Greg Prince's Blog

Musings and pontifications from a reality based progressive

Archive for June, 2008

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Posted by Greg on June 30, 2008

Posted in Election 2008 | Leave a Comment »

Courage to be Democrats

Posted by Greg on June 30, 2008

Via Greenwald:

The central problem is that if Democrats embrace the GOP framework of National Security — that “Strength” means what the GOP says it means — then that framework gets enforced and perpetuated, and it’s a framework within which Democrats can’t possibly win, because Republicans will always “out-Strength” Democrats within that framework. It’s only by challenging and disputing the underlying premises can Democrats change the way that “strength” and “weakness” are understood.

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Defending the sanctimony of matrimony

Posted by Greg on June 30, 2008

With kudos to Jesus’ General

Posted in Civil Rights, Culture War, The Right | Leave a Comment »

Is McCain really that dumb?

Posted by Greg on June 30, 2008

According to the Politico, Multiple Choice Mitt is at the top of the Veep list.

Ick.  As a Democrat I suppose that’s a good thing, but still… 

Posted in Election 2008 | 1 Comment »

An energy earthquake

Posted by Greg on June 30, 2008

Great piece in the LA Times about the changes that may be in store as energy prices continue to rise:

Besides the obvious effect $7-a-gallon gasoline would have on commuters, automakers, airlines, truckers and shipping firms, $200 oil would drive up the price of a broad spectrum of products: Insecticides and hand lotions, cosmetics and food preservatives, shaving cream and rubber cement, plastic bottles and crayons — all have ingredients derived from oil.

The pain would probably be particularly intense in Southern California, which is known for its long commutes and high cost of living.

“Throughout our history, we have grown on the assumption that energy costs would be low,” said Michael Woo, a former Los Angeles city councilman and a current member of the city Planning Commission. “Now that those assumptions are shifting, it changes assumptions about housing, cars and how cities grow.”

Push prices up fast enough, he said, and “it would be the urban-planning equivalent of an earthquake.”

The thing is, painful and overdue as it is, life will probably be better when it’s all done.

Posted in Economics, Energy | Leave a Comment »

An unpopular truth

Posted by Greg on June 30, 2008

Great piece at Pandagon on how to deal with the people who seem to be impervious to facts.

As a fellow Middle American, let me step up and say this: if you believe that Obama is a Muslim, unpatriotic, a terrorist, not born in America, any of the various rumors floating around about him, you are an ignorant, bigoted asshole giving in to the worst temptations of society, no matter how coddled they are by people unwilling to offend you lest they seem like the sort of elitist who doesn’t obsess over whether or not Negroes with funny names are going to kill you in your sleep. Facts don’t seem to work, so I’m more than willing to try abject shame for being unrepentant dumbassery.

Atrios observes:

Once upon a time in blogland, which was 3 million years ago in blogtime, back around the time when Howard Dean was ANGRY and all of his supporters were possessed by BUSH DERANGEMENT SYNDROME, completely blinded by irrational hatred and anger, there was a lot of talk about how assholes like me needed to be nicer and sweeter in order to reach out to those nice Midwestern folks who didn’t read my sucky blog anyway. But the fact is that much of our politics has for some years been unrepentant dumbassery, even if much of it comes out of the mouths of leading mainstream media figures like Brian Williams and Maureen Dowd. There’s no reasoning with it, no being nice to it. It isn’t useful to simply throw up an argument or competing narrative.

Some valid questions.  There comes a time beyond which there really isn’t any purpose to rational, polite discussion.  Some people are impervious to logic and we should stop pretending otherwise.

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Day 204

Posted by Greg on June 30, 2008

I’m looking for a good night’s sleep on the soil of a friend.

June 2005

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Target market

Posted by Greg on June 30, 2008

From satirist Andy Borowitz:

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain unveiled details of his economic policy today, telling an audience in Ohio that if elected he would support a real estate tax holiday for beer heiresses.

Sen. McCain said that his tax holiday plan could lead to a revival for the U.S. economy, arguing, “The key to this country’s economic well-being has been and will always be those Americans with vast inherited brewery wealth.”

The Arizona senator took great pains to indicate that the tax holiday would not be available to all brewery heiresses, “Just those with a net worth of over 100 million dollars.”

Mr. McCain’s real estate tax holiday proposal came on the heels of the news that his wife, presumptive First Lady nominee Cindy McCain, had failed to pay real estate taxes on her La Jolla, California home for four years.

But Sen. McCain was quick to dismiss speculation that his real estate tax holiday proposal was intended to help his wife, adding, “Anyone who is serious about fixing the U.S. economy would start with the engine of that economy, which as everyone knows is brewery heiresses.”

