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Republicans fear Obama victory after polls shock

Sunday, May 18, 2008

John McCain's supporters are reeling after a humbling defeat in a Mississippi by-election. Paul Harris in New York finds the Democrats daring to dream of a return to the White House

Paul Harris
The Observer, Sunday May 18 2008

The language of the internal party memo was stark and brutally honest. Sent out by Republican congressman Tom Davis last week after a stunning congressional by-election loss in the Deep South, it warned colleagues of a potential disaster ahead.

The result, in which the Democratic party won a Mississippi House of Representatives seat that had voted 62 per cent for President Bush in 2004, was a sign of a 'toxic' political environment for Republicans, Davis wrote. He went on to point out the loss was the Republicans' third defeat in a row in special elections - the equivalent of a by-election in Britain - this year alone. Davis's memo dubbed the defeats 'canaries in the coalmine' for the survival of the Republican party.

A Democratic win in such a solidly conservative district capped a week in which Senator Barack Obama finally turned his eyes to the coming November election and his opponent, John McCain. Now many Democrats believe the signs are good that the tide of American public opinion is firmly swinging their way and will deliver them the White House. Certainly, many of the key indicators are giving them strong grounds for optimism.

A recent Quinnipiac University Polling Institute survey showed that a staggering 82 per cent of Americans are unhappy with the direction that the country is heading. At the same time the faltering economy, and especially high petrol prices, are a major concern. 'Overwhelmingly, voters think the economy is in bad shape,' said Maurice Carroll, Quinnipiac's polling director. Obama is now leading McCain in recent national polls by an average of four points....(Click here for remainder of article).

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Communist party membership no longer a fireable offence in California

McClatchy newspapers
guardian.co.uk, Friday May 16 2008


The California Senate yesterday passed legislation that would delete membership in the Communist party as a reason for firing a public employee, a Cold War-era prohibition intended to root out communists.

Democratic Senator Alan Lowenthal called communism a "failed system," and said his bill - Senate Bill 1322 - was intended to protect "the constitutional freedoms that we have fought so valiantly for," including freedom of political affiliation.

California is the only state that allows public employees to be dismissed for membership in a political party.

In addition, current law requires that any organisation that applies to use a public school facility can be asked to sign a statement that "the applicant is not a communist action organisation or a communist front".

"SB 1322 seeks to protect the rights of free speech and political affiliation by repealing the no-longer necessary statute from the books," Lowenthal said.

The bill, he said, would "still allow employees to be fired for any activity to overthrow the state or federal government".

The legislation, which will now be considered by the assembly, was approved on a 24-15 vote, with Democrats in support and Republicans opposed.

Republican senator Jeff Denham warned: "the Communist party is not a dead organisation ... and [is] actively repressing human beings in Cuba and China in brutal ways....(Click here for remainder of article).

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US soldier refuses to serve in 'illegal Iraq war'


Matthis Chiroux is the kind of young American US military recruiters love.

"I was from a poor, white family from the south, and I did badly in school," the now 24-year-old told AFP.

"I was 'filet mignon' for recruiters. They started phoning me when I was in 10th grade," or around 16 years old, he added.

Chiroux joined the US army straight out of high school nearly six years ago, and worked his way up from private to sergeant.

He served in Afghanistan, Germany, Japan, and the Philippines and was due to be deployed next month in Iraq.

On Thursday, he refused to go, saying he considers Iraq an illegal war.

"I stand before you today with the strength and clarity and resolve to declare to the military, my government and the world that this soldier will not be deploying to Iraq," Chiroux said in the sun-filled rotunda of a congressional building in Washington.

"My decision is based on my desire to no longer continue violating my core values to support an illegal and unconstitutional occupation... I refuse to participate in the Iraq occupation," he said, as a dozen veterans of the five-year-old Iraq war looked on.

Minutes earlier, Chiroux had cried openly as he listened to former comrades-in-arms testify before members of Congress about the failings of the Iraq war.

The testimonies were the first before Congress by Iraq veterans who have turned against the five-year-old war....(Click here for remainder of article).

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Obama says Bush falsely accused him of appeasement

By LIZ SIDOTI

WASHINGTON (AP) — Barack Obama accused President Bush of "a false political attack" Thursday after Bush warned in Israel against appeasing terrorists — early salvos in a general election campaign that's already blazing even as the Democratic front-runner tries to sew up his party's nomination.

