November 20, 2009

Students Protest at UC Berkeley

Filed under: Guest Comment — Tags: , , — Bob Patterson @ 5:53 pm




A demonstrator at University of California Berkeley shows support for the activists in Wheeler Hall, who occupied the school building as part of the strike protesting fee hikes.  The building was occupied early Friday, November 20, 2009.

Chickenhawks (Not) at War


GOP blocks bill to freeze credit card interest rate hikes

Filed under: Uncategorized — Greg in cheeseland @ 2:22 am

Republican senators on Wednesday blocked an effort to debate a bill that would prevent credit card companies from raising interest rates, fees and finance charges before new regulations come into effect in February.

Earlier this year, Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT), who heads the Senate Banking Committee, wrote and passed through the Senate the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act, which requires credit card issuers to give customers advance notice before hiking rates and fees.

In response to the resulting interest rate hikes, Dodd also authored a bill called the Credit Card Rate Freeze Act. The proposed laws would freeze credit card rates where they are now until the new law comes into effect and require credit card companies to review all interest hikes going back to the beginning of 2009 to see if customers were overcharged. Dodd, on Wednesday afternoon, asked for unanimous consent to move the bill forward.

“On behalf of several senators on this side of the aisle, I object,” said Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS). And that was the end of it.

Rep, Betsy Markey (D-CO) who worked on the House version of the bill, said “I’m extremely disappointed that the financial health of millions of American taxpayers has been completely brushed aside by a handful of Wall Street banking interests in the US Senate.”

Read more here:

November 19, 2009

Palin-Beck: Yeah, That’s the Ticket!


Gen. Wesley Clark’s advice: Get out of Afghanistan

Filed under: Uncategorized — Greg in cheeseland @ 3:24 am

Retired Gen. Wesley Clark has some advice for Congress: Start planning an exit strategy from Afghanistan.

It is no surprise that Clark’s comments have been ignored by the mainstream media. It seems that anyone who speaks out against the occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq is marginalized by the corporate media. But if they have credibility, like Gen. Clark, they are totally ignored.

During the Vietnam war, Clark was assigned a position in the 1st Infantry Division and was given command of A Company, 1st Battalion, 16th Infantry of the 1st Infantry Division in January 1970. In February, only one month into his command, he was shot four times by a Viet Cong insurgent with an AK-47. After sustaining wounds to his right shoulder, right hand, right hip and right leg, he continued to bark orders and lead a counterattack that defeated the Viet Cong force, earning a silver star.

Clark reminded Congress of the “legacy of Vietnam” in considering the US strategy in Afghanistan. He reiterated to Congress that President Obama should take time in developing an Afghanistan strategy and said that any troop increase should wait until a firm endgame has been established for U.S. involvement in the country. He said, “the legacy of Vietnam really looms over these discussions. It’s particularly painful for me to see where we are in Afghanistan.”

Although the mainstream media will not listen to Clark or give him any air time, and by extension the American people cannot hear him, we can only hope that members of Congress will listen to him.

Read more here:

November 18, 2009

Ambush Alert!

Filed under: Guest Comment — Tags: , — Bob Patterson @ 6:40 pm

On Sunday, November 15, 2009, this columnist listened to the Mario Solis-Marich show on KTLK AM radio and was a bit alarmed to hear the host urging his listeners to help Tom Tancredo become the Republican candidate for the Governor of Colorado next year.  Isn’t that a sophomoric exorcise in political strategy?  His rational for the root for the bad guy approach was that once Tancredo gets the nomination, Latinos will unleash a massive counterattack that will leave the Republican fully repudiated, humbled, and defeated.

My objection to that political gambit was to yell at the radio about the possibility that the Republicans in Colorado might (if they weren’t gentlemen who conduct political campaigns by the Marquis of Queensbury rulebook) might use the electronic voting machines, which leave no verifable paper trail, to hand the victory to Mr. Tancredo.

At that point it would be a complete disaster for the liberals and time for the conservatives to prod the media into a tsunami of “the polls were wrong again!” rebuttals to any objections to the validity of a rigged election. 

