Feist Rises at CNN; Bohrman Chief Innovation Guru Worldwide

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sam feist.jpg
That really, really, really cool digital, transparent wall that Wolf Blitzer and John King began using as their portal into American politics and the elections was devised and put together by then CNN DC Bureau Chief David Bohrman, who has just been named CNN SVP & Chief Innovation Officer Worldwide.
But the new Washington, DC Bureau Chief is political wunderkind Sam Feist, who is a genuinely nice guy and kind of comes off as the earnest Jimmy Olsen type from the old Superman shows.
But don’t knock innocent looks. Feist, who is one of the best informed political directors (or former political directors given his new promotion) in network news, just took one of the really big perches in high end political media.
For more info on Feist and his career, click the extended line below — but big congrats to both David Bohrman and Sam Feist for their cool moves.
– Steve Clemons


For Release: May 17, 2011
CNN Names Sam Feist Washington Bureau Chief

Sam Feist, political director and vice president of Washington-based programming for CNN, has been promoted to Washington, D.C. bureau chief and senior vice president, it was announced today by Ken Jautz, executive vice president of CNN/U.S. Feist will oversee daily operations of the bureau and lead all newsgathering and programming from the nation’s capital. Feist will assume his role effective immediately and will report to Jautz.
“For two decades at CNN, Sam has demonstrated his commitment to serious journalism and strong political programming,” said Jautz. “His experience, vision, and understanding of our nation’s capital will ensure CNN’s Washington bureau and its coverage remain second to none.”
“I couldn’t be more excited to take on this new role and build on the great journalism and the tremendous expertise of the CNN Washington bureau,” said Feist. “It is not only one of the largest news bureaus in the world, it is undoubtedly one of the finest. Leading this outstanding team at a time of dynamic change in our industry is invigorating and humbling.”
Since January 2009, Feist has served CNN’s political director and vice president of Washington-based programming, overseeing Washington programming, including John King, USA, The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, State of the Union with Candy Crowley, and Reliable Sources. As political director, he also coordinated all facets of CNN’s daily political coverage including the production of political specials such as primary nights, conventions, and election nights.
As political director and senior executive producer of political coverage through the 2006 midterm and 2008 presidential elections, Feist oversaw political coverage for “America Votes 2008″ and The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, the weekday program he helped conceptualize and launch. In the 2008 election cycle, Feist coordinated and produced CNN’s nine presidential primary debates as well as the network’s record-breaking primary, caucus and convention coverage that earned the network a Peabody Award. Feist was also instrumental in the “America Votes 2006″ coverage of the midterm elections that earned the network an Emmy Award.
Feist formerly managed the production of Inside Politics and Crossfire. Prior to joining Crossfire, Feist was the founding executive producer of CNN’s daily newscast Wolf Blitzer Reports. He also served as the executive producer of CNN’s weekend programs Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer, The Capital Gang and Evans & Novak.
Feist has produced live programs from nations around the world including: Russia, Israel, the United Kingdom and China. He has produced interviews with such world leaders as George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Bill Clinton, Mikhail Gorbachev, Al Gore, Barack Obama, Yitzhak Rabin and Margaret Thatcher.
After working as a freelance producer at CNN’s London bureau in 1990, Feist joined CNN full-time at its Atlanta headquarters in 1991. During the 1992 presidential campaign, he moved to the Washington bureau where he has held a number of positions including associate producer, producer, senior producer and assignment editor.
Feist received his bachelor of arts in political science from Vanderbilt University, graduating Phi Beta Kappa. He received his law degree with honors from the Georgetown University Law Center, which included a semester studying international law at Cambridge University. Feist is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the bar of the District of Columbia.
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Comments

82 comments on “Feist Rises at CNN; Bohrman Chief Innovation Guru Worldwide

  1. Mr.Murder says:

    This is a starting point. The goalposts were moved so far to the right of those famed borders.
    Now there is some kind of place from which to tack and leverage diplomatic incentives. There will probably be nowhere near that kind of agreement, but it still has perspective in place of a long ignored policy.
    True, everything Israel does to good extent flies in the face of precedent for where the world is at this time. Desegregation, Apartheid, Removal, those are terrible legacies to stand aside.
    Wonder what kind of civil restitutions could be pursued in, say, the World Court?

    Reply

  2. DakotabornKansan says:

    Government official who makes perfectly valid, well-reasoned point against Israel forced to resign
    http://www.theonion.com/articles/government-official-who-makes-perfectly-valid-well,20499/
    Hypocrisy is the necessary handmaiden of diplomacy and realpolitik.
    President Obama in his speech yesterday declared, “We will not tolerate aggression across borders.” This from the Nobel Peace Prize recipient, who has authorized attacks that have killed innocent civilians in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, Pakistan and Somalia

    Reply

  3. questions says:

    h/t kos:
    “”Gov. Scott Walker and the Republicans could cost us millions of dollars in lawsuits when eligible voters are denied their right to vote due to the legislature’s hasty and unconscionable passage of the most restrictive voter law in the nation,” said Scot Ross, One Wisconsin Now Executive Director. “There is no voter irregularity in Wisconsin, but the Republican legislative majority and Gov. Walker are desperate to rig the elections in their favor. For them, keeping their partisan political power is more important than the rights of the people.”
    The bill’s authors, Rep. Jeff Stone (R-Greenfield) and Sen. Joe Leibham (R-Sheboygan), are modeling their bill after Indiana’s Voter ID law, which was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. Indiana, however, provides its residents exponentially more access to its Department of Motor Vehicles offices to obtain the photo identification. According to the Supreme Court case upholding Indiana’s Voter ID bill the lower court found, “99 percent of Indiana’s voting age population already possesses the necessary photo identification to vote under the requirements.” The Supreme Court concluded that Indiana’s law was Constitutional, specifically because so few Indianans were without the state-issued photo identification.
    Wisconsin’s population is substantially less likely to have a state-issued identification. The study showed that the following numbers about those without state-issued photo identification and who would need to obtain one under the Wisconsin Voter ID bill:
    Over 177,000 elderly Wisconsinites
    17 percent of white men and women
    55 percent of African American men and 49 percent of African American women
    46 percent of Hispanic men and 59 percent of Hispanic women
    78 percent of African American men age 18-24 and 66 percent of African American women age 18-24
    [Driver License Status of the Voting Age Population in Wisconsin, 6/05]
    The need to expand the numbers and operational hours of Wisconsin DMVs to provide appropriate access could increase the $70 million biennial Wisconsin DMV budget by as much as 50 percent – on top of the current $5 million price tag to provide free identifications.
    Wisconsin and Indiana have similar voting age populations (4.35 million vs. 4,8 million), but Wisconsin is 50 percent larger geographically than Indiana (54,314 sq. miles vs. 35,870 sq. miles). Indiana not only provides its residents 50 percent more DMV offices than Wisconsin has (140 to 91), but also nearly three times the total hours these facilities are open. ”
    http://www.onewisconsinnow.org/blog/2011/05/gop-voter-disenfranchisement-plan-expected-to-pass-assembly-despite-threat-to-legal-voters.html
    There’s more at the link.
    The states are doing their level best to make it hard to vote. The Supreme Court will need to weigh in on this if the states don’t provide workarounds.
    The dems are going to need to transport, birtherize, and subsidize IDs until the Supreme Court finds that this whole mess is one giant poll tax plus one giant literacy test plus one giant tax on those without easy transportation.
    Maybe the dems should realize that feeling a little disaffected with the pres and feeling a little unemployed and feeling a little broke — none of this is an excuse for voting for Republicans who are using this golden opportunity to strip voting rights, union rights, privacy rights, abortion rights, transit programs, education, and just about all the other things we consider to be part of the social contract.
    There is always well more than a dime’s worth of difference, and the puritanical left needs to figure that out pretty quickly, because what we’re seeing across the country is the result of dem disaffection.
    It could be incredibly hard to undo this mess. State law is sticky the way state constitutional amendments are sticky the way curricular materials are sticky the way early voting habits can be sticky.
    We’re stuck. Peanut butter super glue sandwich stuck.

    Reply

  4. JohnH says:

    “But the real problem is there isn’t a single so alled expert who even begins to comprehend…”
    Certainly not in the vast wasteland called the corporate media. But Michael Brenner does a pretty good job of analyzing the illusion Obama intentionally surrounds himself with:
    http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2011/05/michael-brenner-on-obamas-me-speech.html#more
    Regarding Obama’s speech, Brenner writes “The first, primary consideration was to create favorable impressions among the American public – especially the political class

    Reply

  5. JohnH says:

    Interesting that even TWN, which is sensitive to shifts in tone and nuance, has chosen not to comment on BO’s speech. I guess that the political classes are finally starting to take BO’s rhetorical flourishes for what they are–meaningless static and random noise that merit no attention.

