Sunday, August 24, 2008
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
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
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
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
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.
Monday, June 23, 2008
When California passed that mandate for zero emission vehicles, Detroit responded to the challenge. They responded by fighting against it tooth and nail, spending billions on lobbying and advertising and lawyers and the like; billions in utterly non-productive spending of shareholder equity. Likewise with raising CAFÉ standards, no, must keep the short term profitability of the SUV market over sustainable profits at all costs.
Now, it’s funny, in a pathetic sort of way, but it isn’t as if our present pricing and demand pressure's were unimaginable at the time, after all, that’s why we passed the damn law in the first place. Yet these giant corporations could only see the mandate as a threat, not an opportunity to take advantage of the inevitable future.
So when dickwads like peter and mucky and whatever other vile gopper thugs tell us how great the free market is, remember this. Those billions they wasted fighting against the laws of nature (there’s only so much oil out there-and the demand for the energy it produces far exceeds the supply) could instead have been invested in new battery technology and hybrids and fuel cells and hydrogen infrastructure to meet the mandates of the law.
So instead of avoiding massive layoffs in Detroit, instead of having the new infrastructure for new fuels and battery powered cars in place, Detroit and the Oil industry are tearing this country, and the world, apart. Disruptions caused by the meteoric increase in gas prices, the dilatory effect on the corn and soybean markets vis a vis food production, the layoffs, and especially the crisis in the Middle East rooted in Oil, is pushing us to the brink of a real serious recession, maybe a depression, maybe stagflation, but nothing good. That is the thugs and trolls mighty free market at work.
Are you as impressed as I am?
Sunday, June 1, 2008
A couple of things.
1) Political parties are not the same thing as the entities laid out in the Constitution. They are, after all, voluntary organizations (spare me any you can always leave America arguments) unlike the United States that we all (voters) live in (except for those abroad of course!)
2) Counting every vote in Michigan 2008 is not the same thing as Florida 2000.
3) I think the Rules Committee can change the rules any way they see fit, if they can get the votes, that's why they're called the Rules Committee!! ;-)
4) What NealB said: You're right, of course. The rules don't cover the situation. That's why the rules committee met today. To resolve a crisis where the crappy rules created a terrible, enigmatic situation. This is politics after all. Politics never has been democratic; it never will be. Posted by NealB at May 31, 2008 06:36 PM
5) None of this would have happened if the media provided a viable balance to politics, but they don't, so they fan the flames of hysteria you see with that absurd woman from New York, Harriet Christianson (?) foaming at the mouth about her "betrayal" by the DNC.
6) If the Clinton camp agreed so readily to the Florida compromise, how can they argue with such absolutism on the Michigan compromise?
7) Just remember, political parties aren't democracy, they are means to an end. They are not in the Constitution as enabled institutions, so they can do as they see fit to achieve their purposes, within the framework of public laws of course.
8) Laws are made to be broken if they do not adequetely address a situation. What would be a fair resolution of the Florida and Michigan delegations that factors in the fact that those citizens votes were tainted by a presumption of futility in their votes, and a lack of attention by the candidates to fully express their candidacy's validity or suitability?
9) Those who think that McCain is preferable to Obama, or that he is the next best thing to Hillary really and truly are giving her a slap in the face. By that argument they are saying that her values and ideals are close enough to McCain's. A lying, pandering, Bush loving republican conservative? Would Hillary embrace Richard Mellon Scaife the way McCain embraced the slanderers of South Carolina or the Swift Boaters? For instance.
10) Think about what you're saying, people. Obama is going to pick a lot of the same people as Hillary would to help him run the government, and that what this is really all about, who is running the actual government. The Lurita Doan's and Monica Goodling's and Abu Gonzales' of the world, or decent Democrats like Tom Daschle or David Bonior or whoever, pick your favorites, Richard Clarke or Valerie Plame.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
First of all, this really shouldn't be news. It's certainly not news to me or anybody who paid attention or followed Holden and his Gaggle reporting.
Now consider this statement.
Bush's presidency "wandered and remained so far off course by excessively embracing the permanent campaign and its tactics," McClellan writes. He says Bush relied on an aggressive "political propaganda campaign" instead of the truth to sell the Iraq war.
They're still writing about the tactics, the process, and not about the substance. And that has been the biggest problem with the media coverage of this nightmarish presidency. All we get is how they do things, or not, but no discussion on whether these are worthwhile things to be doing and why. It's just like that Bill Hemmer thing from the other day, where the "reporter" noted the death threat without condemning it in any way, just transcribing the words without thought on the content. And that's pretty much all we're going to get from McClellan: bad choices, bad tactics, bad results, but no thought as to whether the fundamental ideas were right or wrong.
