Monthly Archives: January 2008

EZSmirkzz Jan 12-18, 2008

Friday, January 18, 2008

The Election of 2010

Whaat??!

For those of you wanting to take over the party machine I would suggest that you instead focus on becoming the machine.

I’ve mentioned this before, but, you really need to get in touch with your local precincts now, toe the line through this election and get some local cred, and then make a move after the current election.

There are a lot of reasons for doing so, but I think if you ponder on it, (that’s Southern talk for thinking,) you’ll come up with them. Give Howard Dean a shout out, he has the addresses and contact info.

Think of it as a PO the elites and establishment suggestion.

(I fixed the timestamp. I was lurking on my own blog.)

What We Have Here, Is a Failure To Communicate

Today’s Must Read

http://EZSmirkzz1_files/-J3tdAuBJ3krel0color10xd6d6d6color20xf0f0f0border0.swf

For months, the White House has battling the D.C. watchdog Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington in court. The accusation is pretty straightforward: for more than a year between 2003 and 2005, the White House failed to archive emails, and the group had learned that as many as five million emails were lost as a result. The White House is required by law to retain them. White House spokeswoman Dana Perino responded that there had been a tech glitch: you know, we were transferring from Lotus Notes to Microsoft Outlook and… oops:

ROFL

This won’t fly in an F-5.

A Call To Patriotic Businessmen and Businesswomen

Now is the time to come to the aid of your country!

Stimulate the economy!

Give your employees a friggin raise ya cheap skates!

This will cause spending to rise over months, buoy optimism, and make up for the productivity increases without paying the piper the last five years.

The Freidman Unit Surge — One Year Later

The corpse of Iraq is still dead.

Buy Into Sin

CNBC is touting recession proof stocks such as liquor, tabaccoo and gambling. You can also do canned goods, and funeral homes.

This highlights the Republicans Wall Street and social conservative bases split.

Update: via TPM The LA Times picks up on a pivot point between the Obama and Clinton candidacies:

Barack Obama has warned about the dangers of gambling — that it carries a “moral and social cost” that could “devastate” poor communities. As a state senator in Illinois, he at times opposed plans to expand gambling, worrying that it could be especially harmful to low-income people.

I would imagine that people in Nevada understand that you can’t have free buffet’s at casino’s that are losing money, and that gambling is for people who cant do finite math.

Corrections

Commenter Nathaniel has informed me that I am wrong about Obama’s DLC ties.

I like it when that happens. After all there are enough sites catapulting the propaganda.

My apologies to the Senator.

WSJ Refutes American Population is Conservative

In 2004, the University of Michigan’s American National Election Studies (ANES) survey asked about 1,200 American adults to give their thermometer scores of various groups. People in this survey who called themselves “conservative” or “very conservative” did have a fairly low opinion of liberals — they gave them an average thermometer score of 39. The score that liberals give conservatives: 38. Looking only at people who said they are “extremely conservative” or “extremely liberal,” the right gave the left a score of 27; the left gives the right an icy 23. So much for the liberal tolerance edge.

Some might argue that this is simply a reflection of the current political climate, which is influenced by strong feelings about the current occupants of the White House. And sure enough, those on the extreme left give President Bush an average temperature of 15 and Vice President Cheney a 16. Sixty percent of this group gives both men the absolute lowest score: zero.

In a side-splitting exercise of circular logic, Brooks goes on to argue that unprecedented unpopularity of President Bush itself confirms his liberal hate thesis. While objective measures exist to show that the American people overall generally liked Bill Clinton at this point in his presidency (with approvals numbers in the 60’s) while reviling George W. Bush (approval numbers in the 30’s), Brooks contends liberals’ greater disdain now that conservatives in 1998 is proof of left-wing intolerance:

The things that pass for knowledge…

In Search of John Edwards

Is he still running?

Embezzle It!

I still think we ought to embezzle it from the Iraqi war funds, after all it is the American peoples hard earned money, requires no new spending, and stays within the parameters and principles of the Bushco administration.

The Breeze

I wrote this in 2002 in the WaPo forums, when liberals were outnumbered 20-1.

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 rule. 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.

http://EZSmirkzz1_files/AaTZkIInYNwrel0color10xd6d6d6color20xf0f0f0border0.swf

To quote Jefferson,

“Some men look at constitutions with sanctimonious reverence, and deem them like the ark of the Covenant, too sacred to be touched. They ascribe to the men of the preceding age a wisdom more than human, and suppose what they did to be beyond amendment… laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind… as that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, institutions must advance also, to keep pace with the times…. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain forever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.”

Consider it a Foghat moment.

Tellling Everyone

Katie Couric informed me last night that the government had expanded it’s no fly list. Apparently Al Whoda? has been using a “facebook” like site to recruit Jihadi’s. Apparently they have moved on now, or I wouldn’t have heard about it, now would I?

Or was I supposed to be scared?

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Link Sausage

I fiddle with the candidate links for too long, and decided to reduce it to those whom I can vote for in the general election. Seemed fair, to me.

In Search of Obama

From an Obama Fundraising Event

I hear these kinds of anecdotes sometimes, I figured I’d pass one along.

So I’m at this Obama fundraiser with 350 rich donors. He’s horrible. He just babbles. Then, every so often, he comes up with jewels like this:
“There is a nasty aspect to politics on the internet that has to be dealt with.”

Does that mean his online donors should get their money back?

I do not like Hillary, but who is this guy? Do we know?

He should have been out here five years ago when things were really rough.

UPDATE: This is from a source I know very well, it’s not a rumor. Obama said this. Someone in the comments did point out Obama could be referring to the nasty emails going around about him being a Muslim. That’s quite possible, though it doesn’t really change the general issues I have with his remark.

I’ll also note that this is one blog post among thousands I have written, and part of trying to figure out what kind of President Obama could be. These kinds of remarks, what he says to wealthy donors behind closed doors and how he thinks about internet politics, are part of figuring this out.

Agreed. The man is a DLCer, an organization that hasn’t exactly had cordial relations with the online community over the years either.

I think there is a tendency on the part of the DLC and other old fogies to think that the new new left is somehow part of, or more similar than is the case, of my generation’s new left. Free Speech being a major similarity, but I think it was more of a primary cause back then than now, with net neutrality being more a rear guard action now. Free speech in the other media is pretty effectively dead, but now thrives out here in the unknowns of the tubes, and so the lack of familiarity with the net is a source of anxiety. Hence the horror stories of online weirdos takes a precedent in their estimation, which is still a fear of the unknown. There are some more similarities to be sure, but those are far out weighed by the differences in environments that have spawned the two different movements.

On the other hand much of the trench warfare between the netroots and wingnuts has reached pretty serious levels of invective that is off putting to the religiously inclined, which Obama definitely is one of. Being a Christian, the Muslim baiting currently flying around is IMO more likely to roll off of his back than it would the more agnostic, atheistic netroots who endured the early days of being out numbered in what was and is basically a Rovian echo chamber of Republican Party tools. We have fought them in the forums, we have fought them in the blogs and we have fought them in the fund raising wars. ( I can’t think of anyway to squeeze a “and we will never surrender into the previous line, my bad.)

Being religious, Obama is going to be more conservative on a lot of social issues than many in the netroots are. Being a politician, Obama is going to say things to his rich buddies that he wouldn’t say to the general public because it would expose him as a politician. That isn’t exclusive to Obama.

The free fire zone of the internet is life blood of the progressive movement because it is the only way to expose ideas and policy, both good and bad, to peer review and critic in such a way as to respond to real time events. If we were conservatives we could just tattoo “Give me that old time _______” on our heads and wait for the Party brass to tell us what that fill in the blank for the day was, in their version of free speech.

Daniel Webster said, “The contest for ages has been to rescue liberty from the grasp of executive power.” Should Mr. Obama obtain to the Presidency, he shall find that contest is still afoot.

Just Wondering

If the US economy only needs a hundred billion dollar cash injection why can’t we just embezzle it from the Iraq war funding like the Iraqis do?

Old Advice Still Holds

For those of you young people still renting or doing OK with your mortgages, the key to making your money work is saving enough to work with.

Live on eighty percent of your take home pay, give 10% to your favorite charity, or God, and give ten percent to yourself. When you can afford to loose money in the stock market take half of your savings and put that in another account to serve as an interest bearing docking station for your investment money.

Research companies you like. For instance historically in my sentient years IBM has fluctuated between 85-115 per share. YMMV. Buy low sell high, stash the profit in your stock account, buy low save high.

I’m not saying to buy or not buy IBM, it could be whatever your favorite company may be, I’m just pointing out how to arrange things so your money is making money. But saving in the beginning is the key. Just putting the ten percent into CD’s will let you retire with some security.

I tried drinking beer and smoking weed, and that didn’t work.

edited for spilling

Ring Around The Posers – Cashless, Cashless..

Jenga

Ambac and MBIA are the two Jenga pieces which will pull the whole shitpile down. They insure all of the shitpile, allowing everyone to pretend that all of the risky stuff they own isn’t risky at all. But that insurance is most likely a complete fantasy as it seems Ambac and MBIA don’t have the cash to pay out claims. I should’ve gotten into the bond insurance business. Lower their ratings, you destroy their businesses. More than that, you wipe out the insurance fantasy, forcing everyone who insured with them to admit they have all this risky stuff on the books. Recognizing, of course, that in this context “risky” is just a euphemism for “shitty.”

Nothing funny about this.

Ron Paul’s Newsletter – Who Wrote What

Why Paul Needs to Grapple with His Own Paleo-Past

Rockwell has denied responsibility for the newsletters’ contents to The New Republic’s Jamie Kirchick. Rockwell twice declined to discuss the matter with reason, maintaining this week that he had “nothing to say.” He has characterized discussion of the newsletters as “hysterical smears aimed at political enemies” of The New Republic. Paul himself called the controversy “old news,” and “ancient history” when we reached him last week, and he has not responded to further request for comment.

But a source close to the Paul presidential campaign told Reason that Rockwell authored much of the content of the Political Report and Survival Report. “If Rockwell had any honor he’d come out and I say, I wrote this stuff,'” said the source, who asked not to be named because Paul remains friendly with Rockwell and is reluctant to assign responsibility for the letters. “He should have done it 10 years ago.”

Read the whole thing.

Gro-cession

Pesky Brits are coining another term.

Update: That is compliment.

Update2: Since my email is Boswell K Smythe it is apropos.

Update3: Market confusion, CNBC has the DJ up 38.+ CNN is down 34.+

Update4: No, there wil be no live blogging of the stock tickers.

Reagan’s Revolution

The Shriveling of Michigan

Of course, Michigan has done that before as well. The state was a bastion of the Reagan Democrats, working-class men who bolted the Democratic Party and fled the dictates of their union bosses. Reagan lured them into his camp with promises of muscular militarism, race-baiting and hymns to the fetus. The Gipper repaid them with layoffs, busted strikes and off-shoring of factories.

As went Michigan, so goes the country.

ER Hell, If Hell Exists, & Damned Media Driving Blog Post Edition

CNN’s American Morning is highlighting Glenn Beck’s hospital visit, which has gone viral on some video site, and since that hits close to home I thought I would interject some things not being looked into, AFAIK, on the Television.

There are three types of patients that present themselves at hospital emergency rooms; 1) the indigent and people who cannot afford health insurance who also are aware that many hospitals are supported by taxes and so cannot refuse emergency room medical care to anyone, 2) those who have insurance and are like Mr. Beck well paid professionals who present with problems that for various reasons of those patients have not been presented to their family doctors and consequently become emergencies to those patients, 3) people under going medical emergencies, such as gunshot wounds, car accidents, heart attacks etc.

I am not familiar with the particulars of Mr. Becks case, but as a friend of Bill’s I can only offer him some insight, hopefully into his ER treatment. From what I have heard however, he has pretty good clue about it all. Tax supported hospitals are under increasing pressure to be self supporting businesses, which given patient class number 1 above pretty much assures that they won’t be.

To contain costs, however, like many businesses, labor is one of the primary means of controlling expenses, and hospitals are no exception. The only method for increasing revenue is to increase the tax burden on the citizens and business within the whatever taxing district the hospital is located in.

Americans are notoriously anti-tax, and so that option is not very salable, and no local politician is willing to actually come out and say so. So taxes stay low, and the people get what they pay for.

As for the rest of Mr. Becks encounter with the medical community, including the surgery, that is beyond any insight of mine except empathy. As Mr. Beck is aware, drugs and people can produce strange and startling results, primarily because as human beings we are all unique chemical furnaces that do not handle drugs exactly the same as someone else.

But as to his ER experience, all I would add is that every different personality type is present there in that work place as there are at his radio and television gigs. Aptitude is not indicative of the motivation of any employee.

I wish Mr. Beck well in his recovery, and hope that Dr. Bob is consulting him through this difficult phase of his life.

Now, can I get back to political snark?

Wrap That Rascal!

Study finds big decline in abortions

The most comprehensive study in years of abortion in America underscores a striking change in the landscape, with ever-fewer pregnant women choosing abortion and those who do increasingly opting to avoid surgical clinics.

The number of abortions has plunged to 1.2 million a year, down 25 percent since hitting a peak in 1990, according to a report released today — days before the 35th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion.

In the early 1980s, nearly one in three pregnant women chose abortion. The most recent data show that proportion is closer to one in five.

Abort some wingers!

Forgot the Update: OK! OK! not everyone who opposes abortion is a winger.

A Reminder On South Carolina

IN the next couple of days, don’t believe anything bad you hear about the candidates, and only half of the good.

Behold! I Am Making All Things New

Revelation 21.5

Update:

Update2: I deleted the previous update as non germane.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Things I Don’t Understand

“Conservatives” on Clinton News Network whining about the “liberal media”.

Libertarians that call themselves conservatives.

Conservatives that call themselves libertarians.

Why every problem conservatives can discern is described in apocalyptic terms or as apocalyptic.

Why anyone besides conservatives are surprised that people that grew up under Reagan and entered the media/journalistic occupations under Bush41/Clinton would be conservatives that whine about the liberal media.

Update 1-17 AM : OK that’s been clarified.

Lou Dobb’s World

Who can participate in Nevada’s Republican caucuses?

If you are currently registered as a Republican in Nevada you are already eligible to participate. If you are a new resident to Nevada or if you are planning to change your party affiliation to Republican you will need to register 30 days prior to the caucus in order to participate.

Also, if you are seventeen years old and will be eighteen years old on or before November 4, 2008, you will be welcome to participate when you register as a Republican.

I don’t see anything here about being a US citizen, so I was wondering Lou, if you planned on looking into this caucus, and for that matter all the states with high illegal alien populations, and what procedures are in place in those states to ensure the integrity of the elections in these other elections.

I am aware that the Culinary Union has “many” illegal immigrants too, according to tonight’s report, and I was wondering if this is sourced in such a manner as to be verified.

Regarding the Campean, Ramos case, which you continue to assert, (again tonight,) is the the shooting of an illegal alien smuggler, which it is not. As I recall the charges are related to that shooting, but hangs on whether the Agents followed the law in reporting the incident to the authorities.

This post started out too snarky, and I apologize for that, but these are both topics that are dear to your heart, and I am also aware that you are an empiricist to the bone, so any help you can give to those of us who are open to being persuaded by the facts would be appreciated.

As with the John King kerfuffle, I am not privy to everything you know, but in his case there are many filters that could explain away others criticisms of his recent interview of John McCain, but I am not aware of that being a problem with your telecast. If I am wrong here, I am sure you will correct my, and many other peoples misunderstanding of this.

Edited twice BTW I like useful, as opposed to savant.

Iraq War Goes Swimmingly

General Barry McCaffrey just testified before the House Armed Services Committee that things in Iraq are going just swell. (see previous post.) I suppose we will see the major network reporters wondering around Iraq before long, you know, take a cruise up to Fallujah.

Of course until then I will think that the testimony is just bullshit. IRAQI OFFICIAL DISCUSSES IMPROVED SECURITY IN AL-ANBAR, AL-FALLUJAH

[Al-Arab al-Yawm] You talk about terrorism while you are under occupation. What does this mean?

[Al-Abdallah] There are two types of occupation now in Iraq, the American and the Iranian; both are using groups from outside Iraq under the names of Al-Qa’idah or terrorism. Sometimes, these sides are managed by both parties and conduct activities inside Iraq. For this reason, the Iraqis are confronting them, because the features of the third party are not known. It tries to kill Iraqis, nothing more. It is not actually resisting the Americans or the Iranians, but targeting the Iraqis only.

