Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston



Saturday, January 26, 2008


COLUMBIA, S.C. - NBC News declared Sen. Barack Obama as the projected winner in South Carolina's Democratic primary.

Obama won South Carolina by a substantial margin, with Hillary Rodham Clinton running second and John Edwards third, NBC reported.
Obama reached out for victory over Clinton in a racially charged primary, a prelude to the Feb. 5 coast-to-coast competition for more than 1,600 national convention delegates.

South Carolina's primary offered 45 Democratic National Convention delegates, as well as the campaign's first indication of Obama's political appeal in a state with a large black population.

Interviews with voters as they left their polling places indicated about half the electorate was black.

Half the voters said the economy was the most important issue in the race. About one quarter picked health care. And only one in five said it was the war in Iraq, underscoring the extent to which the once-dominant issue has faded in the face of financial concerns.

Roughly half the voters said former President Clinton's campaigning for his wife was very important to their choice.

The exit poll was conducted by Edison Media Research and Mitofsky International for The Associated Press and the networks.

Friday, January 25, 2008


From Harpers Magazine by Scott Horton:

George W. Bush is famous for his attachment to a painting which he acquired after becoming a “born again Christian.” It’s by W.H.D. Koerner and is entitled “A Charge to Keep.” Bush was so taken by it, that he took the painting’s name for his own official autobiography. And here’s what he says about it:

"I thought I would share with you a recent bit of Texas history which epitomizes our mission. When you come into my office, please take a look at the beautiful painting of a horseman determinedly charging up what appears to be a steep and rough trail. This is us. What adds complete life to the painting for me is the message of Charles Wesley that we serve One greater than ourselves. "

So in Bush’s view (or perhaps I should say, faith) the key figure, with whom he personally identifies, is a missionary spreading the word of the Methodist Christianity in the American West in the late nineteenth century.


So Bush’s description of “A Charge to Keep” struck me as very strange. In fact, I’d say highly improbable. Now, however, Jacob Weisberg has solved the mystery. He invested the time to track down the commission behind the art work and he gives us the full story in his forthcoming book on Bush, The Bush Tragedy:

[Bush] came to believe that the picture depicted the circuit-riders who spread Methodism across the Alleghenies in the nineteenth century. In other words, the cowboy who looked like Bush was a missionary of his own denomination.

Only that is not the title, message, or meaning of the painting. The artist, W.H.D. Koerner, executed it to illustrate a Western short story entitled “The Slipper Tongue,” published in The Saturday Evening Post in 1916. The story is about a smooth-talking horse thief who is caught, and then escapes a lynch mob in the Sand Hills of Nebraska. The illustration depicts the thief fleeing his captors. In the magazine, the illustration bears the caption: “Had His Start Been Fifteen Minutes Longer He Would Not Have Been Caught.”

So Bush’s inspiring, prosyletizing Methodist is in fact a silver-tongued horse thief fleeing from a lynch mob. It seems a fitting marker for the Bush presidency. Bush has consistently exhibited what psychologists call the “Tolstoy syndrome.” That is, he is completely convinced he knows what things are, so he shuts down all avenues of inquiry about them and disregards the information that is offered to him. This is the hallmark of a tragically bad executive. But in this case, it couldn’t be more precious. The president of the United States has identified closely with a man he sees as a mythic, heroic figure. But in fact he’s a wily criminal one step out in front of justice. It perfectly reflects Bush the man. . . and Bush the president.

Thursday, January 24, 2008


Tom Toles via The Washington Post (a little bit dated, i.e., Fred Thompson) But still good.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


The Center for Public Integrity

WASHINGTON (A/P)—A study by two nonprofit journalism organizations found that President Bush and top administration officials issued hundreds of false statements about the national security threat from Iraq in the two years following the 2001 terrorist attacks.
The study concluded that the statements "were part of an orchestrated campaign that effectively galvanized public opinion and, in the process, led the nation to war under decidedly false pretenses."

The study was posted Tuesday on the Web site of the Center for Public Integrity, which worked with the Fund for Independence in Journalism.

