Tell me you’ve stopped laughing long enough to read what his instructions are.
Bush hits Obama on foreign policy
WASHINGTON — Setting aside his stated reluctance to enter the presidential campaign, President Bush on Thursday strongly criticized Barack Obama’s expressed readiness to meet with foreign leaders cast as tyrants, warning that such discussions “can be extremely counterproductive” and “send the wrong signal.”
He also challenged Democrats’ skepticism about the North American Free Trade Agreement, and reminded Obama that Al Qaeda has been seeking to establish a base in Iraq “for the past four years.”
I don’t intend to counter every lie and obfuscation he blathers with every open lip move. His rhetoric is known for what it is… lies, deceit, untrustworthy bullshit. There are a few people in my life that I can say one would be safe with doing exactly 180 degrees different than their instruction. This idiot, W, is one of them.
If this man says something or instructs someone on something, your safest bet is that exactly opposite is most prudent.
Since he is only speaking to the most rabid 19%ers, anyway, it is meaningless.
Rednecks, do you still feel Bush has any credibility at all?
Bush has long objected to talking with adversaries — notably from Cuba, Iran and North Korea. Asked why such talks, without preconditions, would be wrong, he said they would “give great status to those who have suppressed human rights and human dignity.”
The last sentence strips this nincompoop of any and all credibility. We are talking about the man who is suppressing Americans human rights and dignity. This man is the pot calling the kettle black. He is a total failure and embarrassment to this country.
By God, America is Number One at something afterall.
US prison numbers reach record high
More than one per cent of US adults are serving prison sentences, higher than any other country in the world, according to a new report.
The US penal system held more than 2.3 million adults at the start of the year, the Pew Centre on the States said on Thursday.
More populous China was ranked second with 1.5 million behind bars, while Russia was third with 890,000.
“Beyond the sheer number of inmates, America also is the global leader in the rate at which it incarcerates its citizenry, outpacing nations like South Africa and Iran,” the report said.
The report said growth in prison numbers had not been driven by a similar increase in crime rates or a corresponding increase in the nation’s population.
“Rather, it flows principally from a wave of policy choices that are sending more lawbreakers to prison and, through the popular ‘three-strikes’ measures and other sentencing enhancements, keeping them there longer,” it said.
US states spent more than $44bn on corrections last year, the report said, compared with $10.6bn in 1987.
Ryan King of the Sentencing Project, a US prison reform group, told Al Jazeera that many of those currently incarcerated were serving sentences for minor offences or were drug users.
“We are using tens of billions of dollars of our domestic resources to incarcerate individuals who would be much better off either under community supervision or in a public health treatment programme.”
The report said that the national prison population had almost tripled between 1987 and 2007.
While one in 106 adult white men are incarcerated, one in 36 Hispanics and one in 15 African-Americans are behind bars.
Young black men
Younger black men fare even worse, with one in nine African-Americans ages 20 to 34 held behind bars.
King said this was the case because US law-enforcement agencies chose to enforce drug laws more strictly among African-Americans.
“African-Americans are more likely to be arrested because law enforcement is centred in those communities.”
While men are still 10 times more likely to be incarcerated than women, the female penal population is “burgeoning at a far brisker pace”, the study said.
Some states, such as Texas and Kansas, had slowed their prison population growth, with more use of community supervision for lower-risk offenders and use of sentences other prison.
Are you proud to be an American, yet?
UPDATE from dday at Hullabaloo (I didn’t see this before I posted):
This, incidentally, is one area in which Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius, a Democrat, has been so effective. Getting the Kansas legislature to move in this direction must have been a monumental task.
We desperately need a more progressive prison policy that recognizes the actual intention of imprisonment, to rehabilitate and return the jailed back to society with opportunities for advancement. Locking the problem offenders away for longer and longer hasn’t worked. Sentencing that focuses on treatment, and which pairs tougher sentences to actual risk, is far preferable. Chris Bowers calls this one of the untouchable symptoms that lawmakers have to this point been loath to challenge. But the cost has become too high to ignore. I think it’s an area where a more transformational politics would be a godsend.
Exxon suxx. McCain duxx
By Greg Palast
27 February 2008. Nineteen goddamn years is enough. I’m sorry if you don’t like my language, but when I think about what they did to Paul Kompkoff, I’m in no mood to nicey-nice words.
Next month marks 19 years since the Exxon Valdez dumped its load of crude oil across the Prince William Sound, Alaska. A big gooey load of this crude spilled over the lands of the Chenega Natives. Paul Kompkoff was a seal-hunter for the village. That is, until Exxon’s ship killed the seal and poisoned the rest of Chenega’s food supply.
While cameras rolled, Exxon executives promised they’d compensate everyone. Today, before the US Supreme Court, the big oil company’s lawyers argued that they shouldn’t have to pay Paul or other fishermen the damages ordered by the courts.
They can’t pay Paul anyway. He’s dead.
That was part of Exxon’s plan. They told me that. In 1990 and 1991, I worked for the Chenega and Chugach Natives of Alaska on trying to get Exxon to pay up to save the remote villages of the Sound. Exxon’s response was, “We can hold out in court until you’re all dead.”
Nice guys. But, hell, they were right, weren’t they?
But Exxon didn’t do it alone. They had enablers. One was a failed oil driller named “Dubya.” Exxon was the largest contributor to George W. Bush’s political career after Enron. They were a team, Exxon and Enron. The Chairman of Enron, Ken Lay, prior to his felony convictions, funded a group called Texans for Law Suit Reform. The idea was to prevent Natives, consumers and defrauded stockholders from suing felonious corporations and their chiefs.
