Thursday, July 31, 2008
Obama on Iran, Syria, and Jerusalem
Jul. 24, 2008David Horovitz , THE JERUSALEM POST
Two months ago in the Oval Office, President George W. Bush, coming to the end of a two-term presidency and presumably as expert on Israeli-Palestinian policy as he is ever going to be, was accompanied by a team of no fewer than five advisers and spokespeople during a 40-minute interview with this writer and three other Israeli journalists.
In March, on his whirlwind visit to Israel, Republican presidential nominee John McCain, one of whose primary strengths is said to be his intimate grasp of foreign affairs, chose to bring along Sen. Joe Lieberman to the interview our diplomatic correspondent Herb Keinon and I conducted with him, looked to Lieberman several times for reassurance on his answers and seemed a little flummoxed by a question relating to the nuances of settlement construction.
On Wednesday evening, toward the end of his packed one-day visit here, Barack Obama, the Democratic senator who is leading the race for the White House and who lacks long years of foreign policy involvement, spoke to The Jerusalem Post with only a single aide in his King David Hotel room, and that aide's sole contribution to the conversation was to suggest that the candidate and I switch seats so that our photographer would get better lighting for his pictures.
Editorial (NEW YORK TIMES)
Published: July 30, 2008
Well, that certainly didn’t take long. On July 3, news reports said Senator John McCain, worried that he might lose the election before it truly started, opened his doors to disciples of Karl Rove from the 2004 campaign and the Bush White House. Less than a month later, the results are on full display. The candidate who started out talking about high-minded, civil debate has wholeheartedly adopted Mr. Rove’s low minded and uncivil playbook.
"We want to have a serious debate. But so far, we've been hearing about Paris Hilton and Britney Spears. I do have to ask my opponent: is that the best you can come up with? Is that really what the election is about? Is that worthy of the American people? Even the media has pointed out...that McCain has fallen back into ... predictable political attacks and demonstratively false statements... Spending all this time talking about me instead of talking about what he's going to do. That's not going to lower your gas prices. That's's not going...to help you find a job if it's been shipped overseas. It doesn't do a single thing to help the American people. It's the politics of the game. But the time for game-playing is over. That's why I'm running for President."....
The New Normal: McCain's Desperate Ad Hours
What the McCain campaign doesn’t want people to know, according to one GOP strategist I spoke with over the weekend, is that they had an ad script ready to go if Obama had visited the wounded troops saying that Obama was...wait for it...using wounded troops as campaign props. So, no matter which way Obama turned, McCain had an Obama bashing ad ready to launch. I guess that’s political hardball. But another word for it is the one word that most politicians are loathe to use about their opponents—a lie.
THIS IS FROM LATIMES.COM
Obama has barely hit back. His weak-tea replies express
"disappointment" with McCain and reject the "same old
"Here's the likely rationale: The public, by a wide margin, wants a Democrat to win the presidency. So all Obama has to do is make himself acceptable and he'll win. Hence the focus on building up his own credentials rather than tearing down McCain.
Perhaps that sounds familiar. Let me refresh your memory: it was the John Kerry campaign strategy in 2004. Four years ago, the conventional wisdom had it that a majority of the voters would reject President Bush, so winning was just a matter of Kerry proving himself as an alternative. People "are looking for some change," one pollster put it at the time, "but the change has to be acceptable. John Kerry has to prove he is acceptable."
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
- Eddie Vedder - "Insignificance"
Bombs dropping down overhead. On the ground.
It's instilled to want to live.
Bombs dropping down. Please forgive our hometown in our insignificance.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Monday, July 28, 2008
Interesting blog entry from Frank Wilson:
I used to get angry a lot, but I realized something about anger one day that pretty much cured me of it in a snap. What I realized was that I got angry because (a) I was hurt and (b) couldn’t really do anything about it. The anger was an expression of impotence. The one thing I could do about what had hurt me was rant about it. No sooner had I realized that than I asked myself, “Why bother?” It didn’t do any good. And it felt awful. There is nothing pleasant about feeling angry. Of course, there’s nothing pleasant about feeling hurt, either, but if you face up to the discomfort, it fades after a while. Anger just prolongs it, like picking at a scab
Sunday, July 27, 2008
CLICK ON MAP FOR BIGGER PICTURE
THIS CAME FROM HUFFINGTONPOST.COM
In an essay titled "The Myth of a Toss-up Election," Alan Abramowitz (Emory), Tom Mann (Brookings) and Larry Sabato (Virginia), jointly declared:
[V]irtually all of the evidence that we have reviewed - historical patterns, structural features of this election cycle, and national and state polls conducted over the last several months - points to a comfortable Obama/Democratic party victory in November. Trumpeting this race as a toss-up, almost certain to produce another nail-biter finish, distorts the evidence and does a disservice to readers and viewers who rely upon such punditry....