We made an attempt to contact the host of that Sunday afternoon radio show and inquire about the possibility of political ambush via the electronic voting machines.  We sent him an e-mail that read:
I listened to your program on KTLK Sunday and you were urging folks to support Tom Tancredo for Governor. 
I am going to write a column about that strategy because I think you are walking into an ambush.
What if you support him strongly (as a joke?) and the conservatives use the electronic voting machines to give him the governor’s office?
At that point you will have two choices:
One   You can say you didn’t really mean what your were saying and look foolish
Two   You can assert that Tancredo used the electronic voting machines to steal the election at which point it will be like saying Bush stole the election in 2004.  So what?  The Republicans will point out that the Democrats only use the “stolen” election argument when they lose.
At that point, who will have the last laugh?
Please let me know if you think that the electronic voting machines are unreliable in all elections or only in the ones that the Democrats lose.

He responded:
Hi, Thanks for your interest.  Ritter will have a Repub opponent.  I believe that Tancredo is the easiest to beat.  If there are plans to use high tech ballot fraud it will occur regardless of the opponent.

Mario Solis-Marich

Isn’t it nice that the Republicans will only have to contend with such a mellow, laid-back reaction? 

Good thing that the Republicans aren’t as nasty and unprincipled as this suspicious, paranoid columnist believes they are.

OK, I’ve had my “cry wolf!” moment.  Everyone go back to making Superbowl match up predictions, Academy Award predictions, and the continuing saga of the latest celebrity-scandal du jour.

If the Democrat wins, this columnist will have to write an “I wuz wrong” update.  If Latino voters give faux support to Tom Tancredo and he wins – oh well, such is life.  Also, this columnist will get to write an “I tried to warn ya” column. 

In “Kangaroo,” D. H. Lawrence wrote:  “A man must have <I>some</I> ideas about the the thing he’s up against, otherwise he’s a simple wash-out.

Now, the disk jockey will pay “Que sera, sera” and the forbidden songs “Speedy Gonzales” (sung by Pat Boone) and Manana (sung by Rosemary Clooney).  Now we have to vamoose.  Have a “via con dios” type week.

Hitler and Christmas

Filed under: Uncategorized — Peregrin @ 4:34 am

The newest article making the rounds this holiday season is entitled “How Hitler’s propaganda machine tried to take Christ out of Christmas.”  Look for mention of it on the O’Reilly Factor soon.

Replete with pictures of tree ornaments with swastikas, the article is about one woman’s obsessive search for such knick-knacks, along with her version of WWII history.

The information isn’t new.  One US general investigating Nazi war crimes found several hints of eventual plans to remove all church influence from the Nazi regime, and this was all public back in the 40′s.  It also didn’t get very far – the early regime mostly tried (successfully) to gain the approval of the churches.   So why is it circulating now?

I think this is why.  Look for the teabaggers to put these pictures side-by-side with the swastica ornaments.

November 17, 2009

Sarah isn’t worth a word

Filed under: Uncategorized — Greg in cheeseland @ 11:25 pm

Reading her book of lies, Going Rogue isn’t worth the time either. “Authors” should be able to read a book before they can get one published, but that is obviously not the case with the GOP’s favorite MILF. Thank God for ghostwriters, huh, Sarah?

Once again the “barracuda” is getting attention from the corporate media and also from liberal and progressive writers who feel the need to refute her.

Guess what? There is no need. She has already marginalized herself by her own idiotic statements and will not be a player in national politics, despite the fringe lunatics that still support her.

In a book full of complaints, Palin writes that she doesn’t like to hear complaints. Without going through every detail of her whining about Katie Couric’s softball interview, her horrible trip to the principal’s office with Charles Gibson, her revision of campaign history, and her flat out lies about Alaska politics and her family, it’s clear Palin is a moron and totally unqualified to lead anything other than a teabag rally.

So, let’s just leave it at that. Palin deserves no attention and I am not going to write another word about her after this. She’s not worth it. There are more pressing issues facing this country today.

Read more here:

Obama to focus on deficit reduction and job creation in 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Greg in cheeseland @ 7:13 pm

President Obama plans to announce in next year’s State of the Union address that the administration will focus on deficit reduction and job creation in 2010.

