GOP Reps advised to avoid party brand

From Politico: By MIKE ALLEN (full article here )

A new playbook for House Republicans urges them to run essentially as independents, showing empathy for voters, emphasizing local issues and ignoring many traditional party campaign practices.

Published in: on July 1, 2008 at 5:58 am  Comments (1)  

Obama, Ferraro, Wright: ‘Postracial’ Meets Racism

Quite what concept Ferraro was referring to is difficult to fathom. Of the ten whitest states to have voted so far, Obama has won nine of them. Of the ten blackest states to have voted so far (including the District of Columbia), he has won nine of them. The votes are not weighted for melanin content. His lead is the product not of affirmative action but of democratic election.

There is a word for people who consistently deny the existence and effects of racism while denigrating black achievement. It’s called racist. It is not a word that should be used casually, and it is a word that has at times been misused. But it is not a word that we should refrain from using simply because some people might be offended. Ferraro is a racist. That’s not all she is. And that’s not all she has to be. But that is what she has consistently chosen to be in her response to black men in politics.

Published in: on March 24, 2008 at 6:42 pm  Comments (1)  

Meet the White Man who Inspired Wright’s Sermon

His name is Ambassador Edward Peck. And he is a retired, white, career U.S. diplomat who served 32-years in the U.S. Foreign Service and was chief of the U.S. mission to Iraq under Jimmy Carter — hardly the black-rage image with which Wright has been stigmatized.

In fact, when Wright took the pulpit to give his post-9/11 address — which has since become boiled down to a five second sound bite about “America’s chickens coming home to roost” — he prefaced his remarks as a “faith footnote,” an indication that he was deviating from his sermon.
“I heard Ambassador Peck on an interview yesterday,” Wright declared. “He was on Fox News. This is a white man and he was upsetting the Fox News commentators to no end. He pointed out, a white man, an ambassador, that what Malcolm X said when he got silenced by Elijah Muhammad was in fact true: America’s chickens are coming home to roost.”

Published in: on March 23, 2008 at 5:51 pm  Leave a Comment  

Smearing Obama

Ari Berman, the Nation

Even if the false claims about Obama originally emanated from the neoconservative right, the Clinton campaign has eagerly pushed them. Clinton operative Sidney Blumenthal has e-mailed damaging stories about Obama to reporters, including a recent article by Batchelor. Clinton fundraiser Annie Totah circulated a column by Ed Lasky before Super Tuesday, with the inscription “Please vote wisely in the Primaries.” Clinton adviser Ann Lewis falsely referred to Zbigniew Brzezinski, a critic of AIPAC, as a chief adviser to Obama on a conference call with Jewish reporters. “I can tell you for a fact people from the Clinton campaign are calling reporters and asking them to pay attention to things involving Obama and Israel,” says Shmuel Rosner, Washington correspondent for the Israeli daily Ha’aretz. The volume of e-mails about Obama in a given state tends to track the election calendar–hardly a coincidence.

Published in: on March 15, 2008 at 6:54 pm  Comments (5)  

Clinton’s Up-Is-Down World

Throughout history, it’s been common for politicians to shade the truth when caught in a tight spot. But sometimes politicians push the limits, crossing the line into an Orwellian world where up is down, where bullies are victims, where people objecting to the lies are shouted down.

Published in: on March 15, 2008 at 5:18 pm  Leave a Comment  

Ferraro’s Obama Remarks Become Talk of Campaign

“If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position.”

“Every time that campaign is upset about something, they call it racist”

Published in: on March 11, 2008 at 10:49 pm  Leave a Comment  

Pakistan’s flawed and feudal princess

It’s wrong for the West simply to mourn Benazir Bhutto as a martyred democrat, says this acclaimed south Asia expert. Her legacy is far murkier and more complex.

Published in: on December 30, 2007 at 11:57 am  Leave a Comment  

Democratic House Officials Recruited Wealthy Conservatives

This letter sent from then DCCC Head Rahm Emanuel to Democratic House hopeful Jan Schneider underscores a DCCC policy of remaining “neutral” in primary races. Schneider soon came to doubt the letter’s sincerity.

