Saturday, December 29, 2007
The Bush Administration's Top 10 Stupidest Legal Arguments of 2007.
Tags: legal, law, Bush, Constitution Gary Permalink on 12/29/2007
Obama: naive, neophyte, needs seasoning
I am impressed and inspired by Barack Obama. Being impressed and inspired does not mean I support him as the best choice for Democrats.
On health care reform, on foreign policy, on being tough enough to negotiate with corporate America and the GOP, the past two months have shown his weakness and inexperience.
This is a good practice run to prepare him for next time, if he shows some leadership in the next few years.
SusanUnPC shares my concerns and calls him out over his lobbyist "misstatements." Taylor Marsh has" also called him out on his false health care robocalls. More comprehensive Taylor Marsh on Obama.
lambert on Corrente:
Obama wants to “reach out,” but that strategy has already been tried. Obama says he wants to “reach out” to Republicans. But Reid and Pelosi “reached out” to Republicans, and that strategy was a miserable failure.More from Kevin Drum on Inequality.
Joe Conason, Salon.org: Obama's European Problem.
Tags: Obama, Iowa, politics, 2008, 2012 Gary Permalink on 12/29/2007
Republicans Raise Child Tax Again
3.4 Trillion dollars since 2001.
What? You haven't heard of the child tax?
That is when the Republicans spend our money without taxes to pay for the spending.
Just like Bush and the Republicans did with the Iraq War. Just like they just did with the Alternative Minimum Tax one year fix. They refused to let Democrats pay for the fix with a tax. Just like they have done with every Bush budget since he has been elected.
Bush came into office with an annual budget surplus. He spent it all the first year.
They refuse to tax to pay for any thing and say,. "Put it on the bill, we'll be dead before our children and grandchildren have to pay for it.
"And then when the Democrats raise taxes to pay the bill we can run against them for raising taxes."
Borrow and spend Republicans hate kids, don't believe in the future.
Their supporters must be really stupid to fall for that every time.
Tags: GOP, Republicans, child tax, balanced budgets Gary Permalink on 12/29/2007
Steven Gilliard Jr. - The Invisible Blogger
New York Times Ahem, a bit of a correction from Steve's group blog:
Gently, I think it important to correct a few mistakes in Matt Bai's article.Tags: Steven Gilliard Gary Permalink on 12/29/2007
Friday, December 28, 2007
Informed Comment: Top Ten Myths about Iraq 2007
What myths are the conservatives and the media falling for? Here is a sample.
8. Myth: The US troop surge stopped the civil war that had been raging between Sunni Arabs and Shiites in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad.Basra has had the largest reduction in violence and the British pulled out its troops.
Gary Permalink on 12/28/2007
Thursday, December 27, 2007
Houston DA's Love Notes Sealed With A Kiss
Our silver-haired death-dealing DA has had his love notes to his executive assistant sealed-up again after they were briefly exposed in a court case. District Attorney Chuck Rosenthal admits to a former affair with his secretary but claimed it was over. Those were pretty revealing SWAK emails to his $75,000 a year assistant, who may be violating county policy by getting a county car to drive.
Will voters have noticed this brief Christmas exposure? Already some Republicans are suggesting Rosenthal do the honorable thing and resign. As some other Houston bloggers have noticed this is a bit ickey and smacks of special treatment.
Gary Permalink on 12/27/2007
Houston's Bob Perry Places His Bet
Bob Perry of Perry Homes is financing anti-Huckabee ads in Iowa.
It is interesting watching the money wing of the GOP tear down it's majority base's candidate from the religious wing. It took them forever to chose but chosen they have. The AP has the story:
The Club for Growth is spending $175,000 to continue running ads in Iowa that highlight tax increases adopted in Arkansas when Huckabee was governor. During the past three weeks, the group has spent $550,000 to criticize Huckabee's economic policies.Just from conversations Huckabee looks like he is becoming the Texas favorite. Perry and the other millionaires must figure they have to kneecap him now before he gets too unstoppable.
Gary Permalink on 12/27/2007
Flying spaghetti monster defeats anti-evolution FL school board
A nice little Christmas story from a Daily Kos dairy.Gary Permalink on 12/27/2007
AP - Pakistan opposition leader Benazir Bhutto was assassinated Thursday in a suicide bombing that also killed at least 20 others at a campaign rally, a party aide and a military official said.There has been a sucession of news stories this year from Pakistan that has reminded me of nothing so much as the fall of Iran to the mullahs.
We have spent $10 billion dollars, often delivered in cash, to secure a military dictator who is unpopular with his people and not loyal to either democracy or America. Why? The same stupid games we played in Iran and that have worked about as well.
The difference is that when Pakistan falls to anti-American religious extremists in large part because of our actions Pakistan already has their nuclear bombs.
A sad day of Pakistan. It should be a day of reflection over our foreign policy. What type of foreign policy do you want?
Gary Permalink on 12/27/2007
Why progressives should forget the middle ground. - Paul Krugman
Krugman is urging progressives to forget bipartisanship and pursue a real progressive agenda with majority support. Gary Permalink on 12/27/2007
Time's New Cover Up?
