Friday, November 30, 2007

Krugman Calls out Obama

Paul Krugman is one of the few level leads in the traditional media. He called bullshit on countless Bush policies from invading Iraq to cutting taxes, all at a time when other 'journalists' were cowering in fear. He called bullshit on the subprime lending practices before the mortgage meltdown. He's been right a huge percentage of the time. Recently he called Bullshit on Obama's right wing talking points about the so-called 'Social Security Crisis.' And now he's calling bullshit on Obama's healthcare plan (and more specifically, Obama's claims that it's superior to Edwards's or Clinton's (whic is based on Edwards's anyway).

Olbermann on The New York Post and 9/11 Foreknowledge


Olberman announces his worst person/s in the world and the New York Post is number 1 due to that fact they are now calling people who believe Bush had foreknowledge of 9/11 as "idiots" even though they had a "BUSH KNEW" headline in 02.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Doug Stanhope on Freedom

doug stanhope

Unfortunately, Doug is not running for president anymore, but his wisdom is always useful.....and fucking hilarious.

John McCain Gets Owned by Ron Paul at the CNN/YouTube Debate

Big John McCain, who's campaign is spiraling into the abyss of nothingness, has decided to go ahead and attempt to attack the man who has taken over as the new "maverick", Ron Paul.
Unfortunately for McCain, he looked like an idiot in his attempt to challenge Congressman Paul.
I believe the initial question asked to McCain was about the IRS or the income tax. However this didn't stop McCain from launching into a diatribe about how Paul's policies are "isolationist" and inferred that "That kind of isolationism caused World War II". I love how McCain used that line about how he had Thanksgiving dinner with the troops and according to him they said that they wanted our leaders to "let them win". Give me a fucking break McCain, how long were you waiting to use your totally canned "thanksgiving with the troops" line. I bet he's confused. It was probably one of his Blackwater guards that told him that. Anyway, one of the best parts of this exchange was the mannerism of Congressman Paul while McCain was experiencing his diarrhea of the mouth. While McCain kept lying and distorting, Paul just looked and him with a smile and shook his head as if to say, "Jesus John, even you don't believe what you're saying". Classic. Gotta love those boos from the insane. Here's the clip:

John Edwards Wins the Republican YouTube Debate


Henry Hyde

Henry Hyde, the Illinois Congressman who, as Chair of the House Judiciary Committee during the Clinton Impeachment, sat in Judgment over Clinton's Oval Office BJ, has died.

A spokesman said, "Representative Hyde's death was nothing more than an aged indiscretion and should not be seen as an endorsement of death or dying. As we know from the Hyde Amendment, Rep. Hyde valued life greatly, and were he alive today he would be vigorously opposed to death and would surely work tirelessly to legislate against it."

Trent Lott again

So Trent Lott retired ostensibly so he could get in to the lucrative lobbying angle of Washington. Or was it to spend more time with his family? You know, family like Richard F. Scruggs, his brother-in-law, who was just indicted for trying to bribe a judge.

Seems Bro-in-law Scruggs has negotiated over $100 Million in Katrina insurance settlements this year, and represented Lott in his suit against State Farm. Do you think any bribes went into Lott's settlement? If THAT shit was about to hit the fan, I'd probably retire, too...and maybe go live in an alternate universe and thank God for President Thurmond.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Lotts of Money

Trent Lott will resign before the end of the year. Good news? Sure. But what a cynical fuck this guy is. Why is he resigning you ask? Well, it seems that there's a new law set to take effect on January 1, 2008 that would require outgoing senators to wait for two years before entering the lucrative business of lobbying congress. By resigning before the end of the year, Lott will be able to sidestep the law, and jump right into the lobbying game.

I say it's a cynical move, but perhaps he's got legitimate reasons. After all, he might need the extra money to rebuild his palatial resort home. You might recall that the damage was so bad and the insurance settlement so unfair that Lott decided to sue State Farm Insurance over the matter. The same Trent Lott who said these things:

“The Democrats seem to think that the answer is a lawsuit. Sue everybody.” - Sen. Trent Lott, 7/20/01

“I’m among many Mississippi citizens who believe tort reform is needed.”
- Sen. Trent Lott, 5/8/02

“You know, obviously we should [enact tort reform]…Someday it will happen, and the sooner the better.”
- Sen. Trent Lott, 1/24/01

” Sen. Trent Lott of Mississippi today credited the agenda of tax cuts, deregulation and tort reform initiatives passed by the Congress and signed into law by President Bush with the overall upturn in the national economy.”
- Sen. Trent Lott press release, 12/2/05

“If their answer to everything is more lawsuits, then yes, that’s a problem, because I certainly don’t support that.”
- Sen. Trent Lott, 8/2/02

“It’s sue, sue, sue… That’s not the answer.”
- Sen. Trent Lott, 8/4/01

Ladies and Gentleman, I give you Your Government!

In other news, anyone who still thinks that Rudy Giuliani is anything more than a pandering, dancing elf trying to lick the gaping asshole of Republican primary voters needs to see this.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Only Obama Will Escape....