When George went to Washington, Enron and Exxon got their golden pass in the appointment of Chief Justice John Roberts. Today, as the court heard Exxon’s latest stall, Roberts said, in defense of Exxon’s behavior in Alaska, “What more can a corporation do?”
The answer, Your Honor, is plenty.
For starters, Mr. Roberts, Exxon could have turned on the radar. What? On the night the Exxon Valdez smacked into Bligh Reef, the Raycas radar system was turned off. Exxon shipping honchos decided it was too expensive to maintain it and train their navigators to use it. So, the inexperienced third mate at the wheel was driving the supertanker by eyeball, Christopher Columbus style. I kid you not.
Here’s what else this poor ‘widdle corporation could do: stop lying.
On the night of March 24, 1989, the Exxon Valdez was not even supposed to leave harbor.
If a tanker busts open, that doesn’t have to mean a thousand miles of shoreline gets slimed – so long as oil-slick containment equipment is in place.
On the night of March 24, 1989, the Exxon Valdez was not supposed have left port. No tanker can unless a spill containment barge is operating nearby. That night, the barge was in dry-dock, locked under ice. Exxon kept that fact hidden, concealing the truth even after the tanker grounded. An Exxon official radioed the emergency crew, “Barge is on its way.”
Paul’s gone – buried with Exxon’s promises. But the oil’s still there. Go out to Chenega lands today. At Sleepy Bay, kick over some gravel and it will smell like a gas station.
What the heck does this have to do with John McCain? The Senator is what I’d call a ‘Tort Tart.’ Ken Lay’s “Law Suit Reform” posse was one of the fronts used by a gaggle of corporate lobbyists waging war on your day in court. Their rallying cry is ‘Tort Reform,’ by which they mean they want to take away the God-given right of any American, rich or poor, to sue the bastards who crush your child’s skull through product negligence, make your heart explode with a faulty medical device, siphon off your pension funds, or poison your food supply with spilled oil.
Now, all of the Democratic candidates have seen through this ‘tort reform’ con – and so did a Senator named McCain who, in 2001, for example, voted for the Patients Bill of Rights allowing claims against butchers with scalpels. Then something happened to Senator McCain: the guy who stuck his neck out for litigants got his head chopped off when he ran for President in the Republican Party in 2000 for what one lobbyists’ website called McCain’s, “his go-it-alone moralism.”
So the Senator did what I call, The McCain Hunch. Again and again he grabbed his ankles and apologized to the K Street lobbyists, reversing his positions on, well, you name it. For example, in 2001, he said of Bush’s tax cuts, “I cannot in good conscience support a tax cut in which so many of the benefits go to the most fortunate among us at the expense of middle-class Americans.” Now, in bad conscience, the Senator vows to make these tax cuts permanent.
On “Tort Reform,” the about-face was dizzying. McCain voted to undermine his own 2001 Patients Bill of Rights with votes in 2005 to limit suits to enforce it. He then added his name to a bill that would have thrown sealhunter Kompkoff’s suit out of federal court.
In 2003, McCain voted against Bush’s Energy Plan, an industry oil-gasm. But this week, following Exxon’s report that it sucked in $40.6 billion in earnings last year, the largest profit haul in planetary history, McCain failed to join Clinton, Obama, most Democrats and some Republicans on a bill to require a teeny sliver of industry profit go to alternative energy sources. On oil independence, McCain is AWOL, missing in action.
Well, Paul, at least you were spared this.
I remember when I was on the investigation in Alaska, fishermen, bankrupted, utterly ruined – Kompkoff’s co-plaintiffs in the suit before the court – floated their soon-to-be repossessed boats into the tanker lanes with banners reading, “EXXON SUXX.” To which they could now add, about a one-time stand-up Senator: “McCain duxx.”
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There are two subjects that grab 75% of my attention when on line… politics and religion. I take special critical notation of the intermingling of the two, especially when it relates to how radical fundamentalist Christians have pronounced their ownership of the Republican Party and what that ownership has done to destroy the party to some extent.
One key focus for me has been the hypocritical aspect of how right wing America uses its “Christian Nation” self-identification, while endorsing things Christ would have NOTHING, whatsoever, to do with (if you actually read and understand His words… they are red in many Bibles… just a hint).
I had an argument with my dad a few years ago, in which he kept suggesting that the war we find ourselves in is really Islam against Christianity… and at the time, I couldn’t believe anyone in the administration would ever admit it out loud, whether true or not.
But everyone knows that the rule of thumb for judging where the administration’s ideology sets is by listening to any of the reTHUGilcan pundits, such as Coulter, Hannity, O’Reilley, Limbaugh, Savage, etc) and you realize that race and religious attacks are, indeed, their weapon of choice. Just listen and realize how the meme changed from Islam being a religion of peace (Bush’s earliest speeches) to everything being “radical Islamic fascism”, etc. They have slowly brainwashed much of America (with the help of the religious nutcases on “our” side) that this is the case.
However, the “Men of God” (Christian Leaders) that sidle up to the ReTHUGs preach and teach the very same hatred and idiotic dominance type things, with the only exception, they know that inciting violence is illegal. They avoid that, but their bullshit is just as idiotic and brain numbing as the “other side” (Islam).
