Indeed, creating, recreating, and emphasizing racial identity, especially among elites, currently involves so many contortions that it has descended from the absurd to the outright pernicious-and is becoming a sort of racism itself. One gets the uncomfortable feeling that the perpetuators of the present system-mostly elite whites-find some sort of psychological absolution in such a system that allows them to alleviate guilt without living among poorer people of color, or sending their own children to the “diverse” public schools-two concrete steps that might quickly indeed ensure better neighborhoods and better education for the “other.” In any case, most white elites count on their own connections, wealth, and education, to find exemptions from the unfairness of racial identification. A Ted Kennedy, after all, had affirmative action well before it was based on race.
Unfortunately, unlike a Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell, or Alberto Gonzales, President Obama has embraced identity politics in unprecedented fashion-and we are reaping what he has sown. In these first days of the Sotomayor nomination, we are not discussing Justice Sotomayor’s judicial competence as much as her Latina identification-and the political ramifications of such tribalism.
But then only in these race-conscious times could a Barack Obama have entered the racial labyrinth as a well-educated youth of mixed and foreign ancestry, and middle-class prep school lineage, and exited as a representative totem of the African-American underclass.
By virtue of that metamorphosis it matters not at all that he once subsidized the racial hatred of Rev. Wright’s Church, carelessly tossed out the epithet ‘typical white person’, stereotyped the white working class as ‘clingers,’ had his privileged Attorney General call Americans “cowards” on matters of race, and nominated a candidate for the Supreme Court who, despite all the tortured exegeses of exculpation, declared that white males could not possess the judicial wisdom and temperament of someone of her own race and gender.
You see, in matters of racial politics, we deal now only in fantasies rather than reality.
Dubai, 3 June (AKI) – Al-Qaeda’s North African branch claims to have executed British hostage Edwin Dyer kidnapped in the west Afican nation of Niger in January.A statement posted on an Islamist website, the Al-Qaeda Organisation in the Islamic Maghreb, had warned that Dyer would be killed unless the British government released radical Jordanian cleric Abu Qatada from Britain’s Long Lartin prison.
Abu Qatada, once described as Osama bin Laden’s right hand man in Europe, is fighting an extradition order.
“The British captive was killed so that he, and with him the British state, may taste a tiny portion of what innocent Muslims taste every day at the hands of the Crusader-Zionist coalition to the east and to the west,”said a statement posted by Al-Qaeda on an Islamist website.
Dyer was abducted in Niger on 22 January and later taken to neighbouring Mali.
Reports of his execution prompted British prime minister Gordon Brown to condemn the act, calling it an “appalling and barbaric act of terrorism”.
“We have strong reason to believe that a British citizen, Edwin Dyer, has been murdered by an Al-Qaeda cell in Mali,” said Brown in a statement.
British news channel Sky News reported that Dyer was beheaded.
For example, Olympia Snowe in Maine cares a lot about small business, and so our field in Maine has a large focus on organizing small businesses for health reform.
The states then devise the tactics, whether it be protests, marches, town halls, or in-person meetings, that will move that member of Congress.
(Snowe favors passing quality, affordable health care for all. This is why she does not favor the “public” option, but the fallback “trigger” option. She wants to do this through the private sector, not the public sector.)
I saw your post about the Kennedy Executive Order. Is there any doubt what got him killed? Your post was timely and has been forwarded. I was just talking to someone in the banking industry about this very issue last night. He is a patriot and wanted to know more so this was great. Thank you
Update [2009-6-2 18:40:14 by The BBQ Chicken Madness]:
From the comments, it was requested to explain what the “trigger” option is. Fair enough, and I apologize for not going into it.
Explained by Matthew Yglesias:
“Under this proposal, the public plan would be created only if private insurance companies had not made meaningful, affordable coverage available to all Americans within several years.”
The arguement goes…first, what sort of benchmarks do you set and how to you gauge them (remember, the devil is in the details)? Second, the trigger plan has to assume a public plan would work, which begs the question: why bother with a “trigger” in the first place then? Lastly, and most importantly right now…why compromise like this at all?
