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« Liberal Outrage: August 2008 | Main | Liberal Outrage: October 2008 »

Liberal Outrage

Monkey Business

TPM:

And here's another note from TPM Reader TB. I guess I'm really not sure quite how to characterize it ...
I think people really are missing the point about McCain's failure to look at Obama. McCain was afraid of Obama. It was really clear--look at how much McCain blinked in the first half hour. I study monkey behavior--low ranking monkeys don't look at high ranking monkeys. In a physical, instinctive sense, Obama owned McCain tonight and I think the instant polling reflects that.

So McCain may have given away his status as a low-ranking monkey. I'd never even considered monkey rank.



By fnord12 | September 27, 2008, 2:08 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



We're going to Vermont

And we might not come back.


By fnord12 | September 26, 2008, 10:54 AM | Liberal Outrage & My stupid life | Comments (2)| Link



Boy, Would Our CEOs Be In Trouble If People Here Got The Same Idea

Corporate India is in shock after a mob of workers bludgeoned to death the chief executive who sacked them from a factory in a suburb of Delhi.

Lalit Kishore Choudhary, 47, the head of the Indian operations of Graziano Transmissioni, a manufacturer of car parts that has its headquarters in Italy, died of severe head wounds on Monday after being attacked by scores of laid-off employees, police said. The incident, in Greater Noida, followed a long-running dispute between the factory's management and workers demanding better pay and permanent contracts.

Link

I guess the moral of the story is "don't invite an angry mob for a visit unless what you're going to tell them is all rainbows and unicorns."

Ofc, with the extra high importance we place on CEOs in this country, i'm sure the government would be right quick to step in and deliver justice. They know on what side their bread's buttered. Now, endangering hundreds of workers with unsafe workplace practices is ok. But the peons rising up and killing a CEO is severely frowned upon.


By min | September 24, 2008, 3:49 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



The only 100% Certified Witchcraft-free Candidate

Do you want to watch Sarah Palin get blessed by a Kenyan Witchhunter in her Alaskan church? I know you do. Click here.


By fnord12 | September 24, 2008, 10:16 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (1)| Link



More suspicion on the bailout

Some strange things are going on with this bailout plan:

1) Paulson lied overtly and obviously to congress when giving testimony today. He said that the reason the Bush proposal didn't have any oversight built in was because he didn't want to be "presumptuous" and tell Congress how to conduct oversight on him. But in fact the proposal specifically ruled out oversight:

Sec. 8. Review. Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.

2) Changes to the proposal to make bailouts more punative, or that give taxpayers more equity in these companies, are being rejected based on the fact that it might discourage some banks from not participating. Specifically, banks that are not in danger of collapsing might therefore decide not to participate. Ummm, why would we want banks that aren't in danger of collapsing to participate? This isn't just a free hand-out that we're doing for fun.

3) Shades of the Patriot act, it turns out that his proposal was written months ago and they were just waiting for the appropriate crisis to pull it out. This leads to the observation that either the crisis isn't so bad that we need to rush into it and/or the Bush administration (including Paulson) was lying when saying that the economy was strong up until last week.

My opinion right now is that Congress ought to just hold steady for now. Frankly, neither presidential candidate has been a leader on this issue*, but i believe there is time to wait for facts to emerge and consider other proposals.





*John McCain's bizarre proposal to fire the head of the SEC notwithstanding (and yes, god help me, i'm linking to George Will).


By fnord12 | September 23, 2008, 4:13 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



Mission Accomplished

Under Bush, the national debt has become $10 trillion, and that's not counting this bailout. And now Obama is saying that he's going to have to cut back on his spending proposals because of the bailout.

"I don't want to abolish government. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub." - Grover Norquist


By fnord12 | September 23, 2008, 1:57 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



Paranoia sets in

Reading this...

The next thing that will piss me off... ...Is watching everyone rush off to read Chris Dodd's proposal, and rather than read it and judge it on the merits of the proposal, read it and compare it to the ridiculous opener from Paulson. Instead of reading the Dodd proposal and saying "this is a good idea" or "this sucks hard," we will be treated to a few days of "well, it was better than what Paulson suggested." Which, no doubt, will be true, because what Paulson asked for was completely ridiculous- "Give me a trillion dollars and then piss off."

