Monday, October 30, 2006

Here we come again, catch us if you can

The usual suspects appear again, trying to end affirmative action. Of course, it's a group of the so-called "culturally elite". You know, Rupert Murdoch, the Scaife's, Ward Connerly and others in a tightly knit cabal. According to (free registration required, so here's the whole text):
Who Is Paying to End Affirmative Action? High-Ranking Bush Officials, Rupert Murdoch

In just eight days, Michigan will vote on the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative (MCRI)—an anti-opportunity proposal that would end affirmative action in public education, employment and contracting. The MCRI has raised $2 million thus far, $450,000 of which was donated by long-time affirmative-action foe Ward Connerly.

Both Connerly and Linda Chavez of the Center for Equal Opportunity (CEO) have been less than forthcoming about who finances their operations. Where does the money trail lead? It ends up with Gerald Reynolds, Abigail Thernstrom and Rupert Murdoch.

Reynolds and Thernstrom are, respectively, chair and vice chair of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (UCCR). President Bush appointed Reynolds and Congress appointed Thernstrom. How are they connected with the campaign to end affirmative action?

The big question: Where do they get their money?

Leading conservative groups give money to CEO through its parent organization, Equal Opportunity Foundation (EOF). Manhattan Institute senior fellow Thernstrom, who has been among the most outspoken critics of affirmative action and the feminist movement, sits on EOF's board, according to historian Lee Cokorinos’ The Assault on Diversity. She is the vice chair of UCCR and a member of the Massachusetts Board of Education.

Thernstrom and UCCR Chair Reynolds joined Connerly and Chavez in developing the Citizens' Initiative on Race and Ethnicity—a platform for opponents to former President Clinton's Initiative on Race. Reynolds also worked directly for CEO as a legal analyst prior to becoming president of the Center for Black Leadership, a conservative think-tank.

The Lambe Foundation, with libertarian Charles G. Koch on the board, also has given hundreds of thousands of dollars to CEO. Funding for the Lambe Foundation comes from Koch Industries, the nation's largest privately held energy company with more than $25 billion in annual sales.

Koch's brother David funded publication of Affirmative Action Fraud—a book Cokorinos describes as one of the most cutting diatribes against affirmative action in history. The Koch brothers have a combined fortune of more than $3 billion.

Chavez is against the Equal Rights Amendment, works closely with Pat Buchanan and former Secretary of Education William Bennett and advocates English-only laws and tight border security. Formerly President Reagan's appointed U.S. Commission on Civil Rights staff director, Chavez has remained well networked with the conservative Federalist Society, which makes up President Bush's White House legal team.

(See also: Affirmative-Action Foes Twist the Facts)

Where does Connerly get his cash?

Connerly founded the American Civil Rights Institute (ACRI) and the American Civil Rights Coalition (ACRC) on the heels of his campaign to end affirmative action in California with the passage of Proposition 209, reports Cokorinos. ACRI is the tax-exempt entity and ACRC is the "political arm" of "Ward Connerly's shop." They both are headquartered in Sacramento and have the same address.

The $5.2-million Proposition 209 campaign contributions included more than $3 million from state and national Republican parties and $750,000 from media mogul Rupert Murdoch, who owns FOX.

It's no coincidence that MCRI Executive Director Jennifer Gratz appeared on FOX's "O'Reilly Factor" two weeks ago, with the campaign to end affirmative action in Michigan down to the wire.

Connerly and Chavez, a FOX news analyst and syndicated columnist, share many of the same political backers. For example, both have received extensive support from the Bradley, Donner and Sarah Scaife Foundations. The Scaife Foundation is funded by industrial tycoon Richard Mellon Scaife, who donated more than $17.6 million to 170 conservative think-tanks in 1993, the most recent data available.

Federalist Society Counsel T. Kenneth Crib sits on the board of the Scaife Foundation, which gave ACRI $525,000 between 1998 and 2000 and CEO $395,000 between 1995 and 2000.

ACRI Co-Chair Thomas Rhodes also is on the board of directors for the Bradley Foundation, the principal sponsor of the ACRI. He is president of the conservative National Review Board, which opposed the Supreme Court Brown v. Board of Education decision, and a former investment banker with Goldman Sachs. Rhodes also has been a trustee of the conservative Heritage Foundation and of the Manhattan Institute, which links him to Thernstrom and Cribb, whom Cokorinos calls the "unofficial liaison between the Reagan administration and the Heritage Foundation."

Campaign to end affirmative action

The anti-affirmative-action movement gains momentum through support from deep-pocketed conservatives and campaigns duplicitously framed in the name of civil rights. Ward Connerly's current campaign in Michigan may be the most deceitful yet.

NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund Associate Director-Counsel Ted Shaw addresses this point in his introduction to Cokorinos' book. Shaw writes: "The extensive proportions of the anti-diversity movement serve as a wake-up call to the naïve, the uninformed and the willfully blind. If the civil-rights movement was a revolution that transformed the United States into a more inclusive society, the counterrevolution is here."

"I think whether you're in Arizona or Texas or South Carolina or New York, we should all be worried about allowing Proposal 2 to succeed in Michigan," says Frank Fountain, senior vice president of external affairs and public policy for DaimlerChrysler, No. 43 in The 2006 DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity®. "After all, the money to finance the anti-affirmative-action campaign is coming from outside the state of Michigan. It's coming from sources that are not transparent. We have no idea who the individuals are who are contributing money to write this off the books."

Pretty sick.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Yes, Jesus loves me, yes, Jesus loves me...?

From my friend MJS over at CorrenteWire:

Possibly Over-Medicated Messiah Seen Leaving Rave Concert


(Jivester News, Lmtd.) After suggesting that dying for mankind’s sins was too limiting, Christ Jesus has been speaking (off the record) lately to His friends and some—not all—of His neighbors, about His plans to return to Earth and “…dying this time not for sins per se, but for a litany of various maladies, diseases, nagging back aches and of course male pattern baldness.”

Yeshua (his Hebraic name means “Canadian Drugs” in Pig Latin) has been studying medical reference websites lately, poring over materials related to genetics—specifically how heredity and bio-chemical variations affect millions upon millions of human beings on a daily basis. Moved by the plight of humanity, He has decided to de-emphasize the “sin thing” and focus more clearly on His healing talents. Recognizing that He’s just “not into” walking around the planet and healing everyone He meets (“…it’s like being a comedian and having to be funny all the time. What a drag. Bob Hope is the most miserable person in Heaven…”) Jesus has decided to franchise His operation while retaining all ancillary rights.

