Democratic Underground

Blog Box

January 7, 2005
Compiled by Bucky Rea, The Brown Bag Blogger

The Quaint Before the Storm

You know, this past week started out so hopeful. The world united to help the earthquake tsunami victims. And there there's Barbara Boxer's daring vote to join the Sane House Democrats Caucus and ask that the US Congress, you know, make sure the last election was, you know, done along the lines of, whatchamacallit, the democratic principles of the US Constitution. Nostamj spoke for a lot of us with a button he found at Café Press.

Perhaps being unwittingly exposed to the dreaded backbone virus, Charles Schumer started to question the wisdom of the Gonzales nomination for Attorney General after the lad's testimony before the Senate. (Or was it partially because of your letters and emails and phone calls harping about what a disaster a torturing AG would be?) How quaint.

So if things are so great, why's everybody acting so upset?

At A Scrivener's Lament, Delilah Boyd offers a little sigh over the sudden announcement that the Bushies aren't gonna look for WMDs in Iraq anymore. Then the Scrivener offers a useful list of quotes from the administration hornswaggling the country - oops, I mean being sadly misled by the entire intelligence community - about the possibility of weapons stockpiles in Iraq. Maybe Delilah needs to offer to do some volunteer archiving for large media networks. Apparently NBC, CBS, & ABC's news operations are too cash strapped to afford to hire researchers to dig up obscure, unknown quotes likes these for when the yellowcake hits the fan (or in this case fails to):

"Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction. There is no doubt he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies, and against us." - Vice President Dick Cheney, Aug. 26, 2002.

"The problem here is that there will always be some uncertainty about how quickly he can acquire nuclear weapons. But we don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud." - National security adviser Condoleezza Rice, Sept. 8, 2002.

"After 11 years during which we have tried containment, sanctions, inspections, even selected military action, the end result is that Saddam Hussein still has chemical and biological weapons and is increasing his capabilities to make more." - President Bush, Oct. 7, 2002.

"Saddam Hussein is a man who told the world he wouldn't have weapons of mass destruction, but he's got them." - Bush, Nov. 3, 2002.

"The gravity of this moment is matched by the gravity of the threat that Iraq's weapons of mass destruction pose to the world." - Secretary of State Colin Powell, Feb. 5, 2003.

The Black Commentator is aghast to discover that Armstrong Williams isn't just another political whore, but part of "a menagerie of professional Black propagandists in service of the most vicious elements of the Republican Party." Nice copy, BC, but just don't call it affirmative action. Of course at nearly a quarter million dollars a pop, Williams is hardly even a whore at all. Folks, for that kinda loot, you better give more than lip service.

Jeff at Rigoro us Intuition seems perplexed and even suspicious about a sudden rash of terrible accidents happening to microbiologists around the world. Um, nothing to look at here, people. Move on, move on.

Speaking of which, Moveon.org is trying to churn up some sanity on Alberto Gonzales's nomination for attorney general. It's not technically a blog, so I won't dwell. But I do find their love of liberty and the oversight function of the US Congress to be, well, quaint.

Move Left has awarded George Bush his widely coveted Conservative Con of the Week prize for the fake budget numbers to demonstrate how the budget deficit really ain't so big. But of course the Social Security fund surplus is... OH MY GAWD!! About to totally disappear! Quick, somebody destroy it before it becomes fixable!

Whew, that was close.

Now what was I saying?

Something About Balls

Ah yes, that Social Security thing. Josh Marshall is keeping tabs of who's right and who's lite on the Big Dismantling Scheme with constant updates to his tandem lists: "The Conscience Caucus" and "The Fainthearted Faction." That is, respectively, the (so far) six rare Republicans standing up against the Bushies' crazy auctioning off of Social Security and the fifteen jello-boned Democrats willing to listen to the Republicans' oxymoronification of what used to be a sacred promise, true Social Security for America's retirees.

I'm bracing myself for next week, when someone in the Bush administration is bound to make the case that American retirees have broken their contract with the Social Security fund by having lived so damned long. Grrrr, you evil graysters!

Anyhoo, Josh is putting out a call for all readers to keep their eyeballs out for news about social security stands and wobbles that the 500+ American Congress critters may take on this issue. As TPM puts it:

NO, no, no, we don't want the actual balls....

Nor do you need them, Josh.

Matt Yglesias continues his run as one of the classiest blogs on the block, with his most recent column shooting a hole in the latest conservative stupidity: suggesting that wage indexing Social Security benefits is what's bankrupting the system.

Learn you blog anatomy here, class: Yglesias for the brains, TPM for the balls.

Quaint People

If you like food fights, That Colored Fella has kept a log on his blog of him and Jonah Goldberg of The New Republic tossing egg salad at each other, mostly over Mr. Goldberg's use of the term "racist." If you just look at the facts and logic of their arguments, That Colored Fella seems to have won the fray. But then again, facts and logic are considered kinda quaint these days.

Jeanne D'arc of Body and Soul, her respite over, wants to know what happened to the Senate's recent vote to continue the US ban on CIA officers torturing prisoners. What Jeane apparently doesn't get is that this administration is deeply and philosophically committed to the principles of a free market economy. And therefore it's not right to grant the Marines at Guantanamo a complete monopoly on prisoner abuse. And monopolies are so, you know, quaint.

The Carpetbagger's fans continue to enjoy the exploits of Bagger's hip teen sidekick, Morbo this past weekend. Morbo's many talents seem to include writing trendy and politically relevant rap lyrics. Will someone get that lad an agent?

The irreplaceable Bartcop is continuing to index all the Jan 20 Monkey Protest Information he can get. If you know something Bart needs to know, tell him.

The Agonist continues to count the dead from what he properly terms the "Iraqi-American War." It's a great resource for those of us who oppose the war but lack the attention span to keep up with Juan Cole.

But again, I reiterate, all of this stuff remains peanuts compared to where your attention is needed in southeast Asia.

The most important blog in the 'Sphere, of course, continues to be The Tsunami Help Blog. This stuff will only work if you kick in, too, kids. Do what you can.

Know a hot blog that needs some coverage? Send your recommendations to Bucky.

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