Progressive Programmer

Progressive Politics or idle geek banter. What's on my mind when I'm irked, intrigued, bored or up too late.

Location: Michigan, United States


The first step is admitting you have a problem

A number of prominent Democrats seem to have decided to suggest to Bush that he might want to reassess:
"In the interests of American national security, our troops and our taxpayers, the open-ended commitment in Iraq that you have embraced cannot and should not be sustained. . . . We need to take a new direction."

What's interesting here, is that they are *finally* starting to notice that this is exactly what 56% of the American people have already said they want. I guess the average voter is not as insane as Bush, and 'staying the course' is one slogan with which they've become all too weary.

The Republican Response will be: They hate our freedom, September 11th, stay the course.

NOTE: WAPO link via Joe in DC. In a coincidence that gave me both the yips and the jimmy-legs, I linked to the exact same polling article Joe did. I realized this after the fact. Joe has been asked to get out of my head immediately.

I'm not liberal, I'm just paying attention

Big Brass Ones

The Ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary has guts. John Conyers (D-MI) is one of the (the?) ballsiest guys in Washington when it comes to repeatedly calling Bush and the Administration what they are. Republicans across the aisle refuse to do a damned thing to stop, slow, or even question the tactics of the Administration, but Conyers labors on, documenting and filing things like his latest epic.

He has produced a 26 page report (half of it is footnotes) that TPM has been kind enough to host for all to peruse. 26 Laws broken. 26 pages. How fitting.

Manipulating and forcing intel. Tubes. Nukes. Chemical Weapons. Niger. Valerie Plame. Threats/revenge tactics. Wiretaps. Misleading Congress. Torture. Oh, it's all there in lovely detail.

Old News reminder from the Downing Street Memos. Remember, Bush told the nation he didn't decide to invade Iraq until just prior to the invasion in March, 2003. Page 2-3:
....President Bush had told Prime Minister Blair "when we have dealt with Afghanistan, we must come back to Iraq (Fall 2001); "Condi's enthusiasm for regime change is undimmed" (March 14, 2002); the U.S. has "assumed regime change as a means of eliminating Iraq's WMD threat" (March 25, 2002); "Bush wanted to remove Saddam through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD" and, most significantly, "the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy (July 23, 2002).

They may have gotten draft deferments and National Guard gigs back in the day, but boy did they have a hardon for this war. Page 7 (emphasis added):
  • An intelligence analyst who testified, "[t]here's so much pressure [to support the Administration's position on aluminum tubes], you know, they keep telling us, go back and find the right answer."
  • a senior official reported that CIA analysts got "pounded on, day after day" on WMD issues
  • a CIA official stated, "[t]here was a great deal of pressure to find a reason to go to war with Iraq. And the pressure was not just subtle; it was blatant...[the official's boss] called a meeting and gave them their marching orders. And he said, "You know what? If Bush wants to go to war, it's your job to give him a reason to do so.

You almost get the impression the Republicans and the Administration don't want to look into these matters. Page 13 (emphasis added):
Thus, the Senate and House Intelligence Committes have refused to conduct any serious investigation concerning intelligence manipulation relating to the Iraq War; House Republican Chairmen have rejected numerous requests by Members to conduct hearings on torture and other abuses in Iraq; and the Administration has ignored requests for information concerning such abuses submitted by the Ranking Members of six committees. Republicans in the House have also rejected myriad attempts by Members to ask the Administration to provide information regarding all of these matters pursuant to Resolutions of Inquiry.

Yes, we're still waiting on Part 2 of the Senate Report from the Preeminent Procrastinator of our time, Pat Roberts (jackass-KS). It looks like Conyers grew impatient.

But there is no cigar. No blowjob. No pecker tracks on a blue dress. I fully expect very little to come of any of this. Conyers will be (and has been) regarded as a shrewd politician pulling a stunt in an election year, and much worse.

