August 21, 2008 archive

The senator from ethanol-land

I’m at work (this is my work ’til close night), so this will be short.

Original article by Nicole Colson, subheaded Barack Obama has been talking tough about taxing Big Oil, but as Nicole Colson notes, there’s a reason he won’t criticize companies that are reaping record profits off of the current ethanol boondoggle, via

Four at Four

  1. McClatchy Newspapers report a Key U.S. Iraq strategy is in danger of collapse. “The Iraqi government is failing to absorb tens of thousands of former Sunni Muslim insurgents who’d joined U.S.-allied militia groups into the country’s security forces.”

    The Sunni Awakening is credited “with undercutting support for the group al Qaida in Iraq and bringing peace to” parts of Iraq. But the Shiite-le Iraqi government has made it “clear that they don’t intend to include most” of the 100,000 militia members in Iraqi security forces. Despite “the surge”, little has changed in Iraq over the past year.

    All the Americans are doing is paying them just to be quiet,” said Haider al Abadi, a leading member of Maliki’s Dawa political party and the head of the economic and investment committee in the parliament. The Iraqi government, he said, can’t “justify paying monthly salaries to people on the grounds that they are ex-insurgents.”

    Privately, American officials are concerned, but they will not speak on the record. “The United States has 103,000 militia members on its payroll.” According to one senior U.S. intelligence analyst, “If they only take a portion of them it’s possible they will return to their insurgent ways… [Without jobs, they will] revert back to how they received money before.”

    Also, the Wall Street Journal reports the U.S. and Iraq have a draft agreement to keep U.S. forces on Iraqi soil. “The draft agreement sets 2011 as the date by which U.S. combat troops will leave Iraq, according to Iraqi Deputy Foreign Minister Mohammed al-Haj Humood and other people familiar with the matter… The White House softened its stance over a pullout date after it became clear that Mr. Maliki was adamant that the agreement contain at least a vague timetable for a U.S. withdrawal. The administration also dropped its insistence that American contractors remain immune from Iraqi law.”

  2. The NY Times reports A trained eye finally solved the anthrax puzzle. “A group of scientists working secretly for some seven years” solved the anthrax case by connecting a thousand distinct samples. The breakthrough was identifying a laboratory flask as the source.

    They succeeded by using a combination of new techniques not even invented in late 2001 when the anthrax-laced letters were sent, and that most old-fashioned attribute of expert scientists and detectives: a trained eye…

    The scientists say they are confident the F.B.I. has identified the source of the anthrax, a flask in the custody of Bruce E. Ivins, whom the F.B.I. considers to have been the perpetrator of the attacks. But almost a hundred other people were known to have had access to cultures from the flask, and the scientists say they have no opinion as to whether Dr. Ivins, who committed suicide last month, was the culprit.

Four at Four continues with Russian troops in Georgia and oil speculators.

Quickdraw McCain: Willing to FORCE Americans to Kill … and Die

John McCain wants to stay in Iraq. John McCain wants to increase troop levels in Afghanistan. The unstable and temperamental John McCain wants to “Bomb, bomb. bomb” Iran. The Russians are furiously signalling that if Iran is attacked they will react.  John McCain showed the world during the recent crisis in Georgia that he wants to take a hard, aggressive line with Russia, even at the risk of restarting the Cold War.  John McCain wants war. His rhetoric and stated policies reek of it.

And Quickdraw McCain is willing to FORCE your son or daughter….. or YOU ….to fight and kill in his wars. John McCain can’t come right out and say it… with so many things that the hot headed McCain can’t come out and say to a nation tired of and bankrupted from war….but if John McCain wants to pursue his aggressive, war centered foreign policy “to the gates of hell,” John McCain NEEDS a draft.

Let’s not pussyfoot around here, a draft means one thing and one thing only: Forcing America’s youth to kill. FORCING Americans to die or be wounded, for his policy of using force, force, and more force. The same policies that have failed in Iraq and Afghanistan. The purpose of a draft is to select unwilling young men (and presumably women) take them away from their lives and families and make them into soldiers… force of law. Young men and women who have chosen NOT to volunteer to fight will be MADE to join the military and be trained to kill…and die…for the sake of the “Global War On Terror. ” A war that cannot be won, a perpetual war. A war that does NOT rise to the level of an existential threat to America, which should be the ONLY reason forced conscription is ever instituted.

The Ovarian Lottery

Seems that some enterprising reporters have managed to find Barack Obama’s half brother in Kenya.

The Italian edition of Vanity Fair said that it had found George Hussein Onyango Obama living in a hut in a ramshackle town of Huruma on the outskirts of Nairobi.

Mr Obama, 26, the youngest of the presidential candidate’s half-brothers, spoke for the first time about his life, which could not be more different than that of the Democratic contender.

“No-one knows who I am,” he told the magazine, before claiming: “I live here on less than a dollar a month.”


Trace Inorganic Arsenic In Drinking Water Linked with Diabetes

A new study by researchers at Johns Hopkins has linked low level exposure of inorganic arsenic in drinking water supplies to the risk of type 2 diabetes.  The new study indicates that environmental factors may play a role in type 2 diabetes in addition to other commonly recognized factors, such as body weight and inactivity. This is important because often our government says not to worry about particular pollutants or contaminants because the levels released into our water, soil and air are too low to be harmful to us.

