What can I say? How is it, now, that the Republicans are keeping us safer? (Good grief.) Go read the rest of it to get all the details.
WASHINGTON - New evidence from former U.S. officials reveals that the George W. Bush administration failed to adopt any plan to block the retreat of Osama bin Laden and other al Qaeda leaders from Afghanistan to Pakistan in the first weeks after 9/11.
That failure was directly related to the fact that top administration officials gave priority to planning for war with Iraq over military action against al Qaeda in Afghanistan.
As a result, the United States had far too few troops and strategic airlift capacity in the theatre to cover the large number of possible exit routes through the border area when bin Laden escaped in late 2001.
Because it had not been directed to plan for that contingency, the U.S. military had to turn down an offer by Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf in late November 2001 to send 60,000 troops to the border passes to intercept them, according to accounts provided by former U.S. officials involved in the issue.
On Nov. 12, 2001, as Northern Alliance troops were marching on Kabul with little resistance, the CIA had intelligence that bin Laden was headed for a cave complex in the Tora Bora Mountains close to the Pakistani border.
The war had ended much more quickly than expected only days earlier. CENTCOM commander Tommy Franks, who was responsible for the war in Afghanistan, had no forces in position to block bin Laden's exit.
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
And she wants us to believe she's read "all of 'em, any of 'em" ???
COURIC: And when it comes to establishing your world view, I was curious, what newspapers and magazines did you regularly read, before you were tapped for this, to stay informed and to understand the world?
PALIN: I've read most of them again with a great appreciation for the press for the media, I mean...
COURIC: Like what ones specifically? I'm curious that you...
PALIN: Um, all of 'em, any of 'em that um have been in front of me over all these years, um...
COURIC: Can you name any of them?
PALIN: I have a vast variety of sources where we get our news too. Alaska isn't a foreign country where it's kind of suggested it seems like, wow how could you keep in touch with what the rest of Washington, DC may be thinking and doing, when you live up there in Alaska. Believe me, Alaska is like a microcosm of America.
UPDATE: I found this update by SilentPatriot on Crooks and Liars where the above was also posted: "Holy crap. It completely slipped my mind that Plain has a degree in journalism. Yes, someone who studied journalism can’t name a single magazine or newspaper." Yes, it totally slipped my mind too. It's simply beyond belief.
They're from FDR's first inaugural address. You can read or listen to the whole thing right here.
The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.
There must be an end to a conduct in banking and in business which too often has given to a sacred trust the likeness of callous and selfish wrongdoing.
This is no unsolvable problem if we face it wisely and courageously.
We can not merely take but we must give as well.
Monday, September 29, 2008
I don't understand this stuff but Logan Murphy over at Crooks and Liars thinks it might be Bush doing an end run around Congress.
Sept. 29 (Bloomberg) -- The Federal Reserve will pump an additional $630 billion into the global financial system, flooding banks with cash to alleviate the worst banking crisis since the Great Depression.
The Fed increased its existing currency swaps with foreign central banks by $330 billion to $620 billion to make more dollars available worldwide. The Term Auction Facility, the Fed's emergency loan program, will expand by $300 billion to $450 billion. The European Central Bank, the Bank of England and the Bank of Japan are among the participating authorities.
The Fed's expansion of liquidity, the biggest since credit markets seized up last year, came hours before the U.S. House of Representatives rejected a $700 billion bailout for the financial industry. The crisis is reverberating through the global economy, causing stocks to plunge and forcing European governments to rescue four banks over the past two days alone.
I'm not sure it's mad. It might just well be evil, however.
"It is extraordinary to me that you can find $700 billion to save Wall Street and the entire G8 can't find $25 billion to save 25,000 children who die every day of preventable treatable disease and hunger," the U2 lead singer told Clinton's fourth annual philanthropic summit in New York. "That's mad, that is mad."
Yes, the wealthy are holding us all hostage by threatening to undermine the pension funds of the middle class. I don't know what the answer is but I know this whole things stinks to high heaven.
Let me cut to the chase. The biggest robbery in the history of this country is taking place as you read this. Though no guns are being used, 300 million hostages are being taken. Make no mistake about it: After stealing a half trillion dollars to line the pockets of their war-profiteering backers for the past five years, after lining the pockets of their fellow oilmen to the tune of over a hundred billion dollars in just the last two years, Bush and his cronies -- who must soon vacate the White House -- are looting the U.S. Treasury of every dollar they can grab. They are swiping as much of the silverware as they can on their way out the door.
No matter what they say, no matter how many scare words they use, they are up to their old tricks of creating fear and confusion in order to make and keep themselves and the upper one percent filthy rich.
This bailout's mission is to protect the obscene amount of wealth that has been accumulated in the last eight years. It's to protect the top shareholders who own and control corporate America. It's to make sure their yachts and mansions and "way of life" go uninterrupted while the rest of America suffers and struggles to pay the bills. Let the rich suffer for once. Let them pay for the bailout. We are spending 400 million dollars a day on the war in Iraq. Let them end the war immediately and save us all another half-trillion dollars!
