A Preview of Dubya’s Legacy

Dubya: Deaf and Blind!How the president hears and sees what he wants.

I was making it clear it was an independent judgment, because what they basically came to the conclusion of, is that he’s trying—you know, this is a way to make sure that all options aren’t on the table. So I defended our intelligence services, but made it clear that they’re an independent agency; that they come to conclusions separate from what I may or may not want.

The quote Timothy Noah at Slate uses to describe Bush’s attitude about the National Intelligence Estimate on Iran. As has usually been the case Bush like so many Republicans have this remarkable ability to ignore facts that get in the way of their preconceived notions about just everything under the sun. Politics aside how sad that we have about a president that apparently gets his own personal intelligence information beamed into his head from sources unknown.

Bloody Reality Bears No Relation to the Delusions of This President
As a bomb explodes in Beirut and Israel kills 19 in Gaza raids, Bush takes his Middle East peace mission to Saudi Arabia (and signs off $20bn weapons deal with repressive regime)

The difference between reality and the dream-world of the US government could hardly have been more savagely illustrated. After promising the Palestinians a “sovereign and contiguous state” before the end of the year, and pledging “security” to Israel – though not, Arabs noted, security for “Palestine” – Mr Bush had arrived in the Gulf to terrify the kings and oligarchs of the oil-soaked kingdoms of the danger of Iranian aggression. As usual, he came armed with the usual American offers of vast weapons sales to protect these largely undemocratic and police state regimes from potentially the most powerful nation in the ” axis of evil”.

Like his concept of national intelligence Bush’s concept of spreading democracy matches no earthly known definition of those terms.

Bush’s Legacy in the Making

So George Bush wants a legacy. Maybe precipitous economic decline, the widest gulf between the poor and the rich since the Great Depression and war without end don’t feel like a legacy to him. But his term as president didn’t just involve destroying our economy and waging unwinnable wars. None of that would have been possible without rampant corruption, a Congress that resembles a National Geographic special on jelly fish, and lots and lots of secrecy.No if there’s one thing this administration has: it’s legacy.

You know fifty years from now when Iraq is rebuilt there’ll be a right-wing revisionist hawking another book destined for the clearance sale table that will claim ya see everything turned out for the best. The dead of course will not be able to offer a rebuttal and by then even most of the maimed and crippled will be dead so the next generation of Wingnuttia can live in yet another bubble where the Right is never wrong.

No, let’s start with his abandonment of the weakest among us; his failure to protect us, our families and the law enforcement professionals that serve as first responders against domestic violence.

Sen. Patrick Leahy, the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee explained it succinctly, “The Bush Administration’s proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2007 … calls for deep cuts in crime-prevention programs that state and local police and sheriff’s departments have long relied upon, including key Justice Department efforts such as Byrne Grants, the Crime Victims Fund, the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Act and the Violence Against Women Act Programs.”

update: I forgot to post this story from BradBlog about Sibel Edmonds, UK Sunday Times Confirms FBI Cover Up of Documents in Sibel Edmonds Nuke Secrets Case

London’s Sunday Times has just published a follow-up to their explosive front-pager from two weeks ago which described allegations by former FBI translator turned whistleblower Sibel Edmonds.

The paper now reports that they are able to corroborate an apparent FBI cover up of documents detailing an investigation of the theft and sale of nuclear secrets to agents working for Turkey and Israel who in turn shared the secrets with Pakistan, who in turn may have shared those secrets with Iran, North Korea, Libya and possibly even al-Qaeda

We don’t need any conspiracy theories about jet fuel and what temperature melts steel, much of the criminal negligence of which the Bush administration is guilty is out in the open for anyone that cares to take a few minutes to read. In every case in which a whistle blower has come forward to speak out attempts have been made by the administration and the Right to either silence, punish or discredit them.

Be thankful we’re not getting all the government we’re paying for

Iraqi Spending to Rebuild Has Slowed, Report Says

After the United States spent more than $40 billion to rebuild Iraq’s faltering electricity, water, sewage, transportation and petroleum sectors, with mixed results at best, Iraq’s failure to devote its own resources to continue the task brought severe criticism from Western government and technical organizations.

