October 22, 2008

This is what using fear tactics gets ya…

…and it is truly disturbing.

There has been lots of discussion regarding the fear mongering scare tactics used among the right-wing ticket and many of it’s supporters in recent weeks. Claims that Obama is a terrorist. A scary Socialist. Muslim. Arab. It’s a dangerous world in a dangerous time. Spreading and condoning this culture of fear has generated racial slurs and hate crimes. Following hot on the heels of the Obama effigy, verbal threats, vandalization and assault have become familiar.

Against a backdrop of GOP-backed allegations that it is involved in voter registration fraud, the activist ACORN group has been targeted with emails and voicemails threatening its staff as well as Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.

One of the aggressive messages, secured by HuffPost’s OffTheBus, says that “all the ni**ers,” including Obama, are going to get “assassinated” and “hung.”

The threats come at a time when the McCain-Palin campaign has been publicly linking the non-profit Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now directly to the Obama campaign while suggesting the group is engaged in a coordinated effort to register ineligible voters.

In addition to the verbal threats and racially offensive messages, ACORN offices in two cities were recently vandalized, and a 58 year old Obama campaign volunteer wrongly assumed to be associated with the group was assaulted Saturday.

In a conference call with reporters Monday, ACORN spokesman Brian Kettenring said numerous employees of the group nationwide have started receiving threatening telephone calls, voicemails and emails and described the intimidation as “a byproduct of [the Republican] voter suppression campaign” and “what happens when you pursue the politics of fear as your electoral strategy”

Click here to read the full story and hear the audio clips.

This is U.S. Congresswoman Michele Bachmann’s solution. What’s next? Blacklisting? This is treading in some deep, dark waters.

CHRIS MATTHEWS: So this is a character issue. You believe that Barack Obama may — you’re suspicious because of this relationship — may have anti-American views. Otherwise, it’s probably irrelevant to this discussion.
REP. MICHELE BACHMANN, R-MINN.: Absolutely. I absolutely…
MATTHEWS: Do you believe that… Barack Obama may have anti-American views?
BACHMANN: Absolutely. I’m very concerned that he may have anti- American views. That’s what the American people are concerned about. That’s why they want to know what his answers are. That’s why Joe the plumber has figured so highly in had the last few days…
MATTHEWS: OK. I just want to get off this…
BACHMANN: What I would say is that the news media should do a penetrating expose and take a look. I wish they would. I wish the American media would take a great look at the views of the people in Congress and find out, are they pro-America or anti-America? I think people would love to see an expose like that.

COLIN POWELL, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: If you are an American, you’re an American and this business, for example, the congressman from Minnesota who is going around saying “let’s examine all congressmen to see who is pro- America, and who is not pro- America.” We have gotta stop this kind of non sense. Pull ourselves together, and remember that our great strength is in our unity, and in our diversity. That was really driving me, and put this on people like Mr. Ayers, are trivial issues, for the purpose of suggesting that Mr. Obama would have some kind of terrorist inclinations. I thought that was over the top. It was beyond just good fighting back and forth. I think it went beyond.

Read full story here.

October 21, 2008

Feminists for Obama/Biden

October 19, 2008

You're right on this one, McCain.

She doesn’t adhere to the ideology and goals of liberal feminism or to the sense of community momentum and solidarity that feminism offers by providing choice and support for all women.

Thanks to the women at Feministing for today’s post containing the following clip:

October 7, 2008

Highlights at the Huffinton Post

Whoa!  Really?  Is this a political campaign in the United States in 2008?  “Kill him” as in the “terrorist” Obama at McCain-Palin rally in New Mexico. Read here.

Palin claims that Obama is “palling around” with terrorists.  Read here.

The women at The View continue to hash it out. Read here.

Olberman to Palin:

October 5, 2008

Maverick, schmaverick

Filed under: Media,Politics — Tags: , , , , , — Melanie @ 7:43 pm

Ah, finally!  More and more publicly accessible commentaries on the fallacy of the McCain/Palin maverick status.  Theresa alerted me to the recent article in Rolling Stone that takes on McCain and exposes him as just another opportunist that will take any measure, including political stagecraft and myth making, to put himself (not country) first.  That’s no maverick.

This is the story of the real John McCain, the one who has been hiding in plain sight. It is the story of a man who has consistently put his own advancement above all else, a man willing to say and do anything to achieve his ultimate ambition: to become commander in chief, ascending to the one position that would finally enable him to outrank his four-star father and grandfather…

…This, of course, is not the story McCain tells about himself. Few politicians have so actively, or successfully, crafted their own myth of greatness. In Mc- Cain’s version of his life, he is a prodigal son who, steeled by his brutal internment in Vietnam, learned to put “country first.” Remade by the Keating Five scandal that nearly wrecked his career, the story goes, McCain re-emerged as a “reformer” and a “maverick,” righteously eschewing anything that “might even tangentially be construed as a less than proper use of my office.”

