Monday, December 31, 2007

completely stolen from Crooks and

In the NYT, Robert Dallek reviews Elisabeth Bumiller’s new book on Condoleezza Rice, “An American Life: A Biography.” One gets the sense the book probably won’t be too hard-hitting — Bumiller has a well-earned reputation for passivity, and Dallek notes the biography’s “above-the-battle tone” and refusal to “offer any decisive judgments on Ms. Rice’s performance.”

Most notably, though, there was this gem:

Ms. Bumiller says that if President Bush and Ms. Rice can produce a settlement in the Middle East between Israelis and Palestinians and an end to North Korea’s nuclear program, it would give them claims on success that would significantly improve their historical reputations.

As Scott Lemieux responded, “And if I discover a way of powering cars entirely with oxygen, emitting a vapor that would result in the immediate killing of cockroaches and paralysis in the hands of every Hollywood producer about to sign a contract with Joel Schumacher and Uwe Boll, my reputation as a world-class scientist would be greatly enhanced.”

Yglesias gets in on the fun, too: “By the same token, if earth’s yellow sun gave me the powers of a kryptonian, I’d be a super hero. If my blog had Engadget’s traffic, I’d be the most popular political blogger. If George Bush could breath underwater, he’d be a fish.”


Saturday, December 29, 2007

Call Me Confused

Call me "Crazy", but I have sincere doubts about the new reports that Bhutto died from an Al Queda attack. Are you sure there was not a magic bullet? Here we have a brave opposition leader (hey, she may not have been great in her first try as prime minister) as America's choice who had one assassination attempt against her. And yet she carries on. First, we are told it was a suicide bomber, then a gunshot, now its Al Queda and, Oh Yes, as opposed to law, the crime scene was hosed down immediately and no autopsy. What, did the Warren Commission perform the investigation? Or is this the truth? or a fabrication to make sure we know there is a fearsome devil that we need to be protected against because America's choice could not be protected? Or is there even more subterfuge at work? The U.S.S. Maine comes to mind.

And this from the Catholic Front. Yes, we need a demonic death squad! Even Jesus is shuddering in his radiant post-grave body. Put a German in charge and more Demons are created. It is well known to readers of the dearly-departed Weekly World News that demonic possession among teens is among the rise. And they need to be dealt with by 80-year old priests. Christ (pardon the pun), I am only 55 and my arthritis is so bad I cannot keep up with 30-year olds at rock shows. How in the hell is an 80-year old priest going to keep up with demon seed? particularly if they take over teens. We are doomed. Doomed, I say.

All jokes aside, conservatism has a tendency to create enemies that must be annihilated. It sees the enemy, the "other" everywhere and projects its fears and anger towards that entity or group. Look for Al Queda and you will find him. (If you are interested and have a spare 4 hours, well spent, I must say. My ADD brain even sat still for this. Watch The Power of Nightmares from BBC television as it describes this phenomenon in US Foreign Policy, It is very, very good. and thought provoking.) The danger of this paradigm is that conservatives tend to control armament. Doubt that? How many New Age vegetarians own guns for hunting? And when was the last serial killer or mass murderer you know of a far leftist, after the Bolshevik Revolution. (an aside, was Stalin a dictator or a Bolshevik?) But these were revolutions, not the result of a single person. Colorado has had three such incidents and none were done by leftists. Timothy McVeigh was not a leftist.


Friday, December 28, 2007

Maybe Yext Year

It is sad Butto was assassinated. Who is to gain? and what will happen to an already unstable region? well beyond my predictions. I have as littel Middle East experience as our current State Department crack team. But I can't forget they have nukes and I wonder how good the security is. And remember that "loose nukes" were the biggest fear of the dissolution of the USSR. BTW, anyone seen Condi lately?

I see that the EU is looking at solar power for Europe and Africa by constructing a large plant in the Sahara. and a 100 x 100 mile plant could provide ALL the electricity for the US using current technology. And this does not include wind power. Just imagine what the US could be, a WORLD LEADER, if we had not gone through the St. Reagan Revolution. In the long run, he and other neocons will be remembered as having visionary approaches to economy akin to Lenin. Free market has failed as much as communism. And before anyone scoffs too loud, think of how many people died in Iraq, where estimates are well over 1,000,000 dead. All for the ability to drive SUVs. Makes me sleep well at night.

It is maddening that this government, free marketers all, do not have the stones of Jimmy Carter and put a profit cap on energy. All these lost mortgages because of predatory lending and bankruptcies because of medical bills, people living paycheck to paycheck hoping there is no major medical emergency looming on the horizon. It is obvious this administration cares not about the middle class. Or as the class clown and resident drug expert, Rush Limbaugh brags, Roosevelt is being rolled back. Great, we can have an economic system that led to the Great Depression.

and people on LJ Democrats worry that a methhead may be getting government funds. In my youth, we worried about welfare queens in Cadillacs. Those weren't real either. Cheese and Rice, we waste more money than can be spent on meth to privitization without conscience. and no one blinks anymore. The public lexicon and accepted values have wandered so far to the right that the language should be unrecognizable to those over 40.

Immigrants are the new N word, and they are listless, dirty, uncultured, don't speak English ... Oh yes, and they bring crime. Little has changed over the years. We always, as a culture, need to kick the crap out of and demonize someone. It makes it easier to live with our own faults as we don't need to recognize them--just blame someone. Fear and loathing are great remedies for everything. And it keeps attention away from what is really happening. Misdirection is not just a football strategy. Never look at the man behind the curtain.

Internautte, I hope your trip is going well and I hope Deli Girl is having a Happy Holiday season. I will sit back and watch the Broncos get run over by Adrian Peterson.


Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Dinosaur Thoughts

"The US vice-president, Dick Cheney, was behind a controversial decision to block California's attempt to impose tough emission limits on car manufacturers, according to insiders at the government Environmental Protection Agency.

Staff at the agency, which announced last week that California's proposed limits were redundant, said the agency's chief went against their expert advice after car executives met Cheney, and a Chrysler executive delivered a letter to the EPA saying why the state should not be allowed to regulate greenhouse gases."


Excuse, but I was a certified mechanic for years. I seem to remember that you had to know whether a car was made for California emission standards, which were more stringent that the rest of the US, for years. They often had different parts and different tune-up standards. What's the big deal now? It would cost too much. C'mon. Yes, it does cost more to have two different standards. So?

Emission and mileage standards have been more stagnant than a sewage lagoon in the Midwest heat. A little change and innovative engineering never hurt anyone. I have read of "hot-rodders" having contests to see how far they can push the mileage in Priuses. But major US auto manufacturers cannot make SUVs with good mileage. Maybe fiberglass body panels on Excursions, Suburbans and Boleraphons?

how stupid.