Thursday, January 31, 2008

On TK's Endorsement

Democrat Taylor Marsh Broadcasts Live Talk Radio and Blogs Politics: "Hell Hath No Fury Like a Kennedy Scorned"

"...There's more to Sen. Edward Kennedy's endorsement of Barack Obama than meets the eye. Apparently, part of the reason why the liberal lion from Massachusetts embraced Obama was because of a perceived slight at the Kennedy family's civil rights legacy by the other Democratic presidential primary frontrunner, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.).

Sources say Kennedy was privately furious at Clinton for her praise of President Lyndon Baines Johnson for getting the 1964 Civil Rights Act accomplished. Jealously guarding the legacy of the Kennedy family dynasty, Senator Kennedy felt Clinton's LBJ comments were an implicit slight of his brother, President John F. Kennedy, who first proposed the landmark civil rights initiative in a famous televised civil rights address in June 1963.

One anonymous source described Kennedy as having a "meltdown" in reaction to Clinton's comments. ..."

and furthermore

"Well, Teddy does have a history of these things. He kept Sargent Shriver off the dem ticket in 68 cause he didn't want a Kennedy in-law getting a shot at the Presidency, before a Kennedy (read:Me) and who can forget his ill-fated attempt to unseat Jimmy Carter in 1980, taking that all the way to the convention, even though Carter crushed him in the primaries. I doubt Carter could have won the election anyway, but Teddy's divisive campaign thoroughly took all of the energy out of the convention. None of this is surprising to me. It fits a pattern. read more in the comment section below..."

Wow. All this and the impending Obama/ Kenya scandal, too.

Declining Fox

Media Matters - Fox News is in for a very rough 2008: "...Bottom line is that Fox News is in for a very rough 2008. And the umbrella reason for that is quite simple: Eight years ago the all-news cable channel went all-in on the presidency of George Bush and became a broadcast partner with the White House. Proof of that was on display Sunday night, January 27, during Fox News' prime-time, 'Fighting to the Finish,' an 'historic documentary' on the final year of Bush's presidency. Filmed in HD and featuring 'unprecedented access,' according to the Fox News press release, the show was pure propaganda. (I must have missed Fox News' 'Fighting to the Finish' special back in 2000, chronicling the conclusion of President Bill Clinton's second term and his 'extraordinarily consequential tenure.')

The point is that Fox News years ago made an obvious decision to appeal almost exclusively to Republican viewers. The good news then for Fox News was that it succeeded. The bad news now for Fox News is that it succeeded..."

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

It's 3:13 A.M.

Gloom, doom, desperation, and hopelessness has settled its sooty cloak through every nook and cranny of Mad In The Middle. John Edwards has stepped aside.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

From The Straight Talk Express

McCain is now gay-baiting - AMERICAblog: A great nation deserves the truth:

"That didn't take long. So much for our maverick. When the going gets tough, John McCain goes queer bashing. Note his adoption of the religious right buzz-phrase 'special rights.' Considering McCain helped shoot down a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, I'm just curious how he defines 'special rights.' McCain has always surrounding himself with gay men. Ever since I worked on the Hill in the late 80s, early 90s, McCain always had gay men on staff in senior positions. Openly gay men. Gay men who had no problem helping the gay rights movement. Gay men who people like McCain would call 'gay activists.' McCain had zero problem helping powerful openly-gay men advance in Washington, DC. He currently has no problem employing them at the highest reaches of his campaign - the highest reaches - helping them work their 'special rights' agenda in his campaign and beyond. But now we're to believe that McCain suddenly has a problem with the gays and their 'special rights...'"

It's Not Over Yet

BBC NEWS | Middle East | Gruesome find in Iraqi province

"Nine bodies and 10 severed heads have been discovered near Miqdadiya, north-east of Baghdad, Iraqi police say.

The 19 victims were all male and some had died in recent days, said a Diyala province police spokesman..."

Monday, January 28, 2008

The Women Are Angry

And I say good for them. They have reason to be. See the comment thread at this post for examples. Democrat Taylor Marsh Broadcasts Live Talk Radio and Blogs Politics

"Why is NY NOW so Ticked Off at Teddy?

Boy, is NY NOW ticked off.

To say that I have a very complicated relationship with NOW is an understatement. As full disclosure, I do not back or give money to NOW, Planned Parenthood or NARAL, though all three groups do more collectively for women than I will in a lifetime. I just find their militancy often very strident, with their expectations of Democratic candidates to genuflect to their agenda counterproductive..."

Media and Liberal Biases Displayed?

MLK III and Caroline Kennedy: Why the Different Treatment? (Sirotablog)

"I was watching CNN on Saturday and the broadcast was broken into by a "breaking news" graphic letting the world know that Caroline Kennedy was going to write an op-ed saying nice things about Barack Obama. This "breaking news" was then repeated for the rest of the evening, and was echoed throughout the rest of the media.

