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Stick figure super heroes… 3 September 2009

Posted by marisacat in 2008 Election, 2010 Mid Terms, 2012 Re Election, DC Politics, Democrats, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter.

The secret life of toys: dramatic toy photos by Brian McCarty

His work fuses reality and hyperreality through the personification of toy characters, integrated into actual settings. This picture shows a Barack Obama figure at the Lorraine Motel, scene of Martin Luther King’s assassination. McCarty explains:

“I shot my piece for MANIFEST HOPE: DC at the National Civil Rights Museum, built in Memphis from the shell of the Lorraine Motel. My intention was to foster discussion of race while commenting on the achievement of President Obama, viewed in the context of Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy. Because it may have been a political liability, Obama was the only candidate not to visit the Lorraine while campaigning. It was almost as if he couldn¹t do anything to remind Americans that he was the black candidate. He, more than the others, had to maintain a persona devoid of race. With the election won, I felt it was time for Obama to visit the site and pay tribute”
Picture: Brian McCarty, Art-Toy by Jason Feinberg/Photo Gallery Telegraph

Well. That is one version of what is going on.




1. marisacat - 3 September 2009

At least 60 people have been killed in a Nato air strike on a hijacked fuel tanker in Kunduz province, northern Afghanistan, officials say.

For more details: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news

marisacat - 3 September 2009

Via AFP… hmm… local insurgents? taliban? poor villagers?:

“Last night, the Taliban tried to take a fuel tanker that they hijacked on the highway to Angorbagh village,” said Baryalai Basharyar Parwani, police chief of the Ali Abad district in northern Kunduz province.

“The fuel tanker got stuck in the river. There were local civilians with them as well. The Taliban were bombed. More than 60 people have been killed and injured,” he said.

A spokesman for the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) under NATO told AFP: “It was an ISAF airstrike.”

Wounded people with horrific burns crowded a hospital in Kunduz, the capital in the northern province which lies on a main supply line for the more than 100,000 foreign troops based in Afghanistan, said an AFP reporter.

Around eight bodies were in terrible condition — the skin burnt black and peeling off to expose raw red muscle. Others were so badly wounded, they were incapable of crying, with their badly burnt clothes stuck to their flesh.

Hospital authorities could not provide an immediate number of the wounded as more patients kept arriving, crowding the recovery rooms and corridors.

Mohammad Daud, 32, told AFP at the hospital that Taliban insurgents hijacked two fuel tankers on the highway destined for foreign troops in Afghanistan and were trying to transport them across a river to villages in Angorbagh.

“They managed to take one of the tankers over the river. The second got stuck so they told villagers to come and take the diesel,” Daud said.

“Villagers rushed to the fuel tanker with any available container that they had, including water buckets and pots for cooking oil.

“There were 10 to 15 Taliban on top of the tanker. This was when they were bombed. Everyone around the fuel tanker died.

“Nobody was in one piece. Hands, legs and body parts were scattered everywhere. Those who were away from the fuel tanker were badly burnt.”

2. marisacat - 3 September 2009

Too funny… poking around the UK press I saw this at the Guardian (full text):

Kennedy stories not big players on US news websites

Online readers of US newspapers are passing over stories about Ted Kennedy

It seems US newspaper editors have overestimated reader interest in the volumes of Ted Kennedy news, tributes, reminiscences and other articles. On the websites of top US newspapers, Kennedy stories seem to be garnering little readership compared to other big offerings.

On the New York Times web page, Kennedy tops out at number 9 on the most e-mailed stories.

The Los Angeles Times: Number 9.

Huffington Post has a Kennedy story at number 3 most-viewed: One about Rush Limbaugh gloating about predicting the senator’s death. So it’s really a Rush Limbaugh story.

On the most-emailed list at the Boston Globe, Kennedy’s home paper, an opinion piece entitled “Agree with him or not, you had to like Ted” takes the number 2 spot, with a piece on traffic closures caused by the funeral procession at number 4.

On the Washington Post page, a story about the reaction in Boston to the senator’s death is number 3 most viewed.

People wore out during the long Goodbye. And the long “the Torch Is Passed!, the Dream shall Neva Neva Die!” routine.

3. catnip - 3 September 2009

That photographer should pose stick figure super hero Obama in front of a public option sign – since he hasn’t shown up for that either.

CSTAR - 3 September 2009

He looks … melancholy.

