Thursday, August 30, 2007
i think what people on the left forget is that those who have fought for this country have a much louder voice than those who have not. a call for a draft to protect our military would be much more positively received than the never-ending bitch-fest that goes on on kos, eschaton, etc. "bush always gets what he wants! the democrats are spineless! don't bother me, i'm playing a massively multi-player online game!"
let's win this war. let's bring the best of the youngest generation to bear. draft them, recruit them, train them, and send them off to battle where they might win a war that otherwise would be lost. let the current generation have their chance to unseat the greatest generation as the newest greatest generation.
a draft is what is needed right now, more than anything else. those who don't support it are just a bunch of whining babies.
honestly. lay off the guy. he's a closeted homosexual who has just been pushed out of the closet in the meanest of ways and is now the butt of late night comedy jokes.
just let him be. it's not funny. the guy needs help right now. since when are senators beyond humane treatment?
i don't agree with his policies or his lies or his lifestyle (i.e., creating an alternate personality for his public life, not his homosexuality). but i do believe that the man deserves compassion and help. that's what makes our side different from the other. don't become what you hate.
Monday, August 27, 2007
isn't larry craig a victim of the same wrong-headed societal pressures that most progressives are constantly railing against? i mean, if we lived in a world where homosexuality wasn't still "icky", wouldn't have senator craig been able to navigate himself wherever his sexual desires might have taken him? and wouldn't he have, then, been able to find sexual and personal satisfaction in ways that didn't involve visits to public bathrooms?
seriously -- the ourpouring of emotion from the left on this issue shouldn't be "ha ha". it should be "i feel sorry that we live in a country where a man who is clearly homosexual has to repress his desires to the point where he can only be fulfilled in a public bathroom."
being gay is ok. someone needs to let senator craig know that. hopefully it will be someone on the left who tells him that.
after all, the ultimate result of repressed homosexuality seems to be republicanism. so we need to fight this as much as anything else.
it sure seems that way. skip to the "comments section" if you want a real good laugh.
perhaps if all the homosexual men with repression issues came out of the closet, they'd move over to the democratic side of the aisle. that might leave us with a 99-1 advantage.
Sunday, August 26, 2007
Friday, August 24, 2007
which of her policies do you disagree with?
wait for the blank stares back at you.
hillary hasn't ever done anything that was terribly unpopular. even the failed attempt at universal health care was probably backed by the majority of americans. people just don't like her because they've been told not to like her. it's that simple.
(by the way, media reality tour has yet to declare its choice for president in 2008. but when i do, i guarantee that my three or four daily visitors will vote along with me! so to all the candidates out there who want an easy four or five votes, just hit up the comments box!)
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
for those of you who are turned off by his somewhat less erudite style of speech and his constant references to pop culture, tv, and tiger woods, please get past that. bart is simply the best person on the web in terms of creating arguments that everyone easily understands. he's got a folksy way of approaching the issues that is easy to get and hard for the opposition to fight against.
you must also read his "myth of the liberal media", one of the most important posts you may ever read.
for instance, read this.
ok, so the logical counter-argument is not to get lost in the weeds of the republicans still failing to create "political reconciliation" in iraq. the counter argument is to say "so if the surge is working, the troops will be coming home soon, right?"
the answer, as always, is no. the troops are not coming home any time soon. if anything, we will be sending more and more. just like the iraq = vietnam analogy that bush will be using soon, it's just so simple to unravel. yet the democrats cannot figure it out.
it almost makes you wonder if they really care. or if they aren't just all "pretending" to be oppositional. they just can't be this stupid. can they? people want the troops home. republicans aren't getting that job done. hammer and hammer away at that. that's the only story needing to be told.
how can they be so ineffective over and over again unless they really are on the same side as bush and cheney? someone please answer that question.
josh marshall, who is the king of untangling these things even before they happen, has the very accurate counter-argument here.
