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Launched into space… 6 December 2008

Posted by marisacat in 2008 Election, DC Politics, Democrats, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, SCOTUS, Sex / Reproductive Health.


The first ever spacewalking teddies M.A.T. and K.M.S view the curvature of the earth at 30km high. The two soft toys were launched into space by Cambridge University and Parkside School on a giant helium weather balloon [Picture: MASONS NEWS SERVICE]

hmmm not pleased to find myself agreeing with Ruth Marcus of the WaPo (in fairness this is not her first cautionary tone on ObRama)… much less Brooks (who agreed with her) much much less Jonah Goldberg the white worm son of long time R operative Lucianne.

Yuck is all I can say.

Marcus on TNH:

JIM LEHRER: Do you have anything dismal you’d like to add to that?

RUTH MARCUS, Washington Post: I don’t know. Are there any more adjectives you can come up with for “dismal”?

I have been actually quite rattled by the inability of anybody that I’ve talked to in the administration, in the incoming administration, and the outside academic world of economists to spin this in any kind of positive way.

It is a bad situation. And I think of it as a situation where you have a patient who’s shown resistance to a lot of antibiotics and systems are failing. And it’s time to really start throwing every piece of medicine that you have in your arsenal or medicine chest at the economy and hope that some of it works finally.

Well… as Bush 41 used to say, we are in deep doo doo.  And no one, no one at all, really has a plan.  Nor are these big original thinkers that Obster has gathered about him.  They are not. They are absolutely from the long time Democratic party paint box.  Whether used or new… and most are used.  As one pundit put it, with an eye roll  🙄 – he can’t seem to even pick anyone from MIT.

If I may say so, Harvard has done us already.  Ruth looked suitably worried… chicken soup won’t be doing the trick here, and she knows that much, at least.

Don’t miss Ruth and David mincing thru the tulips spending so much time parsing FOOD STAMPS.  Finely they parsed and ground it… If we increased the federal Food Stamp program by 50% or even doubled it to  100% it would be a drop in the bucket.  I remember when we invaded Iraq… some shits in government strained their sphincters because it was determined that the long standing food support system in Iraq [under the monster Saddam], of regular monthly distributions of basics and cooking oil, created overages that allowed people (poor people, mind you) to have comestibles to TRADE.

DAVID BROOKS: Well, the standard model is that you spend a lot of money and you pump up demand. But…

JIM LEHRER: From the bottom?

DAVID BROOKS: Yes, or, well, in any way you can.

RUTH MARCUS: Or drop it from helicopters.


DAVID BROOKS: But some people will send you an e-mail saying, “What we need to do is cut the payroll tax in half.” Some people say, “We need to do $150 billion of infrastructure spending, another few hundred of this, another few hundred of this.”

There are many ways to do it. But there is — but one gets the sense everyone thinks we should do something. No one has a really persuasive thing that will tell you, “Well, this will actually work.” And there’s some sort of magical faith in a magical technocrat who will somehow know what to do, but that magical technocrat is Santa Claus. That person does not exist.

Oh but Democrats have long run on that simpleton’s game.  THIS time they just added the gloss of Magickal Negro.

RUTH MARCUS: Nobody knows precisely what to do. There are clearly smarter ways to throw money at this problem, spending money on things that you would like to spend on anyways, so there are some smart investments. You’ve talked about that in the past.

One of the things that I have been thinking about in the last couple of days — and my mind was certainly focused on it with this morning’s job numbers — is Congress kind of gave up on doing a big stimulus package or any significant stimulus package in its last lame-duck session. It’s now limping again back to town.

The Bush administration has been hostile to the idea of doing any stimulus beyond the pretty small piece of extending unemployment benefits that it did.

I think it’s time for everybody to refocus, think a bit about whether we should do another increase in food stamps. That’s money that gets spent right away. It’s pretty small, but it can’t hurt. [straighten the crown Ruth… you are out in public!  — Mcat]

More important than that, more significant, there is money that could go to state and local governments right away. The Bush administration has been very resistant to this.

But the fact of the matter is, these guys are coming back in January. They are going to start talking about how they have to cut their budgets to balance them.

We know that the Obama administration is going to get money to them. Maybe that money would help sooner rather than later. Everybody has to drop their ideology and start to get responsible. [drifting into mumbling and rambling a bit by now.. — Mcat]

DAVID BROOKS: Well, I dropped mine months ago, years ago. And I would agree on the food stamps. I think I would agree on the aid to the states.

RUTH MARCUS: But it’s small.

DAVID BROOKS: It’s small. The aid to the states, the governors this week said they had $136 billion in infrastructure. But the real money that gets sent out the door gets sent to families. And you’re a scared family. You either have lost a job or you might lose a job. You get a check for $900 or $1,000, are you going to spend that money? No way. And so…  [please David, they WILL spend it – and on food!  — Mcat]

Gee whiz.  Let’s worry about the infinitesimal – and increase the starvation.

There is much talk this week out here that children eligible for free lunch  in the public school system has ballooned to 51% of those in the schools.  Over 3 million children.

The kids are NOT ok, because we are starving them.  The school districts have stepped up, an especially strong promise from San Francisco Unified School District that they will maintain the school lunch program for every child who needs it… but inevitably,  it will falter.  Just will.

Unfortunately I agree with Brooks here.. strikes fear in my heart but still, all too possible:

And it seems to me the problem is a mechanism for restructuring this thing.

People want to do it, but nobody in Washington knows how to do it, and nobody in Washington is likely to know how to do it.

And the general principle — and we seem to be following the Japanese example. They had these 15 years of stagnation. And they did their capital injections, which didn’t really work, because they didn’t do enough of them, and then they went through the process we’re now entering of picking winners and losers, and creating essentially these zombie companies which — which are subsidized, which create nonproductive workers, which then strangle productive workers, which get you in this long economic tunnel.


Oh yes… Jonah.  The white worm son.  So appalls me he has a column in the LA Times but then so does Max Boot… Obviously I don’t agree with everything in this little schnauzer snarl… (he still flogs that 70% of blacks voted for YES on 8… as does Sully – as of yesterday):

Prop 8 style laws have passed in 30 states. Mormons aren’t to blame for that.

No but they upended Brigham Young and his 55 wives and sent them to CA, with something in excess of 22 million in Mormon money.  That is some carpetbagging!  Won’t soon be forgetting that… It was calculated political strategy for the long arc.  They dealt themselves in, big time, to the cultural wars (poor Ob, soon to get some BIG surprises in the big leagues)… AND they made inroads and investments of time and money with what I can only call demonic religious leadership and congregations, of all colors, in CA.  Very bad news.

However, here Jonah is on to something, similar to the righteousness of the war protests and sit-ins at Dem offices… even those who voted NO on AUMF in October 2002 (Loretta Sanchez, for one), because they are FUNDING the wars…

They then say “Don’t scapegoat  gays for all of marrige’s problems.”  Well, I would say in response, apply that logic inward. Gay marriage is politically unpopular for lots of reasons, and Mormons aren’t even in the top ten.

If opposition to gay marriage is morally indistinguishable from Jim Crow racism, anti-Semitism and the like (as so many of you say), why on earth aren’t you screaming bloody murder at Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Harry Reid and the other Democratic politicians who run the US governmemt? Surely, they matter more than a few Mormon donors.

Why aren’t they bigots even though they hold the same fundamental position as Mormons?

Of course he is right…

Another reason this issue has to be forced to the SCOTUS, along with those 30 states (remember Ob said the 60s were over!) with laws banning same sex marriage on the books.  I notice too that Democratic mouthpieces like  Lessig (anyone who partners with Trippi, much less to ” Change Congress” – don’t miss AdamB’s name on the right bar – is close to dead meat), and fellow travellers like Sully, are working assiduously to steer people away from a remedy in the courts…  Prattling that it lost ”fair and square”.  I am sorry to be rude, but what utter shits.  And operatives.  I like to spit that word out when it applies. (honestly if Adam Bonin is there, can the rest of the Philly legal shits crowd be far behind?)

Hawai’i, despite its many faults beneath the thoroughly ravishable beauty, was a multiracial society in ’61 and had been a state for 2 years –   Obama’s parents’ marriage would have been legal in California, from ’48 forward thanks to the State SC.  But by ’67, when Loving V Virginia made it to the SCOTUS, 16  states on the mainland still banned miscegenation.

[I]n June 1958, two residents of Virginia, Mildred Jeter, a Negro woman, and Richard Loving, a white man, were married in the District of Columbia pursuant to its laws. Shortly after their marriage, the Lovings returned to Virginia and established their marital abode in Caroline County. At the October Term, 1958, the Circuit Court of Caroline County, a grand jury issued an indictment charging the Lovings with violating Virginia’s ban on interracial marriages. On January 6, 1959, the Lovings pleaded guilty to the charge and were sentenced to one year in jail; however, the trial judge suspended the sentence for a period of 25 years on the condition that the Lovings leave the State and not return to Virginia together for 25 years. He stated in an opinion that:

“Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.”

After their convictions, the Lovings took up residence in the District of Columbia. On November 6, 1963, they filed a motion in the state trial court to vacate the judgment and set aside the sentence on the ground that the statutes which they had violated were repugnant to the Fourteenth Amendment. The motion not having been decided by October 28, 1964, the Lovings instituted a class action in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia requesting that a three-judge court be convened to declare the Virginia antimiscegenation statutes unconstitutional and to enjoin state officials from enforcing their convictions. On January 22, 1965, the state trial judge denied the motion to vacate the sentences, and the Lovings perfected an appeal to the Supreme Court of Appeals of Virginia. On February 11, 1965, the three-judge District Court continued the case to allow the Lovings to present their constitutional claims to the highest state court.

The Supreme Court of Appeals upheld the constitutionality of the antimiscegenation statutes and, after modifying the sentence, affirmed the convictions. The Lovings appealed this decision, and we noted probable jurisdiction on December 12, 1966.

These statutes also deprive the Lovings of liberty without due process of law in violation of the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men.

