Archive for March, 2007

At least he’s honest.

Mar 31, 2007 in Uncategorized

I’ve heard Krauthammer called the “master of mendacity” on a few occasions and when he was tut-tutting weak-kneed liberals for not realizing the grave threat Saddam posed to the world he could most certainly be characterized that way but lately I have to disagree.  These days he is quite open about his imperialistic ambitions:

Thought experiment: Bring in a completely neutral observer — a Martian — and point out to him that the United States is involved in two hot wars against radical Islamic insurgents. One is in Afghanistan, a geographically marginal backwater with no resources and no industrial or technological infrastructure. The other is in Iraq, one of the three principal Arab states, with untold oil wealth, an educated population, an advanced military and technological infrastructure that, though suffering decay in the later years of Saddam Hussein’s rule, could easily be revived if it falls into the right (i.e., wrong) hands. Add to that the fact that its strategic location would give its rulers inordinate influence over the entire Persian Gulf region, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the Gulf states. Then ask your Martian: Which is the more important battle? He would not even understand why you are asking the question.

This was the primary rationale since the beginning, of course, but anyone who suggested it at the time was called a cynic, a crank, or the most reliable of smears; a conspiracy theorist.  I remember Chomsky saying as much years ago on one of the cable news outlets and the commentators were falling out of their chairs in disbelief at the lunacy of thinking that the world’s dominant military power would be interested in strategic control over a large portion of the worlds energy reserves.

-mg     

ISCA is the home of many beauties.

Mar 31, 2007 in Global warming

I know I’ve convinced absolutely nobody to join ISCA and partake in some fine continuously-scrolling text-based goodness. The format renders possible a very smooth and organized flow of conversation, with a choice of two hundred topic forums. If you want to gab one on one with somebody, you hit “x” and type their name. Whoopty ding-dong, right? Ha, it’s practically going frickin’ extinct. When the last guy who went to college in the 90’s is dead, there will be no more BBSes in the world. I weep.

In the meantime, here’s an instant classic from user Molon Labe, who has annoyingly just changed his name but didn’t tell us who he was before. I’ll have to keep analyzing his argumentative style in order to identifiy him…

Raising awareness is critical when the world is full of global warming deniers
who think:

1. It’s not happening
2. If it is, humans aren’t causing it
3. If we are, our contribution is tiny
4. If it’s not, there’s nothing we can do to fix it
5. If there is anything we can do about it, it’d cost too much
6. If it doesn’t cost too much, we shouldn’t do it anyway for some principled reason like capitalism, free markets, or that it’s unfair to restrict the growth of developing nations now that the industrialized world has had the privilege of plundering the planet’s resources for 100 years.

Human defense mechanisms are ingenious at times, aren’t they? Constant use engenders refinements of this order.

-jb

“Corn is not the future of ethanol:Department of Energy”

Mar 30, 2007 in Agriculture, Energy

Hopefully Iowa will stabilize the construction of ethanol plants and keeps money available for cellulosic ethanol) (derived from corn stalks, switchgrass, etc.). I’d like to see corn prices stay high indefinitely while cellulosic R&D gets fired up and costs are driven down.

Scientific American says this is where the future will lead:

Cellulosic, and other new biofuels such as biobutanol, which can be made from petroleum as well as biomass, could begin to feed the commercial fuel market within six to 10 years, he said. They could also be part of a larger program to cut greenhouse gases, he added.

Nuke ’em

Mar 29, 2007 in Energy

Iowa’s current utility industry is heavily dependent on coal.  78% of the power we use in this state comes from burning the black stuff and the rest of the slack is picked up by natural gas (6%), hydro (2%), and nuclear (10%).  Because of this reliance on coal Iowa’s power plant airborne emissions of carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen oxides rank in the upper half among all fifty states.  As of January 1, 2005, Iowa ranked 30th among the 31 states with nuclear capacity.  So it’s impressive then that the Duane Arnold Nuclear Facility in Palo, Iowa has only one General Electric, boiling water reactor.  That single reactor alone produces 563 MW of power.    

The hard facts of energy economics in Iowa include sparse local fuel resources and tight budgets for developing them. The State government encourages and publicizes small scale renewable energy projects, but it appears unlikely that local renewable energy production will provide enough domestic electricity supply in the next decade to reach 10 percent of the total. So Iowa utilities, like those in most States, will face the challenge to keep the power on, and to keep prices and emissions as low as possible.  Nuclear energy could fulfill the demands of future generations if public opinion could be swayed into acceptance. 

-mg

Wind power, wind power, wind power…

Mar 29, 2007 in Energy

Do you feel it coming?

Peter Mandelstam says he can power 130,000 Delaware homes without adding to the greenhouse gas emissions dangerously heating our planet. His proposed 600-megawatt offshore wind park — the biggest such project yet unveiled in the United States — could supply that power over 20 years cheaper than coal or gas, he vows.

The tireless founder of Bluewater Wind, a wind energy developer, Mandelstam has been right before, having built a wind farm in Montana that provides power to more than 45,000 homes. And Delaware is no Cape Cod, where an offshore wind plan has stalled amid bitter controversy for the past six years. Polls show that offshore wind is overwhelmingly popular in this state, graded F for air pollution by the American Lung Association, whose coastal residents aren’t griping about their ocean views being ruined.

An intelligent choice.

Today the most promising, and least known, source of wind power is that generated by offshore wind turbines. A newly released study by Stanford and University of Delaware researchers, including Kempton, says mid-Atlantic offshore wind could power the entire Eastern Seaboard, including transportation, with enough extra energy to meet a 50 percent growth in demand. Rapid advances in energy storage put this dream tantalizingly within reach.

What about the birdies?

Strict avian-impact studies are now required for wind development. Wind technologies have become less lethal, with slower-moving blades and warning systems…National Audubon Society…president, John Flicker, pointed out that while bird kills by windmills may be grisly, the toll is far lower than that exacted by coal power, via air and water pollution and climate change, which are hastening the extinction of entire species.

Just imagine what mass production could do for windmills by dropping costs. By themselves they stand poised to redefine the energy industry. Now they just need to figure out a way to slap solar panels on the windmill blades, and we’ll be defining the curve.

-jb

The passage of the Iraq funding bill is a great day in American history.

Mar 29, 2007 in Iraq, Politics, Uncategorized

Democrats have stepped up to the plate and done what America elected them to do: show some gonads (no offense to those born without gonads, unless they also lack “steely resolve”). Nancy Pelosi flaunted her ovaries today, saying, “On this very important matter, I would extend a hand of friendship to the president, just to say to him, ‘Calm down, take a breath,” she said. “There’s new Congress in town. We accept your constitutional role. We want you to accept ours.”

This is a real triumph. The U.S. Constitution gives only Congress the right to declare war, and inherent within that is the right to undeclare it. The American people have the right to undeclare it. This will really chap the hide of the authoritarian war-lovin’ right, but so does everything else about the Constitution. This is an intervention. This is grabbing the keys from Bush, drunk on ideology and weaving dangerously. This is a swift kick in the ass to a gang of egomaniacal Machiavellian radical bums who were given free reign for six years.

This is the American system at its finest.

