February 6, 2008 archive

Obama’s Anti-Clinton Spin At Odds with DNC

…Or, how Democrats Eat Their Own.

Talking Points Memo has an article up describing Obama’s latest mailer attacking the Clinton Presidency:

In what may be Obama’s most direct and aggressive criticism of Bill Clinton’s presidency yet, the Obama campaign dropped a new mailer just before Super Tuesday that blasts “the Clintons” for wreaking massive losses on the Democratic party throughout the 1990s.

“8 years of the Clintons, major losses for Democrats across the nation,” reads the mailer, which goes on to list the post-1992 losses suffered by Dems among governors, Senators and members of the House of Representatives. The mailer was forwarded to us by a political operative who told us it was sent to Alaska, though it was probably sent elsewhere, too.

link: http://tpmelectioncentral.talk…

Important If True

Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas both – thank God – know more about what Thomas Jefferson intended than Jefferson himself did. I mean, as Tony himself has said, _______. Jefferson, on the other hand (that clueless idiot), clearly had no frickin’ clue what the Framers had in mind when he said, “I am certainly not an advocate for frequent and untried changes in laws and constitutions. I think moderate imperfections had better be borne with; because, when once known, we accommodate ourselves to them, and find practical means of correcting their ill effects.  But I know also, that laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths disclosed, and manners and opinions change with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also, and keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the same coat which fitted him when a boy, as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors” . . . Where’d you find this guy, anyway? . . .

“A ground element came under fire from that building that we had to neutralize,” Admiral Smith said. It was not clear on Friday whether American commanders knew that so many civilians were in or near the structure when they authorized the airstrike.

“The enemy has a vote here,” Admiral Smith said, “and when he chooses to surround himself with civilians and then fire upon U.S. forces, our forces have no choice but to return a commensurate amount of fire. Which is what they did last evening.”

Ash Wednesday

Turning away, turn away,

great emptying of

quotidian concerns

from the holy vessel,

with mysterious ashen

foreheads of women

heading west on

51st Street, coming

from St. Patrick’s

On Fifth Avenue

Turning away, turn away!

In the great changes

of history from Old Testament

sackcloth to baptismal

glories, transforming itself

during deathly days of middle ages

into penitance, what have we done,

What have we done?

Forty days of contemplations

and renunciations, turning

from outside to inside,

from emptiness to

great beseechings for


to be filled like

empty vases

with great nectars

of resurrection.

Four at Four

  1. In what may be a portent of changes to come, The New York Times reports At least 48 dead in storms across 4 states. “A wide swath of thunderstorms packing tornadoes, high winds and hail swept through the South Tuesday night and Wednesday morning killing at least 48 people, injuring at least 100 more and leaving authorities searching for others who may be trapped in rubble… Forecasters said the unusual winter tornadoes were triggered by unusually warm temperatures in the region. But cold weather, possibly with snow and sleet, was expected to follow the line of thunderstorms.” No one could have predicted “extreme and unpredictable weather“.

  2. Asia dust stormThe Washington Post reports Dust storms overseas carry contaminants to U.S.. “Scientists know that great billowing clouds of dust waft over the oceans in the upper atmosphere, arriving in North America from deserts in Africa and Asia. Researchers have also found that the dust clouds contain not only harmful minerals and industrial pollutants, but also living organisms: bacteria, fungus and viruses that may transmit diseases to humans. Some say an alarming increase in asthma in children in the Caribbean is the consequence of dust blown from Africa, and predict they will find similar connections in the Southeast and Northwest United States. Scientists are beginning to look at these dust clouds as possible suspects in transcontinental movement of diseases such as influenza and SARS in humans, or foot-and-mouth disease in livestock… Authorities in Los Angeles estimate that on some days, one-quarter of the city’s smog comes from China.The pollution that is causing climate change is a global problem. Economic arguments for doing nothing are made only by fools.

  3. In perhaps a hopeful sign of changing attitudes, the Star Tribune reports in the Twin Cities, Among suburban commuters … Catching the bus is catching on. “Commuters are finding it’s a cheaper — and pleasant — ride. Meanwhile, ridership has risen so much that transit authorities are having trouble keeping up with demand… The high cost of gas and parking are helping wrench a vast army of suburbanites from behind their steering wheels — so much so that riders complain they often have to stand, and transit officials are warning that they are bumping up against capacity… Although the big jump in riders coincides with the big jump in gas prices over the past couple of years, a surprising number of suburban transit users say that heightened concern about emissions and climate change also play a role.” Here’s a link to Metro Transit in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota.

  4. The Los Angeles Times reports The climate may be right for a global warming bill. “But despite the dramatic shift in the Capitol in favor of doing something to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, global warming legislation remains a long shot for this year.” The article explores the very flawed Lieberman-Warner “Climate [in]Security Act” which is in part greenwashing.

