Thursday, October 30, 2008

Searching the internet is good for my brain...

Or so implies a study that measured neuron activity in seniors.
The Internet search got more neurons popping, in areas involved in reasoning and memory, such as the frontal lobes and hippocampus ...

I can tell you why BushCo's installing the military inside the US ...

The latest twist is that not only are the banks not lending the money given to them, they’re paying our money out to stockholders as dividends.
If the Republicans set out to 'fix' something one can only hope they don't burn it to the ground. But even worse is that we already know this and the 'democratic' Congress just keeps handing them the matches.

At some point US citizens are going to stop being sheeple. What happens then? If Bush is still in office or if McCain is in office they will do in the US what they've being doing in Iraq. That is they will identify anyone they want to as a terrorist and start invading homes and killing people.

I have no idea what Obama's going to do. Absolutely none.

ADDED: And have you noticed that our banking system is already being run in a similar manner to how the US ran Iraq? With truck loads of cash (the US taxpayers' money) handed out from the back of trucks? Except they've eliminated the trucks.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Voted today ...

No line, just walked in. I don't even remember ever waiting in line here in Arizona. The idea of having to wait in line for hours and hours is appalling and the officials that allow (or cause) that to happen should be in jail. I'm serious. That's much more important than wasting our resources to punish pot smokers.

Though McCain is still expected to win Arizona it's now close enough that the unexpected could happen. From the Arizona Daily Star:

Red, but how long?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Where's the left?

UPDATE: Sandwichman answers the question by moving the focus: The Elephant's Room

What 'left' is he talking about and if you identify them are they in a position to do something?
And where is the left? They rail against the bailout and the evils of finance capital, but when it comes time for them to put forward a constructive, functional alternative they change the subject. As far as I can see, it comes down to this: either we bail out the existing institutions and somehow browbeat them into countercyclical lending behavior, which they will resist with all their fiber, or we let them go to their fate and put our marbles into a public institution that can do the job. The first is an ethical swamp, reeking of moral hazard, and may well fail. The second is the straightest, fairest, most reliable route to recovery. Please raise your voice for a public alternative. If the bailout fails to prevent a full-bore economic collapse, by the time we find out it will be too late.
Many raised their voices and as with FISA the Congress gloated in ignoring the public.

What 'left' are we talking about. And just which left is it that's in power and can do something when the Congress revels in ignoring the voters?

Krugman has been saying that the-powers-that-be aren't paying any attention to 'mainstreet' all along. Is he the left? No so much.

Pelosi and Reid? Are they the left. Certainly not! They passed the demanded legislation without consulting anyone other than those who created the problem in the first place. Like putting your house in the hands of the arsonist, your possessions in the hands of the robber, your safety in the hands of the murderer.

It's always interesting that when those in power screw things up that the call comes for those out of power to do something ... but not too loudly now or someone might be offended.

When the press refuses to inform the public ...

Another must read at ECHIDNE OF THE SNAKES.
The freedom of the press is primarily important in so far as it is a necessary part of the right of The People to govern themselves. When the press not only refuses to inform the public of reality but actively undermines that function through propaganda, their right to freely publish effectively disappears. Our broadcast and cable media have reneged on the implied contract and have actively sought to undermine the ability of The People to cast an informed vote. I am not going to pretend that they have a right to do that which is superior to the right to self-government. It is stupid for us to promote their right to undermine the conditions necessary for the press to retain that very conditional right

I think the history of the media in the past century to today shows that mass media, in the form of broadcast, cable and others have an enormous ability to damage democracy, much more so than print. Almost all modern despots have used that fact to their advantage. The most dramatic example from recent times was the use of hate-talk radio to incite the genocide attempt in Rwanda. I’d say that example is too clear and horrible not to learn from. And the stuff that issues from our radio is not all that far removed from it. I do think it could incite mass violence. It certainly incites bigotry and I fully believe it incites violence on a more disbursed though hardly less important scale here and now.

As I’ve asked the absolutists, where is the “more speech” they’re always giving as their lofty answer to those of us who have given up on that easily stated position. The clear evidence is that liberals, leftists, even Democrats are not allowed media representation commensurate with our percentage of the population. The very far right, a very small fraction of the population, is given a a megaphone large enough so that even the most willfully denying absolutist should hear the electronically enhanced roar. About the only lesson I derive from their denial of that situation is that they have professional and personal interests unrelated to the desire for decent, democratic government. Many of the professional absolutists have careers in the media and are often quite comfortably affluent and members of groups seldom put at risk from hate-talk media.


