Archive for March 27th, 2011

27
Mar
11

‘america: you keep using that word…’ (the author has left a comment, say hello!)

So, I’m driving into Anchorage this morning.

Along with the usual herd of jackasses who, despite living in Alaska still don’t seem to know how to drive in snow, one vehicle in particular caught my eye.

It was one of those enormous black pickup trucks, with the huge knobby tires and smoked glass windows and chrome roll bar complete with half a dozen giant chrome halogen lights and a ten foot high antenna whipping about in the slipstream  and pipe organ-like exhaust pipes jutting up from behind the cab belching thick plumes of white diesel smoke like the twin contrails of a fighter jet on full afterburner.

…What caught my eye were the bumper stickers:

– Proud American emblazoned across a red, white, and true blue Captain America shield;

– In God I trust, In big government I fear. We must protect the country we love!;

–  and my perennial favorite: I love my country, it’s the damned government I hate.

…what caught my eye was the giant Confederate flag treatment in the back window.

Wait, what?

Proud American.

Confederate Flag.

Proud American.

Confederate Flag…..

 

Read the whole magnificent post here

****

Thank you so much for letting us know about this Suzanne

27
Mar
11

‘night everyone

27
Mar
11

chump update: his ‘white house con began 24 years ago’

Steve Kornacki: How The Donald discovered that pretending to run for president can be good for business ….

….Paul Riddell from Texas wrote that he agreed Trump’s “campaign” is a publicity stunt, not just because he did the same thing back in 2000, but because he also did it in the 1988 cycle … it turns out it’s true: The Trumpster’s first fake presidential campaign actually took place 24 years ago…

….he was handed a deal to write the “Trump: The Art of the Deal.” Publication was set for November 1987 … And wouldn’t you know it, a few months before the book’s release, stories began appearing that Trump – seemingly out of nowhere – might jump into the 1988 presidential race as a Republican … “Anyone would be honored to hear this,” he said. Then he swung into action, taking out ads in major newspapers addressing topics ranging from the deficit to nuclear weaponry to Central America. And he scheduled a speech in New Hampshire…

….with his money and bluster, Trump was portrayed as a potential wild card. He denied that he was running – always leaving enough wiggle room to keep the media playing along….Not long after the NH speech, “The Art of the Deal” hit bookstores. It was a runaway hit. And with that, the trips to New Hampshire and the flirtations with the ’88 race stopped. He’d already accomplished his goal: enhancing the Trump brand….

12 years later, with another book to promote, he did it all over again (see here). And now, 12 years after that, he’s back again. (There’s no book for Trump to promote this time, but there is his C-list celebrity train wreck on NBC, which (conveniently enough) premiered just as the Trump for President chatter intensified).

More here

27
Mar
11

ah, journalistic integrity!

On Friday an INCENSED Glenn Greenwald (is there any other kind?) reckoned he’d unearthed yet another reason to spew his increasingly hysterical bile at the President. You got the feeling from his post at Salon he was so giddy with excitement he was about to faint.

Under the heading ‘Top Bush-era GITMO and Abu Ghraib psychologist is WH’s newest appointment’ he told us that Dr Larry James, a retired Army colonel who “was the Chief Psychologist at Guantanamo in 2003, at the height of the abuses at that camp, and then served in the same position at Abu Ghraib during 2004,” had announced in an email that he had been selected to serve on a “White House Task Force entitled Enhancing the Psychological Well-Being of The Military Family”.

“In his new position,” said GG, “he will be meeting at the White House with Michelle Obama and other White House officials on Tuesday.”

So, off he went:

“…what this appointment does is have the White House – yet again – signal that it does not really take very seriously the Bush torture regime …. Is there really nobody in the White House who was able to come to that realization on their own, or is this part of some twisted “reaching out” effort to show that they view bygones as bygones when it comes to the war crimes our leaders committed and whom the Obama administration continues to protect? Whatever the explanation, the symbolism here is as ugly as the mindset underlying it.”

The problem here? GG wrote this tirade before checking the veracity of the email and before he got a response from the White House about James’ claim.

When the response came, he stuck it at the bottom of the post, but left his rant and the headline on the story unchanged.

The response from the WH:

“Several members of the White House staff are convening a meeting with multiple mental health professionals on Tuesday to discuss issues pertaining to the wellness of military families. SAMHSA and the American Psychological Association have both been asked to attend. We understand that Dr. James is involved with these groups and may have been indirectly invited to attend this meeting.”

And: “Dr. James has not been appointed to serve in any capacity with the White House.”