On utilizing the media:

“John allows the media to make him out to be the hero POW, which he knows is absolutely not true, to further his political goals,” says Butler. “John was just one of about 600 guys. He was nothing unusual. He was just another POW.”

McCain has also allowed the media to believe that his torture lasted for the entire time he was in Hanoi. At the Republican convention, Fred Thompson said of McCain’s torture, “For five and a half years this went on.” In fact, McCain’s torture ended after two years, when the death of Ho Chi Minh in September 1969 caused the Vietnamese to change the way they treated POWs. “They decided it would be better to treat us better and keep us alive so they could trade us in for real estate,” Butler recalls.

October 2, 2008

We don't care about what you know, we want to know about YOU

Filed under: Media,Politics — Tags: , , , , , , , — Melanie @ 6:01 pm

UGH!  This make me groan.  Politics and your stance on the important issues most don’t seem to matter much in the media age.  McCain and his camp don’t make the slightest effort to hide the fact that they think the American public is stupid.  After All, reality shows have become the genre of the current media age and this election has certainly played out that way.  Forget what you know, tell us who you are.  Awww, she’s just a hockey mom.  Wow!  She’s got 5 children.  Her husband is hot.  Can’t wait for Bristol’s wedding. We can trust a small-town mom with children of her own.  She’s just one of us.

Wrong.  She is not one of us. She isn’t “just” a hockey mom.

It’s time to unplug and open you eyes.  Politics and reality shows are not the same thing.  We’re not voting for our new best friend.  Leave that up to Paris Hilton.  Vote for the team that will represent your interests.

The following excerpt demonstrates how stupid the McCain camp thinks the American populous is:

Listening to surrogates and aides to John McCain on Thursday, one is left with the impression that there is no great need for Gov. Sarah Palin to actually answer questions during tonight’s vice presidential debate.

Indeed, the spin coming from McCain surrogates and strategists is that all Palin has to do is pass a sort of artificial personality test, in which she strikes an emotional thread with the average voter — question, answers, or intellectual capacity be damned.

Read the full article here.

As Roland Martin said on CNN today: forget who is wearing the better pair of glasses and the superficial and listen.

Rebecca Traister on Palin: cry me a river. Not.

Excellent commentary by Rebecca Trasiter at Salon.com today after Palin fumbles repeatedly in interviews with Charlie Gibson and Katie Couric.

Highlights include:

Where I come from, a woman — and especially a woman governor with executive experience — doesn’t have to rely on any elder or any man to protect her and pull her ass out of the fire. She can make a decision all on her own. (Palin was more than happy to tell Charlie Gibson that she made her decision to join the McCain ticket without blinking.) I agree with Coates that the McCain camp was craven, sexist and disrespectful in its choice of Palin, but I don’t agree that the Alaska governor was a passive victim of their Machiavellian plotting. A very successful woman, Palin has the wherewithal to move forward consciously. What she did was move forward thoughtlessly and overconfidently, without considering that her abilities or qualifications would ever be questioned…

So here it is, finally. And as unpleasant as it may be to watch the humiliation of a woman who waltzed into a spotlight too strong to withstand, I flat out refuse to be manipulated into another stage of gendered regress — back to the pre-Pelosi, pre-Hillary days when girls couldn’t stand the heat and so were shooed back to the kitchen.

Sarah Palin is no wilting flower. She is a politician who took the national stage and sneered at the work of community activists. She boldly tries to pass off incuriosity and lassitude as regular-people qualities, thereby doing a disservice to all those Americans who also work two jobs and do not come from families that hand out passports and backpacking trips, yet still manage to pick up a paper and read about their government and seek out experience and knowledge.

When you stage a train wreck of this magnitude — trying to pass one underqualified chick off as another highly qualified chick with the lame hope that no one will notice — well, then, I don’t feel bad for you.

When you treat women as your toys, as gullible and insensate pawns in your Big Fat Presidential Bid — or in Palin’s case, in your Big Fat Chance to Be the First Woman Vice President Thanks to All the Cracks Hillary Put in the Ceiling — I don’t feel bad for you.

When you don’t take your own career and reputation seriously enough to pause before striding onto a national stage and lying about your record of opposing a Bridge to Nowhere or using your special-needs child to garner the support of Americans in need of healthcare reform you don’t support, I don’t feel bad for you.

When you don’t have enough regard for your country or its politics to cram effectively for the test — a test that helps determine whether or not you get to run that country and participate in its politics — I don’t feel bad for you.

