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Straw Polls 13 August 2011

Posted by marisacat in 2012 Re Election, Culture of Death, DC Politics, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, India, Lie Down Fall Down Dems, Sex / Reproductive Health, Total fucking lunatics.
74 comments


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New Delhi, India: An Indian Muslim girl waits for noon prayers to begin at the Jama Masjid mosque [Kevin Frayer/AP]

hmm… for the moment, she is allowed to be a turquoise flower… soon enough the black robing will get slapped on her.

Ah, religion.  Succor of the masses.

On the same issue, USA!! USA!! style…I see reports around that the entrance of Perry, The Hair from Texas, means that the “culture wars are back”.

They were gone?

Somebody believed that blither last year from Mitch Daniels? Something something about setting aside the social issues?

Yeah right, as if they OR the Fucking Democrats ever planned to do that.

Take a moment and feel the cement hardening around us.

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Dumb clucks 6 November 2010

Posted by marisacat in 2010 Mid Terms, 2012 Re Election, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, India, Lie Down Fall Down Dems, Total fucking lunatics.
36 comments

A Great White Shark approaches the cage

Divers swim with great white sharks off the coast of Mexico: As the owner of Big Animal Photographic Expeditions, ex-Israeli special-forces member Amos, 60, takes paying members of the public to interact face to face with great whites. “The aim of these expeditions is to show my clients that great whites are not the ferocious snarling creatures that we see in movies or in some documentaries,” he said. [AMOS NACHOUM / BARCROFT USA]

….amongst the sharks.

Obviously just the bare bones of whatever came down between Alex Sink, the Dem running for FL governor…. and the WH… but it tells enough.

I never heard an interview with her, a debate between the two… so … she easily could be, most probably is, one of those tedious, lame technologists/technocrats the Dems have run for a long time now (this is Florida, after all)… but losing by a single point, in a critical state, has to have hurt.

AND she is willing to complain, quite publicly. AND it is only the second post-election mention I have heard of wObbly being highly vulnerable on BP/Gulf/Dead and dying creatures, people and industries…

At least she said it. And I almost get the impression the wObblies are not clear on Florida – if that is possible…. And a few other states too….

[I]n an interview with POLITICO, Sink said the administration mishandled the response to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, doesn’t appreciate the political damage done by healthcare reform and argued that her GOP opponent’s strategy of tying her to the president did grave damage to her candidacy in the state’s conservative Panhandle.

….

But Sink’s pointed critique expressed the sentiments of other Florida Democrats after an election in which the party lost four U.S. House seats and every statewide contest Tuesday, not to mention statehouse losses that left Democrats facing GOP legislative supermajorities in one of the largest states in the nation.   …

And a bit more…

“I think they were tone-deaf,” she said. “They weren’t interested in hearing my opinion on what was happening on the ground with the oil spill. And they never acknowledged that they had problems with the acceptance of health care reform.”

The new law, she said, is “unpopular particularly among seniors” — a key voting bloc in the Sunshine State.

So…… now they have Rubio….. and a R governor. One with a history of Medicare fraud himself, and neither they (nor she) could punch that home…. The state house in R hands… and so on.

And every indication wObbly is just going to waddle on… ably flanked by the OFA and the DNC… snicker snax.

White House aides and Democratic National Committee officials, however, say that without the involvement of the national party and Obama’s political arm, Organizing for America, Sink would have fared worse. [so familiar!]

“The DNC and OFA kept that campaign afloat,” said a senior West Wing official.

I get an image of a very defensive WH… sort of like a cat with the fur on its body electrified. (Good luck!)

Multiple Democratic sources familiar with Sink’s campaign, however, said administration officials were more concerned about the candidate’s effort to separate herself from the White House than with helping her win.

“She needed some distance and the smart thing to do was allow her to have that distance,” said a Democratic operative familiar with the race.“That would have served their long-term interest.”

But when the candidate criticized the White House response to the oil spill and specifically a summer speech by Vice President Joe Biden in a POLITICO article, an angry administration official called her to demand she “walk back” her assessment, said two sources familiar with the situation.

Obviously any WH runs with the self-interest petard at the ready. Hoisting appears to imminent however.

Their brilliance on display….

Still, when they weren’t protecting the president’s image, Obama aides were either totally unhelpful to the campaign or trying to big-foot the operation, according to sources familiar with the contest.

