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The Thousand and One Nights 20 March 2008

Posted by marisacat in Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Iraq War, WAR!.


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

anti war protest, March 19, 2008

Protesters gather for March of the Dead
At 9:30 a.m. on March 19, the fifth anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, protesters from Activist Response Team and others march to symbolize military and civilian war dead. The march began at the Women’s Memorial in Arlington Cemetery.

photo by:  Robert A. Reeder


I caught Sinan Antoon last night on Charlie Rose and was reminded of this beautifully wrenching piece he wrote just after the invasion Of Bridges and Birds

He was wonderfully forceful last night about what we have wrought with our invasion and the years of sanctions and bombings that preceeded the invasion, Charlie brought out his radio announcer’s voice but could not drown him out.. that voice he has used on anyone speaking truth whom Charlie deems not his peer, from Amy Goodman to Randall Robinson…

[H]aving a fascination with birds, I liked to go to Suq Al-Ghazl where birds and animals of all kinds were sold on Fridays. I also liked to sit on our roof and watch as the pigeons kept by our neighbour’s son would take their usual flight in the afternoon Baghdad sky. At times, these birds would dodge, and compete with, the kites flown by kids. Sometimes I could spot a flock of birds flying high above, en route to their breeding grounds in the north. Perhaps I remember this now because of something I read a few days before the US-led invasion. Reuters reported that these annual migration routes could be disrupted when the war erupted. In the period between mid-March and mid-April, one finds the greatest number of birds in Iraq. Since many of these birds cannot make it to their breeding grounds in one flight, they stop and “refuel” on the banks of the Tigris and Euphrates and in the southern marshes drained by Saddam.

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

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

And this:

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


In 1991, the US bombed the bridge about which I am writing, slicing it in two. The justification then, as for the other acts of destruction now, was that it was part of the city’s “command and control network”. I rushed out the next morning on my bike to see for myself. Hundreds of Baghdadis had also come and were looking on in silence. Now unable to link Baghdad’s two banks, the bridge resembled a broken smile.

My best friend and I used to roam Baghdad, surveying the daily destruction and checking on friends and relatives to see if they had been consigned to the dubious category of “collateral damage”. The bombing had severed all communications in the first week, and the phones were dead. Now, tanks spit their fire towards a row of houses on the eastern bank of the Tigris, and blazes go up. A correspondent announces that Apaches are hovering over Baghdad for the first time, but, alas, this is a familiar species in our part of the world. They have come to make sure that Baghdad’s residents join the Palestinians as the fortunate recipients of the latest form of lethal “liberation”.

Rivers of blood are flowing along the Tigris as America tattoos its imperial insignia into the bodies of Iraqi children, stamping their futures with its corporate logos in order to “safeguard” it. There is an abyss in and around Iraq, and it is widening by the moment.

… from his close:

In The Thousand and One Nights, otherwise known as the Arabian Nights, that great work that is eternally synonymous with Baghdad, when morning comes, Sheherazad, mother of all narrators, must embrace silence and leave her readers to wonder where the narrative will go next.

For me, it is mourning time, and Baghdad is now enveloped in a long, cruel and starless night. But, just as she’s done in the past, she will wake up once more and try to forget. And I must tend to her scars, ward off her future nightmares, and shower her with kisses and love from afar.




1. marisacat - 20 March 2008

HA! Dennis Perrin has a smart post on our [all too often celebrity driven] cage rattling of the Chinese:

[B]ad China! Don’t you know that freedom and religious tolerance are your only real hope for social calm?

Take us for example. When the U.S. hosted the Summer Games in 1984, we weren’t cracking down on Tibetan Buddhists. We were slaughtering Central American Christians, among other groupings, via our client armies and security forces. Scores of them. Rivers choked with mutilated bodies. Mass graves. The whole bloody bit. The key difference is that we were bringing them freedom and religious tolerance. This is why our Olympics went so smoothly (helped by the Soviet Bloc boycott, but hey, they were invited!). You, China, are cracking down because you hate freedom. Now, what kind of coming-out party is that gonna be?

And Mia was too too too busy showily adopting a rainbow of children, along about 1984, to be on the barricades against our Olympics. Otherwise, she’d have been there! For sure!

2. marisacat - 20 March 2008

And Arnold is smiling thru it all.

BUSINESS BURST – Troubles in the nation’s largest state – Bloomberg News:

“Sacramento may eliminate up to 600 jobs in the city’s first staff reductions in half a century, and the police and fire departments in the California capital may have their budgets cut by 20 percent.

The culprit is the collapse of the U.S. housing market. California, the birthplace of the subprime mortgage industry, is paying the highest price of any state as the housing meltdown persists. Its gross domestic product will drop 1.5 percent in the first half of 2008, the most in the U.S., analysts at Lexington, Massachusetts-based Global Insight Inc. estimate.

The state had the most foreclosure filings in the U.S. last year and the biggest fourth-quarter decline in prices, according to RealtyTrac Inc., an Irvine, California-based seller of data on defaults, and the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight in Washington.”

3. melvin - 20 March 2008

Photo essay on bomb cleanup in Iraq: Bombs Away

4. marisacat - 20 March 2008


Obviously Kerry and McCaskill are in league with Geraldine. Obviously.

And.. an emailer popped me this, from Obama’s own senate website. oops. Thank GOD Geraldine did not say this. Think of the draaama if she had. I am so relieved.

From an article on Obama’s site:


“Obama acknowledges, with no small irony, that he benefits from his race.

If he were white, he once bluntly noted, he would simply be one of nine freshmen senators, almost certainly without a multimillion-dollar book deal and a shred of celebrity. Or would he have been elected at all?”

“That voice, however, often sounds different as he moves from predominantly black audiences to white audiences or from the Senate floor to a church pulpit. And when he addresses African-Americans, a different cadence emerges.
In Detroit, on an evening that is expected to earn a place in the Guinness Book of Records as the largest sit-down dinner in history, Obama appeared before a crowd of 10,000 last month to receive a lifetime achievement award from the NAACP.

“America has a new senator! Your people have been given a new insight,” Rev. Wendell Anthony said, introducing Obama to the giant crowd with six head tables in a hall that stretched beyond the length of a football field. “We need this brother from the ‘hood who made it good. We need the glow of his spirit.”

Obama didn’t bother correcting the pastor by pointing out that his upbringing in Hawaii, where his mother and father met, almost certainly would not qualify as the ‘hood.”

The article, posted at the OBama senate site, a Chicago Trib piece from 2005 by Zeleny is loaded with timely commentary and quotes.

5. cad - 20 March 2008

The troll-trolls at DK taking over the asylum.
Kos still works for the CIA? Wouldn’t doubt it now.

I agree. I did an experiment today! (3+ / 0-)
Recommended by:TexMex, LABobsterofAnaheim, llamaRCA
Sort of a devious little troll trap.

I posted a diary with a poll with two choices, one of which (in my view) no sane Kossack would choose.

about 20% chose that. Now, either I’m wrong, or we have a pretty good population of lurking trolls and enemy spies, or at least pretty unsympathetic readers. No reason to feel paranoid about that, after all, we wouldn’t be doing our job if this weren’t the case.

by Vanadium on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 07:33:30 PM PDT

[ Parent ]

6. marisacat - 20 March 2008

Dropped in at John Morgan’s PA Progressive to see what was up… and saw this post:

BushCo Looking to Further Restrict Abortions

I heard this on NPR earlier this week while on the road and felt I must address the issue. As a Board member of Planned Parenthood Advocates this is disturbing. The Bush administration is pushing a rule which reverses a requirement that physicians who refuse to do procedures because of religious grounds must refer their patients elsewhere. They want to eliminate this and it could cost women’s lives. ::snip::

7. marisacat - 20 March 2008


The whole “Kossack” business was such a nasty move. It started as a slight lighthearted joke as I recall.

Now it is some mystic group who feel they determine great notions and realities with regard to politics. whether one is or is not a Good Kossack.

Some heroic movement, in their crumbly rotted minds perhaps. Nowhere else that I can see.

8. Miss Devore - 20 March 2008

clintons have a court date in April?


9. cad - 20 March 2008


10. liberalcatnip - 20 March 2008

The Bush administration is pushing a rule which reverses a requirement that physicians who refuse to do procedures because of religious grounds must refer their patients elsewhere.

Somewhere, Joe Lieberman is smiling.

11. liberalcatnip - 20 March 2008

4. Throw everybody off the train. The time has come.

12. Arcturus - 20 March 2008

#2 – not to worry, we’ve got a candidate for . . . u m m m:

From a recent Kevin Johnson for Mayor campaign email, listing the recent activities of the campaign:

3. Thought you knew everything there was to know about “The Dunk”, Kevin’s infamous thunder-dunk on NBA Hall-of-Fame center Hakeem Olajuwon — one of the most famous NBA clips of all time? Think again, and check out an amazing video where Kevin tells — in his own words — how it really went down…see the “Recent Videos” section at our homepage


or email this link

to your friends.


