Monday, July 31, 2006

SF writer William Gibson explains neocon blindness

I may add my thoughts later.

OK - Here goes...

Gibson sees the neocons who are running American foreign policy as being stuck in the 3rd World War, the Cold War, paradigm. The Muslim extremist groups have moved beyond that and are fighting World War 4. The neocons can't recognize what has happened and why their solutions aren't working. Gibson believes Thomas S. Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions - outline here, which explains scientific paradigm shifts and the failure of the old to comprehend the new, is the best model for what has happened.

Many neocons would agree they are fighting World War 4 but others, such as Newt Gingrich, see it as World War 3. In either case, they have not changed their way of looking at the conflict or their strategies of fighting it from the Cold War days. All of them have defined the enemy as militant Islam. Fighting this as the Cold War, they are seeking to militarily defeat the capitals of the enemy and install democracy in governments they overthrow. Some inconvenient truths like that the democratic regimes are increasing electing anti-Western politicians or that the increasing attacks on insurgents and terrorists with heavy collateral damage are only increasing the resistance is only slowly seeping into their perception. These are not part of their model or frame and so are difficult for them to perceive.

Can they improve their model and incorporate some elements of reality? Will they experience a paradigm shift to allow them to see their failures? Will the anti-Western groups succeed is marginalizing and defeating the United States before either occurs? Is this best seen as a battle between the West and militant Islam? These are some of what I believe are the real questions for this time in history.

Evangelical Churches can turn against politics - at a cost

A minister that refused to have his church become a GOP political rallying station loses almost 20% of its members.
"America wasn't founded as a theocracy. America was founded by people trying to escape theocracies. Never in history have we had a Christian theocracy where it wasn't bloody and barbaric. That's why our Constitution wisely put in a separation of church and state."

"I am sorry to tell you that America is not the light of the world and the hope of the world. The light of the world and the hope of the world is Jesus Christ."

Mr. Boyd lambasted the "hypocrisy and pettiness" of Christians who focus on "sexual issues" like homosexuality, abortion or Janet Jackson's breast-revealing performance at the Super Bowl halftime show. He said Christians these days were constantly outraged about sex and perceived violations of their rights to display their faith in public.

"Those are the two buttons to push if you want to get Christians to act," he said. "And those are the two buttons Jesus never pushed."

Four Million Men Not Working Because of Lack of Meaningful Jobs

Millions of men like Mr. Beggerow — men in the prime of their lives, between 30 and 55 — have dropped out of regular work. They are turning down jobs they think beneath them or are unable to find work for which they are qualified, even as an expanding economy offers opportunities to work.

About 13 percent of American men in this age group are not working, up from 5 percent in the late 1960’s. The difference represents 4 million men who would be working today if the employment rate had remained where it was in the 1950’s and 60’s.

Most of these missing men are, like Mr. Beggerow, former blue-collar workers with no more than a high school education. But their ranks are growing at all education and income levels. Refugees of failed Internet businesses have spent years out of work during their 30’s, while former managers in their late 40’s are trying to stretch severance packages and savings all the way to retirement.

FOX News running ads to support "Zion" now

Will Lieberman's defeat mean the end of Checklist Liberalism?

Added - Democrats often like Lieberman personally, but he loudly and publicly takes anti-Democratic positions and undermines other Democrats. He has recently been clueless about his own state, his own party.

Joshua Micah Marshall points to reports the US is pressing Israel to attack Syria

Populist Texas Democratic Party incredibly behind in money race

With the Texas Democratic Party and candidates moving firmly away from government by corporations the dollars from the rich and PACs has dried up. That is the underlying but unstated reason why political analysts like Bruce Davidson in the San Antonio Express-News see no hope for Texas Democrats this year. The people clearly want this move, how to counter the lack of funds it causes is a question Texas Democrats have yet to answer.

Judiciary Subcomitee - Bush may have broken 26 laws multiple times

Bush's Explains His Foreign Policy

He went into a long explanation. I think he really believes this. It reinforces everything he has said for the last year. But the argument is BS and sets up straw-men to attack, before it dissolves in incoherence and contradictions.
Uh,'s an interesting period, ummm, because, ummmm, instead of having foreign policies based upon trying to create a sense of stability, we have a foreign policy that addresses the root causes of violence and instability. Ummm, (shrug) for awhile, American foreign policy was just, "let's hope everything is calm." A managed calm. But beneath the surface brewed a lot resentment and anger that was manifested in its, uh, on September the eleventh.
Clinton kept things calm and more peaceful but wasn't solving the real problems. A debatable point but a reasonable beginning, if you ignore the chaos the administration's new policies have inspired.
And so, we have taken a foreign policy that says, on the one hand we will protect ourselves from further attack in the short run by being aggressive and chasing down the killers and bringing 'em to justice. Make no mistake, they're still out there. And they would like to harm our respective peoples because of what we stand for. The long term to defeat this ideology, and they're bound by an ideology, you defeat it with a more hopeful ideology called freedom.
Except he isn't chasing down the killers of 9/11! He has said he doesn't care about Osama. They diverted from the effort to capture and destroy al Qaida to invade and occupy Iraq, something his administration wanted to do before it came to power. Oh, and the reason they attacked us, only because they hate our freedom - the biggest and most stupid talking point of the right. They don't hate our freedom. They hate our policies. Even the religious fanatics, and many terrorists are not religious fanatics, can ignore our freedom but can't stand the Middle East policies and governments our government supports.
Look, I fully understand that some people don't believe it's possible for freedom and democracy to overcome this ideology of hatred.
Does Bush even believe this? You have a group that you say hates freedom and democracy - so you give them freedom and democracy to stop the hate? Based on the results of elections in the Middle East it is not effective. Lebanon, Iraq, Egypt, Palestine all have Muslim extremist parties gaining strength with democracy. This is a very wrong frame, a way off-base way of looking at the problem.
I just happen to believe it is possible and I believe it will happen. And so what you're seeing is, a clash of governing styles for example, you know, the, the, the, notion of democracy beginning to emerge scares the ideo, ideologues, the totalitarians, those that who want to impose their vision. It just frightens them and so they respond. They've always been violent.
He has incorporated "they hate freedom" so this is the way he is seeing the spreading chaos. Does he realize that he is saying that spreading democracy is going to lead to more violent clashes, more terrorists?
Now I hear this amazing kind of, uh, editorial thought that says all of a sudden, Hezbollah's become violent because we're promoting democracy?
Is he arguing against himself? He just said groups that hate freedom will react against freedom but attributes this to other people having editorial thoughts! No, I guess he is setting up another straw man argument - "some people" say Hezbollah became violent because we promote democracy.
They have been violent for a long period of time. Or Hamas? One reason why the Palestinians suffer is because there are militants who refuse to accept a Palestinian state based upon democratic principles.
But Hamas won the election and is now in power. Palestine is also in flames, suffering, because Israel and the United States didn't accept that election. Hamas accepted a Palestinian democratic state, they had problems with an Israeli state that oppressed their people.
And so what the world is seeing is a desire by this country and our allies to defeat the ideology of hate with an ideology that has worked.
And that brings hope. And one of the challenges of course is to convince people that you know, that Muslims would like to be free.
Straw-man again - the only people I know who think that Muslims don't want to be free are in his party.
You know, that there's other people other than people in Britain and America that would like to be free in the world. There's this, kind of, almost, a weird kind of elitism that says maybe, maybe certain people in certain parts of the world shouldn't be free. Maybe it's best just to let them sit in these tyrannical societies and our foreign policy rejects that concept.
He supports tyrants, his best allies in the Middle East are dictators, feudal kingdoms, and military governments. The very conservative base of his party believe that certain people in other parts of the world shouldn't be free. These aren't straw-man arguments - they are Bizarro World arguments.
We don't accept it. And so we're working and uh, this is, I said the other day after these attacks took place. I said this should be a moment of clarity for people to see the stakes in the twenty-first century. I mean, now there's an unprovoked attack on a democracy. Why?
I assume he's meaning the kidnapping of two soldiers. He wouldn't mean the over-reaction where Israel destroys Lebanon's infrastructure. To answer why - because this has been going on for fifty years.
I happen to believe because progress is being made toward democracies. And I believe that.
How do you believe an attack on Israel was made because democracy is increasing and hold that is not the reason at the same time? Bush just said that this is the incorrect belief of some people's editorial thoughts. He also said that that Hezbollah attacked because of its history of violence. These are incoherent thoughts.
I also believe that Iran would like to exert additional influence in the region. A theocracy would like to spread its influence. Using surrogates.
What he really wants to do is blame Iran because they and Syria are next on his list. He has given a democratic Iraq dominated by fundamentalist Muslims to Iran as a surrogate, Doesn't he realize that is what the elections in Iraq did?
And so I am as determined as ever to continue fostering a foreign policy based upon liberty. And I think it's going to work. Unless we lose our nerve. And this government isn't going to quit.
He won't quit his incoherent policy and he thinks it will work.

