Saturday, January 05, 2008

What A Difference Four Years Make ... Howard Dean

Howard Dean

It doesn't take the Reagan question of "Are you better off today, than four-years ago" for the Doctor to answer that ...

Then: Roasted, somewhat unfairly, for the now-infamous sceam

Now: Toasted, as a wise leader, of the Democratic Party

MSNBC Transcript of Iowa Caucus Coverage

OLBERMANN: We’re joined now by one of the contestants in the Iowa caucuses of four years ago, Howard Dean, who of course is now chairman of the Democratic Party.

Thank you for your time tonight, sir.

HOWARD DEAN, CHAIRMAN, DNC: Thanks for having me on.

OLBERMANN: All right.

Let’s just pick up Chris’ point right there. Is this indeed a rejection of the professionals in Iowa in both parties?

DEAN: You know, I think basically what you have is three Democrats, all of whom got over 30 percent, which is extraordinary. I mean, I think Senator Obama deserves all of the congratulations for winning this one, but the big news from the point of view of the chairman of the party, who is obviously not involved with a particular candidate, is that our turnout was enormous.

We doubled the Republican turnout, I think we’re going to find out at the end of the day, and that’s because so many Independents decided they would vote in the Democratic primary. You’re going to see that all over the country, and that is not good news for the Republicans.

OLBERMANN: Doubled. Joe Trippi said this was a rejection of Hillary Clinton, and of course he may wind up having his candidate, John Edwards, tied with Hillary Clinton for perhaps a distant second. Every time we look at that board it seems like the percentage change is 1 percent more in favor of Senator Obama.

Is that the sort of thing that you want to see in the early stages? Is this—is this any indicator about how Democrats feel about their second choice or whether or not the person they originally went into much as the Iowa caucus represents something of the mindset that the second choice of an individual supporter, an individual Democrat, is just as good as their first choice in their own minds?

DEAN: I think what you’re seeing is a pretty close race with three really strong candidates. Senator Obama won this round and now we’re going on to New Hampshire. We’re going to go on to Nevada and South Carolina.

Each one of these states is very different. All of these candidates have worked very hard in these states. This is how you choose the nominee.

At the end of the day, this is an important day not just because Senator Obama won the Iowa caucuses, but because finally the voters are having their say. And it’s not just pollsters and pundits that are droning on about this kind of stuff.

This is real voters. This is democracy. And again, from the point of view of the chairman of the Democratic Party, the big news here tonight is the turnout. What a turnout. I think this is really a repudiation of George Bush, is what I think it is.

OLBERMANN: As we’ve been pointing out, certainly that’s the case, but it may also be the case in the Republican Party that it’s a repudiation of George Bush.

I’d love your perspective. Has there ever been a blanker contrast between the first victory, however utterly indecisive or ultimately indecisive either of those first victories may be, have there ever been greater contrasts than Barack Obama than Mike Huckabee?

DEAN: Well, I think, you know, if you look at all of our candidates, they’re very different than the Republicans. There’s not much difference among the Republicans, there’s not much difference among the Democrats.

We believe we shouldn’t be in Iraq. All the Republicans think we should.

We believe that we ought to have health insurance for children. All the Republicans think it’s great that President Bush vetoed the bill.

All the Republicans think it was a great idea to pardon Scooter Libby. We think we ought to end the Republican culture of corruption.

These are really big differences. And there are many, many more.

You have got gasoline going above $3 a gallon, oil is at $100 a barrel now.

The Republicans couldn’t manage Katrina. They got us into Iraq but not telling us the truth, all of which their candidates are supporting. And now they can’t manage the economy.

I think tonight is a pretty bad—pretty bad piece of news for the Republican Party.

OLBERMANN: Howard Dean, chairman of the DNC, smiling at the turnstiles tonight in Des Moines and throughout Iowa.

DEAN: It’s true.

OLBERMANN: Great. Thanks for your time, sir.