Glenn Greenwaldaddresses the latest endorsement for McCain, the “Man-of-God” (Mr “Snapper”, himself), The Reverend, Pastor, Doctor, Monsignor John Hagee… the Rapture Man. He compares the attacks against Obama for the endorsement Mr Farrakhan gave him (unrequested) and the radicalness of Farrakhan’s brand of Islam and how the right (McCain) can embrace Hagee (even though he, too, is a radical “crazy”). For Hagee truly is a nutcase:
* All Muslims are programmed to kill and we can thus never negotiate with any of them. From an NPR interview Hagee gave to Terry Gross in 2006:
TG: If you use the Bible as the basis for policy, is there any room for compromise? And if you use the bible as the basis for policy, should Muslims use the Koran as the basis for their policy, and then again, what possible basis is there for compromise at that point?JH: There is really no room for compromise between radical Islam –
TG: I’m not talking about radical Islam. I’m just talking about Islam in general. JH: Well Islam in general — those who live by the Koran have a scriptural mandate to kill Christians and Jews.
* God caused Hurricane Katrina to wipe out New Orleans because it had a gay pride parade the week before and was filled with sexual sin. From the same interview:
JH: All hurricanes are acts of God, because God controls the heavens. I believe that New Orleans had a level of sin that was offensive to God, and they were recipients of the judgment of God for that.The newspaper carried the story in our local area, that was not carried nationally, that there was to be a homosexual parade there on the Monday that the Katrina came. And the promise of that parade was that it would was going to reach a level of sexuality never demonstrated before in any of the other gay pride parades.
So I believe that the judgment of God is a very real thing. I know there are people who demur from that, but I believe that the Bible teaches that when you violate the law of God, that God brings punishment sometimes before the Day of Judgment, and I believe that the Hurricane Katrina was, in fact, the judgment of God against the city of New Orleans.
* The End Times — Rapture — is imminent and the U.S. Government must do what it can to hasten it, which at minimum requires: (a) a war with Iran and (b) undying, absolute support for a unified Israel, including all Occupied Territories (hence, Joe Lieberman’s love affair with them). From Christian Palestinian Daoud Kuttab in The New York Times (h/t PZ Meyers):
A small minority of evangelical Christians have entered the Middle East political arena with some of the most un-Christian statements I have ever heard. . . . [Rev.] Hagee, a popular televangelist who leads the 18,000-member Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, ratcheted up his rhetoric this year with the publication of his book, “Jerusalem Countdown,” in which he argues that a confrontation with Iran is a necessary precondition for Armageddon (which will mean the death of most Jews, in his eyes) and the Second Coming of Christ. In the best-selling book, Hagee insists that the United States must join Israel in a preemptive military strike against Iran to fulfill God’s plan for both Israel and the West.
Do you rednecks understand what this guy is saying? In the name of the Christ?
Can you honestly believe that he is “better” than any radical Islamic Emam? How so? Bomb from airplanes are far worse than one strapped to a single person… maybe not as personal, but far more efficient. And gutless. And the height of hypocrisy.
The GOP has long been given a pass on courting the most warped and twisted religious figures around. George Bush spoke regularly with Pat Robertson — never once forced to “denounce” or “reject” him. In 2006, Rev. Hagee had a private meeting with uber-White House neocon (and convicted criminal) Elliot Abrams, who just happens to run Middle East policy in the Bush administration, and afterwards, Hagee gushed that he and Abrams (like he and Lieberman) shared similar views towards the Middle East: “we felt we were on the right track.”
Watching the media’s treatment of Farrakhan and Hagee, is it possible to imagine a more transparent, and grotesque, double standard? In the framework of the Russert-led establishment press, white evangelical Christians are, by definition, entitled to great respect no matter how radical, extreme and hateful their professed views are. These are, after all, religious Christians — People of Faith — and, as such, it is wrong, even bigoted, to suggest that they should be repudiated. There is nothing ever radical, hateful or dangerous about the views of white evangelical Christians like Hagee.
Of course Farrakhan is a nutcase. But he is virtually the same as the “Men of God” who flirt with the right. Worse, because they are protected by the media and the THUG party.
How come Tim Russert — in all the times he sits and chats with Lieberman, McCain and various high Bush officials — never reads all of the inflammatory, disgusting, crazed “Rapture-is-Coming/ All-Jews-will-Burn/ Kill-All-Muslims/ Hurricanes-are-Punishment-against-Gays” pronouncements from John Hagee and James Dobson and Pat Robertson and demand that John McCain and George Bush and Joe Lieberman “denounce” those views and “reject” their support? What’s the difference, exactly?
Glenn, the difference is obvious. Big Media is framing the election. And we are the dupes.
Now if I can just keep you away from Drudge.
From Zogby International:
Internet is the top source of news for nearly half of Americans; Survey finds two-thirds dissatisfied with the quality of journalism
Two thirds of Americans – 67% – believe traditional journalism is out of touch with what Americans want from their news, a new We Media/Zogby Interactive poll shows.
The survey also found that while most Americans (70%) think journalism is important to the quality of life in their communities, two thirds (64%) are dissatisfied with the quality of journalism in their communities.
Meanwhile, the online survey documented the shift away from traditional sources of news, such as newspapers and TV, to the Internet – most dramatically among so-called digital natives – people under 30 years old.
Nearly half of respondents (48%) said their primary source of news and information is the Internet, an increase from 40% who said the same a year ago. Younger adults were most likely to name the Internet as their top source – 55% of those age 18 to 29 say they get most of their news and information online, compared to 35% of those age 65 and older. These oldest adults are the only age group to favor a primary news source other than the Internet, with 38% of these seniors who said they get most of their news from television. Overall, 29% said television is their main source of news, while fewer said they turn to radio (11%) and newspapers (10%) for most of their news and information. Just 7% of those age 18 to 29 said they get most of their news from newspapers, while more than twice as many (17%) of those age 65 and older list newspapers as their top source of news and information.
