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My money is on Molly… 19 October 2006

Posted by marisacat in 2004 Election, 2006 Mid Terms, Culture of Death, DC Politics, Democrats, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, U.S. House, U.S. Senate.


I will be happy to eat a fried cat if I am wrong… btw, I made the same promise last year about FIzzlemas.  😉

A few snips from her open and her close:

Thursday 19 October 2006

    Stunning coincidence. The verdict in the long-running trial of Saddam Hussein in Iraq is now due two days before our congressional elections in November. Astounding. How ineffable.

    Sometimes you know the Republicans have just lost the rag completely. This week, Dick Cheney said to Rush Limbaugh regarding the Iraqi government, “If you look at the general, overall situation, they’re doing remarkably well.” The vice president also acknowledged there’s some concern because the war wasn’t over “instantaneously.” We have now been in Iraq just one month shy of the entire time it took us to fight World War II. Seventy Americans dead so far in October. Electricity in Iraq this year hit its lowest levels since the war started.

    What infuriates me about this is the lying. WHY can’t they level with us? Just on the general, overall situation.

    Put me in the depressive Dems camp. We always look good going into the last two weeks, until we get hit with that wall of Republican money (though I do think Ohio is beyond political recall at this point for the R’s).  […]

hmmm Well, I happen not to think they have “pulled out” of Ohio. Strikes me as convenient spin…  Tho it may be unwinnable for them, for statewide offices…

 I’m the one who has been writing for two years that the American people are fed up with the war in Iraq and with the Bush administration’s lies and incompetence. I’m the one that keeps beating the Washington press corps about the head over how out of touch it is. I’m the one who has been insisting there’s a Democratic tide out here, and that the people are so far ahead of the politicians and the media it’s painful to watch.

    So how come I’m not thrilled? Because I watched this happen two years ago – same rejection of the Iraq war, same disgust with Bush and Co., same understanding Republicans are for the rich, period, same polls showing D’s with the lead going right into Election Day. And the same geographic gerrymander and same wall of money in the last two weeks. I’m not close to calling this election, and I’m sure not into celebrating anything yet.

I wrote this in May:

Again, little to engage, embolden, energise the base.  They, the Democratic establishment, always want it gifted to them, as some reverse Hail Mary pass, from the White Supremacist Party.   

You can see it in their faces, surely if the nation is on the skids we will win!  […]

And having been, in the final analysis, good children over everything, from hardly complaining about Abu Ghraib, to mere whispers about the horror of this war, to confusion as to how to handle the gifts Murtha brought (and still brings), to SCOTUS noms to NSA law breaking on wiretapping to, by now, they would likely be so confused over how best to serve their masters that they’d vote for the NEXT god damned war!, and all of that means what? 

…that the Republicans will somehow, from the goodness of their hearts, GIFT THEM WITH SOME GODDAM SEATS?

… tho one might say by now it seems the Republicans are trying to gift the hapless Dems… 😉

Over and over, in election year after election year, GE and MidTerms, both… the Dems start to purr and preen, they stretch luxuriously – at just being TOLD they are going to win (read that charlatan, Ruy Teixeira, in the closing days of October ’04, read it slightly tipsy, out loud with a friend, may as well scream, with laughter). 

Being told they can win is enough for them to relax, take a break.  It never fails.

I fully expect a few surprises… and I fully admit, no desire for the forked tongue’d High Holies, the church congregants wearing it on their sleeve, Dixiecrats, Reagan lovers,  would be Alito voters, etc., to make it.  No desire at all. 

Poor Howard, he has become the Minister of Values.  And I don’t like the look of the Hail Mary borrowing.  I think the likes of Rahm, Schumer, Carville want to bankrupt Howard’s coffers.  Talk about forked tongues.

It, the leadership, is absolutely gut wrenching to observe.  It negates the simple fact, the old fact, the intransigent fact, that power must be seized.

 The Democrats always expose their neck, roll and expose their belly.  There is never that white hot need that makes the break.

Don’t get me wrong… 😉  Official prediction at MCat is 125 in the House and 15 in the Senate.

Swing on a star, carry moonbeams home in a jar…

I’d love to say that the Republicans were on the skids, riding out of town in the dark of night.  That Democrats had strong minds, heads connected to broad shoulders, arms ready to work connected to upright torsos, supported by legs of strength, feet firmly planted.  I never like to see a Republican rise and take office.  No matter where…

 But I cannot say Democrats are the least bit more cogent and committed than they were the last several cycles.  They surely care nothing for my “values”… 

That’s been quite a few cycles now….


UPDATE: 12:30 am

Just no words left

MIAMI (AFP) – The top US general defended the leadership of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, saying it is inspired by God.

“He leads in a way that the good Lord tells him is best for our country,” said Marine General Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Rumsfeld is “a man whose patriotism focus, energy, drive, is exceeded by no one else I know … quite simply, he works harder than anybody else in our building,” Pace said at a ceremony at the Southern Command (Southcom) in Miami. [snip]


UPDATE, 3 AM… we are hot and muggy here in San Francisco… waiting for the rains to begin…

… this from Pat Tillman’s brother looks to be remarkable:

It is Pat’s birthday on November 6, and elections are the day after.  It gets me thinking about a conversation I had with Pat before we joined the military.  He spoke about the risks with signing the papers.  How once we committed, we were at the mercy of the American leadership and the American people.  How we could be thrown in a direction not of our volition.  How fighting as a soldier would leave us without a voice… until we get out. 

Much has happened since we handed over our voice:

Somehow we were sent to invade a nation because it was a direct threat to the American people, or to the world, or harbored terrorists, or was involved in the September 11 attacks, or received weapons-grade uranium from Niger, or had mobile weapons labs, or WMD, or had a need to be liberated, or we needed to establish a democracy, or stop an insurgency, or stop a civil war we created that can’t be called a civil war even though it is.  Something like that. [snip]

 Don’t miss the comment from “lifewriter“, it is the foil for any naivete in the Tillman essay…


UPDATE, 4:00 am

    Ohio 2004 Election Day

Fitrakis and Wasserman on the “Holy Ghost” turn out elections, the “loaves and fishes” election:

[I]n Ohio alone, four election boards have already eliminated some 500,000 voters since the 2000 election—ten percent of the state’s electorate—from the registration rolls in four Democratic counties. No similar purges have occurred in rural Republican counties. The Democrats have said or done very little about it.

To date there is no logical explanation from John Kerry as to why he conceded with 250,000 votes still uncounted while Bush’s alleged margin was just half that. Nor have we heard about Democrat plans to monitor the ever-larger numbers of electronic voting machines deployed throughout the United States with no paper trail and no transparency for programming codes and memory cards that are privately owned, with no public inspection allowed.

Which is brings us to the Holy Ghost turnout. As Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., has reported in Rolling Stone Magazine, in Georgia 2002, U.S. Senate incumbent Max Cleland went into Election Day with a very substantial lead in the polls. He proceeded to allegedly lose by a substantial margin. Church-state operatives like Ralph Reed attributed this astonishing turn-around to an alleged last-minute mass turnout of evangelical voters.

Similar things were said about Florida and Ohio 2004. [snip]


UPDATE, 9:30  am

Lovely, lovely writing… it can scarcely make the horrific line drawings of Bush tolerable… [thanks to Madman]

[H]e’s the giant red cartoon button that says “Do Not Push!” Elmer Fudd, by which I mean the U.S. Congress, stares at it, strokes his chin, shrugs, pushes. The damn bursts. The waters rush forth.

In a Marvel comic I read as a teenager, I recall the aptly-named villain Apocalypse cackling over this or that do-gooder calling him evil. “I am not malevolent!” he cried, “I simply am!” Is there a truer expression of the essence of Bush, with, perhaps, a greater emphasis on the “simply.” Whereas all the rest of the rogues gallery offers we speculators at least some inkling of an idea of a motivation, Bush remains a cipher, a man paradoxically enraptured by the acquisition of dictatorial power and totally unaware that dictatorial power is what he’s acquiring. “My job,” he said in a moment recently lampooned by Jon Stewart, “is to do my job.”

There, friends, is an American credo. We are being punished by our own reflection.


UPDATE:  12:15 PM

From Angry Arab… frankly, it sounds just like us.  The King proclaims and the courtiers and various chorus do what they do…

Reform comes to Saudi Arabia. Al-Arabiya TV is jumping up and down. They are hailing the “wise” and “important” decision by the king to appoint a “special committee” for acclamation (bay`ah) of future kings and crown princes. A highly opportunistic member of the insignificant and powerless Shura Council went on TV to praise the decision. The committee–surprise, surprise–will include the sons and grandsons of `Abdul-`Aziz. You may go back to sleep now. I can’t wait for US officials to praise the decision. Bush Doctrine, illustrated.