13. NYCO - 20 March 2008

Re elderly (or older) protesters: The problem isn’t their ages. The problem, I suppose, is that nobody listens to mature people any more. In other cultures of the world, a show of graybeards would be a big deal. In America, there is of course the obsession with youth as some sort of mystic force that is the ultimate arbiter of anything and everything. Don’t get me wrong, I do believe that the chilluns R R future, but why do I get the feeling that when we’re done with our urgent need to elect a minority (nonwhite, or nonmale) to the presidency (and they too prove to be all too human), we’ll next be obsessed with electing a 14-year-old?

I suppose eventually it will devolve down into choosing a newborn – we’ll probably have competing claims over various toddlers, like they do when it’s time to choose the Dalai Lama. (“I FEEL it in my soul… read the diapers… he is The One!”)

14. wilfred - 20 March 2008

Poor Scooter Libby was disbarred today.
Everyone cry in unison.

15. liberalcatnip - 20 March 2008

13. 🙂 Hey, at least when they choose the next Dalai Lama they actually have some tested criteria to use. With political candidates, it seems to come down to personality.

I’ve seen many attacks against the “baby boomers” by so-called lefties. What some young people don’t seem to realize is that peoples’ views and perspectives can and do change with age and experience. But, along with the belief in immortality, they simply refuse to acknowledge that they could ever change their beliefs.

Not sure if that came out right but lumping all of the “old people” together into some monolithic group is as erroneous as lumping all “young people” together. The younguns at the end of those types of attacks don’t like that but some don’t seem to want to extend the courtesy of individuality to those who are older at the same time.

Oh well. I guess they’ll figure it out when they become the target of the new younguns.

16. Arcturus - 20 March 2008

here, I knew I had this somewhere:


The border line
across the provinces
of nostalgia
between a country
that never was
and a country
which will never be –
whenever it is pulled away
by imagination
brings it back

Sinan Antoon, from “Strings”

17. liberalcatnip - 20 March 2008

The strain of incredulity over the so-called left’s cognitive dissonance is taking its toll on my grey matter. IV caffeine – stat!

18. liberalcatnip - 20 March 2008

What’s up with this “better angels” thing? Where does that come from?

19. Arcturus - 20 March 2008

“Attendance for the third annual California Capital Airshow [featuring the Blue Angels] increased slightly from 2007, with more than 75,000 people attending this year’s two-day event

20. wu ming - 20 March 2008

and when was the last time anyone listened to any young person, protesting or otherwise (referring to them blandly as “our future” doesn’t count), or took their grievances seriously?

it’s protest itself that is discounted, not the protesters. if they’re young, people dismiss them for being young. if they’re old, people dismiss them for being old. both age cohorts love to idly discount the other,to make themselves feel better about their political marginalization by pissing on a convenient “other.” age isn’t terribly salient when it comes to this, really.

21. NYCO - 20 March 2008

Hey, at least when they choose the next Dalai Lama they actually have some tested criteria to use.

Yes indeed… I did not mean that remark to denigrate the searchers for the Dalai Lama, or any of the other lamas…

Here is a thought/feeling/impulse/whatever that bothers me about politicians making speeches about race, racial divides, racial injustice, our country’s racist past and present… this is too important for mere politics. I’m just uncomfortable with a mere politician using it as an opportunity for a candidacy-saving speech. I mean, MLK wasn’t running for anything. Maybe there’s a difference, or maybe there’s no difference. But there isn’t a single black OR non-black preacher, speaker or author who talks about race who commands the respect of “the masses” in this country – and now we’re looking to a politician for this word – I just find that a little odd. Don’t you find it odd that nobody in America cared to talk about race before a black man became a leading presidential contender? Isn’t this the cart leading the horse in some way?

feel free to shoot holes in these impressions… I absolutely am not attached to them. In any case, Obama’s doing better making speeches about race than Clinton is making speeches about gender…

22. melvin - 20 March 2008

18 Um, I’m not sure what you are talking about, but is usually meant to echo the closing of Lincoln’s first inaugural address.

We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.

23. NYCO - 20 March 2008

make themselves feel better about their political marginalization by pissing on a convenient “other.”

I agree. So who is really the bad guy? we have the pikes and boiling oil all ready.

24. Madman in the Marketplace - 20 March 2008

From the last thread:

simply don’t know enough about Tibet to make an intelligent comment on it.

I will … until the USA closes it’s empire building bases, until the USA stops building the world’s biggest prison system, until the USA releases political prisoners from Federal prisons (I suggest starting w/ Leonard Peltier), until the USA deals with the legacy of slavery and settles the Indian Trusts honestly and fairly, until the USA starts to reign in police misconduct and governmental abuses of Constitutional rights … UNTIL THAT DAY, the citizens of the USA and the government of the USA has no fucking right to raise their voices about the crimes of other nations.

Clean our own house, THEN we can start talking about human rights.

25. liberalcatnip - 20 March 2008

22. Good stuff. Thanks. It just seems to come up a lot lately – “better angels” – or maybe I’m just noticing it more.

26. Madman in the Marketplace - 20 March 2008

Consumers Get Tangled In Terrorist Watchlist

One man went into a Glen Burnie, Md., Toyota dealership to buy a car, only to be told that a name check revealed he was on a U.S. Treasury Department watchlist of suspected terrorists and drug dealers. He had to be “checked for tattoos,” he said, to make sure he wasn’t the suspect.

An 18-year-old found he could not open an account to accept credit card payments for his fledgling technology consulting business because his name was similar to that of a Libyan official on the watchlist.

A former U.S. Navy officer who served in the Persian Gulf and whose father was killed in the Korean War when he was a child, found himself locked out of his PayPal account because his name was similar to one on the watchlist.

“What do I need to do to remove my name from this list?” the officer wrote to Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, which compiles the list. He signed off, “An EXTREMELY insulted veteran of the U.S. Navy.”

More American consumers have gotten caught up in a special brand of watchlist purgatory because their names are similar to ones on OFAC’s list of “specially designated nationals,” according to e-mails and other documents released under court order yesterday. By law, businesses are barred from conducting transactions with anyone on the list. Yesterday’s court-ordered release of documents to the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area, offers a window into the kinds of disruptions suffered by those ensnared in the process, as well as the difficulty of clearing their names.

More businesses are seeking, as part of a credit check, to know whether a person is also on the OFAC list. Failure to do so can bring a stiff penalty. Often a person whose name is similar to a name on the watchlist will be flagged by credit bureaus, which produce the reports businesses use to decide who is eligible for a car or home loan or to rent an apartment.

The Lawyers Committee sued the Treasury Department last year under the Freedom of Information Act for records of complaints relating to OFAC’s list. Last year, the group documented the cases of at least a dozen people denied services, including being blocked from buying exercise equipment. Yesterday’s partial release of records raised at least 30 new cases in which people sought OFAC help.

“OFAC’s list of designated individuals and entities is a powerful tool that disrupts financial flows to terrorists, narcotics traffickers and proliferators of weapons of mass destruction,” Treasury spokesman John Rankin said. “This vigilance has an important deterrent effect and shines a light on illicit conduct.”

But Thomas R. Burke, lead counsel in the group’s FOIA case, said he suspected the watchlist is causing problems for many more people than revealed by the cases so far. Moreover, he asserted, “There isn’t a program [of redress]. There isn’t an ombudsman. There isn’t a procedure to help consumers clear their names.”

27. liberalcatnip - 20 March 2008

So many scandals…so little time…

Obama passport info breach:

big scandal
bigger scandal
biggest scandal
all Hillary’s fault

28. Madman in the Marketplace - 20 March 2008

the Rev. Wright thing might go away for a while … MSNBC is reporting that two State Dept. employees were fired after being caught last January (right when his campaign started to take off) snooping into Obama’s State Dept. passport records. They just notified Obama today … a holiday weekend, so maybe it won’t derail the Wright thing.

Apparently they’re supposed to notify a person who’s records were compromised fairly quickly … it took them 50 days.

29. Madman in the Marketplace - 20 March 2008

I think I have a terror watchlist link in moderation.

30. liberalcatnip - 20 March 2008

I think I have a terror watchlist link in moderation.

The irony.

Some talking head on MSNBC just said that people wouldn’t access these files just out of curiousity ie. there had to be some political reason.

Ummm…why not?

31. liberalcatnip - 20 March 2008

Give Condi a medal of freedom (for allowing that freedom of information). 😉

/kidding, but we all know how Bushco operates so I wouldn’t put it past delusional dubya

32. liberalcatnip - 20 March 2008

Orange comment of the day:

I think Drudge is secretly quite fond of Obama (4+ / 0-)

Which is A-OK in my book. The bigger the tent, the better!

by Aerials on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 06:06:12 PM MDT

33. marisacat - 20 March 2008

hey hey.. works for me. Get all the religion out. I’d love The Family to get a fuller exposition.

