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Blessed are the warmongers… 12 August 2008

Posted by marisacat in 2008 Election, Border Issues, Culture of Death, DC Politics, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, WAR!.
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God be with you...

Georgian soldiers prayed with an Orthodox priest. Air attacks by Russian forces caused numerous casualties among the civilian population in Gori. [Photo: Wojtek Grzedzinski/Napo Images]

Blessed are the warmongers… for they enable the arms dealers.

and then he died...........

A Georgian soldier’s body lay at a morgue in Gori. Russian officials said Georgia provoked the assault on its troops by attacking South Ossetia last week, causing heavy civilian casualties. The Kremlin said its actions since then were intended to strike at Georgian military forces that had fired on its peacekeeping troops in South Ossetia and it did not intend a broader offensive deeper into Georgia. [Photo: Wojtek Grzedzinski/Napo Images]

Aside from blessings for murder, BBC has this report, Medvedev seems to step up… or something.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has ordered an end to military operations against Georgia, the Kremlin says.

He told officials he had taken the decision to end the operation after restoring security for civilians and peacekeepers in South Ossetia.

However, Russia has been highly critical of Georgia’s leadership, and there were no signs of imminent talks.

Before the announcement, there were fresh reports of Russian warplanes bombing the Georgian town of Gori.

Witnesses told the BBC that several people were killed when a bomb hit a hospital in the town, which is 10 miles (15km) from the South Ossetian capital, Tskhinvali. ::snip::

The whole article just screams WEAK.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

On a somewhat related note (blessed are the warmongers.. ), I read that the Democrats are planning to have an Orthodox rabbi (along with the usual mix, for closing and opening prayers) at the Convention. How many signs do we need that we are not moving forward? How damn tough would it be to have a Reform rabbi, a WOMAN maybe?

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Hollywood deaths come in threes, they say … Bernie Mac, Isaac Hayes… Anyone placing bets? (Yes I know it is ghoulish.) Reports are Paul Newman has asked to go home to die. I hope when the moment comes I hear more about Hud, than about wretched tomato sauce…

^^^^^^

Last, I am in the middle of this, Grigoriadis in NY Mag wringing every last drop printable on race issues in this run…… in honesty it is a tough go, but there are tidbits.

I am praying to Jesus this is wildly overstated... we are DROWNING in bathos (and lies) in this election:

Now she has another purpose: to let people cry. A square blue box of tissues has been placed onstage, next to an unattractive plant.

“She’s going to be good,” says one woman, in the audience. “She’ll have us all crying!”

And cry they do, sharing their stories of health-care crises, job losses, subprime-mortgage nightmares, about daughters dumping their out-of-wedlock babies at their door and toddlers who are forced to split a hamburger because there’s no money for two. It’s group catharsis with Michelle as Mary in the Pietà, with the groove in her forehead becoming increasingly pronounced. The purgation goes on for an hour, with only the most minor of laugh lines: “I wasn’t stimulated by President Bush’s stimulation,” says one woman, from the balcony. “Will President Obama do something similar to a stimulus process?” Michelle laughs, then says, coyly, “Yes, Barack is talking about doing something for short-term stimulation.”

I just cannot bring myself to read the Penn/Hill camp emails in the Green article in The Atlantic. But here are the links for the intrepid.

Read the article here.

Read the memos here.

More of the last, ABC World News reports, with little information, that an “independent Republican group” is filming in Indonesia, in the environs and streets where young Obama lived. What a shock.

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Comments»

1. marisacat - 12 August 2008

LOL I did laugh out loud at this headline for an opinion piece in USAToday… luv to see that finger shake in REVERSE:

For Edwards, only full truth can pave path to redemption

That his mea culpa, the least possible version and only when cornered, is leaking day by day… is providing me much amusement.

“Redemption”, as if these chumps believe in anything but on-going self aggrandisement, war and pillage.. of one kind or another.

2. NYCO - 12 August 2008

This headline made me chuckle:

Lezak back in Olympic pool after sizzling relay

I got the mental image of a flaming hot bar of metal being plunged into the Olympic pool: Sssssssssssss!

3. marisacat - 12 August 2008

hmmm Hoover Institute. Sweet.

The Chicago Sun-Times’ Lynn Sweet:

‘Obama’s Russian working group is led by Michael McFaul, a political science professor at Stanford University and a fellow at its Hoover Institution. I’m told that a number of Russian hands have been working nonstop since the first reports of fighting. Obama’s other regional specialists — one being Mark Brzezinski, who was President Clinton’s National Security Council Southeast Europe specialist — is also part of that team, topped by Susan Rice, a potential national security adviser or secretary of state in an Obama administration.’

4. marisacat - 12 August 2008

LOL, Madman sent this Steve Bell cartoon on Bush Saakashvilli, SOssetia, Georgia and whatever else…

5. CSTAR - 12 August 2008

Re the steve bell cartoon

Free markets!, Christianity! An oil pipeline!

6. marisacat - 12 August 2008

From E Intifada:

Palestine : Opinion/Editorial:

TEL AVIV TO TBILISI: ISRAEL’S ROLE IN THE RUSSIA-GEORGIA WAR

By Ali Abunimah, The Electronic Intifada, 12 August 2008

From the moment Georgia launched a surprise attack on the
tiny breakaway region of South Ossetia last week,
prompting a fierce Russian counterattack, Israel has been
trying to distance itself from the conflict. This is
understandable: with Georgian forces on the retreat, large
numbers of civilians killed and injured, and Russia’s fury
unabated, Israel’s deep involvement is severely
embarrassing.

http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article9756.shtml

7. JJB - 12 August 2008

With the Cold War back in style, so is the Domino Theory:

This war is about making an example in Georgia, about the consequences post-Soviet countries will suffer for standing up to Moscow, conducting democratic reforms and seeking military and economic ties with the West. No Eurasian country has come so far as Georgia in recent years in terms of democratization and reform. Georgia has the third-largest contingent of forces in Iraq, and before this crisis it had pledged to send forces to Afghanistan.

[snip]

Should we allow Russia to occupy Georgia or even just depose the Saakashvili government, the implications for America’s standing in Eurasia would be dire. We would risk losing the support of the post-Soviet states of Central Asia that are cooperating with the American mission in Afghanistan, along with hopes of westward exports of more Central Asian energy.

Yeah, and if free and democratic South Vietnam fell, the Chinese Commies would appear in Hawaii, California, Oregon, and Washington the following morning, and we’d never eat a grain of rice for as long as we lived, because that was where Asia’s ricebowl was, as LBJ said, and we couldn’t afford to be without it.

And if Georgia has really come further towards genuine democracy than any other Eurasian country, we might as well abandon any hope of it ever taking root in that region of the world. It’s probably even less of a democracy than Iran, and Saakashvili is a scummy thug who only last year sent his security goons to rough up protesters marching against his corrupt regime. He also had a former colleague turned political opponent arrested and tortured until he recanted.

Chris Floyd has a great deal of his own material and links to posts by former Moscow Times colleagues.

