1.25.2008

And Then There's Fox News Who Proves There Are People Just as Dumb As Bush and Dana Perino

[As my mother used to tell me on an hourly basis as a child, "If you had a brain, you'd be even more dangerous."]

On the heels of ridiculing White House spokesprostitute person Dana Perino, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann on Countdown tonight points to a Fox news host (phonetically, his name seems to be Brett Baer but I cannot find him listed on Fox's - cough cough cough choke WHEEZE - news site to verify this) who would LOVE to one day be as smart as Perino.

Namely Mr. Baer, when discussing the GOP presidential nominee debate in Florida last night, refers to late President Abraham Lincoln (1861-64) in a manner that made it ABUNDANTLY CLEAR he had no idea of HOW Lincoln left office.

In a box, Mr. Fox host... in a box. ("Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play?")

Hasn't been a good week for Fox - or the idiots who watch it - considering how Bill O'Reilly insisted there are NO homeless vets (instead of perhaps as many as 600K+ homeless vets out there) and then blamed vets being homeless on the only candidate talking about helping such folks, Democratic candidate John Edwards (with O'Reilly conveniently forgetting his comment earlier that if there were ANY homeless vets, he personally would make certain they got housing forthwith). Reilly ALSO demanded an apology from David Letterman for suggesting Bill O has never met a lie he wouldn't gladly repeat for his own gain.

And then there was John Gibson ridiculing the untimely death of actor Heath Ledger only to, rather than apologize for his comments, indicate that it was the people who said that they didn't like his callous, caustic commentary who were the problem.

No self-respecting under-rock-sliming snake with an IQ of ZERO or less would be caught dead in the company of these people. Sheesh.

White House Spokesweasel Dana Perino: "What's Cuba?"

Believe it or not, she's far dumber (or to her boss, Bush, “dumberer”) than she looks and behaves (and those who follow White House press room sessions knows that is QUITE a feat given her past history). Ms. Perino, never short on attitude OR lies OR ways to blame everyone else for what the White House does wrong, not only claimed the 935 certified lies found by a government accounting agency in remarks by Bush and the White House leading up to the Iraq war were really mistakes made by those "other coalition members" who "forced" the Bush Administration to go to war in Iraq (which, uh... would be the Bushies themselves), came up with a new stunner this week.

Namely, Dim Dana announced – and seemed quite proud of the fact – that she had no bleeping idea what the Cuban Missile Crisis was. Yeah, you could cite her age (though I know all about it and I wasn't even old enough for a pacifier when it happened), but this event was a seminal one in modern American political history, is at the heart of our supposed rabid hatred of Castro and Cuba, and is at the core of our horrific anti-Cuba (but pro-rich-Cuban-exile bizarro behavior) policies.

But Dana, like her boss, the so-called MBA-holding history major (Bush), is sure that being deadly dumb as denuded, uranium-polluted dirt is a GOOD thing.

In A Panel of Bald-Faced Liars, Mike Huckabee Stands Out

[Methinks spending time around Chuck Norris and his drug-induced haze has affected the Huck's mental capacity (which was never exactly firing on all cylinders to start with).]

Mike Huckabee, the same man who last week insisted that it was his solemn duty to change the U.S. Constitution to reflect HIS interpretation of the word of God - namely, to outlaw homosexuality and a woman's right to choose and make any semblance of marriage restricted exclusively to a man and a woman - with a straight face during the Thursday night Florida GOP presidential debate, insisted that he would never, ever try to impose his religious views on the nation.

Say what?

1.24.2008

The Pentagon, Bill Clinton's Penis, And Our Tax Dollars At... Uh... Work?

Like a lot of bloggers, especially perhaps those like me critical of the way our military is being abused, I find I get a fair amount of traffic from not just the Pentagon and the military as a whole, but also the State and Justice Departments and several other agencies staffed by people our tax dollars go to pay.

But on Thursday, I was both bemused and annoyed to find that someone from the Pentagon came into Cut to the Chase after doing a search on Bill Clinton's penis and then eagerly left again several minutes later looking for a link to photographs of naked Army National Guard female soldiers via Editor and Publisher magazine.

