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Evening Open Thread… 28 February 2007

Posted by marisacat in Blonde Sense, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter.
132 comments

La Louche... still here!

Oh my!… any issues, addenda, gossip, etc., regarding anything, drop me a line:  Marisacat … at … AOL … dot …  com.

Slide! The hill, the market, the nation… ;) 27 February 2007

Posted by marisacat in California / Pacific Coast, DC Politics, Democrats, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, San Francisco.
90 comments

  Classic San Francisco move, taxi cab and shopping bag!
James Nysather helps Linda Branco move some of her belongings out of his condo in North Beach. Linda and her husband, Jeff, who own Coit Liquors, were staying at Nysather’s condo when the mudslide happened. [Chronicle photo by David Paul Morris]

Tho in fairness, it was not all so (relatively) easy.  More than one house on Broadway is an older wood frame building with small, warren-like apartments or, in one case, an old style rooming house.  The Red Cross was there, and assistance at the Chinese Community Center..

“I remember watching part of a hillside come down in the 1980s — I saw a boulder the size of a Volkswagen Bug roll down the hill on Sansome Street,” she said.

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The Markets…

BBC (television news) says markets in the Pacific Rim are opening off:   From the Bangkok Post, early returns from the opening markets and a recap:

[E]arly Wednesday, New Zealand’s benchmark stock index tumbled 3 per cent, taking its lead from global markets.

Australian stocks tumbled 3.5 per cent Wednesday. The benchmark ASX200 dropped 200 points, or 3.5 per cent, to 5,771.

Sarah Rubicon, an analyst with brokerage Goldman Sachs J B Were in Sydney, said there was no panic and that buyers had come back into the market to pick up stocks cheaply. [...]

Recap:

[R]uss Koesterich, a portfolio manager at Barclays Global Investors, told the Bloomberg financial news agency that Tuesday’s action was “a fairly violent sell-off.”

The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 416.02 points, or 3.29 per cent, to 12,216.24. The S&P 500 plunged 50.33 points, or 3.47 per cent, to 1,399.04. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index plummeted 96.65 points, or 3.86 per cent, to 2,407.87.

The US currency declined to 75.514 euro cents from 75.84 euro cents on Monday. The dollar fell against the Japanese currency to 117.9 yen from 120.61 yen on Monday.

Gold was off $9.55 to $676.20 per fine ounce.

The sharp slide came amid a tumble in global markets as fears about an economic slowdown in the United States and the end of the Chinese economic bubble sparked a global wave of selling.

Analysts at Briefing.com called the action “one of the worst days for stocks in recent memory [snip]

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The fearsome political concrete we are stuck in… From Tom Paine:

Precisely because we face such crucial policy choices in Iraq, the Middle East and the world, we must remember that while W. and the neocons are a problem, they are not the problem. Sweep this particular gang of thugs and thieves out of office, and … what? A kinder and gentler imperial policy designed by Democrats is still an imperial policy, and imperial policies always have the same result: The suffering of millions—others that are, too often, invisible to us—in support of policies that protect our affluence.

Name a politician at the national level today who has even come close to acknowledging that painful reality. Go ahead, think about it for a minute—I can wait. [...]

Gotta stop selling those elections:

I’m not arguing for a holier-than-thou purism on all doctrine at all times; we have to be strategic in offering support to politicians with whom we inevitably will have some disagreements. Instead, I’m arguing for an honest assessment of politicians, and of ourselves. If we are willing to excuse so quickly the pro-imperial policies of our so-called progressive leaders, might that be in part because we haven’t broken with the imperial mindset ourselves?
 
As the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan crumble under the weight of this imperial madness, we owe it to the people there not only to critique the policies of the psychotically self-righteous madmen of the Bush administration, and not only to point out that the current Democratic leadership is too timid in its opposition to these wars. We owe it to Iraqis and Afghans—and to all the people living in places that our empire targets—to critique the allegedly more humane and liberal face of empire.
 
If we look in the mirror, whose face is that?

It just leads to a kitchen drawer loaded with campaign buttons… and plenty of misery around the world.  And at home…

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UPDATE, 10:52 am on the Pacific Ocean, we are cold clear and bright there…

A couple of hours ago, Martin of BMT posted to Mcat. I do believe he wished to imply that I am intimidating.  That appears to be his premise. 

Here is his first comment.  If you have an interest in what preceded his comments (in this thread that is) and how the thread evolved, please read below. (Bolding is mine.)

25. BooMan – 28 February 2007

Is there a reason why you are discussing the identity of my lawyer?

