The next chapter of Birthright is up at The Practical Press.
And for your Saturday night, some serious blues.
Albert King - I'll Play The Blues For You
I'm going to bed.
But Biden watchers also know that there is much to like and admire about the man. Biden is a fighter who is joining a campaign some Democrats believe should scrap a little more. He is a serious adult on the serious, adult issues of the day.
And no one will liken Joey Biden of Scranton, Pa., to Paris Hilton or Britney Spears.
"He knows McCain better than anyone else. He intimidates McCain more than anyone else. He can call McCain out better than anyone else on some of his positions," said Biden’s pollster, Celinda Lake, in a recent interview.
Richard Ben Cramer, in his masterful look at the 1988 race, “What It Takes,” wrote that even from boyhood, Biden was not to be underestimated.
“He was little too, but you didn’t want to fight him — or dare him,” he wrote of Biden. “There was nothing he wouldn’t do. Joe moved away from Scranton, Pa. in ’53, when he was ten years old. But there were still a lot of guys in Scranton today who talk about the feats of Joey Biden. ... Joey would never back down.”
McCain, who huddled with advisors at his desert compound in Sedona, Ariz., said nothing in public. A nine-car motorcade took him to a nearby Starbucks early in the morning, where he ordered a large cappuccino. McCain otherwise avoided reporters.
To me, the Democrats should be able to rest their case on that alone.But because the right has been so successful in portraying vast wealth as the result of some sort of Randian heroics that Americans don't grasp just what a scam McCain's tax plan really is.
I don't know how to change that. Every American seems to think he or she will be wealthy one day and therefore we must preserve the system that protects their future wealth. (I think it may be some sort of mass delusion that comes from reading too many articles in People magazine celebrating the vast wealth of talentless TV stars. ("If they can do it, I certainly can!")
[...] McCain himself isn't actually rich. He just lives off the inherited wealth of his much younger former mistress and now-second-wife -- for whom he dumped his older and disfigured first wife -- and who then used her family's money to fund McCain's political career and keep him living in extreme luxury (after insisting that he sign a prenuptial agreement, which would make McCain the first U.S. President to have one).
In 2004, numerous leading right-wing pundits had many things to say about men who do that:
Joseph Farah, World Net Daily, "President Gigolo?":
But if there is one characteristic of Kerry's life that should disqualify him absolutely as a candidate for president, it is the fact that he has sought out millionaire wives to take care of him. Not to put too fine a point on it, he's a serial gigolo.
Is marrying well good preparation for serving as the president of the United States? . . . . He's always had a net underneath him throughout his political career -- in his case, a net woven of homespun 24K gold.
If his own wife doesn't trust him with her money, why should we trust him with ours?"
Teresa Heinz Kerry is not sure about her husband's character. Are you?
"An easy rider is the husband or significant other of a whore - thus the name. He doesn't work or pay for sex. It's his easily."
Almost everyone can be a potential violent protester at the Democratic National Convention, according to a new bulletin issued by the Denver Police Department and leaked to the ACLU.
The bulletin lists myriad items police should watch out for, including "caches of supplies that could be used by violent demonstrators." The publication intended for commissioned police officers was provided to RAW STORY Thursday.
On the list? Plastic shields, football helmets, gas masks, baseball catch protectors, cases of nails, hand held radios, maps, bicycles, and protest sign handles ("perfect for swinging at first responders"). The police say they're also worried about people with large numbers of city maps or "camping information."
"Football, baseball, motorcycle and bicycle helmets are all used by violent protesters," the bulletin warns. "Bicycles are used to blockade sidewalks, streets and can be used to slow down responding emergency vehicles."
Camping information is a threat, too, such as "information concerning the camping, boarding or housing of potential violent protesters that have rented campaign spaces, rented farms or land for the time period around the DNC."
Maps are worrisome because they're "frequently used by violent protester [sic] to plan direct actions against conventioneers."
