Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Faux (not Surly Sean or Babbling Bill's Fox!) News

Team Tartan, Although I'm just starting with The Lexus and Olive Tree by Thomas Friedman, the theme of globalism has really been something I've been wrestling with for some time. Head over to The Nation for a taste of what Jeff Faux may give us in The Global Class War: How America's Bipartisan Elite Lost Our Future - and What it will take to get it Back (if you order please consider using search links via Captain Plaid to keep me in my cutty!). Indeed the rich get richer and the poor get poorer! Peace ... or War!

Give 'em enough rope and ...

... they hang themselves! Abu Gonzales appears to have just flat out lied when Russ Feingold asked him about executive authority. Here's hoping the main stream media will pick up on this story! Peace ... or War!

Regular Joe and Patriot Pat

I just watched Tweety have Second Place Shrum speak for the Left only to then have Congressman Joe and Pat Buchanan celebrate Stripsearch Sammy going on the Supremes. Countering the Eisenhower Warren and Brennan mistakes? WTF? Indeed they know that this is a day that will live in infamy for anybody that is concerned with basic civil liberties and the separation of powers and ... I guess Pat and Joe have kissed and made up? I know Joe loves the press given how he may have slipped the noose due to Condit with the female young aide that was found DEAD in his office. Accidental perhaps yet enough to make you ponder. Why'd he walk away? Attended U of A's law school and a source said he was known as a total tool. Pat has always been a loon yet ... Then I got to see Regular Joe talk about having a shoot first and ask questions later Bush preferred over the cerebral and admittedly poorly managed (Thanks Shrum!) junior Senator from Massachusetts. Kerry of course actually served in country rather than in Alabama at The Diplomat. My God does this stuff resonate with anybody that has half a brain? I'm mad as hell with Sammy going to the big show but at least I get to listen to Shrub. Please let Kaine kick butt! Peace ... or War!

Follow the Money!

Team Tartan, Be sure to drop by David Sirota's SirotaBlog where he tackles the corruption and hyper-capitalism tht seems to be driving the bus. At the time of this post, there is a nice take on tax cuts for the elites and increased health costs for regular people leads this evening. There is also a bash of Bu$hCo "Ranger" Hank McKinnell of Pfizer that is nice when contrasted with chaos and possible insolvency of Medicare. David Sirota is also heavily involved with Working for Change/Working Assets that is a great resource for Progressives. Plus there's ... Peace ... or War!

Monday, January 30, 2006

Wham, Bam, Thank You Sam

Plaidsters, Indeed it is a dark night with Stripsearch Sammy clearly heading to join Silent Clarence, "Duck Hunt with Dick" Antonio, .... If John Roberts is a bad as I fear then only one seat is left to have this cabal truly dug in. "Unitary executive" may very well be here. I continue to think that true conservatives (are there any really left that might lean toward the libertarian order of things?) will pull back. Maybe the GOP Big Mules and the right wing nut jobs in Jesus Land figure the White House and even Congress may be theirs long enough to make all these scary trends pay off. Still, there's hope for Progressives, along with some legitimate and unfettered angst, in the blogosphere. Despite cloture slipping by with several DLC Dems going to the dark side, likely making it so Bu$hCo can roll out their final "tool" on the evening of SOTU, Digby, challening RFK, tells us to rise to the occasion. Then we also have DHinMI over at Kos pulling out Churchill to echo a theme of taking the long view and doing the hard work of organizing to defeat tyranny. And Jane, still rolling after her battle with Little Debbie of the WaPo ombudsman from hell school of journalism, simply offers up a "Thanks". Lots on our plates for these next few weeks. Glenn Greenwald has picked up the ball on the illegal use of the NSA obscured by ReThug lies and talking points rather nicely and offers up a way to put the screws to Abu Gonzales. You've also got to check out the Martin Garbus post on HuffPo about how the Abramoff prosecutor Noel Hillman has been "rewarded" with a federal judge slot. Investigating the K-Street posterboy and yet meeting with Bu$hCo people long enough to swing a lifetime appointment. Sounds like " your doing a heck of a job Noellie". We all just know Abu Gonzales will appoint a zealous prosecutor since this Newsweek article clearly shows that DOJ is all about character. Tired and yet ready to do battle, I just close with "Peace ... or War!"

