Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Border Security

It seems like just yesterday that Bush was telling us how he was going to make us safe and secure like 2 year olds nestled in their mothers busom, by building us a fence to keep all those terrorists that keep snaking over our southern border, you know, those scary folks that wash our dishes and pick our lettuce and clean our motel rooms and all of the other things they do that don't involve unimagined Saudi Arabians flying jetliners into buildings. [My bolds throughout.]

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

Just a Small Change

That's what Steve Leesman said this morning on CNBC, refering to the report by the NABE on the unemployment outlook for 2009. (Not in the article, but on the teevee report graphic-DGR) From 4.9 to 5.2%, just a drop really.

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

Circular Firing Squad

At least on the blogs. Niw it seems that TalkLeft is a bunch of traitorous assholes. Jeralyn for chrissakes. Karl Rove is laughing his fat, pasty, ass off at the mighty bloggers right now, I guarantee it.

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

Do We Deserve To Win? Internets Out Of Control?

Those are the questions I have to ask myself after reading some blogs and comments lately. First it was a thread over at the Left Coaster, take your pick, with formerly agreeable lefties just wailing away at each other and the candidates for all their failings and lies and grotesque imperfections.

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

The Lull

between Super Sunday and Super Tuesday. They call it Monday.

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?