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it’s a pathetic house here… 28 May 2008

Posted by marisacat in Inconvenient Voice of the Voter.

Photo source

I am reduced to pawing the TV screen when there is an ad for cat food. There was one this morning with 3 pretty standard issue American short hairs…

Anyway… back to the moment at hand… Boston.com takes a look at the promise, offer, whatever it is, election slobber, from Camp Obama to ‘redraw the map’. Some changes can be made – no doubt. And I have long argued that if the Democrats gave two hoots about people they’d go more places, talk to more people. If you cannot look people in the eye and shake their hand (what too many of the Democrats cannot do), ask to hear what they’d like to tell you – well then, you cannot build the popular vote.

Howard has long promised his “50 State Strategy”… I hear burbles, but have no idea if truly implemented…

Usual caveat, FWIW, NTIM… 😉



1. CSTAR - 28 May 2008

Gato por liebre?

Sounds like the dems all right

(= Cat for hare)

2. ms_xeno - 28 May 2008

It’s only the job of 3rd Parties to reach everyone, everywhere, right this instant.

Gotta’ love folks who exhort you to run harder after they’ve smashed both your kneecaps.

Ho hum.

3. marisacat - 28 May 2008

oh the Democrats squandered decades. There is no question. My own belief is they surrendered the South. You may not win but you can build or keep popular votes, if anyone cares to, they did not. Some states are truly beyond the reach, WY, Idaho, MT, Utah… there is an intense white swathe there.

4. JJB - 28 May 2008

Bad news for Billary:

A Democratic Party rules committee has the authority to seat some delegates from Michigan and Florida but not fully restore the two states as Hillary Rodham Clinton wants, according to party lawyers.

Democratic National Committee rules require that the two states lose at least half of their convention delegates for holding elections too early, the party’s legal experts wrote in a 38-page memo.

The memo was sent late Tuesday to the 30 members of the party’s Rules and Bylaws Committee, which plans to meet Saturday at a Washington hotel. The committee is considering ways to include the two important general election battlegrounds at the nominating convention in August, and the staff analysis says seating half the delegates is “as far as it legally can” go.

Saturday’s meeting is expected to draw a large crowd, with Clinton supporters among those encouraging a protest outside demanding that all the states’ delegates be seated. Proponents of full reseating have mailed committee members Florida oranges and pairs of shoes to get their attention.


Clinton won the majority of the vote in Florida and Michigan and has been arguing that the delegates should be fully restored according to the results of the January primaries. But even if they were, it would not be enough for her to overtake Obama’s delegate lead.

As it becomes clear that Obama likely will win the nomination, he has been working to win over voters in the two states with visits in recent days. He plans to return to Michigan on Monday.


The analysis also said there is an option to restore 100 percent of the delegates — by a recommendation of the Credentials Committee that meets later this summer. However, that would mean a final decision would not be made until the first day of the convention in Denver since Credentials Committee decisions have to be approved by the full convention as it convenes — risking a floor fight.

Shades of 1972, when the McGovern forces prevailed by switching their votes so as to lose some kind of procedural vote that preceded the actual vote on whether Humphrey was entitled to any California delegates (it was a winner take all primary and McGovern won it). It was a very Byzantine procedure, and the McGovern campaign handled it in a way that would have had Machiavelli beaming with approval. Things were so confusing, Walter Cronkite started babbling something about what a huge loss this was for McGovern, and then the reporter at McGovern headquarters corrected him saying “Walter, if this was a loss for McGovern, why are these people cheering?”

Then there was the credential challenge at the 1952 GOP conclave, when Eisenhower took the nomination from Robert Taft, with a huge assist from Richard Nixon, who delivered some crucial California votes against the wishes of the state’s governor Earl Warren (yes, that Earl Warren), who was hoping the convention would deadlock, and he could use his favorite son status as a base to rally delegates to him.

I wasn’t around in 1952, but it must have been interesting. Certainly the 1972 convention was.

5. JJB - 28 May 2008

I did not know that McCain recently challenged Obama to take a stroll through Baghdad with him (in flak jackets surrounded by hundreds of US troops, no doubt). Obama dismissed this as the cheap stunt that it is, but McCain is trying to make points with it. Josh Marshall is displaying some video of McCain’s attempt to display indignation at Obama’s having turned him down, and notes he highly doubts that it’s a winning issue. I do too, but am more struck at something else, namely how old, tired, and ineffectual McCain appears as he stumbles along in front of what is certainly an audience of loyalists, trying to inspire them to feel the same scorn he claims is movtivating him. As he attempts to read Obama’s words off his note card, he looks like an elderly gent trying to make sense of his wife’s handwriting as he makes his way down the aisles of his retirement community supermarket, talking to himself all the while. I think he’s going to make a very unappealing candidate once the fall campaign starts, he’s even more burned out looking than Bob Dole was 12 years ago.

See for yourself.

6. marisacat - 28 May 2008


yes he challenged Obama to go to Iraq, a couple or three days ago, (I’ve lost track)…

Honestly I was surprised when Obama agreed to the suggestion of a traveling show of unmoderated debates this summer with McC.

I’d love to write off McCain. Assume that he will combust, drool or fall down break an elbow and collarbone, whatever.

But those pols just rise up out of the La Brea Tar Pits with frightening regularity.

7. marisacat - 28 May 2008

bleh… Ms Marcotte distinguishes herself, but not well.

Love the comment from kozmik:

Marcotte is more like the girl who sits in the front row because she has a crush on the professor and raises her hand every oppurtunity to chit-chat. Thrilling for her, incredibly tedious for everyone else. Or maybe she’s more like the female Jiminy Glick of blogs.

Marcotte, it’s called a “wedge issue.” You don’t need to detail every one just because you’re newly familiar with the concept.

I look forward to Marcotte’s further brilliant insights, such as her upcoming series on water being, in fact, known to have been, and some would argue, continuing to be, on occasion when the proper circumstances present themselves, wet. Or her treatise on the future of politics, and how it won’t be similar to how a small bean filled sac could be employed in an informal sport requiring foot-eye coordination which probably wouldn’t encourage great competitiveness, roughness or physical contact generally.

Posted by kozmik
May 27, 2008 7:51 PM

8. JJB - 28 May 2008

no. 6,

Well, I’m no judge of what the American public finds an inspiring image w/r/t a president. Reagan, politics aside, left me cold. Being an actor myself, I was always far too aware of the craft behind his vocal and physical presentation. He looked like what he always had been, a modestly talented thespian who could never be a real star because he could never recite his lines with the sort of simple but transcendent conviction that other modestly talented performers who were stars could bring to their acting (think of Fred McMurray in Double Indemnity, and then try to imagine Ronnie in his place). So he developed the tricks that people who don’t believe a word of what their saying master to make a career in commercials. In his case, he developed his voice into as resonant a baritone as possible, and mastered squinching his features into various expressions that can suggest sincerity. I knew every last eyebrow raising, eye narrowing, and charming grin had been practiced in front of a mirror until even he didn’t know which was the reflection and which his real face. When he did that “City On A Hill” peroration in one of the 1980 debates, I burst out laughing, convinced that he’d just blown the election. Not only was it one of the phoniest performances I’d ever witnessed, but the words could have come straight out of some awful 1940s bottom-of-the-marquee feature MGM had dumped into theatres in the hopes no one would notice it.

Even so, McCain looks like an underconfident Mr. Magoo (note how he has to move the index card back and forth to read it). Even a lot of racists are liable to feel he’s too big a risk to vote into the White House. Also, claiming that you don’t read your opponents’ statements (which he does at the beginning of the clip) is leaving yourself open to a big kick in the rear.

9. marisacat - 28 May 2008

well we knew Ron and Nancy very well out here. In fact, we all knew the western rise of the new conservatism, wingerism. The Birchers, cleaned up a tad. Some gloss from Buckley, that fucking nutter.

It was beyond painful to watch the nation scarf Reagan down, like toast with butter and jam.

10. marisacat - 28 May 2008

hmmm Charles Pierce has a piece up in Esquire on Obama………

11. Madman in the Marketplace - 28 May 2008

100 – last thread: And that should be “Botany Bay,”

I really hated when Kahn managed to escape from there.

