Friday, October 31, 2008
I simply do not understand how the powers that be in the Republican Party allowed her to be picked. It's purely reckless.
NPR: Are you entirely comfortable with Sarah Palin as the Vice President of the United States? That she would be ready to take over in a crisis if she should be called up to do so?
Eagleburger: That's a very good question. I'm being facetious here. Look, I don't.. Of course not. I don't think at the moment she's prepared to take over the reigns of the presidency.
UPDATE: Oh my goodness. Somebody got to him. The man recanted. Look:
Secretary Eagleburger appeared on Fox News today to recant his statements from yesterday when he said “of course” Palin’s not ready to be Vice President. “I made a serious mistake yesterday,” he said. “I wasn’t thinking when I said it. … I was just plain stupid, and if I have given the flim flam artist Barack Obama some success with this, I am deeply apologetic. I did not intend it.”
It's just beyond belief. Wonder what they threatened him with.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
I know it's not quite Friday yet but I just found the following and thought I'd share it:
Top 10 Reasons to Adopt a Black Cat
10. You'll save $$ on their Halloween costumes.
9. You can always find them in the snow.
8. Holding a black cat is very slimming.
7. Black cats will match any decor.
6. A lint brush isn't required for a black-tie affair.
5. When you love a black cat, luck is on your side.
4. Black cats are like onyx, a beautiful gem.
3. Hey, they don't care what color you are!
2. Love knows no color.
And the number one reason to adopt a black cat...
1. They are the least likely to be adopted.
I really shared this with you because of #1. I adopted Leroy (above) as a kitten because all the other kittens from his litter were already adopted and he was languishing all by his little self! Nobody wanted him because he was black. Of course, it was my big dog Izzy who really adopted him. Everytime I picked up Izzy from day care at Woodland Animal Hospital, Leroy would shriek to get our attention and start climbing the side of his cage. This upset Izzy horribly (she's very maternal) and she would dash over to him with great concern and then run back to me as if to say, "What's the matter with you, Human? We have to take him!" Finally, I gave in and I've never regretted it!
There are lots of kitties out there who need a forever home. Please open your heart to one of them!
PS: Most shelters will not adopt out black cats right before Halloween. No, not because they are likely to be tortured or sacrificed as is commonly believed but, rather, because they are likely to be used as Halloween props and then abandonned. So just hang on a couple of weeks and then go look for just the right sleek panther kitty!
All right. Here's what John Aravosis says over on AMERICAblog:
Let me get this straight. John McCain finds a guy to be his mascot for Americans who will be hurt under Obama's tax plan, when in fact Joe Mascot does better under Obama's plan than he does under McCain's. And to add insult to injury, Joe doesn't really pay all his taxes anyway - he's delinquent. But somehow that makes him a "hero" to Republicans, and it makes him John McCain's perfect mascot for the campaign - a guy who doesn't pay his taxes and who will benefit more from an Obama presidency. And now, "Joe" has hired a personal manager (read: agent) who hopes to get Joe doing Home Depot commercials and maybe even running for Congress (seriously). What's next, $150,000 outfits and $8,000 make-up jobs? Are there any Republicans left who appreciate the debasement of their party that is happening before their eyes?
Do you know what seriously depresses me? The STUPIDITY of the American people who fall for this kind of thing - who not only fall for it but who relish it. Sheesh!
UPDATE: Ha! Here's a comment on the New York Times article linked to above that articulates my thoughts exactly:
I can’t believe so many gullible people are buying Joe the Fraud’s act. The guy isn’t anything he says he is. Also, campaign finance records show that he gave McCain’s campaign $1,000 prior to meeting Obama “by chance.” The guy was a plant. A total fraud. But so many clueless people in this country buy into this garbage. It’s sickening.
True. It's not only sickening, it's utterly revolting.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
I found it here.
Now, because [McCain] knows that his economic theories don't work, he's been spending these last few days calling me every name in the book. Lately he's called me a socialist for wanting to roll-back the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans so we can finally give tax relief to the middle class. I don't know what's next. By the end of the week he'll be accusing me of being a secret communist because I shared my toys in kindergarten. I shared my peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
So, just to recap here, the Republican National Committee took money from hardworking Americans, right? They spent it on designer clothes and glasses and handbags for Sarah Palin, so she could go out there on the stump and stop that bastard Obama from spreading the wealth.
It's from a comment I found right here.
What if John McCain were a former president of the Harvard Law Review? What if Barack Obama finished fifth from the bottom of his graduating class? What if McCain were still married to the first woman he said "I do" to? What if Obama were the candidate who left his first wife after she no longer measured up to his standards? What if Michelle Obama were a wife who not only became addicted to pain killers, but acquired them illegally through her charitable organization? What if Cindy McCain graduated from Harvard? What if Obama were a member of the Keating-5*? The Keating Five were five United States Senators accused of corruption in 1989, igniting a major political scandal as part of the larger Savings and Loan crisis of the late 1980s and early 1990s. What if McCain were a charismatic, eloquent speaker? If these questions reflected reality, do you really believe the election numbers would be as close as they are?
This is what racism does. It covers up, rationalizes and minimizes positive qualities in one candidate and emphasizes negative qualities in another when there is a color difference. What if Barack Obama had an unwed, pregnant teenage daughter? What would people be saying? You are The Boss... which team would you hire?