From my stats:

Domain Name osd.mil ? (Military)
IP Address 134.152.17.# (The Pentagon)
ISP The Pentagon

Location Continent : North America
Country : United States (Facts)
State : Virginia
City : Herndon
Lat/Long : 38.9553, -77.3881 (Map)

...
Referring URL http://www.google.co...=Clenus Bill Clinton
Search Engine google.com
Search Words clenus bill clinton
Visit Entry Page http://www.inblogs.n...h/label/Bill Clinton
Visit Exit Page http://cut-to-the-ch...6_09_24_archive.html
Out Click photographs of naked Army National Guard female soldiers
http://www.editorand...ontent_id=1003188197

With Kucinich Leaving Race, We ALL Lose

The blog at the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that U.S. Representative Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) is dropping out of his bid for the Democratic nomination, abandoning his run for U.S. commander-in-chief in this november's 2008 race. Kucinich stayed in throughout the 2004 race but this time, faced with challenges for his Congressional seat back home (says CPD), the one-of-a-kind presidential candidate says he does not want to risk losing his House of Representatives seat - where he is one of the most truly progressive hearts and minds to be found on Capitol Hill - and I certainly would hate to lose him there as well.

Whether you supported Kucinich or not - and I admit I'm leaning more towards John Edwards - I think we all lose when a man like Dennis is forced out of the race. Why? Because he stands for real issues and stnads up for real people. It is a pitiful, quite obscene statement about what America has become if a person (and in Dennis' case, the best kind of idealist) who wants the United States to actually BE all the positive things we like to say we are (leader of the free world, a democracy, a fair and just society where the "lowliest" of people can achieve their greatest dreams, a beacon of hope, a role model to the rest of the world, to name just a few).

If only those candidates who pander to the most extreme zealots who would rape and plunder the U.S. Constitution - not to mention human rights and global citizenry -with the insane and obscene claim it's "for God's sake" as we have with the right wing, or those who cater to the the wallets and whims of American corporations as we see with the most mainstream Democratic politicians including Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama and the more moderate Republicans - who also brown nose the Christian fascists and the richest of the Americans - such as John McCain and Rudy Giuliani, individual American citizens lose BIG TIME. We see it, too, with the almost rabid minimalization and ostracization of Democrat John Edwards who commits the "heresy" of trying to bravely represent the needs and dreams of even poorer working class Americans rather than the corporate money machine of the Democratic Leadership Committee (DLC).

We lose that which we claim to hold most dear when we allow a Dennis Kucinich or a John Edwards - or even a Ron Paul on the GOP side - to be forced out by those who use money and power and fear-mongering to transform our elections from being ABOUT the needs and dreams and votes of real American citizens and voters to what's in the best interests of a General Electric, a Viacom, a Rupert Murdoch, a Halliburton, a Beatrice Foods, et al.

Shame on the media... but shame on us, too.


For more coverage of Dennis Kucinich, go to the Openers blog.

"America's Mayor" Campaign Going Boom DOT Bust?

For weeks and weeks, GOP presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani has been pouring all his time and resources (and we've learned that his campaign, even before Mike Huckabee's, has run out of money in ways that make it impossible to pay all staffers) into key primaries like Florida's after doing very badly in Iowa, New Hampshire, and others.

However, it's unlikely Giuliani, mayor of New York City on September 11th, 2001, will win even Republican voters when it's time for the Empire State to cast ballots. But if he does as badly in the upcoming Florida primary as polls suggest, how can the man who sold out the firefighters and other 9-11 rescue workers, who took billions in no-bid contracts not just from the Bush Administration but from our supposed sworn enemies, and who should have an in among Floridians who were former New Yorkers, stay in the race? Despite his focus down there, he's halved his polling numbers since November (from 36 to 18%).

The Republican debate in Florida is tonight on MSNBC. Urg.

John Edwards Is Public Enemy Number One?

[Hmmm... if I wasn't already for Edwards, this might get him my vote! ]

I know the press is too busy telling us how happy America is with Bush's bogus tax rebates to "stimulate the American economy" into more bankruptcies and foreclosures, AS WELL AS how odd it is that the folks who found 28-year-old actor Heath Ledger dead called Mary Kate Olsen (now there's a brain trust worthy of the Bush Administration) rather than 9-1-1 first BUT...

Why has so little attention been paid to the fact that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has declared Democratic presidential candidate and former Senator John Edwards "public enemy number one" and pledged to defeat him with all the ammunition they can fire at him, including a $60 million anti-Edwards fund.

Personally, anyone so villified by corporate and commercial America just makes me MORE interested in the man. I think others should be paying attention.

1.23.2008

Rich Blogger, Poor Blogger: Where The (Critical) Differences Are More Than (Blog)Skin Deep


A piece at Media Matters on MSNBC’s Chris Matthews reminds me of a subject often acknowledged too seldomly among bloggers themselves. Namely, those who believe the only key difference between Democrat vs. Republican-leaning bloggers is party affiliation are not only politically naïve; they also may not appreciate how skewed the additional differences can color (in more shades than red, blue, and purple) what gets posted.

