Saturday, June 18, 2005

Surely Not 

My wife has suspected this for more than a year:
A Bush-watcher website identified as TBRNews.org is reporting under the byline of "domestic intelligence reporter" Brian Harring that the Department of Defense is using a cynical tactic to mislead the public regarding the true death toll for American military personnel in Iraq. Harring claims he has an internal pdf. file from the D.O.D. which establishes that nearly 9000 Americans have died in Operation Iraqi Freedom, but that the official number has been held to 1713 by designating as Iraq deaths only those who perish on Iraqi soil. The remainder, he says, are military personnel who have died en route to Germany or in German hospitals-- casualties of the war, but not listed in the official death toll.
(via Jim Lampley at the Huffington Post)
Surely that's not true.


If this is true, these guys are done.

I'm talking impeachment, folks.

No, really. I'm not kidding.

The Future, Just Maybe 

Want to see the future?

It could very well be epic.

(found via Stumble Upon, more than slightly cool itself, if not nearly so scary.)

Great though my grudge against the New York Times may be, I am still not sure that this is the fate I want for them.

Bush's "ombudsman" at PBS is yet another Republican commissar 

Buried deep in the Arts pages of the The World's Greatest Newspaper (not!) we find the following:

It's easy to tell they're Republicans, because of the lying:

E-mail messages obtained by investigators at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting show that its chairman, Kenneth Y. Tomlinson, extensively consulted a White House official shortly before she joined the corporation about creating an ombudsman's office to ["]monitor["] the [cough] balance and objectivity of public television and radio programs.

Mr. Tomlinson said in an interview three months ago that he did not think he had instructed a subordinate to send material on the ombudsman project to Mary C. Andrews at her White House office in her final days as director of global communications, a political appointment.
(via Times)

Of course, that was a lie:

But the e-mail messages show that a month before the interview, he directed Kathleen Cox, then president of the corporation, to send material to Ms. Andrews at her White House e-mail address. They show that Ms. Andrews worked on a variety of ombudsman issues before joining the corporation, while still on the White House payroll. And they show that the White House instructed the corporation on Ms. Andrews's job title in her new post.

And it's easy to tell they're Republicans, because of the looting:

Under investigation are $14,170 in contracts signed by Mr. Tomlinson with an Indiana man who monitored the political leanings of the guests on "Now" when Bill Moyers was its host. And the investigators are looking at $15,000 in payments to two Republican lobbyists last year at the direction of Mr. Tomlinson and his Republican predecessor, who remains a board member.

And it's easy to tell they're Republicans, they're delusional: "The facts and the intelligence are being fixed around the policy:"

In a little-noticed [Why, I wonder?] speech on the floor of the Senate this week, Senator Byron L. Dorgan, Democrat of North Dakota, said that in response to his request for the reports on the "Now" program, Mr. Tomlinson provided him with the raw data from reports.

Mr. Dorgan said that Senator Chuck Hagel, Republican of Nebraska, was classified in the data as a "liberal" for an appearance on a segment of a show that questioned the Bush Administration's policies in Iraq. Mr. Hagel is considered a mainstream conservative with a maverick streak and a willingness to criticize the White House.

Wow... Classifying Chuck Hagel as a liberal. No, stop it! You're making my head explode!

Lying, looting, delusion—that's today's Republican!

NOTE Thanks to alert reader Bob for the correction.

40 million credit cards at risk? 

That's a lot!

MasterCard International reported yesterday that more than 40 million credit card accounts of all brands might have been exposed to fraud through a computer security breach at a payment processing company, perhaps the largest case of stolen consumer data to date.

A MasterCard spokeswoman, Sharon Gamsin, said an infiltrator had managed to place a computer code or script on the CardSystems network that made it possible to extract information. She would not elaborate on how long the breach might have lasted, on when the inquiry began or on whether any infiltrators had been identified. She did say that the breach occurred this year.

"The processing companies are hubs for millions of payment records," which could be infiltrated as information passes through, said Chris Hoofnagle, senior counsel for the Electronic Privacy Information Center, a digital rights group based in Washington. "It is the juiciest target for an individual who wants account numbers. It is a honeypot for identity thieves."
(via Times)

So, on the one hand, the credit card companies order the Republicans (along with DINOs like Biden (D-MBNA) to set us all up to be sharecroppers through debt peonage. And on the other hand, they don't protect our identities, so we can end up liable for debts we didn't contract.

But hey, it's all about margin, isn't it?

Sounds like a debt amnesty is in order; 40 million Americans might not owe what the credit card companies think they owe. Of course, that means a lot of Rich Fucks will lose some money but hey, if it's good enough for Africans and Argentinians, why not for American citizens?

Penny Foolish, Pound Really Dumb 

There are times I wonder if we don't have the Bushco Regime figured all wrong. What are the odds that they're really closet Progressives, so dedicated to the cause of anti-imperialism that they've figured out that the only way to bring down the American military is to wreck it from within?

Because that's sure what they seem to be determined to do....

(via Greensboro NC News-Record)
Those bills continue to mount for both families, but they don't appear any closer to receiving the $1,500 to $1,700 that each says the government owes them than they were when Nathan Vosler and Bert Wray came home from Iraq in December with their outfit -- the 30th Enhanced Heavy Separate Brigade of the N.C. National Guard.

Vosler and Wray and hundreds of others members of the brigade have yet to receive thousands of dollars in expense and travel money owed them by the Department of Defense.

N.C. National Guard officials say that at least 400 troops are owed an average of $2,000 each, for a total of at least $800,000, but the numbers may be considerably higher.

...The GAO found in its study of eight selected Guard units (none from North Carolina) that "numerous" soldiers experienced "significant problems" due to delayed or unpaid travel reimbursements, "including debts on their personal credit cards, trouble paying their monthly bills and inability to make child support payments."

They were among more than 186,500 Army National Guard troops mobilized since Sept. 11, 2001.

The majority of the 30th EHSB shipped to Fort Bragg to train and await deployment to Iraq. About 1,200, however, including Vosler and Wray, were shipped to Fort Stewart, Ga., because there was not enough housing at Fort Bragg for the entire brigade.

Vosler, Wray and other members of the 30th EHSB spent almost five months at Fort Stewart waiting for their orders to Iraq. The facilities were terrible, they said. The Guard troops often had to eat MRE's, or military field rations, rather than prepared-from-scratch mess hall meals eaten by Regular Army troops, they said.

N.C. National Guard Sgt. Sidney Baker, who served with Vosler and Wray, said living conditions for the Guard at Fort Stewart were "extremely inadequate so far as sanitation and cleanliness were concerned."

"I've seen nicer conditions at shelter homes," he said. "The Guard is treated like the bastard child in the military." [snip]

The experience has left a bitter aftertaste regarding the military.

"There's no quicker way to destroy morale than to not pay a soldier," Bert Wray said. "A sergeant major was offering $15,000 to re-enlist. Not a chance."

Nathan Vosler has more than a year to go before his stint with the Guard is up, but he has no intention of extending. His opinion of the military has changed completely, he said. He just hopes he doesn't have to go back to Iraq before he gets out.
Reading this story I was irresistably reminded of an old poem, which Brautigan rather oddly called Shellfish:

Always spend a penny
as if you were spending a
and always spend a dollar
as if you were spending
a wounded eagle and always
spend a wounded eagle as if
you were spending the very
sky itself.

Friday, June 17, 2005

The Bad Magician Crawls Inside The Glowing Box 

A 4:00 horror from Overly Alert Reader MJS:

The Bad Magician climbed inside The Glowing Box and could not see America. He changed his binary code and hopped a cable, then bounced off of a dish, then a satellite. The Bad Magician looked back at earth and found money going east. "I will make a television show about money flowing east," said The Bad Magician. Everybdody laughed because he was on a sit-com!

The money was going to Iraq to fund a Reality Series called "Let's Go Kill People And Make Ghosts." The President gave awards to contestants who went and killed people and made them into ghosts. Everybody laughed, then stopped laughing, because it wasn't a sit-com. Everybody changed the channel and watched Seinfeld reruns, and everybody laughed! Everybody was happy again!

The Bad Magician gathered together all the wires in heaven and made a lasso. He whipped them around and around and around and flung them around Washington D.C., and took its essence to a rodeo, and made it climb on his back, and he bucked, and he bucked, and he threw the essence of Washington D.C. onto the dirt, and everybody laughed! It was a sit-com after all!

The Bad Magician cancelled America and replaced it with old movies. It was time for Root Beer Floats and Popcorn and Scary Stories and Funny Stories and Sad Stories.

The Bad Magician fell out of a 19 inch TV in a small diner in Joshua Tree, California. He walked home.

Nobody ever woke up. They all watched TV instead, even though it was past their bedtime. The ghosts are everywhere.

Friday Yard-Sale-For-Freedom Blogging 

For those of you living in the Philly area, which has become a veritable hotbed of political involvement (the forefathers would be proud!), and for the pack rats among you, check this out on Saturday:

This is to raise money for Montco's Social Security Birthday Party, 14 Aug. You'll find it just outside of Chestnut Hill, northwest of the intersection of Willow Grove and Cheltenham Aves. (Map here.)

Democracy For America is the organization that transformed from Howard Dean's original Dean For America. When he lost the primary, he plowed his remaining election funds into what became DFA, intending that it's members would use it to jump start grassroots political involvement. Montco DFA, for Montgomery County members and citizens, is working on the local levels to transform school boards, county commissions, municipal offices, all into the kind of organizations that work toward progressive political goals.

The purpose of the Birthday Party For Social Security is to raise awareness of the intentions of Bushco in privatizing SS, and encourage grassroots action to save it.

