But if I want to help Obama and the economy (and I can't readily think of another reason to buy an American car), what sort of American cars should I be considering when I consider buying another new car in another few years?
" ... the McCain health plan would treat employer-paid health benefits as income that employees would have to pay taxes on.
“It means your employer is going to have to make an estimate on how much the employer is paying for health insurance on your behalf, and you are going to have to pay taxes on that money,” said Sherry Glied, an economist who chairs the Department of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.
Ms. Glied is one of the four scholars who have just completed an independent joint study of the plan. Their findings are being published on the Web site of the policy journal, Health Affairs. "
For another frightening religious angle today, here's a blog entry over at The Nation, "Sarah Palin and the Jews," by Jon Weiner, drawing parallels between Miss Congeniality Sarah and Queen Esther. Time to wipe out Persia again?
On censorship, the teaching of creationism in schools, reproductive rights, attributing government policy to God's will and climate change, Palin agrees with Hamas and Saudi Arabia rather than supporting tolerance and democratic precepts.
God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
“Let me be as clear as possible. I think people’s families are off-limits, and people’s children are especially off-limits. This shouldn’t be part of our politics. It has no relevance to Gov. Palin’s performance as governor or her potential performance as a vice president.”
“This is a very personal matter for the family. We should all respect the love they have for the child and the desire all parents would have for their children’s privacy. The media should respect Bristol’s privacy. That’s always been the tradition and practice when it comes to the children of candidates.”
"Why is Chelsea Clinton so ugly?
Because her father is Janet Reno."
David Corn's short article in Salon from June 25, 1998 about this "joke" is interesting in that it shows how ingrained the media bias in favor of John McCain has been for at least a decade.
"But the joke revealed more than a mean streak in a man who would be president. It also exposed how the Washington Post, New York Times and Los Angeles Times play favorites when reporting the foibles of our leading politicians."
"I think — I'll have my staff get to you. It's condominiums where — I'll have them get to you."In addition to the absurdity of not knowing how many homes you own, you have to love the Bushian lack of sentence structure (though Dubya prob'bly woulda called those uncountable condos "condoms" and everyone woulda gotten a big chuckle out of it).
"On Friday morning, Joe Biden gave us an example of a leading national politician exhibiting decency and class. Later in the day, Hillary Clinton gave us an example of something else."
Evading national security, says Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.), would be a disastrous mistake. "The only way we lose this election is not to engage this issue head-on," Biden said during an interview in his Capitol office the day after Obama clinched the nomination. Democrats, Biden said, should be "proactive" and not "play defense on foreign affairs" because "the case against McCain and Bush on national security is so overwhelming. . . . It should be an essential part of the case for the Democratic nominee."
I visited with Biden because he should be at the top of any list of vice presidential picks for Obama. Why Biden? In part because of where he took our discussion: Few Democrats know more about foreign policy, and few would so relish the fight against McCain on international affairs. Few are better placed to argue that withdrawal from Iraq will strengthen rather than weaken the United States.
The worst thing in a running mate is the fear of muddying his or her image in political combat. Biden would be a happy warrior.
The study by Centris, a market research firm in Los Angeles, found gaps in broadcast signals that may leave an estimated 5.9 million TV sets unable to receive as many channels as they did before the changeover. It may affect even those who bought government-approved converter boxes or new digital televisions. To keep broadcast reception, many viewers may have to buy new outdoor antennas, the study found.
The signals in my area that I am not receiving were addressed directly:
... [a] consultant hired to replace the broadcast antennas on the Empire State Building, found that digital signals did not travel as far as either model had predicted.
"For the people with rabbit-ear antennas, I would say at least 50 percent won't get the channels they were getting," Bendov said. "I would say a lot of people are going to be very unhappy."
Unfortunately, there's a chance no antenna will work for you. Recent reports indicate that some households are in fringe areas with poor reception, and for them, off-air digital TV might not be a good option.
In any case, start soon. If you encounter problems, there will be plenty of time to resolve them before next February so you're not left out in the cold.
Bill O’Reilly: You said they used propaganda and that is a loaded word.
Scott McClellan: The White House Iraq group, the White House Iraq Group was set up, it’s a marketing arm for selling the a war. That was a specific purpose that I talked about in the book
BO: Because they fervently believed that the guy was a danger and could hand his weapons off.
