Aww. So Sweet. Kos protecting the family jewel. 18 June 2006Posted by marisacat in 2008 Election, Big Box Blogs, DC Politics, Democrats, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Uncategorized.
Warner is not DLC? I would not bet on that one. Of course he is DLC.
Warner isn't a DLC candidate ( 2+ / 0-)
They're riding Vilsack and Hillary. Both of those candidates are part of the DLC's leadership (Vilsack chairs the joint). Warner is not (nor has ever been).
I'd love to see where this "Warner is the DLC candidate" bullshit came from.
[ Parent ]
He happily addressed the DLC at their 2005 National Conversation last July. In fact he kinda groveled. Not a slam, it's what pols do.
"Colorado is a crucial swing state in national elections," said Al From, founder and head of the DLC. "It is a growing and diverse state – exactly the kind of red state we must win to prevail if we are to be returned to national power."
The political strategy-fest at the Hyatt Regency Denver will draw about 300 Democrats from across the nation. It's expected to also attract a bevy of presidential hopefuls with DLC ties: Sen. Hillary Clinton, Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack, Virginia Gov. Mark Warner and Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh.
And don't miss why he is going:
The DLC gathering "is more than just a beauty pageant for presidential wannabes," said Romanoff, who has attended several of the meetings and participated in a DLC leadership training program. "I think the DLC has been able to replace the sort of brain-dead politics of the past with a lot of new energy and new vision, new approaches to doing business."
He is going to seek the endorsement. Or at the least, kind words for all his good deeds.
In the Jackson Diehl piece today in the WaPo, he seems plenty happy with Southern White Male Mark. Happy to closely name him along with Vilsack and Clinton… closer still to Marshall Whittman and his new PPI published book reflecting how the DLC, New Democrats, NDN, Third Way and all the other sludge we are drowning in, will keep us…. suffocating for a few more years.
Read it yourself.
And catch this DLC post from one of the boys, Bob Brigham. Ooops, that is against the DLC. He posted it following the 2005 National Conversation Warner attended. He seems to be, my, trying to shame the DLC. Well Ooops!…
The guys in their thirties need to hitch up their DLC diapers and be proud. Despite the silly threats to "pick fights" with the DLC and then Stand Down. Al From is laughing. And I suppose cutting a check. Product endorsement in a convoluted way.
But then, Blog Snots and Snivelers. They always did snivel. "Stand Proud" just does not sound like them.
And no, I am not done. Across years they abused people, shunned them, bitched at them, ganged up on them and drove them from threads… They banned Liberals, and NON LIberals too, progressives, left, Nader voters, dissident voices of all stripes, AND the knowledgeable, the well-read and the smart. The politically astute.
They banned VOTERS.
Above all else what they did was and is anti-democratic. I never fell for that scheisse of the Host who May Ban You.
Maybe the weak fell for it. The stupid.
Horrifying tale from “Dana L.” in the WaPo… 4 June 2006Posted by marisacat in Abortion Rights, DC Politics, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Sex / Reproductive Health, Uncategorized.
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Probably most have read it by now but if not, wander thru what happened to a white, educated, older (42), married mother of two, a working attorney in VA when her OB/GYN and her internist both denied her request for Plan B after unprotected sex with her own husband.
Further, her request was pre-emptorily denied, she had no idea they did not dispense prescriptions for Plan B. Nor was an explanation offered. In fact, this attorney still does not know why she was denied a medication one needs to take within 72 hours of un protected sex. She began calling her doctors on Friday am and a mid-wifery practice she had used would prescribe, but not over the phone and had no open appointments..
Moreover, they aren't even required to tell the patient why they won't provide the drug. Nor do they have to provide a list of alternative sources.
I had asked the ob-gyn's receptionist if politics was the reason the doctor wouldn't prescribe Plan B for me. She refused to answer or offer any reason, no matter how much I pressed her. By the time I got on the phone with my internist's office and found that he would not fill a Plan B prescription either, I figured it was a waste of time to fight with the office staff.
To this day, I don't know why my doctors wouldn't prescribe Plan B — whether it was because of moral opposition to contraception or out of fear of political protesters or just because they preferred not to go there.
I am thankful for stories like this (and sorry for her suffering), I am thankful for this reason:
so that perhaps the poor, uneducated, non-white, unmarried and despairing may perhaps ALSO someday get the health care, reproductive care and information, sex education (with full explanation of condoms, at the very least) federal and state subsidised birth control (if they choose it), abortion – should they need it…
AND Plan B when they god damn fucking ask for it.
