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Archive for August 19th, 2008

By- Suzie-Q @ 10:30 PM MST

Obama: McCain ‘Doesn’t Know What He’s up Against’

Obama: McCain ‘doesn’t know what he’s up against,’ says rival shouldn’t question his character

By BETH FOUHY Associated Press Writer
RALEIGH, N.C. August 19, 2008 (AP)

A combative Barack Obama said Tuesday that Republican John McCain “doesn’t know what he’s up against” in this election and challenged his rival to stop questioning his character and patriotism.

Obama, campaigning in a state where he hopes to become the first Democratic presidential candidate to win in more than three decades, implored his supporters to fight for the presidency.

“Our job in this election is not just ‘win,’ although I’m a big believer in winning,” Obama said during the rally. “I don’t intend to lose this election. John McCain doesn’t know what he’s up against.”

“He can talk all he wants about Britney (Spears) and Paris (Hilton), but I don’t have time for that mess,” Obama said.

His remarks carried forward a theme of feisty campaigning he debuted earlier in the day.

Addressing the Veterans of Foreign Wars convention in Orlando, Fla., Obama reaffirmed his early opposition to the U.S. invasion of Iraq and said the strategy of sending in 30,000 additional troops last year had not produced the political reconciliation necessary to achieve lasting peace in the country.

“These are the judgments I’ve made and the policies that we have to debate, because we do have differences in this election,” Obama told the veterans. “One of the things that we have to change in this country is the idea that people can’t disagree without challenging each other’s character and patriotism. I have never suggested that Sen. McCain picks his positions on national security based on politics or personal ambition. I have not suggested it because I believe that he genuinely wants to serve America’s national interest. Now, it’s time for him to acknowledge that I want to do the same.

“Let me be clear: I will let no one question my love of this country,” Obama said to applause.

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By- Suzie-Q @ 6:30 PM MST

Coal company CEO: ‘Black is the new green.’

Think Progress- By Ali at 8:30 pm

Speaking to USA Today, Gregory Boyce, CEO of Peabody, the world’s largest coal company, “shrugged off any worries” about coal’s enormous greenhouse gas emissions or moves to make energy more environmentally friendly, declaring the U.S. would never move away from coal:

It’s a good time to be Peabody,” says Boyce, an affable man who speaks in a confident baritone. “There’s not enough natural gas. There’s not enough renewables (such as wind and solar energy) to go around. So I’m not concerned that coal is going to disappear. For us not to use that resource, we are just shooting ourselves in the foot.” […]

“There’s a perception out there that coal is dirty, and we have to change that,” he adds, noting that coal plants already have cut emissions of some pollutants and boosted efficiency to slash CO2 discharges. “Black is the new green.

Though Peabody is swimming in green — with profits soaring so far this year to $290 million — it’s a lie to suggest coal is somehow clean. Burning coal “adds a significant amount of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere per unit of heat energy, more than does the combustion of other fossil fuels.” What’s more, though Boyce boasts of a $9 million investment into “clean coal” technology, he fails to note that the coal industry’s largest front group has vowed to pour $40 million into efforts to block climate change and alternative energy legislation.

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The Spin, I’m In! OMG The Fool Is Drunk Again!

GEF @ 8:28 PM

George is Drunk Again

Dear Mr. President – Pink

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Obama’s VP: Will It Be Biden?

By- Suzie-Q @ 2:05 PM MST

Obama VP speculation centering on Biden

Raw Story- Nick Juliano
Published: Tuesday August 19, 2008

Senate veteran opposed wiretap expansion

Joe Biden seems to be emerging as the most likely candidate to become Barack Obama’s running mate, according to the DC Conventional Wisdom crowd.

The Delaware Senator and former presidential candidate also is receiving considerable favorable press among progressive bloggers and liberal activists, although this is partly because of what those same people see as the utterly dismal alternatives Obama’s team is floating.

While an announcement is expected no sooner than Wednesday, political journalists and bloggers were left with little aside from Obama veep speculation to keep themselves busy Tuesday morning.

Biden’s lengthy resume and encyclopedic knowledge of foreign affairs occupied much of the day’s speculation, but a recent vote in Biden’s more than three-decade career could help Obama mend some fences with a perturbed piece of his progressive base.

Last month, when the Senate passed a update to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act that critics said handed the president too much power and let telecommunications companies off the hook for illegal spying, Biden was one of just 28 no votes. He also voted for an amendment sponsored by Sens. Chris Dodd (D-CT) and Russ Feingold (D-WI) to strip telecom immunity from the bill.

Obama reversed his earlier position and supported the FISA bill, infuriating supporters who had built the largest group on his campaign’s social networking site to urging him to vote against the measure.