Do you have plans to post a picture of him?

Do you have plans to post his dating preferences?

Are you planning on posting his address and phone number, or telling everyone who his clients are?

I hope not.

I can see why you posted information about funding. None of that funding ever materialized, but I do understand why it is a topic worthy of discussion. What I don’t understand is why my lawyer has anything to do with this.

It seems like pure intimidation. And it fits right into a pattern that has been taken with at least 3 other lawyers that have aggravated you. My lawyer hasn’t done anything to warrant criticism, or even discussion.

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

OUT NOW. 

STOP FUNDING THE WARS.

Fucking creampuffs… 26 February 2007

Posted by marisacat in DC Politics, Democrats, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Iraq War, Lie Down Fall Down Dems.
92 comments

  photo, mondodisotto.it

If it weren’t war, I would laugh.  I have only used that highly flammable word, traitor, once at this site… and it was to describe both parties, both are traitors to the American people.  Sheeple tho the people may be…

WASHINGTON, Feb. 27, 2007
By JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS Associated Press Writer

(AP) Democratic leaders backed away from aggressive plans to limit President Bush’s war authority, the latest sign of divisions within their ranks over how to proceed.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Monday he wanted to delay votes on a measure that would repeal the 2002 war authorization and narrow the mission in Iraq.

Senior Democrats who drafted the proposal, including Sens. Joseph Biden of Delaware and Carl Levin of Michigan, had sought swift action on it as early as this week, when the Senate takes up a measure to enact the recommendations of the bipartisan Sept. 11 commission.

Reid, who will huddle with Democrats Tuesday to discuss whether to postpone the Iraq debate, cited pressure from victims’ families for quick action on the Sept. 11 bill as the reason for doing so. [snip]

And look what the lousy limp thing uses… for the excuse. September 11th.

Nor can he shut up:

“Iraq is going to be there _ it’s just a question of when we get back to it,” Reid said, predicting it would be “days, not weeks” before the Senate returned to the issue. The war reauthorization legislation also appears to lack the 60 votes it would need to pass the Senate.

  photo, mondodisotto.it

There is a post at MyDD about this, from David Sirota.   He sounds like his old self, calling out Democrats when they are base and cowardly…

Make no mistake about it: The renewed refusal by Democrats to use their majority in even the most basic way to stop the war is a declaration that the new majority is not close to using even the most basic powers afforded to it to stop or slow down the war. In other words, in backing off, the Democrats have just weeks after the 2006 anti-war election mandate effectively declared themselves as supportive of the Bush administration’s stay-the-course policy – a truly sickening act of cowardice.

 Matt Stoller interjects a cautionary header based on the Bowers post, an interjected update to the Sirota posting, to discredit the AP story.  Yes, the brave Democrats.  No reason to believe this report. 

From the Bowers segment of the Sirota post  — hard to know what to call the Bowers addendum, other than an exhibition of panic, well If I had sold this congress to people, I’d be panicked — :

Yes, the war is the most pressing issue we face, and yes there are Democrats who are not on board that we need to pressure. However, this is a crap article that is utterly unfair to the Democratic leadership that is in fact still pursuing plans to end the war as vigorously as ever. Both the House gradual draw down plan and the Senate rewriting of the AUMF are still in place, and will come up for votes within the next month.

Frankly, I would have thought that once we were in power we would not have turned off our bullshit detectors when it came to the obligatory “Democrats divided” articles are regularly coughed up from places like the AP. Attack any Democrat who prevents this war from ending, but do so with fair attacks.
 

People are too busy wading thru the Democrats’ own bullshit.

Talk about scraping the bottom of the barrel.  I feel anyone who expected anything of the Democrats or who sold the 110th as anything but scrapings of something resembling a life form should be ashamed.  The only vaguely amusing thing in all of this is that the apparatchiks will have plenty of opportunity to be ashamed of the congressional majority.

OUT NOW.  BRING THEM HOME NOW.

Out on the links (not about golf…) 26 February 2007

Posted by marisacat in Big Box Blogs, Culture of Death, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, WAR!.
70 comments

  from Salo by Pasolini 

Catching up to links posted over the past few days… a piece on Pat Dollard (and more than Dollard) at Rigorous Intuition [apologies, forget who posted it] and a related link on Dollard, [posted by Ezekiel]…

The Jackass War

Pat Dollard might agree, and say “Fuck yeah.” The former Hollywood agent is now lionized by Fox and Republican revanchists for his midlife makeover to “War on Terror” propagandist. His time self-embedded in Iraq has become Young Americans, the trailer of which plays like Jackass goes to War, and includes footage of a Marine raising a severed Iraqi head to the camera to a thrashing soundtrack of “If you don’t like it you can suck my dick!”

