Sunday, November 30, 2008
There is nothing short of actual violence to prevent this, apparently. Obama seems to be unable to prevent the Busheviks from these last few crimes during the lame-duck/inter-regnum. There seem to be few legislative solutions, nor any will to effect them.
So it comes down to the people in the Federal Government, the employees, the career people (those not hired by the likes of Monica Goodling, in any case) to take matters into their own hands and thwart the feculent Bushevik fux on the ground, in the bureaus, agencies, commissions and departments.
They need to intentionally violate --that is, ignore-- any and all the new regs. Take individual responsibility. Resist these immoral and hurtful changes.
And Obama himself, in his next radio address, should take the lead in encouraging this stratagem. Using the bully pulpit he's already got, and the fact that nothing he says or does these days goes unreported, he should announce that if HE were an employee in an agency which enforced any of the rules the Busheviks were trying to roll back, he would refuse. And he would document the case, and the regulation, and the replies of any supervisors. And he should announce that he would hold faultless any Federal employee who resisted the further diminishment of the protections that the regulations exist to preserve.
He won't, of course. But he should!
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
There exists in the blogo-sphere a catalogue of maxims the employment of which is said to poison subsequent discourse. Godwin's Law, for example, stipulates (via Wiki): "As a Usenet discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one."
Godwin's Law is often cited in online discussions as a deterrent against the use of arguments in the reductio ad Hitlerum form.
The rule does not make any statement about whether any particular reference or comparison to Hitler or the Nazis might be appropriate, but only asserts that one arising is increasingly probable. It is precisely because such a comparison or reference may sometimes be appropriate, Godwin has argued that overuse of Nazi and Hitler comparisons should be avoided, because it robs the valid comparisons of their impact. Although in one of its early forms Godwin's Law referred specifically to Usenet newsgroup discussions, the law is now applied to any threaded online discussion: electronic mailing lists, message boards, chat rooms, and more recently blog comment threads and wiki talk pages.
Then there is Poe's Law: "Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humor, it is impossible to create a parody of Fundamentalism that SOMEONE won't mistake for the real thing."
Poe's Law relates to fundamentalism, and the difficulty of identifying actual parodies of it. It suggests that, in general, it is hard to tell fake fundamentalism from the real thing, since they both sound equally ridiculous. The law also works in reverse: real fundamentalism can also be indistinguishable from parody fundamentalism. For example, some conservatives consider noted homophobe Fred Phelps to be so over-the-top that they think he's a "deep cover liberal" trying to discredit more mainstream homophobes.There is, I think a crying need for "Poe's Corollary," to wit: "Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humor, it is impossible to create a parody of Neo-Con Rightardedness that SOMEONE won't mistake for the real thing."
Dare I presume to call it "Woody's Corollary"?
As evidence, I offer Exhibit 1. "Pretty In Mink," :
Following in the tradition of past calendars from the Luce Policy Institute, Pretty in Mink celebrates smart, conservative women role models ... with flair.I admit, when first I saw this page, I would have sworn it was a parody.
We took some of your favorite leaders of today’s conservative movement on a journey back in time, and made them up into glamorous movie stars of classic Hollywood. Back when the big screen was a little more glamorous, women were a little more feminine, the men a little more charming—and the world a little less politically correct.
We’ve saved Clare Boothe Luce herself for the last month of the year; we think you’ll agree that the legacy of this conservative icon makes her an appropriate ending for our calendar. And every single one of the other beautiful women featured in Pretty in Mink is one hundred percent a “Luce Lady.” Whether they’re speaking for us regularly—on college campuses, at our Conservative Women’s Network luncheons in D.C, and at regional Luce events—or they’re working directly with staff to reach out to students, these women contribute so much to the Institute, and more importantly, to the next generation of women leaders.It is with pride that we showcase these talented Luce Ladies in our 2009 Pretty in Mink calendar. We hope you enjoy the show!
Miss January — Kellyanne Conway
Miss February — Star Parker
Miss March – Susan Phalen
Miss April – Nonie Darwish
Miss May – Mary Katharine Ham
Miss June – Michelle Malkin
Miss July – Amanda Carpenter
Miss August – Sandy Liddy Bourne
Miss September – Ann Coulter
Miss October – Kate Obenshain
Miss November – Miriam Grossman, M.D.
Miss December – Clare Boothe Luce
Sadly, though, it's not.
Albuquerque's really a pit. You wouldn't like it here. Too windy, too dry. Ladies, you skin will eventually resemble aged lumber. We're a great terror target, too. Fewer than 30 miles to Los Alamos, Murka's 'nukular heartland.' Plus there's a big defense Lab right in the city, too. And the bunkers on the airport, under the shadow of the Monzano Mts? Storage for the majority of Murka's tactical Nukes. Really...
You'd hate it. Beautiful sunsets don't compensate for the poor wages, the sprawl; the Gangs. It's bi-lingual. Billboards in Spanih. It's real dusty. There are rattlesnakes; Coyotes; Mountain lions; Bears. And REALLY stupid drivers.