Obviously, there are no hard and fast rules that apply here and that just about everywhere, you’ll find exceptions to any simplistic generalization I’ll post here or you read elsewhere. Still, understand that my information is mined from years of communications with fellow bloggers of all political stripes (or completely stripe-less) and professional experience with online media that dates back to before most of you ever knew the Internet exists. Data here also comes from general publishing and marketing studies, and from statistics and anecdotal evidence compiled by others I respect and/or have a good track record of accuracy including professional news services.

With this said typed – and my very vocal caveat that this information is not an exhaustive, scientific analysis and may be subject to error - here’s a short list of some of the most interesting of the red vs. blue blogger differences:

  • GOP-oriented bloggers are far more frequently subsidized, if not outright paid a full salary/hourly wage (which many are), by Republican candidates or Republican-centric organizations

  • Among politically-affiliated bloggers who are paid, the Republican types tend to make appreciably more money for their work (example: a “right” blogger is more apt to earn a living wage for his or her work rather than the more modest honorariums offered to a smaller percentage of “lefty” bloggers

  • ”Lefty” bloggers, by and large, tend to voice more criticism about so-called “left” candidates and policies than “righty” bloggers do with candidates, elected officials, and policies of their own party/affiliation

  • Democratic-linked bloggers seem far more inclined to than GOP-leaning ones to openly identify their party affiliation or political bent/philosophy (conservative vs. libertarian, for example), which candidates/policies they support (financially, philosophically, free advertising, etc.) or that they are funded, in part or in whole, by a political group

  • ”Red” bloggers often display far more consistency in “staying on message” (examples: repeating phrase-by-phrase, often ad infinitum, a particular party “talking point” such as that Barack Obama was trained as a Muslim fascist at a madrassah OR that there is actual conclusive proof that candidate John McCain sired a black child out of wedlock and/or deliberately left other American PoWs behind in a Vietnamese prison camp OR that a leading psychiatric expert insists Hillary is not just gay but a self-hating lesbian at that) even when that talking point conflicts with beliefs or reports those same bloggers earlier presented
  • Dem or independent bloggers appear more inclined to report a different point of view/pick apart a “talking point” even if it comes from their own party/preferred candidate/lawmaker

  • The same “right” bloggers often fail to provide a link directly to a news piece or another blogger’s post when, conveniently, the blogger’s “paraphrasing” of details from that report/post significantly differs from the context or content of the original source

  • By and large, “left” blogs are more apt to provide comment/feedback options, and with the blogger more likely to participate in such a discussion for their readers

  • Lefties more frequently write using all or part of their real names compared with righties who use only a first name, a fictitious full name, or an online “handle”

  • Small studies have noted that left-leaning bloggers who make an error in posting are as much as 5x more likely to post a correction or otherwise acknowledge such a mistake than counterparts on the right - or 5 million times more likely in the rightwing post-er is Bill O’Reilly ::choke::

  • There’s more, but I’m trying to share major points rather than summarize “War and Peace.” ::uh-hum::

    [Feel free to share your own observations/comments, etc. here (as a left-leaner, I'm not just statistically more likely to invite feedback, I actually encourage it).]

    Got Something To Say About The 2008 Presidential Race, Politics, and More?

    If you're knowledgeable and passionate about what's going on both on Capitol Hill, the 2008 presidential race and beyond, and have a little time to give, Doug at All Things Democrat (where I also blog) is looking for articulate volunteers to contribute posts. [As the site's name implies, the focus is on donkeys, not elephants.]

    Find out more here.

    The Bushies Lied On Economy and Iraq? Really? Who'd Of Thought?

    I know you'll be shocked and surprised to learn that evidence suggests Bush, Cheney, & company lied extensively about Iraq and the economy/recession (and everything ELSE) but... well, I'll let Think Progress break the troubling news ::cough::

    A new study by the Center for Public Integrity and the Fund for Independence in Journalism found that President Bush and his top officials issued 935 false statements about the threat from Iraq in the two years following 9/11. Bush “led with 259 false statements, 231 about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and 28 about Iraq’s links to al Qaeda.”

    A new Iraqi law said to “return former Baathists to public life,” could actually “set off a new purge of ex-Baathists, the opposite of U.S. hopes for the legislation,” according to “Iraqi lawmakers, U.S. officials and former Baathists.” At least 7,000 Baathists who have been allowed back into the government in recent years may lose their current positions under the new law.