Marriage is one of the “basic civil rights of man,” fundamental to our very existence and survival. To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State’s citizens of liberty without due process of law. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious racial discriminations. Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State.

These convictions must be reversed.

It is so ordered.



1. Hair Club for Men - 6 December 2008

If opposition to gay marriage is morally indistinguishable from Jim Crow racism, anti-Semitism and the like (as so many of you say), why on earth aren’t you screaming bloody murder at Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Harry Reid and the other Democratic politicians who run the US governmemt? Surely, they matter more than a few Mormon donors.

Why aren’t they bigots even though they hold the same fundamental position as Mormons?

Because they don’t hold the same position as the Mormons.

Obama and Biden are opposed to gay marriage but they also came out against Proposition 8.

There’s a big difference between saying these two things:

1.) Well I’m not in favor of legalizing pot at this time.

2.) I’m in favor of making marijuana possession a federal crime with a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison.

Then again, I’d agree that in light of Proposition 8’s passing, Obama and the Democrats can’t just dodge the issue anymore. Well, they can, but they shouldn’t.

2. Hair Club for Men - 6 December 2008

Although to add two things:

1.) If anybody can effectively mobilize support for gay marriage it would be Barack Obama. The Democrats have both houses in Congress and who are blacks going to vote for if they don’t like it, Sarah Palin?

2.) The big protests in NYC concentrated on the Mormons and not the Catholic Church. Mormons are a negligible percentage of the population in NYC and Catholics a very large one. Act Up in the late 1980s and early 1990s didn’t target evangelicals. They went right to St. Patricks on 5th Ave.

3. Hair Club for Men - 6 December 2008

Quote from Hillary on gay marriage

“My position is consistent,” she said. “I support states making the decision. I think that (Sen.) Chuck Schumer would say the same thing. And if anyone ever tried to use our words in any way, we’ll review that. Because I think that it should be in the political process and people make a decision and if our governor and our legislature support marriage in New York, I’m not going to be against that… So I feel very comfortable with being able to refute anybody who tries to pit us or pit me against Eliot.”

4. marisacat - 6 December 2008

LOL Briefly, as I went over all of this as the Yes on 8 snarl unfolded out there… but Yes on 8 made excellent use of Obama, esp a Nov 1 MTV question and answer session he gave. It provided them fresh audio. Flyers used him as did robo calls. He pliantly offered up strong phrases for the Yes on 8 crowd… even volunteering new phrases about the ”sacredness of marriage” (he is also on record that sex is sacred, LOL) and that “god is in the mix here”. I mean, he could easily have answered as teh Con Law prof he wants every one to kowtow too, instead yet another religio hiding bigotry (or just protecting his political ass) behind God.

Democratic mouthpiece sites over and over did not post that part of this answers.

I never held with the propaganda that 70% of CA blacks voted for 8, thus being singularly consequential.. but some butt ugly nasty black ministers (happy to align with racist Mormons, I am sure) used Ob and his picture and his words on the flip side of their flyers.

He appeared to have no problem with how he was used.

Gays and liberals, progressives, whatever it is they think they are, persist in thinking the Democratic party is on their side. They are not.

If anybody can effectively mobilize support for gay marriage it would be Barack Obama.

he won’t be but feel free to hold your breath. In Michelle’s own words (The New Yorker this past summer, think Lauen Collins was the author) it (gay marriage) is too controversial and has to wait.

uh huh. that so does not work, but very 1950. Very pill box hat.. LOL.

Gays should have taken it to the Catholic church equally. However the Catholics (that would be Archbishops Niederauer in SF and Mahoney in LA) were very smart… they USED the Mormons. Longer practise at pitting kings against each other, as someone reminded me.

It needs to the SCOTUS.

5. marisacat - 6 December 2008

One word: DOMA.

It won’t be overturned. IMO.

6. Hair Club for Men - 6 December 2008

He appeared to have no problem with how he was used.


In some important ways, Hillary is better on the issue than Biden and Obama.

Even though they all dodge the issue in a very similar way, Hillary tends to send out coded messages that she’s for it and Obama that he’s against it.

I think you can spin the whole Tom Frank argument in favor of gay marriage if you want.

Obama (as you pointed out) didn’t get substantially more evangelical votes than Kerry did. But he did get a lot of Catholics and liberal Protestants who voted for him because they were afraid of Sarah Palin and the Christian right.

I think you can make two arguments:

1.) Obama and the Democrats really don’t have much to fear from the cultural right. In fact, if gay marriage becomes an issue in 2012 and it pushes the Republicans into letting Palin have another run, doesn’t this help the Democrats?

2.) If the Democrats distinguish themselves from the Republicans on economic issues, will gay marriage even be an issue in the African American and Latino communities?

7. Hair Club for Men - 6 December 2008

And note, I’m not saying the Democrats WILL distinguish themselves from the Republicans on economic issues, only that you can use it as a talking point.

As in

Well if you’re worried about losing black and latino votes because of gay marriage, doesn’t this have something to do with the fact that you’re essentially no different on economic issues from the Republicans? Don’t these cultural issues become important precisely when nobody’s addresssing the economic issues?

8. marisacat - 6 December 2008

Well then no problemo overturning DOMA and DADT… should be happening before summer of 2009. far enough away from 2010 midterms. If nto then, then right after midterms. But if not then, then right after 2012 re election. If not then (and why not?…sacrificing Joe’s wondrous run for the WH?), then right after 2014 mid terms. And failing all else.. which would only be because they were “so busy”…. it will happen right before they exit office. Sorta like DC state hood under Bill. Which is getting chatted up yet again.

9. Hair Club for Men - 6 December 2008

I’ve got to be honest, I really don’t know why the Democrats are running on this issue since they’re much stronger now than they were under Clinton when he ran from the gays in the military issue.

The Republicans LOST the election in 2008 precisely because they ran as cultural conservatives and the country as a whole proved itself to be culturally liberal. Nobody likes the religious right.

I don’t live in California, but I think the pro-gay marriage people need to get a good set of talking points out about why Proposition 8 went through. Was it money? Was it the ballot initiative process? Was it the fact that everybody was fixated on the Presidential run?

But the right is spinning this pretty effectively as

The majority of people in the most liberal state in the country voted to ban gay marriage.

10. marisacat - 6 December 2008

well that was all exhaustively gone over here… as the days rolled out. I started in on it when the Mormons rolled into the state, when the letter went out ot the congregations, and when Prop 8 began to fall in the polls.

It followed a very predictable route when you sadly rely on “leadership”, HRC and other orgs, who are tied to the party. Gavin (as well as gay electeds) can be said to have worked to scuttle the prop or in the case of gays electeds, did as little as possible…. His split loyalities I have discussed over and over.

it’s an old story. I don’t think the Dem party wanted to twin a Obama win with a Prop 8 marriage win in CA, the most populous and a “leading” state.

The majority of people in the most liberal state in the country voted to ban gay marriage.

If you think this state is blue, believe me it only partly is. It has 54 counties… LAT has extensive interactive maps on prop 8 voting…. And remember Arnold is our governor… who deposed a Democrat Arnold, who was put into office on his relection by the collusion of the CADP. He declined to stump down ticket for R and Democrats appeared on his stump stages iwth him. Arnold is not liberal.

On the other hand AZ which defeated a ban two years ago, passed it this year. There is an array of reasons… I concentrated on 8 here, as I am closer to it.

LOL One local news show took a camera crew out to the Castro (before election, shortly after the VPer debate) to ask if people knew that Obama and Biden “opposed gay marriage”, those exact words… they did not, over and over. Lulled into thinking they have a political partner. They don’t… civil unions are very different from marriage. Gavin spent the last weekend stumping and walking the streets to promote NO on 8… in the Castro. It was hilarious! What a chicken. And so calculated!

11. wu ming - 6 December 2008

the key thing to me about 8 was that it passed by by nearly the same margin as 4 (the abortion parental notification trojan horse, take 3) failed by. 4 failed all over the place, all along the sierra foothills, and was far, far closer than 8 in a lot of the more reactionary parts of the valley.

which means that there was a significant swing chunk of voters who were persuaded to reject one catholic and wingnut fundy culture war proposition, and yet voted with another.

what that tells me is that 1. the yes on 8 campaign was fucking pathetic, 2. that the areas where 4 lost and 8 won, in inland california, were utterly abandoned by the SF-centric “those people are all reactionaries” no on 8 campaign in a summer where people were getting married in those same inland counties mostly without incident, and 3. that there is a strong chance that we turn this thing back in a subsequent election, if the argument for treating people equally is made between now and then.

the CA SOS maps are very interesting, and unlike the LA times one, are the most up to date. several of those initiatives did not break down along the usual divide, although many did.

12. wu ming - 6 December 2008

in addition, it is not just a matter of convincing people, but perhaps more importantly, getting all of your people to the voting booth.

13. marisacat - 6 December 2008

The campaign on Yes on 8 (the religious side of the argument) fought back hard. They did not fight as hard, nor run the number of ads etc on 4 (parental notification) … there was a huge difference between the two. Even tho there was alignment in religion being agaisnt SSM and for parental notification.

Parental notification has been voted on twice previously in a quick repeat. This was the first vote on SSM since 2000.

I can underscore that there was some hard Yes on 8 back lash on how WHITE STRAIGHT LIBERALS, esp on talk radio, just dripped disdain for the opposiiton. It got ugly. But then so did the Yes on 8 callers, all along. I spent a lot of time prying myself from the chandelier, in reaction to both sides.

I think we got lucky on 4 to be frank as the party and the alliances that fought hard twice in the past were not as visible nor as vigilant. There were aspects to the actual writtne text of 4 that were not brought to the forefront. Again I felt in combination with an obama run, people were muted. Toward the end No on 4 did run a couple of TV ads.

Thanks for mentioning the SoS maps will chekc them out.

14. marisacat - 6 December 2008

do you want to keep both wu ming? I can change it in edit to “wu ming” if you like.

