Saturday, September 13, 2008
Personal Vendettas... Censorship... Cronyism... Secrecy And Lying...
and the NYT:
For those who still can’t grasp the concept of white privilege, or who are constantly looking for some easy-to-understand examples of it, perhaps this list will help.
White privilege is when you can get pregnant at seventeen like Bristol Palin and everyone is quick to insist that your life and that of your family is a personal matter, and that no one has a right to judge you or your parents, because "every family has challenges," even as black and Latino families with similar "challenges" are regularly typified as irresponsible, pathological and arbiters of social decay.
White privilege is when you can call yourself a "fuckin’ redneck," like Bristol Palin’s boyfriend does, and talk about how if anyone messes with you, you'll "kick their fuckin' ass," and talk about how you like to "shoot shit" for fun, and still be viewed as a responsible, all-American boy (and a great son-in-law to be) rather than a thug.
White privilege is when you can attend four different colleges in six years like Sarah Palin did (one of which you basically failed out of, then returned to after making up some coursework at a community college), and no one questions your intelligence or commitment to achievement, whereas a person of color who did this would be viewed as unfit for college, and probably someone who only got in in the first place because of affirmative action.
White privilege is when you can claim that being mayor of a town smaller than most medium-sized colleges, and then Governor of a state with about the same number of people as the lower fifth of the island of Manhattan, makes you ready to potentially be president, and people don’t all piss on themselves with laughter, while being a black U.S. Senator, two-term state Senator, and constitutional law scholar, means you’re "untested."
White privilege is being able to say that you support the words "under God" in the pledge of allegiance because "if it was good enough for the founding fathers, it’s good enough for me," and not be immediately disqualified from holding office--since, after all, the pledge was written in the late 1800s and the "under God" part wasn’t added until the 1950s--while believing that reading accused criminals and terrorists their rights (because, ya know, the Constitution, which you used to teach at a prestigious law school requires it), is a dangerous and silly idea only supported by mushy liberals.
White privilege is being able to be a gun enthusiast and not make people immediately scared of you. White privilege is being able to have a husband who was a member of an extremist political party that wants your state to secede from the Union, and whose motto was "Alaska first," and no one questions your patriotism or that of your family, while if you're black and your spouse merely fails to come to a 9/11 memorial so she can be home with her kids on the first day of school, people immediately think she’s being disrespectful.
White privilege is being able to make fun of community organizers and the work they do--like, among other things, fight for the right of women to vote, or for civil rights, or the 8-hour workday, or an end to child labor--and people think you’re being pithy and tough, but if you merely question the experience of a small town mayor and 18-month governor with no foreign policy expertise beyond a class she took in college--you’re somehow being mean, or even sexist.
White privilege is being able to convince white women who don’t even agree with you on any substantive issue to vote for you and your running mate anyway, because all of a sudden your presence on the ticket has inspired confidence in these same white women, and made them give your party a "second look."
White privilege is being able to fire people who didn’t support your political campaigns and not be accused of abusing your power or being a typical politician who engages in favoritism, while being black and merely knowing some folks from the old-line political machines in Chicago means you must be corrupt.
White privilege is being able to attend churches over the years whose pastors say that people who voted for John Kerry or merely criticize George W. Bush are going to hell, and that the U.S. is an explicitly Christian nation and the job of Christians is to bring Christian theological principles into government, and who bring in speakers who say the conflict in the Middle East is God’s punishment on Jews for rejecting Jesus, and everyone can still think you’re just a good church-going Christian, but if you’re black and friends with a black pastor who has noted (as have Colin Powell and the U.S. Department of Defense) that terrorist attacks are often the result of U.S. foreign policy and who talks about the history of racism and its effect on black people, you’re an extremist who probably hates America.
White privilege is not knowing what the Bush Doctrine is when asked by a reporter, and then people get angry at the reporter for asking you such a "trick question," while being black and merely refusing to give one-word answers to the queries of Bill O’Reilly means you’re dodging the question, or trying to seem overly intellectual and nuanced.
White privilege is being able to claim your experience as a POW has anything at all to do with your fitness for president, while being black and experiencing racism is, as Sarah Palin has referred to it, a "light" burden.
And finally, white privilege is the only thing that could possibly allow someone to become president when he has voted with George W. Bush 90 percent of the time, even as unemployment is skyrocketing, people are losing their homes, inflation is rising, and the U.S. is increasingly isolated from world opinion, just because white voters aren’t sure about that whole "change" thing. Ya know, it’s just too vague and ill-defined, unlike, say, four more years of the same, which is very concrete and certain.
