Category Archives: media

Just Ig’nant

Over the weekend an Iowa Republican, Rep. Steve King, has claimed that “terrorists would be ‘dancing in the streets’ if Democratic candidate Barack Obama were to win the presidency.” Well, yesterday King reiterated these comments on (surprise surprise) Fox News. TPM, as always, hookin’ us up with the clip:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6nu0QbLrDAg&eurl=http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/[/youtube]

It is most unfortunate that 1. people think like this and that 2. other people listen and agree. Aren’t we supposed to be a really well educated country?

Also, where the hell is Barack Obama coming out against these kinds of statements? He needs to be all over this kind of thing.

Cuba and the Computer

Thank you to our ninja trIzlam for bringing this to the attention of the politricksters.

The New York Times’ piece on Cuba’s “Cyber-Rebels” suggests a very new type of revolution going on in the socialist nation. The technological advances of the 21st century have, apparently, proved to be quite trying for Cuba’s government. The island nation has major restrictions on internet access  (which is not widely available to the public) and has a press that is strongly regulated by the state. As a result, Cubans are going cyber to get and spread information that may be considered sensitive [read: unacceptable] by the government. One such instance of unsanctioned information was the result of a recent confrontation between students and the president of Cuba’s National Assembly, Ricardo Alarcon, in the form of video footage. The video can be seen below. A situation like this rightly begs the question: what will the information age do to/for Cuba?  

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4MNX8skoZNc&eurl=http://guanabee.com/2008/03/digital-underground-smuggles-r.php[/youtube]

Krauthammer Makes Me Puke

krauthammer_charles.jpg

Today’s Op-Ed piece from Charles Krauthammer in the Washington Post very well may be satire. I can’t tell. But based on his track record, I think he wants us to take him seriously. Considering everything that has come to light regarding McCain’s recent relationship with the FEC over his public financing any reference to McCain-Feingold should be laughed at. Yet, Krauthammer writes with conviction:

On the difficult compromises that required the political courage to challenge one’s own political constituency, Obama flinched: the “Gang of 14″ compromise on judicial appointments, the immigration compromise to which Obama tried to append union-backed killer amendments and, just last month, the compromise on warrantless eavesdropping that garnered 68 votes in the Senate. But not Obama’s.

Who, in fact, supported all of these bipartisan deals, was a central player in two of them and brokered the even more notorious McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform? John McCain, of course.

Yes, John McCain — intemperate and rough-edged, of sharp elbows and even sharper tongue. Turns out that uniting is not a matter of rhetoric or manner, but of character and courage.

Yes, what we really need is a President with enough courage to bring hypocrasy to new levels, and who has a track record of putting himself at arms length of the rules. A President who used to be able to cross party lines but now all of a sudden has pledged himself to the Bush agenda. A President whose campaign rhetoric has turned out to be a message for a dedicated Iraq war “victory.” WE ARE NOT AT WAR WITH IRAQ!!! We are occupying Iraq, and in the process making an attempt to supress al-Qaeda (which is only one piece of the transnational jihadist movement in the Middle East). Isn’t it working splendidly? It’s driven our economy to the gutter, it’s taken as many as 160,000 people away from their families in our own country, forced millions of Iraqis from their homes, and it’s creating incentive for generations of good Muslims to resent America. Bravo, let’s keep it up? 

Krauthammer has also come to the conclusion that Barack Obama’s uniter image is really only believeable because of his heritage crosses racial lines. His logic goes like this:

Because Obama transcends race, it is therefore assumed that he will transcend everything else — divisions of region, class, party, generation and ideology.

If you ninjas know a single person who thinks of Obama’s candidacy in this light, I’d love to meet them. Obama is a black man and race has been an infinately less significant talking point this primary season than what Clinton has tried to do with the gender-card. Rediculous.

