Welcome to Prairie Country
"The price of freedom is eternal vigilance."
Thursday, July 31, 2008
That's Joe Lieberman's reaction to the McCain "I'm proud of this..." celebrity ad.
Sounds like Joe's tryin' out for Viagra spokesman a la Bob "Down Boy" Dole. Guess L'il Joey needs to plan for something after November 4, 'cause he's gonna be Senatora non grata with the Dems and used garbage with the Rethugs.
Better rest up, Hadassah.
The rollout of hate, slime and smear from the McCain camp in recent days proves with clarity this one thing:
John McCain has surrendered his honor, his integrity, his civility—some might say his manhood— to the merchants of hate within the Republican Party. Karl Rove and his succubi, Freedom's Watch, Adelstein. The only one missing is Medusa Matalin.
Maverick? Straight talker? Not so much.
"This is just one example of why John Weaver hasn't been involved in this campaign in over a year." McCain campaign manager, Rick Davis, snapping back to Andrea Mitchell's reading of Weaver's criticism of the "celebrity" ad.
Why? Because he's a decent, honorable human being?
Davis scrambling to defend his boss McCain with Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC. The distinctive stench of desperation oozing out of every pore.
UPDATE: Ron Brownstein stating the obvious to Mitchell: unsavory elements in the "celebrity" ad, the use of young blonde white women, reminiscent of the ad against Harold Ford. Plus noting McCain's sharper personal attacks and palpable lack of regard against Obama.
Will the McCainiacs pull back from these tactics? Or just go underground?
UPDATE 2: McCain provides an answer. At his town hall today, he says "We're proud of that commercial." Remember that, folks. A race-baiting ad. He's proud of it.
Little did I know, when I riffed off a haiku-esque "tribute" entry in Firedoglake's recent nightside "TedFest" that it would lead to the fame and glory of not just finals-ness, but winning in the haiku category for this entry:
Here are the winners:
Ted Stevens glows at midnight.
Son already sunk.
Glaciers calving justice
--- Prairie Sunshine
Well, okay, it's not pure haiku. I already mind-edited that last line to "Glaciers calve justice" ... but who can argue with a little bit o'funshine amid all the gloom'n'doom of real life these days.
And who can argue with an "honoree" going to the extreme length of getting himself indicted right amid the judging process. Is that metaphorific or what.
And as for the purists about the exactitude of the haiku, I revise and extend my response—it's the in-thing to do, some say—and call it "haiku-iness."
If "-iness" is good enough for Stephen, Colbert that is, it's good enough for me.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Earlier this week (yesterday, actually) I said an Obama-Kaine ticket would be A-OK with me. And then I started doing the homework I should have done before I said that.
Crooks and Liars' take on Tim Kaine presents what is for me an inviolable objection to putting Kaine on the ticket. Kaine's pro-life, anti-stem cell research dogma are ones I cannot accept.
As I updated this evening at the end of Tuesday's "Testing the Waters," when you are a cancer survivor family, some policies are litmus tests. Stem cell research, for us, is such a test. This transcends politics and party. It is the ultimate pro-life issue for families like ours.
So, lesson learned for Prairie. Policies matter. Knowing what policies and philosophies a candidate holds matters. And conveying those policies to the voting public matters this election year.
Amid all the sturm und drang about negativity and celebrity and who's got attitude and who's presidential and who's pro-choosing to sacrifice his honor for campaign tactics, it all really comes down to cutting through the usual crapola of shiny objects we get from the media and pundits.
So that we get to the bottom line: Know the policies. Then you will know the candidates.
And that's a helluva lot more important than flag pins or Britney Spears.
There they go again, the vapid vapors media doin' the heavy lifting for the McCain campaign of the latest whine-and-sheesh ad attacking Barack Obama.
Shame on MSNBC and CNN. This kind of propaganda-pushing we've come to expect from Faux News. But I guess now that McCain's made it the in-thing to toss your honor and integrity out the window, you in the BBQ media are going to play right along.
If you think this is some kind of "fair and balanced" for the media coverage Obama justifiably earned last week for his visits to the Middle East and Europe, let me be blunt: it's not.
And it is pathetic.
UPDATE: For further thoughts on dogwhistle tactics and the media who help push them, this from digby.
If you find time to read nothing else today, please, please, read this powerful posting by nonnymouse over at Crooks and Liars.
nonnymouse finds compassion and forgiveness for the man who gunned down innocents in the Unitarian Church. And says the right wing hate machine have blood on their hands for their part in propelling this act of terrorism.
Today, let us all say "I Am a Unitarian."
McCain surrogate Charlie Crist gettin' his road test for the Veepstakes this morning with JoeScar on MSNBC? [link when and if they post one]
Crist certainly proved he can dodge and duck a straightforward question...repeated multiple times by Scarborough... in the best evasive, subject-changing tradition of the radical 'thugs about whether he agrees with McCain's lowlife statement that Barack Obama would be willing to lose a war to win the election.
Even Scarborough found that smear way beyond stunning.
The Florida Governor did his best to push the positives about his guy Johnny Mac.
But this I'm positive about: the candidate who is so desperate to win he will say anything, do anything [sellout to Big Oil for campaign contributions, anyone?], flip-flop on his promised integrity and honor, and bear false witness is the AWOL-from-the-Senate and AWOL from his honor pledge John McCain.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Froomkin writes in his WaPo column about the role of who was directing Monica Goodling in the twisting of the Department of Justice into an ideological corruption of justice with the ticking timebomb of embedded radical right extremists who would remain long after BushCo leaves the White House.
Indeed, it's hard to reach any conclusion other than that White House political operatives masterminded a plan to defile the Justice Department's mission in the short run and to seed its ranks with people who will be in a position to continue the corruption for a long time to come.Defile.
For their ends justify any means modus operandi, this is just one more sordid chapter in the same sorry saga of the worst presidency and vice-presidency in the history of this nation.
Bush and Chee-knee's names will have legacies. With the worst scoundrels of history.
Watching Virginia Governor Tim Kaine ably deflect the media barrage of questions about whether he will be Obama's choice for the veep slot this a.m. While injecting the strong standing Virginia has as the "best managed state in the country."
