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The mouse and the leopard 4 June 2009

Posted by marisacat in 2010 Mid Terms, Afghanistan War, Culture of Death, DC Politics, Egypt, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Iran, Iraq War, Israel/AIPAC, Riyadh, SCOTUS, Sex / Reproductive Health, WAR!.

A mouse steals food from under the nose of a leopard at the Santago Rare Leopard Project in Hertfordshire. [CASEY GUTTERIDGE / SOLENT]

From the Telegraph:

Instead of pouncing on the the mouse, the 12-year-old African leopard, called Sheena, simply watched as it fed on scraps of meat thrown into its enclosure.

At one stage she tried to nudge the mouse away with her nose, but the mouse carried on eating regardless.

“I have no idea where the mouse came from – he just appeared in the enclosure after the keeper had dropped in the meat for the leopard.

“He didn’t take any notice of the leopard, just went straight over to the meat and started feeding himself. But the leopard was pretty surprised – she bent down and sniffed the mouse and flinched a bit like she was scared.

“In the meantime the mouse just carried on eating like nothing had happened.

“It was amazing, even the keeper who had thrown the meat into the enclosure was shocked – he said he’d never seen anything like it before.”  snip


As for Ob

From royal horse farm to the Sphinx to Dresden to landstuhl to Buchenwald to D Day beaches to Paris in 4 days.  Watch him streak by and speak — all at once.  Brilliant!

Angry Arab pounded this out at his site (I am stealing the whole)… in one long push.  I put in paragraph breaks…

Obama Speech: Part Vapid and Part Sinister

I did not expect much. I mean, you know the routine by now.

When presidents change, they merely change the Zionist Middle East “expert” at the White House who guides the president. Something happened in Middle East policy making in the White House in the Reagan administration. They no more trusted a real Middle East expert to guide policy making (this is party the obituary of the Arabists in Robert Kaplan’s book by that name). You no more had a William Quandt at the White House: somebody who is a trained Middle East scholar who is truly balanced in his views of the Middle East.

By the Reagan administration, that was killed. Reagan’s White House had Geoffrey Kemp (who is now at the Nixon Center) and it went down hill from there. I met Kemp a few times and he is a nice guy but he is no William Quandt. Kemp looked at the Middle East from the standpoint of Cold War calculations and from the standpoint of what is best for American-Israeli relations. The George H.W. Bush’s White House had Richard Haas he was no expert on the Middle East.

Clinton selected Martin Indyk and that set the stage for the appointment of Zionist activists (with no Middle East expertise like Elliott Abrams) to take over Middle East policy making. This coincided–what a coincidence–with the change in Middle East programs at Washington, DC thank tanks. I mean, when I first came to the city, you could find non-Zionists at DC-based think tanks, including at the American Enterprise Institute.

It is ironic that the political culture of the capital became more Zionist after the end of the Cold War when much of the support for Israel and its aggression was predicated–according to advocates–on Cold War arguments. So you can argue that Bill Clinton established a precedent of hiring (non-American) Zionist lobbyists/activists as Middle East advisers.

So when I woke up and read the transcript of the speech I started thinking about the process of drafting the speech. It was compiled together from various different elements that were contained in speeches of US presidents before, including speeches by none other than George W. Bush.

He begins the speech by attributing the reasons for Muslim hostility to the West to colonialism, Cold War and then modernity–kid you not.

By the introduction, I knew that he is and will be missing the point.

And his talk about Muslim dignity and the lack of incompatibility between Islam and human rights have been contained in speeches–many of them indeed–by George W. Bush. And these quotations from the Qur’an are really old: they started with Jimmy Carter and in order to justify US support for Camp David. Remember that this began even earlier in the declaration to the Egyptian people by Napoleon’s expedition (and at least he had at his disposal real Orientalist, Silvestre de Sacy, and not Jeffrey Feltman or Daniel Shapiro: and there is very little on the latter. He works as the Middle East expert at the National Security Council of Obama’s White House. He did not study the Middle East and worked on the staff of various Zionist members of congress including Diane Feinstein. His resume include bragging about his work on the hill: he spearheaded work to ban Al-Manar from the US and to push for the Syria Accountability Act, meaning he implemented orders from AIPAC–not more and no less).

Obama is not a man of courage: if he was politically courageous, he would have said that Al-Azhar under the rule of Nasser was a force of progressive thought, enlightenment, state feminism support, and quasi-secularism. Under American puppets, Sadat and Mubarak, Al-Azhar became a force of obscurantism, fanaticism, misogyny, religious intolerance, and violence. Al-Azhar does not deserve any praise whatsoever. The Copts, Freethinkers, and women all sufferes because of rulings from Al-Azhar. Ideas of Al-Qa`idah and religious fanaticism’s in general should be blamed on that obsolete institution which serves as a tool of the dictators in Egypt.

His reference to the early roots of Islam in America is so disingenuous: he has one bland quote from John Adams and leave out various expressions of bigotry against Muslims by founding fathers.

And he then condemns (unspecified) Western stereotypes of Muslims and then matches them with what he calls Muslim stereotypes of America as empire. But those two are not symmetrical: American stereotypes of Muslims are racist and essentialist, and the notion that the US is a war mongering Empire is shared by none Muslims and Muslims alike around the world. The literature about the US as Empire is written largely by Westerners.

So Obama is asking for a bargain: to end Western racism (but not wars) against Muslims, Muslims need to stop attacking US foreign policy and wars. This is chicanery–don’t you like those old fashioned words?

He talks about the US as a force of “progress.” How untrue for Obama’s audience: the US has consistently opposed forces of progress and advancement in the Middle East: in every conflict between an oil Sheikh or a polygamous prince against progressive socialists or Arab nationalist secularists, the US has always sided with the polygamous princes who have been in alliance with religious kooks and advocates of “holy wars.” Hell, he just came from Saudi Arabia where he praised the wisdom of the Saudi king and he wants to talk to me about “force of progress”? Maybe if you can bring up the issue of Wahhabi fanaticism I would believe you.

