Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston



Thursday, July 31, 2008


A rare level of pundit fury is flying at John McCain, as some erstwhile defenders lose patience with the Republican. Daniel Henninger asks point blank in the Wall Street Journal, “Is John McCain stupid? Is John McCain losing it?” The venerable rightie documents lazy and repeated stumbles on social security, Al Gore, and Nancy Pelosi—questioning McCain’s “mental focus” and “intellectual discipline.” And it’s not mere flip-flopping: it’s a "sex-change operation" and a simple refusal to “put in the work” to win.

Joe Klein may be even angrier in Time, taking back an earlier evaluation of McCain as “an honorable man” running “an honorable campaign.” McCain’s voice is far from “humble and moderate,” as Klein once thought: rather he is revealing an erratic temperament and an utter lack of courage. Indeed, “he is showing flop sweat.”


Wednesday, July 30, 2008


For the second time in almost as many weeks, an important leader from a country the US is militarily involved with has agreed with Senator Obama's assessment and plans to deal with the current situation. First it was Iraq's Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki, who said he agreed with Obama's approximate 16-month timetable to withdraw troops, and now Afghan's Ambassador to the US, Said Jawad, has stated that Obama's proposed increased support to rid Afghanistan of terrorists, especially on the Pakistan border, is what his country needs.

Those who keep repeating the meme that Senator Obama is too inexperienced are looking rather "inexperienced" themselves. When two leaders of the countries where the US is militarily involved acknowledge that Obama knows what he's talking about, and, what is more, agree with his policies, that negates accusations that Obama doesn't know enough about foreign policy. He does. And the Iraqi and Afghan leaders agree.

"Afghanistan's Ambassador to the United States trumpeted major portions of Barack Obama's approach towards his country on Tuesday, marking the second time in as many weeks that an official at the center of U.S.-Mideast policy has echoed the Illinois Senator's agenda.

Said Jawad, who has been at the ambassador's post since 2003, avoided specific references to Obama and his rival Sen. John McCain. But on a broad range of issues that divide the two candidates -- defining the main battleground in the war on terror, U.S. military commitments to Afghanistan, and combating terrorist activity in Pakistan -- he agreed with the prescriptions of the presumptive Democratic nominee.

Sipping occasionally from a glass of mint-flavored iced tea, the ambassador argued that the war in Iraq had diverted military and material resources from Afghanistan. He described the border his country shared with Pakistan as "the central front of the war on terror, certainly," stressing the need for additional American forces. And he offered what amounted to a heartfelt endorsement of Obama's proposal to target high-level al Qaeda figures in northwest Pakistan, even without that country's acquiescence.

"We would appreciate it if Pakistan could take full responsibility in dealing with them," he said. "But if they can't, if they don't have the resources, they should allow the international community to take these elements out, for the sake of Pakistan, for the sake of Afghanistan, and for the sake of the world. These are criminals. We should allow the humanity to go out and eliminate these enemies of humanity. We should not fool ourselves with the legal questions such as sovereignty."

Obama and McCain have differed on this policy, with the Arizona Republican accusing his opponent of naivete and inexperience for proposing to "bomb" an ally. The two candidates have also parted paths on the best way to address the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan, which this month has seen more deaths of U.S. service members than Iraq. Obama has called for the reallocation of two-to-three brigades of troops from the latter war to the former - a "short-term surge" that Jawad, likewise, advocated.

"From the very beginning the U.S. and international community around Afghanistan was following a policy known as a light footprint, which I see as the wrong policy. We needed the right footprint for Afghanistan," said the ambassador. Now, he added, Afghanistan "will require the surge of both military resources and competence."

McCain, in contrast, has said he would encourage NATO countries to commit more forces to Afghanistan -- a proposal that Jawad said would be important but ultimately insufficient.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


All of Senator Obama's work in the US Senate is out there for anyone to research and understand. Richard Cohen of the Washington Post stupidly states in his column today that Obama's record is thin. But we know what that lazy, false, and misleading column is about, don't we.

In addition to the legislation that Obama has initiated, helped create, and passed, he has also, in a very, very short time, become one of the most compelling politicians this country has ever produced. AND he beat the Clinton political machine. He triumphed over Hillary, who was far better known, had a popular ex-president campaigning for her, had big money backing her, and had all the polls saying she was inevitable. He beat her, and he did it without slinging slime.

Senator Obama did this because he surrounded himself with very smart people, something a very smart person does.

Wouldn't we Americans love to have intelligence, class, and pride in our country back in play in 2009? And it wouldn't hurt to have other countries look up to the US, either.

And to those who keep asking "What has he accomplished?" My answer is "Stop being a lazy cuss, and find out. Stop buying into stupid sound-bites. This country is a mess because people repeat sound-bites and believe dopey cable news readers, uninformed columnists, and bloated, cigar-smoking, radio gasbags."

Barack's Senate Accomplishments:

The Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act Introduced by Sen. John McCain in May 2005, and cosponsored by Sen. Edward Kennedy.

Barack Obama added three amendments to this bill. While the bill was never voted on in the Senate, the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Acts of 2006 and 2007, respectively, drew heavily upon the wording of this bill.

The Lugar-Obama Cooperative Threat Reduction.

Introduced by Sen. Barack Obama, Sen. Dick Lugar and Sen. Tom Coburn. First introduced in November 2005 and enacted in 2007, this bill expanded upon the successful Nunn-Lugar threat reduction, which helped secure weapons of mass destruction and related infrastructure in former Soviet Union states. Lugar-Obama expanded this nonproliferation program to conventional weapons -- including shoulder-fired rockets and land mines. When the bill received $48 million in funding, Obama said, "This funding will further strengthen our ability to detect and intercept illegal shipments of weapons and materials of mass destruction, enhancing efforts to prevent nuclear terrorism."

Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006

This act of Congress, introduced by Senators Obama and Coburn, required the full disclosure of all entities or organizations receiving federal funds in FY2007. Despite a "secret hold" on this bill by Senators Ted Stevens and Robert Byrd, the act passed into law and was signed by President Bush. The act had 43 cosponsors, including John McCain. The act created web sites, which provide citizens with valuable information about government-funded programs.

