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Tuesday Open Thread 26 September 2006

Posted by marisacat in California / Pacific Coast, DC Politics, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, San Francisco.
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  Port of Oakland

From the Contra Costa Times:

The Port of Oakland asked for $6 million this year to help guard against terrorist attacks, but Monday the federal Department of Homeland Security said the nation’s fourth-largest container port will get nothing.

While the Bay Area’s various transit agencies received $11.2 million from a $400 million transportation grant program, the ports of San Francisco and Oakland were left out in the cold.

“We are a little bit puzzled about how the decisions were made,” said Marilyn Sandifur, spokeswoman for the Port of Oakland. “We’re very disappointed.”

The port wanted the money to help pay for four security projects totaling $8 million. The port, which received $2.9 million last year, would have spent the money on a system to better track employees and trucks inside its gates, better detect intruders and make communication improvements, Sandifur said.

San Francisco asked for $1.5 million to buy security cameras and improve lighting and fencing along its nearly eight-mile-long waterfront.

  

From the Long Beach Press Telegram:

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said the new round of department grants was given out based only on risk – and should not be viewed as a competition to see which city gets the most money.

“What we’re trying to do is move away from looking at grants as if every year, it’s a horse race, and let’s see who wins each race for each grant,” Chertoff told reporters in Washington. “If you want a horse race, go to Pimlico.”

Department officials said many cities – like Houston and Atlanta – asked for fewer funds this year than what they received in 2005 because they no longer needed as much money for security projects that were completed or already under way.

Might as well laugh and pop open the champagne.  What the hell.  We knew we were disliked… but a tad ridiculous.  W isn’t alone.  Schwarzenegger hit the Golden Gate Bridge Authority as soon as he could, after the Recall of 2003 put him in the job.  The 9 Bay Area Counties did not vote for him and SF rejected the recall by … close to 80% iirc.

Since 2002, the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles – which represent the busiest seaport in the nation – have been granted $91 million for protection against terrorism, more than any such complex.

The ports are listed by federal officials as the highest-risk along with the Port of Houston and the seaport in New York-New Jersey.

Other California ports didn’t fare as well, with ports in Oakland, San Francisco and Port Hueneme receiving nothing and the Port of San Diego receiving $139,837.

The Port of Seattle received about $7.4 million.

And Newsom made some obligatory shamble of a comment… but for years now, years, we have a Republican appointee at the OES, Office of Emergency Services… an utter and complete fuck up.  Deadlines unmet, reports not filed, refuses to meet wtih the Board of Supervisors.  The mid-course solution?  They put someone in OVER her.  I think just to come ot the Board of Supes…  And Newsom just wanders around looking vague.

You have to wonder.

*************************************************************************

hmmm.  What is The Note trying to say…

DNC Chairman Howard Dead attends the Grassroots Democracy Bond Event at 5:00 pm ET in Austin, TX.

************************************************************************

UPDATE. 1:30 pm

General McCaffrey responded: “More is being asked of them, particularly the National Guard and reserve components, than they signed up to do. And in the near-term, we think it’s going to unravel.”

That “near-term” seemed to be about 72 hours away from McCaffrey’s comments. On Monday, the Army announced that because it is stretched so thin by the occupation of Iraq, it is once again extending the combat tours of thousands of soldiers beyond their promised 12-month tours.

Dahr Jamail publishes, with permission, a couple of emails from the mother of a marine in al Anbar, Ramadi.  Just a few snips:

You are the ONLY person in the media who has responded to my emails. The other emails I sent to news organizations questioning why so little news out of Al-Anbar were unanswered.

I believe that it is because the US has lost that region, and is suppressing that news to the American public. My son called me last week from Ramadi and said the war is lost – they are just going thru the motions, again, forced to carry out orders and risk their lives for an unobtainable and unjust goal.  […]

The American occupation seems to be only making things that much worse for the average Iraqi. My impression is that Iraq is a country with no hope. No matter what is done, they will never have a stable government, no matter what form it might take. From my son, I’m able to glean the complete CHAOS Ramadi is in. It is hopeless.  […]

My son is running missions thru back alleys … and is hauling a machine gun that is destroying his back. He is a slender young man, and the gear he is carrying is affecting his health. He can run for miles, but not with a hundred pounds on him. Already I hear such a hardness in his emails, such low morale, such hopelessness, and he has only just begun this deployment (hopefully his last … his third).

