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SPQR 25 March 2008

Posted by marisacat in Afghanistan War, Culture of Death, DC Politics, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Iraq War, WAR!.
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     National Guard Staff Sargeant Ryan Mota 

I stumbled across this interesting article in Texas Observer on the modern era of military tattoos… and found this snip worth noting: 

The second type of military tattoo is for soldiers who want to make their uniform permanent. Some do this for practical reasons, tattooing dog tags complete with military ID and Social Security numbers onto their torsos in case they become separated from their heads during combat. These tattoos, called “meat tags,” can be elaborate: One Killeen variation shows the dog tags in an open wound, wrapped around an exposed rib.

From articles I hve read in the past, the Iraqis are doing the same, in case they are dismembered, perhaps a shard of their former selves can be indentified by a tattoo…

    tattoo2.jpg    

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1. Madman in the Marketplace - 25 March 2008

The wit and wisdom of Pat Buchanan:

Barack says we need to have a conversation about race in America.

Fair enough. But this time, it has to be a two-way conversation. White America needs to be heard from, not just lectured to.

This time, the Silent Majority needs to have its convictions, grievances and demands heard. And among them are these:

First, America has been the best country on earth for black folks. It was here that 600,000 black people, brought from Africa in slave ships, grew into a community of 40 million, were introduced to Christian salvation, and reached the greatest levels of freedom and prosperity blacks have ever known.

Wright ought to go down on his knees and thank God he is an American.

Second, no people anywhere has done more to lift up blacks than white Americans. Untold trillions have been spent since the ’60s on welfare, food stamps, rent supplements, Section 8 housing, Pell grants, student loans, legal services, Medicaid, Earned Income Tax Credits and poverty programs designed to bring the African-American community into the mainstream.

Governments, businesses and colleges have engaged in discrimination against white folks — with affirmative action, contract set-asides and quotas — to advance black applicants over white applicants.

Churches, foundations, civic groups, schools and individuals all over America have donated time and money to support soup kitchens, adult education, day care, retirement and nursing homes for blacks.

We hear the grievances. Where is the gratitude?

Barack talks about new “ladders of opportunity” for blacks.

Let him go to Altoona and Johnstown, and ask the white kids in Catholic schools how many were visited lately by Ivy League recruiters handing out scholarships for “deserving” white kids.

Is white America really responsible for the fact that the crime and incarceration rates for African-Americans are seven times those of white America? Is it really white America’s fault that illegitimacy in the African-American community has hit 70 percent and the black dropout rate from high schools in some cities has reached 50 percent?

Is that the fault of white America or, first and foremost, a failure of the black community itself?

As for racism, its ugliest manifestation is in interracial crime, and especially interracial crimes of violence. Is Barack Obama aware that while white criminals choose black victims 3 percent of the time, black criminals choose white victims 45 percent of the time?

Is Barack aware that black-on-white rapes are 100 times more common than the reverse, that black-on-white robberies were 139 times as common in the first three years of this decade as the reverse?

Just imagine what the winger 527s are going to go with this summer and fall …

2. marisacat - 25 March 2008

yes no doubt… I find I am unsympathetic to anyone here. At lest of the named players. For millions of unnamed and forgotten poor and or working class blacks.. yes for them.

The righties just raise Cosby with his “Cosbyisms” and Toussaint at hsi side… and Oprah (how convenient! and topical!) with her so comfy for whitie stories of why S Africa and not S side of Chicago.

On and on it goes. Where it ends…

3. wilfred - 25 March 2008

Ugh, Hillary is just making me hurl now on a daily basis. I love that Keith O. started with her using “The Tonya Harding Option” by trying to kneecap her opponent with the Wright harping again today. Now Bill on pandering to beat the band as well, he is just beyond tired.

4. Madman in the Marketplace - 25 March 2008

from the last thread, I’m not so worried about Clinton and Billy Graham, This pastor is far scarier than Graham.

Interesting post, links and pics M-cat.

5. JJB - 25 March 2008

Wisdom straight from the southern end of a northbound horse:

Let him go to Altoona and Johnstown, and ask the white kids in Catholic schools how many were visited lately by Ivy League recruiters handing out scholarships for “deserving” white kids.

Dear Dunghead: Ivy League recruiters don’t hand out scholarships to “deserving” white kids because THE IVY LEAGUE DOESN’T GIVE ATHLETIC SCHOLARSHIPS TO ANYBODY, BLACK OR WHITE!!!!!!!

I would also point out that that bit of ignorant race baiting was written by someone who went to the Columbia School of Journalism on a fellowship no doubt set aside for thick skulled bigots of mixed Kraut/Scots ancestry who pretend their Irish.

6. marisacat - 25 March 2008

well I think Michelle O’s brother received a scholarship (partial I suspect, not sure how much) to Princeton. He is now coach (think head coach) at Brown.

She as it happens went to Princeton as a legacy student, based on her brother.

Lots of whtie children are selected for scholarships. It usually happens, for poor black and white, thru the culling system in the public schools and teachers making names available to the right foundations and schools looking for scholarshop students. And thru the application process, too.

At least what I hear of it…

7. sabrina - 25 March 2008

I thought that Pat Buchanan piece was meant to be satire … but it’s not!

Was “white racism” really responsible for those black men looting auto dealerships and liquor stories, and burning down their own communities, as Otto Kerner said — that liberal icon until the feds put him away for bribery.

No, white racism was when the white looters, Cheney, Barbara and Neil Bush and all their cronies, profited from letting NO drown for five days, when busy as bees, while not only doing nothing at all to save a single life, actually preventing anyone else from doing so, they were handing out big contracts to their friends …. blood money, profiting from both natural disasters and ones they themselves made, ie their various wars, and it’s never enough … these looters will never be satisfied ….

Remember Safavian? He did his job, making sure to get those contracts to the right people ….

Corpwatch: The Road From K Street to Yusufiya

In this favor-driven world of fat contracts awarded to the well-connected, Mr. Safavian was only an aspiring consigliere. He was not powerful enough or in government long enough to do much beyond petty reconnaissance for Mr. Abramoff and his lobbying clients. But the Bush brand of competitive sourcing, with its get-rich-quick schemes and do-little jobs for administration pals, spread like a cancer throughout the executive branch. It explains why tens of thousands of displaced victims of Katrina are still living in trailer shantytowns all these months later. It explains why New York City and Washington just lost 40 percent of their counterterrorism funds. It helps explain why American troops are more likely to be slaughtered than greeted with flowers more than three years after the American invasion of Iraq.

Funny how the word ‘looters’ is never used where it actually applies by the likes of Pat Buchanan ….

8. wilfred - 25 March 2008

Ugh, Hillary spouting such shit “You can’t choose your relatives but you CAN choose your pastor and he would never by mine”.

Yeah Hillpac, and your pastor no doubt is a homophobe who thinks i’m a 2nd class citizen in heaven. She’s just as reprehensible as any Republican.

Sorry, just soooooo tired of the bullshit.

9. marisacat - 25 March 2008

A ton of Democrats let No drown as well.

i sure do wish it was good v bad.

It would be easier.

