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Cover-up… 29 September 2009

Posted by marisacat in 2010 Mid Terms, 2012 Re Election, AFRICOM, DC Politics, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, WAR!.
49 comments

Amman, Jordan: A veiled woman [Mohammad Abu Ghosh/AP]

yup, looks like a veil to me… heavily veiled.

*****

In other nooz… it probably helps to have a story line, and to stick to it.  It’s not like we have representative, responsive, flexible government… now or anytime in the foreseeable future.  So, we get a story line.  In this case, hen’s scratchings.

Tapper v Gibbs:

TAPPER:  The president today in the Oval Office with the NATO secretary general said that he defined the mission in Afghanistan as dismantling, disrupting, destroying the Al Qaida network and effectively working with the Afghan government to provide the security necessary for that country. What — how would he define “effectively working with the Afghan government to provide the security necessary for that country”?  Can you explain more what he means, Robert?

GIBBS:  Well, look, I think you’ve got — I think, as you’ve seen in places around the world, we’ve — while we can help the security environment in the short term, there has to be a training mission for police and security forces that that country can use to secure their own territory. Because we cannot stay there forever.  Eventually, the functions of security and the functions of policing are going to have to be assumed by the Afghans.  So, obviously, some robust training mission has to happen.

TAPPER:  That’s what you mean by — just, kind of, open-ended concept of they need to be able to arm themselves…

(CROSSTALK)

GIBBS:  They have to be able to — they have to be able to secure their own physical territory.

TAPPER:  That’s obviously not the case right now.

GIBBS:  And that’s why — that’s part of — part of what the president talked about in March and part of what is in — obviously in the assessment from General McChrystal.

TAPPER:  One other question is that retired General Gration is quoted in The Washington Post today making comments about U.S. policy toward Sudan that include suggestions that — that his goal is to normalize relations with Sudan.  And there are a lot of other comments that have alarmed troops whose existence is to — to object to the genocide in Darfur. Did you guys have a reaction to that comment…

(CROSSTALK)

GIBBS:  Well, just — my reaction is more to the story  The policy is being worked on.  There aren’t new announcements of a new policy.  Obviously, our policy would not include that unless there were a significant change on the ground in Khartoum.

– jpt

Or in the air.  Ground, air, what’s  the difference?  Your border, my border… autonomous nations (or people), sovereign nations… they are ALL our borders.  we’ll tell you where to put them and then what you can do with them….

****

Out of curiosity I went and looked at the Whitehouse.gov text of the full briefing. For the story line, you know…

Don’t know who the questioner is here…

Q Robert, was Rasmussen speaking for the President when he said today in the Oval Office, “We will stay in Afghanistan as long as it takes”?

MR. GIBBS: Obviously, I’m not going to get into parsing the words of –

Q It’s pretty straightforward.

MR. GIBBS: I understand, I just don’t currently hold the position of his spokesperson.

Q Well, does the President agree with that?

MR. GIBBS: I think the President believes that we have to do — we have to, as I said earlier, disrupt, dismantle and destroy al Qaeda, prevent it from having a safe haven that would allow it to plan the type of activities that we saw happen in September of 2001 in this country.

Q And that is the objective for which the U.S. will stay in Afghanistan, as long as it takes?

MR. GIBBS: That is the objective of our U.S. policy toward Afghanistan.

Other than low grade comedy, there is no point to this. A trained and diapered monkey could, at random, hold up signs that said:

I have not seen the president in a couple of hours, so I cannot answer that.

I had not heard that.

I am not able to comment on that.

And even if I knew, I would not say.

We obviously want to proceed carefully, wars may be entered into wrongly, but we must leave rightly.

Under this president, on day one, we banned torture.

We pledge to the American people to keep them safe, in their beds if they have one.  But no matter, we will hunt down terrorists and kill them, randomly and specifically.  In their beds, if they have one.  Otherwise, at large.

We will.

And the monkey can laugh whenever he wants.  I’d suggest using a little Capuchin monkey, the breed they use to attend the very disabled.  Comb hair and so on…

****

At ease… 28 September 2009

Posted by marisacat in Divertissements, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter.
58 comments

Two Australian red kangaroos lie in the sun at Sydney Wildlife World. The red kangaroo is the largest living marsupial and Australia’s largest native land mammal, well adapted for Australia’s dry interior. An Australian psychologist had to be rescued from her office after a “frantic” kangaroo crashed through the window and leaped around the room, toppling furniture, reports said.
[Greg Wood/AFP/Getty Images]

It def beats this horrific photograph.  Swung thru the air, upside down, suspended from a helicopter… and at the end of the ride is a breeding station.  I can see it in a rescue situation, but otherwise….

