January 10, 2008 archive

Hugo Chavez: Two FARC hostages released!

After having other attempts to return hostages from FARC not go through, today must be a good day for two former hostages, as well as President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela!

Generation gaps

So what is there now?

Gen x, y, z.  Then there’s the Baby Boomers (with apparent sub-divisions).  Is that the same as the “Greatest Generation”?  No?  Which ones are the yuppies?  Subset of the hippies?  When the hell did we start naming generations anyways?  After WWII?  I think after the atomic bomb was dropped everyone temporarily lost their minds and starting naming generations of people as some sort of coping mechanism.  What a terrifying invention for mankind.  An instant way for one person to totally obliterate our known existence.  Wheee!!

Four at Four

Some news and open thread.

  1. The Los Angeles Times reports U.S. drops 40,000 pounds of bombs outside of Baghdad. “U.S. bombers and fighter jets continued an aggressive attack on the southern outskirts of Baghdad this morning, unleashing 38 bombs in 10 minutes on suspected havens of the militant group Al Qaeda in Iraq. In all, they dropped 40,000 pounds of bombs on Arab Jabour, in an area of mostly farmland, the U.S. military said in a statement… A booby-trapped home exploded Wednesday, killing six American soldiers and an interpreter and injuring nine others. The U.S. military also reported that three service members were killed by small-arms fire the day before. The two-day toll makes the latest effort to flush out Al Qaeda in Iraq the deadliest operation in months.”

    Other news from Iraq comes from The New York Times, which reports 2005 use of gas by Blackwater leaves questions. In May 2005, a Blackwater helicopter “dropped CS gas, a riot-control substance the American military in Iraq can use only under the strictest conditions and with the approval of top military commanders. An armored vehicle on the ground also released the gas, temporarily blinding drivers, passers-by and at least 10 American soldiers operating the checkpoint.”

    “This was decidedly uncool and very, very dangerous,” Capt. Kincy Clark of the Army, the senior officer at the scene, wrote later that day. “It’s not a good thing to cause soldiers who are standing guard against car bombs, snipers and suicide bombers to cover their faces, choke, cough and otherwise degrade our awareness.”

  2. According to the Washington Post, Jose Rodriguez, the former CIA official that ordered the CIA torture tapes to be destroyed, is refusing to testify before the House intelligence committee “unless he is granted immunity from prosecution for his statements”. Also, U.S. District Judge Henry H. Kennedy Jr. wrote “in a three-page ruling that a group of inmates held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, ‘offer nothing to support their assertion that a judicial inquiry’ is necessary into the tape destruction. He said neither of the detainees whose interrogations were taped and later destroyed has an apparent connection to the prisoners who were demanding the review. Kennedy also wrote that he expects the Justice Department ‘will follow the facts wherever they may lead and live up to the assurances it made to this court.'”

  3. The Guardian reports Bush calls on Israel to end occupation of Palestinian land. “George Bush today called on Israel to end its 41-year occupation of Palestinian land and predicted a peace treaty would be signed by the time he leaves office. Speaking after a meeting with the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, Bush said: ‘There should be an end to the occupation that began in 1967. An agreement must establish Palestine as a homeland for the Palestinian people, just as Israel is a homeland for the Jewish people.'” Brilliant! Now why didn’t any of Bush’s predecessors think of this cunning stratagem that will surely bring peace in our time?

  4. The Los Angles Times reports on The question that almost wasn’t asked.

    It was such a girlie question, Marianne Pernold Young wasn’t sure she should ask it.

    There she was, within touching distance of a very smart Hillary Rodham Clinton at a little New Hampshire coffee shop where a handful of other very smart women had spent an hour asking very smart questions about immigration and national security — and the only thing she could think to ask, the only thing she really wanted to know: How do you do it?

    The microphone came her way once, and Pernold Young handed it off. Too bush league, she thought. But then something inside the 64-year-old freelance photographer and three-year breast cancer survivor said “what the heck.”

    Truth be told, all the policy talk was getting boring. So when the mike came around one last time, she asked the question that helped to steady the listing campaign of the first woman with a real shot at the White House:

    “As a woman, I know it’s hard to get out of the house and get ready. My question is very personal. How do you do it?”

Patriotic Telecoms

Also posted at Planet Orange.

We’ve been hearing from Bush at least since October–Congress must listen to him to keep America safe:

Today the House Intelligence and Judiciary committees are considering a proposed bill that instead of making the Protect America Act permanent would take us backward

He goes on to make sure we know that:

Keeping this authority is critical to keeping America safe

And that those patriotic telecoms were acting in America’s best interest:

And it must grant liability protection to companies who are facing multi-billion-dollar lawsuits only because they are believed to have assisted in the efforts to defend our nation following the 9/11 attacks.

So what do we find out today?

Letting NOLA, Gulf Region Down

One thing all the presidential candidates, Democrat or Republican, have in common is the following: None who spoke after the New Hampshire primary brought up New Orleans or Katrina. Huffpo’s Harry Shearer had an excellent piece on this yesterday.

This is unconscionable. And, while we might expect this sort of crap from the GOP candidates, all of whom, as long as Bush is President, would (publicly, at least) be in support of his neglect of New Orleans and the rest of the Gulf Region, we should not stand for it from the Democrats.