Media should be entirely free to tell the truth, the facts verified and supported. That right should be absolute and trumpeted as a service to humanity. When the media informs of reality it’s rights are as close to absolute as corporate entities should be allowed. They shouldn’t be allowed to vary from that practice by replacing facts with lies, bias, pseudo-scientific polling and predictions and rumor*. Those have become the dominant content of the American ‘news’ media, they are cheaper than reporting and easier to manipulate for the purpose of propaganda. That it is impossible to effectively ban the opportunistic use of opinion in the electronic media makes the regulation of it for fairness and balance essential. The rise and dominance of right-wing, hate-talk media followed the FCC’s abandonment of those regulations, modern hate-talk media was created by media corporations in order to install politicians who would maximize their profits, impure and simple.

Liberals and others who believe in self-government, equality and a decent society can’t continue to delude themselves on these matters. If we don’t learn from the example that the history of the modern media provides we will lose all three of those. I’d rather take a chance on the status quo media from the period when it was regulated than on what has happened since it was deregulated.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

GOP malfeasance ...

I had decided not to post anything about the standard sexism demonstrated by PZMyers at Pharyngula where he embodies in Palin all the stupidities of the GOP.

PZMyers writes:
This idiot woman, this blind, shortsighted ignoramus, this pretentious clod, mocks basic research and the international research community. You damn well better believe that there is research going on in animal models — what does she expect, that scientists should mutagenize human mothers and chop up baby brains for this work? — and countries like France and Germany and England and Canada and China and India and others are all respected participants in these efforts.
Then Tristero at digby's put it into perspective: Republicans vs. Science
Sarah Palin isn't the issue here. Sure, I'll concede that this illustrates Palin's breathtaking ignorance AND her stupidity. After all, she agreed to repeat it. But what it really demonstrates is how unqualified the upper echelons of the Republican party are to run this country. She certainly didn't write this speech: John McCain's advisers did and approved every appalling word.
And that's the point. Sara Palin, ignorance and all, represents the Republican Party. And a significant portion of that party is very happy with her and her ignorance. George Bush, ignorance and all, represented the Republican Party. And a significant portion of this entire country fell right in line. Education, science, reason are not respected by a startling number of US Citizens. Neither are fairness, justice, equality under the law.

If the Republicans are not overwhelmingly defeated then I will believe the slide into authoritarianism will continue whether Obama is elected or not. And if Obama is elected I doubt that he will push back the continued creep of authoritarianism unless we, the people, insist that he do so.

Another perspective on the same subject: The Results Will Have to Come In

Friday, October 24, 2008

"... to exist you need an ideology."

Greenspan: exist you need an ideology. The question is whether it is accurate or not and what I'm saying to you is "yes" I found a flaw...
Won't try to pull any more irony out of watching Greenspan go up in flames. It's too bad that the ideology he needed for his existence with BushCo wasn't the same ideology he needed for his existence with Clinton.

This seems to be the mark of some US Republicans and/or Conservatives. They change their ideologies like a suit based on their position in the political swamp. The other ones keep their ideology (and existence?) intact by filtering out any and all facts that might indicate the ideology upon which they base their existence is moronic. Of course, if they are millionaires and they've contributed to the destitution of many others in their own country and around the world then their ideology worked for them, didn't it. The validation fits the ideology. Wonder why it didn't work for Greenspan. Because he wasn't one of them? He sold out ... like Colin Powell?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Fundamental confusion ...

Found this article (Religious Fundamentalism and Politics by Jeff Haynes) by searching google: fundamentalism and politics.

Being an impatient person I didn't get past the 5th paragraph. This stumped me:
To many observers and ‘ordinary’ people, religious fundamentalism is always socially and politically conservative, backward looking, inherently opposed to change. But if this is the case how can we explain the activities of militant Islamic groups around the world - often dubbed ‘fundamentalist’ - who strive to overthrow regimes with which they disagree? Other groups which have been labelled fundamentalist - such as ‘born again’ Christians in the United States or orthodox Jews in Israel - seem to fit more closely the conventional wisdom, as they are often linked to very conservative political forces who seek to roll back what they perceive as an unwelcome liberalisation and relaxation of social and moral mores.
The paragraph implies that religious fundamentalists cannot be both conservative and seek to impose their fundamentalist beliefs on others through change in current day political environments, even when the goal of the change is to impose upon the society, country or world the 'correct' laws and codes of behavior from the past. Isn't that what the GOP, along with the US christianists, claim to be doing? Re-creating some magical time from the 1950's through a somewhat violent assault on our laws and the very framework that holds our country together to such an extent that our police forces have been turned into military occupiers in our own cities?

Fundamentalism, conservatism and crusades seem, to me, to be linked concepts --with other hidden authoritarian objectives thrown in for good measure, of course.

I suppose for the author a 'rollback' to the past is conservative but 'striving to overthrow regimes' is not conservative. Though, of course, both may follow from a belief in 'the strict maintenance of ancient or fundamental doctrines of a religion or ideology.'

