Let’s hear who died again…? 29 November 2008Posted by marisacat in Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, India, WAR!.
Relatives and neighbors mourn as they attend the funeral of Haresh Gohil, a 16 year old boy who was killed by gunmen near Chabad-Lubavitch center,also known as Nariman House in Mumbai, India, Saturday, Nov. 29, 2008. Indian commandos killed the last remaining [they keep pushing that! ---Mcat] gunmen holed up at a luxury Mumbai hotel Saturday, ending a 60-hour rampage through India’s financial capital by suspected Islamic militants that rocked the nation. [AP Photo/Gurinder Osan]
Last I am hearing, as of late Saturday afternoon, is 212… 26 non-Indian nationals.
Tho this headline is appearing over an older report in the Telegraph:
Mumbai attacks: 300 feared dead as full horror of the terrorist attacks emerges
The death toll in the Mumbai terror attack is expected to soar to nearly 300, Indian officials said, as details emerged of the highly-organised terror plot
They need to work this out… because various tellings of the “story” (various boats, some who posed as Malaysian students and rented a house, some who checked into the Taj early and stashed weapons and materiel, three in a cab that blew up before reaching the airport, a small team dressed as Indian police who commandered a van while the Taj was under one part of the assault, etc.) just do not support “10 terrorists”, especially with 10 targetted sites…
It is believed that just 10 highly-trained terrorists took part in the attack. Nine were killed and one suspect is under arrest.
Okaaay…? The thing is dripping with freshly shed blood…but it sure seems we are inside a cartoon.
when not inflated… 28 November 2008Posted by marisacat in Inconvenient Voice of the Voter.
Yesterday, Macy’s T’Giving Day parade, NYC [AP]
probably hangs out at blogs, irritating people and shaking his socks… LOL having nothing of substance to shake!
And yes, now they say, the hotel sieges are over. BBC… [not placing any bets.]
Head of Indian commandos says siege at Taj Mahal hotel in Mumbai is now over, after three days of violence which left at least 144 dead.
For more details: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news
We can all be relieved… the tops, incoming and outgoing, of Unilever were saved, from the private dining room at the Taj, where they were barricaded. Whew!
Patrick Cescau, the Frenchman who is chief executive of the food and soap combine, and his successor, Paul Polman, of the Netherlands, were among the guests at a formal dinner party organised by Hindustan Unilever, the European giant’s Indian subsidiary.
The intimate gathering was an assemblage of present and future power at a company that is a titan of Western capitalism, making world-famous brands such as Omo detergent, Dove soap and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. The chief and the chief-in-waiting were accompanied by another Unilever board member, Harish Manwani, who is also chairman of Hindustan Unilever. He was joined by Nitin Paranjpe, chief executive of the local company.
It’ll take weeks to sort this not so merry go round out…
Plenty 28 November 2008Posted by marisacat in AFRICOM, Congo, Culture of Death, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, WAR!.
A girl displaced by fighting tries to sell potatoes in the rain at a market in a refugee camp at Kibati in eastern Congo. Congolese rebel chief Laurent Nkunda said on Monday he would fight African peacekeeping troops if they attacked him, as concerns grew that east Congo’s conflict could suck in neighbouring armies. [Reuters via The Independent]
If I land on interesting reports on Mumbai or Thailand… or other near flung points, will pop them up over night.
UPDATE, 3:25 AM PT
This’ll flip some people out…it’s not confirmed, but give it time..
A German MEP caught up in the attacks said she had heard that British nationals were among the terrorists involved in the killings, as reports of the death toll hit 143.
Erika Mann was part of a trade delegation of MEPs from Brussels staying at the Taj Hotel.
Before leaving the city on a flight to London, she said she had escaped through an underground passage in the hotel.
She added: “The attacks appear to have a European dimension. We have heard from journalists and other people we were with that English citizens took part in the attacks and were killed in the hotel.
She said a new approach was now needed to tackle global terrorism: “These attacks have taught us all a difficult lesson,” she said.
“We cannot continue just with local and regional structures to fight terrorism when we face an enemy that is organised on a global scale. Global terrorism of the sort we experienced in Mumbai involves a wide range of people, from young people influenced by fundamentalism to business people.
“This cannot be left as a problem for India alone. The ordinary people are as fed up as anyone else.”
Ramp up, even more, the Global War on Terror…
Thursday… 27 November 2008Posted by marisacat in Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, India, WAR!.