DEAN: Thank you.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Rachel Maddow: Hillary Apologist and Obama Basher

"...I see a lot of shades of George Bush as a candidate in what we’re hearing from Obama ... I think that Obama learned a little bit about how to campaign from what George Bush did. I hope that he would be, of course, a better president than Bush has been though ..."

Who's paying Rachel Maddow's salary, MSNBC, Air America Radio, or the Hillary Clinton Campaign?

The Liberal/Progressive's rising media darling was wearing her Hillary on her sleeve last evening, late into the coverage as a panel member on the MSNBC broadcast of the post-Iowa Caucus discussions.

When you Google "Rachel Maddow", you (or at least my search provided) get 192,000 results.

Looking over the first 100, there's nary a negative word about Ms. Maddow, not even from the Freakshow denizens, Dittoheads, or the Sludge Reports' flying monkeys.

And if she is a Hillary fan and supporter, God bless her, but was it part of her assignment with MSNBC last evening to bash Dem Iowa Caucus winner Barack Obama?

Rachel Maddow as Obama Basher

From the MSNBC transcript;
OLBERMANN: Rachel Maddow, the subject of strong views. Did not the strong views get us the president we have as well? Is there not fire to be played with in that category.

MADDOW: Well, it’s interesting. I actually feel like although I like Obama a lot more than I like George Bush as a politician and I guess probably as a person, I see a lot of shades of George Bush as a candidate in what we’re hearing from Obama. In that what Obama’s actually offering are fairly liberal policies, but spoken in language and delivered in a style that’s very moderate and that’s actually kind of post partisan in tone.

We don’t think of George Bush’s presidency as having been that way. But as a candidate, that’s exactly what he was. He was proposing very conservative policies, but in a conciliatory, compassionate, post partisan, can’t we all just get along kind of way. And that’s why people I think maybe ended up surprised at the way he governed. I think that Obama learned a little bit about how to campaign from what George Bush did. I hope that he would be, of course, a better president than Bush has been though.
Whoa, there girl!

Obama is Bush?

If fellow panel member Pat Buchanan said it, you would, well, brush it off, knowing what a whack-job Buchanan is.

And even being cautious about over-praise, being it was only one night, one event, but tying Obama to Bush?

Did the Hillary Campaign hack into her earpiece? Was she reading off the next morning's Hillary Campaign Talking Points?

Because, before she bashed Obama, you could see the hair on her neck rising, when host Chris Matthews, Keith Olbermann and other panel members were talking in tones of Hillary being finished.

Rachel Maddow as the Hillary Apologist
MATTHEWS: This country moves in a strange pattern. In 1870, we gave African-Americans, men, the right to vote, at least in the Constitution. Obviously Jim Crowe got in the way of that for 100 years. But it was written down into law, the amendment to our Constitution, African-Americans, former slaves, will be voting citizens of the United States.

Women got to vote, which is always interesting, 50 years later. So there’s something perhaps primordial about the willingness of this country to at least, in theory, extend the franchise, the presidency, even, to an African-American rather than a woman. That is the interesting question mark that this Hillary Clinton campaign raises.

Let’s go to the panel with this hot potato, starting with Rachel Maddow.

Rachel, and then Howard, I want you, and Pat, and, of course, Gene Robinson, all of you from your different perspectives, what is it about America that here we are in 2008, finally picking an African-American with a real shot to be president of the United States, and a woman just got a very bad night in Iowa?


MADDOW: I think that you’re calling this a really bad night for Hillary too early. I think that we need to see how close it’s going to be. And if ultimately the results are a three-way tie or look close to it, or Barack Obama wins tightly, that’s a story. I think it matters.

I don’t see this as a huge rejection of Hillary if she doesn’t come in with a big win, honestly. I know you see it differently.

MATTHEWS: You mean, the fact that two-thirds of the Democratic Party voted against her isn’t a rejection?

MADDOW: Two-thirds of the Democratic Party will have voted against all of the candidates if it comes in as a three-way tie, Chris. That’s the point.

The issue, if it comes out it’s a really close race, it’s going to be close heading into New Hampshire as well. And I think we discount that at our peril.

