Terraformed April 10-14, 2008

These Guys Run The Country?

April 14, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

LIEBERMAN: Well, you know, I must say that’s a good question. I know him now for a little more than three years since he came into the Senate and he’s obviously very smart and he’s a good guy. I will tell ya that during this campaign, I’ve learned some things about him, about the kind of environment from which he came ideologically. And I wouldn’t…I’d hesitate to say he’s a Marxist, but he’s got some positions that are far to the left of me and I think mainstream America.

Yeah well, I wouldn’t – I’d hesitate to say Joe Lieberman is a fascist, but in this campaign I’m learning about his ideological environment which gives him some positions far to the right of me, which doesn’t explain his seeming lack of oxygen during this interview. Mr. Kristol’s is apparent.

Stephen Hadley Please Stand Up

April 14, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

A Popular, Popular, Popadoodle Populist Perplexion

April 14, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

or possibly a pundit elite passing possibility past the leathered eyes.
Perhaps advocacy is for thee, and thee alone, but I don’t do thee.
I remember when there was only one Broder, but then I read the Post
as well. Since, the center of rural folk thinking has moved to New York
City and stationed itself on my TV,

Not My Father’s Israel?

April 14, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

I would hope Israel would extend to former President Jimmie Carter all the courtesy due, as I would expect my own country to extend to yours.

Mole Hill Media Event

April 14, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

You Bitter?

In cases such as this I think it is always crucial to distinguish in our own minds between what we find offensive and what we’ve been conditioned to believe that others will find offensive. And perhaps even more importantly, what others will be able to twist and distort into something that other people will find offensive.

This pretty similar to what I was alluding to previously in that those without a dog in the hunt are upset to hear that a dog in the hunt was shot.

Simply put, there are people in small towns who have absolutely no other direction in their lives other than a single issue, and that issue animates every aspect of their existence. They do, Senators Clinton and McCain, cling to their religion especially. It doesn’t mean in a destructive way, but in a close minded way.

Being a recovering alcoholic I am always on the look out for my own stinking thinking, my own dry drunk behavior, and these people exhibit many of the same problems as active alcoholics. It is extremely difficult to reach these people because they become defensive and accusatory of anyone who even in the most moderate of words and tone of voice tries to make them see things differently.

It doesn’t necessarily have to be economics either, there are many people who become bitter and cling to their hatreds and animosities as the cause of their own frustration with their own situation in life.

That some people are overly self centered on the down side of life is no more news or an astute observation than the same observations would be of some of our better known rich citizens.

The problem I have with this whole topic at this point is that any fool would expect the politicians to make hay out of such a casual human defect being articulated to a meeting of business people, but I usually expect well read and diversified individuals such as journalists to see that the obvious isn’t news, and that politicians trying to make it so doesn’t mean that they have to play along.

Admittedly I tend to run from any sort of popularity, especially in a forum such as the internet, because I have to keep my head primarily, but because popular has nothing to do with anything that I think is really important, and in my mind is more of an attribute of juveniles than adults.

That doesn’t mean that I think that the journalists and presenters are juvenile themselves, just that it is my observation that their industry operates in an environment that has become so.

Edited from the original.

I Should Probably Apologize To FOX News

April 13, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

Perhaps someday I will.


But I do owe one to all the women, children and men of tender sensibilities as far as language usage goes. What I told Stealth Badger still goes. Peace.

Everything You Forgot About The Sixties, And Some You Never Knew

April 13, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

Wright – Bitter Sweet

April 13, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

Is it just me, or is there a connection between what Obama experienced in his career, especially as a social activist and organizer in Chicago, the reaction to, and for the congregants in Wrights church, regarding his more inflamatory sermons and Obama’s observations, now four years old and recently news worthy?

Isn’t it more of fact that for middle class America, to pinch a phrase, what the winners don’t know the loser understands? Arguably it is important not to offend the middle class as monolithic entity, which like all others doesn’t really exist, except in the minds of those who use stratifications as a metric for explaining what they don’t understand.

In short, is it the empathetic feelings of those who have never lost the American Dream that causes them to over react to the articulation of those feelings by someone who actually has experienced them? (I mean beyond the politics of it.)

Note To The Middle East

April 13, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

Hope Endures, The Dream Is Still Alive

Ditto On James Zogby’s Middle East Report

Make no mistake about it, real damage has been done by this administration’s foreign policy, and two immediate impacts are clear. First is the profound recognition that the last eight years have taken a toll across the Middle East. Many Arabs are gripped by a sense that they have lost control of their futures. They were forced to watch the unraveling of Iraq, the destructive neglect of Palestine and Lebanon, and the emboldening of extremists and Iran. This Administration’s adventurous and ill-conceived policies have unleashed dynamics that threaten to spill over into new conflicts.