4. marisacat - 3 September 2009

There is an interesting piece at Cpunch on Auburn prison in upstate NY (parts of it heartening) but this is at the start…. sure never heard this..

Auburn is one of America’s oldest and most infamous prisons. It was founded in 1816 in upstate New York as a model prison, in which work would be a significant part of punishment and rehabilitation. The first execution by electric chair in the United States took place here, the chair itself apparently designed by Gustav Stickley of Arts and Crafts fame (although, there is some debate about this). There is no debate that Stickley ran a factory at the prison, in which 300 prisoners constructed his stylish furniture, the expensive brand remaining to this day. One wonders whether they also built the ghoulish new killing machine. . . . .

5. marisacat - 4 September 2009

Despite suffering massive burns from a US air strike on her Afghan village, nine-year-old Nadia Sahar urged American liberals to not protest President Obama’s war, as it might hurt his re-election chances. – Perrin – God Shed His Grace Ennui

6. marisacat - 4 September 2009

Amongst all the horror at the Daily Mail tabloid… there was this “awww” story. When the lede said really large dog (Rhodesian Ridgeback) and really tiny piglet (tiny pot belly)… well, they were right.

catnip - 4 September 2009

Awesome pics! 🙂

7. marisacat - 4 September 2009

If it weren’t all so tragic I’d be laughing. Boyarsky at Truth dig

[A]nother important issue being decided in private is what precisely will Americans get from the new plan. “What level of subsidies [will] be available to make coverage more affordable for people?” asked Drew Altman, president of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. “What kind of coverage will people receive, and will it meet the public’s expectations?”

Kucinich doesn’t like the secret process. Neither does a newspaper that seldom, if ever, agrees with him on anything: The Wall Street Journal. Noting that President Barack Obama has complained that critics have misrepresented him, the paper said, “Who’s to know what’s reality and what’s a myth when the public and Members of Congress aren’t able to read a bill that would restructure one-seventh of our economy.”

So far, the loser in this game of backroom politics is the consumer or, in this case, the patient. The winner is the medical care industry.

President Obama is scheduled to speak to Congress on Wednesday on the issue. He’ll have to assure the rest of us that we’ll be winners, too.

8. Madman in the Marketplace - 4 September 2009

Love the photo.

Speaking of comic books: ‘Barack The Barbarian’? More Obama Comics Announced

Madman in the Marketplace - 4 September 2009
9. marisacat - 4 September 2009

Stick figure vs …

via The Note:

Looming over a frustrating debate:

“Top Democrats should be very frightened about the sharp drop in support among independents, because it could ultimately threaten their party’s hold on the House and shrink their majority in the Senate,” Charlie Cook writes in his National Journal column. “Voters see Obama as having sent suggestions rather than proposals to the Hill, staking his future and reputation on a body that they hold in low regard.”

He continues: “With 14 months to go before the 2010 midterm election, something could happen to improve the outlook for Democrats. However, wave elections, more often than not, start just like this: The president’s ratings plummet; his party loses its advantage on the generic congressional ballot test; the intensity of opposition-party voters skyrockets; his own party’s voters become complacent or even depressed; and independent voters move lopsidedly away. These were the early-warning signs of past wave elections. Seeing them now should terrify Democrats.”

Hard to know how professional and elected Dems react to anything.

10. marisacat - 4 September 2009

Note to the spam file.

I cannot imagine that anyone is so limited, so star struck, so Dem party struck blind (at this late date) as to think if Obama were assassinated that Biden would …how was it put? fulfill the Obama campaign promises, fulfill the Obama campaign agenda… soemthing like that…

What about 30+ years of Biden did you miss?

What about Dem party bait and switch electoral politics did you miss? Especially as it is their tired and tedious calling card.

Are you for fucking real?

BooHooHooMan - 4 September 2009

So Mcat cmon dish…What did it say? The usual derogatory term about us being Cat Shitterers or something? (Like anyone doesn’t recognize the catastrophic sequala caused by any political decapitation.)
Followed by an apology for Ob, noting his weaknesses but insisting he was the the Lesser of Two Evils candidate? As if The Surge in AfPak is any different from McCains? As if the Bank Bailouts are any different? As if the decision not to prosecute was any different ? What was it followed by? Some assessmeent that Ob and Biden and every rounder in the Admin are not PART OF The PTB, the MIC, take your pick?