The reasons for that failure, Iraqi and American officials said, included the challenges of carrying out construction projects in a dangerous countryside, a lack of expertise in a nation drained of technical talent, and a fear that new anticorruption measures would be widely used to prosecute Iraqi officials accustomed to operating in a culture of bribes and financial back-scratching.

Without native professionals its difficult to see how Iraq will move beyond different degrees of strife. Its both the real world reality and the psychological aspect of choosing to live or being stuck in a disaster area, Iraq as a permanent Katrina. Better Data Needed to Assess Iraq’s Budget Execution

Violence and sectarian strife delay capital budget execution by increasing the time and cost needed to implement contracts. Recent refugee flows and the de-Ba’athification process have contributed to the exodus of skilled labor from Iraq. In addition, U.S. and foreign officials also noted that weaknesses in Iraqi procurement, budgeting, and accounting procedures impede completion of capital projects.

Excuse the semi-heresy, but bombing the hell out of people does have the effect of quieting certain elements of the population even those that think they have a gang of virgins waiting for. On the other hand if you have a family and you’re a teacher, a nurse, a policeman etc do you sit there cross your fingers and hope that the bombs only hit the bad guys or do you move to Jordan or anywhere there are not bombs dropping.  From a purely military tactics point of view that WaPO article makes a sense, but if you’re an Iraqi you tend to see the bombing as a daily to weekly lottery draw where the losers get a coffin.

Lawbreaking telecoms still conniving to obtain immunity from Congress. The behavior of Senators Jay Rockefeller and Harry Reid as regards the telecom shamnesty is particularly disappointing in that their stances coincide more with the flow of telecom money rather then the will of their constituents. These are bad people or bad Senators, but they are deeply tragically wrong to set legal precedents in which Congress retroactively waves a magic wand and makes illegal conduct seem like it never happened and as far as anyone can tell for no other reason then expediency. Those that care to might send then an e-mail politely explaining that the 2006 elections were a vote for a change in course and a mark of trust by the American electorate and that it would behoove the senators to honor that trust.

Jon Stewart Goes After Jonah Goldberg and ‘Fascism’ — He Responds 

NEW YORK Columnist Jonah Goldberg stopped by Comedy Central’s “Daily Show” on Wednesday night to tout his provocative new book, “Liberal Fascism.” Jon Stewart clearly didn’t buy the premise, asking at one point in exasperation, “Organic food is fascist???” and “I must say you are unbelieavably misrepresenting” what the Progressive era was all about.

Apparently the taping went on so long, and with so many nuggets, that (as Stewart had warned) some of it had to be aired in choppy sound bites.

Most touchy moment for Jonah came when Stewart asked him if one of the things he was against was people throwing around the charge “fascism” far too easily. Jonah said yes, then Stewart picked up a copy of the book and simply pointed to the title, “Liberal Fascism” — adding, so why are you doing this?

Goldberg is never going to deal with his honesty or rather lack of honesty in what he has written. So far every time he has been challenged he has countered that you haven’t read the book, he has “experts” that support his premise, or the challenger just can’t grasp the new earth shattering insights that Goldberg is so graciously sharing with the world. That Goldberg has written this bit of right-wing psycho babble is great. Even better then Michelle Malkin’s unhinged tome or Ann Coulter’s screed. Each of these works is a chance for the public to get a good look at the dark side of Conservatism, the modern equivalent of dragging a nest of vampires out into the light.

Be thankful we’re not getting all the government we’re paying for. ~ Will Rogers

There’s something screwy around here

Station Chief Made Appeal To Destroy CIA Tapes

In late 2005, the retiring CIA station chief in Bangkok sent a classified cable to his superiors in Langley asking if he could destroy videotapes recorded at a secret CIA prison in Thailand that in part portrayed intelligence officers using simulated drowning to extract information from suspected al-Qaeda members.

The tapes had been sitting in the station chief’s safe, in the U.S. Embassy compound, for nearly three years. Although those involved in the interrogations had pushed for the tapes’ destruction in those years and a secret debate about it had twice reached the White House, CIA officials had not acted on those requests. This time was different.