And by ''ask for it'', I mean they pick it up at the drugstore as OTC medication.
We live in a world where if you are raped, make sure you are not taken to a Catholic hospital, as you will be denied Plan B. And god forbid you should get an orthodox practising Muslim … you may be declared "unclean" for being raped and he will decline to treat you.
In fact with ''conscience clauses'', if you get an ER doc on duty who declines to treat you for whatever religious reason, they get away with it. Same as pharmacists.
And guess what else? Dana L had better be damned thankful that organisations like Planned Parenthood can still provide abortion.
Be thankful she could get to a big out-of-state city, like DC, so she could avoid the VA mandated 48 hours wait, two trips mandatory with a lecture to make sure that a married mother of two, with a law degree knew what she needed… Unlike SD, about to ban it and with ONE clinic. Mississippi, one clinic. Louisiana, with all their suffering, just passed a draconian bit of legislation against abortion… and so on.
Calling doctors, I felt like a pariah when I asked whether they provided termination services.
Finally, I decided to check the Planned Parenthood Web site to see whether its clinics performed abortions. They did, but I learned that if I had the abortion in Virginia, the procedure would take two days because of a mandatory 24-hour waiting period, which requires that you go in first for a day of counseling and then wait a day to think things over before returning to have the abortion.
Because of work and the children, I couldn't afford two days off, so I opted to have the procedure done on a Saturday in downtown D.C. while my husband took the kids to the Smithsonian.
The hidden world of abortion services soon became even more subterranean. I called Planned Parenthood two days in advance to confirm the appointment. The receptionist politely informed me that the organization never confirms appointments, for "security reasons," and that I would have to just show up.
I am not hopeful.
The fucking country has gone to the religious, political and corporatist pi dogs. Being souless, they are in a feeding frenzy, gnashing their teeth and licking their chops as they consume our lives.
Our life's blood is mixed with the spittle running down their greasy fat faces..
Think about it.
Same as goddam fucking forever. 20 May 2006Posted by marisacat in 2006 Mid Terms, DC Politics, Democrats, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, U.S. House, U.S. Senate, Uncategorized.
Again, little to engage, embolden, energise the base. They, the Democratic establishment, always want it gifted to them, as some reverse Hail Mary pass, from the White Supremacist Party.
You can see it in their faces, surely if the nation is on the skids we will win!
We did not land on the skids from Republicans alone.
Yes, George W. Bush and Republicans in Congress are weaker than they have been since the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. But many analysts wonder whether the Democrats are ready to take advantage of the openings that Bush’s imperial style and administrative ineptitude have created.
Have Democratic Party leaders learned to fight with sincere passion and to articulate a clear national message that connects with voters?
Have they moved beyond a sum-of-the-parts, laundry-list message that clangs over the airwaves as nothing more than bullet points aimed at disparate Democratic constituencies?
For many observers, the answer is: Not even close.
And having been, in the final analysis, good children over everything, from hardly complaining about Abu Ghraib, to mere whispers about the horror of this war, to confusion as to how to handle the gifts Murtha brought (and still brings), to SCOTUS noms to NSA law breaking on wiretapping to, by now, they would likely be so confused over how best to serve their masters that they'd vote for the NEXT god damned war!, and all of that means what?
…that the Republicans will somehow, from the goodness of their hearts, GIFT THEM WITH SOME GODDAM SEATS?
I am sorry for yelling (no I am not, not really), it is muggy in earthquake country, we await a couple days of late in the season rain and it is years since the Democrats had a fucking clue:
…a scene in spring 1994 when a guest at a White House social event asks Bill Clinton why his administration didn’t pursue unresolved scandals from the Reagan-Bush era, such as the Iraqgate secret support for Saddam Hussein’s government and clandestine arms shipments to Iran.
[yesss, with a majority, the Dems, from the squishy pro Republican Center of Clinton/DLC triangulation-strangle, declined to investigate 1980 October surprise – among other things…]
Clinton responds to the questions from the guest, documentary filmmaker Stuart Sender, by saying, in effect, that those historical questions had to take a back seat to Clinton’s domestic agenda and his desire for greater bipartisanship with the Republicans.
Clinton “didn’t feel that it was a good idea to pursue these investigations because he was going to have to work with these people,” Sender told me in an interview. “He was going to try to work with these guys, compromise, build working relationships.”
