"Undermining my electoral viability since 2001."

Adbusters

Here's some great amateur streaming video. I ain't talking porn here, either. It's the adbuster epiphany winners: an annual contest for culture-jamming videos. Some interesting stuff.

Here's a scary letter to the editor. A choice excerpt:

President Bush should be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. This award has been given to undeserving recipients in the past. So it is highly unlikely it would ever be given to "W." He has certainly gained respect for and people's confidence in the manner in which he has conducted himself throughout the world.

If the grammer weren't so clunky, I'd say it came straight from the bowels of GOP Team Leader, the online astroturf (fake grassroots) generator that backs Bush.

Anyway, I found that while searching for a subscription-free (googleized) link to Krugman's latest for ya, which is here, and which you should read.

It's no secret that right-wing ideologues want to abolish programs Americans take for granted. But not long ago, to suggest that the Bush administration's policies might actually be driven by those ideologues ? that the administration was deliberately setting the country up for a fiscal crisis in which popular social programs could be sharply cut ? was to be accused of spouting conspiracy theories.

Scary stuff. I remember Steve talking about how he'd overheard a Rove interview where he hinted at this strategy. It's almost too Maciavellian to contemplate.

Finally, The Matrix takes a nosedive at the box office. The law of sequels reigns supreme.

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Insider Information

Here's something from below the newsmedia radar on Iraq:

I just got off the phone with my daughter who is stationed with the US Army in Germany. She spent the invasion of Iraq (or a good part of it) in Turkey, then returned to Germany.

Her unit was officially notified last week that it is moving to Iraq in July.

Permanently.

...Her first sergeant has told them that the place to which they are going periodically receives mortar and small arms fire.

The whole post is here at To The Barricades. Definitely a different perspective than what one would get from CNN or Faux News.

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More on Young Republicans

I'm actually reading the NYT piece on the New Young Republicans, and I think it's a mistake to simply deride these people for their "conformist" views and the fact that they probably don't get laid all that much. The truth is, they're exposing a dangerous weakness in the Left: the Liberal establishment. Leftism has become a dominant norm at many colleges, creating a political environment weak in critical thought or individualized reasoning. In short, one ripe for upheval.

The paper has published an annual ''Penis Monologues'' rich in sophomoric humor (''My man-hammer has not clubbed a single baby seal. . . . ''), and each year it sparks anger in the college's various women's support groups. ''Did we print that piece knowing that the feminists would blow a gasket?'' Boland says. ''Yes. But we did it anyway, because it was fun to write and the response allowed us to show how intolerant and intellectually lazy some feminists had become.''

And you can find examples for every sort of left-wing nexus. Part of the problem stems from the factional echo-chambers and conflicting entitlement corruptions that identity politics inspire, and part of the problem stems from people being afraid of loosing what they have, of not really thinking forward. The left is a haven for anti-positions; as of late churning out little in the way of new dreams.

This isn't really a revelation for me. I've been harping to people lately that the Democrats are the real conservatives these days, in the sense that they're really trying to conserve the status quo. They havn't put forth much in the way of their own big ideas since Clinton's health care plan went down in flames and the Republicans swept into congress with 1994's contract with America. Since then, the Dems have been the conservative party; trying in vain to hold the line against the advance of big right-wing notions, often simply forced to grudgingly accept the new political realities, beginning with Clinton's "the era of big government is over," running up through the Gore campaign and reaching it's highest note yet with October 2002 war resolution and subsequent electoral disaster.

Youth mirror these trends, consciously or not. They are attracted to progress and can sense weakness of belief. The left needs to inspire people to believe in something again, to break new common ground, to grow, all of which is why I'm so fired up about Howard Dean. I still believe that these turbulent times can lead us to a brighter future. If you want to resist "Liberal Indoctrination" in higher education, reduce class sizes. I do believe that open and contentious debate is a positive more than a negative. It is through adversity and necessity that great things are created: that's the whole notion behind competition as a spur to progress. I buy it. I think now is an exciting moment, one pregnant with challenge and opportunity. I'm generally not one for lazy days. Perhaps the appearance of these new Young Republicans will breathe more vitality and life into the left. Let's get it on.

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More Alarm

Frank sends in this gem from the bowells of the US Trust slavetemp-worker dens:

Have you checked out any of the photos from this NY Times article. Dude, just from the outset, it looks like young republicans just never get laid. It's as if they gave up on trying to get poontaing and just decided that they'd try getting rich instead. Young lefty's are much much hotter. I think there should be a contest.

Also, I actually got a legit email today from the USA Flag Balloon people I talked about yesterday. I belive it was Terri, the wife in the couple/duo which run the operation. She was quite cordial, and asked why I thought they were about hot gas. Here's what I sent back:

About the hot gas. I'm into the constitution, have been for a while, but I find the recent wave of patriotism to be somewhat vacuous and ergo disturbing. Seems too much like nationalism, full of empty gestures and grandiose posturing.

