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,

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,
... 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,

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,
[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,

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 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 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
... [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,

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,

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,

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,

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 in post 'A positive aspect of the Bush legacy' by Glenn Greenwald, Unclaimed Territory,

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,
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."

Rahm Emanuel?

I posted Rahm Emanuel needs to go ... in March of last year.

I realize that someone who is lousy in one job can be outstanding in another. Sometimes it works out that way if one doesn't use Bush the Destroyer's administration as a model.

Instead of blocking and fouling legislation as a Congress Critter, ethically challenged Rahm Emanuel will be Obama's Chief of Staff.

There must be some irony in there somewhere ...

Saturday, November 8, 2008

McClatchy and Steven Thomma are at it again ...

Clowns like Thomma now want us to believe that even though Obama won, he didn't, you see, really, really win, like in WIN. Evidently these mindless robots believe that only Thugs WIN, even when they cheat [specially when they cheat].

If you are willing to believe these corporate controlled clowns [that McClatchy has been giving much space to since Obama's WIN then you will believe that in winning Democrats actually lose and should follow the direction of these overpaid corporate controlled clowns.
Barack Obama didn't get all the way there Tuesday — not yet anyway.

He won the presidency, to be sure, in a solid victory that also saw his Democratic Party add to its majorities in the House of Representatives and the Senate.

However, he fell short ...
Oh gee, he just got elected to be President of the United States of America, still the most powerful nation in the world even after White House resident Bush the Destroyer, with full corporate clown approval, spent 8 years attempting to tear the country apart brick by brick.

He just got elected to be President of the United States of America but he didn't really win and he better not do what the electorate expected when they voted for him. Oh, no, instead he should believe that he didn't really win and he should follow in the footsteps of the most hated White House resident in US history, George W. Bush, President of the Corporate States of America.

Here's another gem from the McClatchy/Thomma article: "The test for Obama, then, will be whether he can increase his support among his base while making inroads into those who are still suspicious of him if not hostile ...". Wonder if Thomma was similarly worried about Bush's lack of support with the populace. Probably not. After all, the corporate backed hacks all backed whatever Bush did. That was enough. Now their job is to get an Obama administration to toe the line to their corporate drum beat.

Democrats, specially in Congress, have not been very quick to understand that catering to the Corporate powers at the expense of the populace makes them very, very unpopular with the voters. It's actually a betrayal of the voters and of their oath of office. I hope Obama understands this.

Today's QUOTES:
... Those who defend or legitimize indecent policies with civility are still indecent. --Various matters by Glenn Greenwald at Unclaimed Territory,

Friday, November 7, 2008

Worse and worser ...

Gurk! ZIRP! by Krugman: The unemployment rate has now risen more than 2 percentage points from its pre-recession low. In 1990-1992 the unemployment rate rose 2.6 percentage points. Given what’s happening to retail sales, manufacturing, and so on, it’s now a certainty that unemployment has a lot further to rise. So the “worst recession in 25 years” thing is now baked in. The only question is whether we hit “worst slump since the Great Depression” territory.
Goldman forecasting biggest rise in joblessness since WWII
Thanks BushCo, it's been loverly ...

Ah, bipartisanship ...

As the corporate hacks in the media are insisting that Democrats must be bipartisan because they, the all-knowing media hacks, know how the governed should think, the Republicans are preparing for war:
Rep. Roy Blunt, the House of Representatives' second-ranking Republican, stepped down from his leadership post Thursday as the House GOP moved quickly to reposition itself as more conservative, unified and eager to fight Democrats in the Obama era.
Notice there is no call for the Republicans to be bipartisan. Whether in the majority or not the Dems are advised by the corporate media to be bipartisan and govern as the corporate establishment wishes. It the Thugs are in the majority no one expects them to do other than ignore the other party, the country and the world except where they can figure out how to corrupt, fleece or destroy it. If the Thugs are not in the majority no one suggest they should work with the other party for the good of the country. What a joke that would be! No. All out war is their motto and the corporate media hacks will ride the resulting political roller coaster for fun and profit.

More Az Daily Star avoidance ...

The Star has an editorial called Thorns & Flowers --A roundup of actions good and bad

Each flower is awarded to a specific entity. The Tucson City Council. The parishioners at Holy Family Catholic Church.

But the thorn? The thorn is awarded to the "toll that the bad economy, and the housing downturn in particular, is having on our community." Bad 'toll.'

I can see why the Arizona Daily Star would not address the mistaken economic philosophies of Republicans as the Republicans just won a majority in the Arizona legislature. My guess is that Arizona has a lot more bad 'tolls' on the way.