The Iraqi people want our soldiers gone. The American people want our soldiers redeployed. Bush wants to bank on the same excuses he had three or four years ago. The GOP wants America to vote for a candidate who’s still gung ho about it, i.e. completely delusional, ala John McCain.

This isn’t rocket science.

Democrats, in standing firm like this, are affirming that they do not own this war. This is George W. Bush’s war. He’ll gladly take the credit by vetoing the bill. A Democrat president will take the credit when peace talks between Sunnis and Shiites are in place. The war in Iraq will belong to Iraqis, who will choose whether to continue it or not. America’s cooperation in rebuilding Iraq will be owed, but as a carrot for peace. If the Iraqis can prove to us a place is stable and ready to move forward, they’ll have funds to build grand cities. This is what America is ready for.

It is unfortunate that many Democrats swayed with the wind and chose to back the war initially, but this bill gives them credit for not backing away when they got the ability to change things. I’d much rather have this outcome than the reverse, big talk and no walk.

This will create another showdown with Bush, a president who can only lose more of the public. What’s he going to do, sell the body armor to China and blame Democrats? I really don’t pity the dilemmas of presidents who think themselves kings.

-jb

Killing liberals is just too funny.

Mar 29, 2007 in Clueless Conservatives, Politics

More on the fantasy world where liberals are inherently very nasty, mean people, and conservatives are upright decent folk who don’t swear (I love this line, but they need to realize we only swear because, honestly, we’re angling for the military vote…I’m serious!) and say only nice things about others, because they’re just like Jesus. Except when they do say mean things, but they’re only joking then. And if they’re not joking, they’re “taken care of” (I think this means that at GOP dinners hey have to sit at the table with Dan Quayle, Gary Bauer and Michael Medved discussing their favorite sweaters). And if they blow up somebody, well, of course they’re not a conservative anymore. But that doesn’t mean I don’t have to answer for the ecoterrorists!

On that note, I thought I’d mention a classic post at Orcinus. It’s a mere drop in the bucket, of course. And you know what? Some of it is just plain old fashioned hot air. Not so much the ones where they, you know, insist that they mean it, but a lot of it is emotional hyperbole, the kind of stuff that most of us, whatever our politics, practice.

That doesn’t mean it isn’t fair game for mention. But after awhile it gets boring, and it certainly isn’t a substitute for debating politics and ideology. And human nature suggests that we depend on others to motivate us. How many of us tend our lawns to avoid grumbling neighbors? Remember that time you cleaned up the hundred pounds of used cat litter from your patio because the landlord left a note on your door?

Okay, maybe that was just me. Hey, it was bagged…

Maybe I shouldn’t tell too many stories from my Howard Hughes days…

Ah, who cares. Our human foibles may embarrass us sometimes, but the virtue of truth is that it requires no resume to be told. 2+2=4, and that’s true even if a hobo killer says it.

Hobos…

I’ve got to stop bringing up personal stories, or else Arriana Huffington will be required to disown “those hobo killing liberals.”

-jb

The mind of Brian Pickrell.

Mar 28, 2007 in Clueless Conservatives, Politics

This is, essentially, why he is the way he is. Defeat him on any factual point and you will eventually get Brian to repeat this rant. This is the pit of his avocado. This is what you get when you point out to him that he excuses rightwing extremers but pretends Democrats are a bunch of stalking, tire-slashing, bad-mouthing vagrant pot-smoking hippie Commie, etc. etc. (more…)

Grow weed. (for fuel)

Mar 28, 2007 in Energy, Ethanol, War on Terra

Corn-based ethanol, America’s current favorite palliative, continues to be regarded by most in the scientific community as a means by which we can burn up the last five inches of our topsoil in our gas-tanks.  Whatever pain at the pump ethanol may eleviate we would most certainly experience the related deleterious effects of increasing food prices and environmental degredation. The authors of this study suggests that there are ways to avoid a trade-off scenario since apparently a weed patch produces more and better quality ethanol products than soy, corn, or switch grass.  Except here they call it “high diversity prairie hay”:

There are biofuel crops that can be grown with much less energy and chemicals than the food crops we currently use for biofuels. And they can be grown on our less fertile land, especially land that has been degraded by farming. This would decrease competition between food and biofuel. The United States has about 60 million acres of such land — in the Conservation Reserve Program, road edge rights-of-way and abandoned farmlands.

In a 10-year experiment reported in Science magazine in December, we explored how much bioenergy could be produced by 18 different native prairie plant species grown on highly degraded and infertile soil. We planted 172 plots in central Minnesota with various combinations of these species, randomly chosen. We found, on this highly degraded land, that the plots planted with mixtures of many native prairie perennial species yielded 238 percent more bioenergy than those planted with single species. High plant diversity led to high productivity, and little fertilizer or chemical weed or pest killers was required.

The prairie “hay” harvested from these plots can be used to create high-value energy sources. For instance, it can be mixed with coal and burned for electricity generation. It can be “gasified,” then chemically combined to make ethanol or synthetic gasoline. Or it can be burned in a turbine engine to make electricity. A technique that is undergoing rapid development involves bioengineering enzymes that digest parts of plants (the cellulose) into sugars that are then fermented into ethanol.

Whether converted into electricity, ethanol or synthetic gasoline, the high-diversity hay from infertile land produced as much or more new usable energy per acre as corn for ethanol on fertile land. And it could be harvested year after year.

Even more surprising were the greenhouse gas benefits. When high-diversity mixtures of native plants are grown on degraded soils, they remove carbon dioxide from the air. Much of this carbon ends up stored in the soil. In essence, mixtures of native plants gradually restore the carbon levels that degraded soils had before being cleared and farmed. This benefit lasts for about a century.

Across the full process of growing high-diversity prairie hay, converting it into an energy source and using that energy, we found a net removal and storage of about a ton and a half of atmospheric carbon dioxide per acre. The net effect is that ethanol or synthetic gasoline produced from this grass on degraded land can provide energy that actually reduces atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide.

When one of these carbon-negative biofuels is mixed with gasoline, the resulting blend releases less carbon dioxide than traditional gasoline.

Biofuels, if used properly, can help us balance our need for food, energy and a habitable and sustainable environment. To help this happen, though, we need a national biofuels policy that favors our best options. We must determine the carbon impacts of each method of making these fuels, then mandate fuel blending that achieves a prescribed greenhouse gas reduction. We have the knowledge and technology to start solving these problems.

Sure…but can we keep spineless politicians from substituting Cargill for Exxon?

-mg

The kind of things I’d do if I weren’t a lazy bastard.

Mar 28, 2007 in Politics

Posts like this one at Rising Hegemon. Honestly it runs thin on wit, but I’m still jealous that others have so much energy…to know me is to know a 33 year old guy who acts like he’s retired already.

-jb

I just got slimed.

Mar 27, 2007 in Outstanding Democrats, Politics

Apologies, for I am encased in a semi-permeable quickly encrusting fine layer of slime. I just watched Katie Couric interview John and Elizabeth Edwards.

I remember the days when people liked Katie Couric and thought she was a perky breath of fresh air on the airwaves. How about you?