As for the “news”… what to say.

****

That fickle finger of fate… 27 September 2009

Posted by marisacat in 2010 Mid Terms, 2012 Re Election, California / Pacific Coast.
34 comments

New Delhi, India: A rickshaw passes effigies being prepared for the upcoming Dussehra festival
Photograph: Kevin Frayer/AP

****

Full text Wapo:

ZURICH — Organizers of the Zurich Film Festival say director Roman Polanski has been taken into custody on a 31-year-old U.S. arrest warrant.

The organizers say Polanski was detained by police Saturday. Zurich police couldn’t immediately confirm the information.

The festival said in a statement Sunday that Polanski traveled to Switzerland to receive an award for his lifetime of work as a director. They said he was arrested in relation to a 1978 U.S. request, without specifying.

Polanski fled the United States in 1978, a year after pleading guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old girl

So.  Now they’ve got him.. what are they gonna do? Ship him back to Los Angeles?  Last I heard the girl now woman at issue has said she will never press charges  and, from her telling of it, the authorities might as well charge her mother as well for facilitating an illegal act…  AND Jack Nicholson, in whose house the incident took place.

‘Course… he DID plead quilty.  Whoops.

***

In other news… a real tragedy in KY… and now some details are coming out.

Jerry Weaver of Fairfield, Ohio, told The Associated Press on Friday that he was certain from the gruesome scene that someone killed Sparkman.

”He was murdered,” Weaver said. ”There’s no doubt.”

Weaver said he was in the rural Kentucky county for a family reunion and was visiting some family graves at the cemetery on Sept. 12 along with his wife and daughter when they saw the body.

”The only thing he had on was a pair of socks,” Weaver said. ”And they had duct-taped his hands, his wrists. He had duct tape over his eyes, and they gagged him with a red rag or something.”

I see Sully frets this is Southern populism, whipped by FOX and Beck and whomever else.

It’s possible, I suppose, that anger at the feds in general could make a drug dealer murder a census worker. But the most worrying possibility – that this is Southern populist terrorism, whipped up by the GOP and its Fox and talk radio cohorts – remains real. We’ll see.

He knows so little about America. Narrow constricted versions of what we really are.  Back in the nineties somebody (supposedly the New World Liberation Front) put a bomb under DiFi’s house here in SF… they got to it before it exploded, but for that and other reasons, there were hearings on violence, bombs and militias in America in the Senate.  I was glued to the TV… and found out some dicey details.  Couple of things about bombs, easy to build and they have a propensity for actually going off… maybe not always to the full extent the bomb maker plans, but they score high for success (detonating)… AND that the two hot beds for militias in the US… were Cali and MI.

Maybe he dreams of Deliverance at night….

hmmm 25 September 2009

Posted by marisacat in Inconvenient Voice of the Voter.
54 comments


Dinnertime at Wolong
Photograph: China Daily /Reuters / Guardian

hmm Obviously I am behind the times… I did not know there was a conversation ongoing about [perhaps] letting the Giant Panda “go”. “Nature take its course”. That sort of thing. Or, at least, I am gathering that, reading the Guardian

End of the road Chris Packham says we should let nature take its course.

Mark Wright of WWF argues counterpoint!… and WWF is, like all good lobbyists, headquartered in Washington… so we know what they think counts.  Packham’s core selling point seems to be, why spend more millions on a LOSER.  (Not a sure fire slogan to winning… imo)

Shorter version, Packham argues for (you guessed it!) PRAGMATISM!  And Wright pretty much wants to keep the po$ter boy.

My god, forget the poor fragile panda… what shall be done with decades of global PR? Chinese breeding farms?   “Gifts” of Giant Pandas from China to its “friends”… ? (Better than ping pong game sets!)

Harvesting of Giant Panda semen? (And apparently breeding in captivity is just now paying off!)  Groves of special bamboo grown for the Giant Panda degustation?

And so on?

The poor things have been isolated, studied, fretted over, bodily fluids extracted, inseminated, filmed, watched, monitored (don’t roll on the babeee!), counted and re-counted… you name it.  The text to the photos says keepers and researchers resorted to “panda porn” to interest them in S-E-X… even Viagra was used.  One photo shows lab coats gathered by the fence bars to observe (and notate!) actual Panda S-E-X.

***

Time to say goodbye?