That's all fine, but here's what's troubling: Other than brief mentions in print newspapers, why was there no news at all when Martin Luther King III released a letter praising John Edwards campaign?

Now, you can say it's because King didn't "officially" endorse Edwards and Kennedy "officially" endorsed Obama, but I'd say that's a huge stretch in explaining the difference in coverage. King's letter was about as strongly supportive as I've seen a surrogate be, and in begging Edwards to stay in the race, it both indicted the other candidates and was certainly newsworthy within the ongoing storyline of "should Edwards stay in or drop out?"

So again - why the difference? It is a really important question about the inherent biases in our media debate - biases that are both race- and class-based. It is news when the offspring of powerful whites signal it is acceptable to vote for a black candidate, but not news when the offspring of America's foremost black civil rights leader signals support for a white candidate. At the even deeper level of economic class, the media respects wealth and Establishment power, and so it is "breaking news" when a the daughter of John F. Kennedy - the icon of the Kennedy clan - says nice things about a candidate, but not news when the son of Martin Luther King, Jr. - the head of a movement of poor and disenfranchised people - says nice things about a candidate..."

Lawyers Boost Edwards For AG

AG Edwards? | The Trail |

"That's an idea that has been gaining currency among some of his closest supporters -- U.S. trial lawyers who gathered this weekend in Puerto Rico for an annual winter conference.

"I sure would hope there will be a role for him," said Gibson Vance, a Mongtomery, Ala., trial lawyer who has been a longtime friend and supporter of Edwards. "He would be a heck of a tough attorney general. Think about it..."

I've been going on about this for a while: here and here.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Now To Clinton Derangement Syndrome

Democrat Taylor Marsh Broadcasts Live Talk Radio and Blogs Politics: "Nothing like a self important male explaining to the ladies what feminism is all about. One of Andrew Sullivan's readers evidently transcribed a segment on "Hardball" from yesterday, with a woman telling it like it is, which resulted in a full blown Clinton Derangement Syndrome meltdown from Sullivan. ."

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Ideas Are Not Created Equal

Were Republicans 'the Party of Ideas'? | The Smirking Chimp: "Hillary Clinton took a cheap shot at Barack Obama in suggesting that he liked the right-wing policies from the past couple of decades. But it’s troubling, too, that Obama would buy into Washington’s conventional wisdom that “the Republicans were the party of ideas for a pretty long chunk of time...”"

Yeah. The Party of Ideas--bad ideas.

Standing For The First

Basketball coach won't cave to pressure from the ultra-conservative Archbishop of St. Louis - AMERICAblog: A great nation deserves the truth

"Looks like the Archbishop of St. Louis, the one who wanted to deny communion to John Kerry in 2004, has met his match. The basketball coach of St. Louis University, Rick Majerus, supports Hillary Clinton, a women's right to choose and stem cell research. The Archbishop wants to quash him -- and the coach is having none of it:
Majerus took a typically defiant stand in an interview published Thursday in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

"These beliefs are ingrained in me," Majerus told the paper. "And my First Amendment right to free speech supersedes anything that the archbishop would order me to do. My dad fought on Okinawa in World War II. My uncle died in World War II. I had classmates die in Vietnam. And it was to preserve our way of life, so people like me could have an opinion."
Good answer..."

Friday, January 25, 2008

Edwards Says "No" To Spying

Join the Campaign to Change America / John Edwards '08 Blog

"Senator Edwards sent the following email to supporters this afternoon.

When it comes to protecting the rule of law, words are not enough. We need action.

It's wrong for your government to spy on you. That's why I'm asking you to join me today in calling on Senate Democrats to filibuster revisions to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) that would give "retroactive immunity" to the giant telecom companies for their role in aiding George W. Bush's illegal eavesdropping on American citizens.

The Senate is debating this issue right now -- which is why we must act right now. You can find your Senators' phone numbers here or call the Senate Switchboard at 1-(202)-224-3121.

Granting retroactive immunity is wrong. It will let corporate law-breakers off the hook. It will hamstring efforts to learn the truth about Bush's illegal spying program. And it will flip on its head a core principle that has guided our nation since our founding: the belief that no one, no matter how well connected or what office they hold, is above the law.

But in Washington today, the telecom lobbyists have launched a full-court press for retroactive immunity. George Bush and Dick Cheney are doing everything in their power to ensure it passes. And too many Senate Democrats are ready to give the lobbyists and the Bush administration exactly what they want.

Please join me in calling on every Senate Democrat to do everything in their power -- including joining Senator Dodd's efforts to filibuster this legislation -- to stop retroactive immunity and stand up for the rule of law. The Constitution should not be for sale at any price.

Thank you for taking action.

