LEFT OF DAYTON

The Great Alaskan Turkey Massacree [with apologies to Arlo]

November 24, 2008
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The Great Alaskan Turkey Massacree [with apologies to Arlo]

A conversation with a friend provoked me to think about the Gov. Sara Palin and the Great
Alaskan Turkey  massacrree.
First, note, I am NOT a fan of Ms Palin’s politics. on the other hand I can relate to her in one important way  relevant to her seemingly blissful nonchalance about  turkey ‘s  being slaughtered in full view of the cameras during a recent interview. She’s a hunter, and, while I have not actually hunted in years, I grew up with that mindset.
My dad started taking me along on hunting trips  when I was about  eight, chasing rabbits in the western  Massachusetts  state forest and laurel groves. For a rural kid like me, it was just the way it was, our culture. If you shot it, you ate it, There wasn’t any “sport”  hunting with my Dad. You killed animals in order to eat them, otherwise you left them alone.

Which brings me back to poor disparaged  Sarah, reviled on line and made fun of on YouTube. Bringing up a question that seems to have been lost in the whole brooha, I mean>> where do the snickering masses  think the bird that sits on the Thanksgiving table comes from, anyway!!??. Really. My friend made a point in the conversation  about the author  Rita Rae Brown, who stresses in her writing about  how far away from our natural hunting and gathering roots we have gone in order to be “civilized”.

It is a sad truism that so many of us are utterly  disconnected from how we get our food. It’s all wrapped up and sanitized for us. Nice and neat on the shelf or in the meat case. That dissonance creates the atmosphere where we do not recognize how her nonchalance wasn’t really nonchalance at all. It was just the way it is. You  have to kill turkeys in order to be able to eat them. And, from her rural world perspective[and believe me Alaska IS rural] turkey’s  being killed is a pretty ordinary thing. Although she probably wishes she had stood somewhere else for the interview, I doubt that she turned off any NRA members, part of her natural constituency.

So, Sarah, this is undoubtedly  the only time I can imagine giving you and your right wing ideology a pass, but you get one for acknowledging, even if unintentionally,  that you have to kill the bird in order to eat it, and  for that we must be about giving thanks for the bird that gave it’s life for our meal, not just for Thanksgiving the holiday. I think there is a metaphor somewhere in all this about our current economic crises,  even if I’m not quite sure what it is just yet.

Posted on YouTube: The actual 3:10 minute interview…judge for yourself,  is this the future of the Republican party??


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This is Change? 20 Hawks, Clintonites and Neocons to Watch for in Obama’s White House

November 20, 2008
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My worst fears about the forthcoming Obama Presidency seem to be coming true. Readers will recall my skepticism during the primaries vis a vis Obama’s rhetoric about the middle east and his willingness to use “bomb” diplomacy in places like Pakistan and Afghanistsan.  I really really hoped that he was going to be a different kind of democrat, that his early anti-war stance was really about “change”, that we were not re-electing the Democratic Leadership Council [DLC]. Reading the article reprinted from the weblog Alternet that is posted below made me very depressed. Is there really a new direction in national politics or is this really just more of the same?

This is Change? 20 Hawks, Clintonites and Neocons to Watch for in Obama’s White House


By Jeremy Scahill, AlterNet
Posted on November 20, 2008, Printed on November 20, 2008
http://www.alternet.org/story/107666/
U.S. policy is not about one individual, and no matter how much faith people place in President-elect Barack Obama, the policies he enacts will be fruit of a tree with many roots. Among them: his personal politics and views, the disastrous realities his administration will inherit, and, of course, unpredictable future crises. But the best immediate indicator of what an Obama administration might look like can be found in the people he surrounds himself with and who he appoints to his Cabinet. And, frankly, when it comes to foreign policy, it is not looking good. (more…)

2008 VOTING IRREGULARITIES IN KETTERING & WEST CARROLTON

November 7, 2008
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A campaign worker for Andi Eveslage, Democrat running in the for state rep in the 37th State district found herself in a confrontation with West Carrollton police  on Election day for passing out literature in front of the poll at the Grace  Lutheran Church, outside the legal limit of 100 ft. from the polling place. The church treasurer, who had been observed earlier tearing up Eveslage’s campaign signs [ a violation of election laws] was the person responsible for calling the police. A West Carrollton police serageant misinterpertd  the law and was authorizing the on site police to make an arrest when intervention by Eveslage via the county election board stopped them.

