Monday, June 30, 2008

The Word "Tan" Has Long History In Racist Rhetoric


Leading GOP activist Grover Norquist caused quite a stir Friday with his racist comment that Barack Obama is "John Kerry with a tan."

But Norquist's remarks become even more offensive and racist when you take a look at the long history of the word "tan" in racist rhetoric and hate speech.

For example, the word "tan" often makes an appearance in racist "humor." An example (which is popular on a number of the Web's racist/white power sites):

Q:Why do white people tan if they get some sun, but burn if they get too much?
A:God didn't want any more n*ggers.

In fact, the word "tan" has a long history in ugly racist rhetoric. For example, the street lingo/slang reference site, has an entry for the expression, "n*gger box," which it defines as a "slang term for a tanning bed."

GOP defenders of Norquist may deny that his remarks were in any way racist. But America's bigots have long used coded racist language like the word "tan," in their ever-creative ways of dancing around the "N" word, without actually saying it.

Of course, a sizable chunk of the Right-Wing Web has no such qualms and has already embraced the "N" word in its attacks on Obama.

The bottom line is that it's going to be a long, ugly election season. It's clear the GOP has already dusted off the Lee Atwater playbook to go after Obama.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Growing Right-Wing Chorus Backs Impeachment. When Will Pelosi?


When Lou Dobbs recently called for the impeachment of George W. Bush, he became only the latest in a growing number of Right-Wingers who are harshly criticizing the White House these days. Dobbs joined Conservatives like Pat Buchanan and Chuck Hagel in slamming Bush and raising the prospect of impeachment.

In fact, when Rep. Dennis Kucinich recently introduced articles of impeachment against Bush, no less than 24 Republicans joined Democrats in voting for an impeachment inquiry to begin.

And on June 21, no less a Conservative figure than Paul Craig Roberts, the "Father of Reaganomics," bitterly blasted the Bush Administration, calling it one of the most "lawless regimes" of the 21st Century. Last year, Roberts (who in 2006 called Bush supporters "Brownshirts") urged the immediate impeachment of Bush and Cheney.

Note that we're not talking about Noam Chomsky or Ward Churchill here. We're talking about Roberts (a man who served as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan Administration).

These days, the growing chorus of Right-Wingers calling for Bush's impeachment range from articulate writers like Roberts all the way over to Right-Wing radio hate spewers like Michael Savage.

With all these Conservatives raising the issue of impeachment, it's all the more baffling as to why Nancy Pelosi continues to insist that "impeachment is off the table."

Not only that, but the Democrats continue to be bullied by a deeply unpopular president who has approval ratings that are in the toilet. Just in the past week, the Dems meekly caved in on FISA, as well as the massive, no-strings war-funding bill.

When former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan recently added his voice to the anti-Bush chorus, the White House quickly sought to portray him as a lone disgruntled employee, with an ax to grind.

What they didn't address, though, was why so many Right-Wingers are now criticizing Bush in the harshest possible language these days. One thing that is certain, though, is that if the shoe was on the other foot, does anyone think that GOP would hesitate one second in launching impeachment proceedings?

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Deliver Us From Evil

Whenever I think about what George W. Bush and the NeoCons have done to America over the past seven years, I always think of this scene from Deliverance. Outside of Bush's rich and powerful cronies, we've all been screwed in Bush's America. Just as in Deliverance, I hope we can eventually kill off the NeoCon monster and bury it deep in the woods.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Americans Want Bush Impeached Far More Than They Ever Supported Clinton Impeachment


When Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) introduced articles of impeachment against George W. Bush on Monday, he drew ridicule from Republicans, apathy from most Democrats, and silence from the mainstream media.

However, polls show that Americans want Bush impeached far more than they ever supported the impeachment of Bill Clinton in 1998.

In 1998, when the media was in a feeding frenzy over Clinton's impeachment, polls consistently showed that Americans opposed impeachment. Not only that, but Clinton's approval rating actually increased during the impeachment proceedings. For example, on Dec. 20, 1998, Clinton's approval rating climbed to 73 percent (a higher approval rating than Ronald Reagan ever enjoyed).

An Aug. 17, 1998 ABC News poll is typical of that era. That poll showed that American opposed impeachment by a wide margin of 69 percent to 25 percent.

Indeed, that same poll showed that Americans were sick and tired of the media hoopla over Monica Lewinsky. By a margin of 69 percent to 29 percent, Americans said the investigation of Clinton should end immediately.