John Edwards
January 24, 2008"

Mitt The Winner

Talking Points Memo | Final Thoughts: "...Candidly, I was surprised that there wasn't more contentiousness in tonight's GOP debate in Florida. After all, probably at least two candidacies will end Tuesday night. So the stakes were extraordinarily high. Rudy could barely keep a straight face when claiming he was going to win on Tuesday. So let's be happy for him that he's moving past denial and anger to acceptance. He's done. Huckabee had some good lines. But I don't think it will change his sinking position in the polls. McCain was fine but not stellar. I think the night was Romney's. As many have said, the economy is his territory, far more than foreign policy. He had a strong, prepared presence. And the key is that he didn't have all his opponents knocking him over the head for his terrible addiction to flipflopping on every issue imaginable..."

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Darth Did It

Mayor Giuliani, it was Dick Cheney who cut our armed forces by 20%, not Bill Clinton - AMERICAblog: A great nation deserves the truth

"Rudy Giuliani just said, again, that it was Bill Clinton who cut the military in the 1990s. Wrong, it was Dick Cheney, and the proof is on the Department of Defense's own Web site, in Dick Cheney's official bio:

In subsequent years under Cheney the budgets proposed and the final outcomes followed patterns similar to the FY 1990 budget experience. Early in 1991 the secretary unveiled a plan to reduce military strength by the mid-1990s to 1.6 million, compared to 2.2 million when he entered office..."

CUNT Attack

Welcome To The Gutter: Right-Wing 527 Hits New Low - Politics on The Huffington Post

"As if we needed a reminder that the 2008 Presidential Election is poised to become the most embarrassing, shame-filled miasma of our lifetimes, a 527 group calling themselves Citizens United Not Timid has been formed to basically ensure that the voices of misogynist reprobates and their opinions on the Hillary Clinton campaign will be heard. The organization takes great pains to put the first letters in their four word name in boldface, and just so you get the point, their crude logo hammers the message home..."

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

935 Lies

Talking Points Memo | Today's Must Read: "Lies, lies, and more lies.

The Bush Administration's 935 false statements in the two years following September 11, 2001, about the national security threat posed by Saddam Hussein's Iraq are finally cataloged."


FOX host mocks Heath Ledger's death - AMERICAblog: A great nation deserves the truth: "Some things shock, even when they come from a top FOX News host. Could be your dead son this man is mocking to all of his listeners. Think about that."

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Institutional Memory

Dave "Mudcat" Saunders: Only John Edwards Can Beat McCain - Politics on The Huffington Post: "...As I watched news coverage of Monday night's debate, the ever-escalating 'I know you are, but what am I?' fight between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton suddenly struck a memory from 28 years back. The feud between Teddy Kennedy and Jimmy Carter rushed into my mind like a horrible memory of an old girlfriend. My recollection of their self-destructive hostilities reminded me how their battles went a long ways toward giving this nation Ronald Reagan.

It was 1980, and the Democratic Party had two supposedly strong national candidates--one an incumbent president, the other a scion of America's national family. They were going up against a Republican Party that was searching for an identity and would go deep on the bench to nominate the host of 'Death Valley Days'..."

Social Security Lies

Click on the link for CNN's fear fabrication video,
Crooks and Liars » The Situation Room: Pushing White House Memes On Social Security

"CNN clearly is gunning for FOXNews’ spot as the propaganda department for the White House and Wall Street. Why else would they need to introduce a segment on the various candidates’ stances on Social Security thusly?:

Voters know that Social Security is a financial time bomb that needs fixing. The latest government calculation is that the system will go bust—be out of money– in 2041. So voters paying in want something done.

Um, no. For the record, Social Security is not a time bomb–nice imagery, CNN. Common sense tells you that–if left alone (granted, a huge IF)–there will always be more people paying into Social Security than SSI is paying out, even with the baby boomer generation. It’s a self-sustaining system as FDR designed it. You know who wants you to believe that there is a financial crisis? The Bush White House obviously, but also their cronies on Wall Street, just rubbing their collective hands in anticipation of getting a hold on private accounts to manage.

To keep furthering the false memes, CNN interviews a Giuliani supporter who doesn’t believe that Social Security will be available to him (maybe because you keep telling him that, CNN?) and goes through first the Republican candidates’ support for Bush’s private accounts either in toto or in part. The Democratic candidates? They “just want to raise taxes” (hmmm…taking our framing from Grover Norquist again?). Technically correct, but definitely a Republican framing of raising the cap on income from its current cap of $90,000 a year. As it stands, the person who makes $1,000,000/ year pays the same payroll tax as the person who makes $95,000. Imagine the benefits of lifting the cap.

But giving the general populace (and more importantly in this election year, the electorate) the real facts so that they can make decisions that will be in their best interests, well, that just wouldn’t be newsworthy, would it, CNN?"

