Tuesday, December 30, 2008

And stalking too ...

The Israeli leadership has all BushCo's best qualities:

In messages that have left many Palestinians rattled, Israel has been placing calls to Gaza residents to personally warn them that their homes, or adjacent buildings, were targets.

Among those trapped in their homes was Wafa Kannan, a 27-year-old Gaza City resident who's been camping out in a narrow apartment corridor with her mother and two brothers since the strikes began on Saturday.

Over the weekend, Kannan's mother received a recorded call on her cell phone from the Israeli military. When she heard who was calling, she hung up. Minutes later, the same call came to the landline in her apartment warning her to leave if she was storing weapons.

So right ...

... Israel's wars are, by definition, America's wars; its enemies are our enemies; its disputes and conflicts and interests are, inherently, ours; and America's only duty when Israel fights is to support it uncritically. ...
This is how the US has responded to Israel for years, nae decades. Why? When and why did we give up our sovereignty to Israel? And does the perpetual excuse making for Israel's German-like heavy hand have anything to do with the willingness of most Americans to invade a country that did not, even could not, threaten us to perform our own German-like deeds?

Today's QUOTES:

As I contemplate how to pry a few dollars from these systems designed to humiliate and degrade my clients, already struggling with being social outcasts, chronic illness, drug addiction and mental illness I sigh audibly. I read of billion dollar bailouts and disappearing pallettes of cash as I ponder how to help a family with $400.00 so they will not be homeless in three days. I am so very tired.
--You Know Who We Really Hate? by Jake T. Snake, Whiskey Fire

... no mainstream politician would dare express the view that 70% of Americans support ...
--George Washington's warnings and U.S. policy towards Israel by Glenn Greenwald, salon.com

Now, I'm not saying that the non-violence way of Ghandi is the only way to do it (although that would really freak out the Israelis if the Palestinians did it with the same fervor that the Indian patriots employed it).
--Comment by Paul in KY to George Washington's warnings and U.S. policy towards Israel by Glenn Greenwald, salon.com

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Of course they did ...

Arizona Geology: The U.S. Office of Surface Mining issued a revised permit that allows Peabody Coal to combine the Kayenta mine and now-closed Black Mesa mine despite opposition from environmental groups and members of the Navajo and Hopi tribes. ...
Didn't know there was a US Office of Surface Mining but no doubt the office was created and staffed for the purpose of approving whatever the mining industry wants by those who were, are or will be in the pay of the mining industry.

Wonder why would I jump to such a conclusion ...

Friday, December 26, 2008

If newspapers die ...

Another McClatchy Commentary, this one by Barbara Shelly, The Kansas City Star: Communities will feel loss of newspapers
But if newspapers die, what forum will exist for stories like the fish vendor's? Small in the scheme of things but large to the persons involved.
Haven't newspapers died already? Where are the reporters she talks about. They've been homogenized and pasteurized by corporate control. The Arizona Daily Star here in Tucson was at one time --seems like eons ago-- quite a good paper. They had periodic special reporting on topics of interest to Southern Arizona. Not any more. Today's corporate Star is like imitation vanilla. Superfluous. Tasteless. Insipid. There's nothing there that I am willing to pay for. I visit the online version once in a while hoping to see a change. I would really like an active local area newspaper. But we will not get any 'news' from corporate newsrooms. We will get messages and indoctrination. I don't blame the individuals that still call themselves reporters. They need jobs and wish to do well at those jobs. Well, yes, I do blame them, but I also think I can understand the dilemma for any who would be more reporter-ish in their work.
Internet sites can give you the big stories. Bloggers can give you opinions and snappy lines. Watchdog sites can give you good investigative reports.

But if newspapers die, what forum will exist for stories like the fish vendor's? Small in the scheme of things but large to the persons involved.
Internet sites? Bloggers. Watchdog sites? Something's missing here. Bloggers and internet sites and watchdogs and reporters and commentators etc. are not mutually exclusive.

Blogger is one of those terms that can mean anything and nothing at the same time. I'm a blogger, I suppose, as I have this blog call Arizona Eclectic on a service called Blogger that is on the Internet. Gee.

I'm one of those who "give you opinions and snappy lines." Except that I post other people's 'snappy lines' and opinions. It's how I learn and how I remember. In class I learned to write everything down. Even if I never read my notes (which were mostly illegible), just the process of writing it helped me remember the subject matter. Don't know why but it worked for me.

Shelly, however, seems unaware of the range of skills in this world she so handily writes off as bloggers. There are reporters blogging. Real reporters like the Border Reporter, who writes about a local geographical area. Now just try to tell me that Larisa Alexandrovna at at-Largely is not a reporter AND a blogger.

What about firedoglake.com. Seems to encompass opinion, analysis, research and reporting. Certainly it's no more biased that the corporate controlled GOP media though it's much more intelligent, thorough and rational, most of the time.

Seems to me that the newspapers are already dead in the sense of being a place for real reporters. Local public interest stories, neighborhood stories, community interest stories? When there are reporters with incentive and a way to provide themselves a livelihood then they will find the stories. That environment has already been killed by greed obsessed corporate media. Sex, crime and political gotchas are what they expect us to swallow. And pay for? Sorry, I resist.

When I get calls trying to get me to subscribe (it's probable close to 10 years since I finally got fed up with the Star) to the local paper the callers script never includes any information about the actual reporting in the star. They try to sell me on the coupons. They've become a marketer of coupons. That's how I see them. News quality? Information accuracy. Completeness of facts. All secondary, if that. I would pay for quality, completeness, dependability, facts and a little bit of decent writing and organization skills. I paid for the paper for years. As much as I use the Internet I still like having a paper or magazine or book in my hand and reading it relaxed in a comfortable chair.

Today's QUOTES:

... I don't know who tanked Brennan, but the fact that a whole bunch of people are still whining about bloggers doing it a solid month after it happened strikes me as a sign that something's amiss.
--The Great And Powerful Left by digby, Hullabaloo

... There's the central axiom driving coverage by our American media: the more significant a matter it is, the less attention it receives ...
--Politico reviews the year in American "political journalism" by Glenn Greenwald, salon.com

... and more Rick Warren ...

McClatchy has a commentary by Mary Sanchez, The Kansas City Star:
Rick Warren needs to evolve
Rick Warren evolve? He's as evolved as the rest of us. Neither evolution (nor the almighty and usually invisible individual or individuals monitoring or mentoring us from near and far) has seen fit to provide, or even allow for, equality of reason, logic, mental prowess, clarity. We must fight this out amongst ourselves and do the best we can ...

There must be something in there ...

The quoted passage below is a comment to a post Four Letters You Won't Find in the George W. Bush Library in Vanity Fair (via C&L ):
We Canadians would never elect a President such as the one that you will see as the outgoing in the future down the road. We certainly would not throw good money after bad by providing an advance payment on royalties such as those seen (obscene?) for pasturized Presidents and such down there south of the 49th. Parallel that is. Not State as such. And therefore ending on a note such as warranted by the foregoing should leave you all to wonder how it happened. And PLEASE take steps in the future to repair to the club and discuss how it may not again come to pass. Except in fiction and Aaron Sorkin dreams. Thus ending with a note to forewarn against such ramblings as those from countries who do not elect Presidents, except for our private clubs where fine refreshments are served chilled or room temperature such as desired. Hereby I close. --Posted 12/24/2008 by mycanada
Pasturized Bush? Well, why not. Put Bush out to pasture on a pasturage containing meadows of thorn bushes somewhere out of sight and far away from the US. Then all his brave enablers in the media, the Congress and the Corporate Robber Baron worlds can join him there. And just think, such a group will be so very bi-partisan as it will be comprised of Republicans, Democrats, Independents and other assorted crooks, thieves and murderers.