The country's moral compass always points Due North Blue Sex, you see. The infamous semi-rhetorical, "What will we tell the children?" from the Clinton years is so last century. Nowadays, "How can we properly justify moral relativism to the children?" should be the quandary facing many of the hyper-ventilators still breathing into a bag over Clinton's penis. But, methinks that question won't be asked by anyone, cuz (say it with me) IOKIYAR.

I'm not liberal, I'm just paying attention

Freedom's Just Another Word

I think that when I had kids my perspective changed.  I know it did.  Unfortunately, that perspective makes hearing shit like this hurt

The Lebanese Red Cross said the airstrike in Qana, in which at least 34 children were killed, pushed the overall Lebanese death toll to more than 500. ...."We will not stop this battle, despite the difficult incidents this morning," Olmert said said during Israel's weekly Cabinet meeting, according to a participant in the meeting. "We will continue the activity and if necessary it will be broadened without hesitation."

And, then there's this story from Newsweek about the American Soldier accused of some horrific crimes.  My new perspective makes this unimaginable:

On the night in question in Al Mahmudiyah, Green dressed in dark clothes, ducked away from his post and persuaded some of his comrades to come along. According to the indictment, he then led them to the house of a 14-year-old Iraqi girl. At the home, Green herded the mother, father and a young girl, about 5 years old, into a back bedroom while another soldier threw the teenager to the floor. Green closed the bedroom door. Shots were fired, and he emerged with an AK-47, which had been in the home, and said, "I just killed them. All are dead." He and another soldier then allegedly raped the teenager. Afterward, Green shot her two or three times in the head, killing her, the indictment says. (Green has pleaded not guilty.)

I'm not liberal, I'm just paying attention


The Theory of Relativity

Everything is relative. How two people or entities, businesses or peoples receive and process the exact same event, news, or experience is always dependent on, or relative to, their perspective.

Additionally, the passage of time warps the perceptions of each party. As time goes on, one looks back and remembers the same event through the filter of faded memories and new experiences, reality, new events and perspective. The other party does the same, albeit with their own version of that filter. Different perceptions of the event, originally similar or wildly different, can change drastically. Perhaps bringing the two perceptions back together or shoving them further apart than ever.

These perceptions of past events can never be the same, as perception is reality more than the reverse, and perceptions naturally can not be identical for two parties. But the two parties can reach a point where the perceptions of the opposing party begin to affect their own perception. And it is when this point is reached that understanding is born, compromise is birthed, and the harsh bitch of reality reunites us all.

Now, that generalization (and wholly inaccurate use of the term 'Theory of Relativity') having been dispensed free of charge, I present a little story out of Chicago, IL
After months of fevered lobbying and bitter debate, the Chicago City Council passed a groundbreaking ordinance yesterday requiring “big box” stores, like Wal-Mart and Home Depot, to pay a minimum wage of $10 an hour by 2010, along with at least $3 an hour worth of benefits.

Imagine you live nearby and could use a job to help support your family. Or, imagine you are a local politician. Your perception is positive:
"This is a great day for the working men and women of Chicago," said Alderman Joseph A. Moore, the measure’s chief sponsor. Mr. Moore said he had had inquiries about the ordinance from officials in several other cities.

Now, imagine you are WalMart:
"It’s sad — this puts politics ahead of working men and women," John Simley, a Wal-Mart spokesman, said in a telephone interview. "It means that Chicago is closed to business."

Yes, Mr. Simley. That's what it means. To you. For now. Wait a few years.

I'm not liberal, I'm just paying attention


Def Leppard Predicts Middle East Conflict

Atrios points us to Media Matters discussing CNN chatting up the signs of Armageddon.

Lest we forget:

I'm not liberal, I'm just paying attention

Boltonmania 2 - Cage Match

John Bolton – On why international law does not exist:

While treaties may well be politically or even morally binding, they are not legally obligatory. They are just not “law” as we apprehend the term. And what happens to countries when they do not adhere to international law on some matter? Usually nothing. Why, then, do we continue to talk about international “law”? Because the word has a strong emotive appeal.