    In “private,” Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke “has expressed growing pessimism about the economy,” reportedly saying that “the first six months of this year will be “bad.” He also suggested that “there is better than a 50-50 chance for a recession” and believes the ensuing recovery will be “weak.”

    “Many of the poorest people in the United States are still struggling to recover from the effects of a recession that ended six years ago, making them very vulnerable as the country stands on the brink of a new downturn.” In 2006, “12.3 percent of Americans were living in poverty, compared with 11.7 percent in 2001, the year of the last recession.”

    The House has postponed votes on “criminal contempt citations against White House chief of staff Joshua Bolten and former White House counsel Harriet Miers” in order to foster “bipartisan unity” while working on an economic stimulus package.

    The South Carolina Democratic Debate: Who Won? Not Us

    If I had to sum up my reaction to the South Carolina Democratic debate Monday night in just one sentence, I would paraphrase what contender John Edwards said, "Excuse me, there are three people in this debate, not TWO and with all this squabbling, how many kids will be able to get health care or go to college because of this meanness."

    Not only did this become a Hillary-Barack slugfest with their behavior along with how debate host CNN's Wolf Blitzer handled it, but the media after the fact seemed to ignore that Edwards was even present. Most of the clips of it shown offered no glimpse, much less a soundbyte, from the former North Carolina senator.

    The relatively few who DID notice Edwards was there, like Keith Olbermann on MSNBC's Countdown, noted that he came out as the soul of reason, the only one who realizes this isn't about Hillary or Barack or even himself, but a nation filled with hurting people who can no longer afford their mortgages, their health insurance, or to be guaranteed a decent education for their kids. As Newsweek's Howard Fineman pointed out with Keith, if Clinton-Obama fights like this continue for the next month, Edwards is almost guaranteed to come out ahead of both of them put together.

    Finally, the media was far more focused on the arguments between the woman candidate and the black candidate, making it sound like it was just wrong. As a pacifist and as someone who rarely feels she learns much from arguing, I'd agree. However, the media ONLY looks at Clinton and Obama and the fighting, giving almost NO attention to harsh words exchanged between Republican candidates or many of the lies the GOP runners tell about the Democrats as well as their own voting/business history. Given how the media presents this stuff, how can we possibly trust their overall analysis? Hell, they didn't give Mike Huckabee this kind of heat when he came out a few times last week to declare that the U.S. Constitution must be completely rewritten to document the word and laws of His God - something that affects all of us a HELL of a lot more than whether Hillary and Barack love each other or engage in verbal smackdowns

    1.22.2008

    Yummy Cut-to-the-Chase Quick Bytes for January 22, 2008

    Questions About Terrorism? Invite “Ask Al Qaeda” To Your Next Social Organization Brunch!

    Oddly enough, this is not entirely a joke though “Breakfast with the Bin Ladens” may not be quite as popular as “Have Hot Chocolate With Santa.” On the plus side, however, Osama does speak English better than President Bush and can pronounce nuclear correctly..(Though, to be fair, most three-year-olds speak and enunciate far better than our “MBA president”; where MBA stands for “mommy's biggest asshole.”)

    But I digress when I want to share with you news so very twisted in its own way, you'd think it came out of Bush's Department of Homeland (In)Security: Namely, al Qaeda has apparently opened up its own customer service department on the Internets (all of them). There, al Qaeda operatives (so they say) are available to answer questions you may have about those 72 virgins they get for lethal missions, how to make a suicide bomb vest that is both functional and stylish, as well as how all six feet-four inches of Osama (with a beard almost as long) manages to terrorize below the radar abd remain unapprehended some six-and-a-half years after Bush declared, “he can run but he can't hide” and that he would personally catch OBL “dead or alive.” (That Mission isn't Accomplished either, Mr. President.)

    Interestingly enough, the pediatrician al-Zawahri who is Osama's second in command made himself available for a (live?) online interview. Isn't it encouraging to learn that a radical terrorist network and its leaders manage to be far more available and accountable to its recruits than the entire Bush Administration has been to the American people for seven years now? But then, some would say that the Bushies actually represent the largest terrorist network in the entire world.

    Yes, indeed, it's the Bizarro World out there and Bush is the leader of the biggest Bizarro faction of them all!

    Forget Dinner: You Can't Afford It!

    While the Bushies spin the economy as being much better than reported – while Fed chair Ben Bernanke meets “in secret” (the favorite Bushie way!) to cut the interest rate in a move many decry as fraught with more dangers than leaving it alone – more than 3 out of every 4 people taking the CNN poll (“Are we in a recession now?”) say yes! Of more than 125,000 people who've cast votes so far, 75% disagree with the Bush drivel.

