Friday, September 28, 2007

Parental Licensure Now

I'm sure that the vast majority of single mothers with live in boyfriends don't engage in criminally neglectful behavior towards their children, but it doesn't take Charles Darwin to figure out that, in such a situation, the chances that a baby's welfare will be carefully looked after are significantly decreased (it just takes Charles Darwin to explain why).

Saturday, September 22, 2007

And, "because Hillary is scarier" is a risky answer....

From Guliani's pro-gun speech to the NRA the other day, as reported by Marc Ambinder

Giuliani said that's ad criticizing Gen. Petreaus was out of bounds and hinted that the group should face some sort of sanction.

"They passed a line that we should not allow an American political organization to pass," he said. "We are at war right now, whether some people want to recognize it or not."

So not only is Guliani prostituting himself to the NRA, but he is willing to abandon the First Amendment in the name of faux patriotism.

He expects to pick up votes from moderates in the general election, why?

Friday, September 21, 2007

Ça Alors, Monsieur O'Reilly!

It's bad enough when you have to listen to O'Reilly and his ilk talk in unctuous circles around the pre-enlightenment sentiments they'd really like to be expressing, but on those rare occasions when they're honest, c'est carrement incroyable!

"You know, I was up in Harlem a few weeks ago, and I actually had dinner with Al Sharpton, who is a very, very interesting guy. And he comes on The Factor a lot, and then I treated him to dinner, because he's made himself available to us, and I felt that I wanted to take him up there. And we went to Sylvia's, a very famous restaurant in Harlem. I had a great time, and all the people up there are tremendously respectful. They all watch The Factor. You know, when Sharpton and I walked in, it was like a big commotion and everything, but everybody was very nice.

And I couldn't get over the fact that there was no difference between Sylvia's restaurant and any other restaurant in New York City. I mean, it was exactly the same, even though it's run by blacks, primarily black patronship. It was the same, and that's really what this society's all about now here in the U.S.A. There's no difference. There's no difference. There may be a cultural entertainment -- people may gravitate toward different cultural entertainment, but you go down to Little Italy, and you're gonna have that. It has nothing to do with the color of anybody's skin....

O'REILLY: That's right. That's right. There wasn't one person in Sylvia's who was screaming, "M-Fer, I want more iced tea."

WILLIAMS: Please --

O'REILLY: You know, I mean, everybody was -- it was like going into an Italian restaurant in an all-white suburb in the sense of people were sitting there, and they were ordering and having fun. And there wasn't any kind of craziness at all. "

Hold Your Horses, Vicente!

I'm sure we'll be hearing about this for the next eight years from Sunday morning pundits, conservative radio hosts, and major news outlets, just like we heard the phony stories about Al Gore inventing the inernets, etc.

George Bush the Texan is 'scared of horses' By Alex Spillius in Washington

Last Updated: 3:55am BST 21/09/2007

President Bush may like to be seen as a swaggering tough guy with a penchant for manly outdoor pursuits, but in a new book one of his closest allies has said he is afraid of horses.

George W Bush saddles up,but where is the horse?

Vicente Fox, the former president of Mexico, derided his political friend as a "windshield cowboy" – a cowboy who prefers to drive – and "the cockiest guy I have ever met in my life". He recalled a meeting in Mexico shortly after both men had been elected when Mr Fox offered Mr Bush a ride on a "big palomino" horse. Mr Fox, who left office in December, recalled Mr Bush "backing away" from the animal.

''A horse lover can always tell when others don't share our passion," he said, according to the Washington Post.

Mr Bush has spoken of his fondness for shooting doves and cutting brush on his Crawford ranch in Texas, which he bought in 1999.

The property reportedly has no horses and only five cattle.

Mr Fox is the latest old friend to turn on Mr Bush as the US president faces a lonely final 18 months in office, derided for failures in Iraq and at home.

Donald Rumsfeld, his defence secretary until last November, asked recently if he missed the president, said flatly: "No."

Alan Greenspan, the former chairman of the Federal Reserve, has attacked the Bush administration's economic policy at length in a new autobiography, accusing the Republican president of poor fiscal discipline and betraying the party's basic principles of low spending.
Asked for his reaction to criticism from former aides, the president replied: "My feelings are not hurt."

Thursday, September 20, 2007

"We Support the Troops," in a nutshell

Correct me if I'm wrong here. But by my calculation, more U.S. senators (72) voted today to condemn a newspaper ad attacking Gen. Petraeus than voted yesterday (56) to lengthen the time off troops get from the frontlines in Iraq, thereby reducing individual soldiers exposure to actual attacks. Am I missing something, or is that about right?

--David Kurtz

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Greenspan's Inconvenient Truth

Kevin Drum, over at the Washington Monthly blog notes that Bob Woodward has been reading Alan Greenspan's memoir. He writes:

ALL LARGELY ABOUT OIL....Bob Woodward plucks a sentence from Alan Greenspan's forthcoming memoir:

Without elaborating, he writes, "I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil."

Now that's a statement that could use some elaboration, isn't it? I guess Greenspan hasn't quite given up his Sphinx-like pose entirely.

