Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Usual Suspects Pt 1: Richard Perle, Prince of Darkness

This is the first installment of a series of articles in which I will introduce you to the cast of characters that pull all the strings behind the neocon movement, The Usual Suspects. This group has had a long and sordid history of criminal activity and have shown a propensity for sacrificing U.S. national security for their own agendas.

Today, I will introduce you to a rather infamous figure many of you probably already know. Richard Perle, The Prince of Darkness.

Perle served as an assistant Secretary of Defense for the Reagan administration and on the Defense Policy Board Adisory Committee from 1987 to 2004. He was Chairman of the Board from 2001 to 2003 under the Bush Administration.

Perle is a member of the Project for the New American Century, (PNAC), the Hudson Institute and is a resident fellow on the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). He is also a disciple of the Paul Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). You will be hearing those organizations quite often in this series, but let me point out now that Nitze, who founded the SAIS in 1944, was a former investment banker for a company that floated loans for the Third Reich. It was Nitze who wrote NSC Memorandum 68 which was the policy basis for the Cold War and led to the establishment of our never ending war economy. This document asserted, for the first time in U.S. history, a U.S. claim on any economic and social resources anywhere in the world.

Perle earned his nickname "The Prince of Darkness" for his radical ideas including the use of nuclear weapons. He is considered a hardliner and believes in military intervention in the domestic conflicts of foreign nations. Perle is on the public record advocating pre-emptive strikes against North Korea, Syria, Iran amongst other countries.

From 1969 to 1980, Perle was a staffer for Sen. Henry "Scoop" Jackson. Less than a year after joining the staff, Perle was involved in the leaking of a CIA report on Soviet treaty violations. CIA analyst David Sullivan was author of the report and leaked it to Perle who in turn leaked it to the public. Sullivan quit before he could be fired and was subsequently hired by Henry Jackson, who only reprimanded Perle despite the CIA Director STansfield Turner's insistence that he be fired. The security leaks won't end there.

One could say he was "initiated" into the Usual Suspects in October 1970 when FBI wiretaps recorded him disclosing classified information to Israeli officials at the Israeli Embassy in Washington. The information had been passed to him by NSC staff member Hal Sonnenfeldt, who himself was being wiretapped and had been repeatedly investigated by the FBI for suspected security leaks involving Israel.

In the late 70's, Perle, with his mentor Albert Wohlstetter, began promoting Turkey as a key US and Israeli strategic ally. When Islamic terrorists destablized that nation, a military coup established a pro-US regime. It was later found that the terrorism that had destabilized Turkey was carried out by the Turkish military in conjunction with the CIA and NATO. This is but one instance in which Perle was involved in western support for islamic militancy.

In 1980, Perle left his position as a Senate aide to become a consultant with the Abington Corporation. His first clients were Israeli arms dealers who wanted to sell the US weapons produced by Soltam Ltd., an Israeli company. Soltam agrees to pay Abington $10,000 a month for a period of one year. Despite Perle's resignation as a Senate aide, he inexplicably remained on the Senate rolls as a nonsalaried employee until May 31, 1981. During this period, Perle retained his Senate security clearance. William F. Hildebrand later tells the New York Times that Perle's arrangement with the Senate was not normal.

In 1983, it is Richard Perle who recommends that Michael Ledeen be hired at the Department of Defense as a consultant on terrorism. Michael Ledeen, aka Kayser Soze, will be the subject of another installment of The Usual Suspects. Ledeen was considered by the CIA to be an agent of Israel.

It was during his stint as Assistant Secretary of Defense under Reagan that he was accused of corrupt dealings with Israel after he had recommended the purchase of an armaments system from Tamares, Ltd. who had paid him $50,000 in consulting fees just a year earlier.

Controversy surrounded Perles confirmation hearings for Assistant Secretary of Defense when he indicated he would like Stephen Bryen for deputy assistant. Bryen was previously investigated by the FBI for passing classified documents to an Israeli embassy offical in 1978. Once again, spying for Israel becomes a security concern due to Richard Perle.

Two decades later, Larry Franklin will be discovered to be the conduit between the Office of Special Plans, a secret Pentagon cell and two Israeli espionage agents. Richard Perle and many of The Usual Suspects operated out of the OSP in the buildup to the Iraq war.

In 1984, Perle urged the CIA to promote a propaganda program to get Soviet soldiers to defect to the mujaheddin in Afghanistan. The CIA officers describe him as the craziest of the many extreme right-wingers they'd ever dealt with.

By 1986, Perle had completed negotiations on the Defense and Economic Cooperation Agreement with Turkey. This put Turkey as the third largest recipient of US military aid after Israel and Egypt. Then he establishes a high-level US-Turkish consultation group co-chaired by the Pentagon and Turkish general staff. Perle is the American co-chair for this group. It is at this time that Richard Clarke is assigned by the State Department to "keep an eye on" Perle when he takes a trip to Turkey.

In 1987, Richard Perle resigned as Assistant Secretary of Defense under allegations he'd leaked classified information.

In 1989 Perle negotiated with Turkey an $800,000 contract for his own company, International Advisors Inc. (IAI), which he started with Douglas Feith. He received $48,000 annually. IAI is registered as Turkey's foreign agent with the Justice Department. In all, IAI receives $3.8 million dollars from Turkey over the next 6 years.

In 1995 Perle, along with Douglas Feith, illegaly act as advisors to the government of Bosnia during the Dayton peace talks without registering with the Department of Justice, as required by law. Perle goes on to serve as military advisor to Bosnia. Within months, Perle is lobbying to get Turkey to arm and train Bosnian muslims, which he claims is of vital interest to the United States.

It is soon after this that it becomes apparent to Interpol that the KLA has taken over heroin trafficking from Turkish criminal elements and that the KLA is also receiving protection from the US. Intercepted messages speak of the desire to drown the western infidels in drugs. Interpol realizes that Turkish-Albanian drug smuggling and political activities are deeply intertwined and that Osama bin Ladin is involved.

Perle was a signatory on the PNAC letter sent to President Clinton in 1998 calling for him to use military force against the Serbs. They urge Clinton to support the KLA.

