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Liberal Outrage

Propagandist whiplash

Careful reading this one; your neck might snap due to the speed of Hannity's change in direction:

HANNITY: The news today brings a clear foreign policy victory for the Bush administration. But will the press report it that way? Joining us now for analysis, former ambassador to the U.N. and a Fox News contributor, John Bolton. What do you think this means?

BOLTON: I think it's actually a clear victory for North Korea. They gain enormous political legitimacy...In return, we get precious little. I think this is North Korea demonstrating again that they can out-negotiate the U.S. without raising a sweat.

HANNITY: Boy I tell you they've done it time and time again, and I'm sorta perplexed, Mr. Ambassador, to understand why we keep going back to the well knowing that they haven't kept the agreements in the past. Whatever happened to Reagan's "trust but verify"?

It's usually not worth pointing out the shamelessness of Fox News contributers, but that was particularly amusing.

By fnord12 | June 30, 2008, 11:47 AM | Liberal Outrage | Link


By fnord12 | June 27, 2008, 1:55 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (1)| Link


In a previous post i complained that Obama was not strenuously fighting the new FISA bill. I soon found out it was much worse than that; he is actually supporting it.


You can read the last 6 months of Glenn Greenwald if you want the details, but in a nutshell this bill, which contains some minor superficial tweaks to the previous version, is retroactively OK-ing all the secret wiretapping without a warrant that the Bush administration had been doing. When the primaries were first starting out, Obama said that he would support a filibuster on this (pre-tweaked) bill. Now he's supporting it.


I've been waiting a little to comment on it, hoping there was some twist or something, but there isn't. Other than this being a Sister Souljah moment as Obama runs to the middle for the general, i can't really fathom his change in position here. While he wasn't my first choice, i admired him for several things, one of which was his ability to take Republican spin points and turn them on their heads. The idea that this FISA bill is somehow keeping Americans secure is Orwellian bullshit, and i know that if Obama wanted to he could make that very clear, but instead he is actually embracing those talking points.

This is very disillusioning. It seems designed more to deliberately alienate the hardcore activist supporters than to pick up moderate voters, most of which probably aren't very aware of this issue. This is Obama's way of signaling that he's not one of us, and he doesn't need us (from his point of view, maybe, he's not beholden to this "special interest"); it's hard to interpret any other way.

If he were way behind in the polls or being relentlessly attacked in a serious way for being weak on security issues i could almost forgive a little pandering here, but he's ahead in the polls, and the 'inexperienced' line of attack seems to be bouncing right off of him, so i really don't see it. It has been noted that his performance so far in the general has been a little weak; i'm not sure if this is due to the fact that he is now being influenced by some of the clinton strategists now coming over to his side for the general, or just a basic stumbling as he shifts gears. Either way, it is looking like he, along with the other Democrats, who, you may remember, control both houses of Congress, are capitulating to the Bush administration on this and allowing this bill to pass. They are falling into the Kerry trap of letting the Republicans define the terms of debate, thinking that if they vote the way the Republicans want them to, they won't get attacked in the election. Of course, it never works out that way, does it? It just makes them look like cowards and bad strategists all at the same time (although in this case i still have no doubt that Obama will win this election, making this decision all the more bewildering).

For what it's worth, here's the honor roll...

Voting against Cloture

Biden (D-DE)
Boxer (D-CA)
Brown (D-OH)
Cantwell (D-WA)
Dodd (D-CT)
Durbin (D-IL)
Feingold (D-WI)
Harkin (D-IA)
Kerry (D-MA)
Lautenberg (D-NJ)
Leahy (D-VT)
Menendez (D-NJ)
Sanders (I-VT)
Schumer (D-NY)
Wyden (D-OR)

Not Voting:

Byrd (D-WV)
Clinton (D-NY)
Kennedy (D-MA)
McCain (R-AZ)
Obama (D-IL)

Pleased to see my NJ Senators among the few are voted against it. Note that of the absentees, two are dealing with serious illnesses and the rest are (or recently were) presidential candidates who couldn't be bothered to get on the record.


Two more points-

1) This issue has split bloggers/commentators pretty heavily into those who are willing to support Obama no matter what and those who are pissed over the betrayal. The supporters belittle those who feel betrayed as "single issue voters" as if this is some minor side issue like saving spotted owls and not a fundamental constitutional question. Furthermore, this decision is indicitive of how Obama will act in general, so it goes beyond the single issue.

2) Despite my disgust on this, there aren't really a lot of other options. Ralph Nader is very unfortunately not making a good showing for himself in a number of ways this time around, i don't really know what the Greens are up to, and i certainly don't want McCain to become president. So i'm still supporting Obama, but any enthusiasm i had for it is pretty much gone. I've already re-distributed our monthly political contributions so that all of it goes to downticket progressive Dems and not to Obama (that's right, Obama! you're not getting my $7.14 a month any more! Take that!), but i'll still vote for the guy. Probably. And like Kos says, there's always 2010.

By fnord12 | June 26, 2008, 11:32 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (1)| Link

When It's Time to Say "I'm an idiot" and Leave It at That

"My statement that Senator Obama 'may be terrorist-connected' was incorrect and I apologize for making it," former state Rep. Fred Hobbs said in a letter to fellow Democratic Executive Committee members.

Mr. Hobbs, a former Eagleville mayor, said his comments "did reflect questions I had after what I had seen reported on Fox News, but I should have taken some time to check the accuracy of what I saw on television before speaking publicly."


Although, i've always been a proponent that anything on tv must be true. Otherwise, it wouldnt' be on tv.