It’s difficult to know what to make of this since they also report that the CIA director, the acting AG and the Whitehouse had sought to preserve the tapes at least at one point. Jose A. Rodriguez Jr., who was then director of clandestine operations asked some CIA lawyers and then he decided to have the tapes destroyed fearing bad publicity if the tapes somehow became public. The Bourne Ultimatum premise of rogue elements within the CIA doesn’t seem so far fetched at this point. Still there is the possibility that “silence” from the Whitehouse may have given Rodriguez the signal that it was Ok to destroy the tapes.

“Jose could not get any specific direction out of his leadership” in 2005, one senior official said. Word of the resulting destruction, one former official said, was greeted by widespread relief among clandestine officers, and Rodriguez was neither penalized nor reprimanded, publicly or privately, by then-CIA Director Porter J. Goss, according to two officials briefed on exchanges between the two men.

Goss was definitely a Conservative crony so his attitude toward any activity that would reflect badly on the Bushies would be to conveniently ignore the destruction of evidence that would highlight the administration’s wrong doing. Goss is on record with the predictable boiler plate non-denial denial that there was just a whole lotta important stuff going on and this one just happen to slip under the radar.

Talking Points Memo gets banned from receiving DOJ media updates via e-mail.

Jonah Goldberg’s ‘Liberal Facism’ Brings Historical Revisionism to Comical New Heights

But despite Goldberg’s protestations and caveats, “Liberal Fascism” is indeed a remarkably silly work that’s jam-packed with the same sloppy logic and dodgy research that we’ve come to expect from today’s conservative pundit class. On page 2, for instance, Goldberg admits that he doesn’t really know how to define fascism and that “not even the professionals have figured out what exactly fascism is.” But as anyone who’s followed Goldberg’s career can tell you, lacking knowledge on any given subject in no way impedes him from writing over 400 pages on it. Indeed, not providing a concrete definition of fascism is essential to his case, since it allows him to define fascism however he pleases. Goldberg puts this conceit to good use throughout the book, as everyone from the French revolutionaries to Teddy Roosevelt-era Progressives to the New Dealers to communists to the ’60s New Left to Hillary Clinton is linked with fascism at one point or another. By the end of the book, Goldberg comes off as a lonely, belligerent drunk who shouts obscenities at people leaving his local 7-11.

“You’re all fuh-fascists!” you can picture Goldberg hollering on a city street corner. “Every damn onea ya’s a fuh-ffffffffascist!”

Four hundred pages of name calling only passes for thoughtful insight in Conservative circles. Keeping Goldberg’s love of illogical logic in mind a snip from a recent column on John Edwards, Jonah Goldberg: Big business loves big government

Meanwhile, small firms and butchers who’d earned the trust of consumers would be forced to endure onerous compliance costs, while large firms not only could absorb those costs more easily but also claim their products were superior to uncertified meats. This story played itself out repeatedly during the Progressive Era. Big Steel actually sought out government regulation because it feared free-market competition. During the New Deal, FDR supposedly carried on his (distant) cousin Teddy’s crusade against the “malefactors of great wealth.” But the truth is that big business often welcomed government regulation. Clarence Darrow, surveying the National Recovery Act’s record, found that the keystone agency of the New Deal had served only to help big business.

Goldberg admits that regulation is good for business and consumers, and thus for investors. Furthermore that businesses themselves are often the biggest lobbyist for regulation. Yes he bends himself into quite a twisted little pretzel in making that admission, but there it is, all the while praising that liberal president and arch enemy of the Right Franklin Roosevelt. Not to worry a few columns from now he’ll reverse himself. One gets the impression that Goldberg once took a semester in Logic and swore to fight against it the rest of his life.

There’s something screwy around here ~ Elmer Fudd

Lake Michigan wallpaper and news notes

Lake Michigan Shore wallpaper

Interesting that the Bush administration has decided that felons are no longer actual citizens, Aren’t Martha Stewart and other Felons “People”?

