Guest Commentary (4974)
SHAMUS COOKE FOR BUZZFLASH
States everywhere across the United States are facing the common enemy of extreme budget deficits. Many states have deficits in the multi-billion dollar realm, as the budget crises dominate the debates for the upcoming gubernatorial elections. In these debates, Republican and Democratic candidates are finding it difficult to disagree on the most essential issues around the budget crises. The most crucial question for any incoming governor must be: how will you resolve the state's budget crisis? The answer from both parties is a resounding: "Public workers and those who depend on their services will pay for the crisis"!
Take for instance California, where "friend of labor" Democrat Jerry Brown is running for Governor. The union leaders who endorsed Brown are having difficulty promoting him to their membership, since Brown has been bragging about his anti-union credentials, as reported by the San Francisco Chronicle: "Jerry Brown said Friday that if elected governor he would have to "do things that labor doesn't like," including cutting pension benefits for public employees and asking labor leaders to "put everything on the table" to get California's bloated budget under control."
In speaking about cutbacks to public workers, Brown said: "If you're looking for frugality, I'm your man... I vetoed the pay raises for the state employees not once, but twice..." (September 3, 2010). These are his credentials for handling the budget crisis.
Even with his blatant anti-union perspective, Brown is being promoted as a "lesser of two evils," since his Republican opponent is a billionaire who is more honest in her anti-public worker comments.
In Oregon, the exact same dynamic is at play: a multi-billion dollar budget deficit with both political parties aiming their sights on public workers. The union-backed Democratic candidate, John Kitzhaber, has been in a war of words with his Republican opponent over who can most effectively take from public employees. The Oregonian reports: "Kitzhaber promised to be plenty tough in [contract] negotiations [with public employee unions], noting that state employees went on strike during his first term in office. But he said only he has the necessary trust of union leaders to lead successful cost-saving negotiations [cutting wages and benefits] next year." (September 18, 2010).
TONY PEYSER FOR BUZZFLASH
Will this help more Democrats vote in November?
That's a worthy thing to try.
But the hidden agenda behind this demonstration
Is to make Glenn Beck cry.
In addition to Verse-Case Scenario, Tony Peyser writes about California politics with PeyserPoem, a daily feature at KPCC's news-driven page on Facebook called The Freeway.
BARBARA'S BUZZ FROM ATLANTA
Memo to Karl Rove; Sarah Palin has declared "war" and she may call on her "prayer warriors" to help in her endeavor to send you off! "Sarah Palin Tells Karl Rove Where To Go..." She believes her popularity with the Tea-baggers has made her spokesman or should I say spokeswoman for the entire Repuglican Party. To the Repuglican establishment, she is taking over and you can kiss your political efforts good-bye! You can thank John McCain for releasing the Witch from Wasilla on the world.
Christine O'Donnell proving she's more like Sarah Palin than anyone thought---First there was that O'Donnell, "I dabbled in witchcraft" thing, And "HERE is Sarah Palin being exorcised at her church in Wasilla by a Kenyan evangelist during 2005, the year before she was elected Governor of Alaska." Then there was that "quitter" thing, Palin quit in the middle of her term as Governor of Alaska, and "O'Donnell Cancels Sunday Morning Show Appearances At Last Minute" which goes to prove Palin and O'Donnell are two peas in a pod, or is it two bags in a cup, or maybe it's two witches in a coven. Whichever, it shows neither one of them is good for America.
Look out America, Jim DeMint, or as I prefer to call him, Senator DeMented has a plan to take America back to "18th Century Britain"! In an effort to sound sane, he used the phrase "common sense" on CNN's State of the Union Sunday morning. He is trying to hypnotize the American people into thinking he is a reasonable man with their interests at heart, when actually "balancing the budget" for Repuglicans and the GOP Tea-Baggers means eliminating the newest endeavor providing Healthcare, eliminating Social Security, eliminating Medicare, eliminating Public Schools, eliminating EPA and FDA and if you don't look out the next thing the racist Repuglicans will try to eliminate is the Civil Rights Act. I would ask Senator DeMented, is it "common sense" to take guns to a political rally, putting innocent people at risk, is it common sense to lie about the President of the United States of America for political purposes, does anyone in the Repuglican Party have common sense? Do you think the public is so stupid as to believe your pschological advertisment, do you think we'll believe your subterfuge, your right wing malarkey?
BILL BERKOWITZ FOR BUZZFLASH
'Numerous reports alleged that harems of young boys were cloistered for 'bacha baazi' (boy-play) for sexual and social entertainment; although credible statistics were difficult to acquire, as the subject was a source of shame and 'dancing boys' was a widespread culturally sanctioned form of male rape,' the State Department's '2009 Human Rights report: Afghanistan' pointed out.