 Hosanna.  And so on…



1. Madman in the Marketplace - 19 October 2006

I feel pretty certain that I’m going to wake up the morning after this election w/ a big black hole in my stomach, just like last time.

2. TustonDAZ - 19 October 2006

how could you not?

If the Dems win enough seats to take control of something, does anybody believe the corporate rule wil end?

If the Rethugs hold on, well then its more of the same.

We are fucked; damned if they do, damned if they don’t.

And I’m leaning towards they don’t; Gabrielle Giffords (AZ-8) has wittled down her thirty point lead against Minute Meanie Graf (who the RNC supposedly abandoned but is still able to fill the airwaves with tripe about “terrorist immigrants”) to six points.

This seat is supposed pick-up (Kolbe’s retiring just in time to avoid censure for “untoward ” in young pages) but I don’t think its gonna happen.

3. marisacat - 19 October 2006

I think around 14 at the most. I had thought maybe up to 4 in the senate… but I am thinking back down to 3.

And honestly, even if they took both houses and win in 2008 (the WH)… I would be surprised if the “faith based” lost their space in the West Wing. What with everyone and their mother due to register for the novitiate in the off season of Congress.

And the Blahhgers fretting over who Liebchen caucuses iwth is hilarious to read. They act like the senate Dems are going read some riot act to Joe. Hell they need him.

And if the Dems by some weird miracle got 6… does anyone thing Ben Nelson is any kind of Democrat? After getting a ride to cosy up to Dobson, he’s kick Nebraska farm soil (with animal offal in it) in the face of the Dems and be off.

4. NYCee - 20 October 2006

The CT senate debate was on (Liebz is scary tho’, aint he? Even scarier seeming when on the verge of Indie Power positioning) and I was hearing the Green AGAIN on the dais. How frustrating. There are 5 dudes up there, including the Green. But NYers must hear only the two prowar, corporate money-lovin D and R senate candidates. Hawkins, the Green on the ballot, may not debate. (And thank you, League of Women Voters, for withdrawing sponsorship over this. A little principle in the house, still… )

Seems the Green’s organization leaves something to be desired (Not surprising). Hawkins’ website links to a Green’s blog that has numbers to call to complain to networks for barring him from the upcoming debates, and it had the number wrong for the Univision aspect of the WABC one — I got rerouted to New Joisey. The guy who rerouted me was nice enough. He had no idea why he was getting these irate messages. Ah me.

Anyway, I lodged my complaints. NY has an antiwar candidate on the ballot — let us hear him (our voice), dammit.

As it stands, automaton D passion (headbandless, of course) scheduled for Oct 20th and 22nd, NY1 and WABC respectively.

Speaking of: actual progressive candidates who challenge Hillary, sane v insane foreign policy in the ME, debate shut-outs of antiwar candidates and Lieberlouse… Tasini is still at it, talking Israel/Palestine and pointing the finger at that dreadful Lieberbleat – and at the dreadful state of our unfriendly “friendly” EVERgreen light for Israel. Even when it commits atrocious acts.

His latest, from his website and HuffPo.

AS many of you know, I have a very clear position about the Israel-Palestine conflict. I posted this at the Huffington Post yesterday:

“A couple of days ago, Joe Lieberman attacked Democratic Senate nominee Ned Lamont for supposedly not being a strong enough “supporter” of Israel because Lamont’s supporters include some people who have been critical of Israel. But, the truth is, Joe, you’re no friend of Israel.

Like too many politicians, Jewish or non-Jewish, Lieberman’s stance on Israel is as dangerous as the friend of an alcoholic who would slap him on the back and yuck it up at a bar, offering to pay the alcoholic’s tab–forget the consequences, as long as it makes him feel good.

A true friend of Israel would not have stood by and remained silent as Israel dropped thousands of cluster bombs in Lebanon, which, according to The New York Times today, left one million unexploded bomblets littered throughout southern Lebanon–small devices the size of a light socket that are killing and injuring innocent civilians. As The Times reports, “When they fail to detonate they cling to the ground, and with their white tails look deceptively like toys, so children are often those who are injured.” A true friend of Israel would have taken its country’s leaders to the woodshed and said, “Responding to Hezbollah is one thing but turning Lebanon into rubble and embittering an entire new generation towards the existence of your country is madness.”

A true friend of Israel would be appalled at Israel’s policy that has brought Gaza to the brink of economic collapse and civil war. Because of the economic boycott and severing of funds to the Palestinian Authority, the Palestinians are undergoing a severe economic depression and malnutrition, especially among children, is on the rise. A true friend of Israel, and a devout Jew as Lieberman claims to be, would have said, “it is a sin to blame the entire Palestinian people for acts of violence by a handful of terrorists–and shame on us, as Jews, for bulldozing homes of innocent people, killing children in military raids and cutting off medical care, food and water to an entire population.”

A true friend of Israel would not try to fan, in a not-so-subtle fashion, the fears of anti-Semitism by trying to tar people who are critical of our country’s policy in the Middle East. Criticisms of Israel may be painful to American Jews–but it is high time that any person, Jew on non-Jew, can raise legitimate critiques of our one-sided policy in the Middle East and Israel’s policies towards the Palestinians without fearing a McCarthy-like smear.

It was so good and so rare, I almost copied all of it. All of it is here: Lieberman Is No Friend of Israel.

5. Ezekiel - 20 October 2006

Marisacat, I commend you for your nerve is linking back to that fine post of yours from May. Today it’s against CW, but November 8 and beyond, it will seem prophetic.

Being told they can win is enough for them to relax, take a break. It never fails.

That is perfect. And the press is at the stage when it’s fun to contemplate a Dem victory. Cook and Rothenberg are getting lots of air time playing with the possibility.

My prediction: no way in the Senate, but in the House, it will be a battle for the Speakership all the way to January and beyond. And the Dems will lose in the end.

I wrote something about this a few days ago here and saw a post from the charming Kate O’Beirne on The Corner:

Another Bull Heard From [Kate O’Beirne]
Another GOP insider on the prospects for the House: “If the election were held today we wouldn’t hold on, but given the time left and barring another shoe dropping that we have no control over, we can control our ground game.” Prediction: Republicans lose 10-12 House seats and a couple of seats are so close won’t know who won for a week or so.
Posted at 6:11 PM

I hope David Boies has room on his calendar.

6. NYCee - 20 October 2006

I hope Lamont did well in the debate. It was mostly background noise to me… I have watched like two others already tonight and couldnt pay attention anymore. Fell asleep on the couch. I paid enough attention to feel sick just at the sound of Joe’s voice. I fear he will be even sicker on FP if he gets in than he is now… There will be his split with the Dems (abandonment by them) to lord over them, his Indie special in demand status, those GOPholes who supported him to tickle back, his ugliness unplugged and ramped up… I see him being a real dangerous prick. I hate his voice. The oh so reasonable good ole Joe… Israel firster, kill kill kill. There is a starring role in a horror movie, yet unmade, for him.

7. NYCee - 20 October 2006

I think they can win the House, but hijinks may prevent it.

The Senate is very tenuous.

Thing is, this hype about a big Dem win feels like the media hype over the alleged tsunami of fury in CT over Joe and the war, Lamont was ushering in a progressive backlash, wave…which was suspect to me… Even some in Tasini’s camp were too hopeful about the spillover power of a Lamont primary win. His primary win is having trouble translating into even a GE win for HIM. (So much for blue CT … which was supposed to make it such a shoe in) I didnt buy it.

But, there is a lot of dissatisfaction with the GOP. It seems if hijinks fail, the House is ripe to be taken, maybe even the Senate. But these 30 numbers seem way out of whack.

Who the hell knows. I am not that seasoned an observer. Just my two cents.

8. NYCee - 20 October 2006

That is a scary scenario in your link, Ezekiel. Our electoral process is so fucked up.

9. NYCee - 20 October 2006

Yes, after reading Molly, there is the gerrymandering and imbalance of head count votes to representation in Congress to factor in.

And I agree, Marisa. I am in no way excited about Ford in the senate… or Casey, et al. If ex Repubs like Webb were joining a more healthily progressive Dem camp, it would be more encouraging. And the record has not been good. Just watched the Chafee/Whitehouse debate. He, Chafee, sure had plenty of examples to point out where the Dems went to the dark side … to throw water on Whitehouse’s mantra about how Dem control is the magic wand.

10. NYCee - 20 October 2006

Speaking of which (GOP-addled Dems), a complaint, and from none other than Kos, would you believe! (Sit down before reading):

Getting rid of that pesky habeas corpus

by kos

Fri Oct 20, 2006 at 02:08:44 AM EDT

I expect this crap from Republicans. But is this really what Democrats like Sherrod Brown had in mind when they voted for that ghastly bill?


