Monthly Archives: March 2008

EZSmirkzz March 25-28, 2008

Friday, March 28, 2008

Banjo Burlesque

http://EZSmirkzz2_files/i48BP1PUoFIrel0hlen.swf

The Long Decline

Breaking Free

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.

Just In Case You Missed It

FUD in Texas, courtesy of Camp Clinton

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.

Slowly Turns The Screw

Updated

Fannie, Freddie May Raise $20 Billion, Regulator Says

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.”

Apparently this is not good, as noted in the comments

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.

or,

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.

In Lieu Of Cheap Shots At The Media

Sage

Thers:

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.

Update: Doh!

Doh!

OK, You’re Crazy

But your right.

COIN Writ Large

DYNAMIC VS. STATIC.

…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.

http://EZSmirkzz2_files/1QV_HacITGArel0hlen.swf

Mr. Lazear’s World

FDIC to Hire More Workers, Braces for Bank Failures

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.

Democrats Are Naive About Al Qaeda

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.

The Lies They Tell

The inside drama behind the Times’ warrantless wiretapping story.

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.

thanks to

Lying Liars

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.

Meanwhile

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

Quagmire My Ass, Blow Back Extraordinaire

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.

Keep The Faith

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.

Todays Must Read

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.

Your Two Cents Worth Requested

Net Neutrality: Where Do We Go From Here?

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?

Best Cinch That Saddle

Clinton campaign looks to locals to challenge Obama delegates

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.

YA via

How They Would Like Things To Work

Crisis on Wall Street – Shock Doctrine Opportunity – Notes from Take Back America Panel

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,

http://EZSmirkzz2_files/8y_GuFjxM5Yhlen.swf

Concern Trolls

The War Party must be feeling left out,

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.

Update:!@#$ Digby

Same As It Ever Was

Shocking

So I Was Wrong

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.

Pipeline In Iraq Burning

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.

UpDate:

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

He Shall Be Missed

http://EZSmirkzz2_files/fTDWSBn18V8rel0color10xe1600fcolor20xfebd01hlen.swf

eh, maybe not so much

The Blogosphere Abhors A Vacume

Why are (some) Hillary supporters mad at Obama?

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.

Motorola Breaking Into Two Companies

Motor will stay here making noise, and Ola is saying goodbye.

McMoon Shines

Still leering down Pennsylvania Avenue like a lunatic,

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?

I’m Sure She’ll Send Lawyers Too

Hillary Campaign Calls For Party-Run Primary In Michigan

Like she did for Puerto Rico.

Oh wait, you can trust those parties

Taken At His Word

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.

So we can leave.

Well, At Least McBush Can Read

McCain Recycles 2001 Pro-War Column For 2008 Speech

“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.

Just To Be Clear

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.

Note To McBush

Nice speech John, all BS, but nice speech.

Unfortunately Digby already tore your ass up.

Music To My Ears

http://EZSmirkzz2_files/E-u3WbiCcQ8rel0color10xe1600fcolor20xfebd01hlen.swf

via:Holding McCain Accountable For Campaign Finance Violations

Stop This Loss

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.

Pesky Conservatives

Operation Cassandra

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.

Lies, Damned Lies, & Hillary Clinton

Ya Think?

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.

by one.

Get Your War On!

Updated

Fresh clashes break out in Basra

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.

Video aqui and there is more on it all at Informed Comment.

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.

EZSmirkzz March 12-15, 2008

Saturday, March 15, 2008

http://EZSmirkzz2_files/7EVY4B5hJechlen.swf

http://EZSmirkzz2_files/QafmELw2tqUhlen.swf

What Digby Said

Take It To The People

If the Democrats go forward and win with this issue on the agenda, perhaps they will realize once and for all that the American public is not so frightened that they will allow the government to shred the constitution at will and offer immunity for those in the private sector who help them do it.

It can’t be said enough. We are not afraid of the terrorists. There will probably be another terrorist attack, and we will tell the terrorist what we tell our own government, to paraphrase Thoreau, “We are Americans, we were not born to be forced.”

The Rub

Reflections on Petraeus’s Comments On lack of Political Progress

But despite these controversies about the military side, Gen. Petraeus has certainly had successes. And he is clearly frustrated that they have not been taken advantage of by the Iraqi political elite. And my strong suspicion is that the US officers in Iraq are also frustrated with the White House for not pushing the Iraqis harder on a political settlement. It is very hard to see what Bush’s political strategy is in Iraq. The “surge” was never meant to be the objective but rather the means.

Shorter McBush, “Guess it depends on what means means.”

A Minute of Sense

http://EZSmirkzz2_files/cWEoNHvf554hlen.swf

But listen to Jeffrey Lewis share in one minute what I think is a vital approach to a key national security challenge

IOKIYAR

Update: As several commenters have pointed out, whenever the subject of Mitt Romney’s religion came up – it was portrayed as essentially un-American to even whisper about Romney’s Mormonism. I agree that it has no place in politics, but let’s make sure this is going both ways.

Of course we can disemble on this issue all we want to, but there it is folks, plain as the nose on your face.

I recall saying that I didn’t care if Romney went through Maroni to get to Christ, and as far as I know you can use a light switch at an AA meeting to get there, but I do find it unfortunate that many atheists are closer to the teaching of the Christ than our very religious zealots.

Fair Is Fair

Fox’s coverage of the Wright brouhaha doesn’t totally blow. Balanced is Balanced — not so much.

Update: FWIW I’m watching Ballot Bowl. YMMV

http://EZSmirkzz2_files/6vAqekT-GuArel0hlen.swf

Honey Dos Day Blues

http://EZSmirkzz2_files/ykmV_lqXtuQrel0hlen.swf

Hang In There Atlanta

I hope the news remains no fatalities, which would seem impossible given the density of population. Y’all are in our thoughts and prayers, hang tough.

Progress In Iraq

The Iraqis have adopted a new national flag and it is flying all over the nation.

Strategic Patience: FUs and beyond!

If we leave then the Iraqi political progress will stop, according to Corker. (How would one tell?)

On ABC’s GMA this AM.

Saturday’s Obamathon

A Free-Spirited Wanderer Who Set Obama’s Path Looks into Obama’s mom’s influence on him.

Outspoken Minister Out Of Obama Campaign Details on Mr. Obama’s introduction to the VRWC, and to paraphrase Krauthammer and Ari Fleisher, to knock the shine off of his charisma.

Obama: I trusted Rezko Obama is interviewed by the Chicago Tribune, a very serious thing, to stalwarts of the politics of personal destruction.

All of which, co-incidentally, is happening on Friday, and Saturday.

The timing of the preacher story is pretty good. Wonder what people will talk about this weekend? You?

UD: No, not on FOX. They are quite convinced that Wrights words are ossified in Obama’s brain. Ossification of brains being their forte. (edited for politeness.)

UD2: As long as we’re at it,

Friday, March 14, 2008

Eat a Peach

http://EZSmirkzz2_files/X9RBgfUvymMrel0hlen.swf

If The Shoe Fits

http://EZSmirkzz2_files/0som5Et-agcrel0hlen.swf

Heh.

http://EZSmirkzz2_files/tlAPDQdHqCYrel0hlen.swf

Does Anyone Really Believe

In political co-incidences?

Yeah, I did

clobber the post previous to the one previous to this. It wouldn’t have made sense to most of you, whom I apologize to. Unless you missed the whole thing altogether, then, nevermind.

The Echo of Abramoff

Abramoff’s Old Law Firm Indicted In Guam And Other DeLayed News

Look who just got indicted:

Greenberg Traurig is in hot water in the tropical U.S. territory of Guam.

The ginormous firm – 1,750 lawyers and counting — was indicted Tuesday in connection with alleged lobbying activities by former employee Jack Abramoff, who pleaded guilty in 2006 to a conspiracy to bribe public officials.

The indictment was reported yesterday by the ABA Journal, which links to the indictment.

According to the indictment, Abramoff and Greenberg Traurig received $324,000 in lobbying fees from a Guam court administrator in alleged circumvention of Guam procurement rules. Abramoff and the firm were charged with theft by deception, among other charges.

Yes, But What Took So Long?!

Gee, you would think someone running for President wouldn’t want to give a serious, deliberative answer to what someone else has said.

Who would have thought?

The Heritage foundation?

Newsmax?!?

Sheesh.

Update: Now it’s existential.

I agree with you, it is a kick in the guts. I think it is a test of our commitment to the first amendment, which allows bigoted people to speak their minds, and which on occasion really pisses people off. It’s the A.C.L.U. defending the Klan, not because they agree, but because it is necessary to the freedom of speech which is necessary to a democratic republic.

Imagine had Adam’s not defended the British soldiers after the Boston Massacre.

Another Look

At Florida and Michigan’s revotes,

But it’s actually easy to understand. What would happen if an agreement were announced today that there would be re-votes in Florida and Michigan? Immediately, the previous primaries in those states would become dead letters. Instead of being 200,000 votes down in the popular vote (by her campaign’s count), or 500,000 down (by my count, which gives Clinton her Florida votes), Clinton would be down in the popular vote by almost 1 million. And 193 delegates that they are currently counting would suddenly disappear.

And at that point, the magnitude of Clinton’s deficit would be too obvious to spin away. Yes, there would be two additional large-state contests in which to win back the million popular votes and hundreds of delegates. But unless she did significantly better in both states than she did in the illegal primaries, she would lose, not gain, ground, by her own calculations. Since she was on the ballot alone in Michigan before, it’s highly unlikely that she will do better there. It’s very possible that she could do better than the 50 percent she won in Florida in January, but since it would now be a two-person race, it’s a dead certainty that Obama would do significantly better than the 32 percent he got in January, thus adding to his total popular vote margin and delegate count even if he lost again, and so it would be a net loss for Clinton. Re-votes cannot help Clinton be “perceived” as the winner of the popular vote.

Interesting read, as Ezra states, THE CLINTON CAMPAIGN AND CLARITY.

Not the conventional talking points, is it?

Obama answers critics on 360° tonight

HT Wolf Blitzer, (credit given where credit due,(UD: usually,))

But late in the day, the Obama campaign had a change of heart, offering up the Senator himself to address the issue. So we’ll have that tonight, Anderson and Senator Obama responding to his pastor’s firestorm of controversy.

Update: If you’ve let this one slip under your radar,

Let me say at the outset that I vehemently disagree and strongly condemn the statements that have been the subject of this controversy. I categorically denounce any statement that disparages our great country or serves to divide us from our allies. I also believe that words that degrade individuals have no place in our public dialogue, whether it’s on the campaign stump or in the pulpit. In sum, I reject outright the statements by Rev. Wright that are at issue.

Hard to parse that.

Update: This blog…

Why Was This Spiked?

US detains ‘top al-Qaeda figure’

The man, named as Muhammad Rahim, helped arrange Bin Laden’s escape from his Tora Bora hideout in Afghanistan in 2001, US officials say.

He was transferred to the Pentagon from CIA custody earlier this week, a Pentagon spokesman said.

The CIA captured Rahim, said to be an Afghan national, in the summer of 2007.

OOHhhhh do tell.

Duck & Cover

Bush reveals new “active” economic plan.

Blogrolls Suck

The Rank-Link Imbalance

Every society produces its own distinct brand of social misfits, I suppose, but our social structure seems to produce significant numbers of people with rank-link imbalances. That is to say, they have all of the social skills required to improve their social rank, but none of the social skills that lead to genuine bonding. They are good at vertical relationships with mentors and bosses, but bad at horizontal relationships with friends and lovers.

Well I’m not too sure I want a horizontal relationship with my friends, although I hear, suppose the link between punditry and reality can influence the most stalwart of heterosexuals into power of position roles, and necessity of check scenarios.

Edited to better reflect the innuendo I wished to relay.

Will The Day Ever Come?

When we the people won’t have to thank them for doing the right thing?

Given all I know of the surveillance state, I don’t even want the telco’s to buy me a cup of coffee, I just want to know what the government did, and when did they do it. The only way to discover that is through the civil suits. It really is as simple as that.

McCain Reads This Blog

McCain: I “Worry” That Al Qaeda Will Attack To Tip Election Against Me

Just in case you’d forgotten about John McCain, you should know that he’s out there campaigning, and he’s actually saying stuff like this…

Republican presidential candidate John McCain said on Friday he fears that al Qaeda or another extremist group might attempt spectacular attacks in Iraq to try to tilt the U.S. election against him.
McCain, at a town hall meeting in this Philadelphia suburb, was asked if he had concerns that anti-American militants in Iraq might ratchet up their activities in Iraq to try to increase casualties in September or October and tip the November election against him.

“Yes, I worry about it,” McCain said.

This blog …

Not So Fine A Line

State Dept. notes rise in global anti-Semitism over last decade

“The distinguishing feature of the new anti-Semitism is criticism of Zionism or Israeli policy that – whether intentionally or unintentionally – has the effect of promoting prejudice against all Jews by demonizing Israel and Israelis and attributing Israel’s perceived faults to its Jewish character,” it said.

I know a lot of people have problems with this, because it is hard to distinquish the difference between religious and tribal Jews.

We have Christian preachers in America that make the point absolutely clear. I wonder how much that plays into the feedback loop as well. It really is just the other side of the coin, the perception being whether you’ve called heads or tails.

Update: This blog…

A Lot of Money

To bounce a bunch of rocks.

From the ashes of Bin Laden’s attack, 9/11, arose not a phoenix but a hydra-like creature, its many heads representing terror, weapons of mass destruction, bin Laden, Saddam and al-Qaeda networks. The weapons and al-Qaeda link to Saddam have been demolished. In tragic irony, al-Qaeda established itself in Iraq after Saddam’s fall.

Five years ago, war critics decried the US invasion as a blatant attempt to shore up its oil supplies from the Middle East. This view has been given greater credence with comments by former chairman of the Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan, who wrote in The Age of Turbulence: “I’m saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil.” Greenspan said later that he meant that to secure oil supplies meant toppling Saddam. He was worried oil might reach $120 a barrel. This week, it reached $110, without Saddam.

A month ago, Bush sent to Congress his defence budget for 2009. He asked for $515 billion; $36 billion more than the previous year, which in part provides for an extra 65,000 full-time recruits and 27,000 more Marines over the next five years to add to a force of 2.2 million military personnel. The money will also maintain 545,000 US facilities at 5300 sites at home and overseas. The global war on terror is World War III by another name.

You would think we were up against a nation state.

Wall This Off

New barrier to foreign capital

Turkey’s top court issued a ruling in a five-year case on some clauses of the foreign direct investment law, scrapping the clause that allowed foreign companies to buy land in Turkey. The finance minister called the decision a ‘hindrance,’ while the opposition heralded it as prevention of limitless foreign land acquisition in Turkey

The New! Improved! Inflation! Basket!

On the bright side;

Non-Recourse

According to CNBC, JP Morgan is acting as an intermediary for Bear Stearns because Stearns doesn’t normally have access to the Fed discount window. Lucky for everyone, this is a nonrecourse loan! JP Morgan is using some pile of shit from BS as collateral, and if that collateral isn’t worth anything JP Morgan won’t be held liable if there’s a default.

No worries. The Fed did this type of thing in the 30s, too.

And we thought hookers were doing well.

Beyond Shrub?

“The evidence we have today indicated we have been deceived and betrayed for a number of years by a highly respected and trusted individual,” said Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), the NRCC chairman.

Queen opens new Heathrow terminal

The Queen has officially opened Heathrow Airport’s controversial Terminal 5, describing it as “a 21st Century gateway to Britain”.

As good a place as any to extend an apology to the Queen.

It is unfortunate that our leaders would subject the Crown to being a political prop for their failed policies. Equally so, that your advisors did not see the response that it would entail.

Smog and Science

http://EZSmirkzz2_files/cZKCu4sh3qArel1border0.swf

Today,I pinch On Day One.

Update: Journalist Mark Goldberg sends this from former EPA administrator Carol Browner posted at a site he’s working on called On Day One.

Smog…

Isvestia

Well, by all means, we better keep it up then…

Yesterday, the Washington Post wrote about how the Public has become less knowledgeable about the Iraqi war occupation as media coverage dissipates. That story was published on page A12.

Today, the Post has published this…on page A10:

Iraqi leaders have failed to take advantage of a reduction in violence to make adequate progress toward resolving their political differences, Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, said Thursday.

In what only can be a pique of journalism that will irritate yet be ignored by both Fred Hiatt and myriad televised pundits it is also stated in the same article:

Petraeus came back to Iraq a year ago to implement a counterinsurgency strategy, backed up by a temporary increase of about 30,000 U.S. troops, intended to reduce violence so Iraqi leaders could pass laws and take other measures to ease the sectarian and political differences that threaten to break the country apart.

OK where are the other two chimps?

Why Do Ministers Hate Christianity?

Pastor’s hellfire sermons put Obama’s campaign in hot water

Obama’s campaign told ABC that he did not think of his pastor in political terms.

“Senator Obama does not think of the pastor of his church in political terms. Like a member of his family, there are things he says with which Senator Obama deeply disagrees,” a statement said.

Such disputes are not exclusive to the Democrats. John McCain, the Republican nominee, is under pressure to repudiate a televangelist supporter, the Rev Rod Parsley, who has spoken of a clash of civilisations between Islam and Christianity.

I know I’m not the only person to have read the Bible. I know I’m not the only Christian to have read the Bible.

Can anyone who has read thee Bible, please tell me where in the Bible Jesus ever said anything close to what these esteemed preachers are saying?

Or is lunacy now a criteria that Paul forgot to enumerate in his letter to Timothy?

Update: You folks might want to start considering what effects your words are having beyond your own congregations, egos, and collection plates.

Seriously

Quickvote

Should incest be illegal?
Yes
No

Only if poking your eye out with a sharp stick will prevent seeing things lik this/

ALL THE TEXT ON THIS PAGE IS UNCLASSIFIED

Just The Facts Ma’am

That bold part — that part of the “reporting” that doesn’t have quotation marks around it and doesn’t have any correcting remarks after it and doesn’t have a bullshit flag preceding it — is a lie. How is it a lie? Let us count the ways.

Former chief executive Joseph P. Nacchio, convicted in April of 19 counts of insider trading, said the NSA approached Qwest more than six months before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, according to court documents unsealed in Denver this week. [link]

The U.S. National Security Agency asked AT&T Inc. to help it set up a domestic call monitoring site seven months before the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, lawyers claimed June 23 in court papers filed in New York federal court. [link]

Everytime you repeat the lie that domestic spying began “after the Sept. 11th attacks,” a data miner in some basement at the NSA gets his wings.

hugs and kisses, georgia

I left out the bold, but XOXO, EZ

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Gravity…

http://EZSmirkzz2_files/Dv5v4stC6OArel0hlen.swf

Old Farts Suck

It’s Official – You’re An Old Fart

Test Pinch 2

http://EZSmirkzz2_files/Up2ySBv5OX0rel1border0.swf

Just To Be Clear

If I had a home page Atrios would be it.

Beyond that, home pages suck.

Out Of Step With Time

For Reason Before She Was Against It?

Not sure quite what it means. But TPM Reader JB dug up this passage from a December 2006 article in the Times about what then seemed the likely prospect that a women and a black man would be competitive candidates in the 2008 Democratic primaries …

Impossible as it may seem, Geraldine is 72 years old and a product of an older political establishment than currently exists.

Her words can be construed in anyway we wish, but racist she isn’t. Between Johnson and Clinton the CW was all that could be done had been done, and not just in racial equality, but along many fronts. The left was in descent.

I suppose that’s why I support Obama, because the man has his head where it ought, in the aughts.

I also doubt that this election will be so historic, that the new President won’t be an inexperienced President on January 21, 2009 the day after being inaugurated. Besides Cleveland’s second term, which one wasn’t?

Dog Food Sucks

Quote of the Day

Retiring Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R-VA): “The House Republican brand is so bad right now that if it were a dog food, they’d take it off the shelf.”

Voice in the back my head: AWE-Right!

Blogs Suck

We’re All Computer Nerds Now

I long ago stopped really caring about how those weird creatures called bloggers are caricatured in the media, but I do find one aspect of it fascinating. There is a complete inability of writers to get beyond a decades old stereotype of the “computer nerd.” You know, bloggers use computers! Nerds use computers! Bloggers are nerds!

It’s weird.

Bloggers suck.

Two War State

Afghan war trend worse than Iraq – U.S. trainer

STOCKHOLM, March 12 (Reuters) – The tide of the war in Afghanistan is running against the United States and its allies, in contrast to an improving trend in Iraq, a U.S. military official and counter-insurgency expert said on Wednesday. “Afghanistan (is) in my eyes an under-resourced war, a war that needs a whole lot more advisers, a whole lot more economic aid,” Lieutenant Colonel John Nagl told a security conference in Stockholm.

“This war is the war I’m concerned about, a war in which the United States very much needs the help of our friends.”

Nagl commands the 1st battalion of the 34th armoured regiment at Fort Riley, Kansas, training U.S. transition teams that embed with Iraqi and Afghan security forces.

He was part of the writing team that produced the U.S. military’s manual on counter-insurgency, which is credited with transforming its approach to both conflicts with a new emphasis on winning over local populations and marginalising insurgents.

To think this nation, with far less money, once fielded an armed force that could fight two world wars in the same dimension.

No offense, but…Mr. Bush’s war policies suck.

No Offense, But…Mr. Bush’s Economy Sucks

Republicans and “Free Market” Zealots Bring Disaster to America

More pressure on the dollar resulted from the decision to award the European company, Airbus, a $40 billion contract that could reach $100 billion to build US Air Force tankers. In simple terms, that means another $40 to $100 billion added to the US trade deficit, and a loss of $40 to $100 billion in US Gross Domestic Product and associated jobs.

Of course, the Bush regime had to award the contract to Europe as a payoff for Europe’s support of the Bush regime’s wars of aggression in the Middle East. Europe is not going to provide Bush with diplomatic cover for his wars and NATO troops for his war in Afghanistan without a payoff.

Pesky Reaganomics gurus.

Where In The World Is Osama bin Laden?

Emperors Club VIP I knows.

Client 6. Mainstream British news sites are scrubbing their sites of reports that the Duke of Westminster was another alleged client of Emperors Club VIP (reportedly client six), a reader informs me, and it appears to be true. Go to the links here first. Then here: Gone. Gone. Why? This one still works, but only the photo and caption mention the Duke. Fortunately there’s still News of the World.

Laura has the scoop, and the links.

Update:Oh yeah, photos of hookers are everywhere. On the tube, everywhere.

Update 2: Photos of hookers everywhere sucks.

Update: 2.1:Cut and paste sucks.

You Didn’t See This?

http://EZSmirkzz2_files/gngjiZ8JyJ0rel1border0.swf

You saw it here, first.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Pleasantville

McCain Campaign Asks Fellow Cons And Republicans: Pretty Please Stop Being Racist, Sexist, Nutjobs

This memo from McCain’s campaign chief is begging and pleading with the Republican party and conservatives to restrain themselves. It asks them not to be the wackjobs we on the left must continually deal with. Its not going to work. The Republican party has used these feelings to have electoral success, its a formula that works time and time again. But America has changed, and they – as usual – haven’t.

What ever happened to free speech John? Or is it your intention to be a McNutter too?

The Vitter You Drink, The Spitzer You Play

Gays “The Biggest Threat Our Nation Has, Even More So Than Terrorism or Islam”

The Senate Republican caucus — men and women routinely portrayed by the corporate media as being “solid” and “wise” and who “have our best interests at heart,” you know, like James Inhofe, John Cornyn, John McCain, Elizabeth Dole, Mitch McConnell, Ted Stevens… — gave David “Diapers” Vitter a standing ovation when he returned to the Senate after laying low for a week after it was revealed that he had been spending a lot of time over the past decade with a series of hookers and call girls. They applauded the Family Values supporter heartily. Yesterday the Oklahoma legislature’s GOP caucus took a cue from the U.S. Senate and applauded Sally Kern (R-OK City) when she returned after her anti-gay tirade a few days ago.

First, why don’t you listen to her own words:

Guess Senators aren’t worth much in this here algebra.

Congress Starts To Catch On

The following Members joined Chairman Conyers in signing on to the statement: Representatives Howard L. Berman (D-CA), Rick Boucher (D-VA), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Robert C. Scott (D-VA), Melvin L. Watt (D-NC), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX), William D. Delahunt (D-MA), Robert Wexler (D-FL), Linda Sánchez (D-CA), Steve Cohen (D-TN), Hank Johnson (D-GA), Betty Sutton (D-OH), Brad Sherman (D-CA), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Anthony D. Weiner (D-NY), Artur Davis (D-AL), Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL), and Keith Ellison (D-MN).

The statement is where I found it.

Statement of Undersigned Members of the House Judiciary Concerning the Administration’s Terrorist Surveillance Program and the Issue of Retroactive Immunity

As a result of our review of classified as well as unclassified materials concerning the Administration’s Terrorist Surveillance Program, we have concluded that blanket retroactive immunity for phone companies is not justified. However, we do recommend a course of action that would both permit the carriers the opportunity to defend themselves in court and also protect classified information – by eliminating current legal barriers and authorizing relevant carriers to present fully in court their claims that they are immune from civil liability under current law, with appropriate protections to carefully safeguard classified information. In addition, we recommend legislation to fill a current gap in liability protection for carriers, and to create a bipartisan commission to thoroughly investigate the legality of the warrantless surveillance program….

On the internets.

Not A Song Sad Enough For This

Though Some People Had a Worse Day,

BAGHDAD (AFP) – A rocket attack on a US military base south of Baghdad on Wednesday killed three soldiers and wounded two in the third lethal attack on troops this week, the military said.

Where’s Ted Koppel When You Need Him,

BAGHDAD — U.S. authorities in Baghdad have received five severed fingers belonging to four Americans and an Austrian who were taken hostage more than a year ago in Iraq, officials here said today.

Free Ride Express, The Devils In The Details

Senator John McCain hailed as a spiritual adviser an Ohio megachurch pastor who has called upon Christians to wage a “war” against the “false religion” of Islam with the aim of destroying it.

What can I say John? You know, most Christians aren’t these Christians.

Back To The Three Chimps

Hear No Evil, ooops, looks like See and Speak left the tree. Disappearing the Facts

ABC News reports:

The Bush Administration apparently does not want a U.S. military study that found no direct connection between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda to get any attention. This morning, the Pentagon cancelled plans to send out a press release announcing the report’s release and will no longer make the report available online.

So if you want the report and don’t mind ending up with another record in the data base, drop them a line and they’ll mail you a cd, paid for with tax dollars of course.

Fiscal responsibility, yeah, that’s the ticket.

Green Green Grass of the Zone

Is the US really bringing stability to Baghdad?

To judge from the talk in Washington, the ‘surge’ that put 30,000 more US troops on the ground in Iraq has succeeded in bringing stability to a nation still riven by ethnic, religious and tribal conflict. Life, the Pentagon boasts, is returning to normal. But the truth is a very different story.

Some of us remember these reports,

People in Baghdad are not passive victims of violence, but seek desperately to avoid their fate. In April 2004, I was almost killed by Shia militiamen of the Mehdi Army at a checkpoint at Kufa in southern Iraq. They said I was an American spy and were about to execute me and my driver, Bassim Abdul Rahman, when they decided at the last moment to check with their commander. “I believe,” Bassim said afterwards, “that if Patrick had an American or an English passport [instead of an Irish one] they would have killed us all immediately.”

In the following years, I saw Bassim less and less. He is a Sunni, aged about 40, from west Baghdad. After the battle for Baghdad between Shia and Sunni in 2006, he could hardly work as a driver as three-quarters of the capital was controlled by the Shia. There were few places where a Sunni could drive in safety outside a handful of enclaves.

Supporting The Troops

Unless They Slow Down The War Machine

Right-wing war hawks are glad to see Fallon go. The Wall Street Journal Editoral board wrote today that Fallon’s resignation is “good news” because it will allow Bush to begin “to pay attention to the internal Pentagon dispute” over Iraq withdrawal. That, in turn, will relieve “pressure” on Gen. David Petraeus so he can fight “a frontal war against Islamist militants, not a rearguard action with Pentagon officials.”

So from the ridiculous to the sublime,

But most excited by Fallon’s departure is Council on Foreign Relations Senior Fellow Max Boot. Writing an op-ed titled “Fallon didn’t get it” in the LA Times today, Boot cited the Esquire article’s notation that Fallon wanted to banish the phrase “long war” against al Qaeda. But acccording to Boot, its “good news” that Fallon is leaving because Esquire did not offer “any hint of how Fallon intends to defeat our enemies overnight.”

One would think if our enemies could be defeated overnight the military would not be listening to the clueless, such as Boot.

I doubt Boot is really clueless, so I must surmise he is a propagandist.

Ya Think?

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Retail sales fell at the fastest pace in at least five years and could tip an already fragile economy into recession, according to a private report released on Wednesday.

Pretty private report.

Metrics of the Occupation

Measuring Success of the Surge: Nir Rosen Debates Fred Kagan

This was an exchange last night on Lehrer News Hour between my friend and former colleague Nir Rosen and AEI scholar and “surge architect” Frederick Kagan:

This is a pretty decent exchange of views.

The thing not mentioned, to my mind is the most important and overlooked aspect of all of this, and that is that America is not in charge of its’ own fate in Iraq. If either the Sunni or Shiia go off we’re toast.

If Bushco thinks the Shiia are too weak and debilitated to react to an attack on Iran, then that increases the prospect of a war with Iran, which would suit the Sunni just fine.

Given McBush’s statements, the status quo is success, and waiting to get swept up in the renewed violence until after the election will be their priority, which is why we are hearing the surrender pejorative from the war mongers.

So far more than the Canadians had hoped to play a role in our election, the Iraqi sectarians have an even bigger role. Merely maintaining the status quo is good news for the troops and the Republicans. If the sectarians go off then it will be a bloody mess for our troops and the antiwar movement gets to be right with out much to celebrate.

Those are the scenarios that I can see, and I am fairly well convinced that the current administration will pursue a course that is beneficial politically to the Republicans, just as it always has, and the spilled blood will be written off as patriotic sacrifices to the fatherland.

Update: I would be inclined to believe more now, not less, that the trip to the Mid East by Cheney has more to do with discussing the Shiia Cresent than oil or Israel.

Update 2: I would be remiss if I didn’t point this article out which has been analysed here,

Replace “we do not mean Iran’s declared civil work related to uranium conversion and enrichment” with “and all the other sketchy stuff Fakhrizadeh was up to.”

I think the caveat for Iran would be the one for the North Koreans, to wit, “our leader is more insane than yours,” which would hopefully prod the Iranians into a fuller disclosure of Fakhrizadeh’s activities.

Update 3: Mr Kagan’s map of Iraqiimprovements.

Missile Defense Shield #9

Gates, Turkish leaders held missile defense talks, US says

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates and top Turkish military and civilian leaders discussed American plans for a missile defense system to counter Iran during his visit to Ankara late February, the Pentagon said Monday.

Asked at a briefing if the missile defense was an agenda item during Gates’ talks in Turkey, Pentagon Spokesman Geoff Morrell admitted that it was.

No one asked if Putin was pleased by that either, I suppose.

Encore Presentation

Stick This In Your Stovepipe

Forcing any government to make a coherent case to its citizens, its allies and the world for going to war is a requirement for any civilized society. Indeed, after WWII, there was a consensus among those left standing that made blanket prohibitions against preventive war (at least on paper, if not in reality.) But this pomo presidency has finally relegated all that 20th century nonsense into the garbage bin of history. They blatantly change the rules and openly “fix the facts”, without much pretense of adhering to previously recognized norms. In fact, that’s the whole point. As with refusing to declare waterboarding torture, they truly believe it’s useful to have the world believe the United States is run by bloodthirsty tyrants. (It’s especially effective when it actually is.)

In short, as Woolsey said at the FPIP broadcast on C-SPAN, it’s their ability to develope a weapon now, in less than a year, that is the rationale for attacking Iran. Meeting on Arms Data Reignites Iran Debate is the article Digby refers to.

But several allies said the report’s conclusion was too sweeping, and President Bush has made clear that he shares that view. Thomas Fingar, the deputy director of national intelligence for analysis who runs the National Intelligence Council, which produced the estimate, said “the vast majority of concerns” he had heard from abroad were, “ ‘Why would you say something that complicates our policy making?’ instead of ‘You have misinterpreted the evidence.’ ” At issue is how to judge whether a nuclear program is intended for military purposes.

Why indeed, after all we have made up our minds, why confuse us with facts.

The biggest problem with this sort of politics is it makes it harder for any sane person to present the unvarnished facts and propose a policy that fits the needs of the issue, because the lunatics have already dicredited the ability of the intelligence agencies to do their work.

Given their performance leading up to the Iraq quagmire, I’m not to surprised to see this stuff leaking out in Pravda, and am glad, if you are observant, that I have returned to perusing the pages of Isvestia too.

On this count, one has to wonder about the validity of the criticism of Obama’s experience and judgement, when such poor judgement and experience is staring them in the face in the current President. If it can get worse than this, judgement is no longer the correct terminology.

Et Tu McNader?

Ralph Nader loves John McCain

McCain launched that intervention from his perch as chairman of the Reform Institute, a Washington think tank funded by corporate soft money and liberal foundations and staffed by McCain staffers and partisans. On the surface, at least, the Arizona senator was pursuing a principled defense of open ballot access, and he recalled how establishment Republicans had used legal technicalities to block him from the New York primary ballot in 2000. He sent Trevor Potter, a prominent attorney and former Federal Election Commission member who has long represented him, to assist the Nader forces in Tallahassee. It was an inspiring story of shared democratic values that crossed the ideological spectrum.

But as the New York Times reported on Sept. 17, 2004, there was a political back story behind McCain’s assistance to Nader. According to the Times, “Mr. Potter said that the Nader campaign first sought Mr. McCain’s backing in the case last week and that subsequently the Bush campaign also asked him to get involved.” (Candidate Nader and his running mate, Peter Camejo, issued a statement thanking McCain and the Reform Institute that is for some reason no longer available on the Nader campaign Web site.)

You’ll just shoot your eye out kid.

Whack His PP

There, the Eliot crisis is solved.

Commission to Investigate Warrantless Spying

House Dems Proposing Commission to Investigate Warrantless Spying, Still Reject Amnesty

Not only shouldn’t companies that helped the government’s warrantless spying on American citizens be given retroactive amnesty, the government should establish a national commission — similar to the 9/11 Commission –to subpoena documents and testimony in order to find out — and publish — what exactly the nation’s spies were up to during their five year warrantless, domestic surveillance program.