BTW, I don’t think Saakashvili got a green light from BushCo. to start this war. I think he’s narcissistic moron with delusions of grandeur who made an extraordinary miscalculation. At any rate, contra the high IQ moron from Johns Hopkins quoted above, this deplorable incident is a splendid reason why we should not grant NATO membership to such countries:

Once the fighting is over, America must step up its campaign for NATO membership for Georgia and Ukraine. Should European countries reject the idea, America could designate them “major non-NATO allies,” along the lines of Israel and Pakistan. This would involve more American military trainers in Georgia, intelligence-sharing, joint exercises and other steps, if not a full pledge by Washington to defend the country in case of attack.

Hard to believe that someone could use Pakistan as a positive example here, or that someone who is the research director of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies wouldn’t know that our alliance with Pakistan goes back to a bit of J.F. Dulles treaty-making originally called the Baghdad Pact, later renamed CENTO when the Hashemite’s were overthrown by a Marxist regime in 1958. But then as the Wikipedia entry notes “is generally viewed as one of the least successful of the Cold War alliances,” and the author doesn’t seem the type to acknowledge that the US geopolitical meddling has ever resulted in failure.

8. JJB - 12 August 2008

Comment in moderation, I think.

9. marisacat - 12 August 2008

JJB

thanks for posting the Chris Floyd links, I jst was directed that way via Dennis Perrin.

I heard today that Saakashvili was a NY lawyer. LOL. Gotta love the free market system. Woo Hoo.

10. CSTAR - 12 August 2008

Re Talking about historical fallacies (such as Munich/Chamberlain)

Domino theory.

I wish these “experts” that write Op/Ed pieces think of some new historical principle?

This morning for breakfast as I was eating my toast I made the mistake of reading George Will expounding on Georgia. I think that guy must be seriously constipated.

11. JJB - 12 August 2008

W/r/t what prompted Georgia’s attack on South Ossetia, Josh Marshall has a hint, and it has to do with John McCain’s chief foreign policy advisor Randy Scheunemann:

Scheunemann’s ‘policy’ was to get the Georgians ginned up on the idea that we were their close military allies and that we’d come to their rescue if their brinksmanship with the Russians went bad. Well, that didn’t work out very well. Any situation where you start the shooting and then find yourself begging for a ceasefire within 48 hours is a major blunder. He’s not an ‘expert’ on Georgia; he’s the lead guy on the policy that got us into this situation. And the fact that John McCain would make him his chief policy advisor after he’s been the conductor on so many trainwrecks should tell us all we need to know about Sen. McCain’s foreign policy judgment.

As I said earlier, I doubt Saakashvili was encouraged by BushCo. to do this, but certain shadowy figures like Scheunemann probably did urge him on, and may have convinced him that the US would be eager to see him succeed, and would intervene to prevent Putin (the real power in Russia, Medvedev is on a par with the clownish and powerless Iranian president Ahmadinijad) from responding the way he has.

12. JJB - 12 August 2008

Another in moderation, I think.

13. cad - 12 August 2008

Ah Sally Cat and the fascists of Kos jes love their banning. Again, all of the “he/she probably deserved banning” apologias. Read the FAQS! Of course, if you’rre Kos and tell Democrats to go vote for a Republican (i.e. Romney) you’re a brilliant trickster — not a troll sockpuppet, like Mike Stark. What a groupthink of pinheads.

Were they in charge of the world, you would see twoll executions. These Kossacks are a supreme example of exactly the authoritarian rule that they allegedly despise from Bush, but love their shiny black pooties to mete out censorship.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/8/12/133412/237/690/566790

14. JJB - 12 August 2008

Just followed a link in another post Josh M did on the subject of Russia/Georgia, and found the following John McCain quote:

Mr. McCain urged NATO to begin discussions on “the deployment of an international peacekeeping force to South Ossetia,’’ called on the United Nations to condemn “Russian aggression,’’ and said that the secretary of state should travel to Europe “to establish a common Euro-Atlantic position aimed at ending the war and supporting the independence of Georgia.’’
And he said the NATO should reconsider its previous decision and set Georgia – which he called “one of the world’s first nations to adopt Christianity as an official religion’’ — on the path to becoming a member. “NATO’s decision to withhold a membership action plan for Georgia might have been viewed as a green light by Russia for its attacks on Georgia, and I urge the NATO allies to revisit the decision,’’ he said.

I guess on that basis, Turkey should be expelled, and new countries such as Bosnia and Kosovo have no chance at entry.

McCain certainly did not know that prior to making the statement, and the factoid was inserted by an aide, but you have to wonder why anyone thought its inclusion was a good idea. One more reason to doubt the elderly McCain’s judgment regarding world affairs.

It also reminds me of a scene from the late 60s film “The Charge Of The Light Brigade,” directed by Tony Richardson and starring David Hemmings, Vanessa Redgrave, and Trevor Howard. At one point, as war fever against Russia is being stoked, a group congregates on the steps of some building in London to protest, demanding “why are we siding with heathen Turkey against Christian Russia?” Lord Cardigan (played by Howard) is passing by in uniform at the head of a mounted column. He stops to listen to the dissident, then charges up the steps on his horse, breaking up the small group, ripping their banner, and causing a few to be injured in the melee.

I’ve no doubt McCain would behave in similar fashion.

15. diane - 12 August 2008

This seems instructive in the latest ‘sanctified and baptized’ bloodbath:

Just prior to taking power in Georgia, the new U.S. backed leader, Mikhail Saakashvili, announced, “All strategic contracts I Georgia, especially the contract for the Caspian Pipeline, are a matter of survival for the Georgian state.” That regime change resulted in the closure of Russian bases in Georgia and an increase in U.S. military aid to the country. In early 2004, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld deployed private military contractors from the Washington firm Cubic on a three year $15 million contract to Georgia “to equip and advise the former soviet republic’s crumbling military, embellishing an eastward expansion that has enraged Moscow,” reported London’s Guardian. “A Georgian security official said the Cubic team would also improve protection of the pipeline that will take Caspian oil from Baku to Turkey through Georgia. Georgia has already expressed its gratitude by agreeing to send 500 troops to Iraq.”

The Bush Administration knew that the controversial pipeline would need to be protected in each country it passed through. While Washington increased its military aid to Georgia, it faced a decade long U.S. Congressional ban on military assistance to Azerbaijan, where the oil would be extracted. In 1992, Congress banned such aid because of Azerbaijan’ bloody ethnic and territorial conflict with Armenia in the Nagorno-Karabak region. But on January 25, 2002, President Bush “waived” that section of the Congressional act, thereby allowing U.S. military aid to Azerbaijan to resume. The White House said the waiver was “necessary to support United States efforts to counter international terrorism [and] to support the operational readiness of United States Armed Forces or coalition partners to counter international terrorism” – in other words, to protect oil interests…….”

Excerpted from Blackwater, The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary army (chapter: Caspian Pipeline Dreams), by Jeremy Scahill.

16. marisacat - 12 August 2008

Sorry JJB, got it out of moderation.

……………… 8) ………………

17. diane - 12 August 2008

Oh shit, hadn’t heard about “The Bush Administration’s Plan To Make The Endangered Species Act Extinct,” just saw this on melvin’s diary on it.

*****
15

Error in the first quoted paragraph, should’ve read:

“All strategic contracts in Georgia,”

18. Madman in the Marketplace - 12 August 2008

The Poem as Comic Strip #6

This is pretty neat.