Sunday, September 28, 2008
I just now checked in with AMERICAblog and John Aravosis called everyone's attention to a Newsweek article on Sarah Palin. Take a look:
I so agree. This is really getting very, very unnerving.
Will someone please put Sarah Palin out of her agony? Is it too much to ask that she come to realize that she wants, in that wonderful phrase in American politics, "to spend more time with her family"?
Can we now admit the obvious? Sarah Palin is utterly unqualified to be vice president. She is a feisty, charismatic politician who has done some good things in Alaska. But she has never spent a day thinking about any important national or international issue, and this is a hell of a time to start.
Obviously these are very serious challenges and constraints. In these times, for John McCain to have chosen this person to be his running mate is fundamentally irresponsible. McCain says that he always puts country first. In this important case, it is simply not true.
Saturday, September 27, 2008
This is turning out to be very, very scary.
The McCain campaign has done its bizarre best to shield Ms. Palin from any sustained media examination of her readiness for the highest offices in the land, and no wonder. She has been an embarrassment in interviews.
But the idea that the voters of the United States might install someone in the vice president’s office who is too unprepared or too intellectually insecure to appear on, say, “Meet the Press” or “Face the Nation” is mind-boggling.
The alarm bells should be clanging and warning lights flashing. You wouldn’t put an unqualified pilot in the cockpit of a jetliner. The potential for catastrophe is far, far greater with an unqualified president.
Friday, September 26, 2008
Her candidacy is really very, very worrying.
(CNN) – Prominent conservative columnist Kathleen Parker, an early supporter of Republican VP candidate Sarah Palin, said Friday recent interviews have shown the Alaska governor is "out of her league" and should leave the GOP presidential ticket for the good of the party.
The criticism in Parker's Friday column is the latest in a recent string of negative assessments toward the McCain-Palin candidacy from prominent conservatives.
It was fun while it lasted," Parker writes. "Palin’s recent interviews with Charles Gibson, Sean Hannity, and now Katie Couric have all revealed an attractive, earnest, confident candidate. Who is clearly out of her league."
“Only Palin can save McCain, her party, and the country she loves," Parker writes. She can bow out for personal reasons, perhaps because she wants to spend more time with her newborn. No one would criticize a mother who puts her family first. Do it for your country."
Parker's comments follow those by prominent conservatives David Brooks, George Will, and David Frum who have all publicly questioned Palin's readiness to be vice president.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we've been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. The bamboozle has captured us. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.
-- Carl Sagan
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Why is it that ordinary Americans would rather give handouts to people who are already rich than to people who are poor? Where does the contempt for the needy come from?
Democrats, the American people and patriots of every partisan position, should not drink the $700,000,000,000 Power Punch. There is no circumstance under which we should tolerate this open theft of public funds, and permanent transfer of Congressional and Judicial power through one man, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, directly to private sector corporations, without oversight, review or accountability.
While our economy is in historic trouble, it's simply impossible that more of the same power without oversight - the same unmitigated, unregulated nonsense that got us into this mess - is the cure to the precipitous plunge the American economy is taking.
The Bush Administration finds socialism despicable, when it comes to an issue like health care, but not when it benefits private corporations through corporate welfare - like the $3,000,000,000 annually given to the fossil fuel industry, that takes our tax money, then gouges us at the gas pump, while making record profits. This Treasury Proposal is another attempt by the Bush Administration to socialize debt and risk, and privatize profits and power.
Yes, it's sickening, isn't it?
These crooks are the most unpatriotic, America-hating people we've seen. They are sending their friends and lobbyists to Washington to ask for what could be a $1.8 TRILLION bailout to save the problems they created, yet no, they're not willing to cut back one single penny. Not one. They still want their hundreds of millions in annual bonus money and they still want their elite lifestyle as though none of this ever happened. For Wall Street as well as Bush, Paulson and Bernanke, it's perfectly acceptable that middle class Americans foot the bill in terms of cut backs and higher taxes so America's royalty on Wall Street can live well. Yep, they want you to pay for their mistakes as if they had nothing to do with it.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
It's from an AP article entitled "Palin meets Karzai without usual reporters in tow" .
Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, who has not held a press conference in nearly four weeks of campaigning, on Tuesday barred most pool reporters from her meeting with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, the first foreign head of state she has ever met.
Journalists protested the campaign's decision to exclude all but photographers and a TV crew from Palin's sessions with foreign leaders. CNN decided to withdraw its TV crew, effectively denying Palin the high visibility she sought for her initial foray into world affairs. The campaign then reversed course, saying pool reporters — a small group that provides information to all media — could attend the meetings planned after Karzai hosted Palin at his suite in The Barclay New York Hotel.
Palin has been criticized for avoiding taking questions from reporters or submitting to one-on-one interviews. She has had just two major interviews since Republican presidential candidate John McCain chose her as his running mate on Aug. 29.
Just a little weird. That's putting it mildly.
Does anyone think it’s just a little weird to be stampeded into a $700 billion solution to the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression by the very people who brought us the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression?
How about a second opinion?
Monday, September 22, 2008
Sunday, September 21, 2008
By promoting runaway development in her hometown, say locals, Palin has "fouled her own nest" -- and that goes for the lake where she lives.
