Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Fear and Loathing in Middle America
A review of Deer Hunting With Jesus: Dispatches from America's Class War by Joe Bageant in The American Prospect by Sasha Abramsky. A number of comments. Abramsky:
No single book will ever be able to fully explain why so much of impoverished America so consistently votes against its own economic self-interest. Likewise, no single book will ever fully explain the unique confluence of historical and cultural forces that created and continues to bulge the Bible Belt. But Bageant, a newcomer to the world of book writing, takes a pretty good stab at it. And he does so in a way that's accessible, raucous and unapologetically foul-mouthed. It's fun reading, and, given his depressing subject matter, that's quite a feat.Gary Permalink on 7/31/2007
Monday, July 30, 2007
Orcinus: Bill O'Reilly, HateMonger
Can't disagree with any of this. Another example of the right attributing to their opponents what they do.
In the war against Fox News, Lowes has pulled ads from Fox News after being shown examples of their speech. Home Depot is still in-house promoting green products but advertising on Fox News shows that deny global climate change. Easy to shop Lowes instead of Home Depot.
Atrios is having Falafel Day for the sexual harasser.
Gary Permalink on 7/30/2007
Think Progress » Conservatives Refuse To Appear On Fox News To Publicly Defend Gonzales
(This was post 14,000 for this blog.) Gary Permalink on 7/30/2007
Texas Round-Up 3
It's Monday, and that means it is time for another Texas Progressive Alliance Texas Blog Round-Up. This week's round-up is brought to you by Capitol Annex.
Diarist Libby Shaw at Texas Kaos has had enough, and she shares the letter she wrote Senators Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn in Tell Me That Our Elected U.S. Lawmakers Do Not Embrace a W. Monarchy.
Could Be True ponders the often asked question (by the Right), "Why Post Election Information in Spanish" at South Texas Chisme.
Vince at Capitol Annex reveals a letter House Speaker Tom Craddick sent to former Parliamentarian Denise Davis telling her to keep her mouth shut about her time as Parliamentarian.
Texas Education just took another hit thanks to Governor Perry, according to a post by TXSharon at Bluedaze. Rick Perry appointed Dr. Don McLeroy as the Chairman of the Texas State Board of Education. McLeroy is known for his radical fundamentalist views. This is especially bad because textbooks are up for review this year.
Hal at Half Empty ponders early endorsements in the Democratic Primary for U.S. Senate in An Endorsement Is Worth Watt Price?
Matt at Stop Cornyn lets us know that John Kerry has announced a contest to Remove Republican Roadblocks (like John Cornyn).
Karl-Thomas at Burnt Orange Report tells us about Town Lake being named after Lady Bird Johnson.
Muse at Musings has the invite to LTC Rick Noriega's change of command ceremony at the Alamo on August 4th. Noriega will take command of the 1st Battalion, 141st Infantry Regiment, which can trace its history back to the Republic of Texas. The event is open to the public.
Thought we were done with Accenture and HHSC privatization? Charles at Off the Kuff says think again.
Stace at Dos Centavos tells us about a Pew study which finds Latino political participation is not matching up to Latino population growth. Will demographic changes be enough to put Democrats over the top?
Gary at Easter Lemming Liberal News points to a peer reviewed study that shows illegal immigrants are not criminals--they go to jail at an amazing low one-fifth rate of current citizens. Perhaps we should promote immigration to reduce the crime rate in the United States?
Dembones at Eye On Williamson County posts on the similarities between the new "right-wing" talking points on Iraq and the change in rhetoric by Rep. John Carter (R-Round Rock) on bringing troops home from Iraq in John Carter Heeds Grover Norquist Talking Points.
John C. at Bay Area Houston, in Raising Campaign Cash 2007 from Bob Perry tells us that, during the first part of 2007, Bob Perry didn't get close to his record contributions of 2006 of $4.5 Million. In 2007 he only donated $471,000 with $250,000 doing to Texans for Lawsuit Reform. HillCo PAC, another fine anti-consumer organization received $50,000 and Lt. Governor Dewhurst received $25,000.
Texas Toad at North Texas Liberal tells us that Carrollton attorney Karen Guerra is set to run as a Democrat for the 16th District Court in 2008.
Steve at Who's Playin'? tell us about three North Texas men calling for impeachment with a freeway banner over I-35 in Lewisville during rush hour.
Mayor McSleaze McBlogger takes on recent changes in the dress code for visitors at the White House.
And, don't forget about these other Texas Progressive Alliance Members: Three Wise Men, In The Pink Texas, Marc's Miscellany, Common Sense, The Agonist, People's Republic of Seabrook, McBlogger, B and B, Brains and Eggs, Feet To The Fire, and Who's Playin'.
Gary Permalink on 7/30/2007
Pentagon Plans For Baghdad 2025
Nick Turse at Tom Dispatch has a look at future "urban pacification" plans.
As tiny flying UAVs blanket an impoverished neighborhood, a squad of special-ops Spidermen and Geko warriors will crawl and slither up apartment-building walls, while teams of robots are simultaneously hopping through first floor windows, and Terminator-Human teams are kicking down front doors to capture an enemy drug kingpin. Nearby "angry crowds" of politically-minded youth will be engaged by heavily-armed tele-operated SWORDS Talon robots, while a few up-armored cyborg troops, at a safe distance, fire their loitering smart grenades at a gathering crowd of armed slum-dwellers who believe themselves well hidden and protected in nearby alleyways.
Gary Permalink on 7/30/2007
Houston Chronicle reports:
The loudest man on Houston television
Channel 13's Marvin Zindler dies at 85.
I am sorry to see him go. He fought for the little guy and against hypocrisy even if he was a showboat.
His anti-chicken ranch crusade, inspiration for "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas", became a national legend. In that case he took advantage of official hypocrisy and that was the least decent of his crusades but made him into an immense media figure.
Eyewitness News reports of his life and death.
Not dead but retiring is Cragg Hines, who became worthwhile reading again after an early infatuation with Bush and the Iraq invasion and occupation.
Gary Permalink on 7/30/2007
Sunday, July 29, 2007
In the ’60s, Hillary Poured Her Heart Out in Letters to a Male Friend.
