Filtered news 11/1

Be thankful for independent courts (as long as they last) Judge rules in favor of the Denver Three (folks kicked out of Bush Social Security event for not being true believers).

"Scary" is right ... I saw a Daily Show montage this morning in which every Republican candidate shouted some version of the argument that Democrats would "raise taxes" and "lose the war" in Iraq. Bush said the same thing yesterday. I get pretty depressed by the state of the world when I see this kind of thing because of how stupid these people assume voters must be. Who started this war that we are now losing and will continue losing until we've finally admitted we lost? Who destroyed the fiscal balance they inherited from the Clinton administration and helped cause the single worst reversal of fiscal fortune in the country's history? And just how would a Democratic House or Senate "raise taxes" without Bush's signature on a bill? Does anyone think they are about to assume a "veto-proof" majority? In other words, the Republicans are running a campaign on what is, whatever you happen to believe politically, pure nonsense. And not only do they expect it to work, none of the smart-guy pundits think to call them on it. Sad, sad, sad, particularly when you think about how many hundreds of thousands of people must die in Iraq and elsewhere, for this idiocy.

President Tommy Thompson? Oh please....

The recent talk about a possible presidential bid in '08 by Tommy Thompson is making me laugh out loud. It also reminded me of a roundup of Tommy's record that I wrote for TPMCafe a few months ago. For your enjoyment, I've posted it below. Let me know if you think of additions, corrections or updates. --R King


This past week a mysterious thing happened: Former secretary of Health and Human Services – and former governor of Wisconsin - Tommy Thompson released a white paper giving his opinion on how to reform Medicaid.* Beyond the mystery of its lack of originality and lack of useful data is a far greater mystery: Why would he think anyone would take him seriously? His performance as governor and secretary should have stripped him as every last shred of credibility.

Filtered news 10/30

Unca Dickey hates America Cheney: American democracy at fault for rising tide of Iraq violence.
The Nucular Peninshula If you can watch this up to and through the comments about the attire being worn by members of the White House press crew without puking, you are amazing.

A long-standing Republican jab is to call the Democratic party, the 'Democrat' party. Silly and annoying. But there it is. So why is CNN now adopting it for their own news copy. Here's the primer on their lead story ...

The link is to an AP story. And even on the substance, look at the domestic spin CNN gives to the story. What the story actually says is that while most Middle Eastern governments think the Bush administration has been a disaster, they are also wary of the Democrats -- not because they don't have "better answers" but because they're too close to Israel. Very different points.

Crystal ball CQ puts out its final pre-election ratings.

Filtered news 10/29

Explaining income inequlity It's worth reading Jon Chait's entire article about rising income inequality in the New Republic this week, but for my money here's the most important factoid to lodge firmly in your brain:

Over the last quarter century, the portion of the national income accruing to the richest 1 percent of Americans has doubled. The share going to the richest one-tenth of 1 percent has tripled, and the share going to the richest one-hundredth of 1 percent has quadrupled.

Just Say No!

I'm normally a fairly positive person, and God knows I hate to regurgitate anything that Nancy Reagan said, but here it is:

Just Say No!

It's been a difficult time for progressives. The house and senate and presidency have been firmly controlled by the Republicans. Corruption in Washington has reached levels that are incomprehensible to me. There's a new story every day, so it seems. We've become embroiled in a war that most of the country does not support, and the war has killed as many as 650,000 people in a foreign country. We made up a reason for invading the country, and continue to make up excuses for our war, our conduct, our history of torture (and saying that it's justified).

The Republican party is proudly pointing to the "economic progress" of the country. There's been plenty of economic progress for the people with money, for the people with investments, for the friends of the Republicans. But damn little for any of the rest of us. For most of the country. For the poor, for the middle class, for the people we used to think were the backbone of America. They give us answers like fences, Health Savings Accounts (if you can't afford to take your kids to the doctor, it's a cinch you can't afford those).

Gary Wills on the Religious Influence on the Bush Administration

I thought this was a fascinating article by Gary Wills in the upcoming New York Review of Books. He covers the pervasive influence of religion on the policy of the Bush administration, and how it is changing our country. 

Although I was aware of much of this, there were some surprises to me in the anecdotes Wills relates.  Must reading. 

Filtered news 10/26

Sorry for the slow posting -- I'm away on vacation at a place where the Internet is more akin to a gravel road. --RK

He ain't kiddin'. President Bush: "Reconciliation is difficult in a country that has been tortured and divided by a tyrant." (I assume that he's talking about Hussein here Innocent - ed.)

13 scariest Americans (not named Karl Rove) Old Trout magazine treats us to a list of the 13 scariest Americans. They must have had a hard time making the list so exclusive — give me five minutes in the lobby of Fox News on a Monday morning and I'd be over the limit. Even so, there's more scary monsters here than you'll find in a Scooby Doo marathon.

Why We Must Withdraw Our Military From Iraq

Anyone who knows anything about the nature of the sectarian violence in Iraq knows that there can be no “victory” in Iraq for the United States. Richard Haass, a former Bush State Department official, said recently, “The Iraq situation is not winnable in any sense of the word ‘winnable’.”

Mr. Bush knows this because he was told this by Fouad Ajami, a Shia intellectual and professor at the School of Advanced International Studies of Johns Hopkins University. Bush invited Ajami to the White House last June to discuss the Shia/Sunni sectarian violence. He told the president that the Shia resurgence in Iran and Iraq was a historical process that would prove difficult and probably could not be stopped. Ajami said, “The idea that the Shia will make their claim on political power in the affairs of the Arab world and that it will be peaceful is not really tenable.”

Filtered news 10/19

If you can watch this and not weep with anguish, pride or anger, turn in your homosapien membership card (you cold, sick, reptilian slob)
Keith strikes again! Olbermann has been calling it like it is. His "Special Comments" are indeed special because no other talking head outside is so willing or so able to step up to the plate and say what needs to be said on 24/7. "Your words are lies, Sir." They are lies, that imperil us all.' Sounds about right to me. Video - WMV Video - QT Transcript here: (Read the rest of this story…)


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