February 16, 2009 archive

Time to Stick a Fork in Reagan’s Ass


The Fucker’s Dead!

Government does not solve problems; it subsidizes them.

-Imperial Grand Prophet Ronald Reagan (mystically foreseeing TARP)

With the passage of the massive economic stimulus plan set to be signed into law by President Obama on Tuesday in Denver the dying squeals of Republican piggies grown fat on the failed policies of Ronald Wilson Reagan are becoming more shrill, psychotic and deafening. The stimulus plan, even as diluted as it is by the inclusion of all of those great tax cuts that have resulted only in proving that trickle down economics is nothing more than Gulliver pissing on the heads of the Lilliputians (translation: the working class) and doing so with sadistic mirth. What the stimulus package represents more than anything even including the ridiculous fucking tax cuts is that the end of an era is nigh and that the machinery of government is being slowly redirected to a previous form where it was not weaponized by overly wealthy pigs, Wall Street looter capitalists and avaricious corporations who only stand for, to borrow from the words of the late, great Dr. Hunter S. Thompson:

… the systematic destruction of everything this country claims to stand for except the rights of the rich to put saddles on the backs of the poor and use public funds to build jails for anybody who complained about it.”

Four at Four

  1. The LA Times reports Missiles hit compound in Pakistan. “In the most lethal such strike since President Obama took office, suspected U.S. missiles today slammed into a compound near the Afghanistan border, killing about 30 people, by the count of local officials. Most of those killed were thought to be militants linked to the Taliban or Al Qaeda. The wrecked compound belonged to an associate of Baitullah Mehsud, leader of Pakistan’s Taliban movement, and was not far from Mehsud’s own headquarters.”

  2. The NY Times reports Pakistan agrees to Islamic law in the Swat Region. “Pakistan government officials said they struck a deal on Monday to accept a legal system compatible with Shariah law in the violent Swat region in return for peace. The agreement contradicted American demands for the Pakistan authorities to fight harder against militants, and seemed certain to raise fears in Washington that a perilous precedent had been set across a volatile region where U.S. forces are fighting Taliban militants operating in Afghanistan and Pakistan.”

  3. The LA Times reports that a Conflicted Russia gives and takes on Afghanistan. “Russia seems to have a message for the Obama administration: Go ahead and boost your military effort in Afghanistan — but not without our help… Moscow has sent out increasingly broad offers to open its territory for transport. Last week Russia’s foreign minister even dangled the possibility of transporting weaponry to Afghanistan.”

  4. The Guardian reports Terror suspects were tortured in Pakistan under UK policy. “A number of British terrorism suspects who have been detained without trial in Pakistan say they were tortured by Pakistani intelligence agents before being questioned by MI5… The existence of an official interrogation policy emerged during cross-examination in the high court in London of an MI5 officer who had questioned one of the detainees, Binyam Mohamed, the British resident currently held in Guantánamo Bay.”

  5. Lastly, the Washington Post reports the CIA helped India and Pakistan share secrets in a probe of Mumbai siege. “The CIA orchestrated back-channel intelligence exchanges between India and Pakistan, allowing the two former enemies to quietly share highly sensitive evidence while the Americans served as neutral arbiters… ‘Intelligence has been a good bridge,’ the U.S. official said. ‘Everyone on the American side went into this with their eyes open, aware of the history, the complexities, the tensions. But at least the two countries are talking, not shooting.'”

The “smoking gun” of Republican economics

Without facts, name calling and finger pointing become pointless.  So, let’s get some facts out early as I go through the smoking gun on the effects of Republican eocnomics:

1993 to 2000 rates                2001 to 2008 rates

  1993 – 6.9                                     2001 – 4.7

  1994 – 6.1                                     2002 – 5.8

  1995 – 5.6                                     2003 – 6.0

  1996 – 5.4                                     2004 – 5.5

  1997 – 4.9                                     2005 – 5.1

  1998 – 4.5                                     2006 – 4.6

  1999 – 4.2                                     2007 – 4.6  

  2000 – 4.0                                     2008 – 6.1

At the moment, the national unemployment rate is 7.6%.

Fear, Frustration and Joining Together

We are in a new era. For eight years we have been able to Blame Bush. We have been able to assign all of our fears and all that is wrong to him.

But now….we are alone. We have no one to blame. Unless you want to blame Obama for being imperfect in trying to respond to the world he has been left.

We were united by opposition to Bush….what unites us now?

We have no clear single scapegoat now…..and we are facing a TRULY scary future without one. Financial collapse and Climate Change are here and they are real and they are incredibly scary. That fear makes us angry and makes us cranky and without a scapegoat….we have to face both the future…and our fear…head on.

Try as we might, there is little that we can do as individuals to change this.

Yet the fear that it engenders and the reality it portends won’t go away.

That leaves us three choices. We can give in to the fear and either lash out at others, or hide away… or we can band together to work with and support each other. Though it may not seem so on the surface, this is indeed a very hard choice. Perhaps the hardest thing there is. Fear of the unknown is one of the most powerful forces we know. It is in fact responsible for the entire Conservative Movement…who are SO afraid of change and the future…that they seek to stop it.

We can give in to the fear and either lash out at others, or hide away… or we can band together to work with and support each other. Hiding won’t keep you safe from the future. And lashing out only serves to drive us apart. Often to drive away from us the very people we need, like, or love. Because they are the easiest and closest targets when we lash out.

Can we really, in these times, afford to indulge our destructive impulses towards bickering, finding fault and blaming others for our fears and frustrations? Or can we find a way to overcome and overlook the relatively small transgressions of like minded others in order to find a way to come together?

Tactics And Strategy, What’s The Difference?

