Greg Prince's Blog

Musings and pontifications from a reality based progressive

Archive for February, 2006

Where do yours place?

Posted by Greg on February 25, 2006

National Journal’s rankings are out for Congress.  See where your representatives place in the scheme of things.

Posted in Politics in General | 1 Comment »

What’s in a label?

Posted by Greg on February 25, 2006

An interesting take:

Is Reid a Progressive?

Is he a Liberal?

Is he a Conservative?

I think, if you’re honest with yourself, you’ll have to admit that Reid is a Conservative. There’s a joke about Clinton that runs as follows: “best damn Republican President of the last 50 years.”

Replace “Republican” with “Conservative” and you’ve got the truth of it. I mean this is the man who pushed through NAFTA at the cost of universal healthcare, and the man who gutted welfare. He wasn’t a liberal or a progressive, he was a very competent conservative, of the sort that no longer finds a home in the Republican party.  Reid is a man in the same mold. He won the minority leader position because so are most Democratic Senators. Liberal Senators, let alone Progressive Senators, are in a minority in Congress.

This is an important thing that progressives and liberals need to understand. The Democratic party is a coalition between Conservatives and Progressives/Liberals.

Good points.  As Matt Stoller at MyDD observes:

The Democratic Party is a vehicle to use to improve the country.  It is not an end in itself. 

Well…the same could be said for any party, not just the Democrats.  But the larger truth here is that BOTH political parties are themselves coalitions with many parts.  I don’t think it’s necessarily a good thing that parties be too ideologically pure.  It leads to too many kooks in positions of power, and of fanaticism in lieu of good government. 

Once upon a time you didn’t necessarily know if one was conservative or liberal just by party affiliation.  That’s less the case now.  But even at that…these people calling Hillary and Reid “conservative” shows how far off the center they really are…

Posted in The Left | Leave a Comment »

What’s in a label?

Posted by Greg on February 25, 2006

An interesting take:

Is Reid a Progressive?

Is he a Liberal?

Is he a Conservative?

I think, if you’re honest with yourself, you’ll have to admit that Reid is a Conservative. There’s a joke about Clinton that runs as follows: “best damn Republican President of the last 50 years.”

Replace “Republican” with “Conservative” and you’ve got the truth of it. I mean this is the man who pushed through NAFTA at the cost of universal healthcare, and the man who gutted welfare. He wasn’t a liberal or a progressive, he was a very competent conservative, of the sort that no longer finds a home in the Republican party.  Reid is a man in the same mold. He won the minority leader position because so are most Democratic Senators. Liberal Senators, let alone Progressive Senators, are in a minority in Congress.

This is an important thing that progressives and liberals need to understand. The Democratic party is a coalition between Conservatives and Progressives/Liberals.

Good points.  As Matt Stoller at MyDD observes:

The Democratic Party is a vehicle to use to improve the country.  It is not an end in itself. 

Well…the same could be said for any party, not just the Democrats.  But the larger truth here is that BOTH political parties are themselves coalitions with many parts.  I don’t think it’s necessarily a good thing that parties be too ideologically pure.  It leads to too many kooks in positions of power, and of fanaticism in lieu of good government. 

Once upon a time you didn’t necessarily know if one was conservative or liberal just by party affiliation.  That’s less the case now.  But even at that…these people calling Hillary and Reid “conservative” shows how far off the center they really are…

Posted in The Left | Leave a Comment »

The Wingnut Express

Posted by Greg on February 23, 2006

So who’s part of this “base” Karl Rove do desperately wants to attract?  Apparently, a lot of folks some would just as leave keep out of prime time.

Read what Pam’s House Blend has to say:

 

Posted in The Right | Leave a Comment »

Less than a mountain

Posted by Greg on February 22, 2006

A lot of people have been writing about the US Ports/UAE connection.  You’ll have to forgive me, but it seems to me there’s less there than meets the eye.  Yes things deserve scrutiny, but the dockworkers in the trenches are and will remain US union workers.  And US customs, the Coast Guard, etc. who traditionally are responsible for security and entry aren’t going away.  And port protocols aren’t exactly secrets to begin with.

Frankly, what’s more interesting is what the story reveals about the White House and its standard modus operandi – deny, threaten, entrench, and basically flail about impotently. 

And of course there’s the issue that there may be some under the table maneuvering going on wrt UAE, trade agreements, etc., and that type of corruption also needs to be exposed if that’s truly the case.

But most of all, why on earth is the White House acting so surprised and put out over this?  After five years of screaming “the sky is falling” and finding terrorist operatives under every bed, are they surprised to find resistance at turning over any aspect of American security to middle eastern interests?  It’s a quagmire of their own making.

Others blogging:

The Reaction

The Carpetbagger Report

Kos

Kevin Drum

Michelle Malkin

Pam Spaulding

Americablog

UNCoRRELATED

 

Posted in Bush Adminisration, Terrorism | Leave a Comment »

Mirror, mirror on the wall…

Posted by Greg on February 22, 2006

ROFL

 caring.gif

Thanks my friend. I needed the laugh.