The US Constitution

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.

I will give credit to the Administration on one large point: They are absolutely fantastic at alienating our allies. John Bolton is particularly skilled.

You can get lots more info on Bolton and the possible nomination re-match battle from Steve Clemons over at HuffPo.

I'm not liberal, I'm just paying attention


A Double-Agent gathers no moss

Rolling Stone has a lengthy but excellent story about how we got where we are today in Iraq, how we almost ended up in Iran, and how we still might.

After you read it and get depressed click around and read about music or something to lift your spirits. One particularly noteworthy portion about the treasonous (literally) idiots in charge of our National Security, while somewhat old news this is still *very* newsworthy :

On May 20th, shortly after the discovery of the leak, Iraqi police backed by American soldiers raided Chalabi's home and offices in Baghdad. The FBI suspected that Chalabi, a Shiite who had a luxurious villa in Tehran and was close to senior Iranian officials, was actually working as a spy for the Shiite government of Iran. Getting the U.S. to invade Iraq was apparently part of a plan to install a pro-Iranian Shiite government in Baghdad, with Chalabi in charge. The bureau also suspected that Chalabi's intelligence chief had furnished Iran with highly classified information on U.S. troop movements, top-secret communications, plans of the provisional government and other closely guarded material on U.S. operations in Iraq. On the night of the raid, The CBS Evening News carried an exclusive report by correspondent Lesley Stahl that the U.S. government had "rock-solid" evidence that Chalabi had been passing extremely sensitive intelligence to Iran—evidence so sensitive that it could "get Americans killed."

The revelation shocked Franklin and other members of Feith's office. If true, the allegations meant that they had just launched a war to put into power an agent of their mortal enemy, Iran. Their man—the dissident leader who sat behind the first lady in the president's box during the State of the Union address in which Bush prepared the country for war—appeared to have been working for Iran all along.

(emphasis added)

I'm not liberal, I'm just paying attention


Today in Iraq

I read a lot of blogs and somehow I never picked up on this one. I know I've clicked through it before, but I never took a step back and looked around.

Today in Iraq is painful. In particular today itself. Jesus.

I added it to Ye Olde Blogrolle and reordered that mess a bit to more-accurately reflect my reading habits.

I'm not liberal, I'm just paying attention

This is gonna leave a mark

Glenn weighs in on the situation between Israel and Lebanon and how it has oddly wiped a lot of discussion of Iraq off the headlines and televisions.

Some of what he says reminds me of what I mentioned here, but Greenwald does it better than anyone.

Also of note are these thoughts from Booman about how things are out-of-control all over and some folks are afraid to address the Israeli situation head-on. Not sure if it's true, but it shouldn't be. Quite certain you can get undeserved labels for stating opinions, of course, just not sure everyone is truly avoiding the subject.

So conservative bloggers flip to Israel coverage (supporting Israel's "retaliation" efforts enthusiastically) while the big liberal bloggers stick to Iraq and stateside politics (to avoid a 3rd-rail issue for liberals). The traditional media flip to the Israeli issues and push Iraq to the backburner.

Meanwhile Iraq is still hosed and getting worse. Any support the US throws behind Israel worsens the PR problem in Iraq and the rest of the middle east b/c we are already hated there for our support of Israel. Israel is making threats about 10 buildings for every rocket. Iraqis are considering joining Hizbollah to fight against the Israelies. Iraqi politicians are considering dividing Iraq along sectarian lines leaving a permanent disaster in the wake of our invasion and press for democracy. And we still have 140,000 troops standing in the middle of it all.

Maybe if I watch Wheel of Fortune I'll feel better.

I was wondering when Armageddon might get brought up. Colbert handles it gracefully.

I'm not liberal, I'm just paying attention


John Bolton is a no-talent ass-clown

Raw Story tells us John Bolton might get actual hearings after all. He was given a recess appointment by Bush after his nomination went down to a Democratic filibuster. Recess appointments are only forcibly-valid until the ensuing session, at which time the legislative oversight of the appointment can kick back in.