Repeat: GG – who spends his life criticizing the lack of journalistic integrity among those who write anything mildly supportive of the President’s actions – wrote his tirade before getting the White House’s response.

There are now over 400 replies to the post from mainly GG groupies, most of whom seem to have just read the still unchanged headline – even his groupies don’t read all the way to the end of his invective. They are drooling all over their beloved GG for providing this proof that the President loves torturers.

In the middle of all the comments was this voice of sanity: “Welcome to the ground zero of echo chambers. Don’t let the Greenwald acolytes get to you. They project a lot. You would think that journalistic integrity would be something welcomed here, like checking sources before hitting the send button. But not if he is your blog messiah, right boys?”

****

It’s late Sunday and still the headline remains unchanged

What was it GG said about the President in his rant? “The symbolism here is as ugly as the mindset underlying it.” He could have been talking about himself.

****

It gets better – Greenwald posted a comment in response to criticism of him on the blog, this is part of it:

“If someone wants to argue that I should have contacted the WH for comment before writing this, that’s a reasonable criticism. I’ll concede that it would have been better to do so…..”.

But then he goes on to try and justify himself.

It’s Monday, and the headline remains unchanged.

27
Mar
11

talk time

Time

27
Mar
11

‘an open letter to the left on libya’

Juan Cole: As I expected, now that Qaddafi’s advantage in armor and heavy weapons is being neutralized by the UN allies’ air campaign, the liberation movement is regaining lost territory….

I am unabashedly cheering the liberation movement on, and glad that the UNSC-authorized intervention has saved them from being crushed …

…On the surface, the situation in Libya a week and a half ago posed a contradiction between two key principles of Left politics: supporting the ordinary people and opposing foreign domination of them. Libya’s workers and townspeople had risen up to overthrow the dictator in city after city … even in the capital of Tripoli, working-class neighborhoods such as Suq al-Jumah and Tajoura had chased out the secret police….

…The United Nations Security Council authorization for UN member states to intervene to forestall this massacre thus pitched the question. If the Left opposed intervention, it de facto acquiesced in Qaddafi’s destruction of a movement embodying the aspirations of most of Libya’s workers and poor, along with large numbers of white collar middle class people. Qaddafi would have reestablished himself, with the liberation movement squashed like a bug and the country put back under secret police rule…

The arguments against international intervention are not trivial, but they all did have the implication that it was all right with the world community if Qaddafi deployed tanks against innocent civilian crowds just exercising their right to peaceful assembly and to petition their government…

Some have charged that the Libya action has a Neoconservative political odor. But the Neoconservatives hate the United Nations and wanted to destroy it. They went to war on Iraq despite the lack of UNSC authorization, in a way that clearly contravened the UN Charter…. …The Libya action, in contrast, observes all the norms of international law and multilateral consultation that the Neoconservatives despise.

The intervention in Libya was done in a legal way. It was provoked by a vote of the Arab League, including the newly liberated Egyptian and Tunisian governments. It was urged by a United Nations Security Council resolution, the gold standard for military intervention.

….To make ‘anti-imperialism’ trump all other values in a mindless way leads to frankly absurd positions…. ..in Libya intervention was demanded by the people being massacred as well as by the regional powers, was authorized by the UNSC, and could practically attain its humanitarian aim of forestalling a massacre through aerial bombardment of murderous armored brigades.

…I would like to urge the Left to learn to chew gum and walk at the same time. It is possible to reason our way through, on a case-by-case basis, to an ethical progressive position that supports the ordinary folk in their travails in places like Libya. If we just don’t care if the people of Benghazi are subjected to murder and repression on a vast scale, we aren’t people of the Left. We should avoid making ‘foreign intervention’ an absolute taboo the way the Right makes abortion an absolute taboo if doing so makes us heartless….

Read the full letter here

*****

Thank you so much for the link Suzanne, this is just brilliant …. although I suspect it will make Juan Cole an even bigger hate figure for the Professional Left than he already is. Their rage at the international community (especially President Obama, of course) for stepping in to stop the slaughter of the innocent is a sight to behold.

27
Mar
11

morning

President Barack Obama jokingly puts his toe on the scale as Trip Director Marvin Nicholson, unaware to the President’s action, weighs himself as the presidential entourage passed through the volleyball locker room at the University of Texas in Austin, Texas, Aug. 9, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Morning everyone 😉

Apart from the weekly address, I didn’t get a chance to update the blog yesterday, was out and about for most of the day – and, needless to say, I missed you all!

Will catch up with emails and comments asap, have a super Sunday!




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