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Church, State and Campaign ‘08

Posted on May 1, 2008
Hagee and McCain
AP photo / Gerald Herbert, file

McCain’s his man: The controversial Rev. John Hagee stands behind Sen. John McCain in his run for the presidency.

By Bill Boyarsky

When Adolf Hitler came to power, he said, “I am not going to do anything in my lifetime that hasn’t been done by the Roman Church for the past 800 years. I am only going to do it on a greater scale and more efficiently.”

This comes from the Rev. John Hagee, a hugely popular televangelist who is an important supporter of Sen. John McCain, the prospective Republican presidential nominee. Hagee’s congregation in Texas has 19,000 members, and he appears on more than 150 television stations, 50 radio stations and eight religious networks. Although Hagee is not McCain’s personal minister, Hagee gives McCain an entrée to the Christian right, a group that has considered McCain too liberal.

Could anything be more bigoted and inflammatory than Hagee saying the Roman Catholic Church inspired Hitler when he crafted the Holocaust? Certainly it ranks with or exceeds the ranting of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Sen. Barack Obama’s former minister. McCain’s religious nut is every bit as destructive as Obama’s.

Considering the importance of Hagee to McCain, I would think such an outburst of anti-Catholicism would have created a frenzy of stories and comments by political journalists and their cousins, the cable news network analysts. Yet Hagee’s words have disappeared into the limbo of news not hot enough for prime time.

Similarly, there was minimum attention paid to Hagee’s declaration that Hurricane Katrina was God’s punishment to New Orleans for permitting a gay pride parade. “I believe the judgment of God is a very real thing,” said Hagee. “I believe that Hurricane Katrina was in fact the judgment of God against the city of New Orleans.”


Square, Site wide

On another occasion, he said, “Those who believe in the Koran have a scriptural mandate to kill Christians and Jews.”

And where’s the outrage over his belief that Jews who do not convert to Christianity will be banned from Hagee’s heaven-bound express during the Rapture and forced to remain behind and boil on Earth? By the way, the segment of right-wing Jews who welcome Hagee’s support for Israel and his advocacy of a pre-emptive United States-Israeli strike against Iran should study this particular belief carefully. They should be aware that the Jews are doomed on Rapture day unless they convert.

Compared to the torture inflicted on Obama over his association with Wright, McCain has mostly escaped bad publicity from his Hagee connection.

The subject came up when McCain appeared with George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s “This Week.” Stephanopoulos asked if it was “a mistake to solicit and accept his [Hagee’s] endorsement?”

McCain replied, “Oh, probably, sure.” But the candidate said he’s still “glad to have his endorsement.” 

The senator criticized the pastor’s “condemning of the Catholic Church,” but added that “I admire and respect Dr. Hagee’s leadership. ... I admire and appreciate his advocacy for the state of Israel, the independence of the state of Israel.”

The Arizona senator was interviewed by Stephanopoulos on Sunday, April 29, the day before Wright’s disastrous appearance at the National Press Club in Washington. Actually, Wright was thoughtful and positive when he gave his speech, just as he was when interviewed the Friday night before by Bill Moyers.

He said, “The prophetic theology of the black church has always seen and still sees all of God’s children as sisters and brothers, equals who need reconciliation. ... We root out any teaching of superiority, inferiority, hatred or prejudice.”

As happens to many a person in love with his own voice, Wright got into trouble during the question-and-answer session. There he praised the anti-Semitic Louis Farrakhan. He also said Obama was playing politics when he distanced himself from Wright. And when asked about a sermon in which he “said the government lied about inventing the HIV virus as a means of genocide against people of color,” Wright replied, “based on what has happened to Africans in this country, I believe our government is capable of doing anything.”

All this is crazy, but not any worse than Hagee saying the Roman Catholic Church inspired the Holocaust or that God punished New Orleans with Hurricane Katrina.

Why has McCain gotten off so easily while Obama is being battered unmercifully?

One reason is that the Obama-Wright story is about race. The fact that Obama is the first African-American with a real chance of becoming president has made race a central part of the election story. This is especially true now, when the superdelegates and the media are carefully counting white votes, which Obama will need for victory. Wright’s words, especially when reduced to short pieces of video and sound bites, won’t help Obama.

Another reason is that the media love McCain, his war record and the access to him on the campaign, the “straight talk” reputation. These subjects have captured more attention than his support of the Iraq war, his ineffective health care proposals and his muddled economic policies.

News coverage aside, the most important lesson to be learned from the wild-card ministries of Hagee and Wright is that religion should have no place in the campaign.

The men who founded the country understood this. They wrote a Constitution that separated church and state. They were not especially religious. Thomas Jefferson was a deist who doubted the divinity of Christ. As biographer Ron Chernow wrote of Alexander Hamilton, “Like other founders and thinkers of the Enlightenment, he was disturbed by religious fanaticism and tended to associate organized religion with superstition.”

We are letting religious fanaticism dominate the presidential campaign. The candidates have brought it on themselves with tedious references to their churchgoing piety. Now we’re all paying for it. Who cares what their preachers say? The voters want to hear about how the presidential candidates would restart the sick economy and get us out of Iraq.

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By Ted Swart, May 6, 2008 at 10:00 am Link to this comment

YES YES Maani.  I agree with you 100%.  Obama would have raised his status enormously and done the US a real service if he had chosen to run as a “multi-racial candidate”—which is exactly what he is. If he does become president he will not be the first ‘black’ president—which the feeble minded MSM have tended to call him.
And YES.  The current crop of prsedential aspirants have “invited . . scrutiny” by parading their religious predelictions in front of everyone. The rest of the worlkd must surely look on it all with amazement.

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By cann4ing, May 6, 2008 at 9:47 am Link to this comment

Hmmm!  Good point Tom.  I’ll remember to do that next time.

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By Tom Doff, May 6, 2008 at 8:55 am Link to this comment

Ernest, how come you didn’t put ‘God’ in quotation marks? And used ‘creative’ instead of ‘destructive’ or ‘demented’? And ‘thinking’ instead of ‘fantasizing’?

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By cann4ing, May 6, 2008 at 8:27 am Link to this comment

God is but the product of creative thinking.  The drubbing we are getting is self-inflicted.

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By Tom Doff, May 6, 2008 at 8:22 am Link to this comment

Any society that elevates demented dolts perched behind pulpits to positions of respect, deserves the drubbing ‘god’ is dispensing upon us.

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By cann4ing, May 6, 2008 at 7:55 am Link to this comment

Yeah, you might say that Hagee is McCain’s soul mate.

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By Marnie, May 6, 2008 at 4:25 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

You state the main point.  They have invited the scrutiny by using their religion as a political issue.  It follows that voters need to know what their theology is, as it relates to how it affects their attitudes, opinions, political positions, and agenda.  As well as to whom or what they owe their paybacks.

By making their personal theology such a large part of their politics, politicians have gravely injured the concept of separation of Church and State.  An issue that the Church expects the State to honor while hypocritically interfering with the State, especially, the political aspects of it, as much as they want to.
Like so many hangers-on they can boost their vanities to the heavens for their own selfish and often ego tripping purposes.  They, the preachers, of course can raise bookoo bucks for themselves by apron stringing a popular politician.

As for Obama, he would have chosen better to run as a multi racial candidate, capable of representing the true melting pot society that America claims, for the first time in its history.

He is not Black.  He is multiracial.  By claiming only one heritage, and one race,  he has made himself doubly a racist.
It is disturbing that he has for 20 years worshiped a black theology as opposed to a Christian, or other recognized theology.  Not surprising that the Church of Christ is considering disassociating Wright’s church and its “theology.”

Hagee is a religious thug.  The Republicans have associated themselves with many such.
The Republicans need the lunatic religious right desperately right now, so it is very important for the press to keep looking at who and what politicians associate with, and to let the rest of us know.

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By msgmi, May 5, 2008 at 7:41 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If Dolf were alive today to find himself under similar circumstances circa 1930s, he wouldn’t embrace Hagee with a 10 foot pole while McCain looked into Hagee’s soul and found instant karma.

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By Conservative Yankee, May 5, 2008 at 2:00 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

eat him?

I thought that was Monica’s job, but then nothing would surprise me…

I’d vote for a toad before I’d waste my ballot on Hill-the-business-shill.

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By max, May 5, 2008 at 9:10 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Religion has been deeply intwined in our politics for some time. GW Bush has said on a few occasions that God told him to attack Iraq. Hagee said after a private meeting with GW that he and Bush see eye to eye on attacking both Iraq and Iran. So when McCain rushes out to endorse Hagee, one must expect more killings in the name of God under a McCain administration.

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By Tom Doff, May 5, 2008 at 9:07 am Link to this comment

What this country needs is a ‘god’-inspired, religious attorney to run this nation right into the ground.

Perhaps the gleeful Joel Osteen, or his vacuous wife, could pick up an LLB from some store-front law school in Waco, and jump in the campaign.

Or maybe the idiot son of the ‘Crystal Cathedral’ entrpreneur could get one of his parishioners to pass the bar for him, or Hagee could forge a diploma based on a Tel Aviv Talmud, or Robertson could audit a couple of courses at Regent School of Law.

And once one of these yo-yo’s was installed as president, a great revival would take over the land, as all US citizens, secular included, knelt and prayed to ‘god’ that he smite our leaders, and restore us to sanity, at least those of us unafflicted by the malignant ‘god’ gene.

And we could finally pass legislation putting a bounty on the head of lawyers.

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By Ted Swart, May 5, 2008 at 8:48 am Link to this comment

Here in Canada a recent poll shows that—as far as the public at large is concerned—the most trusted and admired professions are:

doctors, teachers and the police.

And the most mistrusted professions are:

journalists, politicans and lawyers.

Similar polls in the US might not produce exactty the same result but there is no doubt that lawyers would rank low in citizen’s esteem. 

No one, in their right mind would fail to recognize that there ineed many non self-serving lawyers but the maddeningly ridiculous litigation nonsense needs to be taken care of by lawyers themselves in order to raise their ranking. 

Incidentally, as an outsider, I have been amazed to see, on this forum, that those with left wing leanings think the news media are controlled by the right wing.  And the right wing feels the other way round. The truth obviously resides somewhere in the middle.  The trouble is that journalists are not much inclined to provide real insight into what is going on.

Places like TruthDig do help to foster genuine discussion unlike the MSM.

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By cann4ing, May 5, 2008 at 8:26 am Link to this comment

I am saddened not only by the level of ignorance but by the visceral hatred DC has directed against a profession, each of whose members takes a solemn oath to support and defend the Constitution and laws of this nation. (Of course, from the sophistries used by some Justice Department lawyers to justify torture, it can be said that not all lawyers live up to that oath.) From the level of his discourse, I suspect that years of therapy would be required to straighten him out.

But let’s look at the track record of some of our so-called “leaders” who were not lawyers.

Ronald Reagan & George H.W. Bush:  Ushered in the “greed-is-good” philosophy and deregulation schemes that opened the door to the scamming of markets, reduced taxes for the wealthy while creating an enormous increase in military spending.  Funneled WMD & intelligence to Saddam Hussein so the latter could carry out the Iran/Iraq war; funded and armed the Afhgan mujahideen & Osama bin Laden, who they called “freedom fighters” when they were fighting the Soviets—the very same mujahideen that would morph into al-Qaeda.  Used illegal arms sales to Iran to help fund the Contras who were carrying out terrorist attacks on civilian targets in Nicaragua while sending John Negroponte to Honduras where he oversaw the death squad activities against the poor in Honduras, El Salvador & Guatemala.

George W. Bush & Richard B. Cheney:  Brought us an Orwellian endless “war on terror” against a phantom menace who is anywhere and everywhere at all times as a cover for a naked power grab; destroyed checks & balances & the rule of law, ended the right to habeas corpus for non-citizens, brought forth warrantless NSA eavesdropping on U.S. citizens, treated the national treasury as if it was the personal piggy bank of Bush’s “base—the haves and have mores;”  lied to Congress & the American people in order to conduct an imperial aggression against the sovereign nation of Iraq, dismantled FEMA, turning over disaster relief to “faith-based” organizations prior to Katrina; saw in the Katrina devastation an excuse to radically transform New Orleans by imposition of the same privatizing scheme used in Iraq, destroyed the economy.

