|No Fear of Freedom||
|Anti-right rants from an obnoxious lumpen proletarian. Aiming to Arm the Choir.|
March 25, 2004
Five Proven Liars' Words Against Clarke's9/11 scrutiny hits Bush aura on terror
Still, even if public memory of this week's testimony fades by Nov. 2, it was not a positive week for the Bush White House, analysts say. Administration officials, including Vice President Cheney, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, and press secretary Scott McClellan, were put on the defensive, often uttering identical phrases that showed the care taken in a coordinated response.I'm sure the reporter meant to say "programmed reposnse." Just like cops testilying, they had their ducks in a row.
In one embarrassing exception, Cheney claimed Monday that Clarke had been "out of the loop" in the fight against terror, raising the obvious question of why a White House would not involve its counterrorism chief in major decisions.So Rice "corrects" Cheney. Does anyone know what's going on in the White House? Or did Penis Cheney forget to clear his lie in advance? It was, after all, a pretty stupid lie and he's been off the reservation before. Or was it just habit? He's used that line, "out of the loop," so many times.
"Basically, the way it's lining up is Condi Rice, Donald Rumsfeld, Colin Powell, Dick Cheney, and the president's word against his," says GOP strategist Charlie Black. With some of the charges Clarke is making, he adds, "you can demonstrate whether he's right or they're right. By Monday or so, I don't think he'll have much credibility left."Riiighht. Five people's word against Clarke's. Course, ever' one of 'ems a proven liar and Clarke's the only one who's had the decency to take responsibilty (saying he probably deserves some of the blame) and to apologize to the 9/11 families. But Clarke's credibility will lie in tatters.
I'll betcha Black is wrong.
posted 5:12 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Parsing The Pledge - Right Wingers Do It OddlyAtheist Presents Case for Taking God From Pledge
Puh-lease! An eight year old oughta be able to win this case. I know I'm tilting at windmills here, and lots of people will insist that I'm weirdly illogical, but here goes anyway. The "under God" part of the Pledge of Allegiance is not merely unconstitutional, it is stunningly obvious that this is so. It's an open and shut case, a slam dunk, shootin' lunkers in a teacup. It's been really amusing to hear the majority of both Democrats and Republicans argue that it's not only no way in hell unconstitutional, but also that this is self-evident any sane person. Yet their arguments pretty much amount to "because we don't want it to be, that's why."
Now Ted Olson has argued before the Supremes that "under God" does not mean under God. No, no, nothing like it.
Rather, Mr. Olson said, "under God" was one of various "civic and ceremonial acknowledgments of the indisputable historical fact that caused the framers of our Constitution and the signers of the Declaration of Independence to say that they had the right to revolt and start a new country." He said the framers believed "that God gave them the right to declare their independence when the king has not been living up to the unalienable principles given to them by God."See? They ain't a thing r'ligious 'bout it. Ya know, 'cept for the God part an' all. Does language mean anything to Repukelicans?
I don't have that much dog in this fight personally. Nobody makes me say it anyway, an' I'm not an atheist. But Newdow is, an' I agree with his complaint, even if I do think atheists are as silly as believers. Newdow said:
". . . when I see the flag and I think of pledging allegiance, it's like I'm getting slapped in the face every time, bam, you know, `this is a nation under God, your religious belief system is wrong.'"An' I don' wanna hear about how there's this huge majority that favors "under God" in the pledge. Wouldn't matter if it was a billion to one against Newdow. The principle doesn't change no matter how people vote or think. Human rights aren't determined by majority rule. Religious freedom is a human right due all human beings regardless of what any and all other human beings think about it. The pledge with "under God" in it is a slap in the face to atheists as well as Buddhists an' I don' know who all else. Agnostics like me, a course. The pledge as written is obviously unconstitutional.
posted 3:00 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
How Will The Bushies Slime Foster On Medicare?It's gettin' a be a parlor game, I swear. Medicare Official Testifies on Cost Figures
The chief Medicare actuary, Richard S. Foster, told Congress on Wednesday that last June he provided the White House with data indicating that prescription drug legislation would cost 25 percent to 50 percent more than the Bush administration's public estimates. That information did not make its way to Congress for six more months.In June the Bushies new that the Medicare bill would cost $500-600 billion, but they swore up an' down to Congress that it would cost no more than $400 billion. (Yes, that was also the CBO estimate, but the Bushies knew better.) The extremely close vote on that bill forced GOP floor leaders to hold the voting open for an unseemly, if not obscenely, long period of time. If the White House had told the truth about Foster's estimates, no way would the bill have passed.
Faced with certain defeat, the Bushies lied. Simple, obvious, effective. And an ugly, unforgivable and deliberate subversion of democracy. BushCo has tried to smear everyone who's said a critical word about the administration, and they're working overtime on Richard Clarke. Well, BushCo says Bush is the only one who can protect us from terrorism -- just look what a wonderful job he's done so far. Then again:
Former US terror chief slams Bush
Mr Clarke also reiterated his criticism of the decision to invade Iraq, saying Mr Bush had "greatly undermined the war on terrorism".Hmm. BushCo? Or Clarke? Considering BushCo's track record, who ya gonna b'lieve?
posted 9:00 AM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Helping The Homeless Mentally IllThey make up 1/6th of all homeless in California. I will probably be posting on this issue from time to time between now and November. CampaignforMentalHealth.org (I've also added them to the sidebar.) is pushing an initiative to provide stable funding for services to the mentally ill homeless. They'd get it by adding a one percent surcharge to incomes over $1 million per year. I know some of the people involved and they've told me that they've done polls of people with such stratospheric incomes and they have no problem with the tax. The opposition comes from the anti-tax nuts and middle class voters who think they might be rich someday. Yah, Hokay, dream on.
This is a California initiative that will be on the ballot in November. I don't know how many California readers I have, so if anybody knows a California blogger they could pass this on to, that'd be great.
The University of Pennsylvania's Center for Mental Health Policy and Services Research has done a five-year study that tracked 4,679 homeless individuals with psychiatric disabilities placed into service-enriched housing created by the 1990 New York/New York Agreement to House Homeless Mentally Ill Individuals, a joint initiative between New York City and New York State. Service-enriched meaning they get extensive psychiatric help, life coaching, rehabilitative services and so on.
The study showed that it cost the public only $1,908 more a year to provide service-enriched housing to an individual with mental illness than it does to allow him or her to remain homeless.So 'twould appear we could get all the mentally ill homeless off the streets at a cost of about $37 a week each. If there are 17 million taxpayers in California, and I'm guessing but that should be in the neighborhood, then the total cost to get all the homeless mentally ill off the streets in California comes to a staggering 11 cents per taxpayer per week. Maybe even less.
Remember, we're talking about the mentally ill homeless. Anyone who's unwilling to spend so little money to help such a helpless population better hope the Christians are wrong. I would'n wanna be judged fer sumpin' like that.
posted 7:36 AM by Phaedrus | Link | |
The Smear Merchants Forced To Lie BlatantlyRichard Clarke should be the dagger in the heart of this administration. What he's saying should devastate Bushwa's reputation as a "war" president and it has forced admin officials into some of their most bald-faced, stupid lies yet. My favorites include the claim Clarke's disgruntled because Bush demoted his position from cabinet level. Maybe, but why would the "war" president who has protected us so well from terrorism demote the counterterrorism chief to below cabinet level if he was serious about terrorism? He didn't replace Clarke with another cabinet level official on terrorism, he just demoted Clarke's position.
