May 12, 2009 archive

Is Barack Obama Bad for Blogging???

No Drama Obama.


Great for government maybe, great for the nation and great for the world, sure….

But who is thinking of the children bloggers?

Let’s face it. A big part of political blogging is complaining criticism. Criticism of policy, criticism of outrageous statements, criticism of strategy. And while Obama is far from perfect, the things to complain about are, relatively speaking, minor compared to the daily outrages of the Bush Administration that thrilled us so and gave us more fodder than a field full of spring clover scattered with republican bullshit.

Yeah sure he is continuing American Imperialism in the Middle East and Asia, but any responsible president would have to do that. Yeah he is not starting torture prosecutions, but, to tell you the truth, I wouldn’t either at this point. Which brings us to the real reason he is so boring.

“When your enemy is destroying himself, the best thing you can do is stay out of the way.”

And boy are they( Thanks Dick and Liz!) destroying themselves!

Look around at the blogs!!! You can read every goddam liberal blog today and barely experience a spike in your blood pressure, and where is the fun in that???

All we are left with is the traditional nagging liberal anxiety that tells us that SOMETHING must be wrong, because there is always something wrong.

Yeah, he is far from perfect, but…..dammit….he could be doing FAR worse.

And if he really cared about the blogs, he would be!

Four at Four

  1. Afghan schoolgirls attacked by poisonous gas, reports AFP. “Another 98 Afghan girls were rushed to hospital on Tuesday in the latest in a spate of mysterious poisonings to hit three schools north of Kabul” in two weeks. The girls became ill as they entered their school in Mahmud Raq, a small town 45 miles north of Kabul.

    A doctor dealing with the case said that the school had apparently been filled with gas overnight, and that radical Islamist insurgent groups opposed to the education of girls could be responsible…

    “We admitted 98 schoolgirls and a few teachers today in our hospital with symptoms of semi-consciousness, weakness, vomiting, headache and dizziness,” the head of the hospital, Ahmad Khalid Anayat [said].

    They became ill “apparently from some poisoning gas they respired,” he said.

    BBC News says this is the third ‘incident’ of its kind. “There has been an increase in reported attacks on schoolgirls in Afghanistan in the past year… A group of Afghan schoolgirls had acid thrown in their faces in an incident in Kandahar province last year.”

    If Obama wanted to do some good in Afghanistan, he could post a military guard around girls schools there.

    Meanwhile, the LA Times reports 20 people killed in staged suicide bombings in Afghanistan. “A wave of up to a dozen suicide bombers staged synchronized attacks on government buildings in a provincial capital in eastern Afghanistan, triggering a day of chaotic fighting that left at least 20 people dead. Scores of people were injured in the fighting in Khost, the site of a large American military base. The wounded included at least three U.S. soldiers.”

    The NY Times reports the attack begain at 10 a.m. local time with ten Taliban suicide bombers storming two government buildings in the eastern province of Khost. “Shortly afterward, a group of nine suicide attackers stormed a nearby municipality building. Four of them blew themselves up in a battle with security guards outside the building, and five others entered the building and were killed after a standoff in which hostages were taken, the Interior Ministry said.”

    The LA Times also reports Afghan villagers get payments for battle that killed civilians.

    Turbaned elders and weather-beaten farmers trekked to this provincial capital today to accept reparation payments from a government commission that concluded 140 civilians were killed in a fierce battle last week between Taliban fighters and coalition troops.

    If the figure arrived at by the commission is correct, it would make last week’s fatalities in rural Farah province the worst single episode of civilian casualties since the U.S.-led invasion more than seven years ago.

    “This was an accident, and we offer condolences,” provincial Gov. Rosul Amin told the somber, ragged assemblage of villagers. Relatives received about $2,000 for family members killed and $1,000 for those injured.

    Back in the U.S., the NY Times reports A new approach is expected in Afghanistan. Defense War Secretary Robert Gates’ decision to replace Gen. David McKiernan as head of the U.S. forces in Afghanistan with Lt. Gen. Stanley McChrystal “was yet another signal of growing U.S. apprehension over the war in Afghanistan, compounded by concerns in neighboring Pakistan.”

    Lastly for the record, the Afghan president’s brother, Ahmed Wali Karzai threatened McClatchy writer reporting Afghan drug story.

