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Whirled Columnist… ? 3 December 2008

Posted by marisacat in DC Politics, Democrats, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, India, WAR!.
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Spring blossoms in Kashmir

well………….  columnit maybe.  The top of the column calls him Robert Kagan World Columnist.

Again we are hunting for reasons to declare a country to be without sovereignty and pull off a humanitarian invasion. Or just any old invasion.  We are not picky…

Rather than simply begging the Indians to show restraint, a better option could be to internationalize the response. Have the international community declare that parts of Pakistan have become ungovernable and a menace to international security. Establish an international force to work with the Pakistanis to root out terrorist camps in Kashmir as well as in the tribal areas. This would have the advantage of preventing a direct military confrontation between India and Pakistan. It might also save face for the Pakistani government, since the international community would be helping the central government reestablish its authority in areas where it has lost it.

But whether or not Islamabad is happy, don’t the international community and the United States, at the end of the day, have some obligation to demonstrate to the Indian people that we take attacks on them as seriously as we take attacks on ourselves?

Kagan is quite blithe:

Would such an action violate Pakistan’s sovereignty? Yes, but nations should not be able to claim sovereign rights when they cannot control territory from which terrorist attacks are launched. If there is such a thing as a “responsibility to protect,” which justifies international intervention to prevent humanitarian catastrophe either caused or allowed by a nation’s government, there must also be a responsibility to protect one’s neighbors from attacks from one’s own territory, even when the attacks are carried out by “non-state actors.”

It buzzed around KGO radio tonight, that shouldn’t WE, in the future, when WE, the almighty WE, know of planned terrorist attacks, as we say we did this time, shouldn’t we act pre-emptively.  Oh yes, question mark at the end.  Sort of.

Callers who reminded we were wrong about Iraq were shut down.

One of the answers lobbed was (swallow now, to save the keyboard)

if we were wrong once, should we dare to be wrong again.

I am not kidding.  Someone, please lock us up.

Was there an election?  There was?  When?  Who won?  What was the platform?  Change.  I rather doubt it….

Maybe they can call it O-vasion.

****

I got a good laugh out of this at SMBIVA…and I do wish I could see the photo that was run on the FP of the print ed…

The fun thing now is wondering about the personal chemistry between ha-Moshiach and Hillary.

To borrow a phrase from Obie: As I have said consistently… the only good thing about the New York Times is its photo editors, who just never get it wrong. The front page of this morning’s print edition carried a photo — unfortunately not available online, and even better than the one above, good as that is — of the Great One and his new SecState.

In the printed photo, they’re standing closer together than I’ve ever seen a president and a cabinet officer stand. Their hands are tightly clasped together, positioned right over Obie’s hipbone. They’re staring deep into each other’s eyes. Hillary’s back is arched and her nice abundant poitrine appears to be pressed rather emphatically against the one fastened button on Obie’s beautifully-tailored jacket. He seems suddenly unmindful of the media around. Her chin is tilted up, her lips… but no, I can’t go on.

it is not quite the take I had of Hillary and Ob on stage yesterday… but I did think their displays were a tad fluffy nine months ago…

If there is a baby in 9 months…

… but, back to the sodden starved earth:

Our news tonight dropped a tidy bomb, that due to the merger, buy out, encapsulement, take over, giveaway, whatever the sex act was with BoA and Merrill (and Uncle Sam)… the layoffs may be as many as 30K.

As of yesterday, sources were saying that layoffs could total at least 10,000 and would start before the end of the year.

But Bank of America CEO Kenneth Lewis wants to wring out $7 billion in savings from the merger over the next few years, so the total number of jobs lost could be closer to 30,000, they said.

***

zz

Odetta died:

Odetta – she was born Odetta Holmes – sang at coffeehouses and Carnegie Hall and released several albums, becoming one of the most widely known and influential folk-music artists of the 1950s and ’60s.

Her voice was an accompaniment to the black-and-white images of the freedom marchers who walked the roads of Alabama and Mississippi and the boulevards of Washington in quest of an end to racial discrimination.

Odetta sang at the 1963 march on Washington, a pivotal event in the civil rights movement. Her song that day was “O Freedom,” dating back to slavery days.

Born in Birmingham on Dec. 31, 1930, Odetta Holmes spent her first six years in the depths of the Depression. Her father, Reuben Holmes, died when she was young; she and her mother, Flora Sanders, who later remarried, moved to Los Angeles in 1937. Three years on, Odetta discovered she could sing. She later earned a music degree from Los Angeles City College.

In 1950, Odetta began singing professionally in a West Coast production of the musical “Finian’s Rainbow,” but she found a stronger calling in the bohemian coffeehouses of San Francisco.

She began singing in nightclubs, cutting a striking figure with her guitar and her close-cropped hair.

Her voice plunged deep and soared high, and her songs blended the personal and the political, the theatrical and the spiritual. Her first solo album, “Odetta Sings Ballads and Blues,” resonated with an audience hearing old songs made new.

Her fame hit a peak in 1963, when she marched with Martin Luther King in Selma, Ala., and performed for President John F. Kennedy. During the 1970s and 1980s, she performed onstage as a singer and an actor.

She revived her career in the 1990s. In 1999, she recorded her first album in 14 years, and that year President Bill Clinton awarded her the National Endowment for the Arts’ National Medal of Arts.

Odetta made a final appearance in San Francisco in October for the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival, performing from a wheelchair at the Golden Gate Park event.

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1. Hair Club for Men - 3 December 2008

More gutting of the press.

From the Asbury Park Press

Gannett Co. Inc. has eliminated 206 positions at its six newspapers in New Jersey due to declining advertising revenues and the severe economic downturn afflicting the state and the nation.

And here’s an example of the typical comment (ie the wingnuts are happy about it)

The APP has always been a liberal rag. The only thing it was ever good for was the local news and the TV guide. Lately it’s just become a pulpit for illegal immigration. It seems like every other day there’s another illegal alien sob story. The APP should switch to Spanish and call itself La AP Journada. They could pick up some help at the local work muster zones they like to write about so much. It’s about time this area had its own Spanish language only newspaper.

2. Hair Club for Men - 3 December 2008

Yes, but nations should not be able to claim sovereign rights when they cannot control territory from which terrorist attacks are launched.