10. marisacat - 25 March 2008

LOL

[W]e believe that Barack Obama’s very biography reflects the positive potential of the globalization process that also contains such grave threats to our democracy when shaped only by the narrow interests of private corporations in an unregulated global marketplace. We should instead be globalizing the values of equality, a living wage and environmental sustainability in the new world order, not hoping our deepest concerns will be protected by trickle-down economics or charitable billionaires. By its very existence, the Obama campaign will stimulate a vision of globalization from below.

As progressives, we believe this sudden and unexpected new movement is just what America needs. The future has arrived. The alternative would mean a return to the dismal status quo party politics that has failed so far to deliver peace, healthcare, full employment and effective answers to crises like global warming. :snipsnippy:

Some tortured logic in there.

11. Madman in the Marketplace - 25 March 2008

A Conscientious Objection

Those of us who oppose the war, who believe that all U.S. troops should be withdrawn and the network of permanent bases in Iraq dismantled, have only two options in the coming presidential elections-Ralph Nader and Cynthia McKinney. A vote for any of the Republican and Democratic candidates is a vote to perpetuate the occupation of Iraq and a lengthy and futile war of attrition with the Iraqi insurgency. You can sign on for the suicidal hundred-year war with John McCain or for the nebulous open-ended war-lite with Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama, or back those who reject the war. If you vote Democrat or Republican in the coming election be honest with yourself-you have voted to allow the U.S. government to continue, in some form, the campaign that needlessly kills ever more Americans and Iraqis in a conflict that has become the worst foreign policy disaster in U.S. history and a crime under international law.

“When will the American people actually vote to give to the world more than bombs and missiles, sweatshops, dubious science, frankenfood, poverty and misery?” Cynthia McKinney, the presidential candidate in the Green Party primaries, told me. “Not only do we need an immediate, orderly withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan, we need an end to the militarism that has placed U.S. troops on the soil of over 100 countries. A true peace agenda means a complete redefinition of security. I remain convinced that if people in Haiti, Venezuela, Brazil, Ecuador, Bolivia and Nicaragua can vote a peace and justice agenda into power, then so too can we.”

12. marisacat - 25 March 2008

I got two of Madman’s out os spam but I only see one…

Will give it a min or two. See if it arrives.

13. marisacat - 25 March 2008

It’s there, up at comment 4…

14. Arcturus - 25 March 2008

globalization from below

I’d like to see him try & use that phrase in Chiapas

15. marisacat - 25 March 2008

LOL The manifesto for Obamamamama is from Hayden, Ehrenreich, Danny Glover… and Bill Flecther of Black Commentator.

Good luck to all.

16. marisacat - 25 March 2008

Quick, Line up!

George McGovern is a racist. Countdown to which pundit says it first.

I will say it again, this is one to sit out in terms of endorsements. This is not going to go well.

17. melvin - 25 March 2008

Purge!

We need to “purge” the Democratic party of its destructive members.

Although some are arguing that kneecapping will suffice.

I wonder if they would be interested in my (rather lengthy) list?

18. liberalcatnip - 25 March 2008

17.

An agent of harm who has done more to fracture the Democratic Party than most Republicans dream of doing, the Clintons deserves complete excommunication, disgrace, and scorn.

Well, at least the diarist admits that The Party is a religion.

19. liberalcatnip - 25 March 2008

Part 2 of Bush’s War is on Frontline tonite.

20. Arcturus - 25 March 2008

I’ve never read it:

One hundred years after its initial publication, [Jack] London’s political ideas and cultural insights seem remarkably contemporary. Indeed, in The Iron Heel, he describes a sinister conspiracy, by an oligarchy, to quash freedom of speech and freedom of assembly, imprison its outspoken opponents and critics, control news and information, install a professional army of paid mercenaries, create a secret police force, and wage global warfare for economic hegemony. There’s also guerrilla warfare, furious acts of wanton terrorism, and cold-blooded terrorists—a world roiling in violence that might be taken for the world of the twenty-first century.
. . .
The playful, and sometimes trenchant, footnotes to the text were, of course, written by London himself, and enabled him to offer a gloss on the narrative . . . On the subject of “politics and the English language,” which would become dear to George Orwell, London noted, “the people of that age were phrase slaves….So befuddled and chaotic were their minds that the utterance of a single word could negate the generalizations of a lifetime of serious research and thought. Such a word was the adjective utopian.”

21. marisacat - 25 March 2008

Arcturus out of spam…

sorry! for the delay…

8)

22. sabrina - 25 March 2008

Melvin #17 – that diary is gone!

23. liberalcatnip - 25 March 2008

that diary is gone!

Probably because (odd for dkos) so many commenters attacked the diarist for attacking Clinton by suggesting she be “purged”. When one of the commenters linked to her personal blog, she immediately deleted that too. Weird.

24. marisacat - 25 March 2008

I had fallen asleep… and I see now I had the Purge Hillary diary open.

If anyone wants the text I will copy paste and send.

Let me know.

What a hoot!

25. liberalcatnip - 25 March 2008
26. sabrina - 25 March 2008

So many deletions …

Opol had a good diary on the Siegelman case in Alabama last week. Apparently he knew him a long time ago and has corresponded with him in jail …

This is a travesty of justice if ever there was one …. I saw Opol’s diary on DU or else I would not have seen it ….

Now, it seems, the Rupublican thugs are after a blogger in Alabama who has been writing about the Siegelman case ….

Found this info on DU tonight and followed the links to the blog – is there anyone in the state of Alabama who is not totally corrupt?

Paying the price for looking too closely at the Siegelman case

Mark:
Thanks so much for your reference to my Legal Schnauzer blog in Alabama. Enjoy following your work.

The GOP is really on the prowl in our state, and it goes beyond the Siegelman case.

Republican authorities are threatening to seize my house, in a thinly veiled attempt to shut down my blog. I think this has a lot to do with U.S. Attorney Alice Martin, who led the first effort to go after Don Siegelman.

I had an interesting e-mail exchange with Ms. Martin a few weeks back about her refusal to investigate judicial corruption (by Republicans) that I have witnessed. She didn’t know I was a blogger at the time, but she now knows I am going to be writing about these e-mails, which clearly show how she practices selective prosecution.

His blog is here Legalschnauzer

Lots of interesting articles in the archives about the GOP operatives in Alabama and the Siegelman case …. it sure looks like he is being targeted for his writing on the case although he seems to think it’s also because of some of what he wrote about another case involving Exxon there ….

Congress should be looking at this case, especially after the information revealed on the 60 Minutes program regarding the pressure placed on witnesses by the prosecution, in one case a witness who refused to lie, was prosecuted himself … Karl Rove, according to Siegelman himself, is the key to everything there …

Siegelman publicly spoke out about election fraud, and it was after that that they went after him. Lots of people do not want this topic discussed at all – including btw, ‘progressive’ blogs like Daily Kos …

27. liberalcatnip - 25 March 2008
28. melvin - 25 March 2008

The Challenge of the 21st Century: Setting the Real Bottom Line, 2008 Commonwealth Lecture by David Suzuki

If you flatten the alveoli of our lungs out into two dimensions, they would cover a tennis court. That is about how much surface area is wrinkled up in our lungs. Each alveolus is lined by a surfactant that reduces surface tension so that the air sticks to it. Immediately carbon dioxide rushes out of our bodies, oxygen and whatever else is in the air rushes in, and haemoglobin molecules in red blood cells grab on to the oxygen so that each beat of our heart can transfer that oxygen to every part of our bodies. And when you exhale you do not exhale all the air in your lungs. If you did that your lungs would collapse. About half of the air stays in your lungs even when you exhale.