And DC would tell us that John “okay if we stay in Iraq for 100 years” McCain would be a better choice because he is not a lawyer?

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By Tom Doff, May 5, 2008 at 7:19 am Link to this comment

Exactamente! Were the media to play excerpts from Hagee, Robertson, Moon, Falwell, the stories would be picked up world-wide.
And the world’s surprise and revulsion at the sheer stupidity and inanity of the American public that supports such raving imbeciles, would make it likely that they would join to obliterate them, or, at a minimum, isolate them to prevent the possible spread of such a devastating affliction.
The problem is, ‘them’ is US.

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By Joe Sixpack, May 5, 2008 at 7:02 am Link to this comment

Just think of what will happen when Mrs. Clinton finishes up with Obama and sets her sights on her old friend John McCain. She would eat him alive in the general election.

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By cyrena, May 5, 2008 at 2:34 am Link to this comment

Please forgive if this is a repeat, since I’ve forgotten if I posted it in the appropriate spot.
It definitely goes to what others, including Mark Sherman, have mentioned here. Crazy and powerful religious zealots aren’t new. They’ve done their damage before, whether we know it or not.

The Right’s America-Hating Preacher
  By Robert Parry
  Consortium News
  Friday 02 May 2008

  One of the advantages that the American Right has achieved from investing tens of billions of dollars in media - from talk radio and cable TV, to print and the Internet - is the ability to define what is and what isn’t a “scandal,” a powerful factor in determining who wins national elections.

  By comparison, American progressives have short-changed their own investments in media. The disparity leads to the spectacle of Democratic presidential candidates submitting to questioning on Fox News while no one would expect a Republican leader to undergo interrogation from, say, the DailyKos.

  On another level, this media imbalance has propelled the rantings of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright into the category of big news, effectively altering the course of Campaign 2008 by associating Barack Obama with his ex-pastor’s harsh - and at times over-the-top - criticism of the U.S. government.

  However, it’s not news that a viciously anti-American religious figure has invested billions of dollars in financing the U.S. conservative movement and put fat wads of cash into the pockets of many prominent Republicans, including members of President George W. Bush’s own family.

  While Sen. Obama has to explain what he knew and when he knew it about Wright’s angry sermons, the Bush Family floats above its financial and political associations with the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, a South Korean theocrat who had denounced the United States as “Satan’s harvest” and likened American women to “prostitutes.”

  In his angry sermons, Moon has gone further than saying “God-damn America” - as Wright did - to vowing to sweep aside American democracy and individualism as he builds a one-world state.

  Once his plan to “swallow entire America” is complete, Moon told his followers in one sermon, there will be “some individuals who complain inside your stomach. However, they will be digested.”

Full article at the link…

And then there’s this from Frank Rich today, full of very helpful links…

The All-White Elephant in the Room
Published: May 4, 2008

BORED by those endless replays of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright? If so, go directly to YouTube, search for “John Hagee Roman Church Hitler,” and be recharged by a fresh jolt of clerical jive.
What you’ll find is a white televangelist, the Rev. John Hagee, lecturing in front of an enormous diorama. Wielding a pointer, he pokes at the image of a woman with Pamela Anderson-sized breasts, her hand raising a golden chalice. The woman is “the Great Whore,” Mr. Hagee explains, and she is drinking “the blood of the Jewish people.” That’s because the Great Whore represents “the Roman Church,” which, in his view, has thirsted for Jewish blood throughout history, from the Crusades to the Holocaust.

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By Outraged, May 5, 2008 at 12:38 am Link to this comment

I’m NOT a lawyer.  Explain that.  BTW, how do you know Cyrena is a lawyer?  And what presupposes you to believe that ALL lawyers are “no good”..?  It would be superfulous to assume that ALL lawyers are “no good”, that’s just rhetoric.  Aren’t you “cherry-picking”?

Another thing. You claim ALL lawyers are “tainted by their close association with their original profession before they ever reach ‘the bench’”  how is it that you make this claim?  What about lawyers who are “bought off” by the corps..?  Isn’t your assertion disingenuious..?

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By Outraged, May 5, 2008 at 12:25 am Link to this comment

I would like to SECOND that!  Good job.

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By cyrena, May 4, 2008 at 9:07 pm Link to this comment

Thank you Conservative Yankee. Yes, there ARE bad lawyers out there..I’ve been cursed by a few myself.

HOWEVER, lawyers ALSO do all of the things that you’ve just described as well. And yep, some of us even do it for NO PAY, or very limited pay…

Like military lawyers as well…JAGS. They (as well as non military lawyers) have been hugely instrumental in getting attention and some semblence of legal assistance to at least a few of those that were captured and held without due process at Guantanamo.

So think of it this way, if you’re ever ‘disappeared’ and find yourself locked up in a gulag somewhere in Indiana of the Armadillo canyons of Texas, you better hope a somebody can find a lawyer that is willing to find you, and get you out.

And yes, they do all of that other stuff that you mentioned as well.

I agree. Let’s retire the broad brush on ALL stereotypes. It has proven to be far more harmful than informative.

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By Hemi*, May 4, 2008 at 8:20 pm Link to this comment

We don’t need religion and we sure as hell don’t need lawyers. If you twist sh*t around to the point where you need a priest or a lawyer to explain the unexplainable you are doomed. We have a system where two people can’t iron out differences without brandishing hired pricks that can twist the truth to suit the situation. And win or lose both pricks get paid and both parties whether right or wrong come away worse off. How f*cking twisted is that? Religion is false and kept alive by magicians and the law is a close parallel. Without religion, the IRS and laws beyond “don’t hurt anybody else”, everyone would see the humbugs behind the curtains and we would soon have a clean house. But there’s no profit in that for the humbugs and so they protect their turf with all of the power and wealth that can be taken from the masses.

None of these candidates believe in “invisible friends” so get with it. They all pander to whatever cult members will get behind them. Then they pick the scabs off of each others’ backing cults. Obama was f*cked from the start, all of the good cults were already taken. You gotta give McCain credit, he got a really scary, paramilitary religious f*ck to back him. But there’s no cult backing scarier than Hillary’s campaign staff, I give her the cult nod. Religion is and always was clan warfare, nothing more.

You have the opportunity to accept what the candidates already know and when you do just a smidgen of control over your own life can be had. Lose your security blanket and start living. There is no tooth fairy. At least that’s what my dirt bag lawyer says and he should know he’s a minister on the side.

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By Expat, May 4, 2008 at 5:37 pm Link to this comment

Thanks for the link, I think.  Wowie Zowie; it just never stops.  Hillary shouldn’t even be allowed to run.  Scotty, beam me up; NOW!!!

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By max, May 4, 2008 at 4:12 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I agree with 99% of Rev.Wright’s sermons, and 1% of Rev. Hagee’s sermons. The Hagee theology as practiced by GW Bush killed tens of thousands of Iraqis.

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By mark sherman, May 4, 2008 at 4:06 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Religion has not crept into the race for President. It has dominated the GW Bush WH since 2002. Bush has told many audiences that God told him to attack Iraq and Iran. The quotes are easy to find. Why have they been forgotten? In light of McCain seeking Rev. Hagee’s endorsement, (Hagee promotes the same attacks as GW Bush) the relationship needs close scrutiny.

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By Conservative Yankee, May 4, 2008 at 3:21 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I couldn’t let the comment about lawyers go by without a comment.

I know there are bad lawyers, I know the system is deliberately complicated so heading into court without a lawyer is equivalent to Challenging the Chinese military with a slingshgot.


I have family and friends who are hardworking out-in-the-trenches lawyers. They help children return home after the state makes a mistake. They help poor mothers make a case against their negligent landlord. They defend people Mr Chalmers wouldn’t sit next to on the bus. 

One friend of mine worked two years on a case for NO PAY attempting to get his client into a residential treatment center that Maine didn’t want to pay for.

So like the All blacks, All Jews, and all rural whites thing, the broad brush needs to be retired.

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By Hammo, May 4, 2008 at 2:20 pm Link to this comment

The issue of religion in the presidential race is front and center whether we like it or not.

And, it is complex, with many interesting elements.

Food for thought in the article ...

“Obama not ‘black’ enough for Jeremiah Wright?”
May 4, 2008

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By Conservative Yankee, May 4, 2008 at 12:57 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

One of the reasons McCain hasn’t had the controversy over his “mis-steps” is that neither of his rivals ever miss a chance to praise him. 

If he had a Clinton/Obama leaving no stone unturned to discover if he wet his bed when he was seven, things might be different.

BUT then McCain is capable in that sort of fight also.

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By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, May 4, 2008 at 12:43 pm Link to this comment

A good lesson in why it’s not prudent to paint everyone with the same brush, in any line of work or in any segment of society—even politicians and believe me, I had to grit my teeth to admit that.

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By Douglas Chalmers, May 4, 2008 at 12:12 pm Link to this comment

Actually, Ernesto, McCain will most probably win as the ‘good lawyers’ in the Democrats (BO + HRC) have already more or less destroyed their own party.

Don’t forget, though, that all of you ‘good guys’ are sill only working within a totally corrupted and utterly inept system. That is NOT freedom - nor is it a path to freedom!

I note that you are only to happy to have so many ‘grateful’ clients but have you ever given a moment’s thought to the fact that they wouldn’t have needed you or your expensive services if the system treated them fairly and decently in the first place?

No, you lawyers are ALL so sadly committed to preserving the very system that feeds you - and thus owns you. You still do not want THAT evil entity to change - yet it is only through change that any good will evr come now.

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By cann4ing, May 4, 2008 at 11:39 am Link to this comment

The one basic truth I have learned after practicing law for more than 30 years is that everybody hates lawyers until they need one.  The corporate ruling class plays on this, deliberately referencing the words “trial lawyers” as a means to push things like so-called “tort reform” which are really code words for laws immunizing corporations from liability for the harms they cause.

Oh, for sure there have been those lawyers inside the Bush Justice Department who have disgraced the profession by issuing sophistries to justify torture, but there are an even greater number of lawyers working out of the Center for Constitutional Rights and the ACLU who have worked tirelessly to challenge the Bush regime’s unending challenges to the rule of law.  It was a lawyer (later Supreme Court Justice) Thurgood Marshall who successfully argued that separate was inherently unequal in Brown vs. Board of Education, the landmark decision leading the way to an end of segregation. It is the trial lawyers practicing “tort law” and product liability which forced American corporations to act responsibly, thereby saving the lives of many citizens; trial lawyers who led the charge for worker protections like OSHA and workers’ compensation.  But, hey, DC had a bad experience with a lawyer so we should all hate lawyers.

I will make no apologies for my profession.  There are good and bad people in law just as there are in any other profession, and I, for one, am proud of what I have done for many severely injured workers, who in turn have repeatedly told me there was no way they could thank me enough.

By the way, DC, if one’s status as a lawyer bothers you all that much, why aren’t you supporting Mad Dog McCain.  The guy’s not a lawyer.

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By Douglas Chalmers, May 4, 2008 at 11:06 am Link to this comment

By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, May 4:  Re: Reply to Tom Doff & Cyrena ......Expat, give this a try….  It’s about Hillary and Peter Paul.  Good luck and good viewing.  You’ll love it…”

I’d “love” if people actually discussed it, though. Its been floating around for a little while now and yet no comments.

If there is one thing in common with Obama and Hillary and most politicians (and cyrena?), they are all lawyers. If you’ve ever been a victim of one, you’ll know what I mean, uhh.

One of the problems on this site is that any criticism of legalism or lawyers or the judicial system is immediately attacked at length by cyrena who has yet another reason for denial and refusal in her dysfunctional psyche.

Perhaps we could all get past the agenda business and actually take a look at the very institution and its schools that is responsible for the main ills of America and societies around the world?