SM: No because the President had a bigger driving motivation which was to transform the middle east.
BO: You telling me that President Bush didn’t believe they had the,
SM: No, he did too. He believed that too.
BO:That’s not propaganda then, that’s not propaganda.
SM: It is when you package it all together—over sell it and over state it to the American people. That is propaganda.
... third time I've said that. (Laughter.) I'll probably say it three more times. See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda. (Applause.)You can see a video of the Catapult the Propaganda quote here.
-- George W. Bush, 24 May 2005 (text and stage cues from the whitehouse.gov transcript)
Rhode Island: Hi. I hope this question doesn't sound confrontational. My understanding is that you didn't become press secretary until a year or so after the Iraq war began. Can you tell us about what your role was before that? Were you privy to high-level discussions in the lead-up to the war? Thanks.
Scott McClellan: I became press secretary on July 15, 2003, a few months after the initial invasion. Prior to that, I served as the principal deputy press secretary. I was not involved in the policy-making on Iraq or in developing the overall marketing strategy for selling the war to the public. I did fill in for my predecessor at times, and even participated in some White House Iraq Group, or WHIG meetings. WHIG was set up as the marketing arm for selling the war to the public.
This is crossposted from WHIGgate Update at whiggate.org.
The Democratic Party found its 2008 standard bearer last night and I couldn't be happier. Up above is a picture from the beautiful fall evening in New York when I found that I had no doubts about who I was whole-heartingly supporting for President. I hope that every American voter gets a chance to see Barack Obama live, unfiltered by the media, at some point in the next five months.
Even on this historic day, I don't think we can imagine the joy that will break out around the world in early November when President Obama is elected.
They already realize that he's different from earlier American politicians for reasons other than the amount of melanin in his skin. This key sentence is from Le Monde's lead editorial, "Barack Hussein Obama," today:
Les électeurs qui lui ont apporté leurs voix dans les primaires, le million et demi de partisans qui ont contribué à sa campagne, dont la moitié avec des dons de 200 dollars (130 euros) ou moins, les responsables du parti qui l'ont soutenu, les médias qui ont rendu compte de son entreprise ont démontré que la démocratie américaine n'est pas vouée à être confisquée par une classe politique étroite, financée par des lobbies et pilotée par des experts de la communication.
Hillary Clinton's victory -- though historic in its own way -- certainly would not have been seen as the same kind of break (or any kind of break) from the powers of "that narrow political elite that's financed by lobbyists and piloted by spin doctors."
The general tenor of the first comments from readers of this editorial is one of praise for the USA and one of wondering how France can learn from us (it's not a tone that's been heard often in the European press during the Bush II regime).
Give the poor guy another Republican tax cut! Stat!
“A year ago, he would have only flown Gulfstreams. [...] Now it’s moving to the point where he’s flying Beech jets and Learjets.”
How many all-knowing made men among America's punditocracy have proclaimed, "Obama needs to get mean," or "Obama needs Hillary's killer instinct"? Maybe Barack Obama just needs his own Dick Cheney, though a Dick Cheney willing to use his genius for good rather than evil.
“This is bullshit, this is malarkey. This is outrageous, for the president of the United States to go to a foreign country, to sit in the Knesset ... and make this kind of ridiculous statement.”
- - Senator Joe Biden, a man who knows malarkey, especially foreign-policy malarkey, when he sees it
What I Lust For: The fashionista in me gravitates towards the portrait of Andre Leon Talley and Lord Snowdon (top, left), both swathed in head-to-toe snow leopard.SNOW LEOPARD?? That's just a little beyond the pale, isn't it?
... with oil prices expected to remain high for years, auto industry executives are seeing a turning point.
“The era of the truck-based large S.U.V.’s is over,” said [not the] Michael Jackson, chief executive of AutoNation, the nation’s largest auto retailer.
Sales of traditional S.U.V.’s are down more than 25 percent this year. In April, for example, sales of G.M.’s Chevrolet Tahoe fell 35 percent.
One of the more nauseating images of the year 2002 is that of our Prime Minister kneeling in the church on Christmas Day praying for peace on earth and good will towards all men while simultaneously preparing to assist in the murder of thousands of totally innocent people in Iraq.