It is no exaggeration to say that the political environment this year is one of the worst for a party in the White House in the past sixty years. You have to go all the way back to 1952 to find an election involving the combination of an unpopular president, an unpopular war, and an economy teetering on the brink of recession....[I]f history is any guide, and absent a dramatic change in election fundamentals or an utter collapse of the Obama candidacy, John McCain is likely to suffer the same fate as Adlai Stevenson.
Patients await dental care at the Remote Area Medical (RAM), clinic July 26, 2008 in Wise, Virginia. The free clinic, which lasts 2 1/2 days, is the largest of its kind in the nation, and organizers expected to treat more than 2,500 people over the weekend, mostly providing dental and vision services. Residents of the 'coal counties' of Appalachia are some of the most impoverished in the nation, and most are either underinsured or have no health insurance at all. For many, the RAM clinic is the only medical care they may receive each year. Healthcare for the nation's disadvantaged has become one of the main issues in this year's presidential race. Photo by John Moore/Getty. - ANDREWSULLIVAN.COM
Saturday, July 26, 2008
July 20, 2008
9/11 and 4/11
By THOMES FRIEDMAN
The economist Paul Romer once said to me that “a crisis is a terrible thing to waste.” President Bush is well on his way to being remembered as the leader who wasted not one but two crises: 9/11 and 4/11. The average price of gasoline in the U.S. last week, according to the Energy Information Administration, was $4.11.
July 26, 2008
Getting to Know You
By BOB HERBERT
The conventional wisdom in this radically unconventional presidential race is that the voters have to get to know Barack Obama better. That’s what this week’s overseas trip was about: to showcase the senator as a potential commander in chief and leader of U.S. foreign policy.
According to this way of thinking, as voters see more of Mr. Obama and become more comfortable with him (assuming no major foul-ups along the way), his chances of getting elected will be enhanced.
Maybe so. But what about the other guy? How much do voters really know about John McCain?
The turning point? So was this week a turning point in the presidential race? The Obama campaign certainly believes it was, and that this will be the moment that Obama grabs the lead for good. If McCain never catches up at this point, his campaign's actions this week (its blistering criticism of Obama and the media, the visuals it picked, its body language, its VP games) will get second-guessed for months. We know this was a significant week; the question is was it enough to erase the doubts voters have with Obama about his ability to be commander-in-chief? But just asking: Did this week tell us more about Obama or McCain? Watching McCain chasing the news cycle and his inability to not let Obama get under his skin -- and the campaign's -- suggests that they could be reactive from this day forward. Why, for instance, did the campaign insist on the equal treatment (see network interviews) this week and not simply attempt to create its own week of coverage from the nets? They were second fiddle all week, and seemed to almost demand being highlighted in that way.
Friday, July 25, 2008
Would a written invitation
signed, "Choose now or lose it all,"
sedate your hesitation?
Or inflame and make you stall?
You've been raised in limitation,
but that glove never fit quite right.
The time has passed for hand-me-downs,
choose a new, please evolve,
Are you gonna stand around till 2012 A.D.?
What are you waiting for,
A certain shade of green?
I think I grew a gray watching you procrastinate.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
The song's genesis came in India, after The Beatles attended a lecture by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi about a "son of the mother nature". This inspired both Paul McCartney and John Lennon to write songs about the same subject. McCartney's composition "Mother Nature's Son" was selected for The Beatles (the White Album), while Lennon's song "Child of Nature" was not
This is from Gimme Some Truth - The Making of John Lennon's "Imagine" (2004)DVD. This is a must for your DVD library if you're a fan of The Beatles.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
John McCain talking about the Iraq war from 2002 through the present, exposing -- in his own words -- the lie behind his claim that he was the war's "greatest critic." It demonstrates his chilling commitment to fighting this war no matter what the people of America -- or Iraq -- want.
It is long -- nine minutes, thirty seconds -- but much of the material it contains will likely be new to you...and devastating to McCain.
Please share it with your family, friends, and acquaintances throughout the netroots. We may not have a cable TV channel, but with YouTube, through word of mouth, we can level the playing field -- so please digg it, reddit it, post it in blogs and comments.
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Here's the YOUTUBE link if it fails to play: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DR-OzzE37SE
Thursday, July 17, 2008
"I'm a lifelong Republican - a supply-side conservative. I worked in the Reagan White House. I was the chief economist at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for five years. In 1994, I helped write the Republican Contract with America. I served on Bob Dole's presidential campaign team and was chief economist for Jack Kemp's Empower America. This November, I'm voting for Barack Obama.
When I first made this decision, many colleagues were shocked. How could I support a candidate with a domestic policy platform that's antithetical to almost everything I believe in?