And GAYS! Teh Gay is here in force! Lesbians everywhere!
Besides, there's not enough water here for those of us already here. And the supply is diminishing all the time. And there's a LOT of Govt' interference, because of the Indians and their reservations.
You wouldn't like it here.
So don't even THINK about it. Ya, basta! Salga! Vuelva! ¡¡Sí, ese le significa!
Friday, November 21, 2008
The Bushies have been lying again/still/all along.
Every bio of the turd-licking, dishonest, vicious little shitwhistle Bush says he's "five feet, eleven and three-quarters" in height.
Nah. No fucking way he's even CLOSE to 6 feet...
Yo, regardez-vous the foto above: Obama's bio says he's 6'1, plus (1.87 m). He TOWERS over the smarmy, smirking, strutting, simpering, shrimpy Chimp a good three inches. The top of the Chimp's head barely comes to Obama's eyebrows...
Up til now, the shrimpy Chimps pimps have never shown him in company with anyone tall. He had a fucking box to stand on in the debates w/Kerry, who is a LEGIT 6'3+.
I'll take my schadenfreude any-fucking-where I can find it, thank you...
Oh, yeah, and by the way: Would somebody dump a load of dog-shit all over the Bushster once he's out of the ShiteHouse? Or just cow-manure? a rotten egg? Anything at all that would make the motherfucker crawl as small as his shrunken soul?
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Got it? Good.
It would require credulity of an absolutely monumental scale and scope to believe there WEREN'T other "Monicas" in every single Agency, Bureau, Commission, Department and/or Office in the Federal Government, but whose machinations havee NOT been exposed to the light of day. Unquestionably and indubitably, these folks have positioned enclaves (perhaps 'cells' would be a better term) of "God-fearing ('blighted'), GOPuke/Bushevik clones in the works of every Agency, Bureau, Commission, Department and/or Office in Government.
Now it turns out, according to AfterDowningStreet, in the inter-regnum between now and Jan 20, by golly, the Bush administration is embedding hoards of their (frantically loyalist) foot soldiers inside the government in order to sabotage any Obama initiatives while at the same time terminating federal employees who they assume would be supportive of the new administration. And, meanwhile, they're firing people whom they regard as 'enemies' before those 'enemies' can report on the Busheviks' crimes...
(Who could have EVAR predicted? Well, other than me, I mean...)
If it weren't illegal to do so, Mr. Obama's first act as President should be a blanket firing of every employee hired into ANY Government job or position whatsoever since Feb 1, 2001...
Monday, November 17, 2008
The Summers BubbleIn this context, I would suggest that, if y you have the time, you listen to Amy Goodman's Democracy Now today:
The selection of Larry Summers as treasury secretary would send a message that Wall Street is more powerful in the Obama administration than the progressive coalition that brought him to power.
Kevin Connor and Matthew Skomarovsky, TAP | November 17, 2008The choice of a new treasury secretary presents an early test of President-elect Obama's commitment to change in the realm of economic policy, where the need for a new direction is most painfully evident. Will the new administration find a bold answer to decades of trickle-down economics? Or will Wall Street-affiliated party insiders summon the political muscle to remain relevant and deliver for their friends in finance? A battle for the soul of Obama's White House is underway.
Considering what is at stake, the emergence of Lawrence Summers as a leading candidate for treasury secretary is an alarming indicator that Wall Street Democrats with abysmal records are gaining an upper hand over the broad progressive coalition that lifted Obama to victory.
Summers' candidacy, pushed heavily by Democratic Party rainmaker and Citigroup executive Robert Rubin, is premised on the notion that Summers' expertise and experience is urgently needed in our time of crisis. Whatever his gaffes at Harvard, the argument goes, Summers has a proven capacity to lead the economy in the right direction.
But a sober look at history suggests the opposite; it is precisely Summers' record of service that is his biggest liability. On the critical economic issues he encountered as a Clinton administration official, Summers' expertise translated into consistent advocacy for policies that infected the financial system with deadly risk.
Recently, Summers has tilted toward progressive stances on several questions of economic policy. But when considered against the backdrop of his career, his pontifications are an unconvincing resumé point -- especially when many other economists got it right all along, without the benefits of hindsight.
On three major issues that have had special bearing on the recent crisis -- financial deregulation, asset bubbles, and government bailouts -- Summers flouted basic tenets of his profession, ignored warnings, and pursued a short-sighted strategy. A thorough review of this record undermines Summers' only serious claim to the Treasury: his much-hyped expertise.
I think it is important to consider the question that runs through the whole of this program, and it's not "Who Is Obama?", but "Who Is Obama LISTENING TO?" because he hasn't been in Washington long enough to learn enough of the ropes to pick his advisors without any critical scrutiny. I suspect The Clenis and HRC both regret their early affiliation, fresh from Little Rock, with Dick Morris.
