Posts Tagged ‘Politics News’


Obama Back To School Speech: FULL TEXT

September 9, 2009

These are the prepared remarks for President Obama’s back to school speech, as released on the White House website. Just thought we should all pause and read what all the fighting is about.

Hello everyone – how’s everybody doing today? I’m here with students at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Virginia. And we’ve got students tuning in from all across America, kindergarten through twelfth grade. I’m glad you all could join us today.

I know that for many of you, today is the first day of school. And for those of you in kindergarten, or starting middle or high school, it’s your first day in a new school, so it’s understandable if you’re a little nervous. I imagine there are some seniors out there who are feeling pretty good right now, with just one more year to go. And no matter what grade you’re in, some of you are probably wishing it were still summer, and you could’ve stayed in bed just a little longer this morning.
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Kennedy Out, Gillibrand In

January 23, 2009

allisonkilkenny1Allison Kilkenny • Operation Itch Contributing Writer header
see more in NEWS & ANALYSIS  see all posts from Allison Kilkenny 

Politico and other media sources are reporting that governor David Paterson has chosen Kristen Gillibrand to fill Hillary Clinton’s vacant Senate seat.

Gillibrand is a Blue Dog Democrat, which is the name moderate Democrats gave themselves so people stopped confusing them with Republicans. Gillibrand is a pro-gun, fiscally conservative “Democrat.” Blue Dog Democrats are the people who cower at the word “liberal,” and fail to acknowledge that the only gains we — as a country — have made regarding civil rights were because of those dreaded, damn liberals.

I have previously criticized the nomination of Caroline Kennedy because she was clearly a legacy selection. Let’s pretend her name was Caroline Smith, or Caroline Martinez, and she boasted of zero legislative experience, and could only incoherently mutter something about her daddy when asked why she wanted to fill one of two coveted Senate seats. No one would have considered such an applicant. Hence, why I hated the idea of Caroline Kennedy in the Senate. I’ve heard just enough about Camelot, thanks very much.

But Gillibrand is part of the same politically incestuous community. During the Clinton years, she served as Special Counsel to the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Andrew Cuomo, another nominee for Clinton’s seat. She too hosts lavish fundraising parties (out of state, an accusation she ironically used against one of her former political opponents, John Sweeney). Kennedy, no doubt, was seriously considered for the Senate role specifically for her fundraising abilities (the name Kennedy brings in a hefty chunk of change,) so it’s to be expected that cash cows are always at the forefront of these kinds of nominations.

I was really hoping Paterson would go for a fresh political name like Nydia Velasquez, who has served in the House for 15 years, and was the first Puerto Rican woman to serve in Congress. She has dealt primarily with small businesses, and is largely unknown in the political community, but I think that’s a good thing. Kennedy is very well known, has less experience than Velasquez, and I was supposed to take her seriously as a candidate, so why not Nydia? Oh, right, she’s not a legacy, or a Blue Dog.

At least Caroline was unapologetically liberal, a privilege only afforded to Kennedys, it seems. If you have a yacht, you get to look your fellow Democrats square in the eyes and say, “I believe in equal rights and not torturing foreigners. Fuck you.” But if you’re a middle-rank Democrat, you have to pathetically triangulate and apologize until you don’t even look like a Democrat anymore, and -BAM!- you wake up and your name is Kristen Gillibrand and you’re in the Senate.


Cross-posted from


Cheney On Not Catching Bin-Laden: “We’ve Got A Few Days Left”

January 12, 2009

Sam Stein • see more in NEWS & ANALYSIS     header

This Dick gets to write history?

This Dick gets to write history?

Pressed on some of the foreign policy missteps and shortcomings of the Bush administration, Dick Cheney, even with just days to go in his time in public office, pleaded for more time.

Asked by CNN’s Wolf Blitzer why President Bush had been unable to “capture or kill [Osama] bin Laden or Ayman al-Zawahiri, the No. 2 al Qaeda leader,” the vice president replied:

Well, we’ve got a few days left yet, Wolf.

He later expanded his answer, arguing that bin Laden’s reclusion in the hills of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border had greatly limited his effectiveness as a terrorist leader.

“My guess is at this point he’s operating in an area that’s very difficult, very hard to get to, that he’s not an effective leader at this stage,” said Cheney. “He can’t really engage his organization without coming out of whatever hole he’s hiding in. And the key thing for us, even if we got bin Laden tomorrow, is to take down his organization. And that’s what we’ve been actively doing.”
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You Heart Corruption

December 22, 2008

allisonkilkenny1Allison Kilkenny Operation Itch Contributor
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“Corruption is government intrusion into market efficiencies in the form of regulations.’ That’s Milton Friedman. He got a goddamn Nobel Prize! We have laws against it precisely so we can get away with it! Corruption is our protection! Corruption keeps us safe and warm! Corruption is why you and I are prancing around in here instead of fighting over scraps of meat out in the streets! Corruption is why we win!”