By contrast, today Americans do support the impeachment of George W. Bush. And yet the mainstream media ignores this story and most Democrats refuse to take any action.

For example, an ongoing MSNBC "Live Vote" online poll shows that 89 percent of Americans support Bush's impeachment. The poll has drawn over 686,000 responses thus far.

While other polls show lower numbers in favor of impeachment, it's still clear that far more Americans want Bush impeached than they ever supported Clinton's impeachment.

And unlike Clinton (who enjoyed high approval ratings during his impeachment) Bush is clearly despised by most Americans these days. Bush's approval rating remains in the toilet (falling to as low as 25 percent in a recent CBS poll).

Monday, June 09, 2008

Right-Wing Web Embraces "N" Word In Attacking Obama


If anyone is under the delusion that America is a colorblind society, consider this: the Right-Wing Web has embraced the "N" word in its attacks on Barack Obama.

It's true: a lot of the major right-wing players, like Rush Limbaugh, have been careful to avoid the "N" word over the years. They've had to be creative in the way they dance around overtly racist language.

But a big part of the Right-Wing Web has no such qualms about embracing the "N" word in attacking Obama.

To see evidence of this, all you've got to do is Google the keywords: Nigger Obama. Google returns an astonishing 744,000 results. What's even more amazing about that number is that many Web hosters specifically forbid hate speech in their terms of service.

Among those Google results, one sees sites like, a site proclaims that itself aimed at "anyone who feels Obama would be a horrible choice for president of the United States."

The site features message boards like "Reparations For Slavery," which are full of posts like Picking up welfare check, not cotton, and Send 'em back to Africa.

Other sites include, a site with the slogan: "Liberal Media Dogs, Run For Cover!" The site bizarrely claims it is not an "anti-ethnic African site." But it features rambling posts and attacks on Obama, which include such observations as "Black American culture today is rampant with criminals, gangsters, prostitutes and cocaine."

If anyone is surprised by the Right Wing's embrace of the "N" word in attacking Obama, they really shouldn't be.

After all, racism in America has clearly been on the rise in the era of George W. Bush. It's hard to pinpoint exactly where this latest wave of bigotry emerged from----but I think one ominous sign occurred when Bush was campaigning for president in 2000.

If you recall, during the campaign, Bush made it a point to stop by Bob Jones University, where he praised the officials at that school (which incredibly still had a ban on interracial dating). This, no doubt, played real well to the "I don't want my white daughter dating a Negro" racist crowd---but the rest of us were shocked and appalled.

And although we were dismayed, we really weren't surprised. After all, anyone who has followed Bush's career certainly wasn't surprised by the Bob Jones University episode.

Those of us here in Texas remembered all too well the shocking 1998 lynching of James Byrd, Jr. which occurred when Bush was governor here.

In 1998, Byrd, a black man, was chained to a pickup by three white supremacists and dragged to his death in the town of Jasper, Texas.

In the aftermath of the Jasper lynching, a grass-roots effort in Texas urged the state to pass a hate crimes act to help prevent future atrocities. However, the bill failed to pass in the Texas Legislature after Bush refused to support the bill.

Since the Supreme Court appointed Bush to the White House in 2000, he has presided over a rising wave of bigotry and racism in America. (Indeed, in the 2000 election, one million black votes didn't count, as Greg Palast has documented).

Indeed, Bush and the rest of the NeoCons have exploited the issue of racism and turned it into a valuable wedge issue to capture the votes of millions of angry, frustrated white males in our society who feel victimized by affirmative action and "political correctness."

The fact is, bigotry sells in America today. It's the reason talk radio's Neal Boortz can have a lucrative career after saying that Rep. Cynthia McKinney "looks like a ghetto slut." It's the reason that CNN's Glenn Beck can get away with calling the predominately African-American victims of Hurricane Katrina "scumbags."

In Bush's America, African-Americans are incarcerated at vastly higher rates than whites. Studies show that black people get much harsher prison sentences than white people for doing identical crimes. Blatant racism permeates our justice system, our legal system, our schools---in fact, every American institution.

The appalling plight of poor black people in Bush's America was briefly brought to white, middle-class America's attention during the Hurricane Katrina crisis (but I doubt it came as much of a surprise to black people across America).

Given Bush's track record on race issues over the past seven years, we really shouldn't be surprised that the Right-Wing Web has embraced the "N" word in attacking Obama.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Is The U.S. Compiling A Secret List Of Citizens To Detain Under Martial Law?

