Saturday, January 14, 2006

Officially, Greensboro, North Carolina, has a strong history of racial tolerance and progressive politics -- a past touted in its historical museum and by numerous historical markers. But, JoAnn Wypijewski writes in Mother Jones, there is a much different story that wasn't getting told in Greensboro: the story of November 3, 1979. That's when a caravan of Ku Klux Klan and American Nazi Party members opened fire on a protest led by the Workers Viewpoint Organization, a group that Wypijewski says "advocated antiracism, unionism, and communist revolution." Five protesters were killed and ten were wounded.

In an attempt to fill the silence and correct the historical record, survivors of the Greensboro Massacre and others started the Greensboro Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the first such hearings in the United States. Aimed at presenting what Wypijewski's calls "the full skein of Greensboro's experience," the project revisited the massacre with testimony this past summer and fall from some of the people present that day in 1979. Participants in the project claim it is detrimental to systematically forget events that are difficult to accept. They want to replace the city's watered-down, feel-good history with a more complex narrative of how and why these things happened. In order to do this, one cannot understand the massacre as "a thing apart from Greensboro's race history," Wypijewski argues. Rather, we must "unlock the box of silence." The commission's report is due out this March.

The desire for a "feel-good history" explains much about the cultural and political devide in America at this point. While the center-left will have a denial of reality issue on occassion, its the right that wants desparaely to create a narrative that is whitewashed of anything that reflects poorly on white european desended americans. The left seems much more willing to accept and and deal with both the good and the bad. When the left points out the terrible atrocities committed against native americans, the Right is sincere in their accusations of unamericanism. A narrative that accepts the good with the bad disturbs their since of America as a land of divine providence rather then a struggle of forces, ideas, and circumstances. Let the light in, deal with the bad and embrace the best of the past so that we might go forward wiser, making fewer mistakes rather then repeating them.

Those Murtha Swiftboaters and Bad, Bad, WaPo and PA-12: Don Bailey: Biased, Bitter & Bonkers

From The Swing State Project
Bailey's been peddling his lies since 2002, when Murtha was once again involved in an incumbent-vs.-incumbent race. Yet if Murtha supposedly made some confession to Bailey during the ABSCAM goings-on in 1980 (as Bailey claimed to the National Journal), why didn't Bailey use that against Murtha in 1982? The answer doesn't change: The story is bullshit, and Bailey hadn't bothered to invent it yet. Rather, Bailey - after spending two decades losing a whopping four more races - dreamed up his tale in 2002 as a way to settle an old score against Murtha. (He failed, badly: Murtha won the primary that year 54-30.)

I obviously expect every gutter-dwelling conservative website... but I repeat myself. I obviously expect every conservative website to fawn all over Don Bailey's every phony word. He's a less credible witness than a nun-beating crack dealer - in other words, perfect for the non-reality-based community. But if the traditional media wishes to pay attention to Bailey's pedigree, they'll realize there's no way he could be telling truth. His story doesn't add up, and his motives are so nakedly venal that it should be plain for anyone to see.

Pakistan protests airstrike
18 killed, but al Qaeda No. 2 man apparently not among them

At the rate Bush and Rummy are going the guy will just die of old age.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Airstrike may have killed Bin Laden aide

My first reaction was its about time, if The Bushwhacker in the Whitehouse hadn't made Iraq a priority over catching Bin Laden and his lieutenants, we might have gotten this murderous criten two years ago. Sources: Airstrike may have killed bin Laden's No. 2
(CNN) -- A CIA airstrike on a building in Pakistan may have killed Osama bin Laden's most-trusted aide, sources said.

The building where Ayman al-Zawahiri was thought to be is in Damadola, a small village near the Afghan border.

There has been no confirmation that al-Zawahiri, 54, was killed in the attack Friday. However, sources say there was intelligence suggesting he was in the building at the time of the strike.

My second thought is that the recent assertion that Bush needs to violate FISA laws in order to track down members of Al Queda is obviously a very silly argument to make at this point.