But someone will find the Dkos diary that Sharlet wrote (with Frederick Clarkson, he being the diarist of name) some months ago, both of them stating that her relationship with The Family needed to be looked at – and then Sharlet said he’d vote for her anyway.


From Sharlet’s 2003 Harper’s article (they don’t link to this one, but do to a more recent Mother Jones and to an article at Sharlet’s own site):

During the 1960s the Family forged relationships between the U.S. government and some of the most anti-Communist (and dictatorial) elements within Africa’s postcolonial leadership. The Brazilian dictator General Costa e Silva, with Family support, was overseeing regular fellowship groups for Latin American leaders, while, in Indonesia, General Suharto (whose tally of several hundred thousand “Communists” killed marks him as one of the century’s most murderous dictators) was presiding over a group of fifty Indonesian legislators. During the Reagan Administration the Family helped build friendships between the U.S. government and men such as Salvadoran general Carlos Eugenios Vides Casanova, convicted by a Florida jury of the torture of thousands, and Honduran general Gustavo Alvarez Martinez, himself an evangelical minister, who was linked to both the CIA and death squads before his own demise.

34. liberalcatnip - 20 March 2008

MSNBC story on the passport breach.

KO is hyperventilating. Get the man a cold cloth for his forehead!

35. Madman in the Marketplace - 20 March 2008

The Family connection to the Clintons scares the shit out of me.

Sean Hannity has called Obama’s church a “cult,” but that term applies far more aptly to Clinton’s “Family,” which is organized into “cells”–their term–and operates sex-segregated group homes for young people in northern Virginia. In 2002, Sharlet joined The Family’s home for young men, forswearing sex, drugs and alcohol, and participating in endless discussions of Jesus and power. He wasn’t undercover; he used his own name and admitted to being a writer. But he wasn’t completely out of danger either. When he went outdoors one night to make a cell phone call, he was followed. He still gets calls from Family associates asking him to meet them in diners–alone.

The Family’s most visible activity is its blandly innocuous National Prayer Breakfast, held every February in Washington. But almost all its real work goes on behind the scenes–knitting together international networks of right-wing leaders, most of them ostensibly Christian. In the 1940s, The Family reached out to former and not-so-former Nazis, and its fascination with that exemplary leader, Adolf Hitler, has continued, along with ties to a whole bestiary of murderous thugs.

36. marisacat - 20 March 2008

Madman and catnip out of Moderation!


…sorry for the delay. I was sound asleep, woke and the cat needed immediate attention, food water then after I quickly made myself a fried egg sandwich, noticed she pee’d off the edge of the big expanse of plastic, newsprint and toweling (we endorse Viva paper towels, LOL)…

so it took a while…

37. Madman in the Marketplace - 20 March 2008

Furthermore, The Family takes credit for some of Clinton’s rightward legislative tendencies, including her support for a law guaranteeing “religious freedom” in the workplace, such as for pharmacists who refuse to fill birth control prescriptions and police officers who refuse to guard abortion clinics.

All of that from the Nation link above.

38. Madman in the Marketplace - 20 March 2008

WV Democratic Primary

Now I don’t want to throw the state under the bus (since that is so fashionable these days) because I love it here so much, but anyone who is surprised by this simply is not paying attention. Racism is alive and well in central PA, SE Ohio, and much of WV. What Carville said about central PA (it resembles Alabama) can be said about the regions I discussed, and it was why I was able to say, when I was a Republican, that most of the racists I have met in my lifetime were Democrats. I wasn’t lying.

If Obama wins the nomination, he will have to win the general election without WV, because I will be absolutely shocked if he carries it. Depressing, but that is how I see it.

See also this Politico piece about the rubes in PA.

*** Update ***

Before the stupidity in the comments section gets too out of hand, let me be clear. I am not claiming that anyone who refuses to vote for Obama is a racist. I just am not. But there are a number of things working against Obama in WV, and chief among them is the presence of a number of people who will, under no circumstances, vote for a black man. Particularly one named Hussein Obama. Hell, a cab driver I use occasionally has twice told me that he applied for the job as trapper at the White House, because come January there is going to be a coon or a beaver there. Not only does he feel comfortable telling me that, but he has told me at least twice. Why? Because I am sure it gets a lot of yuks with other passengers.

While there is racism present to varying levels in every state, what makes WV different is that there is not a presence of a large AA community who will enthusiastically balance out that vote like there are in other states. Add to it that WV is a Hillary Clinton kind of state- lots of blue-collar union types who are comfortable working with and voting the party machine. As the Clinton’s are an established name, the Clinton’s are viewed as the party candidate.

39. liberalcatnip - 20 March 2008

36. What?! You have a life??

40. marisacat - 20 March 2008

Well to be blunt, who will pick up the bludgeon against the Family?

I seriously doubt that Obama will. Would media? Kinda doubt it.

Obama has no intention of opposing any power entity, certainly not one entrenched at the heart of US power.

One thing I think of often, a couple of years ago, nearly, Biden let loose with his dreadful line up of code words, among them “articulate” and “clean”. Further Biden has a history of, at best, insensitivity. Including selling himself in the pst to Southern states using DE having voted for slavery. And a few other instances I forget now…Much of the reaction to hsi remarks was from the media, for watever it si not worth…

ABC used a long arm big fuzzy mike and caught the conversation as Schumer (I recognised the back of his head and the polo coat) stepped into a book line no less (Obama signing books) and lobbed a “take or leave it” as I heard it apology of sorts to Obama for Biden. “You know he meant nothing…”

Obama, in owrds and body language could not be more accommodating, fast as could be… Fine, his to do. But also two power brokers, both male, in teh senate were at issue. DSCC, big money raiser and Biden, then iirc still ranking member of the Foreign Affairs committe (think this predated the 2006 win, when Biden became Chair).

I doubt Obama nor his surrogates will peep or squeak about The Family.

41. Madman in the Marketplace - 20 March 2008

Chris Clarke on Obama’s speech:

It would not do, for instance, to point out that the whole bitter, complex, intransigent conflict between Black and White has taken place, for centuries, on land stolen from people neither Black nor White. I do not wish to risk comparison of atrocity. It may be that there is someone qualified to rank Slavery and Manifest Destiny on a scale to indicate which was the greater evil. I am not that person. I suspect all such comparisons would be spurious. Still, the phrase “stained by the Original Sin of Slavery” is apt. There is not a thread of American life that is not still tinged with the blood of slaves. And yet Obama is right to imply that America could have existed if slavery had not. It would have been a very different country. The Constitution might have been stronger from the outset. Civil rights for US citizens would have followed a different path. I will leave it to the writers of speculative fiction to guess, for instance, whether the cause of women’s rights would have been advanced by a more universal context of freedom or delayed by the absence of an abolitionist movement to provide the social networks the suffragists then used. It would have been a different United States, but it would have been a United States.

Imagining a United States without the displacement, swindling, and murder of millions of Native people is harder. It would have been harder to argue against intemperate sermons if that subject had been included. To point out that Americans live on land acquired at best by guile, at worst by torture and mass murder, would have been… what is the phrase I’m looking for?

I’ve been wanting to write something about Obama’s speech all week (maybe I will this long 3-day weekend), and what he says here is part of what has been bothering me. I’m having a hard time making myself write anything. It seems pointless, and the response to the speech, the right’s spinning of it, only makes it seem more pointless. I’m so burned out and tired of this country and its people that …

… well, and I don’t think I could say it as well, both as that above and this:

I have done well in this country, you might point out, and you would be right. I have been well educated, despite obstacles internal and external. I am comfortable enough. I have a voice. I am not one of those people the speech tolerantly excused, who arrived at their divisive and unpleasant political opinions as a result of personal suffering and the subsequent and understandable and pitiable resentment that results. Life may not have been uniformly good to me, but America has, by and large.

Women go blind in Saipan sewing my clothing, armed guards enforcing bathroom break policies. A farmer made seven cents on the two weeks’ supply of coffee I just bought, the remaining several dollars feeding a diversified firm that dumps subsidized corn in Mexico. Mexican farmers would mow my lawn, had I a lawn. I dutifully put a plastic bottle in the recycling bin, and it ends up on a Chinese riverbank sheltering Anopheles mosquitoes.

The world pays for our comforts against its will.

To call it imperialism would be divisive in a time when we need unity. To suggest the US border is no gated community, that our ethical responsibility is not fully contained within it, would be to elevate what is wrong with America above all we know that is right with America. What is right with America? A promise of future justice expressed in ringing tones, and a beleaguered Constitution whose scant protections would be baseline assumptions in a sane society rather than unrealistic ideals. Those of us who appreciate those laws, those promises, and merely wish to see them implemented somewhere other than on the backs of the rest of the world? We are the divisive, the hateful, the counterproductive.

I’m beyond divisive, or hateful, or counterproductive. Some as to the left as I am is merely irrelevant, because I can’t even find a reason to find a little hope in Obama, as Clarke allows himself to find.

It’s all just a shadow play now.