Published in: on October 14, 2007 at 1:31 pm  Comments (1)  

Baghdad, top U.S. commander downplay reported tensions

Officials acknowledge differences but deny that Prime Minister Maliki has sought Gen. Petraeus’ ouster.

Published in: on July 28, 2007 at 3:13 pm  Leave a Comment  

Stacking the Court


Huntington, W.Va.

WHEN a majority of Supreme Court justices adopt a manifestly ideological agenda, it plunges the court into the vortex of American politics. If the Roberts court has entered voluntarily what Justice Felix Frankfurter once called the “political thicket,” it may require a political solution to set it straight. The framers of the Constitution did not envisage the Supreme Court as arbiter of all national issues. As Chief Justice John Marshall made clear in Marbury v. Madison, the court’s authority extends only to legal issues.

Published in: on July 27, 2007 at 11:16 am  Leave a Comment  

Further Politicization of the U.S. Military’s Public Statements

“The Bush administration has long used the Rush Limbaughs and Sean Hannitys and Rich Lowrys and Brit Humes and other ideologically loyal minions as their primary interviewers and vessels for message dissemination, and this is now clearly the U.S. military’s media strategy as well. There is nothing in the Bush administration that is not politicized from top to bottom.”

by Glenn Greenwald

Published in: on July 25, 2007 at 12:13 am  Leave a Comment  

In Mississippi, Ruling Is Seen as Racial Split

A court ruling that forces voters to register by party could return Mississippi to the days of racially polarized politics

Published in: on July 17, 2007 at 9:42 pm  Leave a Comment  

Happy Birthday Arianna

It’s the birthday of journalist and writer Arianna Huffington, born in Athens, Greece (1950). She went to Cambridge and moved to America in 1980. She was a conservative columnist, but over the years she’s become more and more liberal. Arianna Huffington wrote,


“One of the definite changes in my thinking was born of the hard reality I confronted when I discovered how much easier it was raising money for the opera and fashionable museums than for at-risk children. So I came to recognize that the task of overcoming poverty will not be achieved without the raw power of government appropriations.”

Her book, How to Overthrow the Government, came out in 2000.

[Writer’s Almanac]

Published in: on July 15, 2007 at 9:43 pm  Leave a Comment  

Iraqi politicians call on civilians to arm themselves

Prominent Shiite and Sunni politicians called on Iraqi civilians to take up arms to defend themselves after a weekend of violence that claimed more than 220 lives, including 60 who died yesterday in a surge of bombings and shootings around Baghdad.

Published in: on July 9, 2007 at 11:45 pm  Leave a Comment  

And Our Posterity

Our Constitution obliges us to consider the impact of our political decisions on future generations and their union, justice, tranquility, defense, welfare, and liberty — we’d better recast our debates.

Gary Hart

Published in: on July 8, 2007 at 9:23 pm  Leave a Comment  

America’s new political center

’60s liberalism and ’80s conservatism yield to synthesis.

Published in: on July 5, 2007 at 5:31 pm  Leave a Comment  

Digby Speaks:

The Netroots Revolution

Congratulations Digby!

Published in: on June 22, 2007 at 11:27 pm  Leave a Comment  

Those who denied poll result were the real coup plotters

The reality is that the only people who are really behind Salam Fayyad are the European and US diplomats who have long sung his praises behind the scenes to any journalist prepared to listen.

Peter Beaumont

Here is how democracy works in the Alice in Wonderland world of Palestinian politics under the tutelage of the US and international community.

Published in: on June 20, 2007 at 4:58 pm  Leave a Comment  

Twenty Things You Should Know About Corporate Crime

So, corporate crime lesson number one – prosecute corporate crime to achieve higher office, then prosecute street crime to protect your political position.

Or to simplify it, corporate crime is all about power politics.

Published in: on June 14, 2007 at 6:13 pm  Leave a Comment  

Where the Goods Are Odd

June 14, 2007

Guest Columnist


This time of year, Alaska is paradise. King Salmon hustle up to the front porch of Anchorage. Softball games unfold in the buttery glow of the midnight sun. And the woods are full of mega fauna in frisky pursuit.