The point I am trying to make is that you cannot draw a line that marks where the air ends and I begin. There is no line. The air is stuck to us and circulating through our bodies. We are air. It is a part of us and it is in us. Air is not a vacuum or empty space but a physical substance. We are embedded in a matrix of air and if you are air and I am air then I am you, we are a part of this single layer that encompasses the planet. We are embedded in that air with the trees, the birds, the worms and the snakes, which are all a part of that web of living things held together by the atmosphere or the air.
~~~~~
what intelligent creature, knowing the role that air plays in our lives keeping us alive and connecting us to the past and into the future, would then proceed to use air as a garbage can and refuse to pay for putting carbon and all our pollutants into the atmosphere?
~~~~~
We are water. Whatever we do to water we do to ourselves.

We are the earth because every bit of our food was once alive. In North America over 95% of our food is grown on the land. We are the earth through the food that we consume and yet we spray toxic chemicals directly onto the earth and the plants and animals we are going to eat. We even inject it into the creatures we are going to consume. We are the earth, and whatever we do to it we do to ourselves.
~~~~~
I say it without apology. We are promulgating an illusion that everything is alright by using up the rightful legacy of our children and grandchildren. That is not sustainable, it is suicidal. I believe that is the challenge for our time. We have created a system that is completely out of balance with the real world that keeps us alive, and climate change is a part of the problem that we have created with this kind of economic system.

We have to set a new bottom line, a bottom line dictated by the reality that we are biological creatures, completely dependent for our survival and well being on clean air, clean water, clean soil, clean energy and biodiversity. We are social animals who need strong families and supportive communities, full employment, justice, equity and security and freedom from racism, terror, war and genocide. And we remain spiritual beings who need sacred places in the natural world that gave us birth.

And as usual with Suzuki, much more.

29. liberalcatnip - 25 March 2008

Police: US Capitol Gunman Had Bomb

WASHINGTON (AP) — Authorities revealed Tuesday that a man carrying a loaded shotgun was arrested in January near the U.S. Capitol, and explosives left in his truck nearby went undetected for three weeks.
[..]
Police initially searched Gorbey’s truck in January and said there were propane tanks and wires but no immediate danger. They used a robotic camera to look inside the vehicle and a powerful water hose to destroy suspicious items inside.

Now U.S. Capitol Police are investigating how their bomb squad missed the bomb.

30. liberalcatnip - 25 March 2008
31. marisacat - 26 March 2008

hmmm I just caught Hofmeister, the CEO of Shell on with Charlie Rose.

Along the way he mentioned a couple of interesting things. One, that the nation has to subsidise fuel costs. The consumer can no longer pick up the whole cost.

And two, that he made a tour of Big City mayors and 20 governors… and one thing he talked about is that ordinary people can longer support the pressure from rising costs for gas, heating, food and other basics.

And he says the politicans won’t face that there is growing frustration out in the country. And that it will surface.

He said he asked Villaraigosa of LA how the tension was holding in poorer areas from so much cost pressure and Villaraigosa said, on the threshold.

Hofmeister said he is retiring soon and intends to talk more, be more outspoken.

hmmm.

32. melvin - 26 March 2008

Oh brother

the nation has to subsidise fuel costs

I suppose without ever addressing silly little things like fuel efficiency or building neighborhoods for people instead of cars.

Mention subsidizing rail though and watch them all faint.

33. sabrina - 26 March 2008

Well, I have been amazed that no politician (other than Chavez who provided cheaper fuel to poor Americans) has even mentioned the hardship caused to many working class families by the high cost of heating oil …

Last winter there were articles in Newsday about people on LI who could not buy one hundred gallons of heating oil, at a cost of over $300.00 so they were buying it in oil cans, trying not to run out and cause their pipes to freeze. Also, many formerly ‘comfortable’ home-owners were shutting down half of their homes in the winter to try to save fuel … iow, it has already had a huge effect on ordinary people as salaries have not gone up along with everything else …

But neither Hillary nor Obama, to my knowledge have addressed this problem at all. I personally know people who were freezing for the past few winters and although local newspapers covered, what really is a crisis (old people espeically are affected) not one politician that I know of, used it even against a Republican opponent …

Only Chavez …

34. marisacat - 26 March 2008

32

I agree on rail. This is the big issue and has been for ONE HUNDRED YEARS. While in some areas we were legislated to rubber tired transit.

oh no question, he hits on some stuff and not on others. he is what he is.

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

33

Year after year congress yawns and barely cares when the thought comes up, as it usually does in summer, for additional funds for Liheap, offsets for winter heating costs.

In several states over the past couple of years, rules for turning off electricity have been eased. I know PA is one state and Rendell was key to passing it. The very first year, two years ago, a little family burned to death as a result.

I so wish it was only the Republicans.

Hofmeister said in Feb (I assume this year) he had a Energy forum for the presidential candidates in Houston. Only HIllary came and spoke.

hate to be rude, but they gotta show up.

And last the stupid liberal mantra for years has been

oh we should pay more for gas, like Europe, then we’d understand

(In fact charlie said that, who else, Friedman has a book coming out that makes that old tired point, LOL)

without a drop of sense to know that much of Europe has redundancies of transportation.

Not the US, people are reliant on cars, some by choice many because they have no choice.

One of the reasons I will bother to vote in November is to vote for the proposed high speed rail from SF/No CA to LA. 2.5 hours. Take a load off 1-5

35. marisacat - 26 March 2008

LOL

Did KO say that Hillary called for a massive walk out of the Trinity church?

I have been thru the full day of Sully on Hillary, and Josh on Hillary (on the Wright issue) and no mention of that….

I think I have it:

The party is the Catholic church. Hillary is scaling the walls at Avignon… and as long as she is doing that, the Real Pope in Rome cannot manage to exude the white smoke.

Yes I think that fits.

One more church.

How pathetic it all is.

36. marisacat - 26 March 2008

Here it is, from a diary of kid oakland at Dkos. My emailer said “ko” and I took it to be a rant of Keith O.:

I had never heard a politician call for a mass walk out from a church before, especially one that was known up till one month ago mostly for its Pastor’s commitment to serving the people of the South Side of Chicago and a resolute commitment to the poor including those with HIV/Aids. But that is exactly what Senator Clinton did today, characterizing Trinity United Church of Christ as the locus of “Hate Speech” on a par with Don Imus.

37. JJB - 26 March 2008

MCat, no. 6,