"The truth is yes--—you do have these standby provisions, and the plans are here...whereby you could, in the name of stopping terrorism, evoke the military and arrest Americans and put them in detention camps."
---Late Democratic Congressman Henry B. Gonzalez

I heard about this chilling Radar magazine article on Mike Malloy's radio show tonight. The article notes that plans for martial law in the event of a national emergency may already be in place in the U.S. And what, you might ask, could constitute a "national emergency"? As the article notes, "according to one news report, even 'national opposition to U.S. military invasion abroad' could be a trigger."

Something to think about now that George W. Bush appears to be gearing up to attack Iran.

Is all of this rather tin-foil-hat-like? Perhaps, but after eight years of Bush, I would put nothing past this White House.

Here's the Radar magazine article:

In the spring of 2007, a retired senior official in the U.S. Justice Department sat before Congress and told a story so odd and ominous, it could have sprung from the pages of a pulp political thriller. It was about a principled bureaucrat struggling to protect his country from a highly classified program with sinister implications. Rife with high drama, it included a car chase through the streets of Washington, D.C., and a tense meeting at the White House, where the president's henchmen made the bureaucrat so nervous that he demanded a neutral witness be present.

The bureaucrat was James Comey, John Ashcroft's second-in-command at the Department of Justice during Bush's first term. Comey had been a loyal political foot soldier of the Republican Party for many years. Yet in his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, he described how he had grown increasingly uneasy reviewing the Bush administration's various domestic surveillance and spying programs. Much of his testimony centered on an operation so clandestine he wasn't allowed to name it or even describe what it did. He did say, however, that he and Ashcroft had discussed the program in March 2004, trying to decide whether it was legal under federal statutes. Shortly before the certification deadline, Ashcroft fell ill with pancreatitis, making Comey acting attorney general, and Comey opted not to certify the program. When he communicated his decision to the White House, Bush's men told him, in so many words, to take his concerns and stuff them in an undisclosed location.

Comey refused to knuckle under, and the dispute came to a head on the cold night of March 10, 2004, hours before the program's authorization was to expire. At the time, Ashcroft was in intensive care at George Washington Hospital following emergency surgery. Apparently, at the behest of President Bush himself, the White House tried, in Comey's words, "to take advantage of a very sick man," sending Chief of Staff Andrew Card and then–White House counsel Alberto Gonzales on a mission to Ashcroft's sickroom to persuade the heavily doped attorney general to override his deputy. Apprised of their mission, Comey, accompanied by a full security detail, jumped in his car, raced through the streets of the capital, lights blazing, and "literally ran" up the hospital stairs to beat them there.

Minutes later, Gonzales and Card arrived with an envelope filled with the requisite forms. Ashcroft, even in his stupor, did not fall for their heavy-handed ploy. "I'm not the attorney general," Ashcroft told Bush's men. "There"—he pointed weakly to Comey—"is the attorney general." Gonzales and Card were furious, departing without even acknowledging Comey's presence in the room. The following day, the classified domestic spying program that Comey found so disturbing went forward at the demand of the White House—"without a signature from the Department of Justice attesting as to its legality," he testified.

What was the mysterious program that had so alarmed Comey? Political blogs buzzed for weeks with speculation. Though Comey testified that the program was subsequently readjusted to satisfy his concerns, one can't help wondering whether the unspecified alteration would satisfy constitutional experts, or even average citizens. Faced with push-back from his bosses at the White House, did he simply relent and accept a token concession? Two months after Comey's testimony to Congress, the New York Times reported a tantalizing detail: The program that prompted him "to threaten resignation involved computer searches through massive electronic databases." The larger mystery remained intact, however. "It is not known precisely why searching the databases, or data mining, raised such a furious legal debate," the article conceded.

Another clue came from a rather unexpected source: President Bush himself. Addressing the nation from the Oval Office in 2005 after the first disclosures of the NSA's warrantless electronic surveillance became public, Bush insisted that the spying program in question was reviewed "every 45 days" as part of planning to assess threats to "the continuity of our government."

Few Americans—professional journalists included—know anything about so-called Continuity of Government (COG) programs, so it's no surprise that the president's passing reference received almost no attention. COG resides in a nebulous legal realm, encompassing national emergency plans that would trigger the takeover of the country by extra-constitutional forces—and effectively suspend the republic. In short, it's a road map for martial law.

More here.