BBC News in England is only reporting that
A deputy leader of al-Qaeda may have been targeted in an airstrike by US forces on a village in eastern Pakistan, according to reports.

However, it remained unclear whether Ayman al-Zawahiri died in the raid.

We're all left to wonder how many lives would have been saved had Bush made fighting terrorism a priority, rather then making Iraq into an Al Qaeda training ground and giving inspiration for the next generation of radical fundamentalists.

update: Bush Authorized Domestic Spying Before 9/11
The National Security Agency advised President Bush in early 2001 that it had been eavesdropping on Americans during the course of its work monitoring suspected terrorists and foreigners believed to have ties to terrorist groups, according to a declassified document.

The NSA's vast data-mining activities began shortly after Bush was sworn in as president and the document contradicts his assertion that the 9/11 attacks prompted him to take the unprecedented step of signing a secret executive order authorizing the NSA to monitor a select number of American citizens thought to have ties to terrorist groups.

John Cole writes,
For that reason at least it’s a little baffling to find out that the president approved the warrantless spying program shortly after he took office:

We didn't assume that Bush decided to break FISA laws because of 9-11. When we found out, we waited for a reasonable explanation and the legal justification and to date have only had outright lies about how the AUMF gave Bush Emperor like-powers. While the revelations of the NSA scandal became clearer, it also became clear that Cheney or Bush were yet again short sheeting the truth to justify breaking the law. ........... Cheney: NSA eavesdropping critical to U.S. security
"All of us are grateful that our nation has gone four years and four months without another 9/11," Cheney said. "America has been protected not by luck, but by sensible policy decisions ... by decisive action at home and abroad ... and by round-the-clock efforts on the part of people in law enforcement, intelligence, the military and homeland security."

So the defense offered by Cheney is pure boilerplate since warrantless domestic eavesdropping was ordered before 9-11 and obviously this illegal activity did not prevent 9-11. I'm trying not to buy into the fin foil idea that the Bushiveks are not using this NSA program to spy on their domestic enemies, but certainly revelations like this only fuel that kind of speculation and Bush and his aplogists have only themselves to blame.

Despite The Moonie Washinton Times its Still A Republican Scandal

via Josh Marshall The Moonie Times reported that Harry Reid was the subject of a Justice Department investigation, but no surprise here, The Moonies got it wrong, ABRAMOFF INVESTIGATION: Sources conflict on Reid status
"The department has not and will not discuss individuals who have not been charged," Justice Department spokesman Bryan Sierra said.

Speaking in Salt Lake City, Reid angrily denied the report.

He criticized the newspaper, which was founded by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon of the Unification Church.

"You have to really stretch things to call it a newspaper," Reid said.

Reid spokeswoman Tessa Hafen called the Washington Times story "completely baseless."

"Senator Reid's office has not been contacted by the Justice Department at all," Hafen said.

Reid has insisted he did nothing wrong in accepting $61,000 in contributions from Abramoff's associates and American Indian tribe clients from 2001 to 2004.

{ } ...Eric Herzik, a political science professor at the University of Nevada, Reno, said Reid does not appear to be in any legal trouble because of the contributions from Abramoff clients and colleagues.

Republicans are the only ones that took money from Abramoff, money from the Indian Tribes is different. For one that in and of itself is not cause to investigate anyone. Some Cons are keeping their Tribal donations. Look for a lot of disinformation over the coming months as Cons gear up for the 2006 elections and try to pretend they're not the party of corruption.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Judge theatrics, hate mail, and linkage

No those mean Democrats did not make Mrs Alito cry and or we having hearings or the theatre of the absurd.
I agree with Biden, we might as well scrap the hearings altogether. Maybe without the spectacle there’ll be greater focus on substance and less on the theatrics.

Michelle Internment Camp Malkin a plagarists? Not 100%, but she does the kind of things that some college freshmen do in their intro to literature classes.
So, this is how Michelle Malkin writes her columns: she lifts paragraphs from the news, changes the verbs and adds snark.