Judges are all nothing more than lawyers with some additional training in jurisprudence. They are already tainted by their close association with their original profession before they ever reach ‘the bench’.  So too are politicians and they continue their incestuous relationship to everyone’s cost.

Then again, there is still nothing conclusive in the video which mentions a tape with HRC speaking on the phone but we never actually get to hear the ‘incriminating’ part although we are told all about it. Is that a hatchet job?

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By Jonas South, May 4, 2008 at 10:53 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Boyarsky couldn’t be more wrong on this one. This stupid Wright thing was never about religion in politics.

From start to finish, it was designed to draw attention to Obama’s race. Wright is the lingering spotlight, to be kept on Obama’s black face for as long as possible. Now that that has been accomplished, expect more prominent reporting of street crimes, with photos of suspects if they are black. You and I may be immune to such psy-ops, but many are not.

You don’t think our politics are that monstrous? Why not start looking out for them, starting with today’s Philadelphia Inquirer.

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By Pacrat, May 4, 2008 at 10:12 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Pseudo religion might be, but not real religion! Any so-called religion that teaches and preaches hatred of others is phony and to be despised and repudiated.

If the religion is from a black source, let’s make a major story out of it. If it is from a white source, let’s just let it slide!Obamma gets tagged for being a member of a black church, but McCain (who is not a church goer anyway) is tagged as okay even tho he is enrorsed by the creepiest and most stupid “religious” leaders in the world! Go figure!

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By cyrena, May 4, 2008 at 10:11 am Link to this comment

Doctor KIA…I had to chuckle at your Mc Series…McEvils and McBama huh? That’s good. smile

My parents had some lifelong friends back in the day, and the husband of the couple was named “Bama. Or, that’s all I ever knew him by, even though I’m sure it couldn’t have been his given name. He was this really big and taller than life man, (or so it seemed to me) and an African-American from…you guessed it..Alabama. (lived in California the last 60 or so years of his life though).

Anyway, everytime I hear or read any abreviation of Obama’s name, I always think back to him, and the time that my dad and a couple of my uncles had to rush over to ‘Bama’s house during a really bad rain storm when his basement flooded. I can’t remember how old I was, but it was the first time I became aware of ‘bookies’...who they were, and what they did. That’s because it took them like a really long time to haul what turned out to be boxes and boxes and boxes of cash from the flooding basement.

My dad had needed to bring me along on the adventure because my mom at work. Kinda hard to get a baby-sitter on such short notice when a basement full of cash is flooding. Maybe my dad figured I was too young to even bother paying attention. He should have known better. I question EVERYTHING!! So, I guess that made ‘Bama a criminal, though he certainly looked and acted ordinary enough to me. (except for being so tall)

Anyway, I doubt Obama is a bookie. I can’t say the same for McSame-McCain or McSame-Hillary though. smile

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By cyrena, May 4, 2008 at 9:51 am Link to this comment

Village Elder..

“...BTW if you can read this you missed the rapture…”

Whew!! Thank god (no real pun intended) you told us this!! smileI feel like I’ve been ‘saved’ or something.

Maybe I can get some rest now, and not have to concern myself about this rapture thing coming after me.

Are you sure it won’t come again?

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By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, May 4, 2008 at 9:36 am Link to this comment

Expat, give this a try.  If it doesn’t work, go directly to Cyrena’s link in this thread, below and you can click directly on that.  It’s about Hillary and Peter Paul.  Good luck and good viewing.  You’ll love it.

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By Expat, May 4, 2008 at 9:15 am Link to this comment

DKA, what video?  Do you have a link?  Much appreciated if you do.

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By bert, May 4, 2008 at 8:14 am Link to this comment


******Tom Doff says Obama should   “Lessen the influence of the Corporate mob.”

Would that corporate mob include these special interests Obama has accepted campaign money from? More important question is – what will these corporate mobsters expect from Obama in return? You can find this info at Open Secrets.

Obama received :
266,907 from Lehman,
$5395 from GMAC,
$150,850 from Credit Suisse First Boston,
$11,250 from Countrywide,
$9052 from Washington Mutual,
$161,850 from Citigroup,
$4600 from CBASS,
$170,050 from Morgan Stanley,
$1150 from Centex,
$351,900 from Goldman Sachs.

In addition Obama has taken other corporate monies. 

From USA Today (last updated mid-April)

Obama has accepted donations from oil and gas company employees — $222,309 in Obama’s case from donors from Exxon, Shell, Chevron and others, according to campaign-finance data. Two oil company CEOs have pledged to raise at least $50,000 each as part of Obama’s fundraising team.

“The point, Obama spokesman Bill Burton said later in a statement, was that Obama doesn’t accept money from oil industry lobbyists or their political action committees (PACs), while his opponents have no such policy.

The Obama campaign is trying to create a distinction without very much of a practical difference,” said a statement on the website of, an affiliate of the University of Pennsylvania. “We’re not sure how a $5,000 contribution from, say, Chevron’s PAC would have more influence on a candidate than, for example, the $9,500 Obama has received from Chevron employees.

$193 million — and counting   [from special interests]

The episode underscores the pitfalls confronting a candidate who rails against special interests while raising $193 million and counting — THE MOST OF ANY PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGH. [caps mine]
Obama’s fundraising tests the limits of his claim that he is independent of Washington’s influence industry because he doesn’t take money from federal lobbyists and PACs.


“Obama’s 20 largest sources of money, grouped by employers, are executives from major corporations and law firms with a Washington lobbying presence — including Goldman Sachs, Citigroup and Google, according to the center. “

******Tom Doff says Obama should:    “Establish a priority list for government programs, with health care for all,”

Obama’s plan would not mandate all Americans participate. Obama’s plan simplt provides incentives that he thinks (hopes) all will take advantage of.

Concord Monitor:  15 million people would remain uninsured under Obama’s plan.’ “Jonathan Gruber, a health economist at MIT said a mandate means “the difference between universal or near-universal coverage. Obama would have a large expansion, better than anything the Republicans have, but not universal coverage,” Gruber said. “You can’t get it without a mandate; it’s just not possible.” [Concord Monitor, 12/26/07]

Len Nichols, Jonathan Gruber and Mark Pauly: ‘even with other cost saving measures and a child mandate, we think that it is very likely that a least 15 million American would remain uninsured.’ “Recent estimates suggest that a plan with uniform generous subsidies but without a mandate would cover no more than one-half of the uninsured in the U.S. New America Foundation, Policy Brief, 12/06/07]

Jonathan Holohan of the Urban Institute: ‘Obama would still leave about 22 million, 23 million, but he has a mandate for children, about 9 million uninsured kids, so assuming you get most of them, you get pretty close to 15 million.’ [New Republic, 12/03/07]

Wall Street Journal: ‘Mrs. Clinton charges that Mr. Obama’s plan would leave 15 million people without insurance. Outside experts agree that number is in the ballpark.’ [Wall Street Journal 12/04/07]
Washington Post: ‘The Obama plan could leave a third of those currently uninsured lacking coverage [47 million].’ [Washington Post, 6/9/07]

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By VillageElder, May 4, 2008 at 7:34 am Link to this comment

There seems to be some evidence that this impulse to god may be in our DNA.  Up until very recently our species understanding of the world/universe we live in was very incomplete.  That there should be a guide, shepherd, pilot or ruler made excellent sense.  400,000 years ago, from archeology we can extrapolate reasonable schema for the belief systems.  The residual of these beliefs, or similar artifacts and totems, are found among the most primitive peoples today. We too carry these residuals.

The notions of a clockwork universe has been with us for 100,000’s of years.  Since we became aware of the repetition of the the phases of the moon and weather cycles we have search for the controlling force or being.  It made sense up until our species reached the age of enlightenment/reason.  “God created and planned everything.”  A statement that denies free will and suggests that all things are preordained.  I believe that this is still a popular belief in some circles.

I am amused by these folks, scary as they are, for they all know “god’s plan” and speak as if they give policy guidance.  How is it possible for a “mere human” to understand the thoughts, plans & etc. of this all powerful, all seeing, all knowing and eternal being?  Seem as if there might be more than one delusion a play here.

Despite their delusions these are a scary and powerful groups working in conjunction with the corporatist/fascist cabal that has seized our government.  As with all true believers the rest of us can convert to be “saved” or be part of an auto-de-fe to insure that the “faithful” are “saved”.  Besides the religious intolerance, I find the racism displayed in the treatment of the right wing preachers condemning this country and black, particularly if “left” leaning disgusting.

BTW if you can read this you missed the rapture…

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By Ted Swart, May 4, 2008 at 7:02 am Link to this comment

Jeepers Tom Duff.  What you say is a little too close to the truth for comfort.

I have—like the rest of you—been trying to wrack my brains for a way out of the mess. 

Would it be any help if every vote for member of congress, senate or president or governor for tha tmatter had an official category for “none of the above”—which took effect if it gained the most votes by forcing a re-election with a larger slate of indenpendent candidates.  A huge part of the problem is the inability to get voted in without a massive amount of money at your disposal.

Since confidence in and anger with both the current president and the House of Representatives is at an all time low there ought ot be some way of allowing this anger to produce a result.

I read some while back about a senatprr who packed it in since he found he was spending far too alrge a percentage of his time raising money istead of doing the job for which he was elected.

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By cann4ing, May 4, 2008 at 6:59 am Link to this comment

John McCain is in charge of the straight doubletalk express.  All who blindly climb aboard think the man is actually a moderate, a Maverick, even the scourge of special interests—this despite the fact that all his conductors are corporate lobbyists.

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By Ted Swart, May 4, 2008 at 6:46 am Link to this comment

Well said Knowitall.  The existing president and all three of the current presidential aspirants are “traitors to democracy”.  And, quite clearly voters can do nought else but choose the “lesser of the many McEvils”—or abstain or vote in vain for Ralph Nader. Talk about Hobson’s choce!
The terrifying thing is that even the “lesser” of the set of evilas may well be incapable of overhauling the system sufficiently to set it back on the right path—given that they are all far too beholden to the current day robber barons.

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By VillageElder, May 4, 2008 at 6:28 am Link to this comment

Not to worry, the Endtimers or End of Days folks or some such named band of zealots have assured us the world, and civilization as we know it, will end of May 15th 2008.

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By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, May 4, 2008 at 5:29 am Link to this comment

Thanks for your ideas. I wish I could be as confident in the dems. ability to counter the “goddamn America” ace-in-the-hole of the repubs.

In my mind, it’s the patriotic thing dems have to contend with.  You’ve got “war hero” McCain vs. the “G.D. America” sympathizer.  Your idea of driving home to the electorate the notion of Bush’s unpatriotic/unconstitutional behavior and McSame’s juxtaposition might be the answer. 

Since I’m for neither, and I accept that a Nader-type is not going to emerge and present voters with the real Truth about McBush, McCain, McHillary and McBama, i.e., they’re all traitors to our democracy and working class people—look at where we’ve now come in just the last several months—I guess the lesser of the many Mcevils might be McBama. I’m not sure the dems have the necessary equipment to get him elected, though. 

I did watch the McHillary video first posted by Purplegirl and it opened my eyes.  Thanks.  I don’t suppose one would find an equivalent for McBama and that’s a plus.

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By cyrena, May 4, 2008 at 1:13 am Link to this comment

Ya know ...I’ve just read and viewed all the stuff from Bill Moyers Journal, and several related articles from The Nation as well. And yeah, now I’m afraid to fall asleep..I’m sure I’ll have horrible nightmares. Purple Girl wasn’t kidding about how terrifying these people are.

Anyway, it seems to me that if more folks were aware of this CUFI..Christians United for Israel, the Hagee Organization, and the Foundation for the Near Enders - the Apocalypse Now crowd is what I call them, there would be ZERO chance or time for McCain to be indulged in any on-slaught of Obama.

In fact, there is NOTHING ‘on’ Obama anyway, which is why they had to take this relatively unknown African-American Pastor from Chicago, and attempt to turn him into a monster.

But, a few minutes of listening to some of the ideology of the Hagee crowd, and their very crazy anti-Christ stuff, should be enough to scare anybody enough to run McCains ass right out of dodge!