"Lake Lucille is basically a dead lake -- it can't support a fish population," said Michelle Church, a Mat-Su Valley borough assembly member and environmentalist. "It's a runway for floatplanes."
"Sarah's legacy as mayor was big-box stores and runaway growth," said Patty Stoll, a retired Wasilla schoolteacher who once worked in the same school with Palin's parents, Chuck and Sally Heath. "The truth is, Wasilla is just plain ugly, it's not a pleasant place to live. It's not thought out. And that's a shame.
Among the environmental casualties of Wasilla's frenzied development was Palin's own front yard, Lake Lucille. The lake was listed as "impaired" in 1994 by the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, and it still carries that grim label. State environmental officials say that leaching sewer lines and fertilizer runoff caused an explosion of plant growth in the lake, which sucked the oxygen out of the water and led to periodic fish kills.
You know, I really don't understand how these people can call themselves "conservative". It seems to me that true conservatives would want to conserve things of value. I really don't get it.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Friday, September 19, 2008
Everybody knows that the dice are loaded
Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed
Everybody knows that the war is over
Everybody knows the good guys lost
Everybody knows the fight was fixed
The poor stay poor, the rich get rich
Thats how it goes
Everybody knows that the boat is leaking
Everybody knows that the captain lied
Everybody got this broken feeling
Like their father or their dog just died
It's from an article entitled "The Financial Meltdown Continues" by Dean Baker.
While there is no simple path out of this crisis, it was a crisis that could have been easily avoided. If the Federal Reserve Board had acted to stem the growth of the housing bubble before it grew to such dangerous proportions, the country would not currently be facing a recession and the prospect of a financial collapse.
You know, I've never understood the Republican objection to regulation. Wouldn't that be like trying to play a sport without the game having any rules? Aren't they the "law and order" party? So why wouldn't they want "law and order" with regard to business like everything else??
Since Reagan I've heard that the 'market place' is the best place to fix problems. It is if you like the brutal reality of the boom and bust cycles of unchecked capitalism. Raw capitalism is simply a utopian ideal. It is as raw as the Darwinian forces acting out in nature – eat or be eaten. A civil society can, and must say no to the pure, unchecked greed of Wall Street, so that the weakest of our society isn't steamrolled by the richest.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
How to handle the fury brought on by this election? Register voters, hit the streets, pray. Stop talking about her. Talk about Obama.
-- Annie Lamott
You might like to check out her Salon article entitled "A call to arms". Worth your time. Really.
That's right. We didn't listen. And now look.
Jimmy Carter tried to tell us to be less greedy, more compassionate, learn to be happier by having less. We listened to the Great Communicator and verily, we have our reward.
by Sally Kohn.
Here's how it gets started:
Why is it so anathema to Republicans to help people in a sensible, honest way?
Sure, the CEOs and hedge fund managers were greedy. There's no question that wealth and the pursuit thereof led to the sub-prime fiasco and the decline of Lehman Brothers, AIG, Merrill Lynch and more. But what's really at play here is persistent poverty and Wall Street seeking to make a dime off the poor, consequences be damned, while Washington looks the other way.
The sub-prime crisis is the result of good people getting bad loans. Loans that triple or quadruple in interest rates, riddled with small print, are unbearable by most homeowners. But they are particularly unsustainable for low-income families working two or three jobs to make ends meet. Still, lenders scammed hardworking families with the promise of owning homes they really couldn't afford. And then greedy Wall Street managers, looking for a new way to squeeze a buck from an already bursting-at-the-seams economy, bundled up these bad loans into worse securities, sold them off, and tried to gain a profit as our national economy lost its shirt.
We could have averted the current financial crisis by creating affordable housing and good jobs, strengthening public education and providing health care and child care for all families, to help hardworking Americans thrive in the middle class instead of being pushed into poverty. We could have averted this crisis if we really cared about all families owning their own homes and created nationwide programs including affordable loans. (Even subsidized loans in the first place would have cost taxpayers less than what we're now spending bailing out Wall Street.) We could have averted this crisis if we put the needs of the majority of American families ahead of the needs of a small minority of greedy investors.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
I think he's got a point. So I'm bracing myself.
Given the current state of the McCain/Palin campaign (it's crashing) -- and the horrible state of the economy (it's crashing) -- you have to know some major distraction is in the pipeline from the GOP. McCain has to do something to change the subject. So, expect some vintage Rovian trick. But, this one will have to be extra ugly.
I so agree. Now why don't the right wingers out there get it?
So how fit is McCain to be president? This is a man who has admitted that he doesn't know much about economics. A man whose chief economic advisor (until he was forced to fire him) was former Senator Phil Gramm, Mr. Enron-Loophole, Mr. "Nation of Whiners," Mr. Reduce-Government-Oversight-on-Banking-Insurance-and-Brokerage-Activities or, in other words, the architect of what's happening right now.
On Monday, McCain said, "The fundamentals of the American economy are strong." On Tuesday, forced to backtrack, he said he meant that "American workers, the backbone of the economy, were productive and resilient." Still backtracking, he then called the economic situation "a total crisis" and decried the "greed" in Wall Street and Washington. He sounded like a babbling fool.
