Blog Flux Directory Subscribe in NewsGator Online Subscribe with Bloglines Blog directory
And, yes, I DO take it personally: 12/31/2006 - 01/07/2007
Mandy: Great blog!
Mark: Thanks to all the contributors on this blog. When I want to get information on the events that really matter, I come here.
Penny: I'm glad I found your blog (from a comment on Think Progress), it's comprehensive and very insightful.
Eric: Nice site....I enjoyed it and will be back.
nora kelly: I enjoy your site. Keep it up! I particularly like your insights on Latin America.
Alison: Loquacious as ever with a touch of elegance -- & right on target as usual!
"Everybody's worried about stopping terrorism. Well, there's a really easy way: stop participating in it."
- Noam Chomsky
Send tips and other comments to:

And, yes, I DO take it personally

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Israel to acknowledge its nukes by USING them...?

well, well, well... ain't THIS interestin'...?
Israel has drawn up secret plans to destroy Iran’s uranium enrichment facilities with tactical nuclear weapons.

Two Israeli air force squadrons are training to blow up an Iranian facility using low-yield nuclear “bunker-busters”, according to several Israeli military sources.

The attack would be the first with nuclear weapons since 1945, when the United States dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The Israeli weapons would each have a force equivalent to one-fifteenth of the Hiroshima bomb.

Under the plans, conventional laser-guided bombs would open “tunnels” into the targets. “Mini-nukes” would then immediately be fired into a plant at Natanz, exploding deep underground to reduce the risk of radioactive fallout.

“As soon as the green light is given, it will be one mission, one strike and the Iranian nuclear project will be demolished,” said one of the sources.

The plans, disclosed to The Sunday Times last week, have been prompted in part by the Israeli intelligence service Mossad’s assessment that Iran is on the verge of producing enough enriched uranium to make nuclear weapons within two years.

shit on a stick... (no further comment required...)

Submit To Propeller

[Permalink] 0 comments

Why Bush won't leave Iraq and why he's escalating - I have a theory

we all know what they say about opinions... they're like a**holes - everybody has one... i suppose you can say the same about theories... anywayz, here goes...

i think the reason bush will absolutely not pull out of iraq, and, in fact, is committed to further inflaming the situation there, is so simple it might just be easy to miss... if the u.s. pulls out, it will immediately obviate the aumf, and, as a consequence, will put a quick halt to the powers that bush can continue to claim as long as we are "at war" and he holds the role of commander-in-chief... as long as he can flout the cinc title, as long as the u.s. remains on a "wartime" footing, bush holds the powers that accrue to a chief executive of a country at war... if you carefully look at what this presidential administration has done to this country, virtually all of it has been done under the premise that we are engaged in a virtually endless war, a war that requires an executive branch that can act as it sees fit to protect our "national security..." no war, no premise...

Submit To Propeller

[Permalink] 0 comments

They have "blood on their hands"

accountability - a concept that doesn't have much traction in the u.s. these days...
All those who helped President George W. Bush launch a war of aggression - termed by Nuremberg “the supreme international crime” - have blood on their hands and must be held accountable. This includes corrupt intelligence officials. Otherwise, look for them to perform the same service in facilitating war on Iran.


Much is being said today about honoring the sacrifices of our fallen soldiers. Perhaps the best way to do that is to find out who did the misleading and hold them to account before they do it again.

i will eagerly await the day...

Submit To Propeller

[Permalink] 0 comments

Flogging the "constitutional crisis" horse

yes, i'm sounding like a broken record, even to myself, but i'm gonna keep on keepin' on, crying the alarm about the constitutional crisis the u.s. is in... my sense of urgency has never been higher... we cannot and must not turn a blind eye to the incessant and continuously expanding makeover of our country into an authoritarian state... everything i read points to the fact that the rapidity with which that is happening is increasing, and i fear we don't have much time left before it's showdown time...while i welcome that because it's long overdue, i am not at all sure that our elected representatives in congress are up to the task... in fact, i am pretty sure they're not... at least there's a few out there besides me who see the storm brewing... here's paul begala in the huffpo...
In a way that might make Harry F. Byrd proud, our president is about to embark on a policy of massive resistance. He will instruct his lawyers to delay, deny and refuse to comply with any effort by Congress to get to the bottom of official corruption - especially as the billions squandered or stolen in Mr. Bush's war. He'll try to run out the clock, then take his chances with his hand-picked right-wing judiciary.

and then...? and then...?

Submit To Propeller

[Permalink] 0 comments

Friday, January 05, 2007

Clueless Dems: no commitment to "the larger purpose of the American Republic"

it's true, and, as every day passes with the new congress in session, i'm getting more and more pissed off...
Typical of their cluelessness was a “100 Hours Survey” distributed by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in mid-December. The survey asked Democratic contributors to rank nine priority issues in order of importance for the new Congress.

The issues included raising the minimum wage, financing stem-cell research, revising the Medicare prescription drug program and stiffening ethics rules. The only national security issue on the list was the implementation of all the remaining – but unspecified – recommendations of the 9/11 Commission.

No reference was made to ending the Iraq War, launching investigative hearings on President George W. Bush’s actions, reasserting checks and balances on the Executive, or restoring constitutional safeguards that have been overridden during the “war on terror,” such as the habeas corpus right to a fair trial.

