Terraformed April 18-23, 2008

Remember Where We Came From, Look To Where We Are Going

April 23, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

I think it is well known that I support Obama because I think he will bring a fresher and more pragmatic outlook suited to the foreign and domestic needs of the people of these United States. If it isn’t known that he is also to the right of me on some issues, then there you go.

If I regret anything it will be Hillary punching him from the right all the time which will make it harder for me to land one myself later if he were to become President. As she well knows I like to hit from both sides of the plate politically speaking, and throw left and right as well.

You know if former President Clinton thought he could win votes for Hillary he would find and buy Fred Thompson’s old red truck, and do what he likes best, talk about politics and himself, to anyone who will listen like all politicians do. But I’ve lampooned every Former President since Cyrus Griffin, some of them on a more constant basis than others.

I would have said the same things in private if it had not been for the war on Iraq. I find it offensive that the most obtrusive media in American lives is disinclined to vet military analyst to ensure that the American people get an objective view of enterprises that require their blood and their treasure. But the lies and propagators of those national security and defense issues of today are the same ones that brought us full throated into the boon boon boondogle of Iraq. If the Presidents are not out of bounds then, how much less so you?

It isn’t any wonder that Obama is getting tagged. Salacious be thy name.

If we do not seek peace as actively now as we have sought wars, then we condemn ourselves to the follies of would be great Presidents of the past, including in the passing tense. Presidents do not fight wars, people do. Money only pays for it.

It always come around to getting into peoples pockets for a purpose ill or misbegotten, just as it does to do good however. All the relatively darkened and silhouetted area of the picture I posted this morning are from the government, the seawall and rail, the tree, sign in the parking lot by a park. People with wheelchairs and other disabilities can get as close to the sunrise as anyone, Conservatives become nature purist and calculate the cost of it all, decrying the obscuration of the sunrise of God, and expenditure of funds. War gets them off, so if you want to loot the treasury do it by stoking the war machine and looking for the next mobster abroad. Hormonal.

Sec. Of Defense Endorses Obama

April 23, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

“If you flatter him, you betray him.”

Secretary Gates has been busy this week…busy reading this world-famous blog! (Clearly the source of all his best ideas.) After pistol whipping the Air Force (and assorted other services), he spoke to the Cadets at West Point yesterday and offered a inspired call for dissent, wrapped in some brilliant bedtime stories from the life of George C. Marshall and a recognition of the complexities of modern warfare.

The kicker?

But in order to succeed in the asymmetric battlefields of the 21st century – the dominant combat environment in the decades to come, in my view – our Army will require leaders of uncommon agility, resourcefulness and imagination; leaders willing and able to think and act creatively and decisively in a different kind of world, in a different kind of conflict than we have prepared for for the last six decades.

One thing will remain the same. We will still need men and women in uniform to call things as they see them and tell their subordinates and their superiors alike what they need to hear, not what they want to hear.

That’s my man.

Israel’s Alladin’s Lamp

April 23, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

I thought a review of the Israeli spying on America was in order for those not familiar with the long history of it all.

Subjects like this, along with racism, and misogyny are difficult for us WASP DFH men, because they are loaded with minefields of other peoples sensibilities that one can at best only empathize with once we are aware of them, and why they probably don’t receive much play in the major media outlets, which thrive on selling peas to everyone.

I can only hope that you all who read this blog are able to look at issues without lumping entire groups of people into straw men that fit your preconceptions. If you can’t then you are part of the problem, not the solution.

I would also point out that one of the drawbacks of the empire is that everyone is trying to steal our secrets, divide our assets and corrupt our politicians. Our obligation as Americans is to not fall for it, whether it is sourced domestically or otherwise.

Hang In There Tony

April 23, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

Tony Snow Taken To Hospital

Snow canceled a series of speeches today at Eastern Washington University because of illness. He was treated for exhaustion at the hospital, says a source at the University.

I promise more humor than snark, if that’ll help ya.

BTW, if you read the comments there is a poster tagged EZFrag, another fine example of conservative original thinking.

Pesky Bloggers

April 23, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

Popular Vote: Listen Up, Obama Surrogates (Updated)

Always telling the Pro’s, “Hey we want to win this one morons!”

Life Is Good

April 23, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

What? Me Worry?

April 23, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

Lowenstein: Triple-A Failure

Shocked? Homebuyer’s were speculating with no money down. Mortgage brokers didn’t care because they would sell the loans immediately and collect their fees. Wall Street didn’t care because they could package the loans and sell them to investors. Investors would have cared, except they trusted the rating agencies. And as this article describes, the rating agencies weren’t evaluating the underlying loans – they were performing statistical analysis using models based on lenders that cared if the borrower would repay the loan.

I wish these Alfred E.’s had been around when I was still young enough to want to stick it to the man. Sigh, such is life.

For Those Who Don’t Do Math

April 23, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

54.7-45.3=9.4 not 10. I will concede that 9.4 is indeed two digits.

Update: Decimalist Backlash!

AP’s current numbers, which most media sites (including TPM) are showing is …

Clinton 1,258,245 54.69%
Obama 1,042,297 45.31%

So according to TPM numbers wizard Eric Kleefeld, that’s actually a 9.39 point spread, not 10. I trust this has acquitted us of our mathematical responsibilities for the day.

Can I nit pick, or what?

Hillary Wins PA, Vows To Keep Bill

April 23, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

On the bright side the polls were right, so there weren’t any surprises. Watching the pundits this AM there are none either.

For those Obama supporters going through their first campaign all I can tell you is it ain’t over yet. There is a lot of demographic voting going on which will disappear in the general, although not all of it. Just remember where we are isn’t where we are going.

Updated with a link, because life is real.

Kodos In A Landslide!

April 22, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

You heard it here first.

All Your Hyperboles Are Belong To Us

April 22, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

Things Are Tough All Over

Ayman al-Zawahiri is attacking Iran for spreading the Israel-9/11 conspiracy theory in order to deny Sunni al Qaeda its hard-earned reputation as the leading practitioner of mass-casualty terrorist attacks against America.

“The purpose of this lie is clear – [to suggest] that there are no heroes among the Sunnis who can hurt America as no-one else did in history,” said Zawahiri.

Oy Vey!

LMAO

April 22, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

Bill: I Didn’t Say Obama Camp Played Race Card On Me I hope he is right about Hillary being the smart one.

Israeli Spy Busted

April 22, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

US man held on Israel spy charge

US authorities have arrested a military engineer on suspicion of giving secrets involving nuclear weapons, fighter jets and missiles to Israel in the 1980s.

Ben-Ami Kadish was detained for participating in a conspiracy to disclose documents related to national defence, the justice department said.

