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« Liberal Outrage: September 2009 | Main | Liberal Outrage: November 2009 »

Liberal Outrage

Let that be a lesson to you

Blair's bid to becoming the president of the EU apparently isn't going well.

The leftist view is perhaps best articulated by Luxembourg's Foreign Minister, Jean Asselborn, who noted that "Now in the United States, Obama is the president, it is no more Mr Bush. We have a new treaty, we have to reset Europe and we need to start with some new ideas. There is and will remain a link for the next generation between Iraq, Bush and Tony Blair. As a Fabian Socialist, I have never been more disappointed in a leader than in Tony Blair. I would describe his tenure in government as simply catastrophic."

And from the centre-right:

[German Chancellor] Merkel is said to like Blair personally, but privately she has been candid about her reservations - Blair's record on the Iraq war and the fact that Britain is outside the single currency eurozone and the passport-free Schengen system. Britain's detachment from mainstream Europe also widens under the Lisbon treaty because of the opt-outs it negotiated.

Next time, don't support a stupid war.


By fnord12 | October 30, 2009, 2:56 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



Reaching resolution on the Honduras crisis?

NYTimes.


By fnord12 | October 30, 2009, 12:33 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



Tough questions for Clinton in Pakistan

Link:

During an interview broadcast live in Pakistan with several prominent female TV anchors, before a predominantly female audience of several hundred, one member of the audience said the Predator attacks amount to "executions without trial" for those killed.

Another asked Clinton how she would define terrorism.

"Is it the killing of people in drone attacks?" she asked. That woman then asked if Clinton considers drone attacks and bombings like the one that killed more than 100 civilians in the city of Peshawar earlier this week to both be acts of terrorism.

"No, I do not," Clinton replied.

Earlier, in a give-and-take with about a dozen residents of the tribal region, one man alluded obliquely to the drone attacks, saying he had heard that in the United States, aircraft are not allowed to take off after 11 p.m., to avoid irritating the population.

"That is the sort of peace we want for our people," he said through an interpreter.

The same man told Clinton that the Obama administration should rely more on wisdom and less on firepower to achieve its aims in Pakistan.

"Your presence in the region is not good for peace," he said, referring to the U.S. military, "because it gives rise to frustration and irritation among the people of this region." At another point he told Clinton, "Please forgive me, but I would like to say we've been fighting your war."

A similar point was made by Sana Bucha of Geo TV during the live broadcast interview.

"It is not our war," she told Clinton. "It is your war." She drew a burst of applause when she added, "You had one 9/11. We are having daily 9/11s in Pakistan."

I don't think there's any doubt that we're doing more harm than good in this region.


By fnord12 | October 30, 2009, 11:20 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



Slacktivism

You may have heard the news. Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) is threatening to help Republicans block a vote on health care reform if the bill includes a public health insurance option.

But when reporters asked Lieberman if he'd be willing to lose his powerful committee chairmanship as a consequence, he said:

"Oh, God no."

What's our answer? Hell yeah!

Please join 90,000 others in petitioning Democratic senators to strip leadership titles from Lieberman (or others) if they block reform. Click here.

We'll deliver this petition to Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN), among others. When Democrats let Lieberman keep his chairmanship after he endorsed John McCain for president, Bayh said:

"If he does retain his chairmanship, we still exert oversight over him... He doesn't have the ability to just do whatever he wants. The caucus still has the right to remove him from that position at any time..."

Now's the time for Democratic senators like Bayh to let Lieberman know they'll make good on that promise. Lieberman needs to be held accountable.

While we all know that online surveys are not an effective way of remedying important issues, netroots activism has been very successful so far in moving the Senate to the point where a (limited) public option has been included in their version of the bill, so it's worth the clicks, in my opinion.


By fnord12 | October 30, 2009, 9:24 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (1)| Link



Children

Schwarzenegger's response seems unbelievable, but if this story is true, both sides are being pretty immature.


