Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Terrorist Threat Facing Obama

According to the Associated Press, Al-Qaeda's no.2 Ayman al-Zawahiri released his first statement since the US election in which he issued a challenge to the US vis-a-vis Afghanistan and called President-elect Barack Obama a "house negro". More than just a simple insult, one can infer the subtext to this epithet to be Al-Qaeda's fear of Obama's election to the presidency of the United States harming their ability to recruit.

Ilan Goldenberg, Policy Director of the National Security Network had this to say:

Al Qaeda's narrative is now under siege and it's clearly uncertain about how to react. The election of the first African American President, one with a Muslim father, flies in the face of this narrative. It shows America as an open and tolerant society - not the oppressive empire Al Qaeda would like to portray. In fact, the overwhelmingly positive international reaction to Obama's election is proof of the the threat Al Qaeda faces.

Moreover, Zawahiri's message about Afghanistan...portrays a certain level of nervousness over an administration that is actually going to go after the real terrorist haven on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. Al Qaeda viewed the invasion of Iraq as a positive creating a recruiting and training ground for terrorists.

Interesting, to say the least.

On the other hand, I'm concerned that Obama becoming the first African-American president will have the opposite effect on the efforts of militias, separatists, and hard-core, violent racist organizations here at home, in terms of recruiting and raising funds.

Let's hope not.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Dan Rather Suit Challenges 'Liberal Media' Hoax; Exposes GOP Influence on CBS, Media

One of the most successful and unfounded hoaxes perpetrated by the wingnut nation is the idea of an all-encompassing liberal media. They only seem to bring this up when the mainstream press does not feel like playing footsie with them and their figureheads need to be held accountable for whatever indiscressions or foul play they may be suspected of comes to light. The single greatest achievement of this farce is the Fox Nuisance Channel and its hollow claims of being fair and balanced. If any organization run by a high-level professional mudslinger like Roger Ailes with lieutenants of Sean Hannity’s caliber in their ranks can be considered objective, then Jimi Hendrix was indeed a prophet: 6 has become 9.

Another byproduct of the right-wing media propaganda effort is the cowardice of the mainstream media when faced by the liberal bias charge. To prove that they are indeed not purveyors of a liberal bias, they tailor their stories and reports with a conservative slant, thereby foolishly playing into the likes of Ailes and co. who get to have it both ways. But if former CBS News anchor Dan Rather has his way in court they might have to think twice about foisting this nonsense on us, the public, in the future.

From the NYT:

When Dan Rather filed suit against CBS 14 months ago—claiming, among other things, that his former employer had commissioned a politically biased investigation into his work on a “60 Minutes” segment about President Bush’s National Guard service—the network predicted the quick and favorable dismissal of the case, which it derided as “old news.”

Using tools unavailable to him as a reporter—including the power of subpoena and the threat of punishment against witnesses who lie under oath—he has unearthed evidence that would seem to support his assertion that CBS intended its investigation, at least in part, to quell Republican criticism of the network.

Some of the documents unearthed by his investigation include notes taken at the time by Linda Mason, a vice president of CBS News. According to her notes, one potential panel member, Warren Rudman, a former Republican senator from New Hampshire, was deemed a less-than-ideal candidate over fears by some that he would not “mollify the right.”


Another memorandum turned over to Mr. Rather’s lawyers by CBS was a long typed list of conservative commentators apparently receiving some preliminary consideration as panel members, including Rush Limbaugh, Matt Drudge, Ann Coulter and Pat Buchanan. At the bottom of that list, someone had scribbled “Roger Ailes,” the founder of Fox News.

Asked about the assembly of the panel in a sworn deposition, Andrew Heyward, the former president of CBS News, acknowledged that he had wanted at least one member to sit well with conservatives: “CBS News, fairly or unfairly, had a reputation for liberal bias,” and “the harshest scrutiny was obviously going to come from the right.”

Wait—does CBS stand for Cowardly Broadcasting Service? Limbaugh?! Drudge?! Coulter??! Ailes???! This is the list of people considered for a panel that was to impartially judge the investigation?! Are you motherfucking kidding me? Ugh. This is why the wingnuts deem everyone not on their team—Democrats and the mainstream media especially—as being wishy-washy, weak and pathetic.

Watch how for the next four years—even if he were to become the best president of the last 100 years—the wingnuts will relentlessly pile on Obama (they’ve already started calling our current economic strife the “Obama Recession”, 2+ months before the man has even taken office) and the mainstream media will more than occasionally join in on the unfounded bashing just to show their lack of liberal bias.

Here’s a question, though: is that why they replayed Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s incendiary sermons ENDLESSLY but have yet to say ONE WORD about the fully documented SECESSIONIST ties and associations of the great patriots known as Todd and Sarah Palin?

Losers.

..oh, and about the US being a "center-right" country...