It is not polite to read another persons mail, but what an interesting person. Gary Permalink on 7/29/2007
Saturday, July 28, 2007
Matthew Yglesias Demonstrates He does Not Live in DC or JesusLand
He is never going to become a well-paid media personality with thoughts like that. Gary Permalink on 7/28/2007
Friday, July 27, 2007
Fox Attacks Bloggers, Bloggers Prepare to Strike Back
Watch for some action soon. Gary Permalink on 7/27/2007
Military Video Shows Surge of Vehicles to the Junkyard
On my conference call with the President it sounded like he took a drink and shot a frog before ending with the words "I'm the Decider, **** it!" Gary Permalink on 7/27/2007
Shakespeare's Sister - Was Tillman killed by his own men deliberately?
"The bullet holes were so close together that it appeared the Army Ranger was cut down by an M-16 fired from a mere 10 yards or so away." This soldier was very likely murdered. Our White House doesn't seem to care, except insomuch as its attempts to cover up his murder may be exposed. And, meanwhile, justice for Pat Tillman—atheist, Chomsky fan, avid reader, liberal—isn't of much interest to the war-supporting shouters of "Support the troops!" who themselves are busily trying to destroy another soldier who doesn't conveniently fit their definition of what an American soldier should be.More here. Gary Permalink on 7/27/2007
The Limits of 'Linguistic Parsing'
This will be a bit of catch up. I chose the title from Froomkin's roundup White House brief that starts with wondering about how bad was the secret wiretapping program if even the DoJ lawyers objected to it before the White House converted it into the quasi-legal 'Terrorist Surveillance Program'?
Dan Froomkin - The Limits of 'Linguistic Parsing' - washingtonpost.com
After seeing the type of questions real people asked the Democrats most GOP candidates appear to be too scared the face the same thing.
Whenever there is real reporting out of Iraq the screaming ninnies of the Right insist it must be fake. This happened with the AP reports from a policeman in Baghdad and now a soldier in Iraq reporting on his reckless and disrespectful fellow troops, borderline atrocities. The usual chickenhawks are involved in calling fake, but oops the soldier has come forward.
Since the debate, the Clinton camp has tried to pick a fight with Obama about his wanting to meet with leaders of countries we don't get along with. Hillary's camp happily adopts right wing framing even when it is wrong. This is actually a good debate, if you stay away from the total idiots.
We're all wearing the blue dress now. Latest actions by the freeway blogger whose protest signs have been seen by hundreds of thousands.
Latest poll - public blames the GOP for all major problems except crime.
– War: 62% blamed Republicans vs. 14% DemocratsThis was from an extremely large Zogby poll, the “Report Card on American Prejudice”, which covered a wide range of attitudes and problems. With over 10,000 people surveyed the margin of error was 1%. Other findings were that American would accept a gay president but wouldn't want him or her to be in a same-sex marriage.
Michael Moore's challenge to candidates - give up your free government health care and take whatever the least fortunate American has. Right now that would be nothing. Bush administration to Michael Moore - you're subpoenaed.
Texas Blue notices Vet Care should see some changes.
You are destroying America. Yes, you. An accusation against the majority of Americans who have turned into cowardly hypocrites. Reminds me of the Whatever happened to empathy essay on that populist site.
The Christian allies of Israel also believe that soon there will be no Jews. Interesting video.
Another poll - Republican collapse among the young -pdf. Its acceptable and cool to hate the GOP now.
Fight back against the Fox News attacks on liberal bloggers. Thousands of contacts with its advertisers would do the trick and tools are being set up.
Imagine, there is a campaign to bring Clean Elections to Texas. Arizona, Connecticut and Maine did it.
Thompson's wife is more than a trophy, she appears to be running his campaign. Is he the Manchurian candidate?
Joe Trippi's back and Edwards has him. Trippi and Dean are remaking the Democratic party.
Are you in the Texas Data Exchange? Guv. Goodhair is amassing a database on all Texans with everything you can imagine in it.
Iraq terrorists home grown, not lead by foreign fighters. Greg Miller:
Undercutting new assertions by President Bush, a top U.S. intelligence official testified Wednesday that Al Qaeda's organization in Iraq is overwhelmingly composed of fighters from that country, and that the terrorist network's ability to operate in Pakistan poses the greater danger to the United States.Our local Ted Poe turns pro-convict. Of course, it is convicted felons who shot a guy in the back and then repeatedly lied about it. But they were border patrol guys so it is all right with Poe.
FREEBIRD Don't let yourself be pulled over by a cop if you have prescription drugs in Florida. You might get 25 years and your prescription not be allowed to be introduced at trial. The appeals court has overturned the drug trafficking conviction of a man with 58 Vicodin with a doctor's prescription and released him from prison.
FREEBIRDS Don't get the FBI after you.
A federal judge held the FBI "responsible for the framing of four innocent men" in a 1965 gangland murder in a landmark ruling yesterday and ordered the government to pay the men $101.7 million for the decades they spent in prison. The award is believed to be the largest of its kind nationally."I'll be high as a kite by then..." NASA astronauts took 'Rocketman' a bit too much to heart.
The findings, which include the fact that "alcohol is freely used in crew quarters" and that shuttle astronauts in at least two instances were launched into space despite warnings that they posed a safety risk by being intoxicated, bring fresh embarrassment to the agency."Pull over that shuttle right now and float in a straight line."
ADDED, more linguistic parsing
There seems to be a new effort by the Bush/Cheney administration to redefine al Qaeda as meaning any armed grouped of Muslims that oppose the United States. I just listened to NPR and a long interesting report from Iraq was ruined by the repeated use of the phrase "al Qaeda" to refer to armed militants opposed to the U.S. instead of bothering to define the groups.
In 93 times in 29 minutes Bush used al Qaeda to justify what he is doing in Iraq. Bush maintained in his speech that the members of “al-Qaeda in Iraq” have pledged fealty (bay’at) to Usama Bin Laden. There is no evidence for this allegation. The group al-Qaeda in Iraq was a more localized group inspired by bin Laden and bin Laden gave permission to use the name - his branding effort.
