Archive for February, 2007

The current attack on Al Gore

Wednesday, February 28th, 2007

UGH.

Yesterday, or maybe the night before, I was pursuing the Internet, running through the stream of political blogs, and I hit upon the news of Al Gore’s utility bill — which is meant to relay the proof of his hypocrisy.

And I knew right then and there that we have a canard.  I have a vague memory of reading or hearing that Al Gore basically used renewable energy and did indeed “walk the talk”, but that was not what set me off to the reply of “Ugh”
This is a news item fit for bloviating into conservative talk radio, perfectly timed for his Oscar victory.  It is an “ugh” moment, because I can see the strings and the mechinations that brought this story out to us.
Armed with Gore’s utility bills for the last two years, the Tennessee Center for Policy Research charged Monday that the gas and electric bills for the former vice president’s 20-room home and pool house devoured nearly 221,000 kilowatt-hours in 2006, more than 20 times the national average of 10,656 kilowatt-hours.

“The Tennessee Center for Policy Research”?  I have never heard of it.  It appears to be an organized recently organized for the express purpose of releasing a press release about Al Gore’s utility bill.  There is a disturbing insinuation about it, which comes when the spokesman for “The Tennessee Center for Releasing a Press Release about Al Gore’s Utility Bill” —  was rebuffed by some of the facts about Al Gore’s estate.  The reply boiled down to: “He has an electronic garage door opener!”  There’s this item on the Internet, from the early mid 90s, which is: “Al Gore — or The Unabomber” — the idea is you have passaged from Earth in the Balance and from the Manifesto and — Ha Ha!  Can you tell the difference?  The… Tennessee Center for Blah Blah Blah seems to buy into the propaganda that Al Gore would have us live like Ted Kaczynski, and the details of Al Gore’s energy consumption — which is he does indeed walk the walk as well as anyone can — is immaterial.

Maybe President Al Gore can stick back the Solar Panels off the White House that Ronald Reagan took down from Jimmy Carter’s occupancy.  Or was that already done?

Again to Democratic Candidate #8… 9 if you count Gore… 10 if you count Shparton… 11 if you go ahead and toss in Vilsack… 14 if you want to add some candidates who thought of entering but didn’t…

Wednesday, February 28th, 2007

This is either brilliant out-of-the-box thinking on Mike Gravel’s part or it’s too cute for its own good.

At the last Democratic shin-dog with all the candidates, sometime before his statement that amounted to the admission that he’s mostly just trying to sell us the National Initiative and he has no particular plans of coming anywhere near close to the Presidency.

,,,,,,,,,,,,,,……………………………………………………

GRAVEL: I’m not much of a cheerleader. And so I’d rather be dealing with some sober statements. And that is, I’m not entirely convinced that the Democrats can get the next presidency of the United States. And I’ll tell you why: because that’s going to be determined, by and large, by the American people over the next two years as to how the Democratic candidates conduct themselves with respect to the Iraq war.

GRAVEL: Just stop and think. In October 2011 (sic), the Republicans and the Democrats bought George Bush’s fraud as to whether we needed to invade on a preemptive reason to invade Iraq. There were no weapons of mass destruction. And so you can understand an interesting comparison. Stop and think. There were tens of millions of Americans who held that exact view that we shouldn’t invade Iraq.
(APPLAUSE)
Now, if tens of millions of Americans had that view, why couldn’t we have had that view with the majority of the Congress of the United States?

(APPLAUSE) We’ll never make it with politics as usual, and there is an answer. And it’s not a mealy-mouth, non-binding resolution. And even if it were binding, it would be unconstitutional.

Look what happened. The Democrat leadership in the Congress is setting it up and giving cover to the Republicans. The Republicans said that, hey, they were expecting to lose 50 votes in the House race when this issue came up. They lost only 17. What happened? We gave them cover by talking about things that are unconstitutional. And so now the Republicans can charge the Democrats, well, they’re not really doing anything. Murtha wants to get out and play general. Other people want to cap. You can’t cap. It’s unconstitutional. The president is the commander in chief, like it or not. But the Congress, under the Constitution, has the right to declare war and has the right to end it. What they need to do is put up a law and put it before the House — they’ve got the votes — pass it there. It goes to the Senate. They’ll have a filibuster. It’ll last about a week and a half, two weeks, because Leader Reid can bring it up every day — every day — and have a cloture vote and let these Republicans wither on the vine. And then it goes to the president. After the president gets it, he’s got a choice. He can continue to believe in God, or he can turn around and end the war.

(APPLAUSE) Well, I think that he’s going to go. He’s going to figure God can trump the Congress. And so now, he’s going to veto it. It comes back to the Congress, and we have created a constitutional crisis between the executive, the Congress, and the American people. And the American people can understand this. And if you count the 50 that they thought they would lose in the House, you have enough in the House to override the veto. That brings it to the Senate. And the Senate, again, with time, will wither on the vine. And we could get out of Iraq within the next six months, under this scenario. Otherwise, George Bush is going to keep it going for the next two years. And the oil there is not worth one more American dead. It’s not worth one ounce of blood.