And then I will scream, because it is clear that this nation and our leadership have bargaining skills that are less sophisticated than your average seven year old:

Mom, can I have the soccer team over for a sleep-over on Friday?

No.

How about just Jimmy and Mike and Timmy and Scott?

I think that would be ok, but let me check with your father.

...i start to wonder if this wasn't the plan all along. Paulson was awful quick to agree to Dodd's equity change.



By fnord12 | September 23, 2008, 10:43 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (1)| Link



Goddamn Scientists Are At It Again

With their goddamn science and facts and hypotheseesesesess, furthering the liberal agenda of hating America.

By tracking the amount of light emitted by Baghdad neighborhoods at night, a team of UCLA geographers has uncovered fresh evidence that last year's U.S. troop surge in Iraq may not have been as effective at improving security as some U.S. officials have maintained.

Night light in neighborhoods populated primarily by embattled Sunni residents declined dramatically just before the February 2007 surge and never returned, suggesting that ethnic cleansing by rival Shiites may have been largely responsible for the decrease in violence for which the U.S. military has claimed credit, the team reports in a new study based on publicly available satellite imagery.

"Essentially, our interpretation is that violence has declined in Baghdad because of intercommunal violence that reached a climax as the surge was beginning," said lead author John Agnew, a UCLA professor of geography and authority on ethnic conflict. "By the launch of the surge, many of the targets of conflict had either been killed or fled the country, and they turned off the lights when they left."

...

"If the surge had truly 'worked,' we would expect to see a steady increase in night-light output over time, as electrical infrastructure continued to be repaired and restored, with little discrimination across neighborhoods," said co-author Thomas Gillespie, an associate professor of geography at UCLA. "Instead, we found that the night-light signature diminished in only in certain neighborhoods, and the pattern appears to be associated with ethno-sectarian violence and neighborhood ethnic cleansing."

The effectiveness of the February 2007 deployment of 30,000 additional U.S. troops has been a subject of debate. In a report to Congress in September of that year, Gen. David Petraeus claimed "the military objectives of the surge are, in large measure, being met." However, a report the same month by an independent military commission headed by retired U.S. Gen. James Jones attributed the decrease in violence to areas being overrun by either Shiites or Sunnis. The issue now figures in the U.S. presidential race, with Republican presidential candidate John McCain defending the surge and Democratic hopeful Barack Obama having been critical of it.

...

Long-term obstacles to meeting Baghdad's power needs may have contributed to the decrease in night lights in the city's southwestern parts, the researchers acknowledge. But Baghdad's shaky power supply does not fully account for the effect, they contend, citing independent research showing that decaying and poorly maintained power plants and infrastructure were meeting less than 10 hours of Baghdad's power needs prior to the fall of Saddam Hussein.

It's an interesting theory and correlation, anyway. At the very least, it's evidence of what a crappy job we've been doing to rebuild Iraq. We can't even get them as much power as they had before the invasion. And they were getting less than 10 hours at that point already. Course, we haven't managed to rebuild a city where we speak the language that was hit by a hurricane and is not being constantly attacked by hostile forces. What the hell chance did we have with rebuilding an entire country?


By min | September 22, 2008, 3:57 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



Socialism through the back door

Looking a little better:

House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank said lawmakers and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson agreed that the $700 billion plan being developed to buy bad mortgage investments should give the U.S. authority to take equity in participating companies.

The irony of all of this is that when Bush II came to power, Alan Greenspan argued that Clinton's budget surplus could have the "downside" of the US paying off its debt too quickly, and then using the increasing surplus to purchase stocks, giving the government a say in how the businesses of the stocks it owned would run. That was Greenspan's justification for Bush's tax cuts.


By fnord12 | September 22, 2008, 3:39 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



Get Your War On returns in cartoon form

Changed from an embedded video to a link because it seems to be wreaking havoc in some browsers.


By fnord12 | September 22, 2008, 2:17 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



We must act now

Financial-market wise guys, who had been seized with fear, are suddenly drunk with hope. They are rallying explosively because they think they have successfully stampeded Washington into accepting the Wall Street Journal solution to the crisis: dump it all on the taxpayers. That is the meaning of the massive bailout Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson has shopped around Congress. It would relieve the major banks and investment firms of their mountainous rotten assets and make the public swallow their losses-many hundreds of billions, maybe much more. What's not to like if you are a financial titan threatened with extinction?

