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0 comments | Monday, July 31, 2006

Senator Dorgan's book seems to make some provocative and necessary statements that not too many politicians from the heartland (the land of Bush Republicans and triangulating Democrats) seem to be stepping forward and making. The book looks like it will be a worthwhile read, with the Senator coming out soundly against trade deficits as far as the eye can see, exportation of good paying manufacturing jobs, and the so-called free trade/globalization orthodoxy itself. The book looks like a constructive contribution to the project of giving the Democratic Party back its spine.

Unfortunately, I see in Wikipedia, Dorgan is listed as among the Senate coterie of New Democrats, which in and of itself would seem to be antithetical to the principles and actions for which his new book is arguing. If he's changed this is understandable, if he's still a member of this dubious group perhaps he could offer up a defense that's not transparent at first glance.

0 comments | Friday, July 28, 2006

I thought this article tried to make the Christian group protesting Oliver Stone's new film out to be a bunch of crazies (they very well might be, but the article doesn't make a sufficient case for that viewpoint). Anyway, whatever the purpose for what I thought seemed like an attack on that group, I found the article interesting because maybe for the first time conspiracy theorists are upset with Oliver Stone.

0 comments | Thursday, July 27, 2006

Hope springs no more in George W. Bush's America.

0 comments | Wednesday, July 26, 2006

This article gives a few illustrative examples of the type of kill the messenger tactics that I fully expect will increasingly be levied against the 'loony left blogosphere'. When it's really Lee Atwater (who renounced dirty politics on his deathbed by the way), Karl Rove, and the GOP propaganda machine that have so irreparably harmed American politics, it will, in the present and future, be the progressives and Democratic populists who will be smeared by the professionals of smear as defilers of the public discourse or some such. I think the Democratic party is only valid as standing for its rightful principles when it has an organized and active left-wing within its ranks. The Clintonian policies and the DLC manipulations have been about crushing (or at least suppressing) this portion of the party (and indeed the nation as a whole), so it's not surprising in the least that the foaming attack dogs of power, are at the height (depth?) of their faculties whilst the rumblings of the rabble worsen their days.

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One can only hope Israel will 'walk a tightrope' so to speak with their bombing campaigns from this point forward. It won't take much more for them to lose all credibility with the rest of the world otherwise. The reckless, merauding and incursions cannot persist, because if they do Israel will be branded an international pariah of the highest degree.

0 comments | Tuesday, July 25, 2006

While the world's power elite, wine, dine, and chit-chat, a group of activists have the courage to protest their annual get-together.

0 comments | Sunday, July 23, 2006

This article claims the Savage Nation isn't washed up, if that's true, it's too bad.

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This is a pretty interesting piece that attempts to take on a lot of the right-wing mythmaking, and insert a little bit of facts and some truth in order to clear up some gray areas, brought about by the aforementioned right-wing misrepresentations.

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Robert Kennedy Jr. seeks to prove that reliability, security, and quality of voting machines were all knowingly sacrificed by the desire to procure lucrative government contracts.

1 comments | Saturday, July 22, 2006

To be completely honest I'm not really following the violence in Lebanon/Gaza/Israel at the moment, and I generally don't follow the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. It's just such a FUBAR situation that I've got a limited tolerance for it. I did come across a couple of articles on the kind of destruction and pain Israel is reaping in Lebanon, that are worth reading, though. I'm generally pro-Palestinian, but as I said I don't think about the conflict too much, and I haven't really developed a point of view on the current events.

It's seems like an overeaction by Israel at first glance, but I'm not yet completely convinced that Israel doesn't have some valid reasons for their actions. Although I should also say even if Israel has good validation for what they've done, maybe I understated that this 'seems' like an overeaction; I think that what they've done, at this point, is clearly an overeaction. My confusion is that maybe there was some justification for what they've done, even though things (civilian casualities, infrastructure destruction, etc.) have gotten far out of hand at this point.

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Just when you think only the Bush administration is this evil incarnate, Sin City comes up with a harebrained scheme that can only rival the diabolical machinations of Dubya and his team.

0 comments | Friday, July 21, 2006

Is Ken Lay dead? This article isn't about conspiracy theories, just policies that fleece middle class and poor Americans.

0 comments | Thursday, July 20, 2006

Bush food chomping (followed by expletive) and now shoulder rub are redefining him as nutbar-in-chief.

0 comments | Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Many Georgia voters say they planned to vote for Cynthia McKinney, but another candidate's name popped up when they tried to enter their choice.

0 comments | Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Don't look now, dear reader, the neocons are massing again in the dark and shadowy regions of the globe. Spurned on by the events in the Mid-East, their bloodthirst has been rekindled and reinvigorated, and their plans for a scorched earth planet remain.