12. wu ming - 28 May 2008

regular unleaded gas at $4.29 a gallon today. ouch.

UT will be out of play for the duration, but i’m not so sure about MT. the rancher/natural gas driller conflict is simmering, although whether dems will exploit that is anyone’s guess. not real big fans of the police state out there either, even the wingnuts have a pretty strong leave me the hell alone and mind your own business vibe going on that was never wholly integrated into the southern busybodies that make up the core of the current GOP.

and then there’s global warming, and connections to bugs, droughts and fire in the forested west. people are starting to talk about it, and the alert ones are getting concerned. some timber owners are looking into carbon trading as a way of staying solvent, where four or five years ago they were deriding it all as another enviro plot to take their land.

there could eventually be a realignment down the road that leaves the west voting in parallel with new england, nationally. far from assured, but it could happen.

13. Madman in the Marketplace - 28 May 2008

IOZ turns words into Japanese fugu knives:

When McClellan finally gets canned, Bush weeps. Et t’aime d’autant plus, belle, que tu me fuis . . . Not to engage in any egregious phenotypology, but Scooter just looks gullible. Ari was a hard-ass; Scooter a buffoon; to replace Scooter, they combed the rolls of third-tier state university sorority alumni rolls until they found Dana Perino, who by daily managing to form phonemes into words exceeds anyone’s expectations of her. A tell-all memoir by a press secretary full of revelations that it was not, in fact, his job to accurately and concisely communicate the policies of the Administration of the United States of America to the League of Women’s Voters and the Rotary Club and the Press Corps and the Boyscouts and Jesus, Mary, Joseph, and You, the Voter is neither a tell-all nor particularly revelatory. A PR hack spinning tall tales? Really? I’m sure that in some circles this will all be taken as further “proof” of Bushisti mendacity, as if anything else needs to accumulate on that point. Scooter was a goober; one a goober, always a goober. He will make an excellent associate district manager for some backwater chemical and cleaning supply company, logging the miles, living the dream. Requiescat in pace. Go with God. Fuck off.

14. Madman in the Marketplace - 28 May 2008


An American soldier’s sexual assault of a 14-year-old Okinawan girl has caused a diplomatic crisis that could result in Japan’s refusal to increase its participation in the Iraq war, creating a rare situation indeed: an instance in which rape matters to the U.S. military.

President Bush apologized. Condi Rice even told Japanese leaders that the United States would “try” to prevent such incidents from happening again. My opinion: “Try” is already an admission of helplessness.

The military has no idea what to do with its rape problem because it’s part of the core contradiction out of which today’s military tradition has grown. Military rape, and the denial and/or blame-the-victim vehemence with which it is generally greeted, exposes, perhaps like nothing else, the lunacy of so much of our foreign policy, which is built on assumptions of that tradition that have long been abandoned in most other spheres of life, beginning with the need for a dehumanized, soulless “other” who is the “enemy.”

Turns out the dehumanization process is not easily controlled, especially when it is well-armed and stoked with testosterone. This is the flip side of glory; and there is a growing global awareness that the way nation states conduct their business, and press their “interests” in the moral vacuum that separates one from another, must be reconsidered and humanized all the way, you might say, back to Rome (about whom it was said, “They create a wasteland and call it peace”).

15. Madman in the Marketplace - 28 May 2008

Spanish Judge Calls for Bush to be Tried for War Crimes

Baltasar Garzón, the Spanish judge who sought to prosecute Chilean dictator General Augusto Pinochet, has called for US President George W. Bush and his allies to be tried for war crimes over Iraq.

Writing in El Pais on the fourth anniversary of the invasion, Garzón stated, “Today, March 20, marks four years since the formal start of the war on Iraq. Instigated by the United States and Great Britain, and supported by Spain among other countries, one of the most sordid and unjustifiable episodes in recent human history began.

“Breaking every international law, and under the pretext of the war against terror, there has taken place since 2003 a devastating attack on the rule of law and against the very essence of the international community. In its path, institutions such as the United Nations were left in tatters, from which it has not yet recovered.” “Instead of commemorating the war,” Garzón continues, “we should be horrified, screaming and demonstrating against the present massacre created as a consequence of that war.”

He then writes that George W. Bush and his allies should eventually face war crimes charges for their actions in Iraq: “We should look more deeply into the possible criminal responsibility of the people who are, orwere, responsible for this war and see whether there is sufficient evidence to make them answer for it.” “For many it would be merely a question of political responsibility, but judicial actions in the US are beginning to emerge, as is the case of the verdict passed on one of vicepresident Cheney’s collaborators, [I. Lewis Libby] which point in a different direction.”

“There is enough of an argument in 650,000 deaths for this investigation and inquiry to start without more delay,” he added.

16. Heather-Rose Ryan - 28 May 2008

I have to disagree with you there, JJB – I thought Reagan was a mediocre actor but not as awful as his political foes pretend, and he was an excellent public speaker. Those mannerisms you note and criticize – the deeply resonant voice and “canned” facial expressions – are highly effective in public speaking, particularly in the style of public speaking that Reagan and his generation grew up with. His style was a throwback to an earlier era (think: The Age of Radio) and that got across to people.

Furthermore, remember that he came into office immediately after Jimmy Carter, who was one of the worst public speakers I have ever heard. The current Bush has him beat, but not by much. What a relief to hear someone who could actually deliver a speech! Whether it meant anything or not was another matter.

17. marisacat - 28 May 2008

Heather-Rose, wu ming and Madman

out of moderation!

Sorry for the delay!

… 8)

18. Madman in the Marketplace - 28 May 2008

A Religion Hijacked

Jinan is in her late 30s. She wears boot cut jeans with lace flowers snaking up the right leg. Her top is a tight fitting pastel yellow and her chestnut brown hair flows just past her shoulder.

The devout Shiite Muslim prays five times a day and fasts during the holy month of Ramadan to focus on God and sacrifice. She was born and raised in the southern port city of Basra.

The city was once reveled for its beauty and active role in culture, music and dance. Now it is dilapidated, devastated from war after war after war. Giant lakes of sewage tarnish the city and the infrastructure is collapsing after an eight-year war with Iran, years of neglect and sanctions and the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.

Following the invasion extrene Islamists slowly took control of the city. They firebombed music stores, forbade music at Muslim weddings when couples celebrated their matrimony. Slowly they controlled people’s behavior and took away the choice Muslim women make to cover their hair out of modesty.

Jinan’s choice was stolen, but she refused to succumb. The engineer went to work every day in her snug clothes, meticulous makeup and flowing hair. Every day she prayed to God as well.

Signs near the police station warned women to veil and to remove their makeup. Women around her were being killed. In just five months more than 50 women were killed, police said.

She returned home at the same time as she did every day a little over three months ago. As she walked to the door she felt cold metal pressed to her head.

“If you don’t wear anything on your head then we will kill you and anyone with you,” a man whispered in her ear as he held a gun to her head. She felt fear and then rage.

But now things seem to be getting better. She leaves her house without the terror and she hopes that the Islamists will stay in hiding and the threatening banners torn from the walls will never again be hung.

“Before when I moved in the streets I heard the whispers about my clothes,” she said. People would admonish her.

“They will kill you,” she recalled people saying. Now no one says a word about her white high heels, her toes painted pink or her red lipstick. One woman clapped her hands in approval.

“Last week I went to work and a police man gave me a thumbs-up,” Haiya, her sister added. She also won’t be forced to cover her hair. For the first time her defiance was met with approval.

Her anger isn’t just directed at the extremists that ruled her streets for years. For a month now it has been better. It’s also directed against the United States and the British.

“We all say the reason for this suffering is the English and the Americans,” she said. “They didn’t use powerful actions. They left us with the militias…When Saddam fell we were all very very happy but the British and Americans killed our happiness.”

They now feel safer now but they wouldn’t let a journalist take their picture. They worried that the people they feared would come back.

“Five years of our life were ruled by guns,” Haiya said. “They hijacked our religion. They might come back.”