15. wu ming - 6 December 2008

i’d rather just keep things w/ wu ming, if that’s OK. one of the perils of autofill, i’m afraid.

16. wu ming - 6 December 2008

actually, after checking out the LA times maps, it looks like they’ve been updating them too.

17. marisacat - 6 December 2008

getting all of your people to the voting booth.

we will never know what all that endless blather about Ob set to win and win big did for voting in the West, nor that it was all but over as a couple of states went blue. Not that plenty were not clued in, they were, but just as many were not, but probably had TV or radio on election day…

Or, how it screws voting in the West in the future.

18. wu ming - 6 December 2008

i suspect that the larger problem was people not voting on downballot props. turnout was 78% of registered voters, which is pretty high, but the numbers voting for president are significantly larger than those voting downballot. 200,000 less voted for 8 than president, a million less for 4, 2 million less for the incomprehensible 11, etc.

19. Hair Club for Men - 6 December 2008

I got kicked off a “no words” photo site a few years ago for posting some photos of the “gay pride” parade in NYC.

That wasn’t officially the reason (shades of Kos) but I slipped up and gave them an excuse by posting this.


I thought it was funny. They used it as an excuse to say that I was posting “obscene” material.

I was actually shocked at some of the virulent reaction I got from people I hadn’t thought of as “conservative” at all. There’s also nothing about that photo that says “gay” but once I had posted photos of a gay pride parade, I was “marked man” and they were only waiting for the right excuse.

20. marisacat - 6 December 2008

well… right there is a huge difference between 4 and 8

200,000 less voted for 8 than president, a million less for 4, 2 million less for the incomprehensible 11, etc.

I ovted YES on 11… I was considering NO as Arnold is so conjoined with all version of … forget the word, shifting the electoral districts… but then I very much like term limits and I want anything, anything at all that will shake up the mired in the mud state we are in.

21. Hair Club for Men - 6 December 2008

If you think this state is blue, believe me it only partly is. It has 54 counties…

I understand this. There are places in NYC that are virulently conservative as well. But once it takes explaining you’ve lost the debate. You can’t make the same arguments with California that you can with some place like South Dakota or Alabama.

Proposition 8 was a very simple, very deadly poison pill dropped into the news on November 5th. I tend to get around it by saying “well Giuliani got elected in New York. Do you think everybody in NYC is a Republican?” I also say things like “well. I guess it means the pro-gay-marriage people just have to work harder on convincing people.” But it’s not an easy talking point to refute.

I think the New Jersey Supreme Court split the argument down the middle. They said “no Proposition 8s here” but they also said “no gay marriage until the legislature passes it. We won’t legislate it from the court.”

Maybe it’s just a long drawn out political fight like banning the death penalty (something that would have been unthinkable even 10 years ago).

22. marisacat - 6 December 2008

re-districting, that is the word.

23. marisacat - 6 December 2008


Honstly it looks airbrushed. hard to call that pornographic…

24. marisacat - 6 December 2008

CA reinstated the death penalty in 91 or 92, forget which… and excercised it by either 92 or 93. Whipped up great fury and rage in the press wtih people for a long long long over murder, ugly as it had been, but also messy as the trial was.

Nohting like regressing.

25. Hair Club for Men - 6 December 2008

Honstly it looks airbrushed. hard to call that pornographic…

No. And had it been thought of as something from a victory parade for a college football team or something similar it never would have been an issue.

And it actually a few weeks after I was given the Kos Troll Patrol treament for posting photos of some people who were very obviously gay. That was the first excuse I gave them.

I very rarely get banned from web sites. I usually just leave when the writing is on the wall and I realize I’m not welcome.

But the reaction came so fast and so out of nowhere that I never saw it coming. I had just assume a gay pride parade was no big deal for anybody.

26. Madman in the Marketplace - 6 December 2008

last thread – plus I did not realise that Milwaukee was majority minority…

I didn’t either, and I live here. You certainly couldn’t tell by who ones/runs/works in the businesses downtown, or by the cops or city officials. It’s a very segregated city, and people don’t mix a lot. I don’t think it’s majority minority by a lot, and the biggest group is still whites … I think it’s the combination of blacks and hispanics that tip it over.

It’s the most segregated place I’ve ever lived.

27. Hair Club for Men - 6 December 2008

Whipped up great fury and rage in the press wtih people for a long long long over murder, ugly as it had been, but also messy as the trial was.

I’m sort of happy Robert Zarinsky dropped dead of a heart attack. He was becoming a major rallying point for the state’s wingnut population.

I think most people understand that “blue state” means “mixture of liberal and conservative” and that “red state” means “Mississippi 1964.”

These issues tend to depend a lot on the organizational skill of the political forces in question. There’s no reason the Republicans shouldn’t be able to compete in a relatively conservative place like New Jersey. There’s no reason the Democrats shouldn’t be able to take back the Mayor’s office in New York. In both cases, it’s just bad organizing.

But I think that maybe with Proposition 8 you have an example where a dedicated and fanatical minority can override the mainsteam. And I think the mainstream is “I don’t necessarily care about gay marriage but I’m not going out of my way to defend it.”

Admittedly, if Obama spoke out and provided “leadership” on the issue, a lot of problems would be solved. The fact that he’s not doesn’t say good things about him.

28. Madman in the Marketplace - 6 December 2008

ou get a check for $900 or $1,000, are you going to spend that money? No way. And so…

how can anybody be so damned stupid?

29. marisacat - 6 December 2008

I think it’s the combination of blacks and hispanics that tip it over.

well people are always shocked that CA does not have a large black population. 6%… vs around 36% (or so, I see some variations in that number) of Latino.

30. marisacat - 6 December 2008

it’s just bad organizing.

well then again there are deals. Like Arnold getting re-elected after CA Nurses rattled him good and ran his numbers down almost 20 pts.

AND there is what I think of as planned obsolescence of energy. That happened iwth 8. Gays trust the Dems or trust entrenched gay leadership again, they are fools. Most of them will. They need a Harvey Milk but he came out of a different era.

I saw some asshole try ot compare Ob to Harvey… it is just endless. Such tired bullshite

31. Hair Club for Men - 6 December 2008

I think it’s the combination of blacks and hispanics that tip it over.

I’ve always found it a bit odd that people look at “Latino” as a homogenous group.

Most of the “Latinos” I know are just another variety of “ethnic white” and a lot of them are anti-immigrant in a “more Catholic than the Pope” sort of way. Then again, a lot of the “Latinos” I know are second or third generation American and don’t even speak Spanish. They just have Spanish last names.

32. marisacat - 6 December 2008

we have the full spectrum of Latino here.. tho far less Carib Latino then the East Coast of course. And people like Richardson as well. Blondes name Soto… and so on.

33. Hair Club for Men - 6 December 2008

I saw some asshole try ot compare Ob to Harvey… it is just endless. Such tired bullshite

There’s an odd disconnect. I saw “Reverend Billy” on “Buy Nothing Day” leading chants of Obama’s slogans in Union Square (NYC Not San Francisco) in the middle of the ongoing Obama merchandise bazar.

I guess you could make the argument that petty vendors who hock this stuff aren’t Starbucks or Barnes and Nobles” but still…

I think the banking crash a few months before the election has led to the Democrats trying to reinvent the 1990s. In the 1990s, Clinton didn’t control Congress and the right was gunning for him, so people would argue that you can’t rock the boat. Now they”ve retooled this into “how can you rock the boat during a financial crisis”.

34. Madman in the Marketplace - 6 December 2008

LOL One local news show took a camera crew out to the Castro (before election, shortly after the VPer debate) to ask if people knew that Obama and Biden “opposed gay marriage”, those exact words… they did not, over and over.

I went to watch the gay pride parade in Chicago this summer w/ an old college friend of mine. When they Obama people were walking through the crowd w/ fliers, I refused to take one and told the guy “I can’t support a politician that opposes gay marriage”. Boy did I get dirty looks from the crowd on the sidewalk around me, and my friend wasn’t amused. Most of them plainly either didn’t believe me or didn’t care, judging from their expressions.

35. Madman in the Marketplace - 6 December 2008

oops, that should have been “who OWNS” etc.

speaking of starving children: Poor Children’s Brain Activity Resembles That Of Stroke Victims, EEG Shows

In a study recently accepted for publication in the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, scientists at UC Berkeley’s Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute and the School of Public Health report that normal 9- and 10-year-olds differing only in socioeconomic status have detectable differences in the response of their prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain that is critical for problem solving and creativity.

Brain function was measured by means of an electroencephalograph (EEG) – basically, a cap fitted with electrodes to measure electrical activity in the brain – like that used to assess epilepsy, sleep disorders and brain tumors.

“Kids from lower socioeconomic levels show brain physiology patterns similar to someone who actually had damage in the frontal lobe as an adult,” said Robert Knight, director of the institute and a UC Berkeley professor of psychology. “We found that kids are more likely to have a low response if they have low socioeconomic status, though not everyone who is poor has low frontal lobe response.”

“This is a wake-up call,” Knight said. “It’s not just that these kids are poor and more likely to have health problems, but they might actually not be getting full brain development from the stressful and relatively impoverished environment associated with low socioeconomic status: fewer books, less reading, fewer games, fewer visits to museums.”

Kishiyama, Knight and Boyce suspect that the brain differences can be eliminated by proper training. They are collaborating with UC Berkeley neuroscientists who use games to improve the prefrontal cortex function, and thus the reasoning ability, of school-age children.

“It’s not a life sentence,” Knight emphasized. “We think that with proper intervention and training, you could get improvement in both behavioral and physiological indices.”

“These kids have no neural damage, no prenatal exposure to drugs and alcohol, no neurological damage,” Kishiyama said. “Yet, the prefrontal cortex is not functioning as efficiently as it should be. This difference may manifest itself in problem solving and school performance.”

