Thursday, November 30, 2006

On the passing of a furry friend

Not 0ne of mine, I hasten to add: A correspondent over at Eschaton, nymed Troutski, is preparing to help his old friend, Alpha Annie, 'the queen of border collies,' pass on to the next pasture.

Another (compassionate) commentor there posted the following poetic tribute, which has made my eyes fill up and well over:

The House Dog's Grave (Haig, an English bulldog)

I've changed my ways a little; I cannot now
Run with you in the evenings along the shore,
Except in a kind of dream; and you, if you dream a moment,
You see me there.

So leave awhile the paw-marks on the front door
Where I used to scratch to go out or in,
And you'd soon open; leave on the kitchen floor
The marks of my drinking-pan.

I cannot lie by your fire as I used to do
On the warm stone,
Nor at the foot of your bed; no, all the night through
I lie alone.

But your kind thought has laid me less than six feet
Outside your window where firelight so often plays,
And where you sit to read--and I fear often grieving for me--
Every night your lamplight lies on my place.

You, man and woman, live so long, it is hard
To think of you ever dying
A little dog would get tired, living so long.
I hope than when you are lying

Under the ground like me your lives will appear
As good and joyful as mine.

No, dear, that's too much hope: you are not so well cared for
As I have been.
And never have known the passionate undivided
Fidelities that I knew.
Your minds are perhaps too active, too many-sided. . . .

But to me you were true.

You were never masters, but friends. I was your friend.
I loved you well, and was loved.
Deep love endures
To the end and far past the end.
If this is my end,

I am not lonely.
I am not afraid. I am still yours.

Robinson Jeffers, 1941

jus' flat tears me up; makes me weep like a baby...

Monday, November 27, 2006

How to Reclaim the People's Airwaves? Necessary, but Insufficient

John Nichols, of The Nation, suggests a couple of (safe and popular, but toothless and ultimately probably useless) suggestions for the People to reclaim their airwaves.

The duty to inform the public about the political processes of the Republic, which once was considered the essential responsibility of the recipient of a broadcast license, has been abandoned. The amount of news coverage of state and local elections is in decline, while television stations cede the political discussion to paid advertising...(Even though) local television stations are clearly failing to provide adequate coverage of the most basic functions of democracy, they continue to be the primary source of information for voters. In other words, the great majority of citizens who rely on television news for the healthy diet of information that is needed in order to cast informed votes are being starved by station owners who are more interested in collecting revenues from political advertisers than in meeting the responsibilities of a broadcast license holder.

Of course. This is just the electronic equivalent of Hearst's spurious claim for 'objectivity'. It is far more comfortable for advertizers of NON-POLITICAL fare if the medium itself appears to be non-partisan.

How should citizens respond? There are two necessary actions:
1.) The data gathered by the UW researchers should be employed in broader efforts by citizen groups to challenge the renewal of broadcast licenses for communications
corporations that are failing to serve the communities in which they own stations. These challenges are legitimate and they should be pursued aggressively. For more information, visit
2.) Federal and state legislators should take up proposals to require commercial television and radio stations to provide free air time to all serious candidates as a means to counter the influence of commercials and, hopefully, to energize the news
coverage of campaigns. For more on this, visit the website of the national campaign, endorsed by Walter Chronkite and others, visit and
Necessary, but not sufficient.

What is really needed (and is probably impossible to achieve) is a Constitutional Amendment prohibiting ownership by any individual, corporation, partnership or other entity of more than one broadcast medium outlet in any Congressional District.

I know: naganahapun. But it's as likely as the expedients that Nichols advocates...

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Why I Am (Politically) A Pessimist...

The last time there was anything even remotely resembling a progressive agenda in DC (which is where it matters that there be one or not) was 1965.

The LBJ civil rights and anti-poverty initiatives--which was of what those died-aborning progressive agendas consisted--have been arrested and are being slowly but surely reversed.

Roe-v-Wade is steadily being rolled back, one state at a time, not on ballots, but in legislatures and state houses...Schools have been invisibly but irreversibly re-segregated by the growing divide between economic classes.

The Church committee in '75 was the last serious effort to rein in US excesses in intelligence gathering and domestic surveillance; and it was recently blamed for the laxities which apparently resulted in the success of the IX/XI attacks.

The Raygunauts saw to it that media concentration would proceed pretty much unfettered by oversight or unchecked by law or custom; and that there would be no undue (uncomfortable, costly) restrictions on what banks and other financial institutions could do to collect more money...

The Dems elected this year have neither the numbers nor the inclination to pursue any agenda that is not in lock-step with what CorpoRat Murka insists upon...

Hence there will be no more tax credits for alternative fuels/energy sources, or small-scale energy-efficient technologies--but there will be a major, sustained push to build more nukes, and to develop off-shore oil puddles (Pete Domenici just called for the end of the off-shore drilling moratorium, and (also NM senator) bingaman will likely follow suit--after a bout of public and lugubrious hand-wringing...

The Dems have not the numbers, either, to make an issue of national, universal, single-payer health care; at least not over the objections of the Insurance and Health Provider industries which are hugely, enormously, unimagoneably profitable, and growing more so with every passing day, as more and more of the populace descends in to the morass of preventable diseases, cleanseable pollutants, and the accompanying toxicities necessitated, and exacerbated, by our 'life-style.'

To look for political solutions, in a nation divided 51/49 along so many crucial and definitively determinant fault lines is risible...

I'd be happy if the New Dems would just cripple the Busheviks, but they've pledged to bi-partisanship, wo they won't do that either...

Those are some of the reasons why I am politically a pessimist.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Surviving in Thanksgivingstan

Advice for the Holidays (click on the headline).

Have a wunnerfulla day, frenz...

A Doubly Tragic Anniversary

November 22: A day fraught with tragedy.

This day in 1963, JFK was assassinated in Dallas.
This day, in 2000, Democracy was assassinated in Miami.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Patsy Madrid has conceded to Heather Wilson.

Patsy Madrid conceded NM 1 to leather Heather today...she wasn't that great a choice, but I voted for her and called for her, because Heather Wilson is just too patently an enthusiastic Bushevik. She headed the sub-committee that wrote the retroactive dispensation against war crimes and other Bushevik misdemeanors into the Military Commissions Act, iirc.

The margin was fewer than 900 votes, out of 215,000 cast. Madrid was entitled to call for a recount but declined. Which was a lot closer than I thought it would be.

I was realllllly hoping Heather'd go down. She's Papa Pete Domenici's heir apparent. I call her his laptop, though I don't think Pete gets excited unless he's despoiling virgin territories; and Heather's highly developed in that way, I'm thinkin'.

Pete still says he's gonna run again in '08. But I don't think his health's gonna permit it.

In a state-wide race, she'd win big down south (NM 2); as it looks now, she'd tie in her own district (NM 1), and she'd lose--who knows how big?--in the north (NM 3)...

If Pete does retire, I wonder if mebbe Tom Udall (NM 3) would challenge Heather...he's got as safe a seat as one can have, so I dunno if he'd risk it...He'd have built-in name recognition. But he's a DLC Dem, iirc. His environmental reputation is safe; but funnily enough, one doesn't know that much about him: a low-profile guy.

And that's the first foray on New Mexico political punditry to float out on The Pond.

Support "Buy NOTHING Day!"

Every November, for 24 hours, we remember that no one was born to shop, we make a small choice to participate by not participating. If you’ve never taken part in Buy Nothing Day, or if you’ve taken part in the past but haven’t really committed to doing it again, consider this: 2006 will go down as the year in which mainstream dialogue about global warming finally reached its critical mass. What better way to bring the Year of Global Warming to a close than to point people in the direction of real and effective alternatives to the unbridled consumption that has created this quagmire?

Email us at BND [at] ADBUSTERS [dot] ORG as your plans come together. We’ll feature the best and brightest right here as this year’s BND unfolds.
And while you're at it, think about
The Idea whose time may have finally come:
Dreading the holiday season? The frantic rush and stress? The to-do lists and sales hype? The spiritless hours trapped in malls? This year, why not gather together your loved ones and decide to do things differently? With the simplest of plans you can create a new rhythm, purpose and meaning for the holidays. Why not try a Buy Nothing Christmas? If that's too extreme for grandma and the kids, maybe try a Buy Less Christmas. Or a Buy Fairer Christmas. Or a Slow-Down Christmas. Whatever you decide, 'tis the season to reclaim our celebration from the grip of commercial forces. Check out what others are doing and share your low-stress, shopping-free plans at the site.

Monday, November 20, 2006

On Z-Frank's The Show: Goldilocks and the Three Bags of Shit

Hey, kiddies!
Gather around.
Kaptain Komische has wonderful news!!!

Ze-Frank's new The Show is up, no small part of which consists in the contemporary retelling of the charming fairy-tale, "Goldilocks and the Three Bags of Shit."

He's funny!