My tinfoil hat’s been twitching violently since the Fall of 2001 when Bin Laden escaped from Tora Bora.

Why didn’t they just go in and kill him and then flood Afghanistan with “humanitarian aid?” There was a brief window in early 2002 when the United States was reasonably popular in the country and it could have been rebuilt.

When Obama talks about a “surge” into Afghanistan, he’s playing on the memories that most people have about this missed opportunity. What could have worked back then is only going to do more damage now.

But I guess that’s the point? To break up Pakistan?

3. Hair Club for Men - 3 December 2008

Oh. And here’s the connection.

The Kagan column is being run in the lead editorial spot in the Star Ledger.

So at the same time you’re laying off reporters who might just write about some illegal immigrant getting bashed in the head, you’re running columns arguing for more money to be flushed down into Afghanistan.

And that wingnut’s pretty clear about what he wants, NO coverage of crimes against illegal immigrants (and even the worse crimes get covered sparsely in the local press).

4. marisacat - 3 December 2008

Harvard announced that its endowment is down 22% from June through October. This drastically understates the losses to date, because November was awful, Harvard has yet to hear from some third-party managers, and–our guess–many of the fund’s private-equity, venture-capital, and other private investments have likely not yet been marked to market. …

[T]he decline, which amounts to more than $8 billion, is larger than the endowments of all but four other universities—Yale, Princeton, Stanford, and MIT. In the same period, the S&P 500 fell 24.6 percent. The index has fallen an additional 12.4 percent since then…

The Faculty of Arts and Sciences placed a freeze on staff hiring last week, following a cautionary letter from Faust a month earlier that warned of cutbacks ahead.

Yesterday’s figure dwarfs Harvard’s worst single-year endowment loss of 12.2 percent in 1974. The endowment has clocked only three years of negative returns, all under three percent, in the subsequent three decades.

Forst said University leaders have delayed setting the endowment payout rate for the next fiscal year—a figure generally announced the December before—until Harvard’s schools can reevaluate their budgets.::snip::

Blodget at Clusterstock…. rename it … LOL clusterstock fuck.. oh well DJI is up 129. They’ll recoup!

5. ms_xeno - 3 December 2008

Odetta and Miriam Makeba, not so long ago.

😦 😦

What a pity.

6. lucid - 3 December 2008

I loved Odetta… sad day.

7. marisacat - 3 December 2008

boy they are really sticking it to Pakistan.

How can they be a bigger threat than Iran? Are we confused here? Was there an election? what was that about changing the mindset again, from St Ob.

A congressional investigation into weapons of mass destruction today offered a chilling prediction of terrorists mounting an attack using biological or nuclear weapons within the next five years.

The six-month inquiry singles out Pakistan as one of the likeliest sources of such an attack. The target could be the US or some other part of the world.

The report, by the bipartisan Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction, concludes that “unless the world community acts decisively and with great urgency, it is more likely than not that a weapon of mass destruction will be used in a terrorist attack somewhere in the world by the end of 2013”.

It adds that “terrorists are more likely to be able to obtain and use a biological weapon than a nuclear weapon”.

President George Bush welcomed the report, saying the threat posed was the greatest facing the US and was “dangerously real”. He said that after the 9/11 attacks, he had put in place policies tackling the threat and he was leaving a good foundation for his successor.

From what I saw of Indian leadership during Mumbai, I wouldn’t trust the crowd over the border much at all. It certainly seems the Indian people don’t trust them.

Such gibber:

As well as the threat from stateless militant groups, the commission expresses concern about the danger posed by proliferation of nuclear weapons to states such as Iran, saying the Obama administration must stop it from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability.

It points to Pakistan, both at the state level and among stateless groups, as one of the areas of most concern. “Were one to map terrorism and weapons of mass destruction today, all roads would intersect in Pakistan,” the report says.

Well we toppled Baghdad. Installed the mayor of Kabul.. so… Islamabad and Tehran next..

I guess.

From what i have read Biden (and Napolitano) were briefed on the report a couple days ago. I am guessing Biden is in a padded room. No outcalls.

8. marisacat - 3 December 2008

ABC via TO

A warning issued by U.S. intelligence agencies to Indian officials in mid-October suggests the U.S. may know the precise location of the training camps or headquarters in Pakistan, according to sources in the intelligence community.

“There’s going to have be retaliation, but it could be a while,” said former CIA intelligence officer John Kiriakou, an ABC News consultant.

9. marisacat - 3 December 2008

Patti Smith UK Times

10. Madman in the Marketplace - 3 December 2008
11. Madman in the Marketplace - 3 December 2008
12. Madman in the Marketplace - 3 December 2008
13. marisacat - 3 December 2008

Loved this from the coffee link:

When I was 21 I worked as an intern at a magazine. The art director and I would brew a gigantic pot of coffee around 9 a.m. to help us get through the day. The pot would simmer in the coffeemaker, and through evaporation the coffee strengthened noticeably at lunchtime. In the evening hours, the remaining coffee had turned to a black concoction with a stinging smell and tar-like taste. We endured it without flinching.

I used to say I loved all cofee, from diner to creosote. Can’t quite manage it anymore (creosote) but just the smell of grinding the beans makes me happy…

14. Madman in the Marketplace - 3 December 2008

just the smell of grinding the beans makes me happy

Me too!

😀

15. marisacat - 3 December 2008

begin the reverse prayer circles. Elder Bushshitter will be jumping from a plane. Next June. Plenty of time to get the prayer in line to Gawd.

16. Madman in the Marketplace - 3 December 2008

Have a new post up about Obama and his economic priorities, judging by his recent cabinet posts: Blood From Stones

17. Madman in the Marketplace - 3 December 2008
18. marisacat - 3 December 2008

Alert! Red Alert!

The New Yorker outs Naomi K as a third gen red diaper baby. Well maybe by NK it was pink and well tailored. It likely had a label… LOL

Just saw that Jacob Freeze over at FSZ has some notes on the NYer author:

The current edition of the New Yorker includes a profile of Naomi Klein by Larissa MacFarquhar, whose main claim to fame (according to Google) is winning “Gawker Hottie of the Year” in 2005 (in the literary category), and her current article reflects the fashion-consciousness that endeared her to the denizens of Gawker.

I haven’t googled LMcF (and there is certainly nothing wrong with noting the ambient in a profile) but if that is accurate… take a white washed christian cross, a Star of David and lay it over the coffin of the NYer. In a year, begin to leave the stones at the burial site..