And clearly, in my mind, they are ALL wrong, in every way imaginable.
And of course, there's the comedy angle. "'We are puzzled. It is sad. This is not the Scott we knew,' said Dana Perino."
Sunday, May 25, 2008
McCain showed no such restraint. [He] claimed Obama was "unfit" to be commander-in-chief because of his willingness to negotiate with terrorists, and called on him to explain why he'd meet with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, "a man who is the head of a government that is a state sponsor of terrorism, that is responsible for the killing of brave young Americans, that wants to wipe Israel off the map, who denies the Holocaust."
Take away those last two points and ask yourself where would John McCain be today if Nixon hadn't negotiated with the North Vietnamese, state sponsors of the Viet Cong and responsible for killing 58,260 brave young Americans?
That's what Ms. Duckman asked me, and it would be nice if someone were to ask McCain that same question.
Beyond that, maybe we can find out what he thinks about US troops "negotiating" with terrorists on the ground in Iraq like they have done in Anbar province? Yes, there's a difference between ground troops and political leaders, but how much of a distinction really is there? Of course in Bush's black and white world there is none, and in the minds of many of the GOP faithful there is none, a convenient situation that McCain's hypocrisy will capitalize as best he can.
Sunday, May 18, 2008
Better still is one of his proscription for achieving peace in the Middle East, "to stand by Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora against Hezbollah and to shun Iran over its nuclear program."
Irony was invented with Bush in mind. How else can you process things like this:
"He called on Arab governments to free all "prisoners of conscience" and open up political debate, saying Washington was "deeply concerned" about repression of democracy activists and the closure of newspapers and civil society organizations.
[skip] Nour, who unsuccessfully challenged Mubarak in Egypt's first multi-candidate presidential elections in 2005, is serving a five-year jail term for fraud. He says authorities fabricated the case to block him from politics."
We will not fix the problems in the middle east until the war mongers who are prosecuting this ill begotten misadventure in Iraq to further the profiteering of the Global Warming Corporations and the fundamentally flawed world vision of Dick Cheney leave the stage. The problem is that the damage they have caused will make it profoundly difficult for who ever follows to make any progress, let alone undo the damage.
But they must, and they must by engaging all of the parties. Iraqi or Hamas suicide bombers don't grow up with suicide as their career path, it's thrust upon them by their situation and the miserable old men that "lead" them. Yet those old men are the ones who we have to deal with if we want to stop the insanity of suicide bombers.
Those old men, and the poverty and suspicion and betrayals and heavy handedness of the colonial powers still present today, the poverty and over population, an illegal occupation, the exploitation by the Oil Corporations, all of that has to be addressed by the next President. And you won't get that by ignoring the "terrorists," who exist not for the fun of it all, but because of their desparate situation. So long as we continue to ignore that reality, Senator Obama, the killing and dying will go on, this monumental waste of life and treasure will continue to stain the American character throughout the world.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
The statement from Kempthorne really bears that out. (My bolds throughout,my comments in italics)
I have also accepted these professionals’ best scientific and legal judgments that the loss of sea ice, not oil and gas development or subsistence activities, are the reason the polar bear is threatened.
Polar bears are already protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act ... The oil and gas industry has been operating in the Arctic for decades in compliance with these stricter protections. The Fish and Wildlife Service says that no polar bears have been killed due to encounters associated with oil and gas operations. Which is a totally irrelevent fact.
The most significant part of today’s decision is what President Bush observed about climate change policy last month. ... “The Clean Air Act, the Endangered Species Act and the National Environmental Policy Act were never meant to regulate global climate change.” And that is all that matters, to provide an excuse for not taking action.
The President is right. Listing the polar bear as threatened can reduce avoidable losses of polar bears. But it should not open the door to use the ESA to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from automobiles, power plants, and other sources. That would be a wholly inappropriate use of the Endangered Species Act. ESA is not the right tool to set U.S. climate policy.
The [ESA] neither allows nor requires ... Fish and Wildlife ... to make such interventions. The Service must articulate a causal connection between the effects of any action and loss of a polar bear. As the U.S. Geological Survey has advised me, the best scientific data available (That they care to look at) do not demonstrate significant impacts on individual polar bears from specific power plants, resource projects, government permits, or other indirect effects of activities in the lower 48 states that are potentially reviewable under the “consultation” requirements of the ESA.
And there you have it, why it matters who manages the Federal Government. Because these people are managing it for interests other than our own.