Mr Kadish worked at the army’s Armament Research, Development and Engineering Centre in New Jersey from 1979 to 1985.

He is accused of giving material to an Israeli consular official whilst there.

His alleged handler has been named by justice officials as the former consul for science affairs at the Israeli Consulate General in Manhattan, reportedly the same person who dealt with Jonathan Jay Pollard, who is serving life in prison for spying for Israel.

Update: More here,

Ben-Ami Kadish, an 84-year-old Connecticut-born U.S. citizen who worked at an Army engineering center in New Jersey, was suspected of reporting to the same Israeli government handler who dealt with Jonathan Jay Pollard, currently serving a life term on a charge of spying for Israel.

Kadish faces four counts of conspiracy, including allegations that he conspired to disclose U.S. national defense documents to Israel and that he acted as an agent of the Israeli government, U.S. Attorney Michael J. Garcia and FBI officials said.

and some implications here,

The new U.S.-Israel espionage affair revealed Tuesday is in fact an old story. Nothing in this fact, however, can reduce the gravity of damage it will cause Israel, nor lead to expectations that suspect Ben-Ami Kadish’s punishment will be eased – if he is indeed to be convicted in a court of law.

One can draw a number of conclusions from this affair: To begin with, the memory of American law and justice is very long and will not leave alone a violation even if a quarter of a century has passed.

This is known to Colonel (res.) Aviam Sela, who was involved in the recruitment of Jonathan Pollard (a U.S. citizen jailed for spying for Israel), and Yaakov Nimrodi who was involved in the “Irangate” affair (the sale of weapons to Iran). Both of these men fear arrest in the United States should they travel there.

Just to be clear, I will discuss this with anti-Semites, but I disagree with your assumptions before we get started.

FWIW

April 22, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

I read some crap about Cafferty that lined him up with a bunch of conservative mumbo jumbo so I pointed out his one really germane point this political season. But then Jack doesn’t need me to stick up for him, hell he’s on TV, and can swear like a sailor too, so I took the post down.

Eating The Mushrooms Off Their Own BS

April 22, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

Obama’s Waffle Controversy

What’s the big deal? Why is this news? Because, as Jay Newton-Small at Time’s Swampland explains, Obama hasn’t given a press conference in 10 days and the reporters had no other opportunity to ask him.

Journalists in general don’t relish asking politicians questions in awkward situations, like on a golf course or over a waffle. But sometimes our hands are forced: Obama hasn’t given a press conference in 10 days and the questions, some of them — like Hamas — rather important, are starting to build up. If he wins the nomination he’ll be running again John McCain, whose philosophy is to give the press total access to the point of saturation; Obama might consider holding avails with a little more regularity. Then, maybe, reporters would let him to eat in peace.

Basically the presser is a Sybyl of reporters asking asinine things of Obama and Clinton they wouldn’t dare broach with McCain, as opposed to a debate, wherein one or two reporters ask asinine questions of Clinton and Obama that they wouldn’t ask McCain.

The Honorable Senator From Connecticut

April 22, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

Lieberman knew

As you’ll recall, the Lieberman campaign hosted their website on a cheapy hosting account, probably paying in the tens of dollars per month for the service. When their website crashed due to heavy usage on Primary Day, they accused the Lamont campaign or his supporters of “hacking” his website.

We knew immediately why his site had gone down — his shitty hosting account — but Joe Lieberman, in full sanctimony, demanded an investigation into the website failure, forcing tax payers to fund civil and criminal investigations into the mater.

We already know that the US Attorney knew before the November elections that the charges were bogus, yet refused to reveal the information. We also know that Connecticut Attorney General Dick Blumenthal claims the Feds didn’t update him on their investigation, hence he was unable to let the public know about Lieberman’s bogus politically-charged accusations.

However, the reality is that the Feds DID tell Lieberman and Blumenthal about the results.

Village People! This isn’t a media problem, since I recall hearing that there wasn’t a hack on television, but it does point out what the hell is going on in DC. This is a microcosm of the war on Iraq. It is only a difference of degree, but the SOP in DC is listen to special interests, lie about your motivations, do something stupid, ignore reports of your behavior, rinse and repeat as necessary until election time, call in favors and other confirmed liars from other states to vouch for your good moral and ethical behavior, good judgment, accuse your opponents of your behavior, rinse and repeat ad nauseum.

Never Post Angry, Or Upset, Or Something

April 22, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

One of the unwritten rules of blogging is to never post when you’re angry. I don’t know, I read that somewhere. It seems to be my favorite unwritten rule to break, although there is a web site devoted to blogging rules that I habitually break, this is the unwritten one that I try and pay attention to.

But just so you know, I don’t care. If something Pisses me off then I am apt to tell ya. I don’t figure I owe anybody anything, except the people who mosey onto this ‘ere blog, whom I figure ought to know how I actually feel about things that are just utter bullshit.

When I’m wrong, or some of the bloggers I respect say something to rein me in, I’ll apologize. Otherwise, if something I’ve written offends you either post a comment or blow it out your ass, I’m going to tell it like it is.

Say It Ain’t So Diamond John

April 22, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

Today’s Must Read

You know the story: after surviving the Keating Five scandal, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) vowed to be incorruptible. Sure, he surrounds himself with lobbyists, but that is only to test his vigilance.

The New York Times tests the limits of McCain’s vigilance in a piece today about McCain’s decades-old ties to a wealthy Arizonan developer named Donald Diamond.

I think this story is a ruse to keep people from subscribing to CounterPunch.

Update: Ezra Klein notes,

That stretch of land is in California’s Big Sur, among the most gorgeous stretches of coastline in the country. Lucky for us, McCain helped Diamond build on it. This sort of thing is, I guess, de rigeur among politicians. The difference here is that McCain’s whole political persona is based around idea that McCain is the one politician who doesn’t do this sort of thing.

The Devil made him do it.

The Pentagons Big Brass Bells

April 22, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

Whistling past the graveyard edition.Fortunately the Times did the story, otherwise only the DFHs would have known this stuff.

In Spite Of The War Mongers

April 22, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

Report: Egypt and Hamas draft deal for Hamas-Israel cease-fire

The Egyptian state-run newspaper al-Ahram reported Tuesday that Egypt and Hamas have drafted an agreement of principles on a cease-fire between the Islamist Palestinian group and Israel.

According to the report, Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman will soon present the outline of the agreement to officials in Jerusalem, and Hamas will soon present the agreement to Islamic Jihad officials for approval.

The Kuwaiti daily al-Rai reported that the agreement calls on Hamas to cease all resistance against Israel in exchange for Israel’s lifting of an economic blockade on the Gaza Strip.

