Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Bob Herbert is NOT laughing...



While Bush is chuckling all the way to his white-only neighborhood's mansion, New York Times' Bob Herbert is shaking with indignation.

We shake and glare at the "Cretin on the Hill" with him. But are we moved enough in anger to seek some sort of justice? Can we channel the righteous meanness of the Queen of Heart toward absurdity and scream "Off with his head!" long enough to see it roll?

Do Republicans have the exclusivity in rabid, relentless hounding?
Why couldn't we muster enough support for the impeachment of a genuine crook and easily spend millions of hours and dollars trying to find which consenting adult slept with his secretary?


Remember in 2006? From Professor Smartass' blog:

KEY EXCERPTS:

Zogby Poll: Americans Support Impeaching Bush for Wiretapping
Submitted by Bob Fertik on January 13, 2006
For Release: January 16, 2006

By a margin of 52% to 43%, Americans want Congress to consider impeaching President Bush if he wiretapped American citizens without a judge's approval, according to a new poll commissioned by AfterDowningStreet.org, a grassroots coalition that supports a Congressional investigation of President Bush's decision to invade Iraq in 2003.

Recently White House spokesman Scott McClellan cited a Rasmussen poll that found 64% believe the NSA "should be allowed to intercept telephone conversations between terrorism suspects." Of course, that is exactly what Congress authorized when it created the FISA courts to issue special expedited secret warrants for terrorism suspects. But Bush defied the FISA law and authorized warrantless wiretaps of Americans, which has outraged Americans to the point that a majority believe Congress should consider Bush's impeachment.

"Bush admits he ordered illegal warantless wiretapping, but says it began in response to 9/11 and was limited to a small number of calls to or from Al Qaeda," Fertik said. "But recent reports suggest wiretapping affected a much larger number of Americans, and a report in Friday's Truthout says the wiretapping began before 9/11."

Truthout article
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/011306Z.shtml

Whatever happened to all this support?
Why couldn't the Dems channel all this anger to fight the Repugs?
Are they really just there for show??


Add Up the Damage

Published: December 29, 2008

Does anyone know where George W. Bush is?

Bob Herbert

You don’t hear much from him anymore. The last image most of us remember is of the president ducking a pair of size 10s that were hurled at him in Baghdad.

We’re still at war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Israel is thrashing the Palestinians in Gaza. And the U.S. economy is about as vibrant as the 0-16 Detroit Lions.

But hardly a peep have we heard from George, the 43rd.

When Mr. Bush officially takes his leave in three weeks (in reality, he checked out long ago), most Americans will be content to sigh good riddance. I disagree. I don’t think he should be allowed to slip quietly out of town. There should be a great hue and cry — a loud, collective angry howl, demonstrations with signs and bullhorns and fiery speeches — over the damage he’s done to this country.

Republicans to Use Internet (and lots of dough) to Fight Obama



Actually, this story I found on Yahoo! Tech could be considered the continuation of yesterday's Naomi Klein story.

It does confirm that the Internet will be the tool of choice to help Obama or keep him in line for the Progressives. Forget about the Press, we have to take matters into our own virtual hands and tip the balance of power through direct interference or support, without the filtering effect of the corporate media.

The Repugs are finally learning what a wonderful propaganda/brainwashing tool the Net could become for them and are showering money to some CEOs as we speak to create a new generation of nonsensical neobots to flood the nooks and crannies of the blogosphere with their Talking Point Memos items of the day.

It already works pretty well for them - anybody participating to any Huff Post's story comment space knows that already. So, it will get zombie invasion scary real soon.

So to mcthfg that ask me if writing is enough, if we shouldn't do something more physical than that, here's your answer. Protest is always welcome but this is a new kind of war. We're in a new movie called "66 Days Later" and we got us some Internet wingnut zombie heads to blow. All with our blogs. And some mighty cold Red Bull.

Here's an excerpt:

Obama online supporters key to pushing his agenda (AP)

  • Posted on Tue Dec 30, 2008 12:36PM

HONOLULU - President-elect Barack Obama's top asset in pushing his agenda will not be his Cabinet secretaries or aides, but rather his online network.

Obama's political e-mail list tops 13 million names, a digital force that the incoming White House can tap to push for his legislation, tamp down critics or bolster popular support. It's also a way for Obama to reach into every state, every city, and every neighborhood.

A study released Tuesday found that a quarter of Obama voters said they would continue to work online to support the new administration. The nonpartisan Pew Internet and American Life Project also found 62 percent of Obama's voters say they would ask others to support Obama's policies.

Welcome to the Democrats' new permanent campaign, one planned online and executed on Main Street.

If it works the way Obama's top lieutenants plan, the White House would marshal hundreds of thousands of phone calls within hours if it looked as if the president-elect were losing a policy battle. With the click of a keyboard, Obama's aides could ask supporters to flood the phone lines of Congress, making it untenable to ignore the clamor.

That, at least, is the idea.

Obama's unmatched database gives his incoming administration a clear advantage over its Republican rivals, who have seen decades of datamining overcome in the matter of months. GOP leaders, though, insist they are not deterred.

"I'm impressed with what Obama did, but did they do anything innovative? No," said Cyrus Krohn, the Republican National Committee's online director. "They did things creatively."

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Naomi Klein On the Progressives Love Affair with Obama



Well, it is less about Obama than about the Left's relationship with its candidates.

Nothing new is told here but one crucial point, that is not explicit but is clearly understated: the Progressive Movement have nobody to blame but themselves for the weakness of the political pressure they apply on the different presidents that have succeeded Reagan since the 80's - it is a clear pattern of letting the Right setting the political pace and agenda without any real fight nor oversight from us.

Why is that? If I had to continue the relationship metaphor with which Klein closes this interview, I would say that like any partner of psycho-rigid control freak abusers, Lefties are hoping to bring their sweet lovers to understand, embrace and validate their point of view. Its a conversion fantasy of another breed, but it reeks still of low self-esteem and overcompensation.

Converting Republicans to work for the common good is, of course, a lost cause. Nothing is more important to them than the smell of their own belly button or their own right wing, hate filled fart.

