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Cindy Sheehan's Office Attacked

Posted by libhom Friday, October 31, 2008 3 comments

The effort to stop Cindy Sheehan's campaign just got even dirtier. From KPIX in San Francisco (NBC) 10/30/08:

Cindy Sheehan SF Campaign Office Attacked
SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) ― The storefront of congressional candidate Cindy Sheehan's campaign office in San Francisco was broken early Thursday morning and a laptop was reportedly taken, according to Sheehan's campaign office.

Police responded to the office at Mission Street between Eighth and Ninth streets just before 4 a.m. Thursday because a passerby called in a report of a broken window, police Sgt. Lyn Tomioka said.

People working for the campaign office saw the storefront on their way in around 8 a.m. and called police only to find out a report had already been filed, a campaign spokeswoman said.

"We feel like certainly it's a possibility that we were targeted," campaign spokeswoman Tiffany Burns said.

Burns said the only thing missing from the office was a Dell Inspiron 7120 laptop.

The office temporarily replaced the glass and did not close, she said.

Any reasonable person would have to admit that Nancy Pelosi and her people are among the most logical suspects if you are looking at who is behind this.

Thanks to Christopher from From the Left for letting me know about this. (As of writing this posting, he hasn't blogged on it. He left a note in the comments of a previous posting here.)

 

If every Democrat was like Kucinich, the Democrats already would have a filibuster proof majority in the Senate. I hope he runs for Senate in the future.



You can visit his campaign website at Kucinich.US.

 

The Weirdest Thing About Bush's "Axis of Evil"

Posted by libhom Thursday, October 30, 2008 2 comments

Al Qaeda wasn't in it.

At the time, I was too buy laughing at the notion that fundamentalist Iran and Arab nationalist Iraq under Saddam Hussein were allies.

Still, why was Al Qaeda left out?

 

The "Keating Five" McCain campaign has been so desperate to smear Obama rather than give people reasons to vote for their candidate. This desperation has gotten so intense that they have people saying that Barack Obama is a "radical Muslim" in one statement and that Obama is a "Marxist" in another.

Oops!

Now, it would be difficult to be a true Marxist and embrace any religion. However, one might note that Marxism has become less pure over the centuries and that it can be possible, though internally inconsistent, to be a religious Marxist. These days, there are even Marxist nationalists, despite Marx's contempt for nationalism. Many have adopted a "cafeteria Marxism" similar to "cafeteria Catholicism" that leaves power mad, rightist Catholics like Joseph Ratzinger in a tizzy.

However, Radical Islam is a religious belief that tolerates no impurities. To be an Islamic fundamentalist, you have to reject all philosophies that threaten Islam, including Marxism, which is based on the view that religion is the "opiate of the masses." (Being a non-Marxist atheist, I can note that the rich are far from immune to religion's opiate effects.)

This is a basic difference between an political/economic doctrine like Marxism or objectivism and a fundamentalist religion. You don't go to Hell if you think that Marx got point 20,320 wrong. If you think that Mohammed got point 923,901 slightly off, you burn forever in the fundie mindset.

Personally, I'm voting McKinney because I'm a liberal and Obama agrees with McCain on more issues than he agrees with liberals. However, I think people who support all candidates need to fight the ignorance and stupidity that pollutes our politics and our culture.

 

Famous Queers Support Sheehan Over Pelosi

Posted by libhom Wednesday, October 29, 2008 7 comments

There are so many reasons for queers to support Cindy Sheehan over Nancy Pelosi.

Nancy Pelosi always has been a vicious heterosexist bigot. In 1986, she queer baited openly gay Supervisor Harry Britt to get into Congress for the first time. The now defunct Waxman/Berman political machine asked her to run and threw their considerable political weight behind her because they were determined to make sure that San Francisco did not have an openly gay man representing the city in Congress.

Pelosi had no experience in elected office and no involvement in any kind of grassroots activism whatsoever. She did have a lot of experience as a Democratic Party fundraiser. Her view of politics primarily as fundraising explains part of why Pelosi has supported the Bush agenda as House Speaker.

Pelosi's heterosexist attacks on the queer community did not stop in the 1980's. They have intensified as House Speaker. Most queers know that she got gender identity taken out of the Employment Non Discrimination Act (ENDA).

Some queers know that taking gender identity out, in addition to being a cruel injustice to transgender queers, provides a legal loophole that corporate lawyers can use to deny justice to lesbian, gay, and bisexual people. Corporate lawyers can argue that the victim of sexual orientation was really discriminated against because of non normative gender behavior. Never mind that gender roles are so sweeping and self-contradictory that even heterosexuals can't help but violate them from time to time.

Very few queers know that Pelosi pushed through other loopholes in ENDA which would have made it even more difficult for queers to get justice from discrimination. Pelosi did this in a year when she knew that Bush would not sign ENDA. That heterosexist is determined, if not obsessed, with making sure any ENDA bill that would reach the desk of a Democratic president would be completely toothless.

Of course if sabotaging the content of the bill doesn't work, she can always try the approach that she has used with hate crimes laws to block ENDA: deception and manipulation. The hate crimes law that the House considered during Pelosi's reign was not the one you probably think it might be. It does not add sexual orientation, gender identity, sex, and disability to federal hate crimes law. It is a bill with a small amount of funding to localities to fight hate crimes. That would be a bit better than nothing, but would do absolutely nothing to protect queers who live in or travel to parts of the country which don't have queer inclusive hate crimes laws.

However, it wasn't just that Pelosi pushed the weakest bill that could be called a hate crimes act. She also used parliamentary maneuvering to make sure that never reached Bush's desk. Her strategy to screw us over was to attach it to a defense authorization bill when it was voted on by the House and the Senate and then to have hate crimes funding stripped out in Conference Committee. Now, do you see why queer activists should be concerned that Pelosi might use parliamentary games to scuttle ENDA?

Pelosi's approach to AIDS issues was always to do the politically acceptable minimum, despite the fact that so many of her constituents have died and continue to die of AIDS. She is so AIDSphobic and bought by the big drug companies that she actually refused to sponsor or even support the AIDS Cure Act, which would have created a Manhattan Project to cure AIDS. As House Speaker, Pelosi also has fought to keep funding for "abstinence only" scams instead of fighting to redirect the money to AIDS prevention programs.

Well-informed queers would never support Pelosi because of her history and present attacks against queers and People with AIDS. Yet, the queer press is largely a corporate press. So, most queers have no idea about Pelosi, past or present. Anyway, here is a press release from the Sheehan campaign announcing that four famous queers are supporting her against the de facto Republican, Nancy Pelosi. The 10/27/08 press release also goes into detail about Ms. Sheehan's positions on queer issues.

Celebrated LGBTQ Rights Activists and Entertainers Endorse Cindy Sheehan

Sheehan urges Californians to Vote No on Proposition 8 in November

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Cindy Sheehan, a candidate for Congress in California's 8th Congressional District race, announced she has received the endorsements of key figures in the LGBTQ community, including Rosie O'Donnell, Melissa & Tammy Etheridge, and Gore Vidal.

O'Donnell, the Etheridges and Vidal cited Sheehan's passionate commitment to equal protections and freedoms for the LGBT community as reasons why they are supporting Sheehan's candidacy. "Politics are about people," said Melissa Etheridge. "When citizens become empowered and realize that democracy is there to work for them, incredible change can happen. Cindy Sheehan knows that the old guard in Washington is fear-based and needs to change. She is walking her talk and running for office. Tammy
and I believe in her convictions and support her."