If Barack Obama, as you guys are projecting is going to be the winner, I think that’s the America we all want to live in. I think it’s an amazing day for the country and it’s great. I don’t know if it means that he gets the nomination ultimately, but it’s an exciting, historic day for the country.

OLBERMANN: Let me throw something in from the decision desk. Edwards and Clinton are in, just apropos what you’re saying, Rachel, a very tight race for second in the race for the state Democratic delegate equivalent. Those are the numbers we’re seeing so far.

And again, NBC News has projected, as you heard, Barack Obama as the winner of this Iowa caucus at 36 percent. Those other numbers are as close as you would suggest they would be, 31 percent and 31 percent.

MATTHEWS: But Howard—well, Rachel, I’ll go back to you so you can have a response here.

From the beginning of this year in the polling we’ve noticed that Hillary has been ahead of Obama all year. So she can’t claim to be somehow a comeback kid or someone who, you know, somehow never had a chance. She had a big chance in Iowa and she’s lucky to get second.

MADDOW: No, I think it may be a more comfortable place for her to be running from, to be able to say, I’m fighting for this, and to maybe play the gender card in a big way, to say we have got to fight in order to get a woman in the White House in a way that she couldn’t have played that way had she been in an inevitable front-runner. So, I mean, I think it’ll be real interesting to see how the Clinton campaign responds to this. They’re going to have to come up with something creative, but it’s not the worst position for her to be in.
Funny, I missed the PR this morning, from the Hillary camp, telling us how thrilled they are, going into New Hampshire in five days, from a third-place finish in Iowa.

And I didn't see Big Bill, on camera, extolling how coming in third-place in Iowa was the best strategic way for his wife to start off on getting the nomination.

It has been reported that Ms. Maddow has received a tryout from MSNBC (she's been appearing on the network with greater frequency the past few months), for a possible show, possibly replacing the He-Man, Tucker Carlson

If that is the case, please, someone at MSNBC, take away the HRC pom-poms before she goes on-air.

Top Ten Cloves: Things Overheard Last Evening At The Iowa Caucuses

News Item: Obama stuns Clinton in Iowa while Huckabee shows his strength over Romney

10. Pass the word ... Alan Keyes is going around, trying to pass himself off as Barack Obama

9. It's the writer's strike ... Only reason I'm here is cuz' I'm tired of watching reruns

8. Bill Clinton's going around, complaining, none of the caucus sites had any donuts

7. I heard Huckabee screwed up again ... Flying back from The Tonight Show, he flew into Idaho, instead of coming here

6. There's a guy outside, selling padded SUV sunroof handles

5. Look, someone is going around dressed up like New Hampshire's Old Man of the Mountain ... Oh, wait a minute, that's John McCain!

4. Is Fred Thompson the guy with the wide stance?

3. Geez, those Ron Paul kids don't give up ... They're running fundraising car washes outside all the GOP caucus sites

2. I heard that the Romney campaign, if you vote for him, will give you a DVD of his faith speech

1. She should have gone with the cleavage ... Could'a been worth 5-points, easy

Bonus Iowa Caucus Links

Greg Sargent - Edwards: From Here On Out, It's Me Versus Obama

Barry Crimmins: Hog Futures Tumble in Iowa

John Ellis: A Hard Loss for Romney

David Corn: McCain in NH: Would Be "Fine" To Keep Troops in Iraq for "A Hundred Years"

Don Frederick: Ron Paul gets some revenge

'They Shoot Iowa Caucuses, Don't They?

Rachel Maddow: Hillary Apologist and Obama Basher

Karl Rove: “Be prepared! Find the bastards. And pile on!”

Was it coincidence or conspicuous of Vanity Fair, to have their February 2008 Proust Questionnaire be our favorite Etch-A-Sketcher, Karl Rove?

He, of election infamy and New Math on the eve of the Iowa Caucus?