Speaking on GOD News during a break from Eternity, Jesus said, “I thought about this issue during the whole Michael J. Fox/Rush Limbaugh story. I mean, here’s a case where someone is practically on his knees begging for help just so some pre-emryonic blastocysts destined for the dustbin can be utilized by scientists in America to try and discover cures for Parkinson’s and other crippling and fatal diseases, and Rush is jumping on him like he was a tackling dummy. It’s not right—it’s as wrong as anything I have ever witnessed—so I’ve decided that instead of waiting around for the electorate to pick through the blather and do the right thing, I will simply be born again and this time make it clear that my death at the hands of Big Pharma will be my guarantee to wipe out diseases, some lower lumbar ailments, and male pattern baldness for all humanity, for all time.”

Asked by a gentleman who identified himself as a prosecuter for God to enumerate what people would be dying from in the future, Jesus replied, “I don’t know. Probably drowning or radiation poisoning. Oh, and murder and car accidents. Ooh—plane crashes and earthquakes and…” continued Jesus, until trailing off as if lost in a really mysterious thought. When asked why He included “male pattern baldness” among the list of ailments He would choose to die for, Jesus took off His wig and pointed to His abundant lack of hair thereon, while shaking his head slowly—very slowly, very solemnly. He put His wig back on and said, “Verily, let us not speak of this again. Not kidding. I wouldn’t press this point if I were you. Ix-nay on the ald-bay atter-chay.”


Image of possibly over-medicated messianic figure from here.

People everywhere just got to be free

Government repression comes in many forms. From the always radical Christian Science Monitor we learn that:
The news media advocacy organization Reporters Without Borders released their fifth annual Worldwide Press Freedom Index this week, and it shows that the United States has dropped 9 places since last year, and is now ranked 53rd, alongside Botswana, Croatia and Tonga. The authors of the report say that the steady erosion of press freedom in countries like the US, France and Japan (two other countries that slipped significantly on the index) is "very alarming."

Yep, we're the land of the free and the home of the brave, alright. Read both pieces, and be afraid. Be very afraid.

But wait! We're in good company. Bloggers are the newest target of government censorship:
Amnesty International is launching a campaign on behalf of a whole new category of prisoners of conscience - internet bloggers and chatroom visitors arrested by repressive governments for expressing unwelcome views or disseminating sensitive information online.

In an appeal issued today, the human rights watchdog is urging webmasters around the world to stand up for their imprisoned fellow bloggers - in countries such as Iran, Tunisia, Vietnam and China - and denouncing major internet service providers, including Yahoo! and Microsoft, for providing foreign governments with the information they need to purge the web of dissenting voices.

. . .

"People have been locked up just for expressing their views in an e-mail or on a website," said Steve Ballinger of Amnesty. "Sites and blogs have been shut down and firewalls built to prevent access to information. Companies have restricted internet searches to stop people accessing information that repressive governments don't want them to see.

. . .

A number of governments have resorted to filtering and blocking mechanisms to keep unwelcome political content off the internet, Amnesty said. But the group also criticised big private Internet Service Providers (ISPs) for acceding to the demands of repressive governments and passing on information identifying bloggers.


Most bloggers I know personally are pretty careful about what they write. No overt threats that might bring Secret Service agents to the door...we hope. Frankly, threats are not the Democratic way. Perhaps the Republican way...But at this rate, we must consider the many times government mouthpieces have admonished us to be careful:
MR. FLEISCHER: I'm aware of the press reports about what he said. I have not seen the actual transcript of the show itself. But assuming the press reports are right, it's a terrible thing to say, and it unfortunate. And that's why -- there was an earlier question about has the President said anything to people in his own party -- they're reminders to all Americans that they need to watch what they say, watch what they do. This is not a time for remarks like that; there never is.

I am ever more concerned that at the least McCarthyism, and at the worst outright censorship might be in the works. These people, the ruling right wing, are deadly serious.

Thanks to emailer Joe for the heads-up on the Amnesty International report.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Well I'm going to surf city, gonna have some fun

The Orange Country Register usually has a predictibly insane OpEd page, with such syndicated columnists as Ann Coulter, Larry Elder, George Will and corporatist tool John Stossel, and the vile scratches called Mike Shelton drawings.

Mostly a doctrinaire Libertarian rag, the Register veers toward hard core right winger ideology pretty comfortably, both in its reporting, and on the OpEd page. That's why it's refreshing to see them call criminal Repubs out:
Felony charges were filed this week against 12 signature gatherers accused of registering Orange County voters as Republicans without their consent – part of a criminal probe into voter flipping.

An Orange County Register investigation in April found that more than 100 people who thought they were signing petitions to cure breast cancer and punish child molesters were duped into registering as Republicans. The signature gatherers were part of an Orange County Republican registration drive that paid up to $10 for each "convert," especially in the heated state 34th Senate District.

In a joint investigation by the California Secretary of State and the Orange County Office of the District Attorney, each defendant was charged Tuesday with two to four counts of falsifying a voter registration card. Each charge carries a maximum penalty of three years in state prison. Many defendants had not been arrested as of Thursday afternoon.

News of the arrest warrants brought applause from a local Republican Party battered by scandal, most recently the investigation into a threatening letter sent to Hispanic voters by congressional candidate Tan Nguyen.
Applause? Not sure I believe that. Of course, crocodile tears would be shed by Repub leadership, but I'm pretty sure in private they're singing a different tune about the loss of registrations. And representing the petitions as being about breast cancer? 3 words: Die in Hell.

And about that Tan Nguyen fellow, another proud Orange County Republican. Looks like some bickering among the Repub Intelligentsia:
Orange County GOP Chairman Scott Baugh has disputed GOP congressional candidate Tan Nguyen's claim that he had no knowledge of the mailing of a controversial letter erroneously telling immigrants not to vote.

Nguyen said earlier today in a statement that the mailing had been traced back to his campaign, and had occurred without his knowledge. Baugh disagreed.
Lest anyone mistake Scott Baugh as having some integrity, however, remember, he's this Scott Baugh:
Attorney General Bill Lockyer has dropped criminal charges against Assemblyman Scott Baugh (R-Huntington Beach) stemming from a plot to plant a decoy Democrat in a 1995 Assembly special election. Though the state Fair Political Practices Commission may yet fine Baugh, Lockyer's move would pretty much wrap up a case that has been thoroughly dissected by the local media-except for one nagging detail: Orange County Register reporter Jean O. Pasco's effort to keep Congressman Dana Rohrabacher out of the scandal.


I give to you, you give to me

He's back, sounding almost reasonable (No link. Lambert's rule: DCOW*):
When we exit Iraq, it will not be a peaceful, democratic island in the troubled seas of a despotic Middle East. It may not even have an elected government if things continue the way they have in recent months as the insurgents and terrorists have ratcheted up the violence to unbearable levels in order to give the Democrats ammunition in the upcoming November elections. Nor will it necessarily be a willing partner in our war against Islamism.