    See What Happens When You Forget To Take Your Anti-Psychotic Meds With Breakfast

    Senator John McCain, if seeming to offer Repuglicrat Sen. JoeMentum a job as his vice president did not supply enough evidence his mental health is MIA on its fast track to being declared DOA, proves he's off his meds with THIS quote: (shudder!):

    "Don't turn the pharmaceutical companies into the big bad guys."
    As opposed to... uh... what, Mac? Are they disciples of Christ, beauty pageant contestants, Sunday School teachers, smiters of Harry Potter magic, and benevolent leprechauns all rolled into one of the most powerful lobbyist organizations in the entire world? You feeling OK?

    Or are you just auditioning for your new gig as a PhRMA lobbyist once Diebold steals the 2008 presidential win from you and Arizona (finally) kicks you to the curb?

    “Let Me Have a Pastrami on Toasted Pumpernickel; Hold The Cole Slaw And Give Me Some Progressive- and Fairness.”

    Pass the mustard and napkins and prepare to smile, The very same America that's been fighting in the Bush years to relegate evolution to “crazy theory” status and to wage war on science, critical thinking, AND its own working class citizens sits poised to knock our (figurative) socks O-F-F. It's high time, too, though not even British Colombia's super pot and/or “chronic” deserves the credit for this encouraging about-face.

    In a major CNN poll first reported yesterday (on the late Martin Luther King Jr's birthday), more Americans than ever before acknowledge the United States is “ready” for a black president. Specifically, this “readiness” was opined by:
  • 72% of whites

  • 61% of blacks

  • (and perhaps as many as two whole Southern Republicans?)
  • Adds CNN:
    That number is higher than it was two years ago, when 65 percent of whites and 54 percent of blacks felt the same way. It's also higher than the proportion of either men or women -- 64 percent and 65 percent, respectively -- who currently believe the nation is ready for a woman in the White House.

    The top six concerns for both whites and blacks in making their presidential choice this year are exactly the same in the following order -- the economy, Iraq, terrorism, health care, gas prices and Iran -- though blacks place a higher level of importance on all those issues.
    However, as glad as many of us are to see this, and yes, it is encouraging, it is also shocking to recognize that four full decades since the assassination of Dr. King, such a poll question can be considered fair game, that it took us this long to achieve such results, and that the same questions are still asked about a potential woman commander in chief, a Jew, a Mormon... and probably is not yet capable to consider a candidate (in today's Christian fascism insurgemce) who commits the guaranteed act of political suicide by stating he or she does not believe in a “higher power” or chooses not to share those beliefs with the media/public...

    Fred Thompson Drops His Presidential Race

    Not that his poor showing in Republican caucuses and primaries ever proved he was actually IN the race for GOP presidential nominee race for this November but...

    Let me say that using the "I need to stop to care for my ailing mother" statement is about as ridiculous as Karl Rove quitting the White House "to spend more time with my (Manson) family (of Bushies)." A) Fred is no spring chicken so mama's got to be pretty old b) Fred doesn't look like the bedpan-and-chicken-soup server type and c) well, I suppose Fred's wife, who looks to be about the right age for one of his granddaughters, is not likely to want to spend all her time and designer wardrobe at mama's house while Fred plays nursemaid (which he won't). Thompson's wifey, if you notice, could never answer the most basic questions about his campaign; probably because it interfered with her shopping.

    But that aside, Fred's leaving the race poses an interesting situation. Of all the GOP candidates, I'd call him the only true conservative (McCain is only part of one, and Huckabee and Romney aren't any part of one in the classic sense of the term). A lot of classical conservatives, I don't believe, will vote for a Huckabee or Romney or Giuliani and have voiced discomfort with McCain in the past.

    Here's another difference with Fred that I actually appreciated. Fred Thompson refused to play the religion card. He indicated early on that his relationship with his God was private, his business. I appreciate that; it's how I feel about my faith, as well. People who don't seem to be more likely NOT to force their God down the throats of others.

    I can't think of a faster path to hell (in whatever form you think it may take) than to use God and Christ as a selling point for your election (and frankly, I've never seen a more unholy lot than all these Republican so-called Christians on the campaign trail this year).

    So let me actually thank Fred (and add that I hope he does not return to acting, because he's even worse at that - other than playing himself - than he is as a Republican candidate) for not hitting us over the head with his faith on a daily basis.

    1.21.2008

    Say Hello to...