The researchers suspect that stressful environments and cognitive impoverishment are to blame, since in animals, stress and environmental deprivation have been shown to affect the prefrontal cortex. UC Berkeley’s Marian Diamond, professor emeritus of integrative biology, showed nearly 20 years ago in rats that enrichment thickens the cerebral cortex as it improves test performance. And as Boyce noted, previous studies have shown that children from poor families hear 30 million fewer words by the time they are four than do kids from middle-class families.

“In work that we and others have done, it really looks like something as simple and easily done as talking to your kids” can boost prefrontal cortex performance, Boyce said.

“We are certainly not blaming lower socioeconomic families for not talking to their kids – there are probably a zillion reasons why that happens,” he said. “But changing developmental outcomes might involve something as accessible as helping parents to understand that it is important that kids sit down to dinner with their parents, and that over the course of that dinner it would be good for there to be a conversation and people saying things to each other.”

36. Madman in the Marketplace - 6 December 2008

29 – finally looked up the census form Milwaukee:

White persons, percent, 2000 (a) 50.0% 88.9%
Black persons, percent, 2000 (a) 37.3% 5.7%
American Indian and Alaska Native persons, percent, 2000 (a) 0.9% 0.9%
Asian persons, percent, 2000 (a) 2.9% 1.7%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, percent, 2000 (a) 0.1% Z
Persons reporting two or more races, percent, 2000 2.7% 1.2%
Persons of Hispanic or Latino origin, percent, 2000 (b) 12.0% 3.6%

we’ll see if that worked … his “say it” …. NOW

37. marisacat - 6 December 2008

we had a terrible instance out here.. a mother of two, a baby and a toddler. She was watering down the formula.. which she receives thru WIC program. The baby is a third underweight… and nearly died from ingesting too much water. Curled to fetal position and then stopped breathing. So now there is a big campaign on to educate on the subject.

A decent nation would have a Public Health Dept modeled on many of the things Howard (Six by Six) talked about. But the plan imo is always to cull cull cull.

There is also some effort to get disposable diapers thru the system as well… which is not covered under Food Stamps nor WIC.. etc.

38. Madman in the Marketplace - 6 December 2008

oh, should have added … the first percentage is the city, second percentage is the state.

39. Madman in the Marketplace - 6 December 2008

Chrysler’s Friends in High Places

In early November, as America’s automakers grasped for a lifeline from Washington, the Treasury secretary, Henry M. Paulson Jr., placed a call to his predecessor, John W. Snow. The topic: Chrysler L.L.C.

Chrysler is the smallest of the Big Three automakers, but it stands apart from its peers in another crucial respect. While General Motors and the Ford Motor Company are public corporations, Chrysler is controlled by one of the world’s richest and most secretive private investment companies.

That investment company is Mr. Snow’s employer, Cerberus Capital Management, which has used its wealth and deep connections in Washington to shape the debate over the foundering automakers to its advantage.

In recent weeks, Mr. Snow has personally lobbied Mr. Paulson and others for a federal rescue that would salvage Cerberus’s investments in Detroit. Cerberus has also deployed a corps of lobbyists and former government officials to secure a bailout and protect its interests.

Whether its efforts will work is unclear. But if they fail Cerberus and its partners could lose their daring bets on Detroit. Without a bailout Cerberus could lose about $2 billion and suffer a stinging blow to its reputation. With one it might eventually profit from its troubled deals.

At a Senate hearing on Thursday, Mr. Bennett suggested that the government might help the automakers and require that Chrysler merge with G.M. — the outcome that Cerberus, though not Chrysler, favors, according to people familiar with the investment firm’s thinking.

“They are very, very well-connected,” said Harry Cendrowski, a consultant and co-author of the book “Private Equity: History, Governance and Operations.” Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee can attest to that. Last year, he was on vacation when his phone began ringing. It was Mr. Snow, and then Mr. Quayle, both calling on behalf of Cerberus. They wanted the senator to know that Cerberus opposed new fuel efficiency standards, Mr. Corker recalled. Days later, Mr. Feinberg visited Mr. Corker’s Washington office. Mr. Corker told Cerberus he was unmoved.

“I really did feel badly for these guys,” Mr. Corker, a Republican, said. But others point out that Chrysler landed on Cerberus’s lap practically free. The price it and its co-investors paid for their stake was roughly equal to the book value of Chrysler Financial. The car operation was just icing.

Mr. Snow and Mr. Feinberg declined to comment for this article. Cerberus does not have much of its own money riding on Chrysler and GMAC. The two investments amount to about 7 percent of its assets under management, and this past July Cerberus and its co-investors lent $2 billion to Chrysler. But its reputation is at stake, and it is eager to keep Chrysler and GMAC out of bankruptcy.

“They made a very big bet on a sector that had a lot of risk in it,” said David Bullock, managing director at Advent Capital Management. Advent, a hedge fund that owns GMAC bonds, wrote a letter this fall encouraging GMAC to become a bank holding company, which would enable it to tap federal money.

“They thought they could change the world,” Mr. Bullock said. “and they didn’t.”

Poor people, workers, they can go fuck themselves, but that Republican asshole “feels bad” for a bunch of predators in tailored suits.

40. Madman in the Marketplace - 6 December 2008

The donks caved again:

WASHINGTON — Faced with staggering new unemployment figures, Democratic Congressional leaders said on Friday that they were ready to provide a short-term rescue plan for American automakers, and that they expected to hold a vote on the legislation in a special session next week.

Seeking to end a weeks-long stalemate between the Bush administration and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, senior Congressional aides said that the money would most likely come from $25 billion in federally subsidized loans intended for developing fuel-efficient cars.

By breaking that impasse, the lawmakers could also clear the way for the Treasury secretary, Henry M. Paulson Jr., to request the remaining $350 billion of the financial industry bailout fund knowing he will not get bogged down in a fight over aiding Detroit.

Democrats are hoping Mr. Paulson will use some of that money to help individual homeowners avoid foreclosure.

“We have had constructive discussions with members of Congress from both houses, and both sides of the aisle,” President Bush’s spokeswoman, Dana Perino, said in a statement released Saturday. “We hope to continue to make progress toward assistance for the automakers based on important principles — that taxpayer assistance only be considered for companies willing to make the difficult decisions across the scope of their businesses to be viable and competitive in the future; that taxpayer assistance should come from funds already appropriated in the program specifically intended to assist automakers — the auto loan program; and that assistance is accompanied by very strong taxpayer protections. Taxpayers should not be asked to finance assistance for automakers without a strong likelihood that they will be paid back.”

So they gave in on a much smaller amount of money for the auto companies (I’m so ambivalent about them that I don’t care one way or another anymore) and will use that “deal” as an excuse to give the banksters FOURTEEN TIMES as much money to hoard and merge with one another.

I hope Nancy and Harry don’t play poker … they’d lose everything.

41. Madman in the Marketplace - 6 December 2008

2 NYT links in moderation, I think.

42. marisacat - 6 December 2008

LOL have to laugh… Stern of SEIU says to hold Ob accountable but …

Mr. Stern betrays no doubts about future policy. I ask him which Obama pick so far pleases him most? “Obama,” he shoots back. Yes, Larry Summers, the market-friendly free trader from the Clinton years, and Treasury nominee Tim Geithner, straight from Wall Street, headlined the economic team. But these “experienced, steady” men are there “to implement a new president’s agenda” — new financial regulations, job-creation programs and the rest. The pro-business, balanced-budget economics of the Clinton years isn’t appropriate to today’s world of income inequality and stagnant wages, he says. “It was not the same Larry Summers of ’93 I saw on that stage.”

All the political signs are favorable for a “universal,” government-run health-care system. Mr. Stern hails the appointment of Tom Daschle to lead the push from the Department of Health and Human Services, and he considers Montana Sen. Max Baucus’s reform plan a big step in the right direction. Unlike the last time it came up in 1993, Mr. Stern says, “it’s hard to find an outspoken voice against comprehensive reform.” Mr. Obama takes office at “an unusual Washington moment” when business, labor and the politicians “see common ground” on the president’s headline initiatives, health care above all.

Everybody bought fresh knee pads for the duration.

43. Hair Club for Men - 6 December 2008

Persons of Hispanic or Latino origin, percent, 2000 (b) 12.0% 3.6%

The typical Cuban American here looks just like typical Irish, Polish or German American. They’re just another group of white people.

Dominican Americans tend to be more urban and tend to identify more with African Americans. Mexicans tend just to keep to themselves.

What exactly is the reason for lumping “Latinos” into a homogenous group?

I would GUESS it has something to do with political control.

Take the Immigration Reform Act of 1924.


I personally see no physical or cultural differences between my Polish American relatives and my German American relatives. But it was written into law in 1924 that they were essentially different “races” and it’s easy to see why.

Prohibition, the Klan, anti-Catholic bigotry, the Harding/Coolidge style old school Republicans trying to hold on to the cultural moment against the waves of new immigrants.

You divide people into categories and it makes them easier to control. You label “Latinos” as a homogenous group of “Latinos” and you divide Latinos off from other white ethnicities and from African Americans.

Why is Texas not a “blue state” again?

44. Madman in the Marketplace - 6 December 2008

It’s All God — Amen, Om, Whatever

Reading about these hailin’ hordes, it’s hard not to wonder how much of what passes for religion is just a longing to belong, how much apparent piety is a ploy for the comfort of conformity. In this era of identity politics, spiritual identity is nearly always shared identity. Consumer culture trains us to flock in huge numbers under flags and logos. Consumer culture turns everything into brands. So from Sunday Mass to Mecca pilgrimages to sipping the Master’s sandal-washing water, how and whom or what one worships can become yet another logo, however soul-deep and authentic it feels. Just as it is in stadiums and superstores, part of the thrill of most spiritual experiences is social. Hallelujah, I am not alone. And reverence is contagious. Seeing others swoon on their knees or speak in tongues or insist that they can see the messiah, we too become electrified. We do not want to be left out. We do not want to miss what Sobel calls “the Ultimate Boat.” What a bummer that would be.

