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    • The Attack In Ottawa will be used to justify losing more rights
      Prime Minister Harper pretty much confirmed it: ‘Our laws and police powers need to be strengthened’ Yup.  Never let a crisis go to waste. I’m very sad that MPs and their staff were scared, and I’m sadder that a soldier lost his life.  But one attack does not justify increasing the police state.  However, if [...]
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Exit, Voice, loyalty and the Instance of the Fingerpost.

Were they really the same?

Last night I stumbled on a bunch of tweets between Matt Stoller and Jay Rosen.  I don’t know if you guys have been noticing this lately but it appears that the former Obama fans in the left blogosphere from 2008 have been freaking out about the tight spot they’re in.  It’s a bit of “Should I stay or should I go?  If I stay there will be trouble, if I go there will be double”.  I sympathize with them because I went through this same dilemma 4 years ago but I’ll get to that in a second.

Wnat seems to have finally tipped them past the zero point is the issue of drones.  I have a very Tolkienish attitude towards war.  It’s bad and I don’t worship it.  But I do worship the innocents who I feel responsible for, which means just about anyone trapped in war zone, under the threat of genocide or crimes against humanity (invading Iraq didn’t qualify in my humble opinion and the evidence used to get us into it was all lies anyway). And I think we have an obligation to help those people with military assistance or humanitarian aid.  That’s just me.  Your mileage may vary.

But I can say unequivocally that I do not support the use of drones, ever.  The principle is clear: drones represent a disembodied use of power with virtually no accountability or consequences to the persons who use them.  They are, therefore, easily abused.  It might start with people in Pakistan you don’t like but there is nothing to stop the drone owners from using them on other groups they don’t like.  One abuse, even 6000 miles away, is the tiny pebble that is dislodged that will bring the mountain down on you.  I’ll even go so far as to say that I think that countries that use drones should be sanctioned by the international community.  Oh, yes, I do.  It’s not so much that we have become war criminals.  It’s that we have become a threat to any free people who gets in our way, including our own citizens.   So, yeah, I’m pretty down with them about drones.

But as to whether it makes sense to exit the political process, voice your opinion or stay loyal in a political environment where it appears your vote doesn’t matter, there is only one answer that makes sense: you must speak up, even at personal risk to yourself. That might mean voting for a third party.  But given the situation we’re in and the ramping up of authoritarianism, to not speak up now while you still have a voice would be counterproductive.

However, I still don’t think the Stollers, Rosens and  Ackroyds fully understand how we got to this point and until they realize where they went wrong, they may not be able to fix their current situation because they appear to be focusing on personalities and associations and not on principles.  If this were merely a problem of Obama’s personality or competence, it would have been relatively easy to get rid of him early in the 2012 primary season.  But what we are experiencing is the aftermath of a coup where the avenues to changing the outcome have been blocked, sometimes from within the party, sometimes from the activist base that is blindly punching the wind, hoping to land a blow.

So, at the risk of being a drone about this, I want to briefly revisit the 2008 election season using the concept of the Instance of the Fingerpost.  I ran across this concept described by a philosopher of the scientific revolution, Frances Bacon, when I read the book An Instance of the Fingerpost by Iain Pears.  The concept is about how you distinguish between two things of apparently equal value.  Here is a description:

When in the investigation of any nature the understanding is so balanced as to be uncertain to which of two or more natures the cause of the nature in question should be assigned on account of the frequent and ordinary concurrence of many natures, instances of the fingerpost show the union of one of the natures with the nature in question to be sure and indissoluble, of the other to be varied and separable; and thus the question is decided, and the former nature is admitted as the cause, while the latter is dismissed and rejected. Such instances afford very great light and are of high authority, the course of interpretation sometimes ending in them and being completed. Sometimes these instances of the fingerpost meet us accidentally among those already noticed, but for the most part they are new, and are expressly and designedly sought for and applied, and discovered only by earnest and active diligence.

In other words, when you are trying to ascertain the true nature of something, you need to use your powers of observation and collect as much information about the thing as you can in order to make a judgement. And when you do, you will eventually find something regarding the true nature of your subject  that is so firmly intrinsic to it that it can’t be separated from it.  That instance is what sets it apart and tells you conclusively what its true nature is.

