Category Archives: politics

Texas Governor Deploys State Guard To Stave Off Obama Takeover : It’s All Politics : NPR

Texas Governor Deploys State Guard To Stave Off Obama Takeover : It’s All Politics : NPR.

Todd Smith as quoted in the NPR piece: “Your letter pandering to idiots … has left me livid,” former State Rep. Todd Smith wrote Gov. Abbott. “I am horrified that I have to choose between the possibility that my Governor actually believes this stuff and the possibility that my Governor doesn’t have the backbone to stand up to those who do.”

America seems more and more absurd to me, full of actions that would seem hilarious if they were happening at a greater distance in time and space, like a medieval court putting a cow on trial, or Caligula making his horse a senator.

I don’t think this governor even remotely believes that Obama is planning to put Texas under martial law. But the depth of cynicism required to pander to the far right on this issue is devastating. Where the absurdity comes in, is in his lack of embarrassment. How could it be that he is not ashamed of himself?

Story: S01E04 “The Language of Monsters”

Posting this free story for a minimum of seven days — probably more, because I usually forget. This one’s a bit longer than most of the freebies I put up on the blog: 7000 words.

I once worried that the story would date quickly. Surely rendition would be long behind us before now? I was overly optimistic. The story, however, does not suffer from the same flaw.


Jason comes to my cell, sets his watch’s alarm. No more than a hour’s exposure at a time, no more than every other day.
In the hour we talk about many things: the world, politics, God—and we talk about light. At opposite corners this cell has two naked bulbs, in sockets screwed into the brick.

“I’ll see the next locale has a window—and natural exposure.”

I thank him. I haven’t felt sunlight in so long. The guards had orders to give me an hour a week here, but didn’t. I don’t trouble Jason with this; he works hard. He holds a responsible position despite his youth; he has more important concerns. Today I leave Egypt for another site anyway, so the matter loses significance.

Instead, I ask about my next assignment.

“You’re worried,” Jason says.

My previous assignment: the black-bearded Saudi, heavy browed, black eyed, yielded no intel. To date none have. I tell Jason I fear if I fail again I’ll receive no more assignments and he will no longer handle me.

“That’s irrational,” Jason waves the notion away. “We’re a team.”

“I doubt my abilities,” I tell him.

Jason frowns, wounded. “You have done everything I’ve asked. It’s on me.”

Before Jason gave me a job, I had no meaningful existence. Meaninglessness make solitude unbearable. I can’t return there. I spare Jason this, but he feels it anyway.

“Look at me,” says Jason. “This is the one. A high-value subject. A driver, from Yemen, detained in Basra. This is the break I’ve … that we’ve waited for.”

Jason checks his watch. He calls it a diver’s watch. It resists water, it shows direction, it does many useful things, and now it tells him our time together draws short. “We should pray,” he says.

Continue reading the whole story free until at least 11/01/11.

Available for purchase at Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Diesel, on iTunes and other sites.

Dear 1%: Stop whining, you cry babies. #OWS

If the 1% “job creator” class doesn’t like seeing people out on the street “whining” who don’t they go out an create some more jobs in the U.S.? When unemployment drops to 2% then they can complain about “slackers”. Until then, shut up, build the wealth that apparently only they, with their non-taxable income can create, and be thankful the protestors aren’t competing in the same dwindling job pool and the rest of us.

Statement of Gratitude to #OccupyWallStreet #OWS

Through the last couple weeks I’ve heard various commentators who find the protests offensive trot out the old cliches: “got a job!” “They’re just a bunch of slackers!” “They have no clear agenda!” “It’s just a bunch of aging hippies/ skateboarding slackers / what-have-you / all without real world experience or responsibilities”.  The irony of crying GET A JOB! amidst 9% unemployment is lost on these critics. (And we know that the real unemployment numbers are much higher than that; that the stats have been cooked for years to excluded the chronically unemployed, those who have had their spirits broken by winner-take-all capitalism, and have given up. They are not supposed to count. But they exist. So they count.)

I want you to know, that your critics are not fooling everybody. Sustained political protest is hard. It’s hard because many of the people hurting have too much on their plate to commit to it. They have jobs, they have families. They have crushing debts. They have health problems in a society that sees healthcare as a profit-making opportunity, and not a fundamental right like police protection of fire departments. They may hate that the corporations that cut their paychecks have the rights and privileges of “personhood” but not the accountability, but they need those paychecks.

So it falls to the young, or the fanatical, or the misfits, to begin the movement. It’s always been that way. To horribly mix a metaphor, it’s the outsiders, the people on the margins, that start the tide. Now the movement you began is starting to grow.

I won’t say don’t give up, because that would be arrogant. I will say: Keep at it as long as you can. But mostly I want to say: Thank you. You are fighting for me. You are fighting for us. The middle class, the formerly-middle-class, and the impoverished. I know this. A lot of people know this. Your passion, your desire for justice, is noted.

“And sure he is an honorable man.”

Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare

Act 3. Scene 2. The Forum in Rome.

