Monday, February 23, 2009

Reality Visits Via the Polls

Well, fresh from yesterday's exposure of the teevee media's failings on the stimulus, today the internets gave me this shocker.

Most Americans support Obama's economic plan: polls

In the New York Times/CBS poll, about 75 percent of respondents, including 61 percent of Republicans said Obama has been trying to work with Republicans.

Sixty-three percent said Republican opposed the economic stimulus package for political reasons rather than policy concerns.

Eighty percent of Americans think Republicans should work in a bipartisan way rather than holding fast to their policies, according to the poll.

I highlighted that last point for further review. 80 percent think the Republicans should work to solve our problems instead of marching in lockstep to the failed corporate policies of Rover and Grover and Limbaugh. That number astounds me. And it really tells you how far removed from what people think they should be doing they are.

Those goppers that think they have a chance beating someone like Chris Dodd really don't have a clue. 80 percent tells me a lot about how far the republicans are from the levers of power.

Now that President Obama has broken the gop block, sure, they think it's intact, but it isn't, and every day, like today, the cracks are going to get bigger.

Obama made a point of inviting some of his rivals and harshest critics, using the White House to set up a framework for negotiations outside Congress.

Meeting with the group of about 130 after they'd spent the afternoon discussing federal spending, the president called first on Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., his Republican opponent for the presidency in last November's election.

He's just killing them and they're too self absorbed to even notice.

Mind you, I don't want republican ideas, but I suppose real, as opposed to contrived, concern about wasteful spending is okay, I really don't want republicans until they repudiate their fascist past 8 years and cooperate in jailing BushCo luminaries, just getting them to move out of the way is my idea of bipartisanship at this point, but it is nice to see that America is waking up to the reality of the GOP. Maybe they can force them to act like republicans instead of fascists and narcissists now, that would be nice.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Someone Noticed the Media Isn't Doing Their Job

Hello readers, after a too long hiatus, I'm back blogging, with greater regularity.

I stumbled on this AP article, and well, it shocked me.

The author wrote this: "To a certain extent, networks could be accused of unimaginative bookings, going to people they know very well" but I would have to disagree to some extent, I think they go to people that fit into their pre-conceived notions of conventional wisdom, and they go to people that swim in their same circles. And that is really the problem, the TV National News is reporting from the same fishbowl it resides in, objectivity is warped by the glass of their own world.

The numbers cited are pretty damning, and wholly typical of what I have seen for many years on TV News, and the quotes from Cameron and Schieffer perfectly highlight what has happened to television news reporting. Losing Cronkite effectively ended LBJ's presidency, and CBS and NBC hounded Nixon during Watergate, but since then,(or not) the TV news has become a useless bastion of Corporate regurgitation of the Republican line, or incestuous navel gazing from the DC Beltway crowd.

"Ian Cameron, executive producer of ABC's Sunday morning "This Week," said the trend had less to do with unimaginative bookings than 24-hour cable's need to draw contrast and promote verbal battles." I have a hard time equating that statement with journalism, indeed, I have trouble believing that he would even say that out loud, let alone that it is a true statement. In short, we don't do journalism, we promote cat fights and finger pointing, and we're proud of it!

But Bob Schieffer's is really the best of all. In fact, re-reading it truly boggles the mind.

"Maybe we should be talking to more economists," Schieffer said. "I've been a reporter now for 52 years, covered everything from hubcap thieves to arms control negotiations, and I generally have an opinion on whether the government is doing the right or wrong thing. This thing is so complicated that I'm not sure what is the right or wrong thing."

Um, maybe someone can mention to Bob, if it's too complicated, then yes, you should be talking to economists. A lot. And perhaps someone should also tell Bob that we all have an opinion on the government's activities, and that we aren't really interested in your opinion, after all, we all have one of those too, and that, really, you're supposed to be reporting on the stimulus, not giving us your opinion, an opinion, I must point out, you've just admitted is worthless.

That the AP published that article is perhaps an indication that the pendulum has started to swing back from Corporate Whoredom to that thing enshrined in our Constitution, maybe. After all, the gravy train left the station November 4th, perhaps now if they want to make money they're going to have to do some work, just like everyone else. Or maybe not. But I find the article a hopeful one, maybe the result of the unending pushback from bloggers on the left decrying the sorry state of the corporate media, and the fact that President Obama called on a Blogger at his first of many press conferences.