I’ll refrain from saying what I really thought of her and focus instead on the unbelievable integrity and grace of the Edwardses. I still endorse Obama but I was reminded of what makes John Edwards an incredible person, the kind of guy rightwingers keep pretending to be. This is a guy who is damn near unimpeachable (except for his bad decision to leave the Senate in 2004). His one “sin” being the vote for the Iraq War. He said he was sorry, and you can see in that interview he’s the kind of guy who means it. He made the mistake of treating George Bush with some kind of credibility, and has repented. Yet observe the depths that some will go to attack him. He’s a “girl,” or a “faggot,” or he’s a “trial lawyer” who, they forget to mention, defended a girl who had her intestines sucked out by a pool drain. That’s how he made his money, helping individuals take on corporations who screwed them over.

You know that name we have for them: citizens.

John and Elizabeth Edwards are principled citizens, and certainly have the respect and admiration of cancer survivors everywhere. Just not Katie “Glass House” Couric or Rush Limbaugh so much.

That choice, at least, was certainly easy.

-jb

UPDATE: A commenter at Sirotablog makes a good observation:

Her line of questioning was deplorable and made no rational sense…Would Ms. Couric ask Mr. Bush if his mental capacity and related proven poor judgment might be related to his years of drug and alcohol abuse….”as some people say?”

Will Bush dare Democrats to impeach him?

Mar 26, 2007 in Politics

Because, you know, that kind of gamble does a lot to prove that they’d be right to do so.

“Any president who says, I don’t care, or I will not respond to what the people of this country are saying about Iraq or anything else, or I don’t care what the Congress does, I am going to proceed _ if a president really believes that, then there are _ what I was pointing out, there are ways to deal with that,” said Hagel…

I mean, really, what is Congress supposed to do if Bush looks guilty as sin but thinks he can use his authority to, once again, rig the system? Bush is making the case that he’s crooked.

“They thought they was gonna investigate me til I shut’em down!”

(not an actual quote)

Hey, now, you can’t tell me it wasn’t said.

(it’s a known unknown)

But it represents the train of thought precisely, as evidence attests.

(bingo)

Democrats aren’t trying to impeach Bush, much in the way that teachers usually aren’t picking on students when they discipline them. They want to investigate. They want a public record. They want the Bush administration to face the nation, and let the nation decide.

Bush may be jumping straight to the point, to give him credit. He may realize that investigations will expose so much that the public will be screaming for Bush and Co. to face charges. Resisting subpoenas may be his only option, and Bush may be cocky after putting two of his men on the SC (rightwingers express a lot of hope for this outcome). For the Bush administration, the alternative is as unthinkable as post-war Iraq was in 2002.

We shall see.

(no shit)

UPDATE: Several folks out there have noted that the best target of impeachment at this point is Gonzales himself, if he continues to hold on. This is true and good. Bush’s problem is that the US Attorneys served at “the pleasure of the president,” and apparently fostered the president’s displeasure. Bush’s best hope is that a pound of Alberto Gonzales’ flesh satisfies the public, but it won’t satisfy the facts of the case…

-jb

Not a bad gig.

Mar 26, 2007 in National Security, WTF?

I think it was Atrios that said that this was a collossal waste of resources and while I agree with that assessment I have to add that this sounds like a fantastic job.  Paid travel, easy-going co-workers, no heavy lifting.  Sign me up:

From Albuquerque to Montreal, San Francisco to Miami, undercover New York police officers attended meetings of political groups, posing as sympathizers or fellow activists, the records show.

They made friends, shared meals, swapped e-mail messages and then filed daily reports with the department’s Intelligence Division. Other investigators mined Internet sites and chat rooms.

From these operations, run by the department’s “R.N.C. Intelligence Squad,” the police identified a handful of groups and individuals who expressed interest in creating havoc during the convention, as well as some who used Web sites to urge or predict violence.

But potential troublemakers were hardly the only ones to end up in the files. In hundreds of reports stamped “N.Y.P.D. Secret,” the Intelligence Division chronicled the views and plans of people who had no apparent intention of breaking the law, the records show.

Cake assigment if there ever was one considering that the people you’re investigating make no efforts to conceal their activities or their opinions.

-mg 

Public financing of elections in order to save this Republic.

Mar 25, 2007 in Politics

Ending institutionalized bribery and government corruption is closer now than I’ve ever had hope to believe. The Durbin-Specter bill is the first real stab at true campaign reform that has had legs. Why is it possible today? Because of the grassroots. Do not underestimate the number of ordinary conservatives (not jackass activist liars like at Iowa Voice) who understand very well that money trumps people in today’s election system.

Based On The Public’s Interest?
By Joe Rothstein
Editor, USPolitics.einnews.com

March 23, 2007

Let’s play this “what if” game:

What if for some reason (known only to science fiction writers) everything we know about financing campaigns in the U.S. was suddenly wiped from everyone’s memory banks.

And what if the President, on an emergency basis, appointed a Blue Ribbon Commission to create a new system prior to the 2008 elections.

And what if that Commission came back with these recommendations:

1. The money to pay for campaigns would be anchored in a system that required candidates for the House to raise $100,000 a month over the two year period between House elections, and candidates for the Senate to raise about $500,000 a month for the six years between Senate elections.

2. Most of the money would be raised from wealthy individuals and powerful corporations that have parochial interests in legislation that will come before Congress.

3. To communicate most effectively with the most voters, candidates would have to limit their messages to 30 seconds

What would we think of these recommendations? I’ll tell you what we would think. We’d think they were nuts.

If we were to design a system to elect people to public office to work on public issues designed for the greatest public good, it would it look more like this:

1. A system that freed candidates and office holders to focus more on content than cash.

2. A system that guaranteed communications access to the public so that issues and views could be fully aired, contributing to an informed electorate.

Why does this sound so Utopian?

It’s because the ridiculous campaign system we live with today is so entrenched it’s hard to visualize what the system should be.

I predict the voting patterns to be very erratic, though. Everybody who puts money into elections has a stake in killing this bill immediately. Politicians you would think inclined to support it will be curiously mum.

But here’s the hope: this is their lifeline out of the system. If they pass the bill, nobody but the voters can threaten them anymore. Halliburton, no pull. Newscorp, no pull. Lawyers, no pull! Now who can’t celebrate that?

Public financing puts the power back in the voter’s hand. Politicians will have no boss other than the U.S. citizens they represent.

That’s especially important, because the hard work of raising mega-millions for campaigns has had a toll on politicians. Many of them are getting cranky about $2000 plate dinners and being their own telemarketer.

That’s the chance this bill has, that’s the message that needs to get out. Getting clean is easier than staying dirty.

-jb

Nothing we didn’t know before.

Mar 25, 2007 in Drugs

Andrew Sullivan has latched onto the bleeding obvious and attempted to drive it further into the public consciousness: alcohol kills, marijuana doesn’t. Even cocaine is safer than alcohol, although people tend to do them together.

It should also be noted that alcohol frequently turns people into raging terrors, and marijuana turns them into video game experts.

Then there’s DJ Brian Pickrell’s world, where conservatives drink and liberals smoke weed! Stupid, especially when red staters love their crank so much. Either way, it’s still a good argument for legalization. What exactly is the fear, rampant liberalism? Excessive spiritualism vs. going to church?

