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Obama-kins and McCain-a-crats 28 February 2008

Posted by marisacat in 2008 Election, Culture of Death, DC Politics, Democrats, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Israel/AIPAC, U.S. Senate, WAR!.
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LOL… that is what Rove is calling ‘em

 We have heard recently about the Obama-kins, the Republicans for Obama. And I would like to point out the McCain-a-crats, the Democrats who are for McCain, outnumber the Republicans for Obama by almost a two to one margin. [well, that is Rove, the oddest looking cheerleader ever born... --- Mcat] 

 I am sticking with NoneOfTheAbove.

      irakverfoto.jpg

Scahill was on Democracy NOW! on endless war under either Obama or HIllary…

JEREMY SCAHILL: Well, I started looking at Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton’s Iraq plans, and one of the things that I discovered is that both of them intend to keep the Green Zone intact. Both of them intend to keep the current US embassy project, which is slated to be the largest embassy in the history of the world. I mean, I think it’s 500 CIA operatives alone, a thousand personnel. And they’re also going to keep open the Baghdad airport indefinitely. And what that means is that even though the rhetoric of withdrawal is everywhere in the Democratic campaign, we’re talking about a pretty substantial level of US forces and personnel remaining in Iraq indefinitely.

In the case of Barack Obama, I wanted to focus in on what his position is on private military contractors, particularly armed ones like those that work for Blackwater. And the reason I focus on Obama instead of Hillary on this is because Barack Obama has actually been at the forefront of addressing the mercenary issue in the Congress. In February of 2007—this was way before the Nisour Square massacre, where Blackwater forces killed seventeen Iraqis and wounded twenty others—in February of 2007, Barack Obama sponsored legislation in the Senate that sought to expand US law so that—

JUAN GONZALEZ: This is just after he got into the Senate, right?

JEREMY SCAHILL: This was in 2007. This was a year ago. And so, this was a major piece of legislation by Obama, and it was done in concert with Representative David Price from North Carolina in the House, a Democrat. And Obama’s legislation basically said we realize that there are loopholes in the law that allow Blackwater and other contractors to essentially get away with murder, and so what we need to do is make it so that US law applies to not only Defense Department contractors, but State Department contractors like Blackwater. If they murder someone in Iraq, we can prosecute them back in the United States.

Now, that legislation hasn’t passed at this point, and it may never pass. I mean, the fact is that the Bush administration actually issued a statement opposing that legislation, and I want to read to you what Bush said. He said that law would have, quote, “intolerable consequences for crucial and necessary national security activities and operations.”

And so, I started to look at this reality. Obama is saying he wants to keep the embassy. Obama is saying he wants to keep the Green Zone. Obama is saying he wants to keep the Baghdad airport. Who’s guarding US diplomats right now at this largest embassy in the history of the world? Well, it’s Blackwater, Triple Canopy and DynCorp; it’s these private security companies.

And so, I started talking to some of the Obama campaign people. And it really took days for them to actually get back to me and provide someone to talk to me on the record. I started doing interviews with some of his people, and they said, “We can’t answer these questions.” And so, finally I talked to a senior foreign policy person, who said, yes, the reality is that we can’t rule out, we won’t rule out, using private security forces.

And I said, well, Senator Obama has identified them as unaccountable, and the reality is, his law may not pass before he takes office, if he wins, and so Obama could potentially be using forces that he himself has identified as both unaccountable and above the law. Long pause. Right.

And so, the situation right now is that Obama seems to have painted himself into a corner on this issue, because the reality is, Obama’s people are saying, well, we’re going to increase funding to the State Department’s Diplomatic Security division. They say, ideally, the people we want to be guarding US diplomats in Iraq will be fully burdened US government employees who are accountable to US law.

But the irony right now is that the war machine is so radically privatized that there are about 1,100 mercenaries doing diplomatic security in Iraq right now. There are only 1,400 diplomatic security agents in the entire world, and only thirty-six of them are in Iraq.

And why are they so tender on the subject?, slow or unable to answer?

JUAN GONZALEZ: Well, let me ask you, in terms of this whole issue of mercenaries in general, I mean, are we facing the possibility that a Democratic president would in essence reduce the troops but increase the mercenaries?

JEREMY SCAHILL: Well, Juan, this is a great question, and it was one of the reasons why I started looking at this. I want to read you a quote here. Joseph Schmitz, who’s one of the leading executives in the Blackwater empire, recently said this:

“There is a scenario where we could as a government, the United States, could pull back the military footprint, and there would then be more of a need for private contractors to go in.”

So apparently these contractors see a silver lining in that scenario. You know, the reality is, right now, that these forces are one of the most significant threats to Iraqis in the country. I mean, we’ve seen scores of incidents where they’ve shot at them, etc.

But as you know, Juan, this is a bipartisan industry. I mean, Bill Clinton really gave rise to this phenomenon of the military contractors. We know that Dick Cheney was running Halliburton in the ’90s. Who was giving Dick Cheney all of those contracts? Well, it was Bill Clinton. And the Democrats have long been good for the war contracting industry. There’s a reason why Hillary Clinton is the number one recipient of campaign contributions from the defense industry. Number two is John McCain. Obama is number four. Chris Dodd is ahead of him. It’s very interesting. It’s a bipartisan phenomenon.

As the race narrows, the funnel of MIC cash to Hillary and Dodd will shift to Obama…  

Just have to chuckle.  Doesn’t that just REEK of ”new politics”, so drastically different from [gasp! horror! panic! eye roll!] ”old politics”?  The hard core, real politik truth of it all?

A last dribble on, as Owen Paine at SMBIVA calls her, the glamghoul:

JUAN GONZALEZ: I wanted to ask you specifically about this whole question of the increase in troops, because when I asked Samantha Power, as his foreign policy adviser, about this issue, she talked about the US military being stretched and the need for even in peacekeeping to have what she called “boots on the ground” and that weren’t sufficient. But the reality is obviously that there are many American troops in other parts of the world, like South Korea, like Japan, like, to some degree, Europe, that are not being—not—doing nothing else except occupying those countries, and they could be redeployed if the Army needed more troops.

JEREMY SCAHILL: Right. I mean, what that indicates, I think, is that Obama is going to have an interventionist, expansionist foreign policy. I mean, that certainly was the policy of the Clinton administration. I mean, in fairness, though, Barack Obama, more than Hillary Clinton and certainly more than John McCain, who’s talking about having troops in Iraq for a hundred years, Obama is talking about trying to increase the UN presence in Iraq. He’s trying to bring in regional countries. I mean, he has a pretty serious diplomatic plan for Iraq. The problem is that it doesn’t cancel out his military plan.

On the case of the increase in troops, what Obama’s people told me is that we need these 90,000 troops desperately, because our troops need a rest. Some of them are serving three, four tours over in Iraq, and so we need to get them in there. But the reality is, you don’t get 90,000 troops and then be able to deploy them overnight. So, clearly, they’re thinking about this for years and years to come. I think the reality is that neither Barack Obama nor Hillary Clinton are actually going to be in the business of permanently ending the US occupation of Iraq. That’s a deadly serious issue, and it needs to be front and center on this campaign.

GOOD LUCK!  Countries want out of Afghanistan.  Meanwhile we are bitching that countries serving in Afghanistan with different rules of engagement [no combat] are not really doing their part.  This cute idea that countries will “help” us with Iraq (I laughed out loud at Samantha, on last week with Charlie Rose, chiding the Europeans for “not caring about the fate of the Iraqis”… Christ on a bayonet!, does the bitch for war HEAR herself?) is just campaign blither/come hither.  They, all those countries we think should join us, did not want to assist a possible Kerry as president with the same baseless (in reality) come hither, shoveled out to the American people.

      us mil and us recruited iraqi in baghdad

Poor America, always the victim:   No one wants to help us, in our greatness, our goodness, our bounty that we offer freely to the world

Is that the ultimate whine or what!  Because you know it’s coming down the pike, in a couple of years….  No matter which politics is operational, old, new or just plain old / new bullshite.

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Comments»

1. liberalcatnip - 28 February 2008

“There is a scenario where we could as a government, the United States, could pull back the military footprint, and there would then be more of a need for private contractors to go in.”

FINALLY, someone is asking about the contractors – unlike the useless debate hosts who just give Obama and Clinton a free pass on this issue.

2. liberalcatnip - 28 February 2008

Poor America, always the victim: No one wants to help us, in our greatness, our goodness, our bounty that we offer freely to the world.

Something that I wrote about almost every day. Meanwhile…

3. liberalcatnip - 28 February 2008

*write, that is.

4. marisacat - 28 February 2008

IOZ is on the prison population numbers as well (JJB had a post in the lst thread)

and a quick slither on the blissfully dead and soon gone Buckley.

