Associated Press reports that David Kuo, who served as deputy director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, is disputing the notion that the Bush administration was dominated by religious conservatives and catered to the needs of a socially conservative voting bloc:
"The reality in the White House is - if you look at the most senior staff - you're seeing people who aren't personally religious and have no particular affection for people who are religious-right leaders," Kuo said. "In the political affairs shop in particular, you saw a lot of people who just rolled their eyes at ... basically every religious-right leader that was out there, because they just found them annoying and insufferable. These guys were pains in the butt who had to be accommodated."
The key phrase here is "who had to be accommodated." Had to be. Accommodated. Whether or not George W. Bush and his gang of incompetents liked the shrill evangelicals who dictated public policy for the past eight years is irrelevant. It doesn't matter if (as Kuo insists) they rolled their eyes at right-wing Christians or even snickered behind their backs. The fact remains, religious conservatives convinced the GOP, the media, and a majority of Americans that they were solely responsible for electing the worst president in the history of our country, and George W. Bush showed his gratitude by embracing their narrow social agenda. It matters not one whit that Dubya may have found that embrace distasteful. He was beholden, and he gave them what they wanted. Now compare that with President-elect Obama, who appears to be genuinely fond of some religious nuts (and you'll be able to think of two right off the bat) but is unlikely to let them influence his decision-making.
Gasoline prices hit an all time high
And we never did quite find out why
A barrel of oil for $100 bucks
Yet, record profits for those corporate fucks!
Food prices in poor countries caused riots
While fat ass Americans went on failed diets!
The stock market, well, it fucking collapsed!
And what the hell happed to the polar ice caps?
Don't bother looking for work--there's no jobs
Everyone's so broke there's not even anyone left to rob!
Bernie Madoff scammed away $58 billion with skill
While the banks all collapsed and we footed the bill!
Sarah Palin couldn't name a single paper she read
Too bad they didn't ask her about fashion mags instead
She was nearly our second in charge, in command
"The Bush Doctine? What do you mean? I don't understand!"
And she wants to run again in 2012
All the democrats are giddy like, "Sure, bitch! Help yourself!"
But at least we protected families--and passed prop 8
To teach all our children the value of hate!
And we spent another year in the middle east
Spreading our special American brand of "peace"!
Meanwhile, Israel wiped the Gaza strip off the map
Women and children too, holy crap!
But We elected a black guy to fix all our ills
And handed him a massive stack of our bills
And said, "Here you go, darky! The country implores!
We fucked up America, so now it's all yours!"
And though, Magic Negro, you may find this whack
If you fix it all up, we'll be wanting it back.
And so, lads and ladies, everything went great
In the Lord's bless-ed year of 2008
And I'm sure things will continue to go just as fine
As we all bend over to welcome in 2009
THE AMAZING ATHEIST
It seems that when things go bad they go really bad. Along with our present world economic meltdown there the pressure building in the powder keg of the Near and Middle East.
We obviously have a terrible situation in Gaza and the attacks in Mumbai India has brought India and Pakistan almost to the brink of war.
So there are some, like former Presidential hopeful John McCain, that predict war between India and Pakistan.
"The Indians are on the verge of some kind of attack on Pakistan," Senator McCain told The Daily Courier, a newspaper in Arizona.
Then there are others like Bushie NeoCon John Bolton that see an opportunity in Gaza.
“So while our focus obviously is on Gaza right now, this could turn out to be a much larger conflict, we’re looking at potentially a multi-front war here," said Bolton
Bolton is referring to his hope that the war widens into an attack on Iran.
This could turn out to be a NeoCon wet dream and maybe the legacy of George W. Bush will be a gift that keeps on well into 2009 and for many years to come.
"The problems in the subprime market seems likely to be contained."
— Ben Bernanke, Federal Reserve chairman, March 28, 2007
"The fundamentals of our economy are strong."
— Sen. John McCain, former Republican presidential candidate, Sept. 15, 2008
"We don't see any pressure on our liquidity, let alone a liquidity crisis."
Alan Schwartz, former CEO of Bear Stearns, March 12, 2008.
"I don't think the government ought to be involved in bailing out companies."
— President George W. Bush, July 15, 2008
So these are just a few outrageous lies of the year 2008. I call them lies because these so called leaders knew outright that the economic problems were deep and severe.
How do I know this?
Well, because over the last year I had been warning anyone that was willing to read or listen that the economic problems were severe. I am just a simple man but I try never to make the mistake of believing the apparatchik
of the New World Order. It was clear that you can't have a good economy without good paying jobs.
But it goes deeper even than this.
Over the last few decades it has been obvious to many simple folk, like myself, that the policies of globalization without any consideration for humane principles and governmental actions have had a devastating effect on nation state economies and world development. In developing countries, rapid growth has lead to environmental degradation along with dehumanizing policies such as sweat shop and child labor. In developed countries, especially in the United States, we have seen major economic declines leading to the decimation of the middle and the working classes of those countries.
But in 2009, Globalization will continue to be the policy of the ruling elite that controls much of the world. So expect the lies to continue and even greatly increase as the masses of people begin to suspect that the economic policies of the last decades have not been about trying to benefit them.
I am sure that it will become much clearer to the masses of people that the bubbles that collapsed throughout the last few decades were created to enrich and empower the already super rich and powerful while giving an appearance of economic prosperity to the little people. For this growing awareness, new and more creative lies will have to be created and implanted throughout the government/media complex.
So expect more lies from your leaders in 2009. I think that is a pretty safe prediction.
Cynthia Mckinney's plea to President Elect Barack Obama
An Israeli patrol boat intercepted a yacht carrying three tons of medical supplies to Gaza in international waters early on Tuesday as it attempted to run an Israeli blockade. According to those on board, the patrol boat accused the relief vessel of being involved in terrorist activity and then deliberately rammed it, forcing it to return to port in Lebanon.
Among the yacht's 16 passengers were doctors, journalists, and human rights activists, including former Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-GA). McKinney spoke to CNN from Lebanon, telling John Roberts, "Our boat was rammed three times, twice in the front and once on the side."
