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Cliff Schecter

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Cliff Schecter is an author, pundit and public relations strategist whose firm Libertas, LLC handles media relations for political, corporate and non-profit clients. In 2008, his first book, The Real McCain: Why Conservatives Don't Trust Him--And Why Independents Shouldn't, was published by PoliPoint Press and became a political (#2) and non-fiction (#17) bestseller at Amazon. As founder and President of Libertas, he has counseled Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG), Chaired by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and The Alliance For Climate Protection, run by former Vice-President Al Gore. Other clients have included IBM, The American Association for Justice (previously The American Trial Lawyers Association), Global Strategy Group, Andrews McMeel Publishing, LLC, and the Earth Day Network.

Schecter was an analyst at polling firm Penn & Schoen in 1996, helping re-elect President Bill Clinton. As a political and media strategist overall, he has helped advise the Democratic National Committee and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, as well as the campaigns of former Virginia Governor and current U.S. Senator Mark Warner, former New York Attorney General and Governor Elliot Spitzer, former Connecticut Democratic Senate nominee Ned Lamont and former Ohio Congressional candidate Paul Hackett, among others. Schecter's been a lecturer for the U.S. State Department--delivering briefings on U.S. politics to diplomats, journalists and academics in countries such as South Africa, Australia, Romania and Malta.

Schecter is a weekly columnist for Al Jazeera English, reaching almost 400,000 readers, 80% of which reside in North America. He is a contributor to The Guardian Online and Huffington Post. Previously, Schecter had columns syndicated nationally by United Press International and Knight Ridder Inc. His writing has been featured in the San Francisco Chronicle, Philadelphia Daily News, Miami Herald, USA Today, American Prospect, Salon.com and Washington Monthly Magazine. His ideas have been quoted in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times and Baltimore Sun, and he's been profiled in U.S News & World Report, Wired.com and the Huffington Post.

Over the past decade, Schecter has been a regular guest on PBS, MSNBC, CNN FoxNews, BBC and NPR. He was an on-air political analyst for the Sinclair Broadcast Network in 2004, syndicated on 60 local broadcast-news affiliates to 38 media markets around the country. He served in a similar capacity for Al Jazeera in 2008, with his analysis reaching countries spanning the globe. Currently he is a regular panelist on Your Voice, a Sunday morning public affairs show broadcast on Fox and ABC in the Columbus, Ohio area.

Schecter is a graduate of the Columbia School of International and Public Affairs (MA), where he concentrated in International Journalism and Public Relations, the University of Pennsylvania (BA), where he studied American History and Legal Studies, and the Institut de Francais, where he received a French Immersion Certificate. He is ABD (all but dissertation) in his studies for his Ph.D. in American History from American University in Washington, D.C.

He has a wife, a young son and two cats. He likes all of them a lot.

