Thursday, August 31, 2006

More proof of creeping fascism

Positive Press on Iraq Is Aim of U.S. Contract
By Walter Pincus
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, August 31, 2006; A20

U.S. military leaders in Baghdad have put out for bid a two-year, $20 million public relations contract that calls for extensive monitoring of U.S. and Middle Eastern media in an effort to promote more positive coverage of news from Iraq.

The contract calls for assembling a database of selected news stories and assessing their tone as part of a program to provide "public relations products" that would improve coverage of the military command's performance, according to a statement of work attached to the proposal.

The request for bids comes at a time when Bush administration officials are publicly criticizing media coverage of the war in Iraq.

The media outlets would be monitored for how they present coalition or anti-Iraqi force operations. That part of the proposal could reflect Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld's often-stated concern that the media does not cover positive aspects of Iraq.
So as the Sunni corpses pile up, the Shiite mosques burn and the US troop die, let's put on our rose-tinted glasses and sing that wonderful song by Ray Stevens Everything Is Beautiful. BTW Pincus' story provides a link to the "official Multi-National Force-Iraq" Web site for a preview of "optimistic" news as seen through the dead eyes of Joseph Goebbles.

Further clarification of Rumsfeld's "appeasement" anology

The Bushies clearly intend to evoke an atmosphere of shattering events, but their history is fractured and misleading, and their use of this analogy is a throwback to the methods that led America into Vietnam, among the nation’s greatest errors of the last century. In invoking Munich, Secretary Rumsfeld claims that the Western approach was based upon “a sentiment that took root that contended that if only the growing threats . . . could be accommodated, then the carnage . . . could be avoided.” He further presents this as “cynicism and moral confusion” and “a strange innocence” about the world.

None of this is true. There was no mass political movement demanding appeasement of Germany. Rather there was a specific policy choice—made primarily by Sir Neville Chamberlain, the British prime minister of the time—to mollify Hitler and gain time for rearmament. In fact, the French wanted to stand on their alliance with the Czechs and fight Hitler, but were persuaded to back down. The British might even have been right within a certain narrow framework: For years they had restricted defense spending and were just starting to correct that, while Hitler’s promises—both to his military and his Italian allies—envisioned no war before 1942, which could have enabled an allied military buildup to bear fruit. The widely accepted charge that the Allies were wrong to “appease” Hitler stemmed in part from Neville Chamberlain’s extravagant declaration that Munich had brought “peace for our time”—when only a short time later World War II broke out.

The correct lesson to be drawn from Munich today is that when presidents and their administrations raise its specter, it is a sure sign they want to pursue extravagant policies, usually of violence, based on narrow grounds with shaky public support. Today the Munich analogy functions as a provocation, a red flag before a bull. It is dangerous because it claims that the only solution to any situation is to fight—Cheney’s point exactly. Having done nothing beyond silly propaganda—despite its own claims—to undermine the jihadists by eliminating the economic and political oppression that form the basis of jihadist appeal, the Bush people counsel that the fight is everything and that talking is “appeasement.” We have seen in Lebanon lately just how misguided is that approach.

Bush administration history is like their reality—faith-based. President Bush himself, along with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, characterized those who saw and spoke the truth about the run-up to the Iraq war as “revisionists”—historians who try to change the conventional wisdom about the past. Cheney not long ago declared it was “inexcusable” to repeat that truth. The same speeches that contain the Munich claims portray the Iraqi and Afghan people as “awakening to a future of hope and freedom” (Cheney) and say the U.S. strategy in Iraq “has not changed” (Rumsfeld).
John Prados, Rumsfeld's Misuse Of History

Keith's right, and he's wrong

This morning the left blogoshpere is all atwitter about Keith Olbermann's rebuke of Donald Rumsfeld, for the bespectacled Secretary of Duh'fense saying in a speech before the octogenarian dominated American Legion convention, in Salt Lake City, UT, Tuesday, "...we face similar challenges in efforts to confront the rising threat of a new type of fascism[.]" The Duh'fense Secretary also intimated that critics of the Iraq occupation were "appeasers" of "Islamo-fascism" in a way similar to that Neville Chamberlain at the Munich Conference of 1938, that handed over the Sudetenland of Czechoslovakia to Hitler's Germany.

Olbermann turned that on its head
In a small irony, however, Mr. Rumsfeld’s speechwriter was

adroit in invoking the memory of the appeasement of the Nazis.

For, in their time, there was another government faced with true

peril - with a growing evil - powerful and remorseless.

That government, like Mr. Rumsfeld’s, had a monopoly on all the

facts. It, too, had the secret information. It alone had the true

picture of the threat. It too dismissed and insulted its critics in

terms like Mr. Rumsfeld’s - questioning their intellect and their


That government was England’s, in the 1930’s.
I don't know, really, if Olbermann here is being ironic or not. The kinds of political attacks by a ruling party against its critics that Olbermann cites was standard operating proceedure in 1938 Nazi Germany, not Great Britian. But Neville Chamberlain has received bad press ever since.

Somewhere, and I can't find the source, I've read that due to the double-whammy of world War I and the Great Depression Chaberlain's Great Britian was in no shape to fight a war with Germany. Nor was Édouard Daladier's France in any better economic shape. The truth was, Chamberlain knew Hitler was a threat but the political climate in Great Britian at the time, and perhaps his own personal inclination, prevented more forceful action. After all when he waved the Munich Agreement above his head at Heston Airport the crowd cheered.

In playing the game of "what if," most agree had Chamerlain and Daladier stood firm against Hilter World War II, at least in Europe, might never have happened.

Neville Chamberlain never, as Olbermann claims,"...demonized Winston Churchill" as has the Bush administration of its critics.

But Olbermann is correct on this; Rumfeld and the entire Bush administration's new attack meme that opponents of their misguided "war on terror" and "war in Iraq" as appeasers is wrong. And more importantly it is they who are the fascists.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Federal Whistle-blowers: Hillary sucks!

This must be Hillary Rodham Clinton day. National Security Whistle-blowers Coalition founder Sibel Edmonds and senior advisor Professor William Weaver have just released a stinging indictment of Senator Hillary Clinton.
Recent surveys measuring public opinion and confidence in congress all arrived at the same conclusion: over seventy percent of Americans have lost faith and confidence in the United States Congress. The public no longer trusts this body of politicians who were elected to represent the people and the peoples’ interests. Instead, they now view these “representatives” as servants of special interest groups, corporations and high-powered lobbyists. Americans are tired of watching and listening to elected officials who refrain from taking a strong stand on crucial issues, and who almost never state their positions with conviction and sincerity. In the eyes of the nation these senators and representatives are nothing more than programmed publicity puppets, competing for face time in the media. Common adjectives used by our citizens to describe these officials clearly reflect their sentiments: “spineless,” “phony,” “corrupt,” “out of touch,” “timid,” “all show and no substance,” and the list goes on. Why have we Americans lost confidence and faith in those elected? Where and when did we go wrong; or perhaps more correctly, they go wrong? What have these representatives done, or, failed to do, that arouses such anger and loathing in the very same constituents who voted them into office?

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton is a perfect example; an elected senator who has served six years in her seat, never taking a strong stand in support of her constituents on any serious or controversial issue; a senator who has used her record-breaking TV public appearances to say “nothing”; a senator whose senate office adheres strictly to a motto of “See no Evil, Hear no Evil”; an elected official who has no record of conducting investigations into cases that are matters of great concern to her constituents and to our nation; a senator who has consistently stood quietly on the sidelines when the issues at hand demand public hearings –waiting to determine the direction of each blowing wind; a politician who has spent all her focus and energy on a campaign of shallow publicity glitz and her PR empire behind it.

