Thursday, July 31, 2008
I have to admit the McCain celebrity ad is stupid from so many standpoints.
But it also falls into this vein. Republicans often decry the "Hollywood Celebrities" crowd.
But McCain calls himself a "proud footsoldier in the Ronald Reagan Army" -- when Reagan's main strength when he got into politics was his "celebrity". If Reagan hadn't been an actor in fluff Hollywood films, he never would have been governor of California and later President.
Oh, yeah, and how did the GOP push for Governor of California now -- many of whom work on McCain's staff?
Arnold Schwarzenegger. Again, his main claim to fame? Celebrity.
And, of course, what Republican didn't love Charleton Heston waiving a gun around?
Add to this, as I mentioned at Firedoglake (shameless plug) this morning, John McCain desperately wants to be a celebrity:
how many Senators trade in on their media-love affairs by appearing in "Wedding Crashers" AND "24"?
Words that right-wingers and pundits will use to avoid the blatent code-word in favor of the implied, brought to you by "thesaurus.com", words in bold have already been used:
assuming, assumptive, audacious, bold, boldfaced, brash, brazen, cheeky, contumelious, familiar, forward, impertinent, insolent, malapert, nervy, overconfident, pert, presuming, presumptuous, pushy, sassy, saucy, smart
How many weeks before Kristol or Krauthammer pull out "contumelious"?
After all, using the thesaurus to get around the word "uppity" is in no fashion a race-based attack.
And it takes a white guy like Jake Tapper to know this.
This is better. Although some of us have already been there.
At least one of many large, lake-like features on Saturn's moon Titan studied by the international Cassini spacecraft contains liquid hydrocarbons, making it the only body in the solar system besides Earth known to have liquid on its surface, NASA said Wednesday.
Scientists positively identified the presence of ethane, according to a statement from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, which manages the Cassini mission exploring Saturn, its rings and moons.
Liquid ethane is a component of crude oil.
And now the bad news:
Cheney claims 9-11 Hijacker held talks with Titan official in Prague. Urges invasion, to protect our freedoms.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
It's McCain for gawdsakes!
- Where's the giant smokestack falling down?
- Where's the rocket crashing on the pad?
- Where's the champagne cork "screwing" off?
- Where's the "angel hair pasta" sticking to the wall?
- Where's the leaky faucet?
- Where are Cindy's magic milf tears?
(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
Afghanistan's Ambassador to the United States trumpeted major portions of Barack Obama's approach towards his country on Tuesday, marking the second time in as many weeks that an official at the center of U.S.-Mideast policy has echoed the Illinois Senator's agenda.
Before Ron Fournier returned to The Associated Press in March 2007, the veteran political reporter had another professional suitor: John McCain's presidential campaign.
In October 2006, the McCain team approached Fournier about joining the fledgling operation, according to a source with knowledge of the talks. In the months that followed, said a source, Fournier spoke about the job possibility with members of McCain's inner circle, including political aides Mark Salter, John Weaver and Rick Davis.
Salter, who remains a top McCain adviser, said in an e-mail to Politico that Fournier was considered for "a senior advisory role" in communications.
So it comes as no surprise that the AP's coverage of Obama has been full of slanted pontificating as Fournier pushes not just straight reporting, but comments and analysis -- so much of it amazingly unfair and non-analytical about Obama.
For, just this year alone Fournier has penned some real slimes against Obama, the first one coming to mind being this one:
Barack Obama better watch his step.
He's bordering on arrogance.
The dictionary defines the word as an "offensive display of superiority or self-importance; overbearing pride." Obama may not be offensive or overbearing, but he can be a bit too cocky for his own good.
Fournier knows how to put an "uppity negro" in his place.
And now we know there is more than just his own offensive agenda in place, there's water to be carried.
He should be fired.
So he can get that blessed McCain job and operate in the open.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
August 6th will be the 63rd anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima. A tragic day full of moral complexities about the decisions and events that led to that fateful day. Its circumstances and consequences still the subject of worthy debate.
And then we have the world that we have had presented to us today.
Which leads us to the more immediately relevant fact that it will also be the 7th Anniversary of the PDB George W. Bush got the notice, "Bin Laden Determined to Strike U.S.". Which elicited this retort, one which will truly live in infamy:
"All right. You've covered your ass, now."
So it is only fitting as we approach the anniversary of the moment that condenses the entirety of two terms of George Bush into one sentence that the Rand Corporation - in a report paid for by the government states this:
The United States can defeat al-Qaida if it relies less on force and more on policing and intelligence to root out the terror group's leaders, a new study contends...Its report said that the use of military force by the United States or other countries should be reserved for quelling large, well-armed and well-organized insurgencies, and that American officials should stop using the term "war on terror" and replace it with "counterterrorism."
"Terrorists should be perceived and described as criminals, not holy warriors, and our analysis suggests there is no battlefield solution to terrorism," said Seth Jones, the lead author of the study and a Rand political scientist.
"The United States has the necessary instruments to defeat al-Qaida, it just needs to shift its strategy," Jones said.
Ah yes, in other words, we dirty effing hippies were RIGHT AGAIN!
Of course, this is exactly what John Kerry advocated and what he was pilloried for -- because our media wet their pants and is too lazy to ever consider nuance and smart policies (and apparently this will never end, look no further than today's Richard Cohen column and then consider that wanker's various pronouncements on the psychological benefits of bombing until the rubble bounces over the years). No, the world must be the black and white variety as envisioned by George Bush and John McCain, where blowin' shit up is the most awesome thing ever!
Blow shit up, that'll learn 'em.
And when it doesn't work ... why just blow 'em up some more.
[cross-posted at Firedoglake]
Just after 11 a.m., a suicide bomber blew herself up, killing at least 17 demonstrators and wounding 47 others, according to Iraqi security officials.