Not that it matters with Democratic mouth pieces, mutant jelly fish at the helm of the mag… .

19. marisacat - 3 December 2008

A quote from NK’s husband:

[B]ut the main feeling that Obama creates in me is fear, because I see people fooling themselves. If you actually look at his policies, what they reflect is the triumph of the right-wing political paradigm since Reagan, and I think he could set things back dramatically, because for young people who are getting engaged in politics for the first time, for them to be disillusioned is very, very damaging.” ..snip..

Bingo.

20. Hair Club for Men - 4 December 2008

[B]ut the main feeling that Obama creates in me is fear, because I see people fooling themselves. If you actually look at his policies, what they reflect is the triumph of the right-wing political paradigm since Reagan, and I think he could set things back dramatically, because for young people who are getting engaged in politics for the first time, for them to be disillusioned is very, very damaging.”

I think Avi Lewis is right about Obama “representing the right wing political paradigm.” Even I was surprised at just how quickly he filled his cabinet with “soft neocons” and how easily he slid into becoming the spokesman for the Rubin/Summers looting of the taxpayers back in October.

But I’m also a little amused at just what kind of privileged hothouse Klein and Lewis seem to live in. “Very very damaging” isn’t supporting a political candidate and watching him turn out to be just another crass opportunist. “Very very damaging” is going to Iraq. “Very very damaging” is working 16-hour days for years as an “undocumented worker.” “Very very damaging” is sitting around in Gaza behind the apartheid wall knowing that you not only don’t have a future, you can’t even travel 60 miles away from home.

I think there’s this perception on “the left” (whatever small left there is) that somehow there was this vibrant progressive culture that Obama’s campaign derailed back in 2007. It just wasn’t so. The anti-war movement and the progressive left was already a spent force. I doubt it would have gotten very far in 2007 and 2008, even if the race had been Hillary vs. McCain and not Obama vs. McCain.

Obama didn’t destroy “the left.” He just moved into the vacuum. What really destroyed the progressive upsurge that came out of the anti-globalization movement (I think) were two things.

1.) Simple state repression. People saw what the state was prepared to do in Genoa and Miami and had no idea how to respond. After 9/11, it got even scarier.

2.) The top down methods of the larger anti-war groups in 2002 and 2003. They mobilized huge numbers of people but had no plan beyond marching around behind police barricades. What’s more, the way these huge anti-war marches were organized made it impossible to engage the intellectual energies of mass numbers of people because they simply weren’t involved in the organizing process. It was done for them.

When Obama came around, the political landscape was so barren that he stood out as something different when in the end he was just another hack democratic politician with a good PR campaign. And I think most of his supporters realize this. But they simply lowered their political expectations to the point where the only reasonable goal seemed to be “get rid of Bush and the Republicans.”

Avi Lewis’ assumption that Obama’s younger supporters are starry eyed idiots seems pretty self-indulgent to me.

21. marisacat - 4 December 2008

Well one can always volunteer for the CRP newspaper. There’s a way to save the world. Or one one can hold one’s breath til the oceans recede.

Don’t make me laugh TOO hard.

22. marisacat - 4 December 2008

LOL last time Brown lost they blamed Sheehan

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrat Charlie Brown conceded defeat to Republican state Sen. Tom McClintock on Wednesday in their hard-fought race for California’s 4th District House seat, leaving only four House races still unsettled.

Brown announced his decision a day after counties in the largely rural northeastern California district turned in their final vote tallies to the secretary of state. The final count gave McClintock a lead of nearly 1,800 votes out of more than 370,000 counted in the contest for the vacant seat. The longtime incumbent, GOP Rep. John Doolittle, retired while under investigation in the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal.

With McClintock’s victory, Democrats have a 255-176 edge in the incoming House, compared to the 236 House seats they held through most of the current Congress. Final ballot counts are still at issue in one race each in Ohio and Virginia, and two Louisiana seats will be decided in hurricane-delayed elections Saturday. ::slapwa::

let’s hear it for 290 by 2012!

23. Hair Club for Men - 4 December 2008

I do think Klein makes an interesting point about the “progressive left” vis a vis their dishonesty about the Clintons.

From Democracy Now:

I think in many ways we are paying the price of the frankly intellectual dishonesty of the progressive liberal left during the bush years.

And the truth is, it was not just eight years in which those policies guided US economic policies. They certainly guided them under Reagan and they certainly guided them under Clinton. That is where Larry Summers comes in because Larry Summers was the last Treasury Secretary under Clinton. And, he along with Alan Greenspan and Robert Rubin were really the key architects of the policies of deregulation that created the crisis that we’re living now.

24. Hair Club for Men - 4 December 2008

LOL last time Brown lost they blamed Sheehan…

Major talking point of the Kos Kops when they were driving her off the Daily Kos.

I have to say FreeSpeechZone has me confused now.

Every sock puppet seems to be some variation on Noom/Donkeytale/Shadowthief.

Why doesn’t Jack just send them into a herd of swine and send them over a cliff?

25. marisacat - 4 December 2008

Pretty funny.. think Jack just hauled them back up from the “over the cliff” position.

26. Hair Club for Men - 4 December 2008

Actually he thinks I’m Noom.

Noom is noom, he’s from nyc, I can just tell, and we have history at PFF and wouldn’t wanna lose him. And I think he might have been Hair Club For Men at PFF, i dunno.

🙂

I think Jack should get someone who’s tech savvy enough to look at his logs and determine just what kind of conclusions you can draw from the information he’s got.

Noom, Shadowthief and Donkeytale seem to be three very distinct characters to me.

Noom: Zionist. Has lots of transparent sockpuppets. Likes to post threads then talk to himself. Occasionally amusing. Reminds me of “Gollum” from LTR.

Donkeytale: Not really interested in Zionism or I/P debates. Pro Obama but more into himself and his own writing than anything else.

Shadowthief: Leftist. Anti-Zionist. I thought he and David Byron were the same guy for awhile. But who knows.

Neokong seems to have disappeared. But I heard a rumor that he was really Peeder.

27. marisacat - 4 December 2008

It all reminds me of Dressed to Kill. The movie.