Yglesias makes my point. And I agree with this WHOLE statement:
“As far as compromises go, this one doesn’t strike me as too horrible. But a really good compromise balances two legitimate considerations. This is just lopping off half the loaf for no real reason.”
If we had 52 Dems in the Senate, or if reconsilition was an impossibility…then this might be something worth looking at. But there are 59 Democratic Senators, and likely 60 before this bill will hit the floor. There’s NO REASON to put something like this in place. No one will say “Oh, well we have a great public plan…but Democrats passed it without Republicans!” No one will care. This compromise is totally unnecessary given the political landscape.
Outrage? Maybe not. But this is a fight worth getting involved in.
(Again the Kooks fail to mention that the real reason they hate the “trigger” is because they know there’ll be no need to pull it. They want government-run health care.)
Back in the 70’s was the last time I fished salt water. I caught trout about the size of the one in the picture and a yellow fin tuna about the size of the trout you caught. My problem was that I would catch a fish and then feed the fish, catch a fish and feed the fish. Yes, I am a bit prone to motion sickness and watching the ocean swells come at me was more than I could take. I have thus stuck to fresh water, mainly stream fishing ever since. I’ve fished the headwaters of the Yellowstone and many glacial lakes. I like going where others dare not venture. I caught a 26″ Cut-bow at Bridger Lake on a spoon. Did you know that Cutthroats crossed the Continental Divide at 2 Oceans pass? I hiked that pass and nearly got eaten alive by no-see-ems, deer fly and mosquito. We were surrounded by grizzly as well. Wouldn’t recommend going there without a horse. The lake trout are reeking havoc up there. You are required to take it with you if you catch one.
Welcome back btw.
About Sotomayor… I know everyone’s been focusing on the racial comments Sotomayor has made, but I think her rulings on second amendment rights are even more disturbing.
As I understand it, Sotomayor ruled that although the federal govt cannot restrict our right to bear arms, that states can restrict our right to bear arms. With so much attention to her “Latina” statement, the 2nd amendment issue is being ignored entirely.
Also, “A 2004 opinion she joined also cited as precedent that “the right to possess a gun is clearly not a fundamental right.”
“I would have very strong reservations about [a trigger], but I think we have to keep talking,” said Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), a powerful subcommittee chairwoman on the health committee.
Senator Chuck Schumer has insisted that, if anything, “reasonable criteria for triggering a public plan has already been met.”
“Premiums are high,” the New York Democrat said, “and either one or two insurers dominate the market. As we’ve seen with Medicare part D, a trigger option has so far meant no public option at all.”
Indeed, as Schumer notes, there is a trigger in the Medicare part D program and, to this date, the conditions have never been met for a public option for prescription drug coverage.
The standards were set by private market, all but ensuring that they would remain unreachable.
Progressive officials working on health care reform worry that should the same system be put in place for insurance coverage, the same result will occur and public health care will never come to pass.
(Exactly, we don’t need government-run health care. The trigger in the Medicare part D program which never needed to be pulled indicates we can accomplish our goals through the private sector.
Given the choice, do you honestly think Americans would prefer another government-run program? Americans won’t accept the status quo. We can accomplish our health-care goals.)
The Swiss may be successful at their healthcare system (which we are rumored to attempt to model *cough*) BUT! They are providing healthcare for a fraction of our population. That is a (nother) problem, imo.
The kidnapping of dozens of students (later recovered) of a cadet college located in the North Waziristan Agency is another graphic reminder that the good Taliban/bad Taliban distinction is a failed policy, but one which the state continues to pursue.
The three phases of Operation Rah-i-Haq in Swat suggest that when the army scrambles unprepared to deliver a blow to its opponents, the militants are able to repel the state more easily.
There is also the issue of tribal dynamics in the Waziristan agencies, particularly among the Mehsuds.
Baitullah may be the most powerful of the warlords in the area today, but he has many enemies and some potential rivals within the Mehsuds.