Ivy League schools (and a lot of schools of similar caliber like Colgate, Bucknell, Lafayette that form the Patriot League) will give financial assistance to athletes with grades marginally good enough to get into their schools, but they do not give the sort of full tuition plus room and board packages (that are explicitly athletic scholarships) handed out by Ohio State, Notre Dame, USC, etc. However, most everyone who goes to these schools gets some kind of financial aid, and a couple of years ago, Princeton started a policy of not requiring repayment of the loans they give to students, a course that a couple of other Ivies (Harvard and Penn, IIRC) are about to start. In other words, they aren’t scholarships, but they might as well be. Incidentally, in the past couple of years I’ve toured a few of these campuses (my son is about to finish his junior year of high school), and if the Puke Cannon is upset that Ivy campuses are being overrun by African-Americans, I can set his mind at rest. Neither Princeton nor Penn are in danger of turning into Howard or Morehouse any time soon, though I will say that Penn is as ethnically diverse a university as I’ve ever seen, both in terms of the student body and the prospective students and their families who did the campus tour the day we were there last month (Presidents Day, there were a lot of people there and classes were in session). Princeton has also come a long way since the days when it resembled a Wonder Bread factory. I doubt the presence of so many students of Asian descent would please him either, though.

38. NYCO - 26 March 2008

I honestly can’t remember if I posted this somewhere already; if I have, forgive the repetition.

Most of the news about David Paterson lately is about political and not about leadership matters, but it seems that few people noticed something pretty radical he did/said last week, which speaks directly to the schism afflicting the Democratic Party at the moment. He has only been a week in office and he has already managed to do in New York what the national Democrats know they must do, but can’t or won’t, which is to make a sincere effort to put traditional Democratic groups — urban blacks and working-class whites — back in the same party together.

This probably was not noticed because the message was actually delivered in obscure places and to obscure audiences that the mainstream media never notices; the message was also framed in ways that mean a lot to certain New Yorkers but would not mean much to the national media or even the established New York media.

Paterson first went up to Rochester (arguably the Upstate metro area with the biggest gap between rich and poor, and the one place in Upstate that has the most Midwestern-like exurban culture) and presented himself and acknowledged openly that Upstaters do not trust politicians from NYC (a breakthrough in itself, to have someone actually mention that fact aloud), but also reminded them that he wasn’t from the centers of power in NYC and that he knew what it felt like to be left out of power. His immediate audience was Rochester’s urban community (and Democrats), but after 40 years of economic decline, it’s pretty safe to say that the mistrust of the NYC-based Democratic Party runs to some degree through all quarters. Even Upstate Democrats are unhappy.

Standing ovation.

Then he went down to his home constituency in Harlem, where of course he received a rapturous reception, but then before they were done cheering he spoke about Upstate cities and how they needed attention too. Not a message that people in Harlem are used to hearing, probably. His words about this were, “Our faith that has guided us to seek justice is not going to abandon us when we have decision-making capacity. Just as it is always important not to forget where you came from, which I will not do, it is also important not to exclude anyone else in the way we were excluded for so many years by others.”

It wasn’t that he went to Rochester and said that, that was the real news. It was that he went back home and said what he said. That hasn’t been done before in New York. Ever.

He sees the big picture and can make the case to the entire natural constituency that Democrats can claim; in short, he wants the Democratic Party in New York to include more people than just the usual suspects with the usual donors. That may not include the exurbians just yet, but you can bet they were in the room and he was making a fair attempt to unite them against a common perceived enemy.

Believe me, there are good reasons why the downstate media establishment, which serves Wall Street and both the Democratic and GOP establishments in New York, wants this guy gone. He is, after all, a real liberal, and they only come to power via accident these days. However, he seems interested in doing as much “damage” to the status quo as possible before he gets the hook (however it may come – death by media, or death by election).

With Obama (who is “progressive” but not “liberal,” perish the thought), I don’t quite sense the same urgency, on the national stage.

39. JJB - 26 March 2008

Two stories on the so-called Iraqi government’s US-enabled offensive against Muqtada al-Sadr’s militia:

NY Times:

Heavy fighting continued for a second day Wednesday in two of Iraq’s largest cities, as Iraqi ground forces and helicopters mounted a huge operation to break the grip of the Shiite militias controlling Basra, and Iraqi forces clashed with militias in Baghdad.. . . A spokesman for the Iraqi military said 40 people had been killed and 200 wounded in the two days of fighting in the southern city of Basra, according to The Associated Press. [He] did not specify how many of those killed and sounded were militiamen, Iraqi soldiers or civilians caught up in the fighting.

Iraq’s prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, on Wednesday gave gunmen in Basra a three-day deadline to surrender their weapons and renounce violence, The A.P. reported. And three United States citizens working for the U.S. government in Baghdad were seriously wounded Wednesday in a mortar attack in the Green Zone, the diplomatic and government compound, Reuters reported, citing a U.S. embassy spokeswoman.

[snip]

There were also serious clashes in the southern cities of Kut and Hilla.

In Basra, American and British jets roared through the skies, providing air support for the Iraqi military. A British Army spokesman for southern Iraq, Maj. Tom Holloway, said that while Western forces had not entered Basra, the operation already involved nearly 30,000 Iraqi troops and police forces, with more arriving. “They are clearing the city block by block,” Major Holloway said.

The scale and intensity of the clashes in Baghdad kept many residents home. Schools and shops were closed in many neighborhoods and hundreds of checkpoints appeared; in some neighborhoods they were controlled by the government and in others by militia members.

Barrages of rockets and mortar shells pounded the fortified Green Zone area for the second time in three days. An American military spokesman said there were two minor injuries to civilians in the Green Zone.

And McClatchy:

With Iraq’s top leaders directing the battle, Iraq’s army and national police pressed a major operation Tuesday to wrest control of the southern port city of Basra from the Shiite Mahdi Army militia. Fighting between government forces and the militia quickly spread through Iraq’s south and into Baghdad.

Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki and his defense and interior ministers took charge of the 15,000 Iraqi army troops and police units, which were deployed for what aides said was to be a three-day operation against militias in the city.

The battle at the oil-rich port began before dawn Tuesday and lasted into the early evening before subsiding slightly as the Mahdi Army, headed by firebrand cleric Muqtada al Sadr, defended positions in several neighborhoods. In the dead of night, residents reported artillery shelling, mortar rounds and guns being fired outside their homes.

In the al Timimiyah neighborhood, government forces surrounded a Mahdi Army stronghold and the home of the Rwaymi family, who residents said are well-known oil smugglers and supporters of the militia.

In al Qibla, just west of the city center, the Mahdi Army repelled attacks by Iraqi security forces, burned military vehicles and took weapons, residents said. The militia also briefly took control of a police station.

[snip]

Medical officials estimated that 10 to 20 people were killed and that 100 were wounded in the fighting. But with most hospitals and the morgue barely functioning amid the fighting, it was impossible to get an accurate tally of the casualties. Militiamen carrying rocket-propelled grenades took over many of the streets, preventing residents from leaving their homes.

[snip]

In Baghdad, the Mahdi Army all but closed down the neighborhoods it controls in an act of protest against the government. Militiamen attacked the headquarters of a rival Shiite group, the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq and its military wing, the Badr Organization.

[snip]

