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Tropic of Chaos

Tropic of Chaos

By Christian Parenti

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Tag: Election

The GOP’s Reaganesque Tall Tales

Sensing their own smallness, contemporary politicians often seek to puff themselves up by appealing to myth and legend. For Republicans, there is no mythology more appealing than that of Ronald Wilson Reagan, as the party’s presidential candidates eagerly demonstrated during their May 3 debate in the library that bears his name.

Posted on May 10, 2007 READ MORE


A Bridge to the 19th Century

Compared to the Democrats’ groundbreaking lineup of candidates, the 10 white men who gathered for last week’s Republican debate showed a determination to cling to the bad old days.

Posted on May 8, 2007 READ MORE


Ten Bodies, but Not Much of a Pulse

The announced Republican candidates for president did nothing in their first debate to discourage the unannounced Republican candidates—Fred Thompson, Newt Gingrich, maybe Chuck Hagel—from wading in. The water doesn’t look very deep.

Posted on May 8, 2007 READ MORE


The French Bellwether

Is Europe moving right? Is the democratic left in trouble? The decisive victory of Nicolas Sarkozy over Socialist Segolene Royal in France’s presidential elections on Sunday was the most recent example of the battering that moderate-left parties are taking from the forces of globalization and discontent over immigration.

Posted on May 8, 2007 READ MORE


Nicolas Sarkozy
interet-general.info

Conservative Wins French Election

Socialist candidate Segolene Royal has conceded to conservative Nicolas Sarkozy, the next president of France. In his acceptance speech, Sarkozy promised to unite a divided nation and urged Washington to address climate change more aggressively.

Posted on May 6, 2007 READ MORE


royal
AP Photo/Francois Mori

The Final Hustle

French presidential candidates Segolene Royal (above) and Nicolas Sarkozy are fervently pressing flesh and swapping barbs in the remaining hours before Sunday’s vote.  Royal, a socialist, warned that a win for Sarkozy could trigger violence, while front-runner Sarkozy sniffed that his rival’s attack was a byproduct of her lagging status in pre-election polls.

Posted on May 4, 2007 READ MORE


They Wanna Be Like Ron

With President Bush slumping in the polls, it’s no wonder the Republican candidates chose to model Ronald Reagan at their first debate. The front-runners, especially, avoided mentioning Bush almost as urgently as the topic of abortion. Iran-Contra just pales in comparison to Niger-WMD-Katrina-U.S. Attorney-Missing E-mail-Secret Prison-Jeff Gannon-Domestic Spying-Halliburton-Abu Ghraib-Plame-Gate.

Posted on May 4, 2007 READ MORE


Mike Gravel
AP Photo / J. Scott Applewhite

Maverick Candidate Mike Gravel

Presidential candidate Mike Gravel’s performance in the first Democratic debate took him from off the radar to Truthdigger of the week. Naturally we just had to pick his brain. The former senator from Alaska, who helped end the draft, tells Truthdig why he’s running, why there are so few mavericks in politics these days and why war makes him angry.

Posted on May 4, 2007 READ MORE


candidates

Imagine a President Who Doesn’t Believe in Evolution

It could happen. The most alarming difference between the Democratic and Republican debates would have to be the response to this question: “Is there anyone on this stage ... that does not believe in evolution?” Three hands shot up.

Posted on May 3, 2007 READ MORE


candidates

A Political Bridge for 2008

Steve Kornacki, community outreach director of Unity08, the online independent party, speaks with Truthdig about his organization’s vision for a third way in the coming election, why our political system is broken and how he intends to fix it.

Posted on May 1, 2007 READ MORE


Steve Kornacki of Unity08

The community outreach director of Unity08, the online independent party, speaks with Truthdig about his organization’s vision for a third way in the coming election, why our political system is broken and how he intends to fix it.

Posted on May 1, 2007 READ MORE


None of the Above

It may sound redundant or contradictory, but Florida state Sen. Mike Bennett proposed a bill that would give voters another ballot choice besides the candidates in the running:  “I choose not to vote.”  Floridians fatigued by the alleged frauds and hanging chads of recent years (as well as mudslinging campaigns) could signal their distaste by using the new option.