They may come forward eventually to fight Baitullah as allies of the state, but that process would take time and would be something that Baitullah clearly would want to head off by picking a fight with the state while it is on the back foot.
Ed claimed he had worked through the night after a source inside the Berg camp told him of an impending request for a gag order by Phil Berg. The rebuttal show included audio clips, video clips, personal opinion and Ed’s own handwriting analysis of Lisa Liberi’s signature.
“The person who is suing all of us is the same person with the criminal record in California. There is no doubt that Lisa Liberi in New Mexico is the Lisa Liberi who claimed she was in PA.”
On Thursday Ed announced that his attorney was about to run an ‘end around’ that would result in the dismissal of the lawsuit and prison terms for the plaintiffs. I, for one, am eagerly awaiting the developments.
why the White House didn’t put out a statement responding to the shooting at a military recruitment center Monday.
Doesn’t that clash a little with their response to the killing of Dr. George Tiller?
…how much Republicans are willing to put on the line to slow Sotomayor’s confirmation process – and whether the White House has active plans to undermine opposition. How big a fight would Obama pick to get Sotomayor confirmed by August, rather than in September?
A public insurance option has become the most contentious aspect of the health care reform debate.
Most Democrats are in favor of setting up a public program similar to Medicare that would be available to those who can’t afford private insurance, as a way to ensure that all Americans would have coverage.
Republicans say a public program would distort the market and drive private insurers out of business.
The U.S. Census Bureau, reflecting what apparently is becoming a political position that involves more than one federal agency, has listed “hate groups,” “law enforcement” “and “anti-immigrant groups” among those that would be refused permission to become a partner with the 2010 Census.
The news comes in a series of documents obtained by Judicial Watch under the Freedom of Information Act about the census operations.
WND previously reported when the Department of Homeland Security released an “extremism” report that warned local law enforcement officers nationwide to watch out for “potential terrorists” including those who:
Oppose same-sex marriage
Oppose restrictions on firearms
Oppose lax immigration laws
Oppose the policies of President Obama regarding immigration, citizenship, and the expansion of social programs
Oppose continuation of free trade agreements
Are suspect of foreign regimes
Fear Communist regimes
Oppose a “one world” government
Bemoan the decline of U.S. stature in the world
Are upset with loss of U.S. manufacturing jobs to China and India, and more
At the time, a lawyer pursuing a lawsuit against Department of Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano over the “extremist” report said he was not reassured by her later promise to “reword” the document.
“She says, ‘Well, we’re going to reword the document – and we’re going to make it more precise,'” Richard Thompson, president of the Thomas More Law Center, told WND. “That’s scary because we know they are still going to maintain some kind of targeting for various people that she’s never apologized to or never retracted [her accusations].”
At issue is the agency’s “Rightwing Extremism” report called “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment.” WND has posted the report online.
(Story continues below)
The report linked returning veterans with the possibility of terrorism and when it was released, created such a furor for Napolitano she has given several explanations for it, including that she would have reworded the report and that it was issued by a rogue employee.
Are you ready for a second Declaration of Independence? Sign the petition promoting true freedom once again!
Thompson said no apology had been offered to most of the members of the various groups on which the government was painting a bull’s-eye.
Now come the documents from the Census Bureau, which said it wants to work with groups that “partnered” with the census in 2000, various other “national organizations” and other groups that “served one of the ‘hard to count’ clusters.”
The Census Bureau identified those groups as “the economically disadvantaged,” “the unattached mobile singles” and “high density areas with ethnic enclaves.”
The list of banned groups was found in an e-mail from Barbara A. Harris, the chief of the agency’s program for partnering with outside groups, to other staff members. She said the “criteria for NOT partnering with a group” included a failure to have worked with the organization in 2000, to be a national organization or other factors
Her note then said “hate groups” were not eligible, nor were “law enforcement, anti-immigrant groups, (or) any groups that might make people fearful of participating in the census.”
