Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Judge for yourself. Here's the e mail received from Democrats.com:
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
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
"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
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
"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
Here's the report in today's New York Times:
March 31, 2008
Rosy Words for Clinton by ’90s Nemesis
By MICHAEL BARBARO
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
“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
According to Move0n.org:
"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.
"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
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: http://my.barackobama.com/hisownwords
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.
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
"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.
Monday, March 03, 2008
The responses to the (very unscientific) poll were interesting. For a liberal blog it was striking that very few thought Obama should attack the integrity of the religion question itself. Moreover, in the comments of readers to the poll and the blurb with which we introduced the poll, almost everyone discussed Obama's responses only in strategic terms and almost no one discussed their propriety.
Senator Obama's response to questions about whether he is a Muslim should be to:
Not dignify the question with an answer: 2% or 2 votes
Say only that whether one is Muslim is irrelevant to election as
President: 6% or 6 votes
Say that he is a Christian and also say that whether one is
Muslim is irrelevant to election as President: 52% or 46 votes
Only say that he is a Christian: 24% or 21 votes
Say that he is a Christian and clearly reject the idea that he is a Muslim: 13% or 12 votes
To see reader commentary and the poll itself go to: tdeluca at Daily Kos
Saturday, March 01, 2008
It is noteable, however, that the response of the candidate and the campaign on religion is simply to strongly deny that Obama's a Muslim, without rejecting the premise of the question: that religious affiliation could be a disqualification for the office of the Presidency. For example, according to Naomi Klein, Obama said to one Christian News reorter: “I’m not and never have been of the Muslim faith." He hasn't even given a Seinfeldesque: "I"m not a . . . not that there's anything wrong with it."
The question of Obama's response has not been treated much in the media, but Naomi
Klein takes it up in "Obama Being Called a Muslim is Not a Smear." Although Klein uses her argument as a lens to view our entire relationhip with the Muslim world, wrongly in some places, the central point about religion and our domestic politics is well worth considering.
Sunday, February 24, 2008
These may prove critical questions for the next election, should Obama, as now seems likely, become the Democratic nominee. What do you think? For an analysis of the future swifboating of Obama see "Obama May Face Grilling on Patriotism."
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
The point here isn't to re-argue the Kennedy murder, but rather to note how easily discourse gets framed in ways prejudicial to one side in important debates. Undoubtedly, some people are enthusiasts of exciting conspiracies and others (sometimes the same people) find a conspiracy under every rock. Others like their history to be as unsettling and simple as possible--they want it not just to recede with time but to go away. Unfortunately, in life there are times when history is clear and others when it is quite murky. Conspiracies sometimes do exist, and you shouldn't have to be an enthusiast to know that.
To judge for yourself, go to New Trove Opened in Kennedy Killing.
Monday, February 18, 2008
1. Poverty brings with it life circustances that can affect not just the quality of education but the actual neurological capacity to learn.
He writes: "neuroscientists have found that “many children growing up in very poor families with low social status experience unhealthy levels of stress hormones, which impair their neural development.” The effect is to impair language development and memory — and hence the ability to escape poverty — for the rest of the child’s life.
So now we have another, even more compelling reason to be ashamed about America’s record of failing to fight poverty."
2. The War on Poverty of the 1960s did alleviate poverty to a significant degree, contrary to often repeated myth. Poverty rates were 23% in 1963 and went down to 14% by 1969. He implies much of this was due to the War on Poverty although he is not clear on the contribution from other factors, such as economic growth, anti-discrimination policies, etc. The poverty rate has since climbed, however, after demonizing assaults on such programs, most famously Ronald Reagan's demonizing attacks on Cadillac driving "welfare queens." In 2006 it stood at 17.4%.
3. One reason for the lack of attention to poverty is the idea that America is a land of meritocracy, where all can succeed through proper discipline and effort.
Krugman writes, however:
"the fact of the matter is that Horatio Alger stories are rare, and stories of people trapped by their parents’ poverty are all too common. According to one recent estimate, American children born to parents in the bottom fourth of the income distribution have almost a 50 percent chance of staying there — and almost a two-thirds chance of remaining stuck if they’re black.
That’s not surprising. Growing up in poverty puts you at a disadvantage at every step. . .
in modern America parental status trumps ability: students who did very well on a standardized test but came from low-status families were slightly less likely to get through college than students who tested poorly but had well-off parents."
4. Targeted programs in Europe have had success in mitigating poverty. Government programs can work.
Conclusion: Rather than demonizing the poor or their advocates, it is time for the richest nation on earth to put the shame of poverty behind us. Poverty can be alleviated if not eliminated if we have the will to do so. In this presidential year, John Edwards deserves our thanks for putting this issue on the political agenda of candidates Clinton and Obama, and the rest of us.