When your project is reliant on gaining the support of women whose reproductive rights you would limit, whose access to birth control and sex education you would curtail, whose healthcare options you would decrease, whose civil liberties you would take away and whose children and husbands and brothers (and sisters and daughters and friends) you would send to war in Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Russia and wherever else you saw fit without actually understanding international relations, I don’t feel bad for you.

I don’t want to be played by the girl-strings anymore. Shaking our heads and wringing our hands in sympathy with Sarah Palin is a disservice to every woman who has ever been unfairly dismissed based on her gender, because this is an utterly fair dismissal, based on an utter lack of ability and readiness. It’s a disservice to minority populations of every stripe whose place in the political spectrum has been unfairly spotlighted as mere tokenism; it is a disservice to women throughout this country who have gone from watching a woman who — love her or hate her — was able to show us what female leadership could look like to squirming in front of their televisions as they watch the woman sent to replace her struggle to string a complete sentence together…
Read full article here.
Traister echoes my own sentiments.  I’m tired of this woman.  I’m tired of the gender games and manipulation that has been waged by this campaign and their phony feminist ideology and concern for women’s rights.  Palin’s response to Couric’s question regarding her feminist identity was ludicrous.  How can you honestly state to the people, especially the women of this country, that you are for women’s equality and choice when your record indicates the exact opposite?  I’m tired of the transparency of this campaigns lies which is a slap in the face to the citizens of this country. I’m tired of the stage craft and political drama this campaign has utilized as distraction. I’m sick of hearing the same lame line about this team of “mavericks.”  The fact that Palin and the McCain camp can’t make up their mind about how they want to craft her image speaks to their insecurity, lack of integrity and dishonesty.
I’m ready for the debate.  Unfortunately, this debate, like all of her official speeches, has been careful crafted and she has been diligently groomed for her role.  I hope that people don’t forget who the real Sarah Palin is: the woman we saw unscripted and incapable when questioned by Gibson and Couric.

September 30, 2008

McCain spins Obama's economic policies and generates fear

Lani would like to share:

McCain says Obama policies will deepen recession: read here

RE: McCain says Obama’s policies will deepen recession; very important in light of bailout being rejected and the subsequent affect that had on the world economy/American stock market (dropped 800 points; more than ever in one day).
A little argument about how/why that is NOT true; e.g. creation of jobs in the AMERICAN economy - not something either party is good at, but Obama will be/can be and how his policies support that creation. Republicans benefit more from exporting jobs/work to other countries, and tend to support such corporate policies b/c of who invests in their campaigns (http://thehill.com/campaign-2008/top-ceos-give-10-times-more-to-mccain-than-to-obama-2008-08-15.html)
I feel like this is really important; if he makes people (fence-sitters or even people who would most likely have voted for Obama) afraid we will end up with another election where people are voting for what is familiar (e.g. Bush x2). And THIS is the perfect opportunity to freak people out; their money is in danger!!!

September 29, 2008

When all else fails, pimp out your daughter.

When faced with a floundering campaign, a presidential nominee that vacillates between his declaration that the “fundamentals of the economy are strong” to declaring it a national crisis, putting his campaign on hold and returning to Washington as “sheriff” to fix the ails of the economy to a vice-presidential nominee that can’t respond to Charlie Gibson and Katie Couric in a thoughtful manner, fret not. Pimp out your daughter and continue to create media spectacle that will distract the American population from silly issues like the economy, foreign policy and energy independence (coal? Nuclear? No thanks!).

Sarah Baxter reported yesterday:

“Inside John McCain’s campaign the expectation is growing that there will be a popularity boosting pre-election wedding in Alaska between Bristol Palin, 17, and Levi Johnston, 18, her schoolmate and father of her baby. “It would be fantastic,” said a McCain insider. “You would have every TV camera there. The entire country would be watching. It would shut down the race for a week.”

September 25, 2008

Political Theater and the Maverick

Filed under: Media,Politics — Tags: , , , , , , , , — Melanie @ 3:45 pm

I just watched Senator Chris Dodd’s interview with Wolfe Blitzer on CNN.  Unfortunately, I have not been able to locate a clip at this time.  In essence, he rebuked Senator McCain’s lack of clarity and inisght on the situation while using this financial crisis as a moment for photo ops.

Read the full story here:

“…The developments came on a day of political theater at the Capitol and at the White House where President Bush met with Congressional leaders and the presidential candidates, Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, and Senator Barack Obama, Democrat of Illinois…

…Mr. McCain was seated at one end of a long conference table, Mr. Obama at the other, with the president and congressional leaders between them. Neither spoke, though Mr. McCain smiled broadly as reporters shouted questions that went unanswered by President Bush.”

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