In the 2007 presidential election, Mr. Besancenot won 4.1 percent of the vote with the slogan, “Our lives are worth more than their profits.” But in the year since, as the Socialist Party has squabbled over its leadership and Mr. Sarkozy has picked off a few Socialist figures for his own cabinet, the young radical has become almost mainstream — serious surveys show that more than 60 percent of the French regard him favorably. [...] So he is trying to gather other small, left-wing parties into a new grouping: the New Anti-Capitalist Party, which is intended to provide an umbrella voting list for those unhappy with the impact of capitalism and globalization on the poor, the environment, the third and fourth worlds, and on the rights of women and homosexuals.Huh? "Fourth world?" We were recently wondering what exactly had happened to the "second world" of "communist" gummints, now we find a "fourth world?"
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Friday, September 12, 2008
Thursday, September 11, 2008
“The Civil War” is an exquisite miniature (unfortunately padded out by some battle sequences lifted from “Raintree County,” an earlier MGM Civil War film) that consists of only three scenes: a mother (Ms. Baker) sends a son (Peppard) off to war; the son has a horrible experience as night falls on the battlefield of Shiloh; the son returns and finds that his mother has died. The structure has a musical alternation: day, night, day; exterior, interior, exterior; stillness, movement, stillness. In the first and last scenes the famous Fordian horizon line extends the entire length of the extra-wide Cinerama frame. In the aftermath of the battle the horizon line disappears in darkened studio sets. The sense of the sequence is profoundly antiwar — Generals Sherman and Grant, played by John Wayne and Henry Morgan, briefly appear as a couple of disheveled, self-pitying drunks — and it gradually becomes apparent that the elderly Ford is revisiting one of his early important works, the 1928 drama “Four Sons.” The expressionistic middle sequence, with its studio-built swamp, refers to F. W. Murnau, whose “Sunrise” was one of the great influences on the young Ford, while the open-air sequences that bracket it, with their unmoving camera, long-shot compositions and rootedness in the rural landscape, recall the work of the American pioneer D. W. Griffith. When, in the final panel of Ford’s triptych, a gust of wind tousles Peppard’s hair in the foreground and then continues across to the forest in the middle distance and on to the stand of trees in the most distant background, it seems like a true miracle of the movies: a breath of life, moving over the face of the earth. No less formidable a filmmaker than Jean-Marie Straub has called “The Civil War” John Ford’s masterpiece; for the first time, thanks to this magnificent new edition, I think I know what he’s talking about. Birth, death, rebirth.Damn. Of course, we've not seen HTWWW ("Won," that's almost amusing.) on the really big screen since 1963 (we've caught it a couple of times on TCM) but if we ever live anywhere again we'll definitely be renting & re-examining it. And for the straight ladies & gay guys in the crowd, here's Jimmy Stewart saying "How" to a redskin.
On Wednesday, South Carolina Democratic Party Chairwoman Carol Fowler told a reporter for the website Politico that Sen. John McCain chose a running mate "whose primary qualification seems to be that she hasn't had an abortion."Tell it as is, Chairwoman Fowler.
Also on the call was Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn, who alleged that Fowler's remark was part of a sexist pattern by the Obama campaign, starting in May when Obama addressed a reporter as "sweetie."We've seen Rep. Blackburn on telebision. She's an active drooler. How these fucking creeps in the Republican party can say word one about sexism or racism when they're the ones who took over the political South w/ their "Southern Strategy" of barely-coded racism, and have been consistently opposed to rights & freedom for the fairer sex is beyond us, but at this stage of the game, what isn't?
For future generations, this memorial will be a place of learning. The day will come when most Americans have no living memory of the events of September the 11th. When they visit this memorial, they will learn that the 21st century began with a great struggle between the forces of freedom and the forces of terror. They will learn that this generation of Americans met its duty -- we did not tire, we did not falter, and we did not fail. They will learn that freedom prevailed because the desire for liberty lives in the heart of every man, woman, and child on Earth."Did not fail." Nope, just neglected ever to find Bin Laden, & managed to create more enemies & bring them together by invading a country that had nothing to do w/ the attacks, but was weak & oily. And another juicy piece of stupid from a juicer:
10:08 A.M. EDT THE PRESIDENT: Thank you all. Mr. Vice President; Secretary Gates; Madam Speaker; Justices of the Supreme Court; members of my Cabinet and administration; members of Congress; Admiral Mullen and the Joint Chiefs; Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, a first responder on September the 11th, 2001; directors of the Pentagon Memorial Fund -- Mr. Chairman, congratulations; families and friends of the fallen; distinguished guests; fellow citizens: Laura and I are honored to be with you.Yes, Donald Rumsfeld, SecDef, who was a "first responder" when the nation was under physical attack for the first time since Pearl Harbor. But, instead of getting to a secure location, taking command of air defense, or doing anything along the lines of his position, he was running around like a chicken w/ its head cut off, trying to push gurneys around, & probably just getting in the way. Fortunately, his later conduct of the illegal & stupid invasion of Iraq & the following occupation was letter perfect.
From the commentariat @ Sadly, No!, we are reminded by Qetesh the Abyssinian (even as we watch MSNBC re-running the Today show of six years ago, w/ the whole mess) of a previous 11 September, in Chile. Let's go to Qetesh:Should you wish some sort of editorial comment on this all-AmeriKKKan mess, the Incredible Shrinking Newspaper™© has some, although it's weak-kneed, & acts as if economic success is worth it, even at the cost of the lives of thousands, & most of the success is reserved for those who were already successful. And Timothy Garton Ash, a "senior fellow" (Does that sound gay or just queer?) at the Hoover Institution, nonetheless has an op-ed concerning "authoritarian capitalism." No, he doesn't think that's redundant. Manufactured consent is just as good as natural consent to him. His closing line, by the way?Finally, let’s not forget the other September 11th. I just wish that some idiots would realise that behaviour like the first leads to behaviour like the second.She spells in that cute way because she's a cat, & lives in Australia. Below, the last photo of Salvador Allende before his murder at the hands of fascist thugs supported & financed by the CIA, on the orders of Richard "Murderhous" Nixon & Henry "Killer" Kissinger.