By fnord12 | October 28, 2009, 3:22 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



Foreign Service Officer resigns in protest of Afghanistan War

Foreign Service Officer Matthew Hoh:

"I have lost understanding of and confidence in the strategic purposes of the United States' presence in Afghanistan," he wrote Sept. 10 in a four-page letter to the department's head of personnel. "I have doubts and reservations about our current strategy and planned future strategy, but my resignation is based not upon how we are pursuing this war, but why and to what end."
...
"I'm not some peacenik, pot-smoking hippie who wants everyone to be in love," Hoh said. Although he said his time in Zabul was the "second-best job I've ever had," his dominant experience is from the Marines, where many of his closest friends still serve.

"There are plenty of dudes who need to be killed," he said of al-Qaeda and the Taliban. "I was never more happy than when our Iraq team whacked a bunch of guys."

But many Afghans, he wrote in his resignation letter, are fighting the United States largely because its troops are there -- a growing military presence in villages and valleys where outsiders, including other Afghans, are not welcome and where the corrupt, U.S.-backed national government is rejected. While the Taliban is a malign presence, and Pakistan-based al-Qaeda needs to be confronted, he said, the United States is asking its troops to die in Afghanistan for what is essentially a far-off civil war.


By fnord12 | October 27, 2009, 10:29 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



And i'm entitled to your lunch money, because my buddy Tony kicked your ass

Link:

Oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens told Congress on Wednesday that U.S. energy companies are "entitled" to some of Iraq's crude because of the large number of American troops that lost their lives fighting in the country and the U.S. taxpayer money spent in Iraq.

At least in my example, Tony is my friend. Even if we were accepting the nutty argument that Iraq is somehow indebted to the US for invading it, why should the actions of US soldiers automatically benefit oil companies?


By fnord12 | October 22, 2009, 10:48 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



Taking the "Party of No" seriously.



By fnord12 | October 21, 2009, 7:18 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



I guess 10 months late is better than never

Link:

Say hello to "Medicare Part E" -- as in, "Medicare for Everyone."

House Democrats are looking at re-branding the public health insurance option as Medicare, an established government healthcare program that is better known than the public option.

The strategy could benefit Democrats struggling to bridge the gap between liberals in their party, who want the public option, and centrists, who are worried it would drive private insurers out of business.

While much of the public is foggy on what a public option actually is, people understand Medicare. It also would place the new public option within the rubric of a familiar system rather than something new and unknown.

...
Rep. Mike Ross (D-Ark.) spoke out last week in favor of re-branding the public option as Medicare, startling many because he has loudly proclaimed his opposition to a public option.
...
Some Democrats say there's no need to rename a legislative concept that's gained steadily in support since being lambasted as a "government takeover" in August. A Washington Post-ABC poll published Tuesday showed 57 percent of the public supports the idea -- up five points since August -- while 40 percent opposes it.

"It keeps polling better and better as a public health insurance option," said a senior Democratic aide. "I don't think it's changing." Polling experts, however, have documented that many people don't know what a public option is, and that small changes in language can cause poll results to vary widely. An August poll by Penn, Schoen and Berland Associates showed that only 37 percent of those polled correctly identified the public option from a list of three choices.

...
In a closed-door caucus meeting last week, Ross, one of the most conservative Democrats in the House, offered support for expanding Medicare, saying it would prevent the need to create a new bureaucracy. He said he wasn't advocating a plan, however, and added that the new coverage would have to have much higher reimbursements for physicians and hospitals. He also said it would need to compete with private insurers.

In an odd reversal, that idea was shot down as too liberal by House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), himself a liberal champion. Waxman said expanding Medicare would essentially move toward a fully government-run single-payer system, while the public option was designed to spur competition.

Ross' change in position indicates to me that earlier he just didn't know what the hell he was talking about, but he's welcome to join us. Overall the House has been doing an excellent job of pushing for a Public Option (it's the nitwits in the Senate we have to worry about), but the branding "Medicare for Everyone" is long overdue.


By fnord12 | October 21, 2009, 2:29 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



Milking it

Expect to see a lot of this, from Lieberman, Snowe, Conrad, etc.:

Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT), whose vote would most likely be necessary to break a Republican filibuster on health care reform, said Thursday that he's "inclined to let the motion to proceed."