This was not an isolated incident according to Ms Evelslage, who was running against Republican Peggy Lehner for the seat. At Harry Russel elementary school. also in West Carrollton, the school principal tried to make two volunteers leave the school grounds. It took direct intervention by the candidate and a call from the board of elections to the district superintendent to get an apology and admission of ignorance of the law. Her father, stationed St Charles church in Kettering, was asked by a church person if they were standing outside the 100 YARD zone. The 85 year man calmly told her “no” , but that he was outside the 100 foot limit, where upon he was still told he had to move. He did not, asserting his right to be there under the law. Told that they were going to call the police Mr Eveslage retorted, “go right ahead, I’ll be here waiting for them!”.

The 37th is very Republican, the House seat having been vacated by John Husted  due to term limits. Real live Democrats  appearing at poll places is practically unheard of in this reddest of red districts. The harassment of Ms Eveslage’s campaign workers  is a blatant and illegal form of voter suppression. It is hard to know whether this was a concerted effor by backers of the very conservative Peggy Lehner [known or unknown by her] or just a failure of Board of Election officials to make clear to those volunteering their property as a polling place what the law is concerning what is allowable and what is not and where the boundarties lie for campaign workers. Regardless, it should not have happened and Board of Election officials need to be very forthright in training poll workers and educating property owners  where polling is set up about the law.


OBAMA SLIDES DEEPER INTO GRIP OF ISRAELI LOBBY

June 23, 2008
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Reuters,
June 20, 2008

Jacksonville Fla

US presidential candidate Brack Obama said that

Israel is justified in providing for its security amid the “extraordinary
threat” posed to it by Iran.

He spoke after the *New York Times* quoted unnamed U.S. officials as
saying that Israel had carried out a large military exercise this month
that appeared to be a rehearsal for a potential bombing attack on Iran’s
nuclear facilities.

Obama, a Democrat who is running against Republican John McCain in the
November election, was asked at a news conference in Jacksonville, Florida
whether Israel was right to carry out the exercise.

“Without access to the actual detailed intelligence, I want to be careful
about characterizing what was done and whether it was appropriate or not,”
Obama, an Illinois senator, said.

But he added that the Jewish state was right to be concerned about the
anti-Israel comments of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and about
Tehran’s support for Hezbollah and Hamas.

“And so there is no doubt that Iran poses an extraordinary threat to
Israel and Israel is always justified in making decisions that will
provide for its security,” Obama said.

http://www.reuters.com/article/latestCrisis/idUSN20400368

What Bullshit.


As his over the top support for the Ethanol lobby [read agribusiness] shows [and McCain opposes], Obama’s spine is a weak as any Dummycrat in Congress when comes to really standing up the most powerful lobbyists he has so “firmly rejected”. By further fanning the flames of fear regarding the potential for a “necessary” surrogate military strike by Israel against Iran, Obama shows his true political position.

Yes, there are other serious differences between him and McCain, but his recent pro militaristic Israeli comments [re:AIPAC speech] show him firmly slipping into the pocket of those who would lead us into a potential World War III. Perhaps his next move is going to joing McCain ina duet on “Bomb bomb Iran” as in the YouTube clip??

What ever happened to the open diplomatic approach so loudly espoused during the primary campaign?? Mr Obama’s swing to the center right was to be expected in the general election. But, parroting the likes of Bush, Cheney and McCain on policy toward Iran is hardly a position that looks even remotely “progressive”.

Oh, and Mr Obama also opposes Impeaching the War Criminals Bush and Cheney…too much of an “unnecessary distraction”…
We need DIPLOMACY, not jingoistic posturing!!

 

WHY DO WOMEN GIVE JOHN McCAIN A ZERO???

June 10, 2008
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“If I am fortunate enough to be elected as the next President of the United States, I pledge to you to be a loyal and unswerving friend of the right to life movement.”  —John McCain

Despite his media generated image as a “maverick”, John McCain is anything but. His historical record as a legislator, while showing some slight deviation from the basic conservative Republican philosophy, has been of a social and economic right winger.

McCain’s political philosophy is fundamentally anti-choice and comes from an anti-self empowered woman perspective. It is unfortunate that some women who supported Hilary Clinton now are saying that they will vote for McCain due to her loss in the democratic primaries to Barack Obama. Ms Clinton put up a strenuous campaign advocating positions that are at the heart of progressive feminist political perspective, and for that she is to be commended. However, for any of her supporters to argue for a pro McCain candidacy is to turn their backs on all the reasons they held so important in her campaign as they related to women issues.