    Reply

  6. JohnH says:

    Interesting that even TWN, which is sensitive to shifts in tone and nuance, has chosen not to comment on BO’s speech. I guess that the political classes are finally starting to take BO’s rhetorical flourishes for what they are–meaningless static and random noise that deserve no attention.

    Reply

  7. DonS says:

    Not to mention my local rag which used an AP story that includes ” . . . President Barack Obama jolted close ally Israel on Thursday by embracing the Palestinians’ terms for drawing the borders of their new nation next door.” Makes good melodrama.
    As if Obama really had the desire or the guts to stare down the Israel Lobby.

    Reply

  8. questions says:

    It’s the right wing talking point/meme o’ the day.
    Remember what DeLong says about Republicans. And it all makes sense.

    Reply

  9. Dan Kervick says:

    Obama clearly didn’t call for “returning Israel and Palestine to the pre war borders of 1967.” But I noticed that Huffington Post printed this same lie in their headline yesterday.

    Reply

  10. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Bachman didn’t waste any time. Signed on to TWN and this ad popped up like a festered boil….
    http://www.michelebachmann.com/israel/?cdtrack_creative=973fc46c-17a5-405d-8b4e-67a2b8b1c1b4&cdtrack_source=6766ecf9-5d7e-4988-ba24-e120e6fe0873&gclid=CN3-pLzS9qgCFUaK4Aodihh0Sg
    So, settle back, grab some popcorn, and watch as both sides of the aisle trip over themselves to show AIPAC that they wholeheartedly DO NOT support their President.
    From the ad….
    ” President Obama today announced his support of returning Israel and Palestine to the pre war borders of 1967. This announcement was an unprecedented act and is yet another example of his policy of blaming Israel first. President Obama’s course is a rapid and drastic departure from previous U.S. policy. These actions are totally unacceptable. Abandoning decades of peacemaking efforts, this plan is a return to the failed past and would heavily jeopardize Israeli security and stability in an already unstable Middle East”
    It’d be nice if someone would ask this ignorant witch what exactly it is that Obama said that is a “rapid and drastic departure from previous U.S. policy”. But of course, no matter, because the slobbering idiots hanging on Bachman’s shirttails have gotten all their information from a carefully nurtured narrative that has managed to cast Israel as second only to Jesus Christ in goodness, charity, and strength.
    I think Obama stepped on his own d*ck yesterday. Unable to deliver anything of substance as far as actual ACTION to add grist to his words, and opposed by the majority in BOTH parties, he just, once again, made an ass of himself. Forceful words, but unrealistic, untenable, and unsupported. He may well have just committed political suicide, and destroyed his own chances for a second term. The DC scum, with AIPAC pushing, is gonna be on him like flies on shi..uh..crap.
    Now, we all anxiously await what will surely be lengthy analysis from the Think Tank crowd, who will pontificate from the fancy glittering sets of our Fourth Estate, knowingly saying nothing with great seriousness and pretension.
    Getting ahold of Bohrman and Feist has undoubtedly been difficult these last eighteen hours, as meeting after meeting ensues, getting the script just right, and figuring out which mouthpieces are best suited to deliver it. MSNBC must be besides themselves, trying to figure out a way to avoid substantive coverage of Obama’s ISR/PAL portion of this latest Presidential posturing.
    They need a diversion until Netanyahu can set the little pissant straight, and read him his marching orders. One thing is for sure, the unfolding global nuclear disaster in Fukushima ain’t going to be it.

    Reply

  11. JohnH says:

    To quote Stephen Walt: “Another major policy speech on the Middle East? Yawn.” Obama has no credibility. But he does deliver great speeches, meaningless as they are.

    Reply

  12. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Don’t forget that His Majesty Nogonads still has an upcoming AIPAC speech to give this weekend. I doubt he’s gonna get a very warm reception.
    BTW, wheres our Secretary Of State in all this? She’s probably all atwitter, for Bibis a-comin’ to town!!! Maybe she’ll be sporting a new do.
    Think Obama is gonna tell Bibi to quit shootin’ American kids in the head with outlawed high velocity tear gas cannisters??? Hmmmmm, kinda doubt it, don’t you?

    Reply

  13. ... says:

    some other astute posters comments on obama’s speech in relation to the i/p issue.
    “Right

    Reply

  14. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Wow, the speech seems to have flopped worse than I expected”
    Thanks for the chuckle.
    I was kinda thinkin’ I hadcha trained about Obamaspectations. You ain’t got it yet, but you seem to be catching on.
    I’m telling you, Dan, ya gotta measure how high off the ground the belly of a snail is, deduct two inches, and you will have deduced the proper height for your Obamaspectations.

    Reply

  15. Dan Kervick says:

    It was good to see him endorse the “’67 borders with swaps” formula. But the problem with Obama, given his track record on I/P, is that nobody has any expectations that he is prepared to take any concrete steps to put formulas into action. Even the ultra-patient George Mitchell seems to have been frustrated by White House passivity and fecklessness.
    It will be interesting to see if he spends the next week walking back his baby steps once Netanyahu lands here.

    Reply

  16. DonS says:

    Seem like everyone’s learned, including Bibi, everything’s on the table, er, off the table, with Barack. Even if it used to be unquestionably on the table policy, like ’67 lines. Way to go Barry; now all he needs to do is make sure he bows deeply enough.

    Reply

  17. questions says:

    Everyone is positioning….
    Some hardliner in Israel is calling the 1967 borders the “Auschwitz Borders”, Netanyahu is reacting as he must given domestic political pressures and the Israeli version of the Tea Party, and there are some other reactions detailed here:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/20/world/middleeast/20mideast.html?hp
    and here:
    http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/05/19/israeli-settlers-reject-the-auschwitz-borders/
    I think in general, the “every country is individual” and “it’ll take years to settle out” lines are basically correct. I think the “Oh, come on Israel, and get real” line is reasonable, but it’s not going to work so easily.
    We should think in terms of “reasoning” with Michele Bachmann and Newt Gingrich — it just can’t happen. And it’s not going to happen to an Israeli government trapped by paranoid right wing anxiety.
    The stress on security is on the mark, but one wonders if there is such a thing as security for the far right in Israel. That’s a really big question, actually. Does anyone in the admin have an answer?
    This is such a great moment in the ME for Israel to move a couple of inches in fairly cost-free ways, to use the energy of the Spring movements to alter a few of the less good dynamics. And their political system is so unable to take advantage of it.
    Just like the US won’t borrow and build infrastructure while borrowing costs are historically low, and debt is pretty cheap, and the building needs to happen — all because of ridiculous Tea Party sensibilities — so Israel isn’t going to budge for its glorious moment in the sun.
    It’s kind of sad, or tragic, or foolish, or precisely what one would expect.
    And Obama’s reaffirmation of security will likely be willfully misread in Florida. Couple that with the vote caging, and Florida don’t look so good for 2012. The Republicans’ Mediscare is all we have going for us right about now. Is it enough? Will there be other compensation?

    Reply

  18. Dan Kervick says:

    Wow, the speech seems to have flopped worse than I expected.

    Reply

  19. Mr.Murder says:

    The Obama team flips the table on I/P borders and statehood, that would be a sumo move of strategic proportions.
    Such an item takes a time to advance on a diplomatic basis.
    Made comments earlier this week, on TWN’s return to comments laissez-faire, about our continued hard line action in foreign policy. Why moderate comments when we tolerate the intolerable in policy?
    Why ruffle the feathers of the Apartheid Ostritch? Someone finally did so, Barack is speaking out. Israel officially recognized South Africa and was a sister state at one time. Palestine feels the scourge of Apartheid daily.
    Other note that Obama talks to placate the left and signs legislation to enroll the political right. Let’s see if the same thing happens here. Talk big on I/P while we continue bombing and occupation elsewhere.
    Either he’d done a great rope-a-dope in fighting heavyweight policy or we will soon face another false hope on the broad shoulders of our Obama mythos. Raging Bull, or Raging Bull$hit?