HUZZAH!!! My 10,000th Hit

Was driven by somebody in Las Cruces, NM...

IP address: 69.241.170.#

contact me and verify, and you get your choice of NM pinon-roast coffee,; or roasted, peeled, and packaged green chiles; or chimayo red powder and blue-corn masa...

I, For One, Am Not In Love With This Idea

Rep. Frank offers business a 'grand bargain'
Reduced regulations for more job benefits
By Michael Kranish and Ross Kerber, Globe Staff November 19, 2006

The Money quote:

Frank casts his proposal as a way for capitalists to quell some of the populist fervor that was expressed in last week's election, when many Democrats vowed to crack down on companies moving jobs overseas.
"I'm a capitalist, and that means I'm for inequality," Frank told Boston business leaders on the morning after Election Day, in a speech about his grand bargain. "But you reach a point where you get more inequality than is healthy, and I believe we're at that point.
"What we want to do is to look at public policies that'll get some bigger share of the increased wealth into wages, and in return you'll see Democrats as internationalists. . .. I really urge the business community to join us."

Is there anyone else feeling a little betrayed by our "hyar-come-de-new-bahss-jus'-lahk-de-ol'-bahss" "New Democratic" approach to populism? Did I hear somebody say: "There's not a nickel's worth of difference between 'em?"

Didja Hear? "Supporting the Troops" Killed Another 35 Innocent Iraqis In Ramadi Last Week

I didn't hear about it til today, when Common Dreams put up a report; and I keep a pretty close watch on this sort of thing, because, yuh know, I hate America, and the troops, and everything...

Iraqi Locals Accuse U.S. of Massacre in Ramadi
by Dahr Jamail and Ali al-Fadhily

RAMADI, Iraq - U.S. military tank fire killed scores of civilians in Ramadi, capital of Al-Anbar province, late Monday night, according to witnesses and doctors. Anger and frustration were evident at the hospitals and during the funerals in the following days.
Iraqi doctors and witnesses at the scene of the attack said U.S. tanks killed 35 civilians when they shelled several homes in the Al-Dhubat area of the city.
Ramadi, located 110 km west of Baghdad, has been beset with sporadic but intense violence between occupation forces and insurgents for several months.
On Tuesday, hundreds of people carried the 35 coffins of the dead to a graveyard in a funeral procession which closely resembled an angry demonstration.
"We heard the bombing and we thought it was the usual fighting between resistance fighters and the Americans, but we soon realised it was bombing by large cannons," 60-year-old Haji Jassim explained to IPS at the burial. "We weren't allowed by the Americans to reach the destroyed houses to try to rescue those who were buried, so certainly many of them bled to death." (Photo: Reuters)


Winning the hearts and minds of Iraqis, one corpse (or 35) at a time.

Israeli Raid Threatens Lebannon Cease-Fire

Maintaining a certain level of anxiety and tension among both its constituents, as well as among its opponents, is a central part of the strategy of the Israeli Government's relations with its neighbors. So I wasn't really surprised to read, in The Observer/Guardian, over the weekend, that the IDF had staged a big raid into the Beka'a valley:

Army raid in Bekaa 'breaks' ceasefire
Lebanese Defence Minister threatens to halt deployment of troops in former Hizbollah areas Inigo Gilmore in Jerusalem and Jason Burke in Paris
Sunday August 20, 2006The Observer

The ceasefire in Lebanon was holding by a thread last night after Israel sanctioned a commando raid in the east of the country. Kofi Annan, the United Nations secretary general, said Israel had violated the truce, and he was 'deeply concerned' about it.

But the Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, claimed that the attack was intended to prevent the supply of new weapons and ammunition to Hizbollah.

Meanwhile renewed arguments developed about the composition of the UN peacekeeping force in the south of the country. As the first international troops charged with boosting the UN Interim Force (Unifil) in Lebanon - 50 French soldiers - landed yesterday near Naqoura, three miles from the Israeli border, the Lebanese Defence Minister threatened to halt the deployment of Lebanese national troops into areas previously controlled by Hizbollah.

That Booger? Did I get it????

(AP Photo/ Achmad Ibrahim, POOL)

Sunday, November 19, 2006

A Good Question: What's In A Nym?

--- Ed Cray <> wrote: Sir:
As the author of a biography of Woody Guthrie (W.W. Norton, 2004), I was taken by the nom de blog you have adopted: WoodyG'sGuitar.What prompted that, if I may ask?Ed Cray


It is of course by way of a (harmless, i think) conceit, but an honest one I believe.

For a long, long time I have been a fan of Woody's music (I am 60, a former hippie-disc jockey-newspaper commentator-eventually-turned-education professor with an interest in culture and critique); I sang 'em in hootenannies, and such things aas a teen, and later in demonstrations and rallies back in the day. Woody's songs were ubiquitous.

In the course of learning more about Woody at various times, I ran across the image of his war-time guitars (one was a Martin, i'm pretty sure, the other a Gibson; both) on the top of which he had inscribed, with artful spontanaeity, the legend (as you know): This Machine Kills Fascists. In which he was correct: almost as effectively as bullets, the free, joyous expression of truthes by the people is mortal to fascists and their deadly deceits.

With my background in rebellious, if not revolutionary, politics and a lot of reading in Marxian and other critical studies, when I started commenting on Eschaton--an overtly political , openly critical site--I selected "WoodyGuthrie'sGuitar" as my nym in honor of that sentiment. I shortened it to "WoodyG'sGuitar" to accomodate "rogue scholar," an ancillary, honorary nym accorded me by a friend.

I cannot nor would not ever even aspire to having the poetic craft, or the fierce honesty and intensity of Woody Guthrie the man, the poet, the wandering minstrel of justice, his creativity, his soul. I don't want to insire comparisons between myself and him in any way.
But it seemed to me, then as now, that that spirit announced in the guitar's own text--the fierceness of it--captured a dimension of 'justice' which had gone missing in that the folk sentimentality into which Woody's memory popularly has been cast.

It's a great phrase, as it doesn't name any nationalities. The guitar doesn't kill "eye-ties," or "huns" or "japs." The guitar is death to fascists, of any and all stripes.

In my own way (with what someone on my blog recently described as "inventive invective"), I feel fiercely about and denounce those tendrils and roots of fascism which I (and I am not alone) perceive already wrapped around our feet...
And in the post-modern/post-structuralist moment, I'm not the author, but the instrument of the discourse: this 'air' guitar.

I do not think i dishonor his memory with of by my discourse.

That's the short answer, the time you get to be this age, there really aren't any short stories anymore...I hope this helps...if I may answer further, I shall endeavor to do so...thanks for your interest.

BTW: Check out my blog (another allusory appropriation):
cheers, brotha!

Non-Believers? Convert or Die!

Is anyone reading the top article in Harper's this month (Dec), on the program of the radical, fascist, flying-monkey, talking-snake Xian right to 're-imagine' US History?

It is--or it should be--a clarion warning not to get too satisfied, or complacent, because those fuckers really want to kill us if we won't convert...they're fuukin SERIOUS...

And thjeir followers and acolytes are embedded deep in the bowels of the govt, thanks to the bushista motherfuckers' "faith-based" hiring practices...

And the Dem 'majority' ain't gonna do shit to expunge 'em: they're in there, undermining the secular state from within, for the rest of their natural, feculent, fascistic lives.

Friday, November 17, 2006

But...But...But...Michael Moore Is FAT!!!

An Atriot, I didn't notice who it was, linked to this piece, from the LA Times by Michael Moore...
The Nutz?
"I, and the millions who voted for Democrats, have no interest in revenge for the last 12 years. In fact, let me make 12 promises as to how we will treat you, the minority, in the coming years.

Thus, here is "A Liberal's Pledge to Disheartened Conservatives":
1) We will always respect you. We will never, ever, call you "unpatriotic" simply because you disagree with us. In fact, we encourage you to dissent and disagree with us.

2) We will let you marry whomever you want (even though some among us consider your Republican behavior to be "different" or "immoral"). Who you marry is none of our business. Love, and be in love — it's a wonderful gift.

3) We will not spend your grandchildren's money on our personal whims or to enrich our friends. It's your checkbook too, and we will balance it for you.

4) When we soon bring our sons and daughters home from Iraq, we will bring your sons and daughters home too. We promise never to send your kids off to war based on some amateur Power Point presentation cooked up by men who have never been to war...
There are 8 (eight, for the innumerate among us) more.

But you can ignore all that 'cuz Michael Moore hates America.

Ze-Frank: He's almost as funny as Jon Stewart

(and funnier than Colbert), and he does FIVE of these per week, instead of merely four.

Today: The Mile-High Club (created by the inventor of the auto-pilot), and the remarkable come-back story of Trent Lott: "Just like Cinderella, but with racism!!!"

Approaching 5 Digits...

