Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Gore Vidal on the "United States of Amnesia," 9/11, the 2000 Election and the War in Iraq
"...we have a global empire and nobody knows where anything is, nobody knows any languages, so our statesmen go abroad and people laugh at them, because they are so dumb, or seem to be so dumb."

"....In the U.S., everybody listens to 19th Century Fox TV News. In which a bunch of loons just scream and scream and scream. And with each scream they tell another lie. How are we ever going to have an informed citizenry? Which means then how can we have an informed election?"

At Daily Kos, here are some comments from readers about the Democrats:
*Take the poll while you're there.*

"My wild guess: I think a Clark-Dean ticket is going to beat a Bush-[fill in the blank] ticket in '04. (It's the economy, stupid!) (Iraq will probably implode this year, but, sad to say, the corporate media has succeeded in making the death, pain, starvation and misery of ragheads unreal to most Americans, just as they are trying with some success to label Dean as "angry" and therefore "not electable." It was John Lennon who said, "Nothing is real." That's the reality and the tragedy of our democracy.)
by PeacePatriot on Thu Jan 22nd, 2004 at 02:03:33 GMT"

I was sent this link to Michael Moore's comments to Dean supporters. I thought it deserved the largest audience possible. Michael Moore is supporting Clark--but he gets it. I hope I can link on this site.
by Razzled on Wed Jan 21st, 2004 at 21:23:05 GMT

"The Beauty of Dean" by Outlandish Josh
"..It wasn't fun there for 24 hours, but I'm seeing the light. That clip that made us all so sick? In context it's a goddamn moment of triumph, and it's already been put to great humerous use in many a remix online. It's outplayed Bush's state of the Union speech. I'm lovin' it..."

The Democratic Campaign in
New Hampshire
Josh Marshall says:
"--My sense of this campaign is that there are really two and a half dynamics at work now here in New Hampshire.
--The big fight is between Clark and Kerry. They’re after the same voters. And their pitch to the voters here is similar. Those voters are moderate-ish Democrats, people for whom the electability pitch is an important one, people who warm, for various reasons, to the candidates’ military credentials. So that’s the big fight.
--Dean is in another category. His main issue is himself. If he can hold on to who he has right now and get back some of the people who’ve left him then he can probably win. And at this point I don’t think he needs to win big. He just needs to win. To show he can take a punch and that Iowa wasn’t a fatal blow. (Remember a number of guys who became president lost Iowa and even came in third.) But I don’t have the sense --- and this is just a gut sense --- that the folks Kerry and Clark will be fighting over are the ones Dean’s after or really can get, at least not for the most part.
--The half dynamic is Edwards, who might slip through to a high showing if Kerry, Clark and Dean bloody each other sufficiently in the next week. I’m going to an Edwards event this evening so maybe then I’ll know more.

See Josh's interview with George Soros here.
Mr. Soros claims the Bush Doctrine is reminiscent of George Orwell's Animal Farm. He says: "You know, all animals are equal, but some are more equal than others. And this is in contradiction of the values that have made America great."
Britain to consider going with Iraqi request for direct elections--expresses hope that UN will send in team
You will observe how important it is for us to entreat the U.N. to help facilitate resolutions to such crises. Kofi Annan is concerned with the safety of any U.N. staff who would head to Iraq. He may reserve judgement on sending any election team until a separate U.N. mission of security experts returns and gives its assessment about whether it's safe to return U.N. staff to Iraq. Bush wants to be re-elected. He' doesn't want you to notice, but he's on his knees..begging 'please'.
At Informed Comment, Professor Cole comments that the 100,000 demonstrators who marched on Bagdhad Monday and the political situation reminds him more and more of Algeria; where mass protests played a similar role in involving the UN.
"..A Shiite official who spoke to al-Sistani said Wednesday that if a proposed team of U.N. experts tells the cleric it isn't possible to organize direct elections by July 1, he would accept the verdict.
The British government, the strongest U.S. coalition partner, meanwhile will consider al-Sistani's call for direct elections if a U.N. team determines they're practical, officials told The Associated Press.
British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, attending an international forum in Davos, Switzerland, defended the coalition process, but expressed hope that Annan will send a team to assess election prospects.
"A large part of this comes down to ... technical issues," Straw said, noting security problems in parts of Iraq and the lack of voter registration. "This needs to be discussed through."
The comments put more pressure on U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan to sign off on a request by the Bush administration and the U.S.-appointed Iraqi Governing Council to send a U.N. election assessment team to Iraq.
U.N. officials were in contact with coalition and Iraqi leaders over the possibility of sending the election team, but no decision had been made, U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Wednesday...."

Please see this photo-
These are some of the faces of the children orphaned by the Bam Earthquake in Iran

Here are some facts. Here is something you can do...