I mean, if you're serious about furthering interest in the roots of the country and the precepts on which it was founded, I think there are better ways to use your money than to have a giant flag balloon.

It all kind of reminds me of how my stepmother is sometimes: really ardently into right-wing America mainly because she's never stopped to deeply consider the issues beyond what she learned in college economics (free market == good) and the O'Rilley talking points. We usually debate, and since she's actually pretty smart sometimes I can get her to see how some of her beliefs are a bit unresonable.

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Slippery Slope

Just so we don't loose track of why it's important to be involved in these times, here's proof that America can stand some improvement: Judge baselessly accuses a Lebaneese woman of being a terrorist, she faints in courtroom. He's trying to pretend he was joking now. And all this just up in Westchester!

What the hell is this? Why, it's the USA flag hot air balloon. Oh, man... what can I say. The subhead: symbol of empty patriotism, full of hot gas, manages to satirize self.

In further realms, the Dixie Chicks were booed again at the Country Music Awards, and jingo-singer Toby Kieth came away a big winner, but (gossip gossip) wasn't there to accept, even though he and Willie Nelson played a duet earlier in the evening.

Which brings me to the important issue. What the hell is Willie Nelson doing playing on stage with Toby Keith? First the GAP ad, and now this. Willie, if you need money, just ask, ok? Nobody wants to you debase yourself like this. Have a little pride, man!

And finally, a question. Why can't Stephen Hawking dance?

He's white.

(it's a joke. s'posed to be funny, yo)

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Domino, Muthafucka

This is possibly the most gratifying thing that's come of my adding politix to the mix here on the old blog. A man named Mike (in Memphis no less) read my comments on Daily Kos, clicked through to my Dean endorsement and went all the way to drop $50 in the campaign coffers. This gives me some bigtime warm and fuzzies.

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Bush Gets Some Tax Cuts

Well, the tax cut was passed, with so much amending and addendums that I'm sure Bush will claim it was Democratic meddling that ruined his voodoo spell to revive the economy. The number is $350 billion, but taken out to the 10-year level, the cost looks more like $660 billion. That's on top of our existing deficit, and before we've had the parade of military spending increases. Even mega-tycoon Warren Buffet thinks this is a bad idea.

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Daily Dose of Dean

More food for your Dean-hungry mouths. Check the interveiws with Liberal Oasis (a good blog) and Newsweek. Also, dean was in Iowa today at an important little event called "Hear it from the Heartland," which Senator Tom Harkin -- undoubtedly one of the good guys -- organized to expose Iowa voters to all the dem hopefuls. You can read writeups here (ap) and here (reuters). There's video from CSPAN too, which I just started to watch. Motherfucker uses Led Zeppelin as his intro music. When the Levy Breaks. Contrast that with Clinton/Gore and their namby pamby Fleetwood Mac. Here's a couple more videos too. The Democratic party is back.

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Truth 2004

There's a fantastic post over on Daily Kos by RonK entitled 28 Words You Can't Say on Television. I suggest giving it a read. It cuts to the heart of the bullshit rhetoric which permiates every aspect of our environment -- and gives a few props to my man Howard Dean for his willingness to speak a few truths currently verboten in the national media.

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Cracking the Consensus

It seems that the War Consensus is starting to crack. More and more people are being forced to admit two things. One: that none of the Weapons of Mass Distruction that Bush, Powell and others assured us required invading Iraq immediately have been found. Two: that the amount of time, energy and money that went into planning for the destructive part of war dwarfed the time, energy and money sunk into planning for reconstruction by several orders of magnitude, and that this is producing highly undesirable results. People are facing up slowly to the hard reality that the president duped the American people, didn't plan for the end of conflict, and now we're in deep do-do as a result.

This particular realization crested over me last night as I watched Charlie Rose. He had as a guest Evan Thomas, author of a new biography on John Paul Jones (American Terroriest, war hero, and "founder of the nation's navy"), and an associate editor at the somewhat conservative Newsweek.

When the conversation inevitably turned to current events, he was essentially pro-war. "The score [between Republicans and Democrats] on foreign policy is something like 100 to nothing," he said. Wants to write a glowing bio of the neo-cons. Yet he then plainly admitted that the post-war situation was a mess, that the Administration, by virtue of leaving everything to the Pentagon, has no real plan. He said, "we had a plan for oil. There were special forces at the oilfields. Those contracts were lined up months in advance."

"But," he said, "we still don't have power in 80% of Baghdad."

And yet he supported the prez, making it sound like this colossal failure to be prepared for the rebuilding of Iraq is the fault of some mid-level army flunky, and not the Commander in Cheif. Food for thought. At times it sounded like the pro-war coalition might be cracking on the reconstruction issue and that most of the media might swing along with the "war liberals."

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