Thursday, June 29, 2006

My Head's Going to Explode

June 28 (Bloomberg) -- Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, asked about a report that Sunni insurgents have made a conditional offer to halt attacks in Iraq, said the U.S. won't set a timetable for withdrawing troops from the country.

The Associated Press today said 11 Sunni insurgent groups offered to stop attacks on U.S.-led military forces in Iraq if the Iraqi government and President George W. Bush set a two-year deadline for withdrawing all foreign troops.

Rumsfeld told reporters that while he hadn't seen the report, ``the president's view has been and remains that a timetable is not something that is useful.'' A schedule for a pullout ``is a signal to the enemies that all you have to do is just wait and it's yours,'' he said.

``The goal is not to trade something off for something else to make somebody happy, the goal is to succeed,'' Rumsfeld said at a Pentagon press conference with Australian Defense Minister Brendan Nelson. ``And that means exactly what the president has said: It's condition-based.''

Ow, ow, ow, ow! My head hurts, so give me a second. We don't accept the Sunni's offer --which very well could lead to a safer, more peaceful Iraq-- because we want a safer, more peaceful Iraq? What. The. Fuck. That's two years from now: Summer '08. What better for Bush's 'legacy' than to have the troops come home under his banner, instead of that homecoming being political fodder for the next Exec. (And let's face it: Everything this administration does is either about money or politics. Might as well think that way.) More realisticly, that's two years. Think about how long that is and try to tell me that's not enough time to arrange at least a partial withdrawl. At least it's enough time for the Admin to weasel its way out of the deal.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

The Art of Ignoring the Truth

Rove loses an election, surveys the situation, and concludes that the GOP left 4 million evangelicals off the table and they need to find and mobilize them. We lose four years later and conclude that, um, we need to talk to evangelicals. In other words, they lose and turn to their base, but we lose and turn to...THEIR base! Am I losing my mind or is this about as absurdly upside-down ass-backwards as possible?

Electoral strategist Tom Schaller email to Chris Bowers of MyDD

It always grinded against me that the Democratic Party thought it was their best plan to appeal to the 'evangelical vote'. Being the good progressive I am, I felt rightly rejected when almost the day after Nov 2nd, Democrats were calling for conservative voters. "What he hell?! Why not oh, appeal to your base just like the republicans did? Where does it make sense to appeal to their base?" It felt like if you really hit it off with someone at the bar, really were digging where everything was going. Then, right when it was time to seal the deal, along comes some turd of a ball and chain. You dismiss them for the shit they are, but for some dumb reason, your attention is drawn to your courtee running away with shithead. Where am I going with this? I hate to beat a dead hooker, but this is another part of the not- so- cold war happening for the soul of the democratic party.

On one side, there are those that see the Republican 04 victory as a sign that the nation is turning conservative. If more conservatives voted, it is only logical that the nation is more conservative. Then there's the other side (those people residing in that weird reality thing) see the republican victory, and realize that the nation has not suddenly turned conservative; rather the republicans did a better job working their base voters: Evangelicals, baptists, the south; the usual gang of theives and charlitans.

Now think of what the 'liberal' national party has done lately for the base. No, go ahead, I'll wait.

Yeah. Now imagine what would happen if the Democratic party reached out to all the disenfranchised liberals in the nation: Throw in the Greens, GLBT, the new labor unions in the service industry and start actively appealing and courting their votes. I like where this leads me, and I'm not all that imaginative.

In other words: Screw the conservative base. You want their votes? They're alot easier to get if you put an R after your name.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

A War of Liberal Proportions

The campaign against Kos, which I'd originally dismissed as just another pissy TNR vendetta, is starting to look more and more like a coordinated effort: a Swiftboat operation. At the very least, it's snowballing into a more systematic media attack on Left Blogistan, which makes it my fight as well as Kos's.

I'm not suggesting Karl Rove (or some other GOP mastermind) is behind this, or even that there is some kind of cabal of neocon/dino democrat-leaning journalists orchestrating it. But the m.o. very much resembles the classic Swiftboat strategy: start some vague, unsourced allegations echoing in the blogosphere, then persuade your ideological allies in the corporate media to start firing on target -- based on the flimsy excuse that "people are talking" about the "issue." Rinse and repeat.

