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Tumult 13 June 2009

Posted by marisacat in DC Politics, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Iran.

Tehran, Iran, 13 June 2009: Black smoke rises above the Tehran skyline as supporters of reformist candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi burn tyres and other material in the streets as they fight running battles with police to protest the declared results of the Iranian presidential election [Ben Curtis/AP]

Mahmoud gave me a headache… one of the worst things I ever watched was the interview Mike Wallace conducted with him… migod they BOTH gave me a headache. He can exit any old time, afaiac.

However I am reminding myself that if BushCheney were still in power, they’d be pulling – so to speak – for Moussavi as well. Just like they’d be thrilled with the rise in Lebanon of the Gemayyels, again…

So, from the always dismissed looney left I’ll withhold judgement..

Change is all to the good. Ruffle up the universe… so, here is to unrest and greater desire and demand for change…


A sweet little story:

The birth of an endangered camel was an “unexpected” arrival on Merseyside after its mother’s long hair concealed the pregnancy for more than a year.

The yet unnamed Bactrian camel calf was born at Knowsley Safari Park in Prescot, weighing about 88lbs.

Staff were surprised by the new arrival after discovering his mother Wendy was pregnant only six weeks ago. A normal gestation period is 15 months.

There are only about 1,000 Bactrian camels left living in the wild.  …

His father was precocious, mating at 3 .. according to the article they usually mature at around 5.



1. marisacat - 13 June 2009

Guardian has a interesting entry in their Comment Is Free section:

[As] far as international media coverage is concerned, it seems that wishful thinking got the better of credible reporting. It is true that Mousavi supporters jammed Tehran traffic for hours every night over the last week, though it was rarely mentioned that they did so only in the northern well-to-do neighborhoods of the capital. Women did relax their head covers and young men did dance in the street.

On Monday night at least 100,000 of the former prime minister’s supporters set up a human chain across Tehran. But, hours before I had attended a mass rally for the incumbent president that got little to no coverage in the western press because, on account of the crowds, he never made it inside the hall to give his speech. Minimal estimates from that gathering have been placed at 600,000 (enthusiasts say a million). From the roof I watched as the veiled women and bearded men of all ages poured like lava.

[S]ince then common Iranians have applied their ideals through the ballot box. In 1997 as the ashes of the Iran-Iraq war settled and the country saw a decade relative stability, voters came out in mass to support the former president-cleric Khatami against his rival, Natiq Nouri, a senior member of the establishment. Western reporters saw this in terms of a grand generational divide: young freedom loving liberals against elder conservative clerics. But it was really a vote for the ideal of honesty and piety against allegations of entrenched corruption. Many of those same Khatami supporters voted for Ahmedinejad yesterday, despite the fact that Khatami’s face was on every one of Mousavi’s campaign posters.

For over a week the same social impulses of anti-corruption, populism, and religious piety that led to the revolution have been on the streets available to anyone who wanted to report on them. Ahmedinejad, for most in the country, embodies those ideals. Since he came into office he has refused to wear a suit, refused to move out of the home he inherited from his father, and has refused to tone down the rhetoric he uses against those he accuses of betraying the nation. When he openly accused his towering rival, Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanji, a lion of the revolution himself, of parasitical corruption and compared his betrayal to the alleged deception against the Prophet Muhammad that led to the Sunni-Shia split 1,400 years ago, he unleashed a popular impulse that has held the imagination of the masses here for generations. That Rafsanji defended himself through Mousavi’s newspaper meant the end for the reformists.

In the last week Ahmedinejad turned the election into a referendum on the very project of Iran’s Islamic revolution. Their street chants yelled “Death to all those against the Supreme Leader” followed by traditional Shia rituals and elegies snip

Link to the comments, in a single page format.

2. catnip - 13 June 2009
3. catnip - 13 June 2009

I’ll bet kossacks are hugely relieved that the Iranian election wiped Obama’s DOMA BS off the wreck list slate.

marisacat - 13 June 2009

yup! permitted protest in a far away foreign country… they can cheer on democracy. Or whatever.

catnip - 14 June 2009

I wonder how many kossacks will be kicked off the site this time – “election fraudsters” – I believe the mighty kos called them after Ohio. (I guess that doesn’t apply to them foreigner elections though, apparently).

4. catnip - 13 June 2009

Tonite’s Some Americans Really Are Stupid Moment.