In other words, House Democrats aren’t planning a compromise on telecom amnesty and are actually going on offense to find a way to learn more about President Bush’s five-year secret “Total Information Awareness” program.

via /.

I’ll bet the Republicans do their best to submarine this one. Just holding hearings before the election would expose their arses to the ire of the small government Republicans.

1 In 4 Teenage Girls Has An STD

Abstinence only, works.

Sad, He’s Too Sane

Big Picture on Fallon

But there is a big picture that is important to keep in focus. That is, quite simply, that Fallon is leaving because he was apparently too sane for the Bush White House.

What say ye McBush?

Not To Be Forgotten

Just in case you missed this,

David Brooks, Thomas Friedman, and Oliver North all came out against the “surge” last January after it was announced by President Bush. George Will wrote a column titled, “Surge, or Power Failure?” And, after the botched hanging of Saddam, Charles Krauthammer declared, “We should not be surging American troops in defense of such a government.”

Har Har.

Alreet

House Creates New Panel On Ethics

The House last night approved one of the most significant changes to its ethics rules in decades, creating for the first time an independent panel empowered to initiate investigations of alleged misconduct by members of the chamber.

The six members of the new Office of Congressional Ethics would have the authority to initiate preliminary reviews of allegations against House members, conduct investigations and refer their findings to the House ethics committee along with a public report.

“For the first time in history, you have nonmembers able to initiate investigations,” said Sarah Dufendach, chief lobbyist for the watchdog group Common Cause. “They’re doing oversight. They’re the new police.”

We’ll see how this flies, but it is a good first step.

Update: More here.

Hamas Sets Terms For Truce

Hamas publicly sets terms for truce with Israel

There must be a commitment by Israel, to end all its aggression against our people, assassinations, killings and raids, and lift the (Gaza) siege and reopen the crossings,” Hamas’s Gaza leader Ismail Haniyeh said in a speech. A ceasefire deal, he said, should be “reciprocal, comprehensive and simultaneous” and apply both to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

A deal being formulated between Israel, Egypt and Hamas involves deploying Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ troops at the crossings with the Gaza Strip, Palestinian sources told Haaretz Tuesday.

Duly noted.

Knowing Mississippi

Here is an interesting tidbit from the Mississippi exit poll. Look at the percentage of Hillary Clinton voters who are dissatisfied with the idea of an eventual Clinton nomination:…
A full 15% of voters who said they will be unsatisfied if she gets the nomination voted for Hillary Clinton. In contrast, only 4% of Obama voters say the same about their candidate.

According to MSNBC’s exit numbers, Republicans made up either 12% or 13% of the voters in tonight’s primary. And they went for Hillary Clinton by a decisive 3 to 1 margin.

Border Security

Envoy faces calls to resign in NAFTA leak probe

The Canadian leaks began as a remark that Mr. Harper’s chief of staff, Ian Brodie, made to CTV reporters during the Feb. 26 budget lock-up.

Mr. Brodie told the reporters that Ms. Clinton’s campaign contacted Canadian diplomats to say her calls for renegotiating NAFTA were not serious. When CTV’s Washington reporter, Tom Clark, went to air with a story the next day, he reported it was Mr. Obama’s campaign that had contacted diplomats.

Mr. Wilson has now publicly acknowledged that he spoke to Mr. Clark before the report aired, although he said what they discussed is private.

“We have three leaks with a desired result to interfere and influence the Democratic primary,” Liberal MP Navdeep Bains said in the Commons Tuesday. “Will the Prime Minister confirm that Ian Brodie and Michael Wilson are under investigation and that they have stepped aside? If not, why not?”

IOKIYAC?

Errata

As I mentioned yesterday we’ve upgraded our television package, which would at first blush seem like a move in the wrong direction, but the simple fact of the matter is we wanted to get a high speed internet connection and this particular company offered some more of the local stations, along with better performance. My wife doesn’t know this yet, but I have ordered a TV card for the box so I can watch TV and blog without having to turn my head, which now sounds about as ridiculous as anything I’ve ever heard, but some of you I’m sure understand.

I should apologize to Mary, because she is a really good reporter and I may have got her into trouble she didn’t deserve. I’m still not used to that aspect of this thing I’m doing here to be honest. It’s like being a rich step uncle. No one calls lest they piss him off and get left out of the will.

My job as I see it is to keep my readers informed of my opinion on various topics that I think are important to a democratic society in world where technology has the capabilities of giving the authoritarians more power than they are entitled to. Obviously this isn’t a job for one man gangs. So I’m in a vortex with the authoritarians of the MSM on this stuff.

For the most part I think if people work at it thay can seperate the wheat from the chaff when it comes to the news, which is basically what the blogosphere does, among many other things. We can get you started in the morning too;

http://EZSmirkzz2_files/cCtbyAyEdU8rel0hlen.swf

EZSmirlzz March 16-25, 2008

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

From The Bowels of WND

Obama And The Jews

The Clinton campaign is distributing an article in the American Spectator (!) about Obama foreign policy adviser Merrill McPeak and his penchant for.. well, the article accuses him of being an anti-Semite and a drunk. Principally, the author takes McPeak to task for supporting a Middle East map that would require Israel to withdraw to its pre-1967 border. It also makes the case that McPeak supports the Walt-Mearsheimer view of the influence of the Israeli lobby on foreign policy.

Grasping for strawmen, and burning down the house.

Update: I pinched the lead from Atrios,

Web Exclusive: My Neighbor, Barack

Not everyone can claim to be the neighbor of a Presidential candidate – I can, though, because I am.

Barack Obama’s Chicago home is across the street from KAM Isaiah Israel, the Hyde Park synagogue at which I’ve served for 27 years. He spoke to our congregation as an Illinois state senator; more recently, his Secret Service agents have made use of our, shall we say, facilities.

But it’s not neighborly instinct that’s led me to support the Obama candidacy: I support Barack Obama because he stands for what I believe, what our tradition demands.

We sometimes forget, but an integral part of that tradition is dialogue and a willingness to disagree. Certainly many who call me their rabbi have taken political positions far from mine – just as Barack Obama’s opinions have differed from those of his former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

Best Played In Stereophonic Chaos

http://EZSmirkzz2_files/V3CmXGKXOmkrel0hlen.swf

http://EZSmirkzz2_files/zeo0_3gN190rel0hlen.swf

Clinton’s March To the Sea

Blonde Ambition: Hillary’s Berserker Campaign … for 2012

Any other candidate would have been shamed into dropping out long ago. But these are the Clintons and they have no shame.

So why does Hillary persist? Because she hasn’t abandoned her aspiration for the White House. Not in 2008, but for 2012. Here’s the perverse logic at work.

If Obama defeats McCain in November, it will take an act of treachery beyond anything even the Clintons have ever conjured from their grimoire of political demonology for Hillary to challenge him in 2012. She will be 69 in 2016, almost ready to move into one of the Beverly Nursing Homes, owned by a company she once represented as a corporate lawyer, aggressively protecting the bottom line against such extravagances as healthy meals, clean sheets and proper medical care for the elderly.

Original posting:3/24/08 3:31 PM (poating?)

http://EZSmirkzz2_files/C6jljF1F6mcrel0hlen.swf

What say ye, Brutus?

Somewhere Over The Rainbow

Litigation Season ’08

The Clinton campaign is urging its lawyer supporters to head to Texas this weekend, with a goal of having at least one lawyer present to monitor each county and state Senate convention site.

This will be fun.

As I understand the rules only delegates and alternates are allowed into the caucus proper. I will of course report how things go, including the lawyers role and I suppose with pictures too. I would suggest other delegates do likewise.

But She Is A Very Religious Person

Democratic Party Official: Clinton Pursuing ‘The Tonya Harding Option’

“Her securing the nomination is certainly possible – but it will require exercising the ‘Tonya Harding option.'” the official said. “Is that really what we Democrats want?”

I’ll ask Brutus. Hey James, James…

Political Calculus

HRC + DLC = SOS

Well Let Me Say This About That

Oh, I already did. But I did some leg work for you too.

As for the tithing thing, first of all, that comes (from) Lewis Black’s Book, and as such is not incumbent on Christians, whose Book did away with the Law, as articulated in Lewis’ book. That is the first basic fallacy of any fundamentalist (Christian) interpretation of the Scriptures.

Christians are not under the Law.

(To be clear, Christians are not under the Mosaic Law, although after the Apostolic Council of Jerusalem they are in fact under the Noachide Law. I would imagine only Jews and Muslims know what I’m talking about here.)

Because A Serious Party Deserves A Serious Candidate

Just, wow.

Of Pumpkins and Cigars

Pumpkinhead Remembers It All For You If you haven’t already figured out then head on over and he’ll splain it.

Tubular Hell

The Year of the YouTube Campaign Video (Forensic Version)Well she is catching a lot of sniper fire now, isn’t she?

I think she does this stuff for people who have never heard of the DLC, and need a reason to vote for someone else, but I agree with her on a lot of points and principles she advocates, but she is like a old Aunt who is always saying off the wall stuff.

Reporters Head Back Into The Box

Updated Below

With the blue Mosque background.

On Sunday, a barrage of at least 17 rockets hit the heavily fortified Green Zone and surrounding neighborhoods, where both the U.S. and Iraqi government headquarters are housed, according to police. Most of them were launched from the outskirts of Sadr City and Bayaa, both Mahdi Army-controlled neighborhoods.

On Monday, the Sadrists all but shut down the neighborhoods they control on the west bank of Baghdad. Gunmen went to stores and ordered them to close as militiamen stood in the streets. Mosques used their loudspeakers to urge people to come forward and join the protest.

Fliers were distributed with the Sadrists’ three demands of the Iraqi government: to release detainees, stop targeting Sadrist members and apologize to the families and the tribal sheiks of the men.

Meanwhile at the McRanch

For the first time, I have seen Osama bin Laden and General (David) Petraeus in agreement, and, that is, a central battleground in the battle against al-Qaida is in Iraq today. And that’s what bin Laden was saying and that’s what General Petraeus is saying and that’s what I’m saying, my friends,” McCain said.

The Mehdi, or Mahdi, militia for those of you inclined to think like McBush are Shiia.

Below:

The BBC’s Adam Brookes says three Iraqi army brigades were deployed from Baghdad to Basra as back-up for the offensive, and that up to 15,000 troops could be involved.

Some of the fiercest fighting in the operation – dubbed Saulat al-Fursan (Charge of the Knights) – has focused on Mehdi Army strongholds.

This would seem to indicate that rogue elements aren’t really the target of the Iraqi operation. How much this has to do with weakening the Sadrist before the Provencial elections, an argument that has been advanced in other reports, is your guess as well as mine.

Pasty Puffy White Guy Hour?

Dobbs asked if Obama is “pandering to ethnocentric special interests again” by accepting Richardson’s endorsement

Lou sees ethnocentric pandering in everything. Except his own pandering to the angry white guy, which is not.

Basically Obama had the temerity to confuse Lou, by using Lou’s name in the same sentence as Rush’s, and immediately springing to the defense of his slighted honor proceeded to make Obama a personal enemy. One would think that Lou was a virgin to political rhetoric and parsing of English, if one were not Lou Dobb’s that is.

I watched this episode, and for the most part can agree either in principle or point on a lot of advocacies, but he’s like an old uncle who is always saying off the wall stuff.

Irony

Iraq seen as more stable than Afghanistan – report

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Iraq has emerged as a more stable country than Afghanistan, thanks to lower violence, the presence of a large U.S.-led international force and high oil prices, according to a report published on Tuesday.

We’ll see.

The Other Bubble We’re Sitting On

On Monday Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki arrived in Basra at the head of a big security force, at the beginning of the major security sweep of that city that produced Tuesday’s fighting.

It is being rumored, al-Hayat says, that the prime minister is planning to remove the military commander in the city, Gen. Mohan Hafiz al-Furayji, as well as the police chief, Major-Gen. Abdul Jalil Khalaf. UPI says that he will attempt to institute a tighter command and control structure in the city. Although the US had been putting pressure on Britain to send some of its troops from the airport back into Basra city, Gordon Brown appears to have resisted Washington’s blandishments in this regard. The US military is concerned that if security collapses in Basra, it could cause the center-north to unravel, as well (this calculation is correct).

I’ve got nothing to add. You may want to read the entire post.

Under The Radar

UCMJ extends to civilian contractors – Gates

Jim” sent me this little gem. The MSM misses most important things and this is one of them. Under this Department of Defense directive, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates takes action to assure the extension of the authority of US military law over all civilians serving with or for US military forces.

Basically Mr. Gates is laying down the law. Good.

Monday, March 24, 2008

And It’s Only Monday

http://EZSmirkzz2_files/eW2fDRLd6jMrel0color10xe1600fcolor20xfebd01hlen.swf

Bloggers Always Want Me To Buy A Book

An Anatomy of Electronic SurveillanceI have been (slowly but surely) plugging through David Kris and J. Douglas Wilson’s massive but absolutely invaluable National Security Investigations & Prosecutions—and let me give them a free plug here: It’s not a cheap tome, but anyone who wants to talk seriously about FISA really must have this book on their desk. The more I read, the more I’m vaguely embarrassed to have been writing on the topic when, despite having researched it quite a bit these past months, I’m still learning something new on every other page.

To sum up, what we’re currently seeing is a kind of bait and switch. We’ve got a ruling which, given changing communications methods, created a genuine problem with definition (f)(4). But we’ve got a “fix” that both resolves the (f)(4) issue and seriously weakens the (f)(2) definition. How these two definitions constrain surveillance, and how proposed legislation would change them, is at the core of the FISA debate—this is the issue under dispute, ultimately. But I can’t help but notice that most of the popular discussion and coverage of FISA don’t even mention these definitions. I mean, admittedly, this is some complicated legalese—but it’s not that complicated.

As usual the links are over there. The emphasis is mine.

Right now most people with college degrees are coming across as pretty f’n stupid, so I can’t think of anything nice to say to them, except go read the post.

Et Tu Carville?

What a total wanker.

What Is The Point?

I just saw McBush, uncomfortably wearing safety glasses and walking around in a factory, which is what most Presidential candidates do when they want people like me to have pictures of them looking as clueless as possible.

I think it may have something to do with the old style of campaigning in the industrial age when a lot of voters actually built stuff, but today?

Death Rattle

There will be no light at the end of the tunnel,

And back to Zobaie:

“If you go through the history of Iraq, you will see that only the tough guy can control the country,” he said. He rattled off the names of every leader since Iraq’s monarchy ended in 1958 with a bloody coup. Hussein, he said, had lasted the longest in power….

What Zobaie wants is for the U.S. military to hand over full control of Fallujah. He believes Iraq’s current leaders are not strong enough. Asked whether democracy could ever bloom here, he replied: “No democracy in Iraq. Ever.”

“When the Americans leave the city,” he said, “I’ll be tougher with the people.”

Well at least the GOP still has the economy.

Should The Pulpit Be Allowed In The Stack?

Technology: Fixing the Unfairness of TCP Congestion Control

duncan99 writes

“George Ou, Technical Director of ZDNet, has an analysis today of an engineering proposal to address congestion issues on the internet. It’s an interesting read, with sections such as “The politicization of an engineering problem” and “Dismantling the dogma of flow rate fairness”. Short and long term answers are suggested, along with some examples of what incentives it might take to get this to work. Whichever side of the neutrality debate you’re on, this is worth consideration.”

They have the link to the article.

Even I Know Better Than This

Better Wise Old Men of Washington, Please I think the jay walkers will make it this time Hillary.

On The Other Hand

A Reponsible Plan To End The War In Iraq

Following Up On Yesterday’s Post On Anger

One More Time: It’s Your Goddamned Mess. You Be “Constructive.”

You may want to read it in its entirety. This is the most critically relevant part:

But there is one tactic the hawks ought to give up at this point. They should stop saying, as one of the commenters to my earlier post did, that none of those who opposed the war with Iraq are offering “constructive” proposals at this point. This is remarkably offensive for several reasons. First, it wasn’t the opponents’ policies that created this horrible dilemma. It was the hawks’ policies. They are responsible for this nightmare, and no one else. They shouldn’t expect — and often demand — others to offer solutions to the daunting problems their policies have created. Where is the justice in that? Or even the common sense? They got us all here; they ought to show some intellectual responsibility and creativity of their own, and get us out.

I think Arthur is being very positive, and Glenn too.

Is The Commodity Bubble Bursting?

CNBC informs me that a universe of bubbles is not the sole providence of Cosmologists.

Someone Else I Apparently Read

via Antiwar,

Five Years and Counting: Ten Unpleasant Truths About the War in Iraq

Full Disclosure: I opposed the invasion of Iraq in 2003, because I was convinced that war was unnecessary and would result in a costly, open-ended occupation. Along with several other scholars, I made the case for containment in a number of published articles, speeches, and media appearances. I also helped organize an advertisement opposing the war that appeared in the New York Times in September 2002. I wish we had been wrong; sadly, we turned out to be right. On the 5th anniversary of the invasion, here are ten unpleasant truths about past errors, present circumstances, and future choices.

Get Your War On

The Media Is The Curveball

5 Years Ago: Why Was Public So Misinformed on Facts Leading to War?

NEW YORK Five years ago today, as the U.S invasion of Iraq continued in its early stages, E&P published an article by Ari Berman, then an intern here, that examined the public attitudes on the eve of the war. He probed polls that found, on the most basic point, that roughly 2 out of 3 Americans backed an assault on Iraq.

But the attitudes driving those numbers raised serious issues about a misinformed public and the media’s role. He found that a startlingly high percentage falsely believed that Saddam helped plan the 9/11 attacks or Iraqi hijackers were involved that day, and that Iraqi WMD had already been found.

Apparently 1 in 4 is still watching FOX today.

You Read, You Decide

The Obama Doctrine

Besides Their Best Generals Being In India

COIN in the Colonies

Over at toohotfortnr, where Spencer shares Abu Muqawama’s love of both counter-insurgency doctrine and the Raveonettes, we get called out with respect to how the British might have executed a counter-insurgency strategy against the pesky American colonists in the late 18th Century.

Extraordinary Times

Reckon so.

And every day for the past three weeks he has convened meetings in a war room in Pimco’s headquarters in Newport Beach, California, “to make sure the ark doesn’t have any leaks,” Gross said. “We come in every day at 3:30 a.m. and leave at 6 p.m. I’m not used to setting my alarm for 2:45 a.m., but these are extraordinary times.”

Even though Gross, 63, is a market veteran who has lived through the collapse of other banks and brokerage firms, the 1987 stock market crash and the near meltdown of the Long-Term Capital Management hedge fund a decade ago, he said the current crisis feels different – in both size and significance.

The U.S. Federal Reserve has not only taken action unprecedented since the Great Depression – by lending money directly to major investment banks – it also has put taxpayers on the hook for billions of dollars in questionable trades that these same bankers made when the good times were rolling.

“Bear Stearns has made it obvious that things have gone too far,” said Gross, who planned to use some of his cash to bargain-shop. “The investment community has morphed into something beyond banks and something beyond regulation. We call it the shadow banking system.”

US Exports Up

America Exported Poisoned Financial Products

Most Americans have no idea how low American prestige had fallen in the world before the financial crisis — but for the mother ship of modern day capitalism to fail so badly in managing the social contract between economic stakeholders and the finance industry is yet another enormous blow to America’s ability to compel other nations to do as we do, or as we want.

I’m sure Dobb’s will be all over this.

The Center Cannot Hold

You know if the United States doesn’t pay off its’ Sunni militia and continues to aggravate the Mahdi militias

Two legs of the tripod, the other being the US escalation itself.

As An Obama Man I Shouldn’t

Or so I’ve heard, See Krugman,

Krugman has two very good points in tomorrow’s column. 1) The eerie silence on the campaign trail about what financial crisis we’re currently struggling to make our way through and 2) The fact that John McCain’s primary economics advisor, former Sen. Phil Gramm (R), is probably as responsible for setting the stage for this crisis as anyone in the country through his legislative role in the deregulation of the financial services industry.

Of course there is more if you go look.

No Sir, All Of You Are

Hamas ‘wrecking Mid-East peace’

US Vice-President Dick Cheney has said Palestinian militant group Hamas, along with Iran and Syria, is trying to torpedo the Middle East peace process.

Al-Qaeda deputy calls for attacks

An audio message attributed to al-Qaeda’s deputy leader, Ayman Zawahiri, has called for attacks on American and Israeli interests.

Throw in a few Israelis and we have it.

Emilio Navaira Fans

Tejano star still critical

Links for the local Houston coverage.

There will be a newser around ten, and I’ll try to keep this updated for you.

Our hearts and prayers are with Emilio and his family.

Update: Presser I

Presser II

The Way It Was With Me

The post I read yesterday and linked up made me think back on why I got the war right and the primary reason I believe is that I listened to the dissenters, and when their questions weren’t addressed by the powers that be, those questions became my own.

I also think part of it all was the run around we received in advocating for the nine eleven commission, because that wasn’t a popular idea at the time either.

If there was anything internal to all of it I would have to say that it was a sense that voices that deserved to be heard were not being heard, or being ignored, by those who were in position to actually inject them into the debate.

While many of those who could have done more have written their mea culpa’s, I tend to ignore them now because the basis for writing such a thing is also the basis for the having to do so.

No one is always right, no one is always wrong, and politics is about neither. War is always wrong, even if justified, and needs a higher threshold of reason to engage in. Very few do, and this one least of all.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Everybody’s So Different

http://EZSmirkzz2_files/hXYiPPlXiM8rel0color10xe1600fcolor20xfebd01border1hlen.swf

http://EZSmirkzz2_files/7_nwbTeIN4Yrel0color10xe1600fcolor20xfebd01border1hlen.swf

Don’t Worry About Democratic Bloodletting

We run on beer.

(updated: that’s joke son,that’s a joke.)

Good Discussion of WH Hard Drives

White House Says Hard Drives Were Destroyed Just read the comments.

Mindsets

Security Perception: Fear vs Anger

If you’re fearful, you think you’re more at risk than if you’re angry:

In the aftermath of September 11th, we realized that, tragically, we were presented with an opportunity to find out whether our lab research could predict how the country as a whole would react to the attacks and how U.S. citizens would perceive future risks of terrorism. We did a nationwide field experiment, the first of its kind. As opposed to the participants in our lab studies, the participants in our nationwide field study did have strong feelings about the issues at stake — September 11th and possible future attacks — and they also had a lot of information about these issues as well. We wondered whether the same emotional carryover that we found in our lab studies would occur — whether fear and anger would still have opposing effects.

In pilot tests, we identified some media coverage of the attacks (video clips) that triggered a sense of fear, and some coverage that triggered a sense of anger. We randomly assigned participants from around the country to be exposed to one of those two conditions — media reports that were known to trigger fear or reports that were known to trigger anger. Next, we asked participants to predict how much risk, if any, they perceived in a variety of different events. For example, they were asked to predict the likelihood of another terrorist attack on the United States within the following 12 months and whether they themselves expected to be victims of potential future attacks. They made many other risk judgments about themselves, the country, and the world as a whole. They also rated their policy preferences.

The results mirrored those of our lab studies. Specifically, people who saw the anger-inducing video clip were subsequently more optimistic on a whole series of judgments about the future — their own future, the country’s future, and the future of the world. In contrast, the people who saw the fear-inducing video clip were less optimistic about their own future, the country’s future, and the world’s future. Policy preferences also differed as a function of exposure to the different media/emotion conditions. Participants who saw the fear-inducing clip subsequently endorsed less aggressive and more conciliatory policies than did participants who saw the anger-inducing clip, even though the clip was only a few minutes long and participants had had weeks to form their own policy opinions regarding responses to terrorism.

So, to summarize: we should not be fearful of future terrorist attacks, we should be angry that our government has done such a poor job safeguarding our liberties. And that if we take this second approach, we are more likely to respond effectively to future terrorist attacks.

I left the link to the study over there, you’ll have to go fetch it for yourself.

It’s political implications are pretty clear too. I leave those to you as well.

The Minority View

How I Got It Right: Looking Back at a Time of Justified Opposition to a Mad, Violent Enterprise

Heh heh

Mr. Bush’s War

A Cost Benefit Analysis of IraqThis article follows the trajectory of praising Patreaus as a General, and he should be praised as General. The problem is he became a political General.

At any rate a pretty good look see at where the whole thing stands.

Solutions! I Got Solutions!

Why doesn’t Hillary say she will choose Joe Lieberman for VP?

That way, to placate Broder, I can reach across the aisle to my Republican friends and buy their old Sore Loserman bumper stickers.

The things I do for Davey.

Sen Arlen Specter :”We need to keep up appearances”

What, the dog and pony show hasn’t earned a respite?

Catch a Clue Arlen.

Children Of A Lesser Brain

One of Instapundit’s favorite bloggers speaks on raceIt really is funny how important religion in America is until it comes down to actually thinking along the lines of that religious thinking.

Like he said,

ReallY!!

Updated below!

Consider this passage: “Hope is the expectation of that which is not. It is the belief that the impossible is possible, the ‘not yet’ is coming in history.”

Those words sound as if they were pulled from Obama’s latest campaign speech. Instead, they’re from a memoir Cone wrote in the 1980s. In it, Cone said blacks shouldn’t limit their hope to what the Republican and Democratic parties stand for. Then he posited a thought that voters are unlikely to hear from Obama:

“Together, black religion and Marxist philosophy may show us the way to build a completely new society.”

The first quote is a paraphrase of Paul’s “faith is the assured expectation of the thing hoped for, though not beheld,” and so hardly that controversial, any more so than than the Marxist philosophy is,

Act 4:33 And with great power the apostles gave testimony of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all.
Act 4:34 For neither was anyone needy among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses, selling them, they bore the value of the things being sold,
Act 4:35 and laid them at the feet of the apostles. And it was distributed to each according as any had need.

One of the bad drugs of the Cold War was the idea that communal ism was somehow an evil of and by itself, when in fact the early church was communistic.

Obama’s Illinois state and U.S. Senate voting records and his speeches suggest that, if elected president, he’d take a liberal but mainstream line and seek partisan bridge-building rather than agitation as his style.

Which begs the question then, what was the point? Beyond giving me an opening to point out most Christian’s ignorance of their own history, and Scriptures. Hardly news, except in Churches.

Below!: Tell me about the FED, again.

Uranium Pie In Your Eye

FARC’s uranium likely a scam

By Kelly Hearn – Scientists studying a purported proposal by Colombian rebels to sell uranium for about $1 million a pound say the plan sounds like a scam.

The reason: Ordinary uranium can’t be used in a nuclear weapon; it is a poor choice for a terrorist “dirty bomb”; and it is worth only about $100 a pound.

Political pandering?,

Colombian officials speculated that the uranium offered by FARC could be used to make a so-called dirty bomb, in which conventional explosives are used to spread radioactive debris.

Even that would be unlikely, said Steve Kidd, of the London-based World Nuclear Association.

“In this form, [uranium] is only lightly radioactive and would be useless in a dirty bomb,” Mr. Kidd said.

The e-mail does not mention a customer by name, but it is presumed that FARC is proposing a uranium sale to Venezuela. The nation’s president, Hugo Chavez, is sympathetic to FARC and has negotiated with the guerrilla group for the release of hundreds of hostages, many of whom have been held for years.

Rep. Connie Mack, Florida Republican, on Friday proposed a resolution declaring Venezuela a state sponsor of terrorism, citing the proposed uranium sale.

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, also a Florida Republican, backed the proposal.

You know these Reps would get a longer lasting reaction with top hots and canes.

via

Bouncing Rocks In The Greener Zone

Eleven killed in two Baghdad attacks

Several armed men travelling in three cars opened fire in the mixed Zafaraniyah neighbourhood of south Baghdad, killing at least six people and wounding 16.

The gunmen struck as residents were shopping in the local market.

In a second attack, a Katyusha rocket struck a residential building in the largely Shia al-Kamaliyah neighbourhood of east Baghdad at around 11am, killing at least five people and wounding eight.

So there is still sectarian violence where there are mixed neighborhoods,

Earlier today, Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone was hit by two waves of mortar attacks today that caused no casualties but sent panicked US embassy staff into bunkers.

…and the band plays on.

Cakewalk huh?

Another Song

You contrast the concerns of the Iraqi Christians, with just staying alive this Easter or finding enough food to eat or avoiding being kidnapped, with those of Americans in southern California. Many are struggling to avoid losing their homes; for some it is too late, and they just have to be grateful for their new small apartments. Then this brought me up short:

‘ Former Marine Cpl. Gustavo Aguilar Jr., a two-tour veteran of the Iraq war who was profiled in the Daily News last week, also has something to be thankful for in tough times.

Aguilar had been laid off from a bakery-delivery job and feared losing his home. But after his story appeared in the Daily News, Aguilar immediately received several job offers.

He now likely will be able to avoid either foreclosure or having to sell his Sylmar town home.

“Despite all the hard times we’ve gone through, we never lost faith,” Aguilar said. “If it can carry us through, it can do the same for the country.” ‘

So if the Iraqis are being devastated by the war, and if the Americans who fought the war are losing their lives, or if alive are losing their jobs and barely avoiding being made homeless, who exactly is benefiting from the war?

Enough with the slaughter. Enough with the violence. Enough with the hatred in Iraq.

Sing it.

Oh, what I could add to this.

Our Share Of The Pork

Texas reaps $2.2 billion in earmarks

The Bush administration sponsored or co-sponsored 74 projects worth $1.6 billion in earmarks in Texas, most for big-ticket military construction.

Easter, For Those Who Imbibe

http://EZSmirkzz2_files/VXUz4ArPYOQrel0hlen.swf

http://EZSmirkzz2_files/gP41CxckyrErel0hlen.swf

DFHs!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

No Really

You still believe in political co-incidences?via TPM

Almost four months before Gov. Eliot Spitzer resigned in a sex scandal, a lawyer for Republican political operative Roger Stone sent a letter to the FBI alleging that Spitzer ”used the services of high-priced call girls” while in Florida.

I’m sure bi-partisanship in the whore houses isn’t what Broder has in mind, but then again, I’m not one of the Village People either, who apparently all know this BS is going on, but have concluded to be bi-partisan about it, all for the sake of the Village.

Just So You Know

That you could know, which means that I hope you read this pdf , so you might understand who are these evil jihadi’s in political speechifying, which may surprise you, and just what the difference between succeeding in Iraq means in military parlance and McCain’s rhetorical conflation of that with victory, AQs or otherwise. Odd as it may seem, this is stuff you really ought to know and at least have a modicum of understanding of so that you can sort it all out.

On the other hand it is helpful in understanding how the politics of supporting the troops work. All Republicans have to do politically is wave a flag and sign that says “Support the Troops”, and they are off the hook. They can afford to be civilians. The left, with its anti military industrial complex complex has to understande the jargon and the nuances that distinquish the US military from the Republican Party and their talking points. Then we can begin to quiz Mr. McCain on just what he means by the surge is succeeding, as in which phase, at what location.

The other side of the coin is to remove the bad guys ability to operate in the electoral context. You’ll have to read the articles to get the entire connotation of context in this sense.

For Whom The Bus Stops

Mr. Wolcott I presume?

Oh, Do Embrace Me Steve

A Republican-Hugging Debate: The Sins of Debbie Wasserman Schultz

I hug a lot of Republicans — particularly today’s “dissident Republicans in foreign and economic policy”, and there are some Dems I won’t go near — and the flip is true. I hug a lot of Democrats, and there are a lot of Republicans I won’t go near. That’s part of the reason why I am a registered Independent today and won’t unconditionally support either party.

It’s only because I’m crushed that I’ve inadvertently linked his post.

Now where did I put that little church lady dance.

Now The CLC’s Know How The Telcos Feel

Remember how the phone companies pulled the plug on some wire taps because the Buchco forgot to [pay the bill? Well, 80,000 Angry Men. Is the US Surge collapsing?

In an investigation carried out by GuardianFilms for Channel 4, we uncover how thousands of Iraqis employed at $10 a day by the US to take on al-Qaida are threatening to go on strike because they say they have been used by the ‘Americans to do their dirty work’ and haven’t been paid

Maybe Mukasey should read Digby’s blog.What a bunch of maroons.

Follow The Bouncing Black Hole

Wall Street as Black Hole

Surely now, with crises once more brilliantly contained and Fed money flowing freely, consumers will get back to borrowing and buying, housing markets will stabilize and the economy will turn smartly upward.

Not a chance. The Fed has now committed all the ammunition it has to prop up Wall Street, and shore up shaky mortgages. All that’s left in its trick-bag is to turn on a Weimar-style printing press.

Might ought to buy you a wheel barrow now.

US Bases Test Market $4.00 Gallon Gas

Gas prices on Pacific bases continue unprecedented climb

Some motorists in the Pacific will be shelling out $4 a gallon for gasoline starting Saturday.

Americans with diesel-powered rides in South Korea will pay $4.039 a gallon when the Army and Air Force Exchange Service adjusts fuel prices for the week.

Diesel also leaped 15.5 cents a gallon across the Sea of Japan, but a 25-cent-per-gallon savings from AAFES via Japanese government funds means diesel is cheaper in mainland Japan and Okinawa at $3.779 a gallon.

Errata

2 firms’ workers looked at candidates’ passport files

WASHINGTON — Maybe it was just curiosity.

But whatever led State Department workers to pry into the passport files of Hillary Rodham Clinton, Barack Obama and John McCain, it wasn’t an accident.

Each time agency workers go into someone’s electronic personal files, the system reminds them that such information is restricted under privacy laws and may be reviewed only on a need-to-know basis. It also reminds them that penalties will be imposed if the information is being improperly checked.

The companies that provided the contractors were The Analysis Corp. and Stanley Inc. Stanley, based in Arlington, Va., this week won a five-year, $570-million government contract extension to support passport services.

This brought up the thought of, why can we do things on purpose but not on accident. or conversely, why can we do things by accident but not by purpose?

John The McBruce

John McCain, veteran war hero: yes. But a descendant of Robert the Bruce? Baloney

Of all the claims in support of John McCain’s bid for the White House, perhaps none is quite as grand as this. As he arrived in London yesterday, the publishers of his new book insisted the Republican senator’s family was descended from the Scottish king, Robert the Bruce.

For a veteran war hero staking his presidential campaign on military credentials, an ancestral link to a warrior who overcame the English to reclaim Scottish independence in 1314 has obvious appeal. But according to experts, the story may be no more than that. Asked by the Guardian to investigate McCain’s family history, genealogists and medieval historians described the link to Robert the Bruce as “wonderful fiction” and “baloney”.