When I first started this blog in January 2008, I was a Clintonista but I was also a party loyalist.  That is, if the candidates were truly equal and had the same policies, Democratic principles etc, but differed only in approach or priorities, I would have had no problem voting for Barack Obama.  I stated as much somewhere  early on and for the first month or so blogging here, I tried very hard to maintain that position.

But then the observables became hard to ignore and I started to assign them to one candidate or the other.  In truth, they were not the same.  They were very different on policy, political philosophy and experience.  But I was still going to vote for the eventual nominee because the candidate was a Democrat and I was a loyalist.

That changed when I found my instance of the fingerpost.  In this case, it was the fact that Obama was incapable of winning the election without the aid of the DNC manipulating the votes of MI and FL.  Instead of seeing this as proof of Obama’s strength as a campaigner, I saw it as proof of his weakness.  The best that he could hope for, even with the strange apportionment of delegates in caucus states in 2008, was a tie.  But not only did he win the nomination, the party seems to have protested way too much about the viability of their other candidate.  They didn’t just sideline her, they humiliated her at the convention, denying her delegates a chance to vote for her on the first ballot.  It wasn’t just that they didn’t want a floor fight, they didn’t even want to acknowledge that she or her voters ever existed.  It was beyond what was reasonable. It was overkill.  On top of that was the scorched earth tactic that ran over women, all women, not just the candidates themselves.  It was bold, in your face, relentless, harsh, demeaning and we have been living with the fallout ever since.

But those were only the observables of an underlying unwholesomeness that had taken over the Democratic party that I had never witnessed before in my life.   The instance of the fingerpost was that when the party rewrote its rules to favor one candidate over another, the Obama campaign did not protest.  Whether you think that the Clintonistas should just get over it or not, you can not deny what happened.  The rules were rewritten in such a way so as to nullify the votes of one candidate’s voters because they were never able to achieve the critical mass in the public eye that would have made Clinton the obvious winner early on or even a legitimate contender later in the season. That’s what happened.  The process started early in the primary season, maybe even before the primary season began, but it solidified at the Convention.  If you were a Hillary Clinton voter in 2008, you might as well have stayed home during the primary season and not bothered with the canvassing and phone banking and rallies.  Your vote was either reassigned without your consent or not counted at all.  That is election fraud, in my opinion.  The party convinced voters that their primary elections were legitimate and then it turned around and invalidated the results in state after state.

So, I had to ask myself, what would I have done if it had been Howard Dean whose voters had gotten the shaft?  Would I still be angry?  I’d have to say I’d probably still be very concerned.  Because even though I don’t like Howard Dean, probably as much as Matt Stoller doesn’t like Hillary Clinton, if I saw that his campaign was doing its best to uphold the principle of fair reflection while the other campaign wasn’t, I’d support Dean’s challenges wholeheartedly.  Elections have to at least have the appearance of fairness or they’re pointless exercises.  It is my rule to NEVER, EVER vote for a candidate who messes around with the votes or nullifies elections such as was done with MI and FL in order to come out on top.  That was the instance.  You mess with the vote count and make some votes more equal than others, well, you’ve instantly earned my distrust.  How can I ever expect a candidate who is willing to do that to every respect by opinion or grievances or anything?  I can’t.

This is not just a case of political roughness.  And it’s not like one campaign was just really clever.  It was an act of aggression of one  candidate’s supporters against the other’s.  It was more like Kingmaking, with the more ruthless, violent opponent winning using every trick in the book and pulling out wads of cash when that wasn’t working.  Now, you might say that that’s just the way things work these days but I’m not interested in right by might.  I’m interested in a democratic process.  Besides, as I have said before, you can’t expect a candidate who ran like Ghenghis Khan to govern like Gandhi.  In Khan’s world, voters don’t matter.  I want to preserve the sanctity of the vote because as citizens, it is the only thing that gives us worth.  So, when someone violates that sanctity to game the system, that’s it for me.  His nature is revealed.