This letter also calls for the overthrow of Saddam Hussein's regime. This letter claimed that diplomatic efforts had been a failure and military force was required to depose the Iraqi dictator. It was spearheaded by Ahmed Chalabi. The signatures read off like a roll call of all The Usual Suspects: Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, Doug Feith, Richard Armitage, Duane "Dewey" Clarridge, Frank Carlucci and others. These names will continue to crop up in interested places, such as the Niger Uranium forgeries, as this series continues.

He also chaired a study group that included other members of The Usual Suspects, such as Douglas Feith and David Wurmser, that created the strategy paper for Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm. which recommended, among other things:

1: Armed incursions into Lebanon.
2: Strikes against Syria and Iran
3: The removal of Saddam Hussein from power
4: A move by Isreal away from liberalism and towards laissez faire capitalism. ie, Corporate Fascism.
5: Establishing a policy of pre-emptive strikes.

So far, three of those five recommendations have come to pass.

It was after receiving this paper that Netanyahu became a strong proponent of using American military force to drive Saddam out of Iraq. When Clinton refused, both Netanyahu and Blair were said to be furious.

On 9-11 the Sharon government instantly declared that Saddam Hussein was responsible for the attacks and called for massive retaliation against Baghdad. Within two weeks, The Usual Suspects were making a feverish pitch to invade Iraq. Richard Perle was immediately brought into the inner sanctum.

It was Richard Perle, who during a July 10th, 2002 Defense Policy Board meeting, demanded the purging of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of all opponents of the Iraq war, and called for a U.S. military occupation and takeover of the Saudi oil fields and a total break with the House of Saud-just as his July 1996 IASPS "Clean Break" study had proposed.

Perle, along with fellow SAIS disciple Paul Wolfowitz, argued for over 19 hours the week after 9-11 for a war against Iraq, the removal of Saddam Hussein and most importantly the seizure of Iraqi oil, just as soon as the war in Afghanistan could be wrapped up.

It was Perle's contention that we needed only 40,000 troops to invade Iraq. He was critical of Gen. Shinseki's idea to use 250,000 troops. Perle went so far as to tell David Corn of the Nation that:

Forget the 250,000 figure, Perle said: "The Army guys don't know anything. They said we needed 500,000 troops in 1991 [for the Gulf War]. Did we need that many to win? No."

What's the Perle Plan? I asked.

"Forty thousand troops." he said.

To take Baghdad? Nah, he replied. To take control of the north and the south, particularly the north, where the oil fields are.

However, in a recent issue of the L.A. Times he is quoted as saying

I'm getting damn tired of being described as an architect of the war. I was in favor of bringing down Saddam. Nobody said, 'Go design the campaign to do that.' I had no responsibility for that.

The L.A.Times also quotes him as saying:

I think if I had been Delphic, and had seen where we are today, and people had said 'Should we go into Iraq?' I think now I probably would have said, 'No, let's consider other strategies for dealing with the thing that concerns us most, which is Saddam supplying weapons of mass destruction to terrorists . . .'

It is interesting to note that in that same David Corn interview, he is quoted as saying this about Scott Ritter:

I said, President Bush was obligated to present a solid case to the American public, and so far Bush and his crew have only asserted that Saddam poses a threat. They have not proven that Saddam's supposed pursuit of weapons of mass destruction has made him a clear and present danger to the United States.

Perle moved closer and said, "Trust me."

Sorry, I answered, I don't think we should head to war merely on the say-so of a few government officials. Besides, I added politely, why trust you? Why not trust Scott Ritter?

Ritter, Perle huffed, is "unstable."

Low blow, I said.

Perle claimed he does not call everyone with whom he disagrees "unstable." But, he said, this was an appropriate term for a fellow who had changed his position 180 degrees.

Unstable may well be an appropriate term to describe Richard Perle.

In 2003, The Guardian reported Richard Perle as admitting the invasion of Iraq was illegal.

Mr Perle told an audience in London: "I think in this case international law stood in the way of doing the right thing."

Mr Perle, a key member of the defence policy board, which advises the US defence secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, said that "international law ... would have required us to leave Saddam Hussein alone", and this would have been morally unacceptable.

Perle is also an advocate of Total Information Awareness technology.

His new spin on the Iraq fiasco is that it was a good plan but was executed poorly. This meme seems to be gaining ground amongst The Usual Suspects as a means to hang the failure of the Iraq war on the shoulders of Rumsfeld.

When asked if there would be a Democratic Party candidate he'd support for President, Perle named Joe Lieberman and Gov. Mark Warner, both strong DLC supporters.

Corruption seems to follow him wherever he goes:

On August 31, 2004, a special committee of the Board of Directors investigating the alleged misconduct of the controlling shareholders of Hollinger International submitted the 512-page Breeden Report to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). In the report, Perle is singled out as having breached his fiduciary responsibilities as a company director by authorizing several controversial transactions which diverted the company's net profit from the shareholders to the accounts of various executives. Perle received over $3 million in bonuses on top of his salary, bringing the total to $5.4 million, and the investigating committee called for him to return the money.

Top Hollinger executives dismissed the report and have filed a defamation lawsuit against the head of the investigating committee, former SEC chairman Richard C. Breeden. However, in 2005 Mr Perle publically acknowledged he had been served a 'Wells notice'[3], a formal warning that the S.E.C.'s enforcement staff had found sufficient evidence of wrongdoing to bring a civil lawsuit.

Perle once had close business ties with Conrad Black of Hollinger International Inc. which owns over 400 newspapers worldwide. Perle was the top executive of Hollinger Digital Inc. the media management and investment arm of Hollinger International. Now the two men have accused each other of swindling Hollinger International. The Breeden Report describes Perle thusly:

As a faithless fiduciary, Perle should be required to disgorge all compensation received from the company

Hollinger is demanding $22.9 million in reparations.

When he finally stepped down from the chairmanship of the Defense Policy Board in 2003, it was amid allegations of a conflict of interest. He had become an advisor for the telecommunications company Global Crossing, which wanted help cutting through resistance to its proposed sale to a foreign firm with ties to China. Perle was paid $750,000 and promised another $600,000 if the sale was approved. The moment he stepped down, Global Crossing announced their ties with Perle had been severed.

Prior to that, Perle had been an advisor to Loral Space and Communications, which had faced accusations of transferring rocket technology to China.

Read more!

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Anthony Weiner Needs a Reality Pill

Today Anthony Weiner D-NY had the unmitigated gall as to defend Israels actions in international waters.