Dictatorships are fun.

The funny thing (in a dark humor sort of way) is that the Democrats who sold out for political expediency and voted for this atrocity think it makes them look strong.

11. marisacat - 20 October 2006

LOL ezekiel… thanks. I had popped it up over in the right column sometime in summer… the striped zebra-donkey is the image paired with it…

I am sure some who read here are expecting me to duck and take it down.

But I can live iwth being wrong.

And I agree with you, if they manage 16-17… it will be tied up by the Repubs – or they will jsut come to the Hill everyday packing heat. And yes internally the Yella Dogs and the Blue Dogs and the DLCers will be out with the shivs for Nancy… no matter what.

I have stopped wishing the Dems could wake. They don’t want to.

I just heard Obama (Charlie Rose) being nice and religious and humble (not) and already inside stretching like a pussy cat at winning.

Might as well laugh.

12. marisacat - 20 October 2006

The gerry mandering is what the BlahgSnots won’t talk about. And Rothenburg, Cook Sabato and Zogby, the lunatic brother… the one who would say in 2004 that Bush would win when he was with Repubs and the next wevening would say Kerry would win to a Dem audience…. all of them work to maximise their appearances, quotes inked and so on.

useless. AWFUL in fact.

06 can never be what 94 was,.. and most of the gerrymandering was bi partisan.

Harper’s was really good in the 90s covering that…

13. marisacat - 20 October 2006

NYCee… oh what a hoot on Kos. Silly. He of the no np no no no no no no nnnnnnnn no votes on all initiatives.

Lunatic. I used to think he was just a brute dumb shit. Now I think it is worse than that. Bloated dumb shit.


Well I think both Joe and Hadassah are all for Joe and Hadassah… and working the split loyalties works for them.

They and Rahm and Cam Kerry (aligned iwth hard right American born Jewish settler groups, very far out, hard core ones) should all move to israel and sit shiva for America.

14. Madman in the Marketplace - 20 October 2006

my head is going to explode. I read the “lifewriter” comment as CNN showed the Coast Guard pushing the use of live rounds on the Great Lakes. Soledad looked all aflutter to see the big strong men w/their killing machines. No one is listening to folks like lifewriter. Even the antiwar “warriors” are genuflected to because of the WARRIOR part before the antiwar part, and no one is listening to them, either.

We’re well and truly fucked.

15. marisacat - 20 October 2006

oh I read about the live rounds (from big big guns iirc, 50 mm) on the Great Lakes. Blew me away.

We have gone NUTS. Fully.

16. JJB - 20 October 2006

That linked comment by lifewriter is brilliant. It’s great to see writing like this that doesn’t get the least bit misty-eyed about Those Brave Lads and Lasses Who Wear The Uniform, and doesn’t insist on finding noble purpose in their reasons for doing so. It’s good to read something that captures the spirit of the Duke of Wellington’s comment that the British soldiers he commanded were “the scum of the earth, enlisted only for drink.” One thing we need to do as a society is question whether miliary service is truly an honorable thing. Surely there must be some better way to serve your fellow citizens than learning to become a mindless tool trained to kill first and ask questions later.

I was also struck by this statement I wish he/she had elaborated on:

Well, apparently, the dress rehearsals and war games of the 80’s and 90’s are over. The giant is awake and breathing fire…and here we sit mystified, wondering where the hell all of this rage came from.

When Reagan died two years ago, it was conveniently forgotten that his administration sponsored a number of proxy wars that were responsible for the deaths of (at the very least) hundreds of thousands of people on three continents. His funding and material support of the Nicaraguan contras is the best known of these, but the Reagan administration also sponsored the right-wing death squads in El Salvador, and the Guatamalan government’s reign of terror against its citizens, particularly the Mayan Indians unfortunate enough to live under its despotic rule (of course, every US President since Eisenhower has Guatamalan blood on its hands as we installed that ghastly regime in 1954, and supported it against its many domestic enemies over the years). But no one pays any attention to the proxy wars we sponsored in Africa. Probably the most notorious of these was our sponsorship of the near-lunatic Jonas Savimbi in Angola, a man who thought nothing of accepting money and even soldiers from apartheid era South Africa (several white SA soldiers were taken prisoner by the Angolan army at one point in the war, and Savimbi ended up a private mercenary of the De Beers Corporation). We also meddled in the struggles between Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Somailia on the Horn of Africa. And of course in Asia, we backed the Islamic fundamentalists in Afghanistan against the Russians (as an aside, I cannot deny I enjoyed seeing the Soviet regime get a very bloody nose there), and (very quietly) sided with the Khmer Rouge in their struggle against the Vietnamese, part of the process of more or less siding with China against the USSR in the great global game. Finally, at one time or another we enabled both sides in the Iran/Iraq war, sharing intelligence and/or giving supplies to the combatants in a cynical attempt to bleed each of them white.

We don’t think of the Reagan/Bush I years as an era of mass slaughter, obviously we should. While the US was not alone in encouraging the bloodbaths (both the Soviets and the Chinese have a lot to answer for on that score), most of the carnage can probably be laid at our door. And a lot of the people in power then hold positions of even greater influence now. That they were not held responsible for their criminal behavior many years ago is in large measure the reason they are able to create even more bloody havoc today.

17. Ezekiel - 20 October 2006


I don’t know if it’s so much the process that’s the problem. No process could avoid the stress that always exists when there’s “regime change” brought about by democratic means. It will always be necessary for the out-group to do some pushing to actually get the ins to step down.

With the current crop of Repubs, it will take some very determined shoving.

And I see no evidence that the Dems are up to it. Like people have been saying around here, they’d rather lose and whine about how unfair it all is.

The bottom line is that I think most Dems know that these Repubs are dangerous f-ers, and it’s a lot safer to hide in the minority.

Real change agents with any shot at success haven’t fared too well in the U. S.

18. Ezekiel - 20 October 2006


Once upon a time, I thought the U. S. had gotten past glorifying the military. There were some very effective and popular movies and even TV shows in the 70s and 80s ranging from MASH to Platoon to Full Metal Jacket to Born on the Fourth of July.

That more enlightened viewpoint was stampeded, as I recall, with the onset and “success” of Gulf War I.

19. TustonDAZ - 20 October 2006

Earlier this week the boobman tried his version of a hatchet job on Madman, comparing is very valid concerns to “right wing trolling”, because (amongst various “controversial” insights) Madman has stated that even if a true miracle happens the Dims take control that Pelosi won’t be Speaker:

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s prospects for becoming the nation’s first female House speaker depend not only on a Democratic victory in November but also on her ability to prevent any Democrats from voting against her — primarily centrists opposed to her liberal stances.
At least one Democratic House candidate has pledged not to support Mrs. Pelosi, and others in conservative districts have refused to commit their support — potentially leaving Mrs. Pelosi shy of the 218 votes required for the chamber’s top post.
Democrat Charlie Stuart, who hopes to unseat Republican Rep. Ric Keller in Florida, already has said he opposes Mrs. Pelosi and would prefer Rep. Steny H. Hoyer, the more conservative No. 2 Democrat in the House whose strained relations with Mrs. Pelosi have been well-chronicled on Capitol Hill.
“He’s a centrist,” Stuart spokeswoman Sultana Ali said of the Florida Democrat. “His values really are more in line with Steny Hoyer than Nancy Pelosi.”
At least three other Democrats contacted by The Washington Times refused to commit their support to Mrs. Pelosi, whose San Francisco district is far more liberal than the districts that are up for grabs in this election.

Yeah, if there is one bright spot on Nov. 8 it will be that all the assembled Blahhgers will face some very angry lemmings…

20. TustonDAZ - 20 October 2006

whoops! forgot the link
Looney Mooney Times via Raw Story

21. colleen - 20 October 2006

Yeah, if there is one bright spot on Nov. 8 it will be that all the assembled Blahhgers will face some very angry lemmings…

I don’t know that that’s true. At least for the lemmings at DK. Those idiots will believe anything and on the DK popularity polls Pelosi has always rated lower than anyone else including that massive asshole Reid. She is, after all, a woman and a woman representing a liberal district.

22. marisacat - 20 October 2006

somebody on Wash Journal jsut said this country was “founded on God, Jesus and Apple Pie, in that order”.


23. TustonDAZ - 20 October 2006

colleen- you’re probably right about most of the lemmings and you’re definetely right about the apple-pie eaters lining-up against her for being an empowered (well, sorta) woman from a “liberal” (redstate translation “fag lovin’) district.

24. Arcturus - 20 October 2006

JJB: Nicely elaborated. The overt operations of the Reagan era were all about ‘getting over’ the Vietnam syndrome. Got over on us alright. That we might ever take responsibility for the covert side – ha!

& we throw our hands up & tsk tsk when Iraq devolves to civil wars with death squads in the police units.

