Archive for January, 2007

A Voice for Mike Gravel

Friday, January 26th, 2007

I urge your readers to look beyond your glib comparison of Senator Mike Gravel’s presidential candidacy to any of Harold Stassen’s.

You know the amazing thing is that I don’t even really know what the hell Harold Stassen ever did in the arena of presidential candidacies. I know he ran a strong campaign for the Republican nomination in 1948 and figured in 1952, and I know he ran an… um… weak one in 1992. The 1948 and 1952 results would put him behind Thomas Dewey for 1948, and for 1952 behind Dwight D Eisenhower and Robert Taft. I have no clue what he did between those points and 1992, when he was somewhere behind the Republican candidacies of the incumbent George Herbert Walker Bush, Pat Buchanan, and David Duke.

The wikipedia article doesn’t deem it important to list Stassen’s contributions to off the radar campaigns.

I could revert to slightly more solid ground, in that I actually know who he was and have a firmer grasp on what his even most quixotic campaigns were about, of Eugene McCarthy.

What makes Mike’s candidacy important is that he is offering to codify the power of the people. Other candidates are not offering a solution to the juggernaut of republicrat/demublican power brokers on the Hill both beholden to the Corporate interests before being responsive to the will of the people…and don’t hold your breath that things will significantly change as a result of the recent election. We’re already seeing the deals being cut as regards the minimum wage bill in the Senate. It won’t be passed without additional sweeteners for the corporatists.
In terms of rhetoric, I can only think, “Sure. I voted for Nader in 2000 too.” In terms of policy, no. Sales Taxes are a pretty regressive form of taxation anyway, though generally a necessary place to tax due to its stability relative to other forms of taxation more apt to swing a bit wildly with the economy, and a national sales tax of, what’s that again? 23 percent? (presumably offset with the elimination of other taxes) doesn’t strike me as much of an incentive to produce anything.

I suppose that will just have to be fought off with “Direct Democracy”, but there we end up in a different ditch again. In the end, all kidding aside, I just don’t believe in Mike Gravel’s policies. At least we’ve moved out of the realm of “real time” and to “four times a year”, which eliminates the undemocratic problem #1: (What? You do it on the Internet and expose us to a technology gap that throws out a vast pool of poor people, and, for the time being older people?), but goes to a new problem #1, in terms of “corportocracy”: who decides the issues passed on for the voters to vote on, anyways, (out of our complicated government apparatus which sways into dark arenas anyways)?

Do your readers a favor and interview Mike Gravel. I think you’ll find a great deal of substance.

A strange sign of political inviability, suggesting a vanity blog of few readers to interview the candidate for national office.

But we already knew this…

Thursday, January 25th, 2007

Seriously, take a minute and remember the political climate that existed in the summer of 2002.  The Bush Administration’s Arrogance was backed up by everything, and they wanted to sell the post 9/11 Afghanistan Resolution as all the Congressional Authorization they needed to go into Iraq.  At any rate, GQ interviews Chuck Hagel, and we get this passage:

GQ: It’s incredible that you had to ask for that.

Chuck Hagel:  It is incredible. That’s what I said to Andy Card. Said it to Powell, said it to Rice. Might have even said it to the president. And finally, begrudgingly, they sent over a resolution for Congress to approve. Well, it was astounding. It said they could go anywhere in the region.

GQ:  It wasn’t specific to Iraq?

Hagel:  Oh no. It said the whole region! They could go into Greece or anywhere. I mean, is Central Asia in the region? I suppose! Sure as hell it was clear they meant the whole Middle East. It was anything they wanted. It was literally anything. No boundaries. No restrictions.

GQ:  They expected Congress to let them start a war anywhere they wanted in the Middle East?

Hagel:  Yes. Yes. Wide open. We had to rewrite it. Joe Biden, Dick Lugar, and I stripped the language that the White House had set up, and put our language in it.

GQ:  But that should also have triggered alarm bells about what they really wanted to do.

Hagel:  Well, it did. I’m not defending our votes; I’m just giving a little history of how this happened. You have to remember the context of when that resolution was passed. This was about a year after September 11. The country was still truly off balance. So the president comes out talking about “weapons of mass destruction” that this “madman dictator” Saddam Hussein has, and “our intelligence shows he’s got it,” and “he’s capable of weaponizing,” and so on.