Rory O'Conner catches Time magazine covering-up in its transcript of their interview with it's Man of the Year the fact they didn't know his birthday. You can find that basic information in about 3 seconds on Google. They were so embarrassed they edited their faux pas out of the supposedly "full and complete transcript" they posted.
Some other Timely points.
1. Time has always been a propaganda organ, they just seem more incompetent lately.
2. Putin was a worthy "news maker of the year" narrowly beating out Al Gore and General Petraeus. But when will Time ever change the title from "man of the year" which, despite their disavowals each year, still has the connotation of approval?
Gary Permalink on 12/27/2007
Glenn Greenwald - This has been a terrible year
The year in memorable quotes.
ADDED - Think Progress adds their top 10 most popular stories of the year. Ann Coulter makes number one with an Edward's smear. Similar words have gotten people permanently banned from TV networks but there is another standard for Ann. Gary Permalink on 12/27/2007
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
R.O. Blechman: Season's Greetings, Animated
Also on Huffington Post a conservative TV host with a mere 11,000 square feet "Georgetown Greek revival-Federal four-story town house, which had a dozen fireplaces, a basement swimming pool and a separate eat-in kitchen for the live-in help" throws stones at Elizabeth Edwards mansion in the country. Maybe he got jealous. Tucker is now looking for a bigger house.
Tucker hosts a prime-time show on the "liberal alternative" to Fox News.
Gary Permalink on 12/25/2007
On the Edwards Christmas Campaign Trail
Molly Ivors catches a reporter confessing that Edward's campaign is boring because he never makes mistakes. "Come on John – relax. Step in an Iowa cow pie and let me do my job." Iowa bloggers don't think much of this type of reporter.
Gary Permalink on 12/25/2007
Monday, December 24, 2007
District 22 Race
John Manlove finally officially announces he is running for Congressional District 22 on December 18. Funny, he resigned months ago because he was running for that seat. Maybe he didn't want to alarm the other many candidates with the size of his war chest.
Shelly Sekula Gibbs, no slouch at fundraising herself, started her radio campaign. It is pure Shelly. "Modern science is proving everyday that we Christians were right about everything."
The big issue on the Republican side, "my roots are longer and deeper than yours". No they're not talking about their hair. Pretty soon it will break out into the Sugar people vs. the Stinkerdenas. All eight candidates, the other one who lived with his parents and had a purple people eater Corvette just dropped out, have moved so far to the right and the "God told me to run" side of the field they are searching for something to distinguish themselves. Maybe someone should announce their support for Ron Paul. He has been pretty popular down there and is raising a ton of money.
Nick Lampson is campaigning on being against crime, for children, supporting veterans and lowering taxes. His
Gary Permalink on 12/24/2007
Sunday, December 23, 2007
History - Red Scare Part 1
Read this about Truman and the Red Scare to whet your appetite for what is coming on this blog in the new year. Gary Permalink on 12/23/2007
Executive Power Takeover
If I have any political philosophy it is balance of powers. The founding fathers recognized how power corrupts and that the only cure for that was to create a check and balance system of government.
Bush and Cheney have been tearing that principle, and the Constitution, to shreds. Part of this is a revival of the Nixon doctrine that the president is above the law. That is the anti-thesis of what the Constitution, and America, means.
The Boston Globe asked how all the presidential candidates view executive powers. Those that did not answer the questions may keep or expand upon the Bush and Cheney power grab. Even some of the Republicans that did respond, like Romney, generally supported the Bush/Cheney new executive powers.
Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani - did not answer, greatly expanded New York mayor's powers.
The Giuliani campaign instead provided a general statement by its top legal adviser, former Bush administration solicitor general Ted Olson. He said that a president "must be free to defend the nation," but provided no specific details about what limits, if any, Giuliani believes he would have to obey as president - in national security or otherwise.Mitt Romney -
Of the nine candidates who answered, Romney expressed the most positive view of Bush's approach to presidential power.Fred Thompson and Mike Huckabee, did not answer and based on their campaigns so far might be considered supportive of strong executive power. Huckabee probably less so.
Edwards, Clinton and Obama gave limited support for some controversial elements of executive power.
Ron Paul is a strict constitutionalist and opposes what he sees as an over reach. McCain opposes some or most of the Bush/Cheney doctrine.
McCain and Paul suggested that it would be unconstitutional for Congress to "micromanage" wars by capping the number of troops that the president may deploy to a particular nation, but most Democrats said Congress has the authority to do so.I find Romney and Giuliani totally unacceptable, Thompson leaning that way, Huckabee unknown, McCain and the leading Democrats acceptable, and Ron Paul and the minor Democratic candidates ideal.
Charlie Savage, the reporter for this article, is the one who brought Bush's use of executive signing statements to the attention of the rest of the main stream media. He has become an expert on the reinterpretations of executive power going on and has a new book. The Return of the Imperial Presidency and the Subversion of American Democracy.
Daily Kos has a book review.
These twin pressures of overreaching executive claims and the seeding of the federal government agencies with ideologues and right-wing loyalists are going to present a challenge to the next president. The purifying of the professional civil service establishment is going to be difficult to achieve without cries of "political retribution" ringing far and wide; even more improbable to imagine is a president willing to shuck the strengthened powers Bush has seized for the office.
