Saturday, September 3, 2011

Dick Cheney's Book Is Less Memoir Than Fiction

You may have noticed, I didn't review or comment on Darth Vader's book. No intentional ommission, I just don't do fiction.

Now if Dick had written a book titled,Dick Cheney, Confessions of a War Criminal, I would have reviewed and commented on such an aptly titled and tragic memoir.

And to my black conservative friends - Condi Rice, Colin Powell, Michael Steele et al - see how fast the GOP leadership threw you under the bus after you served your purpose.

Specifically speaking, Dr. Rice and General Powell, notice how W has conspicuously not defended your service to the our country by repudiating Mr. Vader.

And not to forget our black conservative du jour:

Mr. Cain, I am sure you feel you are amongst friends at ya lil Tea Party soiree...but after all is said and done... well enuff said, I have a feeling you already know your place.

The more things change, the more they stay the same...

Finally, what are Dick's motives for setting the record straight?

He doesn't want to go to jail for his war crimes - even his daughter, Liz Cheney has acknowledged that he fears (justifiably so) being charged for war crimes.

GOP: Selective Patriotism

The GOP and their faithful seem to never miss a chance to miss a chance to be petty and disrespectful to President Obama.

They go out of their way to take unnecessary and unprecedented cheap shots.

This is the same red, blue and white crowd that holler unpatriotic when anyone challenges their politics, views or policies when they are in power.

And now this:

The news arrived at the bottom of a press release touting NASCAR's impending audience with President Barack Obama. Within hours, the story of who wouldn't be visiting the White House far outshone the story of those who would.

Jimmie Johnson and other members of the 2010 Chase for the Cup will be visiting the White House on Wednesday afternoon. However, the release indicated that five drivers — Greg Biffle, Kurt Busch, Carl Edwards, Kevin Harvick and Tony Stewart — will not be attending due to what the press release called "schedule conflicts." (Kurt Busch later indicated that he never had any intention of missing the event; it's not certain how his name ended up on the initial release.)

Naturally, since this involves the White House, the issue instantly turned political: were the drivers making a statement on Obama by not attending? What could possibly be more important than a meeting with the president? Do they have legitimate scheduling conflicts? Before any of the drivers spoke on the record about the issue, speculation ran wild among both NASCAR fandom and other drivers, and the politics threatened to drown any rational discussion of the matter.
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Hoping today's dismal employment report will ignite a bipartisan fight to create jobs? Yeah, good luck with that. Tea Party congressman Joe Walsh of Illinois says he is skipping President Obama's joint session of Congress because it will be a waste of time, reports the Chicago Tribune. "I don’t see the point of being a prop for another of the president’s speeches asking for more failed stimulus spending and more subsidies for his pet projects," the GOP freshman explained in a statement.

At least he didn't call Obama an idiot again, as he did Wednesday night, notes the Northwest Herald. “How idiotic is this president?” he asked a GOP crowd. “I don’t want to be disrespectful, but he’s going to bring forth a jobs plan next week. Think about that for a minute. He’s been in office for three years. He’s destroyed job creation systematically for three years.”
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All this anti-patriotism from the flag waving crowd.
Let's not get it twisted:

Once again, let me remind the GOP, Tea Baggers and their faithful, the economy was broken under the stewardship of Cheney/Bush. When President Obama got the keys to the White House the country was losing over 500,000 jobs a month.

The economy was rescued from going over-the-cliff under the stewardship of President Obama - with minimal support or help from the folks that broke it.

My props to NASCAR driver Tony Stewart - who added his two cents - and he has the last word:

"We have an obligation we have to fulfill. I've enjoyed every trip I've that I've been invited ... There's a lot of people who would like the opportunity. If I could have rescheduled, I would be there in a heartbeat." He didn't specify the obligation.

"I don't think it's fair to the guys who said they could go, or the guys who said they couldn't go, to make it political," Burton said late Friday. "If the president of the United states invited NASCAR to the White House to honor NASCAR , that is an honor whether you agree with policy or not ... you can have respect for the presidency and still disagree with it. Ten years ago, after 9/11, this country was unified, this country was together. Today, we're talking why somebody is or isn't going to the White House. And we wonder why the country's in trouble. We're blaming the people in Washington. Maybe we need to look in the damn mirror."