Consumer culture wants everything to feel like shopping. So presidential campaigns are ad campaigns. And candidates and gurus and marketers all use the same techniques. Sai Baba, whose birthday attracted two million and who is famous for seeming to materialize magic dust and jewelry from thin air, tells visitors: “I give you what you want until you want what I have.” Mmm, free jewelry. Those religious allusions suffusing Barack Obama’s candidacy were no accident: that halo effect in photographs, those rays of light extending outward from his image on posters –all numinous touches meant to suggest not so much that he is religious (which worked for Clinton and Bush) but that he is a religious figure. “Hope” is a godly word, right up there with faith and love.

“Hope” — along with “change” — is also a classic antidote for fear. And if Sobel glimpsed any astounding revelation during his journey, then it “has to do with the utter terror of being a living human being on this planet. Fear, fear, fear makes the world go round.” All his experiments, every sob and prayer and puke, “has all been just this one thing: an attempt to cure myself of terror.”

There’s a seeker born every minute.

45. marisacat - 6 December 2008

LOL Don’t worry ob promised the greatest works program ever… Sat radio speech… should take care of everything.

In his Saturday radio/video address, the president-elect says his administration will make the largest national infrastructure investment since the interstate highway system, creating millions of jobs.

Also proposes “the most sweeping effort to modernize and upgrade school buildings that this country has ever seen,” and other steps.

Calls for legislation to be passed “immediately” once Congress reconvenes. “We need to act with the urgency this moment demands to save or create at least two and a half million jobs….”

Anyone cares, The Page has vid (which I call pretzel in a box) and text.


46. Madman in the Marketplace - 6 December 2008

43 – here’s the Census bureau’s “explanation”:

Hispanics or Latinos are those people who classified themselves in one of the specific Spanish, Hispanic, or Latino categories listed on the Census 2000 questionnaire -“Mexican, Mexican Am., Chicano,” “Puerto Rican”, or “Cuban” -as well as those who indicate that they are “other Spanish/Hispanic/Latino.” Persons who indicated that they are “other Spanish/Hispanic/Latino” include those whose origins are from Spain, the Spanish-speaking countries of Central or South America, the Dominican Republic or people identifying themselves generally as Spanish, Spanish-American, Hispanic, Hispano, Latino, and so on.

Origin can be viewed as the heritage, nationality group, lineage, or country of birth of the person or the person’s parents or ancestors before their arrival in the United States.

People who identify their origin as Spanish, Hispanic, or Latino may be of any race. Thus, the percent Hispanic should not be added to percentages for racial categories. Tallies that show race categories for Hispanics and nonHispanics separately are available.

for what little it’s worth. The Mexican community is pretty large and vocal here, but how much of the total they account for is hard to say, and I can’t find any numbers. I do agree w/ you that ultimately it’s used to control people (divide and conquer). Hell, even the drug “war” is skewed to go after certain populations while ignoring/avoiding majority abuse.

47. marisacat - 6 December 2008


well… as I said Latinos come in all stripes. From blondes named Soto all the way to …. but in CA we have masses of Mexican, Central American, mestizos… plenty of Salvadorans and Colombians, etc., who do look “Latino”. Look So or Central American Indian… Peruvians who wear classic Andean clothing and speak in dialect..

But of course, plenty of Spanish or Hispanic or Latino surnames who are the spectrum.

48. Madman in the Marketplace - 6 December 2008

Fellow Democrats are saying Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s scandals could politically taint his selection for senator

The revelation that federal prosecutors have recorded Gov. Rod Blagojevich as part of their corruption investigation of his administration cast new controversy Friday over his pending decision to appoint a replacement for President-elect Barack Obama in the U.S. Senate.

Fellow Democrats were already expressing private reservations that the governor’s scandals could politically taint whoever he handpicks for the job. Those concerns grew Friday with the Tribune’s revelations that close Blagojevich confidant John Wyma is cooperating with the tightening federal probe.

But even as the governor’s office sought to give Blagojevich distance from the latest twist in the investigation, Wyma’s closeness to him was underscored by word that Wyma talked with one of the candidates seeking the Senate job.

On Friday, Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., who has been the most active campaigner for the post, said he recently reached out to Wyma as well as the governor’s patronage chief, Victor Roberson , in an attempt to learn what Blagojevich is looking for in an Obama replacement. Jackson and Blagojevich, who once served as congressional colleagues, have not been politically close.

“I have spoken with several people who have access to the governor to determine the appropriate criteria [of] who and what he is looking for,” said Jackson, who is among the few contenders for the job who has yet to meet with Blagojevich. “Mr. Wyma specifically said, ‘If the governor grants you a meeting, be yourself.’ ”

Others who have expressed interest in the Obama vacancy, including Reps. Janice Schakowsky, Luis Gutierrez and Danny Davis and Illinois Senate President Emil Jones, said they have not contacted Wyma for assistance.

49. Madman in the Marketplace - 6 December 2008

Police: Man arrested in Mumbai attack probe is counter-insurgency police officer

SRINAGAR, India (AP) — Security officials say one of two Indians arrested for illegally buying mobile phone cards used by the gunmen in the Mumbai attacks is a counter-insurgency police officer who may have been on an undercover mission.

A senior police official in Indian Kashmir says the man, identified as Mukhtar Ahmed, is part of a semiofficial counter-insurgency network whose members are usually drawn from among former militants.

The official says Calcutta police, who are holding Ahmed, have been told he is “our man and its now up to them how to facilitate his release.”

50. marisacat - 6 December 2008

semiofficial counter-insurgency network whose members are usually drawn from among former militants.

extended excursion into cluster headaches trying to sort out Mumbai.

51. Hair Club for Men - 6 December 2008

well… as I said Latinos come in all stripes. From blondes named Soto all the way to …. but in CA we have masses of Mexican, Central American, mestizos… plenty of Salvadorans and Colombians, etc., who do look “Latino”. Look So or Central American Indian… Peruvians who wear classic Andean clothing and speak in dialect..

Interestingly enough, the Hannity/O’Reilly crowd is trying to mobilize assimilated Latinos against “illegal” immigrants but they never quite try to break Latinos down into their discrete groups and mobilize them against one another.

And Hannity’s fanclub isn’t getting it. They still see blacks and “hispanics” as a unified political block.


Bush will not pardon Campeán and Rámos. And neither will Obama. To pardon them would lead to outrage and civil unrest amongst the nation’s Hispanic and black communities, not to mention a souring of diplomatic relations with Mexico.

Campean and Ramos must resign themselves to being political prisoners.

There’s actually a very powerful anti-immigrant streak in the African American community.

(allowing for the fact that there are Latinos who are also African Americans)

And this is fascinating

The only people Obama will pardon are ACORN animals and his own predators — and anyone with the cash to bribe the Emperor of Swine, of course — just like Clinton pardoned that KKK animal, David Duke, allowing him back to reform the KKK and disguise it as the CCC, pardoned the Food for Oil Swine Lord, too. But tortured the three FBI agents who tried to stop Atta and Swine from turning planes into WMDs.

He did?

52. marisacat - 6 December 2008

There’s actually a very powerful anti-immigrant streak in the African American community.

yeah quite true.

I don’t think Hannity is quite as clueless as he plays it. The divisions, in all directions, are well known…

53. Hair Club for Men - 6 December 2008

Reading that Hannity thread just highlights in some ways how much of a spent force the Rush Limbaugh right is.

I don’t quite know how to phrase it but it almost feels as if liberals in the 2008 presidential campaign were fighting the last war (we were all on the lookout for Soviet ICBMs when 19 religious fanatics with box cutters were strolling through security).

It’s not as if Obama beat the Southern Strategy (and Limbaugh and Hannity really depend on the political climate framed by the Southern Strategy) so much as his victory revealed that the Southern Strategy was rotten inside. One good kick brought down the whole rotten structure.

Northern Virginia, Raleigh Durham, Nassau, North Jersey, all of these places are now too ethnically and economically diverse for the Republicans to run using the old racist dog whistle. The hard right can no longer depend on a solid south and a few places in the North to put them over the top. They’re no longer competitive in the North and the Democrats are now competitive in the upper South.

The Southern Strategy worked partly for Hillary in the spring for two reasons. She was politically indistinguishable from Obama on the issues. And she was concentrating her fire in a few primaries in Appalachia. Once McCain tried to use a much clumsier version of the Southern Strategy in the whole country, he got creamed.

I’m assuming the Democrats will try to set the dead Southern Strategy up on a horse like El Cid and try to run against it the same way as they always have. But I think any political strategy from this point forward just has to assume that the hard right is dead and Clintonism is the overwhelmingly powerful mainstream.

54. Madman in the Marketplace - 6 December 2008
55. marisacat - 6 December 2008

It’s Blodget but he has a piece on the housing bubble… and whatever else in The Atlantic.

By the spring of 2007, we’ve finally caught up to the market reality, and our luck finally changes: We make an instant, aggressive bid on a huge house, with almost no money down. And we get it! We’re finally members of the ownership society.

You know the rest. Eighteen months later, our down payment has been wiped out and we owe more on the house than it’s worth. We’re still able to make the payments, but our mortgage rate is about to reset. And we’ve already heard rumors about coming layoffs at our jobs. How on Earth did we get into this mess?

Supposedly Henry got into a subprime or less than straight forward mortgage. eh.

56. marisacat - 6 December 2008

Ninth circuit is us… thanks… I had not heard taht… off to read.

57. Madman in the Marketplace - 6 December 2008

Washington Atheists’ Sign Stolen From Capitol

I am assuming that it must have been stolen by an atheist since a Christian would never break one of their own Commandments.


58. marisacat - 6 December 2008

I love it. Obama just got a kick in the pants. It linked ot the SF Chron… off to read again.

…yesterday’s decision not to rehear the case could give President-elect Obama an opportunity to repeal the policy, which he opposed during his campaign. The Air Force now has 90 days to appeal to the Supreme Court or let the decision become settled law within the states that make up the Ninth Circuit. Even if the Bush administration appeals the decision, the case most likely would not be heard until Barack Obama takes office, giving him an opportunity to withdraw the appeal. We’ll be sure to keep you posted on any developments in this exciting case.

