Monday, January 29, 2007

Gratuitous Linkage

I'm vastly amused. (Click on the image to go to the site that sells this and lots of other DirtyFuckingHippie™ messages.)

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Those DirtyFuckingHippies™ Again

Via Digby, we learn how those DirtyFuckingHippies™ are spitting in the vicinity of wounded Iraq veterans.

Isn't it just like them?

Friday, January 26, 2007


Once again via The Mighty Atrios, where the fsck is Weird Al Yankovic when you really need him?

"Annihilate The Brutes!" (Again? That Trick Never Works...)

Via The Mighty Atrios, we find Roy@Alicublog giving us a gentle lesson in what to expect from Wingnut Nation as 'Democracy! Whiskey! Sexy!' gives way to 'Puppet Regime! Unsanitary Drinking Water! Ass Rape!'"

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Primary Musical Chairs

Kevin and Ezra both have posted about Californias intention to move up it's 08 primary date with the intent having a larger say in who is nominated. Kevin highlights Ezra's skepticism and offers a mild rebuttal: From Kevin:
Like it or not, modern presidential campaigns are all about raising money and using the media, and I suspect we're better off setting up a system that's most likely to choose a candidate who can win a modern election. That means someone who's demonstrated the ability to win in a big, impersonal state like California, not someone who's demonstrated the ability to hold the most coffee klatsches in a single day.

Mojo has been pretty skeptical about the value of moving primary dates around in the hopes of generating an UberDemocrat that will sweep away GOP resistance. I agree with that sentiment, I have yet to see a compelling argument that provides a specific calendar of primaries that is going to produce a better quality candidate. Most of these arguments are full of assumptions about primary voters that do not really seem to hold water to me.

However, I am not in love with the current calendar of primaries either. It seems reasonable to me to at least examine the primary calendar to see if we are actually giving a broad spectrum primary voters an opportunity to vote on the candidates they want. I also do not think it is unreasonable to object to the apparent outweighted voice Iowas caucus and New Hampshire voters seem to exert as the result of their arbitrary position on the calendar.

My preference would be to divide the country into regions and rotate their position on the calendar. I don't know if that would result in better candidates, but it seems more fair to primary voters outside of New England of both parties. Kevin's comment reminded me of an episode of the West Wing where the GOP candidate, Arnold Vinick, played by Alan Alda, makes a pretty good point about California:
[...]This isn’t some sentimental, home-state thing. This is about winning. I don’t have a 50-state strategy anymore. I have a one-state strategy: the one state that has everything – big cities, small towns, mountains, deserts, farms, factories, fishermen, surfers, all races, all religions, gay, straight – everything this country has. There’s more real America in California than anywhere else. If I can win California, I can win the Country.

He's right of course, and this is largely at odds with the conventional wisdom among pols and pundits in Washington, who dismiss California as a Blue state of hippies and dope fiends completely devoid of GOP voters. It certainly has plenty of hippies and fiends, but has a large pool of conservative and right leaning voters who would respond to a strong republican candidate that spent the time and money to court them. The editors at the wire all spent consideable time in the O.C. in their youth, and know the right wing GOP nuthouse this state can be. It is the great fallacy of the Bush strategy that states like California and the potential competiveness of the state in the general election is ignored and the GOP's long terms chances in the state risked for short term gains and for racist whackiness like the talk radio driven issue of illegal immigration.

Yes California is expensive and big, but it has wide range of voters that would better represent the electorate of both parties than Iowa or New Hampshire. That should at least be a factor in any primary change plan. Will it yield better candidates? It might yield different candidates, but who knows if they will be better in some quantifiable way. There is no silver bullet for better candidates, and reworking the primary calendar to that end seems silly, but that does not mean there is not other debatable reasons to change it.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Why The DirtyFuckingHippies™ Were Right

Kevin Drum goes non-linear:
If anti-war liberals were right about the war from the start, how come they don't get more respect? Here's the nickel version of the answer from liberal hawks: It's because they don't deserve it. Sure, the war has gone badly, but not for the reasons the doves warned of.