According to the site-meter, this blog is slowly but surely creeping up on 10,000 hits. It's about 200 short as of today (11/17/06).

So I want to repeat my offer:
Be the 10,000th visitor to float your eyes upon The Pond and I'll send you your choice of either:
a) 2.5 lbs of New Mexico pinon-roasted coffee;
or b) half-a gallon of roasted, peeled, diced, and packaged New Mexico green chiles (medium-hot),
or c) 8 oz. of Chimayo (medium-hot) red chile powder and a package of blue-corn flour/pancake mix.

Sitemeter lets me see the isp of my visitors, and (btw) it helps me identify if you post a comment.

Thanks for your continued interest and support.

CBS's Dick Meyer: So Sorry, Now...

Good Riddance To The Gingrichites
CBS' Meyer: GOP 'Chess Club' Ruled The House For 12 Years And Won't Be Missed

"This is a story I should have written 12 years ago when the "Contract with America" Republicans captured the House in 1994. I apologize.

"Really, it's just a simple thesis: The men who ran the Republican Party in the House of Representatives for the past 12 years were a group of weirdos. Together, they comprised one of the oddest legislative power cliques in our history. And for 12 years, the media didn't call a duck a duck, because that's not something we're supposed to do..."

Such noble reticence! What a guy is our Dick, all clear-eyed, and disrespectfully judgmental. What a guy! Courage simply shines from his every word. There he stands: a journalist whom Izzy Stone could have loved and respected...

Except he's lying in his teeth.

"For 12 years, the media didn't call a duck a duck, because that's not something we're supposed to do."


I'll bet there are no few members of the Clinton administration, and a President, himself, who might take exception to that claim, well within that 12-year window of opportunity. If Meyer didn't himself call Clinton a liar, or a hypocrit, or umpteen kinds of corrupt, venal, and immoral, he surely countenanced several dozen other CBS employees who did.

"Dick" Meyers can take his apology and shove it up his reeking, incontinent ass...He COULD have written it ANYFUCKING TIME in the previous 12 years. Hell, I'd have settled for any fucking time in the last SIX fucking years.

Instead this chickenshit fucknozzle, this gutless hack, this spineless shitwhistle, this cloying toady, this boot-licking satrap to power chose to wait, to postpone revealing his long-held understanding of the epic sleaziness of the GOPuke Congressional cabal until the political winds had shifted a bit, before venturing his meek critique of the rise of fascism, its ennablers, and it's still ascendant influence in the US Congress.

Jeezis, where do they FIND these worthless lumps of spoilt semen?

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Agenda? Schmagenda! How Many Votes Does It Need To Over-ride A Veto?

Two-thirds of BOTH Houses, is how many...
That, in case you're mathematically/arithmetically challenged, is way more than 51 seats the Democrats and their putative allies hold in the Senate, even if one could count on every single soi-disant Democrat to hold the line and maintain Party discipline (I'm looking at YOU, Joe Liebershitz).
Which means, if my trusty calculator hasn't failed me, 16 GOPukes'd have to cross the aisle. Are there 16 GOPuke Senators who would buck 'their' Preznit?
Lemme put it to you this way: Is the moon made of green cheese? Please, if you dare, name even five?
And if the Senate looks unlikely to override a veto, in the House, the number's even more daunting. Again, two-thirds is the number required; ergo, Democrats in the House, to move a veto-proof agenda item--oh, I don't know, how about repealing the Military Commissions Act, or the Bankruptcy Bill from last term; or passing the minimum wage, or electoral reform, or something simple like preserving Net Neutrality, much less something really contentuious, like ending the Iraq ICORP--would need 291 votes. Out of 435.
So, the Democrats in the House--who hold approximately 232 (+/-)seats at this date--would need to convince upwards of 60 GOPukes to vote with the Dems to over-ride a veto.
And, to coin a phrase: tha na ga na ha pun...
Which means, it seems to this (admittedly jaundiced) observer, that all this talk about moving a Democratic 'agenda' is utter, total, hype and hogwash, a pipe-dream, the product of delusionally wishful thinking.

And it means, too, that the Dems' chances of being anything more than unwilling (at best) accomplices in the last two years of the current Junta are minimal.
Which, if I were planning for a lame-duck presidency, would be just about what I'd hope for: enough Demcratic presence to appear to have some power, to deflect criticism, to absorb responsibility, but not enough to actually accomplish anything.

(Ed.: Addendum) It's just sheer coincidence of course: the apparent fact that the Democrats have won exactly enough power to embroil and encase--entomb?--themselves in responsibility for and the recriminations around the failed, disasterous, murderous, criminal Bushevik policies over the last 6 years, without actually having won or otherwise garnered enough power to change ANY of them.

Fuhr Aller Meiner Deutsche Freunde,: Sehr, Sehr Komische!

For the rest...

this is funnier than hell, with subtitles.

click on the headline, and get ready for take-off...

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Here's something ELSE you never heard a fuukin word about

Probably because this Congressional Progressive Caucus forum, convened Sept 26, was by led by Democrats. (

Below are a handful of YouTube links, comprising about 40 minutes of testimony. This one is particularly powerful, from an Iraqi woman doctor, Dr. Dahlia Wasfi, with experience of life on the ground in Basra. : This one is a scene setter by Dr. Paul Pillar, a former analyst on the CIA's Middle East desk, and it is sobering to say the least. Former Gen. William Odom, now at the conservative Hudson Institute, provides the 'establishment' (but not the Bushevik) point of view on the 'interests' served by the occupation. Key point: "You cannot stay longer and make things better." A veteran, named Charlie Anderson, explains why he's no longer in the military. The reason? PTSD. The general replies to a war-hawk Rep from NJ: "It takes a high level of ignorance to believe that any government the US left behind in Iraq qould NOT be anti-american."

Richard Haass, Head of CFR, Tells Der Spiegel: "Iraq Is Unwinnable"

Did you hear about this? It sure didn't make the papers here.

The Council on Foreign Relations is NOT just some 'librul' outfit.

TruthOut linked it, but the link above in the headline is to the original German publication.

Haass: The mid-term election is a signal of widespread popular dissatisfaction with the course of the Iraq war. But it should not be read as a signal of support for a particular alternative. Nor will it lead most Democrats in Congress to call for a quick and complete withdrawal of US forces. Instead, it will reinforce the likelihood that American policy will be adjusted. We can anticipate force reductions and redeployments and possibly a greater emphasis on diplomacy, both within Iraq and with Iraq's neighbors, including Iran and Syria.

SPIEGEL: Meaning that the Bush Era has come to an end?
Haass: There is something to what you say, in that Iraq was a war of choice that proved to be much more difficult and expensive than Americans bargained for. As a result, the public is pushing back. However, it is not just premature but wrong to say the Bush era is over. The president will be president for another 800 days. He will be able to take initiatives, especially in foreign policy given that our system favors executive leadership. He also may have a better chance to fashion a consensus on immigration reform. And unanticipated crises almost always provide a president with the opportunity to do dramatic things.

SPIEGEL: Can you remember a time when US foreign policy was confronted with so many challenges and difficulties?
Haass: The short answer is: No. During the Cold War, the United States faced a single challenge that was greater than any we face now. But I can't think of a time when the United States has faced so many difficult challenges at once. What makes it worse is we are facing them at a time when we are increasingly stretched militarily. We are divided politically. We are stretched also economically, and there is a good deal of anti-Americanism in the world. It's a very bad combination.

SPIEGEL: Almost five years ago Bush grouped Iraq, North Korea and Iran together in the now-notorious "Axis of Evil." Now the US is faced with considerable crises in
all three countries. What to do?
Haass: We have allowed ourselves to get into three very difficult situations. As the United States has learned to its great cost in Iraq, military force is no panacea. Any option that would be heavily reliant on the Army is not a realistic option, because the only Army we have is busy right now.

The bad news is: The busheviks have totally and unalterably tubed the pooch.

The good news is: They've experienced domestic set-backs that could cripple their further ambitions.

Molly Ivins has "been a populist so long I’m on my third bottle of Tabasco."

I took it from, but she's posted on lots of sites:

The Gist:

...A populist is pretty much for the PEOPLE and generally in this case exactly the same as a liberal—we just put the em-PHA-sis on a different syl-LA-ble. We also tend to be more fun. We do not vote to hurt average Americans, even if the corporate payoff is really big. Even if it’s just a little bit—like the bankruptcy bill.

We tend to focus less on social issues and more on who’s gettin’ screwed and who’s doin’ the screwin’. In my opinion, Americans are not getting screwed by the Republican Party. They are getting screwed by the Large Corporations that bought and own the Republican Party.

The word populist was misused, abused and co-opted by right-wingers for years, ever since we were all forced to read Richard Hofstadter’s “The Paranoid Style in American Politics.” Bad history can do a powerful amount of damage.
(Read the whole column by following the link in the headline of this post.)