Clinton’s relatively low regard for the value of truth and accountability is relevant again today because other centrist Democrats are urging their party to give George W. Bush’s administration a similar pass if the Democrats win one or both houses of Congress.
You know it is one thing to be irritated by, angry with the DC Democrats, the party… I never spared them. It is quite another to be thoroughly disgusted.
And just to ram it home, another snip from Parry's piece on how the Democrats defer to the Republicans:
After winning Election 1992, Clinton also rebuffed appeals from members of the U.S. intelligence community to reverse the Reagan-Bush “politicization” of the CIA’s analytical division by rebuilding the ethos of objective analysis even when it goes against a President’s desires. [See Parry’s Secrecy & Privilege.]
Instead, in another accommodating gesture, Clinton gave the CIA director’s job to right-wing Democrat, James Woolsey, who had close ties to the Reagan-Bush administration and especially to its neoconservatives.
One senior Democrat told me Clinton picked Woolsey as a reward to the neocon-leaning editors of the New Republic for backing Clinton in Election 1992.
“I told [Clinton’s national security team] that the New Republic hadn’t brought them enough votes to win a single precinct,” the senior Democrat said.
“But they kept saying that they owed this to the editors of the New Republic.”
During his tenure at the CIA, Woolsey did next to nothing to address the CIA’s “politicization” issue, intelligence analysts said. Woolsey also never gained Clinton’s confidence and – after several CIA scandals – was out of the job by January 1995.
At the time of that White House chat with Stuart Sender, Clinton thought that his see-no-evil approach toward the Reagan-Bush era would give him an edge in fulfilling his campaign promise to “focus like a laser beam” on the economy.
So for Clinton, learning the truth about controversial deals between the Reagan-Bush crowd and the autocratic governments of Iraq and Iran just wasn’t on the White House radar screen.
Clinton also wanted to grant President George H.W. Bush a gracious exit.
“I wanted the country to be more united, not more divided,” Clinton explained in his 2004 memoir, My Life.
“President Bush had given decades of service to our country, and I thought we should allow him to retire in peace, leaving the (Iran-Contra) matter between him and his conscience.”
Really, it is to laugh. GHW Bush purposefully left Clinton with Somalia. What fun. Not the first time, nor the last, that starvation and war in Africa is mere diversion. It still is. I don't see Democrats getting arrested over Katrina issues, which are international human rights issues…. Right here at home.
Over and over, in election year after election year, GE and MidTerms, both… the Dems start to purr and preen, they stretch luxuriously – at just being TOLD they are going to win (read that charlatan, Ruy Teixeira, in the closing days of October '04, read it slightly tipsy, out loud with a friend, may as well scream, with laughter).
Being told they can win is enough for them to relax, take a break. It never fails.
I remember in February of 2002, looking over the already joyless congressional stragglers willing to be drafted for duty… they barely dreamed, yet, it was even possible (Howard, a different person then, had not arrived to say it could be done)… but one thing was clear, we could not rely on the party to swing it. Could not. You could smell it, they would screw the deal. And I am not talking about Howard and primary issues here. By the end, that was a passing political story. Chuck it on the heap.
It, the leadership, is absolutely gut wrenching to observe. It negates the simple fact, the old fact, the intransigent fact, that power must be seized.
The Democrats always expose their neck, roll and expose their belly. There is never that white hot need that makes the break.
Honestly, they just flat out disgust me. That is a hard spot from which to read the following:
Kerry's been written off before and is rising from the political graveyard yet again.
"What does he have to lose now?"
says Kerry biographer Douglas Brinkley. "He might as well go for broke."
As long as they start out fatigued dissemblers (he never addressed his NAFTA vote much less the War – vote or otherwise), affect early retreat as strategy and then 2 years later profess to get something, and it is still not clear what he "gets"… as long as the likes of Kerry are or reflect the party, the Republicans are in fair to good shape.
Upshot? The Republicans make it thru. They hold on.
“Suffer the little children to come unto me” 19 May 2006Posted by marisacat in Mexico, Uncategorized.
…oh too amusing. The Church in its wisdom has gently reproved Maciel, now 86, the Mexican founder of Legions of Christ and Regnum Christi.
Beloved as he was by JPII. Protected as he was by Ratzy.
And the meek shall inherit the earth. But only when the blasphemers are done with it…
My cynical guess, they sent a child to announce it to Maciel. To soften the blow. I note he is not laicised, he may still consecrate the host and say Mass. Tho he is "restricted".