Posted on Apr 24, 2007 READ MORE


umaru
AP Photo/George Osodi

Meet Nigeria’s New President

Amid challenges from European Union observers and other candidates’ camps, People’s Democratic Party member Umaru Yar’Adua was declared the winner of Nigeria’s controversial presidential election.  Yar’Adua is said to have pulled in 70 percent of the votes, but his party is suspected of rigging the election.

Posted on Apr 23, 2007 READ MORE


Strife, Doubt in Wake of Nigerian Election

An election monitoring group in Nigeria is planning to reject the results of Saturday’s presidential election to replace Olusegun Obasanjo, saying there was corruption in the voting process.  The poll results aren’t fully tallied yet, but two of the 24 candidates are accusing the governing People’s Democratic Party of tampering with the political process.

Posted on Apr 22, 2007 READ MORE


Segolene Royal
wikipedia.org

France’s Vote Turnout Highest in Decades

France has experienced its highest voter turnout in nearly 50 years, with right-winger Nicolas Sarkozy and socialist Segolene Royal, pictured, headed for a runoff. If she wins, Royal will be France’s first woman president, but she took in fewer votes than Sarkozy.

Posted on Apr 22, 2007 READ MORE


Hillary Clinton

Hillary’s Downward Spiral

The folks at Gallup have noticed a unique trend in the race for the White House: Hillary Clinton’s numbers have been heading steadily down. In fact, no other candidate, whether Republican or Democrat, shows as clear and consistent a trajectory. Time for a May surprise?

Posted on Apr 20, 2007 READ MORE


The Sharpton Primary

Democratic presidential candidates are falling all over themselves to secure the support of Al Sharpton, whose own 2004 campaign and his role in the recent Don Imus controversy have elevated his profile as a national civil rights leader. John Edwards, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton will all attend the reverend’s annual National Action Network convention this week.

Posted on Apr 18, 2007 READ MORE


They’re Democrats, Not Idiots

Roger Ailes, the mastermind behind Fox News, publicly fumed when the Democratic presidential candidates refused to participate in his network’s debates, but can he really blame Obama, Clinton and Edwards for avoiding a conservative ambush?

Posted on Apr 13, 2007 READ MORE


Rudy Giuliani’s Dubious Leadership

The Republican front-runner prides himself on his leadership but has an unfortunate history of valuing loyalty over wisdom and stubbornly pursuing ill-conceived policies against the better judgment of experts. Sound familiar?

Posted on Apr 12, 2007 READ MORE


John McCain

McCain Tries to Dislodge Foot From Mouth

If you missed John McCain’s recent damage control session on “60 Minutes,” here are the highlights. The senator tried to blame his ill-conceived springtime-in-Baghdad campaign on his shoot-from-the-hip style. The straight-talk express, with nonstop service to a concession speech.

Posted on Apr 11, 2007 READ MORE


Obama on Letterman

Obama Laughs It Up With Letterman

Barack Obama recently sat down with David Letterman and managed to hold his own with the humor. When asked why his campaign needed so much money, the candidate said evenly: “We’ve got to advertise on the Letterman show.” According to Amy Goodman, that’s no joke.

Posted on Apr 11, 2007 READ MORE


NAB-bing the Election

As the TV pundits on the networks gab about the tens of millions of dollars raised by the top presidential candidates, what they don’t talk about is where that money is going: to their own networks.

Posted on Apr 10, 2007 READ MORE


The Tragedy of John McCain

John McCain’s 2000 campaign for president failed, but it was an unruly and joyous romp. His campaign this time feels quite different: carefully planned, meticulously calculated—and a tragedy.

Posted on Apr 10, 2007 READ MORE


At Bottom of the Polls, GOP Candidates Duke It Out

An odd thing happened Sunday: Mike Huckabee took a shot at Mitt Romney’s credibility. With only four percentage points of support for the two of them, according to the most recent Gallup poll, you’d think the former Arkansas governor would have bigger fish to fry. He may.

Posted on Apr 8, 2007 READ MORE


McCain
washingtonpost.com

McCain Ties Victory to a Losing Issue

John McCain will attempt to resurrect his struggling presidential campaign by launching a coordinated effort to reaffirm his support for the Iraq war. While his rosy take on “progress” in Baghdad just blew up in his face, the candidate has effectively painted himself into a corner.