This would actually be less ominous if the Rovians or their kind really were behind this. Political dirty tricks are nothing new, and we already know how the GOP and the right-wing blogs do their thing. In this case, however, it looks like Kos's media critics have actually decided to go into the Swiftboating business themselves, instead of simply swallowing whatever regurgitated slop the political operatives and the "independent" advocacy groups drop into their gaping mouths.


The war, therefore, if we judge it by the standards of previous wars, is merely an imposture. It is like the battles between certain ruminant animals whose horns are set at such an angle that they are incapable of hurting one another. But though it is unreal it is not meaningless. It eats up the surplus of consumable goods, and it helps to preserve the special mental atmosphere that a hierarchical society needs. War, it will be seen, is now a purely internal affair.

In the past, the ruling groups of all countries, although they might recognize their common interest and therefore limit the destructiveness of war, did fight against one another, and the victor always plundered the vanquished. In our own day they are not fighting against one another at all. The war is waged by each ruling group against its own subjects, and the object of the war is not to make or prevent conquests of territory, but to keep the structure of society intact.

The very word 'war', therefore, has become misleading. It would probably be accurate to say that by becoming continuous war has ceased to exist. The peculiar pressure that it exerted on human beings between the Neolithic Age and the early twentieth century has disappeared and been replaced by something quite different. The effect would be much the same if the three super-states, instead of fighting one another, should agree to live in perpetual peace, each inviolate within its own boundaries. For in that case each would still be a self-contained universe, freed for ever from the sobering influence of external danger. A peace that was truly permanent would be the same as a permanent war.

This — although the vast majority of Party members understand it only in a shallower sense — is the inner meaning of the Party slogan: War is Peace.

George Orwell, 1984, Chapter 17

Ahh, a nice, liberal on liberal war is a' brewin'. This is no wussy neocon v. paleocon v. theocon the right likes to pretend to have. No, this is the real deal! This is napalm in the morning, surfing the waves around artillery, Marty Sheen- eye- opening combat!

Now some might say that this is just mudslinging about whether Markos accepts money from politicians (namely, Gov. Mark Warner, D- VA) for preferential treatment on his site (He does not.); we call these people realistic. Now, I feel it's time to put the ol' tin hat on and give this a run through the paranoia machine.

Could it be that this new throw down of partisan v. moderate is a scheme to distract the rising liberal America from actually doing good in the fall? Is this a dire plot to keep us unfocused on winning the midterms and instead expend energy denying these claims? I don't think it's too far off if you take a step out of the implausabilities. TNR has been struggling as of late, and for good reason: Fewer and fewer people agree with their moderation above all, DLC- esc way of arguing their position. What is on the rise is partisan reporting and debating. Perhaps this last throe of TNR is part of a broader plan by moderate factions in US politics that fear the rise of Dailykos and this is the first blow in what may be a drawn out war for the soul of the democratic party.

So who's to blame for this diabolic scheme? Who is the chief wizard of our little Illuminati, pulling the strings of the puppets infront of our faces? Logically, it would be those who would benefit most from a weakened progressive movement. They would need the means (connections), motive (keep their job), and opporitunity (Ummm... Last weekend). So who is well connected, sees their job on the line, and was around last weekend? Joe Liberman.

Think about it (Tin hat, remember): Old Joe is TNR's hero. He's a sheep in wolf's clothing, always hugging the isle even as he represents a state where more than 70% of the population hates the White House Jester. He's been in DC for 18 years. He's also a product of Conn. machine politics, and you aren't one of those if you don't know how to pull some strings. At the other end, Markos is at the vanguard of the push to out Old Joe and replace him with Ned Lamont, for all the right reasons, of course. If it wasn't for Dailykos, ActBlue, and FireDogLake, Lamont might have not been anything at all. Instead, it's looking more and more like Old Joe is is real trouble, and this could be the first shake coming from his boots.

