The Zune player has sold a million units.Â That’s 1/100th of how many iPods Apple has sold.Â *snore*Â
Arguments are to be avoided; they are always vulgar and often convincing. – Oscar Wilde
The Zune player has sold a million units.Â That’s 1/100th of how many iPods Apple has sold.Â *snore*Â
Socialism = Tax money going to programsÂ he doesn’t like.
Capitalism =Â Tax money going to programsÂ heÂ likes.
Missing from every long winded ruminationÂ is the Pentagon whose budget requires that half of all tax dollars go there. Money flowing into the Pentagon is fed straight into private industry yet this is never seen as resource reallocation. Nor is pumping massive amounts ofÂ cashÂ into the transportation industry, the energy industry or the agricultural industry. Rationale like this is nothing new, of course. Virtually all major economic advancements have benefited from the nanny state at one time or another. Bio-tech, computers, the Internet, etc. All started out on the government teat but none are thought of as welfare babies since they were handed over to private industry as soon as a profit was to be made.
As usual the delusional thinking only gets worse from there on out.Â And it wouldn’t be a winger post if the “media” didn’t get it’s obligatory mention as an organ of the “elites”.Â No mention of why media exists (to sell advertising)Â or how the media makes it money (advertising), of course.Â Â The most laughable part is that this is (self) regarded as common sense political thought!Â
Are Americans starting to catch onto the fact that Bush and the Republican Party have been pathologically unserious about terrorism, and that 9/11 was nothing but an excuse for wars and executive power they already wanted? Andrew certainly has.
The president’s trope has been that we’re fighting them over there so we don’t have to fight them over here. It’s a notion dependent on the absurd idea that a disparate, lateral organization of religious fanatics is somehow unable to to both. The truth appears to be: we are training them over there so they can come and murder us over here. We are honing their guerrilla skills by night, have provided them training by day, have either given them arms ourselves, or allowed Iran and Syria to send munitions. The icing on the cake is that the chaotic occupation has allowed some terrorists to skim the oil export industry for the money to keep the killing going indefinitely, and that the maintenance of an occupation of the Muslim country provides an over-arching motive for a new wave of terror. And so all we’re doing is waiting to see when this wave of Bush-created terror comes ashore.
I really don’t think the Republicans get the terror threat, do you? They just don’t take national security seriously as a party.
To be fair, it was Andrew’s trope at the beginning of the war too, but he’s paid his dues (a little more respect for those of us who were telling him why he was wrong then wouldn’t hurt, though). It seems elementary, but in practice it’s a lot to ask of someone to change their mind. Politicians have grown wary of “flip-flopping” in recent years, but there is a middle ground. The opposite end of the spectrum is George W. Bush, pathologically incapable of keeping up with the facts, rigidly stuck in an ideological fugue.
Even worse, to run as a GOP candidate you have to essentially affirm everything Bush has done and said, even if you gussy it up with some talk of “incompetence.” You have to be as completely swallowed up in a simplistic manipulative vision of foreign policy, full of platitudes to keep people settled while outrageous blundering takes place.
George W. Bush has not simply failed to fight Al Queda and Islamic radicalism, he has helped them flourish. Has this country ever been failed so greatly by a president?
May 31, 2007 in Health Care
“How do you “eliminate” the right of insurance companies to offer policies to people who want private healthcare? A good question. (Michael) Moore’s model is Castro’s Cuba.”
Castro’s system is not unlike France’s system, but Andrew felt it necessary to invoke all the negatives of Castro and ignore the fact that Cubans are some pretty healthy people.
Michael Moore is a far more emotional person than rational, and while his general underlying themes are very spot on, he can be wholly imprecise in a way that opens him up to barrages. Elimination of private health insurance isn’t wise, but nor is it necessary. Universal health care will reduce the demand for most of what private insurance offers, but will allow them to specialize in providing that extra mile of health care for those who can afford it. Not having to provide for most stuff, private supplementary health insurance can offer a lot for less.
Andrew could have seen what Moore wants, but he’s simply opposed to public health care, so we get, “You don’t want America to be like CUBA do you?”
UPDATE: Sicko has repeatedly been referred to as Moore’s best film yet, even by Faux News’ reviewer. I’m itchin’ to see it.
Tonight was my third day canvassing for clean energy. I knocked on 120 doors, talked to 60 people, and collected $390 in contributions.
Our expected daily minimum is $100. Rawk!
…you saw the bedraggled president he has becomeâ€”defensive, doctrinaire, scattershot, and either deceptive or delusional.
My question: Why is it always one or the other? He’s deceptive and delusional.
Kaplan goes on to thoroughly deconstruct Bush’s ugly misshapen broken rhetoric which can only be believed by Britney Spears and Republicans.
At today’s press conference, President Bush tagged on a sort of addendum to this clichÃ©, one that I hadn’t heard him utter before. Asked about reports that the U.S. presence in Iraq has in fact strengthened al-Qaida, he replied, “Al-Qaida is going to fight us wherever we are,” adding, “The fundamental question is, ‘Will we fight them?’ ”
The dissonances here are a bit subtler, but again three things stick out.
First, it isn’t true. U.S. troops are deployed, to varying degrees, all over the world; al-Qaida is fighting us in only a couple of places and, even there, hardly as the dominant force.
Second, by making such remarks, the president is only hyping al-Qaida’s power. What a great recruitment slogan: “Al-Qaidaâ€”fighting wherever the Americans are!”
Third, if the claim is true, why doesn’t Bush play strategic jujitsu? He should amass a lot of troops someplace where we have a great advantage, lure al-Qaida to come fight us, then spring the trap and crush them. Clearly, Iraq isn’t that place.
Read the whole thing, Kaplan undermines Bush at every turn. He makes it pathetically clear that the man commanding our forces abroad has no idea what he’s doing and doesn’t plan on learning. He has no ability to justify himself, so we find ourself revisiting those golden oldies of the Bush administration: if you don’t go along with me, they’ll kill us all!
May 29, 2007 in Energy
I go back and forth on the proposed coal plant in Marshalltown. I can see the economical benefits, but have a lot of questions when it comes to the environmental impact and health concerns.
And those questions are unlikely to ever be resolved satisfactorily. We know you’re on the right side of the issue, man, but coal is quick and easy the same way as the road to hell. Stay strong, brother!