The exchange of prisoners, Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails and Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit held by Hamas since 2006, will be postponed to a later date, the paper reported.

While I’m sure there are those who will say it doesn’t go far enough, I’m pretty sure they aren’t within range of the missiles, or starving to death in Gaza either. IMHO you gotta start somewhere, and this is somewhere.

Village People Supporting The Troops

April 22, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

Supporting the Troops?

Why is it that Douchebags ALWAYS have media advisers?

And has Bush given them a tax-write off on “Douchbag Related Expenses”?

1,000 suicide attempts a month amongst vets?!!! How much reporting will this get? I suppose one-hundredth of the time “Did Obama flip Clinton off?” received.

God forbid George Stephanapolis ask John McCain about it?

Notes On The Village People

April 22, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

U.S. and Iran find common ground in Iraq’s Shiite conflict

BAGHDAD: In the Iraqi government’s fight to subdue the Shiite militia of Moktada al-Sadr in the southern city of Basra, perhaps nothing reveals the complexities of the Iraq conflict more starkly than this: Iran and the United States find themselves on the same side.

The causes of this convergence boil down to the logic of self-interest, although it is logic in a place where even the most basic reasoning refuses to proceed in a straight line. In essence, though, the calculation by the United States is that it must back the government it helped to create and take the steps needed to protect U.S. troops and civilian officials.

Iranian motivations appear to hinge on the possibility that Sadr’s political and military followers could gain power in provincial elections, now scheduled for this fall, and disrupt the creation of a large semi-autonomous region in southern Iraq that the Iranians see as beneficial.

What that means is as Juan Cole notes,

Kudos to James Glanz and Alissa Rubin of the NYT for getting the story! They point out that the US and Iran are on the same side in southern Iraq, both fearful of the nativist Sadr movement. This correct narrative is completely the opposite of what Americans have been spoon fed on television and by Bush / Pentagon spokesmen. I had pointed out this Bush- Iran convergence last week and also pointed out that US intelligence analysis admits it. The article is the first one I have seen to say that Iran supports al-Hakim’s ISCI in its bid to create a Shiite superprovince in Iraq’s south. I’ve never been able to discover what the Iranians feel about this and had wondered if they weren’t at least a little bit worried about a soft partition of Iraq because of its implications for Iranian Kurdistan, which might become restive and seek to join Iraqi Kurdistan. But it is plausible that Tehran might risk this scenario in order to gain a permanent regional ally in the form of the Shiite Regional Government in southern Iraq.

Again, the United States Government has and is aiding and abetting an enemy of the United States, because the Village people know what is best for the rubes.

Hillary: If Iran Attacked Israel With Nukes ‘We Would Be Able to Totally Obliterate Them’

Nice work if you can get it, but…

This is just pandering to the AIPAC wankers, who are squeezing her balls, and everyone else with a megaphone, to misrepresent what they would like us to think Ahmed Ahmanijedad said, which is basically what Revrunt Hagee and half a million other Christian millenialist say in regard to Israel as well.

If Hillary were just one of us ol’ chicken pluckers that would be one thing, but she has spent eight years in the White House, and like the current occupant, hasn’t learned a damn thing.

The Capitalist Way

April 22, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

The most potent weapon wielded by the empires of Murdoch and China

If you want to know how powerful Rupert Murdoch is, read the reviews of Bruce Dover’s book, Rupert’s Adventures in China. Well, go on, read them. You can’t find any? I rest my case. Dover was Murdoch’s vice-president in China, and took his orders directly from the boss. His book, which was published in February, is a fascinating study of power, and of a man who could not bring himself to believe that anyone would stand in his way. So why aren’t we reading about it?

Murdoch, Dover shows, began his assault on China with two strategic mistakes. The first was to pay a staggering price – $525m – for a majority stake in Star TV, a failing satellite broadcaster based in Hong Kong. The second was to make a speech in September 1993, a few months after he had bought the business, which he had neither written nor read very carefully. New telecommunications, he said, “have proved an unambiguous threat to totalitarian regimes everywhere … satellite broadcasting makes it possible for information-hungry residents of many closed societies to bypass state-controlled television channels”.

The Chinese leaders were furious. The prime minister, Li Peng, issued a decree banning satellite dishes from China. Murdoch spent the next 10 years grovelling. In the interests of business the great capitalist became the communist government’s most powerful supporter.

When economics is the sole criteria of ones worth and self esteem, then all manner of immorality is ethical. What you see in China as an exception, in America it has become the rule.

Do you understand the nuances of Net Neutrality now?

The Acronym Is COIN

April 22, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

In Baghdad, Struggle Ties Security to Basic Services

BAGHDAD — Even as American and Iraqi troops are fighting to establish control of the Sadr City section of this capital, the Iraqi government’s program to restore basic services like electricity, sewage and trash collection is lagging, jeopardizing the effort to win over the area’s wary residents.

Five years on.

April 21, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

Thick As A Brick

April 21, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

Boot, Podhoretz: Pentagon Propaganda Machine Is No Big Deal

Though most Americans would be disturbed to discover that the Pentagon was operating what one analyst called “psyops on steroids,” two prominent conservatives don’t see what the big deal is. Neoconservative Max Boot wonders, “Why did the Times decide this story is so important?“:

Right-wing neocon John Podhoretz agrees:

Well maybe this has something to do with it knuckleheads,

– “Internal Pentagon documents repeatedly refer to the military analysts as ‘message force multipliers’ or ’surrogates’ who could be counted on to deliver administration ‘themes and messages’ to millions of Americans ‘in the form of their own opinions.’”

– “The access came with a condition. Participants were instructed not to quote their briefers directly or otherwise describe their contacts with the Pentagon.”

Of course who am I?

The Washington Post’s media critic Howard Kurtz acknowledged that “it’s hardly shocking that career military men would largely reflect the Pentagon’s point of view.” Yet he added, “the degree of behind-the-scenes manipulation— including regular briefings by then-defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld and other officials — is striking.

After all the generals that got fired for telling the truth before the war, you might want to think that the American people actually believed what their government was telling them, but since we cannot, we have to rely on the press to do their jobs and report it accurately. That would require an adversarial relationship with the government, something any conservative ought to understand innately, if they weren’t supporters of an undeclared war based on previous government lies.

Oh. This Will Be Good

April 21, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

There will be blood: Tony Snow joins CNN.

CNN has announced that beginning today, former White House press secretary Tony Snow will be joining the network as a “conservative commentator.” CNN president Jon Klein explains the decision:

In the White House, Tony brought a remarkably human touch to the discussion of public policy, which he will continue to do as part of the Best Political Team on Television. He will contribute a unique breadth of political and journalistic expertise to what is already the most provocative and wide-ranging political analysis on the air.