Even more dangerous is the second effect, and that is the loss of hope that change is possible. Many of those with whom I spoke, especially those who know us, and even many of those who loathe our policies, want to believe we are not the country they see acting out across the region. They want to believe in America, and hope, as one put it, that “American will come back.” But, after policies pursued during the last several years, there is cynicism and, in some instances, a fear of actually hoping that America can play the role the region has long sought for it to play. One colleague said to me, “I studied in the U.S. I loved and learned from your country. But you’ve given peace a bad name, democracy a bad name – what else will you destroy?”

What emerges so clearly is how out of touch our political discourse has become from the real challenges with which the next president must be ready to deal “on day one.” First and foremost will be this loss of hope. And then there’s the fact that Palestine will still be suffering economic and physical strangulation, and Israel will still be facing the reality of violence. Lebanon will still be divided, and on the brink of conflict; and the people of Iraq will still be divided among themselves, lacking security and services, with one-fifth of their population displaced. The question that people across the Middle East are asking, and the question we as Americans should be asking of the candidates, is: “How, specifically, will you address these profound challenges facing our country’s security, and the security of a region we have so impacted?”

I’ll leave the zinger over there, since I don’t zing people.

Not Fade Away

April 13, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

The WaPo Did Not Scoop This Story in 2005

I’m still waiting for the media to start covering the news that a head of state–the head of our state–just admitted to approving torture. As of 9:30, only UPI has joined ABC and the WaPo in noting this story–which is about all they do, note it (though the foreign press is beginning to take note). For its part, ABC seems to have gotten bored with breaking the news that the President authorized his top aides to set up a torture regime–by 5PM yesterday they had removed the story from their Top Headlines (but worry not, you can still find the story of Sam, the dog that invited himself to his owner’s funeral, among the Top Headlines).

I would have put Fenway on the top stories, but then I’m partial to other peoples dogs.

A search on WaPo stories from January 2005 referencing Haynes, Rizzo, and Gonzales returns just one story, regarding Alberto Gonzales’ involvement in setting up the torture regime (recall that Gonzales was up for Senate confirmation as AG in January 2005). The story does, in fact, reveal that the lawyers got together to discuss torture techniques in early 2002.

Well at least the WaPo can say they made an effort to cover this story a little bit, but then one wonders why it is falling off the radar now that Bush is directly implicated in the story.

I wonder what sort of credibility those in the media are always talking about, when it comes to politicians, or say pseudonymous bloggers who can’t be attributed because they are say, pseudonymous, but the President of the United States can be reported to have authorized war crimes and, well you know, that just ain’t news.

I mean it makes us all look bad, and gosh, the guy is a likeable fellow, and we all have nicknames, and besides he may want to leave the United States someday as a civilian and find his likeable sorry ass in the docket.

dday relates.

We should not move on, ever, until we force ourselves to look at the stain which will never come out. And at the risk of stepping on Dennis Hartley’s turf, I want to tell you about Errol Morris’ latest documentary “Standard Operating Procedure,” which I was able to see a couple days ago.

Hell just go read them all

Grim’s Report

April 13, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

Thoughts on Iraq

Iraq has essentially three problems to “solve” to become a stable country. These are the Sunni problem, the Shia problem, and the Kurdish problem. By “problem” I mean not that the people are a problem, but that each of the main subsets of the population has a particular challenge that has to be resolved before it can integrate into a successful state. (This is, of course, at a high degree of abstraction — at the ground level, Shiites and Sunnis may be intermarried, etc.)

The GoI and the JAM are both disaggregating their bad elements. Mickey Kaus deserves credit for noticing, at least as far as the GoI goes:

Whether it was an incremental success or a humiliating fizzle, hasn’t the Maliki government’s assault on Sadr-linked Shiite militias operated, de facto, as a highly efficient purge of the Iraqi army? According to Juan Cole, those who heeded calls for defection or who otherwise refused to fight have been fired. … P.S.: Meanwhile, some 10,000 militia members who did fight on the government’s side have reportedly been inducted into the security forces.

