Friday, July 29, 2005

First the Media then the Utilities

The business fascists are closing in on their next huge target. Media conglomerates are proliferating as they slide to the right under loosened public protections, ah, er...I mean freedom from regulation.

Now, the energy bill is seeking to unleash the Titans of consolidation on our public utilities. Check out what the repeal of the Public Utilities Holding Company Act (yeah it's in the same pork barrel) could mean to just plain us. Meteor Blades explains it here.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Scarborough's Dishonest Argument on Profiling

Joe Scarborough supported profiling of young Muslim men in screening public transportation passengers for potential terrorists this moring on The Today Show.

Never mind that instituting such a policy narrows the focus of security folks while telegraphing to terrorist planners what not to do. The analogy he drew for the argument's sake wasn't even an honest attempt at justification.

Basically, he compared profiling by screener's to investigators focusing on white christian males after an abortion center bombing.

Wut???? Investigating a crime is the same as screening to prevent one? He said it straight-faced and seemingly sincere. Surely Joe knows the difference between facts in an actual investigation and assumptions (which make an ass out of Joe) to determine who gets screened.

I believe he knows the difference and was just making an unrelated point. One which allowed him to raise up a white Christian perpetrator conceivably to camoflauge an arab Muslim prejudice.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Patriot Act Redux

The House of Representatives has rubber stamped the rush-to-judgment Patriot Act again.

That's really sad. To think they could have rushed out just the right legislation in the emotion-laden days following 9/11 is preposterous, but it's nothing new for this government.

Especially not surprising was the number of Reps using the recent London violence in literally scaring up support. That's just the way this crowd operates, and just the way the jihadists say they want it.

The administration and its congressional lackeys want us panting after material gain all the while whipped with fear and prodded by anger to give them all the power, political and monetary, they can wield.

To date, they're pretty much having it their way.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Reason at the Navy War College

There are some right minds in the military talking sense to future senior officers. Just check out what Odysseus at TPMCafe turned me on to.

Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Wallace Gregson speaking at the College layed out enough wise nuggets to fill an entire article. I'm quoting many. Check out the many others.
“The center of gravity, the decisive terrain in this war is the vast majority of people who are not directly involved but whose support, willing or coerced, is necessary to insurgent operations around the world,” he said. “Hearts and minds are more important than capturing and killing people.”

“We don’t have enough ammunition to kill all the terrorists that the enemy can run at us,” Gregson said. “We have to start working on the population from which the terrorist foot soldiers are recruited.”

“We have a chance to start winning this war here and walk it back into the Middle East, but we can’t just continue to admire the problem,” Gregson said. “We have to start doing something and we have to start walking the propaganda back in the other direction and get ourselves on the right side of this issue.”

Providing doctors, engineers, dentists, veterinarians and other aid to enhance the lives of people living in very troubled parts of the world is “often far more important than projecting some type of force,” Gregson said.
Michael Vlahos of Johns Hopkins University added some common sense of his own to the mix. Read it all. I found it at least somewhat encouraging.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Rove et al Large and Small

I'm staying Corn fed on the gist of the Karl Rove lie fest. David sums up the least of what we know nicely.
...Rove, through his lawyer, has not told the truth, that the White House falsely denied he was involved, and that at least two of the most senior Bush White House aides (wittingly or not) shared with reporters classified information that disclosed an undercover CIA official and threatened operations conducted by the CIA's anti-WMD unit. At the end of the day, Fitzgerald may not be able to prove a crime, but his investigation has already produced evidence that incriminates White House officials as liars who certainly said more than they should have.

The bottom line there, of course, is just spelling out the latest symptoms. eRobin at Fact-esque provides a concise description of the disease.

"This is the crime for which BushCo should be going to jail - politicizing terrorism and using it as a wedge to divide the country."

Read her whole case. She makes a good one.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Good Rove Stuff Micro-Index

We've all said a lot, and the same things a lot, and a lot of times in the same places, but a couple stand out to me.

David Corn's yeoman's job of slogging through the BS and keeping the directing sign on the straight and narrow. His blog has even more examples of his diligence. Catch the whole piece if you can, but his closing sums up the bottom line.
...(T)he Bush White House, Rove and his comrades in the conservative media cannot argue Rove did nothing wrong--unless they want to claim it's fine to leak classified information that reveals the identity of a covert CIA officer (who was working to prevent the spread of WMDs) in order to undermine a critic. That's the spin-free reality.
What's it all about? Paul Krugman makes things pretty clear to me right here. He doesn't fail to make the link we all should make, every time, to the seat of ultimate responsibility.
Ultimately, this isn't just about Mr. Rove. It's also about Mr. Bush, who has always known that his trusted political adviser - a disciple of the late Lee Atwater, whose smear tactics helped President Bush's father win the 1988 election - is a thug, and obviously made no attempt to find out if he was the leaker.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Home Grown Terror a Shock?

