Friday, January 23, 2009

Forbes List of 25 Most Influential Liberals in US Media

Romenesko is linking Forbes' list of The 25 most influential liberals in U.S. media. According to Forbes, Paul Krugman is Number One.

I'm wondering:
Where on earth is Steven Colbert?

Here they are from #25 (listed first) to #1 (last in order): Michael Pollan [25], Kurt Andersen, Kevin Drum, Ezra Klein, James Fallows, Gerald Seib [20], Andrew Sullivan, Glenn Greenwald, Hendrick Hertzberg, Matthew Yglesias, Maureen Dowd [15], Christopher Hitchens, Bill Moyers, Chris Matthews, Fareed Zakaria, Markos Moulitsas Zuniga ("Kos") [10], David Shipley, Joshua Micah Marshall, Rachael Maddow, Oprah Winfrey, jon Stewart [5], Thomas Friedman, Fred Hiatt, Arianna Huffington, Paul Krugman [1].

Israel Palestine - Fourth UN School Hit - Saudi Prince Warns US

Juan Cole is reporting that Israel has hit yet another UN school before ceasing fire. This will have been the fourth UN school to be shelled and, in this one, 1600 refugees were huddling from the airstrikes. More children are dead. Only two little boys dead - a small number, some may say. Ask their mothers how small.

The rationalizing that so many are willing to do in order to defend Israeli conduct during this time has become empty-sounding to people like me who, like many other US citizens, support the state of Isreal yet clearly see that the lack of even-handedness by US government has only fueled the cold calculations recently made by the Israeli government. Despite US political leaders blaming Hamas totally and at nearly every opportunity, Israel is losing in the court of US public opinion because conscientious people aren't buying it.

Professor Cole makes an excellent point when discussing Israeli election authorities who, by fiat, may "simply ban certain Arab parties from running in the next election." [Jonathan Cook, Alternet]

I agree with the belief that, in a world with ever-increasing diversity in populations due to immigration and a global community that becomes more closely-knit by the day due to modern technology facilitating instant communication, a monochrome ethnic nationalism is more and more difficult to maintain because the people of the world are watching as if they're looking into a picture window and seeing nearly every move governments make in real-time. They see the injustice that comes with cleansing a government of relevant voices - and how it stands to become a very sad apartheid. It requires more and more violence, as pointed out by Professor Cole.

Saudi royal family member Prince Turki al-Faisal has warned President Obama in a Financial Times op-ed that the Middle East peace process and U.S.-Saudi ties are at risk unless Washington changes their tack on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. al-Faisal says,
"Unless the new U.S. administration takes forceful steps to prevent any further suffering and slaughter of Palestinians, the peace process, the U.S.-Saudi relationship and the stability of the region are at risk."

From: Saudi patience is running out by Turki al-Faisal, January 22 2009
This is not an entirely new idea coming from leaders of the region, by the way. In a rare November 2001 television interview, Prince Turki Al-Faisal had described how "[then Crown-Prince] Abdullah had sent a [pre-9/11] letter to [then new] President George W Bush in which he stated that relations between the two countries were at a crossroads because of unsatisfactory U.S. handling of the Middle East conflict.

Also being reported today in the Financial Times, President Obama has urged Israel to open Gaza's borders.

Gov Paterson Chooses Kirsten Gillibrand

I'm pleased to know that Gov. David Paterson has chosen Kirsten Gillibrand to replace Senator Hillary Clinton. The new Sen. Gillibrand will not have to waste a second being brought up to speed on the unique and longstanding economic troubles that have plagued Upstate NY and that predate the current economic crisis by a good number of years.

At a time when some voices are claiming that Upstate NY is being pushed to the side by
the current Governor's plan, the choice of Gillibrand as Senator may restore some confidence in Upstate citizens that their concerns and their job opportunities are important.

Gillibrand, currently serving in the House of Representatives where she serves on the serves on the House Armed Services Committee [Terrorism, Unconventional Threats and Capabilities subcommittee] and the Agriculture Committee [Livestock, Dairy and Poultry subcommittee, Conservation Credit Energy and Research subcommittee and the Horticulture and Organic Agriculture subcommittee], has a website where you can see her stand on the issues. Some progressives will probably not like her stand on Gun Rights. In her district [NY-20], I doubt she ever would have stood a chance of being elected if she had not listened to the concerns of her constituents. As Senator, she will face a new and much wider group of citizens who will likely require her to think [and show that she'll listen] carefully about their views on that particular issue.

Already a member of a new Upstate Majority Caucus [made up of Upstate Democrats serving in the New York State Assembly, New York State Senate and the House of Representatives], Gillibrand will have greater influence, as Senator, in their collective unified effort to jumpstart the struggling economy of Upstate New York. [See The Albany Project]

Rep. Gillibrand founded the Congressional High Tech Caucus [along with Representative Michael McCaul (R-TX)] "with the goal of ensuring that the United States remains at the forefront of emerging technologies and high tech industries." [source: Online Office of Rep Gillibrand]

As Special Counsel to the U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development [Andrew Cuomo] under President Clinton, Gillibrand worked to strengthen enforcement of the Davis-Bacon Act, which came into the public focus in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina when the Bush administration attempted to indefinitely suspend Davis-Bacon and was politically unsuccessful (or, at best, unpopular) for having done so, reinstating it within a month under public scrutiny.

Any "Eli Stone" [ABC] fan can recognize Gillibrand's own dedication to service in her maintaining of an extensive pro-bono practice for clients whose voices are seldom heard and needs seldom addressed.

In other news:

This poor fellow only wishes to keep his giant hot dog.

Busted! World class musicians were arm-synching at the Inauguration ceremony. What a lovely piece it is! Here's the performance:

THIS SONG is dedicated to the world-class musicians who did a great job of arm-synching at the Inauguration.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Martin Luther King 1929-1968

"Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it."

Turning my thoughts to Martin Luther King:

[Listen to] "I Have a Dream" speech - Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

[Listen to] "We Must Work" - Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

[Listen to] "We Shall Overcome" Jun 17 1966 – Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

New Obama Photo Shown (Pete Souza/Dateline NBC)