November 20, 2009 archive

LOL! Palin Booed by her supporters for quitting book signing halfway through

Crossposted at The Progressive

    Sometimes art imitates life, and as far as fiction goes, “Going Rogue” by Sarah Palin is truly a work of art just as a plate of dinner thrown at the wall can be, in a sense.

   “I’m very disappointed. I think it was very rude. She could have at least apologized, and she didn’t even do that,” said Teresa Hedrick. […]

   “We bought two books from Borders to have our receipt and our wristband to get it signed tonight,” said one woman. “My books are going back to Borders tomorrow.”

   “We gave up our entire workday, stayed in the cold. My kids were crying,” said one man. “They went home with my wife. She was out here in the freezing cold all day. I feel like I don’t want to support Sarah.”

    Nothing screams Maverick and Leadership louder than throwing supporters under the bus just moments after they bought your crappy ghost written book, does it? How else does one gain the approval of the masses in politics without proving that you are capable of making the tough decisions to get the public’s attention, and then as soon as you have the masses approval, showing the guts to make tough decisions like kicking them to the curb ASAP like the useless, duped saps that they are. That isn’t indifference, it’s political strategery, you betcha. (Written in Palinspeak for any potential RW lurkers)

    Gods, it’s like they cloned Bush as a woman.

    My only guess after hearing of this story is how Fox News will make this look like a crowd of angry protesters railing against the Government.

    Just one more bit of proof that the one thing Sarah Palin does well is quit half way through the job while leaving people mystified as to why people support Sarah Palin in the first place.


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Law of Unintended Consequences

There are those that would like you to believe that the worst for housing has passed. Stories about depleted inventory, or multi-year lows.

Government programs, first-time home buyer tax credits and gifts to the builders…. heck even our propaganda machine is pushing the idea of getting people to buy a home.

(CBS)   Real estate experts in many parts of the country are saying now’s the time to buy.


Early Show money maven Ray Martin weighed in on the Saturday Edition about whether buying is indeed the way go to now,


Yes, it is, and for a number of reasons. For one thing, housing prices are declining just about nationwide. Plus, mortgage rates are at a serious low. Rates on a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage are at a level we won’t see again in our lifetime. Finally, if you buy before December 1, you’ll get an $8,000 tax credit if you’re a first-time buyer. For all those reasons, there’s really never been a better time to go shopping for real estate.

The 141st Anniversary of the Washita Massacre of Nov. 27, 1868

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

The intent to commit genocide at Washita is hidden in plain view, unless key elements are brought together. These are: that the Cheyenne were placed on land where they would starve while promises to avert starvation were broken; that George Bent observed how Civil War soldiers did not harm white women and children by a “code of honor,” while Indian women and children were slaughtered; that Sheridan declared “The only good Indians I ever saw were dead;” and that the War Department did not differentiate between peaceful and warring Indians. Hence, the orders “to kill or hang all warriors.” As the consequence, the intent was to kill all men
of a specific race.

Afternoon Edition

Afternoon Edition is an Open Thread

Now with World and U.S. News.  63 Story Final.

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Bombers kill 23 in Afghanistan

by Mohammad Reza, AFP

1 hr 25 mins ago

HERAT, Afghanistan (AFP) – Bomb attacks on Friday killed 23 people in Afghanistan, a deadly start to President Hamid Karzai’s second term that underscored spiralling insecurity nine years into the US-led war.

The attacks brought to 35 the number of people killed since Karzai was sworn in for another five years on Thursday, pledging to try to bring peace to the nation and take over security from foreign forces in five years.

A suicide bomber on a motorcycle struck the capital of the southwestern province of Farah, killing 15 people near the governor’s home.

Strangle or embrace?

sfigcosta rica

crossposted at Wild Wild Left and also antemedius

Take this as a gift, this metaphor….  Run with it, if you like.

Which way do you read this? Are we … Strangler or Embracer?  