28. Hair Club for Men - 4 December 2008

Well, it sure LOOKS like I came out of hiding when Noom was banned from FSZ and was looking for a new place to post. Doesn’t it?

But the whole thing seems like a bit of a side show to me.

Jack’s not doing a particularly good job of moderating.

First, Jack has no trouble with repetative diaries from Neokong and Neocon Crusher on the latest Andy Martin generated conspiracy theories about Barack Obama (eg the birth certificate).

Then he arbitarily limits “Dave From Queens” to one diary a week on Kos Meta. When Dave finds the “Ugog” site, Jack realizes that the Kos meta is the only original thing PFF and FSZ really do have to offer and wisely lets the floodgates back open.

THEN, he decides that a couple of fairly distinct posters (all of whom admittedly use sockpuppers) are all one and the same and arbitarily bans them all. THEN a week later he just as arbitarily reverses himself and undermines any credability he had.

FWIW, the Kos Meta IS a genuinely interesting (even newsworthy) story. Jack is merely a bit of a flake but the people who run the Daily Kos are seriously malevolent and need to be shown up for what they are. They’ve not only harassed any number of serious progressive journalists (David Sirota, the guy who broke the Edwards affair story, David Swanson) as well as any number of serious anti-war activists (Cidy Sheehan), they seem more than willing to keep on users (Major Flaw and crowd) who have proven themselves beyond a shadow of a doubt to be involved in stalking people IN REAL LIFE.

It’s too bad that Dave seems to come across as a bit of a Captain Ahab. Also, the nature of the web makes this story difficult to express in a short, clear way fully accessible to people who don’t read the Daily Kos (let alone FSZ). But it is a real issue for “consumes” since the Daily Kos is very regularly touted in the corporate media as THE place to go to make contact with the left wing of the Democratic Party.

29. marisacat - 4 December 2008

23

In terms of the cut from DN that has been gone over here exhaustively. As of over a year and half ago…. Glass-Steagall etc.

30. marisacat - 4 December 2008

Christmas cheer from Nouriel

Awful news has greeted Americans in recent days: free falling consumption spending, collapsing new home sales, falling consumer confidence, very high initial claims for unemployment benefits, collapsing orders for durable goods. It is hard to get any worse than this but the next few months will serve up macro news that is even worse.

At this rate of contraction, as revealed by the latest data, it would not be surprising if fourth-quarter gross domestic product were to fall at an annualized rate of 5% to 6% and fall at a similar rate in the first half of 2009.

Equity markets shrugged off last week this awful news, due to a variety of factors: President-elect Obama choosing a first-rate economic team; a major fiscal package to be passed by Congress as soon as the new administration takes power; the bailout of Citigroup (nyse: C – news – people ) at terms that (while being a royal rip-off for the U.S. taxpayer) lead to a bailout of not only the unsecured debtors of Citi, but also of the common shareholders; and, most important, the Fed, Treasury and FDIC now moving to radical, unorthodox policy actions to deal with the credit crunch. But an awful Institute for Supply Management report this past Monday and similarly dismal news on manufacturing in the rest of the world made equity markets fall 9% and forced Fed Chairman Bernanke to announce even more unorthodox policy actions.::snip::

31. Hair Club for Men - 4 December 2008

In terms of the cut from DN that has been gone over here exhaustively. As of over a year and half ago…. Glass-Steagall etc.

I knew Obama was connected to the Rubin/Summers crowd EVEN BEFORE I VOTED FOR HIM.

And I voted for him EVEN AFTER I watched him push through the TRILLION dollar giveaway back in October.

So why did I?

Partly because of what I saw in that George Bush interview a few nights ago. Was this man, is this man actually president?

But also, I think, because everybody on the “left”, from the mildly progressive left through people like David Swanson and the pro-impeachment crowd all the way over to Noam Chomsky was telling me that George Bush and his administration were a radical break with history, that they really were much worse than capitalism as usual.

And I believed them. Was I wrong? Maybe not. Maybe capitalism as usual is better than what we’ve had for the past 8 years. It had better be. We’re all going to be paying TRILLIONS of dollars to find out.

One thing Klein and Avi Lewis does seem to be indicating is that MAYBE progressive left intellectuals won’t be rushing to get jobs inside the Obama administration the way they (Naomi Wolf, Michael Lerner, etc.) did under Clinton.

But you never know. Power and access to power is always tempting.

32. NYCO - 4 December 2008

Luxury Prices Are Falling; the Sky, Too

Once consumers become acquainted with slash-and-burn prices, how can designer fashion regain its mystique? Will shoppers ever again want to buy luxury goods at full price? The depth of the challenge was suggested by the incongruity this week of seeing Prada wallets, usually kept under glass at Saks, dumped into display stands that at Wal-Mart are known as “end-caps”; lizard handbags at Bergdorf Goodman jumbled on counters as if that Fifth Avenue landmark were an outlet of Loehmann’s; and Ralph Lauren dress shirts at Lord & Taylor thrown together and offered at prices roughly equivalent to the cost of two McDonald’s Happy Meals.

I suppose this time is as good as any to ask the question: Why are high-end luxury handbags and shoes SO FUCKING UGLY?

I look at the designer knockoffs in the department stores and wonder why any woman likes this stuff… shiny olive green patent-leather monstrosities, bags with Tommy Hilfiger logos all over them, everything is plastic, leather and chrome.

How pathetically looking to “belong” do you have to be to want to wear or carry one of these things? Good riddance, I hope they all rot in a landfill somewhere.

33. marisacat - 4 December 2008

The break point out here was the ’91 recession.. which lasted longer here (and i would suspect elsewhere) a lot longer than the cute little graphs would indicate.

Esp in the burbs.. but here too… it became bargain city. Esp anything already on sale. Basically offer a price. The stores needed to haul in cash everyday. So they did whatever. Here, that is when the brand and store brand power fell. Not saying it did not scrabble back up the hill in better times with newbies to shopping awash in dot com (dot died) money, but 91 recession followed by internet bargains…Big End.

34. Madman in the Marketplace - 4 December 2008
35. Madman in the Marketplace - 4 December 2008

Why Do Feinstein and Wyden Sound Much Different on the Torture Issue Now?