Today's QUOTES:

That we cannot wait to be saved. We have to all do our part to make our place "Home"
--Boyd 2008 - My Overall Conclusions by Robert Paterson, Robert Paterson's Weblog

... most of what the administration did was, with some notable exceptions, either actively cheered on or implicitly justified via this type of obsequious apologetics by our elite institutions: Congress, the media, academia, etc. As demonstrated by the collective attempt now to prettify the "pure-at-heart" torture regime and thus relieve these elites of responsibility for it, none of these apologist efforts has abated in the slightest.
--Torture ambivalence masquerading as moral and intellectual superiority by Glenn Greenwald, salon.com

... But should it in fact come pass that in 2010 Obama allows US bases to operate in Iraq from an un-ratified SOFA treaty (I find this scenario hard to believe, frankly) the United States will not have changed from Bush, it’s that simple. Nor will it.
--Will There Be Any Fight? by paradox, The Left Coaster

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Amen ...

Seasonal Forgiveness My Ass:

The rest of the world needs to STFU about this and very quietly issue arrest warrants. Give it a little while 'til the criminals think all is forgotten, then invite them to come over...

It would be best if we could chew these shitstains out of our national skivvies ourselves, but if we are unwilling to do so I'll settle for somebody else doing it.

Unchristian spirit ...

Men like Rick Warren have been fighting the good fight against Reason since men like him began walking with the dinosaurs. Just ask him ...

To teach that Jesus' goal was to abolish reason and the acquisition of knowledge is to belittle the hopeful --and Christian-- message that Jesus managed to transmit through time.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christophopia? Bigot, Rick Warren, strikes again ...

Well we're losing one divider in Georgie-boy Bush and picking up a new national divider in Rickie -- the anti Christ-- Warren.

Suggesting that equating gays to pedophiles and incest is hate speech is itself hate speech according to Rick Warren.

If Obama really did select Warren to be inclusive he made a major blunder. If he picked Warren hoping to get support from Warren's fleeced chicks, I doubt it will work out well. If he picked Warren to show some of his former supporters that he doesn't give a hoot, he did well.

Cathartic ...

Jim Cramer, Mad Money, CNBC
tidbits paraphrased:
  • TARP money, the ultimate betrayal of the Bush Administration
  • If we could get Justice out of the Commerce Dept, where Bush put it ...
  • AIG got 10 times what they gave auto companies and appears most of it went to European banks
  • Community banks? Why should we help them? They haven't done anything wrong.

(via firedoglake.com)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

My sentiments exactly ...

9. Comment by Bradley H. (driver58) — December 21,2008 @ 7:56AM
Ratings: -3 +5

What a pointless article!

The article so aptly portrayed above is here: Napolitano's expected hike in pay not as big as it looks by Daniel Scarpinato Tucson, Arizona | Published: 12.21.2008

Scarpinato's scribblings are mostly used to reinforce GOP propaganda. So, on second thought, mostly devoid of any meaningful news might be a more accurate epithet for said article.

Mountain decides to meet the road ...

Arizona Geology: Highway 87 landslide moving

Today's QUOTES:

Rome fell for the same reasons the US will have lost empire and world influence. Like Rome, the US has despoiled the land, waged war upon both the small farmer and the laborer, outsourced it's industry, devalued the dollar and subverted the products of labor --the sole source of 'value' in any economy. ...
--How the GOP, Reagan, Bush Sr, Bush Jr Betrayed, Pillaged, then Sold the U.S. by Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Women are being singled out for discrimination because of head scarves? ...

Good grief. These 'scarves' are obviously part of their attire. Forget about the religious indoctrination that forces women to hide themselves, there is nothing wrong about these scarves. I can see where the outfits that hide an entire person except for her eyes could be a concern when security is an issue, but other than that who cares. The only people who could possibly care are the ones who buy into having parts of themselves hidden from public view (and we all do to varying degrees) and those who find it a handy excuse to abuse, bully, intimidate and discriminate.

A judge gave a woman 10 days in jail because she refused to take off her scarf because of her religion.
Hall said Valentine, an insurance underwriter, told the bailiff that she had been in courtrooms before with the scarf on and that removing it would be a religious violation. When she turned to leave and uttered an expletive, Hall said a bailiff handcuffed her and took her before the judge.
[Link: Does anyone else see the irony here?]
Notice something peculiar about all this? The woman was leaving when the bailiff decided to detain her (is that the same as arrest?). Then the judge sentenced her to 10 days for contempt. How dare she attempt to enter the court attired in a manner that gave them the ability to vent their prejudices and then turn to leave when told she couldn't enter. First they insist on being the deciders of what she can wear on her head in the courtroom and then when she decides to leave rather than remove the scarf they objected to they jail her anyway.

Eight years of Bush has eliminated even the pretense of justice in the US.

Today's QUOTES:

Doesn't that look objective and scientific to you: 'the study of gender or sex differences'? I can see the men (and women! there must be a few women!) in their white coats in laboratories all over the country, sincerely and earnestly staring into test tubes or the desperate eyes of monkeys in cages, all studying gender differences without any preconceptions, without any bias. Just a pure-as(s)-snow scientific inquiry into why biology is destiny, but only for women. ...
--Penis Envy by echidne, ECHIDNE OF THE SNAKES

... Indeed, had Obama answered the question affirmatively, he would have broken with a powerful, 40-year-old political tradition that requires government representatives to endorse strictly prohibitionist, punitive drug policies despite mounting evidence of their inefficacy in order to avoid appearing “soft on crime.” [AE: Wouldn't want that kind of CHANGE, would we?]
--Calls for Drug Law Reform Top Obama Transition Website at change.gov by Amy Long, The ACLU's Blog of Rights

Thursday, December 18, 2008

So, Obama rewarded the bigot, Rick Warren...

... Update below ...

Big surprise! What did you really think Obama was? A just, fair, enlightened man? He's a calculating politician who apparently enjoys kicking those who helped make his election possible in the teeth. Kinda like Bush enjoyed seeing (and hearing) the shoe thrower, Iraqi Journalist Al-Zeidi, beaten to a pulp.

I guess Obama plans to have the gay-hating, woman-hating, dark skin-hating, Christ-ignoring 'Christian' evangelists work for his re-election four years from now.

ADDED: There is a difference between Bush and Obama. Several really as Obama is not a murderer and torturer, yet. The difference that I was thinking of was that Bush never forgot who his real constituency was. It was the obscenely rich. Apparently Obama wants his constituency to be other than they currently are.

... Update ...

Religion versus religiosity

Choosing somebody like Warren is an insult not only to political progressives, but to religious believers (and especially politically progressive religious believers). It trivializes religious belief -- which I would bet even most of Warren's biggest fans will recognize as well, thus eliminating any supposed political advantage to be gained from this nauseating little exercise in pseudo-ecumenical posturing.
I wish Obama to succeed as President, but I very much wish him to get a negative slap to his image for playing this disgusting game (and specially for using that Bush-like smirk as he spouted his silliness to our faces).

Monday, December 15, 2008

Bank of America takes our money ...

Bank of America takes our money. Let me count the ways.
Congress, take the money back from this traitorous unAmerican corporation.