Friday, September 2, 2011

In Africa, U.S. Watches China's Rise

China is expanding its economic and political ties with countries across Africa, resulting in a rapid rise in influence here that has sparked concern from the U.S. government.

Beijing's investment and aid to African countries aims to tap both natural resources and a growing middle class. As China burrows into local economies, leaders from South Africa to Ethiopia have been touting its model for development—one that stresses state-led growth, validates tight-fisted political control and offers a powerful counterpoint to the free-market democracy mantra promoted by the U.S.

The embrace of China in Africa's capitals stands in contrast with complaints also voiced around the continent about Chinese firms' treatment of workers and concerns over some companies' environmental records.

"China's model is telling us you can be successful without following the Western example," said deputy prime minister Arthur Mutambara, a member of an opposition party locked in awkward coalition with Mr. Mugabe, who has deep ties with Beijing.

The U.S. is the largest foreign donor to Zimbabwe, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which doesn't count China as a member. The U.S. funnels much of its assistance through nongovernmental organizations, some of which are critical of Zimbabwe's government. That hasn't gone down well with many officials. "China is my favorite country," said Mr. Mutambara a 45-year-old politician who attended U.S. universities. read more

TBWA Africa Conference addresses changing face of African consumer

JOHANNESBURG: The fifth annual TBWA Africa Conference was held in Sandton, Johannesburg late last week. TBWA's head of strategic planning Mariska Oosthuizen's presentation on "The changing face of the African consumer" focused on market and consumer trends in a rapidly evolving and changing Africa.

In the next 30 years a significant chunk of the world's workforce will be exported from Africa, the youngest and fastest growing population on the planet. By 2040 Africa will churn out a formidable workforce of 1.1 billion, which will surpass the world's current number one workforce, China.

"With 40% of the African population being under the age of 14, Africa's populace is much younger than others around the world. In a couple of decades we'll see young professional Africans making up a significant proportion of the global workforce," Oosthuizen told members at the conference.

Training for the company

TBWA's Africa Conference, which was previously held in locations such as Durban and Lagos, aims to update and provide training for the company's 38 offices on the African continent on global tools and new methods among other things in the African and global advertising, marketing, branding and PR networks.

"It's an opportunity for the different MDs and creative directors to be brought up to date with what's going on in the industry in Africa and around the world. It allows the company's different offices around the continent to connect, build relationships for new business opportunities and to inspire each other. It's also about getting people in disparate geographies, with different tongues and backgrounds, to speak the same language and engage in the TBWA culture of disruption and media arts," says Rick de Kock, director of Africa operations at TBWA\Africa.

"There's a big emerging middle class in Africa," Oosthuizen says, "According to the McKinsey "Lions on the move" report, in 2008 consumer spending on the continent amounted to US$860 billion and it's predicted to rise to US$1.4 trillion in the next nine years."

Good news is that 50% of African households will have disposable income, with 90% of the population spending 50% of this on food and consumer goods. These positive predictions make Africa a very desirable market for local and international brands that will be vying for the African consumer who will become more demanding and sophisticated because they will have buying power and so much more to choose from. read more

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Fresh Prince and Jay Z: Wealth Building Partnership

I would like to give mega-props to Hip Hop royalty - Fresh Prince (aka Will Smith) and Jay Z (aka Shawn Carter) - that get the big picture of what can be accomplished with fame and fortune.

Read On:

It turns out that we didn’t need a fortuneteller to see this collaboration coming. Early signs of it showed when Willow Smith was signed by Jay-Z’s Roc Nation label. And what exactly is the collabo? reports: Will Smith, Jada Pinkett-Smith, and Overbrook Entertainment have formed a joint-venture with Jay-Z to develop and produce major motion pictures. The kick-off project will be a remake of the Broadway musical “Annie”, which will cast none other than Willow Smith for the leading role. The movie will be developed with Sony Pictures Entertainment and produced by Overbrook and Jay-Z.