Can America grow up and look at this issue without the childish stereotypes?

-jb

Cantarell: In Decline

Mar 24, 2007 in Uncategorized

Pemex’s oil and gas reserves have dropped by half since 2002.   Current projections see depletion at about nine years from now.  

No big deal unless you drive a car, use electricity or heat your house.

-mg

Republican Implosion 101

Mar 24, 2007 in Uncategorized

“United States attorneys have a long history of being insulated from politics. Although we receive our appointments through the political process (I am a Republican who was recommended by Senator Pete Domenici), we are expected to be apolitical once we are in office. I will never forget John Ashcroft, then the attorney general, telling me during the summer of 2001 that politics should play no role during my tenure. I took that message to heart. Little did I know that I could be fired for not being political.”

-David C. Iglesias Why I Was Fired

(David C. Iglesias was United States attorney for the District of New Mexico from October 2001 through last month)

Any questions?

-mg

Republicans own witch-hunts.

Mar 23, 2007 in Clueless Conservatives, Politics

Watergate. Iran-Contra. Bush’s entire term in office. This is what Democrats get concerned about. What did Republicans do to Bill Clinton? Spend tens of millions of taxpayer dollars looking, sniffing, hunting and hoping for something, anything that they could get on Bill Clinton. The big empty of Whitewater, which nobody could explain, and the savior of Paula Jones, who led them to the promised land of Lewinsky. They got the chance, and they put Bill Clinton under oath and asked him where his dick had been.

Yep, that really happened. And what a low in our nation’s history. A witch hunt that led to asking the President where he puts his penis. I wonder if a poll (in Heaven, naturally) of presidents past would lead to interesting conclusions.

No, witch hunts are what the Republicans have given us. Witch hunts and wild goose chases. Democrats are asking for one thing: the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. If Bush and his cadre can give the truth, they have nothing to fear. There will be no trap. There will be evidence, and due process.

Denial is threatening to turn the “loyal Bushies” into raving loons. Everywhere is a conspiracy, and Republicans who prosecute Republicans are just traitors. The jurors? Dupes. The people? Cattle. If only they would listen to the good old honest people of the right blogosphere pleasingly explain that it’s all just been a series of misunderstandings, not a modus operandi of bending and breaking the law in pursuit of a strong (and unconstitutional) president.

Sometimes, guys, your records actually count. Your bluster is dissipated by the reality.

The public is against the Republicans on this. The Democrats have the right to ask serious questions, and the Bush administration has a history of dishonesty and corruption that makes them absolutely impossible to take on their words about anything. Enjoy the march of a democracy of laws, not men.

-jb

Leave Wikipedia alone.

Mar 23, 2007 in Culture, Education

The Leninists are in full furor over the Essjay “controversy” and have predictably dreamed up ways in which to create barriers to entry into the Ivory Tower of knowledge. The Lede has a short piece regarding Wikipedia and a number of the comments involve suggestions on how to make sure “serious scholars” are able to produce or promulgate knowledge. This, of course, flies in the face of all that Wikipedia is supposedly about. It’s also completely unnecessary since regardless of who you are, contributions are open for criticism and peer review. If an academic is unhappy with an article then they’re free to submit a contention and argue their case on the same playing field as everyone else.

-mg

Chomsky on Iran

Mar 23, 2007 in Chomsky, Iran, National Security, Uncategorized

Here’s an instructive snippet taken from the International Relations Center website featuring an interview with Chomsky:

Shank: How can the U.S. government think an attack on Iran is feasible given troop availability, troop capacity, and public sentiment?

Chomsky: As far as I’m aware, the military in the United States thinks it’s crazy. And from whatever leaks we have from intelligence, the intelligence community thinks it’s outlandish, but not impossible. If you look at people who have really been involved in the Pentagon’s strategic planning for years, people like Sam Gardiner, they point out that there are things that possibly could be done.

(more…)

Senate errs on the side of the Constitution.

Mar 23, 2007 in Uncategorized

Tony Snow’s job just got a helluva lot harder.  The Senate Judiciary Committee has voted to allow subpoenas to be issued to top aides involved in the politically motivated firings of eight U.S. Republican prosecutors.  The evidence of which is clearly documented.  Rove and Co. have no other card to play besides sending their minions forth to simper “We just don’t understand what laws were broken!” and do what they do best; play victim at the hands of unforgiving liberals.  It’s a witch hunt!  waaaah!  

-mg       

Gore: Still the man.

Mar 22, 2007 in Global warming, Outstanding Democrats, Politics

This clip from TPM Cafe (they really do drink sissyboy lattes there! Here at Iowa Liberal, if we drink coffee, it’s black, cold, and has at least one cigarette butt in it.) is great. Fringe shills and outliers aren’t going to slow Al Gore down.

People read the “shocking revelations” of his lifestyle and discovered he does more to offset his energy use than they do. And the right’s documentary sequel to “What the #@*$(& Do We Know?” has underwhelmed. The green revolution is still early but inevitable. Who will be on the right side of history? Al Gore.

-jb

David Iglesias speaks.

Mar 22, 2007 in Uncategorized

Today’s NYT has a humble op-ed piece written by dismissed New Mexico prosecutor David C. Iglesias entitled “Why I was Fired“:

As this story has unfolded these last few weeks, much has been made of my decision to not prosecute alleged voter fraud in New Mexico. Without the benefit of reviewing evidence gleaned from F.B.I. investigative reports, party officials in my state have said that I should have begun a prosecution. What the critics, who don’t have any experience as prosecutors, have asserted is reprehensible — namely that I should have proceeded without having proof beyond a reasonable doubt. The public has a right to believe that prosecution decisions are made on legal, not political, grounds.

What a waste of talent.

John Bolton was on TDS last night sticking with the game-plan.  He dutifully shrugged off the attorney general’s wrong-doing as nothing more than political boilerplate.  The problem here is that it’s no longer 2006.  These guys are still locked into the same mentality that they had before the recent November elections where inquiry was met with a glib response and a smug look.         

-mg

ATF, FBI surround Bush!

Mar 21, 2007 in Politics

What the fuck?

A defiant President Bush warned Democrats Tuesday to accept his offer to have top aides testify about the firings of federal prosecutors only privately and not under oath or risk a constitutional showdown from which he would not back down.

Holy smokes, is this Waco? Are we going to need a division of Marines to pry Bush out of the White House?

Bush is offering Congress testimony from his aids without them taking oaths. Did somebody suddenly invent a new reason not to testify under oath, other than to enable lying? The offer is completely laughable. Congress must press forward, moreso now that this defiance is being shown.

-jb

Romney leads the GOP pack.

Mar 21, 2007 in Christian Right, Politics

Okay, not yet. But I keep expecting him to anyday now, nevertheless his numbers float around the high single digits. What gives?

It seems rather obvious to me that no other Republican competitor has a serious chance. Giuliani will melt under scrutiny, McCain is a doddering old man who thinks he can triangulate but just ends up being rejected by everybody. Newt is a joke, and the rest barely merit mention. Hagel is tripping if he thinks he has a chance.

Romney has two problems:

1. He acted like a goddamn smelly hippie running for Governor in Massachusetts, but now he’s all ready to be intolerant and sanctimonious for the GOP.
2. He’s a Mormon.