But, he added, "I haven't decided yet."

Who doesn't love a little attention?


By fnord12 | October 16, 2009, 4:40 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



Min and I fall into the 100th percentile

A Louisia Justice of the Peace is making the news for refusing to marry interracial couples.

"I'm not a racist," Bardwell said. "I do ceremonies for black couples right here in my house. My main concern is for the children."
...
Bardwell said from his experience, "99 percent of the time" the interracial couple consists of a black man and white woman.

"I find that rather confusing," he said.

He said he has discussed the topic with blacks and whites, along with witnessing some interracial marriages. Bardwell said he came to the conclusion that most black society does not readily accept offspring of such relationships, and neither does white society.

"Yet, the children are innocent. They had nothing to do with that," he said.

In many cases, he said, the grandparents or a relative ends up with the children.

"I don't do interracial marriages because I don't want to put children in a situation they didn't bring on themselves," Bardwell said. "In my heart, I feel the children will later suffer."

Like Digby said, "Right. Their poor kids could grow up to be president someday."

Sure, it's just a nutty old guy. I mean, the ACLU is doing the right thing trying to get him removed. But you could say it's not an official policy and it's just some loon acting on his own. Except for this:

He said the state attorney general told him years ago that he would eventually get into trouble for not performing interracial marriages.

Ummm, why didn't the attorney general actually do anything about it?


By fnord12 | October 16, 2009, 3:54 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



2011: Obama's Coup Fails

The video game:

Location: Virginia, U.S.A. You are a militia commander and in control of 1 county.

Mission: To defeat all enemies of the United States, both foreign and domestic. Includes:

* C.O.R.N.Y. (Congress of Rejected and Neglected Youth) Shock Troops
* Obama's police force (Ameritroops)
* The Cong (Former congressional leaders)
* Nation of Malsi (Islamic fundamentalist troops)
* Black Tigers (black nationalist troops loyal to Obama)
* NHKS (National Honor Killing Society) Yet another Islamic army
* I.S.U.E. ( International Service Union Empire) Troops
* U.N. (United Nations) Peacekeepers

To Win: If you control 10 counties by end of turn 40, you get 1 'win' in challenge section.

Game Time: 1 turn per minute with each turn representing days of battle. It takes 2 turns to take over a district, county, or city with the Blitzkrieg attack. All troops in a Blitzkrieg cannot be used until Blitzkrieg is settled.

Misc. Details: Be sure to train your troops at start-up by clicking 'resources' then paying for the type of militia troops you want. You will need to do this every turn ( every minute). You start with 3000 points and get 300 more militia recruits eager for battle per turn per county controlled. You will also get more militia troops joining after each battle you are in, as the people are eager to defeat all tyrants. You will also get 300 points per turn per county controlled.

Note: Your mission is to control as many counties in Virginia as possible. Enemy forces are in most counties so do not hesitate to attack any player not under your control as anarchy reigns in Virginia until Obama and his loyalists are defeated and game ends after 40 minutes (40 turns)

There's plenty more insanity if you follow this link. I really do recommend it. Er, i mean i recommend clicking the link. Not playing the game. The game sounds like an awful convoluted mess.


By fnord12 | October 16, 2009, 3:42 PM | Liberal Outrage & Video Games | Comments (0)| Link



Biden

NYT:

For Mr. Biden, a longtime senator who prided himself on his experience in foreign relations, the role represents an evolution in his own thinking, a shift from his days as a liberal hawk advocating for American involvement in Afghanistan. Month by month, year by year, the story of Mr. Biden's disenchantment with the Afghan government, and by extension with the engagement there, mirrors America's slow but steady turn against the war, with just 37 percent supporting more troops in last week's CBS News poll.

Arianna Huffington:

It's been known for a while that Biden has been on the other side of McChrystal's desire for a big escalation of our forces there -- the New York Times reported last month that he has "deep reservations" about it. So if the president does decide to escalate, Biden, for the good of the country, should escalate his willingness to act on those reservations.

