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Leisure time for war… 15 August 2008

Posted by marisacat in Inconvenient Voice of the Voter.
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Toni Frissell, for SI - 1957

In July 1957, Toni Frissell (1907-1988] made this photograph as part of a Sports Illustrated picture story about a group of families who vacationed together each year at the Thousand Islands, a large group of islands in the St. Lawrence River, located in a widening of the river between New York State and Ontario. Toni Frissell (1907-88]
[The Whites and the Smiths Crossing Bridge from Watch Island for Tennis at Rum Point] Gelatin silver print, July 1957 Prints & Photographs Division

hmm just for some stark contrast to the leisure of tennis fifty years ago… I noticed that Gorbachev and Saakashvili were both to be on Larry King… checked the transcript, it was bound to be entertaining…

KING: President Mikhail Gorbachev, the last president of the Soviet Union […]

The president of Georgia told CNN yesterday that we’ve been witnessing the past few days “the brutal, calculated, cold-blooded, premeditated murder by Russia of a small democracy.”

How do you respond?

GORBACHEV
(THROUGH TRANSLATOR): Well, this is all lies from beginning to end. And I am — really, I really think this is really beyond comprehension. I have heard the opinion of Eduard Shevardnadze. He knows what the situation is on their side.

So it was all at night, a little past midnight, when the city was asleep. Then from all sides, it was shelled with shells of enormous power. They used artillery. They used aircraft. They used all weapons of killing. And this is really amazing.

Tskhinvali, in fact, was devastated by fire from multiple rocket launchers against people, against housing, against hospitals, against water and sanitation, against the energy and communication infrastructure. All of that was destroyed. The old monuments were destroyed. And they were among the oldest in the Caucasus. The ancestral graves were ruined — were then trampled by tanks.

KING: Mr. President, excuse me, you are saying that Georgia started this?

GORBACHEV (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): Yes, indeed. There is no doubt about it.

What is more, the response required the movement of additional forces into South Ossetia because Tskhinvali was attacked by a powerful force, by an armada. And I remember the Second World War. I remember the front. I remember the occupation. I saw terrible weapons used. But this was the use of sophisticated weapons against a small town, against sleeping people. This was a barbaric assault.

He adds this about militarisation across the world [GWoT anyone?]:

Do you fear, Mr. President, that the world is moving toward a new cold war?

GORBACHEV (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): Well, you know, it’s been some time, for a couple of years, two or three years there’s been talk about this, because we have seen — we are seeing what is happening in Europe, in the Middle East and some other regions. We also see some things that are happening in the south, in Asia, in the south of Russia. And this is of some concern.

And what is of particular concern to me — and this is something that I will be writing about in a special article — and that is that we are witnessing — definitely witnessing a process of militarization in the world today. And this is a big danger.

Military budgets are growing. Weapons trade is going on at a hectic pace. Look at Georgia. Had Georgia not been armed to the teeth, it wouldn’t have done what it has done. A small state has a $1 billion military budget. All kinds of countries participated, but particularly the United States armed Georgia with sophisticated weapons — aircraft, land weapons. Mountains of weapons were supplied to Georgia.

And I think that this is the inevitable outcome, when weapons budgets — military budgets grow, when weapons pile up, it works one day. It actually shoots one day. And this is what happened.

So I think that the signs of a cold war are present. But we still have time to prevent it.

I suppose one could start a board game, how many proxy wars can the big powers generate, arm and strike the match… Divide them into regions of the world for extra points. This is about where we are…

KING: We now welcome to LARRY KING LIVE, from Tbilisi, Georgia, the president of Georgia, Mikhail Saakashvili.

Thank you very much for joining us, Mr. President.

What’s your overall reaction to what president Gorbachev had to say?

He said that you were the aggressor.

PRES. MIKHEIL SAAKASHVILI,
GEORGIA: Well, you know, I’m not shocked to hear it from former KGB operatives like Vladimir Putin or his former defense minister, Sergei Ivanov. Those people come from the Orwellian world, where lying is just an instrument of communication.

But I’m profoundly shocked that somebody like Mikhail Gorbachev, for whom I had lots of respect in the past, well would use his appearance on your show for basically vindicating lies and deceptions.

This is the man, Gorbachev, who brought out tanks from Europe. And he is the man who is justifying bringing in 1,200 Russian tanks — more than they ever brought to Afghanistan in the initial days of the invasion, or Czechoslovakia, into my country.

This is the man, Mr. Gorbachev, who helped to drag — you know, bring down KGB kingdom. And he is the one who is, you know, justifying the KGB — what the KGB people are doing right now in my country.

This is the man who has Nobel Peace Prize. And I guess the Nobel Peace Prize is given for some — for things perpetuating peace and perpetuating human rights.

Everybody seems to have let fall the diplomatic mask, from Lavrov to Gorby to Saakashvili (he really has), Churkin… Bush cannot be bothered other than to walk thru the motions, Condi sounds like her breathless child persona, the one she walked into the 9/11 hearings… Sarko looks irritated and childish, too (really bad optics in Moscow the other day) but also greedy for the world stage. Kouchie still wants to be Malraux (it is not happening).

Off and on, I thought of the commercial Bush forces made toward the end of Election 2004, of the gathering wolves. How long ’til McCain makes a commercial of rabid black bears gathering around some fictional, frail, white Goldilocks, a convenient and timely stand-in for any prey. Sending a ton of messages, all in one fell swoop.

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1. marisacat - 15 August 2008

Bush today:

“Bullying and intimidation are not acceptable ways to conduct foreign policy in the 21st century.”

That’s laying down the law! No mistaking where we stand! Harummf!

2. CSTAR - 15 August 2008

Kouchie still wants to be Malraux Love it.

3. JJB - 15 August 2008

I like this quote too:

“Got a lot of folks, smart folks, analyzing the situation on the ground and, of course, briefing us on different possibilities that could develop in the area and the region,” [Bush] said, flanked by the agency’s director, Michael V. Hayden, and his deputy, Stephen R. Kappes.

The story also makes that point that “[the Georgian] conflict punctuated a stark turnabout in the administration’s view of Vladimir V. Putin, the president-turned-prime minister whom Mr. Bush has repeatedly described as a trustworthy friend. Now Mr. Bush’s aides complain that Russian officials have been misleading or at least evasive about Russia’s intentions in Georgia.”

4. CSTAR - 15 August 2008

#3 Gotta love that picture of Mihkeil and Condi in love.

5. NYCO - 15 August 2008

They’re calling it Gitmo on the Platte:

Individuals arrested at the Democratic National Convention will be processed at an industrial warehouse with chain-link cells topped by razor wire, a facility some have compared to the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay… Video footage of the north Denver warehouse on Denver’s KCNC-TV showed coils of razor wire topping chain-link cells. A sign read: ”Electric stun devices used here.”

I dunno. Anyone who is so lacking in imagination as to stage a traditional sign-shaking protest at Denver ’08 (The Whole World’s Not Watching!) maybe deserves that kind of punishment. And some lashes with a wet, wet noodle besides.

6. diane - 15 August 2008

“Bullying and intimidation are not acceptable ways to conduct foreign policy in the 21st century….”

and the rest of that thought went: and that’s why we they worked so well, because they weren’t expected by ‘civilized people’ in the 21st century. It’s called soul fuck, no vaseline, behind closed doors; it was sanctified at GITMO by the upper echelon of wizards of “normality,” at the APA/Pharma World….

jeez….Paraguay, yet another fire……………

and who will take the GOLD…….

insanity

7. JJB - 15 August 2008

Condi Does Tibilisi:

With Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice standing by, the Georgian president signed a cease-fire agreement with Russia on Friday. Ms. Rice then declared that all Russian troops must leave Georgian territory immediately.

Ms. Rice . . . said that “with this signature” there had to be “the immediate and orderly withdrawal of Russian armed forces and the return of those forces to Russia.”

At the same time, a column of at least a dozen armored vehicles moved south from Gori, the central Georgian city, to the village of Igoeti, and took up a position there, about 15 miles from Tbilisi, the Georgian capital. This company-sized unit of armored personnel carriers, commanded by a Russian captain, has come closer to the capital than any other so far.

Russia put its signature to the accord earlier this week, but the agreement included a point that allowed Russian troops to act in what was termed a peacekeeping role, even outside the boundaries of the separatist enclaves where the war began.

Ms. Rice addressed these concerns, and called for the speedy deployment of an international peacekeeping force for the two separatist enclaves, which would make any further Russian presence unnecessary. She said Russian and Georgian troops must now pull back to the positions they occupied before hostilities began over a week ago. Only Russian troops performing a true peacekeeping role should remain in the two enclaves, she said.

