Friday, October 31, 2008

Oct. 31st edition of Meet the Bloggers

Since it's Halloween, we couldn't think of anything scarier to discuss on Meet the Bloggersthan "The Frightening Economy."  The blood-sucking greed of CEO vampires!  The terror of checking your 401k status!  The spooky specter of socialism!  The rotting remains of Republican economic philosophy!  The horrors of a Bush-McCain economy!

Trick or treat?  The American people have been tricked -- big time. First, by bewitching promises of no money down loans, zero percent interest, and housing prices that would supernaturally rise indefinitely; and now by CEOs and Wall Street warlocks who cried “Crisis!” and demanded a bailout, then retreated to their haunted mansions -- or luxury spas!

This Friday at 1pm ET/10 am PT, we’ll talk to economist Dean Baker, co-director of theCenter for Economic and Policy Research, about just how terrifying this economy really is.  Joining Baker will be bloggers Hale Stewart (The Bonddad Blog) and Isaiah Poole (Campaign for America's Future), who will weigh in on what’s ahead for the economy and what the next administration can and should do to get us back on the right track.

So check out the articles below and join us for a live blog discussion on Meet the BloggersFriday at 1pm ET/10 am PT to chat with our featured bloggers.  That is, if you're not too scared!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Maddow interviews Obama

By: Harry Waisbren

Need more evidence that Rachel Maddow's show is already an unabashed success despite her scary liberalism (she just might be a hippie in disguise!)? Maddow has already snagged an interview with Obama, and it's a pretty fantastic interview. Check it out below:

And part 2:

Oh no you didn't...

By: Harry Waisbren

Stephen Colbert endorses Obama...but says he's still voting for McCain. Makes sense to me:

The Real Biden

By: Harry Waisbren

Swift Kids for Truth strikes again:

Get the latest news satire and funny videos at

Obama 30-minute ad

By: Harry Waisbren

So 26.3 million people sat in to watch what Matt Stoller refers to as the Hopefomercial. Want to ad yourself to the ranks? Check it out below (via Huffington Post): 

Obama on the Daily Show

By: Harry Waisbren

Obama admits that he's lost the Hannity vote, but somehow I think he'll be OK. Check it out below:

Sunday, October 26, 2008

It is Time to Break the Silence about Voter Suppression!

By: Harry Waisbren

I am quite excited for tonight’s edition of Forward Forum, and it’s not only because of the fact that our first guest (who authored a book about Sarah Palin) will undoubtedly give me plenty of opportunities to make fun of George W. Bush with lipstick. However, our second hour will analyze a topic that I have become increasingly involved and vested in. We will be interviewing Jon Pincus who I have been collaborating with on the Voter Suppression Wiki, and our discussion will include how we can connect both online and on the ground activists to prevent the continuance of this horrific wrong. How is it that in 2008 Americans still need to fear for their votes, and why am I so committed to breaking the silence on this particular issue? Context is needed here to understand the enormity of what we are dealing with, as we must recognize that what we are seeing today is merely emblematic of a much horrific evil that has eaten away at the soul of America since its inception.

Ever since our founding there has been an internal struggle regarding who would truly wield power in this country. This controversy is most evident in the evolving definition indicating which members of our society compromise the term “the people” who, supposedly, are designed to rule in this land. The changing nature of this democratic ideal can be measured by whom we grant the right of voting, as this right deciphers categorically which segments of the population are/were considered worthy of representation as an equal to those even more powerful or wealthy.  There can be no equality without congruent voting rights, and the dream of America can not be achieved without a true acceptance of the radical concept that we are all equals.

Within even the most idealistic of our founding fathers were views on this issue that we consider abhorrent today. African Americans in this country continued to be bereft of freedom, and, of course, did not have the right to vote. Women were not allowed to vote. Those who were not wealthy enough to own property were not allowed to vote. This changed though throughout our history, as patriots fought and died to attain and retain this sacred institution. However, the combined forces of those prone to lose the most power from the shifting equilibrium were, and remain, fiercely strong. Far too many members of our country’s wealthy and powerful elite have decided both then and now that they benefit most when there are fewer people allowed the information and ability to vote and assert their own interests. Quite regrettably, far too many of our fellow citizens do not recognize the repugnant nature of this incentive, and despite civil war, despite reconstruction, despite generations of strikes and protests, despite the end of Jim Crowe, despite countless victories, voter suppression efforts of those with the least political power continue and thrive to this day.

