Friday, August 29, 2008

Meet the Bloggers

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Coming August 29th on Meet the Bloggers:

This week on Meet the Bloggers, legendary activist filmmaker Michael Moore returns to talk about the broken election system and the first ten things the Obama Administration should do if elected. Joining Mike will be national syndicated author and blogger David Sirota, as well as Cheryl Contee of Jack & Jill Politics. And just like last week, Mike will be taking your questions, which you can still submit by text or by video. Remember, the best questions for Mike will win an autographed copy of his new book or even the baseball cap off his head! Be sure to tune into Meet the Bloggers, Friday 1pm ET/10am PT. And if you missed any episode of the show, you can check them out in the archives.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Michelle Obama's Convention Speech

By: Harry Waisbren

Michelle Obama headlined the first night of the Democratic National Convention with a speech designed to counter the shameful attacks on her patriotism that have come from the right by reintroducing her to the American public. Check out her speech below:

I thought Michelle did a great job, but it really shouldn't have been that hard to fend off smears that even Laura Bush attacked. Unfortunately, Cindy McCain and the rest of the Republican party seem to disagree--thus warranting the dems going far over the top with their effort to express just how normal Michelle really is. Then again, considering we have a mainstream media that seriously questions the likelihood for Barack to be the anti-christ, maybe the democrats are just playing it safe. Watch John Stewart's deft analysis below for more on this ongoing farce:

"This is What a Police State Looks like"

By: Harry Waisbren

"This is what a police state looks like" was but one of the chants when a peaceful protest at the Democratic National Convention was met by vast police overreaction. The American News Project was there to cover it with video and reports that:
A calm political protest quickly turned chaotic as anxious Denver police surrounded protestors peacefully marching toward the Democratic National Convention Center. After trapping the crowd between two buildings, hundreds of officers used pepper spray, batons and unwarranted aggression. After being surrounded for 20 minutes, two ANP producers managed to escape after recording the whole affair.

Watch the video and decide for yourself whether this sort of thing should happen in a democracy below:

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Carmelo Makes His Endorsement

By: Harry Waisbren

Fresh off winning an Olympic gold medal, Carmelo Anthony discussed his fervent support for Barack Obama as well as his hopes to meet him at the convention:
"I support him 100 percent," Anthony said. "I'm not a politician, I can tell you
that right now. But I support Barack Obama. That's history, too, for it to go on
at the place where I work. I'd love to be a part of that."

Although Melo's endorsement is probably a far cry popularity wise when compared to Lebron James', Anthony living and working in Denver could add a different dynamic at the upcoming DNC convention. The fact that the convention is held at the same place the Nuggets play is just added icing on the cake.

As an ardent NBA fan, I hope they find some sort of speaking role for Anthony like they did for Chauncey Billups when Obama came to Michigan:

It's the opinion of this lowly dirty hippie blogger that if Obama has to play by the Jackie Robinson rules of racism he might as well just embrace the sports metaphors and run with 'em. Besides, this argument is made a whole lot easier through the fact that the guy is a straight up baller:

Fox News Is Scared of Dem Dirty Hippies

By: Harry Waisbren

Here's a video from Fox News on the left wing protests at the DNC. To their credit they actually noted that these groups are not fans of Obama (though the reporter emphasized how surprised he was to see it), but I think the most instructive part of this video is how all encompassing the conventional wisdom that such people could not possibly be reasoned with is. The notion of an inherrent unseriousness of the left truly harms the prospects for progressive goals, and it's one I am actively working to refute. Check it out for yourself below (via Glenn Greenwald):

Although my opinions on the utility of protest are developing due in large part to how they are depicted, I must admit, seeing the fear in the eyes of our establishment media makes me even more confident that real change is upon us. Such protests are certainly motivation building for those who share such views already, but sadly, such a video will do little to help Fox News viewers escape from the Matrix-esque bizzaro world they are trapped in.

The question of how important and feasible that really is will be often debated on this blog, as I consider exposing and ending the finely tuned propaganda appartus that our mainstream media has become to be perhaps the most integral battle for true patriots to fight in these times.

Ninjas Arrested for Drug Dealer Pursuit

By: Harry Waisbren

Now this is just hilarious:

CLIFTON, N.J. -- Police arrested two men dressed like ninjas and armed with Asian martial arts weapons who said they were delivering warning letters to drug dealers and users.

Calling themselves "Shinobi warriors," the men carried knives, throwing stars, swords, nunchucks and a bow and arrows.

Tadeusz Tertkiewicz, 20, and Jesse Trojaniak, 19, were each charged with weapons possession. Tertkiewicz is also charged with harassment for a letter left for an ex-girlfriend.

The letters warned drug users and drug dealers that the "Shinobi will stop your cruel and sadistic intentions with justified yet, merciful force."