John Bolton, no-relation to a certain other no-talent ass-clown. You may recall him from such films as 'The UN Sucks', or 'How Bush Subverted the Will of the People', or the MiniSeries 'The Vengeful Hawk'.

But this is his most memorable role, repeatedly insulting the very body to which Bush later chose him to be our ambassador:

Can someone explain why anyone, *anyone* would nominate Bolton to be our UN Ambassador *after* he said these things? It defies logic.

But politics is a never-ending source of fun. Apparently Bolton may never end up getting that precious up/down vote b/c a prominent Democrat has decided to support him. Arrgh.

I'm not liberal, I'm just paying attention

Perspectives on the cost of a video

Sarah McLachlan.

(Via atrios)

I'm not liberal, I'm just paying attention


Hi, my name is Sherman and I'm a....

I'm not really sure whether to laugh or just ignore this.

My layman's opinion says, "Yup, there are gay people in this world." It happens. One or more of my kids could be gay and I don't expect there is anything anyone will be able to do about it even if we wanted them to. I also don't think it would have a single thing to do with how we raised them.

Not so, says, brought to you courtesy of James Dobson's Focus on the Family organization.

I've known several gay people and never have I met someone whose siblings are also gay? Has anyone ever met two siblings that were *both* gay?

I still bark, myself. But I also still think James Dobson's so full of cow shit that HE should be mooing.

I'm not liberal, I'm just paying attention


Bush Thumbs his nose in Veto

I know Bush feels strongly about this issue. I know it's his first veto. And that he must know his veto goes against the wishes of the majority of Americans. But even given the circumstances I don't really think this little jab was necessary:

You can see the whole veto at Raw Story

I'm not liberal, I'm just paying attention

Cartoons are Funny

Not this one.

Especially given the recent remarks of idiot-of-the-moment Bill Kristol. You see, the War in Iraq is going so well that what we need is another war, against a larger, better-equipped enemy.


Both links via atrios

I'm not liberal, I'm just paying attention

Billions and Billions

There is a veddy interesting, interactive map of the blogosphere over at Data Mining. They also have a few other visual representations of all of the relationships.

It reminds me of the party at the Moon Tower where Slater--looking out at the lights of the city below--wonders about how many people are out there, right now, just goin' at it, man.

Every little blip is a blog w/ a few links, and yours truly does not appear. I will now consult with The Brain on our daily efforts to try and conquer the world, as it would appear we require a Plan K.


Bush's Pro-life Flip-Flop

Ok, here's the line from King George:

"The president believes strongly that for the purpose of research, it's inappropriate for the federal government to finance something that many people consider murder. He's one of them," spokesman Tony Snow said.

Now, here's the reality:

ESC lines come from material stored at fertility clinics which is already slated for destruction. Preventing these blastocysts from being used for research won't 'save' them. It simply means they'll be disposed of in a medical waste facility instead of being used to find cures for disease. The only reason to restrict federal approval of new lines is to appeal to a minority of extremist social conservatives and it comes at the cost of possibly delaying or denying treatment--and in some cases life itself--to millions of people.

Is the President pro-life or not?

I'm STILL wishing reality drove our policies more than politics drove our reality.


Recipe for fun

  • 1 nephew, approximately 10 years old.
  • 2 Nerf Ball Blasters (eBay)
  • Balls (10)
  • Place an equal number of balls into each Ball Blaster.  If possible, ensure you have one or two more balls than your nephew.
  • Walk to opposite sides of the basement (living room is sufficient).
  • Blast the hell out of each other.
  • If you are hit, don't stop.
  • Let nephew get a few shots and then you will have all of his ammo
  • Repeat as desired


It's good to be the King

Bush blocks investigation of how he broke the law.

What's the name of a government that has, at its head, someone that refuses to answer to any other part of the government? Oh, ya. Dictatorship.