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Is Jack Murtha The New Democratic Majority's "First Big Mistake?"

That's the opinion of Philly blogger Will Bunch, of Attytood dot com, and if I say so myself, he's correct.

Under the rubric "The exact same person can be a hero and corrupt, even a felon in some cases," barrister Bunch uncoils a fascinating narrative about courage and corruption.

All of this is a prelude to our saying that if the Democrats make Murtha the majority leader -- and there's a good chance they will -- they will be making their first big mistake of their leadership, before it even officially starts in January.

Murtha would get our vote for the bravest House member, and we'd like to see him play a key role in resolving the endless debate on Iraq. But the position that the Pennsylvania seeks is a political post, and as a career politician, Jack Murtha has been more than just a disappointment. In fact, the body of evidence shows that he has been one of the most ethically challenged, if not outright corrupt, Democrats in Congress.

-- This article from last September on TPMmuckraker chronicles how Murtha has
shamelessly steered millions of dollars in defense contracting "earmarks" to companies that used lobbying firms that hired his former staffers, and one of them reportedly also employs the congressman's own brother, Robert "Kit" Murtha. (You may recall that voters in Attytood's home district looked unfavorably on a GOP congressman who did something quite similar, helping firms that hired his daughter to lobby.)

-- Philly blogger BooMan finds Murtha's legendary vote-trading to get defense dollars for home district and his friends to be also worrthy of reproach: "Murtha has made his career in the minority by using his powerful ranking position on the
Appropriations Defense Subcommittee to trade Democratic votes to the Republicans in a game of extortion. If you are a Democrat and want to save that air force base in your district, you better find a vote to give to Murtha that he can sell to the Republicans. It's an ugly business and Murtha does it well. It makes me
(Emphasis in original)

-- There are even lingering questions about what Murtha was really up to when the FBI captured him on tape with two agents posing as rich Arab sheiks in the 1979-80 Abscam probe (he was not charged with wrongdoing.)

So if the Democrats really cared about proving to voters about ethics and cleaning up Washington, rejecting Murtha would be a powerful message that would mean a lot more than the reform package that Pelosi is promising for January. Unfortunately, Murtha's main rival, centrist Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland, is only a slight upgrade, at best. TPMmuckraker notes that Hoyer is heavily weighed down by special interest money and K Street connections, not to mention his repulsive (around these parts, anyway) vote in favor of pro-business bankruptcy bill last year.

So the best choice in the majority leader race for the Dems would clearly be...none of the above. Is it too late for a third hat in the ring?

Meanwhile, the same TPMmuckraker post calls out several other ethically hallenged Democrats -- including West. Va. Rep. and FBI prove target Alan Mollohan and impeached former federal judge Alcee Hastings -- who will now take on key roles.

This is very bad news for the Democrats indeed. Why? Because the exit polls from last Tuesday's election showed that American voters were more angry about corruption in Congress than most people realized; 42 percent told CNN's pollsters that corruption was the most important thing, while just 37 percent said Iraq. That's a positive for the Dems today, but not so positive if and when voters decide that the new boss is same as the old boss. (Emphasis supplied)

Luckily for the Democrats, there is one good deed the party can do -- but it needs to act quickly. Few may be aware of it, but there's a congressional runoff now down in New Orleans that pits arguably the most corrupt Democrat of all -- incumbent Rep. and $90,000 freezer man William Jefferson -- faces a fellow Democrat, state Rep. Karen Carter. If the national Dems, including Pelosi, have any common sense, they will pour considerable resources into ensuring that Carter wins.

That would be one small step for man...but one giant leap for the Democrats.

Another Fine Essay By My "Little" Brother!

Pelican Pete said, in a comment to a post below:
I remember Jose. I worked with him about 20 years ago. We were both working for SW Distributing outta Santa Fe. I was working while in college, he was working to support three ex-wives and a couple of kids. He was a quiet, slender, complicated man from down the Alemeda, in Agua Fria, Santa Fe's favela
in those days.

He had done two tours in Vietnam. He had some impressive
scars you could see and more you couldn't. When I asked him why he stayed in the Army he said that he had nothing to come back to; no job, no education, no skill other than killing people; he'd gotten used to it. He stayed and smoked a lot of dope, and watched his buddies die, and did a lot of heroin waiting for his turn to step on a mine, or get sniped or OD.

He came back in 1971, human wreckage, like countless tens of thousands of others. He spent three years in prison for stabbing his wife, spent another couple of years in ABQ in the South Valley, and then moved back to SF. When I knew him he was 33 and mellow and regretful.

His life had hit its cul de sac. He was not atypical for his war. He was the kind of person Kerry made his joke about. He wasn't from "the Heartland", he was from the colon, and he knew it, poor bastard. He went to Vietnam, like his dad went to Korea, like his grandfather went to WWII, because it was a way to escape the world that our society had all laid out for him.

Take a good look at some of the pictures coming back from Iraq. There's tagging all over the walls, Surrenos and Nortenos are in Iraq, Crips and Bloods and NLR's. Why? Maybe because getting shot at in Basra beats getting shot at in Bakersfield or 'Burque, because at least you're getting paid, you got better guns, and you might just get a Buster or a Scrappa while you're about it.

Bush and Co have created generations of terrorists in the Middle East, and they have perpetuated the misery of Life as Walking Dead at home...
Bravo, mi hermanito!

Bu-Bye Dick, You Sleazy Fuck!

Rep. Richard "Dick" Pombo ... is a Rep. no more.
(Posted, for Grist, by David Roberts at 9:24 AM on 08 Nov 2006)

A special Grist tribute to the man who dreamt at night of shoving oil drills down the throats of endangered species.

[Tune to "The Way We Were" rises in background ...]

Ah, Dick. Remember when you tried to sell off drilling rights in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to fund transportation pork? That was insane funny. You always did have a sense of humor.

Who could forget your Ahabian quest to gut the Endangered Species Act? You were like the bad guy from a cheap horror movie, springing to life again and again. Points for persistence!

Then there was the time you put out a report saying mercury's not really so bad for you after all. Again, batshit insane completely hilarious. You cracked us up, Dick.

You also found your Will to Drill unduly restrained by NEPA, the nation's cornerstone environmental law, so you tried to gut that too. That was when you convened those Potemkin, hand-picked "task forces" -- no greens allowed! Good times, good times.

Speaking of drilling: when you couldn't get your tumescent drill into the Arctic Refuge, you turned to the nation's sloppy seconds -- offshore coastal areas. You were like some horny middle-aged businessman, drunk in a bar on a business trip -- you just couldn't keep your hands to yourself.

We always had to keep an eye on you, you scamp! Remember when you snuck in
that provision
altering some obscure mining provision? Oopsie -- there go tens of millions of acres of public lands!

From the beginning, you never really believed that anyone would seriously challenge you for your seat in the House. A good ol' boy like you? Look at those boots! Why, it was unthinkable. You laughed it off, and barely deigned to campaign or speak to the press for the past year. Even when Jerry McNerney -- a guy you thought you could steamroll without breaking a sweat -- started nipping at your heels, you refused to engage. Woops.

You embodied the cozy corruption, utter fealty to big industry, and mendacious faux conservatism of the 109th Congress. And now? Now you're gone.

Bye, Dick. You won't be missed.

(Ed. Note: I suppose this means I shall have to retire my favorite Pombo fantasy. In it, I am walking lazily on the squeaking sands of Stinson Beach, watching the waves wash in, when I see a strange shape rolling back and forth in the tide wash. As I approach it, I recognize that it is the head of Dick Pombo, severed from the torso apparently by sharks. I kick the aweful thing back into deeper water.)

Monday, November 13, 2006

Here's What A 'Progressive' Religious Attitude Means

From, the following is instructive:

On the first Monday of every month, the Reverend Robert H. Malm stands before his congregation at a special requiem service and reads the name and rank of every US serviceman or woman who was killed in Iraq or Afghanistan the previous month. The first thing he notices is that most of the casualties are enlisted men. The officers and the women, those names jump out ... The majority are younger than 24...

But the constant stream of names coming before Malm has had him meditating on the war's costs. What does he think about as he reads the latest list of each month's fatalities? "The profound failure of war," he said. "What has it ever ultimately achieved?"

He thinks that the easy rhetoric of evil and of black-and-white conflict does not square with the complicated modern world. And he wonders: Where are the pacifist voices of those who take to heart the commandment "Thou shalt not kill"? He wonders what would happen if people became less interested in simply defending war and were more open to mercy, understanding and forgiveness.

As Wiggers readied the list of 105 names of those killed in October for the Monday requiem, Malm sighed. "It's just so sad."

Overwhelmingly, also, they are from 'rural' America, the 'heartland,' where the USer jihadi madrassahs prosper, and where there's nothing else to do to get the fuck outta town...

You Can Do Anything With a Bayonet...Except Sleep On It

The uber-prolific brings us an analysis from 'Old Europe.'