They did frame it properly, in the first sentence of the introduction;

"A principal architect of the disastrous presidency of George W. Bush ..."
Fairly mundane responses from the Turd Blossom, until the final question - "What is your motto?";
"I like the one that used to be the motto on the unit coin of the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, the Blackhorse: “Be prepared! Find the bastards. And pile on!”
Pile on, indeed ...

And it appears the conservatives are beginning to do that.

Andrew Sullivan, perhaps not the first, but likely what will become a reoccurring theme as the 2008 Elections move on, writing late last night, on how the Iowa Caucus-goers defined their politics, hung one on Rove;
"One is a national party; the other is on its way to being an ideological church. The damage Bush and Rove have done - revealed in 2006 - is now inescapable."

May the piling on continue, be it the corruption of the Justice Department, the firing of the U.S. Attorneys, the Siegalman Case, or the bevy of other evil doings Rove brought on.

It should end up being a very large pile ...

Bonus Links

The Infamous Proust Questionnaire

Le Questionnaire de Proust


Thursday, January 03, 2008

'They Shoot Iowa Caucuses, Don't They?

Rocky: Here they are again, folks! These wonderful, wonderful kids! Still struggling! Still hoping! As the clock of fate ticks away, the dance of destiny continues! The marathon goes on, and on, and on! HOW LONG CAN THEY LAST!

From "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?"

Boy, what a fucked up system!

This, the Iowa Caucus, looked like a "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?" contest, but directed by Jacques Tati.

It couldn't be more absurd

Stand over here ... Move over here ... Now raise your hands ... Move back over here ...

Bouncing around the channels found Wolf Blitzer working a SuperSizeMe set of his Situation Room and Rachel Maddow settling into her Hillary Clinton Apologist mode ... Fox has their usual cast of dimwits, including Little Billy Kristol...
Winners called are;

Huckabee over Make-Up Mitt.

Obama running away with it, with Hillary and Edwards duking it out for second place.

This is major cool and major headlines because I'm sure the empty suits that run both parties are pulling a Tessio, from The Godfather, repeating over-and-over, "Hell, he can't do that ... It screws up all my plans ..."

There is no understating of Obama walking away with it ... In a state where you could probably count the number of minorities on one hand ... And taking on the Clinton Machine ... Hillary, after all, was supposed to be able to just show up and her cakewalk to the nomination was all but official ...

Trouble in River City, indeed ...

And the stumblin'-and-bumblin' Huckabee running, proverbially, his fingers through Make-Up Mitt's hair ... His expensive hair .. His 20-1-spending-in-Iowa hair ...

All of Mitt's doggies, and all of Mitt's sons may not be able to put Mitt back together again ...

Maybe it is true, what they say about Chuck Norris ...

I had planned doing a complete different post, that I wrote earlier this afternoon.

Now, having watched the coverage, I don't believe it captured the satire and buffoonery of this event with it, so, we go free-flow and let it fly on-the-run.

The first leg of, hopefully, finding the person that will lift us out of the darkness of the Bush Grindhouse, has been run through the corn husks of Iowa and now it's on to the land of "Live Free or Die".

Like Rocky says in "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?": Yowza! Yowza! Yowza!

Iowa Caucus Links

Obama, Huckabee win Iowa caucuses, CNN projects

Obama Emerges Victorious in Iowa; Obama Takes Iowa; 2nd, 3rd Place Too Close to Call

Huckabee Takes Iowa; Romney in 2nd; Former Arkansas Governor Rides Momentum Surge to Early Victory

Visit Memeorandum for a bevy of articles and links

Hey, You Iowans, Read This Before Pulling The Levers!

Since we brought up "bipartisanship" yesterday, here's a post we were remiss including in it.

Glenn Greenwald, in Salon yesterday, has a sobering and staggering post, that, as he argues, should be discussed and debated, but surely, as the sun rises over a corrupt and morally bankrupt White House every day, it won't be.

