Friday, October 31, 2008

Digby asks "Got Hypocrisy?"

Digby weaves a perfect post with Joe the Prop, MalKKKin, and the like to look into the future. He closes with, "I think we're about to get schooled. Again. The torture loving right is dusting off its completely hypocritical "government is full of jack-booted thugs" playbook --- and it's going to drive us all completely crazy." Let the games begin. John Gunn

The Dothan Eagle has a cure for America’s ills

Any regular reader knows I'm hardly a fan of The Clenis as he was far too Centrist for my taste. Still, there's no doubt he was better than we've had in decades. Daddy Bu$h was tolerable as he was not a loon but I digress. The Dothan Eagle told us today that we need "experience, level-headedness and, above all else, strength of character forged in the fires of strife." However, the most incredible claim is that, "The cure for America’s ills can only be found in a conservative administration." Huggy's campaign has been dreadful. He's been as erratic as a hog on ice. Loyal Bu$hies populate his team. St. John let Dr. Dobson make him bring Sarah Palin on his ticket. Even with all the above, I most want the Dothan Eagle, or anyone for that matter, to explain why conservatism is the only way to cure our ills. I of course beg to differ. John Gunn

Boots on the ground ~ California Dreaming

One of my fetishes has to be green top boots. When I worked for Jerry McNerney's campaign in CA-11 in 2006 we had our volunteers' pictures placed on boots that Miss (not Mother) Mary crafted from some pretty paper. We had them on the wall all over our HQ. I'd walk around at the end of many hard days looking and thus being inspired by these amazing patriots. The theme was "kicking out the sell out" and surely Richard "Dirty Dick" Pombo deserved getting the boot.

One of my pleasures as Volunteer Coordinator was working with veterans of the 2004 Kerry Campaign. Folks from that area has headed over the Sierras to Nevada and beyond. The exporting of talent from California continues.

"My" troops were often battle hardened and easy to put to work. Building a Progressive Movement is hard, hard work but the return from boots on the ground is significant. Some of the Obama-Biden veterans will be ready for 2010 and beyond. Very exciting!

Alabama Progressives certainly don't need to give up here and yet traveling to Florida or Missouri or Virginia or ... is a way to perhaps tip a close election and also learn for the day when we have finally reached a point where a proud Progressive can compete. Then again, I'll submit Josh Segall is showing that day may be even now. As an aside, Artur "DLC" Davis should be ashamed. John Gunn

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Thank God for Texas?

Richard S. Dunham of the Houston Chronicle files a report indicating 23% of Texans think Obama is Muslim. I also noted, "Just 34 percent of Texans approve of Bush's job performance — a big change for a former governor who won re-election 10 years ago with 70 percent of the vote. And Congress is even more unpopular: Just 8 percent of Texas voters approve of the work being done on Capitol Hill." John Gunn

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Hardly is the Montgomery Advertiser going all DFH

Recently the Montgomery Advertiser demonstrated some admirable insights by endorsing Senator Obama yet some of the comments that followed demonstrated some fear that the MA was going all DFH. (A chance to carve up the Mobile Press-Register's dreadfully bent views behind their half-hearted endorsement of McCain is hard to pass up.) No worries Corporatists, GOP, DLC Centrist Weenies, ... If the MA was really going all DFA they'd add some actual reporting to the Phillip Rawls AP piece they ran just today titled Riley backs free trade with Colombia. Mr. Rawls wrote:
The trade agreement has drawn criticism from American unions, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has said it will have to be paired with measures to address job losses in the U.S.
Might he/they have mentioned any information obtainable via Human Rights Watch's Breaking the Grip: Obstacles to Justice for Paramilitary Mafias in Colombia? Hell, one can view cartoonist Mark Fiore's "Columbia Clean" if they'd just visit Amnesty International. And you think they'd have shared the past troubles Alabama's own Drummond Coal concerns have had down in Columbia. The suit against Drummond didn't pan out but Chiquita was surely popped. I mentioned the Drummond family only recently in fact and I know the power they hold. Would exploring Bob Riley's ties to the Drummond interests have not been a wise use of a reporter's time?

Endorsing Obama was a step in the right direction yet true movement into DFH land will require much more. John Gunn

UPDATE ~ Early morning of the 30th of October, 2008 - Colombia Lists Civilian Killings in Guerrilla Toll by Simon Romero in the NYT is a timely read. Again, coverage of the issue seems mighty paltry.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Jessica Thomas ~ This Bama Girl gets my vote

Bama Girl from Rachel Goslins might be a film I need to track down. I must have been asleep at the switch as I only learned of this documentary today via FireDogLake. War Eagle! John Gunn

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Knocking holes in Ayn Rand's Objectivism

I mentioned Ayn Rand's Objectivism in a recent post as well as how Uncle Alan Greenspan had apparently stopped drinking the kool aid. If you're interested in actually understanding that obscure reference, Devilstower's RIP John Galt is where to start. WOW! Indeed rand's thinking isn't without some attraction yet taken to the extreme gets powerfully bent and twisted. As an alternative, let's blame the poor people and Leftists. El Rushbo and his ilk are perfectly prepared to do the same. These right wingers have had decades now to experiment with their voodoo. Please let's return to some semblance of sanity. John Gunn

Grampy Mc$ame ~ The vet who did not vet

A tip of the tam to Dale, Jr. and normboyd40 at Left in Alabama for the above. An instant classic! I worried some about the spelling of "vet" yet Slate's Juliet Lapidos comes to the rescue. I love The Google. John Gunn

Across the pond for news of GOP Civil War

Tim Shipman files Republican fears of historic Obama landslide unleash civil war for the future of the party for The Guardian from Durango. He also reports John McCain loses temper with defeatist aides as he vows to fight to the last. It is wise to wait until these elections are in the book yet I look forward to watching their blame game. The long knives will be coming out.

Conservatives so often believe only people and never their philosophy fail. They'll also have the economic meltdown as an excuse. The claims of media bias remain. They'll claim voter fraud as well handed them their defeat. I'll be interested if anyone can get Dubyah talking and also hope for investigations being able to get off the ground once the Reign of Error ends.