Bush is still answering questions wearing his earpiece and someone supplies him with key words and phrases. You can hear bits of previous speeches in this answer but having them altogether makes the incoherence more visible. His arguments are against himself, against his conservative party base, and against non-existent straw men.

ADDED - I hadn't realized there was a follow-up with more of the Bush response. Part of the Bush response was telling the reporter by asking these questions you are helping the terrorists.
Well, David, we went to the G8 and worked with our allies and got a remarkable statement on what took place. We're working to get a United Nations resolution on Iran. We're working to have a Palestinian state. But the reason why -- you asked the question -- is because terrorists are trying to stop that progress. And we'll ultimately prevail, because they have -- their ideology is so dark and so dismal that when people really think about it, it will be rejected. They just got a different tool to use than we do: They kill innocent lives to achieve objectives. That's what they do. And they're good. They get on the TV screens and they get people to ask questions about, well, this, that or the other. I mean, they're able to kind of say to people, don't come and bother us because we will kill you.

And my attitude is, is that now is the time to be firm. And we've got a great weapon on our side, and that is freedom, and liberty. And it's got -- those two concepts have got the capacity to defeat ideologies of hate."

South Texas Chisme on the Texas Grand Oligarchy Party

I got my free bumper sticker the other day - Grand Oil Party. Move-On has now run out of the bumper stickers. This is part of a re-branding political advertising strategy. You want to have people look at G.O.P. or GOP and associate it with what it really stands for. There was a contest to see what would be the most effective slogan. Grand Oil Party won but there were many other slogans submitted. The Grand Oil Party linked photo is from Oil Free Congress rallies.

In other Texas news, Fort Bend Now starts considering the possibilities for DeLay's warm seat. Arguments, but not the last ones, are taking place today.

News from the Americas

UPDATE - Protests tie-up Mexico City

Lawyers demand full recount of disputed Mexico vote

A million or more people in demonstration for democracy.

The current Mexican first family is facing charges of corruption.

US stops Spanish planes sale to Venezuela in a continuing embargo.

Venezuela now making deals with Russia, Iran and China. Hugo Chavez is vowing to end the American Empire. American business interests are being harmed by Venezuela and he disdains Bush which is why there are fairly constant anti-Chavez articles in the US media. The bad publicity on the US sponsored coup that was overturned shortly thereafter has stopped more direct actions by this administration.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

The Next Hurrah: "Lieberman's Eroding Base"

Peak Oil News

A tank of gas, a world of trouble

An incredible new series by the Chicago Tribune and journalist Paul Salopek who should get more awards for this.

Chicago Tribune - Part 1:
"I truly think we're at one of those turning points where the future's looking so ugly nobody wants to face it," said Matthew Simmons, an energy investment banker in Houston who has advised the Bush administration on oil policy. "We're not talking some temporary Arab embargo anymore. We're not talking your father's energy crisis."

What Simmons and many other experts are talking about is a bleak new collision between geology and geopolitics.

Below ground, the biggest worry is "peak oil"--the notion that the world's total petroleum endowment is approaching the half-empty mark, a geological tipping point beyond which no amount of extra pumping will revive fading oil fields. Peak oil theory is controversial. Many think it alarmist. Yet even Big Oil is starting to gird itself for possible fuel shortages: Chevron, the nation's second-largest oil company, has bluntly declared that "the era of easy oil is over" and is warning energy-hungry Americans that "the world consumes two barrels of oil for every barrel discovered."

Aboveground, things look little better. Most of the world's petro-states, aware that crude supplies are growing increasingly valuable, have limited drilling rights to their own oil companies.
This story is huge and should be an award winning series that started when they decided to trace where Chicago's oil is coming from.
After guidance from international energy analysts, oil tanker shipping firms, trucking companies and harbor masters on two continents--not to mention logistical help from African chieftains, Venezuelan dissidents and a British security company--Salopek and photographer Kuni Takahashi traveled to the distant sources of the South Elgin Marathon's gas.

In this way, they dispelled a well-guarded oil industry myth, and did what had never been done before.
A world of insights in this series. From Part 2:
Americans already get more oil from Africa than from Saudi Arabia. By 2015, oil experts say, African states will supply a quarter of all U.S. imports, up from 15 percent today. The United States quietly signaled this shift in 2002, when the State Department declared African oil a "strategic national interest," meaning in diplomatic code that U.S. troops may intervene to protect it.
From Part 3:
What are the hidden costs of America's imported oil? The answer is complex. It may ultimately be unknowable. But this hasn't daunted the likes of Milton Copulos.