Juan Cole’s assessment is somewhat more jaded than the good General’s,

He blames terror attacks on nihilists and the Iranians: “There are two types of occupation now in Iraq, the American and the Iranian . . .” He doesn’t actually seem to have a problem with people attacking Americans– he refers to them as the “resistance.” But he complains about those who conduct random violence against Iraqis, implying that many are backed by Iran and also by the United States!. Moreover, he blames the Iranian presence and influence on the United States: “the United States was the main reason that helped Iran come into Iraq.”

So to sum up, he dismisses the Iraqi government as “sectarian,” sees Iraqi Shiites as cat’s paws of Iran, wants the US out of his province, and blames the US for bringing Iran into it and well as for secretly backing death squads. And this is a Concerned Local Citizen with strong ties to the Awakening Council! Oh, yeah, the US is sitting pretty in Iraq now.

Yeah, I bet we will see some Georgia peaches in Anbar, RSN.

But that isn’t the main point. As Rep. Snyder said, emphatically on Washington Journal this morning, in his estimation this is not an occupation, but a war. One man’s trash is another man’s gold, but we can’t have it both ways. If we are to use the term war, then there is no predetermined outcome.

The politicians and chattering class are setting themselves, and the American people up for a hell of a physchological blow if all hell breaks loose again. General Patraeus is not, or has not to my knowledge, guaranteed that that won’t happen.

This situation sets our electoral process up to manipulation of American public opinion by Iraqi insurgents and AQ. When that happen, I will be sitting out here telling you, “I told you so.”, yet again.

Contrary to right wing talking points, patriotism does not have to imply stupidity.

Slime In The Politcal Machine

Vicious South Carolina Flyer Attacks McCain’s Vietnam ServiceYou know the Republican Party really is Admiral Frankenstein when you have Reed Huckabee and Romney wearing their religion on their sleeves with war mongers and imperalists, all in a swift boat on the river Styx.

I Agree

Is Mullen the World’s Worst Person?

I’m not going to say that the media shouldn’t talk badly about senior military officials or they are “Not Supporting the Troops”, since after all they are public servants. However, I think this sort of opinion is the result of the neo-conservatives hiding behind generals and admirals in uniform because they are too spineless to make policy decisions. It is a concept that puts the military in the precarious position of having to set foreign policy rather than merely enforcing it. So until that is resolved, we will continue to see criticism of senior military officials by political advocates and media talking heads alike. I’m really curious what you guys think about this, thanks!

Having hammered the flags in the last election and Petraeus when he and Corker appeared last September.

The US military needs, IMHO, to stay out of politics and religion too, (see Air Force Academy, evangelicals.) But that goes both ways, and the neocons aren’t alone in the garbage here. George W. Bush has to bear most of the responsibility for that as well.

I think it is a no brainer that most officers are going to be conservatives, even ROTC and OCSers, but especially the Academy grads. Most of the enlisted are going to be apolitical too, which I think tends to encourage the neocons to kiss the brass’ asses, and gives the Christ mongers a captive audience. It’s just more collateral damage of the 43rd pResident’s policy, and something the next President is going to have to rectify.

Edited to appear like English.

None Dare Call It By Name

Stagflation: When foreign investers are bidding against each other for your assets with your money, and you take the points. Wait that’s a reality check,

You may prefer Investopedia’s definition:

A condition of slow economic growth and relatively high unemployment – a time of stagnation – accompanied by a rise in prices, or inflation.

The term was coined back in the days of the great depression.

Consumer prices rose by 4.1 percent for all of 2007, up sharply from a 2.5 percent increase in 2006, the Labor Department said Wednesday.

Selling Apple stock may take on a new conotation if this keeps up. Look at it as good for graphite technology.

Update: If I didn’t think we were going to pull through this I wouldn’t have posted this post as is.

Update2: Of course when the name Volker starts appearing then working people need to duck and cover. His solution is to increase used car sales.

Update3: Did I mention flea markets? They do better under Volker too.

Thompson Orders Red Dump Truck

Acknowledging that fire marshalls in South Carolina have turned people away from his rallies reportedly because twenty people could not safely gather in any bed in South Carolina, much less those of a red Ford F-150 truck.

Instacrap

Democrats love each other so much Someone has to make Beck look intelligent. Nothing like beating up on dead people and issues.

A River Runs Through It

Washington is broken.

The Road To The White House

I figure with the super Tuesday elections thrown into mix this time around we are just coming out of the preseason, there will be a couple of games played betweeen now and then and then everyone plays twenty games on Sooooper Tuesday. In short, nobody knows nothin’.

My guess is it is a ploy to take the nominating process back into the smoke filled rooms, even though most of you don’t smoke anymore. I am available if you need, you buy.

In either case, when the nominations are solidified it will be a whole new ball game, and the odds will be fifty fifty, and the vast majority of voters will be voting on the economy, national security, etc., situation that is of concern to them in November.

Good Morning America

Kiran Chetry deserves an apology, consider it so. For those who missed the retracted post, you deserve one too.

Oh the humanity!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Still Supporting Dodd

Congratulations to the overlords in Michigan tonight, but this story is important too. Senate Justice on FISA

For example, I learned that the weapon of choice for those who wished to enable the passage of retroactive immunity was not to make a forceful case on its behalf … but abusing and using parliamentary procedure. We saw staffers participate in disinformation campaigns about parliamentary procedure to keep bloggers confused and silent about the process (bloggers, the only ones really covering the debate). And we saw that retroactive immunity was only stalled because Senator Dodd objected to and then used all the parliamentary tactics at his disposal to prolong the debate to a point it would have threatened the Christmas recess.

The germane fact of the issue remains exposure of an illegal wiretapping program against US citizens. As has been pointed out by Glenzilla the telecoms can afford it anyway, and IMO may actual cause them to see some return on their lawyers retainers fees.

One More

I have uploaded the posts of Songs, not the entire sheet to be sure because it will take a lot of time I can’t spare right now. I think this ‘ere blog is going to have to endure for quite a while, having been in my own archives, lest the blogger team kick my ass.

Parlay Vous America?

America As The French Fourth Republic

The whole thing feels like we have entered a military dictatorship through means of manners and peer pressure. We are required to keep troops in Iraq for as long and in whatever quantities conservative generals tell us to keep them in Iraq, because otherwise we would be offending the troops. We can never order them to leave Iraq, because otherwise we would be offending the troops. We also can’t cut back on military spending, because to do so would offend the troops. In order to avoid offending the troops, we collectively agree to let the military do whatever its most conservative commanding officers say we should do.

If you read the post and comments you can better understand the smarmy report the Andrea Mitchell just puked up on my TV.

Kucinich Back in Debate

Judge tells MSNBC to let Kucinich debate.

A judge in Nevada has just ordered MSNBC to include Rep. Dennis Kucinich in Tuesday’s Democratic Party presidential debate in Las Vegas or he will cancel the forum. Senior Clark County District Court Judge Charles Thompson vowed to issue an injunction halting the nationally televised debate if MSNBC failed to comply. Kucinich had filed a lawsuit seeking to be included just this morning.”

You have to go to Think Progress for the link to the article. I think that’s fair since I pinched the entire post.

Izvestia Catches A Clue

Escalating Ice Loss Found in Antarctica

Climatic changes appear to be destabilizing vast ice sheets of western Antarctica that had previously seemed relatively protected from global warming, researchers reported yesterday, raising the prospect of faster sea-level rise than current estimates.

While the overall loss is a tiny fraction of the miles-deep ice that covers much of Antarctica, scientists said the new finding is important because the continent holds about 90 percent of Earth’s ice, and until now, large-scale ice loss there had been limited to the peninsula that juts out toward the tip of South America. In addition, researchers found that the rate of ice loss in the affected areas has accelerated over the past 10 years — as it has on most glaciers and ice sheets around the world.

“Without doubt, Antarctica as a whole is now losing ice yearly, and each year it’s losing more,” said Eric Rignot, lead author of a paper published online in the journal Nature Geoscience.

Swimming in the sheaves,
Swimming in the sheaves
We shall go rejoicing
Swimming in the sheaves.

We Now Return You To Our Regularly Scheduled Blogging

The “Surge” and its resultsEvery once in awhile an author or website gets on a roll. Col Lang is on one now.

I would encourage you to read the comments too.

The New Toy of Occupation

Iraqis ‘Awake’ to a New Danger

“We draw the world’s attention to the new wave of detentions and executions by this new toy of the occupation,” Sheik Hatam Ali of the AMS told IPS in Baghdad. “Thousands of Iraqis are being detained, tortured and executed while the U.S. occupation and its illegitimate so-called Iraqi government tell the world lies about reconciliation and justice among Iraqis.”

This is the dissent from the storyline of the traditional media outlets. They used to sort through this stuff for you and I.

Update: If you think the Iraqis don’t pay attention to US television, note the Sheik has picked up on Lou Dobb’s, “so called,” meme.

The Return of Esau

The Hands of Esau

Which of the two men is the leader of the greatest power on earth and which is the boss of a small client state?

A visitor from another planet, attending the press conference in Jerusalem, would find it hard not to answer: Olmert is the president of the great power, Bush is his vassal.

Olmert is taller. He talked endlessly, while Bush listened patiently. While Olmert anointed Bush with flattery that would have made a Byzantine emperor blush, it was quite clear that it is Olmert who decides policy, while Bush humbly accepts the Israeli diktat. And Bush’s flattery of Olmert exceeded even Olmert’s flattery of Bush.

Both, we learned, are “courageous.” Both are “determined.” Both have a “vision.” The word “vision,” once reserved for prophets, starred in every second sentence. (Bush could not know that in Israel, “vision” has long become a jocular appellation for highfalutin speeches, usually in combination with the word “Zionism.”)

The president and the prime minister have something else in common: not a word of what they said at the press conference had any connection with the truth.

This would be hilarious, except it’s not funny.

Under McMedia’s Radar

Kurds Miffed by New Coalition

Al-Hayat reports in Arabic that altogether 150 deputies in parliament (well over a majority) signed a memorandum of agreement aimed at resolving the most contentious issues facing Iraq.

For their part, the Kurds considered the new alliance as a “wave against them.”

Al-Hayat also says the PM Nuri al-Maliki is conducting extensive talks with the parliamentary blocs so as to be able to announce the names of his cabinet ministers next week.

You may want to read this as well. That’s where I’m going.

Pravda Informs Me

Iraq Defense Minister Sees Need for U.S. Security Help Until 2018

FORT MONROE, Va. — The Iraqi defense minister said Monday that his nation would not be able to take full responsibility for its internal security until 2012, nor be able on its own to defend Iraq’s borders from external threat until at least 2018.

Those comments from the minister, Abdul Qadir, were among the most specific public projections of a timeline for the American commitment in Iraq by officials in either Washington or Baghdad. And they suggested a longer commitment than either government had previously indicated.

Pentagon officials expressed no surprise at Mr. Qadir’s projections, which were even less optimistic than those he made last year.

Emphasis mine. Why would they?

The problem with the “projection” is that it goes so far into the future as to require one to think Mr. Qadir is a prophet, yet it does have the immediate benefit of impacting the American elections. Pretty convenient.

Rice Makes Unannounced Visit to Baghdad

Ms. Rice’s trip, which was not previously announced, came after Iraq’s parliament gave approval on Saturday to a key piece of legislation allowing some former members of Saddam Hussein’s Baath Party to work in public service again and receive pensions. The Bush administration and Congress had made the legislation a benchmark for measuring political progress in Iraq as Democrats and others critics of the war debate the war. Ms. Rice is expected to spend only a few hours there, meeting with Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki and other officials.

This report completely ignores the analysis of Mid East experts that have pointed out that it is the Sadrist that supported this legislation, which legislation was also opposed by the political parties most closely affiliated with the former Baathist party.

As Thomas would say, “Can anything good come out of the East Coast of America?”

Goodbye CNN

There have been two major stories the last week, The Straight of Hormuz, in which CNN and the US government allege that the Iranians acted provocatively towards US warships, accusations that have been largely debunked by further investigation of other media outlets, and the racial card sharking by CNN of the controversy surrounding the Clinton and Obama campaigns. They have in the can remarks by both Senators that would have diffused the situation.

For these two reasons I urge my readers not to use CNN as a primary source of information on matters related to politics or national defense issues. They apparently have no compunction about spilling innocent blood either at home or abroad for reasons that remain internal to that organization. May their works come upon their own heads.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Getting Played. I Hate It When That Happens

The other side of the coin, is worth considering as well,

But nobody should imagine that the right-wing media whose voices now praise Obama will continue to do so if he wins the Democratic nomination, or that the mainstream media, which still takes so many cues from the right, will do likewise. The conservative movement’s affection for any Democrat is always fickle and flimsy. Its assessment of any black Democrat, let alone a presidential nominee, is more likely to reflect the bigoted crudeness of Limbaugh than the manufactured erudition of Will. (And we can expect to see many more cartoons like this one.)

Should Obama hope to continue to enjoy his free ride, he should consult his old mentor Joe Lieberman, the senator from Connecticut who used to be a Democrat. Conservative commentators and right-wing media outlets always loved Lieberman for his willingness to echo their talking points on subjects such as school vouchers and Social Security privatization. When he agreed to join the Democratic ticket as Al Gore’s running mate in 2000, the Weekly Standard and the National Review, among others, suddenly discovered how despicable Lieberman actually was. Having abandoned the Democrats altogether, he is now fully rehabilitated.

This isn’t the only instance.

Given what I’ve learned or been reminded of in the last couple of hours I have concluded that it is I that needs to have a close encounter of the personal kind on this issue. It is for that reason that I am pulling the previous post. Both sides have passionate voices, but it will be up to Clinton and Obama to remove the volatility from it. Both campaigns need to remember that the party is not just selecting a candidate, we are selecting a leader. If both are equally qualified to be leaders then it would behoove them and the Democratic Party for them to be so.

Can To Tune A Blog

Know Your Chump

The Hundred-Year War

If John McCain wins the Republican presidential nomination, it seems to me that the Democrats have only to show the American people this clip:

In less than one depression we’ve gone from building the Empire State Building, to Building the State’s Empire.

No wonder these people cheat on their wives, they’re always waking up in new world anyway.

http://EZSmirkzz1_files/5mHnzGoX1fYrel1.swf

Why Is Bill Clinton On My TV?

Know Your Chimp

Sensationalist Media Did Pentagon’s Bidding in Fake Naval ‘Provocation’ with Iran

So I think that the major thing to really keep in mind about this is that it was blown up into a semi-crisis by the Pentagon and that the media followed along very supinely. And I must say this is perhaps the worst — the most egregious case of sensationalist journalism in the service of the interests of the Pentagon, the Bush administration, that I have seen so far.

Most of us seem to forget that the United States signed the UN Charter, which according to our Constitution makes it the law of our land. You don’t have to like it, but that’s the fact. That Charter proscribes the very behavior the Bushco is engaged in, and is a lawlessness that we hear nothing about from the law and order crowd. That too, is a fact.

I hope that my remarks, which were factual, if any group attacks a US warship they should expect a response that I estimate will be detrimental to their continued existence, are not construed to mean I wish to be regaled with Pentagon propaganda, which is also proscribed by law to be issued for domestic consumption.

Put that in you law and order pipe and smoke that too.

Edited recalled(???!) to regaled.

Retro Petro Dollars

Apparently McCain is right, those petro dollars are being invested in a terrorist state.

Pinching Edwards Platform

Worsening Economy Gives Obama and Hillary a Chance to Copy Edwards’ Populist Ideas

When Goldman Sachs announces recession and the Federal Reserve chairman on the same day promises ready-to-go interest rate cuts, you can take it to the bank: the recession is official. The 2008 campaign’s refreshing spirit — the chorus of “change, change, change” — is joined by a more traditional theme. “Jobs, jobs, jobs.” Suddenly, everyone wants to sound like a Keynesian liberal, ready to prime the pump with federal spending.

My advice to Barack Obama: look through the John Edwards file — he got there first — and borrow freely from his sound ideas for economic stimulus. Then double or triple Edwards’ numbers to show your sincerity. Do this fast. Hillary Clinton is already out of the box with a plan the New York Times describes as the first from any Democratic candidates.