Its not that there isn't some degree of that all over blogsville, its just that Malkin in the front tier of rightie bloggers not based on content, or insight for that matter, but her ability to read a newspaper and make a smartass remark. Malkin heads the Fighting Hypocrites Brigade in their battle to dumb in the downward direction in all discourse. She is also not doing bloggers of any stripe any favors. If bloggers are to be the alternative to the MSM doesn't it behove her to be both more honest and more in depth. I can understand her link and snark approach of she was in the back water of blogs ( like this one for example), but she is according to linkage a major player. Andrew Sabl has some more on blogs and news at Same Facts....... Why news should cost. A lot.

While we all knew that the right-wing nuthouse were hypocrites about supportting the military, attacking any veteran that didn't subscribe to thier goose stepping, they have expanded their hatred toward parents whose children have been killed in Iraq, via Bad Attitudes and here
The American Gold Star Mothers is a wreath-laying, hospital-visiting group of mostly elderly women who have lost a son or daughter at war. At meetings, its members rise to pledge allegiance to the flag, pray for peace and freedom, and ask God to help them bear "the cross of sorrow."

Through a history that dates to the years after World War I, the group has been scrupulously apolitical.

So when Judith C. Young of Moorestown, N.J., began her term this year as the group's national president, she didn't expect the 20,000 hateful e-mails or the nasty phone messages.

That some of the hate mail was because the haters confused them with "Gold Star Families for Peace" doesn't cut it as an excuse.

Jack Abramoff is a metaphorical onion, peel back the layers and you just see more corruption.....Abramoff affair ripples outward
"The government says Abramoff and former business partner Michael Scanlon, a one-time aide to... DeLay, pocketed tens of millions of dollars from four Indian tribes; set up a foundation that financed a trip to Scotland for public officials and Abramoff's colleagues; and provided money, meals, trips and entertainment to entice public officials to help the lobbyist and his clients," reported.

James Wolcott writes,
The warbloggers profess to be outraged, sickened, and appalled by Mideast violence yet increasingly are giving vent to their own violent fantasies directed at domestic foes, whom they consider traitors, appeasers, etc. They fantasize about their least favorite bloggers being beheaded, or hanging liberal traitors from lamp posts should there be another terrorist attack. Sites like Little Green Footballs, Atlas Shrugs, and their ilk have a lynch-mob mentality that has gotten uglier as the situation in Iraq has worsened. They blame Cindy Sheehan (recently voted "Idiotarian of the Year" at LGF), Michael Moore, and liberal Democrats for how badly the war has gone because they don't have the courage and honesty to blame the real architects of failure: Rumsfeld, who went to war with too few troops to carry out an occupation; Wolfowitz and the rest of the neocon brain trust, who assured Americans that the invasion would be greeted with flowers and candy, and the war would pay for itself through oil revenues

I think the Pajama Conservatives for War Porn picked on the wrong guy.

and the righties tout a liberal endorsement for Alito. Maybe we have reached the point that is beyond irony.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Excerpt from Jeff's thesis from Conservative Clown College

Jeff's graduation picture.
This blog is pretty far off the beaten track, so I'm honored today to have a distinquished guest blogger, Jeff Clownstein
Any and all polls that are nonreflective of the ultimate dialetical imperative of Bush worship are skewed on a metaphysical onion in the fourth dimension of partisan fitness spas in diametric opposition to the shiny red plastic wrap that the messiah from Yale has wrapped Iraq in the on going incomplete and totally tubular non-unrecoverable quagmire that is the genious of the Iraq flypaper strategy and the move from a structuralist constitutional Hamiltonian high speed juicing of executive bumbling in the annals modern post washroom issues. Its clear that those incapable of conservative rearticulation should be excluded in todo from the non-democracy democracy movement accelerated by the patented electric kool-aid of our delusions. Michael NoClue Yon, Gummy Bear Brain, Ann Chokester, Dennis the Menice, Austin Chickenwings Bay, or Billbeous Roggio, or Arthur Bellyflop, and Mentalville Gazette, among other outlets that have been injected with the doublespeak serum are the only bullshisveks allowed in on the public parroting of their or someone else's own mythical cartoonish propagandistic talking points as proof that what they say in their echo chamber is better then the lint collecting in Dick Cheney's awesome belly button and they were right all along. The problem central to the careful reflection and gradual acceptance of reality expressed by the Army War College that invading Iraq was a distraction from the war on those connected to the terrorists of 9-11, we as neodoublespeakers must cleanse the public consiousness of the fact that if Bush had followed a containment policy in Iraq their spouse or child would not have been killed, this is the enormous nonreality reality that snakes down our pants leg as we fire blanks from our limp keybroads in an enormous ratio.