To read his column in its entirety go to: Poverty is Poison.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
This is taken from:
When presidents play politics
By Angie Drobnic HolanPublished on Tuesday, February 12th, 2008 at 04:56 p.m.
To see the interview with President Bush click here.
WRONG! is a new feature of the Daily Demonizer. If you have suggestions for entries, please leave a comment.
Monday, February 11, 2008
It's worth taking a moment to not only criticize the insensitivity of the remark, but also think about the atmosphere which allows and encourages it.
The Clinton's have been fair game for some time on issues of moral propriety, and the ground for this comment was laid years ago by Clinton-haters. This is the large grain truth in the commentary by Paul Krugman in the next post, when he refers to as the "Clinton rules" by which commentators are willing to say or believe most things about the Clintons because of who they are. The Clintons may or may not be guilty of various moral improprieties--that's a separate debate--but they've never been accused of being bad parents. Yet, demonization creates the conditions in which all manner of attack becomes licensed.
But there is more. Our media is obsessed with speed, cleverness, and ratings, so the commentators who survive as talking heads speak with great deliberation at their peril. Throw into the churning mix of rapid response and blather prejudices from years of Clinton bashing and it's not surprising such personal nastiness sometimes surfaces.
The medium isn't the message, but the medium encourages the sharp, quick, cutting, denigrating comment--ask Ann Coulter or Rush Limbaugh--and is partly responsible for the demonization in politics we witness today.
For a link to David Shuster's comments on You Tube go to Shuster's comment. And who's that laughing in the background?
Calling his column “Hate Springs Eternal,” he warns that the Obama campaign is on the brink of becoming a “cult of personality.” Sandwiching this broadside between attacks on Nixon, on one side, and against the Bush political machine on the other, he leaves no doubt where the hate comes from: Republicans and the Obama wing of the Democratic Party.
“I won’t try for fake evenhandedness here,” Krugman writes, “most of the venom I see is coming from supporters of Mr. Obama, who want their hero or nobody. I’m not the first to point out that the Obama campaign seems dangerously close to becoming a cult of personality. . . What’s particularly saddening is the way many Obama supporters seem happy with the application of “Clinton rules” [by which]— pundits and some news organizations treat any action or statement by the Clintons, no matter how innocuous, as proof of evil intent.”
Krugman makes a good point. Too often in politics small flaws real or imagined are trumped up into major character defects, signs of deviance, or markers of outright evil. Sometimes this turns into outright demonization. As he claims, that was done to Al Gore and many others, including the Clintons. Is he now doing it to Obama and his supporters?
The key ingredients of unwarranted demonization are these: first, the leveling a very serious charge that someone is immoral, deviant or evil, and second, doing so without care for the consequences or providing the evidence.
"Cult of personality” is, indeed, a very serious charge. It's a claim of deviance, if not evil. Yet there's no evident consideration of the consequences for the people he is lumping together in his attack, really not just the Obama campaign, but its supporters as well. Nor is any evidence provided-- none.
Krugman seems content to use techniques that might make “Tricky Dick” Nixon smile. In saying Obama supporters are "dangerously close" to becoming a "cult of personality"--rather than saying they're already there-- Krugman can pose as issuing a warning rather than engaging in an attack--if only the misguided would come to their senses. Second, he suggests the charge must be true because others are also saying it--but he not only provides no evidence, he doesn't even tell us who said so.
Other assumptions also abound, such as Obama supporters are "happy with the Clinton rules." Or his implication that Obama supporters may not support Clinton if she's the nominee because they only care about "hero worship." Where is the evidence that has Krugman so worked up?
I would even go further to suggest that Krugman also stigmatizes Republicans as a group here, as if only Republicans are capable of demonizing Democrats through character assassination.
To read Krugman’s article in full and judge for yourself please go to: Hate Springs Eternal. To express your views to Mr. Krugman go to: E mail Paul Krugman.
Thursday, February 07, 2008
This exit this year should be understood for what it is, the beginning of his campaign for the Republican nomination for President in 2012, should John McCain fail to capture the White House in November.
Romney wasn't content to bow out gracefully, however, but did so in a way that demonized Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and the Democratic Party in order to score future points with conservatives. Speaking before the Conservative Political Action Conference, he said:
"In this time of war, I simply cannot let my campaign be a part of aiding a surrender to terror. This is not an easy decision. I hate to lose," the former Massachusetts governor said.
"If this were only about me, I'd go on. But it's never been only about me. I entered this race because I love America, and because I love America, in this time of war I feel I have to now stand aside for our party and for our country."
Romney made the announcement Thursday afternoon at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington.
With Romney out, Sen. John McCain is locked in as the front-runner in the GOP race.