People with a rock in their head or a shred of resistence left in their gelatinous souls Should be ashamed of being taken in. But unlike the Independents and Soft R who DID lend support to Obama and the Dems one more time™— > the still stuck Obatniks can’t bring themselves, _ ( *correction ) WON’T bring themselves to admit they were taken in. Why? Flat out it’s personal vanity and a matter of intellectual integrity, despite the alleged togethery, we can do this held out as their world view….

I noticed Merkl just declared a National Day of Guilt in Germany…Now, its true there were Germans of this middling sort who weren’t Nazi apologists, per se. But without THEM, this mush in the middle with their inability to be discomfitted with the grotesque: the perverted, propogandized, and aggrandized reality….what can one say…how can you work with people …what fate is to come when such folks however well meaning they believe themselves to be — represent the so called “center”…

Obama is the best salesman the PTB in this country ever had. EVER. Hardly realists, The Assassasino talk among the haplessly hopeful relieves one of the hum drum reality of having been beaten just beaten into political irrelevency. Until suck folks wake up, or at least for Chist’s sake quit AMPLIFYING the Bullshit…we will remain where we are.
Stuck and Fucked.

marisacat - 4 September 2009

ha! It was from an assassination masturbator. FWIW… why any of them are away from the prayer circles I just don’t know…

BooHooHooMan - 4 September 2009

Thanks to Ob’s Surge, -never seen one he didn’t like –
he went along with Bush on the Iraq “Surge” too..

this is but a few small pices of the AfPak Reality.
(AP’s piece via St. Petersburg Times , the Julie Jacobson graf showing the death of Marine Joshua Bernard )

Of course, Gates pushes back from the Pentagon.

And The bulk of the US “News Media” falls in line to bury it.
Oh they’ll fuck with Ob and engage in the distraction of cross aisle sniping… few — (who now? )…EVER push the Pentagon.

So very fucked up, the relentless Government propoganda, the Court Eunuch press , and their remnant readership, if not the outright Move Along Nothing to See Her Sheeple……then the weak anxious sorts ..Well You Know, I’m all for Transparency but sometimes…”

So very fucked…
and STUCK.

While Ob the murderous minstrel provides release from all cares.


marisacat - 4 September 2009

Gates is in charge.

11. catnip - 4 September 2009

At least you get fun spam. All I get is “Hello my love one” and “Your Citi account has been locked” (like I have a Citi account).

BooHooHooMan - 4 September 2009

I get: ” If this is you, fucker, Turn Yourself In.”

BooHooHooMan - 4 September 2009

(A standard salutation here in Jersey.)

catnip - 4 September 2009

lol 😀

Madman in the Marketplace - 4 September 2009

I get garbled Russian.

12. catnip - 4 September 2009

My latest: Surprise!

BooHooHooMan - 4 September 2009

Nice Piece, catnip.

catnip - 4 September 2009

Donkey schoen.

marisacat - 4 September 2009

it’s very good… a SURPRISE PARTY… ongoing at all times at the WH.


Madman in the Marketplace - 4 September 2009

Jenny WASN’T the Senator’s dad?


13. catnip - 4 September 2009
14. catnip - 4 September 2009

One giant slip in Bangladesh news

Two Bangladeshi newspapers have apologised after publishing an article taken from a satirical US website which claimed the Moon landings were faked.

The Daily Manab Zamin said US astronaut Neil Armstrong had shocked a news conference by saying he now knew it had been an “elaborate hoax”.

Neither they nor the New Nation, which later picked up the story, realised the Onion was not a genuine news site.


15. catnip - 4 September 2009

Controversial Obama Administration Official Denies Being Part of 9/11 “Truther” Movement, Apologizes for Past Comments

In February during a discussion on energy at Berkeley, Calif., (and prior to his joining the Obama administration) Jones referred to Republicans using an epithet for a proctological orifice, which he called “a technical, political science term.

Asked why Republicans asserted more control of the Senate when they had a smaller majority before 2006, Jones said “the answer to that is, they’re a–holes.” He added that President Obama is not an a–hole, but, “I will say this. I can be an a–hole, and some of us who are not Barack Hussein Obama are going to have to start getting a little bit uppity.”

The next “Thrown under the Bus” candidate?

BooHooHooMan - 4 September 2009

Prolly FLOWN INTO the Bus. LOL.

(..naughty I know, but hey…)

BooHooHooMan - 4 September 2009

Nice Leak too…
a week in advance of Our High Holy Slobber Day.
Wherein Ob will politically non-politicize the dead.
And act all angry like. And declare the intelligence trail FORECLOSED

By the way….Bin Laden captured yet?

