Monday, October 6, 2008

Headlines - Monday

It is in the blood that empires, like humans, are born, it is in the blood that they die


I think we all remember the year before the Iraq war, the drumbeat of propaganda, the horrible certainty that nothing we could do would stop George Bush's messianic belief that he must have a war with Iraq because he was ordained by God, and all the great presidents were war presidents. We argued at the time that there is no decision a politician can make which he or she should think on harder than going to war.

The reason should be obvious. In war bad things happen. Wars are always sold as if they are going to brief, as if only the "bad guys" will be killed, as if "precision munitions" have made horrors a thing of the past. They are sold as easy, and glorious. And they almost never are. War is the archetype of "rubber hits the road", of a situation you can't control. They have a way of turning into messes we never intended.


US forces conducted a dawn raid on a house in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul in which they believed a "suspected insurgent" was hiding. When the clash was over, 11 members of a single Iraqi family were dead.

Pakistani villagers collected the corpses and body parts on Saturday of at least 20 people after a U.S. pilotless drone aircraft launched an attack. The dead included several suspected Arab militants as well as three children.
Bailout to Nowhere

Fears are mounting that many Wall Street banks and financial firms will refuse to participate in the US government's $700bn bailout package, leaving global markets and world economies in a perilous state for months to come.

And why might they decide to let things go down the tube rather than take the help? Because of the same greed that helped get us into this position: they don't like the part of the package that curbs executive pay and bans their 'golden parachutes.' 

Charming. But, on the upside, if the market is bottoming out and they don't need to take taxpayer money, I support it. If they are wrong, and bring about financial armageddon due to sheer greed, well, at least we know who to blame.

And then this will be even more appropriate: h/t Gary: 


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Nice work!  
Wow, John McCain is now belittling the memory of 6 million Jews to help him win in November. Boy, anything to change the topic from the economy, and John McCain's role in getting us into this crisis. Interesting, by the way, that this happened right after he picked Sarah Palin, who has a rather troubling record on Jewish issues and anti-Semitism.

Let's revisit John McCain's and Sarah Palin's records on Jews and anti-Semitism.
Let them drink rocket fuel: 
Poland joins Coalition of the Dwindling:   
When the invasion began, 49 countries were involved. Those remaining today:
United States - 144,000 
South Korea - less than 600; preparing for total withdrawl
Romania - 397
El Salvador - 380
Czech Republic - 17
Azerbaijan - 88
Denmark - 50
Mongolia -100
Albania -240
Bosnia and Herzegovina - 79
Estonia - 35
Macedonia - 77
Kazakhstan - 29
Moldova - 11
Bulgaria -155
Armenia - 46
Latvia -3
United Kingdom - 4,000. It should be noted that the British withdrew from central Basra last year and are now huddled in a secure base outside the city, under regular attack from insurgents. It is widely thought they will withdraw from Iraq sometime during 2008.
High Inquisitor of the Republican party
Sarah Palin is Dolores Umbridge:  
Are you better off now than you were 8 years ago?
Thanks, GOP!
by BooMan
It's hard to keep track of the Bush track-record. It's dark at the bottom of an abyss. I think Iraq will always define the Bush presidency, along with their failure to protect us from the 9/11 attacks. Hurricane Katrina and the economic collapse at the end of their second term will be prominent features of any historical discussion. But, there's more. So much more.

When President Bush nominated his lawyer, Harriet Miers, to the Supreme Court, I wasn't entirely sure she should be opposed. I remembered how Poppy had pulled a fast-one on the wingnut base by nominating David Souter, a pro-choice judge. I thought Miers might be Bush's way of protecting the GOP from the consequences of their anti-choice rhetoric. If we defeated Miers, I figured, we'd be sure to get some Federalist Society troglodyte in her place. That didn't mean that I thought Miers was qualified, or that it was at all appropriate to nominate someone that would be judging some of the same decisions she had counseled the President on in the White House. I just figured we couldn't filibuster every judge he put up, and that Miers might, at least, be sympathetic to women's privacy rights.