No one claimed responsibility for the bombing, which bore the hallmarks of Sunni Arab extremists. Nonetheless, many in the crowd blamed Turkmen extremists for the attack, and within minutes a mob of enraged Kurds began attacking Turkmen political offices and setting their buildings ablaze...
Farouk Abdullah, a senior Turkmen politician, said that offices of every Turkmen party had been attacked and that Kurdish rioters had destroyed a number of other Turkmen buildings. "We don't know why they attacked us," he said. "We did not have anything to do with the explosion."
By the end of the day, the riot and violence by Kurds against Turkmens had become one of the most severe ethnic skirmishes in Kirkuk since the American-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. The city has long been considered a tinderbox because of its volatile mix of Kurds, Turkmens and Arabs.
Kirkuk is one of two places where the oil is. On the edge of the Kurdish region, or deep in the heart of the Southern Shiia region.
The Sunnis only hope of a stake is either being given one (unlikely) or fighting for one, and that place would be Kirkuk.
I could cite four or five actions -- not speeches -- that John McCain has taken that elicit my admiration, even my awe.
Of course, most people have done things more awesome than Richard Cohen.
For example, most of us have managed not to sexually harass a colleague while discussing the topic of sexual harassment to the great embarrassment of a major American newspaper; cuckolded a News Anchor; most of us haven't favored attacking another country because "violence is therapeudic"; and declared himself funny, but Stephen Colbert rude. However, that's just us and we're not as awesome as Dicky Cohen. Just ask him.
So it comes as little surprise that Cohen's litany of things Cohen admires McCain about include not only his POW time (naturally) but a series of items that turn out to be the things McCain is running from the same way Cohen is running from his mother's shame:
- campaign finance reform
Yeah, he's so over that.
- opposition to earmarks
Yeah, except for all the one's he keeps saying he doesn't oppose.
- politically imprudent opposition to the Medicare prescription drug bill
God forbid the Democrats who opposed this in much larger numbers get any credit.
And last but wankerously least:
- his very early call for additional troops in Iraq
Except, of course, this is entirely a created fiction of John McCain that Cohen just laps up without a moments thought of use of "the google" (which is apparently just for porn).
Tim Russert: Do you believe we have enough American troops on the ground right now?
John McCain: I think we have in numbers probably enough.
Monday, July 28, 2008
It means he just wants to hang out with you.
(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
I'm really having trouble finding out whether Commander in Chief George W. Bush found time on his visit to Germany on 6/11/2008 to visit the wounded at Landstuhl.
He broke them, he should visit them.
I'm sure John McCain was appropriately outraged. Somehow I cannot find a Tucker Bounds quote on it though.
Three suicide bombers and a roadside bomb struck Shiite pilgrims taking part in a massive religious procession in Baghdad on Monday, killing at least 28 people and wounding 92, police said.
The attacks occurred in quick succession as tens of thousands of Shiite worshippers streamed toward a shrine in northern Baghdad for an annual event marking the death of an eighth-century saint. The event climaxes on Tuesday.
And it gets better:
A suicide bomber killed at least 11 people and wounded more than 50 others in the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk on Monday, a security official told AFP.
Naturally, this means we have to stay until there are no more such attacks...which our presence may very well help cause...which means we get to stay forever!
One gets the feeling in the John McCain/Fred Hiatt fantasy that the United States will cease to exist in its present form -- and will be left with only its military in Iraq to remember it by.
Kind of like when the Byzantine Empire was survived by a couple of forts in Greece.
Sunday, July 27, 2008
BLITZER: So why do you think he said that 16 months is basically a pretty good timetable?
McCAIN: He said it’s a pretty good timetable based on conditions on the ground. I think it’s a pretty good timetable
July 27, 2008:
MCCAIN: I didn’t use the word timetable.
I have no great love for disgraced former surrogates in general or the disgraced Phil Gramm in particular. I'm actually pleased as punch to subscribe to the view that Gramm is a bumbling, out-of-touch old fool. But at some point it becomes impossible to discuss the substance of American politics -- the merits of NAFTA, the strength of the economy -- when we spend most of the day bickering over how polite the discussion needs to be. Setting aside the only-so-interesting question of whether Gramm is right about the technical definition of recession -- it's two contiguous quarters of negative growth, and we grew during the last -- does thinking exclusively about the fact he used the word "whiners" make us more or less likely to think about the actual merits of the two candidates' fiscal policies?
Campaign contributions from oil industry executives to Sen. John McCain rose dramatically in the last half of June, after the senator from Arizona made a high-profile split with environmentalists and reversed his opposition to the federal ban on offshore drilling...
Oil and gas industry executives and employees donated $1.1 million to McCain last month -- three-quarters of which came after his June 16 speech calling for an end to the ban...
And we all know, no one loves America like BP & Shell.
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Friday, July 25, 2008
Even more positive news from Barack Obama's trip to the Middle East: a new poll by Israel Radio shows, for perhaps the first time, Israelis preferring Obama to John McCain.
When asked "who would you rather see elected as the next president of the United States," Obama bested John McCain by a 37-28 margin. While far from a decisive advantage -- 35 percent of Israelis chose "no preference" or some other answer -- the poll reflects a notably different state of affairs from previous surveys, which generally showed McCain with a large advantage over Obama.
Obama's competitiveness spanned the political spectrum across Israel's top three parties. The Illinois Democrat trounced McCain among Israel's most liberal voters, who belong to the Labor Party (44-6), tied among more right-wing Likud voters (28-28), and held a slight edge among sympathizers of the Kadima Party, which is led by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert (40-32).
The survey of 600 respondents taken this week, likely before Obama landed in Israel, also found that more Israelis believe Obama would be a better president for the Jewish state, 31-27. (Forty-two percent registered other responses.)