Today's QUOTES:

Clearly health insurance parasites, aided by their collaborators in the press, are to maneuvering to replace Stark with someone more malleable. ...
--Pete Stark takes on Medicare part D(eath), Corrente
... “You keep focusing on all the death,” a peeved Bush whined to an Irish journalist once. Go figure. So the searing misery continues day after day, America forever in shame from it, a flying shoe a symbol of another real journalist to an American country that has very, very few of them.
--Nice Shoes by paradox, The Left Coaster
The media fixation on the ultimately irrelevant Blagojevich scandal, juxtaposed with their steadfast ignoring of the Senate report documenting systematic U.S. war crimes, is perfectly reflective of how our political establishment thinks. Blagojevich's laughable scheme is transformed into a national fixation and made into the target of collective hate sessions, while the systematic, ongoing sale of the legislative process to corporations and their lobbyists are overlooked as the normal course of business. Lynndie England is uniformly scorned and imprisoned while George Bush, Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld are headed off to lives of luxury, great wealth, respect, and immunity from the consequences for their far more serious crimes. And the courageous and principled career Justice Department lawyer who blew the whistle on Bush's illegal spying programs -- Thomas Tamm -- continues to have his life destroyed, while the countless high-level government officials, lawyers and judges who also knew about it and did nothing about it are rewarded and honored, and those who committed the actual crimes are protected and immunized.
--Senate report links Bush to detainee homicides; media yawns by Glenn Greenwald, salon.com

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Bank of America, the $15Billion scam artist ...

Bank of America cheats big and small alike. $35 a pop from me and you. $15 billion from the US government (our tax money).
Ah, the sweet smell of your TARP money being used to batter the US economy senseless. First Bank of America gets $15 billion of TARP funds, and issues $9 billion worth of bonds guaranteed by the FDIC, then it spends $7 billion to buy a big stake in a Chinese bank. Now Bank of America announces it's laying off 30,000 to 35,000 workers. ... [...] ... —if a company is in good enough shape to be doing acquisitions, it's in good enough shape that it shouldn't need Federal help.
Congress, it's time to take this money back. NOW!

Today's QUOTES:

Only the GOP in America or the Nazi party in Germany could have destroyed a nation so efficiently and have the nerve to brag about it. ...
--The GOP --a Parasite That Murdered Its Host, The Existentialist Cowboy

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Good signs ...

Obama recognized, and chose, scientific knowledge, accomplishment and intelligence in his selection of Steven Chu as Energy Secretary.

There appears to be at least one fair minded, even handed prosecutor in the United States: U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald. I hope that even handed justice is his goal. And I wish we had more like him. Then, perhaps, instead of corrupt politically motivated prosecutions, the US justice system would actually effect a reduction in the corruption that abounds in the US political scene.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Sewage effluent declared navigable river by BLM ...

The sewage (treated sewage) enhanced Santa Cruz River which would otherwise be dry most of the year has been declared navigable by the BLM. Evidently this is a step toward turning over more public land north of the Grand Canyon to the mining industry.
Santa Cruz River effluent designated 'navigable'

A sexist pig in Obama's campaign ...

--Update below--

I find no humor in this. Boyz will be boyz does NOT excuse this. If these creeps are still at this stage of their development then send them back to junior high.

The picture is here. I'm not going to post it ...
"This is a textbook example of the “double bind.” If Clinton called Favreau out on his sexism, she’d be accused of wrongfully and selfishly undermining the Obama transition team. By declining to do so, she gets accused by Campbell Brown of letting down womenkind."
ADDED 12/09/08: Perspective makes it worse as it's not just a few individuals, but the system. Just like Abu Ghraib.

I guess my point is that campaigns are dysfunctional and crazy, and not so much about sexism as they are about hyper-testosterone. (There’s some overlap, but they’re not the same thing.) The younger staffers demonize their opponent and operate from their lizard brains, much like the kind of shirtless guys painted the team colors that you see at winter football games. Yes, what took place in this picture is sexism. But it’s institutionalized and inbred sexism.

These young guys are only acting the way their Wiser Elders have taught them.

The US propaganda machine ...

... and it's embedded 'journalists'
The CIA and its reporter friends: Anatomy of a backlash

... The "reporting" is all from the perspective of Brennan and his CIA supporters. None of these journalists even entertain the idea of disputing or challenging the pro-Brennan version.
[ ... ]
But, as has been historically true, many in "the intelligence community" are outraged by what they perceive as outside "interference" -- as though the CIA shouldn't be subjected to the same set of oversight, limitations, and democratic accountability, debate and restrictions as every other part of government. That something as straightforward as the John Brennan controversy can produce this level of backlash from the intelligence community is a very potent sign of the formidible barriers to real reform of our interrogation and detention framework and, especially, to the prospects for meaningful disclosure of, and accountability for, past crimes.

Today's QUOTES:

[Arizona Eclectic Comment: It's BushCo, Blackwater and the like who are the leaders in US perfidy. The lack of accountability for these vile and depraved individuals and organizations will come back to haunt this country. That the US does not have the moral courage to right wrongs committed by us and ours makes us irrelevant when we speak to the wrongs of others. The hubristic folly in our continuing to speak to what is right for others while assuming that absolutely anything we do is right is glaringly apparent to all the world but us.]
... They are making sure to make it very clear it's an indictment of the five guards, not of Blackwater.

And we're again haunted by the ghosts of Abu Ghraib - kids gets hauled into court and blamed for being part of a situation that wasn't really entirely of their making. Old men and war profiteers say tsk-tsk and cash their paychecks. It's only partial justice, which is almost worse than no justice.
--Abu Ghraib: The Sequel by Lee Stranahan, bobcesca.com

To paraphrase Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men, rather than now criticize "the left," it would be better if these insiders just said thank you and went on their way.
--Mandate Watch: Were Democrats Elected to Attack "The Left?" Part II by David Sirota, OpenLeft
... infuriating DC assholes put on a clown show of humiliating Ford and GM CEO’s begging for a pittance $25 billion just because they employ UAW workers, but AIG gets $152 billion on the fly, no questions asked.
--Out of Time by paradox, The Left Coaster

... The 35-hour policy was a "qualified success." But you wouldn't have known that from reading the English speaking press. ...
--"Lunatic Scheme" a Qualified Success by the Sandwichman, EconoSpeak

Friday, December 5, 2008

Ah, so now they admit that what Blackwater did was a crime?...

The Bushies hired their buddies in Blackwater. I can just picture cowboy hatted Bush holed up in a back room watching films of Blackwater's 'old West approach to life on the frontier.'

Hire killers and exempt them from laws that cover most human beings, such as US citizens, US soldiers, Iraquis and what not. Then take years and years to search out some law, any law, to hold these goons accountable. That appears to be what has happened. Blackwater was exempt but for some reason the best prosecutorial minds have dug out a law that can be used?
Blackwater Shooters To Be Charged Under Obscure Drug Law
Now that Bush's on his way to do as much harm as he can somewhere other than in the White House, now some fine prosecutor finds one out of all our millions of specially written and targeted laws to cover Bush's arrogant murderers.

Not for murder mind you. Not for war crimes. Not for recklessly firing a firearm in a crowed area. Not for manslaughter. Evidently there are no such laws that cover Blackwater. No, the thing they might get them for is a law covering "the use of machine guns in violent crimes."

So it was a crime? Have we gotten that far ...