,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,…………………………………

He mentioned Lyndon Johnson, which is curious of course because, in his Senate campaign of 1968… I’m just saying…

Another of one of … These… things

Tuesday, February 27th, 2007

Really, ranking presidents is (1) a rather narrow and limiting way to look at the Presidency, and (2) an even narrower and more limiting way to look at our nation’s history. None the less, these things pop up, and are somewhat infectious.

According to Newsweek, the 10 (11) Worst Presidents in American histrory:

…according to Newsweek:

1 – James Buchanan
2 – Warren G Harding
3 – Andrew Johnson
4 – Franklin Pierce
5 – Millard Fillmore
6 – John Tyler
7 – Ulysses S Grant
8 – William Harrison
9 (tie) – Herbert Hoover
9 (tie) – Richard Nixon
10 – Zachary Taylor

I notice that we have settled into a moment where previous entries into title of “Worst” — Ulysseus Grant and then Warren Harding — have been pushed aside and we’ve come to James Buchanan. Grant is understandable as our narrative on Reconstruction has been changed — away from Birth of a Nation — and his use of force to crush avenging KKKers from stomping away the rights of the newly freed slaves no longer purely look like an infringement on states’ rights or a radical social engineering move.

Harding I’ve always thought of as the most underrated president we’ve had, not because he was spectacularly good but because he doesn’t strike me as awful. A moderate amount of corruption in Teapot Dome, I suppose, but — he took office with a 12 percent unemployment rate — he left office with a 3 percent unemployment rate. He balanced the budget. And he freed the political prisoner Eugene Debs. Perhaps one can view him as fostering the false prosperity and mirage that pushed disaster out of reach to — as it turned out — Hoover and Roosevelt — but if you go by that reasoning, Coolidge should be in the basement with him.

Hoover: If Coolidge had been the president at the time of the crash, and the presidency was his if he had wanted it, the logical man the nation would have turned to to guide us through the Great Depression — the man who averted Europe from a humanitarian disaster in World War One, who did the same with the Great Louisiana Flood of 1927, who was seriously courted for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1920 and had FDR’s approval…

Which is something to consider in contemplating any president.

Richard Nixon’s brief honey-moon upward in esteen — a by-product of his attempted re-habilitation as wise foreign policy sage and goodwill upon death– seems to have ended. Nixon probably did the nation a favor in helping destroy some misgotten naivete and fostering a healthy cynicism in the public.

If someone could tell me the substantial difference between the administrations of Harrison and Garfield that allows one to make this list and not the other, I would like to know it.

There is a shadow looming over this Newsweek article.  The current occupant of the White House is said to be obsessed with his legacy — which is a topic that creeps its way down at the end of every second term presidency.  Hence, the contours of Bush’s Presidential Library and the search for friendly historians — and Think Tank related to “The Freedom Agenda”.  Whatever else it is…

Harlem Huh?

Monday, February 26th, 2007

Passing by the Rose Garden sometime this weekend, I see a kid — maybe nine or ten years of age — followed by his mother.  The kid has a sign saying

“Harlem is the Bomb.”

Interesting.  The kid and mother were white, mind you, and I don’t exactly understand why they would believe that Harlem is the bomb — the kid’s affinity for Harlem is based on —?.

In short order, I saw a poster for the Harlem Globetrotters.  That explains the sign — to a point, but is still befuddles me.

I always root for the Washington Generals.  I’m always sorely disappointed.

Meta.

Monday, February 26th, 2007

Moderately interesting items sometimes creep into my spam comment box, which I make a habit to rescue.  These tend to be blocks of articles of conspiratorial nature, a healthy amount of propaganda from someone who is floating between “real person” and “autobot”, but one of them this time wasn’t quite that — it was surely a mass comment, but in limited scanning related to something else — some bouncing propaganda for Team Kucinich. Since I scan the boxes, and sometimes don’t even look at everything there, and they are comparatively rare, I have likely deleted one or two without knowing it.

I deleted two yesterday.  I did not mean to, and had thought that I had reflagged them to the normal category for moderation.  They floated admist about 200 spam comments, which were nuked away.

I do think I know how to attract one of these comments, or a type of comment that amounts to the same thing.  It’s the Beetle-Juice tactic of saying the name three times.

Alex Jones.  Alex Jones.  Alex Jones.

There.  Now I can expect some compilation of ramblings from infowars.com or something.

Lieberman Versus the Democrats

Sunday, February 25th, 2007

Would the Democratic Party please call Joseph Lieberman’s Bluff?  This isn’t a call to do much more than treat Lieberman as another Senator and not give him any more freedoms than any Democrats out of line on various issues.