**********************************************************************

UPDATE, 4:00 pm

- Fresh Hot News! –  Iraq is a terrorist magnet! – News! 

The Declassified Super Duper Secret NIE, well “Key Judgements”, anyway:  pdf. 

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Comments»

1. TustonDAZ - 26 September 2006

I wonder all right. I wonder how they hell they can spend 2.5 billion on cameras to watch coyotes and tumbleweeds, but Bay Area port secuirity can’t get 1.5 mil for cameras?
Red Herring

Boeing Windfall for Startups
Boeing’s $2.5-billion contract to secure U.S. borders could be a boost for video surveillance startups.
September 21, 2006
Christmas seems to have come a little early for video surveillance startups.
The Department of Homeland Security’s decision Thursday to award a multi-billion dollar contract to a consortium led by Boeing could mean big bucks for many startups that have been working on innovative video surveillance technology.
Boeing bagged a contract estimated to be worth $2.5 billion to secure America’s borders with Mexico and Canada. The contract has been awarded as part of the Secure Border Initiative, or the SBInet program. It will provide DHS, and its agents and officers, with solutions to detect, identify, classify, and respond to illegal entry attempts.
Over the next few months, Boeing said it will hand out a number of subcontracts to small businesses. Boeing also plans to use off-the-shelf ready technology to secure the borders. The plan is to have a network of cameras and sensors installed over the 7,500-mile border.
I should quit my day job and get into gov’t contracting.
“Start ups” can make a killing…

In other news…say it ain’t so, Dave. I’m starting to wonder if you’re less killer whale and more domesticated, more shamu…
this is regarding the clinton/wallace brouhaha, which while great TV was not:

3. The media cannot count on rolling over on supine Democrats any more.
The worst thing about being a journalist of my vintage is that the narrative arc of our careers has pretty much followed the career trajectory of Bob Woodward. We started out in the post-Watergate euphoria — young and hungry, committed to our important role, true believers in Truth, Justice, and the American Way. And, over time, we watched ol’ Bob and the rest of our peers sell out, cash in, suck up, and give away the franchise. As Glenn Greenwald says above, guys like Chris Wallace get paid more than the president — but can’t be bothered to spend five minutes with Google or Lexis-Nexis unearthing even a few shreds of background history that might put their stories into a larger, deeper context. Only rookies fresh out of college apparently bother themselves with actual research any more. The rank of a journalist is now measured by the degree to which they can get away with just making stuff up.
Corporate media is premised on the belief that consumers don’t want that kind of analysis. It’s not worth doing, because it doesn’t sell airtime. And, conveniently, it also means they can say any damn fool thing about anybody, and nobody’s ever going to go back and hold them accountable for it.
Yesterday, Clinton held Wallace and FOX News accountable. He said: This story has a real history, with real people doing things of real consequence. And, for once, I’m going to make you honor that. If you’re not telling the whole tale — all the way back to 1993 — you’re not doing your job. So I’m going to shame you in front of the whole country by doing it for you.

Sorry for the long quotes and if the formatting is funny; for some reason my window for this page is screwed up and I’ve got a tiny box to write in…

2. Deepest Throat - 26 September 2006

Here is an excellent write up on Jane Hamsher. It has a cool title – Jane Hamsher: The Left’s Answer to Ann Coulter?

Hamsher’s rise to national prominence has been remarkably rapid: a year ago, she was a political unknown, but in that time, she has built up an impressive following by either attracting and manufacturing controversy. Early on, she seems to have understood that it would be easy to generate readership (and ads and name recognition) by attacking someone of something hard and often. A self-described “cast-iron bitch,” she makes no apologies for fighting dirty, hitting conservatives on their turf, and by using their rules of engagement.

