Monday, August 31, 2009

Monkeys and children ...

Perhaps we shouldn't be so quick to assume that a darkly colored baby doll with the name Lil' Monkey' is automatically racist.

I lived in Colombia for three years as a child and remember people coming up to me to look at (and touch) my very, very blond hair (which, alas, didn't last into adulthood). Que mono they would say. A mono is a monkey and can also be used to mean 'cute.' And don't tell me we don't ever ever use the term 'you little monkey' when speaking to a child without meaning anything to do with skin color or racial background.

Some truths are so simple ...

Why can't the US media figure them out?

One of the few who can, Dan Froomkin, writes:
... News articles about Cheney should routinely reminded readers of some of the things he said in the run-up to war in Iraq. Like, for instance: "Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction." By any reasonable standard, this man's credibility was shot a long time ago. [from Cheney Still Manipulating People -- Now In Public]
Wonder if there's a special Hell for the media scum. Like cockroaches in the desert, they seem to multiply by feeding on garbage.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Kidnapping of others just hunky-dory with Obama, just like with Bush ...

The ACLU reports:
Rendition Program to Continue Under Obama’s Watch

On Monday, the Obama administration made the disappointing announcement that it would continue the Bush administration practice rendition -- the practice of kidnapping individuals suspected of terrorism and rendering them to other countries to be detained or interrogated -- but that it will monitor all cases to ensure that suspects are not mistreated. [excerpted from a newsletter from the ACLU]
Kidnapping is not mistreatment? How nuts has our country become? Do we think it is OK for other countries to kidnap our citizens? I don't think so.

Maybe there's some kind of viral infection in the White House attacking the residents. Obama seems more and more like Bush. Though Obama is no where as ignorant as Bush, he appears to be attempting to compete with Bush's stupidities. A very sad showing is our 'change' President. Evidently he is so owned by the Corporate Robber Barons that he will prostitute himself even to the point of stupidity.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Interesting, didn't this idea come up the last time Dems had the majority in Congress? ...

Are Congressional Term Limits The Answer?
I think term limits should be imposed by the voters and not by some arbitrary measure just when Democrats are in the majority.

Rancid Reid ...

has "got a lot of work to do and must spend the next few months proving to Nevadans he is one of them."
Oh, boy. Does that mean he's going to be a worse Democratic Senator and leader than usual?

More political gaming? ...

Is The White House Ready To Ditch Republicans And Turn to Reconciliation?
They noticed, did they?
After fruitlessly seeking a bipartisan compromise on health care reform for months, the White House seems to have finally realized that Republicans have no interest in compromising and that progressives are fed up with making nice. Now, the administration is preparing to go it alone, even if that means passing reform on a straight party-line vote.
Or are they just intimating that they noticed?
White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, and even President Obama himself have all suggested that they don't think the GOP is serious about reaching a bipartisan health care reform compromise ...
Suggested? Like in propose, indicate, hint, imply? Gee, when the prez and ol'Rahm get ahold of an idea the recognition of which should cause them to take action they really go all out, don't they. Just gnaw at that bone for a while, guys. Maybe you'll get down to the marrow.

As far as I can tell the article is written straight, yet it is pure comedy:
The rumblings are unmistakable. What remains to be seen is how the GOP responds to the threat and, if they don't respond to Obama's liking, whether the Democrats will carry out the threat.
Rumblings? Threat? Oooooh how nicey nice Obama and Rahm-boy are. They're giving the Thugs another chance to ruin health care for the nation. Oh, you two are just so sweet.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Yesterdays' quotes ...

Today's QUOTES:

So we had the shock, it created an opportunity, we knew what needed to be done, we won the elections and progressives were ready. But in every one of these cases, the effort was cut off at the knees by a White House that was either too cautious, too unwilling to fight, or really didn't believe in what needed to be done. -- NN09 Panel: How to Waste a Crisis by Scarecrow,

Out of the mouths of foreigners: "what kind of people don't want everyone to have health care?"
-- We're Number ... 10? by digby, Hullabaloo

And just so it's clear: using the threat of terrorism to try to achieve political goals is, you know, what terrorists do. -- Glenn Greenwald quoting Atrio
Of course, all bets are off when 'we' do anything. 'Our' motives, not to mention our bombs, make all we do absolutely appropriate, if not always pleasing. --gail

Balance ...

