Monthly Archives: November 2006

EZSmirkzz 3.4.Z 11/19/06 – 11/26/06 archive

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Cease Fire closer

Hopes for peace as Hamas agrees to truce

Palestinian militants have agreed to stop firing rockets into Israel in return for an Israeli withdrawal from Gaza and a halt to targetted killings, it emerged last night.

Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian President, telephoned Ehud Olmert, the Israeli Prime Minister, and told him that all Palestinian factions had agreed to a ceasefire from 6am this morning.

Another American Conservative Magazine Article

brought to you by the vast left wing of the vaster and vaster bloggernet;

Good-bye to All That

Because the Democrats and liberals are in disarray!, disarray!, I tell ya!

No Wonder Democrats Won, All is Lost!

Democrats Split on Ethics Enforcement;

Head for the hills! The Democratic Caucus in the House is; (divide/split/at war with/disagreeing,) having been out of power for oh, the last twelve years, must suddenly become the party of Delays, and any, any discussion of any, any prognosticators inside byline on any, any chairmanship over ethical concerns means of course, many other internal problems.

Either that or the pundiotry has the gas.

Josh has it right I think;

Now, I’ve noticed in some emails and on some blogs that some are saying that because we’ve been reporting on the ethics cloud over Hastings that this must really mean we’re really secretly pulling for Harman to hold the post. That must be a convenient read for some people. But, alas, not a correct one. TPMmuckraker is a different sort of site than TPM. It focuses on reporting, not opinion. My issue with the intel chairmanship, however, has nothing to do with Jane Harman. I just think it’s a bad idea to have someone chair the intel committee who has previously been impeached and convicted by Congress for corrupt acts.

That goes for any particular individual Congresspep. I don’t think anyone in the blogosphere seriously wants to tell Pelosi who should go where, except maybe on the other side of the spitoon that is, but I do think the leftosphere wants it to be done right and that means being effective in obtaining the goals of the people, who elected them, and a serious consideration of ethics was a part of it.

That last statement of course is a loaded statement meant to show the split in the, (Democratic/left/nutosphere/not tenth dimensional reporters/journalists/commentator/FOX News Consultants,) over just who is responsible for voting all those votes, cheering all those cheers, jeering all those jerks, and generally raising mayhem and consternation amongst the overly stuffed turkeys in the MSM, whose prognostications will be re-served, (next year/six months/FU/RSN/2008,) as they stand athwart the thwarted, just as they alway have.

Let’s get Silent on Social Security too

Social Security Reform – Enough to Make One Curse PGL makes the rounds on the next round of the great bamboozle;

When Max wasn’t cursing at Lori Montgomery, he managed to draw a neat graph showing “costs” as a percent of GDP (slowly rising) and “the drain on the non-Social Security budget” also as a percent of GDP, which actually starts off with non-interest surpluses from now until 2018. But pay close attention to Max’s green line, which he calls the “money legally owed to the program”. It seems the Social Security Trust Fund continues to grow and best yet – earns interest. OK – after a while, it starts to decline as the baby boomers take the retirement benefits out that they’ve been putting into the program for decades.

Nothing new here folks, just the same old shame old WaPo.

Hope springs eternal

Olmert to Abbas: We’ll end raids if rocket fire stops

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Saturday told Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas that the Israel Defense Forces would end military operations if Palestinian militants uphold a pledge made earlier in the day to halt Qassam rocket fire.

Olmert made the remarks to Abbas during a telephone call in which the PA chairman informed the prime minister of the offer to end rocket strikes in return for a cessation of military activity in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

We can all pray for that to happen.

Has the Left really left?

Factors in Our Colossal Mess

We can rule out the Left, that artifact of past history. Socialism ceased being a real option long ago, perhaps as early as 1914. Since I have just published an entire book, After Socialism, and detailed its innumerable myopias and faults, I need not say more than that it is no longer is a threat to anybody. The fakirs who lead the parties who still use “socialism” as a justification for their existence have only abolished defeats at the hands of the people from the price capitalism pays for its growing follies….

from Gabriel Kolko, looks into the travails of unchallenged capitalism.

Yeah, We’ll escalate, and then…and then,,,

Go Big” Sure, but with what?

So — If we want to augment the force in Iraq we will need to send more units. Do we have them? Yes. We could send regular units (active duty) back again no matter how recently they have been in Iraq or Afghanistan. We could send national guard and reserve units back on the same basis. We could do that but the force we send that way would have to rotated out of the war in a year or so. With whom would we replace those units? We would already have “screwed up” the rotational queue by pulling units that had a place in the queue out of line to send them back early.

Some people express surprise that the ground forces can not generate a larger number of combat brigades/regiments than they do given the “in service” manpower. In fact, the Army has been re-structuring itself for years to do just that and it is as a result of that re-structuring that the present level of force can be maintained in Iraq/Afghanistan. About 6/7ths of all available active duty combat soldiers and marines are now committed to the war mission. They are either “there,” “just back” or in training to go back.

So as Atrios has noted, from TPMCafe, McCain;
jumped for the saddle,
saddle wasn’t there,

You can finish the rest of it. Think of it as an interactive internetter inside joke.

There is no Peace

which keeps the rest of us working.

I can’t help but note that Dick is out of his bunker and in Saudi Arabia telling the King about the necessity of moving quickly against Iran before the American people throw his administration out on their ears, (which given the location of their heads, allows for the more earthy expression, “ass,” one would suppose.) I’m sure Dick is telling His Majesty what a revolting anti-monarchical group of people the American left is, and our animosity towards all things Saudi, rather than the more mundane and accurate American response to a Saudi Arabian monarchy, “eh.”

Josh has noted the “silence of George,” which is a pretty dangerous development itself, since if the President isn’t talking he may be thinking, or worse, doing something.

But I don’t hear the president. Not his voice. The one thing that’s been a constant over the last three and a half years is the president as the voice of American Iraq policy. Whether he’s the author of it is another question entirely. But the voice and pitbull of it, always.

I can see a TV service upgrade coming.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Don’t Wrangle with Rangle

Rangel says he will introduce bill to reinstate military draft

Look I don’t care if Mr. Rangle introduces his legislation so long as he deals with the reality of being in the majority, and likely to have all the authority he needs to do what he wishes to do without the bill. I advocated the same thing;

He said having a draft would not necessarily mean everyone called to duty would have to serve. Instead, “young people (would) commit themselves to a couple of years in service to this great republic, whether it’s our seaports, our airports, in schools, in hospitals,” with a promise of educational benefits at the end of service.

in 2003 as well, as with the additional benefit of teaching our young people the Constitution, while having finished up Boot, ‘A’ school, ‘B’ school, OJT, and other necessary training.

As far as I am concerned it is one thing to offer tactical defensive responses to an illegal war, and quite another to make those same tactics a strategy for either ending the war or winning elections in the future. The Democrats need to establish their ground game too, and you can’t always run and throw left.

An all volunteer military gives those most directly affected the option of voting with their feet.

Are You Serious??~~!!

US teen fires up fusion reactor

A 17-year-old US student has, after two years’ work and 1,000 hours of research, managed to achieve nuclear fusion in the basement of his parents’ Oakland Township home, The Detroit Free Press reports.

And you’re sweating Padilla?

UK Rolls out Roadside fingerprinting, proctology examines next

Police pilot roadside fingerprinting

Ten police forces in England and Wales are to test handheld fingerprint checking devices on the roadside.

The forces’ automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) teams, who already cross check vehicle number plates against databases, will be able to verify a person’s identity within five minutes without having to take them to a police station.

Those without drivers licenses will be subjected to a rectal exam, to press the necessity of obtaining one.

Just go catch up

I don’t know where to begin to tell you start reading, except at the top.

I am so glad the election is over.

Welcome to the Hotel Americana

You can check out any time you want,
but you can never leave,

I understand that the Attorney General of the United States said last week that the problem with a particular ruling by a federal judge in the Middle West was that the man was using an undesirable and dangerous definition of “freedom.” Maybe this is more of the same stuff?
Pat Lang
——————————————————————–
http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getpage.cgi?position=all&page=40035&dbname=2006_register
The Department of Homeland Security proposed new rules back in July that would fundamentally undermine the right of American citizens to travel abroad. Public carriers–airlines, cruise lines, even fishing boats–will be required to submit the names of all passengers to Homeland Security prior to departure and to obtain permission from Homeland Security to board those passengers. These new rules will take effect January 14, 2007.

!@#$% Lefty Bloggers

Let’s Talk Turkey

DarkSyde is already talking turkey, educating the populous.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Noted

The Pelosi-Harman Fault Line

I agree with Steve that expertise should trump patronage,

In a world without fences,

Who needs Gates?

We protested the conclusions of the NIE, citing evidence such as the Iranian government’s repression of the communist Tudeh Party, the expulsion of all Soviet economic advisors and a number of Soviet diplomats who were KGB officers, and a continuing public rhetoric that chastised the “godless” communist regime as the “Second Satan” after the United States.

Despite overwhelming evidence, our analysis was suppressed. At a coordinating meeting, we were told that Gates wanted the language to stay in as it was, presumably to help justify “improving” our strained relations with Tehran through the Iran-Contra weapons sales.

Personally I’m all in favor of using the expertise of tainted officials, MoCs, and industry, but I wonder why in the world anyone would press their luck with the issue of ethics reform still fresh in some of the electorates minds.

Peace to You

Act 15:22-29 Then it seemed good to the apostles and the elders, with all the assembly, to send chosen men from them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas, Judas having been surnamed Barsabas, and Silas, leading men among the brothers, writing by their hand these things:

The apostles and the elders and the brothers, to those throughout Antioch, and Syria, and Cilicia, brothers from the nations: Greeting. Since we heard that some of us having gone out have troubled you with words, unsettling your souls, saying, Be circumcised and keep the Law, to whom we gave no command; it seemed good to us, having become of one mind, to send chosen men to you along with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, men who have given up their souls on behalf of the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Therefore, we have sent Judas and Silas, they by word also announcing the same things. For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to put not one greater burden on you than these necessary things: To hold back from idol sacrifices, and blood, and that strangled, and from fornication; from which continually keeping yourselves, you will do well. Be prospered.

Act 15:30-39 Then they indeed being let go, they went to Antioch. And gathering the multitude, they delivered the letter. And reading it, they rejoiced at the comfort. And Judas and Silas, themselves also being prophets, exhorted the brothers through much speech, and confirmed them. And continuing for a time, they were let go with peace from the brothers to the apostles. But it seemed good to Silas to remain. And Paul and Barnabas stayed in Antioch, teaching and announcing the gospel, the Word of the Lord, with many others also. And after some days Paul said to Barnabas, Indeed, having turned back, let us look after our brothers throughout every city in which we announced the Word of the Lord, how they are holding it. But Barnabas purposed to take John with them, the one having been called Mark. But Paul thought it well not to take that one with them, he having withdrawn from them from Pamphylia, and not going with them to the work. Then there was sharp feeling, so as to separate them from each other. And taking Mark, Barnabas sailed away to Cyprus.

Act 15:40 But having chosen Silas, Paul went out, being commended to the grace of God by the brothers. And he went through Syria and Cilicia, making the assemblies strong.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Reads today

Really I do have time for that;

We’re really deep into the primitive brainstem phase of our long national nightmare of presidential denial and mendacity on Iraq. Poetically, politically and intellectually it’s appropriate that Henry Kissinger is now along for the ride.

Josh Marshall

The basic content of what Obama is saying, divorced from the larger debate, is fine, but as to how it plays in the current debate it’s not fine. It allows us to wait around one more Friedman… and then something will happen. Except it won’t happen. Troops will not start coming home 4-6 months from now. And, most likely, 4-6 months from now Obama won’t be saying “bring them home now,” though I’ve put him on my little calendar and will make sure to check back then and let you know.

-Atrios

With the “bipartisan” Baker Commission trolling for a solution to the Iraqmire, the White House running a separate review of the situation, and the Pentagon trying to figure out what to do next, one cannot help but wonder whether the main thrust of current American policy in Iraq is launching as many lead balloons as possible before the 110th Congress is sworn in.

by Meteor Blades

As world attention is fixed on events in the Middle East, particularly the continuing meltdown of the American occupation in Iraq, another crisis brews. It is the coming showdown between the U.S. and Russia, centered in the former Soviet republic of Georgia. Relations between Russia and Georgia, never good, degenerated recently when members of Georgian opposition parties were arrested, along with four Russian military officers, and charged with espionage. The Russians retaliated by ending commercial ties, deporting Georgians living in Russia, and closing the border.

At Antiwar

and hopefully this too;

Charles Rangel thinks that having a society where human beings own each other is perfectly okay as long as the slaves are destroying lives and property for the state rather than producing things for private plantation owners.

From USA Today:

“Americans would have to sign up for a new military draft after turning 18 if the incoming chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee has his way.

Ok Charlie, Bwahahaha that’ll fly.

Take it Easy

I know most of us are aware of the difference between stating one’s political position, or a party platform, and governing from it. Personally I think I’m somewhere between Billmon, Atrios, and Raimondo, which is my own personal take on differing points of view, but I’m not above arguing for their points of view that I disagree with in detail, or whatever, if it can specifically address an opinion that I disagree with completely.

How to reconcile their positions into any governing coalition at this point would be ludicrous in the max, but that doesn’t preclude it from being done either, or including Southern Democrats, which Duncan has noted and linked to the abandon the South strategy. The neocon hegemony rising from the ashes of Iraq in the Democratic Party is also a very real possibility, so nothings really changed so much as the moorings of various interest groups within the parties.