Today's QUOTES:

First of all, putting people to work for the police and endangering their lives in the process is a disgusting by-product of the failed war on drugs. Police do not use only "hardened criminals" for this task, but they use anyone that they can. Sometimes they make good on their promises to these people and sometimes they do not, and sometimes these people get hurt in the process. ...
--The Confidential Informants by Bobby G. Frederick, South Carolina Criminal Defense Blog

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Torture, either you're for it or against it ...

... and it sounds like Feinstein and Wyden are for it.
Why do Feinstein and Wyden sound much different on the torture issue now?

Ultimately, only time will tell whether Democrats were serious about their emphatic commitment to end torture with an unambiguous legal regime. I'll be the first to acknowledge, and celebrate, if they carry through with that. But these early signals are not promising. As anyone who has observed Senate Democrats for any length of time knows, this is exactly how their capitulations and backtracking always begin.
Are Feinstein and Wyden suggesting there can be such a thing as just a little torture?

Really, there is no in between. If you accept torture at all you are supporting it. That's unacceptable. Is the lack of basic humanity a requirement for Democratic politicians as well as Republican ones?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

That would make him successful at what exactly?

Punishing your allies while rewarding your enemies is a very unusual strategy, but it seems to be the one the village has set forth as being Obama's best chance of success. ...

Today's QUOTES:

In the end, the Panic of 1873 demonstrated that the center of gravity for the world’s credit had shifted west — from Central Europe toward the United States. The current panic suggests a further shift — from the United States to China and India. Beyond that I would not hazard a guess. I still have microfilm to read.
--The Real Great Depression by Lee Sigelman, The Monkey Cage
There is absolutely no reason to believe that the next time a Republican is elected to the presidency he or she won't pick right up where they left off. That is the story of the last 40 years and until there is some price to pay they will keep right on doing it, escalating each time. For all the Colin Powell's who have come over from the Dark Side, there a many more who were trained in this worldview during this long conservative era. At some point they will try to keep power permanently. All it would take is just the right kind of crisis for them to justify it. After all, the precedents are all lined up --- normalized and legalized each step of the way by Democrats who didn't want to spend their political capital to stop it.
--Torture Zombie by digby, Hullabaloo
What happened in the U.S. over the last eight years is about much, much more than what "the Bush administration" did. It begins there, but responsibility in the post 9/11-era is much more diffuse and collective than that. Shoveling it all off on the administration that is leaving, while exonerating our culpable media and political institutions that remain, isn't merely historically inaccurate and unfair, though it is that. Allowing that revisionism also ensures that the critical lessons that ought to be learned will instead be easily and quickly forgotten when similar episodes occur here in the future.
--Mumbai, the NYT's revisionism, and lessons not learned by Glenn Greenwald, salon.com

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Ain't politics a crock ...

Irony of ironies: McCain, Kyl back Napolitano for Cabinet
Kyl said he doesn't expect Napolitano to start "bringing home the bacon" in her new role but said Arizona stands to benefit from a Homeland Security secretary well-versed in the state's concerns.
That's quite a compliment from one of the corruption crowd.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Politico again ...

Don't reporters have anything worthwhile to write about? The economy? The environment? The hungry? Even the greedy rich?

Guess not as Politico has an entire article by Michael Calderone grousing about which reporters Obama chooses or does not choose to ask questions. Their whole pecking order has been turned topsy turvy. They much preferred to be treated as pets by BushCo than as adults (which, of course, many of them are not).
Pick a reporter, any reporter by Michael Calderone
When President-elect Barack Obama meets the press Wednesday morning for his third news conference in as many days, it’s anyone’s guess which reporters he’ll call on.
Poor, poor babies.

Today's QUOTES:

Make no mistake about another thing: Obama doesn’t care one damn bit what liberal blogs say about him, so the notion that heat from the blogs caused this is laughable on its face.

The real issue here, aside from Brennan’s lack of integrity, is that Obama seemingly was prepared to nominate someone for either of these posts who willfully carried out Dick Cheney’s playbook.

We know that Obama isn't a progressive, but is it that hard to find a tough intelligence professional who isn't stained with Cheney residue? And can someone tell me what exactly Gates has done to warrant being kept around for 6-12 months as a reminder of Bush's Iraq and Afghanistan disasters?
--Retaining Gates; Bye Bye Brennan by Deacon Blues, The Left Coaster

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

B of A overdraft scam ...

Bank Of America Over Draft Fee Scam B of A takes millions from it customers with a scam Los Angeles California
The above report mirrors what happened to me. My statement show no overdraft, yet B of A has charge me a $35.00 overdraft charge based on what I gather is some sequence of pending transactions. They supply no permanent statement of transactions other than those that actually post to my account. And that statement shows no overdraft.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I like this one ... on the ongoing ideology vs pragmatism debate ...

Thinking Without Ideology Is Like Breathing Without Lungs by Ian Welsh, firedoglake.com

Today's QUOTES:

I'm listening to interviews like this and wondering where the people are on Obama's economic team who have any sense of what workers and blue collar people are experiencing in this economy right now. Now that we've bailed out the people responsible for this mess, shouldn't we start thinking of those who had no hand in its creation, but are hit the worst? Because this real cool future where we make only iPods or something, only better, doesn't seem to include them.
--Google’s Eric Schmidt And A Brave New World by Jane Hamsher, firedoglake.com
... Oddly, that praise is pouring forth despite what many economic experts say is the role -- perhaps critical roles -- that each of them played in enabling this crisis in the first place.
--Widespread praise for Obama's new economic team by Glenn Greenwald, salon.com

We already know Repugs make all the wrong financial decisions ...

... wrong for the people, that is. Often very 'right' for their own pocketbooks, though.

And Janet Napolitano is leaving Arizona in the hands of a Republican governor: Uneasiness over how [Jan] Brewer might cut budget.

What a thought ...

The handles of supermarket carts are scummier than port-a-potties, according to a recent University of Arizona study. ---Chandler grocery chain washes shopping carts by Donna Hogan, East Valley Tribune

This can't be written off as bad judgement only ...

The US is struggling with changing mores; changing modes of social communication; regression in attempts at social fairness; and an almost complete corruption of the justice system.
Facebook leads to CMS firing

Ideology, pragmatism ... and principle?

Principle escaped from the US completely with the corporate, media and political establishments support of all things Bush.

Emptywheel expands upon the currently ongoing ideology vs pragmatism debate:
... Ideology not only defines means to solutions, but it also defines what the problems are, and in so doing produces a narrative to focus on some problems while ignoring others. It's important to acknowledge this point, because most dominant foreign policy ideologies start from the assumption that oil equals power and that US hegemony is the goal, which leads logically to certain conclusions, including war with Iraq. (This is one of the problems underlying this discussion: while the progressives Glenn aligns with consistently support certain kinds of decisions, their views don't amount to a formal foreign policy ideology, which is why many national figures who opposed the war are pragmatists. We may be seeing the formulation of an alternative to US hegemony based on sustainability and solutions to climate change, but thus far there isn't the infrastructure for those ideas to amount to a formal ideology.)