59. Madman in the Marketplace - 6 December 2008

Susan Rice is Bad News for Africa

Barack Obama’s nominee for United Nations Ambassador is a very aggressive woman – militarily speaking. Susan Rice is “more bellicose” than George Bush when it comes to threatening Sudan over the plight of the people of Darfur, “while simultaneously backing a savage U.S.-Ethiopian assault that causes an even larger humanitarian calamity in Somalia.” One is forced to conclude that “Susan Rice’s brand of ‘humanitarian intervention’ is a farce, a pretext to justify military aggression under the guise of preventing human suffering.”

60. marisacat - 6 December 2008

From the SF Chron:

[I]n an April 2008 interview with the Advocate, a gay publication, Obama said there was “increasing recognition within the armed forces that this (policy) is a counterproductive strategy.”

He added that the nation is spending “large sums of money to kick highly qualified gays or lesbians out of our military, some of whom possess specialties like Arab-language capabilities that we desperately need.”

Obama would need congressional action to repeal the policy. But he could move in that direction on his own by deciding not to appeal the Ninth Circuit ruling, which could encourage challenges to “don’t ask, don’t tell” elsewhere. Other circuits have upheld the policy, but only one, the First Circuit in Boston, has done so since the 2003 Supreme Court ruling.

“It seems to me that Obama would want to have Congress on board, but … the timing may not be ideal,” said Carl Tobias, a University of Richmond law professor. Allowing the Ninth Circuit ruling to stand, he said, would be a cautious step toward repeal.

Brooke Anderson, a spokeswoman for Obama’s transition team, declined to comment. Justice Department spokesman Charles Miller said the department was reviewing the ruling.

James Lobsenz, a lawyer for the discharged officer in the case, said he wouldn’t be surprised if the Obama administration asks for an extension of the 90-day deadline to give Congress time to change the law.

Lobsenz’s client, Maj. Margaret Witt of Spokane, a decorated flight nurse, was suspended without pay in 2004 and discharged in 2007 – two years short of the 20 years she needed for retirement benefits – after the Air Force learned of her longtime relationship with a civilian woman.

In its May 21 ruling, the appeals court said the Supreme Court’s 2003 decision on gay sex meant that a court can no longer accept the government’s claim that all openly gay service members weaken the armed forces.

Although the ruling left “don’t ask, don’t tell” in place, Lobsenz said it would allow opponents to “unmask the lie” behind the policy.

61. Madman in the Marketplace - 6 December 2008
62. Madman in the Marketplace - 6 December 2008

60 – so he can do something good by doing nothing, which sounds perfect for his skill set.

63. marisacat - 6 December 2008

So sweet… RS weighs in on Prop 8. They get some and they miss some, IMO

As terrible as the no on prop 8 campaign did on the ground, it did even worse on the air.

Until the final days, the campaign failed to take advantage of the backing of every major newspaper in the state, as well as that of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, former President Bill Clinton and future President Barack Obama. In one bizarre episode, an outside consultant was forced to “jackhammer” the campaign leadership simply to convince them to make use of a robo-call from Bill Clinton. The campaign also rejected a Spanish-language ad featuring Dolores Huerta, a heroine of the United Farm Workers union.

NO on 8 did not make use of Obama quotes til days after YES was using them.

And they blithely repeat this which has been discredited. Not that RS is worth much politically anymore. fellatio ad nauseum

When African-Americans in California went to the polls on Election Day, 70 percent of them voted to ban gay marriage.

64. marisacat - 6 December 2008

What a hoot! 🙄



“The new Congress will reassert its constitutional independence from the White House by barring the vice president from joining in internal Senate deliberations, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said in an interview with The Sun. The move is intended to restore checks and balances to a system that tilted heavily toward the White House in the Bush presidency. By giving Vice President Dick Cheney regular access to Senate Republican caucuses, at times with White House advisers in tow, party unity became more important to many Republicans than upholding their responsibilities to provide legislative oversight of the executive, experts say. Asked if Vice-President Joe Biden will be allowed to attend Senate Democratic caucus meetings, Reid said: ‘Absolutely not.'” Must credit Las Vegas Sun. Full story 2 a.m. Sunday at http://www.lasvegassun.com/

65. Madman in the Marketplace - 6 December 2008
66. Madman in the Marketplace - 6 December 2008
67. Madman in the Marketplace - 6 December 2008

The Rotting, City-Sized Pile of Texan Waste

SMITH POINT — A 30-mile scar of debris along the Texas coast stands as a festering testament to what state and local officials say is FEMA’s sluggish response to the 2008 hurricane season. (((Okay, great, blame the feds, but what about the next storm surge?)))

Two and a half months after Hurricane Ike blasted the shoreline, alligators and snakes crawl over vast piles of shattered building materials, lawn furniture, trees, boats, tanks of butane and other hazardous substances, thousands of animal carcasses, and perhaps even the corpses of people killed by the storm. (((Can anyone wonder why I blogged this?)))

State and local officials complain that the removal of the filth has gone almost nowhere because FEMA red tape has held up the cleanup work and the release of the millions of dollars that Chambers County says it needs to pay for the project.

Elsewhere along the coast, similar complaints are heard: The Federal Emergency Management Agency has been slow to reimburse local governments for what they have already spent, putting the rural counties on the brink of financial collapse.

68. Madman in the Marketplace - 6 December 2008
69. Madman in the Marketplace - 6 December 2008

Idled workers occupy factory in Chicago

CHICAGO – Workers laid off from their jobs at a factory have occupied the building and are demanding assurances they’ll get severance and vacation pay that they say they are owed.

About 200 employees of Republic Windows and Doors began their sit-in Friday, the last scheduled day of the plant’s operation. On Saturday, about 50 workers could be seen through a window sitting on chairs and pallets on the factory floor. Reporters were asked to stay out of the plant’s work area.

“We’re going to stay here until we win justice,” said Blanca Funes, 55, of Chicago, after occupying the building for several hours. Speaking in Spanish, Funes said she fears losing her home without the wages she feels she’s owed. A 13-year employee of Republic, she estimated her family can make do for three months without her paycheck. Most of the factory’s workers are Hispanic.

Leah Fried, an organizer with the United Electrical Workers, said the Chicago-based vinyl window manufacturer failed to give 60 days’ notice required by law before shutting down.

Workers also were angered when company officials didn’t show up for a meeting Friday that had been arranged by U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez, a Chicago Democrat, Fried said.

During the peaceful takeover, workers have been shoveling snow and cleaning the building, Fried said.

“We’re doing something we haven’t since the 1930s, so we’re trying to make it work,” Fried said.

70. Madman in the Marketplace - 6 December 2008

Nepotistic succession in the political class

There are numerous factors that account for this artistocratization of our politics. Viewing political officials through the combined prism of royalty and celebrity naturally generates interest in, and affection for, their family members. The same deeply sad mentality that makes it worthwhile for celebrity magazines to pay many millions of dollars for celebrities’ baby photos is part of what makes so many people eager to vote for the sons, wives, and brothers of their favorite political star. Independently, a rapid worsening of America’s rich-poor gap stratifies the society in terms of opportunities and access and breeds a merit-deprived aristocratic culture.

Beyond that, the massive structural advantages of incumbency easily allow resources and other favors to be heaped on chosen family members for succession, and for loyalties and affections to be transferred for no reason other than family connection. Then there is the large number of uninformed voters — working in tandem with our vapid, gossip-obsessed political media — that place a huge premium on family name recognition and even generates some voter confusion that further aids family succession (how many voters who cast a ballot for Bob Casey and John Sununu in their Senate races — or elected Harold Ford, Dan Boren, Connie Mack and Bill Schuster to the House — mistakenly thought they were voting for their elected-official dads who had the same or very similar names?).

Family succession is hardly unheard of in U.S. political history, but what was once quite rare has now become pervasive. As The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank put it in 2005:

With at least 18 senators, dozens of House members and several administration officials boosted by family legacies, modern-day Washington sometimes resembles the court of Louis XIV without the powdered wigs.

71. marisacat - 6 December 2008

During the peaceful takeover, workers have been shoveling snow and cleaning the building, Fried said.

“We’re doing something we haven’t since the 1930s, so we’re trying to make it work,” Fried said.

I was just reading about this strike or sit in… over at Politico in the Mike Allen playbook. Gives me hope.

72. Madman in the Marketplace - 6 December 2008

Israeli “Auto Kill Zone” Towers Locked and Loaded

The Sentry Tech towers are basically remote weapons stations, stuck on stop of silos. “As suspected hostile targets are detected and within range of Sentry-Tech positions, the weapons are slewing toward the designated target,” David Eshel describes over at Ares. “As multiple stations can be operated by a single operator, one or more units can be used to engage the target, following identification and verification by the commander.”

We flagged the towers last year, as the Israeli Defense Forces were setting up the systems, designed to create 1500-meter deep “automated kill zones” along the Gaza border.

“Each unit mounts a 7.62 or 0.5″ machine gun, shielded from enemy fire and the elements by an environmentally protective bulletproof canopy,” Eshel explains. “In addition to the use of direct fire machine guns, observers can also employ precision guided missiles, such as Spike LR optically guided missiles and Lahat laser guided weapons.”

73. Madman in the Marketplace - 6 December 2008
74. Madman in the Marketplace - 6 December 2008
75. marisacat - 6 December 2008

“Each unit mounts a 7.62 or 0.5″ machine gun, shielded from enemy fire and the elements by an environmentally protective bulletproof canopy,” Eshel explains. “In addition to the use of direct fire machine guns, observers can also employ precision guided missiles, such as Spike LR optically guided missiles and Lahat laser guided weapons.”

And nobody should miss that is what many want for the S border. As if these congressional delegations that constantly go to Israel are not given the full tour… and LOVE it.

76. Madman in the Marketplace - 6 December 2008

I know some lily white suburbs that would love those towers to keep out “them”.