In Santa Elena, a small town near Monte Verde, is one of the coolest attractions in all of Costa Rica. The best part about this super secret adventure, its free. This “attraction” isn’t so much of an attraction as it is a dead tree.

Just outside of town, down a dirt road, is a small trail leading off into the forest. About 15 minutes down this trail is an extremely old tree that has been fully consumed by what is known as the Strangler Fig Parasite.

The Strangler Fig Parasite comes when an infected bird poops on top of a tree. The parasite then forms vines that grow down the tree to the trees root system. Once at the tree’s roots, the parasite takes over the tree’s root system and slowly kills off the tree. To make a long story short, the parasite eventually kills the tree, but the vines are left in it’s place. This leaves you with one very, Lord of the Rings looking, hollowed out tree.

The vines of the parasite become very large and very strong, almost tree like. They are so strong in fact, that you can actually climb inside of the tree and use the vines as a “ladder” all the way to the top of the tree. After about 60+ feet of climbing inside the hollowed out tree, you come to a small opening where you can stick your head out and see right at the top of the forests canopy line.


DeFazio: Sacrifice 2 Jobs to get back Millions of Jobs for Americans

Pete DeFazio Slams Tim Geithner & Larry Summers  (TheYoungTurks)…

Is it finally Time to Bail Out — MAIN Street ?

Wall Street HAS gotten all their Trillion Dollar Bail Out $$$$$$$$$$$$$

AND so far NOT much of it has Trickled Down to Main Street — Where it’s Most Needed!

Something ‘s got to give — and Soon!

Before Small Town America, (and Metro-America) rolls up the welcome mat, and fades into history.

Poll: Planet Earth, Right Track or Wrong Track?


A year or so removed from the ReublicaBushfacism slide into savagery we look around our humble little planet and what do we see?

Sure, there is that pesky global warming climate crisis end of the world stuff, but if you watch the teevee, green is the new black. The world’s consciousness has changed from mostly climate crisis deniers to mostly folks who know there is a problem….but haven’t fully come to grips with it yet.

There is no current existential conflict between Super powers. Russia is rebuilding while in deep corruption and is not currently a threat. China and the US of A are now so entwined financially that neither dare seriously fuck with each other. So the prospect of Planet ending Global Thermonuclear War is at what might be an all time low since 1950 or so.

The President of the US of A is actually considering NOT escalating one of America’s endless wars….and seems to actually respond to pressure from the Left. Though it goes without saying that that is nowhere the level of response that we would like to see. The Republicans and their brand of hate is on the wane, though they might ‘surge’ a bit in 2010 in response to the last real weapon they have, propaganda from rush and Fox that still is keeping a goodly chunk of the populace confused. If they don;t do well in 2010, that opens the doors to a lot of possibilities, IF we can effectively pressure the centrist Dems.

The Week in Health and Fitness

I have been posting the links to articles about health, fitness and nutrition, along with healthy recipes in ek hornbeck’s daily news round up. Since life is now making greater demands on my time both on and off line, I thought a weekly separate essay at the end of the week would be a good idea.

  I’ll try to include the more interesting and pertinent articles that will help the community awareness of their health and bodies. I thought about including the healthy recipes but this week they will appear in a different essay for Thanksgiving since there are so many.

  This essay will not be posted anywhere else due to constraints on my time and in January it will be coming to you from Paris, Fr. for awhile.

  Be Healthy. Be Safe

Open Planet


Executive Strength, Not Executive Deference

It is with no small discouragement that I put my thoughts down today.  I never expected to be this disappointed with President Obama’s leadership ability and his handling of the proceedings.  Still, I concede that perhaps part of it is that the sheer number of daunting challenges which face us must be held in check by the realization that the legislative process is plodding and slow.  Every President, to some degree or another, bases his or her definition of Executive authority in contrast to the conduct of the previous person to hold the office.  Former President George W. Bush’s desire to circumvent the legislative branch and concentrate power in the White House at the expense of other branches no doubt shaped Obama’s desire to give Congress its fair share of say and impact.  This is a noble gesture, provided it works, and thus far it has not.  My hope is that our President will realize that there is a difference between ruling like a dictator and ruling like a strong Executive, and the lines between the two are neither fine, nor blurry.    