Of course Pravda is getting a lot of things wrong these days. Gee, I wonder why newspapers influence is saging of late. Hmmmmmmmm.

Arms Control for Newbies

What is arms control for?

I’m tickled pink that my brief comment about the purpose of arms control in a recent post has already provoked debate. I think some of you are expecting me to argue to that, now the Cold War has ended, arms control serves no useful purpose. Well, that’s not what I’m going to say.

Interesting primer for us non experts, and if you look around there’s pictures.

We Are The Egg, Man

Famed Israeli pianist now a Palestinian, tooDANIEL Barenboim, the world renowned Israeli pianist and conductor, has taken Palestinian citizenship and said he believed his rare new status could serve as a model for peace between the two peoples.

“It is a great honour to be offered a passport,” he said after a Beethoven piano recital in Ramallah, the West Bank city where he has been active for years in promoting contact between young Arab and Israeli musicians.

“I have also accepted it because I believe that the destinies of … the Israeli people and the Palestinian people are inextricably linked,” Barenboim said at the weekend. “We are blessed — or cursed — to live with each other. And I prefer the first.”

I am you and you are me and we are all in this together.

Updated: Title for pause

Usama bin Whoda?

Iran nuclear answers ‘in a month’ As usual, the President continues to focus on enemies that might be, as opposed to the one that got away. This is good politics for the President, and poor policy for America. It is good politics because it has already been done once and one presumes the presidents foreign policy team has learned their lessons, if the media has not. This will allow Pakistan to make yet another truce with the Taliban and Al Whoda in Pakistan, which that government very badly needs to do, and plays into the strengths of this administration, to divide people from people, and people from their common sense.

Don’t Talk

About MLK and LBJ, climb up on their shoulders and move forward. The bullshit swirling now is merely soiling their shoes.

http://EZSmirkzz1_files/j63wx4UATJUrel0color10xd6d6d6color20xf0f0f0border0.swf

Have You Committed A Random Act Of Kindness Yet Today?

Just hoping.

And now…

The News!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Change Is Good

But spare change gets the job done too.

Little late to the sidewalk on this one, am I.

Because the proprietor here refuses to take advertising, I am compelled to be a barker with colored balloons, sans balloons. For what that is worth, you can give over there.

Abstract Crusaders For a Better World

via War and Piece,

Alcove 1. Great Timothy Noah review of Jacob Heilbrunn’s book on the neoconservatives, They Knew They Were Right:

I wish to fair and balanced about this, so I would suppose that for Junior, “Obtuse Crusaders For a Better World”, would be more apropos.

Sand in the Gears of De-de-Baathification

Juan Cole has noticed something missing from the narrative of Iraq’s Parliament passing the Un-De-Baathification law. The Baathists didn’t support it, the Sadrists did. Hmmmm.

If the McMedia were to actually do its’ job, maybe we wouldn’t have to endure Bob Scheiffer talking to himself, an act which portrays more honesty from the McMediums who really wish to be actors, but haven’t the skills, than the reading of press releases from the orifices of the Bush misadministration. The only thing missing is top hats and canes, but boy, we sure are getting a wealth of soft shoe shufflers.

Update for top hat: Hey Rocky, watch me pull a rabbit out my hat.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Old Blogs Redux Deja Vu YA

I opened Blogswell’s Blog back up since it covered the time frame of August through November of last year which would cover my posting through the Patraeus testimony before Congress in September, which was not a report, and the report that wasn’t was written by the White House anyway.

I’ll dig up the previous stuff from Jan- March time frame too. I’m thinking that was the Two Rivers and a Dog blog or Inside Up Looking Outside Down blog, but I’m not sure at this point. All I know is it will be a flat page like Flag Pie Slats currently is.

Huckabee Gets Some Ballast

Jim Pinkerton Joins Huckabee Campaign

One of the Bush administration’s toughest critics from the right has been Jim Pinkerton. Pinkerton is a friend, a New America Foundation colleague, a prolific opinion journalist, a Fox News commentator, and one of the most intelligent thinkers in Washington — but he’s just thrown me a bit of a curve ball.

Jim Pinkerton, in a note sent collectively to a head of a conservative DC think tank as well as to a former senior DoD official and me — he disclosed that he was now officially “Senior Adviser” to the campaign of Mike Huckabee and that he hoped he could continue to work with us.

Watch the seams.

Update: This is good too.

Appearances Will Do

A Fools ErrandCol Lang nails it YA,

Whoever it was that sent Quixote off on this venture against the windmills of obduracy was quite wrong. There might be a piece of paper agreed on by the time Bush leaves office but it will mean little. People in this region are good at agreeing to things they have no intention of doing.

Mr. Bush’s needs to not necessarily comport with the regions, or the worlds. He merely has to look good to be successful.

On the Polls failure in New Hampshire, this little gem.

In the end HC won. Why? I think it was because she and her husband started looking like real human beings with real feelings. Women voted for her in large numbers. You could see it coming the last day. CNN had a bar graph on their set at the beginning last night that showd HC was polling higher than Obama at the end that day. Oddly, Wolf and company ignored that.

My bad.

Democrats Divided

Candidates Campaign in Different States!

The Paper In Tweety’s Cage

MSNBC’s Chris Matthews problem

Think about this for a second: Chris Matthews is holding it against Hillary Clinton that her husband cheated on her. But he doesn’t hold it against John McCain and Rudy Giuliani that they cheated on their spouses. Matthews seems to think women are to blame when their husbands have affairs — and men who cheat on their spouses are blameless.

What a dork!

Pressure Works

Ban eased on Saddam-era officials

The Iraqi parliament has passed legislation allowing former officials from Saddam Hussein’s Baath party to return to public life.

The US had been urging Iraq’s Shia-led government to approve the move in a bid to reach out to minority Sunni Arabs.

It will allow thousands of former party members to apply for reinstatement in the civil service and military.

This one of those stories, well hopefully it’s not a story, but I digress, that we will take some hickeys on from the War Party since they won’t want to acknowledge the influence of the antiwar movement. In all of these things I will gladly concede them the glory for achieving my objectives. To do less would be to be them.

Update: via Juan Cole,

Maliki calls for wider political cooperation Saturday, January 12, 2008 08:19 GMT

In a step that might lead to a political rest in Iraq and contribute to the return of resigned ministers to the government, Prime Minister Nuri Al Maliki received a joint delegation from the Accordance Front and the Iraqi List to whom he confirmed the necessity of widening cooperation between all political parties in order to support the political process and push it on the path of national targets.

Make it so number one.

Squabble or Family Fued?

Taking a Deep Breath

It’s genuinely unclear to me how much one side or the other is consciously pushing this, how much it’s escalated based in part on misunderstandings, or whether, in a somewhat related fashion, hyping journalistic accounts has given the engagement a life of its own.

I’ll go with the McMedia angle myself. If I didn’t, I would have to ignore everything Bill Clinton ever did or stood for in the civil rights movement.

I do think it is very important to understand that racism has not gone away in this country, and it is not going to go away if Obama eventually gets the nomination and wins the election, as I think will be the final outcome.

There are many issues within the African American community that will have to be dealt with exclusively by black politicians because there are some aspects of African American lives that Hispanics and Anglos will not have depth of experience to resolve. The three communities are not monolithic, and some problems, such as jobs for the untrained or under trained intrude on each of them in different ways that require those in the know to deal with in ways that are fair and just for one and all.

McMedia is not the format for doing so, but they are in the business of selling the masses peas and other crap that they don’t need and so this could be warped by them for financial gain. That McMedia is in fact a conservative political force also gives them a motivation to do so.

It is important for people of good will to keep this in mind. We are allies of necessity, and we must take care not to let the rich and powerful induce horizontal violence into the coalition of those who wish to lift all men and women to a level of equality and human dignity that they are endowed by their creator with. This is all of our right.

McMedia’s Supersized Egos and Buttheads

A black president? Seen a few by Joel Stein:

Alot of liberals say they’re not supporting Barack Obama in the primaries because an African American can’t carry the South in the general election — which is a liberal’s clever way of saying that he won’t vote for a black person. But, it seems, they’re wrong. Because while Iowa and New Hampshire aren’t technically in the South, they are full of hicks, which is what rich liberals actually mean when they refer to “the South.” You have to live among rich liberals to understand what they’re saying. You’ll never believe what they mean by “middle class.” They mean themselves.

Alot is not a word Joel, A lot is two words.Edwards Will Face a Moment of Truth After South Carolina Primary

Edwards, the angry populist of Iowa who may become a Southern-fried Democrat as the South Carolina primary unfolds, has a critical decision ahead. How long can, or should, he keep his candidacy going?

The angry populist. Huh?

Where in the hell do we get these people? Just to inform Mr. Stein, Mr. Obama is not a liberal but is very much a centrist, who does support some liberal positions, and also supports some conservative positions, basically is a DLC Democrat like Hillary and oh yeah, he happens to be black. Has it occurred to you that liberals might be less inclined to support the more centrist Obama than the more liberal Edwards?

Of course Balz can’t seem to comprehend that Edwards going into the convention with 20-30% of the delegates locked up would give him a greater influence on the Democratic platform and may actually be the final vote on which of the two DLCers get the nomination. Analysis huh? Sheesh.

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EZSmirkzz Jan 5-11, 2008

Friday, January 11, 2008

From The Tool Shed

Stupidest Thing Said This Campaign Season

Update: * To clarify: I think there are very good discussions of race and gender that need to be had and hopefully having the these two candidates be our frontrunners will lead to that happening. What I meant to say, and probably didn’t say clearly enough is that a bunch of gender and race baiting that leads everybody to run off into their identity corners — which then becomes the arbiter of who supports whom — is a bad day for everyone.

Except Karl Rove.

Like Jane said, John Edwards ain’t out of it yet. Get used to it.

The Tokin Gulf Incidentailly — Telegraphing The War

Today’s Must Read

The Bush administration took the ball and ran with it, playing up the “confrontation,” though President Bush seemed to indicate an initial dearth of talking points. He regained his footing later, warning of “serious consequences” if it happened again. And if it does happen again, maybe it will all seem less strange.

The only thing I would change is the “if” to “when”, because Iranian pride and Bush’s intentions are what they are. We will rue the day too.

Maybe W can declare “Peace and Security!” What say ye George?

Update: The Filipino Monkee did it.

Anonymous wrote on January 11, 2008 6:21 PM:
Los Angeles Times
November 12, 1987,
MESSAGES FROM ROGUE RADIO OPERATOR COULD PROVOKE ATTACK;
FILIPINO MONKEY: ON BACKS OF MANY IN TENSE GULF


A cargo ship was sailing through the Strait of Hormuz recently when it was challenged by an Iranian warship demanding to know what it carried.

Iranian gunboats in these waters frequently attack vessels they suspect of carrying war materials to Iraq, and for the crew of the cargo ship, it was a tense moment.

“What is your cargo? What is your cargo?” the voice of an Iranian officer crackled over the radio.

Before the ship’s captain could respond, a third voice came on the air: “I am carrying machine guns and hand grenades to Iraq . . . and the atom bomb.”

The Filipino Monkey had struck again.

The first commenters post kindly clues us.

Economics For Dummies

Yesterday I woke up with an abscessed tooth and my face, ( actually it was my lower left jaw,) the size of a hardball. Fortunately the dentist was able to get me in very early and the dentist and I are making plans now for the transfer of large sums of money so as to preclude a recurrence. Choppers!

Anyway the visit was 50 and the medication 80 bucks, which is over half of a minimum wage earners weekly check, and to to yank the three culprits will be right at 400 bucks, two weeks worth of take home pay for the same aforementioned minimum wage worker.

For those of us who can afford to support our kids in the years following high school it’s not that big of deal. But that isn’t the situation in a large segment of the population. These folks are in a bind if they have any sort of medical emergency, not just getting through the door, but in paying for the treatments that follow.

Given the level of physical pain I was putting up with I can’t help but wonder what these folks do when it goes on until the abcess busts and drains, an occurence that includes the body more than likely absorbing the puss or digesting it, which neither alleviates the source of the problem, a tooth, and exposes the person to further health risks.

Good thing we are the richest most powerful nation on earth. It sounds good when politicians are delivering the line, just as the line about being a Christian nation does too. Personally however, I think we can do better. Just a hunch mind you, but I think we can do better.

Updated: More words better clarity!

Welcome To The Obvious

I don’t really understand the poetic florishings from the GOPers on the Navy’s response in the Iranian “incident,” which response is just as obvious as the noses on their faces.

Even a lib Dem had it down. Quick too.

Update: The other obvious, obviously not as well reported as the Pentagon press release, which our stenographers have duly hawked.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Only In America

If Bloomberg runs we can choose between a Jew, a black, a woman, or a yo-yo.

Keeping You Safe From Terrorism

FBI wiretaps dropped due to unpaid bills

And at least once, a wiretap used in a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act investigation — the highly secretive and sensitive cases that allow eavesdropping on suspected terrorists or spies — “was halted due to untimely payment.”

“We also found that late payments have resulted in telecommunications carriers actually disconnecting phone lines established to deliver surveillance results to the FBI, resulting in lost evidence,” according to the audit by Inspector General Glenn A. Fine.

So Bush and dumb luck have prevented terrorist attacks in the US the last six years, or is that a tautology?

Agreed

Enough

Well I Don’t Know About All That

Bush Confident on Mideast Peace I don’t see any reason that I can’t hope and pray for its’ success though.

Pentagon Disputes Pentagon

Degrees of Confidence on U.S.-Iran Naval Incident The list of those who are less than fully confident in the Pentagon’s video/audio mashup of aggressive maneuvers by Iranian boats near American warships in the Strait of Hormuz now includes the Pentagon itself.

Unnamed Pentagon officials said on Wednesday that the threatening voice heard in the audio clip, which was released on Monday night with a disclaimer that it was recorded separately from the video images and merged with them later, is not directly traceable to the Iranian military.

You would think that the media would note the disclaimer in their report.

UPDATED: The Iranian video is now online. 11:37 a.m. Eastern.

A reader using the name Hamid Pasha sent The Lede a link to an English-language Iranian web site, PressTV.com, that has posted the Iranian video.

via

Maybe we need to tear the Pentagon down and replace it with a square or rectangular building. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Why Not?

According to Israeli media reports, Mr Olmert plans to provide Mr Bush with Israeli intelligence contradicting recent assessments from US intelligence that Iran abandoned its program to build nuclear weapons several years ago.

Mr Bush said on Tuesday that despite the US intelligence estimate, seen elsewhere as weakening the Administration’s case for an attack on Iran, “Iran was a threat, Iran is a threat, and Iran will continue to be a threat if they are allowed to learn how to enrich uranium”.

After leaving the Holy Land, Mr Bush is to fly to Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states, whose Sunni Muslim regimes feel threatened by Iran’s increasingly confrontational Shiite Muslim hierarchy.

What’s wrong with this picture?

Gauging the Surge

Success in Irregular Warfare, (typical liberal reading fare,) has some interesting points, and many that I disagree with to be sure, but it occurred to me that there was some use in passing it along to you for a lot of reasons that enquiring minds will understand.

Our objective during implementation should be to change the culture that is the breeding ground for hirabahists. When done correctly, implementation will ensure reciprocal and endless interactions of the following four tasks in order to maintain a climate of order and satisfaction — the prerequisites for orderly progress:

1. Achieve stability.
2. Provide effective local authority.
3. Organize and motivate the people.
4. Satisfy aspirations of the people.

When looking at these requirements I am struck by the fact that in Iraq the public policy statements are that the US is responsible for the first prerequisite, and the government of Iraq is responsible for the other three.

The first point, is military, and can only be achieved for a time, but without the other three, political requirements being achieved, the first collapses.

This wasn’t the point of the article to be sure, and YMMV, as to the other implications. On the other hand it may help to read stuff you don’t agree with from a perspective that may be unfamiliar to you.

Could Be Substance

Blinded By Our Spite

At any rate, I know this is going to ruffle a lot of feathers, but I think the real reason Clinton won was that she was offering something of substance. Obama is offering lofty rhetoric and “hope.” Clinton has plans. While Clinton’s speeches may not make people swoon and make Kennedy comparisons like Obama, but at some point, this will get old. I don’t know about the rest of you, but when I am hungry, I like the steak and potatoes on the plate in front of me rather than the promise of a multiple course meal named “change.”