Democratic Republic of the Congo Relief, Security, and Democracy Promotion Act

This law helped specify US policy toward the Congo, and states that the US should work with other donor nations to increase international contributions to the African nation. The bill marked the first federal legislation to be enacted with Obama as its primary sponsor. Following this legislation's passage, Obama toured Africa, traveling to South Africa, Kenya, Djibouti, Ethiopia and Chad. He spoke forcefully against ethnic rivalries and political corruption in Kenya.

Honest Leadership and Open Government Act

In the first month of the 110th Congress, Obama worked with Sen. Russ Feingold to pass this law, which amends and strengthens the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995. Specificially, the changes made by Obama and Feingold requires public disclosure of lobbying activity and funding, places more restrictions on gifts for members of Congress and their staff, and provides for mandatory disclosure of earmarks in expenditure bills. The House passed the bill, 411-8, on July 31. The Senate approved it, 83-14, on Aug. 2. At the time, Obama called it "the most sweeping ethics reform since Watergate."

Deceptive Practices and Voter Intimidation Prevention Act

Following the Republican-sponsored voter intimidation tactics seen in mostly black counties in Maryland during the 2006 midterm elections, Obama worked with Sen. Chuck Schumer to introduce this bill. The bill has been referred to the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary. Obama said of the bill, "This legislation would ensure that for the first time, these incidents are fully investigated and that those found guilty are punished."

The Obama-McCain Climate Change Reduction Bill

The Obama-McCain bill, which is co-sponsored by Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., would cut emissions by two-thirds by 2050.

Iraq War De-Escalation Act of 2007

Introduced by Obama, this binding act would stop the planned troop increase of 21,500 in Iraq, and would also begin a phased redeployment of troops from Iraq with the goal of removing all combat forces by March 31, 2008. Explaining the bill, Obama said it reflects his view that the problems in Iraq do not have a military solution. "Our troops have performed brilliantly in Iraq, but no amount of American soldiers can solve the political differences at the heart of somebody else's civil war," Obama said.

Amendments to the 2008 Defense Authorization Bill

Obama worked with Sen. Kit Bond to limit, through this bill, the Pentagon’s use of personality disorder discharges in the FY 2008 Defense Authorization bill. This provision would add additional safeguards to discharge procedures and require a thorough review by the Government Accountability Office. This followed news reports that the Pentagon inappropriately used these procedures to discharge service members with service-connected psychological injuries. "With thousands of American service members suffering day in and day out from the less visible wounds of war, reports that the Pentagon has improperly diagnosed and discharged service members with personality disorders are deeply disturbing," said Senator Obama. "This provision will add additional safeguards to the Department of Defense’s use of this discharge and mandate a comprehensive review of these policies."

The Comprehensive Nuclear Threat Reduction Provision

Working with Sen. Hagel and Rep. Adam Schiff, Obama authored this provision, which would require the president to develop a comprehensive plan for ensuring that all nuclear weapons and weapons-usable material at vulnerable sites around the world are secure by 2012 from the threats that terrorists have shown they can pose. A provision from the Obama-Hagel bill was passed by Congress in December 2007 as an amendment to the State-Foreign Operations appropriations bill. "It is imperative that we build and sustain a truly global effort under an aggressive timeline to secure, consolidate, and reduce stockpiles of nuclear weapons and weapons-usable material to keep them out of the wrong hands. The comprehensive nuclear threat reduction plan required by this provision is an important step in that effort," Obama said of the provision.

Monday, July 28, 2008


No cliffhanger, more like an Obama landslide
July 28, 2008
Sydney Morning Herald

The US media stand accused of distorted election coverage


Luckily for the Republican nominee John McCain Europeans can't vote in the November US presidential election - just 100 days away. If they could it would be a landslide for the Democratic candidate, Barack Obama.

Nevertheless Senator McCain has reason to be worried - very worried. Last week three leading political scientists declared the US media's presentation of the election as a toss-up as a "myth".
Alan Abramowitz, a professor of political science at Emory University, Thomas Mann, a senior fellow at Brookings Institution, and Larry Sabato, professor of politics at University of Virginia, accused the media of flogging a dead horse in trying to portray the presidential race as a cliffhanger.

It was a particularly bold call for Professor Sabato, who has previously cautioned about Senator Obama's claims that he can redraw the political map in America. "While no election outcome is guaranteed and McCain's prospects could improve over the next 3½ months, virtually all of the evidence that we have reviewed - historical patterns, structural features of this election cycle, and national and state polls conducted over the last several months - point to a comfortable Obama/Democratic Party victory in November," the three men wrote in Sabato's Crystal Ball newsletter.

"Trumpeting this race as a toss-up, almost certain to produce another nail-biter finish, distorts the evidence and does a disservice to readers and viewers who rely upon such punditry. Again, maybe conditions will change in McCain's favour, and if they do, they should also be accurately described by the media. But current data do not justify calling this election a toss-up."
The trio reviewed the national tracking polls and found that Senator Obama has led Senator McCain in every national poll in the past two months, except for twice early on when they tied.
Senator Obama's margin has been in the 4-6 point range, in contrast to the polls in the election run-ups in 2000 and 2004 which showed much more variation over time, they said.

The state-by-state polls have also consistently given Senator Obama an advantage.

"Obama is leading in every state carried by John Kerry in 2004 along with six states carried by George Bush: Iowa, New Mexico, Ohio, Indiana, Nevada and Colorado. A seventh Bush state, Virginia, is tied," they wrote.

But there are other worrying signs for Senator McCain.
A Fox News Poll found that 51 per cent of Americans think Senator Obama will win. Only 27 per cent pick Senator McCain (from 32 per cent last month).

Saturday, July 26, 2008


John McCain goaded Senator Obama into visiting Iraq. Obama goes to Iraq, Afghanistan, Israel, and 3 European countries. He's a sensation in Germany, where over 200,000 people show up to see him. The French love him, and he has some good photo ops with the Brits. Meanwhile John McCain continues to whine, whine, whine: "Nobody's paying attention to ME! Me!" WHAAAAA! Poor neglected Maveriky ME!

July 26, 2008
McCain: Feeling 'a little left out'

(AP) — John McCain's is using a weekly radio address to take some jabs at his Democratic rival's trip abroad.