Only Obama will escape the armies of photoshoppers who will insert hot, steamy, veiny, glistening rock hard cocks in the mouths of Giuliani and Clinton.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Scott McClellan on the Plame Blame Game: "The President Knew."

Scotty's probably not going to get a Christmas card from George, Dick, Karl, or Scooter this year.

"The most powerful leader in the world had called upon me to speak on his behalf and help restore credibility he lost amid the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. So I stood at the White house briefing room podium in front of the glare of the klieg lights for the better part of two weeks and publicly exonerated two of the senior-most aides in the White House: Karl Rove and Scooter Libby.

"There was one problem. It was not true.

"I had unknowingly passed along false information. And five of the highest ranking officials in the administration were involved in my doing so: Rove, Libby, the vice President, the President's chief of staff, and the president himself."

Giuliani: "This Thanksgiving, I'm Thankful for 9/11"

Only one word can describe Rudy's Thanksgiving Plans....Classy:

Rudolph W. Giuliani will return to New York, where he and his wife, Judith, will hold a breakfast for the families of emergency workers who died on Sept. 11.

I'm sure that will go well. Remember, Rudy was perhaps the hardest working 9/11 Rescue worker of them all.

And here's the proof:

Monday, November 19, 2007

The Predatory Lending Association

You've got to love the Internets. Check out this hilarious (and informative) satire site:

Chuckles Norris

If sense of Humor was all it took to win my vote, Huckabee might have a chance.

Unfortunately for Huckabee, he's lacking in a host of other categories.


My friend Will just sent me this video he made. Looks like it's his very first YouTube post. This crazy internet thing gets people involved in all kinds of ways.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Saudi minister warns of dollar collapse

London Telegraph

The dollar could collapse if Opec officially admits considering changing the pricing of oil into alternative currencies such as the euro, the Saudi Arabian foreign minister has warned.

  • Will Opec pour oil on troubles?
  • Prince Saud Al-Faisal was overheard ruling out a proposal from Iran and Venezuela to discuss pricing crude in a private meeting at the oil cartel's conference.

    In an embarrassing blunder at the meeting in Riyadh, ministers' microphones were not cut off during a key closed meeting, and Prince Al-Faisal was heard saying: "My feeling is that the mere mention that the Opec countries are studying the issue of the dollar is itself going to have an impact that endangers the interests of the countries.

    "There will be journalists who will seize on this point and we don't want the dollar to collapse instead of doing something good for Opec."

    After around 40 minutes press officials cut off the feed, which had been accidentally broadcast to the press room.

    Prince Al-Faisal added: "This is not new. We have done this in the past: decide to study something without putting down on paper that we are going to study it so that we avoid any implication that will bring adverse effects on our countries' finances."

    Iran and Venezuela have argued that the meeting's final communique should voice concern about the level of the dollar, which has recently fallen to new record lows against the euro. They are pushing for oil to be denominated against a basket of currencies.

    The greenback also weakened slightly against the pound, although sterling's own recent weakness has pushed it down from $2.10 to $2.0457 during the week.

    Nigerian finance minister Shamsuddeen Usman said that Opec could declare in the communique that: "While underlining our concern for the continued depreciation of the dollar and its adverse impact on our revenues, we instruct our finance ministers to study the issue exhaustively and advise us on ways to safeguard the purchasing power of our revenues, of our members' revenues."

    Chancellor Alistair Darling will today urge his fellow finance ministers at a major G20 summit to increase investment in oil production and refinement.

    Thursday, November 15, 2007

    Meet Abu Abed: Iraq's Newest Sunni Warlord

    The UK Guardian wants to introduce you the U.S.'s newest ally in the fight against al-Qaida. Meet Abu Abed: Iraq's Newest Sunni Warlord.

    (Tip of the hat to Foreign Policy Watch.)

    Wednesday, November 14, 2007

    Lessig Endorses Obama

    Lawrence Lessig, whom I posted about here, has just endorsed Obama for President. The endorsement is as noteable for endorseing Obama as it is for criticizing Hillary. It's noteable that Lessig spends the first half of his endorsement railing against Hillary before he gets to Obama's strengths.

    After the debacle that is the last 7 years, the duty is upon the Democrats to be something different. I've been wildly critical of their sameness (remember "Dems to the Net: Go to hell" which earned me lots of friends in the Democratic party). I would give my left arm to be able to celebrate their difference. This man, Mr. Obama, would be that difference. He has as much support as I can give.

    Tuesday, November 13, 2007

    House Subcommittee Presentation Equates 9/11 Truth With Terrorism


    A House Homeland Security Subcommittee hearing on "Terrorism and the Internet" held last week, and broadcast on C-Span, featured a panel of "experts", including representatives formerly of the RAND Corporation and the Simon Wiesenthal Center who presented 9/11 truth websites sites alongside sites that celebrate the attacks and offer training in terrorist tactics.

