US News Summary – 1/12/11

hmmm, this loses the links from my email… Well, you can search on the blog name, and I’ll try to fix this later.

index

Palin Borrows ‘Blood Libel’ from Israeli Far Right
from Informed Comment by Juan

Joe Wilson ‘You Lie’ line of assault weapons to go on sale
from AMERICAblog: A great nation deserves the truth by Chris in Paris

Clyburn: Palin intellectually ‘not to be able to understand what’s going on here’
from AMERICAblog: A great nation deserves the truth by John Aravosis (DC)

AZ Republicans resign after Giffords shooting, citing threats from Tea Partiers
from AMERICAblog: A great nation deserves the truth by Gaius Publius

Boehner opts for fundraiser over going to memorial service in Tucson
from AMERICAblog: A great nation deserves the truth by Joe Sudbay (DC)

Boehner against any new gun control changes
from AMERICAblog: A great nation deserves the truth by Chris in Paris

Feud erupts between Glenn Beck and Joe Scarborough
from AMERICAblog: A great nation deserves the truth by John Aravosis (DC)

Sarah Palin’s Latest ‘Blood Libel’ Travesty
from Tikun Olam-תקון עולם: Make the World a Better Place by Richard Silverstein

Comparing speeches of Obama and Palin: ‘It’s difficult to imagine a starker contrast’
from AMERICAblog: A great nation deserves the truth by Joe Sudbay (DC)

Julian Assange has Rupert Murdoch ‘insurance files’
from AMERICAblog: A great nation deserves the truth by Chris in Paris

American public wants us to default on national debt, sending world economy into chaos for decades
from AMERICAblog: A great nation deserves the truth by John Aravosis (DC)

Headlines for January 12, 2011
from Democracy Now! | Healthcare Reform by mail@democracynow.org (Democracy Now!)
Doctors Expect Rep. Giffords to Survive Shooting
Loughner Family Releases Statement on Attack
Family Friend of Slain Girl Remains Hospitalized
Haiti Marks One Year Since Earthquake
Spill Commission Calls for Overhaul of Oil, Gas Regulation
WikiLeaks to Speed Up Release of U.S. Cables
Illinois Set to Abolish Death Penalty
Study: U.S.-Led Military Operations Cause $100M in Damages in Afghan Province
Secretary Clinton Makes Unannounced Visit to Yemen
Anti-Torture Activists Hold Gitmo Protest

Palin Borrows ‘Blood Libel’ from Israeli Far Right
from Informed Comment by Juan

Sarah Palin in her response to the controversy over her violent political imagery and that of the US right wing in general in the wake of the Tucson massacre, provoked a new controversy when she said,

“Journalists and pundits should not manufacture a blood libel that serves only to incite the very hatred and violence they purport to condemn. That is reprehensible.”

The “blood libel” was the false and outrageous accusation launched against Jews in medieval and early modern Europe by Christians that they stole Christian babies and used their blood in secret rituals. This bizarre obsession of European Christians resulted in attacks on and pogroms against the poor Jews on many occasions.

So why would a leader of white Christian populists (the kind of people who in previous eras have often been prejudiced against Jews) deploy the language of ‘blood libel’ to make her and her movement seem as though it were a persecuted minority?

I believe that the phrase was taken over by Palin’s speech writers from right wing Israeli discourse. HistorianMelani McAlister argued in her book Epic Encounters that the US white right wing began using the Israelis in the late 1970s as a kind of collective Rambo figure to make themselves feel better about their declining power in world affairs. With the loss of the Vietnam War, the oil price spike, the Islamic Revolution in Iran and the hostage crisis, the US went through what Jimmy Carter called a “malaise” and was threatened with loss of control over the Third World.

