Out of the Mountains
Ramblings from a relocated and under-employed Southeastern Kentuckian. Liberal politics, art, music, movies, books,sports, games, whatever else strikes my fancy....Sad and strange the days that are no more...
Thursday, November 30, 2006
More on that conservatoid "Iraqi Study Group"
Now that the blue ribbon of conservative panels I.S.G. has come out in favor of "phased withdrawal" and dubya's already done a preliminary Na gonna do it. Andrew Bacevich weighs in on what it's all about, and Arthur Silber at Once upon a time has some enlightening comments.
.."Even as Washington waits with bated breath for the Iraq Study Group (ISG) to release its findings, the rest of us should see this gambit for what it is:
an attempt to deflect attention from the larger questions raised by America's failure in Iraq and to shore up the authority of the foreign policy establishment that steered the United States into this quagmire. This ostentatiously bipartisan panel of Wise Men (and one woman) can't really be searching for truth. It is engaged in damage control..."
.."Charging this crowd with assessing the Iraq war is like convening a committee of Roman Catholic bishops to investigate the church's clergy sex-abuse scandal. Even without explicit instructions, the group's members know which questions not to ask and which remedies not to advance. Sadly, the average Catholic'sMore:
traditional deference to the church hierarchy finds its counterpart in the average American's deference to "experts" when it comes to foreign policy. The ISG exemplifies the result: a befuddled, but essentially passive-electorate looks for guidance to a small group of unelected insiders reflecting a narrow range of views and operating largely behind closed doors"..
Thanks to Crooks and Liars.
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
The Blog Panel
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Greenwald | The Next Two Years
Glenn Greenwald has an excellent rundown on what the Democratic Congress faces with lame duck Bushco for the next few years.
The next two years
..."There are a lot of Democrats who, understandably enough, seem all excited about the great new policies and legislation they think they can enact now. And many people are equally excited (at least) about the Congressional investigations that are going to commence. But it is vital to keep at the forefront of our political discussions the fact that the Bush administration is composed of individuals who do not recognize the rule of law or the authority of Congress to do much of anything, and -- unless they are absolutely forced to do so, and it's unclear what that might include -- they are not going to comply with these things we used to call "laws" or with Congressional subpoenas and other mandates because they believe they do not have to. And they have said so expressly, time and again.
The rule of law is being made a mockery of every day by an administration that continues to eavesdrop on us without warrants even though there is still a law in place that makes doing that a felony punishable by five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. The Yoo Theory of Presidential Omnipotence is still the official and embraced position of the executive branch. Neither it nor its adherents have gone anywhere.
And we still don't know whether the last two years of this administration will be driven by the broken, humbled, tired and drained President whom we saw the day after the elections, or by a more-than-ever embittered and contemptuous Cheney-led administration bent on more war-making and lawlessness. I think most people assume, quite correctly, that it will be the latter.
It is good to hear Democrats talking about their intentions to investigate and to exercise oversight and impose limits on the administration's behavior, but it is vital that they recognize that doing that is not going to happen easily. It will require some extremely contentious confrontations and very difficult fights to enforce the rule of law.
2006 "10 Worst Toys"
The top ten most dangerous toys of 2006. I don't see the "Bag of Glass" in here anywhere. Very disappointed
#10 FEAR FACTOR CANDY CHALLENGE
2006 "10 Worst Toys" List
W.A.T.C.H.'s annual "10 Worst Toys" list nominates representative toys with the potential to cause childhood injuries, or even death. W.A.T.C.H.'s annual "Toy Conference" has generated extensive national press and media coverage. Because of these efforts, and the positive response from both the media and the public, there have been many toy and product design changes. Founder Edward M. Swartz and W.A.T.C.H. have fearlessly exposed potentially dangerous toys to the general public. As a result, children’s lives have been saved.
Monday, November 27, 2006
Surprise, Rumsfeld especially fond of torture!
I think they would have loved to have made Karpinski the scape goat for Abu Ghraib, I'm sure they tried.
Rumsfeld okayed abuses says former U.S. general
Karpinski insists she knew nothing about the abuse of prisoners until she saw the photos, as interrogation was carried out in a prison wing run by U.S. military intelligence.
Rumsfeld also authorized the army to break the Geneva Conventions by not registering all prisoners, Karpinski said, explaining how she raised the case of one unregistered inmate with an aide to former U.S. commander Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez.
"We received a message from the Pentagon, from the Defense Secretary, ordering us to hold the prisoner without registering him. I now know this happened on various occasions."
Karpinski said last week she was ready to testify against Rumsfeld, if a suit filed by civil rights groups in Germany over Abu Ghraib led to a full investigation.
President Bush announced Rumsfeld's resignation after Democrats wrested power from the Republicans in midterm elections earlier this month, partly due to public criticism over the Iraq war.
Or go to truthout.
Jenean Mcbrearty Dumbest Person in America? You decide.
I remember reading Jenean Mcbrearty's column in the Lexington Herald-Leader with a mixture of awe, humour and complete amazement. I assumed the H.L. printed it as a, "Be kind to Wingnut columnists-and stir the crap day".
Anyway thanks to that one far out column madcap Jenean has become something of a deranged celebrity clown passed around in Blogtopia.
Here's some good stuff from Sadly No, with a photo of crazy Jenean, Jenean's wacky web page(which on reading make's you wonder just how much spell-check/editing the Herald-Leader staff had to do on mean-Jenean's column), and comments galore regarding Wingnut Jenean. Enjoy!
Hippies still trying to ruin the country
--Jenean Mcbrearty CONTRIBUTING COLUMNIST
More of Jenean's wingnut pearls:
America won’t win another war until the 1960s flower children are pushing up petunias.
