Drowning in deadlines here and headed off to California tomorrow and even though I’m not thrilled that he’s brought us into it again, I need to say to ‘Hell of speech Barry. Hell of a speech.’
Drowning in deadlines here and headed off to California tomorrow and even though I’m not thrilled that he’s brought us into it again, I need to say to ‘Hell of speech Barry. Hell of a speech.’
But we know better.
From friend Ed this morning.
How about these?
Jackie Battley’s ex-husband, and Marianne Ginther’s former lover and ex-husband, Callista Bisek’s former lover and current husband for President! Go Newt!
Regina Peruggi’s ex-husband, and Donna Hanover’s former lover and ex-husband, Judith Nathan’s former lover and current husband for President! Go 9/11 Rudy!
Wheee, this is fun!
So SCOTUS has decided: protections accorded human beings by the Bill of Rights are extended, yet again, to Corporations.
Heed Thomas Jefferson:
“The end of democracy and the defeat of the American Revolution will occur when government falls into the hands of lending institutions and moneyed incorporations.”
Say no more.
Shamelessly do I copy/paste an entire post from Andrew Sullivan today since I just saw that battle-hardened warrior Bill Kristol on the teevee saying with a straight face what Sullivan recounts here. It was an utterly hallucinatory experience.
Here’s Sullivan: What do you do with near-clinical fanatics who, in their own minds, never make mistakes and whose worldview remains intact even after it has been empirically dismantled in front of their eyes? In real life, you try and get them to get professional help.
In the case of those who only recently sent thousands of American servicemembers to their deaths in a utopian scheme to foment a democracy in a sectarian dictatorship, we have to merely endure their gall in even appearing in front of the cameras. But the extent of their pathology is deeper than one might expect. And so there is actually a seminar this fall, sponsored by the Hertog Foundation, which explores the origins of the terrible decision-making that led us into the worst foreign policy mistake since Vietnam. And the fair and balanced teaching team?
It will be led by Paul D. Wolfowitz, who served during the Persian Gulf War as the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy and as Deputy Secretary of Defense during the first years of the Iraq War, and by Lewis Libby, who served during the first war as Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy and during the Iraq War as Chief of Staff and National Security Adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney.
Next spring: how the Iraq War spread human rights … by Donald Rumsfeld.
Most people are aware that relatively few of the architects of a war have fully acknowledged the extent of their error – let alone express remorse or even shame at the more than a hundred thousands civilian deaths their adventure incurred for a phony reason. No, all this time, they have been giving each other awards, lecturing congressmen and Senators, writing pieces in the Weekly Standard and the New Republic, being fellated by David Gregory, and sucking at the teet of the neocon welfare state, as if they had nothing to answer for, and nothing to explain.
Which, I suppose makes the following paragraph in Bill Kristol’s latest case for war less shocking than it should be:
Now is not the time to re-litigate either the decision to invade Iraq in 2003 or the decision to withdraw from it in 2011. The crisis is urgent, and it would be useful to focus on a path ahead rather than indulge in recriminations. All paths are now fraught with difficulties, including the path we recommend. But the alternatives of permitting a victory for al Qaeda and/or strengthening Iran would be disastrous.
But it is shocking; it is, in fact, an outrage, a shameless, disgusting abdication of all responsibility for the past combined with a sickening argument to do exactly the same fricking thing all over again. And yes, I’m not imagining. This is what these true know-nothing/learn-nothing fanatics want the US to do:
It would mean not merely conducting U.S. air strikes, but also accompanying those strikes with special operators, and perhaps regular U.S. military units, on the ground. This is the only chance we have to persuade Iraq’s Sunni Arabs that they have an alternative to joining up with al Qaeda or being at the mercy of government-backed and Iranian-backed death squads, and that we have not thrown in with the Iranians. It is also the only way to regain influence with the Iraqi government and to stabilize the Iraqi Security Forces on terms that would allow us to demand the demobilization of Shi’a militias and to move to limit Iranian influence and to create bargaining chips with Iran to insist on the withdrawal of their forces if and when the situation stabilizes.
What’s staggering is the maximalism of their goals and the lies they are insinuating into the discourse now, just as they did before.