Turkeys stand together in a barn, Duxbury, Massachusetts [Getty]
Speaking of hostages, turkeys and others, the Guardian has an on-going live blog from Mumbai… and NYCO posted the twitter link in the last thread: “Good live Twitter coverage of Mumbai attacks from local people.”
From one of the Times Online reports:
Later, as the night progressed, it became clear that several of Bombay’s keenest anti-terrorist strategists had perished in stand-offs with the terrorist gunmen, several of whom are thought to have escaped. Hemant Karka, the head of the city’s anti- terror squad was among the dead, together with two of his most senior officers.
Across the city, the incidents brought back memories of the last serious terror attacks to hit Bombay: the bomb blasts of July 11 2006.
On that day, seven blasts on the train network in 11 minutes killed more than 200 people. “We thought we had escaped,” said Anjan, a street trader close to the Taj. “But now we know. We should have learned — Bombay can’t escape the terror.”
Many felt that Bombay was overdue a terror strike. The most cosmopolitan and charismatic city in India, a country which last year trailed only Iraq in terms of the number of people killed in terror attacks, Bombay is no stranger to violence. Over the summer, the managers of the Taj Mahal Palace had ramped up security measures, stopping vehicles from pulling up to the lobby entrance for fear of a carbomb of the type that recently took out the Marriot hotel in Islamabad. Only in the last couple of weeks had the Taj relaxed this rule. …
A bit more:
Several major cities — including Jaipur, Ahmedabad and Bangalore — have been hit by elaborate bombing campaigns that have claimed more than 150 lives over the past five months. The Indian Mujahideen, a previously unknown group now notorious for its brutality, has claimed responsibility.
“Eye for an eye. The dust will never settle,” said an e-mail sent by the group to the media after a bombing in Delhi. …
Last, the report included a timeline:
History of bloodshed
— In July 2006, 190 were killed and 625 injured in bomb blasts on trains at seven Bombay locations. Police blamed the Kashmiri separatist group Lashkar-e-Taiba and Students’ Islamic Movement of India (SIMI)
— Bombs killed 260 in Bombay in March 1993 in an attack blamed on gangs avenging Muslim deaths
— At least 44 were killed in August 2003, when several bombs exploded in the back of taxis in Bombay. Police blamed the SIMI and Lashkar-e-Taiba
— At least 70 people died in three blasts in Delhi in October 2005. Two bombs went off in markets, one in a bus. Pakistan-based Islamic militants were blamed
— A series of blasts in Varanasi killed at least 15 and injured more than 100 people in March 2006.
— Many of the victims were pilgrims, caught in the first blast in Sankat Mochan temple on a holy day. Wali Ullah and five accomplices were arrested
Sources: Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies; Times archives
One report floating around that the Taj hotel has been brought under control…
I have not run into mention of this in print reports.. but a news segment I caught indicated – and had what was purported to be photos – that some or all of the gun men used rubber dinghys to land at the S tip of Mumbai. The whole of this must just flip global security out of their minds. It so easily seems a big trial run or a template for possible future plans. Hard to avoid seeing that as a possibility…
Quite aside from the ongoing full throttle siege that is…
“…relatively little interest…” 26 November 2008Posted by marisacat in 2008 Election, Afghanistan War, Culture of Death, DC Politics, Democrats, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Iraq War, Pakistan, WAR!.
A file photo from 2004 showing an outdoor solitary confinement cell at Abu Ghraib, Iraq. [AP via Spiegel]
Mark Danner has a piece up in NYRoB… appropriate title, Frozen Scandals:
[T]he story of how this happened is long and elaborate but one thing is clear: it has not happened for lack of revelation. The Abu Ghraib scandal broke in the spring of 2004. The images of Hooded Man, Leashed Man, Man Menaced by Dog—all quickly became “iconic,” the stuff of end-of-the-year news tableaux and faded murals on the walls of minor cities in the Middle East. This first and last occasion when torture became vivid, fertile scandal—when torture emerged, thanks to the photographs, as that most valuable of products: televisual scandal—came and went in the spring and summer of 2004, leaving a harvest of rapidly aging images and leaked documents. Those documents—many hundreds of pages, which told in great and precise detail the story of how United States officials, from the President on down, came in the wake of the September 11 attacks to order Americans to torture—were quickly published by journalists and writers, myself included, who no doubt expected that the investigative committees, the televised hearings, and the prison sentences would quickly follow.
