Tags: Book | Chavez | Gave | Obama

Book Chavez Gave Obama Called 'Idiot's Bible'

By    |   Monday, 27 April 2009 01:12 PM

Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Book Chavez Gave Obama Called ‘Idiot’s Bible’
2. Napolitano Lambasted Over Canadian Border Remark
3. Obama’s E-mail Database Now a DNC Asset
4. GOP Beats Democrats in March Fundraising
5. Obama’s White House Reading — 10 Letters a Day
6. We Heard: Ann Coulter, Cynthia Tucker, Bob Dylan


1. Book Chavez Gave Obama Called ‘Idiot’s Bible’

Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez may have been trying to give President Barack Obama a history lesson when he handed him a copy of the book “Open Veins of Latin America” at the recent Summit of the Americas.

But a political commentator and columnist intimately familiar with the book — written by Uruguayan journalist Eduardo Galeano and first published in 1971 — says all of the book’s major assertions have by now been proven wrong.

Alvaro Vargas Llosa, a senior fellow at the Independent Institute — an Oakland-Calif.-based think tank — co-authored the “Guide to the Perfect Latin American Idiot” a decade ago.

The book devoted a chapter to “refuting the historical and ideological fallacies contained in Galeano’s tract, which we called the ‘idiot’s bible,’” Llosa writes in The New Republic. “Everything that has happened in the Western Hemisphere since the book appeared in 1971 has belied Galeano’s arguments and predictions.”

In his book, Galeano makes the case that Europe, and later the United States, plundered Latin America’s resources and helped create widespread poverty and wealth disparity.

Llosa addresses several of his points:

  • Galeano wrote that the average income of U.S. citizens is “seven times that of a Latin American and grows 10 times faster.” Llosa points out that in recent times many “poor” nations have seen their income gap with the U.S. narrow dramatically.
  • Galeano claimed that for years “the endless chain of dependency has been endlessly extended.” Llosa writes: “The story now is that the rich depend on the poor. That is why the Chinese have $1 trillion in U.S. Treasury bonds!”
  • In his book Galeano declared that raw materials from Latin America destined for rich countries benefit the rich nations more than the producing countries. Llosa notes: “The story of this decade is that Latin America has made a killing sending exports abroad — the region has had a current account surplus for many years.”
  • Galeano predicted that in the year 2000 there would be 650 million people in an overpopulated Latin America. In 2000, the region’s population was 30 percent smaller than that, according to Llosa.

He also observes that in the past six years alone, 40 million people in Latin America have been lifted out of poverty, and economic growth per person has been four times higher in developing nations than in rich nations.

Nevertheless, sales of Galeano’s “idiot’s bible” skyrocketed after Chavez gave a copy to Obama — the paperback English language edition published in 1997 shot to No. 1 among all nonfiction books on Amazon.com.

Editor's Note:

2. Napolitano Lambasted Over Canadian Border Remark

“Can someone please tell us how U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano got her job? She appears to be about as knowledgeable about border issues as a late-night radio call-in yahoo.” That’s how Canada’s National Post reacted in an editorial after Napolitano said that the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks entered the U.S. across the Canadian border.

Napolitano’s comment came in an interview with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation on Monday.

She was asked about her earlier statements regarding equal treatment for the Mexican and Canadian borders, despite the flood of illegal immigrants and drugs regularly crossing into the U.S. from Mexico.

“Yes, Canada is not Mexico,” she said in remarks reported by Canada’s CTV. “It doesn’t have a drug war going on. It didn’t have 6,000 homicides that were drug-related.

“Nonetheless, to the extent that terrorists have come into our country or suspected or known terrorists have entered our country across a border, it’s been across the Canadian border.”

Asked if she was referring to the 9/11 terrorists, she said: “Not just those but others as well.”

Michael Wilson, Canada’s ambassador to the U.S., responded: “Unfortunately, misconceptions arise on something as fundamental as where the 9/11 terrorists came from.

“As the 9/11 Commission reported in 2004, all of the 9/11 terrorists arrived in the United States from outside North America. They flew to major U.S. airports. They entered the U.S. with documents issued by the United States government and no 9/11 terrorists came from Canada.”

When first informed of her error during the CBC interview, Napolitano snapped: “I can’t talk to that. I can talk about the future. And here’s the future. The future is we have borders.”

But the Homeland Security Secretary sought to “clarify” her comment in a release issued on Tuesday night: “I know the September 11 hijackers did not come through Canada to the United States. There are other instances, however, when suspected terrorists have attempted to enter our country from Canada to the United States.”

The National Post’s editorial stated: “The notion that some [of the 9/11 terrorists] arrived via Canada is a myth that briefly popped up in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, and was then quickly debunked.”