Dahr Jamail:

“A police officer in Samarraii’s office, speaking on condition of anonymity, told IPS that he believed that murderers would not be punished for their crimes.

“They will reward them, believe me, and give them higher ranks,” he said. “This is a country that will never stand back on its feet as long as these killers are in power. And the Americans are supporting them by allowing their convoys to move during curfew hours.”

“While there is little evidence of direct U.S. involvement, questions have arisen over what the U.S. forces have done – or not done – to encourage such killings.

“A UN human rights report released September last year held interior ministry forces responsible for an organised campaign of detentions, torture and killings. It reported that special police commando units accused of carrying out the killings were recruited from Shia Badr and Mehdi militias, and trained by U.S. forces.

“Retired Col. James Steele, who served as advisor on Iraqi security forces to then U.S. Ambassador John Negroponte supervised the training of these forces.

“Steele was commander of the U.S. military advisor group in El Salvador 1984-86, while Negroponte was U.S. ambassador to nearby Honduras 1981-85. Negroponte was accused of widespread human rights violations by the Honduras Commission on Human Rights in 1994. The Commission reported the torture and disappearance of at least 184 political workers.

“The violations Negroponte oversaw in Honduras were carried out by operatives trained by the CIA, according to a CIA working group set up in 1996 to look into the U.S. role in Honduras.

The CIA records document that his “special intelligence units,” better known as “death squads,” comprised CIA-trained Honduran armed units which kidnapped, tortured and killed thousands of people suspected of supporting leftist guerrillas.”

well gollygeewhillickers . . .

(p.s.: that article in the last post I blasted could easily have made its points without taking such a disrepsctful tone towards religion per se, let alone its idiotic assertions about myth. Reactionary secular scientism – rather useless, really.

Got a link to that boobman piece, Tuston? or do I need to go hunting?

As I wa shutting downt he vcr last night, Lou Dobbs appeared talking about hacking diebold machines & poetential fraud. what’s up w/ that??? (& does that mean it’s ok to talk about it at dkos these days? or is that still verbotten terrain?)

25. Arcturus - 20 October 2006

o good grief, I’m sorry about that. need more coffee. can you fix or delete it?

26. D. Throat - 20 October 2006

Re: Great Lakes… does anyone get the feeling that these measures are to keep people IN.

I find it interestion that ALL borders are militarized with out a peep… in the North and South no exit… and anyone can be denied an “exit visa” at all airports with regards to “no fly lists”.

27. D. Throat - 20 October 2006

… oh yeah and about those loans…. sounds eeirly familiar to Trippi talking Dean into empting his bank account right before Iowa.

The establishment was more afraid of Dean’s money than anything else…. if he had held onto that extra 15 million… he could have been a player all the way…

One thing we all know for sure is that the Dems have been reading to attack Dean no matter what the final tally... and you can best believe Hilliary will throw him an anvil if he can not recover the funds fast enough.

28. NYCee - 20 October 2006

True, Ezekiel. Good points made there and by Marisa too about that part of the process, the part where the Dem inadequacies (and as Madman points out, all those rightwankers in the tent) also foul up the process. The more one sees… What is that line about ignorance and bliss? 😉

But when I say process I am including the whole of the electoral process, and in our nation, those “close elections” (that will then create havoc in the House, as indicated in your post), are bedeviled beforehand with so many shenanigans, “legal” and otherwise, that it is just a heaping pile of overwhelmingly difficult mess to make right, to make into a “win” – the whole process, ending up with your scenario. (And that wan “win” includes getting a more reasonably progressive speaker in place than Hoyer, specifically, Pelosi, as MM indicated.)

There is so much toxic waste product — much of it dumped in the “mystery hole” (as indicated in the Fitrakis piece linked above) — in our insane electoral process, one must think of the insane energy it takes to produce it, to jump those hoops all the way through. The energy to produce so much waste while trying to produce something good — like it says it is on the front page titled Our Democracy in Our Republic… ending up with the armtwisting in the House… even the threat of defections.

Just one example of the hurdles we face earlier in the process: Fitrakis speaks of the “armies of trained, dedicated citizens” necessary to play the part of oversight (linked article atop this thread)… another mess necessitated by our mess.

The UK comes to mind: publicly funded elections where neutral overseers calmly get the business of elections oversight done with paper records, no muss, no fuss. Ditto on the lack of fuss for the voting itself. Contrast with here. Perhaps a box of band aids on hand there for any incidents that arise, while we are in the ER, bleeding, running around wildly with bloodied scrubs flapping… the patched-together, walking wounded, terminally ill patient as final result… hitched to life support machines clanking around whereever it hobbles next.

Ah, democKcrasSy.

And this comes from someone who still gets a high off voting. Making a choice feels good and right in that quiet moment… still. One sliver of what is right, making a choice, suspended away for a moment from all the shite it is embedded in, from which the choices come, even.

29. marisacat - 20 October 2006


I have always thought these measures are to keep us in.

When I sat in the kitchen and read the details of Us Visit a couple years ago… it purports to be the rules to regulate entrance… LOL Bullshit.

I think we used Iraq as a lab for many of the the Plans of State… 😉 Retinal scans and roadblocks that people die at over and over. No surprise they had 65K in military, some fresh off Iraq rotation, into NO within about 10 – 14 days.

And the big commercial thru way supposedly being secretly built from the hub of greater Houston… the huge thruway that will deliver goods to the upper center of the country… well… the boulevards of Paris were built to facilitate moving the army. Same with some big roadways and in fact the whole of the interstate highway/freeway system, build under National Security under a series of presidents.

Oh yes… I believe the enemy is within and so do the Whacko Right Christianists and their weak Big D assists.

30. NYCee - 20 October 2006

Continuation from last post…

There is no way that this pile of mess comes even close to what the Iraqis suffer from our, what was it… “importation of Democracy, beamed from a shining light from a shining nation on a hill…”? But I cant help but link up the democKcraSSy mess produced here with what was dumped over there. The waste from our waste, a violent human circus of the insane parallel to our violent human circus of the insane – the worst to be lived and suffered over there. We import, you waste manage.

And they had no defense in place to defend against it… They are drowning in our failures (Naomi Klein’s “Baghdad Year Zero” comes to mind… the shite/waste produced in our odious birthing of that new Iraq, expelled with blood, guts and DU fumes) and those failures start at home. Our electoral process just brings it all home to me. Mama gonna birth a nation, but Mama is oh so diseased. At least we have an infrastructure in place and some good done from the past, in government, society, to keep us from spiralling out of control… for now. But what is happening there is reflective of here. It’s just that we can still draw from whatever good we built before to keep going and keep the facade propped up. For now.

Maybe my filters are breaking down, thoughts crossing over where they dont belong… or maybe not. It is hard to separate it all, but maybe that is due to something more telling than the weaknesses of my powers of discrimination.

31. JJB - 20 October 2006


Good point, though I’d say the turning point was Our Magnificent Victory In Grenada. This absurd little sideshow was undertaken in order to deflect attention away from the Marine Barracks Bombing in Beirut, and was a hopeless fiasco, in which virtually nothing worked the way it was supposed to, and most of the small number of US fatalities occurred because our expensive, bloated military was almost as much of a threat to its service members than to the enemy. In one incident, a unit of Navy Seals conducted a nighttime airdrop for the purpose of seizing an airfield. Four died of unknown causes during the drop, and the rest were lucky to avoid running into hostile forces. This particular mission was such an egregious failure, it was scrapped. The Official Navy Seal website gives what reads like an honest account of it, along with other more “successful” ops that make the whole invasion sound like killing a mouse by dropping an aircraft carrier on it. Which is pretty much what the whole thing was. But the MSM and the public loved it.

32. Ezekiel - 20 October 2006

Given the tenor of discussion here, I hope you are all at least investigating emigration before it becomes impossible to move either your assets or asses out of the country.

I see these kinds of discussions all over lefty sites, and wonder why there isn’t more talk about what it takes to leave, etc.

The link to my website is in my sig. While I’m at it, here are links to two videos. One is on YouTube and is here: Monster on the Loose.

The other is a Flash video here: Wooden Ships.

33. Ezekiel - 20 October 2006

Oops. Bad link.

Wooden Ships

34. marisacat - 20 October 2006


I agree Granada was the turning point. I have tried to find reference (but can’t… and a lousy googler here), and I only know it as my mother was in a rage over it, but US press was prohibited to cover Granada on the ground.

So many little labs for global war and a lock down inside the US…

35. marisacat - 20 October 2006

oh PS and Thatcher and Falklands. God she had Reagan by the balls. Disgusting to watch.

36. Ezekiel - 20 October 2006


Re: Fitzrakis–that was a bizarre series of diaries on the topic over at dKos the past couple of days. It appears that it’s taboo to talk about election fraud even when there’s time to do something to thwart it.