This was about instigating an altercation and they succeeded," Weiner, one of Israel's leading allies in Congress, told me. He insisted that the activists piloting the flotilla were offered other alternatives by Israel, such as docking the ship and transporting the supplies to Gaza by land.

"If you want to instigate a conflict with the Israeli navy it isn't hard to do," Weiner continued. "They were offered alternatives. Instead they chose to sail into the teeth of an internationally recognized blockade."

Pushed on whether the Israeli response, which killed at least nine, was disproportionate, Weiner wouldn't acknowledge it. "It's always easy to criticize the response to a hostile act, but for a week at least the Israelis were trying to prevent this altercation," Weiner said, adding that the Israelis had been "set upon."

There are so many things wrong with his depiction of events where do I begin?

This was about instigating an altercation and they succeeded.

No, Mr. Weiner, this was about bringing aid to Gaza citizens who are currently being starved to death by Israel in what some call the New Warsaw Ghetto. In case you missed it Mr. Weiner, there is an extreme humanitarian crisis in the Gaza strip. The economy has collapsed. They are experiencing 45% unemployment. Places that were destroyed by Israeli bombs over a year ago are still sitting in ruins. Electricity is sporadic. The people of Gaza are being subjected to a slow starvation that amounts to genocide.

If you weren't so emotionally invested in Israel, perhaps you could see this.

He insisted that the activists piloting the flotilla were offered other alternatives by Israel, such as docking the ship and transporting the supplies to Gaza by land.

Which was unacceptable Mr. Weiner because Israel refuses to allow parts to replace broken down farming equipment into the strip. It seems not allowing the people of Gaza to farm is part of the planned genocide by slow starvation planned for the New Warsaw Ghetto. Back up generators have failed because Israel won't allow those things to pass through by land either. Hundreds ofsick people have died because of this travesty alone. It seems that is also part of the planned genocide for the New Warsaw Ghetto.

"If you want to instigate a conflict with the Israeli navy it isn't hard to do," Weiner continued.

So you're argument is that a shipload of people armed with sticks and stones, trying to help end Israels New Warsaw Ghetto are "instigating a conflict" and so they deserved what they got? Really Mr.Weiner? Are you wearing such rose-colored glasses when you look at Israel that you believe this crock?

Oh, but you're not done are you Mr. Weiner?

"They were offered alternatives. Instead they chose to sail into the teeth of an internationally recognized blockade."

Excuse me, Mr. Weiner, but in case you missed it, this act of international terrorism happened in international waters. You aren't proposing that Israel has a right to commit acts in violation of international law in order to proceed with its plans to commit genocide in the New Warsaw Ghetto are you? Are you really so blinded by loyalty to Israel that you think it is acceptable for Israel to attack ships sailing under foreign flags in international waters?

Yes, Mr. Weiner, I think you are and I think that's a shame Mr. Weiner because most of the time you're a pretty decent Democrat.

"It's always easy to criticize the response to a hostile act, but for a week at least the Israelis were trying to prevent this altercation," Weiner said, adding that the Israelis had been "set upon."
Mr. Weiner, you need to remember your own people's history, your own people's Warsaw Ghetto. Perhaps then, you'd realize that trying to relieve the siege of Gaza is anythign except a hostile act. As for being "set upon", it was the activists trying to put an end to Israels genocide that were set upon, Mr. Wiener.

All Israel had to do to avoid conflict was not raid the flotilla.

We don't need anymore congressmen who believe black is white, war is peace, good is evil Mr. Weiner. We had enough of that with the neocons who, by the way, were working hand in hand with Mr. Netenyahu throughout the 90's and into this century. You really need to step back from this Mr. Weiner, it's obvious you've got too much emotional investment in the state of Israel to see clearly what that state has become under the far right wing Likud and Mr. Netenyahu. It's obvious that when it comes to Israel, you can't see that the neocons have taken over and you can't see that they're no better than the Nazi's.

It's really a shame, Mr. Weiner. I thought you were better than that.

Mr. Weiner, how do you describe THIS except to call it The New Warsaw Ghetto:

Medical ethics violated

The contribution made by medical personnel in making decisions in respect to the Palestinian diet in Gaza is grave and violates medical ethics. It is reminiscent of a situation whereby doctors monitor torture, believing that examining the tortured individual before and during the interrogation protects him from irreversible damages. The principles of medical ethics require medical teams to act on behalf of patients, as Gaza had not been struck by drought. Malnutrition there had not been forced by nature. We are dealing with a case of deliberate starvation (or "minimal diet") that can be stopped at any given moment.

Word games making pretense of not crossing red lines are invalid in a reality whereby pregnant women, babies, and children suffer from anemia, whose damage to their development is known. And did anyone look into the development of a child who grows up within this food pyramid? Will these security experts be kind enough to reveal to us the intimate connection between Israel's security and an anemic Palestinian child?


Around 46 per cent of Gaza and West Bank households are "food insecure" or in danger of becoming so, according to a UN report on the impact of conflict and the global boycott of the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority.

The UN report says 34 per cent of households - with income below $1.68 per day and/or showing decreasing food expenditures - are "food insecure". The WFP officially defines "food security" as "the ability of a household to produce and/or access at all times the minimum food needed for a healthy and active life". It goes on to say that 12 per cent of households are "vulnerable" to food insecurity.

And does this remind anyone of how the Nazi's stripped the Jews of all their wealth?

the report points out that some action taken by families to continue to feed themselves - including the sale of land, jewellery and other assets" - will have an "irreversible impact on livelihoods".

What is the purpose of this:

The UN report comes against a background in which a 2004 survey of Palestinian households showed a "slow but steady" growth in actual malnutrition - as measured by reduced growth, vitamin deficiencies, anaemia and other indicators - among a minority of the population. The 2004 survey found "stunting" rates of abnormal height-to-body ratio at just under 10 per cent.

except an attempt by right wing extremists in control of the Israeli government to commit atrocities against the Palestinian peoples by slowly starving an entire peoples to death? How is this not slow and deliberate genocide? How is this NOT the New Warsaw Ghetto, just made more palatable by the slow, subtle nature of its inevitable "Solution" to the Palestinian problem?

Read more!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Davy Crockett, Daily Kos and Net Warfare Multiplicity.