As Robert Greenwald of Brave New Films. creator of numerous progressive video shorts about McCain, points out…”We’re talking about a man who has voted anti-choice 123 out of 128 times. A man who wouldn’t require prescription coverage for birth control. A man who voted against allocating $100 million to preventative health services that would have reduced unintended and teen pregnancies. A man who could irreparably damage women’s rights in our country unless we get the word out about him now.”

McCain has consistently received a ZERO rating from both Planned Parenthood and NARAL [National Abortion Rights Action League]

Access the Website THE REAL JOHN McCAIN AT THIS URL>>

http://therealmccain.com/?utm_source=rgemail

John McCain is no friend of feminism….


Whiners, Poor Losers and Why Hillary Shouldn’t Be Barack’s VP/By Dave Lindorff

June 4, 2008
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Whiners, Poor Losers and Why Hillary Shouldn’t Be Barack’s VP

By Dave Lindorff

It’s kind of bizarre reading about supposed “feminists” who are reportedly claiming they’ll vote for McCain rather than Obama, now that “their” candidate, Hillary Clinton, is out of the running for the presidential nomination.

First of all, John McCain is clearly the candidate of the anti-abortion crowd, but that’s not the half of it. He’s also the candidate who says Anthony Scalia, John Roberts and Sam Alito are his kind of judges. We’re talking here about guys (yeah, guys) who think a woman’s place is in the home, and who only recently ruled that if she’s discriminated against on the job, and doesn’t learn about it for a decade or more, a woman can’t do anything about it, because the original offense of underpaying her happened more than 180 days ago. McCain is also the guy who, after his wife suffered a serious car crash and became disabled, dumped her for a younger, richer woman. A feminist’s dream, this guy.

And how about Hillary Clinton? When she was supposedly getting her “White House experience”—you know, the “co-presidency” she was supposedly part of during the eight years her husband was president and she was First Lady—she and Bill oversaw the “end of welfare as we know it.” What that fine piece of legislation did was limit people to five years on the dole. That’s for life. It doesn’t matter what misfortune befalls you later on.

Now many single women left to raise kids by fathers who either ditch them or who never stepped up to the plate as fathers in the first place, have a hard time, between lack of adequate child care facilities and discrimination on the job, keeping the rent paid and food on the table. Many of them need government assistance well beyond that five years—a period of time not long enough to even get one kid into full-time school, much less two or three. That didn’t matter to Hillary, the great champion of women. She and Bill were busy triangulating and figuring out how to keep their White House position, and that meant selling out poor people, and especially poor women with kids. Welfare had to go.

Even on abortion rights, Clinton has been a waffler. In 2000, running for Senate in New York, she said she would be a staunch defender of the right to choose. But by 2004, she was saying abortion was a “tragic” choice, and was supporting parental notification laws for minors seeking abortion—a position she continues to hold. But abortion isn’t a “tragic choice” for everyone. For some women—rape and incest victims, or women who are victims of abuse come readily to mind—abortion may be a blessed relief. For some, it may be no more tragic than an appendectomy—and it should be no harder to get, or to pay for than one either. There is a reason why the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) voted unanimously to endorse Obama, who has said abortion rights are about more than just women’s right to control their own bodies, but are about basic issues of equality.

What the cries of “McCain, McCain!” by disappointed Clinton backers really represent is an example of sour grapes, as well as of a certain perhaps hidden element of racism. It is as if blacks, had Obama been the loser in this nomination battle, were to say, “That’s it, we’re voting for McCain!”

Obviously, African-American candidates have had to endure this problem for years. When their candidate, whether it was Jesse Jackson, or Shirley Chisolm, or Ted Kennedy, was defeated, they have had to look to their broader interests and decide whether to vote Republican, sit out the election, or just shrug and vote for the winning Democrat. Consistently, they have chosen the third option, disappointment after disappointment.

Blacks are supposed to stick with the Democrats, no matter what. Clinton backers, however, don’t feel handcuffed in this way. Some of them, apparently, feel free to abandon all their liberal principles and vote for a right-wing, anti-abortion, fundamentalist Christian-coddling warmonger if they don’t get the candidate they want from the Democrats.

If these grousers and poor losers in the Clinton camp thought honestly about it for even a moment, they’d realize that had Clinton won the most delegates, and if African-American and liberal, educated white backers of Obama, in response, were to adopt their position and bolt to McCain, Clinton would be a historical asterisk, with no chance of being elected.

