President Obama has shown a firm commitment to using government to help foster growth. He has formed sensible budget policies that are not dedicated to protecting the powerful, and has worked to save the social safety net to protect the powerless. Mr. Obama has impressive achievements despite the implacable wall of refusal erected by Congressional Republicans so intent on stopping him that they risked pushing the nation into depression, held its credit rating hostage, and hobbled economic recovery.
Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, has gotten this far with a guile that allows him to say whatever he thinks an audience wants to hear. But he has tied himself to the ultraconservative forces that control the Republican Party and embraced their policies, including reckless budget cuts and 30-year-old, discredited trickle-down ideas. Voters may still be confused about Mr. Romney’s true identity, but they know the Republican Party, and a Romney administration would reflect its agenda. Mr. Romney’s choice of Representative Paul Ryan as his running mate says volumes about that…
For these and many other reasons, we enthusiastically endorse President Barack Obama for a second term, and express the hope that his victory will be accompanied by a new Congress willing to work for policies that Americans need.
— The New York Times Editorial Board, “Barack Obama for Re-Election.” (via diadoumenos)
Now we know who will be supporting him in their paper. Obama deserves to be tried before the World Court rather than be reelected.
I’m offering media that I usually read, listen, and watch, along with the “key eight” (the eight sources that you really must read). Don’t read the Washington Post, New York Times, USA Today, Time Magazine, Newsweek Magazine, or watch any of the corporate TV news, use my list instead. Please use it so you’ll get around the corporate propaganda. As Dead Prez notes its “motherfuckin propaganda” and as the artist on Occupy This Album notes the TV “tells you who to blame.”
The “Key seven”
4. truth-out.org (Truthout)
5. counterpunch.org (CounterPunch)
6. www.zcommunications.org/zmag (Z Magazine)
7. consurtiumnews.com (Consortium News)
8. www.fair.org/index.php (FAIR= Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting)
Obviously my blogs will help
1. hermannview.tumblr.com (HermannView)
2. interestingblogger.wordpress.com (Interesting Blogger)
- Reddit (reddit.com)*
- Natural Society (naturalsociety.com)
- Zero Hedge (zerohedge.com)
- Antiwar.com (antiwar.com)*
- FireDogLake (firedoglake.com)
- The Guardian (theguardian.co.uk)*
- Too Much (toomuchonline.org/)
- The Independent (www.independent.co.uk/)*
- Adbusters Magazine (adbusters.org)
- Religion News Service (www.religionnews.com/)
- Informed Comment by Juan Cole (www.juancole.com/)
- Russia Today [America news as their non-American news is bias] (rt.com/usa)*
- Wired Magazine (wired.com)
- Haartez (www.haaretz.com/)*
- The Hill (thehill.com)*
- Rabble (rabble.ca)*
- Al Jaazera (very bad on Qatari or news about Syria civil war, but good otherwise)*
- IPS News (ipsnews.net)
- Jadaliyyah (www.jadaliyya.com/)
- The Electronic Infitada (electronicintifada.net/)
- The Bureau of Investigative Journalism (www.thebureauinvestigates.com/)
- Dissident Voice (dissidentvoice.org/)
- Citizen Radio (wearecitizenradio.com/)
- Dissent Magazine (dissentmagazine.org/)
- Yes! Magazine (www.yesmagazine.org/)
- OpenSecrets (opensecrets.org)
- Occupy.com (occupy.com/read)
- Wikileaks (wikileaks.org)
- Naked Capitalism (www.nakedcapitalism.com/)
- Information Clearinghouse (www.informationclearinghouse.info/)
I hope this serves as a good starting guide.
*There is an iPhone/iTouch app for these news sources
President Obama says he’d support the DISCLOSE Act, a law prohibiting bundling by lobbyists and possibly a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United. But what about Backey v. Valeo (1976) or the Santa Clara v. Southern Railroad (1886) which made corporations persons? What about banning soft money? None of this is discussed by Obama. I feel he said these things for show.
talkstraight: communismkills: talkstraight: Uh…B-Rock? Buddy? That poster is kind of creepy and Big Brother-ish. Is this legitimate? Yep. I took it directly off of barackobama.com– Communism Kills
It’s a few days old but if you press the (See More) button and expand the page a few times, you’ll see it. I’d just link it but when I went to open it on it’s own page, I just redirected to the Donation page…imagine that) YOU’RE FREAKING KIDDING ME.
Well the truth is that this was just a bunch of rhetoric. President Obama is the black mascot of Wall Street whether you people know it or not. As Dead Prez said “Democrats. Republicans. They’re just sides of the same coin.” Whoever’s in piwer the system doesn’t really change that much. The media just spreads an illusion of truth, why wouldn’t they? You people have just fallen into the false paradigm that there is more than a supposed “left” and “right,” that one must go beyond this and look for alternatives…
Big Business, made possible by advancing technology and consequent ruin of Little Business, is controlled by the State—that is to say, by a small group of party leaders and soldiers, policeman and civil servants who carry out orders. In a capitalist democracy, such as the United States, is controlled by what Professor C. Wright Mills has called the Power Elite. This Power Elite directly employs several millions of the country’s working force in its factories, offices and stores, controld many millions more by lending them money to buy its products, and, through the ownership of the media of mass communication, influences the thoughts, the feelinga and actions of virtually everybody.– Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World Revisted (1958)
Headline of the Day: Disgraced former congressman Anthony Weiner is considering a political comeback. Headline writers at the New York Post couldn’t be happier.