But, it means making the appropriate connections known. For most Americans, (regardless of their political party affiliation) these people can be easily enough dismissed as crazies, UNTIL we become aware of JUST HOW MUCH they have commanded the entire foreign AND domestic policies of the US. Folks who read and contribute to this and other blogs may be aware of that, (to a greater or lesser degree) but I think I can safely make the claim that a huge portion of the voting population DOESN’T HAVE A CLUE about the political power of this group.

Even those who are aware of the group don’t have a clue to the real motivations and ideology that serves as the foundation, and they don’t know or understand the politics involved AT ALL. And these are not stupid people as much as they’ve been brainwashed by propaganda, and dumbed down. For MOST average Americans, Israel is simply a place in the Middle East, and they haven’t a CLUE to the dominating and destructive alliance that the current political regime shares with Israel.

I’m not making excuses one way or the other for them, but that IS the reality. Most Americans are simply not aware of this. If they were, we would never have been highjacked by this Cabal to begin with.

So, maybe it’s time to examine and expose the real poison of this group, because if Hagee and his CUFI group can blast away on all of these radio stations and TV and all the rest, without the viewers having even a clue of what “United for Israel” really MEANS, then we really are in the END TIMES, and for most of the population, they will have never seen it coming.

That said, if there’s a connection to be made, it would make as much sense to concentrate on the McCain-Hagee connection than on the Bush as spiritual leader to McCain thing. (how many folks are gonna believe that anyway?) Besides, Cheney and his staff (David Addington, Scooter Libby, etc) are the point people in the destruction that we’ve lived though these last 8 years..not Bush. How many Americans even know that?

Not everybody reads and blogs, though the die hard bushies do, and they aren’t going to be deterred anyway. They’re all over this blog and others, explaining away and lying and denying about everything these thugs have pulled off on us.

If average Americans need to know and understand the McCain is more of the same, they probably need to know the whole rotten core of it all.

There’s a horror movie/video with John Bolton included at this same link.

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By Douglas Chalmers, May 4, 2008 at 12:20 am Link to this comment

Some pols are (or have been) pedophiles too, Sang Ze.

But, if its about race, its also about religion, at least in the Western mind. “White is right” so they have to have a god to endorse them as something “divine” instead of admitting their true animalistic nature.

Don’t be so naive…... denial is the choice of preference of insane whites. In the end and in their small minds,  they have nowhere to go on this planet if they can’t rule, uhh!

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By cyrena, May 3, 2008 at 11:52 pm Link to this comment

Well, I’m with Tom Doff on pulling a reverse swift-boat campaign, since it’s the only thing that seems to energize the most dumbed down among us. I hate that of course, because I hate personal destruction politics.

So, maybe Obama said he wasn’t gonna indulge in such, and I’m grateful and appreciative of his stance. Doesn’t stop the rest of us from fighting fire with fire though, especially where our own survival is concerned.

For starters, (and to kill a couple of birds with one stone) if we’re gonna show how connected and SAME John McCain is to Dick Bush, we might as well show how connected and SAME Hillary Clinton is to Dick Bush as well, making her (what we already know) the SAME as McCain. They’re ALL republicans!

Now here’s an interesting video on a case currently pending against Hillary Clinton. (Peters v Clinton) right here in California. Thebeerdoctor posted this, and I was amazed, because of course I wasn’t even aware of it. But then, that’s really the whole issue…these people have the power to squash anything they want in the press, and create anything they want, (the Obama-Wright thing) for press/public consumption.

So, here’s a video that’s very informative, and a link to another piece by Paul Krugman on McSame as Bush.

Hillary uncensored:

Bush Made Permanent
  By Paul Krugman
  The New York Times
  Monday 28 April 2008

  As the designated political heir of a deeply unpopular president - according to Gallup, President Bush has the highest disapproval rating recorded in 70 years of polling - John McCain should have little hope of winning in November. In fact, however, current polls show him roughly tied with either Democrat.

  In part this may reflect the Democrats’ problems. For the most part, however, it probably reflects the perception, eagerly propagated by Mr. McCain’s many admirers in the news media, that he’s very different from Mr. Bush - a responsible guy, a straight talker.

  But is this perception at all true? During the 2000 campaign people said much the same thing about Mr. Bush; those of us who looked hard at his policy proposals, especially on taxes, saw the shape of things to come.

  And a look at what Mr. McCain says about taxes shows the same combination of irresponsibility and double-talk that, back in 2000, foreshadowed the character of the Bush administration.

More at the his tax plan

While I’m at it…might as well include the link to Hagee from Bill Moyers Journal.

Christians United for Israel (CUFI)

“If a line has to be drawn, draw it around Christians and Jews. We are united.”
-Pastor John Hagee, CUFI Founder

“John Hagee, along with other Christian Evangelical leaders, created Christians United for Israel (CUFI) less than two years ago, yet it has already grown into one of the largest and most politically influential Christian grassroots organizations in the country.”

“When 50 million evangelical bible-believing Christians unite with five million American Jews standing together on behalf of Israel, it is a match made in heaven.”

Watch an extended version of Hagee’s keynote address at A Night to Remember Israel, 2007

Dr. Hagee founded and is the Senior Pastor of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas, a non-denominational evangelical church that has more than 18,000 members. He is also the President and CEO of John Hagee Ministries, which he says boasts a television and radio audience of 99 million homes.

See it all at the link

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By purplewolf, May 3, 2008 at 10:26 pm Link to this comment


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By purplewolf, May 3, 2008 at 10:15 pm Link to this comment

I agree. But I have always wondered why, if these people who claim they believe in God so much, why are so hell bend on killing others. After all, didn’t one of their superstitious commandments tell them that, “thou shall not kill?”

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By Tom Doff, May 3, 2008 at 7:28 pm Link to this comment

I’d pull a ‘reverse’ on the republican swift boaters, substituting Bush for Rev. Wright, and McCain for Obama.
Each time they criticized Obama for supporting Wright, show McCain supporting Bush. Each time they showed Obama disavowing Wright, show McCain disavowing Bush.
Identify Bush as McCain’s ‘preacher’, and ‘spiritual leader’.

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By Tom Doff, May 3, 2008 at 7:16 pm Link to this comment

Also, Dr. Knowitall, I’d get MoveOn, or someone, to sponsor a series of 15 second commercials, running continuously during the campaign, each featuring one of the innumerable Bush administration lies, as featured in Mother’s time-line of lies, and tie each commercial to Bush/McCain, with ‘Want more of this?. If not, Obama’s the one’.

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By cann4ing, May 3, 2008 at 7:10 pm Link to this comment

Blueboy, The drumbeat is one that has been concocted by the corporate media.  If they did not continue to play the loop over and over and over again, the whole Wright thing would have faded almost the moment it was reported.  The only reason McCain’s open embrace of Hagee has not reverberated is precisely because the news media gives McCain a free pass at every possible juncture.  Another example occurred last January when the New York Times printed a front page article that reveals that McCain, while claiming to be the scourge of special interests, has accepted free air travel from media moguls and then intervened at the FCC on their behalf—the very thing he did for Charles Keating during the Keating Five scandal when he was reprimanded by the Senate in a scandal that cost U.S. taxpayers $3.2 billion when Lincoln Savings & Loan went bust. 

While the pundits on the corporate propaganda networks, aka cable, took up the article, it was only to criticize the Times for printing that McCain’s aides thought McCain might have had an affair with Vicky Iseman, the lobbyist for Lowell Paxson, the media mogul upon whose behalf McCain intervened.  (Iseman was only one of the numerous lobbyists embedded in the McCain campaign). The same pundits who have done Wright wrong, made no mention of the substance of the Times piece which exposed McCain’s claim that he is the scourge of special interests as a concocted white wash.  So that story did not reverberate in the press.

Your insistence on condemning the “God Damn America!” reference implies that people have taken offense because they think Obama’s pastor was calling on God to condemn America.  The only reason they believe that is because they, like you, have not seen the quote within the full context.  The full context exposes the lie in the effort to suggest that Wright had asked God to condemn America, but then even when you expose some people to that basic truth, they prove incapable of comprehending such a subtle but fundamental distinction.

I am not interested in “debating” someone who is too lazy to search for the truth.  Opinions that are not based on facts are worthless.  Trying to debate someone who holds to opinions irrespective of truth is pointless.

Finally, the issue is not whether the “9/11 terrorists have a legitimate gripe.”  There can be no justification for the crime they committed.  But that is not what the Wright chickens coming home to roost statement was about.  In Biblical terms it is simply the axiom that violence begets violence.  When you invade another country, when you drop bombs on civilians in another country, when your troops storm into their houses in the dead of night, dragging out men who had committed no crime and throw them into dungeons like Abu Ghraib where you subject them to torture, you are going to create enemies.  You are going to create new generations of people who will want to strike back at the U.S.  That is not “my” assessment.  It is the assessment of our own intelligence agencies.

Note:  I didn’t call you stupid.  I called you lazy.  You have the ability to move past the propaganda and search out truth on alternative media.  But even when you are told where to find it, you prefer to come back with your uninformed “opinions.”  How sad!

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By Tom Doff, May 3, 2008 at 6:53 pm Link to this comment

Were I Obama, I’d revert to my persona before the Wright controversy erupted, modified by adopting the McCain ‘Straight Talk’ mode, but for real, with teeth.

I’d identify McCain with Bush, as inseparable entities.
(Plenty of sources to tap, to prove it). I’d identify McCain as a ‘Speaker with Crooked Tongue’, and a flip-flopper (Plenty of sources to tap, to prove it).I’d do the above, each time I was attacked. Keep reminding folks that the group McCain represents have proven to be despicable liars, with horrific consequences for this nation, and the world.

But first and foremost, I’d say, specifically, what I was going to do as president. Reverse the powers Bush and Cheney have illegally assumed for the White House and it’s inmates. Cancel the assaults on the Constitution embodied in the Patriot and other acts. Restore the people’s belief in the sanctity of their personal rights. Lessen the influence of the Corporate mob. Lessen the influence of the Zionist mob. Appoint people of integrity, and deal harshly with them if they violate my, and the people’s, trust. Put together a citizen’s group to identify areas of corruption and malfeasance in government. Provide an award program for whistleblowers, if their charges are proven true. Provide incentives to government employees who make suggestions that improve the performance and/or reduces the cost of government.
Establish a priority list for government programs, with health care for all, and a vastly improved education system at the top of the list. Continue the US’s generosity to other nations and peoples when help is needed, but make certain that our own nation and people are cared for first.
Basically, I would call a spade a spade. And I would refer to Bush/McCain as a passe, outmoded, horrific experience, to be replaced by Hope, and Progress, and Truth, and Justice, and Fairness, for all.
My theme would be, ‘Let’s Make the US Number One Again’.

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By Tom Doff, May 3, 2008 at 5:58 pm Link to this comment

When is the MSM going to catch on to the real story behind all these controversies about Hagee, Wright, the pope, It’s staring them right in the face, and they haven’t caught on yet.


He is the Pedophilic Priests, and the Putz-Pope who protects them. He is the demented Robertson, who constantly takes the lord’s name in vain, as he pleads to increase his earthy goods. He is the deranged Hagee, who plans for the apocalypse by instigating it, and seeks the destruction of a nation and it’s people in order to ascend to ‘heaven’. He is the ranting Wright, who ‘knows’ that his view is ‘THE’ view, that his belief is ‘THE’ belief.

He is all those who profess to speak for christ, to take his place, for that’s what an antichrist is.

He is all earthly ‘Men of ‘God’‘, they are the Antichrist(s).

Want to support the Devil? Go to church. Or vote for a Bush supporter.

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By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, May 3, 2008 at 5:57 pm Link to this comment

I’d be curious to hear your idea how the Obama campaign might respond to the coming onslaught by the McCain camp.

We anti-republicans are not only well aware of republican ineptness in governing, but we also recognize their amazing ability to carry on a campaign that keeps the voters focused in on the non-issues, like in this case, Obama’s disloyality to his minister of many years and his sudden repudiation of Wright’s anti-America tirade.