If you need a tube, use the PC. The TV owns most of us…
Published on Wednesday, February 27, 2008 by Agence France Presse
Automated Killer Robots ‘Threat to Humanity’: Expert
Increasingly autonomous, gun-totting robots developed for warfare could easily fall into the hands of terrorists and may one day unleash a robot arms race, a top expert on artificial intelligence told AFP.
“They pose a threat to humanity,” said University of Sheffield professor Noel Sharkey ahead of a keynote address Wednesday before Britain’s Royal United Services Institute.
Intelligent machines deployed on battlefields around the world — from mobile grenade launchers to rocket-firing drones — can already identify and lock onto targets without human help.
There are more than 4,000 US military robots on the ground in Iraq, as well as unmanned aircraft that have clocked hundreds of thousands of flight hours.
The first three armed combat robots fitted with large-caliber machine guns deployed to Iraq last summer, manufactured by US arms maker Foster-Miller, proved so successful that 80 more are on order, said Sharkey.
But up to now, a human hand has always been required to push the button or pull the trigger.
It we are not careful, he said, that could change.
Military leaders “are quite clear that they want autonomous robots as soon as possible, because they are more cost-effective and give a risk-free war,” he said.
Several countries, led by the United States, have already invested heavily in robot warriors developed for use on the battlefield.
South Korea and Israel both deploy armed robot border guards, while China, India, Russia and Britain have all increased the use of military robots.
Washington plans to spend four billion dollars by 2010 on unmanned technology systems, with total spending expected rise to 24 billion, according to the Department of Defense’s Unmanned Systems Roadmap 2007-2032, released in December.
James Canton, an expert on technology innovation and CEO of the Institute for Global Futures, predicts that deployment within a decade of detachments that will include 150 soldiers and 2,000 robots.
The use of such devices by terrorists should be a serious concern, said Sharkey.
Captured robots would not be difficult to reverse engineer, and could easily replace suicide bombers as the weapon-of-choice. “I don’t know why that has not happened already,” he said.
But even more worrisome, he continued, is the subtle progression from the semi-autonomous military robots deployed today to fully independent killing machines.
“I have worked in artificial intelligence for decades, and the idea of a robot making decisions about human termination terrifies me,” Sharkey said.
Ronald Arkin of Georgia Institute of Technology, who has worked closely with the US military on robotics, agrees that the shift towards autonomy will be gradual.
But he is not convinced that robots don’t have a place on the front line.
“Robotics systems may have the potential to out-perform humans from a perspective of the laws of war and the rules of engagement,” he told a conference on technology in warfare at Stanford University last month.
The sensors of intelligent machines, he argued, may ultimately be better equipped to understand an environment and to process information. “And there are no emotions that can cloud judgement, such as anger,” he added.
Nor is there any inherent right to self-defence.
For now, however, there remain several barriers to the creation and deployment of Terminator-like killing machines.
Some are technical. Teaching a computer-driven machine — even an intelligent one — how to distinguish between civilians and combatants, or how to gauge a proportional response as mandated by the Geneva Conventions, is simply beyond the reach of artificial intelligence today.
But even if technical barriers are overcome, the prospect of armies increasingly dependent on remotely-controlled or autonomous robots raises a host of ethical issues that have barely been addressed.
Arkin points out that the US Department of Defense’s 230 billion dollar Future Combat Systems programme — the largest military contract in US history — provides for three classes of aerial and three land-based robotics systems.
“But nowhere is there any consideration of the ethical implications of the weaponisation of these systems,” he said.
For Sharkey, the best solution may be an outright ban on autonomous weapons systems. “We have to say where we want to draw the line and what we want to do — and then get an international agreement,” he said.
© 2008 Agence France Presse
Due to my work, which incorporates robots quite often, this may not be as far-fetched as people imagine. Obviously, there are already over 4,000 robots in operation in Iraq alone (this blows my mind and never expected numbers like that). I will admit that it appears to be a safer alternate to some personnel related issues, but robots are no smarter than the guy programming it (or defeating the safety systems, which can be done and results in accidents and death more frequently than is let on).
Must be a helluva business to be in.
I took their link down from my BlogRoll because of it. No need to ask who it was. But the point is that there are democratic sycophants, just as ideologically ignorant and brainwashed as those on the Right that call themselves republicans, but are truly reTHUGlicans. What we see in the Democratic debates is EXACTLY who they want us to see. And the Pale Riders of the world jump on board like some foaming mouthed idiot.
I don’t fall into either group, but when you address those that try to force you in their group, like the democratic ideologue Pale Rider, they are just as bad, if not worse, than the THUGS in their treatment.
Rednecks, don’t be fooled by those who are no different than Bush in any real way. Don’t listen to the garbage spewed by the left as if it is truth, any more than the fools on the right. There is not a hill’s beans worth of difference, and that is EXACTLY the way they planned and implemented it.
The fact is that Hillary Clinton is just more of the same old shit we have had for 7 years. Packaged a bit different, but we will not see much “change” with her (or Obama). The Missouri Fool may think so, but that is what fools do. The Missouri Fool certainly cannot debate or discuss, so no one would really know for sure. Just mouth and a lot of it.
Does this make me unserious to say that the dems are no different than what we now have? To suggest that we are simply voting for the least of the evils presented?
Pale Rider, the democratic party weenie holder, thinks so.
Well, to hell with Democrats and the Pale Asshole. I’m no ones patsy, even tho he doesn’t mind being one.