    Reply

  20. questions says:

    Vote caging in Florida is now legal:
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/05/19/977536/-FLORIDA:Today,-Gov-Ensured-MILLIONS-of-Dems-Wont-Vote!-Wheres-the-outrage?detail=hide
    Pretty amazing provisions just signed into law by Rick Scott — huge fines for any mistake in registering voters, so the League of Women Voters is stopping all registration efforts.
    The use of provisional ballots will expand to include married women whose names haven’t been updated, and anyone who is challenged for anything at all.
    You will get challenged for voting while Black, is my guess….
    Is there room for court intervention here?
    Why in heaven’s name do people vote for Republicans?
    On the other hand, there is this to cheer us up:
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/05/19/977431/-Late-afternoon-early-evening-openthread?detail=hide&via=blog_1

    Reply

  21. Cee says:

    Steve,
    Just saw you on Cenk Uygur and I hope you’re right about the ADL leaders and others being hopeful and supportive.
    I still doubt it. I hope I’m wrong but history tells a tale.
    Reportedly, Israelis have a long history of carrying out false flag operations
    Zambian copper mine
    1. The Zambian bridge plot. (The little known “false flag” attack to make a killing on the market.)
    According to The Washington Post, 9 November 1966, Jay Aubrey Elliott and Rolf Dunbier, plotted to blow up the Kafue River bridge in Zambia. They were arrested in new York.
    This bridge was vital to Zambia

    Reply

  22. ... says:

    try putting this on the other shoe……….”
    Reacting to the address shortly afterwards, Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, said a Palestinian state should not be established at the “expense of Israeli existence”.”
    an israeli state should not be established at the “expense of palestinian existence”.

    Reply

  23. Cee says:

    Prepare for false-flag terrorism.
    Thu May 19, 12:48 pm ET
    WASHINGTON

    Reply

  24. Kathleen says:

    DC Riders for Peace launch billboard ad campaign in Washington D.C.
    http://www.moveoveraipac.org/2011/05/dc-riders-for-peace-launch-billboard-ad-campaign-in-washington-d-c/
    Whoa folks in that part of the world had to hear Obama say that their hopefully free and fair election results do not have to “square with our world view”
    Mentioned the Hamas Fatah negotiations. Did not mention Netanyahu’s slap in the face today

    Reply

  25. DonS says:

    WAPO front-paged “deputy editorial page editor’s” big wet kiss for Bibi, trash the Palestinians:
    Here’s a link, though I hate to even spread it:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/mahmoud-abbass-formula-for-war/2011/05/18/AFsdUl6G_story.html

    Reply

  26. Kathleen says:

    Live blog on OBamas speech over at NPR
    Bibi Insults Obama Again, Before He Even Gets Here
    May 19, 2011 by Mitchell Plitnick
    Today, the day of President Barack Obama

    Reply

  27. questions says:

    Lots of people over the years have likened schools to prisons…. Who knew this analogy would carry over to this:

    Reply

  28. questions says:

    DonS,
    Exactly. The voter photo ID laws are popping up all over the place with the approval of voters, legislators, and governors. That’s how the system works. People do indeed want these laws. I personally think they are not in the public interest, that they are partisan shots at voter suppression, that they will likely stop a small number of dems from voting. I also know that there are plenty of people who are pretty sure “everyone” has a photo ID because there’s pretty much nothing you can access without one. You can’t get on a plane, you can’t buy alcohol, you can’t access benefits, deal with a bank, open an account…. And these people don’t realize that in fact a whole bunch of people don’t have gov’t issued photo ids, especially of the valid (not expired) kind.
    So there’s a jot of ignorance and some amount of partisanship, along with no understanding of how rare fraud at the polls is (and how often what it really consists in is former convicted felons who vote without having had their voting rights restored through their state’s process, and so who would never be caught anyway just from a photo ID.)
    And for sure, it’s a bad policy at a lot of levels, but it’s actually arising out of popular demand. We have a fundamental distrust of our political system and since we don’t trust fellow voters, we’re pretty sure that people of the other party only win when there’s fraud. Showing ID works for the Republicans the same way that OMG ELECTRONIC VOTING works for the Dems.
    Same emotions, and similar legislative battles. Right now, we’re getting photo ID laws because the Republicans run a lot of state houses.
    So, yes, the dems need to deal with this on an organizing basis and they need to help distressed voters get their IDs dealt with long before the 2012 elections. That means that they need to sit down with voter rolls, find out who’s who, call or visit, check on ID status, help people who have birth certs available write to the vital statistics offices in their states of birth and start the process rolling. They need to find would-be voters who are unable to gather records, whether because of court house fires or because of home births long ago, and they need to find out what the courts can do in these cases.
    The Supreme Court has apparently left open some space for “poll tax” issues, and Indiana I think it is, provide free birth certs and is opening up ID/DMV centers in rural areas. (There’s a whole report up somewhere on the web about the costs of actually providing the ID that is required for voting.)
    So there will be court cases, depending on how various state laws work, and in time, justice will be done.
    We likely need to get to a system of providing IDs to middle school students (too many h.s. drop outs to use that) if we’re going to be demanding IDs for everything.
    Yes, it’s part of the democratic process, yes, these bills pass through human, intentional legislative systems.
    Hence, the analogy to body issues below the belt are actually not germane.
    It’s not that “they exist, so they are wanted” — it’s that people enacted these laws, so they are part of the framework we have to deal with, and indeed enough people want them that they are there now.
    Republican elites use issues of wealth and race, and the Republican laity buy into it all and so indeed we have photo ID laws, oil company subsidies and all sorts of other things we’re gonna live with.
    Would I do it differently? Of course. I’m not a Republican. But until you can convince every state legislature that it’s bad policy to have photo ID laws, and until you can convince oil state politicians that we should tax corporate profits and not subsidize them, well, we’ll get what we’ve been getting.
    (Please note, by the way, on a smaller scale, everyone who has ever taken a tax deduction for anything — mortgage interest, medical expenses, charitable donations, work-related stuff… all of you have gotten subsidies, too! On the backs of people who don’t get all that good stuff. You might not be billionaire corporations, but you might as well be to some super low income person who has to make up for your deductions by paying a little bit more for services.)

    Reply

  29. Paul Norheim says:

    On topic: I regularly watch CNN (International), BBC and al Jazeera. One of my brothers, also a news junkie, doesn’t
    watch CNN anymore after discovering al Jazeera. We’re both sick of the slogan they repeat 100 times a day: “Go
    beyond borders with CNN!”
    The more CNN repeats their mantra, the more I feel that they’ve become introspect, reflecting their brand more than
    the world they’re supposed to show us. (They show us a video of an earthquake or a flooding, and inform us that “This
    was a Breaking News Event brought to you by CNN.”) One may hope that the challenge from al Jazeera will somewhat
    encourage them to make more serious efforts to see the world from the perspectives of other regions. But I’m not
    optimistic. It’s the nature of empires to “go beyond borders” in certain ways and with certain objectives, and this is
    also reflected in the work of their messengers.
    Anthropology, sociology, and philosophy teach us that we mostly confirm our own views and prejudices while
    apparently talking about the lives of others. But on rare occasions, the opposite happens. A missionary from the West
    is sent to the East to tell the heathens about the Savior Jesus Christ and the virtues of Western civilization, and ends up
    getting absorbed in the culture of his host country, translating great Japanese haiku or classical Chinese poetry -
    becoming a great ambassador for the country he originally wanted to transform. Or he goes to the Africans, teaching
    them Christian songs and melodies. Decades later, they use the same melodies (with new texts) as vehicles to throw
    out the Western colonizers. History is full of such ironies, and hopefully CNN is not immune against history and the
    unintended consequences of their US-centric activities “beyond borders”.

    Reply

  30. Paul Norheim says:

    “If my view is correct, then whatever progress you make in becoming a healthy human stimulates all you meet to do
    the same, and each time a fair number of Americans move in that direction, our businesses and government officials
    will follow. I prefer my view. I’d be very depressed, given the current situation, if I had your view.” (Warren Metzler)
    Well, in that case, you should indeed be very depressed, because your view is unbelievably naive.
    As for your description of what you call “professional Blacks”, I think you’re to the point.