Alaska’s governor reminds us of the Republican contempt for science and wildlife, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin Hearts Polar Bears – NOT!

Valdosta State University in Georgia has decided that students who make objections to the university’s planned parking garages are both dangerous and mentally unstable, Maybe He Shouldn’t Have Spoken His Mind

That story that many of the news services carried about Bush and the Iraqi government reversing the anti-Baathification process in a step forward in political reconciliation wasn’t exactly as advertised. Actually the new law is not exactly making the ex-Baathist happy, New Iraqi Law on Baath Worries Ex-Baathists – So the right-wing yells of mission accomplished for the umpteenth time are just another exercise in sound bite management.

Obviously no matter how loud they yell they can’t have their dear leader from going down in history and the guy that burned the house down and thought he did a heck of a job. 66% disapproval rating.

How Progressives Can Win on National Security

If not, let’s do a quick review. In 2001, Bush ignored intelligence warnings, did nothing, and America suffered the deadliest attack on its own soil in history. This president started to track down the perpetrators by going into Afghanistan, but then took a wrong turn into an unnecessary war in Iraq. Bush used the drumbeats for the Iraq War to bludgeon his political opponents in 2002 and 2004, securing a slim majority with an effective, but short-lived, public relations campaign.

The bottom began to fall out in 2005 when the reality started to sink in that we are much less safe. Americans began to witness the consequences of being trapped refereeing Iraq’s civil wars: a decline in U.S. military readiness and Osama bin Laden still on the loose. In 2006, progressives created an amazing turnaround in the mid-term elections in large part by offering a clear alternative on Iraq in support of a strategic redeployment. Progressives should learn from the failures of 2002 and 2004 and from the successes of 2006.

Maybe Conservatives are like those people that are enjoying the current popularity of horror films, or what some are calling torture porn. They’re scared, enjoy being scared and want everyone else to be afraid all the time. having any perspective on the threats that face America in the realm of national security has become sacrilege to the party that used to advertise itself as the party of serious minded level headed adults. It turns out they’re the party of never ending panic and shrill rhetoric.

The search for the truth for truth’s sake is the mark of the historian

David Neiwert has another post about Jonah Goldberg’s book and finds that Goldberg has an endorsement from neocon Michael Ledeen (who has plagiarized a fascist) who had claimed in his book Universal Fascism that indeed fascism was a product of the Right and a damn fine product at that, The methodology of Liberal Fascism

I’d also like to call special attention to Goldberg’s citation of Michael Ledeen (who also has a blurb on the book’s jacket), because I think it reflects the dishonest way he represents even his alleged fellow travelers. Ledeen, in fact, has something of a history as a philo-fascist. His 1972 book, Universal Fascism, in fact was in the way of an encomium to primal first-stage fascism, or what he calls “fascism-movement,” as distinct from “fascism-regime,” which evidently is where it all went wrong. Ledeen specifically argues — as does his intellectual mentor, Italian historian Renzo de Felice — that “Italian fascism was both right-wing and revolutionary.” In its movement stage, according to Ledeen, it was actually a thing of beauty and great promise.

This very fluid definition of fascism is, again points to the Goldberg principle. Ledeen and Goldberg’s willingness to shift the definitions of what politically charged words mean is a time tested routine of the Right to throw up any infantile epitaphs at its political adversaries just to see if it sticks. If there are still serious Republicans that care about genuine Republican ideals this should be disturbing. How can anyone take seriously a movement that that adamantly refuses to be serious. Their juvenile exercises in name calling one upsmanship are something one would expect from a child with a personality disorder. Goldberg’s book and his supporters have created a real life enactment of a Stephen Colbert routine.

