It’s the grease makes us get along,what separates us from the animals, beasts a prey

Via Main and Central, a Sergeant Major at Daily Kos,

I mentioned earlier that there were two ways in which this hijacking of the government is occurring. The second dynamic is graft and corruption of our lawmakers. As soon as the Republican Party came to power in Congress they launched a project known as the K Street project which basically said that if your lobbying business was employing anyone who was not a Republican then you would not gain access to Congress. This is a direct assault on the constitution because the constitution guarantees citizens the right to petition Congress. The constitution guarantees this right to all citizens and not to members of specific parties. It is my contention then that this plan, instigated by Tom Delay, therefore is a traitorous act and should be investigated as a treasonous act against the United States.

Yes, life has an erie resemablance to high school and pissing contests, Economic Triumphalism

Henwood writes, “this is the first time since the census bureau began publishing figures for household income in 1967 that there have been five negative signs in a row.” (there were four in a row each in the early 80s and early 90s). Third, income inequality in the United States in 2004, as measured by GINI coefficients, was higher in 2004 than it had been at anytime since the early 1940s.
Many people like to think of inequality as left-wing harping when leftists can’t think of anything else to complain about. But, inequality is directly germane to Joshua’s article: if the economic gains of a particular period are significantly skewed to benefit a relative few (i.e – there’s growing inequality) – why is it a mystery why most people don’t feel that they’ve benefitted from the supposed boom?

Moderan conservatives, champions of the down trodden Pais Hilton’s of the world. Its not class warfare, its a war on people that work by people that do very little work and accumulate great wealth. Envy of the moneyed class isn’t very productive, but resentment that millions of Americans work fourty plus hours a week and have to go without lunch to pay for their kid’s braces is understandable. A fourty/fifty hour work week should translate to the basic needs of any individual or family.

Prone to Violence

Elections in many newly democratizing states have been an ethnic census, not a deliberation about public issues. Ethnic leaders can quickly mobilize nationalist mass movements based on crony and clan ties, common language and cultural practices. It is harder for secular or “catch-all” leaders to forge new ties across groups. When Saddam Hussein’s regime collapsed in Iraq, for example, Shi’a groups readily formed political parties and militias based on existing social networks and religious authority figures. Kurds did the same from their regional base, and Ba’athi remnants were able to mount a fierce insurgency among some elements of the divided but resentful Sunnis. In contrast, secular leaders worked futilely against the grain of the existing social timber to construct an army and credible political parties.

Edward D. Mansfield and Jack Snyder are on to something important here that the Bush apparatchiks would like to overlook, like a rea estate agent that says pay no mind to that crater in the back yard. The conservative apparatchiks are pissed because we keep bring up stuff like a two year old war without the proper body armor and American soldiers dying. That we’re winning the war. Besides being blindly infatuated with the word winning, what I think they mean is that American and British troops have a higher kill rate then the people setting up the IEDs. Thats true. We have an amazingly effective, well trained military, their bravery and determination to accomplish their assigned daily missions is phenomenal. I know this because I watch and read the vast liberal media and am under their hypnotic spell. But back to the harsh reality of political victories in countries that have been worse at embracing the Age of Enlightenment then Rush Limbaugh on oxycontin:

Many Islamic countries that figure prominently in the Bush Administration’s efforts to promote democracy are particularly hard cases. Although democratization in the Islamic world might contribute to peace in the very long run, Islamic public opinion in the short run is generally hostile to the United States, ambivalent about terrorism and unwilling to renounce the use of force to regain disputed territories. Although the belligerence of the Islamic public is partly fueled by resentment of the U.S.-backed authoritarian regimes under which many of them live, renouncing these authoritarians and pressing for a quick democratic opening is unlikely to lead to peaceful democratic consolidations. On the contrary, unleashing Islamic mass opinion through sudden democratization might raise the likelihood of war.

The bold highlights make the point that many groups are in effect playing the ref ( the USA), they participated in the Iraq election, are splintered into political factions, but more important , ethnic and tribal factions are making plans how how to consolidate their power after the US leaves. More on this at Body and Soul
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The Usual Tactics Part II. The Republican culture of corruption story starts blending into a long string of denials and they-did-it toos. Its a hot topic for a month, the public tired of being yelled at by right-wing pundits on TV and radio, scandal overlaod sets in. Cons frayed around the edges, muddle through. They lose momentum, resign themselves that they’ll lose some sits in Congress and the Senate, but still retain a majority, all the while portraying themselves as martyrs who are helpless against the lying merciless liberal press. By 2007 the conservaive bloggers will swear nothing even happened. Abramoff , Delay, Scanlon, and Ney were all the Republican embodiment of Mother Theresa. Deposit another 50 cents to play again….Abramoff: The Repubican Scandal

Republicans have been trying to deflect criticism surrounding the Abramoff scandal by falsely claiming it is a bipartisan issue. Republicans have been able to confuse the issue since many groups represented by Abramoff, for obviously reasons, did donate to both parties. What is more significant is that 100% of money directly from Abramoff was donated to Republicans, and all money donated as part of illegal schemes of donating money in return for favors involved Republicans. Looking at the big picture, the K Street Project was purely a Republican scheme to misuse money from people like Abramoff in their attempt to achieve one party rule.

and I thought I loved pizza, Free pizza delivery via small plane in remote Alaska

Apple prepares to launch low-cost laptop and cheap iPod

APPLE, the US computing and consumer electronics giant, is to launch a low-cost laptop. Company founder and chief executive Steve Jobs hopes to be able to unveil the device this week in San Francisco along with a new low-cost iPod and some other surprises

. . . . . The sheeny knows I like sure things. He’s
selling the information I fixed the fight. Out-
of-town money comes pourin’ in. The odds go
straight to hell. I don’t know who he’s sellin’
it to, maybe the Los Angeles combine, I don’t
know. The point is, Bernie ain’t satisfied with
the honest dollar he can make off the vig. He
ain’t satisfied with the business I do on his
book. He’s sellin’ tips on how I bet, and that
means part of the payoff that should be ridin’ on
my hip is ridin’ on someone else’s. So back we
go to these questions–friendship, character,
ethics.

Caspar
It’s a wrong situation. It’s gettin’ so a
businessman can’t expect no return from a fixed
fight. Now if you can’t trust a fix, what can
you trust? For a good return you gotta go
bettin’ on chance, and then you’re back with
anarchy. Right back inna jungle. On account of
the breakdown of ethics. That’s why ethics is
important. It’s the grease makes us get along,
what separates us from the animals, beasts a
burden, beasts a prey. Ethics. Whereas Bernie
Bernheim is a horse of a different color ethics-
wise.
As in, he ain’t got any. He’s stealin’
from me plain and simple.

From Miller’s Crossing (1990) – Screenplay By Joel Coen and Ethan Coen