He says the presidential contest became "a long-distance affair" this week, as Barack Obama made speeches abroad to "the people of the world." McCain says he began to feel "a little left out" and wonders if the American people did, too.

No, John, we American people didn't feel "left out" for the six or seven days Senator Obama was out of the country doing what you challenged him to do.

You're looking awfully "green" these days. And sounding like a 7th grade girl that can't get the boys to notice her.

Not very presidential of you to be whining all the time.

Friday, July 25, 2008


Poll: Americans would rather not live next to Limbaugh or O’Reilly.

A new poll put out by U.S. News and World Report asked respondents, “You just rented a vacation home on Martha’s Vineyard where the political and media elite go.

Who is the last person you want as a summer neighbor?

A majority (53 percent) said right wing talker Rush Limbaugh. Fox News blowhard Bill O’Reilly came in second at 20 percent while MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann (14 percent) and Chris Matthews (13 percent) rounded out the bottom half.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008



Millions of Iraqis dead.-

Millions of refugees in other countries.-

Millions of refugees ethnic cleansed from their homes and neighborhoods.-

Cement barriers walling off streets and neighborhoods-

$300.00 per month the Army is paying the Sunni and other religious Arab groups not to shoot at our soldiers.-

Cease-fire of Moqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi army while they reorganize and regroup.

All anyone needs to know about the Bush/Cheney war against Iraq and the occupation can be summed up:-

As of 7/15/08: 4,124 plus American Military deaths -

As of 7/15/08: 30,409 plus maimed American Military members (not counting those who were injured in Iraq but died out of the country)-

1,245,538 dead Iraqi citizens ( children, mothers, fathers, whole families wiped out)-

1.4 Million+ Iraqi refugees in other ME countries living in abominable conditions-

1.2 Million+ Iraqi refugees within Iraq living in abominable conditions-

No clean water-

Little to no electricity-

Little sanitation and sewage in the streets-

Little to sub-standard medical care-

Kidnappings and rapes-

Orphaned children by the thousands-

Children unable to attend school-

Young girls being forced to sell their bodies to gain money to help what is left of their families-






This really isn't satire. What is depicted is realism. Cindy was prescription drug dependent and stole from a charity she worked for. Bush's picture over the fireplace is believeable, since McCain supports the Bush administration's agenda, and advocating for torture (he was against it before he was for it) is unConstitutional. And finally, McCain is the oldest candidate to run for president. (OK, he doesn't need a walker--but he could use a geography lesson.)
Satire by definition is A work, as a novel, play, or cartoon that exposes folly by the use of humor or irony.
The cover depicted by the New Yorker showed Sen. and Mrs. Obama as the wingnuts see him--and it is folly (satire), since they are not at all what was lampooned--but what the righties think they are, and probably worse.
The McCains, OTOH, are/were (Cindy has recovered from her drug addiction) exactly--except for the walker--as shown.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Watch them greet Senator Obama with cheers and waves and smiles:

Monday, July 21, 2008


McCain talked about Czechoslovakia not once but TWICE! There is no Czechoslovakia. There hasn't been a Czechoslovakia for 15 years!! Even I knew that, and I'm not a US senator with years and years of EXPERIENCE.

Now McCain speaks about his concern about the Iraq-Pakistan border.


Imagine if Obama had said those two hugely stupid statements? He would have been mocked from here to Iran. And rightly so. If you say you are the candidate with the experience, shouldn't you know the freakin' geography of the area that's on fire in the world?

John McCain is a fraud. He's uninformed. He doesn't know the difference between Shiites and Sunnis--Joe Lieberman had to set him straight on that. Now we find that he doesn't know that Iraq DOESN'T border Pakistan.

Where is his experience? John McCain is a light weight. And he doesn't know what the hell is going on in the world.

We are so fortunate that we have a candidate like Obama who does.

I said from the beginning the Dem's slogan for this campaign should be:

"We've already done stupid! Vote for Obama!"

Saturday, July 19, 2008


Maliki endorses Obama’s plan for withdrawal from Iraq.

Today, Der Spiegel reports that Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has endorsed a 16-month timetable for the United States to withdraw from Iraq:

In an interview with Der Spiegel released on Saturday, Maliki said he wanted U.S. troops to withdraw from Iraq as soon as possible.

“U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama talks about 16 months. That, we think, would be the right timeframe for a withdrawal, with the possibility of slight changes.” […]

Asked if he supported Obama’s ideas more than those of John McCain, Republican presidential hopeful, Maliki said he did not want to recommend who people should vote for.

Whoever is thinking about the shorter term is closer to reality. Artificially extending the stay of U.S. troops would cause problems. […]

“The Americans have found it difficult to agree on a concrete timetable for the exit because it seems like an admission of defeat to them. But it isn’t,” Maliki told Der Spiegel.
Not only is the plan now accepted by Iraqis, but it is also
logistically workable, despite what reporters such as ABC’s Martha Raddatz have suggested.

Senator Obama is proving to be quite adept at foreign policy.

Friday, July 18, 2008


Senator Obama has supported these two very crucial issues for over a year, and now the administration is moving in the very direction Obama has advocated. He'll be just fine vis-a-vis foreign policy.


Senator Obama called for US troop timed withdrawals months ago and the reaction was that he wanted to surrender.

Bush, Maliki, agree on US troop cut 'time horizon'

TUCSON, Arizona (AFP) — US President George W. Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki have agreed to set a "time horizon" for US troop withdrawals as part of a long-term security pact, the White House said Friday.

But any reduction in the US force presence "would be based on continued improving conditions on the ground and not an arbitrary date for withdrawal," spokeswoman Dana Perino said in a statement.

The two leaders, speaking by videoconference on Thursday, also settled on a "common way forward" in stumbling talks to craft a long-term pact governing diplomatic ties and the US military presence, said Perino.

Washington says the agreement is necessary to lay out the ground rules for US forces that will still operate in the war-torn country after the UN mandate for their presence expires at year's end.

But the talks have sputtered over the Baghdad government's demands for a timetable for US troops to withdraw as well as Washington's demands that its soldiers and other staff be immune from Iraqi prosecution.

