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Have a heart… 7 July 2009

Posted by marisacat in Inconvenient Voice of the Voter.

Aerobatic pilot Zoltan Veres flies above Lake Balaton during the Grand Aero Challenge in Balatonfured, Hungary [REUTERS]

… it’s ephemeral enough…



1. catnip - 7 July 2009

Sure…uh huh…

MOSCOW, Russia (CNN) — The United States is “absolutely not” giving Israel a green light to attack Iran, U.S. President Barack Obama told CNN Tuesday.

“We have said directly to the Israelis that it is important to try and resolve this in an international setting in a way that does not create major conflict in the Middle East,” Obama said, referring to Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

Obama has been in Moscow for a summit aimed at trying to reset the U.S.-Russian relationship.

On Sunday, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden appeared to leave the door open for Israel to attack Iran if it saw fit.

“Israel can determine for itself — it’s a sovereign nation — what’s in their interest and what they decide to do relative to Iran and anyone else,” Biden said on ABC’s “This Week.”

Obama said Tuesday that Biden had simply been stating a fact, not sending a signal.

“I think Vice President Biden stated a categorical fact, which is we can’t dictate to other countries what their security interests are.

Such BS.

Send O’Biden back to his bunker!

marisacat - 7 July 2009

I go back and forth… as I have disliked Biden for a long long time… but his loose mouth, jaws and tongue are entertaining.

Then again, he does other damage.

I did laugh pretty damned hard the day the party foisted him on Ob. Oh yes all powerful Ob. Stuck with a bizarre duck on his ass. By the party he “leads”.

Madman in the Marketplace - 7 July 2009

Eugene Robinson thinks he’s used to float things that they think the donk base will hate. If there is a pushback, they go “oh, you know BIDEN, always off message”, but if there isn’t, they feel safer about going ahead.

marisacat - 7 July 2009

oh sure i buy that… Plus this whole “Israel is sovereign” is EXACTLY what Ob said last week or the week before in one of his sit down one on ones.

As a couple fo commentators have pointed, so then Iran can bomb Israel’s nuclear plant? Too?

Madman in the Marketplace - 7 July 2009

seems fair to me.

2. catnip - 7 July 2009
Madman in the Marketplace - 7 July 2009


3. marisacat - 7 July 2009

Froomkin to head up HuffPo DC. I call this a good move. I would miss him if he was not somehwere. I hope it means he still writes, at least a column. At least when there are big transgressions ….

4. marisacat - 7 July 2009

hmm … maybe some tension among the sheeples. Or not.

A drop in Ohio

Obama’s political operation always cared more about state numbers than national polls, and with good reason, so this has to be slightly alarming:

President Barack Obama gets a lackluster 49 percent – 44 percent approval rating in Ohio, considered by many to be the most important swing state in a presidential election, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. This is President Obama’s lowest approval rating in any national or statewide Quinnipiac University poll since he was inaugurated and is down from 62 percent – 31 percent in a May 6 survey.

By Ben Smith 10:27 AM
comments (59) | post comment | permalink

LOL Gallup will rush right in an give him a leg up. Just like with Bush.

5. catnip - 7 July 2009
6. catnip - 7 July 2009
catnip - 7 July 2009
7. marisacat - 7 July 2009


He glides like a cardinal. Yup I want a cardinal, fake or real, running everything.

catnip - 7 July 2009

I caught a bit of the BBC’s reporting when Obamalama landed in Russia. They noted that he wasn’t about to be given the usual public rock star reception that he’s become used to in other places since it’s the custom for any foreign visitor to pay their respects to the Russian gov’t.

He must have felt right at home in the gilded Kremlin though considering he seems to luv those gold curtains he has in the WH now. (I don’t recall ever seeing Bush standing in front of those.)

8. marisacat - 7 July 2009

squeeezed in amongst the Palin posts.. at Sargent’s Plum line


[A] source close to the White House confirms that advisers knew they had to publicly walk back Rahm’s comments in order to reaffirm the President’s support for a public option. Obama did leave wiggle room by describing the public option as “one of the best ways” to go. But this is stronger than what Emanuel said.

It’s worth recalling that Dem Senators who privately met with Rahm last month also said he signaled a willingness to drop the public option, a claim that was subsequently denied by one of the Senators. This is becoming a pattern, isn’t it?