In the spring, when Sink’s campaign was adrift and desperately in need of a shake-up, there was a meeting in Washington with a group of senior Democrats.

Following the meeting, a mid-level White House political official sent out a one-page memo that operatives saw as so illustrative of the Obama team’s cluelessness about the race that they had it laminated and regularly mocked it.

The document, obtained by POLITICO, included such numbered headers as “Hire Key Staff” and “Develop and present a holistic campaign plan.”

A White House official said the memo was only a summary of the conversation for the participants — not a strategic plan.

Likely they were more interested in games with Charlie Crist.  Which fizzled.

***

It seems they are doing a bit more than just denuding the trees of coconuts around the Gandhi shrine…

 [O]n Monday, US secret agents visited the museum to plan Obama’s security detail.

They were accompanied by officers of Mumbai Police and civic officials of the D ward (where Mani Bhavan is located). While inspecting the route and the buildings lining up the route to the museum, the Americans detected a skyscraper near Peddar road and also found the area to be highly populated.

Since it is difficult to monitor such a congested area, they came up with a quick solution which left the Indians accompanying them amazed: A bomb-proof over-ground tunnel — to be installed by US military engineers in just an hour.

The tunnel would be a kilometre long and measure 12ft by 12ft — enough to let Obama’s cavalcade pass through. The tunnel would be centrally air-conditioned, fitted with close-circuit television cameras, and will be heavily guarded at every point, including, of course, its entry and exit.

Details about when exactly the tunnel would be made were not forthcoming. But officials said that the structure would be dismantled immediately after Obama leaves the area.

 Talk about overworking the grist mill. 

I’m calling for a movement (ha!) to Unfound The Foundling.   He’s too much trouble.

Obloss 4 November 2010

Posted by marisacat in 2006 Mid Terms, 2008 Election, 2010 Mid Terms, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, India, Lie Down Fall Down Dems, Total fucking lunatics.
72 comments

Some voters in Long Beach, California, cast their votes in a local laundromat. [Reuters]

Wash, vote, rinse.  Hang it out to line dry.

Etc.

*****

Too perfect… Reading around about the Ob and MO’s escape to India, all the trade deals, the slobber from India that THEY are creating jobs inside America… (do you feel like a golden egg that some goose in India laid?  I don’t)….

I come upon this

Officials in the Indian city of Mumbai (Bombay) have taken extraordinary measures to protect US President Barack Obama ahead of his visit.

In their effort to provide maximum security in the run-up to his visit on Friday, they have removed coconuts which may fall on his head from trees.

All coconuts around the city’s Gandhi museum have now been cut down, an official told the BBC.

Every year in India people are injured or even killed by falling coconuts.  …

God forbid he be injured or die and it be a J O K E.

Felled by a falling, foreign coconut — a lone gun man coconut, if you will — all the while escaping a “no confidence” vote at home..

Wouldn’t play well……….

****

Moving my last comment forward:

Speaking of reactionary elections… NYT has maps showing the shifts this year and ’08 and ’06 and some other graphics…

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Holy Vermicelli 21 August 2010

Posted by marisacat in Divertissements, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, India.
65 comments

Hyderabad, India: A worker dries seviiyan, thin vermicelli, used in the preparation of sheer khurma, a traditional sweet dish served during Ramadan [Noah Seelam/AFP/Getty Images]

I am really really tired of images of people praying… which I find to be a subtle message, deeper than any desire to depict and promote multi-culturalism:

Pray to the Nothing in the Sky.

No thanks. Praise the extremely fine and near-transparent vermicelli? Have at it.

*************

Day after………. 26 December 2008

Posted by marisacat in Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, India, WAR!.
100 comments

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Christmas in India:   Children dressed as Santa Claus participate in a peace march on Christmas Eve in Amritsar, India. (AP Photo / December 24, 2008)

Just because it is so basic… It’s Sirota, but as I said, basic:

[P]aterson defended his proposals by telling PBS’s Bill Moyers “that when you tax the wealthy in the downturn of an economy, you have an automatic link of a loss of job opportunities and then a loss of population.” The rationale sounds intelligently pragmatic—until you peruse the relevant data.

When New Jersey recently raised taxes on the wealthy, Princeton University researchers found that most of those who later left the state moved to places with higher taxes, meaning there is no causative link between levies on the rich and residential flight. Likewise, when New York temporarily raised high-income taxes after 9/11, the state added 127,000 jobs, meaning no link exists between higher taxes on the rich and job loss.

