Sunday, May 24, 2009

Those Republicans still proud of their RNC please say "I"...?

Last we heard the RNC wanted to rename the Democratic Party the "Democrat Socialist Party" (but after getting much-deserved grief over, by no less than Fox News' Cavuto, the RNC abandoned the idea). Now we see they've turned their attention to Nancy Pelosi, stoking the sexism angle, comparing her to Hollywood starlets and in particular a James Bond girl, Pussy Galore from the movie Goldfinger.

Never mind that regardless of who's telling the truth, Pelosi or the CIA, the fact remains she had no authority over actually authorizing the torture, the illegal acts, the war crimes, to begin with. That fell with, remained with the administration in charge.

Don't you just love the way the RNC will wag that dog, shift the focus, "hey, look over here -- no, not there, here!" Anything to get the attention off the so many wrongs committed by there side.

But to sink beyond zero, Pussy Galore, "botox withdrawal" (from a former Oxy abuser, no less)... Just when you thought they've bottomed out, they go one level lower.
"Cheney's public relations tour sparks criticism"

No surprises here. Apart from the fact he's out there flailing about in hopes of winning over at least some public opinion, but more so some possible future jurists, what we're seeing now is what we've known all along: who was really running the country from 2001-2008? Me thinks not Junior. You have Cheney now attempting to protect and defend his legacy (ass?), not necessarily their legacy.

That said the Dark Lord remains one scary psychopath.

Friday, May 22, 2009

More proof that financial companies own Congress and that the affluent in this country continue to benefit from legislation versus average Americans:
During negotiations last week over the contentious loan-modification amendment, banks did win some concessions from Democratic lawmakers.

“We gave [the banks] extraordinary leeway in terms of deciding whether a person could raise this in bankruptcy court,” says Senate majority whip Richard Durbin (D) of Illinois, who led the negotiations.

These included requiring that homeowners try to renegotiate terms with the bank at least 45 days in advance of seeking relief in the courts, limiting the kinds of mortgages to be covered by bankruptcy reform, and precluding homeowners from going forward in bankruptcy if the mortgage lender made a good-faith offer of renegotiation.

In the end, though, the sweeteners were not enough to win the industry’s support for the amendment. “We added all these things at the request of the banking institutions, and they said: ‘Fine, we leave. We’re not part of this.’ They walked away,” Senator Durbin says.

Courts are already allowed to write down the terms of loans on secondary homes, yachts, and other big-ticket items involved in bankruptcy proceedings, but not on an individual’s primary residence.
The failed amendment would have given judges in bankruptcy proceedings the power to have loan terms on a primary residence renegotiated so that the owner facing foreclosure could remain in his/her home. The kicker is this provision is already law for those who own a second home, a boat, and other "big-ticket items."

In other words, the wealthy are able to renegotiate better terms on their prized possessions, albeit as unnecessary as they may be, and yet less-wealthy Americans are not extended the same right when it comes to their primary residence!

Have to love the fairness. Incredible.
It seems the RNC believes Republicans have been too nice to Obama and now it's time to toss the gloves and fight bare-knuckled. More proof that they're living in some kind of detached, parallel universe.

Given the latest polls, like the one below, they have quite the uphill battle on this front:

Monday, May 18, 2009

I can't vouch for the veracity, but South Korea's newspaper is claiming a swine flu vaccine has been developed.
Let's review: the conventional techniques of persuasion applied by the FBI produced actionable (good) intel, but when the CIA stepped in and applied harsh (illegal) techniques (torture) the suspect refused to offer any intel (he shut down).

As for whether or not torture works, it's not the point. It's illegal, period. It's a crime. If you don't like that fact, then change the law. Until that happens, torture is illegal and to give orders for it to happen is to break the law.