The Democratic Party cannot discount the disaffection of the coalitions within the Republican Party with each other, or of the current Congress, nor of the “mushy” middle, in the next Congress. How much the next Congress impedes the President in foreign and domestic affairs is an equation without defined variables at this point. There are a lot of mostly right policy options available for consideration by those who must govern. Those who govern must be given room to do so, however, and so if that is moderate position of mine, then so be it. Sometimes you have to be an American second, if your a Christian, and a Democrat or Republican third. They are all very distinct things that make the sum worth more than the parts.

I have mixed feelings about not monitoring traffic because I fear I will cease to write what I think, and while everyone wants to have some readership if one is a writer of blogs and such, I know my egotism a little too well to allow it any more room than I have already allowed. All in all I have greater respect for those I’ve read, and linked to, than I do my own work. Room for improvement is a necessity I hope. I hate to wind up like Carville on Dean, lost on Route 66 in a Star Trek world.

Will the last last pusher leaving Iraq

Please bury the dead?

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Note to myself

I’ll be spending the next two weeks reacquainting myself with a USN sailor, his wife, and son. Blogging will be a less frequent. (We’ll see.)

Torture R US

David Kurtz has an interesting thread going on US torture policy, which is actually what it is, a policy of torture.

As I said, CH was just one of several readers who had emailed to suggest I was living in a bubble. Pointing to the School of the Americas and the dirty wars in Latin America, they noted that U.S.-sanctioned torture has been going on for far longer than I was willing to acknowledge. You might call those the “where have you been?” crowd.

Read more here;

TPM Reader MN was a Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape instructor: and TPM Reader GS is a graduate of survival school:

How do you fit this into your sermons there, padre?

Update: Alberto thinks you’re a grave threat.

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EZSmirkzz 3.4.Z 11/12/06 – 11/19/06 archive

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Just in case you haven’t been paying attention

Pelosi

And quite rightly, Pelosi understands that the prosecution of this war, the continued American involvement in the carnage of a civil war, the utterly pointless deaths, the gut-wrenching lack of positive alternatives as long as Bush is in office, the madness of American exceptionalism and pretensions to military/economic empire, the unspeakable corruption and cronyism, and the torture … Without a doubt, the Bush/Iraq war is the pre-eminent moral issue facing the country right now and the foreseeable future.

Let’s hope that she and her caucus continue to have the courage to speak up and more importantly, act, on their principles.

Mr. Bush’s War is going to continue, unabated until he leaves office or someone comes up with a way to declare victory and come home. Until Americans focus is on what is best for the remainder of the Iraqi people and not on what is best for American public esteem in the deluded eyes of Americans there won’t be a solution. Mr. Bush is doing and always will do, what makes George W Bush look good. If anyone can come up with a way to get out of Iraq and W looks good doing it speak on up, and we’ll be out of there in heart beat.

The election did exactly what the Constitutional process was designed for it to do, which is allow the people to express dissent at the ballot box that the political class can then either absorb or deflect between the election and installation of the new Congress. Anyone who thinks that the Constitution isn’t weighted to be conservative and resistant to democratic tendencies fails to understand the document.

Given what has happened in the last week, I couldn’t be happier with the developments, since I didn’t think a stronger antiwar statement needed to be made than the election itself provided, as for all intents and purposes, thus endeth the peoples power.

If Mr. Hoyer is now a much higher profile operator than previously then good, a little sunlight on the mushrooms of the House might help in the ethics situation, and I am certain give other insights into how individual Democrats in power think the new politics as usual ought to differ from the old.

For the moment I am more interested in getting some relief to the people who have been most adversely affected by six years of corruption, incompetence, greed and influence peddling, corrosion of Constitutional rights, and fear mongering.

Mr. Murtha would have been hamstrung, IMO, from acting effectively in some of these areas, the antiwar efforts would have suffered from these diversions, and Mr. Bush would still pursue “duck and cover.” In the end the moderate and conservatives got a half a loaf in the Democratic leadership, where one would hope debate and principles would overcome political posturing, or as we say around here, making oneself a target.

The Democrat’s political capital will be better spent pursuing progressive changes where they will do the American people the most good on the domestic front, since Iraq and foreign policy will be the topic de jour in 2008, and in case you haven’t been paying attention, George W Bush doesn’t listen to anyone anyway.

I’m afraid that we have merely felt the earthquake in 2006, the tsunami is coming in 2008 if this Congress fails to respond in ways that it can while having to defend themselves for failing to act forcefully enough by the antiwar left and right.

It is no longer just the President between digby’s pincher of the escalate de-escalate factions of the Democratic party last year, but now the Congress is in the middle as well now, with the centrists and moderates forming a third pincher. That is where we were two weeks ago, without voter registration drives and grassroots work at the precinct level needing to be done.

In the end the Pelosi-Hoyer arm waving is just that, by the pundits to boot, who will be whistling whatever tune is popular in two years too. They’re as predictable as George.

More clues for TTT

Violence in Iraq Called Increasingly Complex

“No single narrative is sufficient to explain all the violence we see in Iraq today,” Gen. Michael V. Hayden, the CIA director, told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Wednesday.

Attempting to describe the enemy, Lt. Gen. Michael D. Maples, the DIA director, listed “Iraqi nationalists, ex-Baathists, former military, angry Sunni, Jihadists, foreign fighters and al-Qaeda,” who create an “overlapping, complex and multi-polar Sunni insurgent and terrorist environment.” He added that “Shia militias and Shia militants, some Kurdish pesh merga, and extensive criminal activity further contribute to violence, instability and insecurity.

Juan Cole points out;

But the chief of the country’s clandestine intelligence agency? He’s telling it like it is. He revealed that daily attacks in Iraq are up from 70 in January to 100 last spring after the Samarra bombing, and then to 180 a day last month. He also said that there were only 1300 foreign al-Qaeda volunteers fighting in Iraq, whereas the Sunni Arab guerrilla movement was “in the low tens of thousands” strong. If there are 40,000 guerrillas, then “al-Qaeda” is only 3.25 percent of the “insurgency.” That is why Dick Cheney’s and other’s Chicken Little talk about al-Qaeda taking over Sunni Arab Iraq is overblown, at least at the moment. Most Iraqi fundamentalists are Salafis, which is a different sort of movement than al-Qaeda. And the Baathists and ex-military and tribal cells cannot be disregarded by any means.

All of this was news in oh, 65 BC or so, but made news more recently

What gibberish. In fact, as realists from all sides of the political spectrum, including the president’s father, argued before the war started, taking Baghdad was inevitably going to stoke the always smoldering nationalist and religious fires of the Middle East that now engulf Iraq with apocalyptic fury.

So one would also note, one, The Washingtton Post still has reporters, two, that the American left and American right both seem to have the same conclusions as Mr. Pincus’s story revealed as that of the directors of CIA and DIA. What a small world! What a small, small world, sir.

Tony Two Tone Criticizes British Foreign Policy

Iraq invasion a disaster, Blair admits

Interviewed yesterday on al-Jazeera television’s new English-language channel, Mr Blair was challenged by Sir David Frost over the daily murders, bombings and kidnappings in Iraq.

Sir David said the West’s military intervention, which has cost 2,858 American and 125 British lives, had been “pretty much of a disaster”.

Mr Blair responded: “It has, [but] what I say to people is why is it difficult in Iraq?

Well Mr. Blair, I would say because of disastrous foreign policy decisions in London and Washington. YMMV

Edited: removed advertisement, hat tipped Antiwar

Friday, November 17, 2006

The abc’s from ABC

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Abramoff Reports to Prison; Officials Focus on Reid, Others,” was the headline of an ABC story yesterday reporting that Jack Abramoff, the convicted lobbyist, was dishing dirt on a handful of Democratic senators, Harry Reid (D-NV) in particular.

“Abramoff has offered testimony [to investigators] about his contacts with ‘six to eight seriously corrupt Democratic senators,'” ABC News reported, citing “sources close to the federal investigation.” One “source close to the investigation” told ABC that $30,000 in contributions to Reid from Abramoff’s tribal clients “were no accident and were in fact requested by Reid.”

Curious to learn more, we called a number of Abramoff’s former colleagues from his heyday at the Greenberg Traurig lobby firm to see how the story struck them.

“Jack has not met eight Democrats in Washington,” one lobbyist told us.

The ABC story is of course not the first one to purport to show Abramoff’s access to Reid. The Associated Press ran what we found to be a deeply flawed story earlier this year detailing contacts with Reid’s staff by lobbyists at Greenberg Traurig — a story that ABC relied on for evidence of Abramoff’s access to Reid in their recent story.

HT ABC News Story on Abramoff-Reid Ties Is Garbage,

No wonder they think there are deep divisions within the Democratic Party in the MSM, after all the modern world frightens and confuses them too. I wonder if they just wake up in the middle of something big, or …, Larry?

Not Republican disarray

Rigged

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee on Friday said potential 2008 presidential rival John McCain’s campaign finance reforms gives the Republican senator an advantage over other candidates by allowing him to transfer money easily.

Of course one must wonder what sort of political infighting this isn’t, (isn’t as opposed to is,) since at this point I give them both about zero chance of winning the nomination, one being a Senator and the other a Governor of Arkansas, which would obviously elevate the ridiculous to the sublime over at Post as the slime flew back and forth between the two, one for being an inconsistent ideologue and the other for not being of DC’s kind. Now Mitt, he grew up there. Yeah, I can see the Post. leering like a Moonie down Pennsylvania Avenue, endorsing him.

I gotta joy!, joy!, joy!,
down in my heart,
down in my heart,

as did by Granny Clampett.

What will the Solution Be After the Slaughter Ends?

Nightmare Confirmed: Things Are Soooo Bad. . .

But nothing. Absolutely nothing. People were depressed and dismayed about current conditions. One very, very senior Bush administration official when asked by me what ideas he had to stabilize Iraq and stop our slow bleed situation said he had exhausted what he felt was possible.

Another top tier official when another guest pushed him to move the President into some rational deal-making that might trigger a more fruitful trend, ominously said “don’t hold your breath.”

Many TWN readers have already known and posted commentary on how screwed America is in its current situation — but still, it’s a different thing when actually dining and drinking with folks in mega-power positions who concur.

What would Saddam have done? What would the Ottoman’s have done?

You know it is kind of a drag when all these experts are shrugging their shoulders and saying I don’t know. Maybe they ought to release the unredacted NIE so we in the netroots can kick it around. The solution might just have to be a Brilliant, original solution worthy of a Nobel, refused of course, as being beneath the dignity of a blogger to accept awards and rewards for merely solving the problems of experts.

Congratulation Papa

Josh Marshall meets Winston Churchill.

No offense to the Marshals, but all new babies look like Winston;

To me he looks like a grumbly middle-aged man. But the doctors and nurses at the hospital keep saying how much he looks like me. So he’s given me a lot to think about.

The only thing remotely Jewish I can say is “May the Shwartz be with you.”

God Bless to Josh and growing family.

BTW Josh, don’t worry about the diaper thing, with your children it will always smell like roses.

Post Election Foreplay,

McCain: Bush Admin Breaks Laws to Hide Global Warming Data

“They’re simply not complying with the law. It’s incredible.”

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) raised eyebrows yesterday with that comment regarding the Bush administration, made before a crowd of several hundred at a Washington, D.C. event.

I suppose this isn’t Republican infighting as Democrats know infighting, since the Democrats only infer ethical lapses on the part of each other, while McCain is pretty blunt.

Speaking of Silly People No One Should Listen To

David Ignatius:

The new House speaker, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, had a disastrous post-election week in which her first priority seemed to be settling scores rather than solving these big problems. Shame on her!

I know I’m just an idiot with a cable modem and David Ignatius gets to write for the Washington Post, but for the record the Speaker of the House is currently Dennis Hastert. He’s running the show. The Democrats don’t take control for another couple of months.

Ignatius and the rest of the WaPo’s RahRahcon’s pundits are still smarting from being spanked like monkeys in the run up to the war, which they supported as the next best thing to Afghanistan and got spanked, and they got spanked with the Debra Howell thing, and now this election too. Of course the punditboro has the red ass. PSB.

That has to hurt after putting on airs about the Clinton’s in “their” town, while Mark Foley was glad handing pages, which the Post and all things DC are pretty good at covering up, for the right people.

They say consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, and the Post has learned to excel. Sorry boys, you were wrong then and you’re still wrong now. I would note that with lower and lower turnout at the polls on election days that your political coverage receives less attention each year, limiting your exposer as political putzes.

Israeli’s above Peace

Israel dismisses new peace plan

I am sure they have;

“Israel believes that it is right to conduct direct negotiations with all sides of the conflict,” Amira Oron, the foreign ministry spokeswoman, said.

which simply means means: we get US $10 billion anyway.

Sudan accepts UN’s aid in Darfur

Sudan’s president has said he welcomes the United Nations support…

This comes on the heels of Mr. Durbin’s speech yesterday on the Senate floor.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Glen Beck, All American Twit

Good grief Glen geta grip. Gee.

More to feel here.

Update: New low for CNN:

CNN Calls Rudy Giuliani A “Moderate Conservative”

Which makes me a moderate centrist ;

and so for all the moderate conservatives, and moderate progressives out there from the moderate center, DUCK!

What a dog!

See what a dog I can be?

Scheduled outage at 12:30PM (PST). on Blogger beta? No Prob.

Just think, I can make it up in volume.

Did you miss these?

