Friday, October 31, 2008

Political Notes

The search engine Yahoo posted today a Jerusalem (AFP) news story by Ron Bousso regarding an interview with the killer of Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin: Yigal Amir; and the article stated, “Amir told Channel 10 his act was influenced by the rhetoric of right-wing politicians and generals, including former prime minister Ariel Sharon and former army chief of staff Rafael Eitan, whom he said made it clear the 1993 Oslo agreement ’would lead to disaster.’”

Amos Gitai’s film One Day You’ll Understand has opened in Manhattan at Lincoln Plaza Cinemas: it is a film about “butcher of Lyon” Klaus Barbie’s 1987 trial and its effect on one family. Barbie had planned to study theology, to enter academic life, but due to lack of funds could not; and he became part of the Nazi security force, and during the twentieth-century’s second world war in Lyon, France, he tortured people. The film is about how members of a family react to what is said—and left unsaid—in their own home about Barbie as the trial is televised. has an article on “How to Make Your Vote as Easy as Possible,” by Steven Rosenfeld, featuring voting advice (for efficiency and registering complaints). There’s also an Amy Goodman transcript of her interview with a reporter, Jane Mayer, on the story behind Sarah Palin’s selection as Senator McCain’s vice-presidential nominee, including Palin’s courting of the Washington conservative elite.

“Opportunity and hope, I think that’s what Barack brings—the hope that anything is possible,’ said Ramone Crowe, 39, owner of The Java Exchange CafĂ© in Detroit. That is a quote from an article, “The Obama Swagger,” for the online publication The Root, by Melanie Eversley on the effect of Senator Obama’s campaign on the self-esteem of African-American men. has an article by Jesse Oxfeld on how many political reporters covering the presidential election are gay, asserting that the perspective and lifestyle of an “outsider” is useful when required to be away from home for a long time covering a high-profile subject: “chief political correspondent for The New York Times since 2002, Adam Nagourney, is gay, as is his predecessor in that job, Rick Berke, who started in the paper's Washington bureau in 1986 and is now a top-level editor in New York. Likewise the Times’s lead Barack Obama reporter, Jeff Zeleny, its lead Hillary Clinton reporter, Patrick Healy, and the man who ambled behind George W. Bush in 2000, Frank Bruni, now the paper’s restaurant critic. (Jeremy Peters, a rising star in the Albany bureau, occasionally joined the campaign crew for those nights out at The Garden and Des Moines’s two other gay bars, the delightfully named Blazing Saddle and Frat House.) There’s Michael Finnegan, a campaign heavyweight at the Los Angeles Times, and Jonathan Darman, Newsweek’s 27-year-old wunderkind political scribe; there’s Candy Crowley’s producer at CNN, Mike Roselli, his fellow CNN producer Chris Welch, who was the network's off-air in Iowa, and producers from CBS’s The Early Show, ABC’s Nightline, and, of course, Logo.” The article also discusses the importance of objectivity and how personal politics might affect the atmosphere of political discourse.

“The White House is working to enact a wide array of federal regulations, many of which would weaken government rules aimed at protecting consumers and the environment, before President Bush leaves office in January” begins an article by R. Jeffrey Smith in the Washington Post (and circulated by

The October 30 Economic Policy Institute’s newsletter (EPI News) notes that analysts have “found that nationwide, working families with two parents and two children need $48,778 to meet the family budget. But they also show that young families, minority families, and families with lower degrees of education all face greater difficulties in meeting these economic benchmarks.”

There is a Native Theatre Festival, featuring Native American (American Indian) writers and performance artists, at Manhattan’s Public Theatre, November 12 through November 15, at 425 Lafayette Street. That the Native perspective is seldom a part of mainstream discourse makes this event both cultural and political.