The quote is from the film Syriana, and the character that delivers the passionate/delusional diatribe is Danny Dalton, a Texas oilman and member of Committee to Liberate Iran. Dalton is a patsy, and is being charged with “corruption” in order to protect a much larger, much more corrupt corporation standing behind him. He’s a fall-guy, and that’s why he flies off the handle.

Watching the Bush administration and Wall Street executives gulp and thrash like beached fish made me think of little Dalton. The stock market isn’t a force of nature. It takes men and women (but mostly men) creating very corrupt policies to create America’s initial wealth, and then her downfall. Read the rest of this entry ?


Paying to Play

December 17, 2008

allisonkilkenny1Allison Kilkenny •   Operation Itch Contributor    •  
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The media has been focusing on the Rod Blagojevich scandal with all the zeal of a torch-wielding mob, but they fail to acknowledge that the dirty pay to play model demonstrated in Chicago is a microcosm of the political world. Everyone pays for everything, and only the wealthy can buy access to power.

New York can offer two other example of paying to play with Senator Chuck Schumer, and the legacy candidate gunning to fill Hillary Clinton’s vacated seat, Caroline Kennedy.

Blagojevich’s swear-laced scheming was crude, super illegal, and what ultimately led to his public demise, unsubtle. The governor never learned how to delicately press the boundaries of acceptability, and instead charged through them with all the nuanced skill of a rabid bull.

The fallen governor should have looked to Chuck Schumer, who demonstrates how to us pay to play the acceptable way. Schumer is the official beneficiary, advocate and overseerfor Wall Street. A Democrat, he fully embraced the free market principles that have led to the current financial turmoil. Since Chuck’s largest contributors are from Wall Street, he votes to please his corporate masters, and in doing so, he continues to buy access to power. It doesn’t matter if deregulation is bad for his state, and the country, as long as those fat Wall Street checks continue to roll in.
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The Nine Year S*%T Storm

December 17, 2008

America for Kids • Operation Itch Video 
 For the kids, so they know what kind of hell we’ve been through over the past nine years. “He who does not know the past…etc., etc..” 


Lou Reed for Senate

December 17, 2008

Dan Sweeney • Huffinton Post

lou_reed-fullI was talking with a friend of mine the other day who maintained that Caroline Kennedy was far and away the best choice to replace Hillary Clinton in the Senate.

“I mean, who else is there?” he demanded. “Who would be better, and why?”

I rattled off a few names that came immediately to mind — Gregory Meeks, maybe, or Malcolm Smith or Steve Israel. He rolled his eyes and responded, “I’ve never even heard of any of them.”

Now, the fact that he hadn’t heard of a couple of New York congressmen and New York’s state Senate Minority Leader is perfectly understandable. Hell, I imagine most New Yorkers aren’t familiar with all those names, much less a sometime-political junkie out of Florida. But his reason for backing Kennedy (i.e. that he had heard of her) made me realize that, for many people, Kennedy’s potential as a candidate is based solely on name recognition.
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Kennedy hires insider to soothe critics

December 16, 2008

 & 081215_caroline_smithCaroline Kennedy’s trial balloon candidacy for Hillary Rodham Clinton’s Senate seat was springing a few leaks over the past few days — so she’s made her ambitions more explicit and hired one of New York’s top political consultants to gain some altitude. 

After a week of coy courtship and low-key feelers, Kennedy began working the phones in earnest Monday — and signed up major Democratic fixer Josh Isay, who has deep connections to New York powerhouses Sen. Charles Schumer, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the Rev. Al Sharpton. 

Kennedy spoke with Sharpton on Monday, and he said he told her about another “lady that wanted to run for U.S. Senate [who] came to Harlem, to the House of Justice, and they told me she wasn’t qualified; they told me she was just there because of who she was married to — and that was Hillary Clinton.”  Read the rest of this entry ?


Bush Comparison Seen As Unfair to Dogs

December 16, 2008

by David Swanson  • The Smirking Chimp           (jump to top)

eng_shoe_gb_bm_baye_719651g-1This is the question now raised in Iraq: If they throw shoes at your face are you a combat troop or a noncombat troop? The answer may be important in helping to guide President Elect Obama’s strategy of reducing but continuing the genocidal occupation that has made a shoeless journalist one of the most beloved, if little known, people in the world overnight.