19. Madman in the Marketplace - 12 August 2008

Photography as a Weapon By Errol Morris

As almost everyone knows by now, various major daily newspaper published, on July 10, a photograph of four Iranian missiles streaking heavenward; then Little Green Footballs (significantly, a blog and not a daily newspaper) provided evidence that the photograph had been faked. Later, many of those same papers published a Whitman’s sampler of retractions and apologies. For me it raised a series of questions about images.[1] Do they provide illustration of a text or an idea of evidence of some underlying reality or both? And if they are evidence, don’t we have to know that the evidence is reliable, that it can be trusted?

Hany Farid, a Dartmouth professor and an expert on digital photography, has published a number of journal articles and a recent Scientific American article on digital photographic fraud. He seemed to be a good person to start with. If a photograph has been tampered with, he’s the person to analyze how the tampering has been done. I wanted to discuss with him the issue of the Iranian photograph starting with the issue of why we trust photographs in the first place.

HANY FARID: The short answer is: I don’t know. The longer answer is: if you look at the neurological level, what’s happening in our brain, roughly 30 to 50 percent of our brain is doing visual processing. It’s just processing the visual imagery that comes in, and if you think about it in terms of bandwidth, there is a remarkable amount of information entering into our eyes and being processed by the brain. Now, the brain samples like a video camera, but 30 frames a second, high resolution, massive amounts of information. Vision is a pretty unique sense for the brain. It’s incredibly powerful and is very valuable from an evolutionary point of view. So it’s not surprising that it has an emotional effect on us. The Vietnam War, the war abroad and the war at home, has been reduced to a few iconic images — the Napalm girl, the girl at Kent State. What seems to emerge from major events and eras are one or two images that effectively embody the emotion and rage, the happiness and anger. The whole thing somehow is enfolded in there. The brain is just very good at processing visual imageries and bringing in memories associated with images.

This is really interesting, the ability to focus a broader story down to one picture. (ON top of the other interesting points in the article about manipulating people w/ images and captions). It reminds of the Lakota keeping histories w/ Winter Counts.

Anyway, the whole piece is really good:

ERROL MORRIS: No. Not that I’m aware of. But doctored photographs are the least of our worries. If you want to trick someone with a photograph, there are lots of easy ways to do it. You don’t need Photoshop. You don’t need sophisticated digital photo-manipulation. You don’t need a computer. All you need to do is change the caption.

[The photographs presented by Colin Powell at the United Nations in 2003 provide several examples. Photographs that were used to justify a war. And yet, the actual photographs are low-res, muddy aerial surveillance photographs of buildings and vehicles on the ground in Iraq. I’m not an aerial intelligence expert. I could be looking at anything. It is the labels, the captions, and the surrounding text that turn the images from one thing into another.[6]

Powell was arguing that the Iraqis were doing something wrong, knew they were doing something wrong, and were trying to cover their tracks. Later, it was revealed that the captions were wrong. There was no evidence of chemical weapons and no evidence of concealment.

There is a larger point. I don’t know what these buildings were really used for. I don’t know whether they were used for chemical weapons at one time, and then transformed into something relatively innocuous, in order to hide the reality of what was going on from weapons inspectors. But I do know that the yellow captions influence how we see the pictures. “Chemical Munitions Bunker” is different from “Empty Warehouse” which is different from “International House of Pancakes.” The image remains the same but we see it differently.[7]

Change the yellow labels, change the caption and you change the meaning of the photographs. You don’t need Photoshop. That’s the disturbing part. Captions do the heavy lifting as far as deception is concerned. The pictures merely provide the window-dressing. The unending series of errors engendered by falsely captioned photographs are rarely remarked on. – E.M.]

20. diane - 12 August 2008

19

Thanks for the great link Madman, loved this:

If you want to trick someone with a photograph…. All you need to do is change the caption.

21. Madman in the Marketplace - 12 August 2008

Just another example of how lacking in creativity NBC is. Here is a cartoon/commercial from the BBC for their Olympics coverage done by Damon Albarn (Blur, Gorillaz) and Jamie Hewlett (Tank Girl comics, Gorillaz’ videos/characters), based on the old Monkey story “Journey to the West”.

Very cool.

22. Intermittent Bystander - 12 August 2008

Very interesting documentary (and potential Olympic antidote, for anyone who needs a break from the rah-rah-rah) playing on Wide Angle tonight: China Prep. About high school seniors (of diverse backgrounds and levels of wealth) at an elite (and yet, unheated) prep school, going through the final exam process that will determine their acceptance at China’s top universities.

23. Madman in the Marketplace - 12 August 2008
24. marisacat - 12 August 2008

I think that Mukasey quote is the nation’s motto.

***

IB

thanks for the tip on PBS… i will catch that tongiht.

25. Madman in the Marketplace - 12 August 2008

From the Law dot com online legal dictionary:

crime

n. a violation of a law in which there is injury to the public or a member of the public and a term in jail or prison, and/or a fine as possible penalties. There is some sentiment for excluding from the “crime” category crimes without victims, such as consensual acts, or violations in which only the perpetrator is hurt or involved such as personal use of illegal drugs.

From my copy of Black’s Law Dictionary (abridged seventh edition):

CRIME: A social harm that the law makes punishable;

26. Madman in the Marketplace - 12 August 2008

Perrin:

If it wasn’t for the thousands of dead, and the tens of thousands running for their lives, the American pundit-politico reaction to Russia’s pummeling of Georgia would be a dark laugh riot. Okay, it is a dark laugh riot, with blood and broken bone spewing out of cynical American mouths. What a nasty, predictable sight: US elites condemning “Russian aggression” from the heart of Murder Central, which gave Mikheil Saakashvili what he thought was imperial-backed carte blanche. McCain, of course, is feasting on as many bodies as his aging frame will allow, bellowing between bites about “international law.” Obama, naturally, is going the pragmatic route, calling for UN intervention, a review of Russia’s global status, and most telling of all, “deepening relations between Georgia and transatlantic institutions, including a Membership Action Plan for NATO.”

Snippy bloody snip:

One cannot assume state power without proving you can and will kill. To McCain, such a demonstration will come easily and with a wicked grin. Obama’s version will be no less deadly, only painted in cooler colors. Unlike their hippie predecessors, Obama Youth will remove daisies from the rifle barrels, their strawberry fields forever aflame. You won’t need to play Obama’s speeches backwards to discover what that means.

27. diane - 12 August 2008

Duh

Study says most corporations pay no U.S. income taxes

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Most U.S. and foreign corporations doing business in the United States avoid paying any federal income taxes, despite trillions of dollars worth of sales, a government study released on Tuesday said.

The Government Accountability Office said 72 percent of all foreign corporations and about 57 percent of U.S. companies doing business in the United States paid no federal income taxes for at least one year between 1998 and 2005.

snip

The study showed about 28 percent of large foreign corporations, those with more than $250 million in assets, doing business in the United States paid no federal income taxes in 2005 despite $372 billion in gross receipts, the senators said. About 25 percent of the largest U.S. companies paid no federal income taxes in 2005 despite $1.1 trillion in gross sales that year, they said.

I love the feigned Congressional shock.