“The walls between old allies on either side of the Atlantic cannot stand,” he said. The walls between the countries with the most and those with the least cannot stand. The walls between races and tribes, natives and immigrants, Christians and Muslims and Jews cannot stand. These now are the walls we must tear down.”
The "honorable Mr. Straight-Talks" spokesflack (still not reprimanded):
"The Muslims have said either we kneel or they’re going to kill us.”
Thursday, July 24, 2008
I know it would have the whole "where was he born" problem, but then again, according to our intrepid flock of kerners so do McCain and Obama.
It would probably draw a better crowd than McCain in Berlin.
Or they could piss off Lou Dobbs and nominate this guy, dude even has his own "Cindy McCain" (about 0:55):
I think it's safe to say, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences might as well start polishing the Oscar*.
*and you know how much fun that can be
If McCain wants to spend the next three and a half months doing this...AWESOME!
Republican John McCain on Wednesday credited the recent $10-a-barrel drop in the price of oil to President Bush's lifting of a presidential ban on offshore drilling, an action he has been advocating in his presidential campaign.
I guess by that logic, Bush gets credit for Oil going up from the $30 a barrel it was when he decided to invade Iraq with your blessing?
COURIC: Senator McCain, Sen. Obama says, while the increased number of U.S. troops contributed to increased security in Iraq, he also credits the Sunni awakening and the Shiite government going after militias. And says that there might have been improved security even without the surge. What's your response to that?
McCAIN: I don't know how you respond to something that is such a false depiction of what actually happened. Colonel McFarlane (phonetic) was contacted by one of the major Sunni sheiks. Because of the surge we were able to go out and protect that sheik* and others. And it began the Anbar awakening. I mean, that's just a matter of history.
McCain, January 5, 2007 (Two weeks before Bush announced sending additional troops to Iraq):
"Too often the light at the tunnel has turned out to be a train, but I really believe -- I really believe that there's a strong possibility that you may see a very substantial change in Anbar province due to this new changes in our relationships with the sheiks in the region. ... But it's important, as I said in my opening remarks, that this troop surge be significant and sustained. Otherwise, don't do it."
So he acknowledges the changed relationship being important before the so-called "surge".
*Oops (thanks to commenter Stony Pillow for reminding me)
(fez tip to Mark Nikolas)
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Syndicated columnist Robert D. Novak was cited by police after he hit a pedestrian with his black Corvette in downtown Washington, D.C., Wednesday morning.
A Politico reporter saw Novak in the front of a police car with a citation in his hand; a WJLA-TV crew and reporter saw Novak as well. The pedestrian, a male in his 60s, was hospitalized at George Washington University Hospital with minor injuries according to the Metro Fire Department. Novak was later released by police and drove away from the scene.
“I didn’t know I hit him,” Novak told Politico...
Bono said the pedestrian, who was crossing the street on a "Walk" signal and was in the crosswalk, rolled off the windshield and then Novak made a right into the service lane of K Street. “The car is speeding away. What’s going through my mind is, you just can’t hit a pedestrian and drive away,” Bono said.
He chased Novak half a block down K St., finally caught up with him and then put his bike in front of the car to block him and called 911. Traffic immediately backed up, horns blared, and commuters finally went into reverse to allow Novak to pull over.
Bono said that throughout, Novak "keeps trying to get away. He keeps trying to go.” He said he vaguely recognized the longtime political reporter and columnist as a Washington celebrity but could not precisely place him.
He rolled off the windshield but Novak didn't know he hit a pedestrian?
I guess I should’ve known by the way U rolled over my windshield
that I should hit the gas
See, U're the pedestrian that crosses legally
But I am goin' fast
I guess I must be dumb cuz U had a pocket full of viagra
And my giant teeth we're unamused
But it was Wednesday still, I guess that makes you roadkill
And U say - "Ow, my hipbone is fused?"
And honey, I say Little black Corvette
Bobby, U're much 2 fast (Oh)
Little black Corvette
I need an alibi that's gonna last
Well, well, well:
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is an admirer of U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama -- even though she has not yet met him in person.
Asked at a news conference on Wednesday what she thought of Obama, Merkel responded: "I would say that he is well-equipped -- physically, mentally and politically."
Fred Hiatt, doing all he can to drive the Washington Post below the Washington "Moonie" Times:
July 8: Good, Obama is willing to be flexible with his Iraq Plan, the Iraqis don't want it.
July 16: Obama's Iraq Plan is dangerously rigid and the Iraqis don't want it.
July 23: Obama's Iraq plan is dangerously flexible and the Iraqis' agreement with him is proof they don't want it.
And for the final dose of why Fred Hiatt is a war mongering dupe, today's kicker:
While the United States has an interest in preventing the resurgence of the Afghan Taliban, the country's strategic importance pales beside that of Iraq, which lies at the geopolitical center of the Middle East and contains some of the world's largest oil reserves.
Now we're down to the ol' imperial brass tacks of it you two-bit neo-con toady. Who cares about "terrorists" it's all about the oil.
(pic Brendan Calling)
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
This from Juan Cole sums things up accurately:
Look, it is more important that McCain was consistently wrong. He was wrong about the desirability of going to war against Iraq. He was wrong about it being a cakewalk. He was wrong about there being WMD there. He was wrong about everything. And he was wrong about the troop escalation making things better. The casualty figures dropped in al-Anbar, where few extra US troops were ever sent. They dropped in Basra, from which the British withdrew. Something happened. Putting it all on 30,000 extra troops seems a stretch. And what about all the ethnic cleansing and displacing of persons that took place under the nose of the "surge?" McCain has been wrong about everything to do with Iraq. And he is boasting about his wisdom on it!
There have actually been several journalistic pieces pointing this out, but they are lost in the cacophony of the drum-beat, rote, screaming of the same sadists who dreamed of invading in the first place. People trying to save their legacies don't count.