Posted on Apr 7, 2007 READ MORE


The Obama Bombshell

Barack Obama surpassed expectations Wednesday with the announcement that his campaign raised $25 million in the first quarter, almost as much as Hillary Clinton with her record $26 million. Though Clinton pulled in more overall, Obama had twice as many individual donors and outraised the front-runner online.

Posted on Apr 4, 2007 READ MORE


Hannity and guest

The Fox Attack on Black America

The Congressional Black Caucus has agreed to cosponsor two debates with Fox News, one for Democrats and the other for Republicans. But as Robert Greenwald and the folks at Fox Attacks demonstrate in this video, the network has a history of attacking black America.

Posted on Apr 3, 2007 READ MORE


McCain
nytimes.com

Iraqis Call Out McCain

Merchants at a Baghdad market have objected to Sen. John McCain’s assertion that his recent visit was evidence of the U.S. troop surge working. Unlike the typical Iraqi shopper, the Republican congressional delegation that visited the Shorja market Sunday was protected by 100 U.S. soldiers, attack helicopters, body armor and, just to be safe, a contingent of snipers.

Posted on Apr 3, 2007 READ MORE


Fighting a Mockery of Democracy

With the 2008 presidential election on the horizon, a novel plan to circumvent a constitutional amendment and eliminate the anti-democratic Electoral College is gaining momentum in Maryland and other states.

Posted on Apr 3, 2007 READ MORE


Hillary Clinton
hillaryclinton.com

Clinton Rakes It In

Hillary Clinton has easily set a fundraising record, pulling in $26 million between January and March. The Clinton campaign would not publicly say how much of the money it plans to save for the general election. A number of pundits have predicted this will be the most expensive election in American history.

Posted on Apr 1, 2007 READ MORE


Risks Might Pay Off in ‘08 Race

Candidates on both sides are playing it safe, but the signs are that voters will reward strong ideas and bold positions.

Posted on Mar 30, 2007 READ MORE


Politics Is Personal

The caricature of John Edwards as a preening politico evaporated the day he and Elizabeth publicly faced cancer with the same humanity and sense of mission that have been the hallmarks of his campaign.

Posted on Mar 27, 2007 READ MORE


Republicans, to Their Peril, Stand With Bush

Now that Republicans in Congress have expressed their overwhelming support for the status quo in Iraq, the war has gone from Bush’s pet disaster to the albatross around his party’s neck.

Posted on Mar 27, 2007 READ MORE


Edwards
nytimes.com

‘The Campaign Goes On’

Elizabeth Edwards’ cancer is back, in an incurable but treatable form.  However, the couple announced Thursday that the campaign would go on. John Edwards called his wife the most unselfish woman he has ever met, and said that when she received the news her first thoughts, after their children, were of John and the American people.

Posted on Mar 22, 2007 READ MORE


Hillary 1984

Campaign Vigilantes Go Viral

Someone apparently unrelatedrelated to the Barack Obama campaign created a parody of Ridley Scott’s classic “1984” Apple commercial, with Hillary Clinton in the role of Big Brother. In true Youtube fashion, it was quickly followed by a video response with Obama as the bad guy.
Update: Original video creator’s identity exposed!

Posted on Mar 21, 2007 READ MORE


Fun With Numbers

This far out from an election, pundits and statisticians frequently turn to national polls for something to talk about, but there’s more fun to be had with polling than a hypothetical showdown between candidates who haven’t even secured their party’s nomination. For instance: according to Gallup, the percentage of people who object to staying on the 13th floor of a hotel is, oddly enough, 13.

Posted on Mar 16, 2007 READ MORE


Ohio Election Workers Sentenced for 2004 Rigging

Jacqueline Maiden and Kathleen Dreamer were each sentenced to 18 months for rigging a ballot recount in Ohio after the 2004 election. The judge seemed to agree that there may have been a conspiracy to defraud the voters, saying, “I can’t help but feel there’s more to this story.” According to the Brad Blog, had John Kerry won just six more votes in each of the state’s precincts, he would be president.

