Some political links (9.24.2008)

Joshua Frank takes a close look at the very inadequate Barak Obama — another "centrist Democrat" — before he suggests

…standing up and voting for what you believe in, no matter how fringe or foolish you are made out to be by others who claim to know better than you. Our democracy is in peril. War rages on. Jobs are scarce and the environment is being destroyed at an exponential rate. Voting on the likelihood of perceived social gains in the short-term is not only erroneous; it is without a true understanding of what it is going to take to bring about real change in this country.

Paul Starr, on the other hand, believes the two parties are sharply divided because of their different and opposed social bases — i.e. he offers a race-based explanation of America's party polarization.

McCain and Obama stand in as proxies for two versions of America. When voters hear Obama, they are responding not just to him but to a new multicultural America that they find attractive or frightening. And when they hear McCain, they are responding to a traditional America — or rather, an idea of that America — that they are determined to preserve or willing to see change.

Paul Craig Roberts believes the Plan to be unfeasible. One reason: The rest of the world has grown tired of American's "arrogance" and empire. This reaction is significant because, as Roberts states, "The US cannot be a hegemonic power without foreign financing." Hyperinflation beckons.

According to a recent Washington Post/ABC News poll, Obama's star has risen with the grim economic news coming from New York and Washington (via Huffington Post).

Patrick O'Conner of Politico reports that House Republicans refused to support the Plan when they met with Vice President Cheney.

The Army Times reports (via Greenwald) that

But this new mission marks the first time an active unit has been given a dedicated assignment to NorthCom, a joint command established in 2002 to provide command and control for federal homeland defense efforts and coordinate defense support of civil authorities [link added].

Glenn Greenwald rightly adds:

There's no need to start manufacturing all sorts of scare scenarios about Bush canceling elections or the imminent declaration of martial law or anything of that sort. None of that is going to happen with a single brigade and it's unlikely in the extreme that they'd be announcing these deployments if they had activated any such plans. The point is that the deployment is a very dangerous precedent, quite possibly illegal, and a radical abandonment of an important democratic safeguard. As always with first steps of this sort, the danger lies in how the power can be abused in the future. [emphasis added]

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