How is Goldberg defending his book and its premise. He has staked out two methods which he simply restates ad nauseum. First the appeal to authority. His authorities or rather ideological cousins with an agenda, are always right. Any authorities in history or political science that you sight in response are all hacks according to Goldberg. Regardless of the civility of your tone everything you say that counters Goldberg’s arguments lacks substance and are simply attacks. More here, Not-Much Shorter Jonah: “Tom Wolfe Likes It!”. The title of Mr. Hilton’s post gives you an sense of where Goldberg has dug in his heels. Jonah’s book has gotten afr more attention then it deserves, but as most liberals know, for years kooks like Goldberg, Coulter and Limbaugh were mostly ignored. The thinking was these people are too fringe, too bizarre, but they speaking a language, albeit a weird one that roused the right-wing mob. They didn’t create new adherents as much as galvanized them to do as Goldberg is doing, shove their rabid agenda down America’s collective throat. Goldberg is also claiming that no one is engaging the so called ideas that he is presenting in an intellectually honest manner, but Neiwart and Hilton have obviously tried. Sadly, No has the satirical response that Goldberg begs for and which he also dismisses. So much for the Right’s sense of humor.

Media Matters does what they do so well and seems to irritate the hell out of the Right. For the most part they simply post what people like Goldberg say and a video of them saying it. On MSNBC, Jonah Goldberg claimed “you can draw a line” from Mussolini to Clinton and Obama

SCARBOROUGH: But you’re not suggesting in this book, though, that you can draw a line from Mussolini to Hillary Clinton or Mussolini to Barack Obama, are you?

GOLDBERG: Well, I’m saying you can draw a line, but it’s not a straight one. It goes all sorts of different places. I’m not saying that today’s liberalism is the son of Nazism or the son of Italian fascism. I’m saying it’s sort of like the great-grandniece once removed.

Goldberg seems to be projecting his own movement’s roots onto modern American liberalism. Stanley Payne, in Fascism: Comparison and Definition (1980)

A. The Fascist Negations:
— Antiliberalism
— Anticommunism
— Anticonservatism (though with the understanding that fascist groups were willing to undertake temporary alliances with groups from any other sector, most commonly with the right)

So if Clinton and Obama are fascists that would also make them anticommunist. Isn’t that the mantle that Conservatives claim they own.

Umberto Eco’s definition of fascist contempt for rationalism acutely highlights the modern culture/science war between conservatives like Goldberg and American liberalism,

3. Irrationalism also depends on the cult of action for action’s sake.

Action being beautiful in itself, it must be taken before, or without, reflection. Thinking is a form of emasculation. Therefore culture is suspect insofar as it is identified with critical attitudes. Distrust of the intellectual world has always been a symptom of Ur-Fascism, from Hermann Goering’s fondness for a phrase from a Hanns Johst play (“When I hear the word ‘culture’ I reach for my gun”) to the frequent use of such expressions as “degenerate intellectuals,” “eggheads,” “effete snobs,” and “universities are nests of reds.” The official Fascist intellectuals were mainly engaged in attacking modern culture and the liberal intelligentsia for having betrayed traditional values.

4. The critical spirit makes distinctions, and to distinguish is a sign of modernism.

In modern culture the scientific community praises disagreement as a way to improve knowledge. For Ur-Fascism, disagreement is treason.

“The search for the truth for truth’s sake is the mark of the historian” ~ B. H. Liddell Hart

This is that good process turkey

It is news like this that feds the suspicion that the Right is enjoying the war and all the sacrifices made as their Decider Guy plays with people’s lives like they were characters in a video game and Bush the god of the game console, Iraq to reinstate Saddam party followers

Before the party was outlawed — the first official act of L. Paul Bremer’s Coalition Provisional Authority — its membership was estimated at between 2 million and 6 million.

The strict implementation of so-called de-Baathification rules meant that many senior bureaucrats who knew how to run ministries, university departments and state companies were fired after 35 years of Baath party rule.

Bremer’s Coalition Provisional Authority order No. 1 of May 16, 2003, had effectively stripped key government ministries, the military and top economic institutions of centuries of cumulative experience. The order also was blamed for fueling the Sunni-dominated insurgency that took root in the late summer of 2003, under the leadership of ousted Sunni Baathists who sought vengeance against hat they saw as their American tormentors.

Now his majesty King Bush has declared this a great step forward.