A tenacious economist with the National Defense Council Foundation--a right-of-center Washington think tank--Copulos spent 18 solid months poring over hundreds of thousands of pages of government documents, toiling to fix a price tag on America's addiction to global crude. He parsed oil-related defense spending in the Middle East. He calculated U.S. jobs and investments lost to steep crude prices. He even factored in the lifelong medical bills of some 18,000 U.S. troops wounded in Iraq as of March. (About $1.5 million each.)

Copulos is a highly respected analyst in Washington. And his exhaustive findings flabbergasted the Senate Foreign Relations Committee this spring.

The actual cost of gasoline refined from imported oil, according to Copulos?

Eight dollars a gallon.

When he isolated the hidden costs of Middle Eastern crude in particular, the price jumped to $11. This included a war premium that swelled the Pentagon's spending to protect all Persian Gulf oil to $137 billion a year....

Iraqi output still sags far below prewar levels despite a recent allocation of $1.7 billion in U.S. taxpayer money to patch up Iraq's decrepit oil fields.
From Part 4:
Oil companies are not usually in the business of altruism, but Petroleos de Venezuela S.A., the state energy firm known by its abbreviation, PDVSA, isn't your usual oil giant.

Dismantled by Chavez after a crippling worker strike in late 2002 and early 2003, PDVSA has been reborn as the central engine of Chavez's socialist revolution. The strongman fired 19,000 employees and replaced them with party loyalists. And now the company is spending $8 billion of its annual profits on social programs: a staggering $310 worth of assistance for every man, woman and child in Venezuela.

"This is a good way to run an oil company into the ground," said a skeptical Michelle Billig, an analyst with PIRA Energy Group in Washington. "On the other hand, if leaders in places like Nigeria, Angola and even Iraq ever tried a bit of this, we probably wouldn't be hearing so much about instability in their countries."....

Venezuela may harbor the richest oil prize on the planet....

"America and China are on a collision course over what remains of the world's hydrocarbons," said Gal Luft, a China expert with the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security in Washington. "The 21st Century is going to be defined by this aggressive competition for a resource that's depleting."....

And if peak oil theorists are right, and the Marathon survives its 35-year structural life span, then it will be among the last filling stations dispensing gasoline in the world.
Peak oil theory takes center stage. The most salient fact in this section is that the US Geological Survey presently pegs "Peak Oil" in 2044, instead of already past. Saudi Arabia is also declining rapidly in oil reserves and has greatly overstated what remains, some of that covered in this section.

The series even touches a bit on the controversy of what is oil.

In reading this I noticed this was the type of story the Houston Chronicle should do, if the publishers wanted an informative newspaper.

This is also supported by an online video that covers much of the same ground.

The Countdown for the Peak of Oil Production has Begun – but what are the Views of the Most Important International Energy Agencies? The foundation of their misleading claims are the US Geological Survey. The projections presented by USGS, EIA and IEA regarding the future availability of oil are purely comforting tales not based on valid arguments.

This was recommended by Texas State Rep. candidate Janette Sexton.

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Marines Prop Up Iraqi Government in Civil War

This report is interesting due to the vivid picture it paints of the Ramadi failure even as filtered through a Bush supporter lens. I wonder what definition of Al-Qaida "US officials" are using if they say that they make up 25% of the insurgency?

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Josh Harkinson Covers the Houston Wong - Cohen race

This race should be a Cohen Democratic pickup but is being hard fought house by house, voter by voter. An excellent article on local politics by Josh. Not favorable to Wong but she didn't expect it to be. The tone of the article is where has the moderate Wong gone and isn't she really ignoring her district. If there is disastisfaction against the over-reaching mean-spirited GOP leadership and members in Austin it will show up in this race.

Friday, July 28, 2006

When will they poll impeachment again?

Note that as the Wall Street Journal pointed out, almost twice as many people support investigating impeachment of Bush as supported impeachment of Clinton.

AG Gonzales worried about war crimes charges

Rumsfeld Extends Combat Deployment...Four More Months in Hell

Afghanistan and Iraq going to Hell, and Bush just suggested US troops for Lebanon.

Whiskey Bar: Spreading Support for Hizbullah - Mission Accomplished

Hezbollah popularity surges.

Our Worst Fears Confirmed -- Stolen Election 2004

The Mystery Pollster, Mark Blumenthal, disagrees with this. The book reviewed was the source for most of the RFK Jr. Rolling Stone article. That debate over the claims was carried on in, Huffington Post (several times) and elsewhere. Big problems with the 2004 election - true, biased against minority voters - true, does evidence show fraud? - unproven.

Gore Vidal Interview - he has been an incredibly prescient chronicler of our time

I’m a lover of the old republic and I deeply resent the empire our Presidents put in its place.

We’ve never had a government like this. The United States has done wicked things in the past to other countries but never on such a scale and never in such an existentialist way. It’s as though we are evil. We strike first. We’ll destroy you. This is an eternal war against terrorism. It’s like a war against dandruff. There’s no such thing as a war against terrorism. It’s idiotic. These are slogans. These are lies. It’s advertising, which is the only art form we ever invented and developed.

But our media has collapsed. They’ve questioned no one. One of the reasons Bush and Cheney are so daring is that they know there’s nobody to stop them. Nobody is going to write a story that says this is not a war, only Congress can declare war. And you can only have a war with another country. You can’t have a war with bad temper or a war against paranoids. Nothing makes any sense, and the people are getting very confused. The people are not stupid, but they are totally misinformed.

A huge number of Americans still believe that Saddam Hussein was responsible for 9/11. You have a people that don’t know anything about the rest of the world, and you have leaders who lie to them, lie to them, and lie to them.

I have been saying for the last thousand years that the United States has only one party—the property party. It’s the party of big corporations, the party of money. It has two right wings; one is Democrat and the other is Republican.

There should be a great deal of reaction to the total incompetence of this Administration. It’s going to take two or three generations to recover what we had as of twenty years ago.

Israel's "hiding among civilians" myth - worth watching an ad for access to all their articles.
My own reporting and that of other journalists reveals that in fact Hezbollah fighters -- as opposed to the much more numerous Hezbollah political members, and the vastly more numerous Hezbollah sympathizers -- avoid civilians like the plague. Much smarter and better trained than the PLO and Hamas fighters, they know that if they mingle with civilians, they will sooner or later be betrayed by collaborators -- as so many Palestinian militants have been.

"Fair and Balanced" Bill O'Reilly

Bush Economists - Tax cuts have no effect on economy

Treasury department examines long range effect of Bush tax cuts, no effect on economy, disaster for government services including Social Security, Medicare, and everthing government does.