42. marisacat - 20 March 2008

Re: passport…

I am behind.. I must cathc up on this, had not heard.

BUT Hillary has an instant out and can infact commiserate. IIRC, this happened to Bill as well in the run in 92.

43. marisacat - 20 March 2008

Just catching up to the passport story via NBC News.

44. NYCO - 20 March 2008

Imagining a United States without the displacement, swindling, and murder of millions of Native people is harder.

I live in a corner of America where this past is still very real and very much unresolved, if only because the Native Americans living here have never (until very recently) dealt with BIA, they are still arguing on treaty grounds about their lands. It just goes back and forth and back and forth in the courts, and everyone is very much aware of whose land they live on or whose land they are alleged to be living on (depending on your point of view). It’s really surprising the dispute hasn’t gotten nastier than it has already been in some quarters.

And lemme tell ya, none of it is going to be resolved in a speech. It’s just a way of living that has to be lived out – preferably with a dedication to facts and laws. A lot of white folks around here have serious, serious trouble with basic historical facts (facts that were well accepted by our leaders 200 years ago). Syracuse is probably the most liberal and enlightened place in Iroquois country when it comes to Americans trying to accept inconvenient historical and legal facts and their implications, but that’s not saying much, yet – not much at all.

45. marisacat - 20 March 2008

Little flurry of earthquakes out here.

38 WV

I don’t doubt racism is alive well and doing just fine thanks for asking.

But Gore lost WV as well. Byrd refused to endorse him, for his environmental issues, til I think the day before the vote. (of course he manged to lose TENN as well, LOL)

If I were Obama, and I am unsure if he can do this (clue, he is not Jesus) I’d be sitting down with Byrd. The Dems teamed them up when Obama got to the senate. If he was smart, he worked it to be a love team with old Byrd.

The other thing he HAS TO DO, and I don’t think wants to do (I think he was promised a kinda easy run after three early big wins, IA, NH and SC) is sit down with ordinary people in ordinary towns. Many of them white.

Never noticed he cared much about that at all, ordinary people i mean. Of any color. He sure did not bother here in CA.

Rejecing his Inner Evita.

Not good when you want to not just lead but lord it over people.

I am also pretty sure he is looking at his delegate numbers, the factions wtihin the party who reject, dislike the beaver in the game… how they can leverage MI and FL out of the primary games… and he sees he does not have to dirty his hands with the ordinary people.

GOOD LUCK AS IT GETS TOUGH IN OFFICE. Biden will not be getting his back.

Popcorn futures. Republicans are laughing.

46. liberalcatnip - 20 March 2008

Rasmussen on the impact of Obama’s speech.

Little flurry of earthquakes out here.

Stay safe!

47. Madman in the Marketplace - 20 March 2008

And lemme tell ya, none of it is going to be resolved in a speech. It’s just a way of living that has to be lived out – preferably with a dedication to facts and laws. A lot of white folks around here have serious, serious trouble with basic historical facts

White Americans in general have little or no relationship with historical fact, and they get very angry and uncomfortable when history comes up.

It’s not only not gonna be resolved in a speech, it’s not going to be resolved. It will destroy this nation, eventually.

48. NYCO - 20 March 2008

Re earthquakes – looks like the whole eastern Pacific rim is rockin’ tonight. Alaska… Baja…

49. marisacat - 20 March 2008

Here is an interesting tidbit I just saw at TPM:


A few more details about the Obama passport breach. According to a new piece out in the Post from Glenn Kessler, the breaches occurred Jan. 9th, Feb. 21st and March 14th.

That would be the day after the New Hampshire primary, the day of the Democratic debate in Texas and the day the Wright story really hit.

–Josh Marshall

50. Miss Devore - 20 March 2008

my guess was wrong…I saw this diary title up at dk: “Hey Media: Enough about Ashley.There’s a New Story in Town!” and I thought it was about the Ashley that Obama talks about in his stump speech- the youngish white Obama volunteer who, when asking a group of O supporters, has an elderly black man say “I’m here because of Ashley”

I demand that SNL do a skit where a sexy young woman asks a group of clinton supporters why they are there, and an Eliot Spitzer character volunteers “I’m here because of Ashley”

{x-posted at pff….}

51. Miss Devore - 20 March 2008

keep your eyes peeled, San Franciscans:


52. liberalcatnip - 20 March 2008
53. liberalcatnip - 20 March 2008

I see MB has a post up about the Corporate Hall of Shame.

From their site:

Corporate Accountability International is campaigning around the world to challenge two of the most egregious oil companies in the world, ExxonMobil and ChevronTexaco,

Someone should set up a Blogger Hall of Sellouts site.

54. cad - 20 March 2008

“UNTIL THAT DAY, the citizens of the USA and the government of the USA has no fucking right to raise their voices about the crimes of other nations.”

We all have the right. The country where I live doesn’t preclude me or others for speaking out, just as others in foreign nations do.

55. liberalcatnip - 20 March 2008

Speaking of MB, here he is in the Obama passport FP thread:

Guess what? Everybody uses low-level … (22+ / 0-)

…employees for covert ops or dirty campaign tricks.

The Mafia usually runs things that way, too. Low-level employees doing what they do under orders.

The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppose. – Frederick Douglass

by Meteor Blades on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 10:28:09 PM MDT

I hope they occupy themselves with this story for weeks over there. Maybe they can work that “darkened” Obama video into it too.

56. liberalcatnip - 20 March 2008

More teh stoopid:

Can we get this out You Tube somehow? (0 / 0)

Everyone can make a cam recording of themself reading this very post — if smintheus doesn’t mind — and place a video online with links to start reccing it over there.

A Flash Mob News Flash.

Been wiretapped lately?

by m00nchild on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 10:35:38 PM MDT

I swear they really do think they’re the center of the fucking universe over there and that they know things no one else does. Alert the world!!

57. marisacat - 20 March 2008

swear they really do think they’re the center of the fucking universe over there and that they know things no one else does. Alert the world!!

sigh. And they bitch and moan over street protest or confrontation with an ELECTED officials.

One thing I always remember, think it was Sinclair Communication (and I am sure this is easily searched at DKos if anyone cares) had a slash and burn docudrama out against Kerry. Think they called it Winter Soldier, as well.

Well Dkos was going to make sure that was never shown. Blah blah blah. Weeks of diaries, screaming yelling bitching moaning.

I did see snips from it, and what little I saw was inflammatory. Gee what else is new.

Anyway, I read ELSEWEHRE than Dkos, that des[ite all the raging, it was shown, heavily, the weekend before election in Southern and border/battleground states. More than 11 iirc, not sure if they made it up to the full combined count of 22 states.

The hue and cry rivaled IBM 1972 Selectrics…

58. liberalcatnip - 20 March 2008

Obama spends $1.5 million a day

Clinton spends $1 million.

What a waste of money.

59. marisacat - 20 March 2008

Charlie R is managing a better than usual mini roundtable on Tibet… Orville Schell, Pico Iyer, and a couple academics, one Tibetan.

60. liberalcatnip - 20 March 2008
61. wu ming - 21 March 2008

i don’t really buy that, madman. better to raise one’s voice against all tyranny than to stay silent because one’s own backyard is a mess.

of course, better yet is o try and understand why these things happen, but that doesn’t always lend itself to denunciation.

but generally, i have enough bile to speak ill of the actions of several governments. as long as one doesn’t pretend that one’s gummint’s hands are clean, it’s OK.

62. wu ming - 21 March 2008
63. marisacat - 21 March 2008

wu ming

thanks so much for that link… It touches more directly with more detail on points made, sometimes obliquely, by the roundtable tonight on CR.

Great site!

64. marisacat - 21 March 2008

From the Tibetan link at 62…

[T]he most immediate result of Tibetan militancy will be to unite the Chinese and isolate the moderates on the Tibetan side, while undermining the political standing of Tibet’s most effective political figure, the Dalai Lama, as spokesman for a unified, internationally popular political and diplomatic movement.

That’s bad politics and dumb tactics…and it’s exactly what the Chinese have been trying to accomplish for the last five decades.

The worst case is that the Tibetan unrest and toothless Western censure unite Chinese elite and Chinese public opinion in favor of another one of those major security actions against Tibet’s isolated people and fragile institutions that seem to happen every twenty years.

This one might end up destroying the Dalai Lama’s authority as a leader, encourage the Chinese to further interfere in Tibetan politics and culture by aggressively inserting itself into the search for the next reincarnation, split Tibetan Bhuddism between a PRC-sponsored Dalai Lama in Lhasa and an untested child in Dharamsala, redefine the emigres as a collection of secular, angry–and vulnerable–dissidents, and put the Tibetan regions securely under Beijing’s thumb for another generation.

That’s a potential win big enough to compensate for some embarrassment at the Olympics.

65. marisacat - 21 March 2008

Nancy P is in India with the DL… they say the visit was arranged before the unrest.

66. liberalcatnip - 21 March 2008

Good discussion (long video).