Sheehan's campaign has consistently advocated for the defeat of California's Proposition 8 among other policy issues that impact the LGBT community, including:

-- The immediate repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA);

-- The expansion of federal benefits and protections for civil unions;

-- Passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which ensures that no employee can be discriminated against because of sexual orientation or gender identity;

-- The elimination of the U.S. military's shameful "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. The policy forces the brave men and women fighting for America to hide who they are;

-- And passage of the Matthew Shepard Act, which expands the federal hate crimes law to include acts of crime and violence motivated by the victim's sexual orientation and gender identity, whether real or perceived.

"I am truly honored to have the support and confidence of these brilliant community leaders," said Sheehan. "If elected, I will advocate tirelessly to expand freedoms for the LGBTQ community and against any measure that eliminates those freedoms."

Support Sheehan Now!

www.cindyforcongress.org


 


Image: earthpro

Telemarketing employees tend to be the most economically vulnerable people. When they refuse to read a script because it is too dishonest and sleazy, you know the script was really, really bad.

From TPM Election Central (Hat tip to Ten Percent)

Dozens Of Call Center Workers Walk Off Job In Protest Rather Than Read McCain Script Attacking Obama
By Greg Sargent - October 27, 2008, 5:18PM

Some three dozen workers at a telemarketing call center in Indiana walked off the job rather than read an incendiary McCain campaign script attacking Barack Obama, according to two workers at the center and one of their parents.

Nina Williams, a stay-at-home mom in Lake County, Indiana, tells us that her daughter recently called her from her job at the center, upset that she had been asked to read a script attacking Obama for being "dangerously weak on crime," "coddling criminals," and for voting against "protecting children from danger."

Williams' daughter told her that up to 40 of her co-workers had refused to read the script, and had left the call center after supervisors told them that they would have to either read the call or leave, Williams says. The call center is called Americall, and it's located in Hobart, IN.

"They walked out," Williams says of her daughter and her co-workers, adding that they weren't fired but willingly sacrificed pay rather than read the lines. "They were told [by supervisors], `If you all leave, you're not gonna get paid for the rest of the day."

The daughter, who wanted her name withheld fearing retribution from her employer, confirmed the story to us. "It was like at least 40 people," the daughter said. "People thought the script was nasty and they didn't wanna read it."

A second worker at the call center confirmed the episode, saying that "at least 30" workers had walked out after refusing to read the script.

"We were asked to read something saying [Obama and Democrats] were against protecting children from danger," this worker said. "I wouldn't do it. A lot of people left. They thought it was disgusting."

This worker, too, confirmed sacrificing pay to walk out, saying her supervisor told her: "If you don't wanna phone it you can just go home for the day."

The script coincided with this robo-slime call running in other states, but because robocalling is illegal in Indiana it was being read by call center workers.

Representatives at Americall in Indiana, and at the company's corporate headquarters in Naperville, Illinois, didn't return calls for comment.

This shows the utter contempt that the GOP and "Keating Five" McCain have for the voters. I suspect that the voters have caught on that their intelligence is being insulted for political gain. That is part of why McSlime is so far behind.

 

Maddow Confronts Palin's Lying

Posted by libhom Monday, October 27, 2008 8 comments

I'm a big fan of Rachel Maddow, going back from her "Unfiltered" days on Air America. I even have an autographed picture of her.



Hat tip to Genocide for Jesus.

Palin's violations of Alaska's ethics laws really should lead to her resignation as governor of that state.

 

On February 9, 2008 I said that it looked like Obama would win the Democratic nomination. Given the Clinton/Obama tie on Super Tuesday, what should have been Clinton's best day, I didn't see how Clinton could win.

Now, I'm going to take an even smaller risk by projecting that Barack Obama will win the 2008 election. I'm fairly certain also, that Obama will win by a big enough margin that even massive election fraud like the GOP committed in 2004 will not be able to overturn the results of the election.

Here are the factors that have led me to that conclusion.

National Polls
Obama leads in all the polls listed today on PollingReport.com. This pattern has held up for quite a while.

Statewide Polls
In my previous posting, I mentioned that "Keating Five" McCain is even seeing his lead shrink in Arizona, his home state which most projections show as safely GOP. This follows a pattern of McCain having varying degress of trouble in several formerly red states such as West Virginia, North Dakota, Montana, Indiana, Georgia, and North Carolina. Obama has solid leads in Iowa, New Mexico, Colorado, and Virginia. Obama could win without either Ohio or Florida, both of which are up for grabs too.

Here are the latest electoral vote counts from two sources that include leaning states in their counts.

ElectoralVote.com - Obama: 375 McCain: 157 Ties: 6

Wikipedia - Obama: 352 McCain: 172 Ties: 14

More cautious sources consistently have Obama over the 270 electoral votes needed to win with plenty of electoral votes in the toss up categories. I should point out that pollsters say they are taking cell phone only voters (who favor Obama) into account properly, but I'm skeptical.

Money
Obama has a huge lead in money going into the final part of the campaign. Obama's Internet fundraising lead also provides him a cushion. If McCain starts to surge back in the polls, literally millions of panicked Obama supporters will give more money.

Early Voting Favoring Obama
In states such as Ohio and Florida where minority neighborhoods have had insufficient polling places and machines, early voting inherently favors Obama by counteracting the GOP's most potent form of voter suppression. There are other indications that early voting is helping Obama, aside from the fact that the GOP tried to block it in court in Ohio. From the Los Angeles Times 10/25/08:

Reporting from Washington -- Record numbers of voters across the nation are casting ballots before election day, including high proportions of Democrats and African Americans in some of the battleground states in what appears to be a promising sign for Barack Obama.

In the 32 states that allow people to vote before Nov. 4 without a special excuse, election officials report heavy turnout as the presidential campaign reaches its frenzied last days. That's not surprising in a campaign that has received round-the-clock attention. But it also reflects the intensive efforts of campaigns competing to bank votes before election day.

A Declining Economy
If you have been living in a cave or something, I should tell you that the stock markets have crashed globally. Snark aside, we seem to be entering the second phase of the economic crises, with stocks declining now primarily due to expectations of a global recession led by the US. Peoples' retirements are in serious trouble, and the likelihood of a deeper recession hurts McCain, who spent the primary season trying to make himself sound like the second splatting of Bush. Additionally, polls don't take into account the declines in the stock market and the general US economy over the next week because nobody knows how much worse it is going to get.

The AWOL Rapture
The failure of the much anticipated Rapture to appear in the time around the year 2000 has reduced the fervor of the Christian Right, fervor which keeps declining. I've yet to read about any pollster modifying estimations of "likely voters" to take into account that fewer Christian fundamentalists will be participating than in previous years. The dismal failure of the administration of a fundie like Bush can't be helping to energize the flock much either.

Newspaper Endorsements

I've always been amazed how much newspaper endorsements influence undecided voters. Here's the count from Editor and Publisher as of this weekend.

Obama over McCain by 160-59

Adding insult and injury, Sarah Palin's home state's biggest paper, the Anchorage Daily News, endorsed Obama yesterday.

Grassroots Organization
I thought I'd be ornery and include one of the most important factors at the end. Barack Obama has been the first presidential candidate since I can remember to recognize the importance of grassroots organizing, much less pull it off. It will be interesting to see how much of Obama's own grassroots machine will stay intact after the election is over.

Independent organizing on Obama behalf by MoveOn.org and other centrist and progressive organizations is finally comparable to that of the Christian Taliban. This provides a critical area where Obama leads Oscar the Grouch.