Tags: balance of powers, candidates, executive powers, democracy, constitution, republic, check and balance Gary Permalink on 12/23/2007
Christmas Mo Mo Mo
Edwards, Obama, and Huckabee have the big mo going into the final stretch at Christmas.
Ron Paul says that Mike Huckabee's ad reminds him of Sinclair Lewis's quote about how when fascism arrives, it will come wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross. I don't think now was the best time to bring that up. I should say until that comment, true but untimely, he also had the big mo going.
Gary Permalink on 12/23/2007
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Huckabee, Oh Huckabee
Arianna writes about the unsightly mess the Republican elite is exposing when their base finally finds the candidate they are looking for.
Will Huckabee win the nomination? No one knows. But win or lose, I can't see this genie going back in the bottle. One danger for the Huckabee haters is that right wing social positions aren't the only thing they've been nurturing for 30 years -- there's also this sense of aggrieved, martyred hatred of "the elites." Of course, it's usually completely manufactured. But this time, there really is a group looking down its nose at the evangelicals -- and it's not godless liberals. It's the supporters of Romney, McCain, Thompson and Giuliani. So what's going to happen when evangelicals realize this and tap into the hatred of "the elites" the GOP establishment has been whipping up in them for three decades?Huckabee realizes this is happening and knows the history of the GOP establishment that depends on the Evangelicals for votes and then laughs about them behind closed doors.
Huckabee himself on CBN with video:
There is a level of elitism that has existed, the chattering class if you will who lives in that corridor between Washington and Wall Street and they sort of live in their protected world, and frankly for a number of years many of them thought of people like me - whether it was because we were evangelicals or because maybe we were out from the middle of America. They were polite to us. They were more than happy for us to come to the rallies and stand in lines for hours to cheer on the candidates, appreciated us putting up the yard signs, going out and putting out the cards on peoples doors and making phone calls to the phone banks and - really appreciated all of our votes. But when they got elected, behind closed doors, they would laugh at us and speak with scorn and derision that we were, as one article I think once said "the easily led." So there's been almost this sort of, it's okay if you guys get a seat on the bus, but don't ever think about telling us where the bus is going to go.Kevin Drum has more:
Say what you will about Huckabee, but he's got their number on this. Liberals, at least, just honestly disagree with evangelical social fervor. Republican elites, by contrast, are willing to pander endlessly for evangelical votes, evangelical money, and evangelical organizing zeal, but once the elections are won they think of them, in Peggy Noonan's recent words, as "the idiot vote."More from David Corn.
Did Huckabee have gastric bypass surgery? He claims in his book it was all willpower. That isn't likely. Caution, from a new anti-Huckabee blog but the research and photos are compelling.
Gary Permalink on 12/22/2007
AlterNet: Tom Hanks in Great Movie with One Big Lie
So, if Massoud was not receiving the $3.5 billion that Congress was sending, who was? There were seven factions based in Pakistan who were the recipients of American largesse, but about 40 percent of it went to a blood-thirsty, fundamentalist, loudly anti-American bastard named Gulbaddin Hekmatyar.Gary Permalink on 12/22/2007
Our screwed-up sexual culture
Courtney E. Martin is the author of Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters: The Frightening New Normalcy of Hating Your Body. You can read more about her work at www.courtneyemartin.com.
From Virgin or Slut, Pick One:
On the one hand we have a hypersexualized and pornified pop culture -- thongs marketed to tweens, Victoria's Secret ads with models who don't look a day over 13, and reality shows like A Shot at Love on MTV, where both men and women will do anything -- including jump in vats of chocolate and discuss their sexual histories on national television -- all for instantaneous love with a petite model. The message to young women is loud and clear: Your body is your power. Flaunt it. Use it. Get attention. The message to young men is also unmistakable: Your gaze is your power. Your role is to judge and comment on women's bodies. As a man, you are inevitably obsessed -- sometimes stupidly so -- with the female form.Gary Permalink on 12/22/2007
Retail worker woes
IRS orders FedEx to pay $319 million in illegal independent contractor scam. There are many businesses that were wrongly advised to save money by classifying their employees as independent contractors. This was just another way of cutting pay and benefits. Especially if you do it to employees who are truly not independent contractors this can come back to bite the business in the ass.
Another way to screw employees to benefit the bottom line was followed by Circuit City. They fired over 10% of their retail sales clerks because they figured they were paying them too much. They were making about $14-$15 an hour. They hired new people at $9 an hour. Guess what happened?
Circuit City is now losing money and the stock price is down 75%. The only reason to go to Circuit City was for the knowledgeable salespeople it fired. How is management being rewarded for this mess? Because their stock options are worthless executives are getting "retention bonuses" to keep the team that was responsible for this together. For executive VP's these bonuses are $1 million dollars. Ho, Ho, Ho, for those top 0.2%. This is clearly a company to avoid - investing in, working for, or shopping in.
At times I am glad I no longer work in retail. I loved it but employees are repeated screwed by the financial dealings loosely referred to as Wall Street.
