Monthly Archives: February 2008

Public Broadcasting Activists Refute McCain Campaign "Facts" on FCC Letters

By Avni Patel, ABC News at Truthout
Tuesday 26 February 2008

A public broadcasting activist is accusing Sen. John McCain’s presidential campaign of lying in its statements rebutting last week’s New York Times story about McCain’s connections to Washington lobbyist Vicki Iseman.

After the story broke, the McCain campaign distributed a lengthy document stating that the senator’s commerce committee staff “met with public broadcasting activists from the Pittsburgh area” who opposed a controversial license swap involving Iseman’s client, Paxson Communications, before it sent two letters to the Federal Communication Commission urging the commissioners to vote on the issue.

“It never happened,” said Jerold Starr, who led the grassroots opposition to the deal as the co-chairman of the Save Pittsburgh Public Television Campaign. “Moreover, we had no idea that McCain had any interest in our local matter.” Continue reading

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Filed under Media, US President

How Offensive Can a Trustee Be?

Inside Higher Ed, Feb. 26

Nationwide, colleges have been bolstering their programs in Arabic and the study of the Middle East, responding to growing student interest and awareness that Americans benefit from better understanding the region. At the College of the Siskiyous, in California, such a plan prompted a tirade of anti-Arab and anti-Muslim comments from a trustee, disturbing many on the campus. The trustee is refusing to apologize or resign.

The community college is planning to offer its first credit courses ever in both Arabic and Middle Eastern history. At a board meeting last month, the additional courses were included among the “consent” items for the board – non-controversial items that are typically approved collectively at the start of a board meeting, unless a board member objects.

Dorris Wood, the board member, objected last month, with the following comments: “When I look at this proposed class, my one thought is that we know all we need to know about the Arabs and Islam. They are our enemies: pure and simple…. They have declared war on the United States and are committed to our destruction…. Continue reading

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Filed under Education and schools, Religions, Right Wing

The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot

A Brief Review of…
The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot
By Naomi Wolf

In this alarming book, Ms. Wolf describes George W. Bush’s America in terms of a “fascist shift” that has taken place since 2001.

One might easily dismiss the work as just another liberal diatribe or “Bush-bashing.” But Ms. Wolf has done intensive research into totalitarian governments, including Stalin’s communism, Hitler’s and Mussolini’s fascism, as well as the dictatorships of Pinochet in Chile, and others. She finds that dictatorial regimes, whether on the right or the left, typically pass through ten steps on the road from democracy to dictatorship.

Ms. Wolf finds distinct “echoes” of these ten steps or fascist components in America during the Bush/Cheney regime. Continue reading

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Filed under National govt & politics, Right Wing

It's Also the Congress, Stupid

By David Sirota
In These Times

Wednesday 20 February 2008

Empowering Capitol Hill progressives is just as important as presidental campaign platforms.

During one of the mind-numbing arguments between the candidates, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) was fighting off the claim that his universal healthcare proposal might not cover up to 15 million Americans. As an academic issue, it was an important exchange. But I suddenly realized: In real-world terms, the back-and-forth didn’t much matter.

In this epic race for the Democratic nomination, the most minute policy differences are extrapolated into bombastic TV ads, direct mail pieces and debate one-liners. Amid the noise, few remember that what candidates say or propose can bear little resemblance to what ends up happening once they are in the Oval Office. Continue reading

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Filed under US Congress - other, US President