Why it would be a stroke of genius to run Clark and Dean together

credit: AP photos
It would shock folks like William Safire, who said today:
"You know that the Dean-Clinton battle for the Democratic soul is at the heart of this primary campaign."
Why battle?
Put 'em together-Dean and Clark- and you've got just about everbody's vote! See how simple?
Dopey Karl Rove would need an instant change of underpants when he got the news that the 'dream team' was coming to stomp all over Dubs.
Dean may be "too old to cry", but William Safire's getting "too old to lie"...he's a rightwing screechmonkey hiding behind his fragile little cloak of intellectualism.
Boston Globe:
The new discrimination against the not-particularly religious

This article is actually titled "The new discimination against the nonreligious", but I like my title better.
There are a lot more Americans who are not particularly devout religionists than there are non-religious Americans.
The level at which we individually and privately believe is entirely personal and while it's fine to talk about one's religion if one so desires, it should not be the required benchmark of a just and effective American President, Senator, House Representative, Justice, American actor, plumber, airplane pilot, floor sweeper, or true American friend.
There are dogs that, while born in the same litter, will bite you while others will lick you lovingly.
Curiously, none are religious. Perhaps some were fed properly while the others were starved..perhaps some of the lucky ones received love while the others were abused. Religion had absolutely nothing to do with the decision to bite or to lick.
See how simple this is? Responsibility, empathy, kindness and caring will never be exclusive to those practicing a religion.(Although religion has the corner on guilt-infliction, I must say!).
Witch-hunting should not be tolerated in this day and age.
Matter of fact, it should be pointed out... and scorned.
bone phone

Heh. bone phone.

"I may look weird if I'm talking with the phone pressed between my eyebrows.." think so?
Around the League of Liberals

Clarified ruminates on how she was once "conned" by Alex B. Keaton ;)

Mad Kane has created the first State of the Union interactive crossword puzzle!

Ayn Clouter steps out of the pen to analyze what happened in the hog wallow the other night.

Hammerdown shows us that "mean-Dean" ain't the only game in town! Also see this puppet show pic posted on January 14th ( I like to call it "The Vince and Toot-ie show" )'s a corker!

See Mahablog's comments about last night's SOTU speech.

Should you get a biology PhD? See the definitive (and hilarious) quiz. It's PZ Myers' Advanced Biology Aptitude Test.

America has such power--such great wealth. Anonymoses asks us to think about who it should serve...and how.
This is where Bush will lead us while pandering to the rightwing screechmonkey base

"The best—perhaps the only--way President Bush can make a meaningful difference is to make it harder for parents to get a divorce. Period. I know this sounds barbaric. Some will answer that you can't force people to stay married anymore than you force to get married in the first place."

Re: IOWA'S LESSONS by Doug Ireland

Why do we trust politicians more than we'd trust ourselves?

If what writer Doug Ireland says is true, if "the Dean movement has proven more interesting than the candidate", I'd like us all to really meditate upon what all the "interest" was all about to begin with. The movement and Dean are inseparable, you see. They are one and the same. To those in the movement, Dean is "the People". Granted, it seems that a tremendously large group of Americans striving to become active in their own democracy was not the important focus for Iowans last Monday. I am detached enough from my own political favoritism to realize this is true. Other than their willingness to participate in their caucus, Iowans apparently did not trust their fellow American citizens to take part in the eventual effect their own government would have upon their lives. Iowans showed they are not ready to work..and work hard... for their own country. It is apparent that they'd feel more comfortable in leaving their fate in the hands of the Washington establishment. Please do not take me wrong. I'm not saying they're bad, dumb, or lazy people. They are good Americans...average Americans.
But---I ask this:
Why do we trust politicians more than we'd trust ourselves?

The Dean movement, along with their leader Howard Dean, represent those who want to take their country back

I do not agree with Mr. Ireland when he says "Dean was always unworthy of the movement he'd sparked."
I am still very supportive of Governor Dean. If he shows great emotion, he's showing it for this movement...not for himself alone. We are passionate Americans. We want to take our country back.
After Mr. Ireland tells us that he thinks Dean isn't worthy, his article melts into a base attack upon the sanity of Dr. Dean. I lose trust in Mr. Ireland at this point in the article. He becomes quite vicious. I believe, rather than chipping nastily away at the sanity of Governor Dean, Mr. Ireland had best start questioning the "sanity" of the movement itself. Is it sane to want a change in Washington? Is it sane to want to participate in your own governing? If Mr. Ireland can
tell me it's insane to want what the Founding Fathers laid out for us all, then I'll possibly begin to see his point.
Until then...I'm sorry..I just don't see his point.

I really would like to understand....why did Dennis Kucinich betray so many on the left?

When Mr. Ireland says that "Dennis Kucinich, who ran as the "principled" candidate of a "new politics" similarly betrayed those idealists who had given his protest candidacy unexpected millions of dollars when he cut an "old politics" last-minute caucus deal asking his supporters to vote for John Edwards", I'm afraid he does strike an all-too-familiar chord.
Dennis Kucinich, whom I had fully believed was one of the the most principled and decent persons amongst the candidates, has greatly disappointed me. Mr. Ireland quotes a message he received from a Labor pol:
"If Kucinich thinks so little of progressive ideals that he throws his lot behind a pro-war, pro-Patriot Act candidate, then why waste my vote to send a message, when voting for Kucinich no longer sends a message?"
I could not agree more with Doug Ireland's keen observation that (quote) "Kucinich's decision can only be explained as a venting of spleen against Dean for having "stolen" the anti-war constituency the Ohioan imagined was his."

