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Well… 19 October 2007

Posted by marisacat in Big Box Blogs, Political Blogs.

    carnevale venezia 
       Carnevale – Venezia

one thing is certain… no Blog Maids here… nor fluffers nor herders nor goons.

Just a simple little blog… [she said, laughing]

It’s a thread… if anyone wants one.



1. moiv - 19 October 2007

Rick Perry’s ambition is out of the closet.

Conservatives and gun rights advocates in Texas said they are disappointed and mystified by Gov. Rick Perry’s endorsement Wednesday of GOP presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani.

Perry endorsed Giuliani, the former New York City mayor, at an economic conference of the Club For Growth, a conservative advocacy group. Unlike Perry, Giuliani has favored abortion rights and gun control.

“When I go to buy a pickup truck, if it’s got one option on it that I’m not either particularly fond of or not looking for, doesn’t mean I discard that pickup truck. I’m looking at the results and I think that’s what Americans will coalesce. They’ll look for the results,” Perry said.

The Texas governor, who accompanied Giuliani on a campaign trip to Iowa later in the day, said, “Mayor Giuliani is not the enemy. Rudy Giuliani is a culture warrior.”

Perry is the first major-state governor to endorse Giuliani. His endorsement comes just in time for a three-day “values voter summit” that begins Thursday by the Family Research Council, a religious conservative group. Giuliani and other GOP candidates plan to attend.

Perry was also to attend two later town-hall style meetings in Iowa, appearances apparently aimed at reassuring conservatives who might be leery of Giuliani because of his support of abortion rights and past stands on gay rights and gun control.


Perry, now in his second full term, is seen in some circles as a possible vice presidential nominee. But for that he would have to overcome voters’ “Texas fatigue” from President Bush’s administration.

Perry has insisted he’s not interested in going to Washington, but he hasn’t ruled out accepting an offer to be a running mate.

Cal Jillson, a political science professor at Southern Methodist University, said Perry likely assumes he can win back conservatives who disagree with his endorsement. “This is an attempt to create options for his career,” Jillson said.

He said Perry is “burned out in Texas politics.” Perry won re-election with 39 percent of the vote and had a sometimes rocky legislative session this year.

Giuliani has collected about $4.8 million from Texas for his campaign, more than any other presidential candidate. He is helped in part by his role as a name partner in the Houston-based law firm Bracewell & Giuliani, which has a healthy list of energy-giant clients.


Perry refused to stop to answer questions and relied on security and others to block a reporter trying to ask questions. When the reporter shouted the questions at Perry, the aides grabbed the reporter and threatened her with jail.

Perry’s anti-abortion shock troops are not amused.

Texas conservatives were outraged upon hearing Perry’s choice. Two other conservative statewide office holders, Attorney General Greg Abbott and land commissioner Jerry Patterson, have joined former Sen. Fred Thompson’s state campaign.

“We are stunned, betrayed, disappointed and as I told Gov. Perry’s political adviser yesterday, we see this as a contradiction of everything the governor told us in the past and will find it very difficult to accept and believe what he tells us in future,” said Laurence White, chairman of the conservative Texas Restoration Project.

White said Thursday he had been urging other pastors not to settle in the voting booth for the lesser of two evils and said he didn’t buy Perry’s electability argument.

“That’s nonsense. We are not interested in the next election. We are interested in stopping abortion,” White said.

2. marisacat - 20 October 2007

Scruggs has a post up (from the 17th) on the truly hideous “technofix” being considered in the UK to winnow out all those welfare queens.

Gotta Love NewDemNewLabourNeoLib. Another Congealing Fuckball, crosswise both sides of the Pond.

3. marisacat - 20 October 2007

Asia Times picks up and carries a November 8 NYRofBooks Mark Danner article, on the run up to the Iraq war (if anyone can still stand it, debatable, LOL), specific conversations between Aznar and Bush (I am halfway thru)… “the Crawford transcript” of 2/22/03:

The latest entry in that history appeared on September 26, when the Spanish daily El País published a transcript of a discussion held on February 22, 2003 – nearly a month before the war began – between President Bush and Jose Maria Aznar, then prime minister of Spain.

Though the leaders met at Bush’s ranch in Crawford, Texas, some quickly dubbed the transcript Downing Street Memo II, and indeed the document does share some themes with that critical British memorandum, mostly in its clear demonstration of the gap between what Bush and members of his administration were saying publicly during the run-up to the war and what they were saying, and doing, in more private settings.

4. marisacat - 20 October 2007

Said I’d putup the transcript to Moyer’s Journal tonight, with Scahill on Eric Prince.

BILL MOYERS: Who called them in?

JEREMY SCAHILL: And– well, this is an interesting story. Erik Prince sent them in there with no contract initially. About 180 Blackwater guys were sent into the Gulf. They got there before FEMA. I don’t even know if FEMA’s there yet. But they got there before FEMA, before there was any kind of a serious operation in the city at all.

BILL MOYERS: On Prince’s own decision?

JEREMY SCAHILL: Well, so Prince sends them in. Within a week, Blackwater was given a contract from the Department of Homeland Security Federal Protective Service to engage in security operations inside of New Orleans. At one point, Blackwater had six hundred men deployed down there stretching from Mississippi through– from Texas through Mississippi and the Gulf. They were pulling in $240,000 a day. Some of these guys though had just been in Iraq two weeks earlier guarding the US ambassador. Now, they’re in New Orleans. They say, oh, we do this sort of as a vacation. One was complaining to me that there wasn’t enough action down here. And when I talked to them, they told me they were getting paid 350 dollars a day, plus a per diem.

BILL MOYERS: By homeland security?

JEREMY SCAHILL: Well, they were being paid by Blackwater. When I got Blackwater’s contract with the Department of Homeland Security, it turns out that Blackwater billed US taxpayers 950 dollars per man per day in the hurricane zone.

BILL MOYERS: A profit margin of 600 dollars.

5. marisacat - 20 October 2007

Very smart analysis from Lenin’s Tomb on… well, what might be called transactional politics, East and West. And, oh yes, liberal hysteria.

And a few other things. He stops short of the kitchen sink.

6. Hair Club for Men - 20 October 2007

From the last thread.

Marie says

But I’m not going to delude myself into thinking that withholding my vote means anything to the powers that be — they probably would say, “Good.”

It seems to me that the Democrats are playing a dangerous game here. They want progressives not to vote in the primaries because they don’t want Hillary getting a challenge from a slightly left leaning Obama or Kucinich from gaining any traction. Yet they also want us to come back for the general election and vote for Hillary.

And by “they” I mean the corporate Democrats around Hillary.

I think part of the reason you and Ms. Xeno are getting testy is that you’re both trying to find some good in a situation that has no good. Ms. Xeno thinks that if we pull en masse out of the Democratic Party it will release some kind of progressive forces and you think that if we can somehow get Gore into the race it will release some kind of progressive forces.

I think both are wrong. I think the right time to challenge both parties was in 2005 and 2006. Right now there are NO GOOD OPTIONS. But it’s not easy just to say “we’re fucked”, that we have the choice between sitting it out when a neocon fascist tool like Rudy gets into the White House or allowing the Dems to ram another pro-war neocon like Hillary down our throats.

What can you do?

Well, first I’d suggest that when you start saying “you people of your generation” (from either side) you’re playing right into the hands of the mass media (which creates those categories to distract us).

I know that I’m going to vote for Kucinich in the primaries and for Ron Paul or whatever leftist runs as a third party candidate in the general election. Could this be a mistake? Yes. But when you’re in this bad a situation in history, it’s hard to make any good choices. Everything might lead to more harm than good.

7. marisacat - 20 October 2007

I think the right time to challenge both parties was in 2005 and 2006.

well that was actively and VERY effectively headed off, both online and off, by the promises (fucked and transparent lies) to End the War and to Hold Bush Accountable by the Democrats.

Following years of suppression of anything much other than party party party party fuck you type of rehtoric.

And it should come as no surprise that over and over blog owners (or front people) are conservatives, at the least authoritarians.

The party is reduced to (and has no problem) running on (as was shown just in the Niki Tsongas run) Ending the War and Will do More for Schip.


And the voters fall for it. Enough. Niki got 51 to 45 for whatshisname. And it was a tough tough run, read the Dems outspent the R by 4 to 1 and were in a bit of a panic that the R groundgame was better.

Best o’ luck, is what I say to the Democrats.

8. Miss Devore - 20 October 2007

Blackwater was sent to New Orleans pre-emptively. I do remember reading that blog that stayed on-line through the whole thing, when they described the appearance of Blackwater guards at specific places. Really no different than the militias that protect the various government agencies in Iraq.

9. Hair Club for Men - 20 October 2007

I think the right time to challenge both parties was in 2005 and 2006. well that was actively and VERY effectively headed off, both online and off, by the promises (fucked and transparent lies) to End the War and to Hold Bush Accountable by the Democrats.

This is when I thought World Can’t Wait (connections to the Revolutionary Communist Party or not) was a good group to support. They laid it out pretty clearly about how both parties would congeal into a pro-war bipartisan consensus after the 2006 elections if there weren’t a resurgence of a mass protest movement before that. So they scheduled their main protests a month before the voting.

Nobody came. I think that there were maybe 500 people at the rally in NYC. The night before, 1000 people came to Cooper Union to hear a forum condemning torture. You can always count on people in New York to come out to sit on their asses to listen to Chomsky or Chris Hedges or Naomi Klein but it’s like pulling teeth to get them to do anything more.

Of course after the Fall of October, World Can’t Wait and Answer and UFPJ and the rest of the anti-war groups needed to sit down and ask some hard questions. But in reality these groups are a lot like progressive Dems. Once you’ve built up an organization structure and sources of fundraising, it’s hard to give them up and rapidly change course.

10. Hair Club for Men - 20 October 2007

A pretty good article on Howard Dean and how the Dems draw people into their party.


(note: I was annoying liberals last week by defending Ron Paul. I’ll annoy them even more this week by linking to the RCP’s newspaper).

Over the fall of 2003, Howard Dean attracted disgusted, anti-Bush forces and drew them into the folds of the Democratic Party election process. But he also did something else: he started to look like he might win the nomination. American presidential elections have a sharp divide between “serious contenders” and candidates who are supposed to run-but-not-win. Political figures like Jesse Jackson (in 1988) or Dennis Kucinich (in 2004) are supposed to bring new voters into the process or keep unhappy voting blocks from bolting. Dean had been tagged as such a candidate, but then after September he threatened to jump the unspoken divide and really contest for the nomination.

11. marisacat - 20 October 2007

Well as I have posted I believe in what Malcolm spoke of in Ballot or the Bullet. Voting blocs. Knowing the power of the vote. Not “turning out” or “coming home”. Or as Bill so elegantly put it, first you fall in love and then you fall in line.

But with all the systems for screwing the vote, all they really need is a credible looking turnout on election day… and between various schemes related to absentee voting and black box voting,… well.. They have dismantled the checks and balances, one by one.

Let’s just say the vote, such as it is, is highly fungible.

12. marisacat - 20 October 2007


yes watching the Dean run was veyr interesting, for political devotees.

13. Hair Club for Men - 20 October 2007

But with all the systems for screwing the vote, all they really need is a credible looking turnout on election day

And the one thing I find interesting now is how utterly blatent the attempts now to bipass the primaries are.

Hillary. She’s the nominee after Iowa.

So let’s see, we need a credibile looking Republican to oppose her. McCain? Nope. Senile. Brownback? Eyes too close together. Ron Paul? Hmm. Hates the war. Nope. Just a Democrat who hates abortion.

So it comes down to a few bad choices:

1.) Rudy? Says 9/11 alot but a scary fascist who wears a dress and probably has a lot of mafia in his past.

2.) Romney? Ruggedly handsome. Willing to say anything. Probably has three wives.

3.) Fred Thompson? Yes. The Wesley Clark of the right. Create him out of nowhere. Um. Oh well, he’s dumb, lazy, and looks like a Bassett Hound.

4.) Mike Huckabee? YES!!! He used to be fat. He hates Clinton. He’s a born again Christian. He’s the guy. Fundraising? I dunno. The big donors like seem to like him.

The danger right now is that the started the 2008 campaign to head off impeachment but that now it’s beginning to look transparent

So you might want Gore to come into the election to make it look legit and Gore might just be thinking:

Oh no. Not this again. I don’t want to run for fucking president. Hillary’s going to slime me so hard, I’ll never recover. Please. I like travelling around the world and meeting my groupies.

14. marisacat - 20 October 2007

I have never seen Gore getting into this. Or ever again, frankly.

15. Hair Club for Men - 20 October 2007

I have never seen Gore getting into this. Or ever again, frankly

And it’s quite possible Gore profoundly disagrees with some of his groupies.

He won’t run as an independent but he might be thinking:

God the American political process is wortheless. Hillary? Rudy? Who cares? At least I’m doing something to help someone.

16. Hair Club for Men - 20 October 2007

Cause that’s the real question.

If there really is a life and death struggle between Good Liberal Democrats and Evil Fascist Republicans why doesnt’ Al Gore seem to agree? Why didn’t he fight in 2000? Why did he sit out 2004? Why isn’t he getting into this one?

17. marisacat - 20 October 2007

Who cares? At least I’m doing something to help someone.