Short version: 11/7 Did NOT Change Everything (but you, being percipient and sophisticated readers, already knew that).

The 'money' quote:

The electoral success of the Democratic Party also demands to be evaluated without excessive optimism. Assuredly, the American public wearied of a war that from month to month seemed ever more costly and less winnable. However, the messianic religious and unilateralist ideology, of which the present American administration represents the most radical version, is far from having been put to flight. First of all, because the results show that, case by case, the Democrats' margin of success was rather weak. The scope of their success in terms of seats does not reflect a tidal wave at the level of the electorate. Finally, because this ideology is not the Republican Party's property. It is, in reality, present in more moderate and apparently tolerable forms within a good part of Democratic elected officials. That implies that the situation is far from being a deadlock for the Bush administration, especially if the Democrats' success in the Senate hangs by one seat. Don't forget that neither the Democratic party or the Republican Party are "parties" in the European sense of the term, with what that implies, for example, in terms of parliamentary discipline.

Jacques Sapir is Director of Research at EHESS [School for Advanced Studies in Social Sciences.]


Robin Hood in Reverse: Corporate and Government Looting of the Gulf Coast

If this doesn't frost your cookies, there's probably no helpin' ya:
(By Bill Quigley, at

Robin Hood stole from the rich and gave to the poor. On the Gulf Coast, the reverse is happening. Federal, state and local governments are teaming up with corporations and developers to systematically steal hurricane relief funds from the poor to enrich themselves.

Billions of dollars were given to help the communities damaged by Katrina. The people gave this money to help the working, elderly and disabled people of the Gulf Coast rebuild and restart their lives after Katrina.

The need is still great. Over 300,000 people remain displaced from the City of New Orleans alone. Hundreds of thousands of others on the rest of the Gulf Coast are also not home. Over 80,000 families in Louisiana are living in FEMA trailers. Texas says they have 250,000 displaced people, and Georgia reports another 100,000.

Tragically, money that was supposed to go to those in need is instead being diverted by federal, state and local politicians and corporations who have swooped down on these billions and are taking them for other purposes.

What corporations?

Just the 'usual suspects': Haliburton/KBR, Bechtel, Blackwater, Fluor, and other GOPuke-connected outfits.

The plan for N'Awlins has, for a long time, been to create a nifty, psuedo-funky, gated community/fantasy land for the wealthy to live in ante-bellum splendor and where the rubes can be shocked by the southron decadence...

Seems to be working out swell...

Sirota on Steny, from Huffblog, today

Here are some questions every Democrat in America should be asking: why is Steny Hoyer, the House's second-ranking Democrat, going out of his way to undermine the Democratic Party's message on Iraq? Why is Hoyer using his taxpayer-paid staff to place stories bragging about his efforts to shakedown corporate lobbyists? And why has Hoyer undercut his party on critical votes that would have helped Democrats craft a strong, crisp message?

me? i'd guess mainly cuz he's a vain-glorious, selfish, egotistical fucknozzle...

Friday, November 10, 2006

The Dogs That DIDN'T Bark

Will Bunch has a reputation as a sober, realistic, reliable sort of fellow, much admired by Atrios and others.

So it was with considerable (albeit subtle) pleasure that I read his post-mortem on the recently concluded federal elections: Tin-foil hat time: Were Bush and Rove "The Producers" of an intentional flop?

Something of the same sort of thoughts came to me, too. There was and is so much shit surrounding the Busheviks, their politics and policies, their actions and deeds, that it had become impingent upon them to find some way to share the burden of their guilt. And what better a way to do so than to FORCE responsibility upon the Democrats by effectively conceding the Congress to them and saddling them with the necessity of cleaning up the mess?

Regard Bunch:

...The exit polls that leaked out in the late afternoon ended up matching the final results almost exactly -- nothing like what happened in those other Bush-era elections. The razor-close races all broke late for the Democrats, unlike Florida in 2000 or Ohio in 2004...and when that happened, there were no major charges of fraud, no "Brooks Brothers Riot," and no demand for a recount. The last two losers -- Conrad Burns of Montana and George Allen of Virginia -- went quietly into the autumn night, despite relatively close vote tallies. There appear to be no other Rovian stunts, like calling in the GOP's chits with Joe Lieberman to get him to caucus with the Senate Republicans.

And there was no October surprise, not in Iran and not back home.

And we thought most of these things before Bush's makes-no-sense-at-all handling of the Rumsfeld matter. We don't think a pre-election firing of Rumsfeld would have changed many voters' mind, but what if had changed just 1 percent. Burns and Allen (heh) would be returning to the Senate, and the GOP would at least control one house. Likewise, a lot of nailbiters like Rep.-elect Patrick Murphy's win in Bucks County would have gone the other way if Rumsfeld had been canned a week sooner.

All this is a long prelude to our thinking the unthinkable.

Is Karl Rove even more of an evil genuis than we think? Did he and Bush just produce an election flop...on purpose?

It sounds completely off-the-wall, and before this post is over we'll give some good reasons why they wouldn't do that. But we'll also give you a couple of good reasons why life could be better for the Bush White House and the future presidential ambitions of the GOP with the Dems running Congress.

I commend this piece, especially because the "good reasons why they wouldn't do that" aren't any more convincing than the evidence which Bunch adduces to support it.

CNN tells YouTube to pull down video outing GOP party head Ken Mehlman

John over at Americablog says:

I just got a cease-and-desist letter from YouTube, see below, regarding my CNN footage I posted. The footage, you'll recall, was from Larry King Live last night in which Bill Maher outed Republican Party chair Ken Mehlman as gay. It seems that CNN has suddenly decided that it no longer wants bloggers, or YouTube, posting any of its video, which is kind of surprising since I always thought we were doing a CNN a favor by constantly touting their network. Apparently I was wrong.
NOTE: You can still see the entire video on Huff Post.
CNN has also now edited the official transcript of Larry King Live, so that no one will ever know what really happened.
Here is CNN's transcript:
MAHER: A lot of the chiefs of staff, the people who really run the underpinnings of the Republican Party are gay. I don't want to mention names, but I will on Friday night.
KING: You will Friday night?
MAHER: Well, there's a couple of big people who I think everyone in Washington knows who run the Republican...
KING: You will name them?
MAHER: Well, I wouldn't be the first. I'd get sued if I was the first. (A PORTION OF THIS TRANSCRIPT HAS BEEN REMOVED)
KING: Great way to close out this segment.
It's poignant.CNN didn't just edit out the naming of Mehlman as gay, they even edited out Larry's question, and Maher's answer, about why gay people sometimes work against their own people. Now why is that question being censored by CNN?
I plan to cut the video back to ten seconds, the crucial part where Bill Maher outs Mehlman, then put it back up (I also still have the 3 meg file, 1 minute 20 seconds long - as do lots of other people, including the Huff Post). I have a law degree from Georgetown and I know intellectual property law as it concerns journalism. You can post an 8 to 10 second video clip as fair use for news purposes, and that is what I plan to do. And if CNN and Google try to close down my YouTube account for using an 8-10 second snippet for news purposes, they're going to have serious problems.

Why Are The Busheviks Hauling Up This Reeking Corpse Of Global Reaganism?

Many, many people apparently do NOT remember Bob Gates' problems with the truth, Gates' involvement with Iran-Contra and the cover-up of that whole escapade. They should ask Lawrence Walsh, the Iran-Contra special prosecutor. Alex Cockburn's Counterpunch has thoughtfully re-published a (very dry) excerpt from Walsh's book on his ultimately futile, seven-year effort to get to the bottom of those events, and Gates' role in it.

Robert Parry, whose Consortium News is an invaluable, but often overlooked source for pertinent critique of the established order, offered these thoughts yesterday:
Robert Gates, George W. Bush's choice to replace Donald Rumsfeld as Defense
Secretary, is a trusted figure within the Bush Family's inner circle, but there are lingering questions about whether Gates is a trustworthy public official.

Short answer (which even Borat would understand): NOT!

The 63-year-old Gates has long faced accusations of collaborating with Islamic extremists in Iran, arming Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship in Iraq, and politicizing U.S. intelligence to conform with the desires of policymakers – three key areas that relate to his future job.

Gates skated past some of these controversies during his 1991 confirmation hearings to be CIA director – and the current Bush administration is seeking to slip Gates through the congressional approval process again, this time by pressing for a quick
confirmation by the end of the year, before the new Democratic-controlled Senate
is seated.

If Bush’s timetable is met, there will be no time for a serious investigation into Gates’s past.

Fifteen years ago, Gates got a similar pass when leading Democrats agreed to put “bipartisanship” ahead of careful oversight when Gates was nominated for the CIA job by President George H.W. Bush.

