Rolling Stone article from last year -- 7 Generals on Iraq

(Actually, there are some Lt. Generals and Admirals in there, but who's counting?)

I kicked myself a couple of times for never having noticed this article before somebody elsewhere pointed it out today, but then I noticed the post date on the article: 11/3/2004.


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"100 People Who Are Screwing America" Blog

Linda Hirshman says:
I am happy to announce that right wing fulminator Bernard Goldberg chose me as #77 in the 100 People Who Are Screwing America. This is the blog for the people who are screwing America. Each day for 100 days I will post a line or two of what Bernie thinks of one of the 100 and then a paragraph about who they really are.
She starts with herself, but this should be worth adding to the ol' reading list. Tap hit to Taegan.

If you're a SoCalite, or otherwise interested in the $100,000 traffic light Canoga Park got in the recent Highway Bill, see the extended entry for the original content of this diary.

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"Sign here, please."

If you've ever bought a car, accepted a loan, visited a doctor, applied for a job, or done just about anything else people do, you've been handed a prefab document full of legalese and fine print and instructed to sign at the bottom.

Chances are that in the moment, you don't always stop to carefully read and consider the implications of each item in the document before putting your mark on it. And it's entirely possible that you've had some promise or waiver in such a contract come back to bite you in the @$$.

See, these documents are generally drafted to protect the interests of whoever's asking you to sign them. Typically, the point is to limit your options in case of a conflict of interests. Theoretically, you are signing your rights away of your own free will, but in reality you do so only because you can't buy a car, get a credit card, see your doctor, or whatever, without doing so. It's a pressured situation, and you don't have much of a choice.

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Watch this Video. (Green Day)

Last night, I put aside my reflexive aversion to Green Day, took indydem72's recommendation, and watched the video of Wake Me Up When September Ends.

It will f@cking break your heart.

This thing needs watching.

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Do the Dems get it yet?

While breaking in my RSS aggregator, I tripped over this entry from David Sirota, in which he criticizes the DCCC for missing the big story of the events in OH-02:
Hackett, an Iraq War veteran, made headlines in the campaign for taking a strong position against the original decision to go to war in Iraq, even calling the President of the United States an SOB. And while it's true, Hackett didn't support full withdrawal from Iraq, few would deny that his position opposing the war was a key part of his campaign.

Ultimately, the anti-war position defined his candidacy, and was the clear reason he was able to do so well in such a Republican district. That should be no surprise: polls have been telling us for months that America agrees with Hackett in believing going to war in Iraq was a mistake. Meanwhile, Americans' view of President Bush's handling of Iraq is at its lowest level ever.

Incredibly, however, in a memo sent to all Democratic House Members about what Democrats should learn from the Hackett race, the DCCC makes not one mention of the Iraq War and its effect on the election. Not one. It is as if the party is going out of its way to deny the importance of Democrats taking a strong position against the war, or making the war a serious issue in their campaigns.

(I'm sure most of you have already seen this, because my friend Google tells me there's a well-linked diary at dKos covering Sirota's post. But it came as news to me.)

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US Social Forum, Atlanta, Summer 2006

"The World Social Forum (WSF) model is spreading around the world and a wide range of grassroots organizations and networks have just announced the location of the first ever U.S. Social Forum (USSF) Atlanta, GA. In January 2005 the WSF drew over 150,000 people to Porto Alegre, Brazil and this year with a decentralized model of regional forums it is expected to draw even more participants. 20,000 participants are expected to convene during the summer of 2006 in Atlanta to build a broader national movement for social justice around the world; the exact dates are yet to be determined."

Gov't asks court to declare martial law

So much for Reep whining about "judicial activism." As of now, they have nothing to complain about.

Reading a WaPo article from a few days ago, I was stunned to find the following exchange between Solicitor General Paul Clement and a panel of judges, as Clement defended the indefinite detention of Jose Padilla:

Luttig repeatedly pressed Clement, even after the solicitor general noted that Padilla's alleged intentions as a soldier of al Qaeda -- to target civilians -- constituted "unlawful combatantcy" even if he were on a battlefield in uniform.

"Those accusations don't get you very far," Luttig replied, "unless you're prepared to boldly say the United States is a battlefield in the war on terror."

Clement answered, "I can say that, and I can say it boldly."

But Michael said Padilla wasn't captured anywhere near a battlefield. "You captured Padilla in a Manhattan jail cell," Michael said. "What, in the laws of war, allows you to undertake a non-battlefield capture and hold them for the duration? I don't think you cite anything."

Michael, addressing Clement's claim that the United States is a battlefield, then asked: "To call the United States a battlefield, wouldn't you have needed a specific authorization from Congress? It's not up to us as a court to develop laws of war."

Let that sink in for a moment, because Judge M. Blane Michael has struck upon the heart of the Padilla matter:

The White House is asking the courts to declare martial law. Not Congress, the courts. These are the same people that accuse judges who uphold our Constitutional rights of "legislating from the bench," and they're asking judges to circumvent due process and the legislature and declare martial law.


In America.

Cory Doctorow

I haven't read this guy's books, but I love them already:

This is my third novel, and as with my first, Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom and my second, Eastern Standard Tribe, I am releasing it for free download on the Internet the very same day that it ships to the stores. The books are governed by Creative Commons licenses that permit their unlimited noncommercial redistribution, which means that you're welcome to share them with anyone you think will want to see them.

What is this guy, nuts? Hasn't he heard that internet downloads are the end of the world?

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Questions for Gee-Dub's nominee

Whomever the White House chooses to nominate to replace O'Connor (or any future retiree) on the Supreme Clown Posse should be examined on more than simply their stance on Roe. There's a good deal more at stake, and this administration has been working to erode American freedoms in other places much more actively than in the area of reproductive rights.

What would you ask the nominee?

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Pape: Suicide bombing "a demand-driven phenomenon."

(tap hit to WaMo.)

Pat Buchanan's magazine calls Robert Pape "the man who knows more about suicide terrorists than any other American."

"Over the past two years, I have collected the first complete database of every suicide-terrorist attack around the world from 1980 to early 2004."

So, what does he identify as the root cause of terrorism?
"The central fact is that overwhelmingly suicide-terrorist attacks are not driven by religion as much as they are by a clear strategic objective: to compel modern democracies to withdraw military forces from the territory that the terrorists view as their homeland. From Lebanon to Sri Lanka to Chechnya to Kashmir to the West Bank, every major suicide-terrorist campaign --- over 95 percent of all the incidents -- has had as its central objective to compel a democratic state to withdraw."

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