Poll: Do you agree? (Almost 79% say, keep saving Panda!… I think the system is safe…)

Appropriate imagery 24 September 2009

Posted by marisacat in 2008 Election, 2010 Mid Terms, 2012 Re Election, DC Politics, Democrats, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Lie Down Fall Down Dems.
34 comments


SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – SEPTEMBER 23: Luna Park is seen on September 23, 2009 in Sydney, Australia. Severe wind storms in the west of New South Wales have blown a dust cloud that has engulfed Sydney and surrounding areas. (Stuart Hannagan/Getty Images)

Leering faces, gaping grimaces, towering but empty supports… an outside wall protecting what?  the amusement rides within.  Whipped by a red orange miasma, reflections of the light off …dust.

Yes, seems appropriate to the moment.

Qaddafi wasn’t the only joke on view yesterday… and for the wimmens… MO, Hillary and the current Rice, came off as stoic idiots.

Really, what is left to say.

Gah… 23 September 2009

Posted by marisacat in 2008 Election, 2010 Mid Terms, 2012 Re Election, California / Pacific Coast, DC Politics, Democrats, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, San Francisco.
52 comments

For whatever reason, the heat is holding off.. it is all around us, in the valley and South and North of here… but a thick marine layer lies over the Bay. Thanks be to Jeebus.

*****

Wandering the netteries I landed on this little stunner at none other than The Guardian. Wonder what boyo’s next step will be.

[T]he Obama administration’s approach has been much more tepid, to say the least. The US financial industry, as expected, is fighting these reforms, but what do we make of a recent quote by President Obama questioning the need for supporting Europe’s proposals. “Why is it,” he asked during a recent interview, “that we’re going to cap executive compensation for Wall Street bankers but not Silicon Valley entrepreneurs or [American] football players?”

Besides the fact that President Obama was wrong – the National Football League does have salary restrictions – Silicon Valley businesses and NFL quarterbacks don’t cause an economic collapse when they screw up. It’s very sobering that, if David Letterman read that quote on his TV show and asked his audience: “Who made this clueless statement, former President Bush or President Obama?” we know what the response would be. Or would have been. . . . . .

And this:

[M]any leaders and supporters are beginning to wonder what is causing this growing gap between the Barack Obama that many people saw on the campaign trail, and the Obama they see in the White House? Beyond Obama’s oratorical skills, which excited not only American voters but people all over the world, he is mostly untested as a politician. His previous experience was only a few years in the US Senate and a few years more as a state senator. A sinking feeling is arising among many that President Obama may not be up to the task, that he may not possess the artful skills needed to accomplish even his own goals. . . . . .

More than a tad generous on the description of his time in the US Senate. He arrived to move on, shall we say, forming the Hope PAC a FEW DAYS after being sworn in in 2005. On a mission.

And this, below, is very true… but you know, I just don’t care any more. This is our political system. No one can claim to be surprised! And the pols, top to bottom with so few exceptions, RELY ON IT. They like it.   Hell!  they LOVE it!… just as they did when it protected slavery. And slave holding states’ votes… and so on.

[B]ut it must be recognised that it’s not just Obama’s shortcomings that are causing the problem. The very structure of the American political system is at the heart of these failures. For example, thwarting Obama on a regular basis is an unrepresentative senate where “minority rule” prevails and undermines what a majority of the country may want. With two senators elected per state, regardless of population, California with more than 35 million people has the same number of senators as Wyoming with just half a million residents. This constitutional arrangement greatly favours low population states, many of which tend to be conservative, producing what one political analyst has called “a weighted vote for small-town whites in pickup trucks with gun racks.” . . . . .

And this is the close… (clap clap clap … just don’t expect much!)

[U]nless Barack Obama is able to demonstrate a better level of political skill than he has shown so far, everyone needs to fasten their seatbelts. The world is about to enter a challenging phase where the US – the undisputed leader of the free world for the past 60 years – is going to rapidly cede its place at the head of the line.

It appears that the wheels may be coming off the world’s post-war leader, and not even Barack Obama can stop it happening.

well, whoops.

We were so… 22 September 2009

Posted by marisacat in Afghanistan War, California / Pacific Coast, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, San Francisco, WAR!.
62 comments

A photograph of the Golden Gate Bridge taken during a thunderstom by Frank Fennema. More details here: I awoke last night to the sound of thunder…

Picture: FRANK FENNEMA via the London Telegraph

… dramatic!  No other word for it….

***

I took today “off”, sort of.  Did not even see Ob on with Letterman.  (What did I miss?  :cool: )  I watched a series of BBC crime thrillers from Netflix … very engrossing!  Who shall die next? and how gruesome can they make it?