“This is the Napolitano memo Part 2,” Judicial Watch chief Tom Fitton told WND.
The documents indicate, “there may be an ideological agenda at work, in a discriminatory effort to keep conservatives away,” he suggested. “What’s a real slander is to suggest that the Fraternal Order of Police may be the equivalent of a hate group.”
The census, he said, should be politically neutral, counting numbers, not political opinions.
“One can be opposed to illegal immigration and you should be able to partner with the government,” he said. “It screams out violations of the First Amendment.”
Census Bureau spokesman Stephen Buckner told WND the list of excluded groups was assembled by Harris, who heads the federal agency’s partnership program.
“Legalize the Constitution” bumper sticker
He admitted the list probably “unfairly” lists law enforcement officers along with anti-immigrant groups. But he said the choice of groups with which to work is important, because there are population groups who, for example, don’t trust law enforcement, or don’t trust members of “anti-immigrant” groups.
“We don’t want to partner with an organization that is blatantly trying to exclude one group (illegal immigrants) for one reason or another,” he said.
Bucker told WND the goal is to count every living person in the United States at the time of the census, and “negative reactions” from members of the groups to be counted should be factored.
However, he declined several opportunities to answer WND questions about the Census Bureau’s partnership with groups such as ACORN, whose members repeatedly have been accused of illegal election activities, and whether there are population groups in the U.S. who would react negatively toward activities by that “partner.”
“All we’ve asked ACORN to do is simply share the word,” he said.
But according to Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, among the 126 pages of documentation obtained from the government is confirmation of the high level of influence that ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, has in the 2010 Census.
Judicial Watch said the documents describe 18 different areas of responsibility that ACORN asked to be given.
The Obama administration has downplayed ACORN’s involvement, saying the organization with which Obama worked earlier in his political career, would be allowed to “recruit” census workers.
But the documents show that ACORN also is an “executive level” partner with the ability to “organize and/or serve as a member on a Complete Count Committee.”
The census documents regarding ACORN also show the organization also signed up to “encourage employees and constituents to complete and mail their questionnaire; identify job candidates and/or distribute and display recruiting materials; appoint a liaison to work with the Census Bureau; provide space for Be Counted sites and/or Questionnaire Assistance Centers, sponsor community events to promote participation in the 2010 Census.”
The documents also show the Census Bureau wants ACORN to teach other organizations about the process, Judicial Watch said.
“Given its history of illegal activity and fraud, ACORN should be nowhere near the 2010 Census,” said Fitton. “And shame on the Obama Commerce Department for continuing to demonize conservatives by lumping together law enforcement and anti-immigration groups with ‘hate groups.’ This discriminatory policy raises First Amendment concerns. Indeed, these documents provide further evidence that the Obama administration is politicizing the 2010 Census.”
U.S. Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, meanwhile, has called for congressional hearings into ACORN’s finances that apparently includes a procedure called a “forensic audit.”
Of note, there are no details here about what form Obama has in mind for his public plan.
Strategies occupy a spectrum — everything
from a single-payer Medicare-type system being pushed by the most liberal members of Congress
to a fallback system that would trigger the option of a public plan only in regions where private plans didn’t meet certain requirements for coverage and cost.
Kennedy, who chairs the Senate health committee, has already indicated that he wants a public plan to be part of his proposal, but Baucus has been more cautious, touting the desire to craft something that Republicans would support.
If nothing else, Obama’s letter is a signal to Baucus that the White House plans to put its full weight behind the public option, and perhaps he should, too.
I joke about being a kook, but it just all fits. The dots connect and one doesn’t even have to try that hard to connect them. I mean, really, it’s not like trying to prove my neighbors have big foot living in the shed and little green men roam their back yard at night. So there most definitely are conspiracies and the web has everyone of us spinning out interest dollars.
