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Comments by YACCS
Thursday, August 31, 2006

Dear Sen. Lieberman

Dear Sen. Lieberman, Dan Gerstein, Josh Isay,

I know that finding the right sunrise can be hard. So here is a guide to finding one in Connecticut.

This is Santa Barbara, California. This is also a sunset.

This is the state of Connecticut. See, it has miles and miles of shoreline.

Like this, the New Haven light house. It's right by the shore. Really.

This is a Connecticut sunset, notice the woods, notice the reeds, the bird, the kind of things one sees on the east coast North of New York. But since you didn't want a sunset, we can show you a Connecticut sunrise.

See the nice orange tones, the docks, the shoreline with the trees and bushes. Now, that's a Connecticut shoreline.

Here's another one.

And this is one with the Senator at the shoreline, a Connecticut shoreline. Maybe you can
think calm thoughts in Westport, not Santa Barbara, and at sunrise, not sunset.

Seems Lieberman's ever incompetent spokesman Dan Gerstein embarasses himself again,
according to Skippy the Bush Kangaroo.

joe-nertia: apply directly to your forehead!

helen ubinas in the hartford courant found out that joe-nertia's campaign manager was pretty agitated about the commercial that was supposed to have a calming effect on everybody:

gerstein was downright chafed when i called him about the new age-y lieberman ad that urges folks to step away from the negativity of the campaign and think of all the "good stuff ... like sen. lieberman saving jobs, improving health care and keeping us safe. eighteen years of honest leadership. there's nothing negative about that."

there's still no beating the lamont ads; the bad coffee one is my favorite. but cheesy as lieberman's new ad was, at least the sun-over-water video had a nice late-summery feel. then the lamont folks realized the "sunrise" was actually a sunset, and called it a metaphor for the senator's career.

and things got ... well, negative.

this is just more negativity coming from the lamont camp, gerstein fumed. "they're so blind in their hatred of joe lieberman that they have to make even the most trivial, silly things an issue."

breathe, buddy, breathe ...

"i've already gotten three calls about this. it just shows how tone deaf people are. why aren't they calling about lamont's flip-flop on earmarks? why isn't that an issue?"

ok, now he was making me tense.

"this is a camp that mocks joseph lieberman's wife and kids and we make one honest mistake that we own up to and they jump all over it. i can send you documents that show how much more negative they are than us, how they continue to resort to these kinds of tactics. ... it's not even a close call.

i thought we were all going to relax and get away from the negativity here.
helen goes on to make a really good point: this obsession with "liebermont," as she calls it, is getting as boring as tomkat/brangelina headlines. after a while, who cares anymore?

apparently, dan gerstein does:

it's actually a sunrise," gerstein initially insisted. "it's very much a sunrise."

actually, it's very much a sunset, as pro-lamont bloggers gleefully pointed out. they even tracked down the video used in the ad on the getty images web page. clip 843-2: "wide shot sun setting over ocean/ birds walking along water's edge/ santa barbara."

"wow," said gazeena, the helpful customer rep at getty images. "that's too bad."

there is a 30-day return policy, she offered. but it's only good for half the purchase price, somewhere around $1,000, she said. "and if it's already been used, i'm not sure that applies."

apparently that's not going to be an issue; gerstein said they were going to continue to use the ad.

"of course we will," he said. "why in god's name wouldn't we, just because ned lamont's people reflectively attack us? that's just insane."

good stuff, dan, remember? think about the good stuff ...
note to dan gerstein: take your own commercial's advice.

How much did Josh Isay collect for that POS ad? $50K, 100K? And all you get is humiliation?

posted by Steve @ 3:49:00 AM

3:49:00 AM

The News Blog home page

Godwin's Law comes to American Politics

We fought these people and won

Godwin's Law (also Godwin's Rule of Nazi Analogies) is a mainstay of Internet culture, an adage formulated by Mike Godwin in 1990. It is particularly concerned with logical fallacies such as reductio ad Hitlerum, wherein an idea is unduly dismissed or rejected on ground of it being associated with persons generally considered "evil".

The law states:

Godwin's Law
As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one. [1]
Godwin's Law

Godwin's Law does not dispute whether, in a particular instance, a reference or comparison to Hitler or the Nazis might be apt. It is precisely because such a reference or comparison may sometimes be appropriate, Godwin argues in his book, Cyber Rights: Defending Free Speech in the Digital Age, that hyperbolic overuse of the Hitler/Nazi comparison should be avoided, as it robs the valid comparisons of their impact.

Although in one of its early forms Godwin's Law referred specifically to Usenet newsgroup discussions[2], the law is now applied to any threaded online discussion: electronic mailing lists, message boards, chat rooms, and more recently blog comment threads and Wikipedia discussion pages.

When Rumsfeld and Bush can no longer discuss the war on the terms they have claimed to have fought it on, killing nearly 3000 Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan, they have no arguments left. We have entered the world of Godwin's Law.

They aren't suggesting that the American people are appeasers, they are begging for one more chance by playing on nostalgia: "We're America, we're fighting a good war, give us more time". But time has run out.

The problem for Bush is that he tried to do his war on the cheap and that war needed to go as they planned. And it so didn't. Iraq is worse now than at any time in modern history. They kill people in hospitals.

This is the last ditch argument, the tug on the heartstrings of failures, but instead of rekindling nostalgia, it has enraged people. What Terri Schiavo started and Cindy Sheehan amplified, Katrina shouted. These people are clueless, they have no ability to get anything done right. When a choice is to be made, they will make the worst one possible.

So now, they use nostalgia to save themselves, because they have nothing else to use.

posted by Steve @ 2:11:00 AM

2:11:00 AM

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Fighting fascism

Courtesy of the Tagawa family
Jim and Katherine Tagawa as newlyweds in 1944.
Their families were still being held in the "Rivers"
detention camp in Arizona.

Bonnie Henry : From detention to Purple Heart

Bonnie Henry
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 08.27.2006

They were a couple of California teenagers with little in common. Her name was Katherine Otomo, daughter of a surgeon educated in Japan and England. His name was Mitsugi Tagawa, son of a tenant farmer who sold fish and vegetables out of his pickup truck. On Dec. 7, 1941, the trajectory of their lives would forever change with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Within months, tens of thousands of Japanese living in the western United States, native-born included, were forced into hurriedly thrown-together relocation camps — the victims of wartime paranoia. Katherine and Mitsugi, who now goes by Jim, were no different, even though both were born in the U.S.A.

Just months after the United States declared war on Japan, both were shipped to the Gila River Indian Reservation near Casa Grande, where two relocation camps known collectively as
"Rivers" seemed to spring up overnight in the barren desert.

"We arrived in a sandstorm. Every time we took a step, we were ankle-deep in sand," says Katherine, 82, who grew up near Los Angeles.

Flashback to the fall of '41: Katherine is a senior at Mark Keppel High School in Monterey Park, Calif. Her father has been dead two years, leaving behind a wife and six children.

Meanwhile, Jim is working the fields in California's Central Valley and attending school in Selma.
"I was born four days after my mother got off the boat," says Jim, 83, who learned English only after he started first grade.

On the morning of Dec. 7, 1941, he was cultivating a vineyard on somebody else's land when his sister came running.

"She said the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor." He ran to the house, where his parents were listening to the radio.

"They could not understand what happened," says Jim, who translated for them. "They were as shocked as everyone."

Like millions of other young American men, Jim tried to enlist, only to be told by his local draft board that he had been reclassified to "alien ineligible."

Even so, he says, "My parents were ready to accept it. They told me, 'This is your country.' "

As for Jim: "I was a little peeved. I shook Roosevelt's hand in 1932 when I was a Cub Scout and he came through Gardena in his open car."

As for his first impression of Rivers: "I thought it must be a POW camp. There was a barbed-wire fence, sentries, a watchtower with armed guards."

Camp was set up in blocks, each block containing 14 barracks, one mess hall and a recreation hall. Schools and a hospital would soon follow.

At its crest, Rivers would hold 13,000 men, women and children — the fourth-largest "city" in Arizona.

Jim's family was assigned to the end section of a four-unit barracks. "There were tarpaper walls and curtains for room dividers," he says.

Before long, he landed a plum job delivering the mail by truck at Rivers, first at Canal Camp, and then at Butte Camp. Pay was $19 a month.


By then, the U.S. government had reversed its stance on Japanese-Americans joining the service.

Jim promptly signed up, joining the famed 442nd Regimental Combat Team, made up solely of Japanese-Americans.

"There were 26 or so of us in camp who signed up," says Jim. "We left on a Greyhound bus."

Katherine was there to see him off. But there was no throng of well-wishers. "We were not that popular in camp," says Jim.

