Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Sarah Palin Vlog #2

By: Harry Waisbren

Check out this video of Sarah Palin's debate prep that just leaked (who ever woulda thunk it?):

John McCain's Keating 5 Problem

By: Harry Waisbren

While John McCain is traipsing around pretending that he is not part of the problem with our failing economy it would be useful to remember that this is not the first time St. John has been confronted with financial misgivings. The Savings and Loan crisis was over 20 years ago, but it was a huge deal back then and the parallels between the corruption amidst massive deregulation certainly speaks to the problems we see today. Digby describes McCain's role as Charles Keating's personal Republican Mafioso as such:
McCain's role in that scandal was very specific: he pressured regulators into going easy on his friend Charlie's savings and loan. And he's done nothing but promote the virtues of deregulation ever since then, spending most of his time warmongering and tilting at windmills on campaign finance reform (which he's conveniently abandoned in his own presidential bid.) His reformer image is a total fraud. 
I'm also embedding another video primer on the case below. Check out the 97 second summary, and you'll understand why Fox News has been cutting the mic on anyone with the audacity to mention McMaverick's personal regulation based scandal (via Jed Report):

Sarah Palin's Vlog #1: Katie Couric Interview

By: Harry Waisbren

The folks at 23/6 have prepared a series on Sarah Palin's preprations for her upcoming debate with Joe Biden this Thursday.
Can't wait to see what sort of gibberish Sarah starts spewing on Thursday's debate? Feeling like you're going to go into withdrawal if you don't get your Sarah Palin fix soon? Then check in with Sarah at her exciting new Vlog. This is a "no-handlers" zone where Sarah really and truly can be set free, in all her baffling glory.

Check out the first installment below:

More Tina Fey as Palin highlights

By: Harry Waisbren

Keith Olbermann highlighted the ongoing SNL Tina Fey as Sarah Palin extravaganza while adding some great news----she is slotted to be playing the part for the next 7 WEEKS until the election. Considering how consistently hilarious she's been so far, I must admit that I'm psyched to hear the news.

Olbermann also discussed something I didn't realize from Fey's second Palin skit: apparently most of the dialogue was directly taken from Palin's speech! I knew it was close but turns out that she essentially copied Palin word for word, and KO plays the videos back to back to take the point home. Check it out below:

John McCain: Economic Disaster

By: Harry Waisbren

Here's the latest video from Brave New Films that highlights the McCain campaign's role in this economic disaster as well as their capacity to make things even worse. Check it out below:

Brave New Films expanded on this in their email:
John McCain does not have the ability to fix this economic crisis. After declaring the fundamentals of the economy strong, he created a political circus in Washington last week by mucking up bailout negotiations; a deplorable stunt, considering he and his political cronies helped cause the current meltdown.

It was McCain and his economic adviser Phil Gramm who pushed for the deregulation that helped lead to the banking crisis, and it was McCain's crony Rick Davis who had deep lobbyist ties to Freddie Mac. Don't let others be fooled by McCain's economic grandstanding because the reality is his policies and principles will only exacerbate our financial hardships. That's why you must spread this video.
How long will the media let him get away with claiming he's a reformer when he's been part of the problem the whole time? It's efforts like these that help overturn the conventional wisdom, and it couldn't come regarding a more important issue during a more important time!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Why so serious?

By: Harry Waisbren

What would the Joker think of the upcoming recession and genearl bailout insanity? Find out below (via College Humor):

Qutie fortunatley, the uprising has come to Washington and Wall Street and the bailout was defeated! There is still plenty of time for Joker style anarchy, but at least we can still hope we can make the investments we desperately need with that $700 billion instead of spending it on bailing out the fat cats for yet another day.

Head of Skate

By: Harry Waisbren

A few weeks back Matt Damon lamented over youtube that Sarah Palin seemed much more like a disney movie character than a serious candidate for the Vice Presidency. My favorite part of the video was when he said that he needed to know if she really believes that dinosaurs were here a few thousand years ago, because "she's going to have the nuclear codes". Considering the lengths McCain is going to hide his medical records, this is DEFINITELY a real and frightening concern.

Since Damon highlighted this lunacy, we've had confirmation that Palin really believes that dinosaurs and people coexisted. I find this factoid to be particularly complementary with this College Humor video ridiculing the Sarah Palin disney style campaign. Check it out below (via Slash Film):

Sunday, September 28, 2008

SNL on the Presidential Debate

By: Harry Waisbren

SNL has a pretty hilarious take on the first presidential debate. Check it out below:

First Presidential Debate

By: Harry Waisbren

Here it is in its entirety if you missed it. Watch for McCain looking all crazy old coot like throughout (the bug eyes were a particularly nice touch): 

Tiny Fey's SNL take on Palin's Couric interview

By: Harry Waisbren

Tina Fey is at it again, exposing the ridiculousness that is Sarah Palin on Saturday Night Live. This time, she went after Palin's last embarrassing display of an interview where she couldn't even answer softballs from Katie Couric. Check it out below:

