by Chris Bowers, Mon Mar 19, 2007 at 11:52:35 AM EDT
by Chris Bowers, Mon Mar 19, 2007 at 11:52:35 AM EDT
I'm listening to NPR's "To the Point", which is having a discussion of Islam. They have David Frum, of all people, on as an expert to talk about whether Obama is or was a Muslim and is now an apostate who will thus be under a death sentence from the Islamic world. Thanks for being so liberal, NPR!
Yargh, now Frum is saying that Americans had overwhelmingly positive attitudes toward Islam, which got even more positive after 9/11, but then after the Danish cartoon controversy (which of course every American was following obsessively) their attitudes became negative.
did you catch fresh air today? That was pretty intense.
there was an article about blackwater, the military contractor.
it was pretty unreal to hear how this contractor , who thinks of itself as conservative - is out there giving these super huge salaries to marines + the marines out there are fighting alongside of them, without the cool black helicopters or uniforms - or body armor - making 35,000.00 a year. How the soldiers are young and might have families on the way.
Its really amazing how much the bush republicans have tried to change things.
Over here in Atlanta, the yerkes primate research center did a study where two monkeys were rewarded for a task, and then one monkey was rewarded more , for the same task.
the result was that , if you had equal pay - the monkeys cooperated naturally. But if you paid out one more than the other, they didn't want to cooperate at all. wish I could remember the details. long day..
I was more repulsed by their so called work in Hurricane Katrina Zone.This could not possibly be fiscally more responsible than our own guard.A leaner meaner army does not meet our needs .Now we have to nullify the contracts.I am sure they are in such violations of every agreement made contractually it should not be hard to do.
kitty you are going to love this. they sent those things out no bid, and when the public got wind, they made them for-bid. Then about two months later, the director that took over fema, the one that lobbied against no bid contracts..
re-awarded all of them as no bid contracts.
I'm not kidding!
It was agonizing to hear the stream of griping from the Republicans...they teeter-tottered back and forth between sticking to the "policy and oversight" aspect that the hearing was to consider, yet wanted to debate the scientific evidence and/or truth of climate change, as that's what they are REALLY concerned about.
I listened to the Republican's expert, a Dr Spencer. Among his beliefs is a preference for Intelligent Design over Evolution, so much for sticking to policy! Chris Hedges warns in his most recent book that extreme right fundamentalists are fairly numerous in the House, so that's something to keep in mind as it impacts the stands such believers will promote.
I'm looking forward the Sen Boxer's Environment Committee hearing on Wednesday, with Al Gore testifying. Should be most informative.
There's a rather large scandal going on in NH right now.
Ray Buckley, the current Vice Chair of the NHDP, is running for Chair in the party elections this month. Except he's been the victim of a rather nasty Republican smear job.
It started in late December, then State. Rep. Steve Vailencourt sent a letter to the Governor's Office claiming to have evidence that Buckley had illegal child pornography. The governor referred the matter to the Attorney General, and an investigation was launched. Buckley removed his name from consideration.
Then, the AG cleared him, and Buckley was back in.
Just last week, however, a video was released on YouTube with some old video of Buckley at parties, and photos of his MySpace page. Buckley is a member of a group called 'Gays New Hampshire', which happens to have minors in it.
And, so, Paul Hodes removed his backing from Buckley for chair based on this video.
We've been discussing this extensively on Blue Hampshire:
Needless to say, New Hampshire Democrats are hardly united on this issue. My take? Looks like this Republican smear job is working.
so much for the enlightened scrutiny of the NH electorate.The repukes are taking that claim down too I see.
This isn't about the NH Electorate. This is a NHDP issue. The party officers are elected by the state committee.
I don't think New Hampshireites take any of this seriously. I think Paul Hodes over reacted.
The case of Morse vs. Frederick is being heard today. I am kind of looking forward to it. I live in a red, red state - the land of the conservative white man. They teamed up with moveon.org over here to defend free speech.
So this case will have alot of traction to it, here in the deep south. Apparently (Frederick) the student unfurled a banner that said "Bong hits 4 jesus", which honestly I think our lord would have somehow approved. It does kind of get the name out there. Well, at any rate, of course, the principal (Morse) wasn't happy about it.
So the ruling I would offer, we want to see, is for Frederick.
Kenneth Star (yes, that same one) is arguing against the student in all of this.
Its funny - you can have these really intrusive signs like a picture of a foetus, and the sign that says 'you chose, when you conceived'. That doesn't seem to be as off-kilter a statement as the kind of doobie brothers type stuff that was unfurled there during the olympic procession.
Nevertheless I would offer, we would like to see a ruling against Morse. Ken Starr will likely go on record saying it "could encourage lots of free speech". perish the thought.
