Archive for the 'Politics' Category

Introducing Right-Wing-Shill-Cum-Comedian David Lereah

This book – by economist David Lereahought to be archived somewhere along with all the neocon blogs that were cheerleading the war in Iraq. Remember all those six-month increments: It’ll get better in six months, just wait; it’s better than it was six months ago; it’s better than had we not done anything six months ago … The same old canards, over and over. Little did our historicist friends know that they would be the court jesters in this historical farce. Not surprisingly, people who bought this book also bought: Your Yugo Will Run Forever and How to Set the Land-Speed Record With It. Like Baron Münchhausen pulling himself and his horse out of water by his own hair, these guys were caught in a feedback loop of their own ill-founded, egotistical ideology.

Hero or Criminal?

Tom from thebadrash kind of gave me the idea to do a Hero or Criminal series, but I don’t know how long it will last. I couldn’t help doing this one, though. Muntazer al-Zaidi is the Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at president Bush in a fit of enraged passion, shouting, “You dog .. you think you are superior to us. This is what we think!”

HERO. He couldn’t help what he was doing in his irrational state of Dionysian rage, and he was expressing his anger in an essentially harmless way. Had he written an op-ed column it would have been drowned in the sea of information.

Now the poor guy is probably being waterboarded or subjected to eardrum-splitting renditions of Barney’s I Love You. Oh, the legacy of our beloved neocons!

Hero or Criminal?

Thomas Tamm, the Fed who blew the whistle on the Bush administration’s warrantless wiretaps.

In the spring of 2004, Tamm had just finished a yearlong stint at a Justice Department unit handling wiretaps of suspected terrorists and spies—a unit so sensitive that employees are required to put their hands through a biometric scanner to check their fingerprints upon entering. While there, Tamm stumbled upon the existence of a highly classified National Security Agency program that seemed to be eavesdropping on U.S. citizens. The unit had special rules that appeared to be hiding the NSA activities from a panel of federal judges who are required to approve such surveillance. When Tamm started asking questions, his supervisors told him to drop the subject. He says one volunteered that “the program” (as it was commonly called within the office) was “probably illegal.”

Tamm agonized over what to do. He tried to raise the issue with a former colleague working for the Senate Judiciary Committee. But the friend, wary of discussing what sounded like government secrets, shut down their conversation. For weeks, Tamm couldn’t sleep. The idea of lawlessness at the Justice Department angered him. Finally, one day during his lunch hour, Tamm ducked into a subway station near the U.S. District Courthouse on Pennsylvania Avenue. He headed for a pair of adjoining pay phones partially concealed by large, illuminated Metro maps. Tamm had been eyeing the phone booths on his way to work in the morning. Now, as he slipped through the parade of midday subway riders, his heart was pounding, his body trembling. Tamm felt like a spy. After looking around to make sure nobody was watching, he picked up a phone and called The New York Times.

HERO. We need more Americans like Tamm.

Hoax phone call almost sparks war

A hoax telephone call almost sparked another war between nuclear-armed India and Pakistan at the height of last month’s terror attacks on Mumbai, officials and Western diplomats on both sides of the border said on Sunday.

Asif Ali Zardari, the Pakistani President, took a telephone call from a man pretending to be Pranab Mukherjee, India’s Foreign Minister, on Friday, November 28, apparently without following the usual verification procedures, they said.

The hoax caller threatened to take military action against Pakistan in response to the then ongoing Mumbai attacks, which India has since blamed on the Pakistan-based militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), they said.

The episode – reminiscent of Stanley Kubrick’s 1964 film Dr Strangelove – dramatically illustrates how easy it would be for another war to break out between India and Pakistan, even accidentally, following the Mumbai attacks.

From The Times.

Proposition R

This is awesome. San Francisco’s Proposition R, for renaming the Oceanside Water Pollution Control Plant to the George W Bush Sewage Plant.

President Bush has left us with a gigantic mess, and that this facility symbolizes the city’s deft ability to clean up its share of the financial and diplomatic mess left in this administration’s wake. It will also become the world’s first presidential sewage plant, a potential tourist attraction, and therefore an opportunity for the dedicated plant workers to educate visitors about this essential and heretofore unknown public works …

Fellow San Franciscans, we urge you to vote Oui! On November 4th.

I hope it gets passed (no pun intended).

Barack Obama, America’s 44th president

I had to pinch myself and go out on the terrace for some bracing cold air, I couldn’t believe it. My mom called me at 5:25 in the morning with the news, the very moment McCain was giving his concession speech. Right now I’m watching President-elect Obama give his victory speech in Chicago. After eight years, the Iraq invasion, a destroyed economy, Guantanamo, Abu Graieb, the Patriot Act, the neocons, Rove, Cheney and BUSH, my kneejerk reaction is to write something cynical or ironic, but no, this is just a great thing. Finally, we’re back!

The vote is in

Today I voted for Obama via absentee ballot, even though I’m registered in New York and the Democrats will surely carry the state – save some generated international crisis, or a mysterious missive from Al Queda conveniently appearing just days before the election. Sorry Nader, I won’t even give you a protest vote this time. I want the Republicans to get spanked, and, let’s face it, you didn’t put on that panda suit.