WHAT is the secretary of Veterans Affairs thinking? On May 5, the department led by James B. Peake issued a directive that bans nonpartisan voter registration drives at federally financed nursing homes, rehabilitation centers and shelters for homeless veterans. As a result, too many of our most patriotic American citizens — our injured and ill military veterans — may not be able to vote this November.
There are thousands of veterans of wars in Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf and the current campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan who are isolated behind the walls of V.A. hospitals and nursing homes across the country. We have an obligation to make sure that every veteran has the opportunity to make his or her voice heard at the ballot box.
The department has placed an illegitimate obstacle in the way of election officials across the country and, more important, in the way of veterans who want to vote. A group of 21 secretaries of state — Republicans and Democrats throughout the country, led by me and my counterpart in Washington State, Sam Reed — has asked Secretary Peake to lift his department’s ridiculous ban on voter registration drives.
Why would the Bush Administration keep VA populations away from the vote? Could it be they fear these military personnel are not happy with what they've seen, or how they have been treated? That they may not be the rah-rah poster children that they wish to represent them as?
... the McCains own a variety of investment properties, which accounts for John McCain’s not being able to give precise number ...
McCain Spokesman's Retort: Obama Lives in "a Frickin' Mansion"
"In terms of who's an elitist, I think people have made a judgment that John McCain is not an arugula-eating, pointy headed professor-type based on his life story."
It looks like McCain has a veterans problem. This, despite being widely respected as a POW survivor of the Vietnam war. Another indication of trouble for McCain comes from a new report showing that active troops overseas are donating 6:1 to Obama over McCain.
After McCain's 5-and-a-half years as a POW and many more years of service, you would think that looking out for servicemen and veterans would be a top priority. You'd think it'd be one of the few things that might warrant a one-day break from campaigning to return to the Senate and vote on. Maybe he would be inspired to author legislation on behalf of America's servicemen and women, or at least tack his name on someone else's bill. In the same speech, McCain made a bluntly hypocritical and ironic statement that sums up his own position perfectly:
"I suppose from my opponent's vantage point, veterans concerns are just one more issue to be spun or worked to advantage."
There you have it encapsulated, the McCain campaign for president, an irrational mélange of patriotic swagger and blindness to reality that is proving disturbingly successful with uninformed voters. How else to explain the many millions of Americans who tell pollsters they prefer a continuation of Republican rule when so many of them are losing their homes to foreclosure and the nation is devastated by out-of-control military spending?
I'm not sure there's a god on the other end listening to my prayers, but should McCain actually pick Lieberman, I will know there is.
And speaking of stupendous understatements, this same source rather sheepishly conceded that a Lieberman pick would auger "a messy week" at the GOP nominating convention.
Messy? Yeah, a bit messy, as in, an absolute bloodbath.
This is pretty clear. Your sons and daughters will be sent off to fight should any problem arise in the world. John McCain believes only in blunt force and aggression over diplomacy and multilateralism, and either we grind the existing troops further into dust or there's a draft. There are no alternatives.
Particularly when you're running a campaign based on increasing turnout from the under-30 set, I think this would be something you'd want to mention...
...The reason that we're going to need a draft, of course, is because McCain is a reckless hothead who's default setting is more war.
As some of you might know, John McCain is a long-time acquaintance of mine that goes way back to our time together at the U.S. Naval Academy and as Prisoners of War in Vietnam. He is a man I respect and admire in some ways. But there are a number of reasons why I will not vote for him for President of the United States.
... But my point here is that John allows the media to make him out to be THE hero POW, which he knows is absolutely not true, to further his political goals.
I furthermore believe that having been a POW is no special qualification for being President of the United States. The two jobs are not the same, and POW experience is not, in my opinion, something I would look for in a presidential candidate.
I can verify that John has an infamous reputation for being a hot head. He has a quick and explosive temper that many have experienced first hand. Folks, quite honestly that is not the finger I want next to that red button.