According to POLITICO, which is often used to convey administration messages to Congress, top aides involved in planning the address said Obama “wants to focus extensively on cutting the federal deficit in 2010 – and will downplay other new domestic spending beyond jobs programs.”

Economically and practically speaking, it is a common sense that deficit-spending needs to be reduced. It is also common sense that there can be no real economic recovery without job creation and a massive reduction in unemployment.

On the political side, however, it is uncertain whether these proposals will be sound economic and fiscal policy, or merely a political reaction to the heat the administration has taken over government spending from Republicans. Democrats have to reassure voters that domestic spending is not reckless, but the only way to do that is with immediate positive results. Republicans, however, seem to be most critical of domestic spending and tend to overlook the largest chunks of spending – on entitlement, defense and war appropriations. The proposal to reduce the deficit by cutting domestic spending, therefore, seems to be more political in nature than economic.

If the Obama administration is truly serious about reducing the deficit, creating jobs and bringing the economy out of recession, perhaps it is time to end the wars. Invest our tax dollars in America, not Iraq and Afghanistan.

Read more here:

The Tattlesnake – Palin: the GOPs Political Poison Pill Edition

“Her agenda was not necessarily to show me in the best light.”
– Sarah Palin to Oprah Winfrey, complaining about Katie Couric’s 2008 interview that revealed her to be an uninformed pageant sash, as quoted at NBC’s Today Show website, Nov. 16, 2009.

As this quote shows, Sarah Palin still has no idea what the role of the news media is in a Jeffersonian democracy, apparently believing that reporters should have the ‘agenda’ of lobbing affable Wiffle balls that make her look good rather than exposing a candidate’s fitness for office. That she was so vexed by Couric’s mild inquiries – asking her what she reads, for instance, becoming in Palin’s mind a ‘gotcha’ question without parallel – and then whining to Oprah that she had just been ‘pumped up’ by walking a rope line of enthusiastic followers only to encounter the bummerooski of Katie the ‘Perky One’ with microphone and camera ready to pounce on her with school-test interrogations suited to a spiteful teacher – well, it was just too much to bear!

This, then, is the Beauty Pageant Contestant (BPC) view of the world; you memorize certain attractive-sounding answers, such as advocating world peace or groceries for the hungry, and it’s not fair of the judges to delve into what particular set of policies you would promote to achieve those goals. Isn’t it enough that you have shown yourself to be a really good caring ‘people person’ by just desiring such cures for the world’s ills?

In the same way, Palin thought it was sufficient that she merely presented herself as informed on a daily basis by newspapers and magazines without actually having to bother to learn some by name or talk knowledgeably about their contents. Isn’t it enough that she said she reads all that intellectual stuff, for Pete’s sake? Hey, Real America doesn’t care – they’re too busy shooting wolves from circling Cessnas.

She showed a similar BPC understanding of the law in the campaign of 2008 when she failed to come up with any Supreme Court decision other than Roe v. Wade that entered her memory – but, then, come on — a real leader can always call on her staff to review such inane details for her, as befits a princess with a yen for higher office, such as Ms. Vice President of America.

As for calling Couric ‘The Perky One’ – the giddy Sarah often gives irony a hernia from too much stress, but this was an entry worthy of an Olympic record.

The late Kurt Vonnegut would have heartily appreciated the alternately peevishly snippy and wholesome Hockey-Mom vacuity of Sarah Palin. The Tattler can picture him with his kindly grin, the world-weary eyes twinkling in satirical amusement, a Pall Mall with a droopy ash poised in mid-air, observing one of his more incongruous characters come to life and dominating the American political landscape – always slightly absurd, now keeled over into open farce — promulgated by a national news media that is no longer paid to tell the difference.