Comrade Webb

If this is the new Democratic “conservatism” the Washington punditburo keeps bleating about, then all I can say is three cheers for conservatism. But Webb’s op ed definitely left me with a profound case of political vertigo. My sense of direction (this way is left; that way is right) is getting pretty scrambled. Former Reagan cabinet officers now sound like Abby Hoffman. Connecticut Senators who started out trying to impeach Richard Nixon now sound like John Mitchell. Where’s it going to end?

Falling Back to Re-Group?

That is why it is useless for the media to interview generals (or anyone else on active duty in the military) about “what should be done in Iraq.” Soldiers asked to answer that question have no choice but to tell the interviewer (and the audience) what they think is necessary to carry out the national policy guidance that they have been given. They are not at liberty to suggest a new policy.

All I can add is, “How about those Astros?”

Mea Culpa

My apologies to the people who were affected by the storms in North Carolina. I really do need to watch more TV, Our hearts and prayers are with you.

Talking to my Left Wing

Politics is hard ball according to the quagmeisters HH for the neocons, so I am under the assumtion that means they get to bat all the time until the last insult is hurled from the game, which needs to happen quick since the left is throwing bean balls, curses, fork tactics and common sense.

The Democratic leadership needs to learn how to handle the liberal/left, because I hear they don’t speak the same language in DC and in their local presses and pundits heads, and those lefty/liberal bloggers always surround an issue until the only door is truth. Otherwise they out flank ya!, they out flank ya! (Just trying out the old 41 stuff before it gets important.)

The Pelosi/Hoyer House will be quite different than the Delay/Hammer House which was a pretty far gone conclusion before today. I think Murtha got a well deserved nod of recognition for his efforts on behalf of American troops and the American people, but Hoyer has earned the job.* (I had to post this now this because Nancy was using my line.)

Anyway I would expect the left to remain as eclectic as ever and just as apt to tee off on Mz. Pelosi as Justin Raimondo, who doesn’t like her politics much either.

Personally, I think that ethical reform, oversight functions and an effort by the leadership of both parties in Congress to lead in both rhetoric and policy away from the politics as usual that has been rejected at the ballot box is where to start with the left, the center, and the right. Otherwise ya’ll are just playing guitar, and no one’s gonna like the tune. This wasn’t your father’s mid term election.

Edited, as usual for the usual. Ed.

Just so the Democrats know

It is your fault that Ronald Reagan circumvented US law to arrange the release of US hostages from Iran after the election of 1980, it is your fault he sold precursors to Iraq, it is your fault for the current quagmire in Iraq, and Iran has become a regional power because of you.

You are amazing people, but you should have left Pluto a planet and now your going to have to listen to Republican talking points from Uranus. You should have seen it coming, losers!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Long may you run

For inquiring minds, I’ve been doing the EZ thing for 16 years with various spellings in different formats, the current double Z at the end being a concession to the WaPo Delphi based forum’s rules. In all those years and iterations I’ve never known of a time when innocent people were not inadvertently caught up in the theater of my politics. I don’t know if one can ever apologize to those individuals enough, and all I can do is ask that God open their hearts to forgive and grant them even greater success than they had formerly.

There has always been, in my life time, a “the Glory that was Greece, the Grandeur that was Rome,” aspect about American self awareness, but the fact that our Judeo-Christian heritage is ant ethical to both is glossed over with theology and the enlightened nation state. It is the basis of the West’s dynamic creative tension.

Any Christian that doesn’t understand that the Kingdom of God is a monarchy, so that one would presume the Christ to be a monarchist, fails to appreciates democratic republicanisms rejection of that concept based on the concepts of inalienable rights, or the inherent communism of Christianity as juxtaposed on capitalism will not understand how people like myself can make peace with the God of my faith. I simply do not examine myself either, in that regard. I do examine myself in regard to other people however. Capitalism and politics do not seek the others advantage, which is a contradiction of a tenant our faith.

All one can do I think is go out of ones way not to involve “the audience” too directly into ones own movement as it is invariably harmful. Politics is very much public theater and private trade offs, whether one is actually a MoC or party activist. But too much is never not at all, and people may like the same old show from the entertainment world, politics is forever reinventing the issues and public discourse, and so long as people remain committed to something bigger than themselves they will gravitate towards politics if for no other reason than religious order has conveniently left most people as footnotes to the overall outline of God’s plan.

Politics is a rock show and someone will keep getting hit in the back of the head with a Frisbee until everyone has had enough of it and beach balls are de rigueur. Politics is also lot of public speaking, which means you start off telling folks what you’re going to tell them, tell them what you’re telling them, and tell them what you just told them. Politics is the first two, knowing when to pull the trigger and staying alive until election night.

I lean left, but I am a political agitator at heart, and a Christian at heart, and so I really do seek the advantage of the American people first in domestic politics, and their advantage in foreign affairs when it does not result in the disadvantage of others in their own lands. I’ve pretty much defined what I hope to see accomplished in DC before 2008 so I would think this is as obvious as the Constitution troll at the WaPo in 2003. Mr. Jefferson can apparently show up in Baghdad as well as Washington DC on short notice, God willing.

As per usual with my mind when I single track it, it is a little loath to get out of campaign mode so long as I continue to choose to do so. I have chosen not to, which is freewill at a fork in the road.

One of the nicest people on the Net

Acid Test

Got any Joe?

Honey or lemon?

I think Joe was willing to trade D for R if it would have got him seniority and Chairmanships etc, and a lot of people understood that. Like Jack Murtha sorta said, “you have to make deals,” in politics. President Kennedy sorta said, “everybody gets something, nobody gets nothing.”

I think Joe is as surprised as anyone to be a Senate Democratic Chairman.

Anyone can make a mistake,

it takes a computer to really foul things up.

Lawyers for Democratic House candidate Christine Jennings threw down the gauntlet yesterday, asking a state court to secure electronic voting machines and data used in the election.

There is a fund set up by the Jennings campaign to pay for the recount.

Call it prudence against the machines.

Well Sometimes We Have to go Big Picture

Matt from Simple Answers to Simple Questions, on Instapundits remark;

Well, let’s not get ahead of ourselves quite yet. But Bill Quick is saying “I told you so.” And my speculation that Iran has some method — nuclear or otherwise — that has deterred us from taking the kind of action that both Bill Quick and I expected in 2004 is seeming better-founded.

Which is why lawyers and such can forget about US Armies in Shiite dominated areas of Iraq which would become surrounded by all sorts of “Rug Merchants,” as former SecDef Rumsfield so aptly stated in explaining why he always seems to underestimate his opponents and over estimate himself.

But you know I read Pat, and Larry and Juan and etc…, and you should know the old saw, “if he were half as smart as he thinks he is, he’d be twice as smart as he really is.”

After six years of George W. Bush you would think that most people would at least have a grip on his loyalty to his staff, or listened to 41 about that. If W had hired me in 2001 I’d probably still be there too, in spite of the blog. I’d do useful things like tell Tony to remind the Iraqi’s to use sativa, not indicus rope as there is no point in wasting either on Sadass. I think one is hemp and the other is weed, but I forget.

I am quite amazed really that with the complexity of the issue at hand in Iraq and the number of new people finally getting a voice in policy and direction that so many are not inclined to give them time to present their case and let it be vetted by the President and Congress, with an unclassified copy for the folks back home.

I think the old Congress and new Congress need a little room to sort out the changing of the guard as well. I think ethics reform is one of the most important things that needs to be addressed by the New Congress. For that to happen I think it will take some work to convince people that past ethical discrepancies should not make a current D or an R a Ba’athist.

We need to turn a corner here for going forward, which I would assume starts over in the Department of Justice. We cannot expect to elect saints and philosophers, nor expect greedy capitalists to stop acting like greedy capitalists so I would imagine there are a fair amount of land deals to discover, both in fact and in innocence at law.

Pardon me ladies, my slack was showing

If I on occasion say something about women in general, or particular, please feel free to use my “feminine” voice when I mention body parts or functions. I for my part shall endeavor to refrain from doing so, unless of course it’s obviously the perfect time for a catty moment.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Jane, On the positive side

I don’t know about you, but I did not work my ass off just so a new set of Democratic crooks can set up residence across from the old GOP K-Street crooks. Corruption is corruption and it doesn’t matter the party. We’re not Republicans, and we’re not so enamored with authoritarianism that we will find any excuse to absolve people ostensibly on “our” side of the aisle from responsibility for their indescretions.

FDL and FDL

Judy Miller didn’t KMA, but “I’m worried about bloggers,” starting rumors

Judy! Judy! Judy!

As far as I know any rumors on the net, or in the print media that Judy Miller actually kissed my ass can be considered true provided that the are properly amplified on the front page of the NY Times. Otherwise I deny any involvement in any such rumor, unless of course, the rumor and my denial are amplified on the front page of the Washington Post and the LA Times. Rumors on TV remain unverified at this time, but I will channel Judy and pull something out of my hat, which ought to meet Judy’s standards, since it came off the top of my head, and not from her rumored source, which would bring her full circle.

Otherwise, I didn’t say she could either.

Of course if Chalabi ends up being dictator for life, then I would recommend her as a dictatorial press secretary for life. It might help rehabilitate her career.

Telling it like it is

Who Lost Iraq?
Neocons run for cover

There are so many possible scapegoats, all of them contemptible in their own unique ways: not only the neocons, but the pro-war Democrats who claimed to have been “duped” into voting for the war; the American news media, which donned flag lapel buttons shortly after 9/11 and didn’t wake up until the war started going seriously wrong; and, last but not least, the American people themselves, who initially supported the war, and only turned against it when the allied death toll began to rise and it turned out that the critics they refused to listen to had been right all along.

Pretty good read.

A little help on the right, please

Hold Their Feet to the Fire!

The recent election, widely hailed as a referendum on the Iraq war and American foreign policy, handed a victory to the Democrats – but who will hold their feet to the fire?

We will. We must – if the promise of the 2006 landslide for peace is to be fulfilled.

The thing about Counterpunch and Antiwar is standup reporting and opinions that may be exactly what you need to hear, however disagreeable you may find their style or whatever. Sharp but not shrill.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Just a song before I go

From the album “The White Album”

You say you want a revolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world
You tell me that it’s evolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world
But when you talk about destruction
Don’t you know that you can count me out
Don’t you know it’s gonna be all right
all right, all right

You say you got a real solution
Well, you know
We’d all love to see the plan
You ask me for a contribution
Well, you know
We’re doing what we can
But when you want money
for people with minds that hate
All I can tell is brother you have to wait
Don’t you know it’s gonna be all right
all right, all right
Ah

ah, ah, ah, ah, ah…

You say you’ll change the constitution
Well, you know
We all want to change your head
You tell me it’s the institution
Well, you know
You better free you mind instead
But if you go carrying pictures of chairman Mao
You ain’t going to make it with anyone anyhow
Don’t you know it’s gonna be all right
all right, all right
all right, all right, all right
all right, all right, all right

Free The Beatles Music Download!(*)
Download “Revolution” now!

Download FREE The Beatles ringtones!

For those into nipping The Beatles, of course.

*I tend to agree with freeing The Beatles Music Download!, but then I nip them all the time too. YMMV

Remembrance Sunday

Cole Moreton: A just cause is a hero’s right

The invasion of Afghanistan seemed nostalgically simple and right, until it went wrong. Still, many of the troops there still have the sense that it is the Right Thing To Do. That is harder in Iraq. How easy would it have been to bend over the body of Kingsman Jamie Hancock, a teenager shot while on sentry duty in Basra on Monday, and wonder what the hell it was all for?

Today he is remembered along with the teenagers who died in the mud of Flanders nearly a century ago. At the Menin Gate memorial to the battles of Ypres a few years ago a survivor of that slaughter hauled himself to his feet, gripped my arm and saluted. He was 106. When asked why he had come, at risk to his life, he wheezed and coughed and thought a while and said: “Because they can’t.” He meant the teenage boys whose bodies were blown to bits or lost. He wore his medals to say he had been there, and so had they. They were not around to stand like this in the cold and remember, but he would keep doing it until the day he died. For Billy, Ernie, Chalky. All the boys. His mates. The dead.

And I am dumb to talk of sacrifice

Blogger’s Kinda Bloggered

Every post gets an error message, but the post goes through. The work around is to open another tab and go through the Dashboard, or if you still have the blogger bar on top, click on New Post.

That’s Blogger beta btw.

The Marriage of Leto II, Epilogue

Bush and Blair discuss new policy for Iraq

Tony Blair and beleaguered President George Bush have had a long discussion on how to push forward ‘change’ in the coalition’s policy in Iraq.

In Friday’s phone conversation, Blair, who will give evidence to the Bush-appointed Iraq Study Group on Tuesday, insisted on the need to regionalise the peace effort and draw Iran and Syria – which have been accused of supporting insurgents – into any solution.

Where is the Moral High Ground?

How Israel put Gaza civilians in firing line

Peter Beaumont, foreign affairs editor
Sunday November 12, 2006
The Observer

Israeli military commanders drastically reduced the ‘safety’ margins that separate artillery targets from the built-up civilian areas of Gaza earlier this year, despite being warned that the new policy risked increasing Palestinian civilian deaths and injuries, The Observer can reveal.

The warning, delivered in Israel’s high court by six human rights groups, came after the Israeli Defence Force reduced the so-called ‘safety range’ in Gaza from a 300-metre separation from built-up areas to just 100 metres – within the kill radius of its 155mm high-explosive shells, generally regarded as being between 50 and 150 metres.

One can only pray that the sons of Abraham will stop slaughtering each other and themselves.