McKinney described as "outright disinformation" a statement by the Israeli Foreign Ministry which called the charge that the ramming was deliberate "absurd." According to the Israeli spokesman, the boat was struck as it attempted to outmaneuver the Israeli vessel.
The Free Gaza movement, which sponsored the relief mission, explained in a press release, "This is the sixth boat that the Free Gaza movement has sent ... in a symbolic effort to end the seige of Gaza. These are small boats, and they do not cross into Israeli waters at all. This Israeli attack on the boat, which occurred in international waters, cannot be described as 'self defense' by any stretch of delusional imagination."
"Our mission was a peaceful mission to deliver medical supplies," McKinney told CNN, "and our mission was thwarted by the Israelis -- the aggressiveness of the Israeli military."
McKinney then appealed to President-elect Obama to "say something, please, about the humanitarian crisis that is being experienced right now by the people of Gaza." She referred to Martin Luther King's description of the United States as "the greatest purveyor of violence on the planet" and noted that "the weapons that are being used by Israel are weapons that are being supplied by the United States."
McKinney has been known for her opposition to Israeli policies, which is blamed in part for her loss of her Congressional seat. According to the Washington Post, "In 2002, two Democrats in Congress with records of voting against Israel's interests -- Reps. Earl Hilliard of Alabama and Cynthia McKinney of Georgia -- faced primary opponents who received substantial support from Jewish donors. A majority of AIPAC board members gave to either McKinney's challenger or Hilliard's or both. Hilliard and McKinney lost."
Source: The Raw Story.com
Well Ladies and Gents guess what?
America has to be sold off to pay for the upkeep of your country.
That's right. America is now broke, thanks to the Federal Reserve and the corporate power structure, so now it is time to allow the same people that "broke it" to come in and buy it all up at a very good price.
Source: Yahoo News
Cash-strapped states weigh selling roads, parks
ST. PAUL, Minn. – Minnesota is deep in the hole financially, but the state still owns a premier golf resort, a sprawling amateur sports complex, a big airport, a major zoo and land holdings the size of the Central American country of Belize.
Valuables like these are in for a closer look as 44 states cope with deficits.
Like families pawning the silver to get through a tight spot, states such as Minnesota, New York, Massachusetts and Illinois are thinking of selling or leasing , parks, lotteries and other assets to raise desperately needed cash.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty has hinted that his January budget proposal will include proposals to privatize some of what the state owns or does. The Republican is looking for cash to help close a $5.27 billion deficit without raising taxes.
GOP lawmakers are pushing to privatize the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and the state lottery. Both steps require a higher authority — federal legislation in the case of the airport, a voter-approved constitutional amendment for the lottery. But one lawmaker estimated an airport deal could bring in at least $2.5 billion, and the lottery $500 million.
Massachusetts lawmakers are considering putting thein private hands. That could bring in upfront money to help with a $1.4 billion deficit, while also saving on highway operating costs.
In New York, Democratic Gov. David Paterson appointed a commission to look into leasing state assets, including the Tappan Zee Bridge north of New York City, the lottery, golf courses, toll roads, parks and beaches. Recommendations are expected next month.
Such projects could be attractive to private investors and public pension funds looking for safe places to put their money in this scary economy, said Leonard Gilroy, a privatization expert with the market-oriented in Los Angeles.
"Infrastructure is more attractive today than ever," Gilroy said. "It's tangible. It's a road. It's water. It's an airport. It's something that is — you know, you hear the term recession-proof...."
MOSCOW -- For a decade, Russian academic Igor Panarin has been predicting the U.S. will fall apart in 2010. For most of that time, he admits, few took his argument -- that an economic and moral collapse will trigger a civil war and the eventual breakup of the U.S. -- very seriously. Now he's found an eager audience: Russian state media.
In recent weeks, he's been interviewed as much as twice a day about his predictions. "It's a record," says Prof. Panarin. "But I think the attention is going to grow even stronger."
Prof. Panarin, 50 years old, is not a fringe figure. A former KGB analyst, he is dean of the Russian Foreign Ministry's academy for future diplomats. He is invited to Kremlin receptions, lectures students, publishes books, and appears in the media as an expert on U.S.-Russia relations.
But it's his bleak forecast for the U.S. that is music to the ears of the Kremlin, which in recent years has blamed Washington for everything from instability in the Middle East to the global financial crisis. Mr. Panarin's views also fit neatly with the Kremlin's narrative that Russia is returning to its rightful place on the world stage after the weakness of the 1990s, when many feared that the country would go economically and politically bankrupt and break into separate territories.
A polite and cheerful man with a buzz cut, Mr. Panarin insists he does not dislike Americans. But he warns that the outlook for them is dire.
"There's a 55-45% chance right now that disintegration will occur," he says. "One could rejoice in that process," he adds, poker-faced. "But if we're talking reasonably, it's not the best scenario -- for Russia." Though Russia would become more powerful on the global stage, he says, its economy would suffer because it currently depends heavily on the dollar and on trade with the U.S.
Mr. Panarin posits, in brief, that mass immigration, economic decline, and moral degradation will trigger a civil war next fall and the collapse of the dollar. Around the end of June 2010, or early July, he says, the U.S. will break into six pieces -- with Alaska reverting to Russian control.
In addition to increasing coverage in state media, which are tightly controlled by the Kremlin, Mr. Panarin's ideas are now being widely discussed among local experts. He presented his theory at a recent roundtable discussion at the Foreign Ministry. The country's top international relations school has hosted him as a keynote speaker. During an appearance on the state TV channel Rossiya, the station cut between his comments and TV footage of lines at soup kitchens and crowds of homeless people in the U.S. The professor has also been featured on the Kremlin's English-language propaganda channel, Russia Today.
Mr. Panarin's apocalyptic vision "reflects a very pronounced degree of anti-Americanism in Russia today," says Vladimir Pozner, a prominent TV journalist in Russia. "It's much stronger than it was in the Soviet Union."