So, I’m checking out some of the Iranian election (so-called) “coverage” at dkos and I run across 2 commenters within inches of each other suspicious of the results because they can’t fathom that ballots can be hand-counted so quickly. Holy machine-addicted crap, Batman. We use paper ballots here and, quite surprisingly (apparently), manage to declare winners within minutes of the polls being closed. Now I know we canucks are somewhat magical and mysterious people to some of our southern neighbours and I guess the Iranians are too (they can count! how novel of them), but -c’mon yanks! FFS. Buy a clue next time you’re at the corner store. It might just come in handy sometime.

BooHooHooMan - 14 June 2009

Canadians Gettin Uppity Alert! 😉


5. marisacat - 14 June 2009

fwiw… Steve Clemons at The Washington Note has an Iranian contact…

He predicted that the so-called reformist camp — who are not exactly humanists in the Western liberal sense [geesh, whatever that means — Mcat] — may try and animate efforts to decapitate the regime and “do away with” Ahmadinejad and even the Supreme Leader himself.

I am not convinced that this source “knows” these things will definitely happen but am convinced of his credentials and impressed with the seriousness of the discussion we had and his own concern that there may be political killing sprees ahead.

This is not a vision he advocates — but one he fears.

6. catnip - 14 June 2009

Robert Fisk is in Iran.

An interval here for lunch with a true and faithful friend of the Islamic Republic, a man I have known for many years who has risked his life and been imprisoned for Iran and who has never lied to me. We dined in an all-Iranian-food restaurant, along with his wife. He has often criticised the regime. A man unafraid. But I must repeat what he said. “The election figures are correct, Robert. Whatever you saw in Tehran, in the cities and in thousands of towns outside, they voted overwhelmingly for Ahmadinejad. Tabriz voted 80 per cent for Ahmadinejad. It was he who opened university courses there for the Azeri people to learn and win degrees in Azeri. In Mashad, the second city of Iran, there was a huge majority for Ahmadinejad after the imam of the great mosque attacked Rafsanjani of the Expediency Council who had started to ally himself with Mousavi. They knew what that meant: they had to vote for Ahmadinejad.”

My guest and I drank dookh, the cool Iranian drinking yoghurt so popular here. The streets of Tehran were a thousand miles away. “You know why so many poorer women voted for Ahmadinejad? There are three million of them who make carpets in their homes. They had no insurance. When Ahmadinejad realised this, he immediately brought in a law to give them full insurance. Ahmadinejad’s supporters were very shrewd. They got the people out in huge numbers to vote – and then presented this into their vote for Ahmadinejad.”

7. marisacat - 14 June 2009

Might as well laugh…

Ssssshhhhh! President Obama Is Still Backing State Secrets

June 13, 2009 3:30 PM

Jake Tapper and Jason Ryan report:

President Obama’s Justice Department didn’t just disappoint some of his liberal supporters by arguing in support of the Defense of Marriage Act this week, disappointing if not angering supporters who also support same sex marriage and were appalled by the comparison of same sex marriage to incestuous ones. The president’s lawyers also repeated some of the Bush administration’s national security arguments.

The Obama Justice Department on Friday asked the full 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to review an earlier appeals court ruling to determine if details about CIA rendition flights coordinated by Jeppesen Dataplan — a division of Boeing — should be protected as “state secrets.”

As a candidate, then-Sen. Obama faulted President Bush for using the “state secrets” argument too often, and too broadly, though as president he has used it in at least three cases:


Ben Wizner, staff attorney with the ACLU National Security Project said in a statement issued on Friday, “The Obama administration has now fully embraced the Bush administration’s shameful effort to immunize torturers and their enablers from any legal consequences for their actions. … The CIA’s rendition and torture program is not a ‘state secret;’ it’s an international scandal.” snip

8. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 June 2009

So, how long until the zionists bomb Iran, now that they’ve been “forced” to be the “stolen” election?

9. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 June 2009

Too Poor to Make the News

But then, at least if you inhabit a large, multiclass extended family like my own, there comes that e-mail message with the subject line “Need your help,” and you realize that bad is often just the stage before worse. The note was from one of my nephews, and it reported that his mother-in-law, Peg, was, like several million other Americans, about to lose her home to foreclosure.

It was the back story that got to me: Peg, who is 55 and lives in rural Missouri, had been working three part-time jobs to support her disabled daughter and two grandchildren, who had moved in with her. Then, last winter, she had a heart attack, missed work and fell behind in her mortgage payments. If I couldn’t help, all four would have to move into the cramped apartment in Minneapolis already occupied by my nephew and his wife.