Yeah from the right to the center right. I can’t think of one analyst on CNN that I would consider left of center, and that is important. Given that Snow, or anyone else that CNN has hired from the other majors deserves a shot at doing their jobs objectively, the fact remains that liberals and conservatives mentally frame issues from different perspectives and there is a real danger that CNN could loose its’ objectivity inadvertently by the framing of the analysis.

They may not care about that either, yet,

As for cable news networks, CNN is heavilyskewed Democratic, as Democrats are 23 percent more likely to watch this channel. In contrast, the networks that skewed most heavily Republican are FOX News (Republicans are 42 percent more likely than the average consumer to watch FOX News), … In the cable news category, MSNBC is most heavily skewed Independent, as Independents are 22 percent more likely to watch this channel.

It would appear to me that the line up is heavily front loaded for other channels demographics already. The campaign season is a finite thing, and whether anyone likes it or not the media can and does make a dent in peoples views of issues and candidates, (see Iraq, war on, illegal, immoral,) which could make Bill O’Really’s comments more germane if the two networks start competing for the same viewers, one overtly and the other covertly. It’s one thing for the professionals to tell me not to worry, “We’re Professionals!,” and quite another for me to believe it. Color me skeptical.

The Grand Iran Bandstanding Review

April 21, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

O’Hanlon Goes to Tehran in Search of Failure

This week or next there is likely to be a major Bush administration briefing laying out new evidence of “malign” Iranian involvement in Iraq. I suspect the briefing will be given by MNF-I or the Baghdad Embassy, or both. It will pick up on a major theme of the recent Petraeus/Crocker testimony: Iran, not AQI, is now public enemy #1 in Iraq.

In the lead up to this event, expect a wave of op-eds this week by administration surrogates aimed at highlighting the Iranian threat. Today’s installment comes from Michael O’Hanlon in the Washington Times. O’Hanlon, ostensibly a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, increasingly sounds like he is auditioning for the presidency of the American Enterprise Institute. He calls for negotiating with Iran, but like the folks over at AEI, he expects diplomacy will fail. The goal, for O’Hanlon, is not successful diplomacy aimed at limiting Iran’s lethal aid to Shia militants in Iraq. Rather, talks with Iran make sense.

Which as O’Hanlon writes here,

That said, as part of a broader realpolitik strategy, talking with Iran — while preparing for the next steps after those talks fail — is still the right thing to do.

pretty much makes the strategy obvious.

Mr. O’hanlon is proposing a dog and pony show for public opinion and then doing what he wishes to do but is prevented from doing now because his position doesn’t have any traction. Abu muqawama points out some problems with the assumptions about Iran that O’Hanlon is working from.

Jocularity, Jocularity

April 21, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

New Hillary Ad Shows Bin Laden, Asks: “Who Do You Think Has What It Takes?”

The Obama campaign is already out with a response: It’s directing folks to this video of Bill Clinton saying the following in 2004:

“Now one of Clinton’s Laws of Politics is this: If one candidate’s trying to scare you and the other one’s trying to get you to think; if one candidate’s appealing to your fears and the other one’s appealing to your hopes, you better vote for the person who wants you to think and hope. That’s the best.”

I left the links over at TPM.

People Are Always Making Me Think

April 21, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

More on Misunderstanding Identity: A Response to Bernard Avishai

Mr. Avishai has a reponse to this post in the comments, and it all swings off of this post, Misunderstanding Identity: The Left and the Neocons Unite.

It has it all, where religion and national identity intersect with politics.

There is a lot of stuff that these guys can write about that I would feel uncomfortable putting my two cents worth in on, such as the nature of Israeli democracy. It is very much akin to my dislike of commenting on Russian and other peoples democracy. I think it is a little odd, but I have no problems with anyone else in the world discussing the merits and demerits of American democracy, religion and politics. It seems to me to be the natural order of things.

More Thinking Here

Yes, And Easter Wasn’t Anywhere Near Passover This Year Either

April 21, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

Exodus Exegesis

I might add that both Democratic campaigns missed an opportunity last week. They seem not to have noticed that the date of the first Seder, April 19, was also the 233rd anniversary of the battles of Lexington and Concord. So, a few days before Pennsylvanians vote, the candidates could have commemorated not just the Exodus from Egypt but also “the shot heard round the world,” thus identifying themselves all at once with political liberation, religious freedom and — yes! — the right to bear arms.

Of course only the Kristol family sits around drinking rum on Lexington Concord day, wondering how to conflate non related issues into political grizzle so Billy can chew the fat with it.

She Just Needs Some Love

April 21, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

Fickle Feckless Americana

April 21, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

It seems to me the primary season was much more interesting when it was coming to my state. Your’s, not so much.

That made me wonder, if a butterfly flapping its’ wings in Peking can cause a hurricane at Cape Kennedy, (just to keep things anachronistically correct,) then what will happen when the primary season is over and everyone exhales a collective sigh of relief?

Update: Maybe today is a bad blog day. I’m not knocking the coverage, just noting the duration of primary season has been extremely long this season. It seems like a long time ago that Texas went to the polls, but the coverage has been excellent.

OK, Back To Work!

April 21, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

Lights and shadows

Hamas Will Accept Israel

April 21, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

Carter: Hamas will accept Israel

Former US President Jimmy Carter has said that Hamas is prepared to accept the right of Israel to “live as a neighbour next door in peace”.

Like everything else, it is easier said than done. Hopefully the voices of peaceful co-existence will be heard from and within both sides now. We really haven’t heard from them in the traditional media much, and in fact the voices for peace seem to be absent from traditional media outlets almost everytime there is a confrontation between any two nations. Why is that?

Update: Beyond this being covered in the traditional media, just to embarrass me he said, when the new neighbor was concerned that some of my leftover boards were eroding onto their land another neighbor helped us find the surveyors pins. That didn’t make the news either. If he had shot my sorry ass, that would have been news, even though it wouldn’t necessarily have surprised anyone.

Creative Blogging

April 20, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

Because we all get the bird sometimes.

Don’t Arm Liberals With Barrel Vision

April 20, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

I Can’t Tell You Anything You Don’t Already Know

Over at Winds of Change, noted Internets savant Armed Liberal explains that people who dislike propaganda are great big sillyheads:

The usual suspects are going bonkers – bonkers! – over the notion that the Pentagon briefed a cadre of retired military men who served as ‘expert commentators’ in the media.

