RandomThought . . .

It seems that while the Dems and the rest of us are distracted with the Social Security shell game and the next war, the Reeps are merrily going about their business of removing barriers to corporate rule with little or no opposition, to wit:

In a ceremony to sign the Class Action Fairness Act, which was passed by the House yesterday and became the first bill to be signed by the president in 2005, Bush vowed to work for passage of "meaningful legal reforms" to curb medical malpractice and asbestos lawsuits.

"There's more to do," Bush said, arguing that medical liability lawsuits are driving up the cost of health care and that asbestos litigation has bankrupted dozens of companies and eliminated thousands of jobs. "I'm confident that this bill will be the first of many bipartisan achievements in the year 2005."

Could this distraction be part of the plan?

We will win, and the fascists know it.

Chris posted an excellent synopsis of the corporatist regime's tactics. I was going to post this there, but didn't want to flood the comments page.

The invasion of Iraq has put the possibility of the end to American democracy on the table and has empowered groups on the Right that would acquiesce to and in some cases welcome the suppression of core American freedoms.
-AmCon

I was positively hysterical over this possibility for quite some time after 9/11 as I watched the continuous bull$#!+ campaign being waged by the administration, and I don't mean to suggest that the threat doesn't need to be faced with all our energy, but I've come to the conclusion that the end of democracy isn't what we're facing here.

These people have been fascists since before I was born. They've tried and tried to take over our country, and been rebuffed time and again. Every so often, they come up with a new tactic to knock us off our stride, but we regroup and come back. They evolve, we evolve, and the struggle continues.

Look at it this way: if the corporatists think they're going to gain power in 2006, or even hold their ground, why on Earth are they so insistent that Social inSecurity needs to be pushed through before the next election cycle?

There's more...

New rationale on SS elimination?

Talking Points Memo reports on a report that Jim McCrery, Reep chairman of the SS Subcommittee, has backpedaled on his opposition to the elimination proposal after a private meeting with the White House:

"I'm convinced the president's approach is worth pursuing in the legislative process," McCrery said. "Frankly, I had not thought of the policy rationale they described yesterday."

Josh@TPM seems to assume it was a case of simple arm-twisting, but I take the above comment to mean that they've presented him with their new frame, and he thinks it's a winner.

There's more...

the Deanslaught commences . . .

The bull$#!+ machine is in gear.

I'm assuming somebody here was at the meeting where Dean supposedly said that he hates "Republicans and everything they stand for." I've seen comments elsewhere that indicate it's true . . . ?

Anyway, expect this to be the Next Big Thing in cable "news" commentary.

There's more...

Reeps fear Deaniacs

Talking Points Memo posted a link to an article naming the 42 people blacklisted from Dubya's appearance in North Dakota.

Though some on the list were admittedly guilty of the most unAmerican activity I can imagine -- writing letters to the editor critical of the Bush administration -- the most common thing linking the names on the list was their membership in their local Democracy for America Meetup group. 33 of the 42 blacklisted names were current or former DFA meetup members.

Somebody tell me again why Dean is bad for the party?

The pinnacle of hypocrisy,

at least that's what I call it.

Official Inauguration Website:

The Commander-in-Chief Ball will be a special celebration for troops and their families, focusing on those that have recently returned from Iraq and Afghanistan or will soon be deployed. This event has been added to the inaugural celebrations to honor our troops and thank them for their service. It will be free of charge.

WaPo:

At least 88 companies and trade associations, along with 39 top executives -- all with huge stakes in administration policies -- have already donated $18 million toward a $40 million goal for the country's 55th inaugural celebration.

Rebecca Lawson:

My son is an army reservist and he returned from Iraq last March. He was ordered to attend one of the inauguration parties.

I am prior service myself, so I felt very proud that he was chosen from all the people in his group.  This particular gathering was to honor many of the soldiers and their families who have been to Iraq.

A group of five drove down from Long Island to Washington last Monday morning, and they were to return Tuesday evening.

Around midnight on Tuesday, my son returned home, looking tired from the drive.  The next morning, he told me he didn't have a good time because they basically stood around and watched the president say a few words. He said there was no food provided for them, so they ate after the event at some fast-food restaurant. They spend all this money for this celebration and can't feed my son? He stayed at a local military base with the rest of the group, but they made him pay for the room.