I've been taken to task recently by the American Ambassador to Britain for calling the US Administration a blood thirsty wild animal. All I can say is: take a look at Donald Rumsfeld's face and the case is made.
I believe that not only is this contemplated act criminal, malevolent and barbaric, it also contains within itself a palpable joy in destruction. Power, as has often been remarked, is the great aphrodisiac, and so, it would seem, is the death of others.
The Americans have the ostensible support of the 'international community' through various sure-fire modes of intimidation; bullying, bribery, blackmail and bullshit. The 'international community' becomes a degraded entity bludgeoned into the service of a brutal military force out of control. The most despicable position is that of course of this country which pretends to stand shoulder to shoulder with its great ally while in fact being more of a whipped dog than anyone else. We are demeaned, undermined and dishonoured by our government's contemptible subservience to the United States.
The planned war can only bring about the collapse of what remains of the Iraqi infrastructure, widespread death, mutilation and disease, an estimated one million refugees and escalation of violence throughout the world, but it will still masquerade as a 'moral crusade', a 'just war', a war waged by 'freedom loving democracies', to bring 'democracy' to Iraq.
The stink of the hypocrisy is suffocating.
This is in reality a simple tale of invasion of sovereign territory, military occupation and control of oil.
We have a clear obligation, which is to resist.
If anyone forwards you a video or transcript of an out-of-context Jeremiah Wright sermon, send them the links to the transcript and video of "A More Perfect Union." How much better will this country be if we start to assume that every citizen can read and appreciate a well-reasoned, well-written, and soberly-delivered speech that treats us like adults and partners in running (and improving) this nation?"Like the anger within the black community, these resentments [of the white working and middle class] aren’t always expressed in polite company. But they have helped shape the political landscape for at least a generation. Anger over welfare and affirmative action helped forge the Reagan Coalition. Politicians routinely exploited fears of crime for their own electoral ends. Talk show hosts and conservative commentators built entire careers unmasking bogus claims of racism while dismissing legitimate discussions of racial injustice and inequality as mere political correctness or reverse racism.
"Just as black anger often proved counterproductive, so have these white resentments distracted attention from the real culprits of the middle class squeeze – a corporate culture rife with inside dealing, questionable accounting practices, and short-term greed; a Washington dominated by lobbyists and special interests; economic policies that favor the few over the many. And yet, to wish away the resentments of white Americans, to label them as misguided or even racist, without recognizing they are grounded in legitimate concerns – this too widens the racial divide, and blocks the path to understanding."--Barack Obama
Philadelphia, March 18, 2008
MARTHA RADDATZ (ABC): Two-thirds of Americans say it's not worth fighting.
RICHARD CHENEY (Dick): So?
RADDATZ: So? You don't care what the American people think?
CHENEY: No. I think you cannot be blown off course by the fluctuations in the public opinion polls. There has in fact been fundamental change and transformation and improvement for the better. That's a huge accomplishment.
You can scan through all the diaries for yourself right here, through a link at the Clinton Library.
Here are a few of the Guardian's initial findings from today's data dump:
. . . Clinton has said she helped negotiate the April 1998 Good Friday agreement between warring factions in Northern Ireland. But while Catholic and Protestant figures hashed out last-minute details of a power-sharing agreement in Belfast, Clinton was at the National Press Club in Washington at a party honouring Bella Abzug, a congresswoman from New York City who had died recently. While President
Clinton phoned major participants in the peace talks, she met with Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel and joined a farewell party for Democratic operative Karen Finney. On the day the agreement was actually signed, she met with Philippine first lady Amelita Ramos.
When Nato launched air strikes against Serbia in an attempt to punish Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic for the country's onslaught against ethnic Albanian separatists in Kosovo, Clinton toured ancient Egyptian ruins, including King Tut's tomb and the temple of Hatshepsut. She dined at the Temple of Luxor, and stayed overnight at the Sofitel Winter Palace Hotel there.
On August 20, 1998, Bill Clinton ordered US missile strikes on suspected terrorist sites in Sudan and Afghanistan. The president and Hillary Clinton were on holiday on Martha's Vineyard, a posh island vacation spot off the coast of Massachusetts. After announcing the attack, Clinton cut short his break and returned to Washington to confer with his national security team; Hillary Clinton remained on the Vineyard until August 30, her records show.