Wesley Clark is coming up and will surprise many

I don't necessarily agree that Kerry will become the strongest 'anti-Dean' Democratic candidate.
Iowa can only teach us the lesson of a primarily-White rural state. One caucus does not the truth make.
New Hampshire will not be the best gauge, either. I think we'll need to get past Super-Tuesday on March 2nd before we can know how all this is to play out in such a different type of Democratic race with so many brilliant candidates from which to choose.
I believe that Wesley Clark will emerge as the strong "anti-Dean" candidate. He outranks Kerry by a busload, he's conducted a war (while Kerry has been a mere grunt), he packs the strength of the left while appealing mightily to the right. I believe firmly, if Dean should not prevail (and I'm surely trusting and hoping he will), that many of his supporters would flock to General Wesley Clark.
I am sticking with Howard Dean, because I believe in the man and the greatness of the movement he has sparked. I can't wait to see Thursday night's debate. Time and truth marches on.

Jack Pritchard* asks:
"How many nuclear weapons does North Korea have to make before this administration gets serious about its policy in East Asia?"

*Pritchard is a visiting fellow of the Brookings Institution
"American intelligence believed that most if not all the rods remained in storage, giving policymakers a false sense that time was on their side

..the Bush administration has relied on intelligence that dismissed North Korean claims that it restarted its nuclear

Now there are about 8,000 spent fuel rods missing — evidence that work on such a deterrent may have begun. It is just the most recent failure in a string of serious North Korea-related intelligence failures.

American policy in North Korea is hardly better than American intelligence. At best it can be described only as amateurish. At worst, it is a failed attempt to lure American allies down a path that is not designed to resolve the crisis diplomatically but to lead to the failure and ultimate isolation of North Korea in hopes that its government will collapse.
Note: Mr. Pritchard resigned as special envoy for negotiations with North Korea last August.

Buzzflash: Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky on Bush's State of the Union Address
"The Emperor has no clothes. President Bush is describing a very different world and a very different America than the one I see and that most people live in."

"American families have experienced job losses, rising health care costs, increased poverty and homelessness. Huge surpluses have become record deficits. And because of his policies, America's standing in the world has greatly diminished, and, as a nation, we are less safe today than we could and should be."

"The President is enthusiastic about a 'strong' economy, and so are his rich friends."

"Iraq is a mess. Who can't see that?"

Bush Came Not to Praise King but ...
"King's philosophies could not be more different from Bush's."
" was on King's birthday last year that this same president, on national television, launched his attack against affirmative action by directing his administration to join the legal case against the University of Michigan's admissions policy. To follow that action by laying a wreath on King's tomb this year represented the height of hypocrisy for many of us in the civil rights community. It was obviously nothing more than a photo opportunity designed to woo black voters to the Republican Party. Coming in an election year, it was a blatant attempt to use King's image for political gain.
And here's the most offensive part: After a brief "official business" visit to the grave site — read: taxpayers foot the bill — Bush rushed off to a $2,000-a-plate fundraiser that same evening, picking up a cool $1.3 million in Atlanta for his reelection campaign..."
Perle and Frum Op-Ed In New York Times

Richard Perle and David Frum are beating their war drums on behalf of their favorite candidate Bush--and the New York Times is more than happy to give them space to do so. In a nutshell, they spread a hopeless message, telling us Saudi Arabia has us literally over a barrel (no pun intended) and there's nothing we can do about it except send our beloved sons and daughters to fight their bloody battles for them. Frum and Perle are telling you, my fine American friends, that you are slaves to the Saudis. I think we should send Dick and Dave over to Iraq, suit them up for war, and let them walk the real streets of Fallujah and Bagdhad. Their hopeless message tells us that Howard Dean's ideas about alternative energy are useless without an accompanying war; that John Edwards' talk of international good will is cowardly; that John Kerry will not drive more Middle Eastern leaders into spiderholes; that Wes Clark is a sucker for the Saudis. My opinion? Get the hook!! Get these two filthy cowards off the stage! Let's elect a leader who is both SANE and INDEPENDENT-THINKING.
While I agree we must prevail on the Saudis to stop financing the extremism that breeds terror, Perle and Frum prove they are clueless as to HOW to do that..besides sending our own men and women to die and alienating the international community by calling the UN an adversary. That's a recipe for an endless war on a gray entity named terrorism.
This is campaigning for Bush at its best, people. The NeoCons prove they still have Bush in their pocket. I can't wait to vote for any one of these fine Democratic candidates and send these warpigs back into their corner. They've killed enough of our men and women with their fantasy.
At least they mentioned the name Bin Laden in the article. Bush never uttered the name once in the SOTU speech last night....nor did he honor the soldiers who died for him. We need to unload this character and his
go-to-war-traveling show this November.