Generally, the flaw in their own people is seen as their being insufficiently conservative. The think tanks, shills, operatives, ... will of course remain funded and perhaps perform even more effectively while working from the outside. I predict they will fight back with a vengeance unlike even what we witnessed during the Clinton years. John Gunn

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Dobsonite Carrie Gordon Earll has Alabama roots

Eric Gorski and Rachel Zoll of AP via MSNBC file Christian right intensifies attacks on Obama: Conservative activists escalate 'doom and gloom' rhetoric as Nov. 4 nears. Alabama tied Carrie Gordon Earll, Senior Director of Issue Analysis for Government and Public Policy at Focus on the Family, is quoted therein. I'm sure her "education" at Trinity International University has prepared her well for the job she does for James Dobson and his ilk. Who knew a MA could do so much? TIU's own Center for Bioethics & Human Dignity also helps her butter her bread. John Gunn

... like fruit fly research in Paris, France ...

The GOP base and thus candidates continue to show essentially pride in being ignorant. I kid you not! And I'll toss my head a little as I type for good measure. As for this Progressive ... I'll stand with further efforts to learn and thus serve the public good. John Gunn

So those that killed and maimed abortion providers in Alabama and beyond aren't terrorists?

Miss Laura and others get the credit for sending me/us to the above. Sarah Palin is all hemmed up and yet she's got to dance with the ones what brung her. John Gunn

Although The Old Prospector was his best role ...

Why indeed is "liberal" a bad word Miss Charlotte?

I'm surely a partisan yet I do try to give folks allegedly on my team a little grief along the way. Truly I'm worried that Senator Obama and certainly Senator Biden are far too tied to the corporations that seem to have such a hold on power. Even if true, I've already proudly voted for Obama-Biden, although I'd have preferred a more Progressive alternative.

Like Bill Maher, I'll be watching Tuskerlooser ... and Lee County. Since Alabama has gone against the grain in firming up her support for Mc$ame, I wonder why people feel the need to drop LTEs into the Opelika-Auburn News?

Drew White, a current or at least former AU College Republican Policy Director, who just can't wait to join the military, claims Democrats spin nation’s financial crisis against president. Drew is obviously comfortable with rhetoric yet perhaps not so solid on research. Franklin Raines has never been and certainly isn't now an Obama adviser.

And I'll hope Drew didn't major in Finance as I'd like to think anyone above the understanding of dittoheads knows neither Fannie or Freddie "offered loans and mortgages to" anyone. Adding his "wantonly" and "low-income" language isn't even necessary. I know Drew's letter preceded The Maestro's recent testimony yet even Alan Greenspan is accepting a good chunk of the blame.

While surely Freddie and Fannie have some responsibility for our current mess, anyone in the know can accept they courted favors on both sides of the aisle. Given the many from Team McCain, and to a lesser extent the Obama campaign, that were even recently working on behalf of these outfits I'd be careful throwing stones Drew. How about writing a letter on lobbying reform (which I think is mostly about disclosure, information, etc.) instead of just blaming one political party?

And the trouble with Saul Alinsky would be exactly what? Saul and others had the swells on the ropes way back in the day yet the right pushed back and we've gone downhill ever since. Watching History Unfold is a perfect title for Jared Bernstein's recent HuffPo post. What is next is the right question but seriously Drew's team has held the reins for far, far too long. My worry is that the DLC Centrist Weenies and Corporatists are where the swells will man the barricades yet we'll see.

Nicholas D. Davis of Auburn, presumably the one that's an emeritus professor in the Architecture Department at AU, argues Americans want the wrong kind of change in our government. It is rare to find a Bu$h backer these days yet Nicky "Double Down" Davis wants to lay the blame for the current meltdown on the 2006 elections where the GOP lost their total dominance up in DC. He writes, "George Bush has been in office for seven and a half years. The first six, the economy was fine." Fine? Perhaps this is so for the fat cats yet hardly for working Americans Professor. And you know Dubyah can veto don't you?

What is up with these academics down around Auburn? Dr. Malcolm Cutchins isn't the only one on the warpath is seems. There's more.

Although living out in Waverly and teaching down at Tuskegee, we also can read Professor John W. Bales. He and his have their Black Bear Camp and that's fine. I also appreciate some facets of Ayn Rand's objectivism but I trust he's a huge fan.

Still, for Professor Bales to suggest, "Our best hope is for the economy to crash so fast that there is no point in trying to save it. " seems rather severe. The New Dealer FDR saved capitalism in part because of fear of demagogues seizing power like that which occurred in Germany and beyond. His LTE titled Government and economy should be separated like church and state also has more faith than I that we do in fact have a separated church and state. I'd think Dr. Bales might appreciate that worry more than many.

Thank goodness for former Physics Professor Charlotte Ward. I think you did answer your own question Miss Charlotte. John Gunn

Can we get just a little movement Progressivism?

I've mentioned the Political Compass previously. I fall along the G in Gravel for what that might matter. I've certainly mentioned Movement Conservatism as well where Richard Benhan described it as follows:
Movement Conservatism is a self-serving and socially malevolent cabal of mega-corporations, right-wing think tanks in Washington, their archconservative foundation benefactors, and an intricate nationwide network of linkages in the communications media, religion, higher education, and law. It has been called the "conservative labyrinth," and common to all its elements is a theology of "free markets," an ideology coming to full bloom in the Administration of George W. Bush. Today, the G.O.P. seeks to impose it at every turn.
The Strategic Philanthropy of Conservative Foundations is another solid source for understanding our political world these last few decades. Among these National Think Tanks and Advocacy Groups, perhaps none have exerted the influence of the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research. No post about AEI would be complete without reminding readers of their offering to pay big bucks to scientists willing to support their push back on climate change research.

A quote from Alex J. Pollock in today's WaPo reporting of David Cho, Binyamin Appelbaum and Zachary Goldfarb titled Bailout Expands to Insurers: Treasury to Take Stakes in Firms as Distress Spreads Beyond Banks seems like yet another big, fat one over the plate. He and his have been advocating policies that got us into this mess. And great talent you've got or had on foreign policy as well AEI.

I'll not dive off into economic policy beyond wondering why at least parts of the Democratic Party isn't taking on "conservatism" more forcefully. I know we/they want to win elections, certainly the big prize, and yet hearing Mc$ame and others hammer away at socialism and taxes and ... seems like a great opportunity to deliver some body blows.