That last is THE reason so called “good people” don’t enter politics. We are frozen in the congealing fuckball exrement.

it is not the politics of destruction (the oft lobbed excuse), mutually assured or not.., it is that it is so gdodamned hard to get anything done. BOTH “sides” are not interested. They want to limit the game.

To (right now): the war, Schip.

One side or the other, although there is no “side”.

Thw whole thing is marrionettes and the strings are cut. IMO.

18. Hair Club for Men - 20 October 2007

THE reason so called “good people” don’t enter politics.

But you do get people like Bloomberg and Jon Corzine who have more money than God but are still willing to go out and buy themselves an office somewhere.

It’s pretty obvious people like Brownback are losers who are into politics because that can’t do much else and because it lets them have control over things like womens uteruses.

It’s pretty obvious that journalism attracts people like Bill O’Reilly and Katie Couric, bad SAG members who make more money reading news than playing in some bad action adventure movie somewhere.

But you do get an occasionally bright person getting into politics.

Gore’s an interesting case. He’s used his political career to make himself a career as Environmental Guru to the World.

Corzine and Bloomberg have already made all the money they can use so they’re bored and want to get into politics.

Gore’s already spent years in the political system and knows how ridiculous it is so he probably wants to continue where he is.

Which, in a way, makes him worse than the disgusted voter who sits out the election. Gore has way more clout than I do.

19. marisacat - 20 October 2007

well I understand the gambit that the Corzines Bloombergs etc are pursuing. The structure, the office, the minions, the effect of “running” something.

They need a hobby or activity… and so on. It is not very deep. And Corzine just got out of Dodge (and being one of a hundred) when the Dems pitched a loss in 04, figured he go to NJ and officiate.

About it.

20. Hair Club for Men - 20 October 2007

THE reason so called “good people” don’t enter politics.

You have no idea what a source of comedy/horror the NJ Dem machine can be.

1.) It’s the Kos dream come true. The Dems run everything. Yes, there are so token right wing Republicans (Kosniks love them anyway) but they have no chance of winning state wide office.

2.) Dems control the money, no bid contracts, graft, offices, all the homeland security goodies. Beats that Act Blue Paypall button.

3.) Dems have stuff named after them like the Frank Lautenburg Memorial Train Station in Seaucus or the John Lynch Memorial Bridge in New Brunswick.

4.) Dems get to do nastier and cooler things than troll rate, like the progressive housing activists in New Brunswick who get wisked off to jail every time they put up anti-Lynch Machine posters or get acid thrown on their windows by nice Democratic Union Boss Thugs.

5.) Greasy No Neck White Ethnic Dems get to boss around WASPY plutocratic swells like Jon Corzine and their women (like Carla Katz) get all sorts of cool presents like nice big houses as presents.

It’s Kos Paradise

21. marisacat - 20 October 2007

Democrats run everything in SF.

One reason I was very surprised when Kos and his whacks got stressed over “Dino”. LOL. We have spent three decades and more sorting out who is who here, along those lines.

When it got fever pitch about DINO at Dkos I went over to RedState, where left and right, day in day out, they discussed who was RINO.

The whole thing is pretty funny. Let’s just say I fell for little on the internet staircase.

22. Hair Club for Men - 20 October 2007

Democrats run everything in SF.

Do you have any idea what would happen to a Matt Gonzalez in New Jersey?

OK, I’m being melodramatic. He wouldn’t end up under the 50 yard line with Jimmy Hoffa but it’s unlikely he’d get anywhere.

1.) New Jersey doens’t have grassroots progressives and any sign of grass roots progressivism gets squashed pretty quickly by Troll Hunters Scarier than Elise

2.) Leftists in New Jersey can just jump on the PATH into Manhattan and do cool stuff like see Naomi Klein and Chomsky. And they can march in anti-war parades (which do nothing since NYC is a police state anyway). Can’t wait till Ray Kelly becomes mayor. That’s going to be fun.

23. Madman in the Marketplace - 20 October 2007

Right now there are NO GOOD OPTIONS.

Absolutely right. When I advocate withholding votes, I do so understanding that it could go horrible wrong, like initial strikes often do. Strikes of any sort are weapons of last resort, but this is where we are. The only options that the institutional parties are leaving people are the extreme ones.

24. marisacat - 20 October 2007

don’t worry, Matt went away on cue. He partly got away with that one run as he filed and jumped in late, the lst two months.

It was scary for the Dems as there is a hunger here for soemthing other than the fucked Dems. But all taken care of.

25. Madman in the Marketplace - 20 October 2007


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rebuked a fellow San Francisco Bay-area liberal Friday for what she said were “inappropriate” comments about Iraq during a congressional debate.

During a debate on children’s health care Thursday, Rep. Pete Stark accused Republicans of sending troops to Iraq to “get their heads blown off for the president’s amusement.”

Condemnations rolled in from Republican politicians, right-leaning bloggers had a field day, and a White House spokesman declined to “dignify those remarks” with a response.

Pelosi issued a statement Friday evening rapping Stark, who is in his 18th term representing the liberal East Bay. He’s California’s longest-serving House members.

“While members of Congress are passionate about their views, what Congressman Stark said during the debate was inappropriate and distracted from the seriousness of the subject at hand _ providing health care for America’s children,” Pelosi said.

How long until he folds? Frankly, though I know Stark doesn’t do a lot, it was nice to hear someone point out that Bush is a sociopath. Oh, and listening to Rush and other wingers talk about how Stark should “respect the office” is to laugh after the Clinton years.

26. marisacat - 20 October 2007

I read by late afternoon that Democrats were lining up agaisnt Stark. Not that I care about him… like so many he has been a shit on Cpsan Wash Journal. One after the other, they don’t want to hear the slightest criticism.


27. Madman in the Marketplace - 20 October 2007
28. Hair Club for Men - 20 October 2007

How long until he folds? Frankly, though I know Stark doesn’t do a lot, it was nice to hear someone point out that Bush is a sociopath.

That’s the main problem with politics as professional wrestling. If it gets to the point where the only person willing to throw down aginst the right is some crazy old man like Mike Stark and the right-wing noise machine decides to fight you on it, what do you have left to defend? The outburst?

29. Madman in the Marketplace - 20 October 2007

Horton has been so good on the Justice Dept’s political prosecutions:

The Grudge
The man that Walker edged out as Senate majority leader was Sunny Perdue. Enraged by his defeat, Perdue left the Democratic Party and came quickly to lead the Republicans, securing election as the state’s G.O.P. governor in 2002. During Perdue’s bid for Governor he vowed to create an Inspector General’s office to investigate corruption and cronyism. The Republican view of corruption was very peculiar. It doesn’t reside among the rich, and the powerful—the country club set who form the backbone of the Georgia G.O.P. In the Perdue view, corruption was the province of those who only a few years ago only gained admission to country clubs as caddies and hired help. And to reinforce that point, Sunny Perdue not only traveled to Senator Walker’s hometown of Augusta to introduce this initiative, he actually held a press conference in front of one of Senator Walker’s businesses. For the Georgia G.O.P., Charles Walker, a successful Black entrepreneur who was a political threat, and who attacked their most sacred image—the rebel flag—was the perfect “poster child.” He summed up everything they despised. The attacks on Walker reached a fever pitch when his son, Champ, secured the Democratic nomination of a Georgia congressional seat. Leading Republicans, backed-up by a right-wing fringe talk radio host, launched a hysterical campaign against a “Black family” that was seeking to “dominate Georgia politics.” Taking down the Walkers was to be an act of retaliation for their offense against the rebel flag.

Meanwhile, the Georgia Republican leadership, including now-Governor Perdue, openly pressured the U.S. Attorney to “go after” prominent Democrats, starting with Walker. In response, U.S. Attorney Thompson began investigations targeting a large part of the state’s Democratic leadership. His targets reportedly included Speaker of the House Terry Coleman, Special Prosecutor Peter Skandalakis, Senator Van Streat, former Governor Roy Barnes and Senate Majority Leader Charles Walker.

30. Madman in the Marketplace - 20 October 2007

just let the outburst sit there. That’s what the Republicans do. You certainly don’t apologize. Walk away, let them rant, make fun of them for being whiners.

It takes WEEKS of a hammering at them when they say the most outrageous things before a Republican apologizes (think macaca), and even then it’s always a non-apology apology.

One reason what he said upsets the Reps is BECAUSE IT IS TRUE, and they know that there are people in bars and sitting in front of their teevees and in dorm lounges saying the exact same thing. For it to be repeated at his level is a real risk for them … it moves the description of Bush from “bumbling moron” to sociopath, which then opens up all kinds of things for discussion.

31. Madman in the Marketplace - 20 October 2007

oh, and if you want to see the value of voting as a block, up to and including withholding the vote, look at the fawning this week by the Republicans and the media over the American Taliban’s little meeting this weekend … they got there by withholding votes, voting third party, running nasty primary campaigns.

32. marisacat - 20 October 2007

i agree, never apologise, never withdraw. It’s deadly.

33. Madman in the Marketplace - 20 October 2007
34. Madman in the Marketplace - 20 October 2007
35. Madman in the Marketplace - 20 October 2007
36. raincat100 - 20 October 2007
37. ms_xeno - 20 October 2007

HC, I’m sure you’re right. None of it is any fucking use at all.

Hence my comments that I might just as well start shopping around to see if some other country wants me. It’s clear that there’s no place for somebody like me here. I loathe our current political system and I loathe violent solutions to it. But almost nobody seems interested in finding some other way.

And kindly don’t lump me in with Marie. I was merely repaying her in kind. I don’t believe in this bullshit about generational divides being some kind of crowning, defining– whatever. I think that’s largely bullshit. Race, gender, nationality, region, family– all of those to me are far more likely to create defining characteristics than era of birth. In fact, Marie’s condemnations are remarkably generic: They are exactly what “old folks” have said to “young folks” since humanity first learned to speak languages.

Fuck that shit.

38. Madman in the Marketplace - 20 October 2007

Cindy Sheehan: The “Fix”

The “fix” is in We the People who believe that we some how owe any kind of allegiance or support to the elite establishment who have impoverished, imprisoned, oppressed and killed our children for generations while we furiously, but inexplicably cling to a status quo that clearly only benefits a very chosen few. It is acceptable to protest obvious infractions like the illegal and immoral occupation of Iraq…but don’t scratch the surface too deeply because we are not sure of what may ooze out. What emerges may be something that is very hard to acknowledge, let alone face and overcome.

George Bush simply does not want to be President any longer. You can see it in every twitch (when I think he is really trying to smirk), every gray hair and every line on his face. He desperately wants to go back to Texas and go on permanent vacation to give high paid lectures (?) to pad his bank account so he can jog, ride bikes, clear brush, and live the rest of his life with the moral certitude of a simpleton. He looks like he is barely being held together by baling-wire, spit and some judiciously placed wads of bubble gum. Stick a fork in him: he’s done. I do not even think that Dastardly Dick could force him to remain President after January, ’09. I hope I am right, but there is still the “I can not put anything past the Bush Crime Cabal” factor.

Barring an electoral revolution of American citizens wanting to fix the “fix” by voting with our humanity, consciences and integrity, instead of out of fear that the greater criminal will win. We will be faced with two choices, depending on ones perspective: Evil or Less Evil.

I will break my voting hand before I vote for Mr./Ms Lesser of Two Evils, ever again.

39. Madman in the Marketplace - 20 October 2007
40. Madman in the Marketplace - 20 October 2007

Who Will Rule Us After the Next 9/11?
The reality of NSPD-51 is almost as bad as the paranoia.

Comity—that innocent-sounding word—could well turn out to be the excuse for junking those pesky checks and balances the Founding Fathers seemed so obsessed with. For an indeterminate period of time.

The document is also hazy on when our new continuity policies will be set in motion. The directive tells us that they’ll kick in whenever the nation faces a “catastrophic emergency.” But look how vaguely “catastrophic emergency” is first defined:

“Catastrophic Emergency” means any incident, regardless of location, that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting the U.S. population, infrastructure, environment, economy, or government functions.

These are profoundly, potentially calamitously, broad terms. Who defines what is extraordinary? Who defines how severe severely is? Is there any procedure to challenge the junking of constitutional government?

Worse, “catastrophic emergency”—woefully vague to start out with—is later expanded to include even “localized acts of nature and accidents” as well as “technological or attack-related” emergencies.

In other words, even if you don’t believe the most sinister paranoid coup theories, the document does nothing to allay one’s fears that it could be used in a sinister way.

I wish I did, but I see nothing in the document to prevent even a “localized” forest fire or hurricane from giving the president the right to throw long-established constitutional government out the window, institute a number of unspecified continuity policies, and run the country with the guidance of the “National Continuity Coordinator” and with the “Continuity Policy Coordination Committee” for as long as the president sees fit.

This order has been issued by executive fiat and has not been subjected to any public examination by the other two branches, which have behaved in a supine way that suggests how they’ll behave when comity time arrives and urgent decisions on the fate of the nation and perhaps the world (nuclear retaliation being what it is) need to be made immediately.

41. Madman in the Marketplace - 20 October 2007

Government Surveillance Threatens Your Freedom, Even If You Have Nothing To Hide

For several years I have been reading the work of George Washington University Law School Professor Daniel J. Solove, who writes extensively about privacy in the context of contemporary digital technology. The current apathy about government surveillance brought to mind his essay “‘I’ve Got Nothing To Hide’ And Other Misunderstandings of Privacy.”