Whether or not this is true is debatable. But one thing is certain: in 2008 the center-right presidential candidate lost. Deal with it, wingnuts.

Friday, November 14, 2008

PUMAs Support Palin 2012 Presidential Bid

They were the disgruntled Hillary Clinton supporters who vowed not to campaign for Barack Obama but instead defect to John McCain. These alleged Democrats stubbornly and defiantly called themselves PUMAs (Party Unity My Ass) and McCain courted them with the selection of Sarah Palin as his running mate. Oh, they were going to wreak havoc on the presidential dreams of Sen. Obama, these PUMAs, for this self-described “force to be reckoned with” would show everyone who’s boss.

Um, not quite.

So what are these one-time so-called HRC supporters up to now that the big, bad, black man is president? Making another bold stab at being on the wrong side of history by nurturing thoughts of a Sarah Palin presidential run in 2012, that's what. I don’t even know where to start.

Their support of HRC and the very meaning of their moniker clearly implied they were disgruntled Democrats. Now they’re billing themselves as feminists and throwing their lot in with a woman that no self-respecting feminist would be caught dead supporting or even mildly agreeing with.

What a bunch of wackos! Jeez…

I'm feeling a bit generous having gone down on the winning side of this one, but regardless, I hope someone within the party is keeping a record of all the traitors, backstabbers and those who almost had to be begged for their support. (I'm looking at you, Elizabeth Edwards.) They should all be made to watch the next four (eight?!) years from the sidelines.

Oh, and as for Joe Lieberman, he better pray the Dems don't end up winning those 3 senate races still in play, otherwise...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

GOP: No Friend of the Enlisted Man

If there was ever a palpable example of the failed Republican/conservative philosophy of “sink or swim” it’s the 200,000 homeless veterans in the US. That these soldiers upon their return encountered rough times physically, mentally, and/or financially is understandable. That it eventually led men and women who risked their lives for their country to live on the streets is inexcusable.

And the condition of the VA hospitals? Let's not even...

How 'bout support for the new GI bill, drafted by decorated Vietnam vet Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA)? It passed with 75 votes, but guess from what party 22 of the dissenting votes came from?

You betcha.

We'd like to wish a safe and happy Veteran's Day to all who have sacrificed mind and body and are still with us.

Monday, November 10, 2008

A Word of Praise for Dean

Beginning with the 2006 Democratic victories in Congress and the 2008 presidential election, the 50-state strategy espoused and set forth by Democratic Party chairman Howard Dean, has borne delicious fruit. Many criticized the former Gov of Vermont when he took the reigns of the party in 2004 and put in motion his continental tactics for victory, instead of concentrating on strongholds or close races. Dean had a vision of making the party competitive in every state; sure, he wouldn’t reach that goal—Texas will never turn blue, for instance—but in the process, ground was gained in other states where a loss for the Dems had been a foregone conclusion. (Barack Obama owes Virginia and North Carolina to Dean’s 50-pronged approach.)

So, as he prepares to step down in January, as a grateful Democrat I’d like to propose a toast to Gov. Dean, in appreciation for all his hard work in helping the party arrive at the sweet destination to which the road to victory leads.

Cheers, sir. And many thanks.

(How ‘bout a cabinet post for the Gov, Mr. President-Elect?)

Friday, November 7, 2008

The GOP Civil War: It's On!

As we posted a few weeks ago, a loss by John McCain in the presidential election was sure to bring out the knives. Well, by the looks at things at right-wing blogs like Red State or the recent pronouncement of the likes of Michelle Malkin, the sharpeners are getting a workout.

Both the aforementioned blog and pundit are spreading the gospel of utilizing GOP criticism of Gov. Sarah Palin as the litmus test for outing and making pariahs of those within the party that chose not to drink the moose-flavored, Alaskan Kool-Aid.

This effort is called Operation Leper and they're naming names. Their initial list?
  1. Nicolle Wallace
  2. Steve Schmidt
  3. Mark McKinnon
The wingnut faithful have many more to add and want it known they "are rooting for Sarah Palin. Don't make us add you to our list. Do you really want to be next to Kathleen Parker in the leper colony?"

CNN's Campbell Brown joins in the fun by defending Palin and taking McCain's top aides to task:


By the way, the internal trashing of John McCain by the hard right has also begun. (Not surprising considering 60% of the base had nothing good to say about the initial 10 GOP candidates in the primaries.) Mitt Romney is next.
(They have beef with Faux News (!) for a perceived bias towards Romney. Huh?)

So, do they really wanna go down this road? (If you read the rabid, practically unanimous comments on some of these wingnut blogs, apparently the answer is a resounding yes.) Do they really want to remain oblivious to the lessons learned on Nov. 4th? Namely, that the American people want to move away from blind ignorance, incompetence, religious strong-arming and intolerance?

Fine by me: it'll be a Democratic majority for a loooong time, then.