Standing beside Mr. Saakashvili in Tbilisi, Ms. Rice said: “This must take place and take place now.”

[snip]

In a news conference in Tbilisi that was dominated by Mr. Saakashvili, who bitterly criticized Russia, Ms. Rice warned of “consequences” for Russia over its military offensive in Georgia. Earlier, in Washington, President Bush condemned as unacceptable what he called Russia’s “bullying and intimidation.” He also said Friday that Russia must withdraw its troops from all of Georgian territory and said the United States would stand with Georgia in the conflict.

“Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity must be respected,” he said.

However, neither Ms. Rice’s remarks nor those by Mr. Bush contained any hint of any further American response should Russia fail to pull back its troops.

As Ms. Rice and Mr. Bush spoke, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany met with the Russian president, Dmitri A. Medvedev, in the Black Sea resort town of Sochi. Ms. Merkel said Russia had taken military action in Georgia that was “not proportionate.”

[snip]

For his part, Mr. Medvedev continued to press the Kremlin’s position that there was no way that Georgia could ever again claim sovereignty over South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

“Peace needs to be restored and guaranteed in the region, so that no one gets any more idiotic ideas into their heads,” he said. “This is Russia’s main goal today.”

Aside from stamping her feet and holding her breath until she turns blue, Condi would seem to be out of options here. It sounds as if the Russians are going to eventually bring up their troops to the outskirts of Tibilisi until everybody’s sphincter is shut tight.

A smarter geopolitical strategist (Bismark, for example), would have been content with adding the Czechs and maybe the Poles to NATO, then making nice with the Kremlin by giving them something they really wanted, like pliant puppets in Ukraine and Georgia, and leaving Kosovo as part of Serbia (with a fair degree of autonomy to placate the Kosovars). Instead, BuchCo. had to rub Russia’s nose in the fact they’d lost their empire, and we were in the process of grabbing huge chunks of it. Predictably, we allied outselves with a preening egomaniac given to delusions of grandeur, and gave the Russians an excuse to prove that they’re a lot less helpless than we imagined.

BTW, these references to Georgia as a “brave little democracy” are ludicrous. Saakashvili is a corrupt thug who has murdered and tortured his opponents, and used his security forces to violently suppress demonstrations against him.

8. marisacat - 15 August 2008

JJB out of moderation! (Sorry for the delay…)

… 8) …

9. marisacat - 15 August 2008

Reference to gays made it back into the DP platform (not that it matters). Via Ambinder:

It is not enough to look back in wonder at how far we have come; those who came before us did not strike a blow against injustice only so that we would allow injustice to fester in our time. That means removing the barriers of prejudice and misunderstanding that still exist in America. We support the full inclusion of all families, including same-sex couples, in the life of our nation, and support equal responsibility, benefits, and protections. We will enact a comprehensive bipartisan employment non-discrimination act. We oppose the Defense of Marriage Act and all attempts to use this issue to divide us.

10. Heather-Rose Ryan - 15 August 2008

I thought you folks would get a kick out of this article from an astrology site that often focuses on politics:

The chart I’ve been watching with some serious concern is that of the Democratic National Convention. The DNC chart reminds me too much of the chart for the Sept. 11 incident, which in turn reminds me of the chart for the 2004 earthquake that caused the Asian tsunami.

[…]

If I had to describe this chart, it’s like the Democratic National Convention is a loaded gun pointed at itself, and consequently the public. If you had paid me a lot of money and I had venom in my heart, and I brought the full weight of my talent to the question, I could not have chosen a darker chart to commence the 2008 Democratic campaign.

What a hoot! And the author is a fan of Obama….

* * *

In other news: this morning at about 8 am I heard the roar of very large aircraft going over our little burg in northern NH. This was noticeable because it’s unusual to hear planes here, much less planes that are that loud. We’re not near any big airports. It kept going on and on, so I went outside to take a look. The sky was completely clear, but I couldn’t see anything – they must have been at high altitudes. Whatever they were, the aircraft continued to go over us until early afternoon. They were going from west to east.

Spooky.

11. marisacat - 15 August 2008

hmm I see reports around that John Kerry is leading the charge contra Jerome Corsi’s new book on The One.

Kerry and his battery of sharpened butter knives.

12. diane - 15 August 2008

Well damn Marisa, your SPQR thread (1) and others, way outdated, are awfully popular…

Was it Night, or Day of the Condor?

All of us wonderin if that little red beam (or whatever) is dead in the middle of our foreheads….

Well I say, have at it Mother Fuckers (and I do mean your mothers)…and to quote Nina …and I mean every word of it!

Marisa, I have to say I am in awe of the way you’ve made yourself a dead center target for……what can I say, but evil?

(1) For those unacquainted, the SPQR referred to can be seen under “Top Posts,” scroll to the far right near bottom of what you are currently viewing.

13. diane - 15 August 2008

.

and I don’t mean the elite produced “black” and/or “female” Emporer/Emporess will make them sleep version………………

14. diane - 15 August 2008

Oh god, i’ve mispelled emperor and essa…what shall be my fate?

will I ever live it down?

15. diane - 15 August 2008

my relevant question of the day..gets to become..have I mispelled mispell?

16. diane - 15 August 2008

yeah well, your (and you’re) quite welcome for the clown show…sit a spell ……..more to come …ya’ll come back now ……heah?

17. diane - 15 August 2008

stay tuned….orange county always has the answer……….

18. diane - 15 August 2008

strange fruit?

indeed………

19. diane - 15 August 2008

No Jane Harman..’we’ are not the enemy……Can’t you see that? or are things really that hideous? Are you human? If so, get a fuckin grip……………….if not, well than, bathe in our blood…. I guess……

20. diane - 15 August 2008

17

and, just to be clear, I’m talkin about HR1955, not your ironic response to females being raped and murdered “fighting for their nation”……

21. diane - 15 August 2008

if not, well than, bathe in our blood…. I guess……

well then, not “well than….”

jeez, thank goodness I’m not an English teacher………..

22. Madman in the Marketplace - 15 August 2008

5 – Actually sounds like Pier 57 in NYC during the RNC.

Those conditions, and the improper arrests, resulted in numerous lawsuits against the NYPD and the City, most of which they lost or settled, IIRC.

23. diane - 15 August 2008

my punchline (currently would be comment #10), to the above blather, was either spam canned, or awaiting the right moment (it’s way too bad that I’ve near lost all my faith, at this point, in benevolence, living in what appears to be HELL).

24. Madman in the Marketplace - 15 August 2008

The Why-Haven’t-You Impeached-the-President Tour

At the moment, the House is officially scheduled to meet for less than three weeks in September before adjourning for the elections and perhaps the year – hardly enough time to mount an impeachment spectacle even if top Democratic lawmakers wanted one.

And they do not.

Despite whatever resonance pursuing the president might have in progressive Democratic circles, it is not the message Democrats want to carry into an election where they need to appeal to swing voters to increase their Congressional majorities and win the White House. They would rather devote their final weeks to pushing economic relief and health care, even if they thought Mr. Bush and the conduct of the war merited impeachment hearings.

And leading Democrats argue anyway that Mr. Bush has already been tried and convicted in the court of public opinion.

“He has been impeached by current history,” said Representative Rahm Emanuel of Illinois, chairman of the House Democratic Caucus. “He is going down as the worst president ever. The facts are in.”

Republicans have previously shown some appetite for luring Democrats into what they see as an impeachment trap, a set of hearings they could use to portray Democrats as bitter partisans. But Republican strategists also recognize the political danger in getting too deep in defending Mr. Bush right before the election or in justifying the buildup to the Iraq war. They might not be as eager as they once were for an impeachment fight.

Both parties know full well that the Republican push to impeach President Bill Clinton in 1998 did not work out for Republicans in the way they had hoped, giving many lawmakers pause when it comes to gaming out the political ups and downs of such an action.

The impeachment unrest among progressives dovetails with their profound disappointment that Democrats failed to cut off spending for the war in Iraq or impose a timetable for withdrawal after winning control of Congress in 2006. It is a disappointment that Ms. Pelosi has acknowledged she shares and one she attributes to the thin Democratic majority in the Senate and Republican determination to support Mr. Bush on the war, explanations that do not mollify staunch anti-war activists.

The disillusionment has crystallized in a challenger for Ms. Pelosi in the person of Cindy Sheehan, the anti-war activist whose son was killed in Iraq. Ms. Sheehan and her allies collected more than 17,000 signatures to qualify her as an independent for the November ballot in San Francisco.