Professor Solove’s deconstruction of the “I’ve got nothing to hide” position, and related justifications for government surveillance, is the best brief analysis of this issue I have found. These arguments are not easy to zap because, once they are on the table, they can set the terms of the argument. As Solove explains, “the problem with the nothing to hide argument is with its underlying assumption that privacy is about hiding bad things.” He warns, “Agreeing with this assumption concedes far too much ground and leads to an unproductive discussion of information people would likely want or not want to hide.” Solove’s bottom line is that this argument “myopically views privacy as a form of concealment or secrecy.”

In his work, Solove addresses the reality that privacy problems differ: Not all are equal; some are more harmful than others. Most importantly, he writes, “to understand privacy, we must conceptualize it and its value more pluralistically.” Through several years of work, Solove has developed a more nuanced concept of privacy that rebuts the idea that there is a “one-size-fits-all conception of privacy.”

The concept of “privacy” encompasses many ideas relating to the proper and improper use and abuse of information about people within society. Privacy protects information not only because it would cause others to think less of the person at issue, but also simply to give us all breathing room: “Society involves a great deal of friction,” Solove writes, “and we are constantly clashing with each other. Part of what makes a society a good place in which to live is the extent to which it allows people freedom from the intrusiveness of others. A society without privacy protection would be suffocation, and it might not be a place in which most would want to live.”

Professor Solove’s work — much of which he makes available online — helps clarify thinking about privacy in its fuller context, and helps explain what is wrong with reductive dismissals of privacy using the mantra, “I’ve got nothing to hide.” Before rushing to give the Bush Administration more ways to invade our privacy, not to mention absolving those who have confederated with him to engage in the most massive invasion of America privacy ever, members of Congress should look at Solove’s work. Too many of them have no idea what privacy is all about, and grossly underestimate the value of this complex and essential concept.

42. Hair Club for Men - 20 October 2007

They are exactly what “old folks” have said to “young folks” since humanity first learned to speak languages.

One of the advantages of being an early to mid Gen Xer is to have gone through high school and college listening to people talk about “you kids today” and how “we stopped the war” blah blah blah.

Now that I’m no longer a teenager or in my 20s, every time I feel the urge to come out with a “you kids today” quip I immediately stop myself and think WHAT AM I DOING?

43. Hair Club for Men - 20 October 2007

It’s clear that there’s no place for somebody like me here. I loathe our current political system and I loathe violent solutions to it. But almost nobody seems interested in finding some other way.

I’m not sure what you want me to say. I’m not voting for a Democrat this year (even against Rudy).

I’m just not fooling myself into thinking it’s going to do much to solve the problem. Maybe it’s a first step but it’s just not enough.

44. marisacat - 20 October 2007

forgive my ignorance but remind me, what do they call what follows Gen X ??? And am I remmebering right that “Gen X” was chosen as it is figured to be 10 generation on from 1776 (or somewhere around there)

I have never felt I fit my generation (I guess approaching the tag end of boomerism, born in the early 50s), at all… so I kind of dismiss the whole thing.

45. Hair Club for Men - 20 October 2007

what do they call what follows Gen X ???

Kids? I’m not sure. I think they gave up trying to brand generations after I turned 30.

But it is vaguely freaking me out that people born in the mid 80s are old enough to drink legally.

46. Hair Club for Men - 20 October 2007

BTW, speaking of Boomer/Gen X relations, go see “Into the Wild”.

Pretty good movie. It also pretty much sums up “my generation”. You have this vague idea that you’re supposed to rebel somehow somwhere (that you got from college professors and Boomers etc.) but you haven’t got the slightest idea how.

So why not just hitchhike up to Alaska, live in a bus, and starve to death. Good as anything else.

Now anybody who’s ever lived in Alaska for any length of time knows that there’s nothing idealistic about the place at all. The economy’s based on government handouts. The towns and cities are squalid and boring, and the politics are as corrupt as anything in the Lower 48.

But hey, if you think you have to be a rebel somehow, then why not?

You also get the impression that the guy was a virgin when he died which, for any of us ex geeks, makes him really, really sympathetic.

47. Hair Club for Men - 20 October 2007

And speaking of the Into the Wild soundtrack, Eddie Vedder and Bruce Springsteen have officially become the same person. Leaving this movie, then going out and hearing “Radio Nowhere” gives you an eerie feeling.

48. marisacat - 20 October 2007

I looked it up. Gen Y or “millenials” (which I now remember hearing)… some mention also of “boomerangs”

Well that sounds like fun.

More boxes.

49. marisacat - 20 October 2007

I listened to Sean Penn on with Rose… did not seem that Into the Wild was quite my sort of film.

But I can see it – the idea, it has a castaway sort of story line. No rescue or washing back to shore tho.

50. Miss Devore - 20 October 2007

didn’t see the movie but read “Into the Wild”–I’m not sure I want to spoil the experience by seeing the movie, which happens sometimes, although from the reviews on this one, it sounds pretty faithful.

A friend of mine told me that seeing the movie “The English Patient” was such a disconnect from the novel, that I avoided it.

I think my aunt is in the most inexplicable generation–she was born when my mother was 17, so she was still a child when I was boomer-born. And her generational heritage doesn’t fit anywhere.

51. Hair Club for Men - 20 October 2007

Sean Penn’s a pretty smart guy. He anticipated all the ways I was anticipating the way the film was going to go.

For example, the main character spends the entire movie hooking up with happy couples who act like his surrogate parents or brothers/sisters and you get the sense after awhile that North America is “one big primal scene” (kid bursts in on his parents having sex). Thus McCandlesses inability to connect with anything. His childhood was horrible. He hates the idea of any human connection.

So somewhere towards the middle end of the movie he’s living in this sort of hippie compound and you get the impression he might lose his virginity. But then you realize the girl he might sleep with looks a lot like his sister and his surrogate hippie parents are sort of pushing him into it. Then he asks her her age and finds out she’s only 16 and you’re thorougly creeped out by it (and Penn has cleverly gotten him out of the Freudian charge that all he needs is to get laid. After all, he just showed himself a better person than you).

52. marisacat - 20 October 2007

Alaska, well both W and Hillary did their time up there. Tells me something.

W, from what I hear, sold dope in Prudhoe Bay, a place with many connections to the TX oil game… and we all know Hillary gutted fish.

Oh yes seems it has never been much but a sort of rotgut land’s end. Stevens money and what have you. A kind of thrown away, on the lam, on the run white trash population… I am sure I can be more insulting if I try…

53. marisacat - 20 October 2007

50 – Miss D

well my mother was 44 and my father almost 50… one reason I don’t feel I fit anywhere they try to stick me.

54. Hair Club for Men - 20 October 2007

well my mother was 44 and my father almost 50… one reason I don’t feel I fit anywhere they try to stick me.

My parents are classic “boomers” but they were so out of it culturally they barely registered anything at all about the 60s.

I get the impression that for most people in the 60s, the 60s never really happened.

The only thing that really touched them was the Newark race riots and civil rights. I remember them as being very racist when I was a little kid and mellowing out later, mellowing out so much in fact that they’re not racist at all now and even think the fuss about “Islamofascism” is a bit silly.

55. marisacat - 20 October 2007

He hates the idea of any human connection.

well dying alone, starving, in an abandoned bus in the frozen north… seems appropriate, in some ways, then.

56. Hair Club for Men - 20 October 2007

well dying alone, starving, in an abandoned bus in the frozen north… seems appropriate, in some ways, then.

Have you read this poem?


It’s the “Ur” Into the Wild in some ways.

57. marisacat - 20 October 2007

Too funny. The NYT editorial board chides the Democrats. In general and of the 110th congress specifically.

This must define fiddling.

58. marisacat - 20 October 2007


lots of appropriate imagery there, esp the little boat, buffeted about…

59. ms_xeno - 20 October 2007


…I’m not sure what you want me to say…

You don’t have to say anything if you don’t want to. I am simply relieved to run into anyone who is trying to get into the habit of disobedience– which is how I would describe withholding one’s vote.

They/you are pretty thin on the ground. I’m not going to browbeat you if you don’t feel like voting for somebody I like. I’m not even sure that there WILL be somebody I like. I at least hope that if the Greens tap another conman, that they can find one with a bit more brains and charisma than Cobb.

Marie’s metaphor is “calling in sick on an important work day,” or whatever. Well, I’ll have a transcendent post-Gen-X moment and pull out “Keffo’s” impassioned defense of same from the old Temp Slave collection. I think there’s a very strong argument to be made in favor of that very thing. If the only power we have left is a feeble shot at gumming up the works, or at least a dress rehearsal for a feeble shot at gumming them up, I am all in favor of taking it.

60. ms_xeno - 20 October 2007

One reason I don’t believe in all this generational war shit is that I have virtually nothing in common with my older sister. We are three fucking years apart and officially part of the same generation. But even if somebody dropped a random wall between the years 1966 and 1964, what difference would it make ? I’m thinking birth order is a much bigger factor. Blathering on and on about boomers, “X’s” and “Y’s” is just not my thing nowadays. I take it about as seriously as I take enneagrams and astrology. As entertainment, sure. As politics, no thanks.

61. ms_xeno - 20 October 2007

…I get the impression that for most people in the 60s, the 60s never really happened…

BINGO. And for millions of others it was a fashion statement even while it was happening. But that’s the entire history of America. The majority of citizens post-Jamestown have sat out direct involvement in social upheaval and then stepped in to reap the work of those that did the most heavy lifting. Often while railing against the people who brought it to them.

I don’t know why it’s so hard for some folks to acknowledge this, but it is. I also fail to see the harm in pointing out that activists tend to be people who want to better themselves and save their own lives. A lot of those supposed heroic kids protested the war because they either didn’t want to be drafted or didn’t want somebody else to see and perpetrate the horrors that they themselves had naively gone overseas for.

I see no harm in wanting to look out for yourself, IF you make the jump to realizing that unless you really are an unreconstructed Rand-ie, you will never be able to make the jump alone. You will need a whole lot of other people to make the jump with you.

62. marisacat - 20 October 2007

hmm Schechter does not provide a link but I read this at his News Dissector site [not saying it is brrrrrrrreaking news or anything]:


A Finnish lawmaker has revealed that the US is planning to stay in Iraq by building as many as fourteen permanent bases in the country.

Jaakko Laakso told a group of Arab journalists– who visited the Finnish Parliament in Helsinki recently– that “the bases are not the bases the US government plans to build on the Iraq borders with Syria, but they are permanent bases located in the heartland of the country. ”

“There is no difference between Republicans and Democrats as far as these permanent bases are concerned,” Laakso added, according to Arabnews website.

The Finnish MP said that it is very unlikely that the EU would criticize the permanent presence of the US in Iraq.

The Finnish lawmaker also touched on Iran’s nuclear issue and said that negotiation is the only way to resolve the issue.

“I hope the next president of the US would show some sort of positive attitude and would recognize that Iranians have the right to develop peaceful nuclear technology in the framework of international treaties, “he concluded

63. Hair Club for Men - 20 October 2007

If the only power we have left is a feeble shot at gumming up the works, or at least a dress rehearsal for a feeble shot at gumming them up, I am all in favor of taking it.

It seems to me that if you think that the main system of control is voting, then at some point you have to move from not voting to disrupting/exposing the electoral process.

I’m not sure if this has ever happened any place in the world where they’ve used show elections to circumvent democracy. Even the Iraqi resistence stood down during the elections in 2005 to let people vote. The Palestinians in Gaza through a wrench into their system by voting for the wrong people and got nothing more than a tightening fo their seige.

Really, the time to hit the streets was 2000. It should have been Ukraine/Serbia. I think we missed that moment. Jesse Jackson should have told Gore to piss off and if Jesse Jackson chose to obay Gore, the rest of us should have told Jackson to piss off.

I think the Fall of 2003 was a good moment. The Democrats didn’t respond. People protested the war anyway. The RNC was a REVEALING moment. The Democrats in overwhelmingly Democrat (note I did not add the “ic”) New York colluded with the Republicans to suppress protests that neither side wanted to see.

64. Hair Club for Men - 20 October 2007

You’ve got to admit the 9/11 Truthers are determined.


I don’t agree with them but I actually like them.

Save Darfur rallies just creep me out.

65. aemd - 20 October 2007

“I am sure I can be more insulting if I try”

LOL…well, IMAO, the Stevens earmark express did something right… 😯


Yeah, I’m a sustainable power geek. Most likely Stevens was payin’ off an election debt but what the fuck.. now a daze, ya gotta take what ya can get 😀

66. marisacat - 20 October 2007

I am pretty much death on wheels on the Darfur trafficking in “africa washing”… I find it to be just pure diversionary horror. From Bono to Clooney To Charlie Rose to Eric Prince and on.

Shift a few miles and you find the LAT expose of the whole Gates utter bullshite in Niger. INVESTING more in what is causing death, despair and illness than they pump in thru their PR bullshit campaigns.

I think we are headed for some big big expose. Everything was walled up for years.. after the 5 days of Gates/buffet bullshite PR last year, I thought I’d have to wait two years for an expose for a crack in the constructed facade of “charity” and “foundation work”. It was under 4 months.

Huge wall up behind which Bono et al. operate, but finally small trickles. It will break thru.

67. Hair Club for Men - 20 October 2007

I find it to be just pure diversionary horror.

Here’s one of the people behind it.