Radicalized, the flower children morphed into lefty loonies who now masquerade as social progressives.
No matter what they rename themselves, however, their agenda hasn’t changed.
They still want utopia, and it wouldn’t be worth mentioning except that their naivete has aged into a persistent denial of reality that may have devastating consequences.
For example, consider their continued belief that America’s armed forces are neo-Nazi stormtroopers who delight in burning babies to further the aims of imperialistic corporations.
National Science Teachers Association says, "We don't need no stinkin' inconvenient truths!"
Good science according to the National Science Teachers Association is apparently whatever their corporate backers-including Exxon, Shell Oill, etc., say it is. The N.S.T.A. recently turned down free copies of Al Gore's critically acclaimed documentary "An Inconvenient Truth" for their classrooms. Because, weelll.. obviusly Exxon, etal wouldn't approve. Don't need no stinkin' inconvenient truths in science classrooms.
Science a la Joe Camel
At hundreds of screenings this year of "An Inconvenient Truth," the first thing many viewers said after the lights came up was that every student in every school in the United States needed to see this movie.
The producers of former vice president Al Gore's film about global warming, myself included, certainly agreed. So the company that made the documentary decided to offer 50,000 free DVDs to the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) for educators to use in their classrooms. It seemed like a no-brainer.
The teachers had a different idea: Thanks but no thanks, they said.
In their e-mail rejection, they expressed concern that other "special interests" might ask to distribute materials, too; they said they didn't want to offer "political" endorsement of the film; and they saw "little, if any, benefit to NSTA or its members" in accepting the free DVDs.
Gore, however, is not running for office, and the film's theatrical run is long since
over. As for classroom benefits, the movie has been enthusiastically endorsed by leading climate scientists worldwide, and is required viewing for all students in Norway and Sweden.
Still, maybe the NSTA just being extra cautious. But there was one more curious argument in the e-mail: Accepting the DVDs, they wrote, would place "unnecessary risk upon the [NSTA] capital campaign, especially certain targeted supporters." One of those supporters, it turns out, is the Exxon Mobil Corp.
Or Crooks and Liars
Sunday, November 26, 2006
Dreyfuss on Maher - A civics lesson
Friday, November 24, 2006
Burroughs | Thanksgiving Prayer
Iraq: The Hidden War
Ever wonder why your tv "News" seems so sanitized? Feel like what you're seeing on our corporate news tv has been edited for the benefit of it's audience. Here's a British film that compares the two. Warning this is a VERY graphic, no holds barred documentary, be warned:
Iraq: The Hidden War.
Or Google video
Here's a bit of Molly Ivins. Go read the whole thing.
Molly Ivins: Thanks—No, Seriously
.."Speaking of "thinking," another great moment for conservatives this year was highlighted on the Nov. 16 edition of Comedy Central's "The Daily Show." Host Jon Stewart addressed a recent remark that CNN Headline News host Glenn Beck made to Rep.-elect Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), the first Muslim ever elected to Congress.Continue:
Beck said, "I have been nervous about this interview with you because what I feel like saying is, 'Sir, prove to me that you are not working with our enemies.'"After airing Beck's comment, Stewart declared, "Finally, a guy who says what people who aren't thinking are thinking."
While the Washington press corps worried its pretty little head to a frazzle over Nancy Pelosi's Armani suits and terrible start as speaker of the House (except she hasn't started as speaker), they forgot to fret over Trent Lott, who had previously
been bounced unceremoniously from the Senate leadership team to which the Republicans just reelected him. They seem to have forgotten that he had expressed the wish that Strom Thurmond, the segregationist candidate for president, had won in 1948.
Thanks for the late Johnny Apple and the now retired Adam Clymer (who predicted a 28-seat sweep and the possibility of taking the Senate) for reminding us that The New York Times used to know how to cover politics. So, for that matter, did The Washington Post, now graced only by E.J. Dionne.
Thanks for Cokie Roberts, who was the only alert citizen on television on election night. The others were either stalwart Republicans or John McCain worshipers.
Thanks from a grateful nation for an obedient press corps that failed during Bush's six-hour, carefully orchestrated visit to Indonesia to register the fact that there were massive demonstrations against his administration and its policies toward Muslims. The demonstrators during his short visit forced him to stay behind the presidential palace wall all day and - due to concerns for his safety - not spend the night"...
Iraq's blackest day
On the other hand Dubya(you know the guy to thank for all this) will be bike riding today.
160 dead and 257 wounded as car bombs and mortars hit Baghdad
Iraq's blackest day leaves 160 dead and raises fears of all-out civil war
"I saw a car from a wedding party, covered in ribbons and flowers. It was burning. There were pools of blood ... and children dead."
- KAREEM AL-RUBAIE, NEWS PHOTOGRAPHER
Six car bombs killed 160 people in a Shiite stronghold of Baghdad yesterday in the bloodiest attack since the 2003 Iraq invasion.Continue:
The authorities imposed an indefinite curfew on a city fearful of a sectarian civil war, while leaders from all the main communities, including Nuri al-Maliki, the Shiite prime minister, and Tareq al-Hashemi, the Sunni vice-president, made a televised appeal for calm.
"We call for people to act responsibly and to stand together to calm the situation," their joint statement said.
A further 257 people were wounded in the series of blasts in the capital's Sadr City slum. Parked vehicles packed with explosives caused carnage in the streets and a market. Mortars also landed nearby and residents seized a seventh car they said was driven by a would-be suicide bomber.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Act on Global Warming
Send a letter to the new Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, and the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, urging swift action on global warming and clean energy.
Follow this link to send a letter to each courtesy of the League of Conservation Voters action page. The action letter is open to all nations.
The Conscious Earth
Iraqis Die in Record Numbers in October
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Our Death Squads in Columbia | Truth coming out?