"You could leave if you were going eastward and could support yourself," says Katherine, who briefly landed a job taking care of a 4-year-old boy in Dearborn, Mich., before joining her sister in Chicago.

On Jan. 15, 1944, she and Jim were married in Chicago. The newlyweds then returned to the camp where their families were still incarcerated, Jim proudly wearing his Army uniform.

In May of '44, he shipped out to join the 442nd, newly linked to the famed 100th Battalion that had already slogged its way through Salerno and Anzio, earning the nickname the "Purple Heart Battalion."

Jim, who fought in Italy and France, would earn several honors himself, including two Purple Hearts.

"Four from my own company got the Medal of Honor," says Jim, who like the rest of the 442nd was feted with a heroes' parade in Washington, D.C., upon their return in the summer of '46.

Long before then, Katherine and her two sisters had saved enough money to move her mother and younger brothers out of camp to Chicago.

Meanwhile, Jim's parents had been released and given a train ride back to California's Central Valley, where they resumed working in the fields.

Like millions of other veterans, Jim went back to school on the G.I. Bill, earning a degree in mechanical engineering from Purdue University and eventually going to work for IBM.
"My mom was very smart," says Katherine. "She told me in the camp, 'Use this as an experience. This is tough, but we can do it.' "

Japanese Americans were jailed, then drafted. The 442nd Regimental Combat Team fought with a number of divisions, including the 36th, 34th, and 92nd in Italy and Southern France, ending the war in Northern Italy as a regiment of the 92nd Infantry Division. The division had a white regiment, black regiment and the 442nd.

Twenty two members of the regiment won the Medal of Honor for service in World War II naking it one of the most highly decorated regiments in the history of the US Army.
Just Americans, by Robert Asoka is a recently published book about the regiment, their service and the discrimination they faced.

I bring this up because of the recent white house push to talk about fascism. They use cheap words to promote their failed ideas, but more on that later.

posted by Steve @ 1:16:00 AM

1:16:00 AM

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Failure, not fascism

This is from Crooks and Liars.

Keith Olbermann Delivers One Hell Of a Commentary on Rumsfeld


Keith had some very choice words about Rumsfeld’s "fascism" comments tonight. Watch it, save it and share it.

Video - WMV Video - QT

Olbermann delivered this commentary with fire and passion while highlighting how Rumsfeld’s comments echoes other times in our world’s history when anyone who questioned the administration was coined as a traitor, unpatriotic, communist or any other colorful term. Luckily we pulled out of those times and we will pull out of these times.

Remember - Rumsfeld did not just call the Democrats out yesterday, he called out a majority of this country. This wasn’t only a partisan attack, but more so an attack against the majority of Americans.

The man who sees absolutes, where all other men see nuances and

shades of meaning, is either a prophet, or a quack.

Donald S. Rumsfeld is not a prophet.

Mr. Rumsfeld’s remarkable comments to the Veterans of Foreign Wars

yesterday demand the deep analysis - and the sober contemplation - of every


For they do not merely serve to impugn the morality or

intelligence - indeed, the loyalty — of the majority of Americans who

oppose the transient occupants of the highest offices in the land;

Worse, still, they credit those same transient occupants - our

employees — with a total omniscience; a total omniscience which neither

common sense, nor this administration’s track record at home or abroad,

suggests they deserve.

Dissent and disagreement with government is the life’s blood of

human freedom; And not merely because it is the first roadblock against the

kind of tyranny the men Mr. Rumsfeld likes to think of as "his" troops still

fight, this very evening, in Iraq.

It is also essential. Because just every once in awhile… it

is right — and the power to which it speaks, is wrong.

In a small irony, however, Mr. Rumsfeld’s speechwriter was

adroit in invoking the memory of the appeasement of the Nazis.

For, in their time, there was another government faced with true

peril - with a growing evil - powerful and remorseless.

That government, like Mr. Rumsfeld’s, had a monopoly on all the

facts. It, too, had the secret information. It alone had the true

picture of the threat. It too dismissed and insulted its critics in

terms like Mr. Rumsfeld’s - questioning their intellect and their


That government was England’s, in the 1930’s.

It knew Hitler posed no true threat to Europe, let alone


It knew Germany was not re-arming, in violation of all

treaties and accords.

It knew that the hard evidence it received, which

contradicted policies, conclusions - and omniscience — needed to be


The English government of Neville Chamberlain already knew

the truth.

Most relevant of all - it "knew" that its staunchest critics

needed to be marginalized and isolated. In fact, it portrayed the foremost

of them as a blood-thirsty war-monger who was, if not truly senile - at

best… morally or intellectually confused.

That critic’s name… was Winston Churchill.

Sadly, we have no Winston Churchills evident among us this

evening. We have only Donald Rumsfelds, demonizing disagreement, the way

Neville Chamberlain demonized Winston Churchill.

History - and 163 million pounds of Luftwaffe bombs over England

- taught us that all Mr. Chamberlain had was his certainty - and his own

confusion. A confusion that suggested that the office can not only make the

man, but that the office can also make the facts.

Thus did Mr. Rumsfeld make an apt historical analogy.

Excepting the fact that he has the battery plugged in backwards.

His government, absolute - and exclusive - in its knowledge, is not the

modern version of the one which stood up to the Nazis. It is the modern

version of the government… of Neville Chamberlain.

But back to today’s Omniscients.

That about which Mr. Rumsfeld is confused… is simply this:

This is a Democracy. Still. Sometimes just barely. And as such,

all voices count — not just his. Had he or his President perhaps

proven any of their prior claims of omniscience - about Osama Bin

Laden’s plans five years ago - about Saddam Hussein’s weapons four years ago

- about Hurricane Katrina’s impact one* year ago - we all might be able to

swallow hard, and accept their omniscience as a bearable, even useful

recipe, of fact, plus ego.

But, to date, this government has proved little besides its own

arrogance, and its own hubris.

Mr. Rumsfeld is also personally confused, morally or

intellectually, about his own standing in this matter. From Iraq to

Katrina, to the entire "Fog of Fear" which continues to enveloppe this

nation - he, Mr. Bush, Mr. Cheney, and their cronies, have - inadvertently

or intentionally - profited and benefited, both personally, and politically.

And yet he can stand up, in public, and question the morality and

the intellect of those of us who dare ask just for the receipt for the

Emporer’s New Clothes.

In what country was Mr. Rumsfeld raised?

As a child, of whose heroism did he read?

On what side of the battle for freedom did he dream one day

to fight?

With what country has he confused… the United States of



The confusion we — as its citizens - must now address, is

stark and forbidding. But variations of it have faced our forefathers, when

men like Nixon and McCarthy and Curtis LeMay have darkened our skies and

obscured our flag. Note - with hope in your heart - that those earlier

Americans always found their way to the light… and we can, too.

The confusion is about whether this Secretary of Defense, and

this Administration, are in fact now accomplishing what they claim the

terrorists seek: The destruction of our freedoms, the very ones for

which the same veterans Mr. Rumsfeld addressed yesterday in Salt Lake City,

so valiantly fought.


And about Mr. Rumsfeld’s other main assertion, that this country

faces a "new type of fascism."

As he was correct to remind us how a government that knew

everything could get everything wrong, so too was he right when he

said that — though probably not in the way he thought he meant it.

This country faces a new type of fascism - indeed.


Although I presumptuously use his sign-off each night, in feeble

tribute… I have utterly no claim to the words of the exemplary journalist

Edward R. Murrow.

But never in the trial of a thousand years of writing could I

come close to matching how he phrased a warning to an earlier generation of

us, at a time when other politicians thought they (and they alone) knew

everything, and branded those who disagreed, "confused" or "immoral."

Thus forgive me for reading Murrow in full:

"We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty," he said, in 1954.

"We must remember always that accusation is not proof, and that conviction

depends upon evidence and due process of law.

"We will not walk in fear - one, of another. We will not be

driven by fear into an age of un-reason, if we dig deep in our history

and our doctrine, and remember that we are not descended from fearful men;

"Not from men who feared to write, to speak, to associate, and to

defend causes that were - for the moment - unpopular."

posted by Steve @ 1:14:00 AM

1:14:00 AM

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Food Cultism

Texas Hot Links

In Defense of Tofu

Ah, the vegetarian paradox. It's an odd state of affairs. Being the guy who snacks on soy, my fellow bread breakers seem routinely fearful that I'll mention the horrific conditions at the overcrowded feedlot their burger came from. Oddly, little interests me less than talking food politics over, you know, food. And yet, I get no end of flack for the tofu on my plate. You'd think I were cutting into a heaping pile of fly-infested cow shit for all the raised eyebrows and snide asides I get. A few things:

• I like tofu. Really, I do. I didn't order it as an implicit rebuke for your burger, or a way of karmically balancing our bill. I just like tofu. It soaks up flavor, is low in fat (so I don't get food comas), and is invariably cheaper. Generous as The American Prospect is, that matters.