Serious Likudnik.

68. Madman in the Marketplace - 20 October 2007
69. marisacat - 20 October 2007

well that is the juncture that is working on Darfur (and no denying there is big big trouble there, but it is also, imo, being pushed to war as a part of AFRICOM, as the Horn of Africa lynchpin) a mix of Israeli, fucked US xtian (sorry Jimmy) and so on.

Thanks for the link… 😉

70. Hair Club for Men - 20 October 2007

Thanks for the link

Found out who he was in my alumni magazine. Eek. Milton Friedman, Bernie Goldberg and this creep.

Makes me want to burn my diploma.

71. ms_xeno - 20 October 2007

Not now, HC. I’m still reeling from Marie’s earlier shocking revelation that A) People my age cruelly shoved Reagan in her teeth all by our lonesome even though millions of us couldn’t even fucking vote in 1980 and B) Anti-feminists are all people my age or younger. Yep. Even Midge Dechter. Even Phyllis Schlafley.

Either I’m exceptionally well-preserved or both those women should sue their surgeons and cosmetics consultants. Because something’s really, really wrong with this picture.

72. marisacat - 20 October 2007

Just reading it now… I rmember that whole “anti-slavery” movment of the 90s. I would never deny modern day slavery, but they came up looking very suspicious and many of their ballyhoo’ed instances they profiled were eventually debunked, iirc.

73. Hair Club for Men - 20 October 2007

Nat Hentoff likes to talk him up.


Note. What did the British use as an excuse to invade Africa in the 19th Century?

Suppressing the slave trade.

He’s also got his paws on my Congressman Donald Payne. Payne’s a black progressive in the vein of Conyers.

Someday I’m going to get up off my ass and see if Payne’s votes on Israel (of which he’s occasionally critical) have been less critical since he’s gotten Save Darfur money over the past few years.

74. marisacat - 20 October 2007

65 aemd

LOL eventually Stevens got something right… 😉

75. Hair Club for Men - 20 October 2007

Occasionally at Save Darfur rallies someone drops the bland, listen to the celebs face and reveals something a little bit more.


76. marisacat - 20 October 2007

ugh Hentoff is good on one or two things — SC and Madman sent me very good pieces he wrote back when the Dems and Mccain, sub rosa, compleetely caved on torture.

But Hentoff is a fucked nut on the whole xtian Israeli congealing fuckball. And is on the board of Democrats for Life, with Casey’s brother Pat… and so on.

77. Hair Club for Men - 20 October 2007

People my age cruelly shoved Reagan in her teeth all by our lonesome even though millions of us couldn’t even fucking vote in 1980

I couldn’t vote in the 80s. Missed the whole decade. First votes were:

Perot 92

Nader 96

Never voted for Clinton. I really hated the man in the 90s, seriously. I don’t know what it was but something about him bugged the hell out of me.

Gore never quite bothered me as much so I voted for him in 2000. And I fell for the hype in 2004 and voted for Lurch.

78. marisacat - 20 October 2007

the photgraph is a hilarious

79. Madman in the Marketplace - 20 October 2007

Hentoff is good on jazz, too … that’s about it.

80. Hair Club for Men - 20 October 2007

the photgraph is a hilarious

I should have used fill flash but all his fellow Likudniks were embarassed by the sign and trying to rip it out of his hands and tear it up so I had to act fast.

Don’t know if they ever got it or not since I was trying to muscle my way into the crowd to get a photo of Obama.

81. marisacat - 20 October 2007

Really a shame, we are going to go down the tubes with Eric Prince and Chuck Colson…

how awful. And Ed Meese still alive. Kissinger too. McNamara

Very dispiriting, frankly.

82. Hair Club for Men - 20 October 2007

Really a shame, we are going to go down the tubes with Eric Prince and Chuck Colson…

My political awakening came during Iran Contra. That’s what I was first old enough to know what was going on.

The funny thing is is that noone back then suggested the the Dems bring articles of impeachment. It would have unraveled a lot of the crap going on behind the scenes and saved a lot of lives.

And not impeaching in 2007 is going to have worse consequences than 1987.

83. marisacat - 20 October 2007

Bob Parry at Consortium News has documented how Clinton had NO INTENTION Of doing anything on Iran Contra. Felt he should be nice to Poppy and wanted to work with the R.

His assembled articles are very damning.

Meanwhile Poppy left the “feeding mission” in Somalia.

I only voted for Bill once, in 92 and I have posted how it was over for me by March/April, following inauguration. They went soft, it was going to be all about them …

gah. last thing we needed.

84. ms_xeno - 20 October 2007

I date my break-up with the DP as commencing about ten minutes after Billy Boy rescinded the Global Gag Rule. It was all downhill from there.

Mcat is fond of reminding me that it was not a clean break, and that I’ve done some backsliding, but none recently at least. 😉

I will keep repeating it in hopes of getting the scapegoat squad to believe it, someday: All Nader did was articulate very, very loudly what a huge number of us were already thinking at the time. And what had been knawing at us, painfully, for a long time.

I may have backslid at times but it was because I really sincerely hoped that “the ex” might come around. Not because I took back in any way my beliefs about the state of the two-party system and its destruction of whatever good remains with us.

And despite the fantasies of people like Marie, I was the offspring of loyal Dems. Dyed-in-the-wool, born and bred, all that.

But watching the Reagan Era play out, and seeing it culminate in the likes of Billy Boy (“Reagan on artificial sweeteners,” as Lloyd Dangle once put it) brought that to an end.

Behold what you created out of a once-loyal citizenry, DP masters. I hope I live long enough to dance on your party’s dead and rotting carcass. :p

85. Hair Club for Men - 20 October 2007

Mcat is fond of reminding me that it was not a clean break, and that I’ve done some backsliding, but none recently at least.

The test for me is going to be Rudy. The man really scares me. But I’ve got 2006 to buck up my courage. It’s clear that the Democrats really want the Patriot and Military Commissions Act, not just that they don’t have the votes.

So maybe Rudy would even be preferable to Hillary. They’re both going to push the same policies and Rudy is such a blatent out of the closet Nazi that he won’t fool as many people.

Still though, getting sent to a black site in Poland would be a horrible way for me to visit the land of my ancestors….

86. marisacat - 20 October 2007

Rudy is such a blatent out of the closet Nazi that he won’t fool as many people.

Don’t get hopes too high. It was clear what Rudy was coming in or I think it was, always pays to be at least suspicious of those who come up the prosecutor/DA/”cop” route…. but he was far more than that. AND he can be charming. He is still getting charm out, and humor.

I waited years for ex NYers out here to look sick and bleat,

I voted for Rudy, or I supported him, but now he has gone too far.

Think it was after Louima. Anyway Rudy’s cops are all thru the nation. Talk about a litter of nazis.

87. ms_xeno - 20 October 2007

I feel bad for the saccharine-gulping/swilling fools like Ellen Goodman. All those pro-choice rich White East Coast GOPers whom she swore in Newsweek would ride to our rescue four-odd years ago will now have Rudy to dance ’round. What do they need Hillary for ?

The zeal professional liberals have for sucking up to the Right while telling the Left to eat shit and like it never ceases to astound me.

88. Miss Devore - 20 October 2007

78-did you notice, on the opposite side of the placard, the word “Breed”

depending on the mood, I guess the carrier of said placard wants to slaughter or make babies.

89. marisacat - 20 October 2007

well Rudy’s self promo is that being shady on abortion (and, once-upon-a-time, policy wise quite liberal) he can win CA.

Who knows, the state is a lot less blue than people think. That was clear in the Recall. I sat in small blue island (9 Bay Area counties voted against Recall and against Arnold) in a big red sea.

As inaccurate as those descriptives are…

I love how there is no bleating that we must have a white male southerner to win. Suddenly we can have a Nanny bitch goose governess, NEer, or ex ARkansan or ex Illinois… etc.

So tired of propaganda.

90. Hair Club for Men - 20 October 2007

I waited years for ex NYers out here to look sick and bleat, I voted for Rudy, or I supported him, but now he has gone too far.

The reason Rudy got in is very local. White liberals of the Kos variet in NYC vote for Rudy to keep blacks down in New York. They have no problem with “saving Darfur” but Bed Sty, well, they don’t want that too saved.

Now it’s clear that the reason Rudy has a chance at all in Red State America is that in spite of the fact that he’s a mobbed up cross dressing fag loving thrice married kinky wackjob who probaby doesn’t even go to church, he’s the REPUBLICAN WHITE GUY most likely to keep the wogs down all over the world, to beat down on the “Islamofascists” the way he beat down on the blacks in New York.

For whatever reason, Mitt Romney just doesn’t seem the type who would enjoy going down to Gitmo and giving the old torture routine a whirl himself the way Rudy would.

And McCain seems like the type who’s so senile he’s likely to start a nuclear war while he’s looking for his teeth.

91. marisacat - 20 October 2007


Honestly I think the whole abortion thing, is based on a century of wars coming. Fodder. Certainly is the reason why it was illegal in Israel (nto sure what year limited abortion became legal).

92. Hair Club for Men - 20 October 2007

I think I just doomed myself. The Verizon Wireless Customer Service drone just asked me if there was anything else she could help me with and I said:

No invasion of Iran
Impeach Bush
GIve me vast wealth and Brad Pitt’s looks

Don’t know if she’s going to come through but I’m hopeful. I never pay my bill late.

93. marisacat - 20 October 2007

agree… and those ex NYers were all white ethnics. Deep down, never to be admitted (from them) was they voted for a racist cop type.

No question. And he COULD, conceivabley, win in CA, flames fanning immigration and terrorist freakouts….. some counties and Cong districts he WOULD lose, but much he would win.

And that will be the message (tough racist cop) Rudy carries if he gets the nom, which I can see happeneing, tho I have no real idea… their system is opaque to me.. and i only get a glimmer of the D one, as it is… LOL.

94. Hair Club for Men - 20 October 2007

and those ex NYers were all white ethnics

Some of them were. But Rudy also took SoHo and the West Village. So it wasn’t JUST Staten Island and all of us greasy bohunks.

95. marisacat - 20 October 2007

sorry … I meant the ex New Yorkers, out here, that I would listen to about NY, Rudy, issues, “them”, etc.

Mostly white ethnics… then again my friend Luciana, her parents had been his parents’ land lords… her father and mtoher owned 3 or 4 of those little Archie Bunker houses…

Her parents and his parents were unreconstructed absolute dipshitbatshit fucking crazy Italians.

The only hilarious thing was her parenst moved BACK TO ITALY in (iirc) ’37… and were semi mobbed up here.

96. Hair Club for Men - 20 October 2007

Mostly white ethnics… then again my friend Luciana, her parents had been his parents’ land lords… her father and mtoher owned 3 or 4 of those little Archie Bunker houses…

Don’t know if I qualify as a white ethnic or not. Polish Catholic on my father’s side. Swiss German Lutheran on my mothers.

Definitely not Reagan Democrat. My father voted for Carter and Mondale.

BUT he voted Republican for the first time in 2004 against Kerry, not for Bush.

You have no idea how much even relatively moderate vets hated Kerry for protesting in uniform. My father had no trouble voting for Clinton and Gore but Kerry, nope.

Whoever came up with that “electible” thing for Kerry, hmm, it had to have been Susan Estrich or someone even stupider, or it had to have been the fact that the dems just wanted to tank the election.

97. Hair Club for Men - 20 October 2007

That’s “electable”. Fuck I can’t spell.

98. marisacat - 20 October 2007

You have no idea how much even relatively moderate vets hated Kerry for protesting in uniform

No I do have some idea. I sat down in the summer of 03… a big online Kerry supporter just completely lost it when someone – honestly I think – asked about the whole series of events over the damned medals back in 70/71.

So went back to try to remember… shit what a mess. It was due to blow up big. And you can get blue in the face (and I don’t bother) trying to explain to liberals how tough this was going to be. There were comments at Dkos like this:

Well everyone understands about Vietnam NOW

In what fucking UNIVERSE? No they don’t. It is huge enormous mess, right at the solar plexus of the whole image war patriot etc thing in America. PLus we were at war, against A Big Official Enemy.

It was going to be a mess.

99. marisacat - 20 October 2007

Oh I think the electable theme was Clinotnite, DLC. Advertising. It swamped everything. That was when I posted the exploding whale in a thread at Dkos… as a metaphor for electability. That was January 2004.

100. Madman in the Marketplace - 20 October 2007

you forget the importance of white ethnics in the outer boroughs supporting Rudy as well, and the wackjob Hassidim.

101. Hair Club for Men - 20 October 2007

Oh I think the electable theme was Clinotnite, DLC

Yep. Dean was perfectly acceptable to the mass of suburban middle America.

All the controversies about his being not religious enough or about his being too liberal were completely manufactured. Evangelicals weren’t going to vote for him anyway but the typical mainstream Catholic or Protestant couldn’t care less if the President prays or not.

But if Dean was acceptable to Middle America he wasn’t acceptable to the Dem party elite. So he wasn’t “electable”.

102. Hair Club for Men - 20 October 2007

white ethnics in the outer boroughs

I don’t have the exact numbers but white people are definitely the minority in Queens and the Bronx and probably in Brooklyn (which also has a generous helping of yuppies along with the Hasidim).

Rudy’s first victory didn’t relay on any one white ethnic group. As I said, I don’t have the numbers but the white backlash went right across the spectrum, from the crazy ass Italian in Staten Island to the loft dweller in SoHo.