With America facing historic debt, 2 wars, stumbling health care, a weakened dollar, all-time high prison population, mortgage crises, bank foreclosures, etc. Educational Background:
Obama: Columbia University - B.A. Political Science with a Specialization in International Relations. Harvard - Juris Doctor (J.D.) Magna Cum Laude
Biden: University of Delaware - B.A. in History and B.A. in Political Science. Syracuse University College of Law - Juris Doctor (J.D.) vs.
McCain: United States Naval Academy - Class rank: 894 of 899
Palin: Hawaii Pacific University - 1 semester North Idaho College - 2 semesters - general study University of Idaho - 2 semesters - journalism Matanuska-Susitna College - 1 semester University of Idaho - 3 semesters - B.A. in Journalism Now, which team are you going to hire?
Monday, October 27, 2008
A phony State Board of Elections flier advising Republicans to vote on Nov. 4 and Democrats on Nov. 5 is being circulated in several Hampton Roads localities, according to state election officials.
In fact, Election Day for voters of all political stripes remains Nov. 4.
It's from CNN right here.
"Her lack of fundamental understanding of some key issues was dramatic," said another McCain source with direct knowledge of the process to prepare Palin after she was picked. The source said it was probably the "hardest" to get her "up to speed than any candidate in history."
Good grief. And we want these folks to be answering that 3:00 a.m. phone call????
TAMPA, Fla. (CNN) — Ensuring that news of the Republican National Committee's sartorial spending spree will remain in the headlines for at least one more news cycle, Sarah Palin on Sunday sounded off on the $150,000 wardrobe that was purchased for her in September, denouncing the report as "ridiculous" and declaring emphatically: "Those clothes, they are not my property."
A senior adviser to John McCain told CNN's Dana Bash that the comments about her wardrobe "were not the remarks we sent to her plane this morning."
Personally I'm convinced that the main reason there are people still reluctant to vote for Obama is because of his skin color. Let's hope enough people of conscience overcome that inhibition.
(CNN) -- Sen. Barack Obama said Sunday that Sen. John McCain was now "owning up to the fact that he and George Bush actually have a whole lot in common."
"Just this morning, Sen. McCain said that, actually, he and President Bush -- 'share a common philosophy.' That's right, Colorado. I guess that was John McCain finally giving us a little straight talk," Obama said at a rally in Denver, Colorado.
Obama was referring to McCain's Sunday interview on NBC's "Meet the Press."
NBC's Tom Brokaw pointed to a review of McCain's record, which showed he voted with Bush 92 percent of the time.
"So it's a little hard for the public to separate you from this administration, isn't it? " Brokaw said.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Friday, October 24, 2008
You can read more about this here.
Because of things I have done on behalf of justice to the workingman, I have often been called a Socialist. Usually I have not taken the trouble even to notice the epithet. … Moreover, I know that many American Socialists are high-minded and honorable citizens, who in reality are merely radical social reformers. They are opposed to the brutalities and industrial injustices which we see everywhere about us.
Many of the men who call themselves socialists today are in reality merely radical social reformers, with whom on many points good citizens can and ought to work in hearty general agreement, and whom in many practical matters of government good citizens can well afford to follow.
(You do remember, don't you, that McCain has referred to Teddy Roosevelt as his hero?)
Thursday, October 23, 2008
You know, there is more to quality of life than individual wealth. I wish the rich would realize this. Living in a safe, stable environment seems to me to be at least partially as valuable as just accumulating as much money as possible.
Growing inequality in US cities could lead to widespread social unrest and increased mortality, says a new United Nations report on the urban environment.
In a survey of 120 major cities, New York was found to be the ninth most unequal in the world and Atlanta, New Orleans, Washington, and Miami had similar inequality levels to those of Nairobi, Kenya Abidjan and Ivory Coast. Many were above an internationally recognised acceptable "alert" line used to warn governments.
"High levels of inequality can lead to negative social, economic and political consequences that have a destabilising effect on societies," said the report. "[They] create social and political fractures that can develop into social unrest and insecurity."
According to the annual State of the World's cities report from UN-Habitat, race is one of the most important factors determining levels of inequality in the US and Canada.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
-- Naomi Wolf, The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot
My sense of alarm comes from the clear lessons from history that, once certain checks and balances are destroyed, and once certain institutions have been intimidated, the pressures that can turn an open society into a closed one turn into direct assaults; at that point events tend to occur very rapidly, and a point comes at which there is no easy turning back to the way it used to be.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
I found the above right here.
A good, responsible, reliable friend of mine just called with a horror story about voting this morning here in Austin, TX.
He voted at Fiesta Mart on 38th and IH-35.
He voted a straight Democratic ticket.
When he was reading the 'voted for' listing at the end of his ballot, all of those listed were Democratic candidates EXCEPT FOR PRESIDENT. The list showed that he had voted for John McCain!!!
And he voted the straight Democratic ticket.
He reported it to the election official and that person was as shocked by it as my friend. They corrected the vote BEFORE he hit the CAST BALLOT button.
My friend said the experience made him sick to his stomach. He said he was the youngest person in the voting area and all he could think is that the older people around him may not proofread their ballot before pressing the CAST VOTE button. They may believe that they voted for Obama but the voting machine may have registered a vote for McCain.
He called the Travis County voting office and they said they would look into this. When he called me I gave him the telephone number for the Democratic Party and he then called them to report what had happened and they said they would look into it, also.