I dunno Greg. A pattern, a problem or a PLAN?

would you buy a used health care plan from these jokers?

9. catnip - 7 July 2009

I should have added: since it’s the custom for any foreign visitor to pay their respects to the Russian gov’t. (i.e. to show humility)

10. marisacat - 7 July 2009

We are so in the grip of the mil.

From Politico’s “44”

Mullen: Iran attack possible

By ALEXANDER BURNS | 07/07/09 4:52 PM

Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, warned Monday that the United States was running out of time to stop …

… Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, AP reports. AP:

“Mullen says the possibility of a military strike remains on the table. But he told a Washington audience Tuesday that he worries about what Iran would do if attacked.

“He says a strike would be a threat to stability in the Middle East. He urged caution even though, as he put it, the clock is ticking.

“Mullen says Iran could have nuclear weapons capability in one to three years.”

11. catnip - 7 July 2009

I hadn’t heard this story before:

Throughout Israel’s history two American mediators managed to achieve arrangements between Israel and the Arabs. The first was Dr. Ralph Bunche, a black diplomat who brokered the 1949 Armistice Agreement between Israel and the Arab states. Just before the signing of the accords, someone there began to hesitate. Bunche produced ceramic memorial plates he had commissioned for the signing ceremony. “If you come to an agreement, you will each receive such a plate as a souvenir,” he informed them. “Otherwise I will personally smash them over your heads.”


12. marisacat - 7 July 2009



-161.27 at 8163.60

-41.23 at 1746.17

13. Madman in the Marketplace - 7 July 2009

Health Care Industry Operates Shadow Congress of Lobbyists

Now the Post story has a few caveats that indicate that this lobbying campaign is probably larger than their reporting shows. For one:

The analysis identified more than 350 former government aides, each representing an average of four firms or trade groups. That tally does not include lobbyists who did not report their earlier government experience, such as PhRMA President W.J. “Billy” Tauzin, a former Republican congressman from Louisiana. Federal law does not require providing such detail.

Lobbying disclosure reports contain a field for listing prior government work, but this field is often left empty by lobbyists with government experience. If someone like Billy Tauzin, who is the poster boy for everything wrong with the revolving door, does not list his previous work as a leading lawmaker, what hope do we have for the many lesser former government workers to list their previous government work. I’d assume that the number of former government employees working in this campaign far exceeds 350.

14. marisacat - 7 July 2009

Tapper interview with Ob

[O]n Michael Jackson’s Funeral: ‘At Some Point People Will Start Focusing Again on Things Like Nuclear Weapons’

Having joked that he’d have to discuss Michael Jackson in order to get media coverage of the U.S.-Russian summit, the president said he wasn’t at all irritated by the media attention to the funeral of the King of Pop.

“You know, this is part of American culture,” the president said. “Michael Jackson, like Elvis, like Sinatra, when somebody whose captivated the imagination of the country for that long passes away, people pay attention. And I assume at some point people will start focusing again on things like nuclear weapons.” snip

And I assume at some point people will start focusing again on things like nuclear weapons.”

Oh because nuclear weapons is something we have such enormous control over. yes…and they give us such UNBRIDLED JOY!

15. Madman in the Marketplace - 7 July 2009

Joseph L. Galloway on McNamara: Reading an Obit With Great Pleasure

Well, the aptly named Robert Strange McNamara has finally shuffled off to join LBJ and Dick Nixon in the 7th level of Hell.

McNamara was the original bean-counter – a man who knew the cost of everything but the worth of nothing.

Back in 1990 I had a series of strange phone conversations with McMamara while doing research for my book We Were Soldiers Once And Young. McNamara prefaced every conversation with this: “I do not want to comment on the record for fear that I might distort history in the process.” Then he would proceed to talk for an hour, doing precisely that with answers that were disingenuous in the extreme – when they were not bald-faced lies.

Upon hanging up I would call Neil Sheehan and David Halberstam and run McNamara’s comments past them for deconstruction and the addition of the truth.

The only disagreement i ever had with Dave Halberstam was over the question of which of us hated him the most. In retrospect, it was Halberstam.