We are in a mess. It is likely that AEI remains confused. The GOP is flailing about and Progressives may never have such a great opportunity. Run up the points. Crack some ribs. Teach them a lesson. TPM Cafe is serving up some great perspectives and I'm sure there are others. However, I seldom see folks allegedly on my team on the boob tube or in mainstream publications pushing back against the bedrock principles of the right wingers.

We have pretty much every candidate from 2007-2008, even Democrats, way over to the right. Don't we need to try to move at least the debate substantially to the left? John Gunn

Friday, October 24, 2008

Jesus Christ ~ Wrong for America

Wazzup 2008 ~ Change, that's Wazzup

"We" hell Joe! I never elected Bu$hCo!

I regret not posting much as of late but I'm laboring twelve plus hours most work days. Known by some as The Old Prospector with my outfit, this Keyboard Commander is surely a tired and harried member of the Chairborne. I feel very useful and like to think I'm doing good for plenty of people and yet I am missing the time to read and write. Joseph L. Galloway of McClatchy Newspapers, surely one of the gems in the business, shares Republicans summon ugly old ghosts where he writes

After all, not only did we (with some help from the Supreme Court) elect George W. Bush our president, we also re-elected him to a second term. Fooled us twice, they think, so maybe the third time is charmed.

I surely never voted for Bu$hCo. And that makes me so very proud! John Gunn

Monday, October 20, 2008

Well done Mc$ame folks!

I'm not sure where all this went down yet I liked how the media helped force the issue. Tolerance at times might require a little confrontation? Perhaps it was near Fayetteville NC? Some of the peckerwoods up there are slashing tires of Obama supporters. Thank God for NC? Since I'm relying heavily on McClatchy, I might as well share David Lightman's Angry attacks on Obama have many roots. One of the roots which has to be accepted is pure stupidity. Again, tolerance doesn't mean letting a dumbass off with being so in front of God and everybody. John Gunn

UPDATE ~ I'm not so sure if supporters of Mc$ame in NC or Florida are more bent and twisted.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

API's Gary Palmer gets ink in Hawaii

Is there a word in Hawaiian for "shill"? I'll not bother once again covering ground I've trampled with the Alabama Policy Institute's Gary Palmer. While I thought that location rather exotic, The Hawaii Reporter, obviously a top drawer outfit given that John Fund and such endorse, gave Gary a chance to publish ACORN Threatens Honest Elections. I reckon ACORN is the target of choice these days yet I'd still like a chance to work for them one day. John Gunn

Republican Noise Machine hums along in Bama

I've read David Brock's The Republican Noise Machine yet I knew Rupert Murdoch's and Roger Ailes' Faux News and L. Brent Bozell', III's Newsbusters (part of the well funded Media Research Center, Inc. effort) were hardly serious sources of information long before. To read LTEs in the Opelika-Auburn News from Carl S. Gagliano and Regina S, Battle surprises me not. Consider the sources. Among the several things that Carl gets wrong is his claim Senator Obama was trained by ACORN. Regina blames Bill Clnton for today's economic mess with the following being the money quote, " It takes a while for any of these policies to take hold, and what we’re seeing now is a direct result of policies set in place by Clinton." These two are likely not as educated as Chuckles the Stenography Clown yet all three are being fooled and then eagerly transmitting the false information they are being fed. John Gunn

Das Boot? That's the best they've got?

I stumbled across the above image earlier today. And I'll accept that it pushes the envelope. I hoped I'd find something I could use it with however and damned if that wasn't quickly found. McClatchy's Jonathan S. Landay files McCain evolved from reluctant warrior to interventionist where Max Boot assures us that Mc$ame isn't a neo-conservative is the opportunity. Max Boot's The Case for American Empire was required reading in 2001. Who's laughing now Professor? I'll believe this push for democracy when the US confronts Saudi Arabia and Egypt and ... When Hamas won the elections in Palestine I knew you PNAC peckerheads had found your ruin. Y'all were nuts after all. And Grampy Mc$ame is as well. John Gunn

Will anyone just strip the bark off conservatism?

To the left is the cover of Greg Anrig's The Conservatives Have No Clothes: Why Right-Wing Ideas Keep Failing. This is yet one more book I really need to read. I've only posted on Greg once and the link is dead so I'll send you to to his bio at The Century Foundation. That H. Brandt Ayers of The Anniston Star serves on their board was unknown to me yet that doesn't surprise me given his smart Progressivism. In the spirit of bi-partisanship I'll share a link to George Will making The Case for Conservatism.

I've enjoyed watching Senators Obama and Biden campaign and yet I figure they are in prevent defense mode. I'm hardly a strategy guru but rather a grunt in my past campaign work yet can appreciate the focus on winning this election rather than those to follow.

Still, I'm betting Senator Obama could surely run up the score and perhaps mortally wound the beast that is modern conservatism. Grampy Mc$ame and his surrogates keep serving up fat ones over the plate that even lesser humans that His Awesomeness could swat over the fence. In that final debate I so wanted That One to respond to Huggy's claim he wasn't Bu$h with a "But aren't you a Conservative John?" When he said, "Yes, my friends, I am.", I wanted Senator Obama to tear he and his to shreds.

Why go this route? Because this madness of modern conservatism will continue to hold this nation and our world back. Conservatism is hardly without attraction. There's plenty that I can accept from the philosophy. Other can explain it perhaps better that I. For instance, Greg Kamiya is one I've read at times yet in prepping for this post realized the amazing writing he's been sharing at Salon. His Is a new conservatism possible? from nearly a year ago is a good jumping off point.

I posted earlier today on higher education and took some time to read Mc$ame-Palin's positions on education and have my stinger run out. Damn their foolishness! While I can in part blame Bill Clinton, or more accurately that toe-sucking scumbag Dick Morris, for the school uniform foolishness, I found this Alex Johnson MSNBC piece Students, parents bare claws over dress codes familiar. Grampy and his team continue to beat up on professional educators yet, like I asked the Mobile Press-Register, how would you teach these kids? And for the record, I tend to favor rather permissive dress codes.

I could meet Mc$ame, or other conservatives in the middle, or at least give a little I'd think, yet most are so wrapped around their flawed philosophy that I fear it would be a waste of time. Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig.