Over the past several years the Catholic Church, both in the U.S. and Europe, has been confronted with, and forced to respond to, allegations of sexual molestation and other inappropriate behavior towards children by Priests. The behavior of some of the Church's Priests was horrific, and the cover-up by Catholic Church hierarchy has proven to be even more widespread than originally thought, reaching as far as the Vatican. It appears, however, that the Catholic Church has not cornered the market on pedophilia. The rape of young boys by older men appears to be an acceptable way of life in parts of Afghanistan.
Before the October 2001 U.S. bombing of Afghanistan began, most Americans probably knew very little about the country. Although we now know much more, nevertheless, a recent report from the Human Terrain Team (HTT) AF-6 about rampant pedophilia in Afghanistan caught me by surprise. The unclassified report is titled "Pashtun Sexuality" .
I first heard about this report, and the participation of AnnaMaria Cardinalli, late last month in a piece titled "Afghanistan's dirty secret: pedophilia" by Joel Brinkley in the San Francisco Chronicle. According to Brinkley, a professor of journalism at Stanford University and a former Pulitzer Prize-winning foreign correspondent for the New York Times, "For centuries, Afghan men have taken boys, roughly 9 to 15 years old, as lovers. Some research suggests that half the Pashtun tribal members in Kandahar and other southern towns are bacha baz, the term for an older man with a 'boy lover.'"
MARC PERKEL FOR BUZZFLASH
The Liberal elitists intellectuals are trying to make a "big deal" over the Bill Maher interview of Delaware Tea Party candidate for Senate Christine O'Donnell practicing witchcraft. She just dabbled into witchcraft. She never joined a coven!
You see as they say, the Devil is in the details. "One of her first dates", she says, "was on a satanic altar." She went to a movie and then "had a little midnight picnic on a satanic altar." But you can't blame her. Can't we all just admit that all of us at one time or the other have taken a girl to the movies and ended up at the end of the evening having a little midnight picnic on a satanic altar? It's high school! It just happens! There was just a little blood there, and she didn't join a coven so it does count.
But that's not who she is now. Now she's fighting to stop scientists from using stem cells to create human-mouse hybrids. "They are doing that here in the United States," O'Donnell says. "American scientific companies are cross-breeding humans and animals and coming up with mice with fully functioning human brains."
Besides, we all know what happens on a satanic altar stays on a satanic altar. That shouldn't make a difference when electing her as United States Senator so she can stop the mice with human brains from taking over the Republican Party!
JACQUELINE MARCUS AT BUZZFLASH
Doubts about the toxic impact of the BP Gulf catastrophe?
There's a reason why this shocking photo of dead fish, crabs and eels has been deliberately ignored by the corporate networks: We are an oil country; i.e. a country that is Of, By, and For Big Oil. This picture is way too incriminating for BP. It must be buried, ignored, censored.
There is no democracy when it comes to corporate oil crimes. Big Oil runs the show. They dictate the orders to the media and to the government. BP has dumped millions of dollars into the corporate networks for advertisement. Predictably, those ads serve two important functions for BP: 1) to persuade the public that BP is a good company, and 2) media protection from critical reports like this photo of the Gulf's endless black sea of dead fish.
If you don't believe that BP killed everything in the Gulf-here's your proof. But don't expect to see this picture or any report on it in the networks or in the press. They've been bought off by BP.
This picture was shown for a brief moment at (Yahoo! News The Upshot 09-14-10), with a condition of speculating on why or how a massive amount of fish could have died? Gee, does anyone have any clues? It wouldn't have something to do with BP's five or more million barrels of poisonous crude oil and tons of toxic dispersants, would it?
PETER G. COHEN FOR BUZZFLASH/TRUTHOUT
The United States is now installing a missile shield from Northern Poland through the Mediterranean and Black Sea to Asia and Japan. The nations and warships involved are near to or bordering on Russia and China, though the stated intent is to protect our allies from the missiles of Iran and North Korea.
While the ability of this shield to stop incoming missiles is questionable, our nation is making the political arrangements and the installations now.
Because the various versions of the missile shield systems are still in the developmental stage, they will require continuous upgrading and improvements. As a result, we are entering a phase of continuous spending on this Eurasian shield, while here at home we are cutting back on education, libraries, infrastructure, fire stations, etc. In other words, we are investing in the partial defense of other nations while our children and our national future are neglected.
This is not a partisan issue. Both major parties have participated in funding the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) -- in spite of its questionable value.
While our President has received a Nobel Peace Prize for his good words on abolishing nuclear weapons and progress on reducing our wars in South Asia, he is, at the same time, extending our involvement with foreign nations, placing our troops in critical situations, and stimulating an arms race with Russia and China.