And so, RigInt gets to the nitty gritty of Pat Dollard, with this – following a somewhat gut churning slice of his other film, The Three Days:

And as awful as it is, Dollard is right. As right as Pasolini was when he had one of Salo‘s torturers say “We Fascists are the only true anarchists. Once we’ve become masters of the state, true anarchy is that of power.” Transgressive brutality is a path of transformation, at least to a sociopath, and fascism is an ideology of sociopaths. Dollard is embraced by America’s fascist elite because behind their paper house of flittering justifications for catastrophe, he’s the exultant “Fuck Yeah!” the architects of mayhem still don’t dare exclaim in public.

George Bush is not the architect of his wars, but rather another cowboy advocate, and like Dollard he can still delight in them even as he fulfills his job on the team by lying them into being. A couple of weeks ago Washington Life Magazine‘s Soroush Shehabi, a grandson of a Pahlavi-era minister of Iran, used a presidential reception to warn, Bush, as though he didn’t already know, that “one US bomb on Iran and the regime will remain in power for another 20 or 30 years and 70 million Iranians will become radicalized.” Bush answered, “I know,” to which Soroush responded, “But does Vice President Cheney know?” Bush walked away, chuckling.

I admit I did not know of Pat Dollard, or if I ever did had dropped him from the brain… I surely did know of Saló and Pasolini, seeing the film when it came out… Amazing, amazing film.  In fact, recently seeing Kissinger escorted from the services for Ford by a young Navy man in his dress uniform, I flashed on the film.  Let’s just say it was a highly erotic escort down the carved stone steps…

With Salo, Pasolini updates de Sade from early 18th Century France to Fascist Italy. (Indeed Salo is an Italian province where Pasolini spent parts of his childhood and had witnessed first hand the mindless thuggery of Mussolini’s fascists). In Pasolini’s view, de Sade’s work, which was essentially a work of pornography, takes on an added political meaning to talk about the corruption of absolute power. Outside of this though, Pasolini remains remarkably faithful to the text of the de Sade work, replicating the depravities and the structure of the nightly tales by the gathered guests. Salo is certainly Pasolini’s most controversial work and still remains banned over two decades in many countries of the world.

  Pier Paolo Pasolini on the set of Salo 
Pier Paolo Pasolini on the set of Saló or the 120 Days of Sodom

From Ezekiel’s link at Not an American, Why Liberals Have No Answer for Pat Dollard

Yes, there was a stupid macho side of the new left that would later give birth to the feminist and gay liberation movements, but the popular culture influence by the movement against the war in Vietnam also valued the feminine, the childlike, the lyrical undercurrents of American history that the current opposition to the war in Iraq most emphatically rejects.

From the constant drumbeat on Democratic Party affiliated websites like Atrios, Jesus’ General, and Operation Yellow Elephant to get Bush’s daughters into the military, to the bills in front of Congress by liberal Democrats like Charles Rangel calling for a reintroduction of the draft, to grassroots leftist support for old Vietnam era reactionaries like Jim Webb, to the recommendations that anti-war protesters wear suits and ties, the opposition to the war in Iraq is politically liberal, but culturally conservative. It values the hard, the masculine. It looks back to the rugged blue-collar authenticity of the old urban Democratic Party machines, not to the visionary and the lyrical politics of the new left..

Just count the number of diaries on the left Democratic web community Daily Kos that express the sentiment that “my Democratic Party daddy can beat up your Republican Party Daddy”. Obama “smacks down” Dick Cheney. Al Gore “schools” George Bush. Howard Dean “bitch slaps” Joe George Allen. The air is thick with testosterone poisoning.

Ain’t it the truth…  with Long War the utterly futile debasement can only get worse.

The so called liberal left, Democratic progressives, whatever name they cling to… no, they have no answer for Pat Dollard and the utter wildness, the high pitched, manic fever of the hardened extreme Right… they are still struggling with the simple, direct and powerful play that Donohue ran… still struggling, albeit manfully, with “to apologise or not”.

As if it mattered.

In structuring Saló, Pasolini utilizes the circles of hell as elaborated in Dante’s Inferno. The film thus far has been entitled “ANTINFERNO,” or the antechamber of hell. As they enter the villa, the “circle of obsessions” or manias begins. This circle is dominated by the detailed recounting of perverse sexual encounters, interspersed with violent episodes of sexual deviation and domination committed by the libertines upon the young boys and girls. Next is the “circle of shit,” dominated by images of coprophagy. The film culminates in the “circle of blood,” dominated by images of torture and death.