Because the responsibilities of the President are rather vaguely noted in our Constitution, each occupier of the office has taken his own interpretation of what precisely his job description connotes.  Those who have boldly adopted a stance that the Presidency ought to intercede directly and without apology into affairs some might consider the domain of other branches have been variously criticized for threatening to rule as an autocrat.  This is inevitable, since human selfishness and common sense dictates that everyone would like as big a piece of the pie as he or she can get.  Everyone will also be reliably counted on to object loudly if that piece ends up being reduced in size, especially if one thinks it owed to him or her.  Throw in partisan rancor, exaggeration, and media narrative and here one has a familiar formula that has been levied at any number of Presidents who, with the passage of time, history has seen fit to denote as “Great”.  

The reverse of this, of course, is being too conciliatory to other branches of government, a stance that has regrettably been President Obama’s undoing in recent months.  Presidents before have kept a tight leash on Congress, not out of some desire for complete control, regardless of how much Senators, Representatives, and pundits scream about it, but out of a genuine understanding that the Executive branch must set the tone, the pace, and the direction.  This is especially true now when though both the House and Senate have substantial Democratic majorities, the leadership tends to viscerally underwhelm and no one person has the force of personality to stand out front and be the face of Congressional mettle and resolve.  With so much that needs to be done, the President cannot afford to sit on the sidelines and watch with his hands on his hips.  He needs to take an active role in the game and if that means that the other players feel as though someone’s trying to grab the headlines from them, then so be it.    

Public opinion of Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and of Congress in general reflects this dire situation of which we are faced.  A do-nothing accusation lends itself easily to guilty-until-proven-innocent when no one has yet successfully sold Health Care Reform, Financial Reform, Environmental Reform, or any other measure now on the docket.  What we have in its place are overly cautious and thoroughly uninspiring pronouncements that promise ultimate success in the wimpiest possible construction ever devised.  They almost beg to not offend the hearer.  The clear implication is that the latest version of the bill is a coalition of the fragile affair that could break apart at any moment.  This does not exactly foment trust, devotion, and fidelity in the eyes of voters.      

As is my wont, in instances like these, my mind drifts to similar struggles in different ages.  Historical events roughly four and a half centuries ago shaped the formation of our Union and indeed, mirror ours in certain ways.  

The climax of the English Civil War was the ascent of a commoner, Oliver Cromwell, to head the island nation.  A member of Parliament before the war, Cromwell successfully lead the forces of the legislative body into battle against those supporting the crown and in so doing won eventual victory.  A brilliant military strategist and general, Cromwell held little patience for the delays and cross-currents which bogged down passage and enactment of reforms, which meant that with time Cromwell concentrated more and more authority into his own hands.  Though he might have been impatient, one cannot help but sympathize to a degree with his dilemma, particularly right now when partisan or even inter-party bickering has brought even the most modest reform measure to a complete halt.    

As for the legislative frustrations that typified the times, they first began in the form of the Long Parliament, which was compromised of an expansive group of dissatisfied legislators aghast at the base incompetence of a heavily unpopular King.  This then gave way to the high drama of Pride’s Purge.  The Long Parliament was dissolved in large part because it met for eight years solid but, due to factionalism and indecisiveness, could never manage to come to a solid conclusion or resolution regarding much of anything.  The largely deposed King, Charles I, stalled every negotiation by playing different factions in the Parliamentary alliance against each other to his own advantage.  When a significant faction sought to keep the King in control, albeit as only a figurehead, thereby disregarding the authority of the army, a coup d’état commenced.  The Purge brutally, skillfully removed fully half of the body, leaving behind only those who supported the army, at which point the monarchy was effectively dissolved, the King beheaded, and England’s first and only attempt to rule without a sovereign instituted.      