Gary Permalink on 12/22/2007
The CIA's 4th Grade Level Lies
Keven Drum catches the CIA playing Simon Says. Gary Permalink on 12/22/2007
Latest from the Dave Barry for President Campaign
Ignored by the mainstream media, Dave Barry munches on.
Q. Dave, It's a travesty!Gary Permalink on 12/22/2007
Friday, December 21, 2007
How to get money for graduation
Start a blog at 13, become highly influential for tips on secretive Apple, get sued by the multi-billion dollar behemoth, and settle out of court for an untold sum to shut down the blog. Gary Permalink on 12/21/2007
How successful was this Congress?
On the one hand, Bush and the Republicans stopped all forward movement on withdrawal from Iraq and the other major bills the Democrats wanted.
On the other hand, the specific legislation Democrats promised in their New Direction Agenda were all passed but one. Another one on stem cell research was vetoed. This is in sharp contrast to Newt's Contract with America's agenda in 1995.
They did end up with weaker versions of the bills on the agenda then they were hoping for.
They also were not willing to fight as hard and dirty as the GOP yet. Even Rep. John Conyers, who has been keeping the pressure on the White House and the administration, admitted he is more afraid of what the main stream media thinks then pleasing his constituents.
And impeachment is still off the table, despite the majority of American's wishes.:
AMY GOODMAN: These numbers, Congressman Conyers, quickly, American Research Group, 45% of Americans would back impeachment proceedings against Bush, 54%—that’s more than half the American people—would back the same against Cheney. Your response?Gary Permalink on 12/21/2007
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Literally and figuratively
My Dad walked on the Moon with Neil Armstrong and this is where I get my strong support for space exploration.
What, you are questioning this?
Why is this not mentioned in the history books?
Well, like Romney talking about his father's marching with Martin Luther King, I was speaking figuratively.
I am also able to bench press 400 pounds after running a four minute mile before satisfying three women during my afternoon siesta.
Perhaps only figuratively. Gary Permalink on 12/20/2007
Clear Lake blogger John Coby gets on 11 News.
What happens if you get picked up by Matt Drudge? (~ snark besides getting eggs and lice?) You get a deluge of "rage-filled and anti-Semitic" emails from Drudge's classy readers.
...dismissing anybody living within 100 miles of Hollywood as "pinheads," "stoopid liberals" or "anti-American friends of the terrorists" isn't particularly original or, for that matter, accurate. Although I might be a godless sodomite that hates America, I'm confident not everybody west of Nevada is, despite what Bill O'Reilly says.Don't tell that to the people of Pasadena, Texas, which just banned demonstrations aimed at people near their residences.
Johnny Isbell cites safety; Ralph Riggs cites city revenue as Pasadena election issues.
This is the first time Johnny Isbell has actually mentioned an issue and it turns out its international terrorism! Way to go Johnny, are you sure you didn't file in the wrong race? It's easy to get Congress and Pasadena confused.
Ralph Riggs has picked up all of the defeated candidates endorsements except the guy who came in fourth who is peevishly not endorsing anyone.
Gary Permalink on 12/20/2007
Humor in Politics
The Twenty funniest political videos of the year.
Dan Kurtzman also has a very funny book: How To Win A Fight With A Conservative which would make a good holiday gift!
A GOP debate in 32 seconds.
The Daily Show's Greatest Hits.
Matt Drudge, now with gay porn! This goes with his egg fetish and pubic lice. The most watched blog by the Christian Right and the East Coast "So-Called-Liberal-Media" just loves his eggs.
Bush's Press Secretary didn't know what the Cuban Missile Crisis was!
Wait a minute. Are these last two really funny? Have I've been a blogger too long and see everything through snark eyes?
"Just the place for a Snark! I have said it twice:Oh well, Jib Jab - 2007 In Review.
Gary Permalink on 12/20/2007
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Democrat Wins Texas House Seat in Upset
One of the districts drawn to elect Republicans just put a Democrat in office. District 97 went 34% to Gore in '00 and 36% to Kerry in '04.
I have an email in to Amber Moon asking her to reconsider running for 144. She has reportedly changed her mind and will not run for the seat that has only a nominal GOP advantage and normally very low turnout. Gary Permalink on 12/19/2007
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Worst Backfiring Political Ad Ever
Romney decided to run a TV ad against Huckabee because his campaign is getting desperate. Go negative and knock Huckabee down and perhaps regain the lead.* They decided to focus on Huckabee being soft on crime.
The ad contrasts Huckabee's record of many pardons with Romney's record of no pardons while governor. That is about the entire ad.
It tries to show that as a conservative Republican Huckabee is too compassionate and follows the Christian forgiveness doctrine a bit too much so he is not as tough on crime. No pardons is equated with being tough on crime.
Instead this ad shows that Huckabee is Christian, does believe in compassion and judgment and forgiveness and repentance. It shows that Romney is hard-hearted and is not a Christian who believes in forgiveness or pardons.
How many Christian Republicans want to elect someone who doesn't believe in pardons or repentance? Doesn't it draw attention to the fact that Romney is not a Christian while he is already losing Christian support?
The ad might work against a Democrat who was perceived as being soft on crime but there is nothing in Huckabee's record indicating that. He is just more generous with pardons because of his Christian beliefs. It draws a contrast with Romney's lack of Christian beliefs.