Though many issues on the DCCC’s priority list surely have merit, what’s missing is any commitment to the larger purpose of the American Republic.

The Democratic leaders have yet to grasp that the transcendent principles of democracy were a major factor in the national rejection of Bush and the Republican congressional majority on Nov. 7.

honestly, i'm starting to feel slightly hysterical... i had this momentary flush of optimism after the november elections, even though i realized full well that the constitutional crisis would continue unabated as long as george bush remained in office... but i hoped that there would be some serious democratic action to at least slow it down, if not halt it outright... i'm beginning to think that isn't going to happen, and, as a result, i'm feeling even more frightened about america's future than i was BEFORE the election...
Instead of respecting the devotion that many voters feel toward the Constitution – and seeing how that sentiment could be a unifying force for a new national consensus – the Democratic leaders think it’s time again to offer up more social programs.

The Democratic leaders don’t even seem capable of mounting a spirited fight against Bush’s plan to escalate the Iraq War despite the clear will of the voters, the recommendations of the bipartisan Iraq Study Group, and the advice of Bush’s own military commanders.

The Democrats just can’t kick their old habit of treating Americans like consumers, rather than citizens.

If the congressional Democrats don’t change their ways soon, they will have alienated not only much of their own base but many of the independents and traditional conservatives who hoped the Democrats could rise above their old-fashioned interest-group politics.

who and what is going to save us...? and when...?

Submit To Propeller

[Permalink] 0 comments

Kagro X on signing statements; thereisnospoon on impeachment...

read this... better yet, read the whole post...
[Signing statements are] taking on a symbolic meaning, although it might actually be true that they were meant to have this meaning all along. And that symbolic meaning is that they demonstrate that Bush is reserving for himself the right to do anything. He just keeps planting stakes further and further out, noting well that nobody's really willing to set boundaries. Don't challenge me, he says, because I'll make you prove you can make it stick. That's how I measure power. If you can't physically restrain me from doing these things, you can't stop me.

It violates the law? Who cares? Have a signing statement. The government's being sued? Who cares? We'll appeal forever. Lose the appeals? Who cares? We'll just change the terminology or continue in secret. Investigated by Congress for it? Who cares? We'll just flood them with irrelevant documents. Subpoenaed to testify? Who cares? We just won't show. Cited for Contempt? Who cares? We'll appeal forever (if we even permit the U.S. Attorney to prosecute in the first place).

It's not just the sheer number of these signing statements anymore, but now, as this latest example [going through your mail without a warrant] illustrates so well, it's also the sheer audacity of them that gives them their potency. A declaration like this one, on top of similar declarations (that received similarly poor receptions) on warrantless surveillance of telephonic communications, is clearly a declaration that this president is frontally challenging basic privacy assumptions held by nearly everyone in America. It is a declaration of his belief, however poorly founded, that he is "Commander in Chief" of everyone and everything, so long as he can claim that in the end, it was all for our own good.

here's what i don't get... the incessant drive for unlimited power in the executive has been going on for a number of years now... why aren't we hounding this son-of-a-bitch and his criminal compadres out of office by the most expeditious (and legal) means at our disposal...? why isn't a front-page poster on daily kos like kagro x positively frothing at the mouth and calling for a storming of the bastille...? even the most steadfastly moderate and well-known kos posters like thereisnospoon are having a change of heart...
Bush, you see, is playing a momentous and deeply consequential game of Constitutional poker with the Democrats. With every round and on every issue he continues to bluff the Democrats and up the ante--and he figures that the Dems care too much about keeping their newly won chips to ever dare call his bluff. He knows that when all is said and done, there's not a soul who can or will truly call his bluff without taking the issue all the way to an impeachment proceeding--and he believes wholeheartedly that Democrats would never truly carry it that far.

get a clue, people... get a clue, congress critters... he's gotta go... it isn't constitutional poker, it's constitutional russian roulette, only the gun is being held at the head of the body we call the united states - and he's been at his little game for nearly six years... the cumulative weight of the absolute powers he's seized for his presidency is, at this point, enough to toss every one of us into a detention camp should he so choose... are we ready to accept that fact...? are we ready to allow it to continue...?

Submit To Propeller

[Permalink] 0 comments

“All public diplomacy is on hold till George Bush is out of office.”

the liberal doomsayer has an excellent post up on the difference between intelligent tactics in counterterrorism and what the u.s. has been doing, which, as we know, doesn't bear the slightest resemblance to intelligence in any known species... here's a taste...
According to (an expert in public diplomacy with close ties to the State department), an American diplomat with years of experience identified another obstacle to American outreach. “Let’s face it,” he told her. “All public diplomacy is on hold till George Bush is out of office.”

go read the rest of it... it's well worth your while...

Submit To Propeller

[Permalink] 0 comments

Oh, by all means, NEXT time, let's have a "dignified" hanging

sorry... this one hit me too quick after the one on the "homosexual dance of death..."
Saddam hanging could have been "more dignified"
January 05, 2007 08:53 AM ET

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - President Bush said Saddam Hussein could have been hanged in a "more dignified way" and one his closest Arab allies said on Friday a video of Shi'ite officials taunting him on the gallows was "barbaric".

loud guffawing, followed by projectile vomiting, isn't the way i prefer to start a day...

