Saturday, November 25, 2006

Was 2006 an Almost-Stolen Election?

As noted in passing a couple of weeks ago, I wondered and still do whether there were not electoral manipulations but the only reason they were generaly unsuccessful is because the GOP backlash was significantly larger than it appeared.

Great minds operating on the same wavelengths and all, it appears Prof. Krugman has been wondering the same thing.

Winning isn't the whole story; having an essential honest electoral system is and whether we do is still an open question. (Or I should, there's always been some messing around but evoting has made mass manipulation easy and possible.)

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thanksgiving Game; How Many Fakes are in this Photo?


Two. Fake turkey, fake leader.

Freedom of Religion in the Homeland

The rat's note is above.
"The police came and take us off the plane in front of all the passengers in a very humiliated way," said Shahin. "I never felt bad in my life like yesterday. It was the worst moment in my life when I see six imams, six leaders in this community, humiliated."
Link. More here.

America the beautiful, indeed. As beautiful as Barbara Bush's so-called mind.

Taken off a plane for praying and actually saying that they disagree with Our Leaders' policies.

A beautiful example of tolerance.

Freedom for government-approved religions, of course, a clssification getting narrower and narrower.

Is it any wonder that they really, really hate us? Is there any question why?

Doesn't it make you proud of Our Leaders and the fine job they're doing?

As democracy and freedom haters, as traitors to everything our nation stands for, as nihilistic believers that all our nation stands for is a non-existent right to relentless, absolute greed.

And it gets better than that.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

It's Back: Destroying Freedom to Preserve and Protect Freedom

Fascists are really such little $#!ts with undue influence....
Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, who runs the giant agency that keeps track of threats to the United States, has shared what he calls his “chilling vision” of the future – a time when U.S. government actions might be constrained by international law.


The culprits, according to Chertoff, include a narrow majority of the justices on the U.S. Supreme Court.


The Homeland Security secretary cited, for instance, the 1986 International Court of Justice ruling which held that the U.S. mining of Nicaragua’s harbors during the contra war violated international law against military aggression. In that case, the Reagan administration simply denied the court’s jurisdiction over U.S. actions and ignored the ruling.

However, Chertoff worried that such a defense might not suffice in the future. So he called on the Federalist Society to go on the offensive and “take overseas the same kind of intellectual vigor and intellectual argument that you brought into the United States and into academia” a quarter century ago, when the group began challenging the Warren Court’s “judicial activism,” which included outlawing racial segregation as a violation of the “equal protection” clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
Link to the whole shmear.

Our Ivy League-Educated Leader Gives a History Lesson on Vietnam, with which He's Familiar Having Dodged Service

It is a shame — and it is embarrassing to us all — when President Bush travels 8,000 miles, only to wind up avoiding reality, again.

And it is pathetic to listen to the leader of the free world, talk so unrealistically about Vietnam, when it was he who permitted the “Swift-Boating” of not one but two American heroes of that war, in consecutive Presidential campaigns.

But most importantly — important, beyond measure — his avoidance of reality is going to wind up killing more Americans.

And that is indefensible — and fatal.

Asked if there were lessons about Iraq to be found in our experience in Vietnam, Mr. Bush said that there were — and he immediately proved he had no clue what they were.

“One lesson is,” he said, “that we tend to want there to be instant success in the world, and the task in Iraq is going to take a while.”

“We’ll succeed,” the President concluded, “unless we quit.”

If that’s the lesson about Iraq that Mr. Bush sees in Vietnam, then he needs a tutor. Or we need somebody else making the decisions about Iraq.

Mr. Bush, there are a dozen central lessons to be derived from our nightmare in Vietnam, but “we’ll succeed unless we quit” is not one of them.

The primary one — which should be as obvious to you as the latest opinion poll showing that only 31 percent of this country agrees with your tragic Iraq policy– is that if you try to pursue a war for which the nation has lost its stomach, you and it are finished. Ask Lyndon Johnson.

The second most important lesson of Vietnam, Mr. Bush: if you don’t have a stable local government to work with, you can keep sending in Americans until hell freezes over and it will not matter. Ask South Vietnam’s President Diem, or President Thieu.

