Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Today is Election Day In Ohio; Early Voting-- Ready, Set, Go!

Photo by David Smith, The Herald

Ladies and Gentlemen, Start your engines.
In Ohio, today is Election Day. So is tomorrow. And so are the next 34 days.

Early Vote has officially started in the Buckeye State --
For GNB readers from Ohio...Find your Early Vote location right now and cast your ballot today:


COLUMBUS, OHIO -- The campaign isn't over, but the voting is underway.

Before watching the presidential debates and without waiting for the next round of TV ads, millions of voters who have made up their minds about John McCain and Barack Obama will cast ballots before election day, thanks to expansive new early-voting laws.

In parts of Georgia, voting began last week. In Iowa, residents may vote at county auditor offices starting today. And in Ohio, a battleground state that Obama and McCain each view as crucial to making it into the White House, voting opens Tuesday. LA Times
Do you live in Ohio? Know anyone who does? Get the word out and Get your Vote on!

crossposted at fighting liberals
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A Heaping Dose of Hope

"May I Suggest" by Susan Werner

Performed beautifully by Red Molly

I was told by a friend that Red Molly has the vocal arrangement posted somewhere on the 'net, but in the short time I have before taking my Mom and some of her friends out to a concert I have been unable to find it.

Here are Susan's wonderful lyrics. I plan on singing this one at my daughter's graduation from Medical School.

May I suggest
May I suggest to you
May I suggest this is the best part of your life

May I suggest
This time is blessed for you
This time is blessed and shining almost blinding bright
Just turn your head
And you’ll begin to see
The thousand reasons that were just beyond your sight

The reasons why
Why I suggest to you
Why I suggest this is the best part of your life

There is a world
That’s been addressed to you
Addressed to you, intended only for your eyes
A secret world
Like a treasure chest to you
Of private scenes and brilliant dreams that mesmerise
A lover’s trusting smile
A tiny baby’s hands
The million stars that fill the turning sky at night

Oh I suggest
Oh I suggest to you
Oh I suggest this is the best part of your life

There is a hope
That’s been expressed in you
The hope of seven generations, maybe more
And this is the faith
That they invest in you
It’s that you’ll do one better than was done before

Inside you know
Inside you understand
Inside you know what’s yours to finally set right

And I suggest
And I suggest to you
And I suggest this is the best part of your life

This is a song
Comes from the west to you
Comes from the west, comes from the slowly setting sun
With a request
With a request of you
To see how very short the endless days will run
And when they’re gone
And when the dark descends
Oh we’d give anything for one more hour of light

And I suggest this is the best part of your life

May I suggest? Suggest that you each find a way to help get out the vote. In 35 days history will be made. Let's all do what we can to make certain it's a history we can live with.
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Public Service Annoucement; Reminder of What we are Fighting For During Banned Books Week

Read a banned book this week, and write a letter to the editor of a local paper reminding people about banned books week and the questions surrounding the RNC candidate for VP!

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Vancouver Peak Oil: "This is Insane" Day

On October 6th, at 12 noon, Vancouver Peak Oil is sponsoring "This is Insane" Day (also known as "street theatre for long suffering citizens"). As the above video demonstrates, anyone who thinks we're headed in the wrong direction (on oil, food, population, politics, toxins, transportation, pollution, the environment, the economy, ta policy, militarization, or anything else) is encouraged to step outside and shout "This is Insane". VPO also has a Facebook page for you to post pictures of your "This is Insane" Day moment.

I'll be supporting VPO on Monday, and I hope you will be too.

Use the comment thread to talk about all the ways that "This is Insane!"

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Which Side Are You On?

A great song, which was recently covered by Natalie Merchant. I will confess, I've had a huge crush on Natalie Merchant for a long, long time.

Come all you good workers,
Good news to you I'll tell
Of how the good old union
Has come in here to dwell.

Which side are you on?
Which side are you on?
Which side are you on?
Which side are you on?

My dady was a miner,
And I'm a miner's son,
And I'll stick with the union
'Til every battle's won.

They say in Harlan County
There are no neutrals there.
You'll either be a union man
Or a thug for J. H. Blair.

Oh workers can you stand it?
Oh tell me how you can?
Will you be a lousy scab
Or will you be a man?

Don't scab for the bosses,
Don't listen to their lies.
Us poor folks haven't got a chance
Unless we organize.

Florence Reese

This one always reminds me of Gilly.
"I know what I am, what are you?"
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A Great Banned Song, Featuring a Great Blacklisted Songwriter

Arlo Guthrie & Pete Seeger "This Land Is Your Land"

Which a lot of folks don't know, was written as a protest song. Woody Guthrie was riding frieght trains around the Central Valley, trying to organize workers and pick some fruit, and some guitar when he could. I've done both myself and I'd a damn site rather pick guitar or banjo than fruit.

Woody was there riding the rails, during the depression when he heard Irving Berlin's "God Bless America" being belted out by Sophie Tucker. That wasn't the America Woody was seeing. This is what Woody wrote:

This land is your land, this land is my land
From California, to the New York Island
From the redwood forest, to the gulf stream waters
This land was made for you and me

As I was walking a ribbon of highway
I saw above me an endless skyway
I saw below me a golden valley
This land was made for you and me


I've roamed and rambled and I've followed my footsteps
To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts
And all around me a voice was sounding
This land was made for you and me


The sun comes shining as I was strolling
The wheat fields waving and the dust clouds rolling
The fog was lifting a voice come chanting
This land was made for you and me


As I was walkin' - I saw a sign there
And that sign said - no tress passin'
But on the other side .... it didn't say nothin!
Now that side was made for you and me!


In the squares of the city - In the shadow of the steeple
Near the relief office - I see my people
And some are grumblin' and some are wonderin'
If this land's still made for you and me.

Chorus (2x)

Later in his life, Woody knew he was dying. One of the things he made sure to do before he died was to make his son Arlo, his good friend Pete Seeger, Rambling Jack Elliot, and just about every other musician he knew, Cisco, Burl Ives, all of them; Woody made them promise that they'd do the whole song. He made them swear to perform the last two verses. Those bitter verses.

Sing them all folks. Sing them out proudly.

We may have to all go down, but we can damn sure go down singing. When we're locked away in Guantanamo or what ever concentration camps they have Halliburton build for people of conscience, I promise to teach ya'll the words to "Guantanamera."
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They Want To Ban Songs Too

The Beatles "Ob-la-di Ob-la-da" was banned from play by ClearChannel after 9/11.

For a complete listing of the songs banned hit the link.

Buildings crash into ashes and twisted steel. Bodies smoulder in the rubble. The brave folks at ClearChannel resolutely decide what you should hear.

Brave new world?

Bunch of cowards if you ask me.

What's your favorite banned song or book? I'll go YouTubing to find them. . .