GQ:  And producing a National Intelligence Estimate that turned out to be doctored.

Hagel:  Oh yeah. All this stuff was doctored. Absolutely. But that’s what we were presented with. And I’m not dismissing our responsibility to look into the thing, because there were senators who said, “I don’t believe them.” But I was told by the president—we all were—that he would exhaust every diplomatic effort.

GQ:  You were told that personally?

Hagel:  I remember specifically bringing it up with the president. I said, “This has to be like your father did it in 1991. We had every Middle East nation except one with us in 1991. The United Nations was with us.”

GQ:  Did he give you that assurance, that he would do the same thing as his father?

Hagel:  Yep. He said, “That’s what we’re going to do.” But the more I look back on this, the more I think that the administration knew there was some real hard question whether he really had any WMD. In January of 2003, if you recall, the inspectors at the IAEA, who knew more about what Saddam had than anybody, said, “Give us two more months before you go to war, because we don’t think there’s anything in there.” They were the only ones in Iraq. We hadn’t been in there. We didn’t know what the hell was in there. And the president wouldn’t do it! So to answer your question—Do I regret that vote? Yes, I do regret that vote.

Contemplating a partial entrant into the world of …

Wednesday, January 24th, 2007

I occasionally run into blog entries items such as this.  It is the second item like that that has popped up recently in my blog indexing of “Larouche”, the other being someone, pursuing his blog someone of a conspiratorial bent, who simply wrote “This guy fascinates me”, and a link to larouchepac.

I noted a comment to that one inviting him to a Larouchite cadre meeting.  I don’t know if he followed up on it.

Looking at this myspace blog post:

I been going to there since Tuesday(maybe cus of this chick)..

Always because of a chick, isn’t it?

I like what their doing but.. I’m not a political, economical & physics kind of person.. there’s nothing wrong with that, or about them

Is there any “political economical and physics” kind of person out there?  It probably doesn’t matter too much.  Does she like to sing?

the cult thing(see wiki) is just a slander/rumor..

I’m sure they addressed that issue.

the deploying was fun(Jan 19 @ rockridge)..
*went there with them and saying Impeach the Dick!! (Cheney) lol… haha or whatever corny jokes I can make XD.. yesh I did enjoyed it..

the singing kinda disturbs me.. but bashing Cheney/Bush is cool XD.. haha

We all like to bash Cheney / Bush.

Perhaps I should just move along — nothing to see here.  She has noticed the splatter of “cult”, and while not fully rejecting it whole-sale, rejected it in part.  Witness:

“or him, an economic disaster is just around the corner, and time is so precious that he no longer can have the luxury of regularly being with friends or family for considerable lengths of time—it would be morally wrong for him to spend time on personal concerns.”

I think I need to stay away before get no personal life(time for myself, or friends).. or I can just be part time..
I dont mind school.. just not enough to hate it(school) to quit and go join that movement.. no sir eeeeeee!! lol.. but part time sure..

I gather from looking over this myspace page that she is a Lesbian.  In the list of tv shows I see “The L Word”.  It is not a slander or slur to state that LaRouche has a history of hating homosexuals.  In his 1980s incarnation of appealing to the conservatie end of electoral politics (the appeal to liberals came in with oppositon to the Gulf War, he saw fit to print the following in Executive Intelligence Review (and I read a physical copy, thank you very much):  B

The issue of the rights of homosexuals and the lack of rights of the heterosexual — for example, forced abortion and forced sterialization as “population control” measures — seems inextricably liked. The same individuals who would have our children indoctrinated with the notion that homosexuality is an alternative life-style, rather than a perversion, would use every other device in the book to limit population growth, including forced sterialization.

Everyone has free will.  They may place that free will under whoever’s tutelege they wish it to be under.  I don’t really care too much, but maybe somebody else does.

Skull / Bones 2008

Wednesday, January 24th, 2007

One of the things worth watching is the number of media reports listing the presidential wannabes who include the name “Mike Gravel” and the number who do not.  I have no particular bias one way or the other — inclusive to the point of including Mike Freaking Gravel versus the desire  to limit the list to candidates who have a actual backing and constituency.  My internal debate goes like this: “Why not?” “Why?” and circuit back to “Why not?”.