Mr. Pozner and other Russian commentators and experts on the U.S. dismiss Mr. Panarin's predictions. "Crazy ideas are not usually discussed by serious people," says Sergei Rogov, director of the government-run Institute for U.S. and Canadian Studies, who thinks Mr. Panarin's theories don't hold water.
Mr. Panarin's résumé includes many years in the Soviet KGB, an experience shared by other top Russian officials. His office, in downtown Moscow, shows his national pride, with pennants on the wall bearing the emblem of the FSB, the KGB's successor agency. It is also full of statuettes of eagles; a double-headed eagle was the symbol of czarist Russia.
The professor says he began his career in the KGB in 1976. In post-Soviet Russia, he got a doctorate in political science, studied U.S. economics, and worked for FAPSI, then the Russian equivalent of the U.S. National Security Agency. He says he did strategy forecasts for then-President Boris Yeltsin, adding that the details are "classified."
In September 1998, he attended a conference in Linz, Austria, devoted to information warfare, the use of data to get an edge over a rival. It was there, in front of 400 fellow delegates, that he first presented his theory about the collapse of the U.S. in 2010.
"When I pushed the button on my computer and the map of the United States disintegrated, hundreds of people cried out in surprise," he remembers. He says most in the audience were skeptical. "They didn't believe me."
At the end of the presentation, he says many delegates asked him to autograph copies of the map showing a dismembered U.S.
He based the forecast on classified data supplied to him by FAPSI analysts, he says. He predicts that economic, financial and demographic trends will provoke a political and social crisis in the U.S. When the going gets tough, he says, wealthier states will withhold funds from the federal government and effectively secede from the union. Social unrest up to and including a civil war will follow. The U.S. will then split along ethnic lines, and foreign powers will move in.
California will form the nucleus of what he calls "The Californian Republic," and will be part of China or under Chinese influence. Texas will be the heart of "The Texas Republic," a cluster of states that will go to Mexico or fall under Mexican influence. Washington, D.C., and New York will be part of an "Atlantic America" that may join the European Union. Canada will grab a group of Northern states Prof. Panarin calls "The Central North American Republic." Hawaii, he suggests, will be a protectorate of Japan or China, and Alaska will be subsumed into Russia.
"It would be reasonable for Russia to lay claim to Alaska; it was part of the Russian Empire for a long time." A framed satellite image of the Bering Strait that separates Alaska from Russia like a thread hangs from his office wall. "It's not there for no reason," he says with a sly grin.
Interest in his forecast revived this fall when he published an article in Izvestia, one of Russia's biggest national dailies. In it, he reiterated his theory, called U.S. foreign debt "a pyramid scheme," and predicted China and Russia would usurp Washington's role as a global financial regulator.
Americans hope President-elect Barack Obama "can work miracles," he wrote. "But when spring comes, it will be clear that there are no miracles."
The article prompted a question about the White House's reaction to Prof. Panarin's forecast at a December news conference. "I'll have to decline to comment," spokeswoman Dana Perino said amid much laughter.
For Prof. Panarin, Ms. Perino's response was significant. "The way the answer was phrased was an indication that my views are being listened to very carefully," he says.
The professor says he's convinced that people are taking his theory more seriously. People like him have forecast similar cataclysms before, he says, and been right. He cites French political scientist Emmanuel Todd. Mr. Todd is famous for having rightly forecast the demise of the Soviet Union -- 15 years beforehand. "When he forecast the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1976, people laughed at him," says Prof. Panarin.
by Chris Johnson
Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) has written a letter to Attorney General Michael Mukasey urging him to appoint an independent council to investigate actions taken by Vice President Dick Cheney, Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, and other senior level administration officials in regard to the torture of prisoners in U.S. custody.
Rep. Nadler cites Vice President Cheney's recent interview with ABC News and Cheney's frank admission to directly approving the waterboarding of Khalid Sheikh Mohammad as evidence of the Administration's participation in approving tactics that are against the law. Rep. Nadler states in his letter:
The Vice President's public admission that he was "aware of the program, certainly, and involved in helping get the process cleared" is deeply disturbing. It implicates the Vice President in this activity which appears to have been a direct violation of our criminal laws against the use of torture. Similarly, a recent report issued by the Senate Armed Services Committee found that "Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's authorization of aggressive interrogation techniques for use at Guantanamo Bay was a direct cause of detainee abuse there." Additional evidence shows that other top officials also were involved in authorizing similar activities.
Not only did Cheney admit to his role in approving such policies as stated above, but, as Nadler points out, the Senate Armed Services Committee recently issued a report that found Administration officials directly responsible for the abuse of detainees in U.S. custody. I recently wrote about this bi-partisan report and will reemphasize that this report is damning evidence that the Administration not only approved policies of torture, but lied about it when the abuses at Abu Ghraib were exposed.
In addition to Nadler's letter, he appeared on Democracy Now! and emphasized some very basic points that I, and others, have been making:
And the morality of this aside, you cannot have high officials deliberately break the law without accountability. The Vice President, on that interview we saw a few minutes ago, talked about the oath of office that the President, the Vice President, others take, and that is to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. You are not preserving it, and you are not defending it; you are, in fact, perverting it, if you deliberately break the law, which is the supreme law of the land pursuant to the Constitution. It is imperative, if the United States is to remain a country of laws and not men, that people who break the laws be held accountable.
This is very important and very fundamental to the operation of the United States. This country is a country of laws and not men, or in other words, no one should be above the law. When it continues to become increasingly clear that elected officials at the highest levels of government have committed serious crimes, there should be no reason why an independent panel shouldn't look into said crimes. As I have also written about in recent days, a distinction must also be made between political accountability and accountability to the law. Nadler touches on this point in his interview:
...there are things that it is imperative that the Obama administration, when it takes office, and the Congress, in January, take steps to hold officials accountable for violations of law, and really, not because we want vengeance and not because we want to be vindictive of what happened, but because holding people to the law and making them go through a legal process of proving guilt or innocence is the only way that you can minimize the likelihood of recurrence of law breaking and maintain the United States as a democratic country.
