Friday, December 21, 2007

Biting Them in The Blindcheeks

Why does it seem that every time the Bush Administration's attempted to defend its aberrant policies, it ends up violating national security?

But I guess this is all okay, since it's patriotic administration officials doing this, and not dirty hippy commies with far left leanings (The main sign of which is opposition to the Bush administration, rather than any demonstrated political bias in that direction.)

You know you've really screwed up...

...When you've got the Terminator as an enemy.

I mean, how good can your environmental plan be if it's being opposed by a machine from a future where everything's been nuked anyways?

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Well, that just takes the... Fruitcake. Ugh.

I don't know what staffer advised Rudy Giuliani to do this ridiculous ad, but whatever he's paying him, he should double it, and make him his campaign manager.


Because the crashing and burning of Rudy Giuliani Campaign has yet to have entertained me, or a million other Democrats and Independents quite enough yet. If you're going to go out, go out with style!

What? It’ll be a really nice fruit cake with a big red bow on it!

-Rudolph Giuliani, perhaps to be inducted into the hall of fame of
campaign destroying quotes, right alongside "Yeargh!".

Monday, December 17, 2007

Lindsey Graham? Collect call from the Memory Hole.

Yes, I'll hold.

Oh, yes. He said that you said that if there wasn't progress on provincial elections, reversing De-Baathification, and spreading the wealth on oil revenues, then it was very likely Iraq would become a failed state.

Yes, you said that. He said you even asked a rhetorical question about whether it would be worth keeping soldiers there if such progress weren't made.




Darn it.

Another Brick in The Wall, or Up Against the Wall?

One has to wonder whether Jonah Goldberg had a very happy elementary school experience.

We don't need no education...
We don't need no thought control...
Teacher, leave those kids alone!

(apologies to Pink Floyd)

Cradle to grave indoctrination from the right, that's the only way!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

What does a Broken Army Mean?

Push soldier far enough, put them in bad enough positions, and things like this happen.

I think many hawks nowadays have a poor appreciation for the human needs of war, and it's a good way to lose more wars. You can't simply grind your army into the dust and not have the above or worse happen.

I Just Somehow Knew...

When CNN's Political Ticker posted this article with the headline "Ticker: Dem V.P. nominee backs GOP hopeful", I had a very strong, sneaking suspicion who it was before I clicked through. What do you know? I was right!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Tortured Good Intentions

Kevin Drum posted this on the Washington Monthly site, and I'd like to register my response to the logic contained therein.

The logic is, we're doing this to save people. Funny thing is, they're doing it for that reason, too. Save people from us, from the pre-Islamic state of ignorance, from themselves, more or less. They're saving the world, for crying out loud!

At least, that is, in their own minds.

They are rightly considered cruel, violent, and extremist for their behavior. Which is the situation we are in to a lesser extent, when we think up wonderful ways to justify what is just basically torture. It's cruelty, and what's more, it doesn't work like it's supposed to.

Supposedly, it's a magic way to get perfect information just by threatening or hurting a bad guys. That, unfortunately, is something out of the movies. We're not hard drives, to be broken into by torturing hackers. When you break a person's will, you have no idea whether they believe that telling the truth fulfills what you desire of them. If you're rather insistent on a point, they might begin to see the merits of agreeing with you, whether or not they know it to be true. If they've kept their wits about them, they can feed you whatever BS they can.

It's not that torture can never reveal good information. It's just that being the interrogator, the person who wants to know, you yourself will probably be the last person to know where the truth is or is not within a tortured person's confessions.

The glorious vision of instant actionable intelligence is an illusion. If you don't know where the truth begins or ends, you will end up having to do follow up, or perhaps possibly missing the opportunity to take action elsewhere. If you will have to follow up anyways, and your instant intelligence turns out to be BS more than anything else, then you could end up no closer to the truth than somebody who stuck to normal interrogation methods and took their time looking up leads in the first place.

But instead of being better off then them, you're worse off. You lose reputation, you lose campaigns for hearts and mind. You make it easier for people who really do dislike us to become more hateful. You make it more difficult for America to take the moral high ground and fight against these kinds of injustices.