Only after I’d sent the money did I learn that the mortgage was not a subprime one and the home was not a house but a dilapidated single-wide trailer that, as a “used vehicle,” commands a 12-percent mortgage interest rate. You could argue, without any shortage of compassion, that “Low-Wage Worker Loses Job, Home” is nobody’s idea of news.

In late May I traveled to Los Angeles — where the real unemployment rate, including underemployed people and those who have given up on looking for a job, is estimated at 20 percent — to meet with a half-dozen community organizers. They are members of a profession, derided last summer by Sarah Palin, that helps low-income people renegotiate mortgages, deal with eviction when their landlords are foreclosed and, when necessary, organize to confront landlords and bosses.

The question I put to this rainbow group was: “Has the recession made a significant difference in the low-income communities where you work, or are things pretty much the same?” My informants — from Koreatown, South Central, Maywood, Artesia and the area around Skid Row — took pains to explain that things were already bad before the recession, and in ways that are disconnected from the larger economy. One of them told me, for example, that the boom of the ’90s and early 2000s had been “basically devastating” for the urban poor. Rents skyrocketed; public housing disappeared to make way for gentrification.

But yes, the recession has made things palpably worse, largely because of job losses. With no paychecks coming in, people fall behind on their rent and, since there can be as long as a six-year wait for federal housing subsidies, they often have no alternative but to move in with relatives. “People are calling me all the time,” said Preeti Sharma of the South Asian Network, “They think I have some sort of magic.”

The organizers even expressed a certain impatience with the Nouveau Poor, once I introduced the phrase. If there’s a symbol for the recession in Los Angeles, Davin Corona of Strategic Actions for a Just Economy said, it’s “the policeman facing foreclosure in the suburbs.” The already poor, he said — the undocumented immigrants, the sweatshop workers, the janitors, maids and security guards — had all but “disappeared” from both the news media and public policy discussions.

Disappearing with them is what may be the most distinctive and compelling story of this recession. When I got back home, I started calling up experts, like Sharon Parrott, a policy analyst at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, who told me, “There’s rising unemployment among all demographic groups, but vastly more among the so-called unskilled.”

How much more? Larry Mishel, the president of the Economic Policy Institute, offers data showing that blue-collar unemployment is increasing three times as fast as white-collar unemployment. The last two recessions — in the early ’90s and in 2001 — produced mass white-collar layoffs, and while the current one has seen plenty of downsized real-estate agents and financial analysts, the brunt is being borne by the blue-collar working class, which has been sliding downward since deindustrialization began in the ’80s.

When I called food banks and homeless shelters around the country, most staff members and directors seemed poised to offer press-pleasing tales of formerly middle-class families brought low. But some, like Toni Muhammad at Gateway Homeless Services in St. Louis, admitted that mostly they see “the long-term poor,” who become even poorer when they lose the kind of low-wage jobs that had been so easy for me to find from 1998 to 2000. As Candy Hill, a vice president of Catholic Charities U.S.A., put it, “All the focus is on the middle class — on Wall Street and Main Street — but it’s the people on the back streets who are really suffering.”

What are the stations between poverty and destitution? Like the Nouveau Poor, the already poor descend through a series of deprivations, though these are less likely to involve forgone vacations than missed meals and medications. The Times reported earlier this month that one-third of Americans can no longer afford to comply with their prescriptions.

There are other, less life-threatening, ways to try to make ends meet. The Associated Press has reported that more women from all social classes are resorting to stripping, although “gentlemen’s clubs,” too, have been hard-hit by the recession. The rural poor are turning increasingly to “food auctions,” which offer items that may be past their sell-by dates.

10. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 June 2009
11. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 June 2009
marisacat - 14 June 2009

ugh.. I hope he can illuminate how fucking nutty it is. What a pity all this ‘driven snow’ fucking self help crap is. WIth the glow of gawd! almighty! over it all. Or the long dirty finger of the Warren types. And the Obama types.

12. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 June 2009
13. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 June 2009

I put a post up: Isn’t Heaven Enough?.

14. catnip - 14 June 2009

Canadians Gettin Uppity Alert!

You ain’t seen nothing yet!

15. catnip - 14 June 2009

So…how’s that road map thing working out?

Israel sets terms for Palestinian state

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has announced he will back a Palestinian state – but only if it is completely demilitarised.

He said a Palestinian state must have no army, no control of its air space and no way of smuggling in weapons.

What a pathetic joke.

16. marisacat - 14 June 2009

It is all so cute! And predictable:

John Berry, the openly gay head of the Office of Personnel Management, did an interview today with Kerry Eleveld of the Advocate. It’s horrifying. I have to parse it for you. I’m simply astounded that they let him speak publicly, and that he let himself be used like this.