Greenwald has also noticed this new propaganda terminology coming from both the Pentagon and the White House. Everyone we fight in Iraq has now been branded al-Qaeda. Even the real "Al-Qaeda in Iraq" is mostly foreign fighters, less than 1% of those captured. Juan Cole:
The small band of some 1200 foreign fighters in Iraq are not for the most part career terrorists as far as anyone can tell. They are too young, at an average of 27, for that description. They are a new generation. They were college students and financiers who became angry about Bush's military occupation of a Muslim Arab country. In the absence of that invasion, they would still be at ordinary ho-hum jobs.Glenn Greenwald traces this theme of sustituting the term al Qaeda for those opposed to the US in Iraq quite well. He updates it here and spots where only the best media reporters have noted this shift in words for domestic political purposes. McClatchy papers:
The Bush administration's recent shift toward calling the enemy in Iraq "al Qaida" rather than an insurgency may reflect the difficulty in maintaining support for the war at home more than it does the nature of the enemy in Iraq.I agree with Greenwald, for NPR and every other media to follow this rebranding is dangerous and sickening in the extreme.
More importantly, all of this depends upon an underhanded and deceitful conflation of (a) the Iraqi Sunnis who decided to call themselves "Al Qaeda in Iraq" as they battled against the U.S. occupation of their country, and (b) the "Al Qaeda" led by Osama bin Laden which flew planes into U.S. buildings on 9/11. In every way that matters, those two entities are universes apart. But for obvious reasons, the political consequences of equating them are enormous. To conflate them is, as I said on Saturday, misleading and propagandistic in the extreme. For one article after the next to bolster that conflation is so journalistically irresponsible that it is hard to put into words.Digby has an excellent report on the silly ninnies of the right trying to crucify the serviceman I noted above for reporting on the gallows humor and petty cruelties that occur among men in a war zone. Not only are the right bloggers chickenhawks, they haven't even read All Quiet on the Western Front or other realistic war novels. Cluck, cluck, cluck. A gaggle of cluckers.
Andrew wonders about A new isolationism? A new liberal hegemony? in a post that combines several recent threads here.
Updating the Hagee video above Greenwald asks if anybody in DC can be taken seriously as mainstream, particularly Lieberman. He also notes that the attacks on The New Republic soldier story have died just like all the other right wing blog false stories.
Tags: liberal news,Gary Permalink on 7/27/2007
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Is Houston a good fit for commuter rail?
Only parts of it according to Intermodality » Blog Archive » 8 habits of highly successful commuter rail lines. Gary Permalink on 7/26/2007
Swift Boat 2004 vs. 'Swift Boat' 2008
The mass media has been using the phrase swift-boated recently without explaining that the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth were completely discredited liars. Eric Boehlert of Media Matters:
They manufactured nearly every claim they made about Kerry. They lied about documents; they lied about eyewitnesses. And they lied about their partisan leanings and connections....It was a huge mistake for Kerry and his media people to not completely and utterly demolish the claims, leaving it up to smaller independent media and inside stories in newspapers to publish the truth about the Swift Boat Liars. The mass media and the Kerry campaign did not even notice the slandering attacks broadcast over Christian and rural television stations as 30-minute infomercials. Rural America did and believed these retired men in uniform calling Kerry a traitor who prolonged the war and aided the torture of POWs as they were not shown to be the liars they were.
That directly cost Kerry the election, when half the country is told you are a traitor by retired men in uniform and you ignore the attack.
I could go on and on about the lies from the Swift Boat Liars, led by our local attorney Liar-in-Chief and financed by our local Republican kingmaker, but the comprehensive lists of their lies are out there on the Internet if you know where to look.
Gary Permalink on 7/26/2007
Impeachment Quote For The Day
My faith in the Constitution is whole, it is complete, it is total; and I am not going to sit here and be an idle spectator to the diminution, the subversion, the destruction of the Constitution.Gary Permalink on 7/26/2007
Illegal Immigrants Are Not Criminals
In fact they go to jail at an amazing one fifth the rate of native born.
I had wondered about the very frequent conservative remarks that illegals were driving up the crime rate. Another example of why you shouldn't get your "facts" from talk radio. Illegal immigrants are seldom arrested in this country because they aren't doing the crimes. Dr. Kristin F. Butcher, Dr. Anne Morrison Piehl:
Our evidence suggests that deportation does not drive the results. Rather, the process of migration selects individuals who either have lower criminal propensities or are more responsive to deterrent effects than the average native. Immigrants who were already in the country reduced their relative institutionalization probability over the decades; and the newly arrived immigrants in the 1980s and 1990s seem to be particularly unlikely to be involved in criminal activity, consistent with increasingly positive selection along this dimension.More on this Power Point Presentation (with statistical reports). The low rate of incarceration applies to legal immigrants as well. Perhaps we should promote immigration to reduce the crime rate in the United States?
Gary Permalink on 7/26/2007
How Bush's grandfather helped Hitler's rise to power
How many years ago did you read that here? About the date of this article in the Guardian - almost three years ago.
It had taken decades for a major newspaper to print an article on Prescott Bush's dealings with the Nazis - where it was recommended he be tried for trading with the enemy. And it had to be the most liberal mainstream newspaper in the UK.
At the time I had hope it would leap from the Guardian to The Nation to Newsweek to the NYT or something in a similar matter as to how conservatives get their controversial stories out. Of course, nothing controversial about this story. It is in several biographies and the National Archives. But it didn't come out years ago in our mass media.
It has bubbled up again now as a popular news article on Technorati because so many people are disgusted with Bush and wish to comment that his family made a good part of the start of their fortune as Nazi supporters.
Amazing how old news suddenly becomes new again under different circumstances. Think some enterprising reporter will really look at Bush being AWOL now and how the people who supported Bush's story to the media were the people who covered it up then as well as now?
Gary Permalink on 7/26/2007
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Hate Sites - Michelle Malkin and Bill O'Reilly
I have repeatedly noticed that what drives conservatives into attack mode is stuff they are doing but don't want anyone to know. This can be sexual perversions, as those who serve on Presidential Commissions against pornography tut-tuting, that pornography is evil and abusive while being a secret serial child molester, or holier than thous on the sanctity of marriage being serial adulterers, or minister crusaders against legalizing homosexuality because then everyone will do it because of its strong appeal. It can be those claiming Democratic minorities produce a mass of voting irregularities and should be double checked or even re-institute a poll tax when the biggest scandals have been mass GOP fake voters and voter suppression drives paid for by the RNC.
The latest attacks are coming from well known figures claiming the Democratic blogs are a bunch of hate sites.
Bill O'Reilly's site has now been found to be full of hate speech as he mounts his latest crusade against hate speech and swearing on liberal blogs. He is quickly revoking memberships in his website but too late, not only was it filled with hate speech it had illegal threats against Democratic candidates. Way to go O'Liely.