• I really like cooking tofu. Much more so than meat. It's clean to handle, doesn't require I scrub my hands in scalding water, and ensures that my inattention and inexperience won't make either of us sick. And, again, it's cheaper, even more so for home use than restaurant consumption. Plus, I make it really, really well. If you're judging my cooking, my comparative advantage almost certainly lies in my skill with soy. I'd be a fool not to display it.

• What's up with the gender politics over dinner? I don't get my masculinity from my plate, I get it by driving my enemies before me, and hearing the lamentations of their women. Do girls get a lot of shit for eating vegetarian? Or is it just us Y chromosomes who people look at like we're slapping on lilac aftershave?

• I'm not judging you. If you think I am, you probably just feel bad about eating meat, and should better reconcile yourself to your culinary choices. The percentage of items on my plate that survived through photosynthesis really has no bearing on the morality of steak.

• Everyone, no matter what they eat, should read Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma.

I don't like food cultism. I don't care what it is, raw food, veganism, low carb, South Beach, it's all variations on bullshit to me. Eat less, eat less fat, eat more fruits and vegetables, drink a LOT less soda, and exercise, which I am slowly working around to, and you'll feel better.

Like the Starbucks girls, they could eat pizza every day and put less calories in their bodies than a mochachino frappe whatever. A lot women/girls claim to be vegeterians as well, when they're doing everything not to eat, like smoking, drinking coffee and eating crappy salads while skipping breakfast. Doesn't mean they forget the ice cream from Cold Stone with the brownies, however.

If young Ezra likes tofu, he's in good company. I have no issue with it, and Jen loves a meatless meal.

Now, to be fair, most guys will mock men endlessly for being a vegeterian. We have a friend who was one in high school, three months in college, he was eating burgers and getting drunk like the rest of us. Hamburgers, with beef. And beer. No, Ezra, girls don't get shit for being a vegeterian, because most of us want to fuck them and eat something else, which is amazingly meat like. But if you're with the boys and start talking up tofu, you will take shit. Which is why young Ezra is so defensive. The boys and some of the girls have been wondering about his manilness.

See, but here's the deal, being a vegeterian is fine. Annoying the shit out of people about it is not. Making people accomodate you is not. It is not good manners to go to thanksgiving dinner and have someone make tofurkey for you or to go on about factory farming at the barbecue. And don't go on about health. I know meat eaters who are trim, rarely drink soda or coffee, and never smoke. And vegeterians who do all three. I mean, if you want to be an asshole and get up on a soap box and lecture people, fine. But that's like telling people how to fuck.

Even among bloggers, I'm sure Stoller and Big Media Matt would tease him over dinner, for a laugh if nothing else. But then Kos is a vegan, which I only know because I've actually talked to our leader in person.

Do I think veganism is silly? Sure, just like low carbs and every other variation. It's an artificial distinction in the way of good eating. Just like the fact that I hate most cheeses and yogurt, because I think it taste like vomit. Is that silly? Sure. Oh, I'm going to eat a pound of bacon and eggs, but bread will kill me. Please. Balance, it is balance which matters.

Anthony Bourdain talks about Charlie Trotter's new raw food cookbook. And while he praises how it was designed, he is deeply offended by how it came about. Trotter's co-author was travelling in Thailand and ran into Woody Harrelson, who told them he was on a raw food diet. Bourdain compared this to the American tourist who never eats outside his hotel in Paris. Pure xenophobia. Given the freshness and the quality of Thai cooking, it was bizzare to do this.

My only real beef with vegeterian eating is this: real meat is better than fake meat. I wonder what chemicals people shove into Boca Burgers and Morningstar to make it meatish. If you want meat once in a while, real meat is probably healthier for you in the end, like butter is over margarine.

Oh, and that a lot of "vegeterian" meals are as badly cooked as can be. I mean, one can make a clever meal with vegetables, if one wants to. But not if one has an agenda. Agenda cooking sucks.

But fuck it, I hate rules when it comes to food. Rules and cultism just bug the shit out of me, Just eat what you want and don't pester me about it.

posted by Steve @ 12:04:00 AM

12:04:00 AM

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Wednesday, August 30, 2006

This makes my brain hurt

Watch for concern trolls

Lieberman, ‘Snakes' and the seductive mythology of the blogosphere

By Bruce Kluger

If ever America needed a wake-up call about the mythology of blogging, we got it this month.

On Aug. 8, Connecticut businessman Ned Lamont defeated U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman in the Democratic primary, a triumph widely credited to the rah-rah racket produced by pro-Lamont armies stationed along the Internet.

Indeed, the bloggers had scored big. They had helped vault a local politician to national prominence and cemented the Iraq war as Issue No. 1 in the congressional elections. Not a bad day.

But their victory was short-lived. Even before the primary, Lieberman announced that, should he lose, he'd still run in November as an independent. This electoral chutzpah effectively rope-a-doped the bloggers and recharged the senator's fabled Joe-mentum. Lieberman's still the man to beat in the general election.

If this wasn't enough to drain the effervescence from the blogger bubbly, America's noisy Web wags were dealt an even more sobering blow 10 days later when Snakes on a Plane opened nationwide to a decidedly flat $15.3 million box office.

Before its premiere, Snakes had been the latest blogger darling, as swarms of online film geeks prematurely crowned it the summer's big sleeper. This hyperventilating fan base even convinced Snakes' distributor, New Line Cinema, to up the movie's rating to R, to ensure a gorier, more venomous snake fest.

And yet, as the scrambling suits at Lamont headquarters and New Line Cinema now know, it's easy to be seduced by one's own hype, especially when that hype is preceded by a “www.” Now it's time to play catch-up ball. Lamont's handlers will have to face a candidate who will surely try to have it both ways on the campaign trail; New Line will have to sell a boatload of popcorn. That's the way the blog bounces.

As an occasional blogger myself, I'm still wary of the phenomenon. On one hand, it can be liberating to log on and spout off, unencumbered by editorial oversight.

On the other hand, as August 2006 clearly demonstrates, bloggers can just as easily get it wrong. That's worth remembering.

First, everyone expected Lieberman to continue running since he said so and no one has stopped anything regarding his campaign. The fact is that Lieberman's campaign, and I did
not think this possible, has gotten worse since the primary. Lamont didn't win because of blogs, Lamont won because he worked the ground game while Lieberman tried to buy his. Now, Lieberman is still losing ground with voters and hasn't made any sign of building a ground team to actually canvas.

Not that the author here knows that.

The Internet doesn't win campaigns. It can only help them. Lamont is smart enough to take advantage of that while Lieberman isn't. Lieberman is losing ground in the polling and will continue to lose ground.

Snakes on a Plane did better than it would have with a traditional campaign, trust me on that. Without Internet support it would have not opened at number one at the end of the summer.

Lieberman is running a shell campaign without the ground team he needs to have any hope of winning. Watch the next series of polling

posted by Steve @ 5:37:00 PM

5:37:00 PM

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This isn't WWII

He's just a plan old fascist, not an

Rumsfeld Says War Critics Haven’t Learned Lessons of History

Published: August 30, 2006

SALT LAKE CITY, Aug. 29 — Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld said Tuesday that critics of the war in Iraq and the campaign against terror groups “seem not to have learned history’s lessons,” and he alluded to those in the 1930’s who advocated appeasing Nazi Germany.

Comparing terrorist groups to a “new type of fascism,” Mr. Rumsfeld said, “With the growing lethality and the increasing availability of weapons, can we truly afford to believe that somehow, some way, vicious extremists can be appeased?”


“This is not an enemy that can be ignored, or negotiated with, or appeased,’’ he said. “And every retreat by civilized nations is an invitation to further violence against us. Men who despise freedom will attack freedom in any part of the world, and so responsible nations have a duty to stay on the offensive, together, to remove this threat.”

Mr. Rumsfeld’s speech on Tuesday did not explicitly mention the Democrats, and he cited only comments by human rights groups and in press reports as evidence of what he described as “moral or intellectual confusion about who or what is right or wrong.”


While he did not directly compare current critics of the war in Iraq to those who sought to appease Hitler, his juxtaposition of the themes led Democrats to say that he was leveling an unfair charge.

Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island, a former Army officer and a Democratic member of the Armed Services Committee, responded that “no one has misread history more” than Mr. Rumsfeld.

“It’s a political rant to cover up his incompetence,” Senator Reed, a longtime critic of Mr. Rumsfeld’s handling of the war, told The Associated Press.

