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Have a laugh: They “crashed the gates” and now we need a clothespin for the BRAIN… 30 January 2007

Posted by marisacat in 2008 Election, Abortion Rights, Big Box Blogs, DC Politics, Sex / Reproductive Health.


Well… as if they ”crashed” anything.  More like party tool by fax.  And phone.  Aide de camp to the aide de whatever…  Here is the big unkept secret:  They are all Blog Maids. 

Oh yes, that was right, there was a crash:  big crash in CT.  Their great line in the shifting sands.  The big Play to be a Playa.  Ooops.  Heard from Lamont lately?  Aldon?  Any of them?


Starting STFU and Plug your Pie Hole a little early, aren’t they?  Nerves.  Nervous.  Nervous Nellies.  Browbeating the little Dems. Carry a big stick and wish you had a big stick.  So evident.

BTW, for two days now the spam target of choice at Mcat is this entry.  Fine.  I will highlight it… 😉  I just re read it, it held up well.

Entries like this and this from Who is IOZ must drive them bats. 

 Over at DailyKos, the Deux Magots of Donkle self-amplification, something called Hesiod, who I do believe I’ve seen slinking around the comments chez Henley, quotes America’s Most Hysterical Homosexual™ before doing the usual Donkle disdainery over the appearance of some additional anti-Occupation sentiment at an “anti-War” rally.

 That is, if they get out at all.  They seem not to.  The most insular, hidebound, limited, ignorant people it has ever been my delight not to know… In short, basic Democratic party thugs.  Such old news. 

And as thugs, lobbing off The Big Lies… sooo… what shall the Dems be doing?  Fighting back at the presidential vetos? – their vote majorities on all that [cough strangle choke] legislation are not veto proof…  So shall they beg Bush to not veto stem cell (can they deliver NOTHING?) since they are too fucking scared to be shown up by a Republican filibuster…

As if he would.  He certainly knows that embryonic stem cell is a proxy abortion fight.  And despite dissemble during the Casey run (I support stem cell!! I really really do!….. by which he meant the 2001 federally mandated useless 60 lines) he will vote against the Stem Cell bill as it exited the House.  Even tho it deals with about to be discarded in vitro embryonic stem cells.

No I suspect Dems plan to lose. Keep the proxy battle on the side, never winning.

All a game.  A terrible nasty killing game.  Like the war.

Meanwhile, the parlour game is find a pie hole and shut it.  Keep the little Dems busy.  While the online Whips and Organisers chat amongst themselves.

Oh yes, this surely is a Bash the B-B-Blahgs thread.  If you want.  Post what you like…



Not that the joint changes, once a party site, larded with apparatchiks, always… You get the drift:

Send me a goddam fuckin’ check (4.00 / 10)

if this site is supposed to be about some creepy  scheme to head fake the freepers with cool  PR.  When I lobby & do PR, I expect to get paid for it.  I had been under the apparent misapprehension that it was, uh, how does he put it, “political analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation.”  The term “rant” covers a hell of a lot of territory, IMHO.

James Webb is a bigot. And an uber hawk. Stephanie Herseth is a bigot. Harold Ford, Jr. is a bigot. And so are those who support them.

by NorCalJim on Mon Sep 20, 2004 at 09:25:40 AM PST

by the way… NorCalJim, I do believe, was banned last year.  Clear to see why… and I bet that 2006 tag did not help… 😉


UPDATE, 7:50 pm

hmmm.  And what if this is a mainline ”Kossack”?  One harbored close to the bosom of Daddy Kos?  An online whip…  A defender, sword drawn, of the Great Realm that is Koslandia?


Myself, I see Tammany Hall..  Bossism.   Democratic (or its early Jeffersonian incarnation) family, all the way back to Virginia and with Garvey and Brennan on one side of my family, I may speak.

What do you see?


UPDATE… 12:20 pm

Via Carpetbagger …

Opera Glasses!  Popcorn!  Kleig Lights!  Distribute the weapons!

A snip…

I’m afraid I can’t say the same about Sen. Joe Biden.

Senator Joseph Biden doesn’t think highly of the Iraq policies of some of the other Democrats who are running for President.

To hear him tell it, Hillary Clinton’s position is calibrated, confusing and “a very bad idea.” John Edwards doesn’t know what he’s talking about and is pushing a recipe for Armageddon in the Middle East. Barack Obama is offering charming but insubstantial fluff. And all of them are playing politics.

“Let me put it this way,” Mr. Biden said. “You didn’t hear any one of them get in this debate at all until they announced for President.”

Biden just unloads on the front runners. Nothing measured about it…  Why, I’d say he is doing work for the other side… 😉  And really, what else does he ever do?  Always smoothing the way for the Republicans.

Joey B, slime ball outta Delaware, you are rising on the useful meter.  At least at Mcat. As Carpetbagger notes, it is only January. 🙂  How far gone will it all be in a few months…


AND… Garance at TAPPED has some commentary up about the Biden words.  Or more specifically one word, clean, used about Obama.

Oh sure it rings badly.  Esp with all of Biden’s slobber about how coming from Delaware he so understands the South.  What with DE being a slave holding state.

Such Bowsers running.  Nobody is telling even a FORM of the truth.


UPDATE, 4:30 pm

Word has come thru that Molly Ivins has died.  At 62, recurrance of breast cancer.

   Melanie West photographer, 2000

The Texax Observer In Memoriam.  Those words sound wrong… somehow, for Molly.  Here is a snip from the page… they used grafs from her last column in 1976, before leaving TO to join the NYT.  Yes another era.  When there were liberals on the Op/Ed page of the NYT…

And for me, it’s leaving time.

I have a grandly dramatic vision of myself stalking through the canyons of the Big Apple in the rain and cold, dreaming about driving with the soft night air of East Texas rushing on my face while Willie Nelson sings softly on the radio, or about blasting through the Panhandle under a fierce sun and pale blue sky….I’ll remember, I’ll remember…sunsets, rivers, hills, plains, the Gulf, woods, a thousand beers in a thousand joints, and sunshine and laughter. And people. Mostly I’ll remember people.

NYT obit, Kit Seelye got the assignment. 


Going to be a loooong two years 29 January 2007

Posted by marisacat in 2008 Election, DC Politics, Democrats, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Israel/AIPAC.

  The NervelessNocks at Cirque Equinox 

I landed on this over the weekend, from Scott Lemieux at TAPPED.  The first part seemed just impenetrable to me so I had to go to the original post SL was referring to, at Atrios.

Honestly, I never say STFU (nor am I now, hell, have at it), but cough up the transcripts of the hearings and transcripts of the Clinton depo, the reams of cable and media and punditry finger shaking…  the many years of it.  And on and on, why don’t you.  Might as well.

And believe me, by then, Clinton, who first irritated me, disgusted me.  For rampant tumescent stupidity.  For his R policies and sell outs.  For his clear, early failures, for going soft as early as late spring of ’03…  

I still think it was a well sprung sting.  Think for a moment that Linda Tripp (with Lucianne over her shoulder) testified in 4 “gates”.  Christmas card gate (Waxman is specifically benefitting from expanded powers that Dan Burton muscled thru for his chairmanship for subpoena and hearing powers), File Gate, Travel Gate and Monica Gate.  Gee.  You tell me.

D Throat posted this in the previous thread“I wrote it, but I wuz taken in!, Taken in I tell you!  …by the RW machine – and now I beg forgiveness of the assembled Good Progs”… whatever!  Kiss a cultist!

A couple of weeks ago when I posted some tart commentary on Kerry, I got an email (friendly email) that thought I was relying on the SBV.  Heavens no no no….  I did not need them.  I did pay attention to them, to the early salvos (late April and May of ’04) then the ”resurgence” in August (during the intervening time they never “went away”, they went to ground, going local). And I certainly remembered John O’Neil.  It, and they, were going to be big trouble.  I heard that Dick Schoen, a nice enough Dem consultant who goes on FOX a lot, remarked off camera to Hannity that the SBV had receded and would be no trouble.  Hannity informed him he would “drive it and drive it” and invited DS to watch him do it.

And Hannity did, they all did.