Monday, August 20, 2007
we'll see how long it lasts. i wonder if he'll eventually get the donohue treatment. just because you get ratings doesn't mean you get to stay on TV. and, of course, the inverse is true too: just because you have very low ratings doesn't mean you get kicked off TV either. it's really all about politics, and no liberals are allowed on TV.
the neo-conservative movement has been based, not on ideology exactly, but on the manipulation of data and facts to fit a pro-corporate, pro-war agenda that has been backed by those willing to pay for the think tanks, the policy wonks, and the PR firms.
when will rich people no longer be interested in manipulating government policy so that wars can be started that make them a ton of money? probably not in my lifetime, if ever. rich people have been using their influence to screw the little guy since money was invented.
the other, more important question, is when will american democracy be so degraded that the legislature ignores the people's wishes? that, unfortunately, has already happened.
The amazing thing about the current situation is that it's one that I don't think our founders ever envisioned: a completely complacent and unresponsive legislature.
The founders knew that the executive would over-reach from time to time, in an attempt to concentrate his power. They never assumed that a legislature would allow or even empower an executive to do just that. There are no "impeachment" clauses for legislators who are failing in their duty to impeach an over-reaching president.
Is this the fatal flaw in our democratic system?
Saturday, August 11, 2007
Friday, August 10, 2007
a nice little excerpt:
- The Republicans have failed the most important test of any political movement—wielding power successfully. They have botched a war. They have splurged on spending. And they have alienated a huge section of the population. It is now the Democrats' game to win or lose.
so the troops will be coming home soon then, right?
i don't think so.
remember, whenever you hear that the surge is working, respond by saying "great! so our troops will be home in the next few months, right?"
the answer, invariably, will be no.
Thursday, August 9, 2007
first off, the author thinks that terrorism in america is a good thing. if that weren't enough to disqualify an article as worthy of publication, i don't know what is. but it gets worse.
the argument the author makes is based on the now hundred-time disproven idea that 9/11 and the invasion of iraq are connected.
the author plainly states that in order to give americans the strength to continue to want to fight the iraq war, we need another 9/11 to remind us of why we invaded iraq in the first place.
i am ... dumbfounded. just read it and post your own impressions. it's the worst thing i've ever read.
i remember back in 2004 when people started calling for a draft in some of the major newspapers and thinktanks, such as here, here, and here. but since that time, the idea of a draft has completely fallen out of the national conversation.
are we so selfish as a people that we're willing to put incredibly heavy burdens on our career military folks and our national guardsmen and not give them any help at all? is it unfair that, typically, only the poorest and least educated young men and women are fighting in iraq, and that very few college kids are being forced to enroll?
if we truly want to support our troops, we should push very hard for a draft. the war we are fighting should be fought by all members of our society, and the burdens spread out amongst the rich and the poor.
i'm embarassed by our country's selfishness. it's sad that our leaders would take us down this path, but it's even more distressing that the majority of the people in this country won't help out. they'll get the personalized license plates (just enter code GTP!) but that's about all we can expect our fellow countrymen -- even the right-wingers who support the war -- to do.
i don't support the war. but i do support our military. that's more than most in this country can really say. and, yes, if i were drafted, i'd go and fight.
corporate tax cuts at a time of war and deficit has to be among the most craven political moves in our country's history. there was a time, you know, when sacrifice was expected of all members of the country, not just the poor.
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
i don't say this to be snarky. but i do see a trend here. there have been literally dozens of sexually related controversies involving republicans in the last several years. it seems to me that there is something about republicanism, the repression of one's true sexuality, and conservative christianity that leads to perverse acts, ones that usually involve taking advantage of those who have less power.
i was reminded of the recent controversy surrounding congressman mark foley, so i did a google search and came across this website. i don't have time to verify every single accusation, but if they are true i think they point to the correlation that i am imagining.
and can someone please tell me why the age of consent in DC is 16, when it is 18 almost everywhere else in the nation?
those familiar with the episode will remember that moe becomes dictator of the country of moronica after evil cabinet members decide that he'd be a perfect dictator since he's the stupidest man in the country.
i'll post a transcript of the interview as soon as NPR puts it up, but the main gist of it was that we are going to hear a lot of "the surge is working" in the next month or so. the problem is that there is nothing behind the surge; there are no iraqi troops coming in to hold the ground that the surge is gaining.
so the bottom line is that as soon as we take our troops off of the front lines, the surge deflates behind our front lines because there is no one to back us up.