In the event, the investigations did come, a dozen or more of them, and their very proliferation was the means by which the story was converted from shocking crime into perpetual news, then minor story, and then, at last, “key issue.” But for a handful of hapless soldiers—the smallest of small fish —there were no real prosecutions, no images of high officials in handcuffs. The leakers, who had risked their careers to make the documents public, must have been profoundly disappointed. For it was they, as it happened, who had committed one of the era’s signal crimes: unguarded idealism. At Guantánamo, at the “dark sites,” at various venues around the world, known and unknown, torture continued, even as it was studied and passed by due legislative oversight into the law of the land. Only the courts seemed, intermittently, to have a different idea. And all the while the torture story was well reported, mostly in the newspapers—for after that initial rush of photographs, which quickly became cliché, there followed nothing juicy enough to raise the story to the golden level of the televisual—and it continued to be reported even as it made its way through the complicated and mysterious transformational process by which a war crime becomes a “key issue.”
All the while, it must be said, the public, that repository of right, showed relatively little interest. Neither, following the lead of their constituents, did the politicians. John Kerry, running for president in the immediate wake of Abu Ghraib—and perhaps remembering his own unrecompensed temerity in calling attention, as a young returning vet, to war crimes in Vietnam—hardly mentioned it. ::snip::
The nation’s epitaph is in there, somewhere…
Danner also manages a couple of grafs on our perpetual state of war..
Wars are immensely valuable to those who sit atop “hierarchical societies” because they supply an overarching rationale for power and its expansion while choking off questions, not least by increasingly limiting the information on which those questions must be based. The War on Terror, of course, has been far from bloodless, embodying itself in at least two “real” wars—one of which, in Afghanistan, was launched to respond directly to attack; the other, in Iraq, to achieve less specific, more grandiose goals—as well as in a great number of secret operations of varying ambition carried out “on the dark side.” Still, unbounded as it is in space and time, serving as it has as a handy and near-inexhaustible rationale for accruing centralized power, the War on Terror has approached as close as we have yet come in reality to Orwell’s imagined perpetual war, accruing to those in control the increased power that comes with war but without the endless costs. Or it would have, had the war not brought in its train its own frozen scandal.
How will history choose to explain a war launched in the cause of ridding the world of weapons of mass destruction that turned out not to exist? It is a tantalizing question. Will the Iraq War take its place as a historical curiosity, alongside the Guano War of the nineteenth nentury or the Soccer War of the twentieth? And how interested will our descendants be in the response of our democratic polity: the investigations that, like dinosaurs slowly rousing themselves from the mudhole, ever so slowly got under way and then, after years of lumbering effort—hundreds of hours of testimony, thousands of documents examined—finally discovered…what? In the end, there was, alas, no “smoking gun.”
…one of which, in Afghanistan, was launched to respond directly to attack…
I don’t believe we went into Afghanistan purely or even largely in response to 9/11, handy tho it was… If that were the reason (meaning we had cared), we would have done something about the ISI in Pakistan and something, tho I cannot fathom what, about elements in S Arabia. What we did do was glom onto a pivotal piece, a big piece, of regional RE… and deal ourselves in, big time, on the largest cash crop of opium in the world.
And, of course, pound wedding parties to blood then pound the blood into the dust.
Other than that, a good take on “we’ve always been at war with Eastasia…”
From time to time I drag myself thru the boring writing of Ross Douthat, in that governmental prop, The Atlantic…I gather he is a rising young(ish) conservative… I spied this today… (full text)
25 Nov 2008 08:57 pm
Me, last week:
Max Boot, today:
As someone who was skeptical of Obama’s moderate posturing during the campaign, I have to admit that I am gobsmacked by these appointments , most of which could just as easily have come from a President McCain … Only churlish partisans of both the left and the right can be unhappy with the emerging tenor of our nation’s new leadership.
Take it away, Massie
… most of which could just as easily have come from a President McCain …
NO SHIT. One exception appears to be Melody Barnes, part of the financial scheme. She comes from Podesta’s org and was apparently intemperate enough, once anyway, to state that you can be religious and pro-choice. Donoghue of the Catholic League is after her. Bluster, I would say…
Douthat’s entry twins nicely with this, which someone kindly emailed me…(full text):
A senior Obama campaign official shared with The Washington Note and Huffington Post that in July 2008, the McCain and Obama camps began to work secretly behind the scenes to assemble large rosters of potential personnel for the administration that only one of the candidates would lead.
