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Sunday editorial: Barack Obama for president

Sunday, October 12, 2008

By Editorial Board

Nine Days before the Feb. 5 presidential primaries in Missouri and Illinois, this editorial page endorsed Barack Obama and John McCain in their respective races.

We did so enthusiastically. We wrote that either Mr. Obama’s message of hope or Mr. McCain’s independence and integrity offered America “the chance to turn the page on 28 years of contentious, greed-driven politics and move into a new era of possibility.”

Over the past nine months, Mr. Obama, the junior senator from Illinois, has emerged as the only truly transformative candidate in the race. In the crucible that is a presidential campaign, his intellect, his temperament and equanimity under pressure consistently have been impressive. He has surrounded himself with smart, capable advisers who have helped him refine thorough, nuanced policy positions.

In a word, Mr. Obama has been presidential.

Meanwhile, Mr. McCain, the senior senator from Arizona, became the incredible shrinking man. He shrank from his principled stands in favor of a humane immigration policy. He shrank from his universal condemnation of torture and his condemnation of the politics of smear....(Click here for remainder).


Sarah Palin's Dead Cat Bounce

By David Latt
Huffington Post

Governor Sarah Palin gave the McCain campaign a shot in the arm but it proved to be a short term fix. With the polls continuing to trend toward Obama, Republican pundits find themselves in an uncomfortable position.

The policies that energized the GOP since Ronald Regan have led to difficulties in every aspect of American life: foreign policy, health care, the shoddy state of the infra-structure, and the economy.

Tony Blankley complained on Left, Right, and Center (10-3-08) that nobody knows why we're in the economic fix we're in, just as no one knows the causes of the French Revolution. He discounts as mere speculation the idea that Republican support of deregulation allowed Wall Street to create financial instruments that floated a bubble that has now burst and shaken the foundations of the world's financial markets. Blankley's protestations not withstanding, there is wide spread agreement that Republican theories about governing have failed catastrophically.

Like Blankley, David Brooks has solid conservative credentials. During the first years of the Bush presidency, he walked the walk and talked the talk of Republican hegemony with pride and confidence. However, now, in the last month, he has admitted to finding himself on shaky ground....(Click here for remainder).


John McCain: I Am an Arab and a Decent Man

Dr. James Zogby
Huffington Post

Today my office issued the following statement, which includes my comments:

Dr. James Zogby says, "Enough is enough!"

Washington D.C. - October 11, 2008 -We are disturbed by the degree to which 'Arab' has become the metaphorical mud to sling against your opponent. This week, for example the Republican Jewish Coalition released a document in which they use the term Pro-Arab as a pejorative accusation. For his part, Rush Limbaugh has joined in by declaring that Obama is in fact an Arab American. Then, on Friday, after a supporter called Senator Barak Obama "an Arab", Senator John McCain came to the defense of of his political opponent by saying, "No, ma'am. He's a decent family man and citizen..." From this we are left to infer that an Arab man is less then a "decent family man."

Dr. James Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute, says, "Enough is enough! From the beginning of this campaign there have been those who have used Muslim and Arab in an effort to smear Barak Obama. This exploitation of bigotry and the stoking of racist fires to forward an agenda is reprehensible. This is not only offensive to the Arab Americans, but to all Americans. As any ethnic group who has ever been used to scare the electorate knows, this is a dangerous game that tragically can ends with innocent people being hurt....(Click here for remainder).


Barack Obama rides a wave of bad economic news

Surveys indicate the financial crisis has drowned out other concerns, pulling even longtime Republican voters away from John McCain.

By Peter Wallsten, David Zucchino and Bob Drogin
Los Angeles Times Staff Writers

WASHINGTON -- For months, Mark Wagner stuck by John McCain, even as the economy stalled and other Americans came to blame Republican leadership. Then, about three weeks ago, the deepening economic downturn pushed him to reconsider.

Now, the Florida salesman and staunch Republican has abandoned the GOP ticket. Sarah Palin, he thinks, looks under-equipped to be vice president. And McCain, he says, displayed an unsteady response to what may be a global economic depression.