A couple of commenters link to other write ups of ol’ dead Bill.

5. Hair Club for Men - 28 February 2008

Damn life sucks for some people.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080228/wl_uk_afp/britainroyals

LONDON (AFP) – Prince Harry, who has been fighting the Taliban on the front line in Afghanistan, admitted in an interview released Thursday that he sometimes wishes he was not a privileged, well-known royal.

On the other hand, he’s probably got a big bullseye on his forehead so I guess he might be a little nervous.

Maybe Chelsea can join him?

6. marisacat - 28 February 2008

whenever anyone brings up the sstupid Yellow Elephants stuff, I always mention Chelsea.

Please, take her. I think Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg has some eligible aged children as well.

AFAIC take them all.

7. liberalcatnip - 28 February 2008

I thought the Obama-”kin” was Cheney.

8. liberalcatnip - 28 February 2008
9. Hair Club for Men - 28 February 2008

whenever anyone brings up the sstupid Yellow Elephants stuff, I always mention Chelsea.

I’m half tempted to troll a few dem blogs and say Nya Nya Nya Nya Nya if we can judge Ron Paul by David Duke why can’t we judge Obama by Farrakhan.

Unfortunately I can also see the differences between black nationalism (which is a distorted view of a genuine problem) and white nationalism (which is pure evil).

But the Yellow Elephant stuff and Chelsea is dead on, especially since Obama keeps talking about Afghanistan (just like Kerry in 2004 when is he going to start talking about body armor?).

If the Prince can serve, why not the Clinton Royal Child?

10. liberalcatnip - 28 February 2008

Not sure how I missed this one last fall. I think they cut out the part where women were throwing their panties at him.

11. liberalcatnip - 28 February 2008

Why are people walking on eggshells like this? It’s downright undemocratic and ought to be embarrassing for anyone who considers themself to be a free-thinking political critic.

[Before accusing me of attacking Obama or being a shill for Hillary or having some kind of nefarious motivation, please bear in mind that Obama is now the frontrunner; we all have a vested interest in challenging the Democratic frontrunner on weak points, especially now, before the general election, when the GOP will start doing it—and going after him much harder than I ever will.]

The attacks by Obama supporters who have their pitchforks out for anyone who criticizes His Obamaness are stifling open debate and subverting true democracy. The so-called “marketplace of ideas” has become an exclusive, segregated boutique with a members-only policy that reeks of the highest form of elitism and exclusivity.

12. liberalcatnip - 28 February 2008

I posted that comment as a diary at pff. I’m sick and tired of seeing that attitude. And I’m sick and tired of having to concern myself with offending Obama’s supporters. If you can’t take the heat, stay out of the kitchen. It smacks of being in an abusive relationship.

13. Madman in the Marketplace - 28 February 2008

122. JJB – 28 February 2008

MITM, no. 120,

It will no doubt be conveniently forgotten that Buckley wanted everyone with AIDS to be given a tatoo identifying them as having the disease. Some “social moderate.”

The only coverage I saw, read or heard that mentioned it was Olbermann.

14. Madman in the Marketplace - 28 February 2008
15. Madman in the Marketplace - 28 February 2008

Dennis Perrin on the thankfully dead motherfucker:

WFB was a reactionary that elite liberals loved. The New York Times’ multimedia tribute to him is not surprising, glossing over Buckley’s less attractive stances in his long public career. But that was Buckley’s true talent: making reprehensible opinions palatable to liberal tastes. He was much smoother than Ann Coulter, but not that different in ideological outlook. Coulter crashes into rooms, yelling, spitting bile in all directions. WFB slid in almost silently, his bouncing eyebrows the sole evidence of his presence — until he spoke, that is — and even then, bullshit oozed from his mouth in polysyllabic strips, with liberals like John Kenneth Galbraith and Murray Kempton eagerly lapping up his crap.

For all of Buckley’s social charms, augmented by his harpsichord playing, let’s recall that he and his money-losing magazine National Review opposed civil rights for African-Americans while backing white Southern statist repression in the 1950s and early ’60s. Buckley himself openly questioned the logic of giving blacks the vote at all, hinting that “chaos” might ensue if the darker hordes voted in a bloc. WFB was also a dedicated McCarthyite, “a movement around which men of good will and stern morality can close ranks,” and despite what his apologists now say, he defended the nuts in the John Birch Society as “some of the most morally energetic self-sacrificing and dedicated anti-Communists in America,” and wrote for the American Mercury when it was an anti-Semitic rag.

Ever the careerist, Buckley wised up in time, ditching the Jew-haters on his wing in order to enjoy wider acceptance in the mainstream media. If Buckley continued to believe that Jews were behind international communism, he was savvy enough not to say so once his celebrity status rose.

16. marisacat - 28 February 2008

I meant what I wrote, I am for sending all privileged children of empire to the wars. ESPECIALLY of their parents engage in publicly furthering war.

Period.

Also, Obama, like all Democrats, HAS BEEN talking about armor. As that is the sanctioned discussion about Iraq.

Armor=mismanagement.

17. Madman in the Marketplace - 28 February 2008

Ugh … I feel guilty for all of the focus on the odious scumbag who died.

So I want to say that I’ve enjoyed Buddy Miles work for years, as a young high school drummer who seldom practiced, he was one of the guys who it was fun to try to keep up with on my set while the album played.

Goodbye Buddy.

Jimi Hendrix & Band Of Gypsys : Machine Gun : Fillmore East 1970

18. Madman in the Marketplace - 28 February 2008

Book TV this coming Sunday:

Dissent: Voices of Conscience

Author: Ann Wright

Upcoming Schedule
Sunday, March 2, at 3:45 AM
Sunday, March 2, at 3:00 PM

About the Program

Ann Wright, co-author of “Dissent,” talks about the government insiders and military personnel who spoke out against the invasion of Iraq. She is joined by Daniel Ellsberg, who wrote the introduction to the book. This event was hosted by Cody’s Books in Berkeley, California.

About the Author

Ann Wright served with the U.S. Army for 13 years and with the Army Reserves for 16 years, eventually retiring as a colonel. Following that, she served with the Foreign Service from 1987 to 2003, including a stint in Afghanistan where she helped reopen the U.S. embassy after the 2001 invasion.

19. Madman in the Marketplace - 28 February 2008

Al Giordano on the Obama rally in Austin last night:

Twenty-something Valerie Allen was the first person on line – at 11 a.m. – for the speech by Senator Obama that began at 9:30 p.m. last night. “I’m ready for a change,” said the Texas State University sociology major. “I’ve been talking up Obama for a year. This is about getting the vote out.”

“Change Washington,” echoed Miguel Arrendondo, another student here, farther back and around the corner of the Strahan Coliseum, who had been on line with his buddies since 5 p.m. “Start over.”

America, the kids want to click reset.

Enough with the big rallies already? Some make it sound as if to get tens of thousands of people assembled (the San Marcos police estimated the crowd at 12,000 people last night, The Field – experienced at such measurements – estimates 25,000) is merely a matter of saying you’ll be there and waiting for them to show up.

In fact, it’s all about organization, and investment of money, too, to pull off a mega-event like last night’s without problem.

Appearances by national political candidates are potentially spectacular events. They’re pitched not just at those that attend, but especially to those that don’t. By going to San Marcos – a town not visited by a presidential candidate since 1992 when Bill Clinton, traveling between Austin and San Antonio, stepped off his campaign bus for only a few minutes to wave at supporters along Route 35 – the Obama campaign hit many birds yesterday with one meticulously organized stone.

The street alongside the event featured a stationary convoy of eight live local TV satellite antenna trucks from two media markets: San Antonio and Austin. By holding the event between the two cities, in a small town, rather than focusing just on one big city, the Obama campaign guaranteed live feeds during the 10 p.m. evening news in both markets: a two-fer. But when you play with live TV you need to especially make sure that nothing goes awry during those moments.

So there was a stage erected, two risers for the press cameras – video and still – plus scores of rented “porto-potties” placed at distinct corners of the campus, tents set up at the security checkpoints and backstage in case of rain, temporary barriers to direct and hold the crowd (and to keep folks from falling into the San Marcos river that ran through the rally site), a Texas-sized sound system to boom the candidate’s words thousands of feet, klieg lights raised high up into the sky so that the speakers – and the crowd – could be photographed and seen at night, and a fenced-off press section alongside the stage with tables and electric power lines set up for their computers, the first three rows of ten reserved for the national press corps traveling with the candidate… The Field estimates that these things alone cost between $50,000 and $100,000 to pull off.

The Field perked its little virgin ears up when a staffer for one of the companies providing these services, coming off a cell phone call, could be overheard telling a colleague, “the Clinton campaign is scrambling. They want to do a big event in Austin!” Yes, these companies work for competing campaigns. Rock concerts aren’t ad hoc matters.