Now, I should make it clear. I love to see the likes of Kate O’Beirne, Michelle Malkin, and Bill O’Reilly (and their repulsive ideas) exposed. I also think that there is absolutely nothing wrong with having a little fun at the expense of certain public figures, especially when it is done with humor and panache. However, there are certain lines which should not be crossed. Ever. For example, for a self-described feminist to call another woman, regardless of how despicable her politics might be (and O’Bierne’s ideas are repulsive) , a “Sandpaper Snatch” is, well, problematic. I also understand that there is a dicey school of thought out there that which postulates a difference between a man saying or writing such a thing and a woman who does, though I don’t buy into it.

So what is this really all about? It is no secret that many white liberals hold deeply held and largely unacknowledged racist impulses. There is no such thing as growing up in this culture and not imbibe, to one degree or another, the racist principles which are embedded in the bedrock of American culture and history. I don’t care how tolerant (one of those loaded words, if ever there was one) or liber al or fair-minded your parents or grandparents or your neighbors are. Or if you have an in-law or a cousin who is part something or other. No one is imune. But what has been shocking about Hamsher’s racial gaffes has been how few (if any) of the “big” (A-list as they have now been dubbed) have been willing to touch this. Because, on the whole and as a whole, White liberal bloggers have deadly silent, except for the few which have hastened to defend Hamsher, because they say, she really didn’t mean to be racist. Whether they are simply clueless, or afraid to bite the hand which has or may feed them, it is hard to say. But it has disproved the myth that it is only the wing-nuts who will not hold their own accountable.

3. marisacat - 26 September 2006

well I think we saw what happens to criticism, meaning when it occurs within their reach, where they can slam back and censor, we saw what happens with Nyhan of Spinsanity when he took detailed issue wtih Atrios, postint at TAPPED blog, Horse’s Mouth.

LOL He no longer posts at TAPPED/Horse’s mouth. Tomasky had a talk iwth him about concentrating on conservatives. And Nyhan chose to leave. And a site that normally gets from 3 to 20 comments got over 400 comments to the post about Atrios.

And it was the same week or so that Harlem 20 Day Trippers etc occured.

Wham Bam Choke on a Blahg.

4. gong - 26 September 2006

As far as I’m concerned, to count as the Ann Coulter of the left, Hamsher (or anyone else) would have to be calling for the death of her political opponents. Something like: invade their countries, kill their leaders, and turn them into netroots (or whatever).

That said, that was a good post you linked, Deepest Throat.

5. marisacat - 26 September 2006

Plus Hamsher has no where near the media penetration that Coulter enjoys.

A huge difference. LOL.

Tho somebody or other had said they WANTED to be the Left’s coulter.

6. gong - 26 September 2006

Hadn’t thought of that marisacat, but of course that’s right.

I suppose that to be the Ann Coulter of the left, someone would actually have to be of the left. Which industries does Hamsher want nationalised?

Maybe George Galloway could be the Ann Coulter of the left. I imagine he’d do a pretty good job of it. ;)

7. marisacat - 26 September 2006

Which industries does Hamsher want nationalised?

There you go… ;)

A conservative R called into Wahs Journal this am and said he WANTED the energy industry nationalised. They assisted in the push for war and he felt they might as well be nationalised.

It was refreshing. Not the old tired crap. An actual reaction to a clogged mess…
;)

8. NYCee - 26 September 2006

I finally watched the Evo Morales inteview by Amy and Juan and it was very inspirational. Very much so. Im sorry I didnt catch Bachelet on Charlie Rose, esp since you, Marisa, said Charlie “behaved.” Lol. I stopped watching him a while ago because of so many misbehaviors or “leanings.”

Did you happen to catch, on a recent WJ, the author/professor who wrote a book about Chavez? This: Nikolas Kozloff, Author, “Hugo Chavez: Oil, Politics and hte Challenge to the U.S.”

Nikolas Kozloff, Author, “Hugo Chavez: Oil, Politics and the Challenge to the U.S.,” discusses the reaction to Hugo Chavez’ speech at the United Nations. 32 min.