Scarpinato, the transcriber ...

... or the common journalist pretender who's real goal is a passive aggressive attack. Whatever the case Daniel Scarpinato does not elicit much information in Governor won't talk about the Cabinet does he?

But really were these questions meant to acquire information or to put Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano on the defensive:
  • Does working on the transition team conflict with negotiating the budget?
  • How does uncertainty about leaving for a Cabinet position affect those negotiations?
I wonder what a transcript would show about the rest of Scarpinato's questions.

Today's QUOTES:

... News outlets are little tiny cogs in giant corporate machines whose business interests far outweigh ratings and news revenue, much less truth and objectivity. GE (NBC) is a defense contractor which benefits from endless war; Viacom (CBS) is a vast media empire which requires lax ownership rules to stay together; News Corp. (Fox) is another vast media empire, and (bonus!) is owned by a right-wing loon.

In short, Republican rule is far more profitable to the media's parent companies than the best and most exciting news programming on Earth could ever be, so that's what they strive for. Their primary objective is not good journalism, not even ratings, but simply to do all they can to get Republicans elected... without making it too obvious.

That's why their relationship with the right-wing "Liberal bias!" screamers isn't really adversarial at all - it's symbiotic. Those accusations provide valuable cover, so that whenever the media get busted shilling for Republicans, they just chuckle with mock exasperation and say that they're getting it from both sides, so they must be doing their job.
--Elephant Pimples by Eli at firedoglake

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Right, thanks for the lies and the hate, McCain ...

The Arizona Daily Star shows its complete lack of integrity, again. The press have lied to us for decades about McCain and now they thank him for making nice after he loses:
Without bitterness or animosity, McCain stressed the need to move beyond the election and work together to get the country moving again.
McCain, like Lieberman and all the Thugs, know they can do any and every despicable act and their media enablers will still sing their praises.

Today's QUOTES:

George Bush is the most morally slimy and horrifying incompetent President modern industrial America has ever seen, everyone knows that, but the point is that he never could have achieved such lofty status without Congress. If Bush is the worst of all time how can this Congress be rated far behind, even with our Party in alleged control? It can’t be, that is the reality we live this glorious American day.
--paradox, The Left Coaster

Intimidation vs lobbying ...

I wonder if intimidate is a direct quote of what Joe Trippi said or if it was McClatchy's Frank Greve who selected the word intimidate over the word lobby? Wonder if Grevie would suggest that corporate lobbyists throwing around lots of money are trying to intimidate Congress?

Joe Trippi, the Internet politics guru whose computer geeks made Howard Dean a contender in 2004 and who went on to design Obama's socially networked campaign machine, offers a provocative and educated guess.

Trippi predicted that Obama would use his forces, first and foremost, to intimidate congressional foes of his agenda, rally his allies and forge "one of the most powerful presidencies in American history."

Money lobbies. Masses of voters intimidate.

Intimidate: frighten, menace, terrify, scare, terrorize, cow, dragoon, subdue; threaten, browbeat, bully, pressure, harass, harry, hassle, hound, torment, tyrannize, persecute; informal lean on, push around, bulldoze, railroad, twist someone's arm, strong-arm.

Lobby: 1) seek to influence, try to persuade, bring pressure to bear on, importune, sway; petition, solicit, appeal to, pressurize. And 2) campaign for, crusade for, press for, push for, ask for, call for, demand; promote, advocate, champion.

Yesterdays' QUOTES ...

... the sunshine-state Republicans have nominated an unrepentant torturer as their candidate for Congress. They view his readiness to torture an innocent Iraqi not as a source of shame, but as his prime qualification for office. This is American conservatism in the dying days of Bush – and it points out the direction that Sarah Palin would like to take it in 2012.

It's the unspeakable solution to "the unsolved riddle of social justice." It's the unmentionable "ultimate solution" to the problem of full employment. It's the unutterable "preliminary condition without which all further attempts at improvement and emancipation must prove abortive."

Our alien visitor finds all this extremely fascinating. It just pointed to me how this approach is in direct conflict with the fact that 50.7% of all Americans are female. Mostly earthlings think that having one woman on a committee or a couple of women in a movie or television show is plenty! A movie which reflects that 50.7% frequency from real life is at risk for being labeled a chick flick, something for women only. A movie with 100% male cast has a fairly good chance of being seen as mainstream unless it's about porn.