Submit To Propeller

[Permalink] 0 comments

"Homosexual dance of death"

some things are just too hilarious to get outraged over... i don't often guffaw out loud when i'm sitting by myself in front of the computer, but this definitely gave me a mid-morning, still jet-lagged, pick-me-up...
On the January 2 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show, host Michael Savage declared that the "homosexual dance of death" and the "homosexualization of the West" are the "seminal issue[s] of our time," and later added that the "homosexual mafia" is responsible for "control[ing] virtually everything that you read, everything that you see, everything that you hear, [and] everything that you wear."

oh, my freaking lord... what kind of a maggot-ridden brain can come up with stuff like that is beyond me...

< thinks of some gay friends and tries to picture them as "mafia lords" >


Submit To Propeller

[Permalink] 0 comments

Dear Senator Schumer... We are in a constitutional crisis...

senator charles schumer writes in the huffpo...
Today marks the first day of the new Congress and hopefully a new era of working together on issues that help middle class families. From strengthening our homeland security to making college more affordable, this is what we're all here to do and must get done, starting right now.

Take, for example; the War in Iraq. It now seems that the President will move forward with sending more troops. An escalation in the war, particularly with no change in strategy, makes no sense. We are policing a civil war right now in Iraq. And whether the troops stay three months or three years, as soon as they leave the Sunnis and Shiites will resume fighting with one another and nothing will have been accomplished. The bottom line is we need a change in strategy. Both the Senate Armed Services and Foreign Relations Committee will convene hearings next week to help cerate a change of strategy.

i am sure he has all the good intentions in the world, but...
Dear Senator Schumer,

With all due respect, while I agree that the issues you list ARE important to the American people, there is one that's considerably more important that you either do not recognize or that you choose not to address - the grave constitutional crisis that's facing our country under the president's insatiable drive for unfettered executive power. All of those other important issues, in my opinion and the opinion of many others, simply MUST take a back seat until that one is resolved. President Bush has been driving the United States pell-mell toward an authoritarian state, accumulating draconian powers, and essentially abdicating the founders' principle of three separate but equal branches of government. This must be stopped. Please take this to heart. January 2009 may be too late.

i don't believe i am understating when i say constitutional "crisis..." the revelation of yet another signing statement that gives the executive branch the power to open and read people's mail is yet another example of the egregious lengths to which this administration is going to accumulate raw power... this cannot be allowed to continue...

Submit To Propeller

[Permalink] 0 comments

"Finishing touches...??" Is he decorating a goddam cake...?

oh, i'm SO-O-O-OOO excited... < sticks finger into the frosting >
Bush puts finishing touches on Iraq plan

President Bush is putting the finishing touches on his new Iraq plan, reshuffling his national security team and scheduling private briefings with lawmakers.

The president also planned to replace his two top generals in Iraq, according media reports.

Bush next week will unveil his strategy, which is expected to entail new political, military and economic steps to win the war. The military approach, which has attracted the most attention and skepticism from Congress, is expected to include an increase in U.S. forces, possibly 9,000 additional troops deployed to the Baghdad capital alone.

"One thing is for certain: I will want to make sure the mission is clear and specific and can be accomplished," Bush said Thursday.

kick the ass of everyone who disagrees with you out the door and make sure that only fawning sycophants are left, huff and puff and pontificate to all of them about what THEY need to do because YOU'RE RIGHT and THEY DON'T KNOW AS MUCH AS YOU DO, get someone else to write the plan, ride your bike, get coached on how to emphasize the key talking points, get fitted for a new suit, take a nap, approve the backdrop for the speech, watch a couple of NFL playoff games, go to bed early, and then get ready to stick it to congress, the voters, our former friends and allies around the world, the rest of the american people, and, last but by far from least, the soldiers who have yet to die fighting your misbegotten war... it's a tough job, you bastard, but i guess somebody's gotta do it...

Submit To Propeller

[Permalink] 0 comments

Thursday, January 04, 2007

mcjoan takes issue with George Will's "$0" minimum wage...

george will...
Today, raising the federal minimum wage is a bad idea whose time has come, for two reasons, the first of which is that some Democrats have an evidently incurable disease -- New Deal Nostalgia. Witness Nancy Pelosi's "100 hours" agenda, a genuflection to FDR's 100 Days. Perhaps this nostalgia resonates with the 5 percent of Americans who remember the 1930s....

[T]he minimum wage should be the same everywhere: $0. Labor is a commodity; governments make messes when they decree commodities' prices. Washington, which has its hands full delivering the mail and defending the shores, should let the market do well what Washington does poorly. But that is a good idea whose time will never come again.

Will's argument is made up of the usual bromides: the market should be allowed to set wage rates, a minimum wage increase will decrease employment, a minimum wage increase will slow down the economy, and my favorite: anyone making the minimum wage isn't truly poor.

she continues, effectively debunking will's arguments... but THAT'S not what put the burr under MY saddle...