Biggest Political Surprise Ever?

What NH showed is that, momentum and long-term trends aside, what happens in the course of a campaign really does matter. Voters are not sheep, and they are watching this campaign closely and making up their own minds. Hillary worked her ass off in NH, played to her strength- which is substance on the issues- showed her warmth and sincerity, and the voters were paying attention and liked that they saw.

Hard Bitten Advice

The Empire Strikes Back

Are there any other independents who would raise the antiwar standard? Certainly not Michael Bloomberg. Ralph Nader? His endorsement of John Edwards in the final moments of the Iowa caucus was bizarre. Why suddenly support someone he had run against in 2004, who supported the war and the Patriot Act, whose populism had as much authenticity as Al Gore’s lunge into populism at the Democratic convention in 2000? Nader should probably leave the battlefield to Paul.

Message to the young supporters of Obama. Politics is not one quick dash. You have to stay and work. The Clintons have been at the game for 30 years. They don’t give up. They’ve come back from the dead many, many times.

Pure and Simple

Worst President Ever!

The Thing Is

There is no common sense being shown by the adults in the US government and US media about the situation in the Straight of Hormuz. I fail to see how CNN breathlessly relating the story helps, so one must presume they like having blood on their hands.

Point in case is Bush saying that those who murder innocents to achieve political ends are somehow not words that reference himself and the American government. Maybe the Presidents of the US and CNN ought to just get Facebook accounts and save us all the quagmires of their delusions.

Update: This article is just as apropos for the topic under discussion here;

BROKAW: No, no we don’t stay home. There are reasons to analyze what they’re saying. We know from how the people voted today, what moved them to vote. You can take a look at that. There are a lot of issues that have not been fully explored during all this.

But we don’t have to get in the business of making judgments before the polls have closed. And trying to stampede in effect the process.

Look, I’m not just picking on us, it’s part of the culture in which we live these days. I think that the people out there are going to begin to make judgments about us if we don’t begin to temper that temptation to constantly try to get ahead of what the voters are deciding.

Probably expecting too much.

The Humor Abounds

‘A Heartbeat Away’ From War With Iran and Pakistan

We, of course, are allowed to invade countries with impunity: but Iran, which shares a long border with Iraq, and has close political and economic ties with the Iraqis, has no right to secure its own interests in the region. Israel has the right to defend itself: that’s the mantra we hear without respite whenever the Israelis take it into their heads to launch yet another “incursion” into the Gaza strip or invade Lebanon – but the Iranians have no such reciprocal right, even a few miles from their own shore.

Funny how that works.

…As I warned during the British sailors’ contretemps, the presence of Western warships in the Gulf makes the likelihood of a confrontation with the Iranians almost inevitable. The maritime boundaries, between Iran and Oman, for instance, are hazy: it is not inconceivable that the American ships went off course, for one reason or another, and the Iranians responded – or vice-versa. In any case, this ongoing game of cat-and-mouse is tailor-made for setting the stage for an all-out war.

Don’t confuse the people with logic and facts. What would Baba Starr do for a living?

Post Partisan Regression

One thing we sure won’t hear about New Hampshire is the independents effects on the democratic process, because we are all for the democratic process. The problem is that primaries and caucuses are party functions which independents are excluded from by the nature of their being “independent.”

For those of us who can remember the smoke filled room days, circa 1968-1972, the two methods of delgate selection today is a vast improvement. But the open primary does dilute the party activists impact on who is ultimately the candidate.

edited for syntax police poorly at best.

But They Are Anonymous

The Superhuman Objectivity Squad Dedicated To Truth Above All Strikes Again

Dowd dishes on what the New York Times reporters think of Clinton:

A woman gazing at the screen was grimacing, saying it was bad. Three guys watched it over and over, drawn to the “humanized” Hillary. One reporter who covers security issues cringed. “We are at war,” he said. “Is this how she’ll talk to Kim Jong-il?”

Another reporter joked: “That crying really seemed genuine. I’ll bet she spent hours thinking about it beforehand.” He added dryly: “Crying doesn’t usually work in campaigns. Only in relationships.”

Funny how the media double standard works isn’t it.

For those who are smart enough to avoid TV, I’m referring to the Facebook story getting airplay concerning a woman posing as a teenage boy who jacked with a young girl in such a way as to push her over the edge into suicide.

The point being, I suppose, that anonymity on line is the cause of the woman’s insanity, which means this anonymity needs to be banned. Given the media’s use of the same anonymity one wonders if they will advocate for the end of this behavior as well.

Second point being, the media isn’t happy with people like me beating them at their own game, which is also the long way of pointing out that they really are wankers. That too, is hardly news.

The Real Winner Is…

George W Bush, if he comes back from Israel with Tee shirts and not much else.

The Media Wasn’t the Message

Maybe the people of New Hampshire don’t watch enough TV.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

For What It Is Worth

Tonight cynicism died in America. Well maybe not mine, but for the political body we have turned a corner, not because of those who ran for office, but because of those who turned out to vote, as they did in Iowa as well.

Clinton Still In, Still, YA

40-36 6500 votes.

9:43 40-36 7300 votes

9:46 CNN calls it for Clinton

Clinton Still In, Still

40% to 36 with a lot of counting to do. One thing for sure, this one will analysed for years, first thing in the morning.

8:45 No one wants to call it, but unless something drastic happens, Clinton exceeded expectations with Democrats and Independents and Obama met them with Democrats.

8:50 Same percentages, 3500 votes separating Clinton and Obama. (Gratuitous cheap shots removed from here)

8:55 So far, IMHO the winner is Atrios for keeping his dogs out of the hunt. 3500 vote spread remains, 39-37 remains.

9:03 same spreads. I can only guess, but those precincts with extremely high turnout are not reporting yet. (large counties are somewhere in the 50% range of reporting, which doesn’t break out city/rural trends.

9:10 College town counties are still out. Bloggers and pundits are hyperventilating without paper bags. I have sent them virtual ones.

9:15 4300 votes same %

John Edwards concedes. With 17% of the other forty eight states he will be in the cat birds seat at the convention.

9:20 39%-36% 4400 Ron Paul wasn’t carried on CNN, probably to disappoint Josh.

9:33 39-36 5100 votes CNN catching up with bloggers keying off of CNN. Technology!

9:34 AP calls it according to CNN. CNN waiting for the college towns.

Clinton Still In It

This will shake it up.

7:32 Up to 40% now.

If this finishes up like it is now, Edwards is going to the convention with the keys.

7:40 Same as it was

The most interesting thing to me so far is how much a high voter turnout can skew the conventional wisdom. Party activist got their say before the election, this one looks like it belongs to the people of New Hamshire.

7:52 Still 40% but pulling away.

Just to be fair, tomorrow if I’m wrong, I’ll be wrong. That’s a lot different level of risk from the folks who make a living at this, so I’m not competing or trying to upstage them.

8:00 Gotta love it!

8:05 Just to clarify, the process man, the process.

8:07 I still find it odd that the Democratic turnout or Democrat for those of you wankers, is so much higher than the Republican side.

8:16 I still think some Obama precints are sandbagged out there, but Clinton will come out of this viable as hell.

8:22 I’m sure I’ll like John McCain less tomorrow, but tonight, he is gracious winner, and is speaking truth to power, we the people being the power.

I thought I should add that I thought Huckabee was the preacher.

8:27 39%-37% Clinton The vote spread is narrowing too. 2100 now it had been up to 2500

8:32 vote count up by 3000 same percentage.

Of Hearts and Minds

Why is Hillary Crashing?

Again, in a sense, this is a book review, the book in question being one I gave to five friends for Xmas this year. “She’s No Lady: Politics, Family and International Feminism” by Arvonne Fraser, Nodin Press, 2007. There is a part of it I believe may help us understand how and why the plus 100 million Hillary Clinton Campaign is on the verge of Crash and Burn. Garrison Keillor wrote the introduction, and has done a couple of hour long interviews with Arvonne on Public Radio as part of the “virtual book tour.”

Pebbles in the pond sort of stuff, but they add up.

Theocratic Musings of Huckabee

Just seen on CNN, Mike would support two Constitutional amendments, one to outlaw abortion and the other forbidding gay marriage.

No big surprise for a Baptist preacher, but both amendments enshrine by secular law what the failures of the religionists, to make disciples of the nations, has created. This discipleship would alleviate the problems, as seen through their faith.

In short they wish to use the Constitution to do what they cannot or will not do, as commanded by Christ.

edited.

Now They Have

China navy floats three-carrier plan

On December 31, a Hong Kong newspaper Wen Wei Pao cited a report that no one in the Western media has detected concerning a Jane’s Defence Weekly article which reported that China has plans to develop three-carrier battle groups over the next decade.

News about this development has been widely discussed in the Hong Kong and Taiwanese press. Citing Jane’s, Wen Wai Pao reported that as a part of its carrier battle group plans the People’s Liberation Army Navy’s (PLAN) intends to establish an even stronger submarine fleet; having added 20 nuclear-powered submarines in the past five years, increasing the total number of submarines to 55. The report indicated that the PLAN currently has 70 destroyers and frigates, 50 dock-landing ships and 45 coastal warships.

Looking the wrong way boys.

The Warmonger’s Tale

The dark side of Iraq war cheerleader

Why is it worth recounting Ajami’s prognostications? The main reason is that, as Anatol Lieven has perceptively pointed out, there has been almost no accountability among pundits and policymakers for the debacle in Iraq. Quite the contrary. Instead of honestly facing up to their mistakes, the prophets of war have glibly moved on. Nowhere is this truer than in the case of Professor Ajami’s essay, which is called “The Clash”.

Emphasis mine.

If UnityOh,8 thinks they can reach over the fence of these egos, I say go for it. If they pull back more than a bloody stump I’ll shake their hand, if not, I’ll bandage the stump.

Whars My Bottlelottlelottle??!!

Hitch You poor old sod you see, it’s only you.

Like Deja Vu In The Rear View Mirror

At the Times Op Ed Page, the Plot Sickens

Back in the 1990s Abe Rosenthal, the much-dreaded, neo-connish executive editor of the Times, was retired and given his very own op-ed page column, “On My Mind.” It was so badly written that other journalists didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.

“I just can’t believe it,” I said to the late, great columnist Murray Kempton one day. “It’s full of elementary grammatical, syntactical errors, and Rosenthal even gets his facts wrong.
Where are the copy editors?”

“You don’t understand!” said Murray, drawing himself up for a devastating judgment. “This is their revenge! They’re saying, ‘Take it away, Abe!’”

Advantage: This ‘ere blog.

On The Bright Side

Just think, after today we won’t have to watch New Hamshirites eating eggs for breakfast, for four more years.

Gimme Back My Pencil

German hackers fight electronic voting

Veteran German hacking group the Chaos Computer Club is fighting the use of electronic voting machines in upcoming local elections.

A lawsuit filed by the group against the German state of Hesse seeks a temporary injunction against the use of electronic voting machines that would prevent their use in 27 January local elections. The legal action contends that NEDAP voting computers due to be used in the count in eight districts are insecure and “susceptible to manipulation”.

Tears for the Clowns

Media Torn Over Whether To Cast Clinton As ‘Weak’ Or ‘Calculating’ For ‘Emotional’ Display Reckon so.

Think Progress

Alarmed at the increasingly populist tone of the 2008 political campaign,” U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue said his organization “would spend in excess of the approximately $60 million it spent in the last presidential cycle” to defeat “anti-business” candidates. The organization will be “so strong that when it bites you in the butt, you bleed,” said Donohue.

Should have rode the progressive tide when it was breaking dude.

Kind of highlights the problem with the bidness class, which is good at jumping on a turn of phrase for profit or even more profit, without actually having a clue as to what those words may mean.

One would think that the law and oder crowd would object to corporate anarchy, just on principle, wouldn’t one?

The Gulf of Toking Incident — After the Buzz

Iran’s “Unduly Provocative Act” Against the US Navy?

I ask these questions because if such a verbal threat did actually occur, this is a big deal that cannot, as Juan Cole suggests, simply be attributed to “some gung-ho local IRGC commander who’d been at sea way too long.” As far as I am concerned, if there was indeed such a threatening communication to which the US Navy reacted, we are either talking about a case of miscommunication (a genuine mistake/misunderstanding on the part of US Navy) or an outright provocation on the Iranian part, the order for which must have come from the top perhaps to make a point prior to George Bush’s visit to the Middle East that Iran can make trouble for the US forces if it wishes to.

While I cannot rule out the possibility of this provocation, neither can I rule out the possibility voiced by some in the Iranian media that, given the big hoopla made about the incidence in the US as well as Arab media, that the Bush Administration is essentially trying to heighten the Iranian threat right before George Bush’s trip to the region which according to most observers has as one of its objectives the cementing of a coalition against Iran.

See my previous post on the surge.

I find it rather interesting, personally, that conservatives of whatever ilk are always talking for peace, but get all froggy at the drop of a hat or dollar. I’m willing to concede that conservatives of whatever ilk have big balls, growth which unfortunately, has not occured in either their hearts or heads.

I Hear That

The National Review has dug into Ron Paul’s archives.

This one too, with poetics.

Updated! With LInk!!:New Republic highlights candidate’s racist writings

The full story about Ron Paul’s newsletters, written by The New Republic’s James Kirchick, has been held until later today, Kirchick said. The story includes copies of the Paul’s newsletters. To read it, visit http://www.TNR.com.

Because one of you two deserve it.

Reality Surge

The Surge and American Military Triumphalism

Right-wing pundit Michael Barone has published a column on the surge in Iraq that may be the clearest expression so far of the American triumphalism over the U.S. military and Iraq that emerged in 2007. The current popularity of that idea reflects the degree to which the apologists for war, having been discredited earlier on Iraq, are now on the offensive.

One can only postulate that if the America is the greatest nation on Earth crowd really believed that, their writing wouldn’t have to embellish our history to make it so.

In any case, taking a country to war over a pack of lies no matter the military result of that war, doesn’t make it’s advocates anything more than successful liars. How that can be used to make a great nation better is something that only Mr. Barone and his ethically challenged crowd can fathom. Nations, great or small, don’t need this sort of foreign policy anorexia.

The surge’s only political success to date is proving that for America the Greatest, Iraq is a quagmire.

Edited for little things

Monday, January 7, 2008

Just To Calm Gergen and Bernstein Down

Iowa, New Hampshire, and National Polling: I was right

But here is the key point I want to make: This race will not be over when Obama wins NH tomorrow. The people who are writing that are the same people who told you this summer that Clinton had the race sewn up. In short, this is another example of a press that does NOT UNDERSTAND THE PRIMARY PROCESS.

War Monger Review of Obama

O’Hanlon Mourns That Obama Was Right On Iraq

1. O’HANLON: “[Obama] seems contemptuous of the motivations of those who supported the war.”

Actually sir, most of us are contemptuous of those advocated the war to the general public and Congress when they knew that the prewar intelligence was wrong, as you did. I can “forgive” John Edwards for being wrong, as I “forgive” everyone else who supported the war because they were lied to by your ilk.

2. O’HANLON: “Obama’s second Iraq problem is his insistence that, whatever happens there during 2008, he would withdraw all our main combat forces in the first 16 months of his presidency.”

Because you advocated the surge, which proves that we are indeed in a quagmire in Iraq. The reasons for going in are really moot next to getting out aren’t they?

Edited to make a point.

I Thought The Rookies Made All The Mistakes

Hillary channels Rudy

As you can see in the two posts below this one, the wheels are off the Clinton bandwagon. She faces an epic Obama surge with few options to stem the bleeding. But just when I was feeling sorry for her, she has to morph into Giuliani:

Facing the prospect of defeat in tomorrow’s primary, Hillary Clinton just made her strongest suggestion yet that the next president may face a terrorist attack – and that she would be the best person to handle it.

She pointed out that the day after Gordon Brown took office as the British prime minister, there was a failed attempt at a double bombing in London and Glasgow.

Sigh.

What Jane Said

Feel the Misogyny

8:10 Someone put a sock in the tube.

I bet the polls aren’t 18% tomorrow.

We can call it progressive and populist all we want to, but Edwards is the closest, viable candidate, that the Democrats are going to get to the left.

