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Hissyspit

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Member since: Fri Nov 12, 2004, 07:39 AM
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Scope of Sandy's Devastation Widens, Death Toll Spirals (98)

Source: Reuters

By Edith Honan

NEW YORK | Fri Nov 2, 2012 1:04am EDT

(Reuters) - From New York City's Staten Island to the popular beach towns of the Jersey Shore, rescuers and officials on Friday faced growing evidence of widespread destruction wrought by superstorm Sandy, mounting anger over delayed relief and a rising death toll.

The total killed in one of the biggest storms to hit the United States jumped by a third on Thursday alone, to 98. In New York City, 40 people have been found dead, half of them in Staten Island, which was overrun by a wall of water on Monday.

Among the dead in Staten Island were two brothers, aged 2 and 4, who were swept from their mother's arms after her car stalled in rising flood waters. Their bodies were found near each other in a marshy area on Thursday.

U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and Federal Emergency Management Agency Deputy Administrator Richard Serino planned to visit Staten Island on Friday amid angry claims by some survivors that the borough had been ignored.

Scenes of angry storm victims could complicate matters for politicians, from President Barack Obama just four days before the general election, to governors and mayors in the most heavily populated region in the United States. Obama visited New Jersey on Wednesday and has received praise for his handling of Sandy.


Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/02/us-storm-sandy-hurricane-idUSBRE89N16J20121102

Juan Cole: Romney Lies "Show Contempt for Democracy, Display Some Features of Capitalist Dictators"

http://www.juancole.com/2012/10/top-five-signs-of-capitalist-dictatorship-in-the-romney-campaign.html

Top Five Signs of Capitalist Dictatorship in the Romney Campaign

Posted on 10/31/2012 by Juan

The mainstream media and even Democrats have been slow to call Mitt Romney’s deliberate falsehoods “lies.” But after just calling them what they are, it is also important to analyze their meaning. Lies on Romney’s scale do not simply show contempt for the intelligence of American voters. They show contempt for democracy, and display some of the features of capitalist dictatorship of a sort that was common in the late twentieth century. Mohammad Reza Pahlevi in Iran, Alfredo Stroessner in Paraguay, Park Hung Chee in South Korea and P.W. Boetha in South Africa are examples of this form of government. Capitalist dictatorship has declined around the world in favor of capitalist parliamentarism, in part because of the rising power of middle and working classes in the global South.

- snip -

One big difference between capitalist democracy (as in contemporary Germany and France) and capitalist dictatorship is the willingness of the business classes to play by the rules of democratic elections, to allow a free, fair and transparent contest, to acknowledge the rights of unions, and to respect the universal franchise. Businessmen in such a society share a civic ethic that sees these goods as necessary for a well ordered society, and therefore as ultimately good for business. They may also be afraid of the social disruptions (as in France) that would attend any attempt to whittle away workers’ rights. Attempts to limit the franchise, to ban unions, and to manipulate the electorate with bald-faced lies are all signs of a barracuda business class that secretly seeks its class interests above all others in society, and which is not afraid of workers and middle classes because the latter are apolitical, apathetic and disorganized.

Sound familiar?

1. Romney’s contempt for the democratic process is demonstrated in his preference for the Big Lie. In order to scare workers in Toledo, Ohio, into voting for him, he alleged that President Obama was arranging for Chrysler’s Jeep production to be shifted to China. Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne sent an email to all employees refuting Romney: “I feel obliged to unambiguously restate our position: Jeep production will not be moved from the United States to China…” He pointed out that Jeep production in the US has tripled since 2009. Romney’s political ad containing this sheer falsehood, is blanketing Ohio.

- snip -

5. The Romney campaign’s remarks about “Anglo-Saxons” better understanding allies like Britain, and its support for the racist Arizona immigration and profiling law show a preference for racial hierarchy, with “Anglo-Saxons” at the top. Again, many capitalist dictatorships privilege a dominant ethnicity, as with Apartheid South Africa or discrimination against native Chileans by the Pinochet regime in Chile. Fostering racism is a way of dividing and ruling the middle and working classes, of binding a segment of them to the dominant business classes.

Obviously, the Romney version is capitalist dictatorship lite. But...

MORE AT LINK

Obama to Use "Affirmative" Message in Closing Campaign Pitch

Source: Reuters

Obama to use "affirmative" message in closing campaign pitch

By Jeff Mason

WASHINGTON | Thu Nov 1, 2012 1:01am EDT

(Reuters) - After three days of focusing on superstorm Sandy, President Barack Obama will return to the campaign trail on Thursday with a more "affirmative" message to win over undecided voters in the final days of the race for the White House.

With polls showing a tight contest between the Democratic incumbent and Republican challenger Mitt Romney before Tuesday's election, Obama will use trips to political battleground states to make a closing appeal for a second term.

That argument will touch on points he has made for months about the choice between competing Republican and Democratic visions, Obama advisers said, but it will put more weight on Obama's ideas for the future and could resurrect some of the hopeful themes that helped him win election in 2008.

"You're going to see him lift up ... the vision of what we're fighting for," senior campaign strategist David Axelrod said in an interview last week before the storm, adding the construction of Obama's "stump" speech would alter slightly in the final days.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/01/us-usa-campaign-obama-idUSBRE8A006J20121101
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