And he’s a Republican.  Imagine what Democrats had to say about her…

Posted in Bush Adminisration, Media | 1 Comment »

Get a life

Posted by Greg on February 21, 2006

Amazing.

They’re shaken, stirred and just plain angry. And several months late with their response. A group of James Bond fans have launched a Web site, http://www.craignotbond.com, to protest British actor Daniel Craig replacing Pierce Brosnan in the 007 film franchise, and boycott the upcoming Bond movie “Casino Royale.”

 

Posted in Entertainment | Leave a Comment »

The wicked witch of the White House

Posted by Greg on February 20, 2006

Arianna has a good roundup of Matlin’s sorry performance on Meet the Depressed.

Posted in Media | Leave a Comment »

It’s the religion

Posted by Greg on February 20, 2006

An Andrew Sullivan reader writes:

“I am so tired of Muslims of blaming ‘culture’ not the ‘religion’ for any trouble inside Muslim countries. If you need an example of the falsehood of that statement – look at India and Pakistan. The people are ethnically identical, speak the same languages and eat the same foods. (In fact they were the same country until Muslims demanded they get their own country).

Today Pakistan is a military dictatorship and has been for most of its 50 plus year life. Its only claims to fame are killing journalists, operating jihadi camps, beating up women who try to run marathons, possessing nuclear weapons and blowing up the local KFC to prove that Islam is not violent. India on the other hand is a striving (albeit Third World) democracy that is home to Gandhi, yoga, computer programmers, hugging saints, doctors and spelling bee enthusiasts.  Thus once again demonstrating that it isn’t the ‘culture’ but the ‘religion’ that is truly incompatible with the modern world.

In fact, it’s sad to say this but in the eyes of many Hindus, myself included, September 11th is just another horrific example of the 1400 years that Islam has been fighting ‘the other’. We don’t view it as some sort of perversion of Islam but rather the way it has been since its birth. I’m also tired of liberals blaming marginalization in Europe and Britain for everything. That is just rubbish. Hindus in Europe are the same colour as their Muslim counterparts and therefore would face the same discrimination and barriers but choose to direct their energy to better education and assimilating into the culture. Not to building better bombs.”

Ouch! 

Posted in International, Religion | Leave a Comment »

Much nothing about oversight

Posted by Greg on February 20, 2006

Holy smokes, you can’t make this stuff up

For Americans troubled by the prospect of federal agents eavesdropping on their phone conversations or combing through their Internet records, there is good news: A little-known board exists in the White House whose purpose is to ensure that privacy and civil liberties are protected in the fight against terrorism.

Someday, it might actually meet.

Posted in Bush Adminisration | Leave a Comment »

Getting feisty

Posted by Greg on February 20, 2006

Geeks of the world unite! 

How else to explain the following (positive) developments:

At a Scientific Gathering, U.S. Policies Are Lamented  

 Scientists at conference speak out on evolution

Teaching science in science class?  God forbid!

Posted in Bush Adminisration, The Right | Leave a Comment »

Political whores

Posted by Greg on February 18, 2006

Let there be no mistake about it.  Minnesota attorney general Mike Hatch is a self aggrandizing political menace.  His entire career is a disgrace to the state of Minnesota, and his latest stunt – timed curiously to coincide with an attempt at the governor’s mansion, is no exception.

This morning’s Star Tribune reports:

Pharmaceutical companies that make popular cold remedies containing essential ingredients for the illegal stimulant methamphetamine should be forced to pay millions of dollars in costs that the illicit drug inflicts on Minnesota taxpayers, Attorney General Mike Hatch said Friday.

Of all the dumbass ideas – and Hatch is infamous – this has to take the cake.  Why does he think they should be targeted?

Hatch noted, however, that the companies “strenuously opposed legislation that would have made their products more difficult to obtain.” 

Well duh.  They opposed measures that would make it difficult for the 99.999 percent of people who aren’t meth addicts to get to their perfectly legal and legitimate products.  They aren’t stupid – you make it difficult to get the product, people will switch to other products wherever possible.

Mark my words DFL – if Hatch if the nominee, I’ll have no choice but to vote third party for governor this November. 

Others blogging:

Anti Strib:

Do we start a new statewide initiative out of the A.G.’s office to combat meth labs, drug dealers and meth cookers? No, he will sue “Big Booger Medicine”. I wonder why Pawlenty hadn’t thought of it first? Sue the “Big Booger” cartel and break the back of the meth labs. Genius. Next week, belt manufacturers and laundry cord retailers will be sued for the county paid costs of suicide scene cleanup.

 

Posted in Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap, Politics in General | 1 Comment »

Not quite there

Posted by Greg on February 18, 2006

Hi folks.  Posting’s going to be erratic for a while.  I’m not well, and my wife even less so.  And someone has to be a parent, keep the house running, and so forth.  I may post from time to time…but it’s just not a priority for a few days.

Posted in The Blogosphere | Leave a Comment »

Accidental disclosure

Posted by Greg on February 16, 2006

I had the good fortune to miss Cheney’s love fest with Fox News, but it appears he might have accidentally said something interesting.  Something that, at any rate, merits additional investigation.