My wife is descended from Davy Crockett so naturally all our kids have wanted to watch the old Disney shows about him and both Alamo movies. We let our kids know that most of what they see is complete BS. One bit of Disney BS is the scene in the wilderness where Crockett and Bowie drive off a much larger enemy force with a little trick the two of them have gotten adept at. They can fire and reload their guns much more quickly than normal men and can do so on the run. They run from hiding spot to hiding spot, firing rapidly and giving the impression to the enemy that they are up against a much larger fighting force than they really are. This forces the enemy to retreat when, if they knew they were only facing two men, they'd charge in and rapidly defeat them.

I don't know if there is a word for this tactic, but it is being used extensively against the left on the internet today. If someone can point out the name for this, great, but for now I'm going to call it Multiplied Duplicity, or Multiplicity for short. It is the tactic of making it seem that there is a large group of people who are on one side of an issue when in fact, it is only a small handful of people using multiple identities and who are usually being paid to work full time giving the impression they are part of a large movement which in reality doesn't exist.

I first heard about Multiplicity about 8-10 years ago from Joe Lyles of Conceptual Guerrilla. It seems that when Lyles was in college earning his law degree he belonged to the Young Republicans. It was there that he learned a standard tactic of theirs was to assault bulletin boards on the fledgling internet with multiple user ids and "work the web" to give the illusion that the vast majority of internet users were conservatives. This is why the internet seemed, in the early years, to be dominated by conservatives and their talking points. The truth, it seems, was that all those conservatives were actually just small groups of Young Republicans across the nation coordinating on a local level.

Lyles termed these guys the first Net Warriors. This was the beginning of Net Warfare. From day one Multiplicity was their standard tactic.

What drew me into Joe Lyles circle was the idea of becoming a Net Warrior myself. Joe had abandoned the right when his eyes had opened to the truth of their phoney conservative philosophy. He realized that conservatives only believed in one thing: Cheap labor. Everything else was BS. He exposed the truth behind every conservative meme in his excellent article "Defeat the Right in 3 Minutes.". It was this article that first brought him to my attention. It was on an older website of his that I, along with a host of other progressives, first learned all the tricks of becoming Net Warriors for the left. We would go onto websites back in the day when people were afraid to admit they were liberals - remember those days? They weren't that long ago - and take over the forums by challenging the conservatives and working together as a team. We employed multiple user ids and gave the impression that a great many progressives were there who - gasp! - actually disagreed with the "conventional wisdom" of the right.

This was rather unheard of at that time on the internet. A wonderful thing began to happen thanks to our efforts. People began to stop lurking on these websites and began to actually speak up. Our presence had emboldened them. Until we came along, most people were so brutally put down, name called, mocked and derided that no one had the courage to ever post there. The conservatives had full reign to spew their lying spin on everything. Once we challenged - and defeated - their hollow talking points, people began to feel they weren't alone. They were no longer afraid to agree that they thought the conservatives were full of shit.

By the time we left a forum, it no longer needed us anymore. There were plenty of progressives there who'd found their voices and were no longer intimidated into silence.

Which brings us to Daily Kos. The tactics being used at Daily Kos are the same tactics that the conservatives have always used. Ad hominem attacks, mocking the poster, derisive put downs, straw man arguments. Anything but actually addressing the issues. The purpose of which is to drive away progressives and silence those who stay so that only their spin dominates the website.

The thing is, just like when the Young Republicans created the first Net Warriors, these Konservassacks (conservative Kossacks) aren't really as numerous as they would lead you to believe. They are practicing Multiplicity. How do I know this? I've been watching them do it for many, many years and over that time they've made more than enough mistakes to give themselves away. Consider the following:

A: The Double Diary Incident. I was probably the only non-Konservassack who witnessed the Double Diary Incident. It was about two or three years ago, before Obama was elected. For a very brief time, maybe ten minutes, two diaries with the exact same titles hit the rec list just minutes after each had been posted. Both had to do with a single payer healthcare rally. Both came out one right after the other. Who could have foreseen such a coincidence? Certainly not the Konservassacks. They evidently knew that one diary about the rally was coming out with that name. Unfortunately, the other dairy about the rally with the exact same name came out just a minute or two before theirs did. The first diary was definately pro-single payer. The second diary was the exact opposite. It was full of spin that single payer wasn't ever going to happen and supported us going for the public option instead. In short, it was a hit piece against the single payer rally.

Naturally, I got curious and looked up who had recced each diary and found out that 90% of the people who'd recced the first diary had also recced the second. That seemed fishy to me as anyone who recced the first diary would hate the second one. Sure enough, by the time I'd finished checking out the second diaries rec list and went back to the main page, the first diary had already fallen off the rec list. So I rechecked the first diaries rec list and all those people who had recced both diaries had unrecommended the pro single payer diary.

This all happened within minutes of both diaries being posted. Why is the timing of this so pertinent? Because of the logistics of such a rapid response. If a large group of about 80-100 people had all known to rec, or been asked to rec, a certain anti-single payer diary and then mistakenly recced the wrong one, there would have been enough confusion caused that it would have taken a bit of time to sort out what had happened, get the word out and then rectify the situation. But the response time here was far too rapid for that. It took about one minute for me to call up the second diaries rec list and see it was almost identical to the first and in that short time, all the people who'd erroneously recced the wrong diary and rectified that situation.

That means one of two things: There were 80-100 people all sitting in an office somewhere paid no doubt by someone with a corporate agenda, or - which is more likely - there were 20 or so people, each with 5 alternate identities, sitting in an office somewhere, paid no doubt by someone with a corporate agenda, using good ole Multiplicity tactics to make it look like a large number of people believed that the public option was a better idea than sticking to our guns and demanding single payer.

B: There have been many instances, not just with me, but I've read others on this website note the same thing: People they are arguing with on Daily Kos forget that they've changed their names and continue the arguement under different personas. It happens often enough to know that sock puppetry is going on there.

A funny thing about sock puppetry on DKos. When my wife finally registered there about a year ago, I immediately got a message that sock puppetry would not be tolerated and I had been banned for it. I had to explain that - though the IP address was mine - the account belonged to my wife. I said they should have asked me before banning me. So Meteor Blades undid my ban and my wife now has an account. Meteor stated that there was so much sock puppetry going on that they couldn't respond to everyone guilty of it and just auto-banned them instead.