But even at key moments when she wasn't absent from the White House, she wasn't necessarily paying attention:
And if you have the patience to dig through piles of redacted government documents at http://www.clintonlibrary.gov/hrcschedules.html, we'd love to hear about any interesting findings in the comments.
On November 15 1995, when President Clinton is said to have begun his affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky, she was in the White House, according to her schedule.
At lunchtime today at work, I thought I would skim the transcript of the prepared text of this speech on the New York Times website . I couldn't skim it. I couldn't skip a word.
But I have asserted a firm conviction - a conviction rooted in my faith in God and my faith in the American people - that working together we can move beyond some of our old racial wounds, and that in fact we have no choice ... we have no choice if we are to continue on the path of a more perfect union.
-- Barack Obama, Philadelphia, 18 March 2008
I can no more disown him [Reverend Wright] than I can disown the black community. I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother - a woman who helped raise me, a woman who sacrificed again and again for me, a woman who loves me as much as she loves anything in this world, but a woman who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe.
These people are a part of me. And they are a part of America, this country that I love.
or, after a very honest and very insightful dissection of the roots of black anger and white anger and resentments, he adds:
But please read the whole thing. I haven't read any commentaries or listened to any reviews yet. I'm sure that Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity and Ann Coulter and hundreds of bloggers are already ranting while I'm raving about these words. I just want to let these words seep in unfiltered by the commentariat and the punditocracy who may see this speech as less Lincolnesque than I do.
The profound mistake of Reverend Wright's sermons is not that he spoke about racism in our society. It's that he spoke as if our society was static; as if no progress has been made; as if this country - a country that has made it possible for one of his own members to run for the highest office in the land and build a coalition of white and black; Latino and Asian, rich and poor, young and old -- is still irrevocably bound to a tragic past. But what we know -- what we have seen - is that America can change. That is the true genius of this nation. What we have already achieved gives us hope - the audacity to hope - for what we can and must achieve tomorrow.
"All of the statements that have been the subject of controversy are ones that I vehemently condemn. They in no way reflect my attitudes and directly contradict my profound love for this country."
"I made it clear at the time that I strongly condemned his comments. But because Rev. Wright was on the verge of retirement, and because of my strong links to the Trinity faith community, where I married my wife and where my daughters were baptized, I did not think it appropriate to leave the church." [emphasis added]
- Between Paoli (one of Philadelphia's westernmost suburbs) and Penn Hills (one of Pittsburgh's easternmost suburbs), Pennsylvania is Alabama without the blacks. They didn't film "The Deerhunter" there for nothing -- the state has the second-highest concentration of NRA members, behind Texas.
- Pennsylvania is Pittsburgh on one end, Philadelphia on the other, and Alabama in between. (Alternate)
- Pennsylvania is Pittsburgh and Philadelphia with Alabama stuffed between them. (Alternate)
- During the 1992 presidential campaign, Democratic political consultant James Carville described Pennsylvania as "Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, with Alabama in between."
- Pennsylvania is "two cities separated by Alabama."
"I must say, I'm a little envious. If I were slightly younger and not employed here, I think it would be a fantastic experience to be on the front lines of helping this young democracy succeed."
"It must be exciting for you ... in some ways romantic, in some ways, you know, confronting danger. You're really making history, and thanks."
--- George W. Bush (quoted here)
. . . the truth is that every morning war is declared anew. Thus those who wish to continue it are as guilty as those who started it, perhaps more so, for the latter may not perhaps have foreseen the full horror of it.
It's time for John Edwards and anyone else with a constituency in the Democratic Party to make a formal endorsement of Barack Obama. Now. They can no longer afford to wait the five and a half weeks until her next "firewall" in Pennsylvania on April 22. The divisive racial politics of her surrogates, and her direct questioning of Barack Obama's credentials, has gone beyond the pale (it's not Barack's fault that he didn't have the "experience" of being married to a President for eight years, privy to all [well, almost all] the President's secrets).