I also can’t trust him to stop with mere manipulation of delegate counts.  If he can get away with that and never be held accountable, then what is going to stop him from going even further?  (Notice I haven’t said anything about ACORN or any other nonsensical right wing meme.)If he didn’t get into office with the support of more than half of the party, what makes me think he even cares what we think?  And if his own supporters didn’t stop him, then he’s already hobbled them.  They need to stay onboard and be loyal in order to not lose face and power in the party infrastructure, or they come to their senses but realize that they are now powerless.  Separated from their natural allies in the party , i.e. the losing candidate’s voters, because of anger and resentment over the injustice of it all, they find themselves powerless, fewer in number and making excuses about why they made the decision to back the wrong candidate in the first place.  That’s not winning them any friends, by the way.  Meanwhile, the candidate goes on to represent his true constituency, the people who helped him buy off the rulemakers.  He is never held accountable because his party’s base is held hostage.

So while Matt and Jay muse over the right course of action, they should step back and think about what principles they think they are defending.  Matt, in particular, seems to have a severe case of Clinton Derangment Syndrome.  I don’t know why this is.  Maybe it’s the environment he’s in, the people he hangs out with, the glue he’s sniffing.  Whatever it is, it seems to be completely unhinged from reality.  He seems pretty damn set against Hillary Clinton in a way that I am not set against someone like Howard Dean as much as I dislike him.  I think this attitude has blinded people like him from taking the only possible actions this year that would have given them a voice. But in the Democratic party election scenario, the candidates are swappable.  Who they are is unimportant.  You can take any two Democrats and pit them together.  The one who attempts to game the system through vote manipulation reveals his true nature.  That is a candidate who sees elections as mere formalities, something that can be fixed or bought. He will lead his former supporters to despair that elections don’t count anymore.  And if the party could do it in 2008 without a fuss from the rank and file, they’ll do it again in the future.  You can count on it.

We all saw it, guys.  We were aware back in February of 2008 what was going on and what the DNC hoped to achieve.  The party was bought by the 1%, their malware candidate was installed and when the crash came, as they knew it would, he allowed them to go unpunished while he muted the voices of the citizens who needed and deserved better treatment.

You can exit, or voice but to stay loyal at this point in time is definitely not acting in your best interests.  The way back to sanity is not through a new hero or heroine.  It’s the long hard slog to restore the legitimacy of elections in every state.

And now, I’m done.

The War on Women: More shots to our hearts

Here’s the other video from 2008 from youtubers Shut the Freud Up.  This one covered a different controversy and highlights two very prominent Democrats:

Ahhh, yes, you can’t make this stuff up, folks.  That was the week where Donna Brazile called us the “old coalition” and made it sound like we couldn’t speak without drooling all over ourselves.  Memories.

Don’t let the Democrats rewrite history.  They’ve got to make amends before they even attempt to claim the moral high ground in the “war on women”.  Otherwise, they’re just cynical bastards playing the political equivalent of a professional wrestling match.  They don’t mean a word they’re saying.

The Democratic party was destroyed in 2008 and women were the losers in that battle.  The party only looked united because the financial crisis in September of that year made voting for a Republican completely out of the question for many people, even the ones who didn’t give a damn what happened to Barack Obama and his party.  But the rift started to show up in 2010.  And now, the Democrats are trying to figure out how to get independent women back.  Let me remind them that some of those independent women were true blue, pro-choice, liberal Democrats before the Democrats cut us loose in 2008 and we are not happy about being tossed aside by the Democrats like some unclean things in 2008 only to be attacked in 2012 by the maniacs on the right.  We know what the Democrats are trying to do and they are going to have to Try. Harder.

We’d be insane if we accepted anything less than an apology and more vigorous pushback.  No more Chellie Pingree incidences.  That’s just to start.  And if your candidate can’t be bothered to pursue women’s rights as aggressively as he pursued the White House, replace him.  This summer is going to get really ugly for all of us because the Republicans are determined to get control.  If Obama’s schtick fails to work this year, tell him to step aside.

One final thing: The Republicans aren’t done yet with women.  There’s one big thing they can still hit before the end.  It’s the Family Leave Act.  Listen up all you pregnant working women.  Ask yourself how the Democrats are going to react when the Republicans go after this piece of legislation.  You might very well be told that you should go home to have your baby and not come back to work.  These are tough economic times.  Employers need to have the flexibility to hire workers when they need them.  This regulation is killing their bottom line and preventing them from hiring new workers. They can’t afford to have an open position for 6 months.  And there are a lot of men out there who are unemployed and need work.  That’s a burden on the state.  Folks, we are paying women to have their babies and stay home for six months eating bon-bons while some family man waits for his unemployment check.  Why don’t these women want to stay with their children and take care of them?  Why have children at all if you’re just going to turn them over to the care of strangers? <Insert metaphor comparing working mothers with some disgusting animal that gives birth and either abandons or eats its young and then goes on to have a lot more sex.>

Sick?  Crazy?  Au contraire.  The Republicans know their target audience all too well.