So, yes, we should, like I was saying since the beginning of my blogging days, regularly "poke the Dems in the eyes" to make them remember who worked so hard to bring them to power. We should put the collective nuts of our President Elect and his entourage in a particularly tight vise and protest loudly when we are discontent.

Nobody else will do it for us. And what other form of protest is there but writing. I won't bomb anything. And I'm too far away to go down in the streets and yell.

Naomi Klein is right about the necessity of a post-election strategy but I do not think that the Progressive Movement was wrong to put all effort in first avoiding another 4 years of hellish conservatism. Voting for Obama was the right thing to do. And concentrating our votes on one candidate instead of scattering them in the wind and see McCain win was the good call to make under the circumstances.

I do like Obama a lot. But now we owe to him to oppose the right wing neocons with all our might to help him create the political climate favorable to a Progressive agenda. As I said many times before, the Repugs won't just roll-over and die. They will try to manipulate this into their advantage. Nothing will be given to us: we just need to do the same and create momentum our way for our own good.

Found on Bad Attitudes.

To Unearth What is Hidden in Silence.... Harold Pinter



Goodbye
to a man that gave us a place to ponder on what we try so hard to hide from ourselves... to no avail.

I love poets because their entire lives are given to create magic, beauty and sense out of fleeting glimpses. Pinter was no different but he held a special place in my heart because, unlike Beckett or others lost in the same absurdity they were trying to denounce and observe, he decided to fight the lies and the abuse of power.

I can't believe how the "L'Art pour l'art" sake crowd still do not understand how their supposedly "neutral" or "ironic" stance is actually a participative one, ingrained in the dominant culture dynamics. I think that the artists that count for me are those that, like Pinter himself, Toni Morrison, Jamaica Kincaid or Salman Rushdie (though the last two would denie such active posturing), understand that their art is not created in a vacuum nor that disengagement is a "cool" position hinting at moral and political independence: it's just naivete in action. Dangerously seductive but inanely stupid.

When I see my monsters die one after the other (Paul Newman is another cherished icon from my youth that I mourn), I wonder who can replace them or give us some of what they gave us throughout their lives. And the emptiness only gets darker, the loss harsher...

The Real Maverick Calls for an Inquiry On Gaza



From Democratic Underground/Dennis Kucinich web site:

"KUCINICH CALLS FOR INDEPENDENT UNITED NATIONS INQUIRY ON GAZA
Israeli government attacks civilians in violation of international law



Washington, Dec 29 -

U.S. Congressman Dennis Kucinich today released the following statement as Israeli attacks on Gaza have gone into a third day with a pending ground invasion of Gaza by Israel:

“Today I sent a letter to Secretary General Ban ki-Moon urging the United Nations to establish an independent inquiry of Israel's war against Gaza. The attacks on civilians represent collective punishment, which is a violation of Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention (http://www.unhchr.ch/html/menu3/b/92.htm). The perpetrators of attacks against Israel must also be brought to justice, but Israel cannot create a war against an entire people in order to attempt to bring to justice the few who are responsible. The Israeli leaders know better. The world community, which has been very supportive of Israel's right to security and its right to survive, also has a right to expect Israel to conduct itself in adherence to the very laws which support the survival of Israel and every other nation,” Kucinich said.

“Israel is leveling Gaza to strike at Hamas, just as they pulverized south Lebanon to strike at Hezbollah. Yet in both cases civilian populations were attacked, countless innocents killed or injured, infrastructure targeted and destroyed, and civil law enforcement negated. All this was, and is, disproportionate, indiscriminate mass violence in violation of international law. Israel is not exempt from international law and must be held accountable. It is time for the UN to not just call for a cease-fire, but for an inquiry as to Israel's actions.”

According to published news reports, since the commencement of aerial strikes, over 300 Palestinians have been killed and approximately 1,400 have been wounded. The dead include 20 children under the age of 16--nearly half of them killed while on a school bus, according to the United Nations--and 9 women. The attack aggravated a humanitarian crisis wrought by the Israeli-imposed blockade of food, fuel, and medical supplies. With a population of 1.5 million people, the Gaza Strip is among the most densely populated territories in the world."


Remember that the Idiot-In-Chief's mama once said: ''Why should we hear about body bags and deaths and how many, what day it's gonna happen? . . . It's not relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?''

Time to put in practice a variation of Georges Constanza's secret for success: just do the opposite of what Georges Bush and family would do and you should display a beautiful sound mind and have a solid moral compass.

Racism Within The GOP!!: No? Really?!!



Some people just woke up from their Reagan induced slumber and just discovered that the GOP have been exploiting the "race card" since the Max Headroom days of blaming all ills on the Black welfare queen (while staying silent on the plight of the many poor women - Black, White or other - trying to live with their family on a couple of hundred bucks a month - may they be working on minimum wage or not.)

They are so surprised that they do not ask themselves how come the GOP strategy was so successful that they did not even need another for over a quarter of a century, with exception to the "my G-O-D is a white, ignorant, mean, short tempered, racist, control freak just like me and he votes for the G-O-P" reductive approach to religion that they try to feverishly shovel down our collective throat all these years.

They are so astounded that they believe that the discovery of a racist ditty in the Republicans' CD collection would mean the demise of the resentment addict political party and the embarrassment of their members. Those fragile, blind souls forgot all about Strum Thurmond, Trent Lott, Georges Wallace or Barry Goldwater. As if racism was some new benign disease that the Republicans would soon be cured of as they will stop claiming "reverse racism" and "state rights" before joining Obama's inauguration party and dance the night away.

So those nice people really do believe that the Republicans are doing some "soul searching". They don't see how funny that sentence is or how full of BS any neonut Repug claiming a soul can be. As when they say they want to "talk" about race. Or they think the press is "hypersensitive" about their racist agenda. All they want right now is to set a way to criticize, ridicule and insult Obama without being call racist to their face. As always, they hope that the Press corp will let them be as disgustingly, violently bigoted as possible without any political repercussions.

And usually the Press will play their game diligently, letting them off the hook without calling them on their reprehensive behaviour. May it be the Idiot-In-Chief devastating war games and illegal schemings or their Alaskan Barbie ugly divisive political views, the Press has no more of the old courageous souls trying to set the record straight for us and protecting the rights of the normal citizen. Most just want to get in bed with power and money, and if this bedfellow is racist - so be it!