Whether it's eye-raq, or whether it's once again the economy, stupid....
Obama-Kaine '08 would be A-OK with me.
UPDATE 7/30/2008 7:04 pm.
Well, maybe not: from C&L this about Kaine.
Stem cell research is a litmus test for me. When you're a cancer survivor family, some things are more important than politics, than party.
This morning, the Oracle of NBC/MSNBC, the man with the magic numbers, on teevee early this morning sayin' Don't believe the polls, they're all over the board, they're not to be relied on. The gospel according to Chuck Todd, uber number-cruncher: Even the gold standard, Gallup, is not to be believed right now...
So why are Scarborough and Mika twistin' the Gallup poll of likely voters this morning and saying Obama's in big trouble? All concern trolling this morning. Along with Richard Cohen at the Washington Post and The Villagers going boogah-boogah, risky business, paperthin.... Gee, Mika says, we're not being fair....
Hmmmm, I've just completed a poll of likely voters in the Sunshine family and whoo-wee, Obama gets 100% of the votes.
Sunshine Poll: Obama 100%, McCain 0%.
Sunshine Poll, more reliable than Gallup. And the bazillion made-up polls floating around. And the media.
Contemplating the sunrise this morning, and the awesome power of waterfalls, courtesy the La Paz River in Waterfall Gardens Nature Park, Costa Rica.
Some would say we need to harness that power, turn it into hydro, to serve man. Yeah, I'm torn between recalling that ol' Twilight Zone episode and the headlines of the day about Monica Goodling's loyalty test for the Dept of Justice, to serve a man.
Seems all kinda golden calf, doesn't it?
We've gotten things wrong so many times in our history, mankind's history. We are at a moment of change when we have an opportunity to get things right. So as we contemplate freeing ourselves from our addiction to Big Oil, let's keep in mind the consequences of what we choose as alternatives.
Let's remember the waterfalls...they've been here untold milennia, rushing to the seas, circulating the entire planet, sending off droplets of moisture that feed the cloud forests and the creatures within.
In our stampede to find new solutions, let's make sure we choose solutions that enrich and steward the planet...instead of despoiling it. And ourselves.
Monday, July 28, 2008
On a quick roundtrip errand run this morning—carefully calibrated to make a circuit with no backtracking, no delays at train crossings watching the gazillion-car trains hauling North Dakota coal out East, and turns left far more than right, I noted a sign of the times: gas at the Holiday station store on the far southside: $3.58.9 a gallon.
Call it the Pickens Effect. Oh, I know the VVM [vapid vapors media] will spew the Big Oil friendly spin that it's people driving less that have brought oil prices down...or no damage from the latest tropical storm/hurricane to roll across the Gulf Coast... and that's part of it. But to say that's it as though that's all it is, is kinda like sayin' "the surge has worked...." while ignoring the gorillas in the room.
Because I'm convinced the real driver of high energy costs is the Chee-knee Energy Plan...cooked up in early days of the BushCo Administration with his Texas-based cronies. A plan to drive up demand...how's that tax break for gas guzzlers workin' out?
A plan to artificially diminish supply...crank up the deposits in the oil reserves, folks, oh, and while you're at it...cry whine and sheesh over the fewer refineries...and don't mention that the fewer refineries are bigger and...well, I almost said better...but that's subjective. But at least the fewer refineries can be taken off-line any ol' time a Texas heart feels like pumpin' a little more crude goudging and a little less crude oil.
And then there's the futures boys, from Wall Street to West Texas, speculatin' in tomorrow's cost of oil.
And if you've got one of their own sayin' he's been an oil man for all those years and "this is one crisis we can't drill our way out of" then you're going to have a whole lotta folks quiverin' in their high-priced Texas boots and Wall Street loarers.
And tomorrow's oil starts looking not so good. Because if you start aggressively developing—not just talkin' about—alternatives to oil, the futures are going to dry up and the costs are going to drive down.
There's plenty to look at. Wind energy, solar, natural gas, switchgrass, biodiesel, nuclear, magnetic...heck, there's probably energies we haven't even thought about yet.
But while we're lookin', might be a good idea, too, to look at history. And who's got an incentive to destroy some energies—electric cars, anyone?—to save their own hides. And who do you trust.
So do I trust ol' T. Boone? Not as far as I can throw a Swiftboat.
He's going to be one of the first hogs at the trough for more tax breaks and loopholes and the whole business of socializing capitalists while starvin' consumers.
But we gotta get there somehow, and if we keep our eyes on the ball, and elect the people who will look out for the people's interests, call the media when they're shillin' for their advertisers instead of reporting facts, use common sense regulations so the outlaws can't take over and monopolize the whole effort...then we just might have a chance to reinvent not only energy policy but the whole energy of the planet.
Sunday, July 27, 2008
First, I discovered that there was no audio on the Minnesota station where I planned to watch "Meet the Press" and Tom Brokaw's interview with Barack Obama. Yes, I do have DirectTv, why do you ask?
Then I glanced at the lineup for this week's "This Week" and added the panel of "experts" to the interview with McCain by the smaller of the two who gave us insufferable minutes of Flag Lapel Pin talk in lieu of debate... and decided to go with the guy who gets far too little attention on Sunday mornings.
Bob Schieffer and his guests, Chuck Hagel and Jack Reed, the Senators who traveled to the Middle East with Barack Obama, provided the kind of Sunday morning conversation every talking head show should be required to watch and learn from. On both sides of the microphone. And both sides of the political aisle.
As Schieffer noted, it was illuminating.
Maybe it's the half-hour format that enforces a cut-thru-the-crapola directive so that the questions and the answers are coherent and direct. Not a gotcha to be heard. No frills, no shrills, no showboating, no spin-erama.
Maybe it was the guests, both workhorses of the Senate not showhorses. Serious about their duty to public service, or, as Hagel put it, "country before party."
Maybe it's the absence of a pundit panel tellin' us how we're supposed to think about what they've decided is the news'n'narrative of the day.
Or maybe it's Schieffer.