I recall writing a couple of years ago that we were playing into UBL’s inside straight, and I’m waiting for the Lieberwingnuts to attack Iran and make it obvious even to them. The only thing the American people need is the unvarnished truth.

Even faaar leeeffftists like myself have been known to pay attention to, and be persuaded by people to innumerable to reel off here, but familiar to the activist base and DFHs. After six years of debate the liberal hawks are still wrong, both in conclusions of the evidence, and in crossing their flags up.

ABC’s Debate: An Analysis

April 20, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

Debate Analysis: ABC Asked Most Scandal Questions, Obama Was Clear Target

1) ABC’s debate was in a class of its own, with more scandal and non-policy questions than any other. ABC asked the most scandal questions, and both ABC and NBC devoted only half of their questions to policy issues. The CNN debates were dramatically more policy-focused. Here’s a breakdown:

Policy Non-Policy Scandal
CNN (1/31) 31 3 1
CNN (2/21) 23 5 2
NBC 24 17 5
ABC 32 14 13

2) Barack Obama has received the overwhelming majority of scandal questions over the course of the four debates, by a margin of 17 to 4. Obama has fielded questions about his “bitter” remarks, his connections to 60s-era radical William Ayres, two questions about flag lapels, two questions about his alleged plagiarism of speeches, three questions on Louis Farrakhan, and eight about Jeremiah Wright.

Clinton has received only four such questions — two about her Bosnia trip, one about a photo of Obama in African garb that was linked to her campaign without evidence by the Drudge Report, and one over-the-top inquiry about Bill Clinton (”If your campaign can’t control the former president now, what will it be like when you’re in the White House?”).

Nico Pitney did thee leg work over at the HuffPo.

April 20, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

Bloggers Ethics Panels, And Such

April 20, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

Blogger Ethics Panel

Yes it’s an old joke, but a still relevant one given the constant demands for bloggers to live up to ethics and transparency standards which don’t exist, even in theory, anywhere else in the world. Anyone watching the teevee over the past few years knew that this independent military analyst stuff was just another way for the Bush administration to launder information and propaganda to give it more authority. Kudos to the Times for actually doing the hard work and fleshing out the story, but real questions remain about the standards and practices of CNN and other cable networks who used – and probably will continue to use – these people.

Back when blogger ethics was all the rage I was chatting with one reporter who was a bit obsessed about financial transparency, as if the fact that you spout off on the internets means that you have to post your bank statements. Trying to get this reporter to understand that such transparency exists nowhere in the world, I asked what kind of financial disclosures their various op-ed contributors have to make. He paused for a minute and… well, I don’t want to say he was lying, but he said something he wanted to be true more than it was true, that such people were “vetted.”

Right.

Vetted not always,

The most incredible aspect of the NYT story is that most of the news organizations which deceived their readers and viewers by using these “objective” analysts — CBS, NBC, Fox — simply refused to comment on what they knew about any of this or what their procedures are for safeguarding against it. Just ponder what that says about these organizations — there is a major expose in the NYT documenting that these news outlets misleadingly shoveled government propaganda down the throats of their viewers on matters of war and terrorism and they don’t feel the least bit obliged to answer for what they did or knew about any of it. (And it doesn’t appear that Barstow even asked the NYT itself to comment about what they knew or what their procedures were when using these sources). CNN did answer by claiming they were unaware of these relationships and rely on their sources to disclose them.

The thing is we are only touching on news organizations and the military. How many Congress Critters and the President, willfully lied week in week out, about a subject that has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people, ostensibly for the privelidge of appearing on TV to do so.

The Pentagonian Post

April 20, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

SYNCHRONIZING INFORMATION: THE IMPORTANCE OF NEW MEDIA IN CONFLICT

Insurgents and terrorists increasingly leverage New Media to shape perceptions around the globe to be attractive to some and intimidating to others. New Media collapses traditional concepts of time and space as information moves around the world in an instant. Unlike traditional media, search engines and the web in general, enable information, factual or not, to be quickly and easily accessed long after it was created.

The result is a shift in the purpose of physical engagement to increasingly incorporate the information effect of words and deeds. Thus, the purpose of improvised explosive devices, for example, is not to kill or maim Americans but to replay images of David sticking it to Goliath.

The U.S. military is actively and aggressively revising its role in shaping its own narrative in cyberspace, but this is falling short. While the U.S. is finally coming to grips with the centrality of information and perceptions, it remains confused as to how to use information effectively. American responses seem to stem from the belief that the message and the messenger we are countering are the same without regard for the target audience, intent, or how the message fits into a larger narrative, which perhaps mirrors our own perception of information as propaganda.

The link between the propaganda of deeds and the propaganda of words is very real and is increasingly established not in traditional media but online through instant and persistent media that reaches a growing audience. The U.S. needs to master this link in real time in order to win the information war and ultimately the physical one.

Besides some newscasters/pundits predilections to catapulting the spoken propaganda, is the ability of TV to reach a large audience with Improvised Explanatory Dissembling of their own. They interpret the propaganda for us, and ad their own profundity to the ersatz information.

The fact that the bad guys know that the media will rerun a IED blowing up an Humvee to incite Americans, while promulagating their own propaganda shouldn’t be lost on us either.

Just as a note, words do matter. On the other hand it is interesting so many neocons are busy doing AQs work for them. Poetic justice.

Patriots or Parrots?

April 20, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

The Newshour. Where is it going?

I told the Newshour some time ago that I was no longer interested, but I still watch. What else is there to watch, “Battlestar Galactica?” David Brooks is always amusing and his plug ugly Irish friend is so familiar that how could one pass up the chance to watch the two of them “duke” it out? Shields’ point tonight about the utter insignificance and emptiness of the gesture of wearing a piece of tin in the shape of the US flag struck me as “the real stuff.” People ask me at times why I don’t wear one. My answer? “I gave at the office.” I don’t fly a modern American flag at home either. This is not a post office. I fly flags with inscriptions like; “An appeal to heaven,” or “Don’t Tread On Me.”

Personally I don’t care one way or another if people wear the lapel pin until they start talking about it as if they derive some authority on what patriotism is from it. Talk about elitists, and here you have them.

At any rate, the post is succinct as usual, with a little heads up on the current discussion of Carter’s trip to the Mid East, which tends to echo what the NY Times article points out about domestic propaganda operations.

In my opinion, Satloff is basically an Israeli with ties to the US. Perry is a man whose leanings toward the Palestinians are so pronounced and unequivocal that his objectivity is as much in question as that of Satloff. His sponsorship and that of his British colleague; Ramsbotham, Cruikshank or whatever is so deeply affected by partisan money that his words lack meaning.

Why doesn’t the Newhour actually try to find some neutrals, instead of just matching up the usual talking heads?