(full pdf GAO Report)

28. diane - 13 August 2008

27

To put that in context, there’s was a near 100% reduction in the collection of Corporate Federal Income Taxes, as a percentage of total Federal Income Taxes collected, from the sixties to 2005.

If Congress had any intent of balancing any scales, and helping the citizens out of the economic nightmare so many are living in, at a minimum, they would reinstitute income averaging, at least under a certain level of income, and cease entering into contracts with multinationals that aren’t paying a dime into the coffers being bled on endless war.

29. diane - 13 August 2008

28
there, not there’s

30. marisacat - 13 August 2008

well I will hand it to the 1am to 5 am slot on KGO, the host pulled up the Gary Brecher War Nerd posting on Georgia, S Ossetia, Russia etc.. (aemd linked to it last thread)

LOL Earlier Rose had on Churkin the UN Amb from Russia… Very temperamental guy, a hoot as an ambassador. This could get entertaining.

31. marisacat - 13 August 2008

hmmm I see Brecher has two on Georgia and war…

August 9

August 12

32. marisacat - 13 August 2008

LOL I see Mark Warner is chosen as keynote speaker at BamaLand

33. NYCO - 13 August 2008

Another observation about the Olympics. Probably something most people haven’t noticed unless they are watching the unedited online coverage of certain events… the maddening overuse of (mostly Western) pop music at these events. I’ve been watching the archery matches, and between every match, and between rounds even, or during time-out calls for officiating, they feel the need to fill the silence with needle-dropped blasts of loud bouncy music. (Perhaps to cover up that there are few people in the stands. I can’t understand why a country of 1 billion plus has had such trouble filling the stands.)

In fact, the Chineseness of these games, if there is any at all, is barely coming over in the coverage. The Chinese athletes don’t even have their own names in Chinese characters on their own uniforms. There are few signs in Chinese at the arenas. Except for the preponderance of Asian faces in the stands (what few there are in the stands), it’s difficult to tell where these games are actually being held.

34. marisacat - 13 August 2008

I can’t understand why a country of 1 billion plus has had such trouble filling the stands

This has been odd…

35. marisacat - 13 August 2008

The Edwardses need zippers. For their mouths. EE in People Mag, the cover. her story and why she stayed.

I think she had some whine up at Dkos about VOYEURS. And how private this all was, and should be.

36. NYCO - 13 August 2008

I think the government has stage-managed the Games to the point where most average Chinese people are just staying away and watching at home. I read in the NY Times that chanting fans at some of the events have been recruited.

Interesting collision of corporate excess and one-party rule. I’m sure the Chinese people will blame themselves, though.

37. JJB - 13 August 2008

Never fear, Tbilisi! George W. Bush is sending you an unmistakable message that Georgia is on his mind by sending renowned super-diplomat Condi Rice to effect your rescue. It couldn’t have been easy to drag her away from her vacation, but this trip will also include France (and this story lists her itinerary as “France and Georgia,” suggesting that’s the order of the trip), I guess she figures that it’s August, the Parisians are out of town en vacance, thus offering prime shopping opportunities, so why not?

Also, Defense Secretary Robert Gates will be conducting “a humanitarian mission to Georgia involving aircraft and Naval forces” that promises to be “vigorous and ongoing,” whatever the hell that might mean.

In the meantime, a Russian tank batallion has apparently seized control of the city of Gori, Stalin’s hometown. One does wonder what the old mass-murderer would make of this imbroglio. The French-brokered cease fire seems to have turned down the level of violence in this conflict, but the Russians appear to be moving about, taking control of the areas they’ve seized, and making sure their positions are as secure from counterattack as possible.

38. marisacat - 13 August 2008

Holbrook and Dimitri Simes almost came to blows yesterday on Lehrer over Russian presence in Gori.

What a mess… I sort of avoided Bush speech this am…

39. marisacat - 13 August 2008

Madman sent thsi Bell cartoon from The Guardian.

40. NYCO - 13 August 2008

Reuters is saying that Saakashvili is claiming that Bush’s offer of humanitarian aid means that Georgian ports and airports will be under U.S. military control.

Wow, that guy is an asshole. Russia is just acting like Russia, but this guy’s certifiable.

41. JJB - 13 August 2008

For no good reason, I checked out George Swill’s WaPo diatribe. He really does give mindless pedantry a bad name:

What is it about August? The First World War began in August 1914. The Molotov-Ribbentrop pact effectively announced the Second World War in August 1939. Iraq, a fragment of the collapse of empires precipitated by August 1914, invaded Kuwait in August 1990.

WWI began on July 28, 1914, when Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, and bombarded Belgrade. The M-R pact, shocking and momentous as it was, probably had less effect on starting the Second World War than Germany’s seizure of what remained of Czechoslakia the previous March (which brought an end to the policy of appeasement and is probably the one event that made war inevitable, if any one action could be said to have done so, i.e., Britain and France would no longer acquiesce in any of Hitler’s territorial demands). At least he gets Saddam’s attack on Kuwait right.

He might also mention that WWII ended in August 1945, when Japan surrendered, but I guess that might not fit in his theme of “bad things always happen in August, geopolitically speaking.” It’s not a very long list anyway, although I can think of something else he might have added to it, namely the Gulf of Tonkin incident (August 2-4, 1964). Can’t imagine why he left that off . . .

42. marisacat - 13 August 2008

…but this guy’s certifiable.

Which is what Churkin the Russian Amb to the UN said last night on Rose. He was pretty calm on Lehrer… but by the time of taping for CR, he was agitated.

43. marisacat - 13 August 2008

Swill… good name for Will… LOL

44. NYCO - 13 August 2008

Another newsflash from Reuters…

Russia says U.S. must decide between real partnership with Russia or the “virtual project called the Georgian leadership”

Ouch.

Too bad the leadership of the U.S. is also a virtual project…

45. marisacat - 13 August 2008

hmm Democratic party chair in ARK has been shot. Sounds like the shooter is dead. No word on condition of state chair.

Developing…………. as they say.

46. marisacat - 13 August 2008

Bob Casey jr will speak Tuesday night at the convention.

47. marisacat - 13 August 2008

Kerry mounts his faithful steed and brandishes his faithful weapon, a butter knife:

The Massachusetts Senator announces “Truth Fights Back” Web site to combat new Corsi book “Obama Nation.”

The site will be paid for by Kerry’s leadership PAC and will “stay on top of what the rightwing is doing and help fight for the truth.”

Get the man a pillow for his head.

48. JJB - 13 August 2008

This NY Times article says that the truce supposedly in place in Georgia may be DOA. It includes this statement from the commander of that Russian tank batallion occupying Gori:

“It all depends on what Saakashvili is going to say. If he doesn’t understand the situation, we’ll have to go further. It’s only 60 kilometers to Tbilisi,” the commander said, speaking at a checkpoint on the Gori-Tbilisi road. “He doesn’t seem understand that the Russian army is much stronger than the Georgian army. His tanks remain in their places. His air force is dead. His navy is also. His army is demoralized.”

Saakashvili is quoted as saying Boy George’s dispatch of [non-military] aid is a “turning point.” He seems to have taken leave of his senses, although to be fair, he’s probably handling himself better than Bush did on 9/11.