25. Madman in the Marketplace - 15 August 2008
26. marisacat - 15 August 2008

Madman, diane (2) and H-RH out of moderation.

Sorry for the delay! we are the first day of heat wave – and I just slept thru most of the afternoon… Sorry!

…. 8) ….

27. marisacat - 15 August 2008

Rick Warren says Jesus is “my best friend”.

gah.

28. Madman in the Marketplace - 15 August 2008

Jerry Wexler dead at 91

Among the standards produced by Wexler: Franklin’s “Respect,” a dazzling, feminist reworking of an Otis Redding song; Sledge’s deep ballad “When A Man Loves A Woman” and Pickett’s “In the Midnight Hour,” with a horn vamp inspired by Wexler’s admittedly rhythmless dancing.

Wexler was named to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.

“No one really knew how to make a record when I started,” he said in a profile on the rock hall’s Web site. “You simply went into the studio, turned on the mike and said, ‘Play.”

In the studio, Wexler was a hands-on producer. Once, during a session with Charles, the tambourine player was off the beat. Wexler, in his award-winning autobiography, recalled grabbing the instrument and playing it himself.

“Who’s that?” asked Charles.

“Me,” Wexler told the blind singer.

“You got it, baby!” Charles said.

29. marisacat - 15 August 2008

Both parties know full well that the Republican push to impeach President Bill Clinton in 1998 did not work out for Republicans in the way they had hoped, giving many lawmakers pause when it comes to gaming out the political ups and downs of such an action. — from NYT link at Madman comment 24

How did it not work out for them? They showed the equivalence of Vietnam prolonged war and invasion of Iraq: Fear the Republicans. THEY can, and will, seek impeachment for dick waving.

They achieved Miami FL, achieved the SC ruling of ’00, they trounced the Democrats in the H and S. They quickly reversed the illusion of majority thru Jeffords…and got the mushmass of squidgy Democrats to sign onto war and GWoT [not that they disagreed] as the majority…

Some mushy mass of the American people felt some vague friendship for BIll C during and in the aftermath of the impeachment censure process… We are told repeatedly, these days, that the black vote did nto abandon him… So what?

The R went onto a fairly stellar era of rapaciousness [Abramoff] for which they hve paid no great price (not really) and is largely slipping into the mists of history with the American people. People remember that Delay had a lot of power and was “a bad man”. Those same “we the people” who will [rightfully] most likely turn on the Democrats in 2010 and 2012 in the Congressional elections.

Hell, they, the R, may even, in the most improbable of years, win the WH. And further, they will REVEL in the shrill cries that it was all racism and ONLY racism if Ob loses.

I think the R, 10 years later tend to look down and out, but have amazing and remarkable prospects.

30. Madman in the Marketplace - 15 August 2008

29 – it’s one of those things that “everybody knows” (Like Casey Sr. not getting to speak b/c he’s a misogynist pig who wants to chain women to their uteri) that lazy reporters keep writing because it’s in their Mad Libs style book.

Like you say, they made out like bandits over the long run, and completely distorted the political conversation in this country even more than they already had.

31. Madman in the Marketplace - 15 August 2008

Handcuffed and ticketed for saying fuck in a private conversation

As Tropical Storm Edouard closed in on the Texas Gulf Coast last week, a storm of a different kind was brewing inside the sporting goods section of a Wal-Mart store in La Marque. It started with the F-word.

And now a 28-year-old single mother must go to court if she wants to fight a ticket for using profanity.

On Aug. 4, as local residents prepared for deteriorating weather conditions, Kathryn “Kristi” Fridge made a last-minute stop at the Wal-Mart at FM 1764 and Interstate 45 with her mother and 2-year-old daughter.

Finding the batteries shelf bare, she expressed her displeasure and disbelief to her mother.

“I was like, ‘Dang.’ I looked at my mom and said, ‘They’re all —-ing gone,” Fridge recalled.

Suddenly, Capt. Alfred Decker, the La Marque assistant fire marshal, appeared from around the corner, dressed in a fire department uniform.

“He said, ‘You need to watch your mouth,’ ” Fridge said.

Perplexed by who the man was — his badge said “fire department” — Fridge offered a scant apology.

“I was like, ‘Oh, OK. Sorry?’ ” she said.

Fridge walked away, but said the man ordered her to come back. She then protested, telling him she was having a private conversation with her mother that was none of his business. When the man ordered her to come to him and she refused, she said he pulled out his handcuffs.

Chief defends the action
La Marque Fire Chief Todd Zacherl said Fridge made such a scene in the Wal-Mart that night, disrupting the peace, that Decker had no choice but to act.

“She cussed him, she cussed everybody. By now, we have a huge group of people looking,” Zacherl said.

Fridge emphatically denied that, saying while she did curse in casual conversation with her mother, she never cursed at Decker, even during their confrontation. Her mother agreed.

“She never got nasty with him, she never cussed at him,” said Fridge’s mother, Kathryn Rice of Santa Fe.

Decker ordered Fridge to come out to his car because that’s where his citation book was stored, Zacherl said. Fridge eventually complied, but admits she used the offending word again when she turned to a crowd of onlookers while being led outside and yelled, “Can you believe this? He’s —-ing arresting me for saying —-!”

“When I got outside, I saw he was a fire marshal — I saw his car. I said, ‘You’re not even a cop!’ He said, ‘I can do this,’ ” Fridge said.

Decker asked for her name, and Fridge said she began to spell it out verbally and in sign language, which angered him. As their confrontation continued, he handcuffed her.

Zacherl said the assistant fire marshal did so for his own safety because Fridge was being belligerent and because he had to turn his back to get his ticket book and check on the radio if she had any arrest warrants.

A nation of powermad scolds.

32. marisacat - 15 August 2008

And the quote from Rahm is .. just the perfect encapsulation of the Democrats helplessness. History will tell the tale, we need not bother.

History will be cruel to both parties.

33. marisacat - 15 August 2008

31 just blows my mind.

34. marisacat - 15 August 2008

hmmm Sully continues his recent stance of less than pre-orgasmic.

(H-RH, think he is with the astrologer, his earlier doom comments are worries for the final day of the convention, with Ob performing underpar, according to Sully)

35. Heather-Rose Ryan - 15 August 2008

31 – A nation of powermad scolds.

Powermad scolds who like to abuse and try to dominate women, especially “uppity” ones.

If she had been a man, the scene would never have played out this way.

36. Madman in the Marketplace - 15 August 2008

EC Access Denied: A Wal-mart pharmacy employee needs our help

When Plan B went over the counter a couple of years ago, the Conservative pharmacist brought in a couple of things he had found on ‘pro-life’ websites that said Plan B was an abortifacient. He had talked to our manager at the time about his feelings on the matter and the fact that he didn’t want to dispense Plan B, citing his religious beliefs. The manager did not have a problem selling it, but he thought that the best thing to do would be to not stock it at all, that way the Conservative pharmacist wouldn’t be put in a situation where he felt compromised. Wal-Mart’s official policy, however, is that even if no one in the pharmacy wants to sell Plan B, we have to have it stocked on the shelf.

I also wanted to say that it’s not just Plan B that pharmacists will refuse to fill/dispense. There have been 2 specific occasions that I can recall where women have brought in prescriptions for Cytotec (misoprostol) and a pain pill, which is often used when women have had a miscarriage to pass any tissue that may be left. This pharmacist immediately began to question the doctor’s prescription and whether it was being used to cause an abortion. In both instances, he wound up talking to the women about it, I guess so he could have a ‘clear conscience’ about it. One of the women had her young son with her, and she had to tell him to step aside so she could explain to the pharmacist that, yes, she had had a miscarriage and that was why the doctor had prescribed it. I should also mention that he keeps a list of ‘abortion alternatives’ (phone #s for crisis pregnancy centers in this town and a couple of surrounding towns) next to his computer – you know, just in case.

37. Heather-Rose Ryan - 15 August 2008

up at 7, JJB:

BTW, these references to Georgia as a “brave little democracy” are ludicrous. Saakashvili is a corrupt thug who has murdered and tortured his opponents, and used his security forces to violently suppress demonstrations against him.

The Russians are far better at doing all that stuff. They are world-class professionals in that field. Reagan got something right when he called them the Evil Empire.

I’ve been to Russia once and it was a horrible experience. While there are nice individuals, of course, as in any country, the general culture of the place is institutionalized rudeness and inhumanity on every level. The grand culmination was when the passport control guys stole my visa and wouldn’t give it back unless I paid them off. Fortunately a Finnair flight attendant intervened and did the typically Finnish thing of facing down the Russians and getting the desired result without actually starting a dangerous confrontation. If it weren’t for her I might still be there.