We can only hope.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

What Off the Table Really Meant

Speaker Pelosi said that impeachment was off the table because she wanted to focus on the Democrats policy agenda.

It may have been the worst political decision in history, or not. It may have been stupid, or genius. Or not.

Now that it's too late to really do anything about the worst administration ever, an administration who sought power so that they could benefit their corporate sponsors and not to conduct their job as President and Executive Branch for the American People, what have we learned, or rather, what does this teach us about some of the Democrats?

I've thought about this a lot, and it came to me the other day. Pelosi, Reid, the stupid Dem strategists, they made 2 mistakes. One, they failed to understand, in part because they "knew" these people, that Bush was not selected to fulfill the duties and obligations of the President of the United States as enumerated in the Constitution, but rather to give the big corporate oligarchs the budget surplus of the Clinton Presidency, and more importantly, unfetter the Corps from the inconvenient eyes of the government and its bothersome regulations.

Secondly, they listened to the media, in part again because they knew them, conventional wisdom, they responded to the gop frames that partisanship was bad for the Democrats. They were determined to prove that they were not going to go on a partisan witchhunt like the gop did to Clinton (and isn't it amazing that the goppers can turn an acknowledged negative action into a political thrust into the Democrats back?) Partisanship is bad says that worthless git Broder, and the Democratic mainstream leadership believed it, and refused to fight the gop with their own weapons.

So impeachment was taken away, and Pelosi and Co blithely ignored the actions of the gop, ignored their politization of the Executive branch, ignored their lies, ignored Frist campaigning against Daschle, ignored gop filibusters and Bush vetoes and the Joe Lieberman factor, just pretended it didn't exist at all, and went about satisfying their legislative agenda.

But what happens when you ignore reality, when you cast yourself, not head in the sand but body in a bubble?

You accomplish precious little, and you tell the electorate that you aren't real sold on your own principles because you won't fight for them.

So here are the lessons learned.

1) Don't listen to the media, their job is to report what you do, not what you "should" do. Anything else is not news, it's lies and opinion meant to protect their own privlege at your expense.

2) Fight for what you value. If you don't value anything, don't fight, but please go away and let someone else in who will fight.

3) Familiarity should, in many cases, breed contempt, not incredulity.

4) If you don't vote for the Democratic nominee, you are just as bad as Dick Cheney, KKKarl Rove, George W Bush, Grover Norquist, Bob Ney, Monica Goodling, Hans Von Spaskey (sp-don't care), Limbaugh, Savage, Coulter, and all the rest of the Kagens and Kristols and gopper thug trolls and pols that have nearly destroyed our Democracy in its 232nd year.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Why the Media Has Failed

I just got done watching McCain's daughter talking about the time McCain hosted the DC Press Corps at his Sedona Cabin, via Josh Marshall.

Besides supporting my oft stated position that nothing from the Politico can be trusted, so please don't link to them liberal bloggers, just what the hell is the News Media doing partying with the people they are supposed to report on? I know it's been happening for years, and frankly, that is the root of the problem. Like the Late, Great, Horse said, they're whores.

It's a grotesque conflict of interest and violates everything the press should stand for. Imagine Woodward and Bernstein partying with Tricky Dick, if you can.

The other thing that shows how out of touch these people are, the daughter kept saying their cabin in Sedona, and if you watch the video it's hard to really see the cabin, about the 18 second mark gives you a good shot. That ain't no cabin, people. I just stayed in a cabin in Big Bear, at Big Bear Vacations who I would not recommend ever because they have dirty cabins and don't care about customer service, and McCain's thing is not a cabin, just because it's made of wood does not make it a cabin.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

The State of Our Nation

I've been not blogging for a while, if anybody's noticed, but I aim to be more regular, and more focused. Yes, that's it, a tighter, better blog!!!

Tonight, let's talk about the state of our nation. You may have seen this photo of the Blackwater T-shirted DEA agent during a big medical marijuana bust. And the recent spate of marijuana smuggling arrests trumpeted by the DEA/Justice Department.

