Friday, February 03, 2006

What Isolationism?

This is exactly what I was wondering this the other night:
In his State of the Union address on Tuesday, President Bush worked himself into a lather about the dangers of "retreating within our borders." His speech bulged with ominous references to ostensibly resurgent isolationists hankering to "tie our hands" and leave "an assaulted world to fend for itself." Turning inward, the president cautioned, would provide "false comfort" because isolationism inevitably "ends in danger and decline."

But who exactly are these isolationists eager to pull up the drawbridges? What party do they control? What influential journals of opinion do they publish? Who are their leaders? Which foundations bankroll this isolationist cause?

The president provided no such details, and for good reason: They do not exist. Indeed, in present-day American politics, isolationism does not exist. It is a fiction, a fabrication and a smear imported from another era.

Isolationism survives in contemporary American political discourse because it retains utility as a cheap device employed to impose discipline. Think of it as akin to red-baiting -- conjuring up bogus fears to enforce conformity in the realm of foreign policy. In that regard, the beleaguered Bush, his standing in public opinion polls tumbling, is by no means the first president to sound the alarm about supposed isolationists subverting American statecraft.
That's our President: making up enemies and threats to smear his opponents and fake out 'his base.'

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Newly discovered memo

Evidently, some Brit has found a memo documenting a meeting between Bush and Tony Blair from January 31, 2002 -- a full two months before the Iraq invasion. The most awesome highlight:
Mr Bush told the Mr Blair that the US was so worried about the failure to find hard evidence against Saddam that it thought of "flying U2 reconnaissance aircraft planes with fighter cover over Iraq, painted in UN colours". Mr Bush added: "If Saddam fired on them, he would be in breach [of UN resolutions]".

You can read the full article in The Guardian. God knows it'll never find its way into U.S. papers.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

"God Help This Country..."

In Why We Fight, we learn that Eisenhower apparently said "God help this country when someone sits at this desk who doesn't know as much about the military as I do." Oy. That was one smart man.

You MUST See This Movie

Fantastic. Amazing. Truly worth your time and effort.

Here in Hollywood? It is playing at the Laemmle Sunset 5: 11:30am | 2:00pm | 4:30pm | 7:00pm | 9:30pm

"Dude, Where's My Party?"

This strip perfectly illustrates my frustration with the Democratic Party, it's 'advisors' (f@#k you Begala et al.,!), and attendant hangers on.

If we want to win we gotta fucking stand up for ourselves when the other side attacks and show people that Democrats actually believe in things that are worth believing in.

It is time to clean out the 'Republican-lite' types (Hillary, I am talking to you and Joe Leiberman). The problems with the Democrats are easy to fix and Ward Sutton has been kind enough to list the most obvious ones right here.

"Political Debates of Tomorrow"

The sad thing? It already feels like this is the case.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Why are you not reading Sutton Impact?

The SOTU Decoded

The good folks over at The Nation have decoded the "State of The Union."

I love this definition:
Bipartisanship, n.
1. When conservative Republicans work with moderate Republicans to pass legislation that Democrats hate.
2. Another name for date rape [Grover Norquist, Third Level, Hell].
Ain't it the truth, ain't it the truth...

Kucinich TruthDigs It!

TruthDig has a podcast interview with Dennis Kucinich about last night's State of The Union and the man tells it like it is.
What the president promised was more war. And it's disheartening to see that he hasn't gotten the message that all his underpinnings of the war have been knocked out. They're standing totally on lies. We really need a new policy in Iraq that enables us to get out of Iraq and bring our troops home. A majority of Americans want us to leave Iraq this year, yet what we heard tonight was a commitment to war with no end, and war we cannot win.

The president is committed to victory, but that kind of arrogance is sure to lead to catastrophe not only for the people of Iraq, but for the men and women who bravely serve this country. And I want to say that withdrawal is not retreat. There is a need for a new approach, involving the international community, not the United States trying to dictate unilaterally the future of Iraq.
The man tells it like it is and we ♥s him for it.

The Scariest Place In America?

Utah Town Has Question About President: 'What's Not to Like?'
Stunning. Simply stunning.
Not only is Utah the nation's most Republican state, "there's a sense of loyalty and patriotism that kind of overcomes the tendency toward cynicism that is evident in the rest of the country right now," he says.

In Randolph, though -- where Bush received 95.6 percent of the vote and support for him continues to be nearly unanimous -- the mind-set is even more specific to a place that seems less a part of the modern United States than insulated from it. It isn't just mustard, but everything.

There have been no funerals here from Bush's war on terrorism. There are no unemployment lines, no homeless people sleeping in doorways, no sick people being turned away from a hospital because of a lack of insurance, no crime to speak of, no security fence needed around the reservoir, no metal detectors at the schools.

Terrorist threats? That's anywhere but here. Iraq? That's somewhere over there. Hurricane Katrina? That was somewhere down there. Illegal immigrants? Not here, where everyone is fond of Ramon, who came long ago from Mexico and is married to the Catholic woman, who is the one non-Mormon everyone mentions when the conversation turns to religious diversity. As for racial diversity, everyone says there are three African Americans in the county, including the twins on the high school cheerleading squad, which also includes a Hispanic, according to the superintendent of schools, Dale Lamborn, which means "we've probably got the most diverse cheerleading squad in the state."
So scary.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

A Sad Day

Today, Coretta Scott King died.

Samual Alito joined The Supreme Court.

This is the time we live in.

Monday, January 30, 2006

The Con Is On

Greg over at This Modern World nails so-called 'Democratic Strategists':
Democratic strategists aren't morons, they’re geniuses.

After all, these guys have found a way to make a killing on the Democratic "woe is me" mentality without ever having to accomplish the task they claim to be good at : winning elections. It's a pretty damn good racket they've got going. Mix equal parts harsh reality ("Republicans are unbeatable") and flattery ("Americans agree with Democrats") which naturally lead your mark to the solutions that you’re about to sell ("I can help you craft the perfect message"). Like any good con, the last thing you want is for your victim to get the self-confidence they need to see they're getting played, so every time there's some good news, you've gotta make sure to use it to beat down your "client's" self-esteem even more. ("We shouldn’t politicize this issue") And as long as you can safely straddle that line between "We're doomed" and "We're doing great", you can lose all the elections you want and still get hired again.

The point here, of course, isn't that Democrats shouldn't get advice from strategists but that they shouldn't keep hiring the same losers over and over again. For those of us on the outside looking in, it's heartbreaking to see that the incestuous circles of politicos in D.C. exist more to keep friends and relatives employed than advancing some meaningful public policy. I know you guys vacation in Martha's Vineyard together and your kids attend the same private school, but being cool isn't enough to undo the fact that a lot of these guys really suck at their jobs.
Wow. The harsh truth about the Con that hurts us all...

I've been thinking about this for a long time and it was never more clear than after watching Paul Begala's weird appearance on Colbert the other night: I wouldn't trust him to watch my cat...much less run a campaign.

State Of The Union... Place Your Bets!

Oh I like the sound of this one:
Guessing how long it will take before President Bush invokes 9/11 in a speech is one of our favorite diversions at the Huffington Post. The over/under is usually around 90 seconds. Will he best that during his upcoming State of the Union address? Given all the pomp and circumstance, it's not likely.
90 seconds? Too soon... and how many times will he invoke it? The war isn't going well and there are scandals aplenty, I think he has to make us afraid again (especially using the Iran Nuclear boogeyman).

So the questions are: how long will it take him to mention Sept. 11th and how many times will he do it? I look forward to hearing your guesses...