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Books Are The Love Of Strangers

Traveler photograph by Cara Barer (Traveler, image copyright by Houston photographer Cara Barer, shown at Pine Street Art Works)

Books Are The Love Of Strangers

In support of my comadre GNB bloggers' posts below regarding Banned Books week, I offer this memoir -- in addition to following their excellent suggestions for action.

When I was a child, I was home sick with asthma one school day out of five, mostly confined to my bed. Until age nine, this would be in a tiny trailer room with a vaporizer running. My mother was overwhelmed with my little brother, a household to run absent my father, my enraged and epileptic teenaged brother, not enough money, and her own serious health issues. If she made sure I had books, she could leave me on my own for most of the day.

She began reading to me the day after I was born. She'd bought a children's set of encyclopedias before my birth, during a time when money was more flush than usual, and sprinkled throughout each thick maroon volume were clusters of poetry deemed suitable for kids. Which, in the 1950s, was much more challenging literature than it might be now. Probably the first poem she ever recited into my newborn ears was "The Highwayman" by Alfred Noyes. I knew it by heart by the time I was five.

I vividly remember her voice expressively rendering "Wynken, Blynken and Nod", "The Gingham Dog and the Calico Cat", "Solomon Grundy", "The Lady of Shalott", "In Flanders Fields", "Gunga Din", "Annabel Lee", "Casey at the Bat", "The Owl and the Pussycat", "O Captain My Captain", "The Swing", "Ozymandias", "Little Orphant Annie", "Stopping by Woods", "Sea Fever", "The Tyger", "Cremation of Sam Magee", and reams of Millay and Dickinson. For bedtime stories, she picked up A.A. Milne, the Villagers of Chelm, Lewis Carroll, Dorothy Parker's poetry, fairy tales, Just So Stories, or Shakespeare. No picture books or simple rhymes for me, I was already addicted to complex language.

When I reached school and the world of public libraries, I discovered horizons without end: Laura Ingalls Wilder, Louisa May Alcott, Marguerite Henry, L.M. Montgomery, The Secret Garden, Harriet the Spy, Eleanor Estes, E.B. White, Beverly Cleary, Jim Kjelgaard, Wind in the Willows, Albert Payson Terhune, The Borrowers, plus thrilling series like Tom Swift, The Bobbsey Twins, Donna Parker, and those by Troy Nesbitt. We often moved three times a year, which meant a stream of new libraries to loot. Mama would go with me my first time to the library and, nearly always, persuade the librarian to allow me to check out as many books as grown-ups were allowed. Sometimes I had to audition for this access -- Mama would have me recite from adult literature, because memorization was a skill I had down cold. I'm sure the sight of a six-year-old declaiming with cynical passion these lines from MacBeth must have startled the old ladies who ruled the stacks in small West Texas or Louisiana towns:

To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

If a town had no library (which was common), if the school shelves were ill-stocked or I'd read everything on them (also common), I was allowed to raid Mama's stack beside her bed. I discovered Philip Wylie and Agatha Christie by age eight. The first gave me nightmares, the second introduced me to the permanent joy of mysteries. If those ran dry, I returned to the children's encyclopedia, not just to reread poetry which seemed to be how I had learned to think and speak, but also munching my way through the listings from aardvark to zyzygy. Books were my promise of a world where people had hope and beauty, enough to eat and communities who noticed them.

When I reached puberty, we had moved to a place where I began to make the first real friends of my life and I was able to plug into a rural culture where my mother's family had lived for generations before me. That school library was perhaps the sketchiest of any I ever saw, but a new town library plus the generosity of teachers enabled me to read more than ever. And to specialize in my reading. During the four years of high school, I covered the walls of my room with poetry by Auden, Millay, Whitman, Dickinson, Hart Crane, Rupert Brooke, Langston Hughes, Alan Seeger, and Rod McKuen. (Eclectic doesn't begin to describe it.) I read my way through the entire output of Mazo de la Roche, William Faulkner, Edna Ferber, Richard Halliburton, Willa Cather, James Thurber, and Mary Renault. Mama told me we were distant relatives of Patricia Highsmith and I discovered the immoral Mr. Ripley. I read To Kill A Mockingbird and Walden Pond over and over, with a copy of one of them always by my bed.

I came out to my friends, I became an anti-war activist, I began writing fiction and poetry in earnest, I won state in University Interscholastic League essay writing, I created a weekly column for the local paper, I rejected god, I discovered feminism, I became a mother. All before graduating high school. And the books I read were what enabled me to keep going, keep dreaming, despite bone-gnawing poverty and desperate family circumstances.

In the paragraph above, when I list the writers who shaped my adolescence, of those nineteen names, seventeen were lesbian, gay or bisexual. I absolutely did not know it then, did not even guess at it. I only discovered their personal identities, in one-by-one revelations, during my 20s and 30s. Yet somehow I gravitated toward their writing, finding an essence that fed me. And saved me.

In one of my favorite sonnets by Edna St. Vincent Millay, she writes:

Love is not all: It is not meat nor drink
Nor slumber nor a roof against the rain,
Nor yet a floating spar to men that sink
and rise and sink and rise and sink again.
Love cannot fill the thickened lung with breath
Nor clean the blood, nor set the fractured bone;
Yet many a man is making friends with death
even as I speak, for lack of love alone.
It well may be that in a difficult hour,
pinned down by need and moaning for release
or nagged by want past resolution's power,
I might be driven to sell your love for peace,
Or trade the memory of this night for food.
It may well be. I do not think I would.

I was intensely romantic as a teenager. Yet, even then, when I read this poem I often substituted the symbolism of books and all they contain for the word "love" in its lines. Books are the love of strangers handed on for centuries.

And anyone who would seek to keep you from this love, this light, this source of sustenance, is NEVER thinking about your well-being. Not in any honest way. They are trying to keep you from becoming that which they choose not to love, an independent mind and justice-hungry heart.

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Monday, September 29, 2008

Top Ten Banned Books For This Year

Is This Who You Want In Charge of Your Library?

This year, American Library Association is sponsoring another "Banned Books Week."

Follow the link to the downloadable press kit.

Here are the top ten challenged books of this year. I've done the books I've read in Italics the books I own in Bold and the books I own a signed copy are bold, RED.

1. “And Tango Makes Three,” by Justin Richardson/Peter Parnell

Reasons: Anti-Ethnic, Sexism, Homosexuality, Anti-Family, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group

2. “The Chocolate War,” by Robert Cormier

Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Violence

3. “Olive’s Ocean,” by Kevin Henkes

Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language

4. “The Golden Compass,” by Philip Pullman

Reasons: Religious Viewpoint

5. “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” by Mark Twain

Reasons: Racism

6. “The Color Purple,” by Alice Walker

Reasons: Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language,

7. “TTYL,” by Lauren Myracle

Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group

8. “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” by Maya Angelou

Reasons: Sexually Explicit

9. “It’s Perfectly Normal,” by Robie Harris

Reasons: Sex Education, Sexually Explicit (I don't own this one, but that's because the daughter I bought it for took it with her when she moved out)

10. “The Perks of Being A Wallflower,” by Stephen Chbosky

Reasons: Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group

Pretty good, I haven't gotten around to the top challenged book of the year, I think I'll order it right after I hit "Publish."