The attitude of the management there reminds me of overprotective parents who haven’t yet told their kid that there’s no Santa Claus.

37. gong - 20 October 2006

marasicat, googling grenada invasion press regulations gets a bunch of hits confirming that American journalists were not allowed into Grenada during the invasion. (Some got in a couple of days later.)

38. christian - 20 October 2006

here’s a classic kossack post regarding lamont’s bad poll numbers:

“Rule of thumb: a diary about positive made up stuff will get more hits than a diary posting real bad news.”

go back to sleep america….

39. TustonDAZ - 20 October 2006

Arcturus- here’s the boober link you asked for (I hope you don’t have high bp)


Ezekiel- the management there reminds me of overprotective parents who haven’t yet told their kid that there’s no Santa Claus.

Bingo! and Kudos for the excellent metaphor.

40. JJB - 20 October 2006

Re the press and Grenada, yes, they bitched about it for a little, then just wrote up exactly what Reagan would have ordered once they were allowed in. It was only afterwards that the truth came out in dribs and drabs, including the fact that the troops didn’t even have accurate maps when they landed, and better ones had to be flown in to them while they cooled their heels in the landing zones. They had no idea the American medical students, whose protection was given as the prime reason for the invasion, were spread around at 3 different locations. To my way of thinking, those facts are all the proof anyone needs that this operation was ordered up as a way to get the public’s mind off of the catastrophe in Beirut. If US forces had been facing a real enemy instead of a few hundred lightly armed Cuban construction workers, it’s possible the whole thing would have to have been aborted.

41. NYCee - 20 October 2006

I missed that, Ezekiel. (Har … Santa lives!) I can only imagine. It was simply horrid post-04 election round those parts and a tone/taboo was set. An article way back about Kos let out of the bag how Kos told Kerry’s people to shut up about the possibility of fraud so as not to appear sore losers the day after the disaster, aka Election 2004. His sage advice – people powered progressivism and all that.

That’s why I read the last of the Fitrakis piece naming “Democrats” as including Dem party bloggers – “gate crashers” like Kos – and not just the DC bunch.

So far, the Democrats have heaped abuse on those who dare to warn of all this.

[Which brings us to…]

But as it is written, so it shall be: unless there are armies of trained, dedicated citizens prepared to monitor this upcoming election, electronic and otherwise, the Holy Ghosts will vote, the loaves & fishes will multiply and be counted, and the GOP will once again emerge with total control of the checks and the balances—this time, perhaps, for all Eternity.

42. JJB - 20 October 2006

BTW, it appears that Moktada al-Sadr’s militia has seized control of the Iraqi city of Amara:

A Shiite militia that has been accused of a wave of sectarian attacks on Iraq’s Sunni minority has seized control of the city of Amara in southeastern Iraq, attacking police stations and erecting checkpoints, witnesses in the city said today. At least 15 people have been killed, health officials said.

The takeover of Amara by the militia, the Mahdi Army, was a broad act of defiance against the authority of the central government, which has been trying to impose order and curb sectarian violence. The incident also raised questions about whether Iraq’s militias can be reined in.


Sheik Abdul Kareem al-Muhammadawi, a prominent tribal leader, said in an interview by telephone today that the Mahdi Army responded by deploying its troops in the city. He said the police were outgunned, with insufficient weapons and ammunition.

“There is no state in the city right now,” he said.

The clashes in Amara, culminating in what effectively was a seizure of the city by the militia, appeared to spring from the assassination this week of a senior police official loyal to another powerful Shiite militia, the Badr Organization. The official’s family and the Badr group accused the Mahdi Army of being behind that killing, according to an account from Amara. A brother of a Mahdi Army commander was then kidnapped in reprisal, the account said.

Details here.

43. bayprairie - 20 October 2006

Tuston said:

Yeah, if there is one bright spot on Nov. 8 it will be that all the assembled Blahhgers will face some very angry lemmings…

well its reassuring to all i’m sure that our very own hall monitor (free delivery!), meteor blades, along with his cohorts such as armando’s new evil twin, big tent democrat, and assorted others, much like eternal hope, will be johnny-on-the-spot to do some tag-team, tandem shut-upping.

the thread from the 8th (much discussed here) that these three fine folks above (and others) did such a great job managing:

Why is there a Chevron ad on Daily Kos?
by takeback

has resulted in this, dated the 16th:

Why I no longer visit DailyKos
by takeback

…During the past several weeks, there have been several very substantive diaries by regular, low-user-ID kossacks who are deeply concerned that this website has become a staging ground for big oil propaganda.

In their comments sections, these diaries produced a few well-reasoned and interesting exchanges.

But mostly the diaries were met by ad hominem attacks on the diarists and by one fallacial argument after another accusing the diarists of hating capitalism (I saw less than zero evidence of that), suppressing free speech (I saw much more defense of a mega corporation’s right to free speech than of the diarists’ rights to free speech), and being hypocritical (“If you drive a car, why shouldn’t Markos advertise for Chevron?”), among many other things…

44. marisacat - 20 October 2006


ooo thanks. I have to get better at that, googling.

45. gong - 20 October 2006

Arcturus, what’s wrong with a disrespectful attitude towards religion? And what is reactionary about secularism? (Or is it scientism that’s the issue? I’m not sure what that’s supposed to be in this context, or what it has to do with the Gaiman quote.)

(I put another little comment at the bottom of the last thread.)

46. TustonDAZ - 20 October 2006

I’ve been thinking that next winter’s referendum on the final status of Kirkuk was going to be the point when the last vestiges of the myth of an united Iraq burned to the ground, but its looking like it ain’t gonna make it that far…

I agree Grenada definetely marks a turning point from the post Vietnam skittishness middle america felt to back to its more native belligerence. The film industry execs, not really happy with flicks like Apocalypse Now and The Deer Hunter, moved onto box office hits like Rambo, and The Gropenator, and how about Heartbreak Ridge (or was it Hill) which was about Grenada (strring Clint E. and Mario Van Peebles as the fuck-up “doper” american set straight by old school dirty Harry)

47. marisacat - 20 October 2006

Rambo was an immense turning point. Goddam it, Rocky as well.

So many myths entered the psyche as truths.

What a shame. Jackie Stallone’s little boy who sat out the Vietnam war, down the lake from me, imbibing whatever with the Crown Prince of Ethiopia. And poking all comers.

So the stories drifting up lac Leman said…

48. D. Throat - 20 October 2006

It is Armando

49. gong - 20 October 2006

marisacat, usually what you want is a list of about 4 or 5 words or short expressions, each of which should show up on most pages relevant to your question, and which should rarely show up together on pages that are not relevant. Often the words or expressions will be common, and so will show up individually on many pages you don’t want; but even a short list of common words can weed out a lot of the noise. Of course, if there’s a proper name (such as “Grenada”) or a rare word that you know should show up on the pages you want, you definitiely want to include that.

50. Arcturus - 20 October 2006

thx, Tuston – once I stopped engaging w/ him, it’s easy enough to skim through his posts for some cheap laffs – I’ll take a peek later this aft

51. TustonDAZ - 20 October 2006

DT- great work! I’m pretty sure he’s operating under a couple of pseudonyms; I can’t remember the actual alias, but there was that “reformed” rethug that posted diaries on his conversion a few weeks ago that I’m pretty sure was him too.

Arcturus- Here’s another boober link from two weeks ago (which was part of the run up to MB’s appearance here)


52. wu ming - 20 October 2006

D. Throat, re. #27: exactly, money is power, so they’re trying to get the DNC’s cash to neutralize dean. same reason why kos and bowers are calling for ‘deadbeat dems’ to fork it over to rahm and chuck, IMO. all factional positioning.

marisa, on #29, i couldn’t agree more. writing’s on the wall. all that stuff is dual use.

53. marisacat - 20 October 2006


I did a post that is half on the pivotal FP post at BMT. The “nigger” posting. From that post you can find the diary at BMT of Madman’s that triggered Booman and MB

I especially love the photo… someone popped it to me to use, they knew it would work for my angle.

LOL… might as well laugh.

54. marisacat - 20 October 2006

thanks gong… I do best when re-finding something I have read and can remember key, and sometimes odd, words.

I just need to better tailor word searches for what I ahve not read… 😉

55. marisacat - 20 October 2006

During the waning weeks of the terrible run of ’04, I read a very excellent posting at David Corn’s own site. A friend of his, a Democratic atty in a battleground state emailed him. Terry mcAuliffe had visited a meeting of the partners at his Firm to discuss the run. The attys were gung ho, get us ready, marching orders, talking points, we want to fight any theft… come Nov 3 we are ready.