In the end, I suspect that most of the whining and the threats to switch to McCain represent only a small, if vocal, minority. The truth is, in the course of 54 primaries, Obama won a majority of female voters—a point rarely made in media reports on this contest. The same can be said of those “white—hard working white” voters who supposedly went for Hillary Clinton in states like West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio. In fact, numerically speaking, Obama won more of those white, working class voters than did either John Kerry or Al Gore before him. Meanwhile, many of those male voters who voted for Hillary Clinton are probably people who were going to vote Republican in the fall anyhow. There was an organized campaign, after all, by Republican activists, to throw the election to Clinton, who was seen as being easier to defeat in the fall than Obama. That effort almost certainly gave Clinton her narrow win in Indiana, and padded her margins in Ohio and Pennsylvania.

As for Clinton’s fallback position of trying to make herself the vice-presidential candidate on a “dream” Obama-Clinton ticket, Obama would have to be crazy to go for it. Clinton brings nothing but disaster to the Obama campaign. He doesn’t need her to win New York, New Jersey or California, all of which he will win by a landslide without her in November. He doesn’t need her for Illinois (her home state, whatever efforts she made to try to pretend she was a rural Pennsylvanian during that state’s primary). She certainly doesn’t help him in the south, with the possible exception of Florida. She doesn’t bring any “balance” to the ticket, given that both senators have almost identical voting records on domestic issues. And as for the swing states—Virginia, Wisconsin, Colorado, New Mexico, Missouri, Ohio, Indiana, etc.—she may do more damage than good, given the number of independents and Republicans who have been drawn to Obama, but who have negative feelings about the Clintons. Moreover, with the right vice-presidential candidate—and it’s not Clinton—Obama may even have a shot at not just Virginia, but also North Carolina and even Mississippi—states where the percentage of black voters is high enough that, with an energized black voter turnout, the liberal Democratic vote could be enough to turn the trick.

The Hillary Clinton campaign has all along been about entitlement. She began her race for the White House acting as though it was a coronation—something she deserved after enduring eight years in the White House as second fiddle to husband Bill. Now, having been defeated, she’s acting like she deserves second fiddle. But the truth is, Clinton, by her shabby appeals to racist voters, by her resort to red-baiting of her opponent, and finally by her refusal to denounce and apologize for her shameless and calculating backing for the invasion of Iraq, has rendered her unfit for a spot on the Democratic ticket.

Obama can do much better than that. Yes he can.
____________
DAVE LINDORFF is a Philadelphia-based journalist and columnist. His latest book is “The Case for Impeachment” (St. Martin’s Press, 2006). His work is available at www.thiscantbehappening.net


LANNY DAVIS, CLINTON APOLOGIST, BAKED AND FILLETED

May 28, 2008
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Burned out by the Clinton-Obama primary battle ? I have to admit to feeling more than a bit fatigued, and I think of myself as a political junkie, type AAA. Regular readers will note an absence of posts over the last few weeks, mostly due to the above mentioned campaign fatigue,

I am just as suspicious of Barack Obama’s connections to the power elite as I am Ms Clinton, and have re-posted several well written articles regarding those connections on this blog. However, as time wear on , Ms Clinton’s rhetoric, and that of her husband, has grown increasingly shrill, and most regrettably, seemingly coming out of a Karl Rove Republican playbook. Maybe individually the remarks can be parsed and explained, but the low road, once taken, is hard to get off of.You can only bring up “white voters”, parrot bogus gas tax relief schemes [in agreement with McCain…] and imply entitlement so many times before the veneer of respectability wears off. If he wins, I sincerely hope Obama does not give into sharing his presidency with the Clinton’s…

One of the most obstinate and tenacious defenders of Clinton has been one Lanny Davis, who, armed with more “facts” than any three other interviewees, ardently believes that Clinton can make no mistakes . Nothing she says could possibly be interpreted as anything but righteous She is the perfect, entitled Democratic party nominee.
My opinion of this pugnacious and rude huckster….very low.

The article posted below is somewhat long and detailed, but it clearly lays out the fallacies in Davis’s wishful fantasies.

Adventures in Lannyland

Lanny Davis, annotated:

Here are two important neutral principles that should guide the Democratic National Committee’s Rules Committee when it meets May 31 to decide whether to seat the Michigan and Florida delegations — and, if so, how to allocate them between Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton.