Four at Four continues with an update from Pakistan, the space shuttle, BoA sells stake in Chinese bank, and outsourcing and profiting from torture.

Creating Thousands Of New Recruits For al-Qaeda

Aijaz Ahmad, TRNN Senior Editorial Consultant and political commentator for the Indian newsmagazine Frontline, Political Science teacher, and frequent writer on South Asia and the Middle East, talks with Real News CEO Paul Jay with his analysis of the results of US policies and actions in Pakistan.

Real News Network – May 12, 2009

US policy makes things worse in Pakistan

Aijaz Ahmad: US policy will lead to thousands of new recruits for Al-Qaeda

Buying Back Congress….Buying Back Our Planet

“And the banks – hard to believe in a time when we’re facing a banking crisis that many of the banks created – are still the most powerful lobby on Capitol Hill. And they frankly own the place,” Durbin said.

But as I said yesterday in the first installment of this series, it is not just the banks that own Congress. Yes, the banks have bought our government in order to use our government, a government that is supposed to be By The People, Of The People and FOR The People to legislate to give more of The People’s tax money to the Banking Corporations…and to keep banks deregulated, and to do all they can to subvert legislation on credit cards after making us all dependent on credit cards….and to generally screw The People…. and the world economy.

And yes you can bet that Big Pharma, Big Med, and the Insurance industry Corporations are going to do their best to but as much of Congress to shape legislation of Health Care to screw The People so that they can continue to make bucketloads of money as We The People grow sick and die for lack of affordable Health Care.

But today, let’s talk about the Corporations and industries that are directly working to buy our Congress….in order to kill as many of We The People as possible by defeating or subverting any progress on Climate Change.

Because if they succeed in getting our Congress to defeat legislation that will keep the sea levels from rising, wiping out vast areas of agricultural production, creating millions of Climate refugees and ultimately making the planet uninhabitable, nothing else really matters.

As most of you know, I have been concentrating on torture so I am not as up to speed as possible on this. But the great part of having a blogosphere is that someone else is! In this case, Brad Johnson over at Think Progresses Wonk Room. Please click through and read his excellent piece.

He spells out how the Corporations most involved in killing our planet are buying our Congress to keep killing the planet so that they can commit Climaticide in the interest of short term profits. He spells it out beautifully and ….graphically!


Average lifetime contributions from the automotive, steel & chemical, oil & gas, and mining & utility sectors to members of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and its Energy & Environment Subcommittee (Center for Responsive Politics). Position on Waxman-Markey American Clean Energy and Security Act estimated by E&E News. Chart by the Center for American Progress Action Fund.


Carbon-sector contributions to members of the House Committee on Energy & Commerce.

Click through to get the enlarged versions.

Subtle, isn’t it?

BREAKING: Ban Ki-Moon calls for expulsion of Israel from the United Nations

For some strange reason, while the United Nation’s formal rebuke of Israel several days ago does appear in the New York Times, Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon’s speech yesterday on the 60th Anniversary of the establishment of the State of Israel did not quite make it past the editors. Hold on to your hats…

Few people know that Israel is the only state to be given a conditional admission. Under General Assembly Resolution 273, Israel was admitted on the condition that it grant all Palestinians the right to return to their homes and receive compensation for lost or damaged property, according to General Assembly Resolution 194, paragraph 11. Suffice to say, Israel has never lived up to these terms, and never intended to.

The past cannot be undone, but the future can change. As its newly elected Secretary-General, I promise that the UN will no longer be a passive enabler of genocide. Therefore, I will ask the General Assembly to meet in special session at the earliest possible time to strip Israel of its membership.

Ordinarily, a motion to expel a member nation would have to come at the recommendation of the Security Council, but this is not an ordinary motion. Because Israel is in violation of its terms of admission, it is not a member in good standing, so the UN has every right to declare General Assembly Resolution 273 null and void. Since Israel’s membership depends on adherence to that resolution, its expulsion is automatic.

Essentially, the unavoidable, lamentable truth of the last six decades is that the UN has been a moral and political failure because it has refused to enforce its own rules and defend the Charter. Nothing the UN does can have any value as long as this illegitimate member occupies a place in the General Assembly. I want the UN to have value.