This website is a fantastic resource for those in the know and highly instructive for the dipshits out there that think America’s power and greatness was a product of Toby Keith, apple pie and Supply Side Jesus.Â It might stump wing-nut bloggers but I’m sure if they try hard enough they can eke out a liberal versus conservative paradigm!
May 29, 2007 in Clueless Conservatives
So if the above were a ski slope, what skill level would you say it would be?Â And is the above aggregate graph inversely proportionate to the frenzied devotion of the online faithful?
May 28, 2007 in Religion
Scoobie Davis has been the guru of all things Moon for years now and he’s got a terrific video featuring Orrin Hatch publicly debasing himself.Â Â Any of our conservative readers care to take a crack at explaining why a guy like this passes under the radar?Â No big deal, right?
May 28, 2007 in Labor
That’s what all the newspapers say!
A new report finds that men in their 30s make less money than their fathers did at the same age, raising questions about deeply held notions of social mobility and the realities of the American Dream.
It’s not just because they’re typical Generation X slackers either.
In 2004, the median income for a man in his 30s was $35,010, the study found. Adjusted for inflation, that’s 12 percent less than what men the same age were making in 1974.
May 27, 2007 in Where's the outrage?!?!
Dr. Laura’s darling “warrior” son Deryk is apparently a kill crazy psycho.Â I guess his MySpace page had some heart-felt odes to rape and torture along with some cartoons depicting these activities.
May 27, 2007 in Constitution
It’s at WorldNetDaily and initially reported by Jerome Corsi. So I have hope it isn’t.
President Bush has signed a directive granting extraordinary powers to the office of the president in the event of a declared national emergency, apparently without congressional approval or oversight.
Though it would be hard to feel surprise. Where do you go next after shredding the Constitution?
“Catastrophic emergency” is loosely defined as “any incident, regardless of location, that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting the U.S. population, infrastructure, environment, economy, or government functions.”
Corsi says the president can assume the power to direct any and all government and business activities until the emergency is declared over.
I’m sure Rush Limbaugh is pumping his fist in joy. Anybody who objects is just being alarmist! After all, Congress has a say, doesn’t it? We at least have to wait for the scene in Revenge of the Sith where the leader persuades the legislature to vote him the emergency powers, right?
Corsi says the directive makes no attempt to reconcile the powers created for the national continuity coordinator with the National Emergency Act, which requires that such proclamation “shall immediately be transmitted to the Congress and published in the Federal Register.”
A Congressional Research Service study notes the National Emergency Act sets up Congress as a balance empowered to “modify, rescind, or render dormant” such emergency authority if Congress believes the president has acted inappropriately.
But the new directive appears to supersede the National Emergency Act by creating the new position of national continuity coordinator without any specific act of Congress authorizing the position, Corsi says.
The directive also makes no reference to Congress and its language appears to negate any requirement that the president submit to Congress a determination that a national emergency exists.
Naturally, this must be pure fiction.
Somebody, please say so. Our country is dying here.
“For the most part Republicans are stuck in Internet circa 2000,”Â
-former congressional aid David All refering to the Republican web presence.
And boy is he right in so many ways!Â Chris Bowers exhaustively explains why.Â
Anytime you read a mention of Muqtada al-Sadr like bacon and eggs the word radical is going to be tagging along with it. There are a lot of ways to interpret the word radical but I’m assuming that when it’s used in conjunction with a Muslim it’s being used primarily in a pejorative sense since I seriously doubt that they’re referring to his “radical” skateboarding skillz. Here’s a list of some of his “radical” teaching from his last sermon in Kufa:
“Pay attention: This is an important point,” he said. “As far as I know, the occupation is behind this, creating an excuse for it to stay in our beloved Iraq. So don’t give it a reason, please.”
Calling the message a fatwa, al-Sadr said that “any fighting between the brothers is not allowed and [is] forbidden as long as they follow the good and reject the wrong. I advise the dear brothers in the Mehdi Army to resort to peaceful choices if they are attacked by the weak souls.” …
He said he is ready to cooperate with Sunnis and welcomes them. …
He also urged protection of minorities in Iraq, namely Christians. …
Al-Sadr has been supportive of al-Maliki’s government and helped him become prime minister last year.
It’s obvious from the above that the Mad Mullah al-Sadr has done lost his mind!!!
So what’s so radical about the above? He’s merely echoing the same concerns shared by a vast majority of Iraqis.
Common Sense Political Thought is asking the questions they should have been asking before the invasion.
Back then it was about WMD. Since that pretext fizzled the gang who wanted Viceroy Bremer and Chalabi to rule the roost exclusively want to pretend like they’re serious about democracy. How soon they forget that democratic elections were a violently protested concession to the demands of Moqtada al-Sadr and a dozen other religious groups after the ferocious battle of Fullujah. Now they have the audacity to think that they can start asking the questions??
Quad-Cities Online has the low-down on ass-clown David McMenemy, the Detroit man who drove his car into the Edgerton Women’s Health Clinic in Davenport on Sept. 11, 2006, sprayed the first-floor lobby with gasoline and ignited it in a failed attempt to torch the building.Â Turns out he mistakenly thought the place was an abortion clinic.Â Doh!
WASHINGTON â€” Lawmakers who say the military has kicked out 58 Arabic language experts because they were gay want the Pentagon to explain how it can afford to let the valuable specialists go.
Seizing on the latest discharge, involving three specialists, House members wrote the House Armed Services Committee chairman on Wednesday that the continued loss of such “capable, highly skilled Arabic linguists continues to compromise our national security during time of war.”
Former Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Stephen Benjamin said his supervisor tried to keep him on the job and urged him to sign a statement saying he was not gay. Benjamin said his lawyer advised against signing because the statement could be used against him later if other evidence surfaced.
Bill Clinton wanted to open the doors in the military to gays, got slammed in the face, and compromised with Don’t-Ask-Don’t-Tell. The policy is obviously wrong, but offered gays the chance to enter the military without lying and prove their service to the country. And it offers us the chance to witness the Pentagon throw away valuable resources in the War on Terror that we cannot spare because of continued immoral discrimination against homosexuals. We should know what to do next.
May 25, 2007 in Britpop
Brits in an oil field, undoubtedly bombed.