* Naomi Klein on the Bailout Profiteers and the Multi-Trillion-Dollar Crime Scene
* Ex-CIA Officials Tied to Rendition Program and Faulty Iraq Intel Tapped to Head Obama’s Intelligence Transition Team
* As Obama Vows to Close Guantanamo, His Advisers Are Reportedly Crafting a Plan to Create a New System of Preventive Detention and National Security Courts
Over the weekend, there appeared a post which is utterly awash in the delectable sweetness in delight at the discomfiture of the detestable. Shorter ATR: The mega-mall holding corporation on whch the fortune of Tom Friedman's multi-billionaire in-laws depends has lost 98% of its worth (on paper) in the last TWO MONTHS.
This state of affairs apparently led Friedman to discourse in an atypically honest column late last week at in NY TIMES. Quoth ATR:
Suck. On. This.SO, THIS is how a "Free Market" works? Schweet, schweet, schweeeeeet! Down from $3.6 BILLION, to "less than $25MILLION"? WhaddaRIDE!
Schadenfreude has never been so, so sweet:It would be easy to dismiss today’s rant (however spot-on it might be) by New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman as yet another ideological tirade against the U.S. automobile industry. But based on the bad news coming out of shopping-mall owner General Growth Properties [GGP], it is no wonder Friedman is feeling crankier than usual. That’s because the author’s wife, Ann (née Bucksbaum), is an heir to the General Growth fortune. In the past year, the couple—who live in an 11,400-square-foot mansion in Bethesda, Maryland—have watched helplessly as General Growth stock has fallen 99 percent, from a high of $51 to a recent 35 cents a share. The assorted Bucksbaum family trusts, once worth a combined $3.6 billion, are now worth less than $25 million.
If you click through to this chart, you'll see the drop has actually been even more precipitous than described above. GPP was trading at $27.55 the week of September 8th. It's now at $0.44. Thus, it's lost 98% of its value in the past two months.
My own (substantial, to me, though amounting only to some 10s of THOUSANDS of dollars) losses (retirement accounts down 30-35% in two months) somehow don't seem so terrible.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Their cries fill the sky, but they're tricky to spot, because their undersides are pale and, at the altitudes where they fly, their slim silhouettes don't stand out against that azure sky.
Their cries are unmistakable. They're there, but you look where the sound says they should be and there's nothing there. But then in a shimmer, the flock wheels and changes course and as they bank and swoop, they appear.
Even at the distance--they're at least 700-1000 feet in the air, and often at a remove of many hundreds of meters in lateral distance--the effect can be mesmerizing.
I invariably stop to try to spot the flocks when I hear them, when I'm out walking a dog on the ditch.
Twice a year, late autumn and middle spring...
For now, at least.
4 insurers seek to buy thrifts for part of bailoutThis really IS the pits, friends: Insurance companies TRYING to buy 'struggling' thrifts to BOLSTER their bottom lines! Where/when does it stop?
Insurers ask government to let them acquire thrifts so they can receive bailout funds
* Marcy Gordon, AP Business Writer
* Friday November 14, 2008, 9:14 pm EST
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Four insurance companies on Friday asked the government to allow them to buy thrifts so they can qualify to receive federal money under the financial rescue program.
Hartford Financial Services Group Inc., Genworth Financial Inc., Lincoln National Corp. and Aegon NV, a Dutch company that owns U.S. insurer Transamerica, each asked the Office of Thrift Supervision for permission to acquire an existing savings and loan.
The deadline for filing applications was Friday. The Treasury Department agency said it received submissions from those four firms to become thrift holding companies by acquiring savings and loans.
Insurers that own thrifts, which are federally regulated, are eligible to apply for a piece of the $250 billion the government is spending to buy shares in banks and other financial companies. Thrifts differ from banks in that, by law, they must have at least 65 percent of their lending in consumer loans such as mortgages.
Hartford Financial said it expects to be eligible for between $1.1 billion and $3.4 billion in government bailout money.
The Hartford, Conn.-based company said it had agreed to buy Federal Trust Bank for about $10 million and to inject an undisclosed amount of new capital into the federally chartered savings bank. Federal Trust Bank, now owned by Sanford, Fla.-based Federal Trust Corp., operates 11 branches in Florida.
Richmond, Va.-based Genworth Financial applied to acquire Inter Savings Bank, a thrift based in Minneapolis, according to the thrift agency. Philadelphia-based Lincoln National is looking to buy Newton County Loan & Savings, based in Goodland, Ind., while Transamerica is seeking to acquire Suburban Federal Savings Bank of Crofton, Md.
Insurance companies are mostly regulated at the state level, but insurers that become thrift holding companies are under federal supervision and thereby qualify for the government bailout money.
At least two dozen insurers currently own thrifts.
Many insurers have been struggling. Hartford and Lincoln were among several companies analysts identified this week as likely needing to raise capital and facing the possibility of ratings downgrades.
"It wasn't just the banks and other institutions that were buying the subprime mortgage packages," said Tony Plath, a finance professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. "It was the insurance industry that bought a lot of that -- which is why they are now backpedaling to write all that stuff off their balance sheets."
Plath said insurance companies are "holding their hand out to Treasury for money because they don't have any capital left to write it off against."
