Tony Snow, Former White House Press Secretary and FOX News Anchor, Dies at 53

•July 12, 2008 • Leave a Comment

 Fox News:

Tony Snow, the former White House press secretary and conservative pundit who bedeviled the press corps and charmed millions as a FOX News television and radio host, died Saturday after a long bout with cancer. He was 53.

A syndicated columnist, editor, TV anchor, radio show host and musician, Snow worked in nearly every medium in a career that spanned more than 30 years.

Click here for photos.

“Laura and I are deeply saddened by the death of our dear friend Tony Snow,” President Bush said in a written statement. “The Snow family has lost a beloved husband and father. And America has lost a devoted public servant and a man of character.”

Snow died at 2 a.m. Saturday at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, D.C.

Snow joined FOX in 1996 as the original anchor of “FOX News Sunday” and hosted “Weekend Live” and a radio program, “The Tony Snow Show,” before departing in 2006.

“It’s a tremendous loss for us who knew him, but it’s also a loss for the country,” Roger Ailes, chairman of FOX News, said Saturday morning about Snow, calling him a “renaissance man”.

More>>>>

Advertisements

The Week That Should Have Ended McCain’s Presidential Hopes

•July 11, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Max Bergmann of HuffPo  says it all:

This is the week that should have effectively ended John McCain’s efforts to become the next president of the United States. But you wouldn’t know it if you watched any of the mainstream media outlets or followed political reporting in the major newspapers.

During this past week: McCain called the most important entitlement program in the U.S. a disgrace, his top economic adviser called the American people whiners, McCain released an economic plan that no one thought was serious, he flip flopped on Iraq, joked about the deaths of Iranian citizens, and denied making comments that he clearly made — TWICE. All this and it is not even Friday! Yet watching and reading the mainstream press you would think McCain was having a pretty decent political week, I mean at least Jesse Jackson didn’t say anything about him.

1. McCain unambiguously called Social Security “an absolute disgrace.” This is not a quote taken out of context. John McCain called one of the most successful and popular government programs, which uses the tax revenues of current workers to support retirement benefits for the elderly “an absolute disgrace.” This is shocking – and if uttered from Obama’s mouth would dominate the news coverage and the Sunday shows, as pundits would speculate about the massive damage the statement would cause him among retirees in Florida. 2. McCain’s top economic policy adviser calls Americans a bunch of “whiners” for being worried about the slumping economy.

3. Iraqi leaders call for a timetable for U.S. withdrawal, McCain gets caught in a bizarre denial and flip flop. The Iraqis now want us to begin planning our withdrawal – McCain however wants to stay foooorrreeevvveerrrr. So what does McCain say – First, he refuses to accept Maliki’s statement as being true. Then he concedes that it was an accurate statement, but was probably just a political ploy to curry favor with his own people and WOULD NOT influence his determination to keep US troops in Iraq indefinitely. Yet, McCain in 2004 at the Council on Foreign Relations said that if the Iraqis asked us to leave, we would have to go. No matter what. But that was apparently a younger and less experienced John McCain.

But let’s just look at his comment that Maliki’s statement is “just politics.” If that is true, then it must also be true that the American military presence in Iraq is so unpopular with Iraqis that the government is forced to push for a timetable in order to survive at the ballot box. That’s a reason to stay for 100 years.

4. McCain’s economic plan to cut the deficit has no details and is simply not believable. There are so many things here. McCain pledges he would eliminate the deficit by the end of his first term (the campaign latter flip flop flipped about whether it was four years or eight years), but does not provide any details about how he would do it. Economists on both sides of the political aisle said that this was simply not believable, especially given McCain’s other proposals to a) cut individual and corporate taxes even further, b) extend the Bush tax cuts and c) massively increase defense spending on manpower (200,000 more troops) and d) maintain a long-term sizable military presence in Iraq.

5. McCain’s deficit plan includes bringing the troops home represents a major Iraq flip-flop.
Speaking of the long-term military presence – a story that has gotten absolutely no attention is that McCain now believes the war will be over soon. The economic forecasts made by his crack team of economists predict that there will be significant savings during McCain’s first term because we will have achieved “victory” in Iraq and Afghanistan. The savings from victory (ie the savings from not having our troops there) will then be used to pay down the deficit. The only way this could have any impact on the deficit in McCain’s first time is if troop withdrawals start very soon. So McCain believes victory is in our grasps and we can begin withdraw troops from Iraq pretty much right away — doesn’t sound that different from Obama’s plan does it. Someone should at least ask McCain HOW HE DEFINES VICTORY – and why he thinks we will achieve it in the next couple of years.