But amid the lovely, longest days of the year, the political world — controlled and corrupted by age and oil — is unraveling.

Published in: on June 14, 2007 at 12:13 am  Comments (1)  

Lies, Sighs and Politics

June 8, 2007
Op-Ed Columnist

In Tuesday’s Republican presidential debate, Mitt Romney completely misrepresented how we ended up in Iraq. Later, Mike Huckabee mistakenly claimed that it was Ronald Reagan’s birthday.

Guess which remark The Washington Post identified as the “gaffe of the night”? (more…)

Published in: on June 7, 2007 at 10:56 pm  Comments (5)  

Chain Reactions

Our Lives as Atoms

May 29, 2007, 6:32 pm

By Mark Buchanan

The political party that claimed it would restore “honor and dignity to the White House” has done nothing of the sort. Having on false pretenses led us into the disaster of Iraq, the administration and its supporters are now beginning – cravenly and shamefully – to shift blame onto the Iraqi people. The administration continues to hold hundreds of people without charges in secret prisons around the world, while arguing that torture is O.K. and that President Bush can disregard the laws he doesn’t like. I haven’t even mentioned illegal spying or efforts to keep scientists quiet if they’re saying the wrong thing.

Where’s the honor and dignity? (more…)

Published in: on May 31, 2007 at 12:09 am  Comments (1)  

The Haircut That Wouldn’t Die

The John Edwards haircut keeps getting resurrected, like a creature from a bad horror movie. The Republicans unearthed it most recently in their second debate, when former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee said, in a quote that the national wire service story called “the most memorable sound bite of the night.” To wit: “We’ve had a Congress that’s spent money like John Edwards at a beauty shop.”

Published in: on May 26, 2007 at 10:54 pm  Leave a Comment  

Chris Hedges: I Don’t Believe in Atheists

On Tuesday night, Chris Hedges and Sam Harris debated “Religion, Politics and the End of the World.” The following is Hedges’ opening statement, in which he argues that Harris and other critics of faith have mistakenly blamed religion for the ills of the world, when the true danger lies in the human heart and its capacity for evil.

Published in: on May 26, 2007 at 6:20 pm  Leave a Comment  

Immigrants and Politics

May 25, 2007
Op-Ed Columnist

A piece of advice for progressives trying to figure out where they stand on immigration reform: it’s the political economy, stupid. Analyzing the direct economic gains and losses from proposed reform isn’t enough. You also have to think about how the reform would affect the future political environment. (more…)

Published in: on May 24, 2007 at 10:58 pm  Comments (20)  

A Primary Lesson in Party Loyalty

Webb Works to Unseat a Democrat Who Endorsed Allen

Remember the bruising campaign between James Webb and George Allen last fall?

It’s not quite over.

Published in: on May 22, 2007 at 12:35 am  Leave a Comment  

French judge searches lawyer’s office in probe into Sarkozy smear

PARIS: Judges investigating a smear scandal that targeted president-elect Nicolas Sarkozy searched the office of one of his lawyers Friday but were blocked by staff when they tried to enter offices of a leading satirical weekly, judicial officials said

[Merci RC]

Published in: on May 15, 2007 at 9:44 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Cure Is Compassion

Modern medicine has reached the stage where diagnosis runs far ahead of cures,
especially in cutting edge area like genetics and stem cells. The genes that cause many cancers are quickly being isolated, far faster than knowing how to correct the damage they cause. The same seems true in politics as well.

Deepak Chopra

Published in: on May 15, 2007 at 2:04 pm  Leave a Comment  

America’s Idiotic Political Debates

Presidential debates get more intolerable with each passing quadrennium. A new low was reached Thursday when minder/moderator Chris Matthews asked the ten aspirants to the Republican presidential nomination to raise their hands if they did not believe in evolution. Three of the ten not very prepossessing men stuck their hands up in the approved kindergarten style.