Maybe the Republicans won’t go that far.  But if they do, the truth won’t matter.  They’ll make it sound like a 6 month paid vacation instead of a guarantee of a job after months without pay.

And what will Obama do when confronted with the choice between employing guys and protecting the jobs of millions of women?  I don’t even want to think about it.  Remember, Michelle Obama decided to court stay-at-home moms when she became first lady.  She took a very low profile position, gardened and played June Cleaver when her two children were already in school full time.  She wanted to send a message and she has.  Working women are not important to the White House.  That was the message I heard loud and clear and the impression was reinforced with Ron Suskind’s book, Confidence Men, and every time women’s reproductive rights were sacrificed for Obama’s legislative “accomplishments”.

The Democrats and the Obama administration made all of these choices and may be very shocked when they come back to bite them in the ass.  They either weren’t thinking or they were thinking with very male brains.

**********************************

The New York Times asks a very good question: Where is the next Gloria Steinem of the women’s movement?

And then buries it in the Fashion and Style section.

{{facepalm}}

**********************************

Paul Krugman is worried about the state of employer based benefits since the beginning of the Lesser Depression.  The graph is ugly:

This shouldn’t come as a surprise to Paul.  My industry is busily shedding jobs as quickly as it can and hiring back some workers as independent contractors or at CROs where they do not have to provide benefits.  That’s for the employee to work out with the contracting firm.  The health insurance is expensive.  Many people try to do without.  And this is only going to get worse with the Affordable Care Act because when the mandate kicks in, there will be absolutely no reason why employers should hire in-house at all.  By the way, did you know that contractors who are self employed are also not entitled to any kind of employment protections?  Yep, the employer can discriminate against you and you have the right to walk away from the job.  That’s the extent of your labor protections.  So, to recap: laying off and hiring workers back as contractors is a very, very sweet deal for employers and they will take advantage of the ACA to do more laying off.  Do not expect them to pass the savings on to you.

If the last four years could have been worse for working people, I can’t imagine how.

For more information on your new work environment and compensation plan, check out the Freelancer’s Union.

*************************

Anyway, I’ve got a lot to do today so my comments may be sparse.

For those of you who missed the first video from Shutthefreudup from 2008, here it is:

Oh. My. God. We are so screwed.

Get up out of that bathtub, Democrats

Paul Krugman and Anglachel have two important posts up.  After you read them, you’ll get a sickening feeling that things are about to get worse.  If anyone expected Barack Obama to use his veto pen to stop the Republican Horde from wrecking havoc, they might want to rethink that notion.  As Paul says in Freezing Out Hope:

It’s hard to escape the impression that Republicans have taken Mr. Obama’s measure — that they’re calling his bluff in the belief that he can be counted on to fold. And it’s also hard to escape the impression that they’re right.

The real question is what Mr. Obama and his inner circle are thinking. Do they really believe, after all this time, that gestures of appeasement to the G.O.P. will elicit a good-faith response?

What’s even more puzzling is the apparent indifference of the Obama team to the effect of such gestures on their supporters. One would have expected a candidate who rode the enthusiasm of activists to an upset victory in the Democratic primary to realize that this enthusiasm was an important asset. Instead, however, Mr. Obama almost seems as if he’s trying, systematically, to disappoint his once-fervent supporters, to convince the people who put him where he is that they made an embarrassing mistake.

Whatever is going on inside the White House, from the outside it looks like moral collapse — a complete failure of purpose and loss of direction.

Hoodwinked?  Bamboozled?  Is Obama making fun of the Obots?  Or did Anglachel accurately assess Obama’s political compass?  From Season’s Greetings, she writes:

Obama is not a Reaganite, no matter how much he enjoys fellating the corpse of the Gipper. If he really were a Reaganite, he’d know how to preserve and expand power.