UPDATE: That story has changed significantly since I first read it just a few minutes ago. For instance, that quote from the tank commander was on page 2, now it’s on page 1. His name is now withheld, previously he was identified by first name and the patronym that serves as the middle name for Russians (don’t remember what it was). There is also material denying that the Georgians killed something like 1,500-2,000 people when they attacked South Ossetia, and the following passage that sounds like something from a Hollywood film made during WWII:

Keren Esehua, 19, a Georgian law student, spray-painted “Down with the occupiers” onto the pavement in Georgian letters. “Like no other time, the Georgians need to work together,” she said.

Nearby, Tamuna Malania, a blond 20-year-old law student, stood in the road and forced a troop transport truck to stop. Then she threw a handful of anti-occupation leaflets at the truck.

Now, I don’t want to make fun of people responding to the occupation of their country by a hostile foreign oppressor, but that bit about throwing leaflets at a truck strikes me as odd. Aren’t you wasting them in a futile gesture? And why do you have these leaflets anyway, wouldn’t the local population be overwhelmingly opposed to it, and not in need of leaflets to convince them?

This story has definitely had material added that casts the Russians in a worse light, particularly that quote from Human Rights Watch workers (or those who say they are) denying that the Georgians killed as many people as the Russians have claimed, and also claiming that South Ossetian (i.e., pro-Russian) militias are committing atrocities in Georgian populated villages in the break-away province.

49. JJB - 13 August 2008

Another NYT article about the lead-up to the war that I find plausible:

One month ago, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice arrived in Tbilisi, Georgia, for a high-profile visit that was planned to accomplish two very different goals.

During a private dinner on July 9, Ms. Rice’s aides say, she warned President Mikheil Saakashvili of Georgia not to get into a military conflict with Russia that Georgia could not win. “She told him, in no uncertain terms, that he had to put a non-use of force pledge on the table,” according to a senior administration official who accompanied Ms. Rice to the Georgian capital.

But publicly, Ms. Rice struck a different tone, one of defiant support for Georgia in the face of Russian pressure. “I’m going to visit a friend and I don’t expect much comment about the United States going to visit a friend,” she told reporters just before arriving in Tbilisi, even as Russian jets were conducting intimidating maneuvers over South Ossetia.

In the five days since the simmering conflict between Russia and Georgia erupted into war, Bush administration officials have been adamant in asserting that they warned the government in Tbilisi not to let Moscow provoke it into a fight — and that they were surprised when their advice went unheeded.. . . [snip]

But as Ms. Rice’s two-pronged visit to Tbilisi demonstrates, the accumulation of years of mixed messages may have made the American warnings fall on deaf ears.

The United States took a series of steps that emboldened Georgia: sending advisers to build up the Georgian military, including an exercise last month with more than 1,000 American troops; pressing hard to bring Georgia into the NATO orbit; championing Georgia’s fledgling democracy along Russia’s southern border; and loudly proclaiming its support for Georgia’s territorial integrity in the battle with Russia over Georgia’s separatist enclaves.

[snip]

In recent years, the United States has also taken a series of steps that have alienated Russia — including recognizing an independent Kosovo and going ahead with efforts to construct a missile defense system in Eastern Europe. By last Thursday, when the years of simmering conflict exploded into war, Russia had a point to prove to the world, even some administration officials acknowledge, while Georgia may have been under the mistaken impression that in a one-on-one fight with Russia, Georgia would have more concrete American support.

[snip]

Officials at the White House, State Department and the Pentagon said that President Saakashvili did not officially inform the Bush administration in advance of his offensive — let alone ask for support. “The Georgians figured it was better to ask forgiveness later, but not ask for permission first,” said one administration official. “It was a decision on their part. They knew we would say ‘no.’ ”

But critics say the United States may have given Georgia reason to hope.

Ms. Rice went to Tbilisi just as tensions between Russia and Georgia were escalating. Standing next to Mr. Saakashvili during a press conference, she said that Russia “needs to be a part of resolving the problem and solving the problems and not contributing to it.” Mr. Saakashvili, for his part, was clearly thrilled to host Ms. Rice.

“We are also very grateful for your support for our peace plan for the conflicts and for your unwavering support for Georgia’s territorial integrity,” he said.

Is Condi Rice the least competent chief diplomat of a major power in human history? You’d have to go back to the lunkheads that Wilhelm II appointed after firing Bismark to find someone similarly idiotic, and I’m not sure that Condi isn’t inferior to them as well.

50. JJB - 13 August 2008

BTW, I wonder if Condi will be making use of her fluent Russian on this latest diplomatic voyage? 🙂

51. NYCO - 13 August 2008

We’ll know if the U.S. media has really gotten in on the act, if NBC suddenly carries footage of today’s women’s archery final round. The American woman still remaining in the contest, is a naturalized native of Georgia.

52. CSTAR - 13 August 2008

Duck Soup

53. JJB - 13 August 2008

According to a couple of posts I saw at Josh Marshall’s site, McCain is supposedly on the phone a great deal with Saakashvili, and he’s accounced he’s sending his own delegation to Georgia. If true, that would very possibly cross the line of conducting independent diplomacy, which is a crime.

And while McCain’s chief foreign policy advisor has resigned from actively participating with the consulting group through which he served as a lobbyist for the Georgian government, he’s probably still got his ownership stake in it.

54. NYCO - 13 August 2008

If true, that would very possibly cross the line of conducting independent diplomacy, which is a crime.

It is?

55. JJB - 13 August 2008

No. 54,

Yes. It’s a crime for U.S. citizens to conduct diplomacy with foreign governments independent of the Department of State. This includes U.S. Senators. If McCain is not clearing everything he does with Foggy Bottom, he’s breaking the law.

56. NYCO - 13 August 2008

What’s the definition of diplomacy, though? I think there is probably a lot of wiggle room on that.

57. JJB - 13 August 2008

Why don’t you look up the definition somewhere? You obviously need to do a lot more reading.

Or stick to discussing subjects about which you actually know something. I realize that’s quite a short list and would limit your participation in these threads.

58. NYCO - 13 August 2008

I love you too, JJB. Mwah.

59. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 August 2008

Wow, this turns really nasty:

Pelosi slammed in L.A. on failure to impeach Bush

The venue: more than 300 people paid $30 each Monday night at the American Jewish University (formerly known as the University of Judaism). The format: a 75-minute interview by the Rabbi Robert Wexler (not to be confused with the Palm Beach, Fla., congressman of the same name). The questions: tough but respectful. Wexler asked Pelosi about a recent Rasmussen Poll that showed a 9% approval rating for Congress.

But then, according to blogger Alan Breslauer, things turned ugly. A protester shouted that Pelosi, in not impeaching Bush for launching a war on false pretenses, had failed to live up to her constitutional duties. She shot back:

I take the oath of office to uphold the constitution of the United States and don’t tell me that I don’t do that. Why don’t you go picket the Republicans in Congress that will not allow us to have a vote on the war? This is not very effective. Not very effective.

In the video, it’s clear that most of the audience rallied to Pelosi’s side, applauding her rebuttal. According to Breslauer, protesters were escorted out by the Secret Service. *(More likely they were local police or perhaps the sergeant at arms, as Igor, one of our readers, pointed out.) But it’s also clear that the San Francisco Democrat, with a lifetime of public service, was upset.