19. Heather-Rose Ryan - 28 May 2008

12: from the article: Turns out the dehumanization process is not easily controlled, especially when it is well-armed and stoked with testosterone.

Ah. OK, to borrow from the critic of Amanda Marcotte quoted in the earlier thread: yeah, and water is wet. Wow. Insightful commentary.

This problem in the US military is nothing new. It was happening long before the current “Roman” expansionist doctrine. Webb was defending it decades ago, in his “Women Can’t Fight” article and his later defense of the Tailhook perpetrators.

I think it happens in militaries around the world, but we don’t tend to hear about it as much.

The news story posted here the other day (by catnip?) about UN “peacekeepers” raping an underage girl is indicative of the prevalence of the problem.

20. cad - 28 May 2008

I’m just enjoying the White House show. It’s good to get a chance to watch the rats flee.

21. Heather-Rose Ryan - 28 May 2008


Jinan wouldn’t surrender her right to decide and she went out again with her hair uncovered, she said recently, her gold bracelets jingling and her dangling earrings swaying.

“There is an inner feeling that told me no one could threaten me,” she said. “No one could tell me to do this thing and not that.”

Why did you cut that quote out, Madman? That’s the key quote of the article. For me, at least.

22. marisacat - 28 May 2008


well I agree on MT — internally. If you can get a governor that peopl;e like, and without knowing much of Schweikert, he seems to be doing OK… things can happen.

After 2004 I sat down wtih the CNN state breakdown, by state and by county.. One thing was that for neither Bush nor Kerry was there a massive home state love. Each pulled in over 60 pts at home, but a very clear over 30pts that were not with them… then some of the very white states… in the mountain west or interior west… very hard core, most counties. Some southern states were definitely more penetrable, if the Dems ever cared to work on it.

I could see Obama doing better in MT than in some others. Land issues, ranchers issues, the western libertarianism are all exploitable (beyond MT) issues, if they care to.

He certainly managed to pull in several Northern Ca very white, often very or rther conservative counties… Tulare comes to mind, off hand. there was a little row of them heading for the Oregon border… Maybe in thsoe districts he had better, or just some at all, operatives, precinct captains, than thru out the interior / southern parts of the state.

23. Madman in the Marketplace - 28 May 2008

Why did you cut that quote out, Madman?

I felt like I was lifting too much. I’m glad you highlighted it.

24. marisacat - 28 May 2008

sorry yet another H-R out of moderation.

I swear WP had two good weeks about 5 months ago. It was brief. And over.


25. Madman in the Marketplace - 28 May 2008

19 – I linked it b/c I thought it interesting that a columnist from the Republican-leaning Chicago Tribune wrote it. While most of us know this stuff, if you mention it to a lot of Americans you’ll get disbelieving stares, or the worse response of “that’s war”. After all, aren’t all military men heroes who make our freedom possible?

Sorry if it bothered you.

26. Madman in the Marketplace - 28 May 2008
27. Madman in the Marketplace - 28 May 2008

The Poorman on Scottie’s “tell all”

Look forward to lots more of this, folks. The “CYA-Oriented Perfunctory Recounting of Shit You Already Know” aisle at Barnes & Noble will squeeze out the 8 million remaindered copies of Left Behind For Dummies and moldy stacks of John Mayer CDs in no time. And every time another ex-Bush apparatchik clasps their bloodied hands in front of them to mewl and whimper for sympathy because it just wasn’t their fault, expect the press to be Shocked! by the Stunning! Revelations! in their Surprisingly Harsh! note from Mom (signed, shakily, in crayon) that requests, in sum, that little Scottie (or little Paul or little Condi or others to be named later) be excused from prison today because that mean little Rove boy beat him up in the briefing room again. Pathetic.

28. ms_xeno - 28 May 2008
29. Heather-Rose Ryan - 28 May 2008

23. OK, Madman, thanks for explaining. I do think it’s a crucial quote and very moving. If we could all – especially women – tune in to our “inner voice” that tells us that nobody can threaten us and nobody can tell us what to do, the world would be much better off.

25. I found the article unimpressive but other than that, it didn’t bother me. The problem bothers me.

30. Madman in the Marketplace - 28 May 2008
31. ms_xeno - 28 May 2008

McKinney CLOSE TO Clinching The Green Party Nomination.

Looking forward to planting my first LET MC KINNEY DEBATE !! lawn sign next to the cosmos seeds this weekend.


32. liberalcatnip - 28 May 2008

27. What I find fascinating from a psychological point of view is watching the litany of Bushco kool-aid drinkers – Fleischer, Bartlett, etc – blabbing on the cable shows in disbelief because Scotty somehow managed to come around to telling the truth. He must have had a kool-aid transfusion. Not that he’s blameless – not by a long shot – or that his book isn’t clearly a ‘CYA and blame everybody else but Bush’ entreaty, but the bubble-dwellers, I believe, really don’t seem to be capable of understanding how someone previously in their fold could actually break free of the cult.

33. Madman in the Marketplace - 28 May 2008

31 – me too!

34. ms_xeno - 28 May 2008

Madman, everyone knows what those plants in your window box are. Running with this crowd has completely ruined you. [cough]

35. liberalcatnip - 28 May 2008

Are they going to let Barr debate? Who decides? The news channels or orgs setting up the debates? Are there some kind of national election rules about that? I can’t remember.

36. liberalcatnip - 28 May 2008

Btw, I enjoyed that Esquire piece, mcat. “Absolution without penance” indeed.

And bravo to that Spanish judge.

Speaking of war criminals: Bolton dodges attempted ‘war crimes’ arrest

37. marisacat - 28 May 2008

Tapper had a post up today on what little Scottie said when Paul O’Neil’s book came out. Pretty funny in retrospect… the standard … time spent on “Well, Paul never said anything at the time”.


38. Madman in the Marketplace - 28 May 2008

Let them ALL debate, that’s what I say, with big tub of anticipatory popcorn in hand!

Won’t happen, though. The debate rules are determined by a non-profit corp overseen by the “two” political parties. It was established after the League of Women Voters were basically forced out by the “two” parties.

39. marisacat - 28 May 2008


Think there is a percentage he has to have hit in polling. There may be additional rules, in some cases they knock people out of debate for not hving a million in the bank (campaign funds). I just read of that instance in the past few days

I assume the Dems would be the party expecting some benefit from the Barr run… so I guess their burbles would be the ones to watch.

40. ms_xeno - 28 May 2008

People scoffed at Nader in the last election for doing a “debate” on his web page where Kerry and Bush II had puppet stand-ins. But actually IMHO that’s about the right level for the whole affair.

41. liberalcatnip - 28 May 2008

David Gergen and Kiki McLean, both on CNN tonite, blasted Scotty for blabbing because it somehow disrespects the office (or some such rationalization). Unbelievable, considering the crimes Scotty helped Bushco cover up over the years. It was his duty to come out and tell the truth and he should have done it a long time ago. This “loyalty” bullshit or the idea that he owes Bush something for having been given the job just shows how far some of these DC types have their heads up their asses. President and party before country at all costs.

42. liberalcatnip - 28 May 2008

47. Thanks. I recalled something about the League of Women Voters from the last time around but not what happened after they weren’t the deciders anymore.

39. where Kerry and Bush II had puppet stand-ins

lol…I missed that one.

43. Madman in the Marketplace - 28 May 2008

39 – Gravel did a similar thing after he was excluded from the donk debates.

44. Madman in the Marketplace - 28 May 2008
45. marisacat - 28 May 2008

league of Women Voters were pushed out after 88, iirc. The documents, the agreement between the parties following that is online… (might be what Madman links to above – sorry to be behind here) … and findable … if you can stand to read thru it… very clear what has been going on.

46. Heather-Rose Ryan - 28 May 2008

It’s ridiculous to call them “debates”. They are merely TV appearances in which the candidates endeavor to generate the best sound-bites, with “moderators” asking inane questions along the lines of “what’s your favorite color”.

47. Madman in the Marketplace - 28 May 2008

I couldn’t find the original agreement … not that I looked so hard. The most disgusting thing about the non-profit corp’s site is how they appropriated the history of the debates before they took over.