    “This bill doesn’t do the job that science tells us we need to do,” said Melinda Pierce, a Sierra Club lobbyist.

    Brent Blackwelder, president of Friends of the Earth, called it “an embarrassment”…

    Some environmentalists worry that industry groups are eager for action this year only because they think they stand a better chance of shaping a bill to their liking than if a measure were to be crafted after the November election.

    Adam Siegel has several good diaries regarding this legislation.

Good Thing They Don’t Believe In Evolution

A quick tour of the Republican Reality, pulled out of  based on my optimism.

100 Years of War:

We know Bush is the most unpopular Pres in history, we know that this is a hugely unpopular war. (Hmmm, most unpopular war ever? I wonder what the polling says) And we know that all three of the Repub candidates are Gung Ho for it. It is apparent that you cannot be a Republican President without waging a war somewhere, without killing someone or bombing Brown People…or at least invading a few Banana Republics like Saint Ronnie of Raygun. Oh and by the way….it was illegal and immoral to invade Iraq, there was no reason to do it except for ideology and money…will America ever admit that?

The Question: Will America vote for more war?


Xin Nian Kuai Le 4705 (2008AD) Rats

Happy Lunar New Year. (*hic*)

The Lunar New Year dates from 2600 BC, when the Emperor Huang Ti introduced the first cycle of the Chinese zodiac.

Because of cyclical lunar dating, the first day of the year can fall anywhere between late January and the middle of February. On the Chinese calendar, 2008 is Lunar Year 4705-4706.

On the Western calendar, the start of the New Year falls on February 7, 2008 – The Year of the Rat.

    If you were born in 1912, 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996 – you were born under the sign of the rat.

I am a rat and damned proud of it.  There is no distinction in China between a rat and a mouse BTW.  

Because I am a rat this year, and if I wear red underwear, I will be lucky.  I have 4 new pairs, one for each quarter.  I should get real lucky.

Pony Party, Happy Birthday, Bob!!

Today marks the 63rd anniversary of the birth of Bob Marley, about whom I can say nothing which wouldnt be paled by his music and his legacy.

Hillary is running out of Hispanics, Huckabee is running out of Southerners

Here are some observations on yesterday’s vote.  (There will be more in the days to come now that I have some time back after making around 1000 calls for the Obama campaign.)

Talking about Hillary is the main course in this diary, but would you like to start with an appetizer?  Let’s talk about Huckabee.  The venerable NYT announces that Huckabee has been revived with a solid showing in the South.  This is stupid.  Why?  Well, let’s take a look at the GOP primary map.  Huckabee is running out of South!

See, the problem with winning mostly just one section of the country is that after that section has voted in its primaries — it doesn’t vote again.  (Michigan and Florida will, I predict, be exceptions to this rule, as the Democrats let them vote again in late May or early June, or perhaps hold caucuses or choose delegates at state conventions.)

So if you look at that map and try to find “South,” you’ll see that Huckabee has Louisiana coming up on Saturday (I predict he’ll win), Virginia (only semi-South these days) next Tuesday, Texas (again not fully South) on March 4, and Mississippi on March 11.  Even if he lasts that long, he won’t last long enough to see North Carolina, Kentucky, or (counting the bottom part of the state) Indiana vote in May.  So, Huckabee is not “revived” — he has, instead, “shot his wad,” although I don’t think the NYT would include that in a headline.  But they need a storyline, so there they go.  Romney will still finish second when push comes to shove.  I don’t think either one of them will be on the ticket, though: look to Govs. Pawlenty or Crist or (my dark horse, if Rudy can swallow it) Pataki for that.

Is anyone else running out of a precious electoral resource?  Why, yes!  Pretend you didn’t already read the title and look below the fold.

Muse in the Morning

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Muse in the Morning

The muses are ancient.  The inspirations for our stories were said to be born from them.  Muses of song and dance, or poetry and prose, of comedy and tragedy, of the inward and the outward.  In one version they are Calliope, Euterpe and Terpsichore, Erato and Clio, Thalia and Melpomene, Polyhymnia and Urania.

It has also been traditional to name a tenth muse.  Plato declared Sappho to be the tenth muse, the muse of women poets.  Others have been suggested throughout the centuries.  I don’t have a name for one, but I do think there should be a muse for the graphical arts.  And maybe there should be many more.

Please join us inside to celebrate our various muses…

Viva la R[evol]ution!

The following is what I wish Rep. Ron Paul would say, in what is surely soon to come, his concession speech as he withdraws from the race for the Presidential nomination of the Republican party:

“My fellow Americans, each of us, myself included, is here because of a lie.  The most immediate of these is the lie that the war our government is currently waging in Iraq is one which is necessary and vital to our national security.  I have sought the nomination of my party for the office of President of the United States because this lie is both outrageous in its sheer falsehood, and one which has helped contribute to the continuing decline of both the Republican party and the conservative movement in America.  

