Saturday, January 26, 2008

Saturday "What I Found On YouTube Post"

Ah, Ricki Lee Jones...

Friday, January 25, 2008

I Think They Go Well Together

Standards So Low...

...that even wingnuts qualify.

Note: yes, I'm aware that I've got Hannity decked out as a Marine...and I'm not trying to imply anything about Jim Nabors.

But it WOULD be nice if a few of the 'nut persuasion would finally act on their convictions.
"I'm Not a Crook a Petty Crook"

"Jindal campaign accountant William Potter of Baton Rouge said a mistake was made."

Um, yes. And:

Potter said the ethics charges cannot occur at a worse time as Jindal is preparing to call legislators into a special session to revamp state ethics laws.

Ya think?
Adding to the Irony...

...Of Shrub's affection for a painting depicting a horse thief (link from Dependable Renegade) is the Decider's documented fear of them. Go figure.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Soon, We Won't Have Rudy to Kick Around Anymore

Spiraling downward faster than a helicopter that just lost its stabilizing rotor.

Update: Cool! Blue Gal posted the picture of Tricky Rudy at Crooks & Liars. Yes!
Imagine the Louisiana State Capital Building, but Doubled

And instead of a limestone exterior/marble interior, it was made of cold, green, hard cash (scroll to the very bottom).

You know what? It still wouldn't be as much as what Congress has already appropriated for Iraq. One MONTH'S funding would almost fully fund exceptionally strong hurricane protection for New Orleans.

But it's all being pissed away in Mesopotamia.

Hope you like the bloodshed, America. You sure as hell are paying through the nose for it.
John Yoo's Mind or The Abandoned Mine Shaft

"Yoo is like the sorcerer’s apprentice whose half-learned incantations unleash chaos within a few hours of the master’s departure."

Scott Horton "deconstructs" John Yoo (link from Rising Hegemon):

No doubt, however, that for John Yoo the model of the Prussian monarchy of 1830 is far more congenial than American democracy in the twenty-first century. There’s no accounting for taste.

Of course, while Yoo cites Clausewitz, he seems to have another German thinker in mind: Carl Schmitt. As the "crown jurist" of Germany in the thirties, Schmitt is famous for a number of flashes of dark lawyerly brilliance that supported the deconstruction of the Weimar Republic and hastened the rise of an authoritarian, and then totalitarian dictatorship. One of these was the use of external threat to justify a "state of exception," followed by a transposition of the external threat to the internal political dynamic. This was done with a purpose: collapsing the careful allocation of powers in the Weimar Constitution in favor of one all-powerful Leader. John Yoo would call him the "commander in chief." Curiously, for John Yoo the commander-in-chief has narrowly circumscribed powers when he’s a Democrat, and robust and dictatorial authority when he’s drawn from John Yoo’s own political party. But then a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, as Emerson teaches us.
Bandaid for that Hemorrhaging Wound?


A provincial police commander was killed in west Mosul in a suicide bombing on Thursday as he inspected a blast site that killed 34 people a day earlier.


American-backed Sunni militias who have fought Sunni extremists to a standstill in some of Iraq’s bloodiest battlegrounds are being hit with a wave of assassinations and bomb attacks, threatening a fragile linchpin of the military’s strategy to pacify the nation.

Side effects include...

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Slow Poke Post

Apologies for today...on the other hand, I was finally able to resolve a technical problem that'd been vexing us here for a while.

And, on the personal side, I'll be taking Tigger to his initial vet visit in just under an hour. Wish me--and him--luck. He's already been, ahem, you know, and looks up to date on everything else, but the adoption agency requires an initial checkup, probably to ensure that I'M not an unfit owner. Anyway...

Oh, and he seems to be adjusting well to his new surroundings, which is a relief.

Catch you tomorrow.
Actually, Bill...

You WERE the "conventional wisdom" of the 90s.

And no, I'm not thrilled that Barak Obama is making ANY statements that could conceivably be construed as positive about ANY aspect of Ronald Reagan and/or the Republican Party...although I'll also note that to date nothing he's said has been a dealbreaker for me. But watching the smear games is, well, infuriating...and I'm absolutely NOT surprised that Bill and Hill would play, despite the fact that, just as Jimmy Carter set the table for the so-called Reagan Revolution, they did the clean-up work after the gluttonous conservative feast...
The Headlong Rush Into the Valley of the Big (935) Lies

Led by Decider-in-Chief Doofus and his evil but trusted advisor Twisted Dick.

I managed to get to the Public Integrity page after several attempts--apparently they're getting slammed with traffic. One good bit of news is that even the local rag made note of the study (not online, though a friend told me it's on page 2 in the news briefs). For whatever reason, good or bad, people are sick and tired of George W. Bush, and he'll have to live with that...small punishment, to be sure, considering, but better than nothing at all.

And those journalists who numbly played along, nodding their heads and playing stenographer, should really and genuinely be ashamed of themselves. They disgraced the profession and did a staggering disservice to their exchange for...for what?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

"I'm the Decider Supplicant"

Bloomberg chronicles the Shrinking Shrub.
It's OK, Fred...