Everything is gamed by the duopoly. Access to the polls, access to getting onto the ballot, and access to getting into debates … all controlled by “two” parties controlled by big money and the corporations.

We’re so fucked. Even when we’re offered a “choice” it’s a game to herd people in one direction or the other.

48. wu ming - 28 May 2008

if the mccain and obama camps think that mckinney and barr, respectively, might hurt their opponents, i suppose there’s an outside chance we’d see the full spectrum up there.

i loved having perot in the debates in 92. anything to get away from the dull-as-dirt back and forth of the D-R moderated by a media hack.

well, i can dream, anyway.

49. marisacat - 28 May 2008

Here is a google link to “Commision on Presidential Debates”

(I was motivated to google by hitting the ceiling over a debate/caller phone in on KGO on all of this fucking fundie “issues of conscience” over dispensing Plan B, RU 486. providing care in the ER to rape victims, access to artificial insemination for lesbians and last but surely the most critical, allowing someone carrying liquor to enter your hallowed cab, I am swinging from the chandelier)

Here is common dreams, Jeff Cohen etc of FAIR on the “compromised” CPD

Long snip from the Common Dreams:

The CPD takes complete control of the debates, after the League of Women Voters refuses to let the Republican and Democratic campaigns dictate terms of the 1988 events and ceases cooperating with the Commission: “The League of Women Voters is withdrawing its sponsorship of the presidential debates…because the demands of the two campaign organizations would perpetrate a fraud on the American voter. It has become clear to us that the candidates’ organizations aim to add debates to their list of campaign-trail charades devoid of substance, spontaneity and answers to tough questions. The League has no intention of becoming an accessory to the hoodwinking of the American public.” (League news release, 10/3/88]

After the Clinton and Bush campaigns negotiate a behind-the-scenes deal that includes the participation of Ross Perot (each side calculating that his presence would benefit them), the CPD invites Perot to the debates. At the time of the invitation, his standing in the four major polls averages between 7 and 9 percent support (“Tentative Deal Set On Debates,” Washington Post, 10/2/92; polls from CBS/New York Times, NBC, ABC, Gallup/CNN/USA Today). The three presidential debates are watched by record-breaking TV audiences, averaging 90 million viewers, with the audience growing for each successive debate.

1996: “NON-EVENT”
Perot is excluded in a two-party deal sanctioned by the CPD, according to George Stephanopolous. The Clinton aide revealed his campaign’s negotiations with the Dole campaign in a February 1997 panel discussion on the ’96 election (“Campaign for President: The Managers Look at ’96,” Harvard University Institute of Politics).

STEPHANOLOPOLOUS: “[The Dole campaign] didn’t have leverage going into negotiations. They were behind. They needed to make sure Perot wasn’t in it. As long as we would agree to Perot not being in it, we could get everything else we wanted going in. We got our time frame, we got our length, we got our moderator.”

CHRIS MATTHEWS: “Why didn’t you have the debates when people were watching the election?”

STEPHANOPOLOUS: “Because we didn’t want them to pay attention. And the debates were a metaphor for the campaign. We wanted the debates to be a non-event.”

The 1996 debates have shrinking audiences that average 41 million viewers, less than half that of the ’92 debates.

50. liberalcatnip - 28 May 2008

It has become clear to us that the candidates’ organizations aim to add debates to their list of campaign-trail charades devoid of substance, spontaneity and answers to tough questions.

Amen. Good for them.

51. liberalcatnip - 28 May 2008

Cluster bomb ban treaty approved

…some of the world’s main producers and stockpilers – including the US, Russia and China – oppose the move.

Of course.

One stumbling block for the treaty could be the stockpile of cluster munitions the US military keeps at bases on British soil.

The British representative in Dublin, John Duncan, said the UK would work with Washington to find a solution to the issue.

But in a statement, the Pentagon stood firm, saying: “While the United States shares the humanitarian concerns of those in Dublin, cluster munitions have demonstrated military utility, and their elimination from US stockpiles would put the lives of our soldiers and those of our coalition partners at risk.”

Oh go fuck yourselves.

52. liberalcatnip - 28 May 2008

Oprah’s losing her mojo. The article mentions the fallout from her endorsement of the other O – Obama.

53. marisacat - 28 May 2008


I wonder fi it was not just saturation leads to burn out. At some point you hit maximum audience reach and what happens next can be slow decline. I never watched her Sunday evening “Giving” thing but just the clips and promos seemed shark infested.

54. liberalcatnip - 28 May 2008

I watched some of the Big Give. What I didn’t like about it was that the people the contestants chose to help were at the mercy of how well the givers could do when it came to raising money etc for their individual causes. Some who needed help came up well short compared to others. I did like the idea of inspiring the average person to be creative and charitable but how much of that was realistic considering the contestants could say they were from Oprah’s show, thus garnering more donations etc? If I decided to help someone out, I wouldn’t have that kind of clout behind me. I’m glad they decided not to do it again.

I liked her show back in the early days before she became a commercial for every corporation, author, actor, and their dog.

55. liberalcatnip - 28 May 2008
56. liberalcatnip - 28 May 2008

Queen Nancy of California addresses the concerned peasants:

(05-28] 20:17 PDT San Francisco — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she will step in if necessary to make sure the presidential nomination fight between Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama does not reach the Democratic national convention – though she believes it could be resolved as early as next week.

Pelosi predicted Wednesday that a presidential nominee will emerge in the week after the final Democratic primaries on June 3, but she said “I will step in” if there is no resolution by late June regarding the seating of delegates from Florida and Michigan, the two states that defied party rules by holding early primaries.

“Because we cannot take this fight to the convention,” she said. “It must be over before then.”

All hail Queen Nancy!

57. liberalcatnip - 28 May 2008

Wild smiley on the loose – although I think it’s appropriate in this case.

58. marisacat - 28 May 2008

LOL the top card fight IS on the table!

59. liberalcatnip - 28 May 2008

58. the top card fight IS on the table!

Well, there should be lots of room for it considering everything else that’s not on the table.

60. liberalcatnip - 29 May 2008

I don’t know if the historical comparison is accurate, but I found this Broder article interesting.

61. liberalcatnip - 29 May 2008
62. Madman in the Marketplace - 29 May 2008

what’s Nancy gonna do, wag her finger at Clinton? Hillary will laugh in her face.

Roger Stone was just on CNN … what an odious man. I will never understand the silly game of a newsmodel asking the likes of him what advice he would give Obama or Clinton.

63. NYCO - 29 May 2008

Pretty unflattering NYT story about Portland.


They’re only just starting to admit the perils of gentrification there?

Today, Oregon is just 2 percent black, and Portland is about 7 percent black. On May 18, an estimated 75,000 people turned out to hear Senator Barack Obama at a rally, and most were white. For some, that was evidence that Portland’s liberal mind-set transcends race. For others, it just meant Portland prefers its diversity in fresh packaging.


64. NYCO - 29 May 2008

A lot of phenomena won’t survive La Revolucion. Oprah is one of them.

65. ms_xeno - 29 May 2008


…They’re only just starting to admit the perils of gentrification there?…


Uhhh… no. Obviously you’ve never hung around PDX Indymedia. But, yes, it’s very, very pale here. Less so outside the city proper, where a lot of the population growth has been Hispanic, especially in the Eastward direction.

I did snicker when I saw that Obama’s handlers booked The Decemberists to play at his rally. Most of the fresh-faced pale kids probably just showed up to hear them;Mediocre band, hideously overrated and completely overexposed– The perfect metaphor for his campaign. Call me a snob, but however pale we are, the town loves its jazz, r&b and especially Blues (witnessing the huge turnout for the Blues Fest every July). They couldn’t have gotten Soul Vaccination or maybe Linda Hornbuckle ?


66. ms_xeno - 29 May 2008

Cindy Sheehan Debates Military Recruiter In SF Today

Wear pearls, Cindy. Otherwise nobody but a few YouTube and Indy faithful will know that you ever existed.