A number of property-casualty insurers have said they aren't interested in participating in the bailout program. The industry appears to be split between life insurers, some of whom have previously expressed interest in participating in the program, and property-casualty companies.
In a letter last month to Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, Chubb Corp., a major property-casualty insurer, said "we do not believe that allowing property and casualty insurance companies to participate in the (Treasury program) is consistent with the stated purpose" of the law creating it. That purpose is "to restore liquidity and stability" to the U.S. financial system, Chubb noted in the letter.
AP Business Writer Ieva M. Augstums in Charlotte, N.C., contributed to this report..
This crisis is the "shock" they've all been waiting for, the cover for ever more FIRE (Finance, Insurance, Real Estate)-sale consolidation...
Oh, and did anyone mention that "President" Obama's on-board since Day 1?
Yesterday (Friday) s/he had this up as "Video of the Day": ... a set of clips of Peter Schiff predictions from 2006 and 2007 on FOX News (with his views being ridiculed) (10 minutes)
Peter Schiff was right? Whooda Thunkit?
Friday, November 14, 2008
Changes in the names of the people on the Pay-To-The-Order-Of lines on the checks written by the clients of the biggest K-Street firms.
Other than that, ummm, not so much. Ken Silverstein on the Harper's Magazine blog, No Comment reports:
Biden’s “Intern” Nabs Lobbying Contract: Washington adjusts to the Obama EraWe Murkins are such fucking chumps. We believe our own press releases. Like "Obama's RILLY, RILLY, RILLY gonna CHANGE things."
By Ken Silverstein
The Washington Post had two interesting pieces today about how Washington is responding to the election of Barack Obama. The first said that Obama’s election had “touched off a mini-boom on K Street” and that Democrats who supported him were the primary beneficiaries.
“[Jaime] Harrison helped mobilize voter turnout for Obama in South Carolina, and for the past two years he directed floor operations for House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn (D-S.C.) — credentials that made him a sought-after addition to firms looking for an edge in a new administration. “I built a lot of strong relationships with members, as well as their staff, and some of my very best friends worked on the campaign,” Harrison said. He will start with the Podesta Group next week.
The second piece said that bundlers “who raised millions of dollars for [Obama’s] White House bid are starting to land significant posts on his transition team. At least nine of the volunteer fundraisers whose wide networks of colleagues, friends and relatives gave more than $1.85 million to Obama are now positioned to help the president-elect set foreign and domestic policy and identify potential Cabinet appointees.” Meanwhile, Public Citizen reported that Congressmen John Dingell and Nick Rahall are hosting a fundraiser next week to help newly elected Democrats retire their campaign debt. The price: $20,000 for Political Action Committees and $10,000 for individuals.”
I checked lobby disclosure reports filed over the past few months and there’s an endless list of former government officials and staffers handling new accounts. Democrats are indeed doing well.
Thurgood Marshall Jr., who formerly worked for Al Gore, signed on to represent Levine Leichtman Capital Partners, a private equity firm. Joshua Fay-Hurvitz, a former staffer to Congressman Anthony Weiner, recently was retained (along with several other lobbyists) to represent Sovereign Bank.
Steve Elmendorf, a one-time adviser to former House minority leader Richard Gephardt, was retained by the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association. Three other former Democratic staffers are working on the Association’s account, including Robert Cogorno. “Most recently, Cogorno served as Floor Director to Representative Steny Hoyer in both his Majority Leader and Democratic Whip offices,” says his bio. “In that capacity, Cogorno oversaw the Leader’s floor staff which directs day-to-day legislative activity in the House of Representatives. As the Leader’s chief liaison to Committee Chairmen and Chairwomen and their staffs, and other Members and their offices, Cogorno managed implementation of the Democratic strategy, counting votes and building support for leadership-backed legislation.”
And then there’s Gwen Mellor at Hogan & Hartson, who signed up to represent NewStar Financial on November 4, Election Day. Mellor has worked for at least five former members of congress, including Senators Tim Johnson and Tom Carper.
But on her disclosure form Mellor only mentions one former job: intern to Senator Joe Biden. Now that’s someone who knows how to adapt to the new era.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
No? Well, that's not surprising, given how weed wipes out your memory, you damn dirty hippies.
Ken Silverstein, at Harper's Magazine's "Washington Babylon" blog, posted the following piece from The Agitator he says he found on Andrew Sullivan's blog.
Successful Pot Smokers: Let’s Make a ListBurrito taster? You can get paid for that? Shit, I never knew that!
Friday, November 7th, 2008
The latest absurdity to come out of the Office of National Drug Control Policy is an anti-pot PR campaign with the motto, “Hey, not trying to be your mom, but there aren’t many jobs out there for potheads.”
The first three ads suggest that drug users can look forward to a career as a “burrito taster,” a “couch security guard,” or “remote control operator.”
It’s an incredibly lame campaign, and reeks of stodgy wonks making a desperate attempt to look hip.
