Monthly Archives: October 2007

The Handwriting is On the Wall: It’s a Clinton-Obama Ticket in ‘08

It’s all decided beforehand in the Bilderberg meetings folks, just another Hegelian swing to push the NWO agenda through. They select our puppet leaders and we follow them like sheep to slaughter, after we’re thoroughly fleeced that is.

PW

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A year before the November 2008 presidential election, Democratic front runners Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are runaway winners in the contest that really matters, the wealth primary, the competition for campaign donations from our nation’s moneyed elite. From military contractors and Wall Street to agribusiness and insurance, Clinton and Obama are raking in far more cash than any Republican, and receiving the lion’s share of coverage in corporate media. An historic shift is underway as corporate America lines up behind the Democratic wing of its permanent ruling party. For voters forced to choose between Republicans who won’t apologize for the war, and Democrats pledged to continue it, next year’s choices may be anticlimactic.

Black Agenda Report | Oct 31, 2007

by Bruce Dixon

With a full year to go before the 2008 presidential election the handwriting is already on the wall. The Democratic nominees and probable winners in 2008 will be Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

In US presidential politics, elections are often anticlimactic. For Democratic and Republican wings of America’s permanent ruling party, the all-important selection which precedes the election isn’t about poll numbers, votes or the citizens that cast them. It’s about winning the favor of military contractors, the banking and financial sectors and Big Oil. It’s about reassuring insurance and pharmaceutical companies, cozying up to agribusiness, the cable and telecom monopolies, allaying the fears of chambers of commerce, and wooing Hollywood.

Only those who jump through these hoops merit favorable coverage in the corporate media as so-called serious candidates. For example, at a recent Democratic presidential forum, when directly asked whether they, if elected, would have US troops out of Iraq by the end of their fist term in 2013, Clinton, Obama, Edwards, Dodd and Biden all admitted their intent to continue the war at least that long.

Thus certified, these serious candidate, are deemed worthy of individual and bundled campaign donations from corporate board members, wealthy investors, CEOs, their family members, lobbyists, lawyers, employees, PACs, trade groups and so on. The worthiest are those that collect the most money from these sources, and are in turn celebrated in the corporate media as hardheaded, pragmatic and realistic presidential contenders, and rise in the opinion polls.

Failure on a candidate’s part to stick to the script is severly punished. Any lack of will to reassure the military contractors, Big Oil, Big Insurance, Big Pharma and Big Money in general results in a candidate being labeled “unelectable”, in boycotts by the big money donors and the imposition of kiss-of-death news blackouts on their campaigns. Four years ago ABC News exec Ted Koppel demanded Kucinich, Sharpton and Moseley-Braun withdraw from the race and pulled ABC’s coverage from their campaigns the next day, as did NBC, CNN, and the other networks. This season’s antiwar and pro health care Democrats Mike Gravel and Dennis Kucinich are routinely disinvited to forums, excised from coverage omitted from public opinion polls and surveys, and their images deleted from news photos of presidential forums.

“Just as in 2004, antiwar voters will be forced to choose between Republicans who will not apologize for the war, and Democrats who will not end it”

When a boycott of big campaign contributors and media censorship alone is insufficient to kill a presidential campaign whose message is threatening to those in power, the media have been known to step in more directly. For a time in 2004, presidential candidate Howard Dean’s antiwar stance enabled him to raise buckets of cash in small donations from millions of Americans opposed to the war and lead the Democratic field in the public opinion polls. Corporate media launched a torrent of baseless ridicule over an arguably doctored “scream” that cut his popular support by half in the space of two weeks.

By contrast this year’s Democratic front runners Clinton and Obama, having properly and repeatedly kissed the rings of military contractors, big insurance, Big Oil, agribusiness and the rest, are basking in a tide of favorable media coverage. Journalism.org’s October 29 The Invisible Primary contains a wealth of detail contrasting the relative extent and favorability of media coverage garnered by both Republican and Democratic contenders. It indicates that Barack Obama alone receives as much favorable coverage as the entire Republican field, and that the volume of positive stories about Hillary Clinton is not far behind his, and closing fast.