While some of the anti-FISA activists would prefer the “unlikely choices of Dodd or Feingold” to become Obama’s No. 2, Biden’s opposition to the FISA bill puts him ahead of some other potential running mates like Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh, said Jon Pincus, who helped establish GetFISARight.net, which grew out of the my.BarackObama.com group.

“Anybody who’s in the right place is better than people who aren’t in the right place,” Pincus told RAW STORY, referring to Bayh’s opposition to the immunity-stripping amendment and his support of the overall bill.

Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY), who Obama narrowly defeated during the Democratic primaries, also voted against the FISA legislation. While the former first lady is largely considered to be out of the running to share a ticket with Obama, some still see her as a long shot possibility.

Pincus said a discussion thread examining the FISA vote he started on the Facebook group “100,000 Strong Against Evan Bayh for VP” showed that the wiretapping bill wasn’t likely to be the No. 1 concern of many activists, although there are certainly some for whom having an anti-FISA running mate will help a bit.

Biden is not without his problems, though. While his shoot-from-the-hip verbal style can serve him well, such as his legendary take-down of Rudy Giuliani during a Democratic debate, it’s also landed in him in hot water after a slew of racially tinged gaffes. There’s also, of course, his two decade old plagiarism flap. Some see his 35 years in Washington blunting Obama’s message of change, and opposition researchers have plenty to pour over in his legislative record.

The Biden speculation seemed to reach a fever pitch Tuesday morning with this suggestion in Time‘s The Page blog, and the New York Times put Biden in the top 3, alongside Bayh and Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine.

Obama’s campaign is keeping its choice strictly under wraps, aiming to ensure no name leaks before supporters are informed via text message and e-mail. Those notices are expected to be sent as early as Wednesday morning.

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Afternoon Jukebox… Lovesong

By- Suzie-Q @ 2:00 PM MST

The Cure – Lovesong

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By- Suzie-Q @ 11:15 AM MST

Miers: From Supreme Court Nominee To Pakistan Lobbyist

TPM Muckraker
Kate Klonick – August 19, 2008, 9:57AM

Harriet Miers, former White House counsel, one-time Supreme Court nominee and current partner at Locke Lord Bissell & Liddell, can now add lobbyist for the Pakistan People’s Party and the Embassy of Pakistan to her resume, according to documents filed with the DOJ earlier this month.

In May of this year, Locke Lord Strategies signed a one-year $900,000 agreement to lobby for the Embassy of Pakistan. On her foreign agent registration short form, Miers listed the “Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Asif Ali Zardari, Co-Chairperson of PPP and his children” as clients. The group’s ongoing work lobbying for the PPP continues on a pro bono basis.

In case you’re wondering if this has anything to do with the current events in Pakistan, The Blog of Legal Times has your answer:

What does President Pervez Musharraf’s resignation mean for Locke Lord? Probably not much. The firm has represented Asif Ali Zardari, the leader of the Pakistan Peoples Party and an opponent of Musharraf, since March, when the firm was retained to promote democracy and pressure Pakistan’s government to investigate former PPP head Benazir Bhutto’s assassination.

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Bu$hco’s military fiasco in Georgia

by Geezer Power…10:28 am


CRISIS IN THE CAUCASUS. WHAT WERE THEY SMOKING IN THE WHITE HOUSE?

Eric Margolis

Archives > August 18, 2008

WASHINGTON DC- The Bush administration appears to have pulled off its latest military fiasco in the Caucasus. What was supposed to have been a swiftly and painless takeover of rebellious South Ossetia by America’s favourite new ally, Georgia, has turned into a disaster that left Georgia battered, Russia enraged, and NATO badly demoralized. Not bad for two days work.

Equally important, Russia’s Vladimir Putin swiftly and decisively checkmated the Bush administration’s clumsy attempt last week to expand US influence into the Caucasus, and made the Americans and their Georgian satraps look like fools.

We are not facing a return to the Cold War – yet. But the current US-Russian crisis over Georgia, a tiny nation of only 4.6 million, and its linkage to a US anti-ballistic missile system in Eastern Europe, is deeply worrying and increasingly dangerous.

On 7 August, Georgia’s president, Mikheil Saakashvili, ordered his US and Israeli-advised and equipped army to invade the breakaway region of South Ossetia, which has been struggling for independence from Georgia since 1992. Most of its people were Russian citizens who wanted union with Russian North Ossetia.

If not directly behind Georgia’s invasion of South Ossetia, Washington had to have been at least fully aware of Saakashvili’s plans. The Georgian Army was trained and equipped by US and Israeli military advisors stationed with its troops down to battalion level. CIA and Israel’s Mossad operated important intelligence stations in Tbilisi and coordinated plans with the Saakashvili, whose political opponents have long accused him of being very close to CIA and the Pentagon.