Each of the circles is introduced by an elegant madame who has spent her life servicing the most base desires of libertinage. Each woman spins lewd yarns relating to her circle, which are designed to excite the libertines and provoke similar action. The idea of reproducing the acts told in the stories is key; Pasolini’s film is a tale of frustrated desire, of impotence taking its vengeance on a helpless underclass. The libertines’ sexual voracity requires the constant exploration of the most grotesque and imaginative eroticism; the telling of stories adds fuel to their fire.

Throughout the stories, a fourth woman is always present playing the piano. She begins by playing tunes from “Showboat,” progresses through Romantic composers like Chopin, and by the end plays atonal and unsettling experimental music in the vein of Scriabin or Hindemith. This musical progression is structured to complement the visual semiotics of a nightmarish descent. The constant presence of music underneath the stories is vital, and lends the libertines and their affairs a decidedly bourgeois character.

  
Abu Ghraib, Graner 

”…replicating the depravities and the structure of the nightly tales by the gathered guests.” 

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UPDATE, 9:59 am

Occupation:

[C]ontrary to the impression of most observers, the great majority of the checkpoints are not even near the Green Line, Israels internationally recognised border until it occupied the West Bank and Gaza in 1967. Some are so deep inside Palestinian territory that the army refuses to allow Machsom Watch to visit them. There, the women say, no one knows what abuses are being perpetrated unseen on Palestinians.

But at Huwara checkpoint, where the old man refused to submit, the soldiers know that most of the time they are being watched by fellow Israelis and that their behaviour is being recorded in monthly logs. Machsom Watch has a history of publishing embarrassing photographs and videos of the soldiers’ actions. It showed, for example, a videotape in 2004 of a young Palestinian man being forced to play his violin at Beit Iba checkpoint, a story that gained worldwide attention because it echoed the indignities suffered by Jews at the hands of the Nazis.

Machsom Watch has about 500 members, reportedly including Olmert’s leftwing daughter, Dana. But only about 200 actively take part in checkpoint duties, an experience that has left many outspoken in denouncing the occupation. The organisation is widely seen by the Israeli public as extremist, with pro-Israel groups accusing the women of “demonising” Israel.  [snip]

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In case anyone else is watching too… ;) 25 February 2007

Posted by marisacat in California / Pacific Coast, Divertissements, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, la vie en rose.
55 comments

  Sunset Boulevard, 1950

I just HAD to add this news report – from Australia, because of the title… ;)

Tension grips Hollywood as Oscars loom

26th February 2007, 4:17 WST

Hollywood was nervously bracing for a cliffhanger Oscars ceremony in Los Angeles, with four films jostling for the best picture at a 79th Academy Awards show striking for its international flavour.

The red carpet has been laid out, limousine chauffeurs are on standby and the world’s movie stars are undergoing last-minute pampering and preening ahead of Tinseltown’s biggest social event of the year.

About 3,400 guests will start arriving at Hollywood’s Kodak Theatre from about 2pm (0800 AEDT Monday), where they will be greeted by a blizzard of flash bulbs from photographers shooting the world’s most star-studded fashion show.

A massive security operation is under way, with streets surrounding the Oscars venue closed down and several hundred police manning checkpoints and conducting searches to ward off potential terrorist threats. [snip]

Always something loominggripping tension!… the endless threat of the pending

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Rounding toward the end… I am a sucker for cinema montages (there were two) and a real sucker for Ennio Moriconne… sigh.  And still, a bit of a flat souffle it ws tonight… not sure why. I had not watched for several years, then fell back in last year…

 
18sunset by Jean-Francois Brulotte of barraclou.com

Shall see how the finale goes… ;)

Sy Hersh is UP in The New Yorker… 25 February 2007

Posted by marisacat in Iran, Iraq War, Israel/AIPAC, Seymour Hersh.
41 comments

   photo from Common Dreams 

A snip from The New Yorker [thanks to Madman for the email!]

[I]n the past year, the Saudis, the Israelis, and the Bush Administration have developed a series of informal understandings about their new strategic direction. At least four main elements were involved, the U.S. government consultant told me. First, Israel would be assured that its security was paramount and that Washington and Saudi Arabia and other Sunni states shared its concern about Iran.