The race among presidential candidates for corporate campaign contributions, aptly called “the wealth primary” shows the same results. Thomas Edsall in the October 17 Huffington Post detailed how the CEOs, lawyers, lobbyists and bundlers who represent military contractors have abandoned their long-held alliance with Republicans, and placing their bets with Hillary Clinton. According to Edsall,

“…The strong support for Clinton indicates that a majority of defense industry executives currently believe Clinton is a favorite to win the Democratic nomination and, in November, 2008, the general election….”

The same picture is visible across a wider swath of America’s moneyed elite at opensecrets.org, a web site devoted to tracking influence of big money in politics.

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Lobbyists of all kinds have donated nearly as much to the Clinton campaign alone as to any two Republicans combined.
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Obama and Clinton, both proponents of supposed “universal” health care plans lead all Republicans in donations from the pharmaceutical and health care industries.
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Clinton and Obama together lead the pack in donations from the securities and investment industries, their combined total of $9.1 million well ahead of the $7.9 million garnered by the top two Republican contenders.
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Obama leads all contenders in donations from the computer and internet industries, closely followed by Clinton, with either of them leading Republican contenders in donations from this sector by a wide margin.
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Commercial banks too, are bestowing their largesse upon Clinton and Obama far more generously than they do on any Republican candidate.

Whether the measure is favorable coverage in the corporate media, or bundles of checks from wealthy donors, the gap between Clinton-Obama and the rest of the Democratic field is breathtaking and decisive. Before a single primary vote has been cast, the handwriting of America’s elite is truly on the wall. Clinton and Obama are the favored choices of our corporate media and ruling circles, and thus will be the Democratic ticket in 2008. And the defection of big chunks of the elite consensus from the Republican camp, the havoc and disarray sown among Republicans by eight years of Bush-Cheney, and widespread popular disgust with the Bush regime make prospects of a 2008 Republican victory remote.

“Barack Obama is an invaluable asset to a Democratic ticket, much to valuable to wait in line for 2012 or 2016.”

Make no mistake, Hillary Clinton will be at the top of this ticket. The talk in circles close to Senator Obama as far back as 1993 has been of a career trajectory toward the office of vice president. But the way one campaigns for that office nowadays is to run for the top spot, lose and graciously accept the invitation of the winner to serve. That is the scenario we expect to see in the coming months.

Barack Obama is an invaluable asset to a Democratic ticket, much to valuable to wait in line for 2012 or 2016. He enables Democrats to take advantage of the historic black tendency to uncritically close ranks around any prominent member of the club no matter how undeserving, a relic of the Jim Crow era. Though he famously declared that “there is no Black America” at the last Democratic convention, Obama’s mere presence on the ticket locks up the African American vote, which as usual will feel it has nowhere else to go.

Just as in 2004, antiwar voters will be forced to choose between Republicans who will not apologize for the war, and Democrats who will not end it. Bush and Cheney’s generation-long “war on terror” as the prism through which to view American foreign and domestic policy is fully accepted by the Democratic contenders. Single payer health care on the French and Canadian model remain off the table. The Bush Supreme Court, and a thoroughly right wing federal judiciary stacked with lifetime appointees remain firmly in place, as do laws immunizing torturers, indemnifying telecoms who spy on Americans, and much more. Millions of homeowners are losing their homes to foreclosure, and the wealthy players who bought those securitized loans will be demanding a bailout from the next administration.

The handwriting is on the wall. It says a new day is indeed coming. But not all that new. Get ready for it.
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Related

Rothschild Family Supports Hillary’s Presidency 

Canadian officials call for surveillance cameras to be placed in terror suspect’s home

Never before has any Canadian prisoner on bail been known to have had to countenance cameras inside their house.

Jaballah, who already lives under extremely strict house arrest, has never been charged with a criminal offense but spent nearly all of 1997 to 2007 in a Canadian jail.