103. Hair Club for Men - 20 October 2007

There are also a ton of Evangelical Protestant Hispanics in New York. Go to the Bronx and just count the number of Pentacostal churches. These people are as conservative on gay and abortion issues as your basic Anglo Redneck in the South and they certainly voted for Rudy both times around.

104. Madman in the Marketplace - 20 October 2007

wasn’t saying one, I was saying nearly all of them, especially in Staten Island and Brooklyn.

105. Miss Devore - 20 October 2007

McCandless substituted idealism for all that he lacked in fundamentals. He really thought you could follow a prescription to redeem yourself.

Still, he paid large for his idealism. Unlike the rest of us who remained loyal to the Dems.

106. Hair Club for Men - 20 October 2007

Still, he paid large for his idealism.

Yeah. But Eddie Vedder’s never going to write a song about most of us.

107. Hair Club for Men - 20 October 2007

Where would Chris McCandless go today?


108. Madman in the Marketplace - 20 October 2007

all for no good reason:

Old Enough Now to Ask How Dad Died at War

In a grim marker of the longevity of the war, children who were infants or toddlers when they lost a parent in action are growing up. In the process, they are coming to grips with death in new, more mature and at times more painful ways — pondering a parent they barely knew, asking pointed questions about the circumstances of the death and experiencing a kind of delayed grief.

Families and bereavement counselors say that media coverage of the war, dedication ceremonies and even school events — in which most classmates have both parents in attendance — can all heighten yearning for the missing parent. For young children, the flood of prickly feelings and questions often arises just as the surviving parent is moving beyond his or her own intense grief, sometimes with a new spouse or partner in the picture.

“As 3-year-olds, they have a pragmatic, concrete concept,” said Joanne M. Steen, co-author of “Military Widow: A Survival Guide.” “They’ll say matter-of-factly, ‘My daddy died.’ But at significant points in their lives, they go back and revisit this, and it’s really hard on the surviving spouse. They end up telling the story over and over again of how Daddy died at each stage.”

109. bayprairie - 20 October 2007

I am simply relieved to run into anyone who is trying to get into the habit of disobedience– which is how I would describe withholding one’s vote.

i plan on voting very selectively, but i do intend to vote. most of the national offices would receive a write in “none of the above”, although i’ll make an exception for barbara radnofsky, if she runs again. my local house rep is a dem in disguise, but i won’t be voting for him because behind the mask hes really a asshat catholic republican and casts many a knuckleheaded vote. i already wrote him once and informed him of the low opinion i have of him, and his representation, and mentioned that i plan on doing everything in my power to make sure that he loses.

i was not talking shit.

the chump change i used to contribute to the donks goes elsewhere now. and i also point that out to them every time they call, or send me something with a reply envelope in it. as far as online goes, actblue can go pound sand.

america, fix it or fuck it.

withhold the vote.

110. bayprairie - 20 October 2007

ive been very busy laboring and am just catching up on a lot of blahhhhgreading.

that pff site. i am impressed! never seen anything like it.

señor peeter, the admin, is doing more to strike a blow in support of the online misogyny movement than anything ive seen since mensnewsdaily came online.

quite the accomplishment.

111. marisacat - 21 October 2007

i plan on voting very selectively, but i do intend to vote. — bay

Yes… I probably toss off “withhold th vote” and leave out explanation.

I plan to vote (and I lOVE Radofsky, I caught her debate with Kaybay in whatever year they last did it… 05, 06)… but they could run Satan on the R ticket and I won’t vote for the Democrat at the top of the ticket.

I voted in 04, but left Kerry off… we always have a big slate of propositions out here… and I sort thru it.


bay, good one!

yeah I need to butt heads with DB… LOL. Not in this universe.

112. bayprairie - 21 October 2007

yeah I need to butt heads with DB… LOL. Not in this universe.

well he only has one. and it isnt above, thats fursure.



113. marisacat - 21 October 2007

And the Democratic machine in Baton Rouge goes down. A new day for Louisiana! (yeah right)


Indian-American wins in Lousiana

Mr Jindal has promised to fight corruption in Louisiana

The US state of Louisiana has elected its first non-white governor, Bobby Jindal, since the 1870s.

Mr Jindal, 36, also becomes the youngest US governor and the first Indian-American to head a state.

The Republican took 54% of the vote to win outright over his nearest rival, Democrat Walter Boasso, who got 18%.

Outgoing Democratic Governor Kathleen Blanco chose not to run again after she was widely criticised for her handling of the 2005 Hurricane Katrina crisis.

The Oxford-educated son of Indian immigrants, Mr Jindal narrowly lost the 2003 election to Ms Blanco.

In his victory speech, Mr Jindal repeated his election pledge to fight corruption in the state.

fight corruption. They can run on that one forever.

nola.com, front page of the Times-Picayune, says he is declaring a new start for Louisiana.

114. D. Throat - 21 October 2007

by DarkSyde
Sun Oct 21, 2007 at 12:05:21 AM PDT

Despite the occasional display of wisdom and bravery by a few Democrats, some of the recent examples of capitulation and failure on the part of many has been disheartening, if not down-right baffling. But no matter how disappointing the outcome any one political skirmish may be, stay focused on who and what it is we‘re fighting for. Because the people who will pay the greatest price, should our frustration become too great to bear, aren’t blue dogs or Bush-dogs. The heaviest burden will be borne on the backs of those least able to shoulder it; the young, sick, injured, poor, disenfranchised. Our most annoying day dealing with overly cautious democratic mediocrity, would be a dream come true in the life of a two-year old caught in the nauseating grip of chemotherapy and for profit health care, or a wounded, blind veteran bravely adjusting to the prospect of life without sight, trying to navigate the underfunded bureaucracy of the VA and disability benefits.

You just gotta laugh…. mind you this is coming fromt he guy that thinks Reagan was the best president eveah… I guess he conveniently forgot about the “Welfare Queens”.

Mcat every thing you said in the other thread to Marie was right on target. If people want to continue to fool themselves that the Democratic party is something it is not… well then more power to them… but don’t blame it on the “left”. Especially, when enough fools are available to contribute to that disgusting tat on Daily Kos… every day they pretend to fight for justice and progressive values and every single damn day the promote conservatives and GOP ideals.

I see that Obama is now going on tour with an “ex-gay” gospel singer

Yet Obama at the same time “preaches” tolerance and civil rights…

I think it is clear to any one with half a brain the change is NOT going to come from the Democratic Party…. at all.

115. marisacat - 21 October 2007

I see that Obama is now going on tour with an “ex-gay” gospel singer… — D Throat

oh pardon me while i laugh. I am sure he got a note from Michelle that he could. Tour I mean.

When I was growing up there was a Republican Black senator… forget the state, East. Think he was Sen Brooks, iirc. Think that is who Obama wants to be.

Reconstruction, it ain’t over.

116. D. Throat - 21 October 2007

Brooks was a far left liberal compared to these Democratic presidential candidates.

117. marisacat - 21 October 2007

hmm so … Dark Syde still a huntin’ for a party?

I mean, what else am I supposed to think.

118. marisacat - 21 October 2007

This s the slop they dish out so p[eople think they are [cough choke strangle] liberal. Or something.

The heaviest burden will be borne on the backs of those least able to shoulder it; the young, sick, injured, poor, disenfranchised — Dark Syde

GMAFB! No one who voted for and loves Reagan gives a flying whoo whoo.

Exactly like Hillary bleating for a dead MLK. When she was a Goldwater Grrrrl. Then a Swampette in AR.

How many mouths do they have? [answer, as many as needed]

119. D. Throat - 21 October 2007

I love how they have pushed Dodd to the forefront of the mortgage crises when he was the point-man in the Clinton administration that repealed all of the Depression Era legislation like Glass Steagall that had kept this kind of speculation madness from happening the last 60 years…. now they are portraying Dodd as some sort of hero to the masses… offering microscopic band aids to fix the mess…. notice how NO ONE has mentioned how and why this really has happened… patriotic my ass they are nothing but a bunch of crooks and liars. But according to DK frontpage we are suppose to keep supporting this madness.

This is the same for Kennedy… “Liberal Lion” my patooty… Carter, NCLB, Arnold etc etc. etc…. any poison chalice they want the Dems to drink they give it to Kennedy to serve up.

120. D. Throat - 21 October 2007

Yes that was the quote that made me gag… the lover of President “Welfare Queen”… now has a soft spot to the bleeding masses…. GMAFB.

121. marisacat - 21 October 2007

… any poison chalice they want the Dems to drink they give it to Kennedy to serve up.
— D Throat

Sadly after 40 years, this is it. All along. As I keep saying, they left us the Kennedy incapable of, and disinterested in, change.

Think what anyone will of the 60s, it ws effective eradication.

122. D. Throat - 21 October 2007

Of course this was only a plea to “Stay the course”… ie patronize DK:

It is an honor to be counted among you, and a great privilege to be allowed to post material on the front page of this premier site, frequented by so many citizens of your caliber.

Our task is to to build upon that majority and, most importantly, improve its quality. It will be annoying, at times painful, there will be setbacks. We will vent and fume, we will debate fiercely, there will be uplifting wins and bitter losses. Trouble-makers will ply our threads, trolls will probe for divisiveness and weakness. Traditional media will misrepresent us, conservative media will viciously smear us, some politicians on our side will continue to dismiss their opportunities and disappoint us. And we will win.

Given your proven track record on this grand democratic adventure, I have absolutely no doubt whatsoever you will succeed in 2008 and far beyond, just as brilliantly as you already have. Because folks, you aren’t just riding a wave, the netroots and grassroots are the wave, an unstoppable political tsunami, and you will carry our progressive platform to victory.

A call for blind obedience.

123. marisacat - 21 October 2007

It ws clear years ago, they sell the nutroots as stupid.

For a reason.

124. Sabrina Ballerina - 21 October 2007

Bayprairie #112 – so true! Gives me the creeps quite frankly. Like Mcat, won’t feed the obsession. Life has better things to offer.

Aside from that the site is being inflitrated by kossacks. Pretty obvious that their more overt attempts didn’t work, so they’ve taken a more subtle approach. Not difficult to identify them though, they cannot hide their hatred for all things left.

Darksyde worried about the poor. Lol! Reagan would be ashamed of him. Otoh, since he’s just doing his job to reign in the gullible, Reagan would probably understand. After all he was a pretty good bser himself.

I think the vendetta against hrh began when she astutely identified him as someone to watch out for, a phony for sure.

D. Throat, what a load of drivel #122 and so obvious it’s hard to believe anyone would fall for it.

Trouble-makers will ply our threads, trolls will probe for divisiveness and weakness

Lol! The money must not be flowing in lately. Time for pep talks for the troops.

Kurd Rebels Kill 12 Turkish Troops

125. Madman in the Marketplace - 21 October 2007

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee on Maher’s Overtime justifying why they won’t impeach, repeating the usual donklephant line for doing nothing.

126. Madman in the Marketplace - 21 October 2007
127. Madman in the Marketplace - 21 October 2007

The Hippies Were Right!

You know it’s true. All this hot enthusiasm for healing the planet and eating whole foods and avoiding chemicals and working with nature and developing the self? Came from the hippies. Alternative health? Hippies. Green cotton? Hippies. Reclaimed wood? Recycling? Humane treatment of animals? Medical pot? Alternative energy? Natural childbirth? Non-GMO seeds? It came from the granola types (who, of course, absorbed much of it from ancient cultures), from the alternative worldviews, from the underground and the sidelines and from far off the goddamn grid and it’s about time the media, the politicians, the culture as a whole sent out a big, wet, hemp-covered apology.

128. ms_xeno - 21 October 2007


Yeah, bayprairie. I’ll have to vote on something, too. Oregon being legendary for its ballot-measure mills. There’s always something worth voting either for or against. Not to mention the local non-partisan races.

The rest ? Fuck ’em. Unless a miracle happens, nobody will be issuing real challenges where they’re needed the most, and the local Proggies are just as chickenshit as the assholes like Blumenauer and Wyden, whom they keep rubber-stamping every damn cycle. De Fazio used to be halfway decent, but he’s gone bad after being in power too long. They always end up that way.

I always loved it in 2000 when assholes used to insult me by whining that the Dems just didn’t have enough of a “foothold” to let Nader loose to piss in the punchbowl and couldn’t we waiiiiiiiiit ?

Shit. Urban Oregon is living proof that no matter how entrenched supposed Progs are and how well they’re making out, they will never, never voluntarily share shit with anyone who won’t walk into their fucking clubhouse and grovel. Anyone who wants power is going to have to wrest it away from them, beating back legal mumbo-jumbo and getting past Right-wing boogeymen both real and imagined in the process.

129. ms_xeno - 21 October 2007

As for PFF:

I don’t mind playing there, but “free speech zones,” are made to reinforce pre-existing power imbalances. That’s what they do. It’s why my blog ain’t one, and will never be.

I remember science class. If you take a half-full glass and a full one the same size and pour equal amounts of water into each, one will fill and the other will overflow. Common knowledge. If you give misogynists free speech they will run riot over women. No news there.

So I enjoy PFF, but I have no illusions about “free speech” as a tool for doing anything but reinforcing power-over relationships that already exist.

And as we all know, restricted zones have their problems, too. Impartiality is an impossible dream. Might as well just let it go.