In fact, someone once got impeached for it. His name was Richard Nixon. From Article 1, Obstruction of Justice:
(4) Interfering or endeavoring to interfere with the conduct of investigations by the Department of Justice of the United States, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the office of Watergate Special Prosecution Force and congressional committees.

Welcome, one and all.

(link from alysheba)

I'm not liberal, I'm just paying attention


Will any Iraqis be left to vote?

Holy shit. I swear a lot. Too often, really. But believe me when I tell you that the article I just finished reading deserves more.

Baghdad. Ancient capital city of Iraq. Home of the fortified Green Zone from which Americans rarely venture. Baghdad is being abandoned. Can you imagine?

Ali phoned me on Tuesday night, about 10.30pm. There were cars full of gunmen prowling his mixed neighbourhood, he said. He and his neighbours were frantically exchanging information, trying to identify the gunmen.

Were they the Mahdi Army, the Shia militia blamed for drilling holes in their victims’ eyes and limbs before executing them by the dozen? Or were they Sunni insurgents hunting down Shias to avenge last Sunday’s massacre, when Shia gunmen rampaged through an area called Jihad, pulling people from their cars and homes and shooting them in the streets?
Our troops can only do so much. The Iraqis do need to get on board with saving their country from ruin. But it appears the sectarian divides are so wide that they would prefer to kill each other than unite.

Can't they call the Americans?
In fact the US military generally responds only to request for support from Iraqi security forces. But as many of those forces are at best turning a blind eye to the Shia death squads, and at worst colluding with them, calling the Americans is literally the last thing they do.

And what of the new Iraqi government?
In just 24 hours before noon yesterday, as parliament convened for another emergency session, 87 bodies were brought to Baghdad city morgue, 63 of them unidentified. Since Sunday’s massacre in Jihad, more than 160 people have been killed, making a total of at least 1,600 since Iraq’s Government of national unity came to power six weeks ago. Another 2,500 have been wounded.

What are the innocent people to do?
A local journalist told me bitterly this week that Iraqis find it ironic that Saddam Hussein is on trial for killing 148 people 24 years ago, while militias loyal to political parties now in government kill that many people every few days. But it is not an irony that anyone here has time to laugh about. They are too busy packing their bags and wondering how they can get out alive.

Planes, trains and automobiles
Despite the huge risks of driving through the Sunni Triangle, the number of buses to Jordan has mushroomed from 2 a day to as many as 40 or 50.

God bless and protect our troops that are there. Even if you wanted this war (I was convinced by the hype but later conquered my fear and tried to sell the symbolism). Even if you love Bush and his "doctrine". Even if you think we can and should force democracy on other countries. You still have to wonder... If only Wolfowitz and Rumsfeld had fucking listened.

I'm not liberal, I'm just paying attention

Candies and Flowers

The Iraqis had better stock up on those candies and flowers we were promised.  Military commanders believe we'll be there for another 10 years.

2016.  Think about that.  Greeted as liberators?

Not only is Bush leaving Iraq for the next President to deal with, he's leaving it for the next, and the next, and the next.Where the hell are those candies and flowers, dammit?

Stay the course, folks.  Otherwise we would all be silly ol' flip-floppers.  Stay the course, no matter the consequences, and no matter the cost of blood and treasure.

I wish reality drove our policies more than politics drove our reality.

I'm not liberal, I'm just paying attention

Yo Blair, what’re you doing?

Ah, to be a fly on the wall.

When I'm just imagining Bush sitting in a room with other world leaders, I cringe a bit. But when I can actually hear some of what was said I cringe even more. Maybe next time around the country will remember that the guy you want to have a beer with is maybe not the guy that should be hob-nobbing with seasoned and learned statesmen on issues of life, death, and war.
No, just going to make it up. I'm not going to talk too long like the rest of them. Some of these guys talk too long.
Must be hard work listening to the opinions of other countries, and, you know, preparing remarks.

This is how the country is being run. How our policies get mis-interpreted or changed, wholesale, accidentally. Bush is just going to make it up.