Last time, you could ascribe it to fathomless ignorance. This time, they have no excuse. ISIS is not al Qaeda; it’s far worse in ways that even al Qaeda has noted undermine its cause rather than strengthen it. It may be strategically way over its head already. And the idea that the US has to fight both ISIS and Iran simultaneously is so unhinged and so self-evidently impossible to contain or control that only these feckless fools would even begin to suggest it. Having empowered Iran by dismantling Iraq, Kristol actually wants the US now to enter a live war against ISIS and the Quds forces. You begin to see how every military catastrophe can be used to justify the next catastrophe. It’s a perfect circle for the neocons’ goal of the unending war. I don’t know what to say about it really. It shocks in its solipsism; stuns in its surrealism; chills in its callousness and recklessness. So perhaps the only response is to republish what this charlatan was saying in 2003 in a tone utterly unchanged from his tone today, with a certainty which was just as faked then as it is now. Read carefully and remember he has recanted not a word of it:
February 2003 (from his book, “The War Over Iraq“): According to one estimate, initially as many as 75,000 troops may be required to police the war’s aftermath, at a cost of $16 billion a year. As other countries’ forces arrive, and as Iraq rebuilds its economy and political system, that force could probably be drawn down to several thousand soldiers after a year or two.
February 24, 2003: “Having defeated and then occupied Iraq, democratizing the country should not be too tall an order for the world’s sole superpower.”
March 5, 2003: “We’ll be vindicated when we discover the weapons of mass destruction.”
April 1 2003: “On this issue of the Shia in Iraq, I think there’s been a certain amount of, frankly, Terry, a kind of pop sociology in America that, you know, somehow the Shia can’t get along with the Sunni and the Shia in Iraq just want to establish some kind of Islamic fundamentalist regime. There’s almost no evidence of that at all. Iraq’s always been very secular.”
Yes, “always been very secular”. Always. Would you buy a used pamphlet from this man – let alone another full scale war in Iraq?
Headlines today at Media Matters.
Norm Ornstein chimed in this morning on the near future of the GOP. He views Cantor’s loss less as the beginning of a populist trend and more a preview of intracine battles yet to come in the party. It’s here.
He sets it up with pitch perfect – and delightful – disdain for our fickle media narrative:
The new dominant narrative, of course, is that the Tea Party rose up, struck back, showed its muscle and has the party establishment on its heels. That replaces the previous narrative, that the establishment rose up, struck back, and has the Tea Party on its heels.
And wraps with this:
American political parties always face a tension between their establishment and ideological wings. On the Republican side, going back more than a hundred years to the Teddy Roosevelt era, that was a struggle between moderate progressives and conservatives.
Now it is different. There are no moderates or progressives in today’s GOP; the fight is between hard-line conservatives who believe in smaller government and radical nihilists who want to blow up the whole thing, who have as much disdain for Republican traditional conservatives as they do for liberals.
Always worth a look is old Norm.
Okay, we all know now that a very powerful entrenched leader of the national Republican Party and the US House was tossed out by a previously unknown opponent. That’s the politics.
But for the rest of us, it’s more than politics. It’s hope. Eric Cantor outspent his challenger by 26 to 1 and lost. Cantor campaign spent OVER $5,000,000; Brat spent $200,000.
Money got a big fat slap upside the face last night. Sleep better tonight – everything looks more possible today.
Here are totals by President for all Executive Orders (numbers from The American Presidency Project, a fascinating data-loaded site).
The WW presidents – Wilson, FDR, Truman show big numbers which is logical. Hoover was the Depression. TR and Taft: that was the trust-busting era so maybe that explains their big numbers. But mostly, there’s not much of a story to be told here – they go up and they go down. Regularly.
At five years in, Obama looks like he could fall behind every president but two since WWII.
George Washington 8
John Adams 1
Thomas Jefferson 4
James Madison 1
James Monroe 1
John Quincy Adams 3
Andrew Jackson 12
Martin van Buren 10
William Henry Harrison 0
John Tyler 17
James K. Polk 18
Zachary Taylor 5
Millard Fillmore 12
Franklin Pierce 35
James Buchanan 16
Abraham Lincoln 48
Andrew Johnson 79
Ulysses S. Grant 217
Rutherford B. Hayes 92
James Garfield 6
Chester Arthur 96
Grover Cleveland (I) – 113
Benjamin Harrison 143
Grover Cleveland (II) – 140
William McKinley 185
Theodore Roosevelt 1,081
William Howard Taft 724
Woodrow Wilson 1,803
Warren G. Harding 522
Calvin Coolidge 1,203
Herbert Hoover 968
Franklin D. Roosevelt 3,522
Harry S. Truman 907
Dwight D. Eisenhower 484
John F. Kennedy 214
Lyndon B. Johnson 325
Richard Nixon 346
Gerald R. Ford 169
Jimmy Carter 320
Ronald Reagan 381
George Bush 166
William J. Clinton 364
George W. Bush 291
Barack Obama 168
Eric Cantor lost his primary? Pigs are flying. The deed was done by a first time candidate, an economics professor who pretty much ran on immigration (he’s not for it). He had lottsa support from . . . wait for it . . . the Tea Party. (Actually, he may not be ‘of’ them, but was popular with them for what it’s worth.)