But many conservatives aren't pigs. I've long believed well-informed, thoughtful souls will generally reject Conservatism but we need a strategy that will reach the many that continue to vote Republican.

We can continue the same old approach we've tried but an alternative, or at least parallel strategy, is to destroy their ideas. As a good Leftist, I value tolerance and discourse yet I also seek progress and the common good. I fear that Conservatism, at least that practiced by the vast majority of the modern GOP, must be discredited before we'll get past the "Reign of Error" and for that matter these last three decades. What Colin Powell, hardly a flaming partisan, said just today seemed like one more opportunity for smart Progressives to begin this effort.

I've often weeped and gnashed teeth over the failure of Democratic "leaders", especially those here in Alabama, to take on the GOP. The Centrist Weenies (don't get me started on the Corporatist DLC!) so often try Republican Lite when they ought to show voters that the other team's dog won't hunt.

The GOP has an amazing message machine that reliably advances their philosophy even in the face of continual failures. As they've tried to prop up the disasters of Bu$hCo and the floundering campaign of Mc$ame I continue to be impressed by the reliable discipline they show in attacking the left and defending the right. I hardly think our ideas need propping up as their side does with their blend of wingnut welfare, talk radio haters, keyboard commandos, Bible Thumpers, shills, ... yet the way all these parts work together is impressive.

To take down the machine they've built will require at least some hell raising. We can do this relatively politely and with a sense of humor in many cases. Creativity will be rewarded. However, blunt speaking/writing, attacks, courage, hard work, patience ... is also part of the solution. Shifting the direction of this nation and beyond will require sacrifice. I'm ready and I know many others are as well. Let's keep up the good fight but also demand our leaders do this.

Again, I can accept Senator Obama taking the high road and winning. But I want the Democratic Party to finally decide they must strip the bark off conservatism. John Gunn

Paying for college is getting tougher yet Auburn now has a chance to help Danielle Price

Nancy Trejos of the WaPo reports The Strain to Pay for College: Loans Are Drying Up and Savings Are Down. Miss Danielle Price has had to back off from John Hopkins and Emory yet she's seeking a scholarship to Auburn University. War Eagle! Neither has Toomer's Corner plus our football team will get better Danielle. UVA and others might be an option for Danielle but I'll hope to see her down on the Plains.

It's a shame so many student like Danielle are struggling for solutions. I recall the pain of paying for classes as tuition rates soared once the Reign of Error began. Heck of a job Bu$hCo!

The higher education plans of Obama-Biden and Mc$ame-Palin are worthy of links. Grampy's plan isn't all bad yet you'll still find the same old right wing focus on the following:

The answer is not to impose more regulations on institutions, but to encourage the government to support innovative approaches to education, removing regulatory barriers that prevent us from moving forward with new ideas. ... too many programs ... leveraging the private sector ...

Governing with those attitudes and approaches seems rather difficult to this Progressive. I don't reject even some of these beliefs yet my postition begins with the faith that government can deliver effective programs, leadership, coordination, incentives, etc. The modern GOP so often gets wrapped up in market solutions, deregulation, privatization, and the like.

The portion of Mc$ame's plan on providing information to students so they can make informed choices seems like he'll be wanting to bring something like No Co-Ed Left Behind to college campuses. Since he and his will be Bu$hCo 2.0 it is no surprise that they already have that option on the table.

The idea of Huggy ending earmarks might scare the hell out of many college adminstrators/professors. I guarantee that plenty of academic efforts owe their existence to earmarking. I'm attracted to the construct of budgeting reform yet I'm not so sure how realistic it is to take earmarking away. Earmarks allow a politican that might be in the minority, or even in the doghouse with his own leadership, to work around those barriers to fund efforts of the folks back home. Opening up the books and the process might be more effective than Grampy trying to convince the voters he'll be the one that can eliminate earmarks.

That modern conservatism also can't seem to resist some crony capitalism along the way is also all to frequently observed.

Let's hope Danielle will get some help to make her an Auburn Tiger! John Gunn

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Malcolm Cutchins and I disagree once again

In a relatively recent post, I expressed that I disagreed with Professor Malcolm Cutchins. Another recent post related to him was Is this from an emeritus professor of engineering? I am hesitant to continue to confront this fellow given his age and academic background. I also expect I couldn't disabuse him of his notions. However, he and the Opelika-Auburn News are publishing his columns. So his ideas were/are fair game.

Dr. Cutchins latest is Some spoil name of voter registration where a comment from "getreal" follows:

The guy who writes this column is very confusing. He’ll take a valid point like voter registration fraud but then draw the strangest conclusions. I can never tell if he’s a serious writer or a comedic writer. Either way, he’s always worth a good chuckle!
I certainly don't think he's trying to be comedic. His conclusions are less useful when Dr. Cutchins tends toward being a stenographer for the vast right wing message machine. Let's take his piece on as he wrote it yet I'll not use the many, many quotes that Dr. Cutchins uses.

As for ACORN, I've covered that organization. Certainly voter fraud is a perfectly legitimate concern. However, I personally think electronic voting machines, electoral college reform, restoration of rights for most of those who've paid the debts to society, and ... are equally significant concerns.

I'll offer that the right is seemingly obsessed with "voter fraud". I wonder why? For further background I recommend The Brennan Center's recent reports on purging and disenfranchisement. As for understanding "vote caging", a favorite tactic of the right is getting vothers dropped from the rolls. SourceWatch provides a good jumping off point for grasping this latest trick.

And wasn't the majority of the DOJ scandal relating to Bu$hCo pushing them to, and then canning them if they didn't, bring "voter fraud" suits? Evidence be damned!

We then see that Dr. Cutchins can't spell Victor Davis Hanson (o rather than e there Doc) plus then learn that Professor Hanson apparently didn't bother doing his research. That nasty burden isn't seemingly rewarded as I'd like to think it once was. (I can't help but note that Dr. Hanson is now affiliated with Hillsdale College. Is he earning his keep? I posted on that scrappy little school where Conservatism flourishes in commenting on an O-A News LTE from S. Fred Singer.) Dr. Cutchins cited VDH's writing, “There are simply too many ACORNs, Ayers, Khalidis, Pflegers, Wrights, et al. not to suggest a pattern unbecoming of a future president of the U.S. Obama’s past ..."