Yeah, a Mormon. Makes my heart flutter. Who can resist crazy batshit tales spun by a swindler about how Jesus came to America? Holy Zeus, can you imagine down the road when Mormons can boast their religion is 500 or 1000 years old? It’ll be almost as bad as the whooping coming from the Church of Scientology.

Actually, I’m used to respecting people with crazy batshit ideas cloaked in religion. Like Christians, for example. In that regard, Mitt Romney isn’t much different from Bill Clinton. He’s certainly no more wacky than people who think that the earth is six thousand years old, rich ministers are cool, and we are fighting Satan in Iraq.

Unfortunately, Christians feel perfectly free to ridicule and snort at the crazy beliefs of others.

The more exposure Romney gets, the more the anti-Mormon sentiment will ebb. It is unlikely that he could do anything worse than Bush to propel us into a theocracy, and voters are still inured to politicians who campaign against civil rights for gays. They may even realize that if Mormons can produce Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Aaron Eckhart and Neil Labute, then they can’t be all that disagreeable or intolerant.

Looking at policy, the GOP base isn’t particularly pleased that their politicians in California and New England must immediately surrender core Republican issues in order to be elected. In other words, guys like Romney, Giuliani and Schwarzenegger just have to govern like conservatives, instead of like Confederate radicals. But they dig having an “R” in office.

So will they go for a winner? That would be Romney. Will his newfound allegiance convince them enough to get him through the primary? The option to shoot themselves in the foot tempts. Will they at least subscribe to the theory that the tall, dark and handsome guy always has the edge?

This sure as hell isn’t an endorsement of Romney for President, but simply an acknowledgment that he is the only Republican in the primaries I remotely consider formidable.

-jb

Quote of the day

Mar 21, 2007 in Uncategorized

Guess who said the following:

I like to believe that people in the long run are going to do more to promote peace than our governments. Indeed, I think that people want peace so much that one of these days governments had better get out of the way and let them have it.

Rising Hegemon has the answer.

By the way, Republicans…

Mar 20, 2007 in Clueless Conservatives

…how are you feeling about all this darn accountability? Do you feel you were sufficiently afraid of Congressional investigations before the election? Have you firmly embedded it in your brain that this is a soap opera rigged to get impeachment, or are you also sighing with relief at the return of accountability? Do you want to pull back the curtain and see what’s been going on in the White House for six years, or do you just wince at not being able to skate by for two more years?

Feedback is much appreciated!

-jb

Flip this blog

Mar 19, 2007 in Uncategorized

Bravo has selected Iowa Liberal for a blog makeover so the site will be undergoing gradual changes to make it more pleasing to the eye.  Your patience and continued readership is appreciated.     

This is hatred.

Mar 18, 2007 in Christian Right, Clueless Conservatives, Religion

Hey, Albert Mohler was just thinking out loud…and noting that you can accept a biological basis for gays and still hate them. And, hopefully, eradicate them:

If a biological basis (for homosexuality) is found, and if a prenatal test is then developed, and if a successful treatment to reverse the sexual orientation to heterosexual is ever developed, we would support its use as we should unapologetically support the use of any appropriate means to avoid sexual temptation and the inevitable effects of sin.

After all:

The discovery of a biological factor would not change the Bible’s moral verdict on homosexual behavior.

It would make it about as relevant as the Bible’s verdict on the flatness of an Earth which is today about 6000 years old, however. Many Christians rightly regard many of the “verdicts” in the Bible as outdated, it’s just that one about homosexuality (or more specifically, anal sex between males) that they refuse to give up on. I wonder if we’ll ever figure out why?

After all, you can’t say they aren’t compassionate:

“I think any Christian couple would want their child to be whole and healthy,” he said. “Knowing that that child is going to be a sinner, we would not want to make their personal challenges more difficult if they could be less difficult.”

And why is this necessary? Because the “pro-life” crowd will be willing to rethink abortion if they can “kill” a gay infant.

Murder is okay if it’s a fag, I guess.

Ah, sure, if the pro-choice crowd gets their way then no, we really can’t stop them good Christian men from getting those sinners plucked out of their women’s bellies.

But he forgets that if most of those in the pro-choice crowd got their way, people would realize the extent of their hatred towards homosexuality as a grave moral deficiency. One that Jesus, the one described in the Gospels, not the bastardized stripped-down-and-rebuilt version perverted by Paul throughout the rest of the New Testament, would be unlikely to find compassionate or benevolent.

And accepting a biological basis for homosexuality is the first step to realizing that:

For seeming to contradict a basic tenet of anti-gay thinking — that homosexuality is a lifestyle choice, not a state of nature — Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, was inundated with e-mails from readers who castigated him…

Oh, yes, he was pissing everybody off that day, but honestly, folks, he was just trying to bring hate into the 21st century…

…and prevent the upcoming implosion of the religious right. The hypocrisy of the “pro-life” movement and the hatred behind their campaign against homosexuality, tossed into a garbage can with a stick of dynamite.

-jb

It would seem to me that…

Mar 18, 2007 in Iraq, Middle East

…a free American citizenship should be handed out to Iraqis who merit special recognition for their help.  And some spare change to buy Cisco at the corner store, go to the clubs, get laid, etc.

-jb

Condi The Irrelevant.

Mar 18, 2007 in Foreign Policy, Iraq, Politics

I don’t know about you, but I don’t even think about Condi Rice nowadays, and I don’t think many people do.  The last thought I had about her is that she looks hot in boots.  Because what else is there to her?  She’s possibly the most competent person on Bush’s team who seems at times to wish she were able to do things more intelligently than Cerberus, i.e. Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld.  Yet when she opens her mouth, she is paralyzed by her inability to break the confines of their dogma.  She turns to drone, unable to not please the boss, knowing stray words would get her packed onto the Colin Powell Expressway out of the White House.  Power rules, after all.

Unfortunately, being the best on Bush’s team isn’t saying much.

Via Belgravia Dispatch:

The Secretary of State, some day at least, is going to have to graduate beyond evangelically-tinged provost talk about “clarifying moments” and the like and grapple with the world as it is, not as her airy aspirational vistas would have it. Indeed, the narrative she sketches out is simply laughable in its gross over-simplifications. After all, likely at least a good 40% of Lebanese, well over 50% of Palestinians, and a plurality of Shi’a Iraqis too (back of the envelope number-crunching, but you get my point, I think), none of them would even begin to agree with her simplistic description that they are “targets” of Iran. And Cairo, Riyadh and Amman want to “resist”? Is Condi going to cheerlead the ‘resistance’ of Sunni autocrats to growing Shi’a influence in the region? Is this what America’s Middle East policy has become? This is farcical stuff, in its blundering amateurism.

Yeah, well, they make it up as they go along, knowing that they can switch back and forth between Sunni and Shiite without their base even noticing.  Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia.

Condi isn’t a leader in the Bush administration, she’s a follower.  It’s just regrettable when you realize how out of touch with reality she must sound to those living in the Middle East.
-jb

Global Warming Update, the debate is STILL over. Part 2.