    The hearing was chaired by Democratic Rep. Jane Harman, and ranking Republican, Rep. Dave Reichert. It was supposed to focus on the use of the internet by "home grown terrorist recruiters" yet in a shocking move it blatantly related the 9/11 truth movement with so called radical "jihadists".

    In a very poorly prepared and delivered PowerPoint splurge, Mark Weitzman (pictured far right) stated:

    "Some of these are conspiracy theories that present a closed view of the world, such as blaming 9/11 as an "outside job"(?) or blaming outside groups such as the U.S. government, or er the Jews etc, some of these are pro-Iraqi insurgency videos, some of them are media portals that people can enter into, ones that you saw earlier with the flags, the U.S. flags show that thy were based on U.S. servers..."

    Bin Laden's Ever-Growing Victory, Rumsfeld's Stunning Loss on the Price is Right

    I'd like to play George W. Bush in poker. I have a feeling I could take him for all he's worth.

    Since the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, Osama bin Laden has implored terrorists on several occasions to strike targets that will harm the economy in the United States and elsewhere. But a man claiming to be Mr. bin Laden went even further in a tape-recorded statement released April 29, saying that the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks devastated the American economy and the United States government's budget. For the first time, it appeared, Mr. bin Laden estimated the economic impact by citing specific statistics.

    ''After the strike of the New York blessed days, thanks to God, their losses exceed a trillion dollars,'' the recording said in assessing the overall damage to the American economy. ''Their budgets have been in deficits for the third year in a row.''

    That was in 2004. Today comes this news:

    The economic costs to the United States of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan so far total approximately $1.5 trillion, according to a new study by congressional Democrats that estimates the conflicts' "hidden costs"-- including higher oil prices, the expense of treating wounded veterans and interest payments on the money borrowed to pay for the wars.

    That amount is nearly double the $804 billion the White House has spent or requested to wage these wars through 2008, according to the Democratic staff of Congress's Joint Economic Committee. Its report, titled "The Hidden Costs of the Iraq War," estimates that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have thus far cost the average U.S. family of four more than $20,000.

    And who can forget this famous exchange in 2003:

    BOB BARKER: Mr. Secretary, on Iraq, how much money do you think the Department of Defense would need to pay for a war with Iraq?

    RUMSFELD: Well, the Office of Management and Budget has come up with a number that's something under $50 billion for the cost. How much of that would be the U.S. burden and how much would be other countries is an open question. I think the way to put it into perspective is that the estimates as to what September 11 cost the United States of America ranges high up into the hundreds of billions of dollars.

    So, let's review Mr. Rumsfeld's argument:

    A) The Iraq War will cost "something under $50 Billion", but WAIT!

    B) "How much of that would be the U.S. burden and how much would be other countries is an open question." Sure $50 Billion sounds like a lot of money, but we're not even going to have to pay it all!

    and finally

    C)"I think the way to put it into perspective is that the estimates as to what September 11 cost the United States of America ranges high up into the hundreds of billions of dollars." You see? As long as the cost of the war does not exceed the cost of "hundreds of billions" to the country caused by the attacks of 9/11, we're cool.

    By my count Rumsfeld got it spectacularly wrong on A, B, and C. And there were some (Wolfowitz) who argued the war would pay for itself with Iraqi oil revenues funding the war.

    You know what else BushCo told us would pay for itself? Tax Cuts!

    Sunday, November 11, 2007

    Frank Rich: The Coup at Home

    Frank Rich has done it again.

    AS Gen. Pervez Musharraf arrested judges, lawyers and human-rights activists in Pakistan last week, our Senate was busy demonstrating its own civic mettle. Chuck Schumer and Dianne Feinstein, liberal Democrats from America’s two most highly populated blue states, gave the thumbs up to Michael B. Mukasey, ensuring his confirmation as attorney general.

    How long until Bush rounds up and disappears the likes of Frank Rich?

    Saturday, November 10, 2007

    Norman Mailer, January 31, 1923 - November 10, 2007


    America is a hurricane, and the only people who do not hear the sound are those fortunate if incredibly stupid and smug White Protestants who live in the center, in the serene eye of the big wind.

    Each day a few more lies eat into the seed with which we are born, little institutional lies from the print of newspapers, the shock waves of television, and the sentimental cheats of the movie screen.

    In America all too few blows are struck into flesh. We kill the spirit here, we are experts at that. We use psychic bullets and kill each other cell by cell.

    The final purpose of art is to intensify, even, if necessary, to exacerbate, the moral consciousness of people.

    Ultimately a hero is a man who would argue with the gods, and so awakens devils to contest his vision. The more a man can achieve, the more he may be certain that the devil will inhabit a part of his creation.

    Friday, November 9, 2007

    Ron Paul Says Federal Reserve 'Robbed' Americans of their Wealth

    Texas congressman takes shots at the Federal Reserve during Chairman Bernanke's testimony.
    Jeff Poor
    Business and Media Institute

    Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke appeared before the Congressional Joint Economic Committee on November 8, but had to face criticism from Republican presidential candidate and Texas congressman Ron Paul.