Mr. Reed said there were “scores of patriotic Americans of both parties who are highly critical of his handling of the Department of Defense.

For some reason, the White House wants to call on the spirit and unity of the Second World War without any of it's sacrifices, no rationing, no draft, no restriction on travel, even a refusal to mention the war in any serious way, much less having their families participate in it.

Osama Bin Laden doesn't have Grossdeutschland and 2nd SS Panzer in some cave. He isn't enslaving a continent, he's not sinking the US fleet at Pearl Harbor.

He is not a threat to the stability of the United States. He cannot conquer the US. He is, at most, a threat to US interests. Yet, to beat Osama, the microchip militia and friends want to toss out the consitution and call anyone who questions them appeasers. It isn't us who is hosting Central Asian dictators who boil their opposition alive, or turn our back on repressive regimes or who has built a network of secret prisons.

If this was WWII, Barbara Bush would be in a uniform and not conducting tours of the Cooper-Hewitt Museum. Bush's bodyman would be training at Quantico or Benning for deployment overseas, not going to Harvard B School without the benefit of a BA. Jenna's boyfriends would be in uniform and not drunken louts working for daddy.

It's a pathetic comparison to the national sacrifice of World War II, and the only one which can be made by people who's knowledge of history doesn't go beyond a textbook.

posted by Steve @ 4:36:00 PM

4:36:00 PM

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Yeah, child rape is no big deal

The folks who live here take a dim view
of child molestation. Why not Carlson?

Tucker Carson Thinks There Are Worse Things Than Polygamy And Sexual Assault Of A Minor

Oh, Tucker Carlson. No sooner do you win us over by agreeing to wear very tight spandex on "Dancing With The Stars" and posing for pictures like this than you lose us utterly by endorsing Top Ten Most Wanted Man Warren Steed Jeff's right to enjoy sexual relations with girls aged 13 - 16. Newsbusters has the details:

On his MSNBC show of this afternoon, Tucker was outraged that Jeffs had been placed on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted list:

"His crime was wanting to enter into life-long arrangements with women, or facilitating that between a man and . . . was this guy trying to undermine America, destroy our way of life or murder our citizens? No! What the hell was he doing on the Top Ten list?"

Carlson wouldn't back down even when guests A.B. Stoddard of 'The Hill' newspaper and Republican Frank Donatelli pointed out that Jeffs has been accused of sexual assault on a minor and other crimes.

Alas, Tucker missed the opportunity to refine his position on the Top Ten list ("murder our citizens" is pretty clear cut but the murky "undermine America" and "destroy our way of life" are wide open to debate in this instance). Instead, he tried to make a case for the defense of "the alternate lifestyle that is plural marriage." Democratic strategist Steve McMahon stepped neatly over the hole in Tucker's logic by pointing out that "Pedophilia, Tucker, is not an alternate lifestyle that's recognized anywhere as a legitimate one." Tucker still didn't stop, pointing out in his defense that the "women" were 16 (our quotes, not his). When McMahon pointed out that some of the girls were "as young as thirteen" Tucker still didn't recant, saying "It's a hard-nosed group here today!" Damn, some people are uptight about statutory rape.

This is the second time Tucker has been dangerously glib and cavalier about matters relating to sexual assault; he previously referred to the alleged Duke rape victims as "crypto-hookers." Charming.

I don't know what the fuck Carlson's problem is, but Jeffs was a predator who send hundreds of boys into the street to be homeless so he could keep his mitts on teenage girls. I mean, most of these folks are on welfare, so why didn't that upset him. Oh, they're white.

Alternative lifestyle my ass. It's child molestation. Carlson has four kids, I wonder what he would say if his oldest daughter wound up with a 47 year old boyfriend at 16. Think he'd be that tolerant?

posted by Steve @ 11:44:00 AM

11:44:00 AM

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Benedict Lieberman

The Lieberman Effect

FDL says the following:

When asked about his Connecticut for Lieberman candidacy having a negative effect on Democrats in House races in the state of Connecticut, Turncoat Joe said:

"Well, I guess I should say that they should have thought of that during the primary, but here we are."

Yes, here we are, you odious Turncoat.

Oh, and for all those who have been questioning whether Lieberman is campaigning with Republicans, you can watch Lieberman and Chris Shays campaigning together on video at a rally. Including Chris Shays saying about Lieberman that "we have a national treasure" in him at this public event, while introducing him to the crowd — and then later hugging him on camera (and then getting an admonishment from such PDAs in the future from a skittish Turncoat Joe).

Any questions now?

Memo to Rahm Emmanuel:

Take the hint, Lieberman is going to fuck your candidates over for spite. Petty bastard. Thought this would work out your way, huh? He doesn't give a shit about your House candidates. He just made that crystal clear, buddy.

You need to run him to ground or he will continue to fuck you over.

Lieberman has to be one of the most selfish pols in modern history.

posted by Steve @ 11:31:00 AM

11:31:00 AM

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Post endorses Edwards (MD-4)

For Congress in Maryland
Our choices: two worthy incumbents and one fresh face

Wednesday, August 30, 2006; Page A18

REP. ALBERT R. WYNN has represented Maryland's 4th Congressional District since 1993, and in that time he has never faced a serious challenger. This year, in Donna Edwards , he does. Ms. Edwards, a lawyer and foundation executive with a distinguished record of civic activism, is Mr. Wynn's opponent in the Sept. 12 Democratic primary. Tough, articulate and knowledgeable, she is one of the smartest and most impressive newcomers in Maryland politics.

The 4th District, comprising parts of Prince George's and Montgomery counties, is heavily Democratic, a profile that meshes with Ms. Edwards's long involvement in liberal causes. She has championed a higher minimum wage, campaign finance reform and an array of environmental issues, and she fought for legislation to curtail domestic violence. Locally, she was an ardent opponent of National Harbor, the multibillion-dollar development underway in Prince George's, but she came around to supporting it when she was satisfied that it would include a balance of commercial, entertainment and residential components. Her assent removed one of the project's last major hurdles -- a fact that testifies both to her skill as an advocate and her openness to reasonable compromise.

Ms. Edwards worked for Mr. Wynn as a clerk in the 1980s, when he served in the Maryland House of Delegates. Initially she backed him for Congress, but since then, she says, Mr. Wynn has betrayed the principles that first got him elected. In making that point in a debate with Mr. Wynn this month, she left him out of sorts and on the defensive.

No wonder. As we've noted in the past, Mr. Wynn has often seemed more involved in playing the role of a kingmaker in Prince George's than in his duties in Congress. On key federal issues, he has cast himself as the most bipartisan member of Maryland's congressional delegation. That's great in theory, but too often his votes have been at odds with good government and the interests of his constituents. He has backed the estate tax repeal, a measure that benefits the richest Americans at the expense of the poor and middle class. He supported the Bush administration's energy bill in 2003, offering subsidies to oil and gas companies even as they were headed toward record profits. He has flip-flopped on fuel efficiency standards and opposed campaign finance reform. And he has tried to clear the way for casino gambling in Prince George's. All in all, it is a lackluster record.

On the war in Iraq, Ms. Edwards has scored points by attacking Mr. Wynn as Maryland's Joseph I. Lieberman -- a supporter of the war portrayed as too close to the Bush administration. Mr. Wynn backed the war at the outset, but he has since recanted, saying he was misled by bad intelligence. More to the point of today's debate, both candidates are calling for a U.S. withdrawal, a scenario that we believe would leave chaos in its wake.

Mr. Wynn insists he has been a successful pork-barrel politician; we suspect Ms. Edwards, razor-sharp and relentless, would be at least as effective. We disagree with her on some important issues, but we are convinced she would be the more forceful, principled and effective representative. And while her insurgent candidacy is an uphill battle, it should put Mr. Wynn on notice that voters expect quality representation in Congress, not just a local political boss.

I have not contributed any money this cycle to any race, and will not contribute to any race in Maryland or Virginia. After mocking the hapless and whiny Steele, there's no need to give a Republican or GOP-lite like Wynn any tool to go after their opponents. Therefore, I won't tell anyone to send any of these candidates money.

However, if people want to get involved in her campaign, this is her website

posted by Steve @ 10:39:00 AM

10:39:00 AM

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Oh my God

Iraqi Hospitals Are War's New 'Killing Fields'
Medical Sites Targeted By Shiite Militiamen

By Amit R. Paley
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, August 30, 2006; Page A01

BAGHDAD -- In a city with few real refuges from sectarian violence -- not government offices, not military bases, not even mosques -- one place always emerged as a safe haven: hospitals.

So Mounthir Abbas Saud, whose right arm and jaw were ripped off when a car bomb exploded six months ago, must have thought the worst was over when he arrived at Ibn al-Nafis Hospital, a major medical center here.