You'd think either academic would be able to learn the few "connections" that follow:

Senator Obama and others from the law firm he worked with represented ACORN in a lawsuit where ACORN was asking the Courts to force the State of Illinois to implement the federal "motor voter" registration law. ACORN's effort was joined with the U.S. Department of Justice, the League of Women Voters of Illinois, and the League of United Latin American Citizens. He could have taken a job with pretty much any firm given his status at Harvard and yet he chose to go back to Chicago and join the fray. Stones! And "money was never his first priority!" Be still my heart!

Obama's awesomeness led ACORN to ask him to do some limited "training" for them. He was gracious enough to oblige.

I continue to be amazed on how the right wing message machine works. The Weekly Standard's Brian Faughnan generates a link yet the "paper" they send you to is The Cleveland Leader rather than The Cleveland Plain Dealer. There's a difference dude!

Other have covered the Reverends Wright and Pfleger plus William Ayer's "connections" more adequately and if you're lost just use The Google. I suppose Dr. Cutchins and VDH thought simply saying an Arabic name was sufficient but what exactly is the trouble with Rashid Khalidi's scholarship?

Dr. Cutchins then shares "wisdom" from the neo-conservative, Rupert Murdoch owned, and William Kristol and Fred Barnes edited Weekly Standard. Dr. Cutchins considers them the "best resource for ..." yet Fred Barnes and especially William "Wrong Again" Kristol deliver more baloney than even the sound bites and campaign ads.

Given my hope to find the good in most, I'd like to think Dr. Cutchins is wandering about like us all. Still, he surely is certain of his understandings. And he gets regular ink. John Gunn

Friday, October 17, 2008

Thank God for Ohio?

Above you'll find Ohio's Presidential election voting patterns in the recent past. I found GOP state House candidate in bar fight (Cliff Schecter's work was involved in getting the information out but the Ohio GOP isn't happy about the leaked police report) after reading Joe Blow's Living in "Redneck Central". I feel Joe's pain a little in his frustrations with certain family members but I'd advise him to just avoid talking politics with them. If and when an opportunity arises use humor and the light touch. I often want to flame stuff I hear (or merely suspect) from many of my Evangelical Christian family's politics but there's more harm than good that can come from that response. I generally just plod along and try to remain reasonably pleasant. I do however blog in part for the hope that if they wish to come here then I get to share my ideas. I know at times I offend them yet it is their choice to visit this site. They are good people but if I can turn them away from the dark side of modern conservatism then they'll be even better. John Gunn

Thursday, October 16, 2008

If I were running Obama's campaign I'd ...

G.O.P. Donor Is Accused of Overcharging Pentagon from James Glanz and Michael Luo in the NYTs report on Representative Henry Waxman's righteous work as Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform as relates to Harry Sargeant III and International Oil Trading Company. I've mentioned the connection Mc$ame has with Sargeant previously. In today's reporting we get, "Mr. Sargeant is one of several dozen people who are listed on Senator McCain’s Web site as having raised $500,000 or more for him." There's a theme here that surely seems worthy of exploring. If Democrats would campaign as Republicans we'd then get to govern as Progressives. John Gunn

If Karl Rove's right on watching TV with sound off then what the hell does this image convey?

Reuters provides the image. Grampy Mc$ame has seemingly lost it. I still think Al Gore obliterated poor Dubyah in every appearance way back in 2000 and yet I do think long and hard about what my lying eyes tell me ever since the Reign of Error began. I'm feeling really optimistic and the above image only adds to that groove. John Gunn

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Highlander of the Day ~ Christopher Buckley

I just watched Christopher Buckley on a Tweety replay and darned if I wasn't impressed. His canning at NR after coming out of the closet for Senator Obama reveals much about the modern right wing. I can't help but ponder how Cousin Brent Bozell might handle this excommunication. I appreciate and frankly enjoy locking horns with a smart conservative, a rare breed indeed, and this rascal surely qualifies. Does Alabama have any of that sort? Finally, I turned 43 today. I feel seasoned rather than old. John Gunn

Monday, October 13, 2008

Thank God for Iowa ... and Pastor Arnie Conrad!

Your reputation is on the line Lord? And Artie, Hindu and Buddah aren't really "God" are they? A quality education I'm sure he's earned. Is "My God can kick your God's ass!" really how they think? John Gunn

Professor Malcolm Cutchins is a mystery

I've mentioned Dr. Cutchins' columns in The Opelika-Auburn News several times in just the last few months. His recent Malcolm Cutchins: Obama lacks qualifications for presidency is illustrative. Let's take his column on as he writes it.

The Weekly Standard is a Rupert Murdoch creation that has little to offer as to journalism. Bought and paid for yet haven't the neo-conservatives (especially William Kristol) run their course given these last few years?

I suppose Defense Secretary Robert Gates concerns over civilian deaths from air raids in Afghanistan make him unqualified as well?

Obama misstates "bomb" rather than "bombs" and you're ready to say he's unqualified. And your candidate can't get his Shiite straight again and again and ...? And what about Mc$ame's recent "my fellow prisoners" gaffe?

As for Obama's "well documented relationship" with William Ayers, would St. John's support "by a family who funded a foundation that hired (the same) ... domestic terrorist" disqualify him? Additionally, the fact that Team McCain-Palin is stretching or even flat out lying seems problematic to me.

Sarah Palin claims Senator Obama pals around with terrorists. I call BS! She's a disaster even in the role as attack dog.

As for Obama's "significant involvement with ACORN", that would hardly be troubling for me yet it is just not so.

Dr, Cutchins' claim of "biased media defenses" is all too typical wingnuttery. Corporations and the rather well funded pretty much own the media don't they?

Dr. Cutchins is surely slipping to suggest "To say he’s going to 'eliminate capital gains taxes for small businesses' shows poor understanding of small businesses (they don’t pay capital gains taxes)." The Obama-Biden plan is actually to "eliminate all capital gains taxes on start-up and small businesses to encourage innovation and job creation." The break goes to those who invest in the small business not the small business ya goober! I'm not so sure the venture capitalists need the gift yet who exactly is lacking in understanding Doc?

