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Obama appoints racist right-wing thug as chief of staff

CounterPunch Diary

Hail to the Chief of Staff


The first trumpet blast of change ushers in Rahm Emanuel as Obama’s chief of staff and gate keeper. This is the man who arranges his schedule, staffs out the agenda, includes, excludes. It’s certainly as sinister an appointment as, say, Carter’s installation of arch cold-warrior Zbigniev Brzezinski as his National Security Advisor at the dawn of his “change is here” administration in 1977.

Emanuel, as Ralph Nader points out in my interview with him below, represents the worst of the Clinton years. His profile as regards Israel is explored well on this site by lawyer John Whitbeck. He’s a former Israeli citizen, who volunteered to serve in Israel in 1991 and who made brisk millions in Wall Street. He is a super-Likudnik hawk, whose father was in the fascist Irgun in the late Forties, responsible for cold-blooded massacres of Palestinians. Dad’s unreconstructed ethnic outlook has been memorably embodied in his recent remark to the Ma’ariv newspaper that "Obviously he [Rahm] will influence the president to be pro-Israel… Why wouldn't he be [influential]? What is he, an Arab? He's not going to clean the floors of the White House."

Working in the Clinton White House, Emanuel helped push through NAFTA, the crime bill, the balanced budget and welfare reform. He favored the war in Iraq, and when he was chairing the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in 2006 he made great efforts to knock out antiwar Democratic candidates. On this site in October and November, 2006, John Walsh documented both the efforts and Emanuel’s role in losing the Democrats seats they would otherwise have won.

In 2006 Emanuel had just published a book with Bruce Reed called The Plan: Big Ideas for America, with one section focused on “the war on terror”. Emanuel and Reed wrote, “We need to fortify the military's ‘thin green line ‘around the world by adding to the U.S. Special Forces and the Marines, and by expanding the U.S. army by 100,000 more troops. …Finally we must protect our homeland and civil liberties by creating a new domestic counterterrorism force like Britain's MI5.” Recall that Obama has been calling throughout his recent campaign for an addition of 92,000 to the US Army and US Marine Corps.

Emanuel and Reed had fond words for the mad-dog Peter Beinart, neocon warrior theoretician for the Democrats, roosting Marty Peretz's The New Republic, and author of The Good Fight where Beinart explained why a tough new national security policy is as essential to the future of of progressive politics as a united front against totalitarianism and communism was to the New Deal and the Great Society. Emanuel and Reed also commended Anne-Marie Slaughter's proposal for "a new division of labor in which the United Nations takes on economic and social assistance and an expanded NATO takes over the burden of collective security." In other words, let NATO shoot the natives and the UN clean the floors.

Walsh took a hard look at the 2006 Democratic primary race between Christine Cegelis and Tammy Duckworth in Illinois's 6th CD, a Republican District, which had elected the disgusting Henry Hyde from time immemorial. In 2004 Cegelis, who iwas only mildly antiwar, ran as the Democrat with a grass roots campaign and polled a remarkable 44 per cent in her first run. It was not too long before Hyde decided to retire, and the field seemed to be open for Cegelis in the November poll, in 2006.

Enter Rahm Emanuel, who promptly dug up a pro-war candidate, Tammy Duckworth. Although she had both her legs blown off in Iraq, she remained committed to "staying the course" in Iraq. Duckworth had no political experience and did not live in the 6th District. Emanuel raised a million dollars for her and brought in Joe Lieberman, Barak Obama, John Kerry, John Edwards and Hillary Clinton to support her. Despite all this help and with the Cegelis campaign virtually penniless, Duckworth barely managed to eke out a primary victory by a measly four percentage points.

To win the House, the Dems had to win 15 seats from the Republicans. Walsh identified 22 candidates hand picked by Emanuel to run in open districts or districts with Republican incumbents. Of these, nine adopted a US “must win” in Iraq position and only one of Rahm's candidates was for prompt withdrawal from Iraq.