Sunday, January 29, 2006

"Not all Conservatives are stupid but most stupid people are Conservative."

The above ditty, which I've surely butchered from exactly what John Stuart Mill gave us, continues to resonate for me. Life experiences have seemed to confirm this for me yet I like what Bertrand Russell and John Kenneth Gailbrath (check out Daniel Ben-Ami's piece via UK's Spike for nice treatment of JKG) have shared on the idea of being certain.

Irregardless of the truth of the above, Georgia10 at Kos has another amazing piece that has me just about convinced me that reasonably smart people can't be against Progressives/Liberals ideas. It is perhaps just that it helps to be relatively sharp and motivated to really understand the complex world we share to be able to cut through the talking points and crappy mass media we surely have now. I just heard WaPo's E.J. Dionne say something on Meet the Press(I trust transcript will be up soon) about how we have been lately divorced from complexity. Mr. Dionne writes on the same theme as applies to democracy yielding a Hamas victory. That this administration is not interested in complexity (or reality) is indeed an understatement yet is the average American voter really motivated with complexity?

I also watched Dr. Bill Frist ( on Russert's Meet the Press) offer up various idiotic assertions and excuses for his ethical issues and Bu$hCo and ... that I'll not bother with laying out here. Surely National Review's Byron York is no idiot yet he was offering up some angles that were simplistic at best, disengenous at a half way point, and truly toting the White House's water at worst. So what gives with these guys and their ilk?

I still think it mostly a question of message and time. The Republican machine is indeed amazing. Networks of attack dogs (from the media to dirty tricksters) and think tanks and ... that have been nurtured for years. Holy warriors and backlash voters and wingnuts and ... are ready foot soldiers. If you are willing to go over to the dark side and write/work/shrill for them you can make some serious coin. Regular folks educated in schools that are often sub-standard and now substantially controlled by the conservatism movement, as exemplified by No Child Left Behind, are often not well prepared to truly think and learn on their own. (NCLB is of course more accurately NDOBLB ... No Data Obsessed Bureaucrat Left Behind ... yet I digress.)

These regular people are so busy making a living in an economy that has not really worked for them in the last twenty or thirty years. Easy money via credit and low interest home loans and cheap imported stuff at Big Box Mart has them satiated maybe. Still, many of these Good Americans do work serious hours to simply stay afloat and live in decent neighborhoods so their kids can attend tolerable schools. Plus they are entertained (distracted?) to a level that can't be healthy for a democracy. Sounds like the "bread and games" of the Romans to me. I have to work hard to stay informed. The main stream media continues to let me down. Blondes on Blondes or Whacko Jacko or Blathering Bill's War on Christmas or ... even on the cable news channels. I once read P.T. Barnum offered up something like "It's hard to go broke underestimating the American public." and don't even get me started on Master Mencken.

Conspiratorial maybe yet surely it seems like the system has been designed to keep the Big Mules harnessed up and well fed. So maybe what I hope is that we can begin to approach and educate the little guy/gal trying to make it through life as best as they can. I know perhaps more than most the trouble in educating the masses. It is hard work and at times they dig in their heels. Educators must take the long view on the efforts. Maybe Progressives do as well. It is hard to hang in there and I do get frustrated. But I intend to stay in the fray.

Today's Sunday so I'll leave off any threat of "War!" and close with "Peace".

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Being Noble not Amazonian?

Although I've linked to Amazon in my brief time in the blogosphere it would seem that I've been mistaken. Barnes and Noble is claimed as being blue and Amazon is rather red. I've noted a few "real" bloggers that often to Amazon yet the Captain wonder why if in fact my understanding is correct. It's "Peace ... or War!" Plaidsters. I plan on gently scolding some of my favorite bloggers that are Amazonian or at least asking if they think it is wise to support those that don't seem to support progressive ideas. I've dropped in an affiliate button down on the lower right where I'll get a small cut of whatever you spend at B&N. Trust the Tartan!