White privilege is, in short, the problem.
A BUZZFLASH GUEST CONTRIBUTION
Tim Wise is the author of White Like Me (Soft Skull, 2005, revised 2008), and of Speaking Treason Fluently, publishing this month, also by Soft Skull.
Cass R. Sunstein, The Washington Independent: "John McCain has said that, should he be president, Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito 'would serve as the model for my own nominees.' He regularly attacks what he calls 'activist judging,' and he described a recent ruling vindicating the right to habeas corpus as 'one of the worst decisions in the history of this country.' McCain has repeatedly said that Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided and should be overruled. If McCain is elected, change would clearly be coming to the US Supreme Court."
FOCUS Poll: Biden Better Prepared
Steven Thomma, McClatchy Newspapers: "The poll finds that registered voters continue to wonder whether Palin, a first-term Alaska governor, is as qualified to step up to the job of president as Obama's running mate, Joe Biden, who's been in the Senate for more than three decades. A majority of voters, 60 percent, think that Biden is qualified to be president, while 31 percent think he is not. By comparison, 48 percent of voters think Palin is qualified, while 44 percent think she is not."
Margaret Talev and Steven Thomma, McClatchy Newspapers: "'We will respond with speed and ferocity to John McCain's attacks and we will take the fight to him,' Obama campaign manager David Plouffe said in a memo Friday. 'But we will do it on the big issues that matter to the American people. We will not allow John McCain and his band of Karl Rove disciples to make this big election about small things.'"
Friday, September 12, 2008
Submitted by BuzzFlash on Fri, 09/12/08
BE ELECTEDby Christine Bowman
Did everyone see and hear Barack Obama say that? If not, you need to. The video link is posted at BuzzFlash.
Addressing a small group at a school in Virginia Wednesday, Obama's demeanor morphed away from his accustomed campaign attitude -- a gentle disdain for and dismissiveness of campaign nonsense -- and veered into a serious and emotional indictment of John McCain. Keep watching as Obama gradually lets his feelings show. He carries his audience with him as he expresses movingly the frustration so many Americans feel: Politicians need to ditch the sarcasm and get serious. Get real. Tell America what they believe in and how they'll deal with our problems. Obama's comments came on the heels of several "lipstick" news cycle days.
"... It would be funny except ... now, this is the McCain campaign, they'd much rather have the story about phony and foolish diversions than about the future. This happens every election cycle. Every four years, this is what we do. We've got an energy crisis ... an education system that is making us less competitive ... an economy that is creating hardship for families ... we've got two wars going on -- veterans coming home not being cared for, and this is what they want to talk about! This is what they want to spend two of the last 55 days talking about. You know who ends up losing at the end of the day? ... It's you. The American people. ... I love this country too much to let them take over another election with lies and phony outrage and swift boat politics. Enough is enough!"
With McCain and Palin selling sarcasm, mockery, and fake issues to the electorate, Barack Obama shows heart. He's serious and genuine. He's had it with "just politics." Can we please just get to the leadership stuff now?
Paul Krugman Blizzard of Lies
Paul Krugman, The New York Times: "Did you hear about how Barack Obama wants to have sex education in kindergarten, and called Sarah Palin a pig? Did you hear about how Ms. Palin told Congress, 'Thanks, but no thanks' when it wanted to buy Alaska a Bridge to Nowhere? These stories have two things in common: they’re all claims recently made by the McCain campaign - and they’re all out-and-out lies. Dishonesty is nothing new in politics. I spent much of 2000 - my first year at The Times - trying to alert readers to the blatant dishonesty of the Bush campaign’s claims about taxes, spending and Social Security. But I can’t think of any precedent, at least in America, for the blizzard of lies since the Republican convention."
EFCA would effectively enable workers to unionize and secure contracts without fear of being fired or reprisals from union-busting companies like Wal-Mart. It's a crucial bill for workers' rights. It could single-handedly restore the middle class. And it's the reason we've partnered with American Rights at Work
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Marjorie Cohn, Truthout: "John McCain's selection of Sarah Palin as his vice-presidential running mate has invigorated a lackluster campaign. The media can't stop talking about her. Given McCain's age and state of health (his medical file was nearly 1,200 pages long), Palin would indeed be a heartbeat away from becoming president. But what would a Palin administration really look like?"