I Am Scared of This Man

Thanks, as always, to TPM for making this frightening clip of McCain and his evangelical endorser. McCain is getting a press pass in accepting John Hagee’s support. Hagee is known to have linked Catholicism with Nazi fascism, and referred to it as “the Great Whore.”

Hagee has also claimed the creation of independent Palestinian and Israeli states would bring terrorists to America because of our immigration policy. I know, it makes loads of sense. Just watch:

[youtube]http://youtube.com/watch?v=Hsu4CUk6RqQ[/youtube]

I don’t know if this would have been an issue at all if Barack hadn’t gotten hit hard by the Mrs. William Clinton and the press for not rejecting and denouncing Louis Farrakhan‘s support. But for what it’s worth, this man has no business being recognized for supporting a presidential candidate other than to create a buzz.

Her Time Will Come

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[Remember when she looked like this?]

I am of the opinion that the press will turn on Hillary, and I hope they do it soon. There are basic things that the Clintons & Co. have to do that they have not done and that they have not been held accountable for. Andrew Sullivan seems to understand what’s coming and he can’t wait:

The secrecy and paranoia also remind one of the Clintons’ history, especially Senator Clinton’s. From Whitewater through the long nightmare of cattle-futures through legal documents mysteriously “discovered” long after they were sought, to the secret healthcare task force that helped kill healthcare reform for over a decade, the Clintons are now following their long pattern. They hide stuff they need to hide and stuff they don’t need to hide. What we are learning is that these people have not changed. And their sense of personal privilege, their boundless paranoia, and their constant lies about themselves must be front and center in this campaign. Do we want to go back there again? After Bush and Cheney, do we really want another couple of co-presidents in love with total secrecy and above-the-law personal privilege?

I can’t stand to listen to Hillary speak. That brutish, masculine tone she uses on the stump to compliment her handsome looks makes me nauseous.

Debate Tonight

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Just so you ninjas know. There will be another debate tonight between Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. It will go from 9 – 10:30 and will air on NBC. Be sure to check back here for a run-down of the important aspects of what should be a bare-knuckle assault on Obama from Clinton.

The impending doomsday for team Hillary is one week from today when Texas and Ohio will have their primary elections.

I love that picture.

Barack Goes Pop

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fe751kMBwms[/youtube]

Here’s the speech [above] and the music video [below].

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jjXyqcx-mYY[/youtube]

Unfortunately, all the people who would care that these celebrities support Obama probably like him anyway. As for the non-Obama supporters – particularly Republicans – this will probably just make him look like a liberal supported by Hollywood. Should’ve gotten some country singers for the video…

Where have all the progressives gone?

As a quick question to start, how sad is it that upon hearing that Pakistan’s president had declared a state of emergency, suspending the constitution and indefinitely postponing elections, my very first thought was that somewhere Dick Cheney was scribbling down notes? And that were the Administration to take similar action, a fair number of pundits would think it was alright, what with the unprecedented threat and all? I just keep imagining the President making the announcement, quickly followed by a host of talking heads making like Mary Sunshine. It ain’t the happiest train of thought.

Anyway, tonight I wanted more to post about a fantastic piece running on Salon right now about this bloke (who does a freakishly good Donald Duck impression, by the way):

kucinich

It’s terrifically written and the tone is perfect, so I’d very likely have linked to it anyway, but when thinking about it in conjunction with Paul Krugman’s op-ed for the Times for Monday morning about the Dems’ unfortunate reluctance to be as liberal as the electorate would like, it became imperative.

(A brief aside: this isn’t going to be a post which argues in favor of voting for Kucinich. Partly because I’m not going to vote for him, but mostly because I’m going to bend over backwards on this blog to avoid endorsing individual candidates. That isn’t what politricks is for. When a candidate does something noteworthy, I’ll certainly mention them for it, but that’s all.)