From wanting to invade years before we did, to declaring things easy, to being wrong (or lying) about how awesome the war is going, to trumpeting the actual merits (while ignoring the costs) of the so-called "Surge" John McCain is a either a fool and/or a fraud.
Sen. Chuck Grassley, an Iowa Republican who has long led the conservative forces of his state, has been denied his customary position as a voting delegate to the Republican National Convention -- and it's being done by an even more conservative bunch.
It's hard to find a more traditional conservative GOP stalwart than Grassley. But he isn't insane. So he does have that problem.
Monday, July 21, 2008
Over the past year, the counterinsurgency strategy of General Petraeus has been based on the premise that establishing greater security in Iraq is indispensable to advancing political reconciliation and economic reconstruction; to making diplomatic progress in the region; and to preparing the Iraqi military to assume its responsibilities to defend the sovereignty of Iraq and the authority of its elected government
So the goal is to defend the sovereignty and authority of the Iraqi government.
Except, of course when it conflicts with John McCain's desire to stay as long as HE wants.
QUESTION: Let me give you a hypothetical, senator. What would or should we do if, in the post-June 30th period, a so-called sovereign Iraqi government asks us to leave, even if we are unhappy about the security situation there? I understand it's a hypothetical, but it's at least possible.
McCAIN: Well, if that scenario evolves, then I think it's obvious that we would have to leave because -- if it was an elected government of Iraq -- and we've been asked to leave other places in the world. If it were an extremist government, then I think we would have other challenges, but I don't see how we could stay when our whole emphasis and policy has been based on turning the Iraqi government over to the Iraqi people.
Yet when he needed a quote yesterday to save himself from his own past rigidity McCain called NOT on an Iraqi, but on Admiral Mullin.
Telling isn't it?
But the interpreter for the interview works for Mr. Maliki’s office, not the magazine. And in an audio recording of Mr. Maliki’s interview that Der Spiegel provided to The New York Times, Mr. Maliki seemed to state a clear affinity for Mr. Obama’s position, bringing it up on his own in an answer to a general question on troop presence.
The following is a direct translation from the Arabic of Mr. Maliki’s comments by The Times: "Obama’s remarks that — if he takes office — in 16 months he would withdraw the forces, we think that this period could increase or decrease a little, but that it could be suitable to end the presence of the forces in Iraq."
He continued: "Who wants to exit in a quicker way has a better assessment of the situation in Iraq."
NOT A MISTRANSLATION AT ALL
The statement by an aide to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki calling his remarks in Der Spiegel "misinterpreted and mistranslated" followed a call to the prime minister's office from U.S. government officials in Iraq.
Meanwhile, McCain and Bush keep saying Maliki was just saying this for domestic Iraqi political consumption.
Which is likely bunk, but even under their claimed scenario still tells you that IRAQI'S WANT US TO LEAVE.
IRAQ WANTS A TIMETABLE.
And when McCain has been asked this in the past he's admitted that Iraq is "sovereign" and when they tell us what they want we have to comply.
But McCain obviously thought the "puppet" would never break lose from its strings.
But of man, did I digress.
Juan Cole has some perspective:
Despite all the talk about Iraq being "calm," I'd like to point out that the month just before the last visit Barack Obama made to Iraq (he went in January, 2006), there were 537 civilian and ISF Iraqi casualties. In June of this year, 2008, there were 554 according to AP. These are official statistics gathered passively that probably only capture about 10 percent of the true toll.
For those of you who have been drunk the last week and stumbled here while looking for porn, Barack Obama is overseas. And no matter how it is spun by desperate conservatives, it's off to a start David Axelrod wouldn't dare dream of.
So what will McSame do?
This is from the Jed Report, so they get the credit if this turns out to be true:
John McCain will pick Mitt Romney for VP...(and) John McCain will select his VP choice this week, perhaps on Wednesday.
Ooh, does Jeebus...or even New World Jeebus love us this much? Mitt Romney is the biggest fake, the most plastic, hermetically sealed boob I've ever seen running for President.
Please let this be so.
(pic from chandlerkg)
[Cross-posted at Firedoglake]
Sunday, July 20, 2008
But, here's the problem (the incredibly milquetoast quality [at best] of American media on "substantive" stuff being OUR problem]... the media of other countries isn't going to bend over backward (or perhaps forward in Liz Sidoti's case) to enable McCain's imbecility.
Der Spiegel stands by the Maliki interview.
And, since they've put up the entire transcript there is more than good reason for this.
But here, apparently, the story must die -- other than letting John McCain get away with how Iraqi sovereignty is bullshit as far as his imperial-lovin' ever bombing self is concerned.
I have a girlfriend in New York who puts her boyfriends through Feats of Strength.
Or, perhaps you remember when they weren't supposed to be laughably pathetic?
That noon, I had lunch with two veteran Republican operatives not working in the McCain campaign and asked them what they would recommend for the Arizona senator.
"Get Alan Greenspan to run with you," said the first.
Saturday, July 19, 2008
In an interview with Der Spiegel released on Saturday, Maliki said he wanted U.S. troops to withdraw from Iraq as soon as possible.
"U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama talks about 16 months. That, we think, would be the right timeframe for a withdrawal, with the possibility of slight changes."
John McCain was in his favorite campaign setting, a town hall meeting, when he spotted a promising target. "I'd love to recognize you first, sir," the Republican presidential candidate said to a man in a Vietnam War veteran's hat.
Instead of a softball opening question from a fellow vet, however, McCain got a lengthy harangue, as the man insisted the senator had opposed better medical benefits for veterans.
McCain, who spent more than five years as a prisoner of war, politely said the man was mistaken. He finally broke it off, saying, "I'll be glad to examine what your version of my record is."
And yet the AP doesn't bother to report the plain facts.