    Paul made accusations the Federal Reserve was stealing people’s money.

    “There is a dollar crisis out there and people’s money is being stolen,” Paul said. “People who have saved, they’re being robbed. I mean, if you have a devaluation of the dollar at 10 percent, people have been robbed of 10 percent.”

    Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke attempted to dispel the notion people were being “robbed” of their money by explaining the relativity of the dollar in a local economy.

    “If somebody has their wealth in dollars and they’re going to buy consumer goods in dollars, then as a typical American … then the decline in the dollar – the only effect it has on their buying power is that it makes imported goods more expensive,” Bernanke replied.

    Thursday, November 8, 2007

    Looks Like Impeachment Is On The Table

    You Tube
    Cap News

    Ok. If you can stand to watch this 27 minute long video (which you should), you won't be disappointed. Dennis Kucinich throws down in Congress by introducing a motion to impeach Vice President Richard Cheney.

    It takes 27 minutes....but...if you listen closely you can hear the sound of a politician's balls slowing growing with each bulletpoint. I have to hand it to Kucinich for this one. He is the ONLY member of Congress who is able to call this administration out when it comes to the actual consequences of their Constitutional violations.

    Anyone voting in the democratic primary that truly wants accountability from this vile administration and an end to the war should vote for this man. If you like another candidate then force them to get on board in some way or another with Congressman Kucinich and hold them to that. You are the ones that are supposed to have the fucking power, so use it. Way to go Dennis. You'd better ice those things down for awhile.

    Rudy, 9/11, Rudy, 9/11, 9/11, Rudy (9/11)

    Remember Bernard "Bernie" Kerick, the man George W. Bush nominated to succeed Tom Ridge as Secretary of Homeland Security? Rudy worked tirelessly to help arrange that nomination. Rudy vouched for him. Michael Powell laid out the long and sordid history, which got buried in the Saturday edition of the NYT.

    Well, Bernie's back in the news, just in time to take a little shine off of that endorsement Rudy got from Pat Robertson (you remember Pat, don't you? He's the guy who "totally concurred" with Jerry Falwell's assessment that 9/11 was God's punishment for all the "pagans and the abortionists and the feminists and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle..."). Rudy might be spared having answer questions about Robertson's 9/11 theories for a while in order to start answering questions about Bernie Kerik's forthcoming indictment.

    Can we review for a minute? Being President of the United States should mean exercising sound judgment. Rudy's litany of poor decisions includes multiple wives and multiple divorces, and 'notorious adultery', continued support of Kerik, the endorsement of a hate-monger, the continued support and employment of an accused child molester, a coke-head campaign chair (I've got no problem with the's the hypocrisy), and he's so out of touch that he probably doesn't even realize that if it wasn't for the government provided healthcare to which he's entitled as a former NY Mayor, he would not be covered under the healthcare plan he's proposed for the country, because under his plan he'd be left uninsured because of his prexisting condition of prostate cancer.


    Still Winning Hearts And Minds

    From WaPo:

    Let's just sweep these bodies under this rug here and then not let anyone look at them.
    Erik Prince's private army, ready for a new Crusade, mistreats or kills innocent Iraqi Muslims on a frequent basis. Not surprisingly, other Iraqis retaliate, but it's U.S. soldiers, who likely suffer for it. Yet another top notch plan brought to you by the Bush Administration. They don't care though because they are right there with Prince's insane world view.

    Loose Change Final Cut Trailer (High Quality)

    you tube

    A Nice Comparison - UPDATE

    Heard this story on NPR this morning and was really struck by what it said about Clinton and Obama’s candidacies. Clinton did the tried and true diner visit, where she took no questions, but did manage to swipe a waitresses’ story of hardship to use in her Iowa stump speech from then on. She took her photos and left., without leaving a fucking tip! What? The woman says that Clinton does not understand her situation and has had her life change for the worse due to the chance encounter, yet she says she still might vote for Clinton. Another... what? To summarize. Clinton got her photos and smiles and stump speech item and left no tip and likely learned nothing. Get used to that if she becomes president. Although, we should be used to it already, as Lord Bush is great at it.

    Obama on the other hand, held a “town hall” meeting where people were actually allowed to ask questions or tell their story, which one lady heartbreakingly did. Obama comes off as a caring human, which from what I have seen, he really is. Now, I am not sure if this story entered Obama’s stump speech and it very well may have and he didn’t write the note he alluded to, but this woman understood Obama because he makes it easy too.

    Just wish everyone who is going to vote in 2008 could hear this story. While not down and dirty policy stuff, it truly is a look into how these two candidates may carry themselves as president.

    Clinton did leave a tip, as noted on the same NPR page now. Not sure why the waitress did not see any of it though.