Attacked and Censored

By: Harry Waisbren

I just received the following email from Robert Greenwald of Brave New PAC about the ongoing campaign I've been helping out with to get McCain to release his medical records:

Dear Harry,

We knew we hit a nerve when Rush, Drudge, and O'Reilly unleashed on us the same day. Then, MSNBC censored the McCain health records ad, a Brave New PAC initiative, due to Bill O'Reilly/Fox's pressure (video embeded below):

And why? Because of the work we have all done together to stress the importance of John McCain releasing his health care records. Led by over 2500 doctors from around the country, Republicans, Independents and Democrats, asking important questions about the records, about his health, and stating loud and clear the records should be released.

We need your help to continue to get the message out. We must keep the focus on these records and getting them released. We must take an ad out in the NY Times. We must hold press events with doctors in Colorado, Florida, Michigan, and Ohio. We must interview more doctors, create video clips and send them around. Can you contribute to making all this possible?

This campaign is the result of all your great work in spreading the videos, telling friends, bloggers, radio, TV, unions and churches about the issues -- McCain has a YouTube Problem just passed 5.5 million views (video embeded below):

Thank you for your support. More to come!

Robert Greenwald
Brave New Films

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Madison Winter Soldier

By: Harry Waisbren

I have been working on the Madison Winter Soldier media team to help give these anti-war veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan a platform to speak. While our media parrots the narrative that "supporting the troops" means staying the course in Iraq they are actively ignoring the troops' real views, and Winter Soldier is an opportunity to discuss their perceptions over what is really happening on the ground.

Below is more information on what you can expect to see at Madison Winter Soldier, and I could not suggest coming to experience it enough: 

Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW), is composed of over fifteen-hundred soldiers who have recently served or are still serving in the U.S. military.  IVAW has provided courageous and true leadership, opposing the war-funding politicians of both parties. 

In March of this year, IVAW organized an historic event, the Winter Soldier: Iraq & Afghanistan hearings held outside Washington DC, where nearly 200 soldiers testified to the atrocities and war crimes they witnessed or personally committed while in Iraq and Afghanistan. The emotionally moving and carefully vetted truth telling lasted for days. 

To its disgrace, most of the mainstream corporate media ignored the hearings. The hard facts of the Iraq war, the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis killed, the millions driven from their homes, the thousands of American dead and tens of thousands wounded, are simply not deemed appropriate and newsworthy by American news media. Indeed, the U.S. media has pushed Iraq to the back pages and off the TV tube.

Not to be deterred, IVAW continues to organize a national movement against the war. 

This Saturday, September 27th, veterans will testify about their experiences in the military, addressing:
* Eyewitness accounts and personal stories from veterans and military families
* Veterans' Healthcare and the failure of the VA system
* The poverty draft and military recruitment today
* Supporting war resisters and the future of GI resistance
* Racism and the War on Terror
* Veterans, GIs, students, labor, and other peace groups working together end the war

Featuring guest speakers John Stauber, co-author of "The Best War Ever: Lies, Damned Lies, and the Mess in Iraq" and "Weapons of Mass Deception: The Uses of Propaganda in Bush's War on Iraq" and Sami Rasouli an Iraqi-American who splits his time between Najaf and the U.S. where he talks about life under the U.S. occupation.

For more information or to 
endorse the event contact: madisonwintersoldier@gmail.com

Suggested donation of $5, no one will be turned away, all proceeds will benefit Iraq Veterans Against the War -Madison Chapter, a proud affiliate of Veterans For Peace, a 501 (c) (3) charity.

Endorsed by: Veterans For Peace: (Chapter 25 - The Clarence Kailin Chapter, Chapter 102 - The Milwaukee Chapter, Chapter 114 - The Sheboygan Chapter), Military Families for Peace, Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice, Madison Area Peace Coalition, Rainbow Bookstore Cooperative, National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance - Madison Chapter, LIBERTY TREE Foundation for the Democratic Revolution, Health Writers, OneWisconsinNow, The Progressive, Campus Anti-war Network UW-Madison, DeKalb Interfaith Network for Peace and Justice, Madison-Rafah Sister City Project, International Socialist Organization: (Madison City Branch and University of Wisconsin Campus Branch), Madison Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), Madison Infoshop, WI Impeachment/Bring Our Troops Home Coalition, Peregrine Forum, United Nations Association - Wisconsin Division, Madison Buddhist Peace Fellowship, Code Pink - Boscobel, TAME Wisconsin, Campus Progress, South Central Federation of Labor, AFSCME Local 171, South West Wisconsin Area Progressives, Progressive Students of Milwaukee, The Women's International League for Peace and Freedom - The Madison Branch, The World Can't Wait, UniĆ³n de Trabajadores Inmigrantes, Student Progressive Dane, Pax Christi-Madison, Realeconomy.com, Peace, Education and Action through Creative Engagement (P.E.A.C.E) UW-Whitewater, Students Allied for a Green Earth (SAGE) UW-Whitewater, The Nader/Gonzalez Campaign of Wisconsin, Progressive Dane.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Free the Airwaves