Instead, it had just begun. A few days into his recovery at the facility, armed Shiite Muslim militiamen dragged the 43-year-old Sunni mason down the hallway floor, snapping intravenous needles and a breathing tube out of his body, and later riddled his body with bullets, family members said.

Authorities say it was not an isolated incident. In Baghdad these days, not even the hospitals are safe. In growing numbers, sick and wounded Sunnis have been abducted from public hospitals operated by Iraq's Shiite-run Health Ministry and later killed, according to patients, families of victims, doctors and government officials.

As a result, more and more Iraqis are avoiding hospitals, making it even harder to preserve life in a city where death is seemingly everywhere. Gunshot victims are now being treated by nurses in makeshift emergency rooms set up in homes. Women giving birth are smuggled out of Baghdad and into clinics in safer provinces.

But it's not a civil war

posted by Steve @ 10:35:00 AM

10:35:00 AM

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The paper parent

(Bridget Brown/ Bangor Daily News via Associated Press)
Logan, 3, and Justin Holbrook, 14, rode to dinner
with the life-size cutout of their father, Lieutenant
Colonel Randall Holbrook, a Maine National Guardsman
from Hermon, Maine.

Guard families cope in two dimensions

`Flat Daddy' cutouts ease longing

By Brian MacQuarrie, Globe Staff | August 30, 2006

Maine National Guard members in Iraq and Afghanistan are never far from the thoughts of their loved ones.

But now, thanks to a popular family-support program, they're even closer.

Welcome to the ``Flat Daddy" and ``Flat Mommy" phenomenon, in which life-size cutouts of deployed service members are given by the Maine National Guard to spouses, children, and relatives back home.

The Flat Daddies ride in cars, sit at the dinner table, visit the dentist, and even are brought to confession, according to their significant others on the home front.

``I prop him up in a chair, or sometimes put him on the couch and cover him up with a blanket," said Kay Judkins of Caribou, whose husband, Jim, is a minesweeper mechanic in Afghanistan. ``The cat will curl up on the blanket, and it looks kind of weird. I've tricked several people by that. They think he's home again."

At the request of relatives, about 200 Flat Daddy and Flat Mommy photos have been enlarged and printed at the state National Guard headquarters in Augusta. The families cut out the photos, which show the Guard members from the waist up, and glue them to a $2 piece of foam board.

Sergeant First Class Barbara Claudel, the state family-support director who began the program, said the response from Guard families has been giddily enthusiastic.

It's ok to read this and cry, right?

posted by Steve @ 10:06:00 AM

10:06:00 AM

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Every mic is live

Poor Kyra

As many reasons as I've had to criticize Kyra Phillips over the years I actually imagine she's probably an ok person, so I do feel a bit bad that her family life has just gone from zero to nightmare in 30 seconds...

``Live From'' anchor Kyra Phillips had apparently left the set around 12:48 p.m. EDT Tuesday for a bathroom break while the news channel carried Bush's speech marking the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Phillips' wireless microphone was turned on and picked up about a minute and a half of a muffled conversation she had with an unidentified woman where she apparently talked about her husband, laughed and talked about her brother.

``I've got to be protective of him,'' she said without being aware that the mic was on. ``He's married, three kids, and his wife is just a control freak.'' CNN anchor Daryn Kagan broke into the telecast immediately afterward updating viewers on what Bush had been saying.

Well, she said nice things about her husband.

You know, I think it's pretty clear to most people when someone doesn't like them. While humiliating, it's hardly a shock. Or it could be a kick ass family fight.

posted by Steve @ 1:42:00 AM

1:42:00 AM

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Pigs in blankets


The Kings of the Cocktail Hour Once Again

Published: August 30, 2006

PIGS in blankets? “They’re back with a vengeance!” said Sean Driscoll, an owner of the silver-tray catering company Glorious Food in Manhattan. Though they never disappeared from the bar mitzvah circuit (where they are often called franks in jackets, the way Katz’s Delicatessen, being kosher, labels them), they had been disparaged as a cliché for too many years. The classiest caterers kept their distance.

But now you can forget caviar and sushi. Without pigs in blankets, it seems, no black tie cocktail hour is complete. They are more than acceptable; they are again being seen for what they are: perfect finger food, delicious and surrounded by the same aura of affection enjoyed by all comfort foods.

Mr. Driscoll’s company served them in June for a formal garden party at the Museum of Modern Art and for 4,000 people at the Robin Hood Foundation benefit. Waiters passed them in July at a party for the Parrish Art Museum in Southampton, N.Y.

“They’re acceptable guilt food,” he said. “They’re not like buying a hot dog from a street vendor, and besides, the pastry is a good blotter for alcohol.”

Helene Cisek, the catering director for Eli’s Vinegar Factory, said that pigs in blankets are always the first things to be “gobbled up” and that for catered parties they always plan to have extras on hand.

Sometimes the blanket itself is more like a fine quilt. The franks might be tucked into flaky puff pastry by establishments like Daniel Boulud’s Restaurant Daniel, and his catering company, Feast & Fêtes. At Daniel, guests can pluck pigs in blankets from an elaborate puff pastry dome that is fitted with holes to hold the tidbits.

Marcy Blum, a wedding and party planner, said they had become essential at parties again, like at the black tie wedding last week at Cipriani Wall Street.

And Serena Bass, the English caterer, said: “We might be talking about hors d’oeuvres made of quail and moulard duck breast something or other, and the client will clutch her neck and ask, almost sotto voce, whether they could possibly have pigs in blankets. It’s almost embarrassing because it’s all anybody wants. We literally serve them all the time.”

Ms. Bass makes hers with kosher cocktail franks, dusts the puff pastry with poppy seeds and varies the standard pot of Gulden’s mustard with dips like quince paste and homemade barbecue sauce. They were on the menu for a house party she catered for Microsoft last week in the Hamptons.

A few weeks ago they were even served at a reception after a memorial service for a member of the board at Lincoln Center. “The family requested them because the deceased loved them,” said José Fong, the director of catering for Restaurant Associates, which handled the event.

Because some still see them as trite, variations can make the difference. Nisa Lee, a caterer in Pelham, N.Y., who specializes in Thai, Moroccan and other international cuisines, said she liked to put a modern spin on them by using duck sausage, chorizo and andouille and by wrapping them in phyllo or wonton skins. “They’re a big hit, no matter what,” she said.

The concept of pigs in blankets, that is, sausage meat in pastry, is familiar, in one form or another, in many cuisines. Saucisson en croûte in France, toad in the hole in England and even pot stickers in China and empanadas in Argentina are examples. They are close cousins to American pretzel dogs and corn dogs. Some say the American version originated in the South, where they are usually wrapped in biscuit dough.

One more sign of their popularity is that Dufour Pastry Kitchens, which has been in business for 21 years making and selling frozen hors d’oeuvres in all-butter puff pastry, will add pigs in blankets to the line. The company never used meat products before.

One summer, when I went up to see my sister, I had to fix lunch. Now, fixing lunch for kids is no mean trick. Read the New Yorker to see. Vegeterian curry isn't gonna cut it. So my sister had hotdogs, a can of dinner rolls, beans and a working oven.

So I cooked the franks, let them cool off, wrapped them in dough and baked them. They loved them. I simply didn't have any idea of what they would eat, so I told them what this was, fixed it, and they loved it. Well, my niece didn't like the beans that went with it, but they both ate the pigs in a blanket.

I think it's a great kid food with good portion control and can even make things like tofu franks palatable, with some mustard, of course. I think the commercial version tends to be greasy. If it was something I was making, I'd probably go with pork sausage or kielbasa, and I'd make them a little bigger.

As appetizers go, I really like mini quiche and stuffed mushrooms as well.

posted by Steve @ 12:58:00 AM

12:58:00 AM

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Conservatives hate soldiers

Julie Ann Catherine Mason, wife of Master Corporal
Jeffrey Scott Walsh and holding their seven-month-old
son Benjamin, is consoled by members of the armed
forces as she gets into her limo after a repatriation
ceremony at the Canadian Forces Base Trenton
August 12, 2006. Walsh was killed in what is believed
to be a friendly-fire gun accident after arriving in
Afghanistan only six days earlier.

This was sent my way from the Galloping Beaver, from the Great Wooded North.

You want support? Earn it.

I don't normally pay attention to this kind of blather, but this particular post deserves some treatment considering certain portions are intentionally deceiving.

First, the title. The shrill beaver. Apparently the author doesn't accept that questioning those in power is reasonable.

Then this:

Can a beaver run with it’s tail between it’s legs?
A clear indication that the author thinks this post contains a suggestion that Canada withdraw its military forces from Afghanistan.

