December 31, 2006

3,000

3000 Americans have died in Iraq.

Resolution: To cut this crap out.

December 30, 2006

Proper

The official morning period for Gerald Ford began yesterday. I can think of no better tribute than this classic Saturday Night Live bit:

Ding Dong, the Dictator is Dead

Hell, have just completed the intake for Augusto Pinochet, has to to start the paperwork all over again.

This just in to Craigorian Chant: We are still screwed in Iraq. Our condition remains unchanged at this time. Stay tuned for any further breaking news.

December 27, 2006

Gerald Ford

There is something to be said for the guy who just cleans up the mess. Gerald Ford was very much an accidental President. But when he came in the Country faced Watergate and Vietnam and he put the first to rest and got us out of the second, and took a lot of political hits doing it.

Compare that to the man he replaced, Nixon, who created all that mess. Just like someone will have to come in and clear up after our current accidental President --who is showing us just how bad an exciting Presidency can be.

So lets hear it for the boring Presidents, the fixers, the ones who leave the Country better than they found it.

Rest In Peace Mr President.

December 26, 2006

Santa's Dead

True Story.

Also, rest in peace, Godfather of Soul.

Also the Govenator breaks a leg.

I guess I've had it pretty easy this holiday season.

December 21, 2006

Bill Kristol Vrs Jon Stewart

Go watch

Remember our Battle Cry:

I will beat you. Not because I am right and you are wrong and I Am and You Are, but because I am better at this than you.

December 20, 2006

We Could Take Em

Go read David Weigel and Matthew Yglesias on the new wave of right-wing dystopian novels coming out. Osaman rules the world and Michael Moore rule the United States. Red States and Blue States go to war. Most are just too silly for words, but they do offer an interesting look at the conservative id.

This line by Yglesias struck me:

At the end of the day, everybody knows that if it came down to an armed conflict, the conservatives would win. Which leads to Dave's point -- these books aren't dystopian at all, they're wish fulfillment about a world in which the right gets a legitimate rationale for battling liberalism through brute force.


Would it automatically follow that if a Red State/Blue State Civil war broke out the Reds would win? If we want to play this game (and its fun if played lightly) I think we would have a fighting chance. The conservatives assume that they would win because they have all the guns and we have the gays, which of course cripple your military perpariness. But the blue states are far better off economically than red states, we have Hollywood so our propaganda will be better, not to mention the fact that the Iraq war proves that conservatives are military incompetents. And of course Europe would intervene on the side of blue American. Nobody coming to help the Neocons.

So I like our chances. What do you think?

December 19, 2006

Too Early, Too Late

This poll comes way too early, but it turns out that Hillary Clinton beats both John McCain and Rudy Giuliani in Presidential polls. Not so "unelectable" is she?

This poll
comes way too late, but only 11% of the American people want to increase the number of troops in Iraq.

December 18, 2006

Fix-It

Just anouther day on the job:

Two spacewalking astronauts finished folding up a stubborn, accordion-like solar array Monday, resolving the only complication in space shuttle Discovery's otherwise smooth mission to the international space station.

Shuttle astronauts Robert Curbeam and Christer Fuglesang managed to get the last section of the 115-foot array folded into a box about five hours into the 6 1/2-hour spacewalk. It was the fourth venture outside for Discovery's astronauts during their visit to the orbiting outpost.


Did they bang on it with a wrench? It would make my day if they banged on it with a wrench to get it to work.

The pair used a scraper to try to get the array unstuck, shook the panel and used pliers to tighten the wire that folds it up. It was a stop-and-go process with astronauts inside the space station repeatedly sending remote-controlled commands to fold up the array. Curbeam worked from the end of the space station's robotic arm.

Close.

Rock the Halls

Lets get into the spirit of things.

TIME Again

Three points about TIME. First, let us mock the choice. On some level its a silly cop-out. The profiles are lots of fun, so pick one of them and anoint them at the "Person". Pick the YouTube founders, personify it some way. Really, TIME is just trying to kiss your butt (and mine).

Second, "power of the people" ignores the central lesson of our time: That it is defined by the personality and policy choices of George W Bush. Michael Kinsley first wrote about this, but Bush proves the "Great Man" theory of history. Not that he is "great" but in the sense that Bush really wanted to invade Iraq, that's what happened, and the Iraq catastrophe will define US foreign policy for generations. There is no other explanation for the course we are on.

Finally, despite their dumb choice, everyone is going to talk about it. So well done, TIME, well done.

December 17, 2006

I accept this award...