:/ Interesting that WCW is sponsoring it. I thought they were all about Be-Dem-Or-Be-Dead. I wonder if Sheehan will be allowed to mention that she’s challenging Pelosi or if she’s agreed not to bring that up…

67. ms_xeno - 29 May 2008

catnip, #59:

Well, there should be lots of room for it considering everything else that’s not on the table.


(Everyone bookmark this. You’ll thank me more and more as this campaign goes on.)

68. JJB - 29 May 2008

Ahh, Broderella!

The main theme of Jordan’s interview was this intriguing observation: “Only because of the fragmentation that had taken place” in the Democratic Party and its allied groups was Carter able to be nominated and elected in 1976. But that same fragmentation made the challenge of governing so difficult that he was almost doomed to fail.. . . [O]nce Carter was in the White House, the liberals who controlled Congress quickly took his measure. They put their obligations to their constituencies and interest groups ahead of any loyalty to him. He never had a “honeymoon,” and by his third year his presidency had unraveled, not because of Republican obduracy but because of his inability to lead his fellow Democrats.

Rubbish. Carter failed because he went out of his way to antagonize the Congressional Democrats, particularly Ted Kennedy, subjecting them to all manner of gratuitous and petty snubs, and refusing to pursue the neo-New Deal platform he’d campaigned on. He also went out of his way to annoy organized labor, which was still a potent force in those days. Jordan in fact was one of the reasons Carter’s relations with Capitol Hill were so awful. Tip O’Neill referred to him, more or less publicly, as “Hannibal Jerkin.” Neither he nor Jody Powell, who formed the duumvirate (or dumbvirate, if you prefer) that controlled the Carter White House had the requisite tact for the job, or the smarts to learn from their mistakes.

As to Broder himself, it’s tempting to suggest that this idiotic piece is due to advancing age (he turns 79 later this year), but he was writing stupid things like this when he was young. This paragraph is a real gem:

But [Obama and Carter] have more in common than meets the eye. Both were largely unknown to the nation’s Democrats at the start of their election years [not true, Obama has been very well known to Democrats since before he was elected to the Senate, Carter was entirely unknown in early 1976]. Both faced more-credentialed rivals [a frequent occurrence in presidential primaries]. Both ran as outsiders, vowing to reform Washington [which is ridiculous since Obama is a member of the Senate, and even Carter spent years working for Hyman Rickover at the Pentagon, but Carter’s claim was slightly plausibley, Obama’s does not]. Both relied on generalized promises to raise politics to a higher standard than that practiced by an outgoing Republican administration [everybody of both parties does this every election year]. Both benefited from early plurality victories over large and divided fields [again, this has happened so often it isn’t worth mentioning]. Obama gained his first and most important win in Iowa with 37.6 percent of the votes, while Hillary Clinton and John Edwards split almost 60 percent evenly [again, this is a frequent occurrence, so what’s the point?]. Both Carter and Obama lost several late primaries but held on to the delegate lead they had staked out earlier [yet again, one will find many instances of this, such as the GOP Ford/Reagan nomination battle in 1976].

That’s why they call him the Dean . . .

BTW, the WaPo is in the process of downsizing its staff, and is offering buyouts to lots of people, prior to the inevitable layoffs that may follow if not enough folks voluntarily leave. Broder, who is well past retirement age, is staying put. Howie Kurtz wrote a real weeper of a column about this recently, without inquiring why someone like Broder, who is obviously not going to be around for very much longer, doesn’t accept such a package himself and provide at least one job slot for younger talent who might still be assets for the WaPo in 10-20 years time when Broder will most likely no longer be drawing breath.

69. JJB - 29 May 2008

Comment in moderation.

70. JJB - 29 May 2008

Two of my comments have vanished, one long one that I think was in Moderation, and a second short one stating same.

71. marisacat - 29 May 2008

i found one in Moderation JJB

but not two…. ??? (sorry for the delay!)


LOL Carter also cut off liquor at the WH, hard liquor. GOOD LUCK doing that!

72. marisacat - 29 May 2008

Ha ha

I did snicker when I saw that Obama’s handlers booked The Decemberists to play at his rally.

ms xeno, when I read about the Decemberist band I meant to ask you what they were like. Mediocre, thanks… LOL

4 years ago, so I read, Kerry got 60K by bringing Lenonardo di Caprio and Jon Bon Jovi.

73. JJB - 29 May 2008


Funny glitch caused both 68 and 69 to vanish, then the latter appeared when I posted no. 70. All are now visible.

I’d forgotten about the Carter booze ban, but yes, he did, only wine was served at WH functions, which I’m sure caused a lot of ill will both with domestic and foreign invitees. In fact, I think the wine might have been okayed only after rumors of a planned total alcohol ban were met with many loud complaints.

For the curious, here’s a link to an article from a year ago detailing many Broder idiocies of recent vintage. Note the one where he declares that Boy Bush and FDR have much in common.

74. marisacat - 29 May 2008

… sometimes, the last few months, it takes a minute ot two for a comment to appear. WP, sad to say, is loaded iwth hiccups.

75. NYCO - 29 May 2008

I did snicker when I saw that Obama’s handlers booked The Decemberists to play at his rally.

I’m having a flashback of Outkast’s “Hey Ya” playing all the time at Dean rallies in Iowa. Not a good flashback either.

76. liberalcatnip - 29 May 2008


lol…beats my lame “pa dum pum”.

77. ms_xeno - 29 May 2008

From the BAN thread about McKinney from yesterday. I smell Kozzie. Or maybe it’s one of La Nation‘s proofreaders on his day off:

Anyone who thinks McKinney is a “good candidate” does not have any idea what they stand for. What exactly is good about her? What issue does she embody that makes her an appropriate standard-bearer.

As a liberal environmental lawyer I hoped the Green Party might mean something. But Green is obviously just a color to you all. Like Crips and Bloods. It means nothing. It certainly doesn’t represent environmentalists who continue to look in vain for candidates to carry our issues forward. Thank God for Al Gore, who though imperfect, has done more to raise awareness of Climate Change than anyone in any party.

Make yourselves matter or, please, just go away. — “Jack In DC” 5/28/08

Tee hee. Guffaw. Chuckle. Black candidate + “Crips and Bloods” metaphor = Wit at its zenith.

Law is obviously a bad profession. mr_xeno occasionally daydreams about chucking it all and opening a sports bar. I should probably encourage him. He’d meet a better class of people.


78. ms_xeno - 29 May 2008

With apologies for messing up the quote-tag. Vampire sphincters on the attack will do that to you.

79. ms_xeno - 29 May 2008


OTOH, at least it wasn’t (yawn) Springsteen. Again.

As local talent goes, I like Quasi or Viva Voce myself. But maybe they couldn’t live up to all that hype, either. Could anyone ?

80. Intermittent Bystander - 29 May 2008

Hey y’all – loved the rest of that Coo Coo thread yesterday morning. (Panties for Peace! Boxer rebellion! Finnish yonis running wild in the streets! Karaoke she-devils! Etcetera!)

I ran way late for work, catching up . . . .

MCat – Maybe you need to reactivate your grandmother’s straycat beacon? Calling all feline agents – station available!

81. marisacat - 29 May 2008



I laughed the other day… I remembered once, several years ago, rushing around the house doing something (probably some manic over due cleaning) and realised that, as I had rushed past the open door to my bedroom, visually something had been “off”… so I backtracked and curled up on the sitting chair was an unknown black cat. Sound asleep… As I approached I could see th cat ws in good shape, not thin, clean, cared for but no collar. And he or she was not a nice cat. (eventually it got to the rear up and hiss)… so I got a big thick towel, tossed it over the cat, got hold of the bundle.. and escorted him or her thru the opening in the fence.


No it would not be fair now to a cat. I hung in with Baby but the vet bills alone would be daunting. Very quickly, before you know it, you are into the costs of care for an “older cat” … very expensive blood work for any sort of issue or prior to teeth cleaning. She hated going to the vet and for my own issues I had begun as of 2002 to pay a vet technician to pick her up for the odd vet visit and to pill her (she somehow managed to have three expensive infections earlier this decade)… all of which was expensive … her last teeth cleaning with some small attendant issues as 550.00.