How are you doing on your subversive literature?

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A Salient Reminder; This Week We Celebrate Libraries, Books, and Access to Information

Put your opposition to Gov. Palin into action.

Volunteer for the American Library Association.

Support Banned Books Week and help spread the word.

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Hard Time On The Killing Floor

House Republicans Kill Bailout

Get this. That tan-in-a-can, blowdried son of a bitch Boehner says that he had the votes lined up in his pocket, ready to deliver, but then, wait for it, it's great, Nancy Pelosi hurt their feelings when she made a speech that they felt was "too partisan."

Holy Sainted Sweet Milk Chocolate Jesus' Mother of All Fuck!

The "Country First!" crowd just declined to back a proposal their president, their leadership claims is crucial to avoid financial disaster because they had their feelings hurt.

The Dow is down nearly 600 points and falling faster than the Padres' season did.

Paulson says that Wall Street said they will send a finger in the next envelope.

Great big thanks to reader Wethornet for finding this gem of a video.
Perfect background music as we slow dance on the killing floor.

Hard time here and everywhere you go
Times is harder than ever been before
(an' Hell is hotter than it was before)

And the people are driftin' from door to door
Can't find no heaven, I don't care where they go

Hear me tell you people, just before I go
These hard times will kill you and that I know

Well, you hear me singin' my lonesome song
These hard times can last us so very long

If I ever get off this killin' floor
I'll never get down this low no more
No-no, no-no, I'll never get down this low no more

And you say you had money, you better be sure
'Cause these hard times will drive you from door to door

Sing this song and I ain't gonna sing no more
Sing this song and I ain't gonna sing no more
These hard times will drive you from door to door

"Hard Time on the Killing Floor"
Skipper James
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Speaking of Hate Related Killing

Authorities still claim to have no known motive for the murder of Arkansas Democratic State Party Chair, Billy Gwatney. A commentor (thanks stormcrow) made the point in my mosque-attack thread, that we will never be able to directly pin these crimes to the likes of Maulken, Coulter, and Limbaugh-- the scum that promote violence as a part of the political process. And mores the pity.

Apparently there was a note with a phone number and Gwatney's name written on it, and the FBI is checking out a computer, but not much of anything else is known at this time.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A computer used by the gunman who killed a state Democratic Party chairman is the last clue to be investigated in the search for his motive, authorities said Monday Timothy Dale Johnson, 50, burst into the Arkansas party headquarters and killed Bill Gwatney on Aug. 13, then was shot and killed by police after a long chase later that day.

Little Rock Police spokesman Lt. Terry Hastings said car keys and a phone number listed on a note found at Johnson's home in Searcy did not turn up any connection between the two men.

"We have everything pretty well figured out except for the computer. ... We've found nothing so far to indicate any motive or reason," Hastings said Monday. "Right now, we've got nothing that points us in any particular direction as to why this happened."

Police did not provide specifics on the investigation of the computer, but have said that the FBI is helping.

The note with the phone number also had the name "Gwatney" on it, but police said it did not match Gwatney's home number or any cell phone number they know of for the slain chairman...

Johnson, who owned at least 16 guns, drove more than 30 miles to Gwatney's office after quitting his job at a Target over graffiti on a store wall.

I think it is clear that things have gotten more than a bit dangerous out there for the reality based community, it is going to be a pretty bumpy ride and one that will continue past 11/4 for certain. I believe the wingnuts will turn more and more to violence as an escape valve for all the cognitive dissonance building up in their system.

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Three Raids on the U.S. Economy

Pieter Aertsen (1508-1575). The Adoration of the Shepherds. Oil on Panel. Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.
Pieter Aertsen (1508-1575). The Adoration of the Shepherds. Oil on Panel. Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.

Stealing from the Poor, Working Class and Middle Class and
Giving to the Owning Class

This is EXACTLY like Iraq all over again. (Thank you Diane.)

It is a con, a series of lies designed to screw us out of our money.

The Bush/Cheney administration has committed three major thefts on the U.S., to benefit themselves personally, and the richest one percent of Americans.

Many members of the Senate and Congress are directly included. Due to the lack of Campaign Finance Reform, all members of Congress and the Senate (excepting the rare birds who refuse PAC money) have a vested interest in all three of these thefts, as they receive campaign contributions from the OWNING CLASS in exchange for stealing from the U.S. Even the good Democrats, almost all of them, win in this game.

It's a rigged game, everyone plays thanks to Income Tax, and everyone but the richest 1% and Congress, loses.

Here is how it works...


The moment Bush/Cheney came into office (on 527 votes in Florida AFTER the Supreme Court stopped the rest of the votes from being counted), they demanded the surplus the United States had in our treasury, be given to the wealthiest Americans in the form of tax rebates. That surplus was there not from the rich; it was there because the middle-class has paid and because President Clinton had managed the country well in a good economy (the Internet boom.)

Bush got his way. (We did not yet know he was a thief... unless you'd read Molly's books.) Taxes were cut for the rich. People like you and I got back a few hundred bucks. The rich got hundreds of thousands to millions and tens of millions of dollars.

It was theft on a grand scale. They stole from the poor, working and the middle-class and gave to the OWNING CLASS with a little extra to the upper class (and not too damn much. The Owning Class want the money for themselves, and fuck the hindmost. Truly, fuck the hindmost. The Owning Class are into anal a lot as well. Something about being tops and bottoms just turns them on, big time. Someone should write a paper. I'm sure there is at least several doctoral thesis' there.)

The TAXES THEFT is now complete. It will expire in a year or so, assuming it isn't renewed, assuming the Democrats don't roll over like puppies when the Republicans give their mating call, "Tax stimulus, tax stimulus..."

Theft #1, the Taxes Theft, along with the war in Iraq, financed entirely Off Budget with emergency appropriations and by stealing from the militaries seed corn, that is by raiding their capital equipment and stored goods without appropriating ANYTHING to replace all of the seed corn or the rapid exit of an entire generation of trained mid-level NCOs and mid-level officers, eliminated the entire surplus and gave us the deficit.

The borrowing also gave us market sector swings which allowed people in the know to make FORTUNES. That is, if you had inside knowledge, even general direction that was CERTAIN of what was planned, you could make FORTUNES... As Cheney's "blind trust" did several years ago when it moved all of Cheney's money out of the dollar and into Euros and off-shore investments, with the exception of course of gold, oil and oil-based stocks which as sectors continue to rise. "Blind trust" my ass.