Let me be unabashedly frank: the conservative movement in this country has wholeheartedly embraced modern day tactics to prevent minorities and the youth from voting. These tactics have a new name and justifications, but their deplorable nature remains the same as any other voter suppression effort historically. This time the justification is coming through preventing “voter fraud”, yet a cursorily analysis of these bankrupt charges expose how this campaign is merely indicative of the same failings of mankind that have hampered our democracy from its inception. Below is a portion of the explanation about the history of voter fraud from Eric Alterman and George Zornick of the Center for American Progress that exposes this dynamic:

Members of the mainstream media often give too much credence to empty claims of “voter fraud,” while ignoring the institutionalized disenfranchisement that occurs too often in America. “Voter fraud” is not an infrequent claim, especially before elections. The claim is most often applied to voter registrations submitted for people who are ineligible or don’t exist.

Yet these accounts lack the crucial context that should be included in every journalistic account of such charges—that voter fraud allegations are frequently based on shaky evidence with partisan goals in mind.

Project Vote recently released a detailed study of how accusations of voter fraud are often efforts to stop minorities and young people from voting. Called “The Politics of Voter Fraud,” the report details “how charges of voter fraud are used to discredit voter participation efforts and prime the pump for voter suppression efforts, such as the passage of voter ID bills, pushing for proof of citizenship, engaging in draconian voter purge efforts, and imposing severe restrictions on voter registration drives.”

Digby at Digbysblog has also written extensively about this rancid and undemocratic effort. Like Alterman and Zornick, she also puts an onus on the media for legitimizing these charges. Not only has our mainstream media failed to expose the blatantly partisan and corrupt nature of voter fraud allegations, but they have also refused to discuss the very ongoing and real campaigns to suppress votes as if our country was still dominated by Jim Crowe:

The process of turning ACORN into a terrorist sleeper cell has begun and I see little hope that they aren't going to be successful. The press is clearly fascinated by the right wing caricature of a group of shiftless "community organizers" trading crack for Obama votes in the inner city and have done exactly zero research into the issue, so the reporting has been hysterical.

 I have written many times about this report (pdf) from 2004 about the history of Republican vote suppression efforts and I urge you to take the time to read the whole thing if you haven't. This has been a tool of conservatives of all parties since the beginning of the Republic, but it's only been since the 1980s that the Republicans professionalized it

That the media is running after this story like a bunch of toddlers gleefully chasing puppies is typical, but still disheartening. It was only a couple of weeks ago that a special prosecutor was named in the US Attorney firings after the Inspector General found that that some of them, notably David Iglesias, were fired because they failed to prosecute bogus voter fraud cases. In light of that you would think that the press would be a bit skeptical of voter fraud allegations by Republicans

Digby’s point at the end that the Bush administration has already been repudiated for these efforts should strike a particularly powerful cord with anyone who cares about the rule of law. Charges of voter fraud are being given credence immediately after the same people making these claims were caught red handed pressuring U.S. attorneys to pursue such allegations of voter fraud despite knowing full well that they were unwarranted! These charges were directly and officially laid out in a recently released US Attorneys report on this very subject

"The most serious allegation that we were not able to fully investigate related to the removal of David Iglesias, the U.S. Attorney for New Mexico, and the allegation that he was removed to influence voter fraud and public corruption prosecutions," the report's conclusion reads. "We recommend that a counsel specially appointed by the Attorney General assess the facts we have uncovered, work with us to conduct further investigation, and ultimately determine whether the evidence demonstrates that any criminal offense was committed with regard to the removal of Iglesias or any other U.S. Attorney, or the testimony of any witness related to the U.S. Attorney removals."