But I just fell into a rerun of Charlie with Chandrasekaran from the Wapo on his article (or Woodward’s with him, I gather) on what Hillary is calling the “pre-decisional assessment”… by McChrystal, which is classified.  Well of course it is!

We knew that!  We’ve been thru this before!

Good luck to all parties!  May you congeal!  Get pushed off the cliff!  Claw each other to death!  (anything I missed that might cause harm to the war wagers, propagandists, liars, dissemblers, steno pool,  note takers, well-experienced FELLATORS*…etc?)

Rajiv says the Pentagon found Ob’s round of chat on Sunday quite stunning!  They thought Af-Pak was settled!  (It is settled.  They inhabit their own land, we kill them for it.)

Such blood streaked sludge.

***

* I cannot possibly have made that word up, but it seems WP does not like it… maybe I am misspelling it.  I mean those who practice mediocre mumbling fellation round the clock.

Well.  Google has heard of both.  FellatorFellation.

But then of course Google is close to this administration.  Adept they are at it, I would presume.

Watching it go by… 20 September 2009

Posted by marisacat in Afghanistan War, Divertissements, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Pakistan, WAR!.
53 comments

From a cat blog… and I see the subtitle for the blog is a quote from Wendell Berry:

“To be sane in a mad time is bad for the brain, worse for the heart.”

That makes sense.

****

What a shock.  Spies and counterinsurgency surge in Casablanca.  Gambling too… and internet cafes (in Kabul, that is, along with spiraling rents).  Don’t mind the roadside bombs.. just the current unpleasantness.  We’re not to blame… No.

LAT:

Reporting from Washington – The CIA is deploying teams of spies, analysts and paramilitary operatives to Afghanistan, part of a broad intelligence “surge” that will make its station there among the largest in the agency’s history, U.S. officials say.

When complete, the CIA’s presence in the country is expected to rival the size of its massive stations in Iraq and Vietnam at the height of those wars. Precise numbers are classified, but one U.S. official said the agency already has nearly 700 employees in Afghanistan.

The influx parallels the U.S. military expansion and comes as the nation’s spy services are under pressure from Army Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal to improve intelligence on the Taliban and find ways to reverse a series of unsettling trends.

Among them are a twofold increase in the number of roadside bombs, a growing sophistication in the kinds of assaults aimed at coalition troops and evidence that a Taliban group has developed an assembly-line approach to grooming suicide bombers and supplying them to other insurgent organizations.  snip

And more…

The intelligence expansion goes beyond the CIA to involve every major spy service, officials said, including the National Security Agency, which intercepts calls and e-mails, as well as the Defense Intelligence Agency, which tracks military threats.

And this…

“The Taliban is at its most capable level since 2001, when it was ejected from the country,” said a Defense Department official who has access to classified intelligence estimates. The official, and others, spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject.

A long time ago I read in Harper’s, when the war was less than 2 years old, we had only knocked the Taliban off radio broadcasting for a total of two months.

We went to war?  For what?

I think only to kill and maim.  Blood and glory.  Tally ho.  Til we fall flat and the Treasury is beyond empty.

just a thread… in the dog days… 19 September 2009

Posted by marisacat in Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, San Francisco.
27 comments

Flickr page

***

We’re headed into a week of heat, they tell us… one night was so chilly I got up and found an extra blanket.. and the next day, Thursday, the heat surged.  A bit of breeze just now at 2 AM… and some cooling Saturday day (they say) but not to last.  The heat is upon us…

And I am pretty much down for the count.  I ordered ooodles of ice cream, in preparation.

far away… 17 September 2009

Posted by marisacat in DC Politics, Democrats, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, San Francisco, U.S. House, U.S. Senate.
42 comments

Socotra

An Egyptian Vulture, one of 192 bird species that can be found on Socotra. (Piotr Kot)

More links:
The Wonder Land of Socotra, Yemen
The land that time forgot

I landed on this gallery at the LAT… Socotra, an island in an archipelago off Yemen.  I had never heard of it… reachable only by boat during limited periods of the year (monsoon season knocks the boat out) ’til a runway went in ’99.  Like Gallapagos, I gather, go soon.  Masses of the upright and walking on two feet are arriving (a different sort of vulture).

In a gallery at Telegraph.. I saw these two donkeys.  (But was not sure I wanted to look at them all day Friday!)  I say make THEM Speaker and Majority Leader.

I caught Nancy late today, her public weep.. or whatever that was.  I cringed.  Anyway, San Francisco sits on a ton of dirty secrets in that event, from the morning, the day of the killings to the arrest to the trial… probably all the way to Dan White’s suicide.

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