Why don’t any of them?

Obviously Referring To The NY Times Article

April 20, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

Here, McCain: ‘A lot of our problems today are psychological.’

This week on Fox News, Neil Cavuto asked Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) about the worth of rescinding an 18-cent gas tax as prices at the pump escalate this summer. McCain responded that “a lot of our problems today” are “psychological” — even the “ability to keep our own home”:

I’m very concerned about it, Neil. And obviously the way it’s been going up is just terrible. But I think psychologically — and a lot of our problems today, as you know, are psychological — the confidence, trust, the uncertainty about our economic future, ability to keep our own home. This might give them a little psychological boost. Let’s have some straight talk, it’s not a huge amount of money.

It might be helpful if McCain understood that everything you see on TV is BS.

I wonder how long it will be before the television media acknowledges this on air, and addresses the criticism of the propaganda show put on for an illegal war?

More seriously, I wonder if Congress will address any of this stuff either.

Carter Presses For Peace

April 20, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

Carter presses Hamas to back Gaza peace talks

Carter left the Syrian capital yesterday for Riyadh after an early morning meeting with Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal. In more than four hours of talks on Friday night, they discussed how the Islamist group could be drawn into a Middle East peace plan and end its opposition to peace talks between Israel and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, leader of the rival Fatah faction.

Carter demanded that Hamas stops firing rockets on Israel while he pursues efforts to lift the siege of the Gaza Strip, which is ruled by Hamas, politicians familiar with the meetings said. ‘Carter also asked Meshaal to adopt more flexible public statements and talked to him as a leader of a national liberation movement, not as the terrorist Israel and America try to depict him as being,’ one of the sources told Reuters.

Carter in Hamas ‘ceasefire call’

But leading Hamas political bureau figure, Mohammed Nazzal, told reporters: “Carter suggested a truce and that Hamas should stop its rockets against Israel.

“We support a truce, but Israel should support it too.”

One senior Hamas official in Damascus told Associated Press news agency Mr Carter had also asked Hamas to agree to a meeting with Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Eli Yishai to discuss a prisoner exchange for captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

Meshal to announce decision over Carter truce proposals Sunday

Hamas political chief Khaled Meshal said Saturday that he will announce his organization’s decision over former U.S. President Jimmy Carter’s truce proposals on Sunday.

Former Hamas Foreign Minister Mahmoud al-Zahar and former Interior Minister Saeed Seyam, two Hamas officials living in Gaza who met Carter in Cairo last week, are due in Damascus later Saturday for consultations with the leadership in exile about Carter’s proposals.

Egypt: ‘Good progress’ made in Israel-Hamas ceasefire talks

WASHINGTON – Egypt said on Friday it was making good progress trying to negotiate a tacit cease-fire, including a prisoner exchange, between Israel and the militant Palestinian group Hamas that controls the Gaza Strip.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit said his government was speaking with both sides to get a “period of quiet,” which would help Israeli and Palestinian negotiators achieve a deal more easily in U.S.-mediated Palestinian statehood talks that exclude Hamas.

You can see the two tracks of the process in the Haaretz articles, but none of their convergences. Therein lies the rub. But given the nets ability to inflame passions much more quickly than understanding it is probably a good thing that we don’t. Anyone who doesn’t like watching the sausage being made in DC isn’t going to be able to handle the one over there.

Given the front page of the New York Times this morning, (previously linked,) it would be easy to just blow off anything anyone in DC says. The continuing diatribes against Carter are starting to develope the same stench. Anyone with any sense would have laid low about the visit just to see what would develope, but it is a given that any particular moment in time, large chunks of the Imperial city are not going to be displaying any. At any rate, we can hope for the best and expect the worst from everyone involved, except from the right, whom have turned doing the wrong thing into an artform.

The Rise Of Rising Expectations

April 19, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

Oh, goody, a blog riff!
Another Angle on Realignment

Digby doesn’t use the word, but realignment is what she was writing about yesterday:

The Big Change
by digby

Whenever I get down about the Democrats’ prospects in the fall, which is rare, I try to remember that the Republicans are more unpopular than they’ve been in a generation and that the seismic forces that are driving this election are of such a magnitude that it’s hard to see how we can really lose it. But still, there’s that little voice whispering in my ear that Democrats have got a knack for screwing themselves even when there is major social and economic upheaval that should favor them. Are they going to do it again?

And then I read something like this piece that Matt Stoller wrotefor The Nation a few weeks back explaining how the Democrats are using the new technology to change the face of politics. And today, Ron Brownstein writes a similar article for the National Journal that makes me feel — truly — that it’s almost impossible for us lose this thing next fall:

One thing that comes to my mind, after thinking about it deeply for a couple million nanoseconds, is what the landscape and expectations of all these newly emboldened citizen activists will expect from their government. Some of these people are becoming heavily invested in their candidate, approaching religious fervor in some cases, and it is just not going to be possible for the government to respond in real time to their demands they may think are due to them.

The internet has a great power to influence as well, but it is so democratic that it has a tendency to dilute influence as well. Even I have gone from three readers to two, though my insights have not improved enough to warrant that increasing dilution.

In many ways I think that re-alignment can occur very rapidly as well, but there is some hamstringing to me because I am an old fart now, and have even adjusted to the empty nest by painting the kids bedrooms in the same underwear that I blog in. For your sakes, I change them every coat. (Really I write stuff like that just to chap the man’s ass, but I continue to foist a nested digression in a digression.)

What I could have said in fewer words, I suppose, is things may get weirder than us geezers can imagine do to our limitations, both in age and experience. I am glad that I have raised enough kids to know the kids are alright. I hope they don’t expect more than the Constitution is designed to deliver. Nor can we unelect useless Senators and Representatives, which is going to be more important in the summer than the Presidential campaigns, because it is still the Congress which the Constitution invests the will of the people in.

I would suggest that the realignment would need to occur in Congressional elections as well as in the Presidency.

Love Lies Bleeding In My Hands

April 19, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

School Safety

By way of introduction, Wayne Dolcefino is Houston’s scoop investigative journalist, sort of our city’s version of Carl Monday. He does also expose city corruption frequently, something for which I think he does deserve credit.

In this particular expose, he confronts the founder of Parkway Christian School, which boasts “a program based on Christian character, morals, values and integrity” on its website. Lavern Jordan is outside a La Quinta hotel, rendezvousing with the mother of a girl who wants to enroll her daughter in the academy.

Some school voucher program here folks.

Analysts or Analcysts?

April 19, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

The latter. Atrios found this for ya, Behind TV Analysts, Pentagon’s Hidden Hand

Basically what has been going on here is that the US government has been engaged in an active propaganda campaign against a domestic audience.