Endless summer.

I’m Not Surprised

Mukasey ‘surprised’ by scope of terrorist threats

I’m surprised by how surprised I am,” said Mukasey, who as a federal judge presided over terrorism-related trials in New York.

“It’s surprising how varied [the threat] is, how many directions it comes from, how geographically spread out it is,” he said.

Obviously the cluelessness about computers and the internet isn’t just an email problem.

I know the “professionals”” can’t surf the net like some DFH blogger, but I do wonder if those who are in positions such as this shouldn’t be a little more adept at working with the newer technologies, which are usually preceded by the disciptive, information.

We Broke The Law And Destroyed The Evidence

White House: Computer hard drives tossed

The White House revealed new information about how it handles its computers in an effort to persuade a federal magistrate it would be fruitless to undertake an e-mail recovery plan that the court proposed.

“When workstations are at the end of their lifecycle and retired … the hard drives are generally sent offsite to another government entity for physical destruction,” the White House said in a sworn declaration filed with U.S. Magistrate Judge John Facciola.

Which has zero to do with the question at hand. These guys are basically saying, “we killed the occupants of the house, but we burned down the house so there are no bodies, and you can’t expect anyone to find them anyway, so there was no murder.”

You s’pose they don’t watch TV? Udate: Either? with a link.

UD: I may be able to use this post all day.

The breaches are particularly mortifying for the State Department because officials there discovered them as far back as last summer, in the case of Mrs. Clinton, but did not inform any of the candidates until Thursday, after The Washington Times reported that Mr. Obama’s privacy had been violated.

Friday, March 21, 2008

This Looks Good

Clinton Campaign Raised $16 Million Less in February than It Claimed

But Houston, we have a problem: it was untrue.

Clinton’s true fundraising take in February was far less, almost by half.

The Los Angeles Times reports, after scouring Federal Elections Commission (FEC) reports that Clinton’s, uh, creative math, included “$10 million from her Senate campaign account and a $5-million personal loan.”

The Associated Press digs deeper into the numbers (the February filing reports came in yesterday) and notes that most of the $19 million that Clinton did raise in February was either offset by unpaid bills or was “general election” money (what big donors, lobbyists and PACs that have already given the maximum $2,300 to the primary campaign then give to a fund that can only be used if the candidate becomes the nominee):

WTF?

Hillary Goes To Church

Hillary’s Ties to Religious Fundamentalists There’s a reason why Hillary Clinton has remained relatively silent during the flap over intemperate remarks by Barack Obama’s former pastor, Jeremiah Wright. When it comes to unsavory religious affiliations, she’s a lot more vulnerable than Obama.

You can find all about it in a widely under-read article in the September 2007 issue of Mother Jones, in which Kathryn Joyce and Jeff Sharlet reported that “through all of her years in Washington, Clinton has been an active participant in conservative Bible study and prayer circles that are part of a secretive Capitol Hill group known as the “Fellowship,” aka the Family. But it won’t be a secret much longer. Jeff Sharlet’s shocking exposé, The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power will be published in May.

What say ye, Hillary?

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Have Another Or Two

http://EZSmirkzz2_files/kH1rRMocWhMrel0hlen.swf

http://EZSmirkzz2_files/Wy_RnY2-9_grel0hlen.swf

Have You One

http://EZSmirkzz2_files/cdW8xQfC7JQrel0hlen.swf

Freidman Unit Up

His Biggest Weakness

The ‘Surge’ is working? Try reading Fareed Zakaria’s new column on just how poorly things are going on the ground. McCain’s opponents may seize on what may possibly be the beginning of an uptick in violence in the country. But that’s really secondary to the real issue which is that the strategic aim of the surge has failed. It’s fastened us down even more firmly in Iraq whereas the aim was to jumpstart a political process in the country that would allow us to begin to disengage.

In the end the whole thing is structured on stalling so in that sense, and that sense only the surge has succeeded. The ISG is starting to look like an exoctic dish rather than the buzzard bait we’ve got.

Old Johns still sees the world from a canopy, and reminds one of Snoopy and the Red Baron.

I Agree With All Of That

Except the end,

First, the issue of banning security contractors is more complicated than one might suppose, since, if we want to begin the drawdown of troops in Iraq we’re likely going to need them even more, at least in the short and medium-term.

No, Congress passes a veto proof law banning them over three years, with reinegration pathway to the armed forces, and nip the private army of the President thing in the bud. Just say no to mercs.

Dances With Balloons

Dana Perino: Chicks Don’t Grok Carrier Battle Groups

No Wonder Blogs Have A Bad Name

Facts

All I Got Was A Blog

Fast and Loose With the Facts

“The danger,” said President George W. Bush on Sept. 25, 2002, “is that Al Qaeda becomes an extension of Saddam’s madness and his hatred and his capacity to extend weapons of mass destruction around the world.” He proceeded to build on a lie that finally died last week—but only after nearly 4,000 U.S. troops and perhaps hundreds of thousands of Iraqis did as well. “The war on terror,” Bush said, “you can’t distinguish between Al Qaeda and Saddam when you talk about the war on terror.”

Only if you’re a liar. …By contrast, Goldberg and Hayes have seen their careers flourish. Goldberg traded his New Yorker post for a lucrative spot at The Atlantic. Hayes wrote a lengthy hagiography of Cheney for major New York publisher, HarperCollins. Publicity for the book got him a special spot on “Meet The Press,” befitting his status as a high-profile television pundit who is never treated as the conspiracy theorist he is.

Picture Snoopy of Peanuts fame dancing across your monitor again, for the first time.

Straight Talk Expressed

McCain rep to Jewish crowd: the Christian right is ‘serious problem’

Here is one prediction: that mouth of his might get the candidate in some trouble.

Yes, it can.

Eagleburger was trying to have fun. He was mocking his fellow panelist Kurtzer, sitting to the left of the others (“where he belongs”), and making noises and funny, impatient faces, while Ann Lewis was speaking. But more importantly, he did not mince his words. In a response to a question about the religious right, an important component of the Republican coalition, he said that it was, indeed “a serious problem,” and reminded his listeners that he now lives in Charlottesville, surrounded by such people that he needs to fight.

Who says I can’t agree with McBush? Now if only McBush would agree with McBush.

God Bless Us Everyone

God Bless Mike Huckabee

And one other thing I think we’ve gotta remember. As easy as it is for those of us who are white, to look back and say “That’s a terrible statement!”…I grew up in a very segregated south. And I think that you have to cut some slack — and I’m gonna be probably the only Conservative in America who’s gonna say something like this, but I’m just tellin’ you — we’ve gotta cut some slack to people who grew up being called names, being told “you have to sit in the balcony when you go to the movie. You have to go to the back door to go into the restaurant. And you can’t sit out there with everyone else. There’s a separate waiting room in the doctor’s office. Here’s where you sit on the bus…”

And you know what? Sometimes people do have a chip on their shoulder and resentment. And you have to just say, I probably would too. I probably would too. In fact, I may have had more of a chip on my shoulder had it been me.

HUCKABEE ON WRIGHT.

I like Mike too. I wouldn’t vote for him, but I like him.

Have Any Preachers Preached

Why God is punishing Missouri?

I’ll call Sean, he’s been to seminary!

Tonight, I’ll Show Her How I Saw Logs

My wife is amazed that I can hang a four by eight sheet of wall board on the ceiling by myself, and thinks it is a blessing that I can tape and float.

(Basically it is a piece of cake. You put blocks,(ie nails, screws, whatever,) on the wall and in the middle of the ceiling you use a Tee. Lifting the heavy stuff overhead is lifting the heavy stuff overhead. I won’t even try to help you there.)

Water Cooler Stenography

A War of Lies

Basically an article on three different lies told to the media that were swallowed hook line and sinker.

But on 21 February, an American military spokes-man said there was no evidence the bombers had Down’s. Adel Mohsin, a senior official at the Health Ministry in Baghdad, poured scorn on the idea that Dr Aboub could have done business with the Sunni fanatics of al-Qa’ida because he was a Shia and had only been in the job a few weeks.

A second doctor, who did not want to give his name, pointed out that al Rashad hospital is run by the fundamentalist Shia Mehdi Army and asked: “How would it be possible for al-Qa’ida to get in there?”

Few people in Baghdad now care about the exact circumstances of the bird market bombings apart from Dr Aboub, who is still in jail, and the mentally disturbed beggars who were incarcerated. Unfortunately, it is all too clear that al-Qa’ida is not running out of suicide bombers. But it is pieces of propaganda such as this small example, often swallowed whole by the media and a thousand times repeated, which cumulatively mask the terrible reality of Iraq.

You know if your children were to hang out with liars like this…

Updated: Let us go down the rabbit hole.

Liberation Theology

Liberation theology

In essence, liberation theology explores the relationship between Christian, particularly Roman Catholic, theology and political activism, particularly in areas of social justice, poverty and human rights. The main methodological innovation of liberation theology is to approach theology from the viewpoint of the economically poor and oppressed. According to Jon Sobrino, S.J., the poor are a privileged channel of God’s grace. According to Phillip Berryman, liberation theology is “an interpretation of Christian faith through the poor’s suffering, their struggle and hope, and a critique of society and the Catholic faith and Christianity through the eyes of the poor.”

Obviously any article of this size is going to be a pretty broad brush, but for those of you who are clueless about the subject it is a place to start.

Liberation theology is not something unique to Christianity, nor South and Central Americas. Some of the same tendencies can be found in Iraqi militias and Southern Lebanon.

Indeed

A negative “Wright effect”

These polls were conducted before yesterday’s speech, so now we wait and see if he has reversed the trend as the Rasmussen tracking poll suggests. All in all, a pretty solid hit on Obama. We’ll see how resiliently he can bounce back.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

I Smell Sex In The Air

The worst, sleaziest press corps possible

Brian Ross spent many days in October, 2001 screeching on every ABC News show he could get on that government tests showed that the anthrax sent to U.S. political and media figures was linked to Saddam Hussein’s biological weapons program. That was a lie from the start; no tests ever revealed any such thing. His sources told him that because they wanted him to do just what he did — create the perception in the public’s mind that Iraq was behind the anthrax attacks. When that turned out to be false, he never retracted it, and, to this day, refuses to reveal who his sources were who fed him that extremely consequential lie.

No really, do you really believe in political co-incidences?

This is the standard media manipulation tactic when they cover petty, vapid gossip and then want to justify it: they assert that “voters” are interested in it and then self-referentially point to the reporters’ own fixation with the gossip as proof that people are interested. See, they had no choice but to point this out — it’s not their fault — because it’s newsworthy, since the “the release of the documents reminds voters anew about Bill Clinton’s affair.”

Next the intrepid reporters sneak into the bicycle shop…

usualht

Shorter Michael Ware

“Yes Anderson, that’s why they call it a fucking quagmire,”

Notes On Racism

The Dresden Story”: Racism, Human Rights, and the Jewish Labour Committee of Canada

During World War II, one of the most pressing issues for the Canadian Jewish community was refugee relief, especially assistance for those few Jews who had managed to escape the Nazi Holocaust. As the war began to draw to a close, however, Jewish activists began to shift from their short-term project of helping victims of foreign anti-Semitism to the longer-term goal of attacking domestic anti-Semitism. At the same time, they broadened their scope, viewing anti-Semitism as simply one part of a larger problem — racial and religious prejudice.13 In the words of an early JLC report, “Anti-Semitism, anti-Negroism, anti-Catholicism, anti-French or anti-English [sentiments] … and union-smashing are all part of a single reactionary crusade of hatred and destruction.”14

Addressing The Israeli Conflict

Noam Chomsky v. Alan Dershowitz: A Debate on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

A Real Solution To The Israeli/Palestinian Conflict

Something to kick around in your head.

Can Obama Survive CNN and FOX News?

Neocons to the left of me, Neocons to the right…

Here I Am, Rocking The Heavens and The Earth

Has been reposted

There seems to be some inconsistency in what is and is not allowable to say in a church. This is to remind you Christians that You are not the arbiter of that.

Iraq, A Framework For Solution

By Ali Allawi, former Iraqi Defence Minister

It’s more than we’re hearing from our politicians today, so, maybe this is where we need to start.

The idea that we can just walk away from Iraq is as ludicrous as the 100 year option, as is the idea that we can do it all alone.

The prospect is pessimistically defined as Lebanon if we cannot somehow engage the regional powers into the peace process. As goes Israel so goes the Middle East. One hundred years of deranged Palestinians lobbing rockets and mortars into Israel to disrupt the peace process is not going to achieve the goals of those doing the lobbing.

So long as Iraq remains a political football for Presidential politics then nothing is being accomplished but the aggrandizement of media celebrities.

It requires genuine vision and statesmanship to pull the Middle East from its death spiral. The elements of a possible solution are there if the will exists to postulate an alternative to the politics of fear, bigotry and hatred.

The first step must be the recognition that the solution to the Iraq crisis must be generated first internally, and then, importantly, at the regional level. The two are linked and the successful resolution of one would lead to the other.

No foreign power, no matter how benevolent, should be allowed to dictate the terms of a possible historic and stable settlement in the Middle East. No other region of the world would tolerate such a wanton interference in its affairs.

That is not to say that due consideration should not be given to the legitimate interests of the great powers in the area, but the future of the area should not be held hostage to their designs and exclusive interests.

Secondly, the basis of a settlement must take into account the fact that the forces that have been unleashed by the invasion of Iraq must be acknowledged and accommodated. These forces, in turn, must accept limits to their demands and claims. That would apply, in particular, to the Shias and the Kurds, the two communities who have been seen to have gained from the invasion of Iraq.

Thirdly, the Sunni Arab community must become convinced that its loss of undivided power will not lead to marginalisation and discrimination. A mechanism must be found to allow the Sunni Arabs to monitor and regulate and, if need be, correct, any signs of discrimination that may emerge in the new Iraqi state.

Fourthly, the existing states surrounding Iraq feel deeply threatened by the changes there. That needs to be recognised and treated in any lasting deal for Iraq and the area.

A way has to be found for introducing Iran and Turkey into a new security structure for the Middle East that would take into account their legitimate concerns, fears and interests. It is far better that these countries are seen to be part of a stable order for the area rather than as outsiders who need to be confronted and challenged.

The Iraqi government that has arisen as a result of the admittedly flawed political process must be accepted as a sovereign and responsible government. No settlement can possibly succeed if its starting point is the illegitimacy of the Iraqi government or one that considers it expendable.

Text Of Obama’s Speech

On behalf of the great state of Illinois, crossroads of a nation, land of Lincoln, let me express my deep gratitude for the privilege of addressing this convention. Tonight is a particular honor for me because, let’s face it, my presence on this stage is pretty unlikely. My father was a foreign student, born and raised in a small village in Kenya. He grew up herding goats, went to school in a tin-roof shack. His father, my grandfather, was a cook, a domestic servant.

But my grandfather had larger dreams for his son. Through hard work and perseverance my father got a scholarship to study in a magical place: America, which stood as a beacon of freedom and opportunity to so many who had come before. While studying here, my father met my mother. She was born in a town on the other side of the world, in Kansas. Her father worked on oil rigs and farms through most of the Depression. The day after Pearl Harbor he signed up for duty, joined Patton’s army and marched across Europe. Back home, my grandmother raised their baby and went to work on a bomber assembly line. After the war, they studied on the GI Bill, bought a house through FHA, and moved west in search of opportunity.

And they, too, had big dreams for their daughter, a common dream, born of two continents. My parents shared not only an improbable love; they shared an abiding faith in the possibilities of this nation. They would give me an African name, Barack, or “blessed,” believing that in a tolerant America your name is no barrier to success. They imagined me going to the best schools in the land, even though they weren’t rich, because in a generous America you don’t have to be rich to achieve your potential. They are both passed away now. Yet, I know that, on this night, they look down on me with pride.

I stand here today, grateful for the diversity of my heritage, aware that my parents’ dreams live on in my precious daughters. I stand here knowing that my story is part of the larger American story, that I owe a debt to all of those who came before me, and that, in no other country on earth, is my story even possible. Tonight, we gather to affirm the greatness of our nation, not because of the height of our skyscrapers, or the power of our military, or the size of our economy. Our pride is based on a very simple premise, summed up in a declaration made over two hundred years ago, “We hold these truths to he self-evident, that all men are created equal. That they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights. That among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

That is the true genius of America, a faith in the simple dreams of its people, the insistence on small miracles. That we can tuck in our children at night and know they are fed and clothed and safe from harm. That we can say what we think, write what we think, without hearing a sudden knock on the door. That we can have an idea and start our own business without paying a bribe or hiring somebody’s son. That we can participate in the political process without fear of retribution, and that our votes will he counted — or at least, most of the time.

This year, in this election, we are called to reaffirm our values and commitments, to hold them against a hard reality and see how we are measuring up, to the legacy of our forbearers, and the promise of future generations. And fellow Americans — Democrats, Republicans, Independents — I say to you tonight: we have more work to do. More to do for the workers I met in Galesburg, Illinois, who are losing their union jobs at the Maytag plant that’s moving to Mexico, and now are having to compete with their own children for jobs that pay seven bucks an hour. More to do for the father I met who was losing his job and choking back tears, wondering how he would pay $4,500 a month for the drugs his son needs without the health benefits he counted on. More to do for the young woman in East St. Louis, and thousands more like her, who has the grades, has the drive, has the will, but doesn’t have the money to go to college.

Don’t get me wrong. The people I meet in small towns and big cities, in diners and office parks, they don’t expect government to solve all their problems. They know they have to work hard to get ahead and they want to. Go into the collar counties around Chicago, and people will tell you they don’t want their tax money wasted by a welfare agency or the Pentagon. Go into any inner city neighborhood, and folks will tell you that government alone can’t teach kids to learn. They know that parents have to parent, that children can’t achieve unless we raise their expectations and turn off the television sets and eradicate the slander that says a black youth with a book is acting white. No, people don’t expect government to solve all their problems. But they sense, deep in their bones, that with just a change in priorities, we can make sure that every child in America has a decent shot at life, and that the doors of opportunity remain open to all. They know we can do better. And they want that choice.

In this election, we offer that choice. Our party has chosen a man to lead us who embodies the best this country has to offer. That man is John Kerry. John Kerry understands the ideals of community, faith, and sacrifice, because they’ve defined his life. From his heroic service in Vietnam to his years as prosecutor and lieutenant governor, through two decades in the United States Senate, he has devoted himself to this country. Again and again, we’ve seen him make tough choices when easier ones were available. His values and his record affirm what is best in us.

John Kerry believes in an America where hard work is rewarded. So instead of offering tax breaks to companies shipping jobs overseas, he’ll offer them to companies creating jobs here at home. John Kerry believes in an America where all Americans can afford the same health coverage our politicians in Washington have for themselves. John Kerry believes in energy independence, so we aren’t held hostage to the profits of oil companies or the sabotage of foreign oil fields. John Kerry believes in the constitutional freedoms that have made our country the envy of the world, and he will never sacrifice our basic liberties nor use faith as a wedge to divide us. And John Kerry believes that in a dangerous world, war must be an option, but it should never he the first option.

A while back, I met a young man named Shamus at the VFW Hall in East Moline, Illinois. He was a good-looking kid, six-two or six-three, clear-eyed, with an easy smile. He told me he’d joined the Marines and was heading to Iraq the following week. As I listened to him explain why he’d enlisted, his absolute faith in our country and its leaders, his devotion to duty and service, I thought this young man was all any of us might hope for in a child. But then I asked myself: Are we serving Shamus as well as he was serving us? I thought of more than 900 service men and women, sons and daughters, husbands and wives, friends and neighbors, who will not be returning to their hometowns. I thought of families I had met who were struggling to get by without a loved one’s full income, or whose loved ones had returned with a limb missing or with nerves shattered, but who still lacked long-term health benefits because they were reservists. When we send our young men and women into harm’s way, we have a solemn obligation not to fudge the numbers or shade the truth about why they’re going, to care for their families while they’re gone, to tend to the soldiers upon their return, and to never ever go to war without enough troops to win the war, secure the peace, and earn the respect of the world.

Now let me be clear. We have real enemies in the world. These enemies must be found. They must be pursued and they must be defeated. John Kerry knows this. And just as Lieutenant Kerry did not hesitate to risk his life to protect the men who served with him in Vietnam, President Kerry will not hesitate one moment to use our military might to keep America safe and secure. John Kerry believes in America. And he knows it’s not enough for just some of us to prosper. For alongside our famous individualism, there’s another ingredient in the American saga.

A belief that we are connected as one people. If there’s a child on the south side of Chicago who can’t read, that matters to me, even if it’s not my child. If there’s a senior citizen somewhere who can’t pay for her prescription and has to choose between medicine and the rent, that makes my life poorer, even if it’s not my grandmother. If there’s an Arab American family being rounded up without benefit of an attorney or due process, that threatens my civil liberties. It’s that fundamental belief — I am my brother’s keeper, I am my sister’s keeper — that makes this country work. It’s what allows us to pursue our individual dreams, yet still come together as a single American family. “E pluribus unum.” Out of many, one.

Yet even as we speak, there are those who are preparing to divide us, the spin masters and negative ad peddlers who embrace the politics of anything goes. Well, I say to them tonight, there’s not a liberal America and a conservative America — there’s the United States of America. There’s not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America; there’s the United States of America. The pundits like to slice-and-dice our country into Red States and Blue States; Red States for Republicans, Blue States for Democrats. But I’ve got news for them, too. We worship an awesome God in the Blue States, and we don’t like federal agents poking around our libraries in the Red States. We coach Little League in the Blue States and have gay friends in the Red States. There are patriots who opposed the war in Iraq and patriots who supported it. We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America.

In the end, that’s what this election is about. Do we participate in a politics of cynicism or a politics of hope? John Kerry calls on us to hope. John Edwards calls on us to hope. I’m not talking about blind optimism here — the almost willful ignorance that thinks unemployment will go away if we just don’t talk about it, or the health care crisis will solve itself if we just ignore it. No, I’m talking about something more substantial. It’s the hope of slaves sitting around a fire singing freedom songs; the hope of immigrants setting out for distant shores; the hope of a young naval lieutenant bravely patrolling the Mekong Delta; the hope of a millworker’s son who dares to defy the odds; the hope of a skinny kid with a funny name who believes that America has a place for him, too. The audacity of hope!

In the end, that is God’s greatest gift to us, the bedrock of this nation; the belief in things not seen; the belief that there are better days ahead. I believe we can give our middle class relief and provide working families with a road to opportunity. I believe we can provide jobs to the jobless, homes to the homeless, and reclaim young people in cities across America from violence and despair. I believe that as we stand on the crossroads of history, we can make the right choices, and meet the challenges that face us. America!

Tonight, if you feel the same energy I do, the same urgency I do, the same passion I do, the same hopefulness I do — if we do what we must do, then I have no doubt that all across the country, from Florida to Oregon, from Washington to Maine, the people will rise up in November, and John Kerry will be sworn in as president, and John Edwards will be sworn in as vice president, and this country will reclaim its promise, and out of this long political darkness a brighter day will come. Thank you and God bless you.

Apparently

Obama’s speech has given the Hillary crew the vapors.

This too, shall pass.

The nice thing about hanging sheet rock is it reminds you of what really sucks, and what you may think sucks, so I clobbered the earlier remarks.

I don’t figure that sort of remark is going to advance any of my goals, which is one of the main binds that Obama puts me in supporting him, and in dealing with the Clinton campaign.

Contrary to our friends much brayed assertions, this does not emanate from Mr. Obama’s leadership, or inspirational speeches, but from within my own self. That those speeches strike a chord within is no cause for me to be embarrassed, ashamed, or any other emotive reaction beyond that of, right on. He is still in my view, the only candidate running that can expand the base of the Democratic Party. To do that, in my case means not antagonizing the Clintonista’s beyond their endurance, while suffering the slings and arrows of their certitudes. It gets tiresome, but you gotta do what you gotta do.

To do less would be to agree with those who say that America cannot reclaim its’ sense of fair play, cannot return to rule of right not might, and should not hope for justice, but for endurance of the injustice, because to seek to win requires that we not seek to change a fundamentally wrong direction in our own thinking to obtain that goal.

It is for me especially a pain in the ass, since it does not play into my strength to persuade. (Or that I know of, at this point.)

Let’s not kid ourselves, when this election is over in November the elected elite will throw the blogosphere under the bus if they can get away with it. That’s what they do. The only way to avoid that is to ignore a lot of BS and focus on McBushco, building the party, and electing Democrats to offices. It is the only way to give the Blue Dogs more room to move to the center or center left, which is by engaging and including the disaffected and those who vote against their own economic interests for some fabricated upheaval.

I would hate to think that the major difference between Obama and Clinton supporters is that we were the only ones that had the same goal before the election as we had during and after the election. Removing Bush from office is a function of time, removing the mindset that installed him is generational. There is no Clinton or Obama in that equation.

Updated and Posted @ 6:23

Hidden In The Wire

Unfit for Duty

But this is really just the tip of the iceberg with McCain. In almost every discussion of foreign policy, not just today but in previous years, what stands out is McCain’s inability to see beyond the immediate issues of military tactics to any firm grasp of strategy or America’s real vital interests. His free willingness to commit to a decades long occupation of Iraq is an example, his push for ground troops to be introduced during the Kosovo War is another. His refusal, almost inability, to grapple with the political failure of the surge is the most telling one if people will sift through its deeper implications.

Update here

Bush is still “sure” about Iraq.

Bush, perhaps deliberately, dances, bobs, weaves and scowls over the identity of the enemy, and the reasons that he and the Jacobin neocons gave us for going to war. Much of that argumentation has been “exploded” by the failure to find it anywhere other than in the pages of rags like “The Weekly Standard” but that does not seem to bother him.

The Vice President seems as insulated from reality as always and absolutely shameless in his public denials of reality in Iraq. What’s the deal with him? Is he really impaired somehow or is it about the money as the “oilies” insist?

Then, there is John McCain. He does seem impaired. Lieberman had to remind him that AQ is a Sunni group who hate the government of Iran?

The Democrats need to sober up and get Hillary and Obama onto the same ticket. I don’t care who gets the top spot.

Whom the gods would destroy…

One of the problems of building a Republican dictatorship is coming home to roost. By invoking and enforcing a rigid top down policy apparatus that filtered the talking points through the political machinery to the stenographers, (formally known as press,) the Republicans started believing their own propaganda. Old John is expected to keep up, but he’s a maverick, and so anything from the last five years might pop into his head. Unfortunately it might pop out too.

Make That Two

Defense Budget Leaves Tough Choices for Next President

This year’s budget projection for the Department of Defense pushes the tough choices on military spending to the next administration, while playing a shell game with taxpayer money — and lots of it. The $515 billion Pentagon “base budget” doesn’t even include the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which are scheduled to soak up over $800 billion dollars by the end of this year.

When you’re talking about that kind of money, and the overriding importance of keeping our troops equipped and our country safe, responsible stewardship of our military dollars is paramount. But that’s not what we’re getting. Instead, we’re getting the same reckless spend-now-pay-later approach that has characterized the Bush administration’s approach to fiscal matters in general.

Smoke and Jaw

Get A Reporter

Jane’s on Iranian Weaponization

A potentially interesting development in the whole Iran thing…

The next issue of Jane’s International Defence Review (available from here for subscribers) contains an article by Mark Harrington in which he says:

Documents shown exclusively to Jane’s indicate that Iran is continuing its pursuit of the advanced technologies necessary to develop a nuclear weapon, regardless of Tehran’s claims that its nuclear programme is purely peaceful. Jane’s was shown the information by a source connected to a Western intelligence service, and the documents were verified by a number of reliable independent sources in Vienna.

Interesting discussion.

Polls, We Read Polls

POLL-Obama’s lead over Clinton narrows-I would have phrased it differently.

Update:

Meanwhile, Back At The Ranch

I think everyone can agree that if you go to the trouble of organizing an Iraqi political reconciliation conference, it’s generally a bad sign if a number of key players don’t even show up.

The idea behind the conference pushed by Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki was to have a national “dialogue.”

The largest Sunni bloc, former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi’s party, and a prominent minority party of Shiites and Sunnis all boycotted the conference. No representatives of the insurgency (either Baathist or militia members) were there. Supporters of Shiite cleric Muqtada Sadr walked out of the conference, as did a prominent Sunni tribal leader who’s been key to the so-called “Anbar Awakening.”

Operation Iraqi Liberation

Just a reminder of the operations original name. The acronym was good, OIL.

The military did its’ job.

The museum looters started theirs.

They had Abu Ghraib too!

Saddam’s no longer shooting at us. (it’s al Qaeda,see,)

The Iraqis will arise from the rubble of Saddam’s tyranny, shock and awe, and civil war.

Oy Vey!!!!!

No Offense To Iraqis

But if you want to talk about “evil forces,” no one over here in America gives a rats ass what you think.

Update:

Well This Will Be Interesting

I can hardly wait to see Dubya’s speech dissected.

Did he go far enough?

Do you think he addressed thinking Americans perceptions that the war sucks?

What does his pastor say about teh gay?

Oh yeah, I await inspiration.

Counter Intuitive

VISA IPO.

From “Shock and Awe” to Flub ‘n’ Dub

I’m and American, and I just don’t know anymore.

Ohio Arrests Voting Machines

Ohio voting machines confiscated in criminal investigation

Ohio investigators are treating a warehouse where 15 electronic voting machines have been quarantined as a crime scene following a report someone may have illegally tampered with them to remove a candidate’s name from the ballot.

Officials from Ohio’s Franklin County Board of Elections asked for a forensic analysis of the touch screen machines after Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner reported seeing something she regarded as odd while voting during last November’s election: A gray bar and the words “candidate withdrawn” appeared where candidate Jay Perez’s name should have been. Brunner’s husband, who was using a nearby machine at the same time, said Perez was on his ballot.

“This is a huge problem,” Brunner told The Columbus Dispatch. “There is great concern that not every voter has the same ballot.”

Note To Suuper Patriots

My son’s aircraft carrier deployed from home port on the 13th of March. Yesterday I saw it on FOX news.

Maybe braodcasting ship and troop movements isn’t the best thing to talking about. Wrap the flag around your heads, but do the rest of us a favor and STFU.

The Clinton Coat Tails?

The Clintons.Nepotism is good.

Once, Perhaps

No Gaffe, Just Totally Out of It?

I was working on a longer post about John McCain this afternoon, which I’m hoping to post tomorrow. But I just noticed that this goof where McCain got confused about whether Iran was training al Qaeda operatives or not didn’t just happen once. McCain apparently said the same thing several times, in a couple different venues – not just in the press conference, where Joe Lieberman of all people finally had to correct him, but earlier on the Hugh Hewitt show.

Hey, he’s your boy. What says the base?

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Tempo

http://EZSmirkzz2_files/5oQOtN5XTcQrel0color10xe1600fcolor20xfebd01hlen.swf

The Speech

To my mind, was one the best political speeches I’ve heard since Ron Paul denounced the Neo-cons in a House Floor speech before the war. (This is the sixth anniversary of the antiwar in Iraq movement BTW. We feared we would be having the same debate with the Neoconpoopss back then too, since that was their forte. We were right about that one too. DFH 3)

From what I understand he stuck to his pre released text pretty much, and so the text is what can be referred to and parsed, but the reasonable delivery carried tone and temper for the occasion and that is what makes it a speech and not a document.

It is to be expected of those who made Obama a rock star to tear him down again, which is why I quit listening to those flat heads who were saying that stuff.

I can quote Scripture with the Mormons and the Witnesses, and I’ve read the Bible enough to distill it into two words, do it. I don’t care what anyone else’s religious beliefs, or lack thereofs are, just don’t impose them on me. In that spirit I’m not posting Johnny Cash doing personal Jesus.

Mr. Obama is correct. It is time to move the country forward together, not in the spirit of “We shall Over Come,” but in the spirit of We Shall Come Over As Equals.

It is rare to hear a really good political speech, and we were fortunate enough today to hear one. Savor the experience.

Big Bubba Buffalo Nickel

Clinton says voters can count on Hillary

The former president said his argument for why Sen. Hillary Clinton is the best candidate for president is three-fold: She is better prepared to turn around the economy, best-qualified to serve as commander in chief and the most likely to defeat Sen. John McCain the November election.

“We don’t go to all this trouble to lose the election,” Clinton said. “All of us who know the country needs to change, and she is the person most likely to win because of her national security credentials, her platform and here economic record.”

Clinton dubbed himself as the “rural hitman” of his wife’s campaign, and said he enjoys taking his wife’s campaign to places like Lawrenceburg, a small blue-collar town just across the state line from Cincinnati.

She’d do well in Labor.

Snap Back

Some of you may (for Barney,)remember when I wanted to know how much cable I needed to carry out into the weightlessness to hold up the five inch copper cable that ran through the magnetoespehere and was attached to the earth.

Since that was expensive I think we will do it with string first, and extrapolate from that how big of kite we’ll need to get the string that high. Then we can weigh the string, ( because we have more scales than rullers,) and then do some math.

But first we want to see what happens if the string snaps, say half way there, and figure the velocity of earth impact.

I just wanted you to know that we were working on it.

Iraqi Delinquents Vandalize Green Zone

Informed Comment notes

McClatchy’s headline says it all: “Cheney cites ‘phenomenal’ Iraqi security progress as bombing kills 40”. Cheney even needed a complicated security routine and lots of bodyguards just to move around the Green Zone where Iraqi and US offices are. The heavily fortified Green Zone actually took incoming mortar fire on Monday, during Cheney’s visit there. If the Vice President of the United States can’t visit the most fortified place in Baghdad, the capital of the country he militarily occupies, without risking a mortar strike, then things are still not all the great. I don’t believe Gen. MacArthur in Tokyo suffered any similar humiliation.

Yes, but Iraqi parents…

Bananas Don’t Kill People

Chiquita Exec: Our Support for Terrorism Doesn’t Kill People

In an inevitable development, the families of people killed by FARC in Colombia are suing Chiquita for arming the terrorists. And in spite of the fact that the sentencing memorandum in their settlement with the government made it clear that Chiquita did support FARC from 1989 to 1997, Chiquita’s lawyer claims that the company’s support for terrorists had nothing to do with the effects–including murders–of that terrorism.

OHHHKay.

Fine Feathered Friends

*Be kind to your web footed friends,
For that duck may be somebody’s mother.
She lives all alone in the swamp,
Where the weather is cold and damp;
(to Rhyme with Swamp),
Now You may think that this is the end,
Well it is but to show that I’m a liar,
I’m going to sing it again,
But this time I’m going to sing it higher.