Published in: on May 7, 2007 at 12:04 am  Comments (5)  

Roots of Israel’s Malaise Deeper Than Recent War

May 4, 2007
International Herald Tribune


Israelis have had a lot to digest over the past year. They’ve watched Dan Halutz, their departed army chief, offload his shares on the eve of the Lebanon war last summer. They’ve suffered Defense Minister Amir Peretz gazing at the front through binoculars with the cover on. They’ve seen money best morality in their politics.

Published in: on May 5, 2007 at 11:50 am  Leave a Comment  

Politicians duck for cover at talk of gun control

The response of America’s political leaders to the deaths at Virginia Tech was so muted it was no louder than a sob.

Published in: on April 19, 2007 at 10:32 pm  Leave a Comment  

Note to Politicians

It is invigorating to realize you’ve been dead wrong about something. That’s why we read history.

By Garrison Keillor

Published in: on April 19, 2007 at 12:49 am  Leave a Comment  

A Woman Wrongly Convicted and a U.S. Attorney Who Kept His Job

Opponents of Gov. Jim Doyle of Wisconsin spent $4 million on ads last year trying to link the Democratic incumbent to a state employee who was sent to jail on corruption charges. The effort failed, and Mr. Doyle was re-elected — and now the state employee has been found to have been wrongly convicted. The entire affair is raising serious questions about why a United States attorney put an innocent woman in jail.

Published in: on April 17, 2007 at 11:23 pm  Comments (1)  

Exploding the Clinton-Did-It Defense

One question arising from the furor over the Bush administration’s firing of eight U.S. attorneys is how unusual the move was. Some Republicans argue that Bill Clinton did much worse by removing all 93 U.S. attorneys after he took office. In this essay, veteran federal prosecutor Jerry Sanford addresses the Clinton-did-it defense.

Published in: on April 17, 2007 at 10:51 pm  Leave a Comment  

Way Off Base

April 16, 2007
Op-Ed Columnist

Normally, politicians face a difficult tradeoff between taking positions that satisfy their party’s base and appealing to the broader public. You can see that happening right now to the Republicans: to have a chance of winning the party’s nomination, Republican presidential hopefuls have to take far-right positions on Iraq and social issues that will cost them a lot of votes in the general election. (more…)

Published in: on April 16, 2007 at 12:14 am  Comments (6)  

Where Have All the Leaders Gone?

Had Enough? Am I the only guy in this country who’s fed up with what’s happening? Where the hell is our outrage? We should be screaming bloody murder. We’ve got a gang of clueless bozos steering our ship of state right over a cliff, we’ve got corporate gangsters stealing us blind, and we can’t even clean up after a hurricane much less build a hybrid car. But instead of getting mad, everyone sits around and nods their heads when the politicians say, “Stay the course.” Stay the course? You’ve got to be kidding. This is America, not the damned Titanic.

Lee Iacocca

Published in: on April 13, 2007 at 11:31 pm  Leave a Comment  

For God’s Sake

April 13, 2007
Op-Ed Columnist

In 1981, Gary North, a leader of the Christian Reconstructionist movement — the openly theocratic wing of the Christian right — suggested that the movement could achieve power by stealth. “Christians must begin to organize politically within the present party structure,” he wrote, “and they must begin to infiltrate the existing institutional order.” (more…)

Published in: on April 12, 2007 at 10:34 pm  Comments (3)  

Sweet Little Lies

April 9, 2007
Op-Ed Columnist

Four years into a war fought to eliminate a nonexistent threat, we all have renewed appreciation for the power of the Big Lie: people tend to believe false official claims about big issues, because they can’t picture their leaders being dishonest about such things.