Second, the Saudis would urge Hamas, the Islamist Palestinian party that has received support from Iran, to curtail its anti-Israeli aggression and to begin serious talks about sharing leadership with Fatah, the more secular Palestinian group. (In February, the Saudis brokered a deal at Mecca between the two factions. However, Israel and the U.S. have expressed dissatisfaction with the terms.)

The third component was that the Bush Administration would work directly with Sunni nations to counteract Shiite ascendance in the region.

Fourth, the Saudi government, with Washington’s approval, would provide funds and logistical aid to weaken the government of President Bashir Assad, of Syria. The Israelis believe that putting such pressure on the Assad government will make it more conciliatory and open to negotiations. Syria is a major conduit of arms to Hezbollah. The Saudi government is also at odds with the Syrians over the assassination of Rafik Hariri, the former Lebanese Prime Minister, in Beirut in 2005, for which it believes the Assad government was responsible. Hariri, a billionaire Sunni, was closely associated with the Saudi regime and with Prince Bandar. (A U.N. inquiry strongly suggested that the Syrians were involved, but offered no direct evidence; there are plans for another investigation, by an international tribunal.) [snip]

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UPDATE, 12:10 pm

The CNN/Late Edition interview iwth Hersh is up in transcripts… You have to wade thru al Rubaie, then Madeleine Albright (shiver) and Kissinger (double shiver) to get to Hersh, here is a snip:

[S]o I think if it goes, and one doesn’t know, it is going to — you know, I have been writing the same story for a year, sort of like I would call up my friends and say, it is Chicken Little, you know, the sky is falling, in the last year. And now, obviously, it seems to be much more serious. It is much more intent.

My own instinct is, Wolf, that this president is not going to leave office without doing something about Iran. And he could always negotiate, it’s always on the table. And he keeps on refusing to negotiate. He keeps on saying he will not. And he keeps on talking tough.

And maybe we just have to really listen to what he is saying. And I don’t know what can stop him because he is president. [snip]

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Have a triple espresso open thread… ;) 24 February 2007

Posted by marisacat in France, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Paris.
88 comments

  Cafe de Flore, Paris, 1971

If I run into anything, will pop it up… Enjoy!

The Congealing Fuckball 24 February 2007

Posted by marisacat in 2008 Election, Abortion Rights, California / Pacific Coast, DC Politics, Democrats, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Sex / Reproductive Health.
95 comments

   Pitt and Napoleon 

At politico.com, which has cheekily declared itself a “Anna Nicole-free news zone, unless the father is a politician” is a piece on our very own Arnold.  God help us.  Hardly news he will ‘likely possibly not ruling it out’ run for US Senate in 2011 (hell all he has to do is broker a deal wtih DiFi… maybe by then she will retire to the Villa d’Este in Como)…

Along the way tho is this:

Schwarzenegger said that he believes politicians should be honest about admitting their mistakes but that “people are too tied down with analyzing” whether Hillary Clinton’s vote to authorize the Iraq war was a mistake. 

“Is that what makes the country operate well, if she becomes president?” he asked. “How you twist that or spin that? We should look at what has she done as senator. What has Barack Obama done as a U.S. senator or [a state] senator. What has Rudy Giuliani done? What has McCain done? You’ve got to judge people not by this one little thing.” 

Forgive and forget.  RESPECT and civility is all about conceding to the skrewball mess we are in.  “this one little thing”… All it is is WAR.

Schwarzenegger also said candidates should not be judged on a single issue like abortion. No pro-life presidential candidate has carried California since George H.W. Bush did so in 1988. So I asked Schwarzenegger if he thought McCain, who is also pro-life, could possibly win the state in 2008.  [snip]

Of course he says McCain could win California… abortion being a “this little thing”…

I don’t know.  Recently in the face of Catholic private money (Sebastiani, the winemaker money and a Southland Catholic newspaper publisher) and backed by the Catholic Bishops an initiative made it to the ballot… we defeated the effort to insitute parental notification. 

However!… A very big difference here, the orgs from CA AMA to League of Women Voters to Planned Parenthood, NOW, lesser extent NARAL, had the partnership of the CA DP.  Massive phone banks, editorials and opinion pieces thruout the state, a concerted and sustained campaign against the measure…

Also a very smart (I never would have thought of this) TV ad campaign based on “Keeping Teens Safe”, very credible mothers and daughters across the color spectrum, with the Mother simply saying, if my daughter needed my help I want her to come to me… Vote against Prop __, to Keep Teens Safe.