    Blogging Olbermann - complete with a tie color/style tracking feature.


    And even if the tie was the ONLY thing this site evaluated, it would STILL be a thousand times more relevant than anything Chris Matthews (of MSNBC's Lardass.. NoBalls... um, Hamhocks.. eh, Hardball) opines either on his own show or when paired with Keith Olbermann's Countdown for political commentary.

    On The Day We Celebrate King's Birthday, What Would He Think of Racial America Today?

    Since the Rev. Martin Luther King's actual birthday last week (born January 15th, 1929), I find myself wondering what the man who became this nation's most famed civil rights activist and left us with passionate legacies such as his "I Have A Dream" speech would think about the state of this nation had he not been gunned down in April 1968, just two months before Bobby Kennedy who just might have won the 1968 presidential race.

    It was no secret to King that he was watched, recorded, and routinely villified by everyone from an FBI where J. Edgar Hoover was still in charge and treating the agency like his personal vengeance machine to a media that, at "best", did not want to infuriate paying white audiences by denouncing claims that King was only "in it" for himself. And, taken from us still so young, we can only guess what MLK really felt were the chances to fully break the color barriers and recreate an America that did not divide itself by race, color, creed, or religion.

    In my musings, I can't seem to escape the conclusion that Dr. King would be profoundly disappointed that a fight for which he gave his life, although things HAVE changed, has really not resolved itself in the four decades since his assassination. We pretend race is no longer the big controversy it once was, yet we let our law inforcement organizations engage in racial profiling, let courts pretend crimes committed by people of color really ARE deserving of harsher punishment than those committed by whiter people with money. We sit back, albeit uncomfortably, while pundits have just moved the angry stereotyping of blacks to those we label "law breaking illegal immigrants" to whom we attach some of the same awful rhetoric: lazy, welfare cheats, people who "deliberately" grow large families to qualify them for additional public assistance and people who demand special treatment to get into good schools and jobs rather than "work as hard as whites" do.

    I also believe Dr. King would be just about as incensed as many of us are that people insist "Obama isn't black enough", that he's the first black candidate for president (forgetting Frederick Douglass, Carol Mosely Braun, Shirley Chisholm, and yes, even Jesse Jackson to name a few), and that he can "only win IF" other people of color just "blindly" vote for him to promote their own race (like whites haven't done this).

    While I would dearly love to think that MLK would have more reasons to be dutifully proud of "how far we've come" than not, this is the kind of wishful thinking we usually only allow white Southern Christian candidates and would be no more true coming from King than it does from them. At the same time, I can't help but think about how many - including a few of the tighty righty GOP presidential contenders out there today - griped when it was enacted and continue to resent it that King's birthday was made into a national holiday.

    John Edwards: Stay or Go?

    Steve Benen at The Carpetbagger Report discusses the big question(s) before 2008 Dem presidential candidate (and John Kerry's VP choice in the 2004 race), John Edwards, regarding whether it's time for him to pack it in or continue on toward the Dem convention this summer which is what Edwards has said he will do.

    As I've said, I'm undecided at this time. However, Edwards (along with Dennis Kucinich) comes closer to my "ideal" candidate than do Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama who, IMHO, are too willing to make concessions I don't like, don't believe are good for the country in its current shape (which isn't all that good). To me, both represent the DLC approach to Democrats which I find too much like middle ground Republicanism to help Democrats as a whole. If the Republicans don't want to elect moderate Republicans, why should Dems do it for them?

    Interestingly enough, I did NOT support Edwards in 2004 though I came to support the Kerry-Edwards' ticket simply because Edwards was on it and I saw a progressive-ism growing in him that seemed utterly absent from Kerry. The Edwards running today is a much-changed man, I believe, from 2004 and I do NOT believe this is an act. John Edwards' approach on universal health care, the working class, and so many other issues.

    Right now, his campaign isn't doing super great. But what's strange is that he's got at least half the delegates of Obama and Clinton WHILE, where Republicans like Thompson and Giuliani barely have a handful of delegates BETWEEN them, pundits aren't shouting to push Fred and Rudy off the campaign trail as they are with Edwards. Why? What's the difference? Could it be that Edwards is simply not "corporate money" enough for the DLC crowd while among Repugs, Rudy and Fred will definitely sell their souls?

    What's your take?

    European Pessimism Over U.S. Economic Outlook Just Proves They "Get It" When Bush Just Makes It Much Worse

    Perhaps Bill O'Reilly can declare war on France again while Bush, our brain trust, changes the name of French fries again. Won't matter though: Europeans are RIGHT.