Those who often raise the argument that we should "move on to unite the country" and "not hold political grudges" are wrongly applying their formula for political accountability into the realm of criminal accountability. When laws are broken, there is a need for investigations and charges to be brought that apply to the crimes committed. It does not make any sense, or deter future political leaders from lawbreaking, if we chalk up the violation of laws to "political disagreements" or "political difference". This is the same disparity that I wrote about in discussing the response of some in Politico's "Arena" forum recently. I will revisit Maurice Carroll's response to reiterate the point:
Is it a good idea for a new administration to look for prosecutable crimes by the old administration? Even if their opinion is that there WERE crimes? By and large, the answer is no. Even if the true believers (and the true-believer editorial writers) are pestering the Obama administration to do it. One of the strengths of the American political system is that it's not a blood sport. We disagree without looking to put the other guys in jail. Which is a longish way of saying: There'll be a new slate. Shouldn't we wipe the old slate clean?
Carroll is not alone in this viewpoint, a viewpoint that encourages us not to investigate an outgoing administration EVEN IF there is a belief that crimes WERE committed. Carroll justifies this viewpoint by stating that "we disagree without looking to put the other guys in jail" and that this is "one of the strengths of the American political system." This is an absurd statement that equates political difference with accountability to laws and sadly, it is this narrative that is often repeated the loudest during these recent discussions about investigation of Bush Administration Officials. It mischaracterizes the argument of those who are calling for accountability to the rule of law into an argument being put forth by mere political opponents.
Rep. Nadler is not the first who has called for the investigation of Bush Administration officials for lawbreaking and he is certain to not be the last. There have been some rumors that President Bush has plans to pre-pardon members of his Administration before January 20 to avoid potential prosecution, but at this point it remains to be seen if an Obama Administration would put forth such an investigation. There is certain to be more on this issue between now and Inauguration Day.
Chris Johnson writes for the independent news website "The Cincinnati Beacon". "The Cincinnati Beacon" provides independent news and views for Cincinnati, Ohio at www.cincinnatibeacon.com . Chris also maintains the "Chris's Commons" blog at http://chriscommons.blogspot.com He holds a B.A. in Mass Communications from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio and currently works in the media industry. He can be reached at Johnson22@gmail.com.
Karl Rove believes that history will be kind to George W. Bush.
Think about that simple sentence, and all that it implies with its existence.
Rove: I think that will be a big part of it. I think history is going to see him as a man who put America on a war footing in a struggle that will have shaped the nature of this century. He will be seen as someone who liberated Afghanistan and Iraq. Fifty million people now live in freedom in those two countries who did not know freedom before. And he will also be seen as somebody who's created a strategy to confront terrorism that is going to make America and the world safer in the years to come. Look, judgments of history are harsh in the short run and unfairly so many times. Harry S. Truman left office. In fact the slogan at the time was "To err is Truman". He left town not very popular and yet history regards him now as a much different person and I think this President is not going to leave office with that same state. He's going to be at a relatively low ratings but much better than some of his predecessors. History though is going to be kind to him at the end. I'm absolutely confident of that.
The sad part of it is this- Karl Rove may be correct in his assumption that the Republican Perpetuity Society will manuevre all that the world has suffered at the hands of George W. Bush into all that George W. Bush has suffered with the world. They will spin it until the lower 48.12% of us weep crocodile tears for all that this poor man has suffered.
(Photo courtesy of The Onion.)
Ho, ho, fucking ho, yo. And why is your prehistoric porcine so merry these days when our housing bubble has burst, our credit and lending institution in tatters, the car industry about to collapse, with hundreds of thousands facing job loss, millions facing foreclosure and us spiraling more and more deeply into a recession that’s seemingly more inescapable than a black hole?
Because not only had Providence (as well as Wasilla, New York and Washington, DC) provided yours truly with an assclown for every one of the twelve days of Christmas, but these past two weeks have given us so many villains on such a colossal scale the question isn’t who to include in this week’s list but who should occupy the top spot.
But as miserable as the economy is, let it not be said that our government doesn’t understand the spirit of giving. Otherwise, why would the Big Three automakers and every other company larger than the next door kid’s lemonade stand be standing in line waiting for their handout from Uncle Samta Claus?
There’s Illinois Governor Rod
So hop aboard the sleigh, Pottersvillians, and let’s take a bird’s eye view of 2008’s last crop of jolly assclowns and much, much more!
Leave it to a zipperhead like Bush to have a pair of shoes thrown at him in an Islamic country without knowing what a grave insult that is among Muslims or what an equally vicious burn it is to be called a “dog”.
Add to that Bush being genuinely perplexed why a single Iraqi didn’t show him the proper gratitude after all the things he’s done for his country. But I know who is grateful: the Egyptian guy who's offered al Zaidi his daughter's hand in marriage. Now, that's gratitude!
If you heard that Muntather al-Zaidi, the “shoeder” who took a couple of potshots at Bush, was a Saddam Hussein sympathizer in an attempt to isolate him from a national populace who’s supposed to love Bush, you’d think it was a disinformation campaign designed and carried out by the administration. But you’d be wrong because this is being spearheaded by the liberal New York Times.
Less publicized by the NY Times or any other major outlet is the very real possibility that al_Zaidi perhaps has a broken hand and is being tortured, according to many people, including the investigating judge.
By the way, Mr. al Zaidi is being kept out of reach of his legal representation. Then again that shouldn't surprise anyone considering that Iraqi detainees don't get legal representation any more than our own people.
Shorter Frank Gaffney: Even when neocons are wrong, we’re right. 4200 Americans had to die even though we were wrong. Put it on the CIA’s tab, not ours.
To Chris Matthews on Hardball, neocon puppet Frank Gaffney defended Dick Cheney’s statement on ABC that the administration still would’ve invaded Iraq even had it been known it had no WMD’s. When pressed by the Mr. Hyde side of Tweety, who pointed out that 4000 troops died as a result of Bush’s lies, Gaffney backed up Cheney’s ridiculous belief that a nation with no WMD’s was still “a mortal threat” (which amounts to a 0% Doctrine) to the US and that 4200 “had to die.”