Here's some caveats to cringe over;

"Our military spending exceeds the rest of the world's spending combined, and we spend almost 10 times what the second-place country, China, spends."
"The US military budget was almost 29 times as large as the combined spending of the six "rogue" states (Cuba, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Sudan and Syria) who spent $14.65 billion."
"In indisputable sum, we are the world's empire, in a state of permanent war readiness. In American politics and policy, there is no distinction between "peacetime" and "war." We're the most militarized country in the world by far, on permanent war footing, far beyond what anyone could ever remotely argue is necessary for "defense" or a "strong defense," no matter how broad a definition one wants to adopt for those terms."
"Nonetheless, it's still worth noting (as Matt Stoller recently documented) that despite all the incessant chatter about "change" and the intensity of election conflicts, our most significant, dubious policies -- the ones that actually shape what kind of country we are and how we are perceived around the world -- don't really get debated at all. Those who try to are quickly and widely dismissed as fringe, insane, angry, deranged "crazies.""

There's links, charts, graphs and pie charts to go with it.

Read The bipartisan consensus on U.S. military spending

It's likely to define the country you live in for the rest of your life.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

No Wait, It's Not Thompson Who's Going To Save The Country, It's Now Michael Bloomberg ...

Or, Bipartisanship: Conservatism In Bloomberg Clothing

We're less then 24-hours away from Iowa, giving us, and the world, the first glimpse in our 2008 Presidential Pageant, and who our next leader may be (before moving on to that other metropolis, New Hampshire), but the waves of discord are already crashing on the shores.

With Fred Thompson's ship never really leaving the dry dock, the rightwing (and, perhaps, the middlegrounders) are in a tizzy over the sad state of affairs our politics are.

They continually site "partisan politics"rather than come out and point to the nightmare and disaster the Bush Grindhouse and Regime has wreaked on, not only this country, but nearly the entire globe we live on.

And they had willing accomplices - the Republican Majority - and still have them, even in their minority status, to browbeat and smear the Congressional Democrats into whimpering pussies (and trust me, that is purely the Dems fault. As we have pointed out, they are the ones running the Blank Check Club)

So, instead of putting it in the proper context, it's not a repudiation of the Republican policies, the one Uber Party Rule, the corrupted Department of Justice, the failed response to hurricanes, a revision of the raped environmental and energy policies, the secret, shadowy government, the fix is to come from further browbeating, the operative word being "bipartisanship"

And, somewhat suddenly, New York City Mayor Micheal Bloomberg (perhaps, his hold of that office is the reason he's not described as a "media mogul"; Or, as Chris Bowers refers to as Aging Wealthy White Men for National Unity Under Billionaire Media Moguls - AWWMNUUBM for short) is being hoisted on shoulders as the flag carrier for the new day.

If you want a good view of a bipartisan country under Mayor Media Mogul, here's three Must Reads that should keep you off that purple brick road;

Glenn Greenwald: Michael Bloomberg: Trans-partisan savior

Digby: Bipartisan Zombies

Barry Crimmins: Turd Party

Oh, please, spare me ... Spare us!

It's bad enough we have one NYC Mayor running for President, we certainly don't need another, even if it is Hizz Honor, Mayor Media Mogul.

Bonus Bipartisanship Enlightenment

The Carpetbagger Report: Bipartisanship for the sake of bipartisanship

Sandy Levinson/Balkinization: Will They Ever Connect the Dots?

Tristero: Actually, It's Not That Hard

Rare photo of Mayor Media Mogul receiving a Bipartisanship lesson from one of the legendary masters of it, The Commander Guy

D.B. Cooper Is Barbarosa ... Or Is It Barbarosa Is D.B. Cooper?

[Don Baulio has chosen the next one to go after Barbarosa]
Don Braulio Zuvalla: Eduardo. You are the one. You will go after Barbarosa. Will you know him?
Eduardo: Si, I will know him. From the songs we sing and the stories we tell, I will know him.
Don Braulio Zuvalla: Kill him; kill this Barbarosa. Bring me his cojones. Bring them to me on a stick so we can see them and honor you.

From "Barbarosa", starring Willie Nelson, Gary Busey and Gilbert Roland

Boy, don't these guys have anything better to do?