McCain's solution? A commission to study what went wrong.
This isn't 9/11. We know what went wrong. The moneychangers wrecked the temple. We don't need a commission. We need a new government.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Why isn't anyone in the mainstream media pointing these things out?
How racism works:
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'?
What if McCain was a charismatic, eloquent speaker?
If these questions reflected reality, do you really believe the poll numbers would be as close as they are?
This is what racism does. It covers up, rationalizes and minimizes negative qualities in one candidate and emphasizes negative qualities in another when there is a color difference.
Democracy is not average people selecting average leaders. It is average people with the wisdom to select the best prepared.
-- David Brooks
I just hope these lines get the circulation they deserve!
"But now suddenly, John McCain says he is about change, too. He even started using some of my lines. Suddenly he says he wants 'to turn the page.' He had an ad today that he started running that he and Gov. Palin would bring the change that we need. He had this in an advertisement. Sound familiar? Let me tell you something, instead of borrowing my lines he needs to borrow our ideas," Obama said.
He followed up with a dig at lobbyists, saying "if you think those lobbyists are working day and night for John McCain just to put themselves out of business, well, then, I've got a bridge to sell you up in Alaska."
You know, I've had layovers in both Frankfurt and Amsterdam and it's never occurred to me to claim that I've visited either Germany or the Netherlands.
Stewart: “Now I know her detractors will say that Palin actually supported the bridge until it became a political albatross and ended up keeping a lot of the money for it anyway; That she claimed to have visited Iraq when she really didn’t; Or that she didn’t really sell that plane on eBay; Or that she left the town she was mayor of $20 million dollars in debt; And that she made sure that women who were raped were charged for their rape kits.”
Stewart: “Yea. Yea, it’s f*cking true.”
Stewart: She doesn’t need to know the Bush Doctrine — she is the Bush Doctrine. Her foreign policy experience consists of being able to see Russia from an island in Alaska. And a refueling layover in Ireland.
At one point, Charlie Gibson asked Palin about the Bush doctrine, but she didn't know what it was. But, you know, to be fair, even Bush doesn't know what the Bush doctrine is.
Monday, September 15, 2008
When the news is mainstream enough to be picked up by AP and CNN, you know it can no longer be denied.
OSLO, Norway (AP) -- Data showing Arctic sea ice may reach its lowest level on record this summer underscores the need for governments to speed up talks on a new climate pact, the Worldwide Fund for Nature said Monday.
The WWF said observations on ice coverage and thickness pointed toward a record low for the second year in a row, continuing a "catastrophic" trend that could threaten polar wildlife and accelerate global warming.
"If you take reduced ice thickness into account, there is probably less ice overall in the Arctic this year than in any other year since monitoring began," said Martin Sommerkorn, senior climate adviser of the WWF's Arctic program.
"This is also the first year that the Northwest Passage over the top of North America, and the Northeast Passage over the top of Russia, are both free of ice," he said.
"There are already signs that species such as polar bears are experiencing negative effects as climate change erodes the ice platform on which they rely," Sommerkorn said. "These changes are also affecting the peoples of the Arctic whose traditional livelihoods depend on healthy ecosystems."
Arctic ice melts in summer and refreezes in winter. But over the years, more of the ice is lost to the sea with less of it recovered in winter. While ice reflects the sun's heat, the open ocean absorbs more heat and the melting accelerates warming in other parts of the world.
I wish this were seen by our politicians in both parties as the emergency situation it is.
So why don't we let that sacred "invisible hand" do its work? Why not, for example, just let Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac fizzle out and die?
What? You mean it really is the job of the government to "promote the general welfare"?
Well, I do declare!
Needless to say, I agree.
Palin is to be criticized and feared for her dangerous ideologies, not admired for her hokey "hockey mom" persona. She is also no feminist by any means. She is a paradox - a woman taking advantage of the opportunities her feminist forbears fought for, yet she wants to turn back the clock and remove those same rights she enjoys so much.
She is corrupt, dogmatic, self-aggrandizing, petty and completely ridiculous, and yet she could very well become the next president of the US.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
I really wish this issue - along with all the examples - would get wider circulation.
White privilege is being able to say that you support the words "under God" in the pledge of allegiance because "if it was good enough for the founding fathers, it’s good enough for me," and not be immediately disqualified from holding office--since, after all, the pledge was written in the late 1800s and the "under God" part wasn’t added until the 1950s--while believing that reading accused criminals and terrorists their rights (because, ya know, the Constitution, which you used to teach at a prestigious law school requires it), is a dangerous and silly idea only supported by mushy liberals.
White privilege is being able to be a gun enthusiast and not make people immediately scared of you. White privilege is being able to have a husband who was a member of an extremist political party that wants your state to secede from the Union, and whose motto was "Alaska first," and no one questions your patriotism or that of your family, while if you're black and your spouse merely fails to come to a 9/11 memorial so she can be home with her kids on the first day of school, people immediately think she’s being disrespectful.