Huckabee's campaign wants Romney to run more of these ads.
* They did this despite knowing the history of Iowa turning against candidates who run negative ads.
Tags: politics, Romney, Huckabee, Iowa, 2008, religion, political ads, marketing analysis Gary Permalink on 12/18/2007
Monday, December 17, 2007
Another Hero Today - Sen. Chris Dodd
The weakling today- Senate Majority Leader Reid.
The hero refused to back down and was prepared to filibuster over giving phone companies retroactive immunity for wiretapping without court orders. The weakling did not honor the hold that Sen. Dodd had placed on the bill and forced the first actual, as opposed to symbolic, filibuster in a long time. After hours of Dodd being on the floor it was apparent he would really filibuster and drag Senate business to a halt.
Reid and Bush and the Republicans and the phone companies lost and the bill is delayed until next year.
See also Political Animal as well as Greenwald.
Allow me to highlight that this wiretapping program started before 9/11 - just after Bush took office. It wasn't aimed at terrorists which weren't even on this administration's radar screen.
Who knows what it was aimed after - people seem to have forgotten Nixon's wiretapping and IRS shenanigans. Same type of programs all with promises it was all for national security and they wouldn't abuse the power. This arguments works with some Republicans, like Kim du Toit who argues that Americans are the only ones moral enough to torture, but not with anyone with a lick of sense.
Gary Permalink on 12/17/2007
Are arguments breaking out between Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) advocates and the Range Voting (CRV) groups?
Either is better than our present system. The National Popular Vote movement, also called Fair Vote, is still gathering momentum with the New Jersey legislature signing on. They are also supporting IRV. It is easy for both liberals and conservatives to support IRV as a cost saving measure, no need for a runoff elections.
The facts seem to support the charge that Range Voting advocates make that IRV promotes both dishonest ranking and a two-party system. Interesting election in Peru where the candidate who would have beaten either of the other top two candidates in the runoff came in third and so did not get in the runoff.
Colorado decertifies most evoting machines.
Ohio GOP blog denounces bipartisan study of flawed voting machines as "left-wing activists."
The truth - the study did not go far enough and did not study why on election night Ohio switched to RNC servers to count their votes.
We filed a civil rights lawsuit. We won. The federal election law says the ballots were supposed—had to be protected, under federal law. We got an overlapping decision from a federal judge to preserve, for our civil rights suit, the preservation of these ballots. Fifty-six of eighty-eight counties in Ohio destroyed their election ballots, destroyed all their election records, or most of them, making a pure recount impossible. This is in direct violation of a federal court injunction and standing federal law. So far, nobody has been prosecuted. What kind of country are we living in?Gary Permalink on 12/17/2007
Huckabees New Campaign Director Covered Up Millions in Illegal Contributions
It has come out that Ed Rollins, the new chairman of Mike Huckabee's Republican presidential campaign, helped cover-up the transfer of millions from Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos to the Reagan campaign. One source of the allegations - Rollins himself confessed in his autobiography.
Rollins, who ran Reagan’s reelection campaign, mentioned the admission in his 1996 book, Bare Knuckles and Back Rooms, recounting how the Filipino casually asserted over drinks that he had carried the money in a suitcase to a Republican lobbyist who was representing the Reagan campaign.More from Robert Perry at Consortium News.
Tags: Ronald Reagan, Iran Contra, bribes, illegal contributions, William Casey, Ed Rollins, Mike Huckabee, SCLM, politics, 2008Gary Permalink on 12/17/2007
Sexual Harassment Common at KBR
Another woman working at Halliburton, Kellogg, Brown and Root in Iraq supports the claims of rape and harassment there. Houston Channel 11 News:
"If you wanted to get a promotion you didn't necessarily have to have the qualifications,” remembered Lindsey, a former KBR contractor. “You just needed to be sleeping with the person who was doing the hiring.”KBR has also been sued by 4 other women alleging sexual harassment and rape while working for KBR in Iraq. This is in addition to the other fraud and abuse cases in the court system over aspects of KBR's Iraq adventure. Gary Permalink on 12/17/2007
Real Hero of the Day - Keith Olbermann
Keith says he almost quit MSNBC when they wanted Mike "the blowhard" Savage to do commentary on his show.
What the right claims as one of their fairness and accuracy of the media sites defends Mike Savage and attacks Olbermann.“90 percent of the people on the Nobel Committee are into child pornography and molestation.” — Michael Savage [12/12/2007]In July 2003, MSNBC fired Savage after he referred to a caller as a “sodomite” and said he should “get AIDS and die.”
I think Think Progress should be high on moderate and liberal's read daily blog list. Gary Permalink on 12/17/2007
Newsweek: Sleeper - Edwards can still win Iowa
Newsweek does a cover story on the Edward's campaign for Iowa. (I have never seen any other cover story as hard to find on their website.)
I mentioned this for my Iowa predictions and preceded the Newsweek story which elaborates on the role of second choice candidates and the rural vote. Those crowded urban precincts don't get more delegates than the family that shows up in the lonely prairies.