Monday, January 21, 2008

Martin Luther King

Lest We Forget: Reagan Edition

Hale "Bonddad" Stewart: Ronald Reagan: Fiscal Disaster - Business on The Huffington Post

"There's been a great deal of back of forth about Clinton and Obama and what they have said about Reagan. Personally, I've missed most of it. Being a stock market person I've been a little preoccupied over the last few weeks. But, I think it's time to chime in on the debate because the underlying facts -- those pesky things -- aren't very flattering to Reagan. In fact, the facts -- again, those pesky annoying things -- indicate that Reagan was a complete and total fiscal disaster..."

Uh, er, I thought that was Carter's fault. (See the graphs and stats at the link.)

Sunday, January 20, 2008

The Calendar Is Ticking

One More Year - AMERICAblog: A great nation deserves the truth: "One year from today, at noon, we get a new President. The Bush reign will end. He still has one full year to wreak destruction on the U.S. and the world. But there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Just need to make sure that it's a Democrat taking the oath of office a year from today."

Marsh Talks ODS

Democrat Taylor Marsh Broadcasts Live Talk Radio and Blogs Politics: "...As for voting for Obama even though he's the least progressive, it's got the possibility of cracking this party in two at a time when we have a real chance at winning the White House. But Obama Derangement Syndrome has been born, with a foundation that's deep and hard. From 'present' votes, to ducking Kyl-Lieberman, to making a speech against Iraq with no action since, and on and on, topped with Obama throwing Bill Clinton (the only two term Democratic president since F.D.R.) under a bus to prop up Ronald Reagan, it's clear his allegiance isn't to the Democratic party, but to himself alone. Oh, and his reaction to Clinton clearly beating him yesterday in Nevada hasn't helped. What has also hurt Obama a great deal is his unhinged fan base. They represent the thuggery that was also seen the last ten days in Nevada by Obama. Because of all these developments more and more people are already saying they will not work for him if he's our nominee. I hear it all the time. Now, people may hold their nose and vote for him in November, though that's also not clear right now, but if he's the nominee many people are saying he'll have to get to the White House by himself.

Sound familiar?"

Franks Frosted

I'm glad someone besides me noticed Franks' folly and was just as offended as I was: Crooks and Liars » Face The Nation: Bob Schieffer Scolds Gen Tommy Franks

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Unions Are Foot-Shooting

Ian Welsh: The Glorious Future that American Unions Walked Away From - Politics on The Huffington Post: "...John Edwards has spent the last four years working with unions, walking their picket lines and making their cause his. He's clearly the most pro-union of the three remaining candidates; his primary issue is economic justice and he believes that corporations have too much power. His campaign, from the very beginning, was predicated on union support.

But unions didn't reciprocate..."

Darth Squad Woes

Secret Service: Detailed Look at ’06 Turmoil - New York Times

"DENVER — The arrest of a man named Steven Howards in June 2006 after he approached Vice President Dick Cheney at a Colorado ski resort and denounced the war in Iraq might have seemed, at the time, no more than a blip on the vice president’s schedule.

But now the blip has become a blowup, with Secret Service agents — under oath in court depositions — accusing one another of unethical and perhaps even illegal conduct in the handling of Mr. Howards’s arrest and the official accounting of it..."

Friday, January 18, 2008

Edwards Complains About Clinton's Treatment

CNN Political Ticker: All politics, all the time Blog Archive - Edwards hits Obama on independent ads « - Blogs from

" (CNN) — John Edwards said Friday that Barack Obama needs to “speak up, if he really means what he says” about ending divisive politics and denounce a Nevada ad funded by an independent group that supports the Illinois senator’s presidential bid.

The spot, running on Spanish-language radio in the state, criticizes Hillary Clinton for a lawsuit filed by some of her Nevada supporters that had sought new restrictions workplace caucus sites this Saturday. The buy is funded by the Unite Here Campaign Committee on behalf of the Culinary Workers Union, which has endorsed Obama..."

KO Does A Strange

Horses Mouth January 18, 2008 4:02 PM: "Keith Olbermann made a big boo-boo on MSNCB last night. When he learned of it, he had a deeply bizarre, almost-unheard-of reaction:

He admitted he was wrong and apologized..."

Thursday, January 17, 2008

More Huckabee Hijinks


What about John Edwards?

Paid Trolls

...something we don't have here, but this post explores the topic: The Low Spark of Well-Heeled Trolls | The Smirking Chimp

Homeless Vets

Paul Rieckhoff: O'Reilly Downplays Number of Homeless Veterans - Politics on The Huffington Post

"...Bill, here are the facts. Veterans represent one-third of the adult homeless population in this country, and that number is rising. While almost 200,000 homeless veterans line the nation's streets every night, almost twice as many experience homelessness at some point throughout the course of a year. Essentially, we have the population of Des Moines, Iowa or Montgomery, Alabama "sleeping under bridges."