Also, if Senator Obama is wrong to suggest he can give a tax break to 95% of Americans isn't St. John Mc$ame even more wrong to suggest he can keep the Bu$h tax cuts and then balance the budget merely by tackling earmarks?

I've covered Dr. Alveda King previously but I'd missed the work of Pastor Clenard Howard Childress, Jr. and Day Gardner's National Black Pro-Life Union.

Changing the logo on a plane chartered by one's campaign is the best you've got? The American flag still appears on the plane, like that matters I guess. This speaks loudly yet only as to your foolishness. Hell, John McCain's plane 'aint got no flag! And it's French!

Dr. C writes, "Voters have to decide if we are going to become a more socialistic country with astronomical taxes or begin a return to a more Constitutionally based republic." Huh?

I'd have perhaps also omitted the name of noted neo-conservative Joshua Muravchik in your rant. Read the whole of Muravchik's AEI piece and see if perhaps Senator Obama didn't get far more right than even the dashing Dr. Cutchins could spin. Additionally, Commentary Magazine is but one of several neo-conservative projects Norman Podhoretz plus now his and Midge Decter's spawn J-Pod share with the public.

Although unclear if known by Dr. Cutchins, Joshua Muravchik is the author of the Commentary piece relied on by Dr. Cutchins.

I especially love the part where he writes on Dr. Ayers' book A Kind and Just Parent "which Obama blurbed as 'a searing and timely account.'" Even World Nut Daily reported that then State Senator Obama "was asked what he was reading by The Chicago Tribune. He praised a book by Ayers, (as a) 'a searing and timely account of the juvenile court system.'"

Dr. Cutchins, I'll not put you in the Crazy as a Run Over Dog society where you'll join Whacky Tacky Tom Parker and Ann Coulter and Cynthia McKinney and ... but it is a mystery to me why he believes as he does. John Gunn

UPDATE - 03 November 2009 - I made some slight changes in the image and language in the original post at the polite request of Dr. Cutchins. I regret any discomfort my wild writing may have caused him. He's no longer writing a column in the O-A News. I wish he and his the best plus commend him for roughly fifteen years of sharing his ideas publicly.

I once came close to working for ACORN

I once talked with an Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) leader down in Florida about coming down there and lending a hand. My recollection of our conversation is that they wanted to make a bigger push into the South and hoped I might come down to learn their system and then return "home" to labor. I abandoned the idea as simple economics made this then seem impossible. Again, the care and feeding of "young" lefty activists is surely a main area where my team fails.

Last week while back in Auburn I frequently listened to Mike Hubbard's WANI 1400 where I got a regular dose of Big Fat Idiot and Vanity Hannity and ... Fools they are! Lies, damned lies, and hate. I was cleaning out the bride's garage, and should a neighbor have heard me listening, I'd have felt compelled to explain that I was not a nut but merely doing oppo work.

A favorite target of the haters was ACORN. From blaming poor folks for the economic meltdown to setting up the idea that 2008 will be a stolen election rather that a repudiation of conservatism to ... , BFI and his type were in rare form. As for the accusations, I'll let ACORN share the truth.

The corporate shills, and I'll surely include Mike Hubbard in that mix, are well paid to do their work. I'll take little guys like ACORN in this battle each and every day. John Gunn

UPDATE ~ October 19, 2008 - NPR traces some of the funding of ACORN. I find it rather rich that big banking corporations are among the groups writing them rather large checks.

Jane said spread far and wide so here's the chart

FireDogLake is becoming even better with David Neiwert at the helm. Jane Hamsher's Economic Stimulus By Cutting Capital Gains Taxes: How Would That Work Out For Ya? suggested we silly Progressives ought to share the above chart. She's right. Done! Who knew Moody's was a bunch of DFHs? John Gunn

From where y'all sit I guess no harm applies then

The Mobile Press-Register might have some competition in the "nothing to see here, move along" category. Morris Communication's Augusta Chronicle responds to ABC's Brian Ross, Vic Walter, and Anna Schecter's Exclusive: Inside Account of U.S. Eavesdropping on Americans: U.S. Officers' "Phone Sex" Intercepted; Senate Demanding Answers with No harm, no law broken?: New eavesdropping allegations don't sound alarms from where we sit. They opine:

To be sure, radical leftists and extreme libertarians will try to make the most of the story, which ABC News broke last Thursday. The scary but exaggerated tale seems designed to heap more hate and abuse on the Bush administration just before next month's election than to expose some grave new danger to our civil liberties.

Read beyond the hyperventilating headlines and you find that NSA's eavesdropping operation was not about gathering masses of private information on law-abiding Americans. It was to listen in on those suspected of terrorism or terrorist ties. The operation was confined to calls from the Mideast. This took place, after all, right after 9-11 when everyone was on pins and needles.

Perhaps some Army officers and civilian aid workers that had their private and often intimate conversations listened to would feel a little more troubled? Given that Bu$hCo repeatedly and seemingly shameless lied and continues to lie about the scope of the NSA program aren't they due a little hate and abuse? Finally, the reporting surely shows occurrences well beyond the immediate aftermath of 9-11.

The illegality seems more suspect to me as well given that American citizens were involved on both ends of some calls. Still, I'll pass on the claim that the new law wasn't in effect except to say I thought past practices far more restrictive. Certainly intelligence gathering is a critical facet of defense, law enforcement, and the like. Yet doing this within the scope of balanced, legal methods is foundational.

Oversight might not occur until after Bu$hCo (and even more of his Rubber Stamp Republicans it seems given current polling!) leaves the building but even with all the challenges facing our leaders I do hope they'll take the time to explore the many abuses of power and downright stupidity we've seen during this Reign of Error.

As for Morris Communications, the Augusta Chronicle, ... I can only offer that my impression of that neck of the woods has often been rather right leaning. I have some family up there and don't know exactly what their politics might be. I just hope they aren't among the vast majority of commentators to this editorial.

It might depend of where one sits yet I'd like to think I'll get up and wander about before making up my mind. And even then, as any decent liberal should do, I'll hold my beliefs tenuously and generally subject to change and progression. For the time, however, being count me among the "radical leftists and extreme libertarians". John Gunn

UPDATE ~ Immediately after posting this I noticed ABC breaking news of the mistress scandal troubling Democratic Congressman Tim Mahoney down in Florida. Given that the Augusta Chronicle editorial flirted with, and multiple commentators then ran with, the idea that ABC is part of the liberal media after the GOP it seems odd that they'd report this story. Note that Vic Walter is involved with both stories. Perhaps he's some type of double agent working for (or against?) the great socialist takeover?