I’ve written before that Obama lacks any sense of or taste for politics, and think I have his political philosophy identified, namely a very patrician Hoover-ish progressivism, but something Krugman wrote today made me have a very bad thought

[...]

What it looks like to me is Obama methodically reversing the desires of the people who voted for him, inverting every virtue and intention they projected on to him. If someone was trying to deconstruct the Democratic Party from the inside – betray its hopes, derail its changes, destroy its legacy – you couldn’t ask for a better example.

Almost like an act of revenge.

I said in Primary Objective that Obama was not mortally unpopular with the base, but I’m having to rethink that claim much more quickly than I imagined given the way he has increased his pissing on the Democrats since the mid-term losses. If he has no loyalty to any part of the party and is eager to walk around with a big “Kick me” sign taped front and back, then it makes no sense for the party to follow him off the cliff. Krugman closes by saying, “It would be much easier, of course, for Democrats to draw a line if Mr. Obama would do his part. But all indications are that the party will have to look elsewhere for the leadership it needs.”

Anglachel urges a primary.  Well, that’s to be expected.  She’s one of the “shrieking band of paranoid holdouts”.  But Krugman writes for a large megaphone.  Oh, sure, who listens to Krugman?  Obots came –>this<– close to calling him a racist for not kissing Obama’s, er, whatever, when he took office.

But for the good of the country, Obama must be primaried, regardless of the perceived incivility and the probability that the entire op/ed page of the Washington Post will get the vapors.  I think even Atrios is coming around:

One thing that’s been true since I’ve been paying attention is that everything The Left does is wrong. By The Left I mean everyone to the left of the basic governing power. Third Parties are bad, sitting out elections are bad, putting pressure on elected reps is bad, protesting is bad, primary campaigns are bad, media criticism might hurt their feefees and is bad, saying mean things about Rush Limbaugh is bad, actually discussing your views honestly is bad, etc. Obviously the failure of The Left to take control and run the country does suggest that it is doing something wrong, but no one ever really offers much constructive advice other than…please STFU.

Is the base going to STFU and graciously commit sepukka in order for politeness to flourish?  “Let good table manners reign!”

Update: Ian Welsh pounds the drum for primarying Obama too.  He goes even further than we do and says Obama is a bad man.  Amoral or Immoral?  Does it matter?

If the party base and the hung over Obots really have a political philosophy and if they really want the democratic values of the Democratic party to triumph, they’d better join us toot sweet.  Because, like it or not, there is only one person *at the present time* who can take on Obama and win.  Even if you are still suffering from CDS psychosis, I urge Obots for the sake of UNITY to join with us and push back.  Because until you give Obama a serious threat to his political career, he is going to take the party and the country down with him.  We have always said that our objection to Obama had nothing to do with his skin color.  It has everything to do with his lack of political convictions, his inexperience, his unpreparedness, and his contempt for the voters.

Howard Dean may be the alternate candidate for Whole Foods Nation but Obama knows that Dean poses no legitimate threat to him.  He has absolutely zero appeal to the working class.  Democrats cannot win in 2012 without the working class.  And the reason Obama is not going to push back at the Republicans is because he thinks the working class has abandoned the Democrats to join the Tea Party.  This is partially correct.  The working class would be more than happy to get behind a Democrat who supports the FDR style programs they love and who shows leadership qualities in the face of adversity.

As long as the Obots won’t even entertain the notion of supporting someone like that for president, Obama will continue to drown Hope in the Potomac.  Once you start to roll the idea of a popular primary challenger around in your heads and let Obama know you’re seriously thinking about it, you will start to get the Change! you voted for.  Don’t believe me?  Go ahead and try it.  Start making some noises that you’ve changed your minds and now “she who must not be named” is looking pretty good right about now.  Make it sound convincing.  Praise her statesmanship, her presence on a world stage, her calm and steely resolve.  See what happens.

He doesn’t fear you, Obots.  That’s why he’s giving you the finger and brushing your dirt off his shoulders.

Don’t Expect Apologies From the Dark Minions of the Kool-Aid Kingdom

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Dear Riverdaughter,

There is an interesting parallel between the situation of anti-Obama Democrats and that of the members of the resistance in post-WWII France. Given these parallels, I think it unlikely that we will receive an apology from the dark minions of the Kool-Aid Kingdom, generally-speaking. I think it more likely that they will continue to attempt to diminish us, because our existence reminds them of their failings.