Just found this through Pharyngula: Strange Catalonian tradition

77. Madman in the Marketplace - 6 December 2008
78. marisacat - 6 December 2008

FP of the Wapo:

Shinseki Slated to Head VA, Democratic Source Says

Updated 6:34 p.m.
By Philip Rucker and Thomas E. Ricks

Retired Army Gen. Eric K. Shinseki will be introduced tomorrow as President-elect Barack Obama’s nominee to head the Department of Veterans Affairs, a Democratic official familiar with the announcement said today.

Shinseki, a 38-year veteran, is best known for his four years as Army chief of staff, and in particular his response to congressional questioning in February 2003 about troop levels necessary to protect a presumed military victory in Iraq. […]

The politics around the planned nomination are intriguing. Shinseki has maintained a near-total silence since leaving the Pentagon. However, earlier this year, a letter he wrote to Rumsfeld in June 2003 leaked. In it, Shinseki criticized Rumsfeld for not letting the Joint Chiefs of Staff “express their best military judgment as often as they should.” He also said that the way Rumsfeld and other top civilian officials ran meetings was “unhelpful.”

Also, there long has been speculation inside the Army that Shinseki, who was severely wounded in Vietnam, is interested in running for the Senate when Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), an 84-year-old World War II veteran, decides to retire.

Shinseki, a 66-year-old native of Kauai, told the Associated Press in 2005, “I intend to move back to Hawaii. It’s just a question of when.”

Since retiring from the Army, he has joined the boards of Honeywell International and Ducommun, both companies focused on military contracting. He also is on the board of the Hawaiian companies Grove Farm Corp. and First Hawaiian Bank.

79. Madman in the Marketplace - 6 December 2008

Obama’s economic team is missing the one guy who’s been right all along.

This is not speculation. A source close to Stiglitz told me Thursday that the Columbia University economist has been left out in the cold, even though he was expecting at least an offer. (Stiglitz, traveling in Brazil, could not be reached.) Especially since Stiglitz supported Obama long before most of the others named to his cabinet (at a time when Summers was a key advisor to Hillary Clinton). “Who knows why? Obama has been choosing center-right people,” said the source, an associate of Stiglitz’s who would speak only on condition of anonymity. She went on to say that Stiglitz’s long-time enmity with Summers—whose ideas, Obama said last week, “will be the foundation of all my economic policies”—may be a factor. “Larry’s had it in for Joe for decades,” she said.

No surprise there. Stiglitz, more than anyone on the Washington scene, was the biggest fly in the ointment of “free-market fundamentalism” pressed on the world in the ’90s by Summers, Geithner and their mentor, former Treasury secretary Robert Rubin—advice that has now contributed to the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. It’s not just that Stiglitz’s Nobel-winning work, building on John Maynard Keynes’s insights, uncovered profound fallacies in the Reagan-era idea that markets, especially in finance, can always correct themselves (good call, Nobel committee). In his writings and speeches since serving as chairman of Bill Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisors and then chief economist of the World Bank, Stiglitz has been the leading voice opposed to the mindless liberalization of capital flows that brought us to where we are today.

In a spate of books, essays and speeches dating from the early ’90s, Stiglitz denounced Rubin’s support for repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act, which separated commercial from investment banking for precisely the reasons we are now witnessing on Wall Street: new “full-service” banks would seek to hype companies that their stock-market side underwrote and issue loans to them even if they were not credit-worthy. “The ideas behind Glass-Steagall went back even further [than the 1929 crash] to Teddy Roosevelt and his efforts to break up the big trusts,” he wrote presciently in “The Roaring Nineties” (2003). “When enterprises become too big, and interconnections too tight, there is a risk that the quality of economic decisions deteriorates, and the ‘too big to fail’ problem rears its ugly head.” Unfortunately, Stiglitz wrote, his worries “were quickly shunted aside”‘ by the Clinton Treasury team. Earlier, in his book “Globalization and its Discontents” (2002), Stiglitz became the most prominent voice in Washington to say plainly that free-market absolutism, which began with the Reagan revolution and continued under Clinton (who upon being elected declared the era of “big government” was over), was ill-founded theoretically and disastrous practically. “In 1997 the IMF decided to change its charter to push capital market liberalization,” he wrote. “And I said, where is the evidence this is going to be good for developing countries? Why haven’t you produced some research showing it was going to be good? They said: we don’t need research; we know it’s true. They didn’t say it in precisely those words, but clearly they took it as religion.”

80. marisacat - 6 December 2008

I’d say this sums it up… plus, Obama rewards competitors not helpers. Plus Stiglitz is too whatever it is that Ob does not want. Not center right enough.

Especially since Stiglitz supported Obama long before most of the others named to his cabinet (at a time when Summers was a key advisor to Hillary Clinton). “Who knows why? Obama has been choosing center-right people,” said the source, an associate of Stiglitz’s who would speak only on condition of anonymity. She went on to say that Stiglitz’s long-time enmity with Summers—whose ideas, Obama said last week, “[Summers] will be the foundation of all my economic policies”—may be a factor. “Larry’s had it in for Joe for decades,” she said.

So we get LS. All i can say is ugh. I can smell the retread tires burning now.

81. marisacat - 6 December 2008

All you have to do is fill in the blanks… thus and so will not be so easy to do. it is old already.

This time it is torture.


82. Hair Club for Men - 6 December 2008

This is why mocking some of Obama’s more enthusiastic rank and file supporters seems like such a waste of time.

specially since Stiglitz supported Obama long before most of the others named to his cabinet (at a time when Summers was a key advisor to Hillary Clinton). I’d say this sums it up… plus, Obama rewards competitors not helpers. Plus Stiglitz is too whatever it is that Ob does not want. Not center right enough.

Sure Chris Floyd might be smarter than some of Obama’s supporters.

But is he smarter than Stiglitz is?

What allowed Stiglitz to fool himself into supporting Obama if it was inevitable that he’d get screwed like this?

And Summer’s is the most grotesque pick imaginable. Here’s a guy who wrote that we should dump more toxic waste in the third world and who drove Cornell West out of Harvard and who made crude generalizations about women while he was the president of Harvard.

He represents everything that’s gone wrong in the past 20 years every bit as much as Rumsfeld does.

I thought that at least maybe Obama WOULD put people like Stiglitz and Paul Krugman and at least WOULD draw on some of the less neoconish foreign policy establishment.

Bzzzt. I was fooled.

83. Hair Club for Men - 6 December 2008

One thing I’ve noticed about Democracy Now.

They’ve gotten into the habit of setting up debates between leftish Obama supporters and some harsh leftish Obama critics (Steve Clemons vs. Robert Dreyfus, Robert Kuttner vs. Michael Hudson).

But since Obama’s left supporters have been very deliberately shut out of Obama’s transition team, do these people really speak for Obama?

What are Amy Goodman’s odds of scoring an interview with Rahm Emanuel or Larry Summers or Hillary Clinton?

84. marisacat - 6 December 2008

LOL I didn’t vote for the guy did not believe his spew, I thought it was self evident LYING. All one had to do was read his words. The religious shit alone was enough of a turn off. What a con.

Quite a few senior law and economics were drawn in..for one I am sure that privately or in small conferences Obama promised them and dealt with them in ways they felt he was, or might be, a breakthru. Cherminisky (argued the three strikes law in front of the SCOTUS), Cruz Reynoso (recalled from the CA SC for being opposed ot the death penalty) are two I can mention from CA.

Krugman is just a Dem party mouthpiece (imo) sad to say. A few years ago I thought he might be a departure when he joined the opionion page, esp as a sub speciality of his was “boom and bust cycles”.

What a disapointment. But he was that very quickly.

Perhaps Ob can send them all flowers, the unpicked dance partners.. He mostly made rank picks for bidness as usual.
Maybe a little hope iwth Shinseki.

It’s a shame but no srurpise… so frankly I will mock whom I please. Esp since I was called a racist so damned much. And a few other things.

85. Hair Club for Men - 6 December 2008

<i.Krugman is just a Dem party mouthpiece (imo) sad to say. A few years ago I thought he might be a departure when he joined the opionion page, esp as a sub speciality of his was “boom and bust cycles”.

It’s interesting that some Clinton supporters back in the Spring were arguing that Hillary was to the left of Obama on health care and a few other economic issues.

I wonder if Krugman would have got the treasury secretary job had she won the nomination or if it would have also been Summers or Rubin or Geitner?

86. Hair Club for Men - 6 December 2008

Of course since Obama has said that he’s the “decider” (“the change comes from me”) I wonder if there’s going to be any excuse making on the liberal blogs when things start going sour.

Oh that’s not Obama. That’s Larry Summers.

Oh that wasn’t Obama It was Hillary Clinton.

Or actually I should say “how much of this excuse making” because some of it is obviously going to happen.

87. marisacat - 6 December 2008

Anyone needs a laugh, MJS over at SMBIVA on the dynastic aspects before us.

88. marisacat - 6 December 2008

His modus operandi has been to be on the move. Goes way back. Or divided loyalites… you should have caught some of MO’s highly personal early stump whines before they boxed her up to Muther of The Children and heavily scripted her.

It may be harder as pretzel. hard to say.

89. wu ming - 6 December 2008

that’s what is so irritating about the “team of rivals” shtick. a bunch of people from one side of an argument?

90. Madman in the Marketplace - 6 December 2008

What are Amy Goodman’s odds of scoring an interview with Rahm Emanuel or Larry Summers or Hillary Clinton?

None, and frankly the toadies who have been shut out deserve some slapping around.

91. Hair Club for Men - 6 December 2008

that’s what is so irritating about the “team of rivals” shtick. a bunch of people from one side of an argument?

It’s not really accurate anyway to say that Hillary Clinton is Obama’s “rival” since she was arguably Obamas most important supporter after the convention in August.

Alexander Cockburn has a column today mocking Obama’s left supporters. But he forgets to add that he was pushing the idea that Hillary was planning to sink Obama in 2008 so she could run in 2012. It turns out that was just a silly variation on the “Clintons are evil” argument and this in a sense made Cockburn an Obama supporter in spite of himself. If the Clintons were evil, then why not vote for Obama?