Anyway, check out Huffington Post' Sam Stein's story about The Repug's Holidays Soul Searching Hour - I don't believe they spend more time than that on a non stealing-scheming-money grabbing activity. Read if you want a good laugh, the comments are the best part.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Soothing Picture of the Week...



Meanwhile, in a magic land far, far away....
Well, in Blausee (?), Switzerland to be more precise. A pix by Eric Krauss found on EyeFetch.
A world untouched by the Repugs. Yet.

By the way, to everybody that left me comments, thanks again! Especially Laura and David.
I tried to answer but for stupid reasons I can't really understand I can't leave comments on my own blog or answer yours as I wish!!

So David my answer was insanely long and witty and it vanish when I tried to post it.
And Laura, thank you for all the kind words. But more urgently,Kings of Leon - when are they coming back? Can't believe I miss them!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Real Average American Family Problem, Insane Greedy Republican Response...



Nonsensical, greedy, "Give-us-your-money" Republican Fantasy Response of the Day:

We don't need to spend on our infrastructures, we need to spend on private companies' CEOs that maybe will take care of our infrastructures for us between 2 trips to Mexico or some jet-set villa, if ever because... Well, just because.

Rove, the Rat that brought the Plague, Rat zero I guess, decided that not giving all this government money to rich people like in the good old 19th century would be just craaa-zy!

From Alternet:
Posted by Ali Frick, Think Progress on December 24, 2008 at 1:17 PM.

Yesterday, a water main break in Maryland trapped a dozen commuters in their cars and sent rescuers scrambling to pull motorists from frigid floodwaters. Despite the fact that officials had been warning for years of the dangers of the crumbling pipe system, Maryland did not have the money to make the necessary repairs. As ThinkProgress noted yesterday, the water main break is a wake-up call for the need for massive infrastructure spending by the federal government.

Just hours after the water main break, however, Karl Rove belittled the idea of infrastructure spending on Fox News, calling it "goofy, pie-in-the-sky spending ideas," and agreed with host Rich Lowry that infrastructure spending doesn't "make[] any economic sense":

ROVE: What we've got to worry about some of these sort of goofy, pie-in-the-sky spending ideas in which this wisdom of the government is substituted for the wisdom of private individuals in the market, and there we have every right to question. For example, look, I'm in favor of infrastructure spending, but let's be honest about it. It's not stimulative. [...]

LOWRY: It also depends on -- just because it's an infrastructure project doesn't mean it makes any economic sense.

ROVE: Exactly.


Remember, we just gave lots of money - almost 3 trillion as been earmark so far- to complete incompetent strangers and then we forget all about it while waiting for a miracle?

Well, Joseph Linkin in Huff Post underscored the crucial fact that that money could not be asked back. Whatever happen, we have no legal ground to ask it back or to know what happened to it!!:

"Back when Henry Paulson wrote up the proposed $700 billion bailout package, it contained this part called "Section 8," whose thirty-two words basically precluded any or all efforts to hold anyone involved in the disbursement of these monies accountable:

"Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency."

The mainstream media totally missed this. Today, they are all yelling at banks, wondering what happened to all the money. It's quite pathetic, really."

Yeah. We GAVE the money away and whatever happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas...

So, of course, if I was as soulless and morally bankrupt as Rove I would simply ask for more because this is tooo easy!

Truthout's Bill Quigley reminds us of another place where American Citizens gave millions and trillions in "help" money away that never got to the people that really deserved help in the first place: New Orleans:

"Unless citizens are vigilant and demanding, the entire US will be subjected to the same forces that swept through the Gulf Coast after Katrina - spending huge amounts of money and leaving a second disaster behind.

Despite promises of buckets of bucks, New Orleans still has 60,000 abandoned homes. Media reports say that 75 percent of the abandoned buildings have homeless people sleeping in them. Public health care, public education and public housing are all less available and being thoroughly privatized. Crime is sky high, though we still have 100 National Guard members patrolling our streets.

So, what lessons can be learned from Katrina world that apply to the financial bailout?

First, demand transparency. Insist on knowing how much money is being spent, by whom it is being spent, who is receiving it and for what reasons....

Second, keep a constant watch out for predators. Many interests feast on the suffering of others. ...

Third, people have to participate in the decisions. During and after a disaster, there is a vacuum of leadership, and those with the most resources usually rush in, declare an emergency and then go on to make decisions about what has to be done. Not surprisingly, these folks are focused on taking care of their own interests first, and often second and third. We cannot let emergencies be the excuse to avoid democratic decision-making.

Fourth, the human rights of the least powerful must be made a conscious priority. This is the exact opposite of what happens. The human right to housing, land, livelihood and freedom from discrimination must guide the response to the emergency....

Fifth, insist on gender equity. Experiences show a systematic violation of the rights of women in every phase of disasters. ...

If our citizens and organizations demand these five principles be respected and followed, there is a chance that the post-bailout environment will not end up like the post-Katrina landscape of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. Because there is one iron rule in responding to disaster - once that money is gone, it is not coming back."

American Citizens must start to see that THEY are the government and when Rove and his Rat Pack Plague Club steal and bleed the government, its their families, teachers, schools, hospitals, and yes, infrastructures that pay the price. As for the Rats, they are long gone under the sun, sipping margaritas in their tax payer paid villas.



Guess She Was Nice!!: Laura Bush Received a Gold Tent....



... from the Saudi King Abdullah, while the auto workers received a 20$/h pay cut.

From the web site of Michael Moore:

"They could have given the loan on the condition that the automakers start building only cars and mass transit that reduce our dependency on oil.

They could have given the loan on the condition that the automakers build cars that reduce global warming.

They could have given the loan on the condition that the automakers withdraw their many lawsuits against state governments in their attempts to not comply with our environmental laws.

They could have given the loan on the condition that the management team which drove these once-great manufacturers into the ground resign and be replaced with a team who understands the transportation needs of the 21st century.

Yes, they could have given the loan for any of these reasons because, in the end, to lose our manufacturing infrastructure and throw 3 million people out of work would be a catastrophe.