Mar 17, 2007 in Clueless Conservatives, Environment, Global warming, Uncategorized, War on Terra

A great many of those that label themselves conservative these days don’t let truth stand in the way when it comes to scoring some cheap points any which way they can. Take art for example. Your average hair-brained idealogue cannot imagine that anyone would independently create a work of expression merely for the joy of doing so. The closest that they can come to understanding art is by indentifying and labeling it as propaganda thereby justifying their cynicism and also their feelings of being constantly under attack by would-be tryants. The same mentality comes into play in regards to global warming and the work being done by those that research it. It is unfathomable to some that scientists don’t have cynical motives and aren’t reflexively rebelling against SUVs, capitalism, Uncle Sam, etc., in order to justify their own selfish ideological concerns or their scheming desires to establish a One-World Government run by Kofi Annan and Jane Fonda.

So here we have a “documentary”, lauded by many on the “9 out of 10 doctors prefer Chesterfields!!” side of the debate, proving once and for all that global warming is a hoax perpetrated by opportunistic scientists. Never mind that it’s complete rubbish from a scientific stand-point* and forget that participants in the program were misquoted, misrepresented or are just plain old cranks. The only thing that matters is that we’ve got some hacks parroting what we believe. Facts be damned.

-mg

*see also here.

Scintillating damnation.

Mar 16, 2007 in Foreign Policy, Iraq, Middle East, National Security, Outstanding Democrats, Politics, War on Terra

Zbigniew Brzezinski lacerates the hell out of the neocons and sizes up the bleeding wound to the country’s heart that this administration has been.

Frankly, the scope with which Bush is turning America into scorched ground has become too great and horrific to describe.

The investigation and movement for Alberto Gonzalez to resign is our nation’s chance to look at the Bush machine.  The fact is that the prosecutor purge is just plain common ordinary mundane trivial business as usual for the Bush administration.  That’s how they roll.  That’s who they are.  It’s their modus operandi.  For six years the Republican Congress gave Bush a blank check as long as he could cast every move he made as “Strong on terror (nevermind the facts).”

The administration of George W. Bush has had the misfortune of being both misguided and completely unethical in the pursuance of their madness.  His successors want to keep the course steady.  It’s time to reject those who looked to Bush as a source of vision and wisdom for the past six years, those who enabled him every step of the way.  Their judgment has proven to be in consistent errancy.

2008 marks a fork in the road for the direction of America.  Even those of us who liked the idea of taking down Saddam have realized that it is time for America to show the world a different face, one that represents us far, far better than the thundering failure that is the Bush administration and their disciples.

-jb

Something black voters already know.

Mar 15, 2007 in Clueless Conservatives, Politics

Nothing is sadder than watching a rightwinger chase his tail talking about how Democrats haven’t done anything for blacks and Republicans are the ones blacks should be listening to.

The problem?  They do.  And this is what they hear.

-jb

Sheeesh.

Mar 15, 2007 in Clueless Conservatives, Uncategorized

Pardon me, but am I the only person that is worried that the failing of thirty-six* sub-prime lending companies are going to adversely affect the asset-backed securities market which will in turn drive down the equity values of everything they involve? Am I the only one worried that with an already declining dollar, spiraling deficits and inflation our ability, both on a governmental level (trade debt financed by bonds) and on a personal level, to pay back loans, large and small? I get the feeling that the trolls who want to turn this issue into some excuse to beat up on American workers do so because they simply don’t understand the implications. That or they haven’t picked up on enough ditto-head talking points to cobble together a response that will accomodate a liberal versus conservative angle. It’s probably a little bit of both.

-mg

*Update 3/18/2007:  make that 41 lenders

The Long Emergency

Mar 14, 2007 in Housing Bubble, Uncategorized

I’ve added the Housing Lender Implode-o-Meter to the links.  They’re doing a great job at documenting the sub-prime mortgage blood-bath.

If you don’t care about this topic then you should.  The housing boom has been the cornerstone of our so-called healthy economy.  If developers continued to build houses and more and more people were buying those houses and filling them full of garbage then it meant that the economy was zooming along nicely.  The problem is that a tremendous amount of the loans issued for these over-inflated shacks out in the middle of nowhere were issued to people who had no possible way of paying them off.  Worse yet, a frighteningly obtuse slice of traded securities are predicated on the future repayment of these bogus loans. 

-mg

p.s.  This is what happens when people can’t pay their bills.  They stop spending money they don’t have on shit they don’t need.  And this is what happens when you don’t have a manufacturing base to fall back on when things get rough.            

Fire up the mimeo!

Mar 13, 2007 in Clueless Conservatives, Iraq, Uncategorized

The pro-war demonstrators are flexing their muscle.

All thirty of them. 

-mg

The Papal Condemnation of Ranger Rick

Mar 12, 2007 in Environment, Global warming, War on Terra

Are you an employee of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that wants to discuss global warming or polar bear extinction?  You gotta clear it with the Commissary of the Holy Office first.

-mg           

 

The ease with which liberalism is acquired.

Mar 11, 2007 in Clueless Conservatives, Iraq

When the right is in trouble, facts have virtually no bearing whatsoever, and logic is the enemy.  I’ve heard some of the noise going on regarding Libby, and it sounds like the GOP is trying to construct a completely alternate universe.

A reader of Andrew Sullivan’s (who blogs from New York, see the original here) lays down the straight dope:

What makes the whole Libby thing different is that the Republicans did it to themselves. This is not the Democrats going after Nixon. This is not the Republicans going after Clinton.

No. The right hand man of the most powerful Republican Vice President in history was done in by a lot of other Republicans. The John Ashcroft Justice Dept agreed with the CIA request to investigate the Valerie Plame leak. Ashcroft’s Republican assistant, James Comey, appointed one of his own, Patrick Fitzgerald, perhaps the only Republican in Chicago. When Libby lied to Fitzgerald, and in so doing, made Fitzgerald’s leak investigation meaningless, Fitzgerald sought to expand his investigation, probably by going to the same sort of Republican three-judge panel that agreed to expand Kenneth Starr’s investigation some years earlier.

Ultimately…

…a Republican prosecutor got Republican judges to get Democratic reporters to testify against Republican politicians.

The reader notes that many driving accountability on the US Attorney scheme are Republicans too.

Given the past six years, I’m amazed whenever I read about somebody in Bush’s administration having principles above loyalty to George W. and his GOP friends.  As people like Carol Lam have discovered, there is always a cost in going against them.

-jb

Krauthammer’s softer side.

Mar 10, 2007 in Uncategorized

Krauthammer then:

Hence the revulsion at Clinton’s last-minute pardon orgy. It is not just the corruption involved in whom he pardoned — unrepentant fugitives, political supporters, relatives and associates. It is the vulgarity of how he pardoned. He ignored, indeed consciously avoided, the normal Justice Department review. Instead, in a chaotic adolescent all-nighter, approached by low-life pleaders (his brother and brother-in-law) and high-life feeders (Beth Dozoretz, Denise Rich), he handed out pardons the way a precinct captain hands out post office jobs.

Krauthammer now: (you gotta read the whole article to appreciate it)

This is a case that never should have been brought, originating in the scandal that never was, in search of a crime — violation of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act — that even the prosecutor never alleged. That’s the basis for a presidential pardon. It should have been granted long before this egregious case came to trial. It should be granted now without any further delay.