By min | June 19, 2008, 2:11 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (1)| Link

Obama & Telecom immunity

As the presidential candidate who will destroy McCain in November and whose coattails will help create a Democratic majority at the same time, all Obama had to do to stop the FISA telecom immunity was pick up the phone. Not only is he not doing that, but he is helping defend one of the main Democratic offenders against an anti-telecom immunity primary challenger.

It really is disillusioning to get behind a "centrist" candidate, i'll tell you what.

By fnord12 | June 19, 2008, 12:18 PM | Liberal Outrage | Link

Never about the oil

Puppet Iraqi government awards no-bid oil contracts to western oil corporations.

By fnord12 | June 19, 2008, 11:34 AM | Liberal Outrage | Link

US military heavily dependant on private corporation


What would the U.S. military do without KBR, its largest logistical contractor?

That's not something the military ever wants to find out. The U.S. occupation of Iraq would collapse within days without KBR, which provides food, fuel, and potable water along with critical services ranging from complex engineering to cleaning out the port-o-potties.

And KBR knows it. A story on the front page of today's New York Times lays bare the leverage that KBR holds over the U.S. military.

The NYT article is about the guy who got fired because he wouldn't approve a shady fee to KBR, but the bigger picture (!) here is how our military could effectively be crippled if this company wanted to do so.

By fnord12 | June 17, 2008, 12:12 PM | Liberal Outrage | Link

The Sweater Speech

No one wanted to hear it and they booted him the hell out of office and Reagan reversed all of his alternate energy research and conservation regulations.

That was a good idea!

By fnord12 | June 11, 2008, 9:25 AM | Liberal Outrage | Link

Maybe technically not "building"

Are you building permanent bases in Iraq?


Are you building permanent bases in Iraq?


Are you building permanent bases in Iraq?


U.S. seeking 58 bases in Iraq, Shiite lawmakers say

Iraqi lawmakers say the United States is demanding 58 bases as part of a proposed "status of forces" agreement that will allow U.S. troops to remain in the country indefinitely.
Other conditions sought by the United States include control over Iraqi air space up to 30,000 feet and immunity from prosecution for U.S. troops and private military contractors. The agreement would run indefinitely but be subject to cancellation with two years notice from either side, lawmakers said.

By fnord12 | June 10, 2008, 11:03 AM | Liberal Outrage | Link

Yep, that's what i'm implying.


"I'm curious how much [the Obama campaign] thought about this decision," said one Democratic lobbyist. "I take Obama at his word that he's serious about changing the culture of Washington. But he's also got to realize that right now, he's the Babe Ruth of politics. You've got a lot of other people out there who are AAA ballplayers; they don't have the ability to do what he's doing in terms of raising money and wowing crowds."

Another Democratic lobbyist said Obama's ban effectively tars everyone who can't live up to it. "Now you're implying that the House and Senate Democrats - and Republicans - are scumbags that take lobbyist money," the lobbyist fumed.

By fnord12 | June 10, 2008, 10:59 AM | Liberal Outrage | Link

Lack of regulation hurts US economy

The entire South Korean cabinet, including the Prime Minister, has offered to resigned amid protests against the decision to lift the ban on importing US beef, which is suspected of being full of mad cow due to the fact that we don't really have health and safety standards over here. People are setting themselves on fire over this. There's a lot of angles to look at this from, but i think it's interesting that while Republicans talk about how regulation stifles the economy, in this case it's our lack of regulation that makes our beef uncompetitive in the global market.

By fnord12 | June 10, 2008, 12:20 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (3)| Link

People who did not predict the current economic crisis say it will be over soon

No critics or alternative voices are heard from. No one who did predict the current economic crisis is cited.

By fnord12 | June 10, 2008, 12:18 AM | Liberal Outrage | Link

Dean stays

It's traditional for candidates to replace the DNC structure once they get the nomination, but Obama is keeping Dean. Good.

By fnord12 | June 9, 2008, 11:15 AM | Liberal Outrage | Link

The real reason

Reading a lot of post-mortems on the Hillary campaign, but it usually comes down to tactics and styles and blunders. All of those things are important, i'm sure, but the main reason, which is generally not discussed at all, is this (printed in Feb 07):

One of the most important decisions that Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton made about her bid for the presidency came late last year when she ended a debate in her camp over whether she should repudiate her 2002 vote authorizing military action in Iraq...antiwar anger has festered, and yesterday morning Mrs. Clinton rolled out a new response to those demanding contrition: She said she was willing to lose support from voters rather than make an apology she did not believe in.

"If the most important thing to any of you is choosing someone who did not cast that vote or has said his vote was a mistake, then there are others to choose from," Mrs. Clinton told an audience in Dover, N.H., in a veiled reference to two rivals for the nomination, Senator Barack Obama of Illinois and former Senator John Edwards of North Carolina.

Her decision not to apologize is regarded so seriously within her campaign that some advisers believe it will be remembered as a turning point in the race: either ultimately galvanizing voters against her (if she loses the nomination), or highlighting her resolve and her willingness to buck Democratic conventional wisdom (if she wins).

(While a lot of bloggers have commented on the lack of discussion of the war as a factor, my post is basically a paraphrase of Jonathan Schwarz's on This Modern World).

By fnord12 | June 5, 2008, 2:39 PM | Liberal Outrage | Link

So, the Democratic Primary is Finally Over

But i have one nagging question still on my mind.


He opens bottles of beer with it!

Ferchrissakes. If you have to choose between the midget pirate and the non-midget, non-pirate, i think your choice is pretty clear. Friggin Oregon. Dropping the ball again.

By min | June 4, 2008, 11:51 AM | Liberal Outrage | Link

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