yesterday," and shows a hand-lettered cardboard sign saying, "JUMP! You Fuckers!"
The Manifesto makes for quaint reading today. All that talk about "production," for example: Did they actually make things in those days? Did the proletariat really slave away in factories instead of call centers? But on one point Marx and Engels proved right: within capitalist societies, or at least the kind of wildly unregulated capitalism America has had, the rich got richer, the workers got poorer, and the erstwhile middle class has been sliding toward ruin. The last two outcomes are what Marx called "immiseration," which, in translation, is the process you're undergoing when you have cancer and no health insurance or a mortgage payment due and no paycheck coming in. Marx predicted that capitalism would fall in a spirited, proactive, fashion: the workers, fed up with immiseration, would revolt, seize the "means of production" and insist on running the show themselves, that being the original, pre-Soviet, notion of socialism. The revolution didn't happen, of course, at least not here. For the past several years, American workers have sweetly acquiesced to declining wages, rising prices, speed-ups at work, disappearing pensions and increasingly threadbare health insurance. While CEO pay escalated to the eight-figure range and above, so-called ordinary Americans took on second jobs and crowded into multi-generational households with uncomfortably long waits for the bathroom.
But all this immiseration--combined with fabulous enrichment at the top--did end up destabilizing the capitalist system, if only because , in the last few years, America's substitute for decent wages has been easy credit. Until about a year ago, we got almost daily messages, by telemarketer and by mail, urging us to consolidate our debts, refinance our homes, transfer our debts from credit card to another and try tasty new mortgages that didn't even require a down payment. All too often, we bit. It sounded so reasonable, for example, not to let our assets just "sit" in our houses but to start spending that money now.
At the other, Learjet, end of the economic spectrum, there was the problem of what to do with too much money. Yes, this can be a problem. Some of the super-rich have to hire consultants to help them spend their money: Where do you get a $20,000 bottle of wine or find a Picasso for the bathroom wall? More seriously, there was the problem of what to invest in. As Chuck Collins of the Working Group on Extreme Inequality has pointed out, huge concentrations of wealth can function like rogue waves, smashing around recklessly in their search for ever higher returns. A lot of these money waves flowed, directly or indirectly, into the dodgy credit schemes that were engulfing the un-rich majority, leaving even the fat cats imperiled by the toxic debts of the subprime class.
Marx's argument was that the coexistence of great wealth for the few and growing poverty for the many is not only morally objectionable, it's also inherently unstable. He may have been wrong about the reasons for the instability, but no one can any longer deny it's there. When the greed of the rich collided with the needs of the poor--for a home, for example--the result was a global credit meltdown.
Obviously, the way to address the crisis is to deal with the poverty and inequality that led to it: bail out people facing foreclosures, increase food stamp allotments, extend unemployment insurance and make a massive job-generating, public investment in infrastructure--and, since medical debts are the number-one cause of personal bankruptcy, enact universal health insurance immediately. But not even Obama, whose lawn sign I still proudly display, seems to have the stomach for such a "trickle upwards" approach. He has announced that he won't bother taking the bailout as an opportunity to change the bankruptcy law so that people facing foreclosure can renegotiate their mortgages.
So happy birthday, Communist Manifesto--although I'm hoping that capitalism survives this one, if only because there's no alternative ready at hand. At the very least, we should get some regulation and serious oversight out of any bailout deal, meaning that, yes, the economy will look a little less like "free enterprise." But one thing we should have learned in the last week, if not the last year, is that, when applied to enterprise, "freedom" can be just another word for someone else's pain.
John McCain and Sarah Palin both addressed questions about gay issues this week, and both claimed they oppose discrimination against gays, have gay friends, will have an "inclusive" administration, but they oppose every major piece of pro-gay legislation being considered at the national level! (Somehow that still earned them an endorsement from the Log Cabin Republicans!)
John McCain, still opposes the anti-gay Federal Marriage Amendment (as long as states like Arizona don't have to recognize marriages in Massachusetts!)
Sarah Palin says she has a gay friend who "made a choice" she doesn't agree with.
LGBT publication EDGE writes that in Iraq, “for gays and lesbians at least, times have never been worse.” Peter Tatchell of Outrage! reported on the most recent atrocity on Sept. 25, when an LGBT leader was gunned down:
"This morning, I received news from Iraq that the coordinator of Iraqi LGBT in Baghdad, Bashar, aged 27, a university student, has been assassinated in a barber shop.
Militias burst in and sprayed his body with bullets at point blank range.
He was the organiser of the safe houses for gays and lesbians in Baghdad. His efforts saved the lives of dozens of people.
“Homosexuality was generally tolerated under Saddam,” Hali, founder of Iraqi LGBT, said in 2007. “There certainly was no danger of gay people being assassinated in the street by police. … Life in Iraq now is hell for all LGBT people; no one can be openly gay and alive.”