Obama, Ask the Kremlin about Robert Gates

November 25, 2008
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Nearly 16 years ago, during the last transition from a President Bush to a Democrat, Moscow made an extraordinary gesture to Washington: The Kremlin supplied a summary of its intelligence information about secret U.S.-Iranian contacts in the 1980s.

The report was from a national security committee of the Russian Duma to Rep. Lee Hamilton, who had requested what might be in Moscow’s files as part of a task force investigation into whether the Reagan-Bush campaign in 1980 had interfered with President Jimmy Carter’s bid to free 52 American hostages then held in Iran.

The Russian report arrived late, via the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, showing up on Jan. 11, 1993, but the contents were stunning. The Russians reported that their intelligence revealed that long-rumored meetings between Republicans and Iranians in Europe during Campaign 1980 had indeed occurred. (more…)

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
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…)

Photograph of Bill Clinton and Rev. Wright Surfaces

March 27, 2008
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The Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. and President Bill Clinton at a prayer breakfast at the White House in September 1998.

During one of the most difficult periods in the presidency of Bill Clinton, he addressed a group of clerics at an annual prayer breakfast in September 1998 just as the Starr report outlining his dalliance with Monica Lewinsky was about to be published.

Among those in attendance, was the Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr., who is seen shaking hands with Mr. Clinton in a photograph provided today by the Obama campaign. Mr. Wright’s relationship with Senator Barack Obama, as his longtime pastor, has been the subject of considerable controversy in recent days because of incendiary excerpts of sermons Mr. Wright gave at their church, Trinity United Church of Christ, in Chicago. (more…)

Never Mind the Sex, It’s the Lobbying Connection That’s At Issue With McCain…

February 23, 2008
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The activist wing of the film making community is producing some incredible on point videos and Robert Greenwald’s Brave New Films organization has one that is both on time and on point. See it in the context of the flap being generated by the NY Times article alleging improprieties by John McCain on a personal level with a female lobbyist. While the MSM focuses on innuendos about possible sexual “misconduct” it ignores the larger question of the lobbyist McCain is ACTUALLY “SLEEPING” WITH!

There are 59 current or former lobbyists on McCain’s payroll...

Holding Barack Obama Accountable…[his ties to the Democratic Leadership Council laid bare…]

February 22, 2008
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As an equal opportunity Presidential campaign cynic I’ve come across lots of fodder to feed my devil’s advocate appetite. Here the focus is on the current rising tide of Obamamaia that seems poised to crest on primary day in Ohio. Once again the Buckeye state is going to play a very pivotal role in the selection of our next President, another choice made between ok and ho hum, between “hope” and “triangulation”, clothespins optional.

Yes, I do prefer the politics of hope over more of the same ole same-o. That does not in turn lead to necessarily being fooled by and, ultimately, possibly, betrayed by the smooth delivery of the hope merchant.

In considering who it is that we vote for, it is imperative that maximum truthful information is available about the person into whose hands a large part of the fate of our nation is to be entrusted.

Either Hillary Clinton or Barak Obama would be a vast improvement over Bush or his would be clone, John McCain, who I don’t wish to demonize…I simply don’t agree with his militaristic bent or his pandering to acquire “conservative” credentials…among many other issues, but more on McCain later. This is about Barak Obama, likely Democratic nominee.

It’s about voting with a full deck. As David Esrati so succinctly puts it “there are no perfect candidates.”

The article is a bit long but well worth the slog for the insight gained …


http://www.blackagendareport.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=529&Itemid=34Thursday, 14 February 2008 the Black Agenda Report 

by  Managing Editor Bruce Dixon

The presidential campaign of Barack Obama has become a media parade on its way to a coronation. Journalists and leading Democrats have done shockingly little to pin Obama down, to hold him specifically responsible for anything beyond his slogans of “yes we can” and “change we can believe in”. Prominent Black Democrats, many ministers and the traditional Black leadership class are doing less than anybody to hold Obama accountable, peddling instead a supposed racial obligation among African Americans to support this second coming of Joshua and his campaign as “the movement” itself. What would holding Barack Obama accountable on war and peace, on social security, health care and other issues look like, and is it possible to hold a political “rock star” accountable at all?

Whether it is truly possible to hold elected officials accountable in a political system where big money, big media, big corporations and the very rich call all the shots is uncertain. But we have tried and will keep trying. So will others. The stakes are too high not to.

How We Held Obama’s Feet to the Fire in 2003 (more…)

New Pro-Clinton 527 to Ding Obama in Ohio…and Sherrod Brown is [Apparently] NOT involved

February 21, 2008
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Trust, but verify.

Apparently my “trust” in  ABC-News is/was misplaced. The information contained in their story   that said Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown is involved with a new Ohio 527 political lobby that is pro Hillary Clinton is not accurate.

