By Matt Stoller
President Barack Obama (Credit: Reuters/Yuri Gripas)
A few days ago, I participated in a debate with the legendary antiwar dissident Daniel Ellsberg on Huffington Post live on the merits of the Obama administration, and what progressives should do on Election Day. Ellsberg had written a blog post arguing that, though Obama deserves tremendous criticism, voters in swing states ought to vote for him, lest they operate as dupes for a far more malevolent Republican Party. This attitude is relatively pervasive among Democrats, and it deserves a genuine response. As the election is fast approaching, this piece is an attempt at laying out the progressive case for why one should not vote for Barack Obama for reelection, even if you are in a swing state.
By Charles Babington
Some hot-button issues in previous presidential campaigns have hardly surfaced in the 2012 race, which is all about the jobs and the economy.
WASHINGTON — The U.S. presidential campaign has focused heavily on jobs, pushing other once high-profile issues to the side. It dismays activists who have spent decades promoting environmental issues, gay rights, gun control and other topics to the center of national attention.
Topics suffering downgrades in campaign attention include these:
By Irving Wladawsky-Berger
Coming Apart: the State of White America 1960-2010, a recently published book by scholar and author Charles Murray, has generated some very interesting and important discussions about America’s increasingly polarizated society. In a January NY Times Op-Ed, David Brooks wrote that Coming Apart will prove to be one of the most important books of 2012 because it “so compellingly describes the most important trends in American society.”
The key premise of the book, as described by Murray in this Wall Street Journal column, is that “America is coming apart. For most of our nation’s history, whatever the inequality in wealth between the richest and poorest citizens, we maintained a cultural equality known nowhere else in the world – for whites, anyway.” For most of its history, a major hallmark of American democracy has been the comfortable mingling of the social classes. “Americans love to see themselves this way,” writes Murray. “But there’s a problem: It’s not true anymore, and it has been progressively less true since the 1960s.”
By Bruce Kennedy
Is the United States on the verge of legalizing pot? Already 17 states and the District of Columbia allow the medical use of marijuana, and on Nov. 6, voters in three states will decide whether adults should be able to buy it for recreational use.
Ballot measures in Washington, Oregon and Colorado are in direct conflict with federal law, an issue that opponents hope will sway voters. But the measures are polling well in Washington and Colorado and getting support across the political spectrum, including from some high-profile conservative Republicans, The Washington Post reports.
The issue is in play on a national level, too. In Colorado alone, campaigns for and against the state’s Amendment 64 have reportedly spent well over $3 million, much of it from out-of-state organizations on both sides. “This is a big deal, and I think the federal government knows that,” said Sam Kamin, a law professor at the University of Denver. “And I think they’re watching these elections very closely.”
Supporters of legalized marijuana have also been more politically savvy in this round of elections, compared with during earlier efforts, such as a failed 2010 attempt in California. They are pointing to the hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of dollars that strictly regulated marijuana sales programs could bring to state coffers.
Welfare is back as the handiest weapon in the racist rhetorical arsenal. It’s back in the speeches of Republican candidates and surrogates, on right wing radio, and even in the language of those young “individualists” who see themselves as politically hip because of their perceived proximity to anarchist types. They believe the poor are poor because they want to be poor. Or are failed individuals. Or have grown so used to poverty that they are satisfied waiting for a check, that they like making the often humiliating trek to the local Department of Social Services office. ‘Welfare’ is back, which is to say ‘kick-a-nigger’ politics is in full swing. More…
Check it out. As well as its related Youtube channel. Attempts to synthesize, in a way, the ideas of the alternative and reactionary right with a sort of Wittgensteinian postmodernism, as well as from various reactionary sociologists and philosophers like Nietzsche and George Fitzhugh. He even occasionally calls it “Postmodernism of the Right”.
Bertolt Brecht’s name is now largely lost to history, but the idea expressed in the succinct question above remains as potent today as when he uttered it. Brecht, a self-made Marxist who was once investigated by the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) during the “Red Scare” era of the late 1940s and early 1950s, probably did not know a then-young Edward Kennedy or the other politicians who later devised the 1965 Immigration and Naturalization Act, and he did not live to see the eventual mass migration of immigrants, legal and illegal alike, into the U.S. after his death. We can only speculate on how Brecht would have viewed the rapidly-Balkanizing United States of the early 21st century, but it seems safe to conclude that the old Marxist would be astounded at its scope, scale and rapidity. More…
From Just Khaotic. Bloke sounds like their perfect candidate.