National Catholic weighs in.
Within the Vatican, the Maciel case has long been seen as particularly sensitive, in part because it could tarnish the reputation of the late John Paul II, who warmly praised and repeatedly honored Maciel.
The case could also call into question the action of Benedict XVI, who as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith stopped the case against Maciel in 1999. However, he reactivated the case in 2004 and ultimately approved the disciplining of Maciel.
A senior Vatican official told NCR that the decisive break came only in late 2004, when a number of additional accusers came forward.
Prior to that, he said, both John Paul and then-Cardinal Ratzinger, now Benedict XVI, were operating on the assumption that the charges were not justified.
Maciel becomes perhaps the highest-profile priest in the Catholic church to be disciplined for allegations of sexual abuse.
He has a distinguished Catholic lineage. Two of Maciel's great-uncles were Mexican bishops during the anti-clerical persecutions of the early 20th century. One, Bishop Rafael Guízar Valencia of Veracruz, was beatified by John Paul II in 1995, and a decree recognizing a miracle that clears his path to sainthood was signed by Benedict XVI April 28. Maciel's uncle, Jesús Degollado Guízar, was the last commander-in-chief of the Cristeros army that took up arms in defense of the church.
Try not to gag too hard. It is so standard.
…and the Washington Post
"The real question the Vatican now faces is what do you do about the Legion, an organization that is founded on a lie, a myth about the founder," said Jason Berry, co-author of a 2004 book and forthcoming documentary film, both titled "Vows of Silence," about the Maciel case.
The Legion and its supporters have long maintained that Maciel is an innocent victim of a conspiracy by people opposed to his doctrinal conservatism.
In 2002, the Rev. Richard John Neuhaus, editor of the Catholic journal "First Things," wrote that "after a scrupulous examination of the claims and counter-claims, I have arrived at a moral certainty that the charges are false and malicious."
The complaints of sexual abuse came to light in the 1990s, when nine former members of the Legion, including several priests, charged that Maciel had molested them from the 1940s into the 1960s.
…and the NYT.
Juan Vaca, a former priest in the Legionaries who said Father Maciel abused him over 10 years starting in 1950 when he was 12, said he felt Father Maciel should be removed from the priesthood entirely — something the Vatican decision did not do.
"It's not enough," Mr. Vaca, an adjunct professor of psychology and sociology at Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y., said in an interview on Thursday as reports of the decision began leaking out. "Because this man has done a lot of damage to a lot of people — to children and supporters and even the hierarchy of the church."
The decision was first made public on Thursday on the Web site of National Catholic Reporter.
The Vatican document did not specify exactly what duties Father Maciel would be barred from, but the National Catholic Reporter quoted anonymous Vatican officials as saying he could not celebrate mass publicly or give speeches or interviews.
Since its founding in 1941, the Legionaries have tracked an impressive arc of growth and influence with Father Maciel as its charismatic helmsman: It now has 650 priests worldwide, 2,500 seminarians in 20 countries and 50,000 members in its lay affiliate, Regnum Christi. The order runs a dozen universities, and recently opened its first degree-granting college in the United States, the University of Sacramento.
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Good early round up piece from Reuters Business.
Stocks plunge; Dow has worst day in 3 years
By Vivianne Rodrigues
NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. stocks sank on Wednesday, with the Dow industrials suffering their biggest one-day drop in three years, as investors bet the Federal Reserve will need to keep raising interest rates to fight inflation.
Investors sold shares in banks, industrial conglomerates and other rate-sensitive stocks. An index of bank stocks slid 1.8 percent, while shares of blue-chip Citigroup Inc. dropped 1.4 percent.
The blue-chip Dow dropped more than 200 points, the biggest slide since March 2003, and the Nasdaq had its longest losing streak in five years.
Stocks fell after economic data showed the pace of inflation accelerated in April, boosting speculation that the Fed will raise rates longer than Wall Street had expected.
"Inflation, which is the principal focus of the Fed, is higher than Chairman Bernanke will feel comfortable with," said Hugh Johnson, chief investment officer at Johnson Illington Advisors. "It adds to the belief the Fed may raise rates further, and that is a problem for both the bond market and the stock market."
Stocks that are getting hit the hardest are those that have been the darlings of the Street," said Christopher Zook, chairman and chief investment officer at CAZ Investments in Houston, Texas. He listed industrial companies, raw materials and energy shares.