    So what do the Europeans know that Bush doesn't? (Besides American and world history, how to speak English, that tax cuts to billionaires don't cure everything, etc.)

    Just as about every intelligent voice in the U.S. already says, Europe knows that Bush's latest round of tax cuts for the wealthiest, which did nothing to spur the economy after 9-11 and beyond, Bush wants will NOT do anything to stop the Bush economy's record-breaking race to yet crippling economic recession. European economic pessimism today, in fact, is hurting investors and futures markets, to name but a few. At the same time, Fed chief Ben Bernanke is expected to cut interest rates yet again which sounds great until you listen to a number of other analysts that predict unchecked inflation and other issues arising from the Bush Administration always-does-the-wrong-thing handling of the economy will bring far more DIRE times rather than relief.

    Consider, too, that Bush's latest horrible plan comes right on the heels of introducing "owner foreclosure help" that would allow Countrywide (the nation's largest mortgage bank) to keep from filing bankruptcy and give its buyer (Bank of America), a quarter billion in additional tax write-offs every year for a long time while (magically) doing just about NOTHING for middle class (and lesser) homeowners about to lose their homes.

    As Bush has said a number of times, he doesn't understand poor people.

    Or:

    * smart people
    * reasonable people
    * people who tell the truth (Bush has never been in the same zip code with the truth in his life)
    * people who really ARE patriotic vs. just his lackeys

    The list could go on forever, y'know.

    Fast Food (Of A Sort): Cut to the Chase Quick Bytes for 1-21-08

    Want An (Un)Appetizer With The Meal?

    If you want a guarantee you won't eat so much today (or tomorrow, or next year), check out The Times' Michael Gordon's nightmare first course via Glenn Greenwald at Salon: This nattering nay bob of a neocon argues that the best way to prove our patriotism to this country and our love of Iraq is to stay there fighting F-O-R-E-V-E-R. Check, please!

    SlopSoup of the Day:

    A big bowl of thick chowder seems like an ideal meal in January. But steer clear of House Dem Leader Nancy Pelosi's lobster pot; the more American voters scream for the Bushies to be indicted, the faster Nancy serves up nothing but year-old watery, rancid, voter sickening leftovers of “impeachment is not on the table” bisque. Unless Pelosi resets and stocks up that table soon, she might be swimming in the broth herself flanked only by foul (disembodied) fish heads that look and stink suspiciously like Mike Huckabee and Chuck Norris..

    Free Egg roll (But Only If You're A Bizillionaire):

    With the U.S. Economic outlook – never, ever good under Bush's tenure as top chef – tanking faster than we can steal crude oil out of Iraq, the president offers up the only solution he knows – and uses for every problem, regardless of what it is. That's right; the best way to stimulate the economy out of a probable recession, he insists, is to serve up 10-course gourmet free lunches (and you just know he'll have as many endangered species – like the American middle class – as he can fit) to the very rich, which I assume he'll deliver one-at-a-time in a gas-hogging Humvee he'll give billionaires another tax break to buy for free.. The rest of you? Starve already so there'll be more room at the restaurant table for Bush loyalists!

    Today's Pickle:

    The so-called master of conspiracy theory films, Oliver Stone, revs up to produce his latest. The subject matter? Someone who can't spell “conspiracy theory” - namely, George W. Mush uh... Slush... Tush... oops... um... Bushwhacked. Josh Brolin (oh, the repugs will love this; Barbra Streisand's stepson) will play the mentally challenged Commander-in-Cheat but there's no word yet on whether Queen Latifah has signed to portray Cheney or Rosie O'Donnell to play “little” brother, Jeb. Yet one thing's guaranteed: Diebold will handle the Academy Award voting for it so you just know Bush will win.

    And The Dessert's On Us:

    Want some much-needed good news to restore your desire to eat? We've got a recipe you'll drool over: as of today, Monday, it's just one year until we can push the Bushies to the curb faster than you can say, “Stick a fork in Dubya; he's DONE!” Perhaps celebrate with Vermont's own Ben and Jerry's ice cream and fear not: with Vermont the only state in the union Dubya has NOT visited during his reign of 'error, there's no way B&J's creamy – and progressive! - goodness has been contaminated.

    1.20.2008

    U.S. Officials Sell Nuclear Secrets to Israel, Turkey

    It never ends with this "moral" crew, does it? From Raw Story (and mind you, Bushies happily slip two countries "not supposed to have" nukes such secrets, while everytime a doctor in Iran orders a chest x-ray, Bush claims Ahmadinejad's about to nuke The Mickey Mouse Club, Chucky Cheese, and other vital symbols of American uh... brilliance, superiority, and patriotism). Want to bet NONE of these officials is charged, much less convicted, of treason - which is WHAT this act would mean to anyone else.

