These were some very good pieces that are must-reads! I threw in the one on Al Franken because I was just so happy for him..
John McCain announced that he was running for president to confront the “transcendent challenge” of the 21st century, “radical Islamic extremism,” contrasting it with “stability, tolerance and democracy.” But the values of his handpicked running mate, Sarah Palin, more resemble those of Muslim fundamentalists than they do those of the Founding Fathers. On censorship, the teaching of creationism in schools, reproductive rights, attributing government policy to God’s will and climate change, Palin agrees with Hamas and Saudi Arabia rather than supporting tolerance and democratic precepts. What is the difference between Palin and a Muslim fundamentalist? Lipstick…
“Palin Get Olbermann Censored, Bask in Media Double Standard“ by Elliot D. Cohen (BuzzFlash):
On September 7, The New York Times printed a story titled, “MSNBC Takes Incendiary Hosts from Anchor Seat.” The “incendiary” hosts in question were Countdown’s Keith Olbermann and Hardball’s Chris Matthews, and the anchor seat referred to was that of the upcoming presidential debates as well as election night. According to the Times, the McCain/Palin campaign had filed letters of complaint to NBC about the coverage these pundits were giving the McCain campaign. Unfortunately, the climate of media hypocrisy and censorship that now feeds this campaign may be a predictor of its intolerance for healthy, reciprocal disagreement, and freedom of the press should it ascend on the White House in 2009…
“My Alaskan soul sister is an empty vessel” by Mary Mullin (TheIrishTimes):
[..] I won’t be voting for Sarah Palin, even though she makes John McCain look better than he looked without her. She is dead wrong on all the issues and is way, way, way too insular.
In addition to our almost nationalistic love for Alaska, Sarah Palin and I are both proud mothers of a child with Down syndrome.
My daughter Lily was born in Galway 10 years ago. It may be hard to believe, but the early childhood services in Ireland are better than they are in Alaska for people with Down syndrome.
When Sarah Palin gave birth to Trig, her son with Down syndrome, I hoped that she would beef up services for Alaska’s disabled population. She could have done so overnight – but “social conservatives”, especially tough super-moms like Sarah Palin, don’t do that sort of thing.
It’s the Democrats who care about single mothers and people with Down syndrome. It’s the Democrats who designed community programmes for early intervention; it’s the Democrats who instituted programmes for integration and it’s the Democrats who fought for and passed the law that gives people with disabilities the right to a free and appropriate education in America’s public schools.
And now, Sarah Palin and her darling baby, Trig, are being held in the bosom of right-wing Christian fundamentalists who are delighted with themselves. But they have done nothing for people with disabilities. Nothing. [..]
“Franken, Shaheen Win Democratic Senate Nominations” by Bob Geiger (BobGeiger):
Former “Saturday Night Live” star and author Al Franken captured the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate in Minnesota on Tuesday and will go up against incumbent Republican Norm Coleman on November 4.
Franken won the Democratic primary with 65 percent of the vote with his closest challenger, attorney Priscilla Lord Faris, garnering only 30 percent. This sets up the showdown with Coleman that Franken has been talking about for a long time — and this will be a good one to watch…
“She’s Clueless, He’s Worse” by Robert Scheer (Truthdig):
Ignorance is bliss, which perhaps explains Gov. Sarah Palin being so confidently wrong about the root cause of the federalization of most of the nation’s mortgage market. But what is Sen. John McCain’s excuse? Both act as if the financial meltdown of the U.S. economy has nothing to do with the policies of the political party they represent—but she at least may not know any better.
Distracted momentarily from her campaign revelries of maverick opposition to the “bridge to nowhere,” which she had supported until it became a public relations debacle, and congressional earmarks for which she, as a small-town mayor, had hustled piggishly at the federal trough, Palin made the mistake of dealing with an unscripted subject.
Referring to the government’s bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Palin opined that the two had “gotten too big and too expensive to the taxpayers,” displaying abysmal ignorance of the fact that only now will those privately owned banks become a huge taxpayer obligation, as the federal government takes them over. Nor can the meltdown of home values be traced to those two beleaguered institutions, because they did not make the original subprime mortgage commitments.
The housing bubble was the result of the Ponzi-scheme antics of those other financial entities: commercial banks, stockbrokers and hedge funds, which were allowed in a GOP-deregulated market to get into the “swap” business. Through the rampant reselling of loans, the obligation to collect on a loan was divorced from the act of selling it in the first place, so who cared if the recipient of the loan was not at all qualified or the appraisal of the property value was inflated, as long as the paper was traded away, or insured, before the moment of foreclosure?….
“UC Computer Scientists Release Video on How to Hack a Sequoia Touch-Screen Voting Machine” by Brad Friedman (BradBlog):
The Computer Security Group at the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) has released a short, chilling video demonstrating how a single person can hack an election on a touch-screen voting system — even one with a so-called “Voter Verifiable Paper Trail” (VVPAT) added to it — in such a way that it is highly unlikely that the manipulation would ever be detected by either the public or election officials…
“New heights of stupidity” by Glenn Greenwald (Salon):
We’re fighting multiple wars; our oldest and most established financial institutions are on the verge of collapse; we’ve fundamentally transformed and then dismantled our constitutional framework over the last eight years, etc. etc. But the Right and their media partners are striving to ensure that our election this year is going to be dominated and determined by whether John Kerry looks stupid in wind-surfing tights Barack Obama called Sarah Palin a “pig” when he invoked a meaningless cliché…