He’s a hack and a fraud and another warmonger, but he does seem to have a staff that’s pretty good at setting up rock concerts campaign events.

He introduces Obama who comes jogging onto the stage at 9:35 p.m. with a country fiddle tune blasting as audial backdrop. The valley becomes a wall of flashing cell phone cameras and screams. “Y’all do it big in Texas,” he grins. He’s got ‘em all lassoed. You can see a good video of much of what we’ve just shared with you, done by the Austin-American-Statesman at this link.

At 10 p.m. plus 30 seconds, I say to Conroy, “here comes whatever the campaign wanted said on live TV,” and, sure enough, Obama launches into a blistering and humorous response to John McCain over Al Qaida in Iraq. “I heard this morning that Senator McCain had some news for me,” the candidate boomed. “Well I’ve got some news for John McCain… Al Qaida wasn’t in Iraq until you followed George W. Bush there… That’s the news, John McCain.”

And that’s the clip that I’ve seen five times already this morning on CNN.

20. Heather-Rose Ryan - 28 February 2008

Hmm, I tried to post something earlier today but it didn’t go through. Weird computer issues today. And it’s not even Mercury retrograde!

Yes, hello, Marisacat! I’m using my Real Name ™ for postings now. They will be infrequent, alas.

Just wanted to say that I wish Obama played the harpsichord – I would like him better. Maybe he could take up the accordion?

21. marisacat - 28 February 2008

I read yesterday that provincial elections take place in Iraq in OCTOBER. And, I think in April, Petraeus is to testify again. Low flying fog of war will commence again. The WH will be assisting McCain, Bush being as much a maverick as the AZ asshole.

Should be entertaining. obama needs to get it off Iraq and to where McCain is not, or at least less, comfortable.

POPCORN! MARSHMALLOWS! Campfire stories… LOL

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

Thanks for the Shakespeare’s Sister link… caveat the caveat.

Good luck there too… LOL

22. Hair Club for Men - 28 February 2008

Found this on some Indymedia site.

Willam F. Buckley dead.
Cryptofascist ex-nihilo.
Then not so crypto, just fascist.
Now just crypt.

23. Madman in the Marketplace - 28 February 2008

LOL HCfM.

LA Times piece on that “what white people like” blog:

As unusual as Lander’s site is, it is also part of a sociological trend among whites who live in increasingly non-Anglo cities and regions: their transformation into a minority group. Whites used to think of themselves as standard-issue American — they had the luxury of not having to grapple with the significance of their own racial background; they were “us” and everyone else was “ethnic.” Not anymore.

“Demographic shifts have put a new kind of pressure on that category of people who were once just considered the norm,” says Mike Hill, author of “After Whiteness: Unmaking an American Majority.” “White identity is becoming particularized and minoritized. No longer the normative category, it’s becoming one of many identities.”

This pressure naturally leads to a greater sense of self-consciousness as the new minority begins to negotiate their relationships with members of other minorities (everyone else).

Still, Lander is less concerned with cross-ethnic and racial relations than he is with how whites treat each other. As a onetime graduate student in the Midwest, he got tired of coastal condescension of the fly-over states and the glib assumption that “red staters are evil and stupid.”

“Too many white people don’t like to be reminded that they’re white. They like to think that white people are those evil corporate right-wingers or the uneducated masses who vote the wrong way. But ‘enlightened whites’ are white people too and have just as much of a group mentality as they think the red staters have.”

Still, Lander doesn’t want you to think he’s angry or taking himself too seriously. “First and foremost, it’s satire; it’s funny,” he says. “I’m trying to make people laugh.”

But he’s doing so in a brave new world in which we’re all becoming minorities, and nobody’s really sure who’s going to have the last laugh.

24. Madman in the Marketplace - 28 February 2008

Hey, hey, EOJ*, how many kids did you kill today?

warning, sad, heartbreaking photo.

25. Madman in the Marketplace - 28 February 2008

hmmmmmm

After a lengthy investigation and rigorous fact checking, Rothschild authored a piece entitled: The FBI Deputizes Business, the March cover story.

Writes Rothschild:

Today, more than 23,000 representatives of private industry are working quietly with the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security. The members of this rapidly growing group, called InfraGard, receive secret warnings of terrorist threats before the public does—and, at least on one occasion, before elected officials. In return, they provide information to the government, which alarms the ACLU. But there may be more to it than that. One business executive, who showed me his InfraGard card, told me they have permission to “shoot to kill” in the event of martial law. InfraGard is “a child of the FBI,” says Michael Hershman, the chairman of the advisory board of the InfraGard National Members Alliance and CEO of the Fairfax Group, an international consulting firm.

During a period in American history unsurpassed in secrecy, political vindictiveness, corruption and erosion of civil liberties, I recommend giving Rothschild’s piece a good read.

26. marisacat - 28 February 2008

25

not sure as I read it several hours ago, but think Scahill mentions Infogard (and the shott to kill authority) as part of hte privatisation, deputising that is going on.

27. Madman in the Marketplace - 28 February 2008

26 …

thanks … I skimmed thru that quickly and missed it. Not surprised by any of it, or by the eagerness of business people to get on board w/ a secret brownshirt army.

28. bayprairie - 28 February 2008

…By going to San Marcos – a town not visited by a presidential candidate since 1992 when Bill Clinton, traveling between Austin and San Antonio, stepped off his campaign bus for only a few minutes to wave at supporters along Route 35…

this visit isn’t hard to explain. those in the know go to san marcos after burning a couple of fatties to sample the texmex at herbert’s and go tubing on the river.

29. marisacat - 28 February 2008

the Matthew Rotschilde piece on Infragard is absolutely chilling.

30. marisacat - 28 February 2008

nicely laced iwth sharp ankle biting, a piece on the short and not-at-all-democratic history of superdelegates from Counterpunch

[D]uring the Reagan years when the Democratic party propped up a presidency reminiscent of its current antics in the George W. Bush years, the Democratic party elites bestowed upon themselves five hundred and fifty “super-delegates.” They announced it was imperative to alter the rules to “make it easier for the party to consolidate around front-running candidates.” Meaning that it would make it a lot easier for party leaders and the party’s money backers to rally around the candidate of their choice putting all the resources of the party behind him, to beat out insurgents and foist the guy they owned onto the voting public.

The surprise ascendancy of Barack Obama, interestingly backed by the old Carter hand Brzezinski along with numerous financial backers, has him facing competition from another party insider, Hillary Clinton, along with her own big money people. The super-delegates are finding themselves in the position of having to pick one or the other candidate in what might be an internecine falling out among thieves which only aggrandizes their own power within the party as the two candidates are made supplicants for their votes while promising them rewards.

Maybe the super-delegates is one of the reasons Barack Obama talks so much about hope. But he seemed to know early on to cover his bets. Hope may be good enough for the people but not enough for a contender. His contributions to the campaign chests of the super-delegates themselves has been substantial the past two years. Even more so than his opponent who might be doing some hoping herself lately.

Currently, enthusiastic Democratic voters are reduced to observers “hoping” that the super-delegates “do the right thing” and not “thwart the will of the people.” That the super-delegates were put into place precisely to thwart them might be a bit of old history they don’t care to think about at the moment. Why put a damper on hope when it’s the only thing you’ve got.

31. wu ming - 28 February 2008

holy shit, that article is scary. thanks for the link, madman.

32. liberalcatnip - 28 February 2008
33. Arcturus - 28 February 2008
34. marisacat - 28 February 2008

thanks for that Arcturus…

… and at least with MR, he seems more outspoken, less beholden to the party than most…

35. marisacat - 28 February 2008

hmm I guess I have been missing fresh chum in the waters….

a snip from Schechter’s News Disssector:

4. There is more to the John McCain story. What issue was he being lobbied on and why. See Jerry Starr’s explanation.

Also, shouldn’t we learn more about the lobbyist Ms. Vicki Iseman and her purported links to Israeli intelligence.

Is that true? Is it relevant?

Can’t we fire Israel as BFF?

36. liberalcatnip - 29 February 2008

Fuck, some people are dense.

Just had to get that out (and it’s not about anyone/anything in this thread.)

Carry on.

37. liberalcatnip - 29 February 2008

I thought Raimondo was a new Obama supporter. (?) It sure doesn’t look like it.

38. liberalcatnip - 29 February 2008

A new winter soldier moment?

link

US veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are planning to descend on Washington from Mar. 13-16 to testify about war crimes they committed or personally witnessed in those countries.

39. liberalcatnip - 29 February 2008

Chemical Ali execution approved. (with video soon to follow on YouTube, no doubt.)

