Archives for February, 2008
On a quick note, I really appreciate all the dynamite tips C&Lers send me throughout the day. I couldn't do this without you, but I also get a lot of emails that instruct me to go here and or look this up with no explanation or context. I receive 500-700 emails a day and I always just delete those emails. I don't have time to track down the meaning of them all. I haven't said this before and I should have already.
If you have a tip or an article that you want me, Nicole or anyone from C&L to read, please include the url and the body of the article with a good title in the subject line so I don't miss it and can take a look at it while I'm going through my inbox. I don't want you to waste your time and effort...And I'm sorry I haven't had the time to respond to as many as I used to.
Also, feel free to send me any video or audio clips with a short write up that you find too. I'm always open to a little help from my friends. Just let me know how you'd like to be identified for the hat tip...
Chris Matthews can't help but get his Clinton hate on, even if it means some peculiarly revisionist history. He asked his "Matthews Meter" (a group of 12 regular talking heads on his show) whether Bill helped or hurt Hillary Clinton's fall from the presumptive Democratic candidate to trying to find a way to slow down the Obama momentum. Naturally, the Big Dog hurt his wife's chances, according to the talking heads. Cynthia Tucker makes a good point that we didn't get to see the gregarious, inspirational Bill Clinton of his own campaign, but the angry, protective husband, which didn't help Hillary Clinton at all. But when Matthews brings up Al Gore, who purposefully distanced himself from Clinton during his own run for the presidency as proof that Bill's Midas touch is tarnished, that's just more than a little silly.
My own take on Hillary Clinton's campaign has little to do with Bill or his input. First and foremost, the whole notion that the person who was at the top of the polls going into the primary season had the edge going out ignores history completely. John Kerry wasn't at the top of the polls, nor was Bill Clinton. They emerged after some strong wins in early states, just like Obama. And Clinton herself has not run a smart campaign, due I suspect more to her advisors like Mark Penn than her husband. On NOW on PBS, campaign strategist Joe Trippi (most recently of the Edwards campaign) contrasts the top down organization of Clinton campaign to the bottom up focus of the Obama campaign.
BillO obviously is feeling some heat over his vile words the other day when he compared Hitler and the KKK to some anonymous commenter's on the Huffington Post and attacking Arianna. In his perverted defense, he says that the use of propaganda by the Nazis to murder millions of Jews is an honest comparison to some idiots leaving comments on a blog.
O'Reiily: ...from the late nineteen twenties to nineteen thirty three when Hitler became chancellor, the Nazis used vile propaganda to demonize Jews and others in the eyes of the German people. The used newspapers, radio, leaflets and rallies to build up enormous hatred towards your family.
Today we're seeing the same thing on the net here in America, there is no difference. When Arianna Huffington allows people to say that Nancy Reagan should suffer terribly and then die, that is no different that what doctor Joseph Goebbels and others were putting out way back then.
What an ignorant fool. Yea, a few commenter's on blogs are in some way equal to Hitler and his mass rallies that led millions of people to their demise and are as evil as the KKK and the Nazis in O'Reilly's world. Right wing demagogues will say absolutely anything to justify their insane actions. Rarely if ever, BillO will take a look at right wing sites to see what they are up to as Steve Young points out.
I know you won't because you never have. You've always said that the Right's smears are minuscule as compared to the Left's. What, you've never listened to talk radio? You've never gone through the tons of right wing sites? You've never watched your show?
When you first ripped into DailyKos you admitted you had never even heard of FreeRepublic.com, one of the largest right wing blog sites on the Net. Some crack research staff...read on
I didn't see BillO repudiate Malkin when I broke the story about her printing the phone numbers of Santa Cruz students who were then inundated with hate calls and death threats. She was repudiated by some of her own over that one. The Santa Cruz students contacted me to help them out when the hate got too much. When I exposed Michelle's conduct---where was Bill? Where was Bill when she attacked the Frost family? Where was Bill when the right winger Charles Johnson attacked Jill Carroll after she was released from being kidnapped in Iraq? Where was...ahhh...you get the point.
Rep. Eric Schneiderman on Transforming the Liberal Checklist. A good primer for all of us who are interested in furthering a movement, however, I think it also provides some insight as to why Barack Obama's campaign has swept up so many new voters and independent voters and surprised so many election prognosticators:
I respectfully suggest that if we want to move beyond short- term efforts to slow down the bone-crushing machinery of the contemporary conservative movement and begin to build a meaningful movement of our own, we need to expand the job descriptions of our elected officials. To do this, we must consider the two distinct aspects of our work: transactional politics and transformational politics.
Transactional politics is pretty straightforward. What's the best deal I can get on a gun-control or immigration-reform bill during this year's legislative session? What do I have to do to elect a good progressive ally in November? Transactional politics requires us to be pragmatic about current realities and the state of public opinion. It's all about getting the best result possible given the circumstances here and now.