Professor Paul Krugman wins economics Nobel

I read Paul Krugman's columns regularly in the New York Times (thank goodness that nasty pay wall is history!) so I'm perfectly thrilled to learn this morning that he's earned the 2008 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. His Conscience of a Liberal, the blog and the book, are both solid. When I posted this piece on his The Great Unraveling I'd not read the thing yet have since. Wonderful! He warned us things were about to get even worse and I'd like a big "told you so" directed toward DC and Wall Street. It is pleasing to see a real treasure recognized by the world community. Wouldn't he be a solid Treasury Secretary for the Obama-Biden administration! John Gunn

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Back in the saddle and here's API shilling slop

I'm back for less than half an hour and I find this? John R. Graham, Director of Health Care Studies at the Pacific Research Institute, is pictured to the left. I've mentioned the shilling of Pacific Research Institute previously yet that related to "tort reform". Mr. Grant has teamed up with Michael Ciamarra, vice president of the Alabama Policy Institute, to get ink in today's Anniston Star to write A winning diagnosis. Working off Mr. Graham's 2008 Index of Health Care Ownership, 2nd Edition, Alabama is praised for having a health care system that doesn't burden insurance companies with "onerous intervention by the government" yet slightly scolded for not allowing nurse practitioners to hand out pills.

Is this a first salvo in the upcoming health care reform battle? Given the economic troubles we have, I fear even the limited progress put forth by Team Obama will have to be scaled back. Not taking anything for chance, Graham and Ciamarri are likely but two ready for the task of pushing back against the silliness of solution rather than settling. Then again, they've been in the tank for many years. I love how these two right wing warriors cite the work of The Council for Affordable Health Insurance with no shame. CAHI is an industry group of course with a name that makes them seem relatively legit. Do they not know of The Google?

I also noted the 2008 Index of Health Care Ownership had a forward from Dr. Glenn Hubbard. Heck of a job Glennie! Hope that Met Life work pays off for you. An American Enterprise Institute connection? I'm shocked, shocked!

I, hair challenged for many years, can't help but note Graham and Cimarri have hair. And remarkably similar photographers.

Wingnut welfare continues to provide sustenance to all sorts of talent. For folks loving the magic of the markets the right wingers surely seem to love to subsidize their "thinkers". John Gunn

Friday, October 10, 2008

Judge Greg Shaw ~ He has the balls to be judge

Via MSNBC on Auburn's Charter I just saw the above ad from the Center for Individual Freedom for Judge Greg Shaw. The deep voice on the spot I think comes from the "Beef, It's What's for Dinner" efforts. Selling tasty meat is I guess just like buying a judicial seat. To do this via a death penalty plug is troubling for your humble blogger. Reckon Prince Troy King is stirred by such as ad?

CFIF is a big player for the right wingers efforts to take over that third branch yet I was surprised to see them involved in a state race. CFIF describes this as "public education" efforts. Perhaps Judge Paseur referencing Reagan in her ad forced them to join issue?

CFIF is beyond a touch bent with efforts to make sure John Bolton was there at the United Nations to "make certain the Battle of Armageddon isn't fought on American soil" plus the obligatory winger lamentations and lies about the UN. This outfit is but one of so many non-profits that the right uses to move the debate further and further right. I'd just as soon them not to have a friend on Alabama's Supreme Court. John Gunn

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

New understandings of Wayne Parker in AL-5

Wayne Parker was a lobbyist back in the late 1990s, mostly working on tax issues that were largely the realm of his father in law Bill Archer who coincidentally chaired the House Ways and Means Committee. Ben Evans of AP via the Montgomery Advertiser reports GOP candidate's lobbying criticized and all I can wonder is how I'd missed this information. The connections to Alabama are plentiful as the Harbert family (this is as good a time as any I suppose to cover Raymond Harbert's lusting for The Gray Lady) and Harold Apolinksy's American Family Business Institute are there. Larry Drummond of Jasper's Drummond Coal is also involved with that outfit.

AFPI claims, "The right to leave a legacy is a human right." Gary Palmer might agree but to use the "human rights" angle really bothers me. Surely "legacies" can be preserved with a little work from the heirs and some decent estate planning. These types seemingly want to return fully to the Gilded Age.

While I don't expect Parker Griffith to get all Progressive it would seem to me all of this is an opportunity. I for one think far more voters up in North Alabama are interested in the birth tax. I'll stack up the rights of the masses, especially our children, to live in a just, prosperous society against the ability of the swells to provide trust funds for their spawn any day. John Gunn

Monday, October 06, 2008

I'm deservingly out of pocket for a few days

I'm back in Alabama this week. Those twelve (and often longer) hours days earned me some time off I suppose. I'll be posting little if any as I'll be with the Bride and the boy and the ... There's plenty to comment on and I'll stew on much. I worry The Bride may busier than we'd have liked given her being dragged into the inexcusable confusion over felon's restoration of voting rights.

This image isn't mine as I merely scavenged with the Google. It's another view of the Toomer's Corner area. The building houses Bodega, the saloon where the Bride's brother butters his bread.

While I'm home I'll do my part to make sure the devil's drink comes to Randolph County where my roots and registration still reside. Letter to the Editor are running more "dry" than "wet" in The Leader but I'm optimistic. And I'll pretty much be on the Left Coast where you can often buy liquor on Sunday in the grocery stores. Then again, if and when I deploy to Iraq I'll be conforming to Islamic traditions and without satiation. The irony is rich with all that "they hate us for our freedoms" language from the right wingers and yet back "home" this soldier can't buy a beer.

I'll also be voting for liberal Josh Segall. I also worked for the same "extremist" as young Josh. John Gunn

Friday, October 03, 2008

Opportunity Lost? Or another crack at these folks?