May 25, 2007 in Booze & or Drugs
And Shiner, Texas produces one of the best beers we’ve ever had; Shiner Bock.Â The taste is clean, rich and full-bodied so we’re proud to name Shiner Bock as Iowa Liberal’s beer of the month!Â (or until it goes off sale at Hy-Vee)
– the management
Or so The Blotter would have us believe according to their latest expose of the super-secret leak that may or may not have been given to them by a very knowledgeable source!!! These “leaks” are intentional overtures along the same lines as Darth Cheney slumping over a lectern on the deck of an aircraft carrier. The covert “black” operation in question is supposedly a move aimed at destabilizing the Iranian government. Ironically, feeding media “leaks” like this is a way in which the CIA plans on destabilization by way of keeping Iranians scared shitless of an imminent foreign threat. If you can find anything in the feature that is anything beyond the obvious then please, let us know. (My God, if the CIA wasn’t trying to track down the clandestine weapons finance channels of it’s enemies then we’d have a problem!)
The best part of feature is by far the comments section! Check it:
If it was a secret, it isn’t any longer. I will turn off ABC News and never watch again.
I consider ABC News Traders to the United States
Posted by: David Reid | May 22, 2007 6:36:30 PM
Isn’t this type of reporting TREASON!!!! * Where’s the responsibility for the good of the country? This is disgusting! What are you thinking????
Posted by: Robert Lipps | May 22, 2007 6:40:50 PM
Hey if you love Iran and hate the United States leave!!!!!!!!!
Posted by: stephen | May 22, 2007 7:34:09 PM
UPDATE: Same goes for the parade the Navy put on today through the Strait of Hormuz.Â Why are they betraying our positions!??!?!
UPDATE II: Guess who didn’t waste any time in getting indignant over a phony “classified” story! These self-absorbed conservatives can’t resist an opportunity to wrap themselves up in the flag.
Editors note: Robert Lipps uses all caps because when he writes treason he really means it!
Bush is, obviously.
Many Democrats are expressing degrees of frustration and disappointment that Congress is caving on funding for the war. John Aravosis (sorry about the link, this kept giving me an error message) says something in passing that I think is the most relevant point:
Bush was willing to risk cutting off funding by continually vetoing the funding bills. If the Democrats are correct, and risking shutting down funding for the troops is a third-rail of political death, then why do the Democrats not believe that it’s a third-rail of political death for Bush as well? We gave the troops their money, Bush took it away. We chickened out, he didn’t.
Schoolyard thinking aside, what was the reality of this faceoff? Congress did attempt to fund the troops, and submitted a bill to Bush with that money. It was Bush who refused that money. It was he who essentially told Congress, “Gimme a blank check or the troops get it,” like a crazed robber holding a child or an old woman hostage.
Congress tried to behave in a civilized way and was confronted with the inherent criminalism of the Bush administration. Bush was entirely willing to reject funds for the troops. Was Congress?
Apparently not. Now, here’s the question: was that wrong? For those who spoke of “cutting off the troops” as a big evil, who successfully demonstrated their willingness to do so? Bush. Who is balking at doing this terrible thing? Democrats, or at least enough of them to make a difference.
Confronted with an American president willing to hold his own soldiers hostage, Congress has backed down, as any police negotiator would, in order to consider other long-term strategies while Bush gets his temporary blank check. Can we stall the hostage-taker while another maneuvers are put into place? Can we keep increasing the pressure from voters until there isn’t a Republican who feels safe in office siding with Bush? Any chance of hurling tear-gas into the White House?
Congress, not being veto-proof, has successfully done enough to make this scenario very clear. The president was tested, and he was confirmed to be irrational and dangerous. But in negotiating with a criminal, would a police detective internalize the criminal’s mindset?
On the same note, should Congress embrace Bush’s mindset and internalize the meme that it was they who were putting soldiers at risk? Hell, no. Given the chance, the police officer still arrests the criminal and never doubts who was right and who was wrong. The police officer only had culpability for harming the hostage in the sense that he/she understood that certain actions would definitely provoke the hostage-taker.
I will only be disappointed if Congress turns timid and doesn’t take this straight to the American people as it is. They need to say, “Look, we tried to stop this war without leaving soldiers currently in Iraq high and dry. But George W. Bush and the GOP were entirely willing to take that risk in order to keep their ill-minded endless occupation of Iraq going a little longer. They were willing to cut off funds for the troops, we weren’t. Who’s trying to bring the troops home and keep them safe, and who’s using them like nickels in a slot machine? The choice should be clear in ’08.”
Unfortunately, I don’t expect this. I expect hedging and hawing from politicians and angry condemnations from the grassroots. Democrat politicians still can’t help internalizing GOP slander, but they don’t stop right now, they’ll simply be ceding territory to the Republicans again and pissing off their own base.
All you have to do, Democrats, is back away from Bush holding the troops hostage, turn to the American people, point at him, and let it rip. And every time Bush needs a new accountability-free check, put him through the same process. Make him reject funding for the troops again. Make it clear who has the veto pen and who is submitting the money. The American people will understand what Bush is doing easily, but they won’t forgive the Democrats if they don’t make it crystal clear that they’ve been trying everything they can. Keep hustlin’!
UPDATE II: Not that it would have killed Democrats to vote against it. They would have been just fine doing so. But as others have noted, what did Bush win? A few more months of his quagmire?
May 24, 2007 in Clueless Conservatives
Sorry for the delay in blogging, folks, but I just became a ferret owner. Those who know them will understand. Nevertheless, he hasn’t chewed through any power cords yet and mostly makes it to the litterbox…
May 24, 2007 in Disappointing Dems
Popular Progressive points out that our very own Dave Loebsack, Bruce Braley, and Leonard Boswell are absent from the Out of Iraq caucus. COTCI has pointed this out, as well, on more than one occasion.
So what’s the deal, Loebsack? You campaigned on this issue and since November we haven’t heard a peep out of you. Does the following ring any bells?