Jay-Z stated:

“The Overbrook Entertainment family and I have a unified vision. We’ve already produced a Tony Award-winning play and we’re developing a true superstar in Willow. This venture into film development and production is a perfect next step with teams that are accomplished, creative and innovative.”
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And look out Fela comes to USA:

Rappers Jay-Z and Will Smith are among the investors in a Broadway play about the life of Nigerian singer/activist Fela Kuti.

The heavyweight Hip-Hop duo are backing an $11 million dollar production of Bill. T. Jones' musical "Fela," which will open in November.

The original version of the play opened off-Broadway last September, starring actor Sahr Ngaujah, who will reprise his critically acclaimed role as Fela Kuti.

Financial concerns due to the recession briefly halted production of the play, which was written and co-produced by Steve Hendel.

Tony Award winner Bill T. Jones choreographs and directs "Fela" using the pioneering Afro-Beat style of music Kuti created with his Black-Panther inspired group, Africa 70.

Kuti was one of Africa’s most well known musicians and activists and was eventually imprisoned and released by the Nigerian government on a currency smuggling charge.

The singer died in 1997 due to complications from AIDS.
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Well done. Other hip hop artist - Soulja Boy and Lil Wayne - this is what you can do with your money. Take note.

Michele Bachmann Jokes: Hurricane and Earthquake is God's Punishment

Once again, the Hurricane called Michele Bachmann wants to share her verbal wrath with us mortal heathens.

As people suffer and have died, not to mention well over 20 billion dollars of property damage, Bachmann states:

I don't know how much God has to do to get the attention of the politicians. We've had an earthquake; we've had a hurricane. He said, 'Are you going to start listening to me here?' Listen to the American people because the American people are roaring right now. They know government is on a morbid obesity diet and we've got to rein in the spending.

But after the political and pundit backlash, Ms Bachmann's spokespeople curtly stated:

Obviously she was saying it in jest.

And to prove the point:

A clip circulated Monday of Bachmann's comments shows the lawmaker clearly smiling and nearly laughing as she delivers a similar message about "God's wrath" during that speech.

Oh, I understand, she got jokey jokes.

While first responders, mayors, governors and fellow Americans are burdened with floods, power outages, infrastructure destruction, Ms Bachmann and company thinks it's time to mock us or make rapture pronouncements with glee.

But not to be outdone or to add injury to insult, her GOP primary candidate for the presidential nomination, Ron Paul, says:

In a lengthy anti-FEMA screed to Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday, Paul described FEMA as a drain on the economy — a “gross distortion of insurance” that only “bleeding hearts” would support — that “just bail[s] put everybody”

Man, these folks are indeed a joke. And the joke is at the expense of the American people - and no one (except their even loonier followers) is laughing...

Monday, August 29, 2011

Pure Unadulterated Racism

In this post, Helen I Burleson succinctly identifies the root of all the animus against President Obama by the fringe (rapidly becoming mainstream) right wingers and Tea Party (thanks George for the e-mail).

It is a must read and a call to action. The agenda of the right is to destroy Social Security, Environmental Protection Agency (hell, Michelle Bachmann wants to drill for oil in the Everglades), to further destroy collective bargaining for teachers, fire fighters, police and other public workers, to repeal or underfund Health Care and the list goes on.

To counter, we have to match or surpass their energy and dedication. We have to continue to organize and encourage our friends, family and neighbors to fully participate in our waning Democracy.

We have to vote and follow-up with our voices - President Obama can not be a one man army.


By Helen L. Burleson, Doctor of Public Administration

The President of the United States cannot say what I’m going to say. I am going to say it loud so that it resounds all over this land.
Racists, racists, racists! Racism is alive and SICK in America. Racial hatred is alive and SICK in America.
Can I prove it? Yes, I can.

I am 81 years old so I have lived through 13 administrations of presidencies: some weak and ineffective, some strong and yet neglectful; and yet a few, passionate, caring and humane.
These Republicans and Libertarians today are still fighting the Civil War! There is Texas where the governor is Republican Rick Perry. This Southern state wants to engrave the Confederate flag on the license plates of all the citizens in the state.