So if you're in the area, get on up there and buy a fan or something, and help make a difference.

Bye, Bye, Big Birdie 

And yes, they do hate your children.

Re-Hashing Old Debates 

If you were looking for evidence that the NYTimes covered the hearing on the Downing Street Memo yesterday, it was hard to find. In fact, they did have a story below the fold of the website, under the head "Antiwar Group Says Leaked British Memo Shows Bush Misled Public on His War Plans", which made it sound as if no government officials were involved at all. Though God knows, the reactionary-controlled House did its best to marginalize the entire procedure, as Knight Ridder notes:
"A hearing Thursday on a secret British intelligence memo that said President Bush was committed to waging war on Iraq months before he said so publicly ended with a request for Congress to open an inquiry into whether Bush should be impeached for misleading the nation...

Thursday's hearing on the memo was organized by Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee.
It was held in a cramped Capitol basement room and was attended by about 20 House Democrats and some anti-war activists. Republicans, who control Congress, refused to hold an official hearing or to participate, so Conyers termed it a "forum."
Among the attendees were Cindy Sheehan, whose son Casey died in Iraq, Joe Wilson (beloved husband of Valerie Plame), and former CIA analyst and founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity Ray McGovern

Among the House representatives were Charles Rangel, Barbara Lee, and Maxine Waters, who also announced the formation of the "Out of Iraq" caucus she would head. (Why does it seem only African-Americans are willing to stick their heads up and speak out on these anti-war issues?)

Following up afterward on the petitions and letter he had started, Conyers thoughtfully delivered them right to the crime scene:
"Conyers delivered petitions signed by 105 members of Congress and some 540,000 signatures sent via e-mail to a security gate at the White House early Thursday evening. The petitions urged Bush to thoroughly answer questions about the memo. MoveOn Pac helped Conyers collect the signatures."
Later, Scott McClellan was on hand to help the American people forget all that pointless old news:
"Asked about Mr. Conyers's letter and the British memo, Scott McClellan, the president's chief spokesman, described the congressman as "an individual who voted against the war in the first place and is simply trying to rehash old debates that have already been addressed."
"And our focus is not on the past," Mr. McClellan said. "It's on the future and working to make sure we succeed in Iraq.""
Our focus is on the future! No wonder Gore Vidal calls us the United States of Amnesia. A philosophy like that permits anything, because anything can be forgotten.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

The Schiavo case, Repubican Mendacity, and Persistent Delusional States 

Well, we liberals were right. Again. Massive grovelling and apologies by the winger opportunists and media whores who used Terri Schiavo's living death for political gain may now begin. Fat chance.

We expect Republicans to bear false witness, of course, but rarely has their shamelessness been so apparent. Take Bill "Hello Kitty" Frist. Please. Catching Frist lying is so easy there's hardly any sport to it. You just quote him now, and then quote him then:

Frist now:


"People said, 'Bill Frist you're making a diagnosis, Doctor, you're trying to wear your white coat on the floor of the United States Senate,'" Frist told reporters on Thursday.

"I never made a diagnosis. I wouldn't even attempt to make a diagnosis from videotape. I will ask questions and say before you withdraw food and kill somebody that you've got to make sure the diagnosis is right."
(via Reuters)

Frist then:

On the Senate floor in March, Frist several times discussed Schiavo's diagnosis, referred to his own experience as a transplant surgeon and quoted a medical textbook.

At one point he said, "Based on the footage provided to me, which was part of the facts of the case, she does respond."

Discussing the diagnosis of a persistent vegetative state, Frist added: "I question it based on a review of the video footage which I spent an hour or so looking at last night in my office here in the Capitol. And that footage, to me, depicted something very different than persistent vegetative state.

Frist also said that "when the neurologist said, 'Look up,' there is no question in the video that she actually looks up."

And what, during the whole flaming circus, whipped up by the wingers as part of a long-planned campaign to pack the courts with more theocrats, was Terri Schiavo's condition?

The medical examiners found Schiavo's brain "profoundly atrophied," only half the normal size, and said that "no amount of therapy or treatment would have regenerated the massive loss of neurons."

She was completely blind and could not have swallowed food or water safely on her own.
(via Herald Trib)

And the wingers couldn't let her die in peace. They had to have a spectacle. Disgusting.

And what of Terri Schiavo's parents? They (did they but know it) are the saddest spectacle of all. The Herald Trib again:

The findings will not satisfy Terri Schiavo's parents, who remain convinced that she interacted with them before her death and could have responded to treatment.

I can see how any parent would desperately wish to believe their child was still alive. But Terri's parents were trying to "create their own reality" (while, gruesomely, videotaping it for media distribution). They were projecting their desperate wishes onto the random twitchings of Terri's braindead body. Such projection seems to be a form of delusion particularly virulent among Republicans, doesn't it? The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Politial Disorders calls this a Persistent Delusional State, and there's a lot of it going around these days; exhibit A: Iraq.

Fortunately for Terri, the reality-based community stepped in. Let's hope, over the next few years, the country is so lucky.

Whack: Not at all like VietNam 

Well, except for the fragging:

An Army National Guard staff sergeant has been charged with premeditated murder in a “fragging incident” that killed two senior officers at a U.S. base near Tikrit last week, the U.S. military said Thursday.
(via MSNBC)

Downing Street Memo: A real reporter shows how it's done 

Get up off your knees, Judy! And Howie—stop looking at your watch!

WaPo, to its credit, posted an online interview with Michael Smith, the reporter who broke the Downing Street Memo story. Here are the parts I found most interesting, but you should read the whole thing. It's an outsider's perspective (Smith says he is "not some mealy-mouthed left-wing apologist") on the surreality-based community that is DC under Bush these days:

[SMITH:] It is one thing for the New York Times or The Washington Post to say that we were being told that the intelligence was being fixed by sources inside the CIA or Pentagon or the NSC and quite another to have documentary confirmation in the form of the minutes of a key meeting [i.e., the Downing Street Memo] with the Prime Minister's office. Think of it this way, all the key players were there. This was the equivalent of an NSC meeting, with the President, Donald Rumsfeld, Colin Powell, Condi Rice, George Tenet, and Tommy Franks all there. They say the evidence against Saddam Hussein is thin, the Brits think regime change is illegal under international law so we are going to have to go to the U.N. to get an ultimatum, not as a way of averting war but as an excuse to make the war legal, and oh by the way we aren't preparing for what happens after and no-one has the faintest idea what Iraq will be like after a war. Not reportable, are you kidding me?

Duh. Of course, the Republican Noise Machine exists to obscure the obvious (hard work, which is why they're so well paid for what they do).

And get this! Smith doesn't whine about the blogosphere, or call for a conference about blogger ethics. He welcomes the competition!

[SMITH:] We in the mainstream media are at a crossroads now. The Internet has opened up a large number of challenges to us. We can allow the web news sites to sideline us or we can impose our largely better honed skills and show that we are the best at what we do. U.S. journalists are world-renowned for their skills and attention to accuracy but you can be inaccurate just as much by ignoring something as you can by writing it up and getting it wrong.

There's more to come:

[SMITH:] [T]here are other facts you still don't know [like Hersh's tape of screaming boys being raped in the gulag?] and the media should be using these public documents as a base from which to find them out because it is those facts that will really damage Bush. Some of the media already are on the case. Knight Ridder went in very early on in this story and I see is still going. The LA Times and The Washington Post and lots of smaller papers have all been doing their bit. They need to keep going. If the administration, as it claims, did nothing wrong, it has nothing to fear from journalists looking for the facts.

Yes, one does wonder what, or how much, Bush has to hide.

On why Bush went to war (remembering He only started doing the freedom shtick in time for election 2004):

[SMITH:] I honestly believe it is more complex than [war for oil], but yes the control of the Middle-East as a whole, of which this is only a part, is about oil, no question. What we need are the memos that say that to make people realise it. But interestingly it was never mentioned in any of those leaked UK memos so as I say there were a lot of reasons for Iraq and it is more complex. I really do believe, as Peter Ricketts, the Foreign Office Policy Director says in one of the memos that have come back into vogue this week, "it looks like a grudge match between Bush and Saddam."

Nice! "He tried to kill my Dad."

Now Smith nails Howie the Whore:

Edinburgh, U.K.: What do you think of the argument reported in Howard Kurtz's article that Sir Richard Dearlove may have came to his conclusion [noted in the Memo's minutes] by reading the newspapers?

[SMITH:] This is the head of British intelligence, a man who has just had conversations with America's most senior intelligence and national security figures. He is reporting back at the highest level, to what is effectively a war cabinet and as I know to my own cost has no great regard for newspapers. He has made his own judgment, no-one better qualified to tell that meeting what was happening. No shadow of a doubt.

From drip, drip, drip to splash, splash, splash... I'd say it was time for another terror alert!

Go Get 'Em! 

Williams Rivers Pitt from Progressive Democrats of America is live-blogging the House hearings on the Downing Street Memo being held this afternoon by John Conyers and Sheila Lee. Sample:

“House has constitutional duty…”

June 16th, 2005

…to investigate this matter and consider impeachment. A Resolution of Inquiry is required.”

“If the President has committed High Crimes in this matter, he must be held accountable. The constitution requires no less.”

That was an incredible presentation. Now come the questions… "

Good stuff. Keep checking in.

Thanks to Atrios for the link.

Don't tell Senator "Man on Dog" Santorum, he'll get all hot and bothered 

annie_sandy_ditn230 Froomkin:

BUSH: "Of course everybody talks baby talk to their pets."