How do you think, Tom Doff, the Obama campaign should prepare for this coming nailing to the cross or burning at the stake of Obama?

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By Blueboy1938, May 3, 2008 at 5:12 pm Link to this comment

My comments are in response to the article.  The article, in case you have forgotten, was about the differential treatment of McCain vs. Obama by the media and the implication that is racist.  My points are that McCain’s acceptance of some nut case endorsement from somebody he hasn’t had a long, and I mean 20 years long, association with is not as newsworthy as “the story that just keeps on giving.”  As I said before:  Wright speaks.  Obama responds.  The media report.

As for my knowledge, I do not denigrate others’ knowledge or lack thereof, and I expect to be treated the same.  I have not been, and you know it.  I don’t claim superior knowledge to anyone, but I certainly have enough to formulate an opinion about the topic that we’re supposed to be responding to: media bias.

Conspiracy theories may be accurate, or they may not.  What does that have to do with the judgement call by a rising pol who surely knew that his pastor was saying things that would reflect on that, after he sat, apparently not disapproving, for 20 years listening to someone make outrageous statements.  Whether Rev. Wright has evidence that AIDS was inflicted on African Americans by their government, whether the 9/11 terrorists had a legitimate gripe, or whether the United States has or has not done reprehensible things, justifiable on some level or not, are totally beside the point.

He said “God damn America.”  Some people take offense at that.  Sen. Obama belatedly says he takes offense at that.  His campaign has been thrown off stride by the continuing Wright drumbeat and his own contorted efforts to deal with that.  It has hurt him at a critical juncture.  It is newsworthy, aside from any considerations of his or Rev. Wright’s race.  McCain’s collection of right wing-nut endorsements, while disheartening, is not on the same level of newsworthyness.  If you all want to debate whether Wright was right, go ahead.  But that was not the thrust of Mr. Boyarsky’s premise.

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By cyrena, May 3, 2008 at 4:53 pm Link to this comment

Yep, Hagee and his ‘movement’ are frightening; indeed terrorizing. I remember reading a very lengthy piece well over a year ago, on Bush and these ‘near-enders’ who allegedly want to make sure that the apocalypse occurs during their lifetimes, (is that the same as the “Rapture”?) Supposedly, there are 40 million of this cult.

But there is another that we hear little of, and seeming far more dangerous. That would be the cult of the Rev Sun Myung Moon. His ‘organization’ has been connected to the Bush Dynasty for several decades now. He seems to operate in plain sight, but with little or no attention from the MSM.

Here are a few excerpts…it’s a very interesting connection.

“’s not news that a viciously anti-American religious figure has invested billions of dollars in financing the U.S. conservative movement and put fat wads of cash into the pockets of many prominent Republicans, including members of President George W. Bush’s own family.

  While Sen. Obama has to explain what he knew and when he knew it about Wright’s angry sermons, the Bush Family floats above its financial and political associations with the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, a South Korean theocrat who had denounced the United States as “Satan’s harvest” and likened American women to “prostitutes.”

  In his angry sermons, Moon has gone further than saying “God-damn America” - as Wright did - to vowing to sweep aside American democracy and individualism as he builds a one-world state.

  Once his plan to “swallow entire America” is complete, Moon told his followers in one sermon, there will be “some individuals who complain inside your stomach. However, they will be digested.”

  But Moon’s hatred of America is not deemed news, in part, because Moon has financed the Washington Times since 1982 to the tune of more than $3 billion, according to former newspaper insider George Archibald.

  Moon also has lavished many millions of dollars more to pay for conservative conferences and to bail out key right-wing figures when they have found themselves in financial distress, including Republican direct-mail guru Richard Viguerie and the late Jerry Falwell.

  Plus, Moon has paid large speaking fees to former President George H.W. Bush - estimated in the millions of dollars - and has feted President George W. Bush’s brother Neil at recent events for the Moon-sponsored Universal Peace Federation.

  In 2004, thankful Republicans even gave Moon use of a room in the Senate Dirksen Office Building so he could be crowned the “King of Peace” in a ceremony that Moon’s followers hailed as proof the U.S. government was bowing down to this new Messiah. [See John Gorenfeld’s Bad Moon Rising.]

  Yet, even though Moon has gained influence by funneling huge sums of mysterious money into the U.S. political process - and to the Bush Family - he has avoided the intense scrutiny that has fallen on Rev. Wright, who until recently was a little-known black preacher from Chicago’s South Side.

  Moon’s influence on the American Right and his largesse toward the Bush Family have remained virtual non-stories. That’s been the case even though Moon may represent a key nexus between international crime and the U.S. political elite.

  When Moon is discussed, he’s usually presented as simply the wacky Unification Church cult leader who somehow parlayed carnation sales by his followers into a vast global fortune.

  What is almost never referenced are his long-standing ties to organized crime and international drug smuggling, including the Japanese yakuza gangs and South American cocaine traffickers. Even first-hand accounts of Moon’s money-laundering from insiders like his former daughter-in-law Nansook Hong draw no U.S. media attention.”

More here:

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By Claus-Erik Hamle, May 3, 2008 at 3:32 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

According to Dr Bob Bowman, former chief of US Air Force Missile Defense, missile defense is the missing link to a First Strike. Dr Bob Bowman thinks the missiles in Poland will be very useful to shoot down any surviving Russian missiles after a First Strike. Therefore the Russians will implement Launch On Warning. The terrible consequences of a mistake will be caused by the Pentagon´s drive for a disarming, unanswerable first-strike capability. Dr Bob Bowman agrees that the Pentagon will get disarming first-strike capability by 2011/12. Acc. to former Trident missile engineer Bob US Navy can track and destroy all enemy subs simultaneously. The main danger is Russian Launch On Warning because of US First-Strike Capability. Please read Keir Lieber and Daryl Press, “The Rise of US Nuclear Primacy”, 2006 March/April issue of Foreign Affairs. By 2011/12 the Pentagon will have achieved that the Russians have no choice but Launch On Warning. “Bloody fools in the Pentagon” stated Brigadier Harbottle, chairman of Generals For Peace.

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By cann4ing, May 3, 2008 at 2:48 pm Link to this comment

Excellent post, non credo.  But I can’t help but add how amused I get whenever I hear the self-centered phrase “God Bless America!”

If God only blesses America, what does He do to the rest of the world?

Like you, Non Credo, I’m an atheist.  However, I am always intrigued by a fundamental theological question that arises when I hear religious scam artists like Hagee advocating an assault on a foreign nation like Iraq (not to mention the billionaire televangelist Pat Robertson urging that we assassinate the president of Venezuela).

Tell me, my good Reverend Hagee, just ‘who’ would Jesus have bombed?  Tell me Pat Roberson, oh wise man of the cloth, whom would Jesus have assassinated?

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By cann4ing, May 3, 2008 at 2:37 pm Link to this comment

Whether we deal with Iran or coming up with a sham “vacation” from the gas tax, there is very little difference between Hillary Clinton and John McCain.  Neither of them is qualified to be President.

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By cann4ing, May 3, 2008 at 2:34 pm Link to this comment

(1) So if all Republi-crooks pander to the fanatic policies of the religious right, that somehow makes it okay?  I suppose it didn’t matter that Bush’s first FEMA director, Joe Albaugh, thought that FEMA was an overblown entitlement organization which the administration dismantled so as to delegate the task to faith-based organizations, producing disasterous results after Katrina.  It doesn’t matter that John McCain advocates an aggressive foreign policy in the Middle East that could bring about a nuclear conflagration also serve the ultimate goal of end-timers like John Hagee in advancing Armageddon?  It doesn’t matter that the Republic-crooks have led an assault on science and the rule of reason, trying to replace the science of evolution with the pseudo-scientific “intelligent design” (creationism) in our “public” schools?  Hey, they’re Republicans.  They’re allowed.  Why criticize them.

(2)  If the media totally distorts the thrust of what Wright was saying, that’s okay too?  It is obvious that you did not take the time to actually watch the Moyers interview; that you are lazy and would prefer to blindly accept the propaganda the corporate media feeds you than make the effort to research why Wright linked 9/11 to blowback from U.S. imperialism.  If you, and your pal Bert, the Hillary supporter who will jump on just about anything to attack Obama, had even a modest education you would appreciate the validity of Wright’s critical comparison between the ancient Roman and modern U.S. Empires.  As noted by Chalmers Johnson in “Nemesis,” in 2005 the U.S. listed 737 overseas bases “worth at least $127 billion—surely far too low a figure but still larger than the gross domestic products of most countries.”  U.S. military bases cover “687,347 acres overseas and 29,819,492 acres worldwide, making the Pentagon easily one of the world’s largest landlords.”  “These numbers, although staggeringly big, do not begin to cover all we occupy globally.”

The presence of our military garrisons even in friendly nations, creates massive foreign resentment, especially since the U.S. routinely evades application of the law of the occupied nation to the base or to our troops through Status of Forces Agreements (SOFAs), as for example Article 6 of the SOFAs in Japan and Korea which exempt our bases from having to comply with local environmental laws.  In Okinawa, members of U.S. armed have been spirited away by U.S. authorities who refused to turn them over to local Japanese authorities to face charges for the rape and beating of Japanese women, even in the case of very young girls.  You see the same type of blanket immunity from local law being imposed on Iraq and Afghanistan not only for the members of the armed forces but for all so-called “contractors” including the murderous mercenaries from Blackwater.

The notion that all these bases exist out of benevolence is a myth.  They are there to protect the business interests of the American ruling class, even when those business interests entail an outsourced factory that used to pay good union wages in the U.S. and now pays $2/day in some foreign sweat shop.

You want to know why they hate us?  It’s not because they hate our freedom but because they hate our arrogance and our very presence on “their” lands.  That is what Wright was talking about when he said 9/11 was the U.S. imperial chickens come home to roost.  And there is nothing really controversial about that.

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By Purple Girl, May 3, 2008 at 2:29 pm Link to this comment

The ideology of this maniac is far more terrifying than being exposed in the Media.
Bill Moyer has footage of Him and his real ‘doctrine’. This Man is Dangerous and anyone who follows his beliefs should be run out of Gov’t. His Cult should be on a ‘Watch List’ and considered a Clear and Present danger to Our Countries Security.
His sociopathic teaching ENCOURAGES pre -emptive strikes on Iran so to bring ON ‘End Of Days’. He has lured in the Jewish & Christians alike under the disguise of ‘Christians United for Isreal’. He’s only interest in Joining with Jews is to bring about the Warfare with the Islamic world to spark glbal reaction which will begin ‘Armageddon’. considering he also thinks Jews will not be saved during the ‘Rapture’ If they do not convert, I have no idea why Leibermann would Think so highly of him.
What caused me the Most Terror was the recent Statement by Hillary she would be willing to ‘Obliterate Iran ’ with NUKES! I expect Warmongering from Mac (who scared the hell out of me prior to seeing this video), But To realize A Democratic Candidate Was Most likely Telling followers of this Doctrine She Too was willing to Push the buttons for their Cult madness Shocked Me!
seh’s not just a Covert Corp Operative - She is a Sociopathic Religious Zealot! No wonder her Religious affliation has not been exposed- seh doesn’t need Hagee’s endorsement - she’s One of His Followers! She is far worse than any Monster and she wants the Power and resources to Accomplish their Self fulfilling Prophecy! I AM TERRIFIED NOW!!!

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By Sang Ze, May 3, 2008 at 1:50 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Don’t be so naive - it’s not about religion, it’s about race. Apply the same rules to any catholic politician and you come up with pols who support pedophiles.

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By bert, May 3, 2008 at 1:16 pm Link to this comment

Except for the last three paragraphs, I agree with everything you wrote in this post. I was going to respond to FlamingLib’s post myself, but why reinvent the wheel when you did a much beter job than I could have.

Where we part though is which candidate we support for POTUS.