Republicans: Only Our Pastors Are Allowed To Say Crazy Shit

And James Inhofe — who happens to still be a Republican U.S. Senator — blamed America for the 9/11 attacks by arguing in a 2002 Senate floor speech that “the spiritual door was opened for an attack against the United States of America” because we pressured Israel to give away parts of the West Bank. The phrases “anti-American” and “America-haters” are among the most barren and manipulative in our entire political lexicon, but whatever they happen to mean on any given day, they easily encompass people who believe that the U.S. deserved the 9/11 attacks, devastating hurricanes and the like. Yet when are people like Falwell, Robertson, Hagee, Inhofe and other white Christian radicals ever described as anti-American or America-hating extremists? Never — because white Christian evangelicals who tie themselves to the political Right are intrinsically patriotic.

*sung to the tune of Stars and Stripes Forever

MCDud: Bomb Bomb Bomb Bomb Bomb Bomb Bomb Bomb Bomb Bomb….

Second verse same as the first,

John McCain speaking in Jordan reveals that he has no idea what’s happening in Iraq:

Speaking to reporters in Amman, the Jordanian capital, McCain said he and two Senate colleagues traveling with him continue to be concerned about Iranian operatives “taking al-Qaeda into Iran, training them and sending them back.”

The rest of us are concerned about John taking his medication.

Update:

A few moments later, Sen. Joseph Lieberman, standing just behind McCain, stepped forward and whispered in the presidential candidate’s ear. McCain then said: “I’m sorry, the Iranians are training extremists, not al-Qaeda.”

No really, wouldn’t a parrot be cheaper?

Update: Matt Yglesias notices that John McCain has gone back to his old, irresponsible, incendiary baloney-slicing on Iraq. You may recall that on the night McCain won the Republican nomination, he–accurately–emphasized sectarian violence as the major threat if the U.S. didn’t leave Iraq carefully. Now he’s back to his utterly bogus “victory” or “defeat” in the war against Al Qaeda. Once again–and I’ll keep on saying this as long as McCain keeps on trying to scare and hoodwink the public–Al Qaeda in Iraq is down to less than 5000 fighters…acccording to its own estimates in captured documents.

See what I mean?

How Many Enrons Does It Take?

Just wondering.

Poll: Obama Widens Lead In America

Update: herePoll: Majority of Democrats prefer Obama

CNN) — A majority of Democrats would like to see Barack Obama rather than Hillary Clinton win their party’s presidential nomination, according to a national poll out Monday.

Fifty-two percent of registered Democrats questioned in a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey say the senator from Illinois is their choice for president, with 45 percent supporting Clinton.

The poll also suggests Democrats are more enthusiastic about an Obama victory (45 percent) than for a victory by the senator from New York (38 percent).

I quit reading here. You may wish to go further. (I used may for Barney.)

McBush Travelling To Israel

So Joe can get some camera time.

Wouldn’t it save the taxpayers money if McCain just put a couple of parrots on his shoulders?

So No Sain’t Will Be President

The salient thing for me is still who will be able to provide a new vision to the direction and purpose of American government. I think in that regard I would much rather have a candidate that can talk to both Rev. Wright and Jack Welch and somehow reconcile in a policy that gap in perception and self interests.

Many people wish their children to grow up and be Presidents, they just don’t want them being politicians, to paraphrase one. I suppose I am supposed to be shocked that Obama is one too. Oh, the burden of pragmatic idealism!

But, I think Obama can reconcile many different blocks of self interest, and in doing so address the needs of Jack and the Reverends congregations, without shorting the one for the other. That is to me a big difference between Obama and the other two would be’s, they have a record of delivering lopsided returns.

I will endeavor to persevere, like Dick, head of OVP.

Now With Customized Borders

Media Fixations

http://EZSmirkzz2_files/iI4AaBmIsRkrel0color10xe1600fcolor20xfebd01border1hlen.swf

Ben Tuned

http://EZSmirkzz2_files/DKzR_TNZk4krel0color10xe1600fcolor20xfebd01border1hlen.swf

Don’t worry, be happy.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Limbo Dems

Boston Globe Notices Limbaugh Dems For Hillary

The Globe notes that the Republican share of the vote in Texas, Ohio and Mississippi was higher than it had been in previous Democratic races, and Hillary Clinton’s share of their vote also increased dramatically in the exit polls.

Maybe, in part at least, this explains why she didn’t fair as well in the caucus portion too.

It may bode ill for her campaigns signature verification issue too, but we had a Republican caucus with us because he didn’t think Hillary could carry Texas in the general. Maybe Hillary is trying to change his mind by making sure Barack can’t either.

The Silence Of The Wolves

Deregulation?

TPM Reader SW’s lament …

I am appalled, though not surprised, at the complete silence by the candidates on the last few days’ events on Wall Street and the world’s stock, bond and currency markets. This has far more effect on all of our futures than racist comments by the oxygen deprived brains of some old political or spiritual leaders. I know why Clinton and McCain are not talking about it: too many of their biggest supporters had too much to do with what happened, and benefited from the deregulation of the past twenty years for which both (and their allies) had a great deal of responsibility.

What say ye Barack?

This is where the rubber hits the road, isn’t it? The politicians are up to their asses in alligators calling everyone else into the swamp.

Looooooove

The Fed’s Forced Marriage of Bear Stearns and J.P. Morgan

The official line is that the Fed had to get involved and make the guarantees in order to keep the markets in order. This is not clear. It is not easy to accept Fed pronouncements these days. After all, just last year Chairman Bernanke was telling us that the problems in the subprime market were likely to be contained. It is time that the Fed comes clean with both an honest assessment of the severity of the problem and increased transparency in its behind the scenes deals with the big banks.

Of course it would be nice if someone would explain to us duffers since when was any of this the FEDs business anyway?

Oh yeah, the invisible hand. Now I get it.

Understanding It All

TSLF

One measure economists sometimes use for the liquidity of an asset is the bid-ask spread. By that definition, one might be justified in referring to the present problems as a problem of liquidity– the gap between the price at which owners would like to sell these assets and the price that counterparties are willing to pay is so big that the assets don’t move. That illiquidity itself has proven to be a paralyzing force on the financial system. By creating a value for these assets– the ability to pledge them as collateral for purposes of temporarily acquiring good funds– the Fed is creating a market where none existed, thereby tackling the problem of liquidity head on.

OK, but if we agree to use that framework to describe the current difficulties as a liquidity (as opposed to a solvency) problem, which is closer to the “true” valuation, the bid or the ask price? If it’s not far from the asking price, then the Fed is taking a bold step that may help cure a profoundly serious problem. If it’s nearer the bid price, then the Fed has just agreed to absorb a huge chunk of what was formerly private-sector risk. To evaluate the magnitude of that risk absorption, we’d need to know the specific assets pledged as collateral, the specific terms, and the specific borrowers, none of which the Fed appears to have any intention of making public.

It appears to me that the Fed’s unconventional new measures surely involve at least some absorption of risk by the Federal Reserve itself. It therefore seems appropriate to try to think through the implications of what will happen if indeed the Fed is not repaid on some of these loans and gets stuck holding the inferior collateral.

Long story short, if this doesn’t work, the buck stops with you.

BTW: That’s if we accept it is a liquidity problem, and not a solvency problem.

Just Call Ben

PMI: $1.01 Billion Loss

From the WSJ: PMI Posts $1.01 Billion Loss Amid Housing, Credit Woes

After all, that is the new functioning capital market.

Maybe Mr. Bush will be so kind as to address Katrina….

You Would Think

That those who most oppose universal health care, universal education, food stamps, mental health facilities, etc. would be the loudest whiners against the recent FED actions.

Of course one might think that those who whine the loudest about law and order would be the first to demand investigations into the Iraqi war spending, no bid contracts, etc.

Maybe socialism is for everybody.

Five Years In Iraq And All I Got Was The Worst President EVAH!

Changing the Conversation on National Security

The plan is comprehensive and answers a lot of important questions, the most important of which is ‘what do we do now’. But the significance of the plan is that it isn’t new, it just brings together a lot of disparate threads that I and all of us have been working towards for years. The Donna Edwards election, the Bill Foster election, Ned Lamont, FISA, the 2006 election, antiwar organizing, fighting on civil liberties and media reform, energy, it’s all about organizing a fundamentally different and less limited conversation around national security.

Here is General Eaton, Petraeus’s predecessor in Iraq, discussing the plan.

http://EZSmirkzz2_files/K2uCFzIwXmMhlen.swf

Baghdad City of Walls

What Iraqis see that you can’tAn Iraqi journalist goes home to Naghdad. This where Americans don’t go.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

The Truth Be Told

http://EZSmirkzz2_files/EDS00Pnhkqkhlen.swf

The Salt Of The Earth

http://EZSmirkzz2_files/t64Sn10D0bohlen.swf

Oh, Heavens!

And Bear is only the first broker dealer to go belly up. Rumors had been circulating in the market for days that the exposure of Lehman to toxic ABS/MBS securities is as bad as that of Bear: according to Fitch at the beginning of the turmoil Bear Stearns had the highest toxic waste (“residual balance”) exposure as percent of adjusted equity on balance sheet; the exposure of Bear was 54.5% while that of Lehman was only marginally smaller at 53.3%; that of Goldman Sachs was only 21%. And guess what? Today Lehman received a $2 billion unsecured credit line from 40 lenders. Here is another massively leveraged broker dealer that mismanaged its liquidity risk, had massive amount of toxic waste on its books and is now in trouble. Again here we have not only a situation of illiquidity but serious credit problems and losses given the reckless exposure of this second broker dealer to toxic investments.

We will leave aside for today the fact that a growing number of members of the “shadow financial system” have gone belly up in the last month alone: the entire SIV scheme is being wound down and brought back on balance sheet; a few hedge funds are now closing shops (for details see the web site The Hedge Fund Impode-O-Meter) ); a few money market funds that had exposure to toxic MBS have experienced runs and had to be bailed out; a highly leveraged private equity bond fund has gone belly up; a major near prime mortgage lender is bankrupt. In all these cases a poisonous combination of liquidity risk and credit risk was exacerbated by reckless leverage.

Step 9, like client 9, ‘cept different. ht Dr.B

Here I Am, Rocking The Heavens and The Earth

1Co 2:1 And when I came to you, brothers, I did not come with excellency of word or wisdom, declaring to you the Testimony of God.
1Co 2:2 For I decided not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ, and Him having been crucified.
1Co 2:3 And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.
1Co 2:4 And my word and my preaching was not in enticing words of human wisdom, but in proof of the Spirit and of power,
1Co 2:5 that your faith might not be in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
1Co 2:6 But we speak wisdom among the perfect, but not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, those being brought to nothing.
1Co 2:7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, having been hidden, which God predetermined before the ages for our glory,
1Co 2:8 which none of the rulers of this age has known. For if they had known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory;
1Co 2:9 according as it has been written, “Eye has not seen, and ear has not heard,” nor has it risen up into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for those that love Him. Isa. 64:4
1Co 2:10 But God revealed them to us by His Spirit, for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God.
1Co 2:11 For who among men knows the things of a man, except the spirit of a man within him? So also no one has known the things of God except the Spirit of God.
1Co 2:12 But we have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit from God, so that we might know the things that are freely given to us by God.
1Co 2:13 Which things we also speak, not in words taught in human wisdom, but in Words taught of the Holy Spirit, comparing spiritual things with spiritual things.
1Co 2:14 But a natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he is not able to know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
1Co 2:15 But the spiritual one discerns all things, but he is discerned by no one.
1Co 2:16 For “who has known the mind of the Lord?” “Who will teach Him?” But we have the mind of Christ. Isa. 40:13

Careful with that axe Eugene.

I’m Shocked! Shocked I Tell Ya!

The conservative Chicago Tribune on Obama and Rezko

The Chicago Tribune has never endorsed a Democrat for president in its history. Its editorial board had every partisan reason to try and further damage Obama on the issue. Instead, it has essentially exonerated him. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Sun-Times follow suit in the next couple of days, but that would be expected. The Chicago Tribune doing so is startling.

And for those keeping score of the Clinton and Obama campaign’s shadiest donors, the Tribune’s blog has a scorecard …

Ultimately, there’s nothing here because no one proved that Clinton did any reciprocal favors for Hsu, and no one has proved (or even suggested, really) that Obama did any reciprocal favors for Rezko. They both had unsavory characters raise money for them. Big f’n deal. You don’t raise millions for political campaigns without coming into inadvertent contact with this species of human.

No, really, you don’t believe in political co-incidences do you?

Edited to improve the table!

Hey, Where’s Joe?

I keep reading and hearing that Leiberman went to Iraq with the McCain campaign, but none of the footage ever shows him.

Media bias!

Must Have Been The Previous Link

blog readability test

TV Reviews

vis-a- vis

Bush Takes Obama’s Advice

Report: U.S. Missiles Hit House in Pakistan Tribal Area

MIRAN SHAH, Pakistan — A U.S. warplane fired missiles Sunday at a house in a Pakistani tribal area near the Afghan border known as a haven for Al Qaeda and Taliban fighters, Reuters reported.

The news agency quoted an intelligence official as saying at least 9 militants were killed and nearly a dozen more were injured.

“It was apparently an American plane that fired precision guided missiles at the house,” the official, who requested not to be identified, told Reuters.

Oh pasha, you don’t say.

Pope: Enough With Slaughters in Iraq

What say ye Hagee?

McCain Claims Sadr `Not Contesting American Forces’ As Sadr Loyalists Rally Against U.S.»

John King just informed me that the market place was safer than before– because al Sadr’s militia is in controll of it.

Teh Surge Is Working!

http://EZSmirkzz2_files/8-h7v6FM6xQ.swf

video link via TP and the link to the link. (which for my new friends, is how the inter(net)(tube)(s) work.)

Perceptions Of McCain’s Electability

McBush is only looking good against the individual Democratic candidate at the moment because of the infighting between them. Both candidates have taken hits in the public perception over various personal issues which the “base” is more than willing to amplify for their boy.

But this will fade as the Democratic process solidifies around one candidate. I think it is important to remember that many posters in comment sections are posers, and just as they skew online polls they skew perceptions of what is really going on with the rank and file. Any blogger not aware of that has lost enough marbles to become an MSM pundit.

Update: Being somewhat active in the party, I have to talk to both Clinton and Obama supporters. We are basically in agreement with each other on the issues, and there is a decided trailing off in animation when the “not my candidate”‘s name is brought up.

The only reality involved here is this, in September will you support the Democratic nominee for President? Or will you take the rocks in your head and go home? Some of us are trying to build or rebuild the Democratic Party in red states, and you are zero effing help there.

Update 2:

State Department of Flying Toasters

From The Department Of Concern Trolls Are Us…

The State Department team’s approach is to join a blog’s conversation, often when it turns to the motivation for U.S. policy toward Iraq, and when others are claiming that the U.S. occupation is meant to help Israel or to secure oil. “Our job is to address that motivation issue and show them that that’s not the motivation,” MacInnes said.

You think you’re being played? Maybe CNN will ask Ari next time he’s on.

Badupa Dupa Dupa Dupa Do

http://EZSmirkzz2_files/iqKaU2fZkAchlen.swfhttp://EZSmirkzz2_files/jR0uW3ZeV04hlen.swf

Somalia John

http://EZSmirkzz2_files/o8TFKXHiefshlen.swf

No, Really

Do you believe in political co-incidence?

The gift of life is a sentence to death,
which has more value is the guess fools make
to support their own existence.

Run to the blood and shed it with glee
perchance there is glory to be found in the vile
that ex nihilo denies you on your own return.

Come let us honor the brave dead in death
that we may not deny outselves the work
of our own hands, ignoring our own worms.

Wrighting Perceptions

Trinity UCC, Jeremiah Wright & Black Christian Activist Tradition

(A welcome antidote to a whole lot of ill-informed BS that’s floating around on this subject. – promoted by Paul Rosenberg)

A deeper look into the church that Mr. Obama attends, than the normal outlets can, or are willing, to provide.

The Stupid! It Burns!

Mirror, Mirror Victor Davis Hanson resorts to Fairy Tales

By now everyone sees what he wishes in Iraq — a disaster of many proportions, a necessary war that will still be won. Liberals who used to demand that we promote democracy abroad are fierce critics of Iraqi democracy; conservatives, who want an iron hand dealing with a hostile Middle East, support spending hundreds of billions of dollars in rebuilding Iraqi society.

No one over here ever said anything about promoting democracy through the barrel of a gun, there, Vic.

Conservatives elected Bushco who stated expicitly that nation building wasn’t our job. This is in fact what we are doing now, and have been since 2003, according to General Petraeus.

Now, despite the obligatory throat-clearing epithets used by journalists and politicians — “the worst,” “nightmare,” “disaster,” “fiasco,” “catastrophe,” “quagmire” — Iraq is beginning to be seen as something that just might work after all, as the violence subsides and a stable constitutional government hangs on.

Again, the means was not, and is not the ends. That government was supposed to make political progress as a result of the escalation, not “hang on.” And given we haven’t figured out the new “peace with honor,” conservative short hand for, “the liberals and media lost our war,” how is Iraq not a quagmire. Perhaps tar pit would be better suited, as in, “sabre tooth tigers stuck in quagmire.”

Rarely in American history has a war been so often spun, praised, renounced, disowned, and finally neglected.

Yes, we have been blessed with intelligent government until 2000.

So what’s next, the analogy of Iraq and the “Lord of the Rings”?

We Lied Like Hell, But…

We made mistakes in Iraq, but war was just by Richard Perle

The immediate benefit is the destruction of Saddam’s regime. Responsible for two wars with more than a million dead, involved for decades with terrorist groups, rewarding suicide bombers with cash payments, unwilling to document chemical and biological weapons (some of which he had used), Saddam forced the question: should we risk leaving him in place and hope for the best, or destroy his regime and end the risk that he might collaborate in an attack even more devastating than 9/11?

…why stop there? Goebbelic de ja vu.

Jeff Jacoby Reads This Blog

Patton and the 2008 vote Another reader of dead minds. What say the tarot cards Jeff?

This blog…

No, Really, Do You Believe

In political co-incidences?

McCain Can’t Hold Water

McCain ought to know better…

Members of Congress have access to classified material by virtue of their constitutional office. He ought to know better than to say something like this. pl

“Yes, I worry about it,” McCain said. “And I know they pay attention because of the intercepts we have of their communications …

Yeah and to think he wants to be President. Seems to me we had this problem with the cell phone intercepts of UBL in 1998, which left us unable to track his happy ass too.

The Light Side

Heh Thanks to Laura.

It’s In Your Heart

http://EZSmirkzz2_files/7Y68m23x4Nchlen.swf

So, Do You Really Believe

In political co-incidences?

Iraqi Pipe-Dream

Needed: Honesty on Iraq

You think?

SCLM

A Political Handbook for Post Bush America

Eric Alterman helped to create my awareness of modern politics. His book, What Liberal Media, along with Blinded by the Right, the Clinton Wars, and Before the Storm, taught me more about the political system and how it really worked than anything I had ever read.

Alterman helped me understand coalitions, modern media politics, and the right-wing, and I am forever indebted to his brilliant and brave intellectual arguments. What Alterman excels at is chronicling the structural lies embedded in our media and society that undermine liberal politics. He did this with What Liberal Media, where he systematically deconstructed the idea that the press is liberal, and did this in 2003.

The ‘So Called Liberal Media’, or SCLM for short, was a term he invented and used to great effect, such that is is now conventional wisdom in Democratic activist circles and among Democratic elites that the media has certain biases, but liberalism is not one of them. It is this intellectual work that led to, among others, the Fox News debate fight, the organizing against Nedra Pickler, and the understanding of how swiftboating operates.

Why We’re Liberals: A Handbook for Post-Bush America, is his latest. He blogs here.

Rezko and Chi-Trib

Obama’s Rezko narrative

When we endorsed Obama for the Democratic presidential nomination Jan. 27, we said we had formed our opinions of him during 12 years of scrutiny. We concluded that the professional judgment and personal decency with which he has managed himself and his ambition distinguish him.

Nothing Obama said in our editorial board room Friday diminishes that verdict.

I’m sure this will be ignored, largely, over at No Quarter where they are busy whining about the Hillary bashers at DKos. Go figure.

McBush Sneaks Into Baghdad

US Senator John McCain has landed in Baghdad ahead of an unannounced visit to the Iraqi capital.

As opposed to the red carpet rolled out for the Iranians.

March 19 Iraq War Blogswarm

via NTodd

Why the heck not?

Update: This ‘ere is a sticky post. from the 9th of March.

EZSmirkzzs March 9-11, 2008

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Break The Cycle

http://EZSmirkzz2_files/yGGHpu0D0fwrel0hlen.swf

The Door Is Always Open

http://EZSmirkzz2_files/5di5EhZshdQrel0hlen.swf

Yes, We Can

http://EZSmirkzz2_files/PTTsyk-pyd8rel0hlen.swf

My Condolences To The Political Journalists

Mississippi’s outcome was a foregone conclusion, but ya’ll have to work.

Fortunately, I don’t.

Once More, From The Top

Caucuses are Party building functions.

That is where individuals can gather to together in unity of purpose, elect local party leaders and through party representation influence state and national party policy.

Primaries are the media and party bosses best friend, because they leave you, citoyen, out of the process.

Fox Calls It For Obama

Well that blows the suspense.

Do you suppose Brit Hume is the last conservative in America that goes to the closet in the morning and asks himself, “Should I wear a red tie today, or a red tie?”

Lou Dobbs World “Or Other People”

A modifier missed by Lou. Maybe it was Rush being included in the statement.

Oh yeah, Lou, how is what other people are saying somehow stifling debate, since it hasn’t slowed you or me down one damned bit?

Ed Note: I need a staff.

Flash! Bang! Hey, Where’s The Shrapnel?!?

Update: No, it’s because you compound ignorance with stupidity. Sheesh. What is it with power?

Things not seen, in Geraldine’s remarks,

An outspoken advocate for women’s issues and a staunch supporter of presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton, Ferraro will offer her views on the state of the nation and the race for the White House at 7 p.m. Sunday at the Armstrong Theatre in Torrance. The program is part of the American Perspectives series.

“I will probably start with a personal account, drawing attention to the historic firsts of both these candidacies in our party, and point out specific, significant differences between Hillary’s campaign and mine,” said Ferraro.

“I will discuss what I think’s been going on in her campaign and the role of the media, which has been far larger than anything I’ve seen before. And I’ll get into what this bides for the future. I may also speak about the superdelegates, since I was involved with their creation.”

“I’m on Hillary’s finance committee. I’ve done a fundraiser for her here at my firm. And I went and worked the phone banks before Super Tuesday. I have to tell you, this is a very emotional campaign for me,” Ferraro said.

When the subject turned to Obama, Clinton’s rival for the Democratic Party nomination, Ferraro’s comments took on a decidedly bitter edge.

“I think what America feels about a woman becoming president takes a very secondary place to Obama’s campaign – to a kind of campaign that it would be hard for anyone to run against,” she said. “For one thing, you have the press, which has been uniquely hard on her. It’s been a very sexist media. Some just don’t like her. The others have gotten caught up in the Obama campaign.

“If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position,” she continued. “And if he was a woman (of any color) he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky to be who he is. And the country is caught up in the concept.” Ferraro does not buy the notion of Obama as the great reconciler.

“I was reading an article that said young Republicans are out there campaigning for Obama because they believe he’s going to be able to put an end to partisanship,” Ferraro said, clearly annoyed. “Dear God! Anyone that has worked in the Congress knows that for over 200 years this country has had partisanship – that’s the way our country is.”

I posted so much of the article so that you two could get a gist of Ferraro’s remarks in the context they were given in. Like all media reports, one never knows what was left out of the article by the author and editors, which is another can of worms I don’t want to take on a fishing expedition right now.

I think the remark that is getting all the flash and bang from the interview is obvious, and for a FOX analyst shows a little cluelessness to what the emotional level of the campaigns has reached. On FOX she did explain the context of her remarks, which prompted me to dig this up to see for myself.

I think it important to consider where she is coming from, the sexist angle, not the racial one, if we are to be fair to her in our criticism of her remarks.

If this is an historical election as many assert, then these are the two main isms competing for the top billing on the Democratic ticket. We will not be able to escape those facts and make them none issues to others that have long held emotional attachments to their isms and the slights and denigrations that members of the female and black communities have been subjected to for centuries. Not decades, not years, centuries.

The media on the other hand doesn’t give a damn about that in its’ corporate sense. A scoop is a scoop. Ferraro said what she said, but that doesn’t mean it means what was reported. It means what it was reported to mean, and that may conceal as much as reveal any context for the reader, which would skew the meaning of the speaker.

I think it would behoove us as Democrats seeking to unass ourselves of the cowboys and good ol’ boys to keep this in mind as the campaign moves forward. The media is not our friend, which is why we keep seeing reruns of the flash bang remarks that do not convey all of the context.

I understand that many of the young people don’t remember Geraldine Ferraro, but I am fairly confident that she is not a racist, and is not sexist, but a women’s’ advocate, and so her mindset should be considered in the remarks that have propelled her back into the national spotlight.

Like all the wealthy and powerful, she has a better grasp of explaining her remarks than apologising to those whom may have been offended by them. If she has any failure it is in a lack of social awareness, and skills.

The media is not going to play up the good side of anyone, except soldiers, and the sooner everyone comes to grasp with that fact, the sooner half truths and mistatements will not be allowed to play a role in what should be an intellectual exercise of emotional inclinations.

Added a not.

The Problem With The “No Secrets” Argument

Privacy and Power

When I write and speak about privacy, I am regularly confronted with the mutual disclosure argument. Explained in books like David Brin’s The Transparent Society, the argument goes something like this: In a world of ubiquitous surveillance, you’ll know all about me, but I will also know all about you. The government will be watching us, but we’ll also be watching the government. This is different than before, but it’s not automatically worse. And because I know your secrets, you can’t use my secrets as a weapon against me.

This might not be everybody’s idea of utopia — and it certainly doesn’t address the inherent value of privacy — but this theory has a glossy appeal, and could easily be mistaken for a way out of the problem of technology’s continuing erosion of privacy. Except it doesn’t work, because it ignores the crucial dissimilarity of power.

You cannot evaluate the value of privacy and disclosure unless you account for the relative power levels of the discloser and the disclosee.

If I disclose information to you, your power with respect to me increases. One way to address this power imbalance is for you to similarly disclose information to me. We both have less privacy, but the balance of power is maintained. But this mechanism fails utterly if you and I have different power levels to begin with.

An example will make this clearer. You’re stopped by a police officer, who demands to see identification. Divulging your identity will give the officer enormous power over you: He or she can search police databases using the information on your ID; he or she can create a police record attached to your name; he or she can put you on this or that secret terrorist watch list. Asking to see the officer’s ID in return gives you no comparable power over him or her. The power imbalance is too great, and mutual disclosure does not make it OK.

What say ye O’reilly?

Rep. Cantor: Dollar Decline Due To Corporate Tax Rate

Competitiveness: Rep. Cantor Weighs In….

Factoring in state income taxes, American businesses suffer under the weight of an average top corporate rate of 39 percent, according to Congressional Quarterly. It’s no wonder the dollar continues to depreciate in value against emerging-economy currencies.

Sheesh I thought it was the decrease in Republican Represntatives. Obviously pulling stuff out of your ass isn’t scientific. (OK no more free plugs for the lobbyist wankers,)Welcome to blogging.

The three-day-old blog features business-friendly posts pointing out news that puts industry in a positive light. One post highlights an article naming Wal-Mart one of “America’s most eco-savvy corporations.” Another uses a Tony Soprano-like argument to boost the image of a proposed Colombian free trade agreement (“Free trade works. . . capiche?”)

And, not to be outdone, the Salt Institute contributed a flashy expose entitled “Workplace productivity demands effective winter roadway maintenance.” DailyKos, watch out.

This will rival the Hillblog with riveting prose, and poetry, the poetry, who can say enough!

McCain: “On Wheels, I’m A Free Wheeler”

McCain lashes Democrats for criticizing NAFTA

At a town-hall meeting in St. Louis, the Arizona senator also called for the Democratic-controlled U.S. Congress to approve a free-trade treaty with Colombia that is being stymied on Capitol Hill.

“On trade, I’m a free trader,” McCain told employees at Savvis Internet company, a session dominated by questions about the ailing U.S. economy

Yes John, but the rest of us want a quid pro quo in a trade.

I Will Not Seek, Nor Will I Accept

my Partys nomination for Vice President, either.

In case you were hoping.

This Would Explain 11th Dimension

Physicists and engineers search for new dimension

Blacksburg, Va. — The universe as we currently know it is made up of three dimensions of space and one of time, but researchers in the Department of Physics and the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Virginia Tech are exploring the possibility of an extra dimension.

Sound like an episode from the “Twilight Zone”” Almost, but not quite; according to John Simonetti, associate professor of physics in the College of Science and Michael Kavic, graduate student and one of the investigators on the project.

“The idea we’re exploring is that the universe has an imperceptibly small dimension (about one billionth of a nanometer) in addition to the four that we know currently,” Kavic said. “This extra dimension would be curled up, in a state similar to that of the entire universe at the time of the Big Bang.”

The group is looking for small primordial black holes that, when they explode, may produce a radio pulse that could be detected here on Earth. These black holes are called primordial because they were created a fraction of a second after the beginning of the universe.

Black holes are expected to evaporate over time, losing mass and therefore shrinking. A black hole larger than the extra dimension would wrap around it like a thick rubber band wrapped around a hose. As a black hole shrinks down to the size of the extra dimension, it would be stretched so thin it would snap, causing an explosion.

Viola! Instapundit!

Winter Soldiers Testimony

Iraq Vets Will Detail U.S. Atrocities in Winter Soldier Hearings

This week, on March 13-16, a new generation of “Winter Soldiers” — veterans of the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq — will descend on the nation’s capitol to tell America in their own words what they saw during their service in the “war on terror,” the Bush administration’s signature policy. They’ll give a ground’s eye perspective on the occupation’s toll on the people of those countries and the costs to the military, and they’ll tell stories of what it was really like in places like Fallujah and Ramadi — places that are just names on a map to most of the people back home.

Live Video
Satellite TV Friday, March 14 and Saturday, March 15
Get satellite details
Streaming video on ivaw.org Thursday, March 13 through Sunday, March 16

Live Audio
Streaming audio at KPFA.org and warcomeshome.org Friday, March 14 through Sunday, March 16

Peace ain’t cake. Speaking of cake…walks.

The Making Of A State

Good Arabs, Bad Arabs

One of Zionism’s historical problems is that many of its advocates never realized the difference between a national movement and a state. Once the state was established, its Arab inhabitants became the citizens of a country that sought to be a Western democracy. As such, they were entitled to the full protection of the state’s institutions, and to equality before the law.

There really has been a lot of movement in Israel that we are not aware of, simply because we are being pressed all around ourselves by authoritarians.

The meme I chose is designed to get you go read the post, and perhaps the rest of the blog, which reminds me of how really decent people can be, if we give them half a chance. Maybe if we can find it overseas we can bring it home as an exotic import.

Test Pinch

http://EZSmirkzz2_files/bbtv_2008-03-07-221948.swf

From DKos

Mark Klein is the former AT&T technician who exposed the infamous secret room at AT&T’s facility in San Francisco, the room that was equipped to vacuum up “comprehensive customer usage data … and transforms it into actionable information…. (It) provides complete visibility for all internet applications.” For his efforts in exposing this massive warrantless wiretapping program by AT&T on behalf of the NSA, Klein received the Electronic Frontier’s Foudnation Pioneer award.

Will I ever get used to the 21st century?

Update: Probably not.

There’s absolutely no point in helping to elect Democrats like that to Congress or helping them to stay there. Yesterday, there was some celebration over the fact that Arkansas Sen. Mark Pryor will be re-elected without opposition this year. That’s the same Mark Pryor who voted for the Military Commissions Act, for the Protect America Act, for telecom immunity, against every Iraq redeployment measure, and scores of other similar votes. The fact that he’s being re-elected with no opposition demonstrates his extremely strong political standing, i.e., that he cast these votes because they reflect what he believes. What’s to celebrate about the fact that someone like that — with that belief system — is returning to the Senate?

Democrats are never going to change their behavior if there continues to be no price for what they’re doing. If even the most pro-Bush Democrats continue to receive reflexive support from other Democrats, regardless of how fundamentally they reject the political values of those Democrats, they will continue on the same course. Why wouldn’t they? And if Democrats whose political values are violated by these office holders refrain from ever working against them, solely because they have a (D) after their name, then this process will continue unabated.

Agreed.

Don’t Taze ’em Bro

FOX just informed me that the guy the cop tazered got a 40K $ settlement.

(yeah I upgraded my package, in a non Spitzer type way.)

This Will Back The Press Off

Update III: This interesting too. About Emperors’ Club VIP “CEO” Mark Brener. “… Assistant U.S. Attorney Dan Stein said a search of Brener’s apartment produced $600,000 in cash and an Israeli passport. He asked that Brener be held without bail. Brener’s lawyer, Jennifer Brown, said her client was a U.S. citizen who had lived in the United States for 20 years. Nevertheless, the judge ordered him detained without bail.” Is there an Israeli connection to this prostitution ring, as this AP story implies?

Heh.

Update: I wonder if the press will investigate this aspect either?

All of these facts are consistent with a process which is not the investigation of a crime, but rather an attempt to target and build a case against an individual.

The answer of the Justice Department to all this is likely to be: Trust us. But in the current environment, the reservoir of trust is tapped. The Justice Department needs to submit to some questions about how this probe got launched, who launched it, and to what extent political appointees were involved in its direction. This has nothing to do with Spitzer’s guilt or innocence. But it has everything to do with the fading integrity of the Public Integrity Section.

Go ahead, redeem yourselves.

Chemical Alley

Gulf War illness ‘chemical link’

There is evidence linking chronic health problems suffered by Gulf War veterans to exposure to pesticides and nerve agents, US research has found.
A third of veterans of the 1991 war experienced fatigue, muscle or joint pain, sleeping problems, rashes and breathing troubles, the research found.

A US Congress-appointed committee on Gulf War illnesses analysed more than 100 studies in the research.

It found evidence linking the problems to a particular class of chemicals.

These were an anti-nerve gas agent given to troops, pesticides used to control sand-flies, and the nerve-gas sarin that troops may have been exposed to during the demolition of a weapons depot.