So this means one of four things must be true:

1: There is no Multiplicity going on at DKos because Multiplicity requires sock puppetry. Therefore, in the Double Diary Incident, there would have to be an office full of 80-100 people actually working together to pull off what they did that day. I don't believe this, however.

2: Multiplicity is going on at DKos and those responsbile have some way to mask their IP addresses. There are tons of IP Masking programs out there. No doubt, DKos can't guard against all of them.

3: Multiplicity is going on at DKos and those responsible have multiple PC's at their disposal. I doubt this as simply using masked IPs would be less expensive.

4: Multiplicity is going on at DKos and DKos is in on it. This has to be a seriously considered possibility as Markos has admitted he worked for the CIA when he started up the Daily Kos website. It is possible - and when one looks back on the history of the Daily Kos it certainly seems to be - that the Daily Kos was set up from day one to be an anti-populist website who's purpose was to undermine the left.

So whichever of the above are true, what this means is that a small group of people are actively working to give the impression that a much larger group has taken hold of the Daily Kos using the tactic of Multiplicity. If the average reader really understood that only a few people are basically holding an entire net community hostage - and by extension an entire political movement- they'd abandon the site en masse or else demand that the moderators do something to stop this deceitful manipulation.

The question is: is DKos in on it?

The only way to answer that question is to first prove that Multiplicity is happening. To do that might take no less than a paid hacker to break in and track down the culprits to their lair. The next time Blackwaterdogs "Obama is God" shoots to the reclist, or a diary against Obama hits the rec list and immediately after, the diary railing against it shoots to the rec list, we'd need someone to investigate all those names on the rec list and see if something fishy is going on.

Naturally, it would be preferable if the moderators did this, as they obviously have the power to do so, but we can't trust them to be truthful. So unless a hacker traces those IP addresses, we simply have no way to prove it's happening. And of course, we can't have hackers breaking into websites. But should we somehow manage to come up with the evidence, then we'd know once and for all if DKos is in on it or if an outside force is simply using an age old (in internet years) tactic against us once again.

Either way, the progressive movement would be better off being aware of such tactics and proceeding accordingly.

Read more!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Back When Kos Called Gates A "Shoot First Crazy Neocon".
Well, well, it seems the first blush is wearing off on the Obama honeymoon. People are getting up in arms over some of his recent appointments. While others are trying to defend his choices by saying that:
He is keeping his word to us by keeping Gates. This is what "new politics" looks like.

Which is to say it looks disturbingly much like the old politics. You know, the politics that Kos wrote about when he said:
Oh boy. Robert Gates, Bush's choice to replace Donald Rumsfeld at the Pentagon, is another shoot first crazy neocon

So let's take a look back at what we had to say two years ago and what is being said in todays "new politics".

Kos two years ago:

The target of Gates' anxieties was Nicaragua's leftist president, Daniel Ortega.

Take a look at what had Gates quaking in his boots:

Gates saw a calamitous situation in Central America in December 1984. Congress had ordered a halt to U.S. support for the Contra rebels, leaving Ortega free, as Gates saw it, to establish Nicaragua as a "permanent and well-armed" ally of the Soviet Union and Cuba.

He said the United States should acknowledge that the existence of a Marxist-Leninist regime in Nicaragua closely allied to Moscow and Havana "is unacceptable to the United States and that the United States will do everything in its power short of invasion to put that regime out."

In addition to airstrikes, he recommended withdrawal of U.S. recognition of the Nicaraguan government and recognition of a Nicaraguan government in exile that would be entitled to U.S. military support.

Economic sanctions should be considered, "perhaps even including a quarantine," Gates wrote.

Lots of parallels.

Republicans just aren't complete without a scaaaaary enemy to keep them up at night, and happy visions of "shock and awe" to salve their terror.

Gates is just another conservative coward.

As for Nicaragua, Ortega was defeated in elections four years later. And a few weeks ago, he staged a comeback and was elected once again president of Nicaragua.

Funny, that thing called "democracy".

Yes, funny indeed that thing called democracy. I'll get back to that in a minute. But Kos also had this to say about Gates:

Brilliant. Bush's penchant for bringing out the most corrupt of retreads of past Republican administrations continues.

Robert M. Gates was the Central Intelligence Agency's deputy director for intelligence (DDI) from 1982 to 1986. He was confirmed as the CIA's deputy director of central intelligence (DDCI) in April of 1986 and became acting director of central intelligence in December of that same year. Owing to his senior status in the CIA, Gates was close to many figures who played significant roles in the Iran/contra affair and was in a position to have known of their activities.

This is who Bush has nominated for Secretary of Defense.

Looks like I'll have to do another Usual Suspects expose, this time on Gates. Yeah, THAT'S a guy to be excited about. Can't wait to read even more defenses of this pick by Obama telling us why we shouldn't be concerned. Why we should take a "wait and see" attitude.

Let's look at what else was being said about Robert Gates two years ago in McJoan's excellent diary, "Where have we heard this before?":

Defense Secretary Robert Gates is continuing to cite iffy intelligence about Iran and its involvment in Iraq.

SEVILLE, Spain Feb 9, 2007 (AP)— Serial numbers and markings on explosives used in Iraq provide "pretty good" evidence that Iran is providing either weapons or technology for militants there, Defense Secretary Robert Gates asserted Friday.

Offering some of the first public details of evidence the military has collected, Gates said, "I think there's some serial numbers, there may be some markings on some of the projectile fragments that we found," that point to Iran....

Gates, who is attending his first NATO defense ministers meeting, said Iran is "very much involved in providing either the technology or the weapons themselves for these explosively formed projectiles. Now they don't represent a big percentage of the IED attacks but they're extremely lethal."

Gates said the raids combined with the movement of an additional U.S. aircraft carrier into the Persian Gulf have created a stir, but said the Bush administration has no intention of attacking Iran.

At least he's not calling it a slam dunk.

So Gates is someone who will pass on the administrations lies and propaganda to further their agenda. Great. And keeping him is change HOW?

In summation, I think McJoan summed it up pretty well last year in her diary Who's Running This Show Anyway?:

So maybe we don't know anything until April, maybe it's September, maybe we have 35,000 more troops going into Iraq, maybe we don't. Secretary Gates today in a Senate Appropriation Committee hearing:

Defense Secretary Robert Gates said on Wednesday the United States could consider reducing troop levels in Iraq later this year, contradicting comments by a senior military commander....

