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    • The most hated man in Israel
      That would be writer Gideon Levy: “My biggest struggle,” he says, “is to rehumanize the Palestinians. There’s a whole machinery of brainwashing in Israel which really accompanies each of us from early childhood, and I’m a product of this machinery as much as anyone else. [We are taught] a few narratives that it’s very hard […]
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    • If China is with you, you are not isolated in the world
      The shooting down of Malaysian Airlines MH17 has led to a vituperative barrage in the Western media (and social media), blaming Russia.  This barrage has been fomented, in large part, by the White House, which has been relentless. Many act as if Russia is horribly in the wrong, isolated, and alone. China’s Xinhua wrote this: [...]
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Afternoon Open Thread: Blogging around the Block

The only thing wrong with my morning walk is that I can’t take the Internet with me.  Theses are some of the stories that are pulling me out of my funk:


Almost a poem, Death and Rebirth of a Republic at Ian Walsh’s place.

 


I still miss her but Alegre’s Corner is going strong & Pacific John has been on a roll :

 

Has obsession over a primary ever lasted this long?

Top HRC organizer and fundraiser, Jeff Campagna asks this on FB:

When in your lifetime can you remember such a large chunk of either political party obsessing over the losing candidate from the previous presidential primary two and a half years after the end of those primaries? Just an observation.

My response…

It’s never happened before. The reason why is, a huge swath of Democrats do not think the nomination process was legitimate. It could have been, but a transparent, open process might have elected another nominee, so it wasn’t allowed.


Continue reading

The Smartest President Ever? NOT!


I missed this part of Obama’s 60 Minutes interview on Sunday:

In an interview airing Sunday night on CBS’ “60 Minutes,” Obama said the health care system itself is huge and complicated and that changing it eluded previous presidents because it was so difficult.

“I made the decision to go ahead and do it, and it proved as costly politically as we expected — probably actually a little more costly than we expected, politically,” he said.

Obama said he thought that he would find common ground with Republicans by advancing health care proposals that had been introduced by Republican administrations as well as potential presidential candidate Mitt Romney when he was governor of Massachusetts.


What the fuck? That dumbass must be drinking his own Kool-aid.

So we get a Republican health care plan and the Democrats get blamed for it. Nice.

Continue reading

Tuesday Morning: Melange

There’s no consistent theme in this collection of posts.  Or maybe there is but I can’t find it yet.

To start off, let’s say for a moment that Democrats actually get their $#@% together and decide to primary Obama.  (not exactly a fantasy and not nearly as remote as it was last week at this time)  Who is the most likely person to succeed, I mean, besides the obvious?

My guess is Jim Webb, Senator from Virginia.  Now, Webb has a few liabilities and I’ll get to them in a minute.  But with Webb versus Obama, you would get the classic matchup between the Stevensonian and Jacksonian parts of the Democratic party.  The Stevensonians have their hands on power right now, or what’s left of it, since they’ve made a total mess of things.  But the Jacksonians have the votes the Democrats need to win next time.

RealClearPolitics featured a conversation with Webb yesterday about how to win back the Reagan Democrats.  I actually don’t like the term “Reagan Democrat”, which is why the media is probably going to use it every chance they get.  I’m certainly no fan of Reagan and have been a liberal all my life.  But Webb actually gets it better than most people who are sticking a label on disaffected Democrats:

We’re talking about why voters didn’t come around. Webb is weighing my report the morning after the election: Democrats won the smallest share of white voters in any congressional election since World War II.

“I’ve been warning them,” Webb says, sighing, resting his chin on his hand. “I’ve been having discussions with our leadership ever since I’ve been up here. I decided to run as a Democrat because I happen to strongly believe in Jacksonian democracy. There needs to be one party that very clearly represents the interests of working people … I’m very concerned about the transactional nature of the Democratic Party. Its evolved too strongly into interest groups rather than representing working people, including small business people.”

[...]

Webb seems less at home today. He identifies himself as a Democrat. But he has few Democratic leaders to identify with. He won’t say this. His criticism is discernibly girdled. He begins to tell a story about a conversation with a Democratic leader and pulls back. “I don’t want to talk about that,” he mutters. “I have had my discussions. I’ve kept them inside the house. I did not want to have them affect this election, quite frankly. I didn’t want to position myself in the media as a critic of the administration.”

But criticism is in order. Democrats’ suffered historical losses from Congress to the state houses last week. It’s an apt moment for Webb to step in. He is an atypical politician. Politics is not his alpha or omega. He’s authored more than half a dozen books, succeeded as a screenwriter and won an Emmy for his coverage of the U.S. Marines in Beirut. This success outside politics empowers him to be less political. Yet what suits Webb to criticism is not that. It’s the political sociology he embodies.

Webb represents an endangered species. It’s more than his red state Democratic stature, although that would be reason enough. The moderate House Democratic coalition lost more than half its lawmakers last week. But that Blue Dog set is still more common than Webb.