 

If Arizona was not "Keating Five" McCain's home state, one would expect it to be hotly contested. It is sandwiched between California, solidly Democratic, and New Mexico which is been leaning Obama in this campaign.

It looks like Arizona is a swing state now in spite of it being John McCain's home state.


From the Arizona Daily Star (hat tip Pollster.com):

"It's not just here, look at the entire intermountain West," said Arizona State University political pollster Bruce Merrill. "New Mexico, Nevada, the whole West has moved significantly from strong red to purple."

A statewide poll taken by Tucson-based Democratic pollsters Carol and Pete Zimmerman two weeks out from the election suggests McCain's lead over Obama falls within the margin of error: 43.5 percent to 41.5 percent, with 10 percent of likely Arizona voters undecided.

Merrill is conducting a similar poll this weekend and predicts that the economic downturn will have narrowed McCain's advantage from the 8-percentage-point lead he enjoyed in a previous poll.

That isn't the only Arizona poll which shows McCain has problems there. From PolitickerAZ.com:
"Importantly, this survey represents a dramatic shift from our last survey in mid-September wherein McCain then led Obama by 14-points, 40 to 54 percent," reads the memo from Andrew Myers and Lisa Grove.

Their firms, Myers Research and Grove Insight, conducted the poll on behalf of Project New West, the Denver-based Democratic strategy group, and included 600 likely voters. The margin of error was plus-or-minus 4 points.

The poll finds that the contest "is an absolute dead heat" among early voters, with Obama edging McCain 47 to 46 percent. According to the results, 34 percent have already cast their ballot through early voting. Among those who haven't voted yet, McCain is up over Obama 49 to 42 percent.

These are Democratic pollsters, so some caution should be taken. However, even if their margins are off a few points, Arizona does appear to be in reach for Obama.

Somebody could accurately point out that Gore won in 2000 without winning his home state, but the electoral college math already strongly disfavors "Keating Five" McCain. He doesn't need to be fighting for his home state at this point.

 

Here are some of the ways that Pelosi has supported Bush policies.

- Keeping impeachment hearings from taking place

- Funding the Iraq War

- Pushing through the bailout

- Sabotaging ENDA, the most heavily publcized aspect of which was the exclusion of gender identity

- Sabotaging hate crimes legislation

- Pushing through corporate controlled trade agreements

- Withdrawing a resolution condemning the Armenian genocide

- Supporting the Bush "stimulus package" which did nothing to stimulate the economy, but which gave rich people more money they could use to inflate the stock market before the crash

Please Support Cindy Sheehan!

 

Cindy Sheehan's Campaign Against the Bush/Pelosi Bailout

Posted by libhom Saturday, October 25, 2008 3 comments

The ad is great. Check it out.



If you like the ad, you can help Ms. Sheehan put this ad on the air in San Francisco.

Update: The corrupt Democratic Party establishment is sabotaging Ms. Sheehan's campaign. For full details, go to the Daily Newscaster posting. Here is a rather blatant example:

Sheehan then received a jury summons for jury duty for the week of the election.


 

Sign that says Bailout the People, Not the Banks
A lot of centrists would agree with the sentiment on this sign.

Yesterday's protest was put together by the Ad Hoc National Network to Stop Foreclosures and Evictions. This shows that some people are fighting to bail out the rest of Americans, not just the super rich.

The listing of demands from the flyer was notable for being more substantive than utopian. The greater power and participation by the poor and people of color has been having a grounding effect on the American left.

IT’S TIME FOR THE GOVT TO DECLARE THAT PEOPLE ARE IN AN ECONOMIC STATE OF EMERGENCY AND GIVE DIRECT HELP TO THE PEOPLE--NOT BANKS INCLUDING:

• An Emergency moratorium on home foreclosures, evictions, job layoffs, & utility shut-offs

• Extend unemployment benefits

• No budget cuts in education, healthcare & all social services

• Debt relief for students, poor and working people

• Insure public & private pensions

• Jobs at a living wage

I personally find it fascinating that they have proposed an economic stimulus package that is far more suited to our current situation than the ones proposed by the Bush regime and Phonycrats like Pelosi and Reid. During our current deep recession, FDR style proposals are precisely what we need.

A particularly productive way to provide the living wage jobs would be to start a public works program focussed on expanding rail public transportation and to rebuilding our nation's crumbling bridges. This would fight global warming. It also would promote long term economic growth while providing immediate economic relief.

While I don't always agree with the far left, I do recognize that the extreme right has been governing our country ever since 1981, with disastrous effects. America desperately needs a far left to balance out the right.

An interesting aspect of our situation is that unregulated capitalism has been discredited in the present, not in a history book that most Americans didn't bother to read. Many people are going to be looking for alternatives to what we have now. If liberals don't become more assertive in pushing our agenda (and if conservatives don't start making lots of concessions), the far left may go far.

 

Libertarian and objectivist ideologies have pretty much dictated US policies on the financial markets during the past decade and a half. This is one of the two main causes of the crash of 2008, the other being the Iraq War.

The crash of 1929 proved that libertarianism is wrong. All you have to do is to learn about US history to see that libertarianism is intellectually bankrupt. Libertarianism is the Lehman Brothers of political ideologies.

Dismally failed former Federal Reserve Chief Alan Greenspan is a Randroid who applied libertarian and objectivist ideology to the Federal Reserve and successfully pressured the politicians into going along. This quote from Greenspan's testimony alone shows how far the objectivist mind is divorced from reality.

As I wrote last March: those of us who have looked to the self-interest of lending institutions to protect shareholder’s equity (myself especially) are in a state of shocked disbelief. Such counterparty surveillance is a central pillar of our financial markets’ state of balance. If it fails, as occurred this year, market stability is undermined.

Any rational person who has read an American history book would know how dangerous it is to depend on disreputable people like bankers and brokers to police themselves.

Logically speaking, the Ayn Rand Institute and the Libertarian Party really should fold up their tents and fade into obscurity, their leaders pretending that they never had anything to do with idiocy that was disproven long before they were born. Yet, the Randroids are trying to spin the current situation, forcing facts and inventing fallacies to rationalize their failures rather than giving up like sane and sensible people would. The Libertarians are pretty much trying to pretend that nothing has happened in the past few months and that everything is hunky dory for their world view.

 

Is "Keating Five" McCain Deliberately Trying to Lose?

Posted by libhom Tuesday, October 21, 2008 6 comments

No, the title of this posting is not a joke. There are serious reasons to think that there is something more going on than incompetence in the McCain campaign.

The most recent oddity is the McCain campaign's bizarre claims that a center-right Democrat like Obama is a socialist. When I first heard this stuff, a question popped into my mind. Is McCain running against Obama or does he think he is running against Eugene V. Debs? You might say that McCain knows he will lose, so he will feed as much red meat to the GOP base to build turnout and try to protect as many GOP House and Senate seats as possible. In any case, this will just sound weird to most undecided voters.

Click for www.electoral-vote.com

If this were the only bit of strangeness, I would have left it at that. But, where he has chosen to campaign has been really bonkers. Why have I seen McCain and Palin spending so much time in New Hampshire, which only has four electoral votes and was pretty much a lock for Obama anyway? On the cable news, I've seen more appearances of theirs in NH than in any one of the following states: CO, VA, MN, or MO.

That is weird.

New Hampshire graphic
The center of McCain's political universe.

The McCain campaign's fascination with Iowa is pretty out there too. McCain shunned Iowa during the caucuses. That alone would give McCain a huge disadvantage against any Democrat, considering how much Iowans zealously assert and protect their privileged status in the presidential nomination process. Add the fact that Obama built and maintained a huge grassroots network in the state, and you have solid Obama territory.