The financial crisis has turned the last three weeks into a crucial and possibly decisive period in the presidential contest -- a time when many Americans have taken a new look at each candidate and then moved toward Democrat Barack Obama.

Like a wave, the crisis has washed over other factors in a contest that had seemed to be a dead heat, moving enough voters to give the senator from Illinois a consistent lead in polls nationwide and in key battleground states, including Florida, Virginia and Ohio, where President Bush secured his reelection four years ago....(Click here for remainder).


Hockey mom Sarah Palin boo'd at hockey game


Obama, ACORN, and voter fraud myths dispelled


That's Religulous

By David Swanson

According to an Associated Press story on Friday, more than a half-million people have toured the creationism museum in Kentucky since it opened in May 2007. However, at least one of those people was there to make fun of it with a video camera.

In fact, a lot of what Bill Maher's new film, "Religulous", does is make fun of people. But by no means does Maher single out fringe religious believers. He interviews one of the few top scientists in the world who believes, a priest at the Vatican who believes, and plenty of random typical believers in Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. Maher's conclusion: these people (including the vast majority of Americans) are all enablers of neurologically disordered killers who are going to destroy the planet.
It takes a two part argument to get to that conclusion. The first part runs like this. A lot of religious believers want the world to end or are indifferent to its ending or are less opposed to it than they would be as atheists. As evidence, Maher interviews a bunch of cranks who think the end of the world, even if brought about by nuclear war or global warming, wouldn't be all that bad, and some who think it would be fantastic. Disturbingly, these cranks include people like U.S. Senator Mark Pryor who comes off looking dumber than a sea sponge but a lot more dangerous. Maher also interviews people who say they don't know anything about politics but voted for Bush because he's religious. Cute but deadly.

The film was clearly made before Sarah Palin came on the national scene. If you don't buy this first part of the argument after watching the movie, Palin should clinch it for you. The Associated Press reported on Saturday on her use of public money, in the Bush-Cheney tradition, to fund religious causes. Bloggers have reported on the belief of some of Palin's supporters that she has been chosen by God. Palin has taken intentional steps to facilitate global warming rather than curtailing it. She has, like Bush, said she believes God wanted war in Iraq.

The second part of the argument is that by failing to denounce religion, hundreds of millions of relatively secular religious people are enabling the lunacies of the religious fanatics, which -- according to Maher -- we must outgrow or all die together. We risk, he says, perishing as a species because we've invented the means of self-annihilation (nuclear and environmental) before managing to overcome the mental disease that makes us wish for self-annihilation. It is indisputable that at least some people tend to be more religious if others around them are religious, and that the opposite is true as well. And it is indisputable that humans commit mass murder in the name of religion. I think it's nearly beyond dispute, as well, that the attacks of 9-11 would not have occurred had Americans all been Muslims, and that the attacks on the Middle East by Americans before and after 9-11 would not have happened, at least in the same vicious way, had all the people there been Christian. Of course, without religion people can invent other justifications for slaughtering each other, but not for martyrdom, not for holy suicide, and not for blissful acceptance of environmental or nuclear catastrophe....(Click here for remainder).


Help! Poor Black People Are Stealing the Election from Rich White Guys

By Lloyd Hart

You may have noticed over the last week the word acorn or to be more exact A.C.O.R.N. which stands for the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. I personally have known about this group for many years and nearly fell off my couch when I began to hear the accusations coming out of the McCain campaign that poor black people (A.C.O.R.N.) held a gun to Congress's head (cause black people, you know, they can get guns. (wink) ) and forced it to pass a law that forced rich white guys to stop redlining minority neighborhoods and to stop predatory lending practices in minority neighborhoods - a deliberate practice of banks not providing equal access to credit products like loans and mortgages at the same fare market value in terms of interest rates that the white folks recieved who were forced into the terrible exodus of white flight when they had to relocate to the suburbs when they were afraid their children might have sex with black folks if they lived next door to them and you know (wink) listened to their jazz music and smoked their marijuana.