Then, after the election, Walsh assessed Rahm’s supposed brilliance in winning back the House. “Looking at all 22 candidates hand-picked by Rahm, “ Walsh wrote, “we find that 13 were defeated [including Duckworth], and only 8 won! And remember that this was the year of the Democratic tsunami and that Rahm's favorites were handsomely financed by the DCCC. The Dems have picked up 28 seats so far, maybe more. So out of that 28, Rahm's choices accounted for 8! Since the Dems only needed 15 seats to win the House, Rahm's efforts were completely unnecessary. Had the campaign rested on Rahm's choices, there would have been only 8 or 9 new seats, and the Dems would have lost. In fact, Rahm's efforts were probably counterproductive for the Dems since the great majority of voters were antiwar and they were voting primarily on the issue of the war (60 per cent according to CNN). But Rahm's candidates were not antiwar.

Quote:Talking to Nader about the Campaign, on November 5.

AC: In 2000,you drew nearly 10,000 people to a speech in Portland, Oregon. This year you got barely 2,000 in in the whole of Multnomah County where Portland lies, perhaps the most progressive county in the nation. Is this a sign of the withering of the progressive ggleft or the dead end of independent political campaigns?

Nader: It’s a sign of the swoon in the voting booth by people who told pollsters that they were going to vote for me at a level of 4 to 7 million; that is, 6 per cent nationally in the summer and 3 per cent the day before the election, according to CNN. In Washington DC district Obama got 94 per cent. I said to people, how many years have you known me? And they answered, it’s a historic occasion. I wanted to be part of history. The real issue in this campaign is the voters. These are people who knew all about Obama’s flipflops, his support for offshore drilling, for FISA, his role as the number one corporate cadidate.

When you in prison and you’re told you can’t get out and to chose between TB and cancer you’ll chose. It’s beyond politics, it’s psychology. This is what happens when we’re trapped in the winner take all closed system, watching tv.

The pattern is: Progressive politics for three years, and in the fourth year it renews itself with heavy doses of regressive politics and charges forward again.

I thought we’d get two to three millon votes. We had a huge internet presence.

AC: How many votes did you get? This year and in the last two campaigns?

Probably 700,000. In 2000 it was 2.8 million. In 2004, 450,000. But those figures don’t tell the story. In New York this time for example it was almost impossible to find me on the ballot.

AC What about you calling him an Uncle Tom on Fox?

Nader: On Fox I said that as the first African American president we wish him well. The question is, will he be Uncle Sam for the people or Uncle Tom for the giant corporations which are driving America into the ground. Fox cut it off after “corporations”.

He is less vulnerable to criticism and harder to criticize because of his race. When I said he was talking White Man’s talk, the PC people got really upset.

It doesn’t matter that he sides with destruction of the Palestinians, and sides with the embargo. It doesn’t matter that he turns his back on 100 million people and won’t even campaign in minority areas. It doesn’t matter than he wants a bigger military budget, and an imperial foreign policy supporting various adventures of the Bush administration. It doesn’t matter that he’s for the death penalty ,which is targeted at minorities. But if you say one thing that isn’t PC, you get their attention. I tell college audiences, a gender, racial or ethnic slur gets you upset, reality doesn’t get you upset.

Can Obama speak truth to the white power structure? There’s every indication he doesn’t want to. For example, in February he stiffed the State of the Black Union annual meeting in New Orleans. He’s a very accommodating personality.

AC: Ralph, Why do you think Ron Paul was able to excite younger voters and you weren't?

Nader: Ron Paul? There’s the novelty aspect. It was his first try. He hasn’t been losing. He gets the hard core people focused on the gold standard, and abolishing the federal reserve. The “Get government off our back”, rock-ribbed Goldwater people. He says the things mainstream Republicans can’t.

AC: Are the Republicans down for the count for a while?

Nader: Any time there’s a terrorist attack they’re back in business. Enough people will soon forget what Bush and Co actually did. At the moment conservatives have been subjected to Obama’s shock and awe, but they still have all these social issues. As a candidate Obama dodged the Gay Marriage Ban ballot, but they’ll throw the social issues at him. The Republican inventory is intact: “tax and spend”, “over regulation”, plus all these social issues.

AC Does Palin have a future?

Nader: No.

AC: How about the liberals and the left now?