All Things Considered, September 10, 2008 · The phrase "lipstick on a pig" is commonly employed by politicians including Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain, Vice President Dick Cheney and Rep. Charles Rangel. Joel Salatin, a farmer from Swoope, Va., talks about what actually happens when one attempts to put lipstick on a pig.
"It's great to see another part of the country." --Sarah Palin, campaigning in Pennsylvania, Aug. 2008
"As for that VP talk all the time, I'll tell you, I still can't answer that question until somebody answers for me what is it exactly that the VP does every day?" -- Sarah Palin, interview with CNBC's "Kudlow & Co", July 2008
Peter Nicholas, The Los Angeles Times: "Barack Obama is known for his eloquent speeches, but as he tries to regain his lead in the polls and beat back an energized Republican ticket, he is adding something new to his delivery: volume."
The news about perfect numbers turned out to be better than expected: not only was a 45th Mersenne prime found, but also a 46th !!
Of course, that means we now have two new perfect numbers. See http://www.mersenne.org for further updates. (see below to review the meaning of perfect number and Mersenne prime).
Verifications have been completed. The team will soon send out a press release with more details—including identification of the newly found numbers. But you are among the first to know!
09.10.08 -- 9:56AM By Josh Marshall
One of the interesting aspects of this campaign is watching the scales fall from the eyes of many of John McCain's closest admirers among the veteran DC press corps. I'm not talking about the freaks on Fox News or any of the sycophants at the AP. I'm talking about, let's say, the better sort of reporters and commentators in the 45 to 65 age bracket. To the extent that the press was McCain's base (and in many though now sillier respects it still is) this was the base of the base. And talking to a number of them I can understand why that was, at least in the sense of the person he was then presenting himself as.
But over the last ... maybe six weeks, in various conversations with these folks, the change is palpable. Whether it will make any difference in the tone of coverage in the dominant media I do not know. But it is sinking in.
All politicians stretch the truth, massage it into the best fit with their message. But, let's face it, John McCain is running a campaign almost entirely based on straight up lies. Not just exaggerations or half truths but the sort of straight up, up-is-down mind-blowers we've become so accustomed to from the current occupants of the White House. And today McCain comes out with this rancid, race-baiting ad based on another lie. Willie Horton looks mild by comparison. (And remember, President George H.W. Bush never ran the Willie Horton ad himself. It was an outside group. He wasn't willing to degrade himself that far.) As TPM Reader JM said below, at least Horton actually was released on a furlough. This is ugly stuff. And this is an ugly person. There's clearly no level of sleaze this guy won't stoop to to win this election.
And let's be frank. He might win it. This is clearly a testing time for Obama supporters. But I want to return to a point I made a few years ago during the Social Security battle with President Bush. Winning and losing is never fully in one's control -- not in politics or in life. What is always within our control is how we fight and bear up under pressure. It's easy to get twisted up in your head about strategy and message and optics. But what is already apparent is that John McCain is running the sleaziest, most dishonest and race-baiting campaign of our lifetimes. So let's stopped being shocked and awed by every new example of it. It is undignified. What can we do? We've got a dangerously reckless contender for the presidency and a vice presidential candidate who distinguished her self by abuse of office even on the comparatively small political stage of Alaska. They've both embraced a level of dishonesty that disqualifies them for high office. Democrats owe it to the country to make clear who these people are. No apologies or excuses. If Democrats can say at the end of this campaign that they made clear exactly how and why these two are unfit for high office they can be satisfied they served their country.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
September 10, 2008 9:03
Apology Not Accepted
Posted by Joe Klein
Back in 2000, after John McCain lost his mostly honorable campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, he went about apologizing to journalists--including me--for his most obvious mis-step: his support for keeping the confederate flag on the state house.
Now he is responsible for one of the sleaziest ads I've ever seen in presidential politics, so sleazy that I won't abet its spread by linking to it, but here's the McClatchy fact check.
I just can't wait for the moment when John McCain--contrite and suddenly honorable again in victory or defeat--talks about how things got a little out of control in the passion of the moment. Talk about putting lipstick on a pig.