6. McCain campaign misled about economists support. In the major press release the McCain campaign issued to tout its Jobs for America economic plan that would balance the budget in 4 years, it included the signatures of more than 300 economists who the campaign claimed to support the plan. Only problem is that the economists were actually asked to sign up to SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT. Um, hello?

7. McCain makes a joke about killing Iranians. Haha… that’s just McCain being McCain. I am sure that is exactly how it is being reported in Tehran. This guy is running for President not to become a talk radio pundit. Yet according to the AP this was just a humanizing moment between candidate and spouse – I am not sure when joking about the deaths of civilians became humanizing.

8. McCain denies, flatly, that he ever said that he is not an expert in economics. Are you kidding?

 9). McCain distorts his record on veterans benefits in response to a question from Vietnam Veteran, who then proceeds to call McCain out on it.

10.) McCain demonstrates he knows nothing about Afghanistan and Pakistan. McCain said “I think if there is some good news, I think that there is a glimmer of improving relationship between Karzai and the Pakistanis.” Pat Barry notes how crazy this comment is…”Just what “glimmer” is McCain talking about?? Maybe he’s referring to President Karzai’s remarks last month, which threatened military action in Pakistan if cross-border attacks persisted? Or maybe McCain is talking about Afghanistan’s allegations that Pakistan’s ISI was involved in a recent assassination attempt on Karzai? Maybe in McCain’s world you could call that a silver-lining, but in reality-land I’d call it something else.”

Any one of these incidents and comments would dominate the news cycle if they came from the Obama campaign. Yet McCain barely gets a mention. The press like to see themselves as political referees – neutral observers that call them like they see em’. But they want this to be a horse race and so all the calls right now are going one way. How else can you explain the furor last week over the Obama “refine” comment – which represented zero change in Obama’s position on Iraq – and the “swift boat” mania over Wesley Clark’s uncontroversial comments (psss… by the way McCain exploits his POW experience in just about every ad – yet he says he doesn’t like to talk about it).

 

Want some torture with your peanuts?

•July 11, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Imagine, if you will: A time in the future where a totalitarian government allows the airline companies to force each customer to wear ID bracelets that not only identify you, has all of your personal information (in barcode of course, and…allows a stewardess to tase you if she deems that you are being unruly.

Now, imagine that that “time in the future is NOW.   Washington Times:

Just when you thought you’ve heard it all…

A senior government official with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has expressed great interest in a so-called safety bracelet that would serve as a stun device, similar to that of a police Taser®. According to this promotional video found at the Lamperd Less Lethal, Inc. website, the bracelet would be worn by all airline passengers (video also shown below).

This bracelet would:

• Take the place of an airline boarding pass

• Contain personal information about the traveler

• Be able to monitor the whereabouts of each passenger and his/her luggage

• Shock the wearer on command, completely immobilizing him/her for several minutes

The Electronic ID Bracelet, as it’s referred to, would be worn by every traveler “until they disembark the flight at their destination.”  Yes, you read that correctly. Every airline passenger would be tracked by a government-funded GPS, containing personal, private and confidential information, and would shock the customer worse than an electronic dog collar if the passenger got out of line.

Clearly the Electronic ID Bracelet is a euphemism for the EMD Safety Bracelet, or at least it has a nefarious hidden ability (thus the term ID Bracelet is ambiguous at best). EMD stands for Electro-Musclar Disruption. Again, according to the promotional video, the bracelet can completely immobilize the wearer for several minutes.

So is the government really that interested in this bracelet? 

Apparently so.

According to this letter from DHS official, Paul S. Ruwaldt of the Science and Technology Directorate, office of Research and Development, which was written to the inventor whom he had previously met with, Ruwaldt wrote, “To make it clear, we [the federal government] are interested in . . . the immobilizing security bracelet, and look forward to receiving a written proposal.”    Continued HERE including updates.