In her six years as senator she has done nothing but attempt to position herself for the presidency, done nothing but avoid acting out of principle and justice, done everything to offend no one(emphasis added). We respect our opponents in much greater measure than we respect Senator Clinton, for with our opponents at least the fight is joined; at least they have the courage of their convictions, at least they place their bets in public. But Senator Clinton, by trying to be something to everyone ends up being nothing to anyone. Where she cannot act safely, she does not act. The current times call for politicians to act with conviction and intelligence, not with cynical, calculated action in response to what opinion polls indicate. If Senator Clinton cannot even come to the aid of constituent veterans being killed through grotesquely immoral and illegal medical experimentation, if she cannot commit herself to call for investigations of national security vulnerabilities that risk national catastrophe, if she cannot offer even moral support to those who disclose outrageous government incompetence and impropriety, is there anything that would prompt her to take a stance out of conviction? Such a person has no business representing the people of this country. Nothing stirs her soul except for her own selfish ambitions; ambitions that she places in front of the nation’s welfare.
Senator Hillary Clinton: All Show and no Substance
Wow, that's gotta leave a mark. I hope it gets through to the voter of New York. I'd like to see Jonathan Tasini upset Hillary, but it won't happen. The line I emphasized, however, pretty much defines how the DLC has deformed the Democratic Party. Those words could be applied to Mark Warner, Evan Bayh, Tom Vilsack, young Chester Culver and all those other interchangable, faceless dones of the DLC.

A tip'o'the spoon to The

Berry Goldwater, DCL hero

This is in the way of olds, not news, since Editor & posted the following article Friday.
NEW YORK An interview in this Sunday's New York Times Magazine with C.C. Goldwater reveals that her HBO film to be aired Sept. 18 paints her late grandfather, Sen. Barry Goldwater, "as a kind of liberal," with testimonials from Al Franken, Sen. Ted Kennedy, James Carville and Sen. Hillary Clinton.

In fact, Hillary campaigned for Goldwater in 1964 in his race for president against Lyndon Johnson. "Hillary was a Goldwater girl," says the filmmaker, interviewed by Deborah Solomon. "She passed out cookies and lemonade at his campaign functions."

The film -- made on a budget of $800,000 -- will note that the straight-talking Sen. Goldwater, author of the classic "The Conscience of a Conservative" (soon to be reissued by Princeton University Press) favored abortion rights and allowing gays in the military, and refused to attend President Nixon's funeral because he "cheated" the country.
Berry Goldwater, "liberal" hero? Well, if you merely go with the social, or "cultural," stance of a Berry Goldwater, then yes, he's a liberal. But otherwise no.This was a guy who said in his 1964 presidential nomination acceptance speech at the GOP convention,
The good Lord raised this mighty Republic to be a home for the brave and to flourish as the land of the free-not to stagnate in the swampland of collectivism...
We see, in private property and in economy based upon and fostering private property, the one way to make government a durable ally of the whole man, rather than his determined enemy.
We do not seek to lead anyone's life for him - we seek only to secure his rights and to guarantee him opportunity to strive, with government performing only those needed and constitutionally sanctioned tasks which cannot otherwise be performed.
I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.
The last one was the killer. Goldwater thought that this was the catch phrase that would resonate with the American people. It didn't. Lyndon Johnson's campaign managers saw to that.

Goldwater even hints at NAFTA-like trade agreements,"I can see a day when all the Americas, North and South, will be linked in a mighty system, a system in which the errors and misunderstandings of the past will be submerged one by one in a rising tide of prosperity and interdependence."

If anything Goldwater's conservatism might be labeled "libertarianism" today. A soft libertarianism, to be sure because Barry thought that at the very least there should be a modicum of welfare to keep starving people from rioting in the streets. But just a bare minimum. And coming from a dry, desert state, Arizona, Barry knew that his Jewish-turned-Episcopalian grandfather and father couldn't have flourished in the department store business without help from the federal government, especially during the New Deal era.

So, no, in my opinion Barry Goldwater is, and never was, a "liberal." The same can be said of the above mentioned Hillary Clinton, her husband and DLC strongman Tom Vilsack.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Fuck a bunch of lemonade

I'm sure you've all heard that hoary bromide, "when life hands you lemons, make lemonade." And I'm sure we've all heard, read or seen heart-warming stories about someone that life's shit upon and how they've worked though adversity to become a big success at something.

Well, y'know what! I hate those fucking stories. They're all bullshit and give people false hopes while letting the perpetrators of misery off the hook. This is especially true when major stockholders, upper-level managers, executive board members and CEOs stab small town America in the back by closing down factories and moving the operation to low-wage countries like Mexico and China.

What got me started on this is a story by Des Moines Register reporter Bonnie Harris about two Newton, IA women, "resiliency coach" Julie Gibson and Presbyterian minister Tiare Mathison-Bowie. Lets sample some of Gibson and Mathison-Bowie's Happy-talk, Happy-Face reiliency psychobabble.

Gibson has decided to host a series of free workshops in Newton called "Bounce Back!" where residents can learn ways to cope in an environment of uncertainty and grief.

Much of the message comes from her own experience over the last two years. Just a month after she decided to quit her teaching job to chase a longtime career dream, Gibson's husband, Doug, was fired from his electrical engineering job at Maytag after 23 years. A few months later, Gibson's mother died.
Wow! what fucking tragedy! Her old man lost this electrical engineering job after 23 years at Maytag. It's not like this guy's some braindead idiot who tended a stamping machine for 30 years and can do little else. He he has a skill, a trade and I'm sure a college degree in "electrical engineering." He could, if he chose, fall back on his training and open a business in his home. The article says, however, Julie's hubby is working toward a degree in natural resources. He's on the fast-track to retirement, anyway, so he just needs a couple more years of earnings to fatten up that IRA and Social Security check. Soon everything'll be coming up roses for Julie and her old man. My condolences to Julie on her mother's passing.

But this Mathison-Bowie gal is a pip.
"To discover our own resiliency, we have to set goals that seem outside of our grasp. We have to push," Mathison-Bowie said. "It's my job as a pastor to say, 'Look at what we just did. We can do anything.'

"It's about resiliency, but it's also about capacity. How do you learn what your capacity is if you don't take risks?"
That's just lame. But the line that really pissed me off comes not from the body of Harris' story but from the cutline for a photograph of Mathison-Bowie: "...a pastor at First Presbyterian Church in Newton, tries to propel her congregation into 'behaving resiliently,' and refusing to 'play the blame game.'"

Refuse to play the blame game? Fuck that, lady. There's plenty of blame to go around in the Maytag debacle: the board of directors, CEO Ralph Hake, NAFTA. I could go on and on. These bastards should be blamed and blamed plenty.

But in part its been this kind of psychobabble, happy-talk New Age b.s. that's making Americans suckers. By telling the poor saps, who just lost the best paying job they'll ever have in their lifetime, that they can bounce back is tantamount to aiding and abetting a bunch of corporate murderers escape punishment. And until we start playing the blame game, these bastards will go right on murdering small town America.

Who'll vote for Katherine Harris?

