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Sarah Palin's Big Obama Lie

Monday, January 12, 2009

By Geoffrey Dunn
Huffington Post


To speak with anyone who's ever been in close proximity of Sarah Palin for any length of time, there is a constant thread in their commentary: she will say anything, lie about anything, if it is to her own benefit to do so. Much has been said or written about this during the campaign, particularly by The Atlantic's Andrew Sullivan, so there's no sense in going over any of this sordid record here.

But just when you think that Palin can't top herself--I mean the execution of a turkey in Wasilla is a pretty tough act to follow--here she comes again, seated down with a right-wing, self-promoting "filmmaker," John Ziegler, taking cheap-shots at the likes of Caroline Kennedy and Katie Couric. The bitterness and envy and mean-spiritedness just ooze from her pores throughout the interview.

While much has been made of the Kennedy and Couric comments, there was a troubling remark, largely overlooked, that Palin made about Barack Obama that was a flat-out, blatant lie--a typically Palinesque twisting of the truth intending, once again, to turn her into a victim and to make Obama & Co., along with the media, appear to be hypocrites....(Click for remainder).

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McCain: GOP Must Work With Obama

By Sam Stein
Huffington Post


Reverting to the role of Republican foil that made him an unpopular figure for many conservatives, John McCain argued on Friday that historical circumstances should compel his GOP colleagues to work closely with Barack Obama.

"There are not many times in history," he said, "that a president has come to office with as many challenges as the president-elect does and that's incumbent then upon all of us to try and do all we can to work with him."

Appearing on Fox News for one of the few times since losing the election, McCain offered a supportive assessments of the president-elect's agenda. He acknowledged the need to pass a stimulus, but said he would reserve judgment until he saw the final package.

"All I can say to you is that I want to see the stimulus package I want to see what it does, I want to see what kind of provision it has in it," he told Neil Cavuto. "I think the president-elect is going to marshal public opinion. Right now his approval ratings and hopes of the American people are very high," he later added.

He also called Obama's national security team "excellent," and saved special praise for CIA Director nominee Leon Panetta.

"I think that Leon Panetta is highly qualified, and in all due respect I think it is not bad from time to time to have somebody from outside of the intelligence community but with strong managerial experience as Chief of Staff of the White House, to be head of one of these agencies. I think there is some good balance there."...(Click for remainder).

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Rethinking Zionism

By Philip Weiss
Huffington Post


Dana Goldstein, whose thoughtful condemnation of the Gaza slaughter after years of reserve I welcome, is a little uncomfortable with the embrace. She points out that I have identified myself as a non- or anti-Zionist, and says that anti-Zionism is redolent of antisemitism. She's a post-Zionist, she says. Goldstein's comments deserve a response, especially at this moment in intellectual life, when so many people are crowding the doorways of this conversation.

I also used to say post- or non-Zionist to avoid being negative. The playwright David Zellnik told me that anti-Zionist felt to him like a denial of Israel's considerable achievements and I respected David's view. Now I've come to say that I'm an anti-Zionist for several reasons.

First: My feelings are not neutral about Zionism; I don't like it. As a Jew, I think about it a lot and there is nothing I can really feel positive about outside of the Jewish pride and its historical significance of it and its visionary component. All these elements have lost their value: Zionism privileges Jews and justifies oppression, and this appalls me. Saying I'm anti-Zionist is a sincere expression of my minority-respecting worldview.

Second, Post-Zionist strikes me as an evasion. At this moment, Zionism reigns in historical Palestine and in American Jewish leadership. To say you're a post-Zionist is like saying you're a post-Communist during the Stalin purges. You are tastefully separating yourself from the world, dainty as an English person drinking tea with their little finger in the air. Zionism remains a very powerful force in Middle East affairs and American society. It's not helpful to those who are trying to understand these matters to evade this fact or suggest that post-Zionism is actually a real factor in, say, the life of Gaza City. I urge people to take a stand if they find Zionist beliefs that privilege 6 million Jews over 5-6 million non-Jews and that have entailed apartheid on the West Bank and ethnic cleansing a supportable ideology, especially in the age of our mutt president-to-be....(Click for remainder).