"I think that since we now know Sen. McCain will be the nominee for the Republican Party, national security will be front and center in this election. We all know that. And I think it’s imperative that each of us be able to demonstrate we can cross the commander-in-chief threshold,” the New York senator told reporters crowded into an infant’s bedroom-sized hotel conference room in Washington.
“I believe that I’ve done that. Certainly, Sen. McCain has done that and you’ll have to ask Sen. Obama with respect to his candidacy,” she said. [read more here]
“If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position . . . And if he was a woman (of any color) he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky to be who he is. And the country is caught up in the concept."
--Geraldine Ferraro, March 7, 2008 interview with Torrance, CA Daily Breeze)
As a member of Hillary's finance committee, is she speaking for the campaign? Should she be forced out for driving this racial wedge within the Democratic party? Will she be? As ridiculous as this quote is, the line in the interview that leads into it is possibly more absurd:
The myth of the mainstream media bias against Hillary is the biggest of the big lies out there at the moment. Just take a look at the absolute middle of the mainstream media: Time Magazine. On their website today for the March 17 issue on the newstands now, we see a happy clapping Hillary Clinton, "The Fighter," on the cover. The first five featured articles on the site have a decidedly pro-Hillary slant:
"I think what America feels about a woman becoming president takes a very secondary place to Obama's campaign - to a kind of campaign that it would be hard for anyone to run against," she said. "For one thing, you have the press, which has been uniquely hard on her. It's been a very sexist media. Some just don't like her. The others have gotten caught up in the Obama campaign." [emphasis added]
Ready to Rumble (The Well / Cover Story) Hillary Clinton has rescued her campaign by getting a lot rougher on Barack Obama. But Democrats worry: How much collateral damage will be done before it is over?
Clinton: One Day at a Time (The Well / Cover Story) On the day after her Ohio and Texas victories, TIME managing editor Rick Stengel caught up with Hillary Clinton to talk about the challenges ahead
The Long Way Home (The Well / Campaign '08 Obama) Barack Obama says he's "got game," but he'll need all his moves to stay ahead of Clinton
Obama: Still Confident (The Well / TIME Interview) In an interview with TIME's Jay Newton-Small, Obama talks about Hillary Clinton, double-standards, talking tough and going negative
The Race Goes On (In The Arena) By focusing on national security--and laughing at herself--Clinton managed to stay alive. Now it's up to Obama to prove he's not just another politician
It's easy to imagine from this cover and these article summaries that Hillary Clinton had just taken the lead (she hadn't) or at least narrowed the delegate gap (nope). You would never guess that the real story were those insurmountable Clinton leads in her safe firewall states of Texas and Ohio that were almost blown (until she pulled out the fear commercial and NAFTA lies). The real story was the way the media ignored 11 straight lopsided Clinton losses leading up to Ohio. If Obama had suffered 11 straight losses, the media would have been calling for him to step aside "for the good of the party" after loss number 5 or 6. But then again, Barack Obama was never their favorite. He was not nominated by the mainstream media before the first vote was even cast in Iowa. Hillary was. Hillary and Rudy (remember Rudy?) were on their way to the Democratic and Republican nominations without a serious challenge. Or so they told us. Those same media outlets are now having trouble coming to terms with the fact that the Clinton (right) wing of the Democratic Party is now well on its way to becoming the fringe rather than the center of the party.
But if a member of Barack Obama's finance committee were to say, "If Hillary weren't married to a President, she would not be in this position," how quickly would the media be calling for that sexist spokesperson's head? "And if she were a man (of any color) she would not be in this position. She happens to be very lucky to be who she is." (And so was Geraldine Ferraro.)
But when I saw Eliot Spitzer's obligatory and stereotypically-weaselly public statement in print, I couldn't help thinking of similar appearances by another recent Democratic Chief Executive (no, not Jim McGreevey) and that Hillary Clinton will be seen sympathetically once again as the strong wronged spouse. I wouldn't be surprised to see her national numbers take a small quick uptick in the next few days.
“I have acted in a way that violates my obligation to my family and violates my or any sense of right or wrong. I apologize first and most importantly to my family. I apologize to the public to whom I promised better.
“I have disappointed and failed to live up to the standard I expected of myself. I must now dedicate some time to regain the trust of my family.”
--Eliot "Client 9" Spitzer, 10 March 2008
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