WILL DURST FOR BUZZFLASH
Man oh man, I’m mad. I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore. Take what? I don’t know. And that makes me mad too. Angry. Riled up. Cranky. Irate. Livid. Bellicose. Splenetic. Which has something to do with the spleen. Think it involves leakage. Whatever it is, it can’t be good and I got it.
I’m mad at everything and everybody, but especially at career politicians. Not to mention career pediatricians. From now on, one of my kids gets sick, I’m taking them to see some incensed old coot straight off the street carrying a misspelled sign. Experience is way overrated. Why can’t US Senator be an entry- level position?
I’m mad about paying taxes. Because I don’t like paying taxes. I’m tired of my hard earned money wasted on silly things like roads and air traffic controllers and paramedics and pipeline inspectors. And flossing. I hate that too. Who needs teeth? Members of the lamestream media elite, that’s who. So they can lie through them. Those guys I’m mad at because they keep running stories about me being mad.
I’m mad at the government’s nit picking rules. Let corporations regulate themselves. They know what they’re doing. I’m mad because I have to work two jobs just to get by and I’m mad rich people don’t get more tax cuts. I’m mad about all the jobs that went overseas and I’m mad at unions demanding a living wage. I’m mad my life isn’t better than my parents’ and I’m mad I can’t have everything now and force my children to pay for it. And knowing I’m confused just fuels my maddening.
STEVE PIZZO FOR BUZZFLASH
One of the (many) mistakes attributed to George W. Bush was that he never asked average Americans to sacrifice anything for their country in the “War on Terror," but rather to “just go shopping.”
Well, the GOP decided not to make that mistake again. This time it’s the war on terror of taxes they are fixing to fight, and they want average Americans on board and on the hook. Well, it might not be so much current average Americans on the hook, but rather their kids and grandkids, who will get the bill for it.
In a nutshell their argument goes like this: The top 1% or so of American earners, whose net worth soared over the past decade, and who now have excess dough stacked up like cordwood will blackmail us. They don’t even waste time any longer trying to convince us that, if we let them to keep yet more money they will let some of it “trickle down” to us. Instead they now just cut right to the chase with direct threats: raise their taxes and they will cut us off -- they will stop spending and the economy for the rest of us will get even worse. “One move to tax us one dime more and the economy gets it.”
BARBARA'S BUZZ FROM ATLANTA
Regarding the "financial regulatory overhaul...Representative John A. Boehner of Ohio and other Republican leaders summoned more than 100 industry lobbyists and conservative political activists to Capitol Hill for a private strategy session...Mr. Boehner and his deputies told the Wall Street lobbyists and trade association leaders that by teaming up, they could still perhaps block its final passage or at least water it down." And you thought they worked for you---think again---Repuglicans only take care of those with the most money. Repuglican bosses are industry lobbyists and very very very rich conservative political activists.
How to buy a verdict thanks to the conservative opinion of Democracy! The black-robed conservative Supreme 5 made sure money can buy everything for conservatives and for corporations, including voice, votes, and verdicts! "Supreme Court: Corporations Can Buy Judges...The Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision allows businesses to make unlimited political contributions to judges and politicians. When judges are elected, the need for these contributions inherently turns judges into politicians. Sympathetic judges are corrupt businesses’ most valuable allies. Corporations and their senior officials can commit civil or criminal wrongs with impunity if their case is assigned to a friendly judge." Justice is no longer blind, it now has a conservative price tag and it can be bought!
When Newt Gingrich hasn't got anything left, he makes up lies to stoke fear and loathing. Gingrich is ethically and substantially an empty suit. The way he treated his past wives is a clue as to his lack of moral character. His is to use and abuse, he'll do whatever it takes in his endless pursuit of political ambition. Newt Gingrich is not credible, he is a has been looking for a re-run.
BILL BERKOWITZ FOR BUZZFLASH
'Chatter' about a 'truce' in the abortion wars appears to be a 'concerted effort emanating from establishment Republicans anxious to win over/hold on to independents heading into the 2010 and 2012 elections,' says anti-abortion activist Jill Stanek.
Over the past few months there have been several breaches in the conservative movement’s ideological firmament. When Ann Coulter accepted an invitation by GOProud to speak at its HOMOCON 2010 gala, several Christian conservatives lashed out at her. When Glenn Beck declared that same-sex marriage wasn’t a burning issue for him, and “The View’s” Elisabeth Hasselbeck came out in support of same-sex marriage, both were lambasted by the Christian right. When Ken Mehlman, who served as the campaign manager for the 2004 re-election campaign of George W. Bush and Chairman of the Republican National Committee from 2005 to 2007, finally came out of the closet in late August and announced that he was would work with a pro-gay organization, conservatives jumped all over him. And, the controversy over the building of the Islamic Community Center two blocks from Ground Zero has set conservative, inhabiting different sides of the debate, against each other.
Now, with the electoral successes of the Tea Party Movement mounting up, another issue has come to the forefront; abortion.