You would expect that the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) would do good background checks on its prospective employees. But this doesn’t appear to be the case, after it was determined that the organization hired a priest who’d been defrocked for allegedly molesting two girls in grade school.
The shamed former man of God was given the responsibility of patting people down at the airport in Philadelphia, including young children. The Philadelphia Inequirer reported that 65-year old Thomas Harkins was pushed out of the priesthood as a result of the allegations. We’re not sure why he didn’t go to jail instead, but the priesthood has been long criticized for not seeking criminal penalties for priests, even when they’ve been accused of harming children.
The TSA justified its decision by stating that “[a]n allegation alone does not warrant dismissal or automatically disqualify applicants from employment with the TSA,” spokesperson Ann Davistold the Inquirer.
TSA said that they didn’t check the priest’s background because they desperately needed agents at the time and didn’t have time to check everyone. This was shortly after the September 11th terrorist attacks, when the organization was hiring large numbers of agents at the same time.
Excellent documentary from a paleoconservative/paleolibertarian perspective. This is a good video to show social conservatives as a alternative to neocon talk radio and FOX News crap.
An Israeli soldier leads a handcuffed and blindfolded Palestinain man after he was arrested at an Israeli checkpoint near the West Bank city of Ramallah on 17 September 2012. (Photo: AFP – Abbas Momani)
Scores of political detainees held in Israeli jails are released only to then be arrested by the Palestinian Authority, who is living up to its reputation of being Israel’s hired police force.
Thirty-year-old Alaa Sadeq from Qalqiliya spent nine and a half years in Israeli prisons before being released on 5 June 2012. Sadeq was charged with belonging to the political faction Hamas, as well as being active in the resistance against the Israeli occupation. Following his release, Sadeq began adapting to life outside of prison. His sister Mirvat tells of how he was busy getting his house ready for marriage. Sadeq got married on September 14. Four days later, he was hauled off and taken to the Qalqiliya detention facility.
My latest Infernal installment.
Beware, strumpets and reprobates—the femiternalists are back! Not content with slamming their stilettos down on strippers’ faces in Iceland, these especially noxious followers of the feminist faith want to get their killjoy claws into Page 3, the most intellectually stimulating page in UK tabloid The Sun.
This isn’t the first time feministing folk have tried to nag bare breasts off The Sun’s pages. Lefty ex-parliamentarian Claire Short led a particularly Purityrannical campaign to ban boobs from the paper back in the Eighties as part of a larger anti-porn purge. More recently, the ever-histrionic Laurie Penny derided the pulchritudinous page as “neoliberal social conditioning”, existing only for the purpose of keeping womynkynd firmly in thrall to the phallocracy.
Now, the torch of termagancy has been snatched by not one but two killjoys.
Chris Hedges Tells Dinesh D’Souza That His Obama Film Is ‘Void of Facts, Reality, Intellectual Depth’
In a debate with D’Souza, Hedges argues the film “shows how impoverished our intellectual life has become in a kind of national level.”
By Pat Buchanan
Looking back all the way to America’s Civil War, there have been three dominant presidential coalitions.
The first was Abraham Lincoln’s. With his war to restore the Union and his martyrdom, Lincoln inaugurated an era of Republican dominance that lasted more than seven decades and saw only two Democratic presidents: Grover Cleveland and Woodrow Wilson.
The second coalition was FDR’s, where he and his vice president Harry Truman won five consecutive presidential elections. Only Gen. Eisenhower could break that streak.
The third was Richard Nixon’s New Majority, cobbled together after his narrow 1968 victory, where he annexed the Northern Catholic ethnics and Southern Christian conservatives of FDR’s coalition to win 49 states in 1972. Ronald Reagan would follow up with 44- and 49-state landslides and see his vice president win 40 states in 1988.
That New Majority is now history. In the five elections since 1992, Republicans have won the popular vote once—in 2004. And while Mitt Romney is slightly ahead in polls today, reaching 270 electoral votes will be no easy task. The electoral map is becoming problematic.
“But foreign policy “realists,” libertarians and the anti-interventionist right, all of whom are urging us to stay out of any new war, seem more in tune with the times—and the country.”
An anti-Che article on…HuffPo!? That is a turn-up for the books!
Thor Halvorssen lays the smack down….
CEO, Urban Outfitters
30 Industrial Park Blvd.
Trenton, SC 29847
Dear Mr. Marlow,
The Human Rights Foundation recently became aware of the sale of merchandise at Urban Outfitters emblazoned with the image of communist leader Che Guevara, at times accompanied by the word “revolución.” As a nonprofit organization dedicated to the defense of human rights, we would like to bring your attention to Guevara’s bloody and anti-democratic legacy.