I'm not liberal, I'm just paying attention


Bush's European Vacation

President Bush is trying to balance the G8 summit, the Iranian nuclear issue, Russian and European relations and what response, if any, the US will make with regards to the astonishing waves of violence in Israel and Lebanon and the chance that the current violence could escalate, bringing in Syria, Jordan, Egypt and Iran itself, all of this with 130k of our troops in a nearby Iraq that has no signs of violence abating?

What, me worry?

An oil executive familiar with the situation who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of oil prices in the country as the mid-term election approaches :

Who gives a shit? The price of oil is through the roof!

I'm not liberal, I'm just paying attention


7 years in Michigan

I really and truly hope that GM is able to recover from its current spiral.

It would be bad for my family, bad for its 400 thousand retirees, and bad for the country if it doesn't.

THAT is why I can't believe Rick Wagoner hasn't stepped aside already. Has there ever been another CEO that presided over such a decline in a company's power that didn't either get fired or quit mercifully in shame?

If Ghosn can do anything for GM, bring him in, and kick Wagoner and his cronies on the board to the curb ASAP.

I'm not liberal, I'm just paying attention



I'm looking forward to seeing this.

I'm not liberal, I'm just paying attention



George W. Bush, October 3, 2000
We can reform the tax code, so that families can keep more of what they earn ...more dollars that they can spend on what they value, rather than on what the government thinks is important.

We can restore the ideals of honesty and honor that must be a part of our national life, if our children are to thrive.

When I look at the administration now in Washington, I am dismayed by opportunities squandered.

Saddened by what might have been, but never was.

These have been years of prosperity in our land, but little purpose in the White House.

Saddened, indeed.

George W. Bush, July 11, 2006
This good news is no accident. It's the result of the hard work of the American people and sound policies in Washington, D.C.

Here, Bush is bragging about the fourth largest deficit our country has ever run. Bragging. Inflate the deficit and overestimate it where need be, so when you manage to pare it back a tiny bit, you can brag? That's like saying to your boss you so totally fucked up last week, that this week, when you only fucked up half as bad, you deserve serious kudos.

The wealthiest of Americans are keeping more of what they earn and the ground is being made up by the middle class. Everyone's children and grandchildren are losing out on what they'll earn because they're going to have to pay it all back.

As a reminder, here's my favorite least-favorite chart.

Saddened, indeed.

I'm not liberal, I'm just paying attention

We will win the War on Terror

With slogans this big, who needs allies? We've got a *really* big plan.

So I'll just stop worrying now.

I'm not liberal, I'm just paying attention


Shouldn't it be the Department of Offense?

Cost overruns at the Pentagon?
As the Pentagon finds itself paying. more than budgeted for fewer weapons, the administration has warned that current levels of military spending cannot be sustained. Meanwhile, Pentagon record-keeping is so flawed that auditors are unable to tell how much money it actually has.

Oh, *there's* a big surprise. I think I'm gonna have a heart attack and *die*, from that surprise. Look at this, look at this, I'm so ticked off that I'm *molting*.

I'm not liberal, I'm just paying attention

Chocolates Flowers and Kimmy Gone Wild

Kim Jong Il was apparently of the mind that he wouldn't need to keep testing his Taepodong I missiles back in 2000. This may or may not have had to do with the chocolates and flowers Clinton and Albright had been throwing his way.

Something odd happened between 2000 and 2006.

Now, whether you love Bush or hate him (mildly loathe is ok too, you two jokers in the corner), you can't blame him for the entire North Korean debacle. I mean, he did have a War on Terror to fight (in the wrong country) and a nation to scare the bejeezus out of (to win reelection) and, of course, Social Security to shit on (to pay off cronies). He couldn't spend all of his time on pretzels and North Korea!? He had to spend some time on things that *mattered*. And he sure as hell wasn't going to keep going with the mamby pamby Clinton way of doing things! Clinton s.u.c.k.e.d. sucked. Right? Besides, taking on North Korea would be a *bitch*. No easy way in, no easy way out, and a ginormous army to contend with that just so happened to be capable of attacking several allies at the drop of a smart bomb.