Standing at Sen. McCain’s side during his appearance, Mrs. McCain endorsed the real estate tax holiday and offered an explanation for her failure to pay four years’ worth of real estate taxes.

“I guess it slipped my mind,” she said. “Quite frankly, I’ve been busy coming up with totally original recipes for my website.”

Posted in Bush Adminisration, Humor | Leave a Comment »

Day 206

Posted by Greg on June 27, 2008

I’ve reminded the prime minister – the American people, Mr. Prime Minister, over the past months that it was not always a given that the United States and America [sic] would have a close relationship.

DC, 2009

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Spanking Keith

Posted by Greg on June 27, 2008

Keith Olbermann normally does a good job, but he appears to have drunk enough of the Obama koolaid that he’s incapable of being objective, as seen by his fawning coverage of Obama’s FISA retrenchment. 

Olbermann makes the mistake of going head to head with Greenwald.  Here’s an excerpt of Greenwald’s response.

What is most disturbing here is that people (including Olbermann) who for so long have vehemently criticized Democratic leaders for capitulating to Bush and trampling on the Constitution out of fear of looking “Weak” are now invoking that very excuse to justify what Obama is doing here (that’s what Olbermann explicitly did in his Kos reply). To excuse Obama’s conduct on that basis is to perpetuate Democratic complicity. Obama had — and will continue to have — a critical opportunity to reject and debunk that rancid framework, and it is his embrace of that framework here (“I’m going to give Bush what he wants and trample on the Constitution in order to avoid being ‘weak'”) that makes what Obama has done here so harmful and worthy of criticism.

Beyond that, there’s just no getting around the fact that the bill Obama is supporting is another nail in the coffin of Fourth Amendment protections and privacy rights, and — just as bad, if not worse — will almost certainly put an end to any opportunity to find out what Bush’s illegal spying entailed and to obtain a judicial ruling as to its illegality. This isn’t just another bad bill. It marks a disgraceful end — a cover-up — of one of the most extreme Bush lawbreaking scandals (combined with legalization of many of the criminal acts), and it is a disgraceful conclusion for which Democrats are largely responsible. It’s possible that Obama couldn’t have stopped it even with vigorous opposition — though it’s also possible that, as the leader of the Party, he could have — but either way, he is supporting not just a bad bill, but one that stomps on core constitutional liberties and which conceals and protects rampant lawbreaking.

I’ve written endlessly on all of the reasons why a John McCain presidency would be disastrous for this country. The entire last chapter of my book is devoted exclusively to documenting that fact. I have no doubt I will write much more on that topic between now and November. I still think that just as strongly. But basic honesty and adherence to one’s core political values compels criticism for what Obama is doing here, and it’s just distasteful and destructive — not to mention dangerous — for people to invoke patently false rationalizations in order to excuse or support what he’s doing.

Read the whole thing in full.

Posted in Civil Rights, Election 2008, Media | Leave a Comment »

Down to the (tapped) wire

Posted by Greg on June 27, 2008

Politico tells the truth about the turncoat Democrats who flip flopped on FISA in the House.

House Democrats who flipped their votes to support retroactive immunity for telecom companies in last week’s FISA bill took thousands of dollars more from phone companies than Democrats who consistently voted against legislation with an immunity provision, according to an analysis by MAPLight.org.

In March, the House passed an amendment that rejected retroactive immunity. But last week, 94 Democrats who supported the March amendment voted to support the compromise FISA legislation, which includes a provision that could let telecom companies that cooperated with the government’s warrantless electronic surveillance off the hook.

The 94 Democrats who changed their positions received on average $8,359 in contributions from Verizon, AT&T and Sprint from Jan. 2005 to March 2008, according to the analysis by MAPLight, a nonpartisan organization that tracks the connection between campaign contributions and legislative outcomes.

Just what we need – the “best” government blood money can buy.  Bastards.

Emptywheel at FDL goes through the chronology now since the Senate has planned a FISA vote July 8.  Read it and weep – and get working on your senators.

 

Posted in Bush Adminisration, Civil Rights, Congress | Leave a Comment »

Day 207

Posted by Greg on June 27, 2008

I am determined to keep the process on the road to peace.

DC, 2003

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There is an individual right to bear arms

Posted by Greg on June 26, 2008

Thus rules the Supreme Court in a less than unexpected 5/4 decision.  You can read the text here.

Posted in Justice and the Courts | Leave a Comment »

Day 208

Posted by Greg on June 26, 2008

Well, we’ve made the decision to defeat the terrorists abroad so we don’t have to face them here at home. And whenm you engage the terrorists abroad it causes activity and concern.

DC, 2005

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And he thinks this is funny

Posted by Greg on June 26, 2008

What a piece of work.

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