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Showing posts from February 20, 2008

How Black is Obama? -- In These Times

How Black is Obama? -- In These Times: "How can racism still be a problem if so many white Americans are willing to support a black man like Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) for president?

This rhetorical question worries some analysts, who warn that Obama’s prominence, ironically, could set back the struggle for racial equality. They argue that his transracial appeal would convince many that the country has “transcended race,” making them less supportive of efforts to redress slavery’s legacy. Of course, Obama’s intentions have little to do with this effect."

Challenging Indian Land Trusts -- In These Times

Challenging Indian Land Trusts -- In These Times: "Across Indian country, two things are never in short supply: rich natural resources and endemic poverty. That paradox is driving a longstanding battle between indigenous people and the government trust that holds money generated from their lands.

The class-action lawsuit, Cobell v. Kempthorne, targets a federal trust fund that handles revenues from activities like oil drilling and logging on land owned by individual Indians and tribes. The trust’s financial operations—covering more than 56 million acres and dating back for more than a century—have left a spectacularly messy paper trail. Many beneficiaries say they are in the dark about how much has been paid out and what is still owed, and charge that the system has drained wealth from Indian communities."

Political Climate Change -- In These Times

Political Climate Change -- In These TimesPaul Krugman, president of the Hillary Clinton fan club, writes in his New York Times column that if Barack Obama gets the nomination, there is no chance “that we will get universal healthcare in the next administration.” He has criticized Obama for not supporting mandates, as Clinton does, that require everyone to buy insurance.

Lost in this debate is one stark fact: Neither Clinton nor Obama are proposing a clean break with our for-profit insurance system.

Both Clinton’s and Obama’s plans allow for the possibility of a public plan replacing private insurance at some point in the future. But given the realities of Washington, it is easy to imagine a scenario in which the public’s money would subsidize a grossly expensive and inefficient private system into the indefinite future. At a time when progressives are starting to dream big again, why settle for a compromise with Corporate America?

Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, healthcare | Salon News

Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, healthcare | Salon News: "Feb. 21, 2008 | In recent days, the Democratic presidential race has offered voters an invaluable primer on questions ranging from the definition of plagiarism in politics to the responsibilities of superdelegates in a 21st century democracy. Of course, high-decibel topics like these have absolutely nothing to do with serving as president and precious little connection with defeating John McCain in November."

Ethiopians for Obama volunteering in Ohio » Ethiopian Review

Ethiopians for Obama volunteering in Ohio » Ethiopian Review: "Ethiopians for Obama will be volunteering in Columbus Ohio to deliver a victory for Barack Obama in Ohio’s primary which is being held on March 4th. Ethiopians in Virginia, DC, Maryland, New York, Minnesota, and every corner of the United States are encouraged to join us in Ethiopia to make change happen."

Somali insurgents kill 2 Woyannes - Reuters » Ethiopian Review

Somali insurgents kill 2 Ethiopian - Reuters » Ethiopian Review: "BAIDOA, Somalia, Feb 20 (Reuters) - Somali insurgents killed two Ethiopian soldiers in the southern town of Baidoa on Wednesday, residents said.
Baidoa is the seat of Somalia's parliament. Businesses in the centre halted as dozens of government soldiers, who are backed by the Ethiopian military, began searching pedestrians, vehicles and shops for weapons." Somalia: Government Forces Lose Key Positions in Heavy Battle (Page 1 of 1) Somalia: Government Forces Lose Key Positions in Heavy Battle (Page 1 of 1): "A heavy fighting, which is believed to be one of the deadliest in Somalia's capital, stunned the forces of the fledging government forcing them to run away from key junctions in Mogadishu after they were overpowered by insurgents opposing the government.
The fighting raged through Howl wadag and Adan Ade intersections around Bakaraha Market where insurgents staged deadly attack on government forces who were there, according to eyewitnesses and residents in the area."