What people have not noticed is that JAM is doing essentially the same thing. For quite some time Sadr has been purging JAM of elements that do not obey him. Sadr has said that he will disown members who violate the ceasefire, excepting in self-defense. His proposed truce calls for patience from his members, and comes “after receiving assurances” that his membership will not be targetted if he has them stand down.

For those of you like me, lefties with attitude, then the comments will also be enlightening, given what we hear from so many war mongers, er, Pro War Christians like Laura Ingrams current supporters of Petreus COIN tactics, some of them are informative, which one may very well be able to seperate from the lying liars and the lies and soft shoe shuffling that got us there. I think it is extremely important to look at the military situation on the ground in Iraq without the lense of domestic political BS intruding on the analysis. The otherside of the aisle has many who cannot, just as we do. But I don’t want you to be one of those people.

Update: Just to be clear, the war on the ground is not as static and putrid as the political BS coming from the war toadies in the administration and FOX.

Update II: Even under the best case scenario, the best we can hope for is an Iraq essentially what it was under Saddam, which is hardly a “victory” or “succes” as McBush asserts, unless all the deaths and maiming, all the treasury spent to acheive absolutely nothing, is those things McCain wishes them to be perceived as. They are not, and may explain why McCain isn’t going to be on Cambell Brown’s faith and politicss show tonight. And in fact that any new Iraq is pro Iranian is not something I would want to tout as a success,

The Things George Will Knows About Small Towns

April 13, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

The American Civil War 1969- Present

April 13, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

The Cult of the Professional

The media — newspapers, radio, and television — is not made up of reporters running on a sparkling field of journalistic integrity. Those reporters are instead embedded in a machine intended to do the one thing that Mr. Keen sets as the mark of professionalism — make money. And the way the media has chosen to make money over the last few decades is, perversely, by devaluing their own product. The clearest illustration of this can be found in three massive changes that have affected news over the last two decades: the increase in radio pundits, the establishment of the Fox News Network, and the reaction of the remainder of the media to the first two events.

The myth of the “liberal media” came long before the blogs. Discrediting the “nattering nabobs” of the press is not a game that originated with bloggers. Every blogger I know is fully aware that we could not survive without the legwork done by hardworking, professional reporters. Bloggers are not competition to the traditional media — though they do, hopefully, act as an occasional check on its excesses. However, even if the Internet were entirely dedicated to the downfall of existing media, it would be only one popgun in a chorus of cannons. A large part of the traditional media is dedicated to nothing less than making war on the rest.

Good post.

Welcome To The Sinkhole

April 13, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

Your Forgotten War

April 13, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

It’s the little things that kill,

The Taliban, General Giáp and Guerrilla Strategy read the whole thing and follow the links, who knows, you may end up with a balanced view, then check out the report,

The third and final bit of Sunday reading is LTG (Ret.) David Barno’s testimony to Congress last week on Afghanistan. Don’t be scared off by the fact this testimony is a .pdf file. It is a short (three pages), damning indictment of U.S. policy in Afghanistan, and it is absolutely required reading.

At least you know what the media know and aren’t telling you now.

Mr. Bush’s War

April 13, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

Cheney on the Warpath Again?

Vice President Cheney went on right-wing talk radio yesterday with a dramatic new argument for preventing Iran from getting nuclear weapons, casting the Iranian leadership as apocalyptic zealots who yearn for a nuclear conflagration.

Cheney also notably refused to comment about any recent conversations he may have had with Israeli leaders about the possibility of their bombing Iranian nuclear facilities. Some observers suspect Cheney of encouraging Israel to attack Iran as a proxy.

Meanwhile back at the ranch,

As for the Bush charges that Iran backed rogue militiamen against the al-Maliki government, it is contradicted by the US intelligence community. The USG Open Source Center did a report on the Iranian stance toward the recent fighting between al-Maliki’s forces and those of Mahdi Army and other militias. It found that the Iranian press (hint: it is not independent of the Iranian government) backed al-Maliki! In other words, Bush and Iran are on the same side:

And of course an attack on Iran is in Al Whooda?s best interests, so what we have is a real witches brew of conflicting aims and ambitions, all under the rubric of Very Serious People. Who would have ever thought that the interests of Israel and UBL would be the same, and that it would involve the US attacking their common enemy, at the degradation of the US’s own national security?

No wonder the the national mass media focuses in on sex and violence, especially mindless violence and sexual deviancy, it’s all we can do to sort through the deranged running loose in the public, much less those running loose in government. Perhaps they think their viewers will get off on that stuff too.

