Archive for May, 2010

vhat es to come

Monday, May 31st, 2010

You probably missed it if you do the sensible thing of ignoring Beltway Washington Chatter, but the subject of Barack Obama’s Impeachment crept in and swirled off the edges of discussion last week.  Seriously.  Apparently Obama was caught Playing Politics with Joe Sestack.  Or moving to the third degree of separation from standard political operations.

Sometime in the Bush Administration, and more specifically under the Tom Delay Congress, Tom Delay and his sympathetic peoples apologized for any cynical sense of wrong-doing and accused the Democratic Party of trying to “Criminalize Politics”.  This was, mind you, under a lot more a load than what some of the same apologists are tapping Obama with.  Paging Darrell Issa, can somebody please go back and tell me what he was saying about Tom Delay circa 2004 – 2006?

Head tending to spin about, I guess we have seen the future with a Republican Congress — to quote Robert Taft in 1950 — “[Joseph] should keep talking, and if one case doesn’t work out he should proceed with another.”

Some things go to figure.  In hindsight, ACORN was brought down with a heady case of shifty editing.  And looking over at the Oil Nightmare Gulf, I could go well for Obama to insert in his administration some guy who’s made it his special focus to create “Green Jobs” and convert us to alternative energy source — even if I’m not much for accepting many faces who wandered into “Fellow Traveler” mode with ignoble conspiracy theorists and don’t like that precedent.

In the meantime, best to lay off that “Impeachment” stuff and go over to the question of whether the Gulf Oil Spill is Obama’s … Katrina… Iranian Hostage Crisis… getting stuck in the bathtab ala Taft… whatever.

Webster

Monday, May 31st, 2010
Maybe it’s been a matter of “I Care, but I don’t care all that much” — my motivation falling just short of being willing to wade through a huge quantity of stuff — and for all I know if I simply typed in just the right phrase in google I’d have the answer immediately — but I have been wanting to see Webster Tarpley in his own words explain his disassociation with Lyndon Larouche and his organization.  I have seen such in second hand references — probably most obviously in relation to downplaying his association in the comments page at wikipedia — and the phrase has has for the Larouche Youth Movement is “Maoist Cult”.  I have no reason to disbelieve the second hand accounts from his sympathizers, and indeed every reason to believe them.
Many people, quite a few within the “9/11 Truth Movement” actually, have viewed him suspiciously leaped to “Larouche infiltrator and Agent”.  I do not believe so, but the man has given little reason to disabuse anyone of such.  To put simply, “If Webster Tarpley is not ‘Larouchism without Larouche’, then ‘Larouchism without Larouche’ has no meaning.”  Of the various ex-members categorized as such — see a category of links on the Larouche Planet website — Webster Tarpley is the most undistilled example, such that I imagine his leaving the Larouche organization as mostly an issue of gaining Intellectual Property over his work and gaining various avenues for profit.  It is notable that in any Tarpley-sanctioned biographical sketch — within such and such a “9/11 Truth Anthology” or his written books — his work after the cult is presented as a continuation of his work produced within the cult, and his various “research” theories moved along with him.
So, this email message is not in any way surprising.  His answer is about what one should expect.  Re-order organization history to deny culpability in, I guess Larouche’s spot in the Oligarchy.  Place a “Fall” in the organization as conveniently happening after he left.  While I suppose it is good to see that he keeps up with current Larouche happenings — mentioning one of Larouche’s failed predictions — I’m still left with that question of “Anything else?”
But the single sentence which serves as the most telling sentence, and the hinge of his message to Economist “N”:

Accordingly, I suggest that we forget about LaRouche and see what can be done for Latvia.

And, if I may add:  I should think there is no time to lose.

Classic.  Move along, nothing to see here.  Overcome that Sales Objection, and Sell that Snake Oil NOW!!!  The fate of Latvia hangs in the balance.