The third vital lesson of Vietnam, Mr. Bush: don’t pretend it’s something it’s not. For decades we were warned that if we didn’t stop “communist aggression” in Vietnam, communist agitators would infiltrate and devour the small nations of the world, and make their insidious way, stealthily, to our doorstep.

The war machine of 1968 had this “Domino Theory.”

Your war machine of 2006 has this nonsense about Iraq as “the central front in the war on terror.”

The fourth pivotal lesson of Vietnam, Mr. Bush: if the same idiots who told Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon to stay there for the sake of “Peace With Honor,” are now telling you to stay in Iraq, they’re probably just as wrong now, as they were then… Dr. Kissinger.

And the fifth crucial lesson of Vietnam, Mr. Bush, which somebody should’ve told you about, long before you plunged this country into Iraq — is that, if you lie us into a war — your war, and your presidency, will be consigned to the scrapheap of history.

Consider your fellow Texan, sir.

After President Kennedy’s assassination, Lyndon Johnson held the country together after a national tragedy — not unlike you tried to do.

He had lofty goals and tried to reshape society for the better. And he is remembered for Vietnam and for the lies he and his government told to get us there and keep us there… and for the Americans who needlessly died there.

As you will be remembered for Iraq and for the lies you and your government told to get us there and keep us there… and for the Americans who needlessly died there — and who will needlessly die there tomorrow.

This president has his fictitious Iraqi W-M-D, and his lies (disguised as subtle hints) linking Saddam Hussein to 9/11, and his reason-of-the-week for keeping us there when all the evidence has, for at least three years, told us we needed to get as many of our kids out, as quickly as we could.

That president had his fictitious attacks on Navy ships in the Gulf of Tonkin in 1964, and the next thing any of us knew, the Senate had voted 88-to-2 to approve the blank check with which Lyndon Johnson paid for our trip into hell.

And yet President Bush just saw the grim reminders of that trip into hell:

– Of the 58,000 Americans and millions of Vietnamese killed;

– Of the 10,000 civilians who’ve been blown up by landmines since we pulled out;

– Of the genocide in the neighboring country of Cambodia, which we triggered;

Yet, these parallels — and these lessons — eluded President Bush entirely. And, in particular, the one over-arching lesson about Iraq that should’ve been written everywhere he looked in Vietnam, went un-seen.

“We’ll succeed unless we quit”?

Mr. Bush, we did quit in Vietnam! A decade later than we should have; 58,000 dead later than we should have; but we finally came to our senses.

The stable, burgeoning, vivid country you just saw there is there, because we finally had the good sense to declare victory and get out!

The Domino Theory was nonsense, sir. Our departure from Vietnam emboldened no one. Communism did not spread like a contagion around the world.

And most importantly — as President Reagan’s Assistant Secretary of State Lawrence Korb said on this newscast Friday — we were only in a position to win the Cold War because we quit in Vietnam.

We went home. And instead it was the Russians who learned nothing from Vietnam, and who repeated every one of our mistakes when they went into Afghanistan. And alienated their own people, and killed their own children, and bankrupted their own economy, and allowed us to win the Cold War.

We awakened so late — but we did awaken.

Finally, in Vietnam, we learned the lesson. We stopped endlessly squandering lives and treasure and the focus of a nation on an impossible and irrelevant dream.

But you are still doing exactly that, tonight, in Iraq.

And these lessons from Vietnam, Mr. Bush, these priceless, transparent lessons, writ large as if across the very sky, are still a mystery to you.

“We’ll succeed unless we quit.”

No, sir. We will succeed — against terrorism, for our country’s needs, towards binding up the nation’s wounds — when you quit — quit the monumental lie, that is our presence in Iraq.

And in the interim, Mr. Bush, an American kid will be killed there, probably tonight — or, if we’re lucky, not until tomorrow.

And here, sir, endeth the lesson.

A Plan for Iraq

We had one since June 2005. OK, that was more than two years after the invasion....

Our Leader himself told us:
So our strategy going forward has both a military track and a political track. The principal task of our military is to find and defeat the terrorists, and that is why we are on the offense. And as we pursue the terrorists, our military is helping to train Iraqi security forces so that they can defend their people and fight the enemy on their own. Our strategy can be summed up this way: As the Iraqis stand up, we will stand down.
And, um, we're still implementing it so it must, uh, be the right plan....
From the "We Feel Better Already" Department, the New York Times reports today that any Pentagon plan to send more troops to Iraq would only be temporary: "The plan envisions the additional troops staying only until security conditions improve," the Times says. "After that, troop levels could come down, as better-trained and equipped Iraqi units took on a larger security role."

