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EditorBlog (1573)

MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

At the time of 9/11, BuzzFlash was one of the extremely few major progressive websites on the Internet.

In the months and years following the suicidal hijacking attacks on the Twin Towers, BuzzFlash relentlessly exposed the negligence of the Bush administration in preventing the massacre from happening. (This is not to be confused with the 9/11 conspiracy movement, not at all.)

One of the biggest smoking guns was that Bush had received a CIA briefing while he was in Texas on vacation (in August of 2001), as currently recounted in a Salon article about a recent document dump:

Many of the documents publicize for the first time what was first made clear in the 9/11 Commission: The White House received a truly remarkable amount of warnings that al-Qaida was trying to attack the United States. From June to September 2001, a full seven CIA Senior Intelligence Briefs detailed that attacks were imminent, an incredible amount of information from one intelligence agency. One from June called "Bin-Ladin and Associates Making Near-Term Threats" writes that "[redacted] expects Usama Bin Laden to launch multiple attacks over the coming days."

MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

Before author Joe McGinnis briefly was in the news for moving next to Sarah Palin's house in Alaska and writing a tawdry book on her called "The Rogue," he became famous for infiltrating the 1968 Nixon campaign decades ago and authoring the seminal "The Selling of the President."

McGinnis's 1968 book was all about how Madison Avenue was used to re-manufacture "Tricky Dick" Nixon into the "new" Nixon. In short, it was the beginning of the television makeover that has marked US politics ever since. In charge of Nixon's TV operations was a man who cut his chops as executive producer (now the evil FOX Wizard of OZ) of the Mike Douglas Show: Roger Ailes.

So the Washington Post today touts a story which is so full of fluff, it makes cotton candy look like a nutritious meal. The e-mail teaser for the story is "Is Mitt Romney loosening up?" The story itself is headlined, "Mitt Romney receives newfound enthusiasm from Republicans." Now that could be an accurate assessment, if it weren't for the purely anecdotal and cliched structure of the story.

MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

In a recent Truthout interview, the producer of "Precious Knowledge" -- Eren Isabel McGinnis -- the insightful and intellectually vibrant film on the suppression of a Mexican-American high school curriculum in Tucson, had this to say:

Tucson, Arizona was a part of Mexico not so long ago. All this hateful rhetoric to 'go back to where you come from!' does not work so well in Tucson since a lot of people are exactly where they came from and do not have anyplace to go back to.

Without getting too far into the details, most of the area now known as the State of Texas, not to mention Arizona, California and the Southwest were originally part of the Spanish colonial settlement. Texas became a part of Mexico during the Mexican War of Independence in 1821. It wasn't until 1848, that Mexico, under US pressure, ceded California, Arizona, Utah, Nevada and parts of Colorado, New Mexico, and Wyoming to the US. Texas had become an independent nation for a short time and then joined the United States, with Mexico also giving up all rights to its Texas land in what was called the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.

MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

It might appear to be an outlandish thesis to claim that national leaders in government and other fields, who arrived at their positions due to an age of meritocracy, could actually prolong inequality in the United States, but Chris Hayes (of MSNBC and The Nation) makes a provocative and persuasive case that this is exactly what is happening.

MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

As Dan Froomkin points out, the White House has - through the Department of Justice - been legally prosecuting "leakers." Froomkin correctly argues that this puts a damper on investigative reporting and is chilling to an open, informed democracy.

But the most recent leaks that Attorney General Holder is looking into - the use of drones to assassinate people, as decided by President Obama, and the sabotage of the Iranian nuclear program with the Stuxnet virus - are most likely information strategically released by the White House itself.

Although BuzzFlash at Truthout cannot prove that is the case, it is unlikely that the detailed New York Times story on President Obama reviewing a kill list every Tuesday was possible without the knowledge of the White House. Why would the Obama administration want wide ranging media exposure of his approval of killing people with drones? Quite simply, it is good politically for Obama to be seen as a guy who isn't timid about knocking "enemies" off.

David Axelrod and the White House campaign must be overjoyed with the type of diagonal header that appeared on the latest Newsweek cover, "How Obama Learned to Kill," just overhead a photo of Queen Elizabeth, the "Jubilee Gal." As for the Stuxnet "leak," it helps portray the administration as being tough on Iran at a time that Romney and the Republicans are rattling the sabers.

MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

At one time when anyone talked about how the attendees at Bilberberg conferences were creating a new world financial order, I thought that they were wearing a tin hat and getting transmissions from Mars.  And I still think Lyndon LaRouche is some sort of political zombie, whose followers have entered a twilight zone.

However, given that The Huffington Post (HP) has just revealed a leaked memo that President Obama is negotiating granting governmental powers that supersede sovereignty to international corporations, it might just be time to stock up on tin foil.  It's not new that the super-trade agreements such as NAFTA prohibit states and local entities from suing foreign companies in certain circumstances.

What is news is that the Obama administration is backing an international court that would have the right to override national laws in favor of corporations.  The implications are staggering for the environment, financial oversight and unions, according to the Huffington Post.Even life-saving medicine could be monopolized and raised to a level that would make some vital medications unaffordable to all but those with wealth or top insurance policies. According to The HP, the Obama administration has been pursuing:

MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

Did you know that in the recall election, Scott Walker won the 10 poorest counties in Wisconsin? According to the director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign (as quoted in a Truthout analysis), these voters "used to be reliably Democratic." And Walker carried these destitute counties by 13 percent.

There's something wrong with this picture, isn't there?

As BuzzFlash at Truthout noted in a recent commentary, "the democrats must begin advocating for the working class and not Wall Street."

Although BuzzFlash attributed much of the Tea Party surge awhile back to racism kindled by the propaganda of the Koch brothers' Americans for Prosperity and kindred 1% anti-government dissemination mills, there was probably a more significant issue at work in the June 5 recall election and these poverty-stricken counties in Wisconsin.

The national Democratic Party, and candidates such as Tom Barrett (running for governor of Wisconsin against Walker), appear incapable of reaching out to the working class and the white working poor -- and making government relevant to them, not to mention creating programs that provide them with jobs, good education, and the means for advancement.

MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

Maybe nationhood is a vestige of the old world order, exhibiting itself best in the cheering on of one's country in the Olympics, individual languages, and cultural cuisine.

The financial rule of the world has moved elsewhere to the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Davos, Bilderberg, etc. The world is being carved up by the global elites into trade and low-wage manufacturing zones that benefit the wealthiest of the earth.

ROSS MITTIGA FOR BUFFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

A Washington Post article illustrated some of the recent rhetorical back-and-forth between the President and Congress over the soon-to-be-doubled interest rates on subsidized student loans. Obama's halfhearted rebuke-"My message to Congress is: Let's get to work"-of Congress' utter inaction, demonstrates that both he and his legislative counterparts severely underestimate the importance of courting the youth vote.

As Obama weakly chides Congress for their lack of effort in addressing the student loan situation, it's apparent that both he and his rebuked legislative counterparts severely underestimate the importance of courting the youth vote. At a time when French-Canadian and Mexican students are coming out in in historic numbers to influence public deliberation and policy, officials should be leery of disturbing the "sleeping giant" that is the American youth demographic (a group that now officially outnumbers baby boomers).

MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

With the continued erosion of civil liberties that began in the Bush years and has expanded in the Obama administration, it was hopeful that a federal judge struck down one of the most chilling laws in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA): the right of the government to suspend habeas corpus and indefinitely detain US citizens under military authority.

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