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Zombie lies and the lying liars that tell them

I ran across this pile of shit over at Cinie’s place:

I remember the moment when the last vestiges of the admiration I had once felt for Bill and Hillary Clinton vanished.

By May 2008, Barack Obama had opened up an all-but-insurmountable lead over Hillary in the contest for the Democratic party’s presidential nomination. The former first lady was asked why, therefore, she was prolonging the battle, risking significant damage to the party in the process.

“We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California,” she replied.

To raise the spectre of political murder in any campaign would have been startling. To do so against Obama – whose status as the first serious African-American candidate for the White House had obliged him to have secret service protection from a conspicuously early stage – was disgusting.

Hillary’s comment was even more incendiary because it came towards the end of a campaign in which the family that had dominated Democratic politics for most of the previous two decades had shown little reluctance to play the race card.

I don’t know who Niall Stanage is but he’s dumber than a drunken Blogstalker.  First of all, Hillary won the popular vote and only trailed in the pledged delegate race by 17 delegates AFTER the Rules & Bylaws Committee decision on May 31, 2008 AND with 908 “uncommitted” pledged delegates and all the superdelegates still not counted.

Secondly, the RFK Fauxrage has already been thoroughly debunked. Hillary was not “raising the spectre” of anything, against Obama or anyone else. The whole incident is a prime example of the pro-Obama lunacy that ran amok in Left Blogistan during the 2008 election.

Last of all, the only people “playing the race card” during the election (and repeatedly ever since) were Obama and his supporters.

So I would like to invite Mr. Stanage to kindly fuck off.

(zombie graphic courtesy of Joseph Cannon)

Jane’s amazing powers of prophecy

I was directed to Jane Hamsher’s comment thread by Wonk the Vote who spotted this clairvoyant Monday morning quarterbacking from Jane Hamsher:
In response to okanogen @ 107

The idea that Hillary would’ve done anything different about health care or anything else is pretty phantasmagorical I believe, but since we don’t know for sure people are free to make their own assumptions.

It was assumed that Rahm would be key in the administration regardless of who won, and the “strike a deal with PhRMA” logic was generated by veterans of the Clinton White House in response to their 1994 health care experience. It’s at the heart of Bill Clinton’s “let’s find a few things we can agree on and pass that, and not worry about this divisive stuff” exhortations in the past few months.

“Shanking off the hangover of the primary” cuts both ways, and I don’t think one side is going to find that any easier than the other.

Ok, let me see if I can pick out the flaw in this comment for Jane.  We will never know for sure what Hillary would or wouldn’t have done because she was never given the chance to demonstrate this to us.  However, using the evidence we had on hand at the time, *Obama’s* behavior was entirely predictable.  In fact, we predicted it.  Over and over again before the election.  Yesterday, Stateofdisbelief suggested that we collect our predictions for an Epiphany Day post, so look for it on or around January 6 where we will present the collected predictions from the 2008 primary and immediate aftermath of the election where we laid it all out about just what kind of president Obama was going to be.
But Jane’s problem goes deeper than just a lack of prophetic power.  She really doesn’t get why people are still mad about the primaries.  Take this comment, for example:
In response to Phoenix Woman @ 5

I had a woman call up and scream at me when I was on CSPAN the other day for all the horrible things Markos and I had done to Hillary Clinton during the primaries, telling me that I had destroyed the Democratic party.

And I’m like, seriously? I know some people you should meet, you guys would have an interesting fight.

Jane, I will tell you why this woman and some of the rest of us are so angry.  It’s because YOU and Markos and Booman and your naive friends who thought you knew what would happen if Hillary was elected decided not to protest all of the slimy machinations of the DNC during primary season.  You heard Donna Brazile divide us into the New Coalition and the Old Coalition and didn’t call her on it.  You listened to the misogyny but didn’t do enough to stop it.  You accepted the results of some pretty rigged committee hearings and some of you cheered for the winning side.  You watched as delegates from Clinton states were forced to vote for a candidate they didn’t represent and you looked the other way.

That last thing just floors me about you, Jane. You went along with the idea that a woman who was a mere 17 delegates behind her opponent, and 17 seriously questionable delegates at that, wasn’t entitled to a genuine roll call and floor vote at the convention. The old Jane Hamsher would have never tolerated such a violation of fair reflection. But the new Obama supporting Jane Hamsher was perfectly OK with it.

And you did this because Obama was your guy.  You wanted him.  And because you wanted him so badly without really listening closely at what he was dogwhistling to the other side, you substituted YOUR judgement for OURS. You supported Obama because you felt you knew what was best for the rest of us.  We waited eight long years to get rid of George Bush and desperately wanted someone we felt was competent to run the country and you and your friends joined in the effort to nullify our votes.  Now, as a result of the decision that you made for the rest of us, we are stuck with Obama.  We got bankers holding on to our money, a health care reform bill that locks us into the insurance industry’s monopoly power, endless war, skyrocketing unemployment and people losing their houses with minimal government interference.  Instead of Clinton III, we got Bush III.  Tell me, Jane, which one would have been worse?