This theft (on false data and lies) caused:

  1. Oil Prices to sky-rocket; personal stock of self, friends, family, and colleagues going UP, including entire market sectors; inflation, gold, euros, and so on; contributions given in return but who the hell needs them when there are direct stock market rewards not to mention (for Cheney) a million-dollar a year salary plus benefits
  2. Military contracts to cronies, and campaign contributions and campaign support given in return
  3. Direct loot through untraceable funds shipped to Iraq; bribes and support given in return, not to mention looting an entire country on military flights sent all over the world

That thousands of soldiers died, 50,000 were wounded, and hundreds of thousands if not a million Iraqis have died and been wounded... fuck them.

The rich got richer and the poor got butchered. The purpose of the POOR, WORKING & MIDDLE CLASS, is to go where the UPPER CLASS tells them to go and do what they are told no matter what it is, so that the OWNING CLASS makes money. So mote it be forever and ever, in Allah and Jesus' name, Amen.

Thefts #1 & #2 are fundamentally DONE. (No pun intended.)


The third and final raid is now being completed -- the raid on real estate and the banking system.

The first half of this theft is DONE.

The first half of this theft was a massive run-up of housing prices through fraud.

Property and home prices were intentionally over-stated. This allowed everyone in the financial systems -- the banks, brokerages, hedge funds, savings and loans, EVERYONE -- to make money four to five to 10 to 20 times as properties from homes to commercial real-estate, but especially HOMES were purchased and flipped with over-stated values without any vetting. (Sound familiar?)

Then the properties and the homes sitting on them were reduced to a deed of trust or other financial instrument, which itself was then broken up into strange and weird financial papers which almost no one understood.

Traditionally, banks lent money to homeowners for their mortgage and retained the risk of default, called credit risk. However, due to financial innovations, banks can now sell rights to the mortgage payments and related credit risk to investors, through a process called securitization. The securities the investors purchase are called mortgage backed securities (MBS) and collateralized debt obligations (CDO). This new "originate to distribute" banking model means credit risk has been distributed broadly to investors, with a series of consequential impacts. There are four primary categories of risk involved: credit risk, asset price risk, liquidity risk, and counterparty risk. Each of these risk types is described separately in the background information.

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These obligations were then washed through multiple financial institutions -- indeed, that was the purpose of these obligations, to wash the underlying non-vetted and poorly secured obligations so no one would truly be responsible when the whole house of cards collapsed -- and sold eventually to EVERYONE, even to the ordinary investor through these new-finagled financial instruments to the point that damn near every bank and indeed, most likely even portions of your 401K, has become vulnerable all the way down.

Part of the reason for making this final theft the theft of home and property values, is the Bush/Cheney administration had already raided the Stock Market through Theft #2. If you failed to see that one coming and moved your 401K to the right stocks, you got hosed.

Worse, the destruction of the U.S. economy had been going on since Theft #1 via the war economy. Normally in a war, we pass taxes. Not this time. This time President Bush told people to go shopping and stole the surplus for the super-rich with so-called tax rebates -- really just taking tax payments made into the system by the middle-class and giving them directly to the mega-rich. Accordingly, the U.S. economy was in a recession already.

The surplus had been stolen. The stock market had been stolen. All that was left was people's homes. So the Bush/Cheney administration set out to steal it as well. Theft #3.

Many people in the middle-class, especially the upper middle-class and even the lower parts of the upper-class, anyone who is not in the OWNING CLASS, knew that their homes, especially any homes purchased in the last five to six years, had not been properly assessed. They didn't care. All they cared about was getting a home. The market was going up, and people wanted in.

This was part of what was good for this theft -- people who have lied on their application, are not quick to complain when things go bad. They worry they too may be called to account for having participated in the great robbing of American wealth. But this theft was planned and executed high above everyone. It was designed and planned to con everyone, leaving everyone out in the cold except the super-rich, the bankers themselves.

The way to sting EVERYONE, is to scare the hell out of everyone. Convince them they are dead meat if they don't do PRECISELY what you say.

In the end, after all the trading and dealing, and after all the fortunes already made in the first half of the Theft #3, only three points matter in the back half:
  1. People's homes are vastly over-valued AND the people know they are complicit in the over-valuation.
  2. The entire economy is ready to crash because of all the loans to China to finance the war and because we have no surplus due to the war and the tax giveaway -- thefts #1 & #2.
  3. And finally, the banks are unstable because their financial core now rests on a pack of real estate and housing valuations which are lies -- the first half of theft #3.

Based on this, the Bush/Cheney administration are scaring the hell out of everyone, and demanding the Middle Class pay out RIGHT FUCKING NOW:
  • $250 billion right now
  • $100 billion on the say-so of the Treasury secretary (with a report to the President)
  • $350 billion on the request of the Treasury secretary with the approval of the President, so long as Congress does NOT veto within 15 days with 2/3 majority; which will NEVER happen.

Or they'll shoot the economy in the head.

'Cause that's how you work a con. SCARE people into shutting up and doing EXACTLY what you say.

At a minimum, the Middle-Class is now on the hook for $350 billion before Bush leaves office.

Probably we're on the hook for all $700 billion because Congress lacks the balls to stop the last $350 billion, especially if Paulson/Bush hit them with the call note say, 20 days before the election.

It takes TWO-THIRDS of BOTH houses of Congress to veto. In other words, the last $350 BILLION is cash we are on the hook for, WHENEVER Bush/Paulson call for it. Period. Full stop.

We've already been screwed with the first half of the con.

This is the second half of Theft #3 -- ripping the money out of the Treasury to pay off the bankers. This is money which has already made fortunes 5-10 times in the rising real estate markets.

Now, that they have made as much money as possible from the housing market on the way up -- and stashed it away -- they are intentionally and deliberately, JUST BEFORE THE ELECTION WHEN EVERYONE WILL PANIC THE MOST (because if they fuck it up, they will get thrown out of office; and the Bush/Cheney people don't care... They're LEAVING office, so they're ripping everything out of the White House and Country they can, all the way down to the wiring in the White House bathrooms).

Now that Bush/Cheney and the OWNING CLASS have made a fortune from the real estate market on the way up... they have pulled the plug, and are going to make a fortune ($700 Billion to be precise, plus interest) ...on the way down.

This is just one more round of "fleece the suckers." This is Theft #3.

Congratulations, and thank you for playing.
  • Theft #1 -- TAX REFUND TO THE RICH
  • Theft #2 -- IRAQ WAR

If we let Congress pass this bill, if we let Bush/Cheney steal from us one more time...

There will be NO money left for President Obama to put in Health Care, College funding, or help people in there old age with suplemental Medicare or Veteran's Benefits. ALL the money will be gone from people like you and I; Bush is stealing it for the OWNING CLASS.

Four months from now, the richest 1% will own damn near all of the United States, with China, Japan, and the Saudis owning the rest.