The 'western' forces in Afghanistan have huge logistic problems. To put two feet on the ground they need twenty feet or more behind them shuffeling papers, organising and feeding the logistic queue. Their way of existence and fighting is incompatible with the country they are in. Too many trucks will not come through. The logistic lines are too long and to insecure. The road war will kill their mission.
House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers has taken the highly unusual step of calling his committee back from summer recess in order to investigate allegations by Ron Suskind that the Bush administration forged a letter to buttress the links made between Saddam and 9/11, and Saddam and WMD. The congressional Authorization for the Use of Force Against Iraq, the ""War Resolution" which, as far short as it fell of a congressional declaration of war, gave the invasion its constitutional legal cover, and gave Bush the authorization to invade only after he had certified to congress the existence of these two critical links. If Saddam had nothing to do with 9/11, and if he did not possess WMD, the war was off.
Conyers' reconvening of his committee was the result of enormous public pressure, most poignantly that coming from military families wanting to know why their loved ones are dead. Despite the exquisite, shining clockwork political operation now in place at the Executive Branch, working hand in glove with the media spin machine, it's still not that easy to get 4100 Americans killed over lies. Bush knew Americans would not subject their troops to such an uncertain fiasco over 17 violated UN resolutions, or Saddam's brutal but by no means unique human rights record. If we attacked every country which violated UN resolutions, we'd be bombing Tel Aviv.
So Bush lied.
This country is now learning what many already know: that democracy is not given. It is demanded. Few politicians are interested in your right to freedom from search and seizure without a warrant, or your right to a jury trial even if George Bush thinks you are an "enemy combatant." They already belong to a class of the powerful who will merit special consideration. Some, with good reason, may argue that we already have a two-tier system of justice, for the rich, and for the poor. But like the movie says, you ain't seen nothing yet.
Four months before the United States invaded Iraq, the Department of Defense was secretly working with Vice President Dick Cheney's old company, Halliburton Corp., on a secret deal that would give the world's second largest oil services company total control over Iraq's oil fields, according to interviews with Halliburton's most senior executives.
Previously undisclosed Halliburton documents obtained by The Public Record confirm that controlling the world's second largest oil reserves was a top priority for the Bush administration. Additionally, the deal between the Department of Defense and Halliburton unit Kellogg, Brown & Root to operate Iraq's oil industry saved Halliburton from imminent bankruptcy.
Oh GAWD, the horror! Is this what we want from our next president and next leader of the free world? Thinking??? When he should be blindly overreacting and turning our enemies into headless, spurting meatfountains in a puddle of glass?
Jeebus fucking Christ on a motorcycle. What... the... fuck is wrong with these assclowns???? There's nothing manly with being a reactionary cowboy jerk -- and after the past 8 years we should all be very aware of it. Bah. Fuckwit. [my em]
John McCain is a liar and flip-flopper and panderer and bully and whiner. And it seems to be working
John McCain is a jerk. Alternately a bully and a whiner, and a bald-faced liar to perhaps a greater degree than even George Bush and Dick Cheney, McCain is running a stupid and mephitic campaign that insults even Americans of average intelligence virtually every day.
He has pandered to the right-wing to a degree that the word "shameless" can't possibly begin to describe. He has flip-flopped repeatedly, on taxes and abortion and many other matters. And he quite obviously changed his position on offshore drilling in order to raise pots of money from oil interests. Period.
Most surprisingly of all to me, he has demonstrated over and over his lack of a grasp of, and in many cases even a passing interest in, the details of policy. Here is a man who's been a national legislator for a quarter-century. He has clearly been interested in a few things, mostly having to do with military and foreign policy, and to a certain extent energy policy. But there are dozens more realms with which responsible Solons ought to have acquainted themselves over 25 years. McCain seems to have glided through the Senate without even bothering to learn very much at all about fiscal and economic policy, healthcare, social policy (which is an umbrella rubric covering a dozen different things) and a lot of other topics. His campaign, and his partisans, accuse Obama of being a lightweight. But in truth, McCain is the policy lightweight.