White privilege is being able to make fun of community organizers and the work they do--like, among other things, fight for the right of women to vote, or for civil rights, or the 8-hour workday, or an end to child labor--and people think you’re being pithy and tough, but if you merely question the experience of a small town mayor and 18-month governor with no foreign policy expertise beyond a class she took in college--you’re somehow being mean, or even sexist.
And I honestly think that if Obama loses it will be because of racism - pure and simple. What's so frustrating is that he's afraid to fight back for fear of being branded an "angry black man".
If a black Democratic presidential candidate was an affirmative action selection (akin to the legacy selection for McCain) at the Naval Academy and graduated 894 out of 899, Fox News and the conservative right would push this story as the basis for his disqualification for the nation's highest office. The rest of the media would then be forced to report on it, giving the story wide exposure.
If a white Republican presidential candidate graduated from Columbia University and Harvard Law School, he would be celebrated as an intellectual giant ready to lead the country in bold new directions. But since we are talking Obama here, his education fits into the "uppity" and presumptuous narrative.
If you're a Harvard and Princeton-educated black woman married for years before having your first child, Fox labels you a "Baby Mama."
If you are a white woman who eloped and had a baby eight months later, you are Sarah Palin.
If you have studied international affairs for several decades, you're inexperienced at foreign affairs.
If you live in a state that is geographically near a foreign country, you have foreign policy expertise.
If you both write and present your own words, you just give good speeches.
If you read someone else's words from the teleprompter a superstar is born.
If you are Obama, your greatness must be measured by what you've done and its NEVER enough, NOT by any of the profound speeches you wrote yourself, or the repeated grillings you've taken in the press.
If you are Palin, your greatness is measured by just one speech, written by Bush II's speech writer, and you will not take any questions from the press.
If you attend two of the top ivy leagues schools in the country, you are surprisingly articulate.
If it takes you several colleges to graduate and you deliver a speech with the phonetic new-clear on the teleprompter, you're a poised and eloquent speaker.
If your staff is so dumb they mix up Walter Reed Middle School for Walter Reed Medical Center in your convention's big night, it's because you wanted to focus on education & it would have been political to use the soldiers in that format.
If Obama had done that, he would be eviscerated for not knowing the difference between the two, hating the troops/America & would be dangerously unqualified.
If you're a liberal mayor and you ask for government financing, you're a fan of big tax and spend, corrupt government.
If you're a conservative mayor and wind up on John McCain's worst pork list in 2001, you are disgusted that small towns like yours are dependent on earmarks, even if your town had no earmarks before you became mayor.
A white woman talkin' tough is an advocate of women's rights, a black woman is angry and bitter.
A white man talkin' tough is a straight shooter and a conservative, a black man is a angry gangsta rapper.
If you're a GOPer you naturally wouldn't see what the problem with any of this was, even if you slept for 20 years on a dictionary opened to the word hypocrisy.
If you're a Republican and you talk to America 's enemies, its diplomacy.
If you're a Democrat and you talk to America 's enemies, its appeasement.
If you're a Republican, you swear Jesus is a registered member of your party.
If you're a Democrat, you appreciate that Jesus was a community organizer.
If you're a Republican and you wind up on the cover of People magazine, it's because you're a regular American.
If you're a Democrat and you wind up on the cover of People magazine, its because you're a celebrity.
If you're a black Democratic man who can fill a stadium with 18,000 people (or worse, a German atrium with 200,000), you're a vapid celebrity.
If you're a white Republican woman who can get a room full of fire breathing evangelical right wingers to holler, you're a star.
If you are a Democrat, the days are counted down since the last time you have been to Iraq.
If you are a Republican, you have all the foreign policy experience you need because your state is close to Russia.
If you're a black woman, with advanced academic degrees, and you have children while married, you're a baby mama.
If you're a white woman who barely graduated from college, and you get knocked up and then get married after you're pregnant, you're a "Super Mom".
If you are black and your daughter is pregnant, unmarried and has an uninvolved baby daddy, you are a statistic, but if you're a white and your daughter's baby's daddy has an explicit My Space page where, in between four-letter words, he exclaims "he don't want no kids," you get to run for Veep.
If you're a black presidential candidate that has wide appeal and the ability to motivate over two million Americans to re-engage in the political process you're an egomaniac with a messiah complex seeking the spotlight.
However, if you're a right wing conservative - you're applauded for your likeability and called a unifier for the Republican base.
If you're white, win a beauty contest, attended 4-5 colleges before finally graduating, join the PTA, are voted to be mayor by 1000 people, govern a sparsely populated state for a almost two years now, and get chosen at the last minute to be VP, you've lived the American dream.
But if you're black, raised by a single mother, lived on food stamps, help the community, get into Harvard, become the first black editor of the Harvard Law Review, build a great campaign organization from scratch, and are voted to be the presidential nominee by millions of people, you are just uppity.
If you are a democratic candidate and people around you complain about the MSM vitriol toward you, you're a whiner.
If you are a republican candidate and you won't answer the questions the MSM attempts to ask about your qualifications for the second highest office in the land, you're being victimized.
If you are a white republican mom with a special-needs baby, you are suddenly the advocate of all special needs families in the US.