The Marijuana Policy Project’s Bruce Mirken adds:By the way, jobs held by people who’ve acknowledged smoking marijuana include governor of California (Arnold Schwarzenegger), astronomer (Carl Sagan), mayor of New York (Michael Bloomberg), billionaire rock star/songwriter (Paul McCartney), and — well, you get the point.Here’s my challenge to Agitator readers, bloggers, and others: In this comments thread, let’s compile a master list of admitted pot smokers—current or former—who not only haven’t ended up as heroin junkies or burnouts, but have gone on to lead successful lives. If the person is famous, include a link. But feel free to add yourselves and what you do now, too, if you fit the criteria. School teacher? Cop? Stay at home mom? Grad student? Count yourself in. You can leave out your name if you like. Or include it. Either way.
I’ll get it started:Barack Obama, president-elect. Bill Clinton, 42nd president of the U.S. John Kerry, U.S. Senator and 2004 Democratic nominee for president. John Edwards, multi-millionaire, former U.S. Senator, and 2004 Democratic nominee for vice president. Sarah Palin, governor of Alaska, 2008 Republican nominee for vice president. British Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, Transport Secretary Ruth Kelly, and and Chancellor Alistair Darling. Josh Howard, NBA all-star. New York Governor David Paterson. Former Vice President, Nobel Peace Prize winner, and Oscar winner Al Gore. Former Sen. Bill Bradley, who smoked while playing professional basketball. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, and former New York Governor George Pataki. Billionaire and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.That’s the result of a five-minute Google search. The presence of so many high-ranking politicians so early in the search results puts the lie to the ONDCP’s ridiculous ad campaign, and shows that to the extent that marijuana is harmful, the harm lies mostly in what the government will do to you to you if it catches you. It’s not only possible to smoke pot and go on to live a productive life, that’s by far and away what most people who smoke the drug actually do. The fact that all of the politicians listed above still support drug prohibition and the continued funding of farcical government organizations like ONDCP is the real shame, here. They’re more than happy to ruin the lives of young people who did the same thing they did in their youth. The lesson isn’t that you shouldn’t smoke pot. It’s that if you do, don’t incur the misfortune of getting caught.
So let’s see how long we can make this list. Give this post some love on Digg, and on Reddit. Poke around on the Interwebs and add more entries in the comments. If you qualify, add your own name—or at least what you do. I only ask that you not add the names of people other than yourself without documentation.
Have at it.
At this posting, there were 434 replies listing 'successful' pot smokers, many of them neither obvious nor public figures, but still having had good lives, despite their foul 'addiction.'
Oh, I almost forgot: here's the notorious "Reefer Madness."
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Militant anti-gay activist Peter LaBarbera is not happy that Barack Obama has been talking to Rev. Gene Robinson--in fact, this simple act alone is enough to convince LaBarbera that Obama is “anti-Christian” and out to undermine the Christian faith:I guess you'd hafta expect that from a muslim, innit? But wait, wait... Wright's a "Christian," iirc. Can a Muslim be a Christian? Vice versa?A conservative Christian activist says it's a sad omen for the Obama administration and the United States that Barack Obama has been seeking guidance from the Episcopal Church's first openly homosexual bishop.LaBarbera suggests Robinson may possibly replace Jeremiah Wright as one of Obama's main spiritual advisers. Wright was Obama's Chicago pastor for 20 years before disassociating with the controversial preacher during the presidential campaign
The Times of London reports that the president-elect sought out New Hampshire homosexual bishop Vicki Gene Robinson for advice three times during his presidential campaign. Robinson, whose ordination in the Episcopal Church has caused a deep rift within the Anglican Communion, was reportedly sought out by Obama to discuss what it feels like to be "first."
Robinson notes in their three private conversations, Obama voiced his support for "equal civil rights" for homosexuals and described the election as a "religious experience." Peter LaBarbera, president of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, believes Obama's consultations with Robinson show the true tenor of his upcoming administration.
"It looks like Billy Graham has been replaced by a gay bishop. We're moving to, perhaps, our first anti-Christian president; it's beyond post-Christian. Gene Robinson advocates homosexuality as part of the Christian experience," he explains. "Now Bible-believing Christians cannot accept that. Homosexual practice is sinful, as taught by the scriptures. This man [Obama] pretends to be faithful to Christianity, even as he works very hard to undermine it."
I am confused...
We are out of time. We can not only see the abyss, we teeter right on the brink. I have mentioned Van Jones, before. He's a young, sharp, Harvard Law grad and community organizer who has a GREAT IDEA: "The Green-Collar Economy." Followed to its logical conclusion, Jones' proposals would address virtually ALL the pressing issues involved with a sustainable economy AND a sustainable planet.
Every heated or cooled building should be inspected to evaluate its energy efficiency, conservation-and/or-wastage. Then every heated/cooled building found wanting in any of those areas should be either retrofitted to improve their performance, or torn down and rebuilt within the energy-saving demands of a dying planet. Federal funds should be devoted to the invention, production, and promulgation of energy-saving technologies.
There is absolutely NO practical (versus ideological/commercial) reason that there should not or could not be SOME kind of solar-energy collector on the roof of EVERY building in America (or the world, for that matter). And there would be NO better use of Federal resources than that (except perhaps for Universal Health Care) for the federal government to subsidize 100% of all such innovation and renovation, as it did when developing nuclear energy.