Lists comprised of Democrats and Republicans were assembled, sorted into areas of policy expertise, so that the roster could be called on after the election by either the Obama or McCain transition teams.
This kind of out-of-sight coordination is rare between battling presidential camps and provides some indication that both Obama and McCain intended to draw expertise into their governments from both sides of the aisle — or at least they wanted to appear interested in doing so if the information leaked out about the list development process.
Fascinating tidbit on cooperation behind battle lines.
– Steve Clemons publishes the popular political blog, The Washington Note
I’d call it cosy collusion, as both players know the rule book, rather than “cooperation”.
And I am happy to be churlish, if the flip side is being MAX BOOT. Or any of the liverish, jelly fish-i-fied for the ages, Democrats.
It’s all about the flags.. 25 November 2008Posted by marisacat in Inconvenient Voice of the Voter.
President-elect Barack Obama on Monday in Chicago with three new members of his economic team, from left, Timothy F. Geithner, Christina D. Romer and Lawrence H. Summers. [Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Associated Press]
The Noon roll out today… More flags (8) than noms (4) on the stage with Ob and Knob. Should go well. But… Shouldn’t they all be wearing lapel flags? The health and safety of the nation is at risk, I think they should.
We are told to be reassured that the fellas are working together. hmm.
Other than that, a wag in the threads at Clusterfuck, I mean Clusterstock, asked if we know the status of the Citi corporate jet(s)… do we??? And why are they allowed to keep their management ??? A few weeks ago we were told they were fine, fine enough to be considered a buyer/protector of Wachovia (whew! Thank God, Wells Fargo won that round!)…
Numbers give me a headache, but it seems at a quick glance we gave, lent, whatever! Citi far more than it is worth. Nor, from what I read, did it rally today in any measurable way. Bob? Bob? Bob Rubin? Care to step out of the room and cease and desist? Might be the decent thing to do, but then he has friends on the inside. Inside the government, incoming we know and surely in the Paulson inner cabal. GM cut Tiger Woods loose as an endorser… maybe time for Bob to GO. As I am typing this, Pearlstein is on with Rose saying Rubin goaded Citi to race harder, faster to match in profits Goldman Sachs.
Following Pearlstein is Vernon Jordan, painting himself as having been all but a preacher man, all his long life. He reads the times. If it is not one scam (leveraging games) it is another (affinity to the collection plate). Probably has a new self serving book out… (you have to laugh!).
What a sick joke it all is. And the joke, like a giant on-coming sneeze we cannot escape, is on us. I am thinking of a rather sad elephant out at the SF Zoo when I was a child. Right, called Sneezy.
Gone in a heart beat… 23 November 2008Posted by marisacat in France, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Paris, WAR!.
Bar Tabac Brasserie du petit coin, Quai du Louvre, Paris [Flickr]
“Now there’s no one,” she said, standing in a somber room with a few sad holiday decorations, an idle pool table and one young man playing a video game.
“People fear the future, and now with the banking crisis, they are even more afraid,” she said, her eyes reddening. “They buy a bottle at the supermarket and they drink it at home.”
The plight of Ms. Guérin is being replicated all over France, as traditional cafes and bars suffer and even close, hit by changing attitudes, habits and now a poor economic climate. In 1960, France had 200,000 cafes, said Bernard Quartier, president of the National Federation of Cafes, Brasseries and Discotheques. Now it has fewer than 41,500, with an average of two closing every day.
People are drinking less, smoking less and spending less, and even those who drink are newly wary of the local police, who now hover near the bar, especially at night, to test the sobriety of drivers. President Nicolas Sarkozy has asked the police to crack down on drunken drivers.
“Workers don’t take taxis,” Mr. Perrey said, stroking his lavish mustache and laughing. He gleefully showed photos of a small police car wrapped around a tree in his parking lot after an accident, saying, “They had to call the firemen to get them out!”
The cafe, he said, is a kind of public living room, especially in small towns and cities, and it is suffering as habits and laws change.
“We need the cafe to have an equilibrium between the village and the world outside,” Mr. Perrey said. “Without the cafe, you lose the conviviality. You lose your mates. Business agreements are made behind the zinc” of the bar.