I also don’t befriend dickheads. Life is too short and there are truly friendly people around, whereas that nincompoop is hardly that.
from Margaret Kimberly at the Black Agenda Report, words that may explain why “progressives” are caving to the non-progressives running (be it Obama or Clinton):
Progressives Cave to Obama
The progressive movement is on its death bed, in critical condition for many reasons. Activists are demoralized after George W. Bush cheated his way into office, committed crimes against humanity, and subverted the constitution without punishment or even serious risk of political damage. Eight years of evil doing have taken their toll on activists’ willingness to take action.
The Democrats are not blameless. The prospect of a Hillary Clinton nomination was another slap in the face to the most loyal Democratic voters. The Yale educated lawyer claimed she didn’t know the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq was just what it said. The sorry excuses went on forever and the disgust only grew. Her vaunted inevitability silenced Democrats, who prepared to hold their noses and support the lesser of two evils.
I contend that many who call themselves progressives have simply done what they think is expedient… joining the unprogressive bandwagon that “pretends” to bolster our ideals. Never mind that Clinton actually voted for something that’s name was very clear about its purpose. She can’t lie now.
They can’t lie about their contributions and their careful word parsing about bringing troops home from Iraq or adding more money to the military budget or addressing the gorilla in the room… health insurance companies and single-payer, NOT-FOR-PROFIT healtcare. They dance all around the issues and take extra time to spar over details of their identical plans, that anyone paying attention understands they aren’t fighting for us, as much as they are fighting for their coffers.
I wish those that called themselves liberals and progressives were able to admit this without fear of hurting Democrats”. Pitiful.
The end of movement politics has infected nearly everyone, like a mysterious illness in a science fiction film. If a movement still existed, MoveOnwould not have made an Obama endorsement via popularity contest. They never bothered to make demands of him, to ask questions before giving him their support. Their endorsement is worthless because it gives Obama cover and asks nothing in return.
MoveOn spreads the conventional wisdom that super delegates are more likely to be pro-Clinton and are willing to subvert the popular will on her behalf. They have even circulated a petition to prevent super delegates from choosing the nominee. What MoveOn doesn’t say is that both Clinton and Obama have used their political action committees to make contributionsto super delegate campaign funds. They also fail to mention that Obama leads in making these contributions.
His PAC has given $698,200 to super delegates. Hillary Clinton has made $205,500 in contributions to super delegate coffers. In other words, Obama is more adept at buying votes than Clinton. “Yes we can” indeed.
MoveOn is not alone. It is incomprehensible that The Nation magazine endorsed Obamaafter making the following statement. “This magazine has been critical of the senator from Illinois for his closeness to Wall Street; his unwillingness to lay out an ambitious progressive agenda on healthcare, housing and other domestic policy issues; and for post-partisan rhetoric that seems to ignore the manifest failure of conservatism over these past seven years.”
If The Nation has so many qualms about Obama, why endorse him at all? The editors could have simply made a statement of non-support for Obama or Clinton. The sad plight of progressives is all too obvious. “While his rhetoric about ‘unity’ can be troubling, it also embodies a savvy strategy to redefine the center of American politics and build a coalition by reaching out to independent and Republican voters disgruntled and disgusted with what the Bush era has wrought.” The Nation should explain to readers why Democrats ought to “redefine the center” with independents and Republicans instead of having their own agenda and fighting to make it a reality.
If even The Nation bows down in thrall of the over hyped “center,” then all hope for true change is gone. In other words, capitulation is the order of the day, and Obama makes it more palatable than Hillary Clinton does.
Even some of the staunchest “liberal” organizations find it necessary to capitulate to those who don’t represent their interests. Of course you argue, who else are you going to vote for? McCain? Nader?
No. What I’m saying is that if you actually have honor and integrity, you should at least ask, push, demand from those who seek your endorsement that they give you SOMETHING. ANYTHING! You owe that party nothing. They owe you everything. Take some of it back.
After eight years of Clintonian triangulation, and another eight years of Bush lawlessness, the center isn’t what is used to be. The center will accept an occupation of Iraq, as long as there is pretense that it will end. The center will not undo the Bush attacks on the Constitution. The center will tell black people that they are “90% of the way” towards equality. Actually, Obama already declared that “there is no black America” so the fight for equality will become irrelevant.
Black voters are overwhelmingly pro-Obama. Now supposedly anti-war and progressive organizations have also thrown in the towel. Race pride, however misguided in this case, explains Obama’s appeal to black Americans. White progressives have no such excuse. Nevertheless they have chosen to suspend disbelief and jump on the winning bandwagon.
The stampede to Obama reveals the emptiness of the Democratic left. They are every bit as cynical as the man they support. They want a seat at the table. They don’t really care what is decided at that table as long as they are included. Pro-war, anti-war, who cares? Just spell the name right on the White House invitation and let the triangulation begin.
Unless we truly begin to demand that our voices be heard and adhered to (we ARE the majority, dangit), then they will continue to pass the mantle back and forth to those who are controlled by Big Money (which doesn’t give a rat’s ass about your interests).
… put in a camera in a woman’s bathroom.
And I thought Muslims were beyond this sort of thing.
Hidden camera found in UAE ministry washroom
An investigation is underway after a female employee at a UAE ministry discovered a hidden camera in the women’s washroom, press reports said on Tuesday.
In the first incident of its kind at a government agency, the woman discovered a coin-size camera hidden in the ladies room of an unnamed federal ministry in the booming trade and tourism hub Dubai, Arabic-language daily Al-Ittihad reported.
Dubai police are interrogating a number of employees and some suspects have been detained, Gulf News reported. A police spokesman said the perpetrators would be identified shortly.
A spokesman for the ministry in question refused to comment.
