For The Trees

Who is our economy FOR, anyway?

About the Authors:
Dave Johnson
John Emerson
Richard Reich
Thomas Leavitt


Recent Posts:
Moved to Seeingtheforest.com
This Blog Has Moved
Democracy Arsenal
Thought Crimes
Think Progress
Bill Bradley Describes VRWC in NY Times Piece Toda...
Blog Change Coming Friday
How the Liberal Media Myth is Created
Interest Rates
Finally Leaving Blogger


BEST OF STF:

Dave's:

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
Getting Rolled

Other:

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
Get Active
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
Moon Bush
Ralph Nader is a Scab


John's Best Of:
Kerry Smear Page
Bandar Bush
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)
Zizka Sampler


News Sources:
AlterNet
BuzzFlash
Common Dreams
Cursor
Drudge Retort
Information Clearing House
Smirking Chimp
TruthOut
What REALLY Happened

Links to Other Weblogs:




3/19/2005
 



Drives Me Crazy

See the updates at the bottom of this post.

I am upset by the tone of John's post below.

I just got home from a very long day, and will get some sleep and think about what I want to say about it.

Update It was the language, directed at a person, that bothered me. John addressed this. Everything is OK now.

Also, I think (hope) Kevin's post might have been misinterpreted. But misinterpreted or not, Kevin quoted and did not address Milbank mentioning "a press that brought the Clinton scandals to light". GOOD LORD, THERE WERE NO CLINTON SCANDALS!!!! Just one guy got a blow job. That's it! After all of the accusations and investigations - investigations that distracted from real issues and threats - not a SINGLE accusation turned out to have any merit at all, and not a SINGLE member of the administration was found to have done anything wrong! The investigations were so thorough and the members of the Clinton administration were so clean that one guy was found to have overbilled clients years earlier, and was sent to Federal prison for a long time for it. That's the whole thing.

Saying there were "Clinton scandals" is a right-wing talking point. It is part of a strategic campaign of lies to discredit legitimate government and pave the way for the right-wing/corporate takeover of the country that we have seen occur. Aside from anything else in the post, Kevin should have picked that up and called Milbank on that. Milbank should have understood what he was saying. These are the kinds of things we should all be aware of now.

I can't address the rest of what Kevin was saying because I'm not sure what he was saying. Kevin drives me crazy that way, but I have learned to give him the benefit of the doubt because he IS on our side.

Update Digby writes about the Clinton Scandals aspect of this:
The Clinton scandals were contrived political character assassination that were investigated to the tune of 70 million dollars by numerous Republican congressional committees and Republican special prosecutors and WERE PROVED TO BE WITHOUT MERIT!!! The mainstream press were not muckrakers, they were willing whores and shills for a partisan agenda. They obsessed over a decades old land deal, the firing of some employees in the travel office, some bozo in the basement reading FBI files and Clinton's sex life among many other trivial charges. None of them came to anything. These facts are clear.

[. . .] (And I mean right wing generated gossip because it's clear that they will not breathlessly pursue a Republican sex scandal with equal fervor even when it features a gay prostitute in the conservative White House press room who plastered pictures of his erections all over the internet.)

[. . .] It's been clear for more than a decade that the mainstream media responds almost unthinkingly to the deafening sounds of the right wing noise machine and now seems paralyzed by the power the Republican establishment exerts over it.
So here we are. We all watched the media go after Clinton - who ran the most honest, public-serving, dedicated and intelligent government possibly in our nation's entire history. We all watched them repeat and echo every single accusation and lie, no matter how ridiculous. And now we all watch the very same media provide cover for outright theft of the country's savings, absolute corporate crony corruption, even wars of aggression and torture. But it's the way it is and how long do we continue to whine and complain about it before we start DOING something about it?

John is right, they have taken over, with The Party increasingly using the power and resources of the state to enforce one-party rule. The country is drifting toward corporate fascism and the question is how repressive and violent might they get toward us, the enemy within?

But the Soviet Union fell, and Marcos, and the Shah, and other entrenched one-party states have fallen. So we can't give up hope. We have to try to inform the public and resist the Right's takeover as best we can. Giving up really is not an option, in my opinion.


 



WHY I QUIT

Below (slightly edited) is what I wrote in response to this post by Kevin Drum, in which he said "I continue to believe that on a list of problems with the American media, ideological bias barely cracks the top ten." (Remember, guys -- in theory, Kevin is on our side.)

