Saturday, January 17, 2004

Troll Alert 

If any of you are interested in having a war of words with a Bush troll, please visit my site and lay the hammer down on Analog Kid.. He has commented extensively on a couple of my posts and he is in dire need of an argument.

Here's my favorite quote of his so far:

As for 'Bush's Lies', I keep hearing this over and over from those on the left, but I never hear it explained. Exactly when and where did he lie?

As for Clinton's lies, his are going to cost us greatly in the near future. Just how do you think China made it out of the atmosphere and have you heard the recent rumblings out of the Norks?

The Gotham City 13

Friday, January 16, 2004

Heads-Up on Possible NBS Entries 

I was quite taken with a new blog by Tony Collett, and have encouraged him to seriously consider entering either his update on the situation of Teresa Chambers or his very good essay Sports Welfare Must Stop! in the upcoming New Blog Showcase. If he does enter, I encourage Liberal Coalition members to consider voting for Tony. By the way, NZ Bear has been laid up but is now on the mend and has surfaced to announce that Dylan Holly has won this week's (actually the past two weeks, I guess) Showcase and that our li'l ol' Coalition has won the Alliances contest once more so, um, yay us!

You've Got Freeper M@!L 

Looks like the Moran Family Klan has discovered Margaret Cho. Apparently they've managed to work themeselves into quite a state of agitated spittle-froth over her comments made during the Monday night "MoveOn.org fundraiser, and, to emphasize their territorial dominance, decided to gang squat in her email litter-box.


Thursday, January 15, 2004

It's Official 

Via the DallasNews.com, 'Braun quits race, backs Dean'

Associated Press

CARROLL, Iowa — Former Illinois Sen. Carol Moseley Braun dropped out of the presidential race Thursday and endorsed Howard Dean as "a Democrat we can all be proud to support."

"Gov. Dean has the energy to inspire the American people, to break the cocoon of fear that envelopes us and empowers President Bush and his entourage from the extreme right-wing," she said in remarks prepared for a joint appearance with the former Vermont governor.

I've liked Ms. Braun from the beginning, and like I said a little while back, I sure hope that we see her playing a role in the next administration. She's got a good head on her shoulders. I also happen to think she seems very nice. She has a very calming way about her. But, that is not to say she doesn't ooze of confidence and strength.

Dean can only benefit from her support. Thank you for your courage to run Ms. Braun, you are an excellent mentor for all the young women out there who dream of entering politics. We hope to hear more from you!

BushCo, South of the Border 

From Bush seeks friends in Latin America Jan. 14, 2004, the Herald Sun (Australia)

MONTERREY – Latin Americans had a God-given right to freedom, President George W. Bush said yesterday, launching a sharp attack on his rivals in a region where anti-US feeling is rising. [...and...] "Dictatorship has no place in the Americas. We must all work for a rapid, peaceful transition to democracy in Cuba." [...and...] Washington's support for sometimes brutal Latin American governments during the Cold War left many distrusting the US.

Yeah, well, there ya go again. Thats all very reasuring coming from the so called leader of an administration which to this day harbors some of the very same Washington doppelgangers of past "God-given" Cold War brutality that gave Latin America such homicidal lovelies as Augusto Pinochet and the genocidal evangelical lunatic minister/general Rios Montt. You know, Rios Montt, the guy Ronald Reagan pronounced "a man of great personal integrity" and a man who was "getting a bum rap on human rights." Uh-huh. Sure. "Dictatorship has no place in the Americas." I'll bet more than a few "Americans" had a good long snicker over that one.

[...and...] He said firm support for democracy "gives hope and strength to those struggling to preserve their God-given rights", and referred to Venezuela and Haiti, which have both clashed with the US.

Bush vs. Gore Presidental debates, Oct 11, 2000
I'll bet this statement below will offer even more "hope and strength to those struggling" for preservation in Latin America. From the Bush vs. Gore debates, Oct 11, 2000. Listen to this beauty: (highlights and bold emphasis below are mine)

MODERATOR: Does that give us -- does our wealth, our good economy, our power, bring with it special obligations to the rest of the world?