My other favorite is Clarke "wasn't in the loop." Really. The White House conterterrorism chief was out of the loop -- the counterterrorism loop. If true, wouldn't that be remarkable, reckless irresponsibility on the part of the White House? On top a that, the White House has used that same 'out of the loop' defense several times. Tried the same bullshit with Paul O'Neill, fer instance. But wait! There's more! Act now and the Center For American Progress will document several more juicy lies. Call within the hour and we'll take a set of fine Spanish China and throw it out the window in your name. We may even hit a bystander. You can't beat that.
posted 6:03 AM by Phaedrus | Link | |
March 24, 2004
Heritage Con-Foundation - Professional Liars For The RightThe Heritage Con-Foundation says In Understanding Poverty in America, by Robert E. Rector and Kirk A. Johnson, Ph.D., Backgrounder #1713:
In good economic times or bad, the typical poor family with children is supported by only 800 hours of work during a year: That amounts to 16 hours of work per week. If work in each family were raised to 2,000 hours per year--the equivalent of one adult working 40 hours per week throughout the year--nearly 75 percent of poor children would be lifted out of official poverty.First time I saw it I thought that number looked funny. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, using census data, reports:
Nearly two-thirds of all poor families with children included a worker in 2002. These individuals typically work a significant amount. In 2001 (data for 2002 are not yet available), workers in poor families with children worked an average of 44 weeks per year, and an average of 41 hours during the weeks in which they were employed. (The average exceeded 40 hours a week because some poor families have more than one worker.)You can do the math yerself if ya wanna, but it works out to around 1200 hours worked per poor family with children. I don't know how the Heritage Con Artists massaged the data (But I do know they massage data.), but it sure looks ta me like they's lyin. Remember, too, that in many cases they's a good reason why nobody's workin' in that other 1/3 of families. Disability, off tha top a my head, but they's probly other good reasons. An' I got severe doubts 'bout that 75% a children bein' lifted outta poverty. Full time work at the US minimum wage only brings in about $11,000 a year, which is way b'low that poverty line for a fambly wit' kids. An' tha OECD says:
. . . the United States has consistently been the OECD country with the highest relative poverty rate for working households.Heritage also claims:
While the poor are generally well-nourished, some poor families do experience hunger, meaning a temporary discomfort due to food shortages. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), 13 percent of poor families and 2.6 percent of poor children experience hunger at some point during the year. In most cases, their hunger is short-term. Eighty-nine percent of the poor report their families have "enough" food to eat, while only 2 percent say they "often" do not have enough to eat.Oh, well as long as it's only short-term. Their figures here appear pretty close ta right, but they're leavin' stuff out. Tha CBPP, using census data, said:
In 2001, 44.5 percent of poor households with children experienced either food insecurity or hunger at some point during the year. (Households that experienced food insecurity were unable to acquire, or were uncertain of having, enough food to meet the basic needs of all household members, because they lacked sufficient income and resources.)Tha USDA reports 41.8% for the same group, which is ballpark. So, ya know, po' folks ain't got nothin' ta worry 'bout in tha food department. Nothin' ay- tall. Rotten evil bastards. An' ya can tell Joe Lieberman I said so. They ain't jus' wrong, they's evil.
posted 7:57 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
The Left And The RightLeft and right are not a set of positions and policy proposals, they're frames of mind. The positions change over the long haul, nearly always shifting left, because the left is right much more often than the right. Ironic how lefties got tagged with the wrong label. Blame the French. Ever'thing else is their fault.
Under monarchies, the right consistently supported monarchy. In republics with a severely limited franchise, the right supported keeping it that way. Slavery? The right supported it. Women's suffrage? The right opposed. Jim Crow? The right supported it. The social welfare state common to every major Western democracy for decades? The right still opposes it. Why does the right so often wind up on the wrong side of history?
Fear. Fear drives most right wingers. Not all, but most. Fear of other countries, fear of other races, fear of people's "evil nature," fear of God, and most of all, I suppose, fear of change. A couple a scientists produced a controversial study that found fear tha prominent feature in tha right wing psyche, butcha don' need a study. Jus' listen to 'em. You can hear it in almost ever'thing right wingers say.
Terrorism's gonna destroy Western civilization unless we wipe out half the Middle East. Yeah, an' a mosquito's gonna tear down the pyramids. If we don't stop 'em in Iraq, terrorist battalions will march through the streets of America. I've actually heard that one. Terrorist battalions marchin' in America? How the hell many anti-American terrorists do they think there are? If they have an army capable of invading the US, why are they piddlin' around with terrorism?
Considerin' tha probable odds a becomin' a victim of terrorism in the US, most a tha right sounds like a bunch a pulin' cowards ta me. I'm amazed they can get up tha nerve ta ride in a car or cross a street. Those are greater risks. Before terrorism, Communism was the great bogeyman used to manipulate the right.
At all times we must have an extremely powerful, extremely expensive national "defense." Cuz right wingers is skeered. The military-industrial complex is their security blanket. Kerry's -- OH MY GOD -- weak on defense. Never mind that we spend more on "defense" than tha next 14 nations combined. Never mind that since WWII the military's been used more often fer offense than defense.
And who is it strongly feels tha need fer a gun ta "protect" themselves? My brother and sister-in-law are rock-ribbed Republicans. They live in a $350,000 dollar house in a city that's more 'n once been rated tha safest in America. Somebody gets pulled over for speeding there, six cop cars show up. Not cuz it's a hot situation, they just don't have anythin' better ta do. But they felt it necessary ta keep both a revolver an' a shotgun at tha ready in their house ta protect themselves. From what?
I live in a "bad" neighborhood, by way a contrast. Bad enough that we find new graffitti on the apartment building jus' about ev'ry day. Tha front a tha buildin's mostly glass and it seems like the graffitists always find ingenious new ways ta permanently deface tha glass. C'mon guys. Think watercolors. Ya know yer gonna be back tomorrow night anyway.
So it's a "troubled" neighborhood, but not a quarter as bad as my sister-in-law thinks it is. She won't even come over here. We do live within a mile of tha worst neighborhood in the city, though. An' I feel no need for a gun. Never had any real trouble in any part a tha city. Sure, I keep a T-ball bat in tha apartment, but that's mostly fer if I take a notion ta go beatin' on some Jehovah's Witnesses, or Mormon missionaries, or any other damn proselytizers who don't move smartly away from my door when asked politely.
An' fer certain a my wife's friends, a course. Honey Punkin's a very tolerant woman, which is both a blessin' an' a curse ta me. A blessin' cuz she puts up with me, an' I don' know that many women would. A curse cuz she tolerates people in serious need a moral correction via an intimate encounter with Bobby. That's what Honey Punkin' calls my bat. She has a club of her own called Billy. Get it? Ya don' wanna mess with Honey Punkin'. She can be a hard woman.
With right wingers, every change comes rollin' down tha pike'll surely destroy civilization. Lack a prayer in schools, no ten commandments in tha courthouse, women workin' outside tha home, divorce, gay unions, an' tons a similar things over tha years. I happen ta think civilization's a good bit more resilient 'n that, but try tellin' it to a right winger. They mostly live in cages called fear.
Some say that greed defines right wingers, but the greed heads aren't really right wingers. They're what I call corporate conservatives, an' nearly their whole drivin' force is greed. But they're necessarily an elite minority. Fer them ta feel rich, most people got ta have less'n them. Both wealth and poverty, once tha bare necessities been met, are relative, not absolute. It's easy ta see that at tha extremes. If everyone made $15,000 a year, nobody'd be poor. If ever'body made $10 million a year, nobody'd be rich, although they'd probly be really, really, comfortable.
That "a rising tide lifts all boats" bullshit comes from the corporatist wing, and ya know it's bullshit cuz they don' want all boats lifted. There's three ways they can get richer. They can get more while ever'one else gets more, but not as much more as them. They can get more while ever'one else stands still, which is pretty much what's happened over tha last 30 years in America. Or they can stand still while everyone else gets poorer. I'm sure they prefer the first, but any a these'll do. Relative, not absolute. If ever'one gets richer at about tha same rate, the rich haven't gotten richer. An' that won't do it fer these guys.
So tha corporatists, or greed wing conservatives, are necessarily a minority. If they weren't they'd be miserable failures. As a minority, and a minority few people really like, they need political allies. They're eager ta finance and manipulate the fear wing. And fearful people are easily manipulated.
None a this is ta say that I think rightists're inherently bad people, or that they should be eliminated, or even utterly defeated. It greatly irritates me that so many on tha right have taken a notion that they can and should win final victories. Bush has convinced them evil can be defeated. No one's ever managed it in a million years or so, but they're gonna do it. And since liberals are evil, we gotta go too.