Summer of ’03 at Dkos, someone posted some questions about Kerry and the anti-war activities in the early 70s, specifically the medals toss.  A fervent supporter of Kerry’s just. lost. it.  Freaked out.  Elsewhere at times I would read comments that “everybody understood about Vietnam, it would not be a problem”.  Massively unobservant of public discourse in the United States, and for decades.  There is no public consensus on Vietnam (and now, if you notice, we have a new, hideously divisive war).  None.

When the Kerry supporter flailed, early and hard, I sat down to remember (and google) some of the pertinent pieces of that tortured time.   It was not going to be pretty if Kerry were the nom.

Hillary says, clean up that battlespace sonny.

A long long two years ahead, between Hillary already wearing the Chatelaine’s keys (dragging Bill behind her) and the Rs re-assembling.  Carville is on ABC pushing Hillary.  One of the top R strategists/pollsters is up against him… a woman, Kelly Ann Conway.  We shove out the soggy swamp fella from 15 years ago, they put out one of their hard drivers.

It is not going to be pretty.


UPDATE, 12:57 pm

Frank Rich on Hillary’s recent efforts, if TruthOut posts the full text will link to it.

The image that Mrs. Clinton wants to sell is summed up by her frequent invocation of the word middle, as in “I grew up in a middle-class family in the middle of America.” She’s not left or right, you see, but exactly in the center where everyone feels safe. But as the fierce war critic Chuck Hagel, the Republican senator from Nebraska, argues in a must-read interview at gq.com, the war is “starting to redefine the political landscape” and scramble the old party labels. Like Mrs. Clinton, the middle-American Mr. Hagel voted to authorize the Iraq war, but that has not impeded his leadership in questioning it ever since.

The issue raised by the tragedy of Iraq is not who’s on the left or the right, but who is in front and who is behind. Mrs. Clinton has always been a follower of public opinion on the war, not a leader. Now events are outrunning her. Support for the war both in the polls and among Republicans in Congress is plummeting faster than she can recalibrate her rhetoric; unreliable Iraqi troops are already proving no-shows in the new Iraqi-American “joint patrols” of Baghdad; the Congressional showdown over fresh appropriations for Iraq is just weeks away.

This, in other words, is a moment of crisis in our history and there will be no do-overs. Should Mrs. Clinton actually seek unfiltered exposure to voters, she will learn that they are anxiously waiting to see just who in Washington is brave enough to act.


UPDATE, 10:30 pm

Oooo this has lovely dry lack of respect 😉  Americans are so foolish to fall for the siren song demands for respect and civility in, of all things, politics.

[A]nd, like Ronnie, he has a plain-spoken charm. Show the people a picture of your hero dad. Throw in tributes to Roosevelt and Ike. Do nothing to trouble the Republican spin doctors who dub you “the most conservative Democrat in the party” – because that’s good news, not bad.

You won in Virginia, in part, because on issues such as affirmative action and gun control, you were somewhere due west of your Republican foe. And you look so alluring now because a marine hero who wants troops out of Iraq and also wants Bush to fly to Tehran for talks with the president there fits perfectly with any obvious Democratic prescription for success.

Yes:  you can be the anti-war candidate the National Rifle Association loves. Yes:  you can be tough on Bin Laden and mass immigration and free trade at the same time. You could even be a transplanted Daily Mail reader if you try hard enough.  […]

And a last bit:

There was always a favoured succession somewhere. But this time, on either side, there is not only no evident succession, but also no continuing consensus of conviction. All contestants welcome, and the theme that happens to hit a chord can produce an American idol. The power of the party machines is feebler than ever, because they have no favourite candidate. The direction the country must take, once a heartily despised president departs, is unsettled going on totally uncharted.

It’s a vacuum to register with unease. Maybe Britain, in its more fevered moments, is desperate for Blair to go, for Brown to come, for leadership to define and renew and exert itself. The supposed problems of drift are vividly sketched in ubiquitous print.

But here’s the great power, where most things begin, with two vacant, swilling years to go – and nobody has a blind idea what comes next.

I suppose we should panic, if we had the energy left.  Or at least I have hardly any to give to the great vacuum…


UPDATE, 1:30 am Tuesday…

From Angry Arab

I hereby declare the official beginning of the American presidential campaign season.

Here is Sen. Edwards: “The relationship between Israel and the United States “is extraordinarily important and vital to the strength of both of our countries,” said Edwards. “It is a bond that can never be broken,” he added.” OK.

Now, Sen. McCain: “Sen. John McCain prescribes strengthening Israel’s ties to NATO. “American support for Israel should intensify,” he says. “The enemies are too numerous, the margin of error too small, and shared values too great.”

And now, Sen. Obama: “Obama has cultivated a solidly pro-Israel record, and he visited the Jewish state last year.”

Even Gov. Vilsack of Iowa has recently visited Israel. Good night.

Pretty much… drop the noose, put the head in.  Release the trap door. 


UPDATE, 2:55 am Tuesday…

hmmm.  Lame duck?  You think?

[P]eter L. Strauss, a professor at Columbia Law School, said the executive order “achieves a major increase in White House control over domestic government.”

“Having lost control of Congress,” Mr. Strauss said, “the president is doing what he can to increase his control of the executive branch.”

Representative Henry A. Waxman, Democrat of California and chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, said: “The executive order allows the political staff at the White House to dictate decisions on health and safety issues, even if the government’s own impartial experts disagree. This is a terrible way to govern, but great news for special interests.”

Business groups hailed the initiative.

“This is the most serious attempt by any chief executive to get control over the regulatory process, which spews out thousands of regulations a year,” said William L. Kovacs, a vice president of the United States Chamber of Commerce. “Because of the executive order, regulations will be less onerous and more reasonable. Federal officials will have to pay more attention to the costs imposed on business, state and local governments, and society.” [snip]


Repost: Mcat: 22 April 2006 28 January 2007

Posted by marisacat in Culture of Death, DC Politics, Iraq War, WAR!.

On Saturday in front of the capitol, Carlos Arredondo spoke.  In heavily accented English and, as I caught him during his words, I am not certain how he was introduced. It was he who held up a dollar bill and called out:  “Gringo Out of Iraq, Gringo out of Iraq”…


What is *our* political solution?

Over and over, as they bed us down to compliance reminding us every inch of the way to ask the Lord our soul to keep, we hear Iraq needs a political solution.  Obvious nonsense in the real world, pabulum for the masses, as we go on fighting – no matter what.

Or we are fed the happy catechism that “all politics is local”.  No it is not.  Tip O’Neil was referring to election politics. Election politics is all about achieving a sinecure and securing power. These accrue to the pol and by extension to his/her party.

We may effect small and large changes on our own ground, but the national political refuse dump that holds us captive – goes on.

From McNamara and his tears to Rumsfeld and his joker’s smile.  Monsters. Six years in, the enablers are no different.

The current edition of The Nation has a short and searing photo essay from Eugene Richards matched with the words of a father, Carlos Arredondo.  Father of a marine, Alexander.  Mr Arredondo, on his own birthday several years ago, ignited himself and the van carrying the merciless announcement of his son’s death.  He replicated the blast furnace that is the war, that is our leadership.

What is our ”political solution”?

 From The Nation essay:

His mother knew the whole time. Then they told me last, I guess because they know how I was feeling. The Marines had an office in the high school and the recruiters know everything, know who comes from divided families, especially when the father’s not around. They offer Alex thousands of dollars for signing up and help with college. Though we share custody, one parent can sign. His mother sign the paper. From that moment on, of course, I support my son. I had US Marine bumper stickers on my car, flags in my home, letting people know, even though I didn’t want him to go. […]

Next thing, the Marines ask me if I was Carlos Arredondo. I don’t understand why they asking me that, and I don’t see my son anywhere. I even ask them, “Are you guys here to recruit some kids?” because I have a second son, a 16-year-old, Brian. And he said, “I’m sorry, I’m coming to notify you that Alexander Arredondo got killed in combat.” At that moment, not expecting those words, my world tumbled and I felt my heart go down to the ground and rush up through my throat. I run from my house to the backyard, looking for my mother to tell her what these men were saying. And she run to try to talk to them


I went into the garage and got a hammer. After asking them to leave again, I walk toward the van, wanting to smash it, all the time hearing the Marines telling me, “Sir, don’t do that, don’t do that,” and my mother yelling in Spanish, “Carlos, Carlos, we’ve already lost Alex.” My head full of confusion, asking myself what’s going on, what’s going on, I pounded the hammer hard into the ground, then went behind a tree to cry when I think to call Alex’s recruiter, Sergeant Martinez. I have his telephone number in my phone. I call him, explain that I’m Alex’s father and ask him to please help me, the Marines are telling me Alex has died. The voice on the other side say, “Sir, sir, you’ve got the wrong number.” I look and the phone say “Sergeant Martinez.” Pretty sure it was Sergeant Martinez’s voice. I call him back again, and again he hung up on me.