BUSH: Yes, it does. Take, for example, Third World debt. I think we ought to be forgiving Third World debt under certain conditions. I think, for example, if we're convinced that a Third World country that's got a lot of debt would reform itself, that the money wouldn't go into the hands of a few but would go to help people, I think it makes sense for us to use our wealth in that way, or to trade debt for valuable rain forest lands, makes that much sense, yes.

Gee. Where do ya start with convoluted gibberish like that? We'll forgive you if you "reform" (whatever exactly that means) yourself - if (?) "that the money wouldn't go into the hands of a few"? Funny hain't it, coming from the guy who has made a quite a name for himself in his own country making sure the money goes into the hands of a few.

But wait. There's always the or factor. As in, we'll squeeze you dry until you agree to "trade" in your natural resources. How's that for a "special" obligation. Hows that for bringing our wealth and power to the rest of the world. Exacting a pound of flesh. Likewise, apparently, those "God-given rights" don't necesssarily include, oh, like say, your countries "God-given" forest lands. Or little stuff like that. What harm is there in a little Third World forest foreclosure when it goes to help, "people."

This woodchuck in the White House isn't a statesman, or a leader, or even a President. He's nothing but a shallow shined up repo-man with a smirk and a sloppy spitter pitch. The entire G.W.Bush&Co operation is nothing more than a well fed puzzle palace inside a Potemkin Village being run by grifters for christ sake. Nothing more than a clan of inbred cheapjack fast talking backdoor preachers and quisling swine.

They need to be run out of town like the rapacious swindlers they are. Before they steal all the goddamned doorknobs and we won't even be able to get into our own house.


Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Uncle Sam Wants You - To Say "I Do" 

The Republicans have always said they're the party of "limited government." By that they supposedly meant they were in favor of less government intrustion and fiscal discipline, and they've accused the Democrats of being intrusive - they call Democrats "The Nanny Party" - and big taxers/spenders. They've run very successful campaigns by selling themselves as the party that epitomizes the old adage, "The government that governs the least, governs the best."

Well, in the last twenty years we've seen record deficits, record spending, and amazing amount of invasion into the private lives of American citizens through gag orders to doctors about what they could and couldn't tell patients, interference in states' rights over medical treatment and criminal prosecution, even attempts to regulate private consensual sexual activity between adults. To anyone basing this news on the Republicans' adage, they would think that we have had Democrats in the charge of the entire government since 1984. Guess what.

But wait - it gets better. Now the Bush Administration wants to spend $1.5 billion to promote marriage.

Read the rest at Bark Bark Woof Woof, including how this may change the landscape of television.

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Review of "Modern Jihad" 

SoonerThought features a review of the blockbuster book about who funds the terrorists and how: "Modern Jihad." The book contains revelations about Bush, Cheney, the Saudis and the real reasons we went to war in Iraq and Afghanistan...and yes, you guessed it--those reasons had very little to do with terrorism.

Now We're In The Big Time! 

From Roger Ailes - Not the One Making $8.6 Million
Two new group blogs -- polyblogs -- have just started publishing: The Liberal Coalition and The American Street. Both sites feature some of the best individual left bloggers around -- including many listed to your right -- who continue to publish at their own sites as well. Read them -- after you come here and find nothing of interest, of course.
Thanks, Roger!

Plantation of Fear 

Via Cursor.org, Jan. 13, 2004
"Other than accumulating a certain amount of money and achieving a measure of what passes for aristocratic social position in this country, the Bushes have achieved nothing of distinction and appear to believe in nothing except their own interests." ~ Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post[Cursor.org]

Melanie at Bump in the Beltway has more on Yardley's review of American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune, and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush, by Kevin Phillips.

It is a gloomy, even frightening picture: "global oil ventures, national security, sophisticated investments, arms deals, the Skull and Bones chic of covert operations, and committed support of established business interests," now compounded by the "religious impulses and motivations" that the born-again George W. brings to the mix. It operates not in the free market its rhetoric prattles about, but in "crony capitalism" that gives every advantage to the cronies with enough capital to buy their way into the game. Crony capitalism has turned the funding of American elections into both a joke and a menace, and has made the public's business a matter of private interest. ~ Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post[Bump in the Beltway]

"They have given us into the hand of new unhappy lords, Lords without anger and honour, who dare not carry their swords. They fight by shuffling papers; they have bright dead alien eyes; They look at our labour and laughter as a tired man looks at flies. And the load of their loveless pity is worse than the ancient wrongs, Their doors are shut in the evening; and they know no songs." ~ GK Chesterton - The Secret People