As it turned out, the Republican base had the same suspicions and promptly sank Miers' chances of being confirmed to the lifetime position. And that's a good thing, because I'm increasingly convinced that Ms. Miers is headed for prison. If Bush had had his way, we'd probably be thinking about impeaching a sitting Supreme Court justice, which would be a sorry spectacle both here at home, and around the world.

Harriet Miers appears to be at the very heart of the scandal surrounding the politicization of the Department of Justice, and the inappropriate firing of U.S. attorneys for political reasons. Ms. Miers defied a congressional subpoena and refused to cooperate with the DOJ's Inspector General investigation. She'd already be in prison for those actions if the Justice Department had not refused to do their job. Under an Obama administration, there is no doubt that Miers will be forced to cooperate with Congress, and she'll face the choice of telling the truth or taking the fifth. Her actions so far heavily suggest that old saying that where there is smoke there is fire. I don't think there is any doubt that the truth will land Ms. Miers in legal trouble.

Add this to the list of the Bush administration's many accomplishments.

For all the poor, downtrodden CEO's - Help is on the way!

Finally, you can have the empathy and understanding you deserve. For three glorious days, you can be pampered, cooed to and have your ego stroked. Now be forewarned, this taste of paradise isn't free. It costs $15,000. OK, so you might have to forego a few dinner reservations or fire one of your gardeners or whatever.

Your three days of ecstasy will take place at the Moonview Sanctuary in Santa Monica, CA. These coddling sessions are officially known as "Executive Resilience Summits."

They're put on by Jerry and Laurie Ann Levin. Jerry and Laurie Ann are saying that executives are "facing possibly the toughest times in their careers." This 3-day workshop will help beleaguered CEOs to "bounce back from this crisis while maintaining balance in their professional and personal lives."


The environmental impact of Hurrican Ike is fully coming to light as the AP reports that a half million gallons of crude oil were spilled in the Gulf of Mexico, with nearly 1,500 chemical or biological sites reportedly in need of clean up.


California Dems' interactive billboard goes live


Don't have your speakers turned up all the way if you're at work!

Hey Sarah Palin (to the tune of "Hey There Delilah")


Motivational Poster -- Joe Six-Pack


The latest verbal car crash from the mouth of Sarah Palin:

Why is Sarah Palin using a Starbucks cup to get material for her speech?

Paging Madeleine Albright:

"Though I am flattered that Governor Palin has chosen to cite me as a source of wisdom, what I said had nothing to do with politics. This is yet another example of McCain and Palin distorting the truth, and all the more reason to remember that this campaign is not about gender, it is about which candidate has an agenda that will improve the lives of all Americans, including women. The truth is, if you care about the status of women in our society and in our troubled economy, the best choice by far is Obama-Biden."

The actual quote, Sarah, is this:

"There's a place in Hell reserved for women who don't help other women." 

As in "There's a place in Hell reserved for women who charge rape victims for their exams."

But don't let that stop you from implying that women who don't support your candidacy are going to hell.


I'm sure this is normal

The long march of the penguins

Exhausted birds are washing up on Brazil's tropical beaches, thrown off course by changing currents


Palin's toxic paradise

Alaska has northern exposure to some seriously bad stuff. And Caribou Barbie doesn't really care, just so long as there is moolah involved. 
Oh, and have I mentioned she actually cut funding for special needs kids by 60%?
Here's what the mainstream media won't mention when they're busy telling you what William Ayers did when Barack Obama was 8 years old:

As Media Matters for America has noted, G. Gordon Liddy served four and a half years in prison in connection with his conviction for his role in the Watergate break-in and the break-in at the office of the psychiatrist of Daniel Ellsberg, the military analyst who leaked the Pentagon Papers. Liddy has acknowledged preparing to kill someone during the Ellsberg break-in "if necessary"; plotting to murder journalist Jack Anderson; plotting with a "gangland figure" to murder Howard Hunt to stop him from cooperating with investigators; plotting to firebomb the Brookings Institution; and plotting to kidnap "leftist guerillas" at the 1972 Republican National Convention — a plan he outlined to the Nixon administration using terminology borrowed from the Nazis. (The murder, firebombing, and kidnapping plots were never carried out; the break-ins were.) During the 1990s, Liddy reportedly instructed his radio audience on multiple occasions on how to shoot Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms agents and also reportedly said he had named his shooting targets after Bill and Hillary Clinton.