In other news: Howie G throws out a couple of names of candidates for low office I should be aware of: Art Dunn, a LaRouche endorser in 2004, now running for the Dem nomination in California’s 17th C.D.; and Ryan Maher, a South Dakota State Senator running for re-election, who has endorsed the LPAC call as part of his platform. I do not believe anyone else on that list fits my purview here — but I will be sure to look up and down Art Dunn and Ryan Maher.  Good to see the Larouche org is making a jump start and not putting themselves in the situation they had with Carol Johnson Smith — where I outcovered their coverage of her campaign.
We also see that Obama referenced the Larouchies, or rather the “Obama Hitler” posters.  The Larouchies had their collective orgasm as they inferred their vast Square Root of 2 Hidden Hand Powers in Global Politics, or counter Tarpley (heh!):   What this means is that the credibility and influence of Lyndon LaRouche and his Political Action Committee have never been greater; they are seen as the only force that is not discredited. The headline that pays:  “Larouche: It’s Time for an ‘Unnecessary President Act”! What — are they anarchists — “We need no leader!” — or is this the final stage for a Communist Utopia?  In the meantime, the “Unnecessary President Act” is that uncomfortably weird game — eliminate him, huh?
Leaving aside that, and going to this headline:   US Population Goes into Angry Revolt Against the Mustachioed President.

When the Obama Administration moved to kill the Glass-Steagall amendment and any anti-derivatives aspect of its so-called financial reform bill, Lyndon LaRouche remarked that if the U.S. Senate went along, the U.S. population would no longer see the Congress—and the President—as legitimate, and begin to act on that assessment. In the week following the Senate’s capitulation to Obama’s pressure, that assessment is being borne out in the streets.

The most dramatic indication came in San Francisco on May 25, when President Obama showed up at a fundraiser for Sen. Barbara Boxer, only to be greeted by a widely disparate crowd of more than 1,000 angry protestors. The protestors included Tea Party members, those protesting non-action on the BP atrocity, pro- and anti-immigration groups, and those with no constituency at all. Organizers for the LaRouche Democrat Summer Shields campaign also found an open response to their presentation of an immediate solution to the economic collapse: impeach Obama, restore Glass-Steagall, and begin a 50-year policy to rebuild the nation. They reported that many of the protesters were unable to articulate exactly why they were there, but that they felt driven to protest against the President—a clear indication of the mass strike ferment which has been increasing in the United States since August 2009.

The clear indication of a “mass strike” within a typical San Francisco protest is that some of the protesters had no concise explanation of what they were protesting?  This either is a statement of the Larouche Organization’s cynicism, within their fevered imaginings, or is a statement of their purpose.  “What do we want?”  “Stuff.”  “When do we want it?”  “Eh.”  Where’s the Glass-Steagal in that?

Well, read up and read on from San Francisco’s news media.

Well, better than the protests in Los Angeles.

While Los Angeles Opera’s production of Richard Wagner’s epic “The Ring of the Nibelung” was the main event at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion on Saturday night, two dozen protesters outside did their best to upstage opening night.

A well-dressed crowd gathered for the start of the company’s first full production of the 19-hour cycle, which began with a performance of “Das Rheingold,” the opening chapter of the Wagner’s magnum opus.

They were greeted by about 25 protesters who stood outside on the Music Center Plaza with banners that denounced Wagner and the county’s decision late last year to approve an emergency loan for the financially stretched opera company.

One banner read: “Wagner: Loved by Nazis, Rejected by Humans.” Another said: “L.A. County: $14 Million to promote Nazi Wagner, Layoffs for Music Teachers.”

The protesters identified themselves as supporters for Lyndon LaRouche, the eccentric political activist and frequent presidential candidate. The group handed out fliers published by the Schiller Institute, an organization founded by LaRouche’s wife, Helga.

The fliers denounced Wagner’s anti-Semitic personal views and criticized the county for rescuing the opera company. “Does Los Angeles County have nothing better to do … than bail out L.A. Opera, so that it can celebrate the monstrous sexual fantasies, and the cult of violence, of that vile anti-Semite, Wagner?” read the flier.
For the Love of Sweet Baby Jes — oh, whatever.

Absurd, ill-informed, ridiculous protests, reminiscent of those protests of films in which the protesters have never actually seen the films they are so incensed about. Yes, Wagner was a virulent anti-Semite. So were a great number of great nineteenth-century artists in music and in other media (Degas for one). If Hitler had found inspiration in Degas’ paintings, would that then mean that we should boycott a Degas exhibit as being propaganda of the Third Reich? The fact of the matter is that, as the critic Paul Robinson rightly argues, we must separate Wagner’s operas from Wagner the man. As Robinson writes, Wagner’s “music dramas yield anti-Semitic readings only when subjected to aggressive interpretation…Put another way, Wagner’s creative genius seems to have protected him from infecting his artistic creations with the hateful views he spouted in his prose works. It is as if they embody only his better self, reflecting a moral sensibility distressingly absent from his writings and his life.”The real question is, what are the Laroche crazies really after in this stunt?

