October 1, 2008 archive

Four at Four

  1. Our involvement in Afghanistan is not going to end prettily. The AP reports Top U.S. general in Afghanistan wants more troops ASAP. Gen. David McKiernan wants more troops and other aid “as quickly as possible” because, in my assessment, NATO is losing the occupation.

    Speaking to Pentagon reporters, the head of NATO forces in Afghanistan said there has been a significant increase in foreign fighters coming in from neighboring Pakistan this year – including Chechens, Uzbeks, Saudis and Europeans. And he said he needs the more than 10,000 additional forces he has requested, in part, to increase his military campaigns in the south and east where violence has escalated.

    While the AFP adds General says reconciling with Taliban a political decision. McKiernan has now called “for enlisting tribes to help pacify the country and did not rule out reconciliation with ousted Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar.”

    “Asked whether dealing with the man who harbored Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was beyond the pale, McKiernan said, ‘I think that’s a political decision that will ultimately be made by political leadership.'” So, will more U.S. troops really help then?

    Meanwhile the LA Times reports that a Trio of warlords blamed for surge in Afghanistan violence.

    The escalating insurgency in Afghanistan is being spearheaded by a trio of warlords who came to prominence in the CIA-backed war to oust the Soviets but who now direct attacks against U.S. forces from havens in Pakistan, according to U.S. military and intelligence officials.

    Militant groups led by the three veteran mujahedin are behind a sharp increase this year in the number and sophistication of attacks in Afghanistan and pose a major challenge to President Bush’s hope of stabilizing the country by deploying thousands of additional troops…

    The three warlords are Mullah Mohammed Omar, the former leader of the Taliban government in Afghanistan; Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, an Islamic hard-liner who briefly served as prime minister in the 1990s before ordering his forces to bomb the Taliban-run capital; and Jalaluddin Haqqani, a onetime Taliban Cabinet minister whose tribal group has accounted for some of the most brazen attacks this year.

    U.S. officials said there was little evidence of substantial collaboration among the three, though there are indications that despite their past differences, they communicate and occasionally share information and resources.

    The warlords are generally not blamed for a surge of violence in Pakistan. Instead, they are seen as exporters of violence to Afghanistan…

    The three warlords have long-standing ties to Pakistan’s powerful spy service, the Inter-Services Intelligence agency, which U.S. officials have accused of collaborating with insurgent groups and tipping them to American strikes.

    The Taliban does not fight alone against NATO forces in Afghanistan.

Four at Four continues the Fall of Wall Street’s dominance, Palin’s Big Oil-backed vendetta against polar bears, and trainspotting.

A Beautiful Financial Rescue Package

So, Monday a bail-out package described by opponents a excrement on toast went down to defeat because after getting compromises to make it, in my view, worse, the Republican leadership could not then deliver enough Republican votes to get the thing passed “on a bipartisan basis”.

Like they are unwilling to take unpopular votes to protect business interests? What was more than a decade of votes against the Minimum Wage about, then?

So, the first step is to see if the non-finance sector business lobby has been on the phone with the Rebel Replicants, cursing them a blue streak for screwing the pooch so badly before the Christmas shopping season. Perhaps they are, and so perhaps they will toe the line.

And if not, then the Democrats can turn to putting together a Beautiful Financial Rescue Package that the caucus can support. So, what would that look like?

Landslide? Blowout? ……….Mandate?

Via kos:

   The Democrat’s support jumped to 50 percent or above in Ohio, Florida and Pennsylvania in Quinnipiac University surveys taken during the weekend – after the opening presidential debate and during Monday’s dramatic stock market plunge as the House rejected a $700 billion financial bailout plan…

   The new surveys show Obama leading McCain in Florida 51 percent to 43 percent, in Ohio 50 percent to 42 percent and in Pennsylvania 54 percent to 39 percent.

Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida were the states Obama was supposed to lose in the ‘new map’ scenario, to be made up somewhat by winning smaller states that turn blue like Colorado and Iowa. Obama is now more than competitive in NC and VA as well.

Nate Silver now has the projected electoral vote count (the real metric) at 330 to 207. That, my friends, is a landslide. Especially by recent standards. A blowout.

A REAL Mandate.

Not a 2004 style Bush mandate.

‘Trickle Downers’ can at least make a few bucks…………

DeJa-Vu All Over Again, and Again, and Again………, Still In The Nixon Dirty Tricks Era, Same Ole GOP Only More Corrupt and Dumber!!