People like me are pretty steamed at you and your buddies.  You took away our choice.  We didn’t get a fair primary season.  We didn’t even get a floor fight.  There was no unity, Jane.  It was all an illusion.  Your guy was forced on many, many Democratic voters because YOU decided that Obama was best for us.  And many people swallowed that because they were convinced that Republicans were worse.  So they voted for a Democrat and they got a Republican anyway.

Jane, how many times do we have to tell you that it wasn’t about Hillary after May 31, 2008?  It was about choice.  Remember Choice, Jane?  The right to self-determination?  The ability to choose your own destiny?  If someone else took that choice away from you, you’d be on their doorstep with a bullhorn and wouldn’t let up.  But because it was YOUR guy who won, it was OK?  What about the choice of the rest of us, Jane? What about CA, NJ, NY, MA, OH, PA, TX, IN, NH, WV, TN, FL, MI and so on and so on? Those big, Democratic states did not vote for Barack Obama in the primaries, Jane. They deserved to cast their votes for the candidate they *did* vote for. I was one of those voters, Jane and I am not letting the Democratic party off the hook for its outrageous behavior towards me and the others. With a primary this close and disputed, the nullification of my vote was unforgivable.

That is why the primary of 2008 isn’t going to go away and why you are going to continue to get angry callers who blame you and your friends for the state of the country under Obama.  You took our choice away.  Your incredibly high handed and self-righteous decision to support Obama and shut down the rest of the party for the supposed good of that party has lead us to this point.

Your predictions about Hillary are irrelevant.

Addendum: This is how a true blue Democrat handles the issue of Choice, Jane.

It’s worth watching the whole thing because Chris Smith really lays out the anti-reproductive services/anti-abortion argument in all its glory and she still makes mincemeat of him without even raising her voice.

Where was Barack Obama when Bart Stupak proposed his amendment? Why wasn’t he all up in Ben Nelson’s face fighting for those young Obot women who voted for him out of fear that Sarah Palin was going to take away their right to abortion? Barack Obama is no Hillary Clinton who can stare down the most obnoxious Congressional anti-abortion foes around. He doesn’t hold a candle to her and her convictions.

Don’t you feel stupid now, Jane? So much for Jane Hamsher, Issues Maven.

Sometimes it’s good to forget

In these times when we’re headed off a cliff, and no way of knowing whether we can fly, it’s good to see that sometimes troubles end.

A guard tower on the East German border is now a summer house. (From Paul Kaye’s series on the BBC about the Iron Curtain.)

A green and pleasant scene of shrubs and well-tended lawns on the banks of the Elbe

A happy New Year to all.

Lazy Friday Mid-Morning News and Views: Happy New Year Edition

Ice sculpture, Boston Common: Michaelangelo sculpting David

Happy New Year, fellow Conflucians! I hope everyone finds a way to enjoy the first full day of 2010. I’m kind of glad the holiday season is drawing to a close. I always get a little lethargic at this time of year. I can’t believe I actually slept until 9:00 this morning! So what’s happening out there in the world, newswise?

Last night cities around the world celebrated the beginning of the second decade of the 21st Century. Here in Boston, there were ice sculptures on the Boston Common, and Fenway Park has been turned into a hockey rink. Last night the Boston Bruins had a light practice at Fenway yesterday; and if all goes well, they will play the Philly Flyers there this afternoon at 1:00.

The lead story in the news today seems to be the bombing in Afghanistan that killed eight Americans, seven of them CIA agents. The Wall Street Journal reports that the suicide bomber who penetrated several layers of security at the U.S. Compound in Khost Province may have been helped by “a CIA informant.”

On Wednesday, CIA officials had invited the attacker onto the base with the hopes of recruiting him as an informant. They used an Afghan intermediary to arrange the meeting. The attacker arrived, wearing an Afghan army uniform, officials said.

The assault shows a strategy the insurgency has increasingly employed here in recent months: using the uniforms and vehicles of the Afghan army and police to carry out attacks.

At times, militants strike with the help of sympathizers in the Afghan forces. In November, an Afghan police officer opened fire on Western forces, killing five British soldiers, and a similar incident happened in early December. Insurgent sympathizers in the police force helped plan both attacks, Afghan officials said.

The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack (video)

The New York Times’ Mark Mazzetti reports that this bombing demonstrates the increased role of the CIA in Afghanistan.