There is no rhyme or reason on when a media source chooses to mention Gravel in a list of names and when they don’t.  Note this recent CBS News broadcast.:

Senators Clinton and Brownback are just the latest to join a crowded campaign 2008 field. Already in the running or with an exploratory committee are Democrats Chris Dodd, John Edwards, Mike Gravel, Dennis Kucinich, Barack Obama, Tom Vilsack and Joe Biden, with Bill Richardson expected to announce his plans tomorrow.On the Republican side are Jim Gilmore, Rudy Giuliani, Duncan Hunter, John McCain, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney, Tom Tancredo and Tommy Thompson, with Chuck Hagel possibly considering a bid as well.

For some perspective we`re joined by our National Political Correspondent Gloria Borger and by John Harris, editor-in-chief of The Politico, a new web site that launches next week. Thanks for joining us.

Did a memo go out stating CBS News mentions Gravel, or is it arbitrary and in another mention they’ll skip over him?  It’s hard for me to say.
On the right side of the screen I have my presidential preference list. 
1. Bill Richardson. 2. John Edwards.  3. Barack Obama.  4.  Ron Paul. 
Why Ron Paul?  Because indications are Chuck Hagel isn’t running.

Now, with John Edwards and Barack Obama I could easily flip around, and today would be inclined to do so.  I parse through the problems of the two.

The politician I am most generally in tune with ideologically who was making passes at the White House, Russ Feingold, opted to not run.  His reasoning makes stunning sense.  He is now in the majority and in a position of power which he wishes to use.  Had he remained in the minority, his state of lack of power would have been worth giving up to run a long-shot bid at the White House.

Feingold out, what we’re left with — right up to the point you get to Dennis Kucinich — is a group of politicians who have made various pretensions to the liberal base while attempting to sweep to a center base of support.  Their ideological differences can really only be over-stated, as with the effect on what they are actually going to have to do in the coming political environment and what they can do.  For example:  trade agreements are going to be reworked around the edges no matter what candidates’ past predilictions on them are –and with the group of Democrats who have come into power, that pressure will be forced upon some of the more “Free Traders”.  Amongst the trio of front-runners, Hillary Clinton is the most tedious.

On Hillary Clinton, I am inclined to agree with a a letter to the Atlantic.  She has made herself into an effective Senator, a Good Old Boy in a Good Old Boy’s network, with all the drawbacks and pluses that entails, able to navigate through that institution.  She lacks the vision for the Presidency — I have a hunch her presidency would be Clintonism writ small.  Hence, good Senator, not a particularly striking president.

Barack Obama actually has a fuller record to draw out than John Edwards.  Understand, John Edwards had one term in the Senate.  You can break this term into two parts: the first four years, where he was legislating in terms of what he thought would get him re-election in North Carolina, and under the auspices of a “centrist” Democrat.  And a rocky two year bid for national office — which saw him cling to full support of Bush’s Iraq War policies longer than Kerry did, and ended with him embracing the cause of “Populism” which has taken him on an anti-poverty tour (hence his campaign opener in New Orleans) as his reason for being.  Edwards
then shines the best possible light on his pre-electoral career by positing his trial-lawyer career as “fighting for the little guy” against, for example, corporate negligence.  I’ve always found Edwards a little empty, but he appears to have decided  on a direction and a series of problems to tackle.

Barack Obama has had his two years in the Senate, and a state legislative career.  Reading a few things about Obama — most importantly the recent Harpers cover article, and what Obama has said in defense to critics to the liberal spectrum, is that his approach is a replication of about what it was in the Illinois Senate, though if he had his way we would not find out if he makes a pattern of his transition from legislator in the minority to legislator in the majority on the national stage.  There is something to be said for someone who can, however mildly, win over — after actually following up on a relatively negative article — the cranky Counterpunch.  Understand Obama at bottom as having Hillary Clinton’s perchance to work the system, while having a stronger conviction for Reform.