Months ago, Senator Obama said we should negotiate with Iran. The opposition said he was naive. Heh.

US plans to station diplomats in Iran for first time since 1979

Washington move signals thaw in relations

The US plans to establish a diplomatic presence in Tehran for the first time in 30 years as part of a remarkable turnaround in policy by President George Bush.

The Guardian has learned that an announcement will be made in the next month to establish a US interests section - a halfway house to setting up a full embassy. The move will see US diplomats stationed in the country.

The news of the shift by Bush who has pursued a hawkish approach to Iran throughout his tenure comes at a critical time in US-Iranian relations. After weeks that have seen tensions rise with Israel conducting war games and Tehran carrying out long-range missile tests, a thaw appears to be under way.

The White House announced yesterday that William Burns, a senior state department official, is to be sent to Switzerland on Saturday to hear Tehran's response to a European offer aimed at resolving the nuclear standoff.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


Over a period of about five years, Ronald Reagan told the story of the "Chicago welfare queen" who had 80 names, 30 addresses, 12 Social Security cards, and collected benefits for "four nonexisting deceased husbands," bilking the government out of "over $150,000."

The real welfare recipient to whom Reagan referred was actually convicted for using two different aliases to collect $8,000. Reagan continued to use his version of the story even after the press pointed out the actual facts of the case to him.

I remember that and how that story encouraged gullible Americans to disdain and revile "welfare queens," which was nothing more than a code name for poor black women. That image got a lot of Americans (the large majority of whom voted for Reagan) angry over how poor black people waste their tax dollars and cheat the government at the same time.

I wonder how great their anger will be, how stygmatized the fabulously wealthy and powerful in America will be when this story gets around.

You'd have to line up the so-called "welfare queens" side by side and have them reach the moon and come back in order to equal the amount of money these upstanding fabulously wealthy, powerful, red-blooded American citizens stole from the US government (that's you and me, my friends).

But we don't get angry when fabulously wealthy and powerful cheaters rob the US government--only when powerless poor people do. Then we have presidents publicly denigrate them and hold them up to scorn and contempt.

A link to the Senate report is in the ABC News story. Here is the opening paragraph:


July 17, 2008

Each year, the United States loses an estimated $100 billion in tax
revenues due to offshore tax abuses.
1 Offshore tax havens today hold
trillions of dollars in assets provided bycitizens of other countries,
including the United States.2 The extent to which those assets represent funds hidden from tax authorities by taxpayers from the United States and othercountries outside of the tax havens is of critical importance.3 A related issue is the extent towhich financial institutions in tax havens may be facilitating international tax evasion.

From ABC News:

Investigation Reveals Secrecy Tricks Allegedly Used by Swiss Bankers

Federal regulators should consider revoking the US banking license of the giant Swiss Bank UBS because of its role in helping wealthy Americans evade billions of dollars in taxes, Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) told ABC News today."I don't think that any bank that goes to the extent that UBS has gone through to avoid doing what their agreements with the United States require them to do, should be allowed to continue to do business unless they clean up their act," Levin said.

UBS's role in arranging "undeclared" accounts for an estimated 19,000 US citizens was one focus of a hearing by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, chaired by Levin today. The role of the LGT bank, owned by the royal family of Liechtenstein, was also investigated.Levin said UBS practices resulted in its U.S. clients maintaining undeclared Swiss accounts that collectively held "$18 billion dollars in assets that have been kept secret from the the IRS."

Former Senator Phil Gramm (Sen. John McCain's economic adviser, works for UBS as a consultant).

Read more:

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Tuesday, July 15, 2008



Please don't vote for a Democrat? OOOouuuuuch! The stupidity, it burns!!!!

In addition to being grossly tasteless and crude, who was president when September 11, 2001, happened? And which political party does he belong to?
Jan 20, 2001 Bush Inaugurated

Jan 25, 2001 Richard Clarke sends Condi Rice memo, warning about al Qaeda. Rice does nothing.

August 6, 2001 Bush gets memo titled "Bin Laden Determined to strike in US." Bush responds by telling the briefer, "All right. You've covered your ass, now." Then does nothing.

September 11, 2001 Bin Laden strikes in US.

If these people were any dumber, we'd have to put wheels on them.

Monday, July 14, 2008


The trouble with the New Yorker Magazine's cover is that the people who published it believed everyone would be smart enough to see it as satire. Instead, it is being used to reinforce rightwingers' bigoted ideas of Sen. Obama and his wife. IOW: IT REINFORCES THEIR WILLFUL IDIOCY AND MISINFORMATION.


In May, President Bush revealed that he had given up playing golf because of the Iraq war. “I think playing golf during a war just sends the wrong signal,” said Bush. Apparently though, he’s fine with golf as long as it raises money for GOP candidates.

The DC Examiner reports that next Monday, Bush’s parents will be hosting a high-dollar golfing fundraiser for Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) near their home in Kennebunkport, ME:

According to a solicitation sent by the McCain camp, for the low, low price of $5,000, you can play a round of golf at Cape Arundel Golf Course, Bush’s home course.

“Both President Bush and Governor Jeb Bush will be stopping by to greet the foursomes,” the missive promises. “The course is reserved for this private group, and VIPs will be visiting during your round of golf. This event is a great way to end a weekend getaway, and we would be honored if you can attend.”

It’s unclear what Bush will do while everyone else is ignoring the war and golfing. Perhaps he’ll ride around in golf carts or simply make swinging motions with his arms.


Against its agency's own findings, which the Bush administration tried to suppress--what a surprise, George Bush will NOT act on the EPA's findings nor comply with the Supreme Court's demand of over a year ago. Why? POLITICS.

Washington Post: Regulation of greenhouse gas emissions will have to wait until President Bush is out of office, the EPA announced today. Instead, the agency will say it needs months of further public comment to make any decision. The statement is the end result of a protracted White House effort to tone down the agency’s findings, the Washington Post reports.

“They argued that this increase in regulation should be on the next president's record,” said one participant in the interagency debate. The Supreme Court demanded a ruling on the subject more than a year ago, and initial reports said unequivocally that more regulation was called for. But the administration ignored those reports, edited testimony, and changed computer models, a Post investigation found.

