Friday, December 5, 2008

THREE (RELATIVELY) QUICK THOUGHTS

1. Notice how Rove and the rest of Junior’s handlers are working the spin machine to try and control how this administration will be seen and treated, including putting Junior and his lady on all the major networks for homey interviews (knowing liberals are kindhearted and therefore will probably feel sorry for them instead of criticizing him for still doing all he can to enrich his wealthy friends even if it hurts the rest of us) trying to make them seem like any normal old married couple (though watching the faces he makes and the remarks he screws up—as I’ve pointed out before, like in the book-length poem MARCH 18, 2003—he has no trouble speaking clearly when he’s threatening or making fun of or demanding etc. only when he’s trying to come up with an excuse for bad decisions or actions or looking for a way to cover himself or his cronies or just plain lying). While behind the scenes Junior and his cohorts are issuing executive orders to try and keep the next administration from undoing the harm they’ve done, including selling the government and the country to their cronies (like making public land available for even more mining and logging and destruction etc. and as reported in today’s NY Times revising the rules so that the new Congress can’t veto these changes in the status of public lands et-endlessly-cetera).

2. Why isn’t it obvious to more in the media that the rightwing is still busy manipulating them, like into seeing the Detroit big three as not worth bailing out because they’re so inefficient and blaming that on the unions rather than on bad designs and engineering and responses to changing energy needs etc. whereas the Wall Street idiots who caused the financial collapse that started with them and is now impacting the entire world, these guys haven’t even been indicted or even had their mega-salaries taken away while the rest of us suffer. Check out this recent post by Michael Moore on Huffington for a great take on this issue.

3. Anyone who thinks all the rightwing is going to do is try and spin Junior’s eight years as the great protection of our country from another terrorist attack and therefore a success isn’t thinking. They’re going to do everything they can to undermine Obama and his administration and anything the new Congress tries to get done, just as they did for Carter and Clinton. In Carter’s case they pulled all kinds of illegal subversive jive that ended up destroying whatever credibility he started out with, and with Clinton they just backed him into a corner and kept him pretty much there playing defense his whole two terms. Because he was so smart as a politician and an intellect, he still managed to get some things done and gave us the most prosperous and peaceful years of any administration in recent history, but the big plans he had for reforming health care etc. were so well undermined by the rightwing and their corporate allies, or masters actually, that anything that might have permanently helped working people, i.e. most of us, was kept in a constant state of defensiveness until Junior could get in and eliminate it for good. Obama has probably been wise in picking such high profile and centrist people for his top posts, making it possible for him to get some things done with less time and energy wasted on fighting back the inevitable rightwing attacks, which already include trying to get Obama’s supporters to become disillusioned with his appointments and the statements and decisions he’s already making. And as always, the media plays right along, except for my new favorite news and opinion show, Rachel Maddow on MSNBC (and The Daily Show has been kicking butt again lately too on these issues).

11 comments:

harryn said...

yeah ... the real genius [or treachery, or diabolical nature] behind the reichwingers is their ability to prey upon the caring and inclusiveness of the left by clogging progress with distractions, details, distortions, and legalese ...

they've consistantly kicked up so much dirt in the face of anything they oppose that the quality of change appears tainted, tedious, and cumbersome ...

and fear - hell, they perfected it over the past eight years - and they're still trying to make us believe that a preemptive war on terrorism has kept us safe rather than recognizing the billions of squandered dollars and joblessness exported to the military ...

and the auto industry - follow the money ...

JIm said...

The auto industry problems go back decades and include dumb management, labor unions and politicians. Money will probably be forth coming eventually from the government but hopefully only in exchange for a business model that works. The current wage cost discrepency between domestic producers in the North and imports produced in the South does not work.($38 vs $78 per hour is significant). It is to bad that the industry can not move overnight to "Right to Work" states in the South. The unholy alliance between the Democrats and the UAW has killed the goose that laid golden eggs. Management rolled over and acquiesed to stupid and costly work rules that do not work in a world economy.