Obama saw his insurrection primary campaign had him give blistering attacks on foreign policy.  (Indeed, the first time I ever heard a reference to Obama was a person saying that there was an “interesting primary battle” in Illinois with an establishment Democrat up against this sort of “Howard Dean-like” figure, a black politician who was exciting a lot of
people.)  He unceremoniously removed such speeches from his website, “trimming his sails”, so to speak.  While they are currently in the same position, Edwards has moved in the other direction, and gone from his early 2004 presidential campaign of tyring to innoculate his lack of foreign policy experience with a tough stand, to a mea culpa of “I was wrong”. 
That’s probably the rubric that slides Edwards slightly ahead of Obama (remember — they both don’t really have a whole heck of a lot of experience) when otherwise it would be the other way around.

Now, an explanation on Bill Richardson, and why I posit him as #1 of the bunch.  I understand he’s not going to be the Democratic nominee, and indeed after a while I suspect a fairly powerful and used vice-presidency or Secretary of State position will do him equally as well.  The two most important policy areas that need attention in our nation’s immediate future are foreign policy and Energy (most importantly moving us to alternative and renewable sources, but in the meantime…)  Simply put, Bill Richardson has worked in those two areas.  Currently, as governor of New Mexico, he dabbles on the side in the arena of diplomacy — a strange combination that saw him work a cease-fire in Darfur.  Hence, Bill Richardson.

But I’m like a Republican supporting Arlen Specter’s or Dick Lugar’s presidential bids.  Beyond which, I haven’t much say in this whole affair, and it’s early as Hell.  (Heck.  Would somebody please announce the formation of an exploratory committee for 2012?)  It could be worse.  I could be deciding Mike Gravel is the best person for the job… which
would put in line with the Harold Stassen supporters of 1992.  At any rate, Bill Richardon may have funny relationships with female underlings.  “Clinton-esque”?

The State of the Union is WICKED AWESOME!!!

Wednesday, January 24th, 2007

Already, the Kay Report identified dozens of weapons of mass destruction-related program activities.

That sentence is never going to be topped in a Bush State of the Union address, and I don’t think there’s any point in hoping for one.  So the slushing about on the Iraq War brought out only one minor cringe last night — a simple bit of rhetoric that “This is not the war we expected, but it is the war we have and must win”, or something to that effect — which poses the eternal question “Who’s this ‘we’?”  So, such stuff aside, what I’m left with in watching a Bush state of the Union Address, then, are two items.  #1: The upteenth not to be followed up on and punted into the far flung future insistence that we find alternative sources of energy… a wink and a nod to the Corn Belt for the pointless pursual of Ethanol.  And #2:  The absolutely insane issues brought up as a major policy battle.  Granted, Clinton was good at piling up minute policies that don’t particularly affectme,  anyone I know, or anyone I may know in the immediate future — V-Chips anyone?– and wrapping them up into a laundry list, but Bush manages the feat of singling them out.  Who can forget?

Tonight I ask you to pass legislation to prohibit the most egregious abuses of medical research: human cloning in all its forms, creating or implanting embryos for experiments, creating human animal hybrids, and buying, selling, or patenting human embryos?


99 words on the topic of Steroids.

The great thing about that moment was that when Bush mentioned Steroids, the camera flashed over to the invited professional athlete in our midst, New England quarterback Tom Brady, who — so far as I know — does not use steroids.  (There was another professional athlete that Bush mentioned last night, who is doing things in Africa.)

I can’t recall anything of this sort last night, but the affect of priming a minute item and centering focus on it is to cover up the fact that there are no real popular policy initiatives that the president desires to force forward.  The spirit of this did come last night when Bush introduced the founder of the “Baby Einstein” company — something I would very much like to look into to see if this product placement was a kickback to the campaign contributor — Disney.

Oh.  And Bush wasnts to restart the French Foreign Legion.  What, you say that you didn’t catch that one?

Dennis King: Drug Kingpin

Tuesday, January 23rd, 2007

So I was playing a game of Chess one day. I make my first move — I move my knight. My opponent, sitting across from me, then moves a pawn two spots forward, and shouts “CHECK! MATE!”, and leaving the table laughs jovially about how that move always destroys the competition.

And so this comment comes in from Dianne Bettag, who I google and see is a LaRouche worker currently in Texas:

Your source, Dennis King, is a former “journalist” for High Times … you failed to mention that.