In the letter, the two men accused drug dealers and users of having "committed sin of passing impurity" to others and that the "wind guides us to those of impure heart and intent."

Considering legal drugs kill more people than illegal drugs, I believe these oh so noble ninja warriors might have had the wrong plan. Anyways, if ninjas are looking to make a real difference, they need to bypass the bottom end users and sellers and target the real brains behind the operation (via Slash Film):

McCain Playing the Clinton Card

By: Harry Waisbren

The McCain campaign is out with a new ad targeting disaffected Hillary supporters in their attempt to blunt the extremely positive reaction from the Biden VP choice. Check it out below:

Hillary has already responded sharply to nip this in the bud, but I think McCain's insistence that Hillary supporters should consider him could be another gaffe-tastic result for the Obama campaign. This is because McCain's record on women is just as hypocrisy filled as his charges of elitism to a black man raised by a single mother. Once these Hillary supporters learn how McCain jokes about how women should enjoy rape, how he has no answer for his opposition to insurance provided birth control, and had an affair that would make even John Edwards cringe they will be much more likely to call this guy McSexist than consider voting for him.

Besides, as illustrated in the video below, McCain and his supporters had been much more concerned with the question of "how do we beat the bitch" over finding any areas of consensus while she was in the running (via Jed Report):

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Biden Becomes Obama's VP

By: Harry Waisbren

Obama announced Sen. Joe Biden as his VP through a mess text message this morning at 3:00 A.M. The text message alert was shortly preceded by a few choice leaks to prominent news outlets at about 12:30, but our oh so professional press corps was absolutely freaking out due to the anticipation. Check out this video compilation from 23/6 highlighting CNN's inability to handle the anticipation like a normal American citizen sap:

Fortunately, this American sap felt positively relieved following the cold sweated fear that Obama would pick one of the democrats' main Iraq war cheer leaders like Evan Bayh. This culminated in exuberation following a hell of a speech that Biden made accepting the position, which you can watch below:

I've always been a major fan of Biden's bluntness, which was in full force today as he highlighted McCain's elitism inherrent in him not even knowing how many houses he owns. I agree wholeheartedly with John Cole that Biden's agressive yet true straight talk is not only going to be a major campaign winner but also the creator of who knows how many hilarious explosions of wingnuttery from a conservative base trying to rationalize their candidates' blatant hypocrisy.

Say what you will about Biden's policies, but there's no doubt that his politics are quite effective. Check out this greatest hits compilation of Biden zingers from the Democratic primary campaign, and just imagine the field day he's going to have when he starts focusing all his energy on a Republican party so open to ridicule that it's the equivalent of shooting dead fish in a barrel (via Matthew Yglesias):

Friday, August 22, 2008

Obama Stays on the Attack

By: Harry Waisbren

The Obama campaign is sticking with their attacks on John McCain's decadence by continually highlighting his elitism through the fact that he doesn't even remember how many houses he owns. Watch Obama discuss how far out of touch McCain really is below:

The Obama campaign has also come out with a new television ad in conjunction with this line of attack. The ad is accompanied by a letter to the editor writing campaign which you can participate in here:

August 22nd Edition of Meet the Bloggers

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Michael Moore is appearing on today's episode of Meet the Bloggers to discuss his new book Mike's Election Guide 2008. Bloggers Liliana Segura (AlterNet) and Cheryl Contee (Jack & Jill Politics) and nationally syndicated author and blogger David Sirota will be appearing on this weeks show as well.

As usual, you can watch the it live below at 12 pm CT and ask questions for Moore and the other bloggers in the live blog as well. Should be a hell of an episode!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

What is the role of protest?

By: Harry Waisbren

I just received the following email from Ben Ratliffe on the Madison Winter Soldier google group that discusses a topic I consider with the upmost seriousness:

Dear all,

At the last Winter Soldier meeting, the outreach/media working group got into a brief discussion about the efficacy of antiwar protests and marches. There is, indeed, a growing sentiment out there, (and perhaps even among us), and marching, chanting, carrying signs, and so forth has become futile in the face of the Bush admin's intransigence.

It seems this would be something we should talk about some more, in case there are those among us with doubts, as we work toward building the Winter Soldier event, participate in the RNC protests, and whatever we come up with next.

Last year, an article, linked here, came out in the pages of the Socialist Worker called, "Does it Matter if We Protest?" It has was a big help for those of us trying to answer that question among ourselves and our allies in the movement--i.e. if not directly shutting down the "war machine", what DOES protest accomplish? Hope you find it as helpful.

As always, if anyone has anything to add or detract, please pass it on. In a democratic movement, we need all ideas on the table.