One of the most dishonest tactics by the right is to take a few extreme comments from people not connected to the site but posting there and possibly even after they are taking down use those comments to characterize the site as hate speech. Michelle Malkin along with Bill has made what little career she has by doing that. So take a look at what Glenn Greenwald finds on her site.
It is a federal crime to threaten the person of the President of the United States. It is a federal crime to engage in a conspiracy to threaten or assassinate the President. It is a federal crime to advocate 'civil war' or other violent domestic acts. I would suggest the Secret Service and the FBI take a look at the Free Republic and Men with Small Green Balls as I think many of their comments cross a pretty clear well-marked line. Here's a fairly common example from Free Republic that doesn't, just their typical hate speech. There are others in that thread.
Luv your comment about Marc Rich’s wife. She’s a looker, even if she was his bagwoman to Clinton. Bet Clinton didn’t put any bag over her head.And conservatives claim that it is the Left sites that are full of hate speech. Why, left bloggers are even praying for O'Reilly. Gary Permalink on 7/25/2007
Cornyn is the Cardboard Conservative
Have fun with your kids at Cornyn's Clubhouse. Gary Permalink on 7/25/2007
Tuesday, July 24, 20070 comments
For my Republican Friends who oppose rail for Houston
I am sure you are pleased as punch and want something bigger and wider than the 30-lane 290 expansion coming. Gary Permalink on 7/24/2007
Bo Bo has most boo boos ever
David Brooks Sets Record for Most Economic Errors in An Oped Column!
Also Nice Polite Republican radio incorrectly compares "economists" to "advocates" on minimum wage increases. Gary Permalink on 7/24/2007
The TYC Scandal was just the beginning
Underfunding the social services in Texas appears to have led to widespread abuse.
Texas Mental Patients Abused, Neglected
The governor's office is telling the press "don't sensationalize it." Of course his spokemen say that, it happened with Perry in charge. How do you not sensationalize people being left naked in a trash bin and sexual misconduct and elderly and handicap abuses?
This is happening under GOP state control and Perry's watch as budgets were slashed and the wrong people placed in charge.
Off the Kuff: The next TYC scandal is a good starting report of the abuses that are beginning to get media coverage.
As I have said before, you don't get good government from people who hate government. Now the Dallas Morning News and the Houston Chronicle may wake up to that inconvenient fact.
Gary Permalink on 7/24/2007
Justice Department Drops Biggest Fraud Case Since Enron
Gonzales and the Bush administration protect corporations. Digby believes this was the Prime Directive of Gonzales and the Bush Justice Department. Impeach Gonzales.
Gary Permalink on 7/24/2007
That was a fun good debate
Words I thought didn't belong together - fun, good, debate. CNN debate site.
The AP's Nedra Pickler gives the Republican slant on the debate. Shouldn't this be listed in newspapers as analysis by the infamously biased Pickler?
Edwards Praised At Debate For Leading On The Issues.
The debate questions on YouTube.
The Raw Story has some of the interaction in printed form.
Josh is just too old-fashioned and didn't like all the music and fun video questions, although he did think overall it was fairly good.
Nice Polite Republican radio thought that video question submitters were "freaks, conspiracy theorists, and self-promoters....
...full disclosure, most of the questions were serious and I had to wade through hundreds of questions to find the wacky ones..."
Who does CNN give time to? Not Gravel and Kucinich. Time clock here.
Who won the debate? - Personally I was impressed with Clinton. Gravel was the only one I would not vote for. A focus group in New Hampshire thought that Obama won. This was reported just after a CNN commentator said he lost.
On Fox News their analysis was that only Biden and Clinton were serious candidates on Iraq. They had that someone in the Clinton camp's opinion was that Obama was inexperienced and lacked substance but Fox's focus group showed Obama winning the debate.
Some live blogging comments from left field.
The Moderate Voice - debate a huge success.
Changing Minds: There was a Survey USA before and after polled panel - Biden had the most improved perception as a candidate - up a whopping 38 points. (This would be among all voters, GOP included, most of whom knew little about the candidates.) Clinton (50), Obama (41), Edwards (38), and Biden (32) have the highest positive perceptions after the debate. Kucinich and Gravel are in negative territory.
Women and Work - "Even though tonight’s debate was enjoyable, fast-moving, snappy…there was definitely a wall between the giant YouTube screen and the candidates.
Only Hillary broke this barrier."
More opinions - Inside Google: debate "worked out pretty decently." Someone at The Drudge Retort thought CNN's question picking sucked. The Gun-Toting Liberal thought it was "entertaining and informative."
As an aside, Use Your Tax Money To Buy Me Guns - A Houston conservative blogger recently wrote that tax dollars should be used to buy me and everyone else a gun. I am wondering if seeing a group of us liberals happily chortling at all the Republicans getting blown away in The Shooter as occurred the other night would make him think twice.
Freepers are shocked and outraged that in a Democratic debate they show mostly liberals who ask progressive questions.
A lot of non-Hillary supporters on Kos were impressed with her performance. I was. I can really see a tough President Hillary Clinton now. She may have been the real winner tonight.
I do not like her as a candidate. She is too much in the pocket of corporations and is not the change in direction we need. I also think that having her at the top of the ticket would not help the Democratic Party in the red states rebuild.
It is too bad, giving all my misgivings, that I was very impressed with her confidence and wit and presence at the debate. I can now easily see a tough strong Hillary as president.
In that sense Hillary won.
Gravel lost. Edwards and Obama held their own, Biden perhaps moved up to 3-4% support.
ADDED - Another Texas blogger thinks all candidates for federal office should undergo this form of questioning.
Edward's best moment.
Jill hated Edwards' performance and is getting closer to being a Hillary fan. Jill is way over the top, what Edward's said when asked to find something bad to say about Hillary was "I'm not sure about that coat." For that Jill wants to string him up. By contrast, Roger Simon - John Edwards best debate yet.
Blue Bloggin in Texas loved the format.
NYT - Novel Debate Format, but Same Old Candidates
WP - Public Voice Adds Edge to Debate
Blame CNN for wasting opportunity.
Debate mixes traditional talk with nontraditional trappings
YouTube steals the Dem debate
The medium and the questions are called the message
Hardball and some oddballs as the people run presidential debate
Voters Challenge Democrats
Sometimes, the questions get as much attention as the answers.