During times of surpluses, governors could get away with the unsubstantiated nonsense Paterson is peddling. But now, 43 states confront shortfalls, and because states cannot run deficits, the dollars and sense of these arguments matter. Lawmakers must choose what policy will create the best chances for economic recovery: spending cuts or tax increases, and if the latter, on whom?

The answer isn’t rocket science. As Nobel prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz says, “Reductions in government spending on goods and services (are) likely to be more damaging to the economy in the short run than tax increases focused on higher-income families.”  ….snipped and clipped….

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Saturday… 13 December 2008

Posted by marisacat in Afghanistan War, Beirut, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, India, Iran, Iraq War, Israel/AIPAC, Pakistan, WAR!.
95 comments

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April 5 2008:  Competitive streak. Not to be outdone by two aides who each did a pair of pull-ups, Obama does three before stepping out to address the crowd at the University of Montana [ Callie Shell/Aurora for Time]

Some sweet nothings from the likes of Odierno and Gates:

BALAD, Iraq (AP) — Despite a summer deadline to pull American combat troops from urban areas, thousands will stay in cities to support and train Iraqis, the top U.S. commander in Iraq said Saturday.

Even with the mandate in the recently approved U.S.-Iraq security agreement, there have been suggestions some troops would not leave urban areas.

But Gen. Raymond Odierno was the first military leader to acknowledge some forces would remain at local security stations, as training and mentoring teams.

“We believe we should still be inside those after the summer,” he said the sprawling U.S. base in Balad, north of Baghdad before welcoming Defense Secretary Robert Gates on a brief visit.

Iraq’s prime minister upbraided his top government spokesman for saying some U.S. soldiers might need to remain in the country for many more years. “What was announced about the Iraqi forces needing 10 years in order to be ready is only his personal point of view and it doesn’t represent the opinion of the Iraqi government,” Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s office said in a written statement Saturday.

It’s been clear since brigades and divisions of troops were reclassified from “combat” to “training” that we will die fully engaged, in a hail of shrapnel and fussilage, fully dressed for combat but called “trainers” and ”advisors”.

He [Odierno] added, “We don’t want to take a step backward because we’ve made so much progress here.”

Gates in Manama, Bahrain before he moved on to an unannounced stop at Balad:

“I can assure you that a change in administration does not alter our fundamental interests, especially in the Middle East.”

He said a few other things too…  Not that any of it is news.  I am reminded of how “managed” our presidents are.  Even Eisenhower. From the version I have read, the reason he did not deliver his speech using his own preferred words, ”Military Industrial Congressional Complex” is that “senior Republican aides” removed the offending  word.

The “aides” were senators and interested parties, would be my guess.  And, Eisenhower, whatever one thought of him, came to the job with military experience, a general of the European campaign and VE day.

Merry merry…

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Whirled Columnist… ? 3 December 2008

Posted by marisacat in DC Politics, Democrats, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, India, WAR!.
70 comments

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Spring blossoms in Kashmir

well………….  columnit maybe.  The top of the column calls him Robert Kagan World Columnist.

Again we are hunting for reasons to declare a country to be without sovereignty and pull off a humanitarian invasion. Or just any old invasion.  We are not picky…

Rather than simply begging the Indians to show restraint, a better option could be to internationalize the response. Have the international community declare that parts of Pakistan have become ungovernable and a menace to international security. Establish an international force to work with the Pakistanis to root out terrorist camps in Kashmir as well as in the tribal areas. This would have the advantage of preventing a direct military confrontation between India and Pakistan. It might also save face for the Pakistani government, since the international community would be helping the central government reestablish its authority in areas where it has lost it.

But whether or not Islamabad is happy, don’t the international community and the United States, at the end of the day, have some obligation to demonstrate to the Indian people that we take attacks on them as seriously as we take attacks on ourselves?

Kagan is quite blithe:

Would such an action violate Pakistan’s sovereignty? Yes, but nations should not be able to claim sovereign rights when they cannot control territory from which terrorist attacks are launched. If there is such a thing as a “responsibility to protect,” which justifies international intervention to prevent humanitarian catastrophe either caused or allowed by a nation’s government, there must also be a responsibility to protect one’s neighbors from attacks from one’s own territory, even when the attacks are carried out by “non-state actors.”