www.cliffschecter.com

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SHARE More Sharing        Monday, July 9, 2012
Two fists full of dollars for Romney Romney is simply a caricature of everything that is wrong with the United States economically at this moment in our history, and again and again he proves he hasn't the slightest clue of any of it. Self-awareness, thy name is most certainly not Mitt.
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, July 14, 2011
Yes, I'll dare call it treason Right-wingers' work to undermine America is nowhere as evident as it is in the everyday indicators of how we are doing as a country. Whether it is the World Health Organization's ranking the US in 37th place, our impressive 33rd place in children's ability to navigate math and science, or 39th place in our environmental quality. How can you claim to love America and work to destroy it every day?
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Saturday, August 13, 2011
Tea Party terminators After its humble beginnings as an astroturf, Koch-Brothers-funded revival aimed at mobilizing ill-informed, reactionary, mostly older white Americans against health-care reform and other psychologically-constructed monsters under the bed, the Tea Party has become an malignant force that now holds the Republican Congressional Caucus -- and with it the country -- hostage.
The battle for gun reform rages on., From ImagesAttr
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Sunday, May 25, 2014
How the NRA Enables Massacres Sadly for the NRA, we are in the Information Age, and the truth is starting to regularly get past their efforts to thwart it. But sadly for the rest of us -- and at this moment, most tragically, the victims at Santa Barbara -- the NRA has been so successful at bullying, threatening and obfuscating for so long, that we likely have too many more UC Santa Barbaras to come.
From ImagesAttr
SHARE More Sharing        Monday, July 16, 2012
Fraudulent and fictitious Rep Darrell Issa, the chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in Congress -- which makes sense, as he has only been charged with or suspected of carrying guns illegally, stealing cars and committing arson and insurance fraud -- was performing for the team on this one, ginning up the base and doing the dirty work of the NRA.
From ImagesAttr
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Saturday, April 7, 2012
GOP: Check your intelligence It should be no surprise that if you are a conservative and you chew your own food, or are willing to try three syllables on for size, you might just become what Paul Krugman refers to as "a stupid man's idea of what a smart person sounds like."
(2 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Saturday, June 2, 2012
Conservative Courage and Other Myths It is the singular lack of courage of any major elected Republican officials in calling out their own party that has helped immensely in getting us into our current age of The Real Housewives of Congress.
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Beware of Rick Perry, the French cuff cowboy Rick Perry is dangerous. He is a dominionist, meaning the Biblical Law, to him, supersedes that of the US Constitution. He possesses slightly less gravitas than a half-eaten bowl of chili. The amount of hairspray he uses might actually be a threat to national security. And as conservative intellectual Bruce Bartlett put it, he's kind of an "idiot."
From ImagesAttr
SHARE More Sharing        Tuesday, May 8, 2012
The "United" States? A house divided he only answer is to push back against assaults on the federal government, indeed strengthen its role in separating church and state and protect basic human rights. Because just as it was needed to end slavery and enact civil rights, is the only force that can give this country a common cultural understanding of what is acceptable and what being a democracy means.
(2 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Sunday, December 25, 2011
Protecting Christmas, with stinger missiles? Fear mongering is back as white, Christian males predict an attack on Christmas and its values by atheists and others. But I'll go the full Mitt Romney, and take $10,000 bets that Christmas will still be around next year, as will a vast majority of Americans celebrating the beauty and tradition of this wonderful holiday.
SHARE More Sharing        Saturday, January 7, 2012
Michele Bachmann: The XX Factor Many Christian Right leaders and the voters who dominate the primary in Iowa preach women's submission, so is it really a stretch to believe they thought a female politician should adopt the same role? Sexism still plays an active role in our politics -- particularly on the extreme right of the GOP.
From ImagesAttr
SHARE More Sharing        Monday, December 24, 2012
Gary Ackerman's Important Goodbye Retiring Representative Gary Ackerman, a 15-term legislative veteran from New York, delivered what can only be dubbed a jeremiad. In it, he called out the Republican Party for governing via pretty much everything Yoda warned against in The Phantom Menace. He lamented the partisanship and political games that even dominate issues of national security in Washington. "The train had veered off the track," as he put it.
From ImagesAttr
SHARE More Sharing        Saturday, January 21, 2012
Colbert and Stewart for a better America in America What Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart are doing with their "Super PAC" is not only extremely funny, but actually a public service at this point in our country's democratic experiment.
From ImagesAttr
(2 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, October 18, 2012
50 shades of GOP Those values Republicans dismiss so handily are honesty, liberty and equality, and the particular government-loving miscreants we're discussing are of course not "big spending liberals" as the Right will tell you, but authoritarian and hypocritical conservatives.
From ImagesAttr
SHARE More Sharing        Monday, July 2, 2012
Confronted by Hypocrisy Of course Ron Paul cashes his Social Security checks. Much like his idol, the late Ayn Rand, who thought Social Security was evil, until she accepted it and Medicare under her husband's name, and more recently Congressman Paul Ryan, who utilized Social Security survivor benefits to attend college, Ron Paul is a hypocrite of the highest order.
From ImagesAttr
(9 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Sunday, December 2, 2012
Don't get fooled again Americans who re-elected President Barack Obama and voted for Democrats to pick up seats in Congress support one of the President's key positions -- allowing tax rates to go back up on the top 2 percent of income earners, or in monocle-speak, "shared sacrifice." It's a sea change from the last 30 years. And it's a mandate."
From ImagesAttr
SHARE More Sharing        Sunday, October 27, 2013