Good Quotes

Ann Coulter - the Beliefnet interview

This is literally the first interview I have ever read that turned my stomach. She is a very sick person.

She has also been calling Bill Clinton and Al Gore fags. And they invite her back....

Support Google

Smart and Not Smart People

Greenwald shows Howard Dean being very smart.

Some very dumb neocons who haven't learned anything.

Little Green Footballers not only scale new heights of dumbness, they celebrate the killing of UN soldiers.

And finally, the very smart Glenn Greenwald gets around to a definition of chickenhawk.

Friday - Jazz Video

YouTube - Colbert making fun of morning news shows for deriding his show

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Texas Democratic Candidates - Mark the D and Let it Be!

Impolitical: Reports on Voting Rights Act today misleading

That so-called American liberal media in action reported from Canada.

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'Waiting to Get Blown Up'

How do our soldiers in Baghdad feel?
"It sucks. Honestly, it just feels like we're driving around waiting to get blown up."

"Think of what you hate most about your job. Then think of doing what you hate most for five straight hours, every single day, sometimes twice a day, in 120-degree heat. Then ask how morale is."
Last time I posted something like this I had a comment about how I was undermining morale and helping the terrorists. Will someone call these soldiers al Qaida loving pinkos who are helping the terrorists win?

Truth helps democracy, secrecy and lies help Fascism.

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Vote for Chet Edwards and Nick Lampson for John Edwards Fundraiser

Burnt Orange directs us to where we can get a fund raiser with Sen. John Edwards for Texas Reps. We were sucessful in getting $5,000 donations for some other Texas candidates from Warner's Pac so this is a good means that you can help out Texas Democrats by just filing out a form.

Fox News (Officially) Abandons Journalism in the Middle East

Why Is the US in Iraq?

The White House is now admitting the greatest threat to security is sectarian violence, not terrorists or even insurgents. So why are we policing a Civil War for $8 billion a month?

The Army War College has said that the Iraq mission is a distraction and is actually helpful to the enemy in the war on terror. So again, why are we still in Iraq? Saving face? Declare victory now and start withdrawing troops.

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Wednesday, July 26, 2006

ABA - Bush Undermining "Rule of Law"

"Fiasco" - How Iraq started bad, became worse

“It isn’t clear that a large and persistent insurgency was inevitable,” Mr. Ricks concludes, adding that “the U.S. approach, both in occupation policy and military tactics, helped spur the insurgency and made it broader than it might have been.” Among the crucial post-invasion missteps made by the Bush administration, he suggests, were the decision, after the fall of Baghdad, not to send two additional divisions of troops immediately, which might have helped keep the lid on the insurgency, and the orders issued by the head of the American occupation, L. Paul Bremer III, disbanding the old Iraqi army and banning thousands of Baath Party officials from returning to their government jobs.

The failure to contain the insurgency would have dire consequences as the war dragged on. While the occupation of Iraq (which Mr. Wolfowitz had predicted would basically pay for itself through oil revenue) was costing American taxpayers an estimated $5 billion a month in 2004 and 2005, the chaos-ridden country was replacing Afghanistan as a training ground for a new generation of terrorists. Meanwhile, writes Mr. Ricks, the United States Army found itself in a strategic position that “painfully resembled that of the Soviet Union in Afghanistan in the early 1980’s.”

Not only had the war “stressed the U.S. Army to the breaking point,” a study published by the Army War College’s Strategic Studies Institute declared, but it had also turned out to be “an unnecessary preventive war of choice” that “created a new front in the Middle East for Islamic terrorism and diverted attention and resources away from securing the American homeland” against further attacks from Al Qaeda. The war “was not integral” to the global war on terrorism, the report concluded, but was a costly “detour from it.”

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White House acknowledges Iraq has moved to civil war

Well, not quite. The see "sectarian violence" as the greatest threat to Iraq and our soldiers now. They are trying to make that distinct from "Civil War."

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Global Warming-- Signed, Sealed, Delivered

Two things. One - 99% of climate scientists agree human activity is causing climate change - nothing new here. Two, the Wall Street Journal editorial page lied about her report and got her name wrong to report that there is no concensus.

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Neocons smell blood - "Attack Iran"

There is some question about Israeli attacks on Hezbollah as a planned setting of the stage. The Lebanon invasion has been in the works for over a year but self-interest alone, possibly misguided, could explain that. The only argument against the attack on Iran soon would be any evidence that the hawks in the administration foresee the dangers. I haven't seen any evidence of that. Akeel Shah is more sanguine about a real war expanding to engulf the Middle East, he counts on Iranian restraint.

Jim Lobe also writes that experts say that the Israeli - Hezbollah conflict is likely to boost the chances of US military action against Iran.

Our old friend Jorge Hirsch has been pushing the Iran war story for months and his latest, which I linked before, says that nuking Iran is not off the table.

How do the people dismissing the possibility of an attack on Iran expect the present 'stand-off' to be resolved?

Breaking News
- Rolling Stone is now reporting a group of senior Pentagon officials worked with an Israeli group to promote a plan to attack Iran at the same time the US was preparing to attack Iraq. Since then the Bush administration has accepted all of the neocon recommendations regarding Iran.

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Grand Jury Blasts Texas Ethics Commission

"It is incredible that the District Attorney's office is thwarted in their efforts to prosecute public officials because they are allowed to hide behind the lax and vague codes of the Texas Ethics Commission," the jurors stated in the report, the issuing of which was called a rarity by one judge. "In light of the fact that the oversight power of this commission has been granted, and is in the hands of legislative appointees, we question whether it is really an independent, non-partisan, and effective agent for the enforcement of public officials."

The grand jury concluded in its report to District Judge Julie Kocurek that the Legislature should consider eliminating the Ethics Commission because it is a waste of taxpayers' money.
When created the TEC was considered a model for other states. Recent decisions under GOP leadership have made it a toothless laughing-stock.

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CNN Anchor Lou Dobbs: Why is the president ignoring our laws?

Taking Back The Media

Craig's list founder testing open source journalism.

Back to Iraq, an example of a journalist who raised online money and reported online in his blog, started some of the thinking on this but there are also other examples. Like with Christopher Allbritton, some of the stories will go to or be picked up by traditional media but think of it as your own journalists.

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Bill Moyers for President

The Gay Conspiracy in Action

"The gay community has infiltrated the very centers of power in every area across this country, and they wield extreme power.... That agenda is the greatest threat to our freedom that we face today. Why do you think we see the rationalization for abortion and multiple sexual partners? That's a gay agenda." - Sen Tom Coburn, Oklahoma

In Oklahoma, Al McAffrey (D), a funeral director, member of the Choctaw Nation, Navy veteran and former Oklahoma City police officer, became the first openly gay lawmaker to the state legislature yesterday.