Well. First, note the ever present straw man. I will deconstruct: The insurgents and terrorists have ratcheted up the violence in order to give the Democrats ammunition.

Right, of course. The insurgents and terrorists are on MoveOn's, John Kerry's, Howard Dean's, and Brad Friedman's email lists. That's how we order them to ratchet up their activity. They would never have thought to do that on their own, no sirree bob.

But the best is yet to come (I hear a song coming on):
But it will not be a threat. It will not have WMD’s. And it will not have Saddam Hussein running the country. This is why, despite all the gleeful rhetoric emanating from the left and from the media about an Iraq “defeat,” there are already benchmarks in place that we can point to that constitute a “victory” for the United States in Iraq. The fact that our enemies, the Democratic party, the western press, and even some conservatives will lament our “defeat” in Iraq doesn’t mean that they are correct or that the judgement of history will bear out their analysis.

Nope, no threat indeed.

Not with Moqtada al Sadr running things, his Mahdi Army in control of Amarah and acting as death squads, killing Sunnis.

Not with the Badr Brigade of Abdul Aziz splitting with the Mahdi Army and really going wild.

Not with Al Qaeda in Iraq vowing to "increase [their] persistence in continuing holy war so that the word of God will be supreme."

Not with Al Qaeda leader Atiyah Abd al-Rahman stating: "The most important thing is that the jihad continues with steadfastness ... indeed, prolonging the war is in our interest."

Not with the 2006 National Intelligence Estimate saying that "The Iraq conflict has become the 'cause celebre' for jihadists, breeding a deep resentment of US involvement in the Muslim world and cultivating supporters for the global jihadist movement." (Note: PDF file)

Nope. That will be victory, says Rick. Clap harder, Tinkerbell. The judgement of history will prove you delusional, not that you'll notice.


*Lambert's Law: Don't click on wingnuts.

Friday, October 27, 2006

I'd give you everything and more and that's for sure

In the '60s, rock'n'roll was still pretty new, and fresh ideas were appearing daily. Radio here in L.A. was wide open, with B. Mitchell Reed at KFWB and later at KPPC playing a Beatles song, followed by a John Prine cut, leading into a Cream recording, then Buffy St. Marie. No categories were 'taboo', all was worthy of hearing.

Into this mix in 1964 came The Yardbirds, one of the most unique of the "British Invasion" bands. While most notable today for spawning 3 of the greatest rock guitarists ever (Clapton, Beck, Page), they should be remembered for some pretty original music.

I saw the last version with Jimmy Page, at the Fillmore in San Francisco in '68.

Here are 3 parts of a documentary about The Yardbirds. Enjoy.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Can you feel it?

Arrgghh! Just when you think Joe Klein starts to get it:
The second day, a gothic journey into the partisan excesses of American politics, was all about what the Bush Administration has become. The President chose to campaign for two of the more skeevy candidates offered by the Republicans this year, the adulterous Pennsylvania Congressman Don Sherwood and the macaca-stained Virginia Senator George Allen.

You have to read through this to get there:
That was George W. Bush as I had first known him, passionate and compassionate, a convincing advocate for the need to reauthorize his No Child Left Behind Act, which uses tests to make schools accountable for their performance.

Gawd Awmighty! Still with the compassionate crap. I remember GWBush's compassion oozed out for Karla Fay Tucker:
'Please,'" Bush whimpers, his lips pursed in mock desperation, "'don't kill me.'"
Even closeted gay Repub weenie Tucker Carlson thought that was too much.

And of course, GWBush's greatest compassion is always for American soldiers:
U.S. Deaths Confirmed By The DoD: 2790
Reported U.S. Deaths Pending DoD Confirmation: 13
Total 2803
DoD Confirmation List

US Non Mortal Casuaties:
including non-hostile and medical evacuations
Non Mortal CasualtiesArmyNavyMarinesAir ForceTotal
Wounded - No Medical Air Transport Required8,8653305,03518414,414
Wounded - Medical Air Transport Required4,4931161,615496,273
Non-Hostile Injuries - Medical Air Transport Required5,1571938222586,430
Diseases - Medical Air Transport Required15,3234601,11776217,662
TOTAL - WOUNDED13,3584466,65023320,687
TOTAL - MEDICAL AIR TRANSPORTED24,9737693,5541,06930,365
TOTAL - NON-MORTAL CASUALTIES33,8381,0998,5891,25344,779


Sunday, October 22, 2006

Strawman, going straight to the devil

Straw Man, from wikipedia:

One can set up a straw man in the following ways:

  1. Present a misrepresentation of the opponent's position, refute it, and pretend that the opponent's actual position has been refuted.
From Rick at you know where (DCOW*):
Try as I might, I’m just not that shocked at the news that Ted Kennedy and other Democratic liberal Senators were willing to work with the Soviet Union in a joint PR campaign to undermine and defeat President Reagan at the polls in 1984.

Bryan at Hot Air has the skinny on what is either the most egregious violation of trust in the history of the United States Senate or the most calumnious lie ever told about – love him or hate him – one of the most dedicated public servants in American history:

Never mind the assertion in Paul Kengor's book that Rick goes on to describe. I have no proof either way. And while Kengor is a fairly well-known Reagon acolyte, as they said in Airplane, "...but that's not important right now."

What does matter is what Rick says later:
The point is, it is not beyond imagining Kennedy or any other liberal from that period taking part in such an effort to betray their trust. This is because one of the core tenets of modern liberalism is that ordinary morality that may apply to most of us can be set aside in the name of a higher goal. For Kennedy, his belief that he would be preventing nuclear war overrode any more mundane considerations like loyalty to the country or his President. This kind of action feeds the liberal’s heroic self image while also revealing the dirty little secret of the New Left; they consider ideals like patriotism and love of country subservient to their belief in the universality of man. And from the time of the Russian revolution until the fall of the Berlin Wall, they felt that spirit – despite all evidence to the contrary – was embodied in the old Soviet Union.

Wow. 2 straw men in one paragraph. Let's dissect:

I have searched high and low, and even found documents that purport to be Tenets Of Liberalism. Funny, but the only ones that make the statement about "higher goals & ends justifying the means" seem to be written by Right Wingers, as is this review of an anti-Clinton book:
What did strike me as new was her analysis of modern liberalism, which can help us all understand politics better. She has identified seven tenets of liberalism. Here are the first two and you can read the book for the next five:1. In modern liberalism, political goals justify any political means to achieve them. You can think of gender equality and affirmative action. Which leads to the "greater good theory", namely if any harm "occurs in the pursuit of those two goals, it's worth the suffering... for the greater good."