I don't give a shit about Katherine Harris. I don't care that she's waaaay behind in the polls to incumbent Florida Democratic Senator Bill Nelson. So when she said something totally stupid, bigoted and asinine in an interview with The Florida Baptist Witness like:

"...we have to have elected officials in government and we have to have the faithful in government and over time, that lie we have been told, the separation of church and state, people have internalized, thinking that they needed to avoid politics and that is so wrong because God is the one who chooses our rulers."
And if we are the ones not actively involved in electing those godly men and women and if people aren’t involved in helping godly men in getting elected than we’re going to have a nation of secular laws.
If you are not electing Christians, tried and true, under public scrutiny and pressure, if you’re not electing Christians then in essence you are going to legislate sin. They can legislate sin.
I didn't give a shit. This is the usual Republican bullshit line they throw out when they're in trouble and need a helping hand from their lackies in the Christian right. Now what the unwashed snake-handlers never get a clue about is that their "leaders," the televangelists who suck the cash out of these deluded chumps, never want the bullshit to end. I mean really, Katherine Harris doesn't give a shit about "gay" marriage or abortion (she's probably had one or two in her day) or dead Terri Schaivo. What she does give a shit about is whether the corporate dollars go to Republicans and not Democrats and whether the SEC can be kept from snooping into her and her rich friends' stock trading practices. so far the Republican Party's done a marvelous job of that.

So anywho, a big brouhaha blew up over Cruella D'Harris' interview, and she was roundly denounced by all, led by her Democratic hotness, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

That was Friday. Big deal, Harris spouts some stupid Christian crap and everybody goes bugfuck. Anyway, it was free publicity for Jebby's side-piece. That aging pleasure boat knews she couldn't pay enough for name recognition like this.

So Saturday rolls 'round and the woman most responsible for putting a Bush in the White House is cruising a Flordia gun show, and she said:"My comments were specifically directed toward a Christian group[.] My rallying cry has always been people of all faiths should be involved."

And, according to a Orlando follow-up story by reporter Jim Stratton, this little imbroglio had no effect on Harris' Chirstian followers:
Though her campaign has struggled to gain momentum, she remains popular among a core group of Republican voters, including gun owners.

Jo Jordan, an alligator trapper from Titusville, was typical.

"I like that she's here and that she's pro-gun," said Jordan, who had his picture taken with Harris and got an autographed T-shirt. "I'm supporting her."

Gee, I wonder if Jo Jordan, alligator trapper, knows who would Jesus shoot? I'm sure Katherine Harris does.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Iraq's president of Antiquities and Heritage Board flees

Donny George, who was president of the State Board of Antiquities and Heritage, achieved international recognition for his efforts to track down and recover the priceless antiquities looted from Iraq's National Museum in the mayhem that followed the fall of Baghdad in 2003.

But this week he revealed that he had resigned and was in hiding with his family in the Syrian capital Damascus. In an interview with the Art Newspaper, Dr George said Baghdad was now so dangerous that the National Museum, which houses a trove of Sumerian and Babylonian artefacts, had been sealed off by concrete walls to protect it from insurgent attacks and further looting.

After the looting in 2003 US officials were criticised by archaeologists for not securing the museum. The US military has since been accused of damaging a number of ancient sites. Dr George said the work of the antiquities department had also been affected by the sectarian divide in Iraq, with key posts in the culture ministry being filled with loyalists of the militant Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, including Liwa Sumaysim, the minister of state for antiquities.

"The board has come under the increasing influence of al-Sadr," claimed Dr George. "I can no longer work with these people who have come in with the new ministry. They have no knowledge of archaeology, no knowledge of antiquities."

Why's Dubya acting like a chickenhawk with its head cut-off over Iran's nuclear program?

It could be that Bush just isn't all that interested in the history of U.S. Iranian relations before the 1979 uprising that toppled Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi and installed Ayatollah Khomeni as the head of government(,somehow swapping one asshole for another seemed like the right thing to do at the time.)
1957 The United States and Iran sign a civil nuclear co-operation agreement as part of the US Atoms for Peace program.

1957 The Institute of Nuclear Science, under the auspices of the Central Treaty Organization (CENTO), moves from Baghdad to Tehran, and the Shah, Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, takes a personal interest in nuclear energy.

1959 The Shah orders the establishment of a nuclear research centre at Tehran University.

1960 Iran arranges to establish a 5MW research centre at Tehran University. The United States is supplying a research reactor, it also sells Iran many hot cells.

11 February 1961 The US Joint Chiefs of Staff suggested to place nuclear weapons in Iran as part of its close links with Iran.

1964 During his visit to the United States the Shah decides to start an ambitious plan for nuclear power.

September 1967 The United States supplies 5.545kg of enriched uranium, of which 5.165kg contain fissile isotopes, to Iran for fuel in a research reactor. The United States also supplies 112kg of plutonium, of which 104kg are fissile isotopes, for use as "start-up sources for research reactor."

November 1967 The 5MWt pool-type, water-moderated research reactor supplied to Iran by GA Technologies of the United States goes critical, using 5.585kg of 93% enriched uranium supplied by the United Nuclear Corporation to the United States.

1 July 1968 Iran signs the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) on the day it is opened for signature. Iran ratifies NPT on 2 February 1970.

March 1974 The Shah announces that Iran intends to generate 23,000MWe at nuclear power plants "as soon as possible." The first reactor in Bushehr nearly completed by 1978.

11 April 1974 US State Department says the United States considers co-operation with Iran in the field of nuclear energy as an alternative means for energy production to be a suitable area for joint collaboration and co-operation. The majority of reactors are to be built by the United States.

June 1974 The Shah says that Iran will have nuclear weapons, "without a doubt and sooner than one would think." ("The Shah Meets the Press," Kayhan International)

June 1974 Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Chairman Akbar Etemad and the Shah travel to Paris, where France and Iran ratify a preliminary agreement for France to supply five 1,000MWe reactors, uranium, and a nuclear research centre to Iran.

June 1974 The United States and Iran reach a provisional agreement for the United States to supply two nuclear power reactors and enriched uranium fuel.

20 October 1974 A State Department document says the United States and Iran are preparing to negotiate an agreement that would permit the sale of nuclear reactors as well as enriched fuel "at levels desired by the Shah." The United States also notifies the Shah of their support for Iran's proposal to buy up to 25% interest in a commercial uranium enrichment plant.

November 1974 Iran signs agreements to purchase two 1200MWe pressurised water reactors (PWRs) from the German firm Kraftwerk Union (KWU) to be installed at Bushehr and two 900 MWe reactors from Framatome of France to be installed at Bandar Abbas. Under the contracts, France and Germany will provide enriched uranium for the initial loading and ten years' worth of reloads. The French reactors are to be built under license from Westinghouse of the United States.

January 1975 US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and Iranian Finance Minster Hushang Ansari sign a broad trade agreement that calls for the purchase of eight reactors valued at $6.4 billion. The US Atomic Energy Commission agrees to supply Iran with fuel for two 1,200MWe light water reactors and signs a provisional agreement to supply fuel for as many as six additional reactors with a total power capacity of 8,000MWe.
February 1979: The Islamic revolution in Iran puts an end to nuclear program.

EeeYow!! Russia, Central Asian states in joint war games

I would hope that the U.S. State Department, the Pentagon, the CIA and the (p)Resident have read this:
Barely acknowledged by the Western media, military exercises organized by Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan under the Collective Security Treaty Organisation, (CSTO) were launched on the 24th of August. These war games, officially tagged as part of a counter terrorism program, are in direct response to US military threats in the region including the planned attacks against Iran.