Things don' work like that. In tha metaphorical car called social progress tha left's tha gas pedal an' tha right's tha brake. 'Thout a gas pedal a car ain't much good, but I don' know anybody wants ta drive a car with no brake. Tha left has a tendency ta run too fast fer mos' people. We have a vision a tha future an' b'lieve we can change things fer tha better, an' we usually do, but most people can't grasp unfamiliar ideas as easily as we can. Very few people can actually think outside tha coffee can. They need time ta get used ta new ideas. The right's there ta buy 'em that time. But tha right can't be allowed ta stand on tha brake forever, and they can never, ever be allowed ta put tha car in reverse.
Tha right has its role ta play, but they's goin' way beyond that a late. These days they're tryin' ta sabotage tha damn car. That ain't a gonna cut it. It's up ta us ta stop 'em.
posted 1:28 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
March 23, 2004
What Makes Your Own Team Jump On The Dogpile?Screwin' up really badly, I would think.
Kerry Gets Boost From Surprising Sources
The article mentions John McCain and Chuck Hagel defending Kerry on defense.
On Sunday, Hagel, a maverick Republican with a reputation similar to McCain's for speaking his mind, criticized the Bush campaign ad that called Kerry "weak on defense." Speaking on ABC's "This Week," Hagel said: "The facts just don't measure [up to] the rhetoric." He said it is unfair to isolate one or two votes over a 19-year career to make such a sweeping assessment of Kerry. "You can . . . take any of us, and pick out the different votes, and then try to manufacture something around it," he said.Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and other congressional conservatives criticizing Bush on the domestic front, particulary lying about the cost of the Medicare bill.
Kerry's campaign is circulating Flake's recent remark that Congress would not have passed the Bush Medicare law if members had been told of its projected cost.And former administration officials John J. DiIulio Jr., the White House's guy on faith-based programs, Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill, and now counterterrorism chief Richard Clarke have all, quite patriotically, jumped Bush's sorry ass. All disgruntled politically opportunistic liars, sez the White House nobody in their right mind would trust. At least now we can say, "Even conservatives and Republicans . . ."
posted 8:29 AM by Phaedrus | Link | |
A Clear Attempt To DecieveVideo news releases (VNRs) are apparently quite common, as are press releases, which I guess we're now caling print news releases (PNRs). Health and Human Services sent out VNRs about the Medicare bill that include a PR flack posing as a reporter. CNN distributed the VNRs and in many, if not most cases, they were not clearly identified. Many stations ran them as straight news. CJR's Campaign Desk dug a little deeper.
Most of the news directors we spoke with were also genuinely angry at the Bush administration, for what they saw as a deceptive public relations campaign that took conscious advantage of the smaller stations' well-known lack of resources: "Shame on them -- that's pretty sneaky," said Veazey, referring to HHS. Julie Akins of KSEE-Fresno was harsher: "It's clear that there was an attempt to deceive ... It's shocking that the Bush administration would manipulate the news media in this way."But a lotta station managers were pissed at CNN too. Seems the package often wasn't clearly labeled, perhaps even deceptively labeled.
And Lynn Brooks of WVUA-Tuscaloosa, confirmed in an email to a viewer, obtained by Campaign Desk, that when her station received the Medicare story, it "was designated as a 'reporter package', with nothing distinguishing it as a video news release."VNRs are common. About 3,000 are sent out a year, and they usually aren't that different from PNRs in principle, or lack thereof. Thing is, though I"ve known since college that PNRs are sometimes run in their entirety as straight news, it still bugs the shit out of me. It's still wrong. It's propaganda and a lotta corporations spend a lotta money to get it placed as news. What HHS pulled was even more wrong. HHS Spokespig Bill Peirce tried the "everybody does it" defense, but it turns out:
But not all VNRs are created equal: Neither Moscowitz nor Pierce could point to a VNR produced for the federal government that, in the midst of an election campaign, promoted legislation as politically-charged as the Medicare benefit. Nor, more importantly, does there seem to be a precedent for an administration making a VNR that includes a p.r. professional impersonating a reporter, and signing off "reporting from Washington."Blatant, despicable duplicity. But wait! There's more! Send in your vote today and you get a bonus lie!
And a New York Times editorial Saturday agreed, taking HHS to task for the VNR incident, and for its "foolhardy obsession" with claiming that Ryan is a freelance journalist, not an actor.Honor an' integrity my bleeding ass! Lyingest administration in my lifetime, and I'm including Johnson, Nixon, Reagan, Bush I, and Clinton. Never thought I'd see the day. I can't recommend CJR's Campaign Desk highly enough. Seriously.
posted 7:02 AM by Phaedrus | Link | |
March 22, 2004
Dick Cheney Says Clarke Was "Out Of The Loop"From Paul Krugman's column:
He "may have had a grudge to bear since he probably wanted a more prominent position," declared Dick Cheney, who also says that Mr. Clarke was "out of the loop." (What loop? Before 9/11, Mr. Clarke was the administration's top official on counterterrorism.)Uh, Penis? Why would the counterterrorism chief be "out of the loop?" I mean, considerin' how serious y'all were 'bout terrorism an' all? Or is it unpatriotic to ask? An' jus' how stupid are you folks in tha White House?
posted 9:11 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Don't Believe The Corporate Media!In What The Hell Does It Take? Neologic reviews the headlines on the Clarke say Bush sucks on terrorism story, national and international. Sure looks like the American "liberal" media's doin' it's best to spin it in favor of Bush. I'm so dissappointed. Not surprised, mind you, just dissappointed.
posted 8:46 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Everybody's A Liar And A Political Partisan Except The BushiesUh-huh. Maja at Omnium provides supporting evidence for what Richard Clarke has said about the Bush administrations handling of terrorism, partly in the form of excerpts from a 2002 book, The Age Of Sacred Terror, written by two former National Security Council directors. The book quotes Joint Chiefs Chairman Hugh Shelton and Gen. Don Kerrick, and not in a way the Bushies will find congenial. The thicket of lies pouring from this administration will take hundreds of machetes to chop through it, but at some point the American people are going to see the truth. Will it be in time?
posted 8:17 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Global Unity On Iraq
Dear Mr. Bush,A pitcher gallery. Thanks to Omnium.
posted 7:32 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
How 'Bout A Real Presidential Campaign?MoveOn has a request.
Ask Bush to Stand Up to a Real DebateWhat I'd really like to see is a series of townhall type meetings with both candidates answering the same unfiltered questions from the audience, but I don't think Bush even has the balls to face Kerry in any more debates than the three he can't avoid.
Thanks to Keywords for the heads up.
posted 6:58 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
A Missive From The Attorney General
Remember, if you vote for John Kerry, you're voting for who the terrorists want to be President! If you don't let the terrorists dictate how you vote, the terrorists have won!Ya gotta check this guy out. I only wish I could write as funny as him.
posted 6:40 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Is Anybody On The Right Wing Funny Since O'Rourke?I'm kind of curious, so if you know of anybody, I'd appreciate a heads up. Got a link to Eric Alterman's stint on Dennis Miller's show. I hear some laughs on the show, but they might be canned. I can't see where Miller is anything but an asshole in this interview. For those right dingers who insist liberals only stopped thinking Miller was funny after he turned right wing, I was a big fan of P.J. O'Rourke for a long time, and I never agreed with a thing he said. But I found him funny. He eventually wore out on me, but most humor writers do. After a while you know all a guy's tricks and then they don't make you laugh anymore. Same thing happened with Dave Barry.
I don't know when Miller stopped being funny, or when he turned right wing. I wasn't paying that close of attention. I'm not sure I ever found Miller funny. Pompous, maybe. Pseudo-intellectual, maybe. But humor's important to me. If a guy can make me laugh, I don't give a good Goddamn about his politics. I can't remember the last time I heard Miller say anything funny. Judging strictly by this video clip, I'd say he's just a snot-nosed punk these days.
Tip O'The Tam to In Search Of Utopia.
posted 6:27 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Richard Clarke Interview TranscriptThe transcript of Leslie Stahl's interviews with Counterterrorism expert Richard Clarke and Deputy NSA Stephen Hadley on 60 Minutes is here, thanks to Sadly No.
posted 4:17 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Oh, Those "Family Values" RepublicansSeems Ben Cagle is one of five well-off white kids arrested for beating and robbing Guatemalan immigrants. Seems Ben Cagle's grandparents are founding members of Cherokee County, Georgia's Repukelican party. Imagine how bad he'd be if his grandparents were liberals. Hell, he mighta even thought racism was wrong. Orcinus has the details.