White House spokesman Scott Stanzel did not comment on the merits of the study Tuesday night but reiterated the administration's position that the world community viewed Iraq's leader, Saddam Hussein, as a threat.

"The actions taken in 2003 were based on the collective judgment of intelligence agencies around the world," Stanzel said.

The study counted 935 false statements in the two-year period. It found that in speeches, briefings, interviews and other venues, Bush and administration officials stated unequivocally on at least 532 occasions that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction or was trying to produce or obtain them or had links to al-Qaida or both.

"It is now beyond dispute that Iraq did not possess any weapons of mass destruction or have meaningful ties to al-Qaida," according to Charles Lewis and Mark Reading-Smith of the Fund for Independence in Journalism staff members, writing an overview of the study. "In short, the Bush administration led the nation to war on the basis of erroneous information that it methodically propagated and that culminated in military action against Iraq on March 19, 2003."

Named in the study along with Bush were top officials of the administration during the period studied: Vice President Dick Cheney, national security adviser Condoleezza Rice, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, Secretary of State Colin Powell, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz and White House press secretaries Ari Fleischer and Scott McClellan.
Bush led with 259 false statements, 231 about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and 28 about Iraq's links to al-Qaida, the study found. That was second only to Powell's 244 false statements about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and 10 about Iraq and al-Qaida.

The center said the study was based on a database created with public statements over the two years beginning on Sept. 11, 2001, and information from more than 25 government reports, books, articles, speeches and interviews.

"The cumulative effect of these false statements -- amplified by thousands of news stories and broadcasts -- was massive, with the media coverage creating an almost impenetrable din for several critical months in the run-up to war," the study concluded.

"Some journalists -- indeed, even some entire news organizations -- have since acknowledged that their coverage during those prewar months was far too deferential and uncritical. These mea culpas notwithstanding, much of the wall-to-wall media coverage provided additional, 'independent' validation of the Bush administration's false statements about Iraq," it said.

Sunday, January 20, 2008


Our long national nightmare is almost over.
Just one more year! Good riddance to George W Bush

But what kind of mess will the next president inherit, exactly 12 months from today?
By Rupert Cornwell in Washington
Published: 20 January 2008

Arabia is the land of illusion and desert mirages. And as he jetted last week from kingdom to sheikdom, to be regaled with feasts and falcons, jewels and ornamental swords, George Bush might have imagined that all was well with his presidency. But this, his longest and most ambitious trip to the Middle East, will surely be remembered – if it is remembered at all – as a gaudy, irrelevant footnote to a presidency that has long since failed.

Today is a sombre milestone, marking the start of the last of Mr Bush's eight years in the White House. This being a leap year, exactly 366 days remain until 20 January 2009, when his successor will be sworn into office. It is a time when incumbents look to their legacies. And for this President the view could scarcely be bleaker.

Is he the worst President in US history? Mr Bush faces stiff competition from the likes of James Buchanan, who watched as America slipped towards civil war, or Warren Harding with his corrupt administration, or Herbert Hoover, who failed to halt the slide into the Great Depression, or, more recently, Richard Nixon, the only President to be forced to resign. But in terms of dogmatism, incompetence, ignorance and divisiveness, Mr Bush surely compares with any of the above.

Read the rest here:

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


A few weeks ago Limbaugh played his "parody" song "Barack the Magic Negro" on his program. I posted on it and a commenter suggested it was more of a polemic than a racist parody.

Well here's Limbaugh again, commenting on Senator Obama campaign strategy:

Limbaugh: Obama is holding his own against both of them–doing more than his share of the “spade” work. Maybe even gaining ground at the moment. Using not only the spade ladies and gentleman—that when he finishes with the “spade” in the garden of corruption planted by the Clinton’s, he turns to the “hoe.” And so the spade work and his expertise using a hoe.

Is it a coincidence that Limbaugh used the word "spade" four times and the word "hoe" twice in that short "polemic?"