I am with one leg out of the van, holding the acetylene torch, with my mother pulling at me, when I lose my balance. But what happens was I press the button, which ignite the torch. Next thing was an explosion that threw me out with a lot of fire, and I was falling head down on the ground in flames. And not knowing yet what happen to my mom, I run across the street, until one of the Marines jump on top of me, on my back. And I was screaming, “Momma, Momma, Momma,” because my socks, my feet, my shirt were burning. As they dragged me away from the van something blew up. A big bang. And I continue screaming, yelling for my son Alex. “Are you sure that was Alex? Are you sure?”


When I first approach the casket, I thought it might be hard to recognize him, because we had not been told yet what killed him. We hadn’t learn yet that he had a wound in the temple of his head, so that he had a three-inch-wide hole in back of his head.

But it was him.

And seeing him laying flat in a casket, I thought, he’s not breathing and that he looks a little different, a little older. That his hair is a little bit longer. Wanting to reach him I was lifted off the stretcher and climb up to kiss him, to touch his head, his hands, his fingers, his shoulders, his legs, to see if they were still there.

I lay on top of the casket, on top of my son, apologizing to him because I did nothing for him to avoid this moment. Nothing.


Today:  Helicopter brought down, elsewhere a girls’ school hit.

 BAGHDAD (AFP) – A US military helicopter was reportedly shot down in Iraq and a girl’s school came under attack in a wave of ambushes, car bombs and gunbattles that left at least 24 people dead. …

A spokesman for the US military would only say: “We can’t comment on ongoing operations.” …

The White House remained defiant however, with spokesman Gordon Johndroe saying that Bush

“understands that Americans want to see a conclusion to the war in Iraq and the new strategy is designed to do just that.”  …


   US Helicopter Shot Down Near Najaf

    By Rich Mauer
    McClatchy Newspapers

    Sunday 28 January 2007

    Baghdad – A U.S. helicopter was shot down early Sunday afternoon near the provincial capital Najaf during a pitched battle with fighters described as religious fanatics.

   The correspondent observed the helicopter shot down about 1:35 p.m. Iraqi time Sunday (5:35 a.m. EST).

    The battle is being fought against alleged religious fanatics. Iraqi intelligence had received several reports that this group of fighters planned to attack the religious shrine in Karbala Wednesday, the holy day of Ashura, and to kill all the clerics.

    The Iraqi officials told the correspondent that the fighters, whom he described as Saddamists and Afghanis, infiltrated the area as Ashura pilgrims commemorating the martyrdom of Imam Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet Mohammed.

    The battle began with U.S. aerial bombardments Saturday night. Iraqi forces ground forces sealed off the area around 3 a.m. Sunday and begin an assault, assisted by U.S. helicopters and F-16 fighter jets. Maj. Hussain Muhammed of the Iraqi Army confimed the helicopter was down. “We do not know any other details yet, but there are flames raising,” he said.


UPDATE,  4:16 pm Sunday

Madman has up a very good piece at LSF, Blinded by False Hope.  It builds off the Barbara Ehrenreich 2/07 Harper’s article (not online yet), Pathologies of Hope.

A snip from some of Madman’s writing:

We’re only allowed to hope in the PROPER way, one that is sanctioned by the narrative decreed by the amorphous powers-that-be. It’s interesting to watch CNN describe a protest that is actually smaller than the ones prior to the war, and during the RNC in New York, as massive, after spending years denigrating earlier efforts, writing them off as “fringe” movements who don’t understand reality. As Iraq spirals out of control, we’re offered a dim idea that change is aborning, while both parties talk about expanding the military and rattle sabres at Iran. No one who is genuinely antiwar is given a real platform, only those anti-losing, or anti-THIS war, the black hole that is Iraq.


The only way… 26 January 2007

Posted by marisacat in 2008 Election, Big Box Blogs, DC Politics, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Iran, Iraq War, Israel/AIPAC, Lie Down Fall Down Dems, WAR!.


I think Miss Devore was asking, where is Elizabeth Holtzman?…. Here she is, up in The Nation (again) arguing for Impeachment:

[Y]et House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has taken impeachment “off the table.” (Impeachment proceedings must commence in the House of Representatives.) Her position doesn’t mean impeachment is dead; it simply means a different route to it has to be pursued. Congressional investigations must start, and public pressure must build to make the House act.

This is no different from what took place during Watergate. In 1973 impeachment was not “on the table” for many months while President Nixon’s cover-up unraveled, even though Democrats controlled the House and Senate. But when Nixon fired the special prosecutor to avoid making his White House tapes public, the American people were outraged and put impeachment on the table, demanding that Congress act. That can happen again. [snip]

And who is right beside her on the page… Scott Ritter, arguing as he did prior to Iraq War (his efforts to reach out to Kerry in 2002 and ’03 are heart breaking, then and now) to stop the coming war.  Democrats have always been far too cosy with the idea of war on Iran.

[I]f I were to be invited to go to Washington today and speak to the Democratic equivalent of the Republican Theme Team [In April 2001 I was invited to Washington, DC, by a group of Republican Congressmen collectively known as the Theme Team. The subject was Iraq.], I would spend very little time on the issue of Iraq. Right or wrong, the Iraq War was a product of domestic American politics, not any genuine threat to national security, and as such the solution for Iraq will be derived not from whatever happens inside Iraq, surge or no surge, but rather from what happens here in America. It will take two or more national election cycles for the American electorate to purge Congress of those elements, Republican and Democratic alike, who are responsible for the Iraqi quagmire. […]

If I were to address a Democrat Theme Team equivalent, I would focus my effort on trying to impress them with the issue that will cost them political power down the road. This issue is Iran. While President Bush, a Republican, remains Commander in Chief, a Democrat-controlled Congress shares responsibility on war and peace from this point on. The conflict in Iraq, although ongoing, is a product of the Republican-controlled past. The looming conflict with Iran, however, will be assessed as a product of a Democrat-controlled present and future.

If Iraq destroyed the Republican Party, Iran will destroy the Democrats.

Bingo on that one!

I would strongly urge Congress, both the House of Representatives and the Senate, to hold real hearings on Iran. Not the mealy-mouthed Joe Biden-led hearings we witnessed on Iraq in July-August 2002, where he and his colleagues rubber-stamped the President’s case for war, but genuine hearings that draw on all the lessons of Congressional failures when it came to Iraq. Summon all the President’s men (and women), and grill them on every phrase and word uttered about the Iranian “threat,” especially as it has been linked to nuclear weapons. Demand facts to back up the rhetoric. [snip]

Ah yes… well… I don’t see them doing that.  Biden is already deep to his nose hairs (plugs there too, do you think?  ;P ) in dissemble.

Perhaps they can charge the next war too.  Bankruptcy bill for the US of A?  …coming soon I would imagine.

What a sad sham it all is.

Of course, Ritter is still sane and functioning, unlike rather too much of Congress.  Along the way he says make AIPAC appear before congress and publicly state their whispers.  Yes that would be sanity.  And decency.  Honesty too.  But we don’t have that.  We are chained to the table that Nancy keeps sweeping clean.  How dare she.

The National Security Strategy of the United States, most recently promulgated in March 2006, lists Iran as the number-one threat to the United States, not only in terms of its yet-to-be-proven nuclear weapons program but also from its status, as declared by the Bush White House, as the world’s leading state sponsor of terror. The Bush Administration has repeatedly linked Iran with the perpetrators of the 9/11 terror attacks and has accused Iran of harboring people and organizations involved in that attack. If left unchallenged by Congress, the Bush Administration firmly believes it has all of the authority required to initiate military action against Iran without Congressional approval.