Really, it's only a matter of degree. If we can still use the term conservatives for those who are said to be 'averse to change and hold to traditional values and attitudes' when this same change-averse group is willing to rollback from present day to some idealized time decades ago, then why not use the term conservative for those who would use shock and awe to bomb a country back to the stone age for their own good?

Or perhaps there is no such thing as a conservative. Or a better definition of conservatives would be that they reject change when they are comfortable with the present but insist on change when the past looks greener? Or there's money to be acquired.

Yesterdays' QUOTES ...

Yet even as they obsess over Barack Obama and Bill Ayers -- just as the McCain campaign tells them to --the news media have all but ignored John McCain's close ties to Gordon Liddy. A Nexis search** finds fewer than 100 news reports that have mentioned McCain and Liddy this year.

The idea that truth is merely a social construct, that it's subjective, in other words, first appeared in academia as a corruption of post-modernism, but it’s taken root in our culture without our really realizing it or understanding its implications.

[ ... ]

Although this kind of thinking, relativism and constructivism, started on the left, many conservatives now feel empowered by it, too, and some of them have embraced it with a vengeance on issues ranging from global warming and evolution to the war in Iraq.

We then try to explain to them why the outer shell color of people matters so much on this planet and why those individuals who can lay eggs (sorta) are regarded as second-class quality essentially everywhere while the egg-laying ability itself is lauded to high heavens. The aliens then roll all their eight eyeballs and decide to vacation on Alpha Centaur next time.

Not being "the other" has some great advantages. For instance, when John McCain or Joe Biden do something stupid they only affect their own reputations, because white men are not "the other". They are individuals. When Barack Obama or Sarah Palin do something stupid they affect the reputations of African-Americans or women respectively (at least among all racists and sexists). They serve as embodiments of the groups they represent. This is the case as long as Firsts are necessary, as long as we only have a handful of individuals on which to base our group assessments.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Thank Glenn for putting it into words: So what if he were a muslim?

As usual Glenn Greenwald get to the heart of what's so uncomfortable about this 'Obama-is-a-muslim' attack from the holier than thou; more christianist than their neighbor; the ultimate witch-hunting, woman-hating, fetus-idolising ultra-patriots; the GOP horde of thugs.

An excerpt from Colin Powell condemns the ugliness of the Republican Party:
There has been much condemnation over the "Obama-is-a-Muslim" line of GOP attack, but almost all of it has been on the ground that the attack is factually false as applied to the Christian Obama, not on the ground that it is a reprehensible and dangerous line of attack even if it were factually true. Powell bears much of the responsibility, and always will, for the horrific U.S. attack on Iraq (one which, just by the way, resulted in the deaths of at least hundreds of thousands of innocent Muslims), but he deserves credit for using the platform he had this morning to go out of his way to make this vital point when doing so was not necessary (and perhaps not even helpful) in advancing the cause of his endorsement of Obama.

That being Muslim or Arab is a mark against someone's character is now so ingrained in our political culture that it is hardly noticed any longer. When John McCain, at that rally in Minnesota last week, sought to chide his supporter for asserting that Obama is an "Arab," McCain did so by pointing out that, in fact, Obama is a "decent family man" -- as though that proves that he's not "an Arab because "decent family man" is the opposite of "Arab": ...

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Marana in the dumps ...

Pima County Board of Supervisors plans to close the Tangerine Road landfill (near Marana) to the public and as a result Marana residents would need to travel at least 20 miles to Catalina Transfer Station. Then the Catalina Transfer Station will truck the refuge to the to the Tangerine Road landfill which will be 'open' to such well travelled rubbish.

Complete closing the Tangerine Road landfill to the public will cost $9 million for which the county does not have the money to pay and is " looking to have a bond election in the future." It's not clear, to me, whether 'complete closing' refers to some time after which Tangerine landfill no longer accepts transferred rubbish from Catalina nor is it clear, to me, what 'complete' closing entails. But it is clear, even to me, that complete closing does not mean just locking the doors and turning off the lights as it costs much dinero.

The above is what I gleaned from this article: Marana council irate over dump closure --Plan to shut Tangerine Landfill next year called irresponsible, but county disagrees by Shelley Shelton, Arizona Daily Star

Notice how the he said/he said nature of the article begins right in the subheading?

He said/he said journalism is a journalistic strategy that provides that the reporter never has to understand the subject matter.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Scientist stupidities ...

One of the irritations in life is constantly hearing from those who are so sure of their own critical thinking abilities (e.g. PZ Myers) that they don't even recognize their own fact-free preconceptions.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Testing aniMate from Daz3d ...