Roker: "Sixty-three percent of people admit to kissing their dogs."

LAURA BUSH: "We kiss ours."

Menage a trois?! Ou quatre....

Roker: "Yeah? You're a part of that group?"

BUSH: "I wouldn't say on a regular basis. But yeah, I've been there."


You Don't Need A Law To Tell You Some Things Are Wrong 

Forget the Geneva Convention, the Constitution, international law, the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Forget all that, and don't let anyone suck you into a discussion of the fine points of the law. You don't need a judge to tell you this is wholly immoral:

"Delaware Democratic Sen. Joseph Biden asked Deputy Associate Attorney General J. Michael Wiggins whether the Justice Department had "defined when there is the end of conflict."
"No, sir," Wiggins responded.
"If there is no definition as to when the conflict ends, that means forever, forever, forever these folks get held at Guantanamo Bay," Biden said.
"It's our position that, legally, they can be held in perpetuity," Wiggins said.
Earlier, the committee's top Democrat, Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, said the United States may face terrorism "as long as you and I live." He asked Brig. Gen. Thomas Hemingway, who oversees military trials of Guantanamo prisoners, if that means America can hold prisoners that long without charges.
"I think that we can hold them as long as the conflict endures," Hemingway responded."
"In perpetuity". "As long as the conflict endures." Without charges.

Forget that many of these people were handed over to US troops because we paid the locals money to bring in warm bodies, and some of their only crimes were that they had gotten on the bad side of one of the warlords or their buddies.

Forget that the lack of parameters around the concept of "war on terror" is an expedient method of initiating and extending conflicts all over the world against whomever we may find convenient, without ever having to be made accountable for our actions, a new permutation of the cold war as the paranoia that never ends.

Forget that all Bushco's squirming under the charge of running a "gulag" hides the fact that this is how gulags begin, and that once this kind of power is exercised against a foe, it becomes that much more inevitable that it will one day be exercised against those identified as foes internally.

How does the concept of clapping a human being into a cell without charges, with no recourse to communication with the outside world and no one to speak for him, and no hope of ever being free again, how does this square with your concept of right and wrong, and what you may have been taught by the decent people in your life?

Now which side of the equation is our nation on? Will our representatives take back our power to do right? Can anyone who has watched events play out over the last 5 years really know?

Of Plants, Power and Grassroots 

Around here, we got these trees called Chinese Elms. They’re more like weeds than trees. In the spring they drop these little flat round seed pods in greater quantities than Bu$hCo can drop bad legislation into congress. And they grow fast—four feet or more in a month or two. As soon as you put water on a field, there they are. Anyway, point is, you can pull them up by the roots, but only when they’re young. And the sheep will eat them, so it’s good forage until the first hay cutting.

I would rather think about this than the fact that they’re going to build another coal-fired power plant a hundred miles or so from here. We’ve already got two of the polluting fuckers within a couple hundred miles. If any of you are Native, or concerned about Native issues, you might consider helping out Dine' CARE with some encouragement—they’re the grassroots Navajo environmental movement spearheading the effort to stop the plant. They’re trying to pull up the “Desert Rock” power plan early, like a Chinese Elm. Or send a strongly-worded message to the plant’s builder, Sithe Global Power - Desert Rock Energy Project explaining how wrong it is to continue to tear up the reservation for profit.

Sometimes, taking a quote out of context supplies the context 

(Piggybacking on Riggsveda's post)

Brain damage "was irreversible, and no amount of therapy or treatment would have regenerated the massive loss of neurons."

Who could they be talking about?

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Your Lyin' Eyes 

cat painter From Florida medical examiner Jon Thogmarton on the release of Terri Schiavo's autopsy report:
"...his examination turned up no sign of abuse or trauma -- allegations leveled by Terri Schiavo's parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, against her husband and legal guardian, Michael Schiavo.
A report from a neuropathologist who served as a consultant to the autopsy said Schiavo's brain was "grossly abnormal and weighed only 615 grams (1.35 pounds)." That weight is less than half of that expected for a woman of her age, said the report written by Dr. Stephen J. Nelson. "By way of comparison, the brain of Karen Ann Quinlan weighed 835 grams at the time of her death, after 10 years in a similar persistent vegetative state"...
Schiavo's brain damage "was irreversible, and no amount of therapy or treatment would have regenerated the massive loss of neurons," Thogmartin said.
He said, the vision centers of her brain were dead, meaning she was blind. And his examination showed she would have been unable to take nourishment by mouth because of the danger she might aspirate the food."
No evidence of abuse, no evidence of foul play. The response of Schiavo's parents to this?
"The lawyer for the Schindlers said at a news conference today that the parents continue to believe their daughter was not in a persistent vegetative state and thus should not have had her feeding tube removed."
Ever since the Rodney King video made self-delusion a national past-time, more and more people have been navigating by the comfortable worldmaps inside their own heads, rather than seeing what's right in front of their eyes. Now Schiavo's parents, confronted by information on their daughter's condition that fails to support their own beliefs, simply choose to ignore it, and are joined and even encouraged in this sad shadow play by the vultures of life.

But why not? Hasn't the political and public reaction to the revelations of Abu Ghraib, Guuantanamo, and Bagram Air Base demonstrated that Americans have a talent for this that is nearly phenomenal? Eventually respect for the truth and the desire to seek it out must begin to wear thin, when you live in a world where no evidence is ever enough. You start to suspect that, ultimately, finding out what's real and sharing that with others is not only a waste of time, it could even get you hurt. You stop trying.

And maybe that is the point.

(Originally posted at It's My Country, Too.)

King George, Indeed 

Much thanks to alert reader Mixter who, in a diabolical attempt to ruin my day, drops this bombshell:


Mr. HOYER (for himself, Mr. BERMAN, Mr. SENSENBRENNER, Mr. SABO, and
Mr. PALLONE) introduced the following joint resolution; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary

Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to repeal the 22nd amendment to the Constitution."
Here is the relevant part of the text of the 22nd amendment:
"No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more than once."
Sensenbrenner, you may recall fondly, was the dish that ran off with spoon in the middle of the Patriot Act sunsetting hearing, taking your right to representation with him. May we dare to suspect he has thoughts of a coup in mind here? Installing George as monarch? Or simply ensuring that the reactionary Right consolidates its power and never has to let go? Has this crossed anybody's radar in the MSM yet?

Terms limits were conceived as a way to safeguard against such possibilities. Check out U.S. Term Limits's website and find out more about why this should be everyone's concern.

A Day's Retrospective 

What a day to be an American yesterday was.

First there was finding out how my freedom-loving government stood up for human rights by blocking an investigation into the massacre of hundreds of people by our pal Islam Karamov in Uzbekistan.

Then, after over 100 years of malicious neglect, the Senate can't even get all hundred of its members to get on board a sadly-belated apology for failing to pass anti-lynching laws. They refused to hold a roll-call so these creatures could hide their distaste for good old Christian reconciliation, but we think we know who they are).

And (they still can't get over this) more Americans felt Bill O'Reilly is a journalist than Bob Woodward. No doubt it was the lousy writing combined with all the falafel, though a judicious dollop of shouting down one's guests may have something to do with it---something perhaps Bill Moyers learned all too late, alas.

Then last night, speaking of O'Reilly, he and his heroes Bush, Rove, and Hannity had a lovely fund-raising dinner with a Christian porn star.

Republican madrassas were reported to be growing their own undead to fill future leadership seats.

And of course, the media continued to play guard dog to Bush's dishonorable reign by backpedalling, downplaying, burying, and misinterpreting both the first and second UK memos.

Yes, it was a bleak time to be an American, but there are brighter days ahead:

Lovable Roy Moore may throw a monkey wrench into future GOP aspirations of conquest, and Bill Frist is being justly tarred as the reason the pro-lynching sentators were able to hide behind a voice vote.

And there's CAT TOWN.

Springtime in Butternut Valley 

True life-like farmer stories:

It's a sunny day in the Butternut Valley and Farmer Bob is tending his spread. It's spring and all the little flowers and tree buds are being reborn after the angry blue winter. The bunnies are hopping from the woodlot looking for fresh little clovers and chance sexual encounters and Mrs. Farmer Bob is thinking of repainting the breakfast nook a cheerful semigloss sunbeam yellow.

Yes, its springtime in the Butternut Valley once again.

Here come two of the bunnies now. Hopping in the dewy fresh clover on this dewy early morning. The golden sun warms their cheerful twitching ears as Farmer Bob and his fat dog Tiller get ready to dig-in the tater tubers and pick some fresh June bearing strawberries.

Hi Farmer Bob! Hi Tiller!

Farmer Bob likes to mow the fresh green grass with his Colton-White ride-on twin bagger tractor mower with mulcher baffle. Farmer Bob also likes to drink vodka with real imitation lime mist diet soda while mowing the fresh green grass with his Colton-White ride-on twin bagger tractor mower with mulcher baffle. Even though its only 10:45 in the morning and Mrs. Farmer Bob has threatened Farmer Bob with an ugly separation and lawsuit and further emotional abuse if he continues to do so. Ha!, that Mrs. Farmer Bob, always making mischief. Hey, lighten up Mrs. Farmer Bob, this is not a day for hurtful naysayer negativity.