Is this true? I wish my memory were more detailed about what anti-war liberals were saying back in 2002, but it's not. I once thought about browsing through old archives to at least see what the high-traffic liberal blogs were saying back then, but that turned out to be easier said than done. Matt, Josh, and I all supported the war for a while, so we don't count. Kos and Tapped seem to have lost their archives from that far back. C&L, Firedoglake, Aravosis, Greenwald, and the Huffington Post didn't exist back then. Atrios still has his archives, but he didn't post obsessively about the war and didn't write the kind of essays where he explained his position in detail anyway.

We started posting our transcripts in January 2003, but our editorial position was pretty staunchly in opposition to George and Dick's Excellent Adventure in Iraq well before then. I checked our archives, and we weren't into dropping tightly worded polemical essays to explain the fucking obvious on the radio back then. I remember posting a lot of comments in other venues, particularly the comments threads at the few jingoblogs that had them and didn't ban me too quickly, but like Atrios, I didn't spend a lot of time trying to write 800-word manifestos against the war. Who the fuck reads those, anyway?

As I recall, as Atrios and Digby allude here and here, the central argument that unified all the anti-war voices, i.e. both on the Left and the collection of drug-addled Internet centrists and weirdos that everyone wants to paint as "the Left," was essentially an economical argument. Sure, some folks were lathering on a good bit of moralism, but the unifying thread that bound everybody together was the cry, "Why Iraq? Why now? How much will it cost, and what good will we get out of it?"

Here at The MojoWire, we were opposed because the answers to those four questions were deeply unsatisfying to us. Let's remember what the liberal hawk answers to those questions were at the time: A) because Iraq is more convenient than the alternatives; B) because we can't go back in time and do it eleven years ago; C) peanuts, and Iraq's oil reserves will pay for it all with plenty to spare for the Iraqis; D) democracy, whiskey, sexy!

The message you would have heard from the anti-war "left" in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq— had you been listening to it— was that all of these answers were insulting to the intelligence of civilized people everywhere. They were obvious bald-faced lies, propagated by a venal and corrupt political leadership who couldn't be trusted to use military force in the national interest. There were no good reasons to do it, and there were lots of good reasons not to do it, starting with the canonical WarIsBadForChildrenAndOtherLivingThings meme and moving on from there to bean-counting arguements about dollar returns on investment and social welfare policy.

For the record, we were exactly fucking right about why the war was a bad idea. The war in Iraq has gone off the rails for exactly the reasons we said it would: chaos is the plan (that's Josh Marshall explaining in April 2003 what the freaks have been saying in street protests since 19-goddamn-68, by the way). It was a bad idea because the whole point was to do nothing good and to do lots of damage, for the sake of doing something bad.

Once again, the liberal hawks are happy to keep feeding live babies into the fiery maw of Moloch as long as it means they won't be seen to agree with the DirtyFuckingHippies™. There is, however, an important lesson to draw here. Sometimes you have to blow the 800 words on the obvious just so you'll have a page in the archives you can link when the inevitable opportunity arises for you to show proof when you say "I Told You Freakin People So!"

Update 1.0: If you want to know what "the left" was saying before the Iraq war began, you can grovel through the archives at Common Dreams for days and days. Here's a fine example from August 25, 2002:
Reasonable chance of success? The just war theory requires stringently weighing in advance the consequences of a military campaign, even though this requirement by itself is not decisive. Any one who has read Tolstoy's War and Peace or who remembers the Vietnam War should know that when success is made to sound too easy, skepticism is the order of the day. Precious human lives and scarce economic resources are at stake.

Would "liberating" Iraq really be a "cakewalk," as Ken Adelman, former U.S. arms control director, has claimed? Or is Immanuel Wallerstein of Yale University correct when he warns that Iraq could become another Vietnam: "Just as in Vietnam, the war will drag on and will cost many U.S. lives. And the political effects will be so negative for the U.S. that eventually Bush (or his successor) will pull out. A renewed and amplified Vietnam syndrome will be the result at home."

