Friday, March 28, 2008
Support for Bill Clinton has been a foundational part of my political identity.
The whole piece deals with other topics, but this line I think could be said by most Democrats.
Personally I think Hillary would have done better if he had stayed out of the campaign, which is probably an impossibility.
On a conference call Wednesday, Clinton campaign officials said they would not try to influence the county conventions with mass challenges before the credentials committee […]
“Apparently the promise that the Clinton campaign made less than 24 hours ago not to challenge the seating of delegates at Saturday’s district conventions was just another made-up story,” [Obama spokesperson Josh] Earnest said. “The Clinton campaign’s politically-motivated outrage over disenfranchising voters apparently doesn’t extend to the 1.1 million Texans who participated in the precinct conventions earlier this month.”
If your a Texas delegate who voted properly you shouldn’t have a problem at any rate, but depending on how many people do get the boot you will need to have the properly credentialed alternates at the convention sites. I’m working on getting the state campaign for Obama to send more info. BRB
Update: They are busy today. Imagine.
OK If you are an alternate it is just good sense to show up. If you are a delegate that cannot attend then you need to contact your precinct captain and arrange an alternate, even if you have one lined up.
Just keep everything on the up and up. If you live in a city YMMV, I haven’t got a clue.
Fianl Update: This stuff goes for Clinton delegates too. You have to defend your vote, and in doing so defend the process.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were created by Congress to boost homeownership. They profit by holding mortgages and mortgage bonds as investments and by charging a fee to guarantee and package loans as securities. They are required to set capital aside to absorb any losses on those mortgages.
The companies have increased their market share to 76 percent of new U.S. mortgages, about double their share of 2006, Lockhart said. That gain shows why they need a stronger regulator, he said.
“The two enterprises have effectively become the mortgage market at this point,” Lockhart said. “Effectively they have become the lender of first, last and every resort.”
These guys are doing everything they can to postpone the inevitable (I suspect we will have a huge and chaotic unwinding shortly after the next President is sworn in). The same philosophical mindset that drives the Iraq debacle is driving economic policy: Official denial of reality in order to continue the systemic looting of the Treasury.
First? All your house belong to US.
So the debate is whether the wheels come off the machine before or after Bushco leaves office.
Update:Details how loans can be made to people who couldn’t afford them.
You know we keep hearing about the moral hazard of bailing out people who made bad loans based on their own ignorance, but the financial hazard of not bailing out the fat cats for gaming the system. Socialism for the rich is good.
I bet it never would have even occurred to you that John McCain might just be the candidate who is going to get us out of Iraq “swiftly.” You clearly lack Andrew Sullivan’s amazing insight. This is exactly why you’ll never be invited onto Bill Maher to fondle your ass on national television.
There’s more after the jump.
…Neocons envision a near-static population of terrorists, and prescribe an aggressive policy of killing them in order to rid the world of terrorism. Liberals see a dynamic population of terrorists and prescribe broad policies meant to blunt their popular appeal and deprive them of public support….
Oh, now I see. You mean if we drop bombs out of airplanes on innocent non combatants, that will make more enemies in the civilian population that we are bombing?
Gee, I thought we were doing it for their own good.
From USA Today: FDIC Plans Staff Boost for Bank Failures
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. wants to add 140 workers to bring staff levels to 360 workers in the division that handles bank failures, John Bovenzi, the agency’s chief operating officer, said Tuesday….
This is a follow-up to the WSJ story last month of the FDIC bringing back 25 retirees with experience in handling bank failures.
via The West Coaster
Economics of happiness and joy.
McCain’s Senior advisor informs me.
They want to destroy the United States. They want to use us to do it.
You guys invaded Iraq.
You guys cut taxes.
You guys deregulated the financial sectors.
With enemies like you, UBL doesn’t need friends.
For more than an hour, we told Bush’s aides what we knew about the wiretapping program, and they in turn told us why it would do grave harm to national security to let anyone else in on the secret. Consider the financial damage to the phone carriers that took part in the program, one official implored. If the terrorists knew about the wiretapping program, it would be rendered useless and would have to be shut down immediately, another official urged: “It’s all the marbles.” The risk to national security was incalculable, the White House VIPs said, their voices stern, their faces drawn. “The enemy,” one official warned, “is inside the gates.” The clichés did their work; the message was unmistakable: If the New York Times went ahead and published this story, we would share the blame for the next terrorist attack.