BRAVA! BRAVA! BRAVA! 13 May 2006Posted by marisacat in DC Politics, Uncategorized.
Truth Dig has a piece up:
Truthdig salutes Leslie Cauley, the USA Today reporter who broke the blockbuster story about the NSA’s program to amass the records of every phone call made in America. Her scoop laid waste to President Bush’s assertion that his domestic spying targets only a handful of suspected terrorists living in the U.S. In the wake of her story, GOP Sen. Arlen Specter is calling for congressional hearings.
And snips from the original story (link):
"It's the largest database ever assembled in the world," said one person, who, like the others who agreed to talk about the NSA's activities, declined to be identified by name or affiliation.
The agency's goal is "to create a database of every call ever made" within the nation's borders, this person added. […]
Created by President Truman in 1952, during the Korean War, the NSA is charged with protecting the United States from foreign security threats. The agency was considered so secret that for years the government refused to even confirm its existence. Government insiders used to joke that NSA stood for "No Such Agency."
In 1975, a congressional investigation revealed that the NSA had been intercepting, without warrants, international communications for more than 20 years at the behest of the CIA and other agencies. The spy campaign, code-named "Shamrock," led to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which was designed to protect Americans from illegal eavesdropping. …
The agency told the companies that it wanted them to turn over their "call-detail records," a complete listing of the calling histories of their millions of customers. In addition, the NSA wanted the carriers to provide updates, which would enable the agency to keep tabs on the nation's calling habits.
The sources said the NSA made clear that it was willing to pay for the cooperation.
AT&T, which at the time was headed by C. Michael Armstrong, agreed to help the NSA. So did BellSouth, headed by F. Duane Ackerman; SBC, headed by Ed Whitacre; and Verizon, headed by Ivan Seidenberg.
With that, the NSA's domestic program began in earnest.
Already the soft patter of acceptance began in Congress on Friday. I caught file tape of Hagel, Susan Collins (love those moderates!) and Reid (another shuffle bum) burbling from their cribs that he is a "good man"
Susan tells us in Stern Mother fashion that we need someone in at the CIA "now". Hagel seemed hurried. Off to a fundraiser no doubt.
And Reid… Talk about a predictable "yes" man for Bush. Despite his petty, inconsistent games of pique.
Mush forward doggies.
Not that I particularly care…. (updated) 13 May 2006Posted by marisacat in DC Politics, Iran, UK, Uncategorized.
Or, rather, I don't care in the limited instance of Jack Straw.
But the times we live in would indicate that Lord Rees-Mogg (who reports in a Weblog on Times Online) is right on…
There is a story going round Washington, which I have heard both from Republican and Democrat sources.
It is that the neo-Cons in the Pentagon resented Mr. Straw’s observation that it would be “nuts” to drop nuclear weapons on the Iranians.
They resented it so much that they pressed for him to be fired. This view of the firing has been repeated in the British press. There is a possibility that Mr. Straw got mixed up in the perpetual feud between the State Department and the Pentagon.
Was he the victim of Donald Rumsfeld?
Was Condoleeezza Rice’s visit to Blackburn an attempt to protect him as an ally of the State Department, which is known to be much more risk averse on Iran than the Pentagon.
There is speculation around and certainly it seemed that Bush pressured Blair to push Robin Cook from the House of Commons and his spot in the Blair government, all for his fierce opposition to the Iraq War.
Ray McGovern and Buzzflash, in a really good interview as a follow-up to McGovern's recent challenge of Rummy in Atlanta, say the same thing – and a few other things as well:
Ray McGovern: Well, the biggest sea change in the 43 years that I’ve been engaged directly is the fact that we no longer have a free press in any meaningful sense of the term. People are badly informed. The other thing is that, it’s really a kind of mind problem. It’s denial to a great degree here.
If you follow these facts, you cannot avoid the conclusion that the President of the United States is arguably a war criminal – a person who started a war of aggression as defined by Nuremberg as the supreme war crime, because it differs from other war crimes only insofar as it contains the accumulated evil of the whole. And what we mean by that – we’ll think about torture, think about kidnappings, think about taking people and putting them in black holes, incommunicado. These are things that we didn’t used to do, and I know that for a fact.
So if you get this information, it’s very disquieting. It’s far easier just to tune into Fox and let yourself be entertained, and not have to grapple with the fact that your government is a rogue government that does not obey, not only international law but domestic law – the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, for example – wire-tapping us at will.