The Kos And The System: “Blogfather” Markos Moulitsas On Digital-Era Activism And His New Book

Look forward to meeting some of you in Denver next week! – ctrenta, aka “vtfinest” on DKos

Photobucket  Photobucket

Photo by Bart Nagel

Crossposted at Off the Bus.

“I am progressive, I am liberal. I make no apologies.”

Those were the first ten words written by Markos Moulitsas Zuniga when the Web log Daily Kos was launched in 2002. At the time the Bush Administration was hellbent on invading Iraq. Daily Kos gave people an outlet to vent their frustrations. Then the blog took on a life of its own. It became the medium through which bloggers could organize, take on “the gatekeepers,” and work for political change.

More below the fold.

McCain And The Ambition To Be President: Caught On Tape

As if there weren’t already enough examples of John McCain’s dishonesty and hypocrisy, he has delivered another strikingly brazen illustration of just how far he will go to promote himself and to demean his opponent, Barack Obama. And it’s all captured on video:

Brought to you by…

News Corpse, The Internet’s Chronicle Of Media Decay.

Free Speech in DuPage? Almost

Cross Posted at Kos:…

Yesterday there was supposed to be a trial in DuPage County.

Two anti-war protestors were promised their day in court after 15 months of appearances and continuances and postponements.

They were ready.

The prosecution had the witness and the arresting police officer.

Jeff Zurawski and Sara Hartfield had truth and about 48 supporters on their side.

Judge Sutter was ready.

An open letter to Barack Obama

Mr. Obama:

  As one of the relatively few people in this country who saw through your act early on, and for the right reasons, let me first say how utterly ashamed I am to call myself a registered Democrat.  You are a disgrace not only to the party at large, but to the thousands — perhaps, dare I say — even millions of Americans who were and remain so desperate for someone to come and rescue our once-great nation from the fascists that they placed their hope and faith in you.  Hang your head in shame, and then look me straight in the eye and don’t turn away until I’m done.

  According to an article in New York Magazine, the electorate has had about enough of you.  A Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll has you running in a statistical dead heat with Republican John McCain,’s poll doesn’t look good for your chances either, and Zogby has your GOP counterpart five points ahead.  Are you trying to blow this election for us?!?  Because it sure as hell seems as though you are.

  The NY Magazine article gives several reasons for your pathetic performance thus far, but it left out the most obvious: not only your consistent refusal to fight back against the smears of the far right and its tired old champion for this election cycle, but, most importantly, your deliberate alienation of your own political party’s base.  Time and again, you have demonstrated that you do not represent Americans on any issue of importance, and voters realize this.  Long before you secured the Democratic Party nomination to be the ringer candidate against the election sham’s already-chosen victor, you were taking positions including (but in no way limited to):

  That’s just off the top of my head, nor is it the most worrisome reason for your refusal to campaign like someone who wants to win.  I have a friend named Dave who has worked on numerous Democratic political campaigns, including yours.  He is witness to the stupid things you’ve got your people in critical states such as Ohio doing, such as:

  • Failing to even install a working telephone system in your Lakewood, Ohio, campaign office,
  • Sending your people out to register voters — REPUBLICAN-leaning ones at that — whom you MUST know will NEVER vote for you, and
  • Deliberately avoiding mentioning that it was under the presidency of Bill Clinton that average American incomes were higher, while it was under the shrub that those same incomes fell.

  This isn’t rocket science, Obama; it’s politics.  You’ve been in the proverbial game long enough to know this.  You seem hellbent on losing this election, and you need to explain why to those who placed their faith and hopes in you before you dash them just a little over two months from now.  It’s that, or pull your head out of your rear orifice and start trying to win this thing.  This race has never been, nor shall it ever be, about you; it’s about this country and the people in it, and turning back from the precipice of fascist empire your predecessors have brought us all to.

  That’s all I have to say to you, Obama.  You have your choice to make, though I am certain you made it long ago.  Just know this: no matter what happens in November, you’ll still be comfortably employed, while the rest of us will have to continue suffering the conservative policies you support.


Archangel M

Sex, Lies and John McCain

CNN’s explosive interview with John McCain last night, where he talks about his first marriage:

Okay, fine, grannyhelen. You got me. Put “sex” in the title and have McCain squirm on CNN while trying to defend cheating on a sick woman who faithfully waited for him the entire time he was in Vietnam, and I’ll take a peek.

But what does this have to do with policy?

Follow me, young grasshopper…

Pony Train Party

(this one’s for Magnifico~ because he is!)


orange blossom special

Do You Know How Many Houses You Own? (UPDATED with more mockery)

If you know how many houses you own, congratulations!  Give yourself a pat on the back, because you’re smarter than a certain senator from Arizona.  When asked in an interview how many houses he owns,

John McCain answered:

I’ll have my staff get to you.

I see two problems in this answer.  The first, obviously, is the question of the actual count.  The second problem is that he apparently needs a staff to do his house-counting.  But when pressed about his thoughts on what constitutes being rich, he (or someone on his staff) came up with:

“I define rich in other ways besides income,” he said. “Some people are wealthy and rich in their lives and their children and their ability to educate them. Others are poor if they’re billionaires.”

Well, Senator, . . . I define “rich” as someone who DOESN’T KNOW HOW MANY HOUSES HE OWNS.

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