Associated Press | Oct 30, 2007

TORONTO: Canadian officials took the unprecedented step of asking a judge to install closed-circuit video cameras inside a terrorism suspect’s home.

Government lawyer Donald MacIntosh said Monday that he hopes the Federal Court will approve the heightened surveillance for Mahmoud Jaballah, an Egyptian asylum-seeker who Canadian officials have accused of being a “communications link” in al-Qaeda’s 1998 African embassy bombings.

MacIntosh said he knows of no jurisdiction that has tried installing closed-circuit cameras in a suspect’s home, but he intends to submit a formal argument before a hearing next month.

Jaballah, who already lives under extremely strict house arrest, has never been charged with a criminal offense but spent nearly all of 1997 to 2007 in a Canadian jail. Attempts to deport him to Egypt, a country known to torture fundamentalists, failed on humanitarian grounds.

He is being held under Canada’s controversial “security certificate” system, which allows the government to detain and deport foreign-born terrorist suspects with charging them or providing them with evidence of their allegations. Aspects of the certificate system were ruled unconstitutional by Canada’s Supreme Court in February.

Jaballah recently agreed to live under extraordinary surveillance, in return for being let out of jail in April.

Past measures have included having suspects submit to being followed by federal agents during their few weekly excursions, having their calls monitored, staying away from computers and having video cameras installed outside the home. Never before has any Canadian prisoner on bail been known to have had to countenance cameras inside their house.

Prosecutors in the Jaballah case argued last week in court that surveillance in his home is critical for reasons of national security.

Lawyers acting for Jaballah are resisting added surveillance and fighting for increased liberties.

The Federal Court is currently weighing a motion for Jaballah, a former principal at a Toronto Islamic school, to be let out of his Toronto home to teach school lessons to Muslim children. He currently lives at home with his wife and five children.

Weapons Industry Dumps Republicans, Backs Hillary

Don’t worry Obama supporters, according to the big political insiders like Gingrich, it will be a Clinton-Obama ticket as a foregone conclusion. So if you want to see a full blown global WMD exchange, a North American Union and an end to all freedoms, be sure to vote Clinton-Obama!

PW

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Independent | Oct 31, 2007

By Leonard Doyle

The U.S. arms industry has all but abandoned its traditional allies in the Republican party and is putting their money on Hillary Clinton.

The U.S. arms industry is backing Hillary Clinton for President and has all but abandoned its traditional allies in the Republican party. Mrs Clinton has also emerged as Wall Street’s favourite. Investment bankers have opened their wallets in unprecedented numbers for the New York senator over the past three months and, in the process, dumped their earlier favourite, Barack Obama.

Mrs. Clinton’s wooing of the defence industry is all the more remarkable given the frosty relations between Bill Clinton and the military during his presidency. An analysis of campaign contributions shows senior defence industry employees are pouring money into her war chest in the belief that their generosity will be repaid many times over with future defence contracts.

Employees of the top five U.S. arms manufacturers — Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop-Grumman, General Dynamics and Raytheon — gave Democratic presidential candidates $103,900, with only $86,800 going to the Republicans. “The contributions clearly suggest the arms industry has reached the conclusion that Democratic prospects for 2008 are very good indeed,” said Thomas Edsall, an academic at Columbia University in New York.

Republican administrations are by tradition much stronger supporters of U.S. armaments programmes and Pentagon spending plans than Democratic governments. Relations between the arms industry and Bill Clinton soured when he slimmed down the military after the end of the Cold War. His wife, however, has been careful not to make the same mistake.

After her election to the Senate, she became the first New York senator on the armed services committee, where she revealed her hawkish tendencies by supporting the invasion of Iraq. Although she now favours a withdrawal of U.S. troops, her position on Iran is among the most warlike of all the candidates — Democrat or Republican.

This week, she said that, if elected president, she would not rule out military strikes to destroy Tehran’s nuclear weapons facilities. While on the armed services committee, Mrs. Clinton has befriended key generals and has won the endorsement of General Wesley Clarke, who ran Nato’s war in Kosovo. A former presidential candidate himself, he is spoken of as a potential vice-presidential running mate.