Forgotten by the Gaffe Man was the fact that many of those men and women died needlessly due to a lack of adequate body armor or no body armor at all, no steel plating for their Humvees and an almost complete lack of protection from IED’s.
I guess they had to die because the Pentagon short-changed the troops in order to free up billions to tamp down the throats of war profiteers, soldiers that died looking for WMD’s that, after barely over a year, had become a punchline and fun fodder for Bush.
Some people drink the Koolaid. Heartless pricks like Frank Gaffney drink it, mainline it, freebase it, snort the crystals and get it in an enema.
Granted, folding the Big Three automakers' stopgap bailout (with at least another required later) into the $700 billion TARP is a bitter pill for taxpayers to swallow. However, it's a necessary evil in the minds of Democrats who may legitimately fear for tens of thousands of jobs currently held hostage by auto executives now suddenly concerned about the welfare of their proletariat.
Enter the GOP, putting the skids to the Democratic Senate's attempts to save those jobs and impose some regulation and reform of executive compensation. Southern Republicans, led by the intrepid Mitch McConnell, a human sawhorse who never saw a progressive and populist omnibus under which he's refused to valiantly throw his body, as an opportunity to deal a body blow to the UAW.
Because this sticking point, demanding that the UAW actually negotiate for lower wages, has become the mantra for a GOP that seems bound and determined to torpedo their diminished standing in Middle America, their one remaining stronghold. The UAW, which has spinelessly capitulated to the Big Three for years with the industry of Democrats, is to blame for this latest crisis, doncha know?
And you know you're hitching your Wagoner to a falling star when Bill "Wrong Way" Kristol says on national TV that the Democrats have the right idea and that southern Republicans shouldn't be allowed to determine the future of the GOP.
For a quick, cheap laugh, see what John Boner and Michelle the Merciless had to say about Bush agreeing to loan the auto industry $17.4 billion, quite possibly the last passably decent thing that Bush will ever do in his last month in power.
"Oh, Georgie, you make my piping throb."
It's so refreshing when a high-ranking administration official takes pride in their work.
It's all too noticeable, especially since the shoe-throwing incident in Baghdad, that one neocon flak after another, including Bush, has engaged in a furious spin campaign designed to wrench public opinion of the Iraq War back to 2003 levels.
Doing the time warp again is the perennially clueless Condoleezza Rice, who, speaking "not as Secretary of State, not as National Security Advisor" but as a political scientist that she is "absolutely... so proud that we liberated Iraq."
It's almost unimaginable that our own top diplomat could have a view of the invasion and occupation of Iraq that's so diametrically opposed to reality.
Then again, we've been there before.
The invasion of Iraq, far from providing geopolitical stability, had resulted in lawless barbarism fueled by sectarian hatred, corruption, economic hardship and anarchy. Iran had been empowered. Al Qaida completed the flypaper effect by flocking to Iraq after the invasion. Yet 4200+ troops won't be spending any more Christmases with their families so we could hang an aging dictator and jerry rig a dysfunctional, deeply divided and corrupt puppet democracy.
In the balance, we may actually be better off that Condi Rice became a political scientist and not a nuclear scientist.
Fuck pride: What about minority shame, asks Dennis Prager?
I read a news report that because of the objections of one kindergartners mother, a public school in North Carolina had banned the singing of Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer because the song contained the word Christmas. I blame the school officials first and foremost for this craven and foolish decision. But when the news report noted that the woman was Jewish, my heart sank. Just as I had read the Beevor report and felt a surge of Jewish pride, I read the North Carolina story and felt a surge of Jewish shame.
So there's his entire impetus for writing this article. One of his own waged her own little war on Christmas, a holiday that his people don't celebrate, and that made him ashamed to be a Jew. So why shouldn't we all march in the shame parade? What about black racists, gay economic terrorists, etc?
The article starts off with this picture of a newlywed same sex couple in Los Angeles, another minority that's supposed to apologize and express shame for threatening the Mormons or whoever they're supposed to be blacklisting.
So, I suppose we should expect an apology from black people for teeming our shore for 450 years in manacles and littering trees in the American south with their bodies? I suppose Matthew Shepard should come back from the grave and apologize for being mistaken for a scarecrow when his near-dead body was found on that barbed wire fence in Wyoming and they should also express chagrin for having their right to marry whomever they want taken away from them by a minority religion that's also got a shitload to be ashamed of.
I'll make you a deal, Dennis: You can ask these people to apologize for their persecution when you first apologize for acting like a bloated, flaccid white penis and playing the accordion in public.
I wonder how long it'll take John McCain to shake her hand, too.
Sherry L. Johnston, the mother of Levi Johnston, the mullet-headed, hockey-lovin' redneck who doesn't want kids, was arrested on charges of making and selling illegal drugs in her home that's smack dab in the middle of Sarah Palin's "real America." The Alaska State Police is being tight-lipped about it but a spokesman for the state police said the drug involved was Oxycontin.
It was inevitable, I suppose, that the amateur spin meisters of right wing sewers such as Newsbusters to take this as an opportunity to slime us for "sliming" Palin. It's a response that's eerily similar to El Rushbo's bellowing when he was charged with Oxycontin abuse. Sez this particular Newsbuster,
Now, it is beyond me why a person who is not yet even an official in-law by marriage of a public official is a major news story for a low-level drug bust. I can see where it might interest local media for a brief minute, but for this story to have spread all across the wires and the Old Media with nearly 1,000 stories on the national scene... well, it is rather silly, really. Evidence of the worst in tabloid maneuvers.
It's silly, of course, until one realizes that it is just another lame attempt by the Old Media to slime Governor Palin, even if it does have to be guilt by association. And it isn't even association by color of official government business, either. It is family business.
Uh huh. Well, first she's not a member of the family yet in the next paragraph it's "family business."