    The Sunday Times has obtained a document that confirms that a file, which the FBI denied existed, could contain information about American officials stealing nuclear secrets for Turkish and Israeli spies, who would then sell the secrets to Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

    Earlier, FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds, 37, approached the Times about "explosive" communications she discovered between high-up American officials and Turkish and Israeli spies. A FOIA request to the FBI, for case number 203A-WF-210023, was answered with a claim that the case number did not exist.

    "I can tell you that that file and the operations it refers to did exist from 1996 to February 2002," says Edmonds.

    One high-ranking official, identified by RAW STORY's Larisa Alexandrovna as Marc Grossman, Ambassador to Turkey from 1994 to 1997. Grossman is said to have warned his cohorts not to do business with Brewster Jennings, a front company set up by the CIA. Brewster Jennings was also the "employer" of CIA operative Valerie Plame, whose cover, with Grossman's help, was blown in what is widely believed to be a political hit job by the Bush Administration on her husband, Ambassador and Iraq war critic Joseph C. Wilson.

    The entire Sunday Times article can be read HERE.
    Strange that, if completely accurate, American media ignores the story while a paper most Americans have never heard of, much less read reports on it.

    Is treason no longer a punishable offense? Only, under Bush, could THAT happen. And the GOP crew angling for his job sure won't guard "the flame" any better. Some, quite terrifyingly, could be much worse.

    On Lieberman, Likability, And (Sore) Losers

    Karlo (the man who JUST can't ever get enough cat blogging) notes in Comments regarding my post about the possibility of a John McCain/Joe Lieberman ticket, This refers to Republican presidential nominee Sen. McCain's talk the other day where McCain - perhaps kidding, perhaps not - pointed to allegedly but not actually (Indy) Democrat Sen. Joseph Lieberman, there to provide support and an endorsement for his fellow hawk Republican ::cough::, and mentioned that Joementum might make a great vice president.

    Specifically, Karlo asks "does anyone actually like Lieberman?" given his "new and disproved, not improved" status as the far right wing's and Bush's favorite Orthodox Jewish lackey. After all, it can be hard for the loony right to offer anyone who is not a fascist Christian the time of day much less that most minute hint of respect. Thus, when looking for a token "not me" to suggest they aren't racist, too, it helps that they can wrap a crazy war hawk together with a Jew who wants to see the Biblical rapture and armageddon occur every bit as much as they do, regardless of how many Jews and Muslims they have to consign to hell to do it.

    So yes, Virginia...er... Karlo, someone likes Lieberman. His wife. The loony right just pretends to tolerate him, just as they often utter the words, "Some of my best friends are black" and "I don't hate gay people. I just feel justified in telling everyone gays are promiscuous and mentally ill while I deny them the right to marry and make their lives miserable."

    However, in fairness, I have to say that there was a time when, as Lieberman's constituent, I had some respect for the man. He's always been prissy, a bit holier than almost everyone else, and likely to side with some weird issues, such as when he joined "Second Lady" (and I use the word "lady" very, very, VERY loosely here) Lynne Cheney and "morality czar" (and dominatrix-loving, millions-lost-in-casinos) William "Bill" Bennett in an effort to turn college campuses to the right while discriminating against those educators who don't think it's their job to tell students what to think, how to vote, and that their grades will be hurt if they don't believe in the same God as James Dobson and Jerry Falwell.

    Quite seriously, I think a HUGE part of why Lieberman has turned so far to the right - and not simply because of 9-11 and his zealot's hatred of Muslims - lies right in the lap of the 2000 presidential election. Lieberman blames then presidential candidate Al Gore for not winning (and the American people for not choosing Joementum himself) which turned him into a sore loser and then he jumped on the ultra-hawk bandwagon, with all of his high praise for Bush and other tighty righties, SOLELY to advance his own position.

    His pouting brat sore loser attitude soured him further to Dems after the capitulation to rigged voting so he had to realize Democrats would never support another candidacy for him - and they didn't; Republican money returned him to his Senate job when Dems wanted to flush the turd. Also, he saw the writing on the wall in terms of how completely the fascist right was willing to go to keep a Jew from the White House; to keep from becoming nothing more than a footnote to history, he switched sides. While the right will never like him, they might be willing to hold their nose to let him be a bridesmaid (VP) but never the bride (President).