Afterall, it's the first nice sunny day since several powerful early spring tornadoes ripped through the valley bringing torrential downpours, hail the size of snowplow lug nuts, and flash flooding which caused 1.5 million dollars worth of catastrophic damage to the Henry Cabot Lodge Elementary Skool for Regional Fonicks. Even sucked Mildred Thompson's brand new used Eddie Bauer Edition Ford Explorer into Screeching Preacher Creek. Heck, even damaged the Tom Brokaw Home for Aging Greater Generations where three teenage interns were electrocuted while stealing an inkjet printer and some aerosol inhalants from a flooded basement storage room. Well dang, who needs more bad news? Besides, there will be plenty of time for gloomy thoughts when the local liberal crybabies begin whining and moaning and blubbering about that local public library closing it's doors. But never mind that, its too nice a day for angry petty partisan politics.

Here come the bunnies, hop-hop-hop... those bunnies are going straight for Farmer Bob's freshly sprouted patent protected garden greens. Uh oh! those naughty frisky bunnies.

Uh-oh again, Farmer Bob has had two too many lime mist tonics and has failed to connect the dots between here and there and pretty much everywhere else in between and has unfortunately steered his Colton-White Twin Bagger mower with mulcher baffle into a craggy drainage culvert located on the fringes of his modestly vast private property holdings. It looks like he's ok though.

Oops!, not so fast, the tractor has flipped over on Farmer Bob and crushed several of his vertebrae! Better call the EMT guys Mrs. Farmer Bob, thats a Briggs & Stratton Vanguard OHV engine, 8hsp and hydrostatic transmission, 46" cutting deck with side discharge, 27" turning radius, 53" wheel base and 3.5 gallon fossil fuel capacity, standard key start, ammeter, halogen headlights, bitchin' side-by-side gyroscopic twin cup-holders, disk brakes, high frequency reverse position audio warning signal, custom dual Advent Toby Keith Nashville Suburban country western music extreme outdoor entertainment system, and infinite speed selection... all resting right there smack dab on top of Farmer Bob's crushed and wheezing chest cavity.

Meanwhile the newly acquainted Mr. and Mrs. Bunny are real hungry and eating the tender clover growing near Farmer Bob's baby Purple Knight asparagus. Those naughty bunnies! Chance sexual encounters will give anyone a hearty appetite.

But not to worry. Farmer Bob, earlier this very morning, sprayed those particular unlucky clovers with several gallons of recently deregulated EcoClarity Final Solution[TM] RadiKill Weed Defoliation agent. The very same corrective environmental solutions U.S. sponsored death squads and private national security contractors working in Latin America have been hurling into small savage jungle villages for decades! Mr. and Mrs. Bunny should start to demonstrate severe neurological side effects any minute now.

Rrrr, rrrrrrrrrr, here come the emergency rescue guys, rrrr, rrrrrrrrr ...Yay! Everything will be ok now. Farmer Bob is still ok, he still hasn't drifted off into any kind of traumatic shock event or any feminine weakling thing like that. Thank God he was pretty oiled-up and wirey-like (if ya know what I mean. ;-) heh, when he landed in the rebar infested dead paupers culvert that he rents out to a local multinational funeral and burial service contractor. Whew! Over here EMT Mike! Over here EMT Doug!

Hey? Where did Tiller, Farmer Bob's undersexed dog, get off too?

Here he is! --- Uh oh, Tiller has latched on to EMT Mike's left thigh and is violently shaking EMT Mike back and forth like a sack of meat. No-no Tiller, don't do that... bad dog! Hurry, someone fetch the kink proof family garden hose!

Meanwhile, Mrs. Farmer Bob has gone to the kitchen to search for her Red Letter Edition of King James. Always planning ahead that Mrs. Farmer Bob.

Mr. and Mrs. Bunny are feeling uncomfortable too. Mrs. Bunny is convulsing wildly and Mr. Bunny is hallucinating like a dirty hippy from Eugene and it looks like a howling wall of severe supercell thunderstorms with mesocyclonic updrafts and hail the size of croquet balls is developing just to the west. There goes this sunny day. Shit. But the All America Winner Bush Celebrity Hybrid tomatoes with superior disease resistance will enjoy the refreshing rain. That's just the way nature is.

Luck has it! Farmer Bob appears to be OK! Whew, he's out of the culvert and still conscious. Yay!

Hey, where did Tiller go to now? Oh-no, he's run off into a stand of deer-tick infested honey locust at the first sight of the garden hose. But EMT Mike is ok, Tiller didn't sever Mike's femoral artery and the bleeding has been stopped by EMT Doug who expertly applied pressure to the bubbling gaping gore splattering wound. Nice work EMT Doug! Just all in a day's work for the heroes who are EMTs.

Here comes the sheriffs car now! Rrrrr, rrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Hi Sheriff Walt! Sheriff Walt knows Farmer Bob from the old days. They attended selective vocational training seminars together where they both learned how to file spurious property liens against the local librarian and some secualar humanists - and some other stuff like that - and Sheriff Walt once had a chance sexual encounter with Mrs. Farmer Bob in a motel room in Ocean City Maryland when they were restless young teenage romantics yearning to have a chance sexual encounter on Maryland's eastern shore.

"Is everything OK?" asks Sheriff Walt.

"Old Bob will be fine once we get him airlifted to the severe spinal injury emergency reception center in "Shining City" says EMT Doug, who is jostling Farmer Bob into the back of the EMT van. No problemo!

"Nice day, eh" says Sheriff Walt to Doug. "Bout time" says Doug. "But looks like it could get pretty rough in about 40 minutes".

"Ah, don't be such a gloomy Gus" chimes in Sheriff Walt "now where is Mrs. Farmer Bob anyway?"

"Here somewhere" shrugs Doug. "Anyway, I better get a movin', see ya at the Larry Pratt Legion of Jesus Handgun Raffle and Christian Survivalist Expo on Sunday!"

"You bet" shouts Sheriff Walt, raising a clenched fist in righteous solidarity.

"Mornin' Mrs. Farmer Bob" says Sheriff Walt, "sorry bout Farmer Bob's mishap but he should be good as new once them boys at ConAgra Community Freedom to Farm Hospital start-in to pokin' and fiddlin' and rearrangin' stuff around with him. How are you holding up?"

Mrs. Farmer Bob drops her head and begins to sob uncontrollably into her frilly farm woman apron.

Suddenly the phone rings. Its the Big TransNational Global Insurance Corporation (BTNGIC) headquartered in Hartford, Connecticut - and sometimes headquartered in Singapore - and sometimes headquartered aboard an Indian cargo freighter drifting around in the Arafura Sea - calling to remind Mrs. Farmer Bob that her insurance policy was canceled just last week due to a catastrophic outbreak of Dengue fever in Hungary's Bakony Forest and a big chemical fire at a vinyl windbreaker factory in Sumatra which tragically asphyxiated nine hundred children. The free market is a funny like that. Ya just never know where it'll pop up next.

Not to worry though! A new colorful glossy twenty eight page brochure outlining Big TransNational Global Insurance Corporation's latest policy updates and options and plans to restructure and relocate its key operating personnel to a brand new state of the art facility deep inside of a reacclimated synergy efficient state of the art former zinc mine located somewhere north of the Yangtze River is available for fast (PDF) download on the internets.

Mrs. Farmer Bob glances out the window at the eerie ochre colored sky and resumes sobbing into her apron.

Sheriff Walt reassures Mrs. Farmer Bob. He has a lot of experience dealing with traumatic situations and simple rural women folk from America's traditional heartland who require reassuring. Just like that David Brooks feller who lives in that trailer park near the Midtown Skyport and writes for that fancy newspaper.

"There there now," Sheriff Walt consoles. "Oh by the way, your son, the freshman at Southern Illinois University, has just been arrested for assaulting a secualar humanist with a claw hammer and threatening to set fire to the county courthouse in Pickneyville unless they agree to remove the gold fringe from the flag in the traffic courtroom. The FBI is holding on to him in Decatur. That's in Illinois you know. I thought you might like to know that," reassures Sheriff Walt.

"Now now, don't be upset Mrs Farmer Bob, I'm sure the FBI recognizes a little college prankster funnin' when they see it. Hey, remember that road-trip we took to Ocean City back in....," Uh oh, Mrs. Farmer Bob has collapsed in a heap on the tiled kitchen floor in an unflattering untraditional way!

Sheriff Walt reaches out a helping public safety officer hand. "Oh now now Mrs. Farmer Bob, you're hyperventilating, here, let me help you sit back up. Don't be a such dowdy rumpled unfeminine grumpus on such a sunny day," says Sheriff Walt sympathetically. "Everything will turn out just fine, you'll see. Character matters. Here now, let me help you up from that greasy unkempt floor of yours. After all, I came all this way out here to specially lend any comfort and compassionate kind words I can. It was such a nice sunny morning in the Butternut Valley and I thought the fresh air would relieve the stress I encounter daily as an important authority figure and compassionate example for young people. Say!, you've lost some weight haven't you?"

Rrrrrr..... rrrrrrrrrrr ..... Mr. Famer Bob is on the way to the severe emergency spinal reconstruction and neurological rehabilitation center in "Cupcake City" only a short 750 miles away. Rrrrrr....rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

A hair raising bolt of ground to air lightning streaks across the blackening sky and emergency storm sirens begin to blare their mournful ominous warnings in the distance. An annoying high-pitched electronic shriek comes from the TV at about the same moment the power goes out.

Mr. Bunny looks over at Mrs. Bunny. Her confused wet eyes are now lolling wildly about in her head. Mr. Bunny notices the warmth of the sunshine against his ears and tingling on his fur and wonders if Mrs. Bunny can feel it too. Then he closes his soft brown eyes for the last time as the raindrops begin to fall among the clover.