So was the Clinton affair. That was a family matter that involved no drugs and broke no laws, was it not? A family matter that became an impeachable offense.
We're talking about six felony counts involving illegal drugs that's directly connected to the Palin administration, a drug bust that does nothing to dispel the perception that the people surrounding the Palin family are hillbillies who reproduce out of wedlock and keep illegal stills in their backyards.
If Chelsea Clinton's boyfriend's family was somehow involved in a drug bust, how much you wanna bet the blowhards at Newsbusters would be singing a different tune regarding family privacy?
”Nope, your breath doesn’t smell like cock. You’re clear.”
Never thought you’d see him on this list, eh? Well, that was before Saddleback Mountain.
It took a lot of progressives by surprise when Barack Obama announced that he’d tapped Rick Warren, who can best be described as Pat Robertson Lite, to deliver the invocation at his inauguration.
Obama’s talking point regarding this controversial invite, frankly, sickens me. Yeah, it’s one thing to agree to disagree and no one person associated with the Obama administration will be in perfect concert with everyone in the progressive blogosphere. But Warren is so far to the right that it leaves one scratching their head as to what Obama was thinking. After all, this is a guy who once called himself “Rupert Murdoch's pastor and had sent out a letter to 150,000 pastors to “get out the vote for Bush.”
Like Pat Robertson, Warren has it in for gays, likening gay marriage to incest and is for the assassination of elected heads of state, once uniting with Sean Hannity when he called for the assassination of Iran’s President Ahmadinejad because stopping evil “is the legitimate role of government.” Gee, who does that remind you of?
The truly miraculous thing about George W. Bush is that the man never ceases to amaze the most jaded, to intrepidly continue pushing the envelope every time one is confident that he cannot possibly spelunk to any greater depths of moral putrefaction.
The day after he had shoes thrown at him by an Iraqi journalist, George Bush sat down with ABC’s Martha Raddatz and began trotting out the old talking point of al Qaida being the reason we invaded Iraq. When corrected by Raddatz that al Qaida didn’t infiltrate Iraq until 2003, the year of the invasion, Bush said, “So what?”
Yes, he actually said that. Not only did a reporter have to correct him about a very big, very basic and very important distinction between al Qaida being in Iraq before or after the invasion, Bush said, “Yeah, that’s right. So what?” Classy and a workaholic married to his job, I see.
Just for good measure, comrades, Big Brother also boasted of 52 consecutive months of job growth, despite the fact that last month alone, the US lost 533,000 jobs and nearly two million in 2008.
But the truly horrible news is that after January 20th next year, the most chronically underemployed man since John McCain will also be a victim of unemployment. O, the horror, the horror. No wonder he’s crying a lot, these days.
The man who Madoff with 50 billion dollars.
It’s shocking enough that, almost 90 years after the Ponzi Pyramid scheme was unmasked for the massive fraud it was, that $50 billion worth of investors could still be duped by essentially the same swindle and at the hands of the former NADAQ chairman.
But, really, how much surprise are we permitted when Madoff once boasted to the same watchdog group who was supposed to be watching him (the SEC) about how much loot he was bringing in? And what does that in itself say about the state of government regulation?
It also doesn’t augur well when one of the victims is a charity run by one of our lawmakers, you know, one of the guys who’s been bailing out other con artists like Madoff. That would be the same guy who’d advised that same easily-duped Congress in how to stop swindlers and crooks like himself. But that’s OK, since he kicked a little back to Lautenberg, as well as Hillary Clinton, Charlie Rangel, Vito Fosella, David Obey, Ron Wyden and his favorite boy toy ever, Chuck Schumer.
Unless the usually reliable Patrick Fitzgerald is totally fabricating evidence, then Rod Blagojevich has got to be the stupidest fucking politician since Dan Quayle.
Because how much brain damage does it require to try to sell a Senate seat to the highest bidder while #1 knowing damned good and well you’re the subject of a federal probe since 2004 and #2 doing so on Patrick Fitzgerald’s turf?
Blagojevich is George Bush’s only serious rival for the Stupidest Man of 2008 for the simple reason that trying to sell Barack Obama’s seat casts a taint not only on any choice he could still make but cast suspicion on any Democratic Governor charged with the task of filling Biden’s, Clinton’s or Salazar’s seats.
Late this week, Blago said that he couldn't wait to prove his innocence and that he would fight, fight fight. Which is pretty much the same thing that Ted Stevens said just before his own conviction and ouster from office.
About the best thing you could say about Blago’s alleged fire sale was that he didn’t try to sell Obama’s Senate seat wholesale.
This is Dick Cheney among friends at CPAC. Can you imagine what he looks like when he’s among Democrats?
Watching a Republican, especially a neocon like Dick Cheney, give an extended exit interview involves a morbid curiosity factor not unakin to watching an imminent train wreck involving a freight car full of nitroglycerine barreling toward another full of cow manure.
Dick Cheney gave an interview to ABC this past week that perhaps exceeds any lunacy ever uttered by him since his last CPAC conference this past winter.
Regarding Khalid Sheikh Mohammed's interrogation, Cheney said, "There was a period of time there, three or four years ago, when about half of everything we knew about al Qaeda came from that one source. So, it's been a remarkably successful effort. I think the results speak for themselves."
Of course, deleted from Cheney's memory as was KSM's redacted transcript was the fact that the CIA had kidnapped his seven and nine year-old sons and interrogated them. Also forgotten by Cheney was that Mohammed had confessed to all sorts of stuff just to make the waterboarding stop (which it did when the wild goose chase he'd sent them on had begun). In the words of one CIA official, "90 percent of it was total fucking bullshit.” And an ex-Pentagon analyst adds: "K.S.M. produced no actionable intelligence. He was trying to tell us how stupid we were."
But waterboarding isn't torture if our neocon shysters tell us it isn't nor is abducting small children kidnapping when the CIA does it. And bullshit is still gold if Vice President Midas says it is.