Understand a party switch dissolves Lieberman, in short order, of his power and role in the talk-show circuit — the oh-so-sensible Democrat — the hero of the David Broders of the world.  Understand the power he gains from the Republican Party will probably be short-lived: the electoral map for 2008 Senate prospects is ridiculously friendly to the Democrats.  Understand that the Democrats’ power loss will be thusly short-lived, and understand that at the moment a Democratic agenda — undercut on Iraq anyways — is pretty well fili-bustered.  Surely McConnell and Lott will take the keys of the agenda, but that’s stalemated at the House.

I may as well repeat a question for consideration with Barack Obama.  Dear Barack Obama:

Right now Joseph Lieberman is using his leverage in suggesting that he might bolt to the Republican Party to stop any discussion of Iraq at Democratic Lunches. During the primary race in Connecticut between Lieberman and Ned Lamont, Lieberman floated out that if he lost by double digits, he would not pursue a run as an independent. Given that he lost by four percentage points, and given that you campaigned vigorously for Lieberman, do you believe that your campaigning swayed at least three percentage of the Democratic electorate that would have voted for Ned Lamont to vote instead for Joseph Lieberman? Further, how do you reconcile the trade-off of these club-house politics with your stated political position?

Consider Barack Obama as having pulled a double helix “Skull and Bones” trick.

Gene Chapman and the perils of third partydom

Sunday, February 25th, 2007

I find this amusing.  This controversy would not have come about if not for "3rd Party Watch" passing it to where the Constitution Party director could see it.  Whatever else it is, it is more interesting than the current media-hyped fight between Hillary and Obama over David Geffen's finanical backing, as well as about as significant to the lives of any person I know.  My advice to the people of the Constution Party -- ignore Gene Chapman.  Understand, I do not think much of the Constitution Party, but I think one can recgonize a practical jokester when one sees him.  Gene Chapman is either knowingly or unknowingly the equivalent of Ali G, Borat, or Phil Hendrie, or a second rate morning radio zoo prank caller.

I guess he has played his antics with the Libertarian Party -- to well enough cheer, and is now, within his domain, attempting a Libertarian -- Constitution Party fusion?  If the Constution Party wants him to carry out his charade before them in their domain at their Idaho Convention, as they apparently are, that is their business.

In 2004, I heard a right wing Christian radio show interview with their 2004 presidentital candidate -- some guy whose name starts with a "P", where the host explained to the listener that if the election is fractured enough, he doesn't even need to get nearly a majority to win -- 30 percent of the vote might suffice and this man might just be your next president.  His election returns being a rounding error, he was only 30 percent off from where he needed to be then.

The perils of third partydom is that they end up taking Gene Chapman seriously… to some degree or other.

The “C” stands for “Communist”…

Shame on me for ….?

Friday, February 23rd, 2007

Dearest me.  Tom Vilsack has announced that he is no longer running for the presidency.  Do you understand the implications?

I was getting all set to kick Tom Vilsack around a bit.

No, I wasn’t.  Actually now that Tom Vilsack is out of the race, there is no reason to bother voting.  Of the 300 million residents in America, Tom Vilsack was the only person remotely qualified for the presidency.

Or something.

I guess I will just have to gravitate back to Mike Gravel.

Monitoring Mike Gravel on google, I have watched this blog slide down to #15 and then back to #9.  It currently sits at #11.  All this while ignoring the topic for a week.  This suggests that it doesn’t matter what I do or do not do with Mike Gravel — I am indented into Google’s fabric with regards to Mike Gravel.

I suspect the second piece on google lead a stephanie to the blog entry to come to this comment:

  1. stephanie Says:
    Absolute garbage to say Gravel would have voted to extend Vietnam. Shame on you.

In my group of postings on Mike Gravel, the only item I feel somewhat dirty bringing up is the “Washington Fringe Benefit” allegation that was floated his way from out of another congressman’s sex scandal.  This even though I layered heaps of incredulity on the topic.  On reflection, it almost seems a low level sort of the equivalent of Fox News reporting on the “rumors” of Obama’s Madrassa.
I do not feel ashamed for what I said about Mike Gravel with Vietnam.  All I can go on are contemporary New York Times articles defining his race against Gruening as a hawk.  Granted, the only direct quotes out of Gravel were of him calling Gruening “outside the mainstream on foreign policy”.  Beyond that, there’s that matter that the anti-war movement from Alaska’s college campuses, with help from George McGovern, attempted a write-in campaign on Gruening’s behalf.

Perhaps Mike Gravel was comparing his internationalist views (as manifested in his role in the “One World” organization) with Gruening’s isolationism, and the New York Times misunderstood or took out of context Gravel’s 1968 campaign?  That would be a stretch.

Okay.  Cross out the question on my “12 Questions for Mark Gravel” concerning… um… Richard Nixon’s Enemies List… and replace it with:

What was the process by which your opinion shifted on the Vietnam War?  When did it happen?  And why should we not give the same latitude in allowing other Democratic candidates to do the same on the issue of Iraq, to be looked at on a case to case basis, contrary to your speech at the DNC Winter Meeting?