Archives for: June 2009
Use the New Blog
Please use the new blog exclusively, and change your bookmarks. I'll be disabling this one, when I get the time. For now, you can post either (in case there are questions), but if you want to start a thread and be sure you can come back to it, post it there.
Reminder. I have to approve your first comment on the new blog, so get your account and make a post if you haven't, already.
An Early Prediction
President Obama will not make the following statement.
"In view of the fact that an overwhelming majority of the American people want (some form of) 'public option' in any health care overhaul, I want congress to know that any bill they present to me without such an option will be vetoed. Following that veto I will ask congress to begin working on election reform, including the requirement that every advertisement during a political campaign end with a disclaimer stating who has funded that congressman's campaign, and therefore who's interest they will be representing if elected. Failure to pass a 'public option' will be a clear signal that it's time to end the tyranny of special interests."
Regardless, congress (specifically, the Senate) will not only fail to pass a bill with a "public option", they'll fail to get the dirty money out of politics and indeed fail to pass any of the reforms that Obama has called for. "Progressives" will be pissed, but at the wrong people.
By the time the next Presidential election rolls around, President Obama will be so weakened by the failure of congress to pass any meaningful progressive reforms that he'll be in danger of becoming a one-term President. His only chance to win will be that the GOP has "learned the lesson of the McCain candidacy", and will put up a candidate who's such a nutter that we'd have to be insane to elect him or her. Unfortunately, this "insanity bar" is no guarantee of the outcome of that election.
You read it here, first.
"More and Better Progressives"
Democratic Underground is obviously a site that focuses on electing Democrats. Orange State makes no bones about electing "more and better Democrats". Other "progressive" sites are
as much about opposing conservatism and Republicans as supporting Progressives, and generally default to "vote for this Democrat, (s)he is progressive."
Conservatives have found common ground between anti-abortion fanatics, tax protesters, "smaller government" "libertarians", and (paradoxically) MIC supporters and war hawks.
So, in light of the fact that uniting progressives is like herding cats, how do we elect more and better progressives? Where do we start? Is that even the proper way to frame it? How about "which issues would you support?", instead?
Happy Father's Day
OK, so putting up a new blog site and then leaving for several days probably wasn't the wisest thing I've ever done. A blog/message board with a relatively small membership, that came into existence as a "stable meeting place" should be, among other things, stable.
I like the WP software, but I'm USED TO the B2evo software, and I'm probably not alone on the latter. So, lemme bounce an idea off ya. (Readership appears to have dropped dramatically since I put up the new blog. 93 unique browser hits here, yesterday. So if I don't hear from any of you I'll just do what I think is best.)
I'll keep the old (B2evo) blog at http://www.timbuk3.com/blog/ as a "political blog", and I'll use the new (WordPress) blog at http://www.timbuk3.com/discuss/ as an "anything but politics" blog. My first idea was to make the WP blog an "environmental" blog, but I decided that was too limiting. Post movie reviews, stories about what's going on in your life, gardening tips ... whatever. No worries. It's not like there's "a penalty" for cross-posting. Maybe politics IS what's happening in your life. Maybe you want to talk about an issue (environmentalism comes to mind) that's "in a gray area"; important to you personally, but not entirely apolitical. Post wherever you like. It's a "guideline", not a "rule".
Well, happy Father's Day.
Dear Frank R. Lautenberg
Fuck you, you un-American piece of shit.
Conservative Icon Backs Sotomayor
Kenneth W. Starr, investigator of President Bill Clinton and longtime pillar of the conservative legal establishment, has endorsed President Obama's choice for the Supreme Court.
During a question-and-answer session after a speech Thursday in Los Angeles, Starr said he "supported the nomination" of Sonia Sotomayor, according to a statement issued by his office at Pepperdine University Law School, where he is dean.
Starr told the gathering at Loyola Law School that he "thinks very well" of Sotomayor, whose nomination has triggered strong opposition from conservative groups. The statement added that Starr still wants "a variety of issues" explored at Sotomayor's Senate confirmation hearings.
Report to detail interrogations, secret detention
WASHINGTON (AP) — The government is preparing to release a long-delayed internal report on the CIA's secret detention and interrogation program. How much of the document will be declassified for public view isn't yet known.
The roughly 150-page report was expected to be released Friday, but a CIA spokesman said Thursday that government officials were still poring through the documents.
CIA Fights Full Release Of Detainee Report
White House Urged to Maintain Secrecy
The CIA is pushing the Obama administration to maintain the secrecy of significant portions of a comprehensive internal account of the agency's interrogation program, according to two intelligence officials.