If you are an Alaskan democratic mom with a special-needs baby, you just saw state funding cut for programs like special-ed. You're "on your own."
If you are a black democratic homeowner that was preyed upon by mortgage companies and your house is in foreclosure, you made bad choices and don't deserve a house.
If you know an older white republican who can't keep track of how many houses he has, then he deserves another one. The White House!
Saturday, September 13, 2008
And here's another:
It was bad enough that Ms. Palin’s performance in the first televised interviews she has done since she joined the Republican ticket was so visibly scripted and lacking in awareness. What made it so much worse is the strategy for which the Republicans have made Ms. Palin the frontwoman: win the White House not on ideas, but by denigrating experience, judgment and qualifications. The idea that Americans want leaders who have none of those things — who are so blindly certain of what Ms. Palin calls “the mission” that they won’t even pause for reflection — shows a contempt for voters and raises frightening questions about how Mr. McCain and Ms. Palin plan to run this country....
I wonder where we're headed as a nation. I really do. It's hard for me even to believe that Sarah Palin is taken seriously at all. That she is also truly a threat to our finally electing someone who is thoughtful and intelligent simply boggles my mind.
This nation has suffered through eight years of an ill-prepared and unblinkingly obstinate president. One who didn’t pause to think before he started a disastrous war of choice in Iraq. One who blithely looked the other way as the Taliban and Al Qaeda regrouped in Afghanistan. One who obstinately cut taxes and undercut all efforts at regulation, unleashing today’s profound economic crisis.
Friday, September 12, 2008
Read the rest of it here. I mean it. Go read all of it. It's good. And very thought provoking.
1) WORKING-CLASS FUNDAMENTALISTS (by working-class I mean fundie doctors, lawyers, graphic designers, cat therapists, shoemakers, cooks who run their own family restaurants, mechanics, TV actors, and even middle management) are folks who believe that humans are innately sinful. To them, we are all tempted by Satan into pedophilia, rape, theft, homosexuality and murder. Christians probably more so, because they're a bigger catch for Satan. This is why it is okay that Larry Craig had a 'homosexual moment of weakness' but it isn't okay that Barney Frank lives life proud to be who he is. What is important in the Fundamentalist Republican worldview is not the act (which is always forgiven) but the CREED. They literally care about what is SAID, not what is DONE. One is not expected to live up to one's ideals in this ideology. THUS THEY ARE NEVER HYPOCRITES.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Now look at what Ilan Goldenberg has to say:
I am all the way in Australia (14hrs ahead of EST), have been out all day without access to radio or TV. I had to call out the vet this morning to tend to an injured horse. I had never met this woman before. The FIRST THING she said to me when she got out of the car and I said hello was :
"You're American, right? I have been listening to Sarah Palin on the radio. [insert my *here it comes* sigh here] She is talking about invading Russia and starting wars. Who is this woman? How can the presidential race be so close? Why did McCain choose her? Everyone loves Obama here in Australia and we don't understand what is happening. Can you explain what is going on? How can this woman be a presidential candidate?"
I didn't know what to say. Again, another expat embarrassed American who could only offer an incredulous head shake. Then I showed her my absentee ballot application which I had faxed to City Hall and said, "I'll do my part. All else I can do is hope."
No sane American or European leader would ever ever ever give an answer like that. You do not get into hypotheticals about nuclear war. You just don't. Palin references the Cold War. The only reason the Cold War stayed cold is because our leaders understood the stakes of getting things wrong and saying things that could lead to catastrophic nuclear war. During the Cuban Missile Crisis every word, every public statement, and any message that the Kennedy administration sent to the Soviets was checked, double checked, and triple checked to make sure it was sending precisely the right signal. This is what you are forced to do when you have thousands of nuclear weapons and so does your opponent. The stakes are simply too high. And yet there is a nominee for the vice presidency of the United States who may one day have her hand on the button and she is casually talking about potential catastrophic nuclear war.
This woman is too scary for words.
So are we going to elect Republicans again anyway?
Do you believe the world is a safer place now than in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks?
Yes - 21%
No - 79%
Interestingly, Bill Clinton is predicting a win for Obama. Let's hope he's right.
Sometimes I want to say to people who voted Republican the last two times around, "Are you satisfied now?" Clearly, they are not.
The Republicans know they will lose if they really focus on issues such as the economy, the war, healthcare, education, and the environment. They are hoping that pro-choice women who supported Hillary Clinton will gravitate to Palin because she's a feisty - albeit anti-choice - woman. They are also banking on support from people who cannot bring themselves to vote for a black man.
But those non-evangelicals who back the McCain-Palin ticket do so at their peril. Not only will they continue to suffer four more years of the disastrous Bush policies; they will also find themselves living in a Christian theocracy.
- Adm. Michael Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, testifying before a congressional committee about the U.S. war in Afghanistan. According to McClatchy news reports, "Mullen said he is examining 'a new, more comprehensive strategy for the region,' an acknowledgement that the current approach lacks coordinated reconstruction and humanitarian programs." And, "Experts inside and outside the U.S. government agreed that a key reason for the resurgence is a growing popular sympathy for the militants because an over-reliance on the use of force, especially airpower, by NATO has killed hundreds of civilians."