Israel also seemed besieged by Third World enemies, especially the Palestine Liberation Organization, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and so forth. Thus, a successful Israeli operation such as the rescue of hostages at Entebbe Airport in Uganda in 1976 gave the American right wing heart. Israelis were promoted into the ranks of white people (“whiteness,” which began by implying a northern European Protestant ethnicity, can be gained or lost over time by ethnic groups in the United States). The Israelis’ victories over brown peoples were psychological palliatives for the raw feelings of declining American white populists. This surrogacy, Rambo function of Israel for the American right wing was reinforced by September 11 and by the reconfiguration of the Palestinians, among the more secular people in the Middle East, as wild-eyed Muslim fanatics (an image that rather erases the Christian Palestinians from the scene).

Joe Wilson ‘You Lie’ line of assault weapons to go on sale
from AMERICAblog: A great nation deserves the truth by Chris in Paris
Sick.
Rep. Joe Wilson’s (R-S.C.) health care-era “you lie” interruption of President Obama is now reportedly being commemorated with a place on a new, limited edition line of assault rifle components.

The Columbia Free Times reports that the words are being engraved on a series of lower receivers manufactured for popular AR-15 assault rifles. Lower receivers are one of the primary pieces of the firearms.

“Palmetto State Armory would like to honor our esteemed congressman Joe Wilson with the release of our new ‘You Lie’ AR-15 lower receiver,” the weapon manufacturer’s site writes in the product description. “Only 999 of these will be produced, get yours before they are gone!”

Clyburn: Palin intellectually ‘not to be able to understand what’s going on here’
from AMERICAblog: A great nation deserves the truth by John Aravosis (DC)
In Palin’s case, he’s correct. She’s not just trash, she’s dumb. But in the case of Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, FOX News overall, and much of the leadership of the Republican party, these people are anything but stupid. Either they don’t care about the consequences of their actions, and how they feed America’s culture of violence, or there’s some kind of mental block. While being dumb is likely Palin’s excuse, the rest of the GOP can’t get off so easily.
Assistant Democratic Leader James Clyburn (D-S.C.) said that Palin had missed the point by releasing a statement this morning blasting the media for “blood libel” for looking to assign blame in part to her rhetoric after the attempted assassination of Giffords last weekend.

“You know, Sarah Palin just can’t seem to get it, on any front. I think she’s an attractive person, she is articulate,” Clyburn said on the Bill Press radio show. “But I think intellectually, she seems not to be able to understand what’s going on here.”

AZ Republicans resign after Giffords shooting, citing threats from Tea Partiers
from AMERICAblog: A great nation deserves the truth by Gaius Publius
Read the headline, then remember, these are Republicans talking, not the “politicizing” left. Think Progress:
Just hours after 22-year-old gunman Jared Loughner launched a shooting spree at a Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) constituent event in Tucson on Saturday that left six dead and 14 wounded, Legislative District chairman Anthony Miller, a Republican, announced that he would resign his position. In an email to the state’s GOP chair, Miller cited “constant verbal attacks” after his election last year “and Internet blog posts by some local members with Tea Party ties made him worry about his family’s safety.” Many of his Republican colleagues followed him out the door[.]
Click through to read the full story on Anthony Miller and his colleagues. By my count, the number of resignations from Republican party positions in that district is four. The Republican state senator from that area, John McComish of Ahwatukee, was asked for comment:
A longtime Republican activist, McComish said contentious battles for local party leadership posts are nothing new, but this one appears to be more extreme[.]

Boehner opts for fundraiser over going to memorial service in Tucson
from AMERICAblog: A great nation deserves the truth by Joe Sudbay (DC)
Classy guy who obviously has his priorities:
Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) turned down an offer by President Barack Obama to travel on Air Force One to Arizona for a memorial service on behalf of the victims of Saturday’s shooting, a decision that has upset some Democrats.

Boehner is instead scheduled to attend a reception on Wednesday night on behalf of Maria Cino, a former top House GOP aide who is seeking the Republican National Committee chairmanship. Boehner is backing Cino’s challenge to current RNC Chairman Michael Steele.