It would seem, with only casual observation, that whereas both sides of the political spectrum are fully capable of "ends justify means" thinking (see: Johnson, Lyndon B. & Gulf of Tonkin), the Right has both feet firmly planted in that camp. For example, John Dean's analysis of David Kuo's new book, "Tempting Faith":
David Kuo, the former deputy-director of the Bush White House's Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, recently published a book, Tempting Faith. The book's most controversial claim is that members of the Bush administration have been privately trashing some of the very Religious Right leaders who helped put them in power.

For example, Kuo told "60 Minutes" that he had heard people in the White House political affairs office, Karl Rove's operation, refer to Pat Robertson as "insane," call Jerry Falwell "ridiculous," and say that James Dobson "had to be controlled."

Also look at some Lee Atwater's actions:
"Lee seemed to delight in making fun of a suicidal 16-year-old who was treated for depression with electroshock treatments," Turnipseed recalled. "In fact, my struggle with depression as a student was no secret. I had talked about it in a widely covered news conference as early as 1977, when I was in the South Carolina State Senate. Since then I have often shared with appropriate groups the full story of my recovery to responsible adulthood as a professional, political and civic leader, husband and father. Teenage depression and suicide are major problems in America, and I believe my life offers hope to young people who are suffering from a constant fear of the future."

But in perhaps the best example of "ends justify means" politics, we have Iran/Contra:
The Iran-Contra Affair (also called the Iran-Contra Matter and Iran-gate) was one of the largest political scandals in the United States during the 1980s. It involved several members of the Reagan Administration who in 1986 helped sell arms to Iran, an avowed enemy, and used the proceeds to fund the Contras, an anti-communist guerrilla organization in Nicaragua.

. . .

The affair connected two quite disparate matters; on the one hand was arms sales to Iran and on the other funding of Contra militants in Nicaragua. Direct funding had been made illegal through the Boland Amendment. The affair emerged when a Lebanese newspaper reported that the U.S. sold arms to Iran in exchange for the release of hostages by Hezbollah. Emails sent by Oliver North to John Poindexter support this. However, the then Israeli ambassador to the U.S. claims that the reason was to establish links with elements of the military in Iran. Moreover, the arms sales apparently were under way already by 1980. It should also be noted that Contra funding was not exclusively through the arms sales, but also through drug trafficking.

Now, in re: Rick's 2nd straw man, certainly the left has, especially in the early part of the 20th century, had a flirtation with Communism. It purported to offer support for workers (what a Lou Dobbsian concept today), and also promised some effort at egalitarianism.

But all but the most rabid supporters on the left realized by the middle of the 20th century that Communism, especially as established in the former Soviet Union, was cruel, unworkable, and hopelessly corrupt. And yet still today from such hacks as David Horowitz, and now Rick, the Red Menace is alleged to have been a favorite of lefties everywhere. All I can say is prove it, or shut up.

And while on the subject of throwing stones in glass houses, the Right has had a cozy relationship with despots all over the globe:


Shah of Iran

Saddam Hussein

It's not unusual

Just for fun, The Mavericks singing Tom Jones:

Nothing really matters, Pt 11

Saturday, October 21, 2006

And the big fool says to push on

Sometimes the old is necessary to inform today. From Pete Seeger:

It was back in nineteen forty-two,
I was a member of a good platoon.
We were on maneuvers in-a Loozianna,
One night by the light of the moon.
The captain told us to ford a river,
That's how it all begun.
We were -- knee deep in the Big Muddy,
But the big fool said to push on.

The Sergeant said, "Sir, are you sure,
This is the best way back to the base?"
"Sergeant, go on! I forded this river
'Bout a mile above this place.
It'll be a little soggy but just keep slogging.
We'll soon be on dry ground."
We were -- waist deep in the Big Muddy
And the big fool said to push on.

The Sergeant said, "Sir, with all this equipment
No man will be able to swim."
"Sergeant, don't be a Nervous Nellie,"
The Captain said to him.
"All we need is a little determination;
Men, follow me, I'll lead on."
We were -- neck deep in the Big Muddy
And the big fool said to push on.

All at once, the moon clouded over,
We heard a gurgling cry.
A few seconds later, the captain's helmet
Was all that floated by.
The Sergeant said, "Turn around men!
I'm in charge from now on."
And we just made it out of the Big Muddy
With the captain dead and gone.

We stripped and dived and found his body
Stuck in the old quicksand.
I guess he didn't know that the water was deeper
Than the place he'd once before been.
Another stream had joined the Big Muddy
'Bout a half mile from where we'd gone.
We were lucky to escape from the Big Muddy
When the big fool said to push on.

Well, I'm not going to point any moral;
I'll leave that for yourself
Maybe you're still walking, you're still talking
You'd like to keep your health.
But every time I read the papers
That old feeling comes on;
We're -- waist deep in the Big Muddy
And the big fool says to push on.

Waist deep in the Big Muddy
And the big fool says to push on.
Waist deep in the Big Muddy
And the big fool says to push on.
Waist deep! Neck deep! Soon even a
Tall man'll be over his head, we're
Waist deep in the Big Muddy!
And the big fool says to push on!

Here's the YouTube link
of Pete singing this song, or click on the picture:

Friday, October 20, 2006

Drunk with the assertions they know they can't defend

Why is it that wingers find outrage where none really exists? Rick Moran at the still unironically named RightWingNuthouse says:

In a jaw dropping post on Anderson Cooper’s 360 Blog, Executive Producer David Doss reveals that CNN not only doesn’t care if their broadcasts give aid and comfort to the enemy in Iraq, but also that there is no difference between a US sniper and an enemy sniper.

One doesn’t have to read between the lines of this post nor does one have to put words into Doss’s mouth to understand exactly where CNN stands when it comes to the United States and the American military being at war. After outlining the sequence of events that led to the network broadcasting a tape of insurgent snipers shooting at 10 American soldiers, Doss proves that he is either the dumbest schmuck ever to work in TV or that he realized full well the propaganda value of the tape to the insurgents:

We are assuming they included the sniper tape to prove the authenticity of the Al-Shimary interview tape and to establish their credibility. Of course, we also understood that some might conclude there is a public relations benefit for the insurgents if we aired the material, especially on CNN International. We also understood that this kind of footage is upsetting and disturbing for many viewers. But after getting beyond the emotional debate, we concluded the tape meets our criteria for newsworthiness.

What kind of an idiot would “assume” that they included a tape of insurgents killing Americans to an American media outlet simply for purposes of authentication? Anyone with more than one brain cell working can see the PR benefit to the insurgents. Writing that “some might conclude” this is so is idiocy. Everyone believes it to be so – except the deliberately blind and self deluded.