The more we become like the terrorists, the more paralyzed we become in opposing their evils.

A Little Thing Called Cooperation...

To be very blunt here, I don't think I've ever heard of Congress or the Judiciary being asked to back off in a situation like this. Strikes me as particularly arrogant of them. Things have a bad habit of disappearing around these people when they're allowed time to set their affairs in order.

The Truth About Frivolous Lawsuits

Here's a very interesting article about why many of the assumptions about frivolous lawsuit are wrong.

Update: A column in my local newspaper exposes more bamboozlement about frivolous lawsuits.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Harry Reid: when you're finished shooting yourself in the foot, I'd like to talk to you.

It's stuff like this which amazes me. I mean, really. Of all the wasted opportunities. Americans have no problem believing that Democrats are more like them in their values, better at protecting them, better in so many other ways than their rivals. Yet you and the rest of the Senate Democrats have them so frustrated that they feel the need for a third party.

It's pathetic. You're making us look bad. I mean, why are we giving the telecommunication companies immunity? Their people should have seen this coming. are we doing this because Bush will accuse us of being terrorist sympathizers? Take a nice long walk outside the swamp-gas saturated air of Washington, and you will find that most people are scared, not grateful for what our friends in the Maisson Blanche have been doing.

Let me tell you what you're doing: you're wasting valuable credibility, not to mention the opportunity to stand up to Bush when it really matters. Of course we'll be far less cautious when and if a Democratic party president is elected. But that won't tell people the depth of our committment to fight for them. What if another Republican is elected President, unlikely as that may be? What if we find ourselves dealing with another Oval Office tyrant?

I know you might want to be civil, not to make waves, not to offend people, but that only works if the other side is cooperating. These people are not. They are actively trying to stifle your agenda, and you are letting them do this. What will people think when they see this? That we're so gracious and bi-partisan? Or are they going to think what the hell are these people good for? At this point in time, our most valuable role as the majority is to be the antidote to the political poison that the former majority power has become.

We no longer have to go along to get along. We no longer have to tolerate their agenda of obstruction of anything and everything liberal. We have every right and every mandate now to change the equation of power, to quit letting victories flow in their direction. It's time for them to learn the true meaning of obstruction. They can filibuster us (or threaten it seems, since you don't hold them to such idle promises), but we can absolutely take anything everything they want an bring it to a screeching halt. We'll see how long they maintain their taste for such tactics when we put that flavor in their oatmeal for a change.

So far, the verdict for your Senate, and as a result this congress will be that you are a bunch of wimps who could back down the most unpopular president of modern times, or break the losing party on its way to losing more seats in that chamber. I could understand the brief lingering of timidity from the days of Republican Majority, but this is just convincing people that your folks are congenitally lacking in spine, and that is just going to get your butts into trouble in upcoming elections. If you really want to consolidate your power, don't be afraid to use it. If you want the Republicans to be able to show your party to be weak and ineffectual, you're doing a good job.

The Telepresent Tribune: Why I'm starting it.

I've already got a political blog, Watchblog, and are a member (newly minted) of Daily Kos and another blog of my own, The Telepresent Texan. Hell, I even have an online novel going (or will get going once I get back on track)

The trick though, I'd rather keep the last blog pure of this stuff, and the other two blogs, though I get my stuff out through them, only allow me so many posts in a day. I'd like a bit more freedom to respond to events in real time, so I've decided to collect and distribute news, information, and opinion (both I promise will be clearly labelled for what they are) in this new blog. I've always admired other bloggers like Josh Marshall and Kevin Drum, who are absolute newshounds, so I guess this is my way of giving them the sincerest form of flattery for having kept folks like me informed about things. I hope I do this right.

In the interests of full disclosure, I am a Democrat, and I am a Liberal. And yes, a Progressive, a member of the Left (though not the Far Left, I'd think.) However, I do invite any and all to read this blog. Those who don't like what I have to say can at least keep themselves informed of what people like me know and really believe. Hopefully, I'll also challenge some of you who would call me a fellow Democrat, Liberal, Progressive, etc. Lord knows we need a shake up.

With all that explained, The Telepresent Tribune begins publication.