Don’t forget Public Enemy’s song “A letter to the New York Post.” That is relevant because they sing:
“Here’s a letter to the New York Post
The worst piece of paper on the east coast
Matter of fact the whole state’s forty cents
in New York City fifty cents elsewhere
It makes no goddamn sense at all…
With the headline of a fucked up cover
Out the pot took plate New York Post
get your story straight motherfucker
It always seem they make our neighborhood look bad
Here’s a letter to the New York Post
Ain’t worth the paper it’s printed on
Founded in 1801 by Alexander Hamilton
That is 190 years continuous of fucked up news…
Yo Jet be a good host
Don’t print bull like the New York Post”
Perhaps my biggest frustration with the U.S. news media (and yes, I am a card-carrying member) is that we permit the two parties to decide what is “left” and what is “right.” The way it works, roughly, is that anything Democrats support becomes “left,” and everything Republicans support becomes “right.” But that makes “left” and “right” descriptions of where the two parties stand at any given moment rather than descriptions of the philosophies, ideologies or ideas that animate, or should animate, political debates.
There is a good reason why we do it this way. It isn’t the media’s job to police political ideologies, and it wouldn’t be a good idea for us to try. But that leaves ordinary voters in a bit of a tough spot.
The reality is that most Americans aren’t policy wonks. They don’t sit down with think-tank papers or economic studies and puzzle over whether it’s better to address the free-rider problem in health care through automatic enrollment or the individual mandate. Instead, they outsource those questions to the political actors — both elected and unelected — they trust.
Unfortunately, those political actors aren’t worthy of their trust. They’re trying to win elections, not points for intellectual consistency. So the voters who trust them get taken for a ride.
Consider the partywide flips and flops of just the past few years:
— Supporting a temporary, deficit-financed payroll-tax cut as a stimulus measure in 2009, as Republican Sen. John McCain and every one of his colleagues did, put you on the right. Supporting a temporary, deficit-financed payroll tax-cut in late 2011 put you on the left. Supporting it in early 2012 could have put you on either side.
— Supporting an individual mandate as a way to solve the health-care system’s free-rider problem between 1991 and 2007 put you on the right. Doing so after 2010 put you on the left.
— Supporting a system in which total carbon emissions would be capped and permits traded as a way of moving toward clean energy using the power of market pricing could have put you on either the left or right between 2000 and 2008. After 2009, it put you squarely on the left.
— Caring about short-term deficits between 2001 and 2008 put you on the left. Caring about them between 2008 and 2012 put you on the right.
— Favoring an expansive view of executive authority between 2001 and 2008 put you on the right. Doing so since 2009 has, in most cases, put you on the left.
— Supporting large cuts to Medicare in the context of universal health-care reform puts you on the left, as every Democrat who voted for the Affordable Care Act found out during the 2010 election. Supporting large cuts to Medicare in the context of deficit reduction puts you on the right, as Republicans found out in the 1990s, and then again after voting for Representative Paul Ryan’s proposed budget in 2011.
— Decrying the filibuster and considering drastic changes to the Senate rulebook to curb it between 2001 and 2008 put you on the right, particularly if you were exercised over judicial nominations. Since 2009, decrying the filibuster and considering reforms to curb it has put you on the left.
— Favoring a negative tax rate for the poorest Americans between 2001 and 2008 could have put you on the right or the left. In recent years, it has put you on the left.
I don’t particularly mind flip-flops. Consistency is an overrated virtue. But honesty isn’t. In many of these cases, the parties changed policy when it was politically convenient to do so, not when conditions changed and new information came to light.
There are exceptions, of course. It’s reasonable to worry about short-term deficits during an economic expansion and consider them necessary during a recession. That’s Economics 101.
But nothing happened to explain the change from 2006, when the individual mandate was a Republican policy in good standing, to 2010, when every Senate Republican, including those who still had their names on bills that included individual mandates, agreed it was an unconstitutional assault on liberty. Nothing, that is, but the Democrats’ adopting the policy in their health-care reform bill.
Flips and flops like these make the labels “left” and “right” meaningless as a descriptor of anything save partisanship over any extended period of time. I could tell you about a politician who supported deficit-financed stimulus policies and cap-and-trade, and I could be describing McCain. Or Newt Gingrich. And I could tell you about another politician who opposed an individual mandate, and who fought deficits, expansive views of executive authority and efforts to reform the filibuster, and be describing Sen. Barack Obama.
Parties — particularly when they’re in the minority — care more about power than policy. Perhaps there’s nothing much to be done about this. And as I said, it isn’t clear that the media, or anyone else, should try. But it puts the lie to the narrative that America is really riven by grand ideological disagreements. America is deeply divided on the question of which party should be in power at any given moment. Much of the polarization over policy is driven by that question, not the other way around.
But the voters who trust the parties don’t know that, and they tend to take on faith the idea that their representatives are fighting for some relatively consistent agenda. They’re wrong.