Here is a more in-depth look at the Democratic caucus system, it is marred by a bad Richardson example. Richardson supporters after being told they are one short of a delegate would redistribute to other candidates. Having another candidate's caucus director realize they are one short and moving a supporter over to give Richardson a delegate to take it away from another candidate is a risky scenario given that they may be denying themselves that delegate after redistribution.
Gary Permalink on 12/17/2007
Andrew Endorses Ron Paul
Let's be clear: we have lost this war. We have lost because the initial, central goals of the invasion have all failed: we have not secured WMDS from terrorists because those WMDs did not exist. We have not stymied Islamist terror - at best we have finally stymied some of the terror we helped create. We have not constructed a democratic model for the Middle East - we have instead destroyed a totalitarian government and a phony country, only to create a permanently unstable, fractious, chaotic failed state, where the mere avoidance of genocide is a cause for celebration. We have, moreover, helped solder a new truth in the Arab mind: that democracy means chaos, anarchy, mass-murder, national disintegration and sectarian warfare. And we have also empowered the Iranian regime and made a wider Sunni-Shiite regional war more likely than it was in 2003. Apart from that, Mr Bush, how did you enjoy your presidency?On the Democratic side he thinks Obama is transformative. Andrew seems to be flailing around for someone to believe in.
The paradox is that Hillary makes far more sense if you believe that times are actually pretty good. If you believe that America’s current crisis is not a deep one, if you think that pragmatism alone will be enough to navigate a world on the verge of even more religious warfare, if you believe that today’s ideological polarization is not dangerous, and that what appears dark today is an illusion fostered by the lingering trauma of the Bush presidency, then the argument for Obama is not that strong. Clinton will do. And a Clinton-Giuliani race could be as invigorating as it is utterly predictable.
Gary Permalink on 12/17/2007
More Joe Horn
The Texas gun owner's symbol of the right to shoot robbers in your neighborhood in the back gets even more news.
Front page Sunday Houston Chronicle: The Man behind the Gun.
His lawyer permitted Joe to answer questions that showed Joe Horn was a nice guy. Shouldn't the right bloggers be all over this defense trial lawyer?
What the sociologists say - empowerment drives shooting in the back advocates.
That Lisa Falkenberg column that tossed gas on the local flames: "it's a bad thing to kill other people when we don't have to." Her three columns on Joe Horn are getting letters and thousands of comments, majority unfavorable.
Texas has always been known for its support of lynch mobs.
Today: An actual self-defense, home invasion shooting.
What do the false macho, gun-loving, thumb-sucking bunch think? Right now they are freaking out over the Chron for showing what Colombians are saying.
Lambright insists Horn feared for his life. After the 911 dispatcher asked for more information on the burglars, Horn left his house to see what was happening and to possibly get a glimpse of the burglars' car or license plate, Lambright said.He panicked? I thought Joe was the hero? Oh, that's right. Joe's lawyer is trying to get him out of a double homicide charge. When they have you on tape saying you are going out to kill them.... change the story. Joe was going to check the license plate! He was afraid when they charged him! Ignore the premeditation on tape, ignore the shooting diagram (not online but in the print Chronicle) and ignore the shootings in the back! That's the ticket.
Gary Permalink on 12/17/2007
Texas Round-Up 23
It's beginning to look a lot like Monday, every where you go. Take a look at the blogs and posts glistening once again with threads and comments aglow. It's beginning to look a lot like Monday, Round-ups on ev'ry blog, but the prettiest sight to see is the post that will be from your own favorite blog....enjoy this week's Texas Progressive Alliance Blog Round-Up compiled by Vince from Capitol Annex.
Fred Thompson couldn't make the ballot in Delaware because of FIVE HUNDRED SIGNATURES. Mayor McSleaze at McBlogger thinks that's pretty pathetic. You will as well.
Eddie at Burnt Orange Report writes about a precedent-setting case in the Sixth District Court of Appeals which gives helps a Paris, Texas blogger preserve his or her anonymity.
How I became a "far-left-radical with a socialist agenda" etc. On Bluedaze by TXsharon.
While Gary at Easter Lemming Liberal News had a sick mouse the world moved on.
Choo choo!! That is the sound of cleaner air at The Texas Cloverleaf. 98 new more environmentally friendly trains are running in Texas. But did taxpayers really have to front the money?
Bay Area Houston Wonders why NASA Contractors are limiting their employees constitutional rights while receiving billions of dollars of government funding.
Vince at Capitol Annex notes that AG Greg Abbott has handed Speaker Tom Craddick an early Christmas present in the form of an opinion that hands him cart blanche to do whatever he wants--and even emasculates impeachment.
Muse discovers a list of 300+ women political bloggers! Female bloggers are playing a powerful role in this presidential election cycle – and are increasingly recognized for this. Texas bloggers are on the list. Check it out!
In his piece titled John Cornyn Files for Senate, Hal at Half Empty entertains the notion that the junior senator is really looking for an elusive seat on the US Supreme Court.
Stace at DosCentavos tells us about the newest Pew Center poll! It's no wonder many Citizen-Latinos (and especially undocumented folks) are feeling like people without a country.
Eye on Williamson, posts on Brian Ruiz, Rep. John Carter's opponent in TX-31, and two of Carter's recent votes in Brian Ruiz And Rep. John Carter's (R-Exxon Mobil) Circle .