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By ted tyson, May 3, 2008 at 1:15 pm Link to this comment

      You seem to have confidence that your level of knowledge is very great.  I’m glad you’ve taken time to personally rebuke any of us who would dare suggest you are not informed.  Remaining silent as you do, then, about the 9/11 victims’ families concerns as they pertain to suspicious behavior on the part of our government must be a tremendous burden. 


                    Ted Tyson
                    Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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By bert, May 3, 2008 at 1:05 pm Link to this comment

cyrena writes:    “Such enormous crimes against humanity seem pretty damnable to me.”

It is one thing to say that America has not always lived up to its ideals. Welcome to God’s imperfect little world where all of us are fallen angels and sinners.

It is quite another thing to say, “God damn America.”

How about with the grace of God and lots of hard work we can change and improve America.

And changing America is not something that will happen over night. It is always and forever an ongoing process.

I can’t change the past. I can recognize and understand where we fell down as a country and a society in striving to meet Jefferson’s lofty words. But all I can do is my best to try and make sure that my words, deeds, and votes try to make the present and the future America better than when I came into it.

Damning America is neither a beginning nor a plan of action to right past wrongs.

As JFK said in his inaugural address:    “All this [his agenda for his administration] will not be finished in the first 100 days. Nor will it be finished in the first 1,000 days, nor in the life of this Administration, nor even perhaps in our lifetime on this planet. But let us begin.”

JFK closed his inaugural address this way:  “With a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that HERE ON EARTH GOD’S WORK MUST TRULY BE OUR OWN.” 

Let’s not damn America.  Even with all her imperfections she is still the greatest experiment in self-rule in the history of the world.

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By yours trulyj, May 3, 2008 at 12:48 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What Was That?

“Sudden clarity.”


“The absence of distractions.”

“Such as?”

“The horse race along with the she said he said.”

“Instead what?”

“Our seeing to it that we elect someone president who’ll end the Iraq War, negotiate with Iran plus turning things around here at home.”

“And then what sort of world?”

“It’ll be up to us.”

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By dale Headley, May 3, 2008 at 12:30 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The larger point is being missed here.  THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A GOD OR GODS; so, to the extent that these candidates, not to mention our representatives in Congress and on the Supreme Court truly believe in a God, it means that, more than any developed country on Earth, we are being ruled by supremely ignorant and superstitious people.

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By bert, May 3, 2008 at 12:17 pm Link to this comment

Reply to blueboy1938’s two posts.

Both are excellent and you make many valid points. Good luck with keeping certain posters here on topic.

“Whether or not I am ashamed of some of the historical atrocities that undeniably befell people in this country is totally beside the point.”

Exactly. I can be ashamed and still be opposed to what is essentially reverse racism and Black Liberation Theolgy.

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By Blueboy1938, May 3, 2008 at 11:52 am Link to this comment

McCain is just doing what every Republican candidate for president does: suck up to the oxymoronic “religious right” wing nuts.  Almost every one of them that we know about - the late Falwell, Robertson, Swaggert, et al - have made completely idiotic statements.  That doesn’t prevent the courting by repube wannabes.  That also means it’s not particularly newsworthy.

The 20-year association of Obama with Wright is hugely different than McCain’s getting an endorsement from someone he probably doesn’t agree with, or even like very much.  That’s what’s bothering those people that think it matters, and that’s why the media are following it, plain and simple.  Wright speaks, Obama responds, the media report.  As long as Wright is on his self-justifying road trip, that cycle will repeat itself.  Now that he’s retired, he’s got plenty of time to do it.  By the way, how dare you suggest that I’ve not informed myself on this issue.  Besides, it doesn’t matter in what context Wright said those outrageous things, because he just keeps rollin’ along, keeping the issue alive at perhaps the most critical juncture of the Democratic primary season.

Wait until the Rezko stuff hits the fan, as his trial unfolds right in the middle of the campaign.  You ain’t seen nothing yet!  You can also bet the repubes have stockpiled loads of “stuff” to throw at Obama (and Clinton, too) when needed.

It doesn’t matter whether Wright is right or not, folks.  He’s damaged Obama, fair or not, and the media are “doin’ a-what comes nat-chur-lee.”  (Sung by the po’ white hillbilly, “Annie,” in “Annie Get Your Gun,” in case anyone thinks I’m being racist.)

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By Tom Doff, May 3, 2008 at 11:41 am Link to this comment

And the RNC has already ordered enough heavy-duty, rough-hewn lumber to build either a cross or an immolation stake, or both, as they decide whether to crucify or burn Obama at the stake during the general election.
Some of them wish Hillary had won. They could have just tied her in a sack and tossed her in the Potomac.

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By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, May 3, 2008 at 11:27 am Link to this comment

If Peter can be rewarded by Christ, after Pete denied him, by becoming the “rock” upon which the xtian church was founded, then, perhaps, Obama will become the saviour/rock of the American working class, notwithstanding his denial of the Rev. Wright.
Not that the Rev. at all approaches the status of Christ, but a denial of a religious leader is a denial of a religious leader just the same.

I can see it now: St. Barack

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By Tom Doff, May 3, 2008 at 10:45 am Link to this comment

In order to function properly, a democracy should do it’s best to insure that it’s populace is educated, knowledgeable, and au courant with events.

It should also encourage it’s populace to vote, although not much encouragement should be necessary for an aware population.

And religion must play a part in the voting process, preferably as early as possible. When people register to vote, they should be asked if they consider themselves ‘religious’, which religion they prefer, and whether the tenets of that religion affect or direct their lives, and whether they will apply religious principles or considerations in the voting process.

If they answer affirmatively to any of the religious questions, their voter registration form should be discarded, on the basis that they are uneducated, probably uneducable, that their ‘knowledge’ is based on fiction and falsehoods, and their ‘awareness’ of current events is probably highly skewed by fictional accounts of 2000+-year-old fantasies. (The fantasies of Muslims and Mormons are less ancient)

This would eliminate much of the foolishness we are witnessing in the current campaign, and the even greater foolishness we have experienced under the maladministration of the past 7+ years.

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By Ted Swart, May 3, 2008 at 9:15 am Link to this comment

Fair enough.  You are right. The “Hagee/McCain story isn’t as significant as the Wright/Obama one.” But the truth is that both Obama and McCin are excercising “poor judgment”.  And many of us long for at least one politician to cut loose from the having a religious noose around his/her neck. 
The reason why we don’t make progress is precisely because of lack of consistency and sheer guts in political debate. We need someone to rise abovwe the crowd and not remain mired in it.

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By ted tyson, May 3, 2008 at 8:31 am Link to this comment

It is stunning to see Boyarsky dismiss out of hand Reverend Wright’s comments about AIDS and the government being capable of doing anything to the Afircan-American community.  Because of journalism like this, most people are unaware of the Tuskogee Institute experiments.  I suppose black people in America—and the rest of us—should just “get over it.”  When did journalists in this country become such cowards?


                    Ted Tyson
                    Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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By Greg Bacon, May 3, 2008 at 8:11 am Link to this comment

Yes, All Roman Catholics are pedophiles.

They have to be, since i am using the same broad brush to paint Catholics as the media used to paint Obama’s association with Wright.

Since the current pope helped hide the pedophile scandal and threatened to have anyone who spoke out about being raped by a priest excommunicated, then that means all Catholics are pedophiles.

At the very least, they were complicit in the pope’s nefarioius designs and should therefore, be tossed in prison for helping the Catholic pedophiles commit their crimes.

See how simple that was?

Hey, Tim Russert, i have a story line for you.

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By Blueboy1938, May 3, 2008 at 8:01 am Link to this comment

Oh, for goodness sake (avoiding taking the Lord’s name in vain), Cyrena and Ernest.  It’s not what I believe.  It’s the fact that Sen. Obama, a rising and ambitious Chicago pol, had the poor judgement to sit in that church and listen to that ranting and not have it occur to him that it just might be a problem down the road in his nascent political career.

Whether or not I am ashamed of some of the historical atrocities that undeniably befell people in this country is totally beside the point.  My judgement is not at issue here.  Sen. Obama’s is.  The article we are supposed to be commenting on was about the disparity between the media coverage of McCain vs. Obama, not whether Wright or Hagee were making any sense.  My position is that the Hagee/McCain story isn’t as significant as the Wright/Obama one.  That’s not because of race.  It’s because Sen. Obama appears to have exercised poor judgment in not either calling Wright on his inflammatory rhetoric or taking his leave.

The reasons he gave for sticking with Wright (not “throwing him under the bus”) were pretty understandable.  However, he’s not just someone wrestling with his decision about a personal spiritual guide; he’s a candidate for the Democratic Party Presidential nomination.  Wright hurts him by distracting him from his main message while he tries to shore up the damage done to people’s opinion about his judgement.  You can’t make progress if you have to stop and put out brush fires every time Wright opens his mouth on national TV.

So let’s keep focussed, shall we?  What I believe about the deity’s take on America’s historical acts, good or bad, is immaterial to the discussion.

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By Suspect Device, May 3, 2008 at 7:57 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

They want a Christian nation? Let them have one. Let them bring back the inquisitions and Imperial doctrinal councils against each other under the banner of American Protestantism or Mormonism or whatever of the countless brands of Christianity exist in this country. Let them torture each other to bring harmony to their own beliefs and uniformity to their doctrine. Let the President sit as Constantine did in trying to settle disputes between these co-religionists. Yes, lets “return” to our alleged Judeo-Christian foundation and finally practice Old-Testment law and bring back the stoning of disobedient children, slavery, and re-construct the Constitution before the Bill of Rights to be Originalist and Faithful.

Yes, I want to teach the religious right in this country a lesson. A lesson that hopefully will remind them of how this country was founded by allowing them to establish one type of Christianity over another. I want them to bring back religious warfare and outright sectarian violence against each other, since, we seem to be headed closer and closer to that edge with each falling barrier between Church and State. Why not? If we are to believe the Huckabee’s of this country that one can not be “free from religion” we should allow this mandate to be fulfilled and in earnest.

We’ll see how long we’ll last then. That great final battle of Revelation will sure to follow and the Hagee’s will rejoice at Jesus slaughter of so many of homosexuals, non-believers, and Jews sure to give the the “fighter for Christ” Hitler a boner in Heaven. Prophecy will be self-fullfilled by the hands of these pious loving stewards of the Earth, who only wish an end to all life on this planet and the destruction of any dissenter to protect their faith uncritically.

Glory! To our Christian Nation! Let’s now all pledge and pray to the Christian Flag. Amen.

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By Expat, May 3, 2008 at 7:46 am Link to this comment

^ move my lips as you speak!

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By Ted Swart, May 3, 2008 at 7:04 am Link to this comment

Yes Ernest Canning and Cyrena.
Because of the need to pander to the religious majority in the US both Obama and McCain are willing to either deny their agreement with the pastor they happen to associate with (Obama w.r.t. Wright) or brush over their disagreement (McCain w.r.t. Hagee). 
It is all incredibly sad.  Wright ends up looking good by comparison—though he sure has his own blind spots.

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By Ted Swart, May 3, 2008 at 6:50 am Link to this comment

Very astute and probably totally accurate Non Credo.  The only trouble is that the evidence for the existence of the monotheistic God, as conceived by Judaism, Zoroastiranism, Christianity and Islam, is vanishingly small. 
But to use Wright’s own words, the the structure and nature of reality is such that, when we act out of tune with the spirity of reality the “chickens come home to roost”. 
If only we could break loose from hiding behind some dubious and largely indefensible “credo” we would start to make progress.
As others have pointed out we have actually gone backwards rather than forwards—since the US was founded—when it comes to the flourishing of free thinking.

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By Ted Swart, May 3, 2008 at 6:40 am Link to this comment

YES YES Knowitall.  This was and is 100% o.k.  When you talk like that you sure help the discussion.

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By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, May 3, 2008 at 5:29 am Link to this comment

Why isn’t it possible that Obama sat in Wright’s church for 20 years and agree with absolutely everything Wright preached?

You can’t run for president admitting that you believe god should damn America.