Mrs. Clinton has been a regular visitor to Iraq and Afghanistan and is careful to focus her criticisms of the Iraq war on President Bush, rather than the military. The arms industry has duly taken note.

So far, Mrs. Clinton has received $52,600 in contributions from individual arms industry employees. That is more than half the sum given to all Democrats and 60 percent of the total going to Republican candidates. Election fundraising laws ban individuals from donating more than $4,600 but contributions are often “bundled” to obtain influence over a candidate.

The arms industry has even deserted the biggest supporter of the Iraq war, Senator John McCain, who is also a member of the armed services committee and a decorated Vietnam War veteran. He has been only $19,200. Weapons-makers are equally unimpressed by the former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani. Despite a campaign built largely around the need for an aggressive U.S. military and a determination to stay the course in Iraq, he is behind Mrs Clinton in the affections of arms executives. Mr. Giuliani may be suffering because of his strong association with the failed policies of President Bush and the fact he is he is known as a social liberal.

Mrs. Clinton’s closest competitor in raising cash from the arms industry is the former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, who raised just $32,000.

“Arms industry profits are so heavily dependent on government contracts that companies in this field want to be sure they do not have hostile relations with the White House,” added Mr Edsall.

The industry’s strong support for Mrs. Clinton indicates that she is their firm favourite to win the Democratic nomination in the spring and the presidential election in November 2008. In the last presidential race, George Bush raised more than $800,000 — twice the sum collected by his Democratic rival John Kerry.

Mr. Edsall’s analysis of the figures reveals that, over the past 10 years, the defence industry has favoured Republicans over Democrats by a 3-2 margin, making Mrs. Clinton’s position even more remarkable.

Burmese army ‘abducts thousands of children’

‘Those who attempt to escape are beaten, forcibly re-recruited or imprisoned,’ the report claims

Telegraph | Oct 31, 2007

By Thomas Bell

The Burmese army has been accused of kidnapping thousands of children as young as 10 years old to meet a recruitment shortfall.

Human Rights Watch has claimed that children are picked up at train and bus stations and markets and told they will be arrested if they refuse to join the army. Some children are beaten until they agree to “volunteer”.

The Burmese army continues to expand even as it faces high rates of desertion. Analysts believe recruitment may become even harder since troops were ordered to fire on revered Buddhist monks in September.

“The brutality of Burma’s military government goes beyond its violent crackdown on peaceful protesters,” said Jo Becker of Human Rights Watch.

“Military recruiters are literally buying and selling children to fill the ranks of the Burmese armed forces.”

The army is constantly engaged in campaigns against up to 30 ethnic rebel armies. According to a recent study, over half a million people are currently displaced after troops burnt villages and terrorised civilians.

Often the army establishes businesses such as gold mines or hydroelectric dams in the depopulated areas.

Aung Zaw, a former child soldier, said: “I can’t remember how old I was the first time fighting. About 13. We walked into an ambush, and four of our soldiers died.

“I was afraid because I was very young so I tried to run back, but the captain shouted, ‘Don’t run back! If you run back I’ll shoot you myself’.”

According to the report, “child soldiers are sometimes forced to participate in human rights abuses, such as burning villages and using civilians for forced labour. Those who attempt to escape are beaten, forcibly re-recruited or imprisoned”.

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Related

Fascinating video about “God’s Army”, a faction of child soldiers of the Karen resistance who surrendered in 2001

Burma: Army of the Child God (Windows Media download)

Johnny and Luther Htoo

Report: Britain overtaxing the young

Taxpayers ages 18 to 34 are handing over almost half their incomes

UPI | Oct 30, 2007

LONDON, Oct. 30 (UPI) — A report by a conservative organization blames high taxes in Britain for stifling initiative among young people.

The group Reform said taxpayers ages 18 to 34 are handing over almost half their incomes to pay for benefits for the older generation, The Daily Telegraph reported.