There's the possibility of a fall-back career in product endorsements.
Musharraf: "bin Who? Nope, Never Heard of Him"

Pervez proves that while his "democratizationizing" skills might be subpar, he knows how to sound like a loyal Bushie:

That bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahri are still at large "doesn't mean much," the former general said Tuesday on the second day of a swing through Europe.

Has a familiar ring, doesn't it. It's also astonishingly stupid: the sad fact is that every day Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahri pollute the earth with their continued existence, they send a message to the world that reflects VERY poorly on us...similarly, the fact that four years in, the best we can claim about Iraq is that the surge! equals "continued standoff" could be considered a valuable lesson in how to hold your own when the world's reigning superpower unleashes it fury.

And the lesson is not lost on religious nutjobs inclined towards bin Laden's insanity...
Turbulent Times

There's a line in the book The Sweet Science where A.J. Liebling describes the conclusion of an Archie Moore fight using a music analogy...I don't have the book with me, but the quote is something like, 'and then, like when the pianist begins the loud bangs on the keyboard that signal even to the uninitated that the concerto is coming to an end.'

Well, it seems as if the country is about to discover that the proverbial day of reckoning, if not upon us, is staring us in the face...the beginning of the end of an administration led by a man uniquely unqualified to hold high office--and, who, upon assuming office, governed with all the astuteness of a drunken sailor (while goaded on by the pure 200 proof evil that is Dick Cheney). Welcome to roller coaster market volatility, and a genuinely pathetic rhetorical game of hide the mess in Iraq, where evidently the success of the surge was lost on the Iraqis themselves.

Wasted lives, wasted money, and all for a stupid political game of "show up the libruls," which, in a nutshell, has been the last 30 years of "conservative philosophy" (aided by a corporate media whoredom that makes Pravda--the communist one--look like a paragon of ethical journalism).

And...the best is yet to come, as whoever is elected will have to clean a mess the likes of which we've never seen while being figuratively, if not literally, flayed by the very people who helped create it...

Monday, January 21, 2008

"Surge to Nowhere"

Burning Down Iraq *

This op-ed has already been noted by the big blogs, but if you missed it, by all means give it a look.

To say that any amount of "kicking ass" will make Iraq whole once again is pure fantasy. The U.S. dilemma remains unchanged: continue to pour lives and money into Iraq with no end in sight, or cut our losses and deal with the consequences of failure.
Mount Ronmore

Krugman does some debunking, although he concludes, grudging or not, by accepting Obama's premise that Bill Clinton did NOT "change America's trajectory the way Ronald Reagan did"--


Well, I’d say that the great failure of the Clinton administration — more important even than its failure to achieve health care reform, though the two failures were closely related — was the fact that it didn’t change the narrative, a fact demonstrated by the way Republicans are still claiming to be the next Ronald Reagan.

Now progressives have been granted a second chance to argue that Reaganism is fundamentally wrong: once again, the vast majority of Americans think that the country is on the wrong track. But they won’t be able to make that argument if their political leaders, whatever they meant to convey, seem to be saying that Reagan had it right.

Well, without trying to burst any bubbles, it might not be a bad idea to go back even further and recognize that, for all the good he's done post-presidency, and for all the external factors that worked against his administration, Mr. James Earl Carter helped set the table for Reaganism/trickle-down. Carter can in some ways be viewed as the original neo-liberal, which was a popular term when I was young (see Tsongas, Paul). Instead of vigorously defending the economic and social programs that were clearly the next steps of both the civil rights movement AND an acceptance of progressive government in general, Carter chose to believe the myth "failed social programs." On the other hand, he was quite proud of requesting an increase in military spending; he and Zbigniew Brzezinski initiated the destabilization program in Afghanistan that precipitated the Afghan-Soviet war, but also spawned a movement towards fundamentalist Islam which had to that point been virtually nonexistent. Can we all say "blowback?"

To be sure, Carter was far less odious than Reagan or either of the Bushes, but less odious doesn't mean acceptable, unless...well, I guess unless you're perpetually locked into a "lesser of evils" scenario, which is the state of presidential politics, I guess.
The Long Road



I'd guess very few people need to be reminded that pea-brained hatred is still alive and well THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY and not just here in the South; still, I'd like to think there's a bit of hope, and that over time tolerance will prevail...even if it seems that we're almost talking about geologic time.

Taking a look around the internets this morning, I came across this article noting how Martin Luther King, Jr. has become more myth than human, and how that does a disservice to himself and the struggle for civil rights...which was a bit more than a single speech, no matter how good that speech was.

I wonder how many people realize, for instance, that the ugliness in Selma occurred two years AFTER the 1963 March on Washington and a year after the signing of the 1964 Civil Rights act. Instead, it seems as if the struggle itself has been condensed into a few discrete events: Little Rock, Lunch Counters, Bus Depots, and a single, albeit moving and stirring, oration. End of story.

Except that, as is usually the case, reality is far more complex and nuanced.


Maybe it'd be better just to point to a couple of things besides the links above to note this holiday--first, an extraordinary interpretation, in song and images of Eyes on the Prize by Mavis Staples

And, second, for those who've never seen the entire address, here's Martin Luther King, Jr.'s I Have a Dream speech--note that it's not particularly lengthy (not quite 20 minutes)...the best speeches usually are similarly terse