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Trading in Alabama's Model 1901 Constitution

Nice angle on a century old car that has been "repaired" 772 times appears in the Anniston Star's coverage that I've stolen for my title. Alabama Citizens for Constitutional Reform is but one reality-based yet authentically Christ-like organization that is advocating for a brand new ride that might actually not transport the Big Mules. So can we hope? History is mostly knowing enough to not be surprised when it repeats. And I've written before on "The More Things Change ..."

Here's the latest "tool", and indeed "tool" applies with this Lowlander, as John Giles at Alabama's Christian Coalition is stepping up to do God's will. Tom Delay's and Ralph Reed's and Jack Abramoff's will has apparently been served! $850,000 goes even further when you are on the side that only needed a few fish and loaves to feed ... Maybe Mr. Giles can also minister in our Governor's office when Roy Moore (God's Warrior Judge) is annointed as Alabama's "Our Leader"?

Perhaps also the Alabama Farmer's Federation isn't aware that we Good American Red State Bubbas and Bubbettes love democracy plenty when we can get Bu$hCo to export it. A convention of elected delegates from the people is obviously far inferior to letting our outstanding polititicians create a constitution. "Lack of accountability is the problem not lack of funding!" always works for ALFA when they want to argue on tax issues. So are the politicians on Goat Hill accountable to the people or the special interests?

The really special Scottish snaps however go to Sandra Bell of the Alabama Association of Judeo-Christian Values. ("Love the Sinner, Hate Their Clothes" from Mrs. Betty Bowers, America's Best Christian, comes to mind ... and thus to keyboard. What Ms. Bell's "President's Message" is worth a visit yet in part she writes, "... On the surface, "Home Rule", as defined by the dictionary sounds good, however, once home rule is implemented, the people have given over their rights and power to local commisions, appointed boards, and municipalities, not elected officials. ..." Sandra also thanks God taxes weren't raised on Alabama citizens so I guess her God would not approve of Alabama Arise, the Masters in Theological Studies plus the teaching of Susan Pace Hamill at The University of Alabama's Law School, and certainly not the work of the distinguished and amazing Dr. Wayne Flynt at Auburn University and Auburn First Baptist and Samford and ... Here's just one example of Dr. Flynt's wisdom.

I am damned tired of these idiots and those that support/use them. If there's really a hell I would argue they'd not have to wait in line to enter! Peace ... or War!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Get Your Freak On! A rogue? Sounds like a Scot!

Wanting for some time to get to the lowlands for Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything, I finally slipped off the ridge. Stephen J. Dubner may have done the clever writing yet I expect Stephen Levitt did the grinding of the numbers. Stretched mind indeed. Check out their blog for even more details. I seem to recall my mother saying something like "Liars Figure and Figures Lie" yet good data gives good determination. Malcolm Gladwell says "Prepare to be dazzled." The Captain salutes these Chicago/New York outlanders.

Gore (not Al!) Blogs ... Gore/Vidal 2008?

Gore Vidal is amazing! HuffPo gives us Vidal writing of "President Jonah". A must read! The Captain salutes you Mr. Vidal. He's not welcome in my ridges but one can hope that perhaps the village of Crawford will indeed want their idiot back. This Scot will be yelling on the 31st and surely a Highlander enjoys a good scrap. Peace ... or War!

Can't Wait for June!

Teaching for the last five years I truly love June. Retreating to the Highlands indeed! Plus Baby Plaid, now nearly ready to plow, arrived in June some years back. Yet now I've got an especially serious June Jones! David Sirota with a In These Times pedigree has a new book in the pipeline that might be a real gem. Hostile Takeover : How Big Money and Corruption Conquered Our Government--and How We Take It Back is previewed a bit over at Huff Po by his truly. Sir David also shares at SirotaBlog so maybe I can hold on until June. And then he helps out Working Asset's WorkingForChange blog as well. Truly the more I ponder on what I'm reading the more it all sounds like "Peace ... or War!"