The Rubezh-2006 exercise, is scheduled to take place from August 24-29 near the Kazak port city of Aktau:

"It will be the first joint military exercise undertaken by CSTO countries, and will involve 2,500 members drawn from various armed services of member states, with Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan the principal participants. Uzbekistan, which has recently rejoined the CSTO, will send observers, while the two other pact members, Belarus and Armenia, will not be taking part .( IPWR News Briefing Central Asia)
The reporter, Michel Chossudovsky, goes on to relate that not only Russia and its CSTO partners are war gaming but China is joining in as well. This is all taking place while Iran is conducting war games in the region.

Organized labor's suicide of a thousand cuts

If the conservative nanny state isn't screwing the labor union movement at every turn, some unions have a suicidal bent. Witness who showed up in force at a new Haven, CT campaign stop for Joe "Sore Loser" Lieberman Friday

The crowd that gathered Firday(sic) was full of union supporters, including laborers who chivalrously poured stones from front loaders to fill in big puddles so the media could traipse out under the highway.

Two of those long-time supporters are Robert Buynsik, secretary-treasurer of Teamsters Local 443, and Anthony Inorio, from Laborers Local 455. They reminisced about their support for Joe going back 25 years. “Joe has not changed his positions,” Inorio said. “He is strong in his convictions.”

Lieberman was introduced by Don Shubert, a founder of Keep Connecticut Moving, a group that pulls together industrial associations, chambers of commerce and labor groups to advocate for improvement in the state’s transportation infrastructure.
New Haven
Of course, the Teamsters and Laborers just love new highway construction. And these are two unions that "real" men flock too, big shouldered men with bad tattoos and Foo Manchu moustaches. Guys who look after their own, don't take no guff from nobody, hard chargin' Ted Nugent fans. You get the picture, testosterone soaked mokes who think that John Wayne was a "real" World War II hero, Ronald Reagan was a "real" president and Saddam Hussein was in cahoots with Osama bin Laden. They know the difference between a Republican and a Democrat; Republicans are stay-the-course "real" men, Democrats are "cut-and-run" pussies.

Thirty four years ago, the fathers and grandfathers of these types helped tropedo the candidacy of George McGovern, re-elect Richard Nixon, and build a wall of suspicion and mistrust between intellectual elitist-leaning "peace" Democrats. Coincidently future president Bill Clinton, in pursuit of one Hillary Rodham, was assigned by Gary Hart to organize the South for McGovern.

The reactions on both sides could go far to explain, in part, why the Democratic Party in 1988 dropped repeal of the anti-union Taft-Hartley Act from its quadrenniel national platform, the period of Democratic Leadership Council assendency. The DLC is populated by anti-Vietnam war veterans, both peace-activists and miliatry and there are bitter memories of union "hardhats" beating up peace demonstrators in 1970.

So now, in Connecticut at least, we witness labor leaders thumbing their noses at the so-called peace candidate, Ned Lamont. As this news seeps out over the Internet young, half-baked college progressives will denounce unions, and, should Lamont lose the general election to Holy Joe, labor's influence within the Democratic Party shall erode further.

Just about the time I'm feeling sorry for this guy...

Polk county Supervisor John Mauro's been getting a lot of bad press lately. Mostly its been over his being on the board of the scandal plagued CIETC committee which oversaw nothing, nothing, but John's abrasive personality doesn't help either.

Anyway, I'm thinking that The Des Moines Register is out to "get" Mauro. In this morning's edition Reporter Bert Dalmer writes that Polk County Conservation Director Pat Boddy will consider turning over daily operations of Jester Golf Course, which received a four star rating from some organization or other, to a private company. Dalmer's story continues:

In January, during a public hearing on the conservation board's budget, Supervisor John Mauro accused conservation officials of shunning an offer to privatize Jester Park years earlier. Mauro said the proposal had promised the county $200,000 a year, regardless of the costs to run the course.

If $75,000 is all that the county makes on Jester Park golf, then "shame on us," Mauro then said. "If there's a $200,000 savings there, I think you have an obligation to address the public and say why you're not doing it."
Democrat John Mauro proposing "privatization"? I thought privatization was a Republican thing. But I could be wrong. Naturally one wonders what marvelous and local private business can run a public golf course?
A company owned by a close friend of Mauro's, Ned Chiodo, has run Des Moines' Blank Golf Course since it opened in 1971.

Parks officials recently told city leaders that the Blank golf operation cost the city about $700,000 over the past decade. Last month, councilmen amended their contract with Chiodo in such a way as to guarantee the city $100,000 in revenue from the operation.
Another case of cronyism?! The Southside "Machina"?! Could be. But the alternative to Mauro is longtime asshole and Southsider Gene Phillips, a nominal Democrat who is not a member of the Italian dominated "Machina."

It's pretty clear. Des Moines and Polk County needs some fresh political blood.

Friday, August 25, 2006

"Peace" wins presidential campaigns

Lawrence S. Wittner, Professor of History at the State University of New York, Albany, writes in this week's History News

In recent years, the conventional wisdom has been that “Peace” is a losing issue in U.S. presidential campaigns. Proponents of this view point to George McGovern’s run for the presidency in 1972, when he called for peace in Vietnam and was trounced at the polls.

But a more thoroughgoing analysis of the peace issue in presidential races supports a more nuanced conclusion. Indeed, it indicates that peace has been a winning issue numerous times.

Even in the case of George McGovern’s 1972 election defeat, it is worth noting that Nixon neutralized the peace issue to some extent by emphasizing his withdrawal of most U.S. troops from Vietnam, his claim that his administration had secured “peace with honor,” and his policies of détente with China and the Soviet Union.

Thus, there seems to be little basis for the assumption that “Peace” is necessarily a losing issue. Indeed, “Peace” has been (and can be) a potent force in U.S. presidential campaigns.
Will Hillary present herself as the "peace" condidate in '08 or will her senatorial boyfriend, John McCain take on that role?

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Does it take histrionics to get Harkin to make up his mind

Just received an e-mail from
Internet freedom is under attack. The House of Representatives has voted to give giant corporations more control over what you see and do online, and corporate lobbyists are pushing for a quick vote in the Senate. Senator Tom Harkin could be the deciding vote, but he has remained silent on Net Neutrality. We can change that next Wednesday at noon.

In Des Moines, we will deliver thousands of petition signatures from Iowa residents to Senator Harkin's office. The media will be invited, and we need a big crowd to show Senator Harkin how important protecting Net Neutrality is to constituents.
This is inexcusable on Harkins part. There should be no need for histrionics of this sort to get Senator Tom Harkin, bosom friend of the late Paul Wellstone, to shit or get off the pot concerning Net Neutrality. If he wants to show his true progressive bono fides it's time to put up or shut up.Shameful.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Nussle's own "D'oh" moment

It's simply amazing. Chester and Jimmy N keep finding ways to say things as stupid as they look. They time it was Jimmy N's turn. Speaking before some kind of bogus committee, Institute for Tomorrow’s Workforce, it was time for the ever clueless Nussle to stick his foot in his mouth:
“I think there’s a lot of room for consolidation of leadership and administration and bureaucracy in education[.]”

Nussle, a congressman from Manchester, said reducing administration would be better than merging school districts, which he said would eliminate football teams and force school buildings to change names.