Time constraints prevented me yesterday from writing about Dianne Feinstein’s comments concerning torture in yesterday’s New York Times, in which the California Senator — who will replace Jay Rockefeller as Chairperson of the Senate Intelligence Committee — rather clearly backtracked on what had been her repeated, unequivocal insistence throughout the year that the CIA should be required to comply with the Army Field Manual when interrogating detainees. But Time’s Michael Scherer picked up on the same backtracking and did a very good job of highlighting what appears to be Feinstein’s (as well as Ron Wyden’s) conspicuous, and rather disturbing, reversals.

But it’s actually somewhat worse even than Scherer suggests. According to Mark Mazzetti and Scott Shane, who wrote the article, Feinstein and Wyden are just two of the “senior Democratic lawmakers” who have “seemed reluctant in recent interviews to commit the new administration to following the Army Field Manual in all cases” — despite the fact that both Feinstein and Wyden said throughout the year that they emphatically favored such a measure and even co-sponsored legislation requiring it.

From the Times article: “in an interview on Tuesday, Mrs. Feinstein indicated that extreme cases might call for flexibility.” And: “‘I think that you have to use the noncoercive standard to the greatest extent possible,’ she said, raising the possibility that an imminent terrorist threat might require special measures.”

Really, what is there left to say about these people?

36. Madman in the Marketplace - 4 December 2008

Laughing Maniacally On The Inside

I suppose my recent malaise stems from the general liberal refusal to engage me over the Dem war machine, people who I know have read “Savage Mules,” but want nothing to do with it or me. I’d hoped to engage as many prominent libs as possible, clearing the ground, in a sense, for the next phase of Dem governance. The excuses I received from those few who replied to my queries were naturally Obama-centric, the great mission of making him president more important than my little tome or petty arguments about business-as-usual. I accepted this for a time; but now that Obama’s going the way a handful of us predicted, you’d think that this would be a perfect moment to begin debating the approaching era.

Ha. According to “pragmatic” liberals, most noxiously Tim Wise, it’s much too soon to pick at the Anointed One. Sure, he’s loading his cabinet with well-known commodities like Hillary Clinton, while retaining the services of Robert Gates; but who knows what behind-the-scenes magic Obama is fomenting. It could all be a clever ruse, a necessary cover for whatever progressive moves the Savoir-elect has in mind.

Yes, there are actual adults who seem to believe this scenario, or at least want those who remain skeptical to buy it, so debating these fantasymongers would be a waste of time — assuming they were keen to debate. Most that I know of don’t want to hear anything negative about Obama, and I seriously doubt this will CHANGE three months, eight months, two years into his administration, much less when his re-election campaign cranks up. Based on available evidence, the most critical these people will get will be some resigned sighs, shrugged shoulders, and bleats about working within the system, taking what you can get, etc.

In other words, either get with the winning team or shut the fuck up.

37. Madman in the Marketplace - 4 December 2008

Continuity Error: Guts, Goo and Obama’s Imperial Dream

Barack Obama’s new “national security team” is a grim conglomeration of war criminals, warmongers and apologists for torture and empire who have been praised justly by some rightwingers as a continuation and validation of the Bush Regime’s foreign policy. But despite the growing unease these choices have induced in some “progressive” quarters, they in no way constitute a “betrayal” on Obama’s part. He has always made it abudantly clear that he stands squarely on the side of a militarist empire – expansive, dominating, brooking no challenge or hindrance to its actions or its preeminence. An empire conceived in bloodshed and dedicated to the proposition that no nation is created equal to the divine American state, whose “interests” – as self-servingly defined by whatever faction of the ruling elite holds temporary sway in Washington – must be pursued at any and every cost. A cost to be paid, of course, by the lesser breeds beyond the Homeland’s borders, and, increasingly, by the American people themselves.

Obama’s forthright stand on the issue of empire was evident throughout the campaign, in speeches, on his website, in his Senate votes and in his publicly announced positions – such as his always conditional, circumscribed promise to “end” the war in Iraq, on essentially the same terms by which George W. Bush claims to be ending it now. At no point in his much-ballyhooed “opposition” to the nation-gutting in Iraq did Obama ever once call it what it is: a crime. An abomination. An act of mass murder that has left more than a million innocent people dead.

Who then can be surprised that he has chosen as his own war chief a man who has presided over this pointless slaughter for two of the five years that it has been going on? And who can be surprised that he has chosen as his secretary of state a woman whose chief contributions to foreign policy have been: urging her husband to bomb civilians in an illegal, undeclared war against Serbia; promising to “obliterate” an entire nation of 65 million people from the face of the earth; and voting for one of the worst war crimes in the last half-century – then damning the victims as lousy ingrates for not appreciating America’s benevolent destruction of their country and murder of their children?

Really now, what did anyone expect from a man who walks into a room where a dozen children have had their head bashed in by a thug in a silk suit still holding the blood-dripping bat in his hand, and says, “My word! I think a mistake has been made here. By gum, I think beating these children into a steaming pulp of guts and goo might have been a ‘stupid policy.’ If you give me that bat, I promise to stop beating these children into a steaming pulp of guts and goo within the next 16 months – depending, of course, on the conditions in the room at the time, and the advice of my new top adviser, an experienced, pragmatic, safe pair of hands who has just spent the last two years helping this thug – who should not be prosecuted, by the way, because that would just criminalize political differences – beat these children into a steaming pulp of guts and goo.” This, in a nutshell, is Obama’s Iraq policy, and always has been. Where then is the betrayal?

38. Madman in the Marketplace - 4 December 2008
39. Madman in the Marketplace - 4 December 2008

Court Recognizes Moses Not Holding The Ten Commandments In Its Courtroom

Rather than wait for a vacancy to be created by a retirement of a justice from the conservative ranks, I have embarked on a mission to lay the foundation for overruling the Court’s horrendous decision in Van Orden v. Perry (2005) which held that the display of a donated Fraternal Order of Eagles Ten Commandments tombstone on the Texas state capital grounds did not violate the Establishment Clause.

I must admit that the task appears to be overwhelming. Indeed, I must be crazy to think that that I can persuade one member of the High Court’s majority to change his position on whether permanent religious symbols on public property violate the Establishment Clause.

And so, crazy as I am, I took the first step by filing a request with the Supreme Court on November 10, 2008 asking Chief Justice John G. Roberts to postpone oral arguments in Pleasant Grove City v. Summum until the Court publicly disclosed a literal translation of the Hebrew on the tablet Moses is holding in the South Wall Frieze of the courtroom.