    Reply

  31. Warren Metzler says:

    Tank Man, if you have not heard Cornel present that Black superiority, I suggest you have not read between the lines of his presentations.
    Further, if corporations, and our elected officials, don’t operate within a context set up by the collective real views of the American people, you have established that you can have no influence on our country at large, other than voting every couple of years. If my view is correct, then whatever progress you make in becoming a healthy human stimulates all you meet to do the same, and each time a fair number of Americans move in that direction, our businesses and government officials will follow. I prefer my view. I’d be very depressed, given the current situation, if I had your view.
    To all, let us accept that governments need money to function. And let us accept that whatever form that income takes it is a form of taxes. Now let us answer the question, whether the people who work in the government know better than you or I how we should earn our money. I say they absolutely do not. And, based on this view, I say whatever taxes are decided, let the burden of their payment be born by all in an equal manner.
    That means we don’t invent the delusion of “earned” income (pay taxes one way), and “unearned” income (pay taxes another way). Or one business gets no tax breaks, and other businesses (cotton, oil, beet sugar, etc.) gets tax breaks; and among those who get tax breaks, some get much larger ones than others.
    And in the earned income area, let’s give up the nonsense that the more you make, the higher percentage of income you should pay. I propose there is not a smidgen of rationality in that; its existence is solely based on jealousy of those with lots of money. Fairness never involves favoring, and the more fairness there is, the more all, including those with lots of money, will be more involved in having all of us continually rise toward excellence and thorough enjoyment.
    Further, let’s determine the most reasonable way to obtain the taxes, which I propose is a national vat tax, because it obtains a share of the action at every level; from obtaining raw materials through to consumer purchases.
    If the government operated in this manner, much of the graft and corruption in government / large businesses would be eliminated.
    Of course, the graft involved in government contracts wouldn’t be eliminated. But if we got the revenue part into rationality, I suspect the expenditure part would eventually get into rationality as well.

    Reply

  32. Dan Kervick says:

    Obama to propose debt relief tomorrow for millions of unemployed and underwater Americans!!!!
    Oh wait… That’s debt relief for Egypt only. Sorry, my bad.

    Reply

  33. PissedOffAmerican says:

    OH BOY!!!!! Two sex scandals at once!!!
    That beats the crap outta talking about those three boring ‘ol nuclear reactors meltin’ down in Japan, don’t it?
    And who cares about Israel shooting our brothers and sisters in the head when we can bask in the tittilating facts and rumors about who’s zoomin’ who?
    Sure glad The Ed Show has its priorities straight.
    Thank gawd for vapid, binary, one side vs. another shows, eh? Otherwise, we’d hafta worry about the important stuff.

    Reply

  34. Tank Man says:

    “All men (people) are created equal” ought to be the motto
    we all do our best to achieve, particularly in terms of how we
    inwardly respond to the people we meet. And give up this
    nonsense that certain ethnicities and cultures are superior to
    others. Don’t eliminate cultures, but celebrate each and every
    one as having valuable things to contribute to all.
    I’ve never heard Cornell posit any race is superior to others
    and in fact rails more against the injustices to the poor and
    disadvantaged as a whole than that of blacks.

    Reply

  35. PissedOffAmerican says:

    ROFLMAO!!!!
    Interesting concept;
    “It exists, therefore the people must want it”.
    Can we apply the same concept to crabs, dandruff, and hemorrhoids?

    Reply

  36. Tank Man says:

    “And guess what? Bush and Obama will end up in the same
    place. Given that Bush is likely to judged as one of the worst
    Presidents in US history, you would think that Obama would
    at least make some effort to avoid that fate. But instead,
    Obama is likely to continue as a modern day Harding, being
    rated near the bottom, because he never makes an effort,
    while Bush will get points for effort and for doggedly pursing
    that disastrous course.”
    JohnH…nailed it!
    Incredible as horrific as Bush was Obama may end up
    viewed as the worse of the two because he was the more
    cynical and disingenuous. Bush didn’t have a clue, but
    Obama is intelligent and knew the folly but lacked the vision
    and will to make a difference.
    JohnH…you nailed it!

    Reply

  37. JohnH says:

    questions dismisses subsidies to oil companies, as if they don’t matter: “if oil subsidies matter enough, they’ll be dealt with. Since they don’t matter enough they aren’t dealt with.”
    That’s exactly the problem with “the system.” Oil subsidies matter enormously to a handful of wealthy oil executives. And they have hundreds of $billions of profits, from which take a minuscule amount to underwrite the folks who provided the subsidies in the first place.
    Repeat this in industry after industry after industry. Pretty soon it adds up to a $1.5 Trillion deficit. The wealthy are all content to let the government waste money on pointless and futile wars, as long as they don’t have to pay for them or have their corporate welfare reduced.
    And in each individual case, questions can say, “well, it really doesn’t matter.” Except that at some point, it will matter. And the federal government will have to pay higher rates of interest.

    Reply

  38. DonS says:

    “The Dems had better get to work:
    “Time to find birth certs for everyone, and if those aren’t available, it’s time to get courts involved to set up workarounds.” (questions)
    What, what? If it’s signed into law in South Carolina, it must be what the people want. Mustn’t thwart the majestic will of the people expressed in the holy legislative process.

    Reply

  39. questions says:

    The Dems had better get to work:
    “CHARLESTON, South Carolina (Reuters) – Governor Nikki Haley on Wednesday signed into law a bill that requires voters to show photo identification at the polls, making South Carolina the tenth state to adopt such legislation.”
    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/2011/05/south_carolina_governor_signs_voter_photo_id_bill.php
    Time to find birth certs for everyone, and if those aren’t available, it’s time to get courts involved to set up workarounds.
    GOTV needs to broaden to Get Out the Birth Cert.

    Reply

  40. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Heres Pepe Escobar’s take on the whole DSK thing……
    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Global_Economy/ME19Dj02.html
    I picked the following exerpt because it is a perfect example of the kind of observation that the Guardians Of The Script, (the GOTS), Feist and Bohrman, will never allow their Readers Of The Script, (the ROTS), to recite on the air.
    Excerpt….
    Arguably, DSK is luckier than Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, because he’ll be facing a New York jury and not the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague. Unlike Gaddafi, DSK – at least in theory – is innocent until proven guilty, although he has already been convicted by the gutter press.
    Less visible on both sides of the Atlantic have been sane intellects pointing out that Wall Street crooks swindling average people out of trillions of dollars; BP executives destroying the Gulf of Mexico; and as a matter of fact the George W Bush administration bankrupting the US by launching a war that killed over 1 million Iraqi civilians – none of them were slapped with a perp walk.
    That much is established; as far as “American justice” is concerned, the chances of seeing Bush administration or Goldman Sachs perpetrators in handcuffs are zero.
    End Excerpt.
    (Perhaps DSK’s lawyers can successfully argue that the court should “look forwards, not backwards”. Or does that only work if you murder a million Muslims?)

    Reply

  41. questions says:

    Everything is an essay.
    And if oil subsidies matter enough, they’ll be dealt with. Since they don’t matter enough they aren’t dealt with. So people don’t care enough about them. Which means that the Senate filibuster was perfectly fine in terms of political preferences. What’s the big outrage, then?
    Arrange preferences on a continuum, and instead of saying “want” and “don’t want”, think of it as “want more” and “want less” as the extremes.
    Clearly, oil subsidies are wanted more than some other things, like, say, a completely Democratic Senate. They might be wanted less than some other things, but they are wanted enough that they are happening.
    Note that the pressure on the Ryan budget budged the budget off the agenda. The double talking and doubling back and around and rejiggering the whole mess are causing huge problems for the Republicans. The House frosh who voted FOR the plan are begging not to be held accountable, Gingrich is going bonkers…. So if the same thing happens with the oil subsidies, then those will go away as well. But I doubt we’ll get as outraged at money for oil companies as we do over money taken from our old age health care.

    Reply

  42. PissedOffAmerican says:

    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/ME19Ak01.html
    Excerpt…..
    For months now, the world has watched as protesters have taken to the streets across the Middle East to demand a greater say in their lives. In Tunisia and Egypt, they toppled decades-old dictatorships. In Bahrain and Yemen, they were shot down in the streets as they demanded democracy. In the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, they called for reforms, free speech, and basic rights, and ended up bloodied and often in jail cells. In Iraq, they protested a lack of food and jobs, and in response got bullets and beatings.
    As the world watched, trained eyes couldn’t help noticing something startling about the tools of repression in those countries. The armored personnel carriers, tanks, and helicopters used to intimidate or even kill peaceful protesters were often American models.
    For decades, the US has provided military aid, facilitated the sale of weaponry, and transferred vast quantities of arms to a host of Middle Eastern despots. Arming Arab autocrats, however, isn’t only the work of presidents past. A TomDispatch analysis of Pentagon documents finds that the Obama administration has sought to send billions of dollars in weapons systems – from advanced helicopters to fighter jets – to the very regimes that have beaten, jailed, and killed pro-democracy demonstrators, journalists, and reform activists throughout the Arab Spring.
    The administration’s abiding support for the militaries of repressive regimes calls into question the president’s rhetoric about change. The arms deals of recent years also shed light on the shadowy, mutually supportive relationships among the US military, top arms dealers, and Arab states that are of increasing importance to the Pentagon.
    Since the summer of 2009, Obama, by way of the Pentagon and with State Department approval, has regularly notified congress of his intent to sell advanced weaponry to governments across the Middle East, including Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Under US law, congress then has 30 days to review the sale before the Pentagon and associated military contractors enter into more formal contract talks with individual nations.

