November 21, 2007 archive

The Regime Arrives: The Big Brother Passport Is Our Key to Victory

I just got one of the new passports, with the embedded chip. There is a logo on the front cover to let you know The Regime is Protecting You. Of course if you would like to destroy that chip, there is no shortage of online how-to advice. That tactic is not my style. I like to keep my options open.

This diary is called “The Regime Arrives” because until the advent of the electronic passport, there was a loophole in the web of State Control on citizens. That loophole is closed. Your identity and key information can be read at a distance if you are carrying a new passport. Your digital photo is added to a Federal database and no doubt mathematically abstracted into a vector string that represents your facial signature…probably available to certain trusted purveyors and consumers of security camera systems and imagery monitoring.

Who you are, where you are, where you are going, who accompanies you, what you are doing, what you are reading, what you are communicating, what you look like…all now fully open to Federal government scrutiny without a warrant, or probable cause.

War stops thousands of beating hearts

I saw that on a bumpersticker recently, and thought it was a cogent reminder to so-called right-to-lifers that saving lives of real, whole people who actually exist and function as human beings should be at least as important as saving unborn fetuses or frozen embryos.

But to the religious right, and to the Catholic church, which I don’t lump in with the evangelicals, some “beating hearts” are more important than others.

When you go to Abortion Stops a Beating Heart website, you discover that Pro-Life Ministries “supports President Bush and our brave soldiers fighting Islamic terrorism.”  A link takes you to this explanation of Islam:  

Why you Need to Understand Islam and Islam’s False Religion of Hate, Intolerance and Errors Which Leads its’ Followers to Hell and Eternal Separation from God and Become a Follower of Jesus Who is the Christ, the ONLY Son of God, and sits at God’s Right Hand!

But are their Islamic hearts, and the hearts of Iraqi civilians, beating, or is it only the US military, whose hearts beat true for the red, white and blue?

What prompts this post not anything new from the fundamentalists, but a recent statement by the Catholic bishops.

Krongard Brothers Update – Meta

After our Monday Morning News Drop story appeared here and on Kos, Keith Olbermann and John Dean ran with it as documented on Raw Story.

“It is a component of a larger investigation,” Dean asserted, “and I cannot escape the metaphor that has been running through my head, that we might see Waxman running into a cookie that is starting to crumble because it’s run into a buzzsaw brother. … Waxman isn’t one who will turn away from digging this entire matter out.”

Since then it was discovered that Mother Jones has been doing their own research on the issue where we learn some of the corruption charges:

Krongard stands accused of inadequate oversight of construction contractors at the new, $600-million U.S. Embassy in Baghdad; refusing to pursue procurement fraud charges in a case related to a DynCorp contract; intervening in an ongoing investigation of former Broadcasting Board of Governors Chairman Kenneth Tomlinson; questionable auditing of State Department financial statements; and an “abusive management style” that has contributed to an almost wholesale revolt against him by his own staff.

New Report Warns “Afghanistan on the Brink”

Reuters has just posted a story that should make Americans stand up and take notice — assuming they can bestir their self-interested torpor — as the Senlis Council, a well-respected international think-tank, has released a report, “Stumbling into Chaos: Afghanistan on the Brink”, which argues the situation in Afghanistan has reached “crisis proportions”. This follows the revelations last month from a top British politician and former UN representative in the Balkans that the war in Afghanistan is “lost”.

Canadian Television summed up the conclusions in the Senlis report this way (all emphases in quotes throughout are mine):

*** The Taliban are winning hearts and minds in southern Afghanistan; the international community is not. NATO-ISAF troops are forced to fight in an increasingly hostile environment because of the international community’s blunt political errors.

*** The absence of comprehensive development aid plans has given a strategic advantage to the Taliban.

*** Time for a well-planned village by village hearts and minds campaign to re-engage the Afghan population and make NATO’s mission a successful one.

By The Numbers: 50, 43 and 24

Well, this is interesting.

From today’s Washington Post:

And despite widespread impressions that Obama is banking on unreliable first-time voters, Clinton depends on them heavily as well: About half of her supporters said they have never attended a caucus. Forty-three percent of Obama’s backers and 24 percent of Edwards’s would be first-time caucus-goers. Previous attendance is one of the strongest indicators of who will vote.

I note with amusement that the same Anne E. Kornblut who got it so so wrong in my previous diary today is coauthor of the piece quoted above.


Four at Four

Some news and your Wednesday afternoon open thread.