Jonathan Weisman, The Washington Post: "From the moment Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin declared that she had opposed the infamous 'Bridge to Nowhere,' critics, the news media and nonpartisan fact checkers have called it a fabrication or, at best, a half-truth. But yesterday in Lebanon, Ohio, and again in Lancaster, Pa., she crossed that bridge again. 'I told Congress: "Thanks but no thanks for that Bridge to Nowhere up in Alaska,"' Palin told the crowds at the 'McCain Street USA' rallies. 'If we wanted a bridge, we'll build it ourselves.'"
VIDEO: Olbermann | Obama: McCain/Palin "Not Telling the Truth"
Senator Barack Obama is interviewed by Keith Olbermann on MSNBC's "Countdown," where he addressed "stretching the bounds of spin" by McCain and Palin.
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman, The Free Press: "The McCain/Palin GOP is already in the process of stealing the Ohio vote, as was done in 2004. Among those at the center of the GOP strategy is Bush family computer operative Michael Connell, who programmed the key vote-counting mechanisms that were used to give George W. Bush his second term."
The Real McCain 2 reached an astonishing 4 million views last week, just as the McCain campaign was trotting out lie after lie at the Republican National Convention. Coincidence? We don't think so.
To us, this unprecedented number suggests that the public is desperately seeking the truth about John McCain -- a truth the corporate press still isn't providing.We're hearing reports of a lot of hand-wringing from people who are scared and don't know what to do. So we came up with a way to put that nervous energy to good use! Join the McCain Truth Squad and a couple of times a week we will send you McCain videos for you to forward on with a personal note to your friends, colleagues and family members.Join the McCain Truth Squad: http://therealmccain.com/squad?utm_source=rgemail
To get you started, below are five videos that present the Real McCain: an elitist out of touch with hard-working Americans; a double talker who supports a costly war in Iraq but won't support our veterans. Forward this email on. This is the McCain everyone should know.
1. The Real McCain 2: Watch as McCain's YouTube problem became his nightmare in the video that received over 4 million views.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GEtZlR3zp4c
2. Less Jobs. More Wars: What is this 'Iraq war' charge on my bill?http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lh-T2iGkLJY
3. John McCain vs. John McCain: Tell McCain to get off the Double Talk Express.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ioy90nF2anI
4. McCain's Spiritual Guide: The video that caused McCain to renounce Rev. Rod Parsley's bigoted endorsement.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WXZbIGJrDkg
5. Why Won't McCain Sign the GI Bill? Presenting the most blatant hypocrisy of the McCain campaign.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pK_9sI7hzAc
Imagine how differently people would regard McCain if they saw all five of these videos and learned the truth. That's why we want you to forward this e-mail to everyone and anyone with a personal note at the top from you. Why send these videos individually when you can send them all at once? Also, get them on all the blogs and traditional news sites you can. Make sure you're doing everything you can to educate the public about the Real McCain.
Olbermann Obama: McCain/Palin "Not Telling the Truth"
Keith Olbermann speaks with Senator Barack Obama about the state of the nation and the 2008 election.
Steve Weissman, Truthout: "'The Constitution established the United States of America as a Christian nation,' declared John McCain back in September 2007. With his vice-presidential pick of Governor Sarah Palin, he has found a winsome soul mate who is even more of a Christian nationalist, eager to use government to impose her religious views on the rest of us."
Monday, September 8, 2008
Sunday, September 7, 2008
By Protect Democracy, a Regular Poster on BuzzFlash.net
We know the McCains are just your average family next door. The McCains are a lot of peoples' family next door, since they own so many houses.
Republicans talk about the Obamas as elitists, "uppity," out of touch with Americans. The McCains, on the other hand, understand the daily struggles of working Americans and are committed to fighting for them, because they’re just regular folks like us. Yeah, right
see the rest of the article at: http://www.buzzflash.com/articles/contributors/1734
Mike Chalmers, The News Journal: "A sometimes angry Sen. Joe Biden on Friday railed against the 'abject failure' of Republicans to help middle-class Americans cope with shrinking wages, job losses and the rising cost of gas, groceries, health insurance and college."
Frank Rich, The New York Times: "Given the actuarial odds that could make Palin our 45th president, it would be helpful to know who this mystery woman actually is. Meanwhile, two eternal axioms of our politics remain in place. Americans vote for the top of the ticket, not the bottom. And in judging the top of the ticket, voters look first at the candidates' maiden executive decision, their selection of running mates. Whatever we do and don't know about Palin's character at this point, there is no ambiguity in what her ascent tells us about McCain's character and potential presidency."