It’s an important article.


I was about to close this off, when Madman popped me this.  Apparently they called the dumping of Rumsfeld… and now say that Cheney will go, Rice moves over and Negroponte to step up at State.

The CC Insider/InDecider has just heard more rumors (see earlier posts) from a SECOND reliable source that Dick Cheney will be stepping down as Vice President and will be replaced as Vice President by Condoleezza Rice. And now we’re hearing that she would like to be on the ticket as the GOP VP candidate in ’08.

According to our rumor-meister, John Negroponte will be filling Condi’s current position as Secretary of State. Negroponte is currently was until recently* the Director of National Intelligence (the first person ever to hold the few-years-old position) and the former US Ambassador to Iraq.

I had heard Gergen on Cooper’s 360 last night.  My ears popped as he chided Durbin for the “delusional” remark, then from Gergen’s own blank faced comments… it was pretty clear.

We are still in deep Donkelphant shit.  My short hand for it is, Bush has the codes. That strange souped up car he runs about in, powered by jet fuel, the back seat full of Molotov cocktails, the “football” with the codes beside him, it’s coming at us..


UPDATE, 6:40 pm

Oooo… to swoon for… from IOZ

… Les Racines de Net, despite their endless pretensions of sanscullotery, are totally ga-ga over Our Boys, who carry the light and life of empire, all that is good and dear, the moral core of the nation, et cetera, et cetera, ad infinitum, amen. George Bush makes a retarded Caesar, but if Wes Clark crossed the Potomac with a couple of legions, they’d paint him purple and name him Dictator for Life.

And a most delicious little graf…

The Donkle has no particular ideological opposition to invading other countries and killing foreigners, provided the war is not “sold with lies” or executed “incompetently.” (All wars are sold with lies, and competence is as rare a commodity on the battlefield as anywhere else, and yet . . .)

They still go into raptures over Bill Clinton’s Kosovo campaign, even though it accomplished nothing but more misery and bore an eerie, prescient resemblance to Israel’s mad bombing of Lebanon, about which, to be fair, most libbloggers were equally, tellingly silent. Kleagle Kos, bird-beaked and bird-brained, is himself an ex-military man, who claims to have loved Ronald Reagan, the liberator of Aushwitz and executioner of Latin America, even though Kos was too young to love anything other than junk food and furtive masturbation during the reign of that particularly Tussaudian icon of American imperial dreaming. What was that old American motto? Progress is our Product!

There is more, of course… 😉

And SMBIVA took a good swing at Webb (and Hillary, using a Stoller article as the trampoline).. I could tolerate the online love affair with him better if there was much, or infact ANY, evidence people have read the helpfully catalogued articles, essays and whateverelse at his site… But they have not.

So, my prediction, it will be Hillary the party bosses burn at the stake this campaign season, to assuage the hunger for elite blood. All the better to slip some more zesty corporate kitchen mass market confection over on us. Like this rugged ole wooden masked warrior from Virginia — this Webb freak — or something else, anything will do, even… Johnny E. Anything but St Hill.

 i have no idea what is in store for HIllary.  But all signs point to a messy run.  Center Ring, Top Card Fight!  Direct the kleig lights to scour the heavens, distribute the weapons!


UPDATE, 5:45 am

Tom Andrews of Win Without War is on Washington Journal… and the freaks are coming out of the woodwork.  Of course, they sound a lot like thereisnospoon (you are a commie!) and Delaware Dem (you are undermining… something!).

Ooops another “underminer” call!  And Andrews is a LIAR (oops there is Armando, Fernando and Big Drahma Tent).

All of us undermined Bush, “at every turn”.

Tells you something doesn’t it?  As Bush tootles onward, clutching the codes, a jet fueled car loaded with Molotov cocktails.  But yes, be sure and worry about …. the COMMIES.


Green Zone under assault 25 January 2007

Posted by marisacat in 2008 Election, Big Box Blogs, DC Politics, Iran, Iraq War, Russ Feingold, WAR!.

  blast from the car bomb, Jan 25, Reuters 

Washington Journal read a report off the wires a few minutes ago… this is up at Yahoo (full text from the AP):

BAGHDAD, Iraq – A huge explosion rocked central Baghdad just before sunset Thursday, sending a massive plume of black smoke into the air along the east bank of the Tigris River. The blast occurred shortly after two heavy mortar shells slammed into the heavily fortified Green Zone.

The public address system inside the zone, where the U.S. Embassy is located, could be heard warning in English that people should take cover, “this is not a drill.”

Heavy gunfire rang out throughout the center of the city after the explosion thundered across the city and was especially heavy in the Karrada district. Sirens on emergency vehicles wailed through the region.

Initial reports from police said two people were killed in the explosion.

Report from Reuters:

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – A car bomb, that killed at least two people, and two other explosions shook central Baghdad on Thursday, sparking alarms and warnings in the international Green Zone for people to take cover.

A police source said the car bomb in the Karrada district across the river from the Green Zone had also wounded eight other people, according to preliminary reports.

The first two blasts, just minutes apart, appeared to be mortar rounds or rockets and black smoke was seen rising from the area of the Green Zone. The third loud blast came about 20 minutes later and was followed by bursts of gunfire.


UPDATE, 12:45 pm

A stunningly coherent assessment of America, from Who Is IOZ.

[T]he real Martin Luther King, Jr. was a radical “Christian Socialist” who, like such true Americans as Mark Twain, grew bitter as he aged, appalled at the hoary, violent, incontinent monster that was and is America. I carry no brief for socialism, nor yet for Christianity (as if there’s any particular difference), but I have a squishy spot for anyone who can stand in front of the Lincoln Memorial and decry “the tranquilizing drug of gradualism.” But so be it. It’s our depressing habit to recall black leaders in impotent Christitude. Scourge ’em and beat ’em. They love that shit! […]


There is mention in the thread of Hillareeee (NYCee] and [gasp choke strangle] I have just heard bits of the hearing for Petraeus… and her questioning.  My my.  So tiresome.  I never cared for the stern governess model, not as a child and not now.  But before I do as I once did, pull on my tiny white cotton gloves and flounce away from the authoritarians, let’s have at them:

A good moment to bring up a series that Arthur Silber has over at Once Upon a Time (link goes to Part V, which has links to Parts 1 – IV . I am working my way backward from V to I, about half way). 

He covers, in amongst much, Edwards at Herziliyah, Hillary and her right wing votes and commentary (so tired of the fucking wingers… like the poor they will always be with us… ) and he even slides past Atrios, with several excerpts of him calling for troop increase (oh to be sure, not the vilified “surge”, just the 92K that will cost hundreds of millions, SO progressive!!)…

And if you were to look to the liberal-progressive blogs in hopes of finding a different perspective on this question, you would be sorely disappointed. As just one example out of many, Atrios announced in December:

One thing this latest conversation has done is acknowledge that there aren’t enough troops. So why aren’t all of these patriotic Americans enlisting or calling on their fellow travelers to do so?

Lest you think this was a momentary blip on Atrios’s ideological radar, here is Atrios just the day before:

If Bush had, you know, listened to Kerry we’d already have a bigger military.

According to Atrios, this is yet another indication of the Democrats’ superiority to the feckless Republicans: if only Democrats were in charge, we’d have a bigger, better military sooner.

All of this is utterly fantastic. It is absurd and appalling.


Oh YUM!  Nothing short of real amusement from SMBIVA.  With pics.  Mayhem in Little Napoleon Land… enjoy!

Every so often I get an unconquerable urge to go trolling over on Daily Kos, and I keep a few sleeper accounts handy for the purpose. Yesterday’s post about John Edwards as rent-boy for the Israel lobby seemed like a good opportunity, so I cross-posted it, slightly edited, on Kos under the admittedly provocative user name ‘hamaschick’.

It was up for about an hour and a half late last night, and accumulated sixty-odd comments before ‘hunter’, that unsleeping Dzerzhinsky of the netroots, dropped the hammer. I saved it here, though, along with all the comments.