Although Guevara’s image has appeared on countless items for consumption over the last few decades as a symbol of change for the better, Guevara’s actual record is that of a brutal tyrant who suppressed individual freedom in Cuba and murdered those who challenged his worldview.
From: American Free Press
September 18, 2012
By Pete Papaherakles
Top officials representing 120 governments—the majority of the world—showed up in Tehran on August 26 to attend the week-long “Non-Aligned Movement” (NAM) summit, where they unanimously voted to support Iran’s nuclear energy program and condemn the American-led attempt to isolate and punish the Islamic republic. More…
Goad’s latest from TakiMag…
There is no longer a need for satire these days because the world ridicules itself. Modern American culture is a self-parody set on autopilot.
The latest round of nuttiness involves public education and peanut butter. The humble peanut, you see, has become politicized. It is now a “hate food.” The peanut defiantly blocks school entrances, standing in the way of a progressive putsch to enable American schoolchildren to become as physically and culturally hypersensitive as possible.
Two recent news stories—one involving a contraband peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich at an Arkansas school and the other revolving around a rotund, buffalo-faced Oregon grade-school principal who fingers peanut-butter sandwiches as emblems of “white privilege”—illustrate that our public schools are filled to the rafters with nuts who are severely allergic to reality.
In the peanut-sized town of Viola, Arkansas, a teacher confiscated a boy’s PB&J sandwich as if it was a hand grenade and sent a stern letter to the young lad’s parents explaining a school policy designed to protect a micro-minority of students afflicted with peanut allergies. This inflamed the passions of local pro-peanut parents, who launched a “School Nut Ban Discussion” group on Facebook. The kernel of the matter involves whether the “rights” of a tiny minority of peanut-averse children override those of the vast majority of kids who enjoy this high-protein, low-cost staple of the American diet.
Full disclosure: I grew up gorging on Gaucho peanut-butter cookies, Fluffernutters, Peanut Butter Kandy Kakes, and my Aunt Berle’s nonpareil peanut-butter fudge. I still enjoy the occasional Southern-styled boiled peanut and nurse a mild-to-intense skepticism about “peanut allergies,” which were unheard-of during my beardless youth.
So when I hear that some children can now die merely from smelling peanuts and that adults are filing race-and-disability-discrimination lawsuits hinging on their skin color and peanut sensitivities, I wax somewhat peanut-defensive.
By Rachel Zoll
Some black clergy see no good presidential choice between a Mormon candidate and one who supports gay marriage, so they are telling their flocks to stay home on Election Day. That’s a worrisome message for the nation’s first African-American president, who can’t afford to lose any voters from his base in a tight race.
The pastors say their congregants are asking how a true Christian could back same-sex marriage, as President Barack Obama did in May. As for Republican Mitt Romney, the first Mormon nominee from a major party, congregants are questioning the theology of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its former ban on men of African descent in the priesthood.
With London’s summer of sport over, the focus moves to Brazil. The country is hosting the World Cup in 2014, and the Olympics come 2016, and fashion, never to be outdone, is ready to make its own handover.
On course to become the fifth largest economy by 2025, Brazil has the resources to become the next fashion capital, and the international industry is beginning to take notice. Lucas Nascimento, Pedro Lourenço and jeweller Fernando Jorge are Brazilian buzz names, and London’s The Shop at Bluebird hosts pop-up Brazil Rising from this Friday to showcase new talent.
NBC News, along with a leading US newspaper, insist that Egyptians should be grateful to the US for having ‘freed’ them
By Glenn Greenwald
An injured Egyptian protester looks on during clashes with riot police near the US embassy in Cairo. Photograph: Khaled Desouki/AFP/Getty Images
One prominent strain shaping American reaction to the protests in the Muslim world is bafflement, and even anger, that those Muslims are not more grateful to the US. After all, goes this thinking, the US bestowed them with the gifts of freedom and democracy – the very rights they are now exercising – so how could they possibly be anything other than thankful? Under this worldview, it is especially confounding that the US, their savior and freedom-provider, would be the target of their rage.
On Wednesday, USA Today published an article with the headline “After attacks in Egypt and Libya, USA Today asks: Why?” The paper appeared to tell its readers that it was the US that freed the Egyptian people from tyranny:
“Attacks in Libya that left four US diplomats dead – including Ambassador Christopher Stevens – and a mob invasion of the US Embassy in Cairo, in which the US flag was torn to shreds, have left many to wonder: How can people the USA helped free from murderous dictators treat it in such a way?”