What he must not do is follow the same weak and worn-out pattern of "opposition" we've become all-too-accustomed to, first with Vietnam and then with Iraq. You know the drill: after the dust settles, and the country begins to look back and not-so-charitably wonder, "what were they thinking?" the mea-culpa-laden books start to come out. On page after regret-filled page, we suddenly hear how forceful this or that official was behind closed doors, arguing against the war, taking a principled stand, expressing "strong concern" and, yes, "deep reservations" to the president, and then going home each night distraught at the unnecessary loss of life.

Well, how about making the mea culpa unnecessary? Instead of saving it for the book, how about future author Biden unfetter his conscience in real time -- when it can actually do some good? If Biden truly believes that what we're doing in Afghanistan is not in the best interests of our national security -- and what issue is more important than that? -- it's simply not enough to claim retroactive righteousness in his memoirs.

Though it would be a crowning moment in a distinguished career, such an act of courage would likely be only the beginning. Biden would then become the natural leader of the movement to wind down this disastrous war and focus on the real dangers in Pakistan.

Doubt he'll resign, but i think Biden's evolution has been interesting and encouraging. I was originally disappointed when he was announced as the VP candidate because he had been a hawk.


By fnord12 | October 14, 2009, 4:42 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



No Chomsky at Guantanamo

Link:

The donation of an anthology of post-9/11 commentary by Professor Noam Chomsky has been rejected from the library at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp, reports The Miami Herald...

...the slip accompanying the book's return listed among the categories of books banned from the Guantanamo Bay prison library anything promoting "Anti-American, Anti-Semitic, Anti-Western" ideology, literature on "military topics," and works that portray "excessive graphic violence" and "sexual dysfunctions.

Chomsky isn't shocked:

"This happens sometimes in totalitarian regimes," Chomsky told Miami Herald reporter Carol Rosenberg in an email after he learned his book had been banned.

By fnord12 | October 12, 2009, 4:17 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



No wonder the media always gives equal weight to both sides of every issue

Everything's 50/50!


By fnord12 | October 9, 2009, 9:03 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (2)| Link



Nobel Peace Prize is just laying the groundwork for what's coming

TPM commentator:

I mean, what the hell are they going to do when Obama actually does something really noteworthy?

Give him the Nobel Peace Prize with Sprinkles on Top? Nominate him Space Pope?



By fnord12 | October 9, 2009, 8:56 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



Opt-out

I didn't think there'd be a Public Option compromise that I'd like, but Senator Carper from Delaware found one: a national Public Option that individual state legislatures can vote to opt out of. We know that most states won't opt out, and the ones that do for the most part will be those states that are relatively sparsely populated anyway (exception: Texas), so it won't affect the Option's bargaining power. And it gives conservative Dems cover to vote for it. So all of the sane people get their public option, and the crazies can shoot themselves in the foot if they want to.

The downside is expressed in this question to Ezra Klein:

Just out of pure curiosity, have you ever lived in a "red state" before?

I asked because you posted about your support for the new idea that each state can opt-out of letting its residents get a government-run insurance.

As somebody who could well still be a slave if "state's rights" were giv[en] too much weight, I hesitate. But you do get that a lot of uninsured people live in red states? They're low-income, they're rural, they're non-White, they're everything national Liberals claim to be wanting to help. Yet I was a bit shocked at how much you seemed to like this idea. I didn't like when Sarah Palin divided up the U.S.A. into good and bad parts, and I don't like it when anybody else does either.

The response to that is basically that this is the start of an incremental approach and once the Public Option is proven successful in the states that don't opt-out, there will be a lot of pressure on the hold-out state legislatures to opt back in. If we're facing a choice between no Public Option or one that states can opt out of, I think the choice is clear. But i do understand the feeling of getting left behind and abandoning those who need help the most. And does this establish a weird precedent that leads to states soon being able to opt out of other Federal laws? Should we continue to fight for a Public Option that's guaranteed at the Federal level to be available to all, or should we accept this compromise?


By fnord12 | October 8, 2009, 4:33 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



Honduras update

This is interesting (and a little scary), and shows Obama taking a strong and controversial stand, which i am impressed by.


By fnord12 | October 2, 2009, 12:09 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



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