By: Harry Waisbren


I have learned about the importance of the Free the Airwaves campaign via the Google Policy blog and have become quite encouraged with the effort. They just sent me another email with a video that explains why utilizing white spaces can transform the internet to non-techies like myself. Just think----we can bring wireless internet to everyone everywhere! Learn more below:

The Insurance Industry is Rigging the Game

By: Harry Waisbren

The Health Care for America Now campaign has launched a new website called Insurance Company Rules. They have released a video as part of this launch about how the insurance industry has rigged the system, and you can check it out below:

Although I believe the insurance industry is only one part of the much larger problem with our healthcare system in that at all levels the profit motive has taken over, fixing our insurance system is perhaps the most mortal problem as there are over 25 million Americans who are underinsured.

25 MILLION people at risk. Now that's just unamerican!

Sept. 26th edition of Meet the Bloggers

Watch Meet the Bloggers

This week our special guest, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi discusses the economic meltdown and the $700 billion Bush-Paulson bailout plan.

Speaker Pelosi will be joined by bloggers Roberto Lovato (Of America) and Matthew Yglesias (Think Progress). Both have written extensively about the bailout, and they will talk about the dire need to amend Paulson's plan to benefit taxpayers and victims of the financial crisis, as well as calls for strong regulation and public oversight to prevent another crisis like this from recurring.

The economic meltdown and Bush's shock and awe bailout plan are happening so quickly this show simply could not wait until Friday. Check out some of the articles below to get informed about how the proposed bailout will affect Wall Street and Main Street. Then, join us for the discussion live today at 2:30 pm ET/11:30am PT.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Sarah Palin is embarrassing

By: Harry Waisbren

I can just imagine the entire world laughing at us for what a patently absurd Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin is. We all thought Bush was embarassing, but if he wins, John McCain very well might die in office (he's had 4 bouts with cancer already), and this is the woman would be the new face of America to the world:

In the clip above, Katie Couric calls Palin out for being unable to name any examples of McCain "pushing for more regulation" in the past 26 years. She answers that she'll find out examples later and will bring them to her, and it's hilarious how Couric called her on the constant stream of empty platitudes that spewed forth from her mouth rather than any sort of answer.

Palin is such a lightweight it's absurd, and it's amazing that McCain would pick her as Vice Pesident without her being able to answer even the simplest of questions about his record. In fact, for a politician who is constantly lying, she's not even that good at it.

Letterman destroys McCain

By: Harry Waisbren

Wow, so apparently pissing off David Letterman is a REALLY dumb move for a politician to make. John McCain canceled his scheduled appearance two hours prior to going in as part of the suspension of his campaign to help solve the financial crisis both he and his deregulation-tastic lobbyists helped create. Letterman was especially offended by this tack as not only did McCain cancel, but he felt it fit to go on TV with Katie Couric instead of actually rushing to DC to fix this problem like he claimed he was going to do.

Letterman spent a huge chunk of the show going after McCain hardcore. He even invited Keith Olbermann on in McCain's stead! Check out Letterman's realization and expression of John McCain the joke of a presidential candidate below:

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

McCain needs to be asked about his medical records!

By: Harry Waisbren

I just received an email from Robert Greenwald from Brave New Films with the next step in the ongoing campaign to achieve transparency in regards to McCain's eroding health. He has had 4 BOUTS WITH CANCER but has not yet released his medical records. The prospect of President Palin keeps me up at night, so that is why I particularly appreciate this effort. This time, Greenwald is empowering activists like us to help push for a question about these records to be asked during the presidential debate this friday:

Recurrences of malignant melanoma, a savage tumor that can and does reappear after periods of hope-filled absence, are too common and serious to be cloaked for political purposes. - Theodore M. Cole, MD

Dear Harry,

53,491: People who have signed Brave New Films' open letter calling for a full, public disclosure of McCain's health records.

2,515: Doctors who signed the open letter urging McCain to release his records.

1,173: Pages in McCain's medical records dumped on the media in a publicity stunt last May.

20:. Journalists allowed to review his records for the 2008 election.

3: Hours those journalists were permitted to review them.

0: The number of tape recorders, cell phones, cameras or photocopying machines allowed in the room.

How many of you will write in urging PBS' Jim Lehrer to ask McCain about his health records during Friday's debate?

Watch the 30 second ad

This debate will deal with foreign policy, and McCain's health issues constitute a national security issue, especially when you consider how his secrecy about medical records echoes the Bush administration's legacy of lies. Will McCain's health limit his capacity to make tough decisions regarding diplomacy and military action? We don't know, because McCain is keeping his medical records a tightly held secret, made available to just a handful of journalists for three hours under close supervision.