Meanwhile Tiller has put 6 miles between himself and Farmer Bob's crazy spread. He finds himself overcome by an intense fear of water as sheets of heavy cold rain begin to soak the warm freshly renewed earth. He begins to salivate and shiver uncontrollably. In a final moment of lucidity Tiller thinks back to the raccoon that he encountered near the tool shed only days ago. There was something not quite right about that raccoon he thinks; then he takes off in a loping snarling frothy stagger toward a glowing yellow school bus delivering small hopelessly economically unproductive low income elementary school children to a local emergency storm shelter located inside an abandoned tool and dye factory.

Sheriff Walt gently gathers a sobbing Mrs. Farmer Bob in his arms and rocks her back and like a tortured war orphan.

He listens quietly as the wind begins to peel the shingles off the roof of the modest single level modular farm home. He listens to the roar of the rain and the rapid metallic pelting of pea stone sized hail against aluminum siding and he the thinks about the way fate takes its toll on God's chosen people. He thinks about the awesome power of sensory deprivation interrogation tactics and his new bolt action Savage M-40 Varmint Hunter and he thinks he'd like to git hisself one of them John Deere Trail Gator high performance hydroformed steel frame all wheel drive vehicles with Clear Channel Outdoors all weather Sean Hannity Signature 24 hour talk-news radio satellite communications console.

He tries to remember if he rolled up the windows on the patrol car. He worries that homosexual marriage will lead to more frequent outbreaks of dangerous climactic change. Or is it climatic? Whatever. He wonders if the Gipper would share his concern for the future. He thinks that he may try to pick up some extra cash later in the summer by offering to help Mrs. Farmer Bob replace the roof on her potting shed. And he thinks about a motel room in Delaware or Maryland or wherever the hell it was - and claw hammers - and scowling elitist librarians sucking at the teat of the American taxpayer - and the stress of being an important compassionate authority figure.

And he thinks of fields of clover and the smell of fresh picked sweet corn and fresh mowed grass and traditional summer thunderstorms and fertile springtimes yet to be born, again, in the Butternut Valley.

- The Fertile End.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

So, the Republicans are sponsoring an anti-flag burning amendment 

Great work. When I'm looking for True Patriots Who Stand Up for America, the House Republican caucus is where I look first. Nothing cheap about these guys, for sure.

And it's great to see how many sons and daughters of these True Patriots are fighting for Freedom in Iraq! Oh, wait....

More Garden 

The beautiful thing about a garden is the connection with the soil, and the fact that things grow from it. A seed, some nurturing, and the plant grows, makes flowers, fruit, veggies. The sheep and chickens grow, make eggs, make meat.

Thus it has ever been. Let the corporate bankers have their fucking cash-grabbing desk jobs. What I make I can eat.

Let them eat nukes.

Historical Background on Lynching 

We've been hearing lately about the attempt to hide the 12 or so pro-lynching senators over the last couple of days. This whole apology thing has gotten some folks in my state Missouri interested in talking about Missouri lynchings and their causes.

Here's an interview with a friend of mine, Gary Kremer, who is also the head of the State Historical Society in Missouri.

Yes, I'm not so happy to point out that one of the lynchings, the Raymond Gunn lynching, took place in my town, Maryville. The lynching of Ken Rex McElroy in 1981 also took place nearby in Skidmore. (Yes, yes, that's also the same little town that also had the bizarre story of the mother who was killed for her baby back in December.)

Anyway, I think it's good to review this sort of thing from time to time.

Gary makes some excellent points in his interview.

You should go listen to it.

First The Good News 

images One small step for man? In the NYTimes this a.m., "Cheney Calls Guantánamo Prison Essential":
"He added that it was a "myth" that detainees were tortured at Guantánamo."
But the in the final sentence that follows:
"A growing body of evidence has shown that a significant number of prisoners were subject to interrogations in which they were shackled to the floor for many hours, stripped or forced to urinate and defecate on themselves."
A small sign that reporters are remembering that their job is getting at the truth and informing the public as opposed to simply parroting the talking points handed them by the government?

But on the other hand we had this yesterday from Bush helpmeet David Sanger, writing about the second UK memo in the same paper:
"A memorandum written by Prime Minister Tony Blair's cabinet office in late July 2002 explicitly states that the Bush administration had made "no political decisions" to invade Iraq, but that American military planning for the possibility was advanced. The memo also said American planning, in the eyes of Mr. Blair's aides, was "virtually silent" on the problems of a postwar occupation."
Sanger helpfully translates the phrase "no political decisions have been taken" to mean that Bush had not at that time given the word to invade. I don't believe that is how the phrase "political decision" was being used, given the context of the memo, which 5 paragraphs earlier states:
"The US Government's military planning for action against Iraq is proceeding apace. But, as yet, it lacks a political framework. In particular, little thought has been given to creating the political conditions for military action, or the aftermath and how to shape it."
I read "political framework" here to mean specifically the means to sell the war to the public and to handle the aftermath of the invasion. In the next paragraph the memo then states:
" When the Prime Minister discussed Iraq with President Bush at Crawford in April he said that the UK would support military action to bring about regime change.."
and in the next:
"We need now to reinforce this message and to encourage the US Government to place its military planning within a political framework, partly to forestall the risk that military action is precipitated in an unplanned way by, for example, an incident in the No Fly Zones."
I read "political decision" as "putting military action within a political framework", which in this case doesn't mean Bush hadn't decided he was going to invade Iraq. It means he hadn't thought too closely yet about how to go about making it happen. The very fact that Blair was assuring Bush in April 2002 that he would support Bush's military action tells you all you need to know about whether a decision had been made. That and the pages of any progressive paper or magazine at the time who heard Bush's war drums. All this at the same time that Bush's boy Bolton was engineering the removal of a stubborn obstacle to creating a political excuse for the war.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Sometimes You Have To Hit Them Over The Head 

Thanks to the Freeway Blogger:
Think Michael Kinsley will ever notice?

Rich Fucks: So, if they can shoot one into space, why don't they shoot all of them? 

A little hagiography [kiss kiss kiss kiss kiss] on "Thrillionares" from the New York Times:

Mr. Allen, who became a co-founder of Microsoft, is responsible for SpaceShipOne, the pint-size manned rocket that won the $10 million Ansari X Prize competition last year as the first privately financed craft to fly to the cusp of space - nearly 70 miles up.

I'm assuming SpaceShipOne doesn't run Mr. Allen's software...

Mr. Allen is not the designer; that is Burt Rutan, the legendary aeronautical engineer with the sideburns that look like sweeping air scoops. He is not one of the test pilots who made the competition-winning flights; they are Michael Melvill and Brian Binnie. Mr. Allen is, instead, the one who gets little glory but without whom nothing is possible - he is the guy who signs the checks. And he did what the rich do: he hired good people.

Well, um, not all the rich, eh? Say, is Kenny Lay still on the street? No, don't tell me. It'll only spike my B.S.S.

The SpaceShipOne flight made him the best-known member of a growing club of high-tech thrillionaires, including the Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who find themselves with money enough to fulfill their childhood fascination with space. Rick N. Tumlinson, co-founder of the Space Frontier Foundation, a group that promotes public access to space, said the effort had become a geeky status symbol. "It's not good enough to have a Gulfstream V," he said. "Now you've got to have a rocket."

Hey! That rocket is almost as big as my dick!

Many self-professed "space geeks" say the possibility that entrepreneurs like Richard Branson of the Virgin Group may help regular people see the black sky - well, regular rich people, at least [ha ha!] - has drawn away much of the excitement that government-financed human space efforts long enjoyed.
(via NY Times)

In a country where what, 50 million don't have health insurance? Give me a fucking break.

Michael Jackson acquitted 

Not guilty on all ten counts.

What on earth will we have to talk about now?

Look! Over there! Another White (Southern) Woman kidnapped!

Christian Bailey dot com 

March 18, 2001

Christian Bailey

Christian Bailey is a principal of Lincoln Capital and manages their Lincoln Futures Fund. That fund has returned 187% since its inception in December 2000.

Previously, Bailey was the Founder and CEO of Express Action, a provider of international trade logistics solutions. Express Action handles all the complexity of international import duties, taxes, regulations and customs clearance online, making an international order just as transparent and simple as a domestic one. This allows buyers and sellers to participate globally in exchanges, e-procurement and web-enabled supply-chains. After founding the company and recruiting the core team, Bailey secured $15M in first round venture and debt funding and led the growth of the company during its first year. He had been previously been working actively with the Internet since 1991 and acted as an advisor to several of the earliest European e-businesses.

Before founding Express Action, Bailey was head of the Emerging Companies Group at Linck Corporate Finance PLC, where he funded and helped develop high-growth technology companies. Before joining Linck, he was Founder and CEO of ITG, a computer services company with a global supply-chain which was acquired in 1998. He also worked at Kleinwort Benson before their acquisition by Dresdner Bank and in Barclays Bank's International Corporate Group.

Bailey is an FAA-certified helicopter and airplane pilot and holds a BA and a MA in Economics and Management from the University of Oxford.

July 21, 2001

Christian Bailey

Christian Bailey serves as President of Lincoln Asset Managment LLC whose principal fund has returned 184% since its inception in December 2000. Prior to founding Lincoln Asset Management, Bailey traded derivatives for his own account with a consistently successful track record for over eight years.

In addition to trading, Bailey has also committed to entrepreneurial and organizational roles. After graduating with a BA in Economics and Management from the University of Oxford, Bailey founded three companies over four years. The last one, Express Action Inc, successfully raised $15M in first round debt and equity funding and grew to 45 employees under Bailey's leadership. The company was subsequently acquired.

Bailey gained experience on the money market and derivatives desks at Kleinwort Benson before their acquisition by Dresdner Bank. He also worked in Barclays Bank's International Corporate Group.