It is right balance of ideals as stated by Conservative and Liberal positions that is lacking? Could be. Read Conservative vs Liberal

Excerpt on the issue of the US education system (or lack thereof):
The problem arises because conservatives do not have a position on education that drives us to be more productive as people. Conservatives do not argue that we need to be better in vocational training. And they argue against the utility of science. This is strictly medieval thinking. And it threatens to eliminate the middle classes. The problem of inferior education also arises because liberals tend to undervalue the social, political, and cultural values and tools of thought that are rightly taught in liberal arts colleges, in high schools, and in elementary schools. [emphasis added]

Wonder what Obama is reading ...

Is Obama prepared to consider anything beyond being obsequious to the corporations that now appear to absolutely control both the US Congress and the White House?

Obama could read and, perhaps, ponder articles such as this: The Paranoid Style in American Politics Revisited

The article's conclusion:
... there is a long and ignoble tradition of racist reactionaries taking the law into their own hands when the government fails to maintain their desired racial state. These same unregulated militias, for that is what is what they were, that were able to merge their racial agenda into anti-bolshevist crusades, fighting against the "yellow peril", union busting, or creating a Juan Crow system in Georgia are reemerging. The only difference that I can see is that this time their rhetoric is wrapped in the language of the American constitution and of the necessity of resisting tyranny. An increasingly hard-up working and middle class who were already living in terror of dislocation and poverty are now seeing threats to their well-being amplified by recession. The American dream (and reality) for such people was expressed through ownership of property. However meagre their actual possessions may be those possessions are theirs. And this, I think, rather than greed, is what fueled the "conspicuous consumption" model of post-World War II America. Anything that smacks of "socialism" really does seem to be both alien and menacing to such people. Abram and people like her desperately want to believe that they can maintain the lifestyle they've been taught they are entitled to so long as they maintain a punishing work schedule and unsustainable debt levels. As I watched the Abram video I was struck by her sincerity. She really does believe that a lifestyle that has gutted America's future is not only sustainable but that there is some sort of "free market" that can only exist under a strict construction of the American constitution. The current multiple crises in America are being brought about by treasonous, evil, and powerful others inimical to America and all it stands for and intent upon its "systematic dismantling". Abram and the town hall protesters are a symptom of something very dangerous of a long tradition of extreme right wing American militancy that, should it be allowed to once again flourish unchecked, will make the misdeeds of Timothy McVeigh pale into insignificance. [emphasis added]
These people were creepily asleep under George W. Bush. Is Barack Obama oblivious of where we may be headed. Does he think he's only dealing with the politics of ignore the Lefties and satisfy the Robber Barons. It's become increasing clear that Obama never intended to even try to satisfy his mandate to work for the people of this country. The people who elected him will desert him and the rest, including his Robber Baron friends most likely, will destroy his Presidency.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Not credible ...

Gibbs: Obama Willing To Be One-Term President To Get Health Care, 'Important Things' Done
Really, if Obama thought this way he would be acting differently than he is. Obama may think he means what he says (even assuming he's really said something like this) but his actions are not those of someone working to keep as many of his promises as he can nor of someone committed to getting the most done for the people of this nation. Obama's actions are those of someone catering to the same people, interests and corporations that George W. Bush catered to. Obama is working for a very, very, very miniscule portion of the population. He has jettisoned the Constitution, justice, progressive values, individual rights, the rule of law, government openness, etc just like Bush did.

Exactly what are those things that Obama considers important?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The penchant of Dem Leaders to scratch and claw at their progressive supporters confuses me ...

In fact I begin to wonder about Obama's comprehension. He actually doesn't appear to think he had to really deliver on anything substantive. Though he has shown in his speeches a thorough understanding of issues he does not appear to be interested in instituting any changes except those that cater to the very same people and corporations that Bush catered to.