Stop the Omnibus Spending Bill 

When the Senate reconvenes on January 20, it is likely that the first piece of legislation they will consider is the Omnibus Spending Bill. Wisconsin Rep. David Obey provides a litany of reasons for opposing this bill; here are a few of them:
  • It has been stripped of a provision which would have blocked Bush's new rules eliminating overtime pay.
  • It effectively allows the FCC's media consolidation rules to stand.
  • It underfunds No Child Left Behind by $7.8 billion.
  • It contains a provision, supported by John Ashcroft, which would require gun retailers to destroy all records pertaining to a background check within 24 hours.
  • It shortchanges veterans and the Department of Homeland Security.
  • It sets a new standard for doling out pork to Republican congressional districts.
  • It weakens the Clean Air Act.
Now is the time to start writing your senators and telling them to oppose this bill. A sample letter, together with a downloadable Microsoft Word version of it, are available at edwardpig.

Cue The Blogs 

From Salon.com:
Democrats haven't voted yet, but reporters have got the story: The former Vermont governor is angry, gaffe-prone and unelectable. How do they know? Republicans, and anonymous Democrats, told them so.


For Dean's top backer there must be a sense of déjà vu in all of this. In 2000, Vice President Al Gore suffered from chronically caustic coverage that clung to all sorts of fictional, Republican-inspired spin about the vice president being an unlikable, untrustworthy exaggerator. Suddenly, as with Gore in 2000, it seems Dean is battling not only his Democratic opponents and Republican Party officials, he's also wrestling members of the media's chattering class who view him with growing unease and even contempt.

Without the Gore press fiasco as a backdrop it might seem as if Dean were simply wading through an inevitable rough patch with the press -- that pundits and reporters are practicing the usual baptism-by-fire, forcing the unlikely front-runner to earn his stripes. That's a legitimate, even expected part of any race for the White House. But watching the striking similarities between the way the D.C. press is covering Dean and how it treated Gore, and contrasting it with the way it has treated President Bush, it's becoming harder to avoid the obvious conclusion: that Democratic presidential front-runners and nominees are held to a higher, tougher standard by the Washington press corps.


After his defeat in 2000, a bitter-sounding Gore talked to the New York Observer about the media's rightward drift, and the way reporters piece together negative narratives for Democrats: "Something will start at the Republican National Committee, inside the building, and it will explode the next day on the right-wing talk-show network. And then they'll create a little echo chamber, and pretty soon they'll start baiting the mainstream media for allegedly ignoring the story they've pushed into the zeitgeist."

In Dean's case, it's a little more complex: Sometimes the narrative starts with the mainstream media and gets picked up by the RNC, sometimes it's the other way around. What's beyond debate is that there's a media echo chamber -- and its focus has been on Dean's flaws. And if the trend continues, more voters may agree with Gore about the rightward bias of the media. In a remarkable poll released Monday, the Pew Research Center found that 29 percent of Democrats think campaign coverage is tilted toward the GOP, up from 19 percent in 2000. If Dean is the nominee and the media trend continues, you can expect that number to jump again sharply by 2008.
That's our cue. If there ever was a reason to make the blogosphere seen and heard above the Justin Timberlake / Live Journal level, this is it. It is our right and bounden duty to get the truth out there. And if we don't, we have only to look at what the last twelve years have wrought to see the consequences.

Reprinted from Bark Bark Woof Woof

Monday, January 12, 2004

Out of touch with reality 

I thought I knew how far out of touch the Shrub was with reality. I was wrong, so very wrong. Now I've read everything:

He didn't free the slaves.
He didn't rid the world of Hitler.

He didn't even - like his father - preside over the destruction of the Berlin Wall.

Yet George W. Bush tells New Yorker writer Ken Auletta: "No President has ever done more for human rights than I have."

With stunners like that, no wonder he spends so little time with journalists.

The President's eyebrow-raising assertion comes during some Oval Office chitchat after Auletta - writing about the testy relations between the Bush White House and the news media - sits in on an interview with a British newspaper reporter.

In the latest New Yorker, Auletta reports that Bush and his minions have little use for the Fourth Estate.