According to some estimates, as many as 250,000 U.S. troops will be needed. While other estimates are lower, one Pentagon study has projected an "acceptable" death rate of 20,000-30,000 U.S. soldiers. (The number of "acceptable" Iraqi deaths has apparently not been calculated.) The Iraqi army, estimated at 500,000 troops, will be defending their homeland against a foreign invader who has been bombing them for years. Dissident military analyst Carlton Meyer says: "Ideally, the campaign can be won by sending in 50,000 troops charging in from the air and sea. . . . However, they could get bogged down if the Iraqis fight in the cities and mine the roads. In every military operation there are a hundred things that can go wrong; if you can anticipate half of them, you're a genius."

Arab leaders have warned that a U.S. war against Iraq could destabilize the entire region. Iraq itself threatens to collapse into anarchy. A puppet regime is far more likely to result than a democracy, and even that will be difficult to achieve. Senior U.S. military officials reportedly have serious doubts about whether defeating Iraq would be worth the high military and diplomatic cost. A unilateral war against Iraq would be widely perceived as an American bid for colonial occupation in the Middle East. An occupation of oil-rich Iraq, says Meyer, "will not be about freedom, democracy, or security; just money and power."

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Spocko Finally Has A Piece Of The Action

Via David Neiwert, now comes Spocko with a rousing call to the barricades. Finally, somebody has taken enough bullying from the DisneyHateRadio™ station in San Francisco, and he's stood up and said we're not going to take it anymore. Now, it's time for the rest of us to stand up and show our friend Spocko we've got his back.

I feel confident that I can speak here on behalf of the other MojoWire editors.
We Support You, Spocko!

(...and not just because you look damned hawt in a fedora.)
Find a way to help out, if you can. There is nothing sweeter in this world than seeing a pack of bullies get their just desserts. We can win this one, if we are tenacious about it.

On the right sidebar, you'll see I've added Spocko's Brain to our meager blogroll. You should regularly read his stuff— he's a good blogger.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

The Three E's..

I found this via Endichine. At first, I thought it must be a parody, it is so utterly batsh*t crazy, but apparently it is for real, god help us. Your modern American convservatism ladies and gentleman, read it and weep:
The one-world government scenario is dialectically based upon economics, environment, and equity – known as the Three E’s. These Three E’s involve global control of the common man’s labor and money, “sustainable” nature, and forcing all commoners into financial sameness. These same intentions are also documented in the U.N. Agenda 21 game plan for our “sustainable” environmental future.
The feminist movement was crafted by the one-world political initiative and invented to create and sustain global depopulation goals. That is and remains the primary mission of the feminist movement.

So that is what my wife and her friends from college are talking about on the phone. I wonder who her control agent is....
The “governors” are the world’s wealthiest industrialists and bankers. Their one-world government hands all power and control of people, land, water, food, human health, children and education, employment, militaries, and economic potential directly to themselves and their personal fortunes. Over and over and over again, when you tie corporate wealth and power to governing agencies, you have Fascism. However, the long-term goal of a one-world government has always been to bring Communism to fruition on a global scale. So, today, we see a hybrid Fascist-Communist system by Three E design, and it is bitterly obvious in every nation on the planet. Almost all global economies are crashing by design, and particularly America’s economy. Note that America’s elite pulled their investments out of the U.S. years ago.

I'm still laughing about the "hybrid Facist-Communist system" she cooked up. She does realize they are diamtrically opposed systems? All global economies are crashing by design? Umm. the "governors" in your system wouldn't be jews by chance, would they Nancy? Because this whole theory sounds like you cribbed parts of it directly out of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. There is one theme in this wonderfully mad diatribe I wanted to highlight. And that is the theme of depopulation, to wit:
The feminist piece of the global puzzle deals specifically with depopulation through women’s “healthcare,” big pharma, and the “mental health” industrial complex. Women’s rights are now defined by the right to abort, the right to be drafted, and the right to take drugs that will render women and children incapable of bearing children. And just as many women worldwide earned the right to own property, that right has now fallen to other plans, which state that no “individual” may own private property.
Also, one must note that the industrial and banking powers that be are mostly men – the men whose dynastic families created their one-world government of choice. And these same men also created the feminist movement in order to curb the tendencies of commoners to breed and out-number them billions to one. The feminist movement is based upon political lies and the control of reproduction. “Sustainable” nature is also based upon enforcing a remarkable decline in birth rates. I assure you this enforcement will not fall upon the world’s elite.