That’s a lot to deal with, and most people prefer to say, it can’t be that bad. If they acknowledge that it is that bad, they might have to do something about it. Most people are just too comfortable to try to do something about it.
BuzzFlash: Life hasn’t changed dramatically for most Americans, except the gas price has gone up.
Ray McGovern: Yes.
Bush is sending poor, and rural, and immigrant people who want to become U.S. citizens, ironically, to Iraq. A lot of Americans aren’t aware that one of the routes to becoming a citizen is volunteering in the Army. These are the people that are dying, so it doesn’t have an impact on most of the American population. Bush is borrowing up to the hilt, and our country is on the verge of bankruptcy. We’re owned by China and the oil countries, in terms of loans, to keep us afloat. And Bush is playing a big con game, a shell game.
But let me just say to you, congratulations. It was a tremendous moment in courage.
Probably hundreds of millions of dollars are spent to pay journalists, and none of them would ask the questions you did, and point out to the Secretary of Defense that he’s a liar. It’s mind-boggling, and you just pointed out two of the lies. I mean, he just sort of gets up every day and improvises. He’s almost a jazz musician. It doesn’t matter what he played the day before. He’ll just start a new tune, even if it’s completely opposite of what he was playing the day before. He doesn’t care. He kind of likes pulling the wool over people’s eyes and showing he’s all-powerful, and that it doesn’t matter if he lies. He can get away with it.
But what amazes us is that we have failed leadership.
The Afghanistan situation is deteriorating again. The Taliban are being resurrected. Osama bin Ladin was never caught. They said that we were going into Iraq for a regime change. Well, we got Saddam Hussein, and we’re still there. Now we’re going to nuke Iran.
And Bush allegedly had Jack Straw, the foreign secretary of the UK, removed because he said that it would be nuts to nuke Iran.
We have a failed leadership. And yet they’re applauding him at this forum in Atlanta. They were applauding Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld who is probably the key figure in the military failure. They’re applauding him, and kind of thinking you’re some sort of nudnick protester or something.
Ray McGovern: A wild lefty.
BuzzFlash: It’s mind-boggling. If we’re going to prosper as a country and be the successful, energetic innovator of democracy, you don’t worship at the feet of failures. These people are not just liars; they’re failures.
Well I am just going to bite the bullet here. Stop calling out the administration by name as individual failures. As if they are not part and parcel of America.
They have risen to immense power, thru family name, thru long service in government, thru Democratic party weakness and Republican mendacity and pure force.
Time to call the United States of America a walking, moving failure. We are marching ourselves off the great cliff, to destruction at the bottom of the crevasse…
I am sorry to be cruel. But it is time. And I don't have to trouble myself, as Ray McGovern still does, to worry about being called a "wild lefty".
But then I never gave Bush 1 his daily briefing… Either.
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
UPDATED, Saturday, May 13, 4:04 PM, PT.
NYT piece just up on Cheney and early orders to NSA, after 9/11.
Putin contra the American “Comrade Wolf” 10 May 2006Posted by marisacat in 2006 Mid Terms, 2008 Election, Blonde Sense, DC Politics, Uncategorized.
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And arms dealers the world over, including Cheney, Bush and Rumsfeld, send up a cheer.
Putin takes swipe at hungry America's "Comrade Wolf"
President Vladimir Putin took a swipe at the hungry "wolf" of America today in a strident state-of-the-nation address in which he said that post-Soviet Russia should build up its economic and military might.
But the main thrust of his speech was on the need to bolster security. Mr Putin said that Russia needed a strong military not only to guard against potential attackers but also to resist foreign political pressure.
His comments betray increased anger over what Kremlin leaders see as Western attempts to influence the affairs of Russia and its relationships with its former neighbours Soviet neighbours, such as Ukraine or Belarus.
"We must always be ready to counter any attempts to pressure Russia in order to strengthen others’ positions at our expense," Mr Putin said. "The stronger our military is, the less temptation there will be to exert such pressure on us."
Mr Putin pointed out that Russia’s military budget is 25 times less than that of the United States. "Their house is their fortress – good for them," he said. "But that means that we also must make our house strong and reliable."
Then, in a clear criticism of US foreign policy, he quipped: "As the saying goes, Comrade Wolf knows whom to eat, it eats without listening and it’s clearly not going to listen to anyone."