Send a quick e-mail to Jim Lehrer, moderator of Friday's debate, with the subject line: "Ask McCain to Disclose His Health Records in Full." Then, donate to Brave New PAC today so we can get this ad on the air. We have the right to have an open discussion about this grave issue, and now we have the chance to bring transparency and accountability to politics.


Robert Greenwald
and everyone at Brave New PAC

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

There can only be one!

By: Sam Waisbren

For those of you who remember the "there can only be one" NBA finals ads, here is a funny spoof reminiscing on how during the Obama / Clinton primary battle this ad campaign was co-opted. Hilarity ensued, check it out here:

What is John McCain hiding?

By: Harry Waisbren

I have written before how about how disturbing it is that John McCain has gotten this far into the campaign without having to release his medical records. McCain has had 4 bouts with CANCER, and an increasing number of members of the medical community are connecting with progressive media outlets to discuss the importance of a real assessment of his vitality.

Brave New PAC and Democracy for America have come together to break the silence on this issue and give voice to these experts calls for transparency in a new ad which you can watch here. This ad was described to me in an email from DFA that included the following:

What do you really know about John McCain? 

He's 72. He has had 4 bouts of cancer. Earlier this year the McCain campaign made a portion of his medical records available to a select group of journalists. 

But there were strings attached.These hand-picked reporters had only 3 hours to reviews over 50,000 pages of documents. Absolutely no electronic equipment was allowed in the room. So no cell phones, no computers, and no copiers. What is John McCain hiding? 

This level of secrecy and his persistent use of discredited lies prove America just can't trust John McCain. 

Senators Reid, Schumer, and McCaskill have joined over 2,000 doctors calling for full disclosure of John McCain's health records.  Now we are teaming up with Brave New PAC again to air this 30 second ad that backs them up and demands the truth from John McCain. Contribute $50 right now so we can run this ad in all 50 states. 

I agree wholeheartedly that this is an integral issue, and it is quite indicative of how important it is to get the press to cover this race in a much more serious manner. Sadly, it is quite telling about the quality of our campaign coverage thus far that John McCain has been able to get this far merely by using baseball hats and sunscreen to hide his melanoma. 

It is LONG past time for our establishment media figures with access to McCain to ask him these questions. We need to know more about the liklihood for a President Palin during a McCain term, and shouldn't this be just about the most elementary but necessary question for a reporter to ask?

McCain goes to war with the NYT

By: Harry Waisbren

The McCain campaign is going hard and fast after the New York Times in their efforts to permanently end this whole thing called freedom of speech. It must take a particularly bad case of cognitive dissonance to ignore the NYT's pleas to stay the course in Iraq as well as the reports from Paul Krugman that he was urged to lay off the Bush administration.

This is all part of their strategy of recylcing old arguments back to a time when our media' pro-corporate bias was less obvious in order for them to avoid talking about the obscene list of conservative failures that have accumulated over the years. All of this results in the McCain campaign sounding exactly like this (via digbysblog):

23/6 Sarah Palin ad

By: Harry Waisbren

The folks at 23/6 have come out with the Sarah Palin attack ad that the Democrats would run if they were Republicans. Check it out below:

Isn't Rovianism great! 

By the way, why isn't good ol' Turdblossom in jail yet? The guy went to an exotic getaway instead of his subpeona mandated court appearance, and even a GOP congressman has hinted that he'd be in support of sending him to the slammer. Quite regrettably, it probably has to do with the fact that Karl Rove's playbook, including his utilization of war as a political strategy, has become the gospel of the mainstream media.

Rachel Maddow beats out Larry King

By: Harry Waisbren

Great news for Rachel Maddow fans:
Rachel Maddow has continued her impressive ratings success. After beating Keith Olbermann to be MSNBC's #1 show Tuesday night, she repeated the feat Thursday night, taking in 1.97 million viewers to Olbermann's 1.94 million. What's more, she soundly defeated Larry King in the 9pm time slot, making her the #2 show at 9pm for the week, behind Fox News' "Hannity & Colmes" (whose ratings were helped last week by the Sarah Palin interview).

Maddow is a real inspiration, succeeding amidst the ongoing silencing of progressive thought in mainstream media. Glenn Greenwald has written before about this, cutting to the heart of the issue of why conservatives fight back so vehemently against commentators  like Maddow:
In our political discourse, the only real way to lose one's objectivity -- one's Seriousness credentials -- is to fail to appreciate and praise all the Good Virtues of the Right (the crime of which Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow are guilty), or to be too disrespectful to the Bush administration (the sin committed by David Gregory, at least in Sacha Zimmerman's eyes). Liberalism is inherently shrill and unserious -- even when advocated by a smart and sober commentator like Maddow -- which is why the presence of an actual liberal or two on television sends shock and panic waves through The New Republic and Howie Kurtz's column, while the bulging stable of hard-core right-wing ideologues permeating news shows merits no concern; the virtual banishment of anti-war viewsfrom the establishment media barely provoked a single word of objection; and the loss of Tucker Carlson is deemed a matter of grave national mourning

The myth of an inherrently liberal media continues to be the brazen lie that fuels our corrupt establishment. We are incredibly fortunate that progressives have another powerful voice fighting back against this corrupted conventional wisdom, all while proving that there is an increasingly strong desire for progressive voices in the public sphere.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Progressive Jobs Post Vol. 14

By: Harry Waisbren

Adam Bink often puts up great listings for progressive jobs nationwide on the Open Left blog. Volume 14 came up today, and if you are an activist looking for work I couldn't suggest utilizing this resource enough.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Israel's Prime Minister resigns--is Iran war off?