Ch Ch Ch Changes

I probably ought to start off the day apologizing to John Hinderaker for the cheap shot yesterday. Like they said on CNN, (I’ll splain that in a minute,) “political trash talk,” is a good metaphor. In all honesty I have never read your work, but in all humanness have listened to the opinions of others as being close enough to form one of you. One of the drawbacks of the internet is having to many sources of information, whether political opinion or wonk, or the myriads of other subjects that fascinate the human mind when given time to do so. It does have a spell check now, so I don’t have to quote Andrew Jackson on that topic anymore. Anyway I am sure your opinion is just as valid as any on the net, whether or not your facts are.

AS for the CNN thing, we switched TV providers and ended up with CNN, C-Span 2, and a couple of free speech stations that are viewer supported, (hint, hint,) but we lost FOX News Network, which is due for a reprieve anyway, with a final note that the package is “America’s Favorite 60,” or “America’s Top 60,” I’m not sure, the boss is in charge of that, but anyway had I used “colloquial” instead of “apropos,” yesterday then I could have used it here instead of the usual, “FAUX News, We distort, You deride.” Oh well, things change.

EZSmirkzz 3.4.Z 11/5/06 – 11/12/06 archive

Saturday, November 11, 2006

A little help on the left, please

Come On, CounterPunchers Yes, the GOP Has Fallen, But Now We Must Fight the Democrats!

Annual Fundraising Appeal

Unlike many other outfits, we don’t hit you up for money every month … or even every quarter. We only ask for your support once a year. But we when ask, we mean it. Please, make a tax-deductible donation to CounterPunch today or purchase a subscription and a gift subscription or a crate of books as holiday presents, including Cockburn and St. Clair’s latest book on the decline of the press: End Times: the Death of the Fourth Estate.

Careful there buddy, I hit them up for money all the time.

US Official seize Marijuana somewhere in North America

U.S. agents chase suspects into Mexico, face off with police

MONTERREY, Mexico — U.S. Border Patrol agents chasing suspected drug traffickers on the Texas border allegedly crossed into Mexico and had a brief standoff with Mexican police before peacefully returning, Mexican authorities said today.

Jose Luis Delgado, a police officer in Guadalupe, about 25 miles southeast El Paso, Texas — said he and two colleagues encountered some U.S. Border Patrol agents on Mexican territory.

He said the Mexican police responded Thursday with guns drawn to a report that a marijuana-laden pickup truck had been abandoned in the Rio Grande.

“When we arrived (the U.S. officials) drew their weapons,” Delgado said.

Delgado said he identified himself as a police officer and that the American agents returned to their side of the border without further problems.

Border Patrol spokesman Rogelio Garcia confirmed that U.S. agents seized about 300 pounds of marijuana from the truck but couldn’t say whether the vehicle was on the Mexican side of the border because the matter was “still being investigated.”

We need to get them some GPS stuff quick.

Dean to Push 50 State effort to Britain

Labour drafts in US election architect for ‘our midterms’

Another reason to remove Howard Dean as head of the DNC, who has incompetently pushed his strategy into Britain where hostility to statehood is extremely high amongst the thin skinned Brits.

Atrios had a job?

Mad props to Paul Krugman

I am so grateful to Paul Krugman. (Tears are literally coming to my eyes as I write this, and that doesn’t happen very often to this case-hardened and deeply cynical old WASP.) I feel Paul’s columns were the first pebbles in last Tuesday’s avalanche.

I’m sure I’m not the only one to have discovered Atrios, and from there, the blogosphere, in a Paul Krugman column about the Trent Lott takedown.

So I guess I can’t be “retired” anymore. Sheesh what are they doing to us in PA?

The face of the GOP future

Almost unnoticed in the last week or so by myself, John Cole is a reminder to everyone that the Republican’s have a pretty good sharp shooter too, and all in all, Republicans are pretty decent folks to boot.

John Hinderaker- Total Idiot

Reasonable people can only conclude that there are certain folks in the GOP will say anything for political advantage. John Hinderaker is one of them. He should be ignored, or if you must pay attention, ridiculed. For this foray into sheer idiocy, John Hinderaker has now earned his own category here. In the future, when a Republican says something stupid or vile simply for partisan gain, we will call the gaffe a “Hinderaker” and file it appropriately.

Update: In a moment of bi partisanship I’ll agree to the “Hinderaker” category from the right, as opposed to more apropos “Assrocket”, from the left.

Back to the Basics

Europe’s Joy At the Election Outcome

Steve Clemons takes a look across the pond;

Europe yearns for a pragmatic, problem-fixing America, engaged in the world’s real problems and building international collaborations to meet these challenges. America has departed this space on ideological quests and left a giant void in global affairs that the Europeans have had to partially fill.

Down Range Targetting Coordinates

The Toe Sucker Gets It

But if there’s a will, there’s definitely a way to take the fight to the Rovians and the Rovian machine without appearing excessively partisan or consumed by “Bush hatred.” It’s just a matter of attacking the administration’s vulnerabilities, not its remaining strengths.

The way it was

Memo to Every Democrat by kos

Update from digby: The Rahm Emanuel Statement on Unprecedented Generosity of House Members and Democratic Activists

If there is anyone with the party out there reading this, please talk these short sighted retreads out of pursuing this line. The DNC leadership post is a partywide elected position and Dean has the allegiance of the states…

Update:et cetra:

But in the end, none of this would’ve happened without the effort all of us made. Those who think that the DSCC and DCCC don’t deserve credit are idiots. Those who think Dean doesn’t deserve credit are idiots. Those who think the netroots and grassroots don’t deserve credit are idiots. We all had our roles to play, and we wouldn’t be where we are today without all of us doing our part.

nuff said. (via Atrios, via Lawyers Guns and Money, another bloggers collaborative production)

Friday, November 10, 2006

Redemption

There is the inevitable going on in both parties now, which is being ignored for the most part by the people at large, although the Republican wing wagging is more newsworthy I suppose than who done what being chiseled into the House and Senate columns on the Democratic side.

We have seen a great leveling of the political landscape not just in Washington, but more importantly in the people at large, who are discovering the under reported political news reported and distorted in ways that the other media cannot do in the blogoshere. It is the new frontier of free speech that can have impact beyond hopes and dreams by giving every American an equal opportunity to try to influence events with a single voice being added to by other voices, that together becomes a coherent song which sets tone and mood for their particular pyramid of core beliefs.

Ultimately the American people are going to have to wake up to the fact that the corruption problem in DC is inherent to the amount of money sloshing through the Federal budget, and so the grassroots of each major party are going to have to hold the feet of the political leadership to the fire regardless of their party alignment.

The free flow of information on the internet is critical to the oversight of the government by the people. That last statement cannot be stated forcefully enough. Any effort to limit it should be looked on with great askance, being from the strong to the weak to protect the weak from themselves. The netroots are the only vehicle for that intimate of bipartisan oversight.

The netroots have established their own spheres of influence within an apparently disaffected segment of the American population that does not have any influence or voice within the Democratic and Republican party leadership. Top down command and control just ran into bottom up control and the people are in charge of the stepwise refinement, not the elite.

This is the phenomena of the election, and the left center had a far deeper roots up, single interest pyramids to work with and to build strange non entangling alliances, than the right which dutifully played the rolled over for message role assigned it from above. I doubt the right will make that error again, but one can hope.

The established power structure did what they have become accustomed to doing and will have to adjust to the new reality of American politics, as usual having gone out of style. They too will rediscover their necessity and perhaps understand the new alliances emerging within the respective parties. That would put them ahead of some of the blogosphere anyway. Rove knows he was out Roved on the internet too, and that’s about a shocked established party man as one is apt to find.

But this week the American people discovered that they could regain control of their government, and compel the leviathan to sit. One can only hope that we are wise enough to finish up its’ training.

I do not make any pretenses, I would be foolish not to remind the people of the lesson of Meribah, from whence the source of that water is also the source of your hope. Hope like love, lives in the heart. Thank God in your prayers for that, as we have yet to make it to the promised land that is the America to be.

A Note from The Guardian

Thank you, America

When the remaining recounts and legal challenges are over, the Democrats may even have narrowly won control of the Senate too. Either way, the results change the political landscape in Washington for the final two years of this now thankfully diminished presidency. They also reassert a different and better United States that can again offer hope instead of despair to the world. Donald Rumsfeld’s resignation last night was a fitting climax to the voters’ verdict. Thank you, America.

(This notes for you.)

I Propose an Emboldened Paradigm

Heh,

Could we please have an embargo on the word ’emboldened’. Jesus, ever since we started the Clash of Civilizations In Mark Steyn’s Head, emboldened has become the ‘paradigm’ of our age.

Democrats on a Two Way Street

I’m sure we’ll all become more familiar with this as time goes on. Best keep an eye open for deer hypnotized in the headlights.

Baby you can drive my car

I almost applied for this job,, but as usual my wife, the love of my life and bestest friend has always got better plans for me and they seem to always involve Texas. I probably wouldn’t fit in over there anyway;

We are looking for someone who is funny, clever, interested in writing and reporting about politics and the people involved in politics in innovative ways. Journalism experience is a big plus but not an absolute necessity. Most of all I’m looking for someone who can look at what’s going on down there with a fresh set of eyes.

as the wife noted I’m not any of those things and besides they like dull minds and sharp teeth down there in pundits and reporters*, which leaves me short on teeth. I hope Josh finds the right person for the job because they will always be one of those journalists with a clue, like their new boss.

*Update: just kidding.

Running Amok in the Quagmire

Does Father Know Best?

This interview with Fritz W. Ermarth, who worked closely with the new secretary of defense for two decades, is not a reason for hope:

“TNI: Please give use your perspective as to what this change of leadership at the Pentagon might mean in terms of U.S. strategy in Iraq and beyond.

“FWE: Well, from everything the president has said, the strategy won’t basically change. Now, I can’t guarantee that sitting here in my study, but the execution you can count on will be very thoughtful and careful. That’s the kind of person Gates is. But until the president signals it, I don’t think you ought to look for a change of strategy.

Yeah we better get that domestic abrogation of the Fourth Amendment through Congress boys, them people out there are waking up to the game.

Meet the new Boss

The Cheney-Gates Cabal

by Ray McGovern

As the saying goes, with friends like that, who needs Hillary? Or a pummeling by the Army-Navy-Air Force-Marine Corps Times?

I almost feel sorry for Donald Rumsfeld (and I’m not just saying that because, with the Military Commissions Act now signed into law, he can declare me – or anyone – an unlawful enemy combatant and “disappear” me into some black hole for the rest of my days). What betrayal. What disingenuousness. Et tu, Cakewalk Ken? The neoconservatives are attempting to push the blame onto Rumsfeld for the debacle they authored. Parallel attempts by administration officials to scapegoat Rumsfeld will be equally transparent and unconvincing.

The “Cheney-Rumsfeld cabal” may now be down to one. But there is every sign that Cheney will continue to be the dominant force in the White House, and he recently asserted,

“You cannot make national security policy on the basis of [elections]. It may not be popular with the public. It doesn’t matter, in the sense that we have to continue the mission [in Iraq].”

For a simple analysis see Atrios’s F.U. etc. He may have a simple answer too.

via Antiwar

Thursday, November 09, 2006

We’ll See

A unifying tone after shift in Congress

Bush, at a White House press conference in which he was by turns reflective and peppy, said his Republican Party had received “a thumping” at the polls.

“We’ve got to work with the Democrats. They’re the ones who will control the committees; they’re the ones who will decide how the bills flow,” Bush said. “And so you’ll see a lot of meetings with Democrats, and a lot of discussion with Democrats.”

He said he took responsibility for his party’s disappointing showing Tuesday, and he acknowledged that voter discontent about the Iraq war led to Pentagon chief Donald Rumsfeld’s resignation Wednesday.

“I thought, when it was all said and done, the American people would understand the importance of taxes and the importance of security,” Bush said of his party’s failed pitch to voters. “But the people have spoken, and now it’s time for us to move on.”

For Bush, who has taken a hard partisan line for most of his presidency, a more conciliatory approach could mark a return to his style as Texas governor.

I think we’ll have to see how this plays out in policy, but I’m inclined to give the leadership of both parties time to sort things out and work together. It should be done, and it must be done. I don’t think sticking the Republicans in the broom closets is a viable policy, although it sound so sweet after 12 years of nothing but being excoriated by them.

Mr. Bush still hasn’t caught on, there isn’t anything wrong with the peoples priorities sir, nor is it all your fault. The President is only the most visible of the remaining culture of personal destruction politics, but so long as that remains a viable political tool we cannot improve the dialog.

I’ll start. Good Morning Mr. President. How are you today?

The case for America

The Newbie

I don’t think that this is entirely a left wing thing, as many on the right go through the other side of the equation. So long as the American people keep waking up the next generation to the necessity of political participation in the affairs of free men, then we should all have some hope and confidence in the future. When it gets real dark then it may be all one has. Just don’t give up.

This cycle will repeat itself, the duration depending on the leadership’s ability to deal with events and stay current with the thinking of the American people. Given that impossibility, we’ll see this again.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

I had a cat once, did the same thing,

jumped up on the dining table and tried to stretch it to the window sill with predictable gravitational thud. Shook it right off, walking away as though he meant to do that.

Bush Pledges to Work With Democrats

He named a new defense secretary to oversee the war in Iraq, a change the president said was going to happen regardless of which party won the election.

Right.

I ran Con tra

The words of the decider,

son of George, king in Washington:

2. To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven.

3. A time to lie and a time to tell half truths, a time to stonewall and a time to cut losses,

4. A time to air 30-second attack ads and a time to reach out in a spirit of bipartisan cooperation,

5. A time to stand behind an incompetent cabinet secretary and a time to offer a sacrificial head to thine enemies in order to dominate the news cycle.