Some of us already knew that all that Federal/Corporate "War on Drugs" money we're sending to Columbia(among others) was being used to kill people. But even the worst suspicions didn't foresee this: Columbian Chainsaw Massacres(and no it's not a movie).
Before the 9/11 attacks came along, I used to work with groups trying to get the U.S. to stop funding Colombia’s right-wing paramilitaries. The pretense, of course, was we were funding the Colombian military in their heroic struggle in the War on Drugs. The reality, that the paramilitaries were run by the Colombian government to murder anyone to the left of Elliot Abrams, is finally being acknowledged:--
"The government of President Álvaro Uribe is being shaken by its most serious political crisis yet, as details emerge about members of Congress who collaborated with right-wing death squads to spread terror and exert political control across Colombia’s Caribbean coast…All are from the state of Sucre, where the attorney general’s office has been exhuming bodies from mass graves…"
It’s difficult to overstate the level of human depravity exhibited by the paramilitaries. One of their favorite techniques is to kill people with
“The Chainsaw Massacre is not a film in Colombia,” said government ombudsman Eduardo Cifuentes, referring to the April 12  paramilitary massacre in Alto Naya, 650 kilometers (404 miles) southeast of [Bogota]…
It left some 128 people dead, including 40 in Alto Naya, according to official reports quoted by Cifuentes in an interview with AFP…
Around 400 paramilitaries took part in this “caravan of death” against civilians accused of supporting leftist guerrillas, Cifuentes said in his Bogota office.
“The remains of a woman were exhumed. Her abdomen was cut open with a chainsaw. A 17-year-old girl had her throat cut and both hands also amputated,” said the ombudsman…
“A neighbor pounced upon a paramilitary that was ready to shoot him and took his weapon, but unfortunately he didn’t know how to fire a rifle. They dragged him away, cut him open with a chainsaw and chopped him up,” a witness of the massacre told El Espectador daily.
I once attended a lunch with a Colombian union official. He said the paramilitaries would generally warn people like him of their intentions, by visiting them and cutting their sleeves or pants where they would later cut off their arms and legs if they didn’t flee the area. Less important people didn’t get warnings.
This year we’re giving Colombia approximately 600 million dollars for these appealing activities. The biggest upswing in aid came during the last years of the Clinton administration. What’s really neat is the paramilitaries are actually the ones controlling most of the cocaine trade in Colombia. In other words, as part of the War on Drugs, we’re giving massive aid to some of the world’s biggest drug dealers.
If past experience is any guide, the people mentioned in the above article as investigating this (e.g., Colombian Senator Gustavo Petro) have maybe four weeks to live.
From Tiny Revolution via This Modern World.
Golden Winger Official Unofficial Pre-Nominations
The Poor Man has the early contenders for the Golden Winger Award up.
Chickenhawk of the Year:
A) Clifford May, National Review
B) Ben Ferguson
C) Bruce Kessler *
D) Professor Lloyd Christmas, Instapundit.com
E) Christopher Hitchens, The He-Man Liver-Haters Club
F) Christopher Hitchens, Fearless Vodka Bottle Killers
G) Bob Beauprez
H) Rick Santorum
~ no nominations ~
The Purple Teardrop with Clutched Pearls Cluster
A) Richard Cohen, Washington Post, “Steven Colbert is just a mean bully!”
B) Richard Cohen, Washington Post, “mean bloggers are a digital lynch mob!”
C) Assrocket, “A plea for civility”
D) Lee Siegel, The New Republic, “Blogofascism”
E) Deborah Howell, Washington Post, “the Firestorm!”
F) George Douche, NASA censor, “radical liberal astronomers framed me!”
Olbermann Comments on Bubble Boy's Vietnam Speech
Crooks and Liars has Keith Olbermann's shakedown of Dubya's delerious babbling while in Vietnam. Did George tell about his sacrifices during Vietnam, enduring the drugs, booze and women while in his "champagne unit" tour so he could smear people like Kerry and Murtha today?
Asked if there were lessons about Iraq to be found in our experience in Vietnam, Mr. Bush said that there were — and he immediately proved he had no clue what they were.
"One lesson is," he said, "that we tend to want there to be instant success in the world, and the task in Iraq is going to take a while."
"We'll succeed," the President concluded, "unless we quit."
If that's the lesson about Iraq that Mr. Bush sees in Vietnam, then he needs a tutor. Or we need somebody else making the decisions about Iraq.
Mr. Bush, there are a dozen central lessons to be derived from our nightmare in Vietnam, but "we'll succeed unless we quit" is not one of them.
Monday, November 20, 2006
Peter Jackson will not be doing next Lord of the Ring movies
I don't like the sound of this. Peter Jackson will not be doing the next Middle Earth movies. The Hobbit and another Rings Prequel.
Jackson dumped from new Rings films
Kiwi director Peter Jackson says he has been dumped from two Lord of the Rings movies - The Hobbit and another Rings prequel - by movie studio New Line.
In an email sent to fansite theonering.net, Jackson and partner Fran Walsh said New Line was now "actively looking to hire another filmmaker for both projects".
The email said the demise of the partnership was due to an ongoing lawsuit with New Line over income from the first Lord of the Rings film, The Fellowship of the Ring, and a "limited time option" on the rights to make the films.
It said Jackson and Walsh had planned to begin "development and design" on the two new Rings films next year while filming The Lovely Bones, and once the lawsuit had been dealt with.
Jackson apologised to Rings fans, saying he was "very sorry our involvement with The Hobbit has been ended in this way".
"This outcome is not what we anticipated or wanted, but neither do we see any positive value in bitterness and rancor," Jackson said.
"We now have no choice but to let the idea of a film of The Hobbit go and move forward with other projects."