Pessimism of the intellect must be matched by optimism of the will.If not an outright triumph thereof. Remember when the "free market" guaranteed that political democracy would follow, as sure as night follows day? Believe you us, we knew better then, & now it may be occurring to those who spread that particular big lie, as well. (They're not stupid, they're just slow, & blinded by their ideologies.) Indeed, we recently heard some fuckwad on the right (perhaps from the Bush Administration itself) spewing some crap about how a democracy somewhere would soon lead to a free market. Isn't it the other way around? We only wish we had a better recall of the country to which the clown in question was referring. Note (If you give a shit.): Due to the deadline restraints mentioned immediately below, we made some additions & changes to this item, @1257 PDT, rendering it slightly different from the version posted @1143.
The delegates settled on a list of principles they called the Chattanooga Declaration. "The deepest questions of human liberty and government facing our time go beyond right and left, and in fact have made the old left-right split meaningless and dead," the declaration read. "The privileges, monopolies and powers that private corporations have won from government threaten ... health, prosperity and liberty, and have already killed American self-government by the people." The answer, it went on, was that the American states "ought to be free and self-governing."Yet another clue is offered to these clowns. (We really should charge for our clue-providing services). If you think that the United Snakes are dominated by corporations, just imagine how well your piddly little state (or its legislature & executive branches) will resist further corporate depredation. Look, for example, at our own beloved California & how it was under the thumb of the Southern Pacific Railroad at the turn of the last century. Frank Norris wrote a book about it, referring to the SP (on whose commuter trains the editorial staff here used to ride to school each day, up & down the San Francisco peninsula) as The Octopus. If you're so fucking worried about fascist corporations, step one is public financing of all political campaigns. Try working on that before you decide to try to secede. (Not very nihilistic of us, we know, but common sense can prevail, even here.)
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Woodward's appraisal is more nuanced. He argues that the current situation was created by the confluence of three forces of which the troop surge may be the least consequential. More important is a hyper-secret new program (by inference, a combination of technology and operational techniques) that has allowed U.S. forces to identify, locate and kill huge numbers of the insurgency's leaders, including members of Al Qaeda. When military and White House officials learned that Woodward knew of the secret program, they asked that he withhold any details because publication would endanger the operation and compromise its use elsewhere. Responsible though Woodward's decision may be, it lends a fairly frustrating opacity to what is "The War Within's" biggest revelation. The author also argues that the diminution of violence in Iraq owes a great deal to the so-called Anbar Awakening, in which the tribal sheiks in that crucial Sunni-dominated province have turned on Al Qaeda and aligned themselves with the U.S. and the new central government. Woodward points out that the success in Anbar began long before the surge with the Marines' successful counterinsurgency efforts on the Syrian border. The result of those efforts reached critical mass at about the time the surge began. In fact, Woodward quotes a memo from one of Gen. David H. Petraeus' counter-insurgency experts, musing that the troop surge has had the opposite effect from the one intended, which was to give the Maliki government a safe space into which it could extend its influence as a national regime. Instead, the memo argues, the presence of additional U.S. troops has allowed the tribal leaders to assert themselves and their influence not only locally but also on the Baghdad government in an evolving but specifically Iraqi expression of civil society.Not to mention, as many pundits/loudmouths/blowhards more widely circulated than we are (Bitter? Sure we are!) has, now that Baghdad has pretty much been segregated into all-Sunni or all-Shia neighborhoods, there's no one left to kill. As well as the United Snakes, filthy materialists that they are, having begun to pay the various tribal leaders not to shoot at AmeriKKKan troops, but to shoot w/ us, against all those terrorists, or patriots, or whatever they are. So the surge is as meaningless as virtually anything else Bush has told us, & somehow Obama, when confronted w/ "the surge" by Bill O'Reilly recently on FOX News Channel, didn't refer to this book (Is he so fucking busy on the campaign trail he doesn't know what's going on?) but said "Oh, beyond our wildest dreams," or crap to that effect. Loser.
Christopher Ketcham contributes to GQ, Vanity Fair, Harper's and many online publications. He is writing a book on American secessionism. christopherketcham.comwrites on the "all-American" subject of state secession, in conjunction w/ Sarah "The Moose-Eating Barracuda"Palin's affiliation w/ & appreciation of the Alaskan Independence Party in today's L. A. Times. He thinks secessionism is a American as
Secession worries the staid opinion gatekeepers of the major media. Sarah Palin's "flirtation" with the AIP should make us "uneasy," as Rosa Brooks warned in these pages. Palin's secessionist ties raise "serious questions," averred the New York Times. A more honest assessment is that the separatism of the Alaskan Independence Party is not so weird or wacky -- or out of keeping with what appears to be a sentiment rooted in that loveliest of American predilections, our crotchety contrarianism.Maybe so. It wouldn't kill us (immediately) here at Just Another Blog (From L. A.)™ to secede from these United Snakes. (Imagine: gay marriage, reasonable dope laws, general pinko West Coast freedom of & from the repressive whatnot of the dolts living too far from the oceans. Also imagine China/Russia/India/Brazil deciding to help themselves to California. Just whose army, navy, air force & marines are going to stop them?) But the point w/ slimy Sarah P. is that she's on the ticket w/ überpatriot John McCain, whose slogan is "Country First." Well, sometimes it's "Reform, Prosperity, Peace." ("Mr. Orwell, to the white courtesy 'phone, please. Mr. Orwell, paging Mr. Orwell.") Seems somewhat odd for Mme. Moosemurder to be all for the AIP, while claiming to place "Country First," doesn't it, Mr. Ketcham, you fucking dolt?