Nader: The real crisis is the self-destruction of the liberal progressive community. It’s got nowhere to go, other than to renew its three out of four year cycle of criticism of the Democrats. They’ve nowhere to go because they’ve made no demands. He’s been a candid right-center Democrat and they’ve given him a free ride. No demands. From Labor? No demands. He gave them a sop on the card check. He campaigned for two years, promised blacks nothing, Latinos nothing, women’s groups nothing, labor nothing. Contrast the lack of demands on the liberal progressive side to what the Limbaugh crowd exacted from McCain.

AC: You think Michael Moore could have made some demands in return for his support?

Nader: Moore knows were his bread is buttered. He’s seen what the Hollywood set and the others did to me.

AC: How do you see the next phase playing out?

Nader: Obama faces three crises: wars overseas, economic collapse and the deficit. They can’t use fiscal policy very much, so he’s going to be strapped by things like Medicare.

He’s got along on general rhetoric, but now each decision will shake some section of the liberal constituency.

They need to launch a comprehensive program dealing with poverty, low income housing, corruption and extortion in the ghettoes, and doubling the minimum wage to compensate for inflation.

They need to address the right of labor to form trade unions without coming up against the steel wall of Taft Hartley

Health insurance? He’ll extend tax supports which will give the insurance companies more business. He should deal with drug prices, but that’s a battle he won’t undertake.

How’s he going to deal with the auto companies which are in deep trouble? Take the proposed GM-Chrysler merger hich makes no sense and will mean lay-offs for 90,000 workers. If people don’t want the cars then the sacrifices and subsidies are to no avail.

The only way this guy can ever get his head above water is if he is courageous. What he’s basically doing so far is giving the Clinton crowd a second chance. Rahm Emanuel? He’s the worst of Clinton. Spokesman for Wall Street, Israel, globalization.

Second: demilitarize foreign policy, establishing the international stability that flows from our becoming a respectful but energetic humanitarian superpower, confronting world issues like drinking water and infectious diseases.

He has to reverse course on Afghanistan. As Ashraf Ghani former finance minister for Karzai has said, the approach to Afghanistan should be the need for justice, the fundamental basis of all public order.

Third, he’s got to develop economic policy for the greatest good for the greatest number. Public works not bailout. Put money where it matters.

He’s got to say to the rich and powerful, you have to give up your greed. It should be a two-track presidency, dealing with issues day to day, and strengthening the fiber of democratic society. That’s partly a matter of shareholder authority, worker-owned pension funds, which is a third of Wall Street. If every such fund was given the authority to control what they own, it wd be over. Look at all institutional shareholderd in Fannies. Their holdings are worth one per cent of what they were and these were the second safest investments after Treasuries! Believe in first principles: what you own, you control. If you screw up you’re free to sink -- the first and second principles of capitalism.

I’m going to write Obama a letter in the next month saying, what you have to do is a pre-State of the union where you lay out exactly where the Bush Administration has left America, in category after category, so you will not be hung with it. In the pre-state of the union, Obama should say, This is the mess
I’ve inherited.

Second, Obama has to cut the sequence of war crimes and high crimes and misdeameanours. If not, he’ll become a war criminal himself within a month. Shut down Guantanamo with strict directives, no torture. If he continue his policies, then he’ll become a war criminal. If you going to restore the rule of law, you have got to draw the line between what you’re going to do and what you refuse to inherit. Then it’s a real fresh start.

Obama’s a guy who’s got away with a ten minute speech for two years. He won too easily. He didn’t have to respond to the liberal constituencies. He’s really had it very easy, because he had an easy act to challenge and an easy act to follow ,

AC: How do you feel about your run?

Nade: I’m happy I ran, because the alternative is total surrender. I carried the banner to 50 states. I surprised myself. Look at the abolitionist Liberty Party in the mid-19th century. It didn’t get a tenth of one per cent. Did you think those people wasted their vote? We were quite successful this time in beating back ballot access barriers , in Arizona and Ohio. It’s like the early stages of fighting Jim Crow laws.

AC: The history of third parties over the past thirty years is not very encouraging.

Nader: We’re advancing majoritarian programs and the majority voters are trapped into the two party choice This is what happens. Obama sank public funding. Not only did he betray the principle and therefore shattered his credibility. In so outdoing he way outraised McCain. I read the trade literature. Not one of these industries -- banking, insurance, automotive, oil, agribusiness, international trade – is worried. They’re all totally calm. The corporate state moves on.