Boehner’s reception for Cino was first reported on Wednesday morning by POLITICO.

Boehner against any new gun control changes
from AMERICAblog: A great nation deserves the truth by Chris in Paris
Is there anything that could happen in the US that might change the attitude? The Hill:
Even Capitol Hill’s most ardent gun reformers don’t anticipate any changes to the nation’s gun laws will be forthcoming in the 112th Congress. They say the combination of a GOP-led House and the powerful gun lobby is simply too formidable to take on over an issue that’s become a proverbial third rail of Washington politics.

“Anything you can get through the gun lobby is going to have little consequence,” Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.), a longtime supporter of tightening Second Amendment restrictions, said in a phone interview. “I don’t see the likelihood of much progress — I don’t see much hope.”

Aside from King’s proposal, longtime gun-control advocates Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) are working on legislation to prohibit high-capacity ammunition magazines like those allegedly used by Jared Lee Loughner, the 22-year-old college dropout who’s been charged in the Arizona rampage.

Feud erupts between Glenn Beck and Joe Scarborough
from AMERICAblog: A great nation deserves the truth by John Aravosis (DC)
Awfully defensive, these conservatives, for someone who’s innocent. Here’s MSNBC’s Scarborough:
“I have a lot of family members that listen to him and watch him and are frightened by the things that he says every night with his chalkboard…my mom and a lot of other people like her that watch him every day start to believe if they hear every day, every day, that there’s this guy in Washington D.C., this black guy that hates all white people and he wants to take your money . . . and he wants to destroy the country you grew up in. You feed that vile message to Americans every day, it’s going to have an impact.”

Sarah Palin’s Latest ‘Blood Libel’ Travesty
from Tikun Olam-תקון עולם: Make the World a Better Place by Richard Silverstein

Mendel Beilis, victim of a real blood libel

How does Sarah Palin demean Jewish suffering? Let me count the ways. Today, she comes forth with the absolutely disgusting, outrageous claim that those who accuse her of creating an environment of hate that fed Gabrielle Gifford’s shooting commit a “blood libel” against her:

“Acts of monstrous criminality stand on their own,” Ms. Palin said in a seven-and-a-half minute video posted to her Facebook page. “Especially within hours of a tragedy unfolding, journalists and pundits should not manufacture a blood libel that serves only to incite the very hatred and violence that they purport to condemn. That is reprehensible.”

I swear, my jaw dropped when I heard that. Her statement is so noxious, so self-serving, so self-pitying, I simply don’t know where to begin.

First, let’s explain that the term “blood libel” derives from the anti-Semitic charge by Chrisitian Jew-haters that Jews stole Christian children and used their blood (hence that term) to make matza for Passover. Many Jews were persecuted, even arrested and imprisoned under such claims, most notoriously Mendel Beilis in 1913. This was one of the first times that Jews worldwide fought back against the charge and campaigned vigorously to defend the victim. In short, Jews died over the charges of blood libel. That’s why we take the phrase seriously and refuse to allow a cheap politician like Palin to demean it.

That being said, the subtext of what Palin is charging is that her detractors have fomented hatred and violence against HER (and not the other way around). When you think about it, this is an absolutely heinous and brilliant manuever to turn the tables on her attackers. Instead of being the perpetrators, she becomes the victim. How can you attack someone who claims she’s become the victim or persecution?

Not to mention that Palin has also introduced an element of religious devotion and imagery into the debate as another subtext of this monstrosity is that she’s calling on her followers to rally around her to defend her from this attack. As a devout radical evangelical, the imagery of Jewish persecution invoked by blood libel would resonate deeply with her given similarly imagery regarding Jesus’s suffering and those of later Christian martyrs.