Daz3D is offering a 10 day trial of aniMate, a GoFigure software plugin for DazStudio, which they describe as follows:
AniMate takes a building block approach. Animations are broken down into editable chunks (that we call aniBlocks, short for "animation building blocks") that can be stored and reused just like video clips. Animations are assembled by stacking aniBlocks in the aniTimeline. AniBlocks can be dragged around and rearranged inside the timeline and they are always automatically blended one to another. AniBlocks can be trimmed, cropped, split and combined to create just the effect you need, or to create completely new aniBlocks.
Before the free trial I decided that I wasn't interested. But after using aniMate I think I will probably purchase the plugin.

Here's a link to a short clip I created. This was the second clip I created. The first one was too long. Most of the moves are well done. The walk aniBlocks, however, if used for any 'distance' look very unnatural, to me.

There are some examples and tutorials available at Daz, but most are like much of Daz products ... scantily clad females with wierd posture. The animations just add lots of jumping around and wiggling to the rest of the mix.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Precious ...

Looks like the whales lose.

Couldn't the US Supreme Court bench sitters pretend to be wise and open minded before they decide in favor of the GOP extremist ideas of greed and destruction? Guess not:
Justice Stephen Breyer: "I thought the whole point of the armed forces was to hurt the environment."
Justice Samuel Alito: There is "something incredibly odd" about a trial judge making a decision "contrary" to the Navy's requirements.

Justice Stephen Breyer: "an admiral (who) comes along with an affidavit that seems plausible" might outrank a "district judge who just says" the training should stop.
Outrank? When did judges start reporting to the military which reports to the President. Oh, 9-11, that's right, how could I forget?

We already know that the GOP mind cannot comprehend (or does not care) that at some apparently fast approaching (or maybe it's already passed us by) point the steady environmental destruction cannot be reversed. Or is it that they don't really believe that the human race could depend on a livable environment for it's survival. Processes that take centuries are beyond their ability conceptualize, I suppose.

Accountability Now. Now we're getting somewhere ...

From this post about Accountability Now at Glenn Greenwald's I'm beginning to believe that they will put together a workable program:
Today, Accountability Now is launching a major new project devoted to compelling real accountability within the political class and forcing behavioral changes in Congress that will ensure the existence of an actual opposition party in Washington. AN is creating a new organization to recruit, coordinate, and support primary challenges against vulnerable Congressional incumbents who deserve defeat. A vast, diverse and very well-funded coalition has been assembled to participate in the initial research phase of Accountability Now's new campaign, which includes Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Color of Change, Daily Kos, Steve Rosenthal and They Work For Us (who spent $1.5 million in an issue advocacy campaign that resulted in the removal of Democratic incumbent Al Wynn from Congress, replaced by Donna Edwards), MoveOn, BlogPAC (Matt Stoller), and others.
The post includes two 'radio' interviews. One with Jane Hamsher ( and the other with Markos Moulitas (

It's interesting that Hamsher moved to Washington DC to better understand the Washington mindset. Excerpt from the transcript:
JH: One of the reasons I moved to Washington DC about a year ago was to try and get an idea of what we're up against, because you can have all these fabulous ideas from the outside, but until you actually see it in action, and try and get a sense of what the mind-set is, it become very hard to deal with. These notions would come back that just seemed insane on their own, and I wanted to be able to try and piece them all together. So, having lived here for about a year and a half, a year and three months, my understanding of the place, and it might not be completely comprehensive, but I think this is not altogether wrong, is that when you get elected to Congress, right, you come here, and all you care about is maintaining your seat, right? And everybody else who comes here has a pact with each other, like, we'll help you maintain your seat, and you help us maintain our seat. And that's just what we're going to do.

And anybody who sets outside of that orthodoxy, is considered the enemy. It's heresy; it's just something that's not done. That's why you have organizations like Planned Parenthood, which is run by the Pact, as distinct from the states which run clinics which are absolutely amazing. The nation *tack which is run by Cecile Richards, who is somebody's kid and always needs to find a job within the Democratic Party doing something, for some organization, goes and endorses Joe Liebermann, for Senate, running against Ned Lamont, even though Joe Liebermann was instrumental in putting Samuel Alito on the Supreme Court bench, right? Even though Planned Parenthood is raising money, saying, oh, no, this is horrible, Roe v. Wade is going to go down, they endorsed Joe Liebermann, and when Joe Liebermann makes a meaningless blurb against Alito, they send out an e-mail telling their members to thank Joe Liebermann for his vote against Samuel Alito. Now, just seems insane from the outside, right? That just seems crazy. It doesn't make any sense. you're going, how could this possibly happen? When you're in Washington DC, and you see how things run in this city, you scratch my back, I'll scratch your back kind of way, and nobody's going to do anything that could possibly get anybody defeated, and we're all going to be Democrats here and then let's just line up and see how much we can all get if we're in the majority. That is the trouble with mind-set.