A rock solid journalist in the tradition of CBS' finest, Cronkite and Murrow. And someone of whom you don't have to speculate whether his loyalty is to journalism or spin-ography.
A WOG — a wise ol' guy — who still gets it done far better than the parade of press'n'pundits who masquerade as journalists on teevee these days.
Saturday, July 26, 2008
In a week when Barack Obama looked not just chiefly, but presidential...side by side with generals, world leaders...in arguably the key capitals of Europe and the Middle East...
Perhaps it would have been better if McCain scheduled himself a little R'n'R... retooling and reintroduction... instead of ranting and revisionism.
Or, as Rich notes, perhaps he should be glad he's not getting the kind of press coverage Obama's getting right now. The BBQ media has been doing a fine job of finessing all his misstakes, missteps and misinformationing.
Reality, in the form of a media corps that presents McCain accurately and totally, may well be the last thing his campaign needs. Be careful what you wish for, indeed.
Friday, July 25, 2008
Talk about a Friday dump.
On Hardball this evening/afternoon, Chris Matthews elicited from Scott McClellan, former Bush White House press secretary, that yes, the Bush team did furnish talking points [also known as "scripts"?] to commentators at the Fox Network.
Oh, but not the journalists, McClellan insisted, while adding that of course furnishing talking points to like-minded in the media was something everybody did.
American Pravda got some 'splainen to do. Along with all the rest of the right-wing punditocracy. Rush, anyone? L'il ol' Hannity? Papa Bear?
But really, McClellan didn't answer a question. He opened a door. And it'll be interesting to see in days ahead how this plays out.
Will anyone besides Helen Thomas ask:
* Just who at Fox are the commentators and who are the "journalists"?
* Fox and Friends...commentators? Or "journalists"?
* Any one of the ubiquitous blonde bimbazoids...commentators? Or "journalists"?
* How 'bout ol' Hume? Or Chris Wallace?
How 'bout you, Howie Kurtz...going to call your Reliable Sources for full disclosure?
Oh, and kudos to Chris Matthews. One small step for restoring honor and integrity to the Washington press corps. More of the same. Please.
posted at 7:43 pm CDT
We are all the children of immigrants.
We are the parents of our destiny.
(originally my comment at Firedoglake.com.)
Go out and tear down some walls today. And build bridges instead.
There's a campaign needin' volunteers near you.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
In the freshness of the moment, as Barack Obama concludes his speech in Berlin and leaves the stage, this is abundantly clear:
The Afghanistan-Iraq-Middle East leg of his trip affirmed he is ready and able to be commander in chief.
And today, before cheering throngs in Berlin, he affirmed he has the leadership qualities and skills to restore our historic role in the world community.
He challenges...and invites...the world to join in his hope-full quest.
Of tearing down the walls that divide us, and forming a more perfect union. A global union. And the positive response is powerful and unmistakable.
And the punditizing is oh-so-redundant.
UPDATE [3:45 pm CT]
MSNBC coverage here. CNN coverage here. Text of the speech at the Obama website here.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
At long last, John McCain and your Big Oil-funded radical rightwing smear machine, have you no shame?
The only thing missing was Depity Dawg doing the delivery...or was it too low even for him?
Then again, maybe Depity had other priorities at the time...
h/t HuffPo and ThinkProgress via the links
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Actions have consequences, unintended or otherwise, and as Bill W. over at C&L points out in Indicted For War Crimes, Sudan Cites U.S. As Example Why It Needn’t Comply George Bush's outlaw action pulling the U.S. out of the International Criminal Court is now coming back to haunt the conscience. Not Bush's of course, his administration has been soft-pedaling sanctions against Sudan for years, as Bill notes.
But then I guess you can do it, and get away with it, when you're the Deciderer. Heck, you can even make jokes about it: If this were a dictatorship, it'd be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I'm the dictator.
And then he said it again....
And what's "it"? What will Bush and Company get away with? We may never know. But they will. And they'll have to live with that knowledge eating away at them for the rest of their lives.
And no joking or denial or rationalization in the world is going to protect them from their own monster selves.
This morning in Jordan, Barack Obama holds a press conference after his trips to Afghanistan and Iraq. For the first question he calls on Andrea Mitchell.
Is he good or what....
P.S. Andrea, you're no Helen Thomas.
UPDATE: Watching the Obama press conference this morning, I was struck yet again by his comfortableness in talking to the media whatever the question. A thinker, a man who has confidence in his own judgment...and in his ability to communicate his points. This was more than a Q&A session. It was a real conversation.
Watching a Bush presser...painful.
Monday, July 21, 2008
Back from a daytrip, I was winding down and watching the repeat edition of Hardball this evening.
Andrea Mitchell was giving her best imitation of a concern troll, going on at great length lamenting the fact that "the press" were not allowed to take part in Obama's meetings with the troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. Instead, they and we must rely on DOD video...of the conversations, of the great basketball shot, of the helicopter boarding...
How dare they, asserts Andrea. Sputter, sputter. Why, no other presidential candidate has ever done that....
Yeah, as I recall, John McCain went over to Baghdad on exactly the same kind of trip with his sidekicks, Sparky and Deppity Dawg. And they got great $5 deals on rugs and they got to walk thru a bazaar and look all kinda, you know, shoppy.
And John, I calls him John, told us how wonderful and safe and successful and super-duper everything was over there.
But he didn't mention the helicopters and the heavily armed security team surrounding them and....
what's this? The press didn't mention it either.
So maybe before Andrea Concern Troll keeps "lamenting" any further, she ought to just be grateful the military saved her and the rest of the lapdog bbq-sauce-whiskered BFFs of John from embarrassing themselves again.....
UPDATE: Seems I'm not the only one taking note of Lady Andrea's "performance" earlier tonight on Hardball. John over at C&L offers his take.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
There's a whole lot to be said about kickin' back for a weekend and NOT listening to the Sunday Morning gasbag shows. If you didn't and you must know what time-wasted concern trolling took place, well then, crooks and liars deconstructs the lot of 'em.