Blog Reading Habit

April 13, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

Blog reading becomes a habit, study says

Reading a blog can become as much of a habit as checking e-mail, a new study looking at readers, rather than bloggers, suggests.

Researchers from the University of California-Irvine presented their study, which they said was the first to look in depth at the readers of blogs, on Wednesday at the Association for Computing Machinery Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI) in Florence, Italy.

In a release, they said that previous studies about blogs have typically focused on the writers, “largely overlooking those who go online to read, comment and participate.”

See? It really is all about you. Who knows maybe we will learn something.

President Carter Responds

April 13, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

Jimmy Carter Defends Meeting With Hamas

Several State Department officials, including the secretary, Condoleezza Rice, criticized Carter’s plans to talk in Syria this week with exiled Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal in the first public contact in two years between a prominent American figure and the group. Carter said he had not heard the objections directly, although a State Department spokesman said earlier that a senior official from the department had called the former president.

“I feel quite at ease in doing this,” Carter said. “I think there’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that, if Israel is ever going to find peace with justice concerning the relationship with their next-door neighbors, the Palestinians, that Hamas will have to be included in the process.”

Only in America would someone like Carter have to defend common f’n sense.

Old Bloggers Never Die

April 13, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

Should Fractured Feed Reader Comments Raise Blog Owners’ Ire?

While the discussion around where a blog’s comments should reside has raised its head before, especially around services like FriendFeed, (See: Sarah Perez of Read Write Web: Blog Comments Still Matter) it flared up again this afternoon when I had (innocently, I thought) highlighted how one friend’s blog post from earlier in the week was getting a lot of comments, and had become the most popular story on Shyftr, a next-generation RSS feed reader that enables comments within its service.

While I had hoped the author (Eric Berlin of Online Media Cultist, who I highlighted on Monday and like quite a bit) would be pleased to see his post had gained traction, the reaction was not what I had expected. He said he was uneasy about seeing his posts generate activity and community for somebody else. Another FriendFeed user called it “content theft” and said “if they ever pull my feed and use it there, they can expect to get hit with a DMCA take-down notice”. (See the discussion here)


Anyway, I am seeing this trend big time. Over on FriendFeed I’m seeing better comments than I see on most blogs (and more quantity too).

The era when bloggers could control where the discussion of their stuff took place is totally over.

This is a trend that the best bloggers should embrace. Me? I follow wherever the conversation takes me.

How quickly the establishment becomes the establishment.

Obvious Observation

April 13, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

Theda Skocpol writes in …

I have been in meetings with the Clintons and their advisors where very clinical things were said in a very-detached tone about unwillingness of working class voters to trust government — and Bill Clinton — and about their unfortunate (from a Clinton perspective) proclivity to vote on life-style rather than economic issues. To see Hillary going absolutely over the top to smash Obama for making clearly more humanly sympathetic observations in this vein, is just amazing. Even more so to see her pretending to be a gun-toting non-elite. Give us a break!

The distrust remains. You can take the girl out of the DLC, but you can’t take the DLC out of the girl.

Apparently ( some of) the blogosphere has nomemory either.


Update: http://Terraformed2_files/4G8dRMofHNsrel0.swf

This ties in nicely with this , and of course this one too.

Truth Be Told

April 13, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

It’s not over for the Winter Soldiers The summer soldier and the sunshine patriots of the media have totally failed their readers, viewers and listeners by failing in almost every instance to cover the war as an event and not as a patriotic reaffirmation of they and their corporate slave holders, Americanism. Nothing could have proven to be further from the truth.

The accounts began to take on a similar tone, no matter if the narrator was Army or Marine, black or white or Latino, stationed in Fallujah or Baghdad, or some other city or town. The soldiers and veterans explained how trickle-down abuse starts at the top ranks of the military hierarchy with institutionalized racism, sexual harassment, and assault on the lower ranks. They talked about their complete lack of training in Iraqi culture and language. As we listened, a composite picture emerged, in which our soldiers are conditioned before leaving U.S. soil to think of Iraqis as “less than,” as “Hajis;” a term once reserved for pilgrims to Mecca, now turned inside out to demean and dehumanize. “Haji” has become to the Iraq occupation what “Gook” became to the Vietnam and Korean wars. When a people is rendered less than, everyone soon loses some humanity. When a population is dehumanized, it becomes easier to kill them.

Follow the links, and then ask yourself what thirty pieces of silver was the coin for the ongoing subversion of the Constitution by the major media outlets, and then ask yourselves if that coin isn’t in your own pocket, and from whence it came. The big lie cannot be spoken only by government subversives, but it must be relayed to the masses, by those who so fear for reputation and renumeration that all their skills are brought to bear in hidding the truth from themselves, and ultimately their audiences.