67. wu ming - 21 March 2008

yeah, that guy came up with the only theory that even marginally made things clearer to me. not unlike when it finally came out that the burma protests were sparked off by a structural adjustment-driven gas hike, there’s always a spark that gets the ball rolling, that’s worth paying attention to.

a beautiful, if heartbreaking post at the top of the thread, marisa, BTW. i used to hope, when this had all just began, that some day we’d sort it all out and learn to be like human beings again, like what happened in vietnam and korea. i despair of iraqis ever walking across their bridges again in peace, much less have any heart that i might do so as an old man.

it is hard to make sense of how evil such a war can be.

68. marisacat - 21 March 2008

Whoops. White granny under the bus again. Tapper had picked it up for the early morning am ABC splutter.

I think Obama needs to spend some time with Kenyan step grandmother. A few months ago a reporter reached her village and tried to bait her (as I saw it, looking for a little more than quote) on the presidential contest. She was having none of it. It was a contest, she said, between the man and the woman, up to them to battle it out.

Go Granny!

69. marisacat - 21 March 2008


yes I don’t have much hope that a mere 25 or so years in Iraq can restore what we have destroyed… For one thing we are nto leaving… We did leave Viet-Nam… no reparations, and I would never deny that life there was harsh harsh harsh afterwards. But it had been before as well, under us, the French and so on.

My father used to shake his head and say they had pushed everyone out who tried to invade, they would push us out as well.

Leslie Gelb [ugh] admitted the other night on Charlie Rose, there isn o winning. Not in Iraq and NOT IN AFGHANISTAN either. That no one has subdued Afghanistan, ever.

If only we could get it.This gibberish that the Dems are spouting, from Nancy to HIllary to Barbara Boxer, just this week again, that it is up to the Iraqis, we gave them freedom now they need… blah blah blah. Just disgusting.

70. marisacat - 21 March 2008

Obama Iraq speech, full text, The World Beyond Iraq:

[T]hese are the neglected landscapes of the 21st century, where technology and extremism empower individuals just as they give governments the ability to repress them; where the ancient divides of region and religion wash into the swift currents of globalization.

Without American leadership, these threats will fester. With strong American leadership, we can shape them into opportunities to protect our common security and advance our common humanity – for it has always been the genius of American leadership to find opportunity embedded in adversity; to focus on a source of fear, and confront it with hope.::snip snappy::

Snafu fubar on a trisquit.

71. Madman in the Marketplace - 21 March 2008

i don’t really buy that, madman. better to raise one’s voice against all tyranny than to stay silent because one’s own backyard is a mess.

Except that Americans, for the most part, only raise their voices on OTHER country’s atrocities. Are Clooney, Bono, Mia et al saying ANYTHING about the plight of the First Nations or the neglected inner cities? How about our brutal and gigantic prison-industrial complex? Oprah would rather build schools somewhere else. A lot of people get really mad when reparations, or paying a fair amount for the Indian Trust is brought up.

I’m not saying that this is true of folks here, but on the main …

72. Madman in the Marketplace - 21 March 2008
73. Madman in the Marketplace - 21 March 2008

80,000 Angry Men. Is the US Surge collapsing?

In an investigation carried out by GuardianFilms for Channel 4, we uncover how thousands of Iraqis employed at $10 a day by the US to take on al-Qaida are threatening to go on strike because they say they have been used by the ‘Americans to do their dirty work’ and haven’t been paid

74. JJB - 21 March 2008

MCat, no. 45,

Gore lost a number of competitive states in 2000, such as WV, Missouri, Ohio, and his native Tennessee, and I believe the reason was his Jewish running mate. Nobody has ever discussed this that I’m aware of, but just as there are millions of quiet racists who won’t even consider voting for an African-American, so there are millions of quiet bigots who won’t ever vote for a national ticket that includes a Jew in either of the spots. It might also have made the difference in New Hampshire, which Gore lost by only 7,200 votes. It is true that environmentalism made a difference in WV, where people are still trapped in a life in which digging coal out of the earth (increasingly at non-union mines) is the only viable way to make a living.

BTW, I’ve seen some whispers that McCain might actually choose Lieberman as his running mate, which would be a colossal blunder, IMHO. At this point, I don’t think most Jewish voters would cast a ballot for him, and he brings nothing else to the ticket. And unless I’m forgetting some elderly pair of running mates from the past, it would also make the GOP ticket the oldest ever to contest a national election. McCain is already older than Reagan was when he was inaugurated, and Lieberman is 66 years of age. Should they be elected, on McCain’s 2009 birthday (August 29th, if you’re interested in sending gifts) their combined age will be 140 years.

And yes, BushCo. did dig up a lot of passport information on Bill Clinton in 1992, specifically about a trip he made to the Soviet Union while he was studying at Oxford. They tried to circulate rumors that Clinton had tried to renounce his US citizenship as part of his draft-dodging activities.

75. JJB - 21 March 2008

Madman, no. 71,

Back in the 1980s, while Bono was becoming extraordinarily rich, the Irish economy was flatlined, with something like 20% unemployment (at least). So far as I know, he never did a thing in the way of social activism for his fellow citizens, or even try to highlight the enormous problems that his own country faced, or engage in any kind of dialogue that might have encouraged people to change things. W/r/t rich celebrities, their indignation over political opression and economic injustice increases in direct proportion to the distance it exists from where they live and make their money.

76. ms_xeno - 21 March 2008

…I don’t think most Jewish voters would cast a ballot for him…

What a nice thought !

McKinney gets tagged a “tinfoil hatter” for meeting with a few 911 conspiracy theorists but Obama is under the wing of Joe and none of his acolytes raise an eyebrow. Who’s fucked us over worse ? Some people who believe a robot plane crashed into the towers or Joe Lieberman ?


Protesters outside a downtown bank in PDX on Wednesday were pepper-sprayed by the bike cops. First the cops herded them onto the sidewalk and then sprayed them for being on the sidewalk. Which is actually supposed to be legal. All the same cops who sprayed protesters here in 2002 are still employed at their old jobs. Several have been promoted.

I’m going back into my underground bunker now. See you all in about six months. :/

77. Madman in the Marketplace - 21 March 2008

ooooo boy, I was waiting for this:

Gore Vidal Speaks Seriously Ill of the Dead

78. wilfred - 21 March 2008

Thanks for that link Madman. I’m afraid Gore’s last line is sadly prophetic.

79. Madman in the Marketplace - 21 March 2008

A Message from Cynthia McKinney – A Discussion of Race Worth Having

In 2007, United for a Fair Economy explored the Black voters’ attachment to the Democratic Party, and in a piece entitled, “Voting Blue, but Staying in the Red,” they explored goals that the Democratic Party should have put at the top of its agenda for its first 100 hours in the majority. While noting that the Democrats didn’t even mention Katrina in their agenda, United for a Fair Economy concluded that Blacks and Latinos voted in the November 2006 elections in the blue, but due to a failure of public policy that pays attention to their needs, they continue to live in the red.

In their 2008 report, United for a Fair Economy explores the sub-prime mortgage crisis and note that the largest loss of wealth in U.S. history is being experienced by the Black and Latino communities with an estimated $92 billion being lost by Blacks and an estimated $98 billion being lost by Latinos. And while families are losing their life savings and the only major investment that they own, policy makers are asking them to tighten their belts. But the predator banks’ CEOs are walking away with record remuneration. And our policy makers are notable for their inaction: first on the predatory lending that disproportionately affects Blacks and Latinos, and then on offering relief so that homeowners remain homeowners, including in the midst of this crisis.

Sadly, United for a Fair Economy isn’t the only research organization to find glaring and intolerable disparities in our society by race and no appropriate public policies enacted to address them. Hull House did a study that found that it would take 200 years to close the gap in the quality of life experienced by black Chicagoans and white Chicagoans. There has been no public policy initiative taken up by the mayor or the governor of Illinois to begin closing that gap.

Several years ago, the New York Times published a finding that nearly half the men between the ages of 16 and 64 in New York City were unemployed. There was no initiative by the mayor or the governor of New York to begin addressing such pain.

Every year, the National Urban League publishes a study, “The State of Black America,” in which the ills and disparities that persist in this country are catalogued. Every year, the story is basically the same. The United States has a way to go that only public policy can address. However, when Harvard University/The Kaiser Family Foundation did a study on White attitudes about race several years ago, it found that Whites have little appreciation for the reality of Black life in America, from police harassment and intimidation, to imprisonment, to family income, unemployment, housing, and health care. But without an appreciation of the reality faced by many of our fellow Americans, the necessary public policy initiatives to change those realities will find difficulty gaining acceptance in the public discourse.

Additionally, compounding the problem, there is little public discourse because the corporate press refuse to cover the deep implications of the results of all these studies. I am convinced that if the American people knew the truth of the conditions, change would surely follow. I believe that to be the case because of the impact of the images of “Bloody Sunday” on the passage of the Voting Rights Act. I believe that to be the case because of the impact of the images of the Vietnam War on the turn of the tide of public opinion against that War.