So when they get into the majority, they don't see that the problems in the country that may have gotten them the majority are anything that needs to be addressed. The domination of Washington DC by corporate interests is so complete and overwhelming, that when these people get into office, they go, well, I can't fight that, so my opponent is evil, and they must be defeated at all costs, so if I can get a $10 000 campaign contribution from this company by signing away a billion dollars in, not necessarily pork, but a bill designed to funnel all this money in this particular direction, then that's the righteous and good thing to do. And that is the orthodoxy that everybody ascribes to. So, until you can break that up, until you can find some other counter-balance in the universe that people go, okay, there is another sheriff in town, Gary Cooper has the walk of the town, and he is over there, and we're going to have to pay attention to him, because if we don't, all of this is going to come crumbling. You have to challenge the mind-set, the articles of faith that these people are living their lives under, or you can't change a thing. And I think that's what this coalition of groups, this organization, is trying to do. It was done somewhat successfully in the Donna Edwards race - scared the daylights out of people in Congress - so let's try and find what we did sort of by accident at that point, and give form to it, and then start to do it again institutionally really regularly in order to provide to be able to provide a counter balance.

GG: Yep, I think that's a great way of describing it and that's exactly right, you need a counterweight, because right now the people in Congress know that there are no punishments, no costs to ignoring what citizens want, and the only rewards come from serving the corporate class, and so that's what they do. You need need to change that calculus, and make them fear...

JH: They really believe that what they're doing is right.

Hamsher makes the point, which based on congress-critter behavior, is probably correct for 99.9% of these critters:

... when you get elected to Congress, right, you come here, and all you care about is maintaining your seat, right? And everybody else who comes here has a pact with each other, like, we'll help you maintain your seat, and you help us maintain our seat. And that's just what we're going to do.

So that's their goal. If she believes that the overriding goal of almost everyone in Congress is to get re-elected and that that goal overrides all else (which it apparently does) then why is Hamsher so concerned about crediting these elected officials with doing what they believe is right?

First she sets up the case that the main goal of anyone elected to Congress, no matter what they said before they were elected, becomes their re-election and in mutual back-scratching mentality "anybody who sets outside of that orthodoxy, is considered the enemy."

Yet, twice she says that "They really believe that what they're doing is right" as if she's giving them credit for something positive.

Is it possible that Hamsher should watch that she doesn't start to identify with her captors in Washington DC?

Yesterdays' QUOTES ...

About Palin: So you may not agree with Davey, but I think he makes an apt point in suggesting that her over-feminization and over-sexualization is to attract [] men, not women. I think this is plausible because the Republican party does not care about women and their choices. Furthermore, as Courtney discussed here, Palin is the type of woman that is acceptable to patriarchy and if anything reifies masculinity. Furthermore, as many feminists have discussed, I also think this is one example of how sexism is working in Palin's favor.

... For all their crowing about traditional values, it's the right that has embraced decadence, sadism, nihilism and corruption under the cover of religion. ...

... why does Congress and the Executive Branch have time to meet with lobbyists for Wall Street, but no time to meet with leading economists ...

"Lame" duck is not the anatomically accurate metaphor for what remains of George W. Bush's administration. Castrated is. ...

The enablement has had a terribly pernicious effect of insulating Congress from the furious reality of how angry Americans are with Bush and Washington, DC. We’re losing two wars (one a heinous stinking crime of incredible magnitude), drowning in debt, loathed by the rest of world community, horribly abuse our people with no health care, lousy wages and unemployment on a warming planet yet Congress gives away hundreds of billions to greedy liars without a hearing! ...

The most absurd practice in American political life is throwing ourselves into the arms of the very people who have caused our crises ...

In cultural and political terms, we get what we ask for, and what we deserve. We will get it in spades in the coming week, and in the years to come.

A McClatchy sports-jargon wielding short story writer ... David Lightman

Three paragraphs before there's even a hint of any subject interesting to a voter looking for actual information.

WASHINGTON — John McCain and Barack Obama punched and counter-punched on issue after issue throughout their second debate Tuesday night, but neither man knocked the other one down, much less out.

Obama loyalists will call McCain the aggressor, continuing a line of attack that the Republican nominee began on Monday, after nearly a month lagging behind Obama in national polls.

McCain triggered the point-counterpoint Tuesday as he talked about Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, the failed mortgage giants that the federal government rescued last month.

But for those who prefer to imagine an old man duke it out with a much younger man in a 'punch and counter-punch' kind of way the article is very readable. Quite suitable. It has action. It has drama. It has suspense that won't be resolved until a later time. But as for information, facts, analysis it leaves this reader searching elsewhere.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Never imagined I would, or could, enjoy a post about split infinitives ...