38. Madman in the Marketplace - 15 August 2008

Bacevich was pretty good on Moyers, though he did kinda blame the ’60s for our current mess.

ANDREW BACEVICH: Sometime around the 1960s there was a tipping point, when the “empire of production” began to become the “empire of consumption.” When the cars started to be produced elsewhere, and the television sets, and the socks, and everything else. And what we ended up with was the American people becoming consumers rather than producers.

Bonus: first time I’ve seen a Conservative talk fondly about Jimmy Carter and describe Reagan as a cheerleader for overconsumption.

BILL MOYERS: Now you go on to say that there was another fateful period between July 1979 and March of 1983. You describe it, in fact, as a pivot of contemporary American history. That includes Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan, right?

ANDREW BACEVICH: Well, I would be one of the first to confess that – I think that we have misunderstood and underestimated President Carter. He was the one President of our time who recognized, I think, the challenges awaiting us if we refused to get our house in order.

BILL MOYERS: You’re the only author I have read, since I read Jimmy Carter, who gives so much time to the President’s speech on July 15th, 1979. Why does that speech speak to you so strongly?

ANDREW BACEVICH: Well, this is the so-called Malaise Speech, even though he never used the word “malaise” in the text to the address. It’s a very powerful speech, I think, because President Carter says in that speech, oil, our dependence on oil, poses a looming threat to the country. If we act now, we may be able to fix this problem. If we don’t act now, we’re headed down a path in which not only will we become increasingly dependent upon foreign oil, but we will have opted for a false model of freedom. A freedom of materialism, a freedom of self-indulgence, a freedom of collective recklessness. And what the President was saying at the time was, we need to think about what we mean by freedom. We need to choose a definition of freedom which is anchored in truth, and the way to manifest that choice, is by addressing our energy problem.

He had a profound understanding of the dilemma facing the country in the post Vietnam period. And of course, he was completely hooted, derided, disregarded.

BILL MOYERS: And he lost the election. You in fact say-

ANDREW BACEVICH: Exactly.

BILL MOYERS: -this speech killed any chance he had of winning reelection. Why? Because the American people didn’t want to settle for less?

ANDREW BACEVICH: They absolutely did not. And indeed, the election of 1980 was the great expression of that, because in 1980, we have a candidate, perhaps the most skillful politician of our time, Ronald Reagan, who says that, “Doom-sayers, gloom-sayers, don’t listen to them. The country’s best days are ahead of us.”

BILL MOYERS: Morning in America.

ANDREW BACEVICH: It’s Morning in America. And you don’t have to sacrifice, you can have more, all we need to do is get government out of the way, and drill more holes for oil, because the President led us to believe the supply of oil was infinite.

BILL MOYERS: You describe Ronald Reagan as the “modern prophet of profligacy. The politician who gave moral sanction to the empire of consumption.”

ANDREW BACEVICH: Well, to understand the truth about President Reagan, is to understand why so much of what we imagined to be our politics is misleading and false. He was the guy who came in and said we need to shrink the size of government. Government didn’t shrink during the Reagan era, it grew.

He came in and he said we need to reduce the level of federal spending. He didn’t reduce it, it went through the roof, and the budget deficits for his time were the greatest they had been since World War Two.

Spot on with his critique of the Donk “leadership” in Congress.

BILL MOYERS: And, yet, you say that the prime example of political dysfunction today is the Democratic Party in relation to Iraq.

ANDREW BACEVICH: Well, I may be a conservative, but I can assure you that, in November of 2006, I voted for every Democrat I could possibly come close to. And I did because the Democratic Party, speaking with one voice, at that time, said that, “Elect us. Give us power in the Congress, and we will end the Iraq War.”

And the American people, at that point, adamantly tired of this war, gave power to the Democrats in Congress. And they absolutely, totally, completely failed to follow through on their commitment. Now, there was a lot of posturing. But, really, the record of the Democratic Congress over the past two years has been – one in which, substantively, all they have done is to appropriate the additional money that enables President Bush to continue that war.

BILL MOYERS: And you say the promises of Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi prove to be empty. Reid and Pelosi’s commitment to forcing a change in policy took a backseat to their concern to protect the Democratic majority.

ANDREW BACEVICH: Could anybody disagree with that?

BILL MOYERS: You say, and this is another one of my highlighted sentences, that “Anyone with a conscience sending soldiers back to Iraq or Afghanistan for multiple combat tours, while the rest of the country chills out, can hardly be seen as an acceptable arrangement. It is unfair. Unjust. And morally corrosive.” And, yet, that’s what we’re doing.

ANDREW BACEVICH: Absolutely. And I think – I don’t want to talk about my son here.

BILL MOYERS: Your son?

ANDREW BACEVICH: Yeah.

BILL MOYERS: You dedicate the book to your son.

ANDREW BACEVICH: Yeah. Well, my son was killed in Iraq. And I don’t want to talk about that, because it’s very personal. But it has long stuck in my craw, this posturing of supporting the troops. I don’t want to insult people.

There are many people who say they support the troops, and they really mean it. But when it comes, really, down to understanding what does it mean to support the troops? It needs to mean more than putting a sticker on the back of your car.

I don’t think we actually support the troops. We the people. What we the people do is we contract out the business of national security to approximately 0.5 percent of the population. About a million and a half people that are on active duty.

And then we really turn away. We don’t want to look when they go back for two or three or four or five combat tours. That’s not supporting the troops. That’s an abdication of civic responsibility. And I do think it – there’s something fundamentally immoral about that.

39. marisacat - 15 August 2008

One of the women had her young son with her, and she had to tell him to step aside so she could explain to the pharmacist that, yes, she had had a miscarriage and that was why the doctor had prescribed it.

So… who was “inconvenienced” here? The pharmacist technician pill counter conscience plagued nut case or TEH MOTHER?

I say it was the mother.

40. marisacat - 15 August 2008

Well you know I am glad for his criticism of the mil and the government. Some people listen to him, and who knows? Some good will come of it I suppose…

but all I can say is POLITICAL NAIVETE:

Well, I may be a conservative, but I can assure you that, in November of 2006, I voted for every Democrat I could possibly come close to. And I did because the Democratic Party, speaking with one voice, at that time, said that, “Elect us. Give us power in the Congress, and we will end the Iraq War.”

That child of his, that only single child, is gone forever.

And now they say, we can do nothing without the WH. Too.

Go for it.

41. Madman in the Marketplace - 15 August 2008

I don’t know if it isn’t too late for anything good to come of anything anymore, but it’s a little less lonely when the realization of how fucked we are seems to be spreading.

Rigorous Intuition:

So here it is: they’ve won. Or let me rephrase that, since there will never be universal agreement as to who “they” are: we’ve lost.

Because life is short, even if I get another turn after this one, I’d rather not waste half of it relearning all the secret wrongs done to the world that I can’t undo. So I need to know what, if anything, we get out of knowing what they get away with. And if it’s so we may better “organize,” then good luck and God bless us playing catch-up, since the priesthoods and kingly classes have had a 10,000 year head start.

I suppose it counts for something, that so many have been able to recognize the holes in the FBI’s posthumous stitch-up of Bruce Ivins for the anthrax attacks. That we haven’t jumped when they say jump to the conclusions of guilt and case closed may be some comfort to his family and colleagues, who watched Ivins break under the relentless There can be only one ethos of America’s Lone Gunman. But all our reservation of judgment amounts to nothing but a sympathy card – an e-card at that – against the prosecution of a dead man who can be tried and convicted now only because he is dead and undefended.

Stalin’s show trials, what was it do you think that they showed? Not that Zinoviev and Kamenev and the other Old Bolsheviks were “terrorists” and “sexual deviants” (though it is instructive how often the prosecuting state conjoins the two). Rather, they demonstrated Stalin’s rule by absolute whim. That loyalty and service, innocence or guilt, afforded no protection. It was irrelevant if Soviet citizens were convinced that justice was served by their state. They just needed to note that if they demurred, there was nothing they could do about it.

Senator Patrick Leahy has a speaking part in The Dark Knight. It looks like his mouth talking, but it sounds like his ass. “We’re not intimidated by you thugs,” Leahy stares down the knife-wielding Joker who’s crashed a political fundraiser. It was The Dark Knight’s only moment for which I could not suspend disbelief, since two hundred billion particles of finely-milled anthrax were enough to erase the Senator’s initial qualms concerning the Patriot Act. But I won’t judge him, except as a character in a superhero movie, because I wasn’t there and it wasn’t me. Most of the time we don’t make ourselves targets by our objections to their plans, because there’s not much we could do to impede them. And besides, as the Joker later says, “Nobody panics when things go according to plan. Even if the plan is horrifying.”