The deaths of seven CIA operatives at a remote base in the mountains of Afghanistan is a pointed example of the civilian spy agency’s transformation in recent years into a paramilitary organization at the vanguard of America’s far-flung wars.

The CIA operatives stationed at Forward Operating Base Chapman in Khost Province, where Wednesday’s suicide bombing occurred, were responsible for collecting information about militant networks in Afghanistan and Pakistan and plotting missions to kill the networks’ top leaders. In recent months, US officials said, CIA officers at the base had begun an aggressive campaign against a radical group run by Sirajuddin Haqqani, which has claimed responsibility for the deaths of dozens of US troops.

Even as the CIA expands its role in Afghanistan, it is also playing a greater role in quasi-military operations elsewhere, using drone aircraft to launch a steady barrage of missile strikes in Pakistan and sending more operatives to Yemen to assist local officials in their attempts to roll back Al Qaeda’s momentum in that country.

Just more evidence that the US is beginning to resemble the Roman Empire in its last days.

Charlie Savage has a piece in The New York Times about the dismissal of all charges against Blackwater guards who shot and killed 17 Iraqi civilians in Baghdad On September 16, 2007. Judge Ricardo M. Urbina wrote in his opinion that the Justice Department had “inappropriately relied on” statements given by the men shortly after the shootings, arguing that these statements had been coerced by the State Department.

On Friday morning in Iraq, most people had not yet heard about the ruling, but some were confused as to how charges could have been dropped despite what many Iraqis regard as overwhelming evidence. So far, the reaction in Iraq has been shocked disbelief.

Ali Khalaf, a traffic police officer who was on duty in Nisour Square when the Blackwater guards opened fire and aided some of the victims afterward, was furious.

“There has been a cover-up since the very start,” he said. “What can we say? They killed people. They probably gave a bribe to get released. This is their own American court system.”

Some of the victims had been burned so badly, he said, that he and others had to use shovels to scoop their remains out of their vehicles.” I ask you, if this had happened to Americans, what would be the result? But these were Iraqis.”

Sahib Nassir’s 26-year-old son, Mehdi, a taxi driver, was shot in the back and died during the incident. He said he was stunned to hear that the charges had been dismissed because he had been preparing to testify at a the trial. “How could they release them?” he asked. “There is evidence. There are witnesses.”

{sigh…} I’m sure this will really help the Obama administration’s efforts to convince Iraqis that U.S. troops and contractors are there to help Iraqis and bring peace, freedom, and democracy to their country.

In Iran, opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi warned the government in Tehran that

it will not be able to put down the reform movement by force, and says he is not afraid to become a martyr.

In a statement posted on opposition Web sites – Mousavi’s own Kaleme site and Jaras – Friday, the reformer said Iran is in the midst of a “serious crisis.”

Mousavi warned that jailing or killing opposition leaders will not calm the situation. He also called on the government to adopt a five-point plan, which includes freeing political prisoners and establishing new, transparent election laws.

Hey, we’d love to get some election reform in the the U.S. too. When will we take to the streets to demand it?

The LA Times has a story on hundreds of new laws in California: California ushers in new laws limiting trans fats, the paparazzi and more

Starting today, restaurants face strict limits on cooking with artery-clogging trans fats; people wanting plastic surgery in California must get a physical first; dairy farmers are barred from cutting cows’ tails; and the law gets tougher on mortgage fraud.

Penalties for betting in office pools are reduced, but there are new fines for watching a dogfight, engaging in human trafficking and providing minors with nitrous oxide.

And paparazzi will pay more if they break the law to get celebrity photos — a bill championed by actress Jennifer Aniston, who is sometimes pursued by groups of photographers who weave in and out of traffic and run red lights.

The Legislature also gave Californians two new official days of recognition: March 30, to show appreciation for Vietnam veterans, and May 22, to remember slain gay-rights leader Harvey Milk.

But they still won’t allow same-sex couples to get married. Odd.

The new year always brings many stories about the people who died in the year that just ended, and this year is no exception.

The Boston Globe: Recalling the many we lost: A lasting impact on history and culture hails John Updike, Ted Kennedy, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, Robert McNamara, Andrew Wyeth, Walter Cronkite, Frank McCourt, William Safire, Claude Levi-Strauss, and many more.

A number of celebrities died in 2009, including Michael Jackson, Farah Fawcett, Brittany Murphy, Patrick Swayze, Ed McMann, and David Carradine. One gossip site includes Tiger Woods’ career in their list of top five deaths in 2009.

OK, that’s about all I’ve got for this morning. What stories are you reading, and what are you remembering about 2009?


How’s your new year going so far?

What resolutions (if any) did you make? I resolved to drink to much, eat unhealthy and be a grouch. I figure those goals are do-able.

This is an open thread.