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Mike Luckovich | Thanksgiving for Nothing / TruthDig.com

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The liberals’ lament: “Why won’t Obama fight?”

The pundits also assume that there is some fundamental difference between the Democratic and Republican Parties, an assumption that several decades of bipartisan support for war, budget cuts, and social reaction should have put to rest.

David Walsh, World Socialist Web Site

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor John Stoltenberg

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Mike Thompson

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It is difficult for anyone who observes the American political scene not to notice the spinelessness of President Barack Obama and the Democratic Party in the face of the Republican right and its media fronts. The Democrats’ capitulation all along the line is a glaring fact of daily life and one of the defining features of the current administration.

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In their latest cave-in, White House spokesmen and Democrats in Congress have indicated their willingness to cede to Republican demands for an extension of the Bush administration’s tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.

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This has provoked another round of handwringing from members of the official liberal media who, in one fashion or another, all lament Obama’s latest surrender and ask if or when the president will summon the internal fortitude to begin fighting. The collective wailing has become a virtual genre of political commentary.

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Let's make lemonade this Thanksgiving

I am also grateful that Vice President Dick Cheney -- that little ray of sunshine, that bouncing ball of light and happiness spreading joy where'er he goes -- is so well prepared for a brilliant second career. He's perfect to play the heavy in films. Not since Jimmy Cagney was a gangster have we seen a sneer like that. In the remake of "Jaws," Cheney can play the shark.

November 24, 2005

Molly Ivins, Syndicated Columnist, Free Press

Since the political world ranges from poor to icky these days, you may think we are gratitudinally challenged this Thanksgiving. But a mere soupcon of sunny optimism goes a long way toward getting us to dwell on how lucky we are. We are abundantly blessed with lemons. Let us make lemonade.

I am grateful for the extraordinary number of readers who sent along their ideas on How to Fix All This. The ideas ranged from the sublime to the practical, from the universal and global to the price of milk. The country is teeming with good ideas, all of which we need.

I was particularly intrigued by this thought from peace activist Gen Van Cleve: It's 2009 and the Bush people are gone, leaving in their wake fury, suspicion, distrust -- basically, our name is mud, whether we've left Iraq by then or not. Most of the rest of the world considers us: A) insane, B) imperialist and C) morons. What to do?

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Racism Is Hardly a Thing of the Past

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  • Is Jim Crow back? Are African Americans, particularly African American men, once more suffering systematic discrimination on the basis of race -- a discrimination that locks them out of equal rights and basic citizenship?
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  • Listen to the hard logic offered by Michelle Alexander, a law professor and author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in an Age of Colorblindness.
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Rev. Jesse Jackson, Huffington Post

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Mr. Fish

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Is Jim Crow back? Are African Americans, particularly African American men, once more suffering systematic discrimination on the basis of race -- a discrimination that locks them out of equal rights and basic citizenship?

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The question is incendiary -- and seems unreal. This is the post-racial America, where an African American can be elected president. Overt expression of racism is no longer socially acceptable. So, how could anyone allege the revival of Jim Crow laws, the laws that locked blacks into a permanent underclass under segregation?

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Listen to the hard logic offered by Michelle Alexander, a law professor and author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in an Age of Colorblindness. Professor Alexander makes the following points:
• More African Americans are under correctional control today -- in prison or jail, on probation or parole -- than were enslaved in 1850, a decade before the Civil War began.
• More black men were disenfranchised in 2004 than in 1870, the year the 15th Amendment was ratified, prohibiting laws that explicitly deny the right to vote on the basis of race.
• More than half of working-age African-American men in major urban areas -- according to one report, as much as 80 percent in Chicago -- have criminal records and are thus subject to legalized discrimination.

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Barack Obama: A Reason for Sadness or the Sadness of Reason?

Instead of dwelling on the unreasonableness of his situation and the unfairness of history, Obama should reach deep inside and offer what the country wants emotionally.