As a ‘Nam Vet and Pro-Peace Activist from after till present, these last seven plus years I’ve almost felt like we’ve been in a groundhog type time warp, everything keeps bringing me back to what we already lived through, not just once before, but the past 35 years plus, over and over…….

Today I just caught this:

Pro-War Group Offering Cash For Frats To Demonstrate At VP Debate

where is love

love goes into hiding

but it doesn’t die

love runs from danger

love recoils from pain

love collapses under the weight of the every day

but love doesn’t die

love longs for discovery

Coup de Grace

Coup de grace is French for blow of grace.  It refers to the hunter’s final shot to the head – the grace being the end of suffering for the unlucky prey.   In this case, it is we, the American people who are the ill-fated quarry.  We are like the mouse that the cat is now tired of playing with.  We will soon hear the crunching of tiny bones.

Open Thread


Goooooooood morning, Docudharma! Hey, this is not a test!

This is Open Thread!  

The Chase

Wan went running, running,

Terror at wan’s wheels–

Fragmented, wonderful terror

Promising possibilities.

Before wan’s eyes are visions

Of freedom from wan pains:

The acts of dogs and locusts,

The acts of God.

Pressure powers wan.

Striking out, breaking out,

Burning out,

Random complexity–the speed of wan.

Watch your dust, wan.

Take your pleasure

Alive and kicking.

Go Viral on Your Senators Day!


I KNOW people tire of hearing the same thing 24/7 but I hope the collective will stands with the 200+ Economists from the University of Chicago who explain below just WHY they think it is counterproductive and counterintuitive to pass this shortsighted bill. (bill under the page break)

I hope today you all call and email your Senators and tell them “No way!”

I hope today you remind Congress that a softer reaming is still a reaming.

The doggie will link you to a site that has Congressional and Senatorial links for contacting them.

David Sarota on Huffpo explains the top 5 reasons not to pass it. I strongly suggest clicking over to read his whole article.

The Morning News

The Morning News is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Senate to vote on financial rescue plan on Wed.

By CHARLES BABINGTON and JIM KUHNHENN, Associated Press Writers

1 minute ago

WASHINGTON – In a surprise move to resurrect President Bush’s $700 billion Wall Street rescue plan, Senate leaders slated a vote on the measure for Wednesday – but added a tax cut plan already rejected by the House. Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and GOP Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky unveiled the plan Tuesday.

The Senate plan would also raise federal deposit insurance limits to $250,000 from $100,000, as called for by the two presidential nominees only hours earlier.

The move to add a tax legislation – including a set of popular business tax breaks – risked a backlash from House Democrats insisting they be paid for with tax increases elsewhere.

Muse in the Morning

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Muse in the Morning

A Transition through Poetry XX

Art Link


Love Does the Finding

Love departed when I changed

or at least what I thought was love

but it came with conditions

I could no longer fulfill

I despaired of ever finding it again

though I searched for it begged for it

cried long hours and days

at its demise and denial

Eventually one stops looking

I dedicated my life to helping others

while I resigned myself to being alone

It was then that love found me

–Robyn Elaine Serven

–February 13, 2006

Making Clean Energy Cheap. Spend More, Barack Obama

In Wednesday’s Los Angeles Times, eco-contrarians Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger have weighed in again with an essay that deserves a lot of attention. The two first stepped into the limelight four years ago this month with the publication of their paper The Death of Environmentalism: Global Warming Politics in a Post-Environmental World. The flak started bursting before the ink was dry. Bill McKibben labeled them “the bad boys of American environmentalism,” and there were hot critiques by green notables and both alternative and mainstream media. Then, too, quite a lot of praise, both from the left and right.

Three years ago this month, they published the book version of their heretical paper, Breakthrough: From the Death of Environmentalism to the Politics of Possibility. If it could be synopsized into a single sentence, that might be: Though their hearts are in the right place, much of what eco-advocates are doing is wrong and, for everybody’s sake, they need to develop a new paradigm that will create a new, green economy that will ultimately do more to protect the environment that what they’re doing now.

Naturally, some environmentalists had a problem with that argument. But many also agreed with it, or half-agreed. And the debate has been going on ever since. Nordhaus and Shellenberger didn’t just talk, they co-founded the Apollo Alliance in 2003, a union-backed coalition with green-minded people put together with the idea that the right energy plan combined with the right attack on global warming could make for a lot of good things, including a rejuvenation of the well-paying manufacturing sector that continues to bleed jobs overseas. That same year they started the Breakthrough Institute, where the motto is “The Era of Small Thinking is Over.”  

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