Corporate power has unique characteristics. It is perfectly willing and able to corrupt, regardless of sexual or ethnic preference. It offers equal opportunities to be corrupted or coopted . That’s why it’s very difficult for the civil community, which is affected by principles, nuances, honest disagreements, to confront the monistically commercial corporations. No one says ‘the big debate inside Exxon is whether to go more for oil or solar. That’s why every religion in the world, in their scriptures, issues a warning not to give too much power to the merchant class. The commercial instinct is relentless, consistent, limitless in achieving its goal. It will run rough-shod to destroy, co-opt or dilute civic and spiritual values that stand in its way
So sad we can't have someone like Nader run [really run - be in the debates, etc.], let alone President. Ditto other progressives. Rigged game and really is only a game....and a shame!
Peter Lemkin Wrote:So sad we can't have someone like Nader run [really run - be in the debates, etc.], let alone President. Ditto other progressives. Rigged game and really is only a game....and a shame!

Striking, isn't it, the superior honesty and intelligence of Nader's responses to those offered by the Republicrat candidates?

The other really baffling thing to an outsider is how a nation of so many intelligent, hard-nosed people routinely permits such appalling candidates, and votes to perpetuate a system manifestly designed to keep the rich rich, and the rest ignorant and nowhere.


Paul Rigby Wrote:Striking, isn't it, the superior honesty and intelligence of Nader's responses to those offered by the Republicrat candidates?

The other really baffling thing to an outsider is how a nation of so many intelligent, hard-nosed people routinely permits such appalling candidates, and votes to perpetuate a system manifestly designed to keep the rich rich, and the rest ignorant and nowhere.



I too have very serious concerns. Let's see who else is appointed. I agree with all the points made in the articles Paul posted. And Ralph's totally correct. I would just add one thing: he must immediately restore the US constitution. Not just close down Gitmo, that's a given, or outlaw torture, but restore the 4th Amendment rights, (to privacy and free from invasive search, get rid of FISA.) Then all the horrendous and unConstitutional things provided for in the Patriot Acts one and two must be reversed. As it stands now you or I could be arrested, not charged or even told why you are detained, held indefinately, given no lawyer. Just for dissent. This has become a police state and Obama must reverse this. He must buck the true powers that be and show some leadership. Rendition must be abolished immediately.

If he appoints more neocons ....and the status quo continues people must begin immediately to form grass roots movements and get behind a viable third party candidate. I loved Ron Paul, but did not agree with his social programs- as he'd simply abolish them all.

As for the face of the Republican party- I saw something very good, while channel surfing, on Fox- of all things- last night. Mike Huckabee. He had Oliver Stone on and they had a SERIOUS discussion of "JFK." Stone was careful, and in so doing he got to SAY on tv that the government killed JFK over peace!!! I was very impressed with the way Huckabee handled it. So unlike a Hannity or Billo the clown. And the show ends with all Fox musicians playing rock and roll, Huckabee on bass. They covered a Billy Joel song last night. "It's Still Rock and Roll to Me", a longtime fav of mine and they did it really well. I can see him appealing to a lot of people in 2012. The base, and young rocker Republicans. Sarah is OVER!
Someone needs to tell her Canada, US and Mexico make up North America. As well as NAFTA. Poor thing Smile

Hello all, thought people might find the commentary on Rahm and his father of use on This is my first post on Deep Politics, so forgive me if I make any gaffes! Smile

Son of a Zionist Terrorist Rahm Emanuel's Dirty Secret
by Christopher Bollyn
Independent Journalist
(Without Borders)
17 November 2006
The Terrorists In The U.S. Congress
[Image: RahmEmanuel_tiny.JPG]
Rahm Emanuel
Thursday, November 16
Christopher Bollyn, spoke about this with Smith.
Click here for the audio interview
The new "golden boy" of the Democrat Party, the Israeli-American congressman Rahm Emanuel, is the son of a terrorist.
Really, I am not making this up, the chief power-broker of the Democrat Party, the 5-and-a-half foot foul-mouthed Israeli named Rahm, is the son of terrorist – a real living terrorist.