I did almost bundle up the 25 or so cans of cat food… and ask my neighbor if he knows of a cat household I could pass them to, but did decide to keep them… if some waif arrived, I would do what I could but not fair to bring a cat in… not really. I wish it were otherwise… but seems not…

82. marisacat - 29 May 2008

via SFGATE>com – full text:

(05-29) 09:55 PDT DENVER, (AP) —

State election officials say a proposed state constitutional amendment defining a fertilized human egg as a person has enough petition signatures to get on the November ballot.

Secretary of State Mike Coffman says in a Thursday announcement that backers turned in an estimated 103,000 valid signatures, far more than the 76,000 required.

Coffman says the estimate is based on an examination of a computer-selected random sample of about 6,500 of the signatures, or 5 percent of the 130,000 submitted.

Coffman’s spokesman, Rich Coolidge, says any appeal of the decision would be made in state district court.

Some supporters hope the amendment, if passed, will restrict or limit abortions in Colorado.

83. JJB - 29 May 2008

Don’t know if anyone has seen reports of this ludicrous incident:

Dunkin’ Donuts has pulled an online advertisement featuring Rachael Ray after complaints that a fringed black-and-white scarf that the celebrity chef wore in the ad offers symbolic support for Muslim extremism and terrorism.

The coffee and baked goods chain said the ad that began appearing online May 7 was pulled over the past weekend because “the possibility of misperception detracted from its original intention to promote our iced coffee.”

In the spot, Ray holds an iced coffee while standing in front of trees with pink blossoms.

Critics, including conservative commentator Michelle Malkin, complained that the scarf wrapped around her looked like a kaffiyeh, the traditional Arab headdress. Critics who fueled online complaints about the ad in blogs say such scarves have come to symbolize Muslim extremism and terrorism.

The kaffiyeh, Malkin wrote in a column posted online last Friday, “has come to symbolize murderous Palestinian jihad. Popularized by Yasser Arafat and a regular adornment of Muslim terrorists appearing in beheading and hostage-taking videos, the apparel has been mainstreamed by both ignorant (and not-so-ignorant) fashion designers, celebrities, and left-wing icons.”

A statement issued Wednesday by Canton, Mass.-based Dunkin’ Brands Inc., however, said the scarf had a paisley design, and was selected by a stylist for the advertising shoot.

“Absolutely no symbolism was intended,” the company said.

Only a complete lunatic could seriously suggest that an American corporation such as Dunkin’ Donuts intended any such thing as Malkin suggests. The scarf doesn’t even look like kaffiyehs, which have only checkered patterns, usually don’t have fringes, and when they do have ones far shorter than the fringes on Ms. Ray’s scarf.

This, more than ever, would seem to be an appriopriate time to tell this loathsome woman to take a flying you-what-what at a rolling donut. Instead, the corporation caves. They should sue her for defamation, and take every nickel she currently has and will ever earn for the rest of her life.

84. liberalcatnip - 29 May 2008

80. Calling all feline agents – station available!

Too cute…and I keep telling my cats they should get jobs but they look at me like I’m nuts.

81. I definitely know what you mean about vet costs. I’ve been lucky with my 16 yr old cat but my other one, who I’ve nicknamed “high maintenance boy” (the Obama cat) has cost me hundreds in vet bills. I don’t think I’d get another cat if anything happened to these two but, otoh, I’ve had cats all my life (since we had the John, Paul, George & Ringo litter when I was very young) so I’d never say never.

85. marisacat - 29 May 2008


The Rachel Raye thing has been jsut too bizarre, from the get go. Not certain, but sounds like Malkin ws one of the big pushers.

Totally nuts. But, there we go.



My old line to the cats always was:

Give me your pocket change… give. me. your. pocket. change NOW.

Never got any.

86. JJB - 29 May 2008


When I first heard about this, it was a before-the-commercial-break tease on the local morning news. They didn’t mention what it was about exactly, just that an ad had been pulled because of something RR was wearing, and I thought maybe her blouse was too sheer, or maybe her nipples were showing, etc., they never did show the story while I was watching, and I promptly forgot about it until seeing the piece I linked to. And as I looked at Google images so as to confirm my notions of what a kaffiyeh looks like, I notice that there are all sorts of nuts claiming that people are wearing them and it means something sinister. There’s even one of Howard Dean at some kind of political rally I, suppose (you can see some people holding American flags). Also, a lot of claims are being made that various things much to small to wrap around your head and shoulders are kaffiyehs.

Obama had better be very careful about wearing anything that even remotely resembles one.

87. ms_xeno - 29 May 2008

I’m wearing a men’s paisley shirt today. So I’m a terrorist, AND a sexual deviant.


88. marisacat - 29 May 2008

ms x

the religio-sex police will hunt you down and insist you move your buttons and buttonholes. you will be referred to the religio-sex-fashion police for long term follow up.


89. moiv - 29 May 2008

This just in from Prada Central: Vatican will excommunicate women priests

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – The Vatican issued its most explicit decree so far against the ordination of women priests on Thursday, punishing them and the bishops who try to ordain them with automatic excommunication.

The decree was written by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and published in the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, giving it immediate effect.

A Vatican spokesman said the decree made the Church’s existing ban on women priests more explicit by clarifying that excommunication would follow all such ordinations.


The Church says it cannot change the rules banning women from the priesthood because Christ chose only men as his apostles. Church law states that only a baptized male can be made a priest.

Proponents of women’s ordination say Christ was only acting according to the social norms of his time.

They cite the letters of Saint Paul, some of the earliest texts of Christianity, to show that women played important roles in the early church.

Attempts to ordain women priests are highly unusual. But the archbishop of St. Louis earlier this year declared three women excommunicated after an ordination ceremony in his diocese.

Besides the obvious fact that “Father Mary Magdalene” just doesn’t sound right, Ratzy and Georg aren’t about to cut anybody else in on their designer concession. Imagine what Donatella would do with cassocks for actual women. 😉

90. marisacat - 29 May 2008

LOL referencing the Finnish tales from the previous thread… Fear of the Wild Runabout Golden Squirrel.

What a hoot.

And here some investigations place Mary Magdalene at the Last Supper painting. Wah. Do we HAVE to go with St Paul?

91. marisacat - 29 May 2008

Brrrrrreaking News from ABCNEWS.com:


92. marisacat - 29 May 2008

Obama denounces and rejects Father Pfleger(couple of embedded links at the Politico link)… another of his trinity of Chicago clerics. And iirc, think Pflger is one who slapped Hannity around…

2 down one to go.

93. marisacat - 29 May 2008

LOL Father Pfleger rejects and renounces self:

UPDATE II: Father Pfleger writes to say, “I regret the words I chose on Sunday. These words are inconsistent with Senator Obama’s life and message, and I am deeply sorry if they offended Senator Clinton or anyone else who saw them.”

via Tapper

94. Madman in the Marketplace - 29 May 2008

65 – The Decembrists bore the shit out of me. For that matter, most of the crap Paste magazine and such push as “indie” or whatever sucks.

95. Madman in the Marketplace - 29 May 2008

The White House press’ favorite male prostitute just doesn’t recognize Scottie either:

MSNBC’s spittle-spewing Chris Matthews had a new “tingle running down his leg” Wednesday with the release of a “tell-all” book by former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan critical of the Bush administration. However, Matthews was only one among legions of Old Media liberals gushing about McClellan’s tome.

In “What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington’s Culture of Deception,” McClellan said that the war in Iraq was “unnecessary” and sold with “propaganda” and suggested that Karl Rove, Scooter Libby and maybe Vice President Dick Cheney conspired to conceal their roles in the Valerie Plame affair.

Media reports about the contents have left former colleagues “puzzled” and some members of the White House Press Corps “surprised” at the bitter tone and scathing accusations. Current White House Press Secretary Dana Perino dismissed McClellan as a “disgruntled employee” and Scott’s predecessor Ari Fleischer and successor Tony Snow came to a similar conclusion. Karl Rove told the hosts of Hannity & Colmes that McClellan’s book sounded like the rantings of a “left wing blogger.”