Okay, I confess, I did catch a bit o'Reliable Sources, with fearmongering Howie Kurtz warning his colleagues in the media that they are being bad, bad, by giving so much attention to Barack and so little to his buddy McCain that there could be teh backlash.
Not to worry, though, Howie. If C&L's description of Tom Brokaw's cave-into-concern-trollism is even halfway on the mark, the "librul" media can once again be counted on by the RNC blast-fax-folks to be cowed out of reporting on facts and instead wring their hands over "polls" and "process."
It's going to be a long rest of the summer.
Meanwhile, you have Republicans including known Bush adorer Michelle Bachmann, still best known for channeling her inner Baron "The Claw" von Raschke, heading up to Anwar. Along with such energy experts as CNN's Ari Velchi, who's energy expertise seems most suited to picking out a tie to go with that pin-striped suit.
They'll be tellin' us all about the drillin' in the Anwar. Or the not-drillin' in the Anwar. And like too much that supposedly passes for reporting these days, you won't even hear a mention of the real issue of Anwar.
It's not the drillin'. It's the heating.
And I don't mean global warming...except in this way. A convenient little fact the Vapid Vapors Media glosses right over [see also, sin of omission] is that extracting the oil in the northern Arctic regions requires heating that oil. Which in turn heats the permafrost. Which in turn changes the climate...there...and ultimately everywhere.
So I didn't listen to the gasbags this morning. Instead, I got a little bit of truth and information from National Geographic Explorer's "Alaska's Last Oil" Saturday night [set to re-air Tues. July 22 at 5 pm ET].
Oil wars, whether they're violent [see also, The Kingdom, now airing on HBO] or wars of words [see also the on-message Republispinners screamin' for drillin'], well, those oil wars win nothing.
See also, Al Gore....
Saturday, July 19, 2008
In a major smackdown of the Bush Administration's Iraqi policy of eternal occupation ... oh, wait, that's McCain. Well, him, too...
In a major smackdown of the Bush Administration's withdrawal "horizon" ... or what nekkid with his brains down Doug Feith would call a not-equivalency to a timeline....
Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki has told the German newsmagazine Der Spiegel that he approves of Obama's 16-month responsible withdrawal.
Just came online to write an encouragement that you make a point to see The Kingdom, now airing on HBO, if you haven't already. And discovered this news at HuffPo.
The war we should be fighting is serious business. Not a p.r. slogan. Not something that should be left to ideological or special crony-interest self-service.
We have a leader rising among us, and we are hungry for a leader to follow. Eight years of the idiot rants of a dry drunk post-fraternity cheerleader barfly "you'd want to have a beer with" have gotten this nation is a horrible condition.
I fully expect it won't be until next January that he walks up the stairs to airforce one and gives us all the finger.
Can't be soon enough. And we can't take our eye off the serious circumstances we must clean up. And the serious state we are in now. The Family Bush shall live in infamy.
Friday, July 18, 2008
Speaking with her most blunt language ever, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi lays the blame for the nation's current economic woes right in the laps of the two oil men in the White House.
And as Scarecrow over at FDL reminds this morning, writing on the Al Gore speech...it's all of a piece. The economy, national security, the environment.
Some would say, why limit this conversation to just the economy, national security, and the environment.
There's also the state of our healthcare.
It's all of a piece....
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Natural gas will be the "sleeper" energy crisis...natural gas cost is destroying the middle class...not doing enough to prepare for the high costs of winter heating that are coming....
Wasn't a tree-huggin' lefty swearin' femblogger sayin' that this morning on CNN.
Nope: Congressman John Peterson of Pennsylvania. Republican.
As my late, great Grandma Sunshine would have said...the chickens are comin' home to roost.
And we are peckish.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
John McCain believes in scrutiny. Oversight. Evaluation.
Yep, he does. As long as you're running a program for a bunch of little black kids.
And he chastises and suggests someone is resentful about the need for that.
Right there on the videoclip of him talking to the black woman asking the question about Head Start during the Q&A at the NAACP Convention.
Oh, and he believes in overtalking, too. As he did to the woman when she tried to point out about their program...or whatever she was trying to say... while he bullied over her with the mic-pulpit.
Scrutiny and oversight and evaluation for Senators? Or lobbyist cronies? Or the lieing Bush Administration?
McCain's AWOL on that.
While I await my copy of Jane Mayer's book, The Dark Side, here's food for thought from dday over at digby's place.
Torture is wrong. Torture is criminal. Torture is evil.
There is no moral equivalency gaming, no nuance, no situational ethics on this one.
No excuses. Just pure evil.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Bush gave a press "conference" today...scrupulously timed to take the spotlight away from Ben Bernanke's testimony on the state of the economy. Or to take the spotlight away from Obama's speech on Iraq and military policy. Or maybe just to plaintively point out he is still the prez.
There was a whiff of desperation in his answers. And a not-too-faint resemblance to "Animal House." Oh, not the Blutarsky or Otter cool-guy roles that Dubya always fancied his gentlemanly C self.
No, he's the guy running around reassuring everybody, convincing nobody, "all is well, all is well."
Only when they ring the curtain down on the worst presidency ever.
'cause every time Dubya mentions moveon dot org, all America can think about is the van loading up at the White House bound back to Texas.
Bit by bit, despite their fiercest efforts to hide the truth, the drip-drip-drip of the reality of criminality of the most disgraced [self-disgraced] administration in American history is coming out.
Today, a new chapter is added with the release of Jane Mayer's book, The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned Into a War on American Ideals.
The briefest of introductions already make clear this is a book that should be required reading...by every babbling-head of The Village commentariat, by every Congressperson, by every student, by every voter, lest we forget. It's now #1 on my must-read list.