Maliki is taking a major political risk in attempting to recover Basra, which was virtually handed over to militias when the British military withdrew late last year. That risk was heightened by his presence at the start of the operation. His critics were quick to portray his decision as a political gambit.. . . The operation was portrayed by Sadrists and some analysts as an effort by Maliki to consolidate power in the south for the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq before the election in October.

But a lawmaker close to Maliki said Sadr’s cease-fire and freeze on operations were something of a fiction. “If you talk to Muqtada, they say we are freezing Jaysh al Mahdi (the Mahdi Army), but the bombing and the kidnapping and even hitting the Green Zone continues,” said Sami al Askari, the lawmaker.. . . Askari denied that the security operation was directed solely at Sadrists, but Sadr followers said they were being targeted. Askari acknowledged that if the government’s operation in Basra fails, the consequences would be “severe.”

[snip]

In some 13 Baghdad neighborhoods, police abandoned their checkpoints after militiamen spread through the streets, burned tires, attacked two Iraqi checkpoints and kidnapped at least six police officers.

In Basra, schools and businesses were shut and hospitals were crippled because doctors and medical staff couldn’t get to work. A curfew was imposed as pitched battles were fought.

As the latter story notes, for al-Maliki to involve himself so personally in this offensive is curious. If it fails, he will be seen as the fradulent leader of a sham government. It it succeeds, he will have alienated massive numbers of Shiites, who will probably see him as being no better than Saddam, and will in short order be taking up arms against him. There’s a lot of stuff going on here that isn’t immediately apparent, and which the MSM isn’t going to work to illuminate for us, busy as they are investigating whether Billary actually came under sniper fire in Kosovo a dozen years ago (obviously she didn’t, but does anyone really care?), and whether or not the Reverend Wright . . . well, just what is the supposed controversy with him? I can’t even be bothered to care.

40. JJB - 26 March 2008

Long comment stuck in Moderation, I think.

41. Hair Club for Men - 26 March 2008

Did KO say that Hillary called for a massive walk out of the Trinity church?

I haven’t been inside a church since Bush I but I would like to get a list from Hillary which church’s the royal family approves of just in case.

I guess I’d also like to get a list of which parts of the Bible the Clintons approve of so, you know, I don’t read the wrong ones, like the Books of Amos or Jeremiah (you know those prophets who dam their own country for its immorality).

Of course 90% of American churches make it easy. Throw out the whole Bible except for the Gospel of John, the Book of Revelations and a few parts of the Old Testament and you’re fine.

42. wilfred - 26 March 2008

As far as the all the racist stuff about Wright, until we can talk on equal footing about examining all the candidates pastors (lol,Romneys!) homophobia, it’s bullshit.

They are either both valid and fair game, or not.

43. sabrina - 26 March 2008

Too late for KO et al to be outraged over anything anyone says about the Rev. Wright now. Unless they are outraged over Obama rejecting what he said …. which was mostly true … but everyone jumped on the bandwagon, more concerned with this election than whether or not the pastor was telling the truth.

Now they are outraged when someone else criticizes him. Obama says he probably would have left the church if he had heard those remarks. What’s different, then, about Hillary saying the same thing?

So hypocritical of them …. they should have slammed Obama too for this to mean anything now …. it just doesn’t.

44. Hair Club for Men - 26 March 2008

It’s interesting that one of the few people to defend Obama and Wright has been the Squirrel killer.

http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2008/03/25/the_black_mans_burden/

“Obama has handled this about as well as anybody could, and I agree, it’s a very historic speech . . .” Huckabee said on MSNBC. “He made the point and I think it’s a valid one. That you can’t hold the candidate responsible for everything that people around him may say or do. You just can’t. Whether it’s me, whether it’s Obama, anybody else. But he did distance himself from the very vitriolic statements.”

Huckabee went much further. “I grew up in a very segregated South. And I think that you have to cut some slack . . . I’m probably the only conservative in America who’s going to say something like this, but I’m just telling you. We’ve got to cut some slack to people who grew up being called names, being told you have to sit in the balcony when you go to the movie; you have to go to the back door to go into the restaurant and you can’t sit out there with everyone else; there’s a separate waiting room in the doctor’s office; here’s where you sit on the bus.

And I haven’t heard much from evangelicals in general.

45. sabrina - 26 March 2008

Another one was David Gergen, again a Republican. Democrats were in a such a rush to appear ‘patriotic’ they couldn’t wait to denounce Rev. Wright, without even thinking.

My first reaction was that if this was Obama’s pastor, I might have been wrong about him after all and just maybe he might be more aware of the civil rights struggle he so dismissed publicly, than it appeared.

Rev. Wright’s not that wrongs

Amid all the righteous noise made about Rev. Jeremiah Wright, it was David Gergen, on Anderson Cooper’s show, who made the most pertinent observation. The veteran GOP operative with bipartisan ties informed the audience that black America is having a different conversation than white America, so one cannot apply the CNN, Fox, or MSNBC framework to African-American concerns.

Gergen’s insight came and went with little comment, since the Wright media spasm is largely a white creation. Who cares what those with no political power think? That it took a power broker like Gergen to make this obvious, important point further reveals how fixed our “national dialogue” remains. This of course allows all manner of patriotspeak to flow unimpeded, for there’s nothing that the Liberal Media loves more than to prove its nationalist bonafides. After all, who do you think keeps the American flag lapel pin industry in the, er, black?

Jeremiah Wright’s supposedly inflammatory statements about 9/11 and the ongoing specter of racism are uncontroversial to those following the real world. We live in horrific, corrupt times, and while I don’t agree with everything Wright says, he’s certainly not speaking fiction, primarily when it comes to American foreign policy. We are hated not so much for our freedoms, such as they are, but specifically for our mass murder, our torture, our occupations. There are other, cultural elements that are part of the overall mix, yet they are doubtless secondary to those seeking refuge from our cluster bombs and client armies. Wright’s sermons about reaping what you sow is nothing new, especially in the Christian tradition. But to hear cable chatters and assorted reactionaries tell it, such time-honored concepts don’t apply to the United States. The God who watches over us and guides our trigger-happy hand excuses any and all slaughter committed in His Holy Name. He wouldn’t have endorsed that song about how He blesses us were the opposite the case.

46. wu ming - 26 March 2008

yeah, that high speed rail line will be a godsend, if it isn’t strangled in its crib. schwarzeneggar has been pulling everything he can to underfund the initial work on the project and delay it getting on the ballot until he ran up a bunch of debt.

california needs to be getting seriously into rail. the state-run capitol corridor and surfliner lines (formerly of amtrak) work pretty well, and have been filled to capacity from the beginning, no matter how much capacity they add. a lot of the old right of way from the early 20th century interurban lines is still out there, and in some cases the old tracks as well, in both LA and the sacramento metro area. it could be done, were the will there.

the timing of this housing bubble collapse isn’t going to help.

47. sabrina - 26 March 2008

I wonder if this is an early sign of what will eventually happen to the Democratic Party …