So, what do we do as citizens of the land of the free and the home of the brave fighting the War on Terror?

Do we run and hide from the foul-mouthed little Israeli who danced ballet and swears for effect - or do we laugh? Or do we demand answers? How can we respect a U.S. Congressman who served in a foreign army and whose father was a terrorist?

Rep. Rahm Emanuel, the Democrat congressman for the 5th District of Illinois in Chicago is the son of an Israeli terrorist. Rahm's father, Benjamin, was a member of the Irgun, the Zionist terrorist organization that coined a new word as they blew up hotels, train stations, and other buildings in Palestine in the 1930s and 40s.

Rahm was an Israeli citizen until he was 18 years old, when for obvious reasons he hid his Israeli passport in his underwear drawer. In 1991, however, he pulled his Israeli passport out and went and reportedly joined the Israeli Army to defend Zion from Saddam's Scuds.

Irgun, the army of his father, is short for Irgun Zvai Leumi, which supposedly means something like "National Military Organization" in Hebrew. As a matter of fact, the Irgun was simply a terrorist Zionist group that operated in Palestine from 1931 to 1948. They killed innocent Palestinians and British soldiers and blew up buildings.

After 1948 they became part of the new Israeli government and did the same thing. In September 2001 they put their skills to work in New York City and Washington to kick start the "war on terror" - a conflict long promoted by their chief architect, Bibi Netanyahu, son of the former secretary of Ze'ev Jabotinsky.
The Irgun even has a website with pictures of the buildings they blew up before they demolished the World Trade Center with Thermite and high explosives:

In Israel, the Irgun is referred to as Etzel, an acronym of the group's Hebrew initials. The Irgun was considered a terrorist organization by the British authorities as well as by mainstream Zionist and Jewish organizations, such as the Jewish Agency, the Haganah and the Histadrut. (It just has not made it onto the U.S. State Department's list of terrorist organizations – even after blowing up the World Trade Center. Some people are slow to learn.)

Irgun was founded by Ze'ev Jabotinsky and the relationship with Jabotinsky's Revisionist Zionism made it the predecessor to Israel's right-wing Herut and Likud parties.

Guess who runs Israel today?

Answer: The sons and daughters of Irgun. (Check out the commander list on the Etzel website if you don't believe me.)
Guess who runs the United States today? The same people – let's start with Rahm Emanuel.

Of course you won't find anything about Rep. Emanuel's father's exploits in Palestine on Rahm's website:

The late Sherman Skolnick of Chicago called Rahm Emanuel the "Acting Deputy Chief for North America of the Mossad – Israeli Intelligence." Rahm Emanuel

Skolnick went on to say that Emanuel's father Benjamin had been "part of the Israeli assassin team that murdered Sweden's Count [Folke] Bernadotte" in 1948. Bernadotte was the envoy of the United Nations in Palestine who sought to find a solution to the UN Partition Plan that gave Palestinian land to Jews from "beyond the pale."

Was Skolnick correct? Skolnick does not document his claims so I checked into his allegations.

"Beyond the pale" would certainly describe where Rahm Emanuel's family came from. His father's family came to Palestine from somewhere in the Ukraine in 1917, according to what Dr. Benjamin M. Emanuel told me the other day. Dr. Emanuel now lives on the appropriately named Locust Road in Wilmette, Illinois.

Benjamin, speaking with a thick Israeli accent, told me that his father's name was Ezekiel Auerbach and that his mother's name was Pinina or something like that. He said it meant "pearl" in Hebrew. Asked about his role in the Irgun, Ben told me he had been a "simple soldier."

Yes, Ben, but serving as "simple soldier" in a terrorist organization makes you a terrorist. And the fact that you served in a terrorist organization 60 years ago makes no difference. You know, same rules for Nazis and terrorists.

Is that not what all those fellows in Guantanamo are being held for?

The Emanuel family name was Auerbach until 1936, although they are not related to the famous rabbinical family of Germany and Krakow named Auerbach. Ben said that his family was from Russia. (Well, the pale but not quite Russia.)

His father Ezekiel supposedly changed the family name to Emanuel when his son with that name died fighting Palestinians in 1936.