Really enjoyed that. He went toe to toe with some off-the-charts numbnut viewers … really stuck to his guns. Integrity. He had this unique kind of nerdy, facially squirmy thing going on (funny!), while so sincere and strong in his info and opinions. Interesting guy. He said repeatedly that he wrote the book to counteract the MSM’s “sensationalist” presentation of Chavez. Said so much context is missing here (And how!) re Chavez/Venezuela and the US’s historical and current relationship, which motivated him to write the book. And he didnt fail to point out that some of the reactions from some viewers only proved his point. He had some very good rebuttals for them. Has spent quite a few years in Venezuela and SA. Said Chavez’s measures remind him of FDR’s New Deal, in many ways.

You and others here might find it worth a view if you have the time or inclination.

9. CSTAR - 26 September 2006

Clinton and sexual politics (and by that I don’t mean Monica Lewinsky): I mean the way he refused to stand by the very wise Jocelyn Elders for her sage comments on masturbation. (see here

masturbation is something that is a part of human sexuality, and is a part of something that perhaps should be taught.

Clinton had the temerity to say she had “values contrary to the administration”.

One other comment about language and sexuality, thinking of Jane Hamsher’s comment (my English is somewhat poor on these colloquial sexual terms, although I think I can figure out what “sandpaper snatch” is). The way we use language should respect our political views: For instance, use of “masturbation” as a term that denotes wasting time or unproductiveness is at best silly. I’m not claiming that explicit use of sexual language is bad (and do it myself), but it should be in accord with ones values. Rape is bad, involuntary penetration is bad, safe, consensual sex is good.

10. marisacat - 26 September 2006

Jocelyn Elders AND lani Guinier both drove me insane. The way clinton would not stnd by them, fight for them. Nor even CALL them.

And it is all wrapped up in a messy ball of broken wax. he and Hill called Dick Morris. But not JE and LG.

His mushy weakness except when you attacked him or his legacy (he gets mad over AIDS too, what he did or did not do during 8 years) or, if he is paying attention, the wife.

11. NYCee - 26 September 2006

On Washington Journal, on Iraq. Good God, what they do get away with saying!

My Jaw Dropper of the Day. (Yet, sigh, I know the day is not yet done.)

But first… Sy Hersh once made a derisive comment, loaded with frustration and disgust (I think it was around Freedom Fries time) on the miserable state of our Congress, his comment being that the current bunch is a breathtakingly clownish assemblage (clowns are the professionals he referenced). One could certainly do worse, in proving his point than to use Rep LaHood (IL) as prime example that clowns r U.S. (Congress). Still.

LaHood, defending the genius of war on Iraq, and to deflate the idea that our war created more terrorism, said: Of course terrorists are there! “They go where we are!” It then, logically followed, to LaHood, that we are safer here. That is what he said. Like b follows a and c follows b. 1, 2, 3. So logical!

So since we went there to get them away from us, we are no longer here, I guess, because here isnt there, which therefore makes here where they can still get us. Like on 9/11. Is he there? Are you there? Am I there?

He also said it is just a couple of places in Iraq that are violent but elsewhere schools, businesses, and HOSPITALS (I kid you not) are thriving. It’s just booming, the life in Iraq, says LaHood.

Oh, and “Iraqis love us.” For what we did for them. I kid you not.

Does not Congressman LaHood make you feel all snug and safe inside, knowing he is but one of similarly brilliant elected officials serving in our hallowed halls on the Hill?

If not, you simply must get more clownish. It’s the only way.

12. Deepest Throat - 26 September 2006

Boeing is not the only one to get the contract, Israel’s Elbit Systems also won a piece of it.

A consortium led by Boeing, the second-largest American defense contractor, and including Israel’s Elbit Systems, has won the first piece of an estimated $2 billion government project to develop and provide new technologies to secure the US borders, The Jerusalem Post has learned.

Figures, hire a company that has experience on keeping people out, I mean enclosed.

13. gong - 26 September 2006

Energy is near the top of my list. Though given the situation here with health, education, and fercrissakes the prisons, the top of my list is fairly crowded.