    Pakistan, The U.S. and the Myth of Democracy

    On my drive home from work yesterday I heard this interview on NPR with Ahmed Raza Kasuri, an advisor to Pervez Musharraf. They were talking about Musharraf suspending the Constitution and postponing elections. There's no transcript up yet, so I've transcribed as best I could the portion that was, for me, the "Amen" moment--the moment that makes so painfully clear how deeply corrupt and dishonest the Bush Administration is when they talk about the importance of and their commitment to "Democracy." And how if American's are aghast at what's going on in Pakistan, they shouldn't be, because they're in much the same position right here in the good old U.S. of A.

    MICHELLE NORRIS: Now, there's Rule of Law, but there's also Respect, which authority really relies on holding onto the respect of the people, and are you concerned that this will undermine his authority in the long run?

    KASURI: You know he is very, very, very, very strong; he has been elected for a second term. Elections will take place, he has got a very powerful party. Kindly see, you have in your country a very powerful history of a democratic tradition of values, after 9/11 what have you done? You see, you have also introduced [unintelligible] so you can pick up anybody--detentions, where the court's part is totally stripped off--well, these are the some of the measures that you have to adopt in order to maintain stability of the country, the prime consideration is integrity and the stability of the country. I mean, there are a lot of fingers raised on you when you talk of 'Rule of Law' and what you call it 'Due Process of Law.' There are so many fingers on you that you are running a [unintelligible] where the Supreme Court of the United States does not have access, you see. If we have become unpopular, we have become unpopular following your agenda against terrorism.

    It was, of course, only after no WMDs were found in Iraq that this whole "Adventure in Democracy" was promoted as the rationale for war. But anyone who's awake in this country knows that this administration had planned to invade Iraq from day one, long before 9/11. And when it comes to respect for the Rule of Law and the Constitution, we know from example after example after example after example after example just how much this Administration thinks of those cornerstones of American Democracy.

    But of course, every violation of law, every instance of disregard for the constitution and the ideals on which this country was based are done in the name of protecting the very ideals and freedoms they betray. And as we've learned, painfully, they have no shame. There is no hypocrisy of which they are not capable. And yesterday gave us yet another of the glaring disconnect between what George W. Bush says, and what he does.

    Here's the White House Transcript:

    Q: Mr. President, you came down so hard on Burma and other nations for their crackdowns on pro-democracy demonstrators. Yet you seem to be giving Musharraf a pass. So the question is why are you going so soft on Musharraf? Is there a double standard?

    PRESIDENT BUSH: I spoke to President Musharraf right before I came over here to visit with President Sarkozy. And my message was that we believe strongly in elections, and that you ought to have elections soon, and you need to take off your uniform. You can't be the President and the head of the military at the same time. So I had a very frank discussion with him.

    Got that? "You can't be the President and the head of the military at the same time."

    Alrighty then.

    Wednesday, November 7, 2007

    Update: The Victory disease is spreading!

    The "bottom-up" victory scenario concocted by the Bush Administration and the Iraqi Prime minister is beginning to take hold in the Conservative blogosphere. Hew Hewitt today wondered if the "Democrats and their allies in the mainstream media" would actually start reporting the "reality" in Iraq even though it went counter to their anti-war rhetoric. Not only does this illustrate Greenwald's assertion that Republican lapdog bloggers like Hewitt shill for the administration and their revisionist history, but also that Republican leadership is looking for a way out, a way to save face, and a way to dump withdrawal and the imminent blood bath that will follow on the doorstep of a new Democratic White House and Congressional majority.

    Like The Weekly Standard, Hewitt is a stenographer for the Bush Administration and bolsters the newest set of goals the administration has dreamed up as "victory" in Iraq. No longer are political progress, benchmarks, and national reconciliation goals of the surge. Now, as long as Iraqis are able to "drink tea with their brothers", success has been achieved. Contrary to what the The Standard and Hewitt suggest, I don't believe that Iraqis need to be hand-in-hand singing kumbaya for the mission to be a success. However, this lowering of the bar in the U.S. stated goals in Iraq is a blatant disregard for what Bush Co. deemed success even as early as two months ago in September while pumping the Holy Grail of Iraq progress reports ala The Petraeus Report.

    To be continued...

    ***** Update Update: Lieberman is now toeing the line *****

    Joe Lieberman is now toeing the victory line in Iraq.

    Let me make one thing clear: Anti-war folks want victory in Iraq as much as any hawkish loyal Bushie. We are not "searching for negatives" as many would suggest. The fact is that we are forced to read between the lines because the administration is not straight with us about the reality. This is another one of those instances where the administration, it's media arms, and it's puppet regime in Iraq are declaring a "tide turning", when there is little real evidence to prove this fact. War boosters continue to jump the gun portraying Bagdhad as a "summer market in Indiana," an insurgency in it's "death throes", mission accomplished, tides turning, victory, etc. based on scant evidence and minimal trends. Yes, this has been a good month for U.S. and Iraqi soldiers and civilians, as the numbers of killed dropped dramatically in October. Despite a good month, 2007 is still on track to be the deadliest year in Iraq, Parliament is still gridlocked with the PM Makilki declaring no need to create a national political reconciliation, infrastructure is devastated in spite of the HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS of dollars we have poured into energy, roads, schools, sanitation, and health care, and warring factions become further fueled by outside forces the more tenuous the U.S. military's grip becomes.