 Connie Schulz, the Senators wife, said in an email:

Sherrod has nothing to do with this. Mattis Goldman was one of the consultants during Sherrod’s 2006 race, but anyone saying Sherrod is involved in these ads is wrong. By law, he can have nothing to do with the 527.

Great, I’ve called the guy out for a transgression he didn’t commit. Mea Culpa for that. While I’m glad to learn that Mr Brown didn’t cross his own line on endorsing, the rest of the post stands, cynicism and all.


McCain’s ‘Never’ Is a Long Time/By Robert Parry

February 21, 2008
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McCain’s ‘Never’ Is a Long Time

By Robert Parry
February 21, 2008

John McCain must hope that Americans won’t read the entire New York Times story about his friendship with a female lobbyist, because if they do, they’ll realize that his statement – that he “has never violated the public trust, never done favors for special interests or lobbyists” – simply isn’t true.

Though the article focuses on the friendship between the 71-year-old Arizona senator and Vicky Iseman, an attractive 40-year-old lobbyist for telecommunications companies, it also recounts McCain’s complicated history as both a violator of congressional ethics and a champion for ethics reform. (more…)

S.O.N.G. Update on Piketon Nuke Plant Cleanup & more

February 14, 2008
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Update from SONG [Southern Ohio Neighbors Group]

Snowy Salutations!


We hope this finds you all warm and well! It has been awhile since our last message, so we’d like to take this opportunity to update you on some of the recent news pertinent to what is happening surrounding issues involving the Piketon, Ohio Department of Energy site. There have been several recent publications of interest which are included at the end of this message. (Unfortunately, our website is not currently updated, but hopefully it soon will be and we can direct you to links to these sorts of things instead of sending such lengthy messages.) (more…)

Senator Sherrod Brown on How to Win in Ohio/from The Nation

February 13, 2008
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Interview  By Katrina vanden Heuvel in The Nation

      COMMENTS (46)

In 2006, Sherrod Brown ran on an anti-war populist economic message and won in towns across Ohio long written-off by Democrats. On March 4, the Democratic primary will be held in the state, with Obama possibly looking to continue a streak of victories, while Clinton faces as close to a must-win situation as we are likely to see in the fight for the nomination.

While Senator Brown has said he won’t endorse either candidate before the Ohio primary, he’s in close contact with both candidates, and in an interview with me he spoke candidly about trade, globalization, and lessons on how to win in his state. To paraphrase, it’s about economic populism, stupid. And as Obama battles to make inroads with the white and Latino working-class, and Clinton distances herself from the trade policies of her husband’s administration, Ohio is there for the taking.

Here then is the transcript of my conversation with Senator Brown:

Q: How are you approaching any endorsement decision?

I will not endorse before the Ohio primary. I’m weighing what my state does, that’s certainly part of it. Also, my conversations with both Barack and Hillary, and with Governor Sebelius calling for Barack, and with Bill Clinton calling for Hillary, and Dick Durbin – all the people who have called for them, in addition to talking directly with the candidates… [we] talk about trade, talk about a populist, progressive message in Ohio, talk about privatization and anti-privatization, and all the things they need to do around tax and trade policy.

Both of them are obviously significantly better than Bush Republicans, McCain. They’re close. I’ve talked to Barack a lot about his Patriot Corporation Act, which is not trade per se, but it’s certainly part of the economic package around globalization. The Patriot Corporation Act has not gotten the attention that I would hope it would. But, basically it says that if you play by the rules, if you pay decent wages, health benefits, pension; do your production here; don’t resist unionization on neutral card check, then you will be designated a “Patriot Corporation” and you will get tax advantages and some [preference] on government contracts. Jan Schakowsky first came to me… I co-sponsored and worked on it with her in 2005 or 2006. And Barack has been a sponsor of it in the Senate. Hillary is not on it as of now, but those are the kinds of things I want to see them talk about and do and I am hopeful – and pretty much expect – that they will talk about those issues in Ohio.


Don’t Be Fooled by the Myth of John McCain

January 25, 2008
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By Johann Hari

January 24, 2008, The Independent/UK

A lazy, hazy myth has arisen out of the mists of New
Hampshire and South Carolina. Across the pan-Atlantic press,
the grizzled 71-year-old Vietnam vet, John McCain, is being
billed as the Republican liberals can live with. He is ‘a
bipartisan progressive'”, ‘a principled hard liberal’, ‘a
decent man’ – in the words of liberal newspapers. His fragile
new frontrunner status as we go into Super Tuesday is being
seen as something to cautiously welcome, a kick to the rotten
Republican establishment.

But the truth is that McCain is the candidate we should most
fear. Not only is he to the right of Bush on a whole range of
subjects, he is also the Republican candidate most likely to
dispense with Hillary or Barack. (more…)

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