We hate to be skeptical -- we know that the White House isn't "staying the course" anymore -- but we think we've seen this movie before. George W. Bush, on June 28, 2005, and pretty much every day thereafter: "Our strategy can be summed up this way: As the Iraqis stand up, we will stand down."

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

To the Wingnuts, This is Funny

Such Sensitivity...!

Comedian doing stand up is heckled by a pair of African-Americans. Comedian then -- *shudder* -- gets pissed off. Pissed, he uses the N word.

Now he's a pariah.

Something's wrong with this picture. Of course, I say that in part as someone with a temper. Who rides NYC rush hour trains every day. I really don't get what the problem is with a pissed off person using an offensive word directed against the persons who deliberately goad him. Or in this case why it's OK for the two men to ruin a show for everyone -- by the heckling -- but not OK to use and offensive word when they succeed in pissing off the performer.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Bill G.'s Dream; No, It's Not What You Think But it is Another Example of Microsoft's Relentless Dumbness

Link. And more link. (This is apparently a legitimate Microsoft image -- the kind one shouldn't be surprised from seeing from a company with so gelded, so to speak, a name.)

How long and how many people does it take to decide to use an image like this? Fewer than necessary to come up with a ridiculous line like "Welcome to the Social"? (Social what? F#llati0?) Was Ballmer involved in the decision? Gates? Is it a way to ensure that Zune sales are limited to, well, cretins?


And maybe there are clues to "Social" what in these images:

The Genius of Kissinger

Kissinger is the inspiration or coach for Our Leaders. In his slimy Kissinger way, he now says we can't win in Iraq but we can't win either. Henry always believed the worst way to handle to a mistake is to acknowledge we made a mistake and to the do anything about it, to rectify or correct it.

Genius. No wonder Our Leaders find his advice brilliant and something necessary to follow.

Of course, on 7 November we let Our Leaders know what we thought of their leadership....

Sunday, November 19, 2006

A Statement Regarding this Blog's Journalistic Standards

Like the overwhelming majority of political bloggers, I'm not a journalist. I only like to play as one.

Therefore, my journalistic standards or lack of them must be made clear.

So here:

They're higher than Judy Miller's which makes them higher than those of Pinch Schulzberger, Howell Raines, Steve Keller and company.

Question now: Is that high enough?

And here's some belated wisdom from Judy:

Miller said many Americans don't understand how their access to information and the freedom of the press have been affected in the past few years.
"We are less free and less safe," she said, explaining that there is a "growing secrecy in the name of national security."
Always nice to have the obvious criticized by an enabler of the obvious.

Portarits of GOP Leadership; Or: Laff of the Day

Trent Lott selected as Senate Minority Whip, because if there's one thing that Trent Lott likes, it's whipping minorities.

Our Leaders really know all about reaching out to minorities: Vote right or hang from a tree.

The Genius of Our Leader

The president said there was much to be learned from the divisive Vietnam War _ the longest conflict in U.S. history _ as his administration contemplates new strategies for the increasingly difficult war in Iraq, now in its fourth year. But his critics see parallels with Vietnam _ a determined insurgency and a death toll that has drained public support _ that spell danger for dragging out U.S. involvement in Iraq.

"It's just going to take a long period of time for the ideology that is hopeful _ and that is an ideology of freedom _ to overcome an ideology of hate," Bush said after having lunch at his lakeside hotel with Australian Prime Minister John Howard, one of America's strongest allies in Iraq, Vietnam and other conflicts.

"We'll succeed," Bush added, "unless we quit."
Link. (Typos in the original.)

A less brilliant person, such as myself, would point out that we lost in Vietnam but quitting freed them from decades of war based on a clear misunderstanding of communism, freed the country so that is now a member of the WTo. And some day may even be a free country. (Ut's a rightist canard that capitalism requires political freedom, right Singapore? China? Taiwan? Saudi Arabia?) (As for the fear of communism: it is a patently untenable system, doomed to failure.)