This guy is the entire Village People!

Oklahoma = cowboy
Cop = Cop
Navy = Navy
Gay = Leather dude
Native American = Native American.
Also a a neighborhood association board member = Construction worker.

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A Republican asks questions about "Crashing the Gates"

Ankle Biting Pundits Patrick Haynes, who has his own scandal going on, interviewed Jerome Armstrong. Ignore the comments which got hijacked by spambots.

ITS HARD WORK - Flash large

From the US Army Web site: "Why the Strong Lose"

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Stanford professor stumps for electoral alternative

I introduced a resolution supporting this plan to legally bypass the electoral college at my precinct.
Koza's scheme calls for an interstate compact that would require states to throw all of their electoral votes behind the winner of the national popular vote, regardless of which candidate wins in each state. The plan doesn't require all 50 states to join, but a combination of states that represent a majority (at least 270) of the electoral votes. If the largest states join in the agreement, only 11 would be needed. - Hillary Clinton: 'It's the American dream, stupid'

Dems should rally around 'middle class values agenda'

Five Myths about Israel's War

It's Disproportionate. . . .

True, but do the WP and the NYT have black columnists just to have someone who occasionally gives a real liberal opinion? The fact that their opinions are more likely to be true and not based on country club cocktail party chatter I suppose creates a "fair and balanced" editorial board.

Elsewhere in the paper - "if this race is about Republicans and Democrats I lose." And here was another(?) Republican running on pork, not party. November is shaping up to be a Democratic Blue Letter day.

Nearly all expert commentators - World not being made safer by Middle East Wars.

The eight issues that determine who will control Congress. That is the start of a series that will continue until the election.

ADDED - Anonymous GOP Senate candidate running against Bush and the scarlet R outed - partially backtracks on his comments.

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Monday, July 24, 2006

When Ralph Peters says Israel is losing....

Expanded at the Whiskey Bar. Earlier he writes about the useless idiots of the Right Internet now as they turn on each other.

Halliburton has $385 million contract for US emergency detention centers

I thought this was left-wing paranoia but its true.

More here.

Homeland Security Contracts for Vast New Detention Camps

Watch out for White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten with his links to the CIA and hard-right Israel politicians as well as overall political strategy and privatization advocates. "Wouldn’t it be ironic if the endgame scenario of Bolten and Kaplan involved the bombing of Iran and the concomitant terrorism of Israel?" That was from a May 11th Global Research on globalization essay.

Will the next emergency result in martial law? More.

Israel set war plan a year ago - preparation for Iran

Israel's military response by air, land and sea to what it considered a provocation last week by Hezbollah militants is unfolding according to a plan finalized more than a year ago.

In the six years since Israel ended its military occupation of southern Lebanon, it watched warily as Hezbollah built up its military presence in the region. When Hezbollah militants kidnapped two Israeli soldiers last week, the Israeli military was ready to react almost instantly. - SF Chron.
There has been quiet negotiations with Israel about this war being a prelude to an attack on Iran.

UK Sources Confirm War With Iran Is On

Well-planned attacks - are Syria and Iran Next?
Israel's assaults on the Occupied Territories and Lebanon were planned well in advance with the full knowledge and approval of the US. It was reported earlier this year in Israel's Maariv daily that the events now underway in Gaza and the West Bank were in the works for months. It was explained in an interview the paper did with IDF Southern Command General Yoav Galant, responsible for Gaza, who said that "we (Israel) have a plan to (re) occupy the Strip" (and) "We are in advanced states of preparing forces for readiness" to do it in response to "increased (Palestinian) attacks." Another IDF official confirmed what the general said and added that the IDF completed its training to reenter Gaza and informed its soldiers to prepare and be ready for orders to move in. Neither the general or other IDF official explained, however, that the Palestinian "attacks" were with crude weapons and only in response to Israel's daily assaults against them with the most sophisticated weapons the IDF has other than its nuclear ones....

Kallman reported further that over a year ago a senior Israeli IDF officer (unidentified) began giving "PowerPoint presentations" off the record to US and other officials and unnamed journalists and think tanks explaining the plan now underway "in revealing detail." The officer described a three week campaign to destroy Hezbollah's "long-range missiles," rocket launchers and weapons stores, its command and control centers, and disrupt transportation and communication in the country. He said IDF ground forces in large numbers would then invade Southern Lebanon in the third week of the campaign to destroy targets identified through reconnaissance but not to remain on a long-term basis. It turned out the IDF did it after 10 days and are now in the south of the country.
Forgotten by media flock - the other wars?

60 dead, 200 wounded in Baghdad today

A flurry of suicide attacks, roadside bombings and shootings across Afghanistan.

Wrote John F. McManus in 1993,"Neocons have taken over the conservative wing of the Republican party. And they have succeeded in doing so -- to the degree that the word 'conservative' is now being applied to individuals and ideas that are, in fact, liberal.”

And who is John McManus? He's a former spokesman and current president of the conservative John Birch Society. - Freedom Central USA

"be careful what you say on blogs"

Rightwingsparkle has ended her practice of having reasonable, or almost reasonable, Chronicle blog posts but then revealing her true self in the comments. If you can believe it, her latest post confesses that she gave up reading newspapers because of the "liberal" Dallas Morning News. To those of you who don't know, the Dallas Morning News is a Republican propaganda sheet that tilts heavily right.

I had a long debate with her in the comments on this post mainly with her attacking liberals and Michael Moore when her conservative heros were so much more uncivil. (My last post has a quote that ends a sentence too soon.)

Her comments have become the left-right debate that I thought the Chronicle might want in a blog.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Shocker: Poll Shows Lamont Ahead by 10 in primary, tied with Lieberman in general

Many Americans Producing Home-Made Biodiesel

How To make it yourself. Getting started.

Added - NYT: Grease is the word - driving a veggie oil car.

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US admits it used napalm bombs in Iraq

American pilots dropped the controversial incendiary agent napalm on Iraqi troops during the advance on Baghdad. The attacks caused massive fireballs that obliterated several Iraqi positions.

The Pentagon denied using napalm at the time, but Marine pilots and their commanders have confirmed that they used an upgraded version of the weapon against dug-in positions. They said napalm, which has a distinctive smell, was used because of its psychological effect on an enemy.

An update on the underfunded Democratic candidates

JAKinTT picked up a new Texas candidate's lament on fund raising.

I have been working with an underfunded candidate and I know the feeling. One of the qualities needed in a "professional" candidate is to be able to work the phones and ask for money. I don't think that quality makes for the best politicians and leaders.