Well, I'm sure we're all sleeping better at night knowing that those medical marijuana people and all those dopers are getting busted and harassed for their evil ways, even while that devil Osama bin Laden and his al Queada creation remains thriving in AfghaniPakistan. Right? You all sleep better knowing that, don't you? What, you don't? Well, anyway, if that weren't troublesome enough, I just read this wonderful story about the Mayor of Berwyn Heights adventures with the Marijuana Police. [My bolds]

Mayor Cheye Calvo got home from work, saw a package addressed to his wife on the front porch and brought it inside, putting it on a table. Suddenly, police with guns drawn kicked in the door and stormed in, shooting to death the couple's two dogs and seizing the unopened package. ...[snippage]...

Prince George's County Police Chief Melvin High said Wednesday that Calvo and his family were "most likely ... innocent victims," but he would not rule out their involvement, and he defended the way the raid was conducted. He and other officials did not apologize for killing the dogs, saying the officers felt threatened.

But this line says it all: His [the Mayors] wife spoke through tears as she described an encounter with a girl who used to see the couple walking their dogs.

"She gave me a big hug and she said, `If the police shot your dogs dead and did this to you, how can I trust them?'"

Look. There are several things wrong with these stories. Let's start with the behavior of the police. Yes, we all know they're heroes and put their lives on the line for us, but do they have to treat people and their effects with such disregard? After all, let's not forget, there is first and foremost, a presumption of innocence, regardless of appearances; secondly, the 4th amendment is pretty clear: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." Where's the warrant or the reasonable searches, in both of these cases? Does this picture seem reasonable to you?

Pot shouldn't even be illegal, it's a stupid and ridiculous vestige of prohibition, racism (them colored musicians were well known to smoke the stuff and lure impressionable white kids into the evils of Reefer Madness, don't forget), and special interests-cotton, corn, and paper products corporations that didn't want competition from the easy growing weed (good fibers for paper, clothing, seeds for animal feed, vegetable oil etc), hallucinogenic or otherwise.

So instead of going easy on pot growers, instead of mitigating the criminality of the pot industry, we get storm trooper tactics, especially now as Bushco tries to terrorize Americans on general principal I guess as a way of keeping the fear factor going regardless of the source or targets or intents; tension just for the sake of increasing pressure on the American Public.

So I ask you, faithful readers, how can this be, whatever the particulars, how can this be acceptable in America? What has happened to this country of rugged individualists; bold entrepreneurs; no nonsense, hard working, unimpeachable Our Town Americans; that this crap is tolerated, and not just tolerated, but unremarked upon by our media and our leaders?

Is the State of Our Nation one of thuggery, of institutional violence, of the Not Very Great At All Generation? Is that what we have become? And if so, how did we get this way? When did it start, and who started it, and where are these people because I'd like to have them pay a price for what they have wrought. And I don't mean beating them up and inflicting revenge on them, either.

I think we know who I'm talking about, but I'll spell it out. G-O-P. C-o-n-s-e-r-v-a-t-i-v-e-s. I say this not as a blanket condemnation of all GOPpes and Conservatives, but the generation that was started forming during the days of Richard Nixon, all the Post Goldwater 1964 conservatives who just have so much hate in their hearts, all those charming young republicans like Karl Rove and Lee Atwater and the true believers like G Gordon Liddy, the self aggrandizing users like Gingrich and DeLay, the weak cowards like Jean Schmidt and Dennis Hastert and James Sensenbrenner and Yoo and Gonzo and the Kagens, oh I could go on.

They perpetuate the fear and the thuggery, they revel in the casual indifference America seems to have for these outrages, like the recent ICE raids in Iowa, and it makes me sick to my stomach to think that these people are destroying my country, my world, my environment, my life.

What we do about it is uncertain. It's daunting, it's huge, it may be insurmontable. In which case the planet dies as we know it. Humanity gets tossed on the oil patch of evolution, and it won't take that long to happen. By the end of this century, kiddies. But it may be preventable, it may be subject to change, or at least some mitigation. And that won't happen with any, and I mean ANY, Republicans pulling the levers of power.