14. TustonDAZ - 26 September 2006

Must be something in my water…I see I left out the link to Neiwert drinking the kool aid on Clinton and Wallace

here it is: Orcinus (yeah, yeah its just his front page but now I’ve done what I consider due diligence for fair use)

I think a lot of people want to believe that things can’t get worse, that the Dems will find their “spine” that the U.S. won’t be the 21st centuries Nazi Germany; but like my old man always says if “Wishing made it so, we’d all be rich and famous)

We are so fucked.

I guess I missed it last week, but it looks like the house passed a modern day pole tax:

Here’s one sure-fire Republican strategy to whip Democrats in 2008 — block voting by those who traditionally cast ballots for Democratic candidates.

A shameful, nakedly political voter ID bill passed last week by the House of Representatives would disproportionately disenfranchise the poor, the elderly, minorities, women, students, the under-educated and the disabled.

House Republicans cast 224 of the 228 “yes” votes for a bill that requires a government-issued photo ID for anyone voting in the November 2008 federal election.

By 2010, voters in federal elections must also prove citizenship.

Roanok Times

If I understand the law correctly, not only do you need photo ID but by 2010 ( a full 5 years before full implementaion of the Real ID act) you’ll have to have either a Passport or one of these Real ID licenses or no vote for you…

15. marisacat - 26 September 2006

meanwhile they privatise it all. As fast as they can.

I doubt there is much of a public school system, nor will one be rebuilt in SE LA… The very first lower school to reopen was a Catholic parochial grammar school. Historians will make mincement of the US over katrina.

Our Romanov selves on full display.

NYCee I missed the Dem Now with Kozloff. But I read a piece on him and his book at counterpunch.

16. TustonDAZ - 26 September 2006
17. marisacat - 26 September 2006

Tuston… well when Jimmy came out of those negotiations or whatever they were! last year wtih james Baker III and they were both agreeable to an ID card to vote…

I mean you hae to wonder. Then it seemed it would be rolled back or there was objection, but now they roll it inot immigration and the Busby comment… and whatever else.

And the Democrats will not will not fight for the vote.

They really are handmaidens. When ever it really counts, they get sleepy and confused.

I heard Rahm remind Tavis last night, when he took Rahm to task for all the dems who voted for war… oh Rahm was right there to say that plenty voted against it.

Meanwhile Bill says, any chance he gets, he would have voted for it. And Kerry…………..
well. Pick a response. Then flip it like a coin. Don’t bother to check which side. It will be changed.

18. Arcturus - 26 September 2006

of politicians, legislators, un-

acknowledged limits

of prosperity after the event

a signal crystal

clear disaster it

signals, signed

a bill occurred

obscure and pregnant

conflict

or who surivives

19. CSTAR - 26 September 2006

Re: Nikolas Kozloff, Author, “Hugo Chavez: Oil, Politics and hte Challenge to the U.S.” On CSPAN. We don’t have Cable, so I saw it online. Wow NYCee those really were “off-the-charts numbnut viewers” that called in. Please, someone, find a god and ask her to save us.

Though Chile 1973 and Venezuela 2006 are different beasts, economically, (Venezuela has oil and foreign reserves which Chile didn’t) I really am worried that destabilization will occur “a la mode” with some kind of direct military intervention. This reminds me in Chile there (still) is a company called American Screw de Chile; at the time of Allende they used to have a large sign which said “American Screw Chile”. I wonder if American Screw has a subsidiary in Caracas.

20. NYCee - 27 September 2006

Marisa – The Kozloff appearance was on Cspan, WJ, not DN. On Sunday, I think.

CSTAR – It does come to mind, doesnt it? I think they have been given some breathing room because of all the Bush busyness going on in the ME (buyiness, as in militarily interventionist activity but BUSINESS also truly does apply, of course). I saw a meeting of the Hudson Institute on Cspan a couple of years ago and they were whingeing something awful about the lack of “attention” (Reaganesque, say) being given by BushCo to those dreadful Latin American upstarts, such as Chavez. It was freaky. They referred to frustrated LA rightwing contacts (cant recall from which troublesome nation) not directly as coup doers, but it was obvious. It seems LA is of much interest to the HI – their baby. Or one of their most important ones.


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