There are Southern boards of education including, but not limited to Tennessee, Texas and Virginia who want to rewrite the text books either to omit slavery or to revise and rearrange history to fit their biased views. These three states all have Republican governors. The Tea Party, a group of extreme right-wing conservative theorists are among the proponents of this revisionist, altered version of American history.

There are those semi-literate legislators, like Republican Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann of Minnesota, who say the Founding Fathers fought to eliminate slavery. There’s a Southern governor, Republican Governor Haley Barbour of Mississippi, who knows nothing about slavery and racial tensions in the South. Ignorant! Yes, that’s a part of it; but, the main thing is their psyche. Taught at an early age to look down upon and to hate people of African descent, this hatred is buried deep, deep, within the throes of every fabric and fiber of their beings.

Just as a light weight object put into a glass of water will float to the top, no matter how long racism has been festering in their bodies, confronted with a president of African descent, the covert racism rises to the top. All of the subliminal messages weighing them down for years since infancy, now surface; and unabashedly, they would rather see this Nation, this Democratic Republic crumble as long as they can blame this Black man and cause his Waterloo!

This is not my position. This is not my inference. This is exactly what some of these racists legislators have said. There is concrete evidence that they said it. I don’t have to make it up or falsify what they said, it is there on video preserved for the lifetime of this Nation for the whole world to see that a group of racists legislators, like Republican Congressman Mitch McConnell, are so determined to make the presidency of President Barack Obama, a one-term presidency that they frankly, as Rhett Butler said, …don’t give a damn,,,”

Collective bargaining came into existence in Wisconsin; but Republican Governor Scott Walker, a governor influenced by Libertarian billionaires, destroyed it with the stroke of a pen. Social Security signed into law by Democrat President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, one of the more effective, caring and humane presidents, is about to undergo the chopping block despite the fact that workers have paid into the system all of their working years. Medicare and Medicaid, humane programs signed into law by Democrat President Lyndon Baines Johnson, designed to aid the elderly, the infirm and women, infants and children are about to come under the blade of the guillotine!

These programs benefit people most of whom have worked on minimum wage jobs all of their working years. Some of them are unmarried and/or divorced women, failed by the declining education system, find themselves unprepared to find work that will sustain themselves and their children.

Combined with racism is also classism; and, viewed and pursued by some, they are one and the same. Classism divides Americans by social strata with three defined levels: upper class (those with wealth accumulated either by top earning occupations or by inheritance), middle class (those who are either professional, have managerial positions or government workers with wages above the minimum income level, sometimes referred to as white collar workers), and lower class (those who work in production whose manufacturing jobs for the most part have been shipped overseas, often referred to as blue collar workers). Then there’s the undefined and often ignored underbelly of society who are invisible because they make no demands on society.

They are the ones who roam the streets at night or sleep over the grate or under bridges, in bus stations or wherever they can lay their heads as they use what little belongings they have as a pillow under their heads. They are the unemployed, the homeless and hopeless, many are former military personnel who served their country all the while being neglected by their country. Many Americans of African descent have managed to escape the net and the web woven that would keep them out of the middle class, have benefited from these social programs after retirement years which has sustained them, along with their pensions, and have managed to remain middle class.

As one legislator decried, “This is class war!” Yes, it is! Though some semi-literate, misinformed legislators called President Obama an elitist, it is they, many formerly poor boys, who through their positions living off the dole of the citizenry, now look down on the very people from whom they rose. There are some ill reared and ill bred who call the President of the United States, a liar! Because my mind is alert and fertile, I challenge any American to refute any of the facts that I am stating.

Never in the history of this country has an American President been openly disrespected as has President Barack Obama. One “pretender to the throne,” Republican part-time governor, Sarah Palin, while in India spoke derisively about the President while on foreign shores, all the while saying that this is inappropriate. One thug of a legislator, Republican Congressman Joe Wilson, of South Carolina, called out, to President Barack Obama, “You lie!” during the State of the Union Address. Just the other day in July, 2011, another barnyard pig of a legislator, Republican Congressman Joe Lucas, of the 8th District of Illinois, called the President of the United States a liar.