A vastly underreported aspect of American christian facism is their obsession with birth control. Media stories about this movement focus on their opposition to abortion, but look beyond that and you will see the higher goal of reversing Griswold vs. Connecticut, the landmark Supreme Court case that legalized the pill. This rant may seem high comedy to us, but I absolutely guarantee you that a scary majority of your evangelical friends buy into the assumptions this article is based on. One of which is that birth control is the source of a large amount of our societal problems, and led directly to erosion of the family as they see it. I wonder if Nancy is conscious of how her issues with mental health treatments closely follow those of Scientologists?

The Chris Hedges story that S9 pointed to down below got me thinking about these people again. It is sometimes hard to remember who are our political opponents and who are our enemies bent on our destruction. Republicans and conservatives, (and others) are our opponents, Christian facists are our enemies, right up there with Osama Bin Asshole and the rest of his crew. Articles like this are indicative, truly, of the mainstream thinking and assumptions in the christian facist movement. We cannot forget what these people truly believe.

The LA Times book reviewer who reviewed Chris Hedges book took issue with the alarmist (in his view) nature of the book on the threat posed by Christian Facism.
There are problems with this analogy. First, democracy in America is much stronger than it was in Weimar Germany in 1933. Nor is the Christian right as widespread or powerful as Hedges suggests. Among conservative Christians who are working class or lower class, "a dramatic majority" voted for Bill Clinton for president — that's the finding of sociologists Andrew Greeley and Michael Hout in their recent book "The Truth About Conservative Christians." A 2004 survey for "Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly" on PBS found that a majority of evangelicals have an unfavorable view of Falwell and that a significant minority of them are more concerned about jobs and the economy than about abortion and gay marriage.

Someone is watching the Coral Ridge Hour and buying Left Behind. And the election o 1992 was twelve years ago, a lifetime in politcs. Not to mention the strength of christian facism isn't the working poor, but the middle class and wealth patrons who fill the mega-churches. The reviewer might want to brush up on the how revolutions actually come about. Hint: The middle class is the key.

While I don't buy into Hedges alleged recommendations at criminalizing speech, which is a cure worse than the disease, I do not think you can just pass this off as another outbreak of superstitious religious nuts, destined to fade away on their own. We need to watch them closely.

Monday, January 08, 2007

You have got to be kidding me.

Via Andrew Sullivan, another fine insight from our friends on the right:

The Democrats may have won the recent election, but they still lack a coherent governing philosophy, according to political scientist Dan DiSalvo. Unable to overcome the legacy of 1968, which represents the collapse of the New Deal coalition, the Democrats are caught between the vital center and radical politics.

What a revelation! Errr..wait a minute, any political party in this country that seeks to build a governing coaliton in a diverse population of 300 Million people is going to face the quandry of balancing different and often opposing points of view. I think we can classify this observation under NO SH*T Sherlock! Is this wonderlic seriously suggesting to me that the GOP has not been utterly subverted by it's own radical wings? Their solution to this problem was to embrace the madness. Now we have the unholy alliance of corporate power and Dominionist christian facism. Isn't that the coherent governing philosophy the GOP has pimped? Is that the model we are supposed to follow?

What are the properties of a coherent governing philosphy, while we're on the subject? The Gingrich/Bush governing philosophy has been revealed to be "Entrust us with your democratic institutions so we can trash them. Oh, and use the power of the regulatory state on the behalf of our corporate enablers against our constituents. God Bless America!". If that is a coherent philosphy, we don't need one. Facism has a very coherent view on governing, that does not mean I want facists elected to govern.

I absolutely could not give a crap what anyone associated with the American political right or the Republican party has to say about governing. They have had 6 years to demonstrate their "coherent philosophy". It is pretty clear their governing philosophy sucks ass. For the most part, because it is not a philosophy of governance. Look, if your philosophy of governance is centered around contempt for the organization you seek to operate, and you hold the very mission of the organization in contempt, what do you think the outcome is going to be? If the CEO of UPS hated delivery services as a core part of his ideology, and filled the management ranks with people who shared that view and sought to undermine the company at every opportunity, all the while attempting to enrich themselves and their friends with the companies money, what do you think is going happen? Anyone? Just look at the record of the GOP Congress and Bush Administration for your answer. It is as close to an utter repudiation as you will find.