The Bush administration has consistently said they would NOT withdraw our troops from Iraq because that would encourage the enemy, and they have called Obama's plan to withdraw in 16 months a surrender--except now, they've changed their mind. Why? POLITICS:

Source: The Independent (UK)

President George Bush wants to speed up the withdrawal of American combat troops from Iraq, a move that could help to quell the anti-war anxieties of voters before November's presidential election. Drawing down large numbers of troops would enable the Republican candidate, John McCain, to say that his forceful military strategy for Iraq was correct.

Alone among Republican and Democratic politicians, he consistently urged Mr Bush to take on the insurgents with extra forces. He is now attacking his Democratic opponent, Barack Obama, for preaching policies of defeat by calling for a withdrawal in 16 months. American commanders want to reduce their deployment in Iraq to ease the strain on the military and free up troops for Afghanistan where they are taking a beating from the Taliban and other militants.

Nine American soldiers were killed and 15 wounded yesterday in the bloodiest day in three years for US forces in Afghanistan. In a multi-pronged attack, revealing sophistication and daring, militants overran a remote US base near the Pakistan border on the front lines of the hunt for Osama bin Laden. It was the deadliest on US forces in the country since 16 combat troops were killed when their helicopter was shot down by a rocket-propelled grenade in the same area in 2005.

Nancy Greggs from Democratic Underground sums up George W. Bush in this piece:

But as we have all sadly seen, the suffering that we as a country, and the world at large, now endure is not the result of things gone inexplicably awry, but the single-minded pursuit of a political ideology whose sole purpose was to enrich the few at the expense of the many, and to place power into the hands of those who would stop at nothing to maintain it, all to be achieved while blithely ignoring the ensuing consequences; irreparable damage, escalating violence, economic instability, and the deaths of millions.

A large part of Bush’s legacy will undoubtedly be his administration’s ability to spin the worst behavior into something noble, the most blatant lies into something too truthful to be questioned, the most heinous crimes into something heroic, all couched in language meant to divert the mind from reality, and the soul from guilt.Terms like “executive privilege”, once used to protect the presidency from sharing sensitive information that could place us in jeopardy, have been twisted into poltically-convenient catch-all phrases behind which crimes can be covered-up and its perpetrators shielded from justice.

The term “torture” has been replaced with “enhanced interrogation techniques”, a newly-coined soundbyte intended to mask the barbarism in which we now wallow with impunity.Even the once respected term moral Christian has been forever tarnished, having now been attributed to a torturer, a warmonger, a widow-maker, a non-repentant creator of orphans, of limbless soldiers, of multitudes of homeless, hungry, sick and dying people whose fate is of no concern to he who is not ignorant of, but blatantly dismissive of the very teachings he pretends to follow and revere.Perhaps the most enduring part of any president’s legacy is the remembrance of their most obvious personal quality.

In this instance, surely Bush will be best remembered for his arrogance – an arrogance born not of an overly-exuberant recognition of his own abilities or record of accomplishment, but merely reflective of a sense of entitlement to be praised for that which he never achieved, and rewarded with adulation and respect that was clearly never earned.

Ultimately, history is not written by scholars assessing the past from afar. It is passed down to children and grandchildren by those who experienced the events firsthand, an oral history that lives and breathes long after the pages of even the most well-researched tomes are reduced to dust. And the tales that will be told of Bush’s presidency will be rife with tragedy; tales of soldiers who died fighting not for freedom but profit, of cities left to drown amid apathy and incompetence, of corporations given free rein to exploit the vulnerabilities of a nation’s people, of an administration that plundered our treasury, saddled us with unconscionable debt, circumvented the rule of law, and left our Constitution in tatters.

Despite the best efforts of the revisionists, the spinmeisters, the propagandists, and those simply unwilling to admit that they were hoodwinked by an inept scoundrel and his attendant snake-oil salesmen, it is the truths of George W. Bush’s failed presidency that will be the basis of his legacy.

In light of that fact, Worst President Ever might be the kindest title that history eventually confers.


Saturday, July 12, 2008


I've been reading Mark for years and years and sending him emails telling him how much I love him. And he's actually written back. Heh. With his wit and wisdom, this man has pulled me through some of the darkest moments in the Bush years. Enjoy.


Hey, remember the angry evangelicals? The quivering clan of militant Christoholics who propelled Bush into office and seized the national narrative for a few terrifying moments about five years back, ran deep into the woods with it and rubbed it all over their naughty bits in a frenzy of fear and confusion and lust for all things homophobic and saccharine and spiritually denigrating?

Dying. Nearly dead. Gasping their last. Very soon to be a footnote, a caricature, a gag, a punch line, blasted to the dustbin of history like dried housefly limbs after a sneeze. You should know this now.

Yes, you are right; they already were a caricature, a cultural pothole, a nasty rash in the armpit of society. But it wasn't all that long ago that they were, through bizarre series of sociopolitical machinations still being parsed by baffled historians, a powerful rash, hugely newsworthy, as dangerous and unstoppable as they were wrongheaded and sad. Remember?

You were not much younger than you are right now. As the Bush era crested, as the neocons' power reached nuclear levels, when female nipples and f-words and evil gay agendas ruled the news, the evangelical Right -- led by the most virulent, spittle-flecked gaggle of mental throwbacks to ever stain the American newswires, Focus on the Family (Dr. James Dobson's clan) and the American Family Association and its nefarious leader, the Rev. Donald Wildmon -- these groups controlled, for a brief, awful moment, the national dialogue. They were the temporary arbiters of taste, the warped conscience of a freaked-out culture. And lo, it was ugly.

Rejoice, won't you? For their time is over.

Did you know the AFA recently boycotted McDonald's? That's right, this once semi-powerful tub of right-wing brain-caulk recently declared a comestible fatwa against America's foremost purveyor of toxic foodstuffs because, apparently, some high-ranking McD's VP just joined the board of directors of the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, which, to the AFA, somehow translates directly into free pink condoms and mind-controlling rainbow flags in every toxic God-fearing Happy Meal.