Transformational politics is the work we do today to ensure that the deal we can get on gun control or immigration reform in a year--or five years, or twenty years--will be better than the deal we can get today. Transformational politics requires us to challenge the way people think about issues, opening their minds to better possibilities. It requires us to root out the assumptions about politics or economics or human nature that prevent us from embracing policies that will make our lives better. Transformational politics has been a critical element of American political life since Lincoln was advocating his "oft expressed belief that a leader should endeavor to transform, yet heed, public opinion."
The need for a renewed focus on transformational politics is obvious when we compare the success of the conservative movement over the past thirty years with the collapse of the American progressive coalition. The important thing about contemporary conservatives is not just that they won elections--it's how they won. They didn't win by changing their positions or rhetoric to move toward the voters--or where polls told them the voters were. They won by moving the voters closer to them, paving the way for the last decade of conservative hegemony.
Critics aren’t amused with Comcast’s use of an old Washington, D.C., lobbying trick to pack a Cambridge hearing earlier this week with paid “line standers” who saved seats for Comcast supporters.
Whether a common practice or not in Washington, the tactic was inappropriate for a special FCC field hearing that was intended to let the public, not paid bystanders, attend Monday’s event - which was so crowded that about 100 people were shut out of the hearing, critics said.
“Comcast approached the hearing with its cable monopolist hat on,” said Jeffrey Chester, executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy, a digital media public interest group.
“(Comcast) didn’t think anything [was] wrong with a we-will-pay-per-seat-for-our-supporters approach to packing the hearing.”
As promised, anti-'media consolidation' activists asked a federal court to throw out the Federal Communications Commission's recent media-ownership decision.
Media Access Project Tuesday filed a petition with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit on behalf of Prometheus Radio Project and in opposition to loosening the newspaper-broadcast cross-ownership rules, which the FCC did Dec. 18.
I've received a lot of emails from C&Lers over the years asking me to post some pics when I played with Duran Duran in 2003. This was from a show in San Diego....Good Times...
Bill Maher gives his latest New Rules, with a special condemnation for the right wingers and their whisper campaign to appeal to the bigotry of the voting public:
A fundamental trait of today’s right wing is the willingness to lie, baldly and repeatedly and without shame. And it always catches the Democrats off guard. Just ask war criminal John Kerry or Munchausen Syndrome sufferer Al Gore. Are people like Sean Hannity really so dumb that they think Barack Obama is an African spy who’s plotting to be the Lion King? Well, in his case, yes, but…People like Karl Rove know that the more ridiculous the charge you make, the better. Because they’re not aimed at rational people. They’re aimed at that great teeming mass of Americans who wept with joy when they heard “American Gladiators” was coming back. They’re called “undecideds” or “swing voters”, but I prefer the traditional term, “morons”.
Warning: Disturbing content, not safe for work
Psychologist Philip Zimbardo has seen good people turn evil, and he thinks he knows why.
Zimbardo will speak Thursday afternoon at the TED conference, where he plans to illustrate his points by showing a three-minute video, obtained by Wired.com, that features many previously unseen photographs from the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq (disturbing content).
In March 2006, Salon.com published 279 photos and 19 videos from Abu Ghraib, one of the most extensive documentations to date of abuse in the notorious prison. Zimbardo claims, however, that many images in his video -- which he obtained while serving as an expert witness for an Abu Ghraib defendant -- have never before been published.
The Abu Ghraib prison made international headlines in 2004 when photographs of military personnel abusing Iraqi prisoners were published around the world. Seven soldiers were convicted in courts martial and two, including Specialist Lynndie England, were sentenced to prison.
Zimbardo conducted a now-famous experiment at Stanford University in 1971, involving students who posed as prisoners and guards. Five days into the experiment, Zimbardo halted the study when the student guards began abusing the prisoners, forcing them to strip naked and simulate sex acts.
His book, The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil, explores how a "perfect storm" of conditions can make ordinary people commit horrendous acts.
Dr. Zimbardo's interview with Wired and the video may be viewed here. Are these the freedoms--freedom to dehumanize, freedom to debase, freedom to torture and kill--that Muslims supposedly hate us for?
I'm no fan of Bill Donohue as you well know, but it's interesting to see him get his freak on over Hagee's endorsement of McCain. CNN covers the story pretty thoroughly on The Situation Room.
Donohue: This thing is out of bounds and this is why McCain has to look at thi---this--it's the totality of what the man stands for. He's been bashing Catholicism for decades and making a mountain of money over it.
CNN: McCain's campaign didn't respond when we asked if he knew about Hagee's writings before accepting the endorsement
Of course McCain knew. And McCain's refusal to denounce the Catholic hating preacher is very interesting indeed. So far Chris Matthews thinks Democratic political ads are more important to Hardball than John McCain getting hammered by the Catholic League over this endorsement. The one Huckabee begged to get in on himself. That's very revealing. You would think in a sixty minute show, Tweety would at least raise the issue. Can you imagine the outrage filled hour Matthews would have produced if Hillary or Obama gladly welcomed Hagee into their open arms?
Will Russert give McCain the same treatment he gives Obama and Hillary?