That the "AP-titled" harangue was absolutely correct and McCain was lying.
After all as the AP's Charles Babbington put it, McCain must be unimpeachable on such questions because he was a prisoner of war.
Jonathan Martin asked the McCain camp whether Gramm will stop advising the candidate, and reports that spokesman Tucker Bounds "only said that it was Gramm's decision to step down from his co-chair post."
So he'll still be advising McCain on what an awesome plan more of the continuing disaster is.
Please, for the love of God America, elect a guy who cannot even balance his own checkbook.
Friday, July 18, 2008
"The Jews have said either we kneel or they're going to kill us. I don't intend to kneel and I don't advocate to anybody that we kneel, and John doesn't advocate to anybody that we kneel.''
You'd think some Nazi Party functionary in the late 1930s, just before Krystalnacht.
But switch out the word "Jews" and put in "Muslims" and you have what McCain chosen surrogate Bud "Swiftboat Liar" Day just said on behalf of the McCain Campaign.
In the area of security cooperation, the President and the Prime Minister agreed that improving conditions should allow for the agreements now under negotiation to include a general time horizon for meeting aspirational goals -- such as the resumption of Iraqi security control in their cities and provinces and the further reduction of U.S. combat forces from Iraq. The President and Prime Minister agreed that the goals would be based on continued improving conditions on the ground and not an arbitrary date for withdrawal.
It's a timetable without a timetable. Sounds like something that can start on a small scale in say...oh "OCTOBER?" and end in about 100 years.
This is what I would call a shit sandwich dipped in sprinkles.
The VH-1 tribute the Who was awesome last night.
Especially when they played the "Theme From CSI" and the "Theme from CSI-Miami" but I was disappointed they cut "The Theme from CSI-New York".
"A 25-year-old New York City graduate student is threatening to sue a T-Shirt designer after being assaulted for wearing one of his designs.
The woman bought a $69 shirt from Apollo Braun's Manhattan boutique that bore the words, "Obama is my slave." When she wore the shirt on Tuesday, four teenage girls accosted her - shoving her, pulling out her earphones, and spitting in her face, according to the New York edition of Metro News."...
Okay, first of all..."KKKlassy" t-shirt design, sold to quite the brain trust. I'm not defending what happened to her, but criminy.
But wait, that's not all!
"The unnamed woman is reportedly seeking solace by suing Braun - born Doron Braunshtein - for "all he's got," the designer claims. He, of course, is shirking any responsibility for the incident and says that the shirt reflects the views of "ordinary WASPs." ...
"For a lot of people, when they see Obama, they see a slave. People think America is not ready for a black president," the Israeli-born designer said.
"I can’t stand Obama," Braun says, but claims that it's not because the candidate is black. "That’s the only thing I like about him. He opens the door for other minorities."
"He reminds me of Adolf Hitler," Braun explained, adding he does not like the Illinois senator because "he is a Muslim" — a myth that Obama apparently cannot escape.
The designer has sold several other anti-Obama styles from his boutique, including shirts with slogans such as "Jews Against Obama," "Obama = Hitler" and "Who Killed Obama?""
But somehow it's Barack Obama that's arrogant?
You cannot make this shit up:
The Air Force's top leadership sought for three years to spend counterterrorism funds on "comfort capsules" to be installed on military planes that ferry senior officers and civilian leaders around the world, with at least four top generals involved in design details such as the color of the capsules' carpet and leather chairs, according to internal e-mails and budget documents...
Air Force documents spell out how each of the capsules is to be "aesthetically pleasing and furnished to reflect the rank of the senior leaders using the capsule," with beds, a couch, a table, a 37-inch flat-screen monitor with stereo speakers, and a full-length mirror.
The effort has been slowed, however, by congressional resistance to using counterterrorism funds for the project and by lengthy internal deliberations about a series of demands for modifications by Air Force generals. One request was that the color of the leather for the seats and seat belts in the mobile pallets be changed from brown to Air Force blue and that seat pockets be added; another was that the color of the table's wood be darkened.
Changing the seat color and pockets alone was estimated in a March 12 internal document to cost at least $68,240.
In all, for the past three years the service has asked to divert $16.2 million to the effort from what the military calls the GWOT, or global war on terrorism. Congress has twice told the service that it cannot, including an August 2007 letter from Rep. John P. Murtha (D-Pa.) to the Pentagon ordering that the money be spent on a "higher priority" need.
Officials say the Air Force nonetheless decided last year to take $331,000 from counterterrorism funds to cover a cost overrun, partly stemming from the design changes, although a senior officer said yesterday in response to inquiries that it will reverse that decision.
There were stories last year about what Cheney had in his Air Force C-130, implying he had a "airstream" inside it. I wonder if what he really had was the prototype for one of these bastards?
It would be so like the gigantic Dick to order one up ... or have Addington order one up for him.
And by the way, I bet Cheney really does have a sex robot prototype in his walk-in Mansafe.
In fact, now that I think of it, Jeff Gannon does look a bit like Yul Brenner in "Westworld".
Shoddy electrical work by private contractors on United States military bases in Iraq is widespread and dangerous, causing more deaths and injuries from fires and shocks than the Pentagon has acknowledged, according to internal Army documents.
(photo from Washington Post)
One thing that comes with a six-figure (minimum) salary for punditry is a complete lack of creativity.
Yes, the MEME must be renewed, revisited, restated, regurgitated.
From Bill Kristol, to Ron Fournier, to Chuckles Krauthammer the theme must be laid down.
The black man is arrogant!
Americans are beginning to notice Obama's elevated opinion of himself. There's nothing new about narcissism in politics. Every senator looks in the mirror and sees a president. Nonetheless, has there ever been a presidential nominee with a wider gap between his estimation of himself and the sum total of his lifetime achievements?
Hey Charlie, for starters, remember this guy?