Preventative maintenance requires this rider. I know the situations are not equivalent. I’m noting something they share.

Furthermore, there is no doubt that the vast majority of Obama supporters were not engaged in scorched Earth politics. They are not the object of this analysis.

As France re-made herself after WWII, participants in the Nazi/Vichy structures were embarrassed by the very existence of those who refused to participate under Nazi power. They were even more embarrassed by the existence of those who fought the power. The existence of the Resistance stood in stark relief to those who participated in Nazi-esque collusion.

As establishment people, they overcame their embarrassment in two ways. The first thing they did was to deny and exclude access to the power structure to resistance participants. They also worked to remove resistance participants from the structure, where possible.

The second thing they did was fabricate resistance credentials and attempt to bury their collusion with the Nazis. They created the myth of their integrity. By preventing the possibility of comparison through their exclusionary activities, they safeguarded the myth of their integrity. Their large numbers, tied to the fact of their establishment ensconsement, enabled the myth to become reified.

It is unsurprising that the dark minions among Obama’s enablers, who practised scorched Earth politics within the Democratic party and beyond, continue to assault those who worked against his ascendance. We are living examples of their moral and/or intellectual shortcomings.

They are tied to the power structure of the party. The re-writing phase of their autobiographies is underway. Expect some to engage in rearguard, credential boosting actions, like shearing the hair of the less powerful, more identifiable members of the Kool-Aid Kingdom.

These actions will mean little, however, until the history of the Resistance is co-optively revised. To do so, they will need to make us disappear from the public eye, through means that deny our power or diminish our voice.

I expect no apologies from the dark minions of the Kool-Aid Kingdom. I expect they will attack us because it is the only way for the myth of their integrity to take root.

gandalf

Yours,
Steven

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Thursday Morning News Links (with a little help from my friend Katiebird)

harvard.square

News from the Boston Area

Good morning, Conflucians! It’s another gray day in New England, but at least the Red Sox are still in first place.

Kansas City Royals play Red Sox this weekend.

José Guillen returned to the lineup — but as the designated hitter — and could spend time this weekend battling the Green Monster, the big left-field wall at Boston’s Fenway Park, in an effort to reduce strain on his aching legs.

Good luck with that, old man.

In other provincial news, legendary local gangster Whitey Bulger is still on the run, and his crimes are still being investigated and prosecuted.

Tall ships arrive in Boston (gorgeous photos!)

Mass. becomes the first state to challenge Federal Defense of Marriage Act.

“Our familes, our communities, and even our economy have seen the many important benefits that have come from recognizing equal marriage rights and, frankly, no downside,” Attorney General Martha Coakley said this afternoon at a news conference announcing the lawsuit. “However, we have also seen how many of our married residents and their families are being hurt by a discriminatory, unprecedented, and, we believe, unconstitutional law.”

Texting trolley driver indicted in crash

Governor’s Race Heats Up in Mass. (scroll down for story)

After years of consideration, republican Charlie Baker has decided to quit his lucrative job as CEO of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care so he can devote his full time to a 2010 Massachusetts gubernatorial bid.

News from Another Corrupt State

Ex-Blagojevich aide pleads guilty, will testify

A blow for Illinois’s Blagojevich in corruption case

Illinois political floodgates open after Madigan passes on governor, Senate bids.

News from Washington, DC

Democrats say CIA deceived Congress for years.

Obama threatens veto of intelligence bill.

Healthcare overhaul bill stalls in Congress

What’s So Scary About Offering People the Option of a Public Health Plan?

Howard Dean: This is ridiculous. We’re 60 Years Behind the Times” on Fixing Health Care

Your candidate won, Howie. So why are you whining?

Cities Lose Out on Road Funds From Federal Stimulus

For [Marion] Barry, a Familiar Script Takes an Unfamiliar Twist Continue reading

Wednesday Morning News

Continuing our collaboration from yesterday, BostonBoomer has made an incredible contribution to today’s list of links!  This time though we’re mixing them up.

  • Is the U.S. Attorney case still going on? Who knew? Rove deposed in US attorney probe

    Rove’s deposition began at 10 a.m. and ended around 6:30 p.m, with several breaks, Conyers said
    . . . .
    “He was deposed today,” Conyers said in an interview. “That’s all I can tell you.”