80. wilfred - 21 March 2008

Some possible good news today. Gordon Brown is said to be close to granting asylum for Mehdi Kazemi, the young gay Iranian teenager fighting not to be extradited by the Netherlands and UK. He would be put to death upon return for homosexuality (as his boyfriend already was).

Let’s hope Brown does it, and soon.

81. NYCO - 21 March 2008

Re Native American issues, I realized the other day that David Paterson’s ascension to governor has an interesting potential. Historically, New York State’s relations with the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) are very touchy because the dispute is between the state of New York and the Haudenosaunee, not so much between America and the Haudenosaunee (only so far as the federal government has not been enforcing its treaties). Officially, the state’s recognition of the Haudenosaunee is kind of schizo (there is only one state historic site dedicated to them that isn’t about a battle) and I don’t think there’s been a major high level negotiation with Albany since the days when Mario Cuomo was lieutenant governor (over the Ganienkeh occupation, I think).

But Paterson was very involved with the resolution of the African Burial Ground issue in NYC, he was pretty passionate about it, and repatriation of ancestral remains and relics is still a live issue with the Haudenosaunee (and it connects to various land rights actions and claims that are still extant). So… this is just to say… you never know how pieces of the puzzle might fit together in resolving old wounds. (Although if the Governor of New York ever even made a comment about it or, Lord above, actually went to Treaty Day in Canandaigua… well, I don’t think I’ll see that in my lifetime, but you can hope.)

82. Madman in the Marketplace - 21 March 2008
83. liberalcatnip - 21 March 2008

Whole lotta passport breachiness going at at the State Dept, apparently: Hillary, McCain’s too according to Condi.

84. Madman in the Marketplace - 21 March 2008

The Fed Packages Corruption as Sound Public Policy

Once again, the Fed is using a crisis to enrich corporate interests.

The Federal Reserve Bank’s decision last week to address the housing crisis by extending $200 billion of taxpayer-financed credit to Wall Street banks was met with a stunned reaction typical of surprising events. But really, the move was the expression of longstanding isms that routinely package corruption as sound public policy.

Some background: During the housing boom, banks doled out home loans to financially strapped borrowers, often on predatory terms. On the creditor side, these same banks packaged many of the loans as complex securities and sold them off to unwitting investors, generating a handsome profit on the paper transactions. At the same time, Wall Street used campaign contributions to coerce Congress into blocking anti-predatory-lending bills and repealing a landmark law regulating how banks could buy and sell securities.

Predictably, many borrowers are now defaulting on their loans, meaning losses for financial institutions that hold mortgages and mortgage-backed securities. The Fed responded with what author Naomi Klein calls disaster capitalism – the age-old practice of using a crisis to enrich corporate interests. In this case, the Fed is using the housing emergency to justify giving taxpayer cash to Wall Street in exchange for its worthless mortgages.

“What the Fed really did was lend money to banks and accept the counterfeit currency as collateral, treating it just as though it were real money,” says Dean Baker, the co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research.

But this is not only disaster capitalism, it is also Big Boy Bailout-ism – the kind we’ve become accustomed to since the savings and loan scandal of the 1980s. It is an ideology that rewards wealthy political donors for irresponsible behavior and ignores the real victims.

If you are a banking executive whose risky loans go bad, your industry’s campaign donations get you Big Boy Bailout-ism that makes taxpayers “take the bad loans off the banks’ books,” as one financial analyst gushed this week. If you are a regular Joe who can’t pay your home loan, you get foreclosed on.

85. liberalcatnip - 21 March 2008

we uncover how thousands of Iraqis employed at $10 a day by the US to take on al-Qaida are threatening to go on strike

That’s quite something. Blowback. And all of the prez candidates have touted their cooperation as a success.

86. liberalcatnip - 21 March 2008

Sean McCormack is such a weasel. Blah blah blah…is my face red?

87. Madman in the Marketplace - 21 March 2008
88. Madman in the Marketplace - 21 March 2008

Story behind the story: The Clinton myth

One big fact has largely been lost in the recent coverage of the Democratic presidential race: Hillary Rodham Clinton has virtually no chance of winning.

Her own campaign acknowledges there is no way that she will finish ahead in pledged delegates. That means the only way she wins is if Democratic superdelegates are ready to risk a backlash of historic proportions from the party’s most reliable constituency.

Unless Clinton is able to at least win the primary popular vote — which also would take nothing less than an electoral miracle — and use that achievement to pressure superdelegates, she has only one scenario for victory. An African-American opponent and his backers would be told that, even though he won the contest with voters, the prize is going to someone else.

People who think that scenario is even remotely likely are living on another planet.

As it happens, many people inside Clinton’s campaign live right here on Earth. One important Clinton adviser estimated to Politico privately that she has no more than a 10 percent chance of winning her race against Barack Obama, an appraisal that was echoed by other operatives.

In other words: The notion of the Democratic contest being a dramatic cliffhanger is a game of make-believe.

The real question is why so many people are playing. The answer has more to do with media psychology than with practical politics.

89. Madman in the Marketplace - 21 March 2008
90. Madman in the Marketplace - 21 March 2008

I Knew Gene Kelly. The President Is No Gene Kelly.

To the Editor:

Re “Soft Shoe in Hard Times” (column, March 16):

Surely it must have been a slip for Maureen Dowd to align the artistry of my late husband, Gene Kelly, with the president’s clumsy performances. To suggest that “George Bush has turned into Gene Kelly” represents not only an implausible transformation but a considerable slight. If Gene were in a grave, he would have turned over in it.

When Gene was compared to the grace and agility of Jack Dempsey, Wayne Gretzky and Willie Mays, he was delighted. But to be linked with a clunker — particularly one he would consider inept and demoralizing — would have sent him reeling.

Graduated with a degree in economics from Pitt, Gene was not only a gifted dancer, director and choreographer, he was also a most civilized man. He spoke multiple languages; wrote poetry; studied history; understood the projections of Adam Smith and John Maynard Keynes. He did the Sunday Times crossword in ink. Exceedingly articulate, Gene often conveyed more through movement than others manage with words.

Sadly, President Bush fails to communicate meaningfully with either. For George Bush to become Gene Kelly would require impossible leaps in creativity, erudition and humility.

Patricia Ward Kelly
Los Angeles, March 16, 2008

91. Madman in the Marketplace - 21 March 2008
92. cad - 21 March 2008

The Kossacks really do live in a crazed fantasy world.

Recall when little boy-king Markos thought it would be “fun” to trip up Republicans by having Democrats vote for Romney? Well if Rush Limbaugh copies him and asks Repubs to do the same, it’s bad!

“Could Rush Limbaugh be charged in Ohio for encouraging Republicans to cross over and vote in the Democratic Primary? I doubt it. But, the actual voters who crossed over may be investigated”

But don’t look for one single Koswhack to note the irony.
Or hypocrisy.

93. melvin - 21 March 2008

I’ve got to swear off these gay porn sites: Brand This Cowboy!

94. cad - 21 March 2008

Well one person noted the astounding hypocrisy and idiocy of Kos and his Kontrol Krew:

Well could somebody else be charged (0 / 0)
for asking people to cross over and vote in the Michigan Primary?

This was such a stupid move Kos – I hated this and don’t like to see this again. Lets not get involved in right wing strategies.

by tari on Fri Mar 21, 2008 at 12:01:23 PM PDT

But don’t expect a peep from the deluded faithful.

95. marisacat - 21 March 2008

Just woke up, must rush around and catch up.

Nothing in Moderation and nothing in Spam. Hallelujah!



If encouraging cross over votes is good for the Gander, it is good for the Goose.

She is vilified for whatever where ever (hey go for it!) but it is openly a tactic to register R to vote for Obama. In PA, if what I have been reading for days is accurate. Chris Bowers has been the frantic little non-beaver, LOL, doing just that…

Get over it! Over and over, Obama seems to beg to be thrown the soft ball. Not a good sign.

96. cad - 21 March 2008

What’s incredible is how I’ve come to the terrible position of defending HRC, or at least the tactics, which repel me on all sides.

Markos should take full responsibility for his bonehead crossover vote idea and none of the Kosswhacks can doth protest.

I love the endless stern nerd demands for a candidate to step down! It’s over! If Markos had ben an adviser to McCain, he wouldn’t be the nominee. Good luck with that future consulting gig.

97. marisacat - 21 March 2008

-people constantly forget this this politics, or appear to forget, to enable whomever.

yeah I am nto interested in defending Hilarious. Not in the slightest. But don’t tell ANYONE to get out of a political race.

OVer and over the Democrats crafted such complicated rules for themselves… the Rules are a FUCKING JOKE. And yet one faction yells for the rules to be observed. meaningless! Totally.

Infact I just read last night that the Dem who joined with the R on the FL lege, that sealed the deal for the early primary there, has now withdrawn his endorsement of Obama. Someone named Jeremy Ring.