As speaker of the House, the third-highest office — first is the president, then vice president and then speaker — I take my responsibilities deadly seriously. I try to promote bipartisanship but that’s not what the other side wants.

With war protester Cindy Sheehan now on the ballot challenging Pelosi, these challenges are likely to continue.

There is video at the link.

Most of the crowd is on Pelosi’s side, from what I can tell from the video.

I wonder how many people in SF have really turned against her, how nasty the fall campaign will be?

60. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 August 2008

Details on the protest Marcy Winograd:

Jumping up, a few seats back from the stage, Thottam shouted, “Who gave you the right to destroy the Constitution and take Impeachment off the table? Our first, second, fourth, fifth and eight Constitutional amendments are being annihilated. 1 million Iraqis are dead. 5,000 Americans including Cindy Sheehan’s son. We’ve spent over 1 trillion taxpayer dollars on a war that should never have been started. Our constitution is being destroyed, Nancy. Bring back our Constitution… Bring it back …”

Security moved in on Peter, took him away, arrested him and threw him in jail for the night. He is scheduled to appear in court Sept. 4th.

Quote from Peter Thottam — Security Guard called the LAPD officers and made a citizen’s arrest. Spent the night in jail. The police officers were sympathetic and agreed about the role of big money in Congress. They agreed that Pelosi and these reps are just tools.

Seconds after Peter’s challenge, I shot up, two rows back from the stage, smack dab in the center of the audience, asking, Nancy, were you fully briefed on torture? Were you briefed on torture? Then came Jodie Evans, co-founder of Code Pink, holding out a copy of the US Constitution, offering it to Pelosi, just in case she missed the repeated mentions of impeachment as a remedy for abuse of power. Security moved in on Jodie, too, whisking her out of the auditorium at American Jewish University, high atop Sepulveda, just past the fifty protestors who came to greet Pelosi with Impeachment is on Our Table and Out of Iraq Now! and No Attack on Iran! signs and banners.

During Pelosi’s entire book talk, some of us — Sara Nichols, Jodie Evans, Linda Milazzo, Marcy Winograd, Tighe Barry – held up our Nancy books with messages we scrawled in big black letters on the inside cover — Protect Iran – Honor Your Oath – Impeach! – Hold Bolton and Rove in Contempt — Nancy, Torture? Torture? Torture? and more about specific articles of the Constitution which called for impeachment. Security personnel whispered, watched us — seemingly unsure of how to respond to this act of subtle, yet distracting resistance.

At one point during her talk, Pelosi, visibly nervous, looked right at us, those of us sitting two rows back, front and center, and told us, almost apologetically, “I was an activist too, I am a progressive, I want the war to end, too. I want to get out of Iraq” and then — “We need to move our troops into Afghanistan, not Iraq.”

61. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 August 2008

details from the protesters in moderation, I think.

62. marisacat - 13 August 2008

LOL On the other hand Kaine says Medvedev listened to Ob’s call for cease something or other.

Gah. Screw them all. And twice on Sunday.

63. marisacat - 13 August 2008

61

I let the most recent out of Moderation Madman…. do you see all your posts? If not wait a min, may turn up…

I heard Nancy on KGO this am with Ronn Owen. She just glides thru the shit. Myabe her version of Pinnochio is that her SSeas Pearls just get bigger. And Democrats hold her up for scorn and shame and anger.. and will diligently vote for Ob. Thinking he is a different party somehow.

2010 should be very entertaining.

hmm had not heard that Congress fell to 9 pts. (Rasmussen).

Good luck to someone.

64. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 August 2008

Judge says UC can deny religious course credit

(08-12) 17:25 PDT SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge says the University of California can deny course credit to applicants from Christian high schools whose textbooks declare the Bible infallible and reject evolution.

Rejecting claims of religious discrimination and stifling of free expression, U.S. District Judge James Otero of Los Angeles said UC’s review committees cited legitimate reasons for rejecting the texts – not because they contained religious viewpoints, but because they omitted important topics in science and history and failed to teach critical thinking.

Otero’s ruling Friday, which focused on specific courses and texts, followed his decision in March that found no anti-religious bias in the university’s system of reviewing high school classes. Now that the lawsuit has been dismissed, a group of Christian schools has appealed Otero’s rulings to the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.

“It appears the UC is attempting to secularize private religious schools,” attorney Jennifer Monk of Advocates for Faith and Freedom said Tuesday. Her clients include the Association of Christian Schools International, two Southern California high schools and several students.

Charles Robinson, the university’s vice president for legal affairs, said the ruling “confirms that UC may apply the same admissions standards to all students and to all high schools without regard to their religious affiliations.” What the plaintiffs seek, he said, is a “religious exemption from regular admissions standards.”

65. marisacat - 13 August 2008

Hold Bolton and Rove in Contempt

FUCKING screw contempt. Arrest them.

Won’t be happening. Might muss the lipsitck on the pigs.

66. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 August 2008

thanx, that was it!

How is the CA media reacting to all of this? I read stories in the Times and Chronicle, but have no feeling for broadcast media from my perch her in Cheeseland.

67. marisacat - 13 August 2008

64

Yes I was so thrilled this am when that came thru.

Damn the exemptionals (I made that word up). They want to be victims and exceptions and exemptions and exalted by Jesus, all at once.

68. marisacat - 13 August 2008

66

Just reporting it… Most people agree with Otero… and our fucked religionists are up North in Very White Land (Butte Co and Calaveras and so on, two counties that have refused to do marriages since we all went gay!) We do have loon Russian crazed religionist immigrants (masses of them), I suppose they are less than thrilled and I don’t know where the offspring of Asian Missionary Conversions are, probably less than happy… … and then we have pockets of Catholics who do the work of the Catholic Bishops… like fund the parental notice ballot measures.

I don’t think we have anyone like Jindal running loose, who wants to foster Creationism in the schools…

69. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 August 2008

67 – I still want to know why getting to live for eternity in paradise after they die isn’t enuff for them. The mortal vale is filthy and horrible, after all.

68 – Thanks, that is good to know. We’d be subjected to a bunch of fucking Bishops and home-schooling freaks if it happened here.

70. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 August 2008

When did Colmes grow a pair?

Hannity: I’m not getting this. Explain to me and I’m wondering if you can’t keep the promise to your family, can’t keep your promise to your wife, you’re having an affair, you’re lying about the affair repeatedly, why should the American people trust you when you say you’re not going to lie to them? Why should we trust you?

Colmes: And by the way, that’s a great question Sean asks and so Amanda, if that’s true and you can’t trust somebody who had an affair. How can we trust John McCain to be President of the United States—he cheated on by his own admission on his first wife, he didn’t keep his martial vows, he didn’t keep his pledge to his first family…

Hannity: Thirty years ago after five and a half years of being a POW

Colmes: Excuse me Sean. You’ve had your chance to speak, I’m up. John McCain cheated on his wife, right. Amanda? So how do we trust John McCain? He cheated on his wife, why do you have a double standard and John McCain’s running for President? John Edwards is not. John McCain’s wife was in a car accident. John McCain’s running for President, what about his affair?