There is no such suggestion in that post. My suggestion is that Harper keeps touting "Canadian values" as the reason for being in Afghanistan and I'm not buying that line of bullshit.

The author is directed, in comments, to prior posts at TGB which point out that his basic premise is seriously flawed. He then goes on to suggest that he has difficulty reconciling any support I might have for the Afghanistan mission with what I've written.

He wants me to put in print something like this: "I, without reservation, support the Canadian military mission in Afghanistan."

Except that, I don't. My support comes with serious reservations, not the least of which is that I expect Harper to behave with a great deal more honesty. And, I have one other very good reason for questioning a committment of troops to combat.

I absolutely despise war.

I have a good reason for that too. Unlike the microchip militia, who cheerlead the use of military force without qualification, I've been exposed to war and combat - up close and personal - more than once. I've got a chestful of useless gongs and some permanent shrapnel wounds to remind me of days which I would rather have missed in my life.

I've experienced the exhilaration of close-quarters battle and the years of remorse that follow because I had no choice but to kill the teenage soldiers in the fire-pit to my front.

I've been beside a good man, a highly competent marine, who suddenly dropped like a bag of shit while I got splattered with flesh and blood. The movies make it look so much more dramatic and heroic than it really is. The truth is just a bloody, fucking mess.

I've been on the right flank of a patrol when the man on point stepped on a landmine. And all we could do was watch as he lay there screaming, his viscera splayed over the ground, the lower half of his body gone. He lived for over five minutes while the medic did a drill on him - with morphine auto-injectors. It ended with a colour sergeant screaming, "FUCK! FUCK! FUCK!" because he had been unable to protect a good man.

I've watched kids die. It ends everything. Their personalities cease to be a part of the team; their humour stops; their dreams end; and, their death affects a hundred other people - permanently.

I've had to call fire down on my own position while I watched my men nod. They knew, as I did, that there was little chance we would get out of it alive, much less unscathed. It was necessary at the time and the cost of that act is paid for in year after year of nightmares.

I have a direct and long-service association with both British and Canadian militaries. I have an affinity for the people who serve in those militaries and I have an interest in how they are committed. My interest is in their welfare, how they're led and how safe they are. Whether anyone likes to admit it or not, they are kids on an adventure. They won't come home that way.

I'm not "anti-war". I am, however, highly skeptical whenever troops are committed to combat. I expect that the real reasons for going to war will be clearly enunciated by the politicians who continue to live in comfort and convenience while others suffer and die.

To provide unreserved support for the Afghanistan mission is not only stupid, it is irresponsible. And, it is not contingent upon me to provide alternatives to the decisions of the self-styled warrior class, those who are prepared to waste lives while not risking theirs, be they prime ministers, presidents or keyboard commandos.

I will question everything about the Afghanistan mission. My support comes only when I receive rational, truthful answers. The canned rhetorical responses of the politicians serve only to cause my skepticism to increase. The fact that the initial assault on Afghanistan was a total cock-up and the US definition of "reconstruction" doesn't seem to carry with it any form of accountability only fuels my desire to question the whole thing.

And as for this:

It’s difficult to reconcile his support for the mission and his experience with his post(s). I’ll take your word for it
Please, don't waste your fucking time. Your opinion doesn't matter to me.

It is an unfortunate fact of life that most Canadians, after reading of another soldier killed in Afghanistan, ponder whether to return their empty beer bottles or shine up the motorcycle. Almost no one considers that there are 27 Canadians who can never entertain such mundane thoughts because they were blown away in a mission that appears to lack long-term definition and has gone on longer than the US involvement in World War II.

Shrill? If you say so, pencil-neck. Just think. You could have used churlish.

You're welcome to yomp a mile in my old combat boots. On second thought, make that 50 yards. There's little point in continuing once the laughter starts.

This was the comment I left behind

KevinG ,

Go enlist and volunteer for Afghanistan if you support the mission so much. Because you simply need to shut your fucking mouth and listen to this man and his experiences. You've never had them, so you don't have ANY FUCKING IDEA what he's talking about.

You don't have to agree, but some respect is in order

There are things people lie about, and things they don't. Nightmares and watching friends die usually isn't one of them among the sane. The turd giving him a hard time has no idea what watching people die, and even worse, watching their families, is like. There is nothing worse than watching the hope drain from someone's face as they realize they've lost someone.

God, I'd love to take some chiclenhawks to a VA hospital

posted by Steve @ 12:52:00 AM

12:52:00 AM

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Payday loans

His pay isn't enough

Guard soldiers from deadly fiscal warfare

Soldiers defending our nation are fighting a two-front war. There's the well-known battle against foreign enemies like Al Qaeda. And now there's a domestic fight against companies that have targeted military personnel for payday loans at interest rates that typically exceed 400% and can run as high as 2,000%. A mounting body of evidence, including a report released by the Pentagon this month, shows that these legalized loansharks are damaging America's armed forces by driving thousands of soldiers, sailors and airmen - as well as their families - into acute, crushing debt and even bankruptcy.

It's long past time for Congress to pass a strong law prohibiting the financial exploitation of America's defenders.

An estimated 22,000 companies nationwide offer payday loans or other short-term credit, typically a short-term advance on a borrower's paycheck. Many of the companies are based in states like South Dakota and Delaware that have no usury cap and can charge whatever interest rate they like, typically $15 per $100 borrowed.

That's more than 400% a year, according to the Center for Responsible Lending, a consumer rights organization.

More than 90% of the time, those who take out payday loans roll the debt over into at least five loans, typically paying $834 for a $339 loan, according to the Pentagon study.

As the war in Iraq swelled the ranks of the military in recent years, payday lenders have flocked like vultures to stateside bases, advertising wonderful-sounding "patriot" or "stars and stripes" loans to military personnel, who by definition tend to be solid citizens who can't skip town but are strapped for cash. A typical Army private first class makes only $17,000 a year, and statistics show soldiers are three times more likely to take payday loans than civilians

That's a good start, but Congress and the Pentagon also need to raise military wages. Trying to live on near-poverty wages is how between 7% and 20% of all soldiers - an estimated 100,000 at a minimum - fall into the debt trap. And all this high-cost borrowing takes a heavy toll on the nation's strength: Under military rules, soldiers in deep debt lose their security clearance and can't be deployed overseas. That happened to 5,400 sailors and Marines in a single fiscal year, according to Sen. Jim Talent of Missouri.

"If a sailor has lost control of his financial health, he has lost the ability to deploy. If he cannot deploy, military readiness is impacted," says Rear Adm. Len Hering, who commands all Navy bases in California. The Pentagon study similarly concluded that "predatory lending undermines military readiness, harms the morale of troops and their families and adds to the cost of fielding an all-volunteer fighting force."

Our nation would surely go to war with an external foe brazen enough to target and weaken 100,000 active-duty soldiers. Our nation's leaders should be no less merciless at naming, and publicly condemning, the companies victimizing American troops and their families.

Considering half of all soldiers have dependents this is no small issue.

posted by Steve @ 12:46:00 AM

12:46:00 AM

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Marching with the suit and tie Klan

VA-Sen: Allen and his racist hate group friend
by kos

The more you learn about Allen, the more his dark side emerges.

Only a decade ago, as governor of Virginia, Allen personally initiated an association with the Council of Conservative Citizens, the successor organization to the segregationist White Citizens Council and among the largest white supremacist groups.

...After speaking with CCC founder and former White Citizens Council organizer Gordon Lee Baum and two of his cohorts, Allen suggested that they pose for a photograph with then-National Rifle Association spokesman and actor Charlton Heston. The photo appeared in the Summer 1996 issue of the CCC's newsletter, the Citizens Informer.

According to Baum, Allen had not naively stumbled into a chance meeting with unfamiliar people. He knew exactly who and what the CCC was about and, from Baum's point of view, was engaged in a straightforward political transaction. "It helped us as much as it helped him," Baum told me. "We got our bona fides." And so did Allen.

Descended from the White Citizens' Councils...the CCC is designated a "hate group" by the Southern Poverty Law Center. In its "Statement of Principles," the CCC declares, "We also oppose all efforts to mix the races of mankind, to promote non-white races over the European-American people through so-called "affirmative action" and similar measures, to destroy or denigrate the European-American heritage, including the heritage of the Southern people, and to force the integration of the races."

Lowell at Raising Kaine dug up some quotes that illustrate what, exactly, the CCC and their good friend Allen are all about.