This kind of post is why I think that Kevin is worthless, and a good part of the reason why I gave up on blogging, the Democratic Party, and the US.

Kevin thinks what he thinks, and he's always thought what he thought, and please don't disturb him with reality.

The Washington Monthly has had this attitude written into its charter for decades. No one connected with that journal is allowed to think differently. (Though Kevin already thought that way and isn't being coerced.)

Kevin, you ******, ********* ***** ** ****, it's NOT SYMMETRICAL. And everyone knows it's not, except you and other ****** of your ilk. There's a hefty conservative media in this country, and there's a big moderate / neutral media in this country, but there's only a puny liberal media. A little radio, almost no TV or cable, and no national newspaper.

Kevin doesn't see this because he thinks that he is the real left and that everyone to his left is just plain crazy.

It's hopeless, guys. Bush won, and Kevin hasn't even noticed yet.

P.S.

I just realized that part of the problem is that Kevin is unable to understand the idea that there could be "neutral bias" or "centrist bias". To him bias is only right / left bias, and he's very happy that the left is as feeble as it is, because that means half the bias is gone.

P.P.S.

Someone whose opinion I greatly respect (Dave Johnson) believes that I went over the top when I described Kevin Drum as " * ********* ***** ** ***** ". Probably he's right. I spent a year trying to get Kevin's attention via civil communication, and it proved to be a waste of time, so I escalated.

I basically think that the game is over and that we're headed for a one-party state, and in that context I found it infuriating to read Kevin playing the same old moral-parity game and worrying that liberals might start acting as mean as conservatives do. Most of the Democratic Party seems oblivious to what's happening.

So is this an apology?

Who cares? The game is over. Bush won and we lost. He's going to remake the world, and we're going to sit and watch.



 



No More IMAX Movies About Science

A New Screen Test for Imax: It's the Bible vs. the Volcano,
The fight over evolution has reached the big, big screen.

Several Imax theaters, including some in science museums, are refusing to show movies that mention the subject - or the Big Bang or the geology of the earth - fearing protests from people who object to films that contradict biblical descriptions of the origin of Earth and its creatures.
Thanks to The Blogging of the President.




3/18/2005
 



Have You Been?

Have you been to Social Security -There Is No Crisis LATELY?


 



The American Street

Friday Funnies at The American Street.


 



Bloggered

Bl;ogger has been acting up for about a week, and it is very difficult to post. Bear with us.




3/17/2005
 



Recommended Read - Too Much Stuff

I recommend reading Daily Kos :: Everything I Own, Owns Me:
"My 'stuff' makes claims on me daily. And my stuff, and your stuff, is in danger of destroying the world as we know it. Does that sound melodramatic? Follow me after the jump for a view of the real impact 'stuff' has on us--both personally and globally."
Lots there to think about.


 



Conservative Pundit Hall of Fame

Over at Democratic Veteran go see the "Conservative Pundit Hall of Fame."
"Conservative Pundits we salute, who have enlisted and are in Iraq or Afghanistan now as members of the US Forces"
It's in the right column.


 



Electronic Voting

Daily Kos :: Ghost in the Machine: a collection of e-voting facts. Go scare yourself.


 



Life Disruption

Our landlord is selling the duplex we have lived in for 7 years. We have been given a 60-day notice to move out because the realtor says it will sell quicker if it is empty. (An empty rental as compared to one with tenants?)

We have landscaped the yard, and have a vegetable garden. We have two dogs, so it will be hard to find a new place to live. Our whole life is disrupted.

My wife's mother, in England faced a similar situation. Her landlord wanted to sell. But England has some remnants of "socialism" so the landlord was required to relocate them into a similar home, with similar rent, and pay the moving costs. The idea was that accepting rent for providing a home brought an obligation to actually provide a home.

Welcome to America, where money talks and people don't matter.




3/16/2005
 



Republican Jihad

Bush gives the International community the finger: Paul Wolfowitz to run World Bank.

Bush gives the Mother Earth the finger: ANWR open for drilling

Update: Here's the roll call for the vote on ANWR - note that 7 Republicans (plus Jeffords) voted to remove ANWR from the budget bill... but three Democrats didn't: Akaka and Inoye from Hawaii (what's up with that?) and Mary Landrieu from Louisiana. Those three votes made the difference ... party discipline would have shifted the vote from 49-51 in favor, to 52-48.

