Wednesday, August 27, 2008 Demonizes McCain on Disease and Age plays fast and loose with "facts" to build a case that John McCain owes the American public an Alzheimer's test. This is a despicable use of disease and of age for political purposes. If they really think there is a case to be made they should have responsible and independent physicians make it. To do so for political purposes not only is unfair to McCain, but is hurtful to millions of others who suffer from the various maladies they list in their laundry list of health concerns, and all older Americans. also undermines American discourse with this kind of hurtful and cheap rhetoric on such an important topic.

Judge for yourself. Here's the e mail received from

McCain Owes America An Alzheimer's Test

While Ted Kennedy and Michelle Obama were rocking the Democratic convention in Denver, John McCain made his 13th appearance with Jay Leno to joke about his age.
But McCain's age is no joke. He will turn 72 on Friday and would be halfway to 73 if elected and sworn in on January 20. That would make him the oldest first-term President ever, two years older than Ronald Reagan. He has survived four skin cancers (melanomas), including one in 2000 that was classified as Stage IIa.

McCain is two years older than his father was when he died suddenly of a heart attack at 70 . He is 11 years older than his grandfather was when he died suddenly of a heart attack at age 61 .
The United States cannot afford the risk that McCain would die suddenly in the middle of an international crisis.

Nor can we afford the risk of dementia. 22% of Americans over 70 are affected by mild cognitive impairment, while 13% of Americans over 65 have Alzheimer's. Ronald Reagan was diagnosed with Alzheimer's at age 83, but early signs were evident during his first term. Britain's "Iron Lady" Margaret Thatcher developed dementia at age 75.

McCain has never had an Alzheimer's test, even though he has 6 of the 10 warning signs , including his inability to remember recent facts like the number of homes he owns, the $1M lawsuit he filed in 1990, or the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003.

John McCain owes America a thorough test for Alzheimer's and cognitive impairment long before Election Day.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Author Swiftboats Obama--Just Like He Did Kerry

From the New York Times:

Book on Obama Hopes to Repeat Anti-Kerry Feat
Wednesday 13 August 2008

by: Jim Rutenberg and Julie Bosman, The New York Times

In the summer of 2004 the conservative gadfly Jerome R. Corsi shot to the top of the best-seller lists as co-author of "Unfit for Command," the book attacking Senator John Kerry's record on a Vietnam War swiftboat that began the larger damaging campaign against Mr. Kerry's war credentials as he sought the presidency. To read the entire article clicke here.

Also see the article in the Washington Post: "New Books Aim to Unweave the Obama Narrative."

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Subtext of McCain Campaign v. Obama: Only McCain is a Real American

Frank Rich in the June 1, 2008, NY Times:

"His [McCain's] . . . tactic is to try to create a smoke screen by smearing Barack Obama as unpatriotic. Mr. McCain has suggested that the Democratic front-runner is the Hamas candidate and has piled on to Mr. Bush’s effort to slur Mr. Obama as an apostle of “appeasement.” A campaign ad presented Mr. McCain as “the American president Americans have been waiting for” (not to be confused, presumably, with the un-American president Al Qaeda has been waiting for). [To see the campaign ad click here.]

Now Mr. McCain is chastising Mr. Obama for not having visited Iraq since 2006 — a questionable strategy, you’d think, given that Mr. McCain’s own propagandistic visit to a “safe” Baghdad market is one of his biggest embarrassments. Then again, in his frantic efforts to explain why he sided with Mr. Bush to oppose an expanded G.I. bill that the Senate passed by 75 to 22, Mr. McCain has attacked Mr. Obama for not enlisting in the military.

Besides making Mr. McCain look ever angrier next to his serene opponent, this eruption raises the question of why he chose double-standard partisanship over principle by not applying this criterion to the blunderers who took us into Iraq. Unlike Mr. Obama, who was 7 years old in 1968, Mr. Bush and company could have served in Vietnam as Mr. McCain did."

Sunday, April 13, 2008

McCain's "White Flag of Surrender" Charge Demonizes Dems

While Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have distorted Senator John McCain's Iraq position (see previous post), McCain has for some time been smearing the Democrats on a number of issues. He charges, wrongly, that Dems want government to make our decisions for us. Far worse, on Iraq he demonizes his Democratic opponents and all war opponents by slanderously claiming that they want to "raise the white flag of surrender."

To see one particularly egregious example of McCain caught on camera making false charges like these look at his March 18, 2008 press interview in which he displays not only ignorance on what is going on in Iraq but a studied disregard for the position of his opponents--and for decency: "The Democratic formula--very clear," he charges, "--surrender to Al Qaeda and leave." Such distortion of war opponents' views and such willful confusion of the Iraq war and the war against the murderers who attacked New York and Washington are reprehensible. It is exactly this kind of demonization of opponents that freezes debate and makes the next Iraq-style debacle more likely--whoever wins the presidential election.