40. liberalcatnip - 29 February 2008

You know things are bad when: UN Experts Criticize New Orleans Housing

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Two human rights experts for the United Nations on Thursday criticized a federal plan to raze public housing projects in New Orleans, saying it will force the predominantly black residents into homelessness.

New Orleans advocates clamoring to save 4,500 public housing units claimed a victory. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which wants to replace the decades-old housing projects with mixed-income, mixed-use development, called the U.N. experts “misinformed.”

The statement issued out of Geneva was not a U.N. finding, but only the individual views of Miloon Kothari, a special investigator on housing matters for the U.N. Human Rights Council, and Gay McDougall, a lawyer who is an expert on minority and rights issues.

They charged that demolition would harm thousands of people by denying them a place to live in a city where housing already is scarce since Hurricane Katrina hit in August 2005.

“The authorities claim that the demolition of public housing is not intentionally discriminatory,” Kothari and McDougall said, but the “predominantly African-American residents” will be denied their “internationally recognized human rights” to a home.

They commented a day before a U.N. racism panel planned to discuss Katrina recovery efforts and public housing in New Orleans and also was expected to comment on allegations of racial discrimination in the United States. Neither expert was involved with that committee’s hearings.

41. marisacat - 29 February 2008

LOL Never underestimate the power of a lame duck, but sitting, president. Nor the implied power of a 71 year old whack job running for the job:

The Pew survey also found Americans are increasingly optimistic about progress in Iraq and 47 percent now favor keeping U.S. troops there until the situation is stable. Pew found that was the highest percentage support in more than a year. Obama and Clinton are proposing withdrawing troops while McCain is not.

42. Hair Club for Men - 29 February 2008

I thought Raimondo was a new Obama supporter. (?) It sure doesn’t look like it.

That’s Joshua Frank not Raimondo. Raimondo’s a luke warm Obama supporter but at the moment he seems to leaning away from him.

http://www.antiwar.com/justin/?articleid=12437

43. Madman in the Marketplace - 29 February 2008

Oil broke #103 overnight.

So glad I don’t drive … gas prices are going to be ugly in a month or two.

Have a good day everybody.

44. Hair Club for Men - 29 February 2008

Market Trustee is definitely one of the more intelligent people at PFF.

http://politicalfleshfeast.com/showComment.do;jsessionid=E37BEAF366FCD104F99CA2F5F6FCEE37?commentId=70749

45. NYCO - 29 February 2008

Re the “Things White People Like” – I’m surprised it took someone this long to point out all these things and to “ethnographize” the progressive, college-educated, white-collar American… who DO have an annoying tendency to ethnographize everyone else (and I’m noticing it happen more now during the Obama-Clinton race, where blue-collar Dems are constantly being described as some sort of exotic minority with quaint customs).

46. liberalcatnip - 29 February 2008

That’s Joshua Frank not Raimondo.

Thanks. Brain fart.

47. Hair Club for Men - 29 February 2008

Thanks. Brain fart.

That’s Mr. Brain Fart to you :)

48. liberalcatnip - 29 February 2008

lol…I didn’t mean it that way! I meant to say I had a brain fart.

49. Hair Club for Men - 29 February 2008

All you do to win Raimondo’s heart is piss off the lobby at one time or another. But say nice things about Israel and he’s like a high school nerd looking at the girl he’s crushing on go off with the quarterback. Thus Justin’s off again on again thing with Obama.

50. Hair Club for Men - 29 February 2008

Since Bush sent the Cole off the coast of Lebanon to intimidate Hezbollah and cover Israel’s northern flank, can we now label the coming invasion of Gaza the American/Israeli invasion?

51. marisacat - 29 February 2008

argh.

I guess we are going to have 8 months of discussing “Hussein” wihtout being able to use the nomines full name. Without apologising, that is.

Check the commenter (Stubine) that tells Naomi Klein (merely quoted in The Nation piece) to shut up.

LOL Left authoritarianism is hardly different from the right side of the lumpy bed.

52. cad - 29 February 2008

Markos puts on his own tinfoil crown today:

p.s. I think it’s okay (if stupid) for companies to bar access to certain websites. But when done so, it should be uniformly applied. So if the decision is made to bar access to blogs because they are productivity zappers, that’s cool, but then block ALL blogs, not just the ones which are politically distasteful to whatever shlub is blacklisting sites.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/2/29/134841/511/446/466375

But I doubt that he’ll be chastised by the sheep and told “It’s their company and they can do what they want. DK is just a guest who’s not been invited. Fidelity has to moderate the community. If DK was banned, it was probably for something Kos said. Read the FAQ and STFU. Oh, and here’s photo of a cat doing something stupid.”

53. JJB - 29 February 2008

The DJIA is down over 320 points as of 3:41 PM EST.

54. marisacat - 29 February 2008

JJB thanks I over slept (by a lot) and trying to catch up.

I guess the street is saying, yet again, that rate cuts and Bernanke does not do it.

What a shock!!

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

cad

so Fidelity selected Dkos to block? I know some places block all blogs (tho things being what they are, inevitably some get thru)…. and while I prefer people having free access and just doing things in moderation, I can see why places block blogs.

Plus I think a lot of people don’t know the technology that allows monitoring of work place key strokes and whatever is up on the screen….

55. melvin - 29 February 2008

A must see: Food Fight

56. melvin - 29 February 2008

Starring:

pretzel & bratwurst

matzoh

croissant

fish ‘n chips

burger ‘n fries

sushi

beef stroganoff

kebabs

bagel w/cream cheese & lox

kimchee

dumpling & egg roll

Cuban sandwich

spring roll

falafel

chicken nuggets

fried chicken sandwich

57. marisacat - 29 February 2008

LOL IOZ finally (there is so much sludge as political analysis) says something worthwhile about the over discussed Red Phone Hillary ad.

Personally, I think that they should just have Hillary holding a gun to those cute little baby heads. “Vote Clinton or I will fucking ice this toddler.”

And he swipes Wesley Clark on the way, too…….

58. liberalcatnip - 29 February 2008

Paging lucid. Not sure if you’ve seen this yet: Canadian researchers find gene that may block HIV

59. liberalcatnip - 29 February 2008

here’s photo of a cat doing something stupid

Leave the pooties alone!!! :)

60. marisacat - 29 February 2008

Worth dropping in at PffterPoofters to catch the marketTrustee commentary…

8)

61. liberalcatnip - 29 February 2008

What a tool kos is. The company said, “Areas of concern would include profanity,”. Well, hello?? But kos claims is some sort of partisan witchhunt, even generalizing by saying that “all” conservative blogs are accessible. How does he know that? There are millions of them. But who needs facts when you have outrage?

62. JJB - 29 February 2008

liberalcatnip, no. 61,

I’m sure other areas of concern include the obsessive manner in which their employees will spend hours and hours at Orange Kosolini hurling insults and zero ratings at each other. In the cases of Armando and Melrath (and those two really ought to open a law practice together!), a business could be prosecuted for billing clients for time allegedly spent working for them but in reality spent clogging up the blogosphere with idiotic posts.

63. Miss Devore - 29 February 2008

55. no one could have predicted meatballs would be flown into stacked burgers.

64. JJB - 29 February 2008

A couple of weeks ago when Tom Lantos died, I mentioned that there were certain aspects of the story of his life in Hitler’s Europe that didn’t sound likely to me, and that if you’re so inclined, it’s very easy to lie about that and get away with it largely because people are very reticent to say anything that might be construed as negative about those who were presecuted during those years and survived. Jerzy Kosinski told a number of whoppers about his life during the Nazi occupation of Poland, and published a book he not so subtly claimed was a “memoir” that turned out to be a fantasy, and IMHO a rather sick one at that considering the relative comfort in which he lived during that awful time (the sainted Elie Weisel also has some very dubious passages in his writings on those years). Now we have the following case that I just came across:

A Belgian writer has admitted that she made up her best-selling “memoir” depicting how, as a Jewish child, she lived with a pack of wolves in the woods during the Holocaust, her lawyers said Friday.

Misha Defonseca’s book, “Misha: A Memoire of the Holocaust Years,” was translated into 18 languages and made into a feature film in France.

Her two Brussels-based lawyers, siblings Nathalie and Marc Uyttendaele, said the author acknowledged her story was not autobiographical and that she did not trek 1,900 miles as a child across Europe with a pack of wolves in search of her deported parents during World War II.

Defonseca wrote in her book that Nazis seized her parents when she was a child, forcing her to wander the forests and villages of Europe alone for four years. She claimed she found herself trapped in the Warsaw ghetto, killed a Nazi soldier in self-defense and was adopted by a pack of wolves that protected her. [Apparently, she left out the part where she founded Rome. -- JJB]

In the statement, Defonseca acknowledged the story she wrote was a fantasy and that she never fled her home in Brussels during the war to find her parents.