Submit To Propeller

[Permalink] 0 comments

Oh, great...! PNAC signatory nominated as U.S. Ambassador to the U.N...

i know that folks like steve clemons think khalilzad is a good choice...
The White House will nominate the current Ambassador to Iraq to replace John R. Bolton, the controversial critic of the United Nations who failed to win the Senate's confirmation during the 109th Congress, various news services are reporting this afternoon.

Zalmay Khalilzad has served as President George W. Bush's ambassador to both Iraq and Afghanistan. He is leaving Baghdad, where he has served as America's top diplomat since June 2005, under the cloud of the controversial execution of Iraq's ex-dictator Saddam Hussein and escalating violence in the country.

i happen to think that anyone who put his or her name to the pnac statement of principles shouldn't be allowed within one hundred miles of a post at any level of government...

so, just to keep things in the clear, let's take a look at those signatories again - all of 'em...

Elliott Abrams Gary Bauer William J. Bennett Jeb Bush

Dick Cheney Eliot A. Cohen Midge Decter Paula Dobriansky Steve Forbes

Aaron Friedberg Francis Fukuyama Frank Gaffney Fred C. Ikle

Donald Kagan Zalmay Khalilzad I. Lewis Libby Norman Podhoretz

Dan Quayle Peter W. Rodman Stephen P. Rosen Henry S. Rowen

Donald Rumsfeld Vin Weber George Weigel Paul Wolfowitz

these folks ought to be made to walk the plank right along with george when we finally summon enough national will to make it happen...

Submit To Propeller

[Permalink] 0 comments

Back to summer (and far away from Fox News)

lemme tell ya, going from high desert winter cold in nevada to high summer heat and humidity in buenos aires in less than 24 hours, combined with an all-night flight and an 8-hour delay, ain't exactly the recipe for clear thinking and fluffy-tailed enthusiasm... however, after unpacking, a shower, and kicking it around with a friend who stopped by, i'm significantly better than i was...

i almost never watch any kind of television in the u.s., news or otherwise... i'm usually glued to my computer... the one exception is when i'm flying out of reno... when it's an early flight, i generally grab a mcdonalds breakfast and fox news is always what's on the tv in the eating area... here's a caption from the wednesday morning, approximately 8 a.m. pst, fox news...


that intrigued me so much that i was moved to cast about the other diners and see what was in THEIR field of vision...

usa today...


wall street journal...


maybe i spend too much time scouting out my own news and have totally lost touch with the mainstream, but i have to confess i was somewhat astounded at the blatant propaganda focus of those three captions/headlines... i mean, i KNOW that we are having our minds manipulated daily from almost every quadrant of the media, but i guess i had allowed too much distance to accumulate between me and just how intense that effort is... i won't spend any time here debunking and/or analyzing any of the three... i don't need to waste my valuable time and energy on such a worthless endeavor... suffice it to say that this is the kind of crap the american people are exposed to each and every day, and you can bet a fair percentage of them are swallowing it, hook, line, and sinker...

Submit To Propeller

[Permalink] 0 comments

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Booman: "...take away the car keys."

i so very much hope he's right...
The overriding mood of the nation is that we should take away the car keys. And that is the genius of democracy. We may be easily scared and led astray, but as long as we protect our institutions we will always eventually correct our mistakes. The country senses that we cannot wait until 2009 to take away the keys. Congress knows it. Our allies know it. The country stands ready to overthrow this administration and redeem our system of government.

i had totally had it with the bush administration back in early 2003, just prior to the illegal invasion of iraq, and i simply fail to see why it's taken so goddam long for the rest of the country to shake off its torpor and get pissed off... be that as it may, as i have said repeatedly, we can't wait until 2009...

Submit To Propeller

[Permalink] 0 comments

Rove's cauldron is still bubbling

in my disgust last night after stumbling over bush's wall street journal op-ed (subscription only) appearing in today's edition, i completely neglected to speculate on its source... in a sign of my sad obsession, i awoke this morning (quite early, as i have to get to the airport), and, as i lay there avoiding rolling out from under the covers, it hit me - who else but karl rove... only from the mind of karl could issue such jaw-dropping hypocrisy as bush calling on democrats to work with him in the coming congressional session... after six years of working with NO ONE and virtually spitting in the face of anyone who had the temerity to suggest it, it could only have been rove that would throw out something so patently outrageous that, upon reading it, my entire physical being would convulse in pure stupefaction... rove may have been low-to-no profile since the election, but this is solid evidence that his cauldron is still bubbling in the background...

Submit To Propeller

[Permalink] 0 comments

Must be those dirty fucking hippies

"...some EVEN calling for the impeachment of president bush...?" disingenuousness reigns supreme at the wapo...
Activists on the Left Applying Pressure to Democratic Leaders

Democratic leaders set to take control of Congress tomorrow are facing mounting pressure from liberal activists to chart a more confrontational course on Iraq and the issues of human rights and civil liberties, with some even calling for the impeachment of President Bush.

how about MANY SCREAMING for the impeachment of bush...? how about SCREAMING to get the s.o.b. OUT OF OFFICE by any means, legal, necessary, and expeditious before he ruins what's left of our country...?

Submit To Propeller

[Permalink] 0 comments

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Gagging a maggot: our president says we need to work together

i thought i was through posting for the night... then i ran across this...
President Bush, facing a Democratic-controlled Congress for the first time, is urging lawmakers to work with his administration and warning that "political statements" in the form of legislation would result in a stalemate.