The question being debated within the conservative movement is whether or not the issue should be highlighted, or even discussed, during the run-up to November mid-term elections. Some longtime GOP politicians and Tea Party activists think the issue should be put on the back burner and the focus should be on the economy. Anti-abortion activists are arguing that raising the issue is a winning strategy.
One of the ironies embedded in this debate is that at least five Republican Party/Tea Party-backed candidates for Senate – Nevada’s Sharron Angle, Kentucky’s Rand Paul, Delaware’s Christine O’Donnell, Colorado’s Ken Buck, and Alaska’s Joe Miller -- are opposed to abortion under any circumstances, including rape and incest.
Democrats should be aware, however, that regardless of how the internecine debates and struggles within the GOP/Tea Party over the primacy of social issues in this year’s campaign turns out, unlike years past, there is no indication that social conservatives are threatening to stay home this Fall.
James Bopp Jr., a Republican National Committee member from Indiana and a founder of the RNC’s Conservative Caucus, recently said that "Any campaign should address the issues that are of most concern to the voters now and which are most likely to lead to success." Bopp added that "Economic and fiscal issues are the most pressing now, so it is appropriate that they are in the forefront of Republican candidates' issues."
MARC PERKEL FOR BUZZFLASH
I'm confused about where the new tea Party stands on sexual issues. On one hand Tea Party backed Republican candidate for Governor of New York, Carl Paladino, sent a pornographic email with a video of a woman having sex with a horse. On the other hand Tea Party backed Republican candidate for Senator of Delaware, Christine O'Donnell, has taken the opposite position. She believes that masturbation is adultery and she is against stem cell research because "American scientific companies are cross-breeding humans and animals".
So on one hand Carl is distributing porn so that his friends can masturbate to women having sex with horses, which also raises the question of what his position is on cross breeding between humans and animals. On the other hand Christine believes masturbation is wrong especially when a horse is trying to crossbreed with a human woman. So as a voter I don't understand what the Tea Party is for or against.
Whatever the Tea Party stands for the Republican voters seem to like these two candidates so much that both won their elections last Tuesday against more traditional Republicans who seem to be losing to these nutcases. I don't understand these Republicans but I can tell you that I wouldn't let them anywhere near my pets or farm animals and I sure wouldn't elect them to public office. I think I'd rather focus on who is going to reverse the damage done to America by the Bush administration.
BILL BERKOWITZ FOR BUZZFLASH
These are good times for Gingrich who is in demand as a speaker, recently produced an anti-Islam film with his third wife, has taken to religion and is palling around with some of the more extremist Christian conservatives in the country, and is raking in the dough through his American Solutions for Winning the Future.
He’s everything you might think he is and more; venal, vile and occasionally vulnerable. He has voracious appetite for political power, rhetorical flourishes and for wanting to be thought of as the smartest guy in the room. He’s become more “religious” as time passes, embracing, and in turn being embraced by, some of the more hard-line Christian conservatives in the country. He’s got a lot of money at his beck and call. And, he’s running for president of the United States in 2012; maybe!
Ultimately, "That's up to God and the American people," he recently told Esquire magazine’s John H. Richardson.
He’s Newt Gingrich and despite the ever-apparent smugness that has made him one of the most unpopular politicians in the American public’s minds eye, never-the-less he is ever in demand.
In the wide-ranging Esquire profile titled “Newt Gingrich: The Indispensable Republican," Gingrich, the disgraced former Speaker of the House, author, lecturer, filmmaker, Fox News Channel political commentator, is captured traipsing around the country gathering chits for 2012; speaking wherever (meetings, rallies) and to whomever (GOP/Tea Party supporters). In part what makes Gingrich a potentially viable presidential candidate is that he has become the master of his own domain; garnering big money in support of a series of Gingrich-inspired initiatives and websites.
One of the most formidable of these fund-raising jackpots is called American Solutions for Winning the Future, or American Solutions for short. On its website, the organization describes itself as “a tri-partisan citizen action network of over 1.5 Million members. Our goal is to create the next generation of solutions that will ensure that the United States remains the safest, freest, and most prosperous country in the world.”
Then, there’s Gingrich Productions, which recently released a new film called “America at Risk,” which is hosted by Gingrich and Calista Gingrich, the young congressional aide who became his third wife. A two-minute promo for the film is available at You Tube, where nearly 28, 000 views have been recorded. While that number doesn’t indicate a Gingrich Productions’ blockbuster, another Gingrich You Tube video, titled “Gingrich: I’m Deeply Worried” – an excerpt from a Gingrich appearance at the National Press Club -- has been viewed nearly 1.8 million times.
TONY PEYSER FOR BUZZFLASH
Even before the morning after,
This is already a bad dream; it's
Unwise in general elections to get
In touch with your inner extremist.