You and I will be in debt the rest of our lives, and our children and grandchildren will be DEBT SLAVES to Bush, Cheney, and McCain's children, to pay off the debt.

Is that what you want? Your children working as debt slaves?

Obama will be President In Name Only -- holding the bag for Bush's THEFTS, the largest thefts of any government in history.

This bill must NOT pass.

Everything we have said it needs, the Democrats gave away to the Republicans.

THIS BILL WILL RUIN YOUR FUTURE, the future of your family, the future of your community and country.
Call, write, REACH your Senators and Congressman/Congresswoman now (and not by email; they ignore email.)

This is the single most important bill to come before Congress in your lifetime, unless you were alive in December, 1941. It was then that the resolution of WAR passed because it was necessary to fight evil for the future of the world.

It is necessary now that this bill NOT pass, that we NOT give away the next 30 years of our future, just as it was necessary 67 years ago that the United States went to war.

This bill is EVIL. Stop it. Anyway you have to, anyway you can.

Do what it takes. Make. It. Happen.

Vote NO on the Bailout. Vote NO now.
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Mosque Attacked in Dayton the Same Week as Anti-Muslim DVD Mailing

This is where we are headed. The week that a well funded 527 distributed thousands of copies of "Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West" by mail in Ohio a "chemical irritant" was sprayed through a window of the Islamic Society of Greater Dayton.

DAYTON — Baboucarr Njie was preparing for his prayer session Friday night, Sept. 26, when he heard children in the Islamic Society of Greater Dayton coughing. Soon, Njie himself was overcome with fits of coughing and, like the rest of those in the building, headed for the doors.

"I would stay outside for a minute, then go back in, there were a lot of kids," Njie said. "My throat is still itchy, I need to get some milk."

Njie was one of several affected when a suspected chemical irritant was sprayed into the mosque at 26 Josie St., bringing Dayton police, fire and hazardous material personnel to the building at 9:48 p.m.

Someone "sprayed an irritant into the mosque," Dayton fire District Chief Vince Wiley said, noting that fire investigators believe it was a hand-held spray can.

According to fire dispatch communications, a child reported seeing two men with a white can spraying something into a window. That child was brought to the supervising firefighter at the scene.

Wiley would not discuss that report, but said the investigation has been turned over to police. Police were not commenting.

The 300 or so inside were celebrating the last 10 days of Ramadan with dinner and a prayer session, but the prayer session was interrupted so those suffering from tearing, coughing and shortness of breath could receive treatment.- By Kyle Nagel Dayton Daily News

I am anti censorship for sure, but the gray area between freedom of expression and hate speech has me queasy in this case. This kind of thing is going to become more common, I am afraid. And short of denouncing this kind of propaganda I feel helpless in figuring out how to stop this.

Additionally, that the corporate media has not covered this story nationally speaks volumes.

There has not been a direct link made yet between the DVD mailing and the mosque but if one is proven we have quite a serious dilemma on our hands.
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Sunday, September 28, 2008

The People are Against the Bailout (of Course!)

From True Majority;

On September 25th 2008, progressives came together in 251 emergency rallies in 41 states saying NO to the $700 billion Bush corporate bailout for Wall Street. As a result, the tax giveaway, assumed to be a "done deal" only a few days earlier was stalled and being reconsidered by lawmakers who are stunned by the speed and scale of America's reaction. Instead, Congress turned to work on an economic recovery package for Main Street.

See the videos, photos, and read more here.
crossposted at fighting liberals
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October Surprise? A Bristol Palin Wedding

Folks on the GNB have commented a few times on the tragedy of the Palin family being used as a political prop in the McCain campaign. The 4 mon. old Trig being passed around like a photo op football, the constant comments about Sarah being a mom of 5, etc. etc. But this new rumor should it prove to be true, is simple beyond the pale. It is pathetic, unfair, and really quite disgusting.

This is the gossip from the UK Sunday Times;

In an election campaign notable for its surprises, Sarah Palin, the Republican vice- presidential candidate, may be about to spring a new one — the wedding of her pregnant teenage daughter to her ice-hockey-playing fiancĂ© before the November 4 election.

Inside John McCain’s campaign the expectation is growing that there will be a popularity boosting pre-election wedding in Alaska between Bristol Palin, 17, and Levi Johnston, 18, her schoolmate and father of her baby. “It would be fantastic,” said a McCain insider. “You would have every TV camera there. The entire country would be watching. It would shut down the race for a week.”

There is already some urgency to the wedding as Bristol, who is six months pregnant, may not want to walk down the aisle too close to her date of delivery. She turns 18 on October 18 . . .

. . . McCain is expected to have a front-row seat at Bristol’s wedding and to benefit from the outpouring of goodwill that it could bring. “What’s the downside?” a source inside the McCain campaign said. “It would be wonderful. I don’t know that there has ever been a pre-election wedding before.”
This is wrong in too many ways to count. I hope against hope that the American public can see through this as a stunt, and that there will be backlash for politicizing the situation between Bristol and Levi. This is the kind of crap that makes people think poorly of all politicians- unchecked ego and aggressive aspirations taking a toll on family, friends, the community and ultimately voters everywhere.

And can I just say, "McCain, leering from the front row, ewwwww!" just what every young bride dreams of.
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Saturday, September 27, 2008

Weekend Brunch Open Food Thread

I am heading in to work Sunday Brunch at the restaurant.

This shot is our eggs benedict. (Best version in all of Tokyo.) I usually take a 3o mins (or so) break sometime during the day and have a bit of brunch myself. This is always one of my favorites.

What are you munching on today?
What did you make recently?
Any good new breakfast places in your area?
Left to your own devices (mom's not looking) what would you eat for breakfast?

Bon Appetit

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The Great Schlep

Featuring the Divine Sarah Silverman.

This is funny stuff. I know she's rude, I know she often goes too far, but Sarah Silverman cracks me up on a very consistent basis.

Visit the Great Schlep Website!

Become a schlepper yourself.

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Goodbye Mr. Newman

Paul Newman: 1925 - 2008

Paul Newman died of cancer yesterday, September 26, at his home in Westport, Connecticut. He was 83.

Mr. Newman is survived by his wife of 50 years, Joanne Newman, five daughters, and a number of grandchildren. The Newman's only son, Scott, died in 1978 of an accidental drug overdose.

I was about to post this up -- have been working on it now for hours -- and I just realized I forgot to write anything about Mr. Newman's Academy Awards. In retrospect, while they seemed to have mattered at the time, I'm glad about them really only for the pleasure the awards must have brought him at the time, for the opportunities they placed in his path, hopefully for the joy they may in the future bring his family as they recognize how his peers honored his craft, and as a symbol to all young actors learning their craft which says, "This. Watch this. THIS is how it is done." With 10 Academy Award nominations, one win, one honorary Oscar, and the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, Mr. Newman was one of the most honored members of the Academy of all actors in recent memory. His wife, Joanne Woodward, has also been nominated by the Academy four times (including once when directed by her husband), winning once.