One would think that the CIA Interrogation Tapes case, which the Justice Department announced today they will investigate, will need some extra bodies.

After all, that's a crime that leads directly, and squarely, into the Oval Office.

But no.

Perhaps swayed by television shows that solve their cold cases in about 48-minutes (gotta have the commercials accounted for), the FBI has announced it is reinvestigating the 36-year-old "D.B. Cooper" hijacking case, the nation's only unsolved hijacking.
“This case is 36 years old, it’s beyond its expiration date, but I asked for the case because I was intrigued with it,” said Larry Carr, a federal agent based in Seattle who usually investigates bank robberies, and who was 4 when the hijacking occurred. “I remember as a child reading about it and wondering what had happened. It’s surreal that after 36 years here I am, the only investigator left. I wanted to take a shot at solving it.”

Since the case was turned over to him about six months ago, Mr. Carr has come up with a new way of seeing the incident: as a bank robbery that just happened to be on an airplane. The fresh perspective led to new investigating techniques.

“The classic way we solve bank robberies is with the public,” Mr. Carr said. “Everything we know — pictures, descriptions, m.o., everything. We put it all out there.”

D.B. Cooper jumped from the back of a Boeing 727 jet airplane on the night of November 24th, 1971, somewhere between Seattle and Reno, with $200,000, in unmarked $20-bills and was never seen or heard from again.

Speculation has rested heavily that he died from the jump.

In 1980, an eight-year-old boy found $5,800 of the money, near the banks of the Columbia River in Vancouver, Washington, but that's all that has surfaced.

Let us hope that it doesn't take 36-years to bring the Bush Grindhouse to justice.

After all, we already have, seven-years-worth, of "pictures, descriptions, m.o., everything ..."

Bonus D.B. Cooper Links

D.B. Cooper, where are you? Saturday is 36th anniversary of hijacker's leap into legend

The D.B. Cooper Story: A Mystery

D.B. Cooper's Disappearing Act

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

"We Still Had Manners" ... Barry Crimmin's Year In Review

You could go with Parade Magazine, or some other MSM fluff.

Or, you can go to the source.

What better way to ring in the New Year than with Barry Crimmin's annual Year-In-Review?

Crimmins has been doing this for so long, has been so prescient, insightful and dead-on-target, he makes Theodore White's Making-of-a-President series look like hack National Enquirer tripe.

And this year, there's no change in that status, with On the national affront: An inescapable year reaches its inevitable conclusion.

"Could 2007 somehow have been avoided? Where does one begin to recap 12 months of such willful self-parody? Isn’t it insulting to explain why, say, waterboarding is wrong, especially when one of the few people who needs this clarified is the new attorney general of the United States?

Corporate and political hoodlums spent the year doing three things: planning crimes, committing crimes, and covering up crimes. If this is news to you, no summary will bring you up to speed. So here are just some highlights of 2007, because it would be cruel and indecent to make you remember it all."

Crimmins mows down the list, from unreal real estate, to Saddam Hussein ("We still had manners"), to the cowering Congress and, of course, our pop culture pap that passes in so many outlets as hard news ("On February 8, the news-o-tainment divisions caught a break when hillbilly superwidow Anna Nicole Smith died of a drug overdose."), and, of course the ever-growing violence in our ever-growing police state ("While American children spent the year playing Russian roulette with Chinese toys, teens and alleged adults dabbled with even deadlier devices.")

Senator Larry Craig and the Bush Regime don't escape unscathed, as well as the Presidential Marathon, err , Campaign, complete with the numbing addition of the "Ewe tube"
"These confabs were sometimes said to be revolutionary because they employed the popular video-sharing Web site YouTube to collect questions from regular Americans, thus cutting out the mainstream media. Except for one thing: the mainstream media vetted the questions. So what we got were either inane stunt queries, included to underscore the Earth-shaking newness of this approach, or the same stupid questions the hacks could have asked more succinctly than some narcissist with a Web cam hamming it up on technology that produced video about two notches below Neil Armstrong’s viral “One Small Step” work in 1969."

