You are currently browsing the monthly archive for November 2009.

30,000 more troops.  Smaller than other proposals, but an escalation nevertheless.  Some items through this link, including a letter from Michael Moore and some threats from progressive House Democrats.

Will it build democracy in Afghanistan?  No.  Will it make Afghan women safer from acid throwing crazies?  Probably.  Will it defeat Al Qaeda and the Taliban?  No.  Those aren’t forces which can be defeated militarily.

Watching the Republicans on television over the past week has been kind of comical.  They’ve been dodging the question entirely.  Do they want to be interpreted as supporting anything from Obama when they’re so invested in anti-Obama rhetoric?  Where will the tea partiers fall?  I’ve already debated a neo-con on Facebook who argues that Obama’s policies are all part of a Bernsteinian Marxist program of incrementalism, boosted in part by a policy of “gunboat liberalism.”  But that’s a fairly complex narrative for political purposes.

In the meantime, my sister-in-law’s 19-year-old nephew is to be deployed to Kandahar at the end of the month.  I’m not sure if he’s officially part of the surge.

Democrats seem to be scratching their heads as to why their base is unmotivated for 2010.

For those of you wondering what ever became of the findings of the review committee, which completed its task quite some time ago, the subject is finally coming up for some sort of decision on how to structure the unit.  It is set for discussion and vote at tomorrow’s BOS meeting.  One issue is whether the unit will be placed under Sheriff or D.A. management (if it will continue to have its own sworn law enforcement personnel), or remain under County Counsel authority (in which potential criminal cases would be referred to the DA for investigation).  The TS article references “staff reports” but makes no reference to the review committee’s report.

Personally, I think it’s a huge mistake to blend building and land code enforcement with criminal investigations.  We are the only county which as done so and we’ve seen the results.

The BOD meetings always start at 9:00, but I don’t know where the CEU issue is on the agenda.  If there are any CLMP people reading, maybe you can post what information you have?

I just haven’t had the time to keep up with it, but Heraldo has made numerous posts as some initial processes for a proposed clean-up have already passed the Eureka City Council with very little public opposition.  Apparently it’s not having such an easy time at the Coastal Commission level.

Maybe one of these days I’ll catch up with the story and write someting intelligent.  Or not so intelligent.  Either way.

Bringing sustainability to the bedroom courtesy of the SF Bay Guardian.

No more getting off on phthalates!  Switch to hand-sculpted wood.  Or glass:

“I have more glass dildos in my kitchen than I do in this store,” owner Samantha Liu told me mischievously. “I’d been using this stuff for years.” When I heard her say “kitchen,” my eyes instinctively fell upon her “Produce Collection”: halcyon dildos of garden-variety cucumbers, jalapenos, and bananas — plus a Chinese bitter melon and a cob of corn. “I’ve had people send me pictures with one of these in a fruit basket,” Liu said. Liu designs most of the toys herself and works with local glassblowers to materialize them into objects of desire. Borosilicate glass may not be the recyclable kind, but these crystalline baubles would be criminal to discard.

And you have solar powered vibrators.  Handspun raw silk bondage rope.  Etc.

Didn’t see anything about biodegradable condoms.  I’m not sure that’s where anyone wants to cut corners on shelf-life, so I imagine the landfill issue will always be thrown under the bus there.

By the way, did you know that my blog is a whorehouse?

In a previous post I joked that former Secretary of State George Shultz (also Secretary of the Treasury under Nixon) might be a communist because of his appearance at the dedication of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade Monument last year.  I lamented the lack of photographs of him at the incident.  Well, there’s a youtube video.  He’s the guy in the blue suit two seats to the right (from the audience perspective) of the speakers.

My mother attended the event along with my now deceased VALB grandmother.  She reported that Shultz went very stiff when they sang the Internationale.  She suspected that he had been unaware of the nature of the event before agreeing to attend.  I’m not so sure.  He isn’t a chimp like Dana Perino; his politics are horrible, but he knows his history.  He was there for his wife.