The situtation in Iraq: Nowhere has the failure of the Bush approach been more evident than in Iraq. This is a war that did not need to happen and one from which we should begin to disengage immediately. Our troops have successfully laid the groundwork for the Iraqis to construct a political system of their choosing. The costs of a continued U.S. presence will far outweigh any conceivable gains. Nor should the removal of American combat forces from Iraq be followed by any kind of permanent or semi-permanent base presence in that country or even a redeployment “on the horizon” as called for by Congressman Murtha. The continued presence of U.S. troops near Iraq would only bring more instability to the region and place U.S. troops at constant risk from enemies of America. Complete disengagement from Iraq in the next year will serve to enhance Americaâ€™s security. The current legislation before the Congress that comes closest to my position on Iraq is H.J. Res. 73, introduced by Congressman Murtha last November. I support his efforts to end Americaâ€™s involvement in Iraq as quickly and effectively as possible.
That’s from your campaign website.
Here’s our recent letter to Loebsack:
The editors at IowaLiberal.com are concerned with the fact that since you successfully ran on a platform condemning Bush’s policies regarding the Iraq invasion you have been reluctant to live up to your campaign promises and take a stand against this administrations recklessness by joining the Out of Iraq caucus. We look forward to your response.
We want something for our votes.
May 23, 2007 in Legal
Russia and GB don’t have any formal extradition agreements nor does Russia even believe in the act of extraditing any citizen toÂ be judged by aÂ foreign jury.Â Â (A featureÂ they share in common with our country, I might add).
May 23, 2007 in Energy
Conventional wisdom previously dictated that two dollars for a gallon of gasoline would be the psychological breaking point.Â What that means in business terms is that would be the point at which Joe Six-pack would drive his Ford F350 Super Duty over to the state house and demand investigations, price controls, etc.Â Since then weâ€™ve eclipsed three dollars and despite some grumbling and a noted slide inÂ domestic consumer spending people seem to be retaining most of their mental faculties and I think this is due in no small part to the simple fact that most folks have no other choice but to pay up.Â Thereâ€™s plenty of blame flying around.Â Naturally, big oil is taking a lot of the heat and in turn their enablers (Limbaugh, Bri-Mart, PiggVomit) have been more than happy to blame the â€œenvironmental whackoâ€™sâ€ since the mentally deficient blindly lap up any excuse blaming librulz without question.Â Supposedly, itâ€™s because they canâ€™t build any new refineries since the tree-huggers wonâ€™t allow it.Â Never mind the fact that they havenâ€™t bothered to file an application for a new plant in over twenty years.Â You also have to ignore the fact that oil prices are lower now than they were after 9/11 yet gas remains fifty cents higher than that supposedly insurmountable peak.Â
Personally, I donâ€™t care.Â I drive three miles to work and I live in a town where I donâ€™t have to drive through five miles of cul-de-sacs to buy a loaf of bread.Â And besides, whatâ€™s missing from peopleâ€™s blame-the-other-guy equations are themselves.Â Demand is up for gasoline.Â Way up.Â And demand, coupled with a supply chain that is becoming fraught with increasing risk and uncertainty, is going to compute to high gas prices, to quote Dana Pico; â€œperiodâ€.Â As for remedies, well, for us it meant ditching an Oldsmobile and buying a new Toyota Camry.Â Which, btw, was made right here in the good ole’ USA.Â
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
Bleeding Heartland, in regards to the devastation the Jordan Creek Mall has brought, asks the following question:
Polk County residents might have some clue that the new shopping out west is hurting the older malls and businesses in the metro area, but are they aware that they have paid for much of the infrastructure supporting these new shopping centers west of Des Moines?
The answer is a resounding “KINDA!”. I can’t speak for the denizens of Des Moines proper but I can tell you from anecdotal experience that the residents of Urbandale, West Des Moines, Clive, etc. have long fetishized the irrational expansion of Jordan Creek because they sincerely believe that success equals the number of chain restaurants a given community can support. Having said that I’d like to additionally add that Valley West Mall and Merle Hay Mall brought suit against the city of West Des Moines over the building of Jordan Creek Mall on the grounds that they were illegally using tax increment financing to improve upon the surrounding infrastructure. The case was dismissed by the Iowa Supreme Court. Here is the ruling. So I don’t think a majority of the population gives a damn. They’re too enamored with the Cheesecake Factory to care but obviously somebody is paying attention.
The bleating of the Republican base, still George Bush’s in spirit no matter how they try to distance themselves, over Ron Paul’s crime of introducing reality into the GOP presidential debates has made it very clear where they stand: America can do anything in any country, will face no retaliation, and if faced with what Communists call “blowback” can only be expected to ramp up the aggression, as what it really is is further proof of the rightness of the original action.
The Iraq occupation has produced a lot of ill will, but if public opinion were split down the middle the GOP would gladly stick to their guns: we will stay there forever. News of majestic embassies and permanent bases makes it clear that this is exactly what they intend, of course, but saying it doesn’t come very easily for them nowadays, because they can’t stay there forever if they can’t stay in office. Democracy is very troubling for those inclined towards endless conflict.
The Iraq clusterfuck was always Osama bin Laden’s dream, a stupid clumsy war against an Arab country that sent a clear message to Muslims: you’re all the same as far as the USA is concerned. It’s been the lifeblood of Al Queda recruiting efforts, and it didn’t take much to figure out that this would mean money:
In one of the most troubling trends, U.S. officials said that Al Qaeda’s command base in Pakistan is increasingly being funded by cash coming out of Iraq, where the terrorist network’s operatives are raising substantial sums from donations to the anti-American insurgency as well as kidnappings of wealthy Iraqis and other criminal activity.
Why’d it take us so long to figure that out?
The officials were charged with reinvigorating a search that had atrophied when some U.S. intelligence assets and special forces teams were pulled out of Afghanistan in 2002 to prepare for the war with Iraq.
How’s that search going, otherwise?
“We’re not any closer,” said a senior U.S. military official who monitors the intelligence on the hunt for Bin Laden.
The lack of progress underscores the difficulty of the search more than five years after the Sept. 11 attacks. Despite a $25-million U.S. reward, current and former intelligence officials said, the United States has not had a lead on Bin Laden since he fled American and Afghan forces in the Tora Bora region of Afghanistan in early 2002.
Bush has, of course, played this game of chess perfectly…
Some in the administration initially expressed concern over the Pakistani move, but Bush later praised it, following a White House meeting with Musharraf.