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Terrorism analysts say that Americans--and American media outlets--are ignoring al-Qaida messages at their own peril. For many Americans, terrorism concerns are "falling off the radar, as al-Qaida has been silent in the USA (and much of the West) since 9-11," said Michael Sheehan, the former counter-terrorism official for the State Department and the City of New York. "Foreign attacks are mostly background noise. This is troublesome, for if we lose our focus they will attack us again at home," said Sheehan, who is now an NBC News terrorism analyst.Does this mean that Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri is waiting for the average AmeriKKKan pig-dog to stop quivering in fear before the next attack? (Which, if successful, will probably kill a much smaller of people than the annual AmeriKKKan gunshot & automobile deaths.) Is our safety somehow predicated on alert AmeriKKKans "keeping their focus?" Is it the loathsome AmeriKKKan media outlets, who've managed to ignore international events for many yrs. now? (We could point out that if AmeriKKKans had known or cared what was occurring in the Mid-East in order to assure them cheap gas for the drive to Wal*Mart to buy cheap plastic shit something might have been done to change that, & the Islamic nutjobs might not have felt it necessary to attack. But that's a fucking pipe dream.) Or is Sheehan speaking of the "counter-terrorism community?" Are they starting to lose their focus because media outlets aren't reminding them of their duties? What weak-minded ninnies they must be, then. Some of the other experts consulted for this piece have opinions of AmeriKKKa almost as low as the one held here at Just Another Blog™.
Ben Venzke, who analyzes videotaped terrorism statements for IntelCenter, said that Americans are becoming dangerously complacent about terrorism. He said he is reminded of the weeks before the 9-11 attacks, when the public (and media) were focusing on shark attacks and the latest turns in the Chandra Levy murder mystery. "If there's an attack, it's going to be out of the blue and blindside us," Venzke said. "If we could just manage to keep our attention span," he said, Americans would be better able to put any possible terrorist attack into perspective." They [terrorists] stay patient and focused, and we become an easier and easier target," Venzke said. NBC News terrorism analyst Evan Kohlmann says, if Americans have become blasé about terrorist statements, it's partially Zawahiri's fault. "He keeps rehashing the same set of basic issues over and over again," Kohlmann said. "Given a country like the U.S., which has a collective attention span of 5 minutes, it is easy to see why people get bored."Is it worth the effort to secure a people w/ the national attention span of a gnat? Though we still don't get how AmeriKKKans are so vital to all this. Most of them can be distracted by any shiny object. Show them anyone wearing a turban or the like, & their pants are wet & the "furriner" is dead meat. Remember the Sikh gas station attendants killed in Texas immediately after 11 September 2001? That's what you can expect from this country. Not unlike G. W. Bush. Attack people who had nothing to do w/ the original attack. If the counter-terrorism crowd expects savvy, alert 'Murkins to help defend the rest of us, their confidence is sorely mistaken. Two guys w/ beards & their underwear wrapped on their heads, speaking anything but English, would be enough of a distraction for some of “the white men of Waziristan” to do anything they wanted to. Yes, imagine that, "white people," glorious members of the greatest "race" on the face of God's Green Golfball, & they are traitors to whiteness!! Oh, the shock, the shame, the horror!!
Black holes aren't Wagner's only worry: He also is concerned that when the collider creates a soup of free-flying quarks, some of those quarks might recombine in a hazardous way — creating a stable, negatively charged "strangelet" that could turn everything it touches into more strangelets.
The lawsuit also suggests that magnetic monopoles — basically, magnets with only a north or a south pole, but not both — could be created in the collider and wreak havoc.
General scientific consensus is "no," but we can hope, can't we?
Monday, September 8, 2008
On Oct. 26, 1967, in the air over Hanoi, an alarm signaled that a surface-to-air missile had locked onto his plane. He should have tried to evade the missile but decided to release his bombs first. The missile took off the plane's right wing; McCain ejected. He landed, with a broken leg and two broken arms, in a lake in the middle of Hanoi. After he was pulled from the water, he was bayoneted in the ankle and groin.Did you get that? Sid, who took a free education from the U. S. Navy & managed to come in fifth from the bottom of his class, & who caused the destruction of several aircraft (not sure of the numbers, we hear many different stories) in training & otherwise (Note well, waste-fighters & reformers: Those planes cost millions of your taxpayer dollars each!!) was more interested in dropping a couple of 500-lb. dumb bombs that probably wouldn't have hit anything anyway than he was in saving his expensive aircraft & himself (mostly worthless, but a good chunk of money invested in his Annapolis education & flight training) from falling into the hands of the North Vietnamese. We in no way excuse the rotten treatment Fly-Boy Johnny received from Uncle Ho's minions (Reflect, however, so-called patriot, on your possible reaction if, say, a Chinese aviator had been bombing your neighborhood & you got a chance to have a few moments alone w/ the high-altitude baby killer.) but it's not "heroism." It's pathetic survival. If McCain had evaded the NVA SAM he would have continued to fly missions, rather than letting his flight training molder in solitary confinement for five-and-a-half yrs. Nor would we have been out an A-4. That's not serving your country. That's serving yourself, George W. Bush-style; G. W. being another great waster of the military resources of This Great Nation of Ours™© , both by his lack of service during the Vietnam adventure, & his essential destruction of our armed forces since 2003. Do we want a Mr. Macho type w/ the common sense & long-term view of an amoeba running Our Great Nation©™? Bombs away!!