McClatchy Washington Bureau | 02/19/2008 | McClatchy Baghdad chief wins Polk award for Iraq reporting

McClatchy Washington Bureau | 02/19/2008 | McClatchy Baghdad chief wins Polk award for Iraq reporting: "Leila Fadel, McClatchy's Baghdad bureau chief, won the George R. Polk Award for outstanding foreign reporting and The Charlotte Observer won the Polk Award for outstanding economic reporting, Long Island University announced Tuesday.
Fadel, 26, was cited for her “vivid depictions” of the military and political struggle in Iraq. 'Her work provided a comprehensive array of disturbing, first-hand accounts of violence and conflict by juxtaposing the agonizing plight of families in ethnically torn neighborhoods with the braggadocio of a vengeful insurgent proud of his murderous exploits, and the carnage and sorrow among victims of Iraq’s most deadly car bombing in a remote region of the country where few reporters ventured,' the jurors said."

Mukasey's skillful evasions on torture - - The Washington Times, America's Newspaper

Mukasey's skillful evasions on torture - - The Washington Times, America's Newspaper: "On television, and in the transcript of Attorney General Michael Mukasey's Jan. 30 testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, he certainly showed that he is semantically much more skilful in evading questions than his predecessor, Alberto Gonzales. But Mr. Mukasey also demonstrated that he will not restore the credibility of the Justice Department's commitment to the rule of law — under this administration.

Mr. Mukasey's continued refusal to say whether waterboarding is torture or to conduct a criminal investigation of its use by the CIA is ludicrous in the face of the newly published, heavily documented 849-page 'Torture and Democracy' by Professor Darius Rejali. In this history, including the present practices of torture, written by an internationally recognized expert on the subject, the definition, Mr. Attorney General, is plain: 'Waterboarding is forced…

Serbian convoy enters Kosovo amid fears over partition of new state | World news | The Guardian

Serbian convoy enters Kosovo amid fears over partition of new state | World news | The Guardian: "Up to 1,000 men, some suspected of being members of the Serbian Ministry of Interior police, crossed into northern Kosovo yesterday amid rising fears that minority Serbs living in the new state's north would attempt effectively to partition Kosovo along the Ibar River."

How Never to Withdraw From Iraq - by Tom Engelhardt

How Never to Withdraw From Iraq - by Tom Engelhardt
If you're wondering why in the world this matters – after all, won't the Democrats get us out of Iraq in 2009? – then you haven't come to grips with Bush's greatest magic trick of all. Though a lame-duck president sporting dismally low job-approval ratings, he continues to embed the U.S. in Iraq, while framing the issue of what to do there in such a way that any thought of a quick withdrawal has… Poof!… fled the scene.

Admittedly, somewhere between 57 percent and 64 percent of Americans, according to Rasmussen Reports, want all U.S. troops out of Iraq within a year. We're not talking here about just the "combat troops" which both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama seem prepared to withdraw at a relatively stately pace. (Obama has suggested a 16-month schedule for removing them; Clinton has only indicated that she would start withdrawing some of them within 60 days of coming into office.) Combat troops, howe…

War Made Easy

War Made Easy: "War Made Easy exposes a 50-year pattern of government deception and media spin that has dragged the United States into one war after another from Vietnam to Iraq. Narrated by actor and activist Sean Penn, the film exhumes remarkable archival footage of official distortion and exaggeration from LBJ to George W. Bush, revealing in stunning detail how the American news media have uncritically disseminated the pro-war messages of successive presidential administrations."

( 1 hour video, posted February 16, 2008)

Think Progress » Bush Dismisses Iraq Recession: The War Has ‘Nothing To Do With The Economy’

Think Progress » Bush Dismisses Iraq Recession: The War Has ‘Nothing To Do With The Economy’: "This morning on NBC’s Today Show, President Bush denied that the there’s any link between the faltering U.S. economy and $10 billion a month being spent on the Iraq war. In fact, according to Bush, the war is actually helping the economy:

CURRY: You don’t agree with that? It has nothing do with the economy, the war — spending on the war?

BUSH: I don’t think so. I think actually the spending in the war might help with jobs…because we’re buying equipment, and people are working. I think this economy is down because we built too many houses and the economy’s adjusting."