There's a special place in Hell for people like Dick Cheney and it's a small cave filled with microwaves that play havoc on defibrillators
Television is still the dominant source for news in the U.S., with 70% of respondents saying they got most of their news from TV (down from 74% last year). Forty percent said the Web was their No. 1 source -- up from 24% last year -- and 35% chose newspapers.
Perhaps just as noteworthy was the study's finding that as many young people say they get their news from the Web as TV (both about 59%). That's again way up from September 2007, when only 34% of young people cited the Internet as their news source of choice.
The study didn't ask users to get into specifics about their online news reading, so we don't know how much of the news consumption was done on blogs, aggregators or mainstream news media sites.
The Pew study is another brick in the wall for the physical newspaper, an increasingly obsolete medium that is unlikely to see a resurgence in popularity. By the same token, the study reconfirms that the journalism that's printed in the newspaper is as popular as ever. It's a major conundrum for news organizations. People are increasingly consuming a digital version of their decreasingly popular print product, often in far greater numbers, but the capacity to generate revenue from the online version is still incredibly weak.
Will the news industry be content to shrink to a size that can be completely supported by online ad revenue? Or will the industry get smart and work on a technological solution -- a next-generation pay system that will ask users to give a little back for the information they're receiving?
"The Excrement of the Devil": How Crude Oil Shortfalls Are About to Turn Our Lives Inside Out Forevermore
You probably saw at least excerpts from Al Gore's film, An Inconvenient Truth, about the effects of global warming. You may or may not like Gore, and you may or may not agree with the crescendo of scientific consensus concerning the imminent impact of global warming.
Whether global warming was an inconvenient truth or an inconvenient lie for you, soon it will fade from prominence as the consequences of Peak Oil begin to take hold.
Global Warming may still be subject to some conjecture concerning data interpretation, timing, severity, the contributing effects of fluctuating solar radiation, politics, and reversibility.
There is far less room for ambiguity concerning Peak Oil, however. Peak Oil is the point at which half the world's supply of crude oil has been used up. The oil in the second half of the curve — the half when supply starts to decline — will be a lot tougher to extract, produce, and distribute than the oil in first half was.
Peak Oil is coming soon. Some experts think it arrived in 2008.
Peak Oil is not reversible. No renewable energy source or combination of sources, including coal, will ever compensate for more than a fraction of the energy that oil supplied.
So things are getting a bit urgent.
Check out what the pundits and informed innocent bystanders have to say.
Here are some places to start, with more panicked experts than you can shake a stick at. They are listed more or less in their order of complexity, so you could grasp the PeakOil paradigm by just looking at a few of the pieces in the Primers section immediately below.
Online primers and resource sites
- Peak oil primer and links | Energy Bulletin (excellent!)
Multiple/multi-media sites, grouped by production
- The End of Suburbia: Oil Depletion and the Collapse of the American Dream (2004) (Internet Movie Database information)
- The End of Suburbia promo trailer (video that includes interviews with James Kunstler, from Saratoga Springs, NY)
- Kunstler's well-written and thoroughly researched blog, essential reading that complements the stuff below.
- A Crude Awakening: The Oil Crash (2006) (web site promoting film)
"One year ago, in a report commissioned by the U.S. Department of Energy, Robert L. Hirsch challenged the notion that the free market can solve the onrushing emergency:
The world has never faced a problem like Peak Oil. Without massive mitigation more than a decade before the fact, the problem will be pervasive and will not be temporary. Previous energy transitions (wood to coal and coal to oil) were gradual and evolutionary; oil peaking will be abrupt and revolutionary."
- A Crude Awakening: The Oil Crash (2006) (Internet Movie Database site)
The Arthur Morgan Institute for Community Solutions, founded in 1940 as Community Service, Inc., is a non-profit organization located in Yellow Springs, Ohio, that educates on the benefits and values of small local community living. We envision a world where people live sustainably and cooperatively in local communities which are diverse, equitable, and just.
- The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil (2006) (Internet Movie Database site)
- Crude Impact (2006) web site
- End of Oil: The Peak Oil Debate YouTube interview with the makers of Crude Impact; answers some of the main anti-Peak Oil arguments.
- The Last Oil Shock: A Survival Guide to the Imminent Extinction of Petroleum Man (2007) (YouTube video)
- The Last Oil Shock - The Explosive Story of Peak Oil
Single video or movie sites
- A Post-Oil Man (video) The Cheney-Bush strategy for survival in a Post-PeakOil world
Web sites only
Peak Oil associations & institutes
Articles from online periodicals
- End of Cheap Oil @ National Geographic Magazine by Tim Appenzeller (June 2004)
- NYT Magazine cover story on Peak Oil by Peter Maas (August 21, 2005)
- What they don't want you to know about the coming oil crisis by Jeremy Leggett, The Independent (UK) (January 19, 2006)
“A million pounds of bombs,” Nixon exclaimed. “Goddamn, that must have been a good strike.”
The telephone communications between Nixon and Kissinger also illustrate Kissinger’s efforts to spin the media, monitor and control the process of decision-making, disparage rivals, keep important associates, such as his patron Nelson Rockefeller, in the loop, and win over critics.
by Jason Leopold
Former National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger and President Richard Nixon discussed their satisfaction over the U.S. bombing campaign of North Vietnam, according to previously unpublished transcripts of their telephone conversations obtained by George Washington University’s National Security Archive and released Tuesday.
“They dropped a million pounds of bombs,” Kissinger briefed Nixon in an April 15, 1972, telephone conversation from his home.
“A million pounds of bombs,” Nixon exclaimed. “Goddamn, that must have been a good strike.”
Nixon and Kissinger ordered heavier bombing of North Vietnam weeks after the North’s 1972 Spring Offensive, although withholding attacks on Hanoi or mining Haiphong Harbor, two actions which they held out for the next decision to escalate, according to the National Security Archive.
“In light of Hanoi’s decision to postpone private talks with Kissinger scheduled for 24 April , Kissinger told Dobrynin that “such behavior by Hanoi [was] clear evidence of an unwillingness to conduct serious negotiation and as reflecting a basic desire of the North Vietnamese ‘to bring down a second American president.’” While the White House was willing to hold back on attacks on Hanoi or Haiphong, Nixon believed that such threats were a “hold card” in the negotiations: “It either got to be [a] settlement or we blockade.”