On behalf of the rest of "You"

That's right, TIME has named "You" the people who blog, write wikipedia articles, and make up the "you" in Youtube as thier Person of the Year.

I figure I make up at least a part of this group, so I should be getting a trophy of some kind. Ok, how about a commemorative dish? A certificate?

December 15, 2006

Happy Hanukkah

System Failure

Most of the time our Democracy works. Unpopular, successful ideas are enacted as policy and unpopular ideas and their advocates are sent packing. So the War in Iraq is very unpopular. There has just been a massive rebuke delivered to the responsible party in a recent election. Despite this, the administration is not only continuing it commitment to this war, but is now contemplating escalating the conflict.

Now sending more troops to Iraq is hideously unpopular. It receives somewhere like 8% to 16% support, depending on the polls. Greenwald asks:

Even the craziest, most despicable ideas can attract more than 8%-16% in polls. More and more Republicans realize the grave political danger posed to them by this war. Are they going to just sit by and let the President sink their party for a generation by "doubling down" and continuing to worship at the altar of its most extremist warmonger elements?

Lowry notes that the "only" group opposed to more troops is the military, specifically Generals Abazaid and Pace, which leads to a glaring question that never seems to be answered by the increase-troop proponents: namely, what are these additional 20,000 troops supposed to accomplish exactly? If Generals Abazid and Pace have no answer to that question, isn't it a pretty good bet that there is no good answer?


There are time when you want the system to fail, There are things that "the people" want that can't and shouldn't be delivered by Government. The classic example is that people would love lots of government spending and pay zero taxes. That would just be dumb. But here we have a case where the American people want the right thing. More troops to Iraq will Break the Army. It won't lead to "victory" Its a bad and unpopular policy. How does it get enacted?

December 14, 2006

Can't Be Good

The Democratic Majority in the Senate hangs by a narrow 51-49 thread. Democratic Sen. Tim Johnson is in critical condition following emergency brain surgery. If he is unable to continue in his job as Senator, the Republican Governor of South Dakota will pick his replacement, which could swing control of the Senate. Not Good.

December 13, 2006

I am Magic

Behold the power of the Craigorian Chant election Prediction Ceremony! It brought forth a prediction of a 30 seat gain for the Democrats in the House. And last night the last outstanding House race was settled with another Republican defeated, putting the Dem's total pick-up at ...wait for it...30. I was off by one seat in the Senate, predicting a five seat pick-up when the Dems's actually got 6. Craigorian Chant's staff of political scientists and mystics are working to revise the process to help ensure better accuracy in the future.

December 12, 2006

21

Just 21% of the Country now approve of the Job Bush is doing in Iraq.

And to add some historic propective:

Opposition to the war is now taking on historic proportions, with 62 percent saying it was "a mistake" to send U.S. troops to Iraq — slightly more than told a Gallup Poll in 1973 that it was a mistake to send U.S. forces to Vietnam.

December 11, 2006

Annoucing

Craig has friends! And they blog too!

Please check out Laura McC's Laura, Queen of Universe and get all your tender, jucy Patriotic Needs fulfilled at Sweet Sweet Freedom.

In technical matters, I now own CraigBaracco.com and CraigorianChant.com and they both point you right here, so you can now skip the typing in the .blogspot part if you don't want to.

Cool, Not Cool

There are lots of bitter former Republican members of the House running around: Cool

Rep. William Jefferson wins reelection, despite a corruption prob that has discovered, amoung other things, $90,000 in cash in the man's freezer: Not Cool

The White House has produced anouther holiday video featuring Barney the First Dog, the cutest (and least dangerous) member of the Administration: Cool

It is necessary to treat President Bush as if he were a child: Not Cool

Augusto Pinochet is still dead: Cool

Our people are still being killed in Iraq: Not Cool

Barack Obama blocks play, appologies, wins a vote, may really be as good as they say: Cool

And finally, Lego U2:



Cool.

December 10, 2006

Mood Music

Brought to by Damien Rice and the letter M for moody:

Snap

Ah Juan Williams.

He's got a standing invitation to any FoxNews panel he wants, cause he never puts up much of a fight. Its a combination of Juan being a reporter by trade and thus being conditioned from birth not to argue, only report. Also, he's got the classic liberal desease of being so fair-minded that he won't even take his own side in an argument.

But they have pushed him too far today. Six years of lies, abuse, and senseless war have taken their toll. Watch him go!

December 8, 2006

Compromised

Well, the fact that the Right hates the ISG report means it can't be all bad, right?

What makes the Right so mad is that there is no way to "win" and the report acknowledges this:

Others, including influential conservative editorialist William Kristol, accused the study group of focusing its nine months of study on how to extricate the United States from Iraq, rather than how to win.