Country Boy Begs His City Crew

April 12, 2008 by EZSmirkzz


April 12, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

Laughed so hard my side hurts. Memo to Petraeus & Crocker: More Laughs, Please It reminds me to use sesquipedalianism next time I refer to Brooks or Will.

I’m Shocked! Shocked I Tell Ya,

April 12, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

Secret Iraqi Deal Shows Problems in Arms Orders

BAGHDAD — An $833 million Iraqi arms deal secretly negotiated with Serbia has underscored Iraq’s continuing problems equipping its armed forces, a process that has long been plagued by corruption and inefficiency.

The deal was struck in September without competitive bidding and it sidestepped anticorruption safeguards, including the approval of senior uniformed Iraqi Army officers and an Iraqi contract approval committee. Instead, it was negotiated by a delegation of 22 high-ranking Iraqi officials, without the knowledge of American commanders or many senior Iraqi leaders.

Yes, everything Iraq occurs in a corner.

So Where Is The Press?

April 12, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

ACLU Calls for Independent Counsel

The ACLU is calling on congress to appoint an independent counsel to investigate the administration’s little torture reenactment parties at the white house. … Troutfishing over at Daily Kos has issued an action alert on this to write letters to congress.

I will be contacting all the major newspapers and broadcasters myself to ask them why they aren’t interested in this story. (You can access all the email addresses here.)

You would think that an issue that will define America and America’s moral authority in the world for years and years would pique a little more air and ink.

Oh yeah, I forgot, There is a *sect in Texas, and middle class girls who had poor parenting, oh yeah, and bitter country folk.

* Just to be clear, These are serious crimes, but do they really need to dwarf very serious crimes because they appeal to the lowest common purient interests of the public? If that is the case let’s investigate all the viagra drug abuse, (hell it even has an illegal aspect to it, and I’m sure that knock offs are being smuggled across the border,) because after all boners are hard news items too. And to think, I live in a Christian nation.

You Know It’s Hell Being A Country Boy

April 12, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

There are the haves and have mores. Some people call you the elite, I call you my base. If life were fair I’d be a multitrillionaire, because I’m sure all these people are worth their pay. But life isn’t fair, so I must resolve myself to being invaluable.

Seriously, I don’t know where in the hell anybody gets off calling Obama’s remarks elitism, unless they just can’t speak English. Perhaps I need to link Arthur Silber’s post up again, the one that cautions against hearing what you want to hear, and seeing what you want to see.

I appreciate all the offense being taken on my behalf, but ya’ll can blow it out your elitist asses.


The Ass End Of The Beautiful People

April 12, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

Now If He Proposed Using Hot Air

April 12, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

John McCain would be a perfect source of energy.

Obama’s Remarks On Small Town Bitterness

April 12, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

Seems to be a big deal to those who live in New York City, or Washington DC, you know, all those small towns you have a house in both of, those small towns who think that they are much more sophisticated than us rubes who actually live in small towns.

Obama is right. There are people like that in small towns, and they are bitter about this and that, and for most of them they would be hard pressed to put a finger on it, like Lou Dobbs does.

Update:Basically identifying problems – and their causes and subsequent effects – is poor politics, even if that leads to policy solutions for those problems. The problem I have with Clinton and McCain on this issue is their inability to take statements such as Obama’s and run with them in a positive direction. Their take on the issue is exactly the problem that Obama articulated, Washington insiders taking remarks like his to make political hay for themselves, while ignoring the fundamental issue – that politicians like themselves do this instead of addressing the problems.

UD: I broke the last link. since it pretty much did to my post what the politicians do to each others. My apologies to strawmen everywhere, Cigarette?

Is Charles Krauthammer an Al Qaeda Tool?

April 12, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

William E. Odom: Iraq Testimony from a Different General

Odom also made hash of claims that Al Qaeda will have a staging area in Iraq for further attacks against the United States if we withdraw our entire military presence.

“The Sunnis will soon destroy Al Qaeda if we leave Iraq,” Odom said. “The Kurds do not allow them in their region, and the Shiites, like the Iranians, detest Al Qaeda. To understand why, one need only take note of the Al Qaeda public diplomacy campaign over the past year or so on Internet blogs. They implore the United States to bomb and invade Iran and destroy this apostate Shiite regime.