0 comments | Sunday, July 16, 2006

Cindy tells us she gave Norah a hug after the interview, and explains her positions on Hugo Chavez and some other controversial issues.

0 comments | Saturday, July 15, 2006

This is a great piece by Greg Palast comparing and contrasting the past two U.S. presidential elections and the ongoing one in Mexico.

0 comments | Friday, July 14, 2006

On July 11th I wrote that the punditry class had thrown in their hopes and dreams with Lieberman in this current Connecticut senatorial primary. But now one of their own has defected from their mal-intentioned groupthink. Harold Meyerson of the Washington Post, has come out and sided with the 'loony left bloggers'. It's interesting as well (not to pat myself on the back) he makes the same point that I did about Northeastern Democrats (and provides statistics that I didn't). He also makes good points about not only Lieberman's votes and perceived viewpoints on many issues sinking him with Connecticut Democratic voters, but also his spirited advocacy for issues reprehensible to them that has tarnished his image and reputation. It's good to know free thinking is still an option for our revered 'noblepersons' in the punditocracy establishment.

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The Republican leadership will likely remove this provision in conference committee.

0 comments | Thursday, July 13, 2006

I have so many problems with this interview I don't even know where to begin, and I won't be able to address all of them. First off Donny Deutsch's repeated claim that "everyone is like him [politically]", and there are no liberals out there, is obviously far wrong on its face (according to this piece the country is anywhere from 19% to 35% liberal). Secondly, I couldn't understand any of Ann Coulter's points in defense of bizarro comments that she had made.

Coulter's defense strategy seemed to be to converse with the interviewer (Donny) until both parties (plus the audience) were confused enough for the host to move onto the next topic. For example, regarding Ann's defense of her idea that conservatives are not allowed to respond to the Jersey girls; I ask since when and how would this kind of speech be akin to crying 'fire' in a theater and be in violation of the first amendment? She didn't even offer up a for instance, as to who attempted to retort to the Jersey Girls and was rebuked. What has Bill O'Reilly said about the Jersey girls? He and his ilk are usually none too bashful. I doubt his crowd would be (or was) intimidated by a group of four outspoken widows making anti-Bush 9/11 security claims.

Taking all of this into account, I thought Ann's meager presentation didn't illuminate where and when the right wing punditry was muzzled on this matter, or has been muzzled on any matter at any time in the past. The only thing I learned from this installment of The Big Idea was that Ann Coulter's appeal is clearly to those on the right who hate liberals (or the right wing straw man creation thereof) to the nth degree and will watch or read anything that lampoons them; as well as quite possibly progressives who will find humor in Coulter's wild flights of fancy, even though her intent is to impugn them.

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Lamont argues he has broad and diverse support, and the Republican in the race is exposed as a serial card counter who operated under an assumed name.

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If House Republicans have there way, some of teeth will be taken out of state laws that regulate the use of harmful chemicals.

0 comments | Wednesday, July 12, 2006

I may have sounded the death knell too early on the legal preceedings in the Mexican election. It seems many of the irregularities and allegations thereof are making there way into the Mexican conciousness. Still, the card of the moblization of the masses looms as the greatest stick for Lopez Obrador and his supporters. Things are looking up on all fronts for AMLO supporters, though, so the anticipated rubber stamping of a rigged election by the TRIFE, may yet be abated by an active and vigilant citizenry.

0 comments | Tuesday, July 11, 2006

The Lieberman/Ned Lamont primary is becoming an illustrative example of the decayed democracy that currently exists in the U.S. The punditry class, and many of their DLC-influenced Democratic officeholder friends are clearly perturbed by Lamont's run (and the blogosphere's support of him), and clearly wish old Ned would just pack up and take his show back to Greenwich. It's seems to me, however, that primaries are the life's blood of a well functioning democracy, they are a key component of the stuff great representative democracies are made of.

The only valid reason to oppose Lamont's run, is that perhaps he undermines the 'big tent' notion that the Democratic party wants to achieve. Potentially, he undermines the idea that the party should support a plurality of voices and perspectives. But even this argument, though it's a respectable one, is defeated by the fact that Connecticut is a state ripe for a challenge to Lieberman. Connecticut is not Kansas or the bible belt, we're talking about a state in the blue to purple Northeast. There's simply no reason to run Republican-lite candidates in the Northeast (with the possible exception of New Hampshire). When and where there is a Northeastern Republican-lite officeholder a challenger should step up to face s/he, and in doing so help work to regenerate the democratic ideals of this country. A primary challenge to a sitting incumbent is one of the most basic ways to achieve this. Should Lamont emerge victorious in the Connecticut primary we will observe the best of democracy even if it scares the timid pundits and overly-cautious Democratic hierarchy.