The promotion and enaction of voter fraud charges despite their voter suppressing results is a criminal matter, and a special prosecutor has ALREADY been appointed to treat it as such. However, our mainstream media remains almost uniformly negligent in exposing these criminals and educating the public about the nearly successful institutionalized destruction of the rule of law just last year. This negligence has been so absolute that voter fraud allegations will most likely once again impact this election--even if they do not decide its outcome this time. 

Fortunately, Barack Obama has not sat as idly by like our mainstream media has while the Republican Party continues this farce. Obama’s legal team has asked Attorney General Mukasey to have the recently appointed special prosecutor also analyze the "emerging pattern of apparent unlawful coordination between the McCain campaign and the Department of Justice and state law enforcement agencies controlled by Republican officials."

This is true leadership from Obama, and it is time for other leaders to come forward and call out this pernicious scheme for what it is. Our country is a land where minorities’ and young people' rights to equality under the law remain in jeopardy, yet the silence from this nightmare remains deafening. It is of the upmost necessity for political leaders and grassroots activists alike to say ENOUGH to this sort of blatant racism and attempts to subvert democracy!

During the show tonight and in the following days we will be deciphering the best possible ways for us to do this, and I hope to gain support for this effort. Right now, I do not believe there is any effort more important than exposing these bigoted anit-democratic cretins and working to reestablish a public discourse that recognizes the importance of equality in the definiton for what it means to be an American!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

A Poem for the Youth Voter

By: Harry Waisbren

Check it out:


Oct. 26th edition of Forward Forum

By: John Quinlan

his is John Quinlan for Forward Forum.  Please join me, co-host Harry Waisbren and producer Stephanie Woods for the first part of our two part, Election Special, this Sunday from 7-9 pm on 1670am, WTDY, and streaming live online at .  (Show; show blog; updates coming later this weekend.)  And please join in our conversation by calling 321-1670 locally and 1-877-867-1670 toll free from across the U.S., or by sending an email to  And we'll also be unveiling other exciting ways for you to participate through and a special parallel online discussion...  tune in for the details.

Please join us and our guests, Sarah Palin biographer Sue Katz and Internet activist, privacy rights expert, and voter suppression opponent Jon Pincus.

AT 7pm, we'll be revealing new insights about vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, with our guest Sue Katz, author of "Thanks but no Thanks: The Voter's Guide to Sarah Palin."  It's a meticulously researched book, which author Susie Bright praises in saying, "Forget the myths about the GOP's latest superstar--Katz will show the real motivations behind Palin and where she comes from."

Sue Katz is an author, teacher, and journalist, and creator of the popular blog, "Sue Katz: Consulting Adult."  Her passport shows more wear than Palin's--she has lived and worked on three continents and continues her lifelong committment to social justice from her home outside Boston.  Her second book, an edgy and unabashed look at the private behavior of boomers, is due in 2009.

AT 8pm, we'll tackle the disturbing topic of voter suppression with a pioneering social scientist/activist who is using his considerable knowledge of the Internet and New Media to counter this newly-resurgent trend threatening to seriously erode our democratic freedoms.  Jon Pincus's biography is emblematic of the growing fusion between New Media and social justice activism.  His current primary research interests include the interactions between social networks and diversity theory, trolls, and recasting the field of computer science as a social science His current professional projects include Tales from the Net (a book on social networks co-authored with Deborah Pierce and his brother Greg) and launching a strategy consulting practice (see  

Some of the social science approaches embodied in his work include asset-based thinking, narratology, cognitive diversity, intersectionality, standpoint theories and situated knowledges, oppression theory, action research, and hot pink beanbag chairs.  He applies similar approaches in his civil liberties activism work, for example with Get FISA Right and the Voter Suppression Wiki; his professional and activist sides merge in my involvement with Computers, Freedom, and Privacy conference(see he is currently vice-chair of online visibility for the 2009 conference.

For more info, go to his fascinating blog, Liminal States, at .  And be sure to go to co-host Harry Waisbren's blog, , for details on some unique opportunities for you to interact with us online during and after our interview.