“I think it accomplishes consolidation without having all of Iowa go to war like it did in the late ’60s,” he said, referring to a time when political pressure led to scores of school districts being consolidated.
The Des Moines
Of course this went over like a lead balloon in a room full of school administers. Jimmy N compounded his error by quoting as fact-- "...only 50 cents of every dollar of per-pupil spending approved by the Legislature gets into the classroom"--something that just ain't so. ("But according to data from the state Department of Education, about 70 percent of schools’ general-fund money is spent on classroom instruction in most Iowa districts".)

Chester was invited to the same meeting and said some equally lame crap that was generally better received.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

More on October Surprize attack on Iran

Right wing moron and Weakly Standard(and no, that is not misspelled) editor Bill Kristol ramps up the (ir)rational for a war with Iran, from Think
KRISTOL: I think we could be in a military confrontation with Iran much sooner than people expect. I don’t think this is an issue that’s going to wait two and a half years until President Bush leaves the presidency. I think he will decide at some point next year — in 2007 — he’ll have to make some very tough decisions about what the U.S. and the world can tolerate in terms of this regime – this apocalyptic, messianic regime — which has made clear that it would use — would feel free to use weapons if it had them, that has very deep ties with terrorist groups, what we could accept in terms of their nuclear program.

QUESTION: What does that mean, what we can accept, does that mean going over and doing something about whatever they’ve got?

KRISTOL: It could mean that. I hope we’re doing things covertly to try to slow down their nuclear progress and I hope we can do much more perhaps and get some allies to do more, but I don’t think a military strike against Iran is at all out of the question. If you saw the president’s press conference yesterday, he said he hoped diplomacy would work, but I was struck by his words. I hope diplomacy would work, it would be helpful if the world spoke with a united voice against Iran, but he’s said over and over, you cannot allow this regime to have nuclear weapons and I think we may come to a real serious choice next year.
Look, this country hasn't liked Iran since the Ayatollah Khomeini instigated the hostage crisis in '79, thereby leading to the defeat of Jimmy Carter and the ascendency of Ronald Reagan. But by what utter hypocrisy and mental gymnastics do the NeoCons think that the United States is the sole arbiter of which country joins the nuclear bomb club or not? As pointed out by a Think Progress blogger the other day, it's O.K. if Great Britian, France, Russia, China, India, Pakistan and Israel have nuclear weapons but not Iran. And would it be O.K. if the Iranian regime were an American puppet?

Yippee-skippee. Lamont, Lieberman neck-and-neck

O.K., I suppose I should be more enthusiastic about this:
(CNN) -- A new poll by the American Research Group indicated a statistical dead heat in the U.S. Senate race in Connecticut between upstart Democratic nominee Ned Lamont and incumbent Sen. Joseph Lieberman.

Some 44 percent of respondents deemed "likely voters" supported Lieberman, while 42 percent said they would vote for Lamont in the November election. This gap was well within the margin of error of plus-or-minus 3.5 percentage points. Republican nominee Alan Schlesinger got backing from 3 percent of likely voters.
I'm sure David Sirota, who put a lot of personal effort into backing Lamont, will be doing cartwheels about now. But Lamont's still just some rich guy who'll will look after the interests of his own class first, then throw the rest of us a few crumbs.

ISU on road to glorified trade-school status

Earlier this month Blog for posted a story by Jeff Cox concerning DLC strongman, Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack's plan to privatize the state's three board of regents' univerities. Wrote Cox:
Governor Vilsack and the Vilsack Faction on the Regents are busily reducing state aid to the university, with or without debate. During his first term in office Vilsack cut roughly one hundred million dollars out of the University of Iowa operating budget in order to fund his economic development schemes and buy off the Republicans with tax cuts.

Those are the elements of the privatization of higher education being put into place by Vilsack and the Vilsack faction. First comes (1) the Vilsack Cuts, then (2) a faculty hiring freeze, then (3) the diversion of research and teaching money into the Battelle Report, then (4) the tuition surcharge, then (5) a building moratorium. Most Iowans would be shocked to hear that the University of Iowa is being transformed into a private university by a faction of the Iowa Democratic Party. The Governor has given his marching orders, though, and the Regents are marching. When a new President comes to the University of Iowa, he will take charge of a corporate-based privatization program that is well under way.
This story was confirmed by erstwhile gubernatorial candidate Ed Fallon in an e-mail to me the next day.

Now The Des Moines Register reports that Iowa State University is bowing to pressure from the Michael Gartner-led board of regents to restructure its budgetary policy to aline with Vilsack's privtization scheme.
Ames, Ia. — Iowa State University is poised to break from tradition by overhauling its budget process to reward colleges that generate income and attract students.

The new process, if approved by the ISU president and the Iowa Board of Regents, would be put into place by 2008. ISU's budget for fiscal 2007 will be $994.8 million.

The approach would help the university increase its enrollment and money made from research, according to a report released by the budget committee in June. If successful, it would also help ISU offer better quality academic programs, have enough money to pay for new programs or course offerings, and reward quality.

Crum said the idea to tie enrollments more closely to budgets could help the business college, where enrollment has increased by 31 percent over the last decade and which, as a result, has the highest student credit hour to full-time staff ratio on campus.
Lisa Rossi
"[H]elp the business college," indeed. Business colleges are nothing but breeding grounds for right wing functionaries. Reactionary blogs are just full of these white collar weasels, ensconced in office cubicles whiling away time repeating right wing banalities as gospel and proclaiming to anyone who doesn't care how hard they work for everything. But enough of these worthless drones.

Gartner, part-time triple-A baseball team owner and full-time asshole, being a great liberal in the mold of Bill Clinton, Al From and Tom Vilsack will O.K. this plan with alacrity. And like all good DLC "liberals" a Gartner whines about how tax cuts for wealthy Republicans' hurt Iowa's poor, in the full knowledge those same tax cuts likewise benefit wealthy Democrats such as himself. If these "liberal" bastard would just fight to pick up their fair share of the tax burden state universities wouldn't have to beg on street corners like Salvation Army bell-ringers.

Fascism on the march in Japan

My friend in Oregon e-mailed me this article from The Washington Note about the rising tide of right wing nationalism in Japan.
Japan is making its way back as a topic of interest on the
nation's front pages and editorials -- not for trade
related problems which dominated the US-Japan relationship
through most of the 1990s -- but mostly because of its
creep towards a revived strident right-wing nationalism
that promulgates obsessive cultural uniqueness as well as a
sneering dismissal of historical accountability.

Masaru Tamamoto -- editor of an important on-line magazine,
JIIA Commentary published by the Japan Ministry of Foreign
Affairs-supported Japan Institute for International Affairs
-- is under attack from Yoshihisa Komori, the long-time
DC-based former editor and now roving editor of Japan's
right-wing newspaper, the Sankei Shimbun.
I know both of these writers/intellectuals -- and Komori
has established a kind of franchise on the debate about
Japan's historical memory. He is the authoritative
right-wing commentator on the politics of Japan's war
memory and on Japan-China relations. He's part of a group
that understandably argues that Japan needs to get beyond
its kow-towing to China and other nations in the region
over World War II -- particularly given the behavior of the
Chinese government towards its own people in the 1960s and

While Tamamoto has critiqued the Prime Minister and the
government for flirting with a wrong-headed strident
nationalism that is more destructive than constructive in
remarking about Koizumi's recent visit to Yasukuni Shrine,
where the spirits of Japan's worst class-A war criminals
are allegedly enshrined, Komori has unleashed the
right-wing goons to pressure the Japan Institute for
International Affairs to shut down his gig.