Krauthammer even has to obfuscate Libby’s actions to make his point.  He suggests that Scoot got served four felony counts for “misstating when he first heard a certain piece of information, namely the identity of Joe Wilson’s wife”.  You could say that.  You could also say that he was convicted because he lied to a federal grand jury when he said he heard this fact from a reporter when he himself had been leaking the information to reporters.  Bit of a difference.

-mg  

IOKIYAR

Mar 09, 2007 in Uncategorized

The Newt in todays NYT:

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich acknowledged he was having an extramarital affair even as he led the charge against President Clinton over the Monica Lewinsky affair, he acknowledged in an interview with a conservative Christian group…

Gingrich, who frequently campaigned on family values issues, divorced his second wife, Marianne, in 2000 after his attorneys acknowledged Gingrich’s relationship with his current wife, Callista Bisek, a former congressional aide more than 20 years younger than he is…

His first marriage, to his former high school geometry teacher, Jackie Battley, ended in divorce in 1981. Although Gingrich has said he doesn’t remember it, Battley has said Gingrich discussed divorce terms with her while she was recuperating in the hospital from cancer surgery.

-mg

 

Once again, conservatives appluad (while ignoring) the free market.

Mar 07, 2007 in Environment, Global warming, Local, Local Politics, Uncategorized, War on Terra

yeah...it's real

For all of the blustering about “free markets” conservatives (as usual) don’t pay much attention to the genuine article when it conflicts with their ideological devotions. They’re more interested in their own egos than they are with immediate realities. So it goes with global warming; a phenomenon even the Pentagon and a majority of the business community considers real. Why? Because the invisible hand indicates to them that they will not function well within an environment that is not hospitable to their presence.

Gander Mountain understands this simple equation. I divy up my local outdoorzy retail purchases between two places; Fin and Feather (located on Highway 6 in Iowa City) and Gander Mountain (closest one being Cedar Rapids). Gander Mountain has more of a selection but the down-side is that they’re twenty miles away.  Fin and Feather, though being within a convenient two miles of my house, have the disadvantage of inflated prices and condescending sales staff. It’s always a toss-up between driving half-an-hour and paying less or listening to some geezer tell me how if I’m fishing with anything less than a Shimano Stella I might as well give up walleye fishing (even though I’ve been fishing for twenty five years) rather than share some useful information with me. Considering the circumstances I choose driving to Cedar Rapids nine times out of ten.

Gander Mountain also understands that if there are no areas to fish or hunt they will soon be out of customers who enjoy fishing and hunting.

That is why, as a consumer and sportsman, I’m going to stop shopping at Fin & Feather in Iowa City. Gander Mountain is the type of business that understands that renewable energy goes hand in hand with the true concept of conservativism and, to a greater extent, liberty.

You meet some of these old-school types down on the water. They’re usually sitting on a five-gallon bucket with a few dinks complaining about how they used to be able to fill that bucket full of crappies or walleye or how the river used to be clear and the fish were plentiful. These are the same type of guys that took it for granted, then and now, that the past will mirror the future and they’re the same types of people, that with filthy rivers and empty creels, will lament the encroachment of insidious liberals. These are the same types who keep everything they catch, edible or not, younger generations be damned. What they don’t realize is that the markets they adore extend beyond their own opportunities to consume. That the world isn’t an infinite resource nor an infinite garbage can.

-mg

Obama, the Inevitable.

Mar 07, 2007 in Barack Obama, Clueless Conservatives, Outstanding Democrats, Politics, Uncategorized

I’m quite unequivocal about who I support for the Democratic presidential candidate, which makes this absurdly long process seem even worse. Who do I support? Who the hell you think? Barack Obama is poised to rescue this nation, flat and simple. To vote in a president who knew from the outset that Iraq was a really, really terrible idea will send a message to terrorists: We got rid of the idiot; now prepare for a real president who will take the job seriously instead of talking about how seriously he takes it. No more stumbling into your traps and quagmires.

Obama is the candidate who Americans in general can feel excited about, and the possibilities he evokes. I could go into cynical disclaimers, but if eight years of GWB doesn’t get you excited about Obama, surely you can understand that a majority of voters could very reasonably feel said excitement.

Best of all, Obama is forcing America into a huge dialogue about having a black president, and seeing the ugliness that is still out there proves that what Democrats have been saying about Republicans and race for a long time are still very much the case. Be on the lookout for Glenn Beck’s hourlong special on “What Exactly Does Obama Put In His Hair, Anyway?”

-jb

A victory for Bush?

Mar 07, 2007 in Iraq, Politics

Like my Faux News intro? Ah, but if there is to be no more than one downed henchman, then in Bush’s Machiavellian world, he’s won. Each day is another day that Cheney and Rove walk as free men, and George is still in office. The fact that they got their little dream war they worked so unethically for can never be rewritten or reversed, and this is the only head that rolls? Bonus!

From Jean-Francois at Rising Hegemon:

I would probably sympathize more with (Scooter) if I didn’t think he already made his deal with the devil. So pardon my cynicism in assuming the pardon is signed before the appeals process is complete.

A pardon? Bush can put it off until his last day in office. Scooter’s enough of a trooper to idle in a country club for awhile. Libby started to make some threats to unveil his role as a scapegoat but then the defense seemed to give up and go with the memory/Chewbacca defense. Was a deal struck? I suspect it depends on continued good behavior from Libby.

So Bush/Cheney got to obstruct justice. The cost? More reason from condemnation from the reasonable, who they instinctively reject anyway. Bush is just sitting around dreaming of his legacy being recognized before his death. Instead, most surely, we will remember George W. Bush’s presidency as one of our nation’s worst when he dies a very, very old man. Live to be a hundred, George, it’s not happening. Any future days of hope will be due to your successors’ efforts in repairing the damage you did.

-jb

Democrats are faggots.

Mar 07, 2007 in Christian Right, Politics

Why is Ann Coulter popular?

“Democrats are taking the side of the faggots,” was said directly to my face at a family get together by my cousin’s boyfriend.

In actuality, my California relatives are fairly Republican, albeit weak ones. They don’t hate, they actually love intensely, and they just see Republicanism as a Mom/apple pie sort of thing. Smile, hug, have a drink, pat everybody on the back, put out the flag, eat plenty, drink even more, watch Fox News, then go for a cruise on the bay. Very uncomplicated. My cousin was embarrassed by her boyfriend’s comments, and my other cousins (progeny of my great aunt, so even the old ones are my cousins) spoke regretfully of his “hate” and “going overboard with this Republican thing.” Truth be told, I haven’t seen the guy around lately but that’s pretty irrelevant in their family. If my cousin accepts him, he’s accepted, and that’s pretty much my reaction too. Sure, I could have started a war of words that would have led to somebody getting beaten in the middle of the street, but as a guest and an Iowa cousin whose father farms some of their land, I felt it was certainly not my place.