"The outcome of that evaluation is not foreordained," Gates told the defense subcommittee of the Senate's Appropriations Committee.

"I think if we see some very positive progress and it looks like things are headed in the right direction, then that's the point at which I think we can begin to consider reducing some of these forces," Gates said.

The gang that can't shoot straight. We're going to trust them with any more money, any more time, any more troops?

And now we're going to keep trusting Gates? Because Obama says so?

Which brings us back to that funny thing called "democracy". What is a democracy? There's an interesting take on what constitutes a democracy over at DemocracyNow:

Question is what is a democracy supposed to be? That’s exactly a debate that goes back to the constitutional convention. But in recent years in the 20th century, it’s been pretty well articulated by important figures. So at the liberal end the progressive end, the leading public intellectual of the 20th century was Walter Lippman. A Wilson, Roosevelt, Kennedy progressive. And a lot of his work was on a democratic theory and he was pretty frank about it. If you took a position not all that different from James Madison’s. He said that in a democracy, the population has a function. Its function is to be spectators, not participants. He didn’t call it the population. He called it the ignorant and meddlesome outsiders. The ignorant and meddlesome outsiders have a function and namely to watch what’s going on. And to push a lever every once in a while and then go home. But, the participants are us, us privileged, smart guys. Well that’s one conception of democracy. And you know essentially we’ve seen an episode of it. The population very often doesn’t accept this. As I mentioned, just very recent polls, people overwhelmingly oppose it. But they’re atomized, separated. Many of them feel hopeless, unorganized, and don’t feel they can do anything about it. So they dislike it. But that’s where it ends.

In a functioning democracy like say Bolivia or the United States in earlier stages, they did something about it. That’s why we have the New Deal measures, the Great Society measures. In fact just about any step, you know, women’s rights, end of slavery, go back as far as you like, it doesn’t happen as a gift. And it’s not going to happen in the future. The commentators are pretty well aware of this. They don’t put it the way I’m going to, but if you read the press, it does come out. So take our local newspaper at the liberal end of the spectrum, “Boston Globe,” you probably saw right after the election, a front page story, the lead front page story was on how Obama developed this wonderful grassroots army but he doesn’t have any debts. Which supposed to be a good thing. So he’s free to do what he likes. Because he has no debts, the normal democratic constituency, labor, women, minorities and so on, they didn’t bring him into office. So he owes them nothing

What he had was an army that he organized of people who got out the vote for Obama. For what the press calls, Brand Obama. They essentially agree with the advertisers, it’s brand Obama. That his army was mobilized to bring him to office. They regard that as a good thing, accepting the Lippman conception of democracy, the ignorant and meddlesome outsiders are supposed to do what they’re told and then go home. The Wall Street Journal, at the opposite end of the spectrum, also had an article about the same thing at roughly the same time. Talked about the tremendous grassroots army that has been developed, which is now waiting for instructions. What should they do next to press forward Obama’s agenda? Whatever that is. But whatever it is, the army’s supposed to be out there taking instructions, and press work. Los Angeles Times had similar articles, and there are others. What they don’t seem to realize is what they’re describing, the ideal of what they’re describing, is dictatorship, not democracy. Democracy, at least not in the Lippman sense, it proved- I pick him out because he’s so famous, but it’s a standard position. But in the sense of say, much of the south, where mass popular movements developed programs; organize to take part in elections but that’s one part of an ongoing process. And brings somebody from their own ranks to implement the programs that they develop, and if the person doesn’t they’re out. Ok, that’s another kind of democracy. So it’s up to us to choose which kind of democracy we want. And again, that will determine what comes next.

So which kind of Democracy are we? The kind that isn't really a democracy at all? The kind that takes its orders from the top down? Or the kind that demands from the bottom up? You know, a REAL democracy? I think we all know the answer to that question.

In retrospect, this commment in the Kos diary looks poignantly tragic in its naivete:

783 Days Left (5+ / 0-)

I believe we are going to survive the Bush years! But he makes it difficult to sustain the belief. Why can't Bush appoint morally decent and competent people to positions in the government- instead of ideological screw-ups?

Indeed? And why can't Obama do the same? Because we don't MAKE him do so! And until this becomes a community that looks beyond just electing Democrats, we're never going to get to determine what comes next. We're just going to remain a community that pulls the lever for the "D" and then goes home.

I, for one, intend to express my dissatisfaction with the selection of "shoot first crazy neocons" like Gates, hardcore "free trade" economists from the University of Chicago like Goolsbee, and any other right wing wacko that Obama "tells us" we have to accept.

I'm not going home till the fights over.

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Let the UAW buy out the Big Three

That seems to me to be the best strategy. Loan the money to the UAW to allow them to buy out the Big Three and let the workers run the show.

Americans reaping the profits of their own blood, sweat and tears instead of some lazy CEO who never saw a resource he couldn't exploit. Imagine that.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Today's appointment makes me feel good

I've been down on Obama since rumors started surfacing of the kind of people he's thinking of putting into office. However, with todays announcement of Eric Holder to be our next Attorney General, I have to say that I am quite pleased.

This IS change.

If you don't know who Eric Holder is, then let me explain why this man brings change to America.

In the early 90's the Democrats controlled Congress. Newt Gingrich had offered up his Contract On America and not only were many right wingnuts ready to sign on board but a lot of other people were getting concerned about what they perceived as corruption in our government. This was to be the beginning of the right wingnut wackos rise to power on the basis of their beliefs that Democrats didn't stand for anything.

Nothing represented that more to them than what became known as the Congressional Post Office Scandal.

What started as a simple case of embezzlement by a post office employee being investigated by the Capitol Police eventually grew into a national scandal that brought down one of the most powerful Democrats in office, head of the powerful Ways and Means Committee and ushered in a new age of Republican rule. The Republicans, of course, in 12 short years out corrupted and out scandalled anything the Democrats had ever dreamed of.

But back to the investigation:

evidence rapidly led to the inclusion of several other employees, before top Democrats in the House of Representatives moved to shut down the whole line of inquiry, despite protests from Frank Karrigan, chief of the Capitol Police.