(So what's Greenspan's point? I don't think he's suggesting that we invaded Iraq because we wanted to seize control of their oil fields and hand them over to ExxonMobil. More likely, he's making the unexceptional argument that we wouldn't care much about the Middle East in the first place if it didn't have all that oil. But it does, and our economy depends on it, and we long ago decided that protecting our access to that oil was an essential element of our national interest. The Iraq war, as Greenspan notes, is pretty obviously bound up in all of that.)

Drum bangs rather slowly, I think. The point (Woodward's and Greenspan's) is not that the Iraq war was influenced by oil (of course it was!) - as is all US Middle East policy. It is that Greenspan said it is politically incovenient to talk about it. That's the point that merits discussion.

It merits discussion because, as even Republicans and most warmongers acknowledge now, there were no WMDs and there was considerable intelligence and LOTS of other countries telling us there were no WMDs. But our administration wanted to go in anyway.

It merits discussion because not only are Chompsky and Finkelstein ridiculed for suggesting a bias in US Middle East policy, but even people like the Mearsheimer and Walt are being marginalized for their writing.

We should be able to talk about these things openly. There should be no elephants in the room. There should be no inconvenient truths.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

No, it doesn't


Boehner obviously didn't mean to imply that the blood shed was a small price to pay--by his actions he clearly thinks it is, but he must have already been formulating his answer to the money question when he stopped listening to Wolf (God knows I stop listening to Wolf all the time).

It's true that this is the kind of gotcha BS that is Republican bread and butter, but do we really need to do it too?

Bush listens to the General--General "ass-kissing little chickenshit"

That's right, "an ass-kissing little chickenshit." Any moment, the wing-o-sphere will be ringing out with vicious condemnations of Admiral Fallon and the Navy he represents for "subverting the army as an institution," just as it has with attacks on MoveOn for questioning Petraeus's credibility in being tasked to deliver a report on the success of a strategy he came up with.

I don't know whether to credit the Right on this by observing that the inability to distinguish valid criticism of an individual from treasonous attack on the institution the individual represents, is merely an outgrowth of the "Great Man" theory of history that conservatives seem to incline towards, or whether to just chalk it up to typical, mindless, winger bullshit.

I'm sure Sexy Retard will help me decide.


WASHINGTON, Sep 12 (IPS) - In sharp contrast to the lionisation of Gen. David Petraeus by members of the U.S. Congress during his testimony this week, Petraeus's superior, Admiral William Fallon, chief of the Central Command (CENTCOM), derided Petraeus as a sycophant during their first meeting in Baghdad last March, according to Pentagon sources familiar with reports of the meeting.

Fallon told Petraeus that he considered him to be "an ass-kissing little chickenshit" and added, "I hate people like that", the sources say. That remark reportedly came after Petraeus began the meeting by making remarks that Fallon interpreted as trying to ingratiate himself with a superior.

That extraordinarily contentious start of Fallon's mission to Baghdad led to more meetings marked by acute tension between the two commanders. Fallon went on develop his own alternative to Petraeus's recommendation for continued high levels of U.S. troops in Iraq during the summer.

The enmity between the two commanders became public knowledge when the Washington Post reported Sep. 9 on intense conflict within the administration over Iraq. The story quoted a senior official as saying that referring to "bad relations" between them is "the understatement of the century".

Fallon's derision toward Petraeus reflected both the CENTCOM commander's personal distaste for Petraeus's style of operating and their fundamental policy differences over Iraq, according to the sources.

Thursday, September 06, 2007


The Poor Man Institute » The influence of Kos on the national Democratic party has perhaps been overstated

WASHINGTON, Sept. 5 — With a mixed picture emerging about progress in Iraq, Senate Democratic leaders are showing a new openness to compromise as they try to attract Republican support for forcing at least modest troop withdrawals in the coming months.
After short-circuiting consideration of votes on some bipartisan proposals on Iraq before the August break, senior Democrats now say they are willing to rethink their push to establish a withdrawal deadline of next spring if doing so will attract the 60 Senate votes needed to prevail.
Senator Carl Levin, Democrat of Michigan, said, “If we have to make the spring part a goal, rather than something that is binding, and if that is able to produce some additional votes to get us over the filibuster, my own inclination would be to consider that.”

Carl Levin is to congressional pushback on pointless, grinding dead-end war as Britney Spears is to responsible motherhood.

Sure, make it a guideline, Carl. You know what, there’s every reason to trust the President when he says he might reduce troop levels, slightly, at some point in the future. When? Oh, well, is never good for you? But yeah, best not to go out on a limb and follow the course of action a majority of the country decided was important enough that they put you in the majority so you could enact it. Can’t be too careful.

Simple it may seem to you and I, but it takes a truly wily pathetic sycophant to understand the complexities of doing business in DC. Its wheels within wheels with Levin, man. That dude’s got the inside dope.


Pool Party!

More and better ideas for the president to ignore.

Incidentally, I'm about halfway through the Greenwald book, and I'm finding it tough going. It's a bit reminiscent of some of my high school essays, where I would keep paraphrasing my own hypothesis ad nauseum to compensate for a lack of evidence.

I love Greenwald's blogging, but I'm beginning to wonder if this an example of an awkward transition from one medium to another (as when William Shatner partnered with Ben Folds on a pop album...). I find this weird because I don't think Greenwald necessarily lacks evidence that Bush has a Manichean worldview, but I also think it's the kind of contention that deserves maybe a chapter or two in a broader-themed book about how Republicans are 100% EVIL TO THE CORE, rather than an entire book.