I didn’t even recognize that that was Leahy.

42. Madman in the Marketplace - 15 August 2008

Keep the corn a’ poppin’!!!

The National Enquirer’s editor talks to Cindy Adams: “We have exclusive photographic evidence, pictures, videos, hard proof to further incriminate Edwards. He doesn’t at this point know what we have, which is why I’m asking that we don’t reveal too much yet. And which we will use unless and until he acknowledges paternity.”

43. marisacat - 15 August 2008

Edwards is screwed. In ways he does not like. LOL I say the affair is not even over.

Good luck to somebody.

44. Madman in the Marketplace - 15 August 2008
45. Madman in the Marketplace - 15 August 2008

Single-Payer Health Care in an Age of Two-Party Politics

One of my favorite monthly publications is Registered Nurse – the journal of the fast growing, progressive California Nurses Association (CNA) – a union that stands up for patients rights and well-being.

The June 2008 issue contains stories that illustrate how this nurses group takes stands. On June 19, the CNA sponsored street rallies for its Medicare for all (single-payer with free choice of doctor and hospital) in San Francisco and a dozen other major cities around the nation.

For over a decade th California Nurses Assocation (CNA) have made full Medicare for all their major goal. They have run voter initiatives, lobbied legislatures and have opposed sweetheart labor-management deals like those embraced by the Service Employees International Union – SEIU. (SEIU also opposes single-payer health insurance which is supported by a majority of physicians and the American people.)

The June magazine describers the autocratic attitude of SEIU toward its members and how its leader, Andy Stern, cuts labor deals with large corporate employers that shockingly deprive workers of normal union rights.

Here is an example of what CNA says:

“In exchange for access to more dues units, SEIU gave California nursing home operators the “exclusive right” to set all pay rates, working conditions, speed up and reassign work, eliminate jobs at will, and outsource union work.”

“SEIU also agreed to support legislation limiting patient’s right to sue over care abuses, to oppose reforms to require better staffing for patients safety, and to never report health care code violations.”

Stern rejected single-payer health insurance at his recent union convention. Senator Barack Obama has declined to propose single-payer as well. SEIU is pouring tens of millions of dollars to elect Senator Obama President. CNA works to eliminate “the insurance nightmare through establishing a high-quality, single payer healthcare system. (See http://www.guaranteedhealthcare.org/blog)

46. Madman in the Marketplace - 15 August 2008

meant to point out that Nader closes with the news the CNA fell in line behind Obama.

Strange as it many seem, on June 26, 2008 even the principled, independent California Nurses Association fell in line with the AFL-CIO. The CNA endorsed Senator Barack Obama.

Well, Senator Obama doesn’t have to worry a minute about CNA’s nurses putting up one of their famous critical demonstrations at his events. He can continue dialing for corporate dollars.

47. Madman in the Marketplace - 15 August 2008
48. Madman in the Marketplace - 15 August 2008
49. marisacat - 15 August 2008

44

LOL Tell her to get with the script!

BTW, while I was reading the ‘retreat from orgasm Sully’, he linked to censored photos from the Russo Georgian S Ossetia War…

link

The thread is interesting, many photos, some large.

Via Wired, with more links.

50. marisacat - 15 August 2008

46

what a pity!

51. marisacat - 15 August 2008

well I listened to Bacevich… it was so packed i have to read the transcript… but I am surprised at Moyers. Because Bacevich said it all, pretty much, the full indictment of both parties, of Congress… and rarely does Moyers let it go that far.

On the other hand, I’d say to stern men like Bacevich… a lot in this country did not work out. And how long did you go along?

He expects the nation ot have a prolonged conversation, argument about Iraq. Even called it a continuation of the conversation over Vietnam (that sure did nto take).

I am less sure that will happen.

52. Madman in the Marketplace - 15 August 2008

51 – didn’t notice until it impacted him.

53. marisacat - 15 August 2008

I think he almost argued for a draft, as well. have to read the transcript. He made such an issue of the non existant, lip service “support for the troops”. He must know that warriors coming home to shallow – and fleeting – acclaim, is the norm. The “people” turn away from war, in that sense. They are there for the build up, for the songs and the patriotism, but not for the returning warriors, esp if wounded and damaged. ESPECIALLY in a war too long.

I am sure he knows this.

54. CSTAR - 15 August 2008

Bacevich did say a lot, indicted both parties, indicted the executive from Reagan onward and did not shy away from necessary language to describe US foreign policy (imperalism).

In other ways, though, some of the language he used was still conventional and insufficiently examined. In particular, referring to his use of “we” as an indictment of USA. Who should be indicted? who bears the burden of this cycle of military adventurism abroad and poverty creation domestically?

Economic Classes? Individuals? Institutions? Capitalism?

Blaming america’s propensity to incur debt is far too ambiguous. Should then the indebted poor be blamed for their individual indebtedness?

These are the questions which I think any kind of critical analysis needs to face. But he does get this absolutely right: The two parties are interested only in their self preservation and will never deal with these questions.

55. CSTAR - 15 August 2008

In 54 I should have said, who bears the responsabilty of the cycle of adenturism etc.

It’s clear who bears the burden.

56. marisacat - 15 August 2008

In other ways, though, some of the language he used was still conventional and insufficiently examined.

agree, he was still buying into so much. He seems to have really believed that The Plan, post 9/11, was to “remake the map of the ME”. ( do have to read the tscript, but not tonight)

I think, and thought then, it was about destruction. Sort of the ancient Corinth, Sherman march to the sea, rules of war. Sweep thru. Dominate. Decimate. Diminish.

He might like to reach that point, too, with the loss of the only son.

AND somewhere in the 55 pages of the 99 or so of the PNAC papers that I read online in the sumemr of 02, it CLEARLY said: Iraq War was to harden and solidify at home. Which is one of the goals of war, imo.

57. Madman in the Marketplace - 16 August 2008

There is no other language, sadly. The right has completely highjacked political language.

A lot of his critique was simple minded, but it is interesting that rightists like Bacevich and Fein and even Paul can state what’s wrong so much more clearly than so-called “liberals”, at least within the political classes.

58. marisacat - 16 August 2008

Gee. Russians threatening nuclear attack on Poland. Some high falutin’ rhetoric. Will find a quote…

59. diane - 16 August 2008

Madman comment 38

Thanks for that, it was heartening for me. I agree that: it’s a little less lonely when the realization of how fucked we are seems to be spreading., especially when it’s someone with a large ‘mainstream’ audience. I think an enormous amount of psychological damage is done simply when people are faced with an astounding denial of how fucked up things are among those they get their news from; must work with; or worse, live with.

No surprise that a wire article a few days ago noted that cigarette and alchohol sales were going strong despite the economy (and somehow I don’t think they were including pricey wines and cigars in that equation). I’m sure the wizards of finance have invested a great deal of money in those stocks recently. Too bad, but not surprising, that no analysis of the reasons for that was made other than to leave the not so subtle whiff of a lie that perhaps things aren’t really that bad if folks are still spending their money doing such unhealthy things.

60. marisacat - 16 August 2008

Speaking in the Black Sea port of Sochi, Medvedev also had harsh words for an agreement that Poland and the United States signed Thursday to build an antimissile facility on Polish soil. The deal was “aimed at the Russian Federation,” he said. A senior Russian general suggested that the base’s presence might expose Poland to a military strike.

hmm stepped it back a bit. Earlier on a radio update I heard it was a threat of nuclear attack.

Via Wapo

61. diane - 16 August 2008

58

what a fucking nightmare, deliberately provoked?
Polish-Russian relations hit low point

Relations between Moscow and Warsaw reached a new low Saturday after Russia voiced fury at Poland’s sudden announcement that it had reached an accord to install US interceptor missiles on its territory.

The timing of the announcement amid escalating international tensions over the conflict in Georgia infuriated Russia which said the weapons were clearly pointed at Moscow and warned that they made Poland a legitimate military target.

snip

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Friday attacked the agreement saying the “deployment of new missile defence facilities in Europe is aimed against the Russian Federation.”

“By hosting these [weapons], Poland is making itself a target. This is 100 percent” certain, added Russian General Anatoly Nogovitsyn according to the Interfax news agency.

“It becomes a target for attack. Such targets are destroyed as a first priority,” Nogovitsyn was quoted as saying…..”

One has to wonder about that timing….as insane as it sounds, certainly at least Cheney knew that it would provoke this reaction, was the whole thing (the Georgia nightmare also) deliberate?