Dubai police have arrested people in similar cases, but in bathrooms of private companies and usually involving mobile phone cameras.
So what do the ReTHUGlicans do? Railroad the man under KKKarl Rove’s direction. I wrote and added a video about the subject here. The sad part is that ReTHUGs own Alabama politics so thoroughly, it is finally taking honest, law-abiding Republicans to try to fix this.
Why is it that everything that the Bush Administration is involved with seems criminal? More importantly, why are there so few that seem to notice and care. These people should be frog-marched to Gitmo for a little vacation and relaxation with a little water poured over their heads, as they are so quick to endorse.
Scott Horton from Harpers (who has been following this story very closely) shares:
…the show was dominated by one of 52 former attorneys general from 40 of the 50 states who have called for a Congressional probe of the conduct of the Siegelman case, former Arizona Attorney General Grant Woods. He leveled a series of blistering accusations at the Bush Administration’s Justice Department. With the Alabama G.O.P. this evening issuing a near-hysterical statement in which it characterizes the CBS broadcast—before its transmission—as an anti-Republican attack piece, it was notable that Woods, like the piece’s other star witness, is a Republican. Not just any Republican, either. Grant Woods is co-chair of the McCain for President leadership committee, and a lifelong friend and advisor to the presumptive 2008 G.O.P. presidential candidate. Woods is also godfather to one of the McCain children.
Attorney General Woods has this to say about the Bush Justice Department’s prosecution of Siegelman: “I personally believe that what happened here is that they targeted Don Siegelman because they could not beat him fair and square. This was a Republican state and he was the one Democrat they could never get rid of.”
In other words, not being able to beat Siegelman at the polls, Woods believes that his own party corruptly used the criminal justice process to take out an adversary. This is an extraordinary, heavy accusation. Not something that a senior Republican would raise easily about his own party. And the facts back the accusation up, beginning to end.
Like I said, this came from an insider Republican with some integrity (yes, there are some out there). Let us NEVER confuse the real republicans with what has hijacked their party, the ReTHUGlicans. They are NOT one and the same.
One more thing: WHNT, the CBS affiliate in Huntsville, AL was the ONLY station in the USA to have a “technical” problem arise, ONLY during this segment of the program. How amazing is that? Did you know that the owners of that bogus assed tv station are heavy contributors to Republicans and the Bush Admin? Did you know that the rest of you Alabamians are worthless to them and their agenda? That they are playing you for fools?
Wake up, rednecks!
I don’t know if Siegelman is a crook or not. But, after what the ReTHUGs have done in the past 7 years, the best bet is to reopen this case and see where the lying, thieving bastards associated with “W” have done others wrong. Nothing they have done should go without crucial and thorough evaluation for additional law breaking.
They truly are THUGS.
Station Says ‘60 Minutes’ Blackout Was Just Technical
A television station in Huntsville, Ala., offered viewers nothing but a black screen for 12 minutes Sunday night — at the exact time that the CBS News program “60 Minutes” was broadcasting a report about potential political skulduggery involving the former Bush administration official Karl Rove in the conviction of a former Democratic governor of the state.
The interruption raised suspicions among some viewers, especially Democratic backers of Don Siegelman, the former governor, that partisan political interests might be behind the blackout.
Even some CBS executives wondered initially about the reasons for the disruption, though the general manager of the station, WHNT-TV, denied any ulterior motives, and immediately offered the report in its entirety on the station’s newscasts Sunday and Monday nights, as well as on its Web site.
“We know what our license means to us,” said Stan Pylant, the chief executive at the station. “There were no political motives in this.”
Mr. Pylant blamed a signal receiver. “The receiver failed to pick up the video from CBS,” he said. The station had no problems picking up CBS for the half-hour before “60 Minutes” started. The network’s Sunday evening news was on. But Mr. Pylant said that as he watched at home he saw the signal break off just as “60 Minutes” started…
Yeah, right. Everything was working moments before the segment and then miraculously started working correctly AFTER the segment and you folks had NOTHING to do with it? Yours was the ONLY affiliate to have this problem at that moment in all of CBS in the world.
Don’t insult even a redneck’s intelligence, you Bush crony Richard Noggin. Even we are smarter than that.
Lott says he’s a witness, not target, in federal investigation
By ANITA LEE
Former U.S. Sen. Trent Lott told the Sun Herald on Monday that federal investigators have assured him he is not a target of a judicial bribery investigation involving his brother-in-law, prominent Mississippi attorney Richard “Dickie” Scruggs.
Lott said FBI agents did interview him earlier this year, but only as a potential witness.
The Justice Department is investigating whether Scruggs tried to land a lifetime appointment to the federal bench for Hinds County Circuit Court Judge Bobby DeLaughter. Scruggs recommended to Lott that he appoint DeLaughter as a U.S. District Court judge, according to an attorney who has pleaded guilty in the case. In exchange, New Albany attorney Joey Langston said, DeLaughter was expected to rule in Scruggs’ favor in a Hinds County lawsuit filed against him by another attorney over legal fees.
“I may be called as a witness,” Lott said, “but I’ve been assured that I’m not under investigation, and rightly so because nothing was done to justify that.”
Whew… I thought they had something on me for a minute.
Read it all at the SunHerald.
Pay Homage to your Shadowy Public Master.
from www.theonion.com posted with vodpod
from www.cbsnews.com posted with vodpod
This is what happens when a Republican’s honor cannot allow the ReTHUGlican law breaking to continue. On a side note, I lived in Alabama when Don was governor and from what I remember, he was a good governor and well liked.