Froomkin's back, and his column gives a sample, via the words of New York Times columnist Frank Rich on the depths to which the Bush-Cheney Alliance cast aside principle, honor and the rule of law in embracing torture and barbarism as their guiding principle:
"The avalanche of misinformation since 9/11 has compromised prosecutions, allowed other culprits to escape and sent the American military on wild-goose chases....The biggest torture-fueled wild-goose chase, of course, is the war in Iraq."And further, from Frank Rich, this:
The men were John Ashcroft’s deputy attorney general, James Comey, and an assistant attorney general, Jack Goldsmith. Their sin was to challenge the White House’s don, Dick Cheney, and his consigliere, his chief of staff David Addington, when they circumvented the Geneva Conventions to make torture the covert law of the land.We've only a few months left of this bunch, the Deciderer is already lookin' forward, those visions of fillin' the ol' coffers dancin' in his head. The Bigtime Dick doubtless figuring what still needs to be shredded or destroyed. Rover runnin' over to Sweden dodging subpoenas....
Much work to be done to get us through election day. Much work to be done to restore the honor of a nation that Chee-knee and Cronies cast aside as recklessly as he shot an old guy in the face.
Will they get away with it? Will they stonewall and obfuscate and conveniently lapse their memories as they did on the Plame case, as they've done on the Tillman case, and laugh all the way to Purgatory?
Maybe they will, but they'll still be The Unforgiven. And the Bush family name and the Cheney family name will live in infamy.
Monday, July 14, 2008
Yep, it's all the fault of that dangnabit Democratically controlled Congress that we're in the oil mess we're in...they've sat on their Democrat hands for the past month doin' nada....
at least that's the way Dubya tells it in undoing Daddy's executive order against offshore drilling. And nevermind the past seven-plus years of oil/war profiteering that have vampired the economy.
Once again, a moment of opportunity to unite behind a common purpose and resolve that "we're all in this together" and here's stuff each and every one of us can do to make the pain at the pump a little bit easier on all of us. [Drive 55!]
Yeah, a moment. A moment p'ed on yet again by this president who is seemingly forever arrested at the age of seven on the playground squabbling over whose turn it is at bat. His answer? It's his bat, so it's always his turn.
Except Americans have grown weary these last almost eight years of the Petulant in Chief turning every event post-bullhorn into a moment of partisanship and division and calculation for electioneering opportunism. At least he's true to pattern.
There's a new team comin' up to bat, and the BushCo equivalent of the Black Sox can't be benched soon enough.
Will any of the chatty class get beyond the cover to actually discuss the content of the New Yorker article?
Will Jon and Stephen come back from vacation soon enough to save democracy?
Will the Washington Post sink even lower than their current series on the Congressman and the long-dead intern?
Will tabloidization stoopidize enough of the population that McCain will slip into the White House?
How big are Big Dick Chee-knee's incinerator and delete buttons?
Yep, it's a summer Monday and I'm bathin' in the bitter and the whine.
Sunday, July 13, 2008
After a weekend kickin' back and takin' bets on which of the guys down the beach a ways celebrating an obligatory Up North testosterone-bonding fishing weekend would fall out of the fishing boat first after consuming mass quantities of hops-based beverages [hint: orange tee-shirt, I'm just sayin'], it was a shock to read this headline:
But this is too much.
Why, it drives all thoughts of the latest financial markets meltdown right out of our beautiful minds. And isn't that a good thing. Because we might have kept following the money thread and started putting two and two together and coming up with five...perfect Bushmath.
Think about it.
During the GHWBush years, the savings and loan crisis, the Neil Bush bailout, the scandal of the Keating Five.... now, the DubyaBush years, total global economic meltdown...and it's the housing money markets again, Freddie and Fanny and IndyMac and 90 players - to - be - named - later and....
At least they're all keepin' it all in the family. And it's the kind of family ties that a librarian would love diggin' into. No, no, not that librarian... This librarian....
At least we've still got the Clydesdales. We do still have the Clydesdales, don't we? Right? Right?
[Confidential to Mike's Blog Roundup at C&L: thanks for the link!]
Friday, July 11, 2008
A while back, Karl Rove was pushing a storyline that Barack Obama was the cool guy over by the wall of the country club. That one failed, but never one to let a nasty tactic be put to bed, looks like Karl's back with a new take, eagerly expounded by the Morning Joe gang.
Yep, they heard it anecdotally, so it must be so...Obama's "too cool."
What planet are these people living on?
I guess when Rove thinks Americans are so stoopid they'll buy the same crapola he's dished out in past elections, why not keep serving it up. And since media people like Scarborough and Barnicle play it forward, who is he to pass up an opportunity to keep up the whispers. Of course these are the same media people who were quick to assure us the tongue-tied, ear-piece-enabled Bush won the debates in 2000.
When's one of 'em going to ask John McCain how he can make a man who broke his Bangla-daughter's heart a key part of his campaign?
The cool guy or the hothead?
That's what it's coming down to in this election. I for one prefer a guy who thinks with his brain and his heart. I've had enough of the guy who thinks with his sword.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
That other four-letter eff-word, FEMA, was on the hot seat [yesterday], along with the four largest trailer manufacturers who supplied their toxic trailers to victims of Katrina.
The trailers were constructed of particle board laced with formaldehyde. Some of us remember formaldehyde from those stinky, rubbery frogs we had to dissect in high school biology lab.
Some remember even farther back, like Mr. Sunshine, to childhood and the killing jars he used to saturate cotton for collecting bugs for his collection. [I didn't dare ask how, as a kid, he managed to get formaldehyde...although there was this pathologist with the Heidelberg scar....]
So functionally, we've been putting families, like the family featured on the NBC Nightly News report, into killing jars to live for years, to put their children's health at risk, to deal with the headaches and the uncaring BushCo FEMA and their local bureaucracies because these were, after all "poor" people and they didn't have the connectedness of, say, Trent Lott and his beachfront front porch...or Mississippi Governor Hayley Barber and his casino cronies.
Betcha there's not a whiff of formaldehyde around those guys. There is another stench, though. The stench that says maybe the wrong member of the Lott family's doin' time...and the wrong Southern Governor was sent to prison.
Back in 1997, we had a bit of water up here in Prairie Country. Fargo was spared the worst of the damage, Grand Forks was not so lucky. Trent Lott was riding high back then, and his response to the dire straits and emergency needs? He'd see to it we got some of his "fahn Miz'ippi trailers...." Never could get that out of my head...fahn Miz'ippi trailers.