More than that, the McCain campaign has established a negative story line about Obama – that he's shallow, just a celebrity, and so on – that is sticking, a little. It's a blustery lie. But blustery lies often work.
America’s back in the cold war and W.’s back on vacation.
Talk about your fearful symmetry.
After eight years, the president’s gut remains gullible. He’ll go out as he came in — ignoring reality; failing to foresee, prevent or even prepare for disasters; misinterpreting intelligence reports; misreading people; and handling crises in ways that makes them exponentially worse.
As Russian troops continued to manhandle parts of Georgia on Friday, President Bush chastised Russian leaders that “bullying and intimidation are not acceptable ways to conduct foreign policy in the 21st century” — and then flew off to Crawford.
His words might have carried more weight if he, Cheney and Rummy had not kicked off the 21st century with a ham-fisted display of global bullying and intimidation modeled after Sherman’s march through the other Georgia.
But with this country’s military and moral force so depleted, the Bushies can hardly tell Russia to stop doing what they themselves did in Iraq: unilaterally invade a country against the will of the world to scare the bejesus out of some leaders in the region they didn’t like.
As Michael Specter, the New Yorker writer who has written extensively about Russia, observed: “There was a brief five-year period when we could get away with treating Russia like Jamaica — that’s over. Now we have to deal with them like grown-ups who have more nuclear weapons than anybody except us.”
Last night on Fox News, host Sean Hannity and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) returned (as they often do) to Sen. Barack Obama’s (D-IL) recent suggestion that Americans inflate their tires properly in order to save energy costs.
Seeming to outdo his previous false attacks on this issue, Gingrich claimed that Obama’s idea is actually encouraging Americans to “enrich Big Oil” because selling air has “a higher profit margin than selling gasoline”:
GINGRICH: Well, I got a very funny e-mail from a retired military officer in Tampa who pointed out that most tire inflation is done at service stations and you pay for it. And it’s actually a higher profit margin than selling gasoline. So Sen. Obama was urging you to go out and enrich Big Oil by inflating your tires instead of buying gas.
Guido the Loving OBGYN Says:
Or you can stop by my place and I’ll air up your tires for free. But I’m sure Gingrich just considers that communism.
Is McCain another George W. Bush?
Sen. John McCain takes weekends off and limits his campaign events to one a day. He made an exception for the religious forum on Saturday at Saddleback Church in Southern California.
I think he made a big mistake. When he was invited last spring to attend a discussion of the role of faith in his life with Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, at Messiah College in Pennsylvania, McCain didn't bother to show up. Now I know why.
One after another, McCain's answers were shallow, simplistic, and trite. He showed the same intellectual curiosity that George Bush has -- virtually none.
He no longer allows reporters unfettered access to him aboard the "Straight Talk Express" for a reason. He simply makes too many mistakes. Unless he's reciting talking points or reading from notes or a TelePrompTer, John McCain is lost. He can drop bon mots at a bowling alley or diner -- short glib responses that get a chuckle, but beyond that McCain gets in over his head very quickly.
I am sick and tired of the president of the United States embarrassing me. The world we live in is too complex to entrust it to someone else whose idea of intellectual curiosity and grasp of foreign policy issues is to tell us he can look into Vladimir Putin's eyes and see into his soul.
George Bush's record as a student, military man, businessman and leader of the free world is one of constant failure. And the part that troubles me most is he seems content with himself.
He will leave office with the country $10 trillion in debt, fighting two wars, our international reputation in shambles, our government cloaked in secrecy and suspicion that his entire presidency has been a litany of broken laws and promises, our citizens' faith in our own country ripped to shreds. Yet Bush goes bumbling along, grinning and spewing moronic one-liners, as though nobody understands what a colossal failure he has been.
I fear to the depth of my being that John McCain is just like him.