As I have said countless times, the stench of guilt is so strong with the Bush Administration and especially Karl Rove’s actions/tactics, that how can anyone EXCEPT a party clown not suspect wrong-doing, or, at least, dubious, political motivation? How can ANYONE (of honor) NOT want this investigated and brought into full view of the public and official evaluation/processing?
I don’t watch much TV, but I’ll turn her on for this.
UPDATE from Glenn Greenwald with additional charges coming:
For months, Harper‘s Scott Horton has been following and reporting on the story of Karl Rove’s limitless crusade to destroy Democratic Gov. Don Siegelman of Alabama about as closely as anyone can follow a story. Yesterday, Scott emailed to say:
You should alert your readers to watch 60 Minutes on Sunday for an extremely important piece. They will learn how at the instigation of Karl Rove, the Justice Department was turned into a political hit machine to destroy the reputation and ultimately imprison AL governor Don Siegelman on accusations which do not constitute, no matter how you parse it, a crime. Rove will be directly linked to the process by the testimony of a Republican political operative (I can tell you that her testimony was corroborated by numerous other witnesses who refused to be named or cited, some of whom where physically present during the operative’s meetings with Rove); and then we’ll see how the Justice Department built a bogus case, shoving aside the career prosecutors who concluded there was no basis to proceed.
Finally, it will show that the prosecutors coerced witnesses to give false testimony, withheld exculpatory evidence, and lied about all of this. In fact, when contacted for comment DOJ asked for a day to look into it before responding. They then came back and admitted that they were not in a position to deny any of the allegations, so they went with “no comment.” It’s an explosive piece. And it’s only the first. CBS has substantial additional data showing how the judge, a George W. Bush appointee and Republican political campaign functionary, was hand picked by prosecutors to run this circus, and how he refused to recuse himself notwithstanding his conflicts. And they have a great deal more information on the US attorney involved, who is the wife of the state’s leading GOP campaign advisor, who managed the campaign against Siegelman, and who is also a long standing friend and business associate of Karl Rove’s. It’s an extraordinary, deep peek into a hopelessly corrupt Justice Department. They’ve been struggling to keep the lid on this story for two years. And on Sunday it is going to blow.Scott is a very smart and savvy commentator, not prone to hyperbole, so this piece will undoubtedly be worth watching. Scott’s latest post on the Siegelman/60 Minutes matter is here.
Why is it that southern people have the knack of electing people who would do and vote against anything that may help their constituency? Why do we desire to “claim” these Bush Lites, as our own, when they represent NOTHING of our interests… but always theirs. How can these people be so out of touch and us STILL be enamored by them?
From Daily KOS:
Let’s face it. The Democratic Leadership Council has never gotten a lot of love around here.
No surprise there. When your philosophy of governance sucks that much ass, and you lose every election you contest on its tenets, you’re just not going to get love from a community that’s come together to find ways for Democrats to win. It’s just not gonna happen.
But through it all, the DLC always at least pretended that the “D” meant something.
Then, they put Harold Ford at the helm, and it all fell apart. Via My Left Nutmeg, we bring you Ford’s suicide note:
When Harold Ford, Jr. walked onto the Quick Center stage for his OPEN Visions forum he knew whose district he was standing in.
“There is not a better Congressman in Washington than Chris Shays,” said Ford, to a crowd of about 600 Fairfield University students and community members.
Yes, that’s right. Harold Ford thinks the guy who thinks Blackwater is “perfect” is the best Congressman in Washington.
Of course, Ford’s perspective isn’t exactly first hand, is it? After all, Ford isn’t actually in Washington, is he? That’s one of the little known side effects that comes from losing your election.
Shays, who was also in attendence [sic], responded, “The reason Harold Ford likes me so much is because when I realized that I wasn’t going to be president, I went up to him and told him that he was one of the three legislator’s that I thought would someday.”
Oh, I think I’m going to be sick.
Me, too. Who else considers Chris Shays the best Senator around? Just a show of hands will do.
Based on strikingly irrational beliefs and emotions, modern liberals relentlessly undermine the most important principles on which our freedoms were founded,” says Dr. Lyle Rossiter, author of the new book, “The Liberal Mind: The Psychological Causes of Political Madness.” “Like spoiled, angry children, they rebel against the normal responsibilities of adulthood and demand that a parental government meet their needs from cradle to grave.”…… Rossiter says the kind of liberalism being displayed by the two major candidates for the Democratic Party presidential nomination can only be understood as a psychological disorder.
Hell, I knew I was crazy, but I’m glad I have this doctor to finally call it out. With America’s greatest health-care in the world, wonder why we are just figuring this out?
What is hilarious on its face is that he is suggesting that Obama and Clinton are “liberals”. Just how far to the right does one have to be to consider them liberal?
But, the good doctor does explain, in some detail, the issues that liberals force on others:
Dr. Rossiter says the liberal agenda preys on weakness and feelings of inferiority in the population by:
- creating and reinforcing perceptions of victimization;
- satisfying infantile claims to entitlement, indulgence and compensation;
- augmenting primitive feelings of envy;
- rejecting the sovereignty of the individual, subordinating him to the will of the government.
How far removed from reality… or how deep in “their” pockets must one be to believe this shit? I love the way that Sybil Sage from DivineCaroline addressed this:
Dr. Lyle Rossiter, a psychologist who’s practiced for thirty-five years, in a book titled, The Liberal Mind: The Psychological Causes of Political Madness, maintains that liberalism is a psychological disorder. He asserts that liberals, “rebel against the normal responsibilities of adulthood and demand that a parental government meet their needs from cradle to grave.”
