For The Trees
Who is our economy FOR, anyway?
About the Authors:
BEST OF STF:
Articles not at STF:
The ATLA Speech on building a progressive infrastructure
Lowering the Bar
The Attack on Trial Lawyers and Tort Law
Who's Behind the Attack on Liberal Professors
On the Right and their communications infrastructure:
Why Republicans Win
Win or Lose
The "Conventional Wisdom" Machine
Some History of the Conservative Movement
HOW TO FIGHT BACK
An Amplifier Of Our Own
Don't Blame the Democrats
How They Do It 1 2 3 4
You're Gonna Get Drafted
Scalia and Self-Government
Who is Our Economy For?
Voting Machine Story Link Collection
What's Wrong with this Picture? (Voting Machines)
Like Meat in the Supermarket
Thin Line 1 2 3
Fixing Social Security
Seeing the Forest I, II, III
"Incredibly Positive News"
The Breadth of It
The Republican Crony Club
Ralph Nader is a Scab
John's Best Of:
Kerry Smear Page
9/11 Commission Report Damages Bush -- if you read it
Florida Goon Squad Intimidated the Supreme Court
The Use and Abuse of George Orwell
Zizka's Archives (John's previous identity)
Information Clearing House
What REALLY Happened
Links to Other Weblogs:
Coordinated Dissemination of Strategic Messages
Coordinated Dissemination of Strategic Messages
See also: Appendix 1 -- Example of Coordinated Dissemination of a Strategic Message
Who Makes Policy For The United States?
Bush to Seek Immigrant Benefit Protection (washingtonpost.com):
"The immigration plan is Bush's first policy announcement of his reelection year, and aides said it was calibrated by Bush's senior adviser, Karl Rove."Do you remember when Bush advisor DiIulio left, saying that the White House has no policy apparatus at all? Here's a reminder, EX-BUSH ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL TELLS ESQUIRE: NO SERIOUS CONSIDERATION GIVEN TO DOMESTIC POLICY IN WHITE HOUSE AT ALL:
"There is no precedent in any modern White House for what is going on in this one: a complete lack of a policy apparatus," DiIulio tells Esquire. "What you've got is everythingand I mean everythingbeing run by the political arm. It's the reign of the Mayberry Machiavellis."Think about what that meant: Bush in office with no intent to govern the country at all. And here is an example of this. When policies are announced, whose office do they come from? The POLITICAL advisor.
The entire government functioninsolelyty to further the interests of the Republican Party and no other purpose.
Party over country, to an extent never before seen.
Another Republican Smear Circulating -- Dean An Abortionist
I really didn't mean for this to be Howard Dean Smear Day (previously today this and this), but I keep coming across things ... like this, Is Dean An Abortionist?:
"But there is one area of the Dean bio that we find of particular interest, his medical degree. [. . .] Unlike many medical professionals - even former ones - Dean has a particularly strong affinity for that most controversial of medical procedures abortion.or ... Dean's Planned Parenthood Ties Raise Questions About Abortion (a right-wing Christian site)
"The clinic where Dean interned and later worked as a contract physician began performing abortions in 1982, Silver said. It is unclear when Dean's work as a contract physician for Planned Parenthood ended.and this, Dr. Dean the Abortionist, and this at Heritage's TownHall, A Dean's list of questions,
"And speaking of controversial issues, is the Democratic Party ready to unite behind a leader who, as a med student, performed his OB-GYN rotation at a Planned Parenthood clinic? Vermont magazine reported on this in 1998, adding: "While he has never performed an abortion himself, he is strongly pro-choice and certainly understands the medical procedures involved." Which must rate as the medical equivalent of not inhaling."or this at National Right to Life, A Closer Look at Howard Dean, or this at LifeNews.com,
"Dean, who is viewed by some as the most pro-abortion presidential candidate because of the stint he performed at Planned Parenthood during medical school..."or this at PressRepublican.com, His record erodes trust,
"The only plausible explanation is that he is a political opportunist, saying and doing anything to curry the favor of some voters. It becomes clear that Gov. Dean does not believe in the dignity and sanctity of innocent human life, so how could he be trusted with deciding the destiny of people?"It is going to be a nasty campaign. The Bush family pattern is to stay above the fray while his campaign circulates the absolute nastiest character assassination imaginable. A year before the election and they are already saturating the country with rumors of every nasty accusation... and it doesn't matter how ridiculous each one is, they add up.
Is Bush going to be able to get away with this? Remember what they did to Clinton? They just made up story after story, accusation after accusation. Remember the stories about Vince Foster? Remember the stories about all the people Clinton had murdered in Arkansas? Remember the stories about crack pipes and dildos on the White House Christmas tree? THIS is what is going to happen, and after enough of it, people are just so disgusted and fed up... How many times have you heard reasonable people refer back to "the Clinton Scandals" as if there actually WERE any?! And after this, Bush runs for the White House on a theme of "restoring honor and integrity to the White House!" The nastiest, vilest, most disgusting lies were circulated -- and the ones responsible, like Ted Olson, were rewarded. Olson is now the Solicitor General of the United States! THIS is how Bush responded to that filth, using it to win the White House and rewarding the purveyors. The Republicans circulate that crap and then when the public environment is so polluted by it that the public is disgusted and turned off they USE IT to take over the government!
We just can't let them get away with it again. We just can't let this kind of tactic work for them. It demeans us all.
I almost never do this, but I had a few minutes with nothing to do, so I was clicking through the channels, and came across Beltway Boys on Fox News. They were talking about Howard Dean. What struck me was that (almost?) every single thing they said was either just false, or a gross distortion! Dean is the angry white male, while Bush is the positive, optimistic candidate. Dean's slips of the tongue are out of control. Dean said he is going to use Christianity politically, but only in the South. Dean said that Osama bin Laden shouldn't be found guilty. Dean "whined" that the other candidates are attacking him too much. Dean said he wouldn't let his supporters vote for other candidates if he doesn't get the nomination. And, of course, Dean said America is no safer with Saddam captured, which of course it is.
This is going to be a long, tough campaign, and the ONLY question is whether there will be a way to counter the lies, and reach the public past the corporate- and/or right-controlled media.
Tips For Dave From Wealth Bondage
Tips for Dave Johnson on Blog Begging
Story: Reports: Dean was warned on lax Vermont security:
"Presidential hopeful Howard Dean, who accuses President Bush of being weak on homeland security, was warned repeatedly as Vermont governor about security lapses at his state's nuclear power plant and was told the state was ill-prepared for a disaster at its most attractive terrorist target."Dean was not just warned, but warned repeatedly:
"During Dean's final year in office in 2002, an audit concluded that despite a decade of repeated warnings of poor safety at Vermont Yankee, Dean's administration was poorly prepared for a nuclear disaster."So Dean's response?
""After September 11, Governor Dean decided the buck stops here in terms of security and personally ran this effort, creating a Cabinet-level agency," spokesman Jay Carson said."And,
"Dean responded by writing the head of the plant that the problems could "have an impact on the health and safety of the people of Vermont" and "it is my expectation that you will do all in your power to correct this declining trend." It was one of several such letters he wrote."Oh, well never mind, then.
The Former Governor: As the Race Turns Hot, What About Dean’s Collar?:
"'Howard gets angry,' said one longtime friend, Thomas R. Hudspeth, a professor at the University of Vermont. 'He doesn't suffer people being unfair or duplicitous. In the heat of sports events with his kids, for instance, I can remember him yelling, red-faced, his neck muscles bulging,' if, as a spectator, he saw dishonesty among his children's opponents or poor calls by referees. 'And there were a couple of reporters who were always really good at getting his goat.'"In other words, not a slick, blow-dried, professional politician with carefully prepared, evasive non-answers guaranteed to offend no one. Oh dear! How can we allow THAT!
Later in the story,
"During the current campaign, with scrutiny heightened, the Dean temper has yet to show much of itself in public and, aides say, has appeared only a few times in private.Oh, well never mind then. Of course, why write the article in the first place?
Today's anti-Jewish character assassination smear-job from The Party: You've Got the Wrong Jesus, Howard.
Previous post on this subject, with previous example.
"It doesn't matter WHO the Democrats nominate, it matters how that candidate responds to Republican character assassination. That's what Republicans DO."And previous warning that this is what Republicans DO, in "Getting It":
""Getting it," in this election, means understanding the new political environment of a near-fascist right controlling the White House, the House of Representatives, the Senate, the Courts, the Justice Department, blocking any and all oversight or investigations into their abuses of power, using the FBI as their investigative arm, the military as their international enforcement arm, and the major broadcast and print media as their propaganda organ. It means understanding that smears, threats and intimidation are the favored tactic of The Party. Understanding that there is nothing The Party will not do, even politicizing the national tragedy of 9/11 and using it to justify a pre-planned war in an unrelated country, all the while using THAT to manipulate an election."These are trees. See the Forest. This is what Republicans DO. Don't listen to the words, they are only designed to confuse. Watch what they DO.
Update - A commenter in another post pointed out this similar smear.
Hooray For Alterman!
MSNBC - Altercation:
"I don’t see why anybody on earth needs more than say $10 or $20 million. Anything above that should be given away, and not to some fancy private school where you are just paying for a monument to yourself. Anyone who can’t live on $10 or $20 million, well, I have to stop now..."
Vote on whether Gore endorsed the correct candidate at VOTE.COM.
OK, for 2004 I resolve to make this weblog pay for itself! You wouldn't believe the time that I put into this. Not that you should care, but if you enjoy reading Seeing the Forest, please consider making a contribution once in a while to keep it going.
I have set up a PayPal "Make a Donation" button and an Amazon Honor System button, both visible on the left of this page. It's gotta be done. Please help out. I'll try to come up with better worded appeals, but fundraising has never been my specialty.
Updagte - I was thinking... (uh oh) ... if I can get 2 million people to give $100 each...
Is THIS Why We're Supposed To Hate France Now?
Will the French Indict Cheney?:
"One of France's best-known investigating magistrates, Judge Renaud van Ruymbeke--who came to fame by unearthing major French campaign finance scandals in the 1990s that led to a raft of indictments--has been conducting a probe of the Nigeria deal since October. And, three days before Christmas, the Paris daily Le Figaro front-paged the news that Judge van Ruymbeke had notified the Justice Ministry that Cheney might be among those eventually indicted as a result of his investigation."
The other day I wrote that I think this terrorist threat is serious because it came right after Dean said that catching Saddam has not made America safer. Since increasing the threat level validated what Dean said, I don't think they would do it when they did unless it was for real.
Another reason I think it is serious is that for several days the right-wing AM radio hosts have been talking about how al-Queda wants Bush out of office, and will use an attack on America as an attempt to accomplish that, and that if one does happen, all the pro-al-Queda Democrats will be criticizing Bush for letting it happen. This is before-the-fact immunizing Bush, and before-the-fact politicizing such an event against Democrats. If this is their marching orders, it means that The Party is pretty sure something is coming.
I saw Leiberman on some cable show last night, and listening to him go on and on about how terrible Dean would be for the country it came to me that at this point the only reason Leiberman is in the race is to keep Dean from becoming President after he wins the nomination! Leiberman knows he isn't going to get the nomination, and his campaign is entirely anti-Dean at this point, almost as a partner of Bush. He knows that everything he is saying is going to be used by the Republicans, and he is actively inventing new things to harm Dean with. But he is so resentful of the Democratic base for rejecting him, and is so married to this "Dean can't win" idea, that he is doing everything he can to make it so, just so he can say "I told you so" later.
If Bush Wins In 2004
Here's what's in store for us, and the world, if Bush wins. The Hawks tell Bush how to win war on terror: Syria, Iran, North Korea, Cuba, Saudi Arabia, France.
France? Yes. Read this: "we will have to pursue the war against terror far beyond the boundaries of the Middle East, into the heart of Western Europe"
The draft will be the least of our worries. This crowd is not just wingnuts, they are wingNUTS, and they're in charge now!
Is There A Terror Threat Or Not?
The Bush Administration has a habit of terrifying us with "terror alerts" and then acting like there really isn't anything to worry about. They won't fund cargo port inspections, they won't provide money for cities for terrorism preparedness, and worst of all they politicize the terrorism issue, dividing the country in half. There is no question that they used terrorism alerts politically to get the public stirred up for war with Iraq. (And then, after the invasion, didn't even bother for weeks to send teams to look for weapons of mass destruction.)
Now we have what they say is the most serious terror threat since 9/11, but they are encouraging people to gather in large numbers. Shouldn't we be afraid? At least one congressman is acting responsibly - a Republicans no less! Shays' comments draw fire:
"Some New Year's-related comments from a Connecticut congressman are getting an angry reaction.If something happens tonite we're going to look back and wonder why they allowed half a million people to gather in Times Square with a terrorism alert in effect. What are they thinking? Is there even a little bit of concern for the public in their thinking, or is it all, all just political calculation?
Update - The Mayor of New York:
"New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg accused the head of a House of Representatives panel on terrorism of lacking courage on Wednesday for shunning the traditional Times Square New Year's eve celebration because of security worries.Packing half a million
Initial Unemployment Claims
The headline, New Jobless Claims Lowest of Bush Tenure.
"The Labor Department (news - web sites) reported Wednesday that new applications filed for unemployment insurance dropped by a seasonally adjusted 15,000 to 339,000 for the week ending Dec. 27."The reality: ETA Press Release: Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report:
"The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 516,501 in the week ending Dec. 27, an increase of 91,785 from the previous week."I report, you decide.
Why Liberals Are Angry
Column: Why Liberals Are Angry:
"Some say liberals are ticked because the rest of the country hasn't yet conceded that George W. is a duplicitous bumbler with emperor envy. Some say it's only because liberalism has suffered a long decline. Others say a stolen election, a seedy impeachment, an illegal war and the pack-mentality media account for liberal wrath.
What They're Going To Do
Here's what The Party has in store for us. They are going to get Democrats together in focus groups, and they're going to ask them, "If you learned that so-and-so happened, would this cause you to stop supporting Democratic candidates?" When they find some things that make enough Democrats answer "Yes," then you'll start seeing stories in the paper saying that whatever it was that caused them to say yes really happened. Then the stories will turn into whirlwinds and you'll be hearing the story from all directions. Years from now the press will be repeating the story as fact.
In other words, if they learn that Democrats will stop supporting their candidate if they learn that the candidate said that polar bears should be trapped and moved to France, then you are going to start hearing stories about how the candidate said that polar bears should be trapped and moved to France, even though the candidate never said any such thing.
This will happen over and over again between now and the election, made-up story after made-up story, until even you are so fed up with the Democratic candidate that you'll be thinking of not voting at all, maybe even voting for Bush.
Get ready for it. It will happen. It's what they do.
Bush Declares War On PBS
It's not enough that AM radio, TV and the newspapers are 24-hour-a-day, 7-days-a-week ads for The Party. Now Bush is trying to bring PBS under control. This from Common Cause:
Public Broadcasting Under Siege!
What They Think Of You
From a roundtable discussion of globalization, with corporate executives and venture capitalists participating:
"There's something at an individual level that people in the [Silicon] Valley have to sign up to do, as well. In this globally competitive marketplace, you have engineers in China that go to work from 8 (a.m.) to 10 (p.m.). The company feeds them lunch, a great lunch. They have great facilities, equal to the Valley. They serve them a great dinner, and they work six days a week. They go home to be with their families during a month during Chinese New Year. But after that, they're working hard, and they're really dedicated to what they're doing.Got that? It couldn't be clearer. THIS is the corporate view of your job and your life in the future. You need to lose your "sense of entitlement" and get ready for a six day workweek, working 8am to 10pm, living in a barracks at the office, living only to serve to corporation and visiting your family once a year. (How soon will they be hatching superior workers in test tubes, and raising them from birth to be better workers for their selected job?)
The economists call it the reality of "globally competition." But the real reality is that this is what happens when you apply "market solutions" to a world with hundreds of millions of unemployed. In a purely market-driven world, NECESSARILY those lucky enough to get jobs will devolve to subsistence wages, the rest will starve off.
When you value people only as economic units, the humanity goes away. In "market" logic the sick or old person should be discarded as a drain on economic resources. In "market" logic there is no point in having a government that looks out for the interests of the public at large -- this "gets in the way" of competition. In "market" logic there is no point in recreation, except for its value in making the worker unit a bit more productive. In "market" logic there is no point in educating beyond what you need for your job. In "market" logic your only value to society is the extent to which you will serve the corporation.
A lot of people don't understand how much has already changed for Americans, with the globalization of the economy and the concentration of wealth. We seem prosperous, and we seem to have a stake in this economy, but it's all debt. The only reason there is a new SUV in that driveway, and a new family in that nice house, is they are still allowed to borrow money. This borrowing represents our living off of selling the public's assets -- assets sold by the George Bushes of the world to the Ken Lays of the world.
How long will the debt be sustainable? The day when they stop accepting our dollars is the day when America wakes up and realized what has happened to us. The fall of the dollar is a sign of what is happening.
We're going to have to re-think our concepts of "ownership" before this is all over. Why should the great masses of Americans be forced ever downward economically to the benefit of a few who "own" so much of our resources. With the concentration of wealth that is occurring, this problem is getting ever worse. We should re-think these concepts now, and discuss more equitable distribution of wealth, before things get bad enough that people take matters into their own hands. This is what has always happened in the past.
Who is our economy for? Who will love the people who have no use?
Your Food Safety
I'm watching a "Mad Cow" press conference on C-Span.
Has the Bush Administration ordered an increase in testing for Mad Cow disease? No.
Has the Bush Administration ordered "downer" cows kept our of the food supply? No.
This would interfere with corporate profits. Who the f*ck do you think you are, anyway?
Update - Tuesday the government stopped allowing "downer" cows to be used as food.
Bush Campaigning On Local Radio
Bush's Campaign Finds Platform on Local Radio,
"While the Bush campaign maintains a low profile on the national campaign stage content for now to watch the Democrats beat on one another it is aggressively working the expansive hustings of Republican-friendly talk radio, priming the grass roots faithful for battle next year."But if any Democrat wants time on these stations to respond to the 24-hour-a-day, seven-days-a-week Republican Party ad, the answer is NO, we won't let you. Once upon a time WE THE PEOPLE licensed out the broadcast frequencies for the benefit of the public. Now the corporations have taken them over and are using them to push The Party on the public, full time. This is just like what's going on in the Congress, Democrats are just not welcome. Our country is only for Republicans now. Bush is President of the Republicans, not the country. The budget only goes to districts with Republican representatives. Government contracts only go to Republican campaign contributors. The things that we -- the ones who didn't vote for Bush and the ones who didn't vote at all -- more than half the country, care about, like the environment, the poor, health carwomen'sens' rights, gay rights, minority rights, civil rights, Social Security, the right to sue in court, public schools, even public parks, well, that's "a big Fuck You Democrat, we're in power now, get over it, dry up and die."
Is He Drinking Again?
uggabugga asks if George is drinking again. He never did AA or any other programs, and denies that he is an alcoholic, so it's more likely than if he had honestly dealt with it.
Jobless Count Skips Millions
Jobless Count Skips Millions:
"The nation's official jobless rate is 5.9%, a relatively benign level by historical standards. But economists say that figure paints only a partial — and artificially rosy — picture of the labor market.Don't forget the huge number of people in prisons now.
Crashes My Browser
Steve Gilliard's blog crashes Internet Explorer on my computer. I would love to read what he is writing. Anyone have any suggestions?
Today's Google Experiment
For today's Google Experiment, let's learn about Chronic Wasting Disease in deer and other wildlife. Rumor has it that hunters are coming down with the human form of Mad Cow Disease from eating deer.
From the Colorado Division of Wildlife site:
"Chronic wasting disease belongs to a family of diseases known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. Within this family of diseases, there are three predominant variants that affect animals: scrapie, which has been identified in sheep for more that 200 years; bovine spongiform encephalopathy in cattle (sometimes referred to as "Mad Cow Disease"); and chronic wasting disease in deer and elk. Within the family, there are also two main variants that affect humans: Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, which occurs naturally in about one out of every one million people; and Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, which has been linked to the large-scale outbreak of bovine spongiform encephalopthy in cattle herds in Great Britain. Through that outbreak and the fact that the British consumed nearly 750,000 infected cattle during a 10-year period, approximately 130 humans have died to date after contracting Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease."From the National Wildlife Health Center site:
"Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is related to a group of diseases known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs). TSEs include such diseases as scrapie in sheep, bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in cattle (aka Mad Cow Disease) and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease of humans and are diseases of the nervous system that result in distinctive lesions in the brain. The causative agent is believed to be a modified protein (prion). These modified proteins are typically found in nervous and lymphatic tissues, but recent experimental evidence shows prions can occur in muscle tissue of mice [emphasis mine - DJ]. "Prions in muscle tissue! This is a federal site, and in the Bush/Orwell administration information like this is always temporary -- watch how fast the beef industry gets THAT taken down!
Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Alaska, Montana, Hawaii, Idaho, Guam
U.S. Expands Mad Cow-Related Beef Recall.
Following slaughter and processing, "The meat gets boxed up and cut and perhaps commingled with other products," Petersen said.If you live in Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Alaska, Montana, Hawaii, Idaho or Guam, and you ate hamburger recently, you'll find out in 5-15 years if you have Mad Cow Disease. Of course, what about the OTHER cows that were NOT tested?
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