One principle is based in law, the second in pragmatic politics. Both principles result in the same solution: in some rough approximation, honoring the results expressed by almost 600,000 Michigan Democrats and more than 1.7 million Florida Democrats, who turned out in record numbers though they were told their votes didn’t count, were not responsible for the rules violations, and don’t want to be disenfranchised.

Record numbers? Not in Michigan. According to the Michigan Bureau of Elections, the record for participation in a Democratic Presidential Primary came in 1972, when 1,588,073 Michigan Democrats cast ballots. That is nearly one million more ballots than were cast this year. (On the other hand, had Michigan held an “official” primary, and had the voters had behaved approximately as they did in Indiana, Wisconsin, and Ohio, about 2,000,000 voters would have cast ballots, easily breaking the record).

The legal principle supporting that solution is pretty simple. In U.S. contract law, the party breaching a contract usually has the right to “cure” the violation during the term of the contract. But if the other party stands in the way of that cure, the breaching party cannot be further sanctioned — and certainly, as a matter of fairness, the party preventing the cure should not stand to benefit.

If the breach in question is Michigan’s decision to advance the date of its primary beyond what the DNC permitted, it would seem that the parties to that dispute are (i) the Michigan Democratic Party (MDP), and (ii) the DNC. Therefore, if the MDP sought to cure the breach (that is, hold a do-over election), the principle that Davis articulates would suggest that the “breaching party” — a.k.a. the MDP — could not be further sanctioned.

It is unclear, however, what any of this has to do with the Clinton and Obama campaigns. At best it is an argument for seating Michigan’s delegates. It isn’t an argument about how to seat them. (more…)


The Bushes and Hitler’s Appeasement/by Robert Parry

May 21, 2008
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The Bushes and Hitler’s Appeasement

Monday 19 May 2008
»

by: Robert Parry, Consortium News

photo
Prescott Bush and son George H. W. Bush Caption: Prescott Bush and son George H. W. Bush Credit: (Photo: Huffingtonpost.com)

The irony of George W. Bush going before the Knesset and mocking the late Sen. William Borah for expressing surprise at Adolf Hitler’s 1939 invasion of Poland is that Bush’s own family played a much bigger role assisting the Nazis.

If Borah, an isolationist Republican from Idaho, sounded naive saying “Lord, if only I could have talked to Hitler, all of this might have been avoided,” then what should be said about Bush’s grandfather and other members of his family providing banking and industrial assistance to the Nazis as they built their war machine in the 1930s?

The archival evidence is now clear that Prescott Bush, the president’s grandfather, was a director and shareholder of companies that profited from and collaborated with key financial backers of Nazi Germany.

That business relationship continued after Hitler invaded Poland in 1939 and even after Germany declared war on the United States following Japan’s bombing of Pearl Harbor in December 1941. It stopped only when the U.S. government seized assets of Bush-connected companies in late 1942 under the “Trading with the Enemy Act.”

So, perhaps instead of holding up Sen. Borah to ridicule, Bush might have acknowledged in his May 15 speech that his forebears also were blind to the dangers of Hitler.

Bush might have noted that his family’s wealth, which fueled his own political rise, was partly derived from Nazi collaboration and possibly from slave labor provided by Auschwitz and other concentration camps.

A more honest speech before the Knesset – on the 60th anniversary of Israel’s founding – might have contained an apology to the Jewish people from a leading son of the Bush family for letting its greed contribute to Nazi power and to the horrors of the Holocaust. Instead, there was just the jab at Sen. Borah, who died in 1940.

President Bush apparently saw no reason to remind the world of a dark chapter from the family history. After all, those ugly facts mostly disappeared from public consciousness soon after World War II.

Protected by layers of well-connected friends, Prescott Bush brushed aside the Nazi scandal and won a U.S. Senate seat from Connecticut, which enabled him to start laying the foundation for the family’s political dynasty.

In recent years, however, the archival records from the pre-war era have been assembled, drawing from the Harriman family papers at the Library of Congress, documents at the National Archives, and records from war-crimes trials after Germany’s surrender.

Managers for the Powerful

One can trace the origins of this story back more than a century to the emergence of Samuel Bush, George W. Bush’s great-grandfather, as a key manager for a set of powerful American business families, including the Rockefellers and the Harrimans. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Bush Family Chronicles: The Patriarchs.”]

That chapter took an important turn in 1919 when investment banker George Herbert Walker teamed up with Averell Harriman, scion to a railroad fortune, to found a new investment banking firm, W.A. Harriman Company.