Senator Durbin: Don't sell us short on Social Security Right now the Republican Party "brand" is roughly equal to that of, oh, syphilis. Clearly, shutting down the government was not one of their more lucid moments. Scarier thought, maybe it was! In fact, You, Dick, let us know that one of the negotiators during this crisis told the President he "couldn't even stand to look at him."
From ImagesAttr
SHARE More Sharing        Sunday, March 10, 2013
The Republican Party's Anger Mismanagement It's clear to anyone taking so much as a gander at what animates the GOP of 2013 -- as well as Scalia's immunity to legal reasoning -- that it's not any set of policy ideas, but simple emotion: all-consuming, blood-curdling, vein-bulging-out-of-the-forehead, Mel Gibson-watching-Fiddler-On-The-Roof ANGER.
From ImagesAttr
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Sunday, September 30, 2012
The Good, The Bad And The Politically Ugly Romney's good pal Senator Scott Brown showed off his bellicosity and amazing sonar-based ability to determine ethnic origin during a debate with Democratic candidate Elizabeth Warren. We have six more weeks of this election season, and in the Right's current state of desperation, we can expect much more of this.
From ImagesAttr
SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, November 1, 2012
Desperation, Ohio Romney has tried every trick, from lying about the auto bailout to pretending he hasn't spent a life self-deporting jobs to China to almost dressing up as the Coal Miner's Daughter when in Southeast Ohio. None has worked. The people of Ohio know who's on their side and who's a phony, and no amount of tax-shelter-supplied campaign funds will change that.
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, June 6, 2013
The Scandal Of Scandal In Washington If you are these Republican guys -- that is, completely amoral, care not a whit for your country and seek power at all costs - what do you do? You gin up "scandal" of course, and hope that, even though people hate you, they might just hate the other guy more once you are done.
From Images
(2 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Unfit for command As a corporate raider, or vulture capitalist according to Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney became filthy rich by preying on companies that were doing just fine, but vulnerable to his predatory ambition. He chose to load them up with debt, extract whatever was not nailed to the floor and cost hardworking Americans their livelihoods. When it comes to basic character, Mitt Romney is simply unfit to be president of the United States.
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, October 28, 2010
Midterms: money changes everything Apparently, Rove wasn't satisfied with only helping fabricate evidence to pave America's way into a war in Iraq, outing an undercover CIA agent, and "advising" the most dollar-drenched, demagogic, and incompetent executive office since Cleon of Athens. So he's returned to active involvement in our political process from his perch as a pundit, for a coda to his democracy corruption.
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Saturday, April 14, 2012
Down and Pretty Close to Out in Grand Cayman The end result - because of Santorum's squatting in the race as long as he did, while taking a rhetorical hatchet to Romney in much the same language as Democrats did, Romney is so unpopular right now if his dog Seamus were still around, he might put Romney in the dog kennel on top of the car.
(3 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Happiness: Not a warm gun in Ohio There will be more victims like those in Chardon. But a combination of activism by survivors, reports and demographics will not be kind to the gun industry in the coming years. There's real hope that soon politicians, and businesses will come across enough honest information and outrage to conclude what a majority of Americans already know.
From ImagesAttr
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, May 24, 2012
Plutocracy democracy In post-Citizens-United politics in the United States (thanks Justice Roberts!), we might as well just hold square dances or speed dating sessions where politicians and consultants can meet their yacht-slipper wearing, significant other, so we can just dispense with outdated concepts like centralized political parties and "Establishments" once and for all.
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Sunday, May 12, 2013
Grow Up Already Twice in recent weeks newscasters have said what my 3-year-old calls "bad words" (where's George Carlin when you need him?) on television accidentally, and both times they have been fired, because apparently we are all still striving to reach puberty.
SHARE More Sharing        Saturday, December 3, 2011
Everybody hates Newt Romney Romney has disavowed his own health care legislation as nationally relevant (and climate change as real), and Gingrich goes all Jason Bourne when it comes time to discuss his climate-change ad with Pelosi. A DNC ad hitting Romney and a Ron Paul web savaging Gingrich for their ever-changing ideologies are almost interchangeable.
(2 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Friday, August 19, 2011
Tea Party Terminators In other words, any compromise, no matter how small, is seen as an act tantamount to treason, which is precisely why we need to stop engaging these tottering tea lovers, because they simply do not believe in the workings of democracy.
SHARE More Sharing        Saturday, December 10, 2011
A Puppet-Occupied Den of Anti-Democratic Sin It is not movies such as The Muppets that those of us in the reason-based community fear, but the values of selfish, rampant consumerism and corporatism pushed by organizations, like say, the Media Research Center. Groups that try and teach our children that there is no value in respect and virtue for its own sake; that everything is to be judged by its dollar value, and not by its contribution to society.
From ImagesAttr
SHARE More Sharing        Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Boys with toys They fantasize and fetishise like little boys playing laser tag, not accepting reality, like those of us who've chosen to become adults. They threaten, bully and posture because deep down, as studies show, they are consumed by fear. They come up with conspiracy theories that the massacre was planned by our government to pass more gun control.
From Images
SHARE More Sharing        Tuesday, October 9, 2012
The Two Romneys So, President Obama, come out strong in your next debate. Bring the fire. And remind people that there are two different Mitt Romneys: The public Mitt, and the one behind closed doors. And God help us if we give either of them a chance to reside at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Up in smoke By any measure; economically, morally, democratically, we are far worse for allowing special interests -- from the private prison lobby ("send us ten prisoners and we'll house one for free!") to the national security industry -- take us down this road to perdition. It has spiritually hollowed us out, while erecting a prominent prison culture that makes The People's Republic of China seem like Woodstock.