    Reply

  43. Dan Kervick says:

    For Pete’s sake, questions, I asked a simple question and you wrote an essay.
    Anyway, I assume that you, yourself have voted for candidates who did not vote in accordance with your preferences on significant number of issues. You take what can get when it comes to politicians. So what makes you think it is any different with Republican voters and oil company subsidies?

    Reply

  44. questions says:

    DanK et al,
    Think of it this way — I’m sure there are plenty of surveys around that indicate that people in this country lean slightly to the left in terms of preferring government services, lean slightly to the right in terms of paying taxes (note that the preference for increasing taxes is to increase them on earners above 250k, which is way up high on the percentile rankings), and so at some level, probably people don’t “want” to subsidize “big oil” and do “want” to keep their government benefits.
    Sure.
    And then they vote for Republicans who cut taxes on people who earn more than 250k, and who cut services for people who earn less. They vote and revote and rerevote for those people. Oh, and these same people support the oil company subsidies. (Drill here, drill now, is part of the subsidy process, I believe.)
    Members of Congress are pretty damned good at getting re-elected, which means that they are pretty damned good at doing what their constituents want. I have a lot of respect for this fact of the world. Congressional process and congressional action and congressional positioning are really wonderful acts mandated by participatory political systems.
    All that action and all that position-taking and all that re-election stuff doesn’t always generate the policy I want to see. In fact, it often fails by wide margins to generate the policy I want to see.
    I make a separation in kind between policies I want enacted and the institutions that make policy. The institutions are highly responsive to intensity of desire, to loudness of voice, to collections of actors, to vigor of demand.
    Yes, people may want something, but not badly enough to turn out, to vote for the other party, to negate some preferences in exchange for other preferences.
    One might want, for example, to gut the oil subsidies, but NOT if doing so means that one has to vote for a Democrat. Too painful, too compromising on some issues. So the oil subsidies stay because of the filibuster. They’ll go away if enough people put enough pressure on just enough senators to overcome the filibuster. Note also that there are oil-producing regions in the country and people involved in the oil industry certainly want to keep their subsidies. And their friends and neighbors might be happy for those subsidies as well. Subsidies exist because SOMEone wants them.
    Activists have a different view of what Congress should do from the view I hold. Activists want Congress to do what the activists want. I want Congress to do what makes institutional sense, even if it’s not the policy I want.
    I’d rather have some seriously screwy (in my mind) policy than be king of the universe, lord of all I see, the one decider among us all.
    Obama’s take on letting Congress be Congress is actually how the Constitution was written near as I can tell. He has not given up all imperial power, and Congress seems happy to hand him more war powers so that they can be done with the bloody deeds, and there are other arenas I’m not pleased with.
    But all in all, I’m not where you all are. Which is fine.
    Think about it this way. They just had Common come to the White House, and it’s a major issue. The birther thing was unbelievable. The charges of socialism are unbelievable. It goes on and on and on. So he makes some more speeches, Fox goes crazier, the Republican Party goes crazier — what comes of it? The dems lose the Senate in 2012, and the presidency as well, or maybe not til 2016 and then maybe it’s a few more decades in the wilderness……
    According to research, people make up their minds about whom to vote for some 9 months or so before the election. When we get to that point, the politico wing of the admin should have Obama at base and median pick off heights. The persuadables will have to have been picked up, the medians will have to have been convinced, and some of the active left will have to have been courted.
    He seems to be doing about as much of this as he can.
    If he backs off the national security state, and we have an attack, that’ll be it for dem politics for a very long time at the national level. What would you do? Be a good one term president? What’s the point in that? What good do you bring to the world if you push for policies that could easily backfire and backlash to the point of a long run of the opposite of what you want?
    Altogether, I think the strategy is reasonable, I think he’s using executive orders where he can, he’s pushing Congress to do its job, he’s checking items of an insanely long to-do list, he’s doing his best to avoid insane pendulum swings, and he’s not so offending sections of the county that we end up with capital flight beyond what we can imagine.
    There are structural economic problems. We have to stop paying rent to the rent collectors. It’s not likely to happen, because our toys are fun and convenient.
    The things that really have to happen to change structures are at the level of our learning to live differently. Smaller cars, less electricity, fewer gadgets from large corporations, more money kept in the community…. We’re not going to do much of this. And I would guess that we wouldn’t want to be forced. Look what’s happening over the 100 watt incandescent light bulb, for heaven’s sake.
    There are limits to the bully pulpit — really. There are limits to presidential power — really. There are limits to what people will put up with before they vote out the dems completely. We know what life is like under Republican-only control. It’s not great. And if Obama is too in-your-face, we’ll get just that result. We can imagine what life is like under authoritarian regimes. I personally would rather have my imperfect Congress than have an incredibly effective policy machine — that carries out someone else’s version of the universe.
    But that’s just me.

    Reply

  45. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Where is the evidence that a majority of voters want oil companies subsidized?”
    Evidence???? Now theres a novel request when one is discussing politics.
    Dan, you need to get a grip.
    “Because I said so” is the essence of political justification. Take it away, and you’ll expose the ugly world of truths.
    Ick!!!
    We live in a society where our King can now kill us, just by merit of the placement of a label. Because he said so. Bang. You’re dead.
    The American people DO want oil companies subsidized. Why??? Because saying so buttresses whatever it was that questions was trying to say.
    Don’t be unreasonable, Dan. We’re trying to be civil here. We could use a little help, you know.

    Reply

  46. JohnH says:

    questions inevitable point is that when the winds are blowing in a certain direction, sailors are totally at their mercy…except that some sailors have learned how to tack, a more circuitous way to get from point A to point B in the face of heavy winds.
    Obama does not know how to tack. Nor is he particularly interested in learning how. Oh, he occasionally mumbles something about how nice it would be to be some place else. But he has no idea where! And so, he just lets himself be blown about — que sera, sera. After all, he has already met his main goal–being the first Black President.
    Obama is reminiscent of Warren Harding, who was described as not having a strong personality, wanting to get on with everyone, and having few ideas of his own. And like Harding, Obama is presiding over an era of pervasive corruption, financial excess, and laissez-faire economics.
    This in contrast to Bush, who courted a disastrous course, and even took credit for aggressively pursuing the path of least resistance.
    And guess what? Bush and Obama will end up in the same place. Given that Bush is likely to judged as one of the worst Presidents in US history, you would think that Obama would at least make some effort to avoid that fate. But instead, Obama is likely to continue as a modern day Harding, being rated near the bottom, because he never makes an effort, while Bush will get points for effort and for doggedly pursing that disastrous course.

    Reply

  47. ... says:

    don s- i think obama values being played for a wall st poodle… what other conclusions can one honestly come to on the many areas he has caved in on? i had read the gg article that you shared up above… that is pretty disturbing thinking of how this guy came into power saying the change word and in fact, it is just the opposite.. he is a continuation of bush 2 from the first day he got in office..

    Reply

  48. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Seeing as how you all are discussing Obama’s empty trousers, be sure to pay attention to his upcoming oration about events in the Middle East. Conjecture is, he’ll be making a bunch of demands on the Palestinians, and will voice his opposition to the UN aiding the Palestinians in acquiring an internationally recognized state to call their own.
    The only question is, will he give the speech on all fours, with Netanyahu standing proudly as he holds the leash, or is Obama going to don a stiff enough back brace, one that will enable him to stand upright long enough to make it through the teleprompted skit?
    Will we be able to hear Hillary’s snickers of glee, or will they edit them out?

    Reply

  49. Dan Kervick says:

    “They do want the oil companies subsidized.”
    Where is the evidence that a majority of voters want oil companies subsidized?’