One example of his "white flag of surrender"commentaries: "Senator John McCain of Arizona, holding a "town hall'' assembly at the Palm Beach County Convention Center now, accused Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York of raising a "white flag'' of "surrender'' in the war in Iraq. . . " For more: White Flag.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

100 Years in Iraq? Dems Distort McCain's Position

Democratic presidential candidates Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are deliberately mis-stating Republican John McCain's postion, when they claim he is willing to fight in Iraq for another 100 years. Instead, McCain was saying that, if necessary, the U.S. should be willing to keep troops in Iraq for 100 years, akin to our deployments in Japan and Korea, with the proviso that troops aren't being harmed. To hear what McCain actually said, go to:
"McCain's 100 Years in Iraq."

We can thank Frank Rich for pointing this out in today's New York Times: "REALLY, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton should be ashamed of themselves for libeling John McCain. As a growing chorus reiterates, their refrains that Mr. McCain is “willing to send our troops into another 100 years of war in Iraq” (as Mr. Obama said) or “willing to keep this war going for 100 years” (per Mrs. Clinton) are flat-out wrong." Then in a very important commentary on much more serious problems with McCain's positions on and understanding of Iraq, Rich goes on to argue: "Everything else Mr. McCain has to say about Iraq is more troubling. . ."

He conclusdes by saying: "The Democrats should also stop repeating their 100-years-war calumny against Mr. McCain. There’s too much at stake for America for them to add their own petty distortions to an epic tragedy that only a long-overdue national reckoning with hard truths can bring to an end."

His commentary can be found at:"Tet Happened, and No One Cared."

Monday, March 31, 2008

One for the Ages: Mellon-Scaife Likes Hillary

In the hope-springs-eternal-or-is-it-just-another-conspiracy category, this just in about one of the Demonizers-in-Chief of the 1990's.

Here's the report in today's New York Times:

March 31, 2008
Rosy Words for Clinton by ’90s Nemesis


To Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton, Richard Mellon Scaife qualifies as a charter member of the “vast right-wing conspiracy,” having bankrolled an elaborate multimillion-dollar campaign throughout the 1990s to unearth damaging information about the couple.
But in a striking about-face, Mr. Scaife now says he has changed his mind — at least about one half of the duo.

“I have a very different impression of Hillary Clinton today,” he wrote in an opinion article published Sunday, amid her campaign for president. “And it’s a very favorable one indeed.”

For the complete story go to: Rosy Words for Clinton by ’90s Nemesis

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Bill Clinton's McCarthyism? Not Likely

General Merrill McPeak went over the line this weekend when he accused former President Bill Clinton in engaging in McCarthyism for his comments regarding what a general election between Hillary Clinton and John McCain could be like.

“I think it would be a great thing if we had an election year where you had two people who loved this country and were devoted to the interest of this country,” Clinton said in Charlotte, N.C. “And people could actually ask themselves who is right on these issues, instead of all this other stuff that always seems to intrude itself on our politics.”

According to General McPeak:

“It sounds more like McCarthy. I grew up, I was going to college when Joe McCarthy was accusing good Americans of being traitors, so I’ve had enough of it.”

In a subsequent comments, with Barack Obama by his side, General McPeak used different language (see video) but didn't back off. Although Obama didn't comment, his presence when McPeak modified his comments lends tacit support to them. Judge for yourself: see
Weekend Video.

McPeak is off base. While clearly promoting his wife, Clinton here seems to be talking about a campaign based on issues, without the politics of personal destruction. For a brief common sense commentary on this see:
The Carpetbagger Report. One caveat. Clinton's comments can appear more negative in the context of other campaign statements and activities, most notably the exploitation of post-9/11 fear with the red phone ad of Hillary Clinton's campaign. Still, "McCarthyism" is a very serious charge and it should be used with the kind of care and proof that General McPeak lacks in this instance. He should prove it or withdraw it and apologize.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

FOX Smears, The Networks Follow

Where have the attacks on Barack Obama for his association with Rev. Wright come from? Below is an excerpt from Move0n. org arguing that mainstream media questioning of Obama followed a systematic attack by Fox News.

According to

"Reporters like NBC's Tim Russert focused on the "Reverend Wright controversy" only after FOX and other right-wing media did. It happens over and over: FOX airs a right-wing smear and the mass media repeat it. Film director Robert Greenwald just released a short video called FOX Attacks Obama: Part 2 which shows how it happens. We are launching a petition demanding the big networks stop parroting FOX and distracting Americans from real issues. We'll hand-deliver your signatures to major media outlets next week. Watch the video, and sign the petition, here: Fox Attacks Obama Part 2.

The petition, which we're launching with Greenwald's Brave New Films, says: "FOX is a Republican mouthpiece, not a legitimate news organization. Real news organizations must reject FOX's smears of Barack Obama, not parrot them and distract Americans from the pressing issues of the day." The more signatures we deliver, the bigger the impact—so please tell your friends.