Herein lies the rampant hypocrisy.  Like Peter the Saint is reputed to have done to Jesus, Obama has denied Wright.  And politicians deny that America has ever done the things Wright claims she’s done because it is politically expedient for them to do that.  This being America’s MO, nothing will ever change for the better and that, in and of itself, is reason enough for the white bearded one in an out of town galaxy to damn this place.

Was this o.k., Ted Swart?

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By Douglas Chalmers, May 3, 2008 at 4:33 am Link to this comment

By cyrena, May 3: ”...there is a measure of ‘serendipity’ • “The “God Damn America!” sound-bite was completely taken out of context….”

Obama’s soul

By the way, the USA is “...not going to do anything… that hasn’t been done by the Roman Church for the past 800 years…. only going to do it on a greater scale and more efficiently…”!!!

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By cyrena, May 3, 2008 at 2:48 am Link to this comment

Ernest, there is a measure of ‘serendipity’ to your explanation here, (which is excellent by the way…I guess it’s the lawyer in you…lots of patience you have sir)

•  “The “God Damn America!” sound-bite was completely taken out of context…Wright was making a comparison between the Roman empire and the U.S. empire…He pointed out that God does not bless everything, pointed to Biblical passages in which He condemned actions by imperial Rome and compared them to actions conducted by the U.S. government, like the genocidal campaign carried out against Native Americans as part of this nation’s westward expansion under the racist doctrine of Manifest Destiny.”

But the serendipity that I mention is because of another post that I just read on the piece about the release of the Sudanese journalist that the US has had locked up (and tortured) at Guantanamo for 6 years. 

In that post, a Nancy Hatfield quoted directly from the words that were included in the ‘snippet’ from Rev. Wright’s sermon…She writes:

•  “God Bless America?
•  God Bless America?  No, no, no, no.  Not God Bless America—God damn America!!!!!
Again, this is in response to the article, U.S. Releases Journalist After 6 Years.

•  “An al-Jazeera cameraman detained by American forces in Afghanistan was last night released after spending nearly six years imprisoned without charge at Guantánamo Bay… Sami al-Haj, 39, was arrested on the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan on December 15 2001, while on assignment to cover the war against the Taliban. Although he had a valid visa to work in Afghanistan, US intelligence alleged that he was an al-Qaida operative, and he was transferred to Guantánamo in June 2002.”

That’s just the opening, though the entire article goes on to point out what has been the practice of the U.S for over 6 years now, and that only addresses the horrific injustice of capturing over a thousand innocent men back at the time of the first ‘sweep’ for alleged ‘terrorists’ throughout the Afghanistan and Pakistan areas of that region, along with all of the others that were ‘rendered’ and taken to secret locations by the CIA. Many of these men were merchants, goat tenders, farmers, or any other men who happened to be in their own homes, and simply kidnapped by the CIA or by Pakistanis on the payrole of the US, and sold for bounty to the US military.

For those of us who’ve tried to follow this ongoing nightmare of capture, illegal detention, and torture of innocent men, WITHOUT EVER PUTTING FORTH ANY CHARGES, or even allowing access to legal help or trials or due process of any sort, we know these are the most horrific of crimes against humanity, and every law that has ever been established, the response can be as simple as that snippet of Wright’s sermon.

•  “God BLESS America? No. No. No. God damn America!”

And my own response was,” How could we expect any sort of God to actually BLESS that kind of activity?” (and, that doesn’t even cover all of the other atrocities).

So, for blueboy or anyone else who seems to not really quite understand why Jeremiah Wright (or anyone else) might feel that these actions, not unlike the slaughter of the Native Americans, are pretty damnable, I guess I just don’t know what to say. Such enormous crimes against humanity seem pretty damnable to me.

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By Margaret Currey, May 3, 2008 at 2:45 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I have talked with people who are changing sides from Republician to Independent and not all of these people are Republicians for a day, they are seeing that this government mindset must be changed.

Neither pary is without sin the Democrats wanted slavery and it was a Republician President who ended the civil war.

This Obama may be called a black man, but he never heard about slavery from his father and I am sure his mother did not have any relatives who were slaves, unless you go back to Roman times when conquored people became slaves.

When are people gone to look at the character of people and not their skin color. 

At one time scientists were trying to say that a certain race of people were smarter than others, but it is a false study,even scientists can be biased.

And cyrena is right we should not judge anyone by the color skin,that is so seventeenth century.

Even Lincoln thought that the freed slaves would be better going back to Africa, but then he was looking at life in his times.

I say that because of Martin Luther King Jr. people could look at people of color and see that people given a Equal Opportunity could achieve much and that even applies to woman.

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By cann4ing, May 3, 2008 at 12:04 am Link to this comment

Blueboy says, “Hagee is a McCain supporter but not someone he chose to associate with…”

That’s weird.  McCain, not only openly courted Hagee’s endorsement but appeared together with him on camera where McCain said that Hagee “supports what I stand for and believe in” and that he was “proud” of him. 

Hagee is the founder of the Christian Zionist group, Christians United for Israel.  He not only criticized the U.S. State Department for supporting a two state solution but said that God will send terrorists to create a bloodbath in America in retaliation for that support.  He called the Catholic Church “the Great Whore” and said that Hurricane Katrina was visted upon New Orleans because “New Orleans had a level of sin that was offensive to God.”:

As noted by Sarah Posner, author of “God’s Profits: Faith, Fraud and the Republican Crusade for Values Voters,” “Hagee preaches the Prosperity Gospel…that God wants believers to be rich…believers can call riches into existence for themselves through their faith, and that you get rich by tithing to your pastor ten percent of your income….”

Hagee “believes that all Middle East policy is dictated by [biblical prophecy]....He thinks that the United States should militarily attack Iran to preempt its nuclear ambitions and that this is all part of God’s plan to bring about Armageddon and the Second coming.”

McCain’s open embrace of this End-Times charleton makes McCain’s effort to sing “bomb, bomb, bomb Iran” as a parody of the Beach Boy’s “Barbara Anne” all that much more disturbing.  The reason why the Obama/Wright connection has “resonated” where the McCain/Hagee connection has not is because the Wright sound-bites have been played over and over again by the corporate media which has remained silent on McCain/Hagee.  The reason was explained by Adolf Hitler in Mein Kampf:  “All effective propaganda must be limited to very few points and must harp on these slogans until the last member of the public understands what you want him to understand….Propaganda had to be continuous and unvarying in its message.”

And Blueboy, you are flat out wrong about Wright.  The “God Damn America!” sound-bite was completely taken out of context.  If you have a bone of curiosity in you, google Bill Moyers PBS and watch the full interview.  Wright was making a comparison between the Roman empire and the U.S. empire.  He pointed out that God does not bless everything, pointed to Biblical passages in which He condemned actions by imperial Rome and compared them to actions conducted by the U.S. government, like the genocidal campaign carried out against Native Americans as part of this nation’s westward expansion under the racist doctrine of Manifest Destiny.

Surely, Blueboy, if you believe in a just God, you would not claim that God would bless what our government did to Native Americans, or would you?  (Note I use “you,” because I am an atheist, so it is a bit difficult for me to listen to sermons no matter which side of the political spectrum they come from.)

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By Blueboy1938, May 2, 2008 at 10:59 pm Link to this comment

It all boils down to judgment.  Obama sat in Rev. Wright’s pews for 20 years and claims not to have figured out that he was given to extreme pronouncements regarding race and condemning the country for racism against African Americans.  Hagee is a McCain supporter, but not someone with whom he chose to associate for that length of time in that capacity.

It doesn’t matter whether Wright was a minister or not, or what race he is.  Anyone making the “God damn America” statement with whom a candidate had associated himself would cause concern about that candidate’s judgment.  That’s why the Rev. Wright fiasco is resonating with some voters.

Sen. Obama’s campaign has been hijacked by the good Reverend, who is exploiting his “15 minutes of fame” to the hilt at Obama’s expense.  Few would have heard about him otherwise, and none of the networks would be airing his continuing diatribes.

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By cyrena, May 2, 2008 at 8:56 pm Link to this comment

Excellent points BruSays..
Michael Moore said the same in his interview with Larry King. King asked him if he thought the Wright controversy had ‘blown over’ or when he thought it might. Moore said “when cable tv decides to stop it” (that’s a paraphrase, but you know what I mean). Because… It sells.

And, as you said, it also DISTRACTS from the critically important issues, and keeps Americans dumbed-down, and ready prey for those who would and do continue to exploit us.

That’s why Oprah is a jillionaire. She’s made even more jillions for her corporate pimps, so she has huge bonuses from selling the dumbing down of Americans.

And no, of course she’s not the only example, but she’s a good enough one. The Church does an even better job of it though, which is the point of Bill’s argument here. How many ‘buy the bull’ of religion as well, (and the politics attached to it) no matter how brutal the reality of those religious convictions are?

Seriously, when any person or nation can justify the destruction of another state and its entire people, based on some religious ideology, that’s the epitome of insanity.

I was made particularly nauseous by this statement from John McCain. I was dumbstruck really, because obviously, no one finds this to be as totally bizarre as it is

•  “…“I admire and respect Dr. Hagee’s leadership. ... I admire and appreciate his advocacy for the state of Israel, the independence of the state of Israel.”

Somebody help me out here. What does Hagee’s advocacy for the State of Israel have to do with US in the USA? And what does he mean by advocacy for Israel’s independence? Israel has been an independent state since it was created 60 years ago? At least that’s the way the international law views it. So, why are we advocating ‘independence’ for Israel? Why not France, or Lichtenstein or Barbados or Greece or Bali, or Timbuktu? Maybe because they’re already independent..same as Israel?

What exactly is this whacko Hagee’s advocacy for Israel supposed to mean to the citizens of the US, especially when he also claims that Jews have to convert to Christianity to be included in his little “Rapture” excursion? Does he suggest that the independence of Israel will involve converting them from a Jewish state to a Christian state? And again, why should the rest of us CARE? I DON’T!!

As a humanist, I don’t care what religion Israel is, and I don’t see why we have to ‘advocate’ for Israel’s so-called independence, if it means providing them with weapons, taxpayer resources, and geopolitical power to destroy another group of humans and steal their land and resources. So, what’s up with the ‘advocacy’ for Israel, and what the hell does that have to do with who we select as a president?

As far as I’m concerned, they’re ALREADY independent, except of course their dependence on US. So what exactly is he talking about? And, does anyone other than me find this to be a really odd priority for John McCain – advocacy for Israel’s independence? That is unless he’s suggesting that Israel should be independent of US –our money and other forms of aid. Somehow, I don’t think that’s what he means.

Meantime, I’m sure glad that Boyarsky included a link to Deism in this piece. Now I finally have a name for my own take on God or religion, and so I don’t have to rely on the ‘closest fit’ of an agnostic.

For anybody who cares, I’m now officially a Deist. I also maintain my strong belief in the separation of church and state, and adamantly support Bill’s contention that there is no place for religion in this or any other political campaign. That’s why the founders carefully included the separation clause, and why it should be acknowledged and honored by anyone who claims to be an American.

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By Tom Joad, May 2, 2008 at 7:34 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I live in Canada, but we too unfortunately get some of this nutcase Hagee up our way too.  I have seen him in action before (he has a program that runs late nights on “Christian” television station that is smack dab in the middle of PBS and BBC on the dial).  I recall thinking at the time, boy is this guy ever an anti-muslim freakshow.

Here are some of his more famous statements - at least “famous” to those who search under rocks to find them.  The mainstream media sure is awfully quiet on this dude in comparison to Reverand Wright.

By the way, Hagee is also an “author”.  This book would burn a hole in Gloria Steinem’s hands if she were to pick it up…

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By cyrena, May 2, 2008 at 6:52 pm Link to this comment

I beg to differ that NO party can win without the African-American vote. The reality is that African-Americans represent only 13% of the US population, and less than half of that population actually votes, (or is allowed to).

So, it’s incorrect to say that NO party can win without the African-American vote, because Dick Bush won WITHOUT the African-American vote. People like Condi Rice and Colin Powell do NOT represent the African-American population OR the portion of that population that actually votes. And, it does us no favors to suggest that it is the African-American vote that would put Obama in the office. That requires a majority of the dominate race vote, and that means white voters, and specifically middle and working class white voters.