“We have to be very careful,” Mr. Perrey continued. “If we standardize everything in France, and we study everything, and forbid everything, we destroy respect for our culture. We need to preserve the cafe bar. What is a village but a cafe, a school, a pharmacy, a bakery and a city hall?”
Somehow I don’t think Sarko is too sad at the stress and loss of business put on shisha tearooms, serving the North African community …
Paris, December 7, 2007 — L’Elies tearoom, one of a dozen thriving shisha bars tucked away off the trendy bar-lined Rue Oberkampf in eastern Paris, is contemplating a quiet death. At weekends the place is full of young Parisians and middle-aged men from the local north African community.
“Our customers come here especially for our white grape tobacco,” said the manager, Samy Boughida, as he rubbed some of the substance between his fingers to release a sweet, syrupy smell. “They sit and smoke for hours.”
and hookah bars, with their following.. Places for smokers and now restricted to building “smoking rooms” of small, legally restricted size, fully enclosed, one fifth of overall floor space and ventilated. Or restricting smoking, as the law permits, to outside terraces, not something small places on small side streets, in French towns and cities, have… impossible in winter, in any case.
Photo: Le Figaro
Ah well, plus ca change, plus ca change.
upside down… or, looking down from up 22 November 2008Posted by marisacat in Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, UK, WAR!.
Someone sleeping in the sun at the foot of Nelson’s Column [Picture: BLOM AEROFILMS via UK Telegraph]
Must be the Feast Day of the Holy Slow Moving Snail:
More than 40 years after Christians were infuriated by the Beatles’ claim that they were “more popular than Jesus”, the Roman Catholic Church has made peace with the Fab Four.
Saturday’s edition of the Vatican’s official newspaper absolves John Lennon of his notorious remark, saying that “after so many years it sounds merely like the boasting of an English working-class lad struggling to cope with unexpected success”.
Bomb bomb bomb bomb… bomb… someone:
A key figure in the 2006 trans-Atlantic liquid bomb plot, Rashid Rauf, has been killed by a US missile in Pakistan, local officials say.
For more details: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news
And we all know the great carry-on-liquids-scare, that had ready to go coppers at the UK airports in a heart beat with rules and dogs and guns and more rules, even making nursing mothers toss expressed milk in the trash — was so real… We are drowning in fictions.
Bamboozled in the boondoggle. 20 November 2008Posted by marisacat in California / Pacific Coast, DC Politics, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter.
A lot at the Port of Long Beach may be used to park cars. Jamie Rector for The New York Times
For a while today, this was the most emailed article at the NYT…
And for the first time, Mercedes-Benz, Toyota, and Nissan have each asked to lease space from the port for these orphan vehicles. They are turning dozens of acres of the nation’s second-largest container port into a parking lot, creating a vivid picture of a paralyzed auto business and an economy in peril.
“This is one way to look at the economy,” Art Wong, a spokesman for the port, said of the cars. “And it scares you to death.”
Just listening to Shelby and Barney Frank go at it (on Charle R). The Democrats have certainly looked like fools the past few weeks.. all of them have. I notice nobody is whining about “call it a Rescue!” anymore. It is just a big fat fucking boondoggle of a failed Bail Out. Bleeding massively.
Kurt Golledge, 48, was one of just two truckers loading his green, 75-foot-long hauler with cars last week. Mr. Golledge said eight of his colleagues were laid off this month because Toyota dealers did not want more deliveries.
“I was dropping cars in Henderson, Nev., about a month ago and the dealer told me: ‘Take ’em somewhere else and dump ’em,’ ” said Mr. Golledge, who works for a company called Allied Systems. “All the dealers are telling us the same thing.”
Auto dealers typically place orders with manufacturers months in advance, but they can modify their orders to receive fewer vehicles.
“The ships keep coming, but there’s nowhere for the cars to go,” Mr. Golledge said. He said he believed the vehicles he was loading would be his last before he was laid off, and he was already considering where he might find a new job.
Then, this dicey tidbit:
The mothballing of cars is nothing new for Detroit, where thousands of unwanted American-made cars have been parked over the last two years at Michigan’s state fairground and in lots at its airports.
The report also informs that China does not want our garbage any more… not much demand for the items they produced from the recyclables. Guess what? Loads of trash are still getting dropped at the transit sites, the stations before being shipped to China. And there they sit.