By: Harry Waisbren

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has formally resigned, allowing Kadima party member Tzipi Livni to try to form a government. If she fails to do so, parliamentary elections would be held in 2009 in order to pick a new leader. I think this is a very promising development if only for Olmert's insinuations this summer that war with Iran was near after he held a meeting with President Bush. I am a very proud supporter of Israel, but considering that Iran will target 32 bases and the heart of Israel should they be attacked I do believe war should be avoided at all costs. I fear that former Mossad Chief Ephraim Halevy is right that an attack on Iran could impact Israel for a hundred years, and desperately worry about it considering even our war monger in chief's very own Secretary of Defense has said that an attack on Iran would be disastrous.

It's hard to know how positive this development is though, as Dick Cheney has privately said that he'd prefer the US to attack Iran instead of Israel as we'd be blamed anyways. In fact, Cheney is so desperate to provoke a war with Iran that he has even suggested dressing up Navy Seals as Iranians and shooting at them to do just that. This sort of treachery has led Lt. Gen. (ret.) William Odom to go so far as saying that "it gives me pause to learn that our vice president and some members of the Senate are aligned with al Qaeda on spreading the war to Iran."

Hopefully, Olmert's resignation at least means that the Israeli attack plan that has already received Bush's backing is off the table, and serious diplomacy can at least be attempted to mitigate this crisis. The world desperately needs the war hungry neocons in both America and Israel to take a deep breath and remember that al Qaeda hates Iran and that Iran falling would only help the terrorists who attacked the United States on 9/11.

McCain skewered on SNL

By: Harry Waisbren

Last night's opening skit on SNL went right for McCain's jugular by mocking his highly "misleading" (i.e. lying) television ads about Barack Obama. Check out this Al Franken written SNL sketch below:

These attacks on McCain's truthiness are great, as it could be a major boon for Obama if McCain is branded as a liar. I agree wholeheartedly with Paul Rosenberg that McCain's brazen lying is a great way to tie him to both Bush and Cheney as well as to the general bizzaro world American politics has fallen into during our stint of near total conservative rule. If you need more evidence that McCain is treating Americans like we're stupid, check out this Brave New Films video about the lies in his ads below:

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Conan creating Iraq war comedy pilot

By: Harry Waisbren

Even though I do not watch Conan O'brien very often, I have long been a fan of his (at least since I found out he was playing Walker Texas Ranger clips on his show). That said, this news is by far the most interesting thing I've heard him do:
USA Network gave a cast-contingent green light to a new pilot, Operating Instructions, from Conan O’Brien’s Conaco production company and Universal Cable Productions.

While the pilot is a comedy, the subject matter -- at least on its face -- would seem more suited to a drama series.

Operating Instructions is about a top female trauma surgeon who returns from two tours in Iraq to become head of surgery at a military hospital. She finds that she is leaving one combat zone and entering another as she tries to navigate the stateside healthcare system and the bureaucracy that comes with it, all while juggling an unexpected romantic encounter.

The pilot was written by Judd Pillot and John Peaslee (According to Jim8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teen-Age DaughterJust Shoot Me) and is being executive-produced by Pillot, Peaslee, O’Brien and David Kissinger.

It's a real interesting concept, but it certainly could go either way as the commentary about what our veterans' health care system really is like is hardly a laughing matter. Then again, catharsis could certainly be in order for those involved. Plus, making jokes about how absurd it is that a nation who hollers about supporting the troops as much as ours does treats them so pitifully when they come home could lead to more exposure.

In that veign, if you want to watch some Walker Texas Ranger clips here ya go:

Did you hear McCain invented the Blackberry?