Of course American ethics, morals and morality have gone to hell in a hand basket; but, when this same “pretender,” Sarah Palin, featured on the cover of a major magazine, Newsweek, dressed inappropriately in a tight sweater opened a bit too much, then the world can see for itself the depravity and degradation of American principles and the American people.

As Republican President Abraham Lincoln stated eloquently, “ A house divided against itself, cannot stand,” we have reached that fork in the road and America is on the path to destruction at the hands of a few, petty, pampered, pretty boys who in their efforts to appease their “masters” are driving this country off a cliff!

Until we get a Secretary of Psychiatry to free racists of the hatred they are harboring, America will not prosper. America is already close to being displaced by China as the world’s greatest power; and, this is only because of the pure unadulterated racism pervasive throughout this land.

Don't Trust The Corporate Media

My HGP readers, I just want to share this post. Join the fight for the restoration of Honest and Fair reporting (forget the FIX NEWS Fair and Balance BS).

Our media is supposed to be a check and balance for our democracy, yet our media has been hijacked by corrupt corporations.

Read the following and join the fight...

Don't Trust the Corporate Media

These are dark political times to be sure. The best way we can fight back is to support the most aggressive, effective progressive media we can muster.

Dear AlterNet Reader,

I'm writing you, in the heat of August, with surprising earthquakes and hurricanes on the East Coast, and on the chance that you are reading your e-mails and AlterNet, and not on vacation -- though a vacation is a very good idea about this time.

We are in an agonizing, infuriating, depressing political crisis -- I don't have to tell you that. And here is what I'm supposed to tell you next -- how we get out of the crisis. But I can't. Because I don't know. And if anyone is telling you they know how we change this present crisis, they are full of it. I've been doing this work for more than 30 years. It hasn't ever been this bad.

We Must Do Something

But we must do something. Strengthening the progressive media is a good place to start. We absolutely need the most aggressive, effective media we can muster, and that goal is the theme of this letter to you. Can you help AlterNet fight tooth and nail to push back against the right-wing hostage takers?

Normally we wouldn't start our Fall campaign until after Labor Day, but frankly we couldn't wait. There is a crisis everywhere we turn -- the crashing global economy; the sky-high jobless rate; the mortgage crises, which is getting worse, not better; the denial of climate change; the broad attacks on unions -- teachers, even fire and police; the undermining of Social Security. I could go on. We have to answer back. And the best way is to have strong media on our side.

The Corporate Media Facilitates Taking the Nation Hostage

In the current crisis, as Paul Krugman writes, the right-wing "Republicans have taken the nation hostage." They have disrupted "the essential running of government," and "purposefully undermined the economy, to force concessions they could never get legislatively." And Congress is on vacation now, but we know there are plenty more shenanigans coming down the line.

But you know what? As Krugman reminds us, the corporate media is a big part of the problem. And it is not just Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, and the right-wing media. It is also CNN, the Washington Post and the television networks. "When the mainstream media obsessively reports that both sides are to blame, no matter what the facts, there is no penalty for extremism." In fact it encourages it.

The radical conservatives pay no price for trying to wreck the economy with their lies, and their hostage taking. Why should they stop if they aren't challenged?

Fight the Propaganda Machine

So we have to challenge the right-wing and the corporate media. Every step of the way. They enable the right's machine in its goal to crush its opponents, and turn our country’s values back to the Ayn Rand fantasy days of psychopathic individualism. It is like a war for them. Their team must win at all costs. There is no reason, compromise, good sense. Well that is ridiculous. It's time we said enough.

So, we have to fight with all we have, and this isn't a short-term thing. We have to dig in for the long haul. Things aren't going to be turned around in two years or probably even four. The pendulum that many count on is not exactly swinging back, as we have moved to the right every year since Reagan was president, when compared to the 1970s. That has to end. Can you help?

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