August 2009 archive


Okay, normally I am NOT an advocate of LIHOP or MIHOP, and though I do not stand for the MIHOP or the Building 7 theories, the shit spoken by CIA Bin Laden expert Michael Scheuer gave me a massive truthache, considering the projection on display by Republicans as of late.

    So, someone please tell me how all this adds up.

Sunday Train: The Appalachian Hub, Part 1

Burning the Midnight Oil for Living Energy Independence , crossposted from The Hillbilly Report

It is widely remarked that the US Department of Transport map of High Speed Rail Corridors leaves a lot of obvious holes.

Often, this reflects a misunderstanding of what the DoT is mapping. This is not a “Master Plan”. There is no HSRail planner division inside the Federal Rail Administration inside the Department of Transport that is working away at deciding which corridor should be added to the corridor.

Instead, what they have mapped are the corridors that are eligible for HSRail funding. The way that things are set up is that a state or group of states do some planning, petition Congress be designated as a HSRail corridor, or added to a corridor, or for less sweeping changes petition the Department of Transport to revise an existing corridor, and {*voila*}, that’s a designated corridor.

Dear MetaJesus…

Holy cow! I am moving slow this morning. Er… afternoon. Better (a relative term) in my ongoing bout with Unicorn flu, a little – actually, a lot – slow on the uptake. So it’s taken me all day to get through the diaries and sub-diaries and associated diaries on DKos about the Un-Americans, the Kos Un-American Activities Committee, and the Anti-Un-Amerikan free-for-all. LOL!!! Something to brighten a sunny Sunday recovery day of total loafing.

Sheesh! For the first time since I was summarily banned for posting a diary back in April suggesting that CDC’s very odd classification of the Mexico flu as a novel chimera might have something to say about its origin, I am very glad I no longer count myself “Kossack.” Or, they no longer count me. Whatever, I’m appreciating the glaring absurdity.

Sunday Morning Over Easy

(I don’t usually share my open threads form The Wild Wild Left, but the music needed sharing!)

In the strange non-linear line of my brain, Teddy Kennedy provided the songs for today, without ever to my knowledge having heard this songwriter. You see, as the darkness swallowed and lent privacy to his final repose, the very last thing read by Archbishop Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, per Ted’s request, is to read the letter he sent to the Pope with Obama, and the Pope’s reply.

Talk about getting The Last Word in, and the Cardinal accentuated with intent the Universal Health Care mentioned twice. It was a consummate, deliberate act of a knowing player. (just wish he had left the conscience protection out, but then again, thats only one of a gazillion I reasons I left Catholicism, if not all organized religion long ago)

I want you to know, Your Holiness, that in my nearly 50 years of elective office, I have done my best to champion the rights of the poor and open doors of economic opportunity. I have worked to welcome the immigrant, to fight discrimination and expand access to health care and education. I have opposed the death penalty and fought to end war. Those are the issues that have motivated me and have been the focus of my work as a United States senator.

I also want you to know that even though I am ill, I’m committed to doing everything I can to achieve access to health care for everyone in my country. This has been the political cause of my life. I believe in a conscience protection for Catholics in the health field and I’ll continue to advocate for it as my colleagues in the Senate and I work to develop an overall national health policy that guarantees health care for everyone.

The press & the haters only went for the imperfect being trying to right my path part, but everyone listening KNEW exactly why it was read, exactly why he accentuated the Health Care part. The people heard it.

But I didn’t come here to talk about that, I’m really here for the music. Hope you’ll listen.  

Docudharma Times Sunday August 30

‘We Loved This Kind And Tender Hero’

A Day of Mourning, Celebration

By Dan Balz, Keith B. Richburg and Shailagh Murray

Washington Post Staff Writers

Sunday, August 30, 2009

On the day he was carried to his final resting place,  Sen. Edward M. Kennedy was remembered Saturday as a legislator of almost unequalled prowess, a political force who left a lasting imprint on the country and a husband, father and patriarch whose private acts of love and devotion helped his star-crossed family endure tragedy and misfortune.President Obama led the mourners at a solemn Roman Catholic Mass attended by 1,500 people, including three former presidents, at the Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Boston, where the Kennedy family dynasty was born. A steady rain fell, adding an elegiac touch to a day already drenched in sorrow.

Millions facing famine in Ethiopia as rains fail

International aid agencies fear that the levels of death and starvation last seen 24 years ago, are set to return to the Horn of Africa. Paul Rodgers reports

Sunday, 30 August 2009

The spectre of famine has returned to the Horn of Africa nearly a quarter of a century after the world’s pop stars gathered to banish it at Live Aid, raising £150m for relief efforts in 1985. Millions of impoverished Ethiopians face the threat of malnutrition and possibly starvation this winter in what is shaping up to be the country’s worst food crisis for decades.

Estimates of the number of people who need emergency food aid have risen steadily this year from 4.9 million in January to 5.3 million in May and 6.2 million in June. Another 7.5 million are getting aid in return for work on community projects, as part of the National Productive Safety Net Program for people whose food supplies are chronically insecure, bringing the total being fed to 13.7 million.


I used to work at a local weekly newspaper.  Nobody special, as a matter of fact about the lowest guy on the totem pole.  Among my jobs were keeping the back issue catalog, News Stand sales, and picking up ad copy.