The pullback took significant pressure off Al Qaeda leaders and the tribal groups protecting them. It also made travel easier for operatives migrating to Pakistan after taking part in the insurgency in Iraq.
Some of these veterans are leading training at newly established camps, and are positioned to become the “next generation of leadership” in the organization, said the former senior CIA official.
“Al Qaeda is dependent on a lot of leaders coming out of Iraq for its own viability,” said the former official, who recently left the agency. “It’s these sorts of guys who carry out operations.”
The former official added that the resurgent Taliban forces in Afghanistan are “being schooled” by Al Qaeda operatives with experience fighting U.S. forces in Iraq.
Bush praised Pakistan’s move?
Got a headache yet?
Bush’s “War on Terror” has been a complete catastrophe from the beginning, and almost six years after 9/11 we’ve only managed to dig ourselves into a deeper hole. This is the product of a moron president led by Ivory Tower intellectuals who’ve not only never seen a firefight, but seemingly disqualified the opinions of anybody who ever had. We have the advantage of knowing who designed it, but one could look at the results of their efforts and reasonably conclude the same thing.
Republicans only seem to believe in blowback when they talk about Clinton not starting a war over the USS Cole or occupying Somalia (wouldn’t you love to still be there today?). The only repercussions are those from weakness!!! But the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan already informed Al Queda’s notions of its strength against endless occupations from large powerful nations. Al Queda didn’t pull off 9/11 hoping that we’d launch a paltry effort. They did it hoping we’d completely go apeshit and start a war with the Middle East. Radical Islam freaks win popular sentiment, new recruits, and now cash, and they don’t fear ten or twenty more years of occupation, they bloody well welcome it.
One must wonder about the madness which so infects nations to go occupy Middle East countries. Until we cure ourselves of that dementia, things will not improve. With Bush and the modern GOP in power, things will continue to get worse.
May 18, 2007 in Global warming
Hey, I thought Antarctica wasn’t reflecting rising temperatures corresponding with global warming?
Warm temperatures melted an area of western Antarctica that adds up to the size of California in January 2005, scientists report.
Satellite data collected by the scientists between July 1999 and July 2005 showed clear signs that melting had occurred in multiple distinct regions, including far inland and at high latitudes and elevations, where melt had been considered unlikely.
â€œAntarctica has shown little to no warming in the recent past with the exception of the Antarctic Peninsula,â€ said Konrad Steffen of the University of Colorado, Boulder. â€œBut now large regions are showing the first signs of the impacts of warming as interpreted by this satellite analysis.â€
Fortunately, climate change skeptics aren’t held accountable, they just get to come up with another myth, crow until that gets knocked over, etc. etc.
May 18, 2007 in Politics
Face it, libertarians, you’re Democrats now. I don’t give a rat’s ass what spending you want to reduce, but more importantly, neither do the Republicans.
Unsurprisingly, rumors swirl that Ron Paul will be kicked out of future Republican debates. The 12th Republican Commandment is, “Thou shalt not interrupt the echo chamber!”
Also, since Republicans have decided to thoroughly deny the existence of blowback and emphatically support the notion that we can do whatever we want in the Middle East and Arab world and we shouldn’t expect a single act of retaliation, I think it’s fair to declare all of them except Ron Paul fundamentally unfit for the office. They’ve made their choice, and it’s to tell America, “They attacked us because we’re so cool.” Giuliani is especially unserious, but the GOP owns this position. They were in fantasy land before 9/11, and they only plunged deeper afterwards.
How can they be trusted with our nation’s security?
Yeah. No shit. And he supports caps on carbon emissions. But Murdoch is a business man and like most keen market watchers he knows that climate change is ultimately bad for the economy. Business loves the status quo because it is predictable. Predictable fuel, resource and labor prices mean more easily anticipated outcomes. Nobody can clearly see the ultimate end result of global warming so in that regard it is a viable threat to the valued status quo and if we can engage in mitigating factors now it’s better than regretting it later. And besides, I’m not naive enough to think that he actually believes half of the malarkey they bellow about on FOX News. He and Roger Ailes realized that there was a market out there (paranoid, xenophobic, neo-Confederate mouth-breathers) for sensationalized, jingoistic bullshit delivered by smokin’ hot babes and has been, wanna-be jocks. The more gullible among us don’t believe this, of course. They think that Fox is some lone voice of truth in a threatening librul wilderness and it’s going to be very interesting to read (if there are any) the attempts at defending Murdoch’s stance. Here’s the interview via Salon:
Some of the commentators on Fox News have expressed skeptical views about climate science — take Sean Hannity, for instance, or Bill O’Reilly. Have you heard any reaction from them to this program, or any backlash within News Corp.?
I haven’t discussed it with them yet. And, no, I haven’t heard any talk about it. Probably Sean’s first reaction will be that this is some liberal cause or something, you know? But he’s a very reasonable, very intelligent man. He’ll see, he’ll understand it. As will Bill — he just likes to get debate going between people. And that has its benefits — someone says, “No there isn’t,” someone says, “Yes there is,” and they have it out for 10 minutes and it’s entertaining and creates more consciousness.
Folks, you do understand that this interview will never be discussed, linked to or acknowledged by any of their dedicated acolytes, don’t you?
Usually after you’ve been riding a bike for awhile the training wheels come off. But in Bush’s case, we have a remedial president who requires special accommodations in order to function. The job has been over his head from day one, and remains so, even though he’s had water wings, lane bumpers, those spoons with the extra big handles, everything. So now we have a war czar.
Congratulations, Republicans, you’ve effectively perfected a system allowing any idiot to be president. I didn’t say it allowed him to be a good president, but hey, get him that second term and stay committed to revisionist history for the next several decades and you can get decent returns. Don’t buy it? Please, you know damn well that if Iraq stabilizes within the next fifty years Republicans will be begging for Bush’s face on Mt. Rushmore.
‘Tis a pity…with just a few more years, Republicans could have gotten Bush a crown and a fancy chair and we’d be electing a prime minister to do the actual job of governing. Reagan was the first attempt, Bush II the second…beware the third, folks.