That said, one could argue that Obama isn't so free from ideology himself. Here's the answer he gives to Daniel's question about his goals: he seeks "a more just and secure world for our children." At least in his own mind, Obama's weighed his choices not against the materialist measure Glenn suggests a pragmatist would be guided by, but justice and security. Obama even names three policies that would support this principle:

  • Vigorously enforce a non-proliferation treaty
  • Make sure our so-called allies in the Middle East, the Saudis and the Egyptians, stop oppressing their own people
  • Wean ourselves off Middle East oil

Gosh. That's about as far from Kissinger's realpolitik as you get. It's also, with the call to wean ourselves off Middle Eastern oil, far outside the existing dominant ideologies inside the DC beltway. And note, with his comment that neocon ideology serves to distract us from problems at home, Obama also implicitly ties what we do in the Middle East to economic justice within the US. Call that ideology or call it a pragmatic focus on governing as a whole, but by yoking domestic conditions to foreign policy, Obama's getting beyond the pigeonholes of both good and bad foreign policy ideology as it currently exists in DC.

Read the entire thing.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Inedible Tucson Tidbits ...

Tucson economic misery stressing relief agencies by Patty Machelor
  • When [Susan Jean] can, the retired Tucsonan hangs a small bag of food on a fencepost near her home at East Grant and North Country Club roads. Within an hour or two, she said, the bag is gone.
  • "I've been involved in food banking for 16 years and I've never seen anything like this, outside of a natural disaster like (hurricanes) Katrina or Rita." --William Carnegie, CEO, Tucson Community Food Bank
  • Lines have been so long at the Tucson Community Food Bank that CEO William Carnegie said that if he squints and imagines a black-and-white image, it could be a Great Depression photo.
  • Some elderly residents are living in cold houses as they struggle to stretch limited funds, while their younger neighbors search for jobs.
  • "Even though I was a little girl, I still got the feeling that people really wanted to help each other, but I don't get that feeling now, that feeling of togetherness, of people really coming together to help people," she said.
  • "People have very, very tough decisions to make," she said. "Do I buy food, or do I pay my property taxes?"
  • MontaƱo, 33, said that though her husband has a good job in construction, it doesn't pay enough now to cover food, gasoline and the mortgage on their Southwest Side home for two adults and five children.
  • ... this year One Stop is seeing a lot more professionals who can't find work.
  • "People are scared. [...] "I know people who have not taken any kind of hit, so to speak, and they're looking out their windows and saying, 'There, but for the grace of God, go I.' "
  • "On any given day, there are 50 to 100 people waiting outside for our doors to open," [...] I've been involved in food banking for 16 years and I've never seen anything like this outside of a natural disaster like (hurricanes) Katrina or Rita."
  • Beginning in 2009, it will distribute one instead of two emergency food boxes each month. About 5,000 families rely on the second box, he said, but the Food Bank is operating at capacity and expects another increase in demand in January, February and March. -- It also will not distribute holiday food boxes this year, which should save it close to $300,000. Last year, it gave out 20,000 holiday boxes in November and December.
  • He said some of the people who come by for coffee between 6:30 and 8 a.m. have been awake since 3 a.m., when they again tried and failed to get a day-labor job.
  • "Last year at this time, we were feeding about 500 people a week, and this year we're feeding more than 1,000," she said. "If regular people are feeling this, you can imagine how it is for people who have been poor all along." -- The hardest thing, she said, is turning away people who are hungry. -- "You should see them," said Wright, who has been running this program for 20 years. "I can't even look at their faces."

Today's QUOTES:

... In other words, there ought to be even more criticism of the probable Brennan selection, but much less gasping in surprise and asking, “How could Obama do that?”
--Paying A Price by Daniel Larison, The American Conservative

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Another outstanding post at Glenn Greenwald's ...

Progressive complaints about Obama's appointments


This is what Barack Obama is stepping into. He's going to offer a hand of friendship and Senate Republicans are going to bite it off. They are thoroughly disinterested in compromise. They view it as a threat.
--A New Era Of Comity And Bipartisanship by dday, Hullabaloo

... It’s always puzzled me why this particular passage is passed over in addressing right-wing “christian” fundamentalists. It completely undermines their political and ethical position.

Here it is, from Matthew, 25:31-46 ...

--To Counter The Force of Fundamentalist “christianity” In Our Politics, We Need To Use This. by Anthony McCarthy, ECHIDNE OF THE SNAKES

Thursday, November 20, 2008

TPM says ...

In Big Win For Liberals, Waxman Ousts Dingell As Energy And Commerce Chair

I really do hope the implications that TPM draws from Waxman's win is accurate. Congress and the rest of them, including Obama, are so entrenched in their own privilege that sometimes they don't seem to recognize 'change' when it bumps them on the nose.

LIEberman and FISA lies are a lot to overcome.

Today's QUOTES:

One of the things I always find most amazing about conservatives is their propensity to greet any defeat with total defiance and inverse reasoning. ...
--Amity Village Horror by digby, Hullabaloo

We haven't just imprisoned people with no evidence in cages for years. We've kept them encaged under often brutal and extreme conditions, many in unbroken solitary confinement for years. Today, a federal court ruled that for 5 of these men, there is no credible evidence that they did anything wrong, and if most of our political class -- which supported the Military Commissions Act-- had its way, they wouldn't have even had this hearing at all.
--Five detainees ordered released "forthwith" after seven years at Guantanamo by Glenn Greenwald, salon.com
[Ed. Another point that isn't always spoken, is that even if these men were guilty of terrible crimes, and I assume some of them were, even the worst of the guilty should not have been treated in this manner by the United States. We should not have stood for it. They should have had real and fair trials. They should not have been tortured.
As Greenwald points out, our politicians are still behind these crimes, our crimes, our crimes of locking up and torturing the innocent along with guilty as if it were of no consequence at all.]

Don't trust Politico ...

The heading and early paragraphs proclaim
Arizonan will head Homeland Security

Arizona Demcratic Gov. Janet Napolitano has been chosen to serve as secretary of the vast and troubled Department of Homeland Security for President-elect Barack Obama, Democratic officials said
Then down toward the end of the article this
The Democratic officials said Napolitano has not been officially offered the job but is likely to be named and to accept. The selection was first reported by CNN.
These people should be selling cars in a roadless country.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Because LIEberman has shown such a penchant for responsible, ethical and supportive behavior during his public career ...

... there is a potential upside to the way things played out. It's pretty clear from the statements of various parties, including Lieberman himself, that Obama's expressed desire to bury the hatchet was instrumental in allowing Lieberman to retain his chairmanship. Obama didn't have to do this. ...

Everyone on Capitol Hill and in the press corps knows this. So, in a very real sense, Lieberman is now beholden to Obama. He's owes him one. And there may be times in the next few years when President Obama needs to cash that in, when he needs Lieberman's vote on a key piece of legislation or needs Lieberman's help to convince people like John McCain and Lindsay Graham to break ranks and join the Democrats. And when that happens, President Obama will have an important chip to play. He'll be able to call Lieberman into the Oval Office, sit him down, and say "look, Joe, remember when the Senate was voting to remove you from your chairmanship? I stepped up for you then. I need you to step up for me now."
Yeah, right ...

Today's QUOTES:

The FISA Lie: Barack Obama gave his word (likely to cravenly gain credibility with Russ Feingold, Wisconsin Democratic primary voters, and the netroots) that he was against retroactive telcom immunity and would filibuster any attempt to pass it through the Senate. Then, when his nomination was all but assured and the bill came up for a vote, Barack Obama showed his colors and shoved the shiv once again in the raw bloody back of the progressives and netroots. Obama turned on a dime and not only did not filibuster, it was his lead that Pelosi and Reid followed in ramming the craptastic FISA Amendments Act through with retroactive immunity for the Bush/Cheney criminals. Heckuva job Baracky! ...
--Obama’s Long Arm/Short Arm Stiff Of The Netroots by bmaz, firedoglake.com

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Through incompetence and disdain for voters ...