Georgia’s attack on South Ossetia was launched while the world was absorbed by the Beijing Olympics, and Prime Minister Putin was in the Chinese capital. The attack was clearly planned to be a lightening strike that would occupy all of South Ossetia and then Abkhazia before Moscow could react, presenting the Kremlin with a fait accompli.

Who in Bush’s or Cheney’s office approved this stupid adventure? Why did the very smart Israelis get sucked into this imbroglio?

Read the article

ericmargolis.com

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Democrats And The South

By- Suzie-Q @ 10:15 AM MST

How Democrats can take back the South

The author of “Blue Dixie” says don’t give up on the region — but don’t pander to it with Clintonian centrism.

Editor’s note: Read Thomas Schaller’s response to Bob Moser here.

Salon- By Bob Moser

Aug. 19, 2008 | When a couple of fellows in North Georgia started hollering last week that they’d bagged a Bigfoot, I couldn’t help sniffing out a big, ungainly political metaphor. With apologies in advance, it goes like this: As I’ve chronicled in my new book, “Blue Dixie: Awakening the South’s Democratic Majority,” Democrats have been stalking an elusive beast in Dixie every four years since the Voting Rights Act broke apart the dominant old Democratic Party in the South. The beast has gone by several different names: the Social Voter, the Reagan Democrat, the NASCAR Dad, and the just plain White Swing Voter. It’s been viewed, by many a non-Southern liberal, as somewhat akin to a Bigfoot, in that nobody could be sure that the phenomenon really existed — and if it did, it was likely only half-human. But the hunt for this ghostly creature still struck most Democratic strategists and consultants as absolutely essential, because you supposedly couldn’t win Southern elections (no matter the region’s sizable numbers of black voters and progressive whites) without capturing a fair amount. Also, of course, because no Democrat in U.S. history has won the White House without carrying at least five states in Dixie, a historical pattern that seems particularly relevant as we head for what looks like a close presidential election.

The Democrats’ hapless pursuit of the Southern Sasquatch yielded its fair share of tabloid-worthy farces through the years: Jimmy Carter’s ill-conceived Conference on American Families, which ended up turning evangelicals against him; Michael Dukakis’ holding forth atop a hay bale in South Carolina to extol his Massachusetts Miracle; Bill Clinton’s shameless Sister Souljah moment. It motivated any number of Democratic candidates to take heavily photographed hunting detours from the campaign trail, feign an appreciation for stock-car racing, learn to work the word “family” into at least every other sentence, and babble about their sincere regard for “states’ rights.” And it spawned the once-powerful Democratic Leadership Council, whose co-founder Clinton helped reshape the party into a Wall Street-friendly, free-trading, Bible-quoting, culturally moderate shell of the New Deal coalition — every last compromise justified by the pressing need to woo those crucial Southern whites.

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the peace movement

by betmo @ 9:04 AM EDT

hmmmm…. yeah. i guess i wonder where it’s moving. can someone check its pulse? that’s my second cuppa snark this morning. there are many folks in this country who want peace- no doubt. and there are some who actually engage with the rest of humanity on a quest to get it. but there is a biiiiigggg obstacle to peace in this country- and no it isn’t just the neocons and obstructionist dems- americans themselves don’t really want peace. not really.

how else to explain the abysmal way we treat each other? most folks have heard by now of fellow americans being tased to death- i think we may be getting closer to 3 digits every time i post- and we have heard of police beatings of people who weren’t resisting and of the huge ice roundups that just herd everyone together to sort out later (and detain indefinitely). but what about our daily lives? looking at how we treat each other or talk about each other- and those around the world- it’s indicative of where we really are at.

i read a piece in national geographic about iran. what struck me was the people. the government actually sounds like ours but the people- they have this sense of identity and stubborn will to be who they are despite millennia of invasions- it’s incredible. and yet, americans would be content to bomb them and their beautiful country to smithereens for oil. without taking a moment to think about the humanity lost and the thousands of years of world history. these folks speak farsi and are fairly anti-arab. they have their own identity and they aren’t terribly interested in america- except for the fact we keep threatening to annihilate them. anyhoo- i thought while reading- what an exceptional people and what an ally they would have made if we hadn’t fucked things up with our greedy foreign policy. sigh.

anyhoo- read the article- and really take a look at the people. we didn’t bother to do that with iraq or anywhere else in the world actually. the world isn’t our oyster and we don’t have the right to take what isn’t ours’. we need to take a hard look at our own culture and see it for what it is and isn’t. people who can be so callous as to let a man die after ignoring him for 22 hours or people who can stand by while a pet dies– and say that it’s only an animal get another- well, that gives me pause. these are everyday people- neighbors, family members, friends, co-workers- americans. if this is the real face of who we are- it is not only disillusioning- it’s frightening.