Barring some shocking, in depth journalistic investigating (of which we lack today), this is all conjecture. But back here on the Flipside of Reality, we don't need 'evidence' or 'logical conclusions' or 'reasonable doubt.' Here we have Conjecture, random skips of logic, and reasonable acceptance. And a good story those do make.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Someone's been in my Kool-Aid

Apparently, young people are developing a dangerous new addiction, this time to a perilous activity known by its street name as 'voting'.
An analysis of raw data by the Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning & Engagement (CIRCLE) at the University of Maryland indicates that young people voted in bigger numbers in the gubernatorial elections in New Jersey and Virginia in 2005, than they did in 2001. The number of votes cast in precincts with a high concentration of college students increased by an average of 15.1 percent above the 2001 election in Virginia, and by an average of 19.9 percent above the 2001 election in New Jersey. This news out of New Jersey and Virginia comes on the heels of data just released by the U.S. Census Bureau that found turnout among 18-24 year olds in the 2004 presidential election increased 11 percentage points over the 2000 election, and more than doubled the turnout increase of all other age groups (which only increased by four percentage points).
Youth turnout increased more than any other democraphic group in 2004 and 2005. As a concerned parent without children, I'm worried about this. Are polling places safe? How do we know that polling workers aren't dealing drugs, or setting up MySpace pages? Are polling workers luring youngsters to vote with video games and ipod music mp3 playing machines and web sites? Do we know if voting and gay marriage are correlated? Why are young people watching entertaining programming like Jon Stewart's the Daily Show instead of getting their facts from responsible outlets that feature pundits screaming at each other?Above all, why aren't these young people reading Richard Morin and the Washington Post? I'm just generally worried.

God, it's like a virus: You start a blog where the tongue is buried in the cheek, and others take your idea without even asking.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Of the Defense of Shrews

Digby was recently emailed a defense of Anne Coulter's recent bashing of 9/11 widows. This, my students of strange is a good example of what the other halfs of reality look like. As you read, you might suspect (as I have) that this is a very elaborate tongue in cheek defense of the Shrew. This would be horrible and would take all the fun out of it, so we're going to say it's legit.

Key Facts:

1) She is a graduate of an Ivy League College and top rated law school and so is perhaps 10 times more intelligent than most of her critics.

Take note: Based only on the fact that she's from an Ivy League school, she is 10 times smarter than you or I (being the critics we are). No proof is needed. This is an absolute fact. Not 9x, not 1000x, not 3.14x, 10 times. Write that down.

2) Her latest book, which caused the "9/11 widows controversy" is 300 solid pages of sophisticated arguments befitting a sophisticated lawyer, that virtually all of those who hate her can't understand, let alone respond to except with obscenity or silly, childlike ranting.

Waaaaahhh!!! Stoopid Fannie Anne and her big words!! Why's she haf ta be so smart? I want my mommy!! Where's my teddy?!?!

3) She describes herself as a controversialist which I think is accurate. Others describes her as a satirist; also accurate. This means she exaggerates to attract attention. She doesn't exaggerate facts or arguments but rather the environment around the facts and arguments.

Now this is legitimate. By shaping the world in which the facts reside, there needs to be no distorting of the facts, because they fit into the frame of reference of the Shrew. In other words: A rose made of shit sure does look like a rose.

Enough fun. Now for more of the meat. This is where we really get to see reality, my orphans of oddity.

8) No one can really explain why it is that criticizing four 9/11 widows for statements that seemingly reflect little more than the irrational mumbling of four grief stricken widows is more controversial than the serious and detailed accusation, in the book, that liberals naturally enable pedophiles, rapists, and murderers?

Again take note: Questioning the Fool is 'irrational'. I mean come on, he's the Fool. Duh. It's not like he means what he says or even understands it.

Oh, and it's our fault as liberals that there is murder and rape. Our existance alone is all they need to be. Or is it?

The most obvious explanation is that Democrats (Sheldon Silver being the very best example) do love criminals because they are the natural product of the foul country they hate so much. The more vicious the criminal the more Democrats know they are right about America. Rudeness toward four grieving widows can then be seen as the greater offense because genuine criminality is not really criminality to a Democrat, it is vindication.