Logic, science tells us one thing, that the loss of sea ice is the reason the polar bear is threatened. And the cause of that loss of sea ice is global warming. And global warming is caused by the unchecked and massive burning of oil and gas, period. So projects that produce oil and gas for eventual burning, are in fact, causes of global warming.
Their argument that the ESA has to show causal effects from specific sources rests on the same thin ice as the polar bears. If the Spotted Owl can have its habitat preserved from deforestation, er, logging, by the ESA, then so too can the Arctic be preserved from further oil patch activities. Remember, people, if it comes from the mouth of a Bush Adminitration official, the odds are it's a corporate serving lie.
Watching the execrable Mr. Laverty lie and refuse to provide even the simplest of answers to straightforward questions is just yet another reason why leaving Bush in power unchallenged by the threat of impeachment was as big a political blunder as unilaterally disbanding the Iraqi Army after our illegal invasion was a military one.
Monday, April 28, 2008
Of course that was just another battle, now they have a new one, an indoor shooting gallery in Otay Mesa. This time they don't have an outraged community, environmentalists, and Native Americans to contend with, just the usual suspects of liberals and Democrats like Bob Filner and Raymond Lutz.
Filner: "This is a very sensitive area when it comes to human and civil rights. We don't need people who have no regard for human and civil rights to be part of that enforcement. It's dangerous, literally, to the lives of my constituents."
People who don't think that a corrupt, irresponsible, and unaccountable corporation enriched by the blood money of the Bush Administration and their illegal war in Iraq should be training our military, or using their position in an effort to privitize border security.
But that is their goal, and has been for a while. But what makes this even more interesting, is that in the process of keeping under the radar for this indoor training center, using front companies (that's one heckuva web site there, Shoaib) and the like, some strange and troubling connections are emerging.
It would appear that Blackwater is in bed with some folks from Pakistan, our great ally in the great war on terror, or not. Gopper loving Pakistani's who also operate in Saudi Arabia with our good friends the 16 out of 19 hijackers (maybe) Saudi's. Isn't that a great combination, the terrorist progenitor Saudi's and the Obama sheltering, A-Bomb exporting Pakistani's?
So there will be more to see here as this newest battle unfolds. Blackwater wants a piece of the border action. There's money to be made, oversight is limited, Boeing made $20 million(?) for off the shelf crap that didn't work, and Iraq/Afghanistan will give them plenty of practice and an opportunity to work out any bugs in their operation. Look at the specifics in that Army contract.
Blackwater has airships, Brown Field is an Airfield, and the contract tasks are perfectly suited to Blackwater.
A third "sample" task order requires the contractor to develop a program to train border police in Afghanistan to guard crossings, prevent the flow of contraband, and search people and vehicles...
As the work statement in the request noted: "Due to the rapid adaptability of the counter-narcoterrorist threat, special federal government spending authorities are available
They're going to fight for this one tooth and nail, a lot harder than they did in Potrero because this is too much up their alley, and given their corruption, could be profitable beyond belief. If the CIA could start the crack cocaine epidemic in the US to support Ronald Reagan's precious Contra's, what would Blackwater do just for money?
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Calling Sadr a coward, while satisfying perhaps, doesn't help bring this important part of the power structure to the table, and it certainly doesn't qualify as diplomatic or a particularly effective insult. No, the only real insult is to the intelligence of everyone who looks at this disaster with any shred of decency or compassion.
For months we've been told the surge is working. For weeks we've been told what a great thing it was for Maliki to move against the Mahdi Army in Basra, even though the results appeared as a stalemate at best. Bush told us it was "a bold decision." He added: "I would say this is a defining moment in the history of a free Iraq." Defining moment indeed, from the boldest and most defining President ever.
Both articles highlight the same thing though, from the CBS piece we get this: An Iraqi reporter for the New York Times, who managed to get into Basra during the fighting, concluded that the thousands of Mahdi Army militiamen that control most of the city remained in charge. "There was nowhere the Mahdi either did not control or could not strike at will," he wrote.
And from McClathcy we get this gem (my bolds):
The Sadrists have angrily accused Maliki's U.S.-backed government of trying to undercut their movement prior to provincial elections in October, when they will likely win many of the Shiite southern provinces from their Shiite rivals in Maliki's government.
[snip] Iraqi government officials have told McClatchy that Maliki, who gained wide support from Sunni officials for taking on the Mahdi Army, went into the fight with no preparation and now is in a battle that he can't extract himself from. U.S. support for Maliki puts U.S. forces on one side of a bloody intra-Shiite showdown.
Yet Rice has come to praise al-Maliki for that choice. And she knows of what she speaks, as she speaks for the Bush Administration, she speaks for the Surge, for Petraeus, for McCain, for Friedman and McConnell and Lieberman and all those who would tell us, for whatever reason, that the Surge is working, that Iraq is ready to stand on their own.