A sense of purpose?

In other news — call it RAPLYM, as the historical origins of that organization come to the forefront, and the time may have passed but remind me again to holler over to David Frum — though I’m not entirely sure what I want him to answer.

playing Saddam.

Saturday, May 29th, 2010

Have you heard about those crazy conspiracy theories believed by people in Pakistan, and pushed forward by their media?

Americans may think that the failed Times Square bomb was planted by a man named Faisal Shahzad. But the view in the Supreme Court Bar Association here in Pakistan’s capital is that the culprit was an American “think tank.”
No one seems to know its name, but everyone has an opinion about it. It is powerful and shadowy, and seems to control just about everything in the American government, including President Obama.
“They have planted this character Faisal Shahzad to implement their script,” said Hashmat Ali Habib, a lawyer and a member of the bar association. […]

One of those pundits is Zaid Hamid, a fast-talking, right-wing television personality who rose to fame on one of Pakistan’s 90 new private television channels.
He uses Google searches to support his theory that India, Israel and the United States — through their intelligence agencies and the company formerly known as Blackwater — are conspiring to destroy Pakistan.
For Mr. Hamid, the case of Mr. Shahzad is one piece of a larger puzzle being assembled to pressure Pakistan. Why, otherwise, the strange inconsistencies, like the bomb’s not exploding? “If you connect the dots, you have a pretty exciting story,” he said.

Really strange what those Pakistanis would believe about a clandestine American government and its clandestine activities.

Unnamed former officers told the Washington Post it was one of a number of outlandish plans thought up to discredit the Iraqi dictator before the 2003 American-led invasion.
“It would look like it was taken by a hidden camera,” said one. “Very grainy, like it was a secret videotaping of a sex session.”
Hm.
Reportedly this was dropped because …
A third former officer said: “Saddam playing with boys would have no resonance in the Middle East – nobody cares.
Sigh.  Also note the cultural problem within the CIA:  A second former CIA officer said the plots were obviously ludicrous and “came from people whose careers were spent in Latin America or East Asia”.  Such is the problem with the retreads from the Reagan Administration, I suppose.
The one line that has gotten the conspiracy theorists of the “9/11 is an inside job” school excited in this country (and any other country, I guess) is:
According to the officer, the CIA did make a video apparently showing Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaeda lieutenants sitting beside a campfire quaffing bottles of alcoholic drinks and discussing their sexual trysts with boys.

The “CIA played Osama Bin Laden” part, mind ye.  It is round about there that in the “Is Birtherism or Trutherism” — both tedious objects worthy of scorn — the least demented conspiracy theory — the answer is Trutherism — sorry Jonah Goldberg.  Birtherism ends up parked at sniping at one individual.  Trutherism fades into the shadowy network of clandestine operations.  Then again, the National Review is staffed by people who took Oliver North as a reasonable Senate candidate, so our biases slide forward to the forefront.

Skipping right ahead to the situation in Korea.  What the North Korean media is reporting:
The Korean people have been indignant at the anti-DPRK confrontation escalated by the south Korean puppets since the sinking of their warship “Cheonan”.
Ri Un Chon, 45, a department director of the Ministry of Metal Industry, told KCNA that the Lee Myung Bak regime made public false “results of investigation” into the incident to mislead public opinion inside and outside and isolate and stifle the DPRK.
Accusing the regime of trying to inflict a nuclear war holocaust upon the Korean nation, he said the Korean workers, who have gained in strength under the Songun politics, show no mercy to the enemy.
They are resolved to annihilate the aggressors to defend leader Kim Jong Il and the socialist system if the enemy dare to invade the DPRK, he said, adding:
The south Korean regime’s foolish attempt to impede the advance of the DPRK will only make the Korean workers harden their resolve.