"Defense of Democracy" Smears New Dem Reps

The Foundation for the Defense of Democracy is running ads linking opposition by freshmen Democrats in Congress to the recently defeated "Protect America Act" (intelligence surveillance without a warrant) with support for terrorism and Osama Bin Laden. Here are excerpts from the Washington Independent's story on this. To read the whole story go to: "'Bipartisan' Think Tank Attacks Democrats."

"Walz is a Democrat from Minnesota's first congressional district. The ad flashed his face about 16 seconds after it showed bin Laden's. Similar ads ran in the TV markets of Carol Shea-Porter of New Hampshire's first district; Ron Klein of Florida's 22nd district; Tim Mahoney of Florida's 16th district; Chris Murphy of Connecticut's 5th district; and Joe Courtney of Connecticut's 2nd district. All are Democrats. Now their faces appear beside bin Laden's."

"The organization is using fear mongering for political purposes and worse, their scare tactics have the effect of emboldening terrorists and our enemies abroad by asserting our intelligence agencies are failing to do their job," Brazile said in a statement released Monday night and highlighted by Matt Stoller on the liberal blog Open Left. "I am deeply disappointed they would use my name since no one has consulted me about the activities of the group in years." Schumer and Engel resigned on Friday. "While I remain committed to the proud cause of defending our nation's democratic principles, I can no longer support an organization that has ventured so far afield from that goal," Schumer said in a statement released Tuesday. [Rep. Jim] Marshall resigned Tuesday evening. Democratic sources who declined to be named said Marshall was "appalled" by the ad."

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Obama's Speech on Race and Reverend Wright

Senator Barack Obama today gave the most important speech given on race in America in memory, by any American who can command a national audience.

The speech is not perfect. It was prompted by his need to defend himself because of his close association over two decades with Reverend Jeremiah Wright Jr., his pastor, the man who married him and baptized his children. It does not fully address or allay concerns raised about that association. It may also have been the perfect political speech given the predicament Obama finds himself in. Some might be troubled by his use of his grandmother in the speech for political or even educational purposes.

Nevertheless the speech is brilliant and could potentially have historic consequences not just in this campaign, but for the nation's future. If a potential political crisis provoked it--so be it--no presidential candidate--no leader-- in memory has said anything like it. And Obama refuses to demonize. His instead is a call for deeper understanding based on the reality of race in America and how race is used politically. Obama focuses us clearly on what kind of conversation about race we as a nation need to have. For that and for the words he delivered, Obama deserves great credit and our thanks. If you missed it, you can see it and/or read it now at:

For clips of Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Jr. that are mainstays in criticism of Obama see: Black in America or Not God Bless America

For a very perceptive column by Maureen Dowd, in which she uses her intelligence and wit to do more than ridicule her target see: Black, White & Gray.

Time to Play: Name Obama's Religion?

CNN has a feature on its website called "Time to Play Name Obama's Religion." The idea is to show that a large number of people don't know the religion of Senator Barack Obama. The real point is that some Americans are unaware that Obama is a Christian and is not a Muslim.

There's nothing wrong with having accurate information about candidates. Yet why is there so little attention to the obvious implication that if he were a Muslim this would (and should?) disqualify him from the Presidency.

To see the CNN feature go to: Time to Play: Name Obama's Relgion.


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Spitzer: Demonized? Demonizer? Or Someone Who Simply Got What He Deserved?

Is former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer a victim of demonization and/or was he someone who sometimes demonized others? Or did he simply get what he deserved?

"What goes around comes around?"

One Daily Demonizer reader said: "On the one hand he is a victim of demonization, on the other there he was a demonizer himself. Not that corporate crime is not real, but often for him it seemed to be a matter of evil people with little consideration by him of a system and a kind of corporate ethos that promoted such behavior. An editor of the Village Voice on CNN today quoted a line Spitzer apparently said to a target of investigation when encountering him at a convention to the effect he looked forward to driving a spike through his heart."

For two views that suggest he is a simple victim of dmonization, pure and simple, see articles on:

Republican Dirty Tricks: "Was Spitzer Targeted?" by Paul Campos.

Prostitution is not relevant to public duties and responsibilities: "Spitzer’s Shame Is Wall Street’s Gain" by Robert Scheer.

In decidding whether Spitzer was demonized, however, at least two critical counter-issues should be considered.

1. Political hypocrisy may not be grounds for impeachment but it is certainly fair game for very strong criticism. Whatever the morality and legality of what he did, was he simply a hypocrite in the way he prosecuted others for crimes, including sex traficking that he also took part in? To get at this question we need also to ask: was the kind of sex trafficking he prosecuted different in kind from the kind he used? For commentary relevant to these questions see: "Foes of Sex Trade Are Stung by Fall of an Ally."

2. Should we consider prostitution and involvement with the prostitution industry simply another example of sex between "consenting" adults that therefore should be a purely private matter? On issues relevant to this point, see: "The Myth of the Victimless Crime" by Melissa Farley and Victor Malarek.