Hannity: After five and a half years in a POW camp.

Colmes: That has nothing to do with it. So it’s OK to have an affair on his wife.

71. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 August 2008

NYC Panopticon Plans Take Shape

Plans for New York City’s high-tech defense are beginning to coalesce; the NYPD wants license plate readers and radiation monitors scanning every vehicle entering Manhattan island, and a ring of checkpoints and concrete around the rebuilt World Trade Center site.

Back in April, we presented an early look inside the plans, which also include a network of thousands of surveillance cameras spidering through New York’s financial district.

The latest proposal — called Operation Sentinel — “calls for photographing, and scanning the license plates of, cars and trucks at all bridges and tunnels and using sensors to detect the presence of radioactivity,” the New York Times reports.

Data on each vehicle — its time-stamped image, license plate imprint and radiological signature — would be sent to a command center in Lower Manhattan, where it would be indexed and stored for at least a month as part of a broad security plan that emphasizes protecting the city’s financial district, the spokesman, Paul J. Browne, said. If it were not linked to a suspicious vehicle or a law enforcement investigation, it would be eliminated, he said.

The license plate readers, from what I understand, are, technically speaking, pretty straight forward. The radiation detectors ain’t. I spent some time with an NYPD unit, armed with these sensors. Just about anything would set them off — like a patient getting chemotherapy, for example. And so far, no nuclear smugglers had been caught by the machines.

Who believes that the NYPD would delete information in a database after a month if they didn’t “need” it? Who believes they wouldn’t use that database to track people for other reasons, like the so-called drug “war” or protesters from entering the city for something or other.

72. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 August 2008

(not) proud to be an American:

He was 17 when he came to New York from Hong Kong in 1992 with his parents and younger sister, eyeing the skyline like any newcomer. Fifteen years later, Hiu Lui Ng was a New Yorker: a computer engineer with a job in the Empire State Building, a house in Queens, a wife who is a United States citizen and two American-born sons.

But when Mr. Ng, who had overstayed a visa years earlier, went to immigration headquarters in Manhattan last summer for his final interview for a green card, he was swept into immigration detention and shuttled through jails and detention centers in three New England states.

In April, Mr. Ng began complaining of excruciating back pain. By mid-July, he could no longer walk or stand. And last Wednesday, two days after his 34th birthday, he died in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement in a Rhode Island hospital, his spine fractured and his body riddled with cancer that had gone undiagnosed and untreated for months.

73. marisacat - 13 August 2008

LOL Pity the NYT did such a lousy chopped to death by the legal division job on the “expose” of JMcC and his “lobbyist” woman a few months ago.

She, by the way, disappeared for months following that article. Could not be located. I don’t know if she resurfaced

John and Cindy skated on their denials and the NYT times having clay feet to the hip bones.

John and Elizabeth are leaky messy boats by comparison. The Enquirer is having a lot of fun. To be frank. And the Edwardses look like idiots. Which they are.

74. marisacat - 13 August 2008

Oh BTW, when Ronn Owens o9f KGo raised Edwards today (he never did like him, LOL) Nancy sought refuge in words of St Francis (”to forgive is to be forgiven” – makes one wonder about John Pelosi frankly). AND she informed us he is the patron saint of SF.

Which I am certain none of us here knew. At all. In any way.

Gah.

75. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 August 2008

LOL … well, they both serve the same masters:

Brzezinksi: I Expect Powell To Endorse Obama

Former national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski tells the Huffington Post that he “expects” Gen. Colin Powell to endorse Barack Obama for president.

Late Wednesday afternoon, the political world skipped a heartbeat when Fox pundit and eminent neoconservative Bill Kristol predicted that former Gen. Colin Powell would endorse Barack Obama, and even potentially speak at the Democratic National Convention.

In response to an emailed question, Brzezinski agreed with Kristol about the endorsement, writing simply: “I sort of expect he [Powell] will.”

76. marisacat - 13 August 2008

The Powell camp has denied it… Geraghty floated that perhaps the leak is to put tension in whatever negotiations are between pwell and ob.

I so want to see that testimony before the UN again. And again.

Poor Powell, trying to resuscitate a dead career.

Pox on them all.

77. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 August 2008

I think it would be so damned funny to see him endorse Obama. They share such “good judgement” and all that.

😉

78. marisacat - 13 August 2008

May they all do as Powell has done, be so deficient that the BOOK DEALS stop coming. That goes for ob too.

79. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 August 2008

They identified the shooter in Arkansas, but no motive yet:

The suspected shooter was also fatally wounded in a shootout with police after a 30-mile chase into adjoining Grant County, a Little Rock police spokesman said. He has now been identified as Timothy Dale Johnson, 50, of Searcy. A sister who lives in Sheridan identified him, police said.

Johnson had no prior police record, according to the Little Rock police and a motive was still unknown. “This is one of those where we may never know,” said Police Lt. Terry Hastings.

Immediately after the shooting, police sources said they were working to confirm tentative information that the suspect was a former employee of a Gwatney car dealership. The Little Rock police said, however, at an afternoon news conference that the shooter, whom they did not identify, was NOT a Gwatney employee and, so far as they knew, never had been, contrary to some reports mentioned here earlier in the day. Hastings said they hoped to learn from family more about Johnson’s background.

According to one source, information gathered about Johnso indicated he’d exhibited erratic behavior at least once in the past. He reportedly made an irate visit to a dentist a year or so ago, but later returned to apologize.

80. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 August 2008

ah, such a shallow country we live in. Apparently “who would you trade iTune playlists with?” is the new “who would you like to have a beer with”.

Pretty safe lists, imho. (Though props to McCain on the Merle Haggard song … not a big hit). Best part of the piece is Randy Newman’s last comment:

RN: McCain has a really likeable list. Then again, Hitler liked some good music, you know?

81. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 August 2008
82. marisacat - 13 August 2008

I notice that as the iTunes reports move along the music declared from each changes. The first reports were interesting. McCain listened to some modern stuff (he does have kids, so I assume he hears it and picks what he likes) and Ob liked some old stuff…

Then later reports seemed to amend their selections to be more what people might expect.

An election for the ages. More of the same. The most important election of our lifetimes. On and on and on and on and on……..

83. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 August 2008

82 – I noticed that too. Pretty funny … human chameleons, only these lizards adjust to match the polls instead of foliage.

84. marisacat - 13 August 2008

There is amusing stuff popping up all the time. When Ob complained of some rapper (Ludicrus? Forget now which one) or distanced himself from words… some blogger, a rightie, turned up Ob laughing in 2004 over his daughter (then 6) liking some song of Snoop Dogg’s.

Footprints in the sand. High tide wipes out all traces.

85. CSTAR - 13 August 2008

In this duck soup world we’re living in, we’re all Freedonians.

86. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 August 2008

How the Democrats Can Blow It … in Six Easy Steps By Michael Moore

1)1. Keep saying nice things about McCain. Like how he’s been “good on global warming” and campaign finance. Keep reminding a country at war that he and he alone is a war hero. Not to mention an all-round good guy. Say that enough and what happens? The same thing that happens when you repeat over and over, “Apply directly to the forehead” – people start to believe it! You’ve sold them on the idea that McCain isn’t a bad egg, and they do not hear the rest of what you have to say: “But John McCain is four more years of George W Bush.” If you keep saying he used to be a “maverick”, our less-attention-span citizens hear only the “maverick” part, not the past tense verb included in that sentence.