Even though they are fragile and on a knife's edge and refuse to fight and so on. If things were getting better in Iraq, we would be able to withdraw troops. But we aren't, and come October, so it seems, al-Maliki will have been shown the door, if he's lucky, and we will be faced with the choice of initiating another surge (with what and whom and how I can't imagine, really) or seeing the whole Neo-Con raison d'être become a smoking pile of ashes. The latter outcome, while a good thing by itself, could never be worth the cost in American and Iraqi lives that would be lost or changed forever in the process of crushing the Neo's infantile stupidity.
So it remains for the Democrats to do one thing. Don't support Bush's War. Do not give him anything extra, no matter what he says. Because that was the only reason the puppet Nouri al Maliki launched his unplanned excursion in Basra, so that Bush could pressure Congress for more money for Iraq. Given the control the Bushies have over the news from Iraq, by the time the truth would come out of basra, Petraeus and Crocker would have concluded their dog and pony show, and Congress would be expected to give Bush more funding for his surge and the contractors that support it.
Because that, my lonely readers, I can imagine.
Friday, April 18, 2008
What's more important, that Obama does or doesn't wear a flag pin made in China on his lapel, or that Obama is critical of President Carter going to Syria to talk with Hamas leaders?
Wouldn't that be a bit more of an issue you could ask "tough" questions about? The media has decided that their questioning was "tough," that is the Party Line, but is it tough? A tough interview question forces you to think; makes you and the questioner a bit uncomfortable, unpopular even; forces you to give an answer that might reveal something about how you are going to behave on the job, how your actions might cause pain and suffering and harm to other people. I'm pretty certain that questions of symbolism do none of those things.
You know who asks tough questions, or at least he used to? Jim Gray at NBC Sports. Remeber when he grilled Pete Rose on his gambling during the World Series, way back in 1999? That was tough, and unpopular, yet he did the job. Not so Charlie Gibson or Mop Top Stephanopoulos.
And why should those elitists do something unpopular, simething that might harm their precious Q rating? Thus we see the faqilure of the media, the fundamental failure of the whole concept of a free press, and the reasons why the Founding Fathers set up our government the way they did, with checks and balances, not so much that no one group could become more powerful than the others, but so that no one group could escape accountability.
That's why there is Sarbanes-Oxley in the business world, so that no one can create and benefit from a fraud, not without lots of help from other groups outside your own. But the MSM has nothing to act as a check save the whole of the public and the dirty effing hippy bloggers.
So we get the media narrative we get because nobody can touch the media, really. And until someone or thing can reach out and create a counterweight to their self serving crap, nothing is going to change.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Thomas Paine said, "As happy as she please; she hath a blank sheet to write upon," in answer to the question of whether America could be happy under a government of her own.
That notion - of a slate wiped clean of historical encumbrances, of entrenched class hostilities, of religious bigotry, of racial oppression and conflict, of conventions about gender roles... - was heady, exhilarating, and filled with latent dynamite... Millennialist preachers, enslaved Africans, frontier mystics, dockside tars, German speaking privates in Washington's army, mixed-and full blooded Indians, urban craftsmen, indentured servants, agricultural workers, ascetic Quakes, disgruntled women, born-again men and women calling themselves Christ's poor-all became caught up in the inner dynamics of the Revolution.
Today we have the Pope posing in the White House with Bush, later "temper[ing] his praise for American religious tolerance on Wednesday with a warning that U.S. society can quietly undermine Catholicism by reducing all faiths to a lowest common denominator."
"Pope says U.S. society can undermine Catholic faith," that's the title of the piece of the above quote, towhich I say, amen you tired old crone. But given the craven and cloying religiosity this country has embraced, I'd would temper that concern with the parochialism that underlies Bennie's concerns.
The founding fathers wanted Papery out of their business, out of their affairs, out of their governance, in whatever form or version it took, and rightly so. The corrupting, dehumanizing, cowardly impact that religion engenders when it intrudes into the affairs of Men can be seen clearly in the fall from reason and decency that America has taken. Look at what we do, as a nation.
We bombed Vietnam indescriminately, used weapons of mass destruction, (Agent Orange is a chemical warfare weapon and meets the definition of NBC-nuclear, Biological, Chemical), razed villages, killed millions of Vietnamese, then left them to sort things out for themselves, creating an incomprehensible genocide in Cambodia as a drive-by consequence of our policies. We unleashed Death Squads in Central America to battle "Communism" when we really were fighting for a small handful of US Corporations, turned our backs on Rwanda's insanity, started a horrific war between Iran and our creature Iraq, then started two wars against Iraq, the last completely unjustified by any rational and legal means, all to maintain some sort of control over Middle Eastern Oil, we've allowed our once sympathetic ally Israel to succumb to the worst of their fears and wage a brutal counter insurgency type of war against the hapless Palestinians (tactically with plenty of "help" from the Palestinians) and other Arabs, and, then, of course, there is our war, The Great War on Terrorism.