There is some similarity between, George W and FDR. Both were war time presidents. Both war efforts did poorly in the beginning but triumphed in the end.(Unfortunately there will never be an unconditional surrender by Islamic Murderers.) Obama seems to appreciate Bush's later war efforts, if his pick for Secretary of Defense is any indication.
FDR was the biggest presidential spender as measured by percent of GDP. George W comes in second.

Mike, you go on and on about Bush being a liar. Will Obama be a liar if he does not keep all his promises to the wacko left on Iraq. Is he a liar since he has belatedly come to the realization that a wind fall profits tax on the oil industry is a bad idea. Maybe in order to kick start the economy, he will push an accross the board corporate and individual tax cut.
Will that future possible event be an example of Obama's Bushlike decision that will be worthy of your further scorn as voiced in your commentary? "only when he’s trying to come up with an excuse for bad decisions or actions or looking for a way to cover himself or his cronies or just plain lying)."

JIm said...

Supposed Bush Lies (source available upon request)

Mike and Paul,
Maybe you would like to offer apologies after reading this and be thankful to President Bush for putting the country's safety above any desire for vindication.

1-The Left said Bush lied about Weapons of Mass Destruction. Wrong!

“General Curry has said on that matter history will judge differently because US operatives found a large stockpile of concentrated natural uranium (550 tons) in the heart of Bagdad. This is known as "yellowcake" and is evidence that Saddam Hussein had a nuclear program designed to make weapons of mass destruction. US operatives had to sit on the information lest terrorists found out about it and tried to acquire the uranium.”

2- The Left said Bush lied regarding Nigerian yellowcake. Wrong!

“Ambassador Joseph Wilson denied Bush's claim that Hussein wanted to buy "yellowcake" from Niger. Wilson had been told otherwise by a former Prime Minister of Niger, Assane Mayaki. Wilson did not give the report any credibility and insisted that there was no evidence that Iraq wanted to purchase yellowcake. British intelligence insisted Iraq did not seek yellowcake from Niger. Bush chose to ignore Wilson and cited British intelligence on the issue, and Wilson and his CIA wife, Valerie Plame, who sent him to Niger, were outraged. The media picked up on this story and Bush has paid dearly ever since. Bush could have had the last laugh with his critics when the yellowcake was discovered. Instead he has not said a word while the yellowcake was extracted from Iraq and passed through two continents before it safely reached Canada. Bush has not acknowledged this transaction but the Associated Press has. General Curry said Bush put his country above his personal reputation. He said we can thank God Bush did what he did. Curry said Bush wanted to keep the information quiet because terrorists are still around Iraq.”

3-Rove is the one who outed Valerie. Wrong!

Curry went on to tell the whole story of Wilson and Plame, who pushed the line that Bush lied. They insisted that it was Karl Rove who outed her as a CIA operative and should go to jail for doing so. The leak, it turned out, came from Richard Armitage, another Bush opponent. Much of the public continues to believe that Bush was responsible for the leak, never mind that Plame had not been in the field as a CIA operative in six years.
Curry said, "Now that Saddam's uranium has been made public, and is no longer a threat to the world, do you think these aforementioned parties will apologize and admit they were wrong? Don't count on it."

------------------------------
Major General Jerry Curry (US Army Ret.), however, is an exception to this rule. Curry rose up through the ranks the hard way, starting as an enlisted private and facing racism and elitism as he went. Yet he harbors no bitterness and is only thankful for the tremendous opportunities that the military offered to him. Curry went on to serve in leadership positions in three presidential administrations.

harryn said...

apologize, jim ? for what ? - and besides bush already vindicated himself and his cronies with control of the judiciary, impunities, and forthcoming pardons for the rest of his turkeys ...