He said that his personal story as an African American (with an African Muslim name) who was elected president is not unique. Yes, it is: and it was not easy: and his name was mocked during his campaign, and he made his best to distance himself from anything Muslims.

So here, Obama is assuming that his Cairo audience are a bunch of idiots who did not follow his campaign and the reactions that it generated.

He adds that Muslims in America enjoy education and income above average Americans. Yes, that is true, and I hate when people say that: the reasons is due to the racist/cl assist rules for the immigrants from Muslims/Middle East countries: only those who high degrees are allowed into the country, while poor people from other countries are allowed. If you are in the Middle East, your chances of being allowed into the US are related to the high degrees you hold. He said that there are mosques in the US but does not mention that many communities fight tooth and nail against those mosques.

His references to Iraq and Afghanistan are largely apologetic: and he does not mention that his past critiques of the invasion of Iraq was asking to the criticisms of the Israeli occupation of West Bank and Gaza in Tikkun: that it is based on what is good or bad for Israel, and not for what it does to the victims.

He talks about Taliban and Al-Qa`idah’s killing of Muslims (and Muslims know that they have killed Muslims) but he does not mention that Bush administration and Obama administration have also been killing innocent Muslims: if anything, the rate of bombing from the air may have increased over Afghanistan under Obama: the advocate of the surge in Afghanistan versus Bush, the advocate of surge in Iraq. What a difference.

I was offended by his lecturing to Muslims about Jewish suffering: as if the audience is entirely anti-Semitic. There are anti-Semites in the US and he does not lecture to them. He spoke about the repugnant practice of Holocaust denial but did not mention that the literature is entirely Western in that regard.

And he then moves from a discussion of the Nazism to the Arab-Israeli conflict. What is his point here: that because of Nazi crimes, the Palestinians need to accommodate Zionist crimes on their lands? This is the most offensive section of course: he talks about the Palestinians without identifying who was doing those bad things to them. Look at this sentence: “have suffered in pursuit of a homeland. For more than sixty years they have endured the pain of dislocation.” So their suffering is due to their pursuit of a homeland: so they should stop the pursuit and the suffering will go away.

He then mention the “pain of dislocation.” What is that o Obama? Is that like a shoulder dislocation? He refers to Palestinian reference to “for Palestinians to point to the displacement brought by Israel’s founding” but never mentions Israeli wars, attacks, and invasions and yet he makes specific references to Palestinian violence thereby making it clear that adheres to White Man standards: that only Israeli lives matter. I mean, if you compare the killing and terrorism between the two sides, the Israeli side clearly comes out on top in terrorism, wars, and aggression.

He then lectures the Palestinians: “Resistance through violence and killing is wrong and does not succeed.” I read that and thought: wait. Did you not in the early part of the speech bragged about how the US fought (non-violently, I may add) against British Empire? I should lecture Obama here: why didn’t the US resort to non-violent resistance against the British Empire?

How could he speak about nuclear weapons without even mentioning the Israeli arsenal? That was another insult to the intelligence of the audience: maybe Jeffrey Feltman and Daniel Shapiro told him that Arabs don’t know that Israel has nuclear weapons. His words about democracy are just as empty as they were under Bush: he just returned from Saudi Arabia, for potato’s sake, and he has just refused to label Egyptian dictator as…autocrat.

One of the most offensive part of the speech was his reference to religious freedom: he concludes that section by praising the Saudi imitative for inter-faith dialogue. So Obama takes Wahhabi doctrine as the model for religious freedoms. I understand you, now Obama. I understand you very well.

PS There is much more to be said but I got bored and have to continue grading.

Posted by As’ad at 7:53 AM

I listened to it live this morning.. and caught the call-ins right after to a local program… 😆  first caller had a religious experience listening to it.  Lordy.

Another wanted school children to have to study this speech.  God in himmel.

We are so scrood, from within.

Another tidbit from Angry Arab:

Arab media–according to the Huffington Post

Read this article in the Huffington Post: every Arab media mentioned is funded by an Arab oil dynasty (or by Mubarak’s police state). Do you know how insulting it is to assume that the polygamous oil dynasties speak for Arab public opinion?

Posted by As’ad at 9:51 AM

Dissent is sewn up tight, pushed to an outdoor encampment, far down the road.


One last thing… oh this is such bad news

Atlanta – The U.S. Marine Corps is wooing public school districts across the country, expanding a network of military academies that has grown steadily despite criticism that it’s a recruiting ploy.

The Marines are talking with at least six districts – including in suburban Atlanta, New Orleans and Las Vegas – about opening schools where every student wears a uniform, participates in Junior ROTC and takes military classes, said Bill McHenry, who runs the Junior ROTC program for the Marines.

Those schools would be on top of more than a dozen public military academies that have already opened nationwide, a trend that’s picking up speed as the U.S. Department of Defense looks for ways to increase the number of units in Junior ROTC, which stands for Reserve Officers Training Corps.

“Many kids in our country don’t get a fair shake. Many kids live in war zones. Many kids who are bright and have so much potential and so much to offer, all they need to be given is a chance,” McHenry said. “If you look at stats, what we’re doing now isn’t working.”

Last year, Congress passed a defense policy bill that included a call for increasing the number of Junior ROTC units across the country from 3,400 to 3,700 in the next 11 years, an effort that will cost about $170 million, Defense Department spokeswoman Eileen M. Lainez said. The process will go faster by opening military academies, which count as four or more units, McHenry said.  snip

Our local school board voted out Junior ROTC presence on high school campuses..  Gavin openly said he was ashamed of the move and ashamed of “how we look to the rest of the country”.

Of course, I am ashamed of Gavin… so, even steven.