  1. The Burlington Hawk Eye reports a Collapsed corn bin spills bushels on Hillsboro, Iowa house. A family was “rescued after a grain bin full of corn collapsed near their home in Hillsboro in Henry County. Rescue workers labored into the night Tuesday to free a father and son from the rubble of their home after the corn bin collapsed, spilling corn over a wide area.” Today, the Family sifts through remains of their home. “Wading through corn and scrambling over the crushed remains of a one-story house Tuesday, friends and relatives helped a Hillsboro family salvage small pieces of their lives. A full 519,000 bushel grain bin owned by Chem Gro of Houghton — only 20 feet from the house at 205 E. Main St. — burst Monday shortly after 8 p.m., according to neighbors. Jennifer and Jesse Kellett and their two children Jordan Walter, 11, and Sheyanne Walter, 9, were at home when the bin collapsed. Corn swept the house 30 feet off its foundation, trapping the family under rubble and grain.”

  2. The Washington Post reports Huckabee gaining ground in Iowa. “Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, buoyed by strong support from Christian conservatives, has surged past three of his better-known presidential rivals and is now challenging former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney for the lead in the Iowa Republican caucuses, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News Poll. Huckabee has tripled his support in Iowa since late July… His support in Iowa appears stronger and more enthusiastic than that of his rivals… Romney outperforms Huckabee and other Republicans on key attributes, with two notable exceptions — perceptions of which candidate best understands people’s problems and which candidate is the most honest and trustworthy. On both, Romney and Huckabee are tied.” 1960 campaign was the last time a senator went on to win presidential election. The Democrats did it then with John F. Kennedy. Huckabee may have enough faux-populist hogwash to convince America.

  3. The New York Times has a piece about the Kerry-Edwards campaign of 2004 called For Edwards, a relationship that never quite fit. “To the end of their disappointing run, the two men were unable to agree on the script, whether for slogans or more substantive matters. And like so many political marriages, the one between Mr. Kerry and Mr. Edwards – Senate colleagues who became rivals then running mates but never really friends – ended in recrimination and regrets…. Kerry supporters say Mr. Edwards refused to play the traditional vice-presidential role of attack dog even going up against a purebred, Dick Cheney… To Mr. Edwards, Mr. Kerry seemed unable to get out of his own way. He ignored Mr. Edwards’s warning not to go windsurfing, one aide recalled, which led to the infamous ‘whichever way the wind blows’ advertisement mocking Mr. Kerry’s statements on the war. And in the end, Mr. Edwards concluded that Mr. Kerry lacked fight for not filing a legal challenge to the election results… Once the sunny centrist who did not want to criticize his rivals by name, Mr. Edwards has become the most confrontational candidate in the race. And he has courted his party’s left wing by renouncing his vote on the war, something he counseled Mr. Kerry not to do… On Election Day, the running mates spent much of the day believing exit polls that showed them winning. The next morning, with Ohio still up in the air, Mr. Edwards pressed to send lawyers to Columbus to challenge the way the state counted provisional ballots. But Mr. Kerry finally concluded that even winning all those ballots would not make him president.”

  4. The Los Angeles Times reports Early caucuses put student pro-Obama vote in play. “The Iowa caucuses are being held Jan. 3, the middle of winter break. With college students home for the holidays, campuses across the state will be empty. But the early caucus date could shift voter dynamics, adding young voices at their hometown caucuses across the state while diminishing the turnout at college precincts. Or, it could mean even fewer college students will take part in the electoral process. Either outcome will affect the tally for Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois… The Obama campaign is banking on young voters, and the timing of this year’s caucuses could work to his advantage… Although students tend to register as voters on campus in Iowa, it’s easy to switch their registration on caucus night and vote at precincts in their hometowns… Of the Democratic candidates, the Illinois senator has the greatest support among young people and the least among senior citizens… If fewer college students vote, that would hamper Obama’s efforts and help former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina, who has weaker support among young people and higher support among baby boomers, [according to Iowa State University political science professor Dianne Bystrom]. Clinton’s candidacy is unlikely to be affected because she has broad support across age groups.”

There’s a bonus story about an enormous, new national park in Canada below the fold.

Hillary Hate Makes People Idiots


The non-stop shilling for Clinton continues at Talk Left where Armando is at it full-time.

Have whatever opinion of the actual Bill Clinton Presidency, but you have to deal with the fact that Bill Clinton remains extremely popular and his Presidency remembered fondly.

It's funny, but I don't remember Bill Clinton's presidency all that fondly. The first two years could only be described as a total disaster.

Funny, I do not recall writing that BOOMAN remembered the Clinton Presidency fondly. I cited an article which stated:

Bill Clinton enjoys a 66 percent approval rating in a Washington Post/ABC News Poll released last month.