In part because Dennis King is not my source, at least not directly, though almost certainly indirectly in splotches and swabs. I am aware of the “Dennis King = High Times” used as a crux used by LaRouchites, their first and, in their minds, ultimate line of defense. I assumed that this simply means that Dennis King had an article or two published in High Times, and knowing LaRouche this is extrapulated to mean that he is under the Queen of England’s Famous Drug Cartell. So I go to Dennis King’s website, which I have never gotten around to pursuing, and see: this and this by way of King’s defense against the charge.

So, I failed to mention something, and I will now clear it up. Someone who is not my source for a mass of LaRouche posts is a Journalist who wrote an article for High Times Magazine once.

Do you also suggest solutions to the problems that this ‘nut case’ raises? Economics, the war? Or do you just intend to disparage those who do, thus demoralizing the population with your stuff? Good show!

Personally, I believe all of our problems stem from the public’s ignorance on how to Double the Square. Once we train the public how to double the square, the solutions to the world’s problems will be obvious and easy. Then we will be able to usher in a new Golden Age of Human Achievement.

On Tubes and Internets

Tuesday, January 23rd, 2007

I was sitting in a room that was teaching novices How To Use The Internet.  It befuddled me a bit — the instructions were perfectly superfluous and only served to mystify the Internet where the point of thic class, it seemed to me, was breeding familiarity to a group of tech non-savvy people.  The instructor reached back and bore through the Internet as being developed by the Pentagon for the purpose of sharing information between, breaking the word “Internet” into “inter” meaning “between” and “network” meaning “network”.

We went through that phase as a culture in the 1990s.  But it was superfluous then as well.

I saw somewhere a reference mocking Senator Ted Stevens’s “Series of Tubes” comment in explaining the Internet in his debate on Net Neutrality as his misplaced role sitting on a Senate committee on decisions that affect the Internet.  It struck me that this comment has replaced the Bush debate comment about the rumours “all over the Internets” — that’s plural in case you missed it.  I’m not entirely sure that the Internet isn’t a series of tubes, or can be conceptualized as such, which would put him ahead of Bush in this category.  Nonetheless, a year ago the derisive comment would hit Bush’s “Internets” comment and not Stevens’s “Tubes” comment.  I wonder if a year from now who will make the next comment of that type…

Whither Chuck Hagel?

Monday, January 22nd, 2007

I cannot quite peg what Chuck Hagel is planning on doing.  The word on the proverbial street is that not only is he planning on forgoing a run for the White House — he can’t really figure out an opening from the Republican electorate — but he’s thinking of simply ending his Senate career at the end of his term.  Mind you, this doesn’t really mean a thing for adding a Senate seat to the Democratic Party — when I hear that Chuck Hagel hates Nebraska Democrats, I realize that basically means he hates Senator Ben Nelson, the sort of half Democrat who is about the only Democrat standing in that state — reportedly we have the most uneasy state Senate delegation relationship with Hagel and Nelson.
This would put a dent in Thom Hartmann’s on-going conspiracy theory which slides Chuck Hagel from stealing an election — the upset of 1996 — by dent of his ownership in a computer voting company, and rising up to take the presidency, perhaps cleverly and counter-intuitively having positioned himself as a sort of anti-war Realist (of the George Herbert Walker Bush camp… he’s Bush Senior’s man because it was in his administration that he came into politics.)

But then I see that there’s talk that he’s mulling a third party independent run for the Presidency.  This is unfortunate — he is clearly a Republican, notwithstanding him being at odds with the Republican Party of the moment, and it’s a bad sign that someone squarely fitting in the party under Bush I and Dole doesn’t fit now.  He would, I suppose, be running under that “Unity” heading that’s seemed to be the vehicle of the wacky New York mayor Bloomberg’s wacky presidential hopes, and ultimately hasn’t much popular support — though it does have some support amongst various elites who would very much like to consolidate the two parties and tidy up politics.  So maybe Thom Hartmann’s beloved notion hasn’t fallen away just yet, and we’ll still be in the hands of the Bush Presidential dynasty under President Hagel.  I’ll just have to watch and see.