Pen's blog

The real victory tonight: The Blue Dogs take a beating.

So far, it looks like nearly half the Blue Dog Dems have been kicked out of office. That’s a much higher percentage of Dems than the Progressive Caucus lost tonight. I think it speaks loudly to why the Dems got their butts kicked today. This wasn’t Americans turning to the Republicans, which polls show Americans hate worse than Dems. This was Americans turning away from the Blue Dogs. The ones who sold us out to the corporatists.

Today Daily Kos officially jumped the shark

There used to be a time when the Daily Kos was the place to go for reality-based content. When quality writers like Emptywheel, Buhdydharma and Toquedeville could be found regularly. Then came the Democratic Primaries and things got really ugly, really fast. It was as if the place became infested with wingnuts, the way you were attacked for being progressive. Many fled, never to be seen again.
Don't get me wrong, there are still quality writers to be found at Daily Kos. Guys like MinistryofTruth and Crashing Vor. It's just that the site has been steadily drifting away from being reality-based for quite a few years now.
And today, they officially jumped the shark.

NOW we need to be realistic about the issues of operating in a mile of water?

So said BP CEO Tony Hayward yesterday when he was discussing the chances of a successful end to the worst manmade disaster in history.

BP's top officer downplayed the likelihood that the desperate effort will succeed in actually sealing the pipe, which is spewing hundreds of thousands of gallons of crude into the Gulf each day.

"If it was on land we would have a very high confidence of success, but... we need to be realistic about the issues around operating in a mile of water," BP CEO Tony Hayward told reporters on Monday.

Ahh, yes, NOW we need to be realistic about those issues. Were you being realistic about the issues around operating in a mile of water when you applied for the rights to drill offshore in the Gulf of Mexico Mr. Hayward?

Obama is toast. We need a progressive presidential candidate

As has been pointed out on the frontpage of this website: California banned offshore drilling after a Unocal oil rig began leaking off the coast of Santa Barbara in 1969. The US Senate banned offshore oil drilling off most federally controlled waters in 1980. Bush I grudgingly banned offshore oil drilling off Alaska, the west coast and the North Atlantic. Then, just before leaving office, the Chimperator lifted the presidential ban and urged Congress to write new legislation. Congress did nothing.

It was President Obama who undid decades of preservationist policy by lifting the presidential ban that protected 85% of the nations coastline. 22 days later, we had the greatest manmade ecological disaster in history. Obama's timing couldn't have been worse.

Worse still, the president is seen as being slow to react. Listening to BP instead of taking charge of the situation and being more forceful. He's described as lackadaisical and naive.

This president WILL NOT win re-election.

A Failure to Plan is a Plan to Fail: A challenge to the netroots community

Cross-posted a Firedoglake

A failure to plan is a plan to fail. So said a poster here on a different diary today and it got me to thinking. What is the progressive plan for dealing with the Conservadems in Congress who’ve sold us out time and again since the Reagan years?




Yeah, that’s the problem. The debate always comes down to this: Vote Dem or let the Repugs rule. And that’s what happens. Dems lose their base in disgust and Repugs take over. I’m just as guilty. I’ve voted Nader every election until the chance to elect a black man president outweighed the knowledge that this guy was being foisted on us by the corporatocracy.


Instead of worrying about polls, or what the Dems should be doing or what Obama isn’t doing, we should be wholly focused on getting progressives past their primary challenges and replacing Conservadems on the ballot. But we aren’t.


Case in point:

SCOTUS decision: An executive order is the appropriate short term response

The horror of what some right wing activist Supreme Court judges just did to the Consitution hasn't yet sunk in to the nations collective conciousness yet and it is pretty clear that the ramifications of this outrageous ruling are not yet apparent to everyone. So let me lay it out for you:

The Supreme Court just ruled that foreign nations can control our electoral process. That's right, what those five judges just did was to commit treason.

A Case of Good Cop, Bad Cop

That's what we find ourselves caught in here in America during its greatest internal crisis since the Civil War.