"Together, we have a chance to serve the American people by solving the complex problems that many don't expect us to tackle, let alone solve, in the partisan environment of today's Washington," Bush wrote in a guest column for The Wall Street Journal posted on the newspaper's Web site Tuesday night.

"To do that, however, we can't play politics as usual," he said. "Democrats will control the House and Senate, and therefore we share the responsibility for what we achieve."

i was wishing for a roll of tums since i'm experiencing a little bit of heartburn... now, i think i need something stronger - for violent nausea...

Submit To Propeller

[Permalink] 0 comments

Olbermann on sacrifice: "What if he had already sacrificed 3,003 of them?"

crooks and liars has tonight's special comment up already...
Olbermann: If in your presence an individual tried to sacrifice an American serviceman or woman, would you intervene? Would you at least protest? What if he had already sacrificed 3,003 of them? What if he had already sacrificed 3,003 of them — and was then to announce his intention to sacrifice hundreds, maybe thousands, more?

thanks, john amato... you do one hell of a job...

Submit To Propeller

[Permalink] 0 comments

Opposed to the surge...? Welcome to the purge...

rumsfeld, abizaid, casey... who's next...?
By ousting “surge” opponents – from Rumsfeld at the Pentagon to the top commanders in the Middle East – Bush and his neoconservative aides in Washington appear to be taking personal control of the Iraq War strategy.

The President seems determined to put in place a military hierarchy that will fall in line with his edicts, rather than disagree with him.

i've said it before... we're in the endgame...
Along with Israeli leaders, Bush has declared that Iranian progress on a possible nuclear bomb is unacceptable. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has even called the prospect an “existential threat” to Israel.

But Bush and Olmert are facing a ticking clock if they want to act before they lose one of their few remaining international allies. British Prime Minister Tony Blair has agreed to resign from his post sometime in the spring.

So, with Bush purging his regional military commanders by March – and presumably replacing them with more pliable generals – the next few months could prove to be crucial for the future of the Middle East.

Though Bush may yet back away from the idea of expanding the war beyond Iraq, his apparent decision to escalate U.S. troop levels there suggests that he will do whatever he can – even if it bloats the death toll – to escape the opprobrium of having committed perhaps the greatest strategic blunder by any President in U.S. history.

With 3,000 American soldiers already dead along with possibly a half million or more Iraqis, Bush is determined to escalate the war in the Middle East into a pitched battle for his presidential legacy.

george... read my lips...


Submit To Propeller

[Permalink] 0 comments

UFO sighting at O'Hare in November

maybe they're thinking about stepping in and putting a stop to our foolishness...
Federal officials say it was probably just some weird weather phenomenon, but a group of United Airlines employees swear they saw a mysterious, saucer-shaped craft hovering over O'Hare Airport last fall.

after all, we're really screwing up property values in the neighborhood...

Submit To Propeller

[Permalink] 0 comments

It's social democracy in Latin America, not leftist

this article makes an excellent point... if you only get your news from the u.s. media, the propaganda spin is that latin america has made a significant "left turn..." i've fallen into that trap a number of times myself in posts i've made on this blog and in conversations i've had with friends... "left" doesn't really describe what's happening...

what the people of these countries are demanding, and rightfully so, is that their governments need to pay attention to THEM, and not exist only to serve the elites, the world financial establishment (the world bank and the international monetary fund), the global corporations, and the fat-cat, mostly foreign capitalists who essentially run the world these days...

"Today's new left is not called ‘leftist', but social democracy," said Marta Lagos, executive director of Latinobarómetro, a Chilean non-governmental organisation that carries out annual polls in 18 Latin American countries.

These governments put an emphasis on "the construction of social safety nets to provide support for the most vulnerable," but without breaking with the past, said Lagos, who pointed out that most of them have followed conservative economic policies.

"The ‘leftist' label confuses the public, because it's a concept that comes from the Cold War, from the 1960s, and is associated with revolutionary movements like those of Che Guevara, the government of Salvador Allende in Chile, and the Cuban revolution itself," she told IPS.

In her view, the governments of presidents Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of Brazil, Néstor Kirchner of Argentina, Michelle Bachelet of Chile, and Tabaré Vázquez of Uruguay are all social democratic.

"The only government that is ‘more' leftist is the Bolivian administration of Evo Morales, because its objective is the ‘refounding' of the nation," although "within the democratic system," which differentiates it sharply from the left of the 1960s, she said.

"I wouldn't say Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez is either of the extreme left or a social democrat, because he's a populist," said Lagos. Populism is "the dominant characteristic" of his leadership style and policies, she underlined.

of course, in spite of all the best intentions, it's hard to create a vibrant national economy without those same global organizations insinuating themselves into damn near every aspect of your life... during the time i've spent in six different countries - argentina, bulgaria, greece, macedonia, mexico, and serbia - i make it a point, whenever i pick something up at the supermarket or pharmacy, to look at the fine print to determine the ownership behind the often unfamiliar label... nine times out of ten, it's one of the following - proctor and gamble, unilever, nestle, kraft, helene curtis, biersdorf, or one of the other global "bigs..."

i believe social democracy and even populism to be worthy governmental objectives... i'm hoping we can see a re-establishment of the social contract here in the u.s., after the r's have spent so much time destroying it...