In well over 50 years, I am certain it was the journey and the people met along the way which were most valued, not the awards earned. Which is not to say that the awards were not valued, I am certain they were. At the time, I remember how much the Oscar for The Color of Money meant to Mr. Newman, to finally win a competitive Academy Award after so many nominations. He had even refused to show up -- politely of course, sending word he still hoped to win one in person -- when he was honored with an honorary Oscar. It took a while... a LONG while... but a number of nominations later, Mr. Newman had his very own, competitive Oscar. *smiles* And even nominations to follow.

Still, what I remember most about Mr. Newman is not his movies or his Oscars. Or even his timeless marriage, which, even with its ups and downs, clearly put family first and without question, women were equal in THAT home, long before they were in the rest of the country.

What I remember most about Mr. Newman is how gracious he always was. It did not matter to him if someone was a star, a day player, a grip, a star-struck fan, a waitress or waiter, or simply an ordinary woman or man trying to earn a living. Mr. Newman was kind and warm to everyone. He especially loved children.

What I hate about writing this is, it sounds like the kind of crap one writes in a hagiography, as if I am in the bag for Newman.

1. There are worse people to be in the bag for, than Paul Newman. And
2. Every word of this is the Gods' straight truth.

Newman sounds too good to be true, because in my life, I've only met one or two people like Paul Newman. He was the Real Deal. He came from The Greatest Generation, and truly he was great.

Rather than spend more time writing about Mr. Newman, instead I am simply going to put up some images and let you remember... Paul Newman.

Paul Newman. Cool Hand Luke. 1967. photo Warner Brothers.
Cool Hand Luke

Paul Newman & Katherine Ross. Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid. 1969. photo 20th Century Fox.
Paul Newman & Katherine Ross. Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid. 1969.
photo 20th Century Fox.

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

Paul Newman & Robert Redford. The Sting. 1973. photo Universal.
Paul Newman & Robert Redford. The Sting. 1973. photo Universal.
The Sting

Paul Newman & Elizabeth Taylor. Cat On A Hot Tin Roof. 1958. photo MGM.
Paul Newman & Elizabeth Taylor. Cat On A Hot Tin Roof. 1958. photo MGM.
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

Paul Newman directs wife and star Joanne Woodward to Oscar nomination. Rachel, Rachel. 1968. photo Warner Brothers.
Paul Newman directs wife and star Joanne Woodward to Oscar nomination. Rachel, Rachel.
1968. photo Warner Brothers.

Rachel, Rachel

Paul Newman & Sally Fields. Absence Of Malice. 1981. photo Columbia.
Paul Newman & Sally Fields. Absence Of Malice. 1981. photo Columbia.
Absence of Malice

Paul Newman. The Verdict. 2002. photo 20th Century Fox.
Paul Newman. The Verdict. 2002. photo 20th Century Fox.
The Verdict

Paul Newman, Tom Cruise, & Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio. The Color of Money. 1986. photo Touchstone.
Paul Newman, Tom Cruise, & Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio. The Color of Money. 1986.
photo Touchstone.

The Color of Money

Paul Newman & Tom Cruise. The Color of Money, promo cover with Academy Award sticker. 1987.
Paul Newman & Tom Cruise. The Color of Money,
promo cover with Academy Award sticker. 1987.

The Color of Money

Paul Newman. Founder, The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp. photo HitWG, date unknown.
Paul Newman. Founder, The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp.
photo HitWG, date unknown.

Hole-in-the-Wall Gang Camp

Mr. Newman was a wonderful man.
The world was richer for his life and art.
I will miss him.

My condolences to his family.
Tat Tavm Asi.

Mr. Newman highest art was his taking care of others.
Newman’s Own

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Presidential Debate #1: McCain Curses

Sen. McCain Swears During National Debate, Upset At Obama

Sen. John McCain was triggered back to his hot-headed out-of-control days tonight, cursing twice in front of tens of millions of America citizens whom he was trying to persuade to vote for him.

"HORSESHIT," McCain swore. Seconds later, "Horseshit."

McCain has a reputation for mood swings, for suddenly reverting from 72 years, all the way back fifty years ago to his 20s, when as a Navy pilot, he was wild and out of control.

McCain takes pride in being wild and out of control. Think Tom Cruise as Lt. Pete 'Maverick' Mitchell in Top Gun up against Val Kilmer as Lt. Tom 'Iceman' Kazansky.

(Pay attention now... here is the whole deal.)

  • Losing control IS BEING MAVERICK.
  • I AM A POW.
  • By definition, a Prisoner of War is NOT IN CONTROL of his own life.
  • If McCain ever gives up LOSING CONTROL, he gives up BEING A POW.
  • If McCain gives up his story of being a POW, he surrenders who he IS -- or at least who he considers himself to be.
  • Attack "Maverick", especially in a massively public setting, e.g.: "You're no 'Maverick' and you never truly have been' and you attack McCain at the very core of who he IS. You are likely to not only break him, but for him to lose it big-time -- anger, lashing out -- as he tries to defend who he considers himself to be. He is unlikely to be able to stop himself.
  • McCain will reflexively LIE in order to defend Maverick. He will do ANYTHING to defend Maverick. Maverick is essential to the survival of McCain (or so McCain 'knows', deep down in the part of him of which he is unaware and blind.)
  • Do not worry about breaking him or damaging McCain. Just attack him enough to provoke a heated response. The point is to demonstrate his unfitness for duty: temper, lies, and Noun, Verb, POW.
Human beings consist of historical stories we tell which define us -- in a particular body (your own body and its biology), as part of a particular cultural/historical background (the historical background you are part of), and with a particular (specific) set of vocabulary (your own linguistic possibilities, the vocabulary which you have) -- and which give our lives meaning as we live together with other people in communities, societies, and cultures (Asian, African, European, North/South-American cultures, among others.)

BEING A POW is THE defining story of McCain's life.

Take away being a POW, and McCain would be case (and cast) adrift. McCain was always a poor student with no real ability to learn. Accordingly, he lacks any compensating ability to reorient himself around a different story.

Shorter me: McCain can not learn a new version of himself. He is stuck with the unworkable version which sucked hard, even before Vietnam.

Bluntly, had McCain not gone to Vietnam and returned as a POW, he'd be nothing right now. Maybe a car dealership owner in Arizona. His inability to learn and short temper would have stuck him at the short end of failed business lawsuits and ventures. But being a POW had let him off the hook for a multitude of sins. Lucky for McCain he was shot down; it made his career. That, and dumping his first, poor, crippled wife (who loved and had waited for him; and then holding her entire medical future as a gun to her head financially to make goddamn certain she never told tales out of school) for a rich blond beer heiress.