This post may fall in the “teaching your grandmother to suck eggs” category, but today the Dog would like to talk about strategy vs. tactics. It is really important to know the difference, not just for your quest to take over the world (h/t Pinky and the Brain) but so that you don’t make yourself crazed in our expanding and information dense political discourse. One problem is that no one (with the exception of some of the Republicans that don’t understand that Twitter is really public) is going to tell you when they are acting tactically or strategically. Hopefully by the time the Dog is done pounding 1,000 words or so, you will be able to spot the difference.  

Now what?


Almost a month ago, the world heaved a huge sigh of relief when we joined the Obamas and the Bidens in saying goodbye to the presidency of George Bush. But we hardly had time to catch our breath because the work that followed that moment is so overwhelming. For progressives, there is not only the task of cleaning up the countless messes left by the Bush administration. Even if all of that is accomplished, we only go back to fighting the old battles that progressives have always waged against the MIC, US hegemony, the shortcomings of capitalism, and all the “isms” that plague our politics and culture (just to name a few).

The interesting thing is, blogging was born during the Bush administration and therefore has no history with what it means to take on these issues now that the solidifying force of opposition to the worst president in our history is over. Is it any wonder that there is conflict over how to move forward now?  

The Economic Equivalence Of 9/11

High Noon: Geithner v. the American Oligarchs

Bill Moyers, The Bill Moyers Journal via Truthout, Friday, 13 February 2009

Moyers talked on Friday’s Bill Moyers Journal with Simon Johnson, Former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), MIT Sloan School of Management professor and senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, who examines President Obama’s plan for economic recovery.

Send Republicans to Re-Education Camps


And no, I’m not talking about Chinese re-education camps during the cultural revolution or America’s re-education camps in Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib and dozens of secret facilities around the globe. The Chinese and American models are not about education, but coercion. If you disagree with the party line, you get the shit beat out of you until you recant. It’s called re-education.

But that’s not what I advocate for Republicans, even though most of them could stand a good “What were you thinking?!!!” kick in the ass.

Open Thread


May the Thread be with you.


Iraq Veteran Going to Washington – KRGV 2.15.09

Reynaldo Leal, Jr. was part of Operation Phantom Fury, taking part in some of the heaviest fighting in Fallujah. For Leal, fighting overseas was like an out of body experience.

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America

Obama administration seeks to block lawsuit over illegal wiretapping

Original article, By John Burton and Marge Holland, via World Socialist Web Site:

For the second time in less than a week, lawyers from the Justice Department headed by Obama administration Attorney General Eric Holder have embraced the Bush administration’s pseudo-legal argument that the “state secrets” doctrine bars civil lawsuits challenging the methods used in its so-called “war on terror.”

Docudharma Times Monday February 16

Republicans Begin The Week

Just Wanting To Say No

Even If It Helps A Nation  

Monday’s Headlines:

Three Marines, three paths

Tariff Protests in Eastern Port Rattle Kremlin

Greeks argue over status and statue of Alexander

Pakistan imposes Islamic law in Taliban stronghold

Khmer Rouge prison torturers finally put on trial

Mandela supports Zuma’s hopes of becoming president

Robert Mugabe henchmen bent on sabotaging fragile partnership

Livni, Netanyahu and Lieberman: Israel’s tangled trio

Fraud Committed in Iraqi Election

Venezuelan leader wins key reform

To Fix Detroit, Obama Is Said to Drop Plan for ‘Car Czar’


Published: February 15, 2009

DETROIT – President Obama has dropped the idea of appointing a single, powerful “car czar” to oversee the revamping of General Motors and Chrysler and will instead keep the politically delicate task in the hands of his most senior economic advisers, a top administration official said Sunday night.

Mr. Obama is designating the Treasury secretary, Timothy F. Geithner, and the chairman of the National Economic Council, Lawrence H. Summers, to oversee a presidential panel on the auto industry. Mr. Geithner will also supervise the $17.4 billion in loan agreements already in place with G.M. and Chrysler, said the official, who insisted on anonymity.

New world of squalor and exploitation

• Labourers badly paid and work in squalid conditions

• Exploitative middlemen lure poor into huge debts

Tom Phillips in Marabá

The Guardian, Monday 16 February 2009

Day and night the men roll up outside the Correntão supermarket, a roaming army of impoverished workers, searching for a better future and for work. Any work.

Wearing rubber flip-flops, ragged T-shirts and carrying their possessions under their arms in plastic bags, they gather at the meeting point on the outskirts of Marabá, a gritty Amazon city, at Kilometre Six of the Trans-Amazonian highway and wait.

Some are picked up almost immediately and transported to remote jungle camps and farms where they are often forced to work by cattle ranchers and illegal loggers in dangerous and squalid conditions for little or no pay.

Others string hammocks up around the local bus station, waiting for a possible employer to arrive. The rest pile into dozens of tatty boarding houses, known in the Amazon as “pioneer hotels”, where they await recruitment.



4 Cases Illustrate Guantanamo Quandaries

Administration Must Decide Fate of Often-Flawed Proceedings, Often-Dangerous Prisoners

By Peter Finn

Washington Post Staff Writer

Monday, February 16, 2009; Page A01

In their summary of evidence against Mohammed Sulaymon Barre, a Somali detained at Guantanamo Bay, military investigators allege that he spent several years at Osama bin Laden’s compound in Sudan. But other military documents place him in Pakistan during the same period.

One hearing at Guantanamo cited his employment for a money-transfer company with links to terrorism financing. Another file drops any mention of such links.

Barre is one of approximately 245 detainees at the military prison in Cuba whose fate the Obama administration must decide in coming months.

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