"They do not engage that debate, and I think that's deeply irresponsible," Kristol said. "If they think the war cannot now be won, they need to explain that."


Actually, they don't. There is no debate. There is only overwhelming evidence that Iraq is a disaster and can't be won, and Bill Kristol saying that it can be won. We don't debate the color of the sky and we don't debate the fact that Iraq is an epic mess.

While the report doesn't go far enough to get us out, it does at least achknowledge that Iraq is, in fact, a disaster and cannot be "won." Once you come to terms with that fact, the need to get out will follow. The American public is already there. Official Washington needs to do this ridiculous bipartisan compromise dance in order to get there.

December 7, 2006

Attack Donkey!

Run Away, Run Away:

"Important Bush Administration officials are ready to leave the government rather than undergo two years of hell from Democratic committee chairmen in Congress. Leading the exodus are officials of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), fearing investigation by two chairmen, Representatives Henry Waxman (D-CA) and John Dingell (D-MI)."

From Political Wire.

December 6, 2006

Domestic Front

And in domestic news Mary Cheney is pregnant. Yes, the gay daughter. Cheney's grandaughter has two mommies.

Its Here, Its Here

No time to read it this morning but the much talked about Iraq Study Group report is out today.

It makes 79 recomendations. My guess is the Bush administration is only going to follow 3. Which three? Stay tuned.

Of all the reads on the ISG report I read today instead of working, I recomend Ackerman and Yg.

December 5, 2006

Why Back to the Moon?

Haven't we already done this before?

Mars is next.

Mars.

Update: Looks like there's water on Mars. Not evidence of water a million years ago, but water right now.

We have to go.

Clip of the Day



From Crooks and Liars.

Do One Thing

Why does the nation of Fiji even have a military? It’s a small island nation in the
South Pacific. The CIA factbook doesn't list a single international dispute. It doesn't even have any neighbors that could attack it. Its a collection of Islands in the middle of the Pacific. And In the unlikely event that Japan goes back to its old ways or Australia goes completely insane for no apparent reason, its not like the mighty Fijian military could actually do anything about it. The total force is on 3,500 men, making it one of the smallest in the world. (Wikipedia)

The only possible purpose that the military of Fiji could have is to throw a coup and over through the democratically elected government.

Mission Accomplished.

December 4, 2006

Good Morning!

John Bolton to step down. Better than coffee.

An Army of Marketing

Matt Yglesias makes a great point about military recruiting these day:

If you watch a lot of male-oriented television programming you'll see lots of military recruitment ads of various sorts and they never mention that the modal outcome for a member of the US military these days is to be sent to fight in Iraq.

It is however, unusual in historical terms. If you look at recruiting posters from World War I or World War II the situation was quite different.

It's not merely that these posters didn't obscure the fact that a war was going on. Rather, the fact of the war was the key selling point of the recruitment drives. Which makes sense. Leaving your home and family to go do an arduous job isn't an obviously appealing thing to do. You get money, to be sure, but patriotic appeals are a key part of getting people to volunteer. The war, in these terms, is a reason to sign up -- your country needs you to fight its enemies.


Military ads these days are all about the great skills and personal development you will receive. A lot of ads these days are about trying to get parents to go along with their children signing up. (Father: you looked me in the eye and shook my hand, where did that come from? The Army) These days you join up despite the war in Iraq, not because of it. Keep that in mind when someone says our troops have to keep getting killed in Iraq to honor the troops who have been killed in Iraq.

December 3, 2006

Ack

This is what drives liberals batty about Joe Lieberman. So a memo gets leaked, and it turns out that even the (soon to be) late great Donald Rumsfeld is saying that we need a change of course in Iraq.

And what does Joe say?

The Rumsfeld memo itself is in many ways surprising. He raises possibilities of doing things such as redeploying our troops which he has always said that he was against. I must say, Bob, that the one thing he doesn't raise as a possibility is to increase the number of our troops there.

That's right, Joe Lieberman is to the right of Donald Rumsfeld on Iraq. He wants more troops. I'm not sure what for, or where they are going come from, but Joe Lieberman wants to go charging in.

Arrggg!

December 1, 2006

When Good Sci-Fi Writers Go Bad

Who amoung us doesn't like Ender's Game?

Crooks and Liars
has a good round-up on the sad mess that Orson Scott Card has become.

Charts! Ideology! Shifts! Left!

Really facinating chart at Political Arithmetik showing the ideological shift of all the Chairs of all the committees in the House. Short version: Congress is moving to the left. Big.