Both support as well as being ready

McClatchy has a right wing extremist hack masquerading as a reporter: Steven Thomma ...

Do they have an equivalent left wing hack for balance?

This is what passes for political reporting for Thomma-boy and McClatchy:
It's debate night: Which candidate will prove riskier?

NASHVILLE — Who does America want at the helm in a time of crisis, an erratic gambler or a dangerous radical?
Another he said/he said fantasy from Thomma's brain through McClatchy servers to your eyes.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

"Death comes easy in this city ..."


Interesting discussion about Pelosi ...

There's some interesting comments to Anthony McCarthy's defense of Speaker Pelosi that I linked to yesterday. Like this one:
Not buying it, Anthony. I'm not anti-Pelosi -- she has some accomplishments as speaker, and that alone is distinctive -- but she's been active, not passive, in endorsing the Bush/Cheney push for dictatorship.

She worked for the decimation of the 4th amendment in the FISA case, and the secrecy of the telecom records. She took the lead in insisting that no impeachment hearings of any kind could be held, and took the lead again in declaring that the Democrats should not hold Bush officials in contempt when they ignored subpeonas. She eagerly led condemnation resolutions against MoveOn.

And there were LOTS of alternatives to the recent bailout. Economists were filling blogs and opinion pages with a variety of ideas -- some compatible to each other, some conflicting but in interesting ways -- that to me made a lot of sense (and I have an economics degree). Nancy Pelosi pushed for a bailout directed at the richest and most morally liable, a bailout to be conducted by a 5-person unelected oligarchy, only minimally supervised (and supervised entirely by wealthy establishment figures).

None of that was forced on her. I don't know whether her positive achievements could have been greater, but her negative achievements have, to me, been far greater. I don't feel a need to forgive them.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

In defense of Nancy Pelosi ...

Here's another view of Nancy Pelosi:
Leadership At Five Minutes To Midnight, Nancy Pelosi October 2008 by Anthony McCarthy

Odd poll ...

At least I think it's odd that Stoller asks about one's opinion of Pelosi and Obama, but not Reid. Pelosi may be incapable in her current job. Obama may be unwilling or unable to keep his promises. But Reid is malevolent (as is Steny Hoyer).
A Poll on the Bailout by Matt Stoller
I have some questions as to what you all think about the bailout and the performance of the Democrats over the past two weeks. If you're interested in filling out a survey on this bailout, go here. I've got a bunch of questions for us to answer about how various leaders on our side of the aisle performed.
NOTE: The only reason I'm wrting a blog entry questioning Reid's omission from the poll is due to the lack of email address for Stoller (that I could find) and no obvious route to submit a comment (probably I have something turned off in my browser or maybe I would have to register to obtain such an honor).

Always good the hear ...

... and hope they're right!
(1) It shows that even with the incredibly foolish bailout package, our debt levels should remain managable, if the next President is sane (i.e. not a Republican). This doesn't mean we have no problems. It just means that this bailout, however odious, is not a crushing blow that destroys all hope.
Straight talk is always appreciated, but such talk is not obvious, not even in this post: A Little Straight Talk About The Debt.

John Shadegg: One of Arizona's own 'special' Thugs ...

From Down With Tyranny: 28 Dangerous Extremists Who Hate Americans Spotted On Capitol Hill Friday
So who would oppose a bill to extend unemployment benefits? 28 far right Republican extremists, the worst of the worst-- and on a day when the newpapers announced gigantic layoffs, overwhelmingly caused by GOP trade and financial policies! Most of the 28 maniacs who voted NO are in safe districts where their constituents are as filled with hatred, fear and ignorance as they are and it is hopeeless to even try to oppose them. But not all. A few are in genuinely moderate districts and can be defeated in November, particularly:

Michele Bachmann (R-MN)
John Culberson (R-TX)
Bill Sali (R-ID)
John Shadegg (R-AZ)

Shadegg's vote was particularly callous since he had just voted 90 minutes earlier for the $700,000,000,000 Wall Street bailout. His campaign contributors will be well-taken care of. Regular American families thrown out of work through no fault of their own just got the middle finger (once again) from John Shadegg. He has a great opponent this year too-- Bob Lord. If you'd like to give Bob a hand, he's on the DWT ActBlue page.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Steven Thomma is such a comedian, isn't he ...

Either a comedian or brain damaged, take your pick:
Sarah Palin gave as good as she got, but will it be enough?

The first-term Alaska governor, a Republican, gave a sharper performance in her 90-minute debate with Democratic vice presidential rival Joe Biden than she has in recent TV interviews, which have drawn comedy show ridicule, scorn from some fellow conservatives and a dramatic drop in trust from voters.