Update: 8:27 In which this blogger reaches a breaking point

I can’t bring myself to vote for the hawk in the campaign during the primaries, but dammit, this makes me sort of wish she’d win so that I can vote for her in the general election in good conscience.

More wind for the wave.

This Is Normal

CNN informs me that the Iranian govt is calling the PT boat incident normal behavior. I hope we informed them that sinking their boats on those occasions is also normal behavior. CNN, of course didn’t inform me of that.

Testing Change

Just to see which politician is really for change I’ve sent the top ten candidates ten dollar bills for a five dollar donation and asked them to send me five back so I can buy milk for the children.

One of These Has Got To Be A Joke!

Telecom Immunity Gives Bush Immunity

The FISA plot thickens again. Bush wants to keep Senators clueless because telecom immunity also gives Bush immunity. Telecom immunity includes by definition the approval of two condition precedents: Bush had constitutional authority for the warrantless surveillance and the surveillance was determined to be lawful. Under the doctrine of Congressional ratification, the effect of this approval is to retroactively “legalize” Bush’s authority and program. This means that Bush may have immunity from prosecution. Moreover, for years, Bush could not cite any statutory authority for his theory of unitary presidential prerogatives. Bush will now have precedent.

Well, I’m not laughing, Reports from New Hampshire,

But this is priceless:

I headed back to my car around midnight – and who should I find on the empty sidewalks but a lost David Brooks, unable to find his car. He asked if I knew where the media lots were, and then proceeded to head in the opposite direction. Having parked near a media lot, I can now say with some confidence: David Brooks asked me for help, and wound up even more lost when he didn’t take my directions.

Brooks is lucky, if I were there he’d be in Tijuana. (my bad)

Obama’s Brain

Who is Obama’s Brain? Some Comments on Obama Advisers Karen Kornbluh and Austan GoolsbeeWhich would add weight to the observation that Kerry is going to endorse Obama, at some point, (my guess is two weeks late.)

But to quote — which I probably shouldn’t but will anyway — Karen Kornbluh about something she said to me about Obama and that I think is important, she said “Barack listens to all of the options, hears them all, and then he does what is right — not just what is expedient or makes the most political sense.”

Let Me Blacken Chris Bower’s Reputation, YA

With another link. Obama As Repudiation Of A Generational Failure

While I refer to this as a generational failure, it is not limited to Americans of any age group. It isn’t a failure of Boomers or Gen X or the Silent generation, or any of that. It is a generational failure in the lifespan of our country where we failed to live up to the promise of our nation. All adult Americans alive during that time period share a role in our failure.

Which addresses my earlier disagreement with one of his statements. At any rate along with the other “super double top secret, with shhh don’t tell anyone,” sources, (yeah I’m talking about James Wolcott here,) DoH!

I’m still with Edwards, but if you look into the “super double top secret, with shhh don’t tell anyone,” sources, Obama is going to take NH. Of course those New Hamshirites can be sneaky devious with all that secret balloting stuff going up there.

Update: Oliver Willisdisagrees here.

The Gulf of Toking Incident

Iranian PT boats get more press than Chinese Nuclear subs, huh? Bwahahaha

Sam Nunns Nukes — Made In America

Nukes, Spooks, and the Specter of 9/11 Who is surprised that Raimondo picked up on this report? Who is surprised that this is staying out of the American MSM?

Edmonds has named at least one of the officials: he is Marc Grossman, a former U.S. ambassador to Turkey, assistant secretary of state for European affairs under the Clinton administration and undersecretary of state for political affairs from 2001-2005. Grossman is now vice chairman of The Cohen Group, a consulting firm founded by Bill Clinton’s defense secretary, William S. Cohen.

Of course with this issue cutting across so many alliances, especially in Pakistan, ahem, why would the US really want to investigate this stuff — loook a primary!

Update:Sibel Edmonds, Turkey and the Bomb

If Edmonds’ story is correct, and Al-Qaeda, with the aid of Turkish government agents and Pakistani intelligence, with the help of US government officials, has been attempting to obtain nuclear materials and nuclear information from the U.S., it casts an even darker shadow over the mysterious and still unexplained incident last August 30, when a B-52 Stratofortress, based at the Minot strategic air base in Minot, ND, against all rules and regulations of 40 years’ standing, loaded and flew off with six unrecorded and unaccounted for nuclear-tipped cruise missiles.

Boy this story has it all.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

When Passions Cool, Cigarette?

The Delegate Count: Clinton’s Firewall and a California Showdown

For a long time, I have argued that Obama is poised to sweep to the nomination in the event that he sweeps Iowa and New Hampshire. However, now I am not so sure. In a development that has flown under the radar, it now seems to me that, as long as Clinton wins Florida and California, she will be ahead in delegates after February 5th no matter what happens in New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada There are three basic reasons for this:

http://EZSmirkzz1_files/9mtwM9Uio1Yrel0color10xd6d6d6color20xf0f0f0border0.swf

Update: Chris Bowers makes the observation that counts.

Ron Paul’s Appeal

Another reason people like Ron Paul, SlapHappy

TPM Reader DK chimes on the Mitt Slapfest …

I can’t believe you haven’t made this point yet. All the Republican candidates (except Ron Paul) were jumping on top of one another to basically call Mitt Romney a weak conniving empty suit in extraordinarily snide and disrespectful tones.

(emphasis mine.) For all their happy horsesh!t, Paul is the only Republican’tidate that is a decent human being.

How Much Is That Nukey In The Window?

US officials helped Pak steal nuke secrets

LONDON: Senior US officials have helped Pakistan and other states to steal nuclear weapons secrets, a whistlebloweer has claimed.

Intercepted communications showed former ISI chief Mahmoud Ahmad and his colleagues stationed in Washington were in constant contact with attaches in the Turkish embassy, according to The Sunday Times.

For sale: West’s deadly nuclear secrets

The name of the official – who has held a series of top government posts – is known to The Sunday Times. He strongly denies the claims.

However, Edmonds said: “He was aiding foreign operatives against US interests by passing them highly classified information, not only from the State Department but also from the Pentagon, in exchange for money, position and political objectives.”

Report: FBI translator says Israel planted nuclear ‘moles’ in U.S.

A Britsh newspaper on Sunday published allegations by a former FBI translator that Israel has planted “moles” in United States institutions dealing with nuclear technology.

According to the report in The Sunday Times, Sibel Edmonds worked on translating “thousands of hours of conversations by Turkish diplomatic and political targets” that had been secretly taped by the FBI.

Who’s On First?!!

Update: Larry Johnson expands the list.

Sibel has said that several the American officials and politicians named in those recordings. Other bloggers have fingered several folks for allegedly being involved in this affair. These include former speaker of the house, Denny Hastert and former State Department official, Marc Grossman. I have heard second hand that both men strongly deny having any role in these matters. The role that foreign money and intelligence officers have played in U.S. politics is not a Sibel Edmonds fantasy. The woman is simply trying to tell folks what she heard. This matter needs to be investigated. I do not believe that Sibel is making up what she heard.

Not to mention the extensive files at Antiwar dot com.

Merry Christmas

To the non schismatic branch of Christianity. Christmas in January? What’s unorthodox about that?

UD: Just to clarify, the Orthodox celebrate Christmas by the Julian calendar, not the Gregorian one, and the link is from Australia which is on the other side of the international dateline, and the Western Church caused the split between Rome and Constantinople, not the other way around.

Update: Seasonally Adjusted Title

Update2: Cool

Update3: Oh Well, I already wished you a Happy New Year!!!

Helicopter Benge

Fed ups credit auction offering

The US Federal Reserve has increased the amount of money available to banks as it seeks to help financial markets hit by the global lending squeeze.

It said that banks could bid for $60bn worth of credit this month, instead of the $40bn it had earlier promised.

Hold the Presses! Seriously hold me back!

The Desire For Authenticity

Excludes the media, most politicians and one blogger whom shall remain unnamed.

In Search of George

1. Bush will never do anything that he, or big business thinks is bad for big business.

2. Bush doesn’t care what anyone who works for him does, so long as it doesn’t make him look bad, especially to those referenced in 1.

Function follows form

Explains the Sour Look

Fray Howie’s turn!

My 2cents- I love my job…it’s the work I can’t stand.

Understanding FOX News

They want to do what I do. All I can say is, it ain’t easy being EZ.

(yeah I’m watching Chris.)

Absolutely Gorgeous

Photograph.

No, it’s not one of mine.

Yeah, Yeah, But

Did anyone else notice that at the end of their debate cycle Obama was the only candidate who walked out towards the audience and began shaking hands with people in the front row? (it’s the little things that count.)

Saturday, January 5, 2008

The Debates

Shorter GOP: We have nothing to fear but nothing to fear.

I am not afraid of terrorism, and I want you to stop being afraid on my behalf. Please start scaling back the official government war on terror. Please replace it with a smaller, more focused anti-terrorist police effort in keeping with the rule of law. Please stop overreacting. I understand that it will not be possible to stop all terrorist acts. I accept that. I am not afraid.

(you’ll have to go through his archive around Christmas time)I’m not sure what to do with Sam Nones nuclear warhead, short of a Warhol.

As for the Democratic debate, I really think, and this is no slight of Gibson, but I really think that the media is asking foreign policy questions framed for 2004 or maybe 2000. If you really want to know where the candidates jumping off point is in this cycle you might want to try the Progressive Policy Institute. Just saying.

Visualized Poll

Obama’s Nashua Event

I ended up going with Joe to the event which was so big — they expected 1,500 and got more than 3,000 – the campaign had to open up a second gymnasium where the overflow crowd watched on a hastily set-up monster tv screen. …

Hillary is scheduled to speak that the same venue tomorrow at noon.

Sadly this may be defining.

I don’t suppose anyone recalls W’s remark when he first started running for president about his father, “I inherited half of his friend and all of his enemies,” or something similar. Must run in dynasties.

Fee Fi Faux Falel

Bill O’Really? prepares himself for the mosh pit at Obama rally.

Romney Sweeps Wyoming

Two sons sweep garage collect eggs for locals.

Voting Machines Crash and Reboot and Crash and …

Can You Count On These Machines? via Slashdot;

dstates writes

“The New York time has an informative article on electronic voting with some frightening statistics and interesting anecdotes. Printers on Diebold machines in Cayahoga County OH jammed 20% of the time, making paper trail recounts suspect. Crashing voting machines in California reportedly resulted from Windows CE sensing fingers sliding from one key to another as a drag and drop event, and the Diebold software failing to handle the event. Of course, rather than just ignore this unanticipated condition, the OS did the right thing for a voting machine and crashed.”

Now what was Lou saying last night???

Update:Facebookers may want to go to /. for this article too.

They’re Only Iraqis — What Do They Know About Iraq?

Just because they live there doesn’t mean anyone should pay attention to what they think about it does it?

The US Occupation and Popular Opinion in Iraq

No nation that claims to value democracy for the world’s people can maintain a military occupation against the will of the occupied population. Yet despite what seems like a fundamental moral truism-the notion that a military occupation of one country by another can only be justified if the occupied population supports it-mainstream commentators in this country rarely broach the subject of Iraqi attitudes toward the US-led occupation. Iraqi public opinion polls, when they even make it into the newspapers, are accorded astoundingly little weight. Instead, most US politicians and analysts repeat vague slogans about how “Iraqis need us” and how “we’ll leave when they ask us to.”

A brief look at Iraqi attitudes toward the occupation reveals why mainstream commentators in this country opt for such ambiguity rather than dealing with the polls themselves: Iraqis have consistently stated that the occupation is a destabilizing force in their country, that the situation would improve after a US withdrawal, and that the US has ulterior motives for staying in Iraq.

So the fragger’s are merely expressing an unpopular opinion in an unorthodox way, because we know everyone loves America, and if not America, at least me, and if not me, at least the idea of loving America or me.

Making Fools of Democracy

Most people that weren’t politically active in the seventies and eighties will not know or understand all of this, so Paul Rosenburg makes it easy to learn. The article deals with the Iran/Contra scandal and of course the October Surprise that enabled it, so you can get a political and historical education in one relatively short article.

Now, having read the article, do you understand Florida 2000, and from that Kenya, Pakistan, Russia, etc…? Imitation is the sincerest flattery isn’t it?

Iraqi Troops Fragging US Soldiers

Pay no attention to the fools behind the war machine. This is bound to improve

.Iraqi soldier killed two American soldiers last month

This morning the U.S. military revealed that nearly two weeks ago an Iraqi soldier turned against the American troops with whom he was on patrol in Mosul, killing two of them for “reasons that are yet unknown” according to the news release.

Matter Anti-matter Collision Recorded in Instapundit’s Head

Doesn’t matter results in “He’s right” profoundidiocy. Glenn Reynolds needs to get out of Jonah’s pants more often.

Update I: Just for clarity

Update II: What is in Doughy Pantloads britches

The mantra of “I can fix it for you by being an outsider. I am on your side” is an elixir for humiliated, desperate and frightened people. Fittingly, the conservative Hoover Institution’s Shelby Steele talked on Charlie Rose’s post-Iowa show about the “magic appeal” of Barack Obama. He represents “dramatic change,” said Steele. Obama is a “bargainer,” Steele continued. He’s someone “basically who makes a bargain with white America saying that I won’t rub America’s shameful history of racism in your face if you won’t hold my race against me. And whites show a lot of gratitude for that kind of a bargain. Oprah Winfrey is a classic bargainer. They have a special magic.”

Only a real bone head would think that I, or most other liberal/leftist/pinkos would vote for or against Obama because he is black. No matter what I think about Al Sharpton on many issues, his remarks on Kimbels show yesterday are dead on. This kind of thinking is an insult to forty years of effort by the civil rights community, and perhaps more importantly, the education system that has produced these analytic skills on display by the Glenn, Johnah, and Steele.

Got Change For an Two Dollar Empire?

Probably too wonky for the general public’s consumption, but I thought I ought to join the Village People in underestimating the general public,

What Change Are we Talking About?

guts the rhetoric, and then goes all wonkey here,

What change is wanted? Part Deux

These are the things that are extremely difficult for the television crews to present because they are not exactly fireworks in the darkened skies of Baghdad issues, but it is a direction the print media could go if it were really interested in not just the process, but the national interests of the nation that the process is occurring in.

The Pillow Talkers At The War Party’s Orgy

Who has the foreign policy ear of your favorite candidate?

Atrocity-Linked U.S. Officials Advising Democratic, GOP Presidential Frontrunners

Now you understand where Ron Paul gets his traction, and what makes it possible to ignore some of his more idealistic pronouncements on military deployments in places such as Korea.

Given the other factors, some of the heart, that one could use to make the case for any of the Democratic candidates, we cannot expect changed spots from the leopards of the war machine , who will be advising these people.

The domestic issues are important to be sure, but they will be impacted by the continuing unravelling of the economy in ways and for a duration that no one can predict. It’s going to get uglier, which will allow the nativist even more room to exploit the obvious ethnic, racial and economic divisions of the people for television ratings and financial gains.

In short, the bastards will be with us whoever wins the general election in November, and so I feel as though I am being left to cut through the triangulation and BS that isn’t being reported on, but does in fact determine if any of the candidates for “change” can actually change anything if they wanted to, and who and which direction the booty of empire goes in, although the empire doesn’t exist in the conscience of the MSM, and hence in the minds of the people.

What’s Wrong With This Picture?

Afghanistan appeals for food aid

Afghanistan is appealing to the international community to provide extra supplies of wheat to alleviate a shortage, an Afghan minister has said.

Commerce Minister Mohammad Amin Farhang said the shortage could lead to serious problems during the winter.

His call came amid rising discontent inside Afghanistan at the spiralling cost of wheat and other basic food.

Afghanistan does not grow enough wheat to feed all its people and is partially dependent on imports.

If you think this sounds bad, look at the recent military developments.

EZSmirkzz Jan 1-4, 2008

Friday, January 4, 2008

Heh

Speaking of Agendas

Will all the media people who swooned over McCain saying that negative ads don’t work last night notice that he’s… running a negative ad.

Kickin him when he’s down, how rude!

I’ll bet John thought Huckabee would lose like all the rest of the conventional whizdumbs.