I am shocked and disgusted by what he experienced this morning and I am telling you because of it.
Please PROOFREAD your ballot choices BEFORE hitting the CAST BALLOT button. This is vitally important. (For EVERYONE who votes, whichever way you vote.)
So I went down to the Democratic headquarters this afternoon and they confirmed what Veryan's e-mail said, that even though a voter had chosen the Democratic ticket, the presidential candidate on his pre-casted ballot was listed as John McCain rather than Barack Obama.
The person I talked with concurred that it is more likely to happen where poor or elderly vote and that it has happened at more than one location.
I recommend that you go read the rest of it. There are a lot of right-wingers to whom I'd like to send this brochure!
While some of the country's founders believed that the government should espouse Christianity, that viewpoint soon became a losing proposition. In Virginia, Patrick Henry argued in favor of tax support for Christian churches. But Henry and his cohorts were in the minority and lost that battle. Jefferson, James Madison and their allies among the state's religious groups ended Virginia's established church and helped pass the Virginia Statute for Religious Liberty, a 1786 law guaranteeing religious freedom to all.
Jefferson and Madison's viewpoint also carried the day when the Constitution, and later, the Bill of Rights, were written. Had an officially Christian nation been the goal of the founders, that concept would appear in the Constitution. It does not. Instead, our nation's governing document ensures religious freedom for everyone.
Early national leaders understood that separation of church and state would be good for all faiths including Christianity. Jefferson rejoiced that Virginia had passed his religious freedom law, noting that it would ensure religious freedom for "the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mahometan, the Hindoo, the infidel of every denomination."
Other early U.S. leaders echoed that view. President George Washington, in a famous 1790 letter to a Jewish congregation in Newport, R.I., celebrated the fact that Jews had full freedom of worship in America. Noted Washington, "All possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship."
Washington's administration even negotiated a treaty with the Muslim rulers of north Africa that stated explicitly that the United States was not founded on Christianity. The pact, known as the Treaty with Tripoli, was approved unanimously by the Senate in 1797, under the administration of John Adams. Article 11 of the treaty states, "[T]he government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion…."
If we had a true watch dog press that was committed to reporting the truth instead of just "taking dictation" then everyone would know the real scoop here.
No evidence was ever presented that ACORN leaders intended to register voters using false information. Establishing such intent is the first requisite for demonstrating voter fraud. As the New York Times reports, the charges against ACORN are "wildly overblown" and intended, rather, to "hobble ACORN's [registration] efforts." While the group admits that some canvassers did hand in false names, those accounted for less than 1 percent of the total gathered. ACORN thoroughly reviews the voter information it gathers, flagging any cases that seem suspicious. ACORN has admitted to firing any canvassers who were found to submit faulty voter information. ACORN representatives also call those who have registered with them, in order to verify the information they've collected. If any of the cases turn up questionable information, ACORN attaches a warning card to that case as it
submits the forms to the states within which it operates.
The real problem, often times, appears to have been with the states and Republican partisans themselves, rather than with ACORN. Most of the faulty forms that have fed attention to the "scandal" were only condemned by political leaders because ACORN warned them about the individual cases, not due to the investigative diligence of Republican lawmakers or right-wing media pundits. One wouldn't know this from reading media accounts. Neoconservatives such as Charles Krauthammer condemn ACORN itself for "voter registration fraud" in states like Nevada. What Krauthammer conveniently neglects to mention is that Nevada Secretary of State Bob Walsh's orders to raid ACORN's Las Vegas office took place only after the state ignored ACORN's pleas that it investigate possibly fraudulent voter registrations.
Monday, October 20, 2008
May the trend continue until November 4.
A growing number of Americans believe John McCain has attacked Barack Obama unfairly, a negative perception of the Arizona senator that could cost him at the polls on Election Day.
According to a new survey from CNN and the Opinion Research Corp., nearly six in 10 Americans believe McCain has unfairly gone negative in his bid for the White House. That percentage is significantly higher than it was in September, when just 42 percent thought the Republican presidential nominee was running an overly negative campaign.
In what could be more bad news for McCain, the new CNN/ORC poll indicated that 47 percent deem Obama the stronger leader while 44 percent give the nod to McCain. That's a striking departure from a similar poll in early September showing close to 60 percent viewed McCain as the candidate with better leadership qualities.
A bit of history of the photo itself.... It came via the friend of a family member whose husband attended the 48th Quadrennial General Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church this past July in St. Louis. Barack was in the process of leaving the Conference which he had briefly addressed and this ritual had been somewhat spontaneously planned as a part of the farewell to him. This traditional laying on of hands with Barack being the recipient of these blessings is a magnificent image indeed!
Sunday, October 19, 2008
I guess you've heard by now that Powell has endorsed Obama.
Mr. Obama is now a socialist (according to the McCain campaign) because he dares to suggest that maybe we ought to look at the tax structure that we have. Taxes are always a redistribution of money. Most of the taxes that are redistributed go back to those who pay it in roads and airports and hospitals and schools. And taxes are necessary for the common good. And there's nothing wrong with examining what our tax structure is or who should be paying more, who should be paying less. And for us to say that makes you a socialist I think is an unfortunate characterization that isn't accurate. And I don't want my taxes raised. I don't want anybody else's taxes raised. But I also want to see our infrastructure fixed. I don't want to have a $12 trillion national debt and I don't want to see an annual deficit that's over $500 billion heading toward a trillion. So how do we deal with all of this?
