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Archive for August 17th, 2008

Obama Crushes McCain in July Fundraising

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 17th, 2008 4:41 am by HL

Obama Crushes McCain in July Fundraising
Sen. Barack Obama raised more than $51 million in July, the AP reports. His campaign began August with $65.8 million on hand and has had more than 2 million donors.

In contrast, Sen. John McCain raised $27 million in July and had just $21.4 million in cash on hand. He has had approximately 600,000 donors.

Quote of the Day
“Bullying and intimidation are not acceptable ways to conduct foreign policy in the 21st century.”

— President Bush, quoted by the Associated Press.


Georgia Crushed, US Humiliated, NATO and Europe Split: It Was a Good Week for McCain

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 17th, 2008 4:40 am by HL

Georgia Crushed, US Humiliated, NATO and Europe Split: It Was a Good Week for McCain
If you were the loudest, most belligerent shoot from the hip advocate of a foreign policy that had just ended in disaster after everyone followed your advice, do you think the media would be proclaiming that you had a “very good week”? Well, yes, if you’re John McCain and the media were as mindless as our MSM.

If you were the loudest, most belligerent shoot from the hip advocate of a foreign policy that had just ended in disaster for the US, NATO, Europe and Georgia after everyone followed your policy advice, do you think the media would be proclaiming that you had a “very good week”?

Well, yes, if you’re John McCain and the media were as mindless as our MSM.

This searing must-read article by the Guardian’s Ian Traynor decribes the devastation to US, NATO and European security interests wrought by this week’s little war. But our Beltway media seem to view this as a spectator sport, opining that what is clearly another US foreign policy calamity is good for Repubicans and McCain. In which bizarre universe?

This is what our unthinking MSM, starting with Ruth Marcus and Rich Lowry on last night’s PBS News Hour (but you could have heard the same absurdities from Michael O’Hanlon and Robert Kagan on CNN, or others on any channel), defines as a “very good week” for McCain:

— McCain’s good friend and our supposed ally in Georgia sent its US-armed and trained troops into South Ossetia (which never wanted to be part of Georgia), destroying it’s capital, killing many and forcing thousands of Ossetians to flee into Russia, while provoking/excusing a massive counter invasion into Georgia by Russian forces.

— Provocative calls by McCain for the US to support and identify with Georgia’s actions – “we are all Georgians” — constituted repeated, direct interference in the conduct of American foreign policy, complicating efforts to obtain a cease fire and the removal of invading troops.

— Bush’s and McCain’s overblown rhetoric may have created unrealistic expectations of US help, despite the fact the US never had any intention of rescuing Georgia.

— The Russians now occupy strategic points in Georgia and move at will, intimidating Georgian towns and pressuring its elected leaders to abdicate.

— The US Secretary of State was forced to impose on Georgia’s President a “cease fire” agreement that, while calling for eventual withdrawal, also allows the Russians to continue security operations inside Georgia.

— Hundreds of millions of dollars in US military aid to George have now been seized or destroyed by the Russians, and the Russians aren’t leaving until they’re finished.

— US policies to encourage an independent country on Russia’s borders, to include Georgia in NATO and to extend NATO to other nations surrounding Russia are now in shambles.

— US policy to engage Russian cooperation regarding European economic and energy security is now in shambles; Europeans are much more vulnerable to Russian control of energy supplies than before because of potential Russian control of major pipelines through Georgia.

— US policy to enlist Russian cooperation in preventing Iranian nuclear proliferation is now in shambles.

— US policy to secure loose nuclear materials in Russia is now threatened.

— US-Russian relations have deteriorated to their worst point in two decades, reminiscent of the Cold War.

— By following the policies advocated by Bush/McCain, the US has been exposed as a reckless, toothless tiger, with it’s forces bogged down in disastrous wars elsewhere.

— The US has shown itself willing to allow an undisciplined ally to provoke Russia but unable to protect them when Russia reacts in a predictable fashion. As a result, US prestige and influence, as well as claims that it acts responsibly, have suffered yet another serious setback.

How is it possible that America’s media elite can confuse a series of unmitigated disasters with a “good week” for anyone in America, let alone for a Presidential candidate whose rhetoric and policies helped foster and exacerbate the conditions that led to these disasters?

How is it possible for reporters and pundits who view the world in this down is up, night is day, catastrophic failure = “a good week” to be allowed on national television?

Is it too much to ask that our media invite clear-headed analysts who can explain that US and European interests and policies just suffered a disastrous week whose adverse consequences could be felt for years? Then we can ask them whose policies are responsible rather than whose candidacy is helped by juvenile reporting.