Old Glory wallpaper 

Assuming innocent until proven guilty and all that good stuff Blackwater isn’t helping its case with this kind of behavior,  FBI finds Blackwater trucks patched

Blackwater Worldwide repaired and repainted its trucks immediately after a deadly September shooting in Baghdad, making it difficult to determine whether enemy gunfire provoked the attack, according to people familiar with the government’s investigation of the incident.

When asked why BW made such hurried repairs a spokesperson said,

Blackwater spokeswoman Anne Tyrrell said any repairs “would have been done at the government’s direction.” Blackwater’s contract with the State Department requires that the company maintain its vehicles and keep them on the road.

There is a certain weird logic to those claims. Blackwater has close ties to Bush and the State Department so any mud that sticks to Blackwater sticks to Bush.

The Lancet study that showed 650,000 Iraqis were killed since the occupation began might have been correct or maybe not, but its the most obvious of logical fallacies to run around screaming that the Lancet study must be wrong because George Soros supplied part of the funding for the study. By that logic everything that ten years of a Republican Congress made a spending priority and Bush signed off on must have been money that was completely wasted including the occupation of Iraq. A tip of the hat to those right-wing blogs and pundits that are not the least embarrassed by the use of this comically absurd tactc to draw attention away from and trivialize the over 150,000 Iraqis that have been killed and the over three thousand American casualties.

Why is a Republican leading this battle, Megachurch Money Hypocrisy Sparks Church-State Showdown 

Nearly 2,000 years later, some who claim to speak in Jesus’ name are taking a different view. Consider Bishop Eddie Long, who pastors a megachurch in Lithonia, Ga. With a salary approaching $1 million a year and a nine-bathroom mansion situated on 20 acres, Long’s choice of vehicles reflects his opulent lifestyle: He drives a $350,000 Bentley.

Far from casting out money changers, Long is likely to join them. In a 2005 profile in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, he defended his high-flying ways, insisting, “I pastor a multimillion dollar congregation. You’ve got to put me on a different scale than the little black preacher sitting over there that’s supposed to be just getting by because the people are suffering.”

Long’s lack of humility has probably done him no favors. At the time, U.S. Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), expressed dismay.

“When I hear about leaders of charities being provided a $300,000 Bentley to drive around in, my fear is that it’s the taxpayers who subsidize this charity who are really being taken for a ride,” he quipped.

Paula and Randy White of Florida, the never charming Joyce Meyer and Kenneth Copeland Ministries in Newark, Texas are among several corporate ministries under scrutiny.

Miss Birdie: This is that good process turkey. – from the movie The Rainmaker (1997)

I have had a perfectly wonderful evening, but this wasn’t it

AP Poll: Bush, Congress Ratings Low

President Bush and Congress retained their dismal levels of popularity and huge majorities are unhappy with how things are going in the country, according to a poll released Thursday.

Of course the public is unhappy with Congress. They continue at best to try and slap the hands of criminal-in-chief and a delusional one at that, Bush’s Messiah Complex –  This article is a little surreal. Bush keeps repeating variations of the same doggerel over and over again on his travels in the Middle-east. It like a stump speech, except instead of running for office he’s running as messiah-in-chief, don’t believe your lying eyes about Bush’s disasterous record of achieving absolutely nothing, believe what he tells you to believe. If someone else ran around saying the same thing except poor and dressed in tattered old clothes the authorities would pick him up and forcibly institutionalize him. Its amazing how power, money and a few million unhinged supporters can insulate one from the consequences that would be suffered by anyone else.

Some telecoms have cut off FBI wiretaps because the federal agency hasn’t been paying its bills. My experience with companies like AT$T is that its their attitude that you should pay any bill they send you then make a statement of why you think its wrong. Then maybe in a few months after countless phone calls, letters and e-mails they might credit your account for the amount they over billed.  So while the FBI might be misusing its surveillance powers as far as their bills from the phone companies go they might be in the right.