Despite the fact that now the overwhelming majority of Americans have come to agree with us that the war in Iraq is an illegal and abysmal failure, the powers that be of the party and the media have strived to silence and belittle this view, along with my campaign for the nomination.  They do so in a large part to perpetuate the many lies they have given to justify their failed and failing policy in the Middle East, but also because they have a bigger lie to protect.

Our nation’s so-called leaders have long been struck with a terrible affliction.  While composing paeans to our democracy, they adore the power they wield and fear the people, who might take it away from them.  They seek to concentrate more and more power at the federal level of government, giving the smallest number of your representatives the greatest power over your lives.  Under the leadership of our own party, they have decided that granting near-absolute power over us in the federal government is not enough, but that even greater power over each and every American should be granted to an unaccountable “Unitary Executive”  They seek to grant that executive power to imprison Americans without trial, spy on them without warrants, and torture them to compel them to give evidence against themselves.  They seek to wrest the power to declare war away from the Congress, and to put it in the hands of a single person, who you elect in a process allowed only once every four years.

There is no depth to which they will not descend in this quest.  They go so far as to claim that these powers, which King George the Third could never have dreamed having at his disposal, are in the Constitution of the United States.

Implicit in all of these actions are two messages, which cannot be denied.  The first is that you, the American people, cannot be trusted.  Our nation, which supposedly is governed by we the people, is simply too important, they claim, for you to be allowed to be made aware of its administration.  From the secrecy with which they attempt to conceal their multi-million dollar earmarks to that which they use for even the legal arguments supposedly justifying their spying on you, they show their distrust and contempt of the American citizen.  The current leader for the nomination of our Republican party is a man who has not only stated but had written into a law bearing his name that you cannot even be trusted to not be swayed by political speech.

As sure as these people are that you are fools and traitors, they are sure that you will believe that they are trustworthy and benevolent in all things.  At every turn, they suggest that you need not worry, that you can allow them to run your lives by fiat, and that they would never deceive you or harm you.  Even when their lies are laid bare, when their lies about the war and terrorism, about the economy and their own spending are right there for everyone to see, they continue to insist that you simply take them at their word.

What they did not count on was the American people they despise.  We remember the legacy of our founders, who questioned a ruler who declared that the people were fools.  We remember that they taught us to question our government, and that we had the right to decide its actions for ourselves.  And what they forgot what that they left us a blueprint for how to create such a society: the Constitution of the United States of America.

They will hope that this quest for the nomination of the Republican party was not merely a battle, but the entirety of the war over the nature of our country.  They are wrong.  While this fight is over, the true battle is only beginning.  We know that we are a good nation of reputable citizens, and that they are the brigands and liars.  And we will not surrender this nation to the likes of them.

We will do this by trusting our fellow citizens and refusing to accept the empty promises of known miscreants and liars.  We will do this by reclaiming the legacy our forebears left to us: our Constitution.  

I cannot thank all of you, who have supported my campaign in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds, nearly enough for all that you have done.  What I can do is promise you that this is not the end of our journey, but merely the end of its beginning.  

This nation belongs to us: the American people.  Our message has been stated loud and clear: we are coming to take it back!”

“Veterans – all their benefits are mere gratuities,”

WTF are this Gang Of Criminals, Thieves, War Mongers, War Profitteers, Twisted Ideologies, that this Country REFUSES doing anything about, Thinking?

Veterans not entitled to mental health care, U.S. lawyers argue

They took Complete Advantage over an Extremely Tragic Event, that they should have Stopped in it’s Tracks, Unless, if they paid one little iota to the Intelligence given to them, and Invaded a Country, Destroyed and Killed, that had Absolutely Nothing To Do With the Extremely Tragic Event, 9/11!

So many Lies in justification, when one would fall another would quickly rise, from their spin meisters, So Many Lies!

Some Observations on Voting Today

Today I cast my first ever Democratic primary vote.  A few things I observed:

I voted at my local polling place, Barrier-Free Living on 2nd Street.  Eight years after the 2000 debacle, we had a single antiquated manual voting machine at my polling place.  There was a large red lever which had to be reset for each voter which stuck occasionally; the woman who voted before me, a young woman in her teens or twenties, needed help moving it.  There were two poll workers who were handling the lists of names; both were in wheelchairs and had been working since six AM.  The voting machine was in a hallway; in the short time I was there, the line was well out the door both when I arrived and left.  While I saw numerous volunteers and so on throughout the city today, not a single one was outside my polling place, which covered some of Alphabet City, including Loisaida and its various largely Hispanic housing projects.

Mike Gravel was not on the New York ballot.  And hilariously, the only Republican candidate who had any delegates listed in my district was Ron Paul.

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