It Ain’t Over Yet

A Fascinating Dynamic in New Hampshire

My guess at this point is that the controversy surrounding Huckabee will distract the independents and republicans who, in other circumstances, might have crossed party lines to vote for Obama. With Obama having to rely on a more traditional Democratic voter turnout, he may not sustain the momentum he picked up in Iowa. Let’s also not forget that the media, ever eager to crown a new messiah, will now turn on their messiah (Obama) and work on tearing him down. That’s what they do.

Just a reminder that Iowa wasn’t unanimous by any stretch, and there are serious qualms about Obama that will need to be addressed by his campaign as well. I didn’t hear him resign from the DLC last night, did you?

Update:

Obama need Iowa, too. If Clinton holds her ground in New Hampshire, her 19-point national lead could start to kick in, and Iowa could become old news very quickly.

I put this here to save on electrons.

SuCon This

Huckabee Takes The Lead

And the Young Earth crowd thinks they have the GOP by the balls:

As the only Huck-supporting Redstate contributor, I thought it would be appropriate for me to offer a few thoughts on tonight’s victory.

First, Governor Huckabee’s win in Iowa sends a message to the GOP establishment that SoCons are not going to sit back and allow the party to be hijacked by those who don’t have our interests at heart. We are still the heart and soul of the party, and we’re not going anywhere. If you want the nomination, you’re going to have to deal with us and our concerns (i.e., “Culture of Life” issues).

Mr. Cole has a very interesting response to the Red State post, which I didn’t link because, you know, I’m an asshole.

Math

emptywheel’s Quickie Analysis

But by my calculations, 29% of 220,000 (Hillary’s results) is significantly more than 34% of 120,000 (Huck’s results), right? If my math is correct, we just elected three Presidents to one for the Republicans.

Arithmetic

The clock ticks for Iraq’s time bomb

It is unknown if Maliki was following, while in London, the numerous reports that came out regarding the 2007 death toll in Iraq. The highly reliable Iraqi Body Count said 24,000 civilians were killed. The Associated Press put the number at 18,610. Maliki’s own Ministry of Interior revealed 16,232 civilian deaths, 432 soldiers and 1,300 policemen. In 2006, the numbers had been 12,371 civilian deaths, 603 soldiers and 1,224 policemen.

Even by the AP’s figures things have been going down hill for Iraqis, whom the War Party is liberating from taxes and other earthly burdens.

It’s the Issues, Man

Interesting,

Let us take likely Democratic Primary voters in New Hampshire. As of mid-December, this is what Rasmussen found:

Eighty percent (80%) of Likely Democratic Primary Voters in New Hampshire say that Health Care is a Very Important voting issue. Seventy-five percent (75%) say the same about the economy, 71% attach the same importance to Government Ethics and Corruptions, and 70% say Iraq is a Very Important voting issue.

Pat Lang’s piece comes to mind when this all considered together, but I’m not to sure that the Village People are aware that it applies to them too.

Iraq, for all the rah-rahhing of the talking heads and Village People, is still a quagmire. The United States cannot “win” if the Iraqi government doesn’t do what needs to be done, they aren’t, and there isn’t anything anyone here in the US can do about it either. Whether you believe the “I’m more patriotic than you” flag wavers or the pragmatic analysis of the surges success and reasons thereof, the US is bogged down in Iraq. Simple as that.

The recession will be a hard landing, it is going to exacerbate the class anger not alleviate it. Those who are already struggling to make ends meet will be pushed further out towards the margin, and when they become ill or are hurt the emergency rooms will fill up with people who cannot afford medical care.

When money talks, bullshit walks,” may take on a very new, and unwanted connotation this year for the Beltway boys.

Updated for links.

Crash and Burn

All politics is local,

The combination of the worst housing recession ever getting worse, a severe liquidity and credit crunch being worse now than in August, oil close to $100, capex spending by the corporate sector falling for four months nows, commercial real estate being in serious trouble, the labor market beginning its slack (as initial claims and continuing claims are surging), and a shopped-out, saving-less and debt-burdened consumer having stopped its shopping spree this holiday season will all lead to a severe – rather than mild – recession in 2008.

Local being your wallet.

Mordor Still Smolders

U.S. Curtailing Bids to Expand Medicaid Rolls

WASHINGTON — The Bush administration is imposing restrictions on the ability of states to expand eligibility for Medicaid, in an effort to prevent them from offering coverage to families of modest incomes who, the administration argues, may have access to private health insurance.

The restrictions mirror those the administration placed on the State Children’s Health Insurance Program in August after states tried to broaden eligibility for it as well.

Keep it up George, your like the undertow of a building wave.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

The Torch Is Passed

Other than disagreeing with this statement, “This is a very crude outline of what I believe is a coming generational conflict.”, I think this and this are about as accurate a summation as we will find tonight, and hopefully it will hold true in November as well.

On the other hand the populist message of Huckabee is also going to resonate with the younger people of Generation X and Y.

I say both things with some confidence because Huckabee’s, and more profoundly so with Obama’s, they resonate with me as well.

Perhaps with the passing of the darkness of the witches America is burying some warlocks too.

Thank You Iowa, See Ya in 2012

This really has been one of the most interesting and intense elections in a long time, for me anyway. Pretty cool.

Obama

Dramatic! Dramatic! I tell ya!

http://EZSmirkzz1_files/LBG4vxi9mtkrel0color10xd6d6d6color20xf0f0f0border0.swf

Pulling away is he.

Huckabee

Shocked! Shocked! I tell ya!

Given the endorsements of Romney in New England, he’s history.

http://EZSmirkzz1_files/jkYSDYDc8mErel0color10xd6d6d6color20xf0f0f0border0.swf

Thus endeth the Republican commentary.

The Power of Lucy’s Tree

Hillary and the mean kids on the bus

This was alluded to in the update below,

Identically, Digby recently cited a Bob Somerby post from several years ago, wherein Somerby quoted Time’s Margaret Carlson’s fond recollection that Bush, during the 2000 race, “bond[ed] with the goof-off in all of us” on the campaign plane. Carlson added that, for reporters, “a campaign is as close as an adult can get to duplicating college life.”

Reading the article, working class stiffs like myself have to wonder which is worse, the political process or the process of covering politics. Blogging is basically a reactive endeavor, I read books, magazines and newspapers, and lately, for a geezer like myself, the blogs, which can run the gamut from freewheeling like mine to serious scholars doing serious work and sharing it for free with the internet community. But for me it is reactive.

That doesn’t mean that the media isn’t feeding off of the blogs, because people like I basically do what the CIA does, gather information from hundreds of sources and then distill it into post of varying degrees of coherence and the media merely has to use someone else phone or computer to verify what is posted to turn it into a breaking story. Ultimately it just another web or network for obtaining information, which is the business they are in. A lot of it is really pretty ugly, (and I know you know what I mean,) including hacks and all that spook crap that everyone denies is going on, but I figure you have to go with the perverts that know you not the ones you want, so why whine?

The point to all of this is to remind, I suppose, one and all that the coin of the realm in the information age is information, and with so many folks turning info into cash one cannot really expect people in the press to not pursue both with the same vigour as their fellow citizens, cannot expect them to have better morals, greater levels of maturity, or any other superior or inferior ethics in their professional and daily lives than the people and culture they spring from and cover. I don’t think it is being realistic to expect them to be more moral, ethical, or mature than priests and pastors and the guy selling crack.

We can and should expect it from those who seek public office, and we have come to rely on these very human and fallible people to keep them so, a level of accountability which meets with the level of success that these people have obtained to as individuals. As these traits gain and loose in importance to individuals within the media, so goes the media, and the political system. Without our current media, we wouldn’t have George W Bush, and without George W. Bush we wouldn’t have the same media.

With the continuing breakdown of societal norms the inclination is usually, if not always, to blame someone else. The problem with power remains, power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely, because it is almost impossible not to use whatever power one has to advance ones own personal agenda and those agendas have no morality or ethics as they spring from a different level of being, and so there is the human development of individuals at play within a group, which usually sinks to the lowest common denominator of acceptable behavior as defined by that group. I don’t think there is any external pressure, short of the legal system, that can exert any pressure on these autonomous groups.

In the end we are dealing with herd mentalities that have scarcely evolved beyond those of the veld, even as the tools used by any particular herd have become more sophisticated and subtle. We humans may have evolved physically from Lucy days, but mentally and societally we are are not too far from Lucy’s trees and behaviors.

Note to CNN

“Countdown To Caucuses”

Could someone tell CNN that while the Republican caucuses are indeed 1:35 from now, the Democratic caucuses start in 65 minutes?

-Atrios 18:23

Updated for blockquote.

Tweety!

What a dumb ass. No wonder McCain’s dog never sniffs his butt.

Update: Maybe the arrogant, elitists are on the bus?

Goober and John

Ezra has some good posts up on the Dependents, McCain and Lieberman.

Rocky Mountain Oyster Time

Yeah, yeah, I can deal with any of the Democratic candidates, and come the general election, and barring Ron Paul paying me huge sums of money to be quiet if he wins the Republican nomination, I’ll be supporting the Democratic ticket. That’s the yada yada. If I were a citizen of Iowa I would go stand up for Edwards.

The caucus has one feature that I really like in making people stand up for the person they support in party gatherings. The more cerebral pundits and bloggers seem to forget that caucuses are internal party elections. On the other hand Iowans are entitled to select their delegates the way they see fit and it really isn’t anyone else in the country’s business. Don’t like it? Move to Iowa and change it. If I lived there I wouldn’t just hand off the bumber crop of corn from the media because people in New York and California didn’t like it.

Independents and Bipartisanship

Since some of the big dogs have weighed in, why not?

The Village People are the parade masters, and after the Democratic and Republican partisans have said their piece, then the Village People uncork the horses for Lou Dobbs.

Feed Your Head

Being slightly partisan myself, and less than impressed by the Waw on Terra than most, this is my favorite graff which shouldn’t be construed as a reason for you not to read the article and the links provided there, unless of course you prefer being ignorant and uninformed.

Pakistan’s Power Puzzle (With Corrections from Comments)

But what recent events demonstrate even more clearly is that the Bush administration’s policy of relying on a personal relationship with a megalomaniac manipulator like Musharraf to fight al-Qaida has strengthened that organization immeasurably and perhaps fatally damaged the U.S.’s ability to form the coalition it needs to isolate and destroy that organization.

via Informed Comment

Barnett Rubin’s most recent posting on Pakistan’s crisis and Bush administration policy is a college education all on its own. Read, and grow learned. It is also a sensitive and searching deconstruction of the Bush administration’s ‘war on terrorism’ rhetoric and its practical meaning for Pakistani and Afghan politics. And it is written by one of the world’s great experts on the Taliban and al-Qaeda, who actually knows Afghanistan and Pakistan intimately.

Updated with edits!

This too.

US diplomats refused to accept that the deal was dead or that Musharraf may have double-crossed them. US Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte traveled to Islamabad in late November, urging Bhutto to continue collaboration with Musharraf, insisting that the general was sincere about the deal. In a private conversation I had with Bhutto three weeks before her death, she made it clear that she trusted neither the military regime nor Musharraf, that evidence of rigging was everywhere. But the US applied immense pressure, with Negroponte ringing her frequently.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Lantos Signs Out

Lantos to Retire

I just got a note in my inbox with a full press release from House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Lantos. Chairman Lantos is apparently battling cancer of the esophagus and will retire at the end of his term. For his years of service, his dedication to human rights and his thoughtful approach to foreign policy, Chairman Lantos deserves our gratitude and best wishes.

Agreed.

I thought I should add, that as with many of our politicians, we should praise the good that they do, and for whatever reason they have selected to do so, do our best to undo the bad. In the end, Rep. Lantos is a friend of the people, with whom I disagree from time to time.

From the Left — The Case For Ron Paul

The Left and Ron Paul By JEFF TAYLOR

You asked for a treatise to explain my support for the “lunatic” Ron Paul. Since you asked, I’ll send you some thoughts.

Why should Americans left-of-center–with commitments to peace, justice, and democracy–see Congressman Paul as a real option rather than as a right-wing wacko? That’s the question. Several years ago, I was hoping that Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) would run for president in 2008. He’s a principled statesman with a consistent record of opposition to war and empire, and support for democracy and civil liberties. He also has the potential to reach beyond his base of liberal Democrats to conservatives and libertarians with his stance on government frugality and bureaucratic waste. So, I was excited about a Feingold candidacy until he bowed out of the race.

Worth the read, IMHO, because it does raise the question of whom, ultimately, is the better democrat.

Song Sung Blue

Gaming Out Rudy’s Implosion

We’re hearing this morning that as his campaign tanks, Rudy’s today falling back for the last Hail Mary pass, announcing a new plan to basically go to war with everyone, in order to salvage his flailing campaign. And that means it’s important to game out the full implications of Rudy’s now probable, eventual ignominious withdrawal from the race.

http://EZSmirkzz1_files/0Ag8J2NMYmcrel0color10xd6d6d6color20xf0f0f0border0.swf

Kudos to Congress

Bush signs the Open Government Act in semi-secrecy

George Bush has signed into law S. 2488, a bill that strengthens the Freedom of Information Act. There are a lot of signs that Bush did not much like this Open Government Act, so it’s significant that he didn’t veto it.

What are the signs of Bush’s displeasure? For one thing, the WH published a description of the new law that is terse and, rather glaringly, excludes most of its more important provisions. You’ll find these spelled out in some detail in the CRS summary of the bill.

If this Congress doesn’t do anything else…

Dooing The Lord’s Werk

Huckabee Thanks Bloggers

DES MOINES _ Mike Huckabee held a little event here on Tuesday to thank the roughly 700 bloggers who, he said, were responsible for keeping his campaign alive. Because he had no money and initially got very little media attention, he said, he could not have kept going without their dedication.

Huckabee Commends Bloggers Supporting Him: ‘You’re Doing The Lord’s Work

Calling them his “secret weapon,” Huckabee urged the bloggers to “clog” up the wireless system in Des Moines so that reporters couldn’t file any more “bad” stories about him. He added that by blocking the free press from doing their jobs, bloggers were “doing the Lord’s work”:

The ball is in Maroni’s court.

Is anyone else noticing that the two Republican’t front runners are, how do you say, lunatics?

Updated for the link.

Updated Yet Again: According to national polls Sain’t McCain is a front runner and CNN reports that Goober Loserman is campaigning for him in New Hampshire. (This will be fun.)

More Gratuitous Brit Baiting

US colon cancer risk blamed on English couple

US researchers have identified a married couple who sailed from England to the US in around 1630 as the bearers of a genetic mutation which puts their numerous descendants at higher risk of a hereditary form of colon cancer.

Reuters explains that cancer researchers at the Huntsman Cancer Institute in Utah began to look into a local “family”, currently numbering about 5,000 people, “because its members had an unusually high risk of colon cancer”. Over 14 years they scoured detailed Mormon church records, in the process identifying another group in New York at similar risk. The genetic trail from both eventually led back to the British pair.

More from those pesky Mormons.

If 911 Only Had Tits

9/11 Commission: Our investigation was “obstructed”

The bi-partisan co-chairmen of the 9/11 Commission, Tom Kean and Lee Hamilton, jointly published an Op-Ed in today’s New York Times which contains some extremely emphatic and serious accusations against the CIA and the White House. The essence:

[T]he recent revelations that the C.I.A. destroyed videotaped interrogations of Qaeda operatives leads us to conclude that the agency failed to respond to our lawful requests for information about the 9/11 plot. Those who knew about those videotapes — and did not tell us about them — obstructed our investigation.

More strikingly still, they explicitly include the White House at the top of their list of guilty parties:

There could have been absolutely no doubt in the mind of anyone at the C.I.A. — or the White House — of the commission’s interest in any and all information related to Qaeda detainees involved in the 9/11 plot. Yet no one in the administration ever told the commission of the existence of videotapes of detainee interrogations.

Why Oh Why Can’t We Have A Decent Press?

Stocking Stuffer Blues

2007: Cash Outperformed the Stock Market

The broad index of the US stock market, the S&P500, ended the year up a mediocre 3.5%: that is less than the inflation rate for the year (that was above 4%) and that is less than holding a money market fund or a basket of short-term US Treasuries.

And the year ended with a slew of poor macro news with more to come: new home sales plunged while the marginal increase on existing home sales was associated with falling prices of home (a direct signal that homes sales are going up only because the increased excess supply of homes is driving prices lower); defaults on insured mortgages were up a whopping 35%.