Til we meet again,

This is an issue that I think we should all take seriously as grassroots activists across the country and world decipher the best ways to achieve our goals. I certainly agree with the premise of this article that protest plays an integral role, but the question I have is how do we ensure that when we do protest it is as effective as possible? Our situation dictates that we must learn how to counter the ways in which protest has been weakened to ensure that our activism makes the impact it can and should. Furthermore, when a protest is decided to be unapplicable, what other strategies should be employed?

Here's another good link that has colored my thinking on this topic:
In a land crawling with armed – and armored – SWAT teams, with operatives from innumerable federal agencies packing heat and happy to use it, a land where more than 2 million people languish in prison (many of them captives of an endless "war on drugs" that has done nothing to curb substance abuse but has greatly augmented the power of the state and the criminal gangs whose laundered money enriches Establishment elites), a land where almost every transaction is wired up to some national grid, where national ID cards are now being imposed – a land where you literally cannot exist without placing your liberty, your privacy, your very life at the mercy of a government apparatus besotted with violence, coercion and intrusion, there is no place left for the kind of action that Thoreau advocated. His way – and that of Gandhi and King, who took so much from him – envisions a state opponent which one could hope to shame into honorable action by the superior moral force of principled civil disobedience. But the very hallmark of the present regime is its shamelessness, its utter lack of any sense of honor or principle, its bestial addiction to raw power.

[emphasis added]

In a land where our political and media elite brush off the overwhelming views of the mainstream without a hint of shame, how do we push them to take the more drastic efforts of a an easily castigated few as seriously?

I do not believe we will achieve progress until this dynamic changes, until liberal and left-wing views can no longer be easily disregarded as essentially "hippie nonsense". This is one reason why I place such a premium on activists reporting on their own activism and issues themselves, as I believe it to be the only way for our arguments to ever be analyzed with even a hint of credence.

Frost/Nixon trailer

By: Harry Waisbren

The first internation movie trailer for Ron Howard's Frost/Nixon has just been released. Check it out below (via Slash Film):

Here's Slash Film's take:
The first international movie trailer for Ron Howard’s big screen adaptation of
Frost/Nixon has hit the web. Based on a play of the same name, the film tells
the story of the series of infamous post-Watergate television interviews between
British talk-show host David Frost (Michael Sheen) and former president Richard
Nixon (Frank Langella). When the project was first announced, I remarked that
Howard made a smart choice by employing the leads from the theatrical
production. Langella is an amazing actor and has the mannerisms down, but he
really doesn’t look like Nixon. It will be interesting to see if his performance
will make up for the visual disadvantage. The trailer shows promise but I’m left
unimpressed. That said, I’ve rarely been disappointed by Howard and am
interested to see more. As always, tell me what you think in the comments below.

I agree entirely that Langella just doesn't look or sound so much like Nixon. His performance just doesn't compare to Josh Brolin's spot on take on George W. Bush, yet I can easily see this movie providing the same sort of inquisitive look inside the mind of one of the most powerful men in the history of the world. I particularly liked the emphasis on Nixon's glorious "well, when the president does it, that means that it is not illegal" dictum, and I hope that they emphasize the connection between that ideology and the lawless Scooter-Libby justice we are experiencing today.

Obama Attacks McCain's Decadence

By: Harry Waisbren

The recent video on McCain's Mansions from Fox Attacks has had quite the tangible effect. Since then, McCain has been asked how many houses he really owns and gave this response:
"I think -- I'll have my staff get to you," McCain said. "It's condominiums
where -- I'll have them get to you."

The answer, according to the group Progressive Accountability, is an even 10 homes, ranches, condos, and lofts, together worth a combined estimated $13,823,269.

So the salt of the Earth everyman maverickman named McCain has lost count of how many houses he owns. Obama has already jumped on this massive gaffe with a new ad highlighting how out of touch McCain really is:

Shockingly, the McCain campaign responded with their usual petulance by wailing "bu-bu-but Obama does it too". They are off message though, clearly rattled from being so extremely pissed off.

This ad should only be the beginning of a much larger narrative about John McCain's hypocrisy to even suggest that Obama, a black man raised by a single mother, is remotely an elitist in comparison to him. Matt Stoller jumped on the ball in this respect and produced a web-video that depicts just how much/little John McCain really cares about the middle and lower class:

I look at the Fox Attacks video and the resulting uproar as a case study in how non-Karl Rove fed narratives can be injected into a campaign. Stoller's response is also something that I believe will be vastly replicated, and I hope to utilize my chapter of Campus Progress to do just that sort of work.