Heavy Traffic Ahead

April 19, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

Why Guys Don’t Get It

April 19, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

Survey: Men don’t pick up cues from women

Only 13 percent of women said men “get it” when a women tries to let them know they’re interested. Sixty-nine percent of the women said they make eye contact and smile flirtatiously if interested in a man, while 37 percent ask his opinion or advice for something, 26 percent approach his friends and 23 percent ask for the time.

Blockheads. The operative term in sex, drugs and rockandroll is the first term.

Here’s The Cheese

April 19, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

Obama’s secret weapon: the media

But there was nothing to justify Tom Shales’s hyperbolic review (“shoddy, despicable performances” by Gibson and Stephanopoulos) in The Washington Post or Greg Mitchell’s in Editor & Publisher (“perhaps the most embarrassing performance by the media in a major presidential debate in years”). Others, like Time’s Michael Grunwald, likewise weighed in against ABC.

Talk about hyperbole. This whole issue almost makes me want to laugh, but I can’t, I’m with the band.

If Obama was covered like Clinton is, one feels certain the media focus would not have been on the questions, but on a candidate performance that at times seemed tinny, impatient and uncertain.

I would have said McCain.

The Great American Bubble

April 19, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

The Bubble Speaks of bubbles.It’s like sucking on a bubble.

Is It Just Me?

April 19, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

Or do you get a kick out of progressives being accused of trying to tell everybody else what is best for them, when those same people in the US are busy telling everyone else in the world what is best for them?

Come Let Us Reason Together

April 19, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

No Peace Without Hamas

GAZA — President Jimmy Carter’s sensible plan to visit the Hamas leadership this week brings honesty and pragmatism to the Middle East while underscoring the fact that American policy has reached its dead end. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice acts as if a few alterations here and there would make the hideous straitjacket of apartheid fit better. While Rice persuades Israeli occupation forces to cut a few dozen meaningless roadblocks from among the more than 500 West Bank control points, these forces simultaneously choke off fuel supplies to Gaza; blockade its 1.5 million people; approve illegal housing projects on West Bank land; and attack Gaza City with F-16s, killing men, women and children. Sadly, this is “business as usual” for the Palestinians.

The thing we need to remember here in the States is that there isn’t just an Israeli point of view. It doesn’t matter whose point of view you may think is the more correct one either. They must both, or all, be heard out and articulated if the peace process is to move forward.

It’s just that simple.

Torture Are US

April 19, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

Top Bush aides pushed for Guantánamo torture

America’s most senior general was “hoodwinked” by top Bush administration officials determined to push through aggressive interrogation techniques of terror suspects held at Guantánamo Bay, leading to the US military abandoning its age-old ban on the cruel and inhumane treatment of prisoners, the Guardian reveals today.

General Richard Myers, chairman of the US joint chiefs of staff from 2001 to 2005, wrongly believed that inmates at Guantánamo and other prisons were protected by the Geneva conventions and from abuse tantamount to torture.

Well who would do that, I mean the Republicans support the military to the Nth degree, I mean they practically have to put up barricades to keep them out of the recruiting offices,

The lawyers, all political appointees, who pushed through the interrogation techniques were Alberto Gonzales, David Addington and William Haynes. Also involved were Doug Feith, Rumsfeld’s under-secretary for policy, and Jay Bybee and John Yoo, two assistant attorney generals.

Oh those Republicans.

Critics Say?

April 19, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

McCain, Iraq War and the Threat of ‘Al Qaeda’

Critics say that in framing the war that way at rallies or in sound bites, Mr. McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee, is oversimplifying the hydra-headed nature of the insurgency in Iraq in a way that exploits the emotions that have been aroused by the name “Al Qaeda” since the Sept. 11 attacks.

It’s a statement of fact. One doesn’t have to be critical, constructive or otherwise, to state a fact.

McCain is lying, or too stupid to be President.

Update: I see McBush has serious intellectual back up on this, Al-Qaeda As Catch-All Term

Glenn Greenwald

rightly takes Kenneth Pollack to task for this idiocy from the NY Times:a

“perfectly reasonable catchall phrase” that, although it may be out of place in an academic setting, is acceptable on the campaign trail, a place that “does not lend itself to long-winded explanations of what we really are facing,” What Glenn doesn’t realize is something that Pollack surely knows, which is that Philip Bobbitt is trying to make the catch-all “al Qaeda” academically acceptable as well.

Yes, Yes, yes it must be reduced to good guys/bad guys, of good v evil. I mean we have to think of the chicken pluckers and rubes who cannot take a lot of that nuance stuff.

Like Bush.

CNN, FOX To Air Joel Osteen Services

April 19, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

I mean why not?

Maybe it is just a fad.

How’s about a couple of Bar Mitzvah’s, a call to prayer, and a bingo game too? That’s news.

The Center Cannot Hold

April 19, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

America’s allies in Iraq under pressure as civil war breaks out among Sunni

“God is Great,” screamed a man seconds before he blew himself up, killing 10 people in a restaurant in Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province in western Iraq.

The spring dust storms in Baghdad have given cover to renewed guerrilla fighting there.

On Thursday Iraqi guerrillas used the cover of the dust storms to bombard the Green Zone with mortar shells. On Friday clashes broke out between Mahdi Army militiamen in Sadr City and Iraqi and US troops at the edges of the vast Shiite slum. Local hospitals reported 132 wounded were brought in, in the aftermath.

U.S. warns of wave of bombings in Baghdad

BAGHDAD, April 18 (Reuters) – A group of al Qaeda bombers has slipped into Baghdad to carry out a wave of car bombs and suicide attacks, the U.S. military said on Friday.

,,,

“Information collected by coalition forces states that numerous AQI (al Qaeda in Iraq) terrorists have entered the Baghdad area with the purpose of carrying out vehicle-borne improvised-explosive devices or suicide vest attacks in the Karkh district of central Baghdad,” the military said in a statement.

The statement said the public should be vigilant and warned specifically of intelligence that a stolen ambulance could be used as a car bomb.

More than 100 people were killed in bomb attacks in northern Iraq this week.

Mr Kristol’s war.

The thing is, that no matter how much better educated one is, say in relation to me, if you cannot use an education to enhance common sense, to effect a positive change in the world, then what purpose does it serve besides the sophisticated rationalizations for killing a lot of innocent civilians in the quest to rid the world of a few “evil doers, ” or leads one to slaughter for the greater good of an abstraction, or as the case may be, a foreign power?

I know it provides a financial windfall, but is that the sum of the knowledge?