Not a problem! About to get it ALL cleaned up in a jiffy… and then on to ending wars (Iraq), winning wars (Afghanistan, the regional bleed – and any new ones!) and delivering on some boondoggle of health care (just think! Czar Daschle *, Liberal Lion Kennedy and Baucus, I am so excited they will be working on it!). Not to worry! Immigration, when Ob&co get to it, will be a snap of the fingers! Gitmo? Consider it shut! Not a problem. Preventive detention, a little sticky, but Not To Worry!
I will keep breathing.
* At issue is Mr. Daschle’s work since leaving the Senate four years ago as a board member of the Mayo Clinic and a highly paid adviser to health care clients at the law and lobbying firm Alston & Bird.
In a detailed list of campaign promises, Mr. Obama pledged that “no political appointees in an Obama administration will be permitted to work on regulations or contracts directly and substantially related to their prior employer for two years.”
Although Mr. Daschle’s work might not preclude his appointment, it could raise the possibility that the administration could require him to recuse himself from any matter related to either the Mayo Clinic or some of the clients he advised at Alston & Bird — a potentially broad swath of the health secretary’s portfolio.
Obama promised, in an a ever cascading shift of words that finally landed, iirc, at “no federal lobbyists will be running my WH” (the version above is just recently extruded from the Ob camp).
Anyone seen a Czar around? What do they do? Run things?
Although not a registered lobbyist, Mr. Daschle, a South Dakota Democrat who was party leader in the Senate, provides strategic advice to the firm’s clients about how to influence government policy or actions. The firm’s Web site declares,
“Our health care legislative and policy team has the significant advantage of including two former U.S. Senate majority leaders — Senators Bob Dole and Tom Daschle — both resident in our Washington office and champions of many health care issues in their Senate Finance Committee and leadership roles.”
As examples of the firm’s achievements the Web site lists matters involving Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements, approvals of federally regulated drugs and medical products, fraud investigations, medical waste disposal, privacy and other compliance issues. [could he be more involved? do you think? --Mcat]
The Mayo Clinic, where Mr. Daschle is on the board, is itself a major health care provider, research institution, and recipient of grants from the National Institutes of Health.
Mr. Daschle’s wife, Linda Daschle, is a prominent lobbyist for aerospace and military concerns. She does not, however, represent any health care clients. Nor did Mr. Obama make specific campaign promises related to the occupation of a spouse.
If Mr. Daschle is required to recuse himself from certain areas involving his former clients or corporate affiliations, other Obama campaign pledges might require the administration to disclose the areas of recusal.
Be interesting to see how soon the Obs whine. Legalistic rewording soon to come down the chute…
I remember reading, soon after he shot himself, that Vince Foster simply could not cope with reading quite specific criticism of himself in what had been the most vaunted publication in his world, the WSJ. I remember being bored and irritated when I read that…. These chumps WANT to come to Washington, stay in Washington, they want to lead the whirled, they want the pay off and the groveling… As awe filled and horror filled (let’s not forget petty back biting, as well) leading the nation and leading the world is, it’s also the Big Leagues.
UPDATE, 2:34 AM
Betsy Aron on ABC World News Overnight just said that Wall St is “losing faith in Washington’s ability to find the way out of this mess”.
Nothing to add to that!
Lily 19 November 2008Posted by marisacat in 2008 Election, Bolivia - Evo Morales, DC Politics, Democrats, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Lie Down Fall Down Dems, Viva La Revolucion!.
Admittedly from their position on the floor, but the R are laughing up a storm:
All That Hard Work By Liberals This Year Is Finally Paying Off
So Joe Lieberman is keeping his chairmanship of the Homeland Security Committee on the say so of 42 Senate Democrats AND President Obama; his Secretary of State might be Iraq War supporter and preconditionless-summit opponent Hillary Clinton; no one will be prosecuted for waterboarding, Bush’s guy John Brennan may take over at CIA and Bush’s man Robert Gates may stay on as Defense Secretary.
I don’t know how the liberals feel, but so far the Obama administration rocks.
Obama pledged during the campaign to withdraw the remaining U.S. combat troops in 16 months, at roughly the rate of one combat brigade a month. The plan tentatively approved in Baghdad yesterday would essentially give Obama until the end of 2011 to pull out all U.S. forces, while also putting the imprimatur of the Bush administration on the idea that there needs to be an ironclad deadline for troop removal.