Maliki decided to launch the offensive without consulting his U.S. allies, according to administration officials. With little U.S. presence in the south, and British forces in Basra confined to an air base outside the city, one administration official said that “we can’t quite decipher” what is going on. It’s a question, he said, of “who’s got the best conspiracy” theory about why Maliki decided to act now.
The only people who believe “this” administration are suits in New York.
What say ye O’reilly?
It is also a major test for Maliki’s ability to prove Iraqi forces can stand on their own and allow US forces to withdraw.
US-led forces joined the battle for the first time overnight, bombing Shia positions, the UK military said.
A law covering provincial elections went into effect last week after U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney strong-armed the presidency council into allowing it to pass. While the Islamic Supreme Council is more powerful than Sadr is in much of the country, Sadr is much more popular among poor Shiites. Provincial elections could undercut the Supreme Council’s influence in the south, and many see the government offensive as a move to thwart Sadr’s political ambitions.
“Besides those who fight the Iraqi troops, everybody is angry because the Mahdi Army imposed its own law and we don’t want that,” he said. ” People now curse them in public. …It’s a good chance for Maliki to crush the Mahdi Army, and if he wants to succeed, he must continue to the end.”
From this it appears the offensive is intended to crush the political power that the Mahdi’s are already crushing with it’s own rule.
Glibbly New York
March 28, 2008 — Well, no one ever said it wasn’t a war. …Iraq may be in for some difficult times – but that’s war.
I’ll bet this asshole wasn’t so prosaic on 9-11.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
I’ll try and keep subject-verb agreement to gether here for Spencer,
Here’s an answer. As long as Maliki is in the prime minister’s chair, and as long as we proclaim the Iraqi government he leads to be legitimate, Maliki effectively holds us hostage. He says, “I need to go after Sadr. The situation is unacceptable! In Basra, he threatens to take control of the ports, and in Baghdad, he’s throwing my men out of their checkpoints. Would you allow the Bloods or the Crips to take over half of Los Angeles?” And as soon as he says that, we’re trapped. It simply is not tenable for Petraeus to refuse a request for security assistance from the Prime Minister to deal with a radical militia.
Just as Michael Ware has reported all we can do is referee the factions, but there is absolutely no way we can blunt Iranian influence in the present government, or any democratic government, of Iraq. According to Ware, Sadr has been cleaved off from the hardliners in the Mehdi militia who have been retrained and resupplied by the Iranians. If the current al-Sadr isn’t the same al-Sadr as he was in 2004, neither is his militia.
Over at Col. Lang’s this exchange
The media has started toying with the idea that the surge’s “success” is unravelling, but I wonder how much it was ever even implemented much less whether it was a success/failure? Colonel I’m sure you remember that the 30,000 additional troops were originally intended to “clear, hold, and build” – whatever happened to that?
At the same time, the Sunni Arab rejection is not a temporary thing. They simply got tired of the interference of the AQ people in their lives. Petraeus and others were smart enough to take advantage of that.
These Sunni Arabs are not our allies. It would be childish to think they are. They are their own friends. Their revolt means that AQ’s fortunes are not likely to improve in Iraq. We have not won the war, but AQ has certainly lost it.
This wonderful news, except we have defeated an enemy that didn’t exist before the invasion. That is Bush’s bait and switch on the war, and the conflation of the two different wars is what the media has been feeding the American public. Not much improvement over the prewar reporting.
McCain’s plan is to wait it all out, for a hundred years, a thousand years, however long it takes to reconcile the factional Iraqi Shiia who are probably being played against each other by Iran, which weakens any national government in Iraq and keeps Arab Shiia out of Persian Shiia lands, and has as much to do with the regime of Saddam as it does with friendship for the Iraqis. Nations have long memories. Iraq belongs to Tehran.
The nuclear noise is a perfect pretext for the war because it may very well be true, but the facts on the ground in Iraq point to another reason for the war talk with Iran. They are the pivot in the circle of Bush’s making.
A major drawback to that war is oil is going to go through the roof, and America’s economy will collapse, because you cliff dwellers in the cities won’t be able to go to work.
Worst case scenario is our Army in Iraq is trapped with a very pissed off Russia facing Americans to it’s south in Iran. Talk about over extending your supply lines, Napolean and Hitler should have had it so bad in Russia.