From Images
(3 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, January 19, 2012
Romney takes us to infinity and beyond Romney is a product of our age at its most extreme -- its logical conclusion. Certainly, President Obama plays this game too, making promise after promise he has no intention of keeping, and hiding behind clever branding -- as do most other politicians today. But nobody can match Mitt. In sheer personal, political and moral malleability, he rules this age. We're just living in it.
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Monday, February 25, 2013
Old White Guys These guys have to actually answer today for the ultimate form of elitism: their white male privilege of being able to tell us all how to behave while blithely ignoring the very same dictates. But those they used to dominate by custom or sheer numbers aren't listening anymore. We have the numbers at polling booths, and it's driving them bonkers.
From Images
SHARE More Sharing        Monday, August 20, 2012
Paul Ryan's Rage For The Machine Then there's the fact that Ryan's tax plan would make things just so darn convenient for his running mate -- namely by turning the United States into one big Swiss bank. Ryan would end all taxation of capital gains, interest and dividends, lowering Romney's tax rate in 2010 (the one year of returns he publicly released) to less than one percent.
From Images
SHARE More Sharing        Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Romney's Choice: Vetting Veeps Just as Mr Romney now believes he must "vet the president" -- because nobody has ever heard of Reverend Wright or Bill Ayers -- I think it is time to get to know who our second-in-command might be come January 2013, should Mitt Romney find a way to bring his brand of jet-ski conservatism to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
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SHARE More Sharing        Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Kafka's talking points: The NRA goes to Congress After the 1999 massacre at Columbine High School, the LaPierre/NRA solution included -- wait for it, wait for it -- closing the private-sale loophole! And more gun-free school zones! Which in current NRA lore exist only to provide irresistible Poison-Ivy-like pheromones to lunatics with assault weapons.
From Images
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, May 2, 2013
Our very own West Texas From the explosion at the fertilizer plant due to flagrant flouting of environmental regulations to the attack in Boston, this was shaping up to be a Bush Legacy week whether he stayed home to paint nude portraits of Jeb or chose to step out and try to defend a presidency many Americans must be still convinced was just one long phantasm brought on by a bad batch of Peyote.
SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, February 16, 2012
Mitt Romney's Anti-Social Stance on Social Security Mitt Romney, tribune of the people, still doesn't seem to get a simple concept: Social Security is popular. With everybody. And particularly with older tea-party-supporting white voters who can often be counted on to be conservative on numerous other issues, and turn out in elections in key swing states.
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Bipartisan-Ship Of Fools There is no word in the English language that allows the sun to poke through the clouds, inspires cherubic song and makes lobbyists high-five while lording over a beer-joint urinal on in official Washington than "bipartisan." Bipartisan is just so darn cool. It's hip! It's now! When that word is uttered in Washington there is only once choice to be made: Run.
SHARE More Sharing        Sunday, January 29, 2012
Who wants to be a millionaire (with a flat tax)? The culture of the Republican Party is one that doesn't allow any solution that involves government funds. From fixing potholes to Gingrich's moonshot version of the Martian Chronicles, if you're spending money, you'd better be invading some place or blowing something up -- and the moon doesn't count because there is no oil there (that we know of).
SHARE More Sharing        Saturday, January 31, 2009
Bipartisanship: Republicans Still Think It's "Date Rape" Conservative ideologue, Republican strategist and obsessed slayer of any and all taxes large and small, Grover Norquist, once referred to bipartisanship - in his trademark subtle manner - as "date rape". While I personally don't subscribe to that line of thinking, it would be best for the Obama administration to understand that many of Norquist's friends and colleagues do.
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Tuesday, February 21, 2012
They are GOP, hear them roar The thing about elections is that to win them you need voters willing to, you know, vote for you. And at the current rate the Republican Party is going, they may have to start resuscitating every dead white male since the Whiskey Rebellion to have any shot at winning outside of Utah, or a Gingrich-family-settled lunar colony.
SHARE More Sharing        Tuesday, November 16, 2010
The US Midterm Massacre an American public tired of being unemployed, scared about their future, and looking for some kind of leadership, handed over the US House-in stunning fashion-to a coterie of cranks who have to put corks on the end of their forks not to jab their own eyes while eating. Think Steve Martin's Ruprecht from Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and you get the basic picture of some of the Tea Party proxies we elected to Congress last week.
SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, June 21, 2012
The Conservative Closet The closet can hide all sorts of truths among its shadows. Americans and any facts about the US that don't fit the right-wing narrative can be disappeared in this enclosed recess -- either bullied into silence or simply ignored -- and conservatism can continue to prosper.
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Monday, January 7, 2013
The Fool's Gold-en Rule NRA ghouls are consistent nihilists who look at a certain number of dead American children as "the cost of doing business." Compassion simply need not apply anymore for a patent on these people's souls.
SHARE More Sharing        Saturday, June 30, 2007
Working America Says: Ask A Lawyer Can my boss really do that? How many of us find ourselves asking that very question on a weekly, if not daily basis? Well now we just may get the answers we seek.

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