Well, when you're dealing with a paranoid megalomaniac with a cult following (some forcibly told to follow) you can't just *ignore* them. Just like that chick in High School that went all mental when you said you wanted to see other people, you have to coddle ol' Kimmy. You have to pay some attention and keep them stable long enough to let them down gently. Didn't Bush see Fatal Attraction?

So where did Bush's harsh breakup get us? You guessed it. chocolates and flowers. That dull ol' diplomacy crap. It takes so *long*. It's such hard work.

Anything for you, Kimmy. You know I love you, Kimmy, and I would never do anything to hurt you. No, I'm not just saying that. I told you before, didn't I? It's really late. Get some rest and we'll, y'know, talk about it in the morning after 1st period. I'll write you a note and pass it through Huey to give to you in Mr. Bolton's geography class. Yes, I *know* you don't do that for every guy you date, Kimmy. This isn't exactly an easy conversation for me to bring up as it is, you don't have to try and get me worked up right before bed. Yes, I promise, if we don't end up going out any more I'll let you do that at *least* one more time, but you don't have to promise me that or anything.

Alright, Kimmy. Talk to you then. I *like* you, Kimmy. No, I won't say that. I can't say it, Kimmy, not right now. We'll talk more tomorrow night, ok? But you call me this time I'm running low on minutes and my daddy's gonna kick my ass. Ok, you hang up first this time. No, you hang up. Ok, on the count of three. 1. 2. 3....

I *knew* you were gonna do that, you always do that...

I'm not liberal, I'm just paying attention


What matters is who *counts* the votes

It's sad to think that a few paid staffers in business-casual attire helped scare Florida into stopping their vote count efforts back in 2000.

That's not a crowd.

In the wake of the Mexican election this past week, popular left-leaning candidate Obrador urged protesters to have their voices heard.

And they gathered to do so.

That's a crowd.

Still paging the mass media, who seem to continue to write this off as a non-event.

However, EJ Dionne did write an excellent piece explaining how lucky Mexico is that they will avoid...well...all the crap we went through in 2000.

Again, why are some that would claim to love a democratic form of government so profoundly against actually counting all the damned votes? Oh, now I remember. Because Right-leaning candidates like Calderon, Obrador's opponent, know they can't win without cheating. And their wealthiest supporters/corporations/status quo-lovers (the ones that keep the people down, AKA "The Man") can't afford to share the power with The People.

Disclose all vote-counting source code and make each person's vote verifiably accurate and verifiably counted. Publicly fund elections and campaigns. Now.

I'm not liberal, I'm just paying attention

Mexican Jumping Ballot-Boxes

The entire Mexican Election reeks (via Cannonfire).

The most-telling picture to me, especially having waded through this thread at Kos about the election results as they came in, is this graphic:
Those curves look like almost, well, perfect inversions of each other, no? Note how clear it is that the fraudsters had to wait until the initial results were in before they were able to determine the *amount* of votes they had to tip. As soon as that point is reached, the trends begin to curve for the two leading candidates, and the others don't move one bit from their respective trends.

Paging the mass media.

[UPDATE] Although he's not posting as often as I would like, Greg Palast has been posting about the election, and is said to be on his way to Mexico to cover the story further. Perhaps after he arrives the updates will be more frequent.

I'm not liberal, I'm just paying attention

I'm floating in a most-uh puh-kyoo-lee-ar waa-aay

Three branches, good. One branch purposely ignoring and avoiding confrontations with another branch in an effort to expand its powers indefinitely, bad:
White House hard-liners, led by Vice President Dick Cheney and his uncompromising lawyer, David Addington, made it clear that there was only one acceptable answer. One day, Bowker recalls, a colleague explained the goal: to "find the legal equivalent of outer space"—a "lawless" universe. As Bowker understood it, the idea was to create a system where detainees would have no legal rights and U.S courts would have no power to intervene.