So, ring out and shed your old, scaly 2007 skin with Barry Crimmin's Year-In-Review!

Read: On the national affront: An inescapable year reaches its inevitable conclusion

Visit Barry Crimmins website

Other Barry Crimmins on The Garlic

Bonus Barry Links

Picking up on a Crimmins post, Vanity Fair's James Wolcott's "Huckabee in the Bonnet"

Wolcott, again, quoting from Crimmin's hilarious "review" of Wolf Blitzer and his Situation Room program in his The Year of Tragical Thinking

Something Off The Beaten Track ... How I Introduced the French to Onion Rings

As you laze about this first day of 2008, perhaps burdened with the feeling of having a percussion jamboree banging around your head, a result of just that "one too many" libation indulged in during the Eve's soirée, The Garlic has espied a relatively new blog on the World Wide Web that looks to be very promising.

There's not a bevy of posts yet, but check out Diary of a Food Alien...

And, as a good intro, read How I Introduced the French to Onion Rings... It's rather entertaining ...

(And, thank heavens, the DNA for Onion Rings doesn't rest with the French, or the nitwit xenophobes would be blabbering about "Freedom Rings")

Top Ten Cloves: Other New Years Resolutions President Bush Is Planning On Making

News Item: Bush Pledges to Keep U.S. Economy Growing in 2008

10. Come up with new nickname(The Commander Guy is getting stale)

9. Get President Musharaff to call me first, instead of Dick Cheney

8. Gotta do something ... Even I have Bush Fatigue

7. For staff, pardons, not commutations (Remember: Got one to make-up for Scooter)

6. I'm puttin' it down again this year ... This is the year! ... Get inside Dick Cheney's office

5. Not be so dependent on "The Google"... Start using "The Yahoo" more

4. If I can only succeed with one New Years' Resolution, it's gotta be getting the Telcoms Amnesty

3. Attend those weekly History briefings, with Dana Perino

2. Start, right on January 1st, a new "Ek-A-Lec-Tic" Reading List

1. Stop saying "Hello, Mama!" everytime Condi comes into the office

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Three For The Road To Democracy (And How To Make SUV Sunroofs Safer) ... Perrin and Crimmins ... And Perrin Again ...

There's a boatload of great reports and posting on the situation in Pakistan (suggest you visit Memeorandum and use their Archives feature, pulling up the posts over the past few days; And there's a new-kid-on-the-block, Megite you can check out) - and the reaction to it here, by our media, and the dwarfs, finks, phonies and frauds running for President.

Both Barry Crimmins and Dennis Perrin ring in with a few that definitely rank high on the list.

Perrin asks, What Can Red, White & Blue Do For You?, and to give you a good idea where he takes this ...

"Suddenly, everyone's an expert on Pakistan, or at least a mourner of Benazir Bhutto, who, for some, is swiftly becoming the Princess Di of the Near East ..."

Crimmins weighs in with "River City, Pakistan";
It gets even funnier, in an awful sort of way, when you consider that even though Pakistan matters it doesn't matter because Hillary Clinton clinked glasses with Benazir Bhutto or John McCain spoke with her a few times. It certainly doesn't matter because Rudy Mussolini wants us to live in perma-post-9/11 fear. And it really doesn't matter because shameless American politicians' first instinct is to bask in what they see as the reflected glory glistening in a pool of Pakistani blood.

We're literally being told, "See, things happen in this world-- which is exactly why I should be in charge of it! How much clearer can this be made to you?"

Then, there is, arguably, the best, deadcenter and most poignant, post that, in its' succinctness, sums up perfectly the warped, phony Bush Grindhouse (and the Condoleezza Rice Ballroom Dancing & Charm School) Pakistan/U.S. Foreign Policy (historically), Democracy-In-A-Box (no assembly required) from Dennis Perrin;

Pakistan's Shame

Both are good, insightful posts and worthy of adding to your reading list.