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Big Mules and Branch Heads - Medicare Mess

Several years ago my old daddy shared a book about Big Jim Folsom that he thought was a good summary of politics here in the Yellowhammer State. Carl Grafton and Anne Permaloff penned Big Mules & Branchheads: James E. Folsom and Political Power in Alabama in 1985 via UGA's publishing arm. Then ten years later they rolled out, or recycled, Political Power in Alabama: The More Things Change ... yet I've not tackled that one and might not based on what little I've read about the work and certainly the price. "Got a good goose better pick him clean!" as my Daddy used to say. Anyways ... I look here and see the Big Mules still have a place at the feed bucket. Montgomery to DC it does still remain the same.

Folsom knew he needed support from the powerful with money at stake and also had to be able to reach the common people at the tops of the hollows. Big business owns the modern ReThug machine and we know the "values voter" is used to keep them in power where they actually vote against the common man's economic interests. Thomas Frank's What's the Matter With Kansas: How ... is a great look at this reality. Rich get (at worst stay?) richer and the poor ... And these mules have hybrid vigor enough to be able to replicate. Multinational mules? Jack Abramoff and the Jack Pack of K Street are just a part of the mess. And while indeed the Dems aren't without fault in influence whore hopping, they are surely clean compared to the RePugs. Now this hardly clear to the WaPo ombudsman (and of course Sean and Bill and Ravage Savage and Big Fat Idiot and the Freepers and ....) but we'got some room to work here.

One initially wants to ask WTF were these guys thinking to lock themselves in a room and bend over for the Big Mules once again. I bet they simply thought nobody would notice and even if they did then they could blame the news on the liberal media and their moonbat lefty terrorist loving jesus hating ... blogosphere. Or Hollywood? Or maybe it was required in a post-911 world as recently offered up by Architect Rove. And the thing is that I'm not surprised to read that the GOP closed the doors to save health insurance industry millions from an already upside down budget. Medicare is a fiasco from how Big Pharm and Big Insurance wrote the bill along with AARP going along as good for their geezers.

Sort of like Teddy and the left letting "conservatives" create NCLB or rather NDOBLB (No Data Obsessed Bureaucrat Left Behind) with the money that disappeared. Fool me once ... This latest example lets the GOP deliver yet another flaming demonstration of incompetence such as "nobody anticipated the levees being breached" and WMD and destroying our Constitution and .... But at least we are spreading our democratic values across the planet ... excepting our allies in in Egypt or Saudi Arabia or ... Our Leader/Preznit is truly the worst ever!

Plaid is sad but mostly mad. Glad he can at least vent blog. War ... or Peace!

Snotty Scotty and the NSA

Thanks for the "RedHedd Up" via FDL on Glenn Greenwald. I initially though Big James Baker from Daddy Bush land had finally gotten his revenge on Shrub for being frozen out even after saving the day from the Florida fiasco of 2000. But this Mr. Baker seems to slam the door enough to where even a surly Scot (not this Scott as he's way beyond simply surly!) can get the warm fuzzies for just the name Baker. At least until I think about ... Do you think the MSM will even bother reporting? How will Faux News and Tweety and Timmie and ... explain this one? I bet they'll once again try to make this apparent broadsword into a wee skean dhuu. And then we'll (the truth, reality, or however you might label it!) get stabbed once again by the RNC machine. Can they keep fooling so many of the lowlanders in "Jesus Land"? Do these people not understand the King's English? Despite my Jacobite roots we learned the tongue and can even read it! (As an aside, do you think Ken would like to look under my kilt?) Maybe the educated electorate is outstanding in that particular field with "Our Leader"? Kool-Aid or ... How many more times will we/they let Bu$hCo lie? Peace ... or war! Hang in there Team Tartan!