And I am very happy for CNN that they were able to get “beyond the emotional debate.” I’m sure it was a travail trying to decide whether or not to glorify the insurgents who were shooting at Americans.

Is that too harsh a judgement? Think again:

You should also know we tried to put all of this in context. Our reporting included an interview with a current U.S. sniper in Iraq. He’s been both under attack from insurgent snipers and he has himself operated as a sniper. We also heard from Major General William Caldwell, a coalition forces spokesman in Iraq, and CNN military analyst General David Grange, formerly with the Green Beret, Delta Force and Army Rangers.

In his own words, Doss makes it crystal clear that CNN views a US sniper in exactly the same context as an Iraqi sniper. Their refusal to acknowledge the difference – that one side is killing Americans and the other side is killing the enemy – is perfectly in keeping with many (not all) media outlets who refuse to make a moral judgement about which side they are on.

Dude, take a deep breath. First, some facts:

1. American soldiers are fighting in Iraq:

2. American soldiers are getting killed in Iraq, by snipers and others:

3. Iraqi insurgents, and civilians, are getting killed by American soldiers:

4. Clearly the Iraqi insurgents are the enemy of the American soldiers:

5. Every sentient being with access to news know all 4 of the above:

So explain again why showing proof of #2 above helps the "Enemy"? Reporting the news, in a fair and balanced™ way involves showing the truth. Are we to pretend that no American soldiers have been lost? 3000 of them have been killed, you idiot!

And this statement: "crystal clear that CNN views a US sniper in exactly the same context as an Iraqi sniper"

They are showing two sides of what can only euphemistically called an international disagreement. And both sides are killing each other.

Unless you want the news to be this kind of crap:
The Iraqi forces are conducting the Mother of all Retreats.
Dick Cheney

We will, in fact, be greeted as liberators.
Dick Cheney

“I think the progress we're making is significant. I think the performance in general at least in terms of the information I've received from locals is definitely very impressive.”
Dick Cheney quote

Rick, this is the war you wanted. It's yours, in all its glory, blood and guts. I'm sorry if seeing a video of an American soldier getting killed offends you. The American soldier getting killed is what offends me!

Suicide is painless, it brings on many changes

The poor GOP can't catch a break these days:
A Kane County Board hopeful who died Tuesday when his car slammed into a pedestrian bridge will not be replaced on the election ballot, a Kane County Republican party official said Wednesday.

Brent K. Schepp, 36, of Aurora, arrested last week on sexual assault charges, died of multiple injuries from the crash, a DuPage County coroner spokeswoman said.

. . .

Schepp was running for the board's District 3 seat and was the local Republican central committee's choice until he was arrested Friday and charged with sexual assault of two teenage girls in 2005. The girls are now 15 and 16, authorities said, adding that Schepp knew the girls.

The case has now been dismissed, Kane County State's Atty. John Barsanti said.

Although Schepp's death creates a practical vacancy on the Nov. 7 election ballot, the county's Republican party chairman said Wednesday he is recommending the GOP abandon the County Board race in Aurora.

So let's check facts:

1. Republican

2. Child molester/pervert

3. Coward

Yep, sounds like a card-carrying modern Republican with all necessary attributes in place.


Bangin' on the bongoes like a chimpanzee

Meet the newest blogger in blogtopia (y!sctp!): Charlie the chimp

aka Chimperdude. He's quite a guy. Just ask him.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Republicans: I ain't never did no wrong

One dictionary defines hubris as:
Overbearing pride or presumption; arrogance

Next to that definition should be this picture:

From the NYTimes:
WASHINGTON, Oct. 18 — Representative Bob Ney is headed to prison early next year after pleading guilty to charges of accepting tens of thousands of dollars in illegal gifts from lobbyists. Until then, Mr. Ney, a six-term Republican from Ohio, has a comfortable place to bide his time.

His Congressional office — the one that he has effectively acknowledged selling to the highest bidder — is open for business.

“The office of Congressman Bob Ney,” his telephone receptionist said in a cheery voice Tuesday morning, as if nothing had happened to her boss, the first member of Congress to confess to crimes involving the corrupt lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

What is it with these Republican crooks, who have no shame? Even when caught, they show no sign of contrition.

At least Mark Foley had the decency to resign and run away. Of course, he didn't screw the country or his constituents. And he may not have screwed any active pages. But for those who commit actual crimes, the trend among these Republicans is denial, deflection, delusion.
In his guilty plea last week, Mr. Ney admitted to taking many gifts from Mr. Abramoff, including a 2002 golfing trip to Scotland by private jet, and then lying about them in his financial disclosure forms.

To the dismay of House colleagues eager to remove him as a symbol of the corruption scandals that are tarring several Republican candidates in next month’s Congressional elections, Mr. Ney, defying House leaders, has refused to step down for now, insisting that he owes his staff and his constituents a few more weeks of his time.

Until the House reconvenes after the elections, there is no way under Congressional rules to force him out. Republican House leaders have vowed to make Mr. Ney’s expulsion their first order of business when they return to Washington next month.

Sure. Right after Denny Hastert convenes the House Ethics committee again.


Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Nothing really matters, Pt 10

When the lights go out in the city

Alturas, CA. Never heard of it? Here's what Wikipedia has to say:
The site Alturas now occupies was inititally an Achumawi (Pit River) village known as Kosealekte. The city was initially known as Dorris Bridge, named after Jim Dorris, the first white settler in the area who settled in 1869. In 1876, the town was renamed Alturas, which means "The Heights" in Spanish. Settlement continued over the next few decades, until the city was officially incorporated on September 16, 1901. Alturas is the seat, and only incorporated city, in Modoc County.

Today it's one of the most important towns in America. Why?
As of the censusGR2 of 2000, there were 2,892 people, 1,181 households, and 753 families residing in the city.

People, households, families.

Lives, loves, futures, and pasts.

In a beautiful part of the state, with abundant opportunities for hunting, fishing, and communing with nature, Alturas is too remote for tourism. But it is the area's center for agriculture, timber, and cattle and sheep ranching.

Still don't see the importance? A reasonable guess would be that by today, the population of Alturas might be 3000 souls.

From CNN:
The death toll for coalition military forces in Iraq hit 3,000 Monday, according to a CNN tally. The combined death toll includes 2,759 U.S. troops and seven American civilian contractors of the military.

It's not 3000 soldiers in a distant unfamiliar country anymore. It's a small town in the far North-Eastern corner of California.

It's not men and women you don't know. It's your neighbors, the guy across the street with the 3 dogs, the folks next door with the great kids. It's the really nice woman at the local small supermarket, and the Vietnamese immigrant who cuts your hair at the local barber shop.