”The Ipod generation has been reduced to galley slaves in the public spending empire of the baby boomers,” said Nick Bosanquet, an expert on health policy at Imperial College, London, and a consultant to Reform. “The government is in the process of mortgaging the future of a generation.”

The group said government spending has risen from 41.6 percent of gross domestic product to 45.1 percent since Labor gained control of Parliament in 1997. During the same period, the percentage fell from 48.3 percent to 44.3 percent in Germany.

Reform also blamed Conservatives in Parliament, saying they have pledged to match Labor spending on health and education.

Ron Paul on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno

Ron Paul on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno 10-31-2007

Business Leaders Warn Of Congressional Power Grab Over Water Control

Salem News | Oct 25, 2007

The legislation is known as the “Clean Water Restoration Act.”

(GOLDEN, Co.) – Legislation quietly moving forward in the U.S. Congress would expand the federal government’s control over U.S. waters to such an extent that even periodically wet ground would come under federal hegemony, a group of business leaders is warning.

“This bill represents one of the most expansive power grabs by the federal government over state and local control in memory,” said Jim Sims, President and CEO of the Western Business Roundtable. “The extent to which this bill puts states and their water resources under the thumb of the federal government is simply astounding.”

“This bill would give federal agencies domain over virtually every wet area in the nation. It will fundamentally erode the ability of citizens, and state governments in particular, to manage our own water resources. It would cause an avalanche of new un-funded mandates to envelop state and local governments.”

Sims added: “It will make it more costly to grow crops, provide water to cities, operate and maintain water storage and delivery facilities, produce energy (including renewable power), build and maintain public transportation systems, deliver affordable goods and services to consumers and carry out virtually any activity that occurs on the land without federal agencies constantly threatening to interfere.”

The legislation, known as the “Clean Water Restoration Act,” is sponsored by Rep. James Oberstar (D-Minn.) in the House (H.R. 2421) and Sen. Russell Feingold (D-Wisc.) in the Senate (S. 1870).

The bill’s sponsors contend U.S. waters are threatened due to Supreme Court decisions in 2001 and 2006 that clarified which waters fall under federal jurisdiction. But by changing the Clean Water Act’s jurisdictional sweep from regulation of “navigable waters” to “waters of the United States,” the bill would have “a devastating impact on Western state sovereignty and virtually every citizen in our region,” Sims said.

“There is virtually no business or job-creating activity in the nation that would not be adversely affected by this bill,” he added.

The Roundtable sent a letter to Congress earlier this week outlining its concerns about bill. It pointed out that the bill:

* Would expand the regulatory reach of the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers to include essentially all arguably wet areas (or areas wet at some time) in the U.S., giving the federal government jurisdiction over groundwater, ditches, pipes, streets, gutters and desert features.

* Would expand the legal basis for the Clean Water Act, moving it beyond the current jurisdiction under the “commerce clause” in the U.S. Constitution, which limits congressional authority over water to the ability to regulate commerce. The new legislation would make congressional authority over any U.S. water virtually unlimited.

* Would essentially grant EPA and the Corps a veto over local land-use policies. Any activity involving water could be affected, including commercial and residential real estate development, agriculture, electric transmission, transportation, mining and energy development – even recreational activities.

* Would eliminate existing regulatory limitations that allow common sense uses such as prior converted cropland and waste treatment systems. Currently, the CWA’s rules acknowledge limitations covering those elements.

* Would implement an expanded definition of waters that would burden state and local governments both administratively and financially. A broad expansion of the CWA’s jurisdiction would put un-funded mandates on those entities, including requirements to adopt water quality standards (including monitoring and reporting).

* Would also impact land-use plans, floodplain regulations, building and other codes, watershed and storm water plans, and likely delay development of new projects and maintenance of existing infrastructure.

* Would cause water providers, landowners and water-use entities’ liability risk to grow.

Sims added that, under an expanded CWA, citizen suit liability and exposure for attorneys fees awards would increase for all landowners with water features on or near their properties. Similar concerns and risks would be faced by all water delivery and water-use entities.

The Roundtable said it has launched a region wide effort to build opposition to the bill.