The officials say the CIA is urging the suppression of passages describing in graphic detail how the agency handled its detainees, arguing that the material could damage ongoing counterterrorism operations by laying bare sensitive intelligence procedures and methods.
More New Posts
You guys don't know what you're missing.
Rate the new blog
I just added star ratings (thanks, P). Compared to this old blog, how do you like the new one so far?
Wingers are funny
Video: Wingers with a bad taste in their mouth.
Obama defends DOMA in federal court.
Says banning gay marriage is good for the federal budget. Invokes incest and marrying children.
I'd like to try the new blog over the weekend, then decide whether to keep posting here or post there. Please sign up for a new account on the new blog. Your first comment will have to be approved, after that you can post comments freely. New posts/blog entries will also have to be approved, at least until I figure out the software. Please let me know what you think. If you don't like it, blame pierri. ;->
What Else Rush Limbaugh Should Boycott
If Rush Limbaugh wants to properly protest the Obama bailouts, he’ll have to boycott a lot more than General Motors.
Limbaugh and some other conservative pundits have suggested that Americans should refuse to buy cars from “Government Motors,” as a way to express their outrage at President Obama’s interference in our free-market economy. “Be it General Motors, be it Chrysler -- whatever else Obama ends up controlling and running -- the American people are not going to want it to succeed,” Limbaugh said on his radio show recently. He also cited a poll claiming that nearly one-quarter of Americans support a boycott of GM.
It’s not exactly a news flash to say that Americans are uncomfortable with a bailout regime that amounts to more than $9 trillion worth of government commitments so far. Duh. Hardly anybody thinks this is the ideal way to run an economy. But boycotting one of America’s biggest companies to protest the actions of the American government on behalf of the American people is a more interesting idea. Rush needs to go further, though.
Just out of curiosity -- did Evan Newmark ever work for Goldman, Sachs? And if the answer to the question is yes, don't you think that might have been a good fact to disclose before he fellated Hank Paulson in his "Mean Street" column?
Read "Let's Get It Straight, Hank Paulsen Is a Prick Who Took Down the Economy". It's LOTS of fun.
Waterboarding: Other Uses
So I'm talking to my wife and she says, "If water-boarding's not torture, why don't we do it to kids who misbehave in school?"
I'm thinking of putting together a petition and going door-to-door. Present it to the local PTA with a few thousand signatures on it. Maybe they'll build "The Dick 'Dick' Cheney Waterboarding Our Children Memorial Wing" onto the school? Make it big enough to do 20 or 30 at a time.
So what else can we use waterboarding for, since it's not torture?
Should I waterboard the dog when he pees on the rug? The neighbor's kid when he keeps throwing his damned ball in my yard? ("GET OFF MY LAWN!")
How 'bout letting cops waterboard criminals who won't confess? Speeders? People who ride a bike without a helmet?
Feel free to add your own ideas in the comments.
"Waterboarding. It isn't just for breakfast, any more."
Axis of Weasels
Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) held a press conference today promising to shut down the Senate until everyone agrees to help them cover up evidence of war crimes.
On What Passes For "News" These Days
America's cable "news" networks have concluded - on the basis of considerable research and evidence, I'm sure - that most viewers don't want straight news and analysis as much as they want to hear what they already think or to watch predictable partisan attacks.
The three big cable "news" networks don't exist to provide a public service, after all. They have corporate officers and stockholders to answer to, which means they need more and more eyeballs to generate more advertising dollars.
Their answer: talk radio on TV...
I may not agree with the entire article, but on this I think he's spot on.
The United States of Insurance Companies?
This is starting to piss me off...
WASHINGTON — House Democrats drafting health care legislation are considering slapping an unspecified financial penalty on anyone who refuses to purchase affordable health insurance, officials said Monday.
(Yeah, Whatta, it's on) Huffpo.
Will that be like the "affordable" insurance we have to buy so we can replace any expensive care we run into by accident or we can't even drive to work? Like the "affordable" insurance we have to buy if we want a home loan?
They're not going to stop until they bleed us dry.
As I was reading through this article ("Kennedy Details Vision for Health Care") I was struck by how employment and health
insurance are still linked in politician's minds, and ours.
Embedding won't work here. I tried it. This blog software needs plug-ins (like the YouTube thing). But embedding works on soapblox blogs and Kos. Probably other places.
It's still cool just to go to this site if you want to hear a song, too.
Maybe I'll look for a plug in...
'Stop' the War, 'F' the Blue Dogs, and Support Justice!!! Blogidarity!
U.S. Justice Dept to probe Kansas abortion murder
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department on Friday opened an investigation into the killing of Kansas abortion provider George Tiller to see whether the accused gunman had accomplices.