A posting under the email by 'Xoanon' said it felt like "there had been a death in the family" and whoever ended up directing the movies had "big shoes to fill".
You can read Jackson and Walsh's full email at theonering.net.
From Lance Mannion via James Wolcott.
John McCain went on ABC's This Week and pretty much told the nation what we all ought to know by now, essentially saying, "I'm a pandering, hypocritical, unprincipled Republican weasel who'll do or say anything to get the Right Wing Christians to come out and vote for me in the primaries and there's absolutely no good reason anymore for Democrats or Independents to vote for me for President in 2008 so I guess I never will be President, darn."
McCain told George Stephanopoulos that he wants to see Roe vs. Wade overturned and that he wouldn't mind a Constitutional amendment banning abortion, which is very easy for him to be in favor of because, as he knows, with the Democrats in charge of both Houses for at least the next two years, such an amendment will never make it out of committee.
Of course, we've been expected not to notice that such an amendment has never made it out of committee over the last 4 years while the Republicans have been running the show.
Republican Senators don't want to amend the Constitution. They just want Right Wing anti-abortion types to think they do and to be able to blame Democrats for the fact that abortion never gets completely outlawed everywhere.
For some reason the Media used to present McCain as a social liberal---which, by the way, when you're talking about a Republican, is someone who will make sure that the sons and daughters of the rich and upper middle class continue to enjoy privileges that the rest of the country is denied, access to safe abortions, same sex marriage, fabulous and high status jobs for women. As Scott Lemieux says:
the fact that McCain wouldn't dream of applying general bans on abortion to people in his social circles doesn't make him a pro-choicer; it makes him a Republican. John McCain's daughter won't have a problem getting an abortion whether Roe is good law or not, but a lot of other women won't be so lucky. Social conservatism for thee-but-not-for-me is pretty much what social conservatism means in this country.
Now we know he's a different order and magnitude of hypocrite.
I wrote some posts last week in which I might have sounded as if I think McCain will be the next President. (Here, here, and here.)
I only meant to write about him as the guy the smart money is on. But I wouldn't even bet on him to be the Republican nominee.
Rickie Lee's Still Fighting
Thanks to Downwithtyranny I caught up with what one of my favorite ladies Rickie Lee Jones is doing to fight Bushco/Neo-con fascism.
"Many political activists know her, or have recently become reacquainted with her, because of the song she did with Tom Maxwell and Ken Mosher, "Have You Had Enough?", used in the campaigns that helped elect a diverse array of progressive candidates"
In this article Rickie Lee Jones talks about her project "Ugly Man", what's been happening since the Blue wave elections, and her hopes for a progressive America.
....I must confess that for my part I had lost faith, become politically agnostic as Lee Cantelon put it, and withdrew. I saw my democratic representatives move so far right in their ambiguous campaigns that I could no longer keep my balance in the middle. Suddenly, standing tough, I was part of the new radical left, which was not radical at all. I was not part of any clandestine thought of overtaking the government and feeding it to communists, socialists, or anarchists of any sort. I was part of the radical thought that wanted to protect the money elderly people had paid all their lives for their own old age, to keep all children in preschools and in grade schools and middle schools that provided at least the same curriculum we had enjoyed-- music, art, PE-- in class sizes manageable and safe, in schools no food company could invade, nor political or religious institution could influence. I hoped to see a trend toward inclusive, common sense ideology and away from religious dogma of the sort manufactured in tent revival meetings and Southern Baptist armories, where the Christian soldiers doctrine makes them the sole bearers of the light of god, and all others must fall in their path, never mind that obscure part of the bible that says God is a loving God, or the theme that suggest Christians might be a people who follow the tenants of forgiveness which would lead to an assumption of humility, tolerance, and good manners. Instead these people are best characterized as ignorant, intolerant and very scary....--
...."That's how I feel," and I knew that this is how revolutions are grown, from the ground up. You cannot ever squash out peoples' memory. You can send out all the propaganda in the world and rewrite it so it looks a different way, discredit, rewire. But people know what they experienced. We knew the values and freedoms we grew up with had been absconded, and we sensed the pure evil that seemed to loom behind this impostor. I had spent my life maintaining the mantra 'music and politics are not my bag, baby.' But suddenly they were. I wondered how my heroes could remain so subtle, so silent. Truly. Springsteen? Neil Young? Where the heck were they all in 2002, 2003?....
Sunday, November 19, 2006
I'M IN UR HOUSE
Saturday, November 18, 2006
Cheney guns it over bridge
Friday, November 17, 2006
Forecasting the Next Fifty Years
From New Scientist.
Instant Expert: Brilliant Minds Forecast the Next 50 Years
What will be the biggest breakthrough of the next 50 years? As part of our 50th anniversary celebrations we asked over 70 of the world's most brilliant scientists for their ideas.
In coming decades will we: discover that we are not alone in the universe? Unravel the physiological basis for consciousness? Routinely have false memories implanted in our minds? Begin to evolve in new directions? And will physicists finally hit upon a universal theory of everything? In fact, if the revelations of the last 50 years are anything to go on - the internet and the human genome for example - we probably have not even thought up the exciting advances that lay ahead of us.
Surprise | The Kewl Kidz are back
Digby gets to the root of the Kewl Kidz Media Club and their quick transition from reporting serious White House talking points to all the problems with those new majority icky Dems:
Clinton Rules Redux
"The spite girls are back in town. It isn't so much a matter of substance. You can argue that talking about the majority leader race is worthwhile and that it says something about Pelosi's leadership style. The Carville sideswipe at
Dean is interesting. That's not the problem. It's that the patented 90's style smug, juvenile, derisive Kewl Kidz tone is once again ooozing through everything they say. (I could have sworn I heard the "Friends" theme song in the background.)