Monday, August 18, 2008

McCain's Mansions

By: Harry Waisbren

Brave New Films is out with a new video entitled McCain's Mansions as part of their Real McCain: less jobs more wars campaign. It emphaszies McCain's hypocrisy evident through his lack of support for Americans suffering throughout the foreclosure crisis in contrast to the vast wealth McCain has accrued through his wealthy wife. The video includes pictures of McCain's many houses interspersed with video of a woman discussing her families struggles from losing their house. Check out the video below:

The SEIU took part in the creation of this video for this populist message. Here's Andy Stern, President, Service Employees International Union (SEIU), explaining why McCain's decadence is such an important issue:
"Most working families today do not have homes that have anywhere near ten
rooms. John McCain has ten houses. Many working people in America have to work
two and three jobs to provide for their families and pay their car loans. John
McCain hops on a private jet. Is it any wonder why McCain champions a George
Bush agenda of cutting taxes for corporations and the wealthy, helping oil
companies turn record profits, and leaving working families to fend for
themselves? McCain's velvet world leaves him utterly unprepared to make the
tough choices we need to restore the middle class and ensure that everyone in
America has quality, affordable health insurance."

This is a great line of attack considering McCain is so blatant about his ties to the developng aristocracy that his advisors are suggesting that the wealthy shouldn't even be taxed. McCain has left attacks on his support for his big money base wide open, even going so far as defining wealthy as making more than $5 million a year. Obama has already figured out this vulnerability and has jumped on this line of attack by emphasizing how McCain thinks that a $3 million income merely makes someone middle class.

Hopefully our country isn't fooled by a faux everyman millionare playboy once again, and I'll certainly be doing everything I can to expose McCain for the big money shill that he has become.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

August 15th Edition of Meet the Bloggers

By: Harry Waisbren

This week's guest on Meet the Bloggers was Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) who discussed ways to get our country out of this recession.

Sen. Sanders was joined by a panel of bloggers, including Isaiah Poole ( and Amanda Logan (Center for American Progress), who debated how to fix the economy and end the current class war. Check it out below:

Obama Exposes McCain's False Tax Attacks

By: Harry Waisbren

The Obama campaign has come out with a video to refute the charges on Obama's tax plan from McCain's "Karl-rove style campaign". Check out the video below:

I really like the charge of McCain running a Karl Rove style campaign, as along with representing a third term of Bush McCain ceratinly represents a third term of Rove as well. It is confirmed that Rove is in regular contact with top McCain staffers, which is pretty absurd considering we have congressmen charging that he should be sent to jail while Rove flees the country to avoid congressional subpeonas.

Considering we even have a GOP congressman is hinting that he'd support sending Turd Blossom to the slammer, I think it's a particularly great time for Obama to be hitting McCain hard for their connections to Rove and their use of his despicable political tactics.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Playing The Race Card

By: Harry Waisbren

"Get Your War On" has come out with a new video making fun of how ludicrous McCain's attacks on Obama supposedly playing the race card are. Check out the video below:

This video does a great job of pointing out how disturbing these attacks of "playing the race card" really are. It has become a form of racism in itself through the assumption that no one is racist in this country any more, and that anyone fighting this conventional wisdom is a reverse racist.

Considering how thoroughly Reverand Wright dominated the media narrative of the primary campaign, this narrative should have been thoroughly debunked a while ago. Since then we've also had a racist Obama t-shirt sent to the Congressional Black Caucus, a website selling a racist Obama sock toy, pins being sold saying "If Obama is elected can we still call it the White House", and much more. Hell, Obama was event called "boy" by a congressman, who wasn't even subjected to any accountability for his blatant racism!

The accepted racism in our political discourse is why Digby astutely recognized that Obama has to play by Jackie Robinson rules if he is to prevent full on hysteria within the beltway. Ignoring these problems is a huge deal though, as the McCain campaign is using racist dogwhistles against Obama like calling him "arrogant" or "presumptuous" instead of uppity.

Karl Rove knows what he's doing with these attacks, and it's up to all of us to fight back against the conventional wisdom that this sort of racism doesn't exist and isn't intentional. Fortunately, as Chris Bowers noted today, such attacks are dramatically increasing the resolve of activists to fight against the ignorance and hate that the Republican party has come to represent.

After all this, their official slogan should be "You're Not Racist, You're Just a Republican!"

MoveOn Special Election Briefing

By: Harry Waisbren

MoveOn came out with a new video entitled Special Election Briefing: 5 Things You Should Know. Check out the video below:

This election is that important, and it's incumbent upon all of us to do what we can to ensure that our country does not fall apart. Obama may not be the perfect candidate, but McCain is openly goading Russia into a larger war that would be cataclysmic for the entire world community.