But instead, the Senate said, we'll give you the loan only if the factory workers take a $20 an hour cut in wages, pension and health care..."

My emphasis throughout. But the words and the outrage they carry are deeply shared... And I'm sure that we haven't seen nothing yet. It is transparent now that the Republicans just want a irreversible transfer of wealth and influence in their favor from the American Government.


The Repugs convinced the middle class time and again that they were on its side with big tent appeal and snake oil remedy. I think when the middle class will wake up and see that the Big Boys Club have no intention to play fair or to let them join the fun, it will be way too late.


But somehow, they will blame it all on Obama. I guess the neonuts just hope that Obama will fail BIG TIME and that President Palin will make a "Real American" comeback and "save the day" when some of Obama's policies will start to effectively create a new economical environment.

The future is grim and none other than the Republicans are hoping that it will be grim enough for us to forget Bush as the major culprit and put the blame on something else than their insane misuse and savage destruction of our common institutions.


Joy to The World...


Champagne, caviar and bonuses for all,
big and small...

Happy Holidays!!


Don't believe in the Big Guy, but maybe you do...

Kiss kiss Everybody!

cass

Thursday, December 18, 2008

One Black Man Became President, The Rest Just Soldiered On



The New Era will have to wait a little longer for the rest of us. Not a day pass by that I do not read about African Americans and other people of color being beaten, lie to, financially taken advantages of, discriminate against.

Some stories are just so shocking... Then you understand that the people that are doing those crimes don't even have to be careful or insidious: they know that there is no justice for those assaulted, only financial compensation maybe, like throwing money in the others face and telling them to shut the fuck up already, but no justice.

I am so mad since I read this story just a minute ago. There is nothing new or surprising about this. No new level of consciousness has dawn upon us since November. Yet.

Let me ask you this: if three grown, strong men would come out of a van in front of your house and try to snatch your 12 years old, who started to scream and call you in panic, what would you do?

If you would see those 3 big Neanderthals hitting her, trying to silence her, with their big dumb fists and then take her away in their van, how would you feel?

If, after you learned that those dangerous thugs were police officers in plain clothes that never identified themselves and thought that your little girl was a prostitute because she was outside, black and in shorts, if after you learned all this, those same goons went up to your daughter's school during the day and, instead of offering an apology, they arrested her for resisting arrest, then arrested you for the same unconscionable crazy reason, how would you cope?

From the Houston Press web site:

Police Get The Wrong House In Galveston, Allegedly Assault 12-Year-Old Girl

Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 12:37:01 PM

It was a little before 8 at night when the breaker went out at Emily Milburn's home in Galveston. She was busy preparing her children for school the next day, so she asked her 12-year-old daughter, Dymond, to pop outside and turn the switch back on.

As Dymond headed toward the breaker, a blue van drove up and three men jumped out rushing toward her. One of them grabbed her saying, "You're a prostitute. You're coming with me."

Dymond grabbed onto a tree and started screaming, "Daddy, Daddy, Daddy." One of the men covered her mouth. Two of the men beat her about the face and throat.

As it turned out, the three men were plain-clothed Galveston police officers who had been called to the area regarding three white prostitutes soliciting a white man and a black drug dealer.


All this is according to a lawsuit filed in Galveston federal court by Milburn against the officers. The lawsuit alleges that the officers thought Dymond, an African-American, was a hooker due to the "tight shorts" she was wearing, despite not fitting the racial description of any of the female suspects. The police went to the wrong house, two blocks away from the area of the reported illegal activity, Milburn's attorney, Anthony Griffin, tells Hair Balls.

After the incident, Dymond was hospitalized and suffered black eyes as well as throat and ear drum injuries.

Three weeks later, according to the lawsuit, police went to Dymond's school, where she was an honor student, and arrested her for assaulting a public servant. Griffin says the allegations stem from when Dymond fought back against the three men who were trying to take her from her home. The case went to trial, but the judge declared it a mistrial on the first day, says Griffin. The new trial is set for February.

"I think we'll be okay," says Griffin. "I don't think a jury will find a 12-year-old girl guilty who's just sitting outside her house. Any 12-year-old attacked by three men and told that she's a prostitute is going to scream and yell for Daddy and hit back and do whatever she can. She's scared to death."

Since the incident more than two years ago, Dymond regularly suffers nightmares in which police officers are raping and beating her and cutting off her fingers, according to the lawsuit.
Griffin says he expects to enter mediation with the officers in early 2009 to resolve the lawsuit.

We've got calls in to the officers' lawyer; we'll let you know if we hear something.

Update: This is from the officers' lawyer, William Helfand:

Both the daughter and the father were arrested for assaulting a peace officer. "The father basically attacked police officers as they were trying to take the daughter into custody after she ran off."

Also, "The city has investigated the matter and found that the conduct of the police officers was appropriate under the circumstances," Helfand says. "It's unfortunate that sometimes police officers have to use force against people who are using force against them. And the evidence will show that both these folks violated the law and forcefully resisted arrest."
-- Chris Vogel

This was done 2 years ago. What will happen today?
Can we expect more of our institutions? Are they ready to protect the citizens of this country, not just their collective, uncharitable existence a.k.a. asses. If really they thought that the girl was a child prostitute, shouldn't they be concerned for her? Shouldn't they have been gentle? What does it mean for the thousands child prostitutes in this country? Do you think they feel like they can trust those repulsive, stupid, armed and dangerous goons?

I always thought that the leader of the United States also acted, nationally and internationally, as a moral and behavioural barometer of what is acceptable and even, if the President is good enough, admirable. Reagan gave us triumphant conservatism and rampant racism. Bush gave us looters and morally bankrupt contempt for the American People. Will Obama give us something to be proud of and that can help heal those hundreds of years of hatred? The crisis is not only financial, it's also plainly moral.

The Perfect Gift...


... for that new divorcee: The Ex Voodoo Knife Set!

Also available in pink and gold at Perpetual Kid web site.

God, I love StumbleUpon...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Nobel Economist: In Crisis, Help the Population First

Bush :"I Didn't Compromise my Soul to be a Popular Guy...". WTF?!!