Editor's Note:

3. Obama’s E-mail Database Now a DNC Asset

During the presidential campaign Barack Obama amassed a database of 13 million supporters. Now the Democratic National Committee will use that list to communicate with potential contributors.

The database “has continued to be one of [Obama’s] biggest assets, and the ‘permanent campaign,’ as it has been dubbed, continued to roll on after the election, with e-mails from President Obama, first lady Michelle Obama, and campaign manager David Plouffe asking supporters to identify ways to get involved in their communities, donate money to the DNC and to the inauguration,” Advertising Age reports.

After the inauguration, e-mail recipients were informed that management of the database would be taken over by the DNC and be renamed Organizing for America (OFA).

The DNC has not yet used the database to seek contributions, according to Natalie Wyeth, press secretary for the DNC. But she added “it should go without saying that we will need the financial backing of our supporters to keep OFA alive.”

One recent e-mail “signed” by Obama sought support for his proposed budget and included the recipient’s congressional representatives, according to Ad Age.

After the budget was passed, another e-mail from the president was sent thanking people for their support.

Editor's Note:

4. GOP Beats Democrats in March Fundraising

Despite Democratic control of Congress and the White House, The Republican National Committee raised more money in March than its Democratic counterpart.

The RNC, under new Chairman Michael Steele, raised $6.7 million last month, while the Democratic National Committee pulled in $5.57 million from individual donors. Barack Obama’s presidential campaign kicked in $2 million to the DNC in March.

But the RNC now has well more than twice as much cash on hand as the DNC — $23.9 million to $9.7 million, according to The Hill newspaper.

What’s more, the Democratic committee reported $6.9 million in debts at the end of February. The RNC is debt-free.

Editor's Note:

5. Obama’s White House Reading — 10 Letters a Day

Tens of thousands of letters, e-mails, and faxes arrive at President Barack Obama’s White House each day. Obama reads 10 of them.

Mike Kelleher, who was director of outreach in Obama’s Senate office in Chicago, is now director of the White House Office of Correspondence. Each weekday his staffers pore over the thousands of letters and cull several hundred for Kelleher’s perusal. He then selects the 10 that will be passed on to the president.

“Designed to offer a sampling of what Americans are thinking, the letters are read by the president, and he sometimes answers them by hand, in black ink on azure paper,” according to The New York Times.

The letters touch on a wide range of subjects, from the housing crisis, home foreclosures, the military, and healthcare to advice on raising Obama’s new dog, Bo.

Obama “believes it’s easy in Washington to forget there are real people with real challenges being affected by the debate,” Rahm Emanuel, the White House chief of staff, told the Times.

He said Obama on occasion will turn to policy advisers in a meeting and say, “No, no. I want to read you a letter that I got. I want you to understand.”

Two kinds of correspondence receive immediate attention — letters from despondent citizens considering suicide, and threats, which are reported to the Secret Service.

Editor's Note:

6. We Heard . . .

THAT conservative pundit Ann Coulter turned down an offer to appear in an upcoming film about the Valeria Plame affair.

Naomi Watts stars as the CIA agent whose cover was blown by columnist Robert Novak, and Sean Penn plays her husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson.

Penn wanted to have Coulter appear in a scene in which she would be “screaming invectives at him,” according to the New York Post. Coulter declined.

On a Fox News broadcast in October 2005, Coulter claimed that Plame’s status as a CIA operative was widely known.

THAT Cynthia Tucker, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s longtime editorial voice on the left, has been silenced.

The newspaper announced the Tucker, the editorial page editor, will move to Washington and continue to write her column, but will no longer work on editorials or set the paper’s official position on issues.

Most of the Journal-Constitution’s editorial board will be replaced in May, The New York Times reports, “a move that could create a different — and perhaps less liberal — voice for one of the country’s leading regional papers.”

THAT Bob Dylan, who voiced support for Barack Obama during the presidential campaign, says Obama may leave office a “beaten man.”

In an interview published in Newsweek, Dylan was asked if he thinks Obama will make a good president.

“I have no idea. He’ll be the best president he can be,” the legendary singer-songwriter answered.

“Most of these guys come into office with the best of intentions and leave as beaten men. Johnson would be a good example of that . . . Nixon, Clinton in a way, Truman, all the rest of them going back.

“It’s like they all fly too close to the sun and get burned.”

According to The Telegraph in Britain, Obama has said he has around 30 Dylan songs on his iPod.

Editor's Note:

Editor's Notes:

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Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):1. Book Chavez Gave Obama Called Idiot s Bible 2. Napolitano Lambasted Over Canadian Border Remark3. Obama s E-mail Database Now a DNC Asset4. GOP Beats Democrats in March Fundraising5. Obama s White House Reading 10 Letters a...
Monday, 27 April 2009 01:12 PM
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