Right attempting to make conservative films

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Play the Delay's Dollars Game

How to use GIS in politics - Texas example

Pictures of Democrats

Fort Bend County

Southeast Harris County from Battleground Democrats. I am in one of those. Warning - these are very large jpgs if you open one. I would have cropped and shrunk.

Kingwood Democrats.

Asian American Democrats of Harris County.

River Oaks ROADwomen.

Rice University Young Democrats

Bay Area New Democrats.

Houston BlackDems Club members and gallery.

Harris County Young Democrats.

University Democrats of Texas. Here registering voters.

Sharpstown Democrats.

Texas Governor's Race may be stabilizing until Fall

Perry 35%, challengers about 20% each. Poll crosstabs.

As Sugarland muse writes some Republicans are defecting from Perry and Chris Bell hasn't begun to fight. Perry will shrink and Bell will move up. I think that Bell in the debates and elsewhere will also have to blow holes in Kinky's liberal support - he is a very conservative Libertarian style Republican.

Digby is yelling out the window again

I'm not ready to make nice, especially with DC dems.

Administration Monsters

Compassionate Conservatism was always just a campaign ploy

Ted Rall is also yelling that collective punishment was a miserable failure for the Nazi's, so why are Bush and Israel adopting it?

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BAGnewsNotes: Eye on Media images

Israeli Bloodthirsty Children Or Media Missiles?

ADDED - The story of the images from CJR.

Dems Fold Over Web Caskets

Bush, A Very Touching Almost Man

Bush at NAACP - frosty, Bush with Rice - cutesy

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Baptists losing colleges

"The convention itself in its national and state organizations has moved so far to the right that previous diversity on the faculty and among the trustees is no longer possible," said Bill Leonard, dean of the Divinity School at Wake Forest. "More theological control of the curriculum and the faculty has been the result."

David W. Key, director of Baptist Studies at the Candler School of Theology at Emory, put it more starkly. “The real underlying issue is that fundamentalism in the Southern Baptist form is incompatible with higher education," Professor Key said. "In fundamentalism, you have all the truths. In education, you’re searching for truths."

U.S. Speeds Up Bomb Delivery for the Israelis

Biofuels: Think Outside The Barrel - video

A technical talk persuades that the US could eliminate Middle East oil within 8 years. Link from Boing-Boing. In three years Brazil went from 4% bio-fueled cars to 80%.

It's OK to blog at the CIA, just don't mention Geneva Conventions

Friday, July 21, 2006

A Conflict Viewed Through Very Different Lenses

The rest of the world is seeing a very different Middle East war, one focused on the heavy civilian casualties. Arab media is particularly furious at American news coverage.

Gitmo Lawyers Say Attorney-Client Notes Were Seized

Silver Linings and a Cross of Gold

An upside for some people to the Middle East going to Hell and all the other bad news. The Rapture folks are so excited they feel like doing cartwheels.

Where Have the Architects of War Gone?

As the Middle East is blowing up the original very public neo-cons have disappeared.

Wal-Mart Blog wars

Texas Farmers Furious Over Superhighway

Help Impeach Bush: Drink Mmm - peachment Tea

Help Impeach Bush: Drink Impeachment Tea

Mmm... Peach Mint Tea
"a remedy for government-induced dyspepsia"

Hold a Tea Party to overthrow King George!

Is your country turning into a totalitarian state? Are you saddened by the destruction of our democracy? This zesty blend of high-quality black teas, infused with the aromas of ripening peaches and cool, dewy mint leaves, is sure to calm your nerves! Just drink up, and take "Mmm... Peach Mint" power into your own hands!

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Thursday, July 20, 2006

Lamont Has Narrow Lead in Two Polls

Lieberman should lose with dignity and not run as an Independent. (Other poll not released yet but being discussed.)

More Americans are worried about debt than terrorists

Adopt 400,000 Frozen Embryos

Help out your Prez.

Take two, or even a dozen, they're small. In fact, adopt them all. The dot in this i is the size of a frozen embryo - isn't it cute. Ahhh. Won't they be cutems all snuggled up together in your freezer?

Just keep them in the freezer until needed. Get an old ice cream carton for them. Now, don't get the cartons confused. For God's sake! don't accidentally spill them on the ice cream. That would be bad. You'd start thinking how that would taste. Stop, stop, stop, you are not, not, a baby eating monster - even frozen babies on delicious ice cream. Only the President can eat a baby, and then only if he thinks it necessary to stop terrorists.

It is sad that the adopted kids and parents Bush was photo-oping with killed 5 embryos for every child you saw. The protocols demand numerous embryos per attempt to get one possible live and kicking or flipping one. I hope they blurred that when you were watching. It would have been so much more moral for Bush to have his picture taking with some pretty, pretty pre-zygotes.

Maybe he did, look for some dots in those pictures. I think he did. I see dots. I see lots of dots. Of course, he would have had to keep them away from Cheney who'd definitely eat them. Stay away you frozen baby eater! Bad Cheney. Only if God tells the president will he let you eat those babies.

Let's get back to you and your 400,000 darlings. Keep them safe and think about how you can personally give them to good homes. All those properly married, good Judeo-Christian, non-homosexual, young waiting vaginas. Think about all those vaginas while packing them away. Once you have all those embryos all packed in the carton or a number of little bitty cartons in the freezer I'll tell you how to get ready for the next GOP campaign.

You want to know now?

OK. Don't tell anyone - this is for 2008.

Storing sperm for the GOP. Yes, the every sperm is sacred campaign. We must help all of your sperm, or your eggs for you housewives out there, be ready to be children.
Every sperm is sacred.
Every sperm is great.
If a sperm is wasted,
God gets quite irate.
Get those containers ready. We gotta put those boys on ice. This is only the beginning. In 2012 they'll all get the right to vote on their own little cold computerized voting machines...

400,000 is the number of frozen embryos in fertility clinics in this country right now. The total size of all the embryos by my calculations is about six cubic inches.

The Coming War with Iran

There is still no acknowledgement from the conventional media that Bush has already decided to attack Iran but is still deciding on timing. This is a serious miscalculation by the neo-cons and the media by failing to warn of the disaster this would trigger.

Meanwhile the whole Middle East is going up in flames from misguided anti-Muslim policies.
Just as Saddam Hussein was cast as the monster whose elimination would transform Iraq into a democratic oasis, Hezbollah and its allies in Syria and Iran are presented now as the crux of all evil in the Middle East whose military defeat will bring a new day.

Inside the United States, many of the same politicians and pundits who stampeded the nation into Iraq are back again urging the application of even more violence. While George W. Bush and his neoconservative advisers may be leading the herd, influential Democrats - like Hillary Clinton and Alan Dershowitz - are running with this pack, too.