Clinton and Obama Split On FISA Vote

•July 10, 2008 • Leave a Comment

 

HuffPo

Bowing to President Bush’s demands, the Senate sent the White House a bill Wednesday overhauling bitterly disputed rules on secret government eavesdropping and shielding telecommunications companies from lawsuits complaining they helped the U.S. spy on Americans.

The relatively one-sided vote, 69-28, came only after a lengthy and heated debate that pitted privacy and civil liberties concerns against the desire to prevent terrorist attacks. It ended almost a year of wrangling over surveillance rules and the president’s warrantless wiretapping program that was initiated after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

*******************

Sen. Barack Obama voted for the compromise while Sen. Hillary Clinton voted against it.

Watch a video about the money trail surrounding the bill from the American News Project. Read more about the bill here.

Video explaining the telecom immunity aspect of this bill. 

Jesse Jackson’s Latest Faux Pas

•July 10, 2008 • Leave a Comment

I remember back in 1984 when Jesse Jackson ran for president.  I remember when he came to my home town of New York City.  At that time, he spoke to a reporter “off the record” and called MY hometown “Hymie Town“.  Jackson was never able to live that comment down.

Now we hear that while appearing on a Fox News show, Jackson once again suffered from hoof in mouth disease by saying that Obama is talking down to African Americans.  There was more.  You can see the video below with the entire content of his remarks.

My problem with Jackson is that he sounds more like ‘sour grapes’ than a man defending the African American constituency.  In my opinion, Jackson has been a self promoting, attention grabbing loser for a long time.  To see someone like Barack Obama come out of nowhere and seeing tens of thousands of people coming to his rallies, must be an ego buster for Jackson.

The funny thing is there are so many people who dislike Jackson immensely, but because of their even more intense dislike for Obama, they have actually come out praising Jackson for his “candor”.

Jackson’s son, Jesse Jackson, Jr. expressed his dismay over his father’s words.      Wapo Blog:

Whatever the Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. said in a live microphone on Fox News, it was really, really bad, and none other than his own son seems to know it.

“I’m deeply outraged and disappointed in Reverend Jackson’s reckless statements about Senator Barack Obama. His divisive and demeaning comments about the presumptive Democratic nominee — and I believe the next president of the United States — contradict his inspiring and courageous career,” wrote Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.), an Obama campaign co-chairman, in a statement sent out after word began spreading that his father had said something crude and deeply offensive.

Here is the video: Jackson Remark Against Obama

Update:  Jesse Jackson has apologized on CNN BEFORE Fox news releases what was said.  Jackson Apology

“The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro”~ Frederick Douglass

•July 4, 2008 • Leave a Comment

From PBS:

During the 1850s, Frederick Douglass typically spent about six months of the year travelling extensively, giving lectures. During one winter — the winter of 1855-1856 — he gave about 70 lectures during a tour that covered four to five thousand miles. And his speaking engagements did not halt at the end of a tour. From his home in Rochester, New York, he took part in local abolition-related events.

On July 5, 1852, Douglass gave a speech at an event commemorating the signing of the Declaration of Independence, held at Rochester’s Corinthian Hall. It was biting oratory, in which the speaker told his audience, “This Fourth of July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn.” And he asked them, “Do you mean, citizens, to mock me, by asking me to speak to-day?”

Within the now-famous address is what historian Philip S. Foner has called “probably the most moving passage in all of Douglass’ speeches.”

What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July? I answer; a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sound of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciation of tyrants brass fronted impudence; your shout of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanks-givings, with all your religious parade and solemnity, are to him, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy — a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of the United States, at this very hour.

The “Unitary Executive” As Defined By Addington and Yoo

•June 26, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Today the House Judiciary Committee questioned former Vice Presidential counsel David Addington and the chief architect of the “torture memos” about torture and the “unitary executive theory” concept.

The unitary executive theory “asserts that all executive authority must be in the President’s hands, without exception.

Addington was his usual arrogant self when questioned by the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committe, John Conyers (D-MI).  Chairman Conyers asked Addington  about “The Unitary Executive Theory”.  Here is the exchange:

 Addington – Unitary Theory

John Yoo was even more evasive with Congressman Keith Ellison (D-MN) , but a bit more polite as you can see here: 

 John Yoo