In Alturas, it's all those folks. All of them, every last one, dead, gone.

George W. Bush has killed every resident of the town of Alturas.

Ballad of the Yellow Elephants: 101st Fighting Keyboarders

Sailor at VidiotSpeak also sent me this, very cool!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

kiss me, kick me, feel my blood

Today is a really sad, bad, day. And for all those whose ideology still somehow shields them from this knowledge and causes them to think of it as a good thing in the War on Terra, , I offer not love, not compassion, not understanding, but instead a gigantic screw you:

Civil libertarians and leading Democrats decried the law as a violation of American values. The American Civil Liberties Union said it was "one of the worst civil liberties measures ever enacted in American history." Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold of Wisconsin said, "We will look back on this day as a stain on our nation's history."

"It allows the government to seize individuals on American soil and detain them indefinitely with no opportunity to challenge their detention in court," Feingold said. "And the new law would permit an individual to be convicted on the basis of coerced testimony and even allow someone convicted under these rules to be put to death."

As Bruce Ackerman in the L.A. times says:

The compromise legislation, which is racing toward the White House, authorizes the president to seize American citizens as enemy combatants, even if they have never left the United States. And once thrown into military prison, they cannot expect a trial by their peers or any other of the normal protections of the Bill of Rights.

Glenn Greenwald adds:
This last point means that even if there were a habeas corpus right inserted back into the legislation (which is unlikely at this point anyway), it wouldn't matter much, if at all, because the law would authorize your detention simply based on the DoD's decree that you are an enemy combatant, regardless of whether it was accurate. This is basically the legalization of the Jose Padilla treatment -- empowering the President to throw people into black holes with little or no recourse, based solely on his say-so.

My friend Sailor has this to say:
I didn't have a religious upbringing. We were taught to do the right thing no matter the personal cost, but that had nothing to do with any particular belief system.

But tell me you can't read the following passage from Corinthians and not wonder where the hell we went wrong:
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

To that I can add nothing. Go, read his complete post, and contemplate exactly what has happened to America.

Nothing really matters, Pt 9

Sunday, October 15, 2006

I'm not ready to make nice: Shut up and sing

Remember the hissy fit wingers threw after the Dixie Chick's Natalie Maines had the nerve to dis poor wittle GWBushie in March of '03:
Country stations across the United States have pulled the Chicks from playlists following reports that lead singer Natalie Maines said in a concert in London earlier this week that she was "ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas."

. . .

One station in Kansas City, Missouri held a Dixie "chicken toss" party Friday morning, where Chick critics were encouraged to dump the group's tapes, CDs and concert tickets into trash cans.

Houston country station KILT pulled the band's records from its playlist -- at least temporarily -- after 77 percent of people polled on its Web site said they supported the move.

"We've got them off the air for right now," said Jeff Garrison, program director at KILT, which is owned by Viacom's Infinity Broadcasting Corp.

They have a new documentary coming out, called Shut Up And Sing:

Early reviews for the movie are giving it kudos for being a great documentary with an almost unbelievable amount of behind-the-scenes access to the Dixie Chicks’ professional and personal lives. Directed by Academy-Award winning documentary maker Barbara Kopple and Cecelia Peck, the movie chronicles the Dixie Chicks from the now infamous offhand remark on stage in London in March 2003 to the present. The Weinstein Company is distributing the film which is currently slated for theatrical release in the U.S. in November. International release dates are to be announced.

View the trailer here.

Of course the manufactured outrage fed red meat to bloodthirsty winger pundits and jingoistic rednecks. My friend Howie Klien says:
According to a story from sent to RRC by former Reprise president Howie Klein, "Phone calls originating from Republican Party headquarters in Washington went out to country stations, urging them to remove the Chicks from their playlists.The 'alternative concert' [to the Dixie Chicks' tour opener] is actually the work of the South Carolina Republican Party and party officials are helping promote the concert.We received a call from 'Gallagher's Army,' urging us to support the alternative concert. Caller ID backtraced the call to South Carolina GOP headquarters."

And this from Paul Krugman (Yes, that Paul Krugman):
The Dixie Chicks were labled "Traitors to Country Music" after lead singer Natalie Maines told a London audience, "Just so you know, we're ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas." Maines's comment angered so many fans that protesters destroyed a heap of Dixie Chicks CDs with a 33,000-pound tractor.

At least that's what you've been lead to think. Now, Paul Krugman at the New York Times claims that the pro-war, anti-Dixie Chick rallies have been organized by a large Texas media corporation, Clear Channel Communications, which oversees over 1,200 stations with "iron-fisted centralized control." According to Krugman, Clear Channel has clear ties to the current administration: Tom Hicks, Clear Channel's vice chairman, purchased the Texas Rangers from then-Governor Bush, and, along with Clear Channel chairman Lowry Mays, Mr. Hicks utilized his position on the University of Texas Investment Management Company to invest heavily in Republican or Bush-involved enterprises. In other words, Krugman argues, this is a case of businesses doing favors for politicians, in exchange for the business-friendly policies this administration has been known to favor.

How accurate is this? Krugman has been known for being fairly anti-Bush. But if his accusations are true, this is an uncomfortable example of central political influence over one of the big media corporations that now control much of our information.

Krugman's op-ed column is here.

Further proof of a coordinated action by Right Wingers to supress the Dixie Chicks can be found here:

Oh, and über-rocker Pat Boone said at WorldNutDaily:
"I have four daughters, and I taught them to respect their elders, even if they weren't president of the United States," Boone told Fox News host Neil Cavuto today. "I think it's outrageous for any of these performers to be bashing our president the way they are."

Sure, dude. Of course that could only lead to ridiculous criticism, and death threats, clearly by a freedom-loving American:
"There was one specific death threat on Natalie. [It] had a time, had a place, had a weapon. I mean, everything," banjo player Emily Robison recalls. "This was at our show in Dallas. 'You will be shot dead at your show in Dallas' on whatever the date was," she says.

The FBI and the Texas Rangers were brought in, says Maines. "We flew in on a jet … and we went straight from the police cars to the stage and straight from the stage back to the police cars and back to the plane. So, you know, it was all surreal. But at that stage everything was surreal," she remembers.

Also, for a little more about free speech and the Chicks, read this link:
“Freedom of speech is also supposed to be a Canadian tradition, but not so, ironically, at the September 12 world premiere of the new Barbara Kopple film “Dixie Chicks: Shut Up and Sing,” which documents the group’s 2003 world tour and the fallout from their anti-war comments.”
And in case anyone, anyone! ever doubts the patriotism of these women, watch, and more importantly listen to them sing The Star Spangled Banner. If you are not moved, then your soul is dead:

The Gates of Delirium

Glenn Reynolds, Law Professor and self-proclaimed OG Blogger almost sounds sensible when he says:

A GOP PRE-MORTEM: So is it over for the GOP majorities in Congress? It's still too early to say, I guess, but when even John Hinderaker is sounding extremely gloomy that's certainly the way to bet.