And don't forget to join our colleague Stephanie Woods in her new time slot of 6pm Sundays (immediately preceding Forward Forum) for her lively and topical show, "Sunday Night Live with Stephanie Woods."

Friday, October 24, 2008

Obama campaign launches "Under the Radar" project

By: Harry Waisbren

Here's the latest from the Obama Action Wire:

John McCain is running one of the sleaziest campaigns in American history -- and just the other day he told an interviewer he's "absolutely" proud of it.

Attacking Barack Obama with dark insinuations in TV ads must have been drawing too much negative attention to McCain's lies, because now he's using automated "robocalls" and hateful mailings to spread doubt and fear under the radar.

The most powerful way to expose McCain's dirty campaign is to drag his shadowy attacks into the light of public scrutiny.

Today we're launching Under the Radar, a website where you can get the truth about some of these deceptive "robocalls" and mailers. Check it out and share it with anyone you know who has received one of these smears:

Back in his 2000 campaign, John McCain said, "Sooner or later, people are going to figure out if all you run is negative attack ads, you don't have much of a vision for the future or you're not ready to articulate it."

He was right.

Keep fighting the good fight,

Obama Action Wire

P.S. -- If you've received a deceptive McCain mailer or "robocall," report it and upload a copy so the campaign can bring it into the light and fight back:

Oct. 24th edition of Meet the Bloggers: Race in the Presidential Debate

Since the race-baiting and fear-mongering from the McCain campaign have intensified in recent weeks, we have escalated our campaign to end the politics of hate. This week on Meet the Bloggers, we will discuss race in the presidential race with special guest Rinku Sen, executive director of The Applied Research Center and author of the recently released book, The Accidental American: Immigration and Citizenship in the Age of Globalization.

Watch Rinku Sen on Meet the Bloggers at 1pm ET:

Joining Sen will be bloggers Adia Harvey Wingfield (Racism Review), Joshua Busch (Double Take 08), and Liliana Segura (AlterNet). All three have written extensively about this topic, as you can see from the material below. Check out their articles, and join them in the live blog discussion today at 1pm ET/10 am PT at Meet the Bloggers.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

U.S. ranked 36th in World for Press Freedom

By: Harry Waisbren

Anyone want to argue that this isn't an indictment of the country that should be the land of the free? Can't say this is that surprising considering that arresting journalists was official policy at this year's Republican Naitonal Convention:
St. Paul police chief John Harrington outlined his policy towards reporters covering demonstrations in a September 3 press conference. Arrest first, ask questions later: Harrington told Amy Goodman that the police can't possibly be expected to differentiate between protesters and credentialed journalists covering protests. He added, generously, that the police would do their best to identify journalists after the fact and expedite their release.

Still don't think this has gotten out of control? Check out this video of even an ABC News producer getting arrested in Denver while "investigating the role of corporate lobbyists and wealthy donors at the convention".

Crazy crazy crazy.

Family Guy's take on McCain/Palin

By: Harry Waisbren

Dear God:

And Will Ferrell joins Tina Fey!

By: Harry Waisbren

Will Ferrell's depiction of an open George W. Bush endorsement to the McCain/Palin ticket just might be the funniest SNL skit I have ever seen. It makes me even more psyched for Will Ferrell's January stint on broadway with "You're Welcome America. A Final Night With George W Bush." In the meantime, check out his chemistry with Fey/Palin below:

Friday, October 17, 2008

Oct. 17th edition of Meet the Bloggers

When it comes to election protection and voter suppression, there's perhaps no one more knowledgeable than Color of Change's James Rucker. That's why Rucker will be our special guest on Meet the Bloggers today at 1pm ET/10am PT, as we discuss these critical issues.

Joining Rucker will be Jon Pincus (Liminal States) and Brad Friedman (The Brad Blog). Both have written extensively about this topic, and they will chat with show host Cenk Uygur about early reports of voter suppression, as well as campaigns to combat this problem from groups like Campus Progress and Progressive Christians Uniting, among others.