Remember: citizenship is something you do! Our country desperately needs true patriots right now, as there is that much that needs to be done.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Help Stop the Smears on Obama

By: Harry Waisbren

Brave New Films has come out with a new Fox Attacks video that further exposes Fox News'...ahem...flexibility with the truth when talking about Obama. Check out the latest compilation below:

With "fair and balanced" coverage like this, it's no wonder that 78 percent of Fox News' audience supports McCain. DNC chair Howard Dean has had the fortitude to call them shockingly biased, but the fact that these terrorist fist jab fearing clowns haven't been laughed off TV yet shows just how desperately our country needs major media reforms.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Exxon John DNC ad

By: Harry Waisbren

The DNC has come out with an ad that hits McCain on oil. HARD. Check it out below:

The ad emphasizes how McCain has received $2 million from oil lobbyists, but his connections to big oil have become particularly blatant since the flood of oil money he's received since flip flopping on drilling. Considering oil companies are making $236 per American driver per year, this is quite the issue for Obama to be going on the offensive with.

Monday, August 11, 2008

McCain's Wikipedia-based Foreign Policy

By: Harry Waisbren

So McCain decided to give his two cents on the Georgia Russia struggle, and amazingly his opinions on Georgia almost exactly correspond with what Wikipedia has to say (via Chris Bowers):
Now, I love wikipedia, and think it is a great resource. However, lifting your
report on a subject directly from an encylopedia is something most people are
encouraged to stop doing in, oh, about the sixth grade. If you, your policy
team, and your speech writing team are still doing it when commenting on an
international crisis while running for President of the United States, that's
both pathetic and scary.

If McCain becomes President, we all need to make sure that wikipedia is carefully updated, since it will apparently inform our government on how to handle an international crisis. A properly updated wikipedia could end up determining the fate of the world.

Where I disagree slightly with Bowers is that Wikipedia actually might not be the worst place McCain can go for foreign policy advice. This is because it's a hell of a lot better source than the neocon garbage that has dictated his worldview for so long. Such crazed views have led him to a beliefs that are even more radical than Bush, including his suggestion that we should essentially live in a military dictatorship. If you need more evidence of how ridiculous it is that foreign policy is considered a strength of McCain's, check out this video compilation highlighting just a portion of his gaffes from TPMtv:

Friday, August 8, 2008

August 8th edition of Meet the Bloggers

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Mad Progress will be syndicating this episode at 12pm C/1pm ET/10am PT when our guest will be Darcy Burner, co-author of the Responsible Plan to End the War in Iraq.

Our panel of bloggers David Goldstein (, Joan McCarter (Daily Kos), and Matt Stoller (Open Left) will be discussing ways to bring about an end to the Iraq War. Specifically, they will focus on A Responsible Plan to End the War in Iraq, which Burner co-authored. David Goldstein has a pre-show post about the Responsible Plan.

Read up on The Responsible Plan (pdf) and all the links below so you can ask Burner and our bloggers questions about the war. Become part of the Meet the Bloggers community today:

A Responsible Plan for the Iraq War That Wonks Didn't Write by Moira Whelan, Democracy Arsenal
Five Years Later, a Responsible Plan to End the War by Joan McCarter, Daily Kos
End the War: Try Again by Christopher Hayes, The Nation
Dems Regroup on Iraq Plans by Ryan Grim, Politico
42 Democrats Vow a Drawdown in Iraq If They Win Seats by Paul Kane, Washington Post
How Important Was the Surge? by Ezra Klein and Dylan Matthews, The American Prospect
"If They Find Out I Told You, They Will Kill Me" by Anna Badkhen, Salon

You can participate by asking a question in the live blog below, or you can submit a question by video here:

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Send Bill O'reilly Back to School

By: Harry Waisbren

Fox Attacks has come out with a new video all about everybody's favorite papa bear, Bill O'reilly. Check it out below:

It's back-to-school time! Parents are starting to shop for their children's school supplies: notebooks, pencils, crayons, and of course, Bill O'Reilly's book, "The O'Reilly Factor for Kids." Talk about one of these things being NOT like the others!

O'Reilly thinks he can teach our children proper behavior, and we can't think of a worse father figure than an angry, hate-filled shock jock notorious for telling guests to "Shut up!" We wondered what would happen if kids read O'Reilly's book and then saw the real O'Reilly for themselves. So we put together a video to illustrate O'Reilly's duplicity

I couldn't agree more. For a man with as much faux civility as him, he really has got a problem with foul language. Plus, he just can not be that bright if he actually believes twisted logic like this batch of crazy:
Today, in a Washington Times op-ed, Bill O’Reilly complains that if President
Bush’s tax cuts “on those making $250,000 or more” are repealed, “me and other rich folks” would have to finance “folks who dropped out of school, who are too lazy to hold a job, who smoke reefers 24/7.” He adds, “I am part of the 1 percent of Americans that paid an astounding 40 percent of all federal income tax in 2006,” But, as the Wall Street Journal recently noted, “the average tax rate of the wealthiest
1% fell to its lowest level in at least 18 years.”

Then again, maybe the guy's just a racist and the stupidity is merely an offshoot of it. Either way, this is not a man anyone should want near their kids, much less teaching them life lessons.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

More Evidence on Bush Lies: investigate please!