In 1991, despite doubts about Gates’s honesty over Iran-Contra and other scandals, the career intelligence officer brushed aside accusations that he played secret roles in arming both sides of the Iran-Iraq War. Since then, however, documents have surfaced that raise new questions about Gates’s sweeping denials.

Read the whole thing at the Consortium link. It is damning. also has a piece this week by Jason Leopold about Gates' seeming inability to discern the truth from what his bosses want to see:

Robert Gates, the former director of the CIA during the presidency of George H.W. Bush who was tapped Tuesday by the president to replace Donald Rumsfeld as Secretary of Defense, is part of Texas's good ol' boy network. He may be best known for playing a role in arming Iraq's former dictator Saddam Hussein with American-made weapons in the country's war against Iran in the 1980s.

Gates, who currently is president of Texas A&M University, came under intense fire during confirmation hearings in the early 1990s for being (Ed: or claiming to have been) unaware of the explosive situation in Iraq in the 1980s, and the demise of the Soviet republic.

Gates joined the CIA in 1966, and spent eight years there as an analyst before moving over to the National Security Council in 1974. He returned to the CIA in 1980, and a year later was appointed by Ronald Reagan to serve as deputy director for intelligence. Five years later, he was named deputy director for the agency, the number two post in the agency. In 1989, he was appointed deputy director of the National Security Council and in 1991, when the first Bush administration was in office, he was named director of the spy shop.

During contentious Senate confirmation hearings in October 1991 - which are bound to come up again - Gates's role in cooking intelligence information during the Iran-Contra scandal was revealed. (Emphasis added: Ed.) It was during those hearings that senators found out about a December 2, 1986, 10-page classified memo written by Thomas Barksdale, the CIA analyst for Iran. That memo claimed that covert arms sales to the country demonstrated "a perversion of the intelligence process" that is staggering in its proportions.

The Barksdale memo was used by Gates's detractors to prove he played an active role in slanting intelligence information during his tenure at the agency under Reagan. Eerily reminiscent of the way CIA analysts were treated by Vice President Dick Cheney during the run-up to the Iraq war three years ago, when agents were forced to provide the Bush administration with intelligence showing Iraq was a nuclear threat, Barksdale said he and other Iran analysts "were never consulted or asked to provide an intelligence input to the covert actions and secret contacts that have occurred."

Barksdale added that Gates was the pipeline for providing "exclusive reports to the White House," intelligence that was "at odds with the overwhelming bulk of intelligence reporting, both from U.S. sources and foreign intelligence services."

Gates is damaged goods, reeking with corruption and Bushevik family loyalty. The Chimp wants desparately to push Gates' nomination through before the Dems occupy Congress in January. We should bend every effort to prevent such a travesty.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Just My Humble Opinion: It Is NOT Up To The Dems To Be "Conciliatory."

They WON!
Losers 'conciliate'...

You want 'conciliation,' you fascist fux, just snuggle on up here and


Got it? Good...

One Incredibly Easy Way To Build Site Traffic Is To Post Links to REALLY COOL Sites...

...and then blogwhore the fuck outta somebody ELSE's creativity.

Take, for example Ze-Frank's The Show, which is reliably funny, kewl, and clever.

Today, he discusses the vicissitudes of hiring a web developer.

Enjoy, sportsracers...

Blue Dogs and DLCers: Not Really Our "Friends"

There are a minimum of 36 so-called 'Blue Dog' Democrats among the 225 (more or less) Democrats claiming the 'new' majority in the House of Representatives.

They are (according to Wikipedia): Joe Baca (California), John Barrow (Georgia), Melissa Bean (Illinois), Marion Berry (Arkansas), Sanford Bishop (Georgia), Dan Boren (Oklahoma), Leonard Boswell (Iowa), Allen Boyd (Florida), Dennis Cardoza (California), Ed Case (Hawaii), Ben Chandler (Kentucky), Jim Cooper (Tennessee), Jim Costa (California), Bud Cramer (Alabama), Lincoln Davis (Tennessee), Jane Harman (California), Stephanie Herseth (South Dakota), Tim Holden (Pennsylvania), Steve Israel (New York). Jim Marshall (Georgia), Jim Matheson (Utah), Mike McIntyre (North Carolina), Charlie Melancon (Louisiana), Mike Michaud (Maine), Dennis Moore (Kansas), Collin Peterson (Minnesota), Earl Pomeroy (North Dakota), Mike Ross (Arkansas), John Salazar (Colorado), Loretta Sanchez (California), Adam Schiff (California), David Scott (Georgia), John Tanner (Tennessee), Ellen Tauscher (California), Gene Taylor (Mississippi), and Mike Thompson (California). [Harold Ford (Tennessee) was a member of the group, but lost his seat when he ran for--land lost--the US Senate seat held by Bill Frist.]

Then there is the 40-member (more or less) of the DLC (aka the 'New Democratic Coalition'): Brian Baird (WA), Shelley Berkley (NV), Lois Capps(CA), Russ Carnahan (MO), Ed Case (HI), Ben Chandler (KY), Joseph Crowley (NY), Artur Davis (AL), Jim Davis (FL), Susan Davis (CA), Rahm Emanuel (IL), Eliot Engel (NY), Bob Etheridge (NC), Jane Harman (CA), Stephanie Herseth (SD), Brian Higgins (NY), Rush Holt (NJ), Darlene Hooley (OR), Jay Inslee (WA), Steve Israel (NY), Ron Kind (WI), Rick Larsen (WA), John Larson (CT), Carolyn McCarthy (NY), Mike McIntyre (NC), Gregory Meeks (NY), Juanita Millender-McDonald (CA), Dennis Moore (KS), Jim Moran (VA), David Price (NC), Loretta Sanchez (CA), Adam Schiff (CA), Allyson Schwartz (PA), David Scott (GA), Adam Smith (WA), Ellen Tauscher (CA), Tom Udall (NM), and David Wu (OR). [Harold Ford, of Tennessee, also was a member of the DLC before foresaking his seat for that Senate run.]

There is, of course, some cross-over between the two groups. But it still means there are a minimum of 20 percent of House Democrats who cannot be counted upon to oppose the Busheviks (for whasoever reason, and they'll have plenty of 'reasons/excuses' to do so), but will compromise fundamental principles for political advantage. Thus if you compare the list of the Democrats who voted for, say, the Military Commissions Act--in which the fundamental right of habeas corpus was gutted and filleted--with these lists, you'll find every last one of them.

For liberals/progressives, these are the names to watch, because their interests are not wholly (or even mostly) consonant with the progressive/liberal interests. Watch to see which ones get 'leadership' positions, and in what areas.

Pessimism is not 'Defeatism'

It strikes me that there's a difference between pessimism--which I view as a species of realism--and 'defeatism.'

To me--someone who is eternally and prob'ly irredeemably pessimistic--it is NOT 'defeatist' to assume the worst (or if not 'the worst', at least the bad), and to work to mitigate it, even without hope of success.

To look into the abyss, to recognize it, and continue anyway in the face of apparent futility, in the full knowledge that you will likely NOT prevail against conditions which confront you, seems to me the only way to live authentically...

Perhaps it is self-serving of me, but that strikes me as 'courageous,' rather than 'defeatist.'

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The Democrats Do NOT Have To "Govern."

That is a canard being imposed upon them, like a bar to hurdle, by the SCUM whose pleasurable and profitable interlude as stenographers for the moronic neo-con megalith has been pretty rudely interrupted. But "governing" is not what they were elected yesterday to do. It is not even a tiny chinchilla of it.

What they have to do--honestly, plausibly, and energetically--it oppose the "unitary executive" at every fucking turn...with every tool at their disposal, by every expedient they possess. They have to wrest power back from the fascist thugs and gunsels in the Regime. They have to STOP Bushevism.

They were NOT elected to 'end the war'--they cannot do so, alone, though the 'war' was a proximal cause behind their victory. They were not elected to turn back the challenges of global warming, either, or to end poverty, or to establish universal humptiness of any kind.

The real message of the Democratic "mini-tsunami," the one which it seems to me is being studiously ignored, is that they were elected to re-IMPOSE balances and checks upon the o'er-reaching of the Imperial Presidency, the gibbering Chimp and his flying-monkey minions.

The Democrats have one mandate, and only one mandate. Up til now they argued they could not be a party of opposition without power to oppose. Well now they have it; we gave it to '
em yesterday

Okay, fellas and gals, here's the power.

Now, goddamn it, regulate! Impose strict oversight! Exact accountability! Regain CONTROL!

Just get the fuck out there and OPPOSE!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


Gonna walk the dogs and spend the rest of the day at MoveOn GOTV local HQ.

If you haven't already, GO VOTE!!!!!!!

It truly IS the 'very least you can do.'

Fearless Predictions: The Dems Come "Oh, So Close"

Surprisingly close, unexpectedly close, tantalizingly close, painfully close, close, close, close...but no cigar...