Deepak Chopra, Huffington Post

As bruising as the midterm elections were for President Obama, he is facing the real winter of his discontent in the coming months. The most poignant aspect of the let-him-eat-crow press conference on Nov. 4 was Obama's plea that he never intended to be this kind of president. He came into office promising change, but that optimistic crusade ran into the buzz saw of the recession and the two wars. Within six months he owned those problems. By the summer of 2009 his own agenda, which had health care as its centerpiece, was being reviled at town meetings.

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It's not clear whether history really does repeat itself, but people's memories do. Another president elected to bring change, Jimmy Carter, was done in by crises he never asked for. Like Carter, Obama relies on sweet reason. It was reasonable for Carter to ask the American people to cut down on heating their homes as a way of reducing our dependency on foreign oil -- the price of crude had skyrocketed when OPEC suddenly acquired teeth in the early seventies -- but the public hated the idea of energy conservation. Nobody cared if it was virtuous; they didn't want to shiver through winter in their own homes. Today it is reasonable for Obama to insure the millions of Americans who have no health coverage. But the average American hates the idea of paying higher taxes, and his opponents successfully tagged the new health care plan as a new tax.

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A Lame and Spineless Duck?

Imagine a Congress still controlled by Democrats passing an extension of the Bush tax cuts for millionaires but leaving the unemployed out in the cold. If this happens, laugh out loud the next time a Democrat claims to be on the side of working people.

E.J. Dionne, Jr., TruthDig.com

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Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Lydia Howell

The lame-duck session of Congress that kicks off this week (Nov 14-20) will test whether Democrats have spines made of Play-Doh, and whether President Obama has decided to pretend that capitulation is conciliation.

Congress faces an enormous amount of unfinished business, largely because of successful GOP obstruction tactics during the regular session. Republican senators who declare themselves moderate helped block action on important bills, objecting either to provisions they didn’t like or to Democratic procedural maneuvers.

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Eric Cantor's Pledge of Allegiance

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  • Soon-to-be GOP House Majority Leader Eric Cantor met recently with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and vowed that he and his GOP colleagues would protect and defend Israeli interests against his (Cantor's) own Government!
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  • Young Jewish Activists Attract Positive Press for Anti-Occupation Message
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Glenn Greenwald, Salon

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Bob Heberle

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Soon-to-be GOP House Majority Leader Eric Cantor

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Soon-to-be GOP House Majority Leader Eric Cantor met on Wednesday (Nov 10) with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu -- the same day when the actual U.S. Secretary of State met with Netanyahu -- and vowed that he and his GOP colleagues would protect and defend Israeli interests against his own Government.

According to a statement proudly issued by Cantor's own office:

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Regarding the midterms, Cantor may have given Netanyahu some reason to stand firm against the American administration.

"Eric stressed that the new Republican majority will serve as a check on the Administration and what has been, up until this point, one party rule in Washington," the readout continued. "He made clear that the Republican majority understands the special relationship between Israel and the United States, and that the security of each nation is reliant upon the other."

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Leave aside the absurdity of believing that Israel needs to be protected from the extremely deferential and devoted Obama administration.  So extraordinary is Cantor's pledge that even the Jewish Telegraph Agency's Ron Kampeas -- himself a reflexive American defender of most things Israel -- was astonished, and wrote:

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Related:

Young Jewish Activists Attract Positive Press for Anti-Occupation Message, Wendy Elisheva Somerson, Tikkun Daily
The five young Jewish activists who disrupted Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s speech in New Orleans earlier this week (Nov 7-13) shouted familiar criticisms of the Occupation. What was unexpected and new was the way the U.S. and Israeli media portrayed the protest, seeming to hear the critiques with fresh ears and unusual sympathy.

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Dead Political Party Walking

The Democratic party has so totally betrayed the people who voted for them, who had faith in them, who believed in them, we must confront the real possibility that nobody will believe a word coming out of the mouth of anyone running as a Democrat ever again.

The Pen

Of all the commentary we have heard in the aftermath of this week's (Oct 31-Nov 6) election debacle, we have heard not one pundit yet who actually has a clue about what is really going on. So you will have to hear it from us. Of course, if you have been on our list any length of time you already have, but maybe you did not believe us the first time.