His wife, Charlotte Malliard, is a socialite in San Francisco.  I have no idea what her politics are, but she has managed to land herself a position of some sort with the City of San Francisco which Wikipedia is calling the “ceremonial Chief of Protocol and Director of Special Events.”  When they were married it was called by someone “the wedding of the year” for the city.  She has been in the position since the mayorship of Jack Shelley (during the 1960s, when Shelley broke about 50 years of Republican mayors – they’ve been Democratic ever since) with a brief break (fired by “conservative” Frank Jordan, rehired by “liberal” Willie Brown).  Apparently she has the respect of political dignitaries across ideological lines, and the City Hall staircase, which ought to be somehow named after the anti-HUAC demonstration (film through the link) where protesting kids were hosed down the stairs in 1960, is named after her.

Back to Shultz, he probably figured with people like Gavin Newsom attending and all of those honored and still living being older than him that it would be “safe.”  And perhaps his exposure to the “liberal elite” of San Francisco has softened his politics, although he was never really a right wing ideologue.  He vehemently protested Iran-Contra and did threaten Reagan with resignation over the Iran-Contra affair, though he backed down when Reagan discarded his letter of resignation.  He was definitely not part of the inner circle.  A bit of the history for those who missed the events in the late 1980s.

He’s also called for the legalization of recreational drugs and for the end to the embargo of Cuba.  On the other hand he remains a part of the right wing cabal in many respects, including association with “the Vulcans,” an ad hoc group of foreign policy advisers to President George W. Bush.  A complex man.  Or perhaps a little confused in his old age.  As quoted in Leah Garchick’s column (which also noted some boos when Shultz was introduced) following the event, Shultz seemed to be comparing the Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln brigade with President Bush.

We are “fighting against fascism for liberty,” Shultz said when I asked him about it after the ceremonies, “and supporting people who are doing it.” In the Spanish Civil War, “people picked up arms and fought.” To this way of thinking, the administration’s decision to join the battle is even more heroic.

Don’t ask me to explain that further.

Former Press Secretary Dana Perino (the one who had majored in political science but never heard of the Cuban Missile Crisis) went onto Fox News to make the remarkable claim that there was no terrorist attack on America during Bush’s term.  Nobody on the set contradicted her.

Addendum: Here is a photo study of Fox News’ more blatant errors of late, which has led to something of an internal crackdown.  They don’t list the blatant innacuracies stated by their opinion commentators.

It’s down to four Democrats, two of whom have pretty much gone out so far in their threats to filibuster a public option that any reversal would look like a cave-in.  This TPM article looks at each of the four.  Meanwhile progressives are pushing for Democrats to sink the bill if it lacks a public option and maintains mandatory coverage.  They’re asking what the point is of having a 60 vote majority if a handful of insurance donation laden pols in the party can sink the whole thing.  And as I’ve noted in past posts, most of the Progressive Caucus in the House have pledged to vote against any bill without a public option.

The irony in the impasse is that the public option is by far more popular than the health care bill in its entirety, according to a host of polls that the four and the Republicans refuse to even discuss.  And never mind that the CBO has scored the public option, particularly one which locks compensation into Medicare rates, is fiscally sound.

Progressives are pushing for Reid to use the process of reconciliation, but it’s not clear exactly what portions of the bill can be passed.  There are plenty of other complications and ambiguities and even the progressives in the Senate aren’t pushing it as desireable.

Then there is the “nuclear option” which has been popular as Republicans have shattered all records of filibusters over the past couple of years.  Rep. Alan Grayson is proposing that the filibuster proof majority be reduced to 55, which is a pretty convenient number but also in many minds a reasonable one.

Meanwhile, first government takeovers, then death panels, and now the opposition wants you to believe that health care reform will take away your guns.

Anyway, can anybody picture Jimmy Stewart playing Lieberman?

Yes, he may be running.  Or maybe Senator.  He hasn’t figured it out yet.

So I guess the two most salient questions are:

1.  Who will be his running mate?

2.  Assuming he runs as an independent, will it hurt Obama, or Palin/Cantor/Beck/Romney….?

As an aside, I heard on KGOE today that his primetime spot on CNN has increased in ratings since he left.


November 2009