There is an additional benefit: Jobs. Thousands upon thousands upon thousands of jobs, developing, building, installing, servicing, and repairing this vast, vital new infrastructure. It's not fucking rocket science, just pretty simple plumbing, carpentry, and electrical skills. ANYBODY could do it. And the wages would FAR outstrip what's available at wal-mart or Mickey-D's...
Monday, November 10, 2008
But, for the life of me, I cannot escape the impression that the Pukes, looking at the incredible array of intractable clusterfucks that is the only 'legacy' of the Busheviks' tenure, decided they just wanted to be DONE with it all, silently and subtly threw the whole thing to the Dims, and walked away, giggling with relief and anticipation of the impending melt-down of the Democrats in the toils of the impossible situation the Bushies left behind.
How ELSE do you explain Sarah Palin? Her future prospects notwithstanding, Palin was an appalling choice as a running-mate. It tests credulity to the maximum to believe she was any kind of a rational choice. McCain's continuous and increasingly egregious bungling, mis-steps and mis-statements were just distractions. The racially tinged vileness of the campaign, and the rest?
I think they just invested enough into the race to make it SEEM like they were contesting the thing, but in reality, washing their hands of the whole mess (which they, having created it ALL, were eager to now abjure), secure in the knowledge that the conditions they were leaving behind would defeat the "Risen Messiah," to say nothing of a mere mortal with a bare margin in the Congress, composed of fractious, incompatible elements and irreconcilable interests, and opposed by a nearly monolithic, disciplined Puke minority which will NEVER negotiate in 'good faith' or in any way assist the 'change' agenda on the basis of which Obama won his historic, albeit slender, victory.
I more or less predicted this outcome/scenario early this year...
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Freepers pray for Obama...A Postcard from God...Religious vote postmortem...The end of Evangelical foreign policy is nigh...Religious bigotry...Religious extremism overlooked...Missing: The 'Right' babies...Liars for Christ...American Prayer...Stoned...God likes us...Biblical Capitalism...I quit my church today...The Revival of democracy...The Republican war on religious freedom...Hearty thanks, again, to the indefatigable Mike Finnegan for his diligence scouring the outposts of 'teh Crazed' for these nuggets.
Friday, November 7, 2008
Utterly Supported Fact #1: There Were So Many More White, Latino and Asian Votes in Favor of Proposition 8 That Blaming Black Folks is Both Bad Math and Racist Scapegoating of the Highest Order.I got no dog in this fight: I'm a straight, oft-married, recovering-racist, white, male, agnostic/atheist. From my POV, howsoever true it is that the passage of "Prop Hate" was not the sole responsibility of black folks--there are a LOT of fundie/homophobic Hispanic voters in California, too, who would have followed the urgings of their pastors, etc., compliantly or eagerly, as well as fundie Asians (Moonies?), to say nothing of the $70Million dollars mostly raised from WHITE churches (LDS, in particular) to promote the discriminatory law--still: How can that excuse or ameliorate the votes by the former victims of State oppression to oppress another despised group, and to claim essentially the SAME spurious ('religious') grounds that were heretofore employed to justify discrimination against them??? That's the part I don't get. Emmett Till got lynched for merely whistling at a white woman, iirc...
It seems to me and to others, there is an almost exact parallel, between the now-rejected claims of a "Biblical" warrant for the anti-miscegenation rules which prohibited inter-racial marriages, and the current, purely 'religious' prohibitions against same-gender unions? If there is any difference, it eludes me.
Oppression is oppression, whether on grounds of skin-color or sexual orientation or national origin, isn't it? Neither condition is "voluntary." How is it that people who suffered such discrimination--they, and/or their children--can calmly and without apparent shame or remorse impose their form of religious bigotry (what else to call it when the oppressors reach for Biblical justifications for their outrages?) on another socially despised group, when they themselves have so recently, only, escaped those same oppressive forces? This seems to me to be of a muchness, as a species of action--in so many ways resembling pogroms--with what makes the Israeli suppression of the Palestinians, and their violent, ruthless efforts at confining them, so incomprehensible to anyone who has even HEARD of the Holocaust.
Just out of curiosity, because I was out of the country a lot of the '60s, defending God and Country: Was there EVER a plebiscite--a popular vote--on Civil Rights for blacks, or even on the issue of inter-racial marriage? Were there ballot measures proposing to amend state Constitutions to prohibit 'miscegenation'? Loving v. Virginia was decided in '67, but the decision invalidated a Virginia STATUTE, iirc, not a plebiscite. Indeed, did the 'people' ever vote, explicitly, to accept or reject slavery, itself? (If so, I don't remember hearing about it, and I paid attention during history class.)
Though it is true that, as Shanikka wrote, the black vote alone was not sufficient to PASS the odious measure, had they voted AGAINST it in the same numbers the voted FOR Obama, they would have DEFEATED it and helped win for another oppressed minority the same rights they (though not alone) won for themselves 40 years ago; they could have crowned their historic triumph of the Obama victory in the glory of justice, instead of sullying it in the shit of superstitious bigotry and discrimination...