I don’t know if Obama was ever planning to give Stiglitz a job. But if you had to chose between Stiglitz and Hillary Clinton as a a supporter, you’d obviously choose Hillary since she obviously has a lot more political clout than he does. Stiglitz couldn’t have sunk Obama this year. The Clintons could have.

92. marisacat - 6 December 2008

I don’t see what Clinton and Stiglitz have to do with one antoher. Esp with Ob’s precious rare and blessed mixed race DNA that he, and various of his prime meat top supporters promised us would heal the whirled.

I mean iether he is president or he is not. My feel long ago was that he is an order taker, front man – biggest clue was that he had no personal pwer, none built up, what he had a a CON. A scam. Sweet talker…. all that gibberish about “change comes from me” which yes indeedy was BUSHITE, pure and simple.

The connect is that neither is the decider.. so they have to say they are.

I could nto believe the slop they handed out the past months to sell his ass to us. The NEW slop is the stuff like “team of rivals” which has been debunked by more than one historian. But then consider the source… Leftovers from New Frontiersmen. whatshername. Just selling books.

Sorry but I ma really disgusted.

93. Hair Club for Men - 6 December 2008

Well what was the alternative to Obama?


Nader decided not to support Cynthia McKinney after she got the Green nomination. There was no organization at all on the third party front.I actually jumped on the PATH to go to a third party candides’ forum up at Columbia and they didn’t pull it off. Bob Barr refused to be on the same stage as McKinney (who, unlike Rahm Emanuel, is held responsible for what her father says). McKinney said she couldn’t show. I think Nader might have been planning to show up then cancelled at the last minute.

Ron Paul did a pretty effective job of threatening a split in the Republican party had the attack on Iran gone ahead (and I’ve gone to a few of those “Stop the Fed” rallies and discovered his supporters are all pretty silly people). But this wouldn’t have continued had McCain won. McCain’s win would have solidified the Republican party and indicated that the attack on Iran could have gone ahead.

It might go ahead with Obama but his winning at least leaves some ambiguity. Yes, Obama will shut his anti-war supporters out but, from the perspective of someone in the ruling class, you still have the image of a lot of people voting for an anti-war candidate (even if he did turn out to be fake).

The idea that Obama will be able to push through a pro-war agenda McCain couldn’t is just wrong. The Democrats opposed nothing Bush did in the past two years. What’s to think that they wouldn’t have rolled over for McCain too?

So, on balance, I think his beating McCain was a good thing. Had he lost by a hair’s breadth, the Obama 2012 campaign would have started the day after election night. This way he’s out of the way.

And the Democrats are unambiguously in charge of the state now.

And if (when?) Obama appoints a lame centrist (or even a conservative) to take Stevens’ place on the court, then that puts the Supreme Court argument to rest too.

94. Madman in the Marketplace - 6 December 2008

Well what was the alternative to Obama?

I am beyond sick of that fucking question. There is no alternative. that’s the point.

95. Hair Club for Men - 6 December 2008

I am beyond sick of that fucking question. There is no alternative. that’s the point.

With the assumption being that Obama’s campaign somehow prevented his opponents from organizing one.

And they’e explicit about this.

At the “Stop Me Before I Vote Again” weblog, they compare “the left” to a litttle cabin cruiser that got into the wake of Obama’s supertanker.

But then they turn around and argue that Obama’s supporters were never leftists at all and were just looking for a cheap excuse to do something easy and painless.

(I think the second argument is more accurate)

But the ground is open now. The Republicans are no longer a distraction. Sure the Democrats (and people like Olbermann in the media) can run on fear of Sarah Palin or fear of not having 60 seats in the Senate, but after awhile, it just looks silly.

96. marisacat - 6 December 2008

He wasn’t an “anti war” candidate. And the people minding his pram KNEW that. All he had to do was con the willing. It doesn’t MATTER that fools thought he is anti war. It is immaterial. There will never be a anti war candidate.

Matters about as much as the poor mattered to Edwards. He was on a ride. And how.

97. Hair Club for Men - 6 December 2008

Just to add to that, the “anti-Globalization movement” developed while Bill Clinton was in office and was snuffed out under Bush.

There’s no reason to think there won’t be a rerun of the whole process of disillusionment with Bill Clinton under Obama.

Bill Clinton was basically the Obama of his generation. He was cool. He played the sax. He used a Fleetwood Mac song. He wa the first baby boomer to be president. Yada. Yada.

Would the Republicans have been able to break up Yugoslavia in 1999 had Clinton lost? I’m pretty sure they would have.

98. Hair Club for Men - 6 December 2008

Just to add to that, the “liberal inverventionists” who apologized for breaking up Yugoslavia in the 1990s, would they have opposed it under a President Dole?

That’s wild speculation obviously.

99. Madman in the Marketplace - 6 December 2008

With the assumption being that Obama’s campaign somehow prevented his opponents from organizing one.

No, it’s not that, it’s that American society is incapable of actually producing one. We’re too broken a society, too turned against each other. It always seemed to me that SMBIVA is making fun of “the left’s” delusions that they are a movement.

100. Hair Club for Men - 6 December 2008

We’re too broken a society, too turned against each other. It always seemed to me that SMBIVA is making fun of “the left’s” delusions that they are a movement.

Agreed. The embittered sniping comes from despair. If you know you can’t do anything, you’d might as well just mock.

And there is no left and there is no anti-war movement.

BUT, I’d argue that the illusion that there was in 2002 and 2003 came not only from “pwogs”.

Lenin at Lenin’s Tomb, for example, and the SWP are massive supporters of the myth that the “Stop the War” movement was anything more than a liberal “Anything But Bush” movement.

Go to the SWP’s Marxist School site. Lots of free downloads and most of them are pretty good. But they do push the idea that there was a “movement” in the USA and Britain, as do a lot of people on the harder left in the USA.

101. marisacat - 6 December 2008

Where did they apologise for breaking up the the former Yugolsavia. For one thing that was The Plan. Long time plan, to break up the countries that circle “old Europe”.. to split Europe if they could. Look at the map of who supported us in Iraq. They encircle France and Germany. Rumsfeld was not just sneering.

All they do is whine [fake apology] about Rwanda so they can swoop in on Africa when they want to.

102. marisacat - 6 December 2008

Sorry [not really] I enjoy mocking. Won’t be stopping either.

103. Hair Club for Men - 6 December 2008

All they do is whine [fake apology] about Rwanda so they can swoop in on Africa when they want to.

There’s actually the more sinister argument that the Clinton Administration triggered the genocide, that they backed Paul Kagame and the RPF and that the CIA was at least partly behind the shooting down of Juvénal Habyarimana and Cyprien Ntaryamira’s plane.

I don’t know if I totally buy this but a lot of it MIGHT be coming out now that the French have arrested Rose Kabuye.

104. Hair Club for Men - 6 December 2008

Sorry [not really] I enjoy mocking. Won’t be stopping either.

I wonder if David Letterman, Jon Stewart, and Jay Leno are going to join you.

Or if they’re going to spend the next four years telling Sarah Palin wardrobe jokes.

105. Hair Club for Men - 6 December 2008

More on Rwanda.

Steve Kinzer (who wrote pretty good books on Iran and on Guatemala) has a book shilling for Paul Kagame and the RPF.

The New York Times has an interesting recent article (December 3 by Jeffrey Gettelman) admitting that Rwanda and Kagame are at least partly behind the war in Congo.

But they also have a pretty grotesque comparison.

Rwanda is tiny, tough and intensely patriotic. Like Israel, it is a postgenocidal state, built on an ethos of self-sacrifice. Its national motto is Never Again.

The alternative to Kinzer’s argument and the mainstream goes pretty much like this:

1.) There was a conflict in the region between the French and the Anglo Saxon powers.

2.) The US and Britain were backing Paul Kagame.

3.) The CIA shot down Habyarimana and Ntaryamira’s plane or that Kagame did and that the CIA (and Clinton) knew about it.

4.) Like Bush’s triggering the Civil War in Iraq, the Clinton administration is responsible for the genocide since PauL Kagame is their client and they set up the circumstances where he could come to power.

5.) The overall goal it to control Congo’s natural resources with Rwanda as their Israel in the region.

106. marisacat - 6 December 2008

Well Israel is our partner in Africa. IMO.

They were there in some of the jungles in So America.

I don’t care what tired comedians do…I intend to do as I have done, say what I think… as I said, I was called a racist and a few other things. Peeder erased a lot of what was said there, but not all… and Palin was clearly the dodge. Democrats always need a hate object. In a pinch it will be La Nan, they have already gotten the BlogSnots hooked on hating her (and who cares)… and some are def polishing the knob for Rangel. I hope he falls.

Too hard to make fun of the Black Reagan. And Hillary will be less fun now too.

107. marisacat - 6 December 2008

Rwanda has been dealt wtih here, as well. Esp from Arcturus links…

108. Hair Club for Men - 6 December 2008

It’s interesting to think about what would happen if Rose Kabuye’s trial uncovers any kind of interesting dirt on Clinton.

I don’t think the French have any reason to cover up for the Clinton administration (although I guess Hillary now has some ability to lean on them).

But the paradigm of seeing the Rwandan genocide as something “liberal interventionism” could have stopped is so embedded into our consciousness, I doubt the news would have any effect at all.

If you look at the languge of the Guardian article, the standard view of Rwanda is completely embedded in it.


Rose Kabuye, Kagame’s chief of protocol and a former officer in the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), which ended the killing of about 800,000 Tutsis by Hutu extremists, was arrested at a German airport on a French warrant on Sunday.

It strikes me that 19 guys flying planes into building can be “extremists” but if you can kill 800,000 people with machetes, you pretty much have to have mass support to do it.

But “extremists” or “violent extremists” (what was the Rumsfeld term again) can be stopped with some sort of UN invervention.

109. marisacat - 6 December 2008

neue post…


…………….. 😯 ………………

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