If Wall Street gets away with this, it will represent an historic swindle of the American public-all sugar for the villains, lasting pain and damage for the victims. My advice to Washington politicians: Stop, take a deep breath and examine what you are being told to do by so-called "responsible opinion." If this deal succeeds, I predict it will become a transforming event in American politics-exposing the deep deformities in our democracy and launching a tidal wave of righteous anger and popular rebellion. As I have been saying for several months, this crisis has the potential to bring down one or both political parties, take your choice.


By fnord12 | September 22, 2008, 9:31 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



Rush Holt Rewls

I really love our Congressman. I hope he runs for Senate one day. He's teh awesome.

On the recent issue of offshore drilling, Congress passed it even though the Dems should be holding the majority and should have learned to stop cowering in the corner by now. Evidently not seeing as they're still cowed by the Republicans who mostly spew misinformation and ignorance.

Anyway, Holt obliviously voted against it. Here is the statement he issued after the vote.

There is much that I strongly support about this legislation, including the expansion of renewable energy, repealing of tax subsidies to big oil companies, and creation of green jobs.

However, I still believe that drilling in environmentally sensitive areas, such as our coastline, is unwise. Some in America claim that drilling - here, now, and everywhere - will bring instantaneous relief to families paying painful gas prices. The facts do not support this claim. "Drill baby drill" is not an energy policy, it is a slogan to hide behind to avoid coming up with a real policy which will help America move towards sustainable, affordable energy. The evidence shows that drilling in OCS would save perhaps pennies per gallon years from now. We can begin now, not years from now, to move to sustainable, affordable energy. We will never be able to drill our way to energy independence. The United States consumes 25 percent of the world's oil but only possesses 3 percent of the world's oil reserves. Even if we drilled on every single square inch of land where oil is assumed to exist we will never be able to meet our national demand.

That said, the environmental and financial requirements for an oil or gas company to drill are strong enough that few if any wells will be drilled under this legislation, and I expect smarter, more comprehensive legislation will follow next year.

I like this bit best: "Drill baby drill" is not an energy policy, it is a slogan to hide behind to avoid coming up with a real policy....

In his Congressional Record statment, he also points out that there are currently 68 million acres being leased by the oil companies that are open both off and on shore for drilling, but they aren't using it. They so desperately need to relieve our suffering by drilling everywhere they've been told they can't drill and not on the 68 million acres they've been told they can drill. Must be magic in them thar tracts of land.


By min | September 19, 2008, 3:15 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



Let's Just Check the List

In a move that many are calling voter suppression tactics, the Republicans in Michigan are making a list of people who have foreclosed on their homes.

For years, Republicans have engaged in "caging"--challenging the eligibility of voters on election day to suppress turnout and intimidate voters.2 They'll often try to reject voters by claiming they don't live at the address where they're registered. This year, they've taken it to a new low--the chairman of the Republican Party in Macomb County, Michigan said last week, "We will have a list of foreclosed homes and will make sure people aren't voting from those addresses."3

In other words, they'll target every voter whose house is on a foreclosure list, and challenge their voting rights on election day. But just because your name is on a list, it doesn't mean that you've lost your home or moved. In fact, many homeowners stay in their homes for months after the foreclosure process has begun, and some people are able to catch up on their payments and reverse the process.4

So why are Republicans illegally targeting homeowners who've had a tough time under Bush's economy? Because they know they're likely to vote for Democrats, and for Obama for President. In Michigan, over 60% of sub-prime loans were made to African-Americans.5 And in general, people who've been hit hard by the economy are less likely to vote for Republicans. This tactic won't just affect struggling homeowners--it will cause longer lines and delays at the polls for everyone that lives in a neighborhood with a high number of foreclosures. And that's the point.

Check out the Color of Change site if you'd like to send a letter to McCain to shame him into addressing it. Or just to piss him off some.


By min | September 19, 2008, 3:05 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



High End Girlfriend Index

I rolled my eyes but still read the whole thing.


By fnord12 | September 19, 2008, 10:43 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



Spamming the bulletin board

Much like the polls that showed that a good percentage of Americans actually believed that Iraq had something to do with the attacks on the Twin Towers, the passage of a House bill authorizing offshore drilling demonstrates a major failing of our media.