Politics of politics, sayeth the decider. All is politics. Amen.

The Book of Republican Sound Bites
3:1-5

I’ll look for it on ebay/

For every flower that blooms

a seed falls to the ground.

For those who are somewhat stunned by the election results, cool. Stick around we’ll do it again sometime, because like Hamilton said, “We are the American people, and this is what we do.” (I had to get that one in.)

While the leadership congratulates itself for not blowing it this time, and the press solemnly mourns the passing of another era, the real heroes, the American people sigh a hefty sigh of relief, having done their duty as usual, and go to work. If the current political leadership wishes to remain intact it might do well to follow the peoples lead.

I’m not a big sympathizer with the whine and who moved my cheese Republican argument about polarization being what has crippled the Congress, politics, etc, since they basically created the partisan atmosphere and got beaten in their own game. I do think it is in America’s best interests to put it behind us, although there isn’t to much tolerance around here for bi-partisanship with those for whom the term itself is a straw man. While ya’ll was partaying, I was cleaning my guns.

Ready on the left, ready on the right, ready on the firing line. What do you know, I am too ambidextrous.

Update:apologies to you boys on the sides there, next time I’ll try and shoot a little more straight ahead. Try to think of it as my, “two faces of Dick Cheney,” moment.

Edited for TV – Thanks S&P

Josh’s got snark?

Josh has snark.

Update

KPRC did run a story on Ft. Bend County voting problems, which were compounded by the write in for Gibbs.

Just to fair, David and Darby on KHOU have the best segue, IMHO.

Updated: I should probably just rephrase that, Houston has five really good morning news crews that I know of, I hope the rest of the country does too.

What I’ve read this morning

After Nov. 7, U.S. still faces the rude shock of defeat via Antiwar

Deals with shock to American self esteem with 2nd VN

The Octopus Billmon looks at rebooting America after Rove.

I gotta go get ready for work.

Update: Karl Rove from two years ago HT Josh

Looking ahead

I’m sure the professionals, (don’t try this at home,) are looking forward to 2008 already. One known known is that Hillary Clinton knows where to find the Constitution, which these days is precisely a good place to start. The rest of it is foggy with joy, (picture droopy,)but I’ll work on it.

Thanks to Glen Beck for inviting Beverly onto his show, Blackbox, for those who are inclined to google the world discovered the anomalies of Diebold machines, which like those of the Pioneers, is awaiting more data before rushing to adjust the physics of the software.

Anyway congratulations to the American people, job well done. Being a hired hand, I don’t get to say that much.

Yeah, had to add an l here too.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Some people like to blog elections, other people we gotta work

Turnout appeared to be heavy at the polling place I go by about four times a day, early and lunch and homeward bound. It was slower in mid afternoon.

For those, who like my two readers, thought I might be dissing the CMA last night, forget about it. Tunes I post are tunes in my head. Like I told him, Kris was one of the “outlaws,” after he brought that up. Mr. Cole can sound like he’s singing from the porch on hell. If anyone was offended I apologize.

I’m pretty much too tired to write about election speculation, but I think if turn out was high, win or lose, America wins.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Because some songs just ain’t played enough

David Alan Coe

Willie, Waylon And Me

I’d heard The Burritos out in California
could fly higher than The Byrds
Roger McQuinn had a 12 string guitar.
It was like nothing I’d ever heard
And The Eagles flew in from the west coast
Like The Byrds they were trying to be free
While in Texas the talk turned to Outlaws
Like Willie and Waylon and me.

Well that somewhere Texas music is in the make
And we’ve been making music that is free
Doing one night stands and playing with our bands
Willie, Waylon and me
Oh Mad Dog! go to lead

They say The Beatles were just the beginning
of everything music could be
Just like The Stones I was rolling a lone
Like a ship lost out on the sea
And Joplin would die for the future
And Dylan would write poetry
And in Texas the talk turned to Outlaws
Like Willie and Waylon and me

My name is David Allen Coe and I’m from Dallas Texas.
They say Texas music is in the make
And we’ve been making music that is free
Doing one night stands and playing with our bands
Willie, Waylon and me
Big Jim!

I’d heard The Burritos out in California
could fly higher than The Byrds
Roger McQuinn had a 12 string guitar.
It was like nothing I’d ever heard
And The Eagles flew in from the west coast
Like The Byrds they were trying to be free
While in Texas the talk turned to Outlaws
Like Willie and Waylon and me.

The Yellow Submarine Republican Report

White House blames Congress for leaking nuclear secrets on web

What could Bush do? I mean, Congress proposed a bill to release the nuclear blueprints! And sure, Bush is a guy who used signing statements to invalidate hundreds of laws, but those were actually passed bills, not proposed ones. In this case, his hands were tied.

If Congressional Republicans need someone to blame, given that they’re Republicans and thus infallible, they can point their fingers at conservative bloggers who pushed for the release of the documents. Then those bloggers can blame, well, Bill Clinton!

You know between Kos, Ezra, AL and some of you other under boomer head bangers I have a lot of hope for the future of America. As quiet as it is over there I would worry the Kossacks are infesting the GOTV machines. After all Laura Bush and Bum Phillips called, and that’s never happened before. Why, Wee the people are almost giddy.

For us older duffers these are posts that are concise and accessible.

For us older duffers these are posts that are concise and accessible.

Their work leads me here Election Day Approaches on professor Greg Mankiw’s Blog;

Before we’re too hard on people who don’t vote, we should ask why they don’t. It is tempting for us voters to view abstainers as lazy free riders who aren’t holding up their end of the democratic bargain. But is it really this simple? Not according to economists Timothy Feddersen and Wolfgang Pesendorfer. They wrote a 1996 article in the American Economic Review that is now on the cutting edge of explaining why people don’t vote.

Feddersen and Pesendorfer suggest that nonvoting has to be understood together with a related phenomenon–the decision of voters to skip some items listed on the ballot. This behavior, which political scientists call roll off, is common. Feddersen and Pesendorfer give an example of a 1994 Illinois gubernatorial race in which about 3 million citizens showed up at the polls, but only 2 million voted on a proposed amendment to the state constitution.

The only part I would consider reconsidering;

So rather than pushing your friend to the polls, perhaps you should thank him for staying at home. He’s making your vote count just a little bit more.

is to inform ones friends with work from the blogosphere, and the internets. It is a lot of work to get informed well enough on all the issues, and the majority of Americans are too tired or too busy to become informed. Even the relatively abbreviated expert information from the blogs is a lot of work, so we’re not where we need to be in a more democratic distribution of information, but we’re all a lot better for it. That goes for the MSM too.

Thank you folks. Y’all ought to write books.

This Post’s for you

For anyone who cares about Israel and who shares a progressive politics (t)here are no more stirring words than those spoken by novelist David Grossman at the 11th memorial rally for slain Israeli Prime Minister Yizhak Rabin that was held on Saturday night in Tel Aviv.100,000 were in attendance. They can be read here: Haaretz.

Caution: Post 911 Republican Thinking Ahead II

I’m shocked, shocked.

The full verdict, a document of several hundred pages, explaining how and why today’s judgment was reached was not released. U.S. officials said it should be ready by Thursday. So why issue the verdict today? U.S. court advisors told reporters today it was delayed mainly for technical reasons.

Josh’s response? Priceless.

For those who voted Early

GOP unveils get-out-the-vote plan

I don’t have a clue about Montana politics, but I do read the Billings Gazette sometimes, one commenter noted Montana’s same day registration balloting.

Go ahead and pull the lever, push the button, and count.

Hey I smelled that here!

Recriminations are best served after the guests have gone

Didn’t Tbogg use to serve a “daily dose of snark?” You know before digby’s did that flash dance.

Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle on full display

The Death of Polling?

Unfortunately, this obsession with polls puts Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle on full display. By attempting to measure public sentiment over and over again–and then discussing it endlessly–the news organizations end up altering what they’re attempting to measure. And perhaps even more perversely, the news cycle begins to revolve more around momentary fluctuations in poll data than the actual events that are supposed to be driving that data.

You guys wouldn’t do that to the Polls would you?

Pat Lang Thinks, Speaks, you listen

A Pitiful Sect

I got nothin’, this is between Republicans.

Soup for Supper

The Original Jewish Chicken Soup Recipe According to Me WITH A CRITICAL CORRECTION

You can talk about some these things while you eat.

Clueless Trumpets No Brainer

Bush Trumpets Iraq Verdict to Rally Support

“Saddam Hussein’s trial is a milestone in the Iraqi people’s efforts to replace the rule of a tyrant with the rule of law.”

Err, Mr. President? Doesn’t charity begin at home?

Caution : Republican Post 911 thinking at work

Private researchers say prosecutors increasingly rejecting FBI terror investigations

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department increasingly has refused to prosecute FBI cases targeting suspected terrorists over the past five years, according to private researchers who reviewed department records.

The report being released Monday by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University raises questions about the quality of the FBI’s investigations.

Wonder why UBL is in a cave, Cheney’s in his bunker, and Bush is in his plane?

Hey man, what’s the plan, what is it that you’re saying?

For those of you looking for a little off center to the left humor it’s too early. For those of you looking for good moderate reads before the election, start here, at the Washington Note.

Steve runs down the list from a moderate’s point of view.

Edit:Apologies to both.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

YAMG surveillance program

New U.S. Customs Database on Trucks and Travellers

It’s yet another massive government surveillance program:

US Customs and Border Protection issued a notice in the Federal Register yesterday which detailed the agency’s massive database that keeps risk assessments on every traveler entering or leaving the country. Citizens who are concerned that their information is inaccurate are all but out of luck: the system “may not be accessed under the Privacy Act for the purpose of contesting the content of the record.”

The system in question is the Automated Targeting System, which is associated with the previously-existing Treasury Enforcement Communications System. TECS was built to screen people and assets that moved in and out of the US, and its database contains more than one billion records that are accessible by more than 30,000 users at 1,800 sites around the country. Customs has adapted parts of the TECS system to its own use and now plans to screen all passengers, inbound and outbound cargo, and ships.

You really need to read the post.

I’ve decided on a straight ticket

In lieu of all the hand shaking and vote asking, I’m just writing in, “all of the above.”

I figure it will aggravate the political purists, but ought to please half of the farmers and ranchers half of the time. Being an independent means getting to buy the; “Don’t Blame me I Voted for …” bumbler stickers, even if you don’t vote.

So don’t vote, you can look smart even though your being as dense as the bumper.

America, for Handwringers

Needs Brakes
Needs new wheels,
transmission slips
engine needs a tune up
lose nut on steering wheel needs tightened
paint and body excellent
good teeth.

Sexual Immorality in Church?

I don’t know what they say in Church anymore, except on those occasions when I listen to the 1st Presbyterian minister at 6:30 A, who I think will have a shorter last name in the next age, but anyway, another minister has bitten the dust.

The problem as I see it with any sexual immorality as so construed by the Christian Scriptures, especially Christ’s words, was that being human and physical, biological creatures with an innate spiritual awareness, that one would be more able to discern what God considered to be adultry, fornication, etc., not in just Your physical sense but in Your spiritual self as well.

For a Christian to sin sexually is to have already committed the sin within the heart, which is a spiritual sin. The physical and physical being cannot be separated, but as I understand it, God is well aware of the weakness of the flesh of both those who believe and of those who do not. But God is love, and so as Christians we ask God to forgive fallen brothers and sisters who bring reproach on the name of the Christ, if He is willing to do so.

These “sins” do not apply to those outside of the Church. How is it that those who would teach law to non believers do not understand that law yourselves? Have you not heard that where there is no law there is no transgression of the law? Yet where there is no transgression of the law those that do the law without knowing the law are more righteous than those knowing the law and not doing it?

If then we are with out law, but under undeserved kindness that we might be loved and forgiven our transgressions of love, is it not also that those under law might be justified in salvation as we know that God alone is pure and righteous, and that God is love and being able to forgive even our spiritual sins against Him, that He might also forgive those of the flesh under laws?

Do not be deceived brothers and sister, but love one another in all chasteness of flesh. God is not one to be mocked. May the peace of God be on one and all of the images of the Living God.

Same Six Marriage on Ballots in 11 Tight States

Heh, I didn’t know that. HT TV

Like I was saying,

It’s all the fault of the Iraqi people

Thanks to Atrios for doing what bloggers do do so well Glenn Greenwald notes the 101st Keyboarders contribution to the current framing of the political debate;

UPDATE: Paul also wrote this post in February, 2006, in which he explained that warnings about an imminent so-called “civil war” in Iraq were just the malicious invention by the “MSM.” He entitled the post “The Civil War that Isn’t”:

Elements of the MSM seem to await a civil war in Iraq with the same breathlessness that Marxists used to await the final crisis of capitalism. . . .

Elements of the MSM make these two claims about the Bush administration — that it failed to anticipate the very real prospect of a civil war in Iraq and that it has been incompetent in its management of post-invasion affairs. But there’s a tension between these claims. If a civil war was likely, then the fact that we don’t have one at this point (by any intelligent definition of the term) suggests that the administration has dealt skillfully with the politics of post-invasion Iraq.

“The administration has dealt skillfully with the politics of post-invasion Iraq” and worries about a “civil war” are just the hysterical desires of a Bush-hating media, which refuses to recognize how adept everything is being handled by the administration. That’s basically what the administration and their followers claimed for the last two years, even as Iraq disintegrated before our eyes (it’s the liberal media’s fault for over-reporting the bad news because things are really going great there). Remember, though: everything happening now is all the fault of the Iraqis.