The focus on Pennsylvania as McCain's last hope is just plain goofy. Republicans went on and on about winning there in 2000 and 2004, but they lost there both times. Given how bad the economy is, a Bush lover like McCain should have punted there and focused elsewhere. Yet, this is where McCain is going apeshit? Even if he somehow managed to pull off an amazing upset in Pennsylvania, the time and money spent will cost him other states whose combined electoral votes will be considerably more than the 21 that Pennsylvania might remotely offer McCain.

McCain's demeanor during his campaign appearances is not that of someone who is determined to be president. His speeches seem phoned in. When Republicans are nice to him, he seems to be happy and relieved, but his speeches are lifeless. McCain's debate performance was incredibly far from presidential in a year where people are incredibly worried about themselves, their families, their friends, and their country.

When the strongest quote the corporate media could find to promote McCain was, "I am not President Bush," you know that McCain and his speechwriters are slacking big time.

Palin with a deranged looking smile Then, there is the whole Palin thing. Why would McCain pick a governor who was under investigation by a legislature run by the GOP? Republicans almost never seriously investigate other Republicans. This should have set off major alarm bells. Also, it is difficult to imagine that any remotely competent political consultants wouldn't have vetted Ms. Palin enough to know that she has supported independence for Alaska. (Photo at right by triciaward)

It would be easy to understand why McCain would want to let somebody else be president at this point. McCain has staked his political reputation on continuing the Iraq War indefinitely. Yet, it will be nearly impossible to get our economy going well at all, much less for the majority of Americans who have faced bad times since 2000, unless we stop wasting borrowed money on that same war.

Republican policies on deregulation and global warming also pose huge economic threats to this country. (McCain differs with Bush significantly on global warming rhetoric, but only marginally on global warming policy.) McCain should know that encouraging drilling on our coasts won't make jack difference in oil prices and that one large oil spill in Florida or California could send shockwaves through our already devastated economy.

Also, let's be real. McCain is very old. The demands of the presidency take an enormous toll even during the best of times. These are far from the best of times. Maybe McCain has realized that being president, especially now, is beyond his capacity of endurance.

It really looks like McCain is punting the whole thing to Obama, hoping that Obama will be the Hoover our country may be stuck with rather than him. Obama will need to be much more like FDR if he hopes to be reelected in 2012.

 

From an October 19, 2008 email from A.N.S.W.E.R.:

Mass Actions on the 6th Anniversary of the Iraq War -- March 21, 2009
Bring All the Troops Home Now -- End All Colonial Occupations!
Fund People's Needs, Not Militarism & Bank Bailouts!

Marking the sixth anniversary of the criminal invasion of Iraq, thousands will take to the streets of Washington D.C. and other cities across the U.S. and around the world in March 2009 to say, “Bring the Troops Home NOW!” We will also demand “End Colonial Occupation in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine and Everywhere,” and “Fund Peoples’ Needs Not Militarism and Bank Bailouts.” We also insist on an end to the war threats and economic sanctions against Iran.

The ANSWER Coalition (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) is organizing for unified mass marches and rallies in Washington DC, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Miami and other cities on Saturday, March 21, 2009. Months ago we obtained permits for sixth anniversary demonstrations. ANSWER has been actively involved with other coalitions, organizations, and networks to organize unified anti-war demonstrations in the spring of 2009. ANSWER participated in the National Assembly to End the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars and Occupations that was held in Cleveland, Ohio on June 28th-29th and attended by 450 people, including many national and local anti-war coalitions. The National Assembly gathering agreed to promote national, unified anti-war demonstrations in the Spring of 2009.

The war in Iraq has killed, wounded or displaced nearly a third of Iraq’s 26 million people. Thousands of U.S. soldiers have been killed and hundreds of thousands more have suffered severe physical and psychological wounds. The cost of the war is now running at $700 million dollars per day, over $7,000 per second. The U.S. leaders who have initiated and conducted this criminal war should be tried and jailed for war crimes.

The war in Afghanistan is expanding, and both the Democratic and Republican presidential candidates and Congressional leaders have promised to send in more troops. Both have promised to increase the size of the U. S. military. Both have promised to increase military aid to Israel to continue its oppression of the Palestinian people, including the denial of the right of return.

While millions of families are losing their homes, jobs and healthcare, the real military budget next year will top one trillion dollars, $1,000,000,000,000. If used to meet people’s needs, that amount could create 10 million new jobs at $60,000 per year, provide healthcare for everyone who does not have it now, rebuild New Orleans and repair much of the damage done in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Federal bailouts of the biggest banks and investors many of whom have also made billions in profits from militarism, are already up to an astounding $2.5 trillion this year. None of that money is earmarked for keeping millions of foreclosed and evicted families in their homes.

Coming just two months after the inauguration of the next president, March 21, 2009 will be a critical opportunity to let the new administration in Washington hear the voice of the people demanding justice.

I suspect other anti-war groups will be planning protests around that time too.

 

Fascist Queer Makes Empty Threats

Posted by libhom Sunday, October 19, 2008 6 comments

If you are unfamiliar with Dale Carpenter, he is a extreme right Republican who also is gay. He has gotten a lot of attention over the years by attacking and sabotaging the GLBT movement while pretend to fight for it. This year, some of us in the queer community have started fighting back against homohating queers like Carpenter who promote discrimination and violence against us by supporting the GOP and its most hateful candidates.

Some of us have deleted our Manhunt profiles in response to the revelation that one of the owners has been attacking and endangering us by supporting the Republican Party for years. Some activists have outed Mark Buse, chief of staff of viciously heterosexist Senator John "Keating Five" McCain.

Now, Carpenter has decided to throw a tantrum because people aren't going along with his bullshit anymore. (Hat tip to Wayne Besen.) Carpenter's exercise in narcissism had the ironic title, "Goodbye to the GLBT Movement."

A heterosexual supremacist like Carpenter provides the reader with some fine whine. (The bolding is mine to help illustrate a point farther down.)

Time and again gay conservatives have been called self-hating, treasonous, and selfish. It’s the worst vitriol against gay conservatives I’ve seen in fifteen years in this movement.

The co-founder of Manhunt was forced to resign from the company's Board of Directors because he dared to make a campaign contribution to John McCain, which started talk of a boycott against the company. People are free to boycott companies if they want to, but the fact that supporting McCain was seen as worthy of a boycott is deeply disturbing. The GLBT movement does not tolerate such dissent. What’s next, banning conservative columnists from gay newspapers?

The criticism of racist, misogynistic, heterosexual supremacist, AIDSphobic, and Christian supremacist bigots is dissent in the queer press, given how advertiser driven it is. It is dissent in self-loathing organizations like the Human Rights Campaign who have become so dependent on wealthy Republicans donors that they are too afraid to challenge GOP heterosexism in a substantial manner. Our movement has been hijacked by far right bigots like Carpenter, and they actually think they are entitled to their vastly disproportionate power.

They have got to be kidding.

I should note that Carpenter is employing a rhetorical ploy that originated with the Ku Klux Klan and was adopted later by other Christian Right hate groups. Carpenter actually is saying that it is intolerant to speak out against intolerance. Given that the GOP shares the same values as these hate groups, I'm hardly surprised that a fanatical Republican like Carpenter is using these tactics. However, it is important to point out the bullshit tactics that the extreme right uses to manipulate political discourse.