There's more of those fine Repukelican values on display in the very next post down at Orcinus. Billy Yow, a Republican County Commissioner in N. Carolina, has been selling a t-shirt for eight months that features the Confederate stars-and-bars and a character pissing on the letters NAACP. He says it's just free speech, and he's right. It's just racist free speech.
Why don't those dumbass black folks vote Repukelican? Oh, I remember. Cuz they ain't a tenth as dumb as dumbass Repukelicans think they are. Yeah, Democrats often take black votes for granted, an' it pisses me off. I 'magine it pisses black folks off more'n it does me. But how many black folks in their right minds're gonna vote for a party so frequently associated with racism? Oh, now I remember that too. 'Bout ten percent, though I doubt they're all in their right minds.
posted 3:53 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Royal Court Stenographer Publishes Lies In The NYTJosh Marshall presents more evidence that the execrable Judith Miller of the "liberal" NYT ought to be arrested for pimping for the administration.
posted 11:17 AM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Patriotic American FascistsOrcinus posts on a story from Fresno where a Freeper tried, in hostile fashion, to disrupt an anti-war rally. The organizer, Ken Hudson, said he'd call the police if the man did not desist. He didn't desist, so Hudson called sheriff's deputies who came out and made an arrest -- of Hudson. Wonder whose side they're on. There're links in the post to eliminationist rhetoric, death threats, and more of the typical crap we've come to expect from right wingers.
My point is, we gotta stand up ta these yokels. We gotta call 'em on their bullshit. I know most liberals don't wanta get down in the mud an' wrestle, but ya not only can't back down ta these pukes, ya can't even appear ta them ta back down. These mouthy punks are bullies and cowards and they know it. But you've got to call them that, because they don't know you know it. If ya don't confront 'em, they think yer afraid of 'em. If ya don't confront 'em, ya embolden them. An' we gotta back their asses off now lest they become a majority. That happened in Germany's Weimar Republic an' by tha time the liberals realized what'd happened, their cause was lost. The lesson of Germany and Italy is ya gotta stop tha fascist fucks before they get their little monkey mitts on too much of society.
Funny thing is, the dingers're doin' all tha threatenin', all the talkin' 'bout civil war an' eliminatin' liberals, all the pointin' out that "Remember, we've got the guns, g'ya huk, g'ya huk, g'ya huk," but they seem blissfully unaware that they're also a small minority. Every protest, every rally, every march, every action, if ya tote 'em all up, the leftists far outnumber the rightists. In Fresno they had 200 people turn out for the anti-war protest. A grand total of three Freepers, as best I can tell, turned out in opposition. An' Free Republic is based in Fresno.
The dingers ever get their damn civil war, which I don't they've actually got the guts for, we'll whip 'em easy. But blood will run in tha streets, an' I don' think anybody wants ta see that except a few right wing idjiots.
Last year Atrios posted this:
If I were given a choice of pressing one of two buttons - one to do away with terrorism or another to do away with those Democrats up in Washington - I wouldn't even have to think about it. I would do away with the Democrats, and do this country a favor.Now thass an honest ta God, patriotic American fascist fuckhead.
posted 11:07 AM by Phaedrus | Link | |
The Left Is Subversive By DefinitionFBI Shadowed Kerry During Activist Era
Intelligence officials referred to the [Vietnam Veterans Against the War] in their reports as the "New Left." "Due to abundant indications of subversive influence, we are actively investigating VVAW," read one FBI report from 1971.Ya know, cuz if ya speak out and ya ain't right wing, yer automatically a subversive. The dingers still believe that today. Cuz in Amurricah, ya can b'lieve anthin' ya want, so long as it's not left a center. And remember, capitalism's enshrined in tha Constitution. Course it is.
posted 8:37 AM by Phaedrus | Link | |
The Door Ain't Revolvin' - It's Spinnin' Like A TopIn the Hall as a Lobbyist After Time in the House
Back when Steve Largent, the Hall of Fame wide receiver, was playing football for the Seattle Seahawks, he was hired to give inspirational talks to the employees of Cellular One, a mobile phone company. The year was 1984. Cellphones were still novelties and as big as bricks.Which, I'm thinkin', is what fully qualified him ta be a Repukelican Congress Critter.
In November, he became chief executive of the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association, the industry's main lobbying group, a position that now puts him squarely in the middle of several controversial policy battles.Big ol' industry lobbies hirin' people relatively fresh from gummint service to head their efforts to manipulate said gummint, but, hey, every American voter has an equal say in gummint. That's tha Amurrican way.
posted 8:02 AM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Bush Doing Such A Good Job In IraqDelivery Delays Hurt U.S. Effort to Equip Iraqis
Senior American commanders in Iraq are publicly complaining that delays in delivering radios, body armor and other equipment have hobbled their ability to build an effective Iraqi security force that can ultimately replace United States troops here.The Iraq war has been one giant clusterfuck, a total FUBAR, and Bush is braggin' on what a good job he's done.
And now a word from our sponsor:
Get the JetCo 6000 sextuple blade razor today. It's six blades actually peel the flesh right off your face and cut the hair so far back that you won't have to shave for a week. Painlessly. The JetCo 6000, cuz you'll b'lieve any fuckin' thing. (May result in some minor scarring .)
(SNL actually did this bit with a mere three blade razor, proving, perhaps, that if irony is dead, capitalism killed it.)
posted 7:36 AM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Bush Two-Faced On God And The PledgeWell, why not? He is about everything else.
One Crucial Issue in Pledge Case: What Does 'Under God' Mean?
According to the Bush administration, which is defending the pledge, its recitation is no more a religious act than pocketing a coin imprinted with "In God We Trust." The administration's brief says both are simply patriotic acknowledgments of "the nation's religious history" and of the "undeniable historical fact that the nation was founded by individuals who believed in God," an empirical statement that poses no threat to the separation of church and state.So the pledge, as written, according to Bush, is merely an empirical statement and no threat to separation of church and state while, at the same time, it proclaims "our reliance on God." But Kerry's a flip-flopper. Bush is just an improbable straddler.
What kills me about this whole thing, along with gay marriage and the ten commandments, is that evangeli-fundie Christians continually argue that we nasty liberals and leftists and gay rights supporters are trying to impose our lifestyle on them. Which amounts to arguing that if they don't get to impose their lifestyle on everyone else, that's an imposition on them. Well, I suppose it is in a way. It's a limitation on their "right" to legally coerce others.
We also limit the "rights" of people to murder and steal, which is an imposition on them. We need to distinguish between limitations on the individual that increase general freedom and those that reduce it. A teacher led recitation of the pledge is certainly coercion and limits personal freedom for no good reason. Don't come at me with that "voluntary" bullshit. What do you think happens to the kids who don't say it once they're out on the playground? Commie's is probably one of the nicer things they'll hear.
The problem with extreme libertarians, and I think anarchists, though I've never been able to quite figure out anarchists, is that they don't understand that without limits to freedom, there is no freedom. People must be prevented from harming and coercing others to have anything like freedom. And coercion is a broader category than libertarians think.
God needs ta git his ass outta gummint. Do whatcha want in yer churches, yer homes, hell, if ya must, even in public. But take yer grubby hands off gummint. Quit usin' gummint to coerce others into accepting your beliefs. If God in gummint ain't unconstitutional, then it sure as hell oughta be.
posted 6:51 AM by Phaedrus | Link | |
March 21, 2004
Clarke's 60 Minutes Turn Ought To Be DevastatingIn 1999, when George Tenet at CIA warned Bill Clinton of impending, major terrorist attacks, Clinton sent his cabinet to "battle stations," meaning they met almost daily. In 2001, George Bush was warned by George Tenet in June, July, and August of the imminence of a major terrorist attack. His cabinet never went to battle stations.
So says Richard Clarke, the counterterrorism expert who served the Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, and Bush II White Houses. On January 24, 2001, Clarke sent a memo to Condi Rice urgently requesting a high level cabinet meeting to address terrorism. Luckily, he got it. On September 4, 2001. Clarke was asked on CBS' 60 Minutes if someone who worked in the White House didn't owe the president loyalty, and wasn't his book disloyal. He said yes, up to a point. But the President put American lives at risk.