Fiona Ma (D-SF) who had been the Chinatown supe  then moved on to Sacramento, has filed emergency legislation to force JROTC back (with plenty of support of course).  Quite the martial drum majorette she was too, literally and bluntly saying that Sacramento SHALL decide for us, rather than the local board.  And filmed, as she would bark this out, against a back drop of nearly all Chinese students ROTC-ing …

[S]tate Assemblywoman Fiona Ma’s proposed “emergency legislation … to save JROTC” would make San Francisco the only city in the state, probably in the country, required by law to have JROTC classes. It’s an attempt to get state legislators from San Diego to Sacramento to dictate to San Francisco that we must keep the Pentagon’s favorite military recruitment program in our schools. It is an attack on local control of schools that has even pro-JROTC members of the San Francisco school board wondering aloud what she is doing.

The language in Ma’s bill states that San Francisco public schools must “make Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) courses available to pupils under its jurisdiction in grades 9 to 12, inclusive.” Whatever its author’s stated intentions, this language unambiguously requires JROTC classes in ALL San Francisco high schools (“available to pupils under its jurisdiction in grades 9 to 12, inclusive…”), not just the seven high schools which currently have JROTC programs. Wallenberg, SOTA, O’Connell, Marshall, June Jordan, Gateway … get ready for JROTC.  snip

She appeared to be a fanatic, to be blunt.  Leading her own race-based child warriors.  Fucking nutter…. shouldn’t there be white students, Latino students… black students? In that picture?  All goose-stepping? I call for fairness in unfair imposition of martial discipline… HA!.

We had forced recruiters from  the schools… and from the streets in front of high schools, but it hardly matters now.  [IF her legislation passes] they will be INSIDE the high schools.

The Truth Out article says from these mil academies, 5 – 10% join up.

The academies have the support of U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, who ran Chicago Public Schools before being tapped by President Barack Obama. Duncan sees the schools as another option for kids who don’t fit well in a traditional educational setting.

“For the right child, these schools are a lifesaver,” Duncan said.

It is a very sad article, mentioning Paul Vallas who began this in Chicago, the third largest school district in the nation, under Mayor Daley (got a pretzel on the speed dial and an Ed Sec too!)… Vallas then went to Philadelphia and did it again, then on to NO (which the article does not mention other than it is targeted for mil academies) on and on it goes.



From moiv:

hasn’t that family had enough?

Evidently not. These are both sides of the current marquee on a Wichita “church” whose “pastor” is an ally of Operation Rescue. I hope none of George’s family have to drive past there this week.




1. Madman in the Marketplace - 4 June 2009

Just call us Sparta and be done with it.

marisacat - 4 June 2009

oh… better than Heil…


2. Madman in the Marketplace - 4 June 2009

Jeff Sessions Makes Children Cry

Yesterday, the Senate Judiciary Committe held the first-ever hearing on the Uniting American Families Act, which would equalize the status of foreign-born same-sex partners of American citizens. Heterosexual Americans can earn citizenship for their foreign partners by marrying them. Gays, obviously, cannot do that, effectively making a gay American and his or her foreign spouse legal strangers.

Testifying was Shirley Tan, a Fillipino woman who has been with her American partner for 23 years. Together, they are raising twelve-year-old twin boys. She originally left the Phillipines after suffering a violent attack from a man who murdered her mother and sister (one of the reasons why Tan does not want to return to her native country, aside from the fact that her partner and children live in the U.S., is that the man who brutalized her has since been released from prison.) Tan was originally scheduled to be deported on April 3rd, but won a reprieve after Senator Diane Feinstein introduced a private bill allowing her to stay in the country temporarily.

As you can see in the video below, one of Tan’s children started crying within seconds of the start of her testimony. At the sight of this, Judiciary Chairman Pat Leahy stopped the hearing and asked Tan if her son might want to sit in another room, where presumably a Senate staffer would console him for the duration of what was clearly an emotionally fraught experience. For most people, the sight of a 12-year-old boy in tears at the prospect of his mother being deported halfway around the world would invoke some sympathy. Unmoved, however, was Alabama Republican Jeff Sessions, ranking minority member of the Committee and the only Republican to bother to attend the hearing. At the sight of the weeping boy, according to a Senate staffer who was at the hearing, Sessions leaned towards one of his aides and sighed, “Enough with the histrionics.” Sessions’s press secretary did not return a call seeking comment.

marisacat - 4 June 2009

he’s such a hardliner.

I have been interested to see that Sully, at least that I have seen, has never mentioned this couple. It is SUCH a clear cut case. The one ”spouse” will nto allow the other to be sent off alone to the Phillipines, a member of her family who is still alive, killed (iirc) her parents and at least one of her siblings – and a maid I think. So the entire family will return to the Phillipines.

marisacat - 4 June 2009

I see Sully mentions it today, having picked up on TNR article…

3. Madman in the Marketplace - 4 June 2009


If you’re just joining us, in March, Obama nominated Hamilton for the 7th Circuit. Given Hamilton’s record of moderation, the White House said the nomination was intended to send a signal that this process need not be contentious. “We would like to put the history of the confirmation wars behind us,” one aide said.

And what happened? The right-wing base flipped out and one far-right senator, James Inhofe of Oklahoma, soon after announced he will filibuster the nomination. (That Inhofe argued filibusters of Republican judicial nominees are “unconstitutional” apparently doesn’t matter.)

And today, how many Republicans on the Judiciary Committee were willing to support this moderate, chosen specifically to signal the White House’s desire to avoid a bitter process? Zero. Not one.

This is what happens when Obama goes out of his way to avoid a fight.

Given this, I’d just remind the administration that there’s no real reward for nominating moderates. If the president selects obvious centrists, Republicans will label them unacceptable ideologues, and oppose their nomination. If the president selects unwavering liberals, Republicans will label them unacceptable ideologues, and oppose their nomination.

Obama might as well pick the best available people for the federal bench, without regard for the GOP reaction, because it’s likely to be the same, no matter who he chooses.

Of course, he won’t pick “better” people, because the donks don’t want them on the bench any more than the Republicans do.

marisacat - 4 June 2009

oh that is a SCREAM!

Hamilton is all but a CONSERVATIVE and the nephew of a long time collaborator with the worst of the R, Lee Hamilton. Always dragged out for the “bi partisan” games.

