September 1, 2008 archive

Four at Four

  1. The NY Times reports that the Storm strikes land west of New Orleans. “Hurricane Gustav made landfall along the Louisiana coast late Monday morning, and with the center of the storm striking 70 miles southwest of New Orleans, officials were optimistic that the city would be spared destruction on the scale of Hurricane Katrina three years ago.”

    Gustav has been downgraded from a category 3 to category 2, “because its winds had slowed to 110 miles an hour from 115 m.p.h., according to the National Weather Service. Officials at the Army Corps of Engineers said that New Orleans’ levee system was being severely tested, but they did not think that the hurricane would cause water to flow over its walls.”

    There is Six inches of flooding reported in the Upper Ninth Ward of New Orleans according to The Times-Picayune.

    As much as six inches of flooding has been reported in the Upper 9th Ward from water splashing over the western side of the Industrial Canal floodwall, said Jerry Sneed, New Orleans director of homeland security and emergency preparedness.

    Army Corps of Engineers officials said the spillage does not pose a major threat.

    Water is overtopping for several hundred yards on the Upper Ninth Ward side of the Industrial Canal on both sides of the Claiborne Avenue bridge…

    “We’re confident in the stability of that wall,” which was fortified after Hurricane Katrina, said Karen Durham-Aguilera, director of Task Force Hope for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Officials are out in force at the scene. The overflow areas appear to be greatest on the river side of Claiborne.

Four at Four continues with the U.S. hand over to the Iraqis in Anbar, U.S. lagging in the world bicycle boom, pollution from Asia impact on the U.S., and the melting of Greenland’s icesheet.

Manufacturing Monday: Gustave’s effect on energy & manufacturers

By now, Hurricane Gustav is ravaging the great city of New Orleans and the surrounding Gulf Coast.  Our hopes and prayers goes out to the good folks of the area.  Well you probably have guessed, that Johnny Venom would’ve found the economic angle on all this.  Rest assured, fellow Kossacks, I won’t let you down!  But once again, I do hope for the best for the folks aflicted by Gustave.  

The Obama-Biden Worldview (Pt. 3)

The other day in The Obama-Biden Worldview, Phyllis Bennis, Eric Margolis and Paul Heinbecker talking with Paul Jay of The Real News began a discussion and dissection of the foreign policy mindset and worldview we can expect from an Obama-Biden Administration, then continued the analysis in The Obama-Biden Worldview (Pt. 2) on Sunday.

Today in Part 3 of the discussion they take up the question of whether or not Obama-Biden foreign policy will lead to a potentially catastrophic attack on Iran.

September 1, 2008 – 12 minutes

Obama Biden and Iran

The Obama-Biden Worldview with Eric Margolis, Phyllis Bennis and Paul Heinbecker. Pt.3

Obama, Biden Talk Politics – 60min- Video

Last night Barack and Joe spoke, and even though a short interview they covered alot of ground.

In their first interview together as running mates, Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. Joseph Biden discuss their roles and strategies for the upcoming presidential election. Steve Kroft reports.

This Is Where The Slippery Slope Leads

As those of us who care have documented on the blogs over the last few years, our rights as citizens have been being steadily stripped. We have often referred to this phenomenon as sliding down the slippery slope to tyranny and fascism. And now, with the assault on the protesters, the PRE-protestor,  we see where this slippery slope leads. OUR government, a government that was once thought to be of, by and for The People, have made The People trying to exercise their Constitutional rights to dissent, protest, speech and assembly….into a criminal class. A PRE-crime criminal class. And it is, by and large being accepted.

They have spied on American citizens and with the information that they have gathered have conducted PRE-EMPTORY raids. Raids designed to intimidate and sow fear and PREVENT crimes that have not been committed. Raids intended to bludgeon the will of citizens to stop them from exercising their rights.

And the atmosphere and events and fear of the last eight years, as well as the Patriot Act and all of the other right stripping, citizen intimidating has made this acceptable and unremarkable. It has allowed a level of totalitarianism to flourish that would NOT have been acceptable in the America of ten years ago.

The black clad, paramilitary trained and equipped SWAT teams, armed with information gained from domestic spying are conducting raids on citizens who are only attempting to exercise their Constitutional rights. Where does it stop? Until we get a new administration and force it to reverse these draconian, totalitarian police powers……It Will Not. And unless we DO demand the restoration of the Constittuion of the new administration and are succesful, it will not stop until we reach the bottom of the slippery slope and either acquiesce to a Police State….or revolt.

The police and the forces behind them (DHS) are violating nearly every important Constitutional right we have. Military style raids on private homes for crimes that MIGHT be committed. Searches IN CASE their might be contraband, Detaining people without real probable cause, because of their PROFILE as potential terrorist. THIS is what we ‘Purity Trolls’ have been ‘whining’ about for years now. And here it is. How does it feel America?