By: Harry Waisbren

Pulitzer prize winning journalist and author Ron Suskind has just come out with a new book that includes a few more pieces to the puzzle that (in a functioning democracy) would quickly lead into investigations and impeachment proceedings. This time though, Suskind has got two CIA officers on record admitting that they actively enabled the Bush administration's fabrication of the intelligence that was used to justify the war. Obviously the lies aren't a new development, but having CIA agents come forward is certainly a knock in the "only dirty hippies believe Bush lied" theory.

Suskind went into more detail on this charge and the "forged Iraqi letter" evidence he has procured over at the Huffington Post. This letter was created due to the Bush administratin's anxiety over the Valerie Plame affair, and it essentially entailed our government paying for Iraqi "hush money" on the lack of WMD.

Check out video of Keith Olbermann discussing this important issue followed by his interview with Suskind below:

I wholeheartedly agree with Chris Bowers that, as Suskind suggests, the democrats need to jump on this issue and hold hearings.
From 1996-2004, Republicans frequently used their control of Congress to try and
make Democratic candidates look bad during the final two weeks of an election
season. From forcing election season votes on welfare reform to the border
fence, they have held what they believe to be winning issues in reserve until
the final weeks of the campaign. This is a clear circumstance where Democrats
should do something similar, but different in that it is of far greater
importance to the country. Hold hearing to determine if the Bush administration
willfully fabricated fake intelligence in order to build their case for war in

That certainly sounds like quite an electoral strategy to me, especially given the problems McCain is already running into from his relationship to Bush. Any way you slice it, investigations and impeachment are just good electoral strategy. Come on democrats, show some backbone and jump on board!

Obama's new ad on McSame

By: Harry Waisbren

Obama's new ad sarcastically mocks the "original maverick" as being just "more of the same". This is quite the issue for Obama to reference as even conservatives are admitting that Bush's legacy is toxic. This could and should be THE issue of the campaign considering that 2/3rds of the country is already concerned that McCain will continue Bush's failed policies as Bush's approval ratings fall as low as 23 percent. Check out the ad below:

McCain's camp is visibley nervous about this line of attack, going so far as to physically remove a librarian at a McCain rally because she was carrying a sign saying "McCain=Bush". Republicans are even questioning whether Bush should stay home for the Repulican Naitonal Convention. There is such a scramble on this issue that McCain has even gone so far as to suggest that it is Obama who is indeed running for Bush's third term.

I don't know about you, but I can't wait to watch the republican implosion from their continuing support of the most unpopular president in modern history. Hilarity will ensue!

MoveOn calls McCain's bluff

By: Harry Waisbren

MoveOn has just come out with a new ad mocking McCain's condemnation of the democrats closing session before passing offshore drilling legislation. McCain attacked the dems by suggesting that they are skipping the vote because they are lazy and need to "get to work" instead of them simply recognizing that more drilling won't help at the pump .

This line of attack is particularly laughable considering it is coming from the senator who has missed more votes than any other. Plus, he is merely supporting offshore drilling due to the massive spike he's received in fundraising from oil companies since.

Check out the video below:

TPMtv on the indicted Stevens

By: Harry Waisbren

TPMtv has a new video out discussing the return of Sen. Ted Stevens following his indictment on 7 criminal counts. Check it out below:

I'm so happy to hear that so many are happy to see Stevens in Alaska, but even happier to know that our president is lending him his support as well. With the absurd amount of crimes and misdemenaors perpetrated by this administration, it's the least they can do to empathize with their fellow mafiosos.

Daily Show Race Genie

By: Harry Waisbren

Jon Stewart strikes again, this time by way of a race genie able to analyze the media's simultaneous obsession and arousal from the race card. This particular spat came in response to a McCain ad that included various dogwhistles specifically designed to conjure the racist id of conservative wingnuttia, which was shortly followed by McCain insidiously declaring that Obama had played the race card himself. This set forth the media's inner confused adolescant and the results are rather telling for the state of journalism in America (via Raw Story):

I guess we shouldn't be too surprised considering we have a media in which Reverand Wright was the dominant topic of the democratic primary campaign, but this is certainly pathetic. At least a commentater didn't say a black man was acting uppity this time.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

New Valerie Plame Song

By: Harry Waisbren

Check out this new song from Colin Meloy entitled "Valerie Plame" (via Firedoglake):

The outting of a CIA agent as retribution for her husband debunking the lies that took us into war remains one of the greatest crimes in the history of our nation. This is why the White House is concerned about the case reopening, especially since former Press Secretary Scott McClellan insinuated that Bush and Cheney were personally invovled.

Open Letter to Obama: change WE can believe in

By: Harry Waisbren

I just became the 16,395 to sign this open letter to Obama that will run in The Nation's next issue. Check it out below, and most definitely consider adding your name:

Dear Senator Obama,

We write to congratulate you on the tremendous achievements of your campaign for the presidency of the United States.