Carpenter always avoids a central fact that undermines his case. There is literally no way to support the GOP without promoting discrimination, violence, and death against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. Carpenter's support for the GOP makes him share personal responsibility for every heterosexist hate crime, for all instances where people are fired or passed over for promotions because they are queer, and for every time a young person is thrown out of her or his home by heterosexist parents who decide to hate their own child for being queer. Carpenter's support for the Republican Party also makes him personally responsible for the overwhelming majority of AIDS deaths in this country. This is equally true of every Republican. These are unpleasant facts, but they are facts we really need to face as a queer community.

Carpenter also wants to exclude transgender queers from a movement they have participated in long before Carpenter started working against it.
True, we share same-sex attraction. But even that has been diluted with the addition of transgendered causes. Indeed, the insistence of movement leaders on “T” inclusion even at the cost of passing pro-gay legislation has only highlighted major conceptual differences between gay conservatives and leftists about what exactly we’re fighting for.

Carpenter also shows his contempt for women. Opposing the fundamental right of women to choose on abortion is misogynistic. Also, Carpenter's position is hypocritical, given that he thinks gay, white, Christian men should fight only for themselves and everyone else can basically fuck themselves.
The gay left supports abortion and believes it is intimately tied to gay rights. Gay conservatives either oppose it or think it is simply not a gay issue.

A decent, honorable human being would support civil rights for everyone, rather than demand them exclusively for himself or herself.

Carpenter also inspires some hardy belly laughs by threatening to leave a movement he has been working to undermine and sabotage for years.
It is time for gay conservatives to declare independence from the GLBT movement. We’ll still make common cause at times. Gay conservatives will continue to fight government-sponsored discrimination.

Actually, they will continue to promote government sponsored discrimination by supporting the GOP and heterosexist candidates while launching shrill attacks against anyone who actually fights for queer liberation.

In the end, I suspect that this whole whineathon is an empty threat. Carpenter gets a lot of chances to work for his potpourri or prejudices by pretending to be part of the LGBT movement. I doubt that he will give it up just because he is getting some long overdue criticism for his reprehensible behavior.

I should also note that the name of the website that Carpenter posts on, "The Independent Gay Forum," is misleading. That certainly is not a site for political independents. It is a site for rabidly partisan Republicans who are on the extreme ideological right wing of the country, not just the queer community.

This is another common rightist distortion. They create misleading organizations among oppressed communities in our society, all called "independent." Never mind that these organizations are run by and participated in by people who are completely ideologically dependent on the views of people who have taught them to despise themselves merely for being who they naturally are.

 

Electoral vote counts seem to be the Internet flavor of the month. Some, like CNN, consider states tossups if things are even close. Others, like electoral-vote.com, give counts based on where states are leaning.

Wikipedia is the most volatile, basing their projections on the latest poll for each state only. They also happen to have the most in depth state polling info I've seen yet on one site, and the polling data appears to be updated the most rapidly.

The problem is that, even so, some of the polling data is getting kind of old. From Wikipedia, you can learn about the freshness of the polling data for the following states.

Arkansas (6)
Rasmussen Reports - September 22: Barack Obama 42% John McCain 51%

Kentucky (8)
Rasmussen Reports - September 30: Barack Obama 42% John McCain 52%

South Dakota (3)
American Research Group - September 19-21: Barack Obama 39% John McCain 55% Other 1%

Another state where polling might be stale is Alaska, where the most recent survey was before Palin was found guilty of ethics violations.

Rasmussen Reports - October 6: Barack Obama 40% John McCain 55%

If the polling in these states were more recent, one could have more confidence in the idea that these states are strongly for "Keating Five" McCain. However, the mood of the country has shifted further from supporting the GOP since Wall St. started to tank. If these states have tightened up, McCain may be in even deeper trouble than the corporate media are letting on.

 

"Focus on the Family" Should Not Be in the Radio Hall of Fame

Posted by libhom Wednesday, October 15, 2008 7 comments

The largest and most influential Christian Right hate group, "Focus on the Family," and their vicious founder, James Dobson, are scheduled to be inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in early November. No, I'm not making this up, as crazy as it is. People who are familiar with FOTF know that they stand for hatred and bigotry against the following groups of people:

- Women

- Queers

- Non-whites

- Anyone who is not a militant, Christian fundamentalist

Yet, the people who run the Radio Hall of Fame actually are honoring those venomous bigots. They should be ashamed of themselves. By doing this, they have sent a message that the overwhelming majority of Americans are not welcome in their joke of a museum.

Wayne Besen is running a moving video on his blog with a personal story of how the FOTF's heterosexist bigotry tore a young man's family apart.


Video credit azcolvin429

Contact these people and demand that "Focus on the Family" be taken off the list of inductees into the Radio Hall of Fame.

Here is some contact information:

Founder/President & CEO
Museum of Broadcast Communications (the organization that runs the Radio Hall of Fame)
Bruce DuMont
brucedumont@museum.tv
Staff Listing

The Gay Liberation Network in Chicago is planning a protest against this outrage. If you are in the Chicago area, I would recommend that you attend.

Protest against Focus on the Family's James Dobson in Chicago
5:30 PM - Saturday, Nov. 8th
Renaissance Chicago Hotel
1 W. Wacker Drive (at State Street)

The Museum of Broadcast Communications (MBC) is inducting religious right bigot James Dobson into its "Hall of Fame." Besides using his broadcast empire to lie about LGBT people, Dobson has been a leading proponent of taking away our rights, including heavily supporting California anti-gay referendum this November.

While open hate against many minority groups is fortunately less tolerated than in generations past, the MBC apparently thinks it's still open season on LGBT people.

Please contact the Museum and demand that they rescind this honor:
telephone 312.245.8200
brucedumont@museum.tv

And please join us for a protest outside the MBC induction ceremony,
5:30 to 7:30 PM, Saturday, November 8th, 1 W. Wacker Drive, Chicago.

Info: LGBTliberation@aol.com, www.GayLiberation.net, www.TruthWinsOut.org and www.DumpDobson.com


 

Typical Supporters of "Keating Five" McCain

Posted by libhom Tuesday, October 14, 2008 3 comments

I'm amazed that anyone even admits to supporting John McCain at this point. Why would they want to encourage the crazy people supporting the GOP? Here are some disturbing examples of what I'm talking about.

Hat tip to Bay of Fundie.



More hateful fools for McCain. Hat tip to It's My Right to Be Left of Center. (I like how the guy from the McCain campaign tells the flock, "Refuse to answer his questions unless he offers them in writing.")



The rest of the videos I found with a YouTube search.

Outloud Radio talks to dumb and bigotted pro Palin Supporters in SF Bay Area



Part 2 - The McCain-Palin Mob in Strongsville, Ohio



Is Sarah Palin as racist as her supporters?



McCain surrogate attacks non-Christians at rally. He also bosses around his non-existent "god."

"Keating Five" McCain's Foreclosure King

Posted by libhom Monday, October 13, 2008 2 comments

I wondered why "Keating Five" McCain's rhetoric towards people who have lost their homes due to foreclosures resulting from predatory Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs) has been so harsh. He has been nastier than any GOP candidate this year, which seems pretty politically tone deaf to me.

Thanks to rickb at Ten Percent for pointing me in the direction of David Trott. I had previously blogged on efforts by the Michigan GOP to challenge voters whose homes had been foreclosed. Guess who has been providing the lists of foreclosure victims.

David Trott

From Blah3:

In Michigan, plans are afoot to block voters with foreclosure lists provided by McCain’s landlord, David Trott. Why spend the time campaigning where you know in advance what the result will be?

Robert Pratt isn’t a slacker. He had bought a home with a low interest mortgage, but then payments doubled. He is raising 5 children, works 7 days a week, but still can’t keep up.

