Friday, November 14, 2008

Friday Catblogging With Photoshop

Tigger Goes to Washington.
A Rovian Air...

...wafts, like an Asian brown cloud, all over the Siegelman case.
The Communion Nazi
From 2Millionth Web Log

You voted for Barack Hussein Obama? No wafer for you!
George W. Bush is French for "Le Toxic Waste"
From 2Millionth Web Log

And, whaddya know, it's the same in Russian.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

From 2Millionth Web Log

Short version of what I posted at First Draft: yes, Palin is a lunatic, to be sure. But so are plenty of other people in this country...
Early Christmas...

At least, if you're interested in Roman history:

Google Earth has embraced a frontier dating back 17 centuries: ancient Rome under Constantine the Great.

Soaring above a virtual reconstruction of the Forum and the Palatine Hill or zooming into the Colosseum to get a lion’s-eye view of the stands, Google Earth’s 400 million users will be able to explore the ancient capital as easily "as any city can be explored today," Michael T. Jones, chief technology officer of Google Earth, said Wednesday at a news conference at Rome’s city hall.

Ancient Rome 3D, as the new feature is known, is a digital elaboration of some 7,000 buildings recreating Rome circa A.D. 320, at the height of Constantine's empire, when more than a million inhabitants lived within the city’s Aurelian walls.

Um, I think I know how I'll be wasting time prowling the internets over the next few days at least.
Cue Up the Beck *

Don't let the door hit you on the way out, Ted. But, at the same time, thanks: by stubbornly refusing to resign, you've kept Sarah Palin from goin' to Warshington, you betcha.
Night of the Living Cheneys
From 2Millionth Web Log

You know, it almost sounds like a contest: first prize, nothing, second prize, a day and evening with the Cheneys, third prize...two full terms of Dick as VP.

And people wonder why I don't gamble.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Hatred on the North Shore

This isn't exactly comforting; that said, the reaction, believe it or not, represents an improvement, exceedingly modest though it may be, as to the role of hate groups here in the Gret Stet and elsewhere.

Oh, to be sure, there's plenty of racism, as anyone who remembers Jena in 2007 can tell you. However, and again, noting that it's just one small step...but a small step in the right direction...some of the more in-your-face out and out hatred of the kind espoused by the Klan is ever so slightly ebbing.

And that's a good thing.
Free Enterprise

Nothing quite like the discipline of the marketplace:

When the government said it would spend $700 billion to rescue the nation’s financial industry, it seemed to be an ocean of money. But after one of the biggest lobbying free-for-alls in memory, it suddenly looks like a dwindling pool.

Many new supplicants are lining up for an infusion of capital as billions of dollars are channeled to other beneficiaries like the American International Group, and possibly soon American Express.

Of the initial $350 billion that Congress freed up, out of the $700 billion in bailout money contained in the law that passed last month, the Treasury Department has committed all but $60 billion. The shrinking pie -- and the growing uncertainty over who qualifies -- has thrown Washington’s legal and lobbying establishment into a mad scramble.

The Treasury Department is under siege by an army of hired guns for banks, savings and loan associations and insurers -- as well as for improbable candidates like a Hispanic business group representing plumbing and home-heating specialists. That last group wants the Treasury to hire its members as contractors to take care of houses that the government may end up owning through buying distressed mortgages.

The lobbying frenzy worries many traditional bankers -- the original targets of the rescue program -- who fear that it could blur, or even undermine, the government’s effort to stabilize the financial system after its worst crisis since the 1930s.
Roughing It
From 2Millionth Web Log

Hey, it's hard out there for a pimp CEO.
Profile of an Original Villager

If you can stand it, PBS's Lee Atwater profile is definitely worth watching...if, for no other reason, the insight it gives us into the mentality of Washington insiders.

At its essence, that mentality displays a stunning contempt for the rest of us...which is a major reason WHY a Lee Atwater could become the sort of driving force for a generation of lying, sleaze mongering, cheap stunts, and so on as the basis for modern political campaigns.

Far from showing any measure of shame, they instead revel in their ability to pull fast ones on the press and general public, literally conning their way up the political food chain. As for Atwater himself, though fate's intervention resulted in some measure of personal remorse, the box had long-since been opened...and no one's closed it since.

Definitely watch the show or read the transcript if you can stand it--personally, I didn't want to watch (sometimes my outrage meter needs a rest)--but I'm glad I bit the bullet and did. Atwater played a huge role in the latest cheapening of our political process, one that Barack Obama can hopefully counter, at least in part.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Sort of an Odd Definition of "Victory"
From 2Millionth Web Log

While "the surge succeeded" has become part of the national mythology, the reality is that Iraq is a lethally sickening game of whack-a-mole:

MOSUL, Iraq -- It's not a pretty sight: Sagging skeletons of two- and three-story buildings under a threatening gray sky. Abandoned shops with corrugated iron fronts riddled by bullet holes. And amid the garbage heaps and pools of fetid rainwater, a roadside bomb set to explode.

Five years after the U.S.-led invasion and following a significant drop in violence nationwide over the past year, the battle for Mosul, Iraq's third largest city, still waxes and wanes.