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Obama to discuss trade, drug war with Calderon

By Caren Bohan

Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President-elect Barack Obama will discuss the drug war and trade issues with Mexican President Felipe Calderon on Monday, in Obama's first meeting with a foreign leader since his November election.

Obama has promised to nurture close ties with Mexico and with Latin American countries that complained of neglect by the United States after President George W. Bush's foreign policy focused heavily on Iraq and the war on terror.

With Mexico's drug violence exploding and amid fears that Obama might seek changes to the North American Free Trade Agreement, Calderon is eager for a meeting with the incoming U.S. president.

Obama aides said the Calderon meeting was part of a long tradition of U.S. presidents meeting with the Mexican leader before their inauguration.

The two leaders are to have lunch at noon and then sit down for a working meeting.

Calderon plans to meet Bush on Tuesday.

Beyond following tradition, a senior Obama adviser also said Obama "feels very strongly about the U.S.-Mexico relationship. This is obviously a priority."

Obama, who takes over from Bush on January 20, in a speech last May accused the Bush administration of being "negligent" toward its friends in the Americas and pledged to renew ties with neighbors like Mexico....(Click for remainder).

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Russia declares gas deal 'void'

Via Al Jazeera English

Dmitry Medvedev, Russia's president, has said that a deal aimed at restoring gas supplies through Ukraine to Europe is "null and void".

Moscow said on Sunday that it objected to Kiev's handwritten alterations to the agreement allowing European, Russian and Ukrainian monitors to oversee gas supplies being piped through Ukraine.

"I think that those who have signed this document with reservations well understand the legal consequences of their actions," Medvedev told Sergei Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, in a televised discussion.

"As a result, we are obliged to consider the document signed as null and void for us. We will not apply it as long as this reserve is not overturned."

EU monitors had already begun arriving in Ukraine to oversee the flow of Europe-bound gas when the new dispute flared.

'Stipulations and additions'

The Reuters news agency reported that a declaration attached to the agreement by the Ukrainians stated that Kiev had not taken any transit gas and had no outstanding debts to Gazprom, the Russian supplier.

It also said Russia must supply extra "technical" gas to the Ukraine to maintain pressure in the pipeline system, despite the measure not being agreed with Moscow.

Russia cut off gas shipments that flowed through Ukraine more than a week ago after accusing Kiev of siphoning off supplies for its own use.

"I cannot call such stipulations and additions other than a mockery of common sense and violation of earlier achieved agreements," Medvedev said....(Click for remainder).

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Britons risk being sent home by US immigration

By Lee Glendinning
The Guardian UK


The Foreign Office has warned that new entry regulations to the US, which come into force today, could lead to thousands of tourists who have not been told about the updated guidelines being turned away by immigration officials at US airports.

UK visitors will need to register online before travelling to America under the new rules, which require tourists to fill out an electronic travel authorisation form 72 hours before their trip.

"Thousands of Britons could potentially be turned away by immigration at US airports if they fail to register on ESTA [Electronic System for Travel Authorisation] 72 hours prior to their departure," the Foreign Office said.

"British travellers who have not registered before their trip are likely to be detained and sent home.

"This may affect a wide range of British nationals and the Foreign Office is particularly concerned that people who may not have heard of ESTA and booked their trip before enforcement of the new rule may be caught out."

Electronic applications have to be approved by the US department of homeland security. Britons travelling to the US on the visa waiver scheme will be required to produce the same information that they put on the form they fill out while on planes travelling to the US.

The electronic authorisation will then last for two years. Travellers do not have to specify exactly when they plan to arrive.

The US embassy in London said that so far 99.6% of those registering had been approved - most within four seconds....(Click for remainder).

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