The answer is simple: Unjustified war and unconstitutional abridgment of individual rights vs. ill-conceived tax and economic policies - this is the difference between venial and mortal sins. Taxes, economic policy and health care reform matter, of course. But how we extract ourselves from the bloody boondoggle in Iraq, how we avoid getting into a war with Iran and how we preserve our individual rights while dealing with real foreign threats - these are of greater importance," - Larry Hunter, New York Daily News.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Monday, July 14, 2008
Sunday, July 13, 2008
By Mychael Urban / MLB.com
NEW YORK -- As far as first impressions go, you can't do much better than what Angel Villalona (GIANTS)did Sunday morning before the 2008 XM All-Star Futures Game.
With his first swing after jumping into the batting cage at Yankee Stadium like the enthusiastic teenager he is, the man-child pounded a batting-practice fastball over the wall in dead center field.
As the ball sailed over the 408-foot sign, Villalona, 17, smiled ever so slightly in acknowledgement of his hooting World Team teammates.
Moments later, with sweat dripping down his chin, the 6-foot-3, 200-pound corner infielder from the Dominican Republic stepped out of the cage -- and into the spotlight. Several reporters were waiting to speak with the Giants' top prospect, and he happily obliged every one.
"This makes me very happy," he said through an interpreter. "Very satisfied."
With the impressive BP blast, or with simply being on the Yankee Stadium stage?
"Both," Villalona said, his smile now ear-to-ear. "All of it. I feel very proud to be here and it's great motivation to keep working."
The youngest player selected for Sunday's showcase of the game's top young talent,
Villalona, a right-handed hitter, was signed by the Giants last August as an amateur free agent and received a club-record $2.1 million bonus. Assigned to San Francisco's team in the Arizona Rookie League, he immediately started justifying the franchise's financial faith.
Friday, July 11, 2008
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Now Tom said "Mom, wherever there's a cop beatin' a guy
Wherever a hungry newborn baby cries
Where there's a fight 'gainst the blood and hatred in the air
Look for me Mom I'll be there
Wherever there's somebody fightin' for a place to stand
Or decent job or a helpin' hand
Wherever somebody's strugglin' to be free
Look in their eyes Mom you'll see me."
The highway is alive tonight
But nobody's kiddin' nobody about where it goes
I'm sittin' downhere in the campfire light
With the ghost of old Tom Joad
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
ROCKIN' IN THE FREE WORLD
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
July 8, 2008
ABC News' Sunlen Miller Reports: Barack Obama took a "tough love" message to African American youth, telling that finishing high school is a better route to success in life than an unlikely trip to the NBA or the top of the rap industry.
“You are probably not that good a rapper. Maybe you are the next Lil’ Wayne, but probably not, in which case you need to stay in school.” Obama told a cheering crowd, brought to a standing ovation at a town hall meeting in Powder Springs, Georgia.
Obama said he knows some young men think they can't find a job unless they are a really good basketball player. "Which most of you brothas are not," Obama, who played basketball in high school, a sport he continues to play to this day, said jokingly. "I know you think you are, but you're not. You are over-rated in your own mind. You will not play in the NBA."
Monday, July 7, 2008
Saturday, July 5, 2008
Friday, July 4, 2008
Pearl Jam has raised an impressive US$3 million for charity after a Tuesday night gig in new York.
The veteran rockers played a 26-song set at the Beacon Theatre, in aid of the Robin Hood Foundation's poverty eradication initiative.
The band played songs from their back catalogue, with a handful of covers by Bob Dylan, Neil Young and The Who thrown in.
[Published FROM THE STARONLINE: 4-Jul-2008]
YOU CAN LEARN MORE ABOUT THE FOUNDATION HERE - http://www.robinhood.org/home.aspx
Thursday, July 3, 2008
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Monday, Jun. 30, 2008
Half of US Gun Deaths are Suicides
By AP/MIKE STOBBE
(ATLANTA) — The Supreme Court's landmark ruling on gun ownership last week focused on citizens' ability to defend themselves from intruders in their homes. But research shows that surprisingly often, gun owners use the weapons on themselves.
Suicides accounted for 55% of the nation's nearly 31,000 firearm deaths in 2005, the most recent year for which statistics are available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
There was nothing unique about that year — gun-related suicides have outnumbered firearm homicides and accidents for 20 of the last 25 years. In 2005, homicides accounted for 40% of gun deaths. Accidents accounted for 3 percent. The remaining 2% included legal killings, such as when police do the shooting, and cases that involve undetermined intent.
You can find the rest of the article here - http://www.time.com/time/printout/0,8816,1819165,00.html
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Americans are the world's top consumers of cannabis and cocaine despite punitive US drug laws, according to an international study published in the online scientific magazine PLoS Medicine.
The study, released Monday, revealed that 16.2 percent of Americans had tried cocaine at least once, and 42.4 percent had used marijuana.
In second-place New Zealand just 4.3 percent of study participants had used cocaine, and 41.9 percent marijuana.
"A group of American advisers led by a small State Department team played an integral part in drawing up contracts between the Iraqi government and five major Western oil companies to develop some of the largest fields in Iraq, American officials say."