One of the Right’s more consistent attitudes toward the Big Gov’Mint which they have claimed they’re against for fifty years, but then turnaround and support unquestionably ( a fascist trait by the way) is the blind faith that anyone arrested must be guilty of something. UK civil servant cleared in CIA rendition secrets leak case

 UK prosecutors Wednesday dropped charges against Dennis Pasquill, a civil servant in the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office who was accused of leaking secret documents about CIA rendition flights  to the New Statesman and the Observer  newspapers in violation of the Official Secrets Act . Pasquill’s lawyer said the decision to drop charges showed that Pasquill’s actions were in the public interest. The Foreign Office said that leaks are “absolutely contrary” to good government…

If you reveal government wrong doing you’re a criminal. Doing good is the new wrong.

Sunnis that the Bushies, echoed by Right-wing blogs held up as examples of how they were winning get treated to 40,000 lbs of explosives. One assumes as a reward of some kind, In Iraq, U.S. airstrikes target insurgents near supposedly safe zone 

The U.S. military dropped 40,000 pounds of explosives southeast of Baghdad on Thursday in a series of airstrikes that underscored the tenuousness of U.S. progress against Islamic extremists in Iraq.

The targets were near the town of Arab Jabour, a Sunni Muslim-dominated district on Baghdad’s outskirts that American officials recently held up as a security success and an example of how local Sunni tribesmen known as “concerned local citizens” had turned against al Qaida in Iraq.

Jonah Goldberg’s family might want to consider an intervention. he is obviously misusing his meds, Goldberg: ‘Conservative Groups’ Don’t Try To Dictate What Sexual ‘Positions You Can Be In’ 

Goldberg shrugs off  David Neiwert’s very thoughtful criticisms of Goldberg’s asinine revisionist history. Goldberg accusing someone of being his intellectual inferior is just a few more steps down bizarro lane, he seems determined to talk in circles when it comes to defending his basic premise and very likely to continue since he doesn’t have the ammo to stand up to actual history. Neiwart lists Paxton’s nine “mobilizing passions” of fascism which Goldberg should have read before claiming to be the world’s biggest espert on both fascism,

   — — a sense of overwhelming crisis beyond the reach of any traditional solutions;

— the primacy of the group, toward which one has duties superior to every right, whether universal or individual, and the subordination of the individual to it;

— the belief that one’s group is a victim, a sentiment which justifies any action, without legal or moral limits, against the group’s enemies, both internal and external;

— dread of the group’s decline under the corrosive effect of individualistic liberalism, class conflict, and alien influences;

— the need for closer integration of a purer community, by consent if possible, or by exclusionary violence if necessary;

— the need for authority by natural leaders (always male), culminating in a national chief who alone is capable of incarnating the group’s destiny;

— the superiority of the leader’s instincts over abstract and universal reason;

— the beauty of violence and the efficacy of will, when they are devoted to the group’s success;

— the right of the chosen people to dominate others without restraint from any kind of human or divine law, right being decided by the sole criterion of the group’s prowess in a Darwinian struggle.

Conservatives or the modern Right might vary in some degrees of these goals and outlooks and the means to enact them, but they are certainly not tenets of liberalism. Several blogs and their commenters have zeroed in on Goldberg’s basic techniqueThe Goldberg Principle: “You can prove any thesis to be true if you make up your own definitions of words.” When Goldberg decides that he and only he is the new king of linguistics then suddenly every citizen of Kentucky circa 1792 was also a fascist. The word Holistic gets a new definition – if this is genuinely what Goldberg thinks it means in the context of ecological systems he obviously never bothered to learn what it meant in proper context – but that would have meant he couldn’t use the word in his made up world of false equivalences. At several points in the Salon article Jonah says that liberals are not giving the kind of intelligent response his great tome deserves. On the contrary it is getting far more thoughtful readings and critique then it warrants,

But then, what’s the relevance of it? That’s the incoherence that bedevils the whole book. Jonah protests that his repeated efforts to use benign political ideas to draw connections between reprehensible political movements and the contemporary American left are not an effort to create equivalence, or even say anything at all. If that’s true, however, most of the book is pointless, largely a collection of odd trivia about various totalitarian movements. If it’s false, then the book is misleading, mean-spirited, and filled with pretty reprehensible slurs; a manipulative series of attempts to create the impression that liberalism is like fascism by redefining fascism to include liberalism, and leave the reader with a sense of equivalence that the author can then deny. By making the definition a bit less odious — “The autobahn was fascistic,” says Jonah, “that doesn’t mean that we should ban highways.” — Goldberg seeks plausible deniability for what the book actually does, which is smear his political opponents with the most vicious analogies available in our discourse. Or he can argue that it really does nothing at all.