... the cretins who refer to themselves as leaders of the Senate choose Lieberman as the Democratic Party's standard bearer.
We accepted the statement made by one of the more senior member of the senate that this is not a time for retribution, it's a time for moving forward on the problems of this country.
Who wanted retribution? I wanted competence and responsibility. That would have been change I could believe in. I think the Senate's self defined leadership has exceeded its expiration date. They are all exceeding stale. Their behavior is set. Their minds are looping uncontrollably. We need new models with enhanced analytical skills, not to mention some backbone and character thrown in for good measure.

Of course it was Obama, not the Senate, who promised change. The Democratic Senate proudly defy the voters to toe the line to Republican dictates. It makes them think they are strong. If they are doing what the Republicans want them to do and not what the people who voted for them want then that must be strength, right? Not betrayal! Certainly not the results of a mental disease (like the Stockholm Syndrome).

Watch the Congress' approval ratings continue downward. These relics will not learn. The only hope for change (ha, ha) is replacing them with better Democrats. That takes time, time I doubt we have.

Oh goody, Lieberman credits Obama with saving him. Great, now I don't know whether Lieberman is lying as usual or whether Obama was a very active participant, rather than a willling observer, in screwing the voters.

So competence was not part of the promised change? Apparently Democratic Senators were unable to comprehend the memo just received from the voters.
Today's QUOTES:

O’Donnell replied that if effectiveness were a criteria, a lot of chairmen of committees might come under scrutiny.

He said that as if it were a bad thing. Arianna didn't call him on it.

Until that mentality changes, nothing is going to get fixed. Seems elementary.

--Here’s the problem by Erin Alecto, The Left Coaster

My god, when did we lose our moral compass that this kind of atrocity is an academic discussion instead of a rallying call for justice? ...

--Countdown: Possibility of Blanket Presidential Pardons by Heather, Video cafe, Crooks and Liars

When logic doesn't convince ...

Habladora at The Feminist Underground posted this:
1. Antonin Scalia sounded like a complete ass on Monday as the Supreme Court heard arguments on a federal gun ban that bars those convicted of domestic violence from owning guns.
I won't dispute Scalia's ass-ness but in this case his argument is rather logical. And as much as I hate defending Scalia, his job is judging constitutionality of US laws. Too bad he doesn't do that more often ... then one might give him credit for something other than siding with domestic abusers.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Bestial gossip ...

What reasonable person would write an article around the bad vibes of former 'aides.'
his former aides told The Daily Beast that they would rather see their former boss remain in exile.
Exile? John Edwards was in exile? The definition of exile is 'the state of being barred from one's native country, typically for political or punitive reasons.'

What a nasty, spiteful writer, Benjamin Sarlin, and former, and hopefully never again, aides. This trivia was linked to by the huffington post.

More poor reporting from McClatchy ...

White House's help to automakers might defuse Democrats' plans by David 'Congress-wants-to-spend-more' Lightman
If you are interested in well organized facts, strategies and possible motivations go to firedoglake.com. Certainly McClatchy has given up on real reporting, I gather. One expects loaded words on most blogs (I certainly use them) but I would not expect to use them if writing a news article, nor did I used them when I wrote reports for businesses. David Lightman, however, starts right out with loaded words and phrases:
  • defuse,
  • Congress wants to spend more,
  • take steam out of;
and that's just between the title and the first two paragraphs.
The Auto Bailout: Who Is In Favor of What by emptywheel Monday
Now firedoglake.com is a partisan blog, yet manages to produce a more a straightforward report than does McClatchy. Why?

I'm aware that news oriented bloggers could not exist with out the media. I just wish, and no longer expect, the news media to act responsibly. It is my opinion that they are dragging the country down and if this Constitutional representative Democracy finally fails it will be in large part due to news media malfeasance.

Many eyes opening about the Mormon and Catholic Churches while the Dem 'leadership' keeps its eyes wide shut.
Today's QUOTES:

... Seeing them [the Mormon Church] come out for Prop 8 when they had declined to act on torture was all the extra motivation I needed.
--JC Christian, Tremonton, UT - Redemption, signing for something.org
... [Congressional Democratic leaders] consider it a good thing -- not a bad thing -- when they anger their own base. They're thrilled when they get accused -- accurately -- of acting like Republicans and supporting right-wing measures, particularly on national security and "terrorism" issues. They consider it a benefit -- an incentive -- when they are attacked for embracing Republican political policies and violating the principals of their own base.
--The mind of the Democratic leadership by Glenn Greenwald, salon.com

Arizona's own Bush-alike, Jon Kyl ...

Deacon Blues at The Left Coaster shows Jon Kyl as the Bush-alike destroyer that he is while documenting GOP hypocrisy concerning the auto industry in general.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Feel the Christian love ...

Here's another ditzy priest:
Church parishioner sez pastor singled her out for the Obama sign on her car
Ditzy as in dippy, dizzy, dopey.

The joke's on us
... and the Mormon Church.
Today's QUOTES:

... since ignoring Bush is paramount in the American Corporate Journalism Way there was never a chance our yapping talking TV heads were going to state the plain truth of who Palin is, the parallels to who is sitting in the White House would have been far too plain and uncomfortable.
--It Wasn’t Loss of Nerve by paradox, The Left Coaster

So -- the Church directly instructed its membership on the roles they were to play in the campaign, allegedly contributed hundreds of thousands in unreported in-kind contributions, kept actual politicking off their lavish campuses, and directed as much as twenty million dollars in church members' contributions to the YES campaign.

But now they'd rather not have the bright spotlight of publicity on them, their members who contributed, and the businesses who contributed? ... You can speak your piece in the public square, but you may also be held accountable for your speech and your politicking by your fellow citizens.
--How the Mormons Overcame Voter Apathy on Prop 8 by Teddy Partridge, firedoglake.com

Can someone show me where in the Constitution or Bill Of Rights it says that "people of faith" are somehow exempt from facing protests? That their "democratic right to express their views in the public square" trumps everyone else's?
--First Amendment for We But Not for Thee by Eli, firedoglake.com

Wherein we learn whether or not Obama intends to manage his own brain
... or turn it over to pseudo analysts and pundits claiming to represent the 'center'
Today's QUOTES:

There is and always has been a Beltway cottage industry of trite, platitude-spouting establishment-defenders whose only "argument" consists of issuing grave warnings that Democrats will suffer if they don't ignore and scorn "the Left" (defined as any Democrat dissimilar to Joe Lieberman). ...
--Marty Peretz's assistant is the latest to be elected spokesperson for the Moderate Americans by Glenn Greenwald, salon.com

Friday, November 14, 2008

Abortion, no; lots of killing, yes ...

The Catholic Church continues digging itself a hole:
No Communion For Obama Supporters, Says South Carolina Priest
So this Catholic Church priest is saying that Catholics were evil to vote for Obama because he sorta supports a woman having the right to make decisions about her own body.

By inference, it appears that this priest thinks bomb, bomb, bombing Iran would be just dandy.

So lots and lots of dead bodies is OK with the Catholic Church (history shows this to be so) but never, never should a woman be allowed to abort a fetus.

So killing human beings after they have been born is no biggie, but killing even a few cells that are incapable of life on their own is a Catholic no, no.

Hallelujah, at least one Dem stands up to his Senatorial responsibilities ...