Many Jewish families in Palestine changed their names to make themselves sound like they actually came from Palestine. And you wondered where all those Jews disappeared during World War II?
Sheinerman became Sharon, Yezernitzky became Shamir, and Auerbach became Emanuel, and so on. And then multiply by a few hundred thousand. Voila! Millions of European Jews vanish from the face of the Earth - and build new lives in Palestine.
Ben told me that Emanuel Auerbach had died from "shrapnel in the knee" in 1936. When I asked him today for details on this incident he suddenly decided that he did not want to do an interview on the phone and hung up.

But before he terminated the conversation, Dr. Benjamin Auerbach-cum-Emanuel told me that he had been a member of the Irgun and had served under Menachem Begin. He told me that he had never met Begin and had not smuggled weapons into Palestine, other news reports notwithstanding.

Naftali Bendavid (not a local reporter) with The Chicago Tribune spent 18 months working with Rahm Emanuel to prepare a story for the week after the mid-term elections although Naftali did not think that there was enough room in the 9-page story to mention the salient fact that Dr. Benjamin Emanuel had been a member of the terrorist organization – the Irgun.

No. In 9 pages of Bendavid's fluff piece there was simply no room to mention the ugly fact that Rahm's father had been a member of a terrorist organization.

Naftali Bendavid (clearly of Israeli persuasion) wrote a 9-page cover story for last Sunday's paper, which took up the entire second section of the now-failing Chicago Tribune. (The latest rumor in Chicago is that the indicted but not convicted Zionist criminal Maurice Greenberg may buy the Tribune.)

(This is the same paper that actually hired an outside writer from TIME magazine to co-author a short piece in order to properly smear me and misrepresent the story of my brutal arrest at the hands of Homeland Security goons last August.)

Naftali, at his office in Washington, knew all about Irgun when I spoke with him on the phone. When I said it was an egregious omission to leave out the fact that Rahm's father had been in the Irgun, he said he just couldn't figure how to squeeze that bit into a 9-page article.

Naftali, let me help, as English is my mother tongue: "Rahm Emanuel's father Benjamin was a member of the Irgun, a Zionist terrorist group that operated in Palestine from 1931 to 1948. The Irgun blew up buildings and killed hundreds of innocent people in order to achieve the goals of militant Zionism in occupied Palestine."

Rahm's mother is Martha Smulevitz, who married the Israeli doctor in August 1955. Ben told me that they met in Chicago. I asked if she was related to the Smulevitz family that was living in Palestine in the 1930s. He said no.

There are Smulevitz's and Shmuelevitz's all throughout the Zionist invasion of Palestine. One was hanged by the Brits, one dealt with the Nazis in Berlin, and another was the chief of staff for Menachem Begin – take your pick.

It would, however, be most interesting if Rahm's father were actually related to Moshe Auerbach, the Zionist who went to Berlin with Pino Ginzburg to arrange the transfer of Jews and money to Palestine – with the Nazi regime.

On February 28 1937, Feivel Polkes, head of the Haganah told Adolf Eichmann that he was interested most of all in "accelerating Jewish migration to Palestine so that the Jews would obtain a majority over the Arabs in his country."

In The Secret Contacts: Zionism and Nazi Germany -1933-1941 by Klaus Polkehn, he revealed that collaboration between the Zionists and the Third Reich was cemented by the "Mossad Aliyah Beth" which had been created by Haganah as an illegal immigration organization. Pina Ginsburg and Moshe Auerbach, with the blessings of the Reich, set up offices in Berlin to carry out their immigration activities in 1938.

Here is a page from Klaus Polkehn's book.

And you wonder where Rahm Emanuel got his "chutzpah" from?
Photo: "I said before the election that if the Democrats win the House, the lion's share of the credit should go to Rahm," says Rep. Ray LaHood, an Illinois Republican. "He legitimately can be called the golden boy of the Democratic Party today. He recruited the right candidates, found the money and funded them, and provided issues for them. Rahm did what no one else could do in seven cycles."
[Image: RahmEmanuelOnElectionNight.JPG]
And the fact that more than 70 percent of the American population is opposed to wasting U.S. blood and treasure to fight a Zionist war in Iraq means nothing?