But she didn't score the kind of dramatic breakthrough that she did when she burst onto the national stage with a strong, in-your-face speech at the Republican National Convention. ...
Journalists. Reporters. Fantasy writers. Whatever they're calling themselves, they sure do search for those 'dramatic breakthroughs' don't they. When 'dramatic breakthroughs' don't slap them right in the face they just make thinks up, like 'Palin gave as good as she got.'

In your dreams Thomma boy.

Raul Grijalva still votes 'no' ...

From Representative Grijalva's website:
“I did not feel that H.R. 1424 was the appropriate vehicle. It did not do enough to safeguard taxpayers, no strong oversight, too much latitude for the Secretary of the Treasury, and an unresolved re-payment of the $700 billion.

“I sincerely hope that the action taken by Congress today does in fact, stabilize the economy. The last thing I want to do is say, ‘I told you so’.
Really Congress could have done a decent job and chose not to. Grijalva's vote is the right one. The ones who refused to do their jobs but voted yes to another abomination are the ones who should be fired. Makes for most of the Congress doesn't it. Good job, NOT.

Gabrielle Giffords, of course, followed the hoard, like with FISA and voted for an abomination, which she is fully aware is an abomination. Wall Street certainly can't complain that Congress isn't compliant. Here's some of Giffords' weasel words:
Today, I joined a strong bipartisan majority of my congressional colleagues in voting for the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act. This legislation is far from perfect, but the economic crisis confronting our nation demands congressional action.

ADDED: The legislation passed without even half of the Thugs and still the Dems could not produce an acceptable bill to vote on. The Dems took ownership of the problem but just accepted the BushCo solution. Dunces.

Did you really expect something different from Obama?

The Obama Bailout Bill
Sadly, the bailout bill is no longer George Bush's. It's Barack Obama's:
Black lawmakers said personal calls from Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama helped switch them from "no" to "yes."

I'd say a pretty sad - though predictable - moment in Democratic Party history. The Democratic nominee helps ram a Wall Street giveaway through a Democratic Congress. At least with NAFTA, Bill Clinton relied on mostly Republican votes.

And he didn't even try to make it a good bill!

A remake on 'Best is the enemy of Good.'

When I was working at Well Fargo we went through a management phase where we were indoctrinated with the slogan 'best is the enemy of good.'

At the time it probably made some sense, specially in the systems area. Banking deregulation required quick response and some systems types, especially those with some experience under their belts, know that 'good' just might not be 'good enough' when the something that wasn't tested blows up in the everyones' (including the customers') faces. So a balance was required. Test just enough, change as much as you can, make it work now, not 6 months from now. Don't try do a perfect job. Do something that works, and that we can work with.

What I'm leading into is how far we've fallen. It's no longer just forget perfect, forget best, just make it good (as in workable).

Krugman and some of his fellow travelers now appear to accept the proposition that we don't even try for good anymore. Any crap will do and we will and should accept it:
Basically, Paulson has placed us all in a miserable predicament, with a lousy plan that has to be passed in some form to prevent total panic. Jan. 20 won’t come a moment too soon, and may well come about 4 1/2 months too late.
Democrats may get to blame this on Bush and the GOP. And they will be right. But we should also hold the Dems in Congress responsible. They are so used to doing nothing, to rejecting their responsibilities, to letting us down that they must be held accountable for their job performance, with is abominable. They have lowered the bar to repeatedly accepting and passing the worst legislation imaginable and then telling us what a wonderful job they just did. They don't work. They take orders and not from us.

Can we stop talking about Palin now?

The Dems had a brilliant woman running for the Democratic nominee for President (brilliant, but not my first choice, by the way) and not only did the national press respond with ugly sexism so did quite a few theoretical Dems and Progressives.

In the end the Dems choose the pied piper who is male and has sorta black skin.

McCreepy then searches for the most stupid woman he can find because, sexist that he is, he thinks women are just so stupid like him and will automatically switch their votes to McSame and Mc's woman running mate because those who supported Clinton will just naturally switch their votes from an intelligent and somewhat liberal woman to a stupid, cloying and rabidly extreme woman. I'm sure that's how things work in McDumb's world, but his world is shrinking.

I wonder though, if Clinton had been the nominee and if she had chosen some white male as her running mate would McDumbo have searched for the stupidest black man he could find for his running mate? There's one on the Supreme Court isn't there?

Facts, perspective, objectivity, truth and lies ...