Submit To Propeller

[Permalink] 0 comments

What military lifers think (that the media isn't telling us)

kos has a great post up on the above subject...

a teaser...

The Military Times newspapers polled their readers -- active duty subscribers to their papers -- and found that (surprise!) they don't want to see the war escalated.
It has now been four days since the Military Times released its annual poll of active duty troops. The poll, which came out last Friday, contained some striking findings: It found that for the first time, more military personnel disapprove of President Bush's handling of the Iraq war than approve of it.

But there's a more important number in the poll. It also found that only 38 percent of the troops think there should be more troops in Iraq than there are now -- in other words, only 38 percent support an escalation. By contrast, 39 percent of respondents think there should be the same or less troops there.

FOUR DAYS since the poll was released and, as far as i can tell, NO major media coverage... my god, we certainly have an obedient propaganda machine masquerading as a free media establishment...

Submit To Propeller

[Permalink] 0 comments

Distrust Wolfie...? NO-O-O-O-OOO...

say it isn't so...
When Paul Wolfowitz speaks publicly these days, he is usually making good sense. The head of the World Bank (formerly No. 2 at the Pentagon) has criticized Chinese banks for ignoring environmental and human rights standards when they lend to Africa, told the White House it needs to do more to alleviate African poverty, and has vowed that corrupt officials won’t be allowed to siphon off money from projects that are supposed to benefit the poor.

So why do so many people at the bank mistrust him — including many of the leading shareholders?

hmmmmmm... < strokes chin > now, why do y'suppose...?
[H]e has compounded their suspicions, surrounding himself with a tight group of former Bush administration officials who — true to their roots — have little patience for explaining themselves and even less for criticism.

Mr. Wolfowitz and his aides did an especially poor job explaining their decisions to suspend or delay hundreds of millions of dollars in loans because of alleged corruption, feeding fears that they were settling scores. When Hilary Benn, Britain’s top aid official, publicly questioned bank policies, an unidentified senior bank official dismissed Mr. Benn to The Financial Times as “an ambitious political climber.” That’s no way to win friends or donors. Mr. Wolfowitz wrote to the paper to say that was not his view and has since visited London to patch things up, but relations remain cool.

Mr. Wolfowitz has yet to outline a broader vision for the bank, which might inspire his staff and rally international support. There are certainly a host of issues that need his leadership. The bank needs to give more of a voice to less wealthy and poor countries. It needs to find new ways to mobilize private sector financing. And it needs to get more deeply — and more systematically — involved in addressing global challenges like epidemics, sustainable energy and post-conflict reconstruction.

personally, i don't care WHAT kind of sense he makes, i wouldn't trust him as far as i could throw him, and i would guess that the member countries, having observed his performance as a neocon and bush loyalist, have good reason to be extremely wary...

Submit To Propeller

[Permalink] 0 comments

Congrats to new EU members, Bulgaria and Romania


a special congratulations to my friends in bulgaria...

Submit To Propeller

[Permalink] 0 comments

A fond memory of a possible future

memories sparked by gerald ford's funeral service today...

what i wouldn't give...

Submit To Propeller

[Permalink] 0 comments

Go away, Jeb, and stay away... No more Bushes...

and take your bro with you...
All indications notwithstanding, ardent admirers like Grover Norquist, the president of Americans for Tax Reform, are not giving up on the prospect of Mr. Bush jumping into the presidential race next year, especially if Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York becomes the Democratic candidate.

“He could step in later than anybody else,” Mr. Norquist said. “You can run for president with the last name of Bush, even though there is and will be Bush fatigue, in a year that you’re likely to be running against someone whose last name is Clinton.”

and, while you're at it, take grover along... i don't wanna see any of you around here no mo'...

(thanks to morse at media needle...)

Submit To Propeller

[Permalink] 0 comments

Defiant as ever, our prez is gonna do the insane escalation thing

according to the bbc...
The speech will reveal a plan to send more US troops to Iraq to focus on ways of bringing greater security, rather than training Iraqi forces.

The move comes with figures from Iraqi ministries suggesting that deaths among civilians are at record highs.

The US president arrived back in Washington on Monday after a week-long holiday at his ranch in Texas.

The BBC was told by a senior administration source that the speech setting out changes in Mr Bush's Iraq policy is likely to come in the middle of next week.

Its central theme will be sacrifice.

The speech, the BBC has been told, involves increasing troop numbers.

i can't imagine anyone being against finding a way for the iraqis to stop killing each other, but the fact remains, it was us who mangled the job so badly in the first place that this could be happening, not to mention we shouldn't have ever been there in the first place... there are so many ways for bush to handle this, innovative ways, imaginative ways, conciliatory ways, that "more of the same" looks just like what it is - pure insanity...
The exact mission of the extra troops in Iraq is still under discussion, according to officials, but it is likely to focus on providing security rather than training Iraqi forces.

The proposal, if it comes, will be highly controversial.

so, let's increase troop strength without a mission and without any indication that it will be successful... i truly hope that the roof blows off of this certifiably pathological proposal before one single additional soldier sets foot on an airplane bound for iraq...