Scientists say there's a chance that the LHC could create microscopic black holes, a phenomenon never before observed on Earth. They hasten to add that the tiny singularities will instantly pop out of existence, but that hasn't stopped critics from trying to block the collider's startup. Two of the critics have filed suit in federal court in Hawaii, seeking the suspension of LHC operations until more studies are done. Responding to the critics, CERN has issued a series of reports explaining why the LHC will pose no threat. Ellis was one of the report's authors. "If the LHC were to make microscopic black holes, it would be tremendously exciting — and no danger," he said.Darn the luck. But there's always that chance that Mr. Science & his pals are wrong wrong wrong. And although the (European, need we add?) scientists are going to start whipping those particles around the LHC come Wednesday, it will be months before the particles are moving at virtually the speed of light, so we can't rationally expect not to wake up Thursday a. m. (Well, not because of a microscopic singularity anyway. There are many reasons not to awake Thurs. a. m., from cardiac death in one's sleep to just plain sleeping past noon.) Another "future holocaust" denier is heard from here. Now we notice that MSNBC (from whom we steal many of our story "inspirations," ha ha) is keeping the good stuff until tomorrow, when they promise us "doomsday scenarios." Can't wait.
Sunday, September 7, 2008
By mid-2006, Casey, a stout four-star general with wire-rim glasses, had been the commander in Iraq for two years. As American military units rotated in and out, Casey remained the one constant. He had concluded that one big problem with the war was the president himself. Since the beginning, Casey felt, the president had viewed the war in conventional terms, repeatedly asking how many of the various enemies had been captured or killed. Casey later confided to a colleague that he had the impression that Bush reflected the "radical wing of the Republican Party that kept saying, 'Kill the bastards! Kill the bastards! And you'll succeed.'" Casey was troubled by the thought that the president didn't understand the nature of the fight they were in. The large, heavily armed Western force was on borrowed time, he believed. The president often paid lip service to winning over the Iraqi people, but then he would lean in with greater interest and ask about raids and military operations, grilling Casey about killings and captures. Months earlier, during a secure video conference with top military and civilian leaders looking on, he told Casey that it seemed the general wasn't doing enough. "George, we're not playing for a tie," Bush had said. "I want to make sure we all understand this, don't we?" Later in the video conference, Bush emphasized it again: "I want everybody to know we're not playing for a tie. Is that right?" In Baghdad, Casey's knuckles whitened on the table. The very suggestion was an affront to his dignity that he would long remember, a statement just short of an outright provocation."Mr. President," Casey had said bluntly, "we are not playing for a tie." Asked later about Casey's perceptions, Bush insisted in an interview that he understood the nature of the war, whatever Casey might have thought. "I mean, of all people to understand that, it's me," he said. But several of his on-the-record comments lend credence to Casey's concern that the president was overly focused on the number of enemy killed. "I asked that on occasion to find out whether or not we were fighting back," he said during the May interview. "Because the perception is, is that our guys are dying and they're not. Because we don't put out numbers. We don't have a tally." He said his overall question to his military commanders was, "Are we making progress in defeating them?" "What frustrated me is that from my perspective," he said at another point, "it looked like we were taking casualties without fighting back because our commanders are loath to talk about our battlefield victories."Never in human history, since some of the inbred, retarded Roman emperors, has there been as obvious a cretin in a position of such power. (Maybe George III of Britain, when his brain was being eaten away by syphilis or whatever his problem was.) Perhaps had Bush served or paid any fucking attention during AmeriKKKa's adventurism in Vietnam he would have been slightly aware of the trouble "body counts" led to in that all-AmeriKKKan failure.
Saturday, September 6, 2008
She took him square on, fearlessly, by which I mean in part that she showed no awkwardness connected to race, or racial history. A small town mayor is kind of like a community organizer only you have actual responsibilities. He wrote two memoirs but never authored a major bill. They've hauled the Styrofoam pillars back to the Hollywood lot.Gov. Palin isn't awkward about race at all. She's ready to bring it right out there. We all know what "community organizer" means in the world of the Rabid Weasels. It means "niggers being stirred up by outside agitators." It means "Remember George Wallace or whichever cracker Governor brought the phrase 'outside agitators' up." This is red meat, & it will not meet w/ as much disapproval as liberal wusses hope. Another fabulous rumor about Mme. Moosedropping is at a local (we guess) site, LA Progressive. You remember the children's story about Little Black Sambo & The Bitch, don't you? Time, like sands through the hourglass, runs out. One more from PN, however.
Cable news shows that had people insinuating Palin, whom America had not yet even met, was a bad mother, and that used her daughter's circumstances to examine Republican views on abstinence education? That was ugly.Ugly? WTF? Used the slutty daughter to illustrate the sheer idiocy of "abstinence education?" (Where's the "education" in that, BTW?) What better illustration than the chickens coming home to roost in Wasilla? Read the remainder of the piece, & you'll for whom it's "over." The bell tolls for thee, Peggy.