From Digg / Breitbart.

Bush says he didn't compromise soul to be popular


WASHINGTON (AP) - President George W. Bush knows he's unpopular. But here's what matters, he says: "I didn't compromise my soul to be a popular guy." In a wide-ranging interview with Fox News Channel, Bush also praised the national security team assembled by President-elect Barack Obama, offered hope to U.S. automakers seeking government assistance and said the people of Illinois will have to sort out allegations that Gov. Rod Blagojevich sought kickbacks in choosing a successor for Obama's Senate seat.

Bush said presidents fail when they make decisions based on opinion polls.

"Look, everybody likes to be popular," said Bush.

"What do you expect? We've got a major economic problem and I'm the president during the major economic problem. I mean, do people approve of the economy? No. I don't approve of the economy. ... I've been a wartime president. I've dealt with two economic recessions now. I've had, hell, a lot of serious challenges. What matters to me is I didn't compromise my soul to be a popular guy."

An Associated Press-GFK poll last week showed just 28 percent of the public approving of the job Bush is doing, about where he has been all fall. Among Republicans, 54 percent approve, a low figure from members of a president's own political party.

28% STILL like this guy?

He "DEALT" with the recession?

He is a "War President"? Whose freaking bad idea was that?

And what "soul" ? He's probably going to sell the flag he has under his arm to the highest bidder, with everything else that is not bolted down in the White House right now.

And, for God's sake, how many times did he give us the finger already?!!

One Month Blogging!! Thank You!!



Wow! I'm a baby!

I had so much to learn about the Blogging disease in so little time! (Don't kid yourself, it is a disease. But a fun one: it eats you, your time, your mental process and you love it because you're on drugs. Red Bull, people. ONLY Red Bull. And my iPod.)

I know I have a lot to improve so I'll keep it up and try to learn from the best

So thank to all of you passing by, especially those that take the time to comment.

And yes, even you Cindy, my crazy, crazy right-wing neobot BFF.

Rabid Wingnut Bimbo Finally Gets Hers



I won't name her. I'll never dignify her raving empty toxic existence. There's nothing to respect there, she's just another tool in the Repug hate arsenal.

Alan Colmes from Fox (!!!!) summarized her whole life in a beautiful short punch line.

From Digg / Raw Story:

Colmes to Coulter: 'You are a hate crime'


Right-wing pundit Ann Coulter suggested on Monday that she expects an apology from everyone who complained that her harping on President Obama's middle name, Hussein, was a hate crime. However, Fox's token liberal, Alan Colmes refused to oblige her.

Coulter began by telling Colmes, "Lo these many months, when you were accusing me of committing a hate crime ... [the truth about] our president-elect's middle name is that he likes it."

She was referring to Obama's recent announcement that he will use his full name when sworn in as president, Barack Hussein Obama.

Since at least June of 2007, Couter has been calling the then-candidate as "B. Hussein Obama," a practice which she still continues. When Fox host Neil Cavuto asked her in February, "Why do you keep saying the 'B. Hussein Obama'?" Coulter replied, "Well, that's his name. ... He's probably going to be our next president, President Hussein."

"Not only do you owe me an apology," Coulter insisted to Colmes, "but Michelle Obama owes me an apology for calling it was a 'fear-bomb' we were dropping by calling him Hussein."

"I would like my apology now," she smirked, folding her arms and tossing her head pertly. "I'm ready."

"Not an apology," responded Colmes sternly. "He is following tradition in terms of how a president is sworn in. You purposely underscored his middle name, diminishing his first name, to point out that he had the name of a terrorist!"

Coulter, who had previously noted that Obama "also said that this was to 'reboot' our relations with the Muslim world," insisted in response, "It can not simultaneously be a hate crime to use a man's middle name and ... for him to say 'this is going to change our relations with the Muslim world.'"

"Ann," Colmes finally said in frustration, "I think you are a hate crime."


"Thank you," Coulter replied smugly.

Of course she would thank him smugly. Being smug IS her only answer to everything. Miss "Jews needs 'perfecting'. " She's totally sickening.

And I think it's about time Colmes get frustrated more often...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Can Daschle do it?



Well, some big shot from the right is scared enough and he elegantly put forth a way to keep citizen of this country to get healthcare because he never traveled (trust me, if he did, he would have seen how absurd to believe that the United States can continue to have a huge unhealthy, uninsured workforce and still think it is competitive) and he hopes the really unhealthy ones will just die, this being a Darwin world and all that.

I still can't believe that in this day and age there are people that can't see that you get more through cooperation than simplistic, genocidal Darwinist fantasy.

Moreover, I still can't believe that, after the Wall Street debacle and the slow decline of the middle class into poverty, there are still people claiming that the free market will win the day. They still define success for this country by what 1% of its population have in their bank account!!

It's insane. Telling them that it will be good for the majority make them give a reflex reaction to the word "majority" or "common". Or "good". THEY are the one that , as the Repug nutwing that they are, more than anything want to be part of an elite. The rich destructive one. That's all.

The Reasons to Fear, according to US News and World Report:

1) Passage would be a political gamechanger.
2) Shrinking government would get exponentially tougher
3) Republicans better earn to competently talk healthcare.

In other word, they want poor people to somehow scrapped the money themselves to pay the companies and feel "empowered" by that simple Darwinian fact. Because "relieving the patient of the stress of making decision about treatment" or the fact that he or she "does not have to worry about shopping around for the best price" is a bad thing.

Oh, and Obama is your worst nightmare. Not Bush and his mess. No. Focus on Obama. Now.

(And number two is just so funny!!! Imagining the Republicans shrinking ANYTHING is funny!! Ego, Scandals, Budget, Waste, War, Injustice, Unemployment, Mess... The only thing they shrink are taxes for the rich...)

So lots of opposition against the Healthcare system. I don't understand since there are so many model of it working in different countries all over the world to great success and not one have gone Bolshevik yet. I think.

Can Daschle kill those flim flam excuses for the masses without a filibuster?

That's what I'm wondering. I didn't read his book and I know he helped Hillary with the same problem before so it won't be his first time at the bat. Can he not be played and made the fool by the PA attitude of the Republicans?