Did you read about that? No? Of course you didn't. Here is why: No one cared. Well, that's not quite true. McDonald's sort of cared, just enough to write up a nice letter of response to Wildmon stating, in essence, that the AFA is a bunch of troglodytic knuckle-draggers with the sociosexual awareness of a fungal spore, and they should crawl away right now before God spanks them even harder with the 2x4 of total irrelevance.

I might be exaggerating. What they actually said was: Thank you, AFA, for your hateful consideration, but we support our employees' right to join whichever socially responsible and positive groups they like. And thusly did McD's flick the AFA away like a tick from a dog. Isn't that amazing?

Now, you may argue that McDonald's and the other megacorps that the AFA has tried to boycott in the past, including Wal-Mart (for selling "Brokeback Mountain" DVDs to unsuspecting toddlers), the Disney Corporation (for its overall corporate support of the evil gay agenda) and the Ford Motor Company (for advertising in gay magazines), aren't shrugging off Wildmon's wide-eyed cult out of the goodness of their gay-loving hearts. It's not like the majority of McD's honchos actually give a damn about gay rights, or gay marriage, or social justice, or the deeper aspects of love.

Nossir, they do so purely for economic reasons, because it's just good PR, because they are safe in the knowledge that the AFA's rantings have exactly zero effect on their bottom line and lots of their own employees are gay -- and by the way discrimination based on sexual orientation is thoroughly illegal -- and therefore it simply makes more business sense to support tolerance than it does to endorse homophobia and general spiritual stupidity. Isn't that right, Boy Scouts of America? You bet it is.

But wait just a second: Is it still not fascinating in this day and age that our most powerful capitalist companies, those most associated with mainstream, dumbed-down, unhealthy, rather uninformed Republican Americana, even these megacorps are now openly and rather shamelessly supporting gay rights and tolerance?

Is it not, concomitantly, interesting that no one at all cares a whit for what the hell the AFA has to say anymore? Is this not a sign of something interesting and sea-changing and good? I think it is. McD's, Wal-Mart, Ford and Disney utterly ignore the Christian Right? What's next, an articulate black intellectual president? Oh wait.

It is made all the more amusing, more comical and cute, by another recent tidbit, the final evidence you will need that the evangelical Right has returned to its original state of inbred silliness, and therefore it is very likely indeed that you will never have to read anything more about them ever again until Wildmon and Dobson join Jerry Falwell and Jesse Helms in the Great Gay Bath House in the sky.

It is this: The AFA's Web site apparently has (or rather, had, until just recently) an auto-filter installed. So utterly terrified of anything remotely gay are these kindly folk that whenever the word "gay" appeared in any news story on their site, their autobot automatically changed it to "homosexual." True.

Thus did it come to pass that many fine stories about American Olympic track and fieldster Tyson Gay become a whole lotta wacky stories about the epic struggles of some unlucky runner named "Tyson Homosexual" to post some good numbers in the 100-meter dash. Poor guy.

And that about does it. Your final proof that God laughs and snorts and doesn't give a flying McRib sandwich about any particular gaggle of humans, particularly those who profess that they know and love and worship him more violently and blindly than anyone else.

Somewhere in all this, a moral, a lesson. Perhaps a curious anecdote about how, in this country, it seems like every agenda, every stupid idea, every rancid fireball of ignorant religious fanaticism nevertheless gets its moment, its 15 minutes, its desperate shot at guiding the culture, just to see if it can, if there's something of value, if there's something to be learned.

And when it comes to the sad Christian nutballs, well, the lesson appears to be wildly obvious indeed: Avoid the sad Christian nutballs, now and forevermore. Hell, even God could've told you that.

Friday, July 11, 2008


All-Star” and Weekly Standard executive editor Fred Barnes wholeheartedly endorsed Gramm’s assessment, saying he was giving “straight talk” and that “America has become a nation of whiners.”

But Barnes took Gramm one step further, acknowledging the economy is “weak,” but that Americans are “whining all the way through it”:

BARNES: He wasn’t wrong to say that. You know what this was? This was straight talk that McCain always says he’s giving it, and this is exactly what Phil Gramm did. He gave straight talk…They claim about how bad the economy is–and it’s weak, no question about that. …They’re whining all the way through it.
Watch it:

Sadly, Barnes wasn’t the first Fox News personality to defend Gramm’s comments yesterday. And this isn’t the first time Barnes has shown a complete lack of understanding of the world outside his high society.

During Fox News’s Democratic primary coverage earlier this year, Barnes described “working class” voters as a euphemism because “it’s kind of mean to say ‘lower class.’ It’s as simple as that.” He explained that the “lower class” are people of low “social class.”


Let's see. When Obama talked about "bitter" working class people the Republican Noise Machine went ballistic--and labeled Obama "elitist."

When one of their own says something actually demeaning--Obama didn't demean anyone--it's no big deal.

These people continue to give new meaning to the word hypocrisy every day.

Jimmy Carter talked about American "malaise" during the fuel crises in the late '70s. Barnes says, yep, we're having a difficult economic time--Americans are WHINERS!!!

Jimmy Carter=BAD, Fred Barns, Phil Gramm=GOOD

Obama says during difficult economic times people become bitter and cling to religion and guns.

Fred Barns calls those same people LOW CLASS. Fred Barns is a big time Repubican who weighs in on lots of issues. The big time Republicans respect this hypocrite.

I can understand why.


Wednesday, July 9, 2008


The graphic, "Obama loves America like OJ loved Nicole" was posted on a New Jersey GOP site since June 24, until it was caught by a Burlington County Democratic chairman. It's been scrubbed just recently. See here:

The Goopers accused Senator Obama of using the race card when he warned that they would try to scare voters by reminding them that he's black--or falsely saying he is Muslim.

Of course, Senator Obama has been correct--we've seen instances of the various GOP state, county and other organizations [noted on this blog here, here, and and here] where they've used the most insidious racist language and images to demean him.

The GOP needs to get these troglodytes under control. How embarrassing for that party to have so many racist pigs who support them and their policies.


McCain: Sending Cigarettes to Iran One Way to Kill Them

By E&P Staff Published: July 08, 2008 11:20 PM ET

NEW YORK John McCain on Tuesday reacted to am Associated Press report of rising U.S. cigarette exports to Iran by saying that may be "a way of killing 'em."Although most in the media later portrayed this as a mere jest, Time magazine's Karen Tumulty, who was at the meeting with the press, observed that McCain only said he was joking after his wife nudged him.