The debate has largely been presented as a conflict between environmental concerns vs. the need for more energy sources. But the truth is that this policy will result in literally no benefits at all in terms of lowering gas prices. Virtually all experts agree that offshore drilling will result in nothing in the short term and a minimal amount of extra oil in the long term - and due to the way the oil market works, that oil will be spread out among all the countries in the world; it won't be going directly to the US.

So the overall effect on this is absolutely nothing. And yet allies of the oil companies and Bush's corrupt Department of the Interior have managed to convince a majority of Americans that drilling will have immediate effects on gas prices, forcing the Democrats to capitulate (yet again)(and of course, it hasn't stopped Republicans for attacking them on the issue). You can (and should) blame the Democrats for not holding their ground and getting a counter-message out, but the media should serve as something more than just a giant bulletin board for the two major political parties, where political success is based entirely on your marketing abilities, regardless of the facts.

Update: Palin apparently thinks we can just keep the oil in the US. Maybe. As even Wolf Blitzer said, she was "not exactly easy to understand".


By fnord12 | September 19, 2008, 10:25 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



Bye Bye Free Market

The SEC has banned certain types of trading. Here is Dean Baker's take:

Short Selling Ban: Why is the Bush SEC Scared of the Market?

That is the question that serious reporters would be asking after the SEC banned all short-selling on financial firms. Have the folks at the SEC determined that stocks of financial firms are under-valued? They must be really smart if they can determine that. Of course if the SEC crew can recognize undervalued stocks, presumably they can also recognize over-valued stocks. Have they ever stopped trading because a stock's price had gotten too high?

Let's hypothesize that the SEC folks really don't know that financial stock prices are too low. Then they are preventing the shares of financial companies from adjusting to their proper level. Is there a public interest in artificially inflating the prices of financial stocks? I suspect that many insiders and large investors might take advantage of this SEC stock price support and dump their shares on people who are not quite as smart. I'm not quite sure what the public interest is here.

There has been a lot of silliness about the evil "naked shorts" in recent weeks. There is nothing sinister about a naked short, it is just a convenience, it is easier and cheaper to do a naked short than a covered short. It is analogous to buying stock on the margin.

We now see that the issue is not really naked shorts, it is shorts pure and simple. I can think of no reason whatsoever why the SEC should be preventing investors from acting on the belief that stocks, financial or otherwise, are over-valued than they would in acting on the belief that stocks are under-valued.

If the issue is stock price manipulation, then the SEC absolutely should be cracking down, but if there are actors who can easily manipulate the market on the downside, then they can presumably also manipulate the market on the upside and have been doing so. The media should be asking questions on this. What justifies the ban on short-selling? It's a real simple question.



By fnord12 | September 19, 2008, 10:17 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



Is it drafty in here or is it just me?

Looking at various statements by McCain and his surrogates, it seems he wants to bring Georgia, and possibly the Ukraine, into NATO, thus pushing us towards a war with Russia. He wants to keep troops in Iraq and move more troops into Afghanistan. He wants to bomb, bomb, bomb Iran. He wants to increase hostilities against Venezuela, Boliva, and Cuba. And he seems to want to freeze diplomatic relations with Spain, a NATO ally.

We can't do all of that with our current armed forces, which even the Joint Chiefs of Staff say are stretched too thin. If i were in charge of the Democrats' campaign strategy, i would feel justified in suggesting that McCain's stated policies will lead to a draft.


By fnord12 | September 18, 2008, 4:48 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



Partisan

Paul Krugman:

So last night I was on Larry King Live, dressed in my TV-from-the-Princeton-studio uniform: dress shirt, jacket, tie, shorts, and sandals (the camera doesn't pan below the belly button). With me, Andy Serwer of Fortune and Stephen Moore of the WSJ.

Moore offered an argument I hadn't heard before. The reason I hadn't heard it that it's really, really stupid. Our financial problems, he said, are caused by the falling dollar, which has reduced the value of American assets. It's hard even to know where to start on that. But, um, we're talking about balance sheets here; by and large the United States has liabilities in dollars (e.g., Chinese holdings of agency debt), while we have many assets that are, effectively, in foreign currency (Ford Germany is worth more when the euro rises against the dollar). So America's balance sheet improves when the dollar falls, which is actually a major issue in international macro modeling.