But the ease with which these Middle East hawks tolerate the slaughter of Arabs in Lebanon - as well as in Iraq and in the Palestinian territories - has a flavor of racism that has poisoned U.S. policy as far as many Muslims are concerned and indeed has strengthened popular support for Islamic extremists on the Arab street....

Clinton, who is considered a Democratic presidential frontrunner in 2008, pleased the crowd by denouncing Hezbollah and Palestinian militants in Hamas as "the new totalitarians of the 21st Century" who believe in neither human rights nor democracy. (As for the democracy part, Hamas won the last round of Palestinian elections and Hezbollah has become a political force in Lebanon, holding seats in parliament.)

Attorney General Exposed Bush Cover-Up?

YouTube Covering the Iraq War from unhappy soldiers

This summary is not available. Please click here to view the post.

Plans for a military victory over Hizbullah are a fantasy

Iran another winner in Lebanon war.

Third of Lebanon casualties are children, says UN.

Syrians defiant, outraged at Lebanon's destruction. "The region is boiling. What they're doing to Lebanon is creating human time bombs who will not only detonate in Israel but also inside countries sympathetic to it."

"For a time, in the aftermath of 9.11, the rest of the world was WITH us. How sympathetic were the people of the world? A million people marched in the streets of TEHRAN in support of the US."

Today, al-Qaida has not only regrouped, but it is on the march.”

Lebanon Demands Compensation From Israel.

The Israeli invasion is not a narrowly targetted precise attack avoiding civilian casualties on Hezbollah. They have done billions of dollars in damage to Lebanon atacking power plants, factories, ports, bridges, airports. Deaths are 10 Lebanese to every Israeli and nearly all deaths, well over 90%, in Lebanon are civilians.

Ralph Nader criticized White House Israeli policy - supporting "war crimes".

War in Gaza continues.

Bush's peace process disengagement, tilt to Israel, and Iraq misadventure lead to Lebanon's destruction and a Shiite rainbow over the Middle East.

Neocon Middle-East Pot stiring leads to chaos.

Britain fears assault on Hezbollah will backfire. Huge civilian casualties - little gain.

Experts rip Rove stem cell remark - Front Page Chicago Tribune

DeLay fundraising group forced to shutdown for numerous illegalities

ARMPAC shut down and fined. This would open the way for civil suits but they may be more difficult with it shut down. Any Democratic candidates could file suit against the principal officers of the PAC, however. This is about what occurred to DeLay's Texas TRMPAC. Americans for a Republican Majority Pac was DeLay extorting funds from contributors, for legislation or consideration, and distributing it to GOP candidates around the country. Nearly every Republican in Congress received money from ARMPAC. This should be a huge deal - let's see what the SCLM does with it.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

A Spanish lesson for Iraq on how to make federalism work

TONIGHT in Deer Park - Learn about Impeachment

Learn about The Center for Constitutional Rights' case for impeachment: why it is necessary, what's at stake, and what you can do about it.

Come to a local teach-in about the:


WHERE: Beyond Latte, Center St. and San Augustine Blvd., Deer Park TX

WHEN: Wednesday, July 19th, 6:30pm

HOSTED BY: Gary Denton

Visit to RSVP and find out more about ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT AGAINST GEORGE W. BUSH: A National Teach-In.

Please RSVP and also spread the word.

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Ralph Reed Loses in Georgia over ties to Abramoff

Bush to stem cell community - drop dead

Also Scott Rosenberg - a political, not ethical decision.

If Bush really believes destroying embryos is murder he should charge the thousands of doctors and technicians that work at fertility clinics. He doesn't because that isn't politically smart. Many middle-class Americans want options if they are unable to have a child.

This is a slippery slope decision but in the anti-science direction. Ignorant religious zealots have opposed pain medication, vaccination, germ theory, blood transfusion, and other procedures in the past, and presently, and this is a continuation of their agenda. The religious belief that God knows all and plans all and so we should not interfere with God's plan should have ended centuries ago. All of those who support God's plan without scientific interference should remove themselves from all contact with the medical system now.

The real question is simple - should unwanted embryos be thrown in the trash or should they be used in research to help save lives. Bush pandered to religious elements in his base to say they should continue to be thrown away.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Edwards Using Peer-to-Peer File Sharing

Wow, smart and taking on Hollywood.

Why the Left Is Furious at Lieberman - Duncan Black

Stabbed in the Back! The past and future of a right-wing myth

GOP looks upon government as an income stream - monetizing policy

In an interview last month that I just became aware of, convicted GOP political operative and phone jammer Allen Raymond explains the ruthless modern GOP.
"A lot of people look at politics and see it as the guy who wins is the guy who unifies the most people. I would disagree. I would say the candidate who wins is the candidate who polarizes the right bloc of voters. You always want to polarize somebody."

"Republicans have treated campaigns and politics as a business, and now are treating public policy as a business, looking for the types of returns that you get in business, passing legislation that has huge ramifications for business. It is very much being monetized, and the federal government is being monetized under Republican majorities."

George Will tries to warn neo-cons we don't want their war

One of the more intelligent conservatives sounds a warning - spreading democracy is giving power to Muslim extremists and the US military is too overextended to take on Syria and Iran.

Candidate banned from his home town in Florida

Monday, July 17, 2006

Deep thoughts - On The NYT recent praises of Leo Strauss

Only click if you want a heavy dose of philosophical arguments on Strauss and his Machiavellian followers on Brad DeLong's blog.

How to Reach 100,000 People for Under $1.00

This Wednesday Get Ready for Impeachment

Learn about The Center for Constitutional Rights' case for impeachment: why it is necessary, what's at stake, and what you can do about it.

Come to a local teach-in about the:


WHERE: Beyond Latte, Center St. and San Augustine Blvd., Deer Park TX

WHEN: Wednesday, July 19th, 6:30pm

HOSTED BY: Gary Denton

Visit to RSVP and find out more about ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT AGAINST GEORGE W. BUSH: A National Teach-In.

Please RSVP and also spread the word.

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USN&WR - Administration expected financial spying to leak and had PR plan ready

New Maps for old

Texas has to redistrict the border because of the dilution of Latino voters under the DeLay plan. The new state plan is notable for splitting Austin into three Republican districts and attempting to remove another white Democrat - the DeLay plan all over again. Here is a report with a map of that plan. Oh, and get a clue reporters - it could easily change the make-up of Texas Reps again as Doggett by design would not have an easy time. The headline is misleading in that a Latino Democrat or even a Republican could have an easier time getting elected. This is somewhat similar to Chris Bell being replaced with Black Democrat Al Green under DeLay's plan. No problem with Black or Latino Democrats, we could use more of them, but it is a GOP SOuthern tactic to have Democrats being seen as the minority only party.

The Houston Chronicle had a decent article about all the plans and their effects on politicians.