JIIA has already shut down the website on which Tamamoto's
commentary was posted with a note:
Stev Clemons
From the little I've read about post-World War II Japanese politics, the illusion of democray is just that. The nation has been run by a coalition of center-right, pro-American, pro-corporate politicians ever since the ink was dry on the constituion US Imperial Counsel Douglas MacArthur wrote for the nation during the occupation period. So that a right wing writer/"intellectual" to get a supposedly "left-of-center" Koizumi government to shut down a critic's web site should come as no surprise. This is probably something our fearless leader wishes he was empowered to do.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Millionaire politicians masquerade in Wal-Mart wardrobes

Aww, poor Joe Lieberman, he and his wife Hadassah can bearly make it on $366,084 a year. A good op-ed peice by Jonathan Schwarz posted at
What gives rise to this kind of obliviousness among our nation’s politicians? Several factors. First, politicians at a national level tend to be wealthy above and beyond their six-figure salaries. At least 46 out of 100 senators are millionaires, with the number probably much higher. (It's impossible to know, because they're only required to report assets within a broad range.) The average net worth of President George W. Bush’s cabinet falls between $9.3 and $27.3 million. And all the 2004 presidential candidates and their running mates—Bush, Cheney, Kerry and Edwards—are worth in the tens of millions. Indeed, together with his wife, Kerry may be a billionaire.

It's easy to imagine how hanging around with this crowd, Lieberman and ["man-dog-sex" Rick]Santorum might see themselves as the working poor. (Lieberman's opponent in Connecticut, Ned Lamont, is worth between $90 and $300 million.) And of course politicians don't just spend time with other pols—they know their peers who've gone onto to bigger and better things. Before retiring in 2005, Louisiana's John Breaux found it funny to joke he could barely afford a cup of coffee on a government salary. Now a lobbyist, he's increased his income by an order of magnitude.

Is there an answer to this problem? There may be, but first we have to recognize that it is a problem. As the commoners said during the English Revolution in the mid-1600s:
It will never be a good world, while Knights and Gentlemen makes us laws, that are chosen for fear, and do but oppress us, and do not know the people's sores. It will never be well with us till we have Parliaments of Country-men like ourselves, that know our wants.
Now you see why they all fear public cmapaign fiance laws.

Iowa's poltical comedy blogs

The Des Moines Register printed an AP story this morning about Iowa's homegrown political blogs.
Iowa's political blogs run the spectrum from Republican-leaning sites, like Schmidt's newest blog,, to sites that focus on liberal issues, such as, a Web site run by Drake student Chris Woods.

More official parts of the Republican and Democratic apparatuses have gotten into the act, too, with former Iowa Democratic Party chairman Gordon Fischer penning a regular blog at and GOP Polk County Chairman Ted Sporer recently launching one at

Anonymous blogs are also popular. Two conservative-leaning sites, and www.caucuscooler.blogspot. com, often take on the issues of the day and occasionally some inside skinny.
I've read Fischer's blog and this Sporer guy's, both good for a laugh. If these guys are two of the finer political minds in Iowa, it's apparent why we're in deep doodoo. RealWorldPolitico and PoliticalForcast, on the other hand, seem fairly straight forward politcal sites, something I might permanently link to.

As for the two conservative blogs cited, first caucuscooler is a dead link. Secondly, illustrating once again that original thought is in short supply among our wing nut brethern, the blogger at krustykonservative identifies himself as Herschel Krustofski. This is none other than Krusty The Clown from the Simpsons TeeVee show. I wonder if this name is in the public domain? I wonder if Simpsons creator Matt Groening knows that some wing nut blogger in Iowa is using that name? More importantly, I wonder if the bean-counting pigs at FauxNetwork know this?

The militarization of Iowa continues, sub memorial planned

The most useless "weapon" in the "war on terror" is the United State Navy's submarine fleet. I'm sure one of the new, and prohibitively expensive, Virginia class of attack submarine is just the ticket to wipe out Osama bin Laden and his band of merry sucide bombers. So to remind us all of how the US Navy's submarine fleet has done its part in bestowing the gift of "freedom" upon us, a memorial to WWII sub S-36 is set to clutter the State House grounds.
A state commission has approved a monument featuring a slab of black granite that will remind Iowans of the pivotal role played by the U.S. Navy's submarine force during World War II, as well as the large sacrifice in lives and vessels.

The submarine assigned to Iowa was the S-36. While the sub survived an enemy destroyer's attack, its crew had to abandon the vessel after it ran aground on a reef on Jan. 20, 1942.

The planned Iowa monument will include art work depicting a World War II submarine and a nuclear submarine.

Money is being raised privately to cover the project's estimated $6,000 cost.
The Des Moines
At least this planned hideous monstrosity is being paid for out of some sucker's pocket, other than John Q. Public. This is, after all, a none too subtle reminder to all "freedom" loving 'Merikuns that "freedom isn't free" and that we must shoulder more of the tax burden to keep our submarine fleet afloat, or a-sink. General Dynamics' and Northrop Grumman's stock will surely suffer a sever down-tick if the public ever wakes up and mothballs these radioactive mososaurs--save for a select few, I'm not a total peacenik you know.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE): GOP's lost way

I really don't think this is all that much cause for celebration. After all Senator Chuck Hagel is one of this Chuck Grassley type Republican, only younger, just-right of center. Of course the center keeps moving rightward so that makes Hagel just a little left of Adolf Hitler.
WASHINGTON - Republicans have lost their way when it comes to many core GOP principles and may be in jeopardy heading into the fall elections, Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb. says. Hagel, a possible presidential candidate in 2008, said Sunday that the GOP today is very different party from the one when he first voted Republican.

Hagel asked: "Where is the fiscal responsibility of the party I joined in '68? Where is the international engagement of the party I joined — fair, free trade, individual responsibility, not building a bigger government, but building a smaller government?"

"I think we've lost our way," Hagel said. "And I think the Republicans are going to be in some jeopardy for that and will be held accountable."
Let's see, the Republican Party Hagel describes pretty much goes for the DCL vision of the Democratic Party. My watch word is be very wary of these bipartisan, centerist, let's all get together blowhards and here's why:"... what's going on in certain boardrooms and law offices today may be more important -- and more promising -- than what's going on in the traditional political arena;"...most socially committed young people are rushing to become doctors, lawyers, businesspeople, social workers, academics, and that is -- or can be -- a good thing (Radical Middle I smell the noisome stench of petite bourgeoisie elitism and nanny state conservatism.

Wars R Us: Stink Tank Republican predicts war with Iran

On one of the many, many political yak TeeVee program I do not watch a Reuel Marc Gerecht predicted on This Week with George Stephanopoulos
GERECT: I think more importantly — because of the way the Syrians and Iranians reacted — it is possible that the president has gotten very, very angry over that issue. If, in fact, you see down the road — because the premier issue for the [I]ranians is nuclear weapons program — if you see down the road the president taking a much harder line on that issue

STEPHANOPOULOS: How much harder line could he take? Are you talking about military action?

GERECT: Well yeah it is conceivable you go down the road 12 or 18 months that the president will say nuclear weapons in the hands of the mullahs is simply unacceptable — as he said many times. And if in fact Lebanon contributes to the hardening of the American postion, then I would say that hezbollah actions in Lebanon were a great mistake.