The leader of the Christianist movement, Jerry Falwell, died knowing he would leave behind a legacy of political influence. He will not be around anymore to provide his insights, but he made sure others remembered them. Thom Hartmann made a good point this morning about the essential spark of spiritual communion with the universe that sends human beings rocketing down their individual paths in pursuit of the ultimate, and how that experience should be respected, but not necessarily everything that is done in its name. Jerry Falwell undoubtedly felt something very powerful, something perhaps beyond the scope of human comprehension, that provided an impetus for his lifelong crusade. Unfortunately, lifelong crusades are fairly common, and they tend to clash strongly. Jerry Falwell was, ultimately, a human being who, like pretty much every other human being, took that initial inspiration and slapped his human convictions all over it and labeled them as representative of that greater power.
Not necessarily anything wrong with that, as this roughly describes the experiences of most human beings. We must, in the end, still look at the content of these proclamations and decide, for ourselves, how close we believe them to be the truth. Whether you agree or disagree with him, this process will be largely unavoidable.
So, Jerry, what did you have to say while you were here on Earth? How close were you to the truth? Readers, decide for yourselves. From Essential Estrogen:
Rev. Falwell Quotations
“Christians, like slaves and soldiers, ask no questions.”
“The whole (global warming) thing is created to destroy America’s free enterprise system and our economic stability.”
“AIDS is not just God’s punishment for homosexuals; it is God’s punishment for the society that tolerates homosexuals.”
(Speaking about 9/11)”And, I know that I’ll hear from them for this. But, throwing God out successfully with the help of the federal court system, throwing God out of the public square, out of the schools. The abortionists have got to bear some burden for this because God will not be mocked. And when we destroy 40 million little innocent babies, we make God mad. I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way — all of them who have tried to secularize America — I point the finger in their face and say, ‘You helped this happen.'”
“Billy Graham is the chief servant of Satan in America.”
“The idea that religion and politics don’t mix was invited by the Devil to keep Christians from running their own country.”
“I hope I live to see the day when, as in the early days of our country, we won’t have any public schools. The churches will have taken them over again and Christians will be running them. What a happy day that will be!”
“Grown men should not be having sex with prostitutes unless they are married to them.”
“If you’re not a born-again Christian, you’re a failure as a human being.”
“Textbooks are Soviet propaganda.”
“The ACLU is to Christians what the American Nazi party is to Jews.”
“It appears that America’s anti-Biblical feminist movement is at last dying, thank God, and is possibly being replaced by a Christ-centered men’s movement which may become the foundation for a desperately needed national spiritual awakening.”
I think it will be a long time before the damage Jerry Falwell did to the United States is undone. That initial, transcendant spark was turned into a worship and seizure of power. He rarely spoke of others with mercy, and I find it curious that so many strive to do him that favor. Perhaps they lead by example. I’ll let truth be the example.
It’s amazing how long one can be a senator without a brain. Century of the Common Iowan zeroes in on a little error in Charles Grassley’s “thinking.”
Grassley wants to use coal instead of natural gas to run ethanol plants. He’s responding to the real problem of dwindling supplies of natural gas, of course. But he wants to use coal, which suggests the analogy of a man, upon having his hand lopped off, removing his leg with a chainsaw in order to reduce his body’s demand for blood.
It would seem to be a truism that nobody could be so stupid, but Grassley just invalidated that idealistic notion.
As I recently said, at every step we must be looking to replace coal. Its real costs are too much to bear.
One of my favorites:
“Why, of course, the people don’t want war.Â Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece. Naturally, the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship.”
“There is one difference,” I pointed out. “In a democracy the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars.”
“Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.”
-Hermann Goering in an interview with Gustave GilbertÂ
May 16, 2007 in Politics
The chaplain had mastered, in a moment of divine intuition, the handy technique of protective rationalization, and he was exhilaratated by his discovery. It was miraculous. It was almost no trick at all, he saw, to turn vice into virtue and slander into truth, impotence into abstinence, arrogance into humility, plunder into philanthropy, thievery into honor, blasphemy into wisdom, brutality into patriotism, and sadism into justice. Anybody could do it; it required no brains at all. It merely required no character.
Joseph Heller, Catch-22
May 16, 2007 in Uncategorized
The idea of a light rail system to act as a mass transit system between Cedar Rapids and Iowa City has been floating around for the last couple of years and thanks to some money scared up by Chuck Grassley the plan may come to fruition.Â Â Here’s a link to theÂ exhaustiveÂ feasibility study.Â The group asigned to the study make some good observations.Â One that struck meÂ was the cost of adding another lane to I-380 versus the cost of starting aÂ corridor commuter rail system.Â 70 versus 400million dollars.Â Granted, the congestion on I-380 really isn’tÂ that significant.Â Iowans will complain about it but then again they’ve neverÂ beenÂ parkedÂ on the 5Â heading south out of Oceanside on a Friday afternoon.Â Regardless, though, there are enough daily commuters in between CR and IC who would opt to take a rail system if it were offered.Â I can’t be the only person tired ofÂ pumping fifty bucks into my gas tank once a week.Â
The rail does have it’s detractors with their usual criticisms.Â Cheif among them being the question as to whether or not a rail is needed when one can drive the distance in twenty minutes but again this all depends uponÂ people’s willingnessÂ or capability toÂ keep paying for rapidly increasing fuel costs.Â Not to mentionÂ the associatedÂ costsÂ of maintaining horrendously expensive interstate road systemsÂ via enormous taxation.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
Coal plants are just bad news, period. Yes, coal is abundant. Absolutely everything else about it is completely wretched. I’ve been hopeful that we could at least install CCS in existing coal plants, but the truth is that it’s still got a long way to go and new coal plants without CCS are still being planned and built every day, with China’s use skyrocketing. Coal in the US creates “roughly 50 percent of the nation’s electricity and more than 40 percent of the nation’s emissions of carbon dioxideâ€”the leading greenhouse gas.” There is no real way forward in energy without addressing coal. Scientific American looks at some of the problems.
That primary cost is in energy that gets used to capture the carbonâ€”roughly 40 percent of the power a plant can produceâ€”as well as to pressurize it and pump it underground. “In general terms, you are talking about a 50 percent increase in the cost of coal and maybe a 25 percent increase in the retail residential price of coal-fired electricity,” Moniz says. “For a 600-megawatt power plant, in order to capture most of the CO2 and sequester it for the 50-year life of the plant, you’re talking about one billion barrels of supercritical CO2. That’s a pretty big reservoir.”