    Reply

  50. DonS says:

    “Again, there’s a system in place, and the system is supported by a lot of voters, and those voters, for whatever reason, don’t really want aid to individual homeowners, or single payer Medicare for all. They do want the oil companies subsidized.” (Questions)
    Questions, you spend a lot of energy explaining why the president is relatively impotent against those who oppose things you, West, and presumably Obama would like to see enacted. Of course, since Obama has a bully pulpit, he could make it a whole lot more clear what he does favor . . . if he does . . . and actually meet the challenge of a recalcitrant congress with an energized presidency (he seems to have plenty of energy for developing the national security state). If the reactionaries are playing hardball, Obama seems to be their perfect counterpart.
    And I take your point that there is a “system”, that there is a Congress that is elected by the people, and that the acts of the Congress therefore represent what the people “want”. However, aside from being an adjunct to your ideas about why Obama is so limited in what he can effect, your point is disingenuous. Are you kidding that the reactionary acts of congress are really what the people “want” despite all we know about polling, for instance, and the way issues are presented, and the power of negative marketing, etc., etc? You must be on some tongue-in-cheek detour. The voters don’t “want” “aid to individual homeowners”?, “single payer Medicare”? , “oil company subsidies”? (that last one we know has polled against oil companies. )
    Your reverence for the sanctity with which the acts of congress reflect the actual wishes of the voters — disembodied from any context except biennial elections — is not an accurate reflection of the “system”. It deifies one aspect of the system, and particularly one aspect that is driven by money (elections) more than any other, with the exception of lobbies, pressure groups, that are also driven primarily by money. To say that the system “works” in aggregate and in particular, as you do, is indisputable. But it doesn’t address whether it works in a way that maximizes, or even emphasizes social fairness over moneyed influence. Perhaps you are just playing word games, in which I’m sorry to have wasted my breath.

    Reply

  51. DakotabornKansan says:

    @ Warren Metzler re: Cornel West and Tavis Smiley and Chris Hedges
    Melissa Harris-Perry writes about West, Smiley, and the current Hedges article in The Nation:
    http://www.thenation.com/blog/160725/cornel-west-v-barack-obama
    Some excerpts:

    Reply

  52. JohnH says:

    DonS–thanks for the Prospect link. It deserves reading. Important observations–
    1) Obama occupies the Bully Pulpit. But he almost never uses it. He has the fewest prime time speeches of any President in memory. His failure to use the Bully Pulpit was most glaring when he let the Tea Party define Obamacare for him.
    2) Obama is happy to live within the conservative frame. He rarely tries to explain events in a way that would lead to anything but a conservative solution.
    3) Obama courts elites and stays away from grass roots mobilization, even though the grass roots were critical to his election. And he dissolved his grass roots organizations immediately upon election.
    And what does Obama have to show for it? Universally mandated health coverage that no one can afford? Wow! A financial reform bill that fails to change Wall Street behavior? Wow! A Nobel Prize for Warmongering? Wow!
    All in all you have to conclude, Obama is a conservative poodle. He postures left, but ultimately marches in lock step to the conservative agenda, going with the flow of Big Money, rather than make any serious effort to shape the course of events.

    Reply

  53. JohnH says:

    Ummm–Warren–Ralph Nader single handedly brought the American auto industry to its knees, forcing it to produce safe vehicles. And then he went on get a wide variety of consumer protections laws adopted. Ralph Nader not only knows how to present a viable solution, but has a track record of getting them implemented.
    Maybe you should read what the man says rather than just reading what others attribute to him.

    Reply

  54. Warren Metzler says:

    Although I am Caucasian, I went to a Black university, Howard University, for both undergraduate work and medical school. Undergraduate school because I lived in D.C. and it was the only university I could afford, medical school because they were the first to accept me.
    People like Cornel West and Tavis Smiley are what I call professional Blacks: they spend their careers promoting the idea that Blacks are significantly different than all other races, especially different than Caucasians, thereby vigorously opposing any efforts to achieve full integration (eventually reach a full color blind society); while at the same time doing their best to rise as far as they can in main stream society.
    In other words, they do their best to ensure a color blind society doesn’t occur, and then ask to be highly paid consultants for main stream society to understand Black culture. Their efforts invariably encourage a multitude of problems occur, and the sooner people like them are no longer listened to, the better our society will be. You could consider them the equivalent of White Southerners, who, 150 after the end of the Civil War, do their best to promote antebellum culture as a still living and breathing valid phenomenon (instead of seeing it for the stone cold racism it was).
    “All men (people) are created equal” ought to be the motto we all do our best to achieve, particularly in terms of how we inwardly respond to the people we meet. And give up this nonsense that certain ethnicities and cultures are superior to others. Don’t eliminate cultures, but celebrate each and every one as having valuable things to contribute to all.
    Chris Hedges on the other hand, is a professional socialist, who spends much of his time blaming corporations for all of societies ills; vigorously ignoring that the corporations are in essence people taking collective actions; and the behaviors of all such people reflect what is occurring in the majority of all Americans. He is a social / political version of Ralph Nader (who knows about many problems, but almost never presents a viable solution).

    Reply

  55. PissedOffAmerican says:

    ‘Is this is what the most moral army in the world does!?’: An American student describes being shot by the Israeli military during a peaceful demonstration
    Christopher Whitman, Mondoweiss, May 14, 2011
    This video of today’s protest in Nabi Saleh was posted by Christopher Whitman. The caption says, “The last frame is me getting shot at close range with a high velocity tear gas canister.”
    After posting earlier today about the Palestinian teen who was critically injured protesting in Silwan today, and an American activist who was shot at a protest in Nabi Saleh, that student, Christopher Whitman, contacted us and wanted to share his story. This is what he sent:
    My name is Christopher Whitman from outside Boston, Massachusetts. I live in Ramallah in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. I am a Master’s student in the Hebrew University in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies. I was in Al-Nabi Saleh today protesting against the 44 year Israeli occupation and its current policy of illegal land confiscation expand the range of settlements in the region which include Dolev, Halamish, and Nahalil (sp?).
    The protest was different than the other times I had been at al-Nabi Saleh in the past. Those were usually similar to protests in Bil’in or Nil’in, but rougher. Starting with the soldiers setting up on all fronts of the village and then refusing the protestors (who are mainly children) from reaching their lands in parts of the village. This goes on until the soldiers start tear gassing and using sound bombs which results in stone throwing from youths. This day was different, very different.
    For the first 3 hours there was minimal tear gas and average usage of sound bombs and the soldiers were allowing for the villagers to go to certain parts of the land with massive buildups around them. Children sang and danced to nationalist songs. Then after 3 hours or so the Israelis got rather bored and starting arresting Israeli activists and local Palestinians. They also started beating the villagers (including women of all ages), and spraying mace in the eyes of women and men alike. This is when the Israelis started to push everyone back, and the vast majority scattered into the houses. It should also be noted, not a single rock was thrown or anything to warrant this massive retaliation. Not a single one was thrown all day, let alone just before this massive beating.
    I was in the street with just a few observers documenting the incident. I saw that they started shooting tear gas from a distance of 50ft (15m) which is far to close, and they were not shooting it into the air. I decided to duck and knee just a little and got nailed on the top of the head above my forehead. I almost fell completely to the ground. From there I was picked up by two Palestinians who brought me to the ambulance with blood over my head and face. I then pointed to my face as we passed the Israeli army and border police and yelled “is this is what the most moral army in the world does!?” And then I was put into the ambulance.
    The paramedic cleaned up my wounds as best he could. I felt delirious and discombobulated. At one point the blood loss was so extreme the places in my body that were farthest from my heart (fingers, knees) began tensing to a point of no control and I felt like a cripple. The ambulance arrived at Ramallah Hospital 30 minutes later, but my treatment was delayed due to a strike. I saw many doctors, had x-rays, CT scans, and stitches free of charge. Many people who were at the protest came to see how I was and even had a gift given to me from the village…which was the piece of my head the was knocked off by the tear gas cannister (photo – warning graphic).
    http://imeu.net/news/article0020897.shtml
    Whitman seems to have ducked at a very critical moment. Do any of you believe the naziclone fascist that fired the cannister intended to merely graze Whitman’s scalp? Fact is, this was an attempted murder of an American citizen. The policeman firing the cannister knew full well the grave potential of recieving a high velocity cannister to the head at close range.
    But hey, don’t tell anyone. It seems we only give a crap about how selectively chosen “enemy” governments treat peaceful protesters. Israel’s treatment of peaceful protest doesn’t warrant mention here.
    Besides, whats an occassional maimed American matter in the great scheme of things? We’ve got bigger fish to fry, don’t we? Gotta protect all them that are endangered by the puppets gone wild monsters we cooked up in our foreign policy laboratories, think tanks, and Washington committee rooms. Have a look, world, you play footsie with the United States, and we’ll likely turn on ya, bomb the shit out of ya. So while you’re in our good graces, suck up as much of our blood money as you can, cause sooner or later we’ll be dumpin’ DU and white phosphorous on ya instead of good ‘ol American taxpayer’s greenbacks.
    Unless, of course, you’re Israel. You, we simply pay, no matter what you do.

