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Fidel Castro Says Racist Right-Wingers Fight Obama

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

By Jeff Franks
Photo: Desmond Boylan (Reuters)

HAVANA (Reuters) - President Barack Obama is trying to make positive changes in the United States, but is being fought at every turn by right-wingers who hate him because he is black, former Cuban leader Fidel Castro said on Tuesday.

In an unusually conciliatory column in the state-run media, Castro said Obama had inherited many problems from his predecessor, George W. Bush, and was trying to resolve them. But the "powerful extreme right won't be happy with anything that diminishes their prerogatives in the slightest way."

Obama does not want to change the U.S. political and economic system, but "in spite of that, the extreme right hates him for being African-American and fights what the president does to improve the deteriorated image of that country," Castro wrote.

"I don't have the slightest doubt that the racist right will do everything possible to wear him down, blocking his program to get him out of the game one way or another, at the least political cost," he said.

Castro, who writes regular commentaries for Cuba's state-run media, has criticized Obama, complimented him occasionally and said that he is watching him closely to see if he means what he says about changing U.S. policy toward Cuba.

His latest column comes during a visit to Cuba by New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson that has stirred speculation that he may try to push U.S.-Cuba relations forward.

Richardson has been a diplomatic trouble-shooter in nations with which the United States has poor relations. In 1996 he negotiated with Castro for the release of three Cuban political prisoners....(Remainder.)


U.S. Prosecutor Named to Probe CIA Prisoner Abuses

By Jeremy Pelofsky and James Vicini

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder on Monday named a special prosecutor to probe CIA prisoner abuse cases, a move that could distract President Barack Obama from his drive to reform the healthcare system.

Holder's decision, which promises political headaches for Obama, came after the Justice Department's ethics watchdog recommended considering prosecution of Central Intelligence Agency employees or contractors for harsh interrogations in Iraq and Afghanistan that went beyond approved limits.

"I fully realize that my decision to commence this preliminary review will be controversial," Holder said in a statement. "In this case, given all of the information currently available, it is clear to me that this review is the only responsible course of action for me to take."

Career prosecutor John Durham will head the probe, adding to the one he is already doing of the CIA's destruction of videotapes showing harsh interrogations of terrorism suspects.

As Holder made his decision, new details emerged about "enhanced" interrogation techniques used after the September 11 attacks on the United States under then-President George W. Bush but subsequently scratched by Obama when he took office....(Remainder.)


Right-Wing Bag of Mashed Up Crazy, Glenn Beck, Goes After Color of Change co-Founder Van Jones

By Matea Gold

The Los Angeles Times

Glenn Beck used his popular Fox News show this afternoon to attack the background of Van Jones, a White House environmental advisor who co-founded an African American political advocacy group that organized an advertising boycott of his program.

During his 2 p.m. PDT show, Beck did not address the boycott spearheaded by Color of Change to protest the talk show host’s remark last month that he believes President Obama is “a racist.”

Instead, he spent a large share of his program suggesting that Jones, who co-founded Color of Change in 2005, is a radical. Jones now serves as a special advisor for Green Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation at the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

During a six-minute biographical profile, set to ominous music, Beck said Jones was twice arrested for political protests and has described himself as a "rowdy black nationalist." The talk show host cast the piece as part of a broader examination of Obama's "czars," special advisers to the president who "don't answer to anybody."

"Why is it that such a committed revolutionary has made it so high into the Obama administration as one of his chief advisers?" Beck asked.

Christine Glunz, a spokeswoman for the White House Council on Environmental Quality, noted that Jones has been lauded as an environmental hero and said his entire focus is on “building clean energy incentives which create 21st-century jobs.”...(Remainder.)


When it Comes to Peddling Hate Music, iTunes Appears to Be Selective

By Sonia Scherr
Hatewatch at SPLC
“Let’s see out the Fuhrer’s dream/To break the back of the eternal jew/Rid the world of the evil we’ve seen/Make it safe for me and you.”
— From “Under the Hammer” by Brutal Attack

“When the battle is over and the victory is won/And the White man’s lands are owned by true white people/the traitors will all be gone.”
— From “White Warriors” by Screwdriver

If you thought such unabashedly bigoted music was available only from underground sources, you’d be wrong. With a few clicks at Apple’s iTunes website, Internet users can buy albums and songs from white supremacist groups such as Bully Boys, Final War, Stormtroop 16 and H8Machine.