McCain: No one could have anticipated Hurricane Sarah

John McCain is focusing on the wrong disaster.

The Category 3 that’s about to hit isn’t off the Gulf Coast, and it isn’t named Gustav.

It’s seated in the Gulfstream IV next to him, and it’s named Sarah.

Trance Politics: Are We Completely Distracted Yet?

cross-posted from The Dream Antilles

Maybe the Rethuglicans think that no one in America will think about any serious issues until after November if they continue to provide tons of distraction, both intentional and unintentional. If that’s their strategy, it’s working unbelievably well in both Left and Right Blogistan and the traditional media.

Two quick, recent, simple examples of the phenomenon:

Example 1. There has been lots of blogging about Sarah Palin’s not being the mother of her youngest child, the claim being that her daughter was actually the mother.  And now, today, the refutation of the story.  Not that photo of an obviously pregnant Palin.  Oh no.  Nothing like that.  Instead, a story that her daughter is pregnant now, that she’ll marry the baby’s father, and so on.  This is worth at least a week more of distraction, during which we’re not supposed to look at Iraq, the economy, energy or health care.  Instead, we’re supposed to debate and/or scream at each other about whether or not Sarah Palin’s daughter did or did not have access to contraception and compare Sarah Palin to Hillary Britney’s mother.

Example 2.  Hurricane Gustav takes aim at New Orleans.  Embarrassed about Katrina, the Rethuglican’s decide it would be unbecoming to have arch villains Bush and Cheney in public a coronation celebration while a natural disaster strikes America.  They say that on this occasion they should act like Americans rather than Rethuglicans.  Great. So we turn attention to how that will change their planned convention, and how they’re getting briefed in Mississippi and Tejas.  But why is it, if it’s not ok to celebrate a coronation when there’s a natural disaster, that it is ok to celebrate it while there’s a continuing man-made disaster in Iraq, which has left thousands of US troops and tens of thousands of Iraqis dead and tens of thousands more maimed or seriously wounded.  It’s ok to celebrate when thousands of nation’s youth are dying, but the mere chance of deaths or injuries or loss of property from a storm makes the celebration inappropriate.  Does this make any sense?  Only if you care about providing innocuous material to discuss instead of real issues.

Enough, I say.  Enough.  

Now I’m going to an American barbecue.  I’m going to drink lots of globalized beer.  I’m going to celebrate what labor in America has brought the nation.  Things like the 8 hour day and the weekend. I’m going especially to celebrate the triumphs of the UFW and Cesar Chavez.  And the IWW. I’m going to think about Big Bill Haywood and Woody Guthrie.  I’m gonna hum labor songs.  I’m taking a break.

While I’m gone, I hope folks will start to figure out how to break the trance.

Do We Feel Safer Now?

A chilling report from Glen Greenwald today (Sunday 8/31/08) documents his visit to the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis.  He reports that as a part of the security apparatus, the local police with the help of the FBI have raided various headquarters, private homes, and meeting places of activist groups with plans to protest at the Convention.  The raids were carried out using warrants to search for “fire and code violations.”  Never mind that the Fire Marshall was never notified, the fact that ONLY the protest groups that were legally planning to demonstrations were raided highlights the real intent.  A description of one of the raids with more commentary and details below the fold:

Mother Jones: Mission Creep UPDATED

Interactive map of US Military bases and deployments worldwide via

Middle-class is Fearful

It is the economy, again, stupid.   Working class families are fearful, but the opportunity for mis-information is high.  

Senator Obama is using the Detroit Labor Day kickoff to emphasize three messages: addressing the needs of working people, the key role unions play in the election, and the role of manufacturing and the auto industry,” Shaiken said. Both the Democratic presidential nominee and Republican rival Sen. John McCain are fighting for union members — a key voting bloc in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and other swing states. Link

Obama/Biden and the populist message are on-track.  

Drum Major Institute’s (DMI) first annual survey on the Middle Class and Public Policy reveals that America’s middle-class households are fearful families – overwhelmingly pessimistic about the direction of the country, especially the economy and high gas prices.

Most have little flexibility in their own economic situations and have little if anything left over each month after meeting basic expenses. The middle class is disgruntled with the direction of the country and politicians and see little coming out of Washington that would give them cause for optimism.

Middle-class Americans do know what they want.

Open Thread


Got comments?   Man can not live on thread alone.

Fucking incredible

I’ve been away for a few weeks and now catching up on the blog-o-sphere. I read a story from Glenn Greenwald about protesters arrested for planning protests of the RNC convention.

PLANNING protests. PLANNING to protest… oh my dear good god.

Yeah. Scary men in scary gear with scary big guns busting into homes of people who are vegans. People with slogans like: Food not War. Arresting them with intent to riot.

What is more incredible than even this? That, as Glenn Greenwald notes, there is very little outrage emanating from our fellow citizens, MSM, blogs.

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