130. Hair Club for Men - 21 October 2007

The problem with liberal Democrats choking on the issue of the war is that, well, the war’s still going on, sucking down American and Iraqi blood, American money and Iraqi sovreignity.

Sooner or later someone’s going to stop it. Sooner or later conservatives like this


are going to slither out of the shadows and offer themselves up as the answer to the Democratic party leadership’s complicity.

The Social Dems back down in 1914, you get Lenin in 1917.

Liberals don’t confront Israeli apartheid you get Pat Buchanan.

Nobody seems to get this. Putting your fingers in your ears and saying “la la la la la I can’t hear you about the war” doesn’t stop the war.

131. Miss Devore - 21 October 2007

these goats don’t faint:


132. Hair Club for Men - 21 October 2007

Pitting goats against the homeless. Now that’s harsh.

133. Madman in the Marketplace - 21 October 2007

Terkel interviewed in the Independent:

These days, Terkel talks about the 1960s as a freak period of respite from unquestioning deference to the flag. Today, Terkel says, “We have a president who was elected fraudulently. Immigrants exploited in the worst jobs are made to feel guilty for accepting the work. It’s victim against victim. Outsourcing of labour – that’s back. Wire taps – they’re back. This is beyond Joe McCarthy. And still the Democrats act as if they lost the 2000 election. They didn’t lose. They won.”

“One question you’ve often addressed in relation to American foreign policy is whether, in order to understand terror, you must first have experienced it. And now, post-9/11, the United States has.”

“Our philosophy was: we can attack, but nobody dares attack us. After all, we beat Grenada. To attack is our right. The question that day was: how dare anybody attack us? That morning I had a meeting in a tall building in Chicago. Someone suggested we cancel. I said no. When I arrived, I was met by the sight of people running in the streets. On that day I saw refugees, right here in Chicago. American refugees, dressed in three-piece suits. All fleeing; all experiencing what it feels like to be attacked. That inverted the basis of the United States’ strength, which relies upon fear. And now, in Iraq, the Democrats are saying let’s get the hell out. Which raises another un-American question: how dare we lose?”

“Do you see any good ending to Bush’s war in Iraq?” “You say ‘Bush’s war’… I believe he is just an idiot. It’s more a matter of those who advised him, looking for oil.” “Is there a politician who could make a difference, at this point?” “That’s the big question. Hillary Clinton won’t. Al Gore I think could – if he ran. Barack Obama might. And I mean, might.”

“So where is the hope that you talked about going to spring from?” “From young people, like I said. From their ability to organise. I believe the internet may have an even stronger influence than people have realised. Albert Einstein said that when you join an organisation – and that could be anti-war, anti-pollution, or pro the rights of lesbians and homosexuals – Einstein said that, once you join, you have more individuality, not less. Because you are another person who wants to count.”

134. marisacat - 21 October 2007

NOW on Friday was interesting… out here Moyer’s Journal has taken the 10 pm spot on Fridays which pushes NOW to 11 pm. I doubt it has much viewership, other than those who TIVO.

Comparing Hightstown NJ and Morristown NJ, in their treatment of immigrants. Morristown, hard line Dem fucker white ehtnic mayor. Hightstown, moderate R mayor, tries for assimilation and is a sanctuary town.

That is how i see it, districts, regions, cities, towns will work to save themselves. If they can. Some areas areas possibly, esp isolated rural areas, poorer or harder hit farm areas… well, it is tragic already in places.

Only twice has poverty in America been even spoken about (from the WH), Great Depression, FDR New Deal WPA. And under Johnson’s Great Society, desperately flawed and reactionary as that era was….

LAT has a good piece, the R are targetting the only 8 votes that ever joined the Dems on calling for timeslines etc. The 8 who oppose or have turned against the war/wars to come. I did not see Ron Paul mentioned in the article.

I am sure Nancy Steny Rahm Van Hollen and the shits who mask are fine with that, if the R take down the 8 votes…. More excuses.

I don’t care who runs, from what corner.. but Ron Paul and his whack job, crazed and mean, ob-gyn approach to women and abortion is why the R keep him.

135. moiv - 21 October 2007

I don’t care who runs, from what corner.. but Ron Paul and his whack job, crazed and mean, ob-gyn approach to women and abortion is why the R keep him.

Despite his anti-occupation stance, that’s Paul’s contribution to the endless war movement.

Mcat, you were entirely right about the underlying reason for pronatalism — the only real reason there ever is.

About 30 years ago, a Canadian psychiatrist named Wendell Watters published a book titled Compulsory Parenthood, in which he clearly detailed the motivations and results of such initiatives over the centuries. The political orientation of any particular nation-state wasn’t a factor — only its push for empire.

Cannon fodder or IED bait, all same-same.

136. Hair Club for Men - 21 October 2007

Morristown, hard line Dem fucker white ehtnic mayor. Hightstown, moderate R mayor, tries for assimilation and is a sanctuary town.

And Paul Krugman the liberal Democrat makes a show of addressing the immigration issue and winds up sayng very little other than “immigration is bad. It destroys welfare states but I’d feel really bad about rounding up Mexicans and and throwing them out.”

Krugman’s also one of the harshest critics of the occupation of Iraq and one of the most loyal supporters of the party enabling the occupation of the war in Iraq.

So oddly enough, on the war, on civil liberties, on immigration, how much difference is there between Krugman and Paul? Not a lot.

On social programs and sexual liberty/abortion rights, there’s an enormous difference.

Everything about Krugman is preferable to Ron Paul and his supporters so what’s the appeal of Ron Paul?

I think maybe he’s one threat to the Democrats, a warning that if the Democrats don’t get their shit together, all this issues that liberal Dems hope to united a coalition around are just going to splinter into the various groups they serve.

The reactionaries will steal the issue of the war. The pro choice crowd will be isolated. Civil liberties will be forgotten.

It’s stalemate and paralysis. And if the first step is breaking with the Democrats and withholding your vote, what’s the result? More fragmentation?

137. Madman in the Marketplace - 21 October 2007

Clinton Defends Iran Vote In Iowa Mailer

“Let me clear on Iran,” Clinton writes. “I am opposed to letting President Bush take any military action against that country without full Congressional approval.” (hah, like they wouldn’t fold like a cheap suit!) Clinton notes that she — “long before others” — that is, long before Barack Obama — supported legislation requiring the president to get Congress’s permission before such an invasion.

A second page of the letter includes validation testimony from Ret. Gen. Wesley Clark and from Sen. Dick Durbin, who has endorsed Obama.

fuck them, all of them and their cozy little clubhouse.

138. Hair Club for Men - 21 October 2007

Comparing Hightstown NJ and Morristown NJ, in their treatment of immigrants. Morristown, hard line Dem fucker white ehtnic mayor. Hightstown, moderate R mayor, tries for assimilation and is a sanctuary town.

Note. Morristown is a small ethnic enclave surrounded by a vast ocean of rich WASPs. So the mayor can play off that class resentment.

139. Hair Club for Men - 21 October 2007

Looking through Krugman’s book at Barnes and Nobles today. He seems like an economic fundamentalist to me.

He almost seems willing to throw every other issue away for the chance at rebuilding some of the social programs we’ve lost since the 80s and making the tax code a bit more fair.

He really seems to think that a new deal kind of agenda coming from the White House will turn down the volume on all the right wing demons.

Economics first. Freedom second.

140. marisacat - 21 October 2007

The reactionaries will steal the issue of the war. The pro choice crowd will be isolated. Civil liberties will be forgotten.

I consider this (pt 2 and 3) to have happened, already. People who really support abortion rights – and expansion of ANY rights, have NO POLITICAL PARTNER. None.

It is inevitable that reactionaries will rise in the climate we have. Bush is one. Utter radical in a ah, shucks, ma’am.. mask

That does not mean that my voting for Hillary helps. Reactionary herself. Religious conservative. and a few other things.

141. marisacat - 21 October 2007

Hillary reminds me of flies on meat. I don’t know the process and don’t wnat to know, but it leads to maggots.

142. Hair Club for Men - 21 October 2007

I consider this (pt 2 and 3) to have happened, already. People who really support abortion rights – and expansion of ANY rights, have NO POLITICAL PARTNER. None.

People like Susan Faludi get it though. The war on terror is a feminist issue. You can’t stop the rollback of womens and gay rights unless you stop the ever increasing militarization of American society.

Seems like a no brainer to me but some people don’t seem to get it.

Half way doesn’t really cut it. Ron Paul is there on the war but he’s not there on abortion rights. The Democrats are there on abortion rights (sort of) but they’ve become so over the top pro military it cancels out any good they may do on the abortion and gay rights issues (which they’re lukewarm and wishy washy on anyway).

143. marisacat - 21 October 2007

135 – moiv

I forget which side of the abortion Roe V Wade enactment… after maybe… does not matter as it ws an assessment. Part of a Rand Corp paper… mentioning that a Chinese “Us Watcher” had stated our abortion battle (for the anti side) was to preserve an underclass and to prepare for wars.

It made perfect sense to me then, must be 30 years ago.

144. marisacat - 21 October 2007

IMO Democrats have abandoned abortion. Officially. They mewl and say politic things (those running that is, to preserve the brain dead wimmens vote) at the outcome of the federal ban on “partial birth” but they do NOTHING.

145. Hair Club for Men - 21 October 2007

IMO Democrats have abandoned abortion

It shows their priorities. You CAN make an alliance with a pro war, anti-abortion Democrat like Casey but you CAN’T make alliance with anti-war, anti-abortion Republicans.

I guess the logic is/was that those right wing anti-abortion pro-war dems would just roll over and follow a liberal agenda once they become the key votes to keeping the Dems in the majority instead of pushing their own agenda.

Smack me and help me to understand why anybody believed that last year?

146. Hair Club for Men - 21 October 2007

And the idea that right-wingers could be controlled while they acted as filler in Congress to round out the majority would happen if you had a genuinely intimidating badass like LBJ as majority leader or a super smart coalition builder and backslapper like William Brennan was during the Warren Burger Court but it’s not, um, really possible with Pelosi and Reid.

147. moiv - 21 October 2007

Dunno, HC, beats the hell out of me, too. But as long as the faithful keep falling for it, they’ll keep pushing it — even in a thread on Jindal’s win in Louisiana.

NO difference? (12+ / 0-)

Recommended by:
Cory, Yosef 52, jxg, ChicDemago, Johnny Gentle Famous Crooner, CocoaLove, annetteboardman, Progressive Moderate, SoCalLiberal, KiaRioGrl79, ChapiNation386, nicejoest

I say that’s crap, Any Republican we get would be far worse. Far worse.

by andgarden on Sun Oct 21, 2007 at 01:00:26 AM CDT


I know (3+ / 0-)

Recommended by:
Progressive Moderate, andgarden, ChapiNation386

Ever notice, Andgarden, all the supposed progressives who say there’s no difference between the Dems and the GOP? It’s as if gay rights and womens’s rights don’t matter to these people and are irrelevant.

Obama-Villaraigosa 08′!

by SoCalLiberal on Sun Oct 21, 2007 at 01:10:40 AM CDT


I’d be a lot more impressed (5+ / 0-)

Recommended by:
marquer, Odysseus, jxg, mint julep, Progressive Moderate

with Landrieu’s ostensible pro-choice position if she wasn’t a consistent supporter of the Hyde Amendment, or if she hadn’t voted for the “PBA” Ban, or if she wasn’t co-sponsoring the Brownback-Landrieu Human Cloning Prohibition Act to stop embryonic stem cell research, or if she supported either FOCA or the ERA.

Would a Republican be even worse? Perhaps so. But as is the case with other members of Congress in both houses, having a “D” after her name doesn’t keep Landrieu from voting with them.

The TEA Fund: Practicing random acts of kindness to women

by moiv on Sun Oct 21, 2007 at 01:56:39 AM CDT

148. Hair Club for Men - 21 October 2007

So I guess this is sort of like having Pat Robertson as President and being happy you got Bush to replace him?


149. marisacat - 21 October 2007


recommended your commetn moiv… one of my favorite old time commenters at Dkos.

150. Hair Club for Men - 21 October 2007

even in a thread on Jindal’s win in Louisiana.

I know nothing about Jindal but I’m sure he sucks.

151. Hair Club for Men - 21 October 2007

Ah. So that’s what it’s about. The creepy fascists in charge in Poland weren’t pushing for those US Patriot Missiles fast enough.


Tusk also wants strong ties with Washington. He has nonetheless questioned whether Kaczynski’s two-year-old government was driving a strong enough bargain in negotiations to host 10 U.S. interceptor missiles aimed at stopping potential attacks from Iran.

The “moderate” dude’s willing to sign on to invading Iran if they (presumably) grease his pockets.

152. Hair Club for Men - 21 October 2007

Oh wait. The extreme fascists wanted the missiles. The less extreme fascist just wants to get more money for hosting them.

Well at least that’s rational.

153. marisacat - 21 October 2007

Not sure where I read it, might have been Black Commentator before the split, but the article analysed the strategy of “replacing” home grown black faces (descendants of slaves or freed blacks) with “alternates” like Jindal.

The article named names, from Jindal to Pedro on Cspan, columnists, pundits. It also detailed the process that anyone, alternate or native US black, must go thru, a hard turn on camera or prominently in print agaisnt US born blacks.