    So here we go: once Bush Co. inseminates the press, the blogosphere, and his shills in gov't with "The Story", they fluff it, sugar it, smear the detractors, and prepare the public for the man himself to announce Victory, again. It would be great if Victory actually meant the same thing every time... that is "staying the course." However, we are expected to "stay" whatever the current definition of "course" happens to make the administration look best at that particular moment.

    More to come... Dust of your barf bags.

    Tuesday, November 6, 2007

    Blog Candy: Abu Ardvark

    Was just introduced to Abu Ardvark via Foreign Policy Watch:

    Abu Aardvark started in 2002 as a pseudonymous blog about Middle East politics, especially Iraq and the Arab media. In 2005, it was revealed to be the work of Marc Lynch, now a professor of political science at George Washington University and author of Voices of the New Arab Public (Columbia University Press). Now everybody who matters reads it. - Abu Ardvark - About

    Lynch's entry from 11.4 entitled Maliki: enough about reconciliation is a truly frightening look at the Iraqi PM's new "bottom-up" approach to stability in Iraq, and guess what? Mission accomplished, folks! Now the PM's believes ultimate stability in Iraq has already come and will continue to come at the community level, in neighborhoods where Sunnis and Shiites live side by side. Malaki's lowering of the bar, by changing the definition of the mission is the keystone of the Bush administration that, lo and behold, supports the administration's self-delusional goals for the surge in Iraq:
    As the violence recedes, leaders in all the contending Iraqi communities will naturally seek to address their internal differences. Our interest in the outcome is limited: As long as the Iraqis are committed to the principle of resolving their differences through a political process rather than violence, and as long as any settlement they reach is sufficiently fair so as not to reignite the violence, then our interests will have been secured. - The Weekly Standard

    This reshaping of the administration's and the Iraqi's ultimate goals paints the national political deadlock in Iraq as a circumnavigable obstacle in a long-term "bottom-up" strategy. This despite the pre-surge ideas that "local security progress would create a political space allowing the national politicians to make a deal" (Lynch) and "that the Sunnis have decided to switch from a logic of armed resistance to a logic of political participation" (Lynch) have failed to materialize nationally.

    Read the article and visit Abu Ardvark via Crinchy Internets or the feed in the right frame.

    From the Belly of the Beast: Dems Snatch Defeat from the Jaws of Victory

    ***** Note: This will be the first in a (hopefully) weekly series I'm entitling "From the Belly of the Beast" and will discuss specific articles and ideas from the conservative side of the blogosphere. *****

    Conservative blogger Ed Morrissey of Captain's Quarters describes the Democrat's ineptitude with playing politics to their advantage. I admit he has a point. Yet, it seems to me that his point resonates deeper when one considers that GOP idealism rarely gets in the way of their political goals the way a fight for the ethical treatment of prisoners has for the Dems in this case. Even now that they are in the minority in both houses, Republicans are still able to bully and steer the Congress at their will.

    The crux is that Democrats have yet to create a united front against the President and his shills in Congress, let alone peel off enough Republicans who will stand up against the status-quo. This seems obvious if not for the fact that even an embattled minority like the GOP is still able to amass enough noise and intimidation to keep something as "given" as S-CHIP from a two-thirds veto-proof majority. What are the Dems missing? Why do their ventures into idealist territory fall flat, or worse, explode in their face?

    I never thought I'd say this, but the Dems need a Tom Delay. They need a no-bones meat grinder of a legislator who will pound the round pegs into the square holes in the left and create a united Democratic Party behind a (soon-to-be) Democratic President. Delay isn't the best example, considering his pilfering, fraud, and general disregard for ethical behavior, and I am no fan of the man. Having said that, he was an astonishingly successful legislator who intimidated both sides of the aisle and whose most important contribution might be creating a GOP culture united against the world. Even when the world had tipped in favor of the GOP, they refused to remove the rage from their legislation, or their rhetoric. Granted, constantly throwing haymakers in the House and Senate did not do much for intra-aisle relationships, but that's of little consequence. THIS is what the Dems need to succeed: a strong leader, a united front, and some sheer RAGE.

    Last time I called for Harry Reid's head, a fellow Crinch Pinner enlightened me to the Nevada Senator's subtle power play with war funding and the Holy Petreaus Report. Well, we're still going nowhere fast with no end in sight. If I lick my thumb and test the air, I can tell that soon this war will be not only the problem of a Democratic Congress with a slim majority, but the problem of a Democratic administration and a Democratic Congress with a vast majority. We need a plan for withdrawal, we need a strong leader, we need a united front against the president and the Republican MINORITY, and we need some motherfucking RAGE.

    Let the hate mail begin.

    Obama Scared of Colbert?