An amateur took down the (presumed) next Speaker of the House. Holy hobby
Here’s a surprise: John McCain thinks we should send Special Forces into Nigeria (I guess they’re still available since we didn’t succumb to his calls for military action the last eleven times).
“If they knew where they were, I certainly would send in U.S. troops to rescue them, in a New York minute I would, without permission of the host country,” McCain told The Daily Beast on Tuesday. “I wouldn’t be waiting for some kind of permission from some guy named Goodluck Jonathan,” he added, referring to the president of Nigeria . . .
Minor qualifier there (“if they knew where they were”) but hey, a headline is a headline. And it’s always very helpful to deeply insult that country’s leader.
“I would not be involved in the niceties of getting the Nigerian government to agree, because if we did rescue these people, there would be nothing but gratitude from the Nigerian government, such as it is,” he said.
We always know how citizens of sovereign nations will react when we barge in. Just like in Iraq.
Truth be told though, I think his latest and very vigorous climate change denial (‘climate changes all the time”) is going to come back and bite him in his soft ass.
From the venerable Union of Concerned Scientists:
This looks exactly right to me. It’s FOX after all. Plus I’m too lazy to go any deeper than reading this post at Andrew Sullivan’s (gay conservative Catholic now disowned by the right for something-or-other) blog, The Dish.
So why? Demonizing Obamacare is not working quite as well anymore as polls show more acceptance among Americans. But Benghazi? Oooooh, a shiny object that will – once again – do just fine for now to fuel the outrage machine until Monica/Hillary crowds it out.
Oh yeah, good times ahead.
Not only did I miss this, but it’s apparently been an annual tradition just like the War on Christmas.
I have a few things I like to bring out for an annual viewing too. Like this:
Of course they went there. The very next day.
From the couch of the stupid, Elizabeth Hasselback lamented that ““ you have our soldiers not being able to arm themselves . . . if they do have a weapon, they are to register it within five days of purchase. . . then that must be stored away in these lockers so that it cannot be carried on their person, therefore leaving them vulnerable.”
Doocy then pointed to the current Democratic president by quoting a conservative blogger: “Gateway Pundit, which is a way right-leaning blog, what they write this morning is, ‘The Obama administration is responsible for this mass shooting. They witnessed this before, they didn’t learn a thing. Gun-free zones are death zones. It is time to stand up to the lunacy.’”
You’re not even pretending anymore or you’ve run out of graphic magic tricks.
Best. Headline. Ever.
from the Boston Globe.
Tea Party hero “Joe the Plumber” (name’s not really Joe and he never was a plumber) has a new job. At Chrysler. Which could hire him because they didn’t go out of business in 2009 after, you know, that socialist ‘rescue package’ from the Feds saved their baby bottoms. Also, it’s a union shop – Joe is now a member of the UAW.
“In order to work for Chrysler, you are required to join the Union, in this case UAW. There’s no choice – it’s a union shop – the employees voted to have it that way and in America that’s the way it is,” he wrote.
Can’t wait till Neil Cavuto has him back on the program at FOX.
The 2014 World Press Freedom Index is out. Nasty news – again – for the old U-S-of-A where we’ve been sliding into the badlands ever since 9/11. And where my President and his Attorney General have some ‘splainin’ to do. Which will not happen with this President or any future President unless we get really really lucky.
Countries that pride themselves on being democracies and respecting the rule of law have not set an example . . . Freedom of information is too often sacrificed to an overly broad and abusive interpretation of national security needs, marking a disturbing retreat from democratic practices.
This has been the case in the United States (46th), which fell 13 places, one of the most significant declines, amid increased efforts to track down whistleblowers and the sources of leaks. The trial and conviction of Private Bradley Manning and the pursuit of NSA analyst Edward Snowden were warnings to all those thinking of assisting in the disclosure of sensitive information that would clearly be in the public interest.
US journalists were stunned by the Department of Justice’s seizure of Associated Press phone records without warning in order to identify the source of a CIA leak. It served as a reminder of the urgent need for a “shield law” to protect the confidentiality of journalists’ sources at the federal level. The revival of the legislative process is little consolation for James Risen of The New York Times, who is subject to a court order to testify against a former CIA employee accused of leaking classified information. And less still for Barrett Brown, a young freelance journalist facing 105 years in prison in connection with the posting of information that hackers obtained from Statfor, a private intelligence company with close ties to the federal government.