It's as if all these unpleasant events of the last six years never happened and we are back in the days of endless cable bitch-fests filled with sniggering about unauthorized blow jobs and earth tones and "grown-ups" who eat PB&J's and travel with their favorite pillies.
I knew it would happen in one form or another. (We caught a glimpse of it with the John Kerry apology treatment.) The DC press corps hates having to criticize Republicans. Republicans make them feel all icky and call them liberals (which they so, like, aren't!) I confess, however, that I'm a little bit awed by how smoothly they have transitioned back into their assigned roles. I thought there might be a moment or two of cognitive dissonance as they went from grim and serious reports about terrorism and war to shallow personality politics and tabloid character assassination. I assumed they would at least wait until the presidential campaign took off to contrast the manly Republican Alpha with the loser Omega Dem, but I guess I didn't realize how much they've missed their fast times at DC High."
Waterboarding Then and Now
Waterboarding, that ancient torture that "DICK" Dick Cheney said is
a "No brainer" and seems proud as punch we're using it on our prisoners.
'The sensation of drowning, on dry land'
It began with a Cheney-style "dunking" so bad that his brain blocked
out the memory. He was told later by a witness that he was taken to
a bathroom with a big metal tub and his head was shoved under the
water again and again.
There was an interpreter present who would take Lomax's pulse
periodically to ensure he was still alive and available to endure
Lomax was then tied down on a bench, even though his arms had
already been broken. The torturer came back with a hosepipe.
And this is waterboarding:
"He directed the full flow of the now-gushing pipe onto my nostrils
and mouth.… Water poured down my windpipe and throat and filled
my lungs and stomach. The torrent was unimaginably choking. This
is the sensation of drowning, on dry land, on a hot dry afternoon.
Your humanity bursts from within you as you gag and choke. I tried
very hard to will unconsciousness but no relief came."
The beating and the interrogation continued. "I had nothing to say:
I was beyond invention. So they turned on the tap again, and again
there was that nausea of rising water from inside my bodily cavity."
Found at Crooks and Liars.
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Poor ol' NPR. I haven't listened to them in years. Every time I think about letting bygones be bygones and tuning back in I come across something like this disgruntled NPR'r.
Instead of using an alarm clock, we have our wakey-box switch on the local NPR station to roust us from our peregrinations in the land of nod. I can remember when I used to look forward to lying there for a bit and listening to Morning Edition. Now I just want to switch to the alarm clock, although I’m sure I’d be overruled on that. I did switch to the alarm clock back when NPR joined the clown parade of 24/7 blowjob coverage in the late 90s, but eventually tried them again when the sociopaths finally figured out - probably via one of the sentient ones explaining to the rest via the cartoons, hand gestures and gutteral noises required - that they weren’t getting rid of Clinton that way and resigned themselves to fixing the upcoming election in order to save the U.S. from its long national nightmare of peace and prosperity.
That Karl Rove Crush
A nice feel good(if you're a Democrat) post-election article from Media Matters regarding our Republican loving/Karl Rove fearing "News" Media.
"If I were them [Democrats], I'd be scared to death about November's elections."
-- Mark Halperin, director of ABC News' political unit, June 22, 2006
My favorite article from the just-completed campaign season appeared in the October 9 issue of Time, in which Mike Allen and James Carney wrote a detailed piece about why Republicans were not worried about the upcoming elections. "The G.O.P.'s Secret Weapon," read the bold headline. "You think the Republicans are sure to lose big in November? They aren't. Here's why things don't look so bad to them," read the subhead.
Monday, November 13, 2006
Oh to be Blogging
Greetings passerby. I haven't been posting in days and days. Work isn't the problem I haven't been to work since last Wednesday. Friday night Ellen(Wifey) got severe abdominal pains. After trying to get her to let me call 911 around 11:00pm I took her to the emergency room-Let me make this plainer, the emergency room on a Friday night at 11pm=packed, crowded, loud. We ended up being there all night. Turns out she had to have her gall bladder removed. I went home for a few hours and then back to the hospital. They got her a room and set surgary for today. That's been my agenda all weekend. Today they had her surgary and I've been there all day. She came out of it fine but has slept all day. From bouncing back and forth to the hospital, to taking the girls to work and school stuff, along with household chores I'm beat, and just want to catch up on sleep.
To add a nice little topper I've come down with some kind of cold/flu crud probably from that hospital. She's all right though and hopefully we'll bring her home in the morning. Gotta go pick a daughter up at work in a few minutes. By the way if going through the Central Baptist Hospital lobby and you want coffee at the stand there just get the espresso double shot. This was/is not a whine, I've read Bagdhad Burning and the other Blogs of people in life or death worlds so understand that I realize I'm lucky even as I go on about my handicaps.
Hey How 'Bout That Democratic Senate and House? Booyah!
I'll be back.
Friday, November 10, 2006
Media Matters | The Media's Idea of the "Middle" in Politics
A nice article from Media Matters regarding the strange News Media/Pundit idea of the political middle in US politics. The actual middle according to the polls consistently is the Democratic platforms. The DC Beltway and corporate media's idea is John McCain, who as anyone who's watched McCain's actions for very long is actually to the Right of Poppy Bush.
Anyway go to Media Matters:
..."In fact, the Republican Party's representatives in Washington are far out of the mainstream of public opinion, while the Democratic Party, on most major issues, is quite near the center.
We touched on this last week, and at various times in the past, so we won't go into great detail here. But consider this: Earlier this year, McCain indicated that if he was governor of South Dakota, he would have signed that state's blanket ban on abortion. On Tuesday, South Dakota voters rejected that ban by a decisive 12-point margin.
Think about that for a moment.