CCS is utterly necessary for coal plants, yet their fundamental difficulties strongly call for a direction away from coal energy. Immediate costs do not paint the entire picture, as a related article suggests:
The report also provides estimates of what such changes might cost. These estimates range from an actual improvement of overall economic health to a loss of as much as 3 percent of global gross domestic product by 2030, depending on what level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is targeted. But “costs may be substantially lower under the assumption that revenues from carbon taxes or auctioned permits under an emission trading system are used to promote low-carbon technologies,” the report notes; associated health benefits, such as decreased particulate pollution from cars, could make stringent action economically beneficial.
If humanity is going to keep moving forward, it will have to learn to calculate tomorrow’s costs against today’s savings. Fossil fuels are cheap only because their real costs are nudged outside of our tunnelvision, as per usual in modern economic thinking.
The future will provide no magic bullets, and consensus is rapidly solidifying around the reality that we are going to have to use every freakin’ resource we can find to supply our power in the face of the perfect storm that is global climate change combined with peak oil. Through a combination of biomass, wind, solar, and nuclear power (hydrogen is not a source of power, it is a vessel) along with new hydroelectric technologies and good ole’ fashioned geothermal power, we can displace carbon entirely.
Coal can be improved, but better for it to be gone entirely.
May 15, 2007 in Uncategorized
In a deal emblematic of America’s flagging manufacturing strength, Cerberus Capital is buying Chrysler back from the German’s for $7.4 billion.Â This is after spending $37 billion to buy the American carmaker, then billions more trying to keep it afloat, Daimler gets to keep all of Chrysler’s debts.Â Sweet!
Exclusive thirty year contracts. Not a bad prize for the lives of 3,000 soldiers.
update: I shouldn’t speak so soon. The US occupation of Iraq has been one of the most blusterous spectacles in the entire history of global imperialism because our dedication to the task is minuscule compared to the “successful” Mesopotamian campaigns undertaken by Stanley Maude and his vast army of Raj conscripts (92,000 soldiers were sacrificed for one oil refinery!) and the public certainly doesn’t have the bottle to commit on a level like that.
May 12, 2007 in Uncategorized
This guy says that the Soviet collapse has made Russians stronger than Americans in the long run and much more capableÂ of enduring future hardships.Â
If they (Americans)Â suddenly had to start living like the Russians, they would blow out their knees…
…Feelings aside, here are two 20th century superpowers, who wanted more or less the same things â€“ things like technological progress, economic growth, full employment, and world domination â€“ but they disagreed about the methods. And they obtained similar results â€“ each had a good run, intimidated the whole planet, and kept the other scared. Each eventually went bankrupt.
It’s a damnedÂ insightful read and is quite hilarious to boot.
-mgÂ Â Â
May 12, 2007 in Politics
One of the great discoveries of the Republican Party over the past decade or two is that an awful lot of the rules we take for granted are, in reality, just traditions. Like redistricting only once a decade, for example, or keeping House votes open for 15 minutes. And what Republicans have found out is that if you have the balls to do it, you can just ignore tradition and no one can stop you. It’s that simple.
Alberto Gonzales has learned this lesson well. Normally, cabinet officers who have been caught in multiple obvious lies have to either resign or else seriously try to defend themselves. But Gonzales realizes this is just tradition. Unless House Democrats have the votes to impeach him, he doesn’t have to do anything. He can just mock them to their face and there’s nothing much they can do about it.
Well, they can make sure the GOP doesn’t get back into power until they unlearn that “lesson.”
May 12, 2007 in Uncategorized
Cheney’s ditched the “nurturing the flower of democracy” talk lately in favor of some more honest discussion on our ME goals.Â He made a campaign speech on the deck of the USS John C. Stenis warning that if Iran meddles in the Strait of Hormuz he’s gonna be pissed.Â
May 12, 2007 in Politics
Is he campaigning for president or to make everybody in the country hate him?
OLINâ€“Last weekend Deb and Jerry VonSprecken of Olin received a call from former New York City Mayor Rudy Giulianiâ€™s campaign office asking them if they would be interested in holding a campaign rally on May 4, after she had donated to his campaign.
â€œWe thought it would be an honor and agreed,â€ said Jerry.
The campaign office continued to contact the VonSpreckens throughout last weekend and were told a security check would be needed. The couple passed the security check and began putting plans in place.
â€œWe started making phone calls. We got the sheriff and fire department and Olin school was going to let out early. We were also expecting kids from the Anamosa school,â€ Jerry explained. â€œDeb even went around and personally invited people.â€
On Tuesday Deb received a call from Giulianiâ€™s Des Monies office and was asked to call New York.
â€œThey wanted to know our assets,â€ she revealed, and added that she and Jerry have a modest 80 acre farm and raise cattle.
Later she received a call from Tony Delgado at the Des Monies location.
â€œTony said, â€˜Iâ€™m sorry, you arenâ€™t worth a million dollars and he is campaigning on the Death Tax right now.â€™ then he said they werenâ€™t going to be able to come,â€ Deb continued.
That kind of stuff really wins Iowans over. Keep it up, Rudy.
May 12, 2007 in Uncategorized
Just met some fine folks from Sensible Iowans and asked them why they hate America so much.Â Â I took some pictures of their vehicle so I can turn them into the local Homeland Security officials for treason:
See that white sliver on the bottom?Â That’s the only part wingnuts are concerned with; the Human Services portion of the budget.Â Or, to them, the “welfare queens driving Cadillacs” entitlements.
It’s a very instructive graph and their website has lots more.
May 10, 2007 in Clueless Conservatives
Now for some facts, as is always required when discussing or talking to Brian:
The story is, basically, that I pissed off some small-fry liberals and theyâ€™ve taken it upon themselves to be some kind of watchdog over this site.
Brian, it is only your disregard for the facts that has pissed us off.
However, there are times when I have had to step up and challenge them on some things because they say stuff that I canâ€™t allow to go unchecked.
This has never happened. Brian has almost never factually challenged us and has certainly never succeeded, except in whining a bit before running away to lie another day. Much like his post here. Almost every encounter with him has begun with us challenging his outrageous and dimwitted comments. Every exchange reduces Brian to sputtering and hurling epithets before he departs.