In many ways Goldberg’s book is another case of the Emperor and his new clothes. There are only so many ways to point put that the Emperor is naked and bereft of substance.

Golden Gate Bridge wallpaper 

“I have had a perfectly wonderful evening, but this wasn’t it.” ~
Groucho Marx

“Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power” ~ Benito Mussolini

Frozen Trees Blue Skies wallpaper

Frozen Trees Blue Skies wallpaper 

Your government is a little less corrupt today. Rep. Doolittle to Retire From Congress – Republican Rep. John Doolittle of California stated, “My wife, Julie, and I have made this decision after much prayer and deliberation. It was not my initial intent to retire, and I fully expected and planned to run again right up until very recently,”. There’s nothing inherently wrong with prayers, but it makes you wonder about both Doolittle’s sincerity and what or who he intermittently prays to. Boring in its predictability Doolittle went out whining that it was all part of a big conspiracy, Doolittle attacks critics as ‘weasels’

 Rep. John Doolittle, R-Calif., denounced his GOP critics as “weasels” Friday even as his chief of staff appeared before a federal grand jury investigating Doolittle’s ties to jailed lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

Doolittle also told reporters on a conference call Friday that he believes the Justice Department’s long-running probe “borders on harassment.”

Prosecutors are investigating connections between Doolittle and Abramoff including payments that Doolittle’s wife, Julie, got from Abramoff even after a fundraiser she was paid to plan got canceled.

I wonder if illiterate people get the full effect of alphabet soup

Regardless of who is predicting what or who thinks who has momentum, Senator Clinton is ahead in the actual delegate count by 100. For what its worth Trailhead at Slate thinks Edwards should drop out to leave the “change” voters for Obama, but Black Agenda thinks Obama is the Clinton-lite vote.

When the going gets tough one can always rely on the Right to reach in their bag of moldy old tricks, Hannity Plays The Race Card Against Obama And Echoes Viral Attack Email

Here we go again. White supremacist sympathizer and proven bigot Sean Hannity once again pulled out the race card on Barack Obama on last night’s (1/9/08) Hannity & Colmes. No one familiar with Hannity’s history of hostility toward African Americans should be surprised that he would do this, especially once Obama won the Iowa caucuses.

If you acknowledge that there are some stone cold cases some of whom are Muslims you’re not swimming with the fetid tide of right-wing shrillness in the never ending war on terrur. You must believe as neocon sweetheart Stephen Coughlin that pretty much the entirety of the world’s one billion Muslims are out to get us.

Does he speak Arabic? No. How about Urdu? Nope. He studied Islam where? No clue. But he graduated from an ABA sanctioned second-tier law school. A good school, but it is not known as a center of Islamic study. Unfortunately, Coughlin’s broad brush approach to Islam is more polemics than scholarship.

Is it ant wonder that the administration can’t make headway on political solutions in Iraq with experts like Couglin running around.

Another survey of Iraqi deaths and unlikely at this point to settle much of anything, Study: 151,000 Iraqis died in 3 years after U.S. invasion 

A few things not in this study come immediately to mind. The number of Iraqis maimed or crippled  and the number of refugees created. Even the death toll only goes up to midway of 2006. American causalities are not included, nor are Americans that have life altering wounds. I’m not a pacifists, there are times when wars are eminently necessary and the net benefits outweigh other options. Iraq did not meet either criteria.

On the lighter side, everything you ever wanted to know about bananas, ‘Banana’ unpeels the history of a fruit 

In “Banana,” Koeppel, a longtime outdoors and adventure writer, weaves a multifaceted story about how the fruit’s unique nature has allowed it to become a worldwide food staple and a geopolitical force that has both shaped and toppled nations.

“I wonder if illiterate people get the full effect of alphabet soup?’” ~ Jerry Seinfield