Easy to see what they will do: they will simply claim how bad it will be for the working class. It is their only lie and it is their best.

It has already started:"Uncle Sam would require individuals and families to put 15 percent of their income into health savings accounts. If you run out of money before year-end, the government steps in. If you don't, you get the money back or it rolls over into a retirement account."

Bet you anything that they 'll present it as Obama's nightmare plan. Come on, 15% of revenue! Nobody pays that in Canada! Why would you, especially with 10 times the population.

But who will listen if Daschle is not quick enough to kill such rumors as soon as they are born, laughing at the Repugs' very small minded definition of what success is for America all the while...

Of Mystic Yoga and the Kennedys



What?!

No Politics?!!!

You know its a low cycle when all people can talk about is a shoe. Not that this guy doesn't deserve some praise. I would have gladly given him my shoe to throw. Hell, I would have thrown it myself to the face of the indulgent monster saying "So what?!" to all the innocent people killed in Iraq.

I guess Bush just said his famous last words. We'll know how history will remember him by...before the Repug slice and dicing major face lift revision, I mean. It's already started, Repugs being efficient little drone after all. But hearing Joe the Plumber comparing himself to Muntather Zaidi might make the incarcerated journalist want to throw up and throw another shoe at Wurzelbacher's smug opportunistic face.

But still, what else is there? Caroline Kennedy?
What an ironic microcosm of the history of feminism. Sure Hillary was just another Clinton when she started her NY senate campaign but she did earn her dues, facing a voracious Republican venom machine and winning. Since then, she has that perpetually tired look on her face... Caught between a lefty, philandering smooth talker and rabid wingnut dogs, I would look worn out too.

And now, after all of Hillary's effort to clear a path to the Senate, she gets whisk away by a tall dark handsome stranger and its the youngish Kennedy that gets the throne without breaking a sweat!
Yes, I know. Kennedy did her part (with her uncle Ted) to help Obama elected. But the obvious reason here for the Camelot move is successoral: Let's not forget that the Kennedys need politics as much as left wing politics needs the Kennedys.

The very sudden tragic illness of the Kennedy Political Patriarch make grooming the next generation more urgent probably than what was anticipated. So Caroline will be thrown into the arena now, and not just as a witness to usher help as a silent shadow/donor. I hope she's ready: getting there is one thing, staying is a whole other ball game. I wish her luck ...and a very thick skin.

Soooo....

Since my computer caught some ugly bug, since I had to stay awake all night with Nikky, My Dell and me as sick as sick can be, Ladies and Gentlemen,

let me introduce to you, the "Emotional Health" Moment.

I think even Hillary should read it and weep.
From the Everyday Health web site, my emphasis throughout:

Nurturing Yourself

While you may know a great deal about nurturing others, advancing your own needs may not be second nature.

It’s common wisdom, for example, that women spend a larger percentage of their waking hours nurturing others than men do. Whether women work outside the home or not, studies suggest they average more time tending house and loved ones. If you’re a woman, odds are good that you provide the emotional glue that holds relationships and families together. You buy the birthday cards, pick up the phone to offer help or support when someone’s sick, and do much of the work or coordination of services involved in caring for elderly parents, children, grandchildren, and spouses in need of assistance. Our culture expects you to be self-sacrificing. Your own needs may take last place; putting yourself first is cast as selfishness.

For men, our society places great emphasis on getting ahead. That can encourage a single-minded focus on career to the detriment of other activities. In this way, men are discouraged from indulging their nurturing side.

Just as women are pressed from the get-go to give to others, men are pushed toward the receiving end. That creates imbalances and potential sources of distress for both sexes. If you’re a woman, you may not feel comfortable taking time to refresh yourself. If you’re a man, you may not have much practice creating your own nurturing rituals and, like your female counterpart, you may feel uneasy doing so. Clearly, women and men can benefit from learning to focus on themselves in healthy, rejuvenating ways.

The art of self-nurture is not a single technique. Rather, it’s an overarching concept for your life, says psychologist Alice D. Domar in her book Self-Nurture. The spark you gain from nurturing your imagination, career, relationships, sex life, or spiritual side amplifies the healing effects of other stress-relief techniques. "

Breathe Hillary. And thank you for all the hard work!

Friday, December 12, 2008

More Proofs That Republicans Couldn't Care Less About American Families...



I don't know who the "reliable source is" but I don't think that what he said happened is too far from the truth. From Talking Point Memo:

What Happened

12.12.08 -- 9:48AM
By Josh Marshall

A quick update from a knowledgeable source who works in that big building with the dome ...

I don't think it'll be hard to explain why Senate Republicans had the final say: that's what the Constitution and Senate rules require. How else would we have passed anything?

I do think it'll be hard for Senate Republicans to explain themselves.

They were invited, repeatedly, to participate in more than a week of negotiations with a Republican White House. They declined.

They were asked to provide an alternative bill. They refused.

Finally, one of their members - Senator Corker of Tennessee - participated in a day-long negotiation with Senate Democrats, the UAW, and bondholders. Everyone made major concessions. Democrats gave up efficiency and emissions standards. UAW accepted major benefit cuts and agreed to reduce workers' wages. Bondholders signed off on a serious haircut. But when Senator Corker took the deal back to the Republican Conference, they argued for two hours and ultimately rejected it.

Why? Because they wanted the federal government to forcibly reduce the wages of American workers within the next 12 months.

Heard this morning that President Bush may still use TARP money to rescue the automakers. He reportedly doesn't want to end up as the next Hoover.



The emphasis are all mine.

Well. Believe it or not, in this particular instance, I hate to be right.

I hope some real journalists will ask some real hard questions to Republicans pretty soon and stop acting like corporate hacks.

If you want a comparative study of Bush and Hoover's presidencies, you'll find a good one on the Center For American Progress web site. It's interesting but you'll see that sadly the differences are merely cosmetic and unfavorable to Bush. I know: no surprises there...

The Emerging Third World U.S.




Still have doubts that the Republicans wants a Wal-Mart America with a docile, uneducated mass of non unionized workers?

I found this essay on the Comment by "T" blog. It explains the erosion of a certain American "way of life" brought upon by a myopic endorsement of globalization and a whole country living in a enchanting paradise bought on credit.