It’s so MSM bashing of MSM isn’t it? Anyway don’t miss Glenn’s missive.

Update: Wow lookie here

the Ledeen Doctrine, as winsomely articulated by Jonah Goldberg:

Well, I’ve long been an admirer of, if not a full-fledged subscriber to, what I call the “Ledeen Doctrine.” I’m not sure my friend Michael Ledeen will thank me for ascribing authorship to him and he may have only been semi-serious when he crafted it, but here is the bedrock tenet of the Ledeen Doctrine in more or less his own words: “Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business.” That’s at least how I remember Michael phrasing it at a speech at the American Enterprise Institute about a decade ago (Ledeen is one of the most entertaining public speakers I’ve ever heard, by the way).

Where we’re Headed

There has been a lot said about Dr. Frist’s ability to diagnose patients from the Senate Chambers but little is written or said about everyone’s ability to discern motives across wires and air.

The fact that someone is a liberal or conservative and makes a political statement that concurs with whatever bias you presume the media to have, does not mean that person has the same motive and bias as one presumes with the media.

The easiest thing in the world for me to do is sit out here and decide that one of the talking heads has it in for me or America because they report a story from whichever bias they hold, because it contradicts what I believe in. I mean I can do the 101st Keyboarder thing too. What I can’t do is be a conservative reporter/commentator on a cable news station and ask another conservative reporter/commentator to come on to the show and decry the liberal media itself.

Has anyone one else notice a subtle shift away from the term MSM in the MSM toward the term media? They’re surrounding us, boys! The media formerly known as the blogosphere has become the media formerly known as the MSM. Because the modern world frightens and confuses them, one and all.

blogistan, the poor realitive in terms, of the blogosphere, will remain on the wrong side of the pipe and easy to find, where we will gladly help the confused become the frightened as well.

(Man I better not mow the lawn today, if getting a post right is any indication.)

Mr. Bush Pays attention to the Generals

War simulation in 1999 pointed out Iraq invasion problems

WASHINGTON (AP) — A series of secret U.S. war games in 1999 showed that an invasion and post-war administration of Iraq would require 400,000 troops, nearly three times the number there now.

And even then, the games showed, the country still had a chance of dissolving into chaos.

In the simulation, called Desert Crossing, 70 military, diplomatic and intelligence participants concluded the high troop levels would be needed to keep order, seal borders and take care of other security needs.

The documents came to light Saturday through a Freedom of Information Act request by George Washington University’s National Security Archive, an independent research institute and library.

ht TPM

Mr. Bush’s War

Bush surrenders Iraq to Maliki’s death squads

The Maliki/Bush videoconference will go down as one of the single most important events that will shape the future of that tormented nation. It was at once a surrender ceremony and a coup d’etat. Maliki walked away with a license to continue operating his death squads and Bush was forced to accept the burden of training more rank and file assassins.

ht Juan Cole

EZSmirkzz 3.4.Z 10/29/06 – 11/5/06 archive

Saturday, November 04, 2006

How it really is

The People Are Sovereign

Something worth repeating, 06 November 2005 too. ;

OK OK, this stuff’s out

This stuff ought to be out. Put this stuff out.”

The push to throw these documents to the dogs was part of a larger effort to counter waning support for the war. Back in March, Stephen Hayes, senior writer at the Weekly Standard, was one of the most vocal cheerleaders for the documents’ release. He recounted how the president was intent on releasing the documents, even over Negroponte’s protests. He described a February 16th conference call between the president, the vice-president, Indiana Republican Mike Pence, National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley, and U.S. Ambassador to IRaq Zalmay Khalilzad (via telephone).

The conference call began with Pence commenting on all the favorable news coverage the release of certain pre-Saddam audio tapes had garnered (“Mr. President, the war had its best night on the network news since the war ended.”) Hayes then described how the president wanted more pre-war information released:

[President Bush] turned to Hadley and asked for an update. Hadley explained that John Negroponte, Bush’s Director of National Intelligence, “owns the documents” and that DNI lawyers were deciding how they might be handled.

Bush extended his arms in exasperation and worried aloud that people who see the documents in 10 years will wonder why they weren’t released sooner. “If I knew then what I know now,” Bush said in the voice of a war skeptic, “I would have been more supportive of the war.”

Bush told Hadley to expedite the release of the Iraq documents. “This stuff ought to be out. Put this stuff out.” The president would reiterate this point before the meeting adjourned. And as the briefing ended, he approached Pence, poked a finger in the congressman’s chest, and thanked him for raising the issue. When Pence began to restate his view that the documents should be released, Bush put his hand up, as if to say, “I hear you. It will be taken care of.”

via The News Blog, Careful, Steve’s got snark. Being a blogger he’s apt to offend you too, but you get some pretty good groceries over there from time to time.

Just One Thing

Psa 71:1 I put my trust in You, O Jehovah, let me not be put to shame forever.
Psa 71:2 In Your righteousness deliver me and rescue me; bow down Your ear to me and save me.
Psa 71:3 Be a rock of strength for me, to which I may always go; You have given a command to save me; for You are my rock and my fortress.
Psa 71:4 O my God, deliver me out of the hand of the wicked, and out of the hand of the unjust and the ruthless.
Psa 71:5 For You are my hope, O Lord Jehovah, my trust from my youth.
Psa 71:6 I have rested on You from the belly; You are He who took me out of my mother’s womb; my praise shall be always of You.
Psa 71:7 I am like a wonder to many, but You are my strong tower.
Psa 71:8 My mouth is filled with Your praise, with your glory all the day long.
Psa 71:9 Do not cast me off now at the time of my old age. Do not forsake me when my strength fails.
Psa 71:10 For my enemies speak against me; and those who lurk for my soul plot together.
Psa 71:11 And they say, God has forsaken him; pursue him and take him, for there is no one to deliver.
Psa 71:12 O God, do not be far from me; my God come quickly to help me.
Psa 71:13 Let them be ashamed; let those who are enemies of my soul be consumed; let them be covered with reproach, and let those seeking evil for me be dishonored;
Psa 71:14 and I will hope without ceasing, and I will add more on all Your praise.
Psa 71:15 My mouth shall tell of Your righteousness and Your salvation all the day; for I do not know the numbers.
Psa 71:16 I will come in the strength of the Lord Jehovah; I will speak of Your righteousness, of Yours alone.
Psa 71:17 O God, You have taught me from my youth; and until now I have declared Your wonders.
Psa 71:18 And even when I am old and grayheaded, O God, do not leave me until I declare Your arm to this generation, Your power to everyone who is to come.
Psa 71:19 And, Your righteousness, O God, is to the heights, You who have done great things. O God, who is like You,
Psa 71:20 who has shown me great and evil distresses. You will turn me; You will make me live; and You will bring me up from the depths of the earth.
Psa 71:21 You will multiply my greatness and surround and comfort me.
Psa 71:22 I will also thank You with a harp, O my God; I will sing Your truth; I will sing to You with the lyre, O Holy One of Israel.
Psa 71:23 My lips shall shout for joy, for I will sing praise to You; also my soul which you have redeemed.
Psa 71:24 And my tongue shall muse on Your righteousness all the day; because those seeking my evil are disgraced; they are put to shame.

Updated 11:55

I thought it might help to say that I love this song because it reminds me that only God is righteous, and so dovetails with Christ’s, “only God is good.” From this I can surmise that I am not righteous in of myself, or good. Neither is anyone else. We all have that in common, and we all seek to become righteous in our own ways. Being human, we all fail in our ideals in our faiths and philosophies at some point. Even history will be a better judge of those of us alive today than we are of ourselves, and being equally human I hope, I endeavor to not judge people beyond the moment necessary, as I do with my own self. Beyond that would be, for a Christian, presumptuousness itself. The last verse applies to me as well as anyone else. Peace be within You.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Is this right sir? Yes or No? Yes or No!

U.S. Web Archive Is Said to Reveal a Nuclear Primer

Last March, the federal government set up a Web site to make public a vast archive of Iraqi documents captured during the war. The Bush administration did so under pressure from Congressional Republicans who had said they hoped to “leverage the Internet” to find new evidence of the prewar dangers posed by Saddam Hussein.

But in recent weeks, the site has posted some documents that weapons experts say are a danger themselves: detailed accounts of Iraq’s secret nuclear research before the 1991 Persian Gulf war. The documents, the experts say, constitute a basic guide to building an atom bomb.

The campaign for the online archive was mounted by conservative publications and politicians, who said that the nation’s spy agencies had failed adequately to analyze the 48,000 boxes of documents seized since the March 2003 invasion. With the public increasingly skeptical about the rationale and conduct of the war, the chairmen of the House and Senate intelligence committees argued that wide analysis and translation of the documents — most of them in Arabic — would reinvigorate the search for clues that Mr. Hussein had resumed his unconventional arms programs in the years before the invasion. American search teams never found such evidence.

Edit: HT TPM Reader DK

Update: The Independent gives the Brits take on le affair “Nuclear Boneheads”, (Which ought to push Bush nearly as tall as the bottom of UBL’s beard as the most dangerous person in the world around those parts.)

US shuts down ‘how to build a nuclear bomb’ website

The whole affair is nonetheless rich in irony. One of the most forceful complaints came from the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, the very body criticised in the past by the Bush administration for its alleged laxity in pursuing the weapons programmes of Iraq.

Instead, a “shocked” IAEA is said to have delivered a private protest to the US last week, saying that the material could speed Iran’s suspected quest for a nuclear bomb. In other words, the country that warns most urgently about the perils of “rogue” states and terrorist groups obtaining nuclear weapons may have unwittingly helped the proliferation it is trying to prevent.

Another irony is that the trove of 48,000 boxes of documents was made public largely at the urging of Iraq war hawks in Congress and the press, who believed they might contain the elusive proof that Saddam was developing nuclear weapons.

(Italics mine)

Oy Vey, I wished I knew more Yiddish.

BTW: Why would the Department of Homeland Proctology and Bovine Scatology wait until the NY Times called if the IAEA had told them about it the week before?

Updated 11-4-06 # 4:56P work at the NYTimes

Politics one OH! one

I like listening to political analysis from all over the spectrum, which if your new to the political scene or politics in general is an absolute necessity. The thing to do is read many until they begin to deviate from the curve of what should be done, or could be done, or the political impact of an event, whether you agree with their political views or not, but always think for yourself. Go with your gut feelings until you have either a policy position to advocate, or a political outline of your own issues and where to get the wonk. Then start looking down the road at where the politicians are really going as opposed to where they say they are going. The pros can do a lot of arm waving that really does fool most of the people all of the time, so prepare yourself for the skepticism interrupted by bouts of full blown cynicism, while being derided by the fooled.

Try to remember that being better informed makes you better informed, not smarter. Always understand the other sides arguments, both pro and con. Then like they say down here in Texas, “Shoot like Hell and Holler.”

Are the analysts always better than the agency?

Over the Rubicon, Into the Styx

SCOTT RITTER speaks, you listen this time

The Case for Engagement

No Brainer to light the fuse?

Justin adds weight to the neocons continuing disdain for reality.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

If I were a Democrat

I’d watch more TV, but hey, that would mean I would watch more Glen Beck decry the liberal media and demise of democracy, or whatever you call people fleeing TV viewing in droves. I’d wonder if Tony Snow really believes what he’s saying, or it is more like a former President and dis-barred Bill Clinton thing? (Reg’s got snark.)

Better Spiders and Eggs in the Vapor Net

The creator of the world wide web told the Guardian last night that the internet is in danger of being corrupted by fraudsters, liars and cheats. Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the Briton who founded the web in the early 1990s, says that if the internet is left to develop unchecked, “bad phenomena” will erode its usefulness.

So the creator of the WWW thinks the web is becoming like government, religion, stock markets and other run of the mill, all things Corleone?

Sir Tim was yesterday launching a new joint initiative between Southampton University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to create the first degree in web science. The two schools hope to raise the standards of web content.

O boy here comes the next wave of certificates. See what you’ve done Al Gore???!!!!

Update: Just so no one is offended, it’s the bloggers fault. Either that or someones on the wrong end of Orwell’s television.

Hail to the Dud, He’s a bumbler, not just a mumbler

British believe Bush more dangerous than Kim Jong-il

In Britain, 69% of those questioned say they believe US policy has made the world less safe since 2001, with only 7% thinking action in Iraq and Afghanistan has increased global security.

The finding is mirrored in America’s immediate northern and southern neighbours, Canada and Mexico, with 62% of Canadians and 57% of Mexicans saying the world has become more dangerous because of US policy.

Even in Israel, which has long looked to America to guarantee national security, support for the US has slipped.

Only one in four Israeli voters say that Mr Bush has made the world safer, outweighed by the number who think he has added to the risk of international conflict, 36% to 25%. A further 30% say that at best he has made no difference.

Hail to the FUD and a North Korean DUD

EZ Sticks rocks in the Apples for a better time

Responding to the Kerry Flub, Hillary and Katie Channel Goofus and Gallant

EZ got snark too

Getting to know John

A Man Without A Home Ezra at least sets the record straight, which is what blogs do do so well.

Quick history: Back when I was but a baby Blogspot blogger, looking up the mountain at the mighty Matt Yglesias, I used to notice this guy John Cole in his comment threads. And I’d see Matt and him arguing back and forth, sometimes in comments, sometimes on front pages. I used to wish serious, tough rightwingers like John would take me seriously, and I took it as a major mark of accomplishment when, later on, John began blasting my beliefs over at Pandagon. This was, mind you, no more than two years ago. So here’s a selection of John from back then:

John got snark, too.