62. diane - 16 August 2008

61

Meant to bold this to: “It becomes a target for attack. Such targets are destroyed as a first priority,” Nogovitsyn was quoted as saying…..”

yeah marisa, they did step it back, when you first posted about it I found a few articles on it, including the one I pasted above, then I got a phone call and when I logged back on to the news site, there weren’t any more.

63. marisacat - 16 August 2008

His Darthness has been Vadering. What else to say.

Small, quasi democracies, promised things like NATO and EU membership and told they are beloveds of Bushiter… get antsy. Russia is on the move, big time, for now.

A chill across Eastern Europe… all of this is too close to Turkey as well.

Dicey. And Ob and McCain will pontificate tomorrow, with a fucking money changer down in SoCal.. So helpful.

Good luck to someone, but really, all thoughts to people under the bombs. And the burning of houses, killing of livestock, rape, shooting… and all the other things being reported from the Russo Georgian S Ossetian war.

64. marisacat - 16 August 2008

62

The first report was an update news break on KGO, around 2 am PT.. I did not get around to hunting then, by the next news break it was being stepped back.

But it could be modified at this end.. I would think the general said the first version, frankly.

65. diane - 16 August 2008

Would agree on the first version myself.

Not looking forward at all to the hearing of upward ratings for his Darthness or his deranged pet monkey that might arise from all of this…

It seems like they’re obsessed with decimating humanity….the demorats right along with them…

Obama and McCain in Cali – you’re so lucky Marisa, to be in that golden state graced so frequently by Royalty….

Obama sometimes looks like he’s aged about 15 years, unless it’s a deliberate effect…

66. marisacat - 16 August 2008

LOL I guess the job of Atlas, as yet unelected, is hard work.

67. marisacat - 16 August 2008

oh btw, I heard tonight that Cheney is vacationing……….

In the Caucasus. Not sure exactly where… But how convenient for meddling, and whatever else………………

68. diane - 16 August 2008

Bastards:

U.S. May Ease Police Spy Rules – More Federal Intelligence Changes Planned

The Justice Department has proposed a new domestic spying measure that would make it easier for state and local police to collect intelligence about Americans, share the sensitive data with federal agencies and retain it for at least 10 years.

The proposed changes would revise the federal government’s rules for police intelligence-gathering for the first time since 1993 and would apply to any of the nation’s 18,000 state and local police agencies that receive roughly $1.6 billion each year in federal grants.

Quietly unveiled late last month, the proposal is part of a flurry of domestic intelligence changes issued and planned by the Bush administration in its waning months. They include a recent executive order that guides the reorganization of federal spy agencies and a pending Justice Department overhaul of FBI procedures for gathering intelligence and investigating terrorism cases within U.S. borders.

Taken together, critics in Congress and elsewhere say, the moves are intended to lock in policies for Bush’s successor and to enshrine controversial post-Sept. 11 approaches that some say have fed the greatest expansion of executive authority since the Watergate era.

snip

Under the Justice Department proposal for state and local police, published for public comment July 31, law enforcement agencies would be allowed to target groups as well as individuals, and to launch a criminal intelligence investigation based on the suspicion that a target is engaged in terrorism or providing material support to terrorists. They also could share results with a constellation of federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies, and others in many cases.

Criminal intelligence data starts with sources as basic as public records and the Internet, but also includes law enforcement databases, confidential and undercover sources, and active surveillance.

snip

However, Michael German, policy counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, said the proposed rule may be misunderstood as permitting police to collect intelligence even when no underlying crime is suspected, such as when a person gives money to a charity that independently gives money to a group later designated a terrorist organization.

The rule also would allow criminal intelligence assessments to be shared outside designated channels whenever doing so may avoid danger to life or property — not only when such danger is “imminent,” as is now required, German said.

On the day the police proposal was put forward, the White House announced it had updated Reagan-era operating guidelines for the U.S. intelligence community. The revised Executive Order 12333 established guidelines for overseas spying and called for better sharing of information with local law enforcement. It directed the CIA and other spy agencies to “provide specialized equipment, technical knowledge or assistance of expert personnel” to support state and local authorities.

snip

German, an FBI agent for 16 years, said easing established limits on intelligence-gathering would lead to abuses against peaceful political dissenters. In addition to the Maryland case, he pointed to reports in the past six years that undercover New York police officers infiltrated protest groups before the 2004 Republican National Convention; that California state agents eavesdropped on peace, animal rights and labor activists; and that Denver police spied on Amnesty International and others before being discovered.

“If police officers no longer see themselves as engaged in protecting their communities from criminals and instead as domestic intelligence agents working on behalf of the CIA, they will be encouraged to collect more information,” German said. “It turns police officers into spies on behalf of the federal government…..”

69. diane - 16 August 2008

66
hmmm, if things keep going as they are Atlas may lose his dream to a permanent, vile, deranged king george..

67
I hope the earth opens under that fucker where ever he’s slithering around on “vacation.”..

70. marisacat - 16 August 2008

The Russian general’s commetn was amended for the US reading market… via Independent:

After Georgia, Moscow issues nuclear warning to Poland

By Shaun Walker in Tbilisi and Anne Penketh
Saturday, 16 August 2008

A senior Russian general has revived fears of a new Cold War by threatening Poland with a possible nuclear strike, as the President of Georgia bowed to the inevitable and signed a ceasefire the terms of which were dictated by Moscow.

General Anatoly Nogovitsyn, Russia’s deputy chief of staff, reflected the Kremlin’s fury at an agreement reached on Thursday between the United States and Poland, which is to host part of a US missile defence shield that has been fiercely opposed by Moscow. It “cannot go unpunished”, General Nogovitsyn said in Moscow yesterday.

71. diane - 16 August 2008

jeez the teeny warm feeling I got earlier from Madman’s post of the interview with Andrew Bacevich has been utterly destroyed….

must weep and sleep, like maybe for 10 years….

72. diane - 16 August 2008

70

Yeah just what they wanted to provoke, a nuclear war, they’re fucking deranged and evil…

well I must sleep, good morning (jeez)

73. marisacat - 16 August 2008

I cheerfully admit, I laughed all the way thru this Edwards inflagrante delicto round up piece… in the Independent. LOL

It was the best he could do in severely botched circumstances. John Edwards, the former US Senator with that sincerer-than-thou southern drawl, went on late night television to acknowledge what a certain tabloid newspaper had been hollering for months. Yes, he had had an extra-marital affair with a videographer who had once worked for him. It was over. He loves his wife. He was sorry. End of story.

Or not. A full week later – with the Democratic Convention in Denver just days away – and the story of Mr Edwards’s dalliance with the film-maker, Rielle Hunter, won’t lie down.::snip::

“the story … won’t lie down”. Chuckle chuckle. But they did, the start of it all………………

74. marisacat - 16 August 2008

LOL Where si the change? And I bet those solicited for the million dollar donations could give a flying hoo hoo about “special policy briefings”… from “obama advisors” or anyone else, for that matter.

L.A. Times A1, ‘Barack Obama campaign soliciting ‘soft money’ for convention: The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee has decried the practice and vowed to reform convention funding, but the Denver Host Committee was facing a budget shortfall,’ By Tom Hamburger and Peter Wallsten: ‘Facing a large deficit in the Democratic National Convention budget, officials from Barack Obama’s campaign have begun personally soliciting labor unions and others for contributions of up to $1 million. In exchange, donors could get stadium skyboxes for Obama’s acceptance speech and other perks.

‘Obama has regularly criticized politicians seeking large donations outside the framework of campaign finance regulations — so-called soft money — while touting the virtues of relying on small donations. But campaign officials last month reluctantly decided they had to take a hand in raising large donations from individuals, unions and corporations. Some of the donors get special bundles of perks, including use of the party suites at Denver’s Invesco Field, as well as special policy briefings by Obama advisors, choice hotel rooms and party invitations.’

B-b-b-b-b-but I thought there was so much excitement over the most important election in the lifetime of the Universe? No?

75. Madman in the Marketplace - 16 August 2008

60 – well of course it would. First thing you do in a fight is try to take out the other guy’s shield.

76. Madman in the Marketplace - 16 August 2008

Pelosi receptive to considering more drilling

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats’ stance against offshore drilling has shifted more, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi signaling on Saturday her willingness to consider opening up more coastal areas to oil and gas exploration.

In her party’s weekly radio address, Pelosi said opening portions of the Outer Continental Shelf for drilling would be a part of energy legislation that House Democrats intend to put forward in the coming weeks to address oil dependence and high gasoline prices.