And the atty wrote DC, that McAuliffe dialed them back, patted them down. After he left they were angry, the meeting continued, apparently. The handwriting ws there.

But think, DCorn was fairly well screwed together, ti was a smart and honest post. he did not identify the battleground state, but it might easily ahve been Ohio.

But then by htis mid term he is well ensconced inside Pajama Media and just has a Big New Book with, who else… LOL Isikoff.

I doubt he will be making such worthwhile straightforward postings.

56. JJB - 20 October 2006

Isn’t that El Caudillo‘s 2nd alternate ID on Big Orange Slop? What’s it for, so his (apparently not yet ex-)wife and law partners won’t know he still blogging most of the day?

For my money, Armando’s most characteristic performance come in this diary and comment thread. It is interesting that he’s never deleted it, nor altered the comments the way I’m told he has on other occasions. I guess he’s proud of it.

57. TustonDAZ - 20 October 2006

Armando’s makin’ amigos where-ever he goes.

From the latest story on Farmando/Big Tent’s Talk Left

Re: Charlie Cook’s Latest (none / 0) (#1)
by Slado on Fri Oct 20, 2006 at 02:01:37 PM EST

I can’t wait for November. I’m slow baking the crow right now. I’ve never seen as much hype about polls well since 2004 when the polls got it all wrong. I heard Shcrum last night on HB garunteeing that the Dem’s would win the House and Senate. That’s as good as gold for Repubs winning the day in my veiw. Seriously, what will dems do if the prophecy doesn’t come true?

I can see it know: Armando choking on dirty black feathers, “Crow? What Crow?

58. Arcturus - 20 October 2006

gong: to answer properly would be a whole paper – or book. I’ll try, briefly.

I’m not a religious person, but take the religious impulse to be a fundamental aspect of being human. To disrespect that is to not only disprespect a great portion of the population w/ whom I co-inhabit the planet, but to ignore an essential part of our make-up. To throw that all overboard strikes me as reactionary. That doesn’t mean religions aren’t above questioning, or that political fundamentalism doesn’t need to be challenged.

His cartoonish characterization of religion & myth as mere superstition in trendy hip voice rubbed me the wrong way. As do any articles that frame today’s world Situation in Bernard Lewis’ Islam v. the West paradigm.

I certainly wouldn’t argue that secularism or scientism are reactionary per se. One of the most insightful books I’ve ever read on the human religious impulse, one that doesn’t shy away from its destructive potential, is the very scientific treatise by a Freudian anthropologist, Weston La Barre, The Ghost Dance (Delta, 1970):

Each religion is the Ghost Dance of a traumatized society.

& among today’s secular high priests are the technocrats, who promise warming-free nuclear power, salvation from starvation through monoploized, modified seed, etc.

hopes this makes some sense . . .

Rambo was an immense turning point. Goddam it, Rocky as well. So many myths entered the psyche as truths.

Yup.The mythology of the frontier. Also brought to the ‘lawless’ homefront by damn near every tv crime drama one can name, let alone that classic cia propaganda hit, 24

(o, that post – I assumed there was a new one. gotcha. no need to revist 🙂 – back to coding pour moi

59. NYCee - 20 October 2006

Couldnt get thru to TruthDig earlier… just read the Tillman post and lifewriter’s. (As an aside, I read somewhere that Pat Tillman was deeply absorbed in a Chomsky book, while on duty, and so I think he was — and perhaps his brother — becoming informed of our past brutality and hypocrisy as well. Pat may have just been beginning that journey.)

Our toxic burial grounds stuffed with historical aggressions/wrongs perpetuated against others abound. (Like the Raygun LA examples cited here… Bush 2 in Panama… Read the Economic Hitman and more more more. Trail of tears to present.) So much energy used to stuff it into the memory hole. A nod to long ago, but must be so long ago that it is framed as cant be now, cant be recent past even, cant be us because now we are EXCEPTIONAL. (Same as it ever was)

All that isnt told, or is redone for the masses, is voiced in the ignorance of so many of our citizens. It is what perpetuates the whingeing demonizing of the “other” (United Nations, France/Europe, Palestinians, Iranians, etc), the complaints of the ‘wronged’ American who is long overdue to strike back (They demonize us in the town square in Tehran!), the rampant, hypocritical, arrogant cries of exceptionalism from certain Cspan callers. This is reflected in the pols they support… they feed each other endlessly. And then there is the far blander contingent who dont necessarily harbor such sharp animosities toward others but are easily led to support atrocities against others because they also dont harbor awareness.

That, coming back to the rotten electoral process, brings to mind a shite aspect of memory hole stuffing, a major contributing factor to the rampant miseducation of our ignorant bloc of citizenry, which allows the clowns we elect as leaders to be perpetually elected. Im thinking of the media barring of the Green from the NY debates (today and Sunday) btw Clinton and her doesnt-stand-a-chance pro-war, pro-business (as usual) twin (albeit, with fewer liberal additives), the Republican Spencer.

Who will be there to say what needs to be said about our imperialist behaviors, present and past? If the Green isnt there, then who?

And so it goes… The media is part of the beast that slays us. And the bea/s/t goes on.

The change has to start somewhere, but the walls are so thick and so high. (Hillary IS a fortress wall… Unfortunately, it appears a large segment of blacks remain hoodwinked by the Clinton Mystique, and have not yet scaled that wall… which is why I was not so taken with concern by the wailing over blacks not invited to the Clinton blogger lunch… counter (?) For WHAT? To become further bamboozled? Further indebted? In NY, blacks more than whites were against the war in Iraq. Many are critical of our Israel policy. Time to connect the fucking dots on Hillary.)

A statement by the League of Women Voters, who have so rightly withdrawn sponsorship of the ABC Oct 22 debate over this gagging of democracy.

The voters of New York State deserve better,” stated Marcia Merrins, President of the League of Women Voters of New York State (League), in announcing the League’s withdrawal of sponsorship […] All withdrawals were necessitated by League policy, which requires an invitation be extended to each candidate whom the League has determined to be a bona fide contestant. [… ] In the case of the US Senate race, the League Board of Directors determined
incumbent Senator Hillary Clinton, Republican nominee John Spencer, and Green Party nominee Howie
Hawkins to be bona fide contestants

Merrins explained that the League adopted its policy for candidate inclusion in League-sponsored debates prior
to commencement of the electoral season to keep debates free from the vagaries of the political process.
Merrins noted that the League is committed to maximization of public debate by all candidates for public office.

Once a candidate has complied with the League’s criteria for inclusion in a debate, the League cannot sponsor a debate from which that candidate is excluded. To act otherwise would violate the League’s fundamental belief in the public’s right to know.

60. NYCee - 20 October 2006

Oh, a boo boo. I meant Bush 1 in Panama, natch. Not 2. Bush overload, overflow… Sins of the father, the son…

61. marisacat - 20 October 2006

oh laugh NOW… and laugh later too. Shills for Jeeeeeeeeeeeesus!

TalkLeft: More Than Worth It

By Big Tent Democrat, Section Blog Related
Posted on Fri Oct 20, 2006 at 05:23:00 AM EST

I am a newcomer to posting here at TalkLeft, but have been a longtime reader and fan of Jeralyn, Chris and LNILR.

What I have found since becoming a poster at TalkLeft is the intelligent and generally civil exchange of ideas and arguments that the TalkLeft community brings. And it can only get better now that TalkLeft has installed Scoop software, the best there is in my opinion. The best voices, and often, the best conversations, will often now be found in the diaries, linked in the right hand column.

Jeralyn has been generous with us in making this investment in Scoop. I wish to emulate her generosity, and ask the TalkLeft community to join me. I am offering a $500 matching contribution to TalkLeft – I will match your contributions dollar for dollar up to a maximum of $500. Thus, you can double the value of your contributions, be they 10, 25, 50 or whatever you can give, courtesy of my wallet. I think Jeralyn can count on the TalkLeft community to express its gratitude for her hard work and generosity with a litle generosity of our own.

Please Support TalkLeft


Amazon (Donations can be anonymous).
(6 comments) Permalink :: Comments

62. christian - 20 October 2006

“I am sick to death of these pseudo-psychological, pseudo-sociological terms like “groupthink” and “lockstep.” We’re not rats in a maze. We’re all individuals. We are responding to a passive-aggressive diary and thus the responses are not going to be particularly useful to either side.”

from nightprowlkitty one of the biggest kos groupies trying to respond to a just acusation re “attack the chevron ad attacker”

that diary soldifies the death of irony or logic from kos’ most trusted anti-anti concern/purity trolls who are devoid of reason.

after all they’re people powered by Chevron…

63. TustonDAZ - 20 October 2006

I am having difficulty breathing due to the paroxysms of laughter… A paltry 500, maybe Author B. Unwilling figured out she should shake the shithead down for more, and he’s feeling the crunch.