"an interesting sort of town hall"
YouTube presidential debate blazes trail
everything from global warming to the birds and the bees
Captain Kirk Wannabe didn't like: "The only question YouTube missed was "boxers or briefs". (I can answer that - right now I'm wearing both. I'm covered.)
Digby on the debate.
Edwards is back.
The people who are powerful in Washington - big insurance companies, big drug companies, big oil companies - they are not going to negotiate. They are not going to give away their power. The only way that they're going to give away their power is if we take it away from them.Four different panel polls, three different debate winners. The mystery pollster on focus group "winners."
Gary Permalink on 7/24/2007
Monday, July 23, 2007
Texas Roundup 3
Each week, the Texas Progressive Alliance compiles the weekly Texas Blog Round Up, modeled after the 50 State Blog Round Up. It is published on member blogs every Monday. Here is this week’s installment, brought to you by Vince from Capitol Annex.
Muse at Musings brings us some photos from State Rep. Rick Noriega’s announcement that he’ll form an exploratory committee to run against U.S. Senator John Cornyn in 2008.
TxSharon At BlueDaze revals that the government paid $400,000 for a new marketing plan that will fool us into believing that Endless, Forever War in Iraq is a good thing.
WCNew at Eye On Williamson tells us about the Texas Department of Transportation’s efforts to continue justify its existence in TxDOT’s Sunset Review Kick-Off Party & Media Blitz.
Hal at Half Empty explores Governor Perry’s choice of Don McLeroy to head the State Board of Education in Governor Perry Names ‘Academically Unacceptable’ To Head Texas School Board.
Here at Easter Lemming Liberal News I reminded everyone to see Michael Moore’s SiCKO and reminded you to call senators and congressmen about the healthcare crisis, while telling everyone why I won’t be bothering to call Senator John Cornyn. The Houston Chronicle also linked to my comparison between today and four years ago on the presidential campaign front.
McBlogger at McBlogger wants to know why Stonewall Democrats President Shannon Bailey hasn’t resigned yet.
Krazypuppy at Texas Kaos is celebrating his own recovery from minor surgery this week by commiserating in his own inimitable way with the President’s latest colorectal adventure.
Do you want a red border fence or a green one? Will it make Texas look fat? CouldBeTrue at South Texas Chisme blogs about how the Republicans are all about PR and imagery. Chertoff opened his mouth and proved it once again.
PMBryant at B and B explores journalists downplaying the effects of gender bias during an article on women and their career choice.
Gary Permalink on 7/23/2007
Democratic Debate Tonight Online and CNN
This is the one where people submitted video questions. Local Hillary supporters, with a number of Democratic officials, will have a debate watching party in Houston. I am having some people over. The Edwards camp is voting on questions and will have an online event after the debate.
I am more impressed with Bill Clinton's Journey to Africa, thanks Nancy, then Hillary's campaign so far but we will see how she does tonight.
Gary Permalink on 7/23/2007
Sunday, July 22, 2007
Edwards has biggest influence on Dem Agenda - WSJ
Edwards, while trailing in the polls, seems to be moving the party in a progressive populist direction according to the Wall Street Journal.
[O]n issue after issue, Mr. Edwards has been the first to stake out where the party's consensus message seems to end up.Gary Permalink on 7/22/2007
Hook Up with Impeachers
You knew it was coming - ImpeachSpace! brought to you by A28.org.
Gary Permalink on 7/22/2007
Media has it in for Edwards in 2007 like it smeared Gore in 1999
The So-Called Liberal Media is noted by the conservative and Republican reporter Marc Ambinder as starting the smear campaign against John Edwards like they smeared Al Gore. Is this corporate direction or that "a healthy chunk of the national political press corps doesn't like John Edwards"?
If the media is going to spend three months -- and counting -- relentlessly covering a damn haircut, is it too much to ask that they have a better explanation for it than that "you just don't" get such a haircut? These are professional journalists, who hold enormous power over our political process, and they can't come up with a better reason than a parent gives for not letting a teenager stay out 15 minutes later? "You just can't."Progressives seem to have to write more letters and emails to the media about their poor reporting now as writing to politicians about policies. Keep up with conservative media bias at Media Matters.
Gary Permalink on 7/22/2007
Saturday, July 21, 2007
You might want to stay through all the credits as there are several interesting written word messages.
One is a suggestion to marry a Canadian to get good medical coverage. Go to Hook-A-Canuck.com. Go here for latest news on SiCKO.
Interesting in the movie watching the British doctor and the French engineer getting by on $100,000 a year and living much better than our $100,000 income families despite being a government doctor or both paying all those taxes to provide universal coverage. They have all that vacation time, their art on the walls, very fine homes, very fine cars, many foreign vacations and no insurance worries. Why come our upper-middle-class can't live like that? Could it be financial insecurity and our paying for a military war machine instead of "socialized" family value programs?
Call your congressman and senators and say you want universal health care now. If they say it is scary socialized medicine say Americans deserve socialized medicine just like we deserve socialized education and police.
Pat asked me what to do to take action. I said one easy thing is to vote for any Democrat running for President except Hillary. All want to gradually go to universal health coverage. Hillary's system is using HMO's and the insurance companies. All Republican candidates oppose socialized medicine, although Romney did help provide near universal coverage in Massachusetts - by requiring everyone no matter how poor to buy insurance.
I won't call Sen. Cornyn. Not only would the old upper-crust reactionary not support universal health care but I have other disagreements with him. I told his staff that I thank Gawd that the people at the Alamo did not say "None of your civil liberties matter much after you’re dead" as the cowardly Senator did. Like the French guardsmen I fart in his general direction! His mother was a hamster and his father smelt of elderberries!
Gary Permalink on 7/21/2007
Friday, July 20, 2007
A once brilliant writer now a dangerous, idiotic, misguided relic
Orson Scott Card: we need to stay in Iraq and physically invade Iran now. Gary Permalink on 7/20/2007
Wingers yawn - Thompson lied
Records of him lobbying for abortion group show up. Gary Permalink on 7/20/2007
Four Years Ago and Now
Four years ago I was getting very involved in the Dean campaign with Janette.