So think of this as my rambling and unequivical endorsement of every Democratis candidate for every electable political office. Progressive Democrats are much preferred, but I will take any Dem over any Gopper every time. So put that in your bong and smoke it.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Village Elders Have Yet Another War Power Fix

Saw it on the NewsHour tonight, Baker and Warren Christopher have this fabulous proposal for getting rid of the War Powers Act that "everybody" knows doesn't work and is unconstitutional.

The gist of it is that they would scrap the response to Nixon's illegal invasion of Cambodia with a meaningless response to Bush's illegal invasion of Iraq by demanding that the President consult with Congress before using our once mighty military, and then requiring that Congress vote within 30 days of such action to either support or deny such use of military force.

First, plucky Margaret Warner wanted to know how Congress could be expected to make such a vote as if in a vacuum and ignore the resultant freakout you get today from the warmongering hating frightened children from the right at the merest mention of "not supporting our troops in harms way" rhetoric times 1,000? To which Baker and Christopher pretty much ignored that reality and failed to answer the question.

And secondly, and most importantly, what good does consultation do, if a) the President could withhold all kinds of pertinent information and the Congress would have no means to force the White House to provide said pertinent information, and b) consultation is not a force mechanism and thus utterly meaningless. If the President doesn't listen to Congress during this "consultation," then what? Is there a law that forces him to listen to consultation? The Advise and Consent business in the Constitution has a force mechanism, the Senate has to approve of the nomination in order for them to assume their office. Not so with a "consultation."

So what we have is yet another attempt by the real masters of our domain to advance their concept of presidential power, and why Warren Christopher is there escapes me except as GOP bagman ala Lee Hamilton, which is why it just doesn't matter what Obama says or does, he must be elected because we cannot afford another Republican in the White House for at least 40 years, just like my dumb forbears lost in the desert for 40 years (roughly the size of San Diego and Imperial counties, and it wouldn't take 40 years to wander all over every bit of it) in order to have the old ways die out. Look, if Jim Baker wants it, it's bad for you and I and America, period.

These creeps just don't quit, never stop scheming for ways to amass more power. That's all they do, these monstrosities like Baker and Bush et al, instead of scheming for ways to make the world a better place, more efficient, cleaner, more pleasurable, they spend all of their energies in gluttony and the ever better ways to realize that. It just goes far beyond my comprehension level to fathom what makes these people tick. And frankly, I don't care, except insofar as I wish them to be gone on the ill wind they're creating for us all, and how to achieve that.

And first we gotta elect Barack Obama. And Better Democrats.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

What Chairman Nadler Should Have Done

This evening I sat, transfixed, by the testimony of David Addington and John Yoo, two of the most reprehensible human beings in the Bush Administration.

One thing I noticed, when Addington was talking, is that he sounds and acts just like his boss, Big Time Barnicle Dick Cheney. His mannerisms, his inflections, the tone of voice, and the style of speech are all dead on Dick. Owner and dog I guess.

And having Debbie Wasserman-Schultz call Addington a liar was pretty satisfying, bet she earned some serious hate from the fascists, er Republicans in her district on that one. Didn't seem to bother her that Addington tried to get her to back down (she didn't)

The other thing was John Yoo. In an exchange with Rep Cohen, TN-D on the Bybee memo and international law, Yoo said, at one point, that he didn't know what the international law was on torture so he couldn't speak to the Bybee memo in that regard. Or something to that affect, I'm having trouble finding the testimony, it was after their recess.

If that is true, then what the hell was he doing writing legal memos and justifications as part of the Office of Legal Council? And why would a University like Cal have this moral midget teach law to anybody or anything?

But I digress. Chairman Nadler had to stop several times to make Yoo explain his refusal to answer some questions because the Justice Department forbade him from answering them. After claiming attorney-client privilege, which Nadler said doesn't exist, and pointing out that Yoo was the one testifying, not the Justice Department, what Nadler should have done was this.

Tell Yoo to answer the question, or be in contempt. And when he refused to answer (and he wouldn't have answered, trust me, he is a complete coward and terrified of the Addingtons and Cheney's and all the other associated psychopaths that work in the Bush White House) he should have been cited for contempt and hauled off by the Sergeant at Arms to a jail cell, and for good measure, waterboarded by unknown people under unknown authority.

Then they should have resumed questioning Addington under this changed context, and see what he would say.