Another story where political rhetoric hasn’t translated into political action.

A quarter of the homeless are veterans, but Eliot Spitzer got a blow job!

And Al-Qaeda Won’t Get You Into Baghdad Anymore

An exhaustive Pentagon study of 600,000 captured Iraqi documents shows conclusively that Saddam Hussein’s government had no operational link to al-Qaeda. A secular Arab nationalist, Saddam mistrusted the fundamentalists of al-Qaeda and bluntly rejected an overture from Bin Laden in 1995.

via Informed Comment, and FDL, hardly surprising information to most of the world that doesn’t depend on FOX. I’m sure Rep. King is dancing in the streets.

Wide Stance Press

I’m glad a Democrat got caught with his knickers down, I had forgotten the purient interest in these things.

How To Shut Up EZSmirkzz

Deep Thought

What we really need to do is built a different kind of Washington with outside experts from many different fields talking about the transformative changes happening in technology, the global economy, the historical shifts in world power – and giving their big ideas about what people in politics could do about it.

Unfortunately no amount of wisdom or inducements will cajole the Village People to catch a train out of town. After all, “This is our town.”

Monday, March 10, 2008

Know Your Army

The Colonels and ‘The Matrix’

I didn’t blockquote any of this because there really wasn’t, to me anyway, anything to quote that wouldn’t have my judgement interjected into the points Spencer is making.

It really is worth the read. This blog agrees,

Finally, Spencer also highlights a little observed rift in the broader COIN community: between those who think that the right amount of training, education, and personnel change will enable victories in counter-insurgency campaigns and those who think the task at hand is infinitely larger than that, and likely beyond the bounds of American power. We don’t talk about this much; strategic nihilism is rather unattractive.

Alas, whether the “Surge” is a success to the military may hang on that debate.

DFHs 2, Very Serious People 0

The Recession: It’s the Housing Bubble, Not the War

The collapse of the housing bubble is a momentous event. We are seeing $8 trillion in housing wealth vanish before our eyes. This is the reason that Ben Bernanke and the folks at the Fed are running around like chickens with their heads cut off screaming about credit crunches. Falling house prices have led to massive amounts of bad debts, which in turn are forcing Merill Lynch, Citigroup and other major financial institutions to write off hundreds of billions in losses.

But junk food and laziness don’t give you pneumonia, and the war did not give us this housing bubble and the inevitable crash. The villains in this story are the economists who somehow couldn’t see an $8 trillion housing bubble, the banks that fueled the bubble with bad and often predatory loans, the regulatory institutions that did nothing to prevent the growth of the bubble and the spread of predatory loans, and most of all, Alan Greenspan and the Fed who blessed the whole thing.

Iraq War check
Economy Going Down the Tube check

Oh yeah, Spitzer got a blow job from a pro!**Update: Apparently this didn’t make the BBC like oil hitting 107 did. Silly Brits.

The Girl With The Silver Star On Her Chest

They Should ServeApparently she is from Spring, Texas. Congratulations,

Army Specialist Monica Lin Brown has earned a silver star for her service in Afghanistan. Now look, if the excrement hit the fan I for one would much rather Specialist Brown be the one we rely on than someone like me who would be allowed front line duty simply because I’m a male.

According to KPRC it is the nation’s third highest honor, and was earned in Afghanistan when she sheilded her fellow soldiers with her own body during a mortar barrage.

Sign Of The Times

Economic rumors flying faster than political ones.

Hears No Evil

Substandard

It’s a sign of the amount of raw misinformation floating around the FISA debate that even fundamentally smart and conscientious conservative writers often get the story badly wrong. And by this, I really don’t just mean “come to a normative conclusion I disagree with” or “weigh competing policy values in a non-libertarian way.” I mean “blow the basic facts.” Consider, as a sort of case study, Matt Continetti’s FISA editorial in the most recent Weekly Standard.

Continetti Redux

I see we have yet another FISA article from Matt Continetti in the new Weekly Standard. I won’t bore readers rehashing the factual problems I’ve already pointed out, many of which recur here. But let me pick on a couple novel ones:

And yet: No sooner had the ink dried on Ellen Nakashima and Paul Kane’s March 4 Washington Post story–”Wiretap compromise in works”–than House Democrats began to walk away from said compromise.

via Spencer Ackerman

Only the Republican’t Governmen would or could turn this issue into a rocket science project.

Update: The Long Road Ahead For The Civil Liberties Fight And FISA

NOTE: The House is pushing forward the civil suit on contempt for Miers and Bolten. Am working on getting a copy of the complaint (filed today) and supporting docs, and will have an update on that as soon as I’ve read and analyzed them.

Despite months of wrangling, the Bush Administration is still fearmongering to protect its secrets. Via CQPolitics:

In a letter to lawmakers Thursday, panel Chairman John D. Dingell of Michigan, and two subcommittee chairmen, Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts and Bart Stupak of Michigan, said claims by the chief of security at an unnamed wireless carrier that the company may have given a government entity access to all of its customers’ communications, justified further delay in considering the legislation….

Watching The Watchers

Apparently capitalists don’t care for the Gestapo either.NSA’s Domestic Spying Grows As Agency Sweeps Up Data

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Five years ago, Congress killed an experimental Pentagon antiterrorism program meant to vacuum up electronic data about people in the U.S. to search for suspicious patterns. Opponents called it too broad an intrusion on Americans’ privacy, even after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

But the data-sifting effort didn’t disappear. The National Security Agency, once confined to foreign surveillance, has been building essentially the same system.

The central role the NSA has come to occupy in domestic intelligence gathering has never been publicly disclosed. But an inquiry reveals that its efforts have evolved to reach more broadly into data about people’s communications, travel and finances in the U.S. than the domestic surveillance programs brought to light since the 2001 terrorist attacks.

via Talking Points Memo

Of course our Congress has been diligently following this to protect American Civil liberties and rights. Ask them. No really. Seriously. Really.

Or we could just, FIRE THE LIARS!

Journamalism

In The Tank And Proud

Update: Lehman lays off 5% of its’ workforce and all I got time to do is pick on journalists.

CLC’s See Iran As A problem

CNN is showing a report on the CLC’s, former Sunni insurgents making three hundred a month to not shoot at Americans.

According to reports, “Iranians are bad people.”

Nice to see Petraeus wearing a kevlar vest this time out.

(Update: You be careful over there kid.)

Dead Eye Dick Heads To Middle East

VP Cheney to visit Middle East next week

Regional tensions likely would be discussed in Turkey, which recently invaded northern Iraq.

Cheney’s office did not provide any details of what issues would be discussed during his trip or what dates he would stop in each country.

Nor word on if Mr. Cheney would be taking his shotgun.

(Re-edited by EZSmirkzz)

More Math

Adding On To Delegate Math

First, according to Total 1, Barack Obama has already essentially wrapped up the nomination. …

According to Total 2, Obama has a decent lead, but the nomination is not out of Clinton’s reach. …

According to Total 3, neither candidate has any realistic chance to have the nomination sealed by July. Both candidates would require 55% or more of the remaining delegates in order to reach the magic number, a virtually impossible task. …

Total 3 is what we must all work against, and also why a revote in Michigan is absolutely imperative.

Worth a look.

Just Say No


NO TORTURE. NO EXCEPTIONS

The latest issue of the Monthly is devoted to a single subject: torture. An editors’ note explains:

In most issues of the Washington Monthly, we favor articles that we hope will launch a debate. In this issue we seek to end one. The unifying message of the articles that follow is, simply, Stop.

What follows is a set of 37 short essays by writers from all over the political spectrum, from Bob Barr on the right to Nancy Pelosi and Jimmy Carter on the left. You can find them all here, and I’ll be highlighting a few of them throughout the week. In one of them, journalist Peter Bergen talks about the torture of Ramzi bin al-Shibh and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed:

Something we can all, almost get behind.

What say ye McBush?

The Way We Were

Iraq after the Gulf War: Sanctions, Part 1

I am willing to make a bet to anyone here that we care more about the Iraqi people than Saddam Hussein does. — U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, CNN Town Hall Meeting, Columbus, Ohio, February 18, 1998

We have heard that a half million children have died. I mean, that’s more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it? — Lesley Stahl on UN sanctions against Iraq, 60 Minutes, May 12, 1996

I think this is a very hard choice, but the price — we think the price is worth it. — U.S. Ambassador to the UN Madeleine Albright replying

Iraq after the Gulf War: Sanctions, Part 2

An example of just how ignorant our various Very Serious People really are.

We’re All Libertarians

A Strategy for Peace – and Survival

In 1960, Rothbard faced a very similar political scene. His reaction was dictated by strict adherence to libertarian principle, greatly aided by a creative strategic mindset that enabled him to adapt to changing circumstances without compromising his core beliefs. In Betrayal, he recalls:

“It was time to act; and politically, my total break with the Right came with the Stevenson movement of 1960. In 1956 I had been for Stevenson over Eisenhower, but only partly for his superior peace position; another reason was to try to depose the Republican ‘left’ so as to allow the Old Right to recapture the party. Emotionally, I was then still a right-winger who yearned for a rightist third party. But now the third party lure was dead; the Right was massively Goldwaterite. And besides, Stevenson’s courageous stand on the U-2 incident – his outrage that Eisenhower had wrecked the summit conference by refusing to make not only a routine, but a morally required apology for the U-2 spy incursion over Russia – made me a Stevensonian. Politically, I had ceased being a right-winger. I had determined that the crucial issue was peace or war; and that on that question the only viable political movement was the ‘left’ wing of the Democratic Party. By consistently following an antiwar and isolationist star, I had shifted – or rather been shifted – from right-wing Republican to left-wing Democrat.”

This is an old ideological battle that the Republican’s abandon whenever they get into power and have the tools of the state at their disposal. That Hillary and Barack are engaged in a he said, she said campaign, pales in comparison to the hypocrisy of the right, and ignores the factors motivating the resurgent Democratic political muscle.

I would venture a guess, because I haven’t really dug into it so it is an observation in passing, that the most vitriolic voices on the Democratic campaigns in the blogosphere are former Republicans whose party having abandoned them have brought the same mindset and tactics from their former days with them into the expanding Democratic Party.

The media, as clueless as usual to anything other than a food fight to sell peas with, shills the rightwing tactics now coming into play in the leftwings political discourse.

Raimondo is making an appeal to common sense, which it would behoove both the left and right wing anti-war movements to show a little bit more of. Of course I made this same argument before the invasion of Iraq, and would not be surprised if it fell on the same deaf ears as previously. On the other hand I wouldn’t be surprised if the left caught a clue this time around either.

We’ll see.

If Pakistan Can Do It, So Can Democrats

Pakistan Coalition Has Two-Thirds Majority:

Pakistan People’s Party leader Asaf Ali Zardari and Pakistan Muslim League-N leader Nawaz Sharif reached a historic accord on Sunday aimed at forming a coalition government. The PPP will lead the government and choose the cabinet ministers, in consultation with its partners, but PMLN officials will also serve in the cabinet. They were joined by two smaller parties, and their total seats in parliament amount to 2/3s. This fraction is an important threshold, since it may allow them to amend the constitution and to over-rule President Pervez Musharraf.

Good Morning Houston

I figure since you were kind enough to get up and broadcast, you should know someone woke up and turned on the tube to watch you.

Torture R U.S>

How the world see the US these days. Meanwhile we are regaled, or induldged by George, with the crap from the previous post from The Very Serious People going to the Village Folk.

MPs and human rights groups yesterday demanded an independent inquiry into the use of UK territory by CIA “torture flights” as fresh questions emerged over the government’s handling of the issue.

Ministers are coming under growing pressure as officials made it clear they still could not be certain of the extent to which US aircraft made use of British facilities when taking alleged terrorists to prisons where they were likely to be subjected to inhumane treatment.

Last month, David Miliband, the foreign secretary, apologised to MPs, admitting that contrary to “earlier explicit assurances” two flights had landed at Diego Garcia, the British Indian Ocean territory where the US has a large airbase. He said the flights had refuelled there, and each had had a single detainee on board who did not leave the aircraft.

Rendition isn’t exactly breaking news out here in the blogosphere, so why haven’t the adults done anything about it, between photo ops and nut cutting on the trail?

We still need to build a 50 foot dike around DC and when it is full, flush the bowl.

You Heard It Here First

2 Clinton Backers Offer a Way to Stage New Primaries

Gov. Jon S. Corzine of New Jersey and Gov. Edward G. Rendell of Pennsylvania said Sunday that they would be willing to raise half the $30 million it would take to run new contests in those two states. Mr. Corzine and Mr. Rendell submitted their proposal to The Washington Post.

Yeah that’s the way you do it.

The two governors argue that the Democratic National Committee, and not taxpayers in Florida and Michigan, should pay for a re-election in those states.

Again, there is no reason for everyone in the Democratic Party to pay for the two Governors and two Legislators screw ups, beyond doing the right thing for the Democratic Party members of those two states. The politicians screwed this up and now they are covering their asses, with a proposal they pinched from the blogosphere.

Far be it for them to rise above the politics of a political election, I suppose, after all that’s what adults do when they quit running for student councils and student governments. Everything is a friggin toy.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Four My Love

http://EZSmirkzz2_files/O4_ghOG9JQMrel0.swf

http://EZSmirkzz2_files/oV-vA50oJSM.swf

http://EZSmirkzz2_files/vqlhD1rbs7E.swf

http://EZSmirkzz2_files/9muzyOd4Lh8rel0.swf

Privately, Hillary Is Really For Obama

The Guts of Florida’s and Michigan’s Early Primaries

Florida should spring forward even if Michigan balks Margie goes through the whole who done it, rerun it for you. Because the blogosphere, you know, cares.

The Waterboard Express

John McBush:” I was against waterboarding before I was for it.” Taz em, bro!

We shall never surrendwa! wa! wa! wa! wa! wa!…”

Sweet Home Alabama

Alice Martin’s War

As this was getting underway, Martin conferred with her staff about a media spectacular. She described a plan to send a platoon of federal marshals, back up by television media crews, into the Statehouse to serve subpoenas on law-makers on the floor of the legislature. This would be carefully timed just to make the evening news.

And on Thursday the appointed day arrived. Martin directed that her action plan go into effect. She dispatched a group of federal marshals to Montgomery, accompanied by a television crew, with instructions to go serve grand jury subpoenas on a large group of mostly Democratic legislators. Then the plan went amiss. The Speaker of the state house, instructed the chamber’s own law enforcement personnel to bar the way, and Martin’s grandstanding was blocked. It didn’t make the evening news. Martin’s media hopes were crushed.

via FDL

Now I understand why Republican’t Governmen, nor say democratic.

Update: No there isn’t any knock on Alabama in this post.

On The Occasion Of Our Anniversary

My wife gave me a new Grecian formula color for my beard. It’s spelled r-a-z-o-r.

A Bird In The McBush

What John McCain Should Know

John McCain should know that no one wins in the destruction of war. Even before he was shot down during a bombing run over Hanoi, the admiral’s son had questioned the human costs of armed conflict. In 1967, after McCain nearly died following a massive weapons malfunction and fire in the Gulf of Tonkin, the young Navy man told New York Times reporter R.W. Apple: “It’s a difficult thing to say. But now that I’ve seen what the bombs and the napalm did to the people on our ship, I’m not so sure that I want to drop any more of that stuff on North Vietnam.”

Iran not so much. Iraq, for a hundred years, eh maybe. “What say ye Ahmad?

Governor Crist

It’s best to break the rules.

Round Table: “We’re McCains Base.”

Is it just me, or are we being regaled by a media elite that was totally wrong about the war in Iraq, re galling us with their wisdom on who we want answering the phone at three?

George Will Edition: Am I alone to be amused by this, or are we being indulged by a media elite that was totally wrong about the war in Iraq, with their ambrosia of who we should want answering the phone at three?

Face The Nation

Had two three adults discussing the Florida/Michigan problem.

Odd, that.

Reliable Sources Working The Comediennes

The refs needed a time out, I suppose.

Doughy Pantload: Bigoted Religious leaders endorsements; IOKIYAR.

Rendell’s Bull

Six of the Obama people at our caucus were older than 65.

That doesn’t mean caucuses don’t suck, or that they do. It just means that people that really want to show up usually do, and those that think voting in a primary or general election is the sole obligation of building a democratic society, or building the party are wrong.

Caucuses provide a party function that primaries do not. It is just that simple.

EZSmirkzz Pinches Bennett Cerf’s Stuff

Blood is thicker than ideology.

Wyoming doesn’t matter. The only reason Obama won is because his cousin Dick Cheney is from Wyoming.

EZSmirkzz Pinching Howard Zinns Stuff

Election Madness

And sad to say, the Presidential contest has mesmerized liberals and radicals alike. We are all vulnerable.

Is it possible to get together with friends these days and avoid the subject of the Presidential elections?

The very people who should know better, having criticized the hold of the media on the national mind, find themselves transfixed by the press, glued to the television set, as the candidates preen and smile and bring forth a shower of clichés with a solemnity appropriate for epic poetry.

Even in the so-called left periodicals, we must admit there is an exorbitant amount of attention given to minutely examining the major candidates. An occasional bone is thrown to the minor candidates, though everyone knows our marvelous democratic political system won’t allow them in.

Try this at home folks.

The New 5 AM CDT

Sucks

Carville Pinching My Stuff

Transcript of Carville on CNN’s “The Situation Room”

We look ridiculous. I mean, let’s just get together and have the DNC put some money up. Have Senator Obama put some money up, Senator Clinton’s people put some money up and let’s go out and raise the money. We can do this easy, pass some paper ballots and count them.

A democratic Solution To Florida and Michigans Democratic Problem

Ir would seem that if the state parties would figure out the logistics, and the DNC, Obama and Clinton campaigns pushed for donations to pay for reruns the monetary end of it could be achieved.

The thing I think that is most important is to make the process fair to both campaigns.

I think this sort of arrangment will tell us more about the candidates philosophy than all the political experience and speechifying we will hear.

Don’t do this at home folks, these are professionals.

EZSmirkzz March 1-8, 2008

Saturday, March 8, 2008

The Truth Be Told

Until the netroots notes that the political debate to date is being driven by a he said she said campaign driven by the candidates political nut cutters and amplified by the media giants, for profit one and all, then the issues that have always been our strengths will not be the issues being discussed and driving the debate.

The debate to date has been driven by CNN, MSNBC, etc. whose concerns and framing of the issues are counter productive to progressive positions. So long as these people drive the discourse the larger strategy is to fracture the progressive community by inducing a religious war of the personalities the candidates campaigns and the media fashion for us.

I didn’t start this blog to prove I was right, I started this blog because at the time I thought it was cool to let you watch me learn and grow, because that is I think fundamental to being progressive, but mostly spiritually and politically wiser, along with you. The problem with that is the entrenched poobahs think they have you figured out, so you have to pop them with an ideological left hook once in awhile. Sometimes the best left hook is a right hook.

What I’m interested in is Mid East and world peace, disarmament in fact and attitude, a more equal distribution of the worlds resources and wealth amongst the worlds population, and an appreciation of the many diverse peoples of the world for the sheer beauty of the human family scattered across the face of the Earth. Slaughter is not an option, and God willing, the people of the world will never forget the slaughter of Colonial and World Wars which echoes in every great power today.

If I can grab a conservative by the nose and kick ’em in the political ass, to paraphrase General Patton, on the road to my goals, all the better. But I’m going the same direction as you.

Welcome Back My Friends To The Show That Never Ends

Bloggers, Netroots and the Democratic Presidential Primary

Jerome Armstrong goes a little meta on the ways the blogosphere has adjusted to this rather unique presidential primary season, and because I have no sense, and because Jane asked me to, I’m going to use his post to share a few of my own impressions. So here goes:

Jerome is essentially right that there are really no meaningful policy differences to be divined between our two candidates, and Samantha Powers’ comments now about Obama’s likelihood of revising his withdrawal plans if elected serve simply to remind us that the tea leaves people are currently reading during the campaign re: policy really mean nothing. If Obama were a true anti-occupation believer, he could have jumped full guns behind Lamont when he had the chance instead of ducking and running through the state and pulling the plug on his participation in a Lamont multi-platform ad buy.

Seems to me I’ve already run over the ground of Barack not being exactly as liberal/progressive/leftist as the netroots, and I suppose if this becomes a “big deal,” I’ll have to go back through the archive and find that post, but I was just there and so for the moment that’ll have to do. That doesn’t mean I did, it just seems to me like I did.

Power’s actually was making sense in her remarks to the BBC. There is no telling just how screwed up things are in Iraq until Obama or Clinton actually obtain to the Presidency, hence any projections by either one of them are open to a big reality check when they actually get privy to clasified information. That Clinton made hay with the remark doesn’t negate the reality and truth that the remark expressed.

The ultimate question I will have for supporters of either candidate during these days of pie fights will be, whoever gets power, what will you hold your winning candidate accountable for once in office, assuming s/he wins? If your winner gets some accountability fire from people who once supported your opponent, will you simply defend your winner, or will you join in for merited criticism?

The Ultimate answer, yes.

Update:Since this dovetails in, why not?

I really liked Samantha Power’s book on genocide, but remember this?

“We’re going to hear something very unusual on the left, which is a genuine pride in what America can be again,” she told me. “It’s a bigger story about failing states. It’s not a regional story. It’s more freedom from fear and freedom from war.”

Insulting liberals is a standard Obama tactic, and just as the nastiness towards Clinton is coming from the top (yes, Power saying that Clinton is a monster is in fact a reflection of that), so too is Obama’s tendency to dismiss and sneer at progressives.

Matt’s going a long way back to pull this one out, and highlights a tendency for the netroots to understand ideology better than real politik, which is why Kucinick is running for the House of Reps. instead of President. No other canditate better fit the left ideologically, and no other candidate took more abuse and derision from the left. That Powers would shoot a bank shot off them is highly insulting though.

Clinton’s Pennsylvania Problem

I am reminded of this, which I picked up on and posted, to wit;

Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign failed to file a full slate of convention delegate candidates for Pennsylvania’s April 22 primary.

This despite the possibility the primary proves critical and despite Clinton owning the full-throated support of Gov. Rendell, state Democratic Party leadership, Mayor Nutter and, presumably, the organizational skill all that entails.

And despite a Rendell-ordered extension of the filing deadline that could be viewed as more than just coincidental.

So I was wondering, since I was not really plugged into the tube back then…

McCain’s Clean On Boeing Tanker Deal

McCain Didn’t Go in the Tanker

I generally simmer with a level of outrage about Washington goings-on, but the last 48 hours have caused me to boil over. Partisan attacks on Senator John McCain for his yeoman work investigating the Boeing tanker lease are intellectually dishonest. Yes, McCain is running for President, but the partisan attacks shouldn’t be pro-corruption. Let’s make no mistake about how underhanded the Boeing Tanker Lease deal was. When POGO did its 2002 investigation, Fill ‘Er Up: Back-Door Deal for Boeing Will Leave the Taxpayer on Empty, we had no idea of the outright criminal behavior behind it. We just knew the taxpayers were getting screwed. It was Senator McCain’s investigation that uncovered the secret deal: a Pentagon official was negotiating jobs for herself and her family with a Boeing executive in exchange for the multi-billion dollar Air Force contract. They both went to jail for it (see here and here).

Because I ain’t a Republican.

Like it or not, partisan or not, you go with the blogs you’ve been trusting for years, and POGO is one of them. I’m sure there is enough out there on McBush that we don’t need to lie about it.

Darfur, No Hope From America

Candidates on Darfur

The Bush administration has taken little concrete action to mitigate the crisis in Darfur. It has confined itself instead to largely empty rhetorical threats, while simultaneously coddling members of Sudan’s intelligence apparatus and castrating aid organizations, the African Union (AU) operation, and UN deployment through a marked lack of funding and logistical support.

In contrast, the Democrats have pledged to address the conflict head-on. However, in seeking to both play to “Save Darfur” activists who are rearing for confrontation with Khartoum and prove their foreign policy mettle more generally, both Barack Obama and especially Hillary Clinton have staked out highly bellicose ground in their proposed “solutions” to the crisis. Their proposals are more likely to worsen the crisis than improve the lot of suffering Darfurians.

Meanwhile somebody called Hillary a name.

Watch What They Do, Not What They Say

Renewable Energy Subterfuge: Bush’s Sleight of Hand

“Watch what we do, not we say,” Attorney General John N. Mitchell accurately warned at the dawn of the Nixon administration. This could also be a fitting epitaph for President Bush’s energy policies.

Despite frequent claims of support for renewable energy over the years, the record shows consistent opposition to efforts to spur investments in clean wind, solar, geothermal, and other renewable energy sources.

The subterfuge began when President Bush announced his administration’s National Energy Policy on May 17, 2001. The White House’s plan was based on recommendations provided to Vice President Cheney from coal, oil, nuclear and other dirty energy companies. The speech included a soothing nod to renewable electricity—five weeks after the administration proposed slashing millions from renewable energy programs.

Just what the world needs, a Bushell full of Mitchell.

The Iseman Effect

Think Again: FCC vs. The Public

The FCC’s duties, or neglect thereof, rarely enjoy much discussion in the mainstream media, as evidenced by the recent hubbub over John McCain and Vicki Iseman: at the heart of the issue isn’t romance, but lobbying. Specifically, McCain allegedly lobbied the FCC to approve the sale of a television station to a major financial contributor. The issue beneath the screaming headlines and campaign spin is really how corporations use their financial influence to control media ownership.

Which explains the sexual impropriety aspect of the story from FCC no longer regulated media,

The rush toward media deregulation was already afoot when George W. Bush took office in January 2001. Ownership caps on radio stations were removed in 1996 following a bitter battle in Congress that was never once mentioned on the nightly news. (In fact, the only times the words “Telecommunications Act of 1996” were ever mentioned on broadcast TV were once by Ted Koppel and once by Lisa Simpson. I swear I’m not making this up).

Now who was President when this happened, hmmmmm.

Aside from the NSA wiretapping issue, the telecoms have other business in front of the commission: net neutrality. The FCC must decide to what extent it will enforce net neutrality rules, which currently prevent telecoms from making certain websites more accessible to web traffic than others. Any steps away from that enforcement forever undermine the Internet as a fairly distributed resource for all our democratic concerns.

Which would play into who’s hands? hmmmm

Bush Veto Of Tortured English Deplored

Tire Tracks All Across Your Backs

The Folly of Experience

Prominent journalist Walter Lippmann famously dismissed Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1932 as “a pleasant young man” with few qualifications. Abraham Lincoln, whose greatness is universally acknowledged, had one term in the House of Representatives. In that brief time, he notably challenged President James K. Polk to name the exact spot where Mexicans had attacked and killed Americans on American soil. Lincoln and FDR’s leadership qualities, like Washington’s, inspired the nation in perilous times: Lincoln carried the nation through the fiery trials of the Civil War and Roosevelt steered through the shoals of economic disaster. We do better to understand their character, rather than prior experience, to understand their success and greatness. Anxious to capture the elusive qualities of leadership, historians often focus on Lincoln and Roosevelt’s temperament and, above all, their willingness to experiment with new measures and then move on if they proved inadequate. They were men of a pragmatic temperament, famously unmoved by rigid ideology or the inadequate dogmas of the past, to paraphrase Lincoln. They possessed extraordinary political antennae to direct their instincts.

Not that I would bring up Rwanda, in my own experience with inexperience.

The Hundred Year War of John McBush

Go read Muckraked’s review of Aram Roston’s new Chalabi biography, The Man Who Pushed America to War:

Among the revelations:
– One of his key backers has been John McCain, who was one of the first patrons of Chalabi’s grand-sounding International Committee for a Free Iraq when it was founded in 1991. McCain was Chalabi’s favored candidate in the 2000 election since Chalabi knew that he would be able to free up the $97 million in military aid plus millions pushed through in Congress and earmarked for Chalabi’s exile group, the Iraqi National Congress, but held up by the Clinton State Department.
– Chalabi’s family runs much of Iraq’s economy: his grandnephew Hussein al-Uzri heads up the Trade Bank of Iraq, through which all Iraqi government purchases are made. That’s despite the fact that his only banking experience was handling software for ATM machines.

Yeah, he crossed a threshold alright.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Three For One

http://EZSmirkzz2_files/bxfpMGLMZ7Yrel0.swf

http://EZSmirkzz2_files/UiKcd7yPLdUrel0.swf

http://EZSmirkzz2_files/UPPgeDhGzKY.swf

Oh, Do Tell

House panel to investigate plan to exempt overseas contracts from fraud crackdown

WASHINGTON (AP) – House Democrats targeted a multibillion-dollar overseas contracting loophole Friday by vowing to investigate why – and how – it was slipped into plans to crack down on fraud in taxpayer-funded projects.

“The amount of money going to overseas contracts and the documented corruption that has taken place makes any exemption for fraud reporting for contracts being performed overseas unacceptable to both myself and to American taxpayers,” McCaskill wrote in a letter earlier this week to White House OMB Director Jim Nussle.

Jane Lee, spokeswoman for the White House OMB, said earlier Friday, “We will take Sen. McCaskill’s and Rep. Welch’s letters into consideration.”

Well of course we’ll be there a hundred years.

Glenn Beck All American Twit 2

Glenn Beck mocks ThinkProgress.

On his radio show today, conservative talker Glenn Beck mocked ThinkProgress for noting the fact that he asked controversial pastor John Hagee this week if Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) “might be the Anti-Christ.” Beck says it was not “a serious question” because he was “laughing all the way through it,” but it was “so very predictable” that he would be criticized for it:

Well, here’s the best part, because what picked this up originally was, I don’t even know, ThinkProgress. It’s a blog. ThinkProgress, yes. Let’s ThinkProgress. Do you know Progressive has “Progress” in it? It must be good. ThinkProgress is the first that picked this up on the blogs.

No wonder no one watches his show.

The Ditch To The White House

You Can Go Your Own Way

The morning after Tuesday’s primaries, Hillary Clinton’s campaign released a memo titled “The Path to the Presidency.” I eagerly dug into the paper, figuring it would explain how Clinton would obtain the Democratic nomination despite an enormous deficit in delegates. Instead, the memo offered a series of arguments as to why Clinton should run against John McCain–i.e., “Hillary is seen as the one who can get the job done”–but nothing about how she actually could. Is she planning a third-party run? Does she think Obama is going to die? The memo does not say.

Clinton’s path to the nomination, then, involves the following steps: kneecap an eloquent, inspiring, reform-minded young leader who happens to be the first serious African American presidential candidate (meanwhile cementing her own reputation for Nixonian ruthlessness) and then win a contested convention by persuading party elites to override the results at the polls. The plan may also involve trying to seat the Michigan and Florida delegations, after having explicitly agreed that the results would not count toward delegate totals. Oh, and her campaign has periodically hinted that some of Obama’s elected delegates might break off and support her. I don’t think she’d be in a position to defeat Hitler’s dog in November, let alone a popular war hero.

You have to wonder how these memos get released to the press, and not to the public, which gives the press the option of releasing them or not, being as they are off the record, (off the record meaning whatever the reporters and editors wish it too at any given moment obviously,)or printing a smattering or gist of it and hoping the public will do teh google.

That being the case the media really is in a catch 22 when comes to politicians, and the public is feted with whatever bones and grizzle the editors decide we need. The public is the Maria Antoinette of the let them eat cake common misperception.

No wonder the media is losing the public’s respect, they have already lost their own self respect anyway.

The thing I think it is important to try and remember, (beyond I’m talking about the national not the local,) is that it isn’t the presenter who is always responsible for the disinformation, so going off on them is to miss the mark, except when they already suck up more air time on cable in a day than the old networks do in a week. Believe me it is hard to remember sometimes.

But there are a couple of things that are just plain facts, the most pertinent being…off the record.

IOKIYAR

Power’s leaves Obama campaign- CNN

Kyra Phillips Reports On Misogyny In Iraq

Being safer than reporting on the misogyny at CNN.

Glenn Beck All American Twit

First Adolph, Now Damien

BECK: Let me ask you, and this is — ’cause I got — I get so much email on this, and I think a lot of people do, and I’ve only got a couple of seconds. Then they say “Glenn, you in the media, you’ve got to wake up. Barack Obama’s making people faint and cry and everything else. And he’s drawing people in and — “

There are people — and they said this about Bill Clinton — that actually believe he might be the Antichrist. Odds that Barack Obama is the Antichrist?

You know if conservative Christians would, you know, read

1Jn 2:18 Little children, it is a last hour, and as you heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have risen up, from which you know that it is a last hour.

1Jn 2:22 Who is the liar, except the one denying, saying that Jesus is not the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one denying the Father and the Son.

1Jn 4:3 And every spirit which does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not from God; and this is the antichrist which you heard is coming, and now is already in the world.

2Jn 1:7 Because many deceivers went out into the world, those not confessing Jesus Christ to have come in the flesh, this is the deceiver and the antichrist.

Now I am sure that many non Christians might get their feathers ruffled by these Scriptures, if they follow the teaching of Hagee and Twit, Beck, but that would mean that somehow the antichrist was a single individual, or collective individual of extreme evil.

That is just not the case. The last hour modifyer should have given them a clue too. You know people that gain celebrity or fame think they can just throw words around to tag others with, but it would be nice if they really understood what the fuck they were talking about once in a while.

I would place them with those who are put off by my language while ignoring their own, which is hurtful and foul, or their own behaviors and policy positions which run contrary to the Gospels. You people can kiss my entire white ass.

Teleco Impunity

Whistle-Blower: Feds Have a Backdoor Into Wireless Carrier — Congress Reacts

A U.S. government office in Quantico, Virginia, has direct, high-speed access to a major wireless carrier’s systems, exposing customers’ voice calls, data packets and physical movements to uncontrolled surveillance, according to a computer security consultant who says he worked for the carrier in late 2003.

“What I thought was alarming is how this carrier ended up essentially allowing a third party outside their organization to have unfettered access to their environment,” Babak Pasdar, now CEO of New York-based Bat Blue told Threat Level. “I wanted to put some access controls around it; they vehemently denied it. And when I wanted to put some logging around it, they denied that.”

How much you want to bet this isn’t the last one?

Doesn’t anybody deserve a Constitution that works?

If The Shoe Fits – Outsource It

The Downward Spiral of Manufacturing

A trade magazine catering to the factory-automation industry pronounced him “Progressive Manufacturer of the Year” in 2005, picking tiny Otabo for an award that usually goes to a large multinational.

“But now, he is throwing in the towel on that venture, too. He closed his factory over the weekend, and is shifting the bulk of his operations to China.”