As usual, the pathos of the experience was the number of people who apparently know better but still can’t tear themselves away from this maelstrom of futility. My post contained a poll:  {oh snip snap!!]


UPDATE, 2:59 pm

My my mymymymy.

Stuff like this always blows me away.  Quite aside from mixing in (selling!) Webb, barely arrived and a Reaganite (oh those little Dems, so desperate to spread their legs!) with Barbara Jordan and Paul Wellstone.  Poor Howard is just an evolving commodity by this point.  Sad but true.

That’s my Democratic party. Strong voices from across the map. Voices for the small against the big, the weak against the strong, the powerless against the powerful. The Democratic Party needs to speak for the voiceless and to serve the oppressed and forgotten. I hope that now we will see new Democratic voices step forward and lead the charge.

As counterpoint, my favorite political interview of all time.  Jerry Brown NYT photointerviewing Gore Vidal on Pacifica Radio in the mid 90s.

None of this silliness of the greatness or goodness of the party (the staffers never stop the selling, many of us did notice).  Just some truths.  The way it is…

Yes, yes, yes… the slurrings of the online Dems… quite something to behold.  So in love they are.  There is nothing, I repeat nothing, about politics or politicians to fall in love with

oh yes:  that is right… Monica.  Well, the less said the better…


UPDATE, 9:20 pm

I have been saying for while that the military, certainly the officer class, is committing suicide by president or CinC..  Early today I read that the top surgeon in Iraq died in the Blackhawk that was brought down last weekend.  And a very big kill of NG.

It was rather worse than that:

BAGHDAD, Iraq – Two colonels, one lieutenant colonel and two command sergeants major were among the 12 soldiers killed last weekend in a Black Hawk helicopter crash northeast of Baghdad, the Pentagon said.

It appeared to be the largest number of key officers and command sergeants killed in a single incident during since the Iraq war started nearly four years ago.

The U.S. command has not said why so many key officers were aboard a single helicopter, which went down Saturday in Diyala province, one of the flashpoints of the Iraq conflict.

It was also unclear why they were traveling in the volatile region. But the loss of such pivotal figures is likely to be a severe blow to their units.

Ten of the dead were members of the National Guard, making it the deadliest single combat incident for the Guard since at least the Korean War, said Mark Allen, a National Guard Bureau spokesman.

A Pentagon statement Wednesday said the victims included Col. Brian D. Allgood, 46, the top U.S. Army surgeon in Iraq, and Col. Paul M. Kelly, 45, assigned to the Joint Force Headquarters of the Virginia Army National Guard in Blackstone, Va.

Other victims were Command Sgt. Maj. Marilyn L. Gabbard, assigned to the Iowa National Guard, and Command Sgt. Maj. Roger W. Haller of the Maryland National Guard.

Command sergeant major is the Army’s highest enlisted grade.

The Army has said the cause of the crash was under investigation. But a Pentagon official has said debris at the crash site indicated the helicopter was downed by a surface-to-air missile.

Others killed in the crash included Lt. Col. David C. Canegata of the Virgin Islands National Guard; Maj. Michael V. Taylor of the Arkansas National Guard; Capt. Sean E. Lyerly of the Texas National Guard; 1st Sgt. William T. Warren of the Arkansas National Guard; Staff Sgt. Darryl D. Booker of the Virginia National Guard; Sgt. 1st Class John Brown of the Arkansas National Guard; Staff Sgt. Floyd E. Lake of the Virgin Islands National Guard; and Cpl. Victor Langarica, 29, of the 86th Signal Battalion, Fort Huachuca, Ariz.

Hopefully we hear more of this flight.


In related news…. Majority?  Majority… ?? Where for art thou, Majority?  What does it all mean??

WASHINGTON – The leader of a bipartisan effort to rebuk President Bush‘s  Iraq strategy said Thursday he would not strike a compromise with a harsher Democratic resolution the Senate will debate next week.

Sen. John Warner (news, bio, voting record), R-Va., former chairman of the Armed Services Committee, said he won’t negotiate with Democrats to develop a single proposal on Iraq. His comments, along with the emergence of other resolutions the Senate might consider, underscored how a Congress largely against Bush’s proposal to send more troops to Iraq remained divided over what to do about it.

Warner’s decision bolsters chances that his resolution will be the one to win final Senate approval. Democrats are expected to vote for his proposal if their measure fails, and several Republicans said they prefer Warner’s approach because it is less divisive. [snip snap the old drunk wins?]


At some point today, Kennedy was just losing it oh yes Liberal Lion… this was not one of his patented rants.  Really tearing into the landscape.  Minimum wage not going well.

But I saw quite a bit of what I saw as the Democrats on the Senate Judiciary were visibly unprepared for any real, comprehensive, if losing, battle over Alito:  Sadness. Bitterness. Rage.  Dead brothers, over 40 years in the senate and this… is it. 

I catch glmpses he thinks a stand against the horrific Iraq War his party facilitated may be the last for a Kennedy in the strange place that is Washington DC… the strange place that is America.


UPDATE, 11:10 pm

A nice view of some of the organisation behind the big march coming up…and this is the close:

There was an election that showed clear consequences,” said Andrew L. Stern, the president of the union [SEIU]. “It’s incumbent on Democrats to express their disagreement with the president.”

While Democrats have shown little reticence speaking against the president’s plan, there is little agreement on the next step. Next week, Senator Russell D. Feingold, Democrat of Wisconsin, is convening a hearing to discuss the ways in which Congress can begin blocking the financing for the war, an idea that remains deeply controversial inside the party.

“It’s a walk in the park right now to oppose the idea of this war. It’s also very easy to oppose the escalation,” Mr. Feingold said. “They are once again being too timid and too cautious.”

Oh but Senator… The Grand and Gracious Mr Webb of Virginia suits them jes’ fine. As he walks in the park…


UPDATE, 1:00 am

I suppose we should not be surprised, Friday’s FP, WaPo:

The decision to use lethal force against Iranians inside Iraq began taking shape last summer, when Israel was at war with Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Officials said a group of senior Bush administration officials who regularly attend the highest-level counterterrorism meetings agreed that the conflict provided an opening to portray Iran as a nuclear-ambitious link between al-Qaeda, Hezbollah and the death squads in Iraq.

And we all know what the game is… primed as we are:

A senior intelligence officer was more wary of the ambitions of the strategy.

“This has little to do with Iraq. It’s all about pushing Iran’s buttons. It is purely political,” the official said. The official expressed similar views about other new efforts aimed at Iran, suggesting that the United States is escalating toward an unnecessary conflict to shift attention away from Iraq and to blame Iran for the United States’ increasing inability to stanch the violence there.[…]

In interviews, two senior administration officials separately compared the Tehran government to the Nazis and the Guard to the “SS.” They also referred to Guard members as “terrorists.” Such a formal designation could turn Iran’s military into a target of what Bush calls a “war on terror,” with its members potentially held as enemy combatants or in secret CIA detention.

Asked whether such a designation is imminent, Johndroe of the NSC said in a written response that the administration has “long been concerned about the activities of the IRGC and its components throughout the Middle East and beyond.” He added: “The Iranian Revolutionary Guards Quds Force is a part of the Iranian state apparatus that supports and carries out these activities.”

Honestly? I think Bush has them by the balls… 24 January 2007

Posted by marisacat in Culture of Death, DC Politics, WAR!.

… and their hearts and minds were never far away…

This is where matters stand tonight, in the here and now. I have spoken with many of you in person. I respect you and the arguments you have made.

We went into this largely united — in our assumptions, and in our convictions. And whatever you voted for, you did not vote for failure. Our country is pursuing a new strategy in Iraq — and I ask you to give it a chance to work. And I ask you to support our troops in the field — and those on their way.

The war on terror we fight today is a generational struggle that will continue long after you and I have turned our duties over to others. That is why it is important to work together so our Nation can see this great effort through. Both parties and both branches should work in close consultation. And this is why I propose to establish a special advisory council on the war on terror, made up of leaders in Congress from both political parties. We will share ideas for how to position America to meet every challenge that confronts us. And we will show our enemies abroad that we are united in the goal of victory.