Still I did learn a thing or two and one of them is that we charged for ads based on our circulation.

While my newspaper’s circulation was monitored by the Audit Bureau of Circulations, here on the blogs there are various methods of measuring eyeballs most of which require either constant attention or money to track.

Fortunately I’ve stumbled on a way to measure impact that doesn’t need either of those.

Late Night Karaoke

Open Thread

Overnight Caption Contest


Overnight Caption Contest

Survival of the Fittest

Survival of the Fittest.  Various meanings have been put forth by the likes of Charles Darwin and Herbert Spencer, who coined the phrase, but the context I refer to is that which is espoused by the free market, less government is better conservatives and libertarians.  I see not only the obvious problems with their thinkings, but obvious contradictions also.  I also see commonalities between the right and the left that although difficult to reconcile, appear to be an avenue of hope against the government kleptocracy and corporate plutocracy we must bring down in order for real change for all citizens to occur.  Perhaps a foundation for a viable third party.    

I read an article the other day about the antiwar movement from the right!  Yes, that’s right, antiwar from the right.…

Here we are having a world of trouble getting the left to stand up on the issue, and now the right wants in on the action.  Of course, what they’re doing is veering into the Libertarian camp on foreign policy, with a bit of political party strategy thrown in.  But paleoconservatives are traditionally anti-imperialists also.  Libertarians, although with a contradictory message themselves that moves from libertarianism to liberalism to conservatism and back have always been antiwar/anti-imperialist.  The mainstream left is always antiwar unless there is a democratic President.  The desperate need to hold that power overpowers their natural instincts against killing and subjegation.  I say mainstream left because a significant minority of liberals are antiwar no matter the party in power.

Then this article from Glenn Greenwald:…

The New Republic, a bastion of right wing insensibilities, is telling the democrats they need to shitcan Joe Lieberman so they can “finally address the country’s actual needs”.  

What are you saying here New Republic?  Not long ago, you endorsed Leiberman for President!  Now you want the Democratic Party to get rid of him so we can pass some legislation that actually addresses the country’s needs? I’m astounded, yet not surprised.   New Republic, what difference does it make to you that the Democratic Party addresses the country’s actual needs when all you have wanted is for the Republican Party to be in power?  I don’t get it.

It appears what is happening is twofold.  A signal from the right that the majority really aren’t “Survival of the Fittest” types, i.e., those who are willing to let the less fortunate among us deal with life on their own.  They appear to be a very small minority, one which we will never be rid of, and needn’t worry about in the overall picture.  The second is a recognition of how the corporate plutocracy and the Military Industrial Complex, and the increasing wealth concentration at the top, is putting a heavy damper on the old American dream.

This all leads to the commonality issue and the seeds for a true revolution against the oligarchy.   There is a fine line between a revolution and a civil war.  A revolution requires a majority of the citizens united in a common cause.  At this point, the divisions caused by the propaganda machines appear to have us too divided.  But there are glimmers of hope, as the above citations might suggest.

It’s One, Two, Three, What are we fighting for?  What are we citizens fighting for, from the right to the left?  Is there that much difference in this age of corporate plutocracy, government kleptocracy, and US imperialism and hegemony?  In this age of rampant and evidently sustained

unemployment, decreased employment opportunities, and reduced hours and benefits.  In this age of wealth disparity amongst the classes that rivals any in US history and where the middle class is threatened as a viable entity, perhaps falling to the middle class percentages of third world countries?   The 1 to 10 percenters are pretty similar worldwide, but the middle class has been the American staple.  That is disappearing relative to the rest of the world.…

I think if we are going to have major changes in this country, it must come from the majority of people.  You know, like a democracy.  But the majority of people have to be on the same page, have the same basic agenda.  I think it is possible.  Look at the New Republic’s statement.  Maybe they wouldn’t be against a health care system that was fair to all citizens, as long as it was free from corporate and government corruption.  They’re skeptical and even adamantly opposed to government involvement, but then again, encouraging “addressing the country’s actual needs”.

Maybe they could be the key to an effective antiwar agenda that can raise enough pressure to stop the madness.  The conservatives were essentially taken over by the neocons.  But not all on the right are neocons, in fact they are the minority among conservatives.  Many are paleoconservatives who are generally anti-imperialist.  Many understand the need for government services but are disgusted with the quality, extent, corruption, and intrusion.  

Maybe if we want real health care reform, real economic and financial reform, and an end to the plutocracy, kleptocracy, and oligarchy, and an end to US imperialism, many of those on the right can help.  


Ben Bernanke Saved Whose World? Pt 2: Racketeering 101

On the Edge with Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert – – – August 28,2009

So You Want To Form A New Party? Hmmm, Come With Me.

From time to time over the last few years there have been some of our fellow Progressives/Liberals who despair of the Democratic Party getting its act together and thus out of anger or frustration float the idea of abandoning the Democratic Party and forming a new one to the left of the Democrats. The Dog is not in favor of this, but he thinks he has not been very clear in why it is a bad idea. First off if you want to bail on the Democratic Party, don’t wait! You have a hell of a lot of work to do in order to get an agenda passed so why are you hanging around here? In the spirit of being helpful, the Dog would like to offer a bit of a run down in what it will take to get your new party up and running.

Originally posted at

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