Friday, September 5, 2008
McCain's father, Jack, was a deeply ambitious sailor. Nicknamed "Good Goddamn McCain," he was a binge alcoholic who tried fitfully toward the end of his life to control his drinking. "When he was drunk," wrote McCain, "I did not recognize him." Jack married a charming woman who would be indispensable to his rise in the Navy. Roberta Wright was one of two beautiful identical twins, rich young women whose father had retired at 40 after making a killing as an oil wildcatter. Jack and Roberta eloped to Tijuana and were married in a room above Caesar's, the restaurant where, some say, the famous salad originated.If marrying an heiress was good enough for Daddy, why shouldn't it work for Trey? We have a vague sort of idea about George W. Bush's relationship (Oedipal) w/ his "Poppy." Do we need another fucked-up psychiatric basket case working his problems out on the world stage? Not to go out on a limb here, but perhaps not. Another exciting factoid from the Liberal Hymnal™©:
In fact, McCain lives by a series of honor codes, instilled in him by his father (an admiral) and his father's father (also an admiral). To boil them down to their simplest formulation: One must never lie, cheat or steal. McCain would be the first to admit that he has failed, sometimes spectacularly, at all three. But he also has perfected the familiar American ritual of coming clean and moving on.Wouldn't it be nice if someone, somewhere were held accountable for something & publicly shamed, fired, etc., rather than being forgiven over & over, as the religio-hypocrites love doing? Let alone getting a "Medal of Freedom" for allowing attacks on New York & the Pentagon. (We mean you, George Tenet.) But back to McCain & his "moral code." We're pretty much doubled up laughing. "Don't lie, cheat or steal." Wow, that's a new one. Very strict too. Dropping bombs on civilians from the relative safety of a jet aircraft is no moral or ethical problem. And allowing the torture of others in your name is cool. Really, the only "moral code" (of course the filthy, non-ending hypocrisy of those who chant "morality, morals, blah blah blah" incessantly has taken all value from the word "moral") one needs is "Do unto others as, etc." as first espoused by Gautama Buddha some 500 yrs. before the best part of the sky-fairy Jeezis ran down Joseph's leg. Or, to put it in terms even AmeriKKKans can understand: "Don't be a fucking asshole, asshole." Even his buddies admit he's a weaselly fuckwad.
"He is the best apologizer in politics," said Dan Schnur, who was McCain's campaign spokesman in 2000 and now directs the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics at USC.One doesn't become "the best apologizer" w/o much for which to apologize. Let's be nice for thirty seconds, or at least note something interesting & possibly decent.
In his biography, "John McCain: An American Odyssey," Timberg wrote that McCain began cheating on Carol while serving in a training squadron in Florida. "Off duty, usually on routine cross-country flights to Yuma and El Paso, John started carousing and running around with women," he wrote. Carol McCain told Timberg, the only writer to have interviewed her extensively about the breakup, that McCain's imprisonment had nothing to do with their divorce: "I attribute it more to John turning 40 and wanting to be 25 again." But there is no question she was devastated. And their three children, Doug and Andy -- Carol's sons who McCain had adopted -- and Sidney, their daughter, were wounded as well. None attended their father's wedding. "I was certainly mad and disappointed at Dad," Andy McCain told the New York Times in 2000. "I hold him responsible. I don't hold Cindy responsible one bit." Andy, 46, is chief financial officer of Cindy McCain's beer distributorship.Pretty amazing that Andy, not even J. Sidney's biological son, has a job w/ Cinderella's beer company. That would seem at first glance to be a nice thing, but who knows what or who is being paid off? You can imagine that Andy could have been quite a bit of trouble for his step-father's various political campaigns, like Giuliani's son. And surprise, he doesn't hold Cinderella, his employer, one bit responsible for the whole ugly mess. No cheating, remember? (Hey, we can't be nice for even thirty seconds. What do you know?) A last question, raised by the photos in the Times piece. If this is Sid meeting his wife (The first one, Carol, in case you're confused.) after getting off the plane (no dates more specific than 1973, thanks mucho, Times) at Travis AFB, say, directly from Hanoi or a stop-over in Hawaii, & he's moving under his own powerthen what's the dilly-o that he manages to be gimping it up on crutches (Remember the days of wooden ones?) when he meets The Nix, also in 1973? We get a very slight impression from the Senator that he thinks his interminable (for him, sure, but in the telling thereof over & over as well) imprisonment has entitled him to be President of these United Snakes. Guess again, Mr. "Moral Code."
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Visit any news Web site and read the comments that flow from the mention of teen pregnancy. Won't take long before some self-professed, Republican-loving Christian defines the problem as one created by black folks.No shit.
Man with van load of ammunition shoots traffic light in Westwood, UCLA police say Gene Bush allegedly began firing at a traffic light at Broxton and Le Conte avenues. Authorities say the 52-year-old, now in custody, had more than 10,000 rounds of ammo in his van and a storage locker, as well as timers and other suspicious materials in his briefcase. [...] Campus police said they did not believe that Bush had a criminal history. They said he appeared to be living in his van.More guns for more law abiders, we say. Where are ours? We've never been convicted of anything.
The Joint Center reported that the number of black Republican delegates declined from a record 167 in 2004 to this year's 36. According to the think tank, 24 state delegations at the Xcel Energy Center have no black members. The homogeneity of the audience is sometimes reinforced by delegations' tendency to dress alike. Floridians sported Hawaiian shirts decorated with palm trees Monday night, and more than 150 Texas delegates and alternates wore red shirts and straw cowboy hats Tuesday.Excuse us, but couldn't the Floridians wear shirts from their own state? Something along the lines of a shirt reading: "My grandma lives in Boca Raton & all I got was this cheap T-shirt made by slave laborers in Honduras," maybe? Brain-dead authoritarians all the way. You've heard it before: "We're just more comfortable when everyone looks the same & dresses nicely. It's not racist or anything."