16. Revisionist - 4 September 2009

Thx for the kind words last night. Beta dog is still acting a little weird but I cant tell if its death related or because storms have been blowing thru.

RE Jones….. I have a connection to Jones from my last job and he is a nice guy. He was never considered a “radical” His appointement made total sense. However, I have been catching Glen Becks radio show the past month or so and have caught some of Becks non stop Jones bashing. Most of it is just total bullshit but Beck has audio of Jones at some rallies. I am sure alot of context is missing but his preaching would garner eyerolls from most of us lefty progressives. for instance chanting SHARE THE WEALTH regarding illegal immigrant farm workers. If I had not been aware of Jones from my prvious job I would have lumped him in with the Free Mumia crowd.

But I think catnip is right that Jones will be cut loose. O just doesnt need any more shit on the fan.

What I really wanted to talk about was the School Speech. I have eyeballed the blogs for the first time in months and everyone is making it a funny. Its isnt. Its very real and disturbing. I woke up early and started caring for my deceased dog ( i thought we had days or a week and didnt know he would hemmorage later taht day). I turned on the radio for white noise. A local drive time program was on and all the callers were freaking out about it and peeps were talkig about what to do when you pull your kids out of school. (racism is an issue IMO) and making all the comparisons to the Hitler youth.. Now this station uses a FOX news feed but it generally only plays at the top and 1/2 hour marks. That day it was cioming on whenever they went to commercial so like every 10 -15 minutes. The story they repeated everytime was (paraphrase) Concrned about Indoctrination Parents are flooding the school district with calls and planning to keep their children home the 8th. It was obvious to me that not only were they trying to make this seem bigger than it was it was also a dog whistle for people to call and keep their kids home. So FOX is definatly pushing this hard and creating the drama and I expect that 1000000s of kids will be absent and not just a few wackos. The fact that its kids is getting people riled that might not have been in line with the birthers, deathers or tea bagger types. I might add that the host gingerly said that it was all bullshit but let his callers spew their wackness. I think this is going to be the messiest thing the O admin is going to have to deal with.

I dont think healthcare/jones/indoctrination of children/birthers is just righties making shit up as they go along. I think someone somewhere is coordinating. Not gonna say Rove but I think its Rovesque. All of this and we are only 7 months into the O era.

Being away from the blogosphere all year it was also fun to check in at the Orange. Most of the posters seem to be where all the “trolls” were 2 or more years ago. I know they put out the bravado when ever there is a hot button issue but this time i think they mean it. Obama’s presidency and the Dem party could be done in a couple of weeks

catnip - 4 September 2009

It’s being reported that a few school districts are refusing to show the speech – even in Obama’s adopted homeland, Illinois. Hysteria wins again.

Most of the posters seem to be where all the “trolls” were 2 or more years ago.

Yup. And how many of those non-Obama supporters were banned for the sake of purity? Late to the reality party, that bunch over there now.

marisacat - 4 September 2009

yes I heard on the am news that Illinois is one of the states. It was reported without noting that it is Ob’s home address. (til he is Hawaiian… or Indonesian)

marisacat - 4 September 2009

I expect Jones to be cut loose as well. He got lucky with the Dems (imo) and rode it to DC. Ride will soon be over…

Oh I thnk the right always coordinates. Why would they not?

marisacat - 4 September 2009

As for the School Speech… the pretzel should have stuck to pieties… shuffled out as usual…

The “mistake” was to turn it into an exhortation (however mild) for the kids to “help” him. And now, in the old dance, the WH pulls back, revises, ”wonders” what went wrong. Does not matter who is in the WH from the Dem party… they pull back revise, often apologise, etc. it is beyond old.

IMO this dance between Ob and the Right is tiresome, n both sides. He is mesmerised by the operatives and noisemakers on the right. So dull. The WH wants to hold on to Democrats by drawing the opposition as crazy. Well…. you cannot make it with just Democrats.

Revisionist - 4 September 2009

in the long term, i believe that this is the death knoll of the republican party or the right as we know it at least. There was one caller who identified himself is very christian very conservative republican father. Said he was anti health care and immigrant. But when it came to this school thing he thought the people where just nuts and weirdly paranoid. He said “i just cant identify with this”. Not just this but the birthers, tea baggers, town halls etc.

marisacat - 4 September 2009

why do people continually think the Right is dead, over, gone too far… etc. I find those declarations mystifying.

IMO these divisions go all the way back, they get reformed, redressed and just reenter the game.