So I want to stress, for the edification of any Republican leaders who might pay attention, that this is the result of a series of unforced errors on their part. Following is a (partial) list:

1. The Terri Schiavo affair: The bitterness it aroused, which was substantial, opened a fracture in the GOP coalition: Social-conservatives against the rest. And as I noted at the time, the social conservatives were pretty nasty to the rest. No, it wasn't really a case of "theocracy" at work, as people like Ralph Nader agreed with the social conservatives. But the haste to enact federal legislation over a matter of state law, and the mean-spiritedness with which those who disagreed were treated, did the Bush coalition no good. What's more, as I noted at the time (see first link above), this wasn't enough to make the social conservatives happy anyway. Politically, I think this marked the beginning of the end.

2. The Harriet Miers debacle: Plenty of warning in the blogs that this was a big mistake, but all ignored by the White House and Congressional leadership. Social conservatives were mad here, and so was anyone who cared about the credentials of nominees. The nomination was withdrawn, but the damage was done.

3. The Dubai Ports disaster: Here I think that the Administration was on defensible ground from a policy perspective, but its ham-handed approach -- once again ignoring early warnings from the blogs -- turned it into a mess, and cost it major credibility with its national security constituency. The Administraiton was bumbling and inept in addressing this matter, which gained currency because of its flaccid stance on the cartoon Jihad. The consequence: Lost faith from its strongest constituency.

4. Immigration: Another unforced error. The national security constituency once again lost faith in the Administration. You can't talk about secure borders when the borders are porous. The Administration also failed to make a strong clear argument for immigration, outsourcing that to the Wall Street Journal, which did its best but couldn't do the President's job. Again, the White House's position on immigration was defensible in the abstract, but favoring easy immigration is one thing, favoring easy illegal immigration is another.

Cool. But then he goes and spoils it all by saying something stupid like:

The counter-case is that a Democratic House would be a disaster for the country. I gathered from Boortz's discussion that that's the case that Hannity and Limbaugh were making yesterday. It's a strong argument -- except that if Republican control of the Congress is so all-fired important to the future of civilization, then why haven't the Republicans who control Congress been acting as if it is so important? . . .
Cause, you know, Hannity and Limbaugh make such important arguments.


I am what I am, I am my own special creation

Best. Comment. Ever: la Cage aux Foley!

Lindsay Beyerstein at Majikthise got a nasty and threatening letter from a rabid wingnut, and commentor Mr.Murder responds thusly:

Left wing shitballs don't poison the well.

That would be the character of Borat. 'Throw the Jew down the well' is the most famous saying of this poorly vetted former Bushco. agitprop photo op. Borat is officially a right winger.(/snark)

Poisoning a water source is the harshest blasphemy of every desert culture or religion, including abramaic faiths.

The frepers poison the waters of discourse in their own right. Fortunately Borat's reverse spin ambassadorship for tourism to Kazhakstan has the freepers aimed as a target market for tour.

"In the video, Borat said, "In response to Mr. Ashykbayev's comments, I'd like to state I have no connection with Mr. Cohen and fully support my Government's decision to sue this Jew.

"Since the 2003 Tuleyakiv reforms, Kazakhstan is as civilized as any other country in the world.

"Women can now travel on inside of bus, homosexuals no longer have to wear blue hats, and age of consent has been raised to eight years old."

The above statement was aimed at the la Cage aux Foley freeper fans from FLA, home of ballot irregularities and obstructions of Jebstice...
"His blatant outpouring then prompted the Kazakh government to hire two public relations firms to counter the claims, and ran a four-page advertisement in The New York Times. "

Suing jews sounds so frivolous, perhaps James Baker can help them after he helps keep Sauds that funded 9-11 from being sued including royal family members?...
"The ad carried testimonials about the nation's democracy, education system and the power and influence enjoyed by women. News of President Nazarbayev's upcoming visit has prompted experts to study the character's impact on US culture.

Sean R. Roberts, Central Asian Affairs Fellow at Georgetown University, has been studying the phenomenon.

He said: "I have found that more Americans are aware of Kazakhstan than four years ago when I last lived in the United States."

This is indeed good news. Word is getting out, Freeptards have mistakenly located a place for Foley to score some young ass. Of course it would not be cost expedient, since every Floridian this side of Limbaugh(either side of him) knows that the carribean has all the underage tail for hire as any self respecting Republican pundit could want.

Update: Commentor name corrected. Thanks!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Let's have a war, so you can all die.

Calling all chickenhawks! Hello the 101st Fighting Keyboarders! Rise up into action!

Oh, wait, you already did. Well, at least Dinesh D'Souza did. As David Niewert said:
The whole "treasonous liberals" meme has been bubbling along for some time now, starting probably with Ann Coulter and Michael Savage. It's significant for many reasons, not the least of which is the trend toward eliminationist rhetoric it deeply reflects.

But it's reaching new heights, so to speak, with the pending publication this January of Dinesh D'Souza's new book, The Enemy at Home: The Cultural Left and Its Responsibility for 9/11. This is not just another Regnery mass-sales job, the publisher is Doubleday. D'Souza, despite a career built on some dubious racial theories, is nonetheless a fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institute and a frequent guest on the cable gabfests.

Gawd, what a wanker D'Souza is!

While not really responding to Dinny, John Murtha responds to all the Repub wankers:

It's all baseless name-calling, and it's all wrong. Unless, of course, being a Defeatocrat means taking a good hard look at the administration's Iraq policy and determining that it's a failure.

In that case, count me in. Because Democrats recognize that we're headed for a far greater disaster in Iraq if we don't change course -- and soon. This is not defeatism. This is realism.

Our troops who are putting their lives on the line deserve a plan that matches our military prowess with diplomatic and political skill. They deserve a clear and achievable mission and they deserve to know precisely what it will take to accomplish it. They deserve answers, not spin.

Our military has done all it can do in Iraq, and the Iraqis want their occupation to end. I support bringing our troops home at the earliest practicable date, at a rate that will keep those remaining there safe on the ground. It's time that the White House and the GOP start working with Democrats in Congress to come up with a reasonable timetable for withdrawal and for handing the Iraqi government over to the Iraqis.