I believer Hamilton was suggested by Tim Roemer of Indiana… a staunch conservative and a Dem.

Madman in the Marketplace - 4 June 2009

when are people gonna get it through their heads that Obama is on the center-right? Authoritarian scold who likes to surround himself with other authoritarian scolds.

marisacat - 4 June 2009

That is High Holy Scold.

LOL His own ecclesiastical haberdashery design… The Flag… whiffs of Hawai’i… fronds from Indonesia… greenbacks for Chicago.. and so on.

4. marisacat - 5 June 2009

LOL happy days are here again! Via The Page

he Labor Department’s report Friday expected to show that a net total of 520,000 jobs were lost in May.

If economists are right, the figure marks the second straight month that job losses slowed and the fewest reductions since October.

marisacat - 5 June 2009

Then again!

Breaking News from ABCNEWS.com:

Unemployment Jumps to 9.4 Percent, Highest Level Since August 1983 [8:33 a.m. ET]

For more on this and other breaking news go to ABCNews.com: http://abcnews.go.com?nwltr=bn

And I suppose this fits in somewhere… in either the surge or the deluge.. which ever one is believed:

In the last two weeks insiders sold over $335MM in stock vs listed insider purchases of just over $12MM. As has been the trend over the course of the last few weeks the list of insider selling has been long and the amounts have been staggering. The buy side, on the other hand, is represented by low rated, low priced stocks whose insiders rarely purchase over $500K.

One might think that with all of these “green shoots” the insiders at major U.S. corporations would begin buying up their own shares voraciously. Especially after a nice little run like we’ve seen lately. After all, with stocks still 35% off their highs and a full blown economic recovery (supposedly) on the horizon it would make nothing but sense than to buy your own shares, right?

5. catnip - 5 June 2009

Obamalama in Germany:

The Palestinians have to get serious about creating the security environment that is required for Israel to feel confident.

The oppressed must make the oppressors feel at ease.

Isn’t that kind of like saying if those slaves hadn’t been so uppity, things would have been a lot easier for everybody?

marisacat - 5 June 2009

Gosh.. what were all of those rebellions about?

catnip - 5 June 2009

Good thing Obama wasn’t around to lecture them at the time.


Preacher, historian, economist, moralist, schoolteacher, critic, warrior, imam, emperor. Sometimes you even forgot Barack Obama was the President of the United States of America.

There was no mention – during or after his kindly excoriation of Iran – of Israel’s estimated 264 nuclear warheads. He admonished the Palestinians for their violence – for “shooting rockets at sleeping children or blowing up old women in a bus”. But there was no mention of Israel’s violence in Gaza, just of the “continuing humanitarian crisis in Gaza”. Nor was there a mention of Israel’s bombing of civilians in Lebanon, of its repeated invasions of Lebanon (17,500 dead in the 1982 invasion alone). Obama told Muslims not to live in the past, but cut the Israelis out of this. The Holocaust loomed out of his speech and he reminded us that he was going to the site of the Buchenwald concentration camp today.

For a man who is sending thousands more US troops into Afghanistan – a certain disaster-to-come in the eyes of Arabs and Westerners – there was something brazen about all this. When he talked about the debt that all Westerners owed to Islam – the “light of learning” in Andalusia, algebra, the magnetic compass, religious tolerance, it was like a cat being gently stroked before a visit to the vet. And the vet, of course, lectured the Muslims on the dangers of extremism, on “cycles of suspicion and discord” – even if America and Islam shared “common principles” which turned out to be “justice, progress and the dignity of all human beings”.

marisacat - 5 June 2009

I think he really does think he is a new prophet. There is too likely something unhinged in that sort of thing.

6. catnip - 5 June 2009

Snow here tonite – first time in 33 years.

catnip - 5 June 2009

Boring correction: “for the first time on this day in 33 years”.

I wish it had been 33 years since we had snow!

7. marisacat - 5 June 2009


This Week: Hillary Clinton. Roundtable with Matt Dowd, Claire Shipman, Cynthia Tucker, George Will.

Fox News Sunday: White House aide Goolsbee, Sen. Shelby, Google CEO Schmidt, Thayer Capital Partners Chair Malek, FCC Acting Chair Copps.

Face the Nation: White House senior adviser Axelrod, former House Speaker Gingrich

State of the Union: Axelrod

Meet the Press: No show due to French Open coverage.

8. catnip - 5 June 2009

Mudd Withdraws as DHS Intelligence Chief

The White House confirmed this afternoon it was withdrawing Phil Mudd from Senate consideration to be the Department of Homeland Security’s intelligence chief.

Mudd, a career CIA employee who is currently the head of FBI counterterrorism, said the choice was his.

“Today I am announcing that I have decided to withdraw my name from consideration to be the Department of Homeland Security Undersecretary for Intelligence and Analysis,” Mudd said in a prepared statement isued by the White House.

“I know that this position will require the full cooperation with Congress and I believe that if I continue to move forward I will become a distraction to the President and his vital agenda.”

Hmmm…wonder what was in his Muddy waters.

Oh – torture and falafels…

9. Madman in the Marketplace - 5 June 2009
marisacat - 5 June 2009

oh thanks for mentioning that… I will watch…

Madman in the Marketplace - 5 June 2009

Jay Rosen has a segment, too.

catnip - 5 June 2009

I hear the distant sound of so-called progressive heads exploding.

Madman in the Marketplace - 5 June 2009

Scahill is fantastic on Maher tonight. There is some writer from Gawker on the panel, blowing off the Iraqi casualities as “it happens in war”, and Scahill immediately shoots back, “that sounds like Stalin. One death is a tragedy, a million is a statistic.”

He has NO patience for Obama, and the crowd on Maher goes quiet when he repeats it.

marisacat - 5 June 2009

Good for Scahill…

Madman in the Marketplace - 5 June 2009

he went on later to speak very strongly about the domestic terrorism against women and their health providers.