POW is McCain's story, his entire identity, public and private, personally and politically.

McCain will reflexively defend the POW story at any cost.
  • One could say, LOSING CONTROL DEFINES being a POW, as clearly to be a POW is to NOT BE IN CONTROL.
  • How he survived then is how he and his body know to survive today...
  • Abase yourself to people in power
  • Demand surrender from others
  • Be unpredictable, dangerous, and torment the hell out of people
  • Therefore, now, 50 years later, McCain sees himself and demands others see him also, as a
  1. Maverick,
  2. Dangerous
  3. Out of control
  • McCain is Angry (it is how he survived as a POW; he was angry. Other people had other emotions. McCain was angry.)
  • Life is Black and White for McCain. There truly is no difference between one brand of Islam and other. A gook is a raghead is a wetback is a redskin is a girl.
  • If you're not a white man, who gives a fuck?
In short, McCain lives out life now, as it was 50 years ago, over and over again.


Because it was the defining moment of his life and he survived.

McCain is replaying his survival in every aspect of his life.

Being a POW was central to the story McCain is living out, his survival story. To challenge that story in any significant way -- and by challenge, I mean to make changes to whom McCain is, which is what would happen were McCain to question any of his fundamental assumptions, or to seek out therapy for the obvious damage done to who he is, and for which our Nation clearly owes him for his service -- would be to destroy his own story about himself.

McCain's story about himself, who he considers himself to be (and this is tautological but none-the-less true) would not survive a serious examination of who he considers himself to be, because part of who he considers himself to be IS an unexamined out-of-control maverick who is too dangerous for anyone to ever truly examine closely or suss out.

This is not TRUE.

It is simply the story McCain told himself in the POW camp to survive as a prisoner, to survive torture, and still tells himself today to survive being alive. Including to survive the Bush administration. Being a Senator from Arizona. And having to suck up to everyone to raise the money to stay in power. This story -- because the story clearly has little to do with the facts, just as the story had little to do with the facts when John was a POW -- allows John to survive now and allowed John to survive THEN.

The POW story disconnects WHO HE IS from reality.

Returning full circle...
  • McCain will always lose control.
  • Losing control (he would say, being unpredictable and dangerous -- "That's right Iceman. I am... dangerous") is CORE to his Maverick identity.
  • Being a "Maverick" is the identity which anchors his sanity.
  • Attacking McCain's Maverick-ness attacks the core of whom he considers himself to be.
McCain's PTSD adaption -- he certainly is not cured or in any way resolved with his PTSD -- has him telling this story of being a Maverick to everyone. To the extent people buy it, or fight it, people are then inside of McCain's prefered frame: Maverick, out of control, dangerous.

Since returning from Vietnam, McCain has used his POW status to keep the framing on Maverick. This lets him off the hook for confronting MEGA-FAIL questions which he can NOT answer such as
  • Why have you lost 5 aircraft?
  • Why do you so frequently lost your temper?
  • Are you too volitile, short-sighted, and quick to rush to attack, to be trusted with National Command Authority strategic assests of any kind?
  • Would letting you anywhere near our SIOP be a serious risk to the people of the United States? Should your PTSD permanently disqualify you from ANY position of national authority, till you have received long-term therapy for your obvious anger-management issues?
Gen. Clark put some of these questions to McCain. McCain and his media friends RACED to hide behind POW POW POW. The questions are legitimate.

To this day, the Senator, according to many serving and recently retired Generals and Admirals who have served with him, does not have a stable mood, and is famous for his unpredictability when he sits in for Principles in National Security drills.

The unpredictability of India and Pakastan in C3, that we simply do not know what they will do with their weapons, is an enormous weakness in their system. It does not make them stronger. Unpredictability makes them weaker, as a stronger foe -- us, for example -- while apparently showing more "respect" because of one's unpredicability, in actual fact will be giving MUCH more time to figuring out how to fucking DESTROY you.

One can live with a predictable enemy. An unpredictable enemy must be destroyed completely.

Unpredictability in C3 systems is considered a HUGE failing -- one large enough in the United States to prevent non-elected staffers from receiving high-level security clearance. When it comes to dealing with any aspect of our strategic weapons systems, the United States National Command Authority strives, indeed, demands predictability at all times.

Boom Chicka Boom
Rejecting Theological Thinking: CJCS Mullen Gets Real With Cheney
Boom Chicka Boom: Cat's in the Cradle
The U.S. Iranian War

This is what you WANT in C3:
He Saved The World (No Cheerleader)

General Clark ate McCain for LUNCH about precisely this issue.
As I wrote June 17, 2008:

Clark on McCain: “Largely Untested and Untried.”

The full article is worth reading.
Huffington Post

"I know he's trying to get traction by seeking to play to what he thinks is his strong suit of national security," Clark said of McCain while speaking from his office in Little Rock, Arkansas. "The truth is that, in national security terms, he's largely untested and untried. He's never been responsible for policy formulation. He's never had leadership in a crisis, or in anything larger than his own element on an aircraft carrier or [in managing] his own congressional staff. It's not clear that this is going to be the strong suit that he thinks it is."

Resume aside, though, Clark also took issue with the Arizona Republican's instincts on national security. "McCain's weakness is that he's always been for the use of force, force and more force. In my experience, the only time to use force is as a last resort. ... When he talks about throwing Russia out of the G8 and makes ditties about bombing Iran, he betrays a disrespect for the office of the presidency."

There's more...
This wasn't a victory on points. It was a clean knock-out. Clark won.

One of the major strategic questions of the Democratic campaign has been how to destroy McCain's image, who people think McCain is, who he claims to be.

General Clark just demonstrated a big piece of the answer. HUGE win.


The media took sides.

They already always clearly have a strong opinion about who John McCain is and what he stands for. Their preconceived notions were on display from the start and all the way through the interview. They were an enormous barrier to effective communication.

Like most protracted teenagers, when someone challenges their preconception with a well-thought out, carefully reasoned, well-grounded assessment, THE MEDIA HATE IT. They remind me of high schoolers being told off in painful, public detail by the school's best teacher, the one everyone admires and wants the approval of. That teacher never chews you out in public unless you really screw up, but they don't hesitate to tear apart your work in a way which makes clear you've been skating by. That's what happened here.

Check this carefully....

The media simply couldn't argue the POINT, which Clark made clear without saying word one directly about them to anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear, that they have been lazy goof offs who are brutally biased for McCain, against Obama, and are not doing their damn jobs. Or they would already have reported this obviously well-grounded assessment/interpretation about McCain's national security ability -- “Largely Untested and Untried” -- over which Clark was taking them to school. They couldn't argue the actual point. It was that clear, that obvious, that elegant a takedown. In effect, Clark's hit on McCain took out two targets with one shot. That, my loves, is a fucking pro.