Apparently, there was a mix-up, or they were short a room.

I don't care what the problem was, he was told to go, this was not an option, orders were cut for this excursion!  I am disgusted and horrified that he had to even show his wallet for this event.

In addition to serving as a medic in the 310 MP Batallion, my son is a full-time student and works part-time to fill in the gaps the military doesn't. He takes his responsibility as a soldier very seriously.

I am angered at the way he has been treated.  People need to know how some heroes are being treated by their own government.

Hellfire Republicans and other wingnuts

Everybody loves labels. We've got Deaniacs, Chomskyites, Security Moms, Bush Bashers, Pajamaheddin, the So-Called-Liberal-Main-Stream-Lying-Right-Wing-Corporate-Media, the Fainthearted Faction, Limousine Liberals, Chickenhawks, on and on and on.

Sure, labels are bad, when they work against you. But they're also useful for separating one group from another. For example, a goodly portion of the country identifies itself as Christian. A much smaller, but much louder, subset of that group believe that anyone that doesn't see the world as they do can -- quite literally -- go to Hell.

There's more...

RFK Jr.: "Dems are 75% Corrupt"

I know this will garner some negative responses on what is obviously a partisan site, so let me first say that this is not intended as a criticism or as campaign literature, but as a request for honest and rational responses. However, since I have no capacity to block out trolls and flamers, they are welcome as well.

A Nader 2004 newsletter landed in my inbox today which made reference to a quote by Robert Kennedy Jr., presumably taken from this article:

Robert Kennedy Jr. last week accused President George Bush of being "the most corrupt and immoral President that we have had in American history."

Early in the campaign, Kennedy endorsed Senator John Kerry for President, but last week Kennedy expressed disappointment in Kerry's campaign and in the Democratic Party.

"The Republicans are 95 percent corrupt and the Democrats are 75 percent corrupt," Kennedy said in an interview with Corporate Crime Reporter. "They are accepting money from the same corporations. And of course, that is going to corrupt you."

Now, I have no doubt that most people here agree that the Dems have some problems. And many will also agree that institutional corruption is among those problems.

The question that divides Dems from the Nader left, and that I think needs to be addressed, is this:

How corrupt is the Democratic Party? Is it too far gone to be reformed?

There's more...

Bill Lind on the power of belief

In a piece on the concept of "Fourth Generation War," William Lind makes some excellent points which cut to the heart of why Reeps are so good at what they do. The best part is excerpted in the extended entry.

Money quote: "All ideologies are counterfeit religions."

There's more...

Time for Regime Change in Argentina?

As Larry Rohter tells us in the NYT:
Argentina's recovery has been undeniable, and it has been achieved at least in part by ignoring and even defying economic and political orthodoxy. Rather than moving to immediately satisfy bondholders, private banks and the I.M.F., as other developing countries have done in less severe crises, the Peronist-led government chose to stimulate internal consumption first and told creditors to get in line with everyone else.

"This is a remarkable historical event, one that challenges 25 years of failed policies," said Mark Weisbrot, an economist at the Center for Economic and Policy Research, a liberal research group in Washington. "While other countries are just limping along, Argentina is experiencing very healthy growth with no sign that it is unsustainable, and they've done it without having to make any concessions to get foreign capital inflows."

The consequences of that decision can be seen in government statistics and in stores, where consumers once again were spending robustly before Christmas. More than two million jobs have been created since the depths of the crisis early in 2002, and according to official figures, inflation-adjusted income has also bounced back, returning almost to the level of the late 1990's. That is when the crisis emerged, as Argentina sought to tighten its belt according to I.M.F. prescriptions, only to collapse into the worst depression in its history, which also set off a political crisis.


Somebody sure as heck better go create another political crisis and get a "business-friendlier" administration in power down there, before those nutballs go and prove what a steaming pile of coercive corpo-rape IMF restructuring is.

I expect Argentina to be joining Venezuela and Cuba as a part of the Axis of Evil del Sur before too long. (All the enmity and destabilization of the "a-list" Axis, with none of the publicity!)

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