"Where is all this pathos about protecting human rights and democracy when it comes to the need to pursue their own interests?" Mr Putin added, in what appeared to be a veiled response to accusations by Dick Cheney, the US Vice-President, that the Kremlin's commitment to democracy was weakening.
Other than that, Putin indicated some angst over delays in Russia joining the WTO… and reported on Russia's falling birth rate (the US's is higher, so Putin feels tense).
For weeks now report after report indicates that nations (Germany is shocked, shocked! that 30% of its women are <gasp> childless) are taking an extra hard look at birth rates.
The Putin version of ''less fodder coming up'' as national angst:
Mr Putin said that the Russian population was now declining by 700,000 per year. "We have raised this question many times but in fact have done little. We need to reduce mortality, have an effective migration policy and increase the birth rate," he said.
As part of the solution, Mr Putin proposed more than doubling child benefits.
"We must stimulate today the birth of at least a second child," he said. "What stops a women deciding to have a second child? Bad living conditions, limited income … sometimes, God help us, the thought of whether they would be able to feed the child."
So… massive blow-out war planned for around.. oh, say give or take a year, 2025?
Goss and the Gosslings. 28 April 2006Posted by marisacat in DC Politics, U.S. House, Uncategorized.
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Billmon takes the recent revelations about Cunningham (and "Duke" takes on some new permutations) where they lead. I feel I am in endless replay, loop de loop. It started with the first metallic ping, Manucher Gorbanifar's name surfaced early, 2003.
Why bother to get dizzy, this shall not pass. Forget the soft homilies.
I'm still trying to wrap my mind around the news (from Harper's via TPM Muckraker) that Porter Goss, director of the CIA, may be implicated in a hooker service for corrupt (and horny) congressmen paid for by defense contractors and run out of — you really gotta love this part — the Watergate Hotel.
So what are we supposed to call this new scandal?
[…] On the other hand, Goss has a lot of enemies, including just about the entire career staff at the CIA, which he has been industriously purging of suspected Democrats at the behest of his White House masters. (If Porter ever turns up dead, the suspect list is going to include half of the McLean, Va. phone book and most of the world's professional assassins.) So who knows? Maybe it's just ex-spook disinformation — like the bit about the couple of dozen senior White House aides who were supposed to be indicted in the Plame case last October.
[oh yes, that stank of Rover… and he laughed as it spread like a virus… -M-Cat]
I mean, we've got political purges underway in the organs of state security; a one-party legislature run by guys who write their names above the urinals at expensive K Street restaurants ("For a good time, call Duke") and — according to Harper's — limo services tied to call girl rings pulling down multi-million dollar contracts with the Department of Homeland Security, which itself sounds like a name dreamed up for the movie Brazil.
Forget Fellini, even Terry Gilliam couldn't do this justice.
One thing seems certain, the Watergate Complex was built over some opening to a corridor that leads to the hell that is modern USA!USA! political horror. Nothing else answers how this place reverberates.
We cannot get free of the damned thing.
Jane Jacobs has died, at 89 in Toronto… 26 April 2006Posted by marisacat in Uncategorized.
NYT obit with links to reviews of her several books.
Village Voice including text from a 1957 writing of hers…
A review of an evening in May, 2004 in NYC contains this lovely passage about her:
Her observations and conclusions about the interactions of people, where they work and live in urban settings, were sharpened after she married Robert Hyde Jacobs, an architect, and began writing for Architectural Forum. An assignment to interview Edward Bacon, a renowned city planner in Philadelphia, was a turning point.
“He was a quite a big pooh-bah. On a tour of the city, he took me along a street that was crowded with people — it was just after the war [World War II] — migrants from the South. People were looking out of their windows, kids playing in the street, people sitting on the stoops,” she said.
“He [Bacon] had a long face. He then took me one street over — there wasn’t a solitary soul in sight, except for a little boy kicking a tire in the street. I asked him ‘Where are all the people?’ But he talked about the marvelous vista. I wanted to know why people weren’t admiring the vista, and he said, ‘They don’t appreciate these things.’ He wasn’t interested in people. It was quite a revelation,” Jacobs said. “I didn’t have any credence in him any more. So I made myself my own expert.”
Many urban planners and architects rejected her conclusions about the necessity for a threshold of urban density and the importance of mixing uses. “They had everything invested in what they believed, and I had nothing to lose,” Jacobs said. “But it was clear that urban renewal was official vandalism based on anti-urban assumptions.”