Link to the .pdf file of the entire transcript.

Docudharma Times Tuesday May 12

The Lone Voice

Of The Republican

Party Dick Cheney

Rush’s Towards The 19th Century  

Tuesday’s Headlines:

Obama’s Push for Health Care Cuts Faces Daunting Odds

Shelling kills dozens at Sri Lankan hospital

Taleban using white phosphorus, some of it made in Britain

The flipside of Europe’s ‘common identity’

Italy arrests ‘al-Qaeda plotters’

Pope angers Israel with call for Palestinian homeland

Iran shows hints of moderation

My African culinary safari, Part II

Pursuing smugglers, border agents become trackers

Commander’s Ouster Is Tied to Shift in Afghan War


Published: May 11, 2009

WASHINGTON – The top American commander in Afghanistan, Gen. David D. McKiernan, was forced out Monday in an abrupt shake-up intended to bring a more aggressive and innovative approach to a worsening seven-year war.

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates announced the decision in terse comments at the Pentagon, saying that “fresh eyes were needed” and that “a new approach was probably in our best interest.” When asked if the dismissal ended the general’s military career, Mr. Gates replied, “Probably.”

The move reflects a belief that the war in Afghanistan, waged against an increasingly strong Taliban and its supporters across a rugged, sprawling country, is growing ever more complex.

Taliban on the run in Swat

By Syed Saleem Shahzad  

ISLAMABAD – Following a barrage of American pressure, Pakistan abruptly abandoned all its existing plans to thwart insurgents and, in a televised speech by Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani, promptly declared all-out was against the Pakistani Taliban.

Within hours, Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff, General Pervez Ashfaq Kiani, launched an aggressive military operation – supported by gunship helicopters, heavy artillery and fighters jets – into northern North-West Frontier Province (NWFP), ransacking Taliban sanctuaries in Swat and other areas. Interior Minister Rehman Malik told the BBC that an estimated 200 militants were killed over the weekend, bringing the total killed in fighting in the region to 700.

Water, electricity and lines of communications were completely cut; the Taliban had no option but to flee.


Prices Fall To Match A New Frugality

Retailers Respond To Shopping Habits Forged in Recession

By Ylan Q. Mui

Washington Post Staff Writer

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The nation’s retailers have begun to embrace the new cost-conscious consumer, developing products they can sell at lower prices without driving themselves out of business in the post-splurge era.

Starbucks dropped the price of a medium iced coffee last week to just under $2. American Eagle cut out the ribbon from the inside waistband of its khakis and lowered the cost. Pottery Barn launched a new “Comfort Collection” sofa that starts at $999.99, which is $300 less than the “Basic Collection” sofa. Even Rock & Republic, whose trendy denim has graced the backsides of celebrities such as Victoria Beckham, recently unveiled a line of recessionista jeans selling for $128, a 29 percent reduction.

The 20th Hijacker and Other Musings

Oh the defiling of that most glorious and blessed day in New American history! The pissy pants, red faced outrage is careening throughout the reich wing blogosphere and their multi-million dollar a year facist house pundits today. The audacity of that evil black woman Wanda Sykes to compare the head of the Republican Party Lardass Limbaugh to Osama bin Laden, and to do so at GASP…the White House Correspondent’s Dinner was blasphemy of the hightest form. Sykes had a ball in firing up the conservative BBQ pit for a pig roast:

“Rush Limbaugh said he hopes this administration fails, so you’re saying, ‘I hope America fails,’ you’re like, ‘I don’t care about people losing their homes, their jobs, our soldiers in Iraq.’ He just wants the country to fail. To me, that’s treason,”

“He’s not saying anything differently than what Usama bin Laden is saying,” “You know, you might want to look into this, sir, because I think maybe Rush Limbaugh was the 20th hijacker. But he was just so strung out on OxyContin he missed his flight.”

“Rush Limbaugh, ‘I hope the country fails’ — I hope his kidneys fail, how about that? … He needs a good waterboarding, that’s what he needs.”

Muse in the Morning

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Muse in the Morning

An Opened Mind XXXV

Art Link



You keep telling me

what I think

— like you would know?

How is that appropriate?