But what has one iTunes customer particularly incensed is that the website has apparently removed homophobic songs by reggae artists, but left the white supremacist music. Galen Andrews, who lives outside Des Moines, Iowa, told Hatewatch that he thinks all hate music should be pulled from iTunes. “It made me sick,” he said of the white supremacist music. “I think it’s irresponsible of iTunes to offer that kind of music. I don’t like the fact that they’re selling racism for profit.”

Among the anti-gay songs no longer available on iTunes are Buju Banton’s “Boom Bye-Bye” and T.O.K.’s “Chi-Chi Man,” Andrews said. ITunes, which bills itself as “the world’s most popular digital media player,” did not respond to several phones messages and E-mails seeking comment. However, it’s not the only mainstream music distributor selling racist and offensive tracks.

Although did not return a phone message, it also peddles music from many of the same white supremacist bands. An spokeswoman told Fox News earlier this year that third-party companies were selling the tracks through its website, but declined to elaborate. A spokesman for CDBaby, which distributes independent music, told Hatewatch that the company doesn’t ban artists based on content, though it donates profits from music it deems racist to anti-hate organizations....(Remainder.)


Fox Bullshit Artist Chris Wallace, Maliciously Edits VHA Document to Suggest Veteran Death Panels

By Media Matters

On Fox News Sunday, Chris Wallace repeatedly cropped quotes from a Veterans Health Administration (VHA) document to falsely suggest that the Obama administration is pressuring veterans to end their lives prematurely and to accuse Assistant Secretary of Veterans Affairs Tammy Duckworth of lying about it. In fact, contrary to Wallace's false assertions, the document he referred to does not require doctors to direct veterans to what conservatives have labeled the "Death Book for Veterans."...(Remainder.)


Right-Wing Mouth Piece David Frum, Slams Beck and Conservatwat Talk Radio for Inflammatory Talk


Fox Gives a Forum for Batshit Crazy Birther Mark Williams to Attack Barney Frank


Howard Kurtz Discusses 75% of Fox Mouth-Breathers Believe False Deather Nonsense


Paul Krugman Calls Opposition to Public Option "Sheer Nonsense" and "Insurance Lobby"


In a Shocking Development, David Gregory Actually Corrects Orrin Hatch's Public Option Bullshit


Krugman Calls Out McCain's Hypocrisy for Wanting Entitlement Cuts While Opposing Cost Controls


David "Goebbels" Frum Wonders Why Cable News Doesn't Provide In-Depth Coverage of Issues


Right-Wing Jizz Bucket Jim Towey Tells Fox a Story About a "Death Book"

By David
Crooks and Liars

Instead of discussing the weeks' news, Chris Wallace devoted the first segment of "Fox News Sunday" to trying to prove President Barack Obama's administration was encouraging veterans to choose to die.

"We're going to do something different here today. Usually we discuss the news, but today we're going to tell you about something you may never have heard about, what critics are calling the 'death book,' a 52-page pamphlet the Department of Veterans Affairs is using right now in end-of-life counseling for the nation's 24 million veterans," explained Wallace.

Wallace talked to Jim Towey, the Bush administrations' Director of White House Faith Based Initiatives. In a Wall Street Journal op-ed, Towey claimed an end-of-life planning document in use by the Veterans Administration was steering veterans to "predetermined conclusions."

Huffington Post debunked the Towey claims Saturday.
They failed to mention that the so-called "death book" contains the same advance-care planning required of all health care organizations under federal law, has been in use since 1997 and was developed with the input of interfaith ministers.
But Towey could benefit financially if the Veteran's Administration drops the current material "Your life, Your choices" used for end-of-life consultations. Towey sells his own materials that compete with documentation currently in use....(Remainder.)


Sound the Shofar, Joe Mentum Says Uninsured Have to Wait Until After Recession

By David
Crooks and Liars

Sen. Joe Lieberman caucuses with the Democrats but doesn't seem anxious to find a solution for uninsured Americans. "And I'm afraid we've got to think about putting a lot of that off until the economy is out of recession. There's no reason we have to do it all now," Lieberman told CNN's John King Sunday.