Lawmakers will be able to “consider opening portions of the Outer Continental Shelf for drilling, with appropriate safeguards, and without taxpayer subsidies to Big Oil,” said Pelosi, D-Calif.

Just weeks ago Pelosi seemed resolved to block any votes to allow offshore drilling, in part because Californians have opposed drilling off their coasts since an oil spill off Santa Barbara in 1969. New oil drilling is only allowed now in federal waters in the western Gulf of Mexico and off Alaska.

Pelosi’s radio remarks were the latest to hint that the energy debate in Congress is still evolving, and that Democrats are budging on the issue.

77. marisacat - 16 August 2008

She has just been all over CA pushing her new book… AND chatting up her version, whcih is LOL quite complicated, of well, I am saying Yes maybe NOW, but believe me it will never be happening..

Boxer has deveeoped a very cute (I mean it, I am serious) way of dealing with it too.. She says, Obama is running to get elected, but it is my job to be a senator from CA, so while he will consider compromise as president, I as senator will not..

Cus it will not be happening… 😉

78. Madman in the Marketplace - 16 August 2008

Fashion Designers Hope to Stitch Up an Obama Win

Now it is enthusiastically and abundantly about style. The Barack Obama campaign, which has been actively courting the fashion industry, has coordinated some 20 or so designers who are creating official merchandise for the candidate’s Web site. It is the first time, as far as Seventh Avenue long-timers can recall, that a quorum of the fashion industry has organized its financial resources and creative energy around a single presidential candidate.

The mix, available online next month, ranges from T-shirts to tote bags and will lend a bit of runway panache to the Obama brand. The list of participating designers, which includes Derek Lam, Isaac Mizrahi, Tracy Reese, Charles Nolan and Diane von Furstenberg, covers the full spectrum of the market, from high-end to inexpensive. Other names have been bandied about but not confirmed: Beyoncé, Russell Simmons, Michael Bastian, Vera Wang.

Few entrepreneurs are as adept at brand building and buzz creation as fashion designers. Theirs, after all, is the industry that transformed velour sweat suits into the status symbol known as Juicy Couture. Denim manufacturers convinced shoppers that there was nothing wrong with regularly paying $200 or more for a pair of artfully distressed jeans. And accessories designers prompted otherwise rational women to invest thousands of dollars in “it” handbags that contained neither that much leather nor that much labor.

Well, Obama is about “change” about as much as velour sweat suits are class.

79. ms_xeno - 16 August 2008

Thomas Frank was plugging his new book, The Wrecking Crew at Powell’s on Thursday night. mr_xeno wanted to hear him. So we went.

Very little mention of Obama, other than a little fantasy at the end of the Q & A when Frank said something like “Obama should call a blue-ribbon panel to discuss de-privatizing government services” and yadda yadda yadda.

I just can’t maintain much interest in liberals anymore. Their fantasy life bores me. Frank complains that Conservatives run up huge deficits with the specific goal of crippling government– because they despise it. Which is fine so far as it goes, but where are the “liberals,” or anyone really– who’ll bust open the cardboard box and make the real point: We are a debt-based society. Government is not a corporation and it should not be compelled to show a profit four times a year. Fuck the obsession with surpluses and deficits.

We’re all supposed to wet ourselves with joy because Billy C. created a surplus. And did nothing of value with it. Just ripe fruit left out for the good little bipartisans to grind into more war and more deprivation for people who never did a thing to me, to any of us.

Fuck liberals and their bullshit fantasies about Obama and everything else.

I really wanted to ask Frank about impeachment;About Reid and Pelosi and Wyden and Boxer and how his divide between those who facilitate oppression and those who obstruct it is fake– Well-worded, but fake.

I didn’t get called on, though. And the woman in front of me who kept nodding her head every time he spoke creeped me out after awhile.

On the bright side, there was air-conditioning. And I bought a book of Joseph Cornell works before we left. Very cheap. mr_xeno found an old gift certificate from last year. 😀

80. marisacat - 16 August 2008

Joseph Cornell is very wonderful. I wish I could have seen a museum exhibition of his works. But other than a couple pieces, i have never seen any but in photos.

81. Madman in the Marketplace - 16 August 2008

Don’t watch this if you’ve eaten recently:

An Evangelical Ad for Obama

82. raincat100 - 16 August 2008

Heartbreaking show on CNN now:

Lifting the Veil

83. Madman in the Marketplace - 16 August 2008

Shocking! Windmill owner wants subsidies!

WASHINGTON (Map, News) – W ould a major newspaper editorialize with surprise that “even Kraft Foods says we need to eat more macaroni and cheese”? Would guests on The McLaughlin Group get away with saying that “even Budweiser is lobbying for more beer consumption”?

Then why do talking heads and journalists exclaim with surprise that “even T. Boone Pickens” is lobbying for greater U.S. reliance on wind power? Don’t they know he owns the largest wind farm in the world?

The “Pickens Plan,” the legendary oilman’s public relations and lobbying blitz billed as a way to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, has its virtues and its flaws, but it should be presented in an honest light — a billionaire heavily invested in currently unprofitable (without subsidies) wind power wants the government to further subsidize, mandate or otherwise help wind power be more profitable.

Watching Pickens talk about the United States’ energy industry is like watching a CEO talk about the way a company is run. He would shift natural gas from electricity generation to transportation, replacing a third of our gasoline consumption with natural-gas-powered cars; then he would expand wind power to fill the gap in electricity generation.

84. marisacat - 16 August 2008

Re Evanaglical ad.

Well I hope Ob wins, because [here comes the refrain] I don’t want to hear the whining… but

You avhe problems if you are still explaining your religion, your citizenship your patriotism your family (i would guess he is with that opening shot) and whatever else… 10 days before the DP convention and 2 + months before Election Day. And as Arianna says, he does not understand why America does not know him, he wrote two books. No really, she said that. About him.

And the sub title for being at Saddleback Money Changer’s place tonight is, it gives you a chance to say you are not Muslim.

But, you know, I hope he wins.

85. marisacat - 16 August 2008

Here is WSJ on Ob, his faith outreach director – a Pentacoastal preacher, Matthew25 the pro Ob pac (seems to be one he is OK with, Xtain crap is OK), the ad launched in conjunctionw ith the Saddleback slurpt and whatever else.

I find it hopelssly pompous. And appalling.

Friday, Christian political action committee Matthew 25 Network launched a television ad supporting Sen. Obama and touting his family values. The ad is scheduled to coincide with Rev. Warren’s faith-based forum Saturday in Lake Forest, Calif.

Mr. DuBois begins each day with a morning prayer session via conference call for aides and supporters across the country. “We pray that you give Sen. Obama peace of mind in this world of attention and activity,” he said during a recent session.

86. Madman in the Marketplace - 16 August 2008

The one good thing about all of this overwheening piety is the damage it will eventually cause religion in the long run, as the spasms of theonuttery have done in the past.

87. marisacat - 16 August 2008

Here is a tidbit about DuBois the Ob religious outreach that I did nto know:

Mr. DuBois grew up in Nashville, Tenn., and Xenia, Ohio, the stepson of a minister at an African Methodist Episcopal church, a branch of Christianity born in protest against slavery in 1816. His grandmother participated in the 1960 Nashville sit-ins and used to tell her grandson stories about being spat on.

His conservative parents would listen to Mr. Dobson’s “Focus on the Family” radio show. Mr. DuBois says he remembers his mother being moved to tears by some of Mr. Dobson’s broadcasts.

We are so blessed.

88. marisacat - 16 August 2008

86

Theofucknuttery.

89. Madman in the Marketplace - 16 August 2008

How can they not see that Dobson is an outgrowth of the sort of racist xtianity that supported and sustained slavery and jim crow?

Religion is a mental illness.

90. marisacat - 16 August 2008

Dobson Plantation.

91. ms_xeno - 16 August 2008

#80– There’s a Cornell box or collage or two at the Portland Art Museum. It’s been a zillion years since I’ve been over there, though. So I couldn’t tell you exactly which ones.

92. diane - 16 August 2008

77

my mind, ….in need of the pretty purple pill first touted on the tube, to my recollect, during the 2000 Olympics….. just hopped to the fall of 2003….putrid medicare bill…YES FOR NOW……recess……..millions being axed within weeks of qualifying for pensions…..the “war” in Iraq is near a close…………MARS, MARS, MARS…….there will be no extension of unemployment……………………’firesales’ all up and down the block…..a black woman in Pittsburgh PA…..shortly thereafter…….walking into the freezing and toxic Allegheny River holding her son…till they drowned (that’s not quite as easy as it may seem), likely nappy head……unusual, in that, ironically enough, in that city which seemed targeted by china white, most jumped off bridges to cold unforgiving cement…despite all those river options…… I knew rather well, three who blew their brains out so very young….what say you – those who can’t get enough of things that you’ll hardly be buried with, and die…you will…….