  • US Senators have second thoughts on health benefits tax

    “It remains a significant option, but we’re looking at other options,” Conrad told reporters Tuesday. “When you go out and ask people across the country, their initial reaction is, they don’t like it.”


  • Bernie Sanders takes on Rahm Emanuel on health care.

    “I think that it is fair to say that there are a number of us who would not be voting for anything resembling a Baucus-type plan as we understand it right now,” the senator told the Huffington Post, referring to Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus’ effort at constructing a reform bill.


  • Howard Dean: Private Health Care Is Breaking Our Economy

    This is one of the many problems the Senate is now having. They are focused on anything but the American people. But the insurance companies will be fine. It won’t happen overnight, and they’ll make plenty of money. But this is not a matter of making the insurance companies happy. This is a matter of making the 72 percent of the people who want a public option happy, including the 50 percent of Republicans who want a public option.


  • Amadinejad waves away large insect during speech:
    Dark humor and shouts in response to Ahmadinejad speech (this definitely makes more sense AFTER watching the video!)


  • Obama says the US has “absolutely not” given Israel the go ahead to attack Iran’s nukes.

    However, he did defend his deputy, who was accused of being gaffe-prone by rivals during the 2008 presidential election campaign.”I think Vice-President Biden stated a categorical fact which is we can’t dictate to other countries what their security interests are,” Mr Obama added.

    We wonder where Biden will be going next? Siberia?


  • Reid slams door on second stimulus

    “A little less than 90 percent still needs to be put out to the American people, and we’re in the process of doing that. It’s going to move more quickly now. As far as I’m concerned, there’s no showing to me that another stimulus is needed,” Reid said emphatically.


  • Why the imp in your brain gets out

    Perverse impulses seem to arise when people focus intensely on avoiding specific errors or taboos. The theory is straightforward: to avoid blurting out that a colleague is a raging hypocrite, the brain must first imagine just that; the very presence of that catastrophic insult, in turn, increases the odds that the brain will spit it out.


  • Ahhh…. Dogs who can tell when their owner’s blood sugar gets too low or can detect cancer.

    Last year, researchers from Queen’s University in Belfast decided to investigate anecdotal reports from dog owners who said their pets warned them of hypoglycemic attacks.


  • Taibbi: New Secrecy Rule Lets Goldman Sachs Control Stock Prices Unmolested by Public Scrutiny

    “The NYSE announced that it will no longer be releasing its weekly program trading data,” Taibbi wrote in a blog posting. “This is quiet obviously a move designed to make it even more impossible to track what’s going on in the NYSE and shield, in particular, Goldman Sachs.”


  • The Man Who Crashed the World

    “It took us a couple of days because I like to know what I’m talking about before I speak,” Obama said testily. “All right?”

    It’s unlikely that he actually did know what he was talking about, except in the broadest outlines. Nor, for that matter, did the people who had engineered the bailout. How could they? At no point did anyone from the U.S. Treasury or the U.S. Congress, or any of the various New York State authorities that had gotten involved, call them up, much less visit A.I.G.

    Inside the collapse of A.I.G.


  • Wildfires Are Linked to Global Warming — But Media Obscure the Relationship

    Early last summer, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced that California’s fire season now lasts all 365 days of the year. At the time, nearly 2,000 separate wildfires were burning across the Golden State;
    . . .
    With one notable exception, from the San Francisco Chronicle, none of the coverage explored the possibility that the fire might be linked to climate change, despite ample evidence that such a link exists.


  • Alec Baldwin interested in congressional run

    “I’ll put it this way,” he told the magazine. “The desire is there; that’s one component. The other component is opportunity.”


  • Remembering the funny Al Franken. I’ve loved Al since his days doing The Franken & Davis show on Saturday Night Live. I’ll never forget when he broadcast “LIVE” from the first Gulf War with a satellite dish taped to his head!

  • You won’t want to miss this! Be sure to set your alarms. . . . Today is 123456789 Day!

    Plenty on Facebook and Twitter are spreading reminders or cluing others in. Rainn Wilson, the actor who plays Dwight on “The Office,” tweeted about it, and on Facebook, pages popped up commemorating the date. Jon Everett, a 23-year-old University of Texas at Austin employee, created a Facebook page about the date with more than 600 Facebook users R.S.V.P.-ing yes to his “two-second celebration.”