2. Have Obama pick a vice-presidential candidate who is a conservative white guy, or a general, or a Republican. Yes, it will seem like smart politics at first. Shore up Obama’s lack of military experience with a hawk.

3. Keep writing speeches for Obama like the one in front of the American Israeli lobbying group the day after the final primaries. Here’s what he said: “The danger from Iran is grave, it is real, and my goal will be to eliminate this threat.” And: “Let there be no doubt: I will always keep the threat of military action on the table to defend our security and our ally Israel. Sometimes there are no alternatives to confrontation.”

4. Forget that this was a historic year for women. Obama should be making a speech about gender like the brilliant one he gave on race back in March. Millions of people, especially women, had high hopes for the candidacy of Hillary Clinton. Attention must be paid. And you don’t pay attention to it by having your advisers run your wife through the makeover machine, trying to soften her up and pipe her down. Michelle Obama has been one of the most refreshing things about this election year. But within weeks of the end of the primary season, the handlers stepped in to deal with the “Michelle problem.”

5. Show up to a gunfight with a peashooter. Convince yourself that the Republicans are just going to roll over and play dead because there is simply no life left in their party. Convince yourself this one is in the bag! Convince yourself that if you play by the rules, the Republicans will too.

And when McCain and his people roll out their nuclear arsenal on you, just go all sweet and sensitive and logical. Believe that the truth shall prevail, that good people will see what the Republicans are up to. As they smear you, your family, your religious beliefs — cower, back down, go on the defensive.

They’re doing this one already in response to the book that came out today.

6. Denounce me!

Obama, at some point, might be asked this question: “Michael Moore has endorsed you. But he recently said (fill in the blank with some outrageously offensive line taken out of context). Will you still accept his endorsement, or do you denounce him?”

So Barack, by denouncing me, you can help McCain get elected. Because when you denounce me, it’s not really me you’re distancing yourself from — it’s the millions upon millions of people who feel the same way about things as I do. And many of them are the kind of crazy voters who have no problem voting for a Nader just to prove a point.

Of course, voting for Obama is fucking stupid, but as a list of how to lose it’s not half bad. Too bad the donks will do all of it.

So, Mr. Moore, when they do, are you going to withhold your vote?

Didn’t think so.

[I fixed the text of the last blockquote, Reason 6 — Mcat]

87. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 August 2008

oops, wrong blockquote, shoulda been:

6. Denounce me!

Obama, at some point, might be asked this question: “Michael Moore has endorsed you. But he recently said (fill in the blank with some outrageously offensive line taken out of context). Will you still accept his endorsement, or do you denounce him?”

88. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 August 2008

New York Times Attempts to Define and Dictate Black Politics

Amazing, isn’t it, that Bai and his ilk purport to know more about Black youth and their elders than the two Black age cohorts know about each other? Indeed, if we are to follow Bai’s logic to its natural conclusion, whites understand and communicate with young Blacks better than Black parents do. It all makes sense once you accept the assumption that young Blacks think more like whites than their parents, whose minds have been deformed by too close exposure to the nightmarish Sixties, during which time they became distrustful of white people, and have never recovered.

Fortunately, we can dismiss Bai’s assault on Black elders out of hand, since it relies on facts nowhere in evidence. Where are the graying Black legions that are resisting Obama’s candidacy as a bloc? Every Black demographic, no matter how you slice it, is overwhelmingly pro-Obama for president. How could it not be so, with the Black Obama vote in the late primaries hitting 90 – 95 percent! For every aging Black radical (like myself) who refuses to drink the Obama’Laid, there are eight of his peers with Obama signs on their front lawns, and three octogenarians thanking God they have lived long enough to vote for such an attractive, well-spoken young Black man who might actually become president.

Such is the near-irresistible pull of race, and race solidarity – the uncontainable pressure of the pent-up aspirations of centuries, finally finding vent – in this election cycle.

“The generational transition that is reordering black politics didn’t start this year. It has been happening, gradually and quietly, for at least a decade, as younger African-Americans, Barack Obama among them, have challenged their elders in traditionally black districts. What this year’s Democratic nomination fight did was to accelerate that transition.”

A change has come over Black politics in the last decade, and it does involve the entrance of a relatively young crop of Black politicians. However, the decisive factor here is not age, but money. Corporate America made a strategic decision to become active players in Black Democratic politics – an arena they had largely avoided in post-Sixties decades. In 2002, the corporate Right fielded and heavily funded three Black Democratic candidates for high profile offices in majority Black contests. Two of them, Newark Mayor Cory Booker and Alabama Congressman Artur Davis, are featured in Matt Bai’s Times article. (No surprise there: the duo appear in every corporate media article celebrating the rise of the new, young, Black, corporate politician.) The third Big Business favorite, Denise Majette, has since slipped back into political obscurity.

89. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 August 2008

continued:

Barack Obama does pose a dire threat to the coherence of Black politics, but not for Matt Bai’s reasons. Obama’s presidential bid is inseparable from the ongoing corporate money-and-media campaign to confuse and destabilize the Black polity – an offensive begun in earnest in 2002. Obama, a prescient and uncannily talented opportunist, understood which way the corporate wind was blowing at least a decade earlier, and methodically readied himself for the role of his life.

To the extent that African Americans expect more from Obama than they got from Bill Clinton, they will be devastatingly disappointed. His candidacy has at least temporarily caused Black folks to behave en masse as if there are no issues at stake in the election other than an Obama victory. It is altogether unclear how long this spell-like effect will last. The short-term prospects for rebuilding a coherent Black politics, are uncertain. But one thing we do know: the formation of a near-unanimous Black bloc for Obama – of which he is absolutely unworthy – is stunning evidence that the Black imperative to solidarity is undiminished. Unfortunately, the wrong guy is the beneficiary – but in a sense, that’s beside the point. Black people are not working themselves into an election year frenzy just to commit political suicide by disbanding as a bloc, no matter what Matt Bai and his ilk say.

90. marisacat - 13 August 2008

Black people are not working themselves into an election year frenzy just to commit political suicide by disbanding as a bloc, no matter what Matt Bai and his ilk say.

But they are. Black issues, poor issues, minority issues will all now find a deaf ear. WIth some palaver for some vague poor somewhere, other than that, it will be Aids in Africa. That wipes most white slates clean.

The Democratic party wants to get out of being the Party of the Social Welfare Net Business… and to walk away from remnants of anti war.

It will be brutal. Good luck to someone.

91. wu ming - 13 August 2008

time will tell if NYC’s new panopticon command center is as idiotically located as the former op center located under the world trade center.

92. raincat100 - 13 August 2008

Madman #81

Thank you for that…it made me smile after a long, crappy day.

93. bayprairie - 14 August 2008

nice to find a little humor in a headline.

Charismatic Governor Rises to the Short List

charisma boy be timmy kaine.

94. marisacat - 14 August 2008

Nu thread

LINK

………. 8) …………….


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