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
The following is an excerpt from a convo between Mike Murphy and Peggy Noonan and Chuck Todd thanks be to a live mike, as reported by Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo (here's a video): Chuck Todd: Mike Murphy, lots of free advice, we'll see if Steve Schmidt and the boys were watching. We'll find out on your BlackBerry. Tonight voters will get their chance to hear from Sarah Palin, and she will get the chance to show voters she's the right woman for the job. Up next, one man who's already convinced, and he'll us why Gov. Jon Huntsman. (cut away) Peggy Noonan: Yeah. Mike Murphy: You know, because I come out of the blue swing state governor world: Engler, Whitman, Tommy Thompson, Mitt Romney, Jeb Bush. I mean, these guys — this is how you win a Texas race, just run it up. And it's not gonna work. And — PN: It's over. MM: Still McCain can give a version of the Lieberman speech to do himself some good. CT: I also think the Palin pick is insulting to Kay Bailey Hutchinson, too. PN: Saw Kay this morning. CT: Yeah, she's never looked comfortable about this — MM: They're all bummed out. CT: Yeah, I mean is she really the most qualified woman they could have turned to? PN: The most qualified? No! I think they went for this — excuse me — political bullshit about narratives — CT: Yeah they went to a narrative. MM: I totally agree. PN: Every time the Republicans do that, because that's not where they live and it's not what they're good at, they blow it. MM: You know what's really the worst thing about it? The greatness of McCain is no cynicism, and this is cynical. CT: This is cynical, and as you called it, gimmicky. MM: Yeah.
From a July 28, 2007 sermon: “Do you believe we’re in the last days? After listening to Newt Gingrich and the prime minister of Israel and a number of others at our gathering, I became convinced, and I have been convinced for some time. We are living in the last days. These are incredible times to live in.”We can only these are the "last days" for Newt Gingrich.
From an November 25, 2007 sermon: “The purpose for the United States is… to glorify God. This nation is a Christian nation.”
CNP members have included Tony Perkins, James Dobson, Grover Norquist, Tim LaHaye and Paul Weyrich. At a secret 2000 meeting of the CNP, George W. Bush promised to nominate only pro-life judges; in 2004, then-Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist told the group, "The destiny of the nation is on the shoulders of the conservative movement." This year, thanks to Sarah Palin's selection, the movement may have finally aligned itself behind the campaign of John McCain. Though Dobson and Perkins reportedly attended the recent CNP meeting in Minneapolis, a full roster of guests would be nearly impossible to acquire. The CNP deliberately operates below the radar, going to excessive lengths to obscure its activities. According to official CNP policy,"The media should not know when or where we meet or who takes part in our programs before or after a meeting." Thus the CNP's Minneapolis gathering was free of reporters. I learned of the get-together only through an online commentary by one of its attendees, top Dobson/Focus on the Family flack Tom Minnery. (Watch it here).
A prominent Obama backer, Florida Rep. Robert Wexler, has attacked Palin for appearing at a 1999 event with Pat Buchanan — who has attacked the influence of the Israeli lobby in America. [...] “There is almost always an inverse proportion between a candidate's popularity among conservative Christians and secular Jews,” said Jeff Ballabon, a Republican lobbyist long active in Jewish politics who supports McCain. An illustration of that gap came just two weeks ago, when Palin’s church, the Wasilla Bible Church, gave its pulpit over to a figure viewed with deep hostility by many Jewish organizations: David Brickner, the executive director of Jews for Jesus. Palin’s pastor, Larry Kroon, introduced Brickner on Aug. 17, according to a transcript of the sermon on the church’s website. “He’s a leader of Jews for Jesus, a ministry that is out on the leading edge in a pressing, demanding area of witnessing and evangelism,” Kroon said. Brickner then explained that Jesus and his disciples were themselves Jewish. “The Jewish community, in particular, has a difficult time understanding this reality,” he said. Brickner’s mission has drawn wide criticism from the organized Jewish community, and the Anti-Defamation League accused them in a report of “targeting Jews for conversion with subterfuge and deception.” Brickner also described terrorist attacks on Israelis as God's "judgment of unbelief" of Jews who haven't embraced Christianity. "Judgment is very real and we see it played out on the pages of the newspapers and on the television. It's very real. When [Brickner's son] was in Jerusalem he was there to witness some of that judgment, some of that conflict, when a Palestinian from East Jerusalem took a bulldozer and went plowing through a score of cars, killing numbers of people. Judgment — you can't miss it." Palin was in church that day, Kroon said, though he cautioned against attributing Brickner’s views to her. The executive director of the National Jewish Democratic Council, Ira Forman, cited the “cultural distance” between Palin and almost all American Jews. “She’s totally out of step with the American Jewish community,” he said. “She is against reproductive freedom – even against abortion in the case of rape and incest. She has said that climate change is not man-made. She has said that she would favor teaching creationism in the schools. These are all way, way, way outside the mainstream.” [...] Also Tuesday, a new Jewish Democratic group, JewsVote.org, sent out an email under the heading “Who is Sarah Palin?” an echo of conspiratorial anti-Obama emails that have criss-crossed the Jewish community. “Given her record as a hard-right Christian conservative, her embrace of Pat Buchanan, her praise of Ron Paul, and her lack of credentials on foreign affairs, it is likely that her selection would raise serious red flags about the McCain/Palin ticket among Jewish swing voters,” they wrote, asking their members to send out their own anti-Palin emails.A bit more along these lines from HuffPo, w/ video. At this point we're not sure if we want an Eagleton moment, or if we think that John McCain should go w/ his "gut" & keep Mme. Palin. We suppose that if he drops her like a bad habit, he could choose someone even worse. But what would all the Hillary fans say after an unceremonious dumping?