The Reuters report noted: "McCain, known for acerbic comments and for sometimes firing verbally from the hip, was responding to a report that U.S. exports to Iran rose tenfold during President George W. Bush's term in office despite hostility between the two states.

A rise in cigarette sales was a big part of that, according to an Associated Press analysis of seven years of U.S. trade figures."'Maybe that's a way of killing 'em,' McCain said to reporters during a campaign stop in Pittsburgh. 'I meant that as a joke, as a person who hasn't had a cigarette in 28 years, 29 years,' he added, laughing."McCain once sang "Bomb bomb Iran" to the tune of the old Beach Boys classic, "Barbara Ann."

This joker wants to be president of the United States. There is so much that is wrong with what he said as well as the fact that he was very comfortable--even gleeful--in saying it.

We've already had one non-statesman and national embarrassment in the White House for almost 8 years. Who in their right mind would want this guy? What a sorry example of wise-guy, trigger-happy, kill 'em all and let god sort 'em out, juvenile idiocy.

Iran is a nation of 80 million people--more than twice the population of Iraq--and now, thanks to the inept Bush administration, Iran and Iraq share the same religion. A gift to the Iranian mullahs from George W. Bush.

Anyone joking about "killing them" needs some serious instruction on foreign policy.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008



North Carolina state employee forced to retire for refusing to honor Jesse Helms.

L.F. Eason, a 29-year veteran of the North Carolina Department of Agriculture, “instructed his staff at a small Raleigh lab not to fly the U.S. or North Carolina flags at half-staff Monday” to honor the late senator Jesse Helms, “as called for in a directive to all state agencies by Gov. Mike Easley.” In a string of e-mail messages with his superiors, Eason was told he could either lower the flags or retire effective immediately. Here is Eason’s reasoning for his decision to retire:
This is in no way a political decision. I simply do not feel it is appropriate to honor a person whose epitaph of government service was to have voted against or blocked every civil rights issue that came before the US Congress. His doctrine of negativity, hate, and prejudice cost North Carolina and our Nation much that we may never regain.


Over at the National Review – Mark Levin declares that the late Jesse Helms championed the causes of abused minorities. More praise came from President Bush:

“Jesse Helms was a kind, decent, and humble man and a passionate defender of what he called the Miracle of America.”

Conservatives are saying that Helms is a brilliant exemplar of the American conservative movement. This is the man they are tripping over themselves to praise on the news of his death:

Media Downplay Bigotry of Jesse Helms 8/31/01:

Washington Post columnist David Broder, whose August 29 column, headlined "Jesse Helms, White Racist," offered a glimpse into the public record that many other reporters were side-stepping. Broder offered a few examples of Helms' bigotry. There are many. As an aide to the 1950 Senate campaign of North Carolina Republican candidate Willis Smith, Helms reportedly helped create attack ads against Smith's opponent, including one which read: "White people, wake up before it is too late. Do you want Negroes working beside you, your wife and your daughters, in your mills and factories? Frank Graham favors mingling of the races."

Another ad featured photographs Helms himself had doctored to illustrate the allegation that Graham's wife had danced with a black man. (The News and Observer, 8/26/01; The New Republic, 6/19/95; The Observer, 5/5/96; Hard Right: The Rise of Jesse Helms, by Ernest B. Furgurson, Norton, 1986)

Ancient history? No. Helms remains unapologetic to this day. Forty years after the Smith campaign, Helms would win election against black opponent Harvey Gantt with another ad playing to racist white fear-- the so-called "white hands" ad, in which a white man's hands crumple a rejected job application while a voiceover intones, "You needed that job…but they had to give it to a minority."

In columns, commentaries and pronouncements from the Senate floor, Helms sowed hatred and called names: The University of North Carolina was "the University of Negroes and Communists." (Capital Times, 11/22/94) Black civil rights activists were "Communists and sex perverts." (Copley News Service, 8/23/01) Of civil rights protests Helms wrote, "The Negro cannot count forever on the kind of restraint that's thus far left him free to clog the streets, disrupt traffic, and interfere with other men's rights." (WRAL-TV commentary, 1963) He also wrote, "Crime rates and irresponsibility among Negroes are a fact of life which must be faced." (New York Times, 2/8/81)

Over the years Helms has declared homosexuality "degenerate," and homosexuals "weak, morally sick wretches." (Newsweek, 12/5/94) In a tirade highlighting his routine opposition to AIDS research funding, Helms lashed out at the Kennedy-Hatch AIDS bill in 1988: "There is not one single case of AIDS in this country that cannot be traced in origin to sodomy." (States News Service, 5/17/88)

And the man ABC News now describes as a "conservative icon" (8/22/01) in 1993 sang "Dixie" in an elevator to Carol Moseley-Braun, the first African-American woman elected to the Senate, bragging, "I'm going to make her cry. I'm going to sing Dixie until she cries." (Chicago Sun-Times, 8/5/93)

More recently, when a caller to CNN's Larry King Live show praised guest Jesse Helms for "everything you've done to help keep down the niggers," Helms' response was to salute the camera and say, "Well, thank you, I think." (Wilmington Star-News, 9/16/95)

Finally, Helms' strong if sometimes shadowy support for violent, anti-democratic forces abroad, from South Africa to El Salvador, might have given media outlets further pause in describing him as a mere conservative; few probed his ties to groups that would more accurately be described as fascist.

One exception was an editorial in the Boston Globe (8/23/01): "Helms' role in supporting foreign thugs such as Roberto D'Aubuisson, the cashiered Salvadoran major who ran death squads responsible for savage political murders, did lasting harm to America's good name. In South Africa, Argentina, Mozambique, Honduras, and Nicaragua, Helms cooperated with racists and fascists who have nothing in common with the ideals of American democracy."


Sunday, July 6, 2008


In a 1998 interview, Osama bin Laden — the terrorist organizer of 9/11 who still roams free — listed as one of his many grievances against the U.S. that Americans “have stolen $36 trillion from Muslims” by purchasing oil from Persian Gulf countries at low prices. The real price of a barrel of oil should be $144, bin Laden demanded.