Anyway, long story short, the tea-smoking hippies slapped this dumbass site up. Why? Because I had the nerve to point out their hypocrisy about ads on blogs. Because I dared to reprint an email they sent me.
Speaking for myself, we created the site because we thought it would be funny. Brian is the easiest man on the internet to mock, and I write almost all the posts, not Mike, who wrote Brian the e-mail that he subsequently published.
(my lawyer) was certain we could get the site shut down based on the clear fact that they registered and are using the site in bad faith (among other things).
His lawyer certainly smelled a sucker’s money, but it’s a rather clear fact that parody is “fair use” and protected by the First Amendment. Parody is not “bad faith” under any stretch of logic, but I’m sure I could pay a lawyer to say otherwise. Gotta love our legal system!
I realized that this is what theyâ€™re so worked up about and why theyâ€™re going to such lengths to try and silence me.
We’re trying to educate you, Brian. Call it a failed effort. But it was actually you trying to do the silencing, wasn’t it? We’ve no interest in silencing Iowa Voice. Teaching Brian to pull his fingers out of his ears, yes. Failing at that, what better entertainment is there than pointing out what an idiot Brian is?
So, in the spirit of allowing liberals to show the world how little a sense of humor they have
Yes, we set up a parody site because we lack a sense of humor!
…they can research my court records AND my wifeâ€™s (which, btw, they did do)
There it is again, that kind of lying where you know Brian knows he’s lying, but there he goes anyway. Brian attempted to fling court records at Mike first. He was met with the same. Case closed.
Why would Brian purposely lie so brazenly like that? Does he think his audience will fact-check him? Please. Rightwing lackeys like Brian exist in a world outside of fact-checking. That’s for librulz.
There are other things I could address, namely Brian’s self-indulgences (“Their attention proves just how great I really am!”) but those are really too transparent to fool anybody with a critical mind. I wrote this for much of the same reasons that I’ve challenged Brian for on previous occasions: the boy can’t tell the truth to save his goddamned life.
Iâ€™ve been asked a couple of times now how I get the links from Salon, AOLâ€™s Daily Pulse, and other big liberal sites on a semi-regular basis. The secret is this: directly challenge their beliefs.
The secret is this: Standards for the right-o-sphere are really, really low. Telling the truth or being intellectually engaging are thrown right out the door as standards.
Brian is a man who hates to be directly challenged, and has finally found his excuse to run away from us here at Iowa Liberal for good. For a right-winger he did a good job holding on as long as he did, once properly goaded. But he always lacked the advantage of the truth and the ability to think coherently. Scrape the surface and all Brian had was “It’s all a communist conpsiracy!” and “No, liberals are the mean ones!”
We have enough readers at Iowa Liberal to trump the size of our hometown, and that’s good enough for us. We don’t need to blog for thousands of readers. We blog because we have a sense of truth that we wish to get out there, something deeper than slogans or soundbites. For those wishing to correct us, we insist on a real dialogue. If you can do us one better on the facts, we’ll take heed. If we can trump you, you’d better do the same. Only a committed serial liar will fare poorly with us, and that was definitely Brian.
Don’t let the door hit you on the ass on the way out, Bri-mart!
Bush had it so sweet with the Republican Congress that he just can’t handle anybody else. I’m sure you know how that feels, having that one true love where the stars aligned and music was in the air and you completed each other’s sentences…or at least you’ve heard stories of such relationships. Well, Bush had that love. He would look his Republican comrades in Congress in the eyes and say, “Now you wouldn’t pass a bill I couldn’t support, would you?” “Never!” they would whisper back to him, gently rubbing the back of his neck. Yes, it’s true, the years Bush had a Republican Congress hold the Guinness World Record for world’s longest blowjob. Even after swallowing, they just kept going until he was hard as a lab-crafted diamond again. Those were the days.
President Bush would veto the new Iraq spending bill being developed by House Democrats because it includes unacceptable language restricting funding, White House press secretary Tony Snow said Wednesday morning.
Speaking to reporters aboard Air Force One, Snow said of the bill: “There are restrictions on funding and there are also some of the spending items that were mentioned in the first veto message that are still in the bill.”
Yes, it’s true that Bush enjoyed the lubricating effects of pork when it was his Republican Congress applying it, but it’s just not the same anymore. The thrill is gone. Oh, what will become of him? It’s not fair. He used to just get the blowjob whenever he asked, regardless of whether or not he came home drunk at six in the morning! Now there’s all these damn rules. Look at this:
House Democratic leaders are now putting together a proposal that would pay for the war through September but come with a different set of conditions: About half of the money would be dependent on Bush reporting to Congress this summer on the Iraqi government’s progress toward meeting security goals.
Following that report, Congress would have to vote separately to release the rest of the funds.
Reporting? Conditions? Bush want it all now!
Bush surely wants to inhale some ether, knock Nancy Pelosi down to the ground yelling, “Don’t you fuckin’ look at me!” while waving scissors at her. Pabst Blue Ribbon!!!
One must wonder how much longer he can stand not being de facto dictator before that happens.
Tony Blair is out like bell-bottoms tomorrow.Â Right now his popularity stands at 29% and it’s all because of his fanatical devotion to being a loyal Bushie and dragging his country into a unnecessary war.Â Blair out of 10 Downing St.Â could mean bad news for US debt finance operations.Â Foreign ownership of US Treasurys hasÂ recently increased by $163.6 billion currentlyÂ reaching a total of $2.141 trillion. Of that increase, 39% came from the UK, 32% from China (including Hong Kong), 17% from Brazil, 4.5% from Canada, 4% from India and 3.5% from Turkey.Â Â If Cheney can’t kickÂ Iraq into shape andÂ get the oil pumpingÂ the rest of the world mightÂ pull the chair out of from under us and leave theÂ dollar to dangle.Â Sarkovsky being “open” to AmericaÂ wont make much of a difference to JQ PublicÂ whenÂ the dollar value tanks.Â
May 10, 2007 in Journamalism
Very unpopular.Â But try telling that to the news crews.Â They think he walks on water.Â Their devotion is understandable when youÂ take intoÂ considerationÂ that he’s gotÂ pots of money.Â Gold is shiny and that’s one of the only things that the talking headsÂ can wrap their brains around.