and we all know why this is: even for the iraqi troops who are interested in helping secure their country and working with the americans, there is simply too much risk involved in being seen as a public supporter of the occupation. we all know about how many translators have been killed. we all know about the truck bombings that have been aimed at the iraqi police and army. the climate is such that as long as we are there, there will be no army behind us to stand up when we stand down. there's no way around this cold, hard fact.
so as you start to get inundated with mainstream media messages about the surge working, remember what dick durbin said this morning on NPR. the surge may or may not work, but it doesn't really matter since there is no iraqi government to fill the void behind us.
update: still no transcript, but you can listen to the segment here.
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
just further proof that kurt vonnegut was right about the chrono-synclastic infubdibulum.
i think i agree with ron paul, who at the recent ABC news debate said, essentially, that while pulling out of vietnam was a very hard thing to do, we have done more to mend out ties with vietnam since we left their country than we could have ever done while occupying it.
i am not a "defeat-o-crat" or a "cut-and-runner", as many main stream media outlets would like to paint those who oppose the iraq war and want troops home now.
i am just a realist who has studied history and believes that all occupying armies are eventually defeated. unless we go "roman" on the iraqis and adopt a "sow their fields with salt" mentality, they will continue to survive and continue to hate us for being there.
i often ask my hawkish friends what they would do if an invading nation promised to bring democracy to america. would you greet the invaders with open arms, or would you turn into a wolverine? most people i talk to prefer the wolverine route to any other option. no way would they let another nation tell us how to run our government. yet these same people just can't fathom why iraqis aren't laying down their arms and welcoming us.
put yourself in their shoes for just one minute, people.
most people see this and think "another tax", and since Ed Rendell is behind it, the average pennsylvanian automatically thinks it's either a scam, a bamboozle, or a hoodwinking. after all, ed is mean, angry, fat, and from philadelphia. he obviously doesn't have the state's best interests in mind.
but the fact is that suburbanites have been living fat off the work and tax revenues of cities in PA for decades. conservative pennsylvanians who want to live near a city, drive 45 miles to work, send their kids 30 miles to the uber-feeder highschool, and have access to a major metropolitan area want all of these luxuries without paying a nickle more in tax dollars or tolls.
the fact is, suburban lifestyles put increasing pressure on government treasuries -- local, state, and federal. people drive on subsidized highways to their suburban track mansions that were built with subsidized sewer, electric, and gas lines. yet when the idea comes up that the use of those roads be paid for BY THOSE WHO USE THEM, the suburbanites go nuts! how dare you take something that they unrightfully getting for free and make them pay a reasonable rate for it! it's socialism, pure and simple, but don't tell that to your average pennsylvanian conservative. what i have realized about conservatives is that they all hate socialism, unless it's benefiting them.
but it doesn't really matter. it turns out that those who use I-80 will continue to get a free ride. and those of us who never drive on it will continue to pay for it, even though what we really want to pay for is better public transportation in our cities, which would reduce the impact cars have on our highways.
for those of you who love dogs, please don't read this.
and please note that these issues do not make their way into the main stream media narrative about Mitt Romney. to newsweek and others, he remains a legitimate candidate. don't ask me how.
i find that liberal blogs tend to focus on the negative. i'm not exactly one of those people who believes that positive thoughts bring positive results, or anything like that, but i do think that the liberal bloggers open themselves up to criticism that they defeatists, anti-american, and angry reactionaries when they pile up pages and pages of posts and all the content is snarky, sarcastic, and mean-spirited. even when i find myself agreeing with atrios's take on the media or kos's take on republican scare tactics, i am constantly reaching for the answer. often times, liberal bloggers don't offer one. they seem to traffic in the anger that the bush administration has produced. they don't necessarily seem to be working on a daily basis to stop that anger at its source.
i understand as much as anyone that there isn't much positive to talk about with george w. bush and his cronies in power. the country is on a bad course; this is undeniable. but complaining about all the abuses of power is one thing, acting on them in a positive way is another.