Billmon got Snark

The Joke’s On Us

Katie got snark

I’ve had two good laughs since logging on. It ought to almost be enough, but misadventure awaits.

A Rerun I still believe

I firmly believe America’s road is toward a more democratic, inclusive society, built on respect for the individuals rights over the state, the states right to intercede and correct abuses of the majority and the powerful, and the majorities right to govern.

I find little logic in appeals to the past and the good old days, especially from people who would be unable to survive in the times they seem to espouse and hold so dear. America’s past may be a beacon to some, but her future is a beacon to me. She is not nearly as great a nation as she could be, so those who hold to the status quo are robbing themselves of unknown riches, and holding all of our children hostages to their desire for the sedentary existence of a pond within the tree lined banks of conformity.

I wish a foreign policy based on the respect of individual nations for each other, to allow other nations to seek and find their own happiness within the political, social and economic systems that they determine to be most suitable to themselves to provide for the common welfare and happiness of their own people, without the influence or interference of or from our government. I seek an American foreign policy that does not project our military strength beyond our own borders except in self defense, and not for the narrow interests of the minority economically powerful, which endangers all Americans from the repercussions of their misdeeds. America should encourage freedom, liberty and democracy in all nations and not just the few, and not support repressive dictatorships and kingdoms for the economic convenience of our own people, or the narrow interests of corporations.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

What digby says

I have to give the Republicans credit, I really do. The head of their party, the president of the United States, the leader of the free world is almost virtually unintelligible when he speaks, he insults people, creates international incidents and when not making gaffe after gaffe, is almost entirely incoherent. Yet they just got away with two days of wall-to-wall pearl clutching and hanky wringing over an irrelevant Democrats’ blown punchline.

They may not be able to keep their majority after this disasterous experiment in Tinkerbell governance, but they continue to impress with their gigantic brass… impudence. Gentlemen, I salute you.

Nuff said about it.

Darned Spittin’

Mr. Wolcott again at his seemingly leisurely best.

Yeah, well, The boys are back in town.

Another Day in America

I read the news today oh boy
About a lucky man who made the grade
And though the news was rather sad
Well I just had to laugh
I saw the photograph

He blew his mind out in a car
He didn’t notice that the lights had changed
A crowd of people stood and stared
They’d seen his face before
Nobody was really sure
If he was from the House of Lords

I saw a film today oh boy
The English Army had just won the war
A crowd of people turned away
But I just had to look
Having read the book
I’d love to turn you on

Woke up, fell out of bed
Dragged a comb across my head
Found my way downstairs and drank a cup
And looking up I noticed I was late
Found my coat and grabbed my hat
Made the bus in seconds flat
Found my way upstairs and had a smoke
And somebody spoke and I went into a dream

I read the news today oh boy
Four thousand holes in Blackburn, Lancashire
And though the holes were rather small
They had to count them all
Now they know how many holes it takes to fill the Albert Hall
I’d love to turn you on

oh BTW: The Beatles, A Day In The Life (Lennon/McCartney), but you knew that.

In the Eyes of a Child

BA goes all parenty on us, and leaves the world a better place in many places at the same time, because astronomers are cool. After all who hasn’t read “Cuckoo’s Egg,”?

Liberal or conservative, libertarian or autocrat, right/left/middle/agnostic, I don’t care. These are not theoretical issues. Maybe they never were, but they have solid impact these days, very solid. You might think Battlestar Galactica is just a TV show, or you might think it’s a literary masterpiece, but either way, it’s an excellent stepping stone to talk about topics that really, we all need to be talking about now. My daughter is young, and there’s no way she can understand the subtleties of these arguments, but I’m hoping that just by talking about them with her she is learning how to think about them. I swear, if more people knew how to think, this world would be a far finer place to live.

With finer things to think about, and of. An infinite loop about here would be a good thing. See, even the little kids are going to be alright too. Thanks Mr.& Mrs. BA and all you parents.

ED: Reckon I ought to add the link.

Last stop for some buckaroes

Cash-out refinancing Strong in Q3

via Calculated Risk

U.S. homeowners took cash out of their homes in the third quarter at the highest rate in 16 years, spurred by high costs on other types of loans, according to home finance company Freddie Mac.

In the quarter, 89 percent of Freddie Mac-owned loans that refinanced got mortgages that were at least 5 percent larger than the original balances. That compared with 88 percent in the prior quarter and was the highest level since the second quarter of 1990, when it was at 91 percent.

The total amount refinanced, however, fell in the third quarter.

What that means is; If you owed $100,000 at 7%, refinanced at 7.37% and took an extra $10,000, you basically took a loan for $10,000 at 10-11%.

I had thought that spending had slowed as consumers wary of the economy saved for Christmas, but I worked a retail POS job once and a slow Christmas was No Christmas.

It’s Location, location, location

Russian hacking case can be heard in England, says judge

A case claiming that two Russian companies hacked into a London computer system can be heard in English courts, a judge has ruled. The Russian companies involved had argued that English courts had no jurisdiction.

A bitter legal dispute ranging across a number of cases and jurisdictions is raging between three companies, one a state-owned company in Tajikstan, another the Russian firm which is the third biggest aluminium producer in the world and the last a Guernsey-based company.

I think we’ve heard this server farm yard tale before.

Cows have stopped producing milk in Somerset ?

Windows Firewall exploit overhyped

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to investigate reports that cows have stopped producing milk in Somerset as the result of an IE exploit or possibly generated the influx of whiskey-loving Romanian witches. ®

A Note from the Centrist Realist

Dismantling Cheney’s Control

Steve Clemons can be a little fish oil on the waves for those tired of the political yada yada.

Kerry Drops Out of 2008 Race

Last week Republicans wanted to talk about 2008.

“I sincerely regret that my words were misinterpreted to wrongly imply anything negative about those in uniform, and I personally apologize to any service member, family member or American who was offended,” he said in a written statement.

“As a combat veteran, I want to make it clear to anyone in uniform and to their loved ones: My poorly stated joke at a rally was not about, and [was] never intended to refer to any troop,” he said.

I’m not really to upset about it, but as Senator McCain noted, my peps aren’t in a combat zone, which I fail to see has much to do with the Kerry remark, that taken on its’ face pinches up your stomach. Senator McCain’s remark would have done so without Senator Kerry’s remark to blue screen it. I know the elections are important, I know the issues are critical, but I also know that my peps are not a political football for the the Semanticly Clueless in DC or the media.

At what point to we become Americans? Let Congress debate pay and boots for the men of Valley Forge as they always have, but peel your scabs off of each other and leave the rest of us out of it.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

This song is our song, This song is our song

America

by Samuel F. Smith

My country, ’tis of Thee,
Sweet Land of Liberty
Of thee I sing;
Land where my fathers died,
Land of the pilgrims’ pride,
From every mountain side
Let Freedom ring.

My native country, thee,
Land of the noble free,
Thy name I love;
I love thy rocks and rills,
Thy woods and templed hills,
My heart with rapture thrills
Like that above.

Let music swell the breeze,
And ring from all the trees
Sweet Freedom’s song;
Let mortal tongues awake;
Let all that breathe partake;
Let rocks their silence break,
The sound prolong.

Our fathers’ God to Thee,
Author of Liberty,
To thee we sing,
Long may our land be bright
With Freedom’s holy light,
Protect us by thy might
Great God, our King.

Our glorious Land to-day,
‘Neath Education’s sway,
Soars upward still.
Its hills of learning fair,
Whose bounties all may share,
Behold them everywhere
On vale and hill!

Thy safeguard, Liberty,
The school shall ever be,
Our Nation’s pride!
No tyrant hand shall smite,
While with encircling might
All here are taught the Right
With Truth allied.

Beneath Heaven’s gracious will
The stars of progress still
Our course do sway;
In unity sublime
To broader heights we climb,
Triumphant over Time,
God speeds our way!

Grand birthright of our sires,
Our altars and our fires
Keep we still pure!
Our starry flag unfurled,
The hope of all the world,
In peace and light impearled,
God hold secure!

Ed Note: I don’t agree with everything Sam says either, but his heart’s in the right place. Just like you and me. He was an optimistic lad wasn’t he?

Blogs are opinion, the News is Propaganda, still

I had thought to just give up any blogging as the old spiral notebook still suffices as a journal, and it is a lot easier to sample from a non public source than from the semi autonomous blog, which may seem odd to non-writers who have in my opinion failed to realize how creative the human mind is, and that that includes their own minds. Anyway, most writers used to keep pads of paper around all the time so that an idea or turn of phrase may be jotted down before it gets lost in the incessant talking within ones own head.

I am more than a little amused at the fragile egos of the public punditry and professional writers who have decided that it was necessary to attack the blogs and bloggers for the having the temerity to criticise the MSM™, and Traditional Media™. Hey ya crybabies, some of us have suffered real personal damage from your efforts to succor the ruling elites, and to maintain some sort of lid on the growing democratic tendencies amongst the people. If anyone ever needed their asses kicked, for the most part, you in the national MSM do.

Posted by EZSmirkzz at 7:39 AM

See, I’m mellowing.

Mr. Kerry’s Remarks

“If anyone thinks a veteran would criticize the more than 140,000 heroes serving in Iraq and not the president who got us stuck there, they’re crazy. This is the classic G.O.P. playbook. I’m sick and tired of these despicable Republican attacks that always seem to come from those who never can be found to serve in war, but love to attack those who did.

I’m not going to be lectured by a stuffed suit White House mouthpiece standing behind a podium, or doughy Rush Limbaugh, who no doubt today will take a break from belittling Michael J. Fox’s Parkinson’s disease to start lying about me just as they have lied about Iraq . It disgusts me that these Republican hacks, who have never worn the uniform of our country lie and distort so blatantly and carelessly about those who have.

The people who owe our troops an apology are George W. Bush and Dick Cheney who misled America into war and have given us a Katrina foreign policy that has betrayed our ideals, killed and maimed our soldiers, and widened the terrorist threat instead of defeating it. These Republicans are afraid to debate veterans who live and breathe the concerns of our troops, not the empty slogans of an Administration that sent our brave troops to war without body armor.

Bottom line, these Republicans want to debate straw men because they’re afraid to debate real men. And this time it won’t work because we’re going to stay in their face with the truth and deny them even a sliver of light for their distortions. No Democrat will be bullied by an administration that has a cut and run policy in Afghanistan and a stand still and lose strategy in Iraq .”

The John Kerry nonsense
by kos

Update:Kerry Says ‘I’m Sorry’ on MSNBC, Snow Still Claiming He Hasn’t Apologized

This morning on MSNBC, Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) apologized for his comments on Monday. “Of course I’m sorry for the botched joke,” he said, calling his comments “pretty stupid.

I finally heard his remark this morning that the above was supposed to clarify. One can only wonder why more Senators don’t become Presidents.

If anyone hasn’t been offended in the blogosphere,

I wouldn’t read Billmon, TBogg, Justin, Atrios etc if I didn’t expect to be offended at some point. If they always said what I was thinking, or had the same jokes, jabs and jive, then what really would be the point? That’s the whole point of reading all those people I used to link to. They articulate messages in ways that I choose not to, or I cannot. The only thing for certain is that someone is going to be offended no matter what you write or post.

Snark isn’t exclusive to the nets by a long shot, unless you miss Geico’s ads, or color lensing and such used by various stations to send the snark along. CNN refering to the Democrat Party is snark too. I suppose I alone am without snark. As BadTux would say, “Badtux, the snarky Penguin”, so it has infected the code too. Which reminds me, what sort of Easter eggs do you think Diebold stashed in theirs?

Off color humor, which I have been known to indulge in, is usually counter productive to a lot of my personal goals as far as reaching and influencing an audience, which one must presume from reactions, but I think you need to skate out onto thin ice sometimes just to see who else is falling in the drink. It’s not like I don’t hear Tom Koch refer to a potty mouth, which is a pretty good hint of some pretty bad form on someones part, and so to be safe I assume it’s me.

I am having to say that people are people to soon, but as, “Where there is a will there is a way”, pointed out about Profs, and Instructors, so goes the media business. Bloggers have the luxury of blowing it in semi autonomous obscurity, (which is never good security in and of itself,) while the media talking heads don’t. My schedule is when I want to and can, and theirs is canned and wanting. My editorial policy is wing it, like a lot of other bloggers, and once in awhile I’ll tell the whole wide world to kiss my ass, because that’s what blogging is too. It makes it easier to apologize to everyone at once as well.

Anyway, long story short, I stand with Billmon on this, and he can pinch anything he wants from my blog, except, ” I didn’t know Billmon was a liberal™”, which is of course copy lefted, so he can use it anyway.

Thinking for Myself

I’m not much on prognosticating elections other than we’ll hear the usual, “The American people have spoken…”, which is true to the extent that more than half of them didn’t even raise a peep, much less go out and vote. On these hang the fate of a world, that has become so politically corrupt all politics has to be local, where one can choose between two people one is either acquainted with, or with someone in the family. Why bother.

The biggest voter turnoff is still the fog of information that carries more facts based on opinion the better at disseminating information we’ve become at it. Television is still the primary face of the information flow for the average joe, while the politically challenged get even more from talk radio. I don’t say that to denigrate those who do watch TV and listen to the radio anymore than I say it to denigrate the presenters of the infortainment. But it does become surreal when average people start saying the exact same things with the same emotional inflections and one supposes, the same physical articulations as the presenters.

If any thing is a hallmark of America’s educational failure it’s the inability of the people at large to see past the shiny bobles of their own language. There is something majestic about language and the scepter of the mind. Only a fool bows down to it.