Now that al Qaeda’s and GW's member has been gorged by the war porn the right must join their elastic applied postmodern theoretics and split their lace panties. Metaperpartisan pretend patriots whether fighting from their mom's basement or the hallowed halls of the Faux War Channel must pretend that the new immorality is really the new morality least our sheets be pulled back to reveal the burn marks on our knees from the last meeting of College Republicans. We must admit to cleanse our bowls to being softly singing into the wind that emits from The Free Republic.Tom Delay is the Queen of complicity of the kind found in garden compost piles and was one of most useful idiots, right after Brit Hume and Michelle Malkin. We must parrot the Taliban in our intolorence of facial hair on Lynn Cheney and keep the Bush twins away from any Army recruiters. Parroting of ours or their very own cynical propaganda is always useful as long as you wash your hands afterwards, wipe them on a copy of the Constitution.propagandistic talking points as proof that they were right all along. The perception game must be won by the false prophets of conservatism or many Americans will live safe and happy lives, something that we must avoid at all cost or at least anything over 76 cents. They, and by that I mean anyone not wearing the royal tin foil of self delusion is an enabler of the five mega media outlets that we own and should be whipped with some of that delicious angel cake my mom makes for not regurgitating our faxes and making our “reality” the official reality of the state by the freeway of Corroboration Str. and Additude Rd.

Wow, thank you Jeff. That was from Jeff's thesis from Conservative Clown College where Jeff got his degree in Doublespeak.

Update from the left coaster.... No proteins for wisdom, it seems
Finally, anyone who actually reads the Left Coaster regularly would know it has been the position of most, if not all, of us here that Bush played into the hands of Al Qaeda, that Al Qaeda is a scourge on civilization that Bush largely ignored prior to 9/11 while taking extra-long vacations, that after a brief and appropriate focus on Al Qaeda in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 he wrongly shifted focus away from them and incompetently diverted antiterrorism and military resources to a needless and unplanned war (in Iraq) that had a substantial risk of increasing terrorism and serving as a gift to Al Qaeda (which it turned out to be). After all, we supported John Kerry in 2004 and Kerry's position was that Bush's shifting focus away from Al Qaeda showed he could not be trusted to manage America's national security. So, to insinuate otherwise about the Left Coaster's position on Al Qaeda is egregious.

The New Political Correctness, Iraq is a Country Club, Presidents are Kings, and Corruption is Cool

Glenn Greenwald is blogging the Alito hearings, The Alito hearings . Glenn and Jukeboxgrad expose the lies and deceptions of AssRocket at Powerline, here, here, and The law is too annoying to obey
And as always, it can’t be pointed out enough that in a society which lives under the rule of law, it is absolutely intolerable for the President to secretly violate laws and then try to explain afterwards why the law that he broke wasn’t a very good law to begin with. That does not excuse illegal conduct at all. It is truly amazing how many times one needs to point that out.

Hard headedness is part of the neoconservative platform, defend the party regardless of the consequences for the future of the country.