South Dakota is among the most conservative states in the nation. It is one of only 11 states in which President Bush's net approval rating is better than negative 10; in 2004, Bush carried the state by 21 points.
John McCain, the media's poster child for the "sensible center,"holds a position on abortion that is far to the right of that held by the people of South Dakota.
So, on what is perhaps the most widely-used ideological litmus test, John McCain is far to the right not just of the country as a whole, but of the electorate of one of the most conservative states in the nation.
How about what is arguably the biggest issue of our time: the Iraq war? McCain is a staunch supporter of the Iraq war, and has suggested sending more American troops to fight it. Polls have consistently shown - and Tuesday's results confirmed - that the American people disapprove of the war, and want to end it. McCain is, in short, far to the right of public opinion on Iraq.
The simple fact the pundits won't tell you is that the national Republican Party has veered far to the right over the past dozen years, and the national Democratic Party is quite centrist. (Whether that's a good thing, or reflective of the positions of the parties' rank-and-file voters is another question.) On issues ranging from tax and budget policy to health care to the minimum wage to abortion to the war in Iraq to the environment, so-called "far left" Democratic leaders like Nancy Pelosi hold positions that enjoy the support of the American people. Even on issues that Democrats have essentially stopped talking about and acting on, like universal health care and gun safety legislation, their positions are quite moderate.
So when media report that Democrats won by embracing "moderate" or "centrist" positions, that's true - but not in the way that they mean it. Democrats have long embraced centrist positions. The suggestion, however, that they won by running towards the right, or towards the center, rather than by continuing to occupy it, is as wrong as it is widespread. As Media Matters detailed this week, the Democrats who won previously-Republican seats did so largely by taking traditional Democratic positions - which is to say, centrist positions.
But when political journalists and pundits use words like "centrist" and "moderate," they aren't talking about Nancy Pelosi and Dick Durbin. They are -- quite bizarrely -- talking about people like the far-right John McCain..."
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
And the Killing Goes on in Iraq
"The U.S. military said this month's American casualties included two lieutenant colonels, among the highest ranking soldiers to die in Iraq since the 2003 invasion.
Lt. Col. Eric J. Kruger, 40, was killed Thursday by a roadside bomb along with Lt. Col. Paul J. Finken, 40, and Staff Sgt. Joseph A. Gage, 28. All three men were riding in a Humvee in eastern Baghdad."
14 Dead, 16 Hurt in Iraq Mortar Attack
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - Two mortar shells slammed into a coffee shop in a Shiite neighborhood Tuesday in Baghdad, killing at least 14 people and wounding 16
others, police said.
The attack appeared to have been in response to mortar fire on a Sunni neighborhood across the Tigris River earlier Tuesday that killed seven people and wounded 25.
In other news, Iraq's Interior Ministry said that it has charged 57 members of the Iraqi police, including a general, in the alleged torture of hundreds of detainees at a prison in eastern Baghdad.
Torture is considered widespread among the poorly trained police force, which has suffered heavy losses at the hands of Sunni insurgents and criminal gangs, but Tuesday's announcement marked the first time the government has sought charges.
Thanks to truthout:
Israel Attacks Village as Women and Children Are Sleeping
Cihan News Agency - Israel launched more attacks in the northern part of the Gaza Strip early on Wednesday. Israeli tank shells and rockets fired from Israeli helicopters suddenly crashed into Beit Hanoun early Wednesday though Israeli forces had pulled out Tuesday after a week-long military operation.
This morning’s offensive left at least 18 dead, including children and women, and many others injured. Efforts are under way to rescue people, dead or alive, from the wreckage of buildings knocked down during the Israeli attack.
• Israel 'apology' as Palestine mourns dead
• In quotes: Gaza attack reaction
From The Agonist
Aah, the smell of Victory in the morning
Not much time to post, have to work, but just a quick:
Ladies and Gentlemen, Distinguished citizens, our new Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi!! Has a wonderful ring to it doesn't it?
Apparently the Neanderthal Allen lost in Virginia(gives Neanderthals a bad name), Santorum lost, Conrad Burns lost. So many Bushco rubber stamps, so little time. That useless mouth breather Geoff Davis beat Democrat Ken Lucas here in Kentucky. Then again Lucas is as far right as Davis so no HUGE change there. Give voters Republican or Republican lite and they'll go Repub.
How's this, Senate Minority leader Mitch "Mo' Money" McConnell? Heh!
The abortion ban lost in South Dakota! Gay marriage ban lost in Arizona!
For indepth updates and overall Kentucky results go to Bluegrass Report or Lex. Herald.
It could have been better but it's still a good day for Democrats, it's been a while.
Enjoy it. Gotta get more coffee.
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Report vote-machine problems to 1-866-OUR-VOTE If you experience any irregularities in voting today, call 1-866-OUR-VOTE, the hotline for the National Campaign for Fair Elections. EFF lawyers and many others are standing by across the country to take legal action to remove malfunctioning voting machines, keep polls open, etc.
Hear about vote-counting and democracy in the latest EFF podcast.
And here's a heads up from AMERICAblog:
If you're aware of any shenanigans call the Democratic Party's voter protection team: 888-DEM-VOTE. They have a 50-state protection program in place.
Monday, November 06, 2006
Don't forget to VOTE!!!!
If you come through here tonight PLEASE vote tomorrow! It's enormously important. Especially now. Vote progressive, vote Liberal, when in doubt vote Democratic.
Skippy says it very well:
1) don't let anyone tell you that you cannot vote. go to your polling place, talk to the pollworkers, call your government, demand your right to vote.
2) don't believe for one second that your one vote can't make a difference. obviously, every single vote counts.
3) don't blow off this opportunity to participate in the democratic process. elections work when people vote.
for more information, please visit these websites:
Friday, November 03, 2006
Karl Rove - Is he gay or what?