An excellent PDF with maps that analyzes all or most of the plans is here. Thanks to Mustafa Tameez for creating the report and Charles Kuffner for hosting it.

Sunday Talk Shows - Iran Fever, Novak squirms

Neo-cons and allies blaming Iran and Syria. Meanwhile Novak did a good imitation of a fat weasel looking for a way out of a trap he blundered into. He used poverty as an excuse on why he turned over all his sources. Are Plame and Wilson preparing another lawsuit against him?

Earlier - GOP unsure if they are pushing for World War 3, 4 or 5.

Conservative bloggers turn on pro-American Arabs abandoning ship.

Plame responds.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Federal Reserve Study: U.S. Going Broke

With massive tax cuts, huge spending increases and no solutions offered on Medicare, Health and Social Security, the Federal Reserve thinks the US is tetering on bankruptcy.

Why Israel is losing the war

Even some in the news media note that shock and awe doesn't work against stateless groups.

Billmon expands on Israel's foremost military historian explanation of why "nothing will work" here and here. The only thing Billmon doesn't see is that the Bush administration has already decided on attacking Iran and is only working out the timing.

I don't see it often noted that a leading factor in becoming a suicide bomber is having a friend or relative killed by some state or institution you feel is unjust and oppressive. See Dying to Win and a little different take: Dying to Kill. Actions that create many more collateral deaths and injuries than target deaths feed insurgencies.

Robert Talton buys cookies

Articles of Impeachment Teach-In

Learn about The Center for Constitutional Rights' case for impeachment: why it is necessary, what's at stake, and what you can do about it.

Come to a Teach-In about the:


WHERE: Beyond Latte, Center and San Augustine, Deer Park TX

WHEN: Wednesday, July 19th, 6:30pm

HOSTED BY: Gary Denton

Visit to RSVP and find out more about ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT AGAINST GEORGE W. BUSH: A National Teach-In.

Please RSVP and also spread the word.

Tags: , , , ,

The Hunting of the President

Above is movie website with timeline and trailer.

Here is the Amazon DVD on sale.

ADDED - Perry has pointed out there will be a showing of the movie with Susan McDougal as guest July 27th as a fundraiser for excellent Congressional candidate Jim Henley.

And I neglected to mention both the book and the hero of the story Susan MacDougal's book.

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Saturday, July 15, 2006

Mass Media denouncing angry liberal bloggers, ignores conservatives advocating murder

Media Matters's Jamison Foser has a roundup of the shrill media pointing in alarm at "angry liberal bloggers" while ignoring conservatives advocating the murder of journalists, politicians and judges. The recent examples are numerous and increasing. This is not new by either the media or the conservative bloggers or conservative media figures, as he points out.

This past weekend there were major posts by several right-wing prominent bloggers decrying the lack of civility on the left. Lawyer and writer Glen Greenwald chided them for their hypocrisy and pointed out their own recent murder advocates and incivility. The response was, you guessed it, a mass uncivil orgy of hate speech directed at him.
So that's the level of discourse that comes from right-wing bloggers, every one of whom cited here -- each and every one -- doled out solemn lectures this weekend about how terrible it is for people to write mean personal insults on the Internet, only to respond to my post today with the above-excerpted tantrums. And all of that leaves to the side the fact that they were unable to comprehend the actual arguments that were made in the post -- most of them responded to the opposite of the argument that was actually made....
Right Wing Sparkle at the Houston Chronicle repeated the arguments denouncing a liberal commenter that sparked this on her conservative blog. A troll gets her attention but in her own comments she expressed admiration for Michelle Malkin and Ann Coulter. I had covered this before but it bears repeating.

Which is worse - a troll or prominent political advocates with loud media voices engaging in hate speech?

UPDATE: Greenwald and Duncan Black are chastising the mainstream media for ignoring this story.

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Friday, July 14, 2006

As we slink toward the Apocalypse...

Digby on Conservative Progression and Conservative Progressives:
How a country like the US can support freedom and democracy, and what tools should be used, is a valid question. There has always been the problem of a mighty superpower seeming to throw its weight around having the effect of creating a certain human resistance to its influence. Nobody has an easy answer to that question, but most liberals believe that the best, if not perfect, hope lies in international law and institutions.

But, honestly, anybody who thought that it was a good idea to illegally (and virtually unilaterally) invade and occupy a middle eastern nation that had not attacked anyone, in the name of freedom and democracy was nuts. (To compound the error by thinking that you could use torture and humiliation in the process and still somehow be seen as a valiant liberator is simply mind-boggling.) If there is ever a case in human events in which you cannot adopt an "ends justify the means" philosophy it's in the realm of spreading liberal values. The minute you do it, you have defeated yourself.

This was not a difficult thing to understand for those who actually believe in liberal values. It seems, however, to still elude those who for the last decade, at least, have been swinging wildly from one position to the other without even pausing for breath.
Riverbend at Baghdad Burning has another friend killed as Baghdad splinters apart.

War being pushed at GOPUSA: The world stands on the brink of world war and the battle lines could not be more evident....

GAO: Bush has still not developed a coherent plan for Iraq.

"God's Sugar Daddy" Religious school discount coupon proponent James Leininger has spent millions trying to buy political power in Texas.

Earth Heating Up? - Conservative think tanks raking in energy bucks - "Hell No"

David Neiwert loses Ranger Ron. Earlier he adds his voice to the warnings about neo-Nazis in the military as the Pentagon struggles with manpower goals.

Have you made the neo-fascist Target of Opportunity list yet? Meanwhile, has your local petting zoo or Sears made Homeland Security's terror target list?

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usBeirut in flames
Behind the Israel Crisis, A Push Toward War

The Neocon view - Bush is patiently giving Iran a chance before he attacks.

Israel Blockades, Bombs Lebanon While Hezbollah Rains Rocket Fire
"What do I think personally?" asked Munzir Baram, a 40-year-old Lebanese making his way across a partially repaired bridge spanning the green-tinted Damour River. "It's going to get a lot, lot worse."

"This is taking us back 20 years to the Lebanon war," said Rachel Ronen, 54, whose accounting firm was left a shambles by the morning rockets that hit 15 minutes before her secretary was due for work. Asked what Israel should do in return, Ronen, her eyes red from weeping, said, "Hit them."
U.S. - Iran UN action following Iraq pattern. That would put strikes somewhere after Labor Day to early next year.

Airstrikes on Lebanon kill more than 50

After spending the weekend urging more civility the right wing internet had an orgy of hate speech after being called hypocrites.

Parents lying to get their kids into church schools

And that is how the world is going to Hell the last few days, unless you are one of those few saying I'm so excited, the Rapture and the Bridegroom draws nigh. That's so gay....