Curious stuff. Now for the odd paradox of extreme visibility/invisibility: Because women are still often seen as Others, one or two representatives from that group both suffice AND draw our attention! This means that most women are invisible as people, but that the women in the public eye are extremely visible as spoonfuls of that amorphous substance called womanhood.

... In other words, it was the very embodiment of Glorious Beltway "bipartisan" foreign policy tribunals -- numerous hard-core, right-wing ideologues sprinkled with a couple of like-minded right-wing Democrats and a neutral establishment technocrat or two, all endorsing a pre-ordained, flagrantly extremist, war-loving policy which is then deemed "the harmonious mainstream Center" which no Serious Person opposes.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Hypocrisy, stupidity or ignorance?

Or all of the above?

Isn't it always the way that when bigots are confronted with their actions they claim they are being discriminated against.

It's called hypocrisy, but it's unlikely that the people who involve themselves in the persecution of gays have the capacity to understand such issues. They just know they want to enshrine their beliefs in the law. Being free to follow their beliefs is not enough. They want everyone to suffer their hatred.

Monday, November 3, 2008

The Mormon Church deserved this ad ...

[via C&L]

I don't know why LDS'ers decided to make enemies of those of us who don't agree with them on important life style issues, but they have. As the video makes clear if the LDS'ers will go after gays like this they will go after the rest of us also.

If they should succeed in trampling on the rights of gays then women will be next. After that what would they choose to do? Turn themselves into the FLDS?

I used to respectfully disagree with Mormons, even admired some aspects of their community. But now they have chosen to be an enemy of my rights as an individual and therefore of me. It was their choice, not mine.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Tucson 'quietly?' makes city even more unlivable ...

Mortgage problems? Employment problems? Not to worry. Cut service for thems that need them.

City quietly cuts services used by many residents

Next month Tucson City Council members will start discussing what public programs they're willing to sacrifice to make up for a looming $51 million budget shortfall. They told City Manager Mike Hein to bring them suggestions by then.
But even before that public discussion, city departments have started quietly cutting services and eliminating part-time and seasonal workers.
The cuts are not part of the $10 million Hein told the council it needs to slash, but are listed in city budget memos as departmental cuts — although many are services residents use daily, not administrative belt tightening.
These change apparently include the following [the article is rather sketchy and of the he said/he said variety]:
  • shutting down most year-round swimming pools for the winter, closing recreation centers on weekends and cutting hours on weekdays.
  • elimination of the free Downtown shuttle
  • stop providing Parks Dept staff workers for distributing food from the Community Food Bank
I would like to know where the money is going. Our Tucson sales tax is horrendous. My property tax goes up significantly every year. Wages are depressed. But services are constantly cut back or charged for or both.

The only thing Tucson seems to be able to do is cater to the real estate industry and build highways with artwork along the edges.

The only way to view the US is from inside an automobile (or be rich enough to have a house on a hill)? There are cities in this world that are a pleasure to be in, but few of them are in the US.

Oh, we do still have some beautiful National Forests, even after eight years of Bush. But if McCain should win we probably won't have those for long either.

My sentiments exactly ...

From John W. Dean:
Frankly, the fact that the pre-election polls are close - after eight years of authoritarian leadership from Bush and Cheney, and given its disastrous results - shows that many Americans either do not realize where a McCain/Palin presidency might take us, or they are happy to go there. Frankly, it scares the hell out of me, for there is only one way to deal with these conservative zealots: Keep them out of power.
And the kicker:
If Obama is rejected on November 4th for another authoritarian conservative like McCain, I must ask if Americans are sufficiently intelligent to competently govern themselves. ...
Obama doesn't inspire me as he does so many others, but he's a rational human being where McCain is [from Dean's list]:
  • dominating
  • opposes equality
  • desirous of personal power
  • amoral
  • intimidating and bullying
  • vengeful
  • pitiless
  • exploitive
  • manipulative
  • dishonest
  • cheats to win
  • mean-spirited
  • militant
  • nationalistic
  • tells others what they want to hear
  • takes advantage of "suckers"
  • specializes in creating false images to sell self
Two items that are not on the list that also apply to McCain is that he is often irrational and has shown himself to be neither intelligent nor informed. This may be what television has done to us. Turned us into a country that expects a Hollywood 'B' level performer for President. Plenty of action, lights and drama. But a complete disregard from media and citizen alike for substance, information and facts.

That there is even any question, given the facts available about these two individuals, which would be better as president boggles the mind. The closeness of the polls certainly makes one question the country's sanity and intelligence as a whole. But the entire Bush years have shown how little 'representative' government is left in this country.