Oceans being emptied
When I read this the first thing I thought of was the commercial that I saw recently by (Never)Right Wingnut Ben Stein telling everyone to "Eat all(the seafood) you want, there's lot's more out there". So he's wrong again and lying again. Thanks Ben.
Fish stocks are declining so rapidly that scientists have predicted that they will disappear by the middle of the century unless radical measures are taken to protect them. A study of more than 100 fishing regions, published in the journal Science, suggests that if current trends are maintained every seafood species will have collapsed below commercially viable levels by 2048. /blockquote>
Found at Suburban Guerrilla
Lou Reed gives to Blue America
Thanks to Jane Hamsher at Firedoglake we get a Lou Reed Remix MP3 of Walk on the Wild Side:
Lou Reed has been a big supporter of our Blue America PAC. His latest gift to us is an unreleased version of "Walk on the Wild Side" he recorded in protest over the Iraq war, which we're proud to premier here on FDL.
Go to Firedoglake
Search called off for American soldier
Bush called off search and abandons captive American soldier to the militias of Sadr City, Iraq. Here's background from Americablog and here's Jack Cafferty:
Compare this to the media circus over a bungled insult at Bush by John Kerry.
"I think it's important to note that nobody hates the troops more than decorated war hero John Kerry. We're all very, very lucky that we have draft-dodgers like George Bush and Dick Cheney to point that out to us."
---Jimmy Kimmel, Kos
Thursday, November 02, 2006
A reminder for our voters
A reminder from The American Family Voter's Alliance of what we can do.
"We're the country that took on the burdens of the whole world, and kept it free. You really think we can't fix our course in Iraq? And put our military where it needs to be to keep us safe? We're the country that taught the world how to fly and walked on the moon. We invented the future. Don't tell me we can't find an alternative to oil, and free ourselves from rich companies that make us pay, and little countries that hold us hostage.
Olbermann's special comment: There is no line this President will not-has not crossed.
Keith Olbermann gives a must see opinion piece on the John Kerry Bush joke that misfired, and the subsequent Bushco neo-con faux outrage "for our military" B.S.
"Of course we can't talk about the carnage that is Iraq, because we got more important things to do - like go after John Kerry for a botched joke."
Go to Crooks and Liars for the treat.
Glitches favoring Republicans again- Amazing?
Here we go again.
Glitches cited in early voting
Early voters are urged to cast their ballots with care following scattered reports of problems with heavily used machines.
...Election officials say they aren't aware of any serious voting issues. But in Broward County, for example, they don't know how widespread the machine problems are because there's no process for poll workers to quickly report minor issues and no central database of machine problems.--
In Miami-Dade, incidents are logged and reported daily and recorded in a central database. Problem machines are shut down.
''In the past, Miami-Dade County would send someone to correct the machine on site,'' said Lester Sola, county supervisor of elections. Now, he said, ``We close the machine down and put a seal on it.''
Debra A. Reed voted with her boss on Wednesday at African-American Research Library and Cultural Center near Fort Lauderdale. Her vote went smoothly, but boss Gary Rudolf called her over to look at what was happening on his machine. He touched the screen for gubernatorial candidate Jim Davis, a Democrat, but the review screen repeatedly registered the Republican, Charlie Crist.
That's exactly the kind of problem that sends conspiracy theorists into high gear -- especially in South Florida, where a history of problems at the polls have made voters particularly skittish.
A poll worker then helped Rudolf, but it took three tries to get it right, Reed said.
''I'm shocked because I really want . . . to trust that the issues with irregularities with voting machines have been resolved,'' said Reed, a paralegal. ``It worries me because the races are so close.''...
And from Texas-Again favoring Republicans...Hmmmm?
Jefferson County Voters Continue To Raise Concerns
About Voting Machines
...Early voting runs through Friday, November 3rd. KFDM continues to get complaints from Jefferson County voters who say the electronic voting machines are not registering their votes correctly. Friday night, KFDM reported about people who had cast straight Democratic ticket ballots, but the touch-screen machines indicated they had voted a straight Republican ticket.
Some of those voters including Lamar University professor, Dr. Bruce Drury, believe the problem is a programming error.
Saturday, KFDM spoke to another voter who says it's not just happening with straight ticket voting, he says it's happening on individual races as well, Jerry Stopher told us when he voted for a Democrat, the Republican's name was highlighted.
Stopher said, "There's something in these machines, in this equipment, that's showing Republican votes when you vote for Democrats, and I know Ms. Guidry's a nice lady, and she's working hard, but her theory that my fingernail was somehow over the Republican button is just unrealistic, my fingernail was not. The equipment is not working properly as far as I can tell."
Jefferson county clerk Carolyn Guidry says her office has checked the calibration of the machines and found no problems...
I would only say that depending on your political perspective, you may not find any "problems" with the machine's not "working properly"(see Kenneth Blackwell, Ohio2004, or Katherine Harris, Fla.2000, for examples).
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Sullivan! Abandoning An American Soldier
Never thought I'd link to Andrew Sullivan but here it is:
Abandoning An American Soldier
While the media is obsessed parsing the ad libs of someone on no ballot this fall, something truly ominous has just happened in Iraq. The commander-in-chief has abandoned an American soldier to the tender mercies of a Shiite Militia. Yes, there are nuances here, and the NYT fleshes out the story today. But the essential fact is clear. In a showdown for control of Baghdad, the Iraqi prime minister took orders from Moqtada al-Sadr, and instructed the U.S. military to withdraw from Sadr City. The American forces were trying both to stabilize the city but also to find a missing American serviceman. He is still missing. Money quote from the WaPo:Continue:
--The move lifted a near siege that had stood at least since last Wednesday. U.S. military police imposed the blockade after the kidnapping of an American soldier of Iraqi descent. The soldier's Iraqi in-laws said they believed he had been abducted by the Mahdi Army as he visited his wife at her home in the Karrada area of Baghdad, where U.S. military checkpoints were also removed as a result of Maliki's action.