Not surprisingly, Chief Justice Roberts ignored my request. But I did obtain a small victory. I believe that I forced Jay Sekulow, chief counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice, and the attorney who argued the case for Pleasant Grove, to admit during Summum oral arguments that “the words on the Court’s frieze are ‘steal,’ ‘murder,’ ‘adultery’ in Hebrew” (rather than “Thou shall not steal,” thou shall not murder” and “though shall not commit adultery”). This produced a startling admission from Justice Ginsburg in reply: “Yes.” (See transcript at page 9.)

What is the significance of all of this? The justices of the Supreme Court have taken an important first step in recognizing that the Ten Commandments are not displayed in its own courtroom as is often asserted in its own decisions and the briefs of Christian Right legal centers.

So the thing on the wall of the Court is suggesting murder, adultery and stealing … no WONDER the Republicans justices look so comfortable there.

40. marisacat - 4 December 2008

Madman.. got two out of Moderation. WP has changed formatting of the back pages. Geesh. Took a bit to figure it out….

41. marisacat - 4 December 2008

lol step right this way

Democrats: Obama needs hands-on economic approach

By JIM KUHNHENN – 4 hours ago

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats are growing impatient with President-elect Barack Obama’s refusal to inject himself in the major economic crises confronting the country.

Obama has sidestepped some policy questions by saying there is only one president at a time. But the dodge is wearing thin.

“He’s going to have to be more assertive than he’s been,” House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank, D-Mass., told consumer advocates Thursday.

Frank, who has been dealing with both the bailout of the financial industry and a proposed rescue of Detroit automakers, said Obama needs play a more significant role on economic issues.

“At a time of great crisis with mortgage foreclosures and autos, he says we only have one president at a time,” Frank said. “I’m afraid that overstates the number of presidents we have. He’s got to remedy that situation.” …snip…

42. Madman in the Marketplace - 4 December 2008

Thanks for springing the links (and yes, the new backpages are confusing).

Rangel is looking more and more shaky: Rangel Steered Campaign Money to Son

43. Madman in the Marketplace - 4 December 2008
44. Intermittent Bystander - 4 December 2008

Military jury acquits Martinez of all charges

FORT BRAGG, N.C. — In a jolting end to a three-and-a-half year legal battle, Staff Sgt. Alberto Martinez of Rensselaer County was acquitted Thursday of murdering two superior officers on an Army base in Iraq.

Martinez, 41, of Schaghticoke, faced a possible death sentence if convicted setting off a June 7, 2005 explosion that killed of Capt. Phillip Esposito. 30, of Suffern and 1st Lt. Louis Allen, 34, of Milford, Pa.

Instead, he walked out of the courtroom with a verdict that devastated the victim’s family members as they sat stunned in the courtroom in the sprawling Fort Bragg military post in North Carolina.

::snip::

Martinez was acquitted in a case in which prosecutors called him the “only person” who could have committed the crime.

On June 7, 2005, Esposito and Allen were playing the board game Risk in Esposito’s room when a Claymore mine filled with 700 steel ball-bearings exploded outside the captain’s window. They died the next day.

Several days later, military prosecutors charged Martinez with one of the Iraq war’s first cases of “fragging” — killing of a fellow soldier — since the Iraq war began in 2003. An earlier case took place in Kuwait.

::snip::
Martinez gave military investigators a potentially incriminating statement in June 2005, but it was blocked from the trial when an appeals court found police wrongfully detained the sergeant, placing him in a detention facility typically used for Iraqi insurgents.

Witnesses testified that Martinez, a supply sergeant, had experienced continued problems in that role, resulting in evolving friction between he and Esposito, a West Point graduate with a wife and young daughter considered a by-the-book soldier.

By May 2005, Esposito had banned Martinez from entering his own supply room at their Army base, a trapezoid-shaped building called the “Water Palace” that had once belonged to Saddam Hussein.

In other news, the NYS Dems have worked out some kind of fancy deal with the Gang of Three (state senators who threatened to blow the new majority in that chamber), and it sounds kinda like the Gang ran the table.

45. Intermittent Bystander - 4 December 2008

Not to mention other furniture:

There is one other notable part of this deal. According to Liz’s report, senators will be seated in alphabetical order instead of by party. Espada argues that this could mean the end to party-line voting, although I’m not sure how much a New York State Senate game of musical chairs matters to how senators vote.

I’m sure there is more to this that we haven’t been told yet. But we will see what details come out over the next day or two.

As you might imagine, rumors are swirling that consideration of a same-sex marriage bill was among the poker chips traded away.

46. marisacat - 4 December 2008

Thanks for that IB

Of course I do not know the players… other than the two top R guys I read about for years in the NY state assembly — Bruno and the other name I forget … but followed this link from the comments...

Seems Diaz is a “influential Pentecostal minister”.

47. Intermittent Bystander - 4 December 2008

Bruno was the GOP Senate majority leader, and Shelly Silver is the (longtime) Dem Speaker of the Assembly. Those 2 plus the gov constituted the state’s 3-Men-In-A-Room government.

I bet most New Yorkers don’t know the players (beyond their own localities), either, ’cause there’s been very little playing to do.

I’m so thrilled to hear that Gawd will be helping the newbies now.

48. Intermittent Bystander - 4 December 2008

48 – Despicable ex-US Rep from NY John Sweeney (GOP Miami vote-count rioter, Marianas visitor, ski resort junketeer, etc) – and an “upstater” born in Troy, woo hoo! – had some sonny-boy trouble with “group” violence, a few years back. After an organized “group” backlash beating in retaliation against another (small-town, rural, white) “group” leader, young Sweeney was charged for damn near killing another 19-yr-old. But the victim (himself a noted bully-boy) lived, and Sweeney’s son walked.

Of course Sweeney Sr. had some other problems with fambly val-yews, in the fullness of time, which helped him lose his seat to Gillibrand in 06.

[fixed the link —Mcat]

49. marisacat - 4 December 2008

Shelby!… I could remember Silver but not his first name.

Yeah its labyrinthine… is out here too. I do know who serves for me, (Mark Leno) but it is nearly meaningless, he has over the years been subsumed by the Dem party, as was his predesessor (Carole Migden, went in sane and smart left a total demolished idiot, no exageration). Both gay.