Methinks it sadly and tragically ironic that in an effort to avoid having to use, you know, an actual court system of our own to try suspected terrorists and "enemy combatants", the administration may have sealed the fate of the men and women in our uniform they commanded to torture/kidnap/guard said suspected terrorists and "enemy combatants".

If any servicemen or officers end up in the Hague with this ruling being quoted in a brief, don't blame the US Supreme Court. Blame Addington, Cheney, and Bush for trying to get away with this crap in the first place.

I'm not liberal, I'm just paying attention

And now for something completely batty

We are a Nation at War. In this Time of War, one cannot risk staying on the sidelines, just hoping for a just outcome.

Instead, you have to dive in on all fronts and fight for what's right. You have to fortify your stomach and prepare for the worst things your enemies might throw at you. You have to train, and you have to plan, and you must, above all else, be willing to go to lengths your enemy would never expect.

Yes, the war is raging. I urge you to bypass the traditional media and its bias in presenting the true horrors of war. Instead, visit the frontlines yourself, and bring your headphones, as audio is most definitely required.

The first shots were fired late on Friday, July 7th, 2006, by Atrios.

The Editors responded the following day with a vicious counter.

Sadly, No kicked them both in the nads while they weren't looking.

And then it was ON.

So far I think the two Male Leads from Star Trek have been the heaviest blows thrown.

As Atrios might say, we may not know for about six months whether an acceptable outcome is even possible. After that, expect the convening of a major Blogger Ethics Tribunal to explore the possibility of YouTube crimes.

Perhaps our dear leader can carry us through.

I'm not liberal, I'm just paying attention

Look, up in the sky...

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? It's Superman!

No, nothing as heroic as Superman. No powers and shit. But a little bit o' the ol' Truth, Justice, American Way stuff might have leaked back into a Republican Congressman's brain:
"I have learned of some alleged intelligence community activities about which our committee has not been briefed," Mr. Hoesktra wrote. "If these allegations are true, they may represent a breach of responsibility by the administration, a violation of the law, and, just as importantly, a direct affront to me and the members of this committee who have so ardently supported efforts to collect information on our enemies."

He added: "The U.S. Congress simply should not have to play Twenty Questions to get the information that it deserves under our Constitution."

Wouldn't it be nice if we had 3 equal branches again.

I'm not liberal, I'm just paying attention


Dr Dumblove, or How Americans Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Ignoring Reality

Christopher Dickey quotes Orwell:
"Political and military commentators, like astrologers, can survive almost any mistake, because their more devoted followers do not look to them for an appraisal of the facts but for the stimulation of nationalistic loyalties."

I'm not liberal, I'm just paying attention


Have your cake and eat your children's cake

A Republican friend was just lecturing me about the prosperity Republican tax cuts bring we Americans.

I sent him this lovely chart

Now, do tax cuts equal prosperity? Of course not. Does a sensible approach to rebalancing the burden of taxation equal prosperity? Not necessarily. And neight can either guarantee long-term prosperity. Nothing can.

But it certainly was nice in the Clinton years, and as that chart reminds us, the long-term prospects for our country were a mighty shitload better under Clinton than they are even 5 years into the Bushco nightmare.

I'm not liberal, I'm just paying attention


Contract With America, part duh

I completely agree that Newt should help America and the GOP put together a new "contract".

So long as the contract is effective immediately and scheduled to end in January 2007 as all of the Republicans signed onto the contract walk out of office, heads held low, eyes averted in shame from their constituents, admitting in whole that they have been an utter failure at governing this country.

I'm not liberal, I'm just paying attention

I really do find it odd...

I find it odd that those who run for democratically-elected office (and their supporters) are so often willing to try and subvert the democratic process.

If you live in, and love, your Democracy, shouldn't you let it work as it is designed? Why is such behavior acceptable to these people?

I'm not liberal, I'm just paying attention

An old Vulcan Proverb says...

"Only Bush can make America like China".

I'm not liberal, I'm just paying attention