Clarke believes the Iraq war was a terrible mistake that made Americans and the world less safe. He said we stepped into bin Laden's trap. OBL had been warning muslims that the US would attack an oil rich nation, and that's exactly what Bush did. Now terrorist recruitment has reached new highs. There was no evidence that Iraq was involved in 9/11 or Al Qaeda, but the Bushies kept saying look again, look again.
A course Stephen Hadley, depity NSA, in essence says Clarke's a liar. He denies everything. As if he could do anything else. What's he gonna say? "Well, Clarke's right. We totally screwed the pooch." He even claimed the White House could find no record of a meeting between Clarke and Bush in which Bush pressured him to find the goods on Iraq. Didn't even phase him when Leslie Stahl said 60 Minutes had two sources who independently confirmed Clarke's story. Didn't happen, didn't happen. Who ya gonna b'lieve? Me? Or yer lyin' eyes?
So Clarke's a liar, Greg Theilman's a liar, Karen Kwiatkowski's a liar, Joe Wilson's a liar, Gen. Anthony Zinni's a traitor, Paul O'Neill's a liar. Damn. The prez sure has had a lotta liar's workin' fer 'im. None of the people I just mentioned, butchew know.
posted 8:34 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
And Here's Why Most "Moderates" Are FoolsFormer Candidates Urge More Civil U.S. Campaign
"Let's keep it civil so we don't get so nasty that we discourage people from coming out and voting in a very important election," [Sen. Joseph] Lieberman said on "Fox News Sunday."See Joe? That's why nobody voted fer yer silly, right wing ass. An' what was ya doin' on Faux News, anyway? Damn Dino. Cute line an' all, ya know? Been hearing it all my life, ya know? An' maybe even it used ta be true, or maybe I just used ta be more naive. I mean there's gotta be some reason why ever'body sez they're votin' fer the lesser a two evils. George Bush is evil. He's responsible, at minimum, for the unnecessary deaths and injuries of many, many thousands of innocents. An', hold on ta yer seats, poison goils. They's worse Republicans than Bush. Tom "The Hammer" DeLay leaps to mind. So does Zell Miller. I don't consider Zell Miller a DINO. I consider him a NAFINO. Not A Fascist In Name Only. Ackshully, that goes for DeLay as well.
[Sen. John] McCain said, "If it stays with this tone -- and it is the tone of the campaigns as much as it is specific words -- if the tone doesn't change, you're going to see low voter turnout, particularly among young Americans."I know that's the conventional wisdom, but I'm not too impressed with the CW. Seems more and more like most of what "everybody knows" is wrong. For one thing, why do we assume a negative campaign will turn off the voters? If given a choice between watching Mr. Rogers or the WWF, well, I think the people already cast those votes. Sorry, Rog, everybody'd rather watch a train wreck than a tea party.
For another, Kerry has no choice because Bush/Rove made their choice long ago. They are among the dirtiest campaigners in history, as McCain knows from hard experience. Remember his "illegitimate" "black" daughter? An' there's a reason for their choice. Dirty campaigning works. If you're opponent goes dirty and you don't, you'll almost certainly lose. You can't afford to take the high road when they take the low road. That was part of Al Gore's problem in 2000.
Kerry better damn sure go dirty hard and long. Otherwise we get four more years of the evildoers.
posted 6:52 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Bush Is Hip PropagandaA Bush Surprise: Fright-Wing Support
I know this is supposed to be a man bites dog story, but the problem is it's not. Gosharoony, Punkers support Bush! OK, that is kinda shocking until you read the whole article and find that only a very small percentage of Punks support Bush and the GOP. What's surprising about that? Oh. Nothing. So what's the point of the story if it isn't just pro-Bush propaganda? My guess is skinhead racists probably support Bush too, but I don't see the papers goin' on about it. How come the story doesn't focus on the massive support for Kerry among Punkers? Too boring? Yeah, like this story's exciting.
posted 2:21 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Evidence The Media's A Right Wing Propaganda MachineThe Keywords blog's comment on Eric's Altercation with a seemingly stoned Dennis Miller.
But there is a more depressing story here. We always here about "the market" and how important ratings and market forces are for determining TV programming, but the more you learn about how the industry works, you find out that it is ideology and not market forces that actually drives programming decisions:And Alterman's comment which provoked it:
Really, what can CNBC be thinking with this guy? His ratings are not just in the toilet they have traveled all the way to the septic tank. And as we all know, they need to pay audience members to show up. It has got to cost more than the Phil Donahue show to produce, given the size of the audience and the set and that was yanked even though it was then the highest rated show on MSNBC.I DON'T BELIEVE THE RIGHT WING MEDIA. At least not without confirmation.
posted 1:39 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Raygun Won The Cold War And America Lost The WorldThe last is true, the first is very unlikely. I gotta highly recommend this online book. It's 180 pages not counting the end notes, and I think it was published about 1991, so it's a little out of date, but a fine review of the US's militarist history since WWII, and discusses what we ought to be doing differently. We've made so many enemies around the world that it's simply childish not to think about what America has done to bring on both hatred and terrorist attacks. It's entirely possible to condemn terrorist acts and examine our own faults. Ya might even call that an adult reaction.
Today, many security analysts contend that the controlled arms race was a great success, because it hastened the collapse of the Soviet Union. By forcing the Kremlin to allocate huge sums of money on defense, according to this argument, the controlled arms race weakened the Soviet economy and stoked discontent in the Soviet people. There's no evidence, however, that the Soviets responded to the Reagan arms buidup by jacking up military spending. According to the CIA, Soviet military spending both before and during the Reagan Administration's rearmament program grew at a steady two percent per year.So how, exactly, did Raygun win the Cold War? I'm dyin' ta hear.
To protect democracy, as well as to defend its business and political interests abroad, the United States built up and maintained a vast interventionary apparatus, which included some 700 bases spread across 40 countries and territories and a navy with nearly 600 ships patrolling the world's oceans.I don't see how that can not look like imperialism to the rest of the world.
U.S. armed forces fought undeclared wars in Korea, Haiti, Vietnam, Cambodia, Lebanon, Grenada, Panama, and Iraq [twice now], and U.S. intelligent agents undertook or supported covert actions in more than 40 countries. The morality of these interventions, which killed, maimed, napalmed, bombed, and tortured many millions of people, is dubious.Many millions of people. And I'm sure their friends and relatives all love us.
Faced with a choice between the unpredictability of revolutionary reform and the certainty of conservative dictatorship, American presidents have often supported the latter. In a few instances they resolved to replace popularly elected but left-leaning governments with dictators that were reliably anti-Communist.And I'm sure the people of those countries all love us. Oh, wait, one of 'ems Iran, and they hate our guts. Hm.
posted 1:23 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
NY Times Still Stumping For BushI don't know who wrote this headline. It's an AP story in the NYTs. I'm pretty sure the Times' headline writers wrote it, though. The NYT has been pretty pro-Iraq war all along. Witness the work of Judith Miller, stenographer to the Iraqi National Congress.
Thousands Take to the Streets in Global Antiwar Demonstration
Thousands? Thousands? They make it sound like their were maybe a dozen protesters in each city. The official (always low) estimate in Rome alone was 250,000. I counted up the official estimates in one story and came up with 625,000, and there were no estimates for a great many cities. I read at least five or six different stories on the protests, and I'm pretty sure the total was over a million. And the Times' headline reads, "Thousands." A course, the headline is supposed to reflect the lead paragraph, so lets take a look at that.