The tentacles of the Jack Abramoff scandal have reached out to "A veritable Who's Who of Republican religious stooges" - The Fruits of the Republican Bribery Scandal

Maybe the reason the neocons don't understand Iraq is the Iraqi region's history of only being united when they want westerners out of their territory
1920: Arabs of southern Iraq starts military actions towards the British, who did not fulfill their promises to leave the area to the locals after the Turks were defeated. The British responded military in the beginning, but soon realized that it would be impossible to control the area..

and here, British Colonialism and Repression in Iraq
Britain set up a colonial regime in Iraq after a long military campaign during World War I. In response to Iraqi resistance, including a country-wide uprising in 1920, British forces battled for over a decade to pacify the country, using airplanes, armored cars, firebombs and mustard gas. Air attacks were used to shock and awe, to teach obedience and to force the collection of taxes. Winston Churchill, as responsible cabinet minister in the early years, saw Iraq as an experiment in high-technology colonial control. Though officials in London sometimes had qualms about the violence, colonial administrators on the ground like Gertrude Bell expressed enthusiasm for the power of the imperial military enterprise.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Loch Ness monster a protected species
Documents obtained by a Scottish newspaper show that in the 1980s British civil servants debated whether the Loch Ness monster was a protected species.

The Case Against Alito

Supreme Court nominees get, and usually deserve, much benefit of the doubt. But with Alito, the doubt is all of the nominee's making, and has only grown with revelations of his Reagan-era memos. As an ambitious Reagan Administration lawyer, he boasted in a now-famous 1985 job application of his conviction that Roe v. Wade should be overturned; opposed the historic one-person, one-vote decision of the Warren Court; and waved like a badge of honor his membership in a far-right Princeton alumni network notorious for its hostility to admitting women and African-Americans. Alito's defense of Nixon-era officials implicated in illegal wiretaps makes clear--in light of today's NSA wiretap scandal--that the Bush Administration's motives in Alito's nomination extend well beyond a token nod to social conservatives.

I could say that the last few years have seen the acceptance of far right extremists ideology as being part of the mainstream, but the reality is that for the first 150 years of this nation, the ideals set forth in the Bill of Rights were more talk then action. Alito represents that first 150 years when slavery was Ok because the Bible said it was, women and poor men were second class citizens, and later separate, but equal was considered the norm, voting rights were tied to ownership of property and race, and breaking treaties with native Americans was considered necessary for progress. Alito represents a push back to those first 150 years where we had ideals, but too often found ways to rationalize ignoring them.

By way of The Slideshow, Bush thinks governing should take a back seat to power.......
When George Bush signed the defense appropriation bill containing John McCain's amendment removing torture and other human rights violations from the official repertoire of the armed forces, he added his own little amendment: "Unless I say otherwise." The vehicle through which he reserved the option to break the law is called a bill-signing statement, and as Knight Ridder's Ron Hutcheson revealed on Friday, the McCain bill was far from the first victim of the practice: Bush has used it some 500 times since taking office [...]

Bush doesn't veto bills because in his view, he doesn't have to; he can simply ignore the ones he doesn't like.

Get out of MySpace, bloggers rage at Murdoch

Why Not Just Dissolve the Senate?

I may have changed my mind about the Bush censure issue. He should be striped of his citizenship, strapped to the side of a tanker, taken to die in Exile on the Island of Alba chained to a copy, cast in lead of the US Constitution...... Why Not Just Dissolve the Senate?
Much has already been written about President Bush's 17 recess appointments announced on Thursday

this president, in an interpretation that can only be termed bizarre, is insisting that a one-minute ceremonial pro forma meeting of the Senate that occurred on Tuesday, January 3rd, represented the opening meeting of the second session of the 109th Congress, which he interprets as giving life to his recess appointments until the end of 2007 rather than 2006.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

For Jeff Goldstein delusional syllogisms pass for thought

Quiet please, Mr. Charrington, aka Jeff Goldstein is trying to think.
Mr. Goldstein at Protein Wisdom has taken out a copyright on irony, doesn't think others should use it, and really isn't sure what it is.
In addressing the recent reports on the lack of body armor, Jeff titles his post, We love the troops; but it's a tough love , and yet Jeff links to this post at Left Coaster,
We lost 11 more yesterday in Iraq. How negligent is Donald Rumsfeld in the deaths of our soldiers in Iraq? Well besides sending too few troops to secure the country and maintain a flawed occupation, the New York Times is reporting that an internal Pentagon study (gee, leaked by someone I suppose) has found that a good many of the deaths suffered by our troops would have been avoided if the Pentagon had provided body armor that has been available since 2003. Yup, the GOP sure is best on defense, aren’t they?