Barry Crimmins: I'm surprised we haven't seen one of the candidates reprise the Iowa-based Music Man. Friends we've got TROUBLE -- right here in River City. TROUBLE with a capital 'T' and it rhymes with 'P' and it stands for 'PAKISTAN!'

What If Spartacus Ran The Justice Department? ...The Bush administration's dumbest legal arguments of the year

Today's a day where you can expect to be bombarded by "Year-End" lists, and such, growing out of newspapers, magazines and the World Wide Web like The Blob.

However, we have a keeper for you.

Dahlia Lithwick, a Slate senior editor, has compiled a most entertaining accounting of the the Bush Grindhouse's Injustice Department, and the Crony General, with her "Legal Fictions: The Bush administration's dumbest legal arguments of the year."

And, in all likelihood, Ms. Lithwick will have a killer list again next year, being the Crony General has been replaced with the "See-No Evil-Hear-No-Evil-Speak-No-Evil" Mukasey.

Read "The Bush administration's dumbest legal arguments of the year."

Bonus Links

Dahlia Lithwick: The Bill of Wrongs - The 10 most outrageous civil liberties violations of 2006

Top Ten Cloves: How It Would Be Different If Alberto Gonzales Was The Head of March Madness

Alberto Gonzales Sings 'Justice For Sale'

Justice Icon, or just a picture of another Bush Torture practice?

A spoonful of sugar helps the history go down ... Edward Copeland Review of 'Charlie Wilson's War'

Enjoying the after-glow of the New England Patriots run to perfection (though, the media, in the post-game coverage should have been able to come up with something better, that repetitively, over-and-over, asking "What's it feel like to be 16-0?" ... If the producers were on top of it, they could have cashed in with Alzheimer drug commercials), a nice lazy, Sunday, the lull before the storm (another 7" inches+ of snow due to come tonight) ...

So pull up with the cup of coffee and check out Edward Copeland's review of "Charlie Wilson's War"

Copeland says that "the true story of Charlie Wilson's War, Mike Nichols' best feature film in decades" and, in his crosspost of it on The Reaction notes "As it so happens, I was planning to post on my film blog today a review of Charlie Wilson's War, which now proves particularly timely in the wake of Benazir Bhutto's assassination ..."

Visit Edward Copeland on Film and read the review "A spoonful of sugar helps the history go down"

(Copeland also writes the blog Copeland Institute for Lower Learning, which also warrants a visit)


Even though I, long ago, stopped being a die-hard, life-revolving-around, sports fan (hey, after the "it's only a game", it becomes really big business) it is, nonetheless, very sweet to see the New England Patriots and their 16-0 perfect season.

I am just old enough to have sat in the bleachers set up in leftfield (in front of the Green Monster), to watch the Boston Patriots, of the AFL, led by Babe Parilli, Jim "Bo" Nance (whose main rival was Buffalo Bill fullback Cookie Gilchrist - "Lookie, Lookie, Here Comes Cookie"), and Gino Cappelletti, at Fenway Park, in the early 60's ... I was at the preseason game in 1969 (or 1970), played at Boston College, when the stands caught fire ... I was at the opening game of 1970 season, played at Harvard Stadium (the year before they moved to Foxborough), when Bob Gladieux, sitting in the stands, drinking and smoking dope, was paged over the PA system to report to the locker room, where he suited up moments before the kickoff.

For much of my youth, and into early adulthood, the word "hapless" was often attached to the Boston/New England Patriots.

And with that experience, it's almost impossible to comprehend the achievements and success of the current team.

While it would be cool for any team to go undefeated, it is rather sweet to watch the Patriots do it.

The 16-0 Links

Sweet 16 - Brady and Moss are an unbeatable combination in comeback against Giants

Jackie MacMullan: Brady and Moss set the records straight

RECORD TRACKER: Marks the Pats set en route to 16-0

16-0! Recapping the Patriots' pursuit of perfection

'72 Dolphins toast achievement

Charles P. Pierce: Winners - Josh Beckett became the ace, Randy Moss is the missing ingredient, and Kevin Garnett is as advertised. Has there ever been a better year to be a Boston sports fan?