Hundreds of thousands of people around the world rallied against the U.S. presence in Iraq on the first anniversary of the war Saturday, in protests that retained the anger, if not the size, of demonstrations held before the invasion began.Hundreds of thousands. Hundreds. Yet the headline writer reduces it to thousands. Way to minimize reality, guys. That oughta be worth a perk or two when yer boy gets reelected. What conservative media?
posted 10:19 AM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Gitmo Practically A Terrorists' ParadiseGuantanamo Detainees Deliver Intelligence Gains
Everything's hunky-dory on Gitmo. They've made no mistakes and, screw human rights, they're gettin' intelligence from the prisoners. Hope they know they can't transplant it to baBushka. They've dotted all the T's and crossed all the I's. I b'lieve everything they say, too, cuz it's every American's patriotic duty to b'lieve everything Fearless Leader and his minions say, just like the Russians with Stalin. 'Sides, I been in tha military an' nobody ever did nothin' wrong, 'less ya count sellin' our food on the black market ta buy paint. Ya can't eat paint.
posted 7:42 AM by Phaedrus | Link | |
March 20, 2004
Kerry Soft On Defense, Record Shows . . . .Or his opponents are soft in the head. This is from Kitty Seelye, the Kerry hatchet mistress, so, ya know.
After 19 Years in Senate, Kerry of Today Is Far From Kerry of 1985
Of the 19 defense authorization bills he has voted on during his Senate career, he supported 16.Criminy! Whatta ya have ta do ta be hard on defense? Vote fer ev'y thing, no mattah what?
posted 10:26 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Bombing Group Reportedly Wants Bush Re-ElectedUncommon Thought Journal indeed.
An Islamic militant group that had claimed responsibility for the train bombings in Spain says it supports the re-election of President George W. Bush. The group said it needs what it calls Bush's "idiocy and religious fanaticism" to "wake up" the Islamic world.So Kerry's got unnamed leaders, and Bush is endorsed by terrorists. Which thoughtful people already knew.
posted 7:47 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Faith Based Con Jobs - Elmer Gantry, now BushwaThe Fruit of the Tree. This is a great post on the dangers of wolves in sheeps clothing, such as journalist Jack Kelly, the serial fabricator at USA Today who wore his evangelical Christianity as a shield, and maybe one or two other folks.
George Bush often speaks of his compassion. I've yet to see him show it. Am I missing something?Yep, the devil's gonna be a Baptist preacher, or something similar.
An' that's all I gotta say about Bushie boy for the moment. Fundamentalists'll b'lieve anything."Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but underneath are ravenous wolves."
posted 7:28 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Global Warming Set To Get Its Party StartedCarbon Dioxide Reported at Record Levels
That year-to-year increase of about 3 parts per million is considerably higher than the average annual increase of 1.8 parts per million over the past decade, and markedly more accelerated than the 1-part-per-million annual increase recorded a half-century ago, when observations were first made here.Pre-industrial era, it was only 280 parts per billion, and I got swell news, peebles. Five point eight degrees Celsius could well be no friggin' way in the world you can adapt bad. It could result in the die off of most mammal life, including us'ns. So what's "Who, me? Worry?" Bushwa doin' 'bout it?
The United States, the world's biggest carbon dioxide emitter, signed the [Kyoto Protocol] but did not ratify it, and the Bush administration has since withdrawn U.S. support, calling instead for voluntary emission reductions by U.S. industry and more scientific research into climate change.In other words, nothin'. 'Nother bit a news. Kyoto ain't nearly good enough, we're gonna have ta do a lot more'n that. But Bushwa's doin' nothin'.
UPDATE: U.N. Urges Russia to Save Climate Plan
IRREVERSIBLE DAMAGE?OK, grandkids, say, "Thank you, President Bushwa."
posted 6:38 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
AP's Solomon Cribs Kerry Bashing Article From RNCCJR's Campaign Desk has uncovered evidence that AP reporter John Solomon lifted parts of his article, Kerry's 1994 Effort to Cut Defense Eyed, directly from the RNC's research brief EVEN FELLOW DEMOCRATS WARNED KERRY ABOUT HIS DANGEROUS CUTS. The RNC has twenty-three quotes from "fellow Democrats," (The horror!) but all of them come from only two senators, Dennis DeConcini, AZ, and Daniel Inouye, HI. John Solomon's AP article brings the number of critical senators quoted up to a nice round three with the addition of Robert Byrd.
Solomon wrote, ""And that's just what Kerry's fellow Democrats had to say," and he used two quotes identical to those in the RNC research brief. Could be a coincidence, but not very likely.
The budgets from which Kerry wanted to cut $1 billion per year totaled $25.8 billion at the time. The RNC's hit piece claims, "KERRY PROPOSED SLASHING INTELLIGENCE BUDGET." Yes. "Slashing" it by 3.9%. Admittedly, that's a pretty decent sized cut, but if I slashed my personal budget, which is quite small, by 3.9%, it would be uncomfortable, but I don't think it would be all that painful. Was it a good idea? I really don't know, but by the eighth paragraph (The arrangement of paragraphs is one of many ways to subtly bias a news story.) Solomon finally quotes Kerry himself on the issue.
"What we have offered to the Senate is an opportunity to register our votes for real choices, for a set of choices that reflect what the American people would really like to be spending their money on as opposed to being forced to spend it by the continuation of programs that the president has asked to have cut; that the National Academy of Sciences boards have said are worthless; that most of the evaluations say are wasteful," Kerry argued.Now, if that last bit's true, and I don't know of any reason to think it's not, t'would seem Sen. Kerry might've had a good point. The fact that 75 senators voted against might only prove how beholden most are to the military-industrial complex.
Campaign Desk titled their post "Echo Chamber." It sure looks like the AP is part of the mighty Wurlitzer. Considering this and other recent articles, and the beating the press gave Al Gore in the last presidential campaign, why would anyone suspect a conservative bias in the media?
posted 5:53 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Bush The Terror Destroyer, & Other JokesAide: Rumsfeld Urged Iraq Attack Sooner
[Richard A. Clarke, the White House counterterrorism coordinator at the time (of 9/11)] also criticized President Bush for promoting the administration's efforts against terrorism, accusing top Bush advisers of turning a blind eye to terrorism during the first months of Bush's presidency.Clarke spent 30 years in government service. He's a counterterroism pro, not a wild-eyed partisan. What inna hell we gotta do ta get this gun ta smoke? If the "war on terror" is really Bush's strength, he oughta lose in a landslide.
posted 2:23 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Capitalism More Important Than Democracy To BushBBC Newsnight carries an interview with Jay Garner by Greg Palast. Turns out one of the ways Garner ran afoul of the Bushies was by focusing on Democratic institutions instead of forcing a radical "free" market economy on the Iraqis. About that Iraqis could not be allowed a choice. "Democracy," Republican style. The Guardian also did a piece on the interview.
Kind of amazing how many generals, both active and retired, have run afoul of the Bushies. But you know how left wing the military is.
Thanks to Ungodly Politics.
posted 1:34 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Cut "Waste & Fraud," Cut The "Fat"Jus' like I allays thought, people're people wherever ya go. Turns out Georgia's a lot like Cal-ee-forn-eye-ay. Dipshits (I consider most people dipshits, so it's not all that strong an epithet coming from me.) all over the golden state voted for Schwarzenwhoopie cuz he promised he'd balance the budget by cutting waste an' fraud, not raising taxes. He could'n find any significant waste an' fraud, so now he's cuttin' tha shit outta programs for the poor, the elderly, the disabled and the mentally ill. The dipshits blame the failure to cut waste an' fraud on the Democratic legislature, but then there's Georgia.
Legislators cut 'fat' that state needs
During their long years in the political wilderness, Georgia Republicans would preach endlessly about the thick layers of fat that they knew existed in state government. If voters ever showed enough wisdom to put the GOP in power, they promised, they would cut all that fat and be able to cut taxes, too.We allays blame tha politicians for this shit but tha truth is we oughta blame the voters. Most seem ta b'lieve that there's endless room to cut "waste and fraud." My grandmother was like that. Went around chanting, "Waste and fraud, aauckk! If they'd just cut the waste and fraud." Like a goddamned parrot. She also new the secret to making money on the stock market. "Buy low, sell high. Aauckk! Buy low, sell high." Who knew it was so fuckin' easy?
T'other thing is, all most voters ever ask is how much a program costs. They never ask how much it costs not to do it. But thass a pretty fuckin' impo'tant question. What both Georgia and California need is a tax hike, but any politician who calls for a tax hike during his campaign is dead on arrival. Hope ta hell that don't hold true wit' Kerry. An' most politicians involved in actually raising taxes're in trouble come tha next election.