The Harriman firm was backed by the Rockefellers’ National City Bank and the Morgan family’s Guaranty Trust. The English-educated Walker assisted in assembling the Harriman family’s overseas business investments.

In 1921, Walker’s favorite daughter, Dorothy, married Samuel Bush’s son Prescott, a Yale graduate and a member of the school’s exclusive Skull and Bones society. Handsome and athletic, admired for his golf and tennis skills, Prescott Bush was a young man with the easy grace of someone born into the comfortable yet competitive world of upper-crust contacts.

Three years later, Dorothy gave birth to George Herbert Walker Bush in Milton, Massachusetts.

Lifted by the financial boom of the 1920s, Prescott and Dorothy Bush were on the rise. By 1926, George Herbert Walker had brought his son-in-law in on a piece of the Harriman action, hiring him as a vice president in the Harriman banking firm.

By the mid-Thirties, Prescott Bush had become a managing partner at the merged firm of Brown Brothers Harriman. The archival records also show that Brown Brothers Harriman served as the U.S. financial service arm for German industrialist Fritz Thyssen, an early funder of the Nazi Party.

Thyssen, an admirer of Adolf Hitler since the 1920s, joined the Nazi Party in 1931 when it was still a fringe organization. He helped bail the struggling party out with financial help, even providing its headquarters building in Munich.

Meanwhile, Averell Harriman had launched the Hamburg-Amerika line of steamships to facilitate the bank’s dealings with Germany, and made Prescott Bush a director. The ships delivered fuel, steel, coal, gold and money to Germany as Hitler was consolidating his power and building his war machine.

Other evidence shows that Prescott Bush served as the director of the Union Banking Corp. of New York, which represented Thyssen’s interests in the United States and was owned by a Thyssen-controlled bank in the Netherlands.

As a steel magnate, Thyssen was amassing a fortune as Hitler rearmed Germany. Documents also linked Bush to Thyssen’s Consolidated Silesian Steel Company, which was based in mineral-rich Silesia on the German-Polish border and exploited slave labor from Nazi concentration camps, including Auschwitz. But records at the National Archives do not spell out exactly when Bush’s connection ended or what he knew about the business details.

In 1941, Thyssen had a falling out with Hitler and fled to France where he was captured. Much of Thyssen’s empire went under the direct control of the Nazis, but even that did not shatter the business ties that existed with Prescott Bush and Harriman’s bank.

It wasn’t until August 1942 that newspaper stories disclosed the secretive ties between Union Banking Corp. and Nazi Germany.

After an investigation, the U.S. government seized the property of the Hamburg-Amerika line and moved against affiliates of the Union Banking Corp. In November 1942, the government seized the assets of the Silesian-American Corp. [For more details, see an investigative report by the U.K. Guardian, Sept. 25, 2004.]

No Kiss of Death

For most public figures, allegations of trading with the enemy would have been a political kiss of death, but the disclosures barely left a lipstick smudge on Averell Harriman, Prescott Bush and other business associates implicated in the Nazi business dealings.

“Politically, the significance of these dealings – the great surprise – is that none of it seemed to matter much over the next decade or so,” wrote Kevin Phillips in American Dynasty.

“A few questions would be raised, but Democrat Averell Harriman would not be stopped from becoming federal mutual security administrator in 1951 or winning election as governor of New York in 1954. Nor would Republican Prescott Bush (who was elected senator from Connecticut in 1952) and his presidential descendants be hurt in any of their future elections.”

Indeed, the quick dissipation of the Nazi financial scandal was only a portent of the Bush family’s future. Unlike politicians of lower classes, the Bushes seemed to travel in a bubble impervious to accusations of impropriety, since the Eastern Establishment doesn’t like to think badly of its own. [For details, see Robert Parry’s Secrecy & Privilege.]

To this day – as President Bush showed by mocking the long-forgotten Sen. Borah and then wielding the Nazi “appeasement” club against Barack Obama and other Democrats – the assumption remains that the bubble will continue to protect the Bush family name.

However, the evidence from dusty archives suggests that the Bush family went way beyond appeasement of Adolf Hitler to aiding and abetting the Nazis.

——–

Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. His latest book, “Neck Deep: The Disastrous Presidency of George W. Bush”, was written with two of his sons, Sam and Nat, and can be ordered at neckdeepbook.com. His two previous books, “Secrecy & Privilege: The Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq” and “Lost History: Contras, Cocaine, the Press & ‘Project Truth'” are also available there. Or go to Amazon.com.