An activist action plan for the FISA-with-telecom immunity bill, coming up on Monday in the Senate, is posted by PDiddie at Brains and Eggs.
And, last but not least, don't forget about Dan Barrett in House District 97, who has been endorsed by the Texas Progressive Alliance in his special election runoff. Matt at Burnt Orange Report has a great post about the race here.
Gary Permalink on 12/17/2007
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Tragic Tale of Religion That Knows No Love
The more I read of Matthew Murray's home life and his dealings with his mega-church the more I understand why he decided he needed to blew the church away.
Matthew Murray was the "deranged gunman" who killed four and wounded others at young Evangelical Christian missionary locations connected to a Denver suburb mega-church. New Life Church is one of the largest and most influential in the country. It was also home to Rev. Ted Haggard until he was removed for drugs and homosexuality with a gay prostitute. It has been the leader in the largely sucessful effort to Christian radicalize the Air Force. It leads in promoting deprogramming gayness.
Matt became mentally ill but his whole life revolved around the church and being home-schooled. The church and his parents decided he had become possessed by evil demons and made his life even more of a living Hell and kept destroying his video games and music. How much of that is due to his coming out as bi-sexual is unclear.
I don't sympathize or condone what he did but it becomes understandable.
In the years before his death after an exchange of fire with an armed security guard at New Life Church in Colorado Springs he had posted many of his thoughts in online discussion groups.
His rage explodes in a posting that appeared to have been made between the shootings in Arvada and Colorado Springs on Sunday, saying, "You christians brought this on yourselves ... I'm coming for EVERYONE soon and I WILL be armed to the @#%$ teeth and I WILL shoot to kill. .... God, I can't wait till I can kill you people."I don't think it is a surprise that Denver suburbs have become the home of young male killers seeking revenge through mass blood shed. This Evangelical Christian, Republican, gun-loving culture has no place or sympathy for misfits.
Many more Matt's posts. True crime has more.
Four young people died as well as Matthew Murray as he went after his revenge with guns. My sympathy is with their friends and families.
Rightwing Sparkle is on the case:
I'm not making a judgement here on Matthew or his family. I'll let God do that. But for the websites that I surfed through that seem to want to blame the Church, or homophobia[I corrected spelling], or his parents, or hypocrisy for what Matthew did, I don't buy it.I liked her post a lot better before the reference to the devil devouring him. A lot of Matt's problems were due to the beliefs he was forced fed that the devil and the demons would devour him.
I think these are the lessons to learn:
Don't force feed your children your religious beliefs.
If your church lacks love and practices hypocrisy get another.
Watch out for guns in the hands of the mentally unbalanced.
I should thank the Houston Chronicle and Rightwing Sparkle for making me more aware of this case.
Tags: Matthew Murray, New Life Church, Evengelicals, madness, homosexuality, berserkers, theocracy, gunsGary Permalink on 12/15/2007
Ron and the Giant Blimp
Ron Paul may be the top GOP money-raiser this quarter. Flush with cash the notoriously frugal Ron is using charter private jets to get around. A group of independent supporters have also just launched the Ron Paul blimp powered by hot air and revolution.
Gary Permalink on 12/15/2007
Huckabee Will Shoot Up In the Polls
Huckabee gets vetted by the Council of Foreign Relations, part of the all powerful Illuminati you know, and criticizes Bush's military and foreign policies.
"American foreign policy needs to change its tone and attitude, open up, and reach out," Huckabee said. "The Bush administration's arrogant bunker mentality has been counterproductive at home and abroad. My administration will recognize that the United States' main fight today does not pit us against the world but pits the world against the terrorists."Having another GOP candidate besides Ron Paul acknowledge the arrogance and disaster of Bush/Cheney is a nice development. I often find Republicans privately conceding this and I suspect most conservatives want a leading candidate saying this. There is little loyalty to Bush among the base.
Pass the popcorn.
Drudge is headlining this, probably thinking this is a Huckabee mistake. He has been recently running a smear campaign against Huckabee.
Wow, Huckabee is tearing the conservative bloggers apart. They are using language against their religious base liberal bloggers like me wouldn't use. I think it is the populism that gets them. They want conservatives who also support the big corporate agenda. Kevin agrees - Huckabee is the real deal for the base of the GOP and the bloggers and the leaders don't want the real deal. See some of Huckabee's problems.
Gary Permalink on 12/15/2007
Under Bush The Rich Get Richer, Much Richer
The New York Times makes a business headline article over the report Krugman cited in his blog. My earlier take here.
Gary Permalink on 12/15/2007
Friday, December 14, 2007
Do Nothing Congress?
Here is a list of 60 bills either vetoed by Bush or being blocked by threats of vetos.
If you want a "Do Something Congress" impeach Bush and Cheney.
Seven vetoes including Energy & Water appropriations, Labor/HHS/Education appropriations, and two SCHIP vetoes.
Threats against 53 additional bills:
Medicare Prescription Drug Price Negotiation Act - H.R. 4, and the Medicare Fair Prescription Drug Price Act - S. 3Gary Permalink on 12/14/2007
How will the Real GOP Counter Huckabee's surge?