my only apologies go out to the people who lost family members through another avoidable war, people who lost jobs, homes, education, healthcare, retirements, and dreams as a result of one of the most self righteously corrupt scourges in american politics - i apologize for the people of conscience and principles that allowed the mess to continue, and by doing so let generations to come suffer ...

and this 550 tons of yellowcake - are you sure this just isn't another one of those convenient misunderstandings that have happened so frequently - better check with collin powell to be sure it wasn't betty crocker vanilla batter - it took eight years to move it ? - i know its stodgy, but come on - we cleared out lower manhattan in less time ...

nice try jim - tactic#4,826 = let's get all warm and fuzzy and talk about nostalgia, ordinary people, and forgiveness around the holidays ...

JIm said...

Paul,
"and this 550 tons of yellowcake - are you sure this just isn't another one of those convenient misunderstandings that have happened so frequently .... " Here is the AP report. Take it up with them.

Posted on Sun, Jul. 6, 2008


Iraq's nuclear 'yellowcake' moved to Canada
By Brian Murphy

Associated Press

The last major remnant of Saddam Hussein's nuclear program - a huge stockpile of concentrated natural uranium - reached a Canadian port yesterday to complete a secret U.S. operation that included a two-week airlift from Baghdad and a ship voyage crossing two oceans.
The removal of 550 metric tons of "yellowcake" - the seed material for higher-grade nuclear enrichment - was a significant step toward closing the books on Hussein's nuclear legacy. It also brought relief to U.S. and Iraqi authorities who had worried that the cache would reach insurgents or smugglers crossing to Iran to aid its nuclear ambitions.

harryn said...

and just how long did an operation of this importance take with all the resources at our disposal - or is bush just cleaning house before he packs up for crawford ...

i can't help be more than a little suspect of his administrative skills and motives after two terms of deception and dodging - not to mention the dire conditions he helped to create without a vision of leadership for the vast amount of our population ...

and to say he kept us safe from terrorism sounds more circumstantial than causal - like saying he diverted another katrina debacle by not having another hurricane of that magnatude ...

the middle east and the terrorist notion is as volitile as it ever was - just mutating at the whim of political and big business extremists under the guise of religion and righteousness to control their militias ...

and if the bush gang with all their resources were too inept to administrate, lead, legistlate, and multi-task the scope of issues they campaigned on, they should have avoided the oath or conceded to policy makers that could ...

as it stands - it is what it is til it changes - but i won't be soft-soaped into believing anything at face value that comes out of the past eight years - that's what the bush legacy accomplished ...

JIm said...

Paul,
You might want to forward your comments to the Associated Press. They rarely if ever take Bush's side. Maybe they will use some of your ramblings.

JIm said...

Hi Mike,
I just noticed the new picture. (I hope I don’t look as old as you do, but I suspect I do.) You sure look more and more like your Dad. I wonder what he would think of your blog? Would his politics reflect yours and the modern Democrats? I have a hard time seeing him defend abortion, either, early, medium or late term. Contempt and horror would greet partial birth abortion. He would probably call the police on opponents of the “Born Alive Act”.

Large high tax government vs. Ronald Reagan and Newt Gingrich’s view of government might have been a push. You say he favored unions, FDR, and Harry Truman but he was also an entrepreneur and a capitalist who had to meet a payroll. I suspected he knew first hand the heavy hand of government on small business.

Post 9/11, would he have supported the war in Afghanistan and then Iraq, particularly if he had been aware of the 550 tons of yellow cake in Baghdad? You probably have insight into that. Did he support Truman and Korea? Was he around and critical of JFK and Vietnam?

My Dad was less political. He mostly voted Irish whether they were Republican or a Democrat. He did have a thing about honesty. Surprisingly, I don’t think he voted for JFK because of his bootlegging father who did business with gangsters. The most trouble I ever got into with my father, was when I attended a party at the Mafioso, Geraldo Catena’s house. You may have been there.

I am apparently in a post election musing state.