Plus, the weak dollar is good for exports, which are about the only source of strength our economy has.

But the WSJ crowd is deeply attached to the idea that a strong dollar = a strong country (and if you believe in America, you believe that asset prices only go up, too). So reason has no impact.

But Serwer's comments were what bothered me the most. He was saying that Obama and McCain are equally off on the financial crisis. I said that's not true: Obama has called for expanded regulation, while McCain takes his advice from people like Phil Gramm, who helped create this mess. Plus McCain's new line denouncing excessive executive bonuses makes no sense: Washington doesn't set executive compensation! Unless McCain is willing to say what he'd actually do, it's empty posturing.
And Serwer's response? "That's awfully partisan."

So there you have it: if the facts have a liberal bias, pointing them out is excessively partisan.


By fnord12 | September 17, 2008, 12:17 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



The media has made itself irrelevant

Media Matters:

It's like that scene in a movie when the superhero realizes his unique power (for the press, it's collective indignation) has suddenly been rendered useless...
...
Instead of recoiling, the Republican ticket seems to have adopted a post-press approach to campaigning in which the candidates simply don't care what the press does or says about their honesty. More to the point, the candidates don't think it will matter on Election Day.

They may be right. And that's the media's fault. They've reported their way right into the margins. Submerged in trivia and tactics for the past 18 months, the press, I think, has damaged its ability -- its authority -- to referee the campaign.


By fnord12 | September 17, 2008, 9:20 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



Brave

Link:

"Kudos to Governor Palin for standing up to dermatologists and other members of the sun scare industry who are trying to frighten Americans away from UV light."

By fnord12 | September 17, 2008, 8:53 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



It's pronounced nuk-ya-ler

A hidden gem in an article about whether or not Palin lied mislead* about whether or not she used a teleprompter in her Convention speech:

(Especially those of my colleagues on the convention floor at the time, reading along on the prompter with her, noticing her excellent and disciplined delivery, how she punched words that were underlined and paused where it said "pause," noting that "nuclear" was spelled out for her phonetically.)



*Yes, this campaign season is so ugly that we now defend our actual outright lies by instead saying 'oh, now, we just intentionally let the audience think something that wasn't true'.

By fnord12 | September 16, 2008, 1:29 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



Backwards

Link:

Five former U.S. secretaries of state said Monday the next American administration should talk to Iran, a foe President Bush has generally shunned as part of an "axis of evil."

Engaging Iran is important because Washington's military options against Tehran are unsatisfactory, said the diplomats, who worked for Republican and Democratic administrations.

The five -- Colin Powell, Madeleine Albright, Warren Christopher, James Baker and Henry Kissinger -- all said they favored talking to Iran as part of a strategy to stop Tehran's development of a nuclear weapons program.

"Frankly the military options here are very poor. We don't want to go down that route," said Christopher, who worked for former President Bill Clinton from 1993 to 1997.

I appreciate the sentiment here, and the fact that Kissinger, current a McCain advisor, is endorsing Obama's policy for Iran, but the reasoning that seems to have led these people here is exactly backwards. Military action is supposed to be a last resort; you don't decide to talk to someone only because your military options are poor.


By fnord12 | September 16, 2008, 8:51 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



Losing the Army Times

The McCain campaign seems determined to prove that it is possible to win an election based entirely on telling the public what it thinks they want to hear, facts be damned.


By fnord12 | September 15, 2008, 9:07 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (2)| Link



Farce

You may have heard about the most recent event where the US has been accused of killing innocent civilians in Afghanistan. The US of course denies it despite mounting evidence and confirmation from the Afghanistan government, the UN, journalists, etc..

The US military investigated itself and of course found no evidence of wrong doing. Their investigation was supported by an independent journalist. Who was that journalist?

The US military said that its findings were corroborated by an independent journalist embedded with the US force. He was named as the Fox News correspondent Oliver North, who came to prominence in the 1980s Iran-Contra affair, when he was a[ Marine] colonel.

Glenn Greenwald looks at this from the perspective of the recent demotions of Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews from campaign coverage and debate hosting at MSNBC in favor of a "real" journalist. In justifying their demotion, MSNBC made the comparison between Olbermann and Bill O'Reilly, saying that O'Reilly is for commentary but Brit Hume, part of Fox's "legitimate news arm", does the campaign coverage and hosts debates.