It buzzed around KGO radio tonight, that shouldn’t WE, in the future, when WE, the almighty WE, know of planned terrorist attacks, as we say we did this time, shouldn’t we act pre-emptively.  Oh yes, question mark at the end.  Sort of.

Callers who reminded we were wrong about Iraq were shut down.

One of the answers lobbed was (swallow now, to save the keyboard)

if we were wrong once, should we dare to be wrong again.

I am not kidding.  Someone, please lock us up.

Was there an election?  There was?  When?  Who won?  What was the platform?  Change.  I rather doubt it….

Maybe they can call it O-vasion.

****

I got a good laugh out of this at SMBIVA…and I do wish I could see the photo that was run on the FP of the print ed…

The fun thing now is wondering about the personal chemistry between ha-Moshiach and Hillary.

To borrow a phrase from Obie: As I have said consistently… the only good thing about the New York Times is its photo editors, who just never get it wrong. The front page of this morning’s print edition carried a photo — unfortunately not available online, and even better than the one above, good as that is — of the Great One and his new SecState.

In the printed photo, they’re standing closer together than I’ve ever seen a president and a cabinet officer stand. Their hands are tightly clasped together, positioned right over Obie’s hipbone. They’re staring deep into each other’s eyes. Hillary’s back is arched and her nice abundant poitrine appears to be pressed rather emphatically against the one fastened button on Obie’s beautifully-tailored jacket. He seems suddenly unmindful of the media around. Her chin is tilted up, her lips… but no, I can’t go on.

it is not quite the take I had of Hillary and Ob on stage yesterday… but I did think their displays were a tad fluffy nine months ago…

If there is a baby in 9 months…

… but, back to the sodden starved earth:

Our news tonight dropped a tidy bomb, that due to the merger, buy out, encapsulement, take over, giveaway, whatever the sex act was with BoA and Merrill (and Uncle Sam)… the layoffs may be as many as 30K.

As of yesterday, sources were saying that layoffs could total at least 10,000 and would start before the end of the year.

But Bank of America CEO Kenneth Lewis wants to wring out $7 billion in savings from the merger over the next few years, so the total number of jobs lost could be closer to 30,000, they said.

***

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Odetta died:

Odetta – she was born Odetta Holmes – sang at coffeehouses and Carnegie Hall and released several albums, becoming one of the most widely known and influential folk-music artists of the 1950s and ’60s.

Her voice was an accompaniment to the black-and-white images of the freedom marchers who walked the roads of Alabama and Mississippi and the boulevards of Washington in quest of an end to racial discrimination.

Odetta sang at the 1963 march on Washington, a pivotal event in the civil rights movement. Her song that day was “O Freedom,” dating back to slavery days.

Born in Birmingham on Dec. 31, 1930, Odetta Holmes spent her first six years in the depths of the Depression. Her father, Reuben Holmes, died when she was young; she and her mother, Flora Sanders, who later remarried, moved to Los Angeles in 1937. Three years on, Odetta discovered she could sing. She later earned a music degree from Los Angeles City College.

In 1950, Odetta began singing professionally in a West Coast production of the musical “Finian’s Rainbow,” but she found a stronger calling in the bohemian coffeehouses of San Francisco.

She began singing in nightclubs, cutting a striking figure with her guitar and her close-cropped hair.

Her voice plunged deep and soared high, and her songs blended the personal and the political, the theatrical and the spiritual. Her first solo album, “Odetta Sings Ballads and Blues,” resonated with an audience hearing old songs made new.

Her fame hit a peak in 1963, when she marched with Martin Luther King in Selma, Ala., and performed for President John F. Kennedy. During the 1970s and 1980s, she performed onstage as a singer and an actor.

She revived her career in the 1990s. In 1999, she recorded her first album in 14 years, and that year President Bill Clinton awarded her the National Endowment for the Arts’ National Medal of Arts.

Odetta made a final appearance in San Francisco in October for the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival, performing from a wheelchair at the Golden Gate Park event.

Let’s hear who died again…? 29 November 2008

Posted by marisacat in Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, India, WAR!.
102 comments

mm

Relatives and neighbors mourn as they attend the funeral of Haresh Gohil, a 16 year old boy who was killed by gunmen near Chabad-Lubavitch center,also known as Nariman House in Mumbai, India, Saturday, Nov. 29, 2008. Indian commandos killed the last remaining [they keep pushing that!  —Mcat]  gunmen holed up at a luxury Mumbai hotel Saturday, ending a 60-hour rampage through India’s financial capital by suspected Islamic militants that rocked the nation. [AP Photo/Gurinder Osan]

Last I am hearing, as of late Saturday afternoon, is 212… 26 non-Indian nationals.