When McNamara published his first book – filled with those distortions of history – Halberstam, at his own expense, set out on a journey following McNamara on his book tour around America as a one-man truth squad.

McNamara abandoned the tour.

The most bizarre incident involving McNamara occurred when he was president of the World Bank and, off on his summer holiday, he caught the Martha’s Vineyard ferry. It was a night crossing in bad weather. McNamara was in the salon, drink in hand, schmoozing with fellow passengers. On the deck outside a vineyard local, a hippie artist, glanced through the window and did a double-take. The artist was outraged to see McNamara, whom he viewed as a war criminal, so enjoying himself.

He immediately opened the door and told McNamara there was a radiophone call for him on the bridge. McNamara set down his drink and stepped outside. The artist immediately grabbed him, wrestled him to the railing and pushed him over the side. McNamara managed to get his fingers through the holes in the metal plate that ran from the top of the railing to the scuppers.

McNamara was screaming bloody murder; the artist was prying his fingers loose one at a time. Someone heard the racket and raced out and pulled the artist off.

marisacat - 7 July 2009

have to hand ti to Galloway… a very good one.

Madman in the Marketplace - 7 July 2009

it was a welcome relief from all the bullshit about how McNamara was a secret peace activist.

Madman in the Marketplace - 7 July 2009

Galloway is on Maddow talking about it.

Madman in the Marketplace - 7 July 2009

oops, not Galloway, a Prof. Hendrickson who wrote about the ferry incident in a book about Galloway.

16. Madman in the Marketplace - 7 July 2009

Mourning Michael Jackson, Ignoring the Afghan Dead By Tom Engelhardt

In the two weeks since, however, that’s been on my mind — or rather the lack of interest our world shows in dead civilians from a distant imperial war — and all because of a passage I stumbled upon in a striking article by journalist Anand Gopal. In “Uprooting an Afghan Village” in the June issue of the Progressive magazine, he writes about Garloch, an Afghan village he visited in the eastern province of Laghman. After destructive American raids, Gopal tells us, many of its desperate inhabitants simply packed up and left for exile in Afghan or Pakistani refugee camps.

One early dawn in August 2008, writes Gopal, American helicopters first descended on Garloch for a six-hour raid:

“The Americans claim there were gunshots as they left. The villagers deny it. Regardless, American bombers swooped by the village just after the soldiers left and dropped a payload on one house. It belonged to Haiji Qadir, a pole-thin, wizened old man who was hosting more than forty relatives for a wedding party. The bomb split the house in two, killing sixteen, including twelve from Qadir’s family, and wounding scores more… The malek [chief] went to the province’s governor and delivered a stern warning: protect our villagers or we will turn against the Americans.”

That passage caught my eye because, to the best of my knowledge, I’m the only person in the U.S. who has tried to keep track of the wedding parties wiped out, in whole or part, by American military action since the Bush administration invaded Afghanistan in November 2001. With Gopal’s report from Garloch, that number, by my count, has reached five (only three of which are well documented in print).

The first occurred in December of that invasion year when a B-52 and two B-1B bombers, wielding precision-guided weapons, managed, according to reports, to wipe out 110 out of 112 revelers in another small Afghan village. At least one Iraqi wedding party near the Syrian border was also eviscerated — by U.S. planes back in 2004. Soon after that slaughter, responding to media inquiries, an American general asked: “How many people go to the middle of the desert… to hold a wedding 80 miles from the nearest civilization?” Later, in what passed for an acknowledgment of the incident, another American general said: “Could there have been a celebration of some type going on?… Certainly. Bad guys have celebrations.” Case closed.

Perhaps over the course of an almost eight-year war in Afghanistan, the toll in wedding parties may seem modest: not even one a year! But before we settle for that figure, evidently so low it’s not worth a headline in this country, let’s keep in mind that there’s no reason to believe:

* I’ve seen every article in English that, in passing, happens to mention an Afghan wedding slaughter — the one Gopal notes, for instance, seems to have gotten no other coverage; or

* that other wedding slaughters haven’t been recorded in languages I can’t read; or

* that, in the rural Pashtun backlands, some U.S. attacks on wedding celebrants might not have made it into news reports anywhere.

In fact, no one knows how many weddings — rare celebratory moments in an Afghan world that, for three decades, has had little to celebrate — have been taken out by U.S. planes or raids, or a combination of the two.