Booman's hatred of Hillary is so blinding that he denies the obvious – Bill Clinton is popular, whether Booman likes Bill or not. He sounds like a Republican now. Denying obvious facts. That is quintessential Hillary Hate. Makes people idiots.

True cost of Iraq war: Trillions

Such a deal.

The Iraq war already has cost a family of four $16,500, but you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

A new report from the Congressional Joint Economic Committee says the cost per family is going to be $36,900.

And total expenditures, direct and indirect, could exceed $3.5-trillion if the U.S. stays the course and keeps even 75,000 troops in Iraq through 2017 — hardly a rash assumption, since none of the leading presidential candidates in either party will pledge to have the troops home by 2013.  (To be fair, “only” $2.8-trillion is for Iraq, with the rest for war in Afghanistan.)

Amitabh Pal for The Progressive online:

Predictably, the analysis has the Republicans crying foul. They allege that the Democrats in charge of the committee have played with the numbers. But this is the right way to measure the cost of that unnecessary conflict. The budgetary impact, as large as it is, captures only a fraction of the economic toll on this country.

The report details the multiple ways in which the war has been detrimental to the U.S. economy. Most obviously, the turmoil in Iraq has contributed to a diminished global oil production, making all of us pay higher prices at the pump. The report estimates that the Iraq fiasco has contributed at least $5 per barrel to the increase in oil prices.

And then there are several other costs, too. The government has had to spend borrowed money for the war, diverting spending from more productive uses and paying massive interest payments on its war profligacy. Substantial sums have had to be paid for treating wounded war veterans. There have been several lifetimes of lost productivity for the injured. Considerable military equipment has been damaged. And the list goes on.

Even that dollar count, of course, doesn’t count the real toll of the hundreds of thousands of lives shattered beyond repair, a cost the world will continue to bear for decades.

UPDATE: The Pentagon has found one way to cut costs: By asking wounded vets to give back the signing bonuses they got for enlisting, because they couldn’t fulfill their contracts. More here.

Pal continues:

I’m not going to do that whole guns versus butter thing and lament about all the productive expenditure this money could have been utilized for. It’s giving the Bush Administration too much credit to assume that they would have guided all that amount to more rational uses. (For those interested in such numbers, the American Friends Service Committee has some heartbreaking comparative statistics on the myriad ways the funds could have been better spent.)

Cross-posted on Out of Iraq Bloggers Caucus.

Some Questions Are Better Left Un-Asked?

I ate the apple from the tree. Sometimes I wish I hadn’t. I’m probably going to hell. 😉

“Where better to find people dumb enough to believe in George Bush……………..?”

Son of Mormon Prophet Maxes out to Mitt

Although Mitt Romney has said that he will not take orders from the LDS (Mormon) church, it is clear that many Mormons are excited about his candidacy.  He has received millions of dollars in donations from people in Utah, and many of them are Mormons.

I began to wonder if any of the so-called “General Authorities” of the church had contributed to Mitt.  So I went to to check.  I couldn’t find any.  I guess they’ve sort of figured out that would be too obvious.  

But I was surprised to find that many of the children of the first presidency of the church (the prophet and his counselors) had maxed out their donations to Romney.  (OK, I wasn’t really that surprised.) Details on the flip.

Rudy Guiliani a Cross Dressing Presidential Candidate Raised by a Mafia Father

Rudy Guiliani’s father Harold was a mafia hit man. He did time in Sing Sing. Upon his father’s death Rudy said that his father was a kind, generous man who taught him the value of honesty. Many members of Guilianis family were mobsters. Maybe Rudy has “issues”. According to Rudy mafia hit men can be kind and honest. It seems that Rudy, due to his upbringing and the development and maintenance of this perverse perspective no doubt has a great deal of difficulty dealing with a little thing called, THE TRUTH.

Wayne Barret wrote a book that uncovered Rudy’s upbringing in 2000. It’s called “Rudy! An Investigative Biography of Rudolph Giuliani.” Barret is a well respected writer for the Village Voice.

The news media seems to have forgotten all about the book.


Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

He could be the next President. Here he is showing his feminine side dressed up like a mobster….and again below showing he’s not afraid to dress up in womens clothing. He’s got the cross dresser vote in the (brown paper) bag


Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket…

“In a little more than one hour, five or six hundred of these barbarians

were dismissed from a world that was burdened with them.”

“It may be demanded…Should not Christians have more mercy and

compassion? But…sometimes the Scripture declareth women and children must perish with their parents…. We had sufficient light from the word of God for our proceedings.”

-Puritan divine Cotton Mather, Magnalia Christi Americana

Crossposted at Native American Netroots &
Progressive Historians

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