Prairie Postscript: Is there anything more pathetic than a gaggle of corporate owners sayin' they couldn't he'p themselves about supplying shoddy [fill in the blank]....they had no pride of quality control because the gummit didn't give 'em standards. Pa. Thet. Ick.
UPDATE: CNN reporting this morning that Mississippi Congressman Bennnie Thompson will hold hearings on the tons of supplies FEMA stored—and gave away to state and federal agencies instead of Katrina victims. The only Mississippian who would respond gave the same feeble type of response as the corporate owners gave [see my paragraph above]. Pa. Thet. Ick.
Hearings in the Senate? Guess the presiding committee chair, L'il Joe Sidewinder Sidekick has "other priorities." Joe Lieberman–AWOL.
Originally posted 7-9-2008 @ 9:09 PM
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Now I ask you, who in bloggerville could possibly resist the opportunity to use that snarky headline? So when I heard on a Fargo talk radio station this morning that Jesse "The Body" Ventura was running for Senate, according to NPR, the ol' wheels started spinning.
Of course, by the time I got back home, the story, which was spreading faster than the Big Sur fire, was already on ABC's Political Punch and being knocked back down by Jesse, who said not even his wife will know before Tuesday's deadline whether he's jumping into the fray against Norm Coleman and Al Franken.
So what is it? The media are flip-floppers? Or Jesse is?
Jesse's got issues with the two candidates in the fray. Al Franken, says he, is a carpetbagger and a political opportunist... hmmm, wonder if he said that from his casa de Mexico where he pretty much decamped away from Minnesota after his single term as governor. And how much credit does the tax-slashing, surplus-draining former governor want to take for the condition of the highways and byways—and bridges—of Minnesota these days?
Speakin' of highways, apparently Franken hasn't yet discovered there are gosh-darned voters and media north of Hwys. 10 and 200.
Jesse doesn't mince words about Coleman either. Points out that Nahmie has never held a job out in the real world since he signed on to government as an assistant attorney. Always lived off the public, says Jesse. And Nahmie voted for the Iraq war, right in lockstep with you-know-who.
So, if that's your criteria, Jesse, why aren't you running against McCain? The mediocre-student, crash-five-planes flyboy who cracks up himself with jokes about bomb-bomb-bombin' and death-by-tobacco has always lived off the government dole. Well, except for Cindy's gazillions, of course.
No wonder McCain doesn't understand basic economics. Like how Social Security works. Or what the price is at the pump.
At first I was dismayed by the prospect of Jesse in the Senate. But a younger Sunshine pointed out to me he couldn't do any more harm than who's there now.
And at least when the Senate and Congress take on all the trappings of pro wrestling—sturm und drang, kabuki, theatre of the absurd [FISA eff-up, anyone?]—there'd be one authentic pro wrestler in the mix. And who knows, maybe he could bring their poll ratings up out of single digits.
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
When John McCain discovered that being honest about his lack of understanding of the economy wasn't exactly good for the bidness of running for President*, he found a spokesperson who could be a two-fer.
* gas prices, huh, I dunno...haven't filled up a gas tank in years....Without belaboring the point that Carly Fiorina was a pointed rejoinder to the still-in-play Hillary campaign, her other resume grabber was her tenure as CEO of HP... and with Carly out front talking economic issues, Ol' John didn't have to worry his own head about it. Some say that being fired and bought off with a golden parachute isn't the best resume builder, but hey, what's to stop the standard Republican business model of rewarding failure and destruction with promotion. It's worked out so well for the Bush Administration....
* Cindy's platinum credit card $750K bill? I dunno...that's hers....
* how 'bout them property tax bills four years late in Californi-ayyyyyy on one of our eight or nine or...what is it this week? guess the little people forgot to pay 'em...not my problem....
* lobbyists "on leave" runnin' my campaign 'cause they can't see anything to gain if I win come November? Nah, even I'm not buyin' it, so it's a good thing my BFFs in the BBQ-media don't bother their pretty little blonde heads about it....
* Keating Five? old history
* McCain-Feingold? you don't actually expect me to follow my own campaign finance laws, now do you?
And since, so far, the only guy making the Obama-economa rounds is a wonkish nebbish who's on the teevee circuit while making all the message penetration of.... well, let's go with the wet pile of spaghetti noodles on concrete. Which is to say no message penetration at all....
So meet Tom Heuerman, consultant, former Secret Service agent, and former newspaper executive, who opines from time to time in the dead tree edition of the local Fargo paper...and is also available online. He had some thoughts in Sunday's paper, in light of a regional medical center's announced layoffs, on what makes successful, sustainable corporations. Thoughts that stuck with me ... and since this morning started off with reporting on yet another corporation, Siemans, and its humongo-layoff of nearly 17,000 of its global workforce, Heuerman's thoughtful analysis deserves broader consideration.
Layoffs ain't part of Heuerman's equation.
No organization ever downsized its way to long-term sustainability.And he's not just shootin' off his own opinion:
Arie DeGeus, former coordinator of worldwide planning for Royal Dutch/Shell, wrote in “The Living Company”: “Companies die because their managers focus on the economic activity of producing goods and services and they forget that their organizations’ true nature is that of a community of humans.” Layoffs destroy trust, loyalty and the strong relationships essential for survival amid change.Sustainable corporations, says Heuerman:
- Are fiscally conservative. In sustainable companies, profits are necessary to sustain the enterprise, but they are not sufficient; they are an outcome of leading engaged people. In long-lasting companies researched in the book “Built to Last,” an investment of $1 in those companies on Jan. 1, 1926, would have grown to $6,356 by 1994 – more than 15 times the general market – 15 times by putting the “community of humans” first.How many times have we rewarded in all sorts of ways the corporate raiders and pirates and slashers and burners who have come in and cut expenses, laid-off workers, changed the fundamental function of the company in order to pump up the bottom line of the beak-dippers of Wall Street, leaving nothing but paper—too often worthless paper—in their wake as they moved on like Death Stars to swallow up yet another business.