Janette was just talking about today that the Edward's campaign is nowhere near as organized as Dean's was then. I said I remembered all the excitement that I know no campaign has now, with the possible exception of Obama's. Just over four years ago we showed up at a meeting and there were about 60 people there and then and there I decided to pass out literature at a 4th of July celebration in Pasadena and Janette showed up to help. I had a long post about the campaign and working the festival.
Reviewing my telling the reasons why Democrats should consider Dean as the best candidate, the reasons apply to Obama today, money and the most local volunteers. Something to think about. (ADDED - Annie's list sent me this post about the Washington Post noting the similarities between Dean's and Obama's campaign.)
To bring excitement to the Democratic presidential race it might take Al Gore.
Edwards is out there and saying the right things but Frank-Ruta at The American Prospect has an article with anecdotes that people don't believe him and think he is a typical politician.
Matt Stoller at MyDD disagrees in an earlier article that makes the case for Edward's inspiring a reborn Progressive Democratic Party. But Oliver Willis thinks Edward's anti-poverty message is clunky and a loser. Esquire magazine, which places Edwards on the cover, also places this question: "Can a white man still be elected president? If so, John Edwards will have to battle image, cancer & the forces of history."
Finally, Greenberg observes whoever is the nominee will need to make a bold JFK-like move for us to begin to recover from Bush's legacy. Edwards uses his JFK-like image, can he inspire the country like him?
If Democrats are not as inspired as four years ago Republican are downright depressed and county GOP heads notice.
This essay followed from reviewing some of my history of blogging here.
Gary Permalink on 7/20/2007
The College Republican Party - School For Scoundrels
Digby goes down memory lane to revisit how the gang of five created the modern corrupt Republican Party and their link to both the college Republicans and Nixon. Goldwater did not create the power players in Washington today, Nixon did. Digby:
Video - Generation Chickenhawk.Much of this information can be found in Nina Easton's fine book "The Gang of Five" which you should read if you are interested in learning about the relationship between the players in this DeLay/Abramoff scandal. She thought in 2000 that these guys had already overreached, but clearly she was ahead of herself. And it should be noted that even if all three go down, the momentum of the conservative movement will only slow, not reverse itself. Barring a very serious crisis, it's going to take a long time and a gargantuan effort to turn that ship around, if we can do it at all.And I didn't even talk about Nixon's own proteges Cheney and Rove.
Gary Permalink on 7/20/2007
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Bush Image Control: Prove that is a Beer!
Spocko's Brain takes a look at Bush indulging at a ball park. Gary Permalink on 7/19/2007
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
New Military Report Puts Rationale For War on Shakier Ground
In other news, is the Pope Catholic? Gary Permalink on 7/18/2007
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Edwards and MLK
A critical or laudatory photo looked at on the media photo analysis site BagnewsNotes. The NYT writing has been smear jobs in line with the rest of the corporate media but are the photos congruent? Gary Permalink on 7/17/2007
Grab a camera and submit a question
CNN/YouTube Video asking you to grab a camera and interview anyone who wants to ask a presidential candidate a question. Is there a homeless or elderly person in your neighborhood without internet? Go for it. Gary Permalink on 7/17/2007
John Edwards Vows To End All Bad Things By 2011
Reason: "What About Us Brain-Dead Slobs?" "You'll Be Given Cushy Jobs!"
Gary Permalink on 7/17/2007
Why We Fight
Lileks confesses he loves those "Manholes of Promise."
I believe he meant "manhole covers" but he is practically having an orgasm over frozen pizza so it was likely a Freudian slip. Sadly No and the coments there have more.
I don't want to explore the conservative mind. Gary Permalink on 7/17/2007
The Redistricting Game
Jonathan Panzer, a True Courage Action Network intern, points us to the Redistricting Game. An online educational site in game form that shows how redistricting works with the new mapping systems. The people working on the maps have more influence than the voters or the politicians on who will get elected. Gary Permalink on 7/17/2007
Monday, July 16, 2007
Joe Galloway: Bush's unwinnable war grinds on
Military analyst and former Bush supporter despairs over what $2 trillion dollars could have given America.
Perhaps when former President Bush retires to his $500 million presidential library in Dallas he will have time to think what his legacy might have been had he chosen to fight those urgent wars instead of the one foolish and unnecessary and unwinnable one he did fight for six long years.Gary Permalink on 7/16/2007
Air Force quietly building Iraq presence
Turning Iraq into a bombing war is the new U.S. military strategy. Gary Permalink on 7/16/2007
Helena Cobban: Out of Iraq and into Iran?
'Just World News' and Steve Kinsler have also spotted the pre-attack propaganda campaign against Iran. Kinzer notes, in opposition to Forbes, "Attacking Iran would accomplish at least one thing Bush must be seeking. It will assure that future historians will not remember the invasion of Iraq as his biggest blunder."
Gary Permalink on 7/16/2007
Romney spent $300 on makeup 'consulting'
This is a counter to the GOP attacks on Edwards for expensive haircuts, Romney just spent $300 on makeup consultants. Gary Permalink on 7/16/2007
Paul Krugman: The Waiting Game
Krugman doesn't blast Bush enough for his idiotic response to children's lack of health insurance - "After all, you just go to an emergency room." Bush displayed ignorance, callousness and fiscal irresponsibility. Bush is recommending ERs which are the most-expensive least-effective ways to get health care while also vetoing providing more children with insurance.
Gary Permalink on 7/16/2007
Scaife-Owned Newspaper Calls for Iraq Troop Withdrawal -- Questions Bush's 'Mental Stability'
Will Scaife now use his millions to fund investigations into Bush's life and promote the impeachment of Bush like he did for Clinton? Gary Permalink on 7/16/2007
Vitter re-emerges and apologizes again
Takes no questions, only says some of the stories are a lie. Gary Permalink on 7/16/2007
Bush Says Trust the Generals Until He Fires Them
Froomkin looks at Bush's history with generals to start his roundup.
Added - Military analyst Arkin also notices Bush doesn't listen to his generals. Gary Permalink on 7/16/2007
Campaigns Raise, Burn More Cash, More Quickly
A review of the money race. Gary Permalink on 7/16/2007
600 Missiles Aimed At Israel
Reports are out that Iran has warned Israel and the United States that if attacked it has 600 missiles aimed at Israel. There can be no doubt that if the United States or Israel attacks Iran it will strike back. The 600 missiles is not a particularly significant threat considering the amount of damage Israel alone could do to Iran but should be noted.