The media -- like high school students being dressed down -- were left:
  • instead of dealing with the consequences of what does it mean if “what everyone knows about McCain is a lie?”, which is what I think a reputable journalist would have done. It's sure as hell what I hope I would have done, taken the interview in the direction it was going and see what I learned instead of trying to wrench it around to some pre-determined point of view to support what I thought I knew. Nope...
  • The media left untouched -- were left stunned by -- General Clark's assessment that McCain on national security is “Largely Untested and Untried.”
  • What is there to say about that but, “Well, yeah. Obviously. McCain was a fighter pilot who got shot down.
  • Then, after he was a POW, after he left the military, he divorced his critically crippled badly disfigured middle-aged wife who had waited for him all those lonely years, left her dependent on him for money for her medical care (to this day so to this day she still dare not speak out against him), left her and married a young blonde rich girl whose Daddy gave McCain a job and then paid for war hero John McCain to become a Congressman and a Senator. This is the beautiful trophy wife McCain then called a **** in front of a bunch of national reporters back in '92 according to The Real McCain by Cliff Schecter. (Link NOT safe for work; headline uses the word.) (And no, we do not use that word on GNB or any variation of the word. It's a FAIL. Don't do it.)
  • Because McCain's is the kind of temper you want holding the Gold Codes, having access to the Playbook and the Single Integrated Operational Plan (SIOP) and being able to ask for the Nuclear Football. Oh yeah baby, let's play football!
  • Oh yeah, and on the interview? Finally, when none of that other stuff worked, the last thing the media folks did was they tried sucking up to teacher about how if only they had four stars, showing big smiles of TEETH, and reaching over and brushing Clark's shoulders. What... they think a full four-star general has never had people suck up? *snickers*
None of it worked.

Clark was a full grown adult in a room of children.

Clark is genuinely DANGEROUS. He's not pretending to be; he is.

Again, full circle...

McCain said HORSESHIT during the debates -- twice.

No one serious cares about the word.

What matters is McCain lacks enough control to keep from cursing on national television. We all remember the hissy-fit Republican's threw over Ms. Jackson's breast being exposed by accident during the Super Bowl half-time show some years ago.

Yet now, the Republican's candidate for President curses, twice, when children and women are watching? Shameful.

Kennedy/Nixon debates: Nixon was famously assessed on television by the independents as not trustworthy. In this first Obama/McCain debate, McCain will be judged as too angry, and a liar, while Obama will be ruled Presidential.

McCain can not help himself. This IS who he is; he can be no other.

He is unpredictable. Unfortunately for McCain, it totally predictable, that he's an angry old man with poorly resolved PTSD and an incomplete understanding of reality (he was a D student) who will say and do anything to try and win the White House.

That, as McCain says, is HORSESHIT.

Hat Tip DailyKos.
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Debate Review Round Up

photo from Jefferson J Jeffersville

Philadelphia Inquirer: McCain Uncertain - "McCain has been uncertain - Obama not." LINK

The Atlantic: (Marc Ambinder) - McCain sounds angry and passionate; Obama seems cool.

Talking Points Memo: Much Clearer Strategy- ".Obama seems to have come into the debate with a much clearer strategy." LINK

Washington Post: Fact Check- McCain seriously misstated his vote concerning the marines in Lebanon. He said that when he went into Congress in 1983, he voted against deploying them in Beirut. The Marines went in Lebanon in 1982, before McCain came to Congress. The vote came up a year into their deployment, when the Marines had already suffered 54 casualties. What McCain voted against was a measure to invoke the War Powers Act and to authorize the deployment of U.S. Marines in Lebanon for an additional 18 months. The measure passed 270-161, with 26 other Republicans (including McCain) and 134 Democrats voting against it. LINK

Washington Post: Fact Checker- John McCain raised an old Republican canard, repeated often in the primaries, when he claimed that Obama's health care plan would eventually turn the health care system over to the federal government. The Illinois senator proposes helping individuals purchase health insurance through a system of subsidies and tax credits. He is also in favor of mandatory health insurance for children. But he is not advocating a state-run health system, such as the one that exists in Britain and some European countries. LINK

New Republic (Jonathan Cohn) Obama Tells It Like It Is on Economics - Obama just gave a terrific, honest explanation of his economic agenda. LINK

CNN (Bill Schneider) Obama Scores a Direct Hit- Obama scores a direct hit, saying that McCain wants tax cuts for the wealthy. He's associating McCain with the Bush record on tax cuts. LINK

CNN (Bill Schneider) Obama hits familiar chord on Iran- Obama's answer on Iran was interesting and important.because he's talking about something that a lot of American's understand. Our involvement in Iraq has strengthened Iran. LINK

FL- Tampa Tribune (Blog) "Israel-The Next Big Argument" After arguing over Iraq, John McCain and Barack Obama moved quickly to probably the next most emotional argument in foreign policy-Israel. They got into it over a question from moderator Jim Lehrer over Iran, and McCain went for the most crucial line: "We cannot tolerate another holocaust." That hits a weakness for Obama, whose enthusiasm for Israel is questioned by some in the U.S. Jewish community. Then McCain went for another claim that's been debunked: That Obama refused to call the Iranian Revolutionary Guard a "terrorist" organization. Obama had sponsored legislation that did just that, but voted against a bill including that measure which, he said, also included authorizing an open-ended effort in Iraq. LINK

The Caucus (Katharine Q. Seeyle) Using the Tax Word -Mr. McCain tosses out a barb to Mr. Obama, saying that you ought to hear Mr. Obama's definition of rich, but didn't provide it. Mr. Obama almost took the bait - and then switched! Instead of being driven by Mr. McCain he described his tax cut plan, saying 95 percent of people will get a tax cut "and if you make less than 250,000, you will not see one dime's worth of tax increases." LINK

Washington Post (Live Blog) Fact Check: McCain accused Obama of wanting to stage "military strikes" inside Pakistan, which is a misleading account of what Obama famously said in 2007: That he would be willing to go after Al Qaeda targets inside that country with or without the approval of the Pakistani authorities."If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and President Musharraf won't act, we will," Obama said. LINK

Miami Herald: Obama engages McCain on his diss to Spain-Barack Obama John McCain's assertion a week ago or two ago that he wouldn't meet with Spain's Prime Minister. "Spain!" exclaimed Obama. "Spain!" "I'm not going to set the White House visitor list before I'm president," McCain replied, getting in a dig at the presidential-seal like sign Republicans have ribbed Obama for displaying. "I don't even have a seal yet." LINK just scoffed at

ABC News: That's pretty close to an outright lie by Sen. McCain -- saying he wants to hand over healthcare to the federal government. LINK

First Read (Athena Jones) Longer format helps- He's on message, hitting his talking points on the contrasts with John McCain on taxes, his plans for healthcare and energy independence. He seemed to cover more ground than McCain whose main points were about cutting government spending. LINK

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