Ob moves ever right. Who wins?

Look, San Francisco when I was child was largely Republican. We (and much of CA) had forms of Jim Crow laws on the books… developments were built with covenants (no blacks or browns could live there and had to be out by dusk) and so on. IMO now that the city votes largely Democrtic (think Pelosi Boxer Feinstein and Ob all get around 75% of the vote, some a little more some a little less)… and IMO the same people run the city. You cannot get elected here with “R” by your name. We have some Libertarian ideas… and grass roots orgs manage to get some help for people (a lot more than in Tx for instance)… but again a lot of the same people run the town. They jsut moved over to the Dem party.

What really changed?

Revisionist - 4 September 2009

Yeah but who. It reminds me of how plublicity campaigns are done for movies or books. Like a film shooting now probably already has its stars booked on letterman in 9 months when the film opens. Or they have a tie in with Burger King so all of that is planned out. There has to be a group somewhere giving go orders or watching a calender. Michael Steele is too incompetant to be coording from the RNC. Is there some wealthy cabal ala The Family somewhere.

marisacat - 4 September 2009

oh but Ob admits he has “prayed” with The Family “a couple of times”.

😆 at least that is what he admits to…

Very entertaining.

marisacat - 4 September 2009

ok.. here is what I think is pretty obvious.

We live in a world of fixers who service the people who run this country. Which is MIC and the top multinational corps.

I go back to who managed to get Eisenhower to take “congressional” out of his advisory, he wanted to say Military Industrial Congressional Complex… who went to him? A core group of Republican senators. Who I am sure were backed by a core group of Democratic senators. Faithfully serving their constituents.

And remember, Eisenhwoer came into the office a few years after winning Europe. VE day… battle of this battle of that, 5 star general. He had some history.

But he got a major speech, probably his most major speech edited.

My main objection to ob was he had no power. NONE. Not a drop. The crafting of the image was to be frank, thin. Axelrod has run those sentiments and speech craftings thru Freddie Ferrer in NYC when he ran in 2000 (or 2001, I forget) Deval Patrick, Edwards… and now Ob. “Two Americas” Red States Blue States”, and various versions… etc etc.


Minor fixer. He’d be road kill in a few months. Now, it has happened faster than I had thought, for one, his personal affect has gone utterly flat very fast.

I thought sheer helium would keep him a bit puffier for a few months longer.

I was off.

17. marisacat - 4 September 2009

Speaking of the school speech.. this is at Ben Smith… no embedded link, so posting in full. So classic. So misses the point.

Our “sense of unity and dignity”? When? Where? We did???… have that???? WE DID?

Good s/he catches on to the “surreal reality show controversy”… if a couple (maybe three or more) decades late.

Scranton? Why can’t Biden just go there and make the boo boo go away?

A teacher vents

The counter-reaction to the objections to Obama’s speech to kids may just be equally intense, at least for some.

A longtime Pennsylvania correspondent emails:

I am a teacher in a semi-rural school district near Scranton, PA. I wanted to share/vent my frustration and felt that you needed to hear it.

We just got an announcement that due to the “controversy,” our school will not be airing the presidential address to students in our school. I can’t imagine the firestorm that would have brewed in certain network circles if, 5 years ago, a school would have chosen to not show a presidential address. Would not their patriotism and fairness be called into question?

Where has our sense of dignity and unity gone? Is this the future of the country where everything is politicized to a point that it all is a surreal reality show controversy? I can’t believe that I am saying it but after [redacted] years of teaching and service to the school I am at, I feel like leaving it.

I know that there will come a time when my choice for president was not the choice of the country, and, when that happens, can I refuse to show stuff?

catnip - 4 September 2009

Is this the future of the country where everything is politicized to a point that it all is a surreal reality show controversy?


Did I pass the test?

BooHooHooMan - 4 September 2009

And the simp doesn’t get there IS “unity” ..
Oh there’s “Unity” all right…Unity at the top, among The Precious Chosen, not a strict reference there, but definitely the imperative by our interdependent Elites that necessitates militaristic acquisition to maintain their rarefied air.

Thus the “surreal reality show” milieu , the perpetual distraction and propoganda. The PTB rightly percieved the Populace would not support Perma War with their own blood. No matter: as long as the mules are fools enough to be made working slaves …the Military and Financial Warfare can continue….They can sub out the rest to mercenaries.