By: Harry Waisbren

So does anyone remember a certain presidential candidate who was ridiculed for supposedly saying he invented the internet? With that in mind, you'd think that a McCain adviser arguing that he should be given credit for inventing the Canadian made Blackberry would be all over the airwaves. Fortuantely, the internets are pouncing on this gaffe even if our mainstream media is once again far too cowardly to hit McCain like they commonly hit democrats (via The Nation):

Million Doors for Peace

By: Harry Waisbren

True Majority just sent me an email about the Million Doors for Peace campaign. This camaign is an effort to get thousands of concerned citizens to go door-to-door in our communities across America, finding the next wave of the movement to End the Iraq War. They provided a video with some added explanation:

When you sign up for the Million Doors, you'll be able to instantly print out a walksheet of newly registered and infrequently voting neighbors to talk to on Saturday. I'm a big fan of True Majority because of their contributions to the effort to enact the Responsible Plan to End the War in Iraq, so I'd highly suggest any activist with some extra time on their hands this weekend trust that their time would be well spent helping out this undoubtedly important cause!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Naomi Wolf out with a new book

By: Harry Waisbren

Naomi Wolf's End of America: Letters of Warning to a Young Patriot is one of my very favorite books that has kept me sane and inspired despite the dangerous orwellian times we find ourselves in. Within the book she chronciles the ten steps that all would be despots take in order to close an open society, and details how this Mussolini devised blueprint is being followed by our current regime today.

I am happy to report that she is out with a new book entitled Give Me Liberty: A Handbook for American Revolutionaries in which she details the battle plan to combat this state of affairs. I can't wait to get my hands on it and couldn't possibly recommend her writing enough to anyone who truly cares about what is happening in this country.

Obama Action Wire: Black Monday

By: Harry Waisbren

Here's the latest from the Obama Action Wire on the ongoing market failure:

Harry -- 

Hard-working American families are anxiously trying to make sense of yesterday's disastrous economic headlines.

While they're trying to figure out just how hard the news will hit them and their savings, John McCain's advice seems to be: don't worry about it.

Right after a major global investment bank declared bankruptcy, and in the middle of the second-biggest Dow Jones drop this century, McCain told an audience in Florida that "the fundamentals of our economy are strong." 

How can the fundamentals of our economy be strong when, just this year, 600,000 Americans have lost their jobs? When people are losing their homes? When health insurance is beyond the reach of an ever increasing number of Americans?

John McCain clearly doesn't get it.

Our latest ad contrasts the Bush-McCain economic dream world with the economic realities Americans face every day.

Watch it now and write a letter to your local newspaper about how out of touch John McCain is with ordinary families like yours:

McCain shared his wishful thinking just one day after former U.S. Treasurer Alan Greenspan called the current economic crisis "by far" the worst he'd ever seen.

It's possible that John McCain doesn't care about the economic realities of average Americans. But more it's more likely -- and more troubling -- that he doesn't even realize families are hurting. 

The McCain campaign may think we're merely in a "mental recession." But there's a very real way you can fight back against his dangerously out-of-touch economic approach.

Write a letter to your editor now and tell readers in your community about Barack's plans for real change that will help keep American families strong.


Keep fighting the good fight,

Obama Action Wire 

Stewart interviews author of new Cheney book

By: Harry Waisbren

Last night Jon Stewart interviewed Barton Gellman, author of a new book on the Cheney Vice-Presidency entitled Angler. Here is an excerpt to the book, and you can also watch the interview below to see Stewart trying to make sense of a Vice-President gone wild: 

Olbermann covers McCain lies

By: Harry Waisbren

KO highlighted how audacious McCain's lies have become recently, to the extent that even a proud liar like Karl Rove of all people have even called him out. Check it out below:

I really like this line of attack on McCain as it is hitting him on his greatest strength of his so called "straight talk". However, McCain is just the sort of guy willing to lie TO THIS DAY about whether we had an easy victory in Iraq  as well as whether or not we were greeted as liberators.  McCain has even been lying about his staunch opposition to the recently passed GI Bill, showing just how low he's willing to go for someone who supposedly cares so much about the honor of our soldiers (and himself).

Monday, September 15, 2008

Mad Progress TV: Breaking the Silence on Winter Soldier

By: Harry Waisbren

Our first episode of Mad Progress TV aired this past Saturday on Madison's Community Access Channel 4 WYOU. The episode entailed an analyzation of the upcoming Winter Soldier investigation to be held at 3:00 PM on Sept. 27 at the University of Wisconsin's Union Theatre. 

Madison Winter Soldier is being organized by Iraq Veterans Against the War, but I am very proud to say that Madison's chapter of Campus Progress is among the litany of organizations supporting this effort. We will be working with these true patriots to amplify their voices and work to force our elite decision makers to listen to those most affected by their blood-drunk decision making. Just as it was in Vietnam, our soldiers are once again being compelled to commit immoral and illegal acts for the benefit of a cowardly elite, and it is long past time for their calls for redemption to be heard!

In our first full episode of Mad Progress TV I interviewed Chris Dols who is on the national coordinating committee for the Campus Anti-War Network (CAN) while also serving on the Madison Winter Soldier media team with me. In the introduction to the episode I explain exactly why Madison's chapter of Campus Progress is supporting this effort as much as we possibly can:

As discussed in the above clip, one of the prime purposes for our chapter is to amplify the voices of those who have been silenced by our political and media elite. It is shameful to the most base degree that this silenced majority includes the very soldiers who such institutions purportedly support, and this is specifically why I am so honored to be working on helping them make their voices heard through any method possible.