Also:
The United States is taking the lead in disturbing the world […]

I think this is the People’s Democratic Republic’s version of a “Water Skiing Squirrel” story:

The technological updating of the Taedonggang Beer Factory here has made rapid progress, doubling its production capacity as compared with that at its outset. As a result, both draft beer and bottled beer are now being supplied to the capital city and various provinces on a regular basis.
The factory built in Juche 91 (2002) set up several more fermentation and storing tanks and the process for the production of hop granules as required by the new century. It is also fitted with nitrogen generation and barley sorting and other equipment.
Worth a read about Korea: Christopher Hitchens.

Accidents happen.

Friday, May 28th, 2010

One of the virtues of blogging is I have a record of thoughts.  I can point to my hand wringing at the President at the time he announced off-shore drilling, and some griping at the political reporting habits of the Atlantic’s Mr. Ambinder.
The drawback is that I intend on placing up a post as response to this or that piece of writing, and find myself beat to the punch and in the shadows by somebody who is actually read by people.  So Jonathan Bernstein in place of Ezra Klein responds to the National Review’s Yuval Levin on — oh, round about Bush and Katrina and Obama and the Gulf.

Reading Levin, and the biggest thing I can give him is that we jump out of the usual twistings of immediacy, you are not making points off of Obama per se as we are making points off of policies.
But in consideration of the responsibilities of FEMA, what I will suggest is that it was a government agency that was not properly tuned during the George Herbert Walker Bush Administration.  Indeed, this is the reason that Bill Clinton won the state of Florida in 1992.  One upside of the Bill Clinton Administration is that he pulled FEMA into good shape — a corallary response was an up-surge in conspiracy mongering that FEMA is building up internment camps and Janet Reno is coming to round you up, but we can ignore the mutterings from out of the “Patriot” Movement.

There is this broad stroke of animosity against Obama’s response.  A lot of it is more than understandable, but some of it I don’t quite understand.  James Carville has lead one particular charge, which leads to a statement along the lines of “Clinton would be down in the water with a wet suit!”  Sometimes I have to wonder why people are so into a sort of Theater Review.  Is this what America demands?
I guess the rejoinder is that the one power the president has is the Bully Pulpit — and in such a role he (sooner or later, she) can Lay down the Guideposts of what is happening. 

But with glaring exceptions, I haven’t much truck with the post-disaster response.  We’ve had a surreal situation with those Chemical Dispersants — banned in Great Britain and the lowest level of allowables in the USA — which throw into question the power of the US Government against the Corporate state.  Other than that, BP has followed a path in a crisis they did not prepare for, a debacle of hubris.  The Crime comes before the debacle — the severe and never-ending pressure points to relax standards of regulation.  (See, for instance, the elite opinion influenced as suggested by my occasional series of “New RepublicversusNational Review“.)

It’s Massey Energy litigating as a policy to evade the problems of their pile up of safety violations.  And with BP, it is this:
The BP wellhead had been fitted with a blowout preventer (BOP), but it was not fitted with remote-control or acoustically-activated triggers for use in case of an emergency requiring a platform to be evacuated. It did have a dead man’s switch designed to automatically cut the pipe and seal the well if communication from the platform is lost, but it was unknown whether the switch activated.[59] Regulators in both Norway and Brazil generally require acoustically-activated triggers on all offshore platforms, but when the Minerals Management Service considered requiring the remote device, a report commissioned by the agency as well as drilling companies questioned its cost and effectiveness.[59] In 2003, the agency determined that the device would not be required because drilling rigs had other back-up systems to cut off a well.

Assuming that the writer for the National Review is a big proponent of Off-shore Drilling, the deal here is you have to keep a tight regulation in place.  The problem comes the bottom line posits such things as nuisances, and so they are trimmed and trimmed — Big money weakens the Regulatory state year after year, and we go back to the question we heard in 2000 about Dick Cheney of “What’s this fuss about two Oil Men in office?”

To rejoind the Republican Senate candidate in Kentucky, Canada had a PSA campaign.

Shake-up in the Rand Paul campaign

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

I’m looking over some headlines at various blog sites — hitting the “Big One” of Huffington Post, and I see this headline:
Rand Paul REPLACES Campaign Manager With Former Ron Paul Aide
And I think “Please Let it be Lew Rockwell.  Please let it be Lew Rockwell.”
Then I see…
Jesse Benton, who was communications director for former Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul’s last campaign, replaces David Adams as campaign manager.

