April 13, 2008

Alec Baldwin: Who Can Beat McCain?

Filed under: Commentary — Tags: , , , , , , — Volt @ 10:03 am

Alec Baldwin, The Huffington Post, April 13, 2008

Lotta folks on this site hating Hillary because she’s a woman. Lotta folks on this site loving Hillary because she’s a woman. Makes me think that, in some quarters, men have been uncomfortable with women a lot longer than whites have been uncomfortable with blacks.

Sometimes I honestly believe that a racist white guy would vote for Obama over anyone like his wife or mother. A woman as Commander-and-Chief? Uh-uh, they say.

How sad.

Lotta folks worried about Obama’s level of experience. Whatever you do, don’t buy into that Republican bullshit. Obama is FDR compared to this Bush. The GOP committed every possible sin in order to get Bush elected. They forged a whole set of new ones to get him reelected. Everyone around the world recognizes that America is in real trouble. Most Americans do, too.

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Frank Rich: The Petraeus-Crocker Show Gets the Hook

Filed under: Commentary — Tags: , , , , , , , , — Volt @ 9:03 am

Frank Rich, The New York Times, April 13, 2008

The night before last week’s Senate hearings on our “progress” in Iraq, a goodly chunk of New York’s media and cultural establishment assembled in the vast lobby of the Museum of Modern Art. There were cocktails; there were waiters wielding platters of hors d’oeuvres; there was a light sprinkling of paparazzi. Then there was a screening. We trooped like schoolchildren to the auditorium to watch a grueling movie about the torture at Abu Ghraib.

Not just any movie, but “Standard Operating Procedure,” the new investigatory documentary by Errol Morris, one of our most original filmmakers. It asks the audience not just to revisit the crimes in graphic detail but to confront in tight close-up those who both perpetrated and photographed them. Because Mr. Morris has a complex view of human nature, he arouses a certain sympathy for his subjects, much as he did at times for Robert McNamara, the former defense secretary, in his Vietnam film, “Fog of War.”

More sympathy, actually. Only a few bad apples at the bottom of the chain of command took the fall for Abu Ghraib. No one above the level of staff sergeant went to jail, and no one remotely in proximity to a secretary of defense has been held officially accountable. John Yoo, the author of the notorious 2003 Justice Department memo rationalizing torture, has happily returned to his tenured position as a law professor at the University of California, Berkeley. So when Mr. Morris brings you face to face with Lynndie England — now a worn, dead-eyed semblance of the exuberant, almost pixie-ish miscreant in the Abu Ghraib snapshots — you’re torn.

Ms. England, who is now on parole, concedes that what she and her cohort did was “unusual and weird and wrong,” but adds that “when we first got there, the example was already set.” That reflection doesn’t absolve her of moral responsibility, but, like much in this film, it forces you to look beyond the fixed images of one of the most documented horror stories of our time.

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March 2, 2008

Helen Thomas: Time To Get Out Of Our Blood Debt In Iraq

Filed under: Commentary — Tags: , , , , , , — Volt @ 10:47 am

Helen Thomas, The Hearst Newspapers, February 28, 2008

Will the next president be the second coming of Jimmy Carter? Given Thursday’s economic headlines, full of dire warnings about the return of 1970s-style stagflation, you might think so.

Bush wants to leave to the next president the burden of ending the debacle he started five years ago when he ordered the invasion of Iraq under false pretenses, against a people who had done us no harm.

Bush cannot explain his reasons for the war without compounding his folly. To this moment, Bush has not given a logical explanation for his disastrous militarism.

How can he tell American families that their sons and daughters died for a terrible, tragic mistake committed by his administration?

History shows that other presidents have found ways to end U.S. involvement in wars. Most times there has been a public sigh of relief when that happens.

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Love Your Democracy Garden…

Filed under: Toon — Tags: , , , , , — Volt @ 3:23 am

February 29, 2008

Joe Conason: John McCain’s Political Quagmire

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — Volt @ 10:44 am

Joe Conason, TruthDig, February 28, 2008

Within the next two weeks, the number of American troops killed in Iraq is likely to reach 4,000, assuming that the average number of fatal casualties per day remains steady. It is an arbitrary number, given meaning by the fact that the nation may briefly take notice, but a day will come in this presidential campaign when Sen. John McCain must explain what he thinks we have gained by the sacrifice of those men and women.

Anticipating that prospect must make McCain uneasy. Speaking to reporters on his campaign bus the other day, he worried aloud that unless he can persuade voters that current policy is succeeding in Iraq, “then I lose. I lose.”

Almost immediately he regretted his candor and asked for a quick rewrite. “If I may, I’d like to retract ‘I’ll lose.’ But I don’t think there’s any doubt that how they judge Iraq will have a direct relation to their judgment of me, my support of the surge,” he said. As the presumptive Republican nominee – representing the continuation of a presidency that has fallen from favor with as many as eight out of 10 Americans – McCain has ample reason to worry. His forthright support of President Bush, the war and the escalation of the past year is unlikely to endear him to independent voters who otherwise admire his maverick image and reform record. They still feel betrayed by the exaggerations and lies that led us into war. They don’t want to spend any more lives or money on this misadventure.

Against that overwhelming public sentiment, McCain insists that he can see “a clear path to success in Iraq,” with American and civilian casualties declining and Iraqis assuming responsibility for their own security. The Arizona senator evidently realizes that his recent prediction of a century-long American occupation did not go over well. “All of us want out of Iraq,” he told the Associated Press on Feb. 25. “The question is, how do we want out of Iraq.”

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