I know that most of you are far to busy and too well informed about the issues and the real news to waste time watching the crap the Entertainment Industrial Complex churns out for the rest of the folks, which is why both dday and I spend a lot of time dissecting the television gasbags. It's partially to understand what they are all saying to each other in their tight little feedback loop, but it's also to try to see what the TV news watchers are seeing. Keep in mind that these aren't necessarily stupid people (although some are --- they exist in all groups of humans) but that they simply choose to use television as their primary source of news, which, considering how much of it is available, isn't all that surprising. People who don't have jobs that feature computers or have the time to spend online, naturally put the TV on in the background or sit down to decompress for a bit when they can, and consume their news passively.
And that's where the Village media really has an impact. Their willingness to allow themselves to be conduits --- in words as well as pictures --- for these phony GOP images and manufactured story lines makes them defacto tools of the right wing, who spend many millions developing campaigns for the consumption of fellow villagers --- to disseminate to that 46%.
NEOCONS SET UP INVASION OF GEORGIA TO GET McCAIN ELECTED
“Don't tell Dick I told you.”
Cost of Military Contractors in Iraq More Than $85 Billion
Half for shoddy work, half for hush money.
U.S. Media Look to Neocons for Analysis, Advice on Georgia
Because their analysis, advice was so excellent on Iraq.
What is a separatist enclave?
A ) South Ossetia
B ) Kosovo
C ) the Confederacy
Hint: Oh, I wish I was in the land of cotton.
Maker of Viagra Promotes Its Use by Women
If clitoral erection lasts longer than four hours see your gynecologist.
So you think the chorus of white hate groups is seething with rage that Barack Obama could become president? Think again.
Members of the knuckle-dragging set are taking a rosier view, judging by their Internet posts. They say the possibility of a biracial president is helping their recruitment efforts.
"It will be a beautiful day when the masses look at the paper and truly realize they have lost their own country," according to one of the postings spotted by Mark Potok, who monitors hate groups at the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Summary: Despite stating that he had apologized for what was described as a "series of bigoted and hateful posts," Jerome Corsi, author of The Obama Nation, is scheduled to appear with host James Edwards on the August 17 edition of The Political Cesspool Radio Show, which, according to its "Statement of Principles," "represent[s] a philosophy that is pro-White." In a blog post, Edwards has stated that "[i]nterracial sex is white genocide."
Of course, a presidential campaign cannot openly traffic in racism and xenophobia. So it must conduct this campaign in a kind of code. Historically blacks and dark-skinned immigrants have been accused of "not knowing their place" by whites who see their positions challenged, and are deemed to be "uppity." The code word du jour is "presumptuous."
Think about it: the candidate who won his party's presidential nomination and is leading in every national poll stands accused of acting as if becoming President requires some planning and preparation. Apparently ignorance and incompetence have become prized virtues in George W. Bush's Washington, and so potential competence is considered a cause for concern.
Good Insight Into How Slanderous Right Wing Books Become So Successful: "The Obama Nation" was written and printed because major American publishing houses have decided that there's money to be made in funding right-wing boutique imprints modeled after the Washington-based Regnery, which has made a small fortune stoking the hard-right furnace with combustible prose. Corsi's book is published by Threshold Editions, a division of Simon & Schuster, which hired right-wing political operative Mary Matalin to edit the imprint. Random House has a similar imprint in Crown Forum, and Penguin Group USA has Sentinel. Their business model -- and this is all about business -- is predicated on the existence of an echo chamber of right-wing radio and television shows willing to promote these publishers' products -- however noxious. Beyond that is a network of conservative book clubs and organizations willing to place the sort of advance bulk orders for controversial books that will guarantee them a place on the bestseller lists.
Saturday night, at holy man Rick Warren's Saddleback megachurch, Barack Obama was circumspect, nuanced and informed. John McCain, by comparison, was blustering, simplistic and shallow -- as well as the clear winner.