I think General Petraeus and UBL agree on Iraq for reasons, and it isn’t the ones that McCain is giving either. I’m inclined to think Senator Hagels assertion that this is the worst strategic blunder in American history is an understatement of degrees.
I think we better get our asses out of there.
I posted this in the comments at Talk Left.
Having read many blogs, and thanks to Anglachel for posting her link, both pro Obama and Clinton, and those anti Obama and Clinton, I think it is important to remember the difference between being a party activist on the net, and one on the ground.
The blogosphere is learning the lesson late in the game, but the fact remains as I have stated over and over before, you cannot control the machine, you have to become the machine. You have to take over the precinct, county/district, state apparatus, all while somehow not becoming so cynical that you wind up being a professional politician.
I have not participated in the blogosphere, or fora for all these years to advance any political candidate, but to advance a more progressive agenda. Contrary to assertion of many, those who cannot or will not support the Democratic nominee are not infantile or misogynists, or any other pejorative we wish to apply to them. They have rocks in their heads.
I think that we progressives, or bleeding knuckle liberals, as I’ve called myself for years, need to keep in mind the big picture, and that is the movement is not culminating in this election, nor the next, or the one after that. I fully expect to criticise whomever is elected, be they Clinton or Obama, and I fully expect a divide progressive movement will have even less influence on their policies than we could expect if we were to keep our eyes on the prize.
This election is not, contrary to political assertions by some, about you, it is about us. We have brought this movement to this point, and there is no room in the progressive movement for cults of personality, be they of politicians or bloggers. As individuals we remain as insignificant in politics as we do in life, As a group, history will note that we have passed this way.
The Lies in Your Head, More Powerful than All Facts via Antiwar, Arthur nails one.
I’ll keep this in mind Saturday at the caucus.
Last month, the Public Advocate Office released its report, “Resolve, Regarding Full, Fair and Nondiscriminatory Access to the Internet”.
I’d appreciate getting your input and feedback on the report. There are some great recommendations that the MPAO made, but I want to hear what you think. What else can we do on the state level to ensure free and fair access, and where do we go from here?
I’m in session today, but I’ll be checking in after I get back Augusta to read your comments and respond.
Thanks in advance for you help and work,
-Sen. Ethan Strimling
You still here?
AUSTIN—Spurned by the Texas Democratic Party in its effort to stall this weekend’s county conventions, Hillary Clinton’s campaign said Wednesday it is mobilizing caucus supporters and helping those who want to challenge the legitimacy of some Barack Obama delegates.
The Clinton campaign itself won’t challenge Obama’s delegates at the approximately 280 county and state Senate district conventions Saturday, said Clinton state chairman Garry Mauro.
“I have always known the grass roots to generate credentials questions,” he said. “There’s no systematic approach that we’re taking to challenge anybody at any level.”
Yeah, I’ll believe half of what I see, and nothing that I hear.
I don’t have any real problem with excluding people who didn’t vote in the primary who managed to get into a caucus from being credentialed, but if the sole purpose is to take advantage of the confusion of the inexperienced, and the overwhelmed precinct chairs we have a different problem.
The whole thing, at this juncture, has the appearance to me of the otherside of the Michigan and Florida arguments being put out by the Clinton campaign. My biases being duly noted, of course.
We have a highly combustible societal cocktail brewing The combination of 1) what Sarita Gupta and David Sirota perceive, of rising awareness and mobilization, which we might call the Pissed OffPeoples Party (POPP); 2) The need for a bailout; 3) Wall Street money all over the candidates and Congressional Committees; 4) The refutation of the safety of Horatio Alger; and, 5) the temptation for financiers to suggest that financial issues are “too complex” foranyone but the experts (who made this mess) to rectify the system; combine to make for a very anxious process.
As the process unfolds, awareness of these tensions suggests we are likely to see efforts to:
1) Move the bailout underground along the lines suggested in the Financial Times on Friday where a Committee of Central Banks around the world would buy mortgage backed securities.
2) See repeated warnings (likely to be heeded by the political candidates) that anything they say will deepen the crisis in the markets.
3) Disenfranchise some stakeholders in our social design on the grounds of expertise. Expertise that is needed to comprehend these arcane instruments and their role in the seizing up of our financial system because of fears of counter party default.
4) Berate those who unmask market fundamentalism as socialists or utopians and avoid the contradictions that are apparent to all.