What was it the Republicans used to say over and over, something like "the rule of law"...? Yeah, right.
If true, very scary:
As the news is constantly telling us, Pakistan is undergoing a fight for its survival as a secular state. We are skeptical about these reports, for according to our sources much of Pakistan is already under the control of the Taliban, and in most of the rest of Pakistan, the Taliban has an important presence.
In our opinion, Pakistan has already fallen under the influence of non-productive influences, and the U.S. is once again paying the price for supporting regimes who have no interest in bettering the quality of live of the local people. In our opinion, the U.S. and its allies should focus much more attention on India to stabilize the South Asian and eastern Mid East regions.
From a fairly well-respected investment management firm. Nuclear Pakistan is already lost to the Taliban? To the point where we should just focus on currying favor with and supporting its neighbor, India?? I hope not true, or that there's still time left to reverse the course of events in Pakistan, but this investment firm has been correct on several things in the past (disclosure: I have no connection whatsoever to the firm)....

And as for the relative value of geopolitical insights or info coming from investment-type firms, don't sell it short (so to speak). Often times, these firms have as clients or speak with some of the most connected, informative, and influential people in the world, or at least those who know those types of people, so very frequently the info is far better than you might first assume. But again, let's hope in this case it's wrong.
From Paul Krugman today, I love this opening line:
In a way, it was easy to take stands during the Bush years: the Bushies and their allies in Congress were so determined to move the nation in the wrong direction that one could, with a clear conscience, oppose all the administration’s initiatives.
Close your eyes and throw the opposition dart, and you were bound to hit bulls-eye. Sadly we'll be paying for and trying to undo their wrongs for many, many years to come.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Some brief comments (dated, but so be it):

  • Regarding potential nominees to be next Supreme Court justice, Kevin Drum writes, "Nobody gets nominated anymore unless their judicial temperament is fully and unequivocally cast in stone. The market for moderates and interesting thinkers is pretty much gone." Agreed, the pool of "interesting thinkers" has become quite shallow, but as for "moderates" I'm not sure what Kevin is getting at. It would seem to me that the only hope for passage in this day and age is if the nominee were a moderate. To be perceived as too far to the right or left is to be deemed no-shot from the get-go.

  • Condi Rice's recent "And by the way..." response to torture sounds like a panic move regarding any future investigatory proceedings that may occur on this front. She was basically exclaiming in no uncertain terms, "IT WASN'T ME! I WAS JUST FOLLOWING ORDERS! IT WAS MY UNDERSTANDING EVERYTHING WAS LEGAL!!" Me thinks she doth protest too much...

  • We find out Miss California opposes gay marriage AND she got a boob job. So let me understand, I assume she believes that God is against gay marriage, and if the case then shouldn't her body -- made by God -- be good enough and beautiful enough as is and not require augmentation? Or does she feel God's work required improvement, that it wasn't quite perfect...?
  • Sunday, May 03, 2009

    I apologize for the much less frequent updating of this blog, but I guess it goes with territory. I started writing here in early 2004 mainly because I needed an outlet to remain sane. I didn't care if I had 10 readers or 10,000, I just wanted to get off my chest and out of my head the many critical things that needed to be said about the worst presidency this country has ever had to withstand. If not for anything else, the blog was a catharsis, a mind purge that allowed me to decompress. That's not to say that I didn't wish to communicate my thoughts and hopefully connect with and/or influence a few people out there, but it just wasn't my primary goal.

    That said with Obama now in office, I can breath much easier and frankly there's less to get angry about. Yes, the GOP is crazier than ever, which is really something to behold since most of us thought they were off-their-rocker nuts just a year or two ago. But given the extent of their devolution into obsolescence, it's become much less worthwhile or even necessary to write about their latest outrageous statement or beyond-the-pale media stunt.

    In effect, the entire Republican party has become like Ann Coulter, with most respectable progressive blogs never mentioning her because she's simply not credible and is just a laughable cartoon character, undeserving of an entry 99% of the time. And given this sad fact that the other major political party in the country has marginalized itself to the point of being equivalent to Coulter or Malkin or Beck, that all the more explains my relative radio silence here.

    I will try to pick up the pace regarding updates, but based on what I described above it's just not worth the bother.