“I’m losing my house, but I’m still a U.S. citizen.”, he says.

“We will have a list of foreclosed homes and will make sure people aren’t voting from those addresses,” party chairman James Carabelli told Michigan Messenger in a telephone interview …”

Here's more from Democracy Now!
The interview is with journalist Greg Palast.
GREG PALAST: Home after home after home, foreclosed, boarded up, abandoned. But in an exclusive enclave nearby, there are no boards over the windows. These go for $10 million apiece.

Wow! No foreclosure sign on this house. This is the home of David Trott. He is Michigan’s foreclosure king. No one has evicted more families in this state. What’s this below the Stars and Stripes? The Jolly Roger? It’s Mr. Trott’s flag. And this is Mr. Trott’s office. And it’s also Mr. McCain’s office.

If a Democrat were so closely tied to someone who makes so much money off of foreclosures, the corporate press would be all over it. But when the man who says "my friends" all the time is so dependent upon a guy like Trott, it's treated like a non story.

Here's some background on Trott from the Michigan Messenger.
McCain’s landlord boasts of providing “comprehensive foreclosure, bankruptcy litigation and related services for the real estate finance industry.”

That means that as the Michigan housing market goes south, the Trott & Trott firm is prospering. The firm’s founder, David A. Trott, is also donating generously to the McCain campaign.

Trott and his wife Kathleen have given $23,000 to the McCain campaign in 2007-08, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. They gave another $52,400 to the Republican National Committee in May of this year.

"Keating Five" McCain always has sided with the bankers and their hired guns against middle class Americans. So, this doesn't exactly shock me. I wish I could say that I'm shocked by the corporate media's censorship of this important news story. Market Watch ran the only Trott story they care about.
David Trott was promoted from president to chairman and chief executive officer of APC, a leading provider of mortgage default processing services.

If you really want to be appalled, find out what Trott and Trott is doing to a 72 year old disabled woman.

 

Talking about class is one of the biggest taboos in America, yet it is perfectly OK for rich people to act in ways that totally screw over the middle class and the poor. Some people are catching on and are less than happy about it, though it took a Wall St. meltdown for the zeitgeist to catch up with reality. Here are some examples of what is much more socially acceptable to say.

"Keating Five" McCain's lavish lifestyle as a kept man is starting to haunt him. Video by Patrick Wilkinson. Hat tip to D.R. Scott's Pulp Culture.



This kind of subject matter was almost completely taboo until recently.

A Google Blogsearch on "rich assholes" is giving a lot more results than before. The controversy over AIG's lavish and senseless spending after getting a government bailout got this reaction from David and Thomas emphasis mine.

The Economic Crisis can be blamed on rich assholes getting a little too greedy. So, what do you do if your AIG and on the verge of a meltdown? You get an $85 Billion loan from the Government and go on a rich retreat!

Turns out when news of AIG dickheads going nuts with their money even though they are requesting Federal Aid, people got pissed. So much so that AIG was forced to cancel their second retreat coming up at the Ritz-Carlton. Poor douchebags.

David Esrati makes a couple of good points (emphasis mine).
If we want to help the taxpayer- it’s time to force credit card rates down- and fast. It’s a much better solution to get the economy back on track than by bailing out the banks- and the rich assholes who failed, but still got paid.

If we invest another dime in the banks- we ought to own them, or at least own everything belonging to every one of those bankers.


BettyBowers.com did a great sendup on Big Oil, which addresses class issues in addition to corporate power. Hat tip to Queer Isn't It.



The Internet has allowed a lot of communication through that challenges the corporate media's narrative of the deserving rich who benefit society by making more and more money while the rest of us get less money at the same time our productivity increases. We also are led to believe that the only people who even notice, much less discuss, class in human societies are Marxists. Never mind that, in other countries, people of a variety of political views discuss issues of class.

 

Sexual Cleansing

Posted by libhom Sunday, October 12, 2008 3 comments

The Lesbian Said What? has an excellent point. I don't know if she coined the term, sexual cleansing, but it is an excellent descriptor for what is happening in the world.

Here is how she defines sexual cleansing.

Sexual Cleansing is using extreme measures to suppress gays and lesbians. Hitler did it. During World War II he rounded up gays and put a pink triangle on them and sent them to concentration camps.

Sexual Cleansing is occurring today in Iraq and other countries. In Iraq there are death squads that shoot, hang, and torture people they suspect of being gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered. Some Islamic clerics sanction these death squads. The fatwa, available on Sistani’s official Web site, puts it this way, “The people involved [in homosexuality] should be killed in the worst, most severe way of killing.”

In Nepal the police have beaten people who are transgendered. It is because they have deemed being transgendered immoral. The transgendered are called metis in Nepal. The police arrest them, beat them, make them strip off all their cloths and mock them while holding their genitals.

In South Africa a lesbian football (soccer) player was gang raped and murdered. In another incident a mob of men chased down and murdered a lesbian.

The example of the largest magnitude in my lifetime of sexual cleansing is how the Christian Right, Reagan, the Bushes, and Bill Clinton have used their AIDS policies to maximize the number of deaths of gay and bisexual men to their politically acceptable limits.

She also keeps us from letting our country off the hook.
It goes on all over the world. Lets not be so na├»ve that it doesn’t happen here in the United States in some form. Brandon Tina, Matthew Shepard, Paul Broussard, Lawrence King, Julianne M. Williams and Laura S. “Louie” Winans are some of the names of people who have been murdered in the Untied States for being gay, transgendred, or lesbian.

Some other countries should could have mentioned are Iran, Russia, India, and Saudi Arabia where sexual cleansing is all too common.

 

The American Peoples' Biggest Crisis in Confidence

Posted by libhom Saturday, October 11, 2008 6 comments

Bush speaking at podium in front of White House

 

Our Nation Just Can't Afford the Iraq War

Posted by libhom Thursday, October 09, 2008 5 comments

Today was an interesting day. The stock market had started to calm down in the morning, only to start plummeting as news spread on the Internet that the Manhattan federal debt clock ran out of digits. (The kludge they are using to deal with the problem for now is to get rid of the dollar sign.)

What is a major cause of the expansion of the federal debt?

The Iraq War

Zfacts estimates that the war has cost over $580 billion, a number that reflects only budget authorizations for the war. I've read similar numbers elsewhere. For instance, the National Priorities Project sets the number at over $560 billion.

The Bush regime was running deficits before it started the Iraqtastrophe. Under these circumstances, all the money used to impose kleptocracy on Iraq adds to the federal debt. The most immediate problem with the war is that it is adding debt which compromises the financial integrity of the US government.

There are other problems. The borrowing used to finance the war competes with business and individuals in the larger credit market. Large investors and bankers have a larger pool of government owned and guaranteed debt, which hurts liquidity during the best of times. Now that there are problems of confidence between banks, adding to the available amounts of government investment opportunities makes bankers and the rich even less likely to take any risks they can avoid in a falling market.

Additionally, it is useful to look at the war in terms of economic output. A major portion of our nation's economic output is being sent to a dead end oversees. Adding injury to insult, this use of America's treasure and blood is being employed in a way that devastates at least one country's economy, Iraqs, and also hurts the economy of Iraq's trading partners. We are trashing our economy while weakening the global economy.

Don't forget that oil may have fallen somewhat from its peak, but it still is historically high. The Iraq War is the main reason for this, which hurts consumers, cuts corporate profits, and increases America's foreign debt.