I will talk about this with my pastor this weekend.
That is the funniest thing I have ever seen.A high school adminstrator that gives that anything but a chuckle and a shake of the head is an idiot.This is from a person that is a born again Christian and hates drug use.I like to think that even a person as "straight as I am " can laugh at that one but NOOOOO we have to take it to the SCOTUS.
The website congress.org is the most under-used way to get at your elected officials in a way they cannot ignore. It's quick, easy and prints whatever you write to any elected official. It WILL appear on the elected official's congress.org's web page for them.. It has them all. Check into Mitch McConnell's congress.org. My letter to him and everybody else in my voting district is signed Lexington, KY 40502. USE IT!
c-span's home page has links to every member of congress and the white house .They also have links to the different blogs .
Locally, Connecticut has a state equivalent of C-Span called CT-N which has an excellent tool for legislator contact at http://www.ctn.state.ct.us/lcc.asp. It's really easy to search by district, committee, etc. I'd love hear if other states have similar measures. progressivestates.org had a pretty good tool for their state-level anti-escalation campaign.
I'd like to comment about the rasmussen poll and get some thoughs about what seems to be evident, which is that either Hillary or Obama is going to be the dem nominee, the rest are getting squeezed out by polling the media ect.....Do you think the progressive community will rally around Obama if it looks like a 2 person race. I've spoken with a few people who like Edwards but are also starting to believe that in a year where the first credable woman and black candidates are running for a democratic nomination,Edwards just isn't going to win. Obama has the crowds and energy and will outperform polls most likely on a primary day while Hillary has establishment, money and name ID with low-info voters and the cache of her gender, is stopping Hillary important enough for liberals to abandon Edwards when the time comes to make hard choices.
As the year moves on the Edwards campaign has to make strategy decisions of how to compete. He is for the most part going after much of the same voting base as Obama. It will be interesting to see if he starts to make at attack on Obama.
and re: subprime loan crisis
I have been following this one and I really think it will cause lots of pain -- many homes will be foreclosed and a recession sparked. So the Democrats need to get out in front of this one. Here are some ideas (hat tip, NYU Economics Professor Nouriel Roubini...http://www.rgemonitor.com/blog/roubini). I think Roubini's recommendations are excellent and deserve consideration. I have summarized his post and added a bit of my own spin here.
1. Homeowners facing foreclosure who were honest but deceived into exotic mortgage products, should get modest debt relief at the expense of the predatory lender, if modest relief is enough to make their mortgages affordable.
2. Homeowners who face foreclosure because they simply bought more house than they could afford, will have to go back to renting.
3. Homeowners who face foreclosure because they gamed the system, or bought multiple properties on speculation, should also lose.
4. The place where taxpayer-funded relief is necessary, will be the deposit insurance funds, like the FDIC. Lenders run by bad managements should close but depositors should be made whole. This is basically what happened during the S&L crisis of 1989-90.
5. The right wing is already trying to blame government regulation for the mess. We need to say that responsible regulation from the Federal Reserve and the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) would have preserved sensible lending standards and prevented this mess. Greenspan and the OCC enabled this party and should be called to account for this in front of Congressional committees. They could have threatened reckless lenders with tough bank examinations before this problem got out of hand.
6. The right wing is also trying to blame Fannnie Mae and Freddie Mac. These entities have refused to purchase subprime loans to the best of my knowledge while hewing to their standards of what a creditworthy borrower looks like. They have enabled a great deal of responsible homeowners to buy homes. They should not be blamed. Instead, reckless private enterprises made bad loans and thought they could pass the risk onto others while in some cases actually deceiving borrowers about the terms of the money they had borrowed. We need to keep this story front and center.
That will be a big story in the coming months as you see hundreds of thousands perhaps even millions of people moving out of neighborhoods. Although not all in one area such as Katrina you will see an even bigger displacement of families. There are not enough votes to do it even among Democrats but we need more regulation of mortgage lenders, credit card companies, etc.
I'm hosting a debate tomorrow night between Tom Schaller and Bob Moser.
Tom made waves at YearlyKos and elsewhere with his argument in Whistling Past Dixie that Democrats should de-prioritize the south.
Moser recently wrote a reply in The Nation.
More about the debate and the blogoshere's role in making it possible here at BlueNC.
Knowing what I know about the Nation, which actually sends reporters down here to Atlanta - and seemed to be the only magazine that even ventured to try to cover the CPAC conference this year --
I hope Mr. Tom Schaller gets handed his hat by the good Mr. Bob Moser!
Wow, singing-and-dancing Monday afternoon Chris is much more pleasant than snarlie Monday morning it's-my-blog Chris.