Evening Thread

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 17th, 2008 4:39 am by HL

Evening Thread
I understand Brett Favre is demanding a gold medal.


America Watches the War in Georgia with Dumb Goggles

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 17th, 2008 4:38 am by HL

America Watches the War in Georgia with Dumb Goggles
The war between Russia and Georgia has been framed as a tale of David versus Goliath. But it’s far more complex than this, morally and historically.


McCain Campaign Attacks Obama For … Taking His Shirt Off On A Beach

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 17th, 2008 4:37 am by HL

McCain Campaign Attacks Obama For … Taking His Shirt Off On A Beach
This, just blasted to reporters by the McCain campaign, has to be one of the oddest attacks ever: You know you may just be a global celebrity when you get this headline in Reuters, “Obama Takes Shirt Off Again, Goes…


Behind The Scenes, Scheunemann Shilled For Georgia

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 17th, 2008 4:36 am by HL

Behind The Scenes, Scheunemann Shilled For Georgia
There’s been a lot of talk this week about how Randy Scheunemann, John McCain’s top foreign policy adviser, spent years as a lobbyist for the Georgia government. So let’s take a look at what Scheuneman was actually doing in that…


The LiberalOasis Radio Show: Literary Edition

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 17th, 2008 4:35 am by HL

The LiberalOasis Radio Show: Literary Edition

Today at 10 AM ET, The LiberalOasis Radio Show was broadcast on WHMP-AM in Western MA. My special guest was Aleksandar “Sasha” Hemon, author of the critically-acclaimed novel “The Lazarus Project.” He discussed bridging the gap between the artistic and activist communities, as well as provided insight into the Russia-Georgia conflict.

The audio podcast for the show is here: (iTunes / XML feed / MP3).

Video of the opening monologue will be posted later today…

UPDATE Video of the opening monologue below, about the liberal response to the Russia-Georgia conflict, and about the Health Care for America Now call-in campaign Which Side Are You On?

Part 1

Part 2


No immunity for Musharraf

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 17th, 2008 4:34 am by HL

No immunity for Musharraf
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan– Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf’s chances of avoiding impeachment appeared to dim today as a key ruling party held firm against any deal that would protect him from criminal charges and he gave no public indication of resigning. Advertisement The country’s foreign minister said Musharraf needs to make up his mind in two days.


McCain in Jan. 2002: ?Next up, Baghdad!?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 17th, 2008 4:32 am by HL

McCain in Jan. 2002: ?Next up, Baghdad!?
The New York Times runs a lengthy article today on how the 9/11 attacks contributed to Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) foreign policy, particulary his aggression towards Iraq. “A terrorist resides in Baghdad,” he said in Feb. 2002, adding, “A day of reckoning is approaching”: Within a month he made clear his priority. “Very obviously Iraq is […]

The New York Times runs a lengthy article today on how the 9/11 attacks contributed to Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) foreign policy, particulary his aggression towards Iraq. “A terrorist resides in Baghdad,” he said in Feb. 2002, adding, “A day of reckoning is approaching”:

Within a month he made clear his priority. “Very obviously Iraq is the first country,” he declared on CNN. By Jan. 2, Mr. McCain was on the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt in the Arabian Sea, yelling to a crowd of sailors and airmen: “Next up, Baghdad!” […]

These networks are well-embedded in some of these countries,” Mr. McCain said on Sept. 12, listing Iraq, Iran and Syria as potential targets of United States pressure.

In written answers to the Times, McCain blamed “Iraq’s opacity under Saddam” for any misleading remarks he made about the threat. Weeks after 9/11, McCain told Larry King that he would have named Donald Rumsfeld and Colin Powell to a McCain cabinet. “Oh, yes, and Cheney,” McCain added, saying he would have offered Dick Cheney the vice presidency.


Key Constituency Is at Play At Candidates’ Faith Forum

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 17th, 2008 4:31 am by HL

Key Constituency Is at Play At Candidates’ Faith Forum
LAKE FOREST, Calif., Aug. 16 — Barack Obama and John McCain made their first joint appearance of the general election Saturday night, breaking away from the debates over national security and the economy that have dominated the campaign in recent weeks to court evangelical voters at an Orange…

Justice Dept. Moves Toward Charges Against Contractors in Iraq Shooting
Federal prosecutors have sent target letters to six Blackwater Worldwide security guards involved in a September shooting that left 17 Iraqi civilians dead, indicating a high likelihood the Justice Department will seek to indict at least some of the men, according to three sources close to the case.