Iraq in a Nutshell

via Juan Cole

Saudi Ambassador to the United States Prince Turki al-Faisal warned Monday against partitioning Iraq and against an abrupt US departure:

‘ “To envision that you can divide Iraq into three parts is to envision ethnic cleansing on a massive scale, sectarian killing on a massive scale,” Prince Turki al-Faisal said as he answered questions after a Washington speech. “Since America came into Iraq uninvited, it should not leave Iraq uninvited.” ‘

That is our conundrum isn’t it? When all else is said and done, it’s R mess.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Mr. President gets an interveiw

An exclusive interbuse

Always Right Hornblow ( ARH): Thank you Mr. President

Mr. President: Good to be here Shaun

ARH: Yes, it is for my ratings. Now Mr. President you are out campaigning for Republicans left and right, but when do you think Democrats started beating their wives?

Mr. President: Look, I never said they were beating their wives, I said they didn’t understand women, which some of them do, but they were against it before they were for it. But look Shaun, I’m the Commander in Grief, I have to ask the tough questions, like when did you stop beating your wives? I have advisers that ask Democrats, when did you stop beating your wives?

ARH: So what message are you trying to get out before the elections, Mr. President?

Mr. President: That I’m a good man, I’m an optimistic man, that Democrats beat their wives.

ARH: What so you say to your critics, that call you names?

Mr. President: Well, Shaun, you know what I said in the back? Well, I don’t say that on TV before an election. Look they beat their wives until they beat themselves on election day. I understand that. That’s why they’re misquided people. See evil people beat their wives see, but I don’t ask, I don’t tell, because I know it’s uncivilized to ask people when they quit beating their wives, when we have intelligence that it is in fact going on right here in NY City, Shaun. That’s what they don’t like about domestic spying. We here all this Constitution this Constitution that, because they don’t want us knowing whether they really have stopped beating their wives.

ARH: So the Constitution is a highly overrated document in the War on Terror?

Mr. President: The Constitution means what people want it to mean, I mean, I got highly trained lawyers to tell me things like that. It’s not like I listen into phone call at the White House, I got Langley and Generals in the NSA, and they listen in on those conversations, but I don’t listen to anyone on the phone. Look the Constitution was OK until we took power, but I’m not going to have a bunch of misunderstanders stand in the way of rooting terrorism loot out of Afghanistan and Iraq. I keep tellin the American people I’m not a divider, and in two years they’ll understand better, It’s the wive beatings.

ARH:So do really have to listen to the Democrats if they take over the House?

Mr. President: Look If they take over the House or Senate, then the next thing you know they would be appointing the SoD at the Pentagon, and letting Irag off the hook. Look what would happen if the Islamic radicals got a hold of all that oil? Why the next thing you know, in a decade or two, they could be pumping that oil at millions of barrels a day more than Saddam, and soon as we got hooked, BAM!, they go cutting us off and the price of oil triples in six years. Do you think Islamic Jihadists won’t use that oil revenue to finance further terrorist attacks? It’s the Mother of all wife beaters in the House if Pelosi takes over.

ARH: So will you be going out and giving any speeches to the general public, or have the Democrats ruined that too?

Mr. President: Oh no, the American people are really to uncivilized in this climate of Fear Uncertainty and Doubt. Karl calls it FUD. Yeah we’re the FUDRakers. But, no, I don’t think it’s necessary to communicate with anyone who may ask me a question I haven’t heard. See that’s what we call Stand and Deliver. The Democrats call it beating their wives.

We will be right back after this message.

FEAR UNCERTAINTY & DOUBT — You’ll Miss US When We’re Gone–Wive beaters!

Zeroed to the Bone

I’m not a big fan of blog maintenance, which means either the links grow in size and rot, or size and disorganization. Since anyone reading this blog has the same thing going on with their own bookmarks…

It was a Stark and Dormy Night

You know people with access to a keyboard all day long really do have an advantage over us blue color trudgers with flip notebooks and pens, and working in and out of doors on a gorgeous day really has its’ drawbacks, that those of you with keyboards and air conditioning and a view of something gorged out of the machine, really don’t understand. But hey, I’m not a psychiatrist, so we’ll all have to deal with it, you know? Productivity always picks up in the spring when the nerds in the computer room, I mean when, love is in the air. Until then, then, you folks in cubicles will have to get even with me as I trudgerly trudge in with the crunching of winter beneath my boots…, wait a minute I’m not in the nawth, as I trudgerly trudge outside in a cold gumbo sucking my rubbers off, at precisely the wrong time. But hey, I’m not a weatherman, so we’ll all have to deal with it, you know? But if I did have access to keyboard all day long then I could quit polishing my double sestina with with rhyme, which has been reduced to eleven verses and a closing twice as dull and inane as “Lisa,”. But hey, I’m not a poem polisher, so we’ll all have to deal with it, you know? Yeah it’s hard to see the advantage to all that, but I get to hear things said in ways that you can’t hear at the office or in the media and put them on the neener net, But hey, I’m not a complainer, so we’ll all have to deal with it, you know?

Maybe after the election we can give a nudge here

World ‘failing on hunger pledges’

Little progress has been made in tackling world hunger despite pledges by leaders to halve the number who are underfed, the UN’s food agency says.

The Green Bush, and The Yellow Submarine Republican

“Progressive” Nonprofit Repped by Bush-Cheney Vet

Well, I think we have our answer as to who is behind the Progressive Policy Council, the phony group behind a mailer that’s gone out to an untold number of Pennsylvania voters in an apparent attempt to sour liberal voters on Democrat Bob Casey.

But it’s a swift submarine. HT Josh

It’s that simple.

It really is.

Let us reason together

Beyond Ideology

(The following is the text of a talk given at Duke University before a joint meeting sponsored by the Libertarian Party of North Carolina and the Green Party.)

The basic division, into “Left” and “Right,” is particularly acute this time around. Back in the Vietnam era, we didn’t have too many conservatives who opposed the war – aside from a few libertarians here and there, the antiwar movement of the 1960s was pretty exclusively a left-wing phenomenon. This time, however, there is a significant – and growing – contingent of antiwar conservatives, exemplified by the editors of The American Conservative magazine, including Patrick J. Buchanan, who have been savagely critical of this war and have come to question the entire rationale for our foreign policy of global intervention.

Yet, to listen to many on the Left, you’d never know that many on the Right are coming to see the error of interventionism: there is no acknowledgment that the antiwar movement is broader than the political space between Noam Chomsky and Katrina vanden Heuvel. In making this point, I speak from personal experience: as the editorial director of Antiwar.com and a committed libertarian, I’ve watched with dismay as tiny left-wing antiwar groups – with nowhere near our audience of 100,000 readers daily – dominate the planning and platform of major antiwar events. The left-wing antiwar coalitions have never asked a member of the Antiwar.com staff to address or even help promote one of their events. The reason: we’re libertarians, and, as such, are outside their universe of politically acceptable alternatives.

This is not a new criticism from just Justin either. That’s not the meat of the speech, but it has always been a pet peeve of mine. I don’t have any allusions about political mind melding from these efforts, so long as every possible rationale for war is examined and and given a depth of coverage among the antiwar coalitions.

It’s a long way to Pat for the left, Justin I can handle.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Well, that’s it for the weekend shift , so good night and God Bless.

Teach Your Children Lyrics

MP3 Downloads

Send Crosby, Stills, Nash (and Young) polyphonic ringtone to your cell phone

Teach Your Children
by Graham Nash

You Who Are On The Road
Must Have A Code
That You Can Live By
And So Become Yourself
Because The Past
Is Just A Goodbye.

Teach Your Children Well
Their Father’s Hell
did Slowly Go By
And Feed Them On Your Dreams
The One They fix
The One You’ll Know By.

Don’t You Ever Ask Them Why
If They Told You, You Would Cry
So Just Look At Them And Sigh
And Know They Love You.

And You, (Can you hear and)
Of Tender Years (Do you care and)
Can’t Know The Fears (Can you see we)
That Your Elders Grew By (Must be free to)
And So Please Help (Teach your children what)
Them With Your Youth (You believe in)
They Seek The Truth (Make a world that)
Before They Can Die (We can live in)

Teach Your Parents Well
Their Children’s Hell
Will Slowly Go By
And Feed Them On Your Dreams
The One They fix
The One You’ll Know By.

Don’t You Ever Ask Them Why
If They Told You, You Would Cry
So Just Look At Them And Sigh
And Know They Love You.

When the Band Takes the Stage

For those who don’t watch CMT I hope they repeat the Randy Travis and Josh Turner show, or you’ll miss one of the best bits of guitar magic and adaptability you’re apt to catch from professional musicians. The band never misses a beat. Anyway Josh’s nasal twang doesn’t work in his version of Randy’s tune. You don’t have to be a genius to spot it either, which is I think the height of respect for the audience on the part of the musicians, but most especially Mr. Travis. I looked for the link, sorry.

The other really awesome band was with Alejandro Escovedo who can reach all the way back to Jimmy Rodgers* for some of his rockers. If you miss him, I think you miss too much as well.

Update: Don’t get me wrong about Mr. Escovedo’s band either.

Update II: * “No More Blues”

Top Secret meal tickets, and such

Darth pulls the punched ones

Those of you with thin ears may want to TiVo Steve’s views;

… Halliburton subsidiary KBR, for example, listed the number of meals served at dining halls where it is the contractor as proprietary, the Houston Chronicle reported.

…Halliburton spokeswoman Cathy Mann, in an e-mail, said … that “KBR has included proprietary markings on the majority of its data and property in support of its government contracts for the U.S. Army for at least the last decade.”

It is a nice shot

Ooooh, look at the pretty colors!

“So, like, you’re telling me there’s a universe in my thumbnail?”

No, I’d say there’s a thumbnail sketch of the universe in your head, and I’m not looking for any other watertiger claws either. That’s dependable.

Heads up ball

Insurance Is Not Pie

The worst non-negative campaign commercial of 2006 belongs to Cruz Bustamante, California Democrat. The following is a close paraphrase of Bustamante’s voiceover.

Roger Ailes, the Bloodied, But Unbowed one.

Is you is, or is you ain’t for winning?

What a load,

are for or against winning the war in Iraq?

insert your favorite Republishcan link anywhere above.

If you wish to debate on this issue Monsieur, first we must define the terms.

What do you define winning as, staying the course, but with the tactical “Duck and Cover” adjustment for your, (if history has any justice, forgotten,) arses?

Remember when “We the People” in opinion congressed, demanded you go to the UN and get a resolution which was your last great hope for victory in Iraq? Do you want us to go back to the UN and ask them to figure it out for us, or should we wait until the realists among us, if elected/re-elected, have analyzed the situation before moving off into the wild blue yonder with you once again?

ED: My bad, HT Atrios

“The thing I like about English is using all words,” George Will might as well have said

I’m sure William F. Buckley Jr. still thinks youth is wasted on the young, but I’ll ask him if I’m ever back that way.

Update: I’m sorry George, but I was laughing so hard I couldn’t understand a thing you said.

errata: fixed generation gap in Mr. Buckley’s family.

Broken Glass Republicans? Puleese

They Haven’t Even Lost Yet by digby

You know that’s another thing about teh blogs, digby’s been doing this so long he posts it between getting up out of bed and scratching his rear, and heading for the bathroom.

At least that’s what I would think if I were to actually know digby well enough to pretend that I knew him that well at all. Otherwise the obvious question for the whine and cheese Republican, “Who broke the friggin glass?“, would have been asked. But you can take brilliant observation for intimate acquaintance with digby’s waking habits if you want.

The records stuck The records stuck The records stuck The records stuck

It’s Time To Kick Butt And…GOTV! By Christy Hardin Smith

It’s Time To Kick Butt And…GOTV! By Christy Hardin Smith

It’s Time To Kick Butt And…GOTV! By Christy Hardin Smith

It’s Time To Kick Butt And…GOTV! By Christy Hardin Smith

Shrraatchh: Watch This after you read that.

Another Seemingly Endless Loop on the Information ,Hiwave

Blogger is bloggered and new stuff isn’t necessarily showing up on the main page. Try clicking here for the new stuff.

Is Our Bloggers Legitimate

This always comes up in the lawyering of any individuals political expression, because like I said earlier, a lot of people work their entire lives to get a hold of the publics interest and trust. Unfortunately they never quite reach escape velocity so as to orbit being a human being, even though they remind us constantly that they have.

Personally, I would like to apologize to one and all for injecting humor and optimism back into the American discourse, illegitimate as that may as a political tool. I didn’t mean too, but the devil made me do it, so that makes it all cool right?

I mean I will refrain from being a self righteous pompous ass when the MSM and American political leaders quit bullshitting themselves, like they do to the American people. That’s like meeting someone halfway Mr. President.

A blog is an individual voice. My blog belongs to me. Tweety and the Loons sing whatever they’re told to sing by whomever owns their contract. MSM is shorthand for brown nosing corporate journalism.

Those journalist that actually do their jobs may feel like their being scooped up in the generalizations, which then becomes counter productive to getting past the legitimate soft shoe shuffles of the elite. It works that way in the blogistan too.

Two things I don’t do anymore, link to MSM in the sidebar, or endorse political candidates near or far. I avoid the American MSM as much as possible, and rarely read their work unless it’s linked from a blog, which will be fact checked in a heartbeat and corrected when WRONG.

All anyone has to do is look at the world around them to see the works of the legitimate folks, duly reported by the legitimate folks. I suppose half truths from politicians half reported by the MSM is legitimate if half of oneself prefers the lies.

I will establish my legitimacy with God through Christ, the rest of you can kiss my ass.