Help! Poor black people are are causing the total collapse of the Global Economy!

So, according to Senator John McCain and other Republicans, A.C.O.R.N. ruthlessly lobbied Congress to stop banks from redlining minority communities which somehow caused Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to buy bad loans from mortgage companies and banks who saw the future and were desperate to get rid of properties that would no longer be profitable once foreclosed on and because Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac bought all those bad loans (and have an automatic government rescue program to their charters), that that somehow linked poor black people (A.C.O.R.N.) to the bringing down of Wall Street investment giants like Bear Stearns, A.I.G. and Lehman Brothers which then led to the total collapse of the global banking system and the single largest one week drop in the Dow Jones Industrial average in history? Wow, poor black people sure have come a long way since the time of slavery, to be able to do that. Now that's something....(Click here for remainder).


Media Criticism of Hate Speech Long Overdue

By David Swanson

I get the impression that a great many people are upset by all the news about McCain-Palin supporters who believe Obama is an Arab, a Muslim, a terrorist, and a baby killer. I find it the most encouraging thing that's happened in eight years.

Why? Because these sorts of lies and fear-mongering are nothing new. What's new is that the U.S. corporate media is covering them. The most unaccountable, antidemocratic communications cartel outside of China has decided to cover in a major way a story it has brushed aside since September 12, 2001.

Of course, we understand why. The victim of these particular lies is a corporate-friendly senator who appears likely to be elected president of the United States. On top of that he isn't actually a Muslim or a foreigner, so you can still be bigoted and defend him on the basis of those boring old leftwing things: facts. But the media's willingness to cover the hate speech and to point out the connections between hateful speech and hateful actions makes Obama more likely to win the election and makes us all safer, wiser, and better informed.

It's not that the media has never covered hateful, racist, and bigoted speech before, but it hasn't done so in a major way with front page stories and saturation chatter on the blab shows. In fact, a lot of U.S. newspapers recently mailed their subscribers a disc called "Obsession" that promoted fear and hatred of Muslims. A couple of columnists mentioned that fact, but it was not made into a STORY, into something that everybody has to have an opinion on and reiterate so many times that people actually hear it. And it's not that the media has never before pointed out contradictions between a candidate's advertisements or flyers and that same candidate's comments, but it hasn't done so in a BIG way. In fact, McCain has been advertising himself as a crusader against corporate power for many months without a peep of hysterical laughter from the recipients of all that advertising money....(Click here for remainder).


Fierce new row rocks White House race

Has anyone else noticed the juxtaposition between supporters of Barack Obama and those of John McCain? Obama supporters tend to be educated and intelligent. Whereas those of John McCain tend to be a bunch of mouth-breathing Neanderthals. Very interesting.

CHICAGO (AFP) - A war of words with racial undertones reverberated through the White House race after civil rights icon John Lewis accused Republican John McCain of sowing "hatred" against Barack Obama.

McCain, who has been trying to tamp down abuse of the Democratic nominee at his campaign events, reacted furiously, lashing out against Lewis, who only a few weeks ago he described as one of the Americans he most admired.

The latest political turbulence came just over three weeks before the November 4 election, with Obama building a steady lead over McCain on the national level, and on the state-by-state electoral map.

Congressman Lewis, revered as one of the key figures in the 20th century US civil rights movement, ignited a political firestorm by issuing a statement about McCain's recent searing character attacks on Obama.

"As public figures with the power to influence and persuade, Senator McCain and Governor Palin are playing with fire, and if they are not careful, that fire will consume us all," Lewis said.

Republicans "are sowing the seeds of hatred and division, and there is no need for this hostility in our political discourse."

He also appeared to suggest attacks on Obama were reminiscent of late segregationist Alabama governor and presidential candidate George Wallace, whose rhetoric in 1963 was blamed for a church bombing in Birmingham, Alabama, that killed four little girls.'...(Click here for remainder).



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