64. marisacat - 20 October 2006

Sounds like he paid for his spot. Oh did i say that? LOL DId he really donate?

BTW, a fresh open thread, if anyone wants one…

65. D. Throat - 20 October 2006

BTW did anyone catch the three part series in Asia Times:
Very long sorry…

PART 1: Winning the intelligence war
By Alastair Crooke and Mark Perry

Our overall conclusion contradicts the current point of view being retailed by some White House and Israeli officials: that Israel’s offensive in Lebanon significantly damaged Hezbollah’s ability to wage war, that Israel successfully degraded Hezbollah’s military ability to prevail in a future conflict, and that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), once deployed in large numbers in southern Lebanon, were able to prevail over their foes and dictate a settlement favorable to the Israeli political establishment.

Just the opposite is true. From the onset of the conflict to its last operations, Hezbollah commanders successfully penetrated Israel’s strategic and tactical decision-making cycle across a spectrum of intelligence, military and political operations, with the result that Hezbollah scored a decisive and complete victory in its war with Israel.

Israel lost the war in the first three days,” one US military expert said. “If you have that kind of surprise and you have that kind of firepower, you had better win. Otherwise, you’re in for the long haul.”

PART 2: Winning the ground war
By Alastair Crooke and Mark Perry

The July 21 call-up was a clear sign to military strategists in the Pentagon that Israel’s war was not going well. It also helps to explain why Israeli reserve troops arrived at the front without the necessary equipment, without a coherent battle plan, and without the munitions necessary to carry on the fight. (Throughout the conflict, Israel struggled to provide adequate support to its reserve forces: food, ammunition and even water supplies reached units a full 24-48 hours behind a unit’s appearance at its assigned northern deployment zones.)

The effect of this was immediately perceived by military observers. “Israeli troops looked unprepared, sloppy and demoralized,” one former senior US commander noted. “This wasn’t the vaunted IDF that we saw in previous wars.”

After-battle reports of Hezbollah commanders now confirm that IDF troops never fully secured the border area and Maroun al-Ras was never fully taken. Nor did Hezbollah ever feel the need to call up its reserves, as Israel had done. “The entire war was fought by one Hezbollah brigade of 3,000 troops, and no more,” one military expert in the region said. “The Nasr Brigade fought the entire war. Hezbollah never felt the need to reinforce it.”

Reports from Lebanon underscore this point. Much to their surprise, Hezbollah commanders found that Israeli troops were poorly organized and disciplined. The only Israeli unit that performed up to standards was the Golani Brigade, according to Lebanese observers. The IDF was “a motley assortment”, one official with a deep knowledge of US slang reported. “But that’s what happens when you have spent four decades firing rubber bullets at women and children in the West Bank and Gaza.”

Experts in the US were also beginning to question Israel’s strategy and capability. The conservative Brookings Institution published a commentary by Philip H Gordon (who blamed Hezbollah for the crisis) advising, “The issue is not whether Hezbollah is responsible for this crisis – it is – or whether Israel has the right to defend itself – it does – but whether this particular strategy [of a sustained air campaign] will work. It will not. It will not render Hezbollah powerless, because it is simply impossible to eliminate thousands of small, mobile, hidden and easily resupplied rockets via an air campaign.

Gordan’s commentary reflected the views of an increasing number of military officers, who were scrambling to dust off their own air plans in the case of a White House order targeting Iranian nuclear sites. “There is a common misperception that the [US] Air Force was thrilled by the Israeli war against Lebanon,” one Middle East expert with access to senior Pentagon officials told us. “They were aghast. They well know the limits of their own power and they know how it can be abused.

“It seemed to them [USAF officers] that Israel threw away the book in Lebanon. This wasn’t surgical, it wasn’t precise, and it certainly wasn’t smart. You can’t just coat a country in iron and hope to win.

Perhaps the most telling sign of Israel’s military failure comes in counting the dead and wounded. Israel now claims that it killed about 400-500 Hezbollah fighters, while its own losses were significantly less. But a more precise accounting shows that Israeli and Hezbollah casualties were nearly even. It is impossible for Shi’ites (and Hezbollah) not to allow an honorable burial for its martyrs, so in this case it is simply a matter of counting funerals. Fewer than 180 funerals have been held for Hezbollah fighters – nearly equal to the number killed on the Israeli side. That number may be revised upward: our most recent information from Lebanon says the number of Shi’ite martyr funerals in the south can now be precisely tabulated at 184.

Hezbollah’s military defeat of Israel was decisive, but its political defeat of the United States – which unquestioningly sided with Israel during the conflict and refused to bring it to an end – was catastrophic and has had a lasting impact on US prestige in the region.

PART 3: The political war
By Alastair Crooke and Mark Perry

“By the end of the war these guys were scrambling for the exits,” one US diplomat from the region said in late August. “You haven’t heard much from them lately, have you?”

Mubarak and the two Abdullahs are not the only ones scrambling for the exits – the United States’ foreign policy in the region, even in light of its increasingly dire deployment in Iraq, is in a shambles. “What that means is that all the doors are closed to us, in Cairo, in Amman, in Saudi Arabia,” another diplomat averred. “Our access has been curtailed. No one will see us. When we call no one picks up the phone.

First, the Hezbollah victory has shown that Israel – and any modern and technologically sophisticated Western military force – can be defeated in open battle, if the proper military tactics are employed and if they are sustained over a prolonged period.

Second, the Hezbollah victory has shown the people of the Muslim world that the strategy employed by Western-allied Arab and Muslim governments – a policy of appeasing US interests in the hopes of gaining substantive political rewards (a recognition of Palestinian rights, fair pricing for Middle Eastern resources, non-interference in the region’s political structures, and free, fair and open elections) – cannot and will not work.

Third, the Hezbollah victory has had a shattering impact on America’s allies in the region.

Fourth, the Hezbollah victory has dangerously weakened the Israeli government. In the wake of Israel’s last lost war, in 1973, prime minister Menachem Begin decided to accept a peace proposal from Egyptian president Anwar Sadat. The breakthrough was, in fact, rather modest – as both parties were allies of the United States. No such breakthrough will take place in the wake of the Israel-Hezbollah war.

Fifth, the Hezbollah victory spells the end of any hope of a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, at least in the short and medium terms. Even normally “progressive” Israeli political figures undermined their political position with strident calls for more force, more troops and more bombs. In private meetings with his political allies, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas castigated those who cheered on Hezbollah’s victory, calling them “Hamas supporters” and “enemies of Israel”.

Sixth, the Hezbollah victory has had the very unfortunate consequence of blinding Israel’s political leadership to the realities of their geostrategic position. In the midst of the war with Lebanon, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert adopted Bush’s language on the “war on terrorism”, reminding his citizenry that Hezbollah was a part of “the axis of evil”.

Nor can Israel now count on its strongest US supporters, that network of neo-conservatives for whom Israel is an island of stability and democracy in the region. These neo-conservatives’ disapproval of Israel’s performance is almost palpable. With friends like these, who needs enemies? That is to say, the Israeli conflict in Lebanon reflects accurately those experts who see the Israel-Hezbollah conflict as a proxy war. Our colleague Jeff Aronson noted that “if it were up to the US, Israel would still be fighting”, and he added: “The United States will fight the war on terrorism to the last drop of Israeli blood.”

Seventh, Hezbollah’s position in Lebanon has been immeasurably strengthened, as has the position of its most important ally. At the height of the conflict, Lebanese Christians took Hezbollah refugees into their homes. The Christian leader Michel Aoun openly supported Hezbollah’s fight. One Hezbollah leader said: “We will never forget what that man did for us, not for an entire generation.” Aoun’s position is celebrated among the Shi’ites, and his own political position has been enhanced.

The Sunni leadership, on the other hand, fatally undermined itself with its uncertain stance and its absentee landlord approach to its own community. In the first week of the war, Hezbollah’s actions were greeted with widespread skepticism. At the end of the war its support was solid and stretched across Lebanon’s political and sectarian divides. The Sunni leadership now has a choice: it can form a unity government with new leaders that will create a more representative government or they can stand for elections. It doesn’t take a political genius to understand which choice Saad Hariri, the majority leader in the Lebanese parliament, will make.

Eighth, Iran’s position in Iraq has been significantly enhanced. In the midst of the Lebanon conflict, US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld privately worried that the Israeli offensive would have dire consequences for the US military in Iraq, who faced increasing hostility from Shi’ite political leaders and the Shi’ite population. Rice’s statement that the pro-Hezbollah demonstrations in Baghdad were planned by Tehran revealed her ignorance of the most fundamental political facts of the region. The US secretaries of state and of defense were simply and unaccountably unaware that the Sadrs of Baghdad bore any relationship to the Sadrs of Lebanon. That Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki would not castigate Hezbollah and side with Israel during the conflict – and in the midst of an official visit to Washington – was viewed as shocking by Washington’s political establishment, even though “Hezbollah in Iraq” is one of the parties in the current Iraqi coalition government.