The map of Zion as per the Irgun of Rahm Emanuel and his ilk [Image: pinauntofte_08_12.JPG]

####### [end of article]

Christopher Bollyn, the author of this piece is currently MIA, btw. This article appear's on Eric Hufschmid's site. I do not necessarily espouse Bollyn's conclusions about the Mossad being solely responsible as architects of 9/11. Of note is that Hufschmid makes rather unilateral connections between the 9/11 truth movement and Zionism, and I don't paint with nearly as broad a brush as he does. Bollyn's article is worth a look, though. And by way of disclosure, I am an acquaintance of Frank Gonzalez, the Libertarian candidate who ran a passionate but unsuccessful bid against Rahm in 2002 (I think it was '02!)

~ Mariana
What a frightening post. Gives wackjob Sarah Palin "palling around with terrorists" more fodder. But thankfully she does not read Smile I certainly hope it's not like father, like son.
And welcome to the forum. I never had the chance to meet your husband but a dear friend here in Austin- Richard Bartholomew- often referred to him in the most glowing terms.
Welcome Marianna. We are all delighted to see you here.
The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.
Carl Jung - Aion (1951). CW 9, Part II: P.14
Dawn Meredith Wrote:Mariana,
What a frightening post. Gives wackjob Sarah Palin "palling around with terrorists" more fodder. But thankfully she does not read Smile I certainly hope it's not like father, like son.
And welcome to the forum. I never had the chance to meet your husband but a dear friend here in Austin- Richard Bartholomew- often referred to him in the most glowing terms.

With apologies: I meant to say your dad.
Paul Rigby Wrote:

CounterPunch Diary

Hail to the Chief of Staff


The first trumpet blast of change ushers in Rahm Emanuel as Obama’s chief of staff and gate keeper. This is the man who arranges his schedule, staffs out the agenda, includes, excludes. It’s certainly as sinister an appointment as, say, Carter’s installation of arch cold-warrior Zbigniev Brzezinski as his National Security Advisor at the dawn of his “change is here” administration in 1977.

"Change" you can believe in - in action:

Dershowitz: I helped keep Carter silent

By Eric Fingerhut • November 13, 2008

Quote:Why didn't Jimmy Carter speak from the podium at the Democratic National Convention? Alan Dershowitz said he had something to do with it.

In an interview with Shalom TV, the Harvard Law School professor says he "pushed" Barack Obama "very hard to make that decision," Dershowitz said in an interview with Shalom TV. "Barack Obama had to make a choice between his Jewish supporters and his anti-Israel supporters like Jimmy Carter, and he did not choose Jimmy Carter. And that was an embarrassment for Jimmy Carter and a show of disrespect."

"It was a good decision, a wise decision, a moral decision," Dershowitz added.
Carter did appear in the convention hall after a video of the former prersident helping with Katrina relief was shown at the Denver gathering. But he did not make any remarks from the podium.

In the interview, Dershowitz also said he believes that Obama's support in the pro-Palestinian community could make it easier to advance the peace process.

"The fact that there are some in the pro-Palestinian community who like him may be a positive thing -- that he can reach out to both communities and be an honest broker who, without compromising Israel's security, can facilitate a kind of peace that will be both in the best interests of Israel and the best interests of the Palestinian people," Dershowitz said. "I have a high level of confidence, not perfect confidence but a high level of confidence, that he will do the right thing."

Here's Shalom TV's press release on the interview:

Rates Obama's relations with the Jewish community as "near-perfect" and sees Obama's standing in pro-Palestinian community as his chance to be an "honest broker"
Disturbed by Jewish racism during election
Would decline any offer to join Obama administration

November 14, 2008 (Fort Lee, NJ). In an exclusive Shalom TV interview, Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz revealed that he was among those who convinced Barack Obama to keep Jimmy Carter from addressing the Democratic National Convention.

"I pushed him very hard to make that decision," Dershowitz explained in a conversation with Mark S. Golub on American Jewry's national cable
television network. "Barack Obama had to make a choice between his Jewish supporters and his anti-Israel supporters like Jimmy Carter, and he did not
choose Jimmy Carter. And that was an embarrassment for Jimmy Carter and a show of disrespect. And I'm very glad he made that decision. It was a good
decision, a wise decision, a moral decision."