If this sounds like what happened in the run up to the war in Iraq, you’d be right.
Pinching liberally, therefore, I remind you,
Amanda at Think Progress pointed out Monday that The Wall Street Journal’s Op-Ed was hosting a column by John Yoo, the apologist for torture who was a Justice Department lawyer from 2001-03 and now parks his butt at the American Enterprise Institute when he isn’t teaching law at Berkeley. Yoo was doing some bellyaching about the Democratic Party’s “undemocratic” system of superdelegates:
I’ll look in the sofa for a quarter.
The party’s not over for Texas caucus goersAbout who can attend, my bad,
This weekend’s conventions statewide will elect 7,298 delegates to the June 5-7 Texas Democratic Convention in Austin. Those delegates in turn will select the 67 at-large delegates who go to the national nominating convention in August in Denver.
Anyone can attend a convention, but only people who were elected as delegates at the precinct conventions on March 4 can sign in at their local convention and cast votes that elect delegates for Barack Obama or Hillary Rodham Clinton.
but I was right about this,
But that’s not the end of it. Convention goers will hear speeches from local politicians and vote on resolutions to send to the state convention. Finally, precinct delegates will elect delegates to the state convention who will be pledged to either Clinton or Obama.
This is where being active in the party starts to have a little more influence on the direction of the party, which if progressives want to influence requires more efforts than listening to speeches and voting. Reading blogs is almost as important.
Gunmen blew up an oil pipeline in Basra province. Such sabotage of the pipelines down there is rare, in contrast to the situation in the north around Kirkuk. But if the Sadrists feel unfairly attacked by the government, they clearly are willing to play spoiler, just as some Sunni Arabs have in the north.
via Informed Comment.
The bombing of the pipeline, seven miles south of Basra, came as clashes between Iraqi security forces and Shia fighters in the port city entered a third day.
“This morning, saboteurs blew up the pipeline transporting crude from [the] Zubair 1 [oil plant] by placing bombs beneath it,” an oil company official said.
“Crude exports will be greatly affected because this is one of two main pipelines transporting crude to the southern terminals. We will lose about a third of crude exported through Basra.”
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
eh, maybe not so much
I wish more of the blogging population here would remember this. It seems like many here aren’t aware of the vacuum in which all of this discussion is taking place.
Posted by DF
Pretty interesting discussion, for those of you who like interesting discussions.
For the rest of you, I am off to the otherside of the aisle where they don’t have anything to say, much less add.
Motor will stay here making noise, and Ola is saying goodbye.
The same principle is at work regarding the media’s allergy to reporting on the way Republicans and the Moonies have their hands so deeply into each others’ pockets that they’re making their coins jingle. Of course, as John Gorenfeld explores in detail in his new book, Bad Moon Rising: How Reverend Moon Created the Washington Times, Seduced the Religious Right, and Built an American Kingdom, this has been going on a long time. There was a brief exception back in 2004 — when Moon held his coronation as the “King of America” in the Senate Dirksen Building.
So we can only assume that they’ll likely ignore the revelations in Gorenfeld’s book that none other than uber-lobbyist Charlie Black — not just McCain’s “chief political adviser” but a right-hand man for the Bush clan as well — played a role in making that coronation happen.
So is the secret fellowship that Hillary belongs to part of this, or do they dance in the light of different moon?
Like she did for Puerto Rico.
Oh wait, you can trust those parties…
Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell said it showed that the Iraqi government and security forces were now confident enough to take the initiative against Shiite extremists in the southern port of Basra.
“I think they would tell you just the opposite: that this is a sign that the Iraqi security forces are now capable of confronting, fundamentally, their problems,” he said.
“The lives of a nation’s finest patriots are sacrificed. Innocent people suffer and die,” McCain told the Los Angeles World Affairs Council. “Commerce is disrupted; economies are damaged; strategic interests shielded by years of patient statecraft are endangered as the exigencies of war and diplomacy conflict. Not the valor with which it is fought nor the nobility of the cause it serves, can glorify war. Whatever gains are secured, it is loss the veteran remembers most keenly. Only a fool or a fraud sentimentalizes the merciless reality of war. However heady the appeal of a call to arms, however just the cause, we should still shed a tear for all that is lost when war claims its wages from us… we cannot wish the war to be a better place.”
It is a repackaged graph.