Gary Permalink on 7/16/2007
Reid To Force GOP Into All-Night Filabuster
Tired of GOP obstructions, Majority Leader Reid will force the opponents of a troop reduction and protection bill to filabuster all night to stop a vote.
And I'm sure more than one Democratic Senator will remind the public that Republicans screamed at the top of their lungs last year when it came to getting up-or-down votes on Bush's right-wing judicial nominees, but expressing the sentiments of most Americans and protecting America's troops gets no such treatment from them.Gary Permalink on 7/16/2007
Sen. Vitter is a joke, make that lots of jokes
"The darling of the religious right, conservative Senator David Vitter of Louisiana, not only admitted to having sex with prostitutes, he would pay them $300 to make him wear diapers. And today that crazy astronaut called him 'my dream guy, he's got my vote!" --Jay Leno
"Vitter put out a statement saying he only started cheating on his wife after he started hanging out with the wrong crowd, you know, Giuliani, Newt Gingrich, the mayor of LA." --Jay Leno
"David Vitter has admitted he dates hookers in Washington, D.C., and also in Louisiana. He said in his defense he always selected the girl who made the lowest bid, so he's fiscally prudent." --David Letterman
"There's another one of those prostitution scandals down there in Washington, DC. Louisiana Senator David Vitter admitted that he's been visiting Washington area prostitutes. And I thought about this, 'Whoa, wait a minute, a politician, paying for a hooker? I didn't see that comin.'" --David Letterman
"But good for Vitter, he said that it did not cost the taxpayers a cent. He pays for the hookers with his bribe money." --David Letterman
"Well now more problems with this Vitter guy. You gotta go on his website, he's like Mr. Religious, Mr. Family Values. Well now a second madam has come forward and told the Associated Press that he was also a customer at her brothel. This guy was cheating on his hooker with another hooker." --Jay Leno
"And this madam says that Vitter was not only having sex with the prostitutes -- this is unbelievable -- he would also pay them to dress him up in a diaper. See, that's what you call a pampered politician. And she also said today in an interview that he sometimes paid $300 an hour just to have the hookers talk to him because his wife didn't listen to him. Well, I bet she's all ears now." --Jay Leno
"Republican Senator and family values conservative -- that's what he calls himself -- Senator David Vitter of Louisiana admitted he was a client of the so called DC Madam in Washington. See, this is so wrong. At least use a hooker from your own state. I mean they're gonna pump money into the economy, make it your own." --Jay Leno
"Family values conservative Republican Senator from Louisiana David Vitter admitted he has had sex with prostitutes. Apparently years ago this Senator Vitter guy had been seeing one of the DC Madam's escorts. You think the Senator's embarrassed? How about the hooker? Now the whole world knows she had sex with a politician, eww." --Jay Leno
"But he says he's not going to talk about it out of respect for his wife, that's what he said today. It's all these guys getting caught with hookers, they have this newfound respect for their wife. Ya know something, when his pants were down around his ankles leaving the motel, I don't see him going 'you know, I love my wife.' Well you know what makes it especially hypocritical: apparently Vitter has been a strong opponent of same-sex marriage, but today he explained that too. Apparently he's against having sex with the person you're married to." --Jay Leno
"They have prostitutes in Washington D.C., and it now turns out that senators and congressmen and important, powerful people are dating the prostitutes. ... And there's a senator from Louisiana, David Vitter, admitted he's been dating prostitutes. And he was very generous with one girl, he paid her with a new highway project in her home state. ... One thing I'll say for this guy from Louisiana, this David Vitter, at least he went to a professional and left the congressional pages alone." --David Letterman
"Right now, Washington, DC, is in the grips and throws of a big prostitution ring sex scandal. High-powered politicians going to visit prostitutes. The call girl agency had a slogan. The slogan was 'We take care of you below the beltway'" --David Letterman
"The Washington, D.C., madam has threatened to release more names of Washington politicians who were her customers. ... She says another member of the White House will be named very soon. This proves once again that members of the Bush administration don't know when it's time to pull out." --Jay Leno
"Politicians having sex with prostitutes? What's the matter? All of a sudden, congressional pages aren't good enough anymore?" --David Letterman
"There's a big scandal going on down in Washington, DC, with a prostitution ring. ... Politicians were actually paying for sex. One girl got paid with a military base in her home state." --David Letterman
"This ring of prostitutes apparently had a very elite group of clients. In fact, one girl was sent over to the Lincoln Memorial to give Abe a lap dance." --David Letterman
"It looks like a lot of politicians' careers will be ruined when this Washington madam releases the names on her client list. President Bush's Deputy Secretary of State Randall Tobias has already resigned because he was a customer. He claims he just got a massage, but no sex. I think that was called 'The Married Guy Special.'" --Jay Leno
"The DC madam says that when she's releasing these names, she's not doing it for political reasons. She says she does not have a political bone in her body. At least not today." --Jay Leno
"You all know who Nancy Pelosi is, right? She's the second most powerful woman in the country, right behind the D.C. madam." --Jay Leno
"Did you hear about the Washington, D.C., madam? She was running a call girl operation, and they think a lot of congressmen and senators and high ranking politicians were visiting the prostitutes. It's just crazy. One girl actually got paid with a new highway project." -- David Letterman
"The D.C. madam is going to list the names of famous Republicans who used her female escort service. That shows you the fundamental philosophical differences between the two parties. Bush Republicans believe in having the private sector provide sex for profit. Whereas, Clinton Democrats believe it should be a big give-away program." --Jay Leno
"Here's good news: the FBI has arrested the madam who was in charge of the ring of prostitutes. No word though on Osama." --David Letterman
"When the White House heard about this scandal, they were relieved. Finally, a Republican caught in a sex scandal with a woman." --Jay Leno Gary Permalink on 7/16/2007
Texas Blogger Round-Up 2
Last week, member blogs in the Texas Progressive Alliance premiered a new feature, the Texas Blog Round Up, modeled after the 50 State Blog Round Up. We plan to bring this to our readers every Monday. So, without further ado, here is this week's installment, brought to you by Vince from Capitol Annex. I used an assist from fellow Houston blogger Perry Dorrell, aka PDiddie, at Brains and Eggs.