Francis Ferguson
OpEd News
February 26, 2008

I have an expression I present to my economics classes. It has a certain impact: the US is a a third world nation, we just haven’t realized it yet. Our emerging status isn’t obvious. Products remain relatively cheap (energy excluded) despite the falling value of the dollar against most foreign currencies. But there are real signs.

Most Americans who are paying attention have noticed a long term decline in manufacturing jobs in the US. Quarter after quarter, year after year, the government reports job gains, but those gains are primarily in service industries: health care (we’re not talking doctors, here), restaurants and bars, retail trade and, until recently, construction. A close examination of the figures will usually reveal a decline in manufacturing jobs. This is not an accident.


Chinese factory


The loss of American manufacturing jobs is largely the result of American firms moving their manufacturing off shore, to labor markets in which workers earn a tiny fraction of US wages. Once the globalization process began in earnest, it became impossible for many American firms to maintain US production even if the wished to. Keeping jobs here would render these firm uncompetitive as the rivals moved to take advantage of peasant wages in places like China , India and other developing nations.

Over the past 30 years, American manufacturing has moved offshore at an accelerating rate. Walk through any big box store (or any other for that matter) and look where things are made. Overwhelmingly, it’s China or other developing nations. The process is inexorable. With “Globalization” we have opened the world’s borders to free trade in goods and services. On the one hand, this has presented opportunities for US manufacturers to expand profits by shifting production to countries where wages are a tiny fraction of those in the United States. Goods made abroad can be sold at an attractive price in the US while still allowing producers to increase the difference between price and total cost, otherwise known a profit. Those companies with a sense of national pride and identity are, finally, forced to move some or all of their production offshore in order to survive.

Aside from the short term charm of finding bargains on the shopping rack, there are serious consequences here. Let’s look them. The first problem is the disappearance of the American “living wage”. The only reason Americans have managed to avoid confronting their declining real income per capita it by increasing the number of family members working. There was a time, in American mythology at least, when people accepted that one working family member could support 4 people at a reasonable standard of living. This was the vision of America Nixon and Krushchev debated, famously, at an exhibit of the postulated US living standards presented in the Soviet Union. This was the Ozzie and Harriet version of American life which was broadcast to the world and to the home audience as standard: the norm. It wasn’t, of course, but it was close enough to what middle America saw around them to be at least plausible. The incomes implicit in that early 1960’s view of American life may have improved until the early 1970’s (there was a war going on and war is always good for employment and incomes), but since that time statistics indicate that the real (inflation adjusted) incomes of American working people have actually declined.



Fastfood worker



Already, young people are finding no jobs, or a universe of job opportunities which pay poverty wages… This is a problem that is not going away. It’s going to get worse.


A revealing example of this is the February 12th 2008 decision by General Motors to offer buyouts to all 74,000 union hourly workers. This followed closely a similar action by Ford. This would include severance packages for all employees, varying in terms depending on years of service. Relatively new employee’s would get a lump sum payment for leaving and forfeiting all health and post retirement benefits. The new workers, waiting in the wings, will earn on average $16 and hour as opposed to the current average $28 an hour. That rounds to a 43% reduction in income, and little is revealed about what benefits these new workers will receive, or whether or not the will have union representation—though I expect they will. Here is an example of a central, traditional area of American employment were workers are moving from an average of $58,240 pre-tax per year to $33,280 pre-tax. Obviously, these people have a surprising readjustment to make. They’re just the prominent tip of the iceberg. Already, young people are finding no jobs, or a universe of job opportunities which pay poverty wages. It’s why so many young workers (and unemployed youngsters) live at home.

This is a problem that is not going away. It’s going to get worse. Several convergent forces are leading to US economic destabilization. One force driving this tragedy is free trade, also called globalization. One of the more profound spokesmen on this subject is Paul Craig Roberts an economist in the Reagan Administration who has written extensively on the topic and lends support to the argument that globalization is on the verge of ruining the US economy.

The loss of American manufacturing jobs is largely the result of American firms moving their manufacturing off shore, to labor markets in which workers earn a tiny fraction of US wages. Once the globalization process began in earnest, it became impossible for many American firms to maintain US production even if the wished to. Keeping jobs here would render these firm uncompetitive as the rivals moved to take advantage of peasant wages in places like China , India and other developing nations. Even signature American enterprises such as Boing are moving larger segments of their airliner manufacturing to other countries. The finished sub-assemblies for the 777 Dreamliner, for example, are flown to Seattle for final assembly. Highly skilled professionals, such as radiologists (medical doctors specializing in interpreting X-rays) are finding their work sent via high speed communications to much lower paid radiologists in places like India. The effect of allowing the unimpeded flow of capital and goods and services between nations is precisely the same as allowing the free movement of people across borders. In the end, we will experience a relative equalization of wages, world wide. Obviously, those in the current Third World will find wages improving. With billions of impoverished workers waiting in the “wings”, US workers will find their wage declines much more starting and profound than the increases granted to the struggling poor of the developing world.

A byproduct of moving manufacturing to developing nations is a persistent negative balance of trade. For the past 30 or 40 years, the US balance of trade has been in deficit. That is, we’ve bought more from the world than we’ve sold to them. What this means is that other countries have been paid dollars in excess of their intentions to use dollars to buy US goods.
A good example of this is our trade with China.

US Trade With China 1980 - 2006

Year $Billions
1980 2.7
1985 0
1990 -10.4
1995 -33.8
2000 -83.8
2001 -83.1
2002 -103.1
2003 -124.0
2004 -162.0
2005 -201.6
2006 -121.5
Source: www.italy.usembassy.gov/pdf/other/RL33536.pdf

The table, above, shows a relentlessly increasing balance of trade deficit with China. By 2006, the cumulative deficit with China was $950,500,000,000. It is larger today, and China is not alone as a nation with which we are running a deficit. There are many others, Japan being a notable example. Why are the Chinese, Japanese, Indonesians and others willing to hold claims against US dollars, claims they aren’t going to use to buy US made goods or services?