Watch a teaser of James Rucker on Meet the Bloggers:

Check out the material below and join us for the live conversation today at 1pm ET/10am PT:

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Tina Fey is Sarah Palin

By: Harry Waisbren

This might be her best bit yet. My favorite parts are when Palin describes how marriage is meant to be a sacred institution between two unwilling teenagers, and then when she busts our her flute for the talent portion of the debate. Check it out below:

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Tina Fey gets Book Deal

By: Harry Waisbren

As if Tina Fey wasn't having a big enough year already, she has just signed a book deal in addition to her 30 rock writing and Sarah Palin demolitioning. I've been quite the Tina Fey fan ever since her bitch is the new black routine on SNL, and it's great news that she is continuing her ascent into stardome.

John McCain's economic plan

By: Harry Waisbren

Why can't we all just marry a beer heiress (via John Cole)?:

McCain’s Economic Plan For Nation: 'Everyone Marry A Beer Heiress'

I am actually relieved to hear that McCain has a plan for the rest of us considering the devasting impact his current one would have on the poor. Plus, marrying a beer heiress is smarter than his other idea of all us of waiting for victory in Iraq to pay off the deficit. Maybe this is why so many of McCain's own economic advisors don't actually support his economic agenda.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Sarah Palin Vlog #5: Post Debate

By: Harry Waisbren

Check out 23/6's post debate Sarah Palin depiction:

Get the latest news satire and funny videos at

"White Flag of Surrender"

By: Harry Waisbren

I couldn't agree with John Cole's analsyis of the following Sarah Palin/Republican hack line from the debate last night:
"Your plan is a white flag of surrender in Iraq and that is not what our troops need to hear today, that’s for sure. And it’s not what our nation needs to be able to count on."

I can not tell you how much it pisses me off to have asshats who never even spent a day in Basic Training pull the surrender/treason nonsense, but beside even that, have we ever had a candidate in a debate during wartime so clearly enunciate the tinkerbell strategy? Clap louder! That is what our boys need! Clap louder, damnit!

It is a sign of the bankrupt nature of our political discourse that Republicans can utter such garbage with nary a peep about the blatant hypocrisy. Who on earth is John McCain or any of his surrogates to argue about what supporting the troops should entail? Let's look through some of the different ways McCain and his Republican allies have betrayed our troops in the last few years:

John McCain killed the efforts to extend our troops' dwell time between returning to war to ensure they had enough time to rest and recuperate.

John McCain refused to support the recently passed bipartisan which led one soldier to directly ask why John McCain was "fighting to kill" his "one hope and dream" to go to college.

John McCain has said that bringing our troops home from Iraq is not important.

John McCain, in his own words, supported a program that could be considered brainwashing our soldiers.

John McCain wants to ration healthcare for veterans (and non-veterans too).

And there are a too many other reasons to list that could fit on this one blog post. It is long past time for our mainstream media to discuss how John McCain consistently Votes Against Vets!

Oct. 3rd edition of Meet the Bloggers

Watch Meet the Bloggers

Over 2,750 doctors have signed Brave New PAC's open letter urging McCain to provide full, public disclosure of his medical records.  And yet the corporate press has gone to great lengths to prevent the public from discussing this issue.  Tune in to Meet the Bloggers this Friday at 1pm ET/10am PT, when special guest Dr. Richard Sagebiel will lead the calls for full disclosure and transparency from McCain on his health history.  Dr. Richard Sagebiel is a pathologist in dermatology and co-director of the UCSF Melanoma Clinic. 

Joining Dr. Sagebiel will be bloggers Cheryl Contee (Jack & Jill Politics), Charles Karel Bouley (The Huffington Post), and Ari Melber (The Nation), who will talk about how Brave New PAC's ad on McCain's medical records has been censored by the corporate press and attacked by right-wing shock jocks like Bill O'Reilly and Rush Limbaugh.  