In fairness, one has to mention that hatred of America isn't the only reason Democrats prefer criminals. Money seems to be the other motivation. Lawyers are the greatest contributors to Democrats. The Democratic defense bar would suffer tremendously under the simple Republican regime of mandatory minimums and throwing away the key.

Shit! Or Great plan has been shattered! Quick, fire off a salvo of ICBMMs (Inter Continental Ballistic Michael Moores) before our Glorious Revolution is unwoven before our very eyes! We need to get back to pushing for living wages, education, equality and all the other tactics we use before this nation pulls itself back together! Wingnut Ted has studied us well:

9) Republican intellectuals like Ms. Coulter have to be largely forgiven because there are very few good targets around these days. Does Sheldon Silver go on TV in our supposed democracy to explain his position on pedophilia? Does Ted Kennedy go on TV to explain is love of socialism after seeing it in Nazi Germany, The Soviet Union, Communist China, and Cuba? Democrats prefer abortion to love, treason or surrender to national defense, failed public schools to successful private ones, looting of public pensions to safe, secure, and extremely profitable private pensions, divorce to marriage, crime to punishment, inflation to monetarism, gov't monopoly to efficient competition, 50 Cent to Pat Boone,labor unions that mass produce unemployment to companies that produce sustainable jobs, and France to America.


10) Oddly, and quite tragically most intellectuals are Democrats? In fact, some believe the rise of liberalism actually represents little more than the failure of the Ivy League, which, many would argue, sets the entire world's political agenda. But these liberal Ivy League intellectuals won't defend the indefensible either. They are no where to be seen. So how did this happen? Its simple really: they are against America the way a doctor is against cancer. If America weren't a cancer to them they would have little value any more than a medical doctor would have value to someone without cancer. They would have to get real jobs.

So if Ivy League'rs are against Americancer, and Anne came from an Ivy League school, that means two things: All Ivy Leagers are 10 times smarter than critics of Anne, and Anne hates America.

For a time, after The Communist Manifesto and after the Depression, there was a some legitimate debate that did need to be resolved. Much to the surprise of the neglected Ivy League it was largely resolved by Hitler, Stalin, Mao, and their lingering friend, Castro. Nowadays they live on in what must be a left wing schizophrenic hell, pretending to be intellectual and radical thinkers with a bold new transformative prescription for America, when in reality they are deathly afraid to come out of their ivory towers where the long discredited anti-Americanism to which they so desperately cling, if only by default, would be exposed by the likes of an of Ann Coulter.

Ahh, there's the light of truth. Because failed experiments in Government control of everything and Communism (which is like a threesome: Great in theory but not so hot when actually done), Liberalism is dead. That means we better get back to the way things used to be: Despotic Kings ruling over petty fiefdoms, nobles presiding over slaving serfs, and to top it off, a life expectancy of 35 years. Boy, I sure am looking forward to the bubonic plague. Anyone have a bucket I could use?

11) So how do the Democrats do so well electorally while being AWOL from our Democracy? They dumb down the electorate. They started Air America Radio whose daytime line up features three comedians: Jerry Springier, Al Frankin and Jeanine Garafalo. They register convicted felons and everyone conceivable through the "make every vote count" initiative, no matter what their qualifications. They produce slick 30 second TV commercials. They buy every vote they get with their tax and spend philosophy (really tax and buy votes subversion). They promise that they are more caring than Republicans. In short, they do everything possible to steal votes and everything possible to avoid a very American democratic debate. They hate Ann Coulter because her very presence serves notice on them that they are intellectually bankrupt, too cowardly for debate, and shamefully reduced to silence or sexual/scatological imprecations.

Ooh, here is an example of rhetorical tactics: Say your opponent does all the bad things you do. When your opponent then says that what you do, he now sounds like a whiny idiot. Very clever, Wingnut Ted.
Oh, and I like scat porn, apparently.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Blog under construction

If only these contractors would work faster...