Bailey also enjoys the opportunity to apply risk management and judgment in the world of aviation and is an FAA-certified helicopter and airplane pilot.

Lincoln Asset Management link: Lincoln Asset Management. NOTE!: Clicking through the link which is displayed on the page I've linked to here (Lincoln Asset Management) will take you to an old Lincolnam.com page -- however -- the text there seems to only render in gibberish when attempting to load.

Past "Christian Bailey.com" posts: The earliest entry being March 18, 2001. The last entry being July 2004. The greatest body of posts appear to be blog posts (links to daily news items, techno news, etc...) made during 2003: from Feb 01, 2003 thru Dec. 12, 2003.

Full listing of previous Christianbailey.com pages (via the Wayback Machine) can be viewed here: archived "christianbailey.com" pages

August 2004 | Baghdad:

R -- Iraq Private Sector Growth and Employment Generation, ECON II

Notice Date

Notice Type

541611 — Administrative Management and General Management Consulting Services

Contracting Office
Agency for International Development, Overseas Missions, Iraq (CPA) USAID-Baghdad, Department of State, APO, AE, 09335

ZIP Code

Solicitation Number

Response Due

Archive Date

[...] 20036, Contact: Christian Bailey, Vice President, Telephone: +1 (202)595-1330 x29 Office, Cell: +1 (866)406-8469, Fax: +1 (202)595-0208, Email: christian.bailey@iraqex.com, Fullah Bldg, Third Floor, Kindi Street, District 211, Harthya, Baghdad, Iraq, Telephone: +964(790)144-0207, www.iraqex.com; [...]

Place of Performance
Address: Iraq country-wide
Country: Iraq

SN00629075-W 20040725/040723211526 (fbodaily.com)

FedBizOpps.gov Link to This Notice
(may not be valid after Archive Date)

Full text of FBO "point of contact" info excerpted above can be found here: FedBizOpps.gov

Lincoln Asset Management Group:
Alternative Investment News
March 1, 2003
SECTION: No. 3, Vol. 4; Pg. 12
IAC-ACC-NO: 98882123
LENGTH: 168 words
HEADLINE: New York firm launches defense sector LBO fund; Manager News; leveraged buyout; Brief Article

Lincoln Asset Management Group, a New York-based hedge fund firm, has launched a leveraged buyout fund focusing on the defense and intelligence sectors. The firm rolled out the Lincoln Orion Fund this month, said Christian Bailey, managing director. Lincoln had been pre-marketing the fund and has obtained commitments of $ 100 million from six institutional investors, whom Bailey declined to name. The investors include two private equity funds of funds, three corporations and one foreign investor, he said. The fund will be capped at $ 300 million.

The fund will buy companies in the defense and national security industries in the U.S., Bailey said. "Timing is extremely good to look at defense companies. There is huge demand from the Department of Defense and the intelligence community," he noted.

The minimum for investment is $ 1 million with a 1% management fee and 20% performance fee. Lincoln manages $ 100 million in assets in a global macro hedge fund and a macro fund of funds.

IAC-CREATE-DATE: July 26, 2003

2004/Iraqex: ABANA / Arab Bankers Association of North America:
Controller - Iraqex Jobs
Posted by Marie-Thérèse Abou-Daoud on 12/03/2004
About the Company


Iraqex was formed with the backing of Lincoln Asset Management Group with the assistance of a cadre of investors, to pursue private sector opportunities in Iraq. Iraqex brings a unique combination of expertise in collecting and exploiting information; structuring transactions; and mitigating risks through due diligence, legal strategies and security. Iraqex has developed subsidiaries and private equity investments in Iraq spanning commercial real estate! , manufacturing, metals, transportation, and communications.

Iraqex recently won the three-year contract to provide all Public Relations, outreach, and media monitoring & analysis for Coalition Forces across Iraq. This is a major project with vital importance to achieving success in the goal of brining the Iraqi people elections to choose their own future.

Iraqex benefits from strong relationships in Iraq, the U.S. and internationally. In Iraq, it has cultivated relationships with the Iraqi national government, municipalities, tribal leaders, prominent families, and the business community. Iraqex has a thriving network of offices from Basra in the South to Zakho in the North and employs over 300 Iraqis. In the U.S., Iraqex enjoys select relationships in Congress, the Administration, OPIC, ExIm Bank, and the U.S. Department of State.

More information is available at www.iraqex.com.

(-- Thanks SJ --)

Discussion of Billmon's post here: Moon of Alabama (thanks for the link RossK)

More via Billmon at Whiskey Bar: Blowback

...and from Xan (see below): Soon They Will Love Us, And Throw Flowers

...and via "redjade" (All Other Places) on topic at IndyMedia: US Psychological Warfare Effort to be Outsourced


Observation 87694.09 

Republicans are like aphids and squash bugs. Voraciously after what you try so hard to grow. Just an observation.

But they can be squashed. Oh, yes.

Better Later Than...Well, I Mean, Except For All The Dead People 

Apologizing for over a century of refusing to protect one's citizens and presiding over countless deaths, tortures, and maimings, is one of those things that we ought to expect from a such a clutch of "moral values" fans as we have in the Senate, so I guess this is a good thing, on the whole.

But excuse my irrepressible cyncism if I wonder whether this recent poll on their approval rating has anything to do with it.

29%? That's almost French Revolution-quality popularity. The rabble may yet be roused, non?

Suffer The Children, or Only The Hard Core 

jesus%20and%20children Reuters is reporting that the Bush administration is divided over whether or not to close down Guantanamo. Aside from puzzling over exactly WHO amongst those freedom lovers might be rankling over maintaining what is fast becoming the world's most populated albatross, I can guess who wants to keep it open. How about this for a clue:
"Vice President Dick Cheney says there are no plans for now to shutter the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay where terrorism suspects are held.
''The important thing here to understand is that the people that are at Guantanamo are bad people,'' he said.
''I mean, these are terrorists for the most part. These are people that were captured in the battlefield of Afghanistan or rounded up as part of the al-Qaida network,'' he said in an interview to be aired today on Fox News Channel's ''Hannity & Colmes.''"
That's your hard-core news show right there, isn't it, policy wonks? Dick "Go fuck yourself" Cheney won't tell the American people to whom he answers what he did in his energy policy meetings, but he'll shower Sean Hannity with interview largesse. And don't worry about those prisoners, 'cause they're "terrorists for the most part." He expands:
"'We've already screened the detainees there and released a number, sent them back to their home countries,'' Cheney said in the interview taped Friday. ''But what's left is hard core.''"
Hard core. And that includes the 14 year old:
"Lawyers representing detainees at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, say that there still may be as many as six prisoners who were captured before their 18th birthday and that the military has sought to conceal the precise number of juveniles at the prison camp.
One lawyer said that his client, a Saudi of Chadian descent, was not yet 15 when he was captured and has told him that he was beaten regularly in his early days at Guantánamo, hanged by his wrists for hours at a time and that an interrogator pressed a burning cigarette into his arm.
The lawyer, Clive A. Stafford Smith, of London, said in an interview that the prisoner, who is now 18 and is identified by the initials M.C. in public documents, told him in a recent interview at Guantánamo that he was seized by local authorities in Pakistan about Oct. 21, 2001, a few months shy of his 15th birthday, and taken to Guantánamo at the beginning of 2002."
So basically this kid spent almost his entire teenage years in Guantanamo. Must give him a warm fuzzy feeling when he casts a gaze northward.

I feel safer already, Uncle Dick.

Soon They Will Love Us, And Throw Flowers 

Watching carefully Friday night and into Saturday for the Dreadful Data Dump, this rather caught my eye. Must have been the name "Lincoln," who knows. We start here at the WaPo
The Pentagon awarded three contracts this week, potentially worth up to $300 million over five years, to companies it hopes will inject more creativity into its psychological operations efforts to improve foreign public opinion about the United States, particularly the military.

"We would like to be able to use cutting-edge types of media," said Col. James A. Treadwell, director of the Joint Psychological Operations Support Element, a part of Tampa-based U.S. Special Operations Command. "If you want to influence someone, you have to touch their emotions."

He said SYColeman Inc. of Arlington, Lincoln Group of the District, and Science Applications International Corp. will help develop ideas and prototypes for radio and television spots, documentaries, or even using text messages, pop-up ads on the Internet, podcasting, billboards or novelty items.
Hmm. Time to Google. First thing I learn is that this is is LincolnGroup.com, and absolutely not to be confused with the Lincoln Group .org, a perfectly respectable outfit dedicated to the study of Father Abraham. But back to our search...Nosing around turns up the name of Christian Bailey as a high muckety-muck at the Lincoln Group that's getting the Big Baghdad Bux.

What gives Mr. Bailey the level of expertise needed to get these Bux to make the Iraqi people love us like the ungrateful bastards are supposed to? I mean, there were Other people Who Wanted In On This Gig, but they didn't get it. Mr. Christian did. Why?

Well, he:

--Has Experience.According to ODwyer, apparently a PR firm about PR firms. They didn't really want me to read this, but Google Cache can be talked into just about anything, the slut. Note the date here:

Sept. 30, 2004


The U.S.-led military force in Iraq has awarded a seven-figure PR contract to Washington, D.C.-based Iraqex, a year-old business clearinghouse company formed specifically to provide a swath of services in the war-torn country.

Iraqex was set up by Lincoln Alliance Corp., a D.C.-based business "intelligence" company that handles services from "political campaign intelligence" to commercial real estate in Iraq.