J.C.’s Election Rant!

No, not Jesus Christ’s election rant (he’s probably pissed, too), but Jimmy Carter’s.

Having assayed the candidates and evaluated the sorry state that we, the confused voters, are in, our great former president has a few things to get off his chest.

In a great essay titled, “I Got What America Needs Right Here,” Mr. Carter waxes indignant from the git-go:

Sometimes I’m a little stupid, maybe, a little slow in the head, so I’m wondering if you can help me get something straight. Maybe you can help me understand one fucking thing right now, America, and explain to me what in the Christ is going on here. ‘Cause, unless I’m missing something, this country is in the middle of a motherfucking shitstorm, and I have no fucking idea what you’re gonna do to get out of it. I mean, are you seriously considering voting for one of these shitbags you got here in ’08? Fat fucking chance.

A few other gems can be found on the other side.

Pretty Bird Woman House Update: Why Isn’t Anything Easy in Indian Country?

I want to update everyone who has been involved in the Pretty Bird Woman House fundraiser on the situation with the house purchase.

After you read this you might also ask: Why isn’t anything easy in Indian Country?

While we were running this fundraiser, the City Council of McLaughlin, which exists as a separate entity within the boundaries of the Standing Rock Reservation, passed an ordinance requiring that any nonprofit wishing to establish a boardinghouse or shelter in a residential area get the approval of the City Council first.

This means that  even though Pretty Bird Woman House could have closed on the house on January 4th, they had to wait for a Council meeting on January 7th.

Everyone was certain that after hearing about the shelter, the City Council would just say “of course you can.”

Not so.  

One year later and nothing about the “surge” worked

Today’s WSJ has a commentary by new best friends forever John McCain and Joe Lieberman that is simply titled “The Surge Worked”.  We heard this same nonsense on Sunday night during a long soliloquy by Charles Gibson as he debated the Democratic Party Presidential Candidates, and this commentary by McCain and Lieberman is only stunning in reaching new heights of disingenuous drivel.

No doubt, on this one year anniversary of the escalation, we will be treated to more of the same crap about how “the surge worked” and how “Democrats and other anti-war people are living in denial of reality”.  And as usual, it is the war cheerleaders who are living in denial of reality when it comes to any measure of success.

Pony Party… country

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Hang out and chit chat for awhile… and when you’re done

Please check out some of the excellent offerings on our recent and rec’d list.

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We’re in the country at the farm. Connection is teh sux.

Do you recognize this document?

Subtitle: When is a pocket veto not a pocket veto?

Article 1, Section 7, Clause 2

If any Bill shall not be returned by the President within ten Days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the Same shall be a Law, in like Manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their Adjournment prevent its Return, in which Case it shall not be a Law

There have been so many Bush crimes, so many little ones and big ones.  This is my first 2008 personal “V-8” moment.

Bush’s “pocket veto” of the Defense Authorization Bill on December 29, 2007.  Yeah, so I’m a bit slow – give me a break. I’ve been on vacation.

But Congress hasn’t been on vacation.

Pony Party, on blogging…

to blog or not to blog….

Yes We Can

In the aftermath of Hillary Clinton’s narrow win over Barack Obama in New Hampshire, there are indications that voter backlash against the Beltway pundits and media hacks who take such delight in savaging her may have played a role in producing this unexpected outcome.  We’ll never know with any certainty why Hillary won, but the results in New Hampshire provide further evidence that the contempt of Americans for the corporate media is intensifying.

It’s about time.    

Glenn Greenwald:

The very idea of discussing issues, examining the candidates’ positions, or even analyzing voter preferences does not and cannot even occur to Chris Matthews.  That–the most elementary nuts and bolts of standard, healthy journalism–is way, way beyond the scope of what our media stars are able to do or want to do. Petty personality-based gossip and speculative, worthless chatter is all they know.

It’s not just Tweety.  On every network, in every major newspaper and magazine, day in and day out, corporate media hacks display “every repellent attribute that defines the Standard Modern Political Journalist”:

*Jaded, bitterly cynical coolness masquerading as sophistication (no emotion, no passion, is even real)

* Vapid, shallow stupidity (political matters judged exclusively by Drudge-like personality distractions)

* Mindless recitation of idiotic, Kristol-like right-wing talking points (we need manly Tough Guys, not Girly Crying, for our Wars)

* The basest and most glaringly obvious strain of sexism (no mention of the endless crying episodes from GOP Warrior-Cheerleaders)

* Their self-absorbed and almost-always-wrong belief that their own insulated biases are how the Regular Folk Think (hence, Hillary’s “crying,” which voters apparently either appreciated or ignored, was going to doom her candidacy, just as Huckabee’s press conference would doom his in Iowa)

* Herd-like adolescent malice rituals directed towards the Hated Loser (NYT reporters grouping together to chortle and cackle oh-so-knowingly at the Wicked Witch).

On progressive blogs, we’ve been telling the truth about the corrupt media and political establishments for years. We’ve told the truth in our diaries, we’ve told it in our essays, we’ve told it in our comments. We’ve told it time and time again, only to be ignored time and time again.  Most Americans aren’t even aware of our existence, and tens of millions of others are still dismissing us as radical partisans unworthy of their attention.

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