Obama is not governing for the people. I suppose he thinks he can keep them satisfied with his pied-piper spiel and that all he has to do is concentrate on slapping down a few of what he considers his unimportant lefty supporters while ingratiating himself with Republicans and the Blue Curs all the while ignoring the right wing fanatics who have crawled back out of the woodwork.

This is not a plan ... catering to those that despise you while at the same time ensuring that those who support you will also end up despising you. No, this is not a plan.

Here's a post at Hullabaloo which says it all much better: Playing With Fire

Monday, August 17, 2009

Such accomplishments ...

It's soooooo good to see so many of Rancid Reed's accomplishments enumerated in one place thanks to Teddy Partridge at
Harry Reid is the man who let the wrong FISA bill come to the floor of the Senate in 2008 after ignoring Chris Dodd's legislative hold. Harry Reid is the man who let Joe Lieberman keep his committee chair gavel -- and how many investigations have come out of that committee that don't have Claire McCaskill's name on them? Harry Reid is the man who allows Max Baucus to gut health reform. Harry Reid is is the man who has bottled up cap-and-trade in the United States Senate. Harry Reid is the man who let Employee Free Choice die, in a Senate with more Democrats than we've had in a generation. Harry Reid is the man who made the Senate a laughingstock over seating Illinois's Roland Burris. Harry Reid is the man who killed mortgage cramdown and compensation limitations. Harry Reid is the man letting the Senate destroy Ted Kennedy's health care reform legacy. Harry Reid is the man who honors the hold on Dawn Johnsen's nomination to head OLC at Eric Holder's Justice Department. Harry Reid is the man who honors Tom Coburn's omnibus holds on legislation. Harry Reid is the man who couldn't protect his predecessor's Cabinet nomination on behalf of a newly elected President.

It's all Rahm's fault ...

emptywheel writes:

Back when Obama picked Rahm, I grudgingly accepted it. If, as seemed to be the plan, Obama picked Rahm because of his perceived ability to get things done legislatively, it at least signaled an intent to avoid the legislative problems Clinton had. Turns out, though (and I guess this was predictable), Rahm brought a legislative strategy that might be appropriate for 2004, but is a disaster given the majorities we have in 2009. And then Rahm failed to even effectively implement that outdated legislative strategy (someone at the surreal midget bar experience--someone who has a lot of respect for Rahm--called it "political malpractice").

And in exchange for this political malpractice, a tight, professional campaign turned literally overnight into a leaky sieve.

Within short order after his selection, Rahm was working hard to jerry-rig his replacement to make it easy for him to swoop back into the House in two years to take away Pelosi's gavel. As a result, Greg Craig was forced to jump through some ill-advised hoops to distract the press from Rahm's conversations with Rod Blagojevich; you can be sure Rahm's conversations with Blago will continue to be a liability as that case gets closer to trial.

But, we were promised, Rahm would get us health care. What that really meant though is that we had to clear the political landscape to give Rahm his opportunity to get us health care. And instead of doing the legislative work to get that done, Rahm and the loathsome Jim Messina have been trying to cut deals with big health care corporations to turn this into a welfare program for them. As even that effort is beginning to go south, Rahm has (predictably) already switched into scapegoat mode, trying to blame his utter failure on health care on someone else.

Against that background, consider again the parallel scapegoating directed at Greg Craig and Eric Holder for their efforts to come clean on torture.

I have no doubt about Rahm Emanuel's culpability. But Rahm isn't President and just what has the President been doing all this time about one of his MAJOR campaign promises? Apparently either 1) agreeing with Rahm or 2) ignoring what Rahm was doing or 3) refusing to believe his 'lying' eyes. Irrespective of what his motivations were to allow Rahm to destroy all progress, Barack Obama has done just that. To concentrate on Emanuel alone is to relegate Obama to the status of George W. Bush, an immature, ignorant, arrogant bully. Even with Obama's apparent determination to undermine everything he was elected to do, Obama does not deserve to be relegated to the status of Bush. Give credit where credit is due. The outcomes which we deem as failures, many of which have been stage managed by Emanuel, must be attributed to Obama. Obama has done nothing to change Emanuels behavior. Either Obama wanted the outcome or he didn't. Either way it's Obama's doing and he should get the credit. As should Emanuel, but of course we know Emanuel never had a good outcome, that is good for the citizens of this country, in mind. What Obama thinks is less clear. But what Obama does is very clear. US President Barack Obama let Emanuel do his worst.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Weasel ...