This horrible woman on Maher is someone named Paula Froelich, who apparently writes for Gawker and Page Six. She’s a depressingly heartless person. Blew off Tiller’s assassination as “just a crazy person”.

Scahill can barely look at her.

10. Madman in the Marketplace - 5 June 2009

By Cindy Sheehan

I am sort of confused.

When I was only protesting George Bush, his administration and the wars, I received a fair amount of media attention, especially when we were in Crawford the first summer. As time wore on and the novelty of having a mother speak out against the atrocities wore off, the coverage dwindled, but never down to practically zippo until I ran for Congress against a “liberal,” Nancy Pelosi.

After the Summer of Camp Casey and Katrina, it became really popular to protest and hate George Bush. George Bush slank out of office as the most detested president in American history. However, from the time Casey died until today, my focus has shifted from blaming George Bush only, to blaming the entire system: The Military-industrial-Congressional-Prison-Media-Banker Complex…or whatever you want to call it.

I have integrity. I oppose war, torture, economic oppression and environmental degradation no matter who is in the White House or what political party he belongs to. I have been one of President Obama’s earliest and most ardent critics, but where’s the media coverage when I protest the carnage now that Obama is president? Where’s Air America calling me to comment on the war crimes that Obama has already committed? Why won’t most “progressive” online sites print my articles anymore (except Oped News and MichaelMichael.com)?

One time when Bill O’ Reilly heard that I criticized Obama…he criticized me!

What is the bias? Is it always towards the Robber Class?

I will do what I think is right, no matter if anyone pays attention, or not.

I just think it’s weird.

11. marisacat - 5 June 2009


[T]his speech was like a great big ice cream sundae, with all the toppings – and something rather unappetizing at its center, which was this:

“The situation in Afghanistan demonstrates America’s goals and our need to work together. Over seven years ago, the United States pursued Al Qaida and the Taliban with broad international support. We did not go by choice. We went because of necessity. I’m aware that there’s still some who would question or even justify the offense of 9/11. But let us be clear. Al Qaida killed nearly 3,000 people on that day.”

Yes, but the Taliban — did they kill 3,000 people that day? Well, say the Obamaites, the Taliban gave Osama bin Laden a “safe haven,” and “we did not go by choice.” Yet bin Laden and his cohorts are long gone: we’re still there, however, and in greater numbers than ever. Our government says bin Laden and his lieutenants are – or might be – in Pakistan, and yet in his speech Obama also says al-Qaeda is in “many countries.” According to this sort of “logic,” therefore, we have the “right” to attack any – or all – of these many countries, and may very well do so at some time in the future. snip

the thing that got me, among all that did it in imo.. was the baldfaced claim we do not intend to be an occupier, we intend no bases.

He really thinks all of us are dumb… as we prepare Islamabad as a new extended base, with a massive Embassy and housing costing only a few million under the massive embassy in Baghdad.. And certainly many elite Pakistanis do not care, with our occupation, some parts of whatever capital city we all but take over, becomes very wealthy.

Not that it matters anymore…

Raimondo spends several grafs on the settlement issue and the Palestinians… invoking the ever looming threat of assassination for Obama “for his courage”…. but then he ends with this. words of his own that he ought to RE READ:

I have to reiterate, at this point, my belief that all the good generated by Obama’s support for a viable Palestinian state is bound to be tragically undermined by the running sore of Afghanistan. As long as we are fighting what is essentially a war of vengeance against a people that had little to do with the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Obama is fated to repeat the mistakes made by his predecessor that turned Iraq into a bloody quagmire, albeit on a bigger scale.

12. marisacat - 5 June 2009

Scahill did good… (Gladstone and Rosen on now)

Here is the site Moyers referenced as Scahill’s


13. marisacat - 6 June 2009

Dreams of Armagedon The Guardian

[H]orsley says the vigilante killings are a mistake because they don’t change much. He is preparing for a bigger and more bloody showdown, beginning with a run for governor in next year’s election in the belief there is political mileage to be had in picking a fight with Barack Obama over abortion in a deeply conservative state such as Georgia.

“If they elected me governor I would, without hesitation, raise up a militia in Georgia. I would line them up along with me at the abortion clinic there in Atlanta and if the federal government came in and tried to escort people in to kill their babies, we would have a fight to the death,” he said.

“There’s some things so important that the only way they can be resolved is on the field of mortal combat where those on either side line up to kill each other till there’s no more killing to be done. Look in my eyes. I’ll fight to the death.”

14. catnip - 6 June 2009

The new face of anti-abortion activists tapped by Obama

by Nightprowlkitty

Sat Jun 06, 2009 at 09:39:29 AM MDT

From Raw Story:

President Barack Obama has tapped an anti-abortion activist to a senior Health and Human Services “faith-based” position just a week after the murder of prominent abortion doctor George Tiller.

Alexia Kelley is executive director of Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good (CACG), and will head the Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships at the Department of Health and Human Services.

According to The American Prospect, a liberal magazine, “Kelley is a leading proponent of ‘common ground’ abortion reduction — only CACG’s common ground is at odds with that of Obama. While the administration favors reducing the need for abortion by reducing unintended pregnancies, Kelley has made clear that she seeks instead to reduce access to abortion.”


Paging moiv…

15. catnip - 6 June 2009

New name: Obushma.

16. catnip - 6 June 2009
marisacat - 6 June 2009

From the link… this reinforces a piece at Electronic Intifada last week (I will find the link)… that the game plan is to align the Arab states with Israel. And for what? Well… what is our biggest export?

[O]bama once again praised the Arab Peace Initiative, saying only that Arabs should see it as ‘an important beginning, but not the end of their responsibilities.’ How should the Obama administration see it? Obama and his advisers are surely aware that the Initiative reiterates the long-standing international consensus calling for a two-state settlement on the international (pre-June ’67) border, perhaps with ‘minor and mutual modifications,’ to borrow U.S. government usage before it departed sharply from world opinion in the 1970s, vetoing a Security Council resolution backed by the Arab ‘confrontation states’ (Egypt, Iran, Syria), and tacitly by the PLO, with the same essential content as the Arab Peace Initiative except that the latter goes beyond by calling on Arab states to normalize relations with Israel in the context of this political settlement. Obama has called on the Arab states to proceed with normalization, studiously ignoring, however, the crucial political settlement that is its precondition. The Initiative cannot be a ‘beginning’ if the U.S. continues to refuse to accept its core principles, even to acknowledge them.