Webb’s one of the last FDR Democrats. An economic populist. A national security hawk. His Democratic politics are less concerned with social groups than social equality (of opportunity, not outcome). His values were predominant in the Democrat Party from FDR to JFK, the period in the twentieth century when Democrats were also dominant.

Before we go on, notice how the conventional wisdom saturated media, in its quest to shape a narrative (or under orders from someone else) positions Blue Dog Democrats as “moderates”.  Anyone who has been paying even a minimal amount of attention to politics knows that Blue Dog Democrats are just as conservative as their Republican colleagues.  But I digress.

In some respects, Webb is similar to Hillary Clinton.  (He could have lifted that last paragraph right out of our credo.) He’s got enough governmental experience to make Obama look completely unqualified: Combat vet, former Secretary of the Navy, Congressional liaison, novelist, journalist, Emmy winner, lawyer, Senator.  His son enlisted and served in Iraq, yet he is not an Iraq War proponent.  In 2008, there were rumors that he was up for consideration as Obama’s VP.  But he made it clear that he wasn’t interested in the VP position.  Is it because he had concerns about Obama or because he wanted the top position some day?  As far as superdelegates go, I think he held out as uncommitted for a long time.  Actually, I wish all of them had waited but that’s besides the point.  Karma will take care of the ones who jumped aboard the Obama bandwagon early.

Now, for his liabilities.

Continue reading

“If she applies for legal asylum to this country we should snap her up”


Australian Broadcasting Corporation:

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has brought wonderful and woefully-needed leadership administrative competence to the US State Department.

The same skills that she employs in managing her bureaucracy served her well in her Asian excursion. Her ability to use diplomatic tools, as opposed to the US navy, as a mechanism to further American policy is easy to recognise but difficult to describe.

Her techniques represent a welcome departure from the style employed in the previous administration. With the exception of the rather eccentric though effective Nixon/Kissinger duet, American foreign policy has invariably been that of a solo player – sometimes looked at as a bully. Hillary Clinton, who has been given a broad charter by US president Obama, clearly recognises the limits of unilateralism and is working to build American foreign policy built on cooperation and consultation. From an Australian perspective, as a regional power, the secretary’s efforts are to be commended.

[...]

Without the ideological fetters of some of her predecessors, Dr Rice immediately comes to mind, secretary Clinton is approaching foreign policy with a very honest and sincere American view that despite the rise of other nations, the US still has a critical role to play in maintaining world stability. However, based on the debacles of the preceding Bush administration, secretary Clinton knows that American influence must be based on engagement and discussion rather than impossibly costly military exercises. In a word, she brings both idealism and political realism to foreign policy that has for too long been the domain of academic ideologues.

Hillary Clinton has a secret weapon that she is not afraid to use: despite the rise of China, Brazil, India and Russia as economic powers, none of those nations is very effective on the world stage and, with all its faults, the US is far more pleasant as an international partner than any of the world’s rising economic stars. Because of cultural and linguistic factors, there is simply no real competition for the US, and Clinton has shown herself to be quite adept at using the comfort factor of US culture as a foreign policy tool.

Witness how at ease and nonchalant she is at discussing enhancement of the US military presence in Australia. She raises the point with complete familiarity and matter-of-factness with the knowledge that the US is not viewed as an occupying power and, with some exceptions, is generally viewed as a benign guest. Such conversations would be far more difficult for her predecessors who insisted on putting matters into ideological terms.

To make my point, I will go out on limb and say that secretary Clinton would enjoy the same relationship and effectiveness regardless of who occupies the Lodge. She was here not as a partisan member of the Democratic Party, though she is indeed a very partisan politician, but rather she was here as probably the pre-eminent foreign policy figure in the world.

Viewed in this light, it is really quite wonderful to see how she operates. She has all the ease of a politician working a crowd and is not cowed by academics or experts because she knows that she is every bit as bright as anyone else. In short, she understands people and power even in the elevated world of foreign ministers.

As for results, this trip has already had successes. The secretary is making Americanism an essential aspect or component of foreign policy in every nation she visits. She is capitalising on the familiarity of America and using that familiarity to fill the gaps in other countries’ policies with American policies. She knows that no other nation is in a position to do this and none will be able to for the foreseeable future. Make no mistake about it, she is pushing an American agenda but she achieves it by making American policy Japanese policy or Filipino policy or even Australian policy.

Even at the height of their influence the Soviets could never master this craft and for so many reasons, I believe that the Chinese simply cannot. Watch her closely – it is like watching a grand master playing bridge or chess. The technique is as exciting as the results.

We could have had Hillary, but noooooooo, the CDS infested Democratic leadership and the misogynist frat boiz of Obamanation had to force a Reagan-loving DINOcrat half-wit narcissistic empty-suit down our throats.

Thanks for nothing, guys.

Fu**king f**ksticks!


(h/t to filipino-american4hrc for the links. A transcript of the full Hamish and Andy interview is here)


Insomniac Open Thread


The worst part about the middle of the night is that unless you’re interested in penis enlargement and/or get rich quick schemes there is NOTHING worth watching on any television channel.

What are you doing up at this hour?



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