Submit To Propeller

[Permalink] 0 comments

Monday, January 01, 2007

"Illusions of hope rather than the real possibility of justice and change"

i was going to post this last night and decided against it because, in keeping with the spirit of welcoming the new year, it seemed a bit dark... however, after reading maryscott o'conner's and one pissed off liberal's latest rants, i've changed my mind...
In their silence and acquiescence Americans have voted –- even if by abstention –- to stand on the shoulders of all drowning peoples in the vain hope that they will somehow be saved from a paradigm which they support and empower by obeying it; by endorsing it with their silence or knowingly impotent protests; by refusing to throw themselves against the gears of the machine. In this world, a protest which is allowed and encouraged, corralled into free-speech areas, and then policed by the ruling government only to be ignored by the media is, by definition, meaningless.

The US is a nation where the “non-negotiable” and unsustainable “American” way of life is propped up by global conflict, out-of-control military spending, massive and unsustainable debt, and an increasingly-aggressive fascist police state. It is a nation where all US citizens who do not resist and disconnect from this paradigm enjoy their ever-diminishing privileges with the guilty knowledge that somewhere else, hopefully in some “other” country, others are paying the price for it.


With the passage of time, the degree of corporate oppression, the outrageousness of the cruelty, and the absurdity of the lies can only increase as dwindling resources diminish and desperation erupts. Ironically, the disappearing American middle class will still cheer at each new millionaire success story, even if they quietly understand that a hundred or a thousand of their kind had to disappear to create it. They chase illusions of hope rather than the real possibility of justice and change like lottery players with a one-in-a-billion chance of winning. They prefer that to hard work and sacrifice with much better odds where almost everybody can win something.

i don't think things NEED to look quite this bad, but, i'm afraid that, given our current circumstances, we're looking at no better than 50-50... i know that things always seem darkest just before the dawn, and i console myself with that aphorism... and it is, after all, a new year...

Submit To Propeller

[Permalink] 0 comments

12 out of 49 Senate R's support an escalation

President Bush and McCain, the front-runner for the party's 2008 presidential nomination, will have trouble finding support from more than 12 of the 49 Republican senators when pressing for a surge of 30,000 troops.

as lugar said yesterday, things could get ugly...

(thanks to thereisnospoon at daily kos...)

Submit To Propeller

[Permalink] 0 comments

Ford's legacy - unlimited presidential powers

robert parry, holding to his usual high standards of meticulous and thorough research, reportage, and articulate and comprehensive journalism, lays out the good and bad of the ford administration, and connects the latter half of ford's term to the abuses of power we are witnessing today...
With George H.W. Bush as the new CIA director in 1976, Ford joined in blocking the release of a congressional report on past CIA abuses and went along with Bush’s cover-up of new CIA scandals, including a Chilean-sponsored terrorist attack in Washington, D.C., that killed a Chilean dissident and an American woman.

Ford gave another boost to the revival of the imperial presidency by credentialing Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney, who served as White House chiefs of staff. A quarter century later, Rumsfeld and Cheney would provide the intellectual framework for George W. Bush’s assertion of “plenary” – or unlimited – presidential powers.

it is this insistence on unfettered presidential power that presents the current grave threat to the u.s... i hope that in 2007 we will all wise up to the fact that the smoke screen of "terrorism" only serves to hide bushco's real agenda...

Submit To Propeller

[Permalink] 0 comments

"...a movement that takes no prisoners, creates enemies, and makes the Beltway Establishment angry"

david sirota in the huffpo...
"...will we have the guts to build a movement that takes no prisoners, creates enemies, and makes the Beltway Establishment angry as we pursue goals like universal health care, fair trade, better wages, serious environmental protections and real civil liberties?"

if each one of us who really has the courage of his or her convictions was to stand foursquare on those beliefs, speak up for them, and act on them each and every day, the "movement" would self-create...

Submit To Propeller

[Permalink] 0 comments

Bush: "foolish and fanatical"

larisa tells us what she thinks...
It would be folly indeed to send more troops to Iraq. But I fear Mr. Bush is foolish and fanatical enough to stick by the adage that says, "don't change horses in the middle of the stream," even though the neoconservative horse he's been on is dead and sinking, and pulling both him and the rest of the country to the bottom.

And I'm not at all certain that, at this point, Congress can keep Bush from sinking our ship of state.

i definitely agree with the observation about the powerlessness of congress... even if it had the will to stand up and forcefully oppose our president, given the complete disregard the bush administration has for anything but its own unfettered power, i doubt it would matter... the only thing i can see that would make a difference is for something so blatantly criminal to be revealed, that congress, the joint chiefs, and the courts could no longer ignore it, and the executive branch would fall, to be replaced, as booman has suggested, by a caretaker government...
The real solution to Iraq starts at home in figuring out a constitutional way to remove Bush and Cheney and replace them with a caretaker government. The rationale and details of the Articles of Impeachment are irrelevant. We need 18 Republican Senators to agree, in principle, to a process that will give us a new administration for the end of 2007 and all of 2008. That administration should agree not to seek re-election. Ideally, it would be made up of a Republican and a Democrat and have cabinet members from both parties. That is what the situation requires.

and THAT is my new years wish...