In the background is the Obama administration’s goal, enunciated most clearly by Senator John Kerry, chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, to forge an alliance of Israel and the ‘moderate’ Arab states against Iran. The term ‘moderate’ has nothing to do with the character of the state, but rather signals its willingness to conform to U.S. demands.

What is Israel to do in return for Arab steps to normalize relations? The strongest position so far enunciated by the Obama administration is that Israel should conform to Phase I of the 2003 Road Map, which states: ‘Israel freezes all settlement activity (including natural growth of settlements).’ All sides claim to accept the Road Map, overlooking the fact that Israel instantly added 14 reservations that render it inoperable.

Toward the end there is this… and is it ever the truth.. I did have some smalll smattering f hope that Bush 1 and Baker might get somewhere, even a tiny somewhere….

It is also worth remembering that the Bush I administration went a bit beyond words in objecting to illegal Israeli settlement projects, namely, by withholding U.S. economic support for them. In contrast, Obama administration officials stated that such measures are ‘not under discussion’ and that any pressures on Israel to conform to the Road Map will be ‘largely symbolic,’ so the New York Times reported (Helene Cooper, June 1).

marisacat - 6 June 2009

Here is the article from E Intifada:

[E]gypt and Saudi Arabia, the most influential of these countries, are now leading the anti-Iran campaign. Iran’s threat to their regional dominance coupled with a dose of anti-Shiite hostility, has led them to take Israel as a convenient ally. Israel on the other hand is anxious to quash Iran, an opponent to its regional supremacy.

In an address to last February to the annual gathering of Israel’s political-military elite in Herzliya, former Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni clarified this view: “Being used to feeling secluded in the Middle East, with the whole Arab world against us, we look around and suddenly notice other countries alongside Israel — Arab, Islamic countries, who no longer view Israel as the enemy, countries who understand that Iran is the main enemy, seeing Iran as no less a threat than we do.”

US President Barack Obama is keen to capitalize on these cleavages so to facilitate the shifting of alliances that would form the basis for a new Middle East. His administration is currently developing a comprehensive strategy to consolidate this emerging alliance into meaningful actions to deter Iran and transform the overlap in interests into enduring relationships. The Palestinian issue, as the prime arena for the power play of regional forces, is a pivotal avenue to close the current vacuum. And this is where the Arab Peace Initiative comes back into play.snip

Basically a grisly game is unfolding… hey it’s the Middle East with US interventionism, was there ever hope for other? Even by ObamaGod?

[T]he last 15 years of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority has more than proven the failure of this model. Goodwill, or outright collaboration by the Palestinian Authority, led only to the entrenchment of Israel’s colonial system. The Arab League’s campaign of normalization will contribute to enhance the international legitimacy of Israel’s racist regime, this in spite of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s open rejection of the plan. Ironic.

Western-aligned Arab regimes have already already taken significant steps towards normalization. They cheered the last two Israeli massacres, Lebanon in 2006 and Gaza in 2009, refusing to take decisive steps towards a ceasefire. Egypt and Saudi Arabia boycotted an Arab League meeting in January, buying time for Israel to “finish the job” in Gaza. Last April, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia took another massive step towards full normalization and met with Israel’s president, war criminal Shimon Peres in New York. Fearing backlash, the Saudi propaganda machine was quick to deny such a meeting took place. (The trend has not been uniform however; responding to public outrage at Israel’s Gaza massacre, Qatar closed in January an Israeli trade office it had hosted for years as part of normalization steps taken since the 1993 Oslo accords.)

it’s interesting to watch Obama supporters, viewing things thru the mist of drool, think Obama, an EMPLOYEE, means to help the suffering Palestinians. Ably assisted by the likes of Axelrod and Rahm.

Drool on…

mattes - 7 June 2009

Then why have the Saudis come out with calling to cut aid to Israel?

Look at the headlines:

Saudi: Aid to Israel should be conditional
UPI Sat, 06 Jun 2009 22:28 PM PDT
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, June 7 (UPI) — Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal advises the United States to withhold foreign aid if Israel refuses to end its settlement of the West Bank.

No diplomatic overtures before return of Arab land, says Saud
Arab News Sat, 06 Jun 2009 16:17 PM PDT
RIYADH: Washington could use its aid as a lever to push Israel into a two-state settlement with the Palestinians, Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal said in an interview published yesterday.

Use US aid to pressure Israel: Saud
Gulf Times Sat, 06 Jun 2009 14:39 PM PDT
AFP/Riyadh Washington could use its aid as a lever to push Israel into a two-state settlement with the Palestinians, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal said in an interview published yesterday.

Saudis: US Must Cut Aid if Israel Does Not Agree to Peace Terms
Israel National News Sat, 06 Jun 2009 12:13 PM PDT
The United States should cut off all to Israel if the Jewish state does not accept the terms of the 2002 Saudi Peace Plan, Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal told Newswee k magazine.

US has means to push Israel toward peace deal: Saudi FM
Pakistani Newspaper Sat, 06 Jun 2009 11:04 AM PDT
RIYADH, June 6: Washington could use its aid as a lever to push Israel into a two-state settlement with the Palestinians, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal said in an interview published on Saturday.

marisacat - 7 June 2009

you know mattes.. I simply don’t agree with you. And i have read the media long enough to sense snow flakes. Or droppings. Your mileage obviously varies, to play off the old saw.

I posted the snips from the Chomsky from the catnip link and I posted the article I read at Electronic Intifada.

We disagree. Profoundly.