"I think it's a real mistake to try to jam through the total health insurance reform," Lieberman said. "It's just not good for the system. Frankly, it won't be good for the Obama presidency."...(Original.)


McCain Defends Bogus 'Death Panel' Argument

By Steve Benen
Washington Monthly

How far gone is Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.)? He isn't even willing to reject the "death panel" nonsense pushed by his former running mate.

As promised, McCain appeared on ABC News' "This Week" and George Stephanopoulos asked whether he could defend Sarah Palin's most infamous and scurrilous attack on health care reform. Would the self-described "maverick" take a stand in support of reality? Take a wild guess.

Asked about the "death panel" lie, McCain said he doesn't endorse the phrase, but argued the government, under reform measures, would "have groups that actually advise people as these decisions are made later in life." When Stephanopoulos noted the phrase of the month -- "That's not in the bill" -- McCain said the language in the legislation "made it a little bit ambiguous." To his credit, Stephanopoulos pressed further.
STEPHANOPOULOS: I don't think that's correct, Senator. The bill, all it said was that, if a patient wanted to have a Medicare consultation about end-of-life issues, they could have it at their request and the doctor would get reimbursed for it, no panel.

MCCAIN: There was a provision in the bill that talks about a board that would decide the most effective measures to provide health care for people, OK? Now, we had amendments, we republican have said that in no way would that affect the decisions that the patients would make and their families. That was rejected by the Democrats and the health committee....


Why Progressives Should Boycott Whole Foods

By Nicole Belle
Crooks and Liars

You gotta love the mentality of Greta Van Susteren, reducing the whole union-hating, Ayn Rand-loving, universal health care-dismissing ravings of Whole Foods founder John Mackey to a question of whether he's a "bad man." She's using the same language I use with my 6 year old when talking about "stranger danger." Sheesh.

Even as a diehard foodie (My husband and I plan our weekends and vacations around meals and restaurants. Seriously.), I actually don't shop that often at Whole Foods. I find it...well, elitist and overpriced. I much prefer Trader Joe's and our local farmers' markets to Whole Foods, though many of my friends are major patrons. But now that I've read Mackey's diatribe in the WSJ in all its Randian glory, I have to wonder if he considered at all who shops in his stores.'s Ali Savino writes on Whole Foods' rotten core:
Whole Foods CEO John Mackey wrote a thunderous comment piece in which he derided the public option, Barack Obama's biggest campaign promise to progressives, and put forward a stridently conservative view of healthcare for America.

Does Mackey know who his customer base is? Did he really not foresee the backlash that has ensued – the howls across the blogosphere and Twitter, the Facebook petition to boycott Whole Foods?

Pundits argue that Mackey hasn't gotten a fair shake. He sells food after all, not health insurance. He's a successful businessman who has wisdom to share. But Whole Foods is more than a supermarket. From the cooking classes and wine tastings to the monthly event calendar on the wall, Whole Foods aims to be a way of life....


The Truth About Nazis

By AKMuckraker
The Huffington Post

On my 21st birthday, I woke up in the morning and drove to Dairy Queen. I got soft serve vanilla ice cream with strawberry topping and I ate it for breakfast. Why? When I was a child I asked once if I could have ice cream for breakfast, and my mother said, "You can have ice cream for breakfast when you're 21." And so I did.

My father spent his 21st birthday in a prisoner of war camp. Deaf in one ear, and completely flat-footed, he could have easily been a "4-F" and escaped service for medical reasons. He was a peaceful man but he, like so many of his generation, felt the need to serve his country, and to fight against the fascism that was threatening to engulf the democratic nations of Western Europe, and had even attacked the United States.

When he was 20 years old, he'd been taken prisoner by the Germans at the Battle of the Bulge, was marched for miles, imprisoned, and starved. Like many men of his generation, veterans of World War II, he didn't talk about it much. He held his memories close to his chest. If he talked to anyone about them, I didn't know. It was only many years after his service and just before his death that he shared some of those memories with me.

Starvation does strange things to people. He told me that after a while in the camp, he had the same recurring dream, every night -- a stack of pancakes topped with two fried eggs, sunny-side up. He'd dream that dream over and over, a still frame, a picture of a breakfast that never came. He told me that his fellow prisoners got so hungry that once they had killed and eaten a cat that had strayed into the camp. You don't forget a story like that....(Remainder.)



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