Democrat Gravel Switches to Libertarian

WASHINGTON (AP) — Long-shot presidential candidate Mike Gravel told supporters Wednesday he is leaving the Democratic Party to join the Libertarian Party.

Gravel, a former Democratic senator from Alaska, said in an e-mail that the Democratic Party “no longer represents my vision for our great country.”

“It is a party that continues to sustain war, the military-industrial complex and imperialism — all of which I find anathema to my views,” he said in the e-mail in which he also asked supporters for campaign donations.

Gravel, 77, has been excluded from recent Democratic debates because he failed to meet fundraising or polling thresholds.

“I look forward to advancing my presidential candidacy within the Libertarian Party, which is considerably closer to my values, my foreign policy views and my domestic views,” he said.

Gravel left the Senate in 1981 after losing the 1980 Democratic primary. An outspoken critic of the Vietnam War, he was among the first Democrats to speak out against the war in Iraq while others supported the president.

He announced his bid for the presidency on April 17, 2006.

The truth is he was driven from the party, as was Cynthia McKinney even though both are correct on US foreign policy, or because they are.

A mass exodus of those who have not supported this war and US Imperialism could lay a foundation for a new party …

You cannot argue with his position on US FP and if the polls are true, he is far more representative of the base of the party than the two top candidates.

The silencing of Gravel and Kucinich was reprehensible in the debates, and in the end, look what happened anyway. At least when they did have a voice, the focus was on issues, not on the personal religious practices of candidates …..

48. marisacat - 26 March 2008

LOL Stuff’s not what it’s cracked up to be (from the Mike Allen Politico email):

3) THE EDWARDS CURSE? Public Policy Polling of Raleigh (‘the only company in the country to correctly predict that Barack Obama would win the South Carolina Democratic primary by 20 points or more’) yesterday released a poll that included this question:

‘If John Edwards endorsed Hillary Clinton, would it make you more likely or less likely to vote for Clinton, or would it not make a difference?’ 31 percent said ‘less likely.’ (Hat tip: Slate)

49. marisacat - 26 March 2008

46

wu ming

yes I agree, I can vote on it, but I may never see it. And anyone with half a brain knows the Dems and big Dme fundraisers (Spielberg and confreres for one) worked to put Arnold back in as they preferred he make the hard choices and they just look like they fought the good fight but lost to the big baddie. It gets so old.

Amtrak which is wildly popular here is always under threat of cuts. When it should be expanded.

50. liberalcatnip - 26 March 2008

Gravel, a former Democratic senator from Alaska, said in an e-mail that the Democratic Party “no longer represents my vision for our great country.”

Good for him for taking a stand. I doubt he was forced out. It seems to me he’s the type of person who would have made that clear in public if the Dem power structure had pressured him. He wouldn’t have had anything to lose if he’d spilled the beans.

51. liberalcatnip - 26 March 2008

Heh™

22% of Democrats Want Clinton to Drop Out; 22% Say Obama Should Withdraw

Twenty-two percent (22%) of Democratic voters nationwide say that Hillary Clinton should drop out of the race for the Democratic Presidential nomination. However, the latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that an identical number—22%–say that Barack Obama should drop out.

A solid majority of Democrats, 62%, aren’t ready for either candidate to leave the race. Nationally, Clinton and Obama are running essentially even among Likely Democratic Primary Voters in the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll.

Forty-seven percent (47%) of Obama supporters think Clinton should drop out. Thirty-eight percent (38%) of Clinton supporters say Obama should drop out. Those who remain undecided are a bit more likely to suggest that Obama should leave. But, it’s worth noting that less than half of Obama supporters say Clinton should withdraw, less than half of Clinton supporters say Obama should withdraw, and less than half of undecided voters say either should withdraw at this time.

Fight amongst yourselves. The popcorn cupboard is well-stocked.

52. JJB - 26 March 2008

Just saw this remarkable post over at Chris Floyd’s site, and thought I’d share:

From the very beginning, the brutality, ruin and deceit of the American aggression in Iraq has been compounded by an unshakeable ignorance.. . . This implacable ignorance was on perfect display this week in a “feel-good” story put out by one of the Pentagon’s myriad PR engines: “Operation Iraqi Freedom, the Official Website of Multi-National Force – Iraq.” (Oddly enough, the official website of the “Multi-National Force” is entirely in English, and geared exclusively to American operations. Apparently, all the other vast armies in the “Multi-National Force” don’t need to know what’s going on in this collaborative, cooperative multi-national operation.) The press release carried the kind of culturally sensitive headline you would expect from a Western occupying force that launched a war in the heart of Islam that has killed a million Muslims: “God’s Glory Abounds at Camp Victory.”

No, it wasn’t an account of Dick Cheney’s visit to Iraq last week; it was an Easter story, provided by the Public Affairs Office at the not-at-all permanent base at the Baghdad airport. It told of a sunrise service at “at the temporary chapel at Al Faw Palace, Camp Victory, to celebrate the wonder of Easter.”. . . The officer in charge was Chaplain (Major) Lane Stockeland, who explained to the grunt from Public Affairs that “the service in front of the palace was very similar to the Easter Sunrise Services held in cities all across America where people gather to greet the morning by giving praise to Jesus Christ” – a Middle Eastern rabble-rouser who, you might recall, was executed by a Western occupation force.

But beyond providing the troops a taste of home, the service at Camp Victory had a “deeper meaning,” according to the major:

Holding a religious service in an area that once had no religious freedom is a milestone, Stockeland said. “I think it’s pretty significant to hold Easter sunrise in an area where folks didn’t have the freedom to do so.”

My, isn’t it wonderful that the American invasion – and the million deaths it has spawned – has allowed people to hold services giving praise to Jesus Christ….in a land where services giving praise to Jesus Christ have been held uninterruptedly for almost 2,000 years.

Yes, back when the good major’s European forbears were practicing human sacrifice and looking at goose entrails for divine guidance, strong Christian communities were thriving in what is now Iraq, most of them speaking Aramaic, the language of Jesus – as some Iraqi Christians still do. Major Stockeland, a chaplain for the holy-rolling, tongue-speaking Assemblies of God, is not only ignorant of the culture he is helping to destroy – and ignorant of the history of his own religion – he is oblivious to what is actually happening to the Christians of the “liberated” land.

The reality, of course, is that Iraqi Christians were far freer to practice their religion before the American invasion. In fact, the illegal attack launched by the oh-so-Christian Coalition of George “Jews Are Going to Hell” Bush and Tony “I’m a Fervent Catholic, But When It’s Politically Inconvenient” Blair has been one of the greatest disasters to befall Iraqi Christians in two millenia.. . . The result has been the relentless persecution of Iraqi Christians, who had once been protected from attack by Bush’s own personal jihadis. Before the war, there were approximately 800,000 Christians in Iraq; now, many religious organizations estimate that at least half that number have been forced to flee the country. The Christian churches of Iraq – which have survived since the 1st century AD – are now dying out, as a direct result of the brutality, ruin, deceit – and ignorance – of the occupying forces. But Pastor Major Chaplain Stockeland can’t see that — not even when he’s standing in the middle of it.

Truly, a parable for our times.