0 comments | Monday, July 10, 2006

A fuller picture of the North Korean situation can help shed light on this subject.

0 comments | Sunday, July 09, 2006

In case you missed it, as I did, this is a really vile interview with Cindy Sheehan, conducted by Norah O'Donnell on Hardball. I don't think Trent Lott or George Allen would be treated this way and I don't understand why O'Donnell disrespected Cindy Sheehan so vehemently. Of course, Cindy's comment that she'd rather live under Chavez than Bush is probably eliciting loud guffaws from the ditto head right, but I don't find it to be an outlandish comment whatsoever. Choose to live under a president seeking human rights and social justice? Or one endorsing pro-business policies at any cost, and engaging in seemingly non-stop war mongering? The U.S. is the far wealthier country so this analysis doesn't hold up to much scrutiny anyway.

I thought Sheehan was rational, and even keeled and made a lot of sense. The highlight (lowlight?) was the venom displayed by O'Donnell who appeared to relish painting Sheehan as an extremist, going far beyond the call for her to do a stimulating interview. Instead she seemed to want to go at Sheehan as if she were a frightened puppy, to Cindy's credit she didn't take the bait and seemed peaceful and unflappable for the entire interview. There must be a casting call at Fox News channel or something for Norah O'Donnell to display her claws so brazenly and act in such an impertinent manner.

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9/11 truth has a Vanity Fair piece up on Dylan Avery and the Loose Change movie.

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Bob Parry does a good analysis of the 'slam dunking' of Bob Woodward and the MSM leading up to Gulf War II.

0 comments | Friday, July 07, 2006

Evidence builds that the fix was in against Lopez Obrador.

0 comments | Thursday, July 06, 2006

The MSM is reporting that Calderon has won the Mexican election. It will be interesting see what develops when Lopez Obrador supporters take to the streets. Obviously we must hope for non-violence, but at the same time it would seem that it's going to take near complete societal unrest to get Lopez Obrador the presidency. I believe he still has some legal avenues open to him, but I doubt they'll get anywhere. This is going to be one for the power of the people, it remains to be seen where that power will lead.

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Now that Joe Lieberman is facing Ned Lamont in a primary challenge, it begs the question of who (if anyone) will be there for him, if he embarks upon his campaign as an 'independent' Democrat. Hillary Clinton, Russ Feingold, and the DNC have all come out and said they will support the primary winner, while others are being more coy and circumspect. Whether there is anything political to any of these positions very much remains up in the air. Do Democrats fear being viewed as not dovish enough if they stand by their man Joe, or is this just some of the same political theatrics that we saw back with the attempted Alito filibuster (get behind something even though one knows there's no chance in hell that it will actually occur)? An accurate response would take actually getting inside the heads of these politicos, a task that's none to easy for folks who specialize in talking out of both sides of their mouths; but nevertheless it's stimulating to sit back and watch our fair leaders squirm around, and hem and haw over the little engine that could/insurgent candidacy of Ned Lamont.

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Allegations of fraud, missing votes, and twisting counts in Calderon's favor continue to mire the Mexican election in ambiguity.

0 comments | Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Accusations of ballots being counted more than once, and over two million 'spoiled' ballots are two causes over the continuation of Mexican election limbo.

0 comments | Tuesday, July 04, 2006

I've never understood the rumblings about Condoleeza Rice as a presidential candidate. Presumably with all the speculation about Hillary Clinton running, the Republicans would want to at least consider a woman as her opponent (presumably they could compete for the female vote better this way, and with a female African-American they could compete among two of Hillary's supposed best constituencies). Perhaps, this is all the rumblings are about, but of course the fact that Condoleeza is strangely popular among independents and some Dems (when and where has she disagreed with Bush?), probably has something to do with it as well. Ultimately, although there have been some number of Secretaries of State that have become President in the history of the country (I can't recall who the last one was); it would seem in today's political climate even a party chair, or congressperson would have a better time running for the top job, than a member of the president's cabinet.

What political skills do the jobs of National Security Advisor and Secretary of State give to a potential candidate? Probably a lot of savvy with the media and image control, but little with the nitty gritty of campaigning, the holy grail of the skill set for any would-be president. Therefore, as long as Condoleeza demurely (have we ever had a demure president?) turns down requests and inquisitions that she run for commander-in-chief, I'll take the rumblings for her to take on this challenge, as the idle chatter of the busy bodies of the political world; and not the cogent analysis of political handicapping sophisticates.

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Policies with the poor, and working people in mind (before multinational corporations) are being implemented in Bolivia.

0 comments | Sunday, July 02, 2006

In Bush America free speech and expression is apparently an anachronistic practice.

0 comments | Saturday, July 01, 2006

Russ Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, Ann Coulter, and a few other clowns, have seen decreased visitation to their websites in recent months.