He apparently openly states his desire was to “blow up the primary system”. I cannot know what goes on behind closed doors, but I read enough editorials and opinon pieces that in FL (Mostly ST pete Times and Miami Herald and the big Tampa paper) it appears to have been the R state lege that moved it up. I also listened to the head of the FL D party on Tavis the other night… she said there si a tape of the fight in the lege between the R and the Democrats over it, that it got nasty, with jeers and cat calls and the R laughing at the Dems. Poor widdle Dems.

The party got taken, again by the R. It always happens.

Obviously with help from the Jeremy Rings of the world.

The Democrats are tied in knots over their endless rules, the utter weakness of the DNC under Howard (argh, I never supported his run for DNC chair, ever!, all his enemies wanted him to run, all the operatives, Geesh Get a CLUE!)

The Democrats will never simplify their system. It is so rigged, and they like it. Now their nuts are in a screw!

As Best I can guess, and all of thsi is way over my head… Hillary wnats or plans or thinks she can blow him up in PA NC WV, perhaps all three, perhaps two.

His job? Run hard, to win. Not for a showy walk.

Who did he think he was running against? Daffy Duck?

98. melvin - 21 March 2008

50 different delegate selection plans for the states (that of Texas alone is 37 pages long) and that is just the beginning. It is something designed to be manipulated by the party mandarins.

The problem I have with the Clintonites etc is that once Obama has managed to win in this crazy system that they designed, or at least were quite happy with while they were running things, they suddenly start crying foul.

99. marisacat - 21 March 2008

the problem being that if counts and amounts, and come on down and make a deal, all but Monty Hall on the stage!, were reversed the Obama people would be invoking one man one vote. Some Let Freedom RIng cry!

ANd they would be saying MAN, LOL by my observation of that game, over on that side.

Good luck to them all.

100. Madman in the Marketplace - 21 March 2008

Sam Harris:

Obama did not say that religion’s effect on our society, and on the black community especially, has been destructive–and where it has seemed constructive it has generally taken the place of better things. Religion unites, motivates, and consoles beleaguered people not with knowledge, but with superstition and false promises. Surely there is a better way to bring people together in the 21st century. The truth is, despite the toothsomeness of his campaign slogan, we are not yet the people we have been waiting for. And if we don’t start talking sense to our children, they won’t be the ones we are waiting for either.

Obama was surely wise not to mention that Christianity was, without question, the great enabler of slavery in this country. The Confederate soldiers who eagerly laid down their lives at three times the rate of Union men, for the pleasure of keeping blacks in bondage and using them as farm equipment, did so with the conscious understanding that they were doing the Lord’s work. After Reconstruction, religion united Southern whites in their racist hatred and the black community in its squalor–inuring men and women on both sides to injustice far more efficiently than it inspired them to overcome it.

The problem of religious fatalism, ignorance, and false hope, while plain to see in most religious contexts, is now especially obvious in the black community. The popularity of “prosperity gospel” is perhaps the most galling example: where unctuous crooks like T.D. Jakes and Creflo Dollar persuade undereducated and underprivileged men and women to pray for wealth, while tithing what little wealth they have to their corrupt and swollen ministries. Men like Jakes and Dollar, whatever occasional good they may do, are unconscionable predators and curators of human ignorance. Is it too soon to say this in American politics? Yes it is.

101. marisacat - 21 March 2008

Well Religion – with a big fat capital “R” – goes hand in hand with prohibition and authoritarianism. Screwing the lid on tight, so we suffocate…

Which is all we are going to get from any of the car salesmen. Which is all thsi crew is.

102. melvin - 21 March 2008

100 Well this is old stuff, and my views are known to anyone who cares and not important to anyne else, but I again reiterate my point that whatever legitamized slavery etc etc was whatever was at hand. Not many thread is classicall philosophy were very anit-slavery, for instance. Does anyone believe slavery would never have existed but for Christianity?

It seems to me that people imagine some alternative history where there was no religion, and that somehow that would have been sweetness and light. When people pick up the cudgels, the machine guns, they justify it with whatever is at hand.

Currently there is no god but money. That seems to work just as well at obliterating ancient cultures – and killing human beings – around the world as any army advancing under the flag of some god.

103. marisacat - 21 March 2008

Does anyone believe slavery would never have existed but for Christianity?

well no. Since there was pre Xtian slavery as well. Muslim slavery. We have had modern era slavery in non xtian countries.

But certainly religion gets used and all too often happily used, it sinks right down into the gutter of whatever it is needed for. From the religious leadership on down.

To me it is all about control. From some controlling authority.

and so on.

104. liberalcatnip - 21 March 2008

Richardson’s stage directions. lol

But look at some of the comments. Sheesh. Some people have no sense of humour.

105. marisacat - 21 March 2008
106. liberalcatnip - 21 March 2008

Christians have too many holidays. It’s hard out there for an atheist grandma on a limited budget! 🙂

107. melvin - 21 March 2008

105 — Well, I guess there is a limit to my defence of this kind of thing.

May I anoint your owie?

(I’m melvin, and I reject, denounce, decry, dismiss, eschew, renounce, disbelieve, condemn, abjure, protest, abhor, and declare anathema and heretical this message.)

108. liberalcatnip - 21 March 2008

Tweety calls Obama and Richardson together on the stage as the “many faces of Benetton”. lol

109. marisacat - 21 March 2008



110. melvin - 21 March 2008

108 Speaking of phony bullshit propaganda drives, Benetton Trying to Evict Mapuche from their Lands

The company claims the tract of land should be returned to them because the Mapuche didn’t listen to the order of Provincial Judge Omar Magellan, who forbade the community from making changes (that irreparably damage) the land.

So what are the changes? A gate, a henhouse, an orchard, a lamb stockyard, a mud oven, a small bridge over a creek and a potato farm. Oh and they brought a horse too. In other words, they’ve done only what they need to sustain themselves on the land.

111. marisacat - 21 March 2008

This is extremely interesting from a lesbian minister, with contacts inside Trinity. Still reading, have not finished it…

112. marisacat - 21 March 2008

LOL I have a confession, literally years ago, my private nickname for Meteor Blades was…

Benetton Ad.

I mean he was just too too precious. All things to all and smiling all the way. Damned adware…


113. melvin - 21 March 2008

112 You are a wicked, wicked mcat! It would be nice to get to the bottom of this Meteor Gump business.

114. marisacat - 21 March 2008

boy, comment 6 at the Bilerico, linked at comment 111, just pulls out all the hoary old put downs.

[R]everend Monroe, which is more important to you – ending the Iraq War or fighting the battle for homosexuals to have a symbolic union? The pressing and use of this issue drove Conservative Evangelical turnout to all-time highs in 2004. The same could presumably happen in 2008.

Senator Obama has stated that he supports full civil rights and shared rights for homosexuals. But that’s not enough, is it? The full monty of marriage is desired, despite the fact that it would have absolutely no bearing on any legal right, and would simply be a symbolic victory.

Indeed, the real question is this: Can the LGBTQ community avoid throwing Obama “under the bus” because he advocates for every issue that is important to said community except for the label said community wishes to apply to the issue?

No candidate is perfect. No candidate is going to deliver a panacea to everything that ails America. We have today, though, a transformational candidate that has the possibility to change the way the business of politics is done. If one is willing to sacrifice that candidate for a single issue that is more of a semantic than a substantive difference, I could only think that the selfishness being employed is the very same kind of selfishness leading to the destruction of this great country.

hmm be sure to do it in the name of Jesus. As Obama sets about Healing The Whirled.

115. Miss Devore - 21 March 2008

I did not know this Sunday was Easter until Mitm said some people had a three-day weekend, and I thought, no, Cesar Chavez Day is March 31, and presidents day was last month. The fact I would see these canned easter baskets in Long’s–with frisbees and basketballs in them– didn’t really clue me in because holiday trinkets are sold way long before the actual holiday.

Anyway, the cashier in Longs today–first they ask you if you found everything you were looking for (A silly question when your basket contains vodka and Bloody Mary mix)–wished me a happy Easter and I was tempted to tell him I was Jewish, which I’m not.

Back in my day, we had the same easter baskets year after year, we re-used the “grass”, and we ultimately had to eat the damned hard-boiled eggs.

116. diane - 21 March 2008

rather eat those hardboiled eggs than those raw marsh mellows, and I didn’t even have to cut cane.

waves to Miss D!

117. Miss Devore - 21 March 2008

dianeL? longtime.

118. marisacat - 21 March 2008

Not to worry! If indeed you were worried… Obama rejects and denounces. Or condems and denies. Or … something or other… LOL

[I]n slamming the Hamas piece, Obama noted that he strongly rejects some of his longtime pastor’s views.

“I have already condemned my former pastor’s views on Israel in the strongest possible terms, and I certainly wasn’t in church when that outrageously wrong Los Angeles Times piece was re-printed in the bulletin,” Obama said in a statement e-mailed to JTA late Thursday. “Hamas is a terrorist organization, responsible for the deaths of many innocents, and dedicated to Israel’s destruction, as evidenced by their bombarding of Sderot in recent months. I support requiring Hamas to meet the international community’s conditions of recognizing Israel, renouncing violence, and abiding by past agreements before they are treated as a legitimate actor.”