1. Berry suggests that Obama may wait until his second term to do anything on gay rights.

BERRY: Now, I’m not going to pledge — and nor is the president — that this is going to be done by some certain date. The pledge and the promise is that, this will be done before the sun sets on this administration – our goal is to have this entire agenda accomplished and enacted into law so that it is secure.

THE ADVOCATE: Does that include a second term? A lot of people have talked about DOMA being pushed back until a second term.

BERRY: I say this in a broad sense — our goal is to get this done on this administration’s watch.

If the gays fall for that………………………………. well….

Madman in the Marketplace - 15 June 2009

Did Gibbs throw him some kind of treat at the end as a reward?

17. marisacat - 14 June 2009

Too funny.. Joe Lieberman has a statement out on Mousavi. He encourages greater embrace of him by the US…

Brought to the world by Michael Goldfarb at the Weekly Standard.

18. marisacat - 15 June 2009

LOL The joke is too easy… WOULD you buy a used car from them?


Also big this week: financial regulatory reform, with the administration proposal coming on Wednesday.

A preview, from Tim Geithner and Larry Summers, writing in The Washington Post:

“Our framework for financial regulation is riddled with gaps, weaknesses and jurisdictional overlaps, and suffers from an outdated conception of financial risk. . . . The administration’s proposal will address that problem by raising capital and liquidity requirements for all institutions, with more stringent requirements for the largest and most interconnected firms. In addition, all large, interconnected firms whose failure could threaten the stability of the system will be subject to consolidated supervision by the Federal Reserve, and we will establish a council of regulators with broader coordinating responsibility across the financial system.”

via The Note.

19. NYCO - 15 June 2009

Just thought y’all might like an update from New York, the state where sanity goes to die…

The Slasher (Monserrate) has gone back to the Dems, leaving the Senate at a 31-31 split.

Democrats are feverishly trying to determine if Paterson is still technically the Lieutenant Governor (in addition to being Governor) so that he can cast tiebreaking votes.

I shit you not.

marisacat - 15 June 2009

Oh I laughed so hard reading that… !

NYCO - 15 June 2009

“Sorry, David – we found out you’re actually not Lieutenant Governor. Unfortunately we also discovered that Hugh Carey is legally still the governor. Someone get that old bastard up the Thruway, pronto!”

Madman in the Marketplace - 15 June 2009

RFLMAO … and people in the NY media laughed at Illinois during the Blago mess.

marisacat - 15 June 2009

Look who we elected out here.

There is no single fast and sure All Loons Congregate Here spot in the USA!! USA!!.

If only there were…

20. marisacat - 15 June 2009

HA! The code word is “deeply troubled”… coming from both State and Ob himself, in re Iran.

Glad we settled that!

21. Madman in the Marketplace - 15 June 2009

Drug suspect turns tables on NYPD with videotape

The moment Jose walked out of the holding cell, he made a beeline for Delicias and asked for a copy of the security tapes from the night they were arrested, Jan. 4, 2008.

“I knew it would be the only way to defend myself, because I knew the police would not believe me,” he said.

The owner of Delicias queued up the tapes and the two waded through an entire day’s worth of surveillance — until they found the two hours the men spent in the club that night — supposedly selling drugs.

Jose quickly got the tape to defense attorney Rochelle Berliner, a former narcotics prosecutor. She couldn’t believe what she was seeing.

“I almost threw up,” she said. “Because I must’ve prosecuted 1,500, 2,000 drug cases … and all felonies. And I think back, Oh my God, I believed everything everyone told me. Maybe a handful of times did something not sound right to me. I don’t mean to sound overly dramatic but I was like, sick.”

What the tape doesn’t show is striking: At no point did the officers interact with the undercovers, nor did the brothers appear to be involved in a drug deal with anyone else. Adding insult to injury, an outside camera taped the undercovers literally dancing down the street.

Berliner handed the tape over to the District Attorney’s integrity unit. It reviewed the images more than 100 times to make sure it wasn’t doctored by the defense before deciding to drop all charges against the brothers in June.

Six months later, Officer Tavarez and Detective Stephen Anderson pleaded not guilty to drug dealing and multiple other charges that their lawyers say were overblown.

Anderson’s attorney has described him as a seasoned investigator who had no reason to make a false arrest. Tavarez, his attorney said, was a novice undercover merely along for the ride.


Life quickly deteriorated for Max and Jose after their arrest.