North "works" for Hume, of course (in the sense that he's working for anyone other than the Republican propaganda machine generally), so what does that say about Fox's "legitimate news arm"? Nothing you didn't already know, i'd guess.



By fnord12 | September 12, 2008, 12:18 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



Oh Lordy Day

I fear what might come out his mouth during the debate with Pitbull Palin, but i can't help but like this guy. He cracks me up.

Earlier in the week, in Columbia, Missouri, Biden urged a paraplegic state official to stand up to be recognized.

"Chuck, stand up, let the people see you," Biden shouted to State Senator Chuck Graham, before realizing, to his horror, that Graham uses a wheelchair. "Oh, God love ya," Biden said. "What am I talking about?"

...

"He has overwhelming support here, he's well liked," said James Baker, mayor of Wilmington, Delaware, Biden's home. "We forgive him every once in a while when he says something dumb - 'Oh, that's just Joe."'

Biden recognizes that his tongue sometimes ventures ahead of his brain and often catches himself with a smile.

In Fort Myers, Florida, last week, he referred to the "Biden administration," before quickly correcting himself to say the "Obama-Biden administration."

"Believe me, that wasn't a Freudian slip," he said, laughing and crossing himself. "Oh lordy day, I tell ya."

He told the guy in the wheelchair to stand up. Oy. I'm sorry. Mebbe it was very un-PC, but i cracked up when i read that.

At least, unlike Bush and McCain, Biden does actually recognize right away when he's said something wrong. And so far he hasn't said anything completely outrageous like "the Iraq-Pakistan border". It's just his slip of the tongue comments are so frequent that it's only a matter of time before he says something really cringe-worthy. I'm sure both the McCain camp and their MSM steno pool are waiting for that moment with anticipation. Beeeee careful, Biden.


By min | September 12, 2008, 12:11 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



Rumors About WTC Attacks Not Just "Conventional Wisdom" Abroad

Link

Seven years later, it remains conventional wisdom here that Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda could not have been solely responsible for the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and that the United States and Israel had to have been involved in their planning, if not their execution, too.

This is not the conclusion of a scientific survey, but it is what routinely comes up in conversations around the region -- in a shopping mall in Dubai, in a park in Algiers, in a café in Riyadh and all over Cairo.

"Look, I don't believe what your governments and press say. It just can't be true," said Ahmed Issab, 26, a Syrian engineer who lives and works in the United Arab Emirates. "Why would they tell the truth? I think the U.S. organized this so that they had an excuse to invade Iraq for the oil."

I also don't believe what our government and press say. First off, the government lies alot about their intentions and what they're doing and what they have done and why. The government is made up of politicians, and another conventional wisdom is that all politicians are liars. Just look at Palin with her Bridge to Nowhere thing, Larry Craig and his "wide stance," Clinton and his "I didn't inhale," and Cheney on just about everything. As for the press, they're too stupid and too busy kissing ass to do more than repeat what they're told to repeat. Lots of countries have dictators. We decided to go after the one sitting on an oil field. I can see how someone might possibly think the two are related.

The rumors that spread shortly after 9/11 have been passed on so often that people no longer know where or when they first heard them. At this point, they have heard them so often, even on television, that they think they must be true.

First among these is that Jews did not go to work at the World Trade Center on that day. Asked how Jews might have been notified to stay home, or how they kept it a secret from co-workers, people here wave off the questions because they clash with their bedrock conviction that Jews are behind many of their troubles and that Western Jews will go to any length to protect Israel.

"The Jews" being in on it and not going to work on the 11th is out there, even for me. But i remember exactly where i heard the rumor about our govt being involved in the attack - it was in my brain on the day of the attack. The only reason i don't completely believe it is because after 8 years of these bumblefucks, i can't believe that they're smart enough to have hatched such a plot. They're just too incompetent. It seems more likely they got lucky and seized on a opportunity. Manipulation they can do. Disinformation they can do. Pre-planning, not so much.

That these rumors might hold sway in the Arab world is a very telling example of just how badly our government has completely failed on the international front. Remember all the sympathy we got initially? Thanks to our policies and the quick shift to go into Iraq (which had nothing to do with the WTC attacks), we've turned the goodwill that could have been ours for the asking into suspicion.