A new investigation was started by the United States Postal Service, which eventually submitted a report which was held in silence by Speaker Thomas Foley (D-WA) until media reports of embezzlement and drug laundering leaked out in 1992.

Following public outcry, the Democratic leaders of the House were forced to refer the matter to the Committee on House Administration, which started its own investigation.

That committee broke into two parts along party lines, the Democrats issuing a report saying the matter was closed, but the Republicans issuing a dissenting report including a number of unanswered questions and problems with the investigation.

The Republican charges were largely ignored until July 1993, when the Congressional Postmaster Robert Rota pleaded guilty to three criminal charges, implicating Representatives Dan Rostenkowski (D-IL) and Joe Kolter (D-PA). They were accused of heading a conspiracy to launder Post Office money through stamps and postal vouchers.

Ultimately, Rostenkowski was convicted and sentenced to 18 months in prison, in 1995.

Dan Rostenkowski, Democratic Congressman from Chicago. One of the most senior members of Congress at the time of his downfall. 36 years he served his nation. Richard Cohen was to write a book about Rostenkowski in which he claimed that "The rise and fall of Dan Rostenkowski tracks the rise and fall of Democrats in the House." Republicans portrayed him as emblematic of the corruption of the Democratic Party and used it as a springboard to take over control of the reins of power during the Clinton administration.

And who brought down Dan Rostentowski?

Eric Holder.

It was Eric Holder's 17 count indictment that ultimately led to the downfall of Dan Rostentowski and the corruption within the Democratic Party.

This guy was once a part of the Justice Departments elite Public Integrity Section. There he spent 12 years rooting out corruption. He went after an Assistant Attorney General from New York. A Philadelphia judge. A Floridian treasurer. Several corrupt FBI agents.

Now he's our Attorney General. In my opinion, that means we should be seeing the return of integrity to that office. This guy will go after you if you're a Republican. He'll go after you if you're a Democrat.

I feel like a little sanity is finally starting to return.

Of course, the Republicans will start screaming he's the next coming of the Anti-Christ, but then, I said sanity was starting to return, I didn't say it was returning to them.

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GM: Give us 50mpg TODAY!!!

Not 10 years from now.  Not 5 years from now.  Not 2 years from now.  TODAY.  Starting IMMEDIATELY.

Because if 6 high school kids from Philly were able to do it a few years ago, then you can certainly do it RIGHT NOW.

It's called "The Attack" and it's a hybrid supercar with over 300 hp developed from a AC electric motor powering the front wheels and a 1.9L VW TDi biodiesel powering the rears. The batteries powering the electric motor act as capacitors able to discharge a lot of energy in short bursts, enough for 0-60 runs in the sub 4-second range. Under normal driving conditions the car is powered by the biodiesel engine and achieves 50mpg.

And the best part is, this super-hybrid didn't come from the Big 3 or some obscure Euro supercar maker, The Attack is the work of the West Philadelphia High School Electric Vehicle Team - a group of 6 high school, YES, high school kids.

While the righties claim GM's woes are all the fault of its workers, and others are coming forward with all kinds of ideas, from breaking GM into smaller parts to bankruptcy before bailout, it seems that Congress has caught a case of "bailout fatigue" that makes it likely no GM bailout is coming.

Though all sides agree that Detroit's Big Three carmakers are in peril, battered by the economic meltdown that has choked their sales and frozen loans, the White House and congressional Democrats are headed for stalemate over the government money that might go toward helping them.

Behind the logjam is a troubling reality for the car companies: Bailout fatigue has set in at the White House and on Capitol Hill.

The Senate Democrats' measure would carve out a portion of the Wall Street bailout money to pay for loans to US automakers and their domestic suppliers, but aides in both parties and lobbyists acknowledge they do not have the votes to pass it.

The White House and congressional Republicans insist that any automaker bailout money instead come from redirecting a $25 billion loan program approved by Congress in September to help the industry develop more fuel-efficient vehicles. The GOP would lift restrictions on that money to speed it to the carmakers.

Democrats want to leave that money alone and give the industry an additional $25 billion from the financial bailout funds.

The industry needs $25 billion to help them develop more fuel-efficient vehicles?  Really?

Maybe they should be hiring those kids from Philly.

Barney Frank, at least, has the right idea:

A House version drafted by Massachusetts Democrat Barney Frank goes further, requiring that US automakers immediately repay the loans next spring if they don't give the government an acceptable restructuring plan that shows they can survive, including details on how they will transition to making vehicles that use less gasoline.

Because if 6 high school kids could make a fuel efficient car that looks HOT for less than a tenth of a million dollars, several years ago,  $25 BILLION should help GM start rolling them off the production line before business closes TODAY.

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Sunday, November 16, 2008

Some reality for Markos Moulitsas (Kos)

Over at DKos, Kos himself has written up a little attack on every DLC'ers favorite whipping boy, Ralph Nader. He recently mocked Nader and his supporters and in response, received several emails and now was mocking the emailers as well.

Anyone who sails with the Nader crowd deserves nothing more than ridicule.

Fuck Ralph Nader, and fuck his supporters. If the past eight years hasn't smacked any sense into their addled brains, then nothing will. This site caters to the reality-based community. No one else need apply.

Well, I'm no Naderite, but I think Kos could use a huge dose of reality right about now.

Kos takes issue with Nader saying that there is only one party:

Saint Ralph

Said that there was no difference between the democratic and republican presidential candidates in 1980, with President Carter versus Ronald Reagan. Nader repeated this nonsense in 2000 with Gore versus Bush and handed the damn election to Bush.

Both Carter and Gore went on to win the friggin' Nobel Peace Prize. Reagan went on to murder 250,000 people in his insane wars in Central America, and the Dubya has terminated between 600,000 and 1.2 million people from his war in Iraq.

There are buckets of blood worth of differences between those candidates. And yes, Nader and his lunatic supporters need to be held accountable for these actions.

What Nader actually did was point out that the current system is fixed. You get two choices: A corporatist shill or a lunatic corporatist shill, ie, a boogeyman candidate to scare you into voting for the corporatist shill. The only logical choice for any sane person is to vote for neither. This, of course, leads to the lunatic being elected. Which is what happened.

