Friday, June 20, 2008

What We're Going To See

This is a cartoon from Pat Oliphant (click to enlarge):

Here's is a description of Pat Oliphant's creds:

No one is safe from the acid brush of Pat Oliphant, acknowledged by many as the nation’s most influential political cartoonist. A master of what he calls "confrontational art," Oliphant spares neither the liberal nor conservative, sinner nor saint. As the most widely syndicated political cartoonist in the world and a winner of the Pulitzer, he produces work that is as visually stunning as it is metaphorically powerful.
We're going to see just exactly how much racism is alive and well in America.


What Obama's Up Against.

Take just a second and go read this.

When you've finished, then watch this big wet kiss from the author of that piece.

Now. If you're any kind of a citizen who cares about the press doing it's job, you should need to go take a bath.



Looks like the Dems have finally caved on telecom immunity and expanding the Preznit's surveillance abilities.

The WSJ highlights that the agreement "was driven largely by the realities of election-year politics" as Democrats facing re-election in more conservative parts of the country worried about appearing soft on national security. Obama is now in the unenviable position of having to decide whether to anger the Democratic base by supporting the measure or risk losing the support of independent voters if he speaks up against it. Ultimately, "the surveillance powers may end up being a rare survivor of the administration's post-9/11 redrawing of national-security law," the WSJ deftly points out.
Frankly I'm surprised they didn't cave earlier. But I still think it's wrong, both morally and politically. The moral arguments make themselves. But politically, how can anyone think that with Bush's approval where it is, and with Americans overwhelmingly suspicious of government, that ratifying the Bush surveillance is politically smart?

I hate to put on my tinfoil hat, but I think there's more to this. Whether it's to protect serious misdeeds by the administration or to get political donations from big telecom .... I don't know. But something of this sort would be the only reason for Dems to go along as far as I can tell.


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Stop Digging

As I'm sure you know, there's an old saying that if you're in a deep hole, stop digging. Well John McCain thinks we need to keep on diggin'.

Set aside the facts of global warming due to petroleum burning, and set aside the fact that new oil drilling takes years to have any impact on prices, let's take a look at the impact of bringing our largest proposed oil field on stream:

See that itsy bitsy bump in supply at the bottom that occurs in about ten years? That's the impact of drilling in the Artic. Meanwhile, in terms of demand, the hole just gets deeper and deeper unless we do something to realign our economy away from petroleum.


A Moment Of Truth

This woman has been doing fantastic work in Iraq. But she is a reporter, not an editor:

It makes me sad to hear.


How It'll Go

This is from Josh Marshall:

Nate at FiveThirtyEight has a good analysis of the broad swath of recent polls and particularly these polls out this morning from Quinnipiac showing Barack Obama with leads in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Florida. It's only one poll. But this is the first poll that has shown Obama ahead in Florida against either McCain or Clinton. Most models for an Obama win don't include Florida, though Obama's campaign certainly seem intent on contesting it. But that's McCain's firewall. If he can't win Florida, the electoral map starts to look very bleak. Even having to fight for it would put McCain in a hole.
Now, I know that polls this early in the game are pretty stupid. And I don't put much veracity in this one. So why put it up? Because I think this comment by Marshall is prescient.* I think Obama will win many states he's "not supposed to win". With the Bush albatross and his own fumbling/bumbling, McCain will go down in history as the worst Presidential candidate in history, even surpassing .... what's his name?

*assumes no attack on and war with Iran. Even with that, I think Obama wins.



Remember Gen. Anthony Taguba, the two star general that led the investigation of torture at Abu Grahib? Here's what he has to say today:

The new report, he [Taguba] writes, "tells the largely untold human story of what happened to detainees in our custody when the Commander-in-Chief and those under him authorized a systematic regime of torture. This story is not only written in words: It is scrawled for the rest of these individual's lives on their bodies and minds. Our national honor is stained by the indignity and inhumane treatment these men received from their captors.

"The profiles of these eleven former detainees, none of whom were ever charged with a crime or told why they were detained, are tragic and brutal rebuttals to those who claim that torture is ever justified. Through the experiences of these men in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Guantanamo Bay, we can see the full-scope of the damage this illegal and unsound policy has inflicted --both on America's institutions and our nation's founding values, which the military, intelligence services, and our justice system are duty-bound to defend.

"In order for these individuals to suffer the wanton cruelty to which they were subjected, a government policy was promulgated to the field whereby the Geneva Conventions and the Uniform Code of Military Justice were disregarded. The UN Convention Against Torture was indiscriminately ignored. . . .

"After years of disclosures by government investigations, media accounts, and reports from human rights organizations, there is no longer any doubt as to whether the current administration has committed war crimes. The only question that remains to be answered is whether those who ordered the use of torture will be held to account."
Held accountable indeed.

I'm not sure if I'm a member of this administration, and I'm someone who had anything to do with the legal opinions or chain of command involved with the torturers, if I'm going to be using my passport anytime soon. If Congress won't do anything, someone in the international community just might.

And I'd support them all the way.


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

On Sale Now!

What GOP'ers are wearing for their convention!

But we know that race won't be an issue because the Sunday gasbags have told us so!


Monday, June 16, 2008

He Still Brings In Cash

The McCain campaign is flopping around all over the place. First they scheduled an event with a nutbar for fundraising, then cancelled because he's a nutbar, then held it anyway.

And just who is this nutbar? This guy:

[Clayton] Williams, a prominent Texas Republican, said during his 1990 gubernatorial campaign that rape is like the weather: “As long as it’s inevitable, you might as well lie back and enjoy it.” More recently, Williams has helped raise more than $300,000 for McCain and was scheduled to host a fundraiser for him this week.


Good To Go

Digby discusses the latest and greatest technologies in "non-lethal" control of individuals by the police state law enforcement personnel.



I've sorta been out. Went to a Sheryl Crow concert (she was fabulous) and have been generally laying low.

I did want to comment on the passing of Tim Russert. He was too young and my condolences to his family and friends.


I know I've said this before. When the media loses a member of their family, you'd think Jesus Christ himself died. I have no idea of what kind of man Tim Russert was, but I do know that he was a mediocre interview who completely pandered to the kool kidz. He violated the ethics of journalism on many occasions, most notoriously in his handling of his part in the Valerie Plame outing.

And finally, the media's incessant narcissism. There are great people who die every day, including American soldiers in Iraq. But you rarely see much of anything done to talk about their deaths and the circumstances of why they were in Iraq. There's a bit of image reinforcement when the media goes ga-ga at the death of a colleague while ignoring their duties as the "fourth estate". They are, after all, the center of the universe.