93. diane - 16 August 2008
94. diane - 16 August 2008

so very glad…I have finally found the Sabbath………it’s Saturday y’all……

95. bayprairie - 16 August 2008

ahhhhh.. now i hardly ever watch tv, other than old movies.

and i turn the toob on and its the self-appointed pope of ‘merica and obama talking about selfishness.

96. bayprairie - 16 August 2008

work as the center piece of social policy.

my my.

thats what they say down on retrieve, darrington ramsey I and II also.

and clinton’s welfare reform was much more successful than everyone assumed.

what a white line.

97. bayprairie - 16 August 2008

he just fucked over gays plain and simple

98. bayprairie - 16 August 2008

no same sex marriage, civil unions are ok

what about that is second class citizenship doesn’t that fucking asshole get?

99. bayprairie - 16 August 2008

he’s pandering to the right wing (and to “pastor rick”!) on snowflakes!!!!

all hail the big meaningless tent!

100. baypraire - 16 August 2008

does evil exist? HEEHEE!!!!

brothers, let us pray!

101. marisacat - 16 August 2008

97 98 99

Savior! bay, you are missing his greatness and light. Take off your sunglasses and see the Light! His words are golden!

102. baypraire - 16 August 2008

is he running for president? or pastor barry?

103. baypraire - 16 August 2008

oh and by the way. hes blowing it bad. hes nervous and it shows. and hes sucking white RIGHT WING COCK like nothing ive seen in my entire lifetime.

embarrassing.

the democratic party stands for nothing. its ovah.

104. baypraire - 16 August 2008

pastor rick wants government programs to address religious persecution in the world.

if gays dont get specific hate crime legislation why should the evangelistas get legislation specific to hate against religion?

i guess the drawer of non-specificity only applies to gays and women.

hey we already gotta law.

obama thinks its critical this be addressed.

105. marisacat - 16 August 2008

here is a link to the live stream from Saddleback… (right side of the page)

http://saddlebackcivilforum.com/index.html

106. marisacat - 16 August 2008

103

Ob is tense in foruns and he is shellshocked from ABC, that last debate. Watch for a facial tic, right side of his face, cheek area.

107. baypraire - 16 August 2008

mccain just declared victory in iraq!

hes playing the george c scott patton card! woohoo

108. baypraire - 16 August 2008

and hes selling ebay like that idiot cheney!

shit. i need some intravenous morphine. someone put me to sleep.

permanantly!

109. baypraire - 16 August 2008

mccain just outed his own adultery as his biggest moral failure.

that gives xtains a warm feeling. the feeling of forgive.

point mccain.

110. baypraire - 16 August 2008

disclaimer. only his first adultery. not the others.

111. marisacat - 16 August 2008

He pulls white grannie out from under the bus! Again! Look at how he loves conservatives. Esp COBURN, domestic policy (Kennedy basically is close to dead meat, hardly matters).

Via Ben Smith Politico:

August 16, 2008
Categories: Barack Obama
Obama praises Nunn

Asked about three of the wisest people that he would rely on, Obama offered two obvious names: His wife Michelle and his 85-year-old grandmother.

He declined to restrict himself to single third person, but made one notable mention given the speculation around the vice presidential selection, singling out former Sen. Sam Nunn on foreign policy.

Nunn was mentioned frequently early in the process, but has faded in recent weeks.

Obama also said he would rely on Dick Lugar on foreign policy, and Ted Kennedy and Tom Coburn on domestic policy.

“It’s helpful to me to have a table where there a lot of different views are represented,” he said.

112. wilfred - 16 August 2008

The Rick Warren crowd is so much warmer to McCain. The room was fairly chilly to Obama and he warmed them up a bit but with McCain it heated up right from the start.

The crowd showed just how stupid they are by going ga-ga over offshore drilling in the biggest round of applause yet. Jesus, save us from your followers.

113. wilfred - 16 August 2008

#110 McCain didn’t mention anything about adultery, he only said the ‘failure of my first marriage’ was his greatest moral failing. He instantly changed the subject of course.

114. liberalcatnip - 16 August 2008

Well, my friends, welcome to Reminiscing About Vietnam with Johnny McSurge.

Obama sucked. This forum sucks.

Can McSurge possibly have MORE makeup on? How about a little mascara? Some blush might help.

115. wilfred - 16 August 2008

Wow, McCain is going full tilt Fundie nut-case.

This guy is fucking scary on every front, it’s a complete Bush 3rd term, pedal to the metal.

116. baypraire - 16 August 2008

112

well the idea that obama is going to gain much from that crowd is a suckers bet.

and 113

well from my perspective i recognized it as an acknowledgment. of his adultery. could see it in his eyes, im sure thats what he meant. having been married to an asshole much like him for one too many years its a look ive seen before.

117. marisacat - 16 August 2008

Rick Warren Ego Hour.

118. liberalcatnip - 16 August 2008

I’m pretty sure McCain is a bot. Yup.

119. baypraire - 16 August 2008

17.

yeah.. talk about someone who needs to be in the center position on calvary hill. he does look like he eats well. i admit though i much prefer the southern version of fundie.

much more fire and brimstone biblical.

120. wilfred - 16 August 2008

118. LOL and I know which bot McCain is…the one from Westworld!

121. wilfred - 16 August 2008

the Q&A has turned into a McCain pep rally with Warren leading the charge. I can’t wait for the YouTube version that shows him being totally different asking both candidates the same question.

122. Madman in the Marketplace - 16 August 2008

I don’t know how you guys can stand it. Ugh.

123. liberalcatnip - 16 August 2008

Bonus points for mentioning Mother Teresa and his wife in the same sentence. haha

124. liberalcatnip - 16 August 2008

You gotta hand it to McSurge. He knows how to work this crowd. I do think he should be wearing a cardigan, sitting in a wing chair next to a fireplace and smoking a pipe with The Bible in his lap though.

125. wilfred - 16 August 2008

wow, how many times has McCain used the term “Judeo-Christian” during this debate?

126. baypraire - 16 August 2008

I don’t know how you guys can stand it. Ugh.

merlot and baileys in coffee does it for me. i never got my morphine!

life is sometimes hard to bear.

127. liberalcatnip - 16 August 2008

merlot and baileys in coffee does it for me.

I had chocolate chip cookies and lemonade ie. “supper”.

128. wilfred - 16 August 2008

LOL, and who does MSNBC have on at the wrap up? 2 conservatives of course, one of them being Buchanan!

129. marisacat - 16 August 2008

Maybe they could pledge allegiance to Big Foot. Now that he is in a freezer. Supposedly.

Can it get weirder?

130. baypraire - 16 August 2008

if i were obama i dont think i’d schedule any more television-inquisition.

he’s liable to get his family-values ass handed to him in a brown paper bag a second time.

you really cant out white-people the white people. even if you want it so bad your clapping keeps tinkerbell alive.

faith in jesus!!!!!

131. marisacat - 16 August 2008

you really cant out white-people the white people. even if you want it so bad your clapping keeps tinkerbell alive.

bingo.

132. wilfred - 16 August 2008

Can it get weirder?

It can, and it will.

133. liberalcatnip - 16 August 2008

Now that he is in a freezer.

What? Damn. I miss all of the important news.

134. baypraire - 16 August 2008

I had chocolate chip cookies and lemonade ie. “supper”.

i put my drinks down on a base of german sausage and sauteed kraut with crock picklet on the side!

maybe something sweet for desert?

135. liberalcatnip - 16 August 2008

134. I have some cookies left. 😉

Shepherd’s pie for me later. I’m an adult. I can eat meals backwards.

136. marisacat - 16 August 2008

nu thred…………………………..

LINK

……………… 8) …………….

137. marisacat - 16 August 2008

LOL They caught Big Foot, dead version, in … Arkansas. Read a certain way the story (and presser) is a scream!

138. liberalcatnip - 16 August 2008

So, when’s the forum at Brokeback Church?

139. liberalcatnip - 16 August 2008

137. Are they sure it wasn’t just a drunk Bubba?

140. baypraire - 16 August 2008

saw this at wapo and its insightful, in a white peoples sort of way

Never once did pastor Warren call him Barack, but he sure seemed at ease calling McCain, John, over and over.

141. marisacat - 16 August 2008

nu thred…………………………..

LINK

……………… 8) …………….


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