It worked.  Just prior to election day in 2004, Field poll placed it to be defeated by as much as 9 pt.  I felt pretty good about that.  It was dicey early, but as the 9 Bay Area counties pulled in, esp Alameda co, it was defeated by over 5 pts.

Then again we have Arnold, and the CA DP has conceded to him all the way, from the days of the Recall to now.  So he can now slobber for Hillary.

More cheeky than politico.com  is a comment to the piece flat out wondering:   what did the Clintons do for Arnold to obtain that public endorsement, albeit the endorsement limited to the Great California Teutonic Populist’s excuse for “this little thing”. 

Money for influence, good write-ups and endorsements… well that IS the question, east side west side all around the town.. ;)

Loads of grease around, to grease the rails.  For the skid to hell.

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As I am dissecting the congealing fuckball…. this from Bowers at MyDD:

This has not been a very fun week when it comes to writing about Democrats. We have had problems with Howard Dean on Fox, the Blue Dogs on Murtha’s plan to end the war, Senate Dems on Joe Lieberman, Jim Wallis on anti-Democratic stereotypes, Ellen Tauscher and a primary challenge, the idiotic Clinton-Obama kerfuffle, Harry Reid on the Nevada debate, Hillary Clinton attacking Dems with Republican language, and probably a bunch more stuff we didn’t write about on MyDD.

Right, not a great time for the 110th and the Dems.  Wonder why not!  That one little thing, War.  And the second thing?

Now, I don’t regret that our blog pointed out any of these negatives. I find complaints about the “circular firing squad” distasteful, as they imply progressive opinions don’t matter and that we should keep our mouths shut.

Not to get toooo excited… he then added this to excuse so  much outspokeness – emphasis is mine: 

I also feel like internal debate and pressure can be extremely healthy, especially when we are so far from an election.

My how loose lipped… because we know, from the politico.com piece of yesterday, that the 110th is already a tied up, shut down congealing fuckball over ’08… Yes the other little thing:

Both Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., are under pressure from anti-war lawmakers and outside groups to do more to end U.S. involvement in the Iraq.

But neither wants to take any step that risks exposing their party – and in Reid’s case, several Democratic presidential candidates – to a political barrage from Republicans.

Boyz!  Get with the program!  Instanter!  You are losing votes! 

The bulk of the rest of the post is All Time All Day Lieberman Central again.  That too is amusing… the close is this heart string pull  — after he approvingly quotes from the same politico.com article on the Dems ever fluid war strategy (emphasis is mine):

Good. This is what I have been looking for and hoping for. Combined with Murtha’s funding plan, Democrats now have an actual strategy to end the war. I intend to bring as much noise as I can to make sure Murtha’s plan passes both branches of Congress, and that Senate Dems reach the 60 votes they need to pass this bill. It won’t be an easy fight, but at least we have set the parameters of how we can end the war over the next eighteen months.

It is hard out there for a progressive. It is a constant two-front war, facing both the conservative movement and the DLC-nexus. Now, more than ever, it is clear that taking back Congress was just one step in the right direction. Our fight continues, but we are making progress

Meanwile,  the elected Democrats have retreated to Foxholes.  :)  Those are official foxholes, with air conditioning, heat, catering and, with the bonus package, scheduled consultant appointments, so the Democrats are cosseted, happy and feel they are earning their pensions. 

What else is new.

Friday afternoon and evening open thread…. 23 February 2007

Posted by marisacat in 2008 Election, Big Box Blogs, DC Politics, Political Blogs.
58 comments

   Botero a Venise 

A tid bit from the previous thread [thanks to aemd]… ;)

[F]or now, bloggers must be their own police. Participating in online political discussions without disclosing financial ties to a candidate would violate the unwritten rules of the blogosphere, website operators said.

“Campaigns and organizations promote their candidates and efforts, obviously,” Markos Moulitsas , the founder of DailyKos.com , a prominent liberal blog, said in an e-mailed response. “If they do it openly, it’s well accepted. If they use sock puppets ( create aliases to hide their identities), then it’s a big deal.”

But don’t challenge the tender little darlings;)

For the presidential campaigns, however, the stakes may prove too high to resist. About 15 percent of Americans get their political news online, according to a January study by the Pew Foundation, but political consultants said that percentage was higher among the party faithful who knock on doors, attend rallies, and make campaign donations. A good reputation among activists who get their news and views online, political strategists say, will be a crucial asset in the early stages of the primaries.

There is one under every rock, operating virally;)

With big corporations now hiring public relations firms to pay fake bloggers to plant favorable opinions of the businesses online, many political bloggers are concerned that candidates, too, will hire people to pretend to be grass-roots citizens expressing views.