Now we torture rights deprived people, men, children, women. Torture them, with the acknowledgement and justification from the President on down the roster of presidential succession. We spy on our selves, we threaten those who choose to exercise their enumerated and implied rights, we allow religious zealots to manage the affairs of the state, we demand some sort of religious litmus test, unannounced or proclaimed, yet demanded by the media mouthparts from our political herd; and like broken dogs we bow and scrape to their alters
The Pope in the White House. We have failed our founders so prophetically that I cannot imagine a way out. Jefferson and Adams would have rather seen George III in the White House than Pope Ratzenberger, the waving little fascist who managed to find fault with some of the actions of the church, but certainly not with the leaders of the church or their precious Codas and Communiques and Bishops. No, rest assured, my fallen American friends, the fault for the Child Molesting Priests lies with us, not the church. Their ravenous institution takes precedent over their people, for it is their institution that sustains them, that bleeds the people so that they might live to feed off of our earthly shells.
Where we once swore to protect the Constitution because the Constitution was the instrument and guarantor of those rights enobled by the hand of Thomas Jefferson in our Declaration of Independence, now we have become like the popes, destroying and torturing and killing to maintain the facade of Rights, even while plainly, clearly, our government has abandoned any belief in those concepts.
So maybe all of those jesus lovers who swear up and down how a life without Christ is Hell, or whatever clever little catchphrase they choose to demean and belittle the un-persuaded, have got it backwards. Maybe life without their crap would be a better thing all around. No humiliation on your knees, kissing rings, whatever; no giving up your responsibility to gods will; no, just a firmer grasp that YOUR actions have meaning and impact; that what YOU do is what matters, not what lip service you pay to give yourself cover and license to do as you choose regardless of the harm.
Do you really think that the choices of George W Bush and Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld and Colin Powell and Condi Rice and John Yoo and Doug Feith and Ari Fleisher and Monica Goodling and Rachel Pelouse and all the other myriad pack of charlatans and sychophants granted to us by Sandra Day O'Connor are following the precepts they so loudly proclaim as Christs and so holy? Would Christ tolerate Abu Ghraib? A war against Afghanist and and Iraq when a vigorous police action might have rounded up bin Laden 7 years ago? The Patriot Act?
No, i don't hink so. No, I think, when you look at the evidnece, we'd be a lot better off without the religion, a whole lot better off. The evidence is hard to refute.
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Not to mention that we are torturing people in the name of freedom, which of course only really works in the worlds of Orwell or Vonnegut.
ABC News, the AP, the New York Times, they all have reported that Vice President Cheney, then Secretary of State Colin Powell, current Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Attorney General John Ashcroft, CIA Director Goerge Tenet, other high ranking Bush Administration officials, all knew exactly, exactly, how the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, was torturing prisoners.
I point out Sen. Keenedy's comments: "Who would have thought that in the United States of America in the 21st century, the top officials of the executive branch would routinely gather in the White House to approve torture?" Kennedy said in a statement. "Long after President Bush has left office, our country will continue to pay the price for his administration's renegade repudiation of the rule of law and fundamental human rights."
The United States of America, the nation that gave the world the Declaration of Independence with all of those fundamental rights of man, the United States of America which claims to be a nation of laws, not of men, the United States of America, which once strove to realize the notion that we are all equal in the eyes of the law, that nation now tortures people, mostly innocent people we all know, and everybody from the Vice President on down knows all about it and sanctions it.
But of course George W Bush doesn't know anything about it. But it's okay, because impeachment is off the table, and that single declaration of yours is protecting the country from what, exactly?
What could be worse than crimes against humanity? What could be worse than the Vice President usurping the power of the presidency to promote and advance HIS own agenda? Either Bush knew, or he abdicated his powers to Cheney. In either case he has violated the laws of the Constitution.
And I point out to you that the oath you swore, the same oath that Bush swore, was to that Constitution, and nothing else.
Yet you are too afraid to do what the law demands, what the law and an increasing number of Americans are coming to realize is the only way we can begin to restore the status of our nation as once again, a nation of laws, where all people are created equal.
Sunday, April 6, 2008
Well, I broke out my copy of "Northrop Frye on Shakespeare" and was refreshing my mind on the play, its hard to keep the subtexts and what we should know going in when we can hardly remember which way to drive to work in the morning, you know.