Defonseca says her real name is Monique De Wael and that her parents were arrested and killed by Nazis as Belgian resistance fighters, the statement said.

“This story is mine. It is not actually reality, but my reality, my way of surviving,” the statement said.

“I ask forgiveness to all who felt betrayed. I beg you to put yourself in my place, of a 4-year-old girl who was very lost,” the statement said. [This rationalization sounds exactly like similar ones issued in defense of Kosinski's "The Painted Bird." It must come from a template document called "What To Say When It Turns Out You Spent The Halocaust Living At Home With Relatives And Not In Auschwitz." Or maybe "Holocaust Non-Denial Denials For People With Overactive Imaginations." -- JJB]

[snip]

Pressure on the author to defend the accuracy of her book had grown in recent weeks.

“I’m not an expert on relations between humans and wolves but I am a specialist of the persecution of Jews and they (Defonseca’s family) can’t be found in the archives,” Belgian historian Maxime Steinberg told RTL television. “The De Wael family is not Jewish nor were they registered as Jewish.”

Defonseca had been asked to write the book by U.S. publisher Jane Daniel in the 1990s, after Daniel heard the writer tell the story in a Massachusetts synagogue.

Daniel and Defonseca fell out over profits received from the best-selling book, which led to a lawsuit. In 2005, a Boston court ordered Daniel to pay Defonseca and her ghost writer Vera Lee $22.5 million.

Lee, of Newton, Mass., said she was shocked to hear Defonseca made up the story.

“She always maintained that this was truth as she recalled it, and I trusted that that was the case,” Lee said.

Defonseca’s lawyers said Daniel has not yet paid the court-ordered sum.

Daniel said Friday she would try to get the judgment overturned. She said she could not fully research Defonseca’s story before it was published because the woman claimed she did not know her parents’ names, her birthday or where she was born.

“There was nothing to go on to research,” she said.

So we’re to believe that no one thought it unlikely that a small child wandered all over occupied Europe (which was really a huge prison camp in those awful times, with varying degrees of security and oppression exerted over residents of different areas) and survived in the forests (what did she do during winter?) thanks to a herd of wolves while war raged back and forth, and people without ID papers were sent off to certain death.

I really don’t know what to say about that, except that this woman needs to be on psychotropic drugs, and that she, the ghostwriter, and the publisher should be denied access to any money derived from the sale of this obnoxious, obscene piece of kitsch.

65. marisacat - 29 February 2008

Wasn’t Jerzy Kosinzki esposed some years ago?

I cannot quite remember it all, and don’t want to google.

Lots of lies about who did what during WW2… lies of all kinds.

66. cad - 29 February 2008

Is anybody man or woman enough to go into that Kos Konspiracy
and call him on his own censorship and cries of “my site, my rules”?

67. JJB - 29 February 2008

MCat,

Kosinski was exposed as both a liar, and as having not written his own books. He also stole the plot of “Being There” from a book that was very popular in Poland in the 1930s. He was probably some kind of spook, and his publishers connived in providing cover for him. They had a lot of help from some very powerful people at the NY Times, including Abe Rosenthal (who apparently used to go around to S&M clubs with Kosinski), and Arthur and Barbara Gelb, who were in charge of the Arts and Leisure section and the Sunday magazine. The book said to be about his life during the Holocaust is all made up. His parents managed to get forged ID papers, (the name Kosinski is an alias, a common non-Jewish Polish name), and they got out of Lodz and lived a fairly comfortable life all things considered in a town in the hinterlands, where they were protected by some non-Jewish Poles who took extraordinary risks to shield them (people who knew they were Jews, incidentally). It was the anger of a number of these people that eventually led to the truth, BTW. It took a long time for their complaints against Kosinski to be heard in those pre-Internet days, but they did eventually surface.

68. marisacat - 29 February 2008

SORRY! Trying to do several things at once… I see you DID mention JerZy K and The Painted Bird.

Well it was a lovely fiction… have to leave it at that.

So many little Freys around…

8)

69. JJB - 29 February 2008
70. marisacat - 29 February 2008

“I was never on his show,” Gore Vidal, with whom Mr. Buckley had a famous feud, said on Thursday. “I don’t like fascism much.”

He added: “I was one of the first people he asked. And, of course, I refused to be on it. And, of course, he lied about it afterward.”

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

LOL Brooks is on Lehrer talking about the same piece from Buckley in The New Yorker, the one I wrote a tart note to the mag about it. Apparently it was ’82.

71. Miss Devore - 29 February 2008

Did not know that stuff about Kosinski. The Painted Bird was one of those novels I tried, but couldn’t get through. And hell, I read tons of Cynthia Ozick, who, long ago was described by Spy magazine as “author of novels nobody ever reads”

72. liberalcatnip - 29 February 2008

WH plagiarist Tim Goeglein, who had to proclaim his guilt after being busted.

73. liberalcatnip - 29 February 2008
74. liberalcatnip - 29 February 2008

“brilliant” or “hypocritical”: You decide.

75. Miss Devore - 29 February 2008

pff bullshitter, who asks for documentation from Obama supporters, is too busy to back up her baseless claims:

I claimed you support Hillary Clinton? (5.00 / 1)
can’t seem to recall that. how nefarious of me!
by Miss Devore @ Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 13:03:21 PM PST
[ Respond to this Idiocy ]

you’re not seriously denying that now, are you? (0.00 / 0)
What a joke.

Btw, I thought you were done with me. Like I said, Miss D. You’re damn predictable.
by catnip @ Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 13:29:50 PM PST
[ Parent | Respond to this Idiocy | ]

just please cite where I claimed you (0.00 / 0)
supported Hillary Clinton. And if I am wrong, I will write one of those huge diary apologies.
by Miss Devore @ Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 13:32:15 PM PST
[ Parent | Respond to this Idiocy ]

I have better things to do (0.00 / 0)
Go reread your posts attacking me at mcat’s since you seem to have forgotten.
by catnip @ Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 13:40:15 PM PST
[ Parent | Respond to this Idiocy | ]

I realize you have better things to do. (0.00 / 0)
There are thousands of baseless accusations to make.

Nefarious!
by Miss Devore @ Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 13:55:01 PM PST
[ Parent | Respond to this Idiocy ]

Nefariuous? (0.00 / 0)
Lugubrious!
by DavidByron @ Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 14:19:24 PM PST
[ Parent | Respond to this Idiocy | ]

umm…no (0.00 / 0)
I’m actually researching 2 stories: one about Afghan prisoners being handed over for possible torture again and the other about a major political bribery scandal here in Canada while taking time out from both of them to actually have some fun as well.

And yes, I consider those to be “better things to do” than to sit here and watch you insult me – again.

In short: go Cheney yourself.
by catnip @ Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 15:19:28 PM PST
[ Parent | Respond to this Idiocy | ]

hey you admitted your mistake (5.00 / 1)
to coyote. am I chopped liver?

by Miss Devore @ Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 15:52:38 PM PST
[ Parent | Respond to this Idiocy ]

76. liberalcatnip - 29 February 2008

Trolling for pity, Miss D?

77. liberalcatnip - 29 February 2008

Ironic that I was just reading this story while waiting for blogger to load.

But that’s right. I’m just a “pff bullshitter”.

You’re pathetic.

78. Miss Devore - 29 February 2008

75. nah, cuz I know you are too busy caring about humanity.

when asked to name a flaw/document her accusation, catnip gives the john edwards response: I have too much empathy for people!

nefarious!

79. Madman in the Marketplace - 29 February 2008

where blue-collar Dems are constantly being described as some sort of exotic minority with quaint customs

They’re not?!?! (ducks).

80. Madman in the Marketplace - 29 February 2008

I know some places block all blogs

My company does … EXCEPT for blogs that are part of/hosted by a media outlet, which of course means many of the bigger wingers are accessable (Malkin etc).

81. bayprairie - 29 February 2008

Markos should be concerned about a corp blocking traffic to cubicleworld.

heck, imagine if that caught on. half the fekking do-nothing donk hack lawyers on the planet log into kos from work and i bet 90% of his non ward-heeler users (((all 2000 of them!))) do so as well. just look at all those midday time stamps. his revenue would sink like a stone.

82. Madman in the Marketplace - 29 February 2008

ugh … accessible

83. Madman in the Marketplace - 29 February 2008

Many Troops Would Stay
In Iraq if a Democrat Wins

WASHINGTON — Despite the rhetoric of the Democratic presidential candidates, significant numbers of U.S. troops will remain in Iraq regardless who wins in November.