My cousins are representative of the ordinary good person who is casually Republican by family. And they are repulsed when they see the face of the evil they have associated themselves with. But sometimes good people get in bed with evil. In fact, I would agree that my cousin’s boyfriend isn’t necessarily evil, but his words and thoughts on the subject of gays are. He may get a free ride because of familial bonds, but it is time for the Republican party to acknowledge that it has made a home for guys like him. They don’t just keep the homophobes around because they get their support on other issues, they specifically cater to them at all times. Even in my cousins’ home, the boyfriend’s remarks caused everybody to fall silent. At CPAC, the crowd laughed.

So as the GOP finds that homophobia becomes another wedge, and that many Republicans are likely to adapt to gay marriage once it’s legal, it becomes the duty of the Democrats to accept that it cannot escape that it is “the party of faggots.” If you use that term (not just to tease your friends, but to really talk about gay people, and yes I will stand by that distinction), then that’s what we are, and we’re not your party. As of right now, the GOP still is.

If we’re going to get the nomenclature, then we might as well live up to it and declare that gay rights are simply human rights. We have everything to gain, but even more importantly, we will have honored the U.S. Constitution.

-jb

At the cash machine.

Mar 06, 2007 in Housing Bubble, Uncategorized

The ten year subprime lending fantasy seems to be coming to an awful close coinciding beautifully with permanently rising energy costs. GMAC, the holder of a great many of these idiotic “creative loans” (through their Ditech branch), and others like WaMu and Countrywide, seem to be headed for some bubble-trouble since Freddie Mac is no longer going to be taking up any of the burgeoning pawn-loan slack out there. My advice as your financial advisor? Better get hooked up with a fixed-rate loan before TSHTF before you find yourself sippin’ on Cisco out of a paper bag and begging for change out front of Popeye’s Chicken and Biscuits.

-mg

Reason why I do not take the right seriously #42

Mar 06, 2007 in Politics, Uncategorized

See Keith Olbermann declare that Dick Cheney “scares” him. See rightwinger marvel that “liberals are more afraid of Dick Cheney than Osama bin Laden!”

See then that we have far exceeded our price in revenge for 9/11 in Iraq. We will win any conflict in numbers. Did we not get up from 9/11 and march triumphantly forward? Neither New York nor D.C. fell. America is so far returned to a state of peace that we cannot stop ourselves from discussing helplessly corrupt idiot starlet whores. To discuss Walter Reed carries with it the sting that we’ve been talking about this issue for years.  Now the mainstream media has suddenly discovered the paucity of this nation’s care of veterans like a previously inaccessible article of knowledge. Nobody could have known, certainly. Oh, yes, we have felt ourselves the luxury of “business as usual.”

Did Al Queda defeat us those days? They scratched the chin of a giant, who then went a-stomping into a tarpit. Which did us more damage? And whose fault was it? Dick Cheney’s role is unmistakable in damaging this nation.
We must protect ourselves first, a task not attended to by this administration. It’s an irrelevancy to them. Real security isn’t sexy. It doesn’t get you headlines, not like war does. Dick Cheney’s inability to get his head out the clouds and look at the world below has proven to be a far more damaging than 9/11. We have the sacrificed soldiers, those who deserved so much better from the United States of America. We have more wounded families. More children who will grow up without fathers, mothers; we have lost spouses, siblings, cousins, and friends. Has Dick Cheney honored this loss? And if his continuous Machiavellian lying and drunkenness of power is his way of honoring it, what else do we have to fear from him?

Who would have believed a hundred, fifty, eight years ago the vice-president was such an unaccountable force in government? Do you believe Dick Cheney is fulfilling the role of the vice-president in a way our founders intended? Is impeachment the only thing that can be done to slow the vice-president down? If Alberto Gonzalez is “too busy” to answer subpoenas, can we even get Dick Cheney to show up for the impeachment?

Virtually everybody agrees that our system of government was based on a healthy, vibrant and forceful skepticism of power. Checks and balances are very serious matters, indeed. Those who fight against them are seeking to elude the spirit and soul of the U.S. Constitution.

Al Queda can only attack us. People like Dick Cheney, George Bush, Donald Rumsfeld and Alberto Gonzalez can destroy us, because they are us. They are what happens when Americans decide the Constitution isn’t really that relevant a document, more of a “piece of paper,” and in fact just more bureaucratic red tape to snip. We needed a government as honorable as our people, and instead we were governed by the testicles of men who avoided war when it involved their own asses. PR movements roll out in order to justify the next intrusion on liberty or breaking of the law. Shrugging at the constitution has become a party’s platform.

The next two years will provide us a glimpse into the strength of our union, as the administration consistently says, “Go fuck yourself,” to everything Congress can manage to pass. Dick Cheney is openly daring the world to take him down. “I’m vice president and they’re not.” And we have a Senate nearly hamstrung by the loathsome Lieberman. Do we still have plenty to be afraid of from Dick Cheney, Bush and the gang? You bet.

Those who are still ready and willing to be scared by Dick Cheney into going along with whatever he passes down as gospel simply are not serious about the United States of America fashioned 231 years ago, meant to last.  Were they only desirous to be known as protectors of the land, they have failed at that.

-jb

Stuff it, you dirty satanists, er, I mean, scientists!

Mar 06, 2007 in Christian Right, Clueless Conservatives, Global warming

Village idiot DJ Brian Pickrell claimed in his own comments section that he believes in evolution-

I believe in evolution, just so we’re clear on that.

-which also implies he believes in the cursed scientific view of the earth as being roughly 4.5 billion years old in a universe roughly 13.5 billion years old.

This video will drive him crazy!  Consensus is not science, Brian!

-jb

God told us we could trash this place, cuz we ain’t stayin’ long!

Mar 04, 2007 in Christian Right, Clueless Conservatives, Global warming

Not to be underestimated is the agreement between the theocratic wing and the big business wing of the Republican party on global warming.  Big business’ motivations are obvious; if it’s cheaper to campaign against global warming than enact the changes, they’ll do it.  The fundamentalist Christians though are a little less obvious to understand, but the roots are all in Genesis and Revelations, the only two books they seem to really care about (oh, they’ll throw in some Leviticus when it’s time to bash the fags, but otherwise…).  But those two books explain a) that the earth is here to serve man, end of story and b) despite Jesus’ proclamation that he’d be back within the lifetimes of those listening to him, it’s actually within the lifetime of Jerry Falwell and James Dobson.

No surprise then to see this:

Leaders of several conservative Christian groups have sent a letter urging the National Association of Evangelicals to force its policy director in Washington to stop speaking out on global warming.

The conservative leaders say they are not convinced that global warming is human-induced or that human intervention can prevent it. And they accuse the director, the Rev. Richard Cizik, the association’s vice president for government affairs, of diverting the evangelical movement from what they deem more important issues, like abortion and homosexuality.

Ah, how they have wounded their own religion.

-jb

Because they’re all smarter, that’s why!

Mar 03, 2007 in Clueless Conservatives, Global warming

Upon noting a poll of major rightwing blogs, where 100% answered that they did not believe humans were the primary cause of global warming, Andrew Sullivan says:

Some skepticism is warranted in climate change science. But the fact that the scientific community overwhelmingly believes that humans are primarily responsible for current climate change and none of the right-wing bloggers does suggests to me another sign of severe conservative meltdown.

They’re clapping VERY loudly, but it’s not working…but it has to work…someday, for something!
-jb