What came next was the so-called “Rump Parliament”, a term that, as is sometimes the case, was made by its opposition as a means of derision but stuck nonetheless.  To this day, the phrase survives and is used to mean a gathering comprised of remnants of a much larger group or organization.  Though initially successful, the Rump met its end four years later.  Its undoing was a combination of its failure to come up with a new, working Constitution and its flagrant disregard of the wishes of Cromwell, who commanded that the body dissolve, which it refused to do.  After personally observing the stalemate for himself, the soon-to-be Lord Protector bellowed,

You have sat too long for any good you have been doing lately … Depart, I say; and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!

After the Rump came the appropriately-titled Barebones Parliament, which was even less successful.  In disgust, Cromwell took control as a near-dictator and was kept in power by the backing by the army until his death five years later.  The complexities of those times are fascinating and cannot be done justice by a brief synopsis, but my greater point is to note the morass between then and now and, in so doing, note how much easier would be our lot if Congress could ever get a thing accomplished without bogging down into a state of maddening paralysis.  The Cromwellian Protectorate lasted only slightly longer than one modern-day Presidential term in office, at which point English citizens grew weary of it and re-established the monarchy.  It is that lesson above all others which I wish I could impart to our elected representatives and the current occupant of the White House, else they squander a golden opportunity.    

How tempting it would be if the ability existed to instantly call for new elections or even a way to rid ourselves of Representative and Senators whose stated agenda seems to be obstructionism and baseless fear-peddling.  To return to how I began this post, I know that we are stuck with the men and women we have in Congress.  I also understand that we have the theoretical right to throw these people out if they fail to be satisfactory stewards of our trust and our concerns, but one would be remiss to not note how they are often more indebted to the sway of fund raising, high value donors, and corporate interest.  Moreover, I concede that the system as it exists is patently not designed for the kind of major overhauls we desperately require.  The safeguards in place are designed in part for wiser, paternalistic heads to soberly contemplate, stroke beards meaningfully, and then cautiously proceed.  There are too many procedural rules, stalling tactics, and needless esoterica embedded deeply in a branch of government whose ways and means are frequently noted as “arcane”.

However, the time for real leadership arrived about four or five months ago.  While I concede that President Obama picked his strategy for Health Care Reform based on the failed example of President Clinton, it is long past due for a change in strategy.  Sometimes in seeking to avoid a mistake, we over-compensate and create new problems in the process.  Cautiousness is sometimes a viable public option, but as regards a Democratic caucus that is beholden to so many different identity groups, so much ideological difference, and a big tent that strains to be wide enough to accept everyone, else they pitch their own somewhere else, Presidential authority is the only way to get everyone on board.  If the Left has a true skill, it is in finding hairline cracks in party unity.  If the Obama of 2008 can return, then all will be forgiven and we can move forward.  Otherwise, we will be stuck with mealy-mouthed, soft-pedaled promises and over-cautious optimism.  

Morning Whine (Open Thread)

Good morning, campers!

whine Pictures, Images and Photos

With all much due respect to Robyn’s now retired Morning Muse series, I may just have to fill the void here with a morning … something.  My mornings tend to be extremely hectic until I get the brats kids out the door, then it takes me a little while to unwind. I’ll make my cyber rounds but meanwhile, I’ll designate a little space for your random whine, rant, or pause….



Perhaps some soothing music will help…

The Players Are Writing The Rules, & Nothing Is Preventing Another Banking Crisis

This is the second in a series of interviews with Political Economist Tom Ferguson. Yesterday we saw him saying that the stimulus program was far too small, a much larger one is still needed, and predicted that the Democrats must start a new jobs program to bring economic growth to the bulk of the population or face losing badly in the 2010 mid-terms.

Today he continues his talk with Paul Jay and says that the Obama Administration asked for too little in the banking bill, nothing is preventing another banking crisis, the big players in the banking industry are writing their own regulations and colluding against the public to profit from every boom and bust cycle at your expense. The Federal Reserve must be reined in.

Real News Network – November 20, 2009

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