Add me to the growing list of those who are having great difficulty understanding McClellan’s motives. I spent two years as a White House reporter, much of it during McClellan’s reign. At no time did Scott ever indicate, either publicly or privately, he had the misgivings he expressed in this book.

What I hear about the book does not sound like the Scott McClellan I knew for two years. I can say without fear of contradiction, that I knew Scott better than any other White House correspondent or Washington reporter.

96. marisacat - 29 May 2008

Yeesh…sadder is Democrats calling Scottie Dottie COURAGEOUS. Which I heard today on KGO.


He and his brother were at the heart of the game. Now Scottie is making some hard cash… I have not read what his advance was but I did hear it is already No 1 on the NYT best seller list. (which is based on air and poop, but still)

97. Madman in the Marketplace - 29 May 2008

Scottie sounds like a sap when he talks about Dubya, still. He’s a moron and accomplice. I don’t get why everybody is so jazzed about.

This is how Americans make friends in foreign lands:

Iraqis claim Marines are pushing Christianity in Fallujah

FALLUJAH, Iraq — At the western entrance to the Iraqi city of Fallujah Tuesday, Muamar Anad handed his residence badge to the U.S. Marines guarding the city. They checked to be sure that he was a city resident, and when they were done, Anad said, a Marine slipped a coin out of his pocket and put it in his hand.

Out of fear, he accepted it, Anad said. When he was inside the city, the college student said, he looked at one side of the coin. “Where will you spend eternity?” it asked.

He flipped it over, and on the other side it read, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16.”

“They are trying to convert us to Christianity,” said Anad, a Sunni Muslim like most residents of this city in Anbar province. At home, he told his story, and his relatives echoed their disapproval: They’d been given the coins, too, he said.

Fallujah, the scene of a bloody U.S. offensive against Sunni insurgents in 2004, has calmed and grown less hostile to American troops since residents turned against al Qaida in Iraq, which had tried to force its brand of Islamist extremism on the population.

Why not just wear Templar-style robes with big red crosses on the front over their body armor?

98. Madman in the Marketplace - 29 May 2008

McClatchy “Nukes & Spooks” blog on Scottie’s BS, and the media’s

Until now, we’ve resisted the temptation to post on former White House press secretary Scott McClellan’s new book, which accuses the Bush White House of launching a propaganda campaign to sell the war in Iraq.

Why? It’s not news. At least not to some of us who’ve covered the story from the start.

(Click here, here and here to get just a taste of what we mean).

Second, we find it a wee bit preposterous — and we are being diplomatic here — that a man who slavishly – no, robotically! — defended President Bush’s policies in Iraq and elsewhere is trying to “set the record straight” (and sell a few books) five years and more after the invasion, with U.S. troops still bravely fighting and dying to stabilize that country.

But the responses to McClellan from the Bush administration and media bigwigs, history-bending as they are, compel us to jump in.

99. Madman in the Marketplace - 29 May 2008
100. Madman in the Marketplace - 29 May 2008

The Great and Unremembered War

It would be charitable to interpret the reluctance of Americans to talk about the horrors of the Great War as evidence of inherent pacifism and perhaps this element was present. As Andy McLennan points out in comments at my blog, the main reaction to WWI was an increase in isolationist sentiment: the problem was Europe, not war itself. After isolationism was discredited (which did much to strengthen the War Party) from a distance it looks like WWI was simply forgotten,and the end state is functionally equivalent.

In any case, in the long run, the absence of this most bloodily futile of wars from historical memory has been a huge boon to the war party. With a historical memory of war dominated by the “Good War” against Hitler and the Axis, it’s unsurprising that Americans have been much more willing than the citizens of other democratic societies to accept war as part of the natural order of things.

In Europe by contrast, the Great War and its consequences are still ever-present, and the Second World War is correctly seen as the inevitable product of the First. With all its faults, the EU is widely supported simply because it has been associated with sixty years of peace. Even in Australia where the Gallipoli campaign has long formed the basis of the official national myth, it has been impossible to avoid the fact that thousands of young Australians suffered and died in the most horrible ways, fighting people of whom we had barely heard and with whom we had no quarrel of our own, in a futile diversion from a futile war. Honouring those who died goes hand in hand with a general recognition that they died for the failures of the world’s leaders and that the only proper lesson from their deaths is to hope that we can avoid war in future.

101. marisacat - 29 May 2008

oh Scottie Dottie has the ultimate. he’s interested in “obama’s message”.

LOL Not sure who he will vote for……………. dontcha know.

102. cad - 29 May 2008

I think this Scotty book is all good for the Dems. I’ve been listening to the AM radio blowhards to hear their spin, and I’m impressed by the number of conservative callers calling them out. It’s fun.

103. liberalcatnip - 29 May 2008

85. Give me your pocket change… give. me. your. pocket. change NOW.

Never got any.

I keep my debit card well hidden. I’m just sayin’.

104. marisacat - 29 May 2008

I am having problems with the ‘back pages’… getting comments to stay out of Moderation once released.

gah. Still trying…

105. liberalcatnip - 29 May 2008


I can say without fear of contradiction, that I knew Scott better than any other White House correspondent or Washington reporter.

That’s just creepy. Gannon – still trying to be relevant.

106. Madman in the Marketplace - 29 May 2008

105 – I laughed really hard when I read that sentence.

107. ms_xeno - 29 May 2008

Madman, #65:

I try to strike a balance between not worshiping newness for its own sake and still trying to appreciate something new when it comes along.

Honestly, I think it’s hard for almost any artist to live up to the sort of steeply arcing/descending hype that seems to allow one or two bands per year to be somehow the best there is.

But I went to see Was (Not Was) a couple of weeks ago and had a blast. My “bad” (left foot) still smarts from dancing and I don’t care. :p

So what do I know ?

108. ms_xeno - 29 May 2008

Now, imagine if Obama had booked Portland’s (as opposed to Australia’s) Rollerball ? Possibly it would have been an entirely different demographic. (Warning: (Portland’s) Rollerball is not to be taken at bedtime, unless you like having really disturbing dreams.)

Mcat, (#88] I’ve decided to solve the gender outlaw issue by walking upside down whenever I’m moved to wear a men’s shirt in public. Because I really hate sewing buttons.

As to the feline job issue, I have exhorted my horde for years on the subject, but the best I’ve ever gotten was a free Workman calendar in 2002. The late, great Walter was actually chosen to be one of the November cats.


109. ms_xeno - 29 May 2008

Great. Another broken tag. I don’t deserve to live. :/

110. Madman in the Marketplace - 29 May 2008

I love Was (Not Was). I should have gone to see them when they came through here, but I was too lazy.

Gonna see Aimee Mann in a couple of weeks, and Steve Earle and Allison Moorer are coming through in July. Oh, and the Harley Davidson Roadhouse stage at Summerfest looks pretty awesome on July 3rd: Drive By Truckers, Alejandro Escovedo and then Lucinda Williams after the traditional Summerfest fireworks display.

Yes, I’m a slave to singer-songwriters and No Depression-style alt-country (whatever that is). Sue me! 😉

111. moiv - 29 May 2008


Why not just wear Templar-style robes with big red crosses on the front over their body armor?

I laughed, but not for long; it could happen. Red on white would make too easy a target, but I can see them doing it in a low-contrast camo-style print.

Onward, Christian soldiers . . .

112. Madman in the Marketplace - 29 May 2008

That Rollerball stuff is interesting.

113. liberalcatnip - 29 May 2008

Michelle contradicts Barack again. Last week, his response was that he didn’t think Hillary meant anything untoward with her RFK comment. Michelle took it quite differently (and made several people cry as a result). Oh, the agony.

114. liberalcatnip - 29 May 2008

As for the Vatican, men have done such a bang up job with their perfect record (cough cough) of tending to their flocks all this time, why would they allow lowly wimmen folk to step up and tarnish that stellar reputation?

115. moiv - 29 May 2008

CNN: Obama played hardball in first Chicago campaign

In his first race for office, seeking a state Senate seat on Chicago’s gritty South Side in 1996, Obama effectively used election rules to eliminate his Democratic competition.