Christian Bailey, an executive at Iraqex/Lincoln, told O'Dwyer's his company has established four offices in Baghdad and other outposts, including an additional operation in Basra. He said Iraqex began handling PR work for private entities in sectors like manufacturing and finance within the country last year and has established close ties with 300-400 members of the Iraqi media.

Bailey declined to get into specifics on the work because of its nature, but said more information would be forthcoming from Iraqex.

The company, which submitted a proposal of $5.5 million for the first year of the sweeping PR and advertising contract, beat five other firms. A contracting officer for the military did not disclose the competitors to this website or in an e-mail to the losing bidders.

Recent polls suggest support for the Coalition is falling and more and more Iraqis are questioning Coalition resolve, intentions, and effectiveness. It is essential to the success of the Coalition and the future of Iraq that the Coalition gains widespread Iraqi acceptance of its core themes and messages."
Yeah, things have perked up so much since Christian's been on the job, no wonder they gave him another shot o' the old green gold.

--He is Not Unattractive, Although a Bit Young (scroll down, he's the 7th picture IIRC.)

--He's a Brit by the sound of him. The interview is an entirely dreary thing about the joys of the venture capitalism biz, but he does give a bit of advice: Go to parties and meet people, and maybe they will give you adventurous capital. And wouldn't you just be amazed to learn next that...

--He's in the loop on the best Washington parties, sez the NY Sun:
A certain mystique has surrounded Jennifer 8. Lee ever since, as a teenager, she added a number to spice up her common name.

It followed her to the New York Times, where she became a staff reporter at age 24. And it’s trailed the 27-year-old to Washington, D.C., where Ms. Lee has become better known for her parties than for her peculiar byline.

“There’s that tradition of grand dame hostesses in D.C. I think Jenny’s like the 21st-century version,” says Christian Bailey, 28, a buyout fund manager whose taste of the social scene at Ms. Lee’s swayed him to move to Washington from New York.

But, you know, there's the party, and then there's the Partei. And gosh gee whiz, you thought Corrente had descended into a trashy gossip rag, right? Read here, o ye doubters:

Since its inception in Fall 2001, Lead21 has been doing its part to cultivate the next generation of business leaders committed to building a dynamic future for the Republican Party. Lead21 has always prided itself as an organization built by dreamers, doers, and difference-makers. We created a thriving community of emerging Republican entrepreneurs and professionals in the blue state capitals of New York City and San Francisco. As we matured as an organization, Lead21 broadened its focus toward deployment of its members to make a lasting impact on election outcomes...

When the 2004 election cycle gained momentum, Lead21 members were ready, willing and able to help. Among us, we have Lead21 members who served as Delegates, Alternates and volunteers to the 2004 Republican National Convention, demonstrating a passionate commitment toward re-electing President Bush. Lead21 NYC Co-Chairs – Christian Bailey and Maxine Friedman, in conjunction w/ Convention Co-Chairs - Scott Johnson, Natalie Lui, and Sarayu Srinivasan – organized Lead21’s trip to the GOP Convention in New York City.
Yup. The guy's got every qualification you could ask for to run a multi-million dollar psy-ops/PR/propaganda gig, or at least produce novelty items. Let a hundred flowers bloom, Chris. They need the petals for the parade.

MORE on topic - via corrente: Christian Bailey dot com

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Hey Cat-Killah! Slow, sticky karma gonna get chew.... 

First rule of Rethuglican politics: You can use your own money to get yourself started in the stealing-and-preaching business, but once the dough starts to roll in from the suckers you must promptly pay yourself back. Ex-Dr., now Sen Frist (R-PiousFraudulency) is, I fervently hope, about to get his stethoscope in a wringer:

(via Atlanta Journal-Constitution, sorry, registration, but other Knight-Ridder places will no doubt have it shortly. Hey, maybe even a Gannett rag like the Nashville Tennessean will pick it up someday? (pause to guffaw, snicker, snort, etc.):

Hundreds of thousands of dollars Frist's supporters had given him to run for the Senate were dwindling at a rapid rate. Much of that money was lost in a stock market investment that experts say was out of line with the way candidates traditionally invest campaign funds. Frist's campaign also took on more than $1 million in debt so that it could repay Frist for interest-free loans he made to his campaign six years earlier.

And then, in a decision experts say violated federal campaign regulations, Frist filed reports with the Federal Elections Commission that made it difficult for his contributors and political foes to determine just how bad off his campaign finances were.
Now the most likely scenario is that Frist himself (or one of his "people": I like to call them Fristians myself) arranged to leak this to the Urinal-Constipation. That way they can pay the usual little wrist-slapping fine and afterwards can dismiss all queries as "old news" which "Tennesseans didn't care about then" (tragically probably true) "and the American people don't care about now." I wonder if Lil' Scotty McLiar's been signed up as campaign press pimp in chief yet?

When your enemy's drowning, throw him an anvil! 

So why is Joe Biden (D-MBNA) talking about needing a draft?

Bush lied his way into Whack. Then he didn't get the troops armor. Parents get this (finally), and so they discourage their kids from going into the military. That's why there's a 40% shortfall in recruiting.

So, Bush is drowning—who knew he couldn't swim?—and Biden wants to throw him a lifeline? WTF?

NOTE When is one of the Big Boys in Blogpac going to threaten to raise money to get Biden back in line? It worked with Whiney Joe (D-FUX News).

Memo-ries, Like The Corners Of My Mind... 

By now many of you have read of the new, improved UK Memo that came on the heels of the original Downing Street Memo. My blog-sibs will have more on that in the near future.

But listen: what could be worse than having something like this drop in your lap and nobody cares? Well, how about someone you might trust, someone influential with lots of bandwidth and readership, who tells the world through numerous outlets that the people who care about this are crazy conspiracy theorists who needn't be taken seriously, since none of this proves anything. From my own site:


What could be more cutting than the discovery that someone you have respected for years, someone you defended against attacks by others who felt he was a rudderless punk, this person has pretty well single-handedly undercut one of the most important revelations the left has been able to use since Bush was appointed Dauphin by his daddy's buddies? Granted, he's not fuzzy lovable, and he has an acid tongue, but for years I overlooked his New Republicitis. I wonder what his predecessor and successor Lewis Lapham has to say about Michael Kinsley these days?

Well, Kinsley has shot his keyboard off, no doubt in the service of "balance", and unleashed a spray of indiscriminate fire across the bow of the LA Times:

"After about the 200th e-mail from a stranger demanding that I cease my personal cover-up of something called the Downing Street Memo, I decided to read it. (By mentioning 200 e-mails, I do not intend to brag. I'm sure Tom Friedman got many more.) It's all over the blogosphere and Air America, the left-wing talk-radio network: This is the smoking gun of the Iraq war. It is proof positive that President Bush was determined to invade Iraq a year before he did so. The whole "weapons of mass destruction" concern was phony from the start, and the drama about inspections was just kabuki: going through the motions.
Although it is flattering to be thought personally responsible for allowing a proven war criminal to remain in office, in the end I don't buy the fuss. Nevertheless, I am enjoying it, as an encouraging sign of the left's revival. Developing a paranoid theory and promoting it to the very edge of national respectability takes ideological self-confidence. It takes a critical mass of citizens with extreme views and the time and energy to obsess about them. It takes a promotional infrastructure and the discipline to settle on a story line, disseminate it and stick to it.
It takes, in short, what Hillary Clinton once called a vast conspiracy. The right has had one for years. Even moderate and reasonable right-wingers benefit from a mass of angry people even further right. This overhang of extremists makes the moderates appear more reasonable. It has pulled the center of politics, where the media try to be and where compromises on particular issues end up, in a rightward direction. Listening to extreme views on your own side is soothing even if you would never express them and may not even believe them."
Gosh, thanks for the broadbrush libel, Michael. Oh, I'm not quoting any more of it, it's full of snarky disdain and ho-ho-ho condescension. But what prompted this unplanned post was finding this poison in the op-ed pages of the Washington Post. And not only in WaPo, but with a weathervane for it on the front page.

So I'm at mithras' blog, and I go:

"Well, the density and incuriousness of the American public is enough of an obstacle without Michael Kinsley (who used to edit Harper's and had some credibility until he decided to mud-wrestle with Susan Estrich) popping off in the pages of the LA Times about how the blogosphere's Loony Left has gotten its panties in a bunch over some no-news memo that doesn't prove a thing about Bush's intentions, and how we poor deluded fools are weaving conspiracy theories out of information that was in plain sight clear back in 2002. His piece drips with such disdain and scorn that I woudn't be surprised if LGF and the RNC sticky-post it on their front pages for the next two weeks.
With ex-liberals like Kinsley purging the ranks of us "fringe elements", who needs Karl Rove?"
And he goes:

Which is about all there is left to say.

Advice for Dems: If you want to win in the Red states, stop being pussies! 

Oh, I'm sorry. I meant wusses. Damn.

In the Corrente mailbag, we find a letter from one Rick Pearlstein:

May I offer you all a thought on the flap over Dean's comments? I'm with the chairman. This is why:
"We talk about southern culture, blue-collar culture, NASCAR culture --
which overlaps, in complicated ways, with evangelical culture. Certainly one tenet they all share is this: When somebody punches you in the gut, you don't smile, stride halfway between his position and yours, and say that maybe the guy has a point. Behaving like that is precisely what has made the Democrats look so unsympathetically unfocused and confused to so many people."

(via The American Prospect)

Damn straight. You listening, Joe Biden (D-MBNA)?

A Presidential election is not a dinner party...

NOTE If you want to go all PC on me for the head, please, in your outraged comment, cite another Dem blog quoting Lifting Belly. OK?