This is a national disgrace. As Americans we should be ashamed and outraged that the brave men and women of our Armed Forces are being abandoned under bridges, not denying their existence. As one of the most watched cable news hosts on television, Bill O'Reilly has a great opportunity to help homeless veterans by bringing more attention to the issue. Join IAVA in urging him to be part of the solution ("

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

McCain Swiftboated

Crooks and Liars » Countdown: Dirty South Carolina Politics & The Swiftboating Of John McCain: "...Keith Olbermann talks with Jonathan Alter on today’s Countdown about negative campaign ads being distributed in South Carolina attacking GOP candidates and about a particularly nasty flier attacking Senator John McCain by a group calling itself Vietnam Veterans Against John McCain that accuses the senator, who was held captive in Vietnam for some five years, of betraying his fellow POW’s during his captivity. This group’s website is really cheesy, and regardless of your political views, this kind of attack is the epitome of dirty politics. The flier is so bad the original Swift Boat Veterans for Truth group that attacked John Kerry is condemning it..."

Remembering Ron

Firedoglake - Firedoglake weblog » Obama and Ronald Reagan’s Slipping Halo

"No, Ronald Reagan didn't appeal to people's optimism, he appealed to their petty, small minded bigotry and selfishness. Jimmy Carter told people to tighten their energy belts and act for the good of the country; Ronald Reagan told them they could guzzle gas with impunity and do whatever the hell they wanted. He kicked off his 1980 campaign talking about "state's rights" in Philadelphia, Mississippi -- the site of the murder of three civil rights workers in 1964's Freedom Summer. He thus put up a welcome sign for "Reagan Democrats," peeling off white voters who were unhappy with the multi-ethnic coalition within the Democratic Party..."

On The Las Vegas Lawsuit

Democrat Taylor Marsh Broadcasts Live Talk Radio and Blogs Politics: "...That said, I've come to the conclusion that it will likely be thrown out, but not because it doesn't have merit or 'stinks' as some bloviating males have judged. This Sun article puts it exactly right, I believe. It was filed way too late. Because the truth is that teachers, who are named in the suit, will be disenfranchised, not unlike many were in Iowa. Where was Kerry and Obama there? At least Clinton has been consistent; she thinks the caucus system disenfranchises across the board (my words not hers, obviously). In addition, I've heard that the casinos are none too happy about this one, especially since it's a caucus and not just a quick vote. This puts a lot of pressure on workers, with bosses watching their moves and the clock. What does Kerry say about the teachers who can't vote? How about so many others who can't vote because they have to work? It's all about the casino workers, because they endorsed Obama. That's what bleeds through in Kerry's post. But you almost feel sorry for him. It's clear he'll never get over not fighting when he should have, so he fights now to 'let the people vote,' as long as it's people who are voting for his guy..."

CNN Hacks At Greenwald

Interesting post about Greenwald's critique of a John McCain interview. Glenn Greenwald - Political Blogs and Opinions - Salon

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


AMERICAblog: A great nation deserves the truth

"From TPM Election Central:
At a Michigan campaign event last night, Mike Huckabee gave an interesting reason for why he wants to amend the Constitution to ban both abortion and gay marriage: Otherwise, the Constitution would be in conflict with God.

Huckabee first observed that some of his opponents don't want to amend the Constitution on both of these topics. "But I believe it's a lot easier to change the Constitution than it would be to change the word of the living God," Huckabee said. "And that's what we need to do, is to amend the Constitution so it's in God's standards rather than try to change God's standards."
So, would that include adding anti-Catholic language to the Constitution? I mean, clearly Huckabee's version of Christianity includes none of the rest of us Christians, or anybody else, so what he really wants to do is amend the US Constitution to bring it more in line with Baptist theology. That should put a shudder into every non-Baptist in America."

Carter Curses!

Well. Not really. It's Onion satire-- and Carter surely didn't write it, but it might just catch his inner feelings about his country-- and it's a powerful reminder that he had the answers 25 years ago, but he was ruined by his own party and the media. Review the past. (Link is not work-safe). I Got What America Needs Right Here | The Onion - America's Finest News Source

Monday, January 14, 2008

Polling No One Knows

Firedoglake - Firedoglake weblog » The Polls You Won’t Hear Much About

"...2) John Edwards is by far the Democrats' strongest candidate in the general election. He is the only one who is not beaten outright by any Republican candidate: He ties with Giuliani at 44% each, but easily beats McCain, Thompson, Romney, and Huckabee, the latter two by double-digit margins.

3) Hillary Clinton is the weakest Democratic candidate in the general election. She loses to every single Republican except Fred Thompson and Ron Paul, and neither of those two gents is going to get the Republican nomination for president.

4) Barack Obama is in between Edwards and Hillary Clinton in strength in the general election. He does much better against Rudy Giuliani than either Edwards or Clinton, beaing Giuliani 37% to 47%, yet against every other Republican, especially McCain and Romney, Edwards is the Democrat that does the best..."