Many Londoners are shocked that most or all the bombers who struck a week ago were British citizens.

Maybe that's a trait of Western democrats. I know I've felt the same way a number of times in the not too distant past.

I said earlier today in a comment to a post at The Moderate Voice (link above) that one price of the freedom we enjoy, and it really isn't free, is that willful acts of terror can sometimes occur. Waco, OKC, and the once spreading militia movement are home-grown examples that hit me hard in the past.

Unfortunately, the solution, as far as there is one, is not instantly gratifying. It takes vigilance, sure. It also takes education and equity in the political, social, economic, and even spiritual realms to promote peaceful co-existence. And still, there is no panacea, and someone sometime will exact the price again for some reason or no reason.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

The Theology of Me

For no other reason than I've been obsessively posting on politics lately, I'd like to profess (confess?)how I keep things simple enough for my own stupidity.

I'm like the bumber sticker says, "Christian by choice - Democrat by the grace of God".

I follow the Bible in a nutshell as described on an old episode of that most holy of sitcoms, Dharma and Greg, and I paraphrase, " The first part is all about don't mess around with God*. The second part says be nice to people."

*the less monotheistic could substitute, "...don't tempt fate" or "...keep your pride in check" for similar ethical results.

There's much more and it's ever evolving, but that's the

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Why I Feel Obliged to Post on Rove

I believe what Duncan Black said about us in his Corn post today.
The fact is the Democrats really are, on their own, unable to create a sustained political shitstorm (though they of course could be better at it if they tried a bit harder). Absent the center-right mainstream media deciding to sustain an issue on its own, it just won't happen. This story, in so many ways, is about them - about how their confidential sourcing was abused to smear political opponents, how they've been carrying water for the lies of Scotty and Karl, and their overall gullibility.
So, I'll keep stirring what tempests I can in what teapots I have.

Obligatory Rove Post

The obligation is only to me, because I at least want to feel like I'm making noise about this.

I've been thinking about George Bush's famous loyalty in light of the roiling Rove row (there goes that obsessive alliteration again). With recent history to guide me, I'm guessing his loyalty to someone as close as Karl Rove is pretty much blind.

Randi Rhodes put what I was thinking into excellent metaphorical context for me. She was spot on hilarious in relating the Bush White House clan's in-house rules to those of the Mob. I would specify "B" movie grade Mob rules.

Bush probably feels some kind of macho pride in standing by his "guys". He may not think beyond this juvenile code to realize he is putting his clanship above the truth, and more importantly above his word to all of us.

Monday, July 11, 2005

No, no, no, no...David Gregory to Scott McClellan

Way to go David, finally some real backbone. I' ve been worried for a while that your reporting tone at times tettered on worship of this presidency. Today it seemed you finally had enough of the Scotty shuffle and called it like you saw it, at least in the briefing. The video is also available.

You're back on my OK list Mr. Gregory, and OK is my top rating for members of the MSM right now.

Blogs Roiling over Rove

Sorry about the title, I obviously suffer a weakness for alliteration. Isikoff's Newsweek piece has the week off to a noisy start, and Joe Gandelman at The Moderate Voice has done an insightful piece and included a healthy cross section of reaction. It would be a great one stop to get the scoop and the buzz.

My persuasion being no secret I tend to agree especially with this among Joe's major conclusions.
No matter what happens, it boldly underlined Rove's role as what analysts in the 1960s used to call a "political hatchet man," a hands-on operative who will seek to overtly and, even moreso, covertly discredit and destroy anyone who stands in the way of his boss' objectives
Now let's all hold our breath while we wait to see what consequences Karl suffers.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

My Heart to London

I offer belated but heartfelt sympathy to all citizens of London, the United Kingdom, and all lovers of peace and justice everywhere.

My thoughts and prayers are with the injured and the families, friends, and loved ones of the dead.

For perspective and meaning, I lean toward Thursday's post by Brad DeLong.

Gone Fishin', Drivin', Campin'

Gone and back again actually. The family and I had a last minute opportunity to leave early for our extended 4th of July weekend, and, for shame, I did not post a notice of my break here as I intended.

For those that arrived looking for new content, I apologize for the lack of warning, to both of you. We are back now from what my wife suggested was not quite the vacation from hell, but we sure got a glimpse of there from where we were.

I'm catching up on what all my more diligent blog-mates have posted in my absence and hope to weigh in with new content shortly.