To get caught up on this hot topic, check out some of the articles below.  Then, tune in on Friday at 1pm ET/10am PT to join the conversation.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Swift Kids for Truth: Maverick

By: Harry Waisbren

I wish I could add more to this, but the title from this 23/6 video might just be the best possible preview anyways:

Get the latest news satire and funny videos at

Off the Bus Debate Assignment

By: Harry Waisbren

Here's the latest assignment from Huffington Post's citizen journalist squadron Off the Bus:

We need just 15 minutes of your time tonight -- 

We need you to tune into your local broadcast media's programming tonight following the Biden-Palin vice presidential debate, and QUICKLY report back to us on the coverage. What exactly are your local broadcast journalists saying about the debate? Do they think Biden or Palin won? If so, why? Tomorrow we will publish a story written by HuffPost's OffTheBus member Beverly Davis based on your reports. 

DEADLINE: 2am Eastern

FILE HERE: If you email in your reports, we probably will not use them. The 'Survey Monkey' form enables us to download and to quickly sort responses by state and media outlet. Go here to report. 

  Here is what we need you to tell us.

  • Media outlet's name by call letters (eg. New York's WCBS):

  • Name of broadcast journalist(s) who commented on the Biden-Palin debate:

  • Describe your local media outlet's take on tonight's vice presidential debate between Biden and Palin in 3-4 complete sentences. Include AT LEAST ONE QUOTE to support your conclusion. We may quote you, so write well! For example -- "Both broadcast journalists, Sam Jones and Melinda Rogers, described the debate as 'a draw.' They pointed out that neither candidate won hands-down and that, while 'Palin exceeded expectations' (Jones) and Biden 'demonstrated his foreign policy expertise' (Rogers) neither candidate emerged victorious."

  • Did the network replay footage of the debate? If so, what clips? Please provide direct quotes whenever possible and note the broadcasters' comments. For example: "The network showed McCain smirking next to the podium. Rogers said, 'He looks a bit angry, doesn't he?''"

Let me know if you've got any questions -- thank you! 

Amanda -- Marc, John, Hanna, and Gabe

Sarah Palin Vlog #4: The Big Day

By: Harry Waisbren

The debate is quickly coming, and as 23/6 reports:
Down to the wire now. Sarah and Dina are up early cramming and jamming for tonight's big face-off. They're finding Sarah's weak spots and plugging holes. If Mr. Joe Biden tries to slap Sarah's face with her own rape kit, she'll be ready.

Check out the latest video below:

Get the latest news satire and funny videos at

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Breaking out the Keating 5 Story

By: Harry Waisbren

The Public Campaign Action Fund went there. As discussed the other day on this blog, McCain is particularly vulnerable on his history with the Keating 5 as it shows that he has been DIRECTLY invovled in similar financial crises caused by deregulation like we are seeing now.

Check out the new ad on this connection from the Public Campaign Action Fund below (via Open Left):

Sarah Palin Vlog #3: Cramming for the Economics Debate

By: Harry Waisbren

Here is the the third installment of the Sarah Palin chronicles via 23/6:

McCain Jokes About Being a Dictator

By: Harry Waisbren

This would be much funnier if it weren't so frightening. You would think the media would be concerned by his casual attitud to ending the demcoratic process especially considering he openly is asking for a more "forceful" policy towards both Russia and China. We need to remember that McCain has not ruled out Bush's policy of preemptive war, and that he has already adopted the Bushian view of freedom of expression.

A McCain dictatorship is no laughing matter, as if he would engage the continued policy of unending war by engaging in new wars with CHINA AND RUSSIA he will certainly have to remove even the semblence of the freedoms we have enjoyed even in George W. Bush America. Maybe it's time our mainstream media begin asking these questions rather than assuming we could never become that sort of terrible country...

Don't Cry For Me Alaska: The Sarah Palin Story

By: Harry Waisbren

There are just way too many funny Sarah Palin videos being made! This one comes via Barely Political and includes Good Ol' Sarah telling Vladamir Putin that he will NOT take back Alaska on her watch. This is followed by a Palin roundhouse kick to the face of course: