Dec
9

I Feel Sick [Updated]




Posted at 14:29 by Brad

Unbelievable:

Hill Briefed on Waterboarding in 2002
In Meetings, Spy Panels’ Chiefs Did Not Protest, Officials Say

In September 2002, four members of Congress met in secret for a first look at a unique CIA program designed to wring vital information from reticent terrorism suspects in U.S. custody. For more than an hour, the bipartisan group, which included current House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), was given a virtual tour of the CIA’s overseas detention sites and the harsh techniques interrogators had devised to try to make their prisoners talk.

Among the techniques described, said two officials present, was waterboarding, a practice that years later would be condemned as torture by Democrats and some Republicans on Capitol Hill. But on that day, no objections were raised. Instead, at least two lawmakers in the room asked the CIA to push harder, two U.S. officials said. [...]

With one known exception, no formal objections were raised by the lawmakers briefed about the harsh methods during the two years in which waterboarding was employed, from 2002 to 2003, said Democrats and Republicans with direct knowledge of the matter. The lawmakers who held oversight roles during the period included Pelosi and Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.) and Sens. Bob Graham (D-Fla.) and John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.), as well as Rep. Porter J. Goss (R-Fla.) and Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan).

waterboarding.jpg

Reading this really and truly makes me want to barf.

Why do I even bother voting for Democrats again? I mean, WTF. It would be nice, really really nice, to have at least one goddamn party in this doomed nation that stands fully against torture. Jesus H., you horrible assholes. Don’t you have any damn principles? Don’t you have any ethics? Have you ever, at any point in your miserable lives, taken a principled stand on any issue?

Again, I feel sick. Favoring torture is now a bipartisan issue. David Broder must be very pleased.

(And yes, I tragically concede that Michelle Malkin was right about the Dem leadership favoring torture. Thanks again, Democrats. I never ever ever ever ever EVAR like admitting that Stalkin’ Malkin is right about ANYTHING. But now I have to admit it because you’re disgusting losers.)

(Via.)

UPDATE: This gets about a billion heh-indeeds:

Since the voters put them back in power, the Democrats have taken impeachment off the table, punted on the war, never figured out a way to hold Republicans accountable for filibusters and obstructionism, so legislation is in the toilet, and never managed to use oversight power to do anything more than chip away around the edges of the Bush regime—though they have written a great number of Sternly Worded Letters.

And now, top Democrats turn out to be enablers of war crimes by our lawless executive. What a surprise. Harry, Nancy, nice work.

One caveat: I don’t think they’re enablers. I think they actively approve of this shit.


Gavin adds: I’d be sort of careful with this story. Most of it is sourced to Porter Goss, “a U.S. official who witnessed the exchange,” “several officials familiar with the briefings,” “one U.S. official present during the early briefings,” and similar characters — i.e., possibly the familiar coterie of Republicans planting stories and shifting blame. Even when true, these stories are often trivial.

One can rest easy about Malkin being right. What she’s doing is using this AP story to implicate “the Dems” in the destroyed-CIA-tapes scandal. According to Malkin, since Jane Harman knew about the tapes but failed in preventing them from being destroyed, Harman is somehow at the center of the hurricane. This is, in a word, stupid. Also stupid: Malkin is pointing a finger at Harriet Miers, one of the few Republicans disliked by Malkin. The actual wrongdoers and their superiors are a matter of only flickering interest.

[sigh] Also, among other things, the assertion that waterboarding ceased in 2003 (repeated twice here) is just an official assertion, backed up by no evidence. We simply don’t know when it was used, who it was used on, or whether the practice has stopped.


Jillian adds: Hey, Brad, I think I found a candidate you can get behind: Jonathon “The Impaler” Sharkey! I’m not so sure I like his foreign policy, but the Satanic gay marriages performed IN the White House just might make up for it!

impaler1.jpg
Above: Slightly less crazy than Bush, slightly
more spine than the Democrats

154 Comments »

  1. Nimrod Gently said,

    December 9, 2007 at 14:35

    If only it was possible to kick an entire political party square in the balls.

  2. The Hon. Dr. St. Rev. Bradley S. Rocket, Esq, PhD, MD said,

    December 9, 2007 at 14:37

    Nimrod- this is basically it for me. I’ve supported the Democrats because I thought that, at the very effing least, they were against torture. That Ralph Nader pin is looking more tempting by the day…

  3. borehole said,

    December 9, 2007 at 15:00

    Um…

    Here, lemme…

    (deep breath)

    No, hold on, I can do this.

    Heeeere we go.

    No, I can’t! It’s too hard!

    FUCK!

    (hyperventilates into paper bag)

    Okay, I’m just gonna say it, and then it’ll be all over.

    (stretches, shadowboxes)

    A one, and a two, and a…

    You were right, Nader voters, and I apologize.

    (throws up in mouth)

    I should probably take back some things I said about the LaRouchies too, but baby steps, y’know?

  4. Xenos said,

    December 9, 2007 at 15:06

    I call bullshit on the Malkinsim.

    Harman got dumped from her position by Pelosi, of all people. No Democrats but Harman and Rockefeller knew what they had done, but it was clear Harman was a Bush apologist, and she was summarily dumped.

    As for Rockefeller, he is compromised and corrupt. He needs the Harman treatment, and it is incumbent on us to make that happen. We are the Democratic party – Rockefeller has no capacity to compromise us unless we let him.

    You are committing a Malkinist slur, and a Broderesque false equivalency, if you equate two wayward Democratic politicians with a GOP which is rotten, corrupt, and authoritarian from top to bottom.

    A vote for Nader is a vote for Huckagiulamney. Fuck that.

  5. The Hon. Dr. St. Rev. Bradley S. Rocket, Esq, PhD, MD said,

    December 9, 2007 at 15:13

    Harman got dumped from her position by Pelosi, of all people.

    Except that, you know, Pelosi knew about waterboarding and did nothing. Utterly sickening. I want them all jailed.

  6. Frederick said,

    December 9, 2007 at 15:17

    This has been coming for some time. Screw the Democrats. I’d vote for Nader, Paul, Perot, anyone but a Democrat. They’ve done nothing this year but prove every bad thing said about them. I’m done.

  7. Jillian said,

    December 9, 2007 at 15:20

    Xenos, if the Democratic party as a whole is really bothered by the fact that under this current administration we are TORTURING people, I have but one question:

    WHY AREN’T THEY INVESTIGATING THE MATTER AND IMPEACHING THE MOTHERFUCKER?

    Everybody knows NOW that the CIA is waterboarding people in secret prisons throughout Eastern Europe. It doesn’t matter that only three Democrats knew it in 2003. The whole goddamn world knows it in 2007. What are the Democrats doing about it?

    The Dems have rolled on EVERYTHING. They rolled in the Senate big time – what’s the deal with requiring a sixty vote majority to move legislation forward through there? I honestly cannot think of a single historical precedent for that, except maybe some weird stuff from the Civil War period where our legislative branch was a mess, anyway. Can someone explain that to me?

    I’m certainly not “the Democratic party”, although I’ll vote for a good Democrat whenever the party pulls its collective head far enough out of its collective ass to run one.

    Despite everything, I’m still planning on voting Dem in ’08, and I’d encourage everyone to do the same. Not because the Democratic party deserves the nod – they don’t – but because I am terrified of what another Republican presidency might do to this country. Eight years of Republican leadership has stripped this country of the one right upon which all others rest – habeas corpus. Give that party another four years, and they might just decide to start using the new power that stripping gives them on us.

    At this point, I’d think the best thing to do would be to vote Dem in ’08, and then organize grassroots groups to run primary challenges against EVERY SINGLE Democratic member of Congress in the entire country – good or bad. Get the DNC’s motherfucking attention.

  8. Xenos said,

    December 9, 2007 at 15:31

    You mean, I am supposed to read the link, and like, know what I am talking about here?

    OK – Pelosi has to go. Maybe she can perform a pilgrimage on her knees to beg forgiveness.

    This whole story reeks of White House revisionist history and spin. Obviously the Dem leadership should be held accountable, and overthrown in necessary. It still provides no legal or moral cover for the real crooks. Don’t get played, guys!

  9. Frederick said,

    December 9, 2007 at 15:34

    @ Jillian

    I haven’t seen but one Democrat running that deserves my vote, and Kucinich doesn’t have a chance in hell. It’s almost preferable to have a Ghouliani/Mittster/Huckleberry in the white house. Maybe that will wake up the sleeping giant. The American populace needs to be smacked in the face.

  10. borehole said,

    December 9, 2007 at 15:35

    Xenos, not to pile on, but just because I’m sure you’re not the last person who’s gonna use some variation on that phrase, let’s be real clear about this: the “a vote for…” calculus has been rendered pretty spectacularly obsolete by this revelation.

    Which I say with zero joy. I take some solace in the fact that those frumpy-ass, non-party-building, sitting-around-doing-jack-shit-for-47-months-at-a-stretch, spoiling motherfuckers will be so smug about this that they’ll mitigate my contrition and I won’t have to eat more crow than is absolutely necessary.

    God, I can’t believe what swine the Dems are. We’re gonna need a bigger The Hague.

    p.s. PIRG’s business model is so atrocious it makes me want to fuckin’ litter. And it’s called an iron, Ralph.

  11. Mccs1977 said,

    December 9, 2007 at 15:37

    [...] I feel sick [...]

  12. Jillian said,

    December 9, 2007 at 15:37

    I don’t think anyone is interested in providing any kind of cover for the “real crooks”.

    Except the Democratic party, that is.

  13. Nimrod Gently said,

    December 9, 2007 at 15:43

    Frederick, if eight years of GWB hasn’t smacked the American public in the face, then it’s not worth the risk assuming a Giuliani presidency would.

  14. Jillian said,

    December 9, 2007 at 15:47

    Frederick, I am certainly NOT a Democrat. I’m a Socialist, and happy to be one. I owe no allegiance to the donkeys.

    But when I say I am terrified of what another Republican term in the White House means for this country, I mean it. I find the prospect terrifying. As it stands, the President of the United States – whomever that may be – has the power to put you and me into a military prison, deny us the right to consult a lawyer, make it a crime for anyone who knows what happened to us to tell anyone else, and torture us. The way things stand right now, the POTUS has all the powers of a dictator – he’s just not using them.

    My confidence that a Democratic president would not use those powers is, at this point in time, higher than my confidence that a Republican president would not. That’s the ONLY reason I’m voting Dem in ’08. I’m even a little sick at myself for doing so – but I’m scared.

    Frankly, what I’d really like to do is leave the country. This place is full of crazy people. I just can’t afford it at this point. I’m not sure that what’s wrong with America is even fixable anymore. But I think we need the breathing room that would be created by a Democratic administration in 2008 to even try.

    And I really do think the next step after that should be primary challenges for every Democrat in 2010. Why don’t we throw this idea around whatever cyberspaces we all hang out in and see if it sticks?

  15. Nimrod Gently said,

    December 9, 2007 at 15:51

    Please be aware: those who abandon the Democrats for the Greens at this election may find themselves supporting Cynthia McKinney for President.

  16. Jillian said,

    December 9, 2007 at 15:57

    There are plenty of third parties, Nimrod. People don’t just have to vote Green. If everybody in this country voted their conscience for a change, things wouldn’t be in the fucking mess they are at this point. We’d have third parties winning more often at state and local levels, they’d get more press, and thus get taken more seriously.

  17. Incontinentia Buttocks said,

    December 9, 2007 at 16:01

    Let’s be clear: the Green Party will not nominate anyone for president until next July. Don’t like the Democrats but feel wary of McKinney? Get involved in your state’s Green Party and work toward someone else getting the nomination!

    McKinney is one of five announced candidates. There’s also an effort to draft Nader (Lord help us), who once again appears unwilling to actively take part in an open nominating process. Information about all the candidates and the GP’s nominating process can be found here.

  18. Incontinentia Buttocks said,

    December 9, 2007 at 16:03

    If everybody in this country voted their conscience for a change, things wouldn’t be in the fucking mess they are at this point. We’d have third parties winning more often at state and local levels, they’d get more press, and thus get taken more seriously.

    The key is electoral reform. If we had some system of transferable voting, people wouldn’t worry about “spoiling” whichever evil they find lesser and the political system would open up quite a bit.

  19. Jillian said,

    December 9, 2007 at 16:07

    Oh, how my heart longs for instant runoff voting. Longs, I tell you – longs.

  20. Nimrod Gently said,

    December 9, 2007 at 16:10

    Just that the Greens are the obvious ones.

  21. Emperor U.S.A. (the naked truth) said,

    December 9, 2007 at 16:11

    I don’t think they’re enablers. I think they actively approve of this shit.

    You think? You mean you’re not sure yet?

    I’m voting Chomsky/Zinn in ’08! To paraphrase George Carlin: the next time I feel like hoping for a Democrat to actually do something worthwhile, I’ll go jerk off so I’ll at least have something to show for my efforts.

  22. Jillian said,

    December 9, 2007 at 16:13

    Yeah, I agree about the Greens – and even with that, the Greens still won’t be on every state ballot, AFAIK. But still – the choices are bounteous!

  23. Arky - Cthulhusexual said,

    December 9, 2007 at 16:16

    I can’t say I’m startled because where there are people there will be assholes, there just happen to be a lot more of them in the Republican party. I’m lucky in that my Democratic representatives are all that a smelly hippy could want. All but one of the Republicans is at war with his own party.

    But I’ll also say this: If your life is impacted by how socially conservative your leaders are, the Democrats (as a whole) still look and will always look better than the Republicans and (here’s the real kick in the nuts) the thought of casting a Fuck You vote makes you really uneasy. The last seven years have been really tense and the thought of another 4 years of SoCon rule in the White House makes me ill.

    So yeah, I can understand wanting to vote for anything but the usual suspects, though I don’t think any group of people who want political power are going to be nicer than the the usual suspects. And if they are, it won’t take long until they stop being nicer.

  24. borehole said,

    December 9, 2007 at 16:27

    Sidebar:

    Is it possible to be an anarchist without being a self-aggrandizing twentysomething with overly-cultivated stubble?

    Because I’m closing in on 35, have some esteem issues, and when I don’t shave it makes my head look really big, for some reason.

    Plus I heave bricks through chain-store windows like a girl.

    Just wondering, thanks in advance.

  25. nightjar said,

    December 9, 2007 at 16:31

    Mr. Rocket

    Do you believe everything you read in the papers. Of course the Bush briefing officials wapo cited are going to say Congress new everything about what they were doing so to cover their own asses. It’s why there will likely be an independent prosecuter named to investigate this mess. Meanwhile, the people here bashing the dem party and planning to throw away their vote on someone unelectable ought to get a grip, as should you.

  26. Invigilator said,

    December 9, 2007 at 16:33

    Voting for a Green, or Nader, or Chomsky in the general is still functionally the same as voting Republican, folks.

  27. Jillian said,

    December 9, 2007 at 16:35

    Invigilator, based on the results we’ve had so far, voting for a Democrat is functionally the same thing as voting for a Republican, as well.

  28. Invigilator said,

    December 9, 2007 at 16:35

    That’s utterly absurd: just compare the presidencies of W and Bill.

  29. Invigilator said,

    December 9, 2007 at 16:37

    Granted, Bill C was basically what a Republican ought to be like, but at least he was sane, with basically sane policies.

  30. Jillian said,

    December 9, 2007 at 16:39

    And the Democrats in office have done what, exactly, to reverse our disastrous foreign policy?

    Clinton was a shitty President, to be honest. His welfare “reforms” gutted our social safety net, and the housing bubble disaster we’re dealing with got its start with the deregulation that took place under his watch. It’s a cousin to the dot com debacle in a lot of ways. What did Clinton do for this country, anyway? Aside from DADT, NAFTA, deregulation, and welfare reform?

  31. Jillian said,

    December 9, 2007 at 16:41

    Granted, Bill C was basically what a Republican ought to be like, but at least he was sane, with basically sane policies.

    You make my point for me.

    Don’t misunderstand: I’m not, as I said earlier, voting third party this time around. But it’s not out of any great conviction that the Dems will do right by us. It’s a coward’s vote, cast out of fear.

    I make no apologies or excuses for that. I’m scared. Anyone who’s paying attention should be.

  32. Ralph Nader's supporters said,

    December 9, 2007 at 16:42

    You were right, Nader voters, and I apologize.

    We know. But does anyone ever listen to us? [sigh] And would it kill you to call your mother once in a while?

  33. Arky - Cthulhusexual said,

    December 9, 2007 at 16:44

    Right, that’s why Roe v. Wade is dead as a haddock and the Constitution has a nice new amendment declaring same gender marriage teh devil. Did that Minimum wage increase pass? Nope. Is Alberto Gonzales still stinking up the DoJ? Yep.

  34. Xenos said,

    December 9, 2007 at 16:44

    I am going to wait 24 hours to see what the response to the WaPo piece is – given their willingness to be stenographers for Bush, that is the fair thing to do.

    Stipulating that the piece is correct, my guess is that this is a trump card that the White House has been waiting to play. Now that clearly illegal destruction of the tapes has become public, this is more valuable as a distraction than as blackmail to stop impeachment.

    What does the White House want? Clearly they want to provoke a leadership battle on the Democratic side. A leadership battle is, to a Republican, the worst sort of catastrophe. We should give it to them however – the sort of sunlight that is toxic to Republicans is essential to getting a functional Democratic party. Democrats need to clean their own house before they can lead the country.

  35. Mr. Bath Bear said,

    December 9, 2007 at 16:48

    Just because no one else jumped on this:

    No, Borehole, Nader voters weren’t right. Gore didn’t have a retinue of enablers who had spent years slavering for Iraqi blood and were determined to go start shedding it as soon as they could fabricate a salable rationale. A Gore Justice Department wouldn’t have made a priority of gutting its civil rights division, nor would Gore’s policymakers on energy have been drawn solely from the ranks of the oil industry. Gore wouldn’t have put Alito and Roberts on the Supreme Court.

    Nader voters were chumps, and now is not the time to forget it. Organize for local Green candidates; help mount primary challenges against worthless congressional Democrats; I’m 100% with you. But Republicans, as a group, are much too sick and dangerous to be let anywhere near the White House again, and any rhetoric on our side that helps them get there is dangerous too.

  36. Arky - Cthulhusexual said,

    December 9, 2007 at 16:48

    What did Clinton do for this country, anyway? Aside from DADT, NAFTA, deregulation, and welfare reform?

    Looks like the fRighties were right. It is all Clinton’s fault. Well I’m still not going to start reading ClownHall and you can’t make me. Pppfbt!

  37. Ralph Nader's supporters said,

    December 9, 2007 at 16:48

    If everybody in this country voted their conscience for a change, things wouldn’t be in the fucking mess they are at this point.

    Uh—which is kind of the point Nader’s supporters were making in 2000, and 2004. You went with the easiest course and lesser of two evils and so forth and so on. Did you Dem supporters really thing you were voting in change? Do you understand now that they’re two sides of the same gofddmed coin?

    Fucking mess indeed. Until the corporo-political structure of both these lockstep parties is brought down, it’ll only be more of the same. That’s never going to happen by continuing to vote for Democrats. Have we got it now?

  38. Jillian said,

    December 9, 2007 at 16:53

    It’s not “all Clinton’s fault”. I just get sick of seeing that man lionized. Seriously – can anyone think of anything particularly progressive he did while in office, without consulting the Great Gazoogle?

  39. Kevin Hayden said,

    December 9, 2007 at 17:01

    Hey, I’m an independent, but I still see plenty of evidence that the majority of Dems are not corrupt on this issue or most issues. I’m all for clearing the decks of the guilty on both sides, but maintain a little perspective and throw out those who are obviously guilty.

    There’s quite a few Dems who aren’t, including several of the Dem presidential candidates.

  40. Mr. Bath Bear said,

    December 9, 2007 at 17:02

    How heavy is Jonathon “The Impaler” Sharkey? He’s declared that he and New York are sister cities.

    Personally, I’d feel more comfortable supporting Sharkey’s run if he’d posed with a Dean ML, like Elliot Easton on the back cover of Panorama, but still: there’s a lot to like.

  41. Kevin Hayden said,

    December 9, 2007 at 17:03

    I agree Jillian. The Family Leave Act hardly suffices. He was an average prez at best.

  42. christian h. said,

    December 9, 2007 at 17:03

    Personally, I never expected anything from anyone elected under the current system, which is precisely the reason I always supported voting Democrat in presidential elections. Clinton was an imperialist asshole screwing the working class, but yeah, he wasn’t Bush. You can’t get a revolution by the ballot box, and I don’t believe in “sharpening of contradictions” (ie “kicking the american people in the nuts”) tactics.

    My advice would be to run third party challengers to Democratic congresspeople, and most importantly to the so-called “liberal” members of congress (with the exception of the two or three one or two who actually oppose shit, namely Maxine Waters and… and… I got nothing). After all, Pelosi is liberal. The majority of Democratic representatives are, most of the leadership is.

    Conservative Democrats are a lost cause, and will often just be replaced by even worse Republicans if challenged. But attacking the liberal wing has only upside: they usually come from districts where a Republican couldn’t win if you ran 4 third party candidates; the third party challenger would have a good chance of getting a reasonable number of votes, helping to actually build the third party into a viable force; she (the challenger) might help down-ballot local candidates, again helping build the third party in question; it helps to politically motivate the left to do the only thing that actually can help, that is, activism outside of, and in opposition to, the current power structure.

    I have no hopes at all for primary challenges. You’ll mostly lose, and then feel compelled to come out and support the eventual nominee (that’s what Kucinich did last time, and will again.) It’s the fast track to cooptation.

  43. nightjar said,

    December 9, 2007 at 17:06

    Xenos said,

    December 9, 2007 at 16:44

    I am going to wait 24 hours to see what the response to the WaPo piece is – given their willingness to be stenographers for Bush, that is the fair thing to do.”

    Amen Xenos!

  44. Dan Someone said,

    December 9, 2007 at 17:07

    I’m sorry, Jillian, but “if everybody in this country voted their conscience for a change,” we would still be in the same crapulous mess we’re in right now. I’m willing to bet that the number of people who wanted to vote for a third party in 2000 or 2004 but voted for a major party anyway was vanishingly small in comparison to the number of people who really wanted to vote for that major party.

    You might as well admit it (you to “Ralph Nader’s supporters”): What you really want is for people to vote YOUR conscience for a change.

  45. Dan Someone said,

    December 9, 2007 at 17:07

    er, “you TOO”

  46. jon said,

    December 9, 2007 at 17:08

    You do know that this is based on a Washington Post story involving a virtual tour of a facility, right? I could make a virtual tour of Iraq, North Korea, Abu Ghraib, or fucking Middle Earth that would make it look like a great place to live, work, eat, and interrogate. And that the two who said “harder, please” are unidentified? And “no objections were raised” can mean “there was no time for questions.” It was a virtual tour. The tour guide could have been a narrator, some CIA intern who had to stand outside the room during the screening, or someone who didn’t even ask for questions. How can we know? We’ll have to ask “two US officials” who are as likely to be carefully leaking this stuff under orders from above. This story doesn’t have much for a foundation, even if it turns out to be 100% correct as you read it.

    I’m open to suggestions that the Dems are enablers, but I really have to ask: what good would impeaching Bush and Cheney and pretty much the entire White House do when the Republican Senators wouldn’t vote to support it? It takes 2/3 of the Senate to get rid of someone, and there just aren’t the votes. Doing nothing is craven and thoughtless and really sets the Dems up to be unable to do something later to fix this mess, but I don’t see much to gain from an impeachment of someone now on his way out.

    The international courts will handle this all quite well if the US Justice System doesn’t get them first. The political justice system can’t do true justice in this case.

  47. Jillian said,

    December 9, 2007 at 17:14

    I find that I care less about the fact that the Dems might or might not have known about torture in 2003 and did nothing than I do about the fact that every single person on the planet with a television and access to CNN knows NOW about our government’s use of torture – and the Dems do nothing NOW.

    What gives?

  48. random idiot said,

    December 9, 2007 at 17:15

    Reality check: Either the Republican candidate wins, or the Democratic candidate wins.

    You get one vote. You get to choose which of the 2 options you prefer. Then when you (and everyone else) have chosen, the electoral college decides for you.

    That is what passes for Democracy in the USA.

    Don’t like it? Then vote for the lesser of those two evils, Join the party of the lesser evil, and start campaigning to make it less evil. Get organised. Get people together to support democrats when they do the right thing, and boot them out of the party when they don’t.

    Run for public office yourself. Not president.. only two candidates are permitted in that race. Run for any local position which would give you the opportunity to make things better, in any small way.

    “Democracy” wont give you a say in how laws are made? Then give yourself a say in how they are enforced. Consider a career in the legal system, or the police.

    What’s that you say? All of that is far more work than just voting for Nader and sitting back smugly, knowing you have done as little as possible to actually help?

    Well yeah. A toppling a corrupt regime isn’t easy. If you thought it would be, you are an idiot.

  49. Not that Louis said,

    December 9, 2007 at 17:21

    What I find most insulting is that the Democrats and Republicans believe I am too stupid to recognize the old “Good Cop – Bad Cop” routine when I see it.

  50. Third Party said,

    December 9, 2007 at 17:25

    toppling a corrupt regime isn’t easy. If you thought it would be, you are an idiot.

    And yet it can be done. No one said anything about easy.

  51. Arky - Cthulhusexual said,

    December 9, 2007 at 17:25

    I just get sick of seeing that man lionized.

    I say this in all snarkiness, but wait until GWB has been out of office a year or so and people are claiming that under his benevolent rule the streets ran with hot chocolate and it rained gum drops and $20 bills twice a day. People praising Clinton doesn’t bother me when you’ve got lunatics running around claiming Reagan single-handedly knocked down the Berlin Wall and you live in a town that was once bullied into spending a few million dollars because some Republicreeps wanted to rename an airport after that man.

    If people lionize BC it’s because what came after was such an unremitting train wreck. I wish he’d been able to install a few more SC justices but he only got two between the creeps like Thomas and Alito who were nominated by Presidents who are real Republicans. If it weren’t for Souter, who failed to perform as expected, we’d be in some deep doo-doo.

    And the economy was a lot better. Has anyone seen a budget surplus laying around? And I’d love to compare employment numbers only I can’t because the DoL stopped releasing that information.

    Now maybe a Democratic president would have been just as bad as the current Republican. I’ve heard it argued that somehow, if Gore had been in office on Sept 11, 2001 (or the attack had occurred when Clinton was in office) it would have been “Worse,” but I’d require a good deal of proof to see the merit of that belief.

  52. ran said,

    December 9, 2007 at 17:26

    Gore didn’t have a retinue of enablers who had spent years slavering for Iraqi blood

    but he did for some reason choose as his running mate bloodthirsty neocon douchebag Lieberman. dumb move that helped his chances not at all.

  53. ran said,

    December 9, 2007 at 17:27

    d’oh. forgot to close the tag.

  54. Jillian said,

    December 9, 2007 at 17:33

    But, Arky, it’s the people who are praising Clinton that drive me nuts. They’re people who consider themselves on the left end of the political spectrum.

    I’m not surprised that modern Republicans are in love with Reagan. Modern Republicans are insane. But why do people who claim to stand for poor and working class Americans, social justice, sane environmental policies, and a foreign policy based on something other than greed and xenophobia like Bill Clinton? I don’t get it.

    The economy wasn’t better under Bill Clinton, really. That economy was fueled by a deregulations boom in finance and foreign trade that created the dot com bubble and the housing bubble. That economy only existed on paper, and we’re paying the price for it now. I’m not sure we’ve seen the end of the harm caused by the repeal of the Glass-Steagal Act, either. If we’re lucky, the worst consequence of that will be the housing crash. If we’re not, we just have to hope FDIC stays solvent. If it goes the way of FSLIC, all bets are off.

  55. Xenos said,

    December 9, 2007 at 17:37

    Lieberman has always been an ass, but at the time he was a crypto-bloodthirsty neocon douchebag.

  56. Frederick said,

    December 9, 2007 at 17:37

    @random idiot

    …and if we’d just all joined the Confederate Party and worked harder at voting in more and better Confederates, we’d have a better Confederate Party today. Sorry, Not buying it. I’m opting out of the binary system. It may work well for random idiots, but not me.

  57. Third Party said,

    December 9, 2007 at 17:38

    Hegemony is maintained way before the debates even begin. You don’t have a trillion bucks, you don’t even get to run.

    The voter gets to choose:
    a) an ultra-wacko-conservative white male ( R)
    or
    b) a moderately conservative white male (D).

    This time around the Dems, to show they’re not wacko-conservative, have thrown in a conservative white female and a sorta black guy to look like they’re not conservative at all, but of course they are (and don’t expect such magnanimous gestures all the time!) Any remnant of a left wing in this country disappeared sometime around 1972.

    Both parties are tools of their corporate owners. Is this really not comprehended by all? The next president will be, as always, a conservative white male. Same as it ever was indeed. Don’t believe it, take a look at the post directly below this one.

  58. kenga said,

    December 9, 2007 at 17:38

    I’d be careful with this story. Most of it is sourced to Porter Goss, “a U.S. official who witnessed the exchange,” “several officials familiar with the briefings,” “one U.S. official present during the early briefings,” and similar characters — i.e., possibly the familiar coterie of Republicans planting stories. If true, it might be trivial.

    Porter Goss? Former CIA agent Porter Goss assigned to Latin America during the the Sixties, frat brother of John Negroponte, who then became a Republican Rep. from Florida during the Reagan/Bush Admins and then wound up doing Congressional oversight of Intelligence, Porter Goss(chairing the Committe, ultimately? And then wound up as DCI and hired Dusty Foggo and others to prominent leadership roles at the CIA? IIRC, right around the time that Valerie Plame and her intelligence network were thrown to the dogs?
    Oh yeah, he’s a potentially authoritative source for this sort of thing. Also potentially completely full of shit. One thing I can say confidently about him – if ever there was a case of a bad apple spoiling a bushel, he’d be the mushy one near the bottom. If Pelosi and friends were suborned on this and other intelligence/human rights issues, I’d be surprised if Goss weren’t up to his eyebrows in the process.
    Forget a grain of salt, better get yourself one of those livestock salt licks.

    “You fucked up – you trusted us.”

  59. borehole said,

    December 9, 2007 at 17:45

    Bath Bear, sorry, I meant to specify 2004. In 2000 they were whiny little assholes punishing the rest of us for not being as far left as they’d like.

    But honestly–and full disclosure, I’m raw as hell right now and spoiling for a fight–take a good look at what you just said. “Any rhetoric on our side that helps them get there is dangerous too.” Jesus Christ, man, not only does that sound like the kind of thing a South Park liberal caricature would say, it’s the kind of thing Ari Fleischer DID say.

    Our side my foot. I never signed any oaths, and though it’s more an admission of personal failing than a defiant assertion of self, I don’t watch what I fuckin’ say.

    Whew! Thanks for giving me the chance to bust out the simplistic libertarian chest-thumping “I gotta be me” crap. I feel much better now.

  60. borehole said,

    December 9, 2007 at 17:47

    Oh, and I meant to tell Louis, that’s chillingly apt.

  61. Frederick said,

    December 9, 2007 at 17:49

    Porter Goss, Smorter Poss. There are a host of other issues that the Democratic leadership has been explicitly complicit. I’m not kicking that football again, Lucy.

  62. Nimrod Gently said,

    December 9, 2007 at 17:59

    Is it possible to be an anarchist without being a self-aggrandizing twentysomething with overly-cultivated stubble?

    See also: CRASS.

  63. The Heretik : Damned Dems said,

    December 9, 2007 at 18:04

    [...] Dems? The default is not in our stars, but in ourselves. When the default position is to allow things to [...]

  64. Russ said,

    December 9, 2007 at 18:06

    My first post here, and its going to be way o/t. However, the Pelosi and torture charge seems too important to ignore. I looked at sited WaPo article and if this new allegation is the work of Goss, then one should take care as to its truthfulness.

    Goss has functioned for the past three years as a hit-man for Dick Cheney, in protecting the neo-conservative cabal that runs between the Office of the Vice President and the Pentagon, where it is headed by Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, and Doug Feith.

    Goss

  65. random idiot said,

    December 9, 2007 at 18:08

    Frederick said,
    “…and if we’d just all joined the Confederate Party and worked harder at voting in more and better Confederates, we’d have a better Confederate Party today. Sorry, Not buying it. I’m opting out of the binary system. It may work well for random idiots, but not me.”

    Okay. So what are you going to DO about it? These blog comments show a great willingness to whine about it, but no plan of action. Successful revolutions are scarce enough.. and I have never seen one that was won by voting for no hoper candidates and blogging.

    To change the rules of the game, first you have to WIN at the game. Its a winner takes all game. Once you have the POTUS in your grasp, you can re-write the rules all you want. That is what the republicans have been busy doing. Noticed those signing statements and presidential vetos?

    The only remotely possible method of getting a liberal in the white house is to take control of the democratic party and run the most liberal candidate possible.

    But what happens if you DONT? what happens if you let the right carry on making the Democratic party Republicans-by-proxy? The Democrats are still going to win elections sometimes.. but it will be less of a victory for you.

    The Republicans name is mud. They are loosing grip on power. The red team is loosing.. Time to join the blue team, and make it into a team that DESERVES to win, and is willing to enact some serious reform.

  66. Frederick said,

    December 9, 2007 at 18:25

    @ random idiot

    What I’m I going to do about it? Nothing. You had to have a thousand years of darkness before the renaissance. Inertia is a Mutha. I’d rather have my principals than an illusion. /jesus christ pose

  67. Dayv said,

    December 9, 2007 at 18:29

    A vote for Nader is a vote for Huckagiulamney.

    You’re not very good at math, are you?

    It’s actually a vote for Nader.  It is, at worst, no different than not voting at all.

  68. random idiot said,

    December 9, 2007 at 18:51

    Frederick said,

    “What I’m I going to do about it? Nothing. You had to have a thousand years of darkness before the renaissance. Inertia is a Mutha. I’d rather have my principals than an illusion. /jesus christ pose”

    Okay. What if that is a self-fulfilling prophecy? There are already enough people doing nothing, because they are convinced they cant even make things slightly better.

    If you can show all those people HOW to fix things, there is no shortage of disenfranchised angry people to put the effort in.

    Offer those people impossible schemes like Nader, and they will rightly tell you where to shove your idea.

    Offer them something they can see is definitely better than what they have got, and has a good chance of success, and many people will go for it.

    Why do you think Hillary and Obama are getting support? Saints they ain’t, but they bloody well are compared with the psychopaths the republicans are putting forwards.

  69. We need new leadership in both parties « Later On said,

    December 9, 2007 at 18:51

    [...] to which they deliberately acquiesced, when they weren’t fully supporting them. Numerous liberal bloggers are already drawing the only conclusions that can be drawn, and expressing their outrage and horror [...]

  70. Chell said,

    December 9, 2007 at 18:56

    Both major parties are as corrupt as can be. Neither represents the American citizen, not on any of the major issues. I wish more voters would see past the unproductive two-party-line pettiness and start thinking independently.

  71. Arky - Cthulhusexual said,

    December 9, 2007 at 18:56

    If we’re lucky, the worst consequence of that will be the housing crash. If we’re not, we just have to hope FDIC stays solvent. If it goes the way of FSLIC, all bets are off.

    I hate to be the bearer of bad news but the housing crash is right now the most obvious symptom of a lot of illegal activity that would not have occurred if the SEC were doing its job. Look at all the CEOs who suddenly decided to spend more time with their families. Coincidence? They aren’t just running because of the mortgage fiasco, there’s also been a lot of naked shorting which has always been illegal. In addition, right now there are a lot of foreign countries holding garbage disguised as money that was palmed off on them by the likes of Goldman-Sachs and they aren’t going to shrug and say “Well, aren’t I a silly boy?” By the time this is over what we’re calling the housing crash or the mortgage crash or whatever today is going to make the .com bubble insignificant.

    Why did this happen? Because Republicans don’t do oversight, period. And try getting a response to a FOIA while they’re in power. So for about seven years the SEC and other administrative branches (DoJ for one) that should catch and stop this sort of thing have been able to catch up on their sleep between bouts of chasing out whistle blowers. Add to this the fact that you have a critter in office who regards the Treasury as a piggy bank for himself and his pals and his pals are the ones who benefit from a lack of oversight. Can I say that we wouldn’t have something similar going on if a Dem. were in office? Nope. Can I say it wouldn’t it be anywhere this bad? Yes. And when did people start spending more time with their families? When a slight Democratic majority entered the Senate. Oh shit, they’re going to check our books!

  72. Anna said,

    December 9, 2007 at 19:03

    I made a little image to accompany this moment in history:

    http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2046/2098279408_626094b89a.jpg

  73. Why I’m Not A Democrat, Part 7659 « Beware The Man said,

    December 9, 2007 at 19:07

    [...] 9, 2007 Why I’m Not A Democrat, Part 7659 Posted by John O under Political   This is, if true, indeed sickening.  The Dems knew about the torture a long time ago, and didn’t lift a freaking [...]

  74. Jillian said,

    December 9, 2007 at 19:12

    Yeah, Arky – but it was going on under Clinton, too. Enron didn’t start on Bush’s watch. Arthur Andersen didn’t start on Bush’s watch. The freedom for banks to start making these crazy mortgage bundles that fed the subprime frenzy comes, in part, from the repeal of Glass-Steagall – which Clinton did.

    Gah. Now I’m depressed.

  75. Lesly said,

    December 9, 2007 at 19:29

    One can rest easy about Malkin being right. What she’s doing is using this AP story to implicate “the Dems” in the destroyed-CIA-tapes scandal.

    We can trust Rockefeller will do whatever Bush asks, but how Michelle know Dems had something to do with the tapes? Is she repeating White House tips verbatim without again without collaborating off the record comments like the good reporter she is?

    P.S. Greenwald wondered why Democrats didn’t defend themselves against Klein’s FISA truthiness. Perhaps because they can’t defend themselves against much of anything if it’s true (and it probably is) that they knew about waterboarding as early as 2002.

  76. Lesly said,

    December 9, 2007 at 19:31

    “…how does Michell know…”

    “…repeating White House tips verbatim again without…”

    Sorry about mah sloppy writing. =\

  77. Incontinentia Buttocks said,

    December 9, 2007 at 19:34

    Reality check: Either the Republican candidate wins, or the Democratic candidate wins.

    You get one vote. You get to choose which of the 2 options you prefer. Then when you (and everyone else) have chosen, the electoral college decides for you.

    I hate this pseudo-realism about one’s vote.

    In at least thirty states the outcome is known in advance, as the state is either overwhelmingly Republican or overwhelmingly Democratic. The electoral college means that your vote will have no effective on the outcome. So you might as well vote your conscience. In the non-battleground states in which most of us live, there’s no reason whatsoever to limit your choice to major party candidates.

  78. Jillian said,

    December 9, 2007 at 19:38

    In at least thirty states the outcome is known in advance, as the state is either overwhelmingly Republican or overwhelmingly Democratic.

    So, if you REALLY wanted to be a realist about your vote, and you live in one of those states – don’t even bother voting at all! It doesn’t matter.

  79. dBa said,

    December 9, 2007 at 19:42

    Can I haz nu Gubement?

  80. MrWonderful said,

    December 9, 2007 at 19:49

    I admire all you people and I end up agreeing with whomever I read last. My wife and I just argued over this very thing–vote your conscience, vs. vote what seems to be pragmatic.

    I’m happy (and relieved) to drop this until we see who the candidates are. Even my Dem-hating wife admitted she’d vote against Giuliani even if it meant voting for the Dem.

    Politics always was and always will be a clash between what you want and what you can’t stand. Having said that, I do agree with the fundamental truth: That nothing will change significantly for the better until money is taken out of politics and campaigns are funded publicly. And buying a candidate’s success with corporate money is no longer legally considered to be “speech.”

  81. montysano said,

    December 9, 2007 at 19:52

    One caveat: I don’t think they’re enablers. I think they actively approve of this shit.

    Welcome to ArthurSilberLand! Some of us have been here a while, but we knew you’d show up. Silber has been ranting for some time now about how, setting aside abortion and gay rights, there’s scarcely a few degrees difference in Dems and Repubs.

    Welcome to the stealth-totalitarian corporatocracy! Krispy Kremes and Mountain Dew are on the house!

  82. zsa said,

    December 9, 2007 at 19:59

    Welp, I read through the whole damn thread and, to my mind, Not that Louis is making sense.

    Anyone remember “Only Nixon could go to China”? A Democrat couldn’t have opened a relationship with the dreaded ChiComs. Only Nixon – with his years of devious, malignant red-baiting – could have carried it off.

    Only Clinton could enact welfare reform. He caught some flak from the left, but a Republican would’ve been buried in a shitstorm.

    Guess what kids? Only Bush could revoke the Bill of Rights. Conservatives are supposed to be all about individual liberties, but they’ve stood by while Bush one-by-one renders the amendments irrelevant, because he’s coming from the traditionally anti-government right rather than the government-friendly left. If Clinton (or – more significantly – Gore) had tried anything even remotely like what Bush has done, his head would be resting on the tip of one of those spikes on the White House fence.

    So what comes next? The next President can either reinstate the Bill of Rights or decide to let the “Bush precedent” stand. Chris Dodd is the only one actively committing to the first course of action. And maybe Ron Paul on the GOP side. Neither of those guys is getting elected. Sorry.

    The next President inherits a shiny new set of authoritarian executive powers. Both parties, the legislature, and a large part of the courts have implicitly or explicitly bowed before these powers. We already have an Imperial Presidency. Now we’re just deciding who gets to be the Emperor.

    It’s a done deal … rolling it back will take either an unprecedented and unlikely exercise of collective will, or an out-and-out revolution/restoration.

    You may want to be careful about how much of your personal information you put into the internets. We may well turn into Pinochet’s Chile before we decide to turn back into Jefferson’s America.

    Good cop, bad cop. In reality, it’s bad cop, worse cop.

  83. Optional said,

    December 9, 2007 at 20:04

    The circular firing squad: the very FAVORITE configuration of online lefties everywhere! (I say online, because I really, really, really hope that it is confined to that subtribe…)

    A story that, given the newspaper involved and the sources listed, seems almost certain to be a leak from the white house in order to distract attention from the latest example of their illegal activity (a white house, mark you, not known for even understanding the basic concepts behind the word “honesty”)

    – a story that is extraordinarily vague about just exactly what was told to whom when and how they reacted (which has been their preferred method of lieing all along)

    – a story that, even if absolutely 100% true, only implicates one single democrat (no, not three … paragraph one explains that four congress critters were briefed, including Pelosi … paragraph three lists a bunch of folks that “held oversight roles” during the time period, but does NOT say any of THEM were briefed … so just one; and did you notice that “with one single objection” nobody complained? Given how very boot-lickingly obseqious most repubs are, particularly at that time, bets on who actually raised that one single objection?)

    – a story like that comes out, and the immediate reaction on the liberal blogs is to trumpet that “the dems” were in on the torture the whole time, nay they probably even supported it it, no, now that we think about it, we bet they begged to be the ones to personally perform the torture themselves, the scum! Ya know what, screw this democray bullshit, lets just let the republicans KEEP the stupid government, THEY certainly wouldn’t be nearly as bad as the torture loving scum in the democratic party, are we right?

    “Heh, indeed”, indeed.

  84. random idiot said,

    December 9, 2007 at 20:04

    The bigger and more interconnected a society gets, the more resistance it has against a successful revolution, either literal or metaphorical.

    On the other hand, being big and interconnected makes for a society with more potential for its system of government to evolve, and implement gradual reform.

    This is a double edged sword though. The republicans have spent over a decade bringing in gradual “reform”.

    Their idea of “reform” is gradually eroding basic human rights, gradually robbing the poor to pay the rich, and generally dismantling civilisation brick by brick.

    And it has been working for them. Why cant the same process of nibbling around the edges work for the left? We don’t have to compromise, or concede ANYTHING. Just be as obstructive as possible to everything we don’t like, and win our victories in small bites, one unobjectionable and popular move at a time.

  85. bellinger said,

    December 9, 2007 at 20:07

    Is there anyone else who read the WaPo piece and found that it doesn’t pass the smell test?

    It’s taken five years for someone with direct knowledge of Democrat’s (Pelosi, Harman, Graham, and Rockefeller) tacit acceptance of torture tactics that are now coming under very intense scrutiny to seed the Post with this knowledge? This makes no sense on the face of it.

    This is the standard smear of the criminals against all bystanders, guilty or innocent.

    I second Gavin that any story sourced almost entirely to Goss has the stench of Goss’ fecal matter all over it.

  86. Democratic Leadership and Other Oxymorons « The Lady Speaks said,

    December 9, 2007 at 20:25

    [...] can only echo what BradRocket said: Why do I even bother voting for Democrats again? I mean, WTF. It would be nice, really really [...]

  87. Incontinentia Buttocks said,

    December 9, 2007 at 20:29

    So, if you REALLY wanted to be a realist about your vote, and you live in one of those states – don’t even bother voting at all! It doesn’t matter.

    This is, of course, true, if one is really realistic about one’s vote. In fact, even in Florida in 2000, one vote the other way (whichever way that was) wouldn’t have made a difference.

    But it wasn’t us third-party-ites who insisted that one consider one’s vote consequentially. My contention is always that you ought to vote for the person you think would make the best president. Period.

    If you want to attack that position on pragmatic grounds, by all means do. But such pragmatism needs to take account of the likelihood of your vote actually changing the outcome of the presidential race. If it doesn’t, it’s not real pragmatism. And it’s hard to argue that such (pseudo-)consequentialist calculations about one’s vote should trump one’s actual preference.

  88. mikey said,

    December 9, 2007 at 20:31

    Look, I honestly think you guys are making this harder than it actually is.

    America is in an irreversible decline. All great powers have gone through this phase on their way to the final implosion and a great realignment of power. It’s just that in the 20/21st century, things happen so much faster than they used to.

    Now, how does this knowledge inform our actions around the 2008 presidential election? Well, if we allow another right wing nutjob to take office, the odds greatly favor an accelerating decline in foreign policy, the economy, rule of law, morality in government, resulting in a fairly near-term violent upheaval, with the coincident martial law and large scale rioting, bloodshed and a security state.

    However. The election of a democratic candidate will in no way reverse the inevitable decline. If you were hoping that the dems would “turn it all around” you were quite honestly being unrealistic to the point of pollyanna. But it is a certainty that, if they take executive power, the dems will enact just enough social justice, just enough populist economics and just enough peace thru negotiation foreign policy to slow the decline somewhat and soften the collapse.

    The end is nigh. The question that remains is what it will look like. I’ll hold my nose and pull the lever in November for whatever criminal slug is on the ballot under “D”.

    And I’ll continue make my preparations….

    mikey

  89. Xenos said,

    December 9, 2007 at 20:45

    Mikey-

    It was clear at the end of WWII that the British Empire was over, even if it took another 30 years to unwind. The choice at that time was to lock in the welfare state, deciding to promote equality over the opportunity for the wealthiest to consolidate wealth.

    At least Churchill won a war first.

  90. Jillian said,

    December 9, 2007 at 20:47

    I plan on taking a hip flask into the voting booth with me. This way, I will be able to say with complete honest that when I voted for whatever schlub the Dems put on the ticket, I did so while under the influence of intoxicating substances.

    It’s a small salve to the conscience for voting like a chickenshit, I guess.

  91. Democratic Complicity in Bush’s Torture Regimen - CommonDreams.org said,

    December 9, 2007 at 20:57

    [...] to which they deliberately acquiesced, when they weren’t fully supporting them. Numerous liberal bloggers are already drawing the only conclusions that can be drawn, and expressing their outrage and horror [...]

  92. Emperor U.S.A. (the naked truth) said,

    December 9, 2007 at 21:09

    Voting for a Green, or Nader, or Chomsky in the general is still functionally the same as voting Republican, folks.

    Bullshit. As Dayv said above, it’s at worst no different than not voting at all–which, if I recall correctly, is the preferred choice of anywhere between fifty and sixty percent of the voting public, thereby making “None of the Above/Huh? Election? Whuh?” the landslide-winning ticket. This refusal to consider that maybe the apathetic majority might deserve some of the credit for electoral results is why I don’t take the anti-Nader brigade seriously. 90,000 Florida Greens are responsible for Bush, but tens of millions of people who probably didn’t have any conceivable problem with a Gore presidency but couldn’t be bothered to go vote for it aren’t? Fuck off with that bullshit.

    And when you consider how meaningless most people’s votes actually are (I. Butt., above: “In at least thirty states the outcome is known in advance, as the state is either overwhelmingly Republican or overwhelmingly Democratic. The electoral college means that your vote will have no effective on the outcome. So you might as well vote your conscience.“), this singleminded obsession with trying to round up all the heretics and force them to vote for the One True Candidate seems pretty myopic. Spend all the rest of your time being involved in activist, non-profit groups and you’ll have done more to create meaningful change than voting for Hillbama on the inspiring slogan of “We reek a smidgen less than they do!”

  93. Lesly said,

    December 9, 2007 at 21:23

    “Heh, indeed”, indeed.

    Oh please, Optional. We’re not putting the cart before the horse when Democrats haven’t been acting like Democrats since 2006 and beyond. Voting for the Military Commissions Act and bankruptcy reform; Rockefeller trying to give telcoms immunity from prosecution, Rangel going behind the House’s back to negotiate a trade deal with the administration that ignores progressive concerns. The ruse was up before they resumed power in 2006. Don’t act like the Democratic Party is something more than the lesser of two evils and we’re crazy to assume they’re complicit in the latest constitutional scandal.

  94. not that pablo said,

    December 9, 2007 at 21:47

    Pelosi needs to address this or she needs to step down as speaker.

  95. SamFromUtah said,

    December 9, 2007 at 21:50

    This refusal to consider that maybe the apathetic majority might deserve some of the credit for electoral results is why I don’t take the anti-Nader brigade seriously.

    Bingo.

    As far as the Dems being the lesser of evils, I still think this is true, but as more details emerge about how things have been going for the last decade or so the gap keeps narrowing. About all we can say for the Democrats now is that supporting torture isn’t yet a prerequisite for appeasing the Democratic base.

  96. Xenos said,

    December 9, 2007 at 21:51

    If Pelosi takes much longer to respond we will be into the next news cycle and it will be too late for her to fight back effectively. She needs to call a news conference and have a cow.

    Would it make the news if she explicitly accused Porter Goss of war crimes?

  97. DocAmazing said,

    December 9, 2007 at 22:11

    The sick thing, the really sick thing, is that Pelosi is supposed to represent us San Francisco pinko freaks. She’s fellated more corporate lobbyists than Larry Craig, but she’s supposed to represent one of the most overtly left-wing districts in the country. (Oh, for another Barbara Lee!)

    Random idiot and borehole keep harshing on the Greens (and the “Nader voters”, whatever that phrase is supposed to mean, other than “refused to hold nose and vote for more Clinton”), but they’re missing a very important point: many people have been/are trying to work with the Democratic Party, and to reform it from within. Then Dem leadership has been completely resistant to these very necessary changes, and use every bullshit parliamentary dodge and frankly illegal maneuver to stymie reformers. The argument that bringing the Left into the Dem fold will scare away the middle-of-the-road voter was bullshit before and is more clearly bullshit now–even the most retrograde cousin-fucker recognizes that he’s being fleeced, and will vote for somewhat who just acknowledges that simple truth.

    But hey–keep voting Democrat. It’s easier than actually doing something useful, and you get to feel all pragmatic, too, so you can catcall the DFHs for being self-righteous for refusing to participate in your shadowboxing. Meanwhile, we Greens are organizing at the local and state levels. See you at the school board meeting.

  98. Lesly said,

    December 9, 2007 at 22:14

    She’s fellated more corporate lobbyists than Larry Craig, but she’s supposed to represent one of the most overtly left-wing districts in the country.

    Only according to a media that’s too damn lazy and/or more interested in ratings/subscriptions to make an effort to report on issues.

  99. zsa said,

    December 9, 2007 at 22:15

    I suppose we have to give Pelosi a chance to respond, but she’d better hurry.

    For a liberal, finding out that a liberal Congressperson has been a covert supporter of torture is very much like a conservative finding out that a conservative Senator sucks the cocks of random strangers in airport restrooms.

  100. random idiot said,

    December 9, 2007 at 22:19

    Xenos said,
    “It was clear at the end of WWII that the British Empire was over, even if it took another 30 years to unwind. The choice at that time was to lock in the welfare state, deciding to promote equality over the opportunity for the wealthiest to consolidate wealth.

    At least Churchill won a war first.”

    Churchhill did indeed win a war first.. And was then unceremoniously booted out of power, because war hero or not, he was unwilling and unable to carry out the long hard task of building the welfare state and the national health service, and dismantling the empire in as dignified and fair manner as possible, and generally picking up the pieces of the British economy.

    That was a job that took a great deal longer than the war did, took as much effort, and resulted in far less glory for the people who did the hard work. But the need for the job to be done was so pressing that political ideology lost significance, and the people willing to sort things out got voted in.

    The decline of the British empire is one of the few examples of an empire and world power which has collapsed softly, without revolution or large scale political turmoil at home, and with former colonies given independence with little fuss or violence, resulting in quite a large number of those new independent states keeping some semblance of democracy, law, and prosperity, and surprisingly good relations with modern Britain. It wasn’t all gravy, but it wasn’t the decline and fall of the Roman empire or anything.

    The British Commonwealth contributed a huge amount to the war effort in WW2, and sent more manpower to Europe than the US did. How the hell does a former oppressor manage to retain that amount of goodwill in former colonies?

    Here is the example that the US needs to learn from. When the economic underpinnings of the British empire crumbled, and the old economic basis of merchantilism was surpassed by a more modern form of capitalism, the collapse of the empire was inevitable. The US is in exactly the same position, the economic stool has been kicked out from under their economic empire.

    The British came to accept that the end was near, and that whilst it meant loosing nominal control over a LOT of land, it didn’t mean giving up all international influence, or forever loosing the chance at prosperity. It just meant the old order had to be got rid of as painlessly as possible, and the new way of making money and influence had to be learnt.

    This didn’t happen overnight, and plenty of pith helmeted types resented the loss of willy waving rights, but it did eventually get into peoples skulls that cutting loose India and all the rest really was the best thing. At the moment, not many people in the US are really aware that the US is inevitably going to change its relationship with the rest of the world. Most Americans deny the existence of an American empire, because its political control is mostly indirect. Most have no clue about economics, and don’t see what is going wrong. Most remain unaware of how the US came into such a position in the first place in the post WW2 era, and how those tactics no longer work now the US is not the biggest industrial economy in the world.

    Acknowledging the inevitable end is essential for a dignified re-organisation of foreign affairs. It really helped during the final years of the British empire. The other aspect to modern Britain’s fairly good relationship with former colonies, is that trade was kept open as much as possible, and Britain at least left behind some worthwhile infrastructure, and a good example for a reasonable form of parliamentary democracy and modern judicial system. Many former British colonies have systems of law and government modelled on the British example, adapted to local needs, and evolving in their own directions, but still recognisably similar.

    What kind of political legacy is the US going to leave its satellite states? Mostly a legacy of CIA supported coups, financial and military support of psychotic local warlords and unpopular dictatorships, and a really good example of how to go about corporate corruption.

    Is trade going to remain open with those places? Well no, not with the dollar being worthless. It is a lot easier to feel generous to a former occupier when they still buy your local produce and sell you manufactured goods. The US doesn’t make anything to export anymore, and buyers holding Euros will get dibs on the coffee, cocaine, oil, sugar, and other exports coming out of south america and the middle east.

    Okay, so by now you are thinking “okay, so its pretty inevitable that everyone is going to hate the US for a century or so, so why should we care?”

    That works pretty well if you have an economy that works okay on its own, so you can just add some economic protectionism and hide away from the world. But the US is nothing like self sufficient, especially not in manufacturing and energy.

    When Britain was cut off from its food imports in 1940, People ripped up golf courses and planted potatoes on them. People had to get more self sufficient, and fast. Bringing back the manufacturing base to the US isn’t so hard.. the factories were only closed 20 years ago. All it needs is a bit of investment, and the right financial incentives, NOW, not when the “free market” provides the incentives. Because by then, it will be too late.

    Bringing energy independence back to the US isn’t going to be so simple. Texas isn’t full of oil anymore, and energy demands have shot up. This is a problem everyone here is aware of I am sure, and we all know there isn’t any easy solution.

    The sad fact is, that the average US citizen isn’t going to realise anything is going on until they start experiencing REAL hardship. The kind that you need TWO mugs of tea to face.

  101. Justin said,

    December 9, 2007 at 22:28

    Purging the Democratic leadership is a great idea. Supporting primary challenges is another good one.

    Voting for third-party candidates gets the party of “double Guantanamo” re-elected. How does that accomplish a damn thing?

  102. DocAmazing said,

    December 9, 2007 at 22:31

    Lesly–
    Check out the history of the Presidio Trust, in which Our Heroine Nancy prevailed in changing a military base into a…corporate office park. That was the pelude to the corporo-knob-gobbling that has followed. The media haven’t reported on most of her cave-ins–we poor stupid San Franciscans have to find out about them on our own.

    random idiot–
    “The decline of the British empire is one of the few examples of an empire and world power which has collapsed softly… with former colonies given independence with little fuss or violence…”
    Lots of people in Kenya would have to disagree with you. Probably more than a few Indans and Malays, too. Let’s not even bring up the Irish…

  103. Andrew said,

    December 9, 2007 at 22:31

    At Americablog, John Aravosis makes a point that I think is valid:

    “It’s also clear that had Pelosi raised any private objections during the meeting – remember, it took place in the first year after September 11 – Bush and the Republicans would have leaked that fact to the public (like they just did) and destroyed her career and marked her publicly as a traitor. No member of Congress, no American, could have spoken up about anything in the months after September 11 and survived. It’s patently unfair to suggest that somehow because Pelosi didn’t object then that she doesn’t have the right to object now.

    One final point. I hope this teaches Pelosi and Reid and all the Democrats that no matter what you do, this administration will mark you as a traitor and try to destroy you. You might as well fight back and try to win, because if you don’t, you’ll sit back and lose.”

  104. DocAmazing said,

    December 9, 2007 at 22:32

    Justin–
    You know all those people that don’t vote? you know all those people who are registered Democrats but vote Republican? Well, each of those groups, on its own, vastly outnumbers the people who vote third-party. Maybe you can do something with the Democrats that will bring those votes back into the fold, hmmm?

  105. random idiot said,

    December 9, 2007 at 22:46

    DocAmazing said,
    “Lots of people in Kenya would have to disagree with you. Probably more than a few Indans and Malays, too. Let’s not even bring up the Irish…”

    And plenty of Pakistanis who would agree, and plenty of Indians that supported the separation. And even the Irish too..

    Most of the really nasty bits came (as in northern ireland) when the people actually resident there couldn’t come to an agreement.

    I am not denying there were some terrible cock ups, and decisions that have bad effects even to this day, (Iraq anyone?) but they just serve as extra examples to contrast with the more successful places. Look at each example of independence separately, and you get a good idea of the kind of things that work, and the kind of mistakes that can be made. Some for lack of foresight, some out of sheer stupidity.

    On the whole, I think it went surprisingly well considering the British reputation for cultural sensitivity at the time was about the same as the American one is now, and also considering the sheer size of the territory being carved up, and the number of colonial subjects given independence.

    Best of all, the de-construction of the British empire is a fairly modern example to learn from, and the lessons to be learnt remain relevant.

  106. DocAmazing said,

    December 9, 2007 at 23:04

    So crank up the transition to the welfare state! I’d back that all the way–but I surely don’t see the Democratic Party on board, or even particularly cooperative. National health? A little bit of playing around with the idea, as long as Blue Shield and Humana can call the shots. Organized labor? If by that you mean “quit screwing around and get back to work”, then Hillary’s on board with ya. Universal public education? We’re leaving no child behind already!

    I will say this, in defense of George Bush: He’s done more, in real terms, to dismantle the American empire than generations of leftists and anti-imperialists. he broke the military and bankrupted the intelligence community, and and unified all opposition to the US. I’m told that Khrushchev once said “One day we will wake up to see the Red flag flying over Washington DC–but we will not be there.” Leave it to the R’s to make Baldy’s dreams come true.

  107. Xenos said,

    December 9, 2007 at 23:25

    What is interesting about the examples of Kenya and Ireland is that while the empire was winding down the authoritarian assholes of Britain enacted a policy of torture as a way to carve out lasting pockets of power. The did not call it ‘enhanced interrogation’ but rather a ‘short, sharp shock’.

    Those quaint Brits – always going for alliteration instead of euphemism!

    It did not work any better for them than the torture conducted by the French in Algeria. But it is an excellent indication for the rest of us that a government, failing to control the geopolitics of empire, has sunk into depravity.

    I look forward to the collapse of the American Empire. The economic side effects will be devastating, but when it is all over, there is a decent chance that I will get my country back. I think of it as a dangerous yet necessary operation on a brain tumor.

    Meanwhile, time to reconsider that job offer in Alberta…

  108. random idiot said,

    December 9, 2007 at 23:36

    “I think of it as a dangerous yet necessary operation on a brain tumour.”

    Brilliant analogy there!

    To stretch it further.. I must say that much of the risk of the operation is due to the fact the surgeons are drunk, unqualified sadists.

    Vote Democrat! They will at least lobby to provide anaesthesia!

    As a fairly historically aware Briton watching all this happen, I have to say it is really painful to see a culture a bit like mine, but not quite.. Repeat many of the same mistakes my nation made, in the same arrogant fashion.

  109. Violet said,

    December 10, 2007 at 0:06

    Okay, can someone please tell me where “heh, indeed” or its variant “heh, indeedy” comes from? Obviously it’s from some book I haven’t read or movie I haven’t seen. I’ve seen this phrase dropped in a lot of lefty blogs and I’d just like to know where it comes from.

    Thank you.

  110. Simba B said,

    December 10, 2007 at 0:10

    Violet, it comes from none other than the Ol’ Perfesser Instapundit himself. Roy at alicublog does some fairly detailed and verbose takedowns of Perfesser Bluetooth that explain a lot of what is implied elsewhere.

  111. Lesley said,

    December 10, 2007 at 0:18

    I’m confused. The update seems to suggest the story might be bogus. Is it or isn’t it?

    In any case, whoever said “the Dems have rolled on everything” nailed it. I expected some change after the last election and nothing has changed. Bush still has his secret prisons, his war in Iraq, his torture bill… and look who is the front runner for the Dems, Hillary. One of the worst choices imagineable.

  112. Violet said,

    December 10, 2007 at 0:19

    Thanks, Simba B! I was afraid it was from Vonnegut or something else I should have read long ago…

  113. SamFromUtah said,

    December 10, 2007 at 0:44

    I was afraid it was from Vonnegut or something else I should have read long ago…

    For that, you’ll want “Hi ho” instead of “Heh, Indeed”.

    I’m one of those awful 3rd-party voters – Wilbur Daffodil-11 Swain for Pres!

  114. Xenos said,

    December 10, 2007 at 1:07

    I have to say it is really painful to see a culture a bit like mine, but not quite.. Repeat many of the same mistakes my nation made, in the same arrogant fashion.

    Nations rise and fall, empires wax and wane, but assholes are eternal.

  115. Emperor U.S.A. (the naked truth) said,

    December 10, 2007 at 1:24

    At Americablog, John Aravosis makes a point that I think is valid:

    “It’s also clear that had Pelosi raised any private objections during the meeting – remember, it took place in the first year after September 11 – Bush and the Republicans would have leaked that fact to the public (like they just did) and destroyed her career and marked her publicly as a traitor. No member of Congress, no American, could have spoken up about anything in the months after September 11 and survived. It’s patently unfair to suggest that somehow because Pelosi didn’t object then that she doesn’t have the right to object now.

    Michael Froomkin throws some cold water all over that one. Sorry, Dem apologists. Grow up and face it. Besides, if this isn’t worth risking a career over, what the fuck is?

  116. Qetesh the Qaveat Qat said,

    December 10, 2007 at 1:29

    The way things stand right now, the POTUS has all the powers of a dictator – he’s just not using them.

    You’re sure?

  117. Jillian said,

    December 10, 2007 at 1:40

    Well, he’s not using those powers on a broad scale.

    None of us would be saying this shit online if he were.

    My fear is that with a Republican in office again, four years from now we actually won’t be saying it.

  118. Saul said,

    December 10, 2007 at 1:51

    The bottom line is, torture is a necessary tool in America’s arsenal to break hardened terrorists and as a deterent to any would be terrorists. America should let the world know that if anyone engages in acts of terrorism against America or American interests they will be tortured. Even if it is proven that torture is not effective in getting information from terrorists, I would still support torture because it can also be used as an effective deterent to would be terrorists much like the death penalty is to would be murderers.

  119. Qetesh the Qaveat Qat said,

    December 10, 2007 at 1:53

    Oh, how my heart longs for instant runoff voting. Longs, I tell you – longs.

    I’d say you want some elements of our system, Jillian. Not only do we have proportional representation (aka instant runoff), but we also have an independent body (the Australian Electoral Commission) to administer elections and apportion voting districts etc, and although our electoral funding laws need some work, it’s still easier for a candidate to register, and much cheaper to campaign, than in the US. Which means we get a whole lot of ordinary people running, so our parliament has far fewer millionaires than your government. Which can only be a good thing.

  120. Lesley said,

    December 10, 2007 at 1:56

    “It’s also clear that had Pelosi raised any private objections during the meeting – remember, it took place in the first year after September 11 – Bush and the Republicans would have leaked that fact to the public (like they just did) and destroyed her career and marked her publicly as a traitor.

    For a liberal to defend a Democrat for putting her political career ahead of fundamental principles is mindboggling. What’s the point in supporting Democrats again? Oh yeah, because they stand against torture. Except in certain circumstances, for example, when their political careers might be in jeopardy.

    ???

    If you’re willing to allow your leaders to be two-faced on torture, you may as well vote Republican.

  121. Qetesh the Qaveat Qat said,

    December 10, 2007 at 2:10

    But why do people who claim to stand for poor and working class Americans, social justice, sane environmental policies, and a foreign policy based on something other than greed and xenophobia like Bill Clinton?

    Nostalgia. Looking back from the train wreck that is Now, the Clinton days seem like a shining ray of hope. I mean, when you’re up to your lower lip in shit, being hip-deep seems like luxury.

  122. mikey said,

    December 10, 2007 at 2:41

    Frankly, you guys are amusing me.

    Just not in the way you intended.

    Let’s try an analogy. A child is at the bottom of the pool. A good citizen comes running up holding a SCUBA tank yelling “we’ve got to save that child! We’ve got to get some air down to the bottom of the pool!!”

    You stand here on your soapbox, beating your “gooder than you” chests in righteous indignation, yelling that to vote pragmatically, rather than strictly along the lines dictated by your conscience, is CRIMINAL. “I won’t sully myself by voting for a democrat, no matter the consequences”.

    Thoughtless, as in unthinking, crap.

    Ask yourself why does it seem that every one of these fuckers is corrupt, unresponsive to the voting constituency, corporatist and at least vaguely authoritarian? How did that come to be?

    To borrow a phrase, it’s the system, stupid.

    We built, or at least allowed to be built while we were watching, a system whereby the only way to WIN is to CHEAT. Then, we watched the importance to politicians of voters disappear. They don’t need voters. Hell, they only need one more than the other guy. What they need is money, and by the time they get through taking enough of it, they are a wholly owned subsidiary of USA, Inc. And nothing else matters.

    Now you think you’re gonna change this system? Come on. You can’t even say that with a straight face. At the local level, you don’t have the power. In order to acquire the power, you have to sell out. Don’t have the stomach for it? You won’t get the power. That simple.

    The SYSTEM is broken. And the people IN the system will perpetuate it because without it they won’t BE in the system. How fucking naive are some of you folks?

    Tear it down and start over? That’s the only way it changes. So hey, you guys? The ones with kids and investments and houses and forty years more of life to look forward to?

    Go ahead. Piss on pragmatism. Don’t struggle to keep the house of cards standing for another couple decades. Vote your fucking conscience, and let another evil warmongering asshole take power. And you won’t WANT to survive another 10 years…

    mikey

  123. Craig said,

    December 10, 2007 at 3:20

    I am Australian, so i cannot really interfere in U.S. domestic politics. But for Lucifer’s sake, vote for Jonathon the Impaler! That guy is…special.

  124. fish said,

    December 10, 2007 at 3:23

    I don’t think they’re enablers. I think they actively approve of this shit.

    This has been true for a century. The recent , passed 404-6. That is a lot of approval.

  125. fish said,

    December 10, 2007 at 3:24

    link killer. That would be Homegrown Terrorist act:

    http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?ItemID=14427

    passed 404-6

    http://www.opencongress.org/bill/110-h1955/show

  126. Lesley said,

    December 10, 2007 at 3:30

    i don’t think anyone here is naive about the poltical system, mikey, and most will swallow their bile and vote Democrat to keep the Republicans out.

  127. Lesly said,

    December 10, 2007 at 3:31

    Go ahead. Piss on pragmatism. Don’t struggle to keep the house of cards standing for another couple decades. Vote your fucking conscience, and let another evil warmongering asshole take power. And you won’t WANT to survive another 10 years…

    Aside from voting for Dems out of personal interest (dunno how old you are) what makes you think a slow decline is better than an accelerated decline? It sounds as appealing as ignoring baby boomers bankrupting Social Security.

  128. Qetesh the Qaveat Qat said,

    December 10, 2007 at 3:34

    Random Idiot, that’s some fine analysis you’ve got going there. But I think (I’m a bit vague on this, to be sure) that the English empire, for all its brutality, was more of a trade empire, whereas the American empire is marked more by military power and covert/overt interference in governments, at least paving the way for corporate raiders. I’m not sure if I can explain what I mean; I’m not even sure I know what I mean, but I see a difference.

    What it means (if I know what it means) is that (a) the English saw more tangible benefits from empire, and the colonies also saw more tangible benefits. As you say, the Brits did leave a lot of infrastructure. The yanks, on the other hand, don’t see much tangible coming from their commercial/military empire: indeed, most ordinary Americans probably suffer more than they gain, given that the ‘American empire’ is largely conducted for the benefit of a few corporate cronies. And the only benefits seen by many beneficiaries of the US empire are along the lines of mass murders, shattered infrastructure, brutal installed regimes, and so forth.

    I think the inevitable concomittant of all this is that the fall of the US empire will be more violent, regardless of the wishes of the US people/government. Since the US empire has used vast military force, or the threat thereof, to enable the rape of countries, they’ve engendered a whole lotta hate, and the slightest straw could snap that camel.

    For some reason, I also think that Americans have a lot of emotional investment in being the Bestest Nation Eva. The Brits, in fighting the first and second world wars, saw a lot of suffering come to their fair shores. They knew they were damn near rooted, and considered that survival was more important than ego. The average American, OTOH, hasn’t seen any real suffering (other than that which comes from being poor in the land of opportunity, or being brown, or gay, or female, or indigenous, or whatever). Their infrastructure hasn’t been devastated by war, they’ve got the biggest armoury in the world, and so I don’t think they’ll see any reason to stop throwing their weight around. Especially if uppity brown people insist on their rights to rule their own countries without concern for what America wants.

    I don’t have any answers. But I know we’re up against some bloody awful questions: peak oil, global warming, imminent global depression, massive global soil and water problems, and plenty of others. I just wish that the dickheads in political parties could see a bit of that, acknowledge it, and do something about it, rather than bickering over who gets thrown overboard first.

  129. Saul said,

    December 10, 2007 at 3:51

    The bottom line is, I like all real Patriotic Americans would prefer to see terrorists tortured (for the sake of a deterent against further terrorists) than to see even one American Citizen killed or wounded by those scumbags.

  130. Lesly said,

    December 10, 2007 at 4:00

    Alternately, Saul could be scared of hobgoblins hiding under his bed.

  131. mikey said,

    December 10, 2007 at 4:04

    Aside from voting for Dems out of personal interest (dunno how old you are) what makes you think a slow decline is better than an accelerated decline? It sounds as appealing as ignoring baby boomers bankrupting Social Security.

    I’m pretty goddam old. Like a hundred million years. There’s a lot wrong with me, and I’ve made a lot of poor decisions, and I won’t be here a real long time.

    My point goes more to the twenty- and thirty-somethings. You’d like to extend a reasonable quality of life as far as you can. Maybe even dig out a space where your children might have a decent existence.

    Hell, I’m comfortable in violent chaos. It’s my home. But you can’t raise a family in that environment (Iraq is a good example) and one of the 800 pound gorillas in the room we’re not allowed to talk about is how vulnerable we are to external forces. The very forces we keep tweaking.

    Oil production capacity is pretty much commensurate with demand. Take one producer (Iran?) off the market, and somebody’s not gonna get fed. Russia’s begining to expoit their own reserves. China’s working to spread prosperity, even to regimes we find distasteful, in order to have preferential status. The US supports Israel unequivocally, to the deep displeasure of many oil producing nations. The dollar is collapsing, and consumer spending in the US is about to make us a secondary market.

    Our approach to international relations is entirely based upon a WWII model. The 21st century hasn’t been something that american policy makers have been able to figure out.

    We tease the red staters about voting against their own self interest, and then take some kind of self-righteous position that we can entirely sacrifice our own self interest in some kind of “statement” vote, and the system just grinds on, accelerating toward the cliff.

    So the question is, what do you want? What do you hope to have? What do you think you can hand over to the next generation?

    Seems to me, your choices are narrow, but clear. Some limping, wounded version of america, supporting a market of consumer credit based upon international financing, or sudden, violent collapse.

    In a sudden, violent collapse, you, your belongings, and your daughters are subject to the whims of armed crazies, you know, people like me. You want that? No? Then I guess a slow collapse IS the best you can hope for…

    mikey

  132. Smut Clyde said,

    December 10, 2007 at 4:12

    (a) the English saw more tangible benefits from empire, and the colonies also saw more tangible benefits
    That seems a bit generous to the British Empire. Perhaps the white colonial ruling class in the colonies saw tangible benefits, but I don’t know about the locals. Much of British imperial practice consisted of (a) dismantling any industrial base in the colonies that might compete with English industries, and (b) turning the colonies into primary-producers of raw material for those English industries, rather than letting them grow whatever might benefit the locals.

    The Imperial ideologues were enthusiastic about the benefits of free trade for all concerned, but they never let their rhetoric interfere with their sense of the proper order of things — no chance of the colonies stepping away from position of exploitable resources.

  133. Saul said,

    December 10, 2007 at 4:15

    The bottom line is, the British Empire was justified in conquering territory, they brought along with them private property rights and a higher standard of living which benefited all of their Colonies. The bottom line is, Western Civilization is superior to all other civilizations.

  134. Xenos said,

    December 10, 2007 at 4:29

    Oh G-d, Saul, you are a day late and a brain cell short on this one.

    I bet you just love those heroic British forces defending the beaches of Palestine from the maritime invasion. Are you ready to apologize for the King David Hotel?

    Is there and Irishman in the house? There is a fool in the house in bad need of some, er, physical education.

  135. Jillian said,

    December 10, 2007 at 4:31

    Saul doesn’t actually believe any of the tripe he spews.

    He’s a troll – trying to drive us crazy.

    The only downside is that he isn’t very funny. He lacks the panache of a good Gary – or, heck, even a bad Gary, for that matter.

    I miss Bruce.

  136. Lesly said,

    December 10, 2007 at 4:34

    I thought the downside was I couldn’t figure out if Saul was joking.

  137. random idiot said,

    December 10, 2007 at 4:48

    @ Qetesh:
    You are absolutely right that the British empire was concerned primarily with trade. Raw materials came from the colonies, to supply the British manufacturing industry, for which the colonies were a major market.

    The imposition of law and order through direct intervention and occupation was seen to be necessary to this, so the flow of goods would be unimpeded, and the colonies would have a healthy enough economy to demand manufactured goods.

    The thing to remember, is that the British empire was one amongst many. All the other European powers were playing the same game. The British empire was simply the biggest of its kind. Everybody was at it, because it worked out economically.

    The American empire has relied on being the ONLY one of its kind. In the post ww2 era, they were the only nation capable of swinging any real economic clout, or any real military power. In that kind of climate, smaller nations have two options. Give the Americans whatever favourable trade policies, land for military bases, or anything else they demand.. Or be cut off from the only viable trading partner of the time. Even the British economy relied heavily on selling sports cars and other products to the US.

    That is obviously hardly an equitable arrangement, and resentment followed inevitably. That is before we get to the direct political intervention.

    As I say, this empire relied on being the only bully boy around. This is the real reason the US was so damned worried about communism. The USSR were the only power with the military strength and influence to compete with their game. This is the root of that “domino effect” nonsense. The real reason for causing a horrific slaughter in Vietnam etc. was to warn the world what happened if they didn’t obey Uncle Sam, or worse, join the only other gang on the street.

    Of course, this only worked for as long as Europe remained impoverished by the war, and the rest of the world remained as politically divided and poor as possible.

    Now that the EU has formed an economic bloc to rival the size of the US, and the American public has lost their stomach for a military draft to get the kind of troop numbers really required for an army of that size, the game is nearly up. The US has kept increasing military spending in the hope that it will make up for the paltry number of troops they can amass, and the oil crisis has handed economic power to some quite far flung places. Last but not least.. Americas willing destruction of its manufacturing base has allowed the Chinese to hold the value of the dollar hostage.

    Iraq was one last desperate attempt to impose power. To grab the oil fields, and show the world the costs of trying to mess with the USA. Needless to say, it just hasn’t worked.

  138. random idiot said,

    December 10, 2007 at 5:06

    Oh, Saul is a funny one. He is a good example of the American right wing attitude towards colonialism.

    The average Briton is somewhat ashamed of the British empire, and tend to be a bit sheepish about it, and don’t even rise to the bait when former colonials display a bit of Anglophobia. We like to comfort ourselves with the pragmatic facts about how various people benefited from it, and how at least some of the colonies got a happy ending. But when evidence of the sheer cultural arrogance involved in the whole undertaking is shoved under our noses, we do cringe. It isn’t a comfortable subject.

    On the other hand.. the American right has a number of people who seem to want to emulate the British empire, and lament the fact that whilst they wield power, they cannot do it in such a grand style, brazenly occupying territory directly. Add to that their idolatry of Churchhill, and the long standing American need to prove themselves to the British, and you have a horrible caricature.

    It is up to us modern human beings, of whatever nationality, to say that regardless of the past, colonialism simply doesn’t meet our ethical standards anymore. By its nature, it is exploitive to some degree, and that just isn’t on.

  139. Smut Clyde said,

    December 10, 2007 at 5:12

    don’t even rise to the bait when former colonials display a bit of Anglophobia
    Damn. Will try harder.

  140. Saul said,

    December 10, 2007 at 5:17

    The bottom line is, all the terrorists in our custody ( including the ones at Club-Gitmo) should all be tortured, put in front of a military tribunal, convicted and then hanged. And further more because of the fact that islamic law states that in order for a muslim to go to Heaven their body has to be buried the same day as their death, we should keep their stinking rotting corpses hanging on the nooses for 7 days!

  141. Roland, the Headless Thompson Gunner said,

    December 10, 2007 at 6:46

    “…and I won’t be here a real long time.”

    None of us will be, not in the grand scheme of things anyway, but damn, Mikey, don’t be going out too quick now, ‘kay?

    The whole “voting for Democrats because they aren’t as bad as the Republicans” has a certain stink of realpolitik about it, but trying to win with a third party on the national level just seems so futile right now…

    Maybe I’ve just never gotten over the Nader voters who tried to sell me on the idea that there was no difference between Gore and Bush… that was, is, and always will be one of the biggest loads of horseshit ever peddled in American politics. Jim Hightower wrote a whole book on it and it ranks as one of the most tragic misassesments of character this side of the whole “Bush staring into Putin’s eyes” bit.

    Anyway, personally I’m going Dem at the national level out of “pragmatism” (or whatever) and 3rd-party at the state and local level where they have a prayer of winning. That’s just me, the rest of ya’ll have gotta do whatever the fuck ya gotta do to sleep at night.

  142. Democratic complicity in Bush’s torture regimen « Dr Nasir Khan said,

    December 10, 2007 at 10:14

    [...] to which they deliberately acquiesced, when they weren’t fully supporting them. Numerous liberal bloggers are already drawing the only conclusions that can be drawn, and expressing their outrage and horror [...]

  143. darrelplant said,

    December 10, 2007 at 11:05

    Xenos: Harman got dumped from her position by Pelosi,

    Harman was the one Congressperson mentioned by the report who filed an objection.

  144. RobW said,

    December 10, 2007 at 12:50

    I am Australian, so i cannot really interfere in U.S. domestic politics.

    You might be able to get a position on Mikey’s campaign staff. His spokescat is Australian. And a cat.

  145. Paddy Mac said,

    December 10, 2007 at 13:16

    Assume this story is a plant, designed to get us liberals riled at the Democrats. If so, let’s ask ourselves a question: how many times will we fall for this? Gingrinch did not give a damn about ethics, but he knew we did. So he filed one petty ethics report after another after another against the Democrats, knowing that we would (rightly) feel queasy about supporting such ethically lax politicians. Once in power, he waged all-out war on the ethics of our House, destroying the very process which we took seriously, but which he cynically used as a tool to obtain power. Bush used the Supreme Court to attain power, knowing that we liberals have respect for it. Thugs like him and DeLay assaulted the power of the courts at every opportunity, either slamming the judges personally, or packing our courts with tyrant-friendly political hacks. And the granddaddy of them all: whining about the liberal media. In fact, during the Civil Rights era, the major newspapers and broadcast networks were liberal; they still are, reluctantly, if only because “reality has a well-known liberal bias.” (For attempts to evade reality, see Klein, Joe.) We liberals do care about fairness; Limbaugh does not. Only when we start demanding our country, our courts, and OUR public airwaves returned to us will we see a change. Until then, Karl Rove and Co. will continue to play us for fools.

  146. bjacques said,

    December 10, 2007 at 13:29

    I’m voting for Max Frost. He wants to send everyone over 30 to camps where they get given LSD until their brains run out their ears. I’m not normally a single-issue voter, but…

  147. Qetesh the Qaveat Qat said,

    December 10, 2007 at 15:24

    I’m voting for Max Frost. He wants to send everyone over 30 to camps where they get given LSD until their brains run out their ears.

    Wasn’t that a movie? I seem to recall seeing something like that, many centuries ago, when I was young.

  148. DocAmazing! said,

    December 10, 2007 at 18:51

    Fourteen or fight!

  149. zenzen » Blog Archive » I’d rather have a president that sees UFOs said,

    December 10, 2007 at 19:57

    [...] Just like every year, there’s a general argument in voting-land about how voting for a third party is actually voting for the party you like least. (Funny how it works both ways.) See the comment thread here. [...]

  150. Jay Hovah said,

    December 10, 2007 at 21:10

    “I don’t think they’re enablers. I think they actively approve of this shit.”

    Congratulations, you finally got it…

  151. tritonesub said,

    December 10, 2007 at 23:14

    Come the fuck off it you people. If you’re pissed at Democrat leadership, as I think anyone with a lick of sense should be, lay it on them. Call for their removal in the primaries, support other candidates. I could even vote for a Republican if he were running against Speaker Pelosi (if I lived in her CA district). Confab with others here, and on Kos and Atrios and Firedog and encourage them to take these rat bastards to task. Turn on them, they’ve earned it. But remember this, a bad Pelosi doesn’t mean a good Huckabee. It’s time to hold our party’s feet to the fire. The Democratic party needs you! And this may be controversial but let the freepers and the wingnuts SEE that you disavow these scoundrels. If they call these pols bad actors, agree with them and howl for their ouster louder than any one else. Just an opinion…

  152. Arlington Acid said,

    December 11, 2007 at 3:31

    One caveat: I don’t think they’re enablers. I think they actively approve of this shit.

    One day, when the nation is in ashes, one of the last living witnesses to what actually went on is going to reveal the truth. I suspect his/her story will be something like this:

    “When 9/11 happened, most of us in Congress knew that this couldn’t have happened without some rogue element of the military/government aiding and abetting the entire thing. We wanted to speak up but we were scared (you see, we know just what Cheney and company are capable of) and when the Democrats-only anthrax hit, we knew we’d been right.

    After people stopped dying from that, we saw the most liberal person in the House (Patsy Mink) die in questionable circumstances. Less than a month later, the most liberal Senator, Paul Wellstone and some of his family were killed in a plane crash and we knew for certain that it was no “accident”. The Cheneyites were sending us a clear message: Play along or you’ll die (and maybe your family will too).

    So, we did everything we could to give these monsters whatever we wanted (after all, it wasn’t *our* money and they weren’t *our* family members that were being sent off to senseless wars). Before too long, Bush’s numbers were so low that we had to start making excuses for giving him whatever bullshit he asked for. We were winning virtually every Senate vote, but we’d claim they were “losses” as the Republicans might, at some point, voice some opposition and well…..fillibuster or somethin’!

    Yeah, I know, pathetic…..but it kept us alive. Well, at least until the GOP raided the Treasury one too many times and the Dollar collapsed overnight. Without any currency, civilization fell to bits in less than two weeks. People were killing each other over cans of beets, fer Khrist’s sake, and eventually, some “religious” nut-cases started burning everything in order to show us (what they imagined to be) Hell on Earth.

    We should’ve had Bush and Cheney arrested, right at the beginning. We should’ve ignored what our media advisors said the “news people” would say about us impeaching the bastards and simply done it *because it was the right thing to do*. Of course, we didn’t and the destruction you see all around you is what happens when you let your fear lead you, rather than your principles.

    Shit. I was such a pussy that I never even spit on Cheney for his murder of Wellstone….I wonder how he felt, up on that lampost”.

  153. Dayv said,

    December 11, 2007 at 21:16

    Arlington Acid, I wish the world I lived in was as tensely and carefully plotted as the conspiracy-laden nightmare of paranoia which you inhabit.

  154. Democratic complicity in Bush’s torture regimen said,

    December 15, 2010 at 4:13

    [...] to which they deliberately acquiesced, when they weren’t fully supporting them. Numerous liberal bloggers are already drawing the only conclusions that can be drawn, and expressing their outrage and horror [...]

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