"This is our hottest area," says Sgt. 1st Class Ron Corella, a decorated combat veteran in this war-scarred quarter of the ancient city where moments before his troops spotted -- and disarmed -- that roadside bomb.


Lt. Col. Robert Molinari, executive officer of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, says Mosul "looks like Baghdad about 18 months ago" at the height of violence in the Iraqi capital.

It was the generally successful pacification of Baghdad -- the fruit of the so-called troop surge -- that drew al-Qaida and other insurgents to this hub of northern Iraq to open a new battleground and safeguard their infiltration and supply routes.

And how's the other ground operation in the GWOT going? Well...

PESHAWAR, Pakistan -- Suspected Taliban fighters hijacked trucks carrying Humvees and other supplies for U.S.-led troops in Afghanistan, authorities said Tuesday after a brazen attack near the Khyber Pass that underscored the militants' grip across key mountain strongholds.

The assault highlighted the vulnerability of a vital supply route for the 65,000 U.S. and NATO forces battling a resurgent Taliban in landlocked Afghanistan. A significant amount of supplies for the Western forces go through Pakistan.

Attacks on convoys carrying food, fuel and other supplies are common on the road. But Monday's raid was especially large and well-organized...
The End of 'The Southern Strategy'?
From 2Millionth Web Log

A visual representation of marginalization.

Maybe so, and that wouldn't be a bad thing:

The region's absence from Mr. Obama’s winning formula means it "is becoming distinctly less important," said Wayne Parent, a political scientist at Louisiana State University. "The South has moved from being the center of the political universe to being an outside player in presidential politics."


Southern counties that voted more heavily Republican this year than in 2004 tended to be poorer, less educated and whiter, a statistical analysis by The New York Times shows. Mr. Obama won in only 44 counties in the Appalachian belt, a stretch of 410 counties that runs from New York to Mississippi. Many of those counties, rural and isolated, have been less exposed to the diversity, educational achievement and economic progress experienced by more prosperous areas.


That could spell the end of the so-called Southern strategy, the doctrine that took shape under President Richard M. Nixon in which national elections were won by co-opting Southern whites on racial issues. And the Southernization of American politics -- which reached its apogee in the 1990s when many Congressional leaders and President Bill Clinton were from the South -- appears to have ended.

"I think that’s absolutely over," said Thomas Schaller, a political scientist who argued prophetically that the Democrats could win national elections without the South.

The Republicans, meanwhile, have "become a Southernized party," said Mr. Schaller, who teaches at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. "They have completely marginalized themselves to a mostly regional party," he said, pointing out that nearly half of the current Republican House delegation is now Southern.

If you can, definitely read the entire article -- sigh. Some folks you just cain't reach, as Strother Martin might say.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Not as Close as the Score Indicates...

Twenty-four percent approval rating meets seventy percent.
Throwing Lieberman a Life Preserver
From 2Millionth Web Log

I wish this was more in the spirit of 'keep your friends close but your enemies closer;' however, I'm inclined to think Holy Joe's life preserver--as opposed to a clear view of the underside of a bus--is more a matter of Obama being generous and gracious in victory...a somewhat rare attitude in D.C. these days.

Still, given Holy Joe's distinct lack of interest in investingating the federal negligence the root of the New Orleans flood of 2005, let me note a measure of displeasure and a strong personal preference for the Senator's introduction to the coach's undercarriage. Multiple viewings could also be arranged, as far as I'm concerned.
Number One in the Nation
From 2Millionth Web Log

It's official: George W. Bush is "the most unpopular president in the six decades since presidential approval ratings were first measured."

You could even say that's a mandate--a mandate to slither back to Texas and cease playing any significant role in the public sphere.
From 2Millionth Web Log

Not that ideological consistency is a wingnut strongsuit, but I find the lack of squawking about the the new, even more socialist United States--with at leat $700 billion more socialism than the previous socialist United States--telling, particularly given that this socialism is coming courtesy of the Republican Bush administration.

It'll be interesting to see if the institutional memory in the form of the press will remind wingers of this when they inevitably screech about spending in an Obama administration...which will be necessary and even desirable, given that the alternative is...economic collapse, which I doubt any but the looniest of survivalists really prefer.

Of course, what's not mentioned is that government has been in the wealth distribution--or redistrubition--business for some time. Claiming otherwise is denial on a massive scale...the same sort of denial that, in other spheres, allows some to call the tragedy in Iraq the cusp of victory...or insist that an American city drowned by by gross negligence is unworthy of assistance or even recompense.

I suppose time will tell with regards to President-elect Obama's -- and, I'll admit, I like how 'President-elect Obama' sounds...and 'President Obama' sounds even better -- anyway, time will tell as to the particulars of his economic stimulus...but the fact is that the United States IS a social democracy, regardless of winger howls of denial, the United States has become even MORE of a social democracy, thanks to Team Bush economic mismanagement that's necessitated public investment...and the United States will continue to be a social democracy in the foreseeable future.

And, since it IS a social democracy, I wouldn't mind seeing some public funds pledged for what amounts to a very good investment, namely, the restoration of coastal Louisiana and future protection of it, New Orleans, and even the entire Gulf Coast.

After all, it's OUR government, too.