  • Researchers: Social Security Numbers Can Be Guessed

    The Social Security number’s first three digits — called the “area number” — is issued according to the Zip code of the mailing address provided in the application form. The fourth and fifth digits — known as the “group number” — transition slowly, and often remain constant over several years for a given region. The last four digits are assigned sequentially.

    As a result, SSNs assigned in the same state to applicants born on consecutive days are likely to contain the same first four or five digits, particularly in states with smaller populations and rates of birth.

    THAT’s easy enough to test. . . Just find someone with the same birthday as you and see how close your SSNs are (My experience?  2 digits off).


Monday: I really *need* this job. Please God, I need this job!

slide1Howard Dean auditioned for Secretary of HHS.

God, I hope I get it, I hope I get it!
How many people does he need? How many people does he need?
God, I hope I get it! I hope I get it!
How may boys, how many girls
How many boys, how many…


And was sent home.


God, I really blew it, I really blew it!
How could I do a thing like that? How could I do a thing like …?
Now, I’ll never make it
I’ll never make it!
He doesn’t like the way I look.
He doesn’t like the way I dance.
He doesn’t like the way I…

No, Howard, he doesn’t like you.  He used you.  Just like he used a lot of other people to get to the top.  Jeez, Howard, how thick can you be?  You and Brother Jim were the propaganda wing.  You were set up to look much bigger than you actually were.  Your operations were infiltrated by Cylons to undermine and destroy the progressive blogosphere.  “Are your bases are belong to us!”  Well, I outta…Bam! to the moon Howard!

Haven’t you noticed how many Republican types or Republicans carefully groomed to look like Democrats there are in Obama’s cabinet, not to mention how few women?  (Thanks for nothing for that last bit, Howard.)  There’s Robert Gates still at the Penatagon and Judd Gregg nearly slipped in to guard the henhouse at Commerce.  His choice of Daschle was inspired no doubt by the less than vigorous defense of the Senate while he was majority leader after 9/11.  Looks like that anthrax spore job really put the fear of God in him, eh, Howard?  And now, the *woman*, who you describe as “very nice”, Kathleen Sebelius, who has run around Kansas for the last several years recruiting Republicans to run as Democrats, is going to be taking your spot.

What’s coming next? What’s happening now?
Still it isn’t over
I’ve gotta imagine what he wants it isn’t over
I’ve gotta imagine what he does
God, I hope I get it, I hope I get it!
I’ve come this far, but even so: It could be yes, it could be no.
How many people does he…?
I really need this job
Please, God, I need this job I’ve got to get this show.

No soup for you, Howard.  I hear you really haven’t got a gig lined up.  Now, is that the kind of gratitude you expected from the person you just helped get elected?  When did you realize you were left out of the equation, Howard?  Did you become a part of the “old coalition” before or after the money men moved the operation to Chicago?  Was it just after the RBC hearing in May when your name fell off the email list?  After the Democrats surrendered, you became superfluous.

Who am I anyway? Am I my resume?
That is a picture of a person I don’t know.
What does he want from me?
What should I try to be?
So many faces all around and here we go,
I need this job Oh God, I need this show.

There’s plenty of time to work on your “50 State Strategy”.  Hey!  Maybe you can apply for a directorship with Accountability Now!  There’s no time like the present.  Actually, it’s too late but I don’t want you to get too despondent.  After all, you’ve now joined the ranks of the “old, uneducated, stupid, working class, sino-Peruvian lesbians” except that your branch still thinks it consists of “Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Models with PhDs in Architecture”.  I have my doubts as to whether the Whole Foods nation will be able to withstand the forces of psychological warfare arrayed against them, although, flattery did work magnificently well the first time.  As long as they keep their distance from thos old hags, the PUMAs, the left of the party is effectively neutralized.

It’s OK, Howard.  Don’t worry about us.  We might be sitting at the wrong lunch table but once the glamour wears off the Messiah and everyone sees that his real agenda is to implement Republican Lite (now with 1/3 fewer fundamentalists!), we’re going to have a lot more company at this table.  The working class American voters are going to realize they were screwed and you, Howard, are going to get some of the blame for that.

You might be better off out of the spotlight.

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