-- Colin Powell
UPDATE: Here's something Atrios mentions over on Eschaton:
Hmm. Maybe Powell is tired and realizes McCain must be too.
Powell and McCain are both in their early 70s.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
So, they're trying to steal the election again. As if we didn't know that would happen. Sickening. Purely sickening.
At least three early voters in Jackson County had a hard time voting for candidates they want to win.
Virginia Matheney and Calvin Thomas said touch-screen machines in the county clerk's office in Ripley kept switching their votes from Democratic to Republican candidates.
"When I touched the screen for Barack Obama, the check mark moved from his box to the box indicating a vote for John McCain," said Matheney, who lives in Kenna.
Friday, October 17, 2008
Did we learn nothing from McCarthyism?
Appearing on MSNBC’s Hardball today, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) attacked the patriotism of Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL)...
She then went further, suggesting that all liberal views — held by people such as Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, professors, and all Americans who identify themselves as “liberals” — are “anti-American.” When host Chris Matthews, stunned by her remarks, asked Bachmann how many people in Congress hold anti-American views, she responded, “You’ll have to ask them.”
Bachmann called on the media to conduct investigations into the anti-American activities of members of Congress, similar to Sen. Joseph McCarthy’s discredited House Un-American Activities Committee hearings in the 1950s. “I think people would love to see an exposé like that,” she claimed.
I found it right here.
“You know, I’ve always wanted to ask one of these guys a question and really corner them and get them to answer a question ... for once instead of tap dancing around it. And unfortunately I asked the question, but I still got a tap dance.”
He added, “Almost as good as Sammy Davis Jr.”
UPDATE: Here's a comment to the post above that I found interesting. I don't know if it's really true or not but, if so, it's quite damning:
Samuel Joe, the unlicensed plumber admitted in a Diane Sawyer interview that he was in contact with the McCain campaign before meeting with Obama.
The guy is a GOP plant, and this little stunt is starting to backfire.
Messege to McCain...you're damn right it's class warfare. Keep up that kind of talk, and you will incite it.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Okay, folks. This is the flag of the State of Ohio. Got that?
Now, hang on to that fact.
Obama gave a speech on October 13 in Toledo. (It's in Ohio, in case you didn't know that.)
The backdrop during his speech included both the flag of the United States and the Ohio flag. We would expect that, wouldn't we? WOULDN'T WE????
Now just wait for it. Some idiot right wingers (including a radio host) concluded that Obama has created the "O" flag, the "Obama flag", and have gone ballistic over it. Can you even BEGIN to believe the out and out STUPIDITY???
Just read about it here.
(Simply beyond belief.)
That's quite an endorsement.
Mr. Obama is a man of supple intelligence, with a nuanced grasp of complex issues and evident skill at conciliation and consensus-building. At home, we believe, he would respond to the economic crisis with a healthy respect for markets tempered by justified dismay over rising inequality and an understanding of the need for focused regulation. Abroad, the best evidence suggests that he would seek to maintain U.S. leadership and engagement, continue the fight against terrorists, and wage vigorous diplomacy on behalf of U.S. values and interests. Mr. Obama has the potential to become a great president. Given the enormous problems he would confront from his first day in office, and the damage wrought over the past eight years, we would settle for very good.
Mr. Obama's temperament is unlike anything we've seen on the national stage in many years. He is deliberate but not indecisive; eloquent but a master of substance and detail; preternaturally confident but eager to hear opposing points of view. He has inspired millions of voters of diverse ages and races, no small thing in our often divided and cynical country. We think he is the right man for a perilous moment.
- then U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft, quoted during a 2004 White House briefing during which CIA interrogation methods were graphically described. According to The Washington Post, the Bush administration issued a pair of secret memos to the CIA in 2003 and 2004 that explicitly endorsed the agency's use of interrogation techniques such as waterboarding against al Qaeda suspects.
History will not judge us kindly.
This breaks my heart. It really does.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
The media doesn't seem to be picking up on this, but during the last question regarding education, John McCain stated that we should have a "Troops For Teachers" program in which returning veterans should NOT have to be certificed as teachers. They should be put right into the classroom. This is one of the most outrageous statements regarding education I have ever heard a candidate suggest. No certification!! Wow does he have a high regard for our teachers!! Unbelieveable!!
I want to call your attention to a piece published on OpEdNews entitled .D. "An Open Letter to Sarah Palin from Marlene Winell, Ph.D.". Dr. Winnell is a former fundamentalist herself and she challenges Palin to be honest about what her agenda really is. Here's part of the letter:
If you don't already know about the fundamentalist worldview from the inside, I recommend that you click through and read all of this. It's not very long.
Former fundamentalists like me know that your worldview is so encompassing, authoritarian, and powerful that it defines who you think you are, the way you view the world, history, other people, the future, and your place in the world. It defines you far more than hockey mom, wife, hunter, governor, or VP candidate.
You believe that every bit of the Bible is God's perfect word. You, believe there is an unseen spiritual plain (Ephesians 6:12), and that on that plain there is an unseen war going on between good and evil beings, and that you are a leader in this war against evil. You believe that God has "called" you and "anointed" you to do his will. This is why you have accepted blessing for office through the "laying on of hands" and prayer to protect you from witchcraft.