Posted on Mar 14, 2007 READ MORE


The Family Values Crowd

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Posted on Mar 9, 2007 READ MORE


Roger Ailes
wikipedia.org

Fox News Debate Implodes

Liberal bloggers had gone crazy when they heard the Nevada Democratic Party had agreed to co-sponsor a debate with Fox News. On Friday the event was canceled after a series of developments. Barack Obama was freezing out Fox reporters, John Edwards and Bill Richardson announced they wouldn’t participate in the debate and, finally, Fox President Roger Ailes (above) brought the whole thing crashing down with a botched bad joke.

Posted on Mar 9, 2007 READ MORE


Firefighter
eagleemblems.com

Firefighters Blast Giuliani

The country’s largest firefighters union has taken presidential candidate and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani to task over his “egregious acts” following 9/11. Giuliani, now the front-runner for the GOP nomination, draws almost all of his popularity from his post-9/11 performance.

Posted on Mar 9, 2007 READ MORE


Gingrich
AP Photo / Dino Vournas

Gingrich Had Affair During Lewinsky Scandal

Prospective presidential candidate Newt Gingrich has admitted to having an affair while cheerleading the assault on Bill Clinton during the Monica Lewinsky scandal. Hypocrisy is nothing new to Newt, who extolled family values after serving divorce papers on his wife while she lay dying of cancer. And people are worried about Hillary and Barack’s electability!

Posted on Mar 9, 2007 READ MORE


Shedding Hillary’s ‘Sexual Power’

Hillary Clinton unavoidably began her campaign as the female candidate. But with time and controversy she has emerged as the establishment figure, leaving issues of gender and electability more or less by the wayside.

Posted on Mar 7, 2007 READ MORE


Can Congress End the War?

The courts aren’t likely to be of any help in stopping the Iraq war. And this White House seems incapable of rational thought on the subject. Clearly, the legislative branch is the way to go.  But what exactly can it do?

Posted on Mar 4, 2007 READ MORE


Obama and Clinton
telegraph.co.uk

Obama, Clinton Cross Paths in Selma

Presidential hopefuls Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton went to Selma, Ala., on Sunday to commemorate the 42nd anniversary of the historic march there. With news outlets buzzing over their “intense rivalry,” they managed to applaud one another and honor a momentous struggle above and beyond their own campaigns.

Posted on Mar 4, 2007 READ MORE


Cherokees Oust Slave Descendants

The Cherokee nation has voted against recognizing the descendants of former slaves, despite a tribal supreme court ruling to the contrary last year. Of the estimated 250,000 to 270,000 members, 8,700 took part in the election. Defenders of the decision say they have a right to determine the nation’s makeup without interference from the U.S. government or others.

Posted on Mar 4, 2007 READ MORE


Obama

Obama Talks Religion and Politics

In this June 2006 speech before a Chicago congregation, Sen. Barack Obama opens up about his past struggles with religion, his eventual commitment to Christianity, and his belief that spirituality and politics can enrich and complement each other. 

Posted on Feb 28, 2007 READ MORE


Rudy Giuliani
AP Photo / Gary Kazanjian

The Ghost of Giuliani’s Political Past

Rudy Giuliani is often presented as a political moderate whose thriving presidential campaign need only negotiate the hurdle of a conservative primary, but his pre-9/11 record as New York’s mayor—particularly his policies toward working-class and minority residents—should greatly alarm progressives.

Posted on Feb 27, 2007 READ MORE


Ralph Nader
AP Photo / Charles Dharapak

Pariah or Prophet?

Many have dismissed Ralph Nader’s recurring candidacy as an “ego trip,” but veteran journalist Chris Hedges argues that the activist and agitator has in fact taken a consistent and necessary stand against the consumer fraud of American politics.

Posted on Feb 26, 2007 READ MORE


Slim Pickings for Christian Right

The Rev. Jerry Falwell held a hush-hush summit earlier this month with other conservative Republicans from the Council for National Policy to discuss the 2008 presidential race.  The exclusive group is facing a status downgrade when the Bush years end and can’t find anyone in the lineup of candidates who clearly fits the council’s bill.

Posted on Feb 25, 2007 READ MORE


The Turning Point

The co-editor of the American Empire Project book series and author of “Every Man a Speculator” brings a historical perspective to the 2006 election, and the coming battle for the presidency.

Posted on Feb 22, 2007 READ MORE


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