17. marisacat - 6 June 2009

hmmm Winship has a piece up at Truth Out that piggy backs on Scahill last night with Moyers:

[A]ccording to new Pentagon statistics, in the second quarter of this year there has been a 23 percent increase in the number of private security contractors working for the Pentagon in Iraq, and a 29 percent hike in Afghanistan.

In fact, outside contractors now make up approximately half of our forces fighting in the two countries. “This means,” according to Jeremy Scahill, author of the book “Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army,” “there are a whopping 242,647 contractors working on these two US wars.”

Scahill, who runs an excellent new website called Rebel Reports, spoke with my colleague Bill Moyers on the current edition of Bill Moyers Journal on PBS. “What we have seen happen, as a result of this incredible reliance on private military contractors, is that the United States has created a new system for waging war,” he said. By hiring foreign nationals as mercenaries “You turn the entire world into your recruiting ground. You intricately link corporate profits to an escalation of warfare and make it profitable for companies to participate in your wars.

“In the process of doing that you undermine US democratic policies. And you also violate the sovereignty of other nations, because you’re making their citizens combatants in a war to which their country is not a party. snip

18. catnip - 6 June 2009


Newsweek editor Evan Thomas brought adulation over President Obama’s Cairo speech to a whole new level on Friday, declaring on MSNBC: “I mean in a way Obama’s standing above the country, above – above the world, he’s sort of God.”

marisacat - 6 June 2009

Obama from the heights shall love Evan.

What a scream it all is! The New USA!!USA!! Religion: Obamaism.

Prepare to drool all the way to wider war.

19. marisacat - 6 June 2009

FWIW… and we run higher than the nation out here … and SF runs higher than the rest of Cali:

Gas prices in Wis. expected to jump over $3

Associated Press
8:20 AM CDT, June 6, 2009

MADISON, Wis. – Officials in Wisconsin expect gas prices to rise over $3 again soon as the cost continues to climb in the recent weeks.

AAA Wisconsin spokesman Larry Kamholz says there’s a good possibility a gallon of regular unleaded will top $3 in the coming weeks. The state’s average price was at $2.77 on Friday.

In the spring, AAA officials thought it would reach $2.75 a gallon and said it would be a surprise to see it hit the $3 mark.

But the world’s supply situation and an improving domestic economy changed the outlook. That coupled with the start of the summer travel season has pushed demand for more fuel.

The lowest average in Wisconsin was in Eau Claire at $2.69 a gallon for regular, while Milwaukee drivers were paying the highest average at $2.81 a gallon.

Madman in the Marketplace - 6 June 2009

great, I’ll have to listen to everybody bitchin’ about it …

marisacat - 6 June 2009

well.. I am expecting plague and pestilence. Any moment now.

20. Madman in the Marketplace - 6 June 2009

Health insurers want you to keep smoking, Harvard doctors say

Health and life insurance companies in the US and abroad have nearly $4.5 billion invested in tobacco stocks, according to Harvard doctors.

“It’s the combined taxidermist and veterinarian approach: either way you get your dog back,” says David Himmelstein, an internist at the Harvard Medical School and co-author of a letter published in this week’s issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

The largest tobacco investor on the list, the 160-year old Prudential company with branches in the US and the UK, has more than $1.5 billion invested in tobacco stocks. The runner-up was Toronto-based Sun Life Financial, which apparently holds over $1 billion in Philip Morris (Altria) and other tobacco stocks. In total, seven companies that sell life, health, disability, or long-term care insurance, have major holdings in tobacco stock.

Why is it a big deal? “If you own a billion dollars [of tobacco stock], then you don’t want to see it go down,” says Himmelstein, “You are less likely to join anti-tobacco coalitions, endorse anti-tobacco legislation, basically, anything most health companies would want to participate in.”

The letter is the third report that the doctors – who all support a national healthcare program – have published in the last 14 years.

We decided to check in with some of the insurance companies mentioned in the letter to learn more about their policies with respect to tobacco stock. Prudential was unable to respond by press time. Sun Life, however, flatly denied the charges.

“Sun Life does not carry significant holdings in tobacco stocks,” says representative Steve Kee, “We do not disclose specific holdings and, for good measure, we conducted a review further to your inquiry and our exposure to ‘tobacco’ stocks is less than 0.005 percent [about $5 million] of the investment portfolio. Importantly, tobacco-related businesses can be part of a broader conglomerate involving other aspects such as food production.”

Himmelstein rechecked his numbers in the Osiris database, and said, “I fear that if Sun Life has a dispute, it is with Osiris not with us.”

In any event, the doctors’ persistence over the years seems to be working to some extent. They targeted MetLife and Cigna in their 1995 and 2000 letters to medical journals, but neither is listed in the latest reckoning, indicating that the insurers no longer hold enough to stock to be noted on filings for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. In addition, a representative for Cigna says they currently have no direct holdings in tobacco stock unless it is part of an index fund.

But with $4.5 billion still invested in Big Tobacco, many insurers are reaping profits from a cancer-causing industry. As Himmelstein puts it, “Is this who we want running our healthcare system?”

21. Madman in the Marketplace - 6 June 2009
22. marisacat - 6 June 2009

I am scared to read the whole post from Ezra Klein. Considering how many times he missed the point in a couple sentences. Isn’t it a shame he ascended to a Wapo blog. 😈

Via Sully who entitled it: You are doing better than you think.

Ezra Klein makes an interesting point:

[M]ost workers think stagnant wages mean their employer is paying them less. They don’t know that the main reason for stagnant wages is that their wage increases are going to pay for their health insurance premiums. If they did — if they realized that compensation is pretty much a zero-sum endeavor and their employers don’t so much buy them health insurance as garnish their wages to pay for their health insurance — you’d probably see a lot more general anger at rising health care costs.

Actually one of the commenters gets it…

Ill tell you why workers in the U.S.arent more angry about healthcare,They are used to being abused. For 30 years companies have been destroying unions stealing pensions and getting large concessions in exchange for their jobs. Our industrial base and technology has been moved to slave wage countries and our workers are told they are expected to compete with those prices. I grew up in a family where my father worked and mother could stay home. They purchaced their first home for 18k.