We cannot kill our way to victory.
The Bush administration has cynically politicized 9/11 but has not taken the obvious steps that will help ensure future safety.
After 9/11, the National Institute of Standards and Technology issued a comprehensive report on what safety standerds need to be updated to protect our skyscrapers and the people who work in them. The report recommended common sense actions like adding more fireproofing and an extra emergency stairwell. Sounds like a no-brainer, right?
Not for the Bush administration. On September 8th, the New York Times reported that the General Services Administration - a federal agency that manages property for the government - is opposing the new safety standards. That's right. An agency of the Bush administration is using your tax dollars to fight against the very standards that could have saved lives on 9/11. Why? To help line the pockets of super-rich landlords and appease the real estate lobby.
I just the Board of Directors of the International Code Council to demand that they vote to enact these important safety standards. I hope you will too.
Please have a look and take action.
Take action here.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Okay. That does it. Anyone who hates cats has some kind of serious interior problem. What I've noticed is that cat haters tend to be very narcissistic people who are utterly lacking in humility. They have to be both adored and obeyed. A dog will do that but not a cat.
ABC sent a reporter to Alaska for a hard-hitting interview with those "who know [Palin] best," a group of four women who met Palin in aerobics class. The interview revealed the earth-shattering news that Palin hates cats and likes white chocolate, but amid the fluff, something interesting and telling emerged: Palin's views on abortion are so right-wing that even some of her best friends are hesitant to vote for her.
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
For example, Planet In Peril has been listed on the front page of the International Edition for some time now.
I can't find it on the front page of the US Editon.
It sounds as if she was somehow within the letter of the law in doing so but how can a person justify that, really, and call herself a "fiscal conservative"?
ANCHORAGE, Sept. 8 -- Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has billed taxpayers for 312 nights spent in her own home during her first 19 months in office, charging a "per diem" allowance intended to cover meals and incidental expenses while traveling on state business.
Monday, September 08, 2008
And while we're at it about McCain putting his country last, take a look at this comment to the above article:
McCain began the week with an act that, in any healthy democracy, would have instantly disqualified him to be the city dogcatcher in Wasilla, Alaska, let alone leader of the free world. He has been telling us for years that the fight against Islamofascism is the transcendental struggle of our time. He has been telling us the most important job of the Vice President is be qualified to run the country at a moment's notice (not least because this particular dude is a seventy-two year-old four-time cancer survivor). He's been telling us over and over that Iraq is the central front in the war against terrorism. Then he chooses someone who has admitted that she doesn't really know anything about Iraq, ‘cause she's been focused on Alaska state government. Given that the war has been the premier foreign policy issue for America for half a decade now, we also can safely assume, I'm sure, that she knows even less about the rest of the world.
This definitely demonstrates two things about John McCain. First, that his judgement is deeply impaired. We know, for example, that he had hardly vetted Sarah Palin at all, other than within the last couple of days before the announcement. We know, from Alaskan Republicans no less, that no one from the McCain campaign was up there asking questions prior to the choice (but they are now!). We know that McCain had met her all of once before making the choice. Americans really need to ask themselves, do we truly want another four years of a president who goes on gut hunches and politicizes every decision?
Even more importantly, though, this choice tells us that McCain was more than willing to do something that would benefit his personal career ambitions, regardless of the consequences for the country and the world. Palin may help him have a shot at winning the presidency -- perhaps by attracting the votes of unsophisticated women, certainly by rallying the regressive freakoids in his party -- but it is ludicrous to believe that she is remotely qualified, let alone most qualified, to handle what McCain himself says is the most important project of our time. The man who sickeningly implies that his opponent is less patriotic than he is has exacerbated that base assault on decency and the fabric of American democracy by hypocritically doing exactly the opposite of what he claims as his campaign theme. The Palin pick was definitive proof that McCain puts country last -- even by the standards of his own formulation.
But it seems American stupidity knows no bounds. I grieve for my country. I really, really do.
Anyone who can read should know by now that McCain cracked in prison and was not a hero but a collaborator. "Songbird" was Radio Hanoi's go-to apologist. Broadcast this far and wide.
I will never forgive the scumbag Republicans for the way they ridiculed Kerry's Viet Nam service in 2004, and I'm no Kerry fan. But nothing is off limits to them, and I'm sick of the "hands-off McCain" attitude everyone else has. He is a womanizer still, was a failure at the USNA, he crashed three airplanes under suspicious circumstances before even being sent to Viet Nam (and would have washed out of flight status had his daddy been anybody but an Admiral), he started the fire on the USS Forrestal which killed 150 sailors, and he cracked in prison camp and became what the Republicans would eagerly call a traitor if he were not a member of the GOP.
The woman quite simply doesn't know what she's talking about.
Gov. Sarah Palin made her first potentially major gaffe during her time on the national scene while discussing the developments of the perilous housing market this past weekend.
Speaking before voters in Colorado Springs, the Republican vice presidential nominee claimed that lending giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac had "gotten too big and too expensive to the taxpayers." The companies, as McClatchy reported, "aren't taxpayer funded but operate as private companies. The takeover may result in a taxpayer bailout during reorganization."