Ten years ago today, the price of a barrel of oil was just $11. Heading into this holiday weekend, the price of a barrel of oil rested at $144 — a thirteen-fold increase.

One month after 9/11, the New York Times wrote of possible “nightmare” scenarios that would deliver bin Laden’s goal. Neela Banerjee warned that among the “misguided decisions” that would put oil supplies at risk would be “that the United States attacks Iraq.” The Times included this quote in its story:

“If bin Laden takes over and becomes king of Saudi Arabia, he’d turn off the tap,” said Roger Diwan, a managing director of the Petroleum Finance Company, a consulting firm in Washington.

“He said at one point that he wants oil to be $144 a barrel” — about six times what it sells for now.

Bin Laden didn’t have to become king of Saudi Arabia to achieve his goal; in fact, Bush’s policies delivered it for him. The Bush administration’s catastrophic decision to invade Iraq, sink the nation into debt to pay for that war, and consequently, weaken the dollar have all caused oil prices to soar astronomically.

Testifying before the House Foreign Affairs Committee last May, Anne Korin, the co-director of the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security, reminded Congress about bin Laden’s goal:
[A]bout ten years ago, Osama bin Laden stated that his target price for oil is $144 a barrel and that the American people, who allegedly robbed the Muslim people of their oil, owe each Muslim man, woman, and child $30,000 in back payments. At the time, $144 a barrel seemed farfetched to most. […]

I would like to impress upon this Committee that $144 a barrel oil will be perceived as a victory for the Jihadist movement and a reaffirmation that the economic warfare component of its campaign against the West is a resounding success. There is no need to elaborate on the implications of such a victory in terms of loss of U.S. prestige and our ability to prevail in the Long War of the 21st century.

Indeed, ten years later, a mission accomplished for bin Laden.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED, Part II, British and US companies win Iraq oil contracts

Blood and oil: How the West will profit from Iraq's most precious commodity
The 'IoS' today reveals a draft for a new law that would give Western oil companies a massive share in the third largest reserves in the world. To the victors, the oil? That is how some experts view this unprecedented arrangement with a major Middle East oil producer that guarantees investors huge profits for the next 30 years.

Sunday, 7 January 2007

So was this what the Iraq war was fought for, after all? As the number of US soldiers killed since the invasion rises past the 3,000 mark, and President George Bush gambles on sending in up to 30,000 more troops, The Independent on Sunday has learnt that the Iraqi government is about to push through a law giving Western oil companies the right to exploit the country's massive oil reserves.

And Iraq's oil reserves, the third largest in the world, with an estimated 115 billion barrels waiting to be extracted, are a prize worth having. As Vice-President Dick Cheney noted in 1999, when he was still running Halliburton, an oil services company, the Middle East is the key to preventing the world running out of oil.

Now, unnoticed by most amid the furore over civil war in Iraq and the hanging of Saddam Hussein, the new oil law has quietly been going through several drafts, and is now on the point of being presented to the cabinet and then the parliament in Baghdad. Its provisions are a radical departure from the norm for developing countries: under a system known as "production-sharing agreements", or PSAs, oil majors such as BP and Shell in Britain, and Exxon and Chevron in the US, would be able to sign deals of up to 30 years to extract Iraq's oil.


"Three outside groups have had far more opportunity to scrutinise this legislation than most Iraqis," said Mr Muttitt. "The draft went to the US government and major oil companies in July, and to the International Monetary Fund in September. Last month I met a group of 20 Iraqi MPs in Jordan, and I asked them how many had seen the legislation. Only one had."

Britain and the US have always hotly denied that the war was fought for oil. On 18 March 2003, with the invasion imminent, Tony Blair proposed the House of Commons motion to back the war.

"The oil revenues, which people falsely claim that we want to seize, should be put in a trust fund for the Iraqi people administered through the UN," he said.

Read the rest here:


1996: Bob Dole is a war hero!
Clinton is a draft dodger! WORSHIP THE WAR HERO!

2000: Forget the war! Ignore the potential Vietnam-era AWOL-ness of our candidate, and his complete lack of foreign policy knowledge! He's got integrity!

2004: So what your candidate actually fought and was injured in the same war during which our candidate was so very much NOT AWOL! We mock his service and question the legitimacy of his injuries! Have a purple band-aid to wear at our convention!

2008: Only a certified war hero can lead this country! WORSHIP THE WAR HERO!

h/t TPM

What did General Wesley Clark actually say?:

On Sunday, Clark said on CBS that McCain had never held “executive responsibility” or commanded a squadron during wartime.

Asked about the fact that McCain was shot down in Vietnam and held as a prisoner of war for five years, Clark replied: “Well, I don’t think riding in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to be president.”

That is NOT an attack on McCain's military service or heroism. It's a statement on his qualifications. Period.

And then there's this from "Think Progress:"

- During an interview with National Journal, John McCain was asked if “military service inherently makes somebody better equipped to be commander-in-chief.” McCain said, “Absolutely not…I absolutely don’t believe that it’s necessary.” [National Journal, 2/15/2003]

- I believe that military service is the most honorable endeavor an American may undertake. But I’ve never believed that lack of military service disqualifies one from occupying positions of political leadership or as Commander and Chief. In America, the people are sovereign, and they decide who is and is not qualified to lead us. [American Legion Speech, 9/7/1999]

- Earlier this year at Washington’s Gridiron Club, where humor is the required fare, McCain lay bare what underlies his candidacy. Wearing a jacket outlandishly festooned with dozens of fake military medals, McCain said, “The question I ask myself every morning while shaving in front of the mirror is: OK, John, you’re an incredible war hero, an inspiration to all Americans. But what qualifies you to be president of the United States?” [Minneapolis Star Tribune, 11/7/1999]

Again, I'd like to remind the GOPers that they weren't so sensitive when their attack dogs questioned the LOYALTY of Max Clelland, a triple-amputee who served his country in Viet Nam and when their attack dogs mocked John Kerry's service to his country. John Kerry volunteered to fight in Viet Nam; President Bunnypants chose not to go to Viet Nam, instead he was in the safe TANG, where his daddy got him a safe assignment.