In their final push to win the nomination, Sens. Barack Obama of Illinois and Hillary Clinton of New York are repeating their vow to start withdrawing U.S. forces shortly after taking office. But both candidates draw a distinction between “combat” troops, whom they want to withdraw, and “noncombat” troops, who will stay to battle terrorists, protect the U.S. civilian presence and possibly train and mentor Iraqi security forces.

Conducting such missions would likely require the sustained deployment of tens of thousands of American military personnel, foreign-policy advisers from both campaigns acknowledge.

“No one is talking about getting to zero,” said a foreign-policy adviser to Sen. Obama.

The upshot: When voters go to the polls in November, they will face a stark choice about the future direction of the Iraq war, but they won’t be able bring American involvement to a quick end.

84. Madman in the Marketplace - 29 February 2008

Quaker teacher fired for changing loyalty oath

California State University East Bay has fired a math teacher after six weeks on the job because she inserted the word “nonviolently” in her state-required Oath of Allegiance form.

Marianne Kearney-Brown, a Quaker and graduate student who began teaching remedial math to undergrads Jan. 7, lost her $700-a-month part-time job after refusing to sign an 87-word Oath of Allegiance to the Constitution that the state requires of elected officials and public employees.

“I don’t think it was fair at all,” said Kearney-Brown. “All they care about is my name on an unaltered loyalty oath. They don’t care if I meant it, and it didn’t seem connected to the spirit of the oath. Nothing else mattered. My teaching didn’t matter. Nothing.”

A veteran public school math teacher who specializes in helping struggling students, Kearney-Brown, 50, had signed the oath before – but had modified it each time.

She signed the oath 15 years ago, when she taught eighth-grade math in Sonoma. And she signed it again when she began a 12-year stint in Vallejo high schools.

Each time, when asked to “swear (or affirm)” that she would “support and defend” the U.S. and state Constitutions “against all enemies, foreign and domestic,” Kearney-Brown inserted revisions: She wrote “nonviolently” in front of the word “support,” crossed out “swear,” and circled “affirm.” All were to conform with her Quaker beliefs, she said.

The school districts always accepted her modifications, Kearney-Brown said.

But Cal State East Bay wouldn’t, and she was fired on Thursday.

Modifying the oath “is very clearly not permissible,” the university’s attorney, Eunice Chan, said, citing various laws. “It’s an unfortunate situation. If she’d just signed the oath, the campus would have been more than willing to continue her employment.”

Modifying oaths is open to different legal interpretations. Without commenting on the specific situation, a spokesman for state Attorney General Jerry Brown said that “as a general matter, oaths may be modified to conform with individual values.” For example, court oaths may be modified so that atheists don’t have to refer to a deity, said spokesman Gareth Lacy.

Kearney-Brown said she could not sign an oath that, to her, suggested she was agreeing to take up arms in defense of the country.

“I honor the Constitution, and I support the Constitution,” she said. “But I want it on record that I defend it nonviolently.”

85. Madman in the Marketplace - 29 February 2008

Jay Rockefeller endorses Obama:

If you’re the Clinton campaign, Senator Jay Rockefeller’s endorsement today of Obama has got to hurt on multiple levels.

His state of West Virginia was likely to be one of the next illusory “firewalls” claimed by Clinton if she survived March 4.

He’s now the 15th US Senate Democrat to endorse Obama, who started out the year with exactly one endorsement (that of his Illinois colleague Dick Durbin) and now has more support from the chamber than Clinton (who has the backing of 12 Senate Democrats).

86. marisacat - 29 February 2008

LOL the Republicans will be leaving several flaming bleeding versions of Somalia ’92 (a “feeding mission’) for the little Dems.

Except for the suffering on the ground, eh.

Meanwile the Republicans ride off into the nearby sunset…immune from prosecution, their saddle bags loaded and big plans for ’10.

Who got the short end of the deal?

87. liberalcatnip - 29 February 2008

Mukasey refuses probe of Bush aides

Good boy. Have a cookie while George pats your head.

88. Miss Devore - 29 February 2008

jay r-fella endorsement. yawn. it just seems like someone who would have been gung-ho for hillary, but got nervous when it looked like she was a loser.

and, yes, I say that as an Obama supporter, who doesn’t think he is jesus or good looking in our conventional ways.

89. Madman in the Marketplace - 29 February 2008

Bill Moyers talks with historian Nell Irvin Painter about the Gilded Age of the late 19th century — and what some contend is the second Gilded Age of today. In the 19th century discrepancies in income and power fostered the Populist Movement. Today, “populism” has become a watchword in the campaign — with both positive and negative connotations.

In her conversation Nell Painter talks about populism then and now — and how the image it suggests is more often than not, off the mark:

It sounds as if people who are throwing “populism” around are throwing it around as a dirty word. And if it is a dirty word, they don’t know what they’re talking about. I think they think it’s a dirty word, because it pits Americans against each other, as if we would all be hand in hand if it weren’t for populist agitators….They’re probably talking in very veiled terms about class issues. Class is the dirty little secret in the United States.

She’s pretty good so far.

90. Madman in the Marketplace - 29 February 2008
91. Hair Club for Men - 29 February 2008

where blue-collar Dems are constantly being described as some sort of exotic minority with quaint customs

The first time my liberal WASP ex girlfriend visited my parents’ house and saw Wonder Bread in the kitchen and a TV running in every room she pulled out a notebook and started writing a grant proposal. The idea that people ate out of little plastic trays you stuck in the microwave filled her with horror and curiosity. A walk through the neighborhood replete with Virgin Mary statues, American and MIA flags, and houses too close together left her wondering if she was going to make it out alive. The world of Homo White Ethnicus New Jerseyicus is a curious world indeed.

92. Madman in the Marketplace - 29 February 2008

sometimes, when I watch the adoration and leap of faith that people have in Obama’s candidacy, I feel like I’m watching a younger version of the old and sick people at a faith healer’s revival meeting.

I wish I was just being cynical.

93. Madman in the Marketplace - 29 February 2008

<a href=”http://www.chris-floyd.com/index2.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1444&pop=1&page=0&Itemid=135Chris Floyd on Obama:

But to make this observation is not an endorsement of Obama’s candidacy, nor a call for “lesser evilism.” It’s simply a statement of fact. As we’ve said here before, echoing Noam Chomsky, even small mitigations in the operation of vast power structures can translate into benefits – or alleviations of suffering – for substantial numbers of people. Again, this is an observable fact, not a value judgment. Whether these mitigations of injustice and suffering in certain instances outweigh the cost of participating in – and thereby to some extent legitimizing and perpetuating – a system that inevitably produces injustice and suffering on a massive scale is a question that each person must decide for themselves, in their own individual conscience.

And this question is certainly pertinent in the case of Barack Obama. For by the choices he has made in picking advisers to help him shape his policies, he has given every indication that while his presidency might represent a better management and presentation of the current system, it will in no way overturn or even seriously challenge it on any essential point. In other words – and bearing in mind the type of not-insubstantial mitigations noted above – he will keep doing what Bush has been doing, only more competently, less radically, with a greater care for the long-term viability of the power structure. And what is that structure that Obama seeks to refine and extend? It is an imperial system based on militarism and the exaltation of elitist profit and privilege above all other concerns.

(It should be noted that this profit/privilege motive is not always elevated to the exclusion of all other concerns – civil rights, health care, disaster relief, education, et al. There are horrors enough in this system without having to pretend that it is operated at all levels and at all times by inhuman monsters. In fact it is, like every system of power, all too human; it partakes of the same chaos, contradiction, selfishness, ignorance, and bestial impulses that afflict us all. Yet because the system is made up of human beings, it also contains traces of the empathy, awareness and striving for transcendence that flicker inside us from time to time. But however much these higher concerns might occasionally animate various individuals – or even larger factions – within the system, they are always, in the end, subordinated to the pursuit of elitist aggrandizement. Measures that attempt to address these other concerns are not allowed to hinder elitist profit and privilege in any serious way; indeed, these reforms are often designed – or forcibly perverted – in such a way as to make them serve this rapacious, relentless pursuit.)

We know that one of Obama’s principal foreign policy advisers is Zbigniew Brzezinski, an incorrigible Great Gamester and one of the unsung architects of the modern world. It was Brzezinski who, as Jimmy Carter’s National Security Advisor, devised the strategy of arming and funding violent Islamic extremists in order to destabilize Afghanistan and bait the Soviets into a military intervention to bolster their client regime in Kabul. Brzezinski can thus lay claim to being one of the fathers of the global jihad that has spawned – and been used to justify — so much death and suffering….and so much profitable permanent war. We know that Obama has called for the American military to be even larger and more powerful, more ready to strike anywhere in the world with overwhelming force whenever the nation’s “interests” – defined solely by the elite – are “threatened.” We know that his plan for “withdrawing” from Iraq involves leaving an undetermined number of troops in the conquered land, carrying out the same “missions” which they are supposedly conducting now: training Iraqi security forces, fighting terrorism, protecting American assets and personnel, bringing “stability to the region,” etc. And as Jeremy Scahill points out, Obama’s plans could also lead to an increase in the number of private contractors – mercenaries – in Iraq. Obama has refused to support legislation banning the use of these volatile hired guns in war zones.