You can scan Krauthammer's column today and note the complete lack of evidence for the charge of arrogance...beyond Krauthammer's dubious say-so.
But then that's close enough for horseshoes and Republicans bombing a country isn't it?
Krauthammer is just following in the wake of...
Ron Fournier, AP's Washington Bureau Chief and the "Wind Beneath Karl Rove's Wings":
But both Obama and his wife, Michelle, ooze a sense of entitlement.
They do huh?
And your evidence for this is what, your fabulous middle-aged white guy spidy-sense?
And then there's Bill Kristol who entitled a column in February saying about Obama's candidacy:
It's all about him
Which, I guess explains why his name is on the posters. Shocking I know.
Yes, Conservatives have discovered, somehow, that running for President takes a great deal of self-confidence. But apparently there's absolutely no sense of entitlement or arrogance about John McCain; from telling a kid to "shut up" to making those H-I-L-A-R-I-O-U-S violent rape jokes with the press boys in the back of the Straight-Talk bus that they laugh at so. He's just McCain bein' McCain ... nothing overly self-involved there at all, right?
And they are not alone. The list can be made quite a bit longer of columnists pushing this theme without evidence. Obama is "arrogant" just because they say so.
God forbid a black man be ambitious and yet not be using that ambition in the cause of singin' and dancin' up there on
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Like handing the car keys to a drunk teenager, they trot out our very own "Weekand at Bernie's President." From WaPo:
"I understand there is a lot of nervousness," Bush said. "But the economy is growing, productivity is high, trade is up, people are working. It's not as good as we'd like, but to the extent that we find weakness, we'll move."
Now watch this drive!
In reference to the recent video of Laura Ingraham interacting with Fox News staff I give you this:
Laura, the Cucumber Queen [Kathleen Parker]
So I've heard.
There just is no end to the delirious stumbles of the language over there.
ABC News' Ron Claiborne Reports: A Catholic group is demanding the dismissal of Deal Hudson from Catholics for McCain National Steering Committee because he allegedly solicited sex from an 18-year-old female student when he was a professor at Fordham University in New York in 1994. Hudson, who was publisher of the conservative Catholic magazine, Crisis, was forced out of a similar position with the 2004 Bush-Cheney re-election team when the same story surfaced...
Hudson has been described as a Catholic "powerbroker" with close ties to Karl Rove. He reportedly advised President Bush and Rove on issues of importance to Catholic voters...
But hey, she was at least of the age of consent, which is pretty good for a GOP sex-scandal nowadays.
Most of us are familiar with the problems of "the little people, " as dog lover and fortunate marriage picker Leona Helmsley famously set her self apart. A former employee declared that Helmsley said: "We don't pay taxes. Only the little people pay taxes ..." This infamous quote never only applied to Helmsley but to the wealthy in general.
And a report set to be released today from the U.S. Senate's subcommittee on Investigations, details how the rich and wealthy in this country use international banks to avoid paying exactly that -- their fair share of taxes.
One operates an estimated $63 billion portfolio of 118 shopping centers and malls in the U.S., United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand.
Another manufactures and markets toys through a company with an estimated $35 million in annual sales and corporate offices in New York City, Holland, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
And a third is a Florida-based construction contractor who reportedly amassed more than $49 million in family assets.
Along with wealth and success, the three have something else in common, a Senate report set for release Thursday says: All were clients of an overseas bank whose financial practices "can facilitate, and have resulted in, tax evasion by their U.S. clients."
The report asserts that Swiss banking giant UBS and LGT, a large bank in the tiny European principality of Liechtenstein, actively helped wealthy American clients evade federal taxes. Since 2001, the banks collectively held thousands of U.S. client accounts with billions of dollars in assets that weren't reported to the IRS...
The point is a simple one, several banks who were required under a 2001 law to collect taxes, failed to do so and further even helped the wealthy to hide their assets from the Internal Revenue Service. One has to wonder, what would happen to individuals - "the little people" - if they perpetuated a fraud to hide taxes from the federal government?
And one has to wonder how much is actually owed to the government, especially when high penalties are added since this was an intentional crime. I believe the crime is called Tax Evasion.
UBS [one of the foreign banks] has an estimated 19,000 U.S. clients with a combined $17.9 billion in accounts "that have not been disclosed to U.S. tax authorities," according to estimates given to the Senate panel by the bank and Bradley Birkenfeld, a former UBS banker.
He told the subcommittee roughly 80 UBS bankers traveled to the U.S. four to six times per year to pitch the bank's secretive services to well-heeled clients at such upscale events as Miami's annual Art Basel fair.
"It's really, "Where do the rich people hang out, go and talk to them,' " Birkenfeld told the Senate staffers.
Many U.S. clients were motivated by "tax evasion," Birkenfeld told Senate investigators, adding that both sides "clearly understood" no U.S. taxes would be paid on the overseas accounts.
The bankers used encrypted computers, devised codes for their clients' identities, told Customs agents the trips were for vacations, not business, and advised clients to place jewelry, paintings and other assets in Swiss safe deposit boxes, Birkenfeld testified in June, when he pleaded guilty to helping California billionaire Igor Olenicoff evade $7.2 million in U.S. taxes.
One would hope that the government would take the same approach to collecting these back taxes and penalties as it does from "the little people."
Ah, John McCain, steps on the rake once again. A couple days ago, July 15th, the news that the Members Only Jacket Wearing quasi-President of Iran, Ahmadinejad, would be attending the United Nations in September brought this derisive statement from McCain's campaign:
Perhaps he and Senator Obama can finally have that heart to heart.
It appears that McCain is going to have to get in line:
President Bush is sending a top US diplomat to meet Iran’s nuclear negotiator this weekend, a major break with his hardline stance towards Tehran and the closest contact between the countries since the 1979 Iranian Revolution.