“What killed his U.S. factory isn’t just competition from Asia’s cheap labor, he says. It is the lack of infrastructure needed to make a factory tick, a problem that has bedeviled the few remaining independent shoemakers in the U.S. Finding technicians to fly in on short notice to fix shoe machines was a constant and growing challenge, Mr. Shaffer says, because the number of U.S. companies that make and service machines has dwindled. The suppliers of shoelaces, leather, and other basic materials insisted that he buy in batches far larger than made sense for a small-scale producer.”

Neo-Con Brew

Leverett: Bush Administration ‘Not Serious’ About Dealing With Iran

We got into this dilemma because we essentially don’t have a strategy for dealing with the Iranian nuclear issue. By “we” I mean the United States and the Bush administration. The Bush administration has deliberately ruled out direct negotiations with Iran either over the nuclear issue or over the broad range of strategic issues that you would need to talk to Iran about if you were going to get a real diplomatic settlement on the nuclear issue.

The administration has, literally for years, ruled out that kind of strategic dialogue with Iran. In the absence of that sort of approach, that sort of channel, the administration is left with two options, one of which is to try and get something done in the Security Council. It has been foreseeable literally for months, if not for longer, that Russia and China at a minimum were not going to be prepared to support serious multilateral sanctions or other serious multilateral punitive measures on Iran. This is not a surprise. As I said, it’s been foreseeable literally for months, but the administration, without a strategy, is going down this feckless road anyway.

The other option that the administration would have is unilateral military action.

On the threshold of a Commander! In! Chief! Talk is talk, and BS is BS. Obama wants to talk, McBush wants to BS the American people, and so does the candidate that I refuse to go negative on.

Diplomatically Speaking 2

“Americans who fancied themselves as masters of Machiavellianism have simply been taken to the cleaners by people whose command of the arts of duplicity is real rather than imagined.” Habakkuk

This, above, from DH’s comment below rather neatly sums up the true level of Washington efforts to “play” in the Big Game. pl

and the war goes on forever, and the body bags never end, and every peso that was ever spent will need to be spent again.

Diplomatically Speaking

Iraq ‘still unstable despite coalition’

Director of the Asia-Pacific College of Diplomacy at the Australian National University (ANU) Professor William Maley said the situation was alarming.

“I think what bombings of this sort indicate is just how violent and unsettled a situation that in Iraq still is,” he told ABC Radio.

“I think it’s important to appreciate this, given some of the gushy comments that have been made about achievements of the surge in the period since it was commenced by the United States.”

And the war goes on forever, and the body bags never end, and I’ll bet a trillion dollars, graft is half of what we spend.

Note To The MSMs

Look, this political stuff isn’t that hard to present in a non-biased fashion. It might even sell peas.

It takes more work to distort because you have to lie to yourself before you can lie to me.

Why Iraq Could Blow Up in John McCain’s Face

Seldom has the official Iraqi and American perception of what is happening in Iraq felt so different from the reality. Cocooned behind the walls of the Green Zone, defended by everybody from US soldiers to Peruvian and Ugandan mercenaries, the government of prime minister Nouri al-Maliki pumps out alluring tales of life returning to normal that border on fantasy. For instance, Brigadier Ata made his claim that there had been no sectarian murders or expulsions in the capital over the previous month on February 15, but two weeks earlier, on February 1, suicide bombers, whom the government said were al-Qa’ida, had blown themselves up killing 99 people in two bird markets in Baghdad, both situated in largely Shia districts.

So keen are the authorities to show that Sunni and Shia have stopped killing each other and overall violence is down that many deaths with an obvious sectarian motive are no longer recorded. “I think the real figure for the number of people being killed is about twice what the government says it is,” said one local politician. He had just sent the death certificates of the victims of sectarian killers to the military authorities, who were steadfastly refusing to admit that anybody had died at the time and place that the bodies were discovered.

Know Your Neo-Cons

Confessions of an Obama Cultist

Okay, I’m coming out of the closet, and admitting I’m one of you. There, I can say it, at last, out loud and proud: I’m a conservative-paleo-libertarian with a man-crush on Obama.

Whew! What a relief! Now that I’ve got that off my chest, I can speak freely, and openly, about my condition – and, what’s more, address my fellows in the spirit of mutual solidarity and support. Because it looks like we’re going to need all the support we can get.

Good Question

Your candidate still bites.

Why not ask your favorite candidates to start campaigning against the Republicans who are destroying our country instead of lobbing poison pills at each other?

Signed,
Not Atrios

One Trick Elephant, Two Ponies

“I think that since we now know Sen. McCain will be the nominee for the Republican Party, national security will be front and center in this election. We all know that. And I think it’s imperative that each of us be able to demonstrate we can cross the commander-in-chief threshold,” the New York senator told reporters crowded into an infant’s bedroom-sized hotel conference room in Washington.

Well, I knew before Iowa that he would be the nominee, because I have crossed the threshold of a dreamer many many years ago. Someone ought to write a tune…

“I believe that I’ve done that. Certainly, Sen. McCain has done that and you’ll have to ask Sen. Obama with respect to his candidacy,” she said.

Of course, missing two Senate Foreign Relations Committee meetings dealing with Afghanistan qualifies you, since George W wasn’t there either, but I digress, but I fail to see where there is a threshold to being commander in chief. It goes with the office, so I would think that getting elected President is crossing the threshold of being Commander in Chief.

Calling McCain, the presumptive GOP nominee a good friend and a “distinguished man with a great history of service to our country,” Clinton said, “Both of us will be on that stage having crossed that threshold.”

Still triangulating for the GOP VP slot?

She said she and McCain had traveled to Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan together as she repeated a line that surfaced from the campaign trail. She and McCain “bring a lifetime of experience to the campaign, Clinton said, while “Sen. Obama will bring a speech he gave in 2002,” stating his opposition to the Iraq war as an Illinois state senator.

I would hope any candidate would bring a lifetime of experience to the campaign, unless they are dead too, then I would want them to bring the dead experience to the campaign as well.

This is, I think, a perfect example of inexperience.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

May The Sun Shine Bright On You

http://EZSmirkzz2_files/mzCn9MODtxwrel0.swf

A democratic Solution To Florida and Michigans Democratic Problem

Ir would seem that if the state parties would figure out the logistics, and the DNC, Obama and Clinton campaigns pushed for donations to pay for reruns the monetary end of it could be achieved.

The thing I think that is most important is to make the process fair to both campaigns.

I think this sort of arrangment will tell us more about the candidates philosophy than all the political experience and speechifying we will hear.

Ethics

I don’t think Andy Taylor ought to be making Barney ferry Aunt Bea around Mayberry in the Sherrifs car. Who knows what the children watching will grow up thinking they can do.

*apologies to all the bees, and Bea’s, My bad.

I’ll Be Damned If I’m Going To Sell Peas For The MSMs

I put up a new description to help remind myself what it is all about.

I’m convinced that there are a limited number of morons that are going to buy every negative argument that Clinton and McCain make, and having been told what to think there isn’t much anyone else can say to them that will change their minds.

It really says more about McBush and the candidate that I have just stated I wasn’t going to go negative on, that they can’t rise above what I do. Either that or I made a mistake pulling out of the Presidential race in 2007, when they need an entire organization to keep up with me. I guess experience isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, which has been my experience in going off on politicians.

I’m going to do my best to stick to the issues and when I fail, to fail with both feet on McBush. I think that’s fair, if I should sink as low as that, since at worst it would qualify me to be one of The Village People. On the upside I might go bald like so many of them and won’t have to brush my hair anymore.

Anyway, that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it. Until I don’t, then it will be inexperience.

In that vein I apologize to everyone who has received a gratuitous insult from me, but especially you ladies at CNN, Headline News, CBS, ABC, NBC, FOX – not so much. Oh yeah, and Glenn, because I promised when the time came I would.

A couple of edits in lieu of spel checkin’.

The Rezko Crew

ROFLMAOBusy boys, that Rezko Crew,

That Rezko donated over the years like a political junkie, and may have been one, has already been written about by Buzzflash. Rezko himself gave mostly to Dems, with the largest amts going to central committees, other donations to national figures incl GWBush ($4000), and frequent contributions over the years to IL politicians incl Rod Blagojevich, Luis Gutierrez, and former senators Carol Moseley-Braun and Peter Fitzgerald as well as the donations to Barack Obama that Hillary Clinton pointed out.

Predictably, the Chicago Sun-Times reports that the national co-chair of Mrs. Clinton’s presidential campaign, Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigo, also got Rezko donations. …Here is the rundown on his fellow defendants, from FEC data via http://www.opensecrets.org, in descending order by amounts donated:

Stuart Levine: 210 donations for federal candidates, totaling $255,350, mostly to Republicans. Biggest contributions to Illinois Republican Party and to National PAC. One $5000 donation to the Illinois Democratic Party. Most individual donations to GOP candidates from GWBush on down, except for a few $2000 donations to Joe Lieberman, Mark Green of NY, who now appears frequently on MSNBC as a Clinton supporter, and Illinois State Comptroller Daniel W. Hynes, whose father, Thomas C. Hynes, was formerly a Cook County Assessor. Dan Hynes was among Barack Obama’s primary opponents in the Illinois U.S. Senate race in 2003. Levine donated $1000 to Bill Clinton in 1995. Levine has not donated to Obama.

The good advice that won’t be followed.

Going from Illinois to the national picture, just in general, it might be a good practice for newspapers to start routinely cross-checking the names in federal indictments with the names in Federal Election Commission data.

Graft O’ Plenty

This will take the glow out of Mary’s eyes,

According to The New York Times this morning, it all began to unravel when Rep. Mike Conaway (R-TX), a CPA, asked to meet with the audit firm that was supposedly checking the NRCC’s books, an idea that apparently no one had had for several years. Christopher Ward, then the NRCC’s treasurer, finally relented, but then chickened out 30 minutes before and fessed up that there actually hadn’t been any audits.

The Creative Thinking At The Chumps Hub

As part of their kitchen-sink strategy following decisive losses in Ohio and Texas, the Obama campaign is attacking Hillary for comments she made several months ago in Iowa about Mississippi.

Hubba hubba

Many of her advisers are waging a two-front war, one against Sen. Barack Obama and the second against one another, but their most pressing challenge is figuring out why Clinton won in Ohio and Texas and trying to duplicate it.

Call the Canadians.

Shorter Bush

AUMF transfered all war making powers to the President, screw that goddamned piece of paper.

I tried to tell them this was a bad idea, but no one cares about my judgment.

The Bush administration yesterday advanced a new argument for why it does not require congressional approval to strike a long-term security agreement with Iraq, stating that Congress had already endorsed such an initiative through its 2002 resolution authorizing the use of force against Saddam Hussein.

The 2002 measure, along with the congressional resolution passed one week after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks authorizing military action “to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States,” permits indefinite combat operations in Iraq, according to a statement by the State Department’s Bureau of Legislative Affairs.

Congress scratched at the door,went outside and peed on the fence.

Simple Solutions For Stupid Legislators

Just to clarify my thinking on Michigan and Florida’s Democratic and Republican party problems with their national committees, I have minor problems with any do over, but I think that it would be everyones best interest if the Democratic and Republican state parties ponied up the bucks, or their bone headed legeslators ponied up the money, to have new primaries or caucuses.

I don’t think the citizens of those states should expect the rest of us to make up for the short comings of their elected officials.

Say It Ain’t So Hillary 2

Obama “blacker” ad no accident

Remember the “RATS” ad used against Gore in 2000? The Bush campaign was mocked in its claims of ignorance because ad makers pore over every detail of their ads before releasing them for broadcast. There was a concerted effort by Clinton’s ad people to make Obama look darker, more sinister, and with a wider nose. The evidence is indisputable.

This stuff isn’t about any Democratic insurgency, This is about saying one thing and doing another.

Unless Hillary can clarify these things, the only change she is offering the American people is chump change.

Say It Ain’t So Hillary

Tangled Friggin’ Web

Seems the NAFTAgate leak started with — surprise, surprise — the Chief of Staff to Canada’s conservative PM Stephen Harper. Only the first hint wasn’t about stuff the Canadians had heard from the Obama camp. It was about reassurances the Canadians got from the Clinton campaign. According to a reporter who heard the original conversation, Brodie said “someone from (Hillary) Clinton’s campaign is telling the embassy to take it with a grain of salt. . . That someone called us and told us not to worry.”

‘NAFTAgate’ began with remark from Harper’s chief of staff

OTTAWA — If the Prime Minister is seeking the first link in the chain of events that has rocked the U.S. presidential race, he need look no further than his chief of staff, Ian Brodie, The Canadian Press has learned.

“There can be no doubt about it: the leak from within the Canadian government has had an impact now on the American elections,” Mr. Layton said Wednesday.

“That is about the worst thing a country could do to another country — to have an effect on their democratic process. . . If Mr. Harper isn’t willing to call in the RCMP that confirms our suspicion that this was intentional.”

Mr. Layton said Canadians would never accept Americans interfering in our elections, and we shouldn’t tamper with theirs.

He said the incident is far more serious than another one last year in which the government called in the RCMP.

Of course our media, anxious for a scandal and something to buzz around, didn’t realy investigate this.

Poor Hillary, the media won’t carry her water for her.

More Stuff You Won’t Hear On TV

Who leaked the details of a CIA-Mossad plot against Iran?

The Bush administration is prolonging the hunting season against journalists. The latest victim is James Risen, The New York Times reporter for national security and intelligence affairs. About three months ago, a federal grand jury issued a subpoena against him, ordering Risen to give evidence in court. A heavy blackout has been imposed on the affair, with the only hint being that it has to do with sensitive matters of “national security.”

But conversations with several sources who are familiar with the affair indicate that Risen has been asked to testify as part of an investigation aimed at revealing who leaked apparently confidential information about the planning of secret Central Intelligence Agency and Mossad missions concerning Iran’s nuclear program.

Just like this from Vanity Fair,

Vanity Fair has obtained confidential documents, since corroborated by sources in the U.S. and Palestine, which lay bare a covert initiative, approved by Bush and implemented by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Deputy National Security Adviser Elliott Abrams, to provoke a Palestinian civil war. The plan was for forces led by Dahlan, and armed with new weapons supplied at America’s behest, to give Fatah the muscle it needed to remove the democratically elected Hamas-led government from power. (The State Department declined to comment.)

But the secret plan backfired, resulting in a further setback for American foreign policy under Bush. Instead of driving its enemies out of power, the U.S.-backed Fatah fighters inadvertently provoked Hamas to seize total control of Gaza.

Doesn’t anybody deserve a press that works?

Poetic Justice?

Florida’s Republican Governor demanding Democrats count his states delegates, who broke the rules.

I’ll bet Chimpy gets involved too.

For very different reasons, the idea unites Clinton and GOP leaders. Rocky is going to try and pull Bullwinkle out of her ass.

Update: Governor Crist knew when he signed the bill the Republican and Democratic National Committee rules, hell even I knew this was coming down the pike. It wasn’t a big deal until things developed to the point where the voters of Michigan and Florida being dis-enfranchised by their own legislators left them without a voice in the most! historic! election! ever!

Whiney assed titty baby.

Those Wiley Edwards Supporters

Bottom line: It’ll take the convention to determine Democratic nominee

Bottom line: With just 600 delegates up for grabs and front-runner Obama 658 short of the 2,025 needed for victory, it is mathematically impossible for either candidate to clinch the nomination before the process is scheduled to end with Puerto Rico’s June 7 caucuses.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Why Can’t Republiclumps say Democratic?

Just wondering.

Update: Where is Whyomin?

The Analysis From The Left

Pyrrhus’ Playbook

The press is blaring tidings of a great Clinton comeback in Ohio and Texas last night, both states in which she had twenty point leads in late February. But in terms of delegates Obama is ahead by what appears to be an insurmountable margin. The only way Hillary Clinton can win the nomination is to savage Obama with calumnies, bloodying him to a point where the Clintons can turn make the case to the super delegates in the convention that in a race against McCain Obama has already been fatally wounded.

Sounds about right.Obama and the Prospects for a Renewal of the Left

To overcome that opposition, we would require a more organized and unified working class. The working class is presently deeply divided. One division is between organized and unorganized workers. The Democrats have promised to pass EFCA, which should help to expand union membership (it makes ‘card check off’ organizing campaigns possible), particularly if the unions come up with good reasons for people to join them. A second division is along racial lines within the working class. This is not simply because of prejudiced views, although there is plenty of that. It is also because working class blacks, latinos and whites are differentially integrated into labor markets and the political system. Blacks in inner cities are to a large extent excluded from the private labor market, and face prison in staggering numbers for minor offenses. Another large chunk of the working class consists of people who are not US citizens (mostly Latino), and have been increasingly criminalized, particularly since 1996. They work for extremely low wages and have consumption patterns that bear little resemblance to those of most Americans. Whites face an easier legal environment (although they work in fiercely anti-union conditions, and are among the most oversupervised workers in the world), and greater prospects of entering the middle class through marriage. Finally, even the most liberal sections of the predominantly white middle class (the people who turned out in large numbers for anti-war protests, for example) continue to be largely indifferent to the political and economic challenges faced by the working class, and uneasy about developing coalitions with Blacks and Latinos.

We keep hearing populist rhetoric, and we keep hearing uniter not a divider, and we keep buying the same old bag of beans.

A Brand New FU

“I think we have six months to make a difference and this today is the start line,” he said in an interview with Reuters and another agency at a conference where governors from seven northern provinces aired grievances with government ministers.

Asked what would happen if no progress was made on improving Iraqis’ quality of life, he said: “It’s going to be harder.”

The McBushes war on Iraq.

Praise The Lord and Pass The Bigots

TPMtv: Why Can’t McCain Quit John Hagee?

There’s been a lot of chatter over the last few days about John McCain’s embrace of Pastor John Hagee, who’s well-known for a history of anti-Catholicism and claims that God will send terrorists to create a “bloodbath” in America for its support of a two state solution in Israel/Palestine. So what is it exactly that Hagee’s said and just how much has McCain cozied up to him?

You’ll have to go there for the juiciest part.

Sybil Edmonds,

an unresolved case?

I missed this when it was in the press. My thanks to “sixpacksongs” in Texas for bringing it to my attention.

“one well-known senior official in the US State Department.” We haven’t had that kind of language used about spies at Foggy Bottom since the ’50s. There is no doubt that the activity described concerning this “senior official” would constitute espionage under the law and perhaps treason as well, the country being effectively at war these last years. The name? I could guess but I won’t, not here.

Maybe Muellar will issue an NSL for this.

Tip-off thwarted nuclear spy ring probe

AN investigation into the illicit sale of American nuclear secrets was compromised by a senior official in the State Department, a former FBI employee has claimed.

The official is said to have tipped off a foreign contact about a bogus CIA company used to investigate the sale of nuclear secrets.

The firm, Brewster Jennings & Associates, was a front for Valerie Plame, the former CIA agent. Her public outing two years later in 2003 by White House officials became a cause célèbre.

Hmmmmm.

The Two Faces Of Barack Obama

Clinton campaign making Obama “blacker”

Everytime you think you ought to let it go….

More here.

This ad influenced one person at the caucus last night that I am aware of. The thing is,

The lie about the subcommittee

With all the attention to her race-baiting, people might overlook one other story here. She’s blatantly lying about his subcommittee. Her ad says:

As chairman of the oversight committee charged with the force of fighting al Qaeda in Afghanistan, he was too busy running for President to hold even one hearing.

That’s a lie. Not one of these subcommittees is “charged with the force of fighting al Qaeda in Afghanistan” (Hillary seems to have the Senate confused with the Army) but the one with the most direct jurisdiction would be the Subcommittee on Near East and South and Central Asian Affairs, which is chaired by John Kerry. Obama is the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on European Affairs

We’ll see.

Update 2: As classy as this all is, dcmediagirl has this part right in her post,

Then there’s the whole “negative campaign” issue. At least I heard one bit of sanity last night on CNN, provided as usual by Paul Begala, who had the temerity to point out that he’s seen negative campaigns, and this Clinton-Obama matchup, when measured by the gold standard that is the Republican South Carolina primary in 2000 (and the smears directed against Max Cleland and John Kerry), this is a powderpuff fight.

The problem as I see it is that the Republican’s have no problem spewing this sort of garbage, which is naturally repugnant to most Democrats.

Personally, I find it hard to believe that Hillary would have had advanced knowledge of the graphical manipulation and OKed the release of the ad, just as I have almost no doubt she knew of the distortion of Obama’s oversight function in the ad.

But the problem of over zealous staffers is not one that can be overlooked, either. If she wishes to shoot herself in the foot I would prefer she not do so at 37000 feet when we are all on the same plane.

McCain: Respectful Campaign

Dirty tricks will be saved up for 527’s and the last week of October.

John has learned the art of ignoring the camera.

Can’t recall converstion from the AM with Bushco.

Update: So maybe now that all the resources of the RNC are at McCains disposal he will release the White House e-mails. That would be respectful of the law, John.

edited: Added a u for you.

Caucus Update

I talked to my precinct chair and the other precinct did meet in the back yard, unfortunately they didn’t follow the procedures, obtain the forms, etc. etc.

On the other hand there was an Obama rep at the caucus, whom I was not aware of.

OK! OK!

I don’t have a problem understanding why some people support Obama and some people support Clinton. It really puzzles me why lots of people don’t get that simple fact. The point is not that the candidates are identical and no one should be a supporter or care who wins, it’s that you should recognize that the other person’s supporters aren’t necessarily deluded or stupid. You may disagree with their reasons, but they have them.

Duncan’s right, of course, but he did leave out a lot of adjectives

Operation Enduring Turkey

Today’s Must Read

Paul Kiel gets into the in and never outs of the McBush Iraq Stra-te-gee.

To give you an idea of the outline, the Iraqis said that it would be silly to expect that Iraq would be able to defend itself alone until at least 2018. Forever seems a fair conservative estimate.

But there was a problem. There was a strong case to be made that for the administration to strike such a deal without the consent of the Senate was unconstitutional. Democrats were set to fight such a move.

You know what Bush and Cheney think about asking Congress for anything. So, abruptly, the administration’s position changed. The administration would be striking a long-term pact along the same lines, but there would be no security guarantee. None at all. According to the letter of the agreement, if Iraq were attacked, we’d just let it burn.

Oh pashah, do tell me more,

Ackerman: What will happen if Iraq is attacked?

Satterfield: Mr. Chairman, as would be the case of an attack on any friend and partner of the United States, the administration would have to consider, in consultation with the Congress, what would be the best measures to take in defense of United States’ interests in such an eventuality.

Ackerman: If Iraq is attacked, are you stating uncategorically that the administration will take no action . . . until an appropriate course of action is decided, in consultation with the Congress?

Satterfield: Mr. Chairman, the administration will act as any administration would act in defense of U.S. interests.

Except when Iraq is attacked by Turkey.

We need to keep these people away from augurs lest they screw themselves into the ground.

That Caucus Thing – A Personal Experience

The Clinton campaign alleged (among other things) that Obama supporters were confiscating precinct chairman manuals at the caucuses, as well as locking out Clinton supporters from the precincts.

One of the first things I noticed when voting was the absence of any indicators of caucus locations at the polling place, since my understanding was the caucus would be held in that location.

Unfortunately, not only were two precincts voting in the same location, but the Republican primary was in the same location as well.

This prompted me to ask about the Court House Annex’s ability to hold the rather large crowd that I expected would show up, and where the other precinct would gather, etc. etc. There was some hemming and hawing about where the caucus was to be held, but that information only applied to one precinct.

Unfortunately, YA, people from the other precinct also showed up to caucus in the same location as our precinct, which voters ran into a brick wall with the chairman over their desire to caucus with us.

In the end the our chairman and one of the more active people from the other precinct were able to put together the phone calls to get the other precinct lined out in another location. Whether they did so I don’t know yet, but I’ll check into it.

This sort of thing delayed our business for sure, so that the other precinct caucus was a little bumpy is without a doubt.

My observation is that the old duffers that have been running things for years were, 1.) not internet savvy and so unaware of the huge turnout coming down the pike, 2.) Proper planning prevents piss poor performance, hence the poor performance, 3.) complacency kills, and the individual voters that have thought that showing up to vote is the sole activity required of an electorate missed the informed electorate part of the equation. (See- Hillary supporters.;))

I don’t think anything was intentionally done to exclude anyone from the process.

Part of our experience however is having to live across the street or next door to people we have known for years, if not decades, and the usual unfamiliar faces that have also lived across town since when, and are equally as informed and involved and jealous of their rights and duties.

I can imagine where there might be more hanky panky in the cities, but that may just be a prejudicial misconception towards the cities. I do think that the newbies were a little more apt to go for unanimous consents than old time political hands, but there is something quite different in having fifty people show up instead of nine, and the caucus being held in some one’s living room as opposed to the Court House, or other public building.

Update: Texas Democrats report complaints over caucuses

“It is important to understand when you see a turnout in these numbers you are going to witness some problems, and the Texas Democratic Party has taken all the steps it can to make sure the process is run as smoothly as possible,” said Hector Nieto, the state party’s communications director. “We understand that there are voters across the state that have concerns, and we urge them to contact the call center.”

The telephone is ringing…

You Don’t Suppose

Hillary also watches the “Today” show do you?

Reality Checks

In the end, whether a Democrat goes to the White House will depend on the Obama campaigns response to the slime from the Clinton machine, which will be gleefully distorted by McCNN and the other cable out fit. Such is life.

Gonna Get Even Nastier

I think the most telling rhetorical moment of the night was when, during Clinton’s speech, her supporters started chanting “Yes, She Will,” or something to that effect. Whatever it was, it was directly aimed not just as Barack Obama, but at Barack Obama supporters. I can’t remember something like that ever happening before. Were they mainly cheering for Clinton, or antagonizing Obama supporters? Hard to tell. You could feel their disgust with Obama supporters, which certainly is a sign that Clinton supporters don’t care how nasty her campaign might get against Obama. And, if what I see in the blogosphere is any indication, for many Obama supporters the feeling is more than mutual. If Obama decided to retaliate in kind, I doubt his supporters will mind. This could get really, really ugly.

Chris has a good point here, and it would be in the best interest of the Party for Barack and Hillary to collude on making this not happen. Neither one of them is going to the White House if they don’t.

Mexico Doesn’t Interfere In US Elections

The government of Mexico failed to interfere in US elections, foretelling a rift in NAFTA countries policies towards its’ neighbors.

Edited for English readers.

McBushonomics

Though Mr. Bernanke stopped well short of calling for a government bailout, he used his bully pulpit to try to push the banking industry into forgiving portions of many mortgages and signaled his concern that market forces would not be enough to prevent a broader economic calamity.

He also suggested that the Federal Housing Administration expand its insurance program to let more people switch from expensive subprime mortgages to federally insured loans.

Oops there goes another Republican, Oops there goes another Republican, Oops there goes another Republican, core principle now.

Maybe Bushco could refund the graft and kickbacks to the people.

What say ye McCain?

And he urged the two government-sponsored mortgage companies, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, to raise more capital so they could buy more mortgages. The companies already guarantee or hold as investments about $1.5 trillion in mortgages.

Similarly, the Bush administration, despite its public opposition to bailouts, has set the stage for a bigger government role.

One month ago, President Bush signed an economic stimulus bill that greatly increased the size of loans the F.H.A. can insure, while allowing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to purchase significantly larger mortgages from lenders and guarantee them against default by homeowners.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are the two Government Sponsored Entities, GSE’s, that have an implicit obligation from you, the taxpayer. That basically means the people who pocketed the Bush taxcuts now get to shovel their poor business decisions off on the taxpayers, but keep their profits.

Maybe the press will explain this to the people after the election.

Negativity Works

Whether Senator Obama stoops to slinging mud or not, CW, and experience teaches us that McCain and Clinton will. The spin that this implies fighter is set in concrete as well, and Senator Obama will have to decide which way this plays out for his campaign. My political inclination is to measure McCain’s and Clinton’s eye strings. I don’t think that is Obama’s style, and it would not comport with his governing philosophy.

But then again, I ain’t Obama.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

County Delegate

I am happy to report that our precinct caucus is over, and the tally is 9 for Clinton, and 14 for Obama, one of whom is myself.

This is just one rural precinct to be sure, but it was an interesting experience. No one was shot in the face.

Chill

http://EZSmirkzz2_files/HlVNod_krsMrel0.swf

The Twin Toadies

Hillary Clinton told reporters that both she and the presumtive Republican nominee John McCain offer the experience to be ready to tackle any crisis facing the country under their watch, but Barack Obama simply offers more rhetoric. “I think you’ll be able to imagine many things Senator McCain will be able to say,” she said. “He’s never been the president, but he will put forth his lifetime of experience. I will put forth my lifetime of experience. Senator Obama will put forth a speech he made in 2002.”

Well if she looses to Obama maybe the triangulation will get her VP with McBush.

McCain: “I’d Even Flip Flop At Three AM”

Pandering For President

The article points out that McCain has reversed course on several key issues as he has tried to gain the support of the Republican base. To summarize the article:

UD: Apparently McBush hasn’t solidified his base.

Impressive!!

Thank you sir, may I have another?

I’m sure it was a three course meal, with peas.

Those Who Fail To Remember The Past

…are doomed to relive it.

“You are now witnessing the beginning of a great epoch in history,” he proclaimed, standing in front of the burned-out building, surrounded by national media. “This fire,” he said, his voice trembling with emotion, “is the beginning.” He used the occasion – “a sign from God,” he called it – to declare an all-out war on terrorism and its ideological sponsors, a people, he said, who traced their origins to the Middle East and found motivation for their evil deeds in their religion.

http://EZSmirkzz2_files/dDOmB58QdfErel0.swf

OK! OK!

Tuesday

Go vote for your sucky candidate if you live in one of those states.

I did my democratic duty and pulled the lever, filled in the ovals.

There was a steady number of people coming in to the polling place, the Court House Annex, but since people are limited we shared the space with the Republicans, and will caucus at some guys house, who unfortunately doesn’t smoke so I can’t steal an ash tray for a souvenir, which means I’ll have to excuse myself to go to the bathroom and grab a bar of soap.

Canadians: Memo Fell Off Of The Moon

Canada’s conservative government Monday denied allegations it tried to influence the U.S election by leaking word of a meeting with Barack Obama’s senior economic adviser who allegedly told Canadian officials that Obama’s comments about the North American Free Trade Agreement were for political show.

So how will McBush and McClinton defend the homeland from terrorists if they can’t defend the electoral process from foreign interference?

Monday, March 3, 2008

Just Wondering

Washington, D.C.
March 3, 2008

The Canadian Embassy and our Consulates General regularly contact those involved in all of the Presidential campaigns and, periodically, report on these contacts to interested officials. In the recent report produced by the Consulate General in Chicago, there was no intention to convey, in any way, that Senator Obama and his campaign team were taking a different position in public from views expressed in private, including about NAFTA. We deeply regret any inference that may have been drawn to that effect.

The people of the United States are in the process of choosing a new President and are fortunate to have strong and impressive candidates from both political parties. Canada will not interfere in this electoral process. We look forward, however, to working with the choice of the American people in further building an unparalleled relationship with a close friend and partner.”

I asked Larry, now I’ll put it to you. Why was the Obama cable the only one leaked to CTV?

According to this the Canadians have spoken to all of the candidates. Perhaps they would be so kind as to release them all.

Obama’s Whitewater?

Obama and Rezko: TPM’s TimelineObama has acknowleged, however, that Rezko’s likely motivation for buying the lot was to curry favor with him. Rezko reportedly admitted as much to his business associates. And as The New York Times reports today, Rezko was so heavily in debt at the time he purchased the lot that he did it under his wife’s name in order to protect it from creditors.

And then there’s the other big question, whether Obama ever did anything for Rezko in return for his purchase of the side yard or all those contributions. Obama has said that Rezko “never asked me for anything” and “I’ve never done any favors for him.” No substantial evidence has surfaced to contradict that claim. (The Chicago Sun-Times did dig up letters from Obama in 1998, some seven years before the house sale, urging Illinois and Chicago officials to provide funding for a Rezko company to build apartments for senior citizens, but both Obama and Rezko denied that Rezko had asked Obama to write the letters, and there’s no evidence to the contrary.)

This isn’t even as complicated as other land scandals that weren’t.

No Quarter is about as breathless as Drudge over this

Rezko Trial: Obama May Be Witness (For Rezko!)
By SusanUnPC on March 3, 2008 at 12:07 PM in Barack Obama, Tony Rezko

ABC News: Obama: Witness for the Defense?
Chicago Lawyers Say Sen. Barack Obama Could Be Called to Testify in the Rezko Trial

By BRIAN ROSS and AVNI PATEL
March 3, 2008—

Sen. Barack Obama could be called as a witness for his longtime friend and accused Illinois fixer Tony Rezko, according to Chicago lawyers following the case.

I highlighted those subtle things like like may, as in may not, and could be, as in could not be, because they highlight the word choice used to slant the story, first by ABC and then No Quarter. They follow up with this little jewel,

To: Interested Parties

From: Clinton Campaign

Date: Monday, March 03, 2008

Regarding: Questions Sen. Obama Should Answer About Tony Rezko

that is included in the link for your benefit.

The timing of the memo is interesting, isn’t it?

The problem for me is not that it is disingenious dirty politics, but as I alluded to earlier, that while John McCain is looking to the past, and Barack Obama is looking to the future, Hillary Clinton is looking in the mirror, and will in fact take the Democratic Party down with her.

It is doubtful if any of this would have had to come up in this manner if Hillary had planned her own campaign out beyond super Tuesday, but having failed in the strategy of running for President has had to resort to the tactics of destroying one, tactics which she herself knows all to well.

One can also only suppose she is also lacking in strategic thinking and does not realize the floodgates of bile that will spill forth from this issue will probably keep her out of the White House as well. The continued lack of strategic thinking on the part of her campaign and herself nearly disqualify her from the office she purports to seek.

Phone Calls, I Get Phone Calls

I just received a call from a Clinton supporter who was very polite. She wanted to know if she could change my mind, so I told her if Hillary won the nomination I would vote for her in November.

Move On, yesterday, who also had a human on the other end for Barack.

I have listen to John Cornyn for John McCain, Wesley Clarke for Hillary and one other robocall for someone.

This is all stranger than water in the Rio Grande.

Where Would You Rate Russia’s Election

Between Florida 2000 and Ohio 2004?