And this, this the Dems wanted…

One of the first steps we can take together is to add to the ranks of our military — so that the American Armed Forces are ready for all the challenges ahead. Tonight I ask the Congress to authorize an increase in the size of our active Army and Marine Corps by 92,000 in the next 5 years. A second task we can take on together is to design and establish a volunteer Civilian Reserve Corps. Such a corps would function much like our military reserve. It would ease the burden on the Armed Forces by allowing us to hire civilians with critical skills to serve on missions abroad when America needs them. And it would give people across America who do not wear the uniform a chance to serve in the defining struggle of our time.

I make a joke nowadays … that Momma says, Fairness is “off the table”  .

Several reports indicated the Blackhawk brought down over the week end, was the work of al Qaeda.  As long as we are forced into, and accept, the great myth, this multi-generational conflict with al Qaeda (I notice nobody mentions Osama much, unless to smear a pol) rather than an international policing action against terrorism… well, I don’t see how we ever leave. 

And that was the lay of the land from the get go…

Meanwhile, Webb uses “mismanaged”. 

This country has patiently endured a mismanaged war for nearly four years…

He should have delivered that one on his knees, whispering. The coded language in that single phrase just drips with pabulum…  Here baby, a spoonful for Momma.

And little Dems (who no doubt are on the payroll) are stepping on themselves to claim “Webb Speaks for Me” (the thread is pathetic).

Lordy.  Tell me again how he opposes this war?  With the slobber for his ”fightin’ Scots Irish” and his son who is over there?  I was not taken in by the boots he campaigned in either…

Tell me again?



UPDATE, Midnight…

Fortunately I never bought “Two Americas” nor the cheap opportunistic use of the poor.  Wonder if they  have flown him to Masada at dawn yet, to declare his allegiance

As to the American people, this is a difficult question. The vast majority of people are concerned about what is going on in Iraq. This will make the American people reticent toward going for Iran. But I think the American people are smart if they are told the truth, and if they trust their president. So Americans can be educated to come along with what needs to be done with Iran.


UPDATE, 2:15 am Wednesday…

At some point I caught TNH interview today, Gwen Ifill with John Warner.  He recoils as if burned with boiling water at the word “timeline“… In his pickled, heavily made-up state he nevertheless is frantic that it be understood she used that word, not he.  He can b a r e l y handle “benchmarks” but manages to get it out.  That one is acceptable…  It’s OK John.  We get it.

It is laughable, the resolution will be “We strongly disagree.. “.  And even then, wanna bet a voice vote?

Scared, freakish children.  Well they should be, Bush pushes the outer boundaries… and they, well they just want their limited power, the perks and pensions.  It makes for profound imbalance.

Pepe Escobar is up in Asia Times, these are the closing grafs:

With Baghdad to be divided into nine military districts, each with its dedicated Iraqi army/police and its embedded US battalion, the muqawama is also more than relishing the prospect of laying siege to the sitting-duck Fort Apaches that will spring up in each of these districts. What happened in Karbala last Sunday will be quite common in Fort Apache land: attacks by guerrilla commandos disguised as American soldiers, driving in a convoy of GMCs. And Black Hawk Down will be endlessly replayed – just like last Saturday, when a helicopter was shot down by a clumsy Russian SA-7 shoulder-fired missile.

Most of all, the dire prospect is of a devastating air war over Baghdad – followed by wholesale slaughter of Sunnis and Shi’ites alike as counterinsurgency fails (there are no hearts and minds to be won; everyone wants US troops out). But as US bombs and missiles now define who is a “terrorist” and who is not – see the recent bombing of Somali nomadic herdsmen sold as dangerous al-Qaeda operatives – Iraqification-cum-surge will be a disaster mostly for every Baghdadi caught in the crossfire.

The Pentagon cannot at the same time launch the Battle of Sadr City, fight the muqawama spread out and in control all over western Baghdad, and fight al-Qaeda in al-Anbar province. Or maybe it could: if bombs and missiles from above are The Great Decider on who’s a terrorist, why not take out everybody down there on the ground? Forty years after Che Guevara’s “one, two, a thousand Vietnams”, meet “one, two, a thousand Fallujahs”.


Really, we are there… 


UPDATE, 11:12 am

Adjusting the window dressing for the folks at home.  Otherwise known as Breaking News from ABC:

Breaking News from ABCNEWS.com:



SOTU :: Opium for the Masses :: Year Round Forever Elections :: &c :: Open Thread… ;) 23 January 2007

Posted by marisacat in Culture of Death, DC Politics, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Lie Down Fall Down Dems.

  old banner Afghanistan

In case anyone needs to post a sharp little scream during any of the speeches tonight… Bush, Webb, Bacerra (en Espagnol, we are so sweet to them!) or during Hillary, on with Tweet and KO…

I see Lott is already shaking his slave master finger at the Dems… worried tonight will be “chilly” for el heife.  Gee, I could wish.  Hillary in the past always smiles and nods.  If she does not tonight we will know she is trying, trying again and again to be opposition.  What about Bush v Gore did the Dems miss?  Or as I sometimes say, did it not matter, not one little bit?

“I hope we won’t act like children,” said Senate Assistant Minority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.). “The Democrats in the House, if they’re not appropriately considerate of the president of the United States, then that will agitate those of us on our side, and then we’ll respond in kind, and then the American people will turn us off.”

Democrats, however strongly they are feeling their oats at the moment, say they do not intend to be disruptive.

“We’ve always been respectful of the president, and I would assume that would continue,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.). “This is really his night to give us his view, and I think people generally make their views known through applause and non-applause.”

Love that word, agitate. I think Lott is being his old Ole Miss self, a white agitator… 

At TAPPED, they are really screwed together right.  Still stressed over what to call her.  Don’t be asking the online Dem party to change a light bulb.

  Unless you like extended discussion in the dark… 😉


UPDATE, 5:35 pm Pacific Time…

Aw…. from Beltway Blogroll:

State of the Union Alternative View

Posted by Heather Greenfield | 04:18 PM

Reporters asked Majority Leader Harry Reid why Democratic leaders selected freshman Sen. James Webb, D-Va., to give the rebuttal to the president’s State of the Union address Tuesday night. Webb, is a favorite of bloggers, and his victory over Sen. George Allen, R-Va., was a key race that gave Democrats control of the Senate.

“Every place he’s been, he’s been someone who’s moved the ball forward,” Reid said, explaining Webb’s accomplishments in Vietnam and as Secretary of the Navy under former President Ronald Reagan. Reid said Webb understands what it means to go to war, what it means to be at peace and he understands Reagan Democrats.

Selling the Reagan Democrats is the ticket.  Laugh now and laugh later too…

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi added that she first met Webb when he was campaigning for human rights when there was no media spotlight.

But neither Reid or Pelosi directly addressed a reporter’s question about whether Webb was chosen in part because he is one of two members of Congress with sons serving in the military in Iraq.

Webb is expected to speak for five minutes following the president’s speech. He declined to give reporters any details on the speech, but said it would include Iraq and economic fairness, issues he campaigned on during his Senate race.

War!! it’s all about WAR!  And only those who went to war may speak to us!  Only they KNOW!  Oops! what about el heife?  Why so successful? 

I just don’t see how we ever get free… even as we “move the ball forward”. 

Other than that, air kiss, air kiss.



Sanctity of life… 22 January 2007

Posted by marisacat in 2008 Election, Abortion Rights, Iraq War, Sex / Reproductive Health, WAR!.

  Harry's 1968 journey from Kuwait to London, photo of the road from Basra to Khoramshahr

Harry’s 1968 car trip from Kuwait to London, here the road from Basra to Khoramshahr

The road from Basra in Iraq runs south-west following the Shatt al Arab to the Iraq-Iran border near Khorramshahr.

The traditional and most direct route from Kuwait to Europe was to follow the road from Basra to Baghdad, then to Mosul in northern Iraq, and then into South-East Turkey. However we had been advised against that route due to what the British Foreign Office called “bandit activities” around the Kurdish town of Mosul.