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised by these displays of astonishing ignorance by Americans, but you would think that an ordained minister (I presume he was ordained) who rose to the rank of major would know something about the history of his own religion, and be aware of the reality of the country in which he was posted, if only from having learned the facts after his arrival.

53. liberalcatnip - 26 March 2008

52. Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to kill.

54. liberalcatnip - 26 March 2008

Here’s how pathetic Canadian Conservatives are. Why think for yourself when someone else can do it for you?

55. sabrina - 26 March 2008

LC #50 – I meant he was forced out by the way he was treated, not officially. He was mocked by the so-called progressive blogs and driven out of the debates, as was Kucinich … those who attempted to diminish him, ie, kos et al, are not fit to wipe his shoes in terms of accomplishing anything btw. As he said himself, the party no longer represents his views (nor those of so many democrats) on important issues such as Foreign Policy and Imperialism ….

JBB #52 – I posted a link to that Chris Floyd article on Pff earlier, it is a great post ….

Marisacat #49 – remember how kos supported Arnold also. The Party is so far to the right now that to be an acceptable candidate seems to mean being a Reagan Republican …. which Obama demonstrated in his remarks about Reagan -

56. marisacat - 26 March 2008

The New Yorker has a 4 pager on the Dalai Lama.

57. liberalcatnip - 26 March 2008

I meant he was forced out by the way he was treated, not officially.

Ooops. Okay. I need more tea, obviously!

those who attempted to diminish him, ie, kos et al, are not fit to wipe his shoes in terms of accomplishing anything btw.

No doubt. But buy kos’ books and send money to the Dems now.

58. marisacat - 26 March 2008

politco links to a current Josh Green Atlantic article on The Family, and has links to the earlier LA times, Harpers and earlier Atlantic articles.

I’d link directly to the current Atlantic, but I cannot get it to open. sigh.

59. marisacat - 26 March 2008

Much sturm and drang in the Dem party River City today. First Read seems to have meaty posts on the high points (as do others), for anyone interested.

http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/

60. marisacat - 26 March 2008

Here is the link to the current Atlantic article on Hillary and The Family, the Fellowship.

61. marisacat - 26 March 2008

hmm I think the race is about to turn much much nastier. It feels like a massive pustule is about to burst.

think i will have a cool drink and take a turn in the ever browning little garden.

62. melvin - 26 March 2008

61 lol, Dem party as giant suppurating pustule. The diversity, all the different colors of pus.

63. NYCO - 26 March 2008

Liberalcatnip, wow. That poll has got to be sending Kossacks into fits.

64. liberalcatnip - 26 March 2008

63. I was just watching David Gregory’s show and found it interesting that they only mentioned the Clinton voters who would vote for McCain – not a peep about Obama voters who would do the same. Of course, they’re on the “Hillary is destroying The Party” bandwagon at MSNBC anyway, so I guess that’s not surprising – but it’s damn disingenuous.

65. marisacat - 26 March 2008

HA! if anyone is “destroying” the party, it is the party itself. And it convoluted rules, lies, and sell-outs.

Geesh.

Plus it really seems it is doing a bowel vivisection rather than full on destruction.

But! One can hope! Bottom line is hope is different for different people.

66. liberalcatnip - 26 March 2008

65. You’re coming up with some quite vivid analogies today. ;) (ummm…ewww?!)

67. marisacat - 26 March 2008

Crist, who attended the floor vote, said, “Florida is sorry for the past transgressions and unfair treatment and in some cases just gross inequity as it exists toward members of the African-American community.”

Governor Crist, as Fl moved to formally apologise for slavery.

Honey! We are drowning in religion and quite by design. Just suck it up and call it a SIN!

Never underestimate the Republicans. Or go ahead and do just that, what the hell:

The resolution stops short of calling for reparations for descendants of slaves, though Republican Gov. Charlie Crist said after the vote that he was open to the idea “if we can determine descendancy, certainly.”

of course the R have no intention of a fully realised reparations scheme, in any form. Much less to, or related to, direct descendants of slaves. And can you imagine the orchestrated screaming of even broaching the legal reparations due from companies like Aetna that profited from slavery?

Which is fine, as that is not a conversation, not even from a legal, scholarly standpoint, that Obama wants to have. Ever.

68. wilfred - 26 March 2008

Evidently the Wright outrage is a media invention. Tweety reporting new polls revealing that Obama now even with Clinton nationally and in match-ups Obama beats McCain while she loses. Her negatives are up by 5% in just the past week alone.

Sounds like it will just get nastier.

69. sabrina - 26 March 2008

Catnip #57 – okay, sending money to kos and the Dems right now … lol! You need more than tea I think ….

Well, some people are taking to the streets ….

Protestors enter Bear Stearns building in New York

“Blame the mortgage tsunami on Bear Stearns,” read one sign. Another read, “Bear Stearns employees aren’t worth $2.”

After leaving Bear Stearns, the crowd moved to JPMorgan.

“We will go to their neighborhood, we will educate their children on what their parents do. They should be ashamed,” NACA founder Bruce Marks said of employees at both banks.

No provisions were made for home-owners in the big bailout …..

70. Miss Devore - 26 March 2008

51. I think the polled are lying. as soon as any light is shined on McCain, he is nothing.

-embraces the surge

-his “vision” to carry us forward is embodied in….

-b-day cake with bush on the tarmac during Katrina

-joe liebermann

-wife does not have irises

71. liberalcatnip - 26 March 2008

You need more than tea I think ….

You’re telling me! lol

72. marisacat - 26 March 2008

I’d be delighted to see McCain self combust along the way. The problem is that America likes to elect bumblers.

LOL I notice commentary around that Obama “will be a lot more creative running against McCain” than the past few months against Hillary.

Any time now. Rev the engines.

73. liberalcatnip - 26 March 2008

If the superdelegates get together in some sort of “conclave”, will they signal their decision with a puff of white smoke?

74. marisacat - 26 March 2008

oh this is too easy:

Red White and Blue smoke.

Which iwll form a depiction of the Flag as it rises.

A miracle they will say!

75. Madman in the Marketplace - 26 March 2008

test test

76. sabrina - 26 March 2008

I still think that it will be Hillary AND Obama as there is no way that one or the other can beat McCain, which goes to show what a bad job Democrats have done in demonstrating that they are any different from the Repubs. They should be able to run anyone at all who isn’t Bush and win after the past eight years of this administration ….

So, yes, I think the smoke will be red, white and blue and everyone will kiss and make up …. while the Repubs get their smear machine into gear and such questions as ‘Sen. Clinton, you said that if the Rev. Wright had been your pastor, you would have left the Church. Since your running mate, Sen. Obama did not do so, does this, in your opinion, call into question his PATRIOTISM!

I just can’t believe that McCain is polling so well against either of them …

Catnip, coffee maybe? Lol, with a little whiskey and whipped cream on top … mmm, maybe I’ll go see if I can get someone to make one of those for me. ‘Whiskey makes you sick when you’re well, whiskey when you’re sick makes you well’ …..

77. sabrina - 26 March 2008

‘A depiction of the flag as it rises’ – lol! A miracle, yes, which could only mean one thing …

78. diane - 26 March 2008

Just spent a good deal of time reading the Coe links.

Think I’m gonna be sick.

Interesting how his name even escaped Jeremy Scahill’s radar in “Blackwater….”

On a related note, Dean’s Murky News is preparing a valley near you (or at least testing the waters) for “Titan” state governship by one of those most responsible Big Daddy/Mommy, responsible shoes, (good “genes” and “birth”) adult robber barons: Steve (ebay), Carly (HP), Meg (ebay) or Steve (GPS) Poizner (curious resemblence to Langella in “Dracula”)…