Political guru Karl Rove claims that the job of journalists is "not necessarily to report the news. It's to get a headline or get a story that will make people pay attention to their magazine, newspaper or television more."

And Chief of Staff Andy Card scoffs: "[The media] don't represent the public any more than other people do. In our democracy, the people who represent the public stood for election."

Card argues that it's not the responsibility of top White House policymakers to provide reporters with facts.

"It's not our job to be sources. The taxpayers don't pay us to leak!" Card tells Auletta. "Our job is not to make your job easy."

Predictably, the reporters who cover Bush aren't happy. The Washington Post's Dana Milbank complains: "My biggest frustration is that this White House has chosen an approach ...to engage us as little as possible." And the New York Times' Elisabeth Bumiller grouses: "Too often they treat us with contempt."

Free the White House press corps!

The man honestly believes he's done more for human rights than any other president in the history of this country? More than, oh, Lincoln? FDR?

I'm stunned by the level of hubris here. When coupled with Paul O'Neill's portrayal of him, including the reports that Cheney really calls the shots (like we didn't know that one), how can this man seriously believe this?

And to those of you who support this man -- do you honestly believe this? If so, you truly show a lack of knowledge about the history of this country.

Under the Shrub's watch, we've seen civil rights erode; job losses exceeding 2 million; tax-cuts for the wealthy; an indeterminate war of unending nature on terrorism; an unnecessary war on Iraq which has succeeded only in ousting Hussein, while strengthening those forces that are anti-American.

I could go on, but the point is -- he's delusional.

He's impeachable.

If Bush is so pro-human rights, why are we friends with Uzbekistan?
The United States is continuing to its military relationship with Uzbekistan, including paying to disable nuclear weapons from the old Soviet arsenal, under President Bush's waiver of rules that required improvements in the country's human rights record.

Wake up, America, and smell the ashes left by your disappearing retirements. This administration has single-handedly turned back the clock to pre-FDR times, and it's not going to get any better, any time soon. The next President is going to have their hands full when it comes to trying to clean up the wreckage left by the looters of ShrubCo.

You can do your part by voting him out of office come November.

Anyone is better than Bush.

Initial link via Atrios.

The Gamer's Nook is where I normally hang my hat. Come on by for a chat.

Interest Groups Left and Right 

Kevin Drum at CalPundit wrote a great post yesterday on how politicians on both sides of the political aisle are beholden to special interest groups. He also takes to task, with a great bit of reciprocal rhetorical flourish, Mickey Kaus for claiming that Democrats are chained to special interest lobbies. As always, Kevin's writing is witty and well constructed.

This is a subject that like lots of things seems to be tilted in political discourse and the SCLM towards the left. And yet, as Kevin shows, the right has no right to brag about being above the fray of special interest groveling. It's easy for one side or the other to claim the moral highground in such arguments; it's much more difficult to deflate such puffery and show the warts on both sides.

CalPundit is always on my list of must-reads, it really should be on yours. For incentive, here's Kevin's paragraph on Republican's historical lobby group (they do seem to be a much more motley group than those linked to Democrats, but that might just be me):

Abortion crusaders whose opposition even to harmless stem cell research condemns millions to the slow-motion mental disintegration of Alzheimer's disease. Corporate interests so amoral they're willing to risk our food supply by insisting on their right to process cows that are too sick to walk to the slaughterhouse under their own power. Right wing gun zealots whose unyielding opposition to even modest gun control efforts keeps parents in constant fear that every day might bring another Columbine. Monomaniacal tax cut jihadists who recklessly mortgage our children's future and our standing in the world so that their millionaire pals can buy a few extra playthings. Oil and gas companies continuing to deny the now proven fact that global warming is a deadly reality -- until it may be too late.

Sunday, January 11, 2004

O'Neill stuff a Blockbuster--But Is Anyone Listening? 

TIME Magazine's story on O'Neill's book is a blockbuster. Sadly, Paris Hilton gets more of America's attention these days. And those who profit from Bush's reckless policies--the rich--are like addicts...so high on the free money and perks that they will do anything to keep their fix coming. I have been asked by the publisher of a new book on the true funding of terrorism to write a review, and will post when it is finished. It too, is a blockbuster, with strong evidence of the longtime collusion between Bush Family, Inc. and the Saudis. A sad tale, but one which must be exposed.