Instead we diverted westwards at Basra, heading to the Iraq-Iran border near Khorramshar  with the intention of travellling north through Iran to reach Turkey from the North-East. We welcomed the opportunity to see Iran, but it meant we no longer had the opportunity to see Baghdad, the capital of Iraq.


Back, it seems a long time ago, at the beginning of the war, Paper Tigress posted the link to this lovely rambling essay of Sinan Antoon, published in Al Ahram, the Eqyptian weekly.

Of Bridges and Birds

[B]aghdad was for many years the enchanting “mother of the world”, as the city was once called. It was so sophisticated and elegant in its golden age that an Arabic verb, yatabaghdadu, was derived from its name to signify how people used to emulate the coveted styles and ways of Baghdad’s elites.

Thousands of invisible umbilical chords still bind the city to many a soul. With every bomb, missile and fire that has erupted over the last three weeks in Baghdad, I have felt the pain of those chords being violently severed in my heart. Now, alas, even some of those who are still in the city’s womb are unleashing decades of pain, violence and war upon its body and scarring its memory, together with their own collective history, in a masochistic or matricidal orgy. […]

   Atlas Tours, Baghdad 1997

Reuters reported that these annual migration routes could be disrupted when the war erupted. In the period between mid-March and mid-April, one finds the greatest number of birds in Iraq. Since many of these birds cannot make it to their breeding grounds in one flight, they stop and “refuel” on the banks of the Tigris and Euphrates and in the southern marshes drained by Saddam.

Every year around this time I would look for the one or two white storks that used to nest on the dome of the old church in Bab Al- Mu’azzam. I wonder if they have made it to Baghdad this year? I doubt it. I clipped that Reuters article from Al-Hayat and left it lying around. When I read the article again on the second day of the war, American B-52 bombers were taking off from Fairfield Airbase in England and heading towards the skies over Baghdad. Someone on Fox News described them as “beautiful birds”, and Rumsfeld spoke of “the humanity which went into the making of these weapons”.

If they don’t perish first, the storks will try to return next year. […]

  Baghdadi checkpoint

I felt pangs of pain a week ago as I watched an American tank crawling across Al- Jumhuriyya Bridge in the heart of Baghdad. I have crossed that bridge hundreds of times, and I used to linger a bit half way along, especially when walking alone, and look down at the river. The Tigris splits Baghdad into two sections: Al-Karkh, on the western bank, and Al-Rusafah on the eastern. I used to recite Ali Ibn Al- Jahm’s famous line about the enchanting, almond-shaped eyes of the Baghdadi women who used to cross from one bank to the other in the nineth century. On a lucky day, I would encounter a descendent or two of those women. Now the moon-like faces celebrated in thousands of verses are hiding in houses on both banks, white voyeuristic satellites are hovering above and scrutinising every inch of the city’s body. […]


Now, tanks spit their fire towards a row of houses on the eastern bank of the Tigris, and blazes go up. A correspondent announces that Apaches are hovering over Baghdad for the first time, but, alas, this is a familiar species in our part of the world. They have come to make sure that Baghdad’s residents join the Palestinians as the fortunate recipients of the latest form of lethal “liberation”.

Rivers of blood are flowing along the Tigris as America tattoos its imperial insignia into the bodies of Iraqi children, stamping their futures with its corporate logos in order to “safeguard” it. There is an abyss in and around Iraq, and it is widening by the moment. But one must look for, and cling to, a bridge. And so I try. A few bridges north of Al- Jumhuriyya Bridge lies Jisr Al-Shuhada’ (Martyrs’ Bridge). Throngs of Iraqis burst onto the streets in January 1948 to express their rejection of the Portsmouth Treaty signed between the despicable Iraqi government of the time and Great Britain. Some of them were killed by the regime’s bullets on that bridge …

  134 bridges bombed in 1991

Allied war planes destroyed 134 bridges in the 1991 war.

They Came to Baghdad

945 Buwayhids; 1055 Seljuks; 1258 Mongols led by Hulagu; 1340 Jalayrs; 1393 & 1401 Mongols led by Tamerlane; 1411 Turkoman Black Sheep; 1469 Turkoman White Sheep ; 1508 Safavids ; 1534 Ottomans under Sultan Sulayman the Magnificent; 1623 Safavids; 1638 Ottomans under Sultan Murad IV; 1917 British; 1941 British again to depose pro-German government; 2003 Anglo-American invasion


In a more prosaic reading of whatever it is that Bush and others mean by “sanctity of life”, Scott Lemieux has up a post in TAPPED that includes links to the 1988 Canadian court case,  R. v. Morgentaler, that broke open abortion prohibitions and restrictions there… and some commentary on Roe v Wade and Doe v Bolton.

If I happen on other articles or essays that don’t tread endlessly over old ground will post them… 😉


UPDATE, 4:15 pm

Well… this will be lovely.  Why bother to “reply” to Bush when you are in some “mean” race with him…  as if there was ever much on the ground cash for real reconstruction

WASHINGTON — The Democratic senator who will deliver his party’s formal response to President Bush’s State of the Union address Tuesday says he favors cutting off funding for Iraq reconstruction in order to pay for Hurricane Katrina recovery instead.

“How can we keep sending billions of dollars over to Iraq and not fund a really energetic effort to help places like New Orleans?” Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., asked in an interview Friday. Webb said that Iraq and what he sees as the precarious state of the nation’s economy and infrastructure are two of the topics he’ll tackle in his speech.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., chose Webb, an iconoclastic freshman, to deliver the prime-time rebuttal to the president.

Reid said Webb personifies the “spirit of bipartisanship,” and the call for “a new direction for working families and an end to the war in Iraq.”

Webb also highlights the Democrats’ effort to move beyond their traditional political base. A senator for less than a month, Webb is a combat veteran who says,

“I can still justify the war in Vietnam.” His eldest son is a Marine stationed in Iraq.  [snip]

We owe the city of New Orleans (and the Gulf Coast) rebuilding, protection and fairness.  We owe Iraq reconstruction, reparation monies and re-establishment of services.  And removal of the occupying forces.

Neither Iraq nor New Orleans will get what it needs from the US government.

Not that I expected much else from Webb.  All this is is pitting people, one against the other.  Of course Americans decry the cost of, the financial losses to foreign war.  This proposed speech from Webb is different… nasty opportunism.   So like Edwards in NO, not a word about the government, insurance companies, abuse, abandonment, every sort of usury, in every way… utter, flagrant abuse of the public faith.  Allowing people to die. Not caring to properly rebuild the levee system…  I am guessing there will be nothing from Webb about war profiteers. Certainly nothing about the horrors of an occupying army.  Don’t want to offend that bi-partisan base.

Fuck them.

Amazing how the party just works so fucking hard to be appalling.

Webb, who served as secretary of the Navy in the Reagan administration, intends to do some horn-tooting for his new party: “I think the Democratic leadership really deserves some kudos.”


UPDATE, 6:20 pm

Well, this fits in with fucked and fake “sanctity of life”…

The Atlantic has pushed their recent profile of Hillary out from behind the sub firewall.  I had used excerpts of it before, it is most horrifying in her deep alignment with Congressional evangelicals.  And with The Fellowship.

Years ago I read that when they realised they’d be making a real run for the WH and not a trial run in 92/3, she extracted a promise from Bill:  No More Bimbos.  I had to laugh.  Maybe the trade off is she thinks Jesus (and evangelicals) won’t let her down.  Whatever, it explains so much of the past few years.  She’s got her Jesus, battery included. The rest of us can sink.

You’re not supposed to think about lofty spiritual affairs in terms so temporal as their political importance. But among the prayer groups, one holds special status: a tight-knit gathering of about a dozen senators which still meets every Wednesday morning for prayer and discussion, led by Douglas Coe himself. Each week, someone starts the meeting by giving personal testimony, secure in the support of the audience. Once, Senator Dan Coats stood before the group and sang “Jesus Loves Me, This I Know.”

The roster of regular participants has included such notable conservative names as Brownback, Santorum, Nickles, Enzi, and Inhofe. Then, in 2001, just after the new class of senators was sworn in, another name was added to the list: Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Well…. I’d be gagging.  Esp with Coats singing about Jesus.