18. catnip - 4 September 2009

I’m on a roll: Let’s Bomb Washington!

marisacat - 4 September 2009

they have too much time on their hands. I would nto be surprised if we don’t soon expand the War Effort. And not in a good way.

19. marisacat - 4 September 2009

Speaking of Van Jones… FOX News (who else?) has a round up of the commentary at issue.

BUT HE APOLOGISED? Doesn’t that make it all better? No? How about this: he never believed ANY of it. (which is the truth imo)… will that do it?

When will Dems, liberals left etc stop apologising, fearful that White Father is mad.

When they fucking believe in anything, that is when.

marisacat - 4 September 2009

oh yeah. They did connect him to Mumia. He organised, participated in organising or at least was quoted in SF Gate (embedded link at the site) as doing so… at least one march in SF in 99.

I know I am supposed to weep for the “community organiser”, the “civil rights atty”, etc., but I am taking a pass

marisacat - 4 September 2009


White House Declines to Say Van Jones Enjoys “the Confidence of the President” *

September 04, 2009 12:06 PM

Asked if controversial White House official Van Jones continues to enjoy the confidence of President Obama given recent revelations about his involvement with those who suggest the Bush administration knew about the 9/11 attacks and allowed them to happen in order to justify a war for oil, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs Friday morning would only say “he continues to work in this administration.” . . . . . . . . .

Tapper cites some involvemnt with an anti war mag War Times… could be the straw.

Ob has to keep the MIC happy.

catnip - 4 September 2009

They did connect him to Mumia.

That should be the death knell for him at dkos. They hate that guy over there. (But of course it won’t be because they’re a bunch of hypocrites.)

Madman in the Marketplace - 4 September 2009

when will they learn … never apologize, counterattack!

watching them get pummled year after year upon year is just so damned boring.

marisacat - 4 September 2009

i would suggest bowing out and skipping the week or two of apologising. Maybe a small cash payout from some Dem supporting lobbyists if you go now. Please pass GO AND go to Jail, here is your 200 bucks.

The long apologetic funeral dirges are just so bad.

20. marisacat - 4 September 2009

oh yeah the other problems… The WH “regrets”. Right on schedule, imo.

Think Gibbs shook a thin-lipped finger at ’em. That’ll do it.

21. catnip - 4 September 2009
22. catnip - 4 September 2009

Wonders of the Web: Cat ladders

I like this bit:

The site reminded of a time lived I lived in a large condo building, every once in a while a big orange tabby would be sitting by the main entrance obviously waiting to be let in. He wore a tag that upon inspection revealed his name and apartment number, which was on the second floor.

The idea was that he would enter the building with you and wait for the elevator, he would meow a little thank you but otherwise the conversation was pretty limited. When the elevator came, he would get on with you and all you had to was push the second floor button for him so he would get off and go to his apartment. You couldn’t fool him either, he knew his floor. He could jump off the balcony onto the grass, but to get back in, he took the elevator and everyone in the building knew it and complied with his wishes.


marisacat - 4 September 2009

oh that is fantastic! Great story… reminds me of the bus riding cat in the UK…

23. marisacat - 4 September 2009

Obama meets with the House “liberals”. Surprised it was not under cloak of darkness at a hot sheet motel.

The president made no commitments, sources said, emphasizing that the Democratic caucus is a diverse one, and he’s trying to gauge where different factions of the party are and take all views in.

In a statement, Woolsey said, “The president listened, asked many questions, and suggested that the dialogue should continue. A follow-up meeting between the president and caucus leaders will take place next Tuesday or Wednesday at the White House.”

Prolly the last line was, OK I fuck you over now but you are with me next year and in 2012? Right? Got the marching orders? Barbara, Lynn? Wanna ride on a big plane? We give out free M & Ms!

catnip - 4 September 2009

he’s trying to gauge where different factions of the party are …

Well holy fuck. If he doesn’t know that by now…

24. Revisionist - 4 September 2009

hmmmm….. something in Politics is interesting me again. I just saw Kinky Friedman on Ed Shutlz. I was just reminded how the Netroots smeared him in 06. I wonder at what point he will be re-envisioned and get an ActBlue page. Is there a Netroots candidate in the primary that he will be going against? He also said Jim Hightower is backing him. Cant wait for all this to play out

marisacat - 4 September 2009

well this go round Kinky is running as a Democrat.

25. Madman in the Marketplace - 4 September 2009

I have to hand it to him, Franken actually handles this group of people really well.

