At approximately 10:12 p.m. last Tuesday MSNBC covered Native American issues after the presidential debate. “It’s high time we started covering these critical concerns affecting American Indians that are in our own back yard at least as much as we cover what happens across the ocean in other countries,” one MSNBC commentator said. I couldn’t believe my ears as to what they said next.
March 3, 2008 archive
Mar 03 2008
The Guardian is reporting that the United States will deploy military advisers to Pakistan.
The United States will send dozens of military advisers to Pakistan to train soldiers who are fighting extremist groups in the country’s restive tribal areas, it emerged today, the first meaningful deployment of American troops in the country.
After weeks of negotiations between the US and Pakistan’s new army chief of staff, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, a squad of American trainers will arrive later this year to teach soldiers how to handle counter insurgency operations, rather than a conventional land war against India.
I do not see this ending well.
Mar 03 2008
BBC News reports that the UN Security Council approves new sanctions on Iran. “Fourteen of the council’s 15 members voted in favour of measures including asset freezes and travel bans for Iranian officials. Indonesia abstained.” It is the third UN sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program.
Meanwhile, in totally unrelated news… The New York Times reports Oil prices pass record set during ’80s energy crisis. “Setting an all-time record, oil prices rose to nearly $104 a barrel on Monday morning, exceeding their inflation-adjusted high reached in the early 1980s during the second oil shock, before pulling back… That level tops the record set in April 1980 of $39.50 a barrel, which would translate to $103.76 a barrel in today’s money.” Why the jump? As AP reports Oil jumps to new record on dollar’s fall.
Here is yet another way Wall Street is stealing money from American tax payers. According to The New York Times, Wall Street underrates state and municipal bonds and some states and cities are starting to rebel. “Billions of taxpayers’ dollars – money that could be used to build schools, pave roads and repair bridges – are being siphoned off in the financial markets… A complex system of credit ratings and insurance policies that Wall Street uses to set prices for municipal bonds makes borrowing needlessly expensive for many localities… Because of their relatively weak credit scores, more than half of all municipal borrowers buy insurance policies that safeguard their bonds in the unlikely event that they fail to pay the debt… Ratings agencies… are paid a second time to evaluate the insured bonds.” Need a school built, a bridge repaired, or any other kind of public investment in public infrastructure? Wall Street is going to drive up the costs. As long as we give private banks the ability create money, then the people will always be on the losing end of the class war.
DefenseWar Department announced this morning that “American naval forces fired missiles into southern Somalia” and The New York Times dutifully reported that “residents reached by telephone said the only casualties were three wounded civilians, three dead cows, one dead donkey and a partly destroyed house.” The attack came around 3:30 a.m. and “was not the first time that American forces have fired missiles into Somalia in pursuit of what the Pentagon has called terrorist operatives in the country. They did it at least three times last year.” The Guardian has a slightly differing account. “The strike was carried out early this morning, destroying a home and seriously injuring eight people, including four children, residents and police said… A police officer who gave only his first name, Siyad, said the eight wounded were hit by shrapnel. An aid worker… said up to six people were still trapped in the rubble by midday… It was not clear if these victims were included in the police officer’s tally.”
I do not see this ending well. The Guardian reports US to train Pakistan troops hunting militants. “The United States will send dozens of military advisers to Pakistan to train soldiers who are fighting extremist groups in the country’s restive tribal areas, it emerged today, the first meaningful deployment of American troops in the country.”
“A squad of American trainers will arrive later this year to teach soldiers how to handle counter insurgency operations… Although the original plan sees a deployment that stretches until 2015, the current forecast is that the trainers will be in Pakistan for up to two years. Initially the US military advisers would not be allowed out of their training camps. However, a widely discussed 40-page memo circulating in Washington eventually sees US troops accompanying Pakistani soldiers on missions against the militants.”
For those historically minded on November 1, 1955, President Eisenhower deployed the Military Assistance Advisory Group to train the South Vietnamese Army. That date marks the official U.S. involvement in the Vietnam war as recognized by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
A bonus story about beeswax is beneath the fold…
Mar 03 2008
Inertia is a bitch. Ignorance, both willful and enforced, is pervasive. Repetition is boring.
But George Bush DID authorize torture. He has admitted to illegally spying on American citizens. He did invade a sovereign nation with no provocation. People will continue to suffer and die there, for no good reason He is still denying the powers of Congress to subpoena, and thus prosecute, anyone in his administration.
And Congress is still scared shitless to do anything about it.
Inertia is a bitch.
Mar 03 2008
Healey died Sunday evening in a Toronto hospital, said bandmate Colin Bray, who was in the room with Healey’s family when the guitarist died.
The Grammy-nominated Healey rose to stardom as the leader of the Jeff Healey Band, a rock-oriented trio that gained international acclaim and platinum record sales with the 1988 album “See the Light.” The album included the hit single “Angel Eyes.”
Healey had battled cancer since age 1, when a rare form of retinal cancer known as Retinoblastoma claimed his eyesight.
Mar 03 2008
Somebody tell me why Tucker Carlson still has a television show. Seriously! Is there anyone at MSNBC reading this? I want an answer. I just can’t figure out what’s going through their heads.
Tucker has been the worst performing program on the MSNBC primetime lineup for as long as he’s been on. And he rarely notches anything above last place versus his competition. That record of defeat has predictably repeated itself for February 2008.