MSNBC and the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) are reporting that Gov. Palin met this afternoon with the board of directors of the America Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and Sen. Joe Lieberman to, in the words of one McCain campaign official cited by MSNBC, put “the American Jewish community at ease over her understanding of US-Middle East relations.” It’s worth noting that Palin, who has obviously been completely off-limits to reporters since she was rolled out as McCain’s running-mate in Dayton Friday, stiffed a reception in her honor sponsored by none other than Phyllis Schlafly a couple hours later. (One wonders what other lobbies have tried to arrange a meeting with Palin in the last 96 hours and with what success.) “We had a good productive discussion on the importance of the U.S.-Israel relationship, and we were pleased that Gov. Palin expressed her deep, personal, and lifelong commitment to the safety and well-being of Israel,” AIPAC spokesman Josh Block said after the meeting. “Like Sen. McCain, the vice presidential nominee understands and believes in the special friendship between the two democracies and would work to expand and deepen the strategic partnership in a McCain/Palin Administration.” “She was extremely well received,” McCain campaign spokesman Michael Goldfarb said, noting that Palin was interrupted by applause twice,” according to the JTA account. He added that Palin spoke about “the relationship between Israel and American national security, and the threats to Israel from Iran and others.” Evidence of nervousness in the McCain campaign about Palin’s impact on Jewish voters and donors was made clear when the Likudist Republican Jewish Coalition circulated a video of her Alaska office in which it found a small Israeli flag, in the words of Politico, “poking out from behind a drape.” “I think it speaks volumes that she keeps an Israeli flag on the wall of her office,” RJC’s executive director, Matt Brooks, told Politico in an e-mail. “It clearly shows what’s in her heart.” Politico’s analysis is well worth reading. As I noted Friday, a Nexis search of the two years previous to her selection as McCain’s running-mate failed to find a single published article in which Palin ever mentioned Israel. I suspect it may make it into her acceptance speech Wednesday night.Here's Sen. Lieberman in his own words speaking to AIPAC in March 2007.
A man who wishes to serve two nations, & two parties. We think there's something clever in Shakespeare about this, but it slips our tired, aging mind. We're sure it was in a tragedy, & the two-faced protagonist didn't end well.
In the great policy discussions in Washington, I've learned, there are opponents on the one side, and on the other, there are allies, and friends, and then, there is family. For me and many others, AIPAC is family—united in our shared history, our shared values, and our shared vision for the future. As family, we can talk frankly with each other, and that is what I would like to do with you today.
The fact is we can't afford anything less than honesty at a time like this—a time when, as citizens of America and supporters of Israel, we confront grave and growing dangers to the nations we care so much about. The threats I am referring to are directed not just against the security of our societies, but against the values that define who we are and who we hope to be. They are threats to the universal principles of freedom, of democracy, of the rule of law—threats to the fundamental human rights that we believe are not just cherished by, but endowed to everyone on earth. I do not need to tell you about the nature of these threats. I do not need to tell you about the regime in Iran—about its determination to acquire nuclear weapons, about its sponsorship of terrorism, about its repression of its own citizens. I do not need to tell you about Al Qaeda and Hezbollah and Hamas—about their addiction to violence, about their pathological hatred of America and Israel, about their ambitions for conquest. And I do not need to tell you about the fanatical ideology that links these different groups—the ideology of Islamist extremism, a totalitarian ideology as violent and vicious as the fascism and communism we Americans and our allies fought and defeated in the last century.
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Stein says that as mayor, Palin continued to inject religious beliefs into her policy at times. "She asked the library how she could go about banning books," he says, because some voters thought they had inappropriate language in them. "The librarian was aghast." That woman, Mary Ellen Baker, couldn't be reached for comment, but news reports from the time show that Palin had threatened to fire Baker for not giving "full support" to the mayor. St. George, however, points out that Palin couldn't have seen everything through an Evangelical lens. She did, he says, notably resist calls to restrict operating hours for the bars in town. And even if faith did play an unusually large role in her decision-making as mayor, it may have only reflected the continued rise of Evangelicalism in the valley, a growth that continues to this day. "We like to call this the Bible Belt of Alaska," says Cheryl Metiva, head of the local chamber of commerce. Churches proliferate in Wasilla today, and among the largest and most influential is the Wasilla Bible Church, where the Palins worship. At the 11:15 a.m. Sunday service, hundreds sit in folding chairs, listening to a 20-minute sermon about the Book of Malachi and singing along to alt-rock praise songs. The only sign of culture warring in the whole production is an insert in the day's program advertising an upcoming Focus on the Family conference on homosexuality in Anchorage called Love Won Out. The group promises to teach attendees how to "respond to misinformation in our culture" and help them "overcome" homosexuality.Kill a queer for Jeezis. And, more on Alaska secessionism & Sarah. (If they're going to give us people like Gov. Palin, Sen. Stevens & Rep. Young, it's OK by Just Another Blog™ for them to fuck off. And take most of the South w/ you, crackers.)
My worry about Palin is that she shares McCain’s primary weakness — that she has a tendency to substitute a moral philosophy for a political philosophy. [...] Rob Portman or Bob Gates wouldn’t have been politically exciting, but they are capable of performing those tasks. Palin, for all her gifts, is not. She underlines McCain’s strength without compensating for his weaknesses. The real second fiddle job is still unfilled.All well & good, but Mr. Brooks nonetheless comes up w/ a few howlers, to put it mildly.