If you're a D in Hawaii or Louisiana, I suggest you complain, loudly. If you're from a state with a Republican that voted to preserve ANWR, call your Senator up and praise them, enthusiastically.


 



NJ Sec. State Gets Uppity

Politician's Speech Sparks Racial Furor At High School.




3/15/2005
 



Fox News: Highly Opinionated (really)

[One for the "media literacy" file. -Thomas]

An Opinionated Network

By Howard Kurtz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, March 14, 2005; 7:05 AM

In covering the Iraq war last year, 73 percent of the stories on Fox News included the opinions of the anchors and journalists reporting them, a new study says.

By contrast, 29 percent of the war reports on MSNBC and 2 percent of those on CNN included the journalists' own views.

These findings -- the figures were similar for coverage of other stories -- "seem to challenge" Fox's slogan of "we report, you decide," says the Project for Excellence in Journalism.

In a 617-page report, the group also found that "Fox is more deeply sourced than its rivals," while CNN is "the least transparent about its sources of the three cable channels, but more likely to present multiple points of view."

The project defines opinion as views that are not attributed to others.

Full text at:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A33008-2005Mar14?language=printer


--Thomas Leavitt


 



Boycott Talking Points Memo

I'm boycotting Talking Points Memo until Josh Marshall returns. And Josh has some explaining to do when he returns. Here's what's written there today:
I actually agree with Marshall [he is not referring to Josh Marshall - dj] and the DLC on the suicidal purity of the Democratic party’s left wing, embodied by the Howard Dean movement and its fanatical internet contingent...
This is written at a blog?

Update - 1) It's a guest blogger. 2) I have nothing against Josh Marshall and will start reading his blog again when Josh returns and the insulting and divisive guest blogger is gone.


 



Bloggers

Get this on your blog.


 



Christians Demand To Be Only Religion In Schools

American Family Association of Michigan demands schools not allow students to mention Wicca.




3/14/2005
 




The piano solo from John Coltrane's My Favorite Things.


 



The Next Hurrah

The Next Hurrah


 



Run Against DeLay

What Chris says. Word.


 



Blogging

gapingvoid: good for you?


 



He's Gone

Delia, oh, Delia Delia all my life
If I hadn't have shot poor Delia I'd have had her for my wife
Delia's gone, one more round Delia's gone

I went up to Memphis And I met Delia there
Found her in her parlor And I tied to her chair
Delia's gone, one more round Delia's gone

She was low down and trifling And she was cold and mean
Kind of evil make me want to Grab my sub machine
Delia's gone, one more round Delia's gone

First time I shot her I shot her in the side
Hard to watch her suffer But with the second shot she died
Delia's gone, one more round Delia's gone

But jailer, oh, jailer Jailer, I can't sleep
'Cause all around my bedside I hear the patter of Delia's feet
Delia's gone, one more round Delia's gone

So if you woman's devilish You can let her run
Or you can bring her down and do her Like Delia got done
Delia's gone, one more round Delia's gone
And
I remember one night, Tex and me
Rappelled in on a hot L.Z.
We had our 16's on rock and roll
But, with all that fire, was scared and cold
We were crazy, we were wild And I have seen the tiger smile
I spit in a bamboo viper's face And I'd be dead , but by God's grace

Drive on, don't mean nothin'
My children love me, but they don't understand
And I got a woman who knows her man
He's gone.


 



Party and State Merge

Will anyone go to jail for this?

You might not realize it yet but what you're looking at on this web page is the scariest thing that has happened in America in a very long time. It's the government telling you to support The Party.




3/13/2005
 



Stop Fake News

Start Change Now -> Stop Fake News: "Please send an email to the Federal Communications Commission and the Justice Department and ask them to Stop Fake News. "


 



Government Spent $254 Million Promoting Bush's Re-Election

From this story, Under Bush, a New Age of Prepackaged TV News:
Some reports were produced to support the administration's most cherished policy objectives, like regime change in Iraq or Medicare reform. Others focused on less prominent matters, like the administration's efforts to offer free after-school tutoring, its campaign to curb childhood obesity, its initiatives to preserve forests and wetlands, its plans to fight computer viruses, even its attempts to fight holiday drunken driving. They often feature "interviews" with senior administration officials in which questions are scripted and answers rehearsed. Critics, though, are excluded, as are any hints of mismanagement, waste or controversy.
One specific example is the effort to promote Bush's scam Medicare bill. Note how the taxpayer-funded ads were coordinated with Bush campaign themes:
Her Medicare report, for example, was distributed in January 2004, not long before Mr. Bush hit the campaign trail and cited the drug benefit as one of his major accomplishments.