With a Lead Paragraph Like This....

But is it excusable?

No it is not....
This is a story I should have written 12 years ago when the "Contract with America" Republicans captured the House in 1994. I apologize.

And no, no apology at this late date can be accepted.

And the writer should not apologize to us but to start by apologizing to millions killed and maimed in Iraq.

For starters.

And what kept him from apologizing?

Too busy being a water carrier of course. It's not like a matter of ignorance....

Well, actually, if you read the piece it looks like maybe the guy actually is quite an idiot. So maybe there is na explanation....

John McCain: Exceptionally Qualified to Lead Us

A good question in my mind since 8 November is: If we were led by the Dems, would this blog's perspective or focus change?

Short answer: We're still led by rightwing Republican crazies so the question's premature.

So let's check out our next president's high qualifications:
Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee on Friday said potential 2008 presidential rival John McCain's campaign finance reforms gives the Republican senator an advantage over other candidates by allowing him to transfer money easily.

"If you're a senator, you can take the money you raise in a Senate campaign and transfer it to a presidential, but you can't take money you raise in a state campaign and transfer that to a federal campaign," Huckabee, a Republican, told The Associated Press in an interview Friday.

"McCain was very smart in creating a system where he could take all of this Senate money that he had and turn it over to his presidential campaign to give him a distinct advantage over anyone else who ran," he said.
Link. (Emphasis added.)

Public Education, GOP-Style

For years, it was an open secret at North Dallas' Preston Hollow Elementary School: Even though the school was overwhelmingly Hispanic and black, white parents could get their children into all-white classes. And once placed, the students would have little interaction with the rest of the students.

The result, a federal judge has ruled, was that principal Teresa Parker "was, in effect, operating, at taxpayer's expense, a private school for Anglo children within a public school that was predominantly minority."

Yes, it does make one proud to be a citizen in Our Leaders' Amerika.

What the GOP Considers Ambiguous and Normal People Might Beg to Differ

Guess which party the GOP's almost chair belonged to. Guess which parties the lying scum wanted people to believe its race traitor belonged to?

Link. (Background story here of all places where one would oly expect lies and crap.)

Honesty? It's completely foreign, so to speak, to Our Leaders.

But the photo proves that Steele was really qualified for any position: GOP senator, RNC chair....

No One's Perfect

Josh Marshall, for maybe the first time ever, really blues it out of his ass:
Those Republicans are pretty tough. They lose both houses of Congress. And they still won't give Russert his testicles back.

I hear even Halperin is making a play for non-custodial visits.

In his defense, his wife was about to give birth.

But I digress.

Let's parse this nonsense.

Russert is a courtier, a water-carrier.

But Big Media DC courtiers see as the power to which they suck up as not the party in power but to the GOP whether or not it's in power.

So 7 November changes nothing to panderers like Russert. If the GOP has Russert's or Halperin's balls, it's because they were willingly given to the party, not unwillingly taken by the party.

I mean, if these @$$holes weren't partisan operatives -- and they are very little more than that -- how could they justifiably take John McCain seriously? (Short answer: they are and that's how.)

Belated Season's Greetings; Yes, I know They're Late; Let the War Resume!

Link to links.

Gates' Ineptitude Qualifies Him Well for a Leadership Position in this Administration

He's obviously not reality-based, a major plus with Our Beloved Leaders. He knows how to get our guys killed for no f^cking reason.
[W]ill any of the senators ask Gates about his role in the first Bush administration’s final blunder—the military operation in Somalia, launched by George H. W. Bush in the lame-duck days after the 1992 election, and brought to a disastrous conclusion six months later under Clinton? John Prados, an analyst at the National Security Archives and author of the new book Safe for Democracy, says it was Gates who approved the "initial architecture'' for the operation, including making arrangements for TV crews in Mogadishu to train their spotlights on the Marines’ dramatic night landing. The CIA then led the troops inland, spread them out, and set up bases while keeping tabs on the conflict through its assets with the warlords; by the following spring most of the U.S. troops had been replaced by UN forces, and the rest were pulled after the Black Hawk Down debacle in June 1993.

Finally, the Nightmare is Over

NY19 is liberated.

Kelly concedes.

Eye Candy: The Liberation of a Nation from its Tyrants