The main axis in McCain’s worldview is not left-right. It’s public service versus narrow self-interest.It should be obvious to anyone granted an NYT column that the very difference between left & right is that of public service versus narrow self-interest. Has the Bush Administration taught Mr. Brooks nothing besides the already tired "Mr. Bush isn't a real conservative" talking point? According to Mr. Brooks, Sen. McCain has
been drawn to those crusades that enabled him to launch frontal attacks on the concentrated powers of selfishness — whether it was the big money donors who exploited the loose campaign finance system, the earmark specialists in Congress like Alaska’s Don Young and Ted Stevens, the corrupt Pentagon contractors or Jack Abramoff& his selection of Gov. Palin
allows McCain to run the way he wants to — not as the old goat running against the fresh upstart, but as the crusader for virtue against the forces of selfishness. It allows him to make cleaning out the Augean stables of Washington the major issue of his campaign.Not a good move to run on the old "clean up Washington" ticket, not only because there are a few more problems in our nation & our world than "Washington," but because Sen. McCain's campaign against "big money donors" was an attempt to distance himself from his having been a member of the Keating Five. While Alaska's representatives may have been "earmark" champions (Why did "earmark" replace "pork barrel spending," anyway?) when much of your state is Federal land, you just don't have the tax base to provide infrastructure that other states can pay for on their own. Not that this excuses any actual criminal activity Messrs. Young & Stevens may have been involved in. Pentagon contracting bullshit? Still going on. Sen. McCain's own service, the Navy, doesn't even know what it wants. Jack Abramoff? Just say Google™. If only Mr. Brooks were capable of doing a bit of research. This one we just don't get.
But most Americans will understand that this is what happens in real life, that parents and congregations nurture young parents through this sort of thing every day.Which "congregation" is that, the one w/ the Scarlet Letters, perhaps? And we're talking here about under-18 unwed parents, not merely "young parents." St. Nick on a Stick, it's the very end of the universe when most people, especially those of a duskier hue, if you know what we mean, have children out of wedlock, but when middle-class Anglos do it it's all "Oh, happens every day, no one's perfect, keep out of their private lives," ad nauseum. Mr. Brooks sees corruption everywhere.
There are some issues where the most important job is to rally the armies of decency against the armies of corruption: Confronting Putin, tackling earmarks and reforming the process of government.Certainly "confronting Putin" is a job for the Clean Gov't. Association., or maybe the League of Women Voters. 'Cause "corruption" is the only problem we have w/ Russia. But this becomes boring & pointless. The "Augean stables of Washington" will not & cannot be cleaned out until campaigns are publicly funded, & lobbyists giving money & the pols accepting it can be sent to the cooler for illegal bribery, as opposed to today's legal version. Mr. Brooks neglects to mention this. He's still right about why Mme. Gov. is a bad move, though. And we can only hope that Sen. McCain runs on the clean up Washington platform, while the American people are being forced to choose between eating or filling the gas tank so they can get at least some of their furniture out of the foreclosed house. Or greet their children's coffins as they return from the war zones. Remember: Reform, Prosperity, Peace.
Track (named after high school track meets), Bristol (after Bristol Bay where they did commercial fishing), Willow (after a community in Alaska), Piper (just a cool name) and Trig (Norse for “strength.”)Norse for "strength." Are we dealing w/ a touch of white supremacy here? Norse? Huh? And what's next? Children named after swim meets? ("Breaststroke?") Or someplace their parents liked? Would you name your child "Grand Canyon" if you'd worked there? Or "Skokie?" The possibilities are endless. We'll also note that the right wing religious droolers/hypocrites, having already backed a divorced guy (R. Reagan) & guys who divorced their wives to marry the woman w/ whom they'd been catting around (McCain, Gingrich) & a host of others caught w/ their pants around their ankles (not only Sen. Craig) are now solidly behind a tramp who got knocked up w/o benefit of clergy, setting a fine example for her daughter, who, naturally, followed in her footsteps. Perhaps the traditional "shotgun wedding" is considered the best way to preserve the "institution of marriage," now that the Sodomites are somehow threatening it. And perhaps Gov. Palin should have been known as "Slutty Sarah Barracuda."
Monday, September 1, 2008
Sarah Palin said Monday that her 17-year-old unmarried daughter is five months pregnant, an announcement campaign aides said was aimed at rebutting Internet rumors that Palin's youngest son, born in April, was actually her daughter's.This goes beyond satire, lampooning, parody or anything else. Seriously, read it again. Understand fully: In order to dispel rumors that Trig was actually Bristol's child, they had to reveal that Bristol is currently five mos. pregnant. Remember Billy Carter, or Roger Clinton, the last time that rednecks were let into the White House? (Not to mention, of course, such criminal degenerates as the Bush Bros., or that daughter of Jeb's who's always in re-hab.) Hokey Smokes, if we ever get around to re-registering to vote (By the way, are the address-deficient denied their voting rights?) we might just have to go for Sen. McCain & Governor Palin. Talk about your Alaska Gold Rush. This would be the Alaska Comedy Gold Rush.
The usual RW hypocrisy is spread on thickly. As long as Bristol's getting a start on her quiverful, it's OK. Really, women are for use as breeders & for child-rearin', nothin' wrong w/ a good Christian girl gittin' a head start. Like at that nice Warren Jeffs' little preserve out there in Texas. He's got the right idea.
Focus on the Family founder James Dobson issued a statement commending the Palins for "for not just talking about their pro-life and pro-family values, but living them out even in the midst of trying circumstances." He added: "Being a Christian does not mean you're perfect. Nor does it mean your children are perfect. But it does mean there is forgiveness and restoration when we confess our imperfections to the Lord."So, all sinning is OK, as long as we confess afterwards? To hell w/ the laws then. Let each do as he will, & pay in the afterlife. Are we getting this right, Dobson? How's that showering w/ young boys so they know who's boss thing going, Jimmy? Nothing to confess to your feudal "lord" there, right?
Popularity. Like Junior High. This is mostly because I'm curious. You should all be ashamed.
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