The conversation was secretly recorded by Kissinger and Nixon without the other’s knowledge, and reveals that Nixon and his national security advisor shared a belief in 1972 that the Vietnam War could still be won.
“That shock treatment [is] cracking them,” Nixon declared. “I tell you the thing to do is pour it in there every place we can…just bomb the hell out of them.”
Kissinger optimistically predicted that, if the South Vietnamese government didn’t collapse, the U.S. would eventually prevail: “I mean if as a country we keep our nerves, we are going to make it.”
Unbeknownst to the rest of the federal government, Kissinger secretly taped his incoming and outgoing phone conversations and had his secretary transcribe them. After destroying the tapes, Kissinger took the transcripts with him when he left office in January 1977, claiming they were “private papers.”
Kissinger never intended for the documents to be released publicly, according to William Burr, senior analyst at the National Security Archive, who edited the collection, Kissinger Telephone Conversations: A Verbatim Record of U.S. Diplomacy, 1969-1977.
“Kissinger’s conversations with the most influential personalities of the world rank right up there with the Nixon tapes as the most candid, revealing and valuable trove of records on the exercise of executive power in Washington,” Burr said in a news release. “Kissinger created a gift to history that will be a tremendous primary source for generations to come.”
In 2001, the National Security Archive initiated legal proceedings to force the government to recover the telephone conversation transcripts and used the freedom of information act to obtain the declassification of most of them. The archive spent three years cataloging and indexing the transcripts, which contain more than 30,000 pages. The Digital National Security Archive (ProQuest) published the material this week.
Burr called on the State Department to declassify more than 800 additional transcripts of telephone conversations that it continues to withhold on the grounds of executive privilege, a decision the National Security Archive said is “extraordinary.”
“That the [State] Department used (b) (5) exemption and the claim of “privileged presidential communications” to exempt thirty year old documents may make this one of the biggest abuses of (b) (5) and privilege claims the history of the [Freedom of Information Act],” the archive said in a news release. “As federal courts have ruled, such privileges erode over time, and as time passes the public interest in open historical records has far greater weight.”
“In the soon-to-depart Bush administration, such considerations have little influence and it is no surprise that the hands of the White House are behind the executive privilege claims. Henry Kissinger has been an adviser to President Bush and Vice President Cheney and, according to government sources, he influenced the declassification review process to ensure that his telephone discussions with President Ford remain classified for as long as possible.”
The telephone communications between Nixon and Kissinger also illustrate Kissinger’s efforts to spin the media, monitor and control the process of decision-making, disparage rivals, keep important associates, such as his patron Nelson Rockefeller, in the loop, and win over critics:
After Gerald Ford shuffled his cabinet in November 1975, removing Kissinger as national security adviser and shifting Donald Rumsfeld from his chief-of-staff position to be Secretary of Defense, Kissinger spoke to Secretary of the Treasury William Simon. “The guy who cut me up inside this building isn’t going to cut me up any less in Defense,” he noted.
In an August 13, 1974, conversation with Elliott Richardson after Nixon resigned, Kissinger disparaged George H.W. Bush as a candidate to replace Gerald Ford as Vice President. “I am not as high on George Bush, as some others are, partly because of his lack of experience.”
In a conversation with President Nixon on the illegal wiretap scandal in June 1973, Nixon threatened to go to political war with Democrats if they pressed the issue. “Lets get away from the bullshit,” Nixon stated angrily. “Bobby Kennedy was the greatest tapper.” The President even suspected his own phone had been wiretapped in the early 1960s.
“[J.Edgar Hoover] said Bobby Kennedy had [the FBI] tapping everybody. I think that even I’m on that list,” President Nixon told Kissinger. When Nixon noted that the wiretap scandal would “catch some of your friends,” Kissinger responded: “Well, I wouldn’t be a bit unhappy.”
In the April 15, 1972, conversation about bombing North Vietnam, Nixon recalled that bombing had failed to defeat Ho Chi Mhin’s forces in the past:
Nixon: “Of course, you want to remember that Johnson bombed them for years and it didn’t do any good.”
Kissinger: But Mr. President, Johnson never had a strategy; he was sort of picking away at them. He would go in with 50 planes; 20 planes; I bet you we will have had more planes over there in one day than Johnson had in a month.
As sure as Christmas comes once a year, so do the morons claiming that there is a war on Christmas. Led this year by Fox News' Bill O'Reilly and Gretchen Carlson, the true war is between these blowhards and reality. So Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from everyone at GoLeft TV, and we hope you enjoy this special Christmas Media Moron poem.
T’was the night before Christmas,
And shakin in their shoes,
Spewing hatred and lies,
Were the folks at Fox News.
“There’s a war on Christmas!”,
Shouted Bill O’Reilly,
Being the skeptic I am,
I doubted this highly.
They’ll remove all our trees!,
Said the shrill Fox & Friends,
I guess atheists and Christians,
Will never make amends.
Sitting up in his chair,
Looking dazed and confused,
Our holiday we will lose!
“There’s no war on Christmas!”
I shout at my screen,
This cat named O’Reilly,
Gets marked down as mean.
And Gretchen, though pretty,
She’s still quite insane,
As for Doocy and Kilmeade,
They still need a brain.
You now get the point,
There’s no need to go on,
That’s why all of Fox News,
Is my media moron.
MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR
This 2008 year!
Norm Coleman just got a Christmas present from the Minnesota Supreme Court: A giant lump of coal.
In a unanimous decision handed down just now, the state Supremes denied Coleman any relief in a lawsuit he was waging to deal with allegations of double-counted absentee ballots, which his campaign says have given an illegitimate edge to Al Franken. The Coleman campaign was seeking to switch 25 selected precincts back to their Election Night totals, which would undo all of Franken's recount gains in those areas and put Coleman back in the lead....