JIm said...

Bagdad Yellowcake-Excerpts from AP Article

Here is the source, not that I think a liberal suffering from “Bush Derangement Syndrone” will let facts interfer with ideology.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25546334/

What's now left is the final and complicated push to clean up the remaining radioactive debris at the former Tuwaitha nuclear complex about 12 miles south of Baghdad — using teams that include Iraqi experts recently trained in the Chernobyl fallout zone in Ukraine.

While yellowcake alone is not considered potent enough for a so-called "dirty bomb" — a conventional explosive that disperses radioactive material — it could stir widespread panic if incorporated in a blast. Yellowcake also can be enriched for use in reactors and, at higher levels, nuclear weapons using sophisticated equipment.
The Iraqi government sold the yellowcake to a Canadian uranium producer, Cameco Corp., in a transaction the official described as worth "tens of millions of dollars." A Cameco spokesman, Lyle Krahn, declined to discuss the price, but said the yellowcake will be processed at facilities in Ontario for use in energy-producing reactors.
"We are pleased ... that we have taken (the yellowcake) from a volatile region into a stable area to produce clean electricity," he said.

Secret mission
The deal culminated more than a year of intense diplomatic and military initiatives — kept hushed in fear of ambushes or attacks once the convoys were under way: first carrying 3,500 barrels by road to Baghdad, then on 37 military flights to the Indian Ocean atoll of Diego Garcia and finally aboard a U.S.-flagged ship for a 8,500-mile trip to Montreal.
And, in a symbolic way, the mission linked the current attempts to stabilize Iraq with some of the high-profile claims about Saddam's weapons capabilities in the buildup to the 2003 invasion.
Accusations that Saddam had tried to purchase more yellowcake from the African nation of Niger — and an article by a former U.S. ambassador refuting the claims — led to a wide-ranging probe into Washington leaks that reached high into the Bush administration.
Tuwaitha and an adjacent research facility were well known for decades as the centerpiece of Saddam's nuclear efforts.
Israeli warplanes bombed a reactor project at the site in 1981. Later, U.N. inspectors documented and safeguarded the yellowcake, which had been stored in aging drums and containers since before the 1991 Gulf War. There was no evidence of any yellowcake dating from after 1991, the official said.
U.S. and Iraqi forces have guarded the 23,000-acre site — surrounded by huge sand berms — following a wave of looting after Saddam's fall that included villagers toting away yellowcake storage barrels for use as drinking water cisterns.
In April, truck convoys started moving the yellowcake from Tuwaitha to Baghdad's international airport, the official said. Then, for two weeks in May, it was ferried in 37 flights to Diego Garcia, a speck of British territory in the Indian Ocean where the U.S. military maintains a base.
On June 3, an American ship left the island for Montreal, said the official, who declined to give further details about the operation.
The yellowcake wasn't the only dangerous item removed from Tuwaitha.
Earlier this year, the military withdrew four devices for controlled radiation exposure from the former nuclear complex. The lead-enclosed irradiation units, used to decontaminate food and other items, contain elements of high radioactivity that could potentially be used in a weapon, according to the official. Their Ottawa-based manufacturer, MDS Nordion, took them back for free, the official said.
Saddam's stockpile
The yellowcake was the last major stockpile from Saddam's nuclear efforts, but years of final cleanup is ahead for Tuwaitha and other smaller sites.

harryn said...

in this age of mass media, misinformation, hyperbole, and spin i exercise extreme caution as to what i accept as fact ...

i've found [as has history] that a lot of cherry-picked talking points and media excerpts are more often designed to manipulate perception or divert attention from the 'actual' ...

and if a rightwing conservative recommends anything, my 'default to suspicion' kicks in - they've become transparently unreliable - now that's a fact ...

JIm said...

No fact, no matter how apparent and credable can dent the resolve and committment of a liberal, afflicted with "Bush Derangement Syndrone".