*"Each of the three major races plays a distinct role in history. . . . The whites were the creators of civilization, the yellows its sustainers and copyists, the blacks its destroyers." (, 12/98)

*Abraham Lincoln was "surely the most evil American in history," and Martin Luther King was a "depraved miscreant." (, 12/98)

*"The Jews' motto is 'never forget, and never forgive.' One can't agree with the way they've turned spite into welfare billions for themselves, but the 'never forget' part is very sound." (Citizens Informer, Winter/97)

*"The presence [in Congress] of even one white person with our interests foremost in his mind is simply unacceptable to the issues-obsessed conservative race traitors. Texas Governor George Bush and his brother Jeb in Florida have manifested their self-hatred by embracing Hispanics ahead of whites. Somehow we must find a way to relieve whites of their self-hatred." ("Open Letter to White People,", 12/98)]

These are Allen's allies, and it's why it's so important to get rid of Sen. Felix Macaca. Politics matters, and we have a duty and responsibility to help cleanse our government of those who might be wearing hoods were it 50 years ago.

50? No, more like today, if they could get away with it. Do they know Felix is a half
Sephardic Jew with a mom from Tunisia?

Oh yeah.......

Gordon Baum, the CCC Chair standing with Allen, had a radio show called Right at Night. His co-host was Earl Holt, the local CCC Kleagle. Here's a letter Earl sent to Archpundit

Hey Commie:

Imagine my chagrin when I used a search engine to find commentary about myself, and there was your shallow, dilettante, asshole self, labeling me a "white supremacist."

Being the shallow, nigger-loving dilettante that you are, you probably DO consider niggers to be your equal (who am I to question this?): Yet, unlike you and your allies, I have an I.Q. in excess of 130, which grants me the ability to objectively evaluate the Great American Nigro (Africanus Criminalis.)

The nigro is 11.5 % of the U.S. population, yet he commits in excess of 55% of all felonies (although felonies are UNDER-represented in the nigro community, where observing the law is considered "acting White!") Moreover, he (or should I say she?)accounts for 48% of all ADC recipients in the U.S. We have spent over $7 TRILLION on "Urban Welfare Spending" since the mid-1960s, (black economists Thomas Sowell & Walter Williams) and the nigro is still as criminal, surly, lazy , violent and stupid as he/she ever was, while his illegitimacy rate is 80% nationwide, and over 90% in the "large urban areas."

By the way, those of us who tried to end forced busing in St. Louis did so because it is a colossal waste and nothing more than a symbolic gesture that has seriously deprived every school district in Missouri that doesn't benefit from a deseg program : It has cost the state of Missouri $3.5 BILLION since 1983, (another $3.5 Billion in Kansas City,) yet, the nigro "scholars" bussed to county schools under deseg "improve less academically than every other category of student in the St. Louis Public Schools," according to the Federal Court- ordered Lissitz Study.

Also, you lying asshole, in the 2003-2004 school year, St. Louis spent $11,711 per nigger -idiot in the public schools, yet, half of all students test at the 20th percentile (or lower) on nationally-standardized tests. (If I were Emperor, I would forcibly hand over you and all your commie apologists for nigro under-achievement to White, working-class parents of public school students, and let them have their way with you...)

Some day, You sanctimonious nigger-lovers will either have to live amongst them ("nothing cures an enthusiasm for integration like a good dose of niggers") or else defend yourselves against them. My guess is that you are such a cowardly and pusillanimous lot of girly-boys, they will kill fuck, kill and eat you just as they do young White males in every prison system in the U.S. That's right: When defending this savage and brutish lot, you must also consider their natural ( or should I say UN-natural) enthusiasm for buggery!

I honestly pray to God that some nigger fucks, kills and eats you and everyone you claim to love!

Earl P. Holt III
4029 Shaw Blvd.
St. Louis, MO
I have an IQ over 130, so I must be smarter than him.

Senator Allen sure does have some interesting friends.

posted by Steve @ 12:34:00 AM

12:34:00 AM

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Stop running, start fighting

Firedoglake has this up

Jennifer Lawless is running for the House in Rhode Island against agressively anti-choice candidate Jim Langevin. As Matt Stoller points out, her ad is terrific, exactly the kind of unapologetic ad a pro-choice candidate should be running in a blue state where pro-choice matters. It’s emotional, hard-hitting, it has authority and she picks a fight. She comes off as sensible, no-nonsense, and standing for something. Major, major kudos to her campaign for its messaging and the ad’s creators; it really works.

On the other end of the spectrum there’s NARAL, who are launching their own campaign to elect pro-choice candidates in the fall. Which is great, we wholeheartedly approve. On their info page regarding "what you can do about it," they call to "block anti-choice justices," and "elect pro-choice Senate candidates in 2006 who can help block anti-choice Supreme Court nominees." Fabulous. But do they mean Senate candidates Lincoln Chafee and Joe Lieberman, both of whom have NARAL’s endorsement, who both voted for cloture on Samuel Alito? Does this pass anyone’s smell test?

As a side note, long-term visitors to this site will remember that our Lamont/Lieberman and Chafee coverage began during the fight against Alito when the Gang of 14 announced it would vote for confirmation. I called NARAL that day and asked if they were going to pull Chafee’s endorsement as a result of his cloture vote. Many will recall we were told that NARAL did not consider a cloture vote to be "significant," and when I raised an objection to this I was told that someone would get back to me. Nobody ever did.

Recently I learned that they have pointedly never called back, assuming that I would just go away.

Na. Ga. Na. Ha. Pa.

posted by Steve @ 12:30:00 AM

12:30:00 AM

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Ever wonder why Dem consultant ads suck? Well, this was done by Josh Isay. Doesn't it want to make you hose down and scrub yourself?

posted by Steve @ 12:22:00 AM

12:22:00 AM

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Giuliani's legacy

Hey, I didn't change everything Giuliani

Judge Orders New York to Stop Denying Food Stamps and Other Aid to Battered Immigrants

Published: August 30, 2006

A federal judge yesterday ordered the city to stop illegally denying food stamps and other aid to battered immigrant women and children and to overhaul the error-plagued computer programs and training manuals that continue to lead welfare workers to turn them away.

The judge determined that high-level city policymakers had long been aware of the systemic problems, but did little or nothing to fix them until a group of battered women filed a lawsuit late last year. As a result, if the city and state continue to fight the lawsuit, the judge said, he will be highly likely to find them liable for “deliberate indifference” to violations of the plaintiffs’ federal and state rights.

It is not the policy of the United States, nor of the State of New York, to leave destitute the battered immigrant wives and children of lawful U.S. residents just because their abusive husbands are no longer supporting them or providing them with a basis for obtaining aid,” the judge, Jed S. Rakoff of United States District Court in Manhattan, wrote in his 83-page decision. He certified the lawsuit as a class action and issued a preliminary injunction against the city and state.

The judge commended the city for fixing some of the problems since February, when he issued a partial injunction and held nine days of hearings in the case. But he added that problems persisted because of inadequate training, poor computer design and faulty directives.

“The simple truth, moreover, is that the ameliorative actions now taken by the city and state defendants would not likely have been taken if this lawsuit had not been brought and had the court not issued its initial injunction,” he wrote.

After welfare reform, Giuliani made it much harder to get food stamps and other government services. Bloomberg has only made changes under court order, like this.

posted by Steve @ 12:10:00 AM

12:10:00 AM

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Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Happy Anniversary

New Orleans, August 29-September 2, 2005

Not New Orleans August 29, 2005

posted by Steve @ 11:01:00 AM

11:01:00 AM

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The end of the Iraq war

Hey, my kids are safe

Atrios posted this up

Magical Thinking

Dionne writes:

The Republicans' restiveness suggests that Bush may not be able to stick with his current Iraq policy through Election Day. Even if he does, he will come under heavy pressure from his own party after Nov. 7 to pursue a demonstrably more effective strategy -- or to begin pulling American forces out.

But he won't. There won't be a more effective strategy. And forces won't be pulled out.

This has been made clear over and over again. I don't know why people refuse to listen.

Here's where I disagree. Armies are physical beings. At some point within the next six months, there won't be an Army to deploy to Iraq. Three tours is about it. Afterwards, people start to think of quitting. Sure, you can send more Guard units, but they aren't the Regular Army. The recruits now, kids from youth prisons, kids with records, gang members, 40 year old women running from their responsibilities would have been politely shown the door at any time before March 2003.

The only possible solution is a draft, and no one is sending the Duke class of 2008 to die in the sandbox. Just isn't happening. In an era where kids wear helmets to go ice skating and even in peacetime parents oppose enlistment, who would vote for a draft?

So we face a conundrum. And Bush will handle it as he always has, by running. One day, Dick Cheney will be told he is a very sick man, with not much time and that the only way to save his life is to leave the WH. Bush will sadly agree, and pick someone else for them job. No, not Condi Rice. Maybe McCain. maybe Hegel, someone who is palatable.