The Blood On His Hands

Nobody Could Have Predicted…

Vanity Fair has obtained confidential documents, since corroborated by sources in the U.S. and Palestine, which lay bare a covert initiative, approved by Bush and implemented by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Deputy National Security Adviser Elliott Abrams, to provoke a Palestinian civil war. The plan was for forces led by Dahlan, and armed with new weapons supplied at America’s behest, to give Fatah the muscle it needed to remove the democratically elected Hamas-led government from power. (The State Department declined to comment.)

But the secret plan backfired, resulting in a further setback for American foreign policy under Bush. Instead of driving its enemies out of power, the U.S.-backed Fatah fighters inadvertently provoked Hamas to seize total control of Gaza.

No wonder the dude needs telecom immunity. He was probably tapping his own phone. “Sssh! I’m listening to the President!”

Odd, That…

The Sweet Talk Express Gets Free Media

Here’s a clue press corps: this wasn’t a siesta from the campaign trail, it was a staged “we’re so confident, we cook ribs” show for the masses, and a cheap ploy to get some free press coverage for a campaign in real money trouble with the FEC. It was also an attempt to buy your affection cheaply, and you fell for it.

This of course caught my eye,

Wearing a pair of jeans and a sweat shirt with a family photo printed on it, McCain pointed out a hawk’s nest on the property he’s owned for 24 years, and explained how his bone-down slow-cook grilling technique virtually eliminates the fat from his ribs.

The hawk’s, or McCain’s? If McCain’s, perhaps he should slow roast his head.

I hid the gratuitous cheap shot.because Mr. McCain really wasn’t responsible for that aspect of it.because

Obama & NAFTA for CNN

Updated YA, YA!

Obama spokesman Bill Burton said Goolsbee’s visit was not as an emissary from the campaign, but as a professor from the University of Chicago. He was not authorized to share any messages from the campaign, Burton said.

Burton, who was on the call while Goolsbee described his visit to the AP, said, ”It all boils down to a clumsy, inaccurate portrayal of the conversation.”

Asked if he agreed with Burton, Goolsbee said he did.

Almost read the article…

Update: For the politically obtuse, this is the stuff that one would use to light a fire under a sitting Presidents feet, not a candidate. It’s called knowing when to pull the trigger.

Update 2: That was quick. Kudo’s to Candy and CNN.

Update 3: Short Story Long Dept.: Harper meddling in U.S. primaries, Democrats say Here it is all the Canadian governments fault, Ottawa plays oil card in NAFTA spat Warns us that they control the oil, as per Matlin’s remarks, goes into all the Canadian yada yada on their options, and Obama aide says Canadian memo misinterprets comments

Mr. Goolsbee disputed a section that read: “Noting anxiety among many U.S. domestic audiences about the U.S. economic outlook, Goolsbee candidly acknowledged the protectionist sentiment that has emerged, particularly in the Midwest, during the primary campaign.”

“He cautioned that this messaging should not be taken out of context and should be viewed as more about political positioning than a clear articulation of policy plans.”

“This thing about ‘it’s more about political positioning than a clear articulation of policy plans,’ that’s this guy’s language,” Mr. Goolsbee said of Mr. DeMora.

“He’s not quoting me. I certainly did not use that phrase in any way,” Mr. Goolsbee said.

“On NAFTA, Goolsbee suggested that Obama is less about fundamentally changing the agreement and more in favour of strengthening/clarifying language on labour mobility and environment and trying to establish these as more ‘core’ principles of the agreement.”

Mr. Goolsbee said that sentence is true and consistent with Mr. Obama’s position. But he said other portions of the memo were inaccurate.

Basically that’s all I’ve got from reliable news sources at this point. The rhetoric is basically BS, I would surmise from the articles linked, because there is still, as noted, the Free Trade Agreement previous to NAFTA, and the WTO agreements.

Like the Canadian said, renegotiating NAFTA would be a can worms as well, which comports with my understanding of Obama’s statement that you cannot build a moat around the US economy, when asked about tarrifs on Sixty Minutes last night.

Given the other acccusations flying around about the Canadian Conservative involvement it appears that the political rhetoric is probably a factual assertion, but whose is altogether not so clear.

In sum, this isn’t news at all, and barely qualifies as information at best.

Laura Compells Me To Read Izvestia, YA

Shame on the Post

Laura Rozen has a way of making me read the Washington Post, for those of you unfamiliar with my disdain for that paper.

Let’s watch and find out. I bet the reaction will lean towards “tsk-tsk” in next week’s ombudsman column and a hearty self congratulation from the Post to itself about generating such an important discussion about whether women are in fact dumb. At the very least, we can hope a few of the fine Post reporters who actually do journalism will professionally humiliate Outlook editor John Pomfret and whoever else in the chain of command is responsible for this piece internally at the Post in the way they deserve. That there is not already an apology on the Post site is pretty surprising.

I’d Like To Debate The Intellectual Inferiority Of Pomfret-Americans

It’s always problematic to debate the relative pervasiveness and impact of sexism vs. racism vs. homophobia vs. etc…, and I don’t think it’s simple or useful to construct a hierarchy of problems in these areas, but I do think there’s a shockingly high level of acceptable and often unexamined misogyny – often promoted by male editors who love to publish ladies who hate ladies – in our mainstream media.

Update: Who IS Charlotte Allen?

I have no idea who the author is. I looked up the “Manhattan Institute” and on first inspection it looks Jacobinish.

Home Sweet Home of “The Bell Curve” etc. etc.

Straight Talk Expressly Forbidden

The Pack of Lies Exposed.

And a new BIG LIE has been crafted and spread. We have been told repeatedly that the so-called surge is working. This is simply false. Through a combination of offering arms and bribes to Sunni fighters, temporary cease-fires as militias regroup, ethnic cleansing, and surrendering territories to militias, there is a shift in violence statistics that has no direct bearing on the increased number of U.S. troops in Iraq. And of course there is no violence in places where there are no people. Estimates for refugees who have fled the country range from three to four million people. The ‘surge’ has failed to serve its stated purpose – the government is as dysfunctional as ever and the living conditions are abysmal.

Worst of all, those who profit from the conflict are not paying for it. While the conservative elite benefit from tax cuts, the rest of us will be paying the debt for decades. Nobel-prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz estimates that the conflict will cost American tax-payers $3 trillion. Along the way, we have been left to struggle with a declining value of the dollar, diminished education, and an aging infrastructure that is falling apart.

Of course it’s working, I mean, why not?

Update: Accepting Reality Is No Vice; Being Oblivious Is No Virtue

How Things Work

Steve Madru, the Democratic chairman of Ross County, thinks the town is not only a mirror of Ohio, but the whole country.

Every evening he turns his real estate office in Chillicothe into the campaign headquarters for Senator Clinton.

Maybe that explains the previous,

One reason may be that the politics here are unpredictable. Chillicothe has more independents than Republicans and Democrats combined.

Josh has noted the Muslim remarks in the 60 minutes segment, but this is what caught my ear,

Her big leads in Ohio and Texas are both gone now, but she still has a chance of ending her losing streak and winning both states.

“There are a lotta people that think even if she manages to win both states, by a small margin, and there’s no difference in the delegates, it’s most likely impossible for her to catch you,” Kroft told Sen. Obama.

“That’s true,” he replied.

“Is there a point where you say it’s not in the interest of the party to continue this?” Kroft asked Sen. Clinton.

No,” she replied, laughing. “No. You know, I am going to win. And I am going to go on.”

This exchange reminded me of what I really dislike about her campaign, which doesn’t give a rats ass about the Democratic Party, but only Hillary being Preznit.

The fact that either her, or Obama, at this point anyway, have huge coattails, with tremendous implications for local and state elections isn’t a part of her campaigns calculus, just Hillary being President.

So the question I have, is, “Do you intend on taking the Democratic Party down with you, ma’am?”

Sunday, March 2, 2008

No One I Think Is On My Frequency

http://EZSmirkzz2_files/Wtxz4yV_-3grel0.swf

I mean it must be high or low…

http://EZSmirkzz2_files/aNaKWXqXkhwrel0.swf

Good Reads

I wished I had more to give you, but some people have to mow the lawn, and finish trimming the trees off the power lines and such.

The Orange Satan has The Dean legacy which links to “The Nation” article by Ari Berman titled The Dean Legacy , which examines the good work of Howard Dean as head of the DNC,

On November 7, 2006, all the top Democrats graced the stage of the Hyatt Regency ballroom in Washington for a big election-night victory party. All of them, that is, except Howard Dean, chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC). The party leadership had accused Dean of spending too much money on rebuilding moribund parties in red states and not enough on key Congressional races where Democratic pickups could strengthen their narrow majority.

Oh those were the days my friend, we thought they would never end, but I digress, and break up the blockquotes,

The results that night, as Democrats recaptured Congress, seemed to settle the argument in Dean’s favor. But key Democrats, including Representative Rahm Emanuel, a former senior adviser to President Clinton, weren’t satisfied, and Dean opted to stay away from the celebration, doing TV interviews instead. A week later, Democratic strategist James Carville, another prominent Clintonite, labeled the DNC leadership “Rumsfeldian in its competence,” and called on Dean to resign. He floated the name of Harold Ford Jr., now chair of the right-leaning Democratic Leadership Council, as a replacement. There was rampant speculation inside the Beltway that Carville wasn’t offering an unsolicited opinion but rather carrying water for the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton.

As Kos I doth quote wrote,

So Dean became our surrogate and we propelled him to a dramatic victory as chair of the party. Sure, establishment Dems wailed and threatened and tried unsuccessfully to find an establishment-approved alternative to Dean. The equivalent today would be Mike Huckabee taking over the RNC after this election. Could you imagine the war inside the GOP if that were to become a possibility? That was us, in late 2004 and early 2005.

But aside from the presidentials, we were all treated to the spectacle of Rahm Emanuel publicly railing against Dean for spending money in his 50-state strategy last cycle instead of concentrating resources on a few swing states (Schumer complained as well, but at least had the class to do so privately).

Yet let’s see where our best pickup opportunities are this year. In the House and Senate, we are looking at competitive Democratic races in “Red” states Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, Texas, Virginia, and Wyoming. Competitive races are likely to break out in at least some blood red states like Idaho, Kentucky, and Nebraska. And that doesn’t include protecting our incumbents in tough places like Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana and Utah. And sure, while Missouri and New Mexico are traditional swing states that would get plenty of attention regardless, the rest have a tradition of being ignored by Democrats. Thanks to Dean and the 50-state strategy, that is no longer the case.

While it might sound like Kos blowing his own horn, and who knows he may be writing out of character, this is pretty much the way it was, and what went down back in those days when blogrolls counted for something. (They are still useful, don’t get me wrong, which is why I don’t have one.)

Obama To Put Conservatives in Cabinet over at Open Left,

More on Obama’s transformative progressivism:

The scene is set for a tussle between the two candidates for the support of some of the sharpest and most independent minds in politics. Obama is hoping to appoint cross-party figures to his cabinet such as Chuck Hagel, the Republican senator for Nebraska and an opponent of the Iraq war, and Richard Lugar, leader of the Republicans on the Senate foreign relations committee.

Senior advisers confirmed that Hagel, a highly decorated Vietnam war veteran and one of McCain’s closest friends in the Senate, was considered an ideal candidate for defence secretary. Some regard the outspoken Republican as a possible vice-presidential nominee although that might be regarded as a “stretch”.

Looks at how Obama may be inclined to govern if he were to obtain the Presidency, which is probably a lot more centrist than a lot of the liberal/left/progrssive community may like to hear, which is probably a pretty good reality check for them and their expectations going into the general in November. Of course the Republicans are going to regale us with the most! liberal! voting! record! in! the !Senate! yada yada, but how one governs is typically not how one would legislate, and Republicans are so fixated on reaction that progress to them is defined as standing still and not looking back.

The other read is, Defining Obama’s Mandate also at Open Left, and in fact you can probably read them out of the order written,

As I wrote in the post below this one, Obama appears to be successfully sending out dog whistles to both progressive activists and to center-right, elite media disciples of High Broderism. The combined effect is a tremendous boon for his campaign, earning him the largest activist army a primary season has ever witnessed (which leads to huge fundraising, crowds and caucus results), and much more favorable media coverage than Hillary Clinton (as demonstrated in his higher number of media endorsements and the more positive content of his campaign coverage). This is no small feat, as typically the candidate who attracts the most progressive activists is dismissed by the center-right, elite media disciples of High Broderism as just another DFH.

Basically I think the articles highlight a lot of the misconceptions that many people have with politicians and governance, which years of television and the Village People and othe Very Serious People reporting and analysing have filled their heads with, and which the internet has managed to expose with a lot of snark, and effort on the part of the ever growing percentage of individual people going online to get informed and enjoy snark.

I have my thoughts on all of this, as you can imagine, but I’m not going to share them with you, so that you can make up your own mind. Besides, like I’ve told you, I’m an asshole.

McCain: A Thick Skull For A Bridge Builder

John McCain Ignores Infrastructure in Favor of War Investments

It is interesting that both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are co-sponsors of the Hagel/Dodd bill establishing a National Infrastructure Bank — but John McCain isn’t.

There are a lot of reasons Rome fell, but one of the biggies is that Rome overspent on its military and the maintenance of empire and underinvested in its core, which slowly rotted.

John McCain’s embrace of empire and his oft-expressed decision about the inevitability of “more wars” for the United States furthers the build-up of America’s military machine while the home front further deteriorates.

ht TPM for this, which gave me the tie in.

The Village People worry about bi-partisanship except on bridges they don’t ever have to drive on.

Teh! Serge! Is! Werking!

Greeted by Sweets and Flowers!Meanwhile back at the bunker…

Sigh.

It’ll Be Fun

Just think, if there is no clear Democratic winner on Tuesday we will get to watch seven minutes of conjecture squeezed into seven weeks of innuendo.

Then Again

The Surge Is a Success!!!

Welcome to the Quagmire

First, as is widely reported, Iraq’s three-man presidential council vetoed a law that called for provincial elections in October. Mike McConnell, President Bush’s director of national intelligence, called the veto “somewhat of a setback”—an understatement of staggering proportion.

Yes but, The! Surge! Is! Succeeding!

This development feeds into the day’s second unsettling news story, in the Washington Post, which reports that many volunteer forces of the “Sunni Awakening”—the tribal militias in Anbar, Diyala, and other provinces that have formed alliances of convenience with U.S. forces to defeat al-Qaida jihadists—are backing away from the arrangements.

Yes but, The! Surge! Is! Succeeding!

For Iran.

Some General…

WASHINGTON –– Texas Gov. George W. Bush was hit with a surprise quiz on foreign affairs and scored only 25 percent.

The Republican presidential front-runner sat down Wednesday with WHDH-TV, the NBC affiliate in Boston, and was asked to name the leaders of four current world hot spots: Chechnya, Taiwan, India and Pakistan.

He was able to give a partial response to just one: Taiwan.

And The Band Plays On.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Who Will Answer The Green Phone?

Hillary’s Defense Dough

The candidates’ third quarter reports, released in mid-October, showed that Hillary had raised $90.9 million. That exceeds her $75 million goal for 2007, the Center for Responsive Politics points out, noting that Hillary is asking her big donors, the “Hillraisers,” to come up with $1 million a piece—ten times what George W. Bush asked his elite donors, the Pioneers, to pony up. Barack Obama is running second to Hillary, at $80.2 million, while Mitt Romney has raised $62.8 million and Rudy Giuliani is at $47.3 million.

But the big news is the massive contributions by defense contractors to Hillary. Talk about “making history.”

The defense sector as a whole gave Hillary $122,988 this quarter, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, compared with Romney’s $82,975, Giuliani’s $58,400, and Obama’s $57,990. Only Chris Dodd, who has a major General Dynamics submarine project in Groton, Connecticut, fared better than Hillary, with $168,900. …To help answer questions about a rash of killings by his employees in Iraq, Erik Prince, the founder and CEO of Blackwater, hired the PR and lobbying firm run by Hillary Clinton’s top campaign strategist, Mark Penn. Penn is the CEO of Burson-Marsteller, whose lobbying arm, BKSH, prepped Prince for his testimony.

Mr. Bush’s Mid East Pieces

Scores die in raids on Gaza

Israel’s military killed at least 54 Palestinians yesterday – almost half of them civilians, including four children – in its most violent assault on the Gaza Strip since the Islamic militant group Hamas seized power last June. The latest deaths bring to more than 80 the number of Palestinians killed since a rocket fired from inside Gaza killed a 44-year-old Israeli in the town of Sderot last week. Two Israeli soldiers also died in the fighting.

The latest bloodshed comes as an Observer investigation revealed how Israel is again deliberately obstructing the transfer of urgent medical cases for treatment outside Gaza in the latest extension of its policy of collective punishment of Palestinians.

Dozens die in Israel-Gaza clashes

More than 150 Palestinians – and seven Israelis – have been injured. Israel says it wants to stop rocket attacks, but about 50 hit Israel on Saturday.

Palestinian leaders have called for international protection.

The UN Security Council is meeting in emergency session at the request of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

After day of Gaza bloodshed, IAF strikes Haniyeh headquarters

Earlier, IAF planes struck a Hamas weapon warehouse in northern Gaza.

On Saturday, two Israeli soldiers and 63 Palestinians, many of them civilians, were killed in an Israeli military operation in northern Gaza City. The operation is expected to continue for several days.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian Authority announced the suspension of talks with Israel.

So what do our Presidential candidates intend to do for these poor misguided people?

Like That Great American Bugs Bunny Said

“I’m a stinker, ain’t I?”

Wouldn’t You?

Rather be a blogger than blogged?

Listen To The Wind Blow

http://EZSmirkzz2_files/gdz_G1VGJ4crel0.swf

An Occasional Change Of Pace

The Real Anarchist Part 2

Bush guts Advisory Board’s oversight of illegal intelligence activities

To return, then, to the name change. It could be that the hollowing out of the IOB’s powers is related to the fact that the PFIAB, now PIAB, has lost the term “Foreign” in its name. The Bush administration is engaged in an epic struggle with Congress to keep its illegal domestic intelligence activities secret. That is what the battle over the FISA bill is all about. The last thing Bush, Cheney, and Addington would wish to do would be to leave the IOB in a position to start investigating or exposing that illegality – now, or in a future administration.

I’m sure we’ll be hearing a lot from the Paleo-cons about this. Shame Bush couldn’t follow Prince Harry’s lead instead of King John’s. Reactionary.

The Real Anarchists

GOP Daddy Disappoints Again

I’m so old I can remember when this type of thing would upset the Villagers. Perhaps it will again, in 9 months or so.

Doesn’t anyone deserve a media that works? I mean besides for McCain? Timmeh? Tweety?

Economic Oy! Vey!

We’ve seen some quite remarkable movements in commodity markets the last two months. The graph below plots the price of 14 that I could get my hands on quickly through Webstract, with each price normalized at 100 for January 1. Every single one of these prices has risen dramatically since then. The most tame among the group has been zinc, which is up a mere 6.5% over the last two months, or 39% at an annual rate. Topping the group is wheat, up 46% over two months; I won’t try to translate that one into an annual inflation rate because I don’t want to scare you.

No, no one wants to talk about taking your cash to market in a wheel barrow, and bringing your purchase back in your pocket. Update: Wheat/2 months= 23%, times 12 months = 276%

The monetary cure for our ails of course also has a downside, in that we’ll later need an artificial recession to bring the inflation back down. Greg Mankiw notes Allan Meltzer’s displeasure at this prospect:

A country that will not accept the possibility of a small recession will end up having a big one when the politicians at last respond to the public’s complaints about inflation.

I agree with Meltzer that the recent Fed rate cuts are buying us higher output at the moment at the cost of lower output in the future, for just the reason Meltzer gives. But I disagree that the recession Bernanke is trying to avoid would be a “small” one. The Fed chief must be worried that a recession in the present instance would precipitate major financial instability, in which case perhaps the choice between paying now and paying later argues in favor of latter.

The big boys have things so hosed up they’re going to struggle to make the crash and burning occur after the election, as opposed to previous, which would pretty much sink McCain’ts ass? No?

Update 2: Now you know why McCain and McMedia want to get back to the war on Iraq.

How Texas Doesn’t Work

Potential caucus problems in Texas

From a source in Texas, a cautionary note, and hopefully something that spurs caucus planners into action:

We’re in XXXX [big Texas city], and the public libraries in town are among the polling places. My wife works at a branch that serves as the polling place for three precincts.

That right there alerts you to one issue: space. There are three precincts polling in one branch library. Branch libraries in XXXX are decent-sized, but they ain’t exactly roomy. My wife’s branch is open until 9 p.m. Tuesday nights, so not only will three precincts be polling all day while the library is open serving patrons, the branch then hosts three precinct caucuses in the evening – again, while the library is still open serving customers.

Basically, this reminds me of New Mexico’s primary problem, a way larger turnout than any previous turnout which no one is really prepared for. Contrary to the national McMedia’s dissing of New Mexico’s chairman, who was re-elected handily BTW, there is no way that planning for this could have happened last year when it happened.

At any rate you could have googled this, but see, I’ve done it for you.

11. (a) The procedure for nominating and for electing Delegates within the Senatorial District Caucuses shall be as follows: Each Senatorial District Caucus may choose, by majority vote, any of the following methods to nominate such officers, Delegates, Alternates, and members of permanent Convention Committees which the Caucus is entitled to elect: elect a Nominations Committee(s); direct the Caucus Chair to appoint a Nomination Committee(s); or act as a Committee of the Whole, with all nominations made from the Caucus Floor.

(b) Regardless of the method chosen, however, all persons eligible to participate in a Caucus shall be permitted to nominate themselves or other eligible persons for any office to be filled by the Caucus. If a Nominations Committee is appointed, such nominations may be made by submitting them in writing to the Nominations Committee of the Caucus and/or by proposing them from the floor after a Nominations Committee has made its report and before a vote is taken.

(c) Election shall be by majority vote of the duly elected Delegates in attendance at the Caucus, each casting a proportionate share of the full voting strength allotted to the county represented, and each entitled to vote for as many Offices, Delegates and Convention Committee members as there are positions to be filled by the Senatorial District Caucus.

12. No Texas Delegate to a National Convention may be selected by any method, whether called “direct election primary” or otherwise, which has the effect of being a winner take all Primary.

Dead people are encouraged to show up early, so as to avoid blocking the doors, and are usually not counted by the fire marshalls as occupants. YMMV

Update:

PRECINCT CONVENTIONS

A convention will be held in your precinct at 7:15 p.m. on March 4, 2008, the same day as the Presidential Primary. The convention is usually held at the polling place and is open to anyone who votes in the Democratic Primary that day (or during the early voting period). There will be a sign at the polling place telling exactly where the convention will be held. If you can’t find a sign, ask your election clerk where the convention will be held.

Basically if you show up at 6:45 PM and wait out the precinct chairman who doesn’t show up, then you get to do the math.

Mama Warbucks

Immediately following the 9/11 attacks, Clinton went well beyond the broad consensus that the United States should go after al-Qaeda cells and their leadership to declare that any country providing any “aid and comfort” to al-Qaeda “will now face the wrath of our country.” When Bush echoed these words the following week in his nationally-televised speech, she declared “I’ll stand behind Bush for a long time to come.”

I added the blockquotes so you didn’t think I was saying mean things. After all I have to protect my reputation.

The Broken Glass Embedded In The Top Of The Wall

Behind Obama and Clinton

During the lead-up to the war, Obama’s advisors were suspicious of the Bush administration’s claims that Iraq somehow threatened U.S. national security to the extent that it required a U.S. invasion and occupation of that country. For example, Zbigniew Brzezinski, national security advisor in the Carter administration, argued that public support for war “should not be generated by fear-mongering or demagogy.”

By contrast, Clinton’s top advisor and her likely pick for secretary of state, Richard Holbrooke, insisted that Iraq remained “a clear and present danger at all times.”

For those of you sitting on the fence.

How Texas Works

A guide to Texas’ electoral two-step

The caucus — officially dubbed a “precinct convention” — begins at 7:15 p.m. or when the polls close, whichever is later.

Caucus-goers arrive and put their names and presidential preference on the “sign-in sheet.” Ideally, they should show proof of having voted in the Democratic primary, but it is not absolutely necessary, according to the Harris County Democratic Party.

The group first elects a chair and secretary. Those two then take a count, noting the total number of people and how many are for Obama or Clinton. Delegates then are distributed proportionally.

Be there or be square.

The caucus is the only way to propose rule changes, and effectively remove entrenched interests that may or may not be working for the Party’s best interests. You won’t know if you don’t show, so make an effort to do so.

Mr. Bush’s War

Iraq violence jumps in February

At least 633 civilians died, according to data from several ministries – up from more than 460 deaths in January.

EZSmirkzz Feb 1-29, 2008

Friday, February 29, 2008

Now It’s A Mighty Long Way Down A Dusty Trail

http://EZSmirkzz2_files/YJzY36Wm_r0rel0.swf

Note To Sain’t McBush

Al Qaeda in Iraq or otherwise, is an organization. The Greener Zone is a base. You can launch mortars and missle into the Greener Zone. You cannot do so to an organization. Al Whoda?! or otherwise.

Try not to shoot anyone in the face.

Ya’ll Are In Texas Now

Clinton allies threaten “imminent” lawsuit over Texas caucuses

I am willing to state that the Texas system of primary AND caucus is freakin’ moronic. Throw it on the list of things in desperate need of reform once these elections are done, along with all caucuses, the super delegates, the delegate apportioning formula, the calendar, the Iowa/NH monopoly, and open primaries. (Though I concede that of all of these, the “open primaries” thing would probably meet the most resistance.)

Apparently Texas hasn’t mattered too much in the Democratic nominating process since it adopted the system in the seventies.

Like I said, take over the precincts, change the rules, or STFU.

Most activists are also early voters, and will be at the caucus meetings at 6:45 PM Tuesday…Same as it ever was, Same as it ever was.

The Hole In The Soul of McCain’s Charade

“Iraq” Falls Apart

Iraq is disintegrating faster than ever. The Turkish army invaded the north of the country last week and is still there. Iraqi Kurdistan is becoming like Gaza where the Israel can send in its tanks and helicopters at will. The US, so sensitive to any threat to Iraqi sovereignty from Iran or Syria, has blandly consented to the Turkish attack on the one part of Iraq which was at peace….Very little is holding Iraq together. The government is marooned in the Green Zone. Having declared the Surge a great success the US military commanders need just as many troops to maintain a semblance of control now as they did before the Surge. The mainly Shia police force regards al-Sahwa as anti-government guerrillas wearing new uniforms.

The fact is, as soon as the surge receeds, if ever, the civil war will resume. Of course a surge requires a receeding, so why don’t we just call it what it is, an escalation. Following the facts, then, why don’t we call it a failing escalation? There has been zero political movement on the Iraqis part, and only the antiwar movements pressure has given them a reason to throw up a facade of any.

Update: McCain’s Political Quagmire

Anticipating that prospect must make McCain uneasy. Speaking to reporters on his campaign bus the other day, he worried aloud that unless he can persuade voters that current policy is succeeding in Iraq, “then I lose. I lose.”

Almost immediately he regretted his candor and asked for a quick rewrite. “If I may, I’d like to retract ‘I’ll lose.’ But I don’t think there’s any doubt that how they judge Iraq will have a direct relation to their judgment of me, my support of the surge,” he said….

Standing Athwart John McBush’s Head

George Will challenges your vocabulary by examining the hole in McCain’s head.

What A Maroon!

D’oh!

Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA) has always been one of my favorite buffoons in Congress. No one trick pony, he’s been putting in long moron hours for years up on the Hill and on the chat shows. But it was a particular tour de force even for Jack when he showed up last night on MSNBC to bash Barack Obama for not wearing a flag lapel … without remembering to wear one himself …

The Forgotten War

Afghanistan mission close to failing

After six years of US-led military support and billions of pounds in aid, security in Afghanistan is “deteriorating” and President Hamid Karzai’s government controls less than a third of the country, America’s top intelligence official has admitted.

Mike McConnell testified in Washington that Karzai controls about 30% of Afghanistan and the Taliban 10%, and the remainder is under tribal control.

…But the gloomy comments echoed even more strongly worded recent reports by thinktanks, including one headed by the former Nato commander General James Jones, which concluded that “urgent changes” were required now to “prevent Afghanistan becoming a failed state”.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Same As It Ever Was

FLASHBACK: In 2000, Bush Criticized McCain For Lobbying On Behalf Of Campaign Contributor

The New York Times’s revelations that McCain lobbied the FCC on behalf of a contributor shouldn’t have been that much of a “bombshell” to Bush. During the 2000 elections, McCain also faced scrutiny on this issue. In fact, at that time, Bush was sharply critical of McCain’s conflict of interest:

Times change. Facts don’t.

Koo-Koo-Ka-Choo

Kinsley Nutshells The Press

This may be the most succinct description of press behavior this campaign season that I’ve seen. Although it may have been an inadvertent effort in a live chat, Michael Kinsley nutshells the 2008 campaign press coverage in four paragraphs:…

Michael Kinsley: I guess I share the conventional wisdom on both of these points. McCain has always been a media darling. At a magazine editors convention a few years ago, he started a speech by saying he was happy to be there addressing “my base.” He gets and deserves points for jokes like that.

http://EZSmirkzz2_files/sCTbO5w-m4orel0.swf

Notes On The Foundation For Defunct Democracy

Foundation for the Defense of Democracies —

I reported on FDD’s connections a few years ago:

[Cliff May] explains that the [Committee on the Present Danger] is registered as a 501(c)4 organization, which gives it a tax status that allows it to lobby Congress on behalf of specific policies. And that’s something that the Foundations for the Defense of Democracies (FDD) cannot do. May, who is also director of the FDD, says that is a 501(c)3 organization, which is not permitted to lobby. But the FDD’s funders, he says, helped raise the money to launch the CPD.

The relationship between the FDD and CPD is central to understanding what the new CPD’s true purpose is about. While one CPD member staffer told me the CPD was initially funded by a grant from the FDD, May tells me it’s a bit more indirect than that. “People who have supported the FDD have also wanted to help get the Committee going,” May says. “Some of our backers have gotten their friends to contribute” to the CPD.

Whether a group that sponsors such domestic partisan ads and campaigns should be getting State Department monies is an interesting question, perhaps for the Congressional foreign affairs and appropriations committees, which have the administration’s budget request to approve.

Maybe someone will ask Dana.

Torture R U.S.

Via War and Piece

Wired has obtained new cache of highly disturbing photos of abuses at Abu Ghraib. More from Dan Schulman.

Back in the US
Back in the US
Back in the USSR.

Our Long National Nightmare Continues

FISA Fight: Follow the money

Hmmmm…. Sounds to me like the telcos are a little less concerned about amnesty than they are about coming out on the right side of the next Congress. And maybe it sounds like the Republicans are a little more concerned about trying to protect their hold on the telco lobbyists and all their money than they are protecting America.

As Glenn Greenwald pointed out months ago, the cost of the litigation for the telcos is going to be pretty minimal by their financial standards, so they are going long, as would make sense. Rush Holt: The President Has Chosen To Demagogue

Rush Holt (NJ-12), the Chair of the House Select Intelligence Oversight Panel had this to say about George Bush’s latest fearmongering on the need to pass the Protect AT&T Act:

What the President really wants is a permanent blank check to conduct indiscriminate collection and fishing expeditions without any judicial oversight. This does not lead to better intelligence.

The only thing George Bush wants to protect is his own backside. Telecom immunity is not about protecting America, it’s about keeping the American people from finding out the scope of George Bush’s warrantless domestic spying.

Of course Pana Derino thinks the press is clueless about the program, after all they keep trying to get the facts from the administration, and this administration doesn’t give out the facts. Even if they know them.

But of course this is an historic administration after all.

Worst President ever!

The MythCain Surge

The Myth of the Surge

The American forces responsible for overseeing “volunteer” militias like Osama’s have no illusions about their loyalty. “The only reason anything works or anybody deals with us is because we give them money,” says a young Army intelligence officer. The 2nd Squadron, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment, which patrols Osama’s territory, is handing out $32 million to Iraqis in the district, including $6 million to build the towering walls that, in the words of one U.S. officer, serve only to “make Iraqis more divided than they already are.” In districts like Dora, the strategy of the surge seems simple: to buy off every Iraqi in sight. All told, the U.S. is now backing more than 600,000 Iraqi men in the security sector — more than half the number Saddam had at the height of his power. With the ISVs in place, the Americans are now arming both sides in the civil war. “Iraqi solutions for Iraqi problems,” as U.S. strategists like to say. David Kilcullen, the counterinsurgency adviser to Gen. Petraeus, calls it “balancing competing armed interest groups.”

Wait it gets worse,

“We are essentially supporting a quasi-feudal devolution of authority to armed enclaves, which exist at the expense of central government authority,” says Chas Freeman, who served as ambassador to Saudi Arabia under the first President Bush. “Those we are arming and training are arming and training themselves not to facilitate our objectives but to pursue their own objectives vis-a-vis other Iraqis. It means that the sectarian and ethnic conflicts that are now suppressed are likely to burst out with even greater ferocity in the future.”

The Welfare State has moved to Iraq.

The McBush Surge

It didn’t even take a Freidman Unit.

McClatchy: “Iraq’s three-man presidency council Wednesday announced that it’s vetoed legislation that U.S. officials two weeks ago hailed as significant political progress.”

What say ye Charles?

Update: Yes, I know, but the circle must be completed, else how would we go round and round?

YA American Revrunt Thinks

Religious Intolerance

No longer limited to people in blog comments.

An evangelical chaplain who leads Bible studies for California lawmakers says God is disgusted with a rival fellowship group that includes people of all faiths.

“Although they are pleasant men in their personal demeanor, their group is more than disgusting to our Lord and Savior,” Drollinger wrote on the Capitol Ministries’ Web site.

Am I the only one who doesn’t know the mind of God? (Nice play on words, when you can find them, eh Revrunts?)

McCain’s Farrakan Moment

U.S. pro-Israel evangelical leader Hagee endorses McCain

“I’m very honored by Pastor John Hagee’s endorsement today,” McCain said at a news conference. “He has been the staunchest leader of our Christian evangelical movement in many areas, but especially, most especially, his close ties and advocacy for the freedom and independence of the state of Israel.”

McCain said on his campaign plane that he was not familiar with Hagee’s writings. “I think he’s a fine leader and I appreciate his commitment to Israel,” McCain said.

Obviously it is a distinction without difference how Israel is destroyed, I suppose. Nice to know that John doesn’t know John, even if he is one.