Madman in the Marketplace - 7 July 2009

And, by the way, don’t get me started on that gloomy companion rite to the wedding celebration: the funeral. Even I haven’t been counting those, but that doesn’t mean the U.S. and its allies haven’t been knocking off funeral parties in Afghanistan (and recently, via a CIA drone aircraft, in Pakistan as well).

Following almost two weeks in which the U.S. (and global) media went berserk over the death of one man, in which NBC, for instance, devoted all but about five minutes of one of its prime-time half-hour news broadcasts to nothing — and I mean nothing — but the death of Michael Jackson, in which the President of the United States sent a condolence letter to the Jackson family (and was faulted for not having moved more quickly), in which 1.6 million people registered for a chance to get one of 17,500 free tickets to his memorial service… well, why go on? Unless you’ve been competing in isolation in the next round of Survivor, or are somehow without a TV, or possibly any modern means of communication, you simply can’t avoid knowing the rest.

You’d have to make a desperate effort not to know that Michael Jackson (until recently excoriated by the media) had died, and you’d have to make a similarly desperate effort to know that we’ve knocked off one wedding party after another these last years in Afghanistan. One of these deaths — Jackson’s — really has little to do with us; the others are, or should be, our responsibility, part of an endless war the American people have either supported or not stopped from continuing. And yet one is a screaming global headline; the others go unnoticed.

You’d think there might, in fact, be room for a small headline somewhere. Didn’t those brides, grooms, relatives, and revelers deserve at least one modest, collective corner of some front-page or a story on some prime-time news show in return for their needless suffering? You’d think that some president or high official in Washington might have sent a note of condolence to someone, that there might have been a rising tide of criticism about the slow response here in expressing regrets to the families of Afghans who died under our bombs and missiles.

Here’s the truth of it, though: When it comes to Afghan lives — especially if we think, correctly or not, that our safety is involved — it doesn’t matter whether five wedding parties or 50 go down, two funerals or 25. Our media isn’t about to focus real attention on the particular form of barbarity involved — the American air war over Afghanistan which has been a war of and for, not on, terror.

marisacat - 7 July 2009

well I will say one thing… Local media was VERY happy to cover issues (mostly related to service people and families) in both wars, UNDER BUSH. Not so now. All sorts of issues…. esp financial pressures on NG families pulled into long term service, “back door drafts”, orphaned children. Horrific head trauma being treated down at the VA in Palo Alto.

No longer. It died out during the primaries.

We get nothing but “support the troops” bullshit. Families of the dead happy to slobber for war. Cheery patriotic crap. Flag waves. No coverage of anti war anymore. No coverage of displays or tributes to the dead, in the sense of “against the wars”

Swami Ob. All tribute to the swami.

Something like that.

Madman in the Marketplace - 7 July 2009

the media is back to where it was when it was cheerleading the beginning of the Iraq war crimes.

17. Madman in the Marketplace - 7 July 2009

The Dark Side of Climate Change: It’s Already Too Late, Cap and Trade Is a Scam, and Only the Few Will Survive

As the fight over cap-and-trade intensifies, human-driven climate change denialists like Rush Limbaugh and James Inhofe will draw the lion’s share of the media spotlight reserved for the bill’s critics. This is unfortunate. The real debate is not between the bill’s supporters and the dead-ender climate clown club. It is between cap-and-trade’s supporters and its critics within the scientific and environmental activist communities. Groups like Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth have science if not politics on their side when they decry Waxman-Markey as an industry diluted half-measure with soft gums that falls far short of what is necessary to avoid cataclysmic climate change later this century.

“The giveaways and preferences in the bill will actually spur a new generation of nuclear and coal-fired power plants to the detriment of real energy solutions,” said Greenpeace in a statement the day before the House vote. “To support such a bill is to abandon the real leadership that is called for at this pivotal moment in history. We simply no longer have the time for legislation this weak.”

This view is shared by leading climate scientists like James Hansen and his peers around the world at leading research centers such as the UK’s Hadley Center for Climate Prediction and Research, which urge more significant and immediate cuts than the finance-sector friendly cap-and-trade system can deliver.