“As an aside, it gives me pause to learn that our vice president and some members of Congress are aligned with Al Qaeda on spreading the war to Iran.”

Obviously war is an extension of diplomacy, and diplomacy is an extension of all politics are local, so Mr. Krauthammer’s strangest bedfellow is no surprise. But it does highlight the conflation of politics and religion for the sake of manipulating American public opinion, even against its’ own best interests.

Know Your Muqtada

April 12, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

We Have All Been Here Before

April 12, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

Come let us read together.


April 12, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

Mr. Bush expalins to Martha Raddatz why he never talks about his born again religious faith anymore.

Of course he probably hasn’t connected the dots yet.

BAE- It’s A British Problem

April 12, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

Tories join Brown in bid to block fraud investigations

Gordon Brown yesterday won Conservative backing for a move that would allow the government to block future criminal investigations such as the corruption case against the arms company BAE Systems.

Despite scathing criticism in the high court on Thursday, the Tories have chosen to support Downing Street in facing down critics who are keen for the BAE investigation to be reopened.

According to US media reports, there is no reason to investigate this stuff here in the States.

Crime pays if your rich,
Socialism is good, if your rich
Any other reason you’ld think
small town boys would bitch?

I Stand Correct

April 12, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

Pleas from an Obama Republican

However, as this primary season has dragged on, I have been disappointed to see more and more “repug”nant posts that are dismissive or just hateful of others’ views. You should understand that TPM becomes irrelevant as soon as it grows too insular. This morning I read through some of the blog postings on Senator Clinton’s campaign site. Self-congratulatory but dismissive of others
and their opinions — with special venom for fellow Democrats who have chosen to support Obama, one woman even speaking poorly about her two sons who had chosen to back Obama — that website will never convince a single soul to support Hillary Clinton.

Shades of an echo

A Poem

April 11, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

Onward through the fog they sailed in perfect misery,
In pants pentametered for to sail, for to sail across the sea,
sometimes tacking, without digital eruptions, to boost ‘er frothy sails
we’ll never hear that no more, for the blow did rustle the shuddering mains
but once, just like that, then never more, shall the sea be afloat that dream.
So we practice, and birth a thought pregnant with implication that fails
to meet expectations, and the sail unfurled longer than we keen,
and many winds will billow up, and we sail on, sail on, sail on blue seas.

Well Of Course!

April 11, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

Obama was referring to you.

Andrea, for claiming that you, as a Republican strategists from a small town in PA, would not vote for Obama now.

I Hope This Remark Is True

April 11, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

Even if I have to eat crow with Brooks because I can’t recall when or where I heard or read it, but perhaps some of you will more accurately recall the tale of the western native nation’s chief who remarked that the first white man he ever saw was a black man.

Guns Are The Second Amendment, Religion Is Your Opinion

April 11, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

Transcending an issue.

Updated to clarify.

The Little Trainwreck That McCould

April 11, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

Straight Talk And All That Jazz

McCain campaign manager Rick Davis sent out a fund-raising letter this week trying to raise money off of George Soros’ funding of indy Dem groups: “He and his group of billionaire left-wing Democrats have pledged $40 million dollars of soft money to smear John McCain in a national television ad campaign,” Davis wrote in the letter.

The problem for McCain is that Soros has also funded groups like the Reform Institute, an advocate of campaign-finance reform that Davis himself served as president of from 2001-05 and for which McCain was honorary co-chairman. As TPM Election Central reports, Soros gave $150,000 to the McCain-Davis outfit back in 2003.

it gets better,

Turns out that right-wing pariah, George Soros, also contributed money to the legal defense of McCain-Feingold.

Whata Maroon!

Only in America.

Support This Blogger

April 11, 2008 by EZSmirkzz


You know if I agreed with everything everyone else had to say, or everything they did, I wouldn’t need anybody else would I?

So Long Scott, We Hardly Knew Ya

April 11, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

Maybe It’s Time They Got Back To The Basics Of News

April 11, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

Think Again: The End of the Network News?

Of course these journalists and producers have a tough job. Audience numbers are in steep decline and their ages are rising, making them unattractive to advertisers and increasingly difficult to fund. But perhaps they are seeking viewers in the wrong places. CBS has the lightest news agenda, according to the study, and it is perhaps no coincidence that they’re also consistently the lowest-rated broadcast.

This is one of those articles I like to read so I can stand athwart my aphasia and link to TBogg even though I prefer to link to him about important stuff rather than … oh well I forgot, but whatever Brooks has, I don’t want it.