Democrats 49, Republicans 49, Independent 2

Democrats 217, Republicans 218

Karl Rove is a "genius," but election theft ain't that hard these days...

In New Mexico, Heather Wilson will hold onto NM-1; Bingaman will hold his Senate seat; Bill Richardson and the state-wide Democrats will sweep, including Jim Baca for the State Land Commission.

I'll be at the local HQ of MoveOn's GOTV efforts most of the day. If you want to help falsify my predictions, and humiliate me as a prognostictor, there is still time:

Hit 'Em Widda Fuukin Phone!

Elsewhere TBogg's predictions are pretty plausible, including this one:
Michael Steele will lose..but that won't stop Republicans from touting him to run with McCain in 2008 because they believe that they are just one Negro away from perpetual electoral domination.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Pre-Euphoria Reality Check

Even if the Dems DO take the House, imho it will be by a relatively narrow margin*, and I predict they'll lie low, play safe and "keep their powder dry" for the '08 Preznishul follies.

I mean, can anyone actually imagine the Democratic-controlled House voting to reject an appropriation for the Iraq ICORP, thereby running the risk (i.e., the absolute dead fucking certainty) of being labelled 'against the TROOPS!' by the all too-Puke-compliant SCUM?

Well, can you?

*I hope I'm wrong, and will gladly eat substantial portions of crow should it happen that I am wrong. Please, in that even, lemme eat it w/green chile?

Well, They Still Shoot Horses...

My li'l sis sent me this'n:

After a vehicle accident , an old cowhand finallyhad decided to sue the trucking company and its insurance carrier for injuries and loss of property.

While in court, the insurance company's atty was trying to prove insurance fraud and was questioning the cowboy.

"Now , answer my question with a yes or a no. Did you tell the officer at the scene when asked how you were- and I quote from the officer's report - 'I'm fine?'

The cowboy said, "Well, you see, I was just closing the gate on my horse trailer and..."

The attny became indignant and shouted, "Answer thequestion with a yes or a no."

The cowboy said, "Well, like I said, I had just closedthe gate on my horse..."

The attny, red-faced, approached the bench. "Your honor, I believe we have a hostile witness. Theofficer's report is evidence that this man is tryingto perpetrate insurance fraud, and I recommend he be found in contempt of court."

The Judge rapped his gavel and said, " Mr. Attorney,this is my court and I will determine whether contempt of court is in order. Now, I want to hear thecowboy's story."

The cowpoke said, "Thank you, your Honor. Like I wastrying to say, I had closed the gate on my horsetrailer and was walking to my pickup when I heard this awful screeching of tires on the road behind me. A big, ol' 18-wheeler was traveling way too fast for the curve in the road, and sure enough he lost it. The truckflipped over and headed for me. Before I could move,it hits me, throws me in the ditch and throws my horse in the ditch 100 feet from me. I'm so messed up I can't move a muscle. I guess that my horse is in bad shape from the terrible noises he is making.

"Pretty soon I see blinking red lights and heard asiren. A highway patrol officer arrived on the scene. The officer gets out of his vehicle and runs over to my horse. He draws his pistol and shoots my horse inthe head. Then he runs over to me with pistol in hand and says, 'How are you? '

So I says, "Hey, I'm fine." "

Sunday, November 05, 2006

From My Brother, Panamint Pete, These Reflections

This is Richard Perle, the first of the greazy rats who are bailing the SS NEOCON. "I'd've done it differently," this Perle of great price sez.
Dammbetcha! He'd a nuked 'em from the git go, the stupid, venal bastard.
Really what they all want is to start WW III before people wise up to the fact that they're all a bunch of pedaphiliac hypocrites.
How people who claim to be "God-fearing, law abiding 'Christians'" in all honesty and conscience continue to embrace the vomitous excresences of these lecherous, avaricious humbuggers is beyond comprehension, unless it is, as I fear, that we have become a nation of uber-morons.
When are people going to snap to the fact that these neocons and the ultraright pastors like Haggard et al who salve their souls ( there's another conundrum) are all " Men of the cloth", and their all cut from the same bolt; smeared with shit and drenched in blood, but laundered with lots of money.
I'd say God help us, but the last 8 years have proven that God has left the planet. We are doomed, because these smarmy screws are going to take the next election, even if they don't win it.
Such eloquence...another family trait...along with pessimism.

It's Not Too Late To Get Into The Fight

Even if you are, as I am, skeptical of the actual efficacy of my vote (I voted absentee, but there's no guarantee that it 1) got there, or 2) was delivered, or 3) will actually be counted, or 4) will be credited to my intended choices), it cannot hurt to do something.

If you wanna help, here's a link to a url at which you can sign up to call folks and urge 'em to be sure to vote on Tuesday. Calls being made today (Sunday), tomorrow and Tuesday....
Please, join me and thousands of others in getting out the vote...


Molly Ivins Talk. You/we Listen!

If Molly's worried, so should you be, too:

AUSTIN, Texas—I’m still worried sick. The R’s have seized the news cycle! Which says more about how dim American politics are than anything else I can think of.

Apparently, the Michael J. Fox affair didn’t have enough meat to it, and even Rep. Mark Foley is out of the game, so now we have the semi-hemi-demi-gaffe from John Kerry, who is not in fact running for anything.

If Kerry had been given as many breaks for misspeaking as George W. Bush has, he’d be a professor of grammar by now. And this all shows what the Bush regime has: attacks on Kerry, Clinton, Kennedy, Pelosi, liberals! ... but not any actual policies to help it.

The Great Wall of Republican ads is bearing down on us—race-baiting, scare tactics and sleaze-mongering. (Who knew so many people had signed up to “promote the homosexual agenda”? I don’t even know what it is. But apparently, you don’t have to sign up to support—you could be part of it and not even know!) The R’s are throwing distorting ads, funded by endless money, all over the place. Can the people see that, and ignore and punish them for it?

Aside from the Wall of Ads, we are also faced with Disenfranchisement of Democrats again. For some reason, this has come to be regarded as “one of Karl’s dirty tricks”—a clever ploy, a little hardball, rather to be admired.

I’ve covered East Texas politics for a long time. All over East Texas—and elsewhere around the country—there are elderly black Americans who don’t have driver’s licenses because they’ve never had a car, who can’t read because they never got to third grade, and who are scared of The Law because for 70 years or better they’ve been oppressed by it. So if they see a sheriff’s car blocking the road to the polling place and officials checking people’s papers, they head the other direction. Voting isn’t hard, and believe it or not, these elderly blacks have worked all their lives and paid into Social Security and paid taxes, and they know a lot about how government affects people.

With pundits in Washington, who just a few weeks ago were claiming the Democrats would likely take the House by a razor-thin margin, now victoriously claiming they all along knew it would be a wipeout, I just feel that overconfidence juice starting to kick in. “Maybe 20 seats, maybe 40 seats” ... yeah. People could think: “So that’s settled. I don’t even really have to vote.” Folks, step up and make sure there’s some control on this regime.

May I remind you what this election is about? Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, unprecedented presidential powers, unmatched incompetence, unparalleled corruption, unwarranted eavesdropping, Katrina, Enron, Halliburton, global warming, Cheney’s secret energy task force, record oil company profits, $3 gasoline, FEMA, the Supreme Court, Diebold, Florida in 2000, Ohio in 2004, Terri Schiavo, stem cell research, golden parachutes, shrunken pensions, unavailable and expensive healthcare, habeas corpus, no weapons of mass destruction, sacrificed soldiers and Iraqi civilians, wasted billions, Taliban resurgence, expiration of the assault weapons ban, North Korea, Iran, intelligent design, Swift boat hit squads, and on and on.
This election is about that, but much more—it’s about honor, dignity and comity in this country. It’s about the Constitution, which gives us this great nation. Bush ran on a pledge of “restoring honor and integrity” to the White House. Instead, he brought us Tom DeLay, Roy Blunt, Katherine Harris, John Doolittle, Jerry Lewis, Richard Pombo, Mark Foley, Dennis Hastert, David Safavian, Jack Abramoff, Ralph Reed, Karl Rove and an illegal and immoral war in Iraq.

People, it’s up to you.

(Emphases added.)

One of The Two Guys Shaking hands Is Due For Hanging Soon...

Sadly, it's only one of 'em.

Is the death sentence available to malefactors sent to the Courts of Internatuional Justice at the Hague?

If not, Rummy should be tried in Iraq...

Btw: Is Saddam 6'5"? Or is Rummy 5'9"?

Friday, November 03, 2006

Why Is Space A Vacuum? Cuz Humanity Sucks Too Hard!

Slow Down, You Hoover Too Fast
(From the Weekly Grist--sorry I cannot link it)

Humans are consuming the planet's resources 25 percent faster than the earth can renew them, a rate "unprecedented in human history," the World Wildlife Fund said last week in its 2006 Living Planet Report.