We must respectfully remind you that we told you that all this is exactly what would happen unless we took stronger action to demand a REAL health care reform bill in particular, instead of that groaning load of corporate special interest dictated and favoring rubbish we ended up with. And by the way, if we were official prophets you would owe us a new pair of sandals right about now.

It was March of earlier this year and the title of our alert was "The Democratic Party's Plan To Throw The Next Couple Elections". Look it up, the text was published on OpEdNews.com and is still there.

For those with short attention spans (from corporate media conditioning) who think our alerts are too long, we suggest you knuckle down and actually read our words this time and see if they start to make sense to you. And please take particular note we said  "The Next Couple Elections" PLURAL. Because this is just round one of the dynamic we foretold.

As we predicted then, in round two the Republicans will use their electoral gains to push to repeal the almost universally despised health care bill, despised by the right because it does anything even cosmetically good, and despised by the left because it was fundamentally just a total sell out.

If the Republicans fall short on repeal this time, they will campaign in 2012 on the platform that they need to take over the Senate and the White House so that the bill can be repealed, and they will win in ANOTHER landslide of historic proportions.

Alternatively, if the Democrats set a new Guiness world record in the publicly perceived as wet noodles department, they will all lose their seats anyway so the result will be the same.

Either way, the Democratic party as a viable political power force is finished for at least the next election cycle. Stick a fork in it, it's done. We see no scenario of possible recovery from this. It's over. The only reason they did not lose back the Senate in round one is because only a third of the seats were in play. They rest they will lose the next time for sure.

We are skeptical that primary challenges are even a productive option anymore. The Democratic party has so totally betrayed the people who voted for them, who had faith in them, who believed in them, we must confront the real possibility that nobody will believe a word coming out of the mouth of anyone running AS a Democrat ever again.

And the thing that really aggravates us the most about all this are people still whining that the Democrats need to get a spine. Democrats have plenty of spine when they are arresting people calling for single payer and dragging them out of hearing rooms. They have plenty of spine when they are refusing to allow a vote on even the most feeble of public options. They have plenty of spine when they
are calling us bleepity-bleep retards.

Rather, Democrats tolerate being PERCEIVED as cowards. Because if people thought for one nanosecond that they were not cowards, then people would have to confront the stark truth that the Democrats are IN ON IT.

They are in on the corporate corruption. They are nothing but enablers, all of them, from top the bottom, front to back, ESPECIALLY the so-called progressives, without exception. They are willingly and knowingly playing the role of Judy in this Punch and Judy show, and NOTHING is going to change about that for them, for ever and ever, end of story, period.

We told you after the final health care vote what needed to be done about it. We told you that we needed to build a massive Independent Voters movement, with greater numbers than either the Democratic or Republican parties. We asked you to go to a Facebook page we created for this purpose and just become a fan, that's all, just become a fan. Here is that page.

Something shy of 7,000 of you did then. Obviously it was not enough. So we ask you again. Go the page above and just become a fan. Talk among yourselves. When we see 100,000 over there we will know there is some chance for real change. Until then, we are fooling nobody but ourselves.

And we close with an exact quote from an even earlier alert, from September of 2009, which again you can still reading in its entirety on OpEdNews.com, where we warned you that the whole health care reform debate was a total fraud and that no "public option" of any kind would survive in the final bill.

Here is the quote from the conclusion of the alert documented on the page above.

"And THAT is Obama's REAL plan, the one he won't talk about in a public speech, to let the weakest possible 'public option' hang around for a little while as an illusory sop for the terminally gullible, only to bleed it to death before it can actually go into effect. Yes, THIS is Obama's new 'improved' leech therapy."

Lord, the hate mail we got about that one. People yelling at us telling us we were full of it. Calling us racists. Read the words again. And now ask yourself in all candor, "Ain't it the truth?"

Please take action NOW, so we can win all victories that are supposed to be ours, and forward this alert as widely as possible.

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