From Think
NeoCon jackasses just don't learn, do they? BTW I love this comment from one of the Think Progress bloggers:Yeah - nukes are okay for Pakistan, India, Isreal, CHINA, North Korea, Russia, France and especially the USA. After all, we are the only that nuked another nation. Trust us, world, we are your friends.

Truer words were never posted on the internet.

Oops! posted too soon, Register supports TIF

That The Sunday Des Moines Register supports the continuation of tax increment fianancing, after a short series looking at the corporate giveaway law, comes as no surpize. After all the upper echelons of the newspaper's corporate and editorial staff benefit from TIF developments, such as the Tournament Club of Iowa golf course in Polk City. And the lower level news and editorial staff, delusional college educated, white collar types, think they are a cut above the union riff-raff of the east side.

Unfortunately, I can't post the editorial that set me off because it's print-only.

But The Register does have a follow-up story about its past TIF stories, that meekly states in the lead:"State leaders should re-examine economic development incentives being used by communities across Iowa to assure they aren't working at cross-purposes to lure new jobs and businesses, some Iowans say."

Of course, The Register has reation from the two major party candidates for governor. First we hear from Republicrat Jim Nussle:"In order to maximize its impact, we need to ensure local communities are able to best utilize TIF to attract skilled workers, create jobs and grow our state's economy."

What the hell does that mean??!

Now the Dempublican candidate Chester Cluver:"We should be looking for ways to bring additional transparency to the use of TIFs, so that Iowans can have a clear picture of property tax revenues."

Yeah, and...whaduhya mean by that??! Hopefully that under a Chester Culver administration we little guys who're on the shit end of the TIF stick can see that we're on the stick end of the TIF stick.

Under either of these schmucks the municipalities of Iowa will continue approving TIF deals for blighted farmland so big corporate developers can continue building private golf courses and mega malls.

No news day

Well, here it is August 20, 2006 and there is no news. That is there is no news which jumps up and slaps me in the face, crying to be commented upon. Evidently the world has decided it's time to take a nap. Actually we'd all be much better off if our so-called political leaders decide just so.

But as it is there are yet things going on. For instance Israel violated the cease fire agreement worked out last week to stop fighting between it and Hezbollah in Lebanon. Wayne Madsen Reports that the administration is gearing up for an attack on Iran.

See, nothing going on. Looks like I can't put off mowing the yard today.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Here's what US District Court Judge Anna Diggs Taylor found

XI. Conclusion
For all of the reasons outlined above, this court is constrained to grant to Plaintiffs the Partial Summary Judgment requested, and holds that the TSP violates the APA; the Separation of Powers doctrine; the First and Fourth Amendments of the United States Constitution; and the statutory law.

Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss the final claim of data-mining is granted, because litigation of that claim would require violation of Defendants’ state secrets privilege.

The Permanent Injunction of the TSP requested by Plaintiffs is granted inasmuch as each of the factors required to be met to sustain such an injunction have undisputedly been met.59 The irreparable injury necessary to warrant injunctive relief is clear, as the First and Fourth Amendment rights of Plaintiffs are violated by the TSP. See Dombrowski v. Pfister, 380 U.S. 479 (1965). The irreparable injury conversely sustained by Defendants under this injunction may be rectified by compliance with our Constitution and/or statutory law, as amended if necessary. Plaintiffs have prevailed, and the public interest is clear, in this matter. It is the upholding of our Constitution.

As Justice Warren wrote in U.S. v. Robel, 389 U.S. 258 (1967):
Implicit in the term ‘national defense’ is the notion of defending those values and ideas which set this Nation apart. . . . It would indeed be ironic if, in the name of national defense, we would sanction the subversion of . . . those liberties . . . which makes the defense of the Nation worthwhile. Id. at 264.
Date: August 17, 2006 s/Anna Diggs Taylor
Detroit, Michigan ANNA DIGGS TAYLOR
United States District Court Eastern District of Michigan Southern Division. pdf
Well that was Thursday. Yesterday President Bush declared Judge Taylor's ruling unConstitutional and Dr. Frist concurred (see below.) What more does a dittohead need?

How about an opinion from an Associate Attorney General in the Clinto administration:
“It’s hard to exaggerate how bad it is,” said John R. Schmidt, a Justice Department official in the Clinton administration who says the program is legal. He pointed to Judge Taylor’s failure to cite what he called several pertinent decisions, including one from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review in 2002 that said it took for granted that Congress “could not encroach on the president’s constitutional power” to conduct warrantless surveillance to obtain foreign intelligence.
NY Times

A credible witness, indeed.

You see, this just proves how much the reactionary right loves The Constitution of The United States. They love it so much they wipe their asses on it.

Dr.Bill "Cat Killer" Frist, Constitutional scholar

Just don't let him operate on you.
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, on a visit to the Des Moines area Friday, denounced a federal judge's ruling that the government's warrantless wiretapping program is unconstitutional.

He said in an interview that he has been briefed on details of the surveillance program "and I believe it's legal and constitutional."

"People have a lot of despair today," Frist said. "Our economy is doing well. We are secure as a nation in terms of our strength in military. But as I travel around the country, I see people with not a lot of hope with where we're going as a nation."
The Des Moines
Let's get this right, the Republican Party is the party of new ideas and optimism and the Democratic Party is the party of failure and pessimism. So as a Republican I'm optimistic that if we come up with new ideas on how to keep scaring the American sheeple we'll save our phony-balony jobs!

A little more Joe

I mean, really, this should come as no surprise.
Facing Senator Joseph I. Lieberman’s independent candidacy, Republican officials at the state and national level have made the extraordinary decision to abandon their official candidate, and some are actively working to help Mr. Lieberman win in November.

Despite Mr. Lieberman’s position that he will continue to caucus with Democrats if re-elected, all three Republican Congressional candidates in Connecticut have praised Mr. Lieberman and have not endorsed the party’s nominee, Alan Schlesinger. An independent group with Republican ties is raising money for Mr. Lieberman, who has been a strong supporter of President Bush on the Iraq war.

Senator John McCain of Arizona, while saying he would support the Republican nominee, is not planning to campaign for him, and even allowed two of his aides to consult with the Lieberman camp before the Aug. 8 Democratic primary. And Newt Gingrich, the Republican who once served as House speaker, has endorsed Mr. Lieberman’s candidacy.

Do photos of Bill kissing Joe exist, I wonder?

The video and subsequent still photograph of the idiot-in-chief kissing him spelled defeat for DINO Joe Lieberman two weeks ago. But Holy Joe's flirtation with the reactionary right goes back much farther in fact. Posts Jeff Dufour:
During his remarks toward the end of last Thursday’s lavish 50th Anniversary party for National Review, founding editor William F. Buckley Jr. pointed down to the head table to single out … who? Rush Limbaugh? Tom DeLay? George Will?

No, although all were in attendance. The conservative icon pointed out Sen. Joe Lieberman (Conn.), a Democrat. In fact, Buckley said, Lieberman is his favorite Democrat.

Why? A Lieberman spokeswoman explains that both men were editors of the Yale Daily News and became acquainted through the paper. Also, Buckley famously crossed party lines to support Lieberman in his first Senate run in 1990 against Republican-in-name-only Lowell Weicker, the incumbent.
Actually Dufour is off two years, it was '88 (fact check anyone?)

It wasn't much of a cross for Buckley, since Weicker was target numero uno in the right's crosshairs for being the first Republican to break with the party in the Watergate scandal. Or as the Barnes characterizes Weicker, a "leftist oaf" who became the "White Knight of Watergate."