And now, today:
The US plans to establish a diplomatic presence in Tehran for the first time in 30 years as part of a remarkable turnaround in policy by President George Bush.
The Guardian has learned that an announcement will be made in the next month to establish a US interests section - a halfway house to setting up a full embassy. The move will see US diplomats stationed in the country.
Sounds like that Barack Obama, the "naive" guy who by suggesting just such moves months ago and ever since was called an "appeaser" right up there with Chamberlain, was right again.
One thing is certain. John McCain, Joe Lieberman and Norm Podhoretz are angry today "my friends", like old men trying to return soup at a deli.
[cross-posted at Firedoglake]
Well, the Obama campaign said it was way off and they were right.
Because of your generosity and commitment, we're reporting to the press today that this campaign is in a very strong financial position.
In the month of June, supporters like you helped raise $52 million.
But more impressive than the number is how you did it. Hundreds of thousands of ordinary people contributed to building our campaign for change. Many were first-time donors, giving only what they could afford -- and the average donation was just $68.
And that is impressive.
But, while the media -- as fucking always -- tut tutted and adopted the McCain campaigns spin, the truth is still thus:
Plouffe also warned, however, that Obama and the Dems still face a cash disadvantage: He and the Democratic National Committee have a combined $72 million on hand, he said, while the GOP and the Republican National Committee finished June with nearly $100 million.
And since, at this moment, the Presidency is the only hope the GOP has of keeping power, they are going to pour most of those resources into McSame.
So, if this was the off-season and the "season of the Dirty Fucking Hippies discontent" over FISA, they've weathered the storm just fine.
In any case, give if you can...and not just to the Obama campaign.
In six more months nobody will even slow down in his proximity...unless they have a free hand in which to extend the middle-finger. Get used to it, it's going on the family crest...
Ah, hell probably already is, from a different perspective.
Bush presided over a Tee Ball game on the South Lawn, then hosted a social dinner Wednesday in honor of Major League Baseball for about 240 players, members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, baseball officials and fans, administration officials and lawmakers.
I'm surprised John McCain, who babysat Abner Doubleday wasn't in attendance.
(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
In order to prevent a filibuster in the Senate on a Medicare bill, Ted Kennedy came in to cast one vote while still quite ill from cancer treatment. A vote -- THE single vote -- that kept the bill from dying in a mean-spirited Republican filibuster.
So, what does it take to defeat the "compassionate conservatives" who care so much that they are trying to dismantle medicare for the insane reason that "it is for our own good?" It takes resolve, it takes energy, it takes everything... all the talk about St. Russert and St. Snow -- did either of them have half the real compassion of Ted Kennedy? Who was less concerned with himself and more concerned with the welfare of others in so much of his continuing service in the Senate.
I didn't think so.
"We're the Saudi Arabia of oil"
Oh, Jeebus. I guess that makes Saudi Arabia the "United States of Softcore Pornography"*.
If Congress were to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling, crude oil prices would probably drop by an average of only 75 cents a barrel, according to Department of Energy projections issued Thursday.
The report, which was requested in December by Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, found that oil production in the refuge "is not projected to have a large impact on world oil prices."
*this just in, Phil Gramm is off on a business trip to Saudi Arabia.
Daltrey said he doesn't hear much about the U.S. presidential race in Britain but called Barack Obama the "obvious winner."
"Let's just hope to God he wins," he said. "Let's be honest, with the standing in the rest of the world of America today, with what George Bush has done to your country, it is inconceivable to me that Americans would vote in another Republican. It would be kind of really, really weird if they win again. You just sometimes wonder, what if, just what if (John) McCain did win. The signals that would send to the rest of the world!"
It would send the message we are still idiots.
*What you thought I'd type 'Won't Get Fooled Again?'
Bush decides to talk to Iran.
A top U.S. diplomat heading to Geneva has no plans to meet separately with Iran's chief nuclear negotiator, but the mere presence of the Bush administration official at talks between the Iranian negotiator and representatives of other world powers will be a sharp break with past administration policy.
William Burns, America's third highest-ranking diplomat, will attend talks with the Iranian envoy, Saeed Jalili, in Switzerland on Saturday. The talks are aimed at persuading Iran to halt activities that could lead to the development of atomic weapons, a senior U.S. official told the Associated Press on Tuesday. It will be the first time such a high-ranking U.S. official has attended such talks.
So the allegedly "inexperienced" Democrat is shown to be correct twice in one day...as McCain plays "follow the leader" on Afghanistan.
Well, the man does say he knows how to win and I guess copying Obama without people noticing and then declaring "he knows how to win wars" (which ones were those by the way?).
“We were betrayed,” said Mr. Liszewski, who was still not sure he could believe the news that the company had agreed to be sold. “The good Lord was sold out for 30 pieces of silver. We were sold out for $70 a share.”I assume that Ms. Henderson understands that there are two parties to this sale: buyer and seller. Curious that she doesn't blame the Busch family for being lead into temptation by $52MM pieces of Belgian silver. I also wonder if she knows that the presumptive Republican nominee for president will benefit handsomely from the sale of this American institution. The "free market," taketh, Ms. Henderson. And then, she giveth to John McCain.
August A. Busch IV, the scion who runs the family brewery that makes Budweiser and Michelob and dates to before the Civil War, had vowed that there would be no sale on his watch. But in the end, sentiment and tradition were no match for a $52 billion offer from the Belgian beer giant InBev.
All around this old Midwestern city famous for its brew, heads have been shaking in disbelief. Budweiser, the king of American beers, will belong to Europe....
InBev has pledged not to shut down any of Anheuser-Busch’s 12 breweries in the United States. But many here still feel here as if a treasure is endangered.
As Opal Henderson, a 78-year-old auto salvage yard owner, put it, “Why can’t those foreigners just stay at home and leave us what we have?