And we want her a 72 year old heartbeat away from the presidency? What's wrong with this country? Some kind of collective death wish?
Sunday, September 07, 2008
Can you imagine a Democrat getting away with this? Deference???? What is she anyway, the freakin' Queen?
Rick Davis, campaign manager for Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., just told Fox News Channel's Chris Wallace that McCain running mate Gov. Sarah Palin won't subject herself to any tough questions from reporters "until the point in time when she'll be treated with respect and deference."
Davis assailed the way the media had discussed Palin and her family in the last week and said the campaign would wait until a less hostile media environment.
There are a lot of arguments going on in this country right now. If we value our blood pressure (as well as our sanity) we choose our argument companions carefully!
I never make the mistake of arguing with people for whose opinions I have no respect.
A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden
As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
Blubber by Judy Blume
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
Canterbury Tales by Chaucer
Carrie by Stephen King
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
Christine by Stephen King
Confessions by Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Cujo by Stephen King
Curses, Hexes, and Spells by Daniel Cohen
Daddy's Roommate by Michael Willhoite
Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Peck
Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
Decameron by Boccaccio
East of Eden by John Steinbeck
Fallen Angels by Walter Myers
Fanny Hill (Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure) by John Cleland
Flowers For Algernon by Daniel Keyes
Forever by Judy Blume
Grendel by John Champlin Gardner
Halloween ABC by Eve Merriam
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Prizoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
Have to Go by Robert Munsch
Heather Has Two Mommies by Leslea Newman
How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell
Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
Impressions edited by Jack Booth
In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
It's Okay if You Don't Love Me by Norma Klein
James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
Lady Chatterley's Lover by D.H. Lawrence
Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
Little Red Riding Hood by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Love is One of the Choices by Norma Klein
Lysistrata by Aristophanes
More Scary Stories in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz
My Brother Sam Is Dead by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier
My House by Nikki Giovanni
My Friend Flicka by Mary O'Hara
Night Chills by Dean Koontz
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer
One Day in The Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn
One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Ordinary People by Judith Guest
Our Bodies, Ourselves by Boston Women's Health Collective
Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy
Revolting Rhymes by Roald Dahl
Scary Stories 3: More Tales to Chill Your Bones by Alvin Schwartz
Scary Stories in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz
Separate Peace by John Knowles
Silas Marner by George Eliot
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
The Bastard by John Jakes
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
The Devil's Alternative by Frederick Forsyth
The Figure in the Shadows by John Bellairs
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
The Headless Cupid by Zilpha Snyder
The Learning Tree by Gordon Parks
The Living Bible by William C. Bower
The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare
The New Teenage Body Book by Kathy McCoy and Charles Wibbelsman
The Pigman by Paul Zindel
The Seduction of Peter S. by Lawrence Sanders
The Shining by Stephen King
The Witches by Roald Dahl
The Witches of Worm by Zilpha Snyder
Then Again, Maybe I Won't by Judy Blume
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare
Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary by the Merriam-Webster Editorial Staff
Witches, Pumpkins, and Grinning Ghosts: The Story of the Halloween Symbols by Edna Barth
Well, quite an exalted list there: Shakespeare, Chaucer, Walt Whitman, Faulkner, Steinbeck. What on earth do people have against Webster's Dictionary I wonder?
I'm not surprised that The Handmaid's Tale is on the list. After all, that's where we're headed.
I'm truly bewildered by A Wrinkle in Time. I well remember when it won the Newberry Award and I read it eagerly. I remember thinking of it as an anti-Communist book at the time. But I suppose it was really anti-totalitarian. And, of course, the rabid right-wing types do want a totalitarian society.
It is a matter of record that Palin asked the Wasilla librarian about removing books from the collection and then tried to get the librarian fired.
In point of fact, the librarian resigned.
Saturday, September 06, 2008
Summary: On September 2 and September 3, MSNBC, CNN, and Fox News each dedicated more on-air time -- significantly more in most cases -- to official Republican convention programming during the most-watched portions of their coverage than each channel dedicated to official convention programming during the same times on comparable nights of the Democratic National Convention.
Sickening. Just sickening.
Yeah, and if I pray hard enough my blue eyes will turn brown and I'll add five inches to my height.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska - Gov. Sarah Palin's church is promoting a conference that promises to convert gays into heterosexuals through the power of prayer.
"You'll be encouraged by the power of God's love and His desire to transform the lives of those impacted by homosexuality," according to the insert in the bulletin of the Wasilla Bible Church, where Palin has prayed since she was a child.
Palin's conservative Christian views have energized that part of the GOP electorate, which was lukewarm to John McCain's candidacy before he named her as his vice presidential choice. She is staunchly anti-abortion, opposing exceptions for rape and incest, and opposes gay marriage and spousal rights for gay couples.
New Rule: Republicans need to stop saying Barack Obama is an elitist, or looks down on rural people, and just admit you don't like him because of something he can't help, something that's a result of the way he was born. Admit it, you're not voting for him because he's smarter than you.
-- Bill Maher