One of these methods mentioned in the clip is Campus Progress Actions' I'm Voting For Campaign which strives to collect online video testimonials in order to give young people a platform to talk about the personal experiences and passions for the issues that are driving us to the polls. I know that the un-American negligence of our soldiers is driving me to vote and to activate, and I know first hand that many others are similarly inspired from seeing members of our generation exploited in such a craven fashion. Also, I find it particularly important to incorporate soldiers and veterans into this effort considering the military's ongoing shameful efforts to prevent our troops from voicing their opinions about the presidential rate.

In the second segment of the episode, Chris discusses the history of what Winter Soldier really is:

In the clip above Chris discusses how the original Winter Soldier investigation of the Vietnam war exposed the widespread nature of atrocities in Vietnam. Furthermore, it exposed how such atrocities were not the work of a few bad apples but were officially sanctioned government policy. Quite regrettably, this has also become the case with the Iraq war as know for a fact that our soldiers have been pressured by superiors to increase body counts. Furthermore, the officially sanctioned torture policies at facilities such as Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo has been cited before congress as being the "first and second identifiable causes of U.S. combat deaths in Iraq". Such policies completely neglects our soldiers' requirement to disobey unlawful orders and have also directly led to soldiers fleeing to avoid having to commit such blatant atrocities.

In our third segment we discuss why it is such a worthy cause for local organizations such as Campus Progress and CAN to support Madison Winter Soldier:

Chris discussed here how it is of the upmost importance for soldiers considering dissent to know that there is an anti-war movement at home prepared to defend their right to speak. Although it seems entirely counterintuitive for those who have proven their patriotism beyond a shadow of the doubt to see their liberties taken away, this remains the case. Furthermore, Chris astutely cites Martin Luther King's quote that "the bombs of Vietnam hit at home" in regards to how all of us bare the brunt of the war and the larger military industrial complex economically. None of us can escape such moral decay, and the great American experiment with democracy will undoubtedly fail if this decay is not alleviated.

The fourth segment of the episode highlighted the specific ways in which the original Winter Soldier led directly to the end of the war in Vietnam:

Chris detailed here how the anti-war movement consciously decided to change tactics in an effort to reach those who could most directly work to end the war---our soldiers in the field. In fact, the Winter Soldier investigations organized by these activists directly led to soldiers refusing to fight through their realization that they were participating in an illegal war. In fact, it got even worse than this, as many of our soldiers went to lengths far graverPaul Rosenberg of OpenLeft.com has written superbly about this very topic and has cited Col. Robert D. Heinl Jr. to confirm this point:
"Frag incidents" or just "fragging" is current soldier slang in Vietnam for the murder or attempted murder of strict, unpopular, or just aggressive officers and NCOs. With extreme reluctance (after a young West Pointer from Senator Mike Mansfield's Montana was fragged in his sleep) the Pentagon has now disclosed that fraggings in 1970(109) have more than doubled those of the previous year (96).

Word of the deaths of officers will bring cheers at troop movies or in bivouacs of certain units. In one such division -- the morale plagued Americal -- fraggings during 1971 have been authoritatively estimated to be running about one a week....

The issue of "combat refusal", and official euphemism for disobedience of orders to fight --[is] the soldier's gravest crime

It is shocking to believe that our soldiers would ever engage in such a grave crime as "combat refusal", much less go so far as to FRAG THEIR OFFICERS (i.e. throw a grenade into their room and run)! It is useful to remind ourselves that the same ruling class that forced our soldiers into such predicament then are still in power today, as it is the most brazen example of just how far down the path of irreconciable misdeeds our power elite will go. Furthermore, it should be seered in our societies collective memory as an example of just how much horribly wrong things can go in war, and why it is so important for the people to compel their media and government to disclose the most important issues of war and peace.

And finally, in our last segment we discuss why it is such a worthy endeavor for anyone to listen to soldiers who speak out against the war:

The audience at Madison Winter Soldier will have the opportunity to hear first hand from our troops about the government supported atrocities they saw or perhaps were even compelled to participate in. As I discussed in the clip, it is a sight to behold to listen to our soldiers discuss things far too painful for someone like me to even imagine, and it is a blemish on our country that our mainstream media system refuses to give them a platform to speak.

I, for one, refuse to sit silently and continue watching the silencing of our soldiers, and this is why I find Winter Soldier to be such a breathtakingly important endeavor. I refuse to remain silent as the rate of veterans' suicides continue to exceed their combat deaths, and as our government continues to underdiagnose post traumatic stress disorder in their efforts to save a buck. There is no issue of more importance, considering that while one fifth of our veterans suffer from PTSD or major depression our government remains more concerned with concealing this ongoing suicide epidemic.