It was very very depressing (to read) and very on the mark

154. Hair Club for Men - 21 October 2007

Not sure where I read it, might have been Black Commentator before the split, but the article analysed the strategy of “replacing” home grown black faces (descendants of slaves or freed blacks) with “alternates” like Jindal.

But, and correct me if I’m wrong because I know zero about Louisiana, but isn’t that state’s population dvidied into three groups anyway?

White, elite blacks and creoles like Nagin and poor blacks.

So why wouldn’t Jindal just fit into the second group. Doesn’t seem like a huge change to me.

Nagin was a Republican originally? Wasn’t he?

Note? Has the Senator caught with his pants down resigned yet? Or does Jindal get to name his replacement now?

155. marisacat - 21 October 2007

Absolutely Louisiana is stratified. All sorts of splits, including that anyone N of some indeterminate point north of New Orleans is deemed “the Americans”. New Orleanians even gesture roughly somewhere over their shoulder when they say it (andit always made sense to me).

To be frank, I think the white power strcuture trust the Jindals more than the bought and sold (in the modern sense) Blacks like Nagin. Who, yes, was a Republican and a Cox Communications exec. And I thought coreographed his complicity with Bush as the water topped the levees.

156. Hair Club for Men - 21 October 2007

But now they can at least push Vitter out and put a wingnut Republican Xtian who isn’t involved in some weird kinky sex off camera or, correction, at least hasn’t been caught yet.

157. Madman in the Marketplace - 21 October 2007

Glen Ford is having none of Cosby’s latest round of bullshit

On critics: “Many of those who accuse us are scholars and intellectuals, upset that we are not blaming everything on white people as they do. Well, only blaming the system keeps certain black people in the limelight but it also keeps the black poor wallowing in victimhood.”

There’s that word, “victimhood,” the assertion that African Americans are, in today’s world, more tormentors of each other than by people in power, an absolution of whites for past and present crimes and for failing to construct even a semblance of a social contract with the historical “Other.”

And who are these “certain black people” in the limelight? The authors have a whole book to name names, but prefer to assign words, thoughts and intentions to anonymous malefactors. That’s cowardly and dishonest. If you can’t name, don’t complain.

Cosby’s venom is unmistakable in the scorning reference to “scholars and intellectuals,” spit out in the manner of Rush Limbaugh. One wonders how Poussaint, the noted scholar and intellectual, allowed this sneer to pass. The slur against intellectuals and scholars is more ironic, in light of Cosby’s insistence that he be addressed as “Dr. Cosby,” in deference to his PhD (1977) in education from the University of Massachusetts.

158. marisacat - 21 October 2007

I don’t know about Vitter. It all seemed veyr shakey and don’t hear much about Madam… after the push from Hustler whatshishname… Flynt, it suddenly got quiet.

159. marisacat - 21 October 2007

I thought it was a really good piece on Cosby, Ford broke out and isolated his insanity. Poussaint is in an odd spot, but in some ways FOrd was kind to him. The whole thing is distasteful.

When Cosby first started this 3 years ago, I got the full text of one of his first “call outs”.

It was DISGUSTING. Horrible sick old man. Lunatic.

160. Hair Club for Men - 21 October 2007

I haven’t the slightest idea what this is about but it seems the Poles have no fear of Godwin’s Law.

161. marisacat - 21 October 2007

those twins in Poland are very very strange. When they went into office, I paid attention. Ugh….

We seem to be micromanaging most elections in key areas to suit our war plans.

when the hit was taken (or an attack was very close) on the pOlish Amb in Baghdad, I rmembered that hersh said the 2000 or so Poles there are very tough brutal killers.

What is left to say, really.

162. Hair Club for Men - 21 October 2007

those twins in Poland are very very strange. When they went into office, I paid attention. Ugh….

That video seems to be accusing the new president as being too pro-German/European and not nationalist enough.

BTW, re Cosby. It was really dissappointing to see Bob Herbert fall for his bullshit but then again, Herbert wants a draft.

163. marisacat - 21 October 2007

I did not realise Herbert had come out for a draft.

In for a penny in for a pound. Of flesh that is.

164. Hair Club for Men - 21 October 2007

Herbert’s been pushing for a draft for awhile now. He seems to think it will distribute the “sacrifice” for the war more equitably.

165. marisacat - 21 October 2007

oh the Rangel [draft] gambit. Transparent as all hell imo.

166. marisacat - 21 October 2007

national Service / draft is one of the biggest arguments to shove a Dem into office in 08. And majorities.

167. Madman in the Marketplace - 21 October 2007
168. Madman in the Marketplace - 21 October 2007

Israel shaken by troops’ tales of brutality against Palestinians

A study by an Israeli psychologist into the violent behaviour of the country’s soldiers is provoking bitter controversy and has awakened urgent questions about the way the army conducts itself in the Gaza Strip and West Bank.

Nufar Yishai-Karin, a clinical psychologist at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, interviewed 21 Israeli soldiers and heard confessions of frequent brutal assaults against Palestinians, aggravated by poor training and discipline. In her recently published report, co-authored by Professor Yoel Elizur, Yishai-Karin details a series of violent incidents, including the beating of a four-year-old boy by an officer.

The report, although dealing with the experience of soldiers in the 1990s, has triggered an impassioned debate in Israel, where it was published in an abbreviated form in the newspaper Haaretz last month. According to Yishai Karin: ‘At one point or another of their service, the majority of the interviewees enjoyed violence. They enjoyed the violence because it broke the routine and they liked the destruction and the chaos. They also enjoyed the feeling of power in the violence and the sense of danger.’

In the words of one soldier: ‘The truth? When there is chaos, I like it. That’s when I enjoy it. It’s like a drug. If I don’t go into Rafah, and if there isn’t some kind of riot once in some weeks, I go nuts.’

Another explained: ‘The most important thing is that it removes the burden of the law from you. You feel that you are the law. You are the law. You are the one who decides… As though from the moment you leave the place that is called Eretz Yisrael [the Land of Israel] and go through the Erez checkpoint into the Gaza Strip, you are the law. You are God.’

The soldiers described dozens of incidents of extreme violence. One recalled an incident when a Palestinian was shot for no reason and left on the street. ‘We were in a weapons carrier when this guy, around 25, passed by in the street and, just like that, for no reason – he didn’t throw a stone, did nothing – bang, a bullet in the stomach, he shot him in the stomach and the guy is dying on the pavement and we keep going, apathetic. No one gave him a second look,’ he said.

The soldiers developed a mentality in which they would use physical violence to deter Palestinians from abusing them. One described beating women. ‘With women I have no problem. With women, one threw a clog at me and I kicked her here [pointing to the crotch], I broke everything there. She can’t have children. Next time she won’t throw clogs at me. When one of them [a woman] spat at me, I gave her the rifle butt in the face. She doesn’t have what to spit with any more.’

Yishai-Karin found that the soldiers were exposed to violence against Palestinians from as early as their first weeks of basic training. On one occasion, the soldiers were escorting some arrested Palestinians. The arrested men were made to sit on the floor of the bus. They had been taken from their beds and were barely clothed, even though the temperature was below zero. The new recruits trampled on the Palestinians and then proceeded to beat them for the whole of the journey. They opened the bus windows and poured water on the arrested men.

The disclosure of the report in the Israeli media has occasioned a remarkable response. In letters responding to the recollections, writers have focused on both the present and past experience of Israeli soldiers to ask troubling questions that have probed the legitimacy of the actions of the Israeli Defence Forces.

The study and the reactions to it have marked a sharp change in the way Israelis regard their period of military service – particularly in the occupied territories – which has been reflected in the increasing levels of conscientious objection and draft-dodging.

169. marisacat - 21 October 2007

Another explained: ‘The most important thing is that it removes the burden of the law from you. You feel that you are the law. You are the law. You are the one who decides… As though from the moment you leave the place that is called Eretz Yisrael [the Land of Israel] and go through the Erez checkpoint into the Gaza Strip, you are the law. You are God.’

And we have a million/more of those “deciders” coming “home”.

Part of the war plan, I am very certain. Further violent destabilistaion of whatever stability AMerica might ever have sought.

170. Madman in the Marketplace - 21 October 2007

Found this linked at Texas Kaos:

If Fox News Had Existed Throughout History

171. Hair Club for Men - 21 October 2007

If Fox News Had Existed Throughout History

Reality is worse. Go back and look at the mainstream press’s reaction to Martin Luther King’s speech at Riverside about Vietnam.

172. Hair Club for Men - 21 October 2007

Huckabee just said the majority of the signers of the Declaration were clergymen.

I’ll have to check that out but somehow I dout it.

173. Hair Club for Men - 21 October 2007

John McCain served in Vietnam and Giuliani was in NYC during 9/11. Didn’t know either of these things.

174. marisacat - 21 October 2007

speaking o fthe reaction to the Riverside Church speech… and that Martin took his campaign north to the big big city projects, to the union strikes and against the war.

Bingo. Don’t pull together workers, poor people, anti war. Don’t call the government on its conspiracy.


OH they were not all – or mostly – clergymen, whatever that fucking baptist [minister] bum said.. I cannot tick them off on my fingers but certainly that has to be false.

175. Hair Club for Men - 21 October 2007

Franklin: Kite Flier
Jefferson: Slavemaster
Adams: Lawyer
John Hancock: Grafitti Artist

176. Madman in the Marketplace - 21 October 2007
177. Hair Club for Men - 21 October 2007

Romney’s not a true conservative. He says “democratic” and not “democrat”.

178. Madman in the Marketplace - 21 October 2007

Signers of The Declaration of Independence

According to that list, only two were ministers. Most were lawyers or merchants.

179. Hair Club for Men - 21 October 2007

Huckabee just said Hillary’s socialized medicine is going to give old baby boomer hippies free drugs.


He’s masterful at working the Fox News audience.

Duncan Hunter tried to make a Michael Moore joke but it didn’t really work.

180. marisacat - 21 October 2007

the media likes Huckabee I have noticed. be interesting to see the post debate spin-a-rooooo.

181. Hair Club for Men - 21 October 2007

Fred Thompson’s flag lapel pin is way the fuck bigger than Giuliani’s.

182. Hair Club for Men - 21 October 2007

According to that list, only two were ministers. Most were lawyers or merchants.

Huckabee’s defintely a better debater than Romney. Romney comes across like an android. Duncan Hunter’s good at throwing the red meat but he’s got no charm. Ironically Tancredo just looks too ethnic and he’s no different from Duncan Hunter. Giuliani is a bit better than Romney. Thompson’s lame. Huckabee’s the guy in this debate, even though his Declaration signers statement was dead wrong.

183. Madman in the Marketplace - 21 October 2007

I’m tellin’ ya … watch out for Huckabee.

184. marisacat - 21 October 2007

wonder if Guiliani would pick Huckabee as Veepessa. Awkward bumperstickers… but who knows.

185. Hair Club for Men - 21 October 2007

Really lame Hillary bashing. Even the DLC drones on the Daily Kos do it better.

Rudy blew a kiss to Florida. Something very Italian about that. But Rudy looks way less ethnic than Tancredo does. Tancredo must be a southern Italian.

Romney has a weird John Kerry quality to him.

186. moiv - 21 October 2007

Madman @ 176

I read the comments, and as expected, most of the discussion didn’t address the point of the post–that these are real decisions made by real people for real, flesh-and-blood reasons–but devolved into one more boring abstraction-fest.

All about fantasy. And that’s just where most people want to leave it.

187. Madman in the Marketplace - 21 October 2007

Americans are unwilling to actually face real ethical debate … look at the way talking about torture always becomes quickly a “debate” about the fake Hollywood-fantasy “ticking bomb” scenario. People won’t face that couples have to face variations on Sophie’s Choice when a pregnancy becomes dangerous, or when the outcome for the child is hopeless. This country wallows in ignorance.

188. Hair Club for Men - 21 October 2007

Britt Hume’s flag lapel pin is bigger than Rudy’s but smaller than Thompson’s.

189. marisacat - 21 October 2007

my friend luciana whose parents rented to Rudy’s parents, were N Italian. Merli was the family name, from the great agricultural plains behind Genova, they traded their corn on the exchange in Milan. I would assume, but don’t know that Guiliani family were similar.

190. Madman in the Marketplace - 21 October 2007

I can’t watch those monsters.

191. Hair Club for Men - 21 October 2007

Rudy’s family is from Florence.

I think if Dante put him in hell, he’d spend an eternity with two 110 story buildings landing on his head.

Or maybe getting a plunger shoved up his ass by Louis Farrahkan.

192. Hair Club for Men - 21 October 2007

Huckabee just said Americans are afraid of privitized social security because of Enron.


193. marisacat - 21 October 2007

Florence.. that sounds right. It never sounded like an enclave of Siciliani or Calabrese…

194. Hair Club for Men - 21 October 2007

It never sounded like an enclave of Siciliani or Calabrese…

All the Italians who live around me are from Calabria. Every pizza place has a poster of their soccer team along with the obligatory Soprano’s poster.

Not too many Florentines.

O Tuscan, thou who through the city of fire
Goest alive, thus speaking modestly,
Be pleased to stay thy footsteps in this place.

Thy mode of speaking makes thee manifest
A native of that noble fatherland,
To which perhaps I too molestful was

195. Madman in the Marketplace - 21 October 2007
196. Hair Club for Men - 21 October 2007

They’re bashing the wiley Russians instead of the Islamofascists.