In at least one respect, the timeline may complicate what Obama had proposed on the campaign trail: leaving a residual force in Iraq to protect U.S. officials and conduct counter-terrorism operations after the withdrawal of all combat troops. The agreement makes clear that the U.S. government would need approval from the Iraqis if a residual force is to remain beyond Dec. 31, 2011.
So other than interrogations, CIA leadership, domestic wiretapping, the Iraq withdrawal, we’re looking at dramatic wholesale changes to policies related to the war on terror…
But at least Joe Lieberman is no longer in charge of overseeing the Department of Homeland Security. Oh, wait..
via Geraghty at National Review Online. Schnauzer land.
And, just to ram it all the way home (repeated from the end of the last thread)… slobber from one of the mouthpieces at The Atlantic (bolding is mine):
Barack Obama, a man of the left with an empiricist, pragmatic, and politically hard-hearted temperament, is poised to deliber major progressive legislation: a transformative energy economy; universal health care; labor law reform; expanded federal rights for gays; transportation and infastructure spending; expansive regulation.
The few grumbles and grumblers will probably be shunted to the side, and anger may be channeled elsewhere. The Democratic Party is as united, now, as united since it’s been since the government shutdown in the mid 1990s, and certainly as united as it ever will be.
What can you do but laugh?
Tonight on KGO, local Democratic/”liberal” talk radio, a host must have said 40 times that letting the Big Three go did not matter (how blithe we are with other peoples’ jobs) as the workers would be
-hired by other car manufacturers (really? Nummi has a lay off scheduled for January)
-hired to work via the big stimulus bill that would fund rebuilding the national infrastructure (I surely hope so)
-and massively retrained…
hmm OK. Must have been talking from Kansas and holding Toto. If you want to sell the position that the Big Three should not be bailed out (and I don’t think they should be) it is just massively dishonest to sell it from a lie that there will not be problems – big problems in fact, as a result. Hosts there pushing the Bail Out, in all its various devolutions and diversions, have been just as dishonest.
I am only hopeful that things are so very bad that Obama (and his legions of Age of Obama O-bots) will have to do SOMETHING for the people… but I have no fucking clue what. And I know for certain the people are not first in line.
They just are not.
Not to get too excited here…
JUAN GONZALEZ: Mr. President, I’d like to ask you, in previous visits, we’ve talked about the long struggle to craft a new constitution for Bolivia. And our understanding now is it’s finally been crafted and that it will go to a referendum in January. What are your expectations on this referendum? And what does the new constitution signify for Bolivia?
PRESIDENT EVO MORALES: [translated] I feel a great optimism, because we suffered a lot of discrimination, and they have called me monkey, animal, not capable of anything. And I don’t think that they have treated [President-elect] Obama the same way they treated Morales, by the opposition. Because I feel this optimism, I think we are going to succeed with the new constitution that will guarantee a united Bolivia, with guarantees for the people and a plural national state with everybody—black, white, mixed breeds, indigenous people—they are going to be united. And the law is going to include a plurality for people. It will guarantee private property, collective communal property, and also state property that belongs to the people, such as the state companies, such as the hydrocarbon industry.
But also, the new constitution will allow the Bolivian state—rather, that we are not going to allow any settlement of any military base on Bolivian soil. We will not. And we also renounce to declaring war against any of our neighbors, because war is not good for any country in any part of the world.
And the most important thing is that public services—water, telephone, energy, electricity—this is a human right. And so, it has to be a public service and not a private business.
Yes, we can talk about a lot of social achievements and civil liberties, and so on and so forth, and equality between men and women, but according some experts, this new constitution is one of the most advanced constitutions socially.
And for the first time in Bolivian history—200 years of republican life, we’ve had—this draft law will be either approved or rejected by the people, by Bolivians. We had twenty different constitutions, but just a few, a few families, a few politicians were ruling. And they didn’t take into consideration the Bolivian people. We will have a referendum, and it will be either rejected or approved, but it will be with awareness through the vote and not through violence, as it happened before with the fascist and racist groups.
I’d call that transition with great great possibility for change.
UPDATE, 12:27 pm
Mother of God… what an unending joke pundit land, and thus the American political landscape, is:
19 Nov 2008 02:09 pm
He gets all excitable:
”Her uncommon understanding of the Middle East could truly revive peacemaking.”
It is an inspired idea for all sorts of reasons – both in terms of domestic politics and in assembling simply the best team Obama can get to tackle the deepest crisis this country has faced since the 1970s.