Mebbe where there's smoke, there isn't always fire. Mebbe sometimes people add 2 and 2 and get 5. But it should have been obvious how the government's actions would be construed by people who didn't really love us to start but were willing to feel bad for us in light of the tragedy we experienced. The real tragedy is it wasn't obvious to more than 50% of the voting population 4 years ago when they had a chance to undo the mistake they made in the first place by electing Bush and Co.


By min | September 9, 2008, 11:13 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



Go Bob Herbert!

He's usually kinda milquetoastie. More like this, please.


By fnord12 | September 9, 2008, 9:18 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



Smattering comments

Make of them what you will.

TPM:

Polls aside though, I continue to see a campaign in which the McCain camp has a consistent and aggressive message. They're constantly on the attack and largely defining the debate. The Obama campaign is largely reactive, parrying the attacks -- sometimes rapid response, sometimes slower response, but defined largely by response. It seemed that way to me in July, in August and it seems that way to me now.

At several points over the last year, I've underestimated Obama's campaign. And I take it that their position now is that they're not going to get knocked off their game. Instead they're staying focused on the ground game in the dozen and a half states where they believe the race will be won or lost. That's difficult for someone in my position to evaluate. The messaging and air war is something that is inherently visible. The ground game is very difficult to evaluate because it's much more difficult to see. So we're left to take it on faith that they know what they're doing, without having much way of seeing for ourselves.

I certainly hope they do. But what I see is a campaign that is for some reason either unwilling or unable to take the initiative in the national messaging war. It's all reactive. And, yeah, that worries me.

Matthew Yglesias:

[M]ost of the data points where Gore lied or "exaggerated" were actually made up by the press. McCain, by contrast, has not only been caught in several bald-faced lies, but in a few instances - this business with Palin and the bridge most notably - keeps on doing it in very high-profile contexts even though they've gotten called on it repeatedly. So where's the narrative about how McCain's key strategy introducing Sarah Palin to the public and turning his campaign around is based on putting lies at the heart of the presentation?

Atrios:

Repeating debunked lies is something which pisses off liberals and pleases the base. It's a feature, not a bug.

By fnord12 | September 8, 2008, 1:23 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



Oooh Barracuda

Heart:

"Sarah Palin's views and values in NO WAY represent us as American women. We ask that our song 'Barracuda' no longer be used to promote her image. The song 'Barracuda' was written in the late 70s as a scathing rant against the soulless, corporate nature of the music business, particularly for women. (The 'barracuda' represented the business.) While Heart did not and would not authorize the use of their song at the RNC, there's irony in Republican strategists' choice to make use of it there."

Now where's the Pretenders with Rush Limbaugh using My City Was Gone as his theme song?


By fnord12 | September 5, 2008, 4:14 PM | Liberal Outrage & Music | Comments (1)| Link



Uppity, yeah.

Initial Statement. Response.

Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, a Georgia Republican, released the following statement in defense of his having called Barack Obama "uppity": "I've never heard that term used in a racially derogatory sense."

Of course this is the guy who couldn't name the ten commandments despite being behind the push to have them hung in the House and Senate chambers, so maybe ignorance is his best defense.

But note how carefully the Obama campaign has to tred with this stuff:

The Obama campaign, asked about the quote, did not note any racial context.

"Sounds like Rep. Westmoreland should be careful throwing stones from his candidate's eight glass houses," said Obama spokesman Tommy Vietor.

If he complains about obvious racism, he's 'playing the race card'. But they can say all the crap they want.

Similarly, if anyone questions anything about Sarah Palin, even her abuse of power in firing librarians that wouldn't ban books for her or the trooper who wouldn't fire her ex brother-in-law, they are sexist, but Hillary Clinton was a whiner.


By fnord12 | September 5, 2008, 10:15 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



McCain gives speech in front of Walter Reed... Middle School?!?

Sounds like a Spinal Tap style screw up to me... unless you can think of a reason why he'd be giving a speech in front of a picture of a middle school...?


By fnord12 | September 5, 2008, 8:32 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (1)| Link



Oh they'll pay! Don't think they won't pay!