Obama Contrian

Democrat Taylor Marsh Broadcasts Live Talk Radio and Blogs Politics:

"Lambasted for Not Drinking the Obama Kool-Aid
Expert guest post by Michael K. Fauntroy

It’s hard out here for Black pundits/analysts/commentators who haven’t come around to drinking the Barack Obama is the best-thing-since-sliced-bread-how-did-we-ever-exist-as-a-nation-without-him-this-is-
you-racism-is-dead Kool-Aid. I have learned an unfortunate lesson in observing the Democratic presidential nomination fight: In too many segments of the country – Black and White – to express any skepticism about Barack Obama is considered political heresy. I’m blown away by this discovery, because it suggests a dangerous group think: Obama is the only agent of change and to not praise him at every opportunity is to support the status quo (And, oh, by the way, Hilary is the devil!)..." Read on...

Sunday, January 13, 2008

You Are Bailing-Out Countrywide

Guess who is going to help fund the Countrywide bailout? - AMERICAblog: A great nation deserves the truth

Of course...taxpayers. The middle class. Hell, let's just round up all of the bad debt from the war, the fools that tried get rich quick schemes with subprime mortgages, Wall Street executive payouts and then just send the bill to regular folks. Oh sorry, it's already happening. Naturally options for writing off losses by individuals is slightly more limited, with limits of only a few thousand dollars per year.
A $270 million annual deduction would save Bank of America something more than $100 million a year in federal and state income taxes. The long-term tax-exempt rate, which is based on Treasury rates and other things so complicated that they make my teeth hurt. The rate changes each year, Willens says, but not by much. When I asked how it's calculated, Willens, a master of tax arcana, threw up his hands. (Metaphorically, of course.) "It's like the formula for Coca-Cola," he said, "no one outside the circle knows it" and it's so complicated that, "no one else wants to find out."

First Amendment Time Loop

Daily Kos: Admirers of Constitution Booted for Wearing Impeach T-shirts in DC

"With the original First Amendment "Freedom of Speech" looking on, admirers of the U.S. Constitution in the Washington D.C. National Archives Building today were ordered to leave for wearing tee-shirts reading "Impeach Bush and Cheney." Many of the tourist-activists were in town to hail the arrival of impeachment marcher John Nirenberg, the 61 year-old college professor who has just walked from Boston to D.C. to call attention to the need for the impeachment of Bush and Cheney.

In a telephone interview, one of the participants, Susan Serpa, age 56, told me she was looking at the displays when a female security guard approached her and said "You need to go speak to that man over there" indicating a burly security guard. When Serpa asked why, the woman said: "Your shirt." Serpa's shirt reads on the front: "Impeach Bush and Cheney, Change History." On the reverse it says: ""

Other security guards then approached Serpa and told her: "You need to leave because of your shirt."...

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Fear of Edwards

Here's one reason I like Edwards: Corporate elite fear candidate Edwards | Reuters: "Open attacks on the business elite are seldom heard from mainstream White House candidates in America, despite skyrocketing CEO pay, rising income inequality, and a torrent of scandals in corporate boardrooms and on Wall Street.

But this year Edwards is not alone. Republican candidate Mike Huckabee, former governor of Arkansas, sometimes also rails against corporate power and influence, tapping a populist current that lies just below the surface of U.S. politics..."

Friday, January 11, 2008

BO Thinks He's Supreme Material

Think Progress » O’Reilly: ‘I should be’ on the Supreme Court.

"Last night, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly discussed Indiana’s restrictive voter ID law, which is currently being challenged in the Supreme Court. O’Reilly dismissed concerns that the regulations disenfranchise low-income and minority voters as “ridiculous.” His solution? That he be appointed to the Supreme Court:

If I’m on the Supreme Court, as I should be, I say what is the down side of having somebody prove who they are [when they come to vote]?..."

Roseanne Slams O&O

Roseanne Barr's Wild Tirade Against Obama, Oprah - Politics on The Huffington Post

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Blackwater Gases Troops

2005 Use of Gas by Blackwater Leaves Questions - New York Times

"WASHINGTON — The helicopter was hovering over a Baghdad checkpoint into the Green Zone, one typically crowded with cars, Iraqi civilians and United States military personnel.

Suddenly, on that May day in 2005, the copter dropped CS gas, a riot-control substance the American military in Iraq can use only under the strictest conditions and with the approval of top military commanders. An armored vehicle on the ground also released the gas, temporarily blinding drivers, passers-by and at least 10 American soldiers operating the checkpoint..."

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

On Trashing Sen. Clinton

Firedoglake - Firedoglake weblog » Media Analysis: The “Tweety Effect” Runs Rampant

"...What is wrong with Chris Matthews? With all of these media people? I mean that, in all honesty, what in the hell is wrong with them? Their personal loathing of Hillary Clinton shone through in every sniggering, overwrought report this week. Their building up of Barack Obama is only their prelude and set-up for the frenzied clawing and shredding of him that is to come. And they have well and truly written off coverage of either John Edwards or Bill Richardson solely based on their current fundraising numbers, and never mind that, as of yesterday, there had been two -- count them, only TWO -- Democratic contests.