And for Chrisakes, can we stop harping about the freakin 60's. 1968 was almost 40 friggin years ago, get over it. Stop looking for easy to point to watershed moments to prove your pet theories please. If there was a watershed movement in the 60's, it wasn't the yippies or the anti-war movement. Sorry folks, I like the music and the romance of it all too. Deal with it hippies. Memo to Boomers, we were tired of your nostalgia and bitter recrminations in the 80's. Just think how our cups overflow in 2007. Just for your information Boomers, the 1968 campaign was not the most important political milestone of the 1960's, it was arguably the civil rights legislation of that decade. Look at the electoral map of 1964, and the maps of 2004. What could possibly have brought that change about?

The correct answer is of course many things, but the switch of conservative southern democrats to the GOP is more important than the political chaos of 68. And by the way, anyone who thinks that "leftist Intellectuals" are running anything in the Democratic party, or even in most liberal groups needs to switch off Fox News and put the bong away. That is yet another canard fed like a peeled grape from the rights agitprop machine into the beltway media to be manufactured into conventional wisdom. In fact, the truth is that the Democratic party needs to do MORE, MUCH MORE, to connect with their liberal base and the intellectual and political energy they provide. Integrating those people and their ideas into the party is the key to continuing growth and success. They need to embrace their inner hippies and leftists, not run away like pack of whiney pussies. Clintonism is a road to nowhere without the heart of American liberalism to make it more than a series of political strategies.

If the Democratic party wants to build a coherent governing philosophy, well, Go Left young man.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Blood For Oil

Well, what do you know? It is all about the oil, after all!

Those Darn Xtianists...

Chris Hedges fills us in on some of the latest developments...
The drive by the Christian right to take control of military chaplaincies, which now sees radical Christians holding roughly 50 percent of chaplaincy appointments in the armed services and service academies, is part of a much larger effort to politicize the military and law enforcement.
I deeply resent how the Bush administration and its military brass make me feel like a tinfoil hat conspiracy theorist.

On Your List Of Problems That Need Solving...

Guess what? Nancy Pelosi is the Speaker of the House, but Internet Neutrality is still endangered. A lot of Democrats are on the wrong side of the progressive position on this. Do what must be done.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Entitlement Reform

Oh, good grief...
"...What we really expect out of the Democrats is for them to treat us as they would like to have been treated," [incoming House Minority Leader John] Boehner said.
We seriously need to reform the entitlement system in the Republican Party.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Bitchy Snark For No Good Reason

Jerry Ford's pastor in Palm Desert annoyed me yesterday.

Dude is a reverend in the Episcopal church, and obviously a veteran— because he decided to wear his ribbons on his vestments during the funeral ceremony. That's not what annoyed me. I'm all good with veterans wearing their ribbons on civilian clothes under appropriate circumstances, and I have no problem seeing how the circumstances here were appropriate.

But you'd think if the dude were going to be all that and wear his ribbons on his vestments (right below an ostentatious diamond studded cross), he'd at least have the good sense to remember he's not wearing a uniform when the color guard hoists the flag on the steps outside the church. Saluting the flag when in civilian attire is poor form. It also makes you look really goofy when you do it under bright sunlight without wearing a cover, exposing your bald pate with a nice shine visible from space.

For a moment there, I was seriously starting to wonder if the chaplains corps had developed spiffy new dress uniforms that look absolutely nothing like other military uniforms and look for all the world like priestly robes. Normally, that wouldn't be an idea that would be worth considering, but times being what they are...

Dear proud veterans, please try harder to keep from confusing us poor, benighted civilians. I know it's a tough slog, and it often feels like teaching pigs to sing, but kicking your civilians around for being ignorant goobs will be so much more satisfying once you've gotten your own act together. Thanks.

Love, S9.