Tho this headline is appearing over an older report in the Telegraph:

Mumbai attacks: 300 feared dead as full horror of the terrorist attacks emerges

The death toll in the Mumbai terror attack is expected to soar to nearly 300, Indian officials said, as details emerged of the highly-organised terror plot

They need to work this out… because various tellings of the “story” (various boats, some who posed as Malaysian students and rented a house, some who checked into the Taj early and stashed weapons and materiel,  three in a cab that blew up before reaching the airport, a small team dressed as Indian police who commandered a van while the Taj was under one part of the assault, etc.) just do not support “10 terrorists”, especially with 10 targetted sites…

It is believed that just 10 highly-trained terrorists took part in the attack. Nine were killed and one suspect is under arrest.

Okaaay…?  The thing is dripping with freshly shed blood…but it sure seems we are inside a cartoon.

Thursday… 27 November 2008

Posted by marisacat in Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, India, WAR!.
95 comments

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Turkeys stand together in a barn, Duxbury, Massachusetts [Getty]

Speaking of hostages, turkeys and others, the Guardian has an on-going live blog from Mumbai… and NYCO posted the twitter link in the last thread:   “Good live Twitter coverage of Mumbai attacks from local people.”

From one of the Times Online reports:

Later, as the night progressed, it became clear that several of Bombay’s keenest anti-terrorist strategists had perished in stand-offs with the terrorist gunmen, several of whom are thought to have escaped. Hemant Karka, the head of the city’s anti- terror squad was among the dead, together with two of his most senior officers.

Across the city, the incidents brought back memories of the last serious terror attacks to hit Bombay: the bomb blasts of July 11 2006.

On that day, seven blasts on the train network in 11 minutes killed more than 200 people. “We thought we had escaped,” said Anjan, a street trader close to the Taj. “But now we know. We should have learned — Bombay can’t escape the terror.”

Many felt that Bombay was overdue a terror strike. The most cosmopolitan and charismatic city in India, a country which last year trailed only Iraq in terms of the number of people killed in terror attacks, Bombay is no stranger to violence. Over the summer, the managers of the Taj Mahal Palace had ramped up security measures, stopping vehicles from pulling up to the lobby entrance for fear of a carbomb of the type that recently took out the Marriot hotel in Islamabad. Only in the last couple of weeks had the Taj relaxed this rule.  …

A bit more:

Several major cities — including Jaipur, Ahmedabad and Bangalore — have been hit by elaborate bombing campaigns that have claimed more than 150 lives over the past five months. The Indian Mujahideen, a previously unknown group now notorious for its brutality, has claimed responsibility.

“Eye for an eye. The dust will never settle,” said an e-mail sent by the group to the media after a bombing in Delhi.  …

Last, the report included a timeline:

History of bloodshed

In July 2006, 190 were killed and 625 injured in bomb blasts on trains at seven Bombay locations. Police blamed the Kashmiri separatist group Lashkar-e-Taiba and Students’ Islamic Movement of India (SIMI)

Bombs killed 260 in Bombay in March 1993 in an attack blamed on gangs avenging Muslim deaths

At least 44 were killed in August 2003, when several bombs exploded in the back of taxis in Bombay. Police blamed the SIMI and Lashkar-e-Taiba

At least 70 people died in three blasts in Delhi in October 2005. Two bombs went off in markets, one in a bus. Pakistan-based Islamic militants were blamed

A series of blasts in Varanasi killed at least 15 and injured more than 100 people in March 2006.

Many of the victims were pilgrims, caught in the first blast in Sankat Mochan temple on a holy day. Wali Ullah and five accomplices were arrested

Sources: Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies; Times archives

One report floating around that the Taj hotel has been brought under control…

I have not run into mention of this in print reports.. but a news segment I caught indicated – and had what was purported to be photos – that some or all of the gun men used rubber dinghys to land at the S tip of Mumbai. The whole of this must just flip global security out of their minds. It so easily seems a big trial run or a template for possible future plans. Hard to avoid seeing that as a possibility…

Quite aside from the ongoing full throttle siege that is…