As a community organizer, he had helped register thousands of voters. But when it came time to run for office, he employed Chicago rules to invalidate the voting petition signatures of three of his challengers.

The move denied each of them, including incumbent Alice Palmer, a longtime Chicago activist, a place on the ballot. It cleared the way for Obama to run unopposed on the Democratic ticket in a heavily Democrat district.

“That was Chicago politics,” said John Kass, a veteran Chicago Tribune columnist. “Knock out your opposition, challenge their petitions, destroy your enemy, right? It is how Barack Obama destroyed his enemies back in 1996 that conflicts with his message today. He may have gotten his start registering thousands of voters. But in that first race, he made sure voters had just one choice.”

Obama’s challenge was perfectly legal, said Jay Stewart of the Chicago’s Better Government Association.


“He came from Chicago politics,” Stewart said. “Politics ain’t beanbag, as they say in Chicago. You play with your elbows up, and you’re pretty tough and ruthless when you have to be. Sen. Obama felt that’s what was necessary at the time, that’s what he did. Does it fit in with the rhetoric now? Perhaps not.”


One other opponent who Obama eliminated by challenging his petitions, Gha-is Askia, said he has no hard feelings today about the challenge and supports Obama’s presidential aspirations.

But back at the time he was running for state Senate, Askia said, he was dismayed Obama would use such tactics.

“It wasn’t honorable,” he said. “I wouldn’t have done it.”

He said the Obama team challenged every single one of his petitions on “technicalities.”

If names were printed instead of signed in cursive writing, they were declared invalid. If signatures were good but the person gathering the signatures wasn’t properly registered, those petitions also were thrown out.

Askia came up 69 signatures short of the required number to be on the ballot.

Kass, the Chicago Tribune columnist, said the national media are naive when it comes to Chicago politics, which is a serious business.

He said they have bought into a narrative that Obama is strictly a reformer. The truth, Kass says, is that he is a bare-knuckled politician. And using the rules to win his first office is part of who Obama is.

“It’s not the tactics of ‘let’s all people come together and put your best ideas forward and the best ideas win,’ ” Kass said. “That’s the spin; that’s in the Kool-Aid. You can have some. Any flavor. But the real deal was, get rid of Alice Palmer.

116. marisacat - 29 May 2008

Lies from CNN, all lies.

He was found in the bullrushes. Near the manger. A Star in the East… Something about the Magi bearing gifts… Nothing to do with Chicago.

As MO said “He is the man I have been waiting for”.

117. ms_xeno - 29 May 2008

Madman, that particular cut is from Trail of the Butter Yeti, which I’ve seen pretty cheap at half.com* and the like. That CD is a pretty good representation of the kind of stuff they do. Their first CD, Garlic came out in 1998 (???) when I was doing (mostly) unpaid stuff for a now-deceased local art rag. The music guru said that they’d still be going strong long after bands like Everclear had made their transitory fortunes milking the post-Nirvana scene, and damned if he didn’t turn out to be correct.

*Not a paid endorsement

…Yes, I’m a slave to singer-songwriters and No Depression-style alt-country (whatever that is)…

Peter Case ? 🙂

Mcat, thanks for the clean-up job.

118. marisacat - 29 May 2008

no problem ms x

…and WP is acting up a lot today…

119. ms_xeno - 29 May 2008

Gosh, all the Clinton II-Obama-RFK hoopla makes me reflect fondly on the sheer brave-heartedness that was Michael Dukakis the day after Gush/Bore 2000, proclaiming on TV that “Nader should be killed.” You could cut the outrage amongst Democrats with a– oh, wait. You couldn’t.

Ah, life was so much simpler then. Any minute now, the hairless weasel will burst back on the scene to proclaim that Gilliard and Dukakis were BOTH right !!

120. liberalcatnip - 29 May 2008

Colour me naive (and I certainly am at times) but it seems to me if Obama was really all about unity and bipartisanship, he would have accepted McCain’s offer to go to Iraq with him. Instead, he called it a “political stunt”. That just doesn’t seem to fit with his message and it seems to me that would have been a way to prove that he wasn’t really about “old politics” anymore. Just my 2 cents.

118. CNN’s kind of slow to pick up that story which I think I read about in a Chicago paper weeks ago.

121. Madman in the Marketplace - 29 May 2008

I like Case, though I have to admit I never went and bought any. It’s weird how some singer-songwriters will grab you, while others are good but don’t.

Speaking of great singers-songwriters: Bruce ‘Utah’ Phillips, 73; influential folk singer- songwriter.

Bruce “Utah” Phillips, an influential figure in American folk music who built a grass-roots following with his songs and spoken-word performances that hearkened back to the days of Woody Guthrie, died Friday of congestive heart failure at his home in Nevada City, Calif., according to an announcement on his website. He was 73.

During his four-decade career, Phillips, who was once described in a Times story as looking “like an apt cross between Santa Claus and Karl Marx,” offered highly scripted performances in folk venues and festivals around the country, in Canada and in Europe. With what one writer described as a “warm, folksy, comedically timed voice,” he performed wildly inventive songs with subject matter ranging from love to baseball to the volatile history of the Industrial Workers of the World, the labor movement of which he was a lifelong member.

Over the years, his performing partners have included Rosalie Sorrels, whose early performances of his songs helped fuel his popularity, Kate Wolf and John McCutcheon. An accomplished songwriter, his “Green Rolling Hills of West Virginia,” “Rock, Salt and Nails,” “If I Could Be the Rain” and “The Goodnight Loving Trail” have been covered by numerous musicians.

122. marisacat - 29 May 2008

Michael Dukakis the day after Gush/Bore 2000, proclaiming on TV that “Nader should be killed.”

LOL plenty of entitlement to go around…

123. Madman in the Marketplace - 29 May 2008

RFLMAO … suuurrrrrre it will:

“By this time next week, it will all be over give or take a day.”

— Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, quoted by the AP, on plans by party leaders to end the Democratic nomination race after the last primaries on June 3.

124. ms_xeno - 29 May 2008

Yeah, I only read about Phillips’ demise a few days ago. 😦

Meanwhile, who is going to strap on their hip-waders and tell the cadre of bleakly interchangeable far-Right dipshit Malkin groupies over at PFF that, yes, Dunkin Donuts does do business in those TEWWOWIST STWONGHOLDS like Riyadh, Dubai, etc. !?!?

Oh, the pain. :p

125. Madman in the Marketplace - 29 May 2008
126. lucid - 29 May 2008

most of the crap Paste magazine and such push as “indie” or whatever sucks.

I was going to send our new album to them for review… should I not?

Speaking of which, I will shortly be uploading all six clips from our new album to myspace – 2 will be downloadable for free and the other four will be snippets. Will update ya’ll later on when they’re up.

127. liberalcatnip - 29 May 2008
128. Madman in the Marketplace - 29 May 2008

They do feature some good stuff sometimes (Iron & Wine, Calexico) … but their cover-featured bands tend toward stuff like the Decembrists. They also have a nice sampler CD that comes in every issue. I’ve found some good stuff on that.

I think if you’re trying to get the word out you should send it everywhere that might give it a chance.

Sadly, Harp has gone bye-bye, as has No Depression. Have you thought of sending a copy to Arthur Magazine?

129. Madman in the Marketplace - 29 May 2008
130. Madman in the Marketplace - 29 May 2008

I was also going to suggest Pop Matters, but their website is down. I hope they didn’t go under too.

131. Madman in the Marketplace - 29 May 2008

Oh, and Pitchfork too.

132. lucid - 29 May 2008

Thanks MitM – will definitely do that.

So we’re having a war with our manager about the art… he wants the image of Sarah off the cover. I tried to explain to him the concept of ‘language reclamation’ tonight using the classic example of Patti Smith’s ‘Rock ‘n Roll Nigger’, alas not only does he not get it, but he thinks no one will get it… fancy that, I recognized exactly the idea she was going for without her even explaining it to me. We’re a literate band looking for a literate audience and he wants us to be ‘easy’. Anywho – off to snip those excerpts down so I can post them tonight.

133. Madman in the Marketplace - 29 May 2008
134. marisacat - 29 May 2008

just a thread… really.


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