Bill O'Reilly:

"Now, the latest thing is that people like me don't condemn Palin's family but we condemn other people who, uh, gave birth out of wedlock. I've never condemned anybody who gave birth out of wedlock. Ever in my life. I don't make those kinds of determinations. What I do say and, this nut Cynthia Tucker in the Atlanta Journal Constitution makes a deal out of this, I said that Britney Spears and what's her sister's name who's pregnant, their parents were irresponsible - Jamie Lee - because they were running around unsupervised.

Yeah, I said that and I believe it. It has nothing to do with the Palin situation, okay? So, I mean, it just, it really, it makes me angry. I know what's going on. You know what's going on. Uh, and we're going to have to start making some people pay, you know, we're going to have to start to make some people pay because of the irresponsible attacks."

Honestly, i don't know why i bother posting about this nitwit, but it is interesting to watch his brain just kind of meltdown into paranoid ranting as he tries to explain why this one's different.



By fnord12 | September 4, 2008, 11:11 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (6)| Link



There's "analysis" and then there's analysis

Why do we have to wait for the pundits to get caught with their mikes on to hear what they are really thinking? Aren't they paid to give their opinions? By keeping their opinions to themselves and offering phoney analyses, doesn't that prove that they're just propagandists? Or at least interested in prolonging the contest in the interest of ratings?

Update:

After the NBC comments surfaced, Noonan updated her Journal column online, lamenting that she had been "mugged by the nature of modern media" and apologizing for her rough language. She said that her statement that "It's over" was out of context, and was not a conclusion about the likely outcome of the McCain-Obama race, and her true feelings toward Palin were favorable.

Bullshit! Propagandists it is.


By fnord12 | September 3, 2008, 6:43 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



Mebbe SC Will Loan Their Tank To St. Paul, MN

I don't want to think they're crazy. They keep giving me reasons to suspect they're crazy.

The Richland County, South Carolina Sheriff's Department (that's them above) just obtained an armored personnel carrier, complete with a belt-fed, .50-cal turreted machine gun. Sheriff Leon Lott has charmingly named the vehicle "The Peacemaker," and insists that using a caliber of ammunition that even the U.S. military is reluctant to use against human targets (it's generally reserved for use against armored vehicles) will "save lives."

Perhaps they, too, have to deal with random assaults on their schools. It's dangerous living in the south. And i don't think it's cause of the civilians.


By min | September 3, 2008, 12:42 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



Hey, My Face Is Up Here!

And what about the ring fiddling?

Good thing she waves her finger around when she's talking otherwise he wouldn't know when to look up and smile that creepy smile at the crowd.


By min | September 3, 2008, 11:13 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



St. Paul Teams Up With RNC To Kill The First Amendment

The RNC got St. Paul to replace their cops with Storm Troopers in order to keep the unsavouries away from the convention. Not content with beating on the protesters, the St. Paul baton-wielding enforcers started arresting journalists trying to cover the protest. Not only did they arrest Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! (liberal hussy) for asking them about the status of 2 other journalists they had previously arrested, but the got an AP photographer and pepper sprayed Donna Brazile.

Now, when the anarchists start smashing cars and breaking windows, it's no surprise that the riot police would get out the gear and start beating people down before they arrest them. It's not exactly a winning tactic, but not really a surprise. But, when they start pepper spraying CNN correspondents, you know they're a little trigger happy and power mad.

So, while all this is going on near the Xcel Center, police also surrounded a quarantined a house where video journalists I-Witness were staying. They had no warrant initially. And when they finally did get one, it was for the adjoining house. Not to be deterred by a dangerous radical group who happen to know about Constitutional Rights, they went into the house next door and broke down the attic door to get into the I-Witness house. Then they handcuffed the lot of them and sat them in the back patio until, presumably, they were given the word that it was ok to let them go. No charges were brought against the journalists. Here's the video:

If this pisses you off (or scares the bejeezus out of you), go sign the letter on Free Press.


By min | September 3, 2008, 10:47 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



War on Weather

Krugman:

Let's start with that red folder. Assuming that the folder contained something other than scrap paper, is the planned response to a hurricane a state secret? Are we worried that tropical storm systems will discover our weak points? Are we fighting a Global War on Weather?

That photo is so staged. It's like they aren't even trying anymore.


By fnord12 | September 3, 2008, 9:49 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (1)| Link



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