Liddy has donated $5,000 to McCain's campaigns since 1998, including $1,000 in February 2008. In addition, McCain has appeared on Liddy's radio show during the presidential campaign, including as recently as May. An online video labeled "John McCain On The G. Gordon Liddy Show 11/8/07″ includes a discussion between Liddy and McCain, whom Liddy described as an "old friend." During the segment, McCain praised Liddy's "adherence to the principles and philosophies that keep our nation great," said he was "proud" of Liddy, and said that "it's always a pleasure for me to come on your program."

Liddy called for the murder of federal agents, served time in jail, plotted murder - and after that, John McCain applauded him and took his money.


The real McCain:

John McCain - economic disaster:



h/t Biggi & Cheryl

Investment tips for 2008

With all the turmoil in the market today, be aware of the next expected mergers so you can get in on the ground floor and make some big bucks:


McCain sat on board of a racist group:


John McCain and the making of a financial crisis:


Who knew?

"They are also building schools for the Afghan children so that there is hope and opportunity in our neighboring country of Afghanistan," Palin told several hundred supporters at a fundraising event in San Francisco.

And this...

"The pundits today on TV—one of them was saying, check out the vice president's schedule, check out where she's going — she's going to Nebraska," Palin said.

"But the pundit was saying the only reason she'd be going there is 'cause they're scared, so they gotta go there and shore up votes. And I so wanted to reach into that TV and say no, I'm going to Nebraska because I want to go to Nebraska."

And this gem: 

"As we send our young men and women overseas in a war zone to fight for democracy and freedoms, including freedom of the press, we've really got to have a mutually beneficial relationship here with those fighting the freedom of the press**, and then the press, though not taking advantage and exploiting a situation, perhaps they would want to capture and abuse the privilege. We just want truth, we want fairness, we want balance."

I haven't the foggiest idea what this means. Does anyone here speak Palin? Can someone translate it for me?


It's very distressing to see Iceland on the business end of this financial crisis we find ourselves in. And this is happening, albeit to a lesser degree, throughout Europe, suggesting that this is a global crisis which is moving in waves. This is going to be a painful few years. Many more banks will fail, and the resultant fallout will leave a financial industry with bigger firms than ever, hardly eliminating the number of those that are "too big to fail."


Condolences. From the NYT: Joe Biden's mother-in-law has died.


Torture Nation

John le Carre on the use of torture:
"I know about interrogation," he said, alluding to his days as a British spy in the 1950s. "I've done interrogations, and I can tell you this: By extracting information under torture, you make a fool of yourself. You obtain information that isn't true. You receive names of people who are supposedly guilty and aren't. You land yourself with a wild goose chase, and you miss what is being handed to you on a plate, and that is the possibility of bonding with someone and engaging with them and talking to them reasonably."
We have done more than make fools of ourselves as a nation.

As the former head of M.I. 6 told le Carre: "You can't imagine how disgusting our world has become." And that was before 9/11, before the Bush Administration, aided and abetted by Prime Minister Blair, began our national descent into the cesspit. We have shown, by our actions as a nation, that all of our fine words about "liberty" and "justice" and "freedom" are only platitudes to be inserted into speeches by politicians.

The blood is on all of our hands. Neither history nor the rest of the world will care that only one-fifth of all Americans voted for George Bush. His crimes and the crimes done on his orders shame us all.

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