Palin and the tea-party “movement”: nothing new

by Glenn Greenwald, Salon

Fox News, April 6, 2006

Hundreds of protesters gripped Mexican flags as they marched for immigration reform in the past few weeks, but they say a display of cultural unity is being mistaken as a lack of loyalty to the United States. 

The displays turned off many Americans. Conservative talk show hosts admonished the protesters, while everyday people wrote angry letters to the editors of their local newspapers. 

Some called for those carrying the Mexican flag to return to Mexico. Others questioned why immigrants demanding rights in the United States would wave symbols of Mexico. . . . 

Critics of waving the red, white and green have questioned marchers’ loyalty to the United States, but Latino activists deny the implications. 


The Washington Post, yesterday, on Sarah Palin’s Tea Party speech

[Palin] had on three opera-length strands of pearls, two white and one multi-colored.  [O]n her lapel, a small pin with two flags — for Israel and the United States. 


In its adulating report on Palin’s speech, National Review — whose Rich Lowry and Jonah Goldberg both bitterly complained about the waving of Mexican flags on U.S. soil — also proudly noted:  “On her lapel, Palin wore a small pin with two flags — for Israel and the United States.”  Along with the fact that she remains deeply unpopular with most Jewish-American voters, Palin’s flamboyant display of her so-called love for Israel — she previously boasted that the Israeli flag was the “only” one she kept in her Gubernatorial office — is almost certainly grounded in her creepy desire to mold America’s foreign policy to fit her evangelical belief that God demands that “Israeli land” be unified under Israeli control in order for Jesus to return and sweep all the good Christians up to heaven in Rapture (while banishing everyone else — including the Jews she loves so much — straight to hell forever).  That’s one major reason why neocons such as Bill Kristol love her.  Led by Joe Lieberman, neocons have repeatedly shown their willingness to cynically exploit extremist Christian Rapture dogma for greater American fealty towards Israeli actions, and Palin reliably spouts neoconservative dogma on virtually every issue.  Almost every one of her national security pronouncements sounds exactly like Dick Cheney and The Weekly Standard (though her call for expanded Israeli settlements go beyond what even most neocons are willing to advocate openly).   

Is there any other nation in the world where a leading politician can appear in public — without controversy — wearing the flag of a foreign country?  It was a huge scandal on the Right when immigration reform marchers waved Mexican (along with American) flags in order to display cultural solidarity with Mexican immigrants who were being demonized and living in wretched conditions, as non-persons, in the U.S.; isn’t it obviously more significant when someone who recently wanted to be Vice President and is now the leader of this Fox-News-sponsored political movement appears at events in the U.S. wearing an Israeli flag melded to an American flag, as though the two nations are joined as one entity?  Why should an American political leader be wearing an Israeli flag?

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Irish eyes aren’t smiling over ambassador’s lavish Rockcliffe digs

by Don Martin, Ottowa Citizen

It takes seriously posh digs to wow the 2,000 residents of Ottawa’s ritzy diplomatic enclave. But construction workers have just finished creating the largest residence in Rockcliffe Park and the neighbourhood is agog at the sprawling mansion financed by a country on the economic skids. When it comes to pampering their ambassador in Canada, nobody beats — surprise — the Irish. Ireland, in an apparently unrelated development, is languishing in a deep recession that’s far worse than other European Union members.

Its government has imposed massive spending cuts and salary rollbacks to try and reduce a crushing debt before the shamrock nation becomes a failed fiscal state.

But prudence was not a consideration in the 15-month gutting of a modest stone house to recreate an abode of unbridled luxury for Irish Ambassador Declan Kelly.

[read the rest of the article, here]

Texas Nurse to Stand Trial for Reporting Doctor

by Kevin Sack, New York Times

It occurred to Anne Mitchell as she was writing the letter that she might lose her job, which is why she chose not to sign it. But it was beyond her conception that she would be indicted and threatened with 10 years in prison for doing what she knew a nurse must: inform state regulators that a doctor at her rural hospital was practicing bad medicine.

When she was fingerprinted and photographed at the jail here last June, it felt as if she had entered a parallel universe, albeit one situated in this barren scrap of West Texas oil patch.

… When the medical board notified Dr. Arafiles of the anonymous complaint, he protested to his friend, the Winkler County sheriff, that he was being harassed. The sheriff, an admiring patient who credits the doctor with saving him after a heart attack, obtained a search warrant to seize the two nurses’ work computers and found the letter.

… Mari E. Robinson, executive director of the Texas Medical Board, has warned in a blistering letter to prosecutors that the case will have “a significant chilling effect” on the reporting of malpractice.

The nurses’ lawyers, John H. Cook IV and Brian Carney, have filed a civil lawsuit in federal court charging the county, hospital, sheriff, doctor and prosecutor with vindictive prosecution and denial of the nurses’ First Amendment rights

[read the rest, here]