None of it has anything to do with substance. It's as if a pack of hyenas were crossbred with the characters in Mean Girls and then sent out to play at journalism.

Maureen Dowd's column this morning reads like J.J. Hunsecker in drag, although it's not exactly a shock given that its Dowd we are talking about, is it? Rachel Maddow let Matthews have it last night (C&L has the clip.) as a proxy stand-in for all the media idiocy. And Pam Spaulding nails it, calling it "'The Tweety Effect,' where the misogyny of a talking head in the MSM so enrages a demographic that they go out and vote in a manner that will put egg on the face of the talking head..."

Tuesday, January 08, 2008


Crooks and Liars » Huckabee wants to get ‘vertical’: "At Saturday night’s Republican debate, Mike Huckabee used a word he emphasizes quite a bit: “vertical.”

“I think we also ought to recognize that what Senator Obama has done is to touch at the core of something Americans want,” Huckabee said. “They are so tired of everything being horizontal — left, right, liberal, conservative, Democrat, Republican. They’re looking for vertical leadership that leads up, not down. He has excited a lot of voters in this country. Let’s pay respect for that. He’s a likable person who has excited people about wanting to vote who have not voted in the past...”"

Clicking on the link will lead you to a whole bunch of speculation concerning Huck's meaning when he talks about "vertical." Well, it is not that hard. Vertical politics means hierarchical politics; i.e., the Pope, Cardinals, Bishops, etc. Or, kings, dukes, counts; or dictator, chancellor, governor; or president, supreme court, congress, rich voters, sorta rich voters, then voters, each with decreasing control over his or her own life. In a Republican wet-dream vertical environment, only one man (yes, like a WASP-man), dominates each rung on the ladder, though inevitably, as you go further down on the ladder a few more people might sneak onto a power level. Horizontal politics, of course, is the opposite-- on the few vertical rungs, there are many more people or entities sharing power: the President, the Congress, and the Supreme Court. So, bottom line: horizontal politics is democracy; vertical politics is dictatorship.

Anyone surprised Huck is looking to be the next George Bush?

Bottom-Lining Hitch

Shakesville: "...This is the thing that annoys me the most about Hitchens: he's at this point almost nothing but a parrot of the right's talking points. Even his atheist polemics are, as often as not, in the service of some kind of lunatic imperialistic agenda. He gives talks and attends events sponsored by the likes of David Horowitz, and defends his old pal Ahmed Chalabi. He has no sense of social class, and almost no economics. Yet he still fancies himself a leftist, and even a Marxist. He clearly considers himself an important thinker. He's not. He's the crudest sort of right-wing hack, and he doesn't even realize it."

Monday, January 07, 2008

Kristol Cracks Column

Talking Points Memo | An Inauspicious Start: "Turns out Bill Kristol's first NYT column contains a factual error. He attributes a Michael Medved quote to Michelle Malkin. Hard to keep all those right-wing hacks straight."

Edwards Kicks

Karen Dalton-Beninato: NOLA Org Endorsement: John Edwards Will 'Kick Republicans In The Balls' - Off The Bus on The Huffington Post: "...We vote for John Edwards for all of these reasons, but especially because Democrats need a tough, combative lead candidate to whip the Republicans, who are vicious fighters in a presidential campaign--especially when they're desperate. Barack Obama is marvelous and would also be a good president, but we worry he doesn't have the aggressiveness to kick the Republican operatives in the balls, the way they always do to Democrats. In Nov. 2004 it was Edwards the courtroom attorney who wanted to challenge the Ohio vote counts before conceding, but John Kerry decided otherwise.

John Edwards has the optimism, the intelligence, and the gut-fire and bulldog tenacity to get the job done . . . He's also a realist. He knows the status quo won't give an inch without a struggle. About dealing with corporate interests such as the drug and oil and insurance companies, he says, 'Some people argue that we're going to sit at a table with these people and they're going to voluntarily give their power away. I think it is a complete fantasy; it will never happen.' We often say 'We Want Roosevelt Again.' We know we're not going to get Franklin Delano, but in John Edwards we see just about the closest thing to FDR we've seen in many years...'"

Sunday, January 06, 2008

McGovern Calls For Impeachment

Why I Believe Bush Must Go - "As we enter the eighth year of the Bush-Cheney administration, I have belatedly and painfully concluded that the only honorable course for me is to urge the impeachment of the president and the vice president..."

BO Disses Vets

Crooks and Liars » O’Reilly Slams Edwards For Standing Up For Homeless Veterans: "On Friday, Billo showed off his pundit wisdom idiocy following the Iowa caucus and went after John Edwards for saying the US should be taking better care of our veterans..." [Click the link to go to C&L for video of BO's rant.]