He had healthcare and a pension.Those days are gone and they are not coming back. Why arent workers more angry about that? They feel lucky to have a job thats why. You cant get angry when your scared.

Posted by: truthynesslover | June 6, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Madman in the Marketplace - 7 June 2009

Klein of course misses the point … that’s what he does, like birds fly and bears shits in the shrinking woods.

23. marisacat - 7 June 2009

Right on schedule.

Martinez: Postpone talks with Cuba… oh that bad Myers couple! So handy they are!

Madman in the Marketplace - 7 June 2009

like they haven’t know about them for years, probably used them to funnel false info, then kept them in the bank for future propaganda use.

So transparent.

marisacat - 7 June 2009

I bothered to look up where they live in DC. Quite the exclusive old enclave. A complex of buildings built in the thirties, with sunken gardens. After the war they hung the entrance with 18 c English wrought iron gates.

A neighbor spoke up for them, said they were Good and Loyal Americans. Whew! I will never be arrested as a spy!


24. marisacat - 7 June 2009

Lenin has a post up with some of the results from the slates in Europe…

[T]here is also some bad news afoot. Sadly, in Italy it looks as if the Berlusconi-led ‘People of Freedom’ will increase their vote on 2004 from 34% to as much as 40%. The left anticapitalist alliance including Rifondazione Comunista is polling at 5%, down from over 8% for the equivalent alliance in 2004, while the Lega Nord expect to get approximately 10%, double their previous figure of approx. 5%. Arguably, things could have been a lot worse by now after last year’s electoral disaster which led to fascists in government, fascist salutes and cries of ‘duce’ in Rome, and threats from the new fascist mayor that had could unleash 300,000 footsoldiers against the Left.

In much of Eastern Europe and the Balkans, power is swinging between neoliberal and conservative nationalist blocs, with the Kaczyńskis’ party of Law and Order losing out to the neoliberal Civic Platform in Poland, and the centre-right overwhelmingly dominant in Hungary and Slovenia.

Finally, most worryingly, the results are in for the Netherlands, and it isn’t looking good. The party has swung sharply to the right with a massive increase for Geert Wilders’ Freedom Party, making them the second largest party next to the Christian Democrats. snip

His first graf is on the results in England… the right is on the rise:

[T]he striking gains made by the parties of the hard right, such as the preposterous English Democrats who took the Doncaster mayoral election, stand in complete contrast to the failure of even a symbolic victory for the left to manifest itself. Not even the Lib Dems were able to devour more than scraps from New Labour’s carcass – in fact, they lost seats and councils across the board. Electorally, the country has just taken a headlong dive to the right. snip

There were Left advances in Ireland and France… and maybe in Greece and Portugal

25. Madman in the Marketplace - 7 June 2009

George Tiller funeral draws protests but ends peacefully

George Tiller’s funeral this morning drew large crowds and some protesters but was peaceful, officials said.

Wichita police Capt. Hassan Ramzah said no incidents occurred at the church or during the service for the slain abortion provider at College Hill United Methodist Church, near First Street and Hillside.

Ramzah said he could not reveal how many police officers worked the service.

Tiller was shot and killed Sunday at Reformation Lutheran Church, where he was serving as an usher. Scott Roeder, 51, has been charged with first-degree murder in the shooting.

Marilyn Grisham, like many funeralgoers, said she attended the service to show support for Tiller’s mission.

“I’ve always been on the side of what he was doing, but I’ve never spoken out,” she said, teary-eyed, after the service. “I just felt it was important to finally speak out with my presence.”

I’m not blockquoting any of the protestors’ bullshit.

During the service, each of Tiller’s four children shared reflections of their father. They and many other funeralgoers, including the Rev. Lowell Michelson, pastor of Reformation, wore Tiller’s trademark “Attitude is everything” buttons on their shirts or robes.

Tiller’s oldest child, Jennifer, said her father loved to relay axioms, “pearls of wisdom for how life should be lived.”

Baskets in the church lobby held copies of a page marked “Dr. Tillerisms” for guests to read and take home.

Tiller recently told Jennifer that “life is like an Impressionist painting,” she said. “‘When you are up close to it, it can be confusing and not make any sense…. Only when you stand back from it can you see the broad, masterful strokes of the artist.’ And then he laughed at himself,” she said.

After her father’s death and the outpouring of condolences, sympathy and stories, “I thought, well, if life is a painting, then Dad, you’re the artist,” Jennifer said, addressing the congregation.

“Your painting certainly had color and confusion at times. All the small dots and sweeps of the brush were each and every day of your life…. Maybe my dad wasn’t even aware of what he painted because he was so close to it. Maybe he had no idea how it was all going to work out. But for sure, he believed in his art. He believed in the effort and the joy of his work. He loved the feel of the brush in his hand and the paint on canvas, and he kept painting because he had faith and because he loved it.

“As I look out on you today — all of you, in many colors — I see all the brush stokes. I see all the dots. I see all the people, the color, the canvas of my dad’s life.

“I can stand back from it and I can see the plan. I can see the whole picture. He really did paint an incredible masterpiece, and it’s you. It’s all of you. You are my dad’s living masterpiece.”

Tiller’s youngest child, Krista, shared a letter her father had written to her when she was 13 years old, after losing a race.

“‘I’m proud of the way you handled yourself — no whining or complaining today,’ ” Tiller wrote. “‘One race does not spoil the entire racing season. Remember, nobody wins all the time — not Dad, not Mom… Be gracious in victory, never arrogant. Share the credit and the praise.

“‘And the sting and the loneliness and the depression of defeat or setback will be less severe. Because the friends with whom you have shared the good times will not abandon you in the bad times.

“‘Love, Dad.’ Underline, underline,” Krista added, chuckling.

marisacat - 7 June 2009

I’ll move this comment forward Madman… 😉

26. marisacat - 7 June 2009



….. 🙄 …………….

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