Six-and-a-half years earlier, McCain used the almost the exact same language to drum up popular support for military action in the greater war on terror.
“War is a miserable business,” the Arizona Senator wrote in a Wall Street Journal oped in October 2001. “The lives of a nation’s finest patriots are sacrificed. Innocent people suffer and die. Commerce is disrupted, economies are damaged. Strategic interests shielded by years of patient statecraft are endangered as the exigencies of war and diplomacy conflict. However heady the appeal of a call to arms, however just the cause, we should still shed a tear for all that will be lost when war claims its wages from us. Shed a tear, and then get on with the business of killing our enemies as quickly as we can, and as ruthlessly as we must. There is no avoiding the war we are in today, any more than we could have avoided world war after our fleet was bombed at Pearl Harbor…. War is a miserable business. Let’s get on with it.”
I suppose I should have never used pragmatic idealism either. Sorry John.
Update: But then maybe you shouldn’t use a teleprompter.
If Obama does not get the nomination and that other person does, then I will vote for that other person.
It really is that simple.
UD: One of the reasons CNN dropped Gallup and started their own polling company was because Gallup sucked, so I wonder what changed.
Even if the case is an aberration, it is an aberration resulting from lying the country into a war, that neither our soldiers or politicians can extricate themselves from.
I suppose cases like this have a lot to do with the recent reporting on the morale in the all volunteer force, which reporting is also accurate. But I wonder if by presenting just one side of this issue, intended to encourage the people, doesn’t also further insulate them from the carnage of war.
The very voices that decry the softening of the American people appear to me to be the very people that encourage them to be so, and the very voices that decry the nanny state perform that function for that nanny state.
The purpose of this column is not to warn of an imminent assault on Iran, though personally I think it is coming, and soon. Rather, it is to warn of a possible consequence of such an attack. Let me state it here, again, as plainly as I can: an American attack on Iran could cost us the whole army we now have in Iraq.
Lots of people in Washington are pondering possible consequences of an air and missile assault on Iran, but few if any have thought about this one. The American military’s endless “we’re the greatest” propaganda has convinced most people that the U.S. armed forces cannot be beaten in the field. They are the last in a long line of armies that could not be beaten, until they were.
Past performance is no guarantee of future returns, except with the Cheney administration.
That’s what make America a great land, we warehouse our criminally insane in prisons, under bridges and in positions of power in DC.
The Vast Right Wing Conspiracy grows,
Now obviously, Hillary’s been in the political big leagues for a while. She knows how to deflect a question. But it’s actually much richer than this. This afternoon Greg Sargent and I were talking this over and one of us realized that this wasn’t just any Pittsburgh paper. It was the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, the money-losing, vanity, fringe sheet of Richard Mellon Scaife, funder of the Arkansas Project, the American Spectator during its prime Clinton-hunting years and virtually every right-wing operation of note at one point or another over the last twenty years or more.
In fact, what I only discovered late this evening, when Eric Kleefeld sent me this link at National Review Online, is that not only was it Scaife’s paper. Scaife himself was there sitting just to Clinton’s right apparently taking part in the questioning.
There has been fresh fighting in the southern Iraqi city of Basra and elsewhere, as Iraqi security forces battle Shia militants for a second day.
Police and witnesses report clashes in five districts of Basra. More than 40 people are said to have died overall.
…In Baghdad, several mortars or rockets were fired at the Green Zone, the diplomatic and government compound.
Five Iraqi civilians were killed when one fell short, while inside the heavily fortified zone three Americans were seriously injured.
Al-Zaman reports in Arabic that members of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq (ISCI, formerly SCIRI, led by Abdul Aziz al-Hakim); the Da’wa Party led by Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki; and the Badr Corps paramilitary of ISCI have fled their HQs in Basra and Kut, because of the threat that they will be stormed by Mahdi Army militiamen [seeking revenge for the current offensive], In fact, some such buildings already have been attacked.
Best I’ve got before
coffee and a cigarette, breakfast.
Update: A Town Called Malice
The real “take-away” you should glean from these events in Baghdad and southern Iraq, though, is the fact that these operations against the Shia militias are only possible because JAM is much less powerful than it once was and Maliki no longer really depends on Sadr to rule. This might be very good news in and of itself.
Abu Muqawama will be updating this post throughout the day. In the meantime, some good news:
Just so you know what I know, there buddy.