The United Kingdom (33rd, -3) distinguished itself in the war on terror by the disgraceful pressure it put on The Guardian newspaper and by its detention of David Miranda, journalist Glenn Greenwald’s partner and assistant, for nine hours. Both the US and UK authorities seem obsessed with hunting down whistleblowers instead of adopting legislation to rein in abusive surveillance practices that negate privacy, a democratic value cherished in both countries.
At least the UK was spared the shame of our double-digit decline in press freedom. USA!
From the Monday ‘Patriot Humor’ feature at The Patriot Post. And the joke is?
UPDATE: jonolan points out that I read this one wrong. The joke is that the letters behind Carney spell ‘white washing…” and that, indeed, is funny. The site it came from features regular racist slurs and that influenced how I interpreted it at first.
. . . we are really two different countries and the similarities to Civil War era America abound.
And there’s this too – the ten poorest States. I got it from a 2011 story at Glenn Beck’s The Blaze where commenters were not surprised, reasoning that that’s what Obama had done to us in just 20 months. The man worked fast!
How about teen pregnancies? Below the mid point and dominating the list for ‘least teen pregnancies’, all of New England and most of the NorthEast. And what region dominates the list for ‘most teen pregnancies’? Lookee here:
STATES WITH MOST TEEN PREGNANCIES:
New Mexico – 93/1,000
Mississippi – 90/1,000
Texas – 85/1,000
Nevada – 84/1,000
Arkansas – 82/1,000
Arizona – 82/1,000
Delaware – 81/1,000
Louisiana – 80/1,000
Oklahoma – 80/1,000
Georgia – 78/1,000
STATES WITH FEWEST TEEN PREGNANCIES:
Iowa – 51/1,000
Nebraska – 50/1,000
Utah – 48/1,000
Wisconsin – 45/1,000
Maine – 43/1,000
Massachusetts – 42/1,000
North Dakota – 42/1,000
Minnesota – 42/1,000
Vermont – 38/1,000
New Hampshire – 33/1,000
How about high school dropouts by State? A pattern emerges.
I think it’s safe to assume we’ll not be bothered anymore by the odious Liz Cheney. Seems nobody cares what she thinks.
Cheney, like her father, is an unapologetic neoconservative who favors muscular use of American military power overseas, a policy that does not sit well with many grassroots conservatives, particularly in the libertarian-leaning West.
(PLEASE NOTE: Ginsberg is my favorite Justice – she’s smart and savvy and full of mischief.)
It’s futile to pretend any more that the Supreme Court is non-partisan. Justices are people (the human, not the corporate kind – at least not yet) and don’t have identical values or beliefs. Their perspectives – on law, history, social justice, the U.S. Constitution – are informed by cultural identity, ethnicity, education, religion and probably gender. This has always been true.
Of course a Court is, ideally, charged with rising above the personal and interpreting the law. But we don’t get ideal; we get nine mere mortals who must somehow work it all out and render ‘judgement’ on a legal appeal. (Note to Scalia: judgement involves judging. All things are not self-evident.)
Today’s Court isn’t doing too well with that ‘rising above’ thing. A lot of decisions are nakedly political and too much of the time we have 5 to 4 votes favoring the Right. Also:
She and Scalia have for decades enjoyed a close friendship, so perhaps they could make the leap together – before 2014. Solidarity and all. (A bit of trivia – after Reagan nominated Scalia in 1986, he was confirmed by a Senate vote of 98-2.)
. . . and by almost two weeks. I meant to put this up on the 22nd; still, it remains relevant and reminds us of how twisted our politics can get. The more things change, the more . . . .
Some damn organization calling itself the National Republican Congressional Committee has joined the vile War on Christmas. Suit up Patriots! Let’s get ’em.
This should qualify as a perfect trifecta for Moe. It all comes together right here in a single number – an oldie, politics, and an anniversary. Plus Frank Sinatra. So why am I so sad?
Texas’ new voter ID laws are working just fine because they are very good laws and proof is here. They’ve snagged yet another suspicious ‘voter’:
FORT WORTH — Former House Speaker Jim Wright was denied a voter ID card Saturday at a Texas Department of Public Safety office.
For Speaker Wright, matters were cleared up in a few days. I wonder how it would go without his level of civic savvy. (There he is at some big DC event or other, standing behind the guy with his hand up in the air.)
Our last – and best ever – Mayor is busy on Facebook today and found this. Thanks, Ed!
And that has nothing at all to do with why so many working people in the US get food and health care assistance. Nothing at all.