Leahy Becomes First Senator To Demand Lieberman's Ouster From Homeland Security Committee

"I'm one who does not feel that somebody should be rewarded with a major chairmanship after doing what he did."

"I felt some of the attacks that he was involved in against Senator Obama...went way beyond the pale," Leahy continued. "I thought they were not fair, I thought they were not legitimate, I thought they perpetuated some of these horrible myths that were being run about Senator Obama."

"I would feel that had I done something similar," Leahy concluded, "that I would not be chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee in the next Congress."

Truth is so simple. The above is not the entire case against Lieberman but is in itself sufficient to decide he should not be chairing important committees for the Dems. Another reason would be that he already has a history of not acting responsibly as chairman.

On the other hand, those attempting to make a case for rewarding Lieberman for acting in a thoroughly irresponsible manner sound more like they're following a Republican script.

So much for the idea that the Dems can take care of Lieberman later if he should act like himself (which he will). Seems it takes:
a Senate resolution to change a chairmanship, and that resolution could be subject to a filibuster." ...[U]nder Bayh's proposed scenario, Republicans would have every reason to filibuster a new Senate resolution taking Lieberman's chairmanship away if he was proving an effective antagonist of President Obama.
So either the Dems act responsibly now or they are going to pay dearly for their recalcitrant behavior later.

Bush the Destroyer's ticky tacky justice system ...

Error In Justice: Siegelman Prosecutors Received Notes From Jurors DURING Deliberations

But let's just let bygones be bygones, what? Like the Dem blindness about keeping Lieberman on as committee chairman, the failure to investigate and prosecute at least the most egregious wrong doings of the Bush administration will ensure that these crimes WILL be repeated again, and again, certainly when Republicans regain the WH but probably by Democrats also, until we have no US democracy left. Republicans know this. They are setting you up Dems. They are setting the whole country up. But you, Obama and Congressional Democrats are the ones that are supposed to be thinking ahead and protecting our Democracy.

Please look beyond petty power plays for a few minutes and do your jobs.

Ah, a little bit of justice!
Today's QUOTES:
... “Yes but do you want to end up like [President] Bush?”

Mr Putin was briefly lost for words, then said: “Ah -- you have scored a point there.”
--a quote from timesonline.com in post 'A positive aspect of the Bush legacy' by Glenn Greenwald, Unclaimed Territory, salon.com

Thursday, November 13, 2008

One potential tantrum after another? ...

The same way that there is a vague implication that if the Democratic caucus takes away Holy Joe Lieberman's Homeland Security Committee chairmanship he will do something drastic, like cutting off his nose, there is a vague implication that Wall Street executives might get angry and so something to spite their faces if they're bonuses become part of a plan to bailout the economic mess their unabashed greed and stupidity caused. -- For Many At The Top The Economic Crisis Isn't Cramping Any Style
Sooner or later someone is going to remember where those guillotines were stored.

Today's QUOTES:

... Right now the people of the United States cannot afford to have its ruling party wandering around in delusional grandiosity.

The great danger to all this vividly sparkles before us with Lieberman and the bailout, not a mere slap in the face to the little people, more like anal gang rape to everything the blogosphere bled and sweated for in our politics: accountability, fairness, equality, due process, democracy. The election’s over, little people, some of us will see you in two years, thanks for the donations! ...
--Who We Are by paradox, The Left Coaster
... What [he, former high-level Clinton DOJ official Robert Litt, is] doing is expressing the core premise of America's two-tiered system of justice: we imprison more of our population than any other country on the planet and move increasingly towards ever harsher and more merciless criminal justice rules for them, while exempting our highest political leaders entirely from consequences for lawbreaking.
--Post-partisan harmony vs. the rule of law by Glenn Greenwald, Unclaimed Teritory, salon.com
Unions have put themselves out there time and again for Democrats. When the economy goes south, they don't expect to be told to "suck on this" by a Democratic majority.
--Stickin' It To The Unions by digy, Hullabaloo

Now that's an understatement ...

From a editorial by Republican Rep from Arizona, Jeff Flake:
I suggest that we return to first principles. At the top of that list has to be a recommitment to limited government. After eight years of profligate spending and soaring deficits, voters can be forgiven for not knowing that limited government has long been the first article of faith for Republicans.
After that whopping understatement he goes on to propose propagandizing a message of 'economic freedom' as a way to save the Republican Party and stop the Democrats from implementing any meaningful changes to help the country out of the mess Bush and these same Republican left it in. I suppose there are plenty of people willing to believe them again.

By the way, Jeff Flake was the only member of Congress to vote no on the Plain Language in Government Communications Act of 2008.

NOTE: Some wording changed in this post.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The snakes in the grass ...

LDS Documents Reveal Eleven Year Collaboration with RCC on Marriage Equality

The media in Salt Lake City have discovered the documents revealed prior to Election Day that show a long-time collaboration between the Mormons and the Catholics to destroy what they call "Homosexual Legal Marriage."


Americans need to understand that these two powerful church hierarchies have been working closely together to deny us civil rights, for a long time.

And that's not right.
It sure aint! It also should disqualify them for tax exempt status. What is the IRS doing about this? What is the Congress doing about this. If they are going to be active political organizations then they need to be out in the open, not hidden and secret. One would think these two religious entities have something to hide.
Added: Really this is becoming ridiculous. Now the Catholic Church attacks Congress and Obama by claiming that certain policy actions they may take will be an attack on the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church is making what I think is called a preemptive strike (sound like they are starting the 'war' to me).
The nation's Catholic bishops Tuesday approved a statement declaring that if the Democratic-controlled Congress and the incoming Obama administration enact proposed abortion rights legislation, they would see it as an attack on the church.
Obviously I had a different idea of what religion was supposed to be in the US. But it's obvious the Catholic Church and the Mormon Church are trying to control our laws to force their rigid views of what's right and wrong (instead of teaching their beliefs to the adherents of their faiths and administering to the needs of their congregations). They have decided that the Constitution and rights of US citizens must be set aside for their beliefs. Our beliefs don't matter. Again, their freedom to choose and follow their religious beliefs is not enough. They must make us all follow them also.

No thank you. I am definitely being radicalized by the action of these two organizations. I will look askance at everything they do from now on. And I assume I'm not the only one.

Starting the list of juvenile Dem Senators ...

Sens. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), Ken Salazar (D-Colo.), Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) are all involved in the effort, according to top Senate Democratic aides. These four senators — along with other Lieberman allies — are reaching out to the rest of the Democratic Senate caucus to try to ensure Lieberman survives a secret ballot vote on whether to strip him of his chairmanship of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.
Chris Dodd, Ken Salazar, Tom Carper, Bill Nelson (and Harry Reid) stand accused of insulting the country they work for and behaving as if the Senate is their own private juvenile playground.

Dems, to get Democrats, Independents and any reasonable Republicans still in that party to respect and support you, you will need to act responsibly. Kowtowing to Lieberman is not such an action.
During a Thursday meeting in Reid’s office, Lieberman told Reid that if he was stripped of his chairmanship he would bolt from the Democratic caucus, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has already reached out to Lieberman should he decide to leave the Democratic side of the aisle.
What could be better. Let the back stabber pick up his toys and go to what's left of the Thug Party. They deserve him.