Lady Bird Was Ours
Among many Texas blogs authoring poignant posts about the passing of Lady Bird Johnson was Muse from Fort Bend-based Musings. In Lady Bird Was Ours, Muse offers personal reflections about the former First Lady and reminds us that, though Lady Bird now belongs to the ages, she still belongs to us.
Deja Vu All Over Again
Can you see any progress in Iraq? Chances are you can't, but Texas Senator John Cornyn can (evidently through rose-colored glasses). In Cornyn Sees Progress In Iraq, Texas Toad of Denton County-based North Texas Liberal explores how Rubberstamping Republican Cornyn's recent votes fail to support our troops.
Who Is For Whom?
Though we're months away from the Democratic primary, the race to determine which Democrat will take on Cornyn is already heating up on the blogs. In Watts v. Noriega In The Blogosphere, Hal at Fort Bend-based Half Empty explores the various blogs to determine which ones are supporting Rep. Rick Noriega's exploration and which are in support of attorney Mikal Watts. And he asks the important question: "where are all the pro-Watts bloggers?"
Need Birth Control? Better Have Cash.
Could Be True at SouthTexas Chisme explores difficulties Houston-area female college students (and others around the state) may be having when it comes to obtaining birth control from their college health services department, thanks to changes in Medicaid reimbursement policies in Stupid, Stupid, Stupid. College Health Centers To Charge More For Birth Control.
Craddick Stands By His Man
Austin-based McBlogger tells us that House Speaker Tom Craddick is standing by his man and keeping former state representative Terry Keel (R-Austin) on as House Parliamentarian... all the while trying to find a challenger for Travis County Constable Richard McCain, who defeated Keel's brother for that post in 2004. Check it out in Speaking of People We Don't Like.
Even Right Wingers Know When To Pull Out
Bay Area Houston explores the fact that, according to a recent poll, even the listeners of one of the most right-wing radio stations in Houston are in favor of pulling out from war-torn Iraq in Right-Wing Radio Listeners Want Out of Iraq.
What Can You Buy With $900 Million?
Though Harris County is proposing a $900 million bond package for various courthouse and jail projects, Charles Kuffner at Houston-based Off The Kuff has serious concerns about whether the bond package will do anything to alleviate a serious guard shortage at the county jail. Though it is now being discussed in the media, Charles says he's still not satisfied the issue is being addressed in County Bonds and Staffing Issues.
A Closer Look At Terry Keel
Matt Glazer of Burnt Orange Report takes a closer look at some ethical issues facing new House parliamentarian Terry Keel, such as potential conflicts of interest concerning Keel's future rulings as well as maintaining a private law practice while working for the state. Matt also closely examines the timing of Keel's Capitol ID card in Keel's Conflict Of Interest.
Rick Perry v. Community Colleges
Few of Rick Perry's recent vetoes have garnered more attention than the one of community college employee health insurance appropriations. Marc G. at Marc's Miscellany explores the issue further, and takes issue with Perry's accusation that community colleges have essentially falsified their appropriations requests in More On Perry's Battle With Community Colleges.
Perry's Defiant Response To Congress
WCNews at Eye On Williamson takes a closer look at a letter Texas Governor Rick Perry recently sent to Congressional leaders who criticized public-private partnerships to build transportation projects such as the Trans-Texas Corridor in Governor Perry Uses Fuzzy Math In Letter To Congress.
For your weekly dose of some of the best political cartoons from around the state and nation, be sure to check out Perry Dorrell's Sunday Funnies (Late Edition) at Brains And Eggs.
TYC Still Plagued With Difficulties
Vince Leibowitz at Capitol Annex takes a look at the fact that the Texas Youth Commission remains plagued with difficulties concerning a recent incident in which violent juveniles were set for release with little or no review in Texas Youth Commission Can't Seem To Get Its Act Together.
'I Couldn't Make It' Is No Excuse
Matt Glazer at Stop Cornyn reveals the excuse the junior senator from Texas offered for missing the funeral of Lady Bird Johnson in Cornyn Refuses To Honor Lady Bird.
A Few Words For the Ladies
Texas KaosWomen's health services are under perennial assault here in Texas -- but it's not just Dan Patrick, Warren Chisum, and the odd mad bomber who want to control women's health choices. Texas Kaos' Moiv is keeping an eye on them, and in Operation Rescue's Back--Not a Secret Anymore she covers just how widespread is this open conspiracy against women -- involving politicians, fringe religious figures, and Ricky Skagg's "shofar."
If there are broken links or any problems viewing this drop me a note in the comments.
Gary Permalink on 7/16/2007
Another Climate Change Skeptic Argument Shot Down
New analysis counters claims that solar activity is linked to global warming.
Leonardo DiCaprio thinks it is our 11th Hour for humans living on the Earth. Gary Permalink on 7/16/2007
Bill Moyers Puts Impeachment Back on the Table
Actually, it was one failing of Moyers' program that neither he nor his two guests mentioned that there actually are some such honorable members of the current congress. They did not mention that Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), has filed a bill of impeachment against Vice President Cheney, and that his bill currently has 14 co-sponsors, with more people signing on every week. They also failed to mention that Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) only days before the program, declared in no uncertain terms that Bush and Cheney should be impeached, saying that the country was "closer to dictatorship than it has ever been" because of the president's assertion of "unitary executive" powers to ignore laws passed by the Congress."ADDED - In addition to the link in the comments provided by Robert Nagle you might want to check out what David Sirota says ("pressure Congress") as well as Steve Soto. Only the more conservative Big Tent Democrat says there are better things to do. Here is the transcript if you can't watch the video.
Gary Permalink on 7/16/2007
Popular Populism Unifying Democrats
Democratic politicians are embracing a new populism in economic policies and moving away from Clinton's centrism and pro-corporate agenda. Even Hillary Clinton has denounced Bush trade deals and policies and most of the field of Democrats is to her left.
Even as Mrs. Clinton has sought to associate herself with the economic growth of her husband’s administration, she, like other Democratic presidential candidates, has been expressing a sharp skepticism toward trade and globalization under President Bush. In recent weeks she has announced her opposition to the proposed South Korean Free Trade Agreement and denounced globalization that “is working only for a few of us.” She accepted the endorsement of former Representative Richard A. Gephardt, who spent much of his political career fighting what he asserted were unfair trade agreements.Matthew Yglesias takes a few moments to write CATO that the center of American politics is not libertarianism as Brink Lindsey had tried to claim.
Gary Permalink on 7/16/2007