We have been told that neither the Pentagon nor the State Department understood how the war in Lebanon might effect America’s position in Iraq because neither the Pentagon nor the State Department asked for a briefing on the issue from the US intelligence services. The United States spends billions of dollars each year on its intelligence collection and analysis activities. It is money wasted.

Ninth, Syria’s position has been strengthened and the US-French program for Lebanon has failed. There is no prospect that Lebanon will form a government that is avowedly pro-American or anti-Syrian. That Syrian President Bashar al-Assad could, in the wake of the war, suggest a political arrangement with Israel shows his strength, not his weakness. That he might draw the correct conclusions from the conflict and believe that he too might successfully oppose Israel is also possible.

But aside from these possibilities, recent history shows that those thousands of students and Lebanese patriots who protested Syria’s involvement in Lebanon after the death of Rafiq Hariri found it ironic that they took refuge from the Israeli bombing in tent cities established by the Syrian government. Rice is correct on one thing: Syria’s willingness to provide refuge for Lebanese refugees was a pure act of political cynicism – and one that the United States seems incapable of replicating.

Tenth, and perhaps most important, it now is clear that a US attack on Iranian nuclear installations would be met with little support in the Muslim world. It would also be met by a military response that would collapse the last vestiges of America’s political power in the region. What was thought to be a “given” just a few short weeks ago has been shown to be unlikely. Iran will not be cowed. If the United States launches a military campaign against the Tehran government, it is likely that America’s friends will fall by the wayside, the Gulf Arab states will tremble in fear, the 138,000 US soldiers in Iraq will be held hostage by an angered Shi’ite population, and Iran will respond by an attack on Israel. We would now dare say the obvious – if and when such an attack comes, the United States will be defeated.

The victory of Hezbollah in its recent conflict with Israel is far more significant than many analysts in the United States and Europe realize. The Hezbollah victory reverses the tide of 1967 – a shattering defeat of Egypt, Syria and Jordan that shifted the region’s political plates, putting in place regimes that were bent on recasting their own foreign policy to reflect Israeli and US power. That power now has been sullied and reversed, and a new leadership is emerging in the region.

The singular lesson of the conflict may well be lost on the upper echelons of Washington’s and London’s pro-Israel, pro-values, we-are-fighting-for-civilization political elites, but it is not lost in the streets of Cairo, Amman, Ramallah, Baghdad, Damascus or Tehran. It should not be lost among the Israeli political leadership in Jerusalem. The Arab armies of 1967 fought for six days and were defeated. The Hezbollah militia in Lebanon fought for 34 days and won. We saw this with our own eyes when we looked into the cafes of Cairo and Amman, where simple shopkeepers, farmers and workers gazed at television reports, sipped their tea, and silently mouthed the numbers to themselves: “seven”, “eight”, “nine” …

66. gong - 20 October 2006

JJB, that is an incredible thread. For those who didn’t follow the link, it’s do a diary entitled New Orleans Spared the Worst, and features a pissing match between Armando and DH.

Arcturus, you appear to be saying that religion’s main claim to validity is that it answers a deep human need, which to my eyes is already pretty disrespectful, since believers normally have quite a different conception of religious validity.

My usual response to the claim that there is a universal impulse to religion is to offer myself as a counterexample. But you say that you are not yourself religious, so I’m more interested in the question of why you do not consider yourself a counterexample. Are you saying that you’re living in denial?

All things considered, I probably have more respect for superstition than for religion. Admittedly I tend to think of religion as superstition that gets itself entrenched in (this-worldly, often otherwise secular) power structures.

67. NYCee - 20 October 2006

Good piece, D Throat.

68. marisacat - 20 October 2006

I allude to that August 29 thread quite a bit. Fortunately someone emailed me instanter about it… LOL… or I’d have missed it… 😉

Later you know he claimed or a minion claimed that he “drove the national Katrina coverage”.

Such boobs.

69. Arcturus - 20 October 2006

gong: if assenting to someone’s else’s belief or dogma as truth were the only form of respect, then I suppose I’d be guilty as charged. What I read of the article (just the excerpt) seemed to blame the world Situation on religious superstition. Even Osama’s jihad has very articulable, material, non-religious causes – he’s certainly not the first scoundrel in history to use relgion to further (& justify) their aims.

& yea, DT, that was a great series – wish I had the power to make it Required Reading

& migawd, that NO thread is, well . . . I think I prefer to remain speechless 🙂

70. JJB - 20 October 2006

Re the Katrina thread, it was remarkable to follow in real time. I believe that was the occasion that I emailed Kos saying (this is pretty much verbatim) “I think you should take a look at what’s going on in your absence and consider whether you want your name and the website you developed to be associated with such behavior” (he was finishing up his book at the time, and Armando was more or less running the site for him as First Among Not So Equal FPers). Boy, was I naive, but then I had exchanged a few emails with DH, and he had assured me that Kos was in fact very unhappy with Armando’s conduct, and would be taking steps to see that it was stopped. Believe it or not, for all the time I’d spent at that site for 3 plus years, I had not yet caught on to just what a rotter DH is.

That’s a remarkable series of excerpts from The Asia Times. It seems to me exactly right in just about all its particulars. This country is liable to disentegrate the same way the USSR did if we don’t change course very fast and spent a lot of time and effort mending fences the world over, and that is something I do not see happening. We are remarkably arrogant , and we’ve committed an act of imperial overreach that is going to have devastating consequences for our future as a nation. On the bright side, at least it will solve our illegal immigration problem, as few will want to come here by the time the Bush Crime Family’s chickens come home to roost.

71. CSTAR - 20 October 2006

Spared the worst.. well technically he’s right about New Orleansbeing spared the worst. After all, we don’t live in the worst of all possible worlds. I guess he’s a sort of Pangloss in reverse Ssolgnap. That’s a nice handle…

I think one could also apply the anselmian argument in reverse..the worst possible world doesn’t exist, so this can’t possibly be it.

72. Madman in the Marketplace - 20 October 2006

actually, I read Gaiman’s comment completely differently, and maybe that is so b/c I’m a fan of his work (and the audience for that interview is book nerds who’re likely to be familiar with his work). A theme that runs through his stuff is the observation that most people just go about their daily lives, doing their best not to look too closely at the Mysteries that underlie things, the chitterings and howls and welcoming chuckles that filter in from beyond the boundaries of our workaday existence (even if those glimmers are only in their minds … another theme he frequently explores is that Gods/Demons become more real when someone BELIEVES they’re real, especially in American Gods).

What he’s reacting to, to my mind, is the frightening willingness of “religious” people who don’t delve too deeply into questioning their faith (even Christ questioned Him, at Gethsemane) or those “authorities” who presume to speak for Him (see temple, table, thieves), but who are willing to respond unquestioningly to the flogging of the SURFACE MYTHS about their faith. Hell, even the Rambo movie, mentioned somewhere in one of these threads, ended differently than the book it was based on and the original screenplay:

Just before shooting began, Kirk Douglas quit the role of Col. Trautman over a script dispute. Douglas wanted the film to end as the book did, with the death of the Rambo character. Richard Crenna was quickly hired as a replacement; the role of Trautman became the veteran character actor’s most famous role. A suicide scene was filmed, but ultimately, Kotcheff and Stallone opted to have Rambo turn himself in at Trautman’s urging.

The point being that war had made him unfit to return to “civilization”, rather than the jingoistic nightmare that series became. Anyway, that’s just a modern pop culture version of the issue. If you look deeply at the myths/religions, they hold darker and deeper questions about the nature of good, evil, commitment … of how to be HUMAN. Gaiman said:

There are definitely people who look at the entirety of what’s going on the world today as a couple of people fighting over whose imaginary friend likes them better. And then you’ve got people who say, “No, no, this isn’t an imaginary friend, he’s actually the real thing. But that guy over there, he’s an imaginary friend.”

That’s an assertion of how SHALLOW these conflicts are, and how shallowly the true believers dragging us into the Pit BELIEVE, not in the reality of the “imaginary friends” themselves. Deeper explorations of Yahweh or Allah or Christ offer plenty of room for common ground … ALL speak of compassion at one time or another, of the importance of tolerance. Of course, they also mention more terrible things, but that’s the problem. Which do you pick, and without a deeper understanding, how can you find a balance that avoids conflict?

Gaiman’s point, IMHO, is that we’re in this mess b/c people don’t LOOK CLOSELY enough at the LESSONS underlaying the myths that they’re leaders use to convince them to kill others and to sacrifice themselves.

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