"...Billo, who has a history of insulting veterans, just dismissed outright the plight of homeless men and women who have served in our nation’s military and implied that they don’t even exist. To mask his callous indifference he threw out illegal immigration as a red herring and insulted Edwards by saying he “has no clue.” Well, as usual, Falafel Boy is the one who desperately needs to get a clue.

In 2006, approximately 195,827 veterans were homeless on a given night—an increase of 0.8 percent from 194,254 in 2005. More veterans experience homeless over the course of the year. We estimate that 336,627 were homeless in 2006..."

Problem Progressive Bloggers

House of the Rising Sons: Bloggers Selling out: "Note to all my fellow Blog-Patriots, fighting the good fight and struggling to take our country back:

If Your Blog is sportin' Rush Limbaugh ads, then YOU are part of the [edit] problem.

If you are selling hate speech, unknowingly or not, as pop-ups or ads on your sidebar, then You are a two bit hypocrite.

I am tired of seeing ads pimping Ann Coulter's email on top of supposedly Progressive blogs. Is the money from these ads trickling into your credit card worth it If one more American becomes indoctrinated with her vile spew as a result of an ad on your blog?..."

Friday, January 04, 2008

Teaching Evolution

The Associated Press: Importance of Teaching Evolution Noted

"WASHINGTON (AP) — Scientific advisers to the government emphasize in a report the importance of teaching evolution in public schools.

The report by the National Academy of Sciences and its Institute of Medicine follows up on similar past publications, the last of which came out in 1999. The new document includes recently discovered evidence supporting evolution, including an important fossil find.

The report released Thursday also takes swipes at creationism and other anti-evolution views.

"Despite the lack of scientific evidence for creationist positions, some advocates continue to demand that various forms of creationism be taught together with or in place of evolution in science classes," the report says..."

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Scientists Say "No" To Creationism

I caught a piece of a segment on ABC News that said that the National Science Foundation (I think that's who they said) had said that creationism should not be taught in public schools. Is Bush losing control of the science apparatus? I couldn't find any info on this on any of the "big blogs"; if I do, I'll update.

Update: National Academy of Science

Troops On Short End Of Bonus Stick

Bonus payments frozen - Army News, opinions, editorials, news from Iraq, photos, reports - Army Times: "The Army has temporarily halted bonus payments for more than 20 enlistment, re-enlistment and service extension programs pending enactment of authorizing legislation.

President Bush, to the surprise of Congress and the Defense Department, vetoed the fiscal 2008 Defense Authorization Act on Dec. 29 after months bargaining with House and Senate leaders.

In announcing the pocket veto, White House spokesman Scott Stanzel said the president objected to a single provision of the legislation that would delay the reconstruction of Iraq, and expose the Iraqi government to unwarranted law suits in U.S. courts.

If enacted as currently written, the legislation would authorize $696.3 billion in defense spending during 2008, including $1 billion for Army accession and retention bonuses.

Until a new version of the legislation is enacted, all new bonus agreements signed on, or after, Jan. 1 must include an addendum that stipulates the soldier’s eligibility for a future bonus..."

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Edwards On Foreign Policy

Edwards continues to impress on foreign policy - AMERICAblog: A great nation deserves the truth

"Michael Gordon, the NYT reporter who wrote the fantastic "Cobra II", interviewed Edwards this weekend about Iraq and foreign policy more generally, and I just read the transcript. Gordon isn't trying to play "gotcha", and the questions -- and perhaps most importantly, the follow-up conversations -- are extremely good and highly instructive.

It's lengthy, and there's really no point in trying to summarize it. If you're interested in that stuff, it's very much worth checking out. Without getting into the details, I'll just say that anybody who thinks Edwards is a foreign policy lightweight is dead wrong."

Go See Golden Dukes

Talking Points Memo | TPMtv: Golden Dukes Announced!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Waning Clerical Power In Iran

Iran's inner and outer circles of influence and power - Los Angeles Times

"...For years, Western analysts have struggled to understand the inner workings of Iran's leadership. To many, it is a government tightly controlled by the Shiite Muslim clergy. But the power of the clerics has steadily eroded. Increasingly, power is distributed among combative elites within a delicate system of checks and balances defined by religious as well as civil law, personal relations and the rhythm of bureaucracy.

Iran analysts struggle to discern which officials have authority and how much. And when Iranian officials make public pronouncements, it often is unclear whether they are expressing established policy or fighting among themselves -- speaking for their own faction or just themselves..."

Reverse Hookey

The Raw Story | California school 'shoots' Mexican students: "...With too many students and too few classrooms, Calexico school officials took the unusual step of hiring someone to photograph children and document the offenders. Santillan snaps pictures at the city's downtown border crossing and shares the images with school principals, who use them as evidence to kick out those living in Mexico.

Since he started the job two years ago, the number of students in the Calexico school system has fallen 5 percent, from 9,600 to 9,100, while the city's population grew about 3 percent..."