They owned a successful convenience store in Jackson Heights, but lost their license to sell tobacco, alcohol and lottery tickets. The store closed a week before their case was dismissed.

“My life changed completely,” Jose said. “I had a life before, and I have a different existence now. … Now, I’m not able to afford to live in my own house or care for my children.”

Jose has found construction work, while Max commutes two hours to Philadelphia to work at a relative’s bodega. They stay away from the old neighborhood, where they say ugly rumors about them persist.

The brothers have filed a $10 million false arrest lawsuit against the police department, the officers involved and the city.

“I’m angry because, why’d it happen to me? I know a lot of people … they don’t go the right way and they can get away with it,” Max said. “I’m young and I try to go the right way and boom, this happened to me. So I’m angry with life, too.”

22. marisacat - 15 June 2009

Their heels are so round.

[H]ere’s the statement from the CIA’s Paul Gimigliano, in which the agency suggests that Panetta didn’t mean to say this at all:

“The Director was simply expressing his profound disagreement with the assertion that President Obama’s security policies have made our country less safe. That’s all there is to it. Everyone understands that al-Qaeda and its allies are a dangerous and determined enemy.”

Here’s what Panetta had said about Cheney, in a reference to the former Veep’s recent national security speech:

“When you read behind it, it’s almost as if he’s wishing that this country would be attacked again, in order to make his point. I think that’s dangerous politics.”

It seems the CIA is seizing on Panetta’s assertion that it’s almost as if Cheney wants another attack in order to claim that Panetta never said outright that Cheney wanted one. Either way, the agency is clearly walking back what Panetta said.

And of course this… quel surprise.

Update: One interesting thing about Panetta’s initial statement is that it might have forced a discussion of the subtext of Cheney’s ongoing crusade.

That doesn’t seem like a conversation the White House wants out there, though.

no hsit.

23. Madman in the Marketplace - 15 June 2009

Oklahoma Highway Patrol finally releases video of trooper attack on paramedic

An ambulance, with Maurice White acting as supervisor and paramedic, is taking an elderly woman, who had collapsed, to the hospital for treatment. Her worried family follows.

Trooper Daniel Martin, who was responding to a stolen car report, came up behind the ambulance on a two-lane country road. In Oklahoma, those shoulders are notoriously tricky for even a car to pull off onto. But there’s another factor involved.

As the dash cam clearly shows, a car is on the right-hand shoulder, partially obstructing the highway. Just as the highway patrol pulls up behind the ambulance, the medical unit must swing out to avoid colliding with the parked car.

Let me repeat that, because it’s important: if the ambulance’s driver, Paul Franks, had immediately pulled over when the racing trooper came up behind him, he would have created an accident. It is impossible to safely pull over while slamming into another vehicle.

After the ambulance gets past the parked vehicle, Franks slows and safely pulls over for the trooper. As Martin zooms by–at a speed that I would call excessive for just a stolen car report–he uses the radio to reprimand the ambulance for not pulling over.

Later in the tape, it’s shown that the sheriff’s department is already on scene at the stolen car incident. Martin is released from any need to be at the scene.

Then he whips around, guns his car, and goes out hunting the ambulance. When he catches up with the ambulance, what happens next is a textbook case for bad judgment and abuse of power.

Madman in the Marketplace - 15 June 2009

Linked story with cellphone video taken by the patients family members when they stopped to see why the ambulance was pulled over.

24. Madman in the Marketplace - 15 June 2009

I have a new piece up (wow, I’m on a roll):

Bitter Charity

catnip - 15 June 2009

Can you write one for me too? I’m definitely not on a roll!

25. catnip - 15 June 2009

I wonder how many CIA operatives are in Iran right now…just sayin’…

marisacat - 15 June 2009

oh no that is not the worry… “They” are bringing in 5,000 hezbollah fighters to put down the “reformists”.

Please, next time there is a street uprising HERE, can they be called reformists here too? Just a stray thought.

Meanwhile Sully has turned into VOI. Voice of Iran. http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/

It’s pretty funny really. Be sure and make your Facebook page green! Go Green for Iran!


26. Madman in the Marketplace - 15 June 2009

it is just so wrong that there is an organic women’s t-shirt with this logo on it:

Scott Roeder is an American Hero

marisacat - 15 June 2009

I don’t know what to say anymore.. I guess what Dr Hern said on the NOW program with Maria Hinojosa…

“nobody cares, it’s just an abortion clinic”.

27. marisacat - 15 June 2009

gnu post


………… 😯 ……………..

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