I’ll have none of it.

Stabbed Himself In The Back 19 Times

April 19, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

Call me suspicious. Bound bodies found floating in a lake just don’t seem to me very likely to be the victims of suicide. Riad’s friend writes:

‘ A friend of mine, Austin middle-school teacher and pro-Palestinian activist Riad (also spelled Riadh) Hamad, was found gagged & bound in a lake. His death was declared by the local police to be a “suicide”.

The story reeks of being either a hate crime or worse, an assassination by an interested party. Hamad’s charity was under attack by various parties which volunteered to find links between his organization and terrorist organizations. FWIW, no such link has led to law suits against him, to the best of my knowledge.

Is The Media In The Tank?

April 19, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

Clueless Or Complicit?

Yesterday, a very frustrated Cenk Uygur asked whether the American media were getting played by the Republican party, or whether they’re in on the game. Well, let’s look at where a couple of the more repellent questions in Wednesday’s debate came from:

1) TPM and Will Bunch pointed out that the woman who asked Obama the “Why do you hate the American flag?” question in Wednesday’s debate had already appeared in an NYT story a couple of weeks ago… asking, “How can I vote for a president who won’t wear a flag pin?” As TPM and Bunch point out, it looks an awful lot like ABC actively sought her out because they wanted someone to ask Obama that ridiculous question. Someone who wasn’t Charlie Gibson or Mr. Snuffalupagus.

2) Snuffy got one of his questions directly from Sean Hannity, who had been peddling the Weatherman story for months. Maybe it had something to do with Hannity being one of ABC’s prize radio personalities:

If these guys and gals are in the tank they are doing a poor job of hiding it, and if they aren’t then they are really being played by the Republicans, who are making them look like asses for doing so.

This makes it a no win for the media,

I think that there is a lot of fraternal fraternization within the media elites club of know betters, and so we have some of the pick on my little brother your picking on me tooisms going on here. But as the blogs noted a couple of years ago, these are basically a lot of people who grew up in the year of the Gipper, which has a lot to do with his elevation to sain’thood in the eyes of the people whom his policies clobbered out of the middle and into the working classes.

After all he is the President that managed the last comprehensive immigration reform that has resulted in 12-20 million undocumented immigrants, ( I call them undocumented, because they don’t have any immigration documents, duh!,) which has suppressed wages in the States, and the freebooter trading policies that have hollowed out the manufacturing base of the United States.

The fact is that most people remember the Cold Warrior Reagan because that is what the press wishes to remind them and their own selves of. Forget the Iran/Contra scandal, never mention the Savings and Loans “bailout”, and don’t mention the union busting, because as many of those working stiffs know a lunch break, water and restrooms were all bad for the American economy along with living wages.

He even gets credit for starting the deregulation frenzy, when in fact it was Carter that started deregulating the airline industry, To add insult to injury, it was Carter that pushed the Pershing 2 missile project through Congress, which many credit Reagan with deploying and breaking the Soviets back in the arms race.

I see no media biases. YMMV

Smooth Move On Hillary

April 19, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

Hopefully everyone has heard of this by now, Clinton Slams Democratic Activists At Private Fundraiser

At a small closed-door fundraiser after Super Tuesday, Sen. Hillary Clinton blamed what she called the “activist base” of the Democratic Party — and MoveOn.org in particular — for many of her electoral defeats, saying activists had “flooded” state caucuses and “intimidated” her supporters, according to an audio recording of the event obtained by The Huffington Post.

I find this particularly interesting since Clinton has in many cases, the established party machinery of the Democratic Party behind her. The stalwarts are those who stayed active in the party organizationally when it was at its’ nadir, and it really looked like Rove’s one party nation may come to fruition. In my precinct the caucus went to Obama, and yet by taking advantage of the inexperience of the newly active, the alternate to the state convention is a Hillary supporter, and I won’t go into all the suppositions of that, just state the facts and move on.

At any rate I was and still am surprised by the number of older white voters that came out for Obama in our precinct. None of them that I am aware of belongs to Move-On, and neither do I, although my wife and son do. I can state categorically that my wife did not intimidate anyone.

I cannot imagine why she is trying to draw us all into a right wing thugfest amongst ourselves, but that has become a pattern of her campaign and her activists. It has in fact done more to solidify opposition to her in the Obama camp, than it has in garnering support among us should she eventually prevail. On more than one occasion I wished to go negative on her ass, but in keeping with the spirit of the Obama campaign I have refrained from doing so, even as I am now.

The fact seems to not be sinking into the heads of former President and disbarred Bill Clinton, which has left that campaign free of many counter charges that could be used to obscure the issues raised by the Clinton’s just as they are doing with the issues that actually matter by raising all sorts of straw men to campaign on and against Obama with.

They don’t care what sort of damage they do to the party, it appears to me, and they do not really care what the base of the party thinks so long as they can use it to further their ends of achieving power. The Clinton’s are less about policy than they are about power. That doesn’t mean they are not about policy, but it would appear that those policies are a means to power, and not power is the means to implementing policy.

No one wants four or eight more years of that politics. That Hillary seems to be running as an incumbent President, is not lost on me either. The fact remains that she was not the President then, and given the last two months doesn’t deserve to be now.

We’ve already been there, and done that.

Someone Must Have Hit A Big Dog

April 18, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

Kristol ‘Looks Down’ On Majority Of Americans: Calls Them ‘Feckless’ And Unserious»

KRISTOL: Every time there’s a little flare up, even if the flare up turns out to be for the better, which is what happened in Basra over the last few weeks, and none the less they go, “oh my God, can’t we get out of this.” So there’s a real weariness. Even amongst some decent people of just you know, it seems kind of there’s no end, there’s no clear, there’s no clarity. … And are we going to be such a feckless country, frankly, that we’re going to waste the sacrifices that have been made, snatch defeat and retreat out of the jaws of success and victory. … I’m moderately hopeful that the country gets beyond the kind of weariness and annoyance about the war and gets serious about the world we live in.

Very Serious People

Via

Meet Bill Ayers

April 18, 2008 by EZSmirkzz

In Praise of Bill Ayers

Ayers has long since earned the nation’s respect, whatever one may think of his youthful radicalism, by devoting his life to the challenge of helping educate those who have a hard time breaking the cycle of poverty and ignorance, which makes it obscene to criticize Obama for sharing a boardroom with him (Obama was 8 when Ayers was in the Weathermen back in 1970).

But Ayers and his comrades should also be honored for having been willing to go the extra mile and put their lives on the line to end a criminal war.

There is a lot of stuff in the article, but that’s good because this is the stuff that people either forget, never knew, or won’t tell you if they do.

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