The White House denied Bush had targeted Obama, who said the Republican commander in chief's intent was obvious.

In short order, the controversy spilled across the presidential campaign.

John McCain, the Republican nominee in waiting, said Obama was showing "naivete and inexperience and lack of judgment" in his willingness to meet with U.S. foes.

Hillary Rodham Clinton then called Bush's original comments "offensive and outrageous, especially in light of his failures in foreign policy."

As the workday began stateside, Bush gave a speech to Israel's Knesset in which he spoke of the president of Iran, who has called for the destruction of the U.S. ally. Then, the president said: "Some seem to believe that we should negotiate with the terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along."

"We have heard this foolish delusion before. As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in 1939, an American senator declared: 'Lord, if I could only have talked to Hitler, all this might have been avoided.' We have an obligation to call this what it is — the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history," Bush added....(Click here for remainder of article).

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Conservatives Dismiss CA Gay Marriage Decision By Falsely Attacking ‘Unelected Judges’

Responding to the California Supreme Court’s decision yesterday overturning the state’s ban on gay marriage, congressional conservatives attacked the decision by calling it the result of “unelected judges” turning over the will of the people.

Rep. Roy Blunt (R-MO), the House Minority Whip, charged in a statement that “unelected judges” are trying to “substitute their own worldview for the wisdom of the American people”:

Today, the decision of unelected judges to overturn the will of the people of California on the question of same-sex marriage demonstrates the lengths that unelected judges will go to substitute their own worldview for the wisdom of the American people.

Rep. Tom Feeney (R-FL), piled on, saying that “unelected judges” had “irresponsibly decided to legislate from the bench.”...(Click here for remainder of Think Progress post).

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White House & the media silent on Robert Gates' "appeasement" stance

Sat May 17, 2008 at 07:00:11 PM PDT

Amidst the uproar over George Bush politicizing the 60th anniversary of Israel's independence, the media has been strangely silent about the revelation that Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, by George Bush and John McCain's own definition, is guilty of "foolish delusion," and lacks "the knowledge, the experience, the background to make the kind of judgments that are necessary to preserve this nation's security."

Just one day before Bush declared that "some," also known as Barack Obama, is an appeaser to terrorists, the likes of which have not been seen since Hitler invaded Poland, and before John McCain chimed in by saying Obama wanted to enhance "the prestige of a nation that's a sponsor of terrorists and is directly responsible for the deaths of brave young Americans," Robert Gates said:

We need to figure out a way to develop some leverage with respect to the Iranians and then sit down and talk with them. If there's going to be a discussion, then they need something, too. We can't go to a discussion and be completely the demander with them not feeling that they need anything from us.

And while there has been plenty of coverage of Bush's remarks, McCain's parroting of Bush's remarks and Obama's smackdown of both of them, no one seems to be covering Gates' policy of terrorist-enabling appeasement....(Click here for remainder of DailyKos post).

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Bush An "Appeaser," Says Egyptian Press

Critics Raise Questions About Credibility Of U.S. Role In Middle East

CAIRO, Egypt, May 17, 2008


(CBS/AP) Egypt's state-owned press opened fire Saturday on U.S. President George W. Bush as he arrived for talks with regional leaders at the conclusion of a five-day Mideast tour.

The newspapers, whose management are all appointed by the government, criticized Mr. Bush's speech Thursday in front of the Israeli Knesset for being overly supportive of the Israelis and not mentioning the Palestinians' plight.

"The Torah-inspired speech of Bush raised question marks over the credibility of the U.S. role in the Middle East," wrote Mursi Atallah, the publisher of Al-Ahram, the flagship daily of the state-owned press. "Bush aims to do nothing but appeasing Israel."

Mr. Bush's tour, which included stops in Israel and Saudi Arabia, represents another effort to push Mideast peace talks forward as his time in office winds down.

In his speech marking the 60th anniversary of Israel's founding, Mr. Bush reiterated the U.S.'s close ties to its regional ally, and dismissed the notion that the Jewish state should have to negotiate with its armed adversaries.

A front page editorial in Al-Gomhouria, another Egyptian state-owned daily, described Mr. Bush as "a failed president who delivers nothing but a lousy speech."...(Click here for remainder of article).

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