Brought to you by…
The Internet’s Chronicle Of Media Decay.
Mar 03 2008
This is an Open Thread:
A crowd has gathered in black and white
Arms entwined, the chosen few
The newspaper says, says
Say it’s true, it’s true…
And we can break through
Vienna Meeting on Arms Data Reignites Iran Nuclear Debate
Last Monday, the chief United Nations nuclear inspector gathered ambassadors and experts from dozens of nations in a boardroom high above the Danube in Vienna and laid out a trove of evidence that he said raised new questions about whether Iran had tried to design an atom bomb.
For more than two hours, representatives to the International Atomic Energy Agency were riveted by documents, sketches and even a video that appeared to have come from Iran’s own military laboratories. The inspector said they showed work “not consistent with any application other than the development of a nuclear weapon,” according to notes taken by diplomats.
Mar 03 2008
Muse in the Morning
The muses are ancient. The inspirations for our stories were said to be born from them. Muses of song and dance, or poetry and prose, of comedy and tragedy, of the inward and the outward. In one version they are Calliope, Euterpe and Terpsichore, Erato and Clio, Thalia and Melpomene, Polyhymnia and Urania.
It has also been traditional to name a tenth muse. Plato declared Sappho to be the tenth muse, the muse of women poets. Others have been suggested throughout the centuries. I don’t have a name for one, but I do think there should be a muse for the graphical arts. And maybe there should be many more.
Please join us inside to celebrate our various muses…
Mar 03 2008
You know the thing about people who rail against “political correctness” is what they really desire is the ability to be as sexist, racist, and bigoted in public as they want without having to suffer your scorn and derision making them feel like the small shabby mean spirited twits that they are.
How else do you explain this?
Why Is Obama’s Middle Name Taboo?
By NATHAN THORNBURGH, Time Magazine
Fri Feb 29, 1:50 PM ET
So who gets to say Hussein? At the Oscars, host Jon Stewart took innuendo about as far as it can go, saying that Barack Hussein Obama running today is like a 1940’s candidate named Gaydolph Titler. But that reference, served up to a crowd that presumably swoons for Obama, got laughs. So maybe the H-word is more like the N-word: you can say it, but only if you are an initiate. Blacks can use the N-word; Obama supporters can use the H-word.
We Scream, We Swoon. How Dumb Can We Get?
By Charlotte Allen, The Washington Post
Sunday, March 2, 2008; Page B01
I can’t help it, but reading about such episodes of screaming, gushing and swooning makes me wonder whether women — I should say, “we women,” of course — aren’t the weaker sex after all. Or even the stupid sex, our brains permanently occluded by random emotions, psychosomatic flailings and distraction by the superficial. Women “are only children of a larger growth,” wrote the 18th-century Earl of Chesterfield. Could he have been right?
For Hillary’s Campaign, It’s Been a Class Struggle
By Linda Hirshman, The Washington Post
Sunday, March 2, 2008; Page B01
For the Clinton campaign, this is devastating. A year ago, chief strategist Mark Penn proclaimed that the double-X factor was going to catapult his candidate all the way to the White House. Instead, the women’s vote has fragmented. The only conclusion: American women still aren’t strategic enough to form a meaningful political movement directed at taking power. Will they ever be?
Penn was right about the importance of the women’s vote. About 57 percent of the voters in the Democratic primaries so far have been women. As of Feb. 12, Clinton had a lead of about seven percentage points over Obama among them (24 points among white women). But the Obama campaign reached out to the fair sex, following Clinton’s announcement of women-oriented programs with similar ones within a matter of weeks. I can imagine the strategists for the senator from Illinois thinking, “What’s that song in Verdi’s ‘Rigoletto’?” Women are fickle.
Turns out it’s true.
Ominously for Clinton, the feminist movement split, generating a large number of “scribbling women” all over the blogosphere describing the gender-trumping call of the Obama candidacy. …
Or maybe it has to do with what Pollitt expressed in a recent blog posting: “On foreign policy Obama seems more enlightened, as in less bellicose.” Educated women focusing more on foreign policy fits with what we know about women and politics. Although at every class level, women know less than men do about politics in general, they know more as their education level goes up. So it may be that foreign policy issues are more salient to women with a college degree.
Mar 03 2008
Our friends over on the other side of the aisle are having quite the debate about whether or not to use middle names when referring to Dem candidates, and watching the schism develop between the thinking conservatives and their knuckle-dragging cousins is getting to be some great popschadenfruedecorn fun. On the rather turgid rec list at RedState, a “blog” entitled To Hussein or not to Hussein… (Danger: RedState) has generated nearly 100 comments – a huge number, by rightroots standards. The more respectable of the commenters are trying to point out that the meme is rather loud for a dog whistle; they’re up against a contingent that somehow sees repetition as proof that they are not themselves racists.
Best of luck to the side fighting the good fight over there, but the point of this diary isn’t to analyze the Unmasking of the Know-Nothings – it’s to point out what’s being overlooked in the whole debate: That John McCain has a middle name, too!. And you know what?
It’s Sidney!!! That’s just ONE LETTER AWAY from spelling SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA!!!
Please join me below the fold for the sounding out of 2008’s latest dog whistle, as well as some disturbing news about our plotting mates from Down Under.