Also a report suggested that Q4 earnings will be very poor. Indeed as reported by Reuters:

So taking inflation into account the stock market is still not where it was before the dot com bust. Good job! George!, Allen!

Intelligence For Flatheads

Crazy John Edwards

You know, I’ll admit that despite the fact that I think “getting out” is the right approach I don’t personally have some comprehensive foolproof plan to do so. On the other hand, I have no idea why almost 5 years later the most important mission in Iraq appears to involve remedial education.

Don’t Try to Stay in Iraq.

Because of the greatly improved situation in the counterinsurgency war in Iraq there will be a terrible temptation to think that Iraqis have now accepted a long term American military presence in their country. That would be a mistake.

I find it interesting that the same opinion can be held by so many different people from different places on the American political spectrum, excepting of course those who have staked their reputations and America’s on democratizing the world. Sadly, those flatheads have crapped in their own mess kits and the objective has been set back by decades, if not centuries.

Update: Presidential Debates Don’t Reflect American Views on Iraq by Tom Gallagher

According to the latest Rasmussen Reports poll, 25% of Americans favor immediate withdrawal of our troops from Iraq. Yet, according to a study by NBC News political director Chuck Todd, the candidates advocating immediate withdrawal, Democrats Mike Gravel and Dennis Kucinich and Republican Ron Paul, have received 11% (167 minutes out of 1,460) of the speaking time on the eleven Democratic and ten Republican nationally televised debates. Rasmussen also found that another 38% of the country say they want all troops home within a year. However, the chart accompanying Todd’s December 28, New York Times opinion piece indicates that when the time allotted Democrat Bill Richardson, a candidate who advocates one-year withdrawal, is added to that of the above three candidates, a grand total of 19% of the network time has gone to candidates supporting positions held by 63% of the country.

And this mismatch is nothing new, by the way. Rasmussen has been conducting weekly polls in partnership with Fox Television Stations since August, and each one has found support for immediate withdrawal somewhere between 20% to 30% and total backing for withdrawal within a year ranging from 57 to 64%.

Of course the flatheads know if you stop breaking windows you can’t sell plate glass, and since the flatheads are heavily invested in sand…

As Kenya Dies

Kenya may not be on everyone’s radar, but it is symptomatic of the former British Empire’s colonies which America is meddling in. Perhaps Florida 2000 isn’t the message we should have sent to the world.

That my friends is just how stupid the neocon philo sophistry is.

Update: Bhutto’s Murder” Richard Sale

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Iraq in a Sack

The Army’s Other Crisis Why the best and brightest young officers are leaving By Andrew Tilghman

There isn’t any one thing to clipout of the article to entice you over to the link. It’s just one of those must reads. This is for those who support the institutions of the US military, and for those who are more inclined to supporting the personnel, in short, for those who are Democrats and those who are Republicans.

via OpenLeft via Teacherken, over at DKos via the left blogosphere at work.

Ron Paul – The Real Problem

“Alan Greenspan’s Continuing Legacy”

Robert Reich discusses the constraints that Alan Greenspan placed on our ability to address domestic problems and help the middle and lower classes improve their standard of living:

2008 and Beyond: Alan Greenspan’s Continuing Legacy, by Robert Reich: Alan Greenspan’s … libertarianism [is] based on his early interest in the philosopher and social critic, Ayn Rand. …

Greenspan’s worst legacy sprang from …[this] source. Ayn Rand had made virtues out of individualism and enlightened self-interest and was deeply suspicious of all collective effort. Greenspan grew to share Rand’s views. In particular, he was sceptical about efforts to help the less fortunate. “What attracted me to Reagan”, he explains, “was the clarity of his conservatism which was to say that tough love is good for the individual and good for society.” This “implies much less government support for the downtrodden”.

For those of you who think the war is the only issue, you’d better look again. More of this is what we’ll get.

Edwards is the only Democrats talking about these things, which is why he is being dissed in the press. HRC and Obama are not talking about them, but very aware of them which inclines me to believe that they are more calculating than Edwards, which gives them more options, should they gain power, to make a deal with the copperheads that created this mess.

I don’t think we should kid ourselves about the shape of the economy, and who is going to be hurt the most by the down turn. It is going to be the middle lower classes. All the hubba hubba from the Republicant’s on national security is just bullshit, and like TSA tooting the confiscation of cigarette lighters as proof of its’ effectiveness in stopping terrorism, just false flagging the rubes.

Edwards is at least being upfront, and that is why he is receiving the negative coverage from the on airheads. HRC and Obama are triangulating the hell out of the future.

David Gergen — Blagger

Thanks to dKos we now have proof that CNN doesn’t have spellin chuckers,

The Bloom, and that Huckleberry rose –David Gergen, 360 Contributor Monday, December 31, 2007

The more immediate question for me is whether the bloom is coming off the Huckleberry rose in Iowa. Polls show that he has slipped back into a dead heat with Romney there.

Here are two other spellins’ by Gorgon

Ed Rollins, his new campaign director, believes that a series of anti-Huckebee ads by Romney are taking their toll because Huckabee doesn’t have the money to answer them effectively on television.

I’m sure Anderson will do more blaggin when he wakes up two.

At any rate one has to wonder why Gargan doesn’t get his own blogspot blog so he can spare CNN the humiliation of being a fair and balanced, most trusted name in danews.

Oh yeah, cause no one would actually go read it.

Well Keep Him Away From The Outcroppings

Bush changes itinerary of Israel trip to fit in visit to Capernaum

United States President George W. Bush has changed the itinerary of his trip to Israel in order to fit in a visit to Capernaum, the Christian holy site.

Wouldn’t do to have him heaved over the edge in his quest for holydom.

(I should add that, having read the Bible on more than one occasion, I have never noted any “Holy” sites in the “Holy” lands, which to my mind means they are probably made so by people, not God.)

Mitt Romney for President Supported by Fruit

Saw it on CNN. Must be true.

Odd, That

Has anyone else noticed that it is alright for newscasters/reporters/broadcasters/kneepaddersextodinaires to diss celebraties, bloggers, politicians, etc, etc, but not so cool when it comes back at ’em?

The Tautological Right

Tomorrow RWN returns to normal, but for today, here are some retro RWN posts related to the presidential campaign. Enjoy!

I’ll leave the link for you to dig up.

Nine O’Clock AM and 2008 Already Sucks

Someone had to say it.

Is Your Smirkzz Bi-partisan?

I keep quoting and linking Republican, and conservatives, views on Iraq, albeit with some strong libertarian inclinations on their and my part.

There are, in fact, five Iraqs that must be dealt with by a singular American policy. The first is the Iraq of the Green Zone, and by that I mean the Iraqi government brought about by the “purple finger revolution” of January 2005.

I know you want to rush over and read Mr. Ritter, so go cat go. I’ll update.

I Would Be Remiss

Not to remind you of this.

When thinking changes your mind, that’s philosophy.
When God changes your mind, that’s faith.
When facts change your mind, that’s science.

Obviously, no longer American fortes.

EZSmirkzz Dec 2-31, 2007

Monday, December 31, 2007

The Surge

The Surge: Illusion & Reality

This isn’t a must read, unless you’ve just become so deluded you want to declare victory/defeat in Iraq and regale us with your astuteness. But it is another analysis that fits into the mold of cautionary realists.

Personally I don’t think we are going to see any political developements in Iraq because we are looking for things we would hope to see, none of which include an increase in violence which may be the only political lever left in Iraq. Sooner or later all hell is going to break loose.

The Sunni Arabs of Iraq turned against al Qa’ida partly because it tried to monopolise power but primarily because it brought their community close to catastrophe. The Sunni war against US occupation had gone surprisingly well for them since it began in 2003. It was a second war, the one against the Shia majority led by al-Qa’ida, which the Sunni were losing, with disastrous results for themselves. “The Sunni people now think they cannot fight two wars – against the occupation and the government – at the same time,” a Sunni friend in Baghdad told me last week. “We must be more realistic and accept the occupation for the moment.”

The Friedman Units of acceptance are entirely out of MNF hands. Iraq may be on the back burner for the moment, but ultimately it doesn’t matter where on the stove the witches brew is boiling, because when it blows it is going to take out the stove, windows and walls. I don’t think anyone is really prepared for that either.

New Years Resolution #1

Due to the increasing technological capabilities of my children’s grandmother, I resolve to forgo gratuitous cheap shots at the Brits, especially about their cuisine, and apologise to my mum, who used to cook a mean cabbage.

Wingnut Alert!!!

How could this have slipped past the wingnutty?

This Christmas, Santa Claus is leaving his reindeer behind and hitching a ride on… a French warship! The Jeanne d’Arc, a helicopter carrier which serves as a training ship for French navy midshipmen, will dock into New York Harbor on Friday December 28 carrying over 10,000 books destined for disadvantaged American students, giving new meaning to the expression “turning swords into ploughshares.” The French books, including dictionaries and textbooks, but also novels and comic books, will be offered to the children participating in New York’s newly launched French-English dual-language programs, as well as to New Orleans schools devastated by hurricane Katrina.

Of course the article fails to mention that the warship will arrive on the 28th due to stopping in England to deliver 10,000 cookbooks to the Brits.

Was Daniel Pipes an Acid Head?

Daniel Pipes will probably deny he drops acid like George Bush drops bombs, and I’ll believe him. But will other people believe him, him, him?

Of course we honest people know the only thing dropped in Pipes family was Pipes, on his head at birth, which the family denies cracked the concrete floor of the hospital. “Daniel was born in the mud at Woodstock.” according to sources as informed as Mr. Pipes.

The thing is, we will really never care.

Mr. Bush’s War

45 months passed without fulfilling the minimum level of the Iraqis needs. We have electricity for less than two hours a day. We never stop using the water pump because we would never have water without it. The administrational corruption reached the top to the extent that it became the rule, no one can finish any work in the governmental establishment without paying a bribe to that or this employee. The most important thing that both the American and Iraqi governments failed to achieve is security. They failed because they couldn’t persuade Iraqis that they came to help them. Now, we live in the middle of unannounced civil war. I agree that there is a reduction in the killing cases but its not because the Iraqi security forces and the MNF succeeded in settling security, No. Its just because the neighborhoods of Baghdad had changed completely. Now we have Shiite neighborhoods and Sunni neighborhoods and there is an ongoing fight in the mixed areas which reflect the real security situation. Until today, Shiite people feel afraid of going to or even passing through Sunni neighborhoods and it’s the same for Sunni people who feel terrified if they have to go or to pass through Shiite neighborhoods.

Oh, yeah, the mother’s don’t allow no guitar playing around here either.

Lipstick that pig.

Happy Endemic Surveillance Society New Year Murica!

Yes that is Uncle Sam’s nose in your arse,

As Glenn Greenwald notes, this is “the worst possible category there is for privacy protections, the category also occupied by countries such as China, Russia, Singapore and Malaysia.”

Proving, YA, just how stupid people in power can be.

New Years Eve Advice

Don’t discharge your guns into the night sky if you yourself are half cocked.

This has been your second amendment moment.

Why Not?

Beach container mystery resolved

The mystery of a huge container washed up on a beach in the Western Isles has been solved.

The 27m container has been identified by the coastguard as a beer fermentation tank.

A coastguard officer said an initial search for a possible owner of the tank found it was similar to those used by American brewers Coors but there was no evidence to link it with the drinks giant.

I’m sure Mr. English, VP-director of marketing can quaff the rumor.

Has Beens Pushing Wannabes

Oh fair American unity, wherefore art thou now?

Sunday, December 30, 2007

David Broder Has Only One Testacle?

Centrist that he is, just wondering. The only other option is he’s a …

Rise of the Oligarch Scatology

Oligarchical decay

Anything that results in accountability for our largest corporations is inherently bad, even when they’re found under our legal system to have broken the law or acted recklessly. Thus, John Edwards’ self-made wealth is deeply dishonorable and shameful because it came at the expense of our largest corporations and on behalf of the poor and dirty masses, while Mitt Romeny’s wealth, spawned by his CEO-father’s connections, is to be honored and praised because it benefited our establishment and was on behalf of our glorious elite.

Naturally, our establishment sees itself as Good, and thus, whatever their most powerful leaders do — even when illegal — is never really bad. It can’t be, because they do it. Hence, George Bush’s and Lewis Libby’s felonies aren’t really like the felonies of the “drug dealers” and the other street dirt. Neither the Law nor Jail are for the clean, good, upstanding establishment members, so sayeth Jay Rockefeller and Fred Hiatt and Joe Klein and David Ignatius and the rest.

Unfortunately there are still those who can read, which puts the aforementioned pundidiots in a bind.

oligarchy

Main Entry: ol·i·gar·chy
Pronunciation: \ˈä-lə-ˌgär-kē, ˈō-\
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural ol·i·gar·chies
Date: 1542
1: government by the few
2: a government in which a small group exercises control especially for corrupt and selfish purposes; also : a group exercising such control
3: an organization under oligarchic control

One can only wonder if the blogs would have become so important to the masses if the ass kissers in the media had done their jobs. That’s a moot point now, of course, which is why those very serious people have to spend so much of their precious booty time refuting or denigrating their antagonists in al blogistan, who happen to be for the most part, run of the mill citizens who actually care about all that crap we learned in high school concerning the Constitution, democracy and the rights and obligations of the individual in his civic duties to his nation.

If Billy Boy Kristol is indeed a “conservative intellectual” we should be first and foremost concerned with intellectualism, which is more than regurgitating what one learned in a school house under artificial pressure, in articles that reflect ones deepest wishes, but do not comport with the reality of the situation, and are designed to obscure rather than enlighten one’s readers. Conservative intellectualism used to mean more than obscuring the fact that bovine scatology is just the elites bullshit.

From the Department of Joe Klein Still Doesn’t Know Jack Shit, So Why Isn’t He At the NY Times Too?

Late Night: Wingnut Crap of the… Year!

The Bhutto Party

Sort of like the Bush-Clinton dynasties, except the tribal lines are more easily seen.

http://EZSmirkzz1_files/IMsnqQHOwFgrel1.swf

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Woefully Inadequate, Mrs. Kristol says of Billy

Creeping Fascism: From Nazi Germany to Post 9/11 America

In late fall 2005 when Times correspondent James Risen’s book, “State of War: the Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration,” revealing the warrantless eavesdropping was being printed, Times publisher, Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., recognized that he could procrastinate no longer. It would simply be too embarrassing to have Risen’s book on the street, with Sulzberger and his associates pretending that this explosive eavesdropping story did not fit Adolph Ochs’ trademark criterion: All The News That’s Fit To Print. (The Times’ own ombudsman, Public Editor Byron Calame, branded the newspaper’s explanation for the long delay in publishing this story “woefully inadequate.”)

When Sulzberger told his friends in the White House that he could no longer hold off on publishing in the newspaper, he was summoned to the Oval Office for a counseling session with the president on Dec. 5, 2005. Bush tried in vain to talk him out of putting the story in the Times. The truth would out; part of it, at least.

Well I guess it really is past ghosting Christmas,
Kristol Math now has a present from these guys,
At least we can still count on their silence,
inbetween ol’ Billy boys packing friggin lies.

Almost Cut My Hair

Alive and Well in America, by HRH Request

http://EZSmirkzz1_files/nNHkOryXosIrel0color10xd6d6d6color20xf0f0f0border0.swf

The War Goes On Forever

Because you would have to start with the fever blister in your own heart, the herpes of the human soul.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

With the Surge So Successful

It would seem that we would see network reporters reporting yet again from in front of the Blue Mosque with curious indigenous folk looking curiously on and at you from Baghdad.

Updated to edit.

The Great White Hunter

via Digby, Mike Huckabee Hunts the Christmas Turkeys and Newz All Year Hams

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

And So This Is Christmas, or Almost

I am somewhat amused at all the theological musings of believers and non-believers today. There are those who seem compelled to defend their faith and those who feel compelled to denigrate that faith, and of course there are the parsers like myself who would point out to one and all the difference between religion and faith and add in the errata that for the Eastern Orthodox, Christmas isn’t until January 7 of next year, which gives one and all a second chance to mind their own business, and that too can be a double entente if you’d like it to be so.

See, Christianity gives everyone options, even if some Christians do not. If you are a Christian you probably don’t know the history of your religion, and if you aren’t you probably only know the history of the orthodox, as opposed to the Orthodox, Christianity, which always leaves people like me wondering where in the hell to begin untangling the mess that education has provided you with. For those of you who have actually seen a Bible you know that I won’t be able to sort it all out in any single blog post, and just to be clear, I don’t think I could do it in two either.