The script suggested that local anchors lead into the report with this line: "In December, President Bush signed into law the first-ever prescription drug benefit for people with Medicare." In the segment, Mr. Bush is shown signing the legislation as Ms. Ryan describes the new benefits and reports that "all people with Medicare will be able to get coverage that will lower their prescription drug spending."

The segment made no mention of the many critics who decry the law as an expensive gift to the pharmaceutical industry. The G.A.O. found that the segment was "not strictly factual," that it contained "notable omissions" and that it amounted to "a favorable report" about a controversial program.

And yet this news segment, like several others narrated by Ms. Ryan, reached an audience of millions. According to the accountability office, at least 40 stations ran some part of the Medicare report. Video news releases distributed by the Office of National Drug Control Policy, including one narrated by Ms. Ryan, were shown on 300 stations and reached 22 million households.
Marketing people know that $254 million buys a lot of exposure. This reported $254 million is only money spent by the government on pro-Bush PR. It does not cover pro-Bush announcements, etc. by agencies of the government. And all this is on top of the $3-400 million per year spent by the Right's network of think tanks, which was also outside of the reported Party $300 million-plus campaign spending. It also does not include the 24-hour-a-day Republican AM radio machine, Fox News, Republican newspapers, etc.


 



Blogger Suckitude

Everything Lambert says.

Except I can't seem to get this to post. Maybe you'll eventually see it, unless it crashes. Or several times if it duplicates itself.

Google: a company that refuses to provide any customer support whatsoever. Actually, that's pretty much ALL Silicon Valley companies, no?


 



Skank Bolton

I've been grousing to myself, as I so often do, about yet another Bush appointment: John Bolton as U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. This was announced after Rice swept across Europe full of protestations that the U.S. would turn over a new leaf, and work respectfully with others. Well, that didn't last long. Bolton! Only a punk would nominate Bolton.

Now I read a story that lends substance to my churning and inchoate disgust. This article recounts the sorry history of the biological weapons treaty. Work on an enforcement mechanism for this treaty began in 1995. After initially signalling support, the Bush Administration sabotaged it at the 11th hour, sending Bolton, after six years of work, with the message that the U.S. did not support an enforcement protocol. This was really about the U.S. claiming full freedom to do any and all work on bio weapons which it chose. Academic experts were horrified and predicted a bio weapons arms race. Here is where it gets interesting:

A year later, China discovered SARS and tried to hide it. Three months later, terrified of the possibilities of its spreading throughout China and the world, it notified the World Health Organization, which immediately organized an emergency response on a scale unprecedented for any new illness. The WHO, too, was obviously terrified.

SARS was brought under control, but within the WHO, suppressed by pressure from a certain superpower, was an analysis of the SARS virus showing it to be an artificial creation designed to kill fast and furiously.

The conclusion was that it had somehow escaped from a military lab, which explained why, for three months, the Chinese authorities had hoped to counter the threat, ultimately in vain.

In the end, the Chinese were only too happy to have the analysis suppressed, and the superpower in question averted a major worldwide debate on the need for a bioweapons treaty with an enforcement mechanism.


I wish this were only about Bolton! Clearly he is a substantial contributor to the decline of international cooperation. Unfortunately the real story is the resulting decline in security which effects each one of us.


 



Chomsky - LINK FIXED

My mother sent me a pointer to this...


Elections Run by Same Guys Who Sell Toothpaste
LINK FIXED!!!

[...]

The elections are run by the same guys who sell toothpaste. They show you an image of a sports hero, or a sexy model, or a car going up a sheer cliff or something, which has nothing to do with the commodity, but it's intended to delude you into picking this one rather than another one. Same when they run elections. But they're assigned that task in order to marginalize the public, and furthermore, people are pretty well aware of it.

For many years, election campaigns here have been run by the public relations industry and each time it's with increasing sophistication. Quite naturally, the industry uses the same technique to sell candidates that it uses to sell toothpaste or lifestyle drugs. The point is to undermine markets by projecting imagery to delude and suppressing information-and similarly, to undermine democracy by the same method.

[...]

--Thomas Leavitt




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