Have to laugh… Our former Speaker, time limited out of his runs in the CA senate assembly.. what ever, as of Sunday.. has had a murder charge come down on his son’s head this week. Dicey. His gang (or whatever it is) is delicately called a “group” in the media. And I am not some anti gang nut either. People will form groups, malign and benign. they just will.

At one time the father, Nunez, had reasonable expectations of at least running for governor some day. Don’t think so now.

50. marisacat - 4 December 2008

HA! From the comments at the NYT CityBlog link:

November 22, 2008 2:58 pm Link

This trio played footsie with Bruno,
A caddish sort as I’m sure you know,
Now their dissident game
Smacks of more of the same,
Like Jupiter cheating on Juno!

— Larry Eisenberg

51. Intermittent Bystander - 4 December 2008

Whoops, screwed up the walking link from 05: GOP Judge Reverses Jail Sentence For Sweeney’s Son.


[fixed the link —Mcat]

52. Intermittent Bystander - 4 December 2008

Shelly – short for Sheldon.

49 – Saw that too. Don’t ya just love finding limericks in the wild?
So succinct and attractive – good graffiti!

53. marisacat - 4 December 2008

Shelly, sorry.. I did see pics a couple years ago when there was some flap on over the NY Albany crew… of Silver and Bruno. Boy they did look like grizzled old hacks. LOL And why not…

Don’t ya just love finding limericks in the wild?

Yeah that was great little verse.. kinda cheered me up…

😯

54. BooHooHooMan - 4 December 2008

41 LOL. I was in the middle of I’ll edit here
BF is Sullying – so to speak – noDrahma missing rehearsal.

Gotta Love the show, and Barney too, but thirty years of this? C’mon.

Thirty years of this – and all we get out of Barney is bad Noel Coward in the inheritence comedy romp….. Obama? PfWHOO!
Barney’s Just Playin Knowin NO ONE’s PAYIN’ ATTENTION.
Good Barney / Naughty Barney … same Incumbent Diff , Frankly:
Chris D, Levin , all the same.

my take on the

DEMOCRATS GROWING IMPATIENT WITH OBAMA

{ Again with the Pearl Harbor / 911 Font Size at HuffPo:
BREAKING! : IMPATIENCE!..}
.

“He’s going to have to be more assertive than he’s been,” House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank, D-Mass., told consumer advocates Thursday.

{Snip}{Snip}{Snip}{Snip}
{LOL}{Snip}

Why are they so demanding of The Help? ..The Help is on the way, no? Didn’t they get the memo? The One, LOL, the “Roll up the sleeves..” Day ONE one they WON, the One they WROTE..

In the Sen, the OTHER Jizmo from Connecty,
Sen Thurmondesque Dodd sure weighed in light , but a little hot,
the Senate Steam Bath sweat still drippin off his man-titties:
{ But, Dodd’s a Progressive! He was at NutHoot Nation!- LOL}

“The Obama team has to step up,” ….Dwodd,… .

The Obama “Team” – HAHAHA!
What a middling fuck this Dodd is,
the cheese who slid off a Nuremberger….
Ire for the Empty Suit AND Deflection onto “The Team”,
AKA the “Rivals” from LizardLand.

55. marisacat - 4 December 2008

I find the whole “step up Barack” thing a bit odd.

Not sure how it would work.. and I’d find a better toss off line than “help is on the way”, which Ob tossed off a couple pressers- meet-my-peeps events ago…. shades of one of the greater loser tickets of all time (not relfected in the votes as the Dems are sheep, of the first order) of KerryEdwards… and the assorted girl friends hiding behind the bed pillows.

Find another sub slogan. I’d put off the big ‘Jesus comes back to the ME’ speech too. For a bit. DEAL WITH AMERICA.

56. marisacat - 4 December 2008

Was Sweeney the [attempted] strangle the wif story.. seem to recall that. it was just a stand out.. even in a crew of miserable dipshits.

57. marisacat - 4 December 2008

52

ugh every time Barney lifts his head I am sorry he was not bounced when he had ethics and what to call it, fraternisation? issues. I really am worn out with the 30 year running jokes.

58. marisacat - 4 December 2008

sorry IB think the link failed again. I checked in “edit” but none of the URL survived…

Just post it as is… I can fix the comments links…

59. Intermittent Bystander - 5 December 2008

51 – Shelly Silver is one lugubrious old droner, yessiree.

52 – LOL, esp the OTHER Jizmo from Connecty.

55 – Yeah, pretty much, complete with reported, then retracted, then promised, but unreleased and probably redacted supersecret police reports. Wiki notes the topic got unsquashed again, post-election, during testimony in nasty divorce.

Gotta love the earlier car crash story, though, where he hit a pole and knocked out local power, leaving skiers swinging on chairlifts in winter . . . no tests for drinkie winking, and the trooper kept a lid on the scene, despite live wires down . . . Sweeney also got some shit pre-election posing for pictures at a Union College frat party.

58 – Maybe The North County Gazette doesn’t allow external linking?
Here goes: http://www.northcountrygazette.org/articles/121805ReverseJailSentence.html

60. Intermittent Bystander - 5 December 2008

Thanks!

Jingleberries with sumac and feathers? From Canada Blooms garden show photos at paradis express. This one is pretty fun, too.

61. Intermittent Bystander - 5 December 2008
62. BooHooHooMan - 5 December 2008

This is going to get ugly, scratch that – “interesting” more like it – now that CheneyCo rolled with the dough.
The Class War Syndicate , their portfolio having picked up “Pre-Emptive” Warfare along the way …. We’re just watching this Horde in Strategic “Retreat” , these Entitled Thieves, the Military Hustlers, the Resource Pillagers, these Lawyers, Lobbyists, the Financiers, the Contract Arrangers, the Bond Counsels, the Underwriters, Insurers, Accountants,.Brokers…in other words – LOL- the UGOG, the “Usual Gag of Grown-Ups”. Heeby/Jeebies Sprinkled throughout.. Small Wonder.

So you have this All Out Military/Economic Class War executed by Statutorially “legitimate” actors on behalf of Stateless, (Prosecutorially Immune for all intents and purposes)- Interests who don’t even have THEIR OWN SHIT glued together ..I mean, in going about their busiess is it too much to ask their peeps to have Torture, Rape and Maiming Off-The-Table® if you’re gonna kill a few million People a year..?