It was a cringe-worthy two hours, both of which demonstrated why Republicans, despite all their liabilities, win national elections. While the Democrat is loquaciously appealing to reason, the other guy is busy with concise pandering and the amputation of logic. Accordingly, McCain was in top demagogic form Saturday night, while Obama seemed to have learned little about the importance of occasionally stooping low, and being brief about it.
Voters -- most voters, anyway -- don't want a parade of circumspection, which is what Obama too often offered. They want self-confident action, which is what McCain offered. And never mind how his empirical record of manly action has actually unfolded.
[...]...virtually all of McCain's judgments were wrong.
But you know what? He laid them on the public with forceful self-confidence and precise reassurances that he knows thine enemy. And that -- not the actual record -- is what enthralls the electorate. "He has the personality of a fighter pilot: when somebody stings you, you want to strike out," related retired and former McCain-supporter Gen. John H. Johns to the Times. "Just like the American people, his reaction was: show me somebody to hit."
... Look, I'm a Methodist, and the fact that the two major candidates are addressing their personal religious beliefs in their very first pseudo-debate irks me. I have little doubt that it must be even more aggravating for the agnostics and atheists here. These men are running for the highest political office at a time when there are a multitude of problems. They could be addressing foreign policy, the economy, fiscal policy, banking policy, energy policy... even something low-intensity like agricultural policy would at least be appropriate. But their faith is the lead-off? This does not bode well for anyone who had hoped to see the state disentangle itself from religion (and vice versa) in the next administration.
What Goes Round Comes Round: Pravda to Bush, "So you have the colossal audacity, Mr. Bush, to “warn” Russia to pull back? As the wanton, perverse war criminal under whose watch the world saw the crime known as “shock and awe” committed, I’d say you were well out of your mind to suggest that Russia should pull back." Oh Dear Me, You Got Us in a Fine Mess, Ollie!
What’s a little shock and awe among inferior people we want to rob and destroy, eh?
What do human beings need an infrastructure for?
Why do they need clean water? Why do they need electricity?
What’s a little torture?
What’s a little regime change? Don’t recall when that was a goal of yours?
And you expect your words to be heeded or even listened to? You are joking! It is said when Caligula went mad he heard laughing.
Do you hear people laughing at you Mr. Bush?
...a new international crisis that allows McCain to again flex his Manchurian Candidate military cred. Let the neocons identify a new battleground for igniting World War III, whether Baghdad or Tehran or Moscow, and McCain gets with the program as if Angela Lansbury has just dealt him the Queen of Hearts.
What is widely known is the skin-deep, out-of-date McCain image. As this fairy tale has it, the hero who survived the Hanoi Hilton has stood up as rebelliously in Washington as he did to his Vietnamese captors. He strenuously opposed the execution of the Iraq war; he slammed the president’s response to Katrina; he fought the “agents of intolerance” of the religious right; he crusaded against the G.O.P. House leader Tom DeLay, the criminal lobbyist Jack Abramoff and their coterie of influence-peddlers.
With the exception of McCain’s imprisonment in Vietnam, every aspect of this profile in courage is inaccurate or defunct.
Most Americans still don’t know, as Marshall writes, that on the campaign trail “McCain frequently forgets key elements of policies, gets countries’ names wrong, forgets things he’s said only hours or days before and is frequently just confused.” Most Americans still don’t know it is precisely for this reason that the McCain campaign has now shut down the press’s previously unfettered access to the candidate on the Straight Talk Express.
Some of those who know McCain best — Republicans — are tougher on him than the press is. Rita Hauser, who was a Bush financial chairwoman in New York in 2000 and served on the Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board in the administration’s first term, joined other players in the G.O.P. establishment in forming Republicans for Obama last week. Why? The leadership qualities she admires in Obama — temperament, sustained judgment, the ability to play well with others — are missing in McCain. “He doesn’t listen carefully to people and make reasoned judgments,” Hauser told me. “If John says ‘I’m going with so and so,’ you can’t count on that the next morning,” she complained, adding, “That’s not the man we want for president.”