no pretense of any humility anymore,

no remorse in obscene wealth,

no shame in murderous intent

and a frightening capacity to paint hellish descent a

path to righteousness.

79. marisacat - 26 March 2008

Meg Whitman for Ebay.

Yessssss it does look like she is def thinking about a run for Governor.. after a stint as a national fundraiser for McCain.

We are so blessed. Hosanna!

80. diane - 26 March 2008

no worries…..

Cali is a wonderous Golden state!

just ask Dorothy!

Grapes of Wrath indeed

81. marisacat - 26 March 2008

Cali is a wonderous Golden state!

—- Diane

Yes… we can always eat beach sand and drink ocean water. No worries!

82. diane - 26 March 2008

jeez Marisa, isn’t there some kind of botox treatment I might get to minimize the effects of drinking all that saltwater?

Isn’t there some sort of spa on “Maiden Lane,” or in the Los altos hills?

Which one do Meg and Carly (and the Steves) go to?

83. marisacat - 26 March 2008

oh! I want to use what Arnold and Maria use! They look so great!

8)

84. diane - 26 March 2008

Hmmmmm I prefer the matte finish to the waxen effect

Ahnold looks like an escapee from a wax museum…

perhaps he is

In my vast repetoire of conspiracy theories he’s the “savior” bot which “high testosterone” desiring males (and females) were provided by Orange County with the “Terminator” movies in order to prepare them for a ‘redeemably’ evil, misogynist, nazi governer when the time arose.

85. marisacat - 26 March 2008

Can’t we roll Carly out – in place of Hillary for a couple of days?

No one will notice, not really and we get a break.

LOL.

They are all so interchangeable. And they all lie.

86. diane - 26 March 2008

I think you should submit that idea to the Fellowship Marisa!

You’re right, one highly patronizing responsible shoes, of royal connections, for another, no one will notice

and the Dynasty can stay intact.

87. diane - 26 March 2008

On another related note, Grisham (I’m intrigued by Attorneys who became writers) seems to be striking an interesting parallel note to obscenely powerful and perverse “Family/Fellowship” type groups in his recent book titled “The Appeal”

It’s a bit slow going of a read, but much appreciated.

88. liberalcatnip - 26 March 2008

Tibet, the ‘great game’ and the CIA

In the end, any CIA backing of the current Tibetan opposition really isn’t there but he weaves together a possible Bushco v China conspiracy.

89. sabrina - 26 March 2008

#87 – He doesn’t provide much proof – it’s all speculation really, like some of Judith Miller’s reports on Iraq. But it does give the impression that the CIA hasn’t had much success at anything having failed so many times before. The Chinese don’t have much to worry about if they really are behind a movement for Independence …

Republican Crossovers Fuel Record Democratic Voter Registration in PA

That is voter fraud, imo and should be illegal … they are doing it to manipulate the outcome of the election. Rush Limbaugh is encouraging them to do this ….

90. wu ming - 26 March 2008

the earlier history is sound, but you’ll notice that he stops citing dates after the early 70s. this is because the CIA basically realized that it wasn’t worth their time and investment, and cut the tibetan rebel groups off.

for all the great game BS (and i would argue that iraq has everything to do with china), the fact of the matter is that the people that pull the strings in the US are heavily invested in the chinese economy. since 9/11, we’ve been working with, not against, the chinese government. while the human rights stuff is manipulated and promoted to wrongfoot china, more often than not we’ve worked with them to rein in the uighurs in xinjiang under the auspices of “fighting terrorism.”

91. wu ming - 26 March 2008

diane – don’t forget newsom (d-getty) in that list.

state’s looking more and more like the 1880s. we’re about due for another round of exclusion acts.

92. marisacat - 26 March 2008

more often than not we’ve worked with them to rein in the uighurs in xinjiang under the auspices of “fighting terrorism.” — wu ming

well I think this is the real point of the WoT, and GWoT. To put down any insurgency agaisnt the state. Any state that is an ally. Or whatever we call our partners.

A thousand terrible partnerships. Thousands of wars and conflicts. And who will stop us?

93. wu ming - 26 March 2008

the thing that most people haven’t realized is that the pattern of the world – save the odd “hermit kingdom” holdouts – is no longer aligned along 1st and 2nd and 3rd worlds, but rather one global system with globalized ruling and working classes (although national sentiment is useful for dividing that global working class in its own m,ind to prevent any effective organization across borders). it is one world, for better or worse, but only one side has organized.

while there is some residual state rivalry, and while i expect our state to go down in as messy a manner as possible once the house of cards fiction is finally over, the fundamental pattern is transnational. when reagan sent the neoliberal economic advisors over for deng xiaoping, a decision was made that defines our world. the ruling class (and their hangers-on in the professional classes) in beijing vacations and educates their kids all over the globe, just as ours do.

once that new pattern is acknowledged, the WoT, as you said, makes a whole lot more sense as a global alliance against anyone rocking the boat. should be interesting to see how well it works, the tibetans are not the only group of cranky people willing to make trouble in china (americans have proven much more herdable).

94. liberalcatnip - 26 March 2008

89. Well, first of all, it struck me as being implausible because Bushco fucks up everything it touches and, secondly, because if the US was caught behind a plot like that, China could just bankrupt the country.

and i would argue that iraq has everything to do with china

The Global War on Oil Supplies.

95. liberalcatnip - 26 March 2008
96. liberalcatnip - 26 March 2008
97. liberalcatnip - 26 March 2008

More rockets in the Green Zone (which doesn’t appear to be very ‘green’ anymore)

At least 16 rockets were fired into the Green Zone late on Wednesday following a surrender ultimatum from Iraq’s prime minister to fighters in the southern city of Basra loyal to populist Shia leader Muqtada al-Sadr.

98. liberalcatnip - 26 March 2008

Fuzzy math on the rec list:

When I was 19, I got super excited by the Clinton/Gore campaign.

[blathers on about KO]

As a 35-year old woman who’s quickly becoming tired of this campaign season and the sniping, lies, and backbiting, thank goodness for KO.

99. wu ming - 26 March 2008

i don’t get the fuzzy math quip, catnip. a 19 year old in 1992 would be 35 in 2008. it’s 16 years later.

i know this because i was 17 in 92, and couldn’t vote.

100. liberalcatnip - 26 March 2008

97. You’re right! It’s my math that’s fuzzy. I saw Gore and thought 2000.

101. moiv - 26 March 2008

And besides, surely the great, great, great granddaughter of John Adams wouldn’t lie — especially when replying to a thank you from Keith Olbermann.

Monkeyshines … shiny monkeys … hard to tell the difference these days. ;-)

102. liberalcatnip - 26 March 2008

99. It seems to be genealogy day.

There were stories in the fall about Obama rejecting Brad Pitt’s offer to help his campaign. Was was it Obama said about not being able to choose your family members? ;)

103. StupidAsshole - 27 March 2008

Here’s my report from a fundraising dinner I attended last night for Cindy Sheehan’s campaign to unseat Pelosi: http://www.politicalfleshfeast.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=2598

104. marisacat - 27 March 2008

SA

Thanks for that… I had seen your diary earlier that you wtre going.

sigh… I have on Liberal Talk Radio, local SF with Peter B Collins. What a fucking wasteland!

2:22 am and if this party cannot run against Hillary or Bush (which they barely bothered to do in either 00 or 04, so really it is Hillary at bat for them) they are lost.

PATHETIC!

And last night I caught Ray Talliafero. Who was worn out fake liberal radio/media/PR flesh 30 years ago. He was so bad last night I actually wrote down his lines.

PATHETIC!

105. marisacat - 27 March 2008

nu thred…

LINK


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