But this comment from Frye struck me, talking about the ending of King John, "If England to itself do rest but true"
[W]hich in the context means partly keeping the line of succession intact. You might not find this particular issue personally very involving, but the general principle is that all ideologies sooner or later get to be circumvented by cynicism and defended by hysteria, and that principle will meet you everywhere you turn in a world driven crazy by ideologies, like ours.
Could Cheney and Rove and Rumsfeld be any more cynical, and because of that, would not their reaction to displays of decency and honest though ill-advised attempts at compromise by the left only increase their cynicism? Clearly, yes.
Frye goes on and postulates that Richard, a lawful ruler, created a power vacuum because of his weakness and/or incompetence. Where a lawful, legally in power, but ruthless and unscrupulous ruler would not do so, ala Richard Nixon, a creature like Bush does. How fortunate that the power vacuum was filled without our notice by that 3rd Richard, Big Time Richard Cheney.
That's the central theme of the play, the conflict that arises from the weakness of the king. And the result is war and turmoil and divided loyalties, much as it is today. But who is our Bolingbroke? Who is going to seize the day with humilty yet boldness? That is the question.
Would that George W Bush had the depth of character, the wisdom, the grace, to think this:
"For God's sake let us sit upon the ground and tell sad stories of the death of kings:
How some have been depos'd, some slain in war,
Some haunted by the ghosts they have depos'd,
Some poisin'd by their wives, some sleeping kill'd,
All murder'd-for within the hollow crown
That rounds the mortal temples of a king
Keeps Death his court; and there the antic sits,
Scoffing his state and grinning at his pomp;
To monarchize, be fear'd, and kill with looks;
Infusing him with self and vain conceit,
As if this flesh which walls about our life
Were brass impregnable; and humour'd thus,
Comes at the last, and with a little pin
Bores through his castle wall, and farewell king!"
But I think not. At least the hysteria is starting to fade, as the decentralized nature of our country weakens the power centers of de jure and de facto presidents and corporate retainers. As the corps shed their jobs, they forget that they also lose their influence on the people as well. The vain conceits become tiresome and mocked, the fear of the unknown terrorists fades as the concerns of rising gas prices and job losses and bankruptcy replaces ideologies with realities.
Soon we will be rid of George W Bush and his insane masters. What we replace them with, and what we do to pick up the pieces, will tell the truth about ourselves as a people and a nation.
I hope its a good story, not a Titus Andronicus story.
Monday, March 24, 2008
“Also, under the new terms, JPMorgan will bear the risk of the first $1 billion of losses if any of Bear Stearns' assets go bad. The Federal Reserve will run the risk for the remaining $29 billion, instead of being on the hook for all of the first $30 billion in losses, as was originally announced March 16.”
Well, that’s reassuring! And a classic in understated reassurance as well. Instead of being on the hook for 100 percent of the $30 billion, we only need to worry about 97% of it! Woo freakin’ hoo!!!
I should’ve known to buy some shares when it didn’t stay at $2 but was up around $4-5 last week. Now what we need to figure out is what this new deal means within the framework of the original deal. Was that original deal just a pure PR move to manipulate the markets as a calming gesture, was JPM greenmailing the taxpayers by demanding that absurd $2 share price, or was that a patriotic move by JPM to help ease the troubled financial markets, and just incidentally almost bagged a billion dollar savings on the deal?
Or was it as good a demonstration as you will ever see of why the almighty Free Market is not infallible, not free, not the answer to our financial woes. Because what I see in this debacle is fear, pure unadulterated fear, manifested as cowardice, a fear that drives a $22 billion market cap corporation a year ago to $237 million a week ago.
The fear that somebody is selling so I better sell too, until that panic selling drives a company over the brink on nothing but that oh so wonderful sense of the Market. The Fed stampeded Bear Stearns to accept JPMs offer because the Bushies are terrified of what will happen if the stock market collapses under the weight of their laisse faire regulation, the greed and corruption of their Wall Street cronies and supporters.
If the American People really take a hit because of the failure of the scams and schemes they have allowed and encouraged, BushCo can forget about privatizing Social Security, they can forget about hegemony in the Middle East, they can forget about a Presidential Library, because all of their deeds will become exposed in the unraveling of the American Economy.
Of course we'll be screwed and all that, we can forget about healthcare for all Americans, and retirement, and ponies, and stuff, but we will all know the truth about Bush's economic plan, and the value of a Harvard MBA.