The truth about the voters is, they really, really want the services. They just don't want to pay for 'em. I guess they ain't no hope we'll ever grow up.
Tip O'The Tam to Omnium.
posted 12:35 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Racism As Sickness - In New Zealand As In The USAntipodean Pain: The Psychopathology of Don Brash
The idea that the event of the Orewa speech is symptomatic of psychic disturbance is suggested by the most striking aspect of Brash’s speech and its aftermath: the insistence that Maori enjoy both privilege and special legal rights. Brash articulated this fantasy of special privilege and legal rights for Maori in two key passages of the Orewa speech. The first invoked the imaginary of Maori privilege, while the second fantasized about greater legal rights for tangata whenua:Geez, where have I heard similar arguments? Shall we take a look at these "special privileges" the Maoris receive?
Unemployment: in the past six years, Maori unemployment has fallen from 19% to 10%. Meanwhile, Pakeha unemployment went from 8% in 1991 to just 3.3%.Just substitute black for Maori and nothing fundamental changes about the tale. Whites like me oughta be damn grateful that we don't get the same fuckin' "special privileges." Gotta warn ya, it's rather a deep post.
posted 11:42 AM by Phaedrus | Link | |
World Should Clean Up George's Mess - On His TermsBush: Iraq Is 'Global Responsibility'
Yeah, that's it. That's the ticket. Bush started it over the opposition of the UN and much of the world, Bush refuses to turn over the rebuilding to the UN (which would stop the Spanish pullout) because they might not rebuild Iraq the way he (not Iraqi's) wants to, but it's a global responsibility. That attitude shouldn't alienate any allies.
posted 9:23 AM by Phaedrus | Link | |
The War On Terra Is Bush's Strong Suit?Clinton Aides Plan to Tell Panel of Warning Bush Team on Qaeda
Senior Clinton administration officials called to testify next week before the independent commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks say they are prepared to detail how they repeatedly warned their Bush administration counterparts in late 2000 that Al Qaeda posed the worst security threat facing the nation -- and how the new administration was slow to act.Zelikow not only served on the transition team, he co-authored a book with Rice, and Zelikow is on the 9/11 Commission. How inna hell duzzat make sense?
There ought not to be any doubt that the Clintonista's warned the Bushies. There ought to be no doubt because the Bushies admit it.
"The president and his team received briefings on the threat from Al Qaeda prior to taking office, and fighting terrorism became a top priority when this administration came into office," Sean McCormack, a White House spokesman, said.Yet what was the result?
STOPPING TERRORISM VS. PROMOTING THE RIGHT: NO CONTEST
Since the first bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993, followed by attacks on U.S. military personnel in Saudi Arabia in 1995 and 1996, the bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa in 1998, and the suicide ramming of the U.S.S. Cole only 11 months before 9/11, there were growing signs, picked up by the CIA, U.S. military intelligence, and their counterparts in Europe and the Middle East, that more such attacks were in the offing. Yet on September 10, 2001 (yes, that's the right date), Attorney General John Ashcroft submitted the final budget request for the Justice Department for fiscal 2003 to Budget Director Mitchell Daniels. Ashcroft dismissed FBI requests for $58 million for 149 new counterterrorism field agents, 200 intelligence analysts, and 54 additional translators. Instead, he proposed reductions in 14 such programs; one was a $65 million cut for state and local governments for counterterrorism equipment, including radios and decontamination suits and training for preparedness.Cute, huh? At least Condi Rice was on the ball. David Corn wrote of the 9/11 Commission report in July, 2003:
The report is a good start in establishing the historical record. It reads at times like tragedy, at other times almost as farce. The signs were there. Few paid attention. Two, if not more, of the hijackers were within reach of US law enforcement, but nobody saw that. Five days after the attacks, Bush said, "No one could have conceivably imagined suicide bombers burrowing into our society." And in May 2002, Rice said, "I don't think anyone could have predicted these people would take an airplane and slam it into the World Trade Center." Actually, the report has proof that the attacks of 9/11 were foreseen. Not in terms of date and time. But intelligence reporting indicated and terrorism experts warned that Al Qaeda was interested in mounting precisely these types of attacks. Yet the US government – the Bush II and Clinton administrations – did not prepare adequately. The attacks were far less outside the box than Bush and his aides have suggested. Thwarting them was within the realm of possibility.Now, either Condi Rice is a flat-out liar or she's too lazy or stupid to be the National Security Advisor. I wonder which epithet she'd prefer? That such attacks had been planned had been well known in the intelligence community for years.
David Corn can't quite understand this little matter:
One crucial matter is missing from the report: how the White House responded to the intelligence on the Al Qaeda threat. That is because the Administration will not allow the committees to say what information reached Bush. The Administration argued, according to a Congressional source, that to declassify "any description of the president's knowledge" of intelligence reports -- even when the content of those reports have been declassified -- would be a risk to national security. It is difficult to see the danger to the nation that would come from the White House acknowledging whether Bush received any of the information listed above or the other intelligence previously described by the committees. (The latter would include a July 2001 report that said bin Laden was looking to pull off a "spectacular" attack against the United States or US interests designed to inflict "mass casualties." It added, "Attack preparations have been made. Attack will occur with little or no warning. They are waiting us out, looking for a vulnerability."Luckily, I can explain this. See, if that information were released, it would demonstrate just how fucking stupid the president is, which would embolden terrorists and damage our national security.
The administration can always claim that they did a heckuva darn good job after 9/11, but what's 'at prove? What prez would'n a gotten serious about terrorism after 9/11? Oh, wait, this president, since he felt it was more important to pursue a massive and poorly planned diversion in Iraq. Whiskey Bar posts:
A Nice Tight Bombing Pattern
posted 8:36 AM by Phaedrus | Link | |
March 19, 2004
The Party Of Honor And Integrity - And Elephant ShitThe Carpetbagger Report lists Republican Scandal after scandal after scandal, 13 that are currently under investigation, and all since Bush first took office. The WaPo adds several more ethics violations by GOP members of the House. Seems like all Repuke politicians have the morals of Rush Limbooby, a man you can trust with your wife and daughters in a motel room overnight because you can be sure he'll be too loaded on hillbilly heroin to get it up.
Thanks to Salon.com.
posted 9:17 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
The Common Man Speaks - In The UKAnd this just in...
The GOP National Committee announced today that it is changing the Republican emblem from an elephant to a condom because it more clearly reflects the party's political stance, i.e., a condom stands up to inflation, halts production, destroys the next generation, protects a bunch of pricks and gives one a sense of security while screwing others.
posted 8:00 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Google Bomb The Anti-SemitesI've never participated in a Google bombing before, but this one seems truly worthwhile.
Google Bomb Them Back To The Stone Age!
If you've ever Googled the word Jew, you may have noticed that an antisemitic hate site, Jew Watch, inexplicably and disturbingly comes up as the top result on what is beyond a doubt the most frequently relied upon search engine in the world. Troubled by his recent discovery of this fact, a staff reporter at San Francisco's j. magazine brought this matter to the attention of Google's executives, who showed little more than indifference towards the revelation.The URL for "Jew" above is:
posted 6:56 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Democracy And Neocon TreacheryOrcinus sure got this right. The Neocon reaction to the Spanish elections is utterly anti-democratic. But neocons have never believed in democracy. What they believe in is Machiavellian tactics coupled with the appearance of democracy. If you don't realize you're not free, you won't struggle for your freedom. Won't work on everybody, but maybe enough.
posted 5:29 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
The Democratic Mr. BushHe don't even bother to pretend. From Salon.com:
It was July 4, 2001, and we were both at one of those things that the late historian Daniel Boorstin would have labeled a "pseudo event": a church picnic in Philadelphia, designed to help promote George W. Bush's faith-based policies. Because I had serious misgivings about the president's performance to that point, my own involvement in the whole operation had left me feeling a bit like a pseudo person, so when I had the chance to shake Bush's hand, I said, "Mr. President, I hope you only serve one term. I'm very disappointed in your work so far."Hell, he's only an American citizen, why the hell should King George I of Amerika care what he thinks?