    Reply

  56. ... says:

    this is such a good overview, i am going to post it again for anyone who is interested..
    http://blog.thejerusalemfund.org/2011/05/picking-apart-nytzionist-narrative-on.html

    Reply

  57. PissedOffAmerican says:

    http://www.democracynow.org/seo/2011/5/17/israeli_troops_shoot_us_student_in
    CHRISTOPHER WHITMAN: Sure. Every Friday in the village of Al-Nabi Saleh in the occupied Palestinian territories north of Ramallah, there

    Reply

  58. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Well, its been a coupla days now since the Israeli jackboots shot another American citizen in the head with a high velocity tear gas cannister.
    Anyone seen it on the news????
    No????
    Gee, you’d think the “Fourth Estate” would, uh, give a crap when a foreign government shoots an American citizen engaged in legal activities, wouldn’t ya???
    And anyone seen our so called “State Department” comment on this latest crime Israel has committed against a citizen of the United States??? Doncha feel all warm and fuzzy that our media, and our government, cares more about someone like Neda, (we really have NO IDEA who shot her), than they do about American citizens gravely injured BY THE PURPOSEFUL TARGETING the Israeli forces use against our citizens engaged in peaceful protest?
    And, actually, Whitman was merely filming the protest. What is it these racist Gestapo troops don’t want us to see, eh?
    Perhaps Steve will take it up with these stellar agents of the truth that he is so admiring of here on this thread, eh? Or, uh, is there only room for comment about the alleged crimes of the Palestinians on this forum?
    Its irrelevent and not worthy of mention when Israel shoots an American citizen while Netanyahu is traveling here to slavor us with his usual spit while claiming alliance out of the corner of his racist lying murderous maw???
    Until these people like Feist or Bohrman start administering TRUTHS instead of propaganda and bias, I have nothing but DISDAIN for them. Theres nothing to be respected about those ascending a ladder of deception.
    Wake up folks, Israel is SHOOTING AMERICAN CITIZENS. It doesn’t piss you off that our government and its lackeys in the media give Israel license to do this by their refusal to hold the Israelis to account for such acts??? Had they of made an issue of Tristan Anderson, do you think Emily and Christopher would have been subjected to the same kind of targeting? If people like Steve Clemons would make an issue of it here on a popular political blog, would our media be able to continue to ignore it?

    Reply

  59. DonS says:

    What’s Obama supposed to do?
    According to this article, maybe change the way he operates if, in fact, he really doesn’t value being played for a Wall Street stooge?
    http://prospect.org/cs/articles?article=barack_obamas_theory_of_power

    Reply

  60. questions says:

    The Ed Show takes up the issue — West and Harris-Perry are on, one after the other.
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/05/18/977098/-Cornel-West-vs-Ed-Schultz-on-Obama?via=siderecent
    West reiterates his “Obama is afraid of free black men” line.
    Harris-Perry is solid.
    The Senate just filibustered to death the end of oil subsidy bill. Two or three dems crossed the aisle to support the oil cos.
    What’s Obama supposed to do?
    West wants single payer Medicare for All. West wants more aid to individual homeowners. West wants basic left-center politics in a country that, faced with the PPACA OVERWHELMINGLY turned the House over to the most conservative Republicans available. Look how many dems lost their seats because of the cries of “socialism”. And West thinks more should have happened?
    Again, there’s a system in place, and the system is supported by a lot of voters, and those voters, for whatever reason, don’t really want aid to individual homeowners, or single payer Medicare for all. They do want the oil companies subsidized. They want a lot of things West doesn’t want. And they won the last round of elections. And even so, some 52 or so dems in the Senate did try to end oil company subsidies. Not bad, all considering.
    For more on why we don’t help individual homeowners, read the Brad DeLong piece I linked to way down somewhere — the stuff on ressentiment helps explain things.
    Obama isn’t afraid of “free black men”, but he can’t get legislation through the 60 vote Senate all by himself.
    And he can’t make all those swing House districts stick with the Dems.

    Reply

  61. JohnH says:

    Cornel West’s ego aside, he has plenty of reason to dislike Obama’s policies. Let’s face it, Obama has turned out to be a glib Clarence Thomas, espousing people oriented values even as he signs off on whatever dastardly legislation that rabid conservatives choose to place on his desk.
    Obama’s style has been to posture to the left and sign to the far right. Every fund raising pitch to the wealthy must start with the preface, “if you look at what Obama has done…” Every fund raising pitch to the base must start with “what Obama is saying is that…”
    The Tea Party underwriters hate Obama, not because of what he has done, but because of who he is and what he says. They cannot abide a black, Democrat who steals their thunder.
    Unfortunately, most Americans, informed by abysmal corporate media like CNN, cannot distinguish between the optics and spin of Washington and the reality of its behavior.
    Fortunately, many of the commenters at TWN see through the daily BS. TWN would be a stronger voice if it too spent less time on dissecting subtle shifts in Washington posture and more time looking at Obama’s concrete proposals and actions.

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  62. DonS says:

    Ha, good stuff Questions; Harris-Perry is lucid. And, as I said I am definitely no Westbot. But, of course West had his substantial and apparently fragile ego before, during and since Obama’s ascension, so who knows ;)

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  63. questions says:

    DonS,
    There’s this:
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/05/17/976969/-Professor-Harris-Perry-DESTROYS-Cornel-West?via=siderec
    The URL gives some indication of the tone. But here is a quotation from Harris-Perry:
    “In a self-aggrandizing, victimology sermon deceptively wrapped in the discourse of prophetic witness, Professor West offers thin criticism of President Obama and stunning insight into the delicate ego of the self-appointed black leadership class that has been largely supplanted in recent years.”
    And here’s the original at The Nation:
    http://www.thenation.com/blog/160725/cornel-west-v-barack-obama
    I haven’t read the full post at The Nation, yet, but have only read the juicy bits reprinted at kos.
    Do I have anything against Hedges? I haven’t read enough of his work to know. War Is the Force that Gives Us Meaning (or whatever it’s called) seems like it might be interesting. But I haven’t picked it up thus far.
    Nothing against the people in this controversy, but something against weak arguments and something against taking one’s own psychic discomforts and projecting them onto others, I guess. West seems to be doing a great deal of that.
    There are specific policies one can argue with Obama about, for sure. One also has to take into account the political structures of this government and the preference schemes of our fellow citizens to see whether or not one’s complaints against Obama are properly directed against Obama or better directed against “the system.”
    Michael Lind has a piece doing just this kind of work over at Salon/War Room on immigration reform. The American left, he argues, is causing a lot of grief over its defense of any and all immigration, legal or not, and is not giving enough support to enforcement. Polling shows a great deal of desire for enforcement and deportation. So that’s the position that is going to pass Congress. Is it Obama’s fault, then, that we don’t have a better immigration system?
    (Of course, I’m part of that left that wants something akin to open borders, and I’m not particularly persuadable on this issue….)

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  64. Paul Norheim says:

    Latest from Japan:
    Osha Gray Davidson
    New Video of Nuclear Power Plant Doesn

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  65. ... says:

    johnh – it isn’t only tv, you may as well throw in the newspaper outlets as well… i agree with what you and others here point out, even if it flies in the face of steve’s rosy face and story line on top…
    here is an excellent article for those of you interested in this sort of stuff.
    Picking Apart the NYT/Zionist Narrative on the Nakba
    http://blog.thejerusalemfund.org/2011/05/picking-apart-nytzionist-narrative-on.html

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  66. JohnH says:

    As POA said, “Well, professionalism and integrity are two different things, aren’t they?” And as Dakota born points out, CNNI isn’t bad.
    It’s just that CNN and CNNI suck up to different elites.
    Let’s face it, folks, TV is a vast wasteland, here and abroad. Even CSPAN has become mostly military coverage, most of the time. Watching it is a big sink hole for one’s time and attention. Better to invest an hour on the internet than ten hours watching TV regurgitate the official narrative.

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  67. DonS says:

    You got something against Chris Hedges, principled anti-war activist?