Submit To Propeller

[Permalink] 0 comments

Why doesn't the S.O.B. wake up to the REAL constitutional crisis?

i just have to wonder what planet some people are living on...
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. made judicial pay the sole topic of his second annual report, issued on Sunday, declaring that the failure by Congress to raise federal judges’ salaries in recent years has become a “constitutional crisis” that puts the future of the federal courts in jeopardy.

great god almighty...! the president that nominated him is taking the fast lane to an authoritarian dictatorship and THIS bastard has the unmitigated gall to claim that judicial PAY is a CONSTITUTIONAL CRISIS...? holy shit...! when the whole goddam, miserable, rotten-to-the core bush administration comes crashing down thanks to its persistent VIOLATIONS of the constitution, i would love to have the opportunity to rub roberts' nose in his own words...

Submit To Propeller

[Permalink] 0 comments

So, how did Saddam's execution REALLY go down?

take your pick...

government spin a la nyt stenography...

[A] narrative assembled from accounts by various American officials, and by Iraqis present at some of the crucial meetings between the two sides, shows that it was the Americans who counseled caution in the way the Iraqis carried out the hanging. The issues uppermost in the Americans’ minds, these officials said, were a provision in Iraq’s new Constitution that required the three-man presidency council to approve hangings, and a stipulation in a longstanding Iraqi law that no executions can be carried out during the Id al-Adha holiday, which began for Iraqi Sunnis on Saturday and Shiites on Sunday.

or dirty fucking hippie interpretation a la empire burlesque...
After all, why should any Bush minion fret over the execution procedure? As a Maliki mouthpiece points out, Saddam was tried and convicted under a "special tribunal" operating outside the ordinary Iraqi justice system – exactly like Bush's "military tribunals." Why shouldn't the Iraqis make up the law as they go along, just like their liberators? These crocodile tears over "due process" for Saddam mask a deep and sinister hypocrisy.

I think this is how the deal went down, more or less. Maliki – the leader of a faction of violent sectarians – wanted Saddam hanged right away, as an Eid holiday gift to his base, as stated in the story. In response to this, Bush Faction leaders said, Well, OK, why not? Bush too wanted Saddam killed as a blood sacrifice to his base. U.S. officials on the ground – the ones who will have to deal with the backlash – tried to make the best of a bad situation and at least delay the execution. But they were overruled – not by Maliki, as the story ludicrously suggests – but by the White House.

oh, and btw, welcome to 2007...

(thanks to raw story...)

Submit To Propeller

[Permalink] 0 comments

Sunday, December 31, 2006

None of them should have been sacrificed to this illegal war

A click on the photo will take you to the NYT page,
where you can mouse over any square to see
information about that person. You can also
search by last name and home state.

(thanks to joe at americablog...)

Submit To Propeller

[Permalink] 0 comments

A New Year's Wish for all

many, many thanks and a very happy new year to pressing the flesh, who pointed me to this cartoon...

This Hugh Harman MGM cartoon from 1939 is the only
cartoon to ever be nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.

Submit To Propeller

[Permalink] 0 comments

A sad update from yesterday - 2998 is now 3000

how grim...

Submit To Propeller

[Permalink] 0 comments

Very ugly, indeed...

i'm glad to hear this being said out loud, and by an influential republican...
GOP Senator and outgoing chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Richard Lugar (R-IN) appeared on Fox News Sunday With Host Chris Wallace to discuss the situation in Iraq. He made a plea for Bush to spend more time consulting Congress, in particular his committee, and made the prediction that if Bush does not spend more time with Congress, he and his cabinet will face increasingly aggressive investigation and more subpoenas. After Lugar described the situation, Wallace observed, "You're saying this could get ugly." "Yes, it could," Lugar responded.

i am increasingly under the impression that, if bush continues to defy the election results, the congress, the polls, the isg, and the very clear will of the american people, he will be setting himself up for major trouble within his own party... republican party leaders, regardless of their own particular ideologies, platforms, or voting history, aren't going to stand by and watch their political party damaged beyond repair by an out-of-control presidential administration...

Submit To Propeller

[Permalink] 0 comments

"We did not give them a republic. We gave them a civil war."

bonus points for picking out the key word in the following snippet...
The saga of Saddam's end—his capture, trial and execution—is a sad metaphor for America's occupation of Iraq.

so, in time-honored republican fashion, who do we blame...? the victims, of course...
It has now become fashionable among Washington neoconservatives to blame the Iraqis for everything that has happened to their country.

didja get it...? huh, huh...? that's RIGHT...!

America's OCCUPATION of Iraq

Submit To Propeller

[Permalink] 0 comments

When Bush starts trotting out his plans for Social Security

point him in THIS direction...
The overarching problem for Chile — and the real lesson for the United States — is that private savings are not a substitute for a guaranteed core tier of old-age support. The first measure of success of a retirement system is not how much certain individuals manage to sock away, but whether the system as a whole provides basic dignity for all. By that measure, Chile’s privatized system has failed and Social Security has succeeded.

did you catch that key phrase...? "whether the system as a whole provides basic dignity for all...?" seems to me that was a fundamental building block of this country's strength, but how it has suffered under bushco...

Submit To Propeller

[Permalink] 0 comments