At the risk of being a revisionist I'll tender the argument that the country would have been better served with a Republican Senator Lowell Weicker over these last 18 years than a Democratic Senator Joseph Lieberman.

Friday, August 18, 2006

The only plus Chet Culver has

E-mail from Ed Fallon:
I will also continue to do what I can to help Chet Culver. To date, I have spoken on his behalf at several public events, identified potential contacts among my supporters and provided input on issues. Chet and I will continue to disagree on some key issues, but there are more areas of agreement than disagreement, and that gives me hope and encouragement.

There are two key reasons behind my decision to actively support Chet. First, in conversations we’ve had over the past two months, Chet has pledged, if elected, to address both campaign finance reform and the need for legislation to control urban sprawl. That means a lot to me, and I know these two issues are important to many of you as well.

Second, I am reasonably confident that I will have the ear of Governor Culver. I don’t see Governor Nussle taking much interest in the viewpoints of Citizen Fallon. The opportunity to be an advocate for the issues important to me and my supporters could be significant in a Culver administration. They will be virtually nonexistent in a Nussle administration.

That's gotta be true. Ed Fallon, whom many of the state's Democrats even derisively call "Crazy Ed" behind his back, will have access to a Governor Culver where he won't have with a governor Nussle. However, the same cabal of realtors, attorneys and government employees who huddle with Governor Tom Vilsack will nest 'round Chet.

So while Fallon would have the ear of a Democartic governor, the batteries for young Chester's hearing aid would soon fail.

21 retired generals agree, Bush worst president ever

Ya'know, this is kind of funny.
SAN FRANCISCO - Twenty-one former generals and high ranking national security officials have called on United States President George W. Bush to reverse course and embrace a new area of negotiation with Iran, Iraq, and North Korea. In a letter released Thursday, the group told reporters Bush's 'hard line' policies have undermined national security and made America less safe.

Of particular concern for the generals was increased saber rattling between Washington and Tehran over the development of an Iranian nuclear program.

Former director of Policy Planning for the State Department, Morton Halperin, said the same goes for North Korea. The more belligerent the Bush Administration behaves, he said, the faster North Korea will work to develop nuclear weapons.

But the generals who signed the letter say Bush has been stubborn, and a poor student of history.
Bush stubborn and a poor student of history. Imagaine that.

Worst Gubernatorial Candidates Ever

On Monday young Chester Culver, Dempublican candidate for governor of Iowa, opened his yap and stuck his foot in his mouth up to his ankle. He proposes utilizing more of the state's employee pension program, IPERS, money in venture capital funds for "high-tech" companies based in the state. IPERS already invests a small portion of its total $20.5 billion investment portfolio in venture capital funds. Venture capital funds are the riskiest form of mutual funds but that doesn't keep large pension funds from investing in them, there can be great rewards.

So then Republicrat Jim Nussle shot back that Chester wants to gamble with state employees' pension fund and he won't do such a thing. Well that right there's bullshit, he's a Republicrat. If he wins this fall I'm sure he'll be whistling a different tune.

Hell, they both are, using economist Dean Baker's term, nanny state conservatives. And they're both pushing biofuels and they both kiss the ass of anyone with an MBA hanging out it covered in corn kernels. Ever being the Cassandra, however, I see biofuels, especially corn-based ethanol, as the next investment bubble on the horizon. Corn-based ethanol, so far, hasn't delivered on it's promises and its future is starting to look shaky.

This hasn't stopped the private financing of new construction for more corn-based ethanol plants in this state. But I sure young Chester's just salivating at the thought of unleashing IPER's cash for even more corn-base ethanol and biodiesel plants. Given half the chance Nussle'd do the same.

They both stink. Tweedle-Chet and Tweedle-Nuss are the two weakest gubnatorial candidates I can remember since I became eligible to vote in 1972.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Can this guy get anymore pathetic?

Below is the image flashed round the Internet of our esteemed President looking a little more than foolish upon a stationary Harley-Davidson at a factory in Pennsylvania.

It's posted at The among others. I think the best comment about the buffoon-in-chief comes from
It’s not possible for Bush to wear, sit on or say that’ll make him – cool. In any event, the image below is a rare sight with Bush sitting on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, during his tour of the manufacturing plant in York, Pa., Wednesday August 16, 2006. The guy on the left is Joel Toner, from the look of his face; he must be thinking, “Dude you’re my new hero, you figured out how to start up the Harley!” Starting a motorcycle is one thing, but does he know to ride it?

But just to be "fair and balanced" so you can decide, here's the image FauxNews is running on their web site.

Wow! You can almost feel the wind in Dubya's hair. Actually, from the expression on Dim-Son's face in the above picture, it looks as if the Leader-of-the-Free-World is about to shit his pants!

Marching forward into the past

Y'know, sometimes I wish I were still working but when I read things like the new "pension reform" law, I'm glad I'm not.

The The posted a list of the law's key provisions from the AP.

The Battle Creek (MI) editorializes:
That means that most of us need to become far more serious about socking money away not just for a rainy day, but for our retirement years. Unfortunately, our track record as a nation has been pretty dismal, with many people saving little and instead opting for buy-now-and-pay-later lifestyles. That eventually could mean delaying retirement, or forgetting about it entirely.

But there is some good news in recent moves by the federal government to encourage saving money. The new pension-reform law will allow us to put more money in our personal and workplace retirement accounts. Many savings incentives that were scheduled to expire in 2011 will be made permanent under the new law, a move that could cut taxes for savers by roughly $46 billion over the next decade.
The op-ed writer puts the Pollyanna spin on this anal rape looking for a victim. Given the choice between putting more money in his pocket or saving more for retirement, your average young South Park conservative employee will opt for the former. By the time these younger workers get ready to retire there will be nothing left. They'll be 65-year-old and they'll have to keep working. But they'll be O.K. I hear tell none of the folks now in their twenties, 30s and 40s plan on retiring until they're 72 anyway. And their pension plans will be safe too, as half of them will be dead before then.

Water: the next oil

There's a very sobering look at the state of fresh water and the impending lack thereof at Guardian
Cholera may return to London, the mass migration of Africans could cause civil unrest in Europe and China's economy could crash by 2015 as the supply of fresh water becomes critical to the global economy. That was the bleak assessment yesterday by forecasters from some of the world's leading corporate users of fresh water, 200 of the largest food, oil, water and chemical companies.

Analysts working for Shell, Coca-Cola, Procter & Gamble, Cargill and other companies which depend heavily on secure water supplies, yesterday suggested the next 20 years would be critical as countries became richer, making heavier demands on scarce water supplies.
Please note which industrial giants lead the list of 200. Now while the research the group cites paints a very dire prediction, keep in mind that great fortunes are made from the misery of the many. Scarcity is the key to controlling wealth, populations and governments. This group of 200 is not, repeat not, altruistically working to stave off an impending human disaster bigger that the plague of Medieval Europe. No, they are seeking to expolit it for their own profitable benefit, to corner the market on water while the rest of us are worried about Israel, Lebanon and Iran.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

This is the new blog

For reasons known only to I cannot login to the old blogs The Spoon Letter Anthology and Weekly Spoon. So this is the new blog. But it'll be the same old surliness, the same old sarcasm, the same old me.

This is all for today. I had a new furnace installed, got a gas and electirc bill of $0.00 and my cat's ill.