Monday, March 17, 2008
Well, the ACLU and the EFF think otherwise, and I suggest that you support both of these organizations if you want to reclaim our power, the power that people like John Adams fought for his whole life, the power of Liberty and Freedom, the power laid out in our Declaration of Independence and enshrined in our Constitution.
Think about this charge from Barry Steinhardt then give and support these two groups who are leading the Fight against this gross violation of our rights, fighting directly against the Bush Administration and its Justice Department, every rotten stinking Republican in Congress, and the masses of ignorant and frightened Americans full of fear and anger and misguided loyalty to their "protectors" on the right.
"Year after year, we have warned that our great nation is turning into a surveillance society where our every move is tracked and monitored," said Barry Steinhardt, Director of the ACLU’s Technology and Liberty Project. "Now we have before us a program that appears to do that very thing. It brings together
numerous programs that we and many others have fought for years, and it confirms what the ACLU has been saying the NSA is up to: mass surveillance of Americans."
Monday, March 10, 2008
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
Christ, if it weren't so complicating for the general election, the hate that the bloggers on the left spew against Hillary Clinton would be amusingly pathetic.
Well, it is pretty sorry, I have to say.
You would think that the presidency of Bill Clinton was the worst presidency ever until Bush came along, that nothing good was accomplished during the eight years of Bill Clinton's administration at all. That Haiti started moving towards some kind of normalcy until the GOP Congress screwed that all up, that never happened.
Something about budget surplusses, I guess that never happend, and taxing the rich, that never happened either.
That peace deal between Israel and Palestine, that never happened either, or that an Israeli NEO-CON lunatic idiot sabotaged that deal as well.
Never bailed out our southern neighbor and made a profit in the process, that didn't happen, nope.
Oh yes, there was NAFTA, but the Republican Congress keeping the critical side deals on labor and the environment from getting properly made, that never happened either.
Well, you get my drift.
Personally, I don't think he's suitable for the job because I don't think he's got the experience. Being President is as far as you can get from being a precinct organizer, and being an agent for some amorphus change isn't experience or reality. If he wins the nomination, well, he'll have proved he's got some chops, then it will be up to all Democrats to get him elected, up to all Democrats to put pressure on him to be the progressive agent of change you all think he is.
Frankly, all this talk about working with Republicans casts serious doubt on his chops as far as I'm concerned, but time will tell.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Why, just last week, DHS Chief Brownie, er Michael Chertoff, said "I have personally witnessed the value of this system, refering to Boeings $20 million boondoggle of a virtual fence.
Boondoggle I say?
Boondoggle indeed. Note the dates on these articles. 2/22/08 and 2/28/08. You go from A high-tech "virtual fence" on part of the U.S. border with Mexico is finally ready for service and the technology can fight illegal crossings all along the frontier, the Homeland Security chief said, to The Bush administration has scaled back plans to quickly build a "virtual fence" along the U.S.-Mexico border, delaying completion of the first phase of the project by at least three years and shifting away from linked, tower-mounted sensors and communications and surveillance gear, [DHS] officials said yesterday.
That's got to be some kind of record for incompetence, just in the time frame. But it gets better. The physical part of the 700 mile fence BushCo wants to hack across our southern border is going to cost $4 million a mile, but, "The total cost is not yet known," said Richard M. Stana, the GAO's director of homeland security and justice issues, told members of the subcommittee, because DHS officials "do not yet know the type of terrain where the fencing is to be constructed, the materials to be used, or the cost to acquire the land."
They don't know the type of terrain? Terrain? What they're going to use to build the fence, and how much the land will cost? I'm simply not astonished, I picture one of Rummy's 20 something running this project too, after their successes in Iraq.
This article leaves me with many questions, and amply demonstrates the need to remove the Republicans from control of the government. This was just another politicized operation run by political hacks, cronies, and "operatives" from the cesspool of Karl Roves world, a photo op PR campaign to justify the $7.6 Billion they planned to give to their corporate sponsors, while showering us and the media with their yet another heckuva job handjob.
This pretty well encapsulates what voting for republicans in general, and Bush in particular, has given us.
He added that the system was developed with "minimal input" from Border Patrol agents, resulting in an unworkable "demonstration project" instead of a operating pilot system. He blamed the DHS for acting too hastily in trying to deliver a working pilot by last June.
A nongovernment source familiar with the project said that the Bush administration's push to speed the project during last year's immigration debate led Boeing to deploy equipment without enough testing or consultation.
Those running the project "basically took equipment, [an erector set], put it on towers and put it out there without any testing as such" because of the tight deadline.
Feel safe yet?
Monday, February 25, 2008
Doing a rough calculus, based on these statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, that works out to around 450,000 more people unemployed.