Published in: on April 8, 2007 at 11:46 pm  Comments (3)  

Sunday in the Market With McCain

April 8, 2007
Op-Ed Columnist

JOHN McCAIN’S April Fools’ Day stroll through Baghdad’s Shorja market last weekend was instantly acclaimed as a classic political pratfall. Protected by more than a hundred American soldiers, three Black Hawk helicopters, two Apache gunships and a bulletproof vest, the senator extolled the “progress” and “good news” in Iraq. Befitting this loopy brand of comedy — reminiscent of “Wedding Crashers,” in which Mr. McCain gamely made a cameo appearance — the star had a crackerjack cast of supporting buffoons: Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who told reporters “I bought five rugs for five bucks!,” and Representative Mike Pence of Indiana, who likened the scene to “a normal outdoor market in Indiana in the summertime.” (more…)

Published in: on April 7, 2007 at 10:01 pm  Comments (1)  

Did Rove’s Protégé Puff Up Résumé?

White House defenders now acknowledge that politics may have played some role in the firing of eight federal prosecutors, but they still insist that the first replacement — J. Timothy Griffin — measures up as a talented and experienced prosecutor. New evidence, however, suggests that Griffin’s courtroom experience is less impressive than his official biography and top Republicans assert.

Published in: on April 3, 2007 at 12:45 pm  Leave a Comment  

Elizabeth Edwards for President

April 1, 2007
Op-Ed Columnist

ELIZABETH EDWARDS’S choice to stay in the political arena despite a Stage 4 cancer diagnosis didn’t tell us anything we didn’t already know about Elizabeth Edwards. People admired her before she was ill for the same reasons they admire her now. She comes across as honest, smart and unpretentious — as well as both devoted to and independent of her husband. But we have learned a great deal about the political arena from the hubbub that greeted her decision. For all the lip service Washington pays to valuing political players who are authentic and truthful, it turns out that real, honest-to-God straight talk about matters of life, death and, yes, political ambition, drives “some people” (to use Katie Couric’s locution) nuts.

Published in: on March 31, 2007 at 8:03 pm  Comments (4)  

Report Faults Interior Appointee

Landowner Issues Trumped Animal Protections, IG Says

Published in: on March 31, 2007 at 10:27 am  Leave a Comment  

GSA Chief Is Accused of Playing Politics

Doan Denies ‘Improper’ Use of Agency for GOP

Witnesses have told congressional investigators that the chief of the General Services Administration and a deputy in Karl Rove’s political affairs office at the White House joined in a videoconference earlier this year with top GSA political appointees, who discussed ways to help Republican candidates.

Published in: on March 26, 2007 at 9:36 pm  Leave a Comment  

Emerging Republican Minority

March 26, 2007
Op-Ed Columnist

Remember how the 2004 election was supposed to have demonstrated, once and for all, that conservatism was the future of American politics? I do: early in 2005, some colleagues in the news media urged me, in effect, to give up. “The election settled some things,” I was told. (more…)

Published in: on March 25, 2007 at 11:00 pm  Comments (6)  

Americans in the Opinion Polls, Not in the Streets

Demobilizing America

Outsourcing Action in an Imperial World

By Tom Engelhardt

Published in: on March 25, 2007 at 4:12 pm  Leave a Comment  

Are We Politicians or Citizens?

We who protest the war are not politicians. We are citizens. Whatever politicians may do, let them first feel the full force of citizens who speak for what is right, not for what is winnable, in a shamefully timorous Congress.

By Howard Zinn

Published in: on March 25, 2007 at 12:52 pm  Leave a Comment  

Attorney Scandal Without Precedent

CRS Report Reveals Audacity of Dismissals

The CRS report identifies six other U.S. Attorneys who resigned during the 25-year period who were implicated in news reports of “questionable conduct.”

Published in: on March 23, 2007 at 10:31 am  Leave a Comment  

Prosecutor Says Bush Appointees Interfered With Tobacco Case

She said a supervisor demanded that she and her trial team drop recommendations that tobacco executives be removed from their corporate positions as a possible penalty.

Published in: on March 22, 2007 at 9:21 am  Leave a Comment  

New Technique Lets Bloggers Tackle Late-Night News Dumps


Published in: on March 21, 2007 at 6:18 pm  Leave a Comment  

Bud Cummins on the U.S. Attorney Firings

Listen Now,

Published in: on March 21, 2007 at 5:16 pm  Leave a Comment