In all of this we can see that Obama is a “safe pair of hands” for the militarism that underpins the never-ending quest for America’s “full spectrum dominance” over world affairs. The “hope” for genuine change in this regard is a tragic illusion, a hope projected onto, not embodied by Obama.

94. Madman in the Marketplace - 29 February 2008

Chris Floyd link in spam.

95. Hair Club for Men - 29 February 2008

Of course the WASP species is even more curious. Cutesy names for mixed drinks, strangely embalmed yet still curiously alive old ladies you have to be nice to, odd, inarticulate, emotionally stunted cousins who have graduated from Ivy League colleges but can’t quite speak the English language (see also GW Bush), the inability to determine who’s drunk and who’s just flat out weird, it makes one long for Wonder Bread and MIA flags.

96. Hair Club for Men - 29 February 2008

Buckley vs. Chomsky on Youtube.

The oddest thing was that Chomsky seemed to understand what Buckley was saying and I didn’t.

It’s like listening to a foreign language.

But they’re both opposites.

The Chomsky strophe always amounts to an initial rather long winded statement from the American point of view followed by a brief one sentance deflation.

The Buckley strophe involves a simple concept expanded into as many words as possible.

Chomsky managed to rattle Buckley but at least Buckley tried to debate him. O’Reilly would have probably cut his mike then threatened to beat him up.

97. Madman in the Marketplace - 29 February 2008

but at least Buckley tried to debate him.

Buckley’s whole scam was to elevate lunatic fringe ideas into an “intellectual” realm. Chomsky and Gailbraith and the rest HELPED him sell it. Maybe they didn’t mean to, but that’s what they did.

Creationists are pulling the same scam when they try to engage “debates” with evolutionary theorists.

98. JJB - 29 February 2008

Miss Devore, no. 71,

One of the people who wrote Kosinski’s “novels” was Paul Auster. He was a student at either Yale or Harvard, and he and his then-girlfriend wrote substantial portions of Cockpit (IIRC), with Kosinski dropping by to give them general plot points and the like (the books were collaborations between small teams of writers who never met, aside from the occasional pairs like Auster and his girlfriend). He tried to seduce the young woman on several occasions when he met with her one on one, if you can call telling someone “have sex with me right now and I can advance you’re career” seduction. I once knew a late-30-something woman who had a much younger female friend who was Kosinski’s mistress for a year or two. She got to tag along on a dinner date that included Kosinski, his wife, and the young woman, in addition to my friend. Mistress and wife got along splendidly, the wife apparently took her under her wing, bought her clothes, told her how to keep Jerzy happy. This was after Kosinski’s outing as a fraud, probably 1985. All in all, a very weird thing. Even today, anyone speaking the truth about him is liable to be viciously attacked.

99. marisacat - 29 February 2008

two of Hair Club’s out of Moderation….

and

one from Madman, one from catnip, out of Spam.

Sorry!!

8)

100. Hair Club for Men - 29 February 2008

Buckley’s whole scam was to elevate lunatic fringe ideas into an “intellectual” realm. Chomsky and Gailbraith and the rest HELPED him sell it. Maybe they didn’t mean to, but that’s what they did.

I’m sure Chomsky sees/saw Buckely as simply a mouthpiece for American imperialism, the mainstream, not the fringe.

101. JJB - 29 February 2008

MITM,

Allen Ginsberg was another frequent guest on Buckley’s program who helped him sell his line of crap. Oddly, one of the only people to call him on his pompous self-promoting was Jack Kerouac, who agreed with him politically. When JK appeared on “Firing Line” in late 1968, at the end of the show, Buckley tried one of his neologisms in asking a question about the hippies’ “Adamite” approach to life (I guess the word “prelapsarian” wasn’t good enough for him). Kerouac, who’d been acting like a drunken lunatic for much of the program, suddenly looked cold sober as he fixed Buckley with a stare that could have burned through a steel vault and said “Adamite?????” with such incredulous, “are you kidding me??!!!” contempt the audience ended up laughing at Buckley. It’s featured in a documentary film about Kerouac entitled (I think) “What Really Happened to Kerouac.”

102. Miss Devore - 29 February 2008

98. sounds like the academia I know and…..am barely tolerating at this point.

103. Hair Club for Men - 29 February 2008

On the other hand, Kosinski was a great Zinoviev in “Reds”

104. Madman in the Marketplace - 29 February 2008

Why You’ve Already Heard Scifi’s Ubiquitous Wilhelm Scream

Just because everyone needs a break from politics.

105. Madman in the Marketplace - 29 February 2008

a NOT fucked up link to the Chris Floyd.

106. Madman in the Marketplace - 29 February 2008

WHY are these people kowtowed to?

An evangelical chaplain who leads Bible studies for California lawmakers says God is disgusted with a rival fellowship group that includes people of all faiths.

“Although they are pleasant men in their personal demeanor, their group is more than disgusting to our Lord and Savior,” Drollinger wrote on the Capitol Ministries’ Web site.

The comments drew immediate fire from others in the capital, including the Republican lawmaker who sponsors Drollinger’s Bible study group.

Drollinger said “progressive religious tolerance” is an offense against God and causes harm to its practitioners.

He said the other Bible study group was perpetrating a “deadly lie” by presenting Jesus as “a good moral teacher who loves everyone without distinction.”

Assembly Republican leader Mike Villines, who sponsors Drollinger’s Bible study group, said the differing approach between the two groups should not be a cause of conflict between them.

“I was very, very uncomfortable with the comments, and I don’t agree with them,” Villines, a Republican from the Fresno area community of Clovis, told The Associated Press.

Sen. Darrell Steinberg, a Sacramento Democrat who will serve as Senate president pro tem next year, said he found Drollinger’s statements intolerant and troubling.

“I think it’s important that those of us who find those comments offensive speak loud and clear about it,” said Steinberg, who is Jewish.

Steinberg acknowledged that Drollinger has a right to free speech. But he said the minister should be more respectful toward differing views within the Capitol.

“There’s just no place in civil society for intolerance of someone’s different beliefs,” Steinberg said. “It’s the beauty of this country, that people have the right to practice their own faith.”

Unless, of course, they HAVE no religious faith, then they are monsters.

107. Madman in the Marketplace - 29 February 2008

IOZ says:

Okay, So, Like . . . NOW can we compare them to the Nazis?

and links to THIS:

An Israeli minister today warned of increasingly bitter conflict in the Gaza Strip, saying the Palestinians could bring on themselves what he called a “holocaust”.

“The more Qassam [rocket] fire intensifies and the rockets reach a longer range, they will bring upon themselves a bigger shoah because we will use all our might to defend ourselves,” Matan Vilnai, Israel’s deputy defence minister, told army radio.

Shoah is the Hebrew word normally reserved to refer to the Jewish Holocaust. It is rarely used in Israel outside discussions of the Nazi extermination of Jews during the second world war, and many Israelis are loath to countenance its use to describe other events.

“It will be sad, and difficult, but we have no other choice,” Vilnai said, referring to the large-scale military operation he said Israel was preparing to bring a halt to the rocket fire.

“We’re getting close to using our full strength. Until now, we’ve used a small percentage of the army’s power because of the nature of the territory.”

Israel would not launch a ground offensive in the next week or two, partly because the military would prefer to wait for better weather, defence sources said. But the army had completed its preparations and was awaiting the government’s order to move, officials said.

Everytime the Israelis ramp up to a new overreaction I just think “Sand Creek” and “Wounded Knee”. Maybe I shouldn’t, but Gaza and the West Bank, and the horrible destruction of civilian life in response to the desperate resistance to occupation by a small number of young men remind me so much of the Indian Wars here.

108. marisacat - 29 February 2008

So Final Victory of them.

109. liberalcatnip - 29 February 2008

107. Okay, so is there anyone out there who is still confused about what’s going on there? It doesn’t get any clearer than that.

110. Madman in the Marketplace - 29 February 2008

I find solace where I can:

Working Class Hero by Marianne Faithful

111. Madman in the Marketplace - 29 February 2008

Gonna offer a quick music review here.

Go buy Bettye LaVette’s “The Scene of the Crime”.

There is one particular song on there that really, really resonates with me. Here’s why (warning, roundabout story from an aging man) …

When I was young, I became a music fanatic, at a very young age. I had a little GE transister 9volt radio, black w/ silver “chrome” highlights, that I carried everywhere. I’m talking 6, 7 years old. Anyway, I fell in love with LOTS of different stuff … the album rock AM radio station I could pick up in Iowa played Motown and Zeppelin and so much else. In fact, my dad worked nights there. He would bring me old played-out 45s that they couldn’t use anymore.