The corporation vampires cannibalize... sucking the lifeblood out of their acquisitions and not looking back when they go. And government has too long stood on the sidelines, pocketing the K Street campaign contributions and deregulated and turned a blind eye to consolidations and acquisitions that have turned once-competitive free markets into virtual monopolies both horizontal and vertical, and too often subsidized with tax breaks that reward the worst behavior of these vampires.
So what's a person to do? John McCain would say, hey, look at me, I'm hirin' the same ol' same ol' buccaneers to keep on keepin' on with the legacy of Bush that, when it saw danger ahead—like in the energy sector—instead of looking for innovation and problem solving, just speeded up the freight train right over the cliff...grabbin' up the quick profiteering because guzzlin' more gas was good for.... ooops, not so much. The faster you go, the harder the crash.
Or, all of us can start listening a little more to the contrary voices. Like Heuerman and the resources he cites.
Or like the head of Zappos.com, profiled last night on Nightline. He gets what a corporation should be to be "successful." And it's not outsourcing, or "right sourcing" as Fiorina calls it.
It's rewriting what successful is. And profiteering and cannibalizing and corporate greed rapaciousness ain't anywhere on his measuring stick.
But his workers will be selling shoes...and have the jobs to buy them. A lesson we could all profit from...governments, too.
Monday, July 7, 2008
A simple sign, held by a 61-year-old librarian named Carol Kreck, standing in line for a town hall with John McCain in Denver.
Quite some dangerous character, she. So dangerous, making that equation, exercising her First Amendment rights to free speech and assembly that the police led her away, and issued her a ticket for trespassing and a court date.
Trespassing. Outdoors. In front of an open-to-the-public event.
Take a look.
And ask yourself: When they come for the librarians, who's going to be left to do anything?
It happened again.
Yesterday, Joe Lieberman spun merrily on his way with his pro-McCain self-facts and his Obama mud spatters on Snuffalufagous' show. Link here to the C&L site where I commented briefly already [#27].
This one just keeps gnawing at me: when are Democratic spokesmen going to confront directly in real time the Republicans who still continue to ride roughshod ... over facts, reality, truth ... and their Democratic opponents. They come to these programs prepared with their talking points. But those talking points get lost in the heat of Rethugs' ranting.
Let me say again:
Jon Stewart didn’t kill Crossfire…it’s morphed into the modus operandi of the media today. We must deal with it…with tactics that work. It’s not going away.Yeah, we've all heard the speculation that there are special super-secret training schools for rightwing pundits to teach them how to lie with impunity, and we see firsthand the tactics of talk louder, talk over....
But c'mon, folks, it's been eight years. Isn't it about time we figured out how to shut this strategy down?
I was so rooting for Laura Flanders to turn to the Rethuglican over-talker this morning on CNN's American Morning and say, if you don't shut up while I'm talking, I'm going to smack you...
Ralphie Parker had a solution for dealing with bully tactics. Ya gotta confront the bullies and toadies directly...and call bullshit.
Sunday, July 6, 2008
Digby's blog must've started something, or it's the great minds think alike scenario, but following up on digby's list Saturday of hot and steamy summer flicks for the holiday weekend, the local newspaper here in Fargo published a list of hot'n'sultry summer flicks today.
Enough, I say!
If I want hot and steamy all I have to do is step outside. In the tall timber the wee window air conditioner coughed and did its darnedest to reach the other end of the cabin, but 'twas not to be.
And with $4 gas, there's only so long you can stay in the air conditioned car. And even in Fargo the temps seemed to overheat this weekend.
Oh, wait, that was the hyperverbiliating McCain campaign and its tag team partner, the BBQ media, goin' ga-ga over Obama in Fargo sounding like, you know, a responsible commander in chief, willing to refine his policy based on reality. Don't you hate when politicians do that? Makes it so much harder than just goin' along with the sheeple media right into the McCain bar-be-que.
So I propose we all chill out. And here are a few starters:
Smilla's Sense of Snow
Star Wars: Episode 5—The Empire Strikes Back
Day After Tomorrow
Yes, you do have to do a little work to learn about these films once you get to imdb's homepage. But then that's what this season's all about, isn't it? Fire up...
Thursday, July 3, 2008
Senator Barack Obama spoke to a group of veterans, military and their families, and the general public in a town hall event in Fargo today. You can view the speech and the Q&A session here. He talked with reporters, too.
Earlier I noted that Conventional Wisdom in the Village shouldn't assume North Dakota is a lock to continue as a red state. Clearly, Obama has found a warm reception in the state both times he's visited, today and back in April for the Dem state convention in Grand Forks, when he spoke to a crowd of 18,000 and nearly that number were turned away.
If I were the McCain campaign, I wouldn't be posturing for joint town hall appearances either...Obama does just as well in the give & take of small groups of a thousand as he does speaking to dome-sized crowds.
UPDATE: Nor should they underestimate the rapid-response of the Obama team, demonstrated by Obama's comments live on CNN even as I update, on the issue of Iraq. Obama reiterating: we must be as careful getting out as we were careless getting in.
UPDATE II: Josh promising video over at Talking Points Memo--we post this link because you know how the BBQ media loves to slice'n'dice video to suit their own narratives.
Whatever you have on tap for this holiday weekend, take a little time out to give thought to what you can do to truly "support the troops" who don't have a choice between the usual holiday at the resort, or the beach, or the national park, or even "staycation."
Men and women are putting their lives on the line each and every day for us...in Iraq and Afghanistan...on the fire line in Big Sur...at home, ready if the call for first responders goes out.
We talk a lot here and throughout the blogosphere, and one of the things we've talked a lot about is Congress and oversight. Why, we ask, haven't the now in control Democrats put the brakes on the runaway freight train about to careen off the side of the mountaintop that is the Bush Administration?
We talk a lot...but what are we doing? How many have sought out our Senators or Congressperson to say, listen to US. Listen to America. Don't listen and vote for the special interests on K Street, like the telco's who just had their way with the House of Representatives while doling out a paltry few thousands of campaign dollars.
I'm thinking that works because the Congresscritters are tellin' themselves, if I don't vote AT&T's way, then maybe Corp X, Y and Z would see that they might not get their "money's worth" and turn off the campaign contribution spigot, too.