So what does this mean for governing? What could Americans expect with you at the helm? You cannot trust basic human decency or capability, because according to your dogma, we are sinful, weak, and dependant on God. And so, your decisions would not be based on expert advice or even your own reasoning, but on your gut-level, intuitive interpretation of God's will.
Your thinking necessarily is black or white. People and policies are either good or bad. After all, Jesus said, "He who is not with me is against me" (Matt. 12:30). Under your leadership, diplomacy and cultural nuance would be less important than not blinking. In a spiritual war, you don't negotiate with the devil.
Regarding social policy, as a believer in individual salvation, you would have an individual approach emphasizing morality and responsibility, not a community approach emphasizing structural solutions. You would be judgmental and controlling of personal behavior like sex, reproductive choice, and books borrowed from the library instead of addressing global warming, poverty, and world peace. Your belief in eternal hell-fire, your deference to a literally perfect Bible despite its cruelties, and your indoctrination to disbelieve your own compassionate instincts, may leave your moral core numb. You might recall the verse, "If a man will not work he shall not eat" (2 Thess. 3:10). However, faith-based initiatives would be okay because they would use caring to evangelize.
How about science? As it has in your governorship, your interpretation of the Bible would trump scientific scholarship and findings. You would continue to downplay the human role in global warming because God is in control. More importantly, you would not make the environment a priority because you do not expect the earth to last.
Marlene Winell is a Bay Area psychologist who specializes in recovery from fundamentalist religion. She is author of Leaving the Fold: A guide for former fundamentalists and others leaving their religion. She is the daughter of Assemblies of God missionaries.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
I really never understood how religious right people justify bald-faced lies. Seriously.
PALIN : "It’s not negative and not mean-spirited in a campaign to check out our opponent’s record,”...citing Mr. Obama’s positions on late-term abortions. Smiling, she added, "I’ll let you judge for yourself."
OBAMA: "On an issue like partial birth abortion, I strongly believe that the state can properly restrict late-term abortions."
PALIN : "God’s standards are the final measure."
GOD : "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor"
Rapidly, vapidly, Sarah Sue Palin
had fired up her base, citing Chapter and Verse;
launching her sleazy attacks evangelically -
who knew, after Bush, there could be someone worse?
Winkingly, stinkingly, sugar-tipped poison darts
shoot from the lipsticked pitbull in a suit.
Evasive, persuasive, the smears pile like cowpats
and it's clear this Alaskan is a Karl Rove recruit!
-- Catherine McGuire
Monday, October 13, 2008
May he go from strength to strength in that aspiration.
PRINCETON, N.J. (AP) -- Paul Krugman, whose relentless criticism of the Bush administration includes opposition to the $700 billion financial bailout, won the Nobel prize in economics Monday for his work on international trade patterns.
The Princeton University professor and New York Times columnist is the best-known American economist to win the prize in decades.
The Nobel committee commended Krugman's work on global trade, beginning with a 10-page paper in 1979 that knit together two fields of study, helping foster a better understanding of why countries produce similar products and why people move from the small towns to cities.
Krugman (pronounced KROOG-man) is best known for his unabashedly liberal column in the Times, which he has written since 1999. In it, he has said Republicans are becoming "the party of the stupid" and that the economic meltdown made GOP presidential nominee John McCain "more frightening now than he was a few weeks ago."
At Monday's news conference, Krugman was asked about China's economic future. He said he did not have an answer. "I've spent the last few years trying to save my own damn republic," Krugman said.
UPDATE: Here is part of what Sterling Newberry said on Fire Dog Lake about the Krugman choice:
I read somewhere that the White House declined to comment on Krugman's Nobel win.
Giving the Nobel Memorial prize to Paul Krugman was not just recognition of his theory of economic geography, but a strong message. This would not be the first time, nor will it be the last time that those awarding the prize have sent a message.
One part of this message is on trade and globalization, and why developed nations should not fear global trade, another, however, is more direct and more blunt: it is about a changed world. In a year which has seen more tumult in not only the markets, but the basic institutions that support them, it is a message that the United States can no longer maintain an exceptionalist policy.
It is a message that the Era of Reagan is Over writ in large letters. A message that Europe sees the Republican Party as having turned dangerously towards politics and policies that are coming close to spiraling into the abyss.
And, remember, it wasn't all that long ago that Chavez said that President Bush is the devil himself!
MANAGUA (Reuters) - Nicaragua's leftist President Daniel Ortega, a U.S. foe since the Cold War, said God was punishing the United States with the financial crisis for trying to impose its economic principles on poor countries.
"It's incredible that in the most powerful country in the world, which spends billions of dollars on brutal wars ... people do not have enough money to stay in their homes," former Marxist guerrilla Ortega said in a speech late on Thursday.
"God is punishing the United States," for imposing flawed economic policies on developing countries around the world, said Ortega, who first governed Nicaragua in the 1980s when his Sandinista government was locked in a war with U.S.-backed Contra rebels.
The Sandinistas were voted out of office in 1990 but Ortega returned to power in a 2006 election. Since then, the ex-rebel has spoken out against U.S. "tyranny" in Latin America and irked Washington by allying himself with anti-U.S. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.