Thanks to Orcinus.
posted 5:13 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
My Sentiments ExactlyFrom a commenter on Talk Left:
Vote for Kerry or Bush, and you'll be left in a field of shi* a foot deep.
posted 4:38 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Idiot Culture? So It's Not Just Me Thinks So.Ex-Watergate writer laments 'idiot culture'
But mostly he talked about an epidemic that troubles him deeply these days. He calls it "the triumph of idiot culture."Gossip, sensationalism and manufactured controversy passing for news, Carl sez.
He said the modern press lacks true leadership, citing such examples as AOL Time Warner and mogul Rupert Murdoch as media owners that have increasingly abandoned the principles of meaningful reporting.And not a damned thing we can do about it as long as we place capitalism (greed) uber alles.
Bernstein also turned his attention Thursday to the coming election, calling President Bush "the most radical president of my lifetime and perhaps in the century."
posted 2:54 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Iraq Roundup - Bush's Excellent QuagmireMuch news on Iraq today. Let's start with stuff the Bushies were wrong about -- or lied about. One's as bad as the other. These excerpts are from the WaPo.
--Links to Al Qaeda
On April 23, 2003, Andrew S. Natsios, head of the U.S. Agency for International Development, laid out in a televised interview the costs to U.S. taxpayers of rebuilding Iraq. "The American part of this will be $1.7 billion," he said. "We have no plans for any further-on funding for this."It's only cost 44 times as much as administration estimates so far. We ain't done spendin' yet. Wolfowitz and the OMB were similarly off and they had no excuses. They were given better estimates and chose to ignore them.
--The welcome we would receive in Iraq.
"I really do believe we will be greeted as liberators," Vice President Cheney said in a March 16 interview.Six hundred and seventy-four dead coalition soldiers and more than 3200 wounded later, I'm hopin' nobody ever greets me as a liberator.
The presence of U.S.-led forces in Iraq is opposed by 51 percent of Iraqis.
-- That Neocon wave of democracy in the Middle East.
The administration's forecast that the toppling of Hussein would start a wave of democracy and a disavowal of terrorism in the region has not yet happened. There has been progress; Libya, for example, has since relinquished its nuclear weapons program. But while the administration had often predicted that Hussein's ouster could resolve the impasse between the Israelis and the Palestinians, the standoff between the two has worsened.I'd like to see the odds the bookies are makin' on that.
-- Making us safer from terrorism.
Blix: War didn't help world
The one positive result Blix sees from the war: Independent inspection teams should gain greater credibility in international weapons crises because the UN team's work in Iraq has held up so well.No doubt right dingbats will ridicule Blix' statement, but remember, Blix has been ridiculed by right dingers before on WMD in Iraq. Look who turned out right.
So can we call it quagmire yet? Salon thinks so.
Welcome to the quagmire
The Bush administration invaded Iraq a year ago expecting a shower of rose petals. Today, the country is on the verge of chaos, and there may be no way to stop it.
By Juan Cole, who knows a little 'bout tha Middle East.
And now, it seems, the so-called "coalition of the willing" may not be all that willing anymore. Spain and Poland have announced plans to pull out, and South Korea is gettin' pretty damn squishy. It wasn't much of a coalition ta begin wit'. Ninety countries (Wow!) contributing an average of 267 soldiers each (Not so wow.), less in the hot stages of the war. Twelve thousand of those troops are British. Take them away and you have 89 countries contributing 135 soldiers each, about one tenth of one percent of all troops in Iraq. That kinda international support just makes me all tingly inside.
This is one of the accomplishments Bush intends to base his campaign on? How come every time Bush "accomplishes" something it puts the US deeper in the shit?
Thanks, in great part, to Salon.com.
posted 10:04 AM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Then Bush Is Insane
"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.""No jobs yet? More tax cuts!"
-- Bush in essence.
posted 7:36 AM by Phaedrus | Link | |
March 18, 2004
McCain The Voice Of Reason. Last One In The GOP?Holy Shit! I think I could kiss John McCain if he promised to keep his lips clamped.
McCain Comes to Kerry's Defense on National Security
Senator John McCain added a rare bit of restraint to the escalating tone of the presidential campaign today, rejecting assertions by other Republicans that his colleague, Senator John Kerry, would endanger national security if elected.I've said it before, McCain belongs to a seemingly dying breed of decent, thoughtful conservatives. Use ta be a lotta them back in tha day. Ya know yer an ol' fart when ya start talkin' 'bout the good ol' use ta be. But watcha gonna do?
posted 5:46 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Typical Right Winger, Sullivan Will Say AnythingI am ever impressed by the right's willingness, one might say eagerness, to lie shamelessly. Andrew Sullivan writes:
MoveOn's ad attacking Donald Rumsfeld is not entirely fair. Rumsfeld never said that the threat from Iraq was imminent, or immediate, but that he could not know for sure.Yet the transcript of Face The Nation, quoting Rumsfeld, reads (pg. 6):
Mr. FRIEDMAN: `No terrorist state poses a greater or more immediate threat to the security of our people and the stability of the world and the regime of Saddam Hussein in Iraq.'Now if anyone claims that his statement was not intended to convey the idea that the threat from Iraq was "immediate," which means the same thing as imminent, then I'm gonna have ta bring up Bill Clinton trying to parse a 2-letter word.
posted 5:14 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
None Dare Call It Fascism IILemme see now. Fascists and Nazis hated communists, socialists, liberals, dissidents, trade unionists and homosexuals. They liked (among other things) nationalism and super-patriotism with a sense of historic mission (American exceptionalism.), aggressive militarism even to the extent of glorifying war as good for the national or individual spirit; and reaction against the values of Modernism, usually with emotional attacks against both liberalism and communism. They also hated equality and fraternity, and had a peculiar view of liberty.
All this reminds of some political movement in America, but I can't quite put my finger on it.
Course, we got lots a good, God fearin' (And if you've read your Old Testament, you know why they're afraid.) Christians in America, and I'm sure they'd save us from fascism, except that Christianity is a natural ally of the bosses and authoritarian government. Christianity, after all, is authoritarian. Nobody gets to vote for God. Nobody gets to question God either. Yet God is an absolute ruler. Fascists and Christianity can get along just fine.
Ya know, historically, the left has championed democracy, though there've been a few wrong turns. I'd like to know what the right has done to promote democracy. Historically. Iraq don't count. I suspect Iraq really don't count.
posted 4:36 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
None Dare Call It FascismLittle Soldiers in the Culture War
While the students at the Charter School of Excellence are divided fairly evenly between blacks and whites, they dress alike, with the boys in dark blue pants and green buttoned-up golf shirts and the girls wearing white blouses under plaid jumpers. All eyes are focused on their young and attractive teacher, Mrs. Blocker, who leads them in song:Yep, outstanding character training. Servile Character First! Sounds like they forget to tell 'em to spy on their neighbors and friends, though.
David Clark, the spokesman for the 65,000-member Florida Teaching Profession-National Education Association, said:
"We are suspicious and leery of those types of things. This is not Mao's China. It sounds innocent on its face, but it smacks of thought police and a lock step mentality."It sounds innocent on its face? To who? Stalin, Hitler, Pinochet, the Bush Family? That rumbling sound you hear is George Orwell's body breaking the sound barrier as he spins in his grave.
Character First! has been taught in more than 250 public schools across the country, according to CTI's representatives.Welcome to Amerika.
In an interesting sidelight, the article shows how easy it is to buy government in Florida -- and probably everywhere else.
Tip O'The Tam to Jesus' General.
posted 12:46 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Are The Humans Leaving The Sinking Rat?Spain's announced they will pull out of Iraq, now this:
Poland 'Misled' on Iraq, President Says
President Aleksander Kwasniewski, a key Washington ally, said Thursday he may withdraw troops early from Iraq and that Poland was "misled" about the threat of Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction.We were all deliberately misled, including we the people. When will the people realize that Bushwa is a compulsive, serial liar? And is this a sign that "democratic" governments may finally listen to their people? Polling the Poles on their military presence in Iraq:
A poll last week found 42 percent of adults in favor and 53 percent opposed. The CBOS survey had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
posted 11:48 AM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Asscroft's Internet Snooping On The Wrong TrackAnd it's headed for you.
From: Matt Howes, National Internet Organizer, ACLUIt's a free fax, man, how can you pass that up?