Words have meaning. Barack Obama is African-American, and Limbaugh used "spade" and "hoe"--code words that denigrate African-American men and women--to describe Senator Obama's campaign strategy.

Where's the outrage from the Jesus-loving, white and black Christians?


Limbaugh's followers have been listening to his sewerage that passes for commentary for years now, and they think he's a great man who "tells it like it is." I suppose our country will always have racists who need someone to affirm their minority ideas and values. Let them have this piece of slime to represent them. They deserve each other.

In a nation of 300 million people, 280 million of us think he's crap. We're the majority who must, from time to time, have our eyes and ears assaulted by this very small-minded, insecure gasbag.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


Mick Huckabee is not qualified to be president.
He has no understanding of the Constitution. Here is what he said today:

"I have opponents in this race who do not want to change the Constitution," Huckabee told a Michigan audience on Monday. "But I believe it's a lot easier to change the Constitution than it would be to change the word of the living god. And that's what we need to do -- to amend the Constitution so it's in God's standards rather than try to change God's standards so it lines up with some contemporary view."

What exactly does he mean by "God's standards?" The Ten Commandments? Well. Those are the laws Moses said he got from God, right? Does Huckabee really think that Congress will amend the Constitution to include the commandments that say, for example, "I am the Lord thy God, thou shalt have no false god before me?" That would mean Huckabee would have to criminalize everyone who does not accept the God of the Christian, Jews, and Muslims. Not to mention the atheists.
What about keeping holy the sabbath? The Constitution would have to criminalize anyone and everyone who works on the sabbath. But whose sabbath? The Muslims' sabbath is Friday, the Jews' sabbath is Saturday, and the Christians' sabbath is Sunday. But it's God's law!! And then there's "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain." Jesus Christ! If I remember correctly most of the punishments for breaking these laws of God are either stoning or death!
Honor thy mother and father. How? Define "honor." And what's the punishment?

I've read on some conservative blogs that they believe there is nothing in the Constitution that says we Americans have the right to freedom from religion. Well Huckabee must be their candidate, since by his very words, he wishes to not only inject religion into the Constitution, but to change the very fabric of American Constitutional law and make it conform to "God's laws."

I have yet to read anyone who challenged Huckabee when he made his pronouncement.

Does he really mean to convert this country into a theocracy? His words seem to say that is his goal.

Where are the evangelicals? Shouldn't they protest this most unAmerican idea?


I believe they agree with Huckabee and would see this country institute theocratical laws based on the Bible.

The idiocy of it all is that the far right decries the Muslims and the Koran, and yet they see nothing wrong with turning this country over to fundamental Christians who would destroy our Constitution.
Huckabee is not qualified to be president. He's insane.

Saturday, January 5, 2008


Rush Limbaugh is the darling of the conservative crowd. He's also a racist. They deserve each other. I look forward to the day when people like Limbaugh are relegated to the scumheap of history.

I've never understood how anyone with functioning brain cells could listen to this undereducated and overblown gasbag. Sadly, we have a lot of people in this country who do, and who think it's funny to make up songs about black people to mock them (with the real intent of "keeping them in their place").

Overprivleged white men have been doing it for years. And their time is coming to an end.

Thank Darwin.

From John Amato's "AMERICA BLOG."

BREAKING: Limbaugh’s “Barack the Magic Negro,” on-air song has workers up in arms

Rush Limbaugh has angered many black employees over this parody song called "Barack the Magic Negro" This isn't the first or the last time that Limbaugh will go after Obama's race:

I've been told that they have held meetings internally to deal with a ground swell of anger at Rush because of this.

UPDATE: I've anonymously confirmed that stations around the country who carry the show are having concerns expressed by listeners and even their own workers of color about the Obama parody, and the ensuing controversy in the media, and that respective managements are considering ways to address the matter with as little Imus-like backlash as possible,..This is starting to boil over…

A caller noticed there was a disclaimer added to the station she listens to and asks Rush why."

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy 2008!

One year and 19 days from today George W. Bush will no longer be president.

Praise Darwin!