The crackdown on Sadr City had a second motive, U.S. officers said: the search for Abu Deraa, a man considered one of the most notorious death squad leaders. The soldier and Abu Deraa both were believed by the U.S. military to be in Sadr City.--
The U.S. military does not have a tradition of abandoning its own soldiers to foreign militias, or of taking orders from foreign governments. No commander-in-chief who actually walks the walk, rather than swaggering the swagger, would acquiesce to such a thing. The soldier appears to be of Iraqi descent who is married to an Iraqi woman. Who authorized abandoning him to the enemy? Who is really giving the orders to the U.S. military in Iraq? These are real questions about honor and sacrifice and a war that is now careening out of any control. They are not phony questions drummed up by a partisan media machine to appeal to emotions to maintain power.
"In the RNC's attack ad on Harold Ford, a sleazy-looking fellow says, "So, Ford took money from porn movie producers. I mean, who hasn't?" Who hasn't? Well, it turns out that the RNC has...the RNC has accepted contributions from Nich Boyias...the owner of one of the largest producers of gay porn. The difference between the money Ford took and the money the RNC took? Ford gave his back..."
--Tim Grieve, Here
Thanks to Bartcop.
Leaving the Republicans
John Cole explains why he's left the Republican party(the party's over?).
This Is No Fun
By: John Cole
..."I don’t know when things went south with this party (literally and figuratively- and I am sure commenters here will tell me the party has always
been this bad- I disagree with that, and so do others), but for me, Terri Schiavo was the real eye-opener. Sure, the Prescription Drug Plan was hideous and still gets my blood pressure pumping, and the awful bankruptcy bill was equally bad, and there were other things that should have clued me in, but really, it was Schiavo that made me realize this party was not as advertized. And it is frustrating as hell..."
"...but I don’t know how else to respond when people call decent men like Jim Webb a pervert for no other reason than to win an election. I don’t know how to deal with people who think savaging a man with Parkinson’s for electoral gain is appropriate election-year discourse. I don’t know how to react to people who think that calling anyone who disagrees with them on Iraq a “terrorist-enabler” than to swing back. I don’t know how to react to people who think that media reports of party hacks in the administration overruling scientists on issues like global warming, endangered species, intelligent design, prescription drugs, etc., are signs of… liberal media bias..."
Playing nice with (drug addict) Rush Limbaugh
At least we know where Limbaugh got his name, as in, "MAN! What a Rush!". These days the word Rush should be applied to anyone who's an overweight, hypocritical, drug addicted, loud mouth. On a related note has the Oxycontin king been on another viagra trip with "the boys" down to The Dominican Republic?
Playing nice with Rush Limbaugh
by Eric Boehlert
Question: When is an apology not an apology?Continue:
Answer: When the press corps is
covering for Rush Limbaugh.
Last week's spectacle of right-wing talker Limbaugh mocking actor Michael J. Fox for allegedly faking the symptoms of his crippling Parkinson's disease while appearing in a Democratic-sponsored campaign ad was equaled only by the media spectacle of news
outlets erroneously, and methodically, reporting that the talker quickly apologized for his outlandish smear. Things got so bad that at one point news consumers were better off reading the Canadian press to find out the actual facts of the American-based controversy. (Fox is a native of Edmonton, which explained the Canadian interest in the story.)
And it's not like the facts were complicated. Fox made a heartfelt plea urging voters in Missouri to support Democratic Senate candidate Claire McCaskill, who he stated "shares [his] hope for cures" through stem cell research. Limbaugh promptly belittled the actor, telling listeners the herky-jerky motions Fox was making during the commercial were a con; "purely an act" to elicit an emotional response. Limbaugh even uncorked spastic, in-studio gesticulations to mimic Fox's awkward appearance.
Limbaugh said if he was proven wrong he'd apologized. But the press took that for an apology itself. Days later, as the controversy raged, Limbaugh was even clearer, insisting, "I stand by what I said [about Fox]. I take back none of what I said. I wouldn't rephrase it any differently. It is what I believe. It is what I think. It is what I have found to be true."
That quote was key to understanding the radical, remorseless position Limbaugh had staked out for himself. And here, according to a search of the Nexis database, is a
list of major Canadian papers that published the direct, "I stand by what I said" quote from Limbaugh:
The Edmonton Journal, The Gazette (Montreal), the Regina Leader-Post (Saskatchewan), the National Post, the Ottawa Citizen, the Saskatoon StarPhoenix (Saskatchewan), The Province (Vancouver, British Columbia), the Vancouver Sun (British Columbia), and the Windsor Star (Ontario) Meanwhile, here's a list of major American newspapers that published the same revealing quote from Limbaugh:
The sounds of silence were fitting for a press corps that treated Limbaugh's allegation as rational, manufactured a central element of the story (his 'apology'), mischaracterized Fox's commercial, suggested his actions had "spark[ed]" the controversy, and absolutely refused to put Limbaugh's attack in any sort of historical context regarding the talker's established record of hate speech.
But this is nothing new. Despite Limbaugh torrent of rhetoric about how the press vilifies him (it's called a schtick; every radio talk show host needs one), the truth is Beltway media players routinely play nice with Limbaugh and his fringe brand of conservatism. Anxious for his right-wing seal of approval (and spooked by his liberal bias charges), the mainstream press corps has for years treated Limbaugh
with undeserved respect, worked to soften his radical edges, and presented him as simply a partisan pundit.