Does Dr. Rossiter accept medical insurance? Oh, maybe it’s not an issue since most Americans can’t afford it. Liberals are nuts?!!
He characterizes the liberal agenda as preying on weakness and insecurities in the population by “rejecting the sovereignty of the individual, subordinating him to the will of the government.”
Has Dr. Rossiter treated any of Americans who feel we’d been tricked into going to war by an administration with its own agenda? Liberals are nuts?!!
Rossiter characterizes modern liberals as “whining about imaginary villains,” depicting them as neurotic. Were we not told by Bush & co., “You’re either with us or against us?” Wasn’t this conservative government repeatedly insisting they’ve been saving us from being attacked? Liberals are nuts?!!
His premise is that caring about others is infantilizing. If liberal can be seen as a psychological disturbance, would not the conservative agenda qualify as narcissistic? And if liberals are nuts, perhaps it’s a response to conservative policies.
That last sentence explains me, to a “T”. How can anyone, irregardless of ideology, embrace the agenda of these neocon tools have screwed us?
I once called myself “conservative”, but if it means being one of these monsters we call the Bush Admin or resembling them in any way, then please, for God’s sake, call me a liberal.
I will PROUDLY wear that over the idiocy that is now equated with being a conservative.
Steve Benen at C&L postedabout the Florida decision and caused me to think about religion and why they are so unfaltering in their objections to the word/idea: “evolution”. The south is so backwards, that many of us think that Mr Preacher Man understands more about biology and how life “evolves” than those who have studied and immersed themselves in a life’s pursuit of truth (much like they claim to be doing with Christianity).
Evolutionists aren’t necessarily anti-religion, but when people make obvious, ignorant statements about “beliefs” as opposed to actual scientific FACT (for no one can honestly claim anything within the Bible as “FACT”, with the ability to withstand the scrutiny of scientific evaluation) it really makes the Christian opponent seem idiotic.
As Steve posts, Florida has decided that schools can now use the terminology, “Scientific theory of evolution”, for the first time, in their state science standards.
How…. 21st century of them.
Florida’s State Board of Education has voted to use the term “scientific theory of evolution” in new science standards, the first time the word “evolution” has been included.
Florida’s current standards require the teaching of evolution using code words like “change over time.”
Adding the term “scientific theory” before the term “evolution” was a modified proposal at least one board member called a compromise, not standards proposed originally to the committee. The option to include “scientific theory” was made late last week.
The board narrowly passed the proposed change, voting 4-3, after more than an hour of public comment and additional discussion by the board.
Now, just how much public comment and additional discussion does it take to appease the ignorant religious with nothing but a book, over hundreds of years of scientific evaluation and “theory”? Why does one have to explain (over and over and over) what “theory” is in the scientific community?
They say, “Evolution is ONLY a theory!”
Steve answers by quoting the WSJ’s James Q. Wilson from here:
People use “theory” when they mean a guess, a faith or an idea. A theory in this sense does not state a testable relationship between two or more things. It is a belief that may be true, but its truth cannot be tested by scientific inquiry. One such theory is that God exists and intervenes in human life in ways that affect the outcome of human life. God may well exist, and He may well help people overcome problems or even (if we believe certain athletes) determine the outcome of a game. But that theory cannot be tested. There is no way anyone has found that we can prove empirically that God exists or that His action has affected some human life. If such a test could be found, the scientist who executed it would overnight become a hero.
Evolution is a theory in the scientific sense. It has been tested repeatedly by examining the remains of now-extinct creatures to see how one species has emerged to replace another. Even today we can see some kinds of evolution at work, as when scholars watch how birds on the Galapagos Islands adapt their beak size from generation to generation to the food supplies they encounter.
“Theory” in religion and “scientific theory” aren’t even in the same scope of intelligent context/evaluation. Theory in religion cannot even be tested scientifically, because all you have is the book and “belief” that the book is truth. But in science, one can test, over and over again, their ideas. They can accumulate scientific fact to evaluate and compare. It is testable… provable… within scrutiny in evaluation.
In religion all you can observe is the thoughts of humans played out in their actions based on words from a book and some internal guiding process. This can never prove/disprove God or Christianity or any other religion.
So, I find it the height of ignorance that we have leaders in congress and “high places” who put more credence in their unprovable “beliefs” over scientific fact, tested over and over to provide us with the scientific theory.
It boils down to this, believers in the Bible (or any other religious text) feel like “theories” are just ideas some one craps out of their head, perhaps while even sitting on the shitter. Theories to these folks are no more than a dream or guess or a vain imagination.
But when they try to provide their “proof” of God, their ”theory” is even far less instructive and edifying, because all they have is the book (you choose which of the many hundreds of versions is the RIGHT one) and their personal story (which is never objective or helpful, as far as theories go).
Hence, altho I am a “believer”, it is my belief and I can not honestly tell you it is truth beyond a shadow of a doubt. It is because of my personal experiences and life learned lessons. I can not scientifically prove anything. Nor do I want to try to convince you one way or the other.
But when it comes to real world science, believers must be prepared to drop their idiotic, non-supportable religious “beliefs” as if they were truth for all men and embrace what science can prove with its “scientific theories”, which are provable.
One has to take a big nasty dummy pill to swallow the whole Christianity thing, when making it more “real” than science. But, somehow, the south especially, has taken the entire brain dead potion than the rest of the country, if you want all thinking people to go along with you… much like the Taliban insists in the ME.
Don’t expect this thinking man to just go along with those who are obviously lost, just because they use scare tactics to try to keep us (and successfully with most of you) in line.
Wake Up, Rednecks!