The department will investigate possible federal crimes in connection with Dr. Tiller's slaying at his church on Sunday in Wichita, Kan. State prosecutors have already ruled out seeking the death penalty against the accused gunman, but federal prosecutors did not rule out doing so as they announced their own investigation.
"The Department of Justice will work tirelessly to determine the full involvement of any and all actors in this horrible crime," said Loretta King, head of the department's civil rights division.
Anyone who played a role in the killing, she said, will be prosecuted "to the full extent of federal law."
The department will seek to determine if the killing violated a 1994 law creating criminal penalties for violent or damaging conduct toward abortion providers and their patients.
I don't see the word "terrorist" anywhere in that article.
"Conservative" Rage Comes Out
As long as they hold power it's "elections have consequences".
Lose one election and they go nuts.
The GOP "base" is a terrorist group.
In his case, I'll suspend my opposition to the death penalty.
Former vice president Richard B. Cheney personally oversaw at least four briefings with senior members of Congress about the controversial interrogation program, part of a secretive and forceful defense he mounted throughout 2005 in an effort to maintain support for the harsh techniques used on detainees.
The Cheney-led briefings came at some of the most critical moments for the program, as congressional oversight committees were threatening to investigate or even terminate the techniques, according to lawmakers, congressional officials, and current and former intelligence officials.
Cheney's role in helping handle intelligence issues in the Bush administration -- particularly his advocacy for the use of aggressive methods and warrantless wiretapping against alleged terrorists -- has been well documented. But his hands-on role in defending the interrogation program to lawmakers has not been previously publicized.
Gingrich & Huckabee Endorse Christian Antiabortion Militancy
As Christian Newswire just announced four hours ago, "Newt Gingrich, Mike Huckabee, Lou Engle, Ron Luce and others link up this week to inspire people of faith to reclaim the Nation's spiritual foundation." The event will be broadcast over GodTV, a Christian media network founded in 1995 which claims to be able to reach hundreds of millions globally.
On Sunday May 31, 2009 Kansas City late-term abortion doctor George Tiller was allegedly gunned down in the lobby of his church by a man, Scott Roeder, who had ties to the racist wing of the militia movement. The next morning CBS's Jeff Glor reported, "We did speak with the accused shooters' ex-wife yesterday. She said she was not surprised this happened and that she believed Roeder wanted to be a martyr for the cause."
If the event goes as planned, Newt Gingrich and Mike Huckabee will appear, only days after Tiller was slain, with a man who has publicly agitated against George Tiller and called for Christian martyrs to stop legal abortion: Lou Engle of TheCall.
Guantanamo evidence must be made public
WASHINGTON, June 1 (Reuters) - A federal judge rejected on Monday a U.S. government request to keep secret the unclassified evidence that it says justifies the continued imprisonment of more than 100 Guantanamo Bay prisoners.
U.S. District Judge Thomas Hogan ruled the government cannot keep the documents known as factual returns from public disclosure and must seek court approval to keep specific information secret.
"Public interest in Guantanamo Bay generally and these proceedings specifically has been unwavering," Hogan wrote. "Publicly disclosing the factual returns would enlighten the citizenry and improve perceptions of the proceedings' fairness."
(I think ya'all know that Michael Moore is from Flint, MI.)
Imagine what it would be like if you lived in a city where almost every other house is empty. What would be your state of mind?
It is with sad irony that the company which invented "planned obsolescence" -- the decision to build cars that would fall apart after a few years so that the customer would then have to buy a new one -- has now made itself obsolete. It refused to build automobiles that the public wanted, cars that got great gas mileage, were as safe as they could be, and were exceedingly comfortable to drive. Oh -- and that wouldn't start falling apart after two years. GM stubbornly fought environmental and safety regulations. Its executives arrogantly ignored the "inferior" Japanese and German cars, cars which would become the gold standard for automobile buyers. And it was hell-bent on punishing its unionized workforce, lopping off thousands of workers for no good reason other than to "improve" the short-term bottom line of the corporation. Beginning in the 1980s, when GM was posting record profits, it moved countless jobs to Mexico and elsewhere, thus destroying the lives of tens of thousands of hard-working Americans. The glaring stupidity of this policy was that, when they eliminated the income of so many middle class families, who did they think was going to be able to afford to buy their cars? History will record this blunder in the same way it now writes about the French building the Maginot Line or how the Romans cluelessly poisoned their own water system with lethal lead in its pipes.
Yesterday, the last surviving person from the Titanic disaster passed away. She escaped certain death that night and went on to live another 97 years.
So can we survive our own Titanic in all the Flint Michigans of this country. 60% of GM is ours. I think we can do a better job.