It is long past time to Break This Silence. It is long past time to actually Support Our Troops. Fortunately, it is almost time for Madison Winter Soldier!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sept. 14th edition of Forward Forum

By: John Quinlan

John Quinlan here.  Please join me, my co-host Harry Waisbren, and producer Stephanie Woods for a fun-filled and informative look at national and local events, through a Madison lens, on this week's Forward Forum--airing Sunday evenings from 7-9 pm on WTDY, 1670 AM, and streaming live and podcasting worldwide at www.wtdy.com .

On this week's show:

At 7 pm:
* A full hour with Lesbian Comedienne and Social Commentator Kate Clinton
discussing politics, LGBT rights, climate change and a host of other cutting edge issues,
with an emphasis on using laughter as a tool for social change

Then at 8 pm:
* "Rhumba for Rainbow" preview with the Rainbow Project's Sharyl Kato
GSA for Safe Schools Oct. 11th Walk/Run/Eat 2008 Event preview with E.D. Cindy Crane,
followed by a preview of the compelling upcoming exhibit, 
Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals 1933-1945,
which will be on display at the UW-Madison Memorial Library from Oct. 10th to Dec. 10th 
* An Interview with Kelda Helen Roys, former E.D. of WI NARAL, and newly-elected state representative
* "Fighting Voter Fraud, or Suppressing Voter Turnout?":  An Analysis of the WI Atty. General's lawsuit, filed earlier this week, with Mike McCabe of the WI Democracy Campaign

Further background:

With tongue firmly in cheek, Kate Clinton describes herself as a "faith-based, tax-paying, America-loving political humorist and family entertainer." With a career spanning over 25 years, Kate Clinton has worked through economic booms and busts, Disneyfication and Walmartization, gay movements and gay markets, lesbian chic and queer eyes, and ten presidential inaugurals. She still believes that humor gets us through peacetime, wartime and scoundrel time.  Many of you in Madison's LGBT communities have seen Kate during her visits to Madison over the years, and also know and admire her partner of 20 years, Urvashi Vaid (among many important roles, former director of the Gay and Lesbian Task Force and a keynoter at Madison's 1991 pride celebration).  Kate has recently released both a DVD (featuring footage from her "25th Anniversary of Performing 50-city IT'S COME TO THIS! tour") and her hilarious CD,CLIMATE CHANGE.  (Both her CD, DVD, and books are available at Room of One's Own Bookstore in Madison-- see www.roomofonesown.com .)  While LGBT community members are proud to count her as one of our own, Kate's humor has a universal appeal to everyone interested in making the world a better place.  For more background on Kate, include links to her twice weekly video blog, go tohttp://kateclinton.com .

Kate Clinton will be appearing in Wisconsin, on 
October 23rd at the UW-Whitewater's Young Auditorium, which is just an hour's drive from Madison.  For more info, see her website, or go towww.uww.edu/youngauditorium  .  Tickets are going fast.

Please join in our conversation by calling us at 321-1670, US Cellular phone users *123 toll free, or 1-877-867-1670 toll free across the US.

Even ROVE is calling McCain a LIAR

By: Harry Waisbren

McCain has quite the problem on his hands, as the lies in his ads have become so brazen that even Karl Rove of all people has been forced to call him out.
"McCain has gone in his ads one step too far, and sort of attributing to Obama things that are, you know, beyond the 100-percent-truth test,"said Rove. "Both campaigns ought to be careful about... there ought to be an adult who says: 'Do we really need to go that far in this ad? Don't we make our point and get broader acceptance and deny the opposition an opportunity to attack us if we don't include that one little last tweak in the ad?'"
The Huffingtonpost has got the video of this pretty major breakdown of the straight talk express.

Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton duke it out on SNL

By: Harry Waisbren

Tina Fey as Sarah Palin is too funny to describe. She has set a high bar for political satire with her bitch is the new black weekend update on Hillary Clinton, but with the Sarah Palin sideshow turning into a freakshow I think she just might continue to one-up herself:

John McCain's Health Records Must Be Released

By: Harry Waisbren

The latest dispatch from Brave New Films is calling for John McCain to release his health records. It is long past time for our mainstream media to begin asking serious questions about his health and his efforts to conceal his medical records. This is especially urgent considering a person as inexperienced and intellectually bankrupt as Sarah Palin could be a heart beat a way from the presidency. Check out the video below:

Friday, September 12, 2008

John McCain's ads are LIES. Here's the video proof

By: Harry Waisbren

Robert Greenwald's Brave New Films has come out with a new video that definitively proves that John McCain is blatantly LYING in his ads. Unfortuantely, those professional journalists in our mainstream media system are pretty dense and have not figured this out yet, so it is our job to have as many people as possible watch and distribute videos like these:

Such hypocrisy from the the supposedly straight talker John McCain should not be surprising considering he has lied about such serious things as his supposed support of the GI Bill (he opposed it the whole way) as well as important personal matters such as whether or not he adopted his daughter from Mother Theresa's orphanage (he didn't). Par for the course for the GOP I guess.