Hey, what can I say? Context is everything.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Here's part of a report from The Associate Press:
CHEYENNE, Wyo. - Matthew Shepard's mother still mourns lost opportunities to battle hate crimes and promote a greater tolerance of gays in the 10 years since her 21-year-old son was beaten, tied to a wooden fence and left for dead in a frigid Wyoming pasture.
Though Congress has not passed a federal hate crime law, Judy Shepard is buoyed by enhanced punishments for crimes based on sexual orientation in 31 states and the District of Columbia.
"Ten years have gone by and not that much has changed, and I think that's just really disappointing," said Shepard, who with her husband formed the Matthew Shepard Foundation to promote equality for the gay community.
Matthew's death after he was left in the cold bloodied with severe head injuries for 18 hours has produced an outpouring of films, books and plays, but it hasn't seemed to budge the rate of anti-gay violence.
FBI statistics show hate crimes motivated by anti-gay bias have remained at a stable level since Matthew's death.
I don't know how to say it better than this: "Hate is not a family value."
Saturday, October 11, 2008
It's from a posting over on Crooks and Liars that I found right here.
J. P. Morgan (the actual man, not the company, or the company too, but owned by the living person, then called the International Mercantile Marine Co., the company, not the... oh nevermind...) bought controlling interest in the British and American shipping companies building the Titanic. The US government further provided him with substantial tax cuts and subsidies. The only private company to resist Morgan’s takeover, Cunard Shipping, was promptly subsidized by the British government. J. P. Morgan was given the financial backing and the freedom to do whatever he wanted, unhindered by any oversight or liability.
Because the shipbuilding industry was un(de)regulated, the shipbuilders were pressured to make changes in the Titanic's construction against the strenuous objections of the design engineers – using plate a quarter of an inch thinner and rivets an eighth thinner in order to shave 2500 tons off her weight, not just to cut costs but so the ship would sail faster than the competition. Two other ships, the Republic and the Florida, collided off Massachusetts while the Titanic was being built, and even though they were damaged far more badly than would be the Titanic, the Florida made it back to New York and the Republic didn't sink for 38 hours, with all 750 passengers saved. The Titanic barely nicked an iceberg, not even with enough force to tear a gash in the hull as was first thought, but just hard enough to pop out the rivets and buckle the steel plate hull, allowing water to flood into five compartments. With a flimsy hull and skimpy rivets, however, the rest of the hull couldn’t endure the strain of the water. She broke up into 3 pieces, (not two as first thought) before she completely sank, and went down faster and at a steeper angle than even Cameron depicted in his movie.
The investigation proved conclusively it was negligence (and greed) on the part of the ship owners unhindered by any industry regulation. But the investigation was quickly buried and never made public, two formal governmental inquiries pinned the official blame on the (conveniently dead) captain of the Titanic, because the lawsuits from so many victims would have bankrupted the ship's owners, including J. P. Morgan.
UPDATE: Ha! I just have to share the perfect piece of snark that I found in the comments section to the above:
That settles it, doesn't it?
So deregulation sank the Titanic, eh? Well, I FOR ONE would've preferred to die a cold, miserable free-market death in the icy waters of the Atlantic, than to have arrived safely at my port of call, ushered in by the steady, yet Marxist-tainted, hands of regulation-happy SOCIALISTS.
I'm sure everyone who loves FREEDOM feels the same exact way.
Friday, October 10, 2008
This is incitement to violence and it is very worrying. The above writer is Frank Schaeffer, son of the late Francis Schaeffer (intellectual darling of the religious right.) I really hope someone listens to him.
John McCain: If your campaign does not stop equating Sen. Barack Obama with terrorism, questioning his patriotism and portraying Mr. Obama as "not one of us," I accuse you of deliberately feeding the most unhinged elements of our society the red meat of hate, and therefore of potentially instigating violence.
At a Sarah Palin rally, someone called out, "Kill him!" At one of your rallies, someone called out, "Terrorist!" Neither was answered or denounced by you or your running mate, as the crowd laughed and cheered. At your campaign event Wednesday in Bethlehem, Pa., the crowd was seething with hatred for the Democratic nominee - an attitude encouraged in speeches there by you, your running mate, your wife and the local Republican chairman. Shame!
John McCain: In 2000, as a lifelong Republican, I worked to get you elected instead of George W. Bush. In return, you wrote an endorsement of one of my books about military service. You seemed to be a man who put principle ahead of mere political gain.
You have changed. You have a choice: Go down in history as a decent senator and an honorable military man with many successes, or go down in history as the latest abettor of right-wing extremist hate.
This strategy of whipping up a crowd into a frenzy is very, very, very dangerous.
UPDATE: I just found an article back from March of 2008 by Frank Schaeffer entitled "Obama's Minister Committed "Treason" But When My Father Said the Same Thing He Was a Republican Hero": Here's a sample:
I do recommend that you read the rest of the article. It's real eye-opener.
When Senator Obama's preacher thundered about racism and injustice Obama suffered smear-by-association. But when my late father -- Religious Right leader Francis Schaeffer -- denounced America and even called for the violent overthrow of the US government, he was invited to lunch with presidents Ford, Reagan and Bush, Sr.