There is another, fourth voice in the debate over cap-and-trade, one ringing out from shadows rarely approached by the media. In these shadows dwell scientists who believe the time has passed for any sort of legislation at all, no matter how radical. The best known of these frightening climate gnomes is the legendary British scientist James Lovelock, father of Gaia Theory and inventor of the instrument allowing for the atmospheric measurements of CFC’s. In recent years, Lovelock has emerged as the world’s leading climate pessimist, raining scorn on the new fashionable environmentalism and arguing that the time is nigh to accept that a massive culling of the human race is around the corner.

“Most of the ‘green’ stuff is verging on a gigantic scam,” Lovelock told the New Scientist shortly before the release of his latest book, The Vanishing Face of Gaia. “Carbon trading, with its huge government subsidies, is just what finance and industry wanted. It’s not going to do a damn thing about climate change, but it’ll make a lot of money for a lot of people and postpone the moment of reckoning.”

marisacat - 7 July 2009

Well threre won’t be many Green Jobs … when stuff shakes out in a few years.

I assume Hanson had dialed Gore. And it was meaningless….

that bizarre carbon trading business caught on early here. Loads of cheer leaders for it.

18. Madman in the Marketplace - 7 July 2009
marisacat - 7 July 2009

The joke gets bigger.

19. marisacat - 7 July 2009

Cockburn on McNamara… honestly, there is not enough dirt to pile on top of him.

[T]o interviewers McNamara paid great stress on JFK’s “shock”, just a few weeks before he himself was killed, at the assassination of South Vietnam’s Ngo Dinh Diem and his brother. He also promoted the view that Kennedy was planning to withdraw from Vietnam. He oversaw the fakery of the Gulf of Tonkin “attack” that prompted the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution in 1964, whereby Congress gave LBJ legal authority to prosecute and escalate the war in Vietnam. He was a career “front man” for the Kennedys, called even to Chappaquiddick to help Ted Kennedy figure out what to say about it.

The Six Day War? Just before this ’67 war the Israelis were ready to attack and knew they were going to win but couldn’t get a clear go- ahead from the Johnson Administration. As the BBC documentary The 50 Years War narrates, Meir Amit, head of Israel’s Mossad, flew to Washington. The crucial OK came from McNamara, thus launching Israel’s long-planned, aggressive war on Egypt, Jordan and Syria, which led to present disasters. It was McNamara, after Israel’s deliberate attack on the US ship Liberty during that war (with thirty-four US sailors dead and 174 wounded), who supervised the cover- up.

McNamara had a 13-year stint running the World Bank, whither he was dispatched by LBJ, Medal of Freedom in hand. McNamara liked to brandish his Bank years as his moral redemption and all too often his claim is accepted by those who have no knowledge of the actual, ghastly record. In fact the McNamara of the World Bank evolved naturally, organically, from the McNamara of Vietnam. snip

I read that McGovern today called McN “courageous”.

marisacat - 8 July 2009

Here is the exact quote

What is Secretary McNamara’s legacy regarding Vietnam?

Bob McNamara had the courage and the character and the intelligence to admit that he was wrong about Vietnam. We’re still waiting for some of the other Vietnam actors to say that they were wrong. I think he’ll be remembered as a top figure that way. That’s a great legacy.

He also did remarkably effective work as president of the World Bank [where he served as president from 1968-1981]. Even though he was a wealthy man and a former CEO of one of the biggest corporations, he geared the work of the World Bank to the benefit of the poorest people around the world.

And jsut for full measure he adds, at the end of the interview::

However, I have reason to believe that his wife and his children had turned against the war even while he was secretary of defense.

😆 the.whole.family.

20. marisacat - 8 July 2009

Banging head ’til bloody against a brick wall……………………… 😥

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Reid to Baucus: Stop Chasing GOP Votes on Health Care

by John Aravosis (DC) on 7/07/2009 11:09:00 PM

Now that’s good news. And even some leadership.

According to Democratic sources, Reid told Baucus that taxing health benefits and failing to include a strong government-run insurance option of some sort in his bill would cost 10 to 15 Democratic votes; Reid told Baucus it wasn’t worth securing the support of Grassley and at best a few additional Republicans.

He links to Roll Call which is sub only…

21. marisacat - 8 July 2009

gnu post


……………………. ,, ………………..

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