We must not allow Sarah Palin to appropriate the blood libel or any other Jewish symbolism or suffering to which she is not entitled. This is simply an outrage. She cannot do this. She must pay a price for smearing the memory of Mendel Bailis and all those who suffered for their religious beliefs. Again, if anyone is guilty of political blood libel here it is Palin and her followers. They are the ones who use violent political rhetoric. They are the ones who express their rage all too easily on their enemies. They are the perpetrators, not the victims.

I am outraged. This is a hillul ha-Shem (“desecration of the Divine Name”).

Abe Foxman issued a tepid slap on the wrist in which he said he “wished” she hadn’t used the term. C’mon Abe. Do you only wield the big guns against liberals and Democrats like Ted Turner when they misuse Jewish suffering?

Comparing speeches of Obama and Palin: ‘It’s difficult to imagine a starker contrast’
from AMERICAblog: A great nation deserves the truth by Joe Sudbay (DC)
This morning, Mike Signorile tweeted:
Yesterday: Sarah Palin reminded us of who she is and why she & McCain lost. Barack Obama reminded us of who he is & why he won.
Mike is so right. Yesterday, Palin finally responded to the Arizona massacre. She chose to insert herself on the day of the Tucson memorial service, where the President would be speaking. She set herself up for the inevitable comparisons between the speeches from leading GOPer, as she sees herself, and the leading Democrat, Obama. As the Washington Post noted today:
And after four days of near silence, the timing guaranteed that Palin would be written into the story line of President Obama’s visit to comfort grief-stricken Tucson after a massacre there.
Well, she got what she wanted. She’s part of the story. But, the results aren’t good for her — not at all, as you can see from the following two articles.

Julian Assange has Rupert Murdoch ‘insurance files’
from AMERICAblog: A great nation deserves the truth by Chris in Paris
Wouldn’t it be interesting to know what is in those files?
Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, claimed today he was in possession of “insurance” files on Rupert Murdoch and his global media company, News Corporation.

Assange also claimed that WikiLeaks holds more than 500 confidential US diplomatic cables on one broadcasting organisation.

Speaking to journalist John Pilger for an interview to be published tomorrow in the latest edition of the New Statesman, Assange said: “There are 504 US embassy cables on one broadcasting organisation and there are cables on Murdoch and News Corp.”

American public wants us to default on national debt, sending world economy into chaos for decades
from AMERICAblog: A great nation deserves the truth by John Aravosis (DC)
Huff Post Hill, writing about this Reuters story:
We try so hard to give the American People the benefit of the doubt, but they keep making it harder: Two in three Americans now favor defaulting on the U.S. debt and sending the global economy into a tailspin, throwing millions out of work. Reuters: “The U.S. public overwhelmingly opposes raising the country’s debt limit even though failure to do so could hurt America’s international standing and push up borrowing costs, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Wednesday. Some 71 percent of those surveyed oppose increasing the borrowing authority, the focus of a brewing political battle over federal spending. Only 18 percent support an increase… Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner last week warned that a failure to raise the borrowing limit in the coming months could lead to ‘catastrophic economic consequences.'” Survey respondents had much less appetite, though, for cutting spending. Their budgets suggestions? “Some 73 percent support scaling back foreign aid and 65 percent support cutting back on tax collection — two very small lines in the massive federal budget ledger.” Yes, cutting back on tax collections will do wonders for the deficit.
Don’t believe them? Listen to GOP Senator Lindsey Graham (and Reuters):
“Let me tell you what’s involved if we don’t lift the debt ceiling: financial collapse and calamity throughout the world. That’s not lost upon me.”
A default by the U.S. government would, in effect, cause a long lasting tax on all Americans and the loss of millions of jobs — and the economic catastrophe would last for decades. Not even to mention that the longtime standing of the U.S. dollar and Treasury bond as the world’s financial standard bearers would be given up for good, interest rates would spike, and investors within the U.S. and around the world would likely be spooked.
Welcome to an America in which the Republicans demagogue and the Democrats refuse to respond appropriately. The public ends up believing voodoo economics that would quite literally destroy our economy.

We’re number one.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s