I had some expectations about what might be going on before Jesus returns. I would never have guessed that the knitting together of these things would have been so clearly “hidden in plain sight” that I wouldn’t have even been the slightest bit aware of the stealth of the powers and principalities at work. But I can see more clearly than before how we are moving toward the return of Christ. Maybe the knowledge is a Divine tool and that at some point can be used to help non-believers see that God’s Word is truth.
It’s also very humbling and scary to think that we Christians will have to go through it all too. What a challenge we face. We’ve become so acclimated. So accustomed to comfort. I dunno … sorry, just going on, I know.
I share your concerns and faith. You are not “just going on” but rather expressing the observations and feelings that I am encountering more and more every day. The interesting part of this is that the church deceived has substantially contributed to the mess we find ourselves in. The incorporated churches have had their pulpits silenced by the “false-god” government via the bribe of tax exempt status. Our founding fathers intended for the churches to act as a check against the lies of a centralized government. The churches were supposed to be teaching us the Truth, but instead have told us to pay unto Caesar and have failed to petition for redress of grievances. Some have preached complacency/passivity when it comes to all government related issues. They have even bought the lies of the naturalists over the authority of scripture. Prior to the Civil War, church members were all a part of their local well-regulated constitutional state militia units. Today, they don’t even have a clue what that means. The churches were the points of communication and organization for local citizen safety and preparedness. What rang to call people together for an emergency? We must recover and reclaim the responsibilities that we have abdicated. The time of standing by and allowing the usurpers to enslave us is over!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
First is its false idea that the ideas within it represent a huge break with the Bush Administration’s policies with regard to Islam.
Of course they don’t. George Bush said essentially the same things about the war’s non-religous character on many major occasions.
Bush’s allies in the war are Obama’s allies, and Bush’s enemies are Obama’s enemies, because those allies and enemies are opposed to or support the United States, not a particular president.
President Obama’s extraordinary vanity as to the power of his own story should continue to trouble realists across the political spectrum.
None of the ruthless men who guide our greatest enemies care a whit about where the president was born or who is parents were.
They don’t care either about his Muslim ancestors.
They hate America.
They hated America before George Bush became president and they will hate it after Barack Obama leaves office.
The second biggest objection is to the paragraphs devoted to Israel, which began with incomplete history and theory, and then veered off into the worst sort of moral equivalence:
This last paragraph is a profound betrayal of Israel suggesting as it does that Israel has done to the Palestinians what the Nazis did to Jews, which will no doubt shock many Americans and of course many Israelis while becoming a standard text for the most radical among the Palestinians.
It was clearly carefully crafted to indulge Palestinian and Arab narratives about what has happened in the past 61 years while maintaining plausible deniability for the president’s supporters who are also supporters of Israel, but it fails to fool anyone for even a moment.
Israelis should finally grasp if they haven’t already that the ground of the American-Israel alliance is quaking beneath them.
The world is the worse for this speech because it was not honest about the situation in the Middle East, not honest about the threat from Iran, not honest about Israel’s deep desire to be allowed to live in peace, and not honest about the determination of Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran to destroy Israel and to gain the weapons necessary to do so in an instant.
No speech so deeply dishonest in its omissions or so rhetorically misleading its its assumptions and arguments can do anything other than communicate extraordinary weakness on the part of the United States.
It will indeed be a famous speech, for all the wrong reasons.
Aikman: Tiananmen Twenty Years Later With David Aikman
Twenty years ago this week Chinese army tanks and troops stormed their way into the center of Beijing to snuff out an idealistic democracy movement led by students. It was a hauntingly noisy and violent night at Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989. I know: I was there as an eyewitness.
The Chinese government has also put that time behind it, never allowing an independent investigation into the massacre.
On Thursday, some world leaders urged the Party to admit finally to the real toll. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called on China to “provide a public accounting” and release all those dissidents still imprisoned from the protests.
“A China that has made enormous progress economically and is emerging to take its rightful place in global leadership should examine openly the darker events of its past and provide a public accounting of those killed, detained or missing, both to learn and to heal,” Clinton said in a statement.
That call was echoed by Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, a former diplomat once posted in Beijing: “All people around the world were affected by those events and they still have resonance today,” Rudd said.