DON’T BOMB IRAN>>>AGIT-POP VIDEO

May 14, 2008
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The All-White Elephant in the Room/By FRANK RICH

May 8, 2008
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The New York Times


May 4, 2008
Op-Ed Columnist

The All-White Elephant in the Room

BORED by those endless replays of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright? If so, go directly to YouTube, search for “John Hagee Roman Church Hitler,” and be recharged by a fresh jolt of clerical jive.

What you’ll find is a white televangelist, the Rev. John Hagee, lecturing in front of an enormous diorama. Wielding a pointer, he pokes at the image of a woman with Pamela Anderson-sized breasts, her hand raising a golden chalice. The woman is “the Great Whore,” Mr. Hagee explains, and she is drinking “the blood of the Jewish people.” That’s because the Great Whore represents “the Roman Church,” which, in his view, has thirsted for Jewish blood throughout history, from the Crusades to the Holocaust.

Mr. Hagee is not a fringe kook but the pastor of a Texas megachurch. On Feb. 27, he stood with John McCain and endorsed him over the religious conservatives’ favorite, Mike Huckabee, who was then still in the race.

Are we really to believe that neither Mr. McCain nor his camp knew anything then about Mr. Hagee’s views? This particular YouTube video — far from the only one — was posted on Jan. 1, nearly two months before the Hagee-McCain press conference. Mr. Hagee appears on multiple religious networks, including twice daily on the largest, Trinity Broadcasting, which reaches 75 million homes. Any 12-year-old with a laptop could have vetted this preacher in 30 seconds, tops.

Since then, Mr. McCain has been shocked to learn that his clerical ally has made many other outrageous statements. Mr. Hagee, it’s true, did not blame the American government for concocting AIDS. But he did say that God created Hurricane Katrina to punish New Orleans for its sins, particularly a scheduled “homosexual parade there on the Monday that Katrina came.”

Mr. Hagee didn’t make that claim in obscure circumstances, either. He broadcast it on one of America’s most widely heard radio programs, “Fresh Air” on NPR, back in September 2006. He reaffirmed it in a radio interview less than two weeks ago. Only after a reporter asked Mr. McCain about this Katrina homily on April 24 did the candidate brand it as “nonsense” and the preacher retract it.

Mr. McCain says he does not endorse any of Mr. Hagee’s calumnies, any more than Barack Obama endorses Mr. Wright’s. But those who try to give Mr. McCain a pass for his embrace of a problematic preacher have a thin case. It boils down to this: Mr. McCain was not a parishioner for 20 years at Mr. Hagee’s church.

That defense implies, incorrectly, that Mr. McCain was a passive recipient of this bigot’s endorsement. In fact, by his own account, Mr. McCain sought out Mr. Hagee, who is perhaps best known for trying to drum up a pre-emptiveholy war” with Iran. (This preacher’s rantings may tell us more about Mr. McCain’s policy views than Mr. Wright’s tell us about Mr. Obama’s.) Even after Mr. Hagee’s Catholic bashing bubbled up in the mainstream media, Mr. McCain still did not reject and denounce him, as Mr. Obama did an unsolicited endorser, Louis Farrakhan, at the urging of Tim Russert and Hillary Clinton. Mr. McCain instead told George Stephanopoulos two Sundays ago that while he condemns any “anti-anything” remarks by Mr. Hagee, he is still “glad to have his endorsement.”

I wonder if Mr. McCain would have given the same answer had Mr. Stephanopoulos confronted him with the graphic video of the pastor in full “Great Whore” glory. But Mr. McCain didn’t have to fear so rude a transgression. Mr. Hagee’s videos have never had the same circulation on television as Mr. Wright’s. A sonorous white preacher spouting venom just doesn’t have the telegenic zing of a theatrical black man.

Perhaps that’s why virtually no one has rebroadcast the highly relevant prototype for Mr. Wright’s fiery claim that 9/11 was America’s chickens “coming home to roost.” That would be the Sept. 13, 2001, televised exchange between Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell, who blamed the attacks on America’s abortionists, feminists, gays and A.C.L.U. lawyers. (Mr. Wright blamed the attacks on America’s foreign policy.) Had that video re-emerged in the frenzied cable-news rotation, Mr. McCain might have been asked to explain why he no longer calls these preachers “agents of intolerance” and chose to cozy up to Mr. Falwell by speaking at his Liberty University in 2006.