I wish African-Americans DID have the kind of ‘power’ that everyone is all of a sudden trying to give us, just because Barack Obama happens to be black. But, that’s simply not the reality. African-Americans have always been, and continue to be, marginalized in terms of their voting power. It’s that simple.

For George Bush to ‘parade’ Condi the Rice and Colin Powell ahead of his own Coup was not impressive to African-American voters, any more than we were impressed with the installation of Clarence Thomas when he was shoved on us.

So, my reminder stands…neither African-Americans or any other voters should be impressed or otherwise guided in their selection, by the color of the candidates’ skin. People like Clarence Thomas and Condi the Rice are as bad for African-Americans and the rest of the US citizens as Dick Bush is.

Barack Obama is the choice for all Americans regardless of the fact that he happens to have brown skin as opposed to white skin. If white people don’t know this, African-Americans sure do.

We don’t select our leaders by the color of their skin, but rather by the content of their character, and their ability to lead the country and serve our COLLECTIVE interests.

So, there’s no substance to this caveat that suggests otherwise, and it’s also an insult to our intelligence. We’ll vote for Barack Obama because he’s the best hope for all of us, not because he’s black.

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By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, May 2, 2008 at 6:36 pm Link to this comment

I agree.  Something happened to this comment.  I submitted it as a response to one of Maani’s comments where she/he drew a comparison between Obama and McCain and their respective religious affiliations.  To my knowledge, Obama has not stood with a preacher for a photo op as McCain appears to have done at the top of this post.

MSM has made the connection between Obama and Wright, as far as I know but I admit I could be wrong about that.  I realize Obama was (is) a member of Wright’s Trinity Church.  The sermon that got Obama in trouble was delivered years ago, I think.  I don’t have trouble admitting I don’t know something or am wrong about it. 

I’ve latched onto the “under the bus” thing from seeing it so many times in TD and, as is my habit, I tend to take things like that a little too far, mostly for their self-entertainment value.  But, don’t worry, I’ll let that one go in due time, too. I ask you not throw me under the bus.

Finally, I’m not sure it’s the system as much as it is the voters.  There’s a lot wrong with the system IMO, but voters ought to be able to see through the religious pandering and religious demagougery, I should think, and I’m not sure they can.

In that case, the system should forbid it. Thanks. And sorry for the rough talk.  I’ll watch it.

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James M. Martin's avatar

By James M. Martin, May 2, 2008 at 6:01 pm Link to this comment

B.B. wonders: “Why has McCain gotten off so easily while Obama is being battered unmercifully?”

Because the media are preoccupied with the Demo circus.  It is a distraction.  Once a candidate is chosen (or anointed), these issues will be debated.  Hillary looks best on the religious front, but Obamalogs can forgive Barack of anything, including patiently sitting through anti-American sermons.

There’s also the perception that any Dem can beat McSame.  This comes with a caveat: no party can win without the African-American vote, at least in part. (Why do you think Bush paraded Condi and Colin in front of the press?) And most African-Americans are supporting Barack.

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By cyrena, May 2, 2008 at 5:59 pm Link to this comment

Man oh man…it’s always about the crafting and connecting of the syntax and the semantics. I’ve been trying to figure this out, because I never heard the original Wright comment about the government lying about creating HIV as a means of genocide, and..I STILL HAVEN’T heard that alleged comment. (wasn’t in the ‘snippets’ and I must have missed it in whichever sermon he said it in).

But, Wright DID say this, in response to that earlier comment that I didn’t hear..

•  “Wright replied, “based on what has happened to Africans in this country, I believe our government is capable of doing anything.”

Now taken in this stand-alone context, I agree with his statement. Based on a history spanning well over 200 years now, I TOO believe our government is capable of doing anything.

Has anybody noticed Iraq lately? Does anyone REALLY believe that the 9/11 Commission Report? Come on. Who was responsible for the fact that the WTC was blown up by explosives? Did the al-Qaeda terrorists set those explosives up before they allegedly piloted aircraft into them?

Yes, I believe there are elements within the American society that would DO ANYTHING, and there always have been. Hannah Arndt put this theory forth in her thesis on “The Banality of Evil.” So yeah, these people exist, and they become dangerous when they attain the power of the state. THAT’S why we know that our government, (no different than any other authoritarian government) is capable of doing anything.

I don’t believe that they ‘invented HIV’ to commit genocide against people of color. The Euros who genocided the Indigenous population of the Americas didn’t ‘invent’ small pox or any of the other diseases that they used to kill off the population either. They just gave them blankets invested with that virus, and let that to the job. For many, it didn’t even require infected blankets. The facts of that slaughter were aided just by the introduction of those many diseases by those who came over here and spread them. A brief look at the origins of this country at the time, clearly shows that as the Europeans came to this part of the world, WITH THEIR DISEASES, the Native population (not genetically adapted to such diseases) began to diminish rapidly.

The government Public Health Department that performed the Tuskegee Experiment didn’t ‘invent’ syphilis either. They just allowed the infected people to remain infected and to endure long term suffering to eventually die from it, so that they could be used as subjects for experimentation.

So no, I wouldn’t put ANYTHING beyond the “Banality of Evil” perpetrated by our so-called government.

Now of course since most of us already know that, Jeremiah Wright didn’t really have to repeat it, since he had to know that it would only be accepted as crazy talk.

But, not so Hagee huh? It’s not crazy for Hagee to say that Jews must convert to Christianity if they wanna survive this ‘Rapture’? It’s not crazy for him to say that the Catholic Church is the Great Whore? According to Hagee, (and I heard this in an interview with him), HE didn’t say it. HE says, that the BIBLE said it, and quoted the apostle from whom this supposedly came.

Hagee is a religious extremist, as in TERRORIST, and that’s the support that John McCain solicited. Does somebody still wanna claim that the ‘government’ (McSame is a senator) isn’t capable of doing anything, no matter how insane or inhumane it might be? The same government that has another senator (Hillary Rodham) who had threatened to obliterate another country with WMD?

Nope, they may not have created HIV, but it’s not because they aren’t now, or haven’t been capable of it.

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By BruSays, May 2, 2008 at 5:45 pm Link to this comment

Most contributors to this blog have provided in-depth, precise and often compelling information on this Wright/Obama/Hagee/McCain “controversy.”

The problem is, Corporate Media doesn’t do the same. And they don’t do the same because it doesn’t sell. We can’t for a moment forget that the Corporate Media is NOT in the business of giving in-depth, precise and often compelling information; they’re in the business of selling advertizing.

If it “sells,” - if it pushes the emotional buttons (sex, religion, fear of terrorism, gas prices, racism…) - then put it out there and see if it sticks. If it does, then beat the hell out of it till it takes a life of its own. Then sell the controversy about the controversy!

It’s all part of the Dumbing Down of Americans. Over and over again, we “buy the bull” and let it pass as news reporting or journalism. Meanwhile, in-depth, precise and compelling information finds a faint voice at PBS, Sunday mornings at 6am, page 23 of a newspaper and blogs such as this. The rest of us remain clueless, waiting for the next big story to stick.

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By Ted Swart, May 2, 2008 at 5:36 pm Link to this comment

Back to your unnecessary rough talk Knowitall.

There is clearly much that you do not know or choose to ignore.  Obama’s association with Wright was not something that occurred “years and years ago” but endured right up until the present—at which point he now tries to distance himself. You clearly must know this but choose to paint a false picture.

Like you I am not exactly comfortable with any of the presidenatil aspirants but I don’t think that “thropwing them under a bus” is exactly a sensible suggestion”.  Three others who may cven be worse would step into their shoes.

The situation cannot be improved unless and until the system is fixed.

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By cann4ing, May 2, 2008 at 5:00 pm Link to this comment

NYT, Pull up Bill Moyers at PBS and watch the entire interview.  It wasn’t that the corporate media played a sound-bite which was “hate-filled.”  To the contrary, the media deliberately culled his “God Damn America!” out of context.  Wright was not asking God to condemn America.  His sermon pertained the the similarities between the Roman Empire and the American Empire.  He cited biblical passages in which God is condemning Roman brutality.  He noted that God does not bless every thing.  “He does not bless gang-bangers….He does not bless people who kill children.”  He suggested that when the U.S. government carried out a genocidal campaign against Native Americans when it expanded West under the racist doctrine of Manifest Destiny, God did not bless them for it. 

When a government drops bombs on apartment buildings housing innocent children as part of a quest for global domination, that is a form of terrorism.  And it is in the context that he said that 9/11 was U.S. terrorism had come home to roost.  Setting aside questions as to whether there was official complicity, the link between 9/11 and past U.S. foreign policies is hardly controversial amongst academics.  Indeed, even our own intelligence agencies have repeatedly warned that our current actions in Iraq are likely to create new generations of terrorists who would like to retaliate.

Wright’s words, though intemperate, were no more radical than those uttered by Dr. Martin Luther King in his “Beyond Vietnam” speech.

“I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today: my own government.”

An effort must be made to follow-up on Bill Moyer’s effort to break through the electronic curtain of the corporate propaganda network.  Each of us should encourage those we know and those we come across to watch the Moyers piece, then spread the word.  Write letters to editors; blog like you did here.  Expose the lie.  When People begin to understand that the lie goes beyond Wright and Obama to the very nature of how dissembling that is the daily fair of the corporate media; when people begin to turn to alternative news like, the corporate media’s power as a propaganda network will be diminished.

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By Maria, May 2, 2008 at 4:32 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The GOP was running heavily on “moral values” in 2000. Why there is not a single reporter who would illustrate point by point how the GOP triumph opened the ways to install the Republican values on the USA? - Beginning with, point by point, virtues of the Prez, Cheney and their brood, the mysterious male prostitutes at the WH, the USA’ 37th place in infant morality among the developed nations! The stunning mediocrity of the public schools (and teachers’ pay as compared to the inventive Wall Street CEO who so brilliantly managed our finances), the incessant and ruthless fight from the top with the nascent alternative energy industry in order to protect oily money, and the gov’t snooping (remember the horror story about the USSR?)... Oh, the list is so long. And here they are: the moralist-Gingrich with his empty pants, David Brooks and Krystol with their breathtaking mental prostitution. O boy! American Christians with God on their sleeves. They are the epitome of anti-Americanism. The self-appointed slaves.

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By cann4ing, May 2, 2008 at 4:25 pm Link to this comment

Yeah, McCain and the corporate media are one, and there is no doubt that the media has, for years, erected a myth that McCain is a moderate, a maverick, the anti-lobbyist when, in reality, he is as hard core a Republican as you ever want to come across.  But this doesn’t explain why the media never mentions Wright’s visit to the Clinton WH in the wake of the Lewinsky scandal.  People hate to admit it but in 21st Century America there is still a double standard applied based on the color of one’s skin.  Don’t think for a minute that the corporate media created Wright controversy is anything less than the Nixon Southern strategy.

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By don knutsen, May 2, 2008 at 4:02 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I JUST CAN’T GET THAT PICTURE OF McCAIN ATTACHED TO bU$H LIKE A BARNACKLE OUTA MY HEAD….After the last 7+ years of this administration crappin’ all over our country, he’s obviously the best they can foist out there. Counting on the dis-array of the democrats to help portray him as the steady safe choice for all the conservative boneheads that always will stand in the way of change. Unfortunately the candidates who would’ve really made changes have been successfully shoved outa the way. So far the plan is kinda working.

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By Gusto, May 2, 2008 at 2:36 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hagee is not McCain pastor but he was oneof thos religious right winger who in the last Republican primaries signed on to the newsletter that passed out in churches parking lots in South carolina accussing McCain of having an “illegitimate colored child” and Hillary keep on saying that she will have left the church if she was a member of Rev Wright church, yet she stood by Bill when he embarrassed her in front of the world not only once, but various times. So I really and truly believe it is a lot of hypocrisy. Typical of white people. They speak with a fork tongue.

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