So if you're one of those folks, you're just a drop and so sorry. To put that number in some perspective, that's a city the size of Sacramento or Cleveland or Kansas City, more than Omaha or Minneapolis or Miami FL.
Just a little statistics for your Monday morning.
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Thank goodness the bloggers aren't running the country, it would be like having a petulent, immature, loud mouthed bully running things.
Oh, that's what we have now.
It would seem that a lot of people are forgetting themselves in their passion for their candidate. I agree that Mark Penn is questionable at best, Hillary shows regrettable judgement in letting him run her campaign, advise, I know, what with his book tour in the middle of her campaign, and someone over at Booman I think suggested that you should never have a bipartisan shop running a political campaign, I agree, which it appears Penn has.
eriposte posted on this Clinton bashing. To me, it's overzealous Obama supporters lifting out of context the whole Clinton presidency, which e encapsulates her pretty well. It's something I've written about many times. What can be said of Bill Clinton can be said about hillary as well. I highlight this graph:
What is fascinating to me is that I sometimes get arguments defending Obama along the lines of "well, he's not doing much more than what Bill Clinton did in the 1990s". Actually, what Obama is doing is strategically much worse for the progressive movement than what Bill Clinton did. Bill Clinton acted as a "triangulator" during an era of conservative dominance and when fighting Republicans (like Gingrich) were on their ascendance. After Clinton's failure to pass universal healthcare, skittish Democrats were afraid of Clinton pushing for very liberal policies and Republicans went on a full-frontal attack, that included blocking legislation (even shutting down Government - a tactic that Clinton fought them on and won) and non-stop investigations against him and Hillary Clinton. During most of that era, the media was firmly in the Republican camp and hated the Clintons and manufactured stories about them, and there was no real "fighting progressive" movement online as we have today, to support and defend progressive Democrats. It was in that era that Clinton tried to keep the Presidency in the hands of the Democratic party by appealing to Independents and Republicans - and interestingly, despite some of the bad Bills he passed, he got through numerous progressive Bills because he and Sen. Clinton knew they would not take the right's attacks and obstruction lying down.
We forget our history at our peril.
Monday, February 18, 2008
Then it was this piece via Atrios, and the particularly rancid comment thread that spent a lot of time trashing John Edwards for being a politician I guess. Maybe these were really gopper trolls, after all, Politico is a DC Beltway creature.
Who knows, it's hard to say on the Internets for sure. But I will say this, again and again. There is absolutely no justification for a liberal minded person to not vote for the Democratic nominee for president, none whatsoever. The republicans are greedy, selfish, little creatures, YET THEY ALWAYS SEEM TO VOTE FOR THEIR PARTY.
Time for Demcorats to step up to the plate.
Hey, how about the Congress, eh? Not passing that fear mongered FISA bill, letting it expire? That's what I'm talking about, Nancy! Good job, Steny! Way to pull together as a team, and stick it to the man, man!
That's why you vote for the Democrats, because just when you think that they're hopeless, they do the right thing, the right way, for the right reasons.
Monday, February 4, 2008
Thank the Great Flying Spaghetti Monster the "Patriots" lost, I don't think I could have stomached the endless peons to the perfect Patriots and their brilliant coach, their BMOC Brady, the whole corporate worshipping of the doing whatever it takes to get the job done Belichicks, i.e. industrial espionage, you're not trying hard enough if you don't get caught now and then.
I like football, I can take spectacle and corporatization up to a certain point, but the NFL is just really making it near impossible to enjoy the game. That's why I always root for the least profitable outcomes. But you have to hand it to the marketeers and corpses of the NFL, getting people to voluntarily watch their commercials, that's some good work on their part.
I wish the Democrats would take a little lesson from the whole soulless affair though, and market themselves a bit more relentlessly. And their allies like MoveOn, the Unions, the Lawyers, and the Environmentalists.
You know, instead of letting the corps and their agents paint MoveOn as some radical bunch of liberal crazies, instead of getting smeared as ambulance chasers and derided as being more concerned with the fate of the speckled red titmouse snail than with people, it would be a good idea if we all spent some of the money raised telling people what we do and why, how perfectly mundane and normal most of us are, and some practical reasons why liberal issues are important to our daily lives.
In the long run it would help all of us, regardless of the candidate or office involved.
As for Super Tuesday, I'm voting for Hillary Clinton, and my next choice would be Barack Obama, since my guy John Edwards has quit the campaign. And to anybody reading this who thinks that either candidate is unacceptable in November, would you prefer that John McCain were there picking his appointees from the same gene pool that gave us Michael Brown and Stephen Johnson and Lurita Doan and Harriet Meiers and Condi Rice?