None of this is to say that two wacky white preachers make a Wright right. It is entirely fair for any voter to weigh Mr. Obama’s long relationship with his pastor in assessing his fitness for office. It is also fair to weigh Mr. Obama’s judgment in handling this personal and political crisis as it has repeatedly boiled over. But whatever that verdict, it is disingenuous to pretend that there isn’t a double standard operating here. If we’re to judge black candidates on their most controversial associates — and how quickly, sternly and completely they disown them — we must judge white politicians by the same yardstick.

When Rudy Giuliani, still a viable candidate, successfully courted Pat Robertson for an endorsement last year, few replayed Mr. Robertson’s greatest past insanities. Among them is his best-selling 1991 tome, “The New World Order,” which peddled some of the same old dark conspiracy theories about “European bankers” (who just happened to be named Warburg, Schiff and Rothschild) that Mr. Farrakhan has trafficked in. Nor was Mr. Giuliani ever seriously pressed to explain why his cronies on the payroll at Giuliani Partners included a priest barred from the ministry by his Long Island diocese in 2002 following allegations of sexual abuse. Much as Mr. Wright officiated at the Obamas’ wedding, so this priest officiated at (one of) Mr. Giuliani’s. Did you even hear about it?

There is not just a double standard for black and white politicians at play in too much of the news media and political establishment, but there is also a glaring double standard for our political parties. The Clintons and Mr. Obama are always held accountable for their racial stands, as they should be, but the elephant in the room of our politics is rarely acknowledged: In the 21st century, the so-called party of Lincoln does not have a single African-American among its collective 247 senators and representatives in Washington. Yes, there are appointees like Clarence Thomas and Condi Rice, but, as we learned during the Mark Foley scandal, even gay men may hold more G.O.P. positions of power than blacks.

A near half-century after the civil rights acts of the 1960s, this is quite an achievement. Yet the holier-than-thou politicians and pundits on the right passing shrill moral judgment over every Democratic racial skirmish are almost never asked to confront or even acknowledge the racial dysfunction in their own house. In our mainstream political culture, this de facto apartheid is simply accepted as an intractable given, unworthy of notice, and just too embarrassing to mention aloud in polite Beltway company. Those who dare are instantly accused of “political correctness” or “reverse racism.”

An all-white Congressional delegation doesn’t happen by accident. It’s the legacy of race cards that have been dealt since the birth of the Southern strategy in the Nixon era. No one knows this better than Mr. McCain, whose own adopted daughter of color was the subject of a vicious smear in his party’s South Carolina primary of 2000.

This year Mr. McCain has called for a respectful (i.e., non-race-baiting) campaign and has gone so far as to criticize (ineffectually) North Carolina’s Republican Party for running a Wright-demonizing ad in that state’s current primary. Mr. McCain has been posing (awkwardly) with black people in his tour of “forgotten” America. Speaking of Katrina in New Orleans, he promised that “never again” would a federal recovery effort be botched on so grand a scale.

This is all surely sincere, and a big improvement over Mitt Romney’s dreams of his father marching with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Up to a point. Here, too, there’s a double standard. Mr. McCain is graded on a curve because the G.O.P. bar is set so low. But at a time when the latest Wall Street Journal-NBC News poll shows that President Bush is an even greater drag on his popularity than Mr. Wright is on Mr. Obama’s, Mr. McCain’s New Orleans visit is more about the self-interested politics of distancing himself from Mr. Bush than the recalibration of policy.

Mr. McCain took his party’s stingier line on Katrina aid and twice opposed an independent commission to investigate the failed government response. Asked on his tour what should happen to the Ninth Ward now, he called for “a conversation” about whether anyone should “rebuild it, tear it down, you know, whatever it is.” Whatever, whenever, never mind.

For all this primary season’s obsession with the single (and declining) demographic of white working-class men in Rust Belt states, America is changing rapidly across all racial, generational and ethnic lines. The Census Bureau announced last week that half the country’s population growth since 2000 is due to Hispanics, another group understandably alienated from the G.O.P.

Anyone who does the math knows that America is on track to become a white-minority nation in three to four decades. Yet if there’s any coherent message to be gleaned from the hypocrisy whipped up by Hurricane Jeremiah, it’s that this nation’s perennially promised candid conversation on race has yet to begin.


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61 Y/O VIET VET WORKING FROM THE LEFT OF CENTER

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