I can’t do serious research into this stuff, but I can tell you what I like or dislike about the media. One of the things I dislike is the overly broad brush of the term. I mean how does one discriminate between local and national and national cable news media without getting into the verbosity of Brooks? I mean without pooching out ones lips like Kristol who is always looking like he is a six month old baby in the process of pinching a loaf?

Nope. in my mind it would just be easier to say what he said.

What he said.

Note To Obama, Change

April 11, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

Obama, Carter and Meshaal: Campaign rhetoric v. policy

But from a policy perspective, this is a mistake. As I wrote here yesterday, the current administration’s policy toward Hamas has boomeranged. The US supported Hamas participation in Palestinian elections, expecting a festival of democracy and Hamas’s defeat. When Hamas won, the administration’s tactics helped produce the Hamas takeover of Gaza. Bush’s “pro-Israel” stance toward Hamas has hurt Israel repeatedly. Meanwhile, Khaled Meshaal, the Damascus-based head of Hamas’s Political Bureau, has just reiterated his willingness to accept a two-state solution.

Given the Bushco fiasco of formenting the Fatah putsch in Gaza, which our media doesn’t report so as to keep the stenographers busy showing us Pentagon videos, and the assertion that one is open to changing the parameters of discussion, I would suggest you start reading South Jerusalem.

Note To Israel

April 11, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

Torture Are US

April 11, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

Central Intelligence Anxiety

After that, a division emerged between what a former senior Agency official described to me as the “SS crowd” and the “Wehrmacht crowd,” the “hard edged” and the “smarter and better informed.” He said, “People managed not to take assignments. There were senior people who would not go to meetings if they thought that extraordinary rendition or enhanced interrogation techniques were going to be discussed.”

Well how can that be you wonder?

What about Congress? “They have known for a long time that [the CIA] uses stress positions and hypothermia and waterboarding and sleep deprivation—and they haven’t done anything about it,” says Marty Lederman, a former Justice Department attorney who now teaches law at Georgetown University. “They don’t disagree with it. And if they do disagree with it, what are they going to do about it? The default position is to have closed hearings, which is preposterous. The intelligence oversight committees are totally captured by the intelligence community.”

Good little Germans, one and all.

Off Shoring Taxes

April 11, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

Corporate Tax Revenues Dropping, as U.S. Multinationals Shift Profits Abroad

In this week’s report, “U.S. Multinationals Shifting Profits Out of the United States,” Tax Analysts contributing editor Martin A. Sullivan found that corporate tax revenues dropped by $17.4 billion in 2004, the last year for which comprehensive data are available, compared to 1999.

This finding, Sullivan writes, indicates “the IRS is losing its battle to rein in aggressive transfer pricing abuse” – the abuse of U.S. tax rules for allocating assets, goods, and services among foreign and domestic operations, which allows companies to shift profits to lower-tax jurisdictions and pay tax

Heads up from C-SPAN, albeit the other tube.

Know Your al-Sadrs

April 11, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

No Nation Has Ever Been Both Free And Ignorant

April 11, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

This is where the corporate media comes in, Losing the Republic

President Bush’s signature constitutional idea is that he is the law. The idea is taking hold in a climate of post-Sept. 11, 2001, fear. Under the banner of fighting international terrorism, Mr. Bush claims unchecked powers historically associated with despots: torture; kidnappings; secret imprisonments; indefinite detentions of suspected unlawful enemy combatants; violations of the Constitution and laws with impunity; and, the authority to employ the military at any time and place of his choosing. On the domestic front, Mr. Bush disputes the power of Congress to oversee the executive branch for lawlessness, abuses, or maladministration. He signs laws while asserting a right to disobey those provisions he pronounces to be unconstitutional.

Unfortunately the ignorance appears to start at the top. via

Real Men Advocate Short Wars With Tehran

April 11, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

Petraeus Points to War With Iran by Patrick J. Buchanan

The Iranians may sense what is afoot. For Tehran helped broker the truce in the Maliki-Sadr clash in Basra, and has called for a halt to the mortar and rocket attacks on the Green Zone.

With a friendly regime in Baghdad that rolled out the red carpet for Ahmadinejad, Iran has nothing to gain by war. Already, it is the big winner from the U.S. wars that took down Tehran’s Taliban enemies, decimated its al-Qaeda enemies and destroyed its Sunni enemies, Saddam and his Baath Party.

No, it is not Iran that wants a war with the United States. It is the United States that has reasons to want a short, sharp war with Iran.