OK. McCain’s saying Putin might give nukes to the Iranians.

Now he’s saying we’re putting missiles into Poland whatever Putin says.

197. moiv - 21 October 2007


People also won’t admit that both couples and single mothers have to make hard decisions when having another child means real deprivation for the children they already have.

They feel guilt that they aren’t better providers, guilt for having become pregnant when pregnancy means loss of the two-bit job that barely sustains them now, guilt over you-name-it.

They say that they have made the decision to have an abortion because they know that it is the only responsible, the only possible, choice — a matter of survival.

But still, brainwashed from childhood by the Roman Catholic Church and the Southern Baptist Convention, they tell me that, deep down, they feel they are being selfish.

198. Madman in the Marketplace - 21 October 2007
199. marisacat - 21 October 2007

we mostly are Siciiiani / Calabresi around here. Later smaller numbers immigrated from a wider base in Italy, but not the great waves to SF/valleys

200. Hair Club for Men - 21 October 2007

Ron Paul said the Iranians are reacting to us the way we’d react if someone invaded Mexico. He’s getting booed lustily.

Looks like someone at Kos is going to have to call him a racist again.

201. Hair Club for Men - 21 October 2007

Romney said the UN is good and interventionism is good and he’s getting cheered.

Since when did right wingers started liking the UN?

202. Hair Club for Men - 21 October 2007

we mostly are Siciiiani / Calabresi around here. Later smaller numbers immigrated from a wider base in Italy, but not the great waves to SF/valleys

Why do Italians put Soprano’s posters in Pizza places?

What if Mexicans put M13 posters in Taco joints?

203. moiv - 21 October 2007

What if Mexicans put M13 posters in Taco joints?

Never happen. Mara Salvatrucha 13 is a Salvadoran gang.

204. Hair Club for Men - 21 October 2007

Never happen. Mara Salvatrucha 13 is a Salvadoran gang.

Well, whatever the Mexican equivalent of the mafia is.

205. moiv - 21 October 2007

Vicente Fox?

Nah, the dude on the wall of the taco joint is Vicente Fernández. Always and forever. 😉

206. Madman in the Marketplace - 21 October 2007

The perils of being a post-born American

It seems straightforward enough: Don’t look for logic where you’ll never find it. For example, don’t look for the logic in any of the policy positions held by Republican Values Voters regarding, well, life.

Every blastocyst is sacred and has a cosmic right to be born. After that, in America at least, you’re on your own kid.

Once the cord has been cut and the afterbirth has been expelled, the post-born American loses that cosmic right to a life. That’s strictly reserved for one’s pre-born siblings. The post-born American has no right to a life, no right to a life as free of illness and disease as modern medicine can provide, no right to a life that’s even worth living.

Does this seem logically or internally consistent? Doesn’t matter.

Republican Values Voters are in thrall to two irreconcilable obsessions: one focuses on the sanctity and glorious untaintedness of pre-born life, which must be allowed to proceed to post-born status at all costs, even the cost of the mother‘s life; the other obsession focuses on the sickening horror and evil of government “hand-outs” to tainted post-born Americans in need, even Americans who are just seconds old.

Why do Republican Values Voters believe it is evil and wicked for a government of the people to actually use the people’s money to help its own people, including people who are neighbors, friends, and family members?

I don’ know, it’s their obsession not mine.

Fundamentally, the post-born American has only the following rights, assuming the requisite secondary sex characteristics have been acquired: the right to bear arms; the right to challenge inaccuracies in his/her credit score; and, if so motivated, the right to vote.

207. Hair Club for Men - 21 October 2007

Fantastic. What does Ms. Laura on Kos do in her Republican debate poll?

Two Choices:

a.) Drive home the point that Huckabee made an egregious error about the majority of the signers of the Declaration being ministers as dog whistle language for the theocrats?

b.) Take a cheap shot at Ron Paul, mentioning how he was booed by the audience but not mentioning that he was booed for attacking the occupation of Iraq?

Which is correct? Choice a or Choice b?

208. moiv - 21 October 2007

Scriptoids included a link to Whiskey Fire that’s worth a read, too.

209. ms_xeno - 21 October 2007

I want Huckabee to win so I can get shipped to a Blackwater-run “Fat Farm” on the installment plan.

Very exciting. Thank You, David Brooks for helping me see the light.

I can only hope that either Oprah or Dr. Phil will be Huckabee’s running mate. Or perhaps Richard Simmons.

210. moiv - 21 October 2007

HC @ 207

Since I didn’t watch, thanks for pointing this out . . .

b.) Take a cheap shot at Ron Paul, mentioning how he was booed by the audience but not mentioning that he was booed for attacking the occupation of Iraq?

. . . so that I could pass it along.

211. Hair Club for Men - 21 October 2007

Paul wasn’t all that great to tell you the truth.

What Kos should be pounding is the Huckabee Delcaration statement. It’s pure dog whistle. It’s right out of the alternative universe most of the fundis live in and it’s the alternative history the fundis read.

America is a Christian nation. See, it’s proven by the fact that Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson were both evangelical Christian ministers just like Billy Graham.

212. Madman in the Marketplace - 21 October 2007

That Whiskey Fire post is good.

That link I put above w/ the signers included their religious affiliation. A lot of question marks and deists in there.

213. ms_xeno - 21 October 2007

Shouldn’t Kos and Paul be bonding over how horrible they think abortion is ?

I’m going to lose my faith in the power of the patriarchy if this keeps up. :/

214. Hair Club for Men - 21 October 2007

They didn’t talk about abortion that much. It was more a Hillary bashing fest than anything else.

But they just weren’t that good at it.

To his credit, I’ll grudgingly admit Romney didn’t really join in. He was a robot through most of it but he did say “hey look Democrats love America too and we’ll have to work with them if we win”.

Fred Thompson’s done. He should just give his votes and his money to Huckabee.

215. marisacat - 21 October 2007

Fred Thompson’s done. He should just give his votes and his money to Huckabee.
— HC

Fred is on long term disconnect. he should go back to 1-800- LOBBYIST

216. Madman in the Marketplace - 21 October 2007
217. Hair Club for Men - 21 October 2007

It’s amazing how souless all these “Christian” clowns are.

And funny too that radical leftist Sean Penn gave the most postive depiction of a Christian I can remember coming out of Hollywood in a long time in the form of Hal Holbrook’s character in “Into the Wild”.

The most pereceptive character in this movie is an 80 year old Catholic ex military guy who goes to mass every day.

218. Madman in the Marketplace - 21 October 2007
219. Madman in the Marketplace - 21 October 2007

The most pereceptive character in this movie is an 80 year old Catholic ex military guy who goes to mass every day.

Well, there is a difference btwn spiritual people who walk a path in their faith, and religious people who prefer to tell other people which path is the right one.

220. Madman in the Marketplace - 21 October 2007

Outsourcing Government

Boeing, the company that landed the contract — the largest ever awarded by the Department of Homeland Security — announced this week that it will finally test the fence after months of delay due to computer problems. Heavy rains have confused its remote-controlled cameras and radar, and the sensors can’t tell the difference between moving people, grazing cows or rustling bushes.

But this debacle points to more than faulty technology. It exposes the faulty logic of the Bush administration’s vision of a hollowed-out government run everywhere possible by private contractors.

According to this radical vision, contractors treat the state as an ATM, withdrawing massive contracts to perform core functions like securing borders and interrogating prisoners, and making deposits in the form of campaign contributions. As President Bush’s former budget director, Mitch Daniels, put it: “The general idea — that the business of government is not to provide services but to make sure that they are provided — seems self-evident to me.”

The flip side of the Daniels directive is that the public sector is rapidly losing the ability to fulfill its most basic responsibilities — and nowhere more so than in the Department of Homeland Security, which, as a Bush creation, has followed the ATM model since its inception.

For instance, when the controversial border project was launched, the department admitted that it had no idea how to secure the borders and, furthermore, didn’t think it was its job to figure it out. Homeland Security’s deputy secretary told a group of contractors that “this is an unusual invitation. … We’re asking you to come back and tell us how to do our business.”

Private companies would not only perform the work, they would identify what work needed to be done, write their own work orders, implement them and oversee them. All the department had to do was sign the checks.

And as one former top Homeland Security official put it: “If it doesn’t come from industry, we are not going to be able to get it.”

Put simply, if any given job can’t be outsourced, it can’t be done.

In my experience, most companies can’t even run normal enterprises without tons of fuckups, misapplications of resources and general wrong-headedness. I’ve always marveled at people who think the magic free market would solve all problems, when you can just look around and see that it just ain’t so.

221. Madman in the Marketplace - 21 October 2007

Speaking of Dems, Speaking of Dems, I see that many online libs are all a quiver over Chris Dodd’s symbolic stand against the latest FISA bill. According to Dodd’s website, the presidential long shot is against the Military Commissions Act, warrantless wiretapping, shredding of Habeas Corpus, torture, extraordinary rendition, and secret prisons. That this is viewed as a courageous stand shows us just how deep the national crawl space goes. Still, I signed Dodd’s petition, for what it’s worth. But I’m under no illusion that this will curtail the military/corporate state.

Once Dodd lines up behind Hillary for the sake of party unity and national salvation, the wiretaps will still operate, torture will continue, war will drag on and on, citizens will be further alienated, to the degree that they’re even paying attention, and liberals will scratch their heads, wonder why nothing happened, then insist that if we can elect “better” Dems next time, maybe, just may-be . . .

The stench from the crawl space is not in your head. Don’t get too comfortable in the dancing clown’s house.

222. marisacat - 21 October 2007

I just saw the Dodd email pop up in my box.

busy bees doing nada.

223. Madman in the Marketplace - 21 October 2007

Suicide and Spin Doctors

Now that the U.S. military has “cleared” my notes, I can tell you about my July meeting at Guantánamo with my client Abdul Hamid al-Ghizzawi.

Al-Ghizzawi was visibly shaken when I entered the meeting room and he immediately told me of his despair over the May death of a fellow inmate, a young Saudi man named Abdel Rahman Al Amri. Al-Ghizzawi knew that Amri had been suffering from Hepatitis B and tuberculosis, the same two conditions from which he himself suffers. Like al-Ghizzawi, Amri had not been treated for his illnesses. Al-Ghizzawi, now so sick he can barely walk, told me that Amri, too, had been ill and then, suddenly, he was dead.

Al-Ghizzawi also mentioned that Amri had engaged in hunger strikes in the past but had stopped a long time ago because of his health. I knew about Amri’s death. I also know our military has called it an “apparent suicide.”

As I sat with al-Ghizzawi I found myself thinking about South African anti-apartheid activist Steven Biko. In his book I Write What I Like, Biko declares that “the most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.” There are many ways for the oppressor to force himself into the mind of the oppressed, but one surefire way is through indefinite detention. Never knowing when—or if—you will be released is a cruel form of psychological torture. It allows you to keep hope while simultaneously filling you with fear. South Africa’s apartheid government sharpened this tactic when it passed the Terrorism Act of 1967, which allowed the police to pick up Biko as a “suspect” involved in terrorism (“involvement” under that law was defined as “anything that might endanger the maintenance of law and order”) and detain him for an indefinite period without trial. Biko’s indefinite detention ended after only a month, when he suffered a brutal death at the hands of the South African police. The government claimed that Biko died as the result of a hunger strike. (In U.S. military parlance, that would be an “apparent suicide.”) Autopsy results later showed that Biko died of a head trauma and that his body was badly beaten. Our government officials, clever devils that they are, apparently learned from the “mistake” of South Africa and refuse to release Amri’s autopsy records.

What monsters we are.

224. moiv - 21 October 2007


An introductory snippet from Perrin’s ode to our John Wayne Gacy history:

Beneath the flapping flags and civics class rhetoric, countless bodies in various stages of decay are crammed in the national crawl space, as political clowns dance and honk horns, diverting attention from the rotting stench which they insist is all in our heads.

Thanks for that one, Madman.

225. Madman in the Marketplace - 21 October 2007

Perrin is one of the few former righties who seems to get it.

226. Madman in the Marketplace - 21 October 2007

Clinton Finds Way to Play Along With Drudge

WASHINGTON, Oct. 21 — As Senator Barack Obama prepared to give a major speech on Iraq one morning a few weeks ago, a flashing red-siren alert went up on the Drudge Report Web site. It read, “Queen of the Quarter: Hillary Crushes Obama in Surprise Fund-Raising Surge,” and, “$27 Million, Sources Tell Drudge Report.”

Within minutes, the Drudge site had injected Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s fund-raising success into the day’s political news on the Internet and cable television. It did not halt coverage of Mr. Obama’s speech or his criticism of her vote to authorize the war in 2002, but along the front lines of the campaign — the hourly, intensely fought effort to capture the news cycle or deny ownership of it to the other side — it was a telling assault.

Mrs. Clinton’s aides declined to discuss how the Drudge Report got access to her latest fund-raising figures nearly 20 minutes before the official announcement went to supporters. But it was a prime example of a development that has surprised much of the political world: Mrs. Clinton is learning to play nice with the Drudge Report and the powerful, elusive and conservative-leaning man behind it.

The Clintons will do anything, with anyone, to get power.

227. marisacat - 21 October 2007

Hillary has conservative and, I am sure, her share of winger support.

Why on earth would i hand her my vote.

Not enought soap on earth to wash it off.

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