Speaking to fears among some American and Israeli Jews that Obama will be less supportive of the State of Israel than President Bush, Dershowitz predicted that Obama "will try to energize the peace process." Moreover, Dershowitz sees Obama's support in the pro-Palestinian community as an opportunity for the president-elect to move the peace process forward.
"The fact there are some in the Pro-Palestinian community who like him may be a positive thing--that he can reach out to both communities and be an honest broker who, without compromising Israel's security, can facilitate a kind of peace that will be both in the best interests of Israel and the best interests of the Palestinian people. I have a high level of confidence--not perfect confidence--but a high level of confidence that he will do the right thing."

Dershowitz also acknowledged that he received thousands of emails from Jews opposing Obama during the election campaign. While some emails where thoughtful and expressed legitimate concerns, Dershowitz is convinced that many were from "extreme right-wing Jews" and that some were "out-and-out racist."

"As a Jew I was appalled by some of the racism that I saw in some of the emails that I got," Dershowitz said. Dershowitz believes that Obama's election will be positive for Black-Jewish relations. "I think nothing could be better for Black-Jewish relations than the election of Barack Obama," he observed. "Barack Obama has expressed appreciation for the Jewish community and the role that we played in the Civil Rights Movement, and that's a good thing because some within the African-American community are very quick to forget that. So far, his relations with the Jewish community have been near-perfect."

Could Dershowitz be part of an Obama administration, perhaps as Attorney General? Dershowitz responded with a categorical, "no." Dershowitz also said he declined a request to represent Obama on the campaign trail, explaining, "I said I couldn't do that because I want to keep my own independent views independent. I don't want to be a surrogate for

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Dershowitz: I helped keep Carter silent

By Eric Fingerhut • November 13, 2008

Monday Nov. 17, 2008 15:00 EST

The mind of the Democratic leadership

Glenn Greenwald

Quote:An article in The Hill, describing how profoundly House Democrats will miss the leadership of Rahm Emanuel, describes this episode, involving the vote by Democratic Rep. Tim Walz of Minnesota in favor of the dreadful Protect America Act in August of last year (h/t Matt Stoller):

Members said [Emanuel] had a phenomenal knowledge of their districts, and he kept up to date well after the campaign ended. Rep. Tim Walz (D-Minn.) said one of his supporters wrote a letter to the editor of a small paper in his district, complaining about his vote on a rewrite of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

Walz mentioned the letter to the editor to Emanuel on the floor and was stunned by his response.

“You mean the one about how you should caucus with the Republicans?” Emanuel shot back. “That’s a good letter. Makes you look bipartisan.”

To this day, Walz is still amazed. “He had read the letter.”

When I first read this passage, I mistakenly thought that was Walz was "stunned" by Emanuel's response because Emanuel was telling him that it is a good thing to infuriate your own supporters by voting in favor of a definitively Republican bill to massively expand the surveillance state at George Bush's behest. No -- that point was totally unremarkable for Walz and didn't register with him at all. Walz was merely "stunned" as in "impressed" -- impressed with Emanuel's political acumen at having read and remembered that letter.

This little vignette provides a very vivid and crystallizing illustration of how Congressional Democratic leaders think and behave. They consider it a good thing -- not a bad thing -- when they anger their own base. They're thrilled when they get accused -- accurately -- of acting like Republicans and supporting right-wing measures, particularly on national security and "terrorism" issues. They consider it a benefit -- an incentive -- when they are attacked for embracing Republican political policies and violating the principles of their own base.

This is undoubtedly the rationale which, at least in part, led to Obama's own reversal on FISA: namely, it was considered a good thing that he infuriated his core supporters and was accused of supporting definitively Bush/Cheney terrorism policies because -- in the words of his new Chief of Staff -- "it makes you look bipartisan." See here for the fruits of this thinking.

Tomorrow, the Senate will vote in secret on whether to deny Joe Lieberman the Chairmanship of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. Is the anger that will be generated among liberals if Lieberman continues in that position something that Senate Democrats want to avoid or want to provoke? One wonders how many similar celebrations Congressional Democrats had all those times when they enabled one radical Bush policy after the next and were excoriated by their own voters.

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