    That's what this report is saying:

    A member of the executive council of South Carolina’s Democratic party told CNN that he felt pressure to oppose comedian Stephen Colbert’s bid to join the Democratic primary in his home state by prominent supporters of Barack Obama’s campaign. It has been acknowledged by at least two prominent supporters of the Senator’s bid that they made calls to the State Party pleading with them to exclude Colbert’s name from the ballot.

    Edwards in Iowa

    Jonathan Stein reporting in Mother Jones on John Edwards campaigning in Iowa. Think what you will of Edwards, to my ear, he's the only Democrat in the field telling it like it is: "The Government is Corrupt." The traditional media dismiss such anti-establishment statements from candidates like Paul as mere 'fringe' politics, but when it's coming from a candidate who was the Democratic nominee for VP in 2004, and who is now considered a 'top-tier' candidate, the traditional media can't dismiss it, so they ignore it and focus on the less substantive, but more easily palatable criticisms of whether or not Hillary tries to have it both ways, and whether she played the gender card. Choice quote from the Stein piece:

    In his second appearance of the day at the town civic center in Waverly (pop. 8,968; flag count: one giant and two large American flags), Edwards offered this, "The presidential candidate who has raised the most money from Washington lobbyists is not a Republican. It's a Democrat. The candidate who has raised the most money from the health industry—insurance companies and drug companies—is not a Republican. It is a Democrat…. And the candidate who has raised the most money from the defense industry, is not a Republican. It is a Democrat. And all those descriptions fit the same candidate. They're all Senator Clinton."


    Ron Paul's 4.2 Million -- Updated

    Here's the AP article on Ron Paul's November 5th fundraising.

    Paul's total deposed Mitt Romney as the single-day fundraising record holder in the Republican presidential field. When it comes to sums amassed in one day, Paul now ranks only behind Democrats Hillary Rodham Clinton, who raised nearly $6.2 million on June 30, and Barack Obama.


    Here's Glenn Greenwald on the Ron Paul fundraising phenomenon

    Monday, November 5, 2007

    Chicago Tax Increment Financing Bullshit

    Ben Joravsky has been doing a yeoman's work reporting on Tax Increment Financing (TIFs) in Chicago, and his piece in the most recent ChicagoReader is a good primer on the subject of TIFs, and a tidy little debunking of the misinformation the City has put online here.

    Joravsky will do a better job explaining all the issues and nuances than I, so just go and read his work, and check out the Reader's TIF Archive, as well, to get up to speed.

    And spread the word, Chicagoans. With the State, County, and City all poised to raise taxes at the same time due to massive budget shortfalls, it's disgusting, insulting, and obscene that there's over $895 Million just sitting around waiting to line the pockets of some developer who just finished licking Daley's taint.

    Holy Fuckin Shit!

    Am I reading this right? Ron Paul has raised over $2 Million today!?!?!?!

    Blog Candy: Foreign Policy Watch

    My newest piece of blog candy is Foreign Policy Watch. What caught my eye was this thoughtful piece on Barack Obama's newest plan to pursue diplomacy with Iran.

    For future reference you'll find a link in Crinchy Internets.

    Daily Telegraph: Top 100 most influential liberals and conservatives in the US

    The Daily Telegraph has put together a list of The Top 100 most influential conservatives and liberals in the U.S. Their list is very interesting indeed, at times infuriating, and without a doubt an exercise in futility.

    Here's my brief synopsis:

    On the liberal side, if you hazarded 3 guesses who the #1 most "influential" "liberal" is I'd bet my last food stamp one of your choices would be Bill Clinton (#1). No big surprise there. Where things really get interesting is while browsing down the liberal honor role you encounter the likes of Michael Bloomberg (#25), Colon Powell(#23), and Arnold Schwarzenegger (#8), Republicans all. There are some overrated names included in the top 40. For example, those who have a hard time influencing their bowels to move, let alone a political culture: namely, John Kerry rolled in at #37. And there were some seriously underrated individuals, I think anyone could make a case for Jon Stewart (#81), Howard Dean (#84), and Senator Ted Kennedy (#85) to break the top 25 and easily throw around more political weight than Colin Powell, who couldn't even effect change his own State Department when he was Secretary. What really interests me, though, are the 9 individuals closely associated with the Clinton camp in the top 40 (including Clinton herself (#4) and her husband (#1), and not including #17 Donna Brazile who is definitely in Clinton's speed dial, but uncommitted so far in '08). Clinton's "inevitability" has even gripped the press across the pond.

    The conservative list is written with the same luster and inattention to detail as an NKOTB fanzine. VP Cheney (#6) is described as "
    protecting America by offering unvarnished and sometimes unpalatable advice to George W. Bush," and often uses conservative catchphrases like "partial birth abortion." Surprisingly, Karl Rove (#42) and Bill Kristol (#48) don't break the top 40, and Paul Wolfowitz doesn't make the cut at all. You'll be happy to hear that Larry Craig widely straddles #89. The cherry atop the conservative shit sundae is none other than Rudy "9/11? 9/11!" Giuliani.