26. Madman in the Marketplace - 4 September 2009

ACLU wins what could be a significant decision: Ashcroft Can Be Held Accountable For Post-9/11 Wrongful Detention, Court Rules

SEATTLE – In an unprecedented ruling that places responsibility squarely on government officials who after 9/11 championed polices clearly outside the boundaries of the law, a federal appellate court ruled today that former Attorney General John Ashcroft can be held personally responsible for the wrongful detention of an innocent American, Abdullah al-Kidd. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit also ruled that the federal material witness law cannot be used to “preventively” detain or investigate suspects. The American Civil Liberties Union represents al-Kidd in the case, al-Kidd v. Ashcroft.

“The court made it very clear today that former Attorney General Ashcroft’s use of the federal material witness law circumvented the Constitution,” said ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project Deputy Director Lee Gelernt, who argued the appeal. “Regardless of your rank or title, you can’t escape liability if you personally created and oversaw a policy that deliberately violates the law.”

Prior to 9/11, the federal material witness law was used sparingly – especially with U.S. citizens – to ensure that witnesses would be available to testify in criminal cases. Arrests, under the statute, took place in rare cases to secure testimony where there was hard evidence that an individual had material information but would not testify voluntarily. After 9/11, Ashcroft distorted the law into a so-called “preventive” detention statute, allowing the government to arrest and detain individuals for whom the government lacked probable cause to charge with criminal violations.

Today’s ruling comes after a U.S. district court in 2006 found that the material witness law may only be used when an individual is genuinely sought as a witness and where there is a real risk of flight. The district court also ruled that the law does not allow an end-run around the constitutional requirements for arresting someone suspected of a crime. Former Attorney General John Ashcroft appealed the ruling and asked for complete immunity from liability.

Writing for the majority in today’s decision, Judge Milan D. Smith, Jr., wrote, “Framers of our Constitution would have disapproved of the arrest, detention, and harsh confinement of a United States citizen as a ‘material witness’ under the circumstances, and for the immediate purpose alleged, in al-Kidd’s complaint. Sadly, however, even now, more than 217 years after the ratification of the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, some confidently assert that the government has the power to arrest and detain or restrict American citizens for months on end, in sometimes primitive conditions, not because there is evidence that they have committed a crime, but merely because the government wishes to investigate them for possible wrongdoing, or to prevent them from having contact with others in the outside world. We find this to be repugnant to the Constitution, and a painful reminder of some of the most ignominious chapters of our national history.”

marisacat - 4 September 2009

If nothing else it helps put some curbs on the current crowd in power. The only way is thru the courts, or so it seems.

27. marisacat - 4 September 2009

if it were not tragic it would be funny… speaking of who runs the coordinated messaging in this country

[O]bama’s high-stakes 2008 Super Bowl ad blared “Getting Us Out of Iraq,” and it worked. He was elected. But the cold hard fact seems to be emerging that, regardless of public opinion, the wars will roll on.

The occasional heroic Congress member or senator will call for a timetable, an exit plan or a halt to war funding, but despite lots of heat generated in the debate, the war bills seem to pass at the end of the day. This is because incumbents’ real constituents are no longer the people who live in the district. The real power, the money which pays for television ad blitzes and the all-important donations to the local Little League, comes from far away.

Very few people know that on average 80 percent of their Congress members’ and senators’ campaign funds come from outside the district, and largely from outside the state. They come from industries like defense, telecommunications and financial services. What do they get for these contributions, even in cases when the Congress member votes against those contributors’ positions on certain bills? . . . . .

I’d feel for people who voted for him thinking he do something or other about something or other.. but it gets old.

28. marisacat - 4 September 2009

Gah.. main page of Politico.. the Van Jones story is front burner, fully. Pence is calling for his resignation… and the GOP is using the whole mess to go after the Czars.



And they did, Ob can thank himself.

29. Madman in the Marketplace - 4 September 2009

Taliban’s Tank-Killing Bombs Came from U.S., Not Iran

But according to the Pentagon agency responsible for combating roadside bombs in Iraq and Afghanistan, the increased Taliban threat to U.S. and NATO vehicles comes not from any new technology from Iran but from Italian-made mines left over from the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency’s military assistance to the anti-Soviet jihadists in the 1980s.

In response to an inquiry from IPS, the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO) said in an e-mail that Italian-manufactured TC-6 anti-tank mines are “very common” in the Taliban-dominated areas of the country and that they have been modified to increase their lethality in IED attacks.