Added: There's something pathologically responsibility-shirking about the behavior of these Senators (and Bill Clinton also, by the way). The willingness of these individuals to have such an unreliable person heading any Senate committees, but specially the ones that Lieberman chairs would not be the actions of any responsible person who respected the work these committees are supposed to do and who wished for that work to actually take place. So these Senators (and Bill Clinton) either have no expectations at all for these committees and/or want these committees to be completely non-productive and/or they want Lieberman, the back stabber, in a position where he can do the most harm.

Obama's Rules for Lobbyists ... during transition ...

Per John Podesta, Transition Co-Chair:
  • Federal Lobbyists cannot contribute financially to the transition.

  • Federal lobbyists are prohibited from any lobbying during their work with the transition.

  • If someone has lobbied in the last 12 months, they are prohibited from working in the fields of policy on which they lobbied.

  • If someone becomes a lobbyist after working on the Transition, they are prohibited from lobbying the Administration for 12 months on matters on which they worked.

  • A gift ban that is aggressive in reducing the influence of special interests.
Ok, a 'gift ban.' I would take that to mean no gifts except for the qualifier 'aggressive.' So it doesn't mean no gifts, it means what? Aggressive is a pretty meaningless word in the mouths of politicians.

Notice that lobbyist cannot contribute to the transition. Whoop-de-doo. It says nothing about participating in the transition and contributing later. Good grief.

What about "Federal lobbyists are prohibited from any lobbying during their work with the transition.?" So they're not lobbying but will they still be paid by their lobbying firms? Again, this isn't clear to me.

The bottom line seems to be that they will have some rules about gifts (but they aren't telling us what they are) and there will be an attempt to separate any lobbyist work from financial contributions based on time frame and the policy field they did the work in.

All in all, it's nice that they put something out but what about looking to other sources for help. Aren't there knowledgeable Americans that would like to help out. Americans that are NOT paid lobbyists? Americans who don't contribute money based on the acceptance of their writing our laws and policies? Really, I think there are, but I don't know if Obama is looking beyond the Washington initiated and corrupted for his advice. Is he?

Now there's a surprise ...

About those fixes for the economy BushCo demanded and the Democrats rolled over for: New federal mortgage plan offers relief to only a few
"Everything to date has been voluntary, and it really hasn't worked ..."
Now that's something we wouldn't have expected based on BushCo's history, would we?

Anyone paying attention for even a few of the last eight years knew that BushCo would botch everything up while mainlining our tax dollars into their friends' coffers. But Congress gave them the power and authorized the money with no strings, no oversight, no rules, not limits, no logic.

And given Harry Reid's inability to come to terms with his responsibility to get back stabber Lieberman off the Democratic committee leadership list we can assume that any Senate under Reid will continue toe the Republican line.

A significant majority of voters choose a Democrat to be President this month. In addition, voters have have increased the number of Democrats in both House and Senate in the last two elections. Reid's Republican-lackey approach to his job is not going to do those Democrats any good.

I'm of the opinion that both Reid and Lieberman must go. But since most of 'those people' think of themselves as select members of a club and not as representatives of the citizens of this country, it seems unlikely that Democrats will step up and put good leaders in either the House or the Senate.

Today's QUOTES:

One of the biggest problems clogging and clotting our political discourse has been the near-total merging of the media and political classes over the last few decades. Or rather, the completely false and fatuous fantasy on the part of big-time journalists that they are actually part of the same clubby circle as politicians who operate the levers of power. The politicians have made good use of this collective, self-serving delusion, ...
--Happy Days: No Crime, No Foul for the Media-Political Club by Chris Floyd, Empire Burlesque

I wondered about this ...

A Silver Lining in Prop. 8?

Since the passage of California’s Proposition 8, there have been protests across California. ...
At least the passing of Proposition 8, which was on its way to oblivion until the Mormons and the Catholics poured tons of money into lies and fear mongering (religiously impressive, no?), has energized many in addition to gays. It didn't seem so generally important until it became clear that organized religion, in the form of Catholics and Mormons, were going to go all out to require that everyone should follow their religious dictates. Not being able to manage their own flocks, evidently, they wish to make their religious beliefs the law of the land. Not satisfied with their FREEDOM to worship and follow the rules they choose to believe in, they have gotten so arrogant and superior that they believe they have the right to dictate, through the law, how the rest of us will live.

The Catholic Church is quite amorphous, but the Mormon Church is, I think, already aware of a backlash. Of course, even if these two churches were able to change all our laws to fit their most rigid desires then they would have to turn the fight onto each other. Somehow these two churches just don't exude brotherly love, do they? Hate, control, rigidity seems to what they stand for at present.

Monday, November 10, 2008

OK, this is Obama's first stupid act ...

as President in waiting:
President-elect Barack Obama has informed party officials that he wants Joe Lieberman to continue caucusing with the Democrats in the 111th Congress, Senate aides tell the Huffington Post.
He's surrounding himself with the DLC; now he's kissing up to Lieberman. Not good ...
Obama's decision could tie the hands of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who has been negotiating to remove Lieberman as chair of the Homeland Security and Government Reform committee while keeping him within the caucus. Lieberman has insisted that he will split from the Democrats if his homeland security position is stripped.
Now that's a laugh. Reid hasn't given any indication he is capable of taking such a stand for real. He just waffles and shuffles and hopes someone will take the decision out of his hands, which, apparently Obama has done.

How uninspiring not to mention un-change-like.

There's more:
A Democrat close to Lieberman, meanwhile, said he thought that keeping Lieberman in the fold "would be a good move for Obama as a way to make real his promise of new politics, a less partisan Washington and more unity. He would do so at some risk. Obviously there is a liberal wing of the party that wants Joe punished... "
I think these people are demented. Lieberman shouldn't be in the Democratic caucus or chairing a committee because he doesn't support the Democratic party. He supports Republicans over Democrats all the time. What's so difficult to understand here. This isn't about 'new politics.' This is about elected Democrats continuing to be patsies.

Bush the Destroyer's death count just keeps rising ...

... despite new evidence that many employers are ignoring child labor laws. U.S. Department of Labor investigations have dropped by nearly half since fiscal year 2000.
... On a typical day, more than 400 juvenile workers are injured on the job. Once every 10 days, on average, a worker under the age of 18 is killed ...

Today's QUOTES:

Bi-partisanship, anyone?
Think about that. The second highest ranking Republican [Arizona's Jon Kyl] in the Senate, just a few days after the election, is already talking about blocking Supreme Court nominations that haven't been named, in response to Supreme Court vacancies that don't exist.

I'd add, by the way, that Kyl was one of the conservative Republicans who, in 2005, supported the "nuclear option," which would have declared that filibustering a judicial nominee was against congressional rules. That, of course, was when Bush nominees were in jeopardy. --AN ADVANCE LOOK AT THE REPUBLICAN OPPOSITION.... by Steve Benen at Political Animal, Washington Monthly

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Harry Reid's chasing his tail ...

... again.
Harry Reid Still Defending Joe Lieberman: One of the Most Progressive People Ever To Come From the State of CT
Harry Reid will never be a good Democratic leader for the Senate. Never! One can only assume in making these kind of excuses for Lieberman that Reid wishes to continue having one of his brother Thugs in sheeps' clothing in the Dem caucus and sabotaging committee hearings.

Palin's right: "... those guys are jerks."

Gov. Sarah Palin returned to work in her Anchorage office Friday afternoon and spoke out against anonymously sourced stories critical of her behavior on the campaign trail, saying ...
And in my opinion accurately describing the press, McCain and the entire GOP establishment:
"it’s immature, it’s unprofessional and those guys are jerks."