Bill's Kristol Ball

"Barack Obama is not going to beat Hillary Clinton in a single democratic primary. I'll predict that right now."

- Visionary neocon pundit
Bill Kristol on Fox News Sunday, Dec. 17, 2006.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Yes, He Can (but it won't be easy)

On Nov. 4th, 2008, we the people of the United States of America elected a black man to be our 44th president. This, in and of itself, is massively imbued with a symbolism both superficial and profound. It represents a great step forward in the process of healing our racial wounds at home and also grants us the opportunity to rekindle the alliances we’d frayed abroad; to remind the world that despite our shortcomings, on our best days we are a righteous people who try our damndest to be on the side of virtue. What happened this week is nothing short of awe-inspiring and wonderful. I’m blessed that I was alive to see it happen.

But at the end of the day, when you strip everything to its core, what we did on Tuesday was elect a president. One that inherits two wars, housing and financial crises, and numerous challenges raging from energy sufficiency to healthcare. Did I mention the ever-present threat of terrorism, both foreign and home-grown? (I can’t help but think that the election of a black president might re-energize the somewhat dormant extreme right-wing militia groups that long to overthrow the US government. So add that to Al-Qaeda.)

Personally, I can separate the joy of the undoubtedly symbolic nature of what happened last Tuesday, with the sobering thought of the steep incline facing the next administration. But the latter is tempered by the fact that this is a smart and capable man who seems worthy of the monumental challenges before him. That he may fail is an inescapable possibility, especially when there may be intervening factors beyond his reach or control. However, if the efficient, resourceful, practically gaffe-less way the Obama campaign was run is an indicator of how the next president will lead, then we should be confident in our country’s decision to elect him. Always cautious, of course. But confident, nonetheless.


Isn’t that what hope is all about?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Reaction Around the World























[images courtesy of America Blog via Gotham Notes]

Dude...

"MaCCA’s final speech was fucking awesome…How come he never spoke like that before and chose to be so weird. People."

Mainly because Sen. McCain was constrained by his own party. The hard right NEVER supported him until he chose one of their own--against his wishes--as his running mate. That's why he turned his back on many of the principles he'd stood for in the past. It was a quest to win with a playbook he was never really comfortable with. (Let's not forget that when the GOP had 10 candidates in the primaries, 60% of the Republican base was not partial to ANY of them.)

But...he made those choices and has to live with them. I'm guessing that's why in his acceptance speech last night he put the blame for the loss solely on his shoulders.

To be fair, it was going to be very difficult for a candidate of the incumbent party to win with the failed policies of the current administration weighing on his candidacy (and his approval of most of them). Add the explosion of the mortgage crisis and the financial meltdown towards the end of the campaign and you have nothing less than a recipe for defeat.

A Toast to RFK

"[Things are] moving so fast in race relations a Negro could be president in 40 years. There's no question about it. In the next 40 years a Negro can achieve the same position that my brother has...[regarding race relations and prejudice]...we have tried to make progress and we are making progress. We are not going to accept the status quo."

- Robert F. Kennedy, 1968.

44: Yes We Did!

Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois is the 44th president-elect of the United States of America.



"I was alive and I waited...waited
I was alive and I waited for this
right here, right now
there is no other place I wanna be
"

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

(don't) Wait Until Tomorrow

Today is Election Day in the US, and we choose to show our support for one pioneering African-American by showcasing another trailblazer:

James Marshall Hendrix, "The Star Spangled Banner" - Woodstock (1969)

It's a Start...

Since 1960, Dixville Notch, NH (pop. 75) is traditionally the first place in the country to announce its presidential election results, largely due to the town opening its polls at the stroke of midnight on election day.

So, what were this year's results?

Obama = 15
McCain = 6

21 votes cast

And we're off...

(PS: Bush beat Kerry here 19-7 in 2004)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

What if...

During the 2004 election I hoped John Kerry would emerge victorious. This time I can feel the tide turning Barack Obama's way on Nov. 4th. But, regardless, there's a possibility that John McCain may become the 44th president of the United States. Granted, it seems this won't be the case, but it's not in the bag just yet. But, what if?

John McCain was someone who I mostly disagreed with but always respected. I was really disgusted when they smeared him and his family during the GOP primaries in 2000. But this latest incarnation is not the man who held my respect back then. So sad.

Having said that, if he were to win the presidency, I would hope that what we've seen and heard from him of late was just some cynical ploy to win the election, and that he'd revert back to who he was, once in office.

And Sarah Palin would go back to Alaska on account of some "undisclosed family emergency" and McCain would invoke the 25th Amendment to name a new VP.

Otherwise...

Ron Reagan Endorses Obama

The man with the magic name--in GOP circles, of course--registers his support for the junior senator from Illinois.

No surprise here, but it's a welcome addition, nonetheless.