Jeff skims right over the body armor issue, I'm guessing from guilt and embarrassment of the criminal negligence from his idols in the Whitehouse.
Jeff jumped on this though,
I have to admit it is fun to see Al Qaeda play Bush like a violin. But at least Zalmay Khalilzad is doing the right thing by meeting with local insurgents and split them off from Al Qaeda.

Jeff not only fails to appreciate Left Coaster's use of irony to describe the corner that Bush has backed us into in Iraq in terms of winning a political ( hearts and minds) victory, but accuses Coaster of being sympathstic to Al Qaeda. I could ask is their no level to which modern conservatives will not sink, but I already know the answer. Especially since Jeff provides not a single bit of evidence to back up his claim.

At this point readers you may want to take an aspirin, Jeff tries to be smart, he write in the comments:
Applied postmodern theoretics serve to elevate epistemological contingency to an universal certaintly—one that deliminates other ideologies that don’t share its philosophical skepticism. It’s anti-ideologism is, in fact, the most pervasive proof that those who profess it are themselves disguised ideologues.

I have no interests in how Jeff defines "postmdern", just to see him write it hurts the eye. His meanderings on the premise that speculations in common discourse people express in language their best knowledge ( in the subject or event I assume ) and that liberals take the stand that their's is some universal absolute truth yet at the same time saying that liberals are inherently suspicious of everything. Jeff, its either or, liberals can think they have the ultimate truth or are skeptical about all reality at the same time, but not both. "anti-ideologism"? Really, there's an prehistoric facility that some people still use called a library, many are available on line and I think that you'll find plenty of studies and wonkish dissertaions on about what Democrats and their system of social beliefs.I understand that writing tripe takes up an inordinate amount of right-wingers time, so just read the Bill of Rights. Many will find that the values held by liberals are much closer to the original constitutional contextualism then conservatives while still embracing modernity - an essential part of preserving liberty while embracing change. Our set of ideals and goals for society are more coherent and consistant then "conservative" goals. Conservatives tend to be confused by the fact that five Democrats in a room can have 15 different ideas, that is a too brief description of our "big tent". I will give Jeff a carrot since hes not just lost, but so determined to be fashionably pedantic. Democrats have a only marginal realization of the false virtue of moderation at all costs. As a group we're divided and shouldn't be. For instance, some Democrats/liberals think that we should be tolerant of fundamentalism from right-wing Christians and Muslims( not their violence, their beliefs). I am of the camp that thinks we shouldn't tolerant extremism, that tolerance of extremists is just a way to undermine our own goals, a "humanistic" country and world. I am not a moderate when it comes to toleration of extremism and have no moral obligation personally or on societies' behalf to do so.

Just one other point on Jeff's pedantic post:
In the Zogby poll—where the President was specifically named, the electorate was split; in the Rasmussen poll, which more properly dealt with powers granted the office of the Presidency—which is what the question really should be, the poll numbers shifted dramatically in favor of the Executive branch—as clear an indication as possible that partisan politics is playing a dramatic role even in questions of our national security.

jeff its like this, imagine a poll that mentioned colored eggs, marshmellow bunnies, chocolate eggs, and baskets, but mention of the Easter Bunny was left out. Bush's breaking the law is central to the problem. The only way Bush is not central to the issue is that the NSA is running its own roque operation. Is that the argument that Jeff wants to make, that Bush lives in a bubble and has no idea what the NSA is doing. Modern conservatives truly are making up their own reality. Jeff says it best:
The question now for postmodern ironists is, how do we take the lessons of the linguistic turn and cynically turn them to our power advantage? I have been at pains to bring us back to a coherent system of signification, because I feel it is that breakdown in the understanding of how language works that allows the current cynical milieu in which will, power, assertion, and a coalition of fellow-travelers conspire to determine “truth”

I think I just heard George Orwell roll over in his grave.