Drat.

Incidentally, as we dig back into that arena:

Ron Paul & Associates (RP&A), Inc. was founded in 1984 by Ron Paul who served as President, Llewellyn H Rockwell Jr. served as Vice President, Ron Paul’s wife Carol served as Secretary and Lori Pyeatt as Treasurer. The corporation was dissolved in 2001.[38][39][40][41]

In 1985 Ron Paul & Associates began publishing The Ron Paul Investment Letter[42] and The Ron Paul Survival Report;[10][43] it added the more controversial Ron Paul Political Report in 1987.[44] Articles were largely unbylined but often invoked Paul’s name or persona. In 1992, RP&A earned $940,000 and employed Paul’s family as well as Lew Rockwell (its vice-president[45] and sometime editor)[46] and seven other workers. Murray Rothbard and other libertarians believed Rockwell ghostwrote the newsletters for Paul;[45] Rockwell later acknowledged involvement in writing subscription letters, but attributed the newsletters to “seven or eight freelancers.

You’d be interested to know that I uncovered an issue of the “Ron Paul Investment Letter”.  I republish the issue.:

DOOM DOOM DOOM.
BUY GOLD.
DOOM DOOM DOOM.
BUY GOLD.
DOOM DOOM DOOM.
BUY GOLD.
INFLATION!
DOOM DOOM DOOM.
BUY GOLD.
DOOM DOOM DOOM.
BUY GOLD.
INFLATION!
DOOM DOOM DOOM.
BUY GOLD.
DOOM DOOM DOOM.
INFLATION!
BUY GOLD.
DOOM DOOM DOOM.
BUY GOLD.

It goes on like that for the entire newsletter.  The only deviation is this small ad for “Survival Seeds”.  That one must have been meant for the “Survival Report”…

Rasmussen polls Oregon Governor’s Race

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

Rasmussen polls the Oregon governor’s race.

The first post-primary poll shows Oregon gubernatorial candidates Chris Dudley and John Kitzhaber pretty even.

In a Rasmussen poll released today, Dudley leads Kitzhaber 45 percent to 44 percent, a difference that’s smaller than the 4.5 percentage point margin of error.

So, Rasmussen shows Dudley beating Kitzhaber by one point?  You know what that means?

KITZHABER UP BY TEN POINTS!!!

political antibodies?

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

Bush Derangement Syndrome versus Obama Derangement SyndromeUnder Bush’s name, there are 47 listed rumors. Twenty were confirmed as true, and six were termed “undetermined” or “unclassifiable veracity.” That left 21 that contained at least some factual errors. There were nearly double that number of listings for Obama, and the difference between fact and fiction was even more disturbing. Of the 87 rumors, just eight were deemed true, and three undetermined. That means a whopping 76 were either completely false or at least partially untrue.

David Frum asks the questionHow is it that the GOP has lost its antibodies against a candidate like Rand Paul?

Quick question:  How is the GOP lost its antibodies against a candidate like George W Bush?  Is one, in part, an effect from another?  How is it the Democrats lost its antibodies against a candidate like Rod Blagojevich?
Say… How did the GOP lost its antibodies against a candidate like Newt Gingrich?

VIEIRA: “Can you honestly compare what’s going on with the Democrats with Nazi Germany?”

GINGRICH: “No it’s not a question of how evil they were. Nazi Germany was terrible, Stalin’s Russia was terrible, Mao’s China was terrible. It’s a question of finality. Had we lost either of those contests, we would have become a radically different country.”

Bob Bennett, Senator of UtahI urge all of the Tea Partyers to follow Reagan, not Carter. If they want their movement to be more than a wave that crashes on the beach and then recedes back into the ocean, leaving nothing behind but empty sand, they should stop the “gloom talk.” These are not the worst times we have ever faced, nor is the Constitution under serious threat.

Cover of National Review, now last week but probably the one available at your bookstore.
nationalreviewwhathappenedtotheconstitution    See too:  obamasocialistacornbutton

“Ron Paul Revolution.  Give us back our Constitution!” — Ron Paul Revolution Slogan.
… From back in the Bush Administration.

………………………………………….

Hope Top Kill goes well… too bad the Obama Administration fell into this sort of sucker’s bet, eh?