In the New York Times Jackie Calmes reports With Election Near, a Populist Strain Tugs at the Republican Party. I'm not so certain about the following however:
... the Republican Party has evolved over the last generation as its base moved to the South after the civil-rights era into a party that is defined more by social conservatism than business issues. On the economy, it is increasingly populist. And populists do not favor bailouts of Wall Street. ..."
Huh? Perhaps this is partially correct and I'm getting wrapped around the labels? My real focus is considering if this is so. If it is, why the hell the Centrist Wienies let these votes get away is a mystery to me. They've tried GOP Lite so long that I guess "populist" voters can't tell the difference. Will this cycle provide a chance to get them back or will team Obama try to govern from the "middle"? If in fact the Republican Party is fractured, and I'll accept that it ought to be, for likely other reasons that cited by the Gray Lady, they will the Democratic Party "leaders" be ready to reel them in? If they'd put Russ and Bernie out front it wouldn't be that hard I'd argue! John Gunn

Jeffy B. and Bernie? A Curious Coalition Indeed

The Gray Lady's David M. Herszenhorn reports A Curious Coalition Opposed Bailout Bill. Russ Feingold and Bernie Sanders certainly are my favorite Senators and Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III likely among my least so to see them on the same page on much of anything is remarkable. And when the Mobile Press-Register gets anything right I'm shocked. They didn't mention Russ or Bernie or ... any Lefties deserving of "great credit" yet their Senate succumbed to panic over crisis makes some sense. As for their close, I for one would like to see the taxpayers protected at least somewhat from "the principles of a free market economy". John Gunn

Does she really want to go with a Reaganism?

Perhaps it is merely that all Republicans are required to recite an obligatory Reagan reference when they speak. However, in speaking to the world in these troubled times, I'd have gone with another one than this. In the Veep Debate, Sarah Palin closed in part with the following:
"It was Ronald Reagan who said that freedom is always just one generation away from extinction. We don’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream; we have to fight for it and protect it, and then hand it to them so that they shall do the same, or we’re going to find ourselves spending our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children about a time in America, back in the day, when men and women were free."
Ronald Reagan once recorded the following close:
"And if you don't do this and if I don't do it, one of these days you and I are going to spend our sunset years telling our children, and our children's children, what it once was like in America when men were free."
Accepting how Reagan's acting performances continued into his political career, perhaps he later said something like the same in later years yet I'll go with the reference that Jonathan Chait pointed out. The above Reagan quote came when he was buttering his B-actor bread shilling for the American Medical Association. Here's an album cover of his craftsmanship.

This short recording of Reagan was a large part of how the AMA's "Auxiliary" pushed back against Medicare legislation that was already a step back from Truman's goal of rather universal health care. Larry Dewitt serves up a phenomenal Operation Coffeecup: Ronald Reagan’s Effort to Prevent the Enactment of Medicare that is simply amazing scholarship and writing. I appreciated how he began this essay with the following:
"Within hours of the announcement of Ronald Reagan’s death on June 5th 2004, the machinery of politically-interested history was in full swing as Reagan partisans flooded first the airwaves and then the pages of the nation’s newspapers with accounts of Reagan’s life and political achievements. Much of it was in the manner of mythmaking, which was appropriate in a sense: throughout his political career Reagan displayed a perplexing tendency to fictionalize his own personal history when his present political interests could better be served by a self-effacing quip, or a charming anecdote, than by a literal recounting of historical truth."
Mercy if Ms. Palin doesn't remind me of The Gipper. I've covered Cold War Triumphalism and "the misuse of history" previously. I told a young soldier recently that Reagan was the first President I voted against (1984 if you're keeping score at home) and noted a look of sincere shock given how St. Ronnie has been lionized. Although I can't specifically recall in 1980 the following exchange, I was likely watching and certainly have long known of this legendary moment in Presidential politics:

Carter - "... Governor Reagan, as a matter of fact, began his political career campaigning around this nation against Medicare. Now, we have an opportunity to move toward national health insurance ..."

Reagan - "There you go again. When I opposed Medicare, there was another piece of legislation meeting the same problem before the Congress. I happened to favor the other piece of legislation and thought that it would be better for the senior citizens and provide better care than the one that was finally passed. I was not opposing the principle of providing care for them. I was opposing one piece of legislation versus another."

Here we go again? Does anyone remember anything past the "There you go again." It's doubtful. And yet Reagan was lying or at least even then substantially confused about his "another piece of legislation" claim. Edward Berkowitz provides some decent coverage of the period yet you have to work hard to get to some minimal details. Maybe Reagan was thinking of 1965's "eldercare"? Kerr-Mills passed in 1960.

In the early sixties Reagan was General Electric's actor who'd been loaned to the AMA. By 1980 one could argue about exactly who all was doing the handling yet I surely hope many can accept that Reagan had always been handled. Clark Clifford was right to label him an "Amiable Dunce".

Caribou Barbie was a "professional" journalist, with sportscasting being her forte. She has beauty pageant experience in her resume. She was winking and stretching her eyes during the debate! The Brits report it as When folksiness met firmness. "Darn right", "dog-gone-it", etc. She is so pseudo hip that used the terms "shout out" and "back in the day". Gag me with a spoon! Who might be in part of her Kitchen Cabinet one day?

Here we are on the brink of financial institutions allegedly melting down thanks to the right's deregulation fetish. We've got a monster deficit thanks to Bu$hCo's tax cuts for the fat cats. War rages on with plenty of security concerns within and beyond our borders that have been ignored during the Reign of Error. We simply must move past our carbon based fuels. We ...

Truly trouble looms. I'll submit many of our perils have roots in Reaganism. Conservatism that has dominated our politics ever since. And her handlers want to try a "Morning in America" approach? They want to recycle a theme from Ronald Reagan (or his employers?) as he first emerged on the political stage? Maybe she and hers are truly feeling "free" yet I think they are little but fakes. I can only hope America is ready for a change. John Gunn

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Making big bucks in Alabama classrooms

Glencoe Literature Programs in Widespread Use in Alabama Secondary Schools appears in the Wall Street Journal's Market Watch. Truly Glencoe/McGraw-Hill is doing rather well. I've mentioned their questionable ties to the "Reading First" programs yet in this case it simply appears they've played ball on a level playing field. Their products may very well be divine and worthy of such a market share. Still, I find it somewhat disconcerting that this outfit is making such coin. John Gunn