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  68. questions says:

    Exploit? Sure. No one in power doesn’t exploit other people’s energy, fantasies, hopes, and umm, prayers (!!!).
    But what West doesn’t show in the piece is a realization that that’s just what electoral politics is.
    I mean, I don’t expect an invitation to the White House because I sent some money in, talked to people about him, convinced a few people he was worth voting for, posted nice things about him on TWN during the campaign, and finally voted for him.
    I didn’t do what was it, 65, campaign appearances because I’m not a famous Princeton religious studies prof, but still, I did what I did. I don’t expect any recognition, praise, invitations, phone calls, fantasies and hopes answered.
    We have a political system that works based on the fantasies we cathect (hope I’m using that right!), but in the end they are just fantasies and we know this at some level. Perhaps Hedges’s “The Thousand Injuries to Cornel West I Bore, But When It Turned Out He Was Insulted It Was Time To Get To Work” — perhaps this is a piece of catharsis (if I’m using that one right, as well) and so West just has to express this stuff. But really, the fantasy dies and reality sets in, and reality is that the world is a messy place that demands compromise all over the place.
    Thoma has a piece up right now from Lucas — Lucas seems to be admitting that some gov’t regulation under certain circumstances, and non-ceilinged lender of last resort capacity in the Fed are good tools for cutting down on the likelihood of the next bubble.
    Lucas is a U of C Nobel dude in econ. That a U of C Nobel dude in econ would call for no ceilings on fed econ intervention, for more proper regulation — this may well be momentous. He has a notion of using targets stated in advance, but no dollar amounts. It’s actually rational (in comparison to all the people proposing specific balances of debt or whatever that give the feds no room to maneuver.)
    Maybe Cornel West should look at the major disagreements between the parties and among interested parties when it comes to all sorts of policy. And maybe he should realize that until most right wing econ types agree with Greenspan’s occasional hiccups towards gov’t regulation and the demise of the Bush tax cuts — until lots of Republicans start seeing this, there’s not a lot Obama can do.
    The pres is a limited thing. West wants it to be a magical thing. West prays. Obama doesn’t call back. It makes sense to me. Perfect, total sense.
    And I think West should deal with it. And so should Hedges. And pretty much all the other magical thinking fantasists out there. Don’t invest the universe in the presidency. It’s an office in a system. And it’s an unwieldy system that moves to its own rhythm, in its own logic with its own traditions, rules, interests and calculations.
    A little at a time, things are getting done. I’d like somethings done faster, and I’d like some other things undone were it possible. But there’s only so much this system will allow.
    Blame Iowa, or blame Paul Ryan, or blame every single Medicare user who voted for a Republican in 2010. Blame the voters of Wisconsin, Michigan, Florida, and Ohio. Blame Brewer. Blame the Pauls. There are kooky ideas, poor voter decisions, and crazy positioning all over the place.
    I’m just not going to go after Obama on the charges that he’s got the hang ups West (and some of the posters there) think he does. (There are some nice comments, though.)

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  69. DonS says:

    Questions, to a certain extent, you have to take West’s piece as part of the black idiom. I don’t want to be prayed over either.
    But let’s not be obtuse. Obama is certainly articulate enough to communicate nuances; or exploit them.
    . . . and I am no Westbot!

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  70. questions says:

    Shorter Hedges/West piece from DonS’s link:

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  71. DonS says:

    With apologies to those whole don’t like OT stuff, this is a rather startling expose by Cornel West, Princeton prof, black man, former huge supporter and worker for Obama, on his journey of realization of being scammed by Obama. Obama, worshiper of power and insecure tool of the establishment, pretender to progressive ideas, could be the subtitle. West’s critique proceeds from the view that the nation is at a critical point for retrieving the democracy from the growing tide of plutocratic control.
    http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_obama_deception_why_cornel_west_went_ballistic_20110516/

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  72. DakotabornKansan says:

    CNNI (international) isn’t bad, but CNN (USA version) is no longer what it used to be under Ted Turner. There are serious political and policy journalists at CNN, but it is CNN

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  73. Dan Kervick says:

    “Still think it is “humanitarian” in intent, and good policy?”
    I never argued for a humanitarian mission in Libya. I argued that we should kill Gaddafi and help the rebels overthrow the government.
    Overall, I am disappointed things are bogged down a bit in Libya but glad the momentum of the Arab Spring continues, as was seen in the recent Palestinian demonstrations. I believe the Hamas-Palestinian Authority rapprochement was also made possible by the pressure that is being applied by the younger Arab Spring generation.

    Reply

  74. DonS says:

    OT -
    Glenn Greenwald on Jane Mayer’s story (in the New Yorker http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2011/05/23/110523fa_fact_mayer?currentPage=all ) on “the Obama war on whistleblowers”:
    http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2011/05/16/whistleblowers/index.html
    “But for the real microcosm of the Obama legacy in these areas, Mayer offers this:
    ” Jack Balkin, a liberal law professor at Yale, agrees that the increase in leak prosecutions is part of a larger transformation. “We are witnessing the bipartisan normalization and legitimization of a national-surveillance state,” he says. In his view, zealous leak prosecutions are consonant with other political shifts since 9/11: the emergence of a vast new security bureaucracy, in which at least two and a half million people hold confidential, secret, or top-secret clearances; huge expenditures on electronic monitoring, along with a reinterpretation of the law in order to sanction it; and corporate partnerships with the government that have transformed the counterterrorism industry into a powerful lobbying force. Obama, Balkin says, has “systematically adopted policies consistent with the second term of the Bush Administration.”
    Don’t hold your breath for Obama to champion anything to reign in the national security juggernaut.
    Barry we hardly knew ye.

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  75. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Well, of the three major cable news outlets, CNN is certainly the most professional”
    Well, professionalism and integrity are two different things, aren’t they? Its not hard to exhibit a “proffessional” approach when you have access to vast sums of money with which to purchase props and fancy set-work.
    But generally, to a fault, CNN seems to feed us the popular political BS d’jour. This is particularly evident when one watches the breathless theatrics of Anderson Cooper, who hawks us the White House version of the script 24/7.
    And the shows that Steve cites with kudos to Feist haven’t shown much better. The ommission of day to day events, situations, and circumstances that cast United States’ policies in a bad light is glaring from ALL the MSM outlets. Mostly, news is presented in a context that is designed to present us as “the good guys”, and to pump up policies and agendas, even if doing so misrepresents the TRUE nature of the agendas.
    By the way Dan, I’m curious how you now feel about our latest “days not weeks” military adventure????? Still think it is “humanitarian” in intent, and good policy? And please, don’t feed me the crap about our limited involvement. Guaranteed, our logistical assets and technologies are at the forefront of this latest clusterfuck, NATO or not.

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  76. Dan Kervick says:

    Well, of the three major cable news outlets, CNN is certainly the most professional. And while Larry King was no doubt a big ratings guy, subtracting him has boosted the average seriousness level of the network.

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  77. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “I don’t like the vapid, binary, one side vs. another shows……..”
    Have you told Rachel???

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  78. Steve Clemons says:

    Folks — your cynicism certainly beats mine. I think there are many at CNN and also at the other networks who are working hard as serious political and policy journalists. Sam Feist is terrific, as is David Bohrman. I don’t like the vapid, binary, one side vs. another shows, but there are strengths in the programming I see. Appreciate your different point of view, but I see it differently. best, steve

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  79. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “For two decades at CNN, Sam has demonstrated his commitment to serious journalism and strong political programming,”
    Then whats he doin’ at CNN?
    “Since January 2009, Feist has served CNN’s political director and vice president of Washington-based programming, overseeing Washington programming, including John King, USA, The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, State of the Union with Candy Crowley, and Reliable Sources”
    Yes. Tossing softball questions, skirting any direct commentary or reporting that might cast Israel in a bad light, and generally just feeding us the script. How is one to consider this kind of line-up a positive in one’s resume??? No in-depth reporting on our hypocritical dispensation of “humanitarian” military interventions. No in depth reporting on Israeli settlement expansion, war crimes, and treatment of peaceful protesters in the West Bank. Completely ignoring the nuclear catastrophe unfolding in the Middle East. Need I go on?
    Somehow we are supposed to celebrate or congratulate people when they ascend the ladder within what has become little more than a propaganda arm of the United States government? I’m not seeing any cutting edge journalism coming out of CNN. I certainly am not seeing anything that resembles reporting that is cognizant of the ideal role of a responsible member of the Fourth Estate.
    Sorry man, but I see ascendency at CNN a NEGATIVE statement about a person’s journalistic integrity. If he intended to act as a responsible member of the Fourth Estate, they’d be firing him, not promoting him.

    Reply

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