A screwed-up system.
On the Imus Show this week, Tom Friedman, the man who put the "FU" in friedman unit, opined, as though by a timely cosmic revelation, we've got to fix our democracy here, we've got to fix our country.*
Well no shit, Sherlock.
Welcome to reality, pal. While you've been busy furthering the friedman unit, the rest of us out here in the real world have been dealing with the consequences of the Village's blithe bolstering of the gut of Bush. And it ain't pretty. So put down that plate of cocktail wienies, step away from the RNC blast o'the hour, let go of the self-indulgent claptrap, grab your media-darling cronies, and say, hey, maybe it's about time we stopped treating this as some kind of theatre of the absurd, pushing people around like pawns—a few thousand layoffs here, a few thousand layoffs there, a few hundred thousand casualties over there, pretty soon it adds up to real yadda, yadda.
Because oversight belongs to all of us. Congress. The media. And you. And me.
So this Fourth of July, between the wienies and the fireworks, ask yourself...what am I putting on the line?
. Need a jump start? Christy's got some great ideas and tools over at firedoglake.
* my paraphrase, because WABC hasn't put the interview up on their website for linkage and exactitude as of this writing...not that that ever stopped the BBQ Media from runaway adoration of St. Mc and distortion of whatever they feel like distorting on any given day.
In novel writing, they call it the sagging middle. Beware the sagging middle. It's when your reader, captivated initially by your story premise and characters, dives into your story, reads along chapter after chapter and then....
the story falls into predictability and sameness and if it's a mystery, you don't care whether the detective catches the bad guy. If it's a romance, you don't care if Mr. Big figures out the secret baby is his. If it's SF, you don't care if the technos win over the....
And that's when the book gets set aside and forgotten, or tossed against a wall sayin' it's the same ol' same ol'....
If you haven't met Glen Greenwald before, do stop by and give a read to his commentary on Obama, FISA, and the cautionary tale of the same ol' same ol....
And beware the sagging middle.
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Now is the winter of our dishonor as a nation?
NYTimes is reporting this morning [props to Atrios] that interrogations used by Americans at Guantanamo have been based on a 1957 Air Force chart in an article entitled “Communist Attempts to Elicit False Confessions From Air Force Prisoners of War.”
Yes, "interrogation techniques" used by Chinese Communists against our own American soldiers. Techniques that were known to produce false information.
But I guess when you blow up frogs as a kid...and mock the deaths of those whose lives are in your hands when you're governor of Texas...and diss the family of a black man chained and pulled to death behind a pickup...and become president and from the cosy confines of the Oval Office and Camp David let your gut send others to their deaths for oil....
then it's not about the information, it's about the sadism.
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
The words of Justice Brandeis echo down thru the decades...via McJoan at Kos. And Christy's keepin' us on our toes, what a patriot looks like, over at firedoglake. FISA matters, precisely because of Brandeis' words:
If the government becomes a law breaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy. To declare that in the administration of the criminal law the end justifies the means 'to declare that the government may commit crimes in order to secure the conviction of a private criminal' would bring terrible retribution.
[From dissenting opinion in Olmstead vs. United States, in which the court upheld the use of wiretaps in a case involving an investigation of bootlegging. Brandeis strongly defended the individual right to privacy from government intrusion.] -Louis D. Brandeis, 1928
Bob Schieffer guested on the Imus Show this morning. Imus sidekick Charles McCord interrupted their conversation to point out to Mr. Schieffer that Imus was flicking his Schieffer bobblehead all the while Schieffer was talking.
Pretty much summed up the conversation.
Although Schieffer deftly deflected his own complicity in the whole controversy over Wesley Clark's response to his "question" about whether getting shot down over Hanoi qualifies one to be president. I say, Schieffer deftly deflected his own complicity over....
Yep, another media "who, me?"
"It wasn't politick," Schieffer said about Clark's response—virtual repetition—to Schieffer's question/statement.
What wasn't politick was pulling a brief statement out of the whole, thus distorting the entire meaning of what Clark said.
Oh, and, after skewering Clark, both Imus and Schieffer gave fluffers to loveable ol' misunderstood Lieberman, explaining to all of us yokels who watch RFD-TV what he really meant.
Same ol', same ol' bobbleheads....
FURTHERMORE: Last night on Dan Abrams' MSNBC show, General Clark had this to say:
"I honor John McCain's character. As I said in the show he's been one of my heroes for a long time. He's been over to my house. This is about the qualifications to be president. It is also about the nature of politics today that a comment can be taken out of context so much to create a hullaboo."
EVEN FURTHERMORE: McCain agrees with Wes Clark...see Thinkprogress' report.
Amazing. General Wesley Clark tells truth to power on Face the Nation.
And stands by what he says.
Furthermore, he insists on presenting the context and content of what he said, instead of allowing the rightwing McCainiacs and BBQ media framers to distort his words to fit their false narrative.
Statement from Wes Clark:
- "There are many important issues in this Presidential election, clearly one of the most important issues is national security and keeping the American people safe. In my opinion, protecting the American people is the most important duty of our next President. I have made comments in the past about John McCain's service and I want to reiterate them in order be crystal clear.
- "As I have said before I honor John McCain's service as a prisoner of war and a Vietnam Veteran. He was a hero to me and to hundreds of thousands and millions of others in Armed Forces as a prisoner of war. I would never dishonor the service of someone who chose to wear the uniform for our nation.
“John McCain is running his campaign on his experience and how his experience would benefit him and our nation as President. That experience shows courage and commitment to our country—but it doesn't include executive experience wrestling with national policy or go-to-war decisions.
- "And in this area his judgment has been flawed—he not only supported going into a war we didn't have to fight in Iraq, but has time and again undervalued other, non-military elements of national power that must be used effectively to protect America.
- "But as an American and former military officer I will not back down if I believe someone doesn't have sound judgment when it comes to our nation's most critical issues.”
This morning, Bob Schieffer is scheduled to appear on the Imus Show. Will he add to the handwringing BBQ media's distortions? Or will he tell his colleagues to get a grip, snap out of it, deal with the truth?