Stopping the war won't be sufficient, by itself, to solve all of our nation's economic problems. However, stopping the war is absolutely necessary if we are going to ever go back towards prosperity.

All the rightist blather about "victory" in Iraq always was silly propaganda. Now, we are watching the Iraq war contribute seriously to an enormous economic defeat.

 

Can Sarah Palin See Afghanistan from Her House?

Posted by libhom Wednesday, October 08, 2008 1 comments

From Reuters 10/5/08:

Three days after a mostly gaffe-free debate performance, the Alaska governor fumbled during a speech in which she praised U.S. soldiers for “fighting terrorism and protecting us and our democratic values”.

“They are also building schools for the Afghan children so that there is hope and opportunity in our neighboring country of Afghanistan,” she told several hundred supporters at a fundraising event in San Francisco.

I really think that "Keating Five" McCain picked her as impeachment insurance on the off chance he gets elected or the higher probability that the GOP steals another presidential election.

My friends, it's sad that the first Republican woman nominated as VP was chosen to make impeachment frightening and because McCain wanted to sexually harass her. However, I do have to say one thing in Palin's defense. I haven't heard her say the following:

"We Should Be Able to Deliver Bottled, Hot Water to Dehydrated Babies"



I love how the background says "A Leader We Can Believe In." I guess we would have to believe that "Keating Five" McCain exists.

I'm a Godless Liberal Homo, and I approve of this blog posting. (I would say I was a "maverick," but that word has been ruined for a while.)

 

Sign saying Fire Paulson, www.codepinkalert.org
Sign from Recent CODEPINK action on Wall St.

This seems like such an obvious question, yet few in the corporate media noise machine are asking it. A few politicians on the right have made the demand, but this seems like something people across the political spectrum should support.

Treasury Secretary Paulson played a role in creating the crisis as Goldman Sachs' CEO, as I previously quoted Naomi Klein from her appearance on Democracy Now!.

NAOMI KLEIN: You know, Amy, I don’t think we can stress this enough. Henry Paulson is one of the key people, the top people, responsible for creating the crisis that he is now claiming he will solve, you know, and this is—if we think about the 9/11 analogy and, you know, the state of shock that Americans were in after 9/11 and the emergence of Rudy Giuliani as the savior—and, you know, people have so much regret about that. And in the book, I write about this as the state of regression that we go into when we’re frightened. And I think Henry Paulson has really been cast in this role as an economic Rudy Giuliani, saving the day, impartial, bipartisan, a strong leader.

I found this article in BusinessWeek that ran when Paulson was appointed to the Treasury, and I just want to read you one sentence, because I think it’s all we need to know about Henry Paulson. This is from BusinessWeek, when he got the appointment as Treasury Secretary in 2006. The headline of the article is “Mr. Risk Goes to Washington.” It says, “Think of Paulson as Mr. Risk. He’s one of the key architects of a more daring Wall Street, where securities firms are taking greater and greater chances in [their] pursuit of profits. By some key measures, the securities industry is more leveraged now than it was at the height of the 1990s boom.”

Then it goes on to say that when Paulson took over Goldman Sachs in 1999, they had $20 billion in debts. When he—in these high-risk gambles. When he left, they had $100 billion, which means he took their risk level from $20 billion to $100 billion. So it is absolutely no exaggeration to say that Henry Paulson, far from speaking for Main Street, is actually bailing out his colleagues for some of the very debts that he himself accumulated. This is an extraordinary conflict of interest.

If that wasn't bad enough, what about Paulson's performance as Treasury Secretary? If he had done his job properly, the crisis wouldn't be this bad. He would have used the Treasury's regulatory powers to get Wall St. under some control and would have worked with the White House and Congress to repeal previous Wall St. / big bank deregulation efforts. Paulson would have called on the FBI to investigate disreputable mortgages brokerages whose business crossed state lines.

How can we trust a key figure in causing the crisis to be able to fix it? How can someone who has failed in his responsibilities as Treasury Secretary be the correct person to have ultimate decision making power over how the bailout is run?

The corporate media are neglecting to act in the press' role as watchdog. They are acting like lapdogs.

 

In an October 1 posting (Bailout Lesson: Capital Crisis Will Wreck Both Parties), the Black Agenda Report criticized Obama and other politicians that pushed the bailout through. I agree with most of those criticisms, but I want to pull out some passages about the bailout and the democratic (or not so democratic) process that could get lost in an election year.

Never has Republican-Democratic co-subservience to finance capital been on such naked display. But then, "We the People" have never before been witness to the terminal unraveling of late-stage global finance capital. (See BAR, "Death Rattles of a Criminal Class," September 24.) When the New York Times features no less than three articles declaring the nation's investment bankers ready for burial, as did last Sunday's paper, it is time for the Democrats, especially, to find another paymaster.

Democrats have traditionally gotten a lot of campaign money from investment bankers, especially the ones at Goldman Sachs. We are starting to see a shift in financing sources for Democrats from larger to smaller donors. Hopefully, a beneficial consequence of Wall St.'s troubles will be an acceleration in that shift.
At the local level the Democrats have long been the party of "developers" - the money bags who shape urban policy to fit the needs of corporations. These gentrifiers are the "Renaissance Men" that insist Black politicians earn their campaign and graft payments by helping to expel their own constituents from the cities, so as to make them more congenial to business. Betrayal starts at home.

Those developers usually demand government subsidies as well, choking out infrastructure investments and government services.

The views of members of the Congressional Black Caucus who opposed the bailout were summarized as follows:
Virginia Rep. Bobby Scott summed up the "No" position: "There's no point in spending all this money on worthless assets" such as toxic mortgages. Detroit's Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick said of the Obama-McCain-Bush-Paulson plan, "This helps the banks in their book of mortgages. It doesn't help the little person who needs it."

An irony here is that helping the non rich pay their mortgages would make the mortgage paper more valuable. Everyone would win. But, only the rich are allowed to win these days. Everyone else must be screwed over.

More gems:
The rest of us must fashion new institutions to perform the societal tasks that were purportedly the domain of the now-extinct investment bankers: to gather large amounts of capital for projects of social value - for example, a Marshall-type Plan for the cities, a nationwide infrastructure makeover, and fulfillment of the 70-year old federal commitment to provide truly affordable housing for everyone. And of course, jobs, jobs, jobs.
...
The demise of finance capital's premiere institutions, and the brutal arrogance with which their servants moved to strip the commonweal of every squeezable drop of cash, has alerted vast sectors of the citizenry to the reality of capitalism-in-crisis in ways that no amount of Left agitation could have accomplished.

Technical public "ownership" of previously "private" institutions has been thrust upon us by the capitalists, themselves. But this is merely an opening for the great debates and struggles that must follow. Power does not devolve to "the people" by simple virtue of majority shares in failing institutions or even outright nationalization. And "the people" have no need of institutions that serve no purpose but as creatures of capital.

The author also mentions the Green Party candidates.
When catastrophe hits, radicals must be ready. Recent events have proven Cynthia McKinney and Rosa Clemente to be amazingly prescient in their belief that the Green Party can be - I emphasize can be - a vehicle for presenting and popularizing a truly transformational program for social change. (See McKinney "The Financial Crisis: Seize the Time!" BAR September 24.) McKinney and Clemente always intended that the Green Party become a nexus for the roiling social currents set in motion by the inexorable decomposition of ruling class institutions. The Democratic and Republican Parties, creatures of capital, are decomposing in full view, as witnessed by the events of this week. Too fragile to weather real political storms, they will not survive the larger, unfolding crisis of capital as twin hegemons. As the crisis deepens, the parties will crack - at a pace dictated by the increasing frequency of convulsions.