I am told by you

that I must be motivated

by self-interest alone

like you and

(you aver)


But it is not so

It angers you that

I deny your claim

maybe because you assume

I must believe that

I am better than you

No such thing

do I believe

But the truth of it all

seems to be

that you apparently do

believe your philosophy

is lacking

if your attitude

is any measure

And isn’t that

a kick in the butt?

–Robyn Elaine Serven

–January 5, 2007

The Continuing Decline of the Republican Brand

What Republicans need is a mutiny

The party establishment is out to sea, so conservatives need to start rocking the boat.

By Richard A. Viguerie, The Los Angeles Times

May 10, 2009

(T)he public’s image of the GOP is that it is incompetent (think Hurricane Katrina), corrupt (think Jack Abramoff, Randy “Duke” Cunningham, etc.) and without principles (think wild spending, bailouts, earmarks and a lack of a true conservative vision). Republicans can try smoke and mirrors, but they really need new leaders who will reverse the big-government policies of Bush 43 and congressional Republicans and articulate and move a conservative agenda forward.

Democrats have nothing to fear from today’s Republican Party leaders.

Conservatives should no longer look to Republican politicians for leadership and should assume the role of leading the opposition to Obama and the Democrats. We believe we have a party and a country to save, and the GOP establishment is in our way. Let the rebellion begin.

Richard A. Viguerie is the author of “Conservatives Betrayed: How George W. Bush and Other Big Government Republicans Hijacked the Conservative Cause.”

The Stars Hollow Gazette

It’s tough to keep talking about torture, but we simply have to.

It’s a black and white issue.  A bright line between us and the barbarians.

We consider it shameful to kill people without due process of law particularly in brutal fashions memorialized in the Constitution, that scrap of paper, as cruel and unusual punishment.

We don’t beat or stone people to death, it’s hard even to muster much enthusiasm for lethal injection given how often it has been wrongly applied to the objectively innocent.  I much prefer the guilty rot in any event without wishing them physical ills like anal rape or beatings and I want that punishment to last as long as possible.  I hope you die a lingering death- old, broken, and wasted.

Over 99 people have died in custody and the actual number is probably much higher.  I pretty much call that massive organ failure, all of them at once.

Even given the patently illegal latitude of the Torture Memos every guideline was violated.  How can you claim that the people physically administering this punishment, the actual torturers, DID NOT KNOW that they were killing people?  We have pictures of them posing next to corpses on ice in body bags.  We had videos of ACTUAL TORTURE SESSIONS taking place that were destroyed specifically to obstruct justice.

The brazenness of these criminal actions is breathtaking.  They have self confessed on video tape and in print.  Do you think there is more evidence against them or Drew Petersen?

And we cannot ignore the law-

Article VI

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution…

Late Night Karaoke

My Own Way

The Weapon of Young Gods #46: Approaching Armageddon

I wake up late the morning after Olivia’s party, and am almost immediately hit with the full force of approaching armageddon. Worrying about Roy all night had kept me conscious until an absolutely satanic hour, and now after lurching through the bathroom-kitchen-closet routine at a sloppy pace, I blearily step into the end of the world when leaving for school. The air is thick and dry with smoke when I walk out the door, making me hack and spit involuntarily-but in between fits I look west toward the source and shudder. A massive ash cloud is blacking out Aliso Peak, slowly descending from what looks like somewhere in Laguna, blanketing all points east in fine flakes of carbonized snow. Trees, cars, sidewalks, streetlights, signs, and cheap Halloween decorations stand silent, all looking like they need to be dusted. It’s almost peaceful, until I realize that’s what’s left of someone’s home on the Volvo. Their house on our car.

I pull my shirt collar up to cover my nose and mouth, walking the other way into a rising red sun. I can stare directly at it-the light is filtering through as weak as if it’s already ebbed to afternoon strength. I get down the ramp and as far as the park before my eyes start to water, but I keep going anyway-I’ve got to get Alan to pull his head out of his ass and help me find out if my brother made it back to school in one piece. I’ll need backup when I find Liv today, but relying on Alan’s ability to detach himself from Nadia’s rebounding grip is probably asking too much. As I squelch through the park’s semi-irrigated grass, I try to think through every possible way my best friend could weasel out on me, but then I notice a girl dart out of a house up ahead on Santiago and begin her own dazed trek to school.

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