Your candidacy has inspired a wave of political enthusiasm like nothing seen in this country for decades. In your speeches, you have sketched out a vision of a better future--in which the United States sheds its warlike stance around the globe and focuses on diplomacy abroad and greater equality and freedom for its citizens at home--that has thrilled voters across the political spectrum. Hundreds of thousands of young people have entered the political process for the first time, African-American voters have rallied behind you, and many of those alienated from politics-as-usual have been re-engaged.

You stand today at the head of a movement that believes deeply in the change you have claimed as the mantle of your campaign. The millions who attend your rallies, donate to your campaign and visit your website are a powerful testament to this new movement's energy and passion.

This movement is vital for two reasons: First, it will help assure your victory against John McCain in November. The long night of greed and military adventurism under the Bush Administration, which a McCain administration would continue, cannot be brought to an end a day too soon. An enthusiastic corps of volunteers and organizers will ensure that voters turn out to close the book on the Bush era on election day. Second, having helped bring you the White House, the support of this movement will make possible the changes that have been the platform of your campaign. Only a grassroots base as broad and as energized as the one that is behind you can counteract the forces of money and established power that are a dead weight on those seeking real change in American politics.

We urge you, then, to listen to the voices of the people who can lift you to the presidency and beyond.

Since your historic victory in the primary, there have been troubling signs that you are moving away from the core commitments shared by many who have supported your campaign, toward a more cautious and centrist stance--including, most notably, your vote for the FISA legislation granting telecom companies immunity from prosecution for illegal wiretapping, which angered and dismayed so many of your supporters.

We recognize that compromise is necessary in any democracy. We understand that the pressures brought to bear on those seeking the highest office are intense. But retreating from the stands that have been the signature of your campaign will weaken the movement whose vigorous backing you need in order to win and then deliver the change you have promised.

Here are key positions you have embraced that we believe are essential to sustaining this movement:

§ Withdrawal from Iraq on a fixed timetable.

§ A response to the current economic crisis that reduces the gap between the rich and the rest of us through a more progressive financial and welfare system; public investment to create jobs and repair the country's collapsing infrastructure; fair trade policies; restoration of the freedom to organize unions; and meaningful government enforcement of labor laws and regulation of industry.

§ Universal healthcare.

§ An environmental policy that transforms the economy by shifting billions of dollars from the consumption of fossil fuels to alternative energy sources, creating millions of green jobs.

§ An end to the regime of torture, abuse of civil liberties and unchecked executive power that has flourished in the Bush era.

§ A commitment to the rights of women, including the right to choose abortion and improved access to abortion and reproductive health services.

§ A commitment to improving conditions in urban communities and ending racial inequality, including disparities in education through reform of the No Child Left Behind Act and other measures.

§ An immigration system that treats humanely those attempting to enter the country and provides a path to citizenship for those already here.

§ Reform of the drug laws that incarcerate hundreds of thousands who need help, not jail.

§ Reform of the political process that reduces the influence of money and corporate lobbyists and amplifies the voices of ordinary people.

These are the changes we can believe in. In other areas--such as the use of residual forces and mercenary troops in Iraq, the escalation of the US military presence in Afghanistan, the resolution of the Israel-Palestine conflict, and the death penalty--your stated positions have consistently varied from the positions held by many of us, the "friends on the left" you addressed in recent remarks. If you win in November, we will work to support your stands when we agree with you and to challenge them when we don't. We look forward to an ongoing and constructive dialogue with you when you are elected President.
Stand firm on the principles you have so compellingly articulated, and you may succeed in bringing this country the change you've encouraged us to believe is possible.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Lebron James Donates $20K to Obama

By: Harry Waisbren

Glad to see the Lebron endorsement is out of the way. Donating that much money is also a sign of his enthusiasm for Obama, and as crazy as it is to say, I can see black athletes and entertainers alike making an impact on this election.

Obama is already getting compared to Jackie Robinson, so why shouldn't this be an election where athletes' opinions matter? The sports world certainly knows a lot about integration, and they might have some lessons to give our lily white establishment that is more concerned with Obama's response to McCain's racist dogwhistles than the racism itself (via digby):

Saturday, August 2, 2008

August 3rd edition of Forward Forum

By: John Quinlan

This is John Quinlan. Please join me, my co-host Harry Waisbren, and producer Stephanie Woods for the week's Forward Forum.

On the eve of the Beijing Olympic Games, we'll be joined by an author Judy Polumbaum, describing her thought-provoking new book, "China Ink: The Changing Face of Chinese Journalism," based on interviews with 20 young Chinese journalists.