I remember how influential the Socialists were in the 30s, without winning very many elections either. If the Greens' impact is limited to pressuring the Democrats to work on behalf of the middle class and the poor from time to time, that alone would be an achievement deserving of considerable respect.

I would suggest that you read Glen Ford's entire posting. The excerpts are presented here because taking them as far out of the context of the election would seem to be a way to expose people to his ideas without the immediate "go team" reaction that people get when discussing candidates' policies so close that first Tuesday in November.

 

Holding "Keating Five" McCain Accountable

Posted by libhom Monday, October 06, 2008 1 comments

I'm supporting Cynthia McKinney because she is the only party candidate whose political views usually agree with mine. However, I am perfectly willing to congratulate the Obama campaign for finally holding John McCain accountable for his reprehensible actions in the video below and on a special website, keatingeconomics.com.



I've been ranting about "Keating Five" McCain's corruption since my first posting on the jerk in 2006: John "Keating Five" McCain and the New School's Failure in Ethical Education

Considerable protest has targetted New School President Bob Kerry and his decision to invite John "Keating Five" McCain to speak at the university's commencement address.

The criticism has been focused on issues such as McCain's support of the illegal and unAmerican war in Iraq. McCain also has been criticized for his misogyny, homophobia, and contempt towards the legitimacy of the political views of young adults.

However, there is another important aspect of the issue that has largely been overlooked. The decision by Kerry to invite McCain to speak at commencement shows a lack of concern about ethical education in the University.

McCain is a corrupt politician. His actions and those of the rest of the Keating Five cost people their retirement savings and who helped his corporate cronies carry forward schemes that cost taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars in the Savings and Loan Bailout. Universities should invite commencement speakers of the highest ethical standards, not sleaze like John "Keating Five" McCain.

A university is not just supposed to provide rote memorization and a degree that helps with future career and income. Part of a university's responsibility is to teach ethical behavior. One of the most influential ways of educating people is by example. What a terrible example Bob Kerry has provided in John “Keating Five” McCain.

It's about freaking time people stopped ignoring what John McCain did.

 

Call for Investigation of Corrupt Church

Posted by libhom Saturday, October 04, 2008 8 comments

Churches, just like legitimate nonprofits, make a promise not to engage in partisan political activity or to endorse candidates when they accept the subsidy of tax exempt status from the IRS. A militant, fundamentalist preacher has broken his promise to the taxpayers, and Americans United for Separation of Church and State has issued a press release calling for an IRS investigation against his church.

Americans United Asks IRS To Investigate Oklahoma Church That Endorsed McCain
Friday, October 3, 2008

Pastor's Pulpit Endorsement Of Presidential Candidate Violates Federal Tax Law, Says Church-State Watchdog Group

Americans United for Separation of Church and State has asked the Internal Revenue Service to investigate an Oklahoma church whose pastor called for the election of Republican presidential candidate John McCain from the pulpit last Sunday.

The Rev. Dan Fisher, pastor of Trinity Baptist Church in Yukon, Okla., trumpeted his endorsement in a press release issued by his church. The church release says, “After comparing and contrasting the candidates’ views with the Bible, Pastor Fisher unabashedly proclaimed that he believes Christians cannot, in good faith, vote for Barack Obama and must cast their votes in favor of John McCain.”

The Oct. 1 press release was disseminated by e-mail to news outlets in the state.

The Oklahoma pulpit endorsement was conducted in conjunction with an organized Religious Right campaign to violate federal tax law.

The Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), a Religious Right legal group in Scottsdale, Ariz., urged pastors to defy federal tax law by endorsing or opposing candidates during a so-called “Pulpit Freedom Sunday” on Sept. 28. Under the IRS Code, churches and other 501(c)(3) tax-exempt groups may not intervene in elections.

Americans United says church intervention in partisan politics is illegal. The church-state watchdog group filed a complaint with the IRS on Oct. 2 about the Oklahoma church’s action.

Said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, Americans United executive director, “Trinity Baptist is a church, not a political action committee. Pastor Fisher has deliberately violated federal tax law, and his church ought to face appropriate penalties.

“The Religious Right desperately wants to mold fundamentalist congregations into a partisan juggernaut that controls all elections and ultimately the government itself,” Lynn continued. “That’s a frightening prospect in a pluralistic nation that safeguards freedom of conscience for persons of all faiths and none.”

This is the seventh church that Americans United has reported to the IRS for endorsing candidates as part of the ADF scheme.

Federal tax law states that non-profit groups holding 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status may not intervene in partisan politics by endorsing or opposing candidates for public office. The IRS has stated that it is cracking down on violations of the law.

Americans United sponsors Project Fair Play, a program that educates religious leaders about federal tax law governing political activity. As part of the program, flagrant electioneering violations by religious groups are reported to the IRS.


 

Obama Pressures Democrats to Vote For Bailout

Posted by libhom Thursday, October 02, 2008 5 comments

From the Politico 9/30/08:

RENO, Nev.— Barack Obama on Tuesday stepped up his advocacy for the Bush Administration’s endangered $700 billion bailout plan by making a round of calls to rank-and-file Democrats in the House and casting congressional inaction in dire, real-world terms. He also massaged his pitch, no longer using the word “bailout” to describe the bill.

In a speech laden with warnings about the impact on average voters, Obama made his strongest push yet for the financial package rejected Monday by the House, saying the upheaval was “no longer just a Wall Street crisis – it’s an American crisis, and it’s the American economy that needs this rescue plan.”

Obama is as out of touch with the needs and lives of middle class Americans as McCain. The Demopublicans want us to settle for the less evil of two plutocrats.

I'll wrap up by quoting the most famous gay atheist in US history, James Baldwin.
There is no such thing as the lesser of two evils.


 

Cynthia McKinney for President

Posted by libhom Wednesday, October 01, 2008 2 comments

photo of Cynthia McKinneyBarack Obama's shocking and horrifying decision to join Hillary Clinton, John "Keating Five" McCain and over 70 other corrupt Senators in voting for the plan to make poor and middle class Americans bailout dishonest rich people is the last straw as far as I'm concerned. I already lost any interest in actively supporting Obama's campaign due to his FISA betrayal, his proposal to expand Bush's hate based initiatives, his saber rattling with Iran, and other issues. Now, the bailout has made it abundantly clear that the Republican and Democratic Parties are broken down and corrupt.

I now support Cynthia McKinney for President.

The only hope left for the country is for a second, yes second, political party to break through the Republicrat one-party system that pretends to be a two party system. With both McCain and Obama committed to continuing the Bush Agenda on the biggest issues facing our society, it is past time to give up on both of them. If Obama wants to act like as much of a Bush Republican as Hillary Clinton, then we should treat him as just as much of a Bush Republican as Clinton (or her ideological clone, John "Keating Five" McCain.

What about Ralph Nader? What about him?

He offers people a chance to vent, but his independent presidential candidacy does not build up the Green Party or any other alternative to the Demopublican monopoly on political representation or power. Supporting Cynthia McKinney helps build a real alternative for the future, rather than leaving us in the same place we have been since 1992, frustrated but powerless to do anything but watch our country's hijacking by the crooked right.

McKinney has taken the politically risky step of leaving the decaying Democratic Party in order to build for our nation's future. She deserves our support far more than any other candidate.

Note: If you want to leave a really long comment on the merits or demerits of a particular candidate, please provide a link instead. Really long comments (e.g., more than 5-10 paragraphs) will be deleted, not because of the content, but because they make comments sections too user unfriendly.

 

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