The administration's use of Rovian catchphrases is nothing but propaganda designed to stifle the loyal opposition. We Democrats are determined to restore our nation's military strength, refocus on the real terrorist threat, bolster security safeguards at home and reestablish the credible standing we once had in the world. That is not defeatist. It is a call to formulate and execute a winning game plan for the War on Terror.

Right on, John. Sir.

Before the Next Teardrop Falls

Freddie Fender said in a 2004 interview with The Associated Press that one thing would make his musical career complete - induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville.
"Hopefully I'll be the first Mexican-American going into Hillbilly Heaven," he said.

Sadly, today he's another entrant into Rock'n'Roll Heaven.
Freddy Fender, the "Bebop Kid" of the Texas-Mexico border who later turned his twangy tenor into the smash country ballad "Before the Next Teardrop Falls," died Saturday. He was 69.

Fender, who was diagnosed with lung cancer in early 2006, died at noon at his Corpus Christi home with his family at his bedside, said Ron Rogers, a family spokesman.

Over the years, he grappled with drug and alcohol abuse, was treated for diabetes and underwent a kidney transplant.

Fender hit it big in 1975 after some regional success, years of struggling - and a stint in prison - when "Before the Next Teardrop Falls" climbed to No. 1 on the pop and country charts.

"Wasted Days and Wasted Nights" rose to No. 1 on the country chart and top 10 on the pop chart that same year, while "Secret Love" and "You'll Lose a Good Thing" also hit No. 1 in the country charts.

Born Baldemar Huerta, Fender was proud of his Mexican-American heritage and frequently sung verses or whole songs in Spanish. "Teardrop" had a verse in Spanish.

Fender was born in 1937 in San Benito, the South Texas border town credited for spawning the Mexican-polka sound of conjunto. The son of migrant workers who did his own share of picking crops, he also was exposed to the blues sung by blacks alongside the Mexicans in the fields.

Always a performer, he sang on the radio as a boy and won contests for his singing - one prize included a tub full of about $10 worth of food.

But his career really began in the late '50s, when he returned from serving in the Marines and recorded Spanish-language versions of Elvis Presley's "Don't Be Cruel" and Harry Belafonte's "Jamaica Farewell." The recordings were hits in Mexico and South America.

He signed with Imperial Records in 1959, renaming himself "Fender" after the brand of his electric guitar, "Freddy" because it sounded good with Fender.

Non-country fans likely know Freddie best from The Texas Tornados, the band he started with fellow Tex-Mex musicians Doug Sahm, Flaco Jimenez and Augie Myers in the '90s.

Responding to a commentor re: Freddy's name spelling, indeed, you are correct. See this album cover:

Holy Moses I have been deceived

John Kerry today:
They tell us we’re making progress in Iraq and that there is no civil war. That is a lie. There is a civil war and it is costing American and Iraqi lives every single day and we must change course in Iraq.

They tell us the Congressional Page scandal is a Democratic plot to win the mid term elections. That is a lie. This issue is here because of a Republican cover-up. And those from the Party that preaches moral values that covered this up, have no right to preach moral values any more.

They say we must support the war in order to support the troops. I say the best way to support the troops is to oppose a course that squanders their lives, oppose a course that dishonors their sacrifice, and oppose a course that disserves our principles. They say we would dishonor the lives that have been lost by changing course in Iraq. How immoral and shameful to use lives already given as an excuse to take even more. How immoral to say that more must die because others already have. When soldiers suffer and die on the altar of an Administration’s stubborn pride, when they lose limbs because of the incompetence and arrogance of mere politicians, then the only patriotic choice is to take back the moral authority abused by those in high office – take it back and throw them out.

Of course, that's Pam & me, bottom right corner, and RJ Eskow, Rick The Hollywood Liberal, and some other fine folks hanging with John (I call him John) Kerry some months back.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

We're the One Oh One Keyboards.

Go watch the trailer and scenes.

Title courtesy of "Operation Yellow Elephant"

Johnny Yuma was a rebel...not.

The Straight Talk Express derails again, and John McCain find there isn't a GWBushCo lie too big to swallow:

"I would remind Senator (Hillary) Clinton and other critics of the Bush administration policies that the framework agreement of the Clinton administration was a failure," McCain said in a statement, referring to a 1994 deal under which North Korea agreed to halt work on a plutonium-based nuclear facility, partly in exchange for free fuel oil deliveries.

"The Koreans received millions of dollars in energy assistance ... and what did the Koreans do? They secretly enriched uranium," McCain said.

"We had a carrots-and-no-sticks policy that only encouraged bad behavior. When one carrot didn't work, we offered another."

Um, yeah, except that:

Unfortunately, common sense was in short supply. After a few shrill diplomatic exchanges over the uranium, Pyongyang upped the ante. The North Koreans expelled the international inspectors, broke the locks on the fuel rods, loaded them onto a truck, and drove them to a nearby reprocessing facility, to be converted into bomb-grade plutonium. The White House stood by and did nothing.

Why did George W. Bush--his foreign policy avowedly devoted to stopping "rogue regimes" from acquiring weapons of mass destruction--allow one of the world's most dangerous regimes to acquire the makings of the deadliest WMDs? Given the current mayhem and bloodshed in Iraq, it's hard to imagine a decision more ill-conceived than invading that country unilaterally without a plan for the "post-war" era.

But the Bush administration's inept diplomacy toward North Korea might well have graver consequences. President Bush made the case for war in Iraq on the premise that Saddam Hussein might soon have nuclear weapons--which turned out not to be true. Kim Jong-il may have nuclear weapons now; he certainly has enough plutonium to build some, and the reactors to breed more.

Um, OK. But should we negotiate with the North Koreans? Clinton said yes:
Four months later, on Oct. 21, 1994, the United States and North Korea signed a formal accord based on those outlines, called the Agreed Framework. Under its terms, North Korea would renew its commitment to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, lock up the fuel rods, and let the IAEA inspectors back in to monitor the facility.

But GWBushCo said no:
He insisted again that the United States would not engage in one-on-one talks with North Korea, except within the framework of the six-party talks involving the United States, China, Russia, Japan and the two Koreas.

So we won't negotiate with a country with whom we have differences. Unless some other guys are there. That's a sign of strength? Sounds like the Sharks and Jets, you know, your "homies", except that China, Russia, and South Korea are relly not our friends. And note the clever use of the word "framework", to give the current situation 'gravitas'.

As usual, petulant children are charting the course of the country.


And here's some more about Saint McCain:
WATCH OUT for this fellow, John McCain. He manages to be both the anti-Bush within the Republican Party, and also Bush's enabler. This schizophrenic role, which his bipartisan fans somehow miss, happens to position McCain perfectly for 2008 as the guy untarnished by all the bad stuff Bush brought us, but who continues the same regime.
Read the rest. It's sickening.