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears.
I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.
The evil that men do lives after them;
The good is oft interrèd with their bones.
So let it be with Caesar. The noble Brutus
Hath told you Caesar was ambitious.
If it were so, it was a grievous fault,
And grievously hath Caesar answered it.
Here, under leave of Brutus and the rest —
For Brutus is an honorable man,
So are they all, all honorable men —
Come I to speak in Caesar's funeral.
He was my friend, faithful and just to me.
But Brutus says he was ambitious,
And Brutus is an honorable man.
He hath brought many captives home to Rome,
Whose ransoms did the general coffers fill.
Did this in Caesar seem ambitious?
When that the poor have cried, Caesar hath wept.
Ambition should be made of sterner stuff.
Yet Brutus says he was ambitious,
And Brutus is an honorable man.
You all did see that on the Lupercal
I thrice presented him a kingly crown,
Which he did thrice refuse. Was this ambition?
Yet Brutus says he was ambitious,
And sure he is an honorable man.
I speak not to disprove what Brutus spoke,
But here I am to speak what I do know.
You all did love him once, not without cause.
What cause withholds you then to mourn for him?
O Judgment, thou art fled to brutish beasts,
And men have lost their reason!

Technorati Tags:

McCain’s “macaca” moment.

"That One," McCain Calls Obama in Debate (VIDEO)


This could be McCain's "macaca moment" not that one was needed. Some are saying that too much is being made of this phrase: McCain contemptuously referring to Obama as "that one." But that's a very dismissive way to speak about another human being, let alone a candidate for the most powerful office in the world. A lot of women, a lot of people of color, a lot of young people, a lot of people who have felt social disadvantage of one kind or another in their lives, will recognize that tone and that phrase of McCain's, will recognize what it feels like to be on the receiving end of this dismissive objectifying characterization, and they will not think better of McCain for it, nor should they.

Technorati Tags:
, , , ,

Biden on his Boss’s “Intellectual Security”

via HuffingtonPost:
“Biden says Obama reminds him of Bill Clinton in his ‘confidence, cognitive ability, judgment’ and intellectual security–that he can listen and absorb advice without having to prove he’s the smartest person in the room, a critical leadership skill. He says he experienced an ‘epiphany’ during a recent conference call on the bailout bill with Bob Rubin, Paul Volcker, Warren Buffett, Paul O’Neill, Joseph Stiglitz, Larry Summers and Laura Tyson. ‘He [Obama] comes on the call and says, ‘Well, folks, sorry I’m late. I’ve got four questions.’ He was in total frigging command! Here’s a 47-year-old guy in one of the most complicated economic dilemmas anyone has had to face since 1929 to ’33. And it was like, ‘Bang! Bang! Bang!’ I called him afterward and said, ‘You sold me, sucker!’ “

Fox News, GOP Tag-Team Obama With Voter Fraud Smear

Classic Rove: Accuse your opponent of having YOUR weakness. Republicans are the vote thieves in the 21st century. Fox is lining up its alternate reality script. They have to talk about something for the next four years, and they certainly don’t want to admit the majority of voters will support the Democrat this November. One thing they will claim is that Obama didn’t “really” wins.
About Fox News
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost


From used car salesman to card sharp, never trust a winker. Today they're trying to say "hey buddy, you and me, the joke's on them other folks." But tomorrow the jokes on you.

via Huffington Post

Palin/Couric (OK, she ISN’T qualified)

Palin on CBS with Katie Couric was bad, because you can’t have the candidate begging with her eyes for the interviewer to bail her out of questions. And the questions weren’t exactly tough. Palin can’t form sentences and her head is just filled with talking point gobbledygoo so nouns and verbs just fly out of her mouth without any descernible relationship to the question asked or even to each other. It was a stunning display. I have to take back everything I ever said even remotely positive about her. She is probably not qualified to be mayor of Wasilia. No joke. It’s bad when your first thought is McCain should pick Katie Couric to replace her.

Technorati Tags:
, , ,

Tagged , , ,

Friedman/Rich 9/14/2008


Op-Ed Columnist – Making America Stupid – Op-Ed – “Who cares how much steel John McCain has in his gut when the steel that today holds up our bridges, railroads, nuclear reactors and other infrastructure is rusting? McCain talks about how he would build dozens of nuclear power plants. Oh, really? They go for $10 billion a pop. Where is the money going to come from? From lowering taxes? From banning abortions? From borrowing more from China? From having Sarah Palin ‘reform’ Washington — as if she has any more clue how to do that than the first 100 names in the D.C. phonebook?”


Op-Ed Columnist – The Palin-Whatshisname Ticket – Op-Ed – “The question today: What kind of president would Sarah Palin be? It’s an urgent matter, because if we’ve learned anything from the G.O.P. convention and its aftermath, it’s that the 2008 edition of John McCain is too weak to serve as America’s chief executive. This unmentionable truth, more than race, is now the real elephant in the room of this election.

“No longer able to remember his principles any better than he can distinguish between Sunnis and Shia, McCain stands revealed as a guy who can be easily rolled by anyone who sells him a plan for ‘victory,’ whether in Iraq or in Michigan. A McCain victory on Election Day will usher in a Palin presidency, with McCain serving as a transitional front man, an even weaker Bush to her Cheney.”

If McCain is elected our foreign energy dependence is going to last as long as the culture war. A long, long time.

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Roger Ebert on McCain’s VP Pick

The American Idol candidate :: :: People

Ebert on Palin, Sun-Times:

People identify with the contestants. They think, Hey, that could almost be me up there on that show!
My feeling is, I don’t want to be up there. I want a vice president who is better than me, wiser, well-traveled, has met world leaders, who three months ago had an opinion on Iraq.

Tagged , , , ,