63. BooHooHooMan - 5 December 2008

Just Watching, We’re. just. watching. this Class War while the these CEO / Asst. Manager/ Thieves who DIDN”T quite get the upperfloors in Dubai, LOL, — well, we’re watchin ‘EM NOW ASK to exchange their Partners’ worthless Shit in exchange for $$$$$ which they will use for the liquidity to buy into LEGIT receivables (T-Bills) from the rest of us…

They’re asking lest some shitfuck political op in the DOJ (think KosKop lawyer types like Majorflaw taylormattd etc) or a suddenly “interested” State Asst Ag isn’t “sicked on em”, doesn’t step in and prosecute, “PRrrrrosecute” that is, when they AREN”T Busy testifying :

“…”tsk tsk tsk Who knew? But We really DO need
the NecroPorkFuck Bailout Agency To Help The Victims
Like Congressman Rangel was talking about…

And as soon as THAT’s underway,
and interest rate pressures make the liquidity crisis now look like
Check Day at the Crack House, they’ll migrate from Bonds or pledge them as Collat in scooping up Equities from the Suckers / Pension Fund Managers In and Out of the Money and recycle it – yes AGAIN – thru their Lawyers,Lobbyists / UGOG / Pal, Pols and bullshit “Change” Artists Etc. etc…..etc

Sorry can’t help it, but Dead-Jerry- Falwell- on- a- Water- Slide:
These People are Evil.

64. BooHooHooMan - 5 December 2008

Two days later, Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan, a point man { Grosse Pointe Man} in helping his state’s main industry, called on Obama to help resolve the dispute over money for the auto loan package.

“It would be very helpful if the president-elect would become more involved in resolving the issue over the source of the funds,” he said. “I want him to offer his assistance. He is a person who can really bring people together.”

Frank, shrewd and quick-witted, also poked fun at Obama’s calls for a “post-partisan” governing environment in Washington. Frank predicted that regulatory legislation aimed at preventing abuses related to subprime mortgages and credit cards stood a much better chance next year, when Democrats have greater majorities in the House and Senate.

Oh Blow Me, Barney: “Better Chance Next year.”
Round we go. Carnies all. Barney there as the Guest MC.
Senator GMAC Levin, Dodd, —
thoroughly In. The. Bag. for Bankers and Congloms…..
ALL have just milked the avuncular cow for so long,
they’ve gone and made The Bull their “niece”.
[ (sic) – not nice – for “niche” ]

65. marisacat - 5 December 2008

61

thanks for the tip… I meant to send her [then it slipped the shrinking brain] a splutter from Mark Steyn on the doings in Canada… at least for laughs… 😯

I do so wish I could convince her to take Frum and Steyn back. She seems unwilling..

🙂

66. marisacat - 5 December 2008

Oh we must invade the Congo to save a particular forest. It is so “important for all of us, for global warming for bio diversity”…

Charlie Rose tonight is a set up for Congo intervention. The above came from a USAID functionary. It may not be expressed in their dox but USAID was founded to keep the global population of black and brown low, in distress and under threat.

It’s a bloodless threesome on with Rose. Of course an African in hand to help. And some French woman. Really, colonialists should be knocked out of the game.

What a crew we are.

67. lucid - 5 December 2008

How many lives make a bullion,
With the cyanide in the ground?
How many children make a barrel,
At the barrel of a gun?

And while we pretend our leisure,
Sight unseen, forestall.
Our sugar tooth betrays us,
When we claim the higher ground.

What does it take to buy our freedom
From a holocaust to come?
Should we parley with the pharaoh,
Sneak away the gold and stones?

Just to embed them in an icon,
Our glory is behold.
While those that suffer our amusement
claw from deeper in the hole.

We forget that we share what we do.

68. BooHooHooMan - 5 December 2008

Obama & all this? IN. IN. IN.
Obama is a Transformational Fraud., straight up.
“The Best in his Generation…”, that’s all..
Wholly Irrelevant to the PTB unless it includes him being
Totally Down with the “You Paddle My Ass” / “I Paddle Your Ass” bit.

He’s going to be a weak president , as far as risking anything for the people goes, say it was “by design” , push the collaborative, contemplative pose. Hmm. Weak Congress Weak Prezzy, neoCon Cadre at Pentagon and CIA ..Christ, think of the shit they dd in our names over the last 50 years when they had a modicum of disagreement? Yeh Pretty much tees up some Neanderthal We Can Believe In candidacy

Well Played Mr. President. Our First COMPLETELY ADORABLE
Inspirational Figurehead® President to actually live in the White House.

The only place to put your money now is in
SoundBite Graphic Backdrops for all the symbolic fluff they’ll have to pass to feed the sparrows..

“Interrogation We Can Believe In” Will certainly be announced.

perhaps “Citizen Journalist Appreciation Day” or some such…
Who Knows?
maybe one of the Pinche Loafano handles will be noted….
.

69. marisacat - 5 December 2008

SoundBite Graphic Backdrops for all the symbolic fluff they’ll have to pass to feed the sparrows..

hmm strangely enough, something i have not noticed the Obsters employing. I think the seal, large or small, is a fucking DUD.

Bushiters had it down to a fine science. Amazingly so. Utterly potted plant propaganda. Most people inhaled the back ground messages and likely never noticed.

Ob does FlagsMoreFlags. And they seem addicted to that tight fold for their flags.. with the open winged eagle atop. I cannot stand it, to be frank. Exhume Washington and drag him around iwth you.

I am muddling thru what is actually, if one concentrates on the broad political messages, an interesting piece on Turkey at CPunch.

Interesting commentary, broader than Turkey depending on how one reads, about “deep state” politics. And I saw this in reference to Erdogan, the leader… who I was sure when I saw him emerge was presented as the new face of Islam… shift the details a bit.. and it applies to our current elevation.

He was the handsome face of moderate Islam, an oppressed soul and, as an owner of fast-growing companies, a capitalist. These virtues made him the tailor-made leader for new neo-liberal party with conservative topping.

LOL for capitalist insert former Con Law Prof and Civil Rights Atty. The oppressed soul is all that tortured family history. We are to take him to our bosoms and shelter him. yeah right.

70. marisacat - 5 December 2008

gnu post…

LINK

……………… 8) ………………..


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