The wealthiest 1% has got America by its balls. And to keep us from realizing it to the point we might have to be labeled "Enemy Combatants" they've been treating us to the old Good Cop, Bad Cop routine that they're used to using on America's minorities and the weakest elsewhere.

You know how the routine works:

Harry Reid condemns 2,000 Americans to die.

Today Harry Reid announced that healthcare reform will be put off until this fall because - a day after the President of the United States said we had to push to get this through - Republicans asked for more time:

We will do what we can to make sure their concerns are not buried, Reid said.

And in so doing, Harry Reid just buried 2,000 Americans. (pdf).

MoveOn and the public option: trying to put lipstick on a sow.

Promoted. Originally posted 2009-06-06 16:29:06 -0400. -- GH

I just got an email from MoveOn.  Some of you may have gotten it as well.  I'll just cut to the main thrust of this email:

Since taking office, President Obama hasn't said much about a key plank of health care reform: the public health insurance option. Some worried he had backed off from his support of it.

Who would that be?  The health insurance industry?   If The Public Option passes, the health insurance industry will foist it's worst customers - those in poor health - onto the taxpayers.  They will keep the healthiest customers.  The Public Option will not be competitive.  It will have higher deductibles and copays.  Many still won't be able to afford it.

Then the right will point to it as the kind of expensive, crappy program that liberals love and use it as proof positive that a private alternative is always better than a public one.

Then you can say goodbye to Single Payer.  It would be better to never have the public option at all than to have it and lose our opportunity for real change. 

But this horrifying email from an organization I thought we could all trust just gets worse.  It, and my reply, follows.

The Usual Suspects Part 5: Robert Gates

Bumped and promoted. Originally posted 2009-06-04 22:32:35 -0400. -- GH

There are several commonalities amongst The Usual Suspects.  Many of them served under Scoop Jackson.  Many of them were investigated for spying for Israeli intelligence. and nearly all of them were involved up to their necks in the Iran-Contra Affair.  Robert Gates falls into that latter category.  But he was involved in more than just that.  Like the most recent White House, he was extensively involved in "massaging intelligence" in order to support a political stance, not the real facts on the ground.  Oh, and he was involved in the October Surprise as well.

More on Robert Gates, a man who still serves at the pleasure of the President of the United States, after the fold.

The Usual Suspects Part 2: Michael Ledeen

The first part in this series, covering Richard Perle, can be found here.

In the second installment of The Usual Suspects series, I will explore the role of Michael Ledeen, aka Kayser Soze, in American and international affairs.  Michael Ledeen has been called the driving philosophical force behind the neoconservative movement.  Amongst his more infamous quotes are

The Usual Suspects Part 1: Richard Perle, Prince of Darkness

A few years ago Greyhawk asked me to post my Usual Suspects series on this website.  I never got to it.  Now, I'm extending the series and figured better late than never.  So here is part one of The Usual Suspects:

This is the first installment of a series of articles in which I will introduce you to the cast of characters that pull most of the strings behind the neocon movement, The Usual Suspects.  This group has had a long and sordid history of criminal activity and have shown a propensity for sacrificing U.S. national security for their own agendas.

Today, I will introduce you to an infamous figure many of you already know:  Richard Perle, the Prince of Darkness.

Perle served as an assistant Secretary of Defense for the Reagan administration and on the Defense Policy Board Adisory Committee from 1987 to 2004.  He was Chairman of the Board from 2001 to 2003 under the Bush Administration.

 Perle is a member of the Project for the New American Century, (PNAC), the Hudson Institute and is a resident fellow  on the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). He is also a disciple of the Paul Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). You will be hearing those organizations quite often in this series, but let me point out now that Nitze, who founded the SAIS in 1944, was a former investment banker for a company that floated loans for the Third Reich.  It was Nitze who wrote NSC Memorandum 68 which was the policy basis for the Cold War and led to the establishment of our never ending war economy. This document asserted, for the first time in U.S. history, a U.S. claim on any economic and social resources anywhere in the world.