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Who Started Cold War II?

Sudhan @12:12 CET

by Patrick J. Buchanan | Antiwar.com, August 19, 2008

The American people should be eternally grateful to Old Europe for having spiked the Bush-McCain plan to bring Georgia into NATO.

Had Georgia been in NATO when Mikheil Saakashvili invaded South Ossetia, we would be eyeball to eyeball with Russia, facing war in the Caucasus, where Moscow’s superiority is as great as U.S. superiority in the Caribbean during the Cuban missile crisis.

If the Russia-Georgia war proves nothing else, it is the insanity of giving erratic hotheads in volatile nations the power to drag the United States into war.

From Harry Truman to Ronald Reagan, as Defense Secretary Robert Gates said, U.S. presidents have sought to avoid shooting wars with Russia, even when the Bear was at its most beastly.

Truman refused to use force to break Stalin’s Berlin blockade. Ike refused to intervene when the Butcher of Budapest drowned the Hungarian Revolution in blood. LBJ sat impotent as Leonid Brezhnev’s tanks crushed the Prague Spring. Jimmy Carter’s response to Brezhnev’s invasion of Afghanistan was to boycott the Moscow Olympics. When Brezhnev ordered his Warsaw satraps to crush Solidarity and shot down a South Korean airliner killing scores of U.S. citizens, including a congressman, Reagan did – nothing.

These presidents were not cowards. They simply would not go to war when no vital U.S. interest was at risk to justify a war. Yet, had George W. Bush prevailed and were Georgia in NATO, U.S. Marines could be fighting Russian troops over whose flag should fly over a province of 70,000 South Ossetians who prefer Russians to Georgians.

The arrogant folly of the architects of U.S. post-Cold War policy is today on display. By bringing three ex-Soviet republics into NATO, we have moved the U.S. red line for war from the Elbe almost to within artillery range of the old Leningrad.

Should America admit Ukraine into NATO, Yalta, vacation resort of the czars, will be a NATO port and Sevastopol, traditional home of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, will become a naval base for the U.S. Sixth Fleet. This is altogether a bridge too far.

And can we not understand how a Russian patriot like Vladimir Putin would be incensed by this U.S. encirclement after Russia shed its empire and sought our friendship? How would Andy Jackson have reacted to such crowding by the British Empire?

As of 1991, the oil of Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Azerbaijan belonged to Moscow. Can we not understand why Putin would smolder as avaricious Yankees built pipelines to siphon the oil and gas of the Caspian Basin through breakaway Georgia to the West?

For a dozen years, Putin & Co. watched as U.S. agents helped to dump over regimes in Ukraine and Georgia that were friendly to Moscow.

If Cold War II is coming, who started it, if not us?

The swift and decisive action of Putin’s army in running the Georgian forces out of South Ossetia in 24 hours after Saakashvili began his barrage and invasion suggests Putin knew exactly what Saakashvili was up to and dropped the hammer on him.

What did we know? Did we know Georgia was about to walk into Putin’s trap? Did we not see the Russians lying in wait north of the border? Did we give Saakashvili a green light?

Joe Biden ought to be conducting public hearings on who caused this U.S. humiliation.

The war in Georgia has exposed the dangerous overextension of U.S. power. There is no way America can fight a war with Russia in the Caucasus with our army tied down in Afghanistan and Iraq. Nor should we. Hence, it is demented to be offering, as John McCain and Barack Obama are, NATO membership to Tbilisi.

The United States must decide whether it wants a partner in a flawed Russia or a second Cold War. For if we want another Cold War, we are, by cutting Russia out of the oil of the Caspian and pushing NATO into her face, going about it exactly the right way.

Vladimir Putin is no Stalin. He is a nationalist determined, as ruler of a proud and powerful country, to assert his nation’s primacy in its own sphere, just as U.S. presidents from James Monroe to Bush have done on our side of the Atlantic.

A resurgent Russia is no threat to any vital interests of the United States. It is a threat to an American Empire that presumes some God-given right to plant U.S. military power in the backyard or on the front porch of Mother Russia.

Who rules Abkhazia and South Ossetia is none of our business. And after this madcap adventure of Saakashvili, why not let the people of these provinces decide their own future in plebiscites conducted by the United Nations or the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe?

As for Saakashvili, he’s probably toast in Tbilisi after this stunt. Let the neocons find him an endowed chair at the American Enterprise Institute.

COPYRIGHT CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.

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