One of the guys I fell in love with was Elton John. I just adored Elton John, and when I was older and had earned enough allowance to go to Western Auto to buy an album, I really wanted “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road”, but they were sold out. Impulsively, I bought “Tumbleweed Connection”, which had “Tiny Dancer” on it. Only song on it I knew.

There is a haunting song on the second side … “Talking Old Soldier”, an arresting piece. I loved the way Elton John and Bernie Taupin told these stories about people … not just drugs and sex and rock-and-roll, but actual STORIES. About people.

Anyway, Bettye has had a bit of a comeback doing covers of unlikely songs, (not unlike Johnny Cash’s last couple of albums), and her latest has an incredible cover of that obscure John/Taupin song.

You can hear it here: Talking Old Soldiers by Bettye LaVette

Anyway, rambling … sorry … but music is one of the few things people do right.

112. Madman in the Marketplace - 29 February 2008

and actually, “Madman Across the Water” had “Tiny Dancer” on it, so I wasn’t even getting something I knew. Closest thing to a hit on that album was “Burn Down the Mission”. The NEXT two albums I bought were “Goodby Yellow Brick Road” and “Madman Across the Water”, which is way more than you care to know, anyway.

113. Heather-Rose Ryan - 29 February 2008

As literary brawls go, I prefer Vidal’s bout with Norman Mailer, who was completely outmatched. After a drunken Mailer attacked him at a party (either throwing a drink in his face or punching him -descripions differ) Vidal said “Once again, words fail Norman.”

Classic.

114. liberalcatnip - 29 February 2008

Alegre has a dkos diary up with update info on the Obama/NAFTA story.

115. Madman in the Marketplace - 29 February 2008

Buckley, and his hate and bigotry, and his call for tattoos on AIDS patients (and yes, lucid, I have suspicions about the official line, too), but I think about people we lost, through ignorance and gov’t innaction, and it depresses the shit out of me.

116. bayprairie - 29 February 2008

tumbleweed connection is my favorite elton john album. not that i am much of a fan of his, its the only one i own apart from a MMatW cd. i used to work with this old punkster, mid 80s, and he culled a large portion of his album collection because he’d decided it dated him, or something. i bought more than a few of his albums for a buck or two a pop, all circa 196/early 70s. he was an absolute fanatic about record cleanliness and the one elton john album i got from him was tumbleweed connection.

im still laughing at him, all the way to the turntable! my copy of tc is, i assume, approx 38 years old, and still clean as a whistle.

theres something about the way he voices the piano chords, some type of open, clean 4ths and 5ths feeling i really like. plus the lyrics of course.

117. Heather-Rose Ryan - 29 February 2008

Hey Madman, I had one of those little transistor radios too. I don’t remember the make or model but it was about 4 x 6 inches – I guess shaped to go into a good-sized pocket.

I was about 10 before I got into listening to the radio (my own radio, as opposed to my parents’, which was always tuned to the local classical music station). It had a earplug, like an oldfashioned hearing aid – shove it right into your ear.

It’s hard to describe to younger people how massive a presence Elton John was in the ’70s. And now he’s fallen off the map.

I like this clip of him and Lennon doing Whatever Gets You Through The Night (no video, but the song and photos).

118. Heather-Rose Ryan - 29 February 2008

115: oh, let’s not kid ourselves, the left wing is chockfull of bigotry and hate too. Throw a piano and you’ll hit an abusive asshole fratboy – like, for example, Mailer.

119. liberalcatnip - 1 March 2008
120. liberalcatnip - 1 March 2008

That was quick. That plagiarist in the WH (story I linked to here earlier) has resigned.

Maybe he’s starting up a publishing firm with Ben Domenich and Jason what’s his name…

121. liberalcatnip - 1 March 2008

In other news, no one in the Bush administration who commits war crimes ever has to resign.

And now, the sports.

122. liberalcatnip - 1 March 2008

Gee. The Huffington Post has a post by a real, honest-to-goodness king. Top that one, kos!

123. liberalcatnip - 1 March 2008
124. liberalcatnip - 1 March 2008

Obama’s doing some backpeddling.

Barack Obama does not necessarily have in mind Mahmoud Ahmadinejad when he says he will meet with Iran’s leaders, a top Jewish proxy says.

“Ahmadinejad may not be the one to meet with,” U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler, the top Jewish surrogate for the contender for the Democratic presidential nomination, told JTA in a recent interview. “He is not the person that ultimately controls power in Iran.”

In debates, the U.S. senator for Illinois has said he will meet with the leaders of rogue nations such as Iran, North Korea, Syria, Cuba and Venezuela in his first year in office, a repudiation of what Obama says is the failed Bush administration policy of isolating such regimes.

So, I assume that means that he didn’t mean he’d meet with Kim Jong Il, Assad, Castro or Chavez either – just some other generic “leaders”.

Thanks for clearing that up, Wexler.

125. liberalcatnip - 1 March 2008

And now, I sleep.

126. liberalcatnip - 1 March 2008

Whoops: one more: Hizbullah slams deployment of US warships off coast [of Lebanon]

Johndroe sidestepped questions about comments from Lebanese Premier Fouad Siniora, who said Friday that his government did not ask Washington to send warships to the area.

[...WH double talk]

Siniora, whose government is backed by the West and most Arab countries, had stressed earlier during a meeting with Arab ambassadors that Beirut did not ask for the warships and had summoned a top US diplomat for “clarifications.”

“We did not ask anyone to send warships,” Siniora said, adding that no US warship was in “Lebanese waters.”
[...]
Meanwhile, a media officer for the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, Neeraj Singh, said on Friday that UNIFIL forces had not been informed of the United States’ sudden move.

127. marisacat - 1 March 2008

fwiw:

This Week: Clinton’s Howard Wolfson, Obama’s David Axelrod.

Face the Nation: Richardson, Dodd, Evan Bayh.

Meet the Press: Dem strategists Carville, Shrum & GOP’s Matalin, Mike Murphy.

Fox News Sunday: Rove, Sens. Dianne Feinstein, Dick Durbin.

Late Edition: Howard Dean, John Kerry, Min. Whip Roy Blunt, Rep. Silvestre Reyes

128. Heather-Rose Ryan - 1 March 2008

Kings can kiss my ass. Ditto queens, and fragile princes.

This evening I caught a glimpse of Baba Wawa (who has had some nasty plastic surgery, apparently involving cheekbone implants) doing a special on the Brit Royal Family. She burbled something about how HARD they work.

I agree with Ringo – they should all take a vacation and never come back.

129. marisacat - 1 March 2008

well I went and looked at HuffPuffPo… Abdullah, someone reposted his address to the Woodrwo Wilson Center. Think it was Vidal who called the leadership there, Abdullah and Raina… “the operetta”, seems appropriate.

As for Ringo… iirc he gratefully accepted the OBE (think that is the Order they were inducted into, for making mucho cash for the UK) from ERex… it was Lennon who declined it.

I think it is best when people DON”T show up for awards/rewards of that sort.

Certainly trainloads of suck ups should have declined the Medal of Honor these years from Bush. But no, they sucked right on to that stage, in the midst of racist foreign war. Some of them even shared the stage with the war makers, Tenet, Bremer, Myers and so on.

People have no shame.

130. marisacat - 1 March 2008

Angry Arab on royal helium:

If Prince Harry joined the British military earlier, I am confident that he would have been able to save the British Empire.

Posted by As’ad at 5:49 AM 6 comments

131. Heather-Rose Ryan - 1 March 2008

As I recall, all the Beatles, including Lennon, accepted whatever honor was pressed upon them when they were young and Fab.

Bowie, however, would have none of it- when they tried to foist a knighthood upon him later in life, he declined.

Yay Bowie.

132. marisacat - 1 March 2008

Nu thred…………………….

LINK

8)

133. bayprairie - 1 March 2008

People who have refused an honour

:::snip:::

People who have returned an honour

As no official provision exists for renouncing an honour, any such act is always unofficial, and the record of the award in The London Gazette stands. However the physical badge can be returned to the Central Chancery of the Orders of Knighthood — though even this act is purely symbolic, as a replacement badge may be purchased for a nominal sum. Any recipient can also request that the honour not be used officially…

:::snip:::

John Lennon, musician (returned MBE in 1969 “in protest against Britain’s involvement in the Biafran (Nigerian Civil) War, and its support of America in Vietnam”).

;;;snip:::

134. bayprairie - 1 March 2008

oh my. another error in my html.

People who have refused an honour


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