In his book “Jerusalem Countdown: A Warning to the World,” Hagee predicts Russian and Arab armies will invade Israel and be destroyed by God. Israel will then be the site of a battle between China and the West, which will be led by the anti-Christ in his role as head of the European Union. Jesus Christ will return to Earth in the final battle, he writes.

Updates- We do Updates:

Don’t insult your intelligence or mine by pretending that John McCain’s plan for this race doesn’t rely on hundreds of Cunninghams — large and small — across the country, and the RNC and all the GOP third party groups, to be peddling this stuff nonstop for the next eight months because it’s the only way John McCain have a real shot at contesting this race.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Teh! Surge! Is! Working! ,,,Not

Iraqi council rejects elections law

Iraq’s presidential council rejected Wednesday a measure setting up provincial elections — seen as a key step to develop Iraq’s nascent democracy — in the latest setback to U.S.-backed national reconciliation efforts.

Now can we call it a Quageffingmire?

Slimeballs in the GOP E-Mail Machines

Remember MZM, the government body shop whose founder and CEO Mitchell Wade was charged as a co-conspirator in the Duke Cunningham bribery scandal? Well, MZM is among the handful of contractors identified in writing by a White House technology official at a Waxman hearing today as having been hired to deal with White House email – a million of which have gone missing. See page 4/question 5 of this questionnaire (.pdf) filled out by Mr. Steve McDevitt, a senior manager in office of the chief information officer of the Executive Office of the President administration office from 2002 through 2006.

The post then quotes this little jewel,

After promising last year to search its computers for tens of thousands of e-mails sent by White House officials, the Republican National Committee has informed a House committee that it no longer plans to retrieve the communications by restoring computer backup tapes, the panel’s chairman said yesterday.

So maybe someone will compell them to turn the backup tapes over to someone else with the technical skills to restore them on a different machine.

The tapes exist, they can be read.

Update: More here.

Conservatives Lose Their Mind

Good Night Mr. Buckley, you’ll be missed.

FED Willing For You To Endure Stagflation

Helicopter Ben crashes into the working stiffs for the Wall Street sCrews.

A Place For “Angry White Men”

Three Sisters

The Tres Hermanas at Sunset, looking South.

Ah, The Television Fix

After a month without it, it is nice to see Headline News again.

Probably more of a comment on the ruts I fall into, than anything else. Hopefully the upbeat Robin is contagious for you too.

McBush Upstages Talk Show Host

Poor Cunning Ham

Life is rough.

Edited: Live too

Returning To Form

I probably ought to apologize to my two readers because I’m off my game right now. It is going to take a couple of days- weeks to get back into the groove of blogging full time again.

This doesn’t mean I won’t be posting all day long, it just means I won’t be posting anything worth reading. Long time readers will be hard pressed to discern the difference.

It’s Not Obama’s Thing, It’s Yours

Via Pat Lang

Kristol on Obama

But they can be repaired. Indeed, she had said a couple of weeks before, in Los Angeles: “Barack Obama … is going to demand that you shed your cynicism. That you put down your divisions. That you come out of your isolation, that you move out of your comfort zones. That you push yourselves to be better. And that you engage. Barack will never allow you to go back to your lives as usual, uninvolved, uninformed.”

Here you see the essence of this Fall’s Republican campaign against Obama (if he is nominated). The argument will be made that Obama is a threat to traditional American political life.

I think it is important for people, especially Obama supporters to distinquish between political analysis and political reality, because in America rarely do the twain meet.

Obama isn’t a threat to traditional American political life, you are. The political classes are well aware that if you become involved in the process there a lot of them going to loose their jobs. Fire the Liars!

It isn’t a matter of ideological purity, either. Everything Obama has alluded to is correct. It is the mindset of the people that vote, not those who legislate, nor those who execute, that matters.

But to become informed politically, I think, requires one to understand ones opponents positions, both their strengths and weaknesses, which one should also do with ones own strongly held positions.

Politics is still the art of half the loaf. Every candidate and every position paper is a spring board toward the ultimate goal. Rarely does a President get a roll over and play dead Congress as Mr. Bush has. This is an opportunity for all the divergent ideologies to make a push for re-engagement by the American population into the political process, and an opportunity to re-assert the control of the people over their government.

It is my heartfelt belief that if the American people do not regain control of their government that God will destroy both them and their government. For me, it really is as simple as that.

All political positions are valid, not all of them are obtainable. Little minds like little things, so we have political chatterers. My goal is a large one, and it has no ideological purity, so don’t look for it. Minds are tools, use them all, especially your own.

Apologies To Ali

I fixed the Goliad post, because everyone knows Goliad isn’t where Ganado is.

Spy V Spy

Clarke, Other Experts Contradict Administration Line on Wiretapping

Yesterday, four former top national security officials put forward a different line in a letter to Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell. The officials — Richard Clarke (former head of counterterrorism at the National Security Council), Rand Beers (former Senior Director for Combating Terrorism at the National Security Council), Lt. Gen. Don Kerrick (former Deputy National Security Advisor), and Suzanne Spaulding (former assistant general counsel at the CIA) — all worked with McConnell in the past. McConnell led the National Security Agency from 1992 through 1996. The letter was distributed today by the National Security Network.

McConnell and the administration, they wrote, was distorting the truth about surveillance capabilities after the lapse of the Protect America Act. The country is not “at greater risk,” they write. “The intelligence community currently has the tools it needs to acquire surveillance of new targets and methods of communication.”

This would be a yawner if the Telecoms and Buscho weren’t trying to play the American people. It does raise the question of what is the next wheel within the wheels though.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

OK, Phancy Colors On My Blog

I Should Be A Super Delegate


If keeping the Democratic Party’s flag flying in hard times is a criteria then I can name a few hundred bloggers that should be so too.

I vote:

Bird Post

I left this as a raw image so you could pinch it if you wanted to do so. Most of the images are better viewed on the two inch flat panel on the camera, but this one is up to snuff. Tripod, never leave home without it. Oh well.

The desert air, and depth of field of the shots was quite a change from the ones I’ve been shooting on the coasts, which showed up the limitations of the camera and more importantly myself, (it’s a poor workman who blames his tools,) which is also half the fun of doing something new, which is figuring things out.

I Said Two Days

I said I was going to work on the blog.

I said I was going to give it fancy colors.

All lies! dammit. All lies.

Note: This Is A Bullshitter

No not Hillary on CBN, which is also not part of the mainstream media John, but this guy.

Note: This is analysis, not advice.

Note To McBush

You should have used a blogger, instead of a talk radio host to decry the MSM. Or is radio somehow now out of the mainstream?

This is from a the Cincinnati Enquirer:

Cunningham said later that he stood by his comments at the rally. He told his listeners: ‘”I’ve had it with McCain. I’m going to throw my support to Hillary Rodham Clinton.”

which is from here, which puts me way behind the CNN curve, which doesn’t seem real important to me today, although … naw, it rates up there with spelling and syntax.

I Have Found

That getting laid improves your outlook on life, and encourage one and all to make it a two for Tuesday endeavor today. It doesn’t help your spelling or syntax, but then that stuff seems less important too.

Actually, Goliad Is Between (OOOOOPs)

Edna and Louise which are between El Campo and Victoria, which are between Austin and Corpus Christi going North and South, as oppose to the former, going East and West.

Lake Texana is just South of Goliad, and has decent fishing and a lot of alligators, so be careful swimming there Ali. Also alligators prefer balds, but will eat a skin top when no balds are around. IMHO.

Edited: added and eeee

Edited:Actually Ganado is where I’m saying Goliad is. Goliad is where Ali said it was. Apologies to all.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Legal Too

http://EZSmirkzz2_files/W3sUglnCfTQrel1.swf

I’ll be on the road for a couple of days, and then I’ll mess with the blog. You know, fancy colors everywhere, I’ll comb my hair, It’ll be a rainbow.

Ain’t Nobodies Business But Your Own

You know, I don’t give a rats ass what anyone makes. If your happy with your pay and benefits then I’m happy for you. If your not, then why not, and what can I do to help?

If life was about money, I’d be robbing banks. That’s a DFH attitude thing for sure, but why what JJM makes or pays is anyone elses business is beyond me. If all he is making is what most of the elite are doing he is under payed, since he at least adds value to the debates he engages in.

Run Ralph, Run!

No big deal.

I find it odd that those who would clammer for a more inclusive, democratic society would be upset by Nader running, YA, for President. That is point, no?

Count Those Meds

For those of you having to purchase high dollar medications for family members, or yourself, from Wal Mart in my case, check the medication before you leave the pharmacy area.

This rant was induced by a picking up some expensive anti-biotics, which come in blister packs of ten, but in a prescription for 57, so the pharmacists put the medication in a plastic sandwhich bag. Having given the cycle through forty, viola!, no mas medication. So I went back to Wal Mart, and of course after two weeks everyone there was sure they had put an odd number of pills into the bag.

The insurance company is also positive that they were there and so after a couple of calls to the doctor to get another script for the remainder of the original prescription filled, decided that it was to early for a refill. Screw the patient.

There really isn’t anyone to blame except for myself, since I didn’t count the medication before leaving after the original purchase, so think of it as a warning. You cannot count on chain pharmacies to accurate fill your orders on expensive medications. Like counting your cash before you leave a bank, the same caveat applies to the pharmacy too.

Best health care system in the world, MY ASS!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Echelon for Dummies

Echelon is an electronic surveillance program conducted by the national security organizations of the five major English speaking nations, The US, GB, Canada, New Zealand and Australia that sucks up any and all electronic communications broadcast through the air and across trans oceanic cables.

Any information obtained by one security organization can, and is, shared with the other security organizations of the participating countries, negating the need for further authorizations from the US Congress.

There are no laws against any of the other four nations intercepting and processing this information in and from the United States and relaying that information to the uS National Security apparatus.

UBL’s phone conversations were intercepted in the Clinton administration and a cruise missle attack was launched against him, resulting in the program being exposed to AQ and other nefarious evil doers, not of Anglo Saxon heritage.

The level of electronic spying has been at such levels for years that only the niave beleive that electronic communications are secure. The land lines and postal services are protected by the Fourth Amendment and hence the desire of the current administration to weaken this protection is for purely domestic political, and economic purposes.

None of these things can, and do, prevent the social networks of individuals within various commercial enterprises electronic transaction centers from sharing any all information that they have access to with others in other organizations.

Long story interminable- Security is still a myth.

Telecom immunity in the current case hangs not on the post 911 operations of the telecom companies, but on those operations previous to the attacks. In short, there needs to be limits to freedom, as one authoritarian bone head once remarked. Any other story is also just a myth.

Pentangle of Bush Politics

General Clusterf**k at the Pentagon

It would appear that we have another case where the Bush Pentagon, particularly the Office of Public Affairs is forcefully inserting itself into the civilian election process. Earlier today I referenced Barack Obama’s anecdote from Thursday night’s Democratic debate about an Army Captain in Afghanistan who said his unit had had to get from captured Taliban ammunition they weren’t able to get quickly enough through standard Army supply channels. ABCNews’ Jake Tapper talked to the soldier in question, who confirmed the story he’d told Obama. Now NBC News also appears to have confirmed the story by talking to the Army Captain in question.

Who Hates Bloggers More?

Cable news anchors, or Democratic wankers like Carville? So far he and the Mrs. look like 0 4 2 this year.

The fact that they are losing their influence, to some degree, has a lot more to do with them being wrong, out of sync, or just plain asinine in their presentations then in anything I, or any other blogger is doing in our own gigs. Lord knows the alters of egos are being covered with the blood of hurt feelings, especially those of the high priests of credentials, but good grief. Fuck you if you can’t take a joke.

I don’t think that TV is exactly the format you would want to read a policy position paper on to generate ratings with either, but when most people turn on the news they would like to get, you know, the news. If they turn on John Stewart or Colbert they kind of expect to be entertained. Somewhere along the line the wires got crossed and now the public is being shorted.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Close As You’ll Get To 37000 Ft.

http://EZSmirkzz2_files/up6Xh3Gme1wrel1.swf

Is It Just Me Or…

Does today just sort of suck all around?

Just Get Plagiarism Right

That Line

Clinton, 92: “The hits that I took in this election are nothing compared to the hits the people of this state and this country have been taking for a long time.”

Hillary Clinton, tonight: “You know, the hits I’ve taken in life are nothing compared to what goes on every single day in the lives of people across our country.”

The truth be told, there isn’t a whole lot of originality in political speechifying, given the stunted parameters of what can actually be accomplished with changes in policy. These are not exactly revolutionary times in that regard.

Originality belongs to the bloggers, and we’re always stealing each other’s sh*t anyway. I consider the world’s population to be about a 6.5 billion collective duuhhh.

Edit:I used to couldn’t spell plagiarism and now I are one.

Oh The Humanity

Researchers Find Way to Steal Encrypted Data

Now if they can only find some that’s worth stealing. I suppose the chill is on, now.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

http://EZSmirkzz2_files/moCf_pghM-Urel1.swf

Family Jewels

Obviously, I don’t know whether or not McCain had sex with Iseman. I suppose by “what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is” standards, he didn’t even deny having had sex with Iseman. Certainly it’d be a bit rich of McCain to get outraged that anyone would even suggest that he might engage in sexual improprieties. After all, it’s well known that he repeatedly cheated on his first wife Carol, of a number of years, with a variety of women, before eventually dumping her for a much-younger heiress whose family fortune was able to help finance his political career. That’s well known, I should say, except to the electorate, who would probably find that this sort of behavior detracts from McCain’s “character” appeal.

Given that I watched the History Channel’s showing of the Presidential uses of sooth sayers, fortune tellers, astrologers and phychics, and given the current crop of the values candidates that think nothing of liquor in front-poker in the rear behaviors, can it be too far fetched to surmise what Babylon the Great is a reference to?

What say ye Mr. Hagee?

Agreed

Less Than Perfect

The really fascinating thing is how all 3 cable news networks have gone into full “defend McCain against the dastardly NYT” mode, something we, uh, generally don’t see when a John Solomon Special attacking a Democrat appears.

Liberal Mediaism.

The Saga of Sain’t John

The McCain StoryI think Josh has this one pretty well covered, and lacking access to my own archives which might enlightening me a little more, I somewhere between an innoculation and and where there is brimstone smoke there is hell fire.

On the other hand, for those of us in the know about these things, there ain’t no forgetting either, is there John? Moral certaintude is the gratest of fallacies.

O’Really?!!

Do-Over

Late Update: At The Horse’s Mouth, Greg Sargent ponders whether the Obama camp is responding forcefully enough to the right wing attacks, including the latest from Bill O’Reilly, in which he offers to delay “a lynching party against Michelle Obama” until he gets more facts.

Shame Bill isn’t a sportscaster.

Nothing like highlighting the hypocrisy of the Repugnantcons Bill. So are POed that McBush upstaged you, ya friggin’ wanker?

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Finally…

Having not climbed any sort of mountain in 35 years I was reminded yesterday that difficult as the climb up may be, the climb back down is far more precarious. Especially if you’re carrying a knapsack full of rocks.

More par for the course, I found on boulder with a really nice sized chunk of white agate in it, which me and my yucca stock were no match for. I’ll share some pictures of the mountain when I get home, so I can be totally embarrassed by how, on the scale of mountains, small this one really is.

Anyway it is nice to be reminded how to slide on ones butt, along with walking with ones feet turned sideways most of the time. I forgot how much fun I used to have as a kid. One thing I didn’t notice when I was younger was how cool it is to see the blue sillouette of mountains seventy miles away.

Obviously my mom is getting better and in need of less nursing, and I have rediscovered how to chap my own ass.

Halliburton Better Duck & Cover

If the American people ever get the same laws passed as American corporations can…Alternative Business Models

There is little oversight of a system retailers call “civil recovery,” created by special laws passed in all 50 states. With no proof of theft, the retailers demand money — often $200 but sometimes far more — and promise to avoid suing if it is paid quickly. Laws vary by state, but in general, retailers can demand these sums even if the item at issue was worth far less and was quickly recovered and put back on the shelf.

Just think, it would pay for the national debt and Bushco’s tax cut for the rich. See I don’t even have to accuse them of corruption, it’s just the idea that they look suspicious and were in proximity of missing billions of cash. After all if it is good enough for American corporations it is good enough for American corporations.

Logic that one.

Bush Finds a Christmas Easter Egg

Lessons Learned

Fox News’s Special Report yesterday:

GOLER: The president says it’s better that African nations deal with African problems. White soldiers in Darfur, he believes, would be targets for all sides.

BUSH: A clear lesson I learned in the museum was that outside forces tend to divide people up inside their country and are unbelievably counterproductive.

The museum was the Rwandan genocide museum.

“I Wish I was in Iraq, Hooray! I’ll make my stand in Iraqis land…” Sung to Dixie.

What an incredibly stupid thing to say, it’s like saying you were proud of America when you first heard of Abu Ghraib.

US Attacks US Ally-

So what say ye now Lumpy?

Later Update: Ironically enough, the Washington Post is reporting today on just such a U.S. military strike into Pakistan:

I’m sure as detached from reality as he is the current pResident was aware of this operation, so maybe the right hand just isn’t telling the other right hand what it is doing.

Don’t try this at home folks – these are professional Republicans.

Notes on Second Place

Hillary still almost doubled McBush’s vote total.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Christ! Atrios Is Getting Old!

What a wheezer.

Blogging Update

I’ll be back to regular blogging RSN. I figure it’ll take just a week to catch up on reading archives, so it’ll be sporadic. I know, you’re shocked! Me sporadic.

No Wonder Hillary’s Going Negative

Ready to Lead

Not exactly confidence building.

Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign failed to file a full slate of convention delegate candidates for Pennsylvania’s April 22 primary.

This despite the possibility the primary proves critical and despite Clinton owning the full-throated support of Gov. Rendell, state Democratic Party leadership, Mayor Nutter and, presumably, the organizational skill all that entails.

And despite a Rendell-ordered extension of the filing deadline that could be viewed as more than just coincidental.

So that may be why they want to plagarize Obama’s delegates.

Kudo’s To TPM

via Atrios, A landmark day for bloggers — and the future of journalismShame they missed the Social Security issue, as it appears most of our wannabe Preznits appear to have done.

McBushisms

McCain’s Bob and Weave

Paul Kiel explains how John McCain didn’t want to be subjected to public financing limits in his primary campaign if he won the GOP nomination–but was willing to use public financing to pay off his campaign debts if he lost.

Fits in with the no new taxes soft shoe shuffle, since Sain’t it ain’t so John isn’t much on economics. Maybe he ought to listen to Dobbs who is only wrong some of the time, instead of his political tools. I mean ripping of Bush 41?!?Sheesh!

Updated:

There’s an interesting dynamic in play if Barack Obama becomes the Democratic nominee this summer. John McCain has been lying for several years about negotiations he held early in this decade over leaving the Republican party and either joining the Democratic party or, probably more likely, becoming an independent and caucusing with the Democrats as Sen. Jeffords (I-VT) was then doing.

Calling Holy Joe!

Reminder

I would be remiss if I dindn’t remind the younger Democrats in Texas of the values of the lawless and disorder party tactics, now that McBush has been pardoned endorsed by Bush Sr.

You can expect our good Christian brothers and sisters to cross party lines for the primary and vote for Hillary, since that is apparently who they wish to run against. That would imply that Obama supporters need to turn out in droves, (if you were to be from Texas, Bill,) to overcome that particular nasty bit of political horse play.

Look at it as spring training for the general election when, whoever is nominated, Democrats will need to turn out in droves to overcome the inevitable stuffing of the paperless electronic voting machines by the Repugnantcons. You can presume this is the free and democratic election process that Bush is referring to when he speaks of such things to Africans and Cubans.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Faith Is The Assured Expectation

of the things hoped for, though not beheld.

While faith is sometimes construed to be the sole possession of the religious, it also the possession of the political classes, which should be construed in America as the entire body of citizens who participate in the process. Those who do not participate have lost faith, and so hope, in the ability of man to effectively govern themselves.

They have lost faith, and so hope, in our institutions ability to check and balance one another’s powers, and that that power will be exercised for the common good of all Americans. The call to bi-partisanship is fine for Congressional delegations but should not displace the adversarial relationship between the Presidency and the Congress. We cannot get along just to get along, when one branch of government seeks to accrue all power to itself, such as we periodically endure through weak or subservient public officials.

Contrary to Krauthammer’s assertions, hope that Obama will reach across ideological lines to do what is necessary to move America into the twentyfirst century is not blind faith that on his inauguration the American people will get a pony and all will be well with the world. One would hope that Obama in reaching out will also be able to effect the compromises that are necessary to the functioning of the democratic state. There is no compelling reasons why the goals of special interests should not be the goals of the common interests, but there is reason to believe that a government that responds only to special interests will produce the corruption that so infuses Washington DC in this administration. But this is not just the Presidents doing, it is also the lack of check on Presidential power by the Congress and the fourth estate.

The media elites have been sorely lacking in judgement, from the rush to war in Iraq, to the continuing assualt on the civil liberties of the people through acts of Congress and the President. Those who have been so dramatically wrong on the large issues continue to hold their positions of esteem from whence they pontificate even more half truths and out right lies to the public, for the benfit of access to those who abuse power.

The Telecom immunity case is not about abuses of the law after Sept 11, 2001, but about abuses of the law prior to that event. Qwest communications refused to participate in illegal spying and the other companies agreed to break the law for the Bush administrations own abuse of powwer.

The media elite have continued to perpetuate the conflation of Islamic extremism with political extremism from ancient era’s for the benefit of one party, the War Party, which leaves the public ignorant of the reality of the common threat, and open to political propagandizing that the politicians use to deceive and which the press continues to desiminate to an ever more ignorant populace.

Hope then is that Obama will restore faith in the US government to tell the truth, to work with those of differing ideologies, and to re-enfranchise those citizens long excluded by the ruling elites for political purposes. That does not lessen the expectations that all the perverse powers will not try to stop this progressive movement toward an all inclusive society, nor lesson the expectations that not all things hoped for will be achieved. But it is the beginning, and that is all the hope we can entertain at this juncture.

As with all large things, Krauthammer is wrong on this as well, just as many of the media elite are. You may try to conflate the religious and the political, but those of us who are active in either will recognize it for what it is, the hypocrisy of little minds.

Words Are Cheap Part 1

In the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth….

Words Are Cheap Part 2

In CONGRESS, July 4, 1776

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Note to The Boot Licker Of The Raygun Revolution

John McBush claims to be a foot soldier of the Reagan Revolution which would imply that like all foot soldiers he wasn’t being paid to think, but to follow orders. Pretty much a conservative authoritarian position to take for sure John, but who will be gioving the orders for you to follow should you obtain the office you seek? God? Sorry, we already have a Commnder in Codpiece like that now.

“In the four years that I served as Secretary of the Treasury, I never saw President Reagan alone and never discussed economic philosophy or fiscal and monetary policy with him one-on-one….The President never told me what he believed or what he wanted to accomplish in the field of economics.”,

said Donald Regan his Sec. of the Treasury, which McBush seems to emulate very well indeed. Boot licker is probably more apropos, since the phrase he uses is more intended to convince the nabobs of the right wing than anyone with a historical recollection of the eighties, who remember starting to pay more taxes for the Social Security that McBushco want to privatize today to help cover the deficit spending revolution of Ronald Reagan. I guess it was Ronald Reagans Liberal moment, eh John?

Along the another front, McCain’t was on Larry King explaining his flip flop on immigration with the profound statement that the American people want the borders secured first, and then offers no policy positions for doing so, other than the obtuse suggestion that a Council of Border Governors should certify that the borders are secure. How the Governors would go about that is another empty bit of rhetoric without any policy to back it up as well. Sound like another passing of the buck to the states without any bucks to go along with the mandate. The BS avoids the real world fact that if Islamic extremist cannot cross the Mexican border they will come through the unprotected sea ports and the ungaurded Canadian border. Spread it on the lawn John!

And please sir, spare us your ninety four year old mother as an example of longevity and good health. She never dealt with the pressure of being President, so her age is non germane to your own physical and mental health. You’re starting to sound like the toe jam of the revolution.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Oh To Live On, Blogger Mountain

One of the mixed blessings of being out of pockets is not having an opinion on every nuance of every issue in the political game, which is also a drawback if you like having an opinion on every little nuance of every issue in the political game. Nor is out of the blue snark my forte. That’s why I’m not a Republican’t too, but I digress.

There seems to be some critic of Obama’s lack of detail in his speeches from those poor dears that may read this blog but can’t seem to find his to do the same. I am forced to conclude that policy positions don’t really have anything to do with political rhetoric, as some lady and a lumpy McArbusto seem to be focusing on in their television appearasnces, which unfortunately are reduced to CNN for me, except on the rare occasion when I am compelled to watch Faux Knew Nutworks.

But I don’t want my readers to wallow in the trough of ignorance with the chattering classes and the pundiritos on just what sort of policy a President can push through Congress, which contrary to the Dobbians, must legislate everything that is to be done. It’s like the economy, which Presidents take credit for when it is humming along, and blame everyone else for when it is flat on its’ ass. The latter half is more true, although inaccurate as well.

The current fiasco belongs to the Executive branch because it has consistently failed to enforce any regulations that it has been charged with enforcing, and has done its’ best to gut. Herbert Hoover once said that; “There is nothing wrong with Capitalism, except Capitalists. They’re to damned greedy.” You won’t hear that from any current Republicans although their policies of ignoring business regulation is almost on par with Hoovers. Hoovers was an error of heart, not his head, whereas the current crop is one of head, they having no heart.

At any rate I will be back in the game before the General Election and look forward to responding to the bullshit of McBush and his concern for the general welfare of the American people. There is also an obligation to defend this nation from those who would rob the weak and ignorant as well as from other nation states. On that note I would wonder why anyone would vote for a Presidential candidate that cannot even use the correct terminology for hirabists, and instead must conflate a religious evil with a political one, since that person is unable to frame the debate in facts and must use platitudes and rhetoric to bamboozle the less informed.

Mr. McCain so far seems unable to distinquish the hirabists from his own Christian fundamentalist supporters here in America, who like their religious counter parts in Islam, cannot do all things in moderation. One cannot expect rotteness to recognize its’ own rotteness, but one would hope that an individual aspiring to the Presidency could distinquish between the various forms of religious and political rotteness that currently confront the civilized world. That is not a criteria for the neoCons and the war mongers however, who will use any rhetoric and and any policy deception to acheive their aims of lining their pockets from the public treasure, and gaining a marblization in the historic annals of mankind. I prefer the atheists for peace.

Notes on the Over All

I took off the links to the anti libertarian sites in a moment of low Broderism, and all that Buy-Partisanship that he espouses non stop. (That’s why they are called Partays David.)

Back to green too, because it looks good with your eyes. Yes, really…No not yours, the other reader’s, sweety.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Not The Obama! Not The Obama!

Careful with that rhetoric John, or I’ll start referring to you as Lumpy McBush and other snotty things that do not befit the high office to which you seek to obtain.

So do you support or oppose torture Mr. McCain?

Is the United States a signator of the UN Charter, and was that treaty ratified by the United States Senate , and if yes, is that charter the law of the land as per the Constitution?

If the invasion of Iraq was illegal, is it legal to continue that occupation in violation of that charter?

Why didn’t you sign off on the Kerry report on Iran/Contra?

How many FU does it take to surge an escalation if an FU is indeed six months, and the surge of escalation has been in progress for over one year, and apparently will be for as many as two hundredd Freidman Units according to you?

So Much Stupid, So Little Time

I suppose I should thank the gods of tubes and socks that I can read Duncan again, who of course pales in many ways to the wife whom I also seem to be missing on many different levels, some of which Atrios will never obtain to, not in this age or the one to come, but it is a breathe of fresh air to see the baby blue overlords Eschatonian impact on the status of the quid pro wanker Penn,

Mr. Obama enjoys the support of this chattering class, Mr. Penn believes, while Mrs. Clinton speaks more to working-class people who really care about policy because policy really impacts their lives. Worse still, Mr. Penn sees the “impressionable elites” growing in number, so much so that he has considered turning “that trend into an entire book someday, because it is becoming more and more evident.”

Hillary should have listened to the leftroots on Penn, IMSHO. (S=somewhat, since I didn’t want to ignore the sage advice of McBush on platitudes and all.)

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Three Steps Forward, One Back

My understanding of geriatric health care has grown by leaps and bounds, and so I am now qualified to empty bed pans and such. OH Edumacation!

At any rate my mom is doing much better and walking down the street and back, and mostly staying out of bed during the daylight hours reading Time and Readers Digests that have been piling up, which all good.

Regular posting ought to resume before the Texas primary, but until then it will be hit or miss. Don’t let the chatters worrying about the Democrats bother you too much either. Like I said if Hillary obtains the nomination I’ll support her, but on March fourth I’m voting for Obama. Just that simple.

I Wish The Pundits Were Oscar Myer Weiners

That is what I would truly like to see-ee
‘Cause if the pundits were Oscar Meyer weiners
We could throw them in boiling water and listen to them scre-eam.

Listening to the chattering classes and pundits one would think the Democrats were divided… in a primary… shocked! I tell ya I’m shocked! The fools are in search of consensus of the current ignorance talking amongst themselves.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Torture are U.S.

I suppose we’ll see the Suuper patriots wrap their heads in the flag over this one too;

Negroponte’s comments, which were seen as confirmation that waterboarding had in fact been used before that, were not cleared beforehand and caught White House officials off guard, according to [a] senior administration official. “It was an accidental disclosure,” said the official.

You would think eventually the big media and chattering classes would stop letting the war criminals get away with shitting all over the American flag and wiping their arses with th4e Constitution, wouldn’t you?

Doesn’t anyone deserve a press that works? Lou??!

Then Again, Howard Dean Is Right!

I think Hillary ought to take one for the team myself, after all the team’s been taking one for the Clintons for years. Just saying.

Not Seen on McCNN

Wonder what Republican’ts used to tell us wee the people that Washingtonsofhands NDC didn’t know how to spend our money better than wee the people? Seems Bushco wants to extend a law that transfers millions of dollars in mineral royalties to federales from the states. Good Job! George!

The title is meant to reinforce your perception that CNN is doing it’s best to address the continuing political phimosis of the goood Senator McBush. Pitiful.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Post Slobber Tuesday

Update:FWIW I don’t think Jack Cafferty is a wanker, except in a friendly sort of way, so Jack don’t get your knickers in a knot, if you do in fact weear knickers. (Nor do I want you to plug this ‘ere blog, quid or no pro quo. Just saying.)

For all the talking heads pontifications, the primary season points out, YA, the need for the young to start taking over the precincts of the Party. Super delegates may or may not be a big player this election as well, but that leads us to the remaining Congressional arena, where hard decisions are going to have to be made whether to elect a crooked Democratic incumbent or an honest Republican challenger and vice a versa. If this is rectified then the status quo of Washingtonsof hands will continue unabated even if we elect St. Peter President.

The fact of the matter remains that the President is only half of the elected equation, and if Congress is so corrupted and controlled by special interests as some assert then we will have to throw those crooked and bought off SOBs out too. Far be it for me to agree with Cafferty on this, but he’s right.

(OK Jack, no more plugs without a quid pro quo, ya wanker.)

What Say Ye Senator McBush?

Seems like to me if this administration and Congressional Republican’ts were really all that concerned about national security they would pass and sign into law the Judiciary Committee bill on FISA reform, which leads me to believe that national security is more of a political football for them than a national security issue. Immunity for whom for what?

What say ye Senator McBush?

Monday, February 4, 2008

Ask Not What Your Country Can Do For You

Go out and vote, or caucus tomorrow, Ask What You Can Do For Your Country.

It really is as simple as that. The first step.

I would encourage the young folk to not to follow my generation’s lead in turning on, tuning in, and dropping out. The nadir of our lost idealism is in the White house now.

If you can’t be cool, chill. Try not to shoot anyone in the face. Peace.

Thanks CNN

Updated:

For the piece on caring for aged parents.

In my own case I am busier than I thought I would be, and have found that I am not really cut out to be nursing material. Such is life, and we stitch it together to become nursing material.

One of the reasons for light posting, beyond having to slide out to do so, is trying to come to grips with the many facets of elderly health care, which includes the desease, (C difficile, and unconfirmed *Shagellia, ( waiting on the NM Health Departments lab on that last one,)) along with the added depression of anyone recoverying from illness, compounded with the age of 83 leaving her wondering what life is worth living for. That is a problem that I think stems from her generations lack of hobbies, which would perhaps have provided some sort of outlet when all the busy work stuff,( pink lady, alter guild, etc, etc,) that old ladies find to do with their time.

On that note I suppose I should thank the current crop of Presidential candidates for being positive, and on issue, so as to spare me out snarking you and your staffs. They say good artists borrow and great ones steal, so I don’t know where to place most of you. Pinch at will, I’ll think up some more. (Just to let you know that we do have newspapers and TV out here in the desert SW, and yes, I am paying attention to that.

*Confirmed negative. No third world diseases, in fact. Run of the mill all American bugs that can kill ya.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

David Stockman

The Reaganomic guru that dare not be mentioned by name.

Obla-Dweebla-Dohs

Only in America, stories from the eleventh dimension of the Drudge in the slim machine.

Years ago, like in 2003, when blogs were blogs and wankers were still wankers I informed an online political bud about the ten blogs I was reading, and included Sludge in the slime machine. Eleventh Dimension too. Two dudes out of ten ain’t bad, but…GIGO.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Oh Reilly?

via TPM Hmmm …

The National Republican Congressional Committee said Friday that it has contacted the FBI about possible financial improprieties at the committee. Without providing details, the NRCC released a statement from Chairman Tom Cole (Okla.) that said:

“As part of our ongoing efforts to institute and strengthen financial controls at the National Republican Congressional Committee, we learned earlier this week of irregularities in our financial audit process. Since these irregularities may include fraud, we have notified the appropriate law enforcement authorities.

What were once vices have become habits I suppose. Maybe if the Republican’ts moved their financials to Iraq they could bury the fraud in war funding measures that support the troops, in the now two FU six month escalation of BS, surge for short. They lower the bar anymore it’ll be a dive.

Side Dishs: Blogs seem to be blocked by this particular filter too, the spell checker doesn’t work either, which I tend to ascribe to those foul words some bloggers put on their fucking blogs. Thanks guys.

Mea Culpa Runneth Over

Thought I should apologize to those Republicans that actually have, or will be good to mamma, boys and girls, and will endeavor to find some other reason for your chapping my ass.

For you younger than me people that were totally hoodwinked by the listing gipper, somewhat.

To Sain’t John of McCain, not so much.