Then, after a few weeks, when it is clear that the Iraq war is over, Bush, too, will be found to be near collapse, and Iraq will be President Hegel's job. And he will be the one to end the war

When Bush says this will be another president's problem, he is probably right. Only thing is, we're probably not talking 2009.

posted by Steve @ 8:57:00 AM

8:57:00 AM

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Since there was some confusion..................

Look, mom a concern troll, Isn't it cute?

I think this needs to be explained. It seems that Bill Beutler, late of Hotline is concerned about EccoDitto.

Last Wednesday at Hotline’s On Call blog, Marc Ambinder and Shira Toeplitz dropped a bombshell on the Democratic netroots the likes unseen since Jerome Armstrong was revealed a stock tout in a past life: Nicco Mele, the web strategist second only to Joe Trippi in credit received for Howard Dean’s 2004 presidential run, has been informally advising 2008 presidential candidate John McCain. Not to get too pedantic, but Dean is an anti-war Democrat and McCain is a pro-war Republican. Mele’s McCain affinity seems largely based on his efforts, however symbolic, to get money out of politics.

After Dean, Mele went on to found the Democratic-oriented website building firm EchoDitto, which has built a solid reputation for itself. This revelation, however, is causing trouble not just for consultant Mele himself but for his consulting firm as well. And as we’ll get to below, some snap judgments about the announcement have yet to be revised.

Soon after the news broke, and while the leftosphere was scrambling to react, Mele confirmed at his own sporadically-updated blog:

While I currently don’t know what role I’d like to have in 2008, if Sen. McCain runs I hope to be helpful. This is a personal decision for me based on my own first-hand experience. I like Sen. McCain - I think he should be president!

Make no mistake about it — this is conduct unbecoming of a progressive blogger. In one comment section at Daily Kos, he got nicked “Anakin Mele,” and despite emphatic statements that he is not on the McCain payroll, more than a few assumed he’d been bought off.

But among bloggers who know Mele personally, fellow Dean alum Rick Klau stood up for him and identified as a concerned friend:

To those who’ve suggested he’s abandoned his principles to support John McCain, you couldn’t be further from the truth. Misguided? Maybe. A sell-out? No way.

Anonyblogger Vermonter noted in an entry cross-posted on more than one lefty blog that the original Deaniacs weren’t always motivated by partisanship:

One of the things that most people wouldn’t know is that quite a few of the main Dean web people were not at all sharply partisan about Dean and would often say favorable things about his opponents. And had very nuanced opinions about a number of topics. Meaning, well, they were very reasonable, non-dogmatic people. But, McCain, Nicco? Really?

Vermont NPR commentator Philip Baruth saw it as the “latest sign of the netroots migrating” rightward, conflating the episode with former Kerry hand Peter Daou going to work for Hillary Clinton — hardly a move of the same order, especially as Hillary has begun inching away from the Lieberman/Bush position on Iraq.

Most consequentially, however, lead Kossack Markos Moulitsas revealed in his take nothing we didn’t know already, namely that he can’t be friends with people whose political beliefs he doesn’t share:

I used to consider Nicco Mele, a top former Dean webhand, a friend until his rabid desire for regulating the blogosphere led me to write him off.

And he didn’t call for anything he hasn’t called for before, namely Mele’s exile from the left, which MoveOn’s Zack Exley proposed (in another dKos diary) in a considerably more thoughtful manner:

McCain has a credible chance of convincing large numbers of uninformed liberals that he is compatible with a progressive agenda. What he’s got going for him is his association with campaign finance reform, and a personal demeanor full of cultural liberal signifiers. … If he can swing a handful of defections of high-profile progressives, then he’s got a real chance of adding the phrase “McCain Democrats” to the lexicon in ‘08. … Democratic consultants and figureheads need to know that going off to work for McCain means losing their place in the rising Democratic tide.

It’s certainly an appropriate strategy; in national politics, you can switch allegiances exactly once, and as Mele is finding out, even that comes at a price. Of course, if McCain wins the presidency, McCain Democrats won’t be wanting for work. And even if McCain loses, there are worse fates than taking on corporate accounts.

But Kos went further, giving the impression that EchoDitto itself had a material connection to the campaign, because the “expertise and intelligence he is gathering from the following clients can and will end up as part of the McCain arsenal in 2008.” No one can argue with this excerpt, but it implies no organizational responsibility on the part of EchoDitto. The firm’s initial public statement was inadequate, but nevertheless made clear it would have no part in a Republican campaign.

If EchoDitto had remained silent, he might’ve had a point. But I’m still waiting for Kos and a host of others to acknowledge that one evening later EchoDitto New York dir. Harish Rao announced that Mele was stepping aside as CEO:

Nicco’s recent post about his support for Senator John McCain has caused quite a lot of ruckus. We at EchoDitto disagree with his decision. While Nicco does not work for Senator McCain, his support for a possible McCain candidacy runs contrary to many of our core beliefs at EchoDitto. … Everyone in this world has to follow their own heart. Nicco has agreed to, effective immediately, take a leave of absence from our company. We hope he takes some time to re-consider his position. I am assuming Nicco’s responsibilities for the duration of his leave of absence.

Somehow, I expect Rao will be losing the modifier from his “interim CEO” title before long.

Yet the Kos-imposed embargo remains in place. And so does the one from Steve Gilliard. More suprisingly — at least based on my own impression — so does the one from DavidNYC at Swing State Project, and he’d even allowed that the perfect solution would be for McCain Mele to go.

All of which provides an interesting coda to the offensive ally renouncement wars (we really need a better name for that phenomenon) earlier this summer. It is surely too much to ask that bloggers distance themselves from every awful thing said by someone on their own side. But is it really too much to ask that they unrenounce after the key circumstances have changed? As renunciation warrior Glenn Greenwald once memorably asked, when does the “self-correcting” blogosphere start to self-correct?

Update: DavidNYC follows up, and asks some good questions that didn’t occur to me:

I recognize that political consulting isn’t bound by the same rules of professional responsibility, though perhaps it ought to be. So does this leave of absence satisfy me? I can’t say that it does, in part because we haven’t been told what it means. Does Nicco still have access to firm resources? To client information? Is he still drawing a salary or otherwise receiving money from the firm?

If Nicco straight-out left the firm, these questions wouldn’t exist. But even if EchoDitto answered them, I’d still be unsatisfied. How long will this leave last? Until Nicco changes his mind and admits his grave mistake? Until the end of the presidential election? Hell, what if - heaven forbid - McCain wins? Do we give Nicco a four-year or eight-year extension? And what if Nicco does come back - and then says he wants to support another Republican? What do we do then?

In an email to me this afternoon, DavidNYC pointed out that considering the degree of controversy, EchoDitto should have contacted its critics to alert them to Nicco’s leave of absence, something it apparently has not done. And as I said earlier, I don’t think Mele’s time with EchoDitto has long to go; they’ve revised their position once already, and I’d bet another is coming. If they don’t do this within another week or two, however, I think their critics would be correct.

I'll say publically what I've been saying privately.

First, fuck Beutler and his concern. I wonder what he would say if a GOP company did work for Lamont? These guys took partisanship and turned it into near treason. He can act all concerned about this because he knows on his side of aisle, the company would be hemmoraging clients as I write this. Bush is a fanatic for loyalty and Karl Rove doesn't bullshit with that either.

Until he severes all ties to his company, progressives would be foolish to give them more work. A lot of Ecco Ditto's clients raise their money from contributions. How can they raise money from progressives and fund McCain's web guy? Did he sever all ties from the company? No? Then fuck his leave of absence.

I don't care about him working for McCain. But man up and cross the aisle, don't play us for fools and say "well, I'll be away for a couple of months or a year" but still make my company rich.

Look, the people they get money from are sick of being stabbed in the back by people who say one thing and do something else. They don't have to pay for that, or someone's conscience. They support progressive causes, and a company which seeks to serve those causes either need to do so or cut the bullshit. How many Dem officials and pundits have been gutted for far less than this? You can't have two sets of morals.

Let me explain something else: the GOP web game sucks. Their blogs can't raise money or organize, they can't help their candidates and they have never come close to running a web based campaign like Hackett or Schrader. Even Webb benefitted from the web in a way NO GOP candidate has.

Look at the Laffey campaign, if the DSCC had pulled that shit, hell would have broken loose. But all Wal Mart Mike can do is whine.

So when people wonder what Mele is bringing to McCain, you can see it in Ecco Ditto's client list. And that is an issue to a lot of people.

Now, I'm not saying his belief isn't genuine, but he sold his company on the basis of shared ideological belief. Well, now the hand is being called. You sold yourself to us this way and we're gonna hold you to it.

posted by Steve @ 1:24:00 AM

1:24:00 AM

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