Mebbe that's just me.
Coda: What's that line in the Kris Kristofferson song, "Jesus Was A Capricorn": "Cuz everybody's gotta have somebody to look down on, Somebody doin' sumpin dirty decent folks can frown on..."
No, that's right. I do NOT believe in "god" or in any heavenly-ordained 'moral' order. Why?
(*SCUM = So-Called Unbiased Media)
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Yes, the margin is greater than that enjoyed by any Democrat since LBJ's 18-point margin in '64. But, to actually achieve the REAL "change" he ran on (in the unlikely event that such "change" was EVER on the agenda of the resurgent Dims; I'll give Obama himself a temporary 'benefit of the doubt'), would have required a margin of Johnsonian/Rooseveltian proportions. FDR garnered a 16-point spread in '32, 28 points in '36. It was this wide, deep, overwhelming popular support that enabled FDR to extract such concessions as he did (which, in the end, weren't very much, really) from the plutocrats and oligarchs who were even then bent of reducing any pretensions of USer 'democracy' to an historical footnote, and who have labored tirelessly--and VERY effectively ever since--to reverse, or incapacitate, or eviscerate all the popular the programs FDR set in place, albeit they diminished the power of the elites only even ever so marginally. LBJ's 18-point margin made it possible for him even to CONSIDER the Civil Rights and Voting Rights acts, which would have been even politically untenable with less of a popular mandate. Obama faces problems even more pressing than those LBJ confronted, and almost as severe as those FDR had to face.
To enact change of ANY significance, BHO needed at LEAST a 10-point margin (and 15 points would have been a THOUSAND percent better). Five or 6 million votes out of more than a reported 130 million votes cast is a fart in a windstorm. "Electoral Vote" majorities are meaningless, since they can be won with a one-vote margin as well as with a 200,000-vote margin. Electoral votes are not reliable indices of the popular will, but only of a particular peculiarity of the USer political system, which was in any case designed to LIMIT the effects of the popular voice and the power of the popular vote.
In order to motivate and energize his base and to capture the necessary number of Independents, Obama HAD to make a LOT of promises he has NO FUCKING WAY of keeping. At the same time, he had to avoid making many promises that he COULD or MIGHT keep--except that by doing so he would discommode the financial (versus the 'popular') interests whose support he enjoyed. We need to recall that, while just about half of his campaign war chest came from "individual donors," the OTHER half came from 'CorpoRat interests' that are positioned--as 'popular interests' are not and never can be positioned--to claim the preferences he implicitly (via his record, which was ANYTHING BUT 'LIBERAL") promised them as the pro quo for the quiddity of their endorsements and financial support. He led the recent "Big Banker's Bail-out," remember, and acted to stiff the 'people' when it might have mattered. He favored the interests of Big Bidness on the FISA bill, too. These weren't the first times in his short career he had done so, either. We can safely predict he will stiff the people; he WON'T stiff the bankers, if (when, inevitably, as he has already readily and repeatedly shown) the "push" comes to "shove."
Here's where the 'benefit of the doubt' comes in: Obama's not morally culpable for his failures...no, that's not right. He's not POLITICALLY culpable for the failures that will attend him. He'll fail on ALL the big things. He won't get--won't even try to get--Universal Health Care; he won't end US universal militarism, just relocate it; he won't boost alternative energy to parity with the conventional energy industry in terms of tax-code protections, incentives or out-right grants, and probably he won't restore many of the rights and liberties stolen from the people by the busheviks and a compliant, complicit Congress under the rubric of "national security."
But he won't do those things out of a lack of will or political courage. He won't do them because 6 or 7 points is not anywhere near a sufficient mandate to overturn his politician's innate caution, and fear of alienating the really POWERFUL members of his constituency. He needed at LEAST 60% of the popular vote to do what the people elected him to do. While it is true that his campaign needed the contributions of the millions of individuals who sent them, it is also, and probably MORE, true that he couldn't have won without the donations and the support of the CorpoRats.
And they're in a much better position to remind him of his debt to them than are those millions of people who sent in their hard-earned sheckels.
Aye, there's the rub...
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Pres. Obama's going to have to develop and implement progressive, environmentally proactive (non-militaristic, Keynsian) ways spend our way out of these looming social catastrophes. One obvious way is to put federal resources into the so-called "green economy": developing, building, installing, and maintaining the technologies that make individual citizens contributors to the national energy grid, not just consumers., and reduce wasteful, useless energy consumption. He needs to get people into his administration who have new and imaginative solutions. Van Jones impresses me as one of those people.
Very soon, according to Greentrepreneur, lawyer, civil-rights reformer, and community activist Van Jones, environmentalism won't just be about the environment anymore. Instead, it will drive fundamental changes in the way we do business and the jobs we create — that's what he means by a green-collar economy. Jones, the head of the non-profit Green For All and the author of the new book The Green-Collar Economy, could represent the future of environmentalism in America and a way for the movement to survive and even thrive through the coming recession. "The solution for the environment and the economy will be the same thing," says Jones. (Listen to Jones talk about the green collar economy on this week's Greencast.)