The End of the Public Option?

The everyday horror show of US 'Law' Enforcement ...

Mom in minivan tasered twice in Salina traffic stop; camera captures deputy's rough roadside arrest (VIDEO)
But that's what current-day Americans like, isn't it? The latest reality show, live, curbside.

Yesterdays' quotes ...

Today's QUOTES:

Good advice that Obama and his crew will not take:
10) Don't negotiate from the middle, damn it. Ask for the moon and stars, and work your way toward the middle, or risk people thinking you're a corporatist tool. (Ahem.) -- Ten Things Obama Did Wrong on Health-Care Reform by Susie Madrak, Crooks and Liars

... In their quest to protect sources, be "professional," "balanced" and maintain "objectivity" they've created a style that's often indecipherable to the reader. ... -- Matt Taibbi Is Shrill by digby, Hullabaloo
Ah, are you suggesting that that wasn't their purpose in being so obtuse and b o r i n g?

... Fox News, by successfully blackmailing GE, has sent a message. And the rest of the corporate owned media have undoubtedly received it. Don't cross them --- or their agenda --- because there will be hell to pay. With the media in financial turmoil, that's a powerful message indeed. -- He said/She said/Shut Up by digby, Hullabaloo
And don't expect any reasonable action from the political sector, they are already in terror of their personal prosperity above all else. The nation can be damned rather than that they should loose one piece of gold.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Sigh ...

The more ignorant Americans become --that is US Citizens, not necessarily the citizens of the other countries that comprise the North, South and Central Americas-- the more proud and arrogant we seem. Or perhaps it's the pride and arrogance without anything but military might to back it up. Hitler's Germany, anyone? They lost!

Apparently Arizona --in the wake of John McCain's excruciatingly embarrassing campaign and the continuing journey of the Republican Party into seriously crazy territory-- has become even more Republican. I think that's what this map suggests. In a rational world that could not possibly happen.

Now I get to watch a significant number of my age group --I'm 67-- behave like seriously irrational and not at all mature human beings by shouting down any attempt to provide government mandated health coverage for all because ... well, the because is a little bewildering as it seems at least partly based on some concept that the government should not be ensuring the health care of the populace --after all the insurance companies are quite willing to deny care whenever needed. Just be sure not to suggest that our government sponsored and mandated Medicare for those 65 and over is not put in jeopardy. This latter sentiment I wholeheartedly agree with, by the way, I just also think everyone in the US should have the same system.

If I can find some unpolluted sand far from the rising oceans I may consider emulating an ostrich, though I gather the "belief that ostriches bury their heads in the sand if pursued" is just a myth. Too bad ...

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Yesterdays' quotes ...

Today's QUOTES:

Structurally, this is what bipartisanship means. The tyranny of tiny states and the exclusion of non-white concerns.

This is the structural racism built into a Constitution two hundred years ago to exclude the voting power of slaves and to this day privileges the power of a handful of small, mostly white states to undermine the will of the majority in our nation. -- The Tyranny of the Tiny White States by Nathan Newman, Talking Points Memo

Of course, the Democrats are well compensated for their willingness to be the goats so perhaps that makes the bitter medicine go down a little easier. They play the same role over and over so it's a little hard to believe they aren't aware of what they're doing. -- Reform By Bean Counting by digby, Hullabaloo

... According to Christian doctrine, Jesus' suffering redeemed him and the world - but it's not the Romans who Christians are supposed to emulate in the story! ... -- I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream by Baocchio, Vagabond Scholar

So now GE is using its control of NBC and MSNBC to ensure that there is no more reporting by Fox of its business activities in Iran or other embarrassing corporate activities, while News Corp. is ensuring that the lies spewed regularly by its top-rated commodity on Fox News are no longer reported by MSNBC. ... -- GE's silencing of Olbermann and MSNBC's sleazy use of Richard Wolffe by Glenn Greenwald,