This was a question that plagued me as an economist trying to explain the workings of currency markets and free floating exchange rates to interested students. Under normal market circumstances, the Chinese and others would simply convert dollars into currencies they were interested in using for purchases of imported goods; the value of the dollar would fall and that would make US goods cheaper, US imports more expensive and would tend to equalize our balance of payments situation. But that didn’t happen. The US has been in a consistent balance of payments deficit since the early 1970’s, and somehow the dollar didn’t fall, US exports continued to shrink and US imports exploded. There are several factors at work, here.

The first is the fact that countries like China are seeing their development fueled in significant measure by sales to the US. If the Chinese cashed their dollar claims in for, say, Euros, the dollar would collapse effectively ending the US’s ability to power Chinese economic growth. This collapse of the dollar would also mean the Chinese and other dollar holders would only get a fraction of their nominal dollar wealth in the form of Euros—they’d lose their “dollar gains”.

What the Chinese, and other dollar holders, have chosen to do is to buy US Government bonds, US corporate bonds and US properties. In effect, we purchase more from China than they intend to buy from us, and they simply lend the money back to us. In this way, the get interest earnings, and rents and profits from the US lands and businesses they purchase. In a real sense, the Chinese have financed the war in Iraq and Afghanistan.





Finally, should dollar holder dump dollars indiscriminately, they would scrap their holdings of the very currency they need to purchase crude oil from the OPEC nations who, until recently, have agreed to sell oil only for US dollars. Dollars used to purchase crude oil are called ‘petro-dollars’. A very significant component of the world demand for dollars has to do with buying petroleum. It’s interesting to note that, apparently, Saddam Hussein was proposing selling oil in currencies other than dollars before we deposed him. Equally interesting is the fact that Iran has been selling oil to China in Yuan.

The ultimate point, here, is the absolute unsustainability of the US’s position. We cannot expect our trading partners to hold dollars in unlimited quantities, and as we’ve no hope of being able to achieve a positive balance of trade, that’s exactly what we are effectively seeking. That nations are cautiously moving out of dollar holdings is revealed by the rather steady overall decline in the value of the dollar over the past three years. This will continue.

With the falling dollar, rising import prices and declining wages and salaries for American workers, the US is headed for a radically different lifestyle. Until US wages fall far enough to make us competitive with workers in developing nations, our decline will continue. Globalization let this evil genie out of it’s bottle, and it’s not clear that anything can force it back.

Oh! If only Americans Could Work for 1$ a Day, Like Everybody Else....



...the "economy" (The Repug's wonderfully rich constituents) would just feel splendid!!

If you had any doubt that what the Republicans are after is an impoverishment of the United States....

This from FireDogLake:

While Mitch McConnell and other Republicans have hinted that their opposition to investment in the Big Three is all about busting the unions, Jim DeMint refreshingly came out and admitted it yesterday on NPR.

Norris: Now, you know the unions are saying this is also a political ploy on the part of the Republicans to try get rid of unions and use the auto industry troubles to do just that.

DeMint: Well, I’m not trying to get rid of the unions, but I am saying that they appear to be an antiquated concept in today’s economy.

And if that wasn't explicit enough for you...

DeMint: These car companies are in real trouble. And they should’ve been planning to restructure for a long time. But the political aspect of this is most of this is being done to protect unions, uh, it’s not to protect the workers. And what I want to do is make sure we have jobs for these workers and we have first-class American automobile companies. And we’re not going to do it with the barnacles of unionism wrapped around their necks.

I'm not saying Jim DeMint is using the credit crisis to take down the unions, but he does appear to be a union-busting asshole.*

The Republicans: Leaving the Country Bankrupt and Proud of It!




The US Press is Playing Hangman Again...

Remember my question about Fitzgerald? Well, I always forget that if Kenneth Starr was the right brutish, dauntless hound dog, the Press was the hunt party beater.

Obama's not even swear in yet that the Repugs tiring tactics have already started. Shame on the Dems if they do not know how to react to the same strategy line time and again!! Because, the Repugs might unquestionably be an organized, disciplined, relentless bunch but they do lack imagination. They learn a trick (and like Microsoft, they are not about innovation, their tricks are usually somebody else's idea, yet they adapt it to fit their own need like a glove...) and use it till its threads are exposed for all to see. So I seriously do not understand how the democrats can act so surprise each time!

For example, in California, they're doing the same bait and switch as usual calling the Press saying that the Dems are not playing "fair", that they are being too partisan, while they are the ones being ridiculously rigid and partial. They're a pouting, rabid pack of two years old every time they don't get their way and the Dems acts like irresponsible, overprotective hen mothers.

Democrats need to stop protecting their collective ass and the Republican idiots that's kicking it!!!

If ever you have dealt with passive aggressive narcissists before , you already recognized the pattern of shifting blame and diverting attention toward trivial matters while the house's on fire!

I hope that Obama's analysts and core strategists understand that the Republicans WILL TRY AGAIN, they will keep derailing all beneficial or constructive endeavors, communications and ideas. It is a compulsion. A need to sabotage every attempt that the democrat show of moving ahead, or solving a problem. And I really hope that what Obama is doing right now that's working is being done consciously and not just because he alone is smart enough not to be suck into the uncooperative, stubborn Republican vortex of useless obstructions.

It's time for Democrat to stop reacting to them and set the pace themselves, like Obama is doing, by ignoring the temper tantrums and repeat incessantly the message that need to be carried through to the population, explaining to them how it will benefit the country as a WHOLE and not only the gentlemen of the country club.

As Dave Johnson observed in a post on his Seeing the Forest blog, California is being threaten of massive layoffs by the Repug AND they killed an industry that is responsible for 5% of the total jobs in the United States.

But somehow, the Democrats have failed to explain that to the population and get their point across.

And yet, I just know there is a good chance that they'll fail this country even more when they'll start to play their usual martyr role, and panicking, appoint all their resources to answer the usual round of unsubstantiated accusations, leaving all our hope for change in the dust.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Soothing Pictures of the Week








From Tori's Pics web site. Since I do not want to waste too much space with pictures, the medium size really don't do them justice. Just click and enlarge, or better yet, go visit Tori's site. Check out the sea of garbage pic. It's not a sea but it is impressive.