Over the years, manufacturing and other blue-collar jobs have been gradually outsourced from the U.S. That has hit the working class especially hard, in both cities and rural areas, because decent-paying blue-collar employment is what pulls people out of poverty and into the middle class. At the same time, it's the working class that has also borne the brunt of the high energy prices that result from America's dependence on foreign oil. As the recession darkens, that double bind is likely to worsen.
The answer, Jones writes in his book, is the creation of green-collar jobs that provide working-class employment, shield America from rising fossil fuel prices and stem carbon emissions. These are not the high-tech, high-education "George Jetson" jobs, as Jones puts it, that were created by the Internet and biotech booms. Green-collar jobs include manufacturing solar panels, insulating green homes, servicing wind turbines. These are jobs that can be filled by blue-collar workers who need jobs — and they help the environment to boot. "You can put the country back to work with green solutions that are good for the Earth," says Jones.
Jones has captured the essence of the current dilemmas of energy and climate succinctly: "We cannot drill and burn our ways out of these problems," he says in he latest book. Provocative, personal, and inspirational, New York Times best-seller The Green Collar Economy is not a dire warning but rather a substantive and viable plan for solving the biggest issues facing the country--the failing economy and our devastated environment. From a distance, it appears that these two problems are separate, but when we look closer, the connection becomes unmistakable.
Van Jones: A Video Profile:In The Green Collar Economy, acclaimed activist and political advisor Van Jones delivers a real solution that both rescues our economy and saves the environment. The economy is built on and powered almost exclusively by oil, natural gas, and coal, all fast-diminishing nonrenewable resources. As supplies disappear, the price of energy climbs and nearly everything becomes more expensive. With costs and unemployment soaring, the economy stalls. Not only that, when we burn these fuels, the greenhouse gases they create overheat the atmosphere. As the headlines make clear, total climate chaos looms over us. The bottom line: we cannot continue with business as usual. We cannot drill and burn our way out of these dual dilemmas.
Instead, Van Jones illustrates how we can invent and invest our way out of the pollution-based grey economy and into the healthy new green economy. Built by a broad coalition deeply rooted in the lives and struggles of ordinary people, this path has the practical benefit of both cutting energy prices and generating enough work to pull the U.S. economy out of its present death spiral.
Rachel Carson’s 1963 landmark book Silent Spring was the pivotal ecological examination of the last century. Now, rising above the seemingly impenetrable, if not insoluble, debate over the environment and the economy, Jones’s The Green Collar Economy delivers a timely and essential call to action for this new century.
Monday, November 3, 2008
Sunday, November 2, 2008
French Canadian terrorists, pretending to be French President Nicolas Sarkozy, prank called Our Lady of the Witch-Hunt, yesterday. Although she did not know the name of the Canadian Prime Minister, I think she recovered well when she agreed to go hunting in a helicopter with "Sarkozy" so they could bond by "killing animals." She also did well by accepting praise from the prankster for a Fox documentary about her life. I haven't seen it, yet, but it's called Nalin' Palin.
Hear it here.
Here's what The Canadian Press said about it.In an over-the-top accent, one half of a notorious Quebec comedy duo claims to be the president of France as he describes sex with his famous wife, the joy of killing animals and Hustler magazine's latest Sarah Palin porno spoof.
At the other end of the line? An oblivious Sarah Palin.
The Masked Avengers, a radio pairing notorious for prank calls to celebrities and heads of state, notched its latest victory Saturday when it released a recording of a six-minute call with Palin, who thought she was talking with Nicolas Sarkozy.
"We have such great respect for you, John McCain and I, we love you," Palin gushes, evidently unaware she's speaking to an infamous Quebec comedian named Marc-Antoine Audette.
Over the course of the interview, Palin doesn't seem to realize she's being tricked until Audette comes clean near the end of the call.
"Ohhhh . . . have we been pranked?" she says, in her inimitable style. Seconds later, Palin's aide can be heard taking the phone before the line goes dead.
Throughout the conversation, Audette drops plenty of clues that something's amiss.
He identifies French singer and actor Johnny Hallyday as his special adviser to the U.S., singer Stef Carse as Canada's prime minister and Quebec comedian and radio host Richard Z. Sirois as the provincial premier.
"We should go hunting together," Palin offers when Audette professes a love of hunting - or, more precisely, killing animals. "We can have a lot of fun together while we're getting work done. We could kill two birds with one stone."
Audette goes on to describe Bruni [President Sarkozy's wife] as "hot in bed" and claims she's written a song for Palin, the French title of which translates as "Lipstick on a Pig." In English, Audette says the song is about Joe the Plumber.
Finally, he mentions a notorious Hustler video titled "Nailin' Paylin," describing it as "the documentary they made on your life."
"Oh, good, thank you, yes," Palin replies.
"That was really edgy," Audette says.