    So what does it all mean?

    Well, I always find it interesting how the liberal/conservative dichotomy plays out in other political cultures, and how they view our own "clash of the titans". The fact that Great Britain, which once had a much more liberal society than the U.S., could consider ANY of our politicians "liberal" notwithstanding an Arnold Schwarzenegger, is interesting in itself. What I find MOST interesting happens to be this list's worthlessness. It does not provide any real insight into the workings of the American political machine and only further divides viewers into politically liberal or conservative. The criteria for more or less influential within their own category is foggy at best and doesn't really shed any light on anything except that politics is, like this list, a popularity contest.

    Thanks for nothing, Daily Telegraph.

    Saturday, November 3, 2007

    NY = No/Yes

    This video is pretty brilliant. Hillary just makes it so fucking easy:

    Friday, November 2, 2007

    Friday Night's Quote to Sleep On

    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch."

    -Benjamin Franklin

    I think the Libertarian Party needs to adopt that as their slogan.

    Yes To Lead, No To Health Care

    Ahh.... The corruption and the ineptitude shows no bounds. From WAPO

    And Mitch McConnell and his chin continue to carry water for our dope of a president.

    It’s OK to look the other way and accept gifts from an industry that allows it’s product to poison our children, but it’s not OK to provide healthcare to millions of working class children. George Bush’s God must be quite forgiving.

    Greenwald and The Case of the Angry Colonel

    This is some crazy shit:

    Salon's Glen Greenwald has a little email tiff with Col. Steven Boylan, Gen. David Petraeus' PR mouthpiece, in response to Greenwald's notion that there is a link between right-wing political blogs and the military. Oh, man. Boylan hits the roof in what appears to be the military equivalent of a drunk-dial.

    Of course, Swift's response, Steven Boylan is Not a Moron, is classic.

    **** UPDATE****

    Salon posted a front-page piece coalescing all the absurdity above. I'm surprised C&L and DKos haven't jumped on this yet... Anyhow, I'd read this first and then Swift's piece above, because it is a lot of text to wade through for a busy person like you...

    2007 Weblog Awards : Funniest Blog

    Don't forget to vote for Jon Swift for the 2007 Weblog Awards Funniest Blog.

    Take a look at his highlights, look deep into your conscience, and vote conservative.

    Update: President Carter back on the prowl

    In addition to raping kittens, President Jimmy Carter (right, with Rosalyn, fashioning a seal club) also does some other lame stuff...

    I mean, can the poor do anything for themselves?

    Click to read more about the Jimmy Carter Work Program

    Thursday, November 1, 2007

    Boys against Girls

    So Hillary's strategy after her so-so debate performance is to frame the attacks on her positions not as nothing more than 6 guys ganging up on "one strong woman." Give. Me. A. Fucking. Break.

    Tim Greive has been posting on this in War Room, and his stuff is worth reading.

    Choice quote:
    But imagine for a moment that it was Barack Obama who stumbled in the face of criticism and pointed questions Tuesday night. Would his campaign dare to declare that it was "ultimately five whites and a Hispanic against him, and he came off as one strong black man"? And how would America be feeling about him today if it did?

    Her other meme, the "What happened to the Politics of Hope" line, pisses me off too, because no one is attacking Clinton on personal terms...there's been none of the politics of personal destruction that marked Clinton 42's preseidency. Edwards and Obama (and Dodd) are calling her to task for bad policy, poor leadership, and questionable judgment. That's called 'Debate.' That's called "Politics." That's called "Democracy." It's entirely appropriate, and more than that, it's essential. But Hillary's strategy, it is clear, is to avoid being honest with the American people, and hope she can ride her 'inevitabilty' into the White House. Fuck that.

    I hope she gets blown out of the water. I'd take any Democratic candidate and maybe even a Republican over Hillary. This ain't a dynasty, it's a Democracy.'


    Redstatresident has a good diary on this at DKos.

    Edwards Goes On the Air in Iowa

    Having spent $23,000 on ad buys to the millions spent by Clinton and Obama, Edwards is still in a three-way race in Iowa. Now he's going on the air with this ad.

    The music reminds me of the W.G. Snuffy Walden theme for "My So-Called Life" (which is not a bad thing). It's a good ad, but I don't think it's great. But I'm also not an Iowa Caucus goer, so clearly I'm not the target audience.

    Maybe we'll see more ads, or different ads as we get closer to Caucus time.

    Rumsfeld - Still An Ass

    Via WaPo:

    Yes, let’s “elevate the threat” and “link Iraq to Iran.” Oh and more “bumper sticker statements.” Because Americans are idiots and won’t recognize my incompetence if we do this.
    Sorry, Rummy. You were wrong. Just like you were wrong on just about everything else pertaining to defense. Nice work.
    Here’s a tip: when you are trying to rid the blood from your hands, use soap and cold water. Wiping them on your pants won’t work.