The only problem with all of this is there will be no short war with Iran. No one wants to tell you this, I just did.

Update: Bush granted Kristol advance preview of Iraq speech.»

Kristol breaks the rules of journalistic ethics in order to emphasize Bush’s grieving during Tuesday’s Medal of Honor ceremony and paint a hagiographic picture of the President:

Why not?

Lieberman, Bennett, And Kristol See Petraeus Hearing As ‘An Argument’ For ‘Going Into Iran’

I don’t think Bennet has completely lost his fucking mind like Kristol and Lieberman, but anyone who thinks that a war with Iran will be a short painless affair is deluded.

Lieberman and Kristol of course, can afford to be putting their armour on before battle as though they were taking it off having returned from it, they won’t go.

Hannity Accused Obama Of Consorting With Torturers

April 11, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

Powell Has Praise for Obama Oh my bad.

Hannity hasn’t got around to that yet, lest he have to dig into My Lai and other assorted wonders of the Powell adventures.

Of Course They Need A Bailout

April 11, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

Home loans to cost more despite rate cut by Bank

Britain’s largest mortgage lenders were last night accused of fattening their profits at the expense of increasingly stretched homeowners as two leading firms ignored the third interest rate cut from the Bank of England in five months and pushed through price increases on some of their most popular home loan offers.

Nationwide said it was raising some of its fixed-rate deals and withdrawing others. Fees on several of its products were put up 40% to £699. Meanwhile, Alliance & Leicester will today raise its fixed rates – three days after it last put them up. Abbey and Woolwich raised fixed rates earlier in the week.

I would imagine that I’m a little slower than the American banks in importing this crap from Britain.

Refried McBush

April 11, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

Same as it ever was.It really is better than saying the media suck isn’t it?


April 11, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

Just so you know what I think, the Iraq nation is now a proxy state of Iran, and the reason we are there is to prevent them from benefiting from the oil. We are there to prevent Iran from having the ability to tell Saudi Arabia and OPEC what the benchmark price of crude is, and perhaps which currency the price of oil will be pegged to.

Not To Be Confused With Agreement

April 11, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

There has been some blowback on this post I linked to about the reporters position on the war etc. That is for me beside the point. There are going to be those with whom I disagree, with opinions that I can learn from.

Even if we are to find an objective reporter, such as Ware appears to be, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the outfit that they work for is and so there really isn’t any telling what is ending up on the cutting room floor.

What we can count on, IMO, is that the majors are going to toe the line with the government position, so that whatever comes out on the national level needs to be taken with a grain of salt.

So what is the point? My thinking is that if you haven’t formulated your own questions to ask, say a Patraeus, then you are at the nationals mercy, and if you have formulated your own questions then how close do those questions come to being asked, and more importantly, how close is any answer given to the question asked. Patraeus is very good at answering by rephrasing the question asked into a strawman that he will answer. He is a political general, and like all politicians does this very well.

That is and continues to be a major problem with Americans and American public opinion, the tendency to lock things into a binary configuration of our own mindset, which allows us to gather many facts that we can agree with and none that we disagree with. The extent to which the reporters and national news decimators play into this, is extent that one thinks they are reliable.

The problem of propaganda from a war zone is very much a mental IED to be aware of, but not a reason to remain in the green zone of ones own opinion. The only facts I think we have are those we have been presented with, and it is not beyond reporters and editors to broadcast or print local Iraqis’ opinions that re-enforce the story they wish to tell if they are braodcasting from Iraq, so they must be used in conjunction with other reports and other analysis to come to some sort of balanced view of the reality of Iraq.

I don’t expect Patreauses to reveal any military useful information, so Wares questions about the extent of Iranian penetration of the Iraqi government may be acknowledge but they will not be addressed. The information is in the question, not the answers. This is true of much reporting on many issues.

But I would suggest what you see on TV or in the papers is much like honey, it is sweet and taste good, but it is in reality bee barf that cannot describe the flowers from which it originated. Very much like what you hear in church.

Update: John Roberts just made my points. Interviews with anyone in the Pentangle is just a live press release.

Wasting My Time

April 11, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

zero use CNN’s video clip of the Ware interview of Petraeus, which is better than the transcript.

Say Good Night EZ

April 10, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

Lou Dobbs’ World

April 10, 2008 by EZSmirkzz


Via The Economist’s View“The Coming Collapse of the Middle Class”

Talk starts at 4:45

The underlying anxiety

The Really Long Slog

April 10, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

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