Oh by the way, there is an exhortation going on at TAPPED to refer to Hillary as Senator Clinton.

It’s about respect, not just for her stature, but for her accomplishments.

Won’t be happening here.


UPDATE, 10:01 pm… practically balmy here in San Francisco… 😉

Danny Schechter shares a few good ones from his mail, on Hillary:

Sam Smith writes:

”Let’s talk about how to bring the right end to the war in Iraq and to restore respect for America around the world. How to make us energy independent and free of foreign oil. How to end the deficits that threaten Social Security and Medicare. And let’s definitely talk about how every American can have quality affordable health care.”

Well, we actually have been talking about these things for some time; it’s just hard to get Clinton into the conversation. This is a classic piece of Clinton rhetoric. To the casual listener she is supporting an
end to the war, energy independence and universal healthcare. Far from it. She just wants us to talk about it. A neat semiotic slide, sort of like Barack Obama wanting us to come together. . . so he doesn’t have to choose between us.

Bingo on that.  They all greased themselves up for this run.  Slip sliding away...

… from Jayne Stahl:

”What she lacks is credibility. Not only did Clinton vote in favor of the war, but she watered down her pro-choice statements, so they’d be more palatable to centrist Democrats and Republicans making one wonder just how far the Senator is prepared to bend with respect to Roe v. Wade, an important question in light of the current composition of the Supreme Court, and the tenuousness of a constitutional amendment that guarantees a woman’s right to choose”.

”One would also like to hear Clinton speak out against the Military Commissions Act, the USA Patriot Act, the NSA electronic surveillance program, and challenges to a free pres instead of trying to look commander-in-chiefish’ during her Internet appearances”.

Many a chat to come.  She is sure to clear all of that up.  Pronto... 😉


Last but hardly least catch who was present via satellite at a big israeli US get together…

 Read Gideon’s good piece. The conference sounds a lot like a war party — and if not that at least a cheerleading party for the idea of militarily confronting Iran.

Johnny!  We don’t know you it seems?  Johnny?  Call us, let’s chat… I mean it, really.  Air kiss.  Two.


UPDATE, 8:20 am

hmmm.  Blue Dogs?  Bad Dogs? …?  No! They are BOLL WEEVILS!

The Blue Dogs will not speak out as a group on whether or not to call for an end to the Iraq war. “They will not draft a resolution or course regarding the troops other than one of support for our soldiers in harm’s way,” said Jon Niven, Communications Director for Rep. Mike Ross (D-AR), who co-chairs the caucus.

And that would include ‘beloved by the netteries and the Blahgs’, Patrick Murphy.  And others.  The BlueBollDogWeevils swelled from 37 to 44 with the past election.

Be Proud.


Mouseless Open Thread .. ;) 21 January 2007

Posted by marisacat in Inconvenient Voice of the Voter.

   Hong Kong pawn ticket, 1950s

A Chinese calligraphy pawn ticket just seems so appropriate… 😉

Time to bring out CatWoman. And her whip… ;) 19 January 2007

Posted by marisacat in 2008 Election, Abortion Rights, Democrats, France, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Iraq War, Sex / Reproductive Health.

Right... she's not La Louche...

Well… since I called them out (Landrieu, “Mimi” Pelosi and Clinton) for the “Momma” business… I should post this on the issue from American Prospect.  I will snip out the quotes from the author’s own mother (described as a “dedicated second waver”):

“I still feel that the men in this world — who are about 50 percent of voters and humans in general — do NOT respond to the mommy image. In fact, they reject it, because it reminds them of their own smothering mothers. Just ask Daddy about this.”

And that would be part of it… not to over analyse this (I realise Pelosi was attempting to craft a political narrative, I just don’t have a high opinion of it) but are we called to kindergarten?  There was a whiff of that.

I caught Tammy Baldwin yesterday, a lesbian elected to the House from WI, at the  podium for the morning….  Low key, capable.  Some of the new legislators have stumbled at the podium, unused to putting in their time as the majority party.  Not Tammy:  In charge.   And lest I leave it out, a handsome tailored dark jacket with a slightly nipped waist… 😉   It was great to see her.

 As they troll the old ”story” of ‘kitchen to congress’… I wonder how much of the narrative has to do with this… And, let me pose the thought:  Can The Dems Get More Awkward?   I hope not.

It’s not an accident that one of the first bills in the Senate with a new Democratic majority was the Prevention First Act, a wide-ranging family-planning initiative. Rep. Louise Slaughter will follow next week with a similar bill described in one mouthful as a

“bipartisan, bicameral, pro-choice, pro-life innovative approach to reducing unintended pregnancies.”

Then, Reps. Rosa DeLauro and Tim Ryan [she is Catholic, he is Democrats for Life, I smell an eclesiastical lab rat – wearing a mitre, carrying the orb!  -Mcat], a pro-choice/pro-life duo, will reintroduce an omnibus family-planning and family-support bill with the lumbering title,

“The Reducing the Need for Abortions and Supporting Parents Act.”

Oh spare me!

Earlier this week I read that the French birthrate is now rising, in response to financial inducements and government support to families….  And, that fully 50% of births are out of wedlock.  There is little to no handwringing in France over this.

French officials hailed the 3 per cent rise as confirmation of the success of expensive schemes to encourage couples to produce more children, while also remaining in the workforce. French women now give birth at an average age of 30, and half the children are born outside marriage. Almost 50 per cent of the working population is female. The birthrate among immigrants generally matched that of native-born French.

Here, the mere mention that women (horrors, a full 50%, it was reported this week) might be without men causes long wheezing.  Woe is she.  ABC World News filed from the ”frantic news division” this week.  Women without men… and immediately they wailed “What about the children?”…. when none (as in NO CHILDREN) had been mentioned in the original report. 

Well yes, with no federal efforts at child support collection, little to no funded day care (what there is is so much less than could be had 25+ years ago)… no nationalised health care… I could go on.

Or, there is France and its inducements:

“French women are an exception because they are managing a high fertility rate along with a high rate of employment without heavy recourse to part-time working,” said Rachel Silvera, a Paris University demographer. “We had been afraid that with rising unemployment and longer studies, women would only have one child. In fact they have delayed having a baby, and then had two,” she said.

French governments began promoting childbirth more than a century ago after the stagnating, heavily rural population was overtaken by Germany’s and Britain’s. The birthrate has been climbing since a low point in 1994. Parents are helped by a system of allowances, free daycare and universal nursery schooling, cut-price transport and generous income tax reductions. [snip]

more to come… 😉


Quick as a wink… I found the US out of wedlock birth rate… and where else, in an Edsall wheeze 37%.

The public will desert Democrats placing a disputed cultural or spending agenda above the broader public interest. This is especially true at a time of extreme uncertainty: lethal struggle in the Mideast, nuclear proliferation, mounting skepticism toward free trade, and a rising non-marital birthrate — now at 37 percent — that concerns moderate voters.

I am so sick of the cultural wars and the dispirited, collaborator’s game that the Dems play to the war.  Beyond old.


UGH UPDATE, 7:00 am

It really did give me indigestion.  Both, Candy Crowley expounding and Chat Show Host Hillary announcing… as I was making coffee in the Pompeiian Red kitchen at 6:15 am.

So she is in.  The Exploratory Committee. Upbeat and cheery, but it felt forced.   We are to join her regularly, I guess on the creamy soft sofa she sat upon to announce (Chappaqua?  Manhattan retreat?  Million Dollar Golf Fairway Condo in Ireland?, who knows!), for chats.

Oh Spare Me… A couple years of “Mamma done tole me”.  With a tired beat.

Auntie Beeb version… 😉

CNN page on her announce


UPDATE, 8:39 am

Earlier this am the news reported that with 3 more dead, 2 soldiers and one marine, the toll for January was 27 (iirc)… but this has some thru (full text so far at the BBC):

The US military says one of its helicopters has come down north-east of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, killing all 13 people on-board.

The military did not say what caused the helicopter to crash.

The US has suffered several fatal helicopter crashes in Iraq since the invasion in 2003.

In December, four troops were killed when the helicopter they were travelling in crashed in the restive Western Anbar province.