Until then however, I think it can be distilled to the golden rule, you know, so try to not shoot anyone in the face. We need to start someplace, and that ought to work for most of you.

Update: Just for kicks, because you know that kicks just keep getting harder to find.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Hiatus Breaker

Christian Nation? What in the hell is the matter with this picture? Food Pantries Turning People Away as Demand Doubles This is a list of American tales of many cities, whose food pantries are turning away the hungry because they don’t have the grub to feed them.

One can only imagine that one quarter of all those being turned away are veterans.

Merry Christmas my Ass! Plastic people.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Damn Dirty Brokaws

I watched this on the History Channel until the point that some Kent State footage from 1974 was slipped in on the earlier protests centering around Chicago and the Democratic Convention. The mood of the country was completely different in 1974 than in 1968, which I thought the footage tried to make look more sinister.

Damn Dirty Hippies! The key moment in the History Channel’s “1968 with Tom Brokaw” comes when Brokaw interviews my onetime colleague, the historian Alan Brinkley. Brokaw prompts Brinkley, “The left went too far, excessive in its behavior on a daily basis?” Brinkley replies, obligingly, “Well, there were excesses on the left, needless to say–” and then: Wham! Down comes the editor’s digital X-Acto knife. We don’t hear the end of that sentence, nor do we hear any real historical analysis in the rest of Brokaw’s two-hour film, whose secret subtitle is “How Hippies Ruined America.”

The other problem I find with stuff like this is trying to squeeze too much information into too few minutes of time. Like 2007, 1968 doesn’t fit neatly into a two hour or one hour format without confusing the issue more than clarifying it. Like everyone else who was alive back then, Tom has his own take and memories which are just as valid but not more so, than anyone else’s, and those who weren’t there would have to have been there to see it to really understand those times. Just like now and these times.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

What Hunter Said

The Party of Violence

The Real Deal

What we are seeing in DC now are lines of Congressional demarcations being exposed to public view. To that end there wasn’t any point in calling names, my apology to those whom it may concern.

Timeline of Saint Ronnie Reagan,

Giuliani, Reagan, and Kissing up to Ayatollahs with fancy Cakes

I just saw this campaign ad for Rudy Giuliani’s presidential campaign. He says that Iran held US embassy hostages for 444 days. Then they were released within one hour. That was the hour after Ronald Reagan was inaugurated as president, succeeding Jimmy Carter. Giuliani goes on to tell us that this incident shows how you deal with “Islamic terrorists.” You get tough on them and don’t back down.

The problem with this assertion is that it is not true, and indeed the opposite is true. Gary Sick showed in October Surprise that:

‘ Piercing the shadowy netherworld of international espionage, Sick has written one of the most controversial and disturbing accounts of political intrigue to appear in recent years. In 1980, William Casey, then campaign manager of the Reagan-Bush ticket, without the knowledge or approval of the legitimate government, arranged a deal with the Iranian government that in return for military equipment, the Iranians would not release the 52 American hostages until Ronald Reagan was safely inaugurated. ‘

Just so you youngsters understand this deal, Ronald Reagan made a deal with Iran to imprison Americans in Iran until after he was inaugurated. He then sold them arms, through Israel. In short US personnel were used as Republican political pawns in the run up to Iran/Contra and the CIA importing cocaine from South America into the US to finance the Contras. American expediency at work.

Update: I know this is old news about old crimes, but the actors, or mob if you prefer, is still in power even as we speak. It really isn’t so much an old crime as an old crime family.

Did Hayden Lie to Congress?

Former Prisoner Claims His Torture Was Taped In 2003

Earlier this week, ThinkProgress raised the issue of whether CIA Director Michael Hayden is lying when he claims that “videotaping stopped in 2002.” The New York Times reported that former prisoner Muhammad Bashmilah, who claims “he was held by the C.I.A.,” said he “saw cameras in interrogation rooms after 2002.”…The Chicago Tribune reports that in Feb. 2003, the CIA abducted a man named Abu Omar and rendered him to Egypt. The prisoner, who is now living in Alexandria, Egypt, said he could hear interrogators recording “the sounds of my torture and my cries“:

Inquiring minds want to know.

Congressional Democrats

longer versions here, and here.

(Best I could do)

The Barbarians

Destruction of CIA Tapes Can’t Hide Barbaric U.S. Torture MethodsBy Ray McGovern, Consortium News.

A boyish, inquisitive face with an innocent look peered out from the Washington Post’s lead story Tuesday on torture. It was well-groomed, pink-shirted John Kiriakou, a CIA interrogator who could just as easily pass for the local youth minister.

The report by the Post’s Joby Warrick and Dan Eggen, which describes Kiriakou’s experience in interrogating suspected terrorists, raises in an unusually direct way an abiding question: Should the United States of America be using forms of torture dating back to the Spanish Inquisition?

The boyish looks, the effemminate voice, criticisim of his TV and Post appearances from the CIA. This is the bullshit that America has become. Designated CIA surrogate? So Mr. Kiriakou would seem. Sorry, until the guy stands trial, I have to presume he is a CIA plant, and that the major network Telvision networks are very much like the telecos, dupes of the CIA. Operation Paperclip was just a warm up to this crap.

For those of you too young to remember it, there once was a time when you didn’t have to fact check the majors, when an individual could expect to read and view the truth in newspapers and television. Unfortunately, we no longer may.

The Washington War Post Writes Again

Kissinger Vs. the Intelligence People

Henry the “K” has (until now) managed to disguise his relationship to the neocon Jacobins who seek the “perfection of mankind” through political scheming and open warfare. Through the skillful use of avuncular editorials, oracular rumblings and throaty interviews on the Sunday Morning Newsies, he has somehow managed to seem aloof from the policy driven view of “reality engineering” that has been the hallmark of the neocon influence on history.

The only surprise, for me, is that this aspect of Henry the War Criminal has escaped Col. Lang for so long.

Attorney Bullshit General

AG Mukasey Pens Op-Ed on FISA (+Open Thread)

It is unfair to force such companies to face the possibility of massive judgments and litigation costs, and allowing these lawsuits to proceed also risks disclosure of our country’s intelligence capabilities to our enemies. Moreover, in the future we will need the full-hearted help of private companies in our intelligence activities; we cannot expect such cooperation to be forthcoming if we do not support companies that have helped us in the past.

How is it unfair for those who break the law to face a trial? As has been well documented by Greenwald and others the litigation costs for these Telcos is miniscule, although the public relations costs would approach the level of fear that the good Attorney General alludes too. But that is the strawman of the paragraph.

… allowing these lawsuits to proceed also risks disclosure of our country’s intelligence capabilities to our enemies.

One must assume the enemies the good Attorney General is referring to are Americans with less than third rate hacking skills, or the truly uninformed on the facts and issues of this case.

The fact that these assertions are indeed being presented to the public, and so one assumes, believed by those making those assertions points out just how technologically clueless some members of Congress really are about “modern” technology, and why it is considered cute amongst the elitists in the media for Senators to actually perceive the internet as a series of inter connected tubes.

At some point, total ignorance will have to stop being the level of presumed knowledge of the consumers of modern American journalism, which is helping to discredit not only the media, but the government itself. It is one thing to speak in a fashion that reaches the lowest common denominator of understanding, and quite another to presume that speaking thusly means you are addressing those people only.

Case in point being myself. Lacking in all the credentials that modern Americans consider critical to success, I still see through the bullshit fairly often, usually before my better educated fellow citizens even have a clue, although the information is actually being reported by non mainstream media journalists.

CDC Don’t Worry, Be Happy

If the E Coli didn’t kill your baby yet, it’s not going to. So don’t ask, where it was made, or when we first learned about it…

Send it to the Hague

Today’s Must Read By Spencer Ackerman

Today’s New York Times carries a valuable analysis by Scott Shane running through how the revelation of the destroyed CIA torture tapes underscores the agency’s fears of having the administration turn on it. That is, after manipulating the law to justify the CIA’s to torture Abu Zubaydah, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and other al-Qaeda detainees, the Bush administration might finally prosecute someone low on the CIA food chain for doing what they ordered him or her to do.

Like the intel on Iranian IEDs that could have been sent to the Swiss for independent analysis, so too, the torture debacle could be sent to the Hague for a fair and impartial trial.

These are things we don’t want. Either exposes the flag waving to the sunlight of honest appraisals. This sort of sunlight would reveal Americans to be principally principled by expediency. That is the truth that needs to remain hidden.

A Brief History of the American White Hand

Death squads, disappearances and torture

The world is made up, as Captain Segura in Graham Greene’s 1958 novel Our Man in Havana put it, of two classes: the torturable and the untorturable. “There are people,” Segura explained, “who expect to be tortured and others who would be outraged by the idea.”

The question that begs, when does this chickenhawk come home to roost?

Are “Christians” Christians?

Why do you call me Lord if you do not as I say?

I don’t know why anyone would worry about the Christianity of Mormons if their own religion/sect/denomination doesn’t follow the teachings of Christ.

Let’s face it, to follow the teachings of Christ is an impossibility for those of us not Christ. It is extremely difficult to even try in capitalistic, consumeristic, societies such as America because the two teachings are diametrically opposed.

Come Let Us Enhance Interrogate Together

Only in a Christian nation would the amount and level of torture to be used against a suspect be debated, which is a CNN word for onesided discussion, of heretofore illegal behavior made rationale by dire circumstances.

The same people who advocate water boarding an individual who may have vital information that might save their sorry asses, are the same sorry asses who won’t ever enlist and put themselves in a position to be waterboarded for their own vital information.

These are civilized people, Christian people, hard working stenographers.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Another Pack of Lies

What Destroyed Torture Tapes?

Leave it to the intrepid Larisa Alexandrovna to ferret out a key piece of information–the torture tapes were not destroyed in 2005. Just take time to read the letter U.S. Attorneys, Novak and Raskin, sent to the Federal Court on 23 October 2007.

Especially check out page 2, paragraph2 of the letter. The U.S. Attorneys “viewed the video tape and transcript . . . of the interview” in September 2007.

Just think if the Soviets had held on for a few more years while America got around to discrediting itself.

Mortar Attacks, Roadside Bombing and Drive By Shootings

All is quiet in Baghdad.

Progressives Discover Obama’s a DLC Moma

What Really Bothers Me About Obama

There has been a great deal of discussion online about the Obama campaign releasing a “Fact check” oppo document on Paul Krugman. Ezra Klein sums up part of why it is disturbing that an attack like this is coming from a leading Democratic Presidential candidate:

It’s not only the actual attacks that are weak (most of them rely on misinterpreting one comment, then misinterpreting the next, then pretending there’s a contradiction), but, seriously, it’s Paul Krugman. Arguably the most progressive voice in American media. When I argued that the campaign should take the gloves off, I really didn’t expect their target, in this document and in the health care fight more generally, would be progressivism.

Welcome back to the DLC boys.

This Week In Preveiw

The Fed will increase corporate welfare this week by 25 to 50 basis points, hoping to bail out the investor class which spent money like drunken sailors or Republican governments, on phantom stocks and commercial paper.

More US government officials will be implicated in the torture scandal revealed last week, as they simulataneously wish the world a Merry Christmas, amid platitudes to the peace loving people of America. Michael Vick will make headlines again, pushing the CIA waterboarding tapes off of the front page.

A white girl will find herself in the national news for disappearing, or for dying in mysterious circumstances.

There will be more outrage at Chineese toy imports containing lead, as the US trade deficeit falls due to an increase in US arms exports and cigarettes sales to the third world.

Honesty and truth will be declared enemies of freedom and liberty and democracy and God and all those good things that we love about ourselves and gee dooes this look good on me, and the Traditional media will continue to spew bullshit that makes them look smarter than they are, by only half of their viewers seeing through it, but see, look at my hair!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

We Meant To Do That- Yeah, That’s The Ticket

To hear the Neocon’s pathology of recent history, pressure on Mrs. Baird caused her to sliced the bread. As usual the bipartisan urinal that ensued amongst them trying to be more leading and wide stanced Marlboro men, (without horses,) on television networks one and all had the big swingers aping the party line, with Democrats shocked!, I tell you at the butts of war crimes in the Porcelain House.

The Nixonian aspect is everyone thinks America will fall apart when the people discover, yet again, that they have a very naughty administration. The Poobahs have decided, yet again, that we as a people in general need protecting from the truth. Television is still the largest eye candy, and those who only watch TV don’t know that the weekends are basically pushing back against the revived democratic wing of the Democratic Party, with lefties like me doing that political agitation thingy.

I should have been appalled at Newt the Gringrich who stole Christmas, endorsing torture under special emergencies if that person ordering the torture was the President, which is a vast improvement over the standard Republican position of, “gulags are for girls.” At least he’s giving us the blow job in the front seat this time around. Maybe someone from the Traditional Media will ask Mr. President TwistingintheWind if he meant that too.

The non judicial aspect, world opinion, is that America, and hence the American people, endorse torture. If that is the message that this government and this Congress wish to convey to the world, then they will proceed in a way which is pleasing to those who make torture the rule and not the exception, as we ourselves like to pretend ourselves to be endorsing.

I don’t expect any American government will ever give them up to international tribunals, but it should be uncomfortable for them abroad one would hope, except for Bosnia, by their own reckoning.

Let the Updates Roll: Aiding and abetting

We are Democrats. They are enablers.

Friday, December 7, 2007

There Is Only Time To Dream


There it was it had to be, not there some time ago you see, always on the move was he, unless she took time out for some tea,


but echoes are all that you will hear, whispering down the remembering tear, and if you look too long for me you’ll see, that I am still where I want to be,

which is always leaving.

Sunset At 37,000 Feet

Because I don’t suppose you have time to look out this window either.

So America Rots From the Core Outward

Idolatry isn’t all it’s cracked up to be is it?

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Will The MSM Please Quit Saving Us From Ourselves?

Big News Orgs Punt On Bush’s Iran Intel Lie; CNN’s Ed Henry Gets It Right

W has been a liar for over six years as President. It is just that simple. Why the American people should be mislead about it is beyond me short of treason, is misguided loyalty, which begs the question, “to what?”

The MSM needs a time out to figure out just what in the hell they think they are accomplishing with their coverage of many issues, not just this one. At this point they appear as incompetent as the current Administration, and as able to cope with reality to boot.

http://EZSmirkzz1_files/jEOkxRLzBf0rel1.swf

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

We Are Governed By Idiots

and informed by fools.

The recent NIE has been thoroughly discussed or will be, in the blogosphere, and I am not in a position to do a good rant.

But, doesn’t anyone deserve a press that works? Maybe if the sanctity of the law pundits would turn their super fine sensibilities on the government violating the law we could make a start at returning the government of the United States to the American people.

Is that asking too much Lou?

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Lou Dobb’s World

Tom Tancredo Hired Illegal Laborers to Renovate His McMansion By Max Blumenthal, AlterNet. Posted December 1, 2007

When Republican Representative Tom Tancredo isn’t railing against the “scourge” of illegal immigration on the presidential campaign trail, he relaxes in the 1053 square foot basement recreation room of his Littleton, Colorado McMansion. There, he and his family can rack up a game of billiards on their tournament size pool table, play pinball, or enjoy their favorite movies in the terraced seating area of a home theater system. Tancredo, who dodged the draft during the Vietnam War by producing evidence that he suffered from mentally illnesses, especially likes entertaining his buddies with classic war movies.
…(snip)…
When Tancredo hired a construction crew to transform his drab basement into a high-tech pleasure den in October 2001, however, he did not express concern that only two of its members spoke English. Nor did he bother to check the workers’ documentation to see if they were legal residents of the United States. Had Tancredo done so, he would have learned that most of the crew consisted of undocumented immigrants, or “criminal aliens” as he likes to call them. Instead, Tancredo paid the crew $60,000 for its labor and waited innocently for the completion of his elaborate entertainment complex.

Perhaps the reason for Rep. Harmon’s, “anything you say can be used against you as a terrorist…”, line of crap has more to do with the absolute corruption of the American political process, by greedy people without any moral compass whatsoever.

Mr. Tancredo will be better understood when quits talking out of both sides of his mouth which is conveniently filled with food.

Make The Best Of It