The Sunday Times keeps trying to fix the book review, and still it sucks 

Get a load of this thumbsucker from one Alan Ehrenhalt on the mysterious phenomenon of "Clinton Hatred">

MILLIONS of Americans despise Bill Clinton. They have done so since he became a presence in national politics in the early 1990's, and they continue to do so today, more than four years after his retirement from public office.
Skip to next paragraph

The passion of the Clinton haters is a phenomenon without equal in recent American politics. It is not based on any specific policies that Clinton promoted or implemented during his years in office. It is almost entirely personal. In its persistence and intensity, it goes far beyond anything that comparable numbers of people have felt about Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan or either of the presidents Bush. It surpasses even the liberals' longstanding detestation of Richard Nixon. The only political obsession comparable to it in the past century is the hatred that a significant minority of Americans felt for Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
(via Times Book Review)

Hmmm... I wonder what possible connection there could be?

n this respect the phenomenon is all the more puzzling. ... Viewed in historical perspective, Clinton-hatred is not easy to explain ... If, as Harris believes, Clinton was in the most important ways a competent president -- and certainly not a combative or ideological one -- then the conundrum of Clinton-hatred remains essentially unsolved. ...

Wait for it...

[Clinton] was the tangible symbol of the Baby Boom... The generational issue is surely not the only explanation of Clinton hatred, but it may be the most persuasive one anybody has presented so far. Ultimately there will be others.

Gosh. You know, I can think of one of those "other" explanations, and I'm not even a perferssor or a talking head:

The Clinton Haters were funded to hate, you dimwits!

Really, such innocence as these guys display... Just can't be innocent, can it?

Dick "Dick" Cheney want to help Dems out 

Out of office forever, that is.

The words of The Great One himself:

Vice President Dick Cheney slammed Democratic Party boss Howard Dean as "over the top" in a television interview to air on Monday, saying Dean had helped Republicans more than Democrats.

"I think Howard Dean's over the top. I've never been able to understand his appeal. Maybe his mother loved him, but I've never met anybody who does," Cheney told Fox News Channel.

"So far, I think he's probably helped us more than he has them. That's not the kind of individual you want to have representing your political party," Cheney said.
(via Reuters)

Boy, I'm sure glad our country has Men like Dick "Dick" Cheney—ever willing to extend the right hand of good fellowship to even his political opponents in the form of helpful advice...

No, but seriously folks, it never ceases to amaze me when this kind of crap is considered newsworthy: Republicans, whether in office or just part of the Republican Noise Machine, tell the Dems what they have to do to be winners again... And the press actually prints it.

Go figure.

Sign Here, Please 

conyers Remember John Conyers, the Detroit Congressman who put together the letter to the White House demanding an explanation for the Downing Street Memo, got 88 fellow members of the House to sign it, and delivered it into the black hole of Bushland where it was never heard from again?

For some reason that resounding silence failed to satisfy him, so he put together an entire website dedicated to getting to the bottom of this mess. And this time he's got a petition up attached to a new letter demanding action, only this time if Bush ignores it, he'll be ignoring half a million citizens who will have signed it. That's how many signatures Conyers wants, and he's pretty close: about 496,000 so far. Here's part of the text of the letter:
"As a result of these concerns, we would ask that you respond to the following questions:
1)Do you or anyone in your administration dispute the accuracy of the leaked document?
2) Were arrangements being made, including the recruitment of allies, before you sought Congressional authorization to go to war? Did you or anyone in your Administration obtain Britain's commitment to invade prior to this time?
3) Was there an effort to create an ultimatum about weapons inspectors in order to help with the justification for the war as the minutes indicate?
4) At what point in time did you and Prime Minister Blair first agree it was necessary to invade Iraq?
5) Was there a coordinated effort with the U.S. intelligence community and/or British officials to "fix" the intelligence and facts around the policy as the leaked document states?

These are the same questions 89 Members of Congress, led by Rep. John Conyers, Jr., submitted to you on May 5, 2005. As citizens and taxpayers, we believe it is imperative that our people be able to trust our government and our commander in chief when you make representations and statements regarding our nation engaging in war. As a result, we would ask that you publicly respond to these questions as promptly as possible."
All right. If you haven't done it yet, get over there and do your civic duty.

More free Cash 

The Cleveland Press | The Shelby Publishing Company | Shelby, North Carolina | W. J. Cash ... Managing Editor | Subscription ... $2.00 per year (1928).

From The Cleveland Press, November 6, 1928:
"We are no more than a moving row of fantastic shapes that come and go."


Tomorrow we shall know whether Al Smith or Herbert Hoover will be President for the next four years. Whatever the outcome, the election will, in perspective, be no more than a dogfall, an incidental victory in the battle joined. There will be nothing final about it, nothing decisive. For, I think, the campaign has been no more than a prelude to the coming storm, the struggle which must, I believe, inevitably engross American politics for the next quarter century, at least.

In the beginning, the campaign resolved itself into chaos. But, at the end, certain things begin to grope to the surface of the formless whirl, lines begin to fix themselves amidst the dizzying confusion, new armies arise, new standards are raised. And these lines, these armies, I am convinced,--fluid, unfixed as they yet are--are those which will be limited, set, consolidated during the next four years.

It is probably not too much to say that the traditional Democratic and Republican parties are on their last legs. The names will be retained--but that will be all. What we are probably about to witness is the formation of parties on strictly drawn lines of Conservatism and Liberalism. It is, perhaps, fitting that the Democratic Party, inheritor of the tradition of Jefferson, should become the Liberal party, that the Republican Party, heir to the Hamiltonian tradition, should be the Conservative. Yet pure chance has probably been the deciding factor. The movement has been long coming. There was Bryan, whose liberalism in the fields of politics and economics gradually died out after the beginning of the war to give place to the Bourbon reaction of Harding and Coolidge. And there was Roosevelt who conceivably might have made the Republican Party the Liberal one had it not been for the war.

First of all, we shall probably be witness to a great battle for the control of the Democratic Party. That will mean the inevitable shifting of that part of the South which is militantly dry--if, indeed, it be so and stands by its convictions--to the Republican Party. For if Smith is elected, it is very clear that the Democratic Party is fore-ordained to carry the banner of modification of the Eighteenth Amendment and the Volstead Act. If he is not elected, the outcome will probably be the same. The party is already identified with the issue and the greater part of the Democratic voters of the country probably wish it to be that way. That being true, it is inevitable that the Democratic Party be the party of Liberalism in social legislation, the sworn enemy of cramping laws, the sworn champion of individualism in personal habits.

By the same token, the Democratic Party will carry the flag of anti-clericism. Dr. Edward Martin, editor of Harper's, points out that one of the most potent things which has emerged in the campaign has been a determined protest against the meddling of the Methodist boards with Congress and the blackjacking of that body with threats by the Anti-Saloon League. The breach between the bishops and the Democrats is unlikely to heal. Clearly, then, it will fall upon the party to fight the battle of absolute separation of Church and State, in spirit as well as in letter. That means losses in the South, but it means also that the political complexion of the East will be completely changed.

Ironically, the Republican Party is placed in the position of having to fight the battles of the present liquor laws whether it desires it or not. It has gained powerful allies. But as the price, it will have to defend paternalistic legislation in the social field while battling it in the economic field. As the champion of laissez-faire, of private ownership, it will appeal to the South, which is yet so young in industry as to retain all the traditional Conservatism of early Nineteenth Century England. But the Democratic doctrines of public ownership of natural resources will appeal powerfully in the East and the Progressive West. The belief that laissez-faire is a brutal dogma, that Big Business must be limited to preserve Small Business and the worker--flourishes in the old industrial regions.

Again, the cleavage is likely to be, more or less, on rural and urban lines. The man in the streets in the cities is naturally a Liberal in economic matters and, because irritating contact has taught him to value his individualism, one in the social sense also. The farmer is traditionally a Conservative. That is, of course, only partly true, as witness the case of the Progressive in the West. But wide spaces and little interference cause the farmer to care for abstract liberties, makes him an advocate of paternalistic legislation in the social field. Particularly is that true in questions having directly or indirectly to do with morals.

So--I think that we are going to see the final break of the things that have been. The Bloody Shirt, the Negro issue, the Grand Old Party, the Glories of Democracy--all the old watchwords, I think, are going to be cast aside. In short, we are going to quit battling over straw men and go after the things that really matter to us. I expect the East, not the South, to become the stronghold of the Democratic Party. I expect the West and part of the South, at least, not the East, to become the stronghold of the Republican Party. Because of the possible opportunity of the Negro to exert a balance of power, we may yet see the ultimately ironic spectacle of the Republican Party raising the standard of "white supremacy!"

I think sectional lines are breaking up. I think we are coming to think in national terms and to fight, therefore, over national issues. I think we shall presently have a referendum on liquor control, though it may be that it will be successfully headed off. I think we will come to a showdown on the questions of how far a majority may go in forcing its opinions, its morals, on a minority, of whether we shall have government ownership of national resources or private. It is altogether possible that we may see far-reaching changes in the basic structure of our Government, in the woof of our political thinking.

Kind of eerie isn't it?

This post is dedicated to officer "nick": Office of Political Correctness/Ministry of Scoldpottle/Code-Word Enforcement Division. Who, one can only hope, will come flapping into the threads, feathers-a-flouncing, blue smoke wafting from his tailpipe, and bluster and boo-hoo and generally produce cockeyed denouncements, leveled at some yet unforseen horror or another, for one excitable reason or another, assembled from whatever sinister transgressions he may glean from the above reproduced text, ultimately twisting whatever it is that sets his pants-a-fire into a full throttle five alarm galloping bugaboo. Keep hope alive!


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