A related dilemma is this: If shoes become weapons, were the metal detectors, searches, and bribes to phony journalists successful? This strikes me as a similar question to the following: if box cutters become weapons, were the nuclear arsenal, the missile offense shield, and the empire of bases successful?
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THE HERMIT • Throwing Shoes at Bush

December 15, 2008

m_4f3bc882e84e87ea012b68d9b7ede5892The Hermit with Davis FleetwoodOperation Itch VIDEO  
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Yes, in his final visit to Baghdad before America returns the idiot to a village in Texas, the leader of the free world had not one, but two projectiles launched at him.


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Iraqi Throws Shoes At Bush During Press Conference

December 15, 2008

Huffington Post                                                           jump to most recent post


Shoe-throwing Iraqi journalist Muntadar al-Zaidi, a reporter with Cairo-based network Al Baghdadia Television, had experienced first-hand the brutal violence that consumed Iraq last year, reports the Washington Post:

Zaidi, colleagues said, was kidnapped by Shiite militiamen last year and was later released.

In an eyewitness account of the shoe-throwing incident, Modest Bee reporter Adam Ashton reports that Bush and Maliki had just finished their speeches and were preparing to take questions from the Iraqi media, who “have never had a chance to ask a question to the American president” when “the shoes started flying.”
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More Minnesota Absentee Ballots Found; Franken Makes Major Push

December 11, 2008

Sam Stein • Huffington Post

s-alfie-largeThe Minnesota Senate recount campaign has firmly entered its legal stages, with Al Franken’s chief counsel sending a lengthy and sharply argued memorandum to the Secretary of State’s office on Thursday making the case for counting a group of contested absentee ballots.

The newsworthy thrust of David Lillehaug’s 39-page brief for Secretary of State Mark Ritchie was the direct highlighting of 62 individual cases where voters were either “erroneously rejected by election officials for not being registered,” or their absentee ballots were wrongfully rejected.

Around the same time that this memo was made public, local reports emerged that put the number of potentially wrongfully rejected absentee ballots at approximately 2,000 — far greater than the 500 to 1,000 range that has been previously cited.
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Caroline Kennedy: Clinton Senate Replacement?

December 8, 2008

Huffington Post

The New York Post reports that Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy is lobbying for his niece Caroline.

Powerful senator and family patriarch Ted Kennedy has been working back channels to promote niece Caroline as the replacement for Hillary Rodham Clinton in the Senate, family sources told The Post.The elder Kennedy (D-Mass.), who’s battling brain cancer, has sent word to Gov. Paterson’s office that Caroline Kennedy, 51, has contacts and family connections that would mean legislation affecting New York would receive prompt attention, family sources said.
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India, Katrina, and the Bailout: How Poor People Everywhere Are Being Neglected

December 3, 2008

allisonkilkenny1Allison Kilkenny    •   Operation Itch Contributor
Written beside the American creed of hating terrorists and loving the Irish and Italians should be the footnote and we ignore poor people. Poor people always get the shit end of every deal usually because they can’t get the attention of politicians or pundits, and because of this the poor people in New Orleans and India have a lot in common.

India has more than 100,000 millionaires, and is creating new ones at a rate rivaled only be Russia. Meanwhile, nearly half of Mumbai’s 14-18 million residents live in slums. In the United States, poor people suffer under a specialized caste system that masquerades as a functioning democracy. In the good ole’ US of A, the top 10 percent, roughly those earning more than $100,000, reached a level of income share not seen since before the Depression.

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Obama’s Uninspiring National Security Team

December 2, 2008

Lionel Beehner • Huffington Post

Pardon the metaphor, but Obama is trying to put lipstick on the pig that is US foreign policy. His national security team looks no less hawkish than the team assembled during Bush’s second term. If I may ask, how is Hillary Clinton signing a communiqué or Robert Gates asking for more defense funding a “new dawn” exactly?

Ah, but the buck stops not with them but with Obama. The 3am call is his, not Clinton’s, to make (even though one can almost hear her rehearsing Alexander Haig’s famous “I’m in charge now” line in her head). Still, Obama’s familiar-looking team of national security fixer-uppers does not inspire confidence. Nor do his vague answers to detailed questions on specific policies. “We’re going to have to bring the full force of our power, not only military but also diplomatic, economic and political, to deal with those threats not only to keep America safe, but also to ensure that peace and prosperity will exist around the world,” he told reporters. Obama seems to think he can wish away the world’s evils with his eloquence and charm.

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Gut Check Time: Will Congress Stand up to Wall Street?

September 24, 2008

by Robert L. Borosage (Huffington Post)

It’s gut check time.

The attempt by Treasury Secretary Paulson to put a gun to the head of Congress and terrify them into forking over a $700 billion blank check to the Bush administration in 48 hours has failed. Now what?

Most Americans would just as soon the Masters of the Universe were allowed to sink in their own folly. They had the party; let them clean up the mess. But, looking at sinking housing values and shaken retirement accounts, most Americans know something has to get done. Read the rest of this entry ?


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