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UPDATE, 2:15 pm

This is two years old, from Garance F-R at TAPPED but it fits with the above… and boston.com’s tone of near innocent inquiry…

Which brings us back to Jordan. He was brought down not by outraged citizen-bloggers but by a mix of GOP operatives and military conservatives. Easongate.com, the blog that served as the clearinghouse for the attack on CNN, was helped along by Virginia-based Republican operative Mike Krempasky. From May 1999 through August 2003, Krempasky worked for Blackwell as the graduate development director of the Leadership Institute, an Arlington, Virginia–based school for conservative leaders founded by Blackwell in 1979. The institute is the organization that had provided “Gannon” with his sole media credential before he became a White House correspondent. It also now operates “Internet Activist Schools” designed to teach conservatives how to engage in “guerilla Internet activism.”

She touches on the less energetic leftischer side of the dial.  Gannon and so on…

I rather imagine GF-R will be updating this article someday…

The long drawn out painful Donkey Screw… 22 February 2007

Posted by marisacat in 2008 Election, DC Politics, Democrats, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Iraq War.
85 comments

  al Anbar, March 1, 2006 

But the old “slow bleed plan” was just a couple of weeks ago?  Now it is the revisit and narrow the authorisation?

There is such a “Humpty Dumpty – ness” about it all. And these are not even the “king’s men”. 

Too late fellows:

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.) began calling for a reauthorization of the war early last month and raised it again last week, during a gathering in the office of Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.). Participants included Kerry, Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl M. Levin (Mich.), Charles E. Schumer (N.Y.), Jack Reed (R.I.) and Russell Feingold (Wis.).

Those Democratic senators have emerged as an unofficial war council representing the caucus’s wide range of views.

“We gave the president that power to destroy Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction and, if necessary, to depose Saddam Hussein,” Biden said of the 2002 resolution in a speech last week before the Brookings Institution. “The WMD was not there. Saddam Hussein is no longer there. The 2002 authorization is no longer relevant to the situation in Iraq.”

An observation that Gen Odom (ret.), NSA under Reagan, made in 2004Then he said, BRING THEM HOME.  Declare Victory, got Saddam, no WMD:  mission over.

Long war.

Senior Democratic aides said the proposed resolution would be sent directly to the Senate floor for action, without committee review, possibly as an amendment to a homeland security bill scheduled for debate next week.

Reid said no final decision had been made on the timing. Spokesman Jim Manley said Reid wants to present the idea to other Democrats before determining how and when to proceed.

 Meanwhile today, on The News Hour, I heard how just last month the rules for calling up the NG and the Reserves were changed entirely.  Whole new ball game. The old rule was, serve, or may be called up, 24 months out of 5 years.  The past was “wiped away” and a new 5 years is on the books.  All may be called up again, for 1 year within 5 years.   As soon as the transcript is up will post it…

From the NYT report (it was the same reporter appearing on TNH):

[N]ational Guard officials told state commanders in Arkansas, Indiana, Oklahoma and Ohio last month that while a final decision had not been made, units from their states that had done previous tours in Iraq and Afghanistan could be designated to return to Iraq next year between January and June, the officials said.

The unit from Oklahoma, a combat brigade with one battalion currently in Afghanistan, had not been scheduled to go back to Iraq until 2010, and brigades from the other three states not until 2009. Each brigade has about 3,500 soldiers.

The accelerated timetable illustrates the cascading effect that the White House plan to increase the number of troops in Iraq by more than 21,000 is putting on the entire Army and in particular on Reserve forces, which officers predicted would face severe challenges in recruiting, training and equipping their forces.  [snip]

War.  Long war.  They will be scraping them out of Germany, out of the Korean DMZ, off far flung bases and installations.  They can still break it more… and they will.

Suicide by president.  Democrats complicit.

As I type this, on C-Span the long walk around presser at WRH/Building 18 today is on.  Miserable.  General after general intones in the days since the WaPo article broke.

Why are they always so surprised?  We know they are not…

To draw more heavily on Reserve units, the Bush administration announced in January that it was revising rules that limited call-ups of Guard members. The previous policy limited mobilization of Guard members to 24 months every five years, but prolonged and large deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan led the Pentagon to abandon that rule.