Excerpt from The myth of objectivity by Suzie at ECHIDNE OF THE SNAKES
Before the 20th century, many newspapers trumpeted biases to attract readers who shared their views or wanted another opinion. Now, when few cities have more than one daily newspaper, and a few corporations monopolize the media, it makes sense to claim objectivity. Media owners want readers, viewers and listeners to think they can get all sides, all viewpoints, from just one source. And they do not want to offend advertisers. This translates into a lowest-common-denominator journalism that supports the status quo.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

I'm tired of hearing about Sara Palin ...

Don't vote for McCain and Palin becomes a non-issue! Vote for McCain and all bets are off.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

C&L is confused ...

The following is an odd post at C&L which is a 'progressive' site that's been hyping 'the sky is falling' BushCo line to the economy without acknowledging that there has been no real problem solving from Congress. Only the BushCo approach has been considered. That's it. And it must be done now, right this minute just like all proclamations emanating from that source.
Everybody is a Economist now
Wanting Obama to win, and being very afraid to honestly criticize any of his actions, is certainly putting a damper on the brain cells of progressives at the moment. Makes the progressive blogs look more and more like the professional media.

"Bailed out with what!"

Now here's a perspective:

"The Federal Reserve System was the crucial anomaly at the very core of representative democracy, an uncomfortable contradiction with the civic mythology of self-government."

This is what William Greider wrote in the first chapter of his book 'Secrets of the Temple - how the Federal Reserve runs the country." His book arrived yesterday in the mail. Here's a quick summary - and my extrapolation from - the first 6 pages.

The western capitalist system depends on 'deeper transactions' than elections. Central banks are inconsistent with representative forms of government. They are, in fact, more powerful than elected governments because they possess the power to answer the main questions of political economy - who shall fail and who shall prosper. Central banks are both directors of the private economy and the protector of the most powerful players within it.

The co-emergence of concentrated political and economic power in the hands of the modern global corporation has meant that these entities have been able to accumulate profits at a greater rate than the development of wealth on the planet. As a result, inflation became a permanent feature of the world economy. If the central banks had implemented policy to put the breaks on this dangerous development it would have worked against the narrow self-interest of these multinationals. Inflation was, instead, addressed by increasing dangerous forms of 'productivity'. Forests were no longer given time to regenerate. People in third world nations (in particular) were forcibly evicted from their lands and conscripted into low-wage manufacture for TNCs. Environmental regulation was dismantled and dangerous forms of industrial agriculture were expanded everywhere. Wages were kept low across the globe.

Profits for the global corporation continued to expand at an even faster rate and now exceeded any relation to real wealth. It became truly fictional. Having brought the planet beyond the brink of reversible climate change and increasing impoverishment of humanity everywhere there is now very few places left to 'invest'.

The role of the US Fed had been to ensure that debtors would be rewarded over savers because such action was the corollary of ensuring the profits continued to flow to big business.

In 2008 the debtors can no longer pay their installments. It should be game over but the global corporations want to be bailed out yet again. Bailed out with what?!

Posted by Brenda Rosser at Econo Speak

Of course, Krugman seems to be suggesting it's just money going around in a circle (is that the same as funny money?). So we're not really paying anything so the wealthy can remain wealthy? Why don't I believe it?

Dems waiting for their savior ...

Well, I hope it works out. I live here too.
Krugman: Bailout narratives
But it is pretty humiliating for the US to be completely incapable of doing anything reasonable in the interim. And if the savior doesn't arrive ... any backup plans out there?

Forgive them, for they are as dumb as the Thugs ...

Crooks and Liars thinks the country should pass what it doesn't need because something must be done and since Congress will obviously not come up with something useful we just have to do what the Thugs want [but don't want to vote for]. To these minds doing anything is better than doing nothing even when the actions that have been proposed are not much more than a transfer of funds to the wealthy.
As much as I didn’t like the bailout bill that lost on Monday, I do recognize that we must do something. For those screaming, “NO! Let them fail!” that’s all well and good for you, but the ramifications are far-reaching. How many of you own small business that rely on lines of credit to pay employees? Or are you employed by a small business owner who uses LOCs? How many of you have children who need a student loan to go to college? How many want to buy your first home or sell the one you have before it’s foreclosed upon? All of these very common scenarios require loans and lending is at a standstill right now. Not to mention that lack of confidence in our fiscal situation is causing financial worries all over the world. It’s a poison pill, but I believe we HAVE to do it, or suffer the same scenarios that our parents and grandparents did during the Great Depression.

I said yesterday that I hope that the Democrats use this opportunity to do a progressive version of the Shock Doctrine (i.e., pushing for legislation that rather than works against individuals’ interests works for them), a concept that Digby agrees with me on. “Progressive Shock Doctrine”

In other words, I would like our inept Congress to do something intelligent for a change, but I'll accept anything the Thugs throw at me. Just don't scare me anymore. Please!