Every Sunday thousands of right wing white preachers (following in my father's footsteps) rail against America's sins from tens of thousands of pulpits. They tell us that America is complicit in the "murder of the unborn," has become "Sodom" by coddling gays, and that our public schools are sinful places full of evolutionists and sex educators hell-bent on corrupting children. They say, as my dad often did, that we are, "under the judgment of God." They call America evil and warn of immanent destruction. By comparison Obama's minister's shouted "controversial" comments were mild. All he said was that God should damn America for our racism and violence and that no one had ever used the N-word about Hillary Clinton.
Take Dad's words and put them in the mouth of Obama's preacher (or in the mouth of any black American preacher) and people would be accusing that preacher of treason. Yet when we of the white Religious Right denounced America white conservative Americans and top political leaders, called our words "godly" and "prophetic" and a "call to repentance."
Well, I hope the big-business type conservatives are satisfied. They got their short term profits by electing Bush only for the current financial disaster to happen. When are those people going to learn to look at the big picture and beyond the gratification of the moment?
It's stunning to think about the damage George Bush has done to our nation and the world. Stunning. Watching the market drop yesterday was a little scary. Hearing the term "crash" sounded so 1929. That's just one of the things Bush did to us. Bush is going to address the crisis this morning -- as if that helps.
Thursday, October 09, 2008
I said earlier on this blog that I find Palin's ties to the AIP quite disturbing. There have been rumblings all around the internet that she is some kind of "Manchurian Candidate". Whether that's the case or not, it seems that her commitment to the United States of America as a union is somewhat questionable.
Vice Presidential hopeful Sarah Palin has taken to faulting Senator Barack Obama for his casual acquaintance with a respected Illinois educator Bill Ayers, who forty years ago was a member of the Weathermen, a movement active when Obama was eight and which he has denounced as "detestable." Palin argues that the relationship proves that Obama sees "America as being so imperfect that he is palling around with terrorists who would target their own country."
But if McCarthy-era guilt-by-association is once again a valid political consideration, Palin, it would seem, has more to lose than Obama. Palin, it could be argued, following her own logic, thinks so little of America's perfection that she continues to "pal around" with a man--her husband, actually--who only recently terminated his seven-year membership in the Alaskan Independence Party. Putting plunder above patriotism, the members of this treasonous cabal aim to break our country into pieces and walk away with Alaska's rich federal oil fields and one-fifth of America's land base--an area three-fourths the size of the Civil War Confederacy.
AIP's creation was inspired by the rabidly violent anti-Americanism of its founding father Joe Vogler, "I'm an Alaskan, not an American," reads a favorite Vogler quote on AIP's current website, "I've got no use for America or her damned institutions." According to Vogler AIP's central purpose was to drive Alaska's secession from the United States. Alaska, says current Chairwoman Lynette Clark, "should be an independent nation."
Palin's husband Todd remained an AIP party member from 1995 to 2002. Sarah can be described in McCarthy-era palaver as a "fellow traveler." While retaining her Republican registration, she attended the AIP's 1994 convention where the party called for a draft constitution to secede from the United States and create an independent nation of Alaska. The McCain Campaign has reluctantly acknowledged that she also attended AIP's 2000 Convention. She apparently found the experience so inspiring that she agreed to give a keynote address at the AIP's 2006 convention and she recorded a video greeting for this year's 2008 convention. In other words, this is not something that happened when she was eight!
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
You know, I had a very religious upbringing and I well remember my Sunday School teachers saying how wrong it is to judge others - that only God can do that.
Dominionist Group Claims Obama Is Not A Christian.
While McCain and Palin are on the side of angels, Obama is not, according to the latest smear videos produced by the religious right Christian Anti-Defamation Commission. The commission, headed by Gary Cass, a protégé of the late dominionist D. James Kennedy's Center for Reclaiming America for Christ, is releasing seven YouTube videos claiming that "Barack Obama is not a Christian by any biblical or historic measure." Last week's video lambasted such apostasies as his belief that there are paths to heaven other than through Jesus Christ. This week's video attacks him for not believing in the inerrancy of the Bible. "Who are you going to believe," asks the narrator, "Jesus or Obama?"
Of course, these fundies would say that I'm not a Christian either.
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
During the vice presidential debate, Sarah Palin would wink a couple of times when she delivered a line. Did you see that? She’d kind of wink and try to use a little sex appeal. See, the other candidates could never get away with that. Like if Barack Obama winked, that would be seen as too condescending. If Joe Biden winked, it’d be too creepy. If McCain started winking, everybody would think he was having a stroke.
- Jay Leno
Monday, October 06, 2008
Sunday, October 05, 2008
I look forward to a future in which our country will match its military strength with our moral restraint, its wealth with our wisdom, its power with our purpose.
- John F. Kennedy
Sarah Palin is not on any of the Sunday shows -- again. Sarah Palin will never appear on any of the Sunday shows. She can't bring her note cards and she'll get follow up questions. Enough said.
Saturday, October 04, 2008
I really recommend that you go read the rest of it. The article gives an overview of political reality that is quite and eye opener.
Nancy Pelosi deserves a lot more respect than she’s given. People on leftist blogs, particularly the boys, constantly slam her for not delivering what we want, seeming to think, somehow, the Democratic Speaker of the House hasn’t delivered what a sizable portion of Democrats and others want because she doesn’t want to. Well, let’s again review her reality.
She is the farthest left of anyone in the direct line of succession of the presidency in the history of the United States, a remarkable achievement for anyone in 2008. I’ve pointed that out here before. She gained that position at a time when ‘liberal’ is a dirty word in the wider culture. She gained it by dint of her own hard work and intelligence. No one handed it to her out of the clear blue.