We begin our program at 7pm with a potpourri of the week's events, including a preview of this Tuesday's South Madison "National Night Out." Neighborhood leader Leslie McAllister joins us to describe this important statement of neighborhood pride and solidarity for a part of Madison plagued by recent violent incidents in the midst what most of the rest of the city may not realize is a close-knit mutually-supportive community. See details below.

Judy joins us at 8pm on the phone from the University of Iowa at Iowa City, where she is an affiliated faculty member in a number of international and interdisciplinary programs and centers at Iowa, including the Center for Asian and Pacific Studies and International Studies.< face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif"> Her research has focused on journalism and media in mainland China. She did her undergraduate work in East Asian studies at McGill University in Montreal, Canada and has a master’s from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and a doctorate in communication from Stanford University. She’s worked as a newspaper reporter in Vermont, California and Oregon, and also has worked for English-language news organizations in China. She joined the University of Iowa faculty in 1989.

Recent news describes a China not quite willing to open itself as completely as promised to outside eyes, as news spreads of selective Internet site blackouts and other examples of censorship. And yet Judy's book also describes a surprisingly robust new journalistic tradition in China, especially among younger journalists. Is this is a sign of things to come, or will these new freedoms be curtailed--and, in a world where the frontiers of Internet and press freedoms have implications for us all, what are the consequences for the rest of the world?

As James Fallows of the Atlantic Monthly writes: "Journalists in China have the headaches shared by their counterparts around the world--plus their own unique set of challenges... In response some journalists become complete cynics, and some are just careerists. But a surprising and admirable number keep looking for ways to expand what the Chinese public can know about its own country and the outside world. China Ink is a fascinating window onto the environment in which these reporters operate. Among the book's most striking revelations is the wide variety of personalities, tactics, values, and aspirations with which China's journalists approach their task."

As usual, this was a busy week in Madison. Also in our 7 pm hour, we be revisiting Madisonian Ben Skinner's visit to Madison Rotary on Wednesday, where he gave a compelling talk about his book "A Crime So Monstrous, Face-to-Face with Modern Slavery." And we'll be engaged in a discussion arising out of this week's Nonstop Radio Conference about the past and future face of radio. And as part of an inspiring and forward-looking ongoing project he's leading, co-host Harry Waisbren will also tell us about his ongoing efforts to bridge national progressive groups, campus activism, and activist-produced television.

As always, we welcome your participation in our conversation. Please call us at 321-1670 locally, * 123 for US Cellular users or 1-877-867-1670 toll free from elsewhere in the US. We stream live and podcast at Show website: Show blog:

A Special Thanks to accomplished longtime community activist Dan Guerra, who joined me as a presenter on the intersections between Activism and Progressive Talk Radio yesterday at the Nonstop Radio Conference.

Friday, August 1, 2008

August 1st episode of Meet the Bloggers

Watch Meet the Bloggers

Mad Progress is a syndication outlet for Meet the Bloggers which airs every Friday at 12pm central time. The show is a live online video show that focuses on unconventional political opinion and analysis in the mold of Meet the Press. The show will be airing live in the embed video below if you care to check it out:

This week's guest is Rachel Maddow of Air America and MSNBC. There will also be a panel of bloggers including Roberto Lovato of Of America, Liliana Segura of AlterNet and Baratunde Thurston of Jack & Jill Politics will be discussing U.S. policy in Afghanistan. David Dayen of D-Day will be the show's guest co-host this week as well.

If you'd like to participate in the show, simply ask a question or pose a comment in the liveblog here:

Shhh...Presumptuous Might Mean Uppity

By: Harry Waisbren

So our cable news stars hit the air with a wave of righteous indignation over Obama's "presumptousness". All they were armed with was a second hand, misquouted, out of context line from our black democratic presidential nominee for them to begin judging. And of course, this issue is so very much more important than the collapse of the rule of law in this country that it clearly deserved such breathless analysis from our pearl clutching media elite.

TPMtv released a video today highlighting and exposing this farce:

Of course, such analysis is exactly what this definitional example of a racist dogwhistle intended to do. Digby expertly dissects this smear and points to this indicative gem from Karl Rove's Yoda figure Lee Atwater:
You start out in 1954 by saying, "Nigger, nigger, nigger." By 1968 you can't say "nigger" - that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states' rights and all that stuff. You're getting so abstract now [that] you're talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you're talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites.And subconsciously maybe that is part of it. I'm not saying that. But I'm saying that if it is getting that abstract, and that coded, that we are doing away with the racial problem one way or the other. You follow me - because obviously sitting around saying, "We want to cut this," is much more abstract than even the busing thing, and a hell of a lot more abstract than "Nigger, nigger."

If all of this seems depressingly blatant, it's because it is. I mean, gosh, the party that opposed integration and affirmative action still has racist tendancies despite their efforts to seem PC! Whoever would have thunk it?