Officials in both administrations said the noise was distracting from a deep, unassailable relationship that was much broader than the latest impasse in talks with the Palestinians.
Moshe Ya’alon, the Netanyahu government’s designated negotiator in the U.S.-Israel strategic dialogue, is due here next week and will cover the typical range of issues, including how to prevent Iran from achieving nuclear weapons capability.
In fact Iran — at least according to Israeli officials — was preoccupying more time among senior officials than the Israeli-Palestinian issues, and the sides are closer than ever. U.S. officials are chafing at what they see as the impudence of the Iranian reaction to Obama’s pitch for outreach in Iran; instead of a stretched hand, Iranian officials are insisting that their nuclear development will continue apace.
Barak predicted that differences over negotiations with Palestinians would smooth as he opened up more roads in the West Bank and facilitated economic development.
It may help, but it was clear from Obama’s groundbreaking speech Thursday in Cairo, addressing the Muslim world, that the U.S. leader is ready to use public pressure on all sides if he feels it is necessary.
“We will say in public what we say in private to Israelis, Palestinians and Arabs,” Obama said.
a public plan could operate like Medicare, dictating prices to health providers and undercutting private insurers, or
it might be constructed to operate more like a private insurance plan, in which payment rates are negotiated with providers.
Lawmakers might open the plan to every American or only to those without employer-sponsored insurance.
Some lawmakers are discussing including a “trigger,” in which the public plan would begin operating only if a set of conditions are met, such as a lack of affordable private insurance plans in a given geographic area.
It is not clear whether Republicans would support a public plan even with a host of restrictions — or if liberals would support a bill with the kind of restrictions demanded by the Blue Dogs.
Among their requirements:
The public plan must negotiate payment rates with providers;
participation in the plan must be voluntary for both providers and patients;
premiums and copayments under the plan must pay for its operations; and
the plan must follow the same actuarial standards and regulations required of private insurers.
Some conservative health policy experts have questioned whether it makes sense for the government to create a public plan that essentially replicates plans offered by private insurers.
A public plan would draw most of its cost-cutting power from its ability to dictate prices, like Medicare, these experts argue;
without that ability, it might save the government and consumers little or no money.
Politically, the Blue Dogs’ document sets the coalition’s 51 members squarely at odds with
a group of 78 liberals in the House who have cosponsored legislation (HR 676) by John Conyers Jr. , D-Mich., that would expand Medicare to all Americans and
outlaw most private insurance.
Conyers and his cosponsors represent a base of adamant supporters for a strong, Medicare-like public plan.
House Democratic leaders will have to somehow reconcile the two blocs in order to pass any health care overhaul measure.
(Repubs really need to get out in front on this. Blue Dog Dems cannot do this alone.)
“There are two things, that, how they turn out, are going to be the factor” in determining whether the final bill will be bipartisan, said Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), the ranking member on Finance who has been working closely with Baucus to fashion a centrist health care bill.
“Anything to do with rationing,” and the public plan.
In the House, the conservative Blue Dog Democrats sent a shot across the bow of House leaders Wednesday, warning they will not support a public plan option for health care
EXCEPT as a fallback that would be “triggered” if private insurance companies fail to meet benchmarks for cutting costs and covering the uninsured.
(I don’t see how either side can argue with this.)
But a group of conservative Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives, the so-called Blue Dog coalition, outlined their concerns about the proposed new government plan in a paper obtained by Reuters.
They want a public plan to be “triggered” only in the absence of adequate competition and cost containment by the private sector.
“The truth of the matter is that no one knows what the public option will or will not be able to achieve,” Representative Mike Ross, who heads the Blue Dog healthcare task force, said in a statement. “Frankly, it’s an experiment.”
Such a “trigger” is being considered by the Senate Finance Committee headed by Baucus.
Republicans in Congress and insurance companies argue that a public insurance plan would drive many private insurers out of business and the government plan would become so big that it would effectively become a monopoly.