If we keep it up, we'll need two planets' worth of natural resources by mid-century, and "exhaustion of ecological assets and large-scale ecosystem collapse become increasingly likely," says the report. The United Arab Emirates is stressing the planet most per capita, followed by the U.S., Finland, and Canada.

Humanity's ecological footprint more than tripled between 1961 and 2003, outpacing the global population, which more than doubled in that time period. Pollution, deforestation, habitat loss, and overfishing have caused the populations of many species to decline by about a third since 1970, WWF said.

But hey, good news -- if we reduce carbon dioxide emissions and fish catches by a full 50 percent, we could break even in resource use by 2080!

Straight to the source: Reuters, Alister Doyle, 24 Oct 2006
Straight to the source:
BBC News, 24 Oct 2006
Straight to the source:
The Times, Lewis Smith, 24 Oct 2006

(By the way, NPR ran a piece Friday night which reported that, while the claim is controversial, virtually the entire world food-fish stock will be decimated by 2048.)

Top 10 Ways To Return Democracy to the USofA

From The Nation On-Line:

by Katrina vanden Heuvel

Former President Jimmy Carter, who is arguably more identified with the struggle to guarantee free and fair elections than anyone in the world, gets an interesting response these days when he talks about observing voting overseas. "The Carter Center has monitored more than fifty elections, all of them held under contentious, troubled or dangerous conditions," he says. "When I describe these activities, either in the US or in foreign forums, the almost inevitable questions are Why don't you observe the election in Florida? and How do you explain the serious problems with elections there?"

The American people are waking up and realizing that for all the Bush Administration's talk of promoting democracy abroad, the US electoral system fails to do the same at home. With the approach of the midterm elections, there is justified alarm about how easy it is to hack electronic voting machines and that in many states these machines have no paper trail.

While it is heartening to see the increased focus on the vulnerabilities and flaws of these machines, these are not the only problems that cry out for reform. What about voting districts that are rigged to be uncompetitive? What about loopholes in campaign finance law that give corporations huge influence over legislation? What about partisan secretaries of state who decide who can vote and which votes will be counted? What about modern-day Jim Crow laws and tactics that suppress the vote?

Here's a capsule of 10 suggestions to "bring democracy home."
1. Establish an election day holiday.
2. Establish national standards for elections.
3. Promote and protect the right to vote.
4. Require reliable voting machines and a paper trail.
5. Require nonpartisan election management.
6. Make voting easy and trustworthy.
7. Re-enfranchise citizens denied their voting rights.
8. End the duopoly.
9. Establish a constitutional right to vote.
10. Fund campaigns publicly.

"The Pentagon Papers of Electronic Voting": How May I Hack Thee? Let Me Count...

Please...let me count....PLEASE????? Let my ballot be counted, let my vote be assigned correctly to the candidate I chose, let the results not be tampered with, let the People speak??? Please, you motherfuckers, just let it be...

That is to say, Diebold, get and keep out of the fucking process...

(From HuffPostblog, by Rebecca Adams):

Stunning Document Surfaces to Show That America's #1 Voting Machine Manufacturer Hides Security and Operation Flaws from The State of Maryland and the Country

...Enter the world of electronic voting machines, the "cure" to hanging and dimpled chad.
It is a seamy world of secrecy, proprietary software, partisan executives "committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the President", politicians asking programmers to design software to flip vote totals, and lots and lots of money.

And it is a world of completely inconsistent realities. Diebold and the other manufacturers insist that their machines are safe and secure yet every single cyber security expert and computer scientist has, for years, been screaming into an empty wilderness of media attention, that . . .

1. The machines can be hacked, by the implanting of malicious code, at the factory.

2. The machines can be hacked during transport from the factory.

3. The machines can be hacked while on "Sleepovers" before the election.

4. The machines can be hacked (in 1 minute with a .50cent mini bar key) during the election, and

5. These machines can be hacked, at the tabulator, after the election.

The State of Maryland commissioned a report on these conditions from "the highly respected Scientific Applications International Corporation (SAIC) to evaluate the effectiveness and security of their electronic voting machines, (but) critical pieces of information have been edited, omitted and, in some cases words added, to fundamentally alter the original meaning of the report's conclusions."

This is an issue that should NOT be permitted to go away, friends. Read this (click on the headline to this post).

Thursday, November 02, 2006

FYEIEIO: The Pond Expects Visitor 10,000 SOON...

It's about 1100 short right now. So it should roll over in the next two weeks.

I think Sitemeter will allow me to see who's the person making hit # 10,000.

If that viewer spends more than 1 minute at the site (if, that is, it's not just a hit-an-runner), I'll send my Ten-Thousandth visitor their choice of either a half-gallon of roasted, peeled, and diced New Mexico green chiles, or 5 lbs of pinon coffee.

Thanks for your continued, and growing interest.

O Listen, They're Playing Our Song!!!!

To the tune "O Tannenbaum"...

O Schadenfreude, O Schadenfreude
Wie schoen ist deine Befriedigung,

O Schadenfreude, O Schadenfreude
Wie schoen ist deine Befriedigung.

When hammers fall on Hypocrites,
They squeal and run like baby shits.
O Schadenfreude, O Schadenfreude
Wie schoen ist deine Befriedigung....

President of National Association of Evangelicals is accused of 3-year sexual relationship with gay hooker, and of taking drugs (by John in DC - via, via Atrios)

UPDATE: This guy is reportedly as important as James Dobson: The press tends to regard Dobson as the most powerful evangelical Christian in America, but Pastor Ted is at least his equal. UPDATE: Here is how big this story is.

Christian evangelical leader Ted Haggard... one of the nation's most influential evangelical Christians, whose overstuffed agenda includes a weekly conference call to the White House.

He also claims to have direct access to George Bush:
"We have direct access," says Mr. Haggard, senior pastor of the giant New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colo. "I can call [Mr. Goeglein], he'll take my concern to the president and get back to me in 24 hours."

And he's virulently anti-gay. This guy was on TIME's list of the 25 most influential evangelicals in America. It doesn't get any bigger than this. And he's from Colorado. Wonder what Marilyn Musgrave has to say about this?

From 9News in Denver:
A gay man and admitted male escort claims he has had an ongoing sexual relationship with a well-known Evangelical pastor from Colorado Springs.

Mike Jones told '9 Wants to Know' Investigative Reporter Paula Woodward he has had a "sexual business" relationship with Pastor Ted Haggard for the past three years. Haggard is the founder and senior leader of the New Life Church in Colorado Springs. The church has 14,000 members. He is also president of the National Association of Evangelicals, an organization that represents millions of people.

Haggard is married with five children and an outspoken critic of gay marriage....

Jones started talking to 9 Wants to Know two months ago. He claims Haggard has been paying him for sex over the past three years, even though Haggard preaches that homosexuality is a sin.

Jones also claims Haggard used methamphetamine in his presence on several occasions....

Former NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw profiled Haggard in 2005 in a series on mega-churches. Haggard was also listed by Time magazine as one of the 25 most influential Evangelicals in America last year.

May I sing again, LOUDLY:

O Schadenfreude, O SchadenfreudeWie schoen ist deine Befriedigung.

Wonkette's not my favorite source, but I love good snark.

Hat tip to TJ on Eschation for this tip!

H/w, verbatim:

Chertoff-ful: "Horriffic Irony" Horrifies Award Namesake's Grandson

Al Kamen reported yesterday that Homeland Security head Michael Chertoff is the proud recipient of this year’s “prestigious Henry Petersen award.”

The award is traditionally given to Department of Justice criminal division careerists who did their jobs well for a long time. Chertoff’s honor hasn’t garnered a lot of attention, but one guy who did notice was Miles W. Swanson, grandson of Henry Petersen himself.

Swanson writes:

Today with horror I read in the Washington Post that Michael Chertoff is receiving the Department of Justice Criminal Division’s Henry Petersen Award, the most prestigious award for the DoJ’s Criminal Division. Besides being my grandfather, Henry Petersen was the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the
Criminal Division, chief prosecutor for Watergate, and career employee at the DoJ.

What makes this situation so horrible, besides the fact that Mr. Chertoff is a political appointee, an ass, not a career employee at the DOJ, and probably the exact opposite of my grandfather: I moved to New Orleans from D.C. a couple months after Katrina to do volunteer legal work. I staff a free legal clinic in the 9th Ward with the Common Ground Legal Collective as well as several bankruptcy/debtor relief clinics in and around New Orleans as part of The Pro
Bono Project. As you can imagine, I deal with Mr. Chertoff’s mess on a daily basis.

Normally, I go out to lunch with all the heads and award recipient and to the award ceremony (being held tomorrow [today -ed] at the DOJ) every year with my grandmother and mother to present the award. It’s probably best that I don’t go as they would have a tough time holding me back.

Below the fold, she posts the letters Mr. Swanson sent, which are worth the price of admission in and of themselves.