If I were a Democratic legislator, I might try to block this sale, perhaps on anti-competitive grounds. The Republicans -- "free traders" all -- would be forced to go along or look like they were siding with greedy foreigners against the American worker and an American institution. It won't work, of course. No legislator is a match for the "free market," but it would embarrass Republicans in an election year, force John McCain to argue against a deal that would benefit him to the tune of between $800,000 and $1.6MM, and, most importantly, clue Democrats in to people like Mr. Liszewski, who was able to make an "excellent life" out of what sounds like one of the last good blue collar gigs in America. There are a couple of them still out there, and there need to be a whole lot more.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Discussions appear to be underway that would pave the path for Huckabee to get a show on Faux "News". Is anyone surprised? I am only shocked that it did not happen sooner... the "media" praised the Hucksters supposed media skills. Although it is always easier to praise a mediocre public speaker while trying to tear down a gifted orator.
But what kind of news programming does Huckabee come up with for this new program? What are the Huckster's strengths?
So in our effort to be helpful, we need to come up with names for this show. Here are a few of my suggestions:
- God, Me, and Huckabee - Will only work with a cheesy 80s sitcom song for the show's theme music. And will have to start with lots of fade in and out shots of Huckabee doing different things. Should end with him eating a piece of American pie (handed to him by an elderly actress pretending to be mom) with fireworks going off over the baseball game he is watching. Then fade to show title over an American flag. Because it is important to be subtle.
- God Knows Right - Only so long as Pat Buchanon says it is ok to use this title.
- God and God - The title really says it all. At all times during the show, Huckabee should shake his head as if he knows something the audience does not know. And always, always speak condescendingly of anyone who does not see the world in the same way.
- God Votes Republican - Again plays to the core whack-a-mole Republican crowd and will only confirm their most strident beliefs. And title will bring them back as viewers which is more important.
- The God Report - Sort of a Brit Hume like vehicle for Huckabee. Will take some work on creating a good logo for this. Show should end with Huckabee saying "good night, God" and then waiting for a few seconds for a reply before fading to credits.
- God Talk with Pastor Huckabee - So many ways to work this one. Will have to shoot the show with Huckabee behind a nice wooden desk. There should be many books behind him. Having read them, optional. Very important that these books are lengthy -- will need to use liberal books for that.
- God Damns Liberals (each and every day) - this will play to Huckabee's core contingent and get loads of press. A good theme song performed by some country act who is hot at the moment might work. What is Toby Keith doing?
- Bible the Huckabee Way - who knew that Jesus turned the other cheek so he could grab a gun?
- The 701 Club: The Fair and Balanced Christian News - Must get a crystal cathedral for broadcasting the show. Ailes' house just not big enough. Maybe we could shoot the show from the Crawford Ranch, wasn't there a really large cross put up there?
- The Huckabee Religious Right-of-Way - Show could start with Huckabee driving to work waving at both alive and dead Republicans on his way to the studio. Maybe a cardboard cut out of St. Reagan could be in the passenger seat. Will have to check market research on that question.
Do you have any suggestions for what Huckabee should call his new Faux "News" show?
Go. Just go.
I actually found myself choked up at the end. I'm still a little bit choked up. I wonder what he'd have to say about Obama. I know what he'd say about McBush, but not exactly how he'd say it, and like Thompson peering down the long tunnel of the future absent his nemesis Richard Nixon, we are poorer for it.
From his obituary for Nixon:
It is Nixon himself who represents that dark, venal and incurably violent side of the American character that almost every country in the world has learned to fear and despise. Our Barbie-doll president, with his Barbie-doll wife and his boxful of Barbie-doll children is also America's answer to the monstrous Mr. Hyde. He speaks for the Werewolf in us; the bully, the predatory shyster who turns into something unspeakable, full of claws and bleeding string warts, on nights when the moon comes too close....
At the stroke of midnight in Washington, a drooling red-eyed beast with the legs of a man and head of a giant hyena crawls out of its bedroom window in the South Wing of the White House and leaps 50 feet down to the lawn ... pauses briefly to strangle the chow watchdog, then races off into the darkness...toward the Watergate, snarling with lust, loping through the alleys behind Pennsylvania Avenue and trying desperately to remember which one of those 400 iron balconies is the one outside Martha Mitchell's apartment.
McCain is allowed to lie his dimply ass off and his beloved media entourage just chalks it up as Mavericky-goodness.
FLAT OUT LYING!
With commanding leads among women and young voters and near unanimous support from black voters, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama has a 50 - 41 percent lead over Arizona Sen. John McCain, according to a Quinnipiac University national poll of likely voters released today.
Independent voters split 44 - 44 percent, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds. Sen. McCain has a slight 47 - 44 percent edge among men voters and a larger 49 - 42 percent lead among white voters.
But black voters back Sen. Obama 94 - 1 percent, while women support him 55 - 36 percent. Obama leads 63 - 31 percent among voters 18 to 34 years old and 48 - 44 percent among voters 35 to 54, while voters over 55 split with 45 percent for McCain and 44 percent for Obama.
But in the internals are the truly fascinating numbers:
The economy is the single most important issue in their vote, 53 percent of American voters say, followed by 16 percent who list the war in Iraq and 11 percent who list health care.
Obama leads McCain 53 - 39 percent among those who list the economy, 65 - 27 percent among those who cite the war and 67 - 27 percent among those worried about health care.
And in the most revealing area of the poll, the most flabbergasting we see how the politics of "FEAR" plays out, McCain leads 87 to 7 for those who think "terrorism" is the most important thing.
There is your "He's a Muslim" emails and the biggest suckers in the world right there. Only 7% have that are their primary issue.
The economy is the top choice of 53%.
So, how many "TERROR ALERTS" is the Administration going to throw out there starting the week of the Democratic National Convention anyway?