a recommendation to liberal bloggers everywhere: do as much as you can do to post alternatives to the negativity that is pervading the blogosphere. when the democrats fail us (yet again) post about ways we can fix the problem. the "more and better democrats" message is a powerful one. when a set-back arises (and there will be plenty of them), ask yourself "what can we do to make this better?" don't just complain. find a way to act.
our greatest asset as liberals is that we truly believe that we can make america a stronger place through collective work and effort. let's come up with positive solutions to our problems. when we allow the negativity that has creeped into our system over the last 7 years to defeat us, we are no better than those that we oppose.
don't let yourself get turned to the dark side by accepting the same hatred and tactics that the conservatives use to their advantage.
since the purchase of the Philadelphia Inquirer by right wing investors back in May of 2006, the reporting has gone quickly and steadily down hill.
the front page is usually covered with ten to fifteen articles. 9 out of 10 of these articles now deal with murder, crime, sex, or drugs. someone needs to create a running tally of this. it's a tabloid now, and if it weren't for sports coverage, i wouldn't visit the page at all.
here's a typical article that beautifully captures all of the main themes that now are hallmarks of inqy reporting in one fell swoop.
well i say this is nonsense. i just can't disagree with this statement any more vehemently.
first off, impeachment is not an "idea". it's not something that you plan, or only undertake when it suits your political agenda. it is a constitutional standard that is required of congress. it is, essentially, law. to not impeach a president who has committed crimes is unconstitutional.
we do not take the constitution when it suits us and ignore it when it does not suit us. we take it as it is: the written code by which we govern our nation.
all this namby pamby nonsense about impeachment not being the right thing to do, or not being politically expedient, is the kind of stuff that drivels out of the mouths of people who don't have faith in our country, its laws, and its system of justice. i question the patriotic character and moral fiber of a person who does not wish to impeach the president and vice president simply because it might cost the democrats votes in future elections. it is exactly this kind of craven, politically motivated posturing that is seen as weakness by the american electorate.
you impeach the president because he broke the law. that's it. that's the only "standard" that needs to be met. not some nebulous standard of "will it backfire on us in 08" or other such nonsense.
put simply, i believe the mainstream media system is completely broken and has been for some time. during the depths of depression that beset me after 9/11, i spent hours combing the web attempting to find answers that i knew weren't being supplied by the main stream media. i came across a handful of blogs, such as mediawhoresonline.com, bartcop.com, talkingpointsmemo.com, and others that showed me that there were alternative outlets for people who did not trust the mainstream narrative on 9/11 and the "war on terrorism".
this was an eye opener the likes of which i have never encountered. i spent months reading these sites, became a contributor to them, and encouraged members of my family and circle of friends to start turning off their TVs and reading blogs for news. i felt like an outcast, but i knew i was doing the right thing. i'm sure i'm not the only person on the web who had this reaction in the aftermath of 9/11, but i sure felt isolated -- from my friends and co-workers who cheered the invasion of afghanistan and later iraq, and from my friends and co-workers who felt that george w. bush was the best person to have as our president.
i found that blogs allowed me to have access to infinitely diverse viewpoints, and to see issues from different perspectives. i got caught up in conversations with people where i would cite facts i had found on the internet to counter-balance their rightward spin and they would dismiss me. "if i got it off the internet, it must be made up", they would say. but the exact opposite was true most of the time! the "facts" being spewed out on CNN and on the front pages of newspapers were only facts in the most limited sense of the word. they were "facts" that were spun and altered to paint an alternate reality that worked to contain the outrage of american citizens and direct it in ways that were harmful to our republic.
i remember saying back in 2003 that george bush would be the first president in american history to lose two wars during his term. the people i said this to were appalled. but years later, my prediction is coming close to true. we are going backwards in afghanistan and in iraq. we are losing the so-called war on terrorism. and people still don't seem to understand this.
why? because they get their news from places other than blogs and other than the internet.
if you haven't yet been convinced of just how bad our media has become in terms of pushing agendas that are unfriendly to democracy and destructive for our country, then i hope this blog will show you the light. if you are getting even one ounce of your news coverage from a main-stream source, you are, in my mind, a staunch conservative whether you realize it or not. it's just that bad.
please read my blog as it grows and expands, and please feel free to lend your comments and insights.