Recipegate and orange juice watch

McCain “Family Recipes” Lifted from the Food Network

On a section of McCain’s site called “Cindy’s Recipes,” you can find seven recipes attributed to Cindy McCain, each with the heading “McCain Family Recipe.” Ms. Handel quickly realized that some of the “McCain Family Recipes,” were in fact, word-for-word copies of recipes on the Food Network site.

To most people this is just another entry in the cataloge of daily gaffes. On the other hand it is also another example of Republican hypocrisy and desperation. The recipes are a McCain campaign statement that announces to the world that they’re not incredibly wealthy people that own eight homes, but salt of the earth folks just like you and me. Even that presence to being one of the common folk was based on cheating and lying. Will the Beltway king makers that spew their daily insights into bowling and orange juice tell America how Recipegate reflects on McCain’s character. Hunter has a must read rant about the same thing, Obama Orange Juice Watch… Day Whatever

There is a profound lesson to be taken from Orangejuicegate, or Bowlinggate, or Bittergate, and that lesson is that the guardians of our discourse are, at heart, idiots. There is no other explanation or redemption. Anyone attempting to draw out character definition from a glass of orange juice is, at heart, someone who has entirely run out of insightful things to say. Anyone attempting to make the case that a bowling score represents the measure of a man deserves to be basted, roasted, and served to whatever imbecile of a president does manage to rise to the top of their addled internal scoresheet.

Obama already has a target on his back. This probably isn’t going to help in that regard. Doesn’t he realize that Republicans are the embodiment of elitism, they are not to be questioned, they are answerable to no one, Obama would ask his AG to “immediately review” potential of crimes in Bush White House

Obama said that as president he would indeed ask his new Attorney General and his deputies to “immediately review the information that’s already there” and determine if an inquiry is warranted — but he also tread carefully on the issue, in line with his reputation for seeking to bridge the partisan divide. He worried that such a probe could be spun as “a partisan witch hunt.” However, he said that equation changes if there was willful criminality, because “nobody is above the law.”

The question was inspired by a recent report by ABC News, confirmed by the Associated Press, that high-level officials including Vice President Dick Cheney and former Cabinet secretaries Colin Powell, John Ashcroft and Donald Rumsfeld, among others, met in the White House and discussed the use of waterboarding and other torture techniques on terrorism suspects.

People are not bitter. People are not bitter, Obama is wrong. They have nothing to be bitter about, right? Retailing Chains Caught in a Wave of Bankruptcies

The consumer spending slump and tightening credit markets are unleashing a widening wave of bankruptcies in American retailing, prompting thousands of store closings that are expected to remake suburban malls and downtown shopping districts across the country.

Live in a bubble, ignore reality,be happy.

Long-lost article by Obama’s dad surfaces

Parts of the article, titled “Problems Facing Our Socialism,” have been making the rounds on several small blogs over the past week, but Politico is now reproducing the entire piece in its original form online for the first time.

In other words, Obama Sr.’s paper was not a cry for acceptance of radical politics, but was instead a critique of a government policy by Kenya’s Ministry of Economic Planning & Development, which applied African socialism principles to the country’s ongoing political upheaval.

The critics of this article are making a big mistake,” says Omwami, who read the document and the associated internet debate at the request of Politico over the weekend. “They are assuming Obama Sr. is the one who came up with this concept of African socialism, but that’s totally wrong. Based on that, they’re imbuing in him the idea that he himself is a socialist, but he is not.”

Obama’s father was actually channeling American presidents from Jefferson to Kennedy that knew unregulated capitalism only works well for the elite dogs at the top of the food chain. This has got to be a disappointment to the cult of wingnuttiness that they can’t find any proof of guilt by association.

New World map wallpaper circa 1786

Western Hemisphere or  New World wallpaper circa 1786 by William Faden (1750-1836). Faden is renowned for the remarkable attention to the graphic detail of his maps. Only fitting since he was a cartographer to the King of England.

New World map 1786 full view. I had to cut off part of the original for the wallpaper in order to get the proportional dimensions so I thought I’d put up the full view too. This is one of my favorite maps, its so beautiful it is as much art as cartography.

Alternet has a large excerpt from Steve Rosenfeld’s new book “Loser Take All”, How Republicans Quietly Hijacked the Justice Department to Swing Elections

The Brennan Center for Justice at New York University Law School has found that 25% of adult African-Americans, 15% of adults earning below $35,000 annually, and 18% of seniors over sixty-five do not possess government-issued photo ID. While various studies — such as a 2006 Election Assistance Commission report by Tova Andrea Wang and Job Serebrov, and a 2007 study by Lorraine Minnite of Barnard College — have found modern claims of a voter fraud “crisis” to be unfounded, that has not stopped states from adopting remedies that impose burdens across their electorate and on voter registration organizations. “Across the country, voter identification laws have become a partisan mess,” Loyola University Law Professor Richard Hasen said in an Oct. 24, 2006 Slate.com column, speaking of one such remedy. “Republican-dominated legislatures have been enacting voter identification laws in the name of preventing fraud, and Democrats have opposed such laws in the name of protecting potentially disenfranchised voters.” Hasen was commenting on a little-noticed 2006 Supreme Court ruling, Purcell v. Gonzales, which upheld Arizona’s new voter ID law. The court unanimously affirmed the state’s 2004 law, writing that, “Voter fraud drives honest citizens out of the democratic process and breeds distrust of our government. Voters who fear their legitimate votes will be outweighed by fraudulent ones will feel disenfranchised.”

Hasen said that while the ruling “seem[ed] reasonable enough” at first glance, it actually was deeply troubling, as the Court never investigated if there was evidence of widespread voter fraud, and never examined “how onerous are such [voter ID] laws.” Instead, it adopted the Republican rhetoric on the issue “without any proof whatsoever.”

And related, Dick Cheney Was Never a “Grown Up”

The congressional investigation into the political purge of U.S. Attorneys uncovered evaluation forms with a column to be checked about whether or not the applicant was a Federalist Society member. On every issue, from the gutting of the civil rights division of the Justice Department, where 60 percent of the professional staff was driven out and not a single discrimination case was filed, to the implementation of the so-called “war paradigm,” including abrogation of Article Three of the Geneva Convention against torture, (which then White House counsel Alberto Gonzales termed “quaint” in a memo to the president), Federalist Society cadres were at the center. David Addington, Cheney’s counsel and later chief of staff, directed the tight-knit group of “torture lawyers” within the administration.

There has been some lawlessness here, but the subtler issues of extremists ideological purity is precedent in modern American history. We all expect presidents to pick partisans, but not so partisan that they’re all too willing to jettison the rule of law to advance their agenda, disenfranchise voters and win elections at any cost.