She holds that position by the fact that Democrats hold a slim majority in the House of Representatives, a majority won during her leadership. That is something her male predecessor couldn’t seem to achieve. Least anyone forget, Nancy Pelosi is also the only woman who has ever been in direct line of presidential succession, the only one to lead either of the two houses of the legislative branch.
Her majority depends on a number of marginal seats held by conservative Democrats who could easily lose the next election and who are quite aware of that. The full array of Republicans, from the fiscal pirates to the religio-fascist wings of their party will be doing their best to unseat these understandably skittish Democrats. If anyone has forgotten, in the 2006 election the Republicans never lost a chance to remind everyone across the country that Pelosi is from San Francisco. That is Republican code for “fag lover”. Only, since everyone with a brain understands it, it’s not code.
She is also in opposition to a Republican president, the most unscrupulous and dishonest president of our times, part of an administration which has shown it will do anything in order to grab power and use government to both exercise illegitimate power and to attack their opposition. After the past month of the McCain campaign, it’s plain that all Republicans are Rove Republicans now. There is no reason for any Democrat to rely on the present day Supreme Court to not act in a partisan way on behalf of Republicans, twisting the most basic legal fabric past raveling to do it. They have shown themselves quite willing to go so far as install a Republican as a result of a corrupted election in an entirely unprecedented action that in a real Republic would be grounds for their impeachment.
Friday, October 03, 2008
Yes, I too was quite troubled that Palin did not respond at all to Biden's emotional moment. She definitely seems empathy-impaired -- along with all the other impairments we've witnessed.
Not only was there no debate but Sarah Palin was not required actually to answer any of the questions put to her, and she announced before she began that she was just going to throw up on us all the talking points that she had binged on in Arizona for the past few days.
She mugged for the camera, winked like a bar fly, and just went on talking and talking and talking, oblivious to whatever anyone else said. Not only did she ignore most of Gwen Ifill's questions,she paid no attention to what Joe Biden said. When he choked up over the loss of his family, she did not have the decency to express any kind of condolences. It is almost as though she is autistic and unable to connect with human beings.
"Profoundly uninformed". That's quite an observation. That's also quite an indictment. I do so hope that the ordinary American voter sees that as well.
Expectations for Palin were so low that the mere fact that she managed to keep talking and to keep assailing Obama will be rated as a great victory by McCain's lieutenants. But it was Biden who knew what he was talking about, who could engage in argument and who showed he actually understood the issues. In recent interviews with CBS anchor Katie Couric, Palin came off as profoundly uninformed, as someone who had given little thought to the issues that will matter. Nothing Palin did last night changed that. Those rooting for her were relieved. Those who doubted her readiness going in were not persuaded by her endless repetition of the word "maverick."
Thursday, October 02, 2008
Ifill was next to useless as a moderator. It was obvious that her main objective was getting through the debate without giving anyone material to criticize her.
Gwen Ifill, perhaps cowed by pre-emptive criticism of her alleged biases from the right-wing, is being extraordinarily passive throughout this debate. She’s not asking any followup questions, she’s letting the candidates get away with completely avoiding her questions, and most of all she’s scarcely asking questions at all — she’s just proposing topics and then opening the floor to a recitation of talking points.
I must say that I find find Sarh Palin's expressions like "You're darned right" and "You betcha!" as well as winking at the audience quite irritating.
That said, so far she's doing very well. She holds my attention better than Biden and she's churning out those talking points and sound bites.
Mind you, she's not answering the questions but I don't think that will be noticed by the ordinary person on the street. Palin has remarkable stage presence and that will go far in people's perception of her performance.
Maybe he'll say he was joking. But my sense is that dictatorship in this country is not a joking matter. At all.
MCCAIN: I just want to make a comment about the obvious issue and that is the failure of Congress to act yesterday. Its just not acceptable. […] This is just a not acceptable situation. I’m not saying this is the perfect answer. If I were dictator, which I always aspire to be, I would write it a little bit differently.
Can you just imagine her as President of the United States of America??? Do you realize how likely that will be if McCain is elected?
COURIC: What other Supreme Court decisions [than Roe v. Wade] do you disagree with?
PALIN: Well, let's see. There's --of course --in the great history of America rulings there have been rulings, that's never going to be absolute consensus by every American. And there are--those issues, again, like Roe v Wade where I believe are best held on a state level and addressed there. So you know--going through the history of America, there would be others but--
COURIC: Can you think of any?
PALIN: Well, I could think of--of any again, that could be best dealt with on a more local level. Maybe I would take issue with. But you know, as mayor, and then as governor and even as a Vice President, if I'm so privileged to serve, wouldn't be in a position of changing those things but in supporting the law of the land as it reads today.
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
If anything good comes of this mess it will be the recognition that unregulated capitalism doesn't work. I hope that, indeed, has been recognized. (Of course, you would think we would have figured that out after the Gilded Age. Sadly, not many people read history anymore.)
It's not just investment banks that have fallen by the wayside in the recent carnage; it's the ideology of unregulated capitalism -- of Reaganism. And if Republicans cannot find a way to disenthrall themselves from their faith in their old gods, they may ensure that the GOP itself becomes one more casualty in the collapse of laissez faire.