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UPDATE, 6:41 am

Democracy NOW! had a segment yesterday on the issues raised in the Wapo article on WRH/Bldg 18. One participant, Mark Benjamin writes on injured vet issues, esp on the brain injured, Ward 54 at WRH.  I used to read him when he was with UPI previous to Salon:

MARK BENJAMIN: … On the other hand, the same Army is trying to make a determination about how much money the Pentagon is going to pay that soldier, perhaps for the rest of their life. Now, the Army’s mission, you have to understand, is to take ground and hold it. The Army’s mission, frankly, is not to compensate veterans for their service.

 So what we have is essentially a conflict of interest. The Army is trying to do both at the same time: save money for bullets and bombs on the backs of veterans, and also treat them and compensate them. So it’s this strange problem.  [...]

And this…

MARK BENJAMIN: Well, certainly, I think what Lieutenant Goodrum is talking about is when a soldier who has a stellar career sees something that they think is wrong in the theater, say, in Iraq and tries to alert superiors and tries to do the right thing and ends up resulting, in this case, in the death of a young soldier, and in Goodrum’s case, which I think is very well documented, it ends up that there’s a lot retribution against the soldier, and it’s carried out through his medical care, and it’s carried out through charging him with AWOL for trying to go get psychiatric care. I think those cases are relatively unusual. They do happen. I mean, being a whistleblower in the military, stepping up and doing, frankly, what officers are taught to do, which is blow the whistle when things get out of hand, yes, there are serious, serious cases of retaliation, and you do come across them.

I think the bigger problem, though — and I think Lieutenant Goodrum can speak to both of those — is you have those situations where you have somebody who tries to blow the whistle about dangerous equipment or lack of equipment, and so on and so forth, but then you get into this other issue of this frightening sort of bureaucracy, where the military is, a, trying treat you and, b, trying to determine if they can compensate you — and I think a lot of soldiers would say “not compensate” you by trying to save money, and doing those at the same time. And when you mix all that stuff together — for example, in Lieutenant Goodrum’s case, you have a very nasty recipe, where soldiers are both being retaliated against and struggling against a bureaucracy that is set out to primarily — or my reporting suggests — primarily save money on long-term disability payments and not so much emphasizing medical care. [snip]

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UPDATE, 9:38 am

Politico.com on the current Democratic “plans”… my it is a thin read:

Both Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., are under pressure from anti-war lawmakers and outside groups to do more to end U.S. involvement in the Iraq.

But neither wants to take any step that risks exposing their party – and in Reid’s case, several Democratic presidential candidates – to a political barrage from Republicans. [...]

“We are going to be very measured in how we approach this,” said one top Democratic strategist. “We will do nothing to endanger our troops in the field, but we will continue turning up the heat on Bush to end the war. We will go step-by-step, day-by-day, until we get there.”

There?  Quick! check all of America, but esp where the mics are in the halls at congress for “there”.  Should be big, white taped “X”s to show “there”.  Whereever film crews are setting up…

Such. worn. out. bullshit.

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UPDATE… 11:15 am

Oh this is just hilarious.  Stoller on the Blue Dog bump in the road And catch the thread… posters shocked!  SHOCKED! I tell you!! at who is a Blue Dog….  others do the fast needlework to bind up the loose threads.  What a joke… And Stoller who posted last week on Reid and other Dem weakness in the face of the war….. lists his blog critics.

 LOL Tuck the baby into the coffin and shut the lid.

Very amusing.  Blue Dogs acquired 7 in numbers in that so critical election just past… and New Democrats (basically DLC) swelled from 47 (iirc) to now 60.  There is some cross over between the two.. and plenty of conservative Dems (Chet Edwards of TX for one) who are not official BD nor ND.

 I gather Stoller’s reaction is to call for Edwards to be primaried.

Just a lot of very conservative Democrats.  Oh the Boyz are so surprised.  What did they think? 

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UPDATE, 11:50 am

Who is IOZ Operation Himmler – on ME, US and The Dems…. from the close…

This is all to say: Iran has never invaded anyone and is in no position to invade anyone. It’s to say that there is no such thing as an accidental war. It’s to say that we aren’t arming our clients in the Gulf to defend against Iranian aggression; we are preparing them as staging grounds for American aggression. It’s to say that this is all hew, cry, and bullshit. And it’s to say to all the pansy-ass Donkle do-gooders who wring their hands over our warmaking but won’t say empire, who look embarrassed and say, “I’m not actually comparing the United States to Nazi Germany”–stand the fuck up and ask it with me: What is the putative difference between what is now occuring vis-à-vis Iran and what once occured vis-à-vis Poland? Fuck the Gulf of Tonkin. The word of the day is Gleiwitz.

Accidental fucking war indeed.

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