Hume: Let me ask you another question. Is it your view that a Vice President has the authority to declassify information?

Cheney: There is an executive order to that effect.

Hume: There is.

Cheney: Yes.

Hume: Have you done it?

Cheney: Well, I’ve certainly advocated declassification and participated in declassification decisions. The executive order –

Hume: You ever done it unilaterally?

Cheney: I don’t want to get into that. There is an executive order that specifies who has classification authority, and obviously focuses first and foremost on the President, but also includes the Vice President.

Interesting indeed…especially since multiple reviews of the order he cites don’t give him that authority.  As we read at The Carpetbagger Report:

The VP has some fairly broad authority to classify materials, but the VP can’t be his own declassification machine. Cheney wouldn’t respond to the question yesterday about whether he has unilaterally exercised this power, but it’s clear the VP was arguing that he could.

You’ll recall Libby’s statements that he had been authorized to share classified material?  All of a sudden this matters big time.

Others commenting:

Connect Left 

…has Cheney — the de facto President the past 6 years, simply forgotten that he’s actually second-in-command?

Transparent Grid should be read in full.

Because the Vice President does not appear to be the “originating authority,? Cheney did not seem to have the authority to declassify the NIE since the agency that classifies has the responsibility to determine whether to declassify for the public interest. In this case, the White House selectively disclosed portions of the NIE to make its case to make war on Iraq and there is no indication that the CIA or National Intelligence Council authorized its disclosure. 

Andrew Sullivan:

The first print mention of Wilson’s dissent from the White House line was in May 2003. So the time-line for a clear connection doesn’t work. All we can say is that Cheney’s new authority to leak classified information came at a time when the administration’s claims about WMDs were beginning to look weak. Not long thereafter, Plame was outed. 

David Corn:

It seems as if Cheney might not be free to declassify, on his own say-so, a National Intelligence Estimate so an aide can slip portions of it to a reporter to help the White House politically. But there is some ambiguity here. Which is why it might be useful for a congressional committee to examine the issue. But I’m not expecting any Republican committee chairman to invite Cheney to testify about this any time soon.

 

Posted in Bush Adminisration, Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap | 1 Comment »

Willie Nelson joins PFLAG…sorta.

Posted by Greg on February 16, 2006

by Sean.  Crossposted from Hiding in the Backwaters

+++

Today from the BBC:

Country music star Willie Nelson has released a tune about gay cowboy romance for Valentine’s Day.

Nelson said the release, Cowboys Are Secretly, Frequently (Fond of Each Other), was timed to coincide with Oscar hopeful Brokeback Mountain.

The song, originally written in 1981, was played for the first time on Howard Stern’s radio show on Tuesday.

“The song’s been in the closet for 20 years. The timing’s right for it to come out,? said Nelson.

‘Special meaning’

“I’m just opening the door,? added the performer, who recorded the track at his home in Texas last year.

The song is being exclusively released for download via the Apple iTunes music store.

Speaking to the Dallas Morning News, Nelson’s manager David Anderson, who revealed that he was gay two years ago, said he wanted the song to reflect well on the singer.

“This song obviously has special meaning to me in more ways than one,? said Mr Anderson.

“I want people to know more than anything – gay, straight, whatever – just how cool Willie is and … his way of thinking, his tolerance, everything about him,? he added.

The Broken Lizard Comedy Troupe are to film a video to accompany the song, which will also be available via the iTunes online store.

Nelson also features on the soundtrack of Brokeback Mountain, singing He Was A Friend of Mine, which hit number 54 in the US charts earlier this year.1

Yes, I’ve already downloaded it. I didn’t really have any idea what to expect, but it’s actually a very sweet song that manages to acknowledge both realities at the same time. Here are the lyrics for you.

 

Well there’s many a strange impulse out on the plains of west Texas
There’s many a young boy who feels things he can’t comprehend.
And a small town don’t like it when somebody falls between sexes.
No a small town don’t like it when a cowboy has feelings for men.

And I believe to my soul that inside every man is the feminine,
And inside every lady there’s a deep manly voice loud and clear.
Well, a cowboy may brag about things that he’s done with his women,
But the ones that brag loudest are the ones that are most likely queer.

Cowboys are frequently secretly fond of each other.
Say what did you think all them saddles and boots was about?
And there’s many a cowboy who don’t understand the way that he feels for his brother.
And inside every cowboy there’s a lady who’d love to slip out.

And there’s always somebody who says what the others just whisper.
And mostly that someone’s the first one to get shot down dead.
So when you talk to a cowbody don’t treat him like he was a sister.
You can’t fuck with the lady that’s sleeping in each cowboy’s head.

Cowboys are frequently secretly fond of each other.
Say what did you think all them saddles and boots was about?
And there’s many a cowboy who don’t understand the way that he feels for his brother.
And inside every lady there’s a cowboy who wants to come out.
And inside every cowboy there’s a lady that’d love to slip out.

1“Nelson releases gay cowboy song,? BBC News, February 15, 2006, news.bbc.co.uk

Posted in Culture War | Leave a Comment »