For incongruity is the Barracuda’s calling card – she supports the infallible efficacy of sexual abstinence for teens while her own 16-year-old daughter swells in unwed pregnancy; she bleats about clean government while papering over her own administration’s manifold corruptions; she assaults small-minded cruelty while delivering velvet-gloved blows to those who dare criticize her; she talks of lofty Christian ideals while she’s perpetually immersed in petty paybacks; she decries government bailouts while the citizens of her home state accept nearly twice as much in federal money than they pay in taxes; she insinuates darkly of the evils of socialism and nationalization while Alaska annually divides its energy wealth equally among its inhabitants; she natters on about responsibility while refusing to own up to her own mistakes; she deplores politicians abusing their power while she used her office to settle personal scores; she hails freedom while sentencing other members of her gender to do without it; she supports the troops while wanting to prolong their agony in lost wars; she respects tough people who stay in the race, and then quits halfway through her stint as Alaska’s governor when either her ambition or her malfeasance, or both, catch up with her. Most of all, she admires honesty while practicing its opposite, either the result of intentional deception or the BPC’s natural tendency to slap sweet frosting on the ugly realities of human existence, especially when those realities are embedded in one’s own character.


November 16, 2009

The GOP: Blinded By the Wrong


November 15, 2009

Stupak’s Future Dilemma?


November 14, 2009

Yet more media “inaccuracy” on Ft. Hood

Filed under: Uncategorized — Greg in cheeseland @ 2:10 pm

From the earliest reports, it was obvious that the corporate media dropped the ball on the coverage of the Ft. Hood shootings. Now there is yet more evidence that the media did nothing more than parrot the military’s version of what happened.

According to The New York Times on Nov. 7th, police Sgt. Kimberly Munley heroically faced the alleged shooter, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, and put an end to the rampage by shooting him several times while sustaining several wounds herself.

According to The New York Times on Nov. 12th, a second police officer, Senior Sgt. Mark Todd, is the one who finally subdued the alleged gunman.

While that makes Sgt. Munley no less of a hero if either of the versions of the story are accurate, it does underscore one inescapable fact: In a rush to get a story out, media outlets simply report whatever they are told by the government and/or military without bothering to check the facts.

Read more here:

The Woman Who Destroyed the GOP


November 13, 2009

Dobbs Quits Before He’s Fired


November 12, 2009

No decision on deploying more troops to Afghanistan…yet

Filed under: Uncategorized — Greg in cheeseland @ 11:30 pm

President Obama has delayed a decision to deploy more troops to Afghanistan until after he returns to U.S. soil from a trip to Asia that he embarked upon today.

Officials said that in the meeting, the eighth in the Situation Room on Afghanistan and Pakistan in the last two months, Mr. Obama pressed for clarifications on a series of questions: Where are the off-ramps for the military? What is the exit strategy? When will Americans and their allies hand responsibility to the Afghanistan government? Can the Afghan government improve its credibility?

According to the Times, a few hours before the war council met on Wednesday, Mr. Obama slowly walked through the rain-soaked grass at Arlington National Cemetery and visited Section 60, where 577 troops from Iraq and Afghanistan are buried. He stopped by the grave of Spec. Ross McGinnis, a Medal of Honor recipient who was killed nearly three years ago when a grenade was thrown into his vehicle in Iraq. The President also spoke with relatives of other troops who were on hand when he passed by.

The Ambassador to Afghanistan, Karl Eickenberry sent a cable to the White House yesterday strongly objecting to emerging plans to send tens of thousands of additional forces to the country, and has sent multiple classified cables to Washington over the past week that question the wisdom of adding forces when the Afghan political situation is unstable and uncertain.

Eikenberry is not just another envoy. Before resigning his Army commission to take the job as U.S. ambassador in Kabul earlier this year, Gen. Eickenberry served two tours of duty in Afghanistan, the second as head of the Combined Forces Command. After the second Afghan tour, Eikenberry was Chairman of the NATO Joint Military Committee. He is a West Point graduate with advanced degrees from Harvard and Stanford.

All we can hope for is that this is a signal that our Commander in Chief will not be bullied by the Pentagon into making impulsive decisions, that he will carefully weigh the consequences of any decision regarding the deployment of troops, and listen to all of his advisors. An exit strategy, or at least clear military objectives in Afghanistan are what are needed at this point, not just a short-sighted escalation of the war.

Read more here:

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