Obama has consistently condemned Hamas and defended Israel’s military responses to rocket attacks. ::snipthesnap::

119. Madman in the Marketplace - 21 March 2008

Oh, that pic of the Obama family is so precious, and all to celebrate the hanging of a human being by his arms from a pole until he slowly suffocates under his own body weight!


120. diane - 21 March 2008

Really, really ….had to quickly quit pfffft, should’ve known better anyway; but, one wants to cuddle up next to their own species……no matter how nuch they batter…..

don’t we?

121. diane - 21 March 2008

“much” also.

(pride and all that …..ya know?)

122. liberalcatnip - 21 March 2008

rather eat those hardboiled eggs than those raw marsh mellows,

Hey now! Don’t be dissin’ my peeps.

123. diane - 21 March 2008

Fine Nepetia, catmint, but I’m sure you don’t gobble those cute little suckers ….

do you?

they’re fricken greenish white?

and that glittery sparkly stuff…well, it rots your teeth!

124. Miss Devore - 21 March 2008

Peeps are getting bigger every year.

I’m sure someone’s done something on the theme of “peep show”

125. ms_xeno - 21 March 2008

I shamelessly stole Madman’s link to pad my own den. Sorry, Madman. It’s my twisted revenge because I had neither the time nor energy earlier this week to jump into the whole fray about legalized prostitution. Can you all say “collect one decade’s worth of burnout and pass ‘GO’ ?” I knew you could.

Shortly I should have some more cheery offering up on my page. I don’t mean Peeps, either. As food, those things scare the living daylights out of me. But one day when I’m rich I’m going to have a concrete garden border cast around my lot that will resemble a 5000′ row of Peeps sitting side by side. I plan to be an iconoclastic conspicuous nouveau riche consumer.

126. diane - 21 March 2008

hmmmmm…..GO You Chicken Fat GOOOOOOOOOOO!

You’ve been abused ms xeno, don’t trust those fricken peeps….

(you’ll be toothless………..)

127. ms_xeno - 21 March 2008

Are the original Peeps too ostentatious to serve in the garden, diane ? Would I be better off with the rabbit-style ? I was afraid those would be more inclined to get chipped during hailstorms, what with the ears and all…

128. diane - 21 March 2008

still water runs deep……

129. diane - 21 March 2008

hmm well those rabbit ears are quite long Ms Xeno…

Have you ever heard Burl Ives sing Mr. Rabbit ..Mr. Rabbit….your ears are mighty long….

Yes my Lord…they’re put on wrong………

But I think they’ll do just fine……

But then again….occasionally…I foolishly believe in Miracles!

130. diane - 21 March 2008

hmmmmmm…now that I’ve sufficiently bored the socks off of everyone but my ornery bossom buddy, Ruby the CAT….(actually…she’s quite Fine! yet she knows how to scratch) is there any human out there who wants to talk to me anymore???????

131. Madman in the Marketplace - 21 March 2008

Moyers is doing the show on the movie “Body of War” tonight.

132. diane - 21 March 2008

…here goes….Mr. Rabbit, Mr. Rabbit….your eyes are mighty red….yes my Lord I’m jus bout dead……

I guess only children grasp how special these songs are…

but then again, maybe not?

133. diane - 21 March 2008

Waves to the Ladies!!!!!!!!!!!


134. liberalcatnip - 21 March 2008

Fine Nepetia, catmint, but I’m sure you don’t gobble those cute little suckers ….

Of course not. I worship them. In fact, I’m working on a peep shrine as we speak!

135. Miss Devore - 21 March 2008

134. I believe.the peep is the post-it of spirituality.

136. Hair Club for Men - 21 March 2008

I nominated you for best female blogger (for prescience in leading the rebellion against Kos).

137. Miss Devore - 21 March 2008

not a peep:

had never heard of the Procession of the Mysteries.

138. diane - 21 March 2008

Nepetia catmint,

Wishing you just prepared funnelcakes with a light powdering of confectioners sugar and your favorite tea on any freezing morning you might encounter…

Hmmmm maybe some berries on top!

139. liberalcatnip - 21 March 2008

Moyers is doing the show on the movie “Body of War” tonight.

Very powerful and so maddening…still.

140. liberalcatnip - 21 March 2008

138. Thanks, diane. (cheesecake…cheesecake)

141. marisacat - 21 March 2008

I have Moyers on …

(Hi to Diane!)


142. liberalcatnip - 21 March 2008

The common error of ordinary religious practice is to mistake the symbol for the reality, to look at the finger pointing the way and then to suck it for comfort rather than follow it.

– Alan W. Watts, The Wisdom of Insecurity

143. liberalcatnip - 21 March 2008
144. liberalcatnip - 21 March 2008

Feds to Appeal AIPAC Case. It’s been rescheduled 8 times.

145. marisacat - 22 March 2008

LOL Obama is calling for a CONGRESSIONAL investigation into the Passport File Intrusion.

That’ll do it. As soon as they are done with steroids.

146. Miss Devore - 22 March 2008
147. Miss Devore - 22 March 2008

more nostalgia:

“I remember (9+ / 0-)

Recommended by:
espresso, JeffLieber, conchita, bws, dangangry, Hedwig, flumptytail, willb48, swampus

When it was just a blog and a link to some of Kos’s music. It was good then, but that was because we lucked out on having Billmon, Steve Gilliard and Marisacat in the threads to talk to.


by wetzel on Mon Mar 17, 2008”

148. NYCO - 22 March 2008

Noticed this in a dKos post on an “Obama Encounter”…

At one point, and 74 year-old man stood up to tell Barack that he was now blind- color blind, specifically due to the speech he gave this week.

149. Hair Club for Men - 22 March 2008

Steve Gilliard

You know, Rachel Corrie’s parents managed to get her journals edited down to some form of manageable book.

Where are Steve Gilliard’s “friends” when it comes to his writings? I’d actually like to be able to write a review on how bloody wrong he turned out to be in his predictions about the course of the Iraq war.

But I don’t want to sort through years of blog posts.

150. Madman in the Marketplace - 22 March 2008

Target Venezuela!

With this in mind, Bill Conroy at The Narco News Bulletin is reporting that CIA and Pentagon corporate cut-outs have exported at least 11 aircraft to Venezuela since 2003, four of which have subsequently been linked to cocaine planes seized by Mexican and Central American authorities. Conroy’s extensive investigation into the mysterious aircraft and even dodgier companies have led him to conclude that the planes are linked “to an elaborate covert intelligence operation.” Conroy reports:

The covert program, law enforcement sources contend, likely involves the CIA and components of Defense Department intelligence agencies, and is focused, in part, on penetrating, or even propping up, narco-trafficking groups in Venezuela. That country’s outspoken leader, Hugo Chávez, is regularly demonized by U.S. policymakers for, among other things, supposedly allowing his country to become a haven for narco-traffickers. (“U.S. Cocaine-Plane Invasion Spooks Latin America,” The Narco News Bulletin, March 11, 2008)

The Narco News investigation dovetails with one that Florida-based journalist Daniel Hopsicker has been reporting for nearly two years when the first plane was seized on the Yucatan peninsula by Mexican authorities in April 2006, carrying some 5.5. tons of cocaine.

Conroy and Hopsicker have both reported that the operation, code-named Mayan Express, appears to prioritize intelligence goals over law enforcement. Multi-ton loads of cocaine may have been allowed to flow freely into the United States as Washington’s “drug warriors” looked the other way, a classic sign of a sanctioned intelligence operation.

Two of the aircraft identified in their reports, a Gulfstream II jet (tail number N987SA), which crashed in Mexico last September with a payload of some four tons of cocaine, and a Beech 200 (N391SA) seized in Nicaragua “with the false tail number N168D,” have been linked to the CIA’s “extraordinary rendition” program, according to Council of Europe investigators.

In a prior interview with Conroy, attorney Mark Conrad, “a former high-level supervisory U.S. Customs agent who has an extensive background in the intelligence world,” told Narco News,

“Even though it looks as if you are unraveling odd connections you may be only seeing a small part of what is going on — or you may be seeing what you are expected to see, missing something else.

“My guess — and that is all that it is — is that this has something to do with operations in Venezuela — either to finance ops, or to divert attention from Agency ops in Venezuela to destabilize Chávez. … It is not in the U.S. interests for Chávez to create another Cuba on some of the largest oil field reserves in the world.” [emphasis added]

Before the December 2007 constitutional referendum which the Chávez government lost, Golinger reported that Venezuelan counterintelligence obtained a CIA memorandum from the U.S. Embassy which revealed extensive CIA/Pentagon plans to destabilize the country. Code-named “Operation Pliers,” the memo was dated November 20, 2007.

151. marisacat - 22 March 2008

New thread


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