Anyway, the Salon piece got me thinking a great deal about why it is that no mainstream candidate will put forth the kind of unapologetically progressive views that someone like Kucinich will. Especially with the public so clearly in favor of (among other things) better environmental regulations, universal health coverage, and a swift exit from Iraq. And it can’t just be a matter of traditional “I’ve got a real shot, can’t afford to offend the center” calculation, given that the prominent GOP candidates are falling over each other to figure out who can be the most hawkish on Iran or the most opposed to “socialized medicine.”
Part of it, certainly, is that we’ve been pounded on by the right, called “elitist” and “out of the mainstream” for so long, that we’ve started to believe it. Another big part is the simple fact that when your worldview allows for disagreement and debate, it’s hard not to seek compromise. It’s hard to imagine a progressive candidate being satisfied with the Bush-style “turn out enough of the base to eke out 51% and then ram your agenda down their throats” method of governance.

Still, it’d be nice, just once, to have a Democratic candidate for president who didn’t feel the need to flee from the “liberal” tag as though it were a plague rat. To watch a candidate asked about same-sex marriage say simply that everyone has the right to marry whom they choose, and that enshrining bigotry in the Constitution would be despicable. To say about global warming that leaving behind a flooding, drought-ridden world to our children, when all it would take to prevent it is a little ingenuity and sacrifice, is downright criminal. I know Jed Bartlet isn’t going to spontaneously burst forth from the annals of fiction anytime soon, but I’d at least like to have some reasonable facsimile around.

More than that, though, I want to know why, were someone along those lines to run, he or she would instantly be tarred as unelectable by the press, when a quasi-dictatorial ex-mayor and a former governor who hasn’t met an issue he couldn’t flip on are considered viable, even impressive candidates. And here I’m seriously asking, because I have no idea. Anyone who can explain it, please do.

Fox News: Redefining absurdity, every day

I’ve just spent the last ten minutes in convulsive laughter. It is quite seriously the hardest I’ve laughed in weeks. Tuesday morning, on Fox News, they blamed the California wildfires on al-Qaeda. I swear on Buddha’s boxer shorts this happened. Here, take a look for yourself (but first, move anything you could spill, knock over, or spit-take away from your computer):

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Px_mEucuaw[/youtube]

A few quick hits

The Federal Communications Commission is considering rewriting the rules on media ownership. Current rules state that a single company can’t own a TV or radio station and a newspaper within the same media market. The chairman of the FCC, not wanting to unduly burden billionaire media moguls in their ongoing quest for world domination, wants to get rid of this rule. And it makes sense, really. Without all that pesky regulatory work taking up their time, the FCC can get back to its real job: making sure no one can say “fuck” on television.

Fun new controversy on the Iraq front… Remember this guy?

sanchez

Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, US Army (ret.) was commander of U.S. forces in Iraq from mid-2003 to mid-2004. He’s recently emerged from his retirement to level a bit of criticism at the Administration’s policies in that particular quagmire. Now, the irony of that I could comment upon, but I’ll let Jon Stewart cover that (go watch it, Daily Show’s always worth the trip, especially when they don’t even try to resist the filthy play on a political figure’s name).

What is really interesting is the dilemma it brings to light (which Fred Kaplan covers brilliantly here): when is it acceptable, in a constitutional republic, for generals to question civilian leaders? On the one hand, I really do hope that if Bush orders a strike on Iran, that the Joint Chiefs do everything they possibly can to dissuade him. On the other, I don’t much care for the precedent of military commanders overruling civilian authority. Admittedly, this is the sort of thing that’s less of a problem when the civilian leadership isn’t delusional.

Speaking of which, the only President we’ve got is actively discussing World War III, which is always reassuring. The thing that’s most frightening about the quote is that he wasn’t addressing his comment to Iran, but to Russia, the other country on Earth with several thousand nuclear weapons. I don’t really think he’s envisioning a war against Russia over Iran, but still, this sort of belligerent commentary seems… oh, I don’t know, foolish? Anyone with a better adjective, go ahead and suggest it.