The surge in the polls of Gov. Huckabee of Arkansas has the real leaders of the GOP, conservative billionaires, unlimbering their heavy guns.
They seem to have decided their candidate must be Mitt Romney - photogenic, sucessful conservative businessman, pragmatic, a flip-flopper untouched by any major scandals.
Romney even has his own secret weapon. His venture capital firm announced it is buying Clear Channel Radio. Expect all of the talk radio clowns to begin smearing Huckabee as often as Matt Drudge has recently. You will see more Romney endorsements like the National Review just gave him.
I had previously said, I see I didn't write it down on this blog, that Romney was the likely nominee. The Christian Right only thinks they control the party. Many Republicans will think it is time for the most Republican religion in America to be rewarded with a presidential nominee.
It'll be interesting to watch this intra-party war play out over the next few weeks.
Gary Permalink on 12/14/2007
Clinton losing support in Iowa
An effective video from the Obama camp.
Edwards is very happy and may be surging in Iowa.
How polls will be wrong in Iowa.
My Iowa prediction - Edwards and Huckabee due to rural strength in the caucus system.
Gary Permalink on 12/14/2007
Pasadena Texas Makes The New York Times
The operator told him not to go out with a gun because officers would be arriving.Includes MP3s of portions of the 911 calls. More recordings of the 911 call.
Lots of comments from all over the world.
Pasadena's reaction to this shooting? This coming Tuesday it will ban protests in neighborhoods. Houston Chronicle story here.
No mention of the amount of money they will have to pay attorneys to defend this frontal assault on the first amendment. No mention in the Pasadena Citizen story that the Supreme Court ruled against neighborhood bans on protests. The Houston Chronicle got that in their article. The permitted restrictions have to be very narrowly tailored to pass muster. No mention that the police could have dispersed the protests that occurred under existing ordinances.
If I have time I will review the ordinance and try to determine if it appears legally sound. Based on how badly it is written I will decide if I want to protest in front of the mayor's house and be the test case.
I had really liked living in Pasadena. I guess the KKK, which Pasadena was known for in the 60's, legacy still lives on. I had written before that I used to go over to feed my ex-wife's cats. Now that would be putting my life in danger. Whoever blew me away might be the next Pasadena hero.
Gary Permalink on 12/14/2007
Krugman fuels my economic rants
Why do people feel the economy isn't growing under Bush despite everyone on TV saying times are great? Because for 80% of us it is slow growth.
Here’s what the numbers say about percentage gains in after-tax income from 2003 to 2005:Krugman's column today is on why the addition of mountains of cash to desperate banks isn't working well. There is a huge looming negative equity crisis in America's housing market so banks really are in deep trouble. These gifts of money to banks, many billions lent at rates guaranteed to be profitable for banks, won't restore confidence but are needed to cover huge losses.
An example of how the tax-payer funded bailouts work. BofA puts out its hand for reserve bank money, receives $10 billion at say 3%, This money is immediately placed in government paper paying 5% while they look for profitable loans to make at 10% to 18%. BofA also expands its consumer credit offers (intro rates 10% - 20%) but raises poor credit interest penalties (24% - 36%) and conditions that trigger them. Indirectly the taxpayer funds the money lent at lower rates then the government pays for 100% secure investments.
These huge piles of money gifts to banks were extensively used in the Savings and Loan debacle. Like last time, perhaps only institutions who were truly horrendous at money managing and concentrated on the bad loans will go under while the large players profit from the taxpayer funded bailouts.
There is a huge amount of fraud in these bad mortgages, similar to the worst of the savings and loans in the prior crisis. I have a relative suffering some harm from this. Despite being a financial expert she has bad credit and needing a new house took a subprime loan. She made sure that the the rate adjustments were very limited each year and had a maximum total adjustment. She was lied to and didn't catch it on how long the prepayment penalty would last. It ended up being 3 years - $12,000. If Congress was really interested in solving a lot of sub-prime problems it would eliminate these prepayment penalties which reward the lenders for putting people in bad loans.
Here is the paper Krugman references which shows that unless you are in the top 5% bracket in household incomes Democratic presidents are better for your pocketbook.
Brother Jim emailed me the first link.
Gary Permalink on 12/14/2007
Who won the last Dem debate?
Edwards Debate Performance Wows CNN And Fox Focus Groups
Still interested in the two front runners, although Iowa is a three-way tie, the media paid only a little attention that John Edwards most impressed the voters who were assembled by CNN and Fox News to gauge reaction.
Reminds me somewhat of 2004 in the college informed voter study. Poly Sci professors assembled 700 nationally representative voters and for weeks of the early primary season had them watch videos and read about all the candidates and discuss it among themselves.
Over the next five weeks, as Mr. Kerry built up momentum among both real-life primary voters and the control group in the experiment, Senator John Edwards enjoyed the biggest surge in the well-informed test group, which was won over by his personal traits as well as by his policies, notably his protectionism on trade. Besides appealing to the Democrats in the test group, Mr. Edwards did better among the group's independents and Republicans, and he emerged as the strongest candidate against Mr. Bush.Gary Permalink on 12/14/2007