The JIEDDO response said TC-6 mines are being “arrayed in two or three in tandem to ensure the charge is large enough to inflict damage against Coalition vehicles.” The TC-6 mines “continue to pose a significant threat to Coalition Forces”, JIEDDO said.

The combining of two or three anti-tank mines into a single, more destructive bomb would account for the increased lethality of the anti-tank mines being used by the Taliban.

The claim by the alleged Taliban commander of new, more effective weaponry supplied by Iran appears to have been deliberate misinformation for the Western press.

British writer Jason Elliot, who has traveled extensively in Afghanistan since 1979, reported in a 2001 book “Min(d)ing Afghanistan” that the Italian-made TC-6 was the most commonly used anti-tank mine used in Afghanistan. The 15-pound charge of TNT, wrote Elliot in the TC-6, he wrote, could “flip a tank the way a seagull flips a baby turtle.”

Millions of mines remained buried in the ground from the Soviet occupation period, Elliot observed. However, only some 20,000 anti-tank mines have been destroyed since 1989, according to the United Nations.

Further evidence that the Taliban are relying heavily on the TC-6 to damage NATO tanks is a picture published by al-Jazeera on May 1, 2007 in a Taliban storeroom of explosives in Helmand province. The photograph, taken by a cameraman accompanying correspondent James Bays, showed two insurgent bomb-makers working on what was clearly identifiable as an Italian TC-6 anti-tank mine.

The insurgents told the photographer that the explosives in the room were in the process of being converted into “anti-tank bombs”.

Canadian forces in Kandahar province have encountered some of the heaviest Taliban use of anti-tank mines in Afghanistan. According to casualty data on the website of the Canadian Forces, since the beginning of 2007, 57 of 81 deaths of Canadian troops in Afghanistan have come from roadside bombs and anti-tank mines.

Capt. Dean Menard, a spokesman for Canadian forces in Kandahar, told IPS in a telephone interview that some of the ordnance used by the Taliban against Canadian tanks “are definitely attributable to the Soviet occupation era” – a reference to mines supplied by the United States through Pakistan during the anti-Soviet war.

30. Madman in the Marketplace - 4 September 2009

Could Texas’ Gingrich-Based High School History Curriculum Go National?

The GOP-controlled State Board of Education is working on a new set of statewide textbook standards for, among other subjects, U.S. History Studies Since Reconstruction. And it turns out what the board decides may end up having implications far beyond the Lone Star State.

The first draft of the standards, released at the end of July, is a doozy. It lays out a kind of Human Events version of U.S. history.

Approved textbooks, the standards say, must teach the Texan student to “identify significant conservative advocacy organizations and individuals, such as Newt Gingrich, Phyllis Schlafly, and the Moral Majority.” No analogous liberal figures or groups are required, prompting protests from some legislators and committee members. (Read an excerpt here.)

The standards on Nixon: “describe Richard M. Nixon’s role in the normalization of relations with China and the policy of detente.”

On Reagan: “describe Ronald Reagan’s role in restoring national confidence, such as Reaganomics and Peace with Strength.” (That’s it.)

The Cold War section is rendered as “U.S. responses to Soviet aggression after World War II … ”

The state board of education, made up of 10 Republicans and five Democrats, has to vote on the standards twice in the coming months before they would go into effect.

Here’s what makes this a national story: what happens in Texas doesn’t stay in Texas, says Diane Ravitch, professor of education at NYU.

That’s because Texas is one of the two states with the largest student enrollments, along with California. “The publishers vie to get their books adopted for them, and the changes that are inserted to please Texas and California are then part of the textbooks made available to every other state,” says Ravitch, who wrote a book about the politics of textbooks.

Rick Hess of the American Enterprise Institute explains it as a simple economic calculation by the big textbook publishers. “Publishers are generally reticent to run two different versions of a textbook,” he says. “You can imagine the headache the expense the logistics, the storage, all of it.”

But don’t start saving for private school tuition just yet. A spokeswoman for the Texas State Board of Education tells TPMmuckraker the board will have to pass the standards first in January, in a “first reading and filing authorization vote,” and then in March in a final vote, before they would go into effect. In an article on the controversy in the Houston Chronicle, one of the conservative leaders on the board actually predicted the standards will pass at least the first vote.

marisacat - 4 September 2009

Madman will move this forward to the thread…

31. marisacat - 4 September 2009

new thread…


…………….. 😯 ………………

(Madman I moved your comment on the Taliban bombs forwar)

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