However, let's get back to Kos assertion that DKos is a "reality based" commmunity. This is the reality about Barack Obama:

Can We Talk About The Real Obama Now? by Sam Smith

Obama supported making it harder to file class action suits in state courts. David Sirota in the Nation wrote, "Opposed by most major civil rights and consumer watchdog groups, this big business-backed legislation was sold to the public as a way to stop 'frivolous' lawsuits. But everyone in Washington knew the bill's real objective was to protect corporate abusers."

He voted for a business-friendly "tort reform" bill

He voted against a 30% interest rate cap on credit cards

He had the most number of foreign lobbyist contributors in the primaries

He was even more popular with Pentagon contractors than McCain

He was most popular of the candidates with K Street lobbyists

In 2003, rightwing Democratic Leadership Council named Obama as one of its "100 to Watch."
After he was criticized in the black media, Obama disassociated himself with the DLC. But his major economic advisor, Austan Goolsbee, is also chief economist of the conservative organization. Writes Doug Henwood of the Left Business Observer, "Goolsbee has written gushingly about Milton Friedman and denounced the idea of a moratorium on mortgage foreclosures."

Added Henwood, "Top hedge fund honcho Paul Tudor Jones threw a fundraiser for him at his Greenwich house last spring, 'The whole of Greenwich is backing Obama,' one source said of the posh headquarters of the hedge fund industry. They like him because they're socially liberal, up to a point, and probably eager for a little less war, and think he's the man to do their work. They're also confident he wouldn't undertake any renovations to the distribution of wealth."

Civil liberties

He supports the war on drugs

He supports the crack-cocaine sentence disparity

He supports Real ID

He supports the PATRIOT Act

He supports the death penalty

He opposes lowering the drinking age to 18

He supported amnesty for telecoms engaged in illegal spying on Americans


He went to Connecticut to support Joe Lieberman in the primary against Ned Lamont

Wrote Paul Street in Z Magazine, "Obama has lent his support to the aptly named Hamilton Project, formed by corporate-neo-liberal Citigroup chair Robert Rubin and other Wall Street Democrats to counter populist rebellion against corporatist tendencies within the Democratic Party. . . Obama was recently hailed as a Hamiltonian believer in limited government and free trade by Republican New York Times columnist David Brooks, who praises Obama for having "a mentality formed by globalization, not the SDS."

Writes the London Times, "Obama is hoping to appoint cross-party figures to his cabinet such as Chuck Hagel, the Republican senator for Nebraska and an opponent of the Iraq war, and Richard Lugar, leader of the Republicans on the Senate foreign relations committee. Senior advisers confirmed that Hagel, a highly decorated Vietnam war veteran and one of McCain's closest friends in the Senate, was considered an ideal candidate for defense secretary.

Richard Lugar was rated 0% by SANE. . . rated 0% by AFL-CIO. . . rated 0% BY NARAL. . . rated 12% by American Public Health Association. . . rated 0% by Alliance for Retired Americans. . . rated 27% by the National Education Association. . . rated 5% by League of Conservation Voters. . . He voted no on implementing the 9/11 Commission report. . . Vote against providing habeas corpus for Gitmo prisoners. . .voted no on comprehensive test ban treaty. . .voted against same sex marriage. . . strongly anti-abortion. . . opposed to more federal funding for healthcare. . .voted for unconstitutional wiretapping. . .voted to increase penalties for drug violations

Chuck Hagel was rated 0% by NARAL. . . rated 11% by NAACP. . . rated 0% by Human Rights Coalition. . . rated 100% by Christian Coalition. . . rated 12% by American Public Health Association. . . rated 22% by Alliance for Retired Americans. . . rated 36% by the National Education Association. . . rated 0% by League of Conservation Voters. . . rated 8% by AFL-CIO. . . He is strongly anti-abortion. . .voted for anti-flag desecration amendment. . .voted to increase penalties for drug violations. . . favors privatizing Social Security


Obama voted for a nuclear energy bill that included money for bunker buster bombs and full funding for Yucca Mountain.

He supports federally funded ethanol and is unusually close to the ethanol industry.

He led his party's reversal of a 25-year ban on off-shore oil drilling


Obama has promised to double funding for private charter schools, part of a national effort undermining public education.

He supports the No Child Left Behind Act albeit expressing reservations about its emphasis on testing. Writes Cory Mattson, "Despite NCLB''s loss of credibility among educators and the deadlock surrounding its attempted reauthorization in 2007, Barack Obama still offers his support. Even the two unions representing teachers, both which for years supported reform of the policy to avoid embarrassing their Democratic Party 'friends,' declared in 2008 that the policy is too fundamentally flawed to be reformed and should be eliminated."

Fiscal policy

Obama rejected moratoriums on foreclosures and a freeze on rates, measures supported by his primary opponents John Edwards and Hillary Clinton

He was a strong supporter of the $700 billion cash-for-trash banker bailout plan.

Two of his top advisors are former Goldman Sachs chair Robert Rubin and Lawrence Summers. Noted Glen Ford of black Agenda Report, "In February 1999, Rubin and Summers flanked Fed Chief Alan Greenspan on the cover of Time magazine, heralded as, 'The Committee to Save the World.' Summers was then Secretary of the Treasury for Bill Clinton, having succeeded his mentor, Rubin, in that office. Together with Greenspan, the trio had in the previous year labored successfully to safeguard derivatives, the exotic 'ticking time bomb' financial instruments, from federal regulation."

Robert Scheer notes that "Rubin, who pocketed tens of millions running Goldman Sachs before becoming treasury secretary, is the man who got President Clinton to back legislation by then-Sen. Phil Gramm, R-Texas, to unleash banking greed on an unprecedented scale."

Obama's fund-raising machine has been headed by Penny Prtizker former chair of the Superior Bank, one of the first to get into subprime mortgages. While she resigned as chair of the family business in 1994, as late as 2001 she was still on the board and wrote a letter saying that her family was recapitalizing the bank and pledging to "once again restore Superior's leadership position in subprime lending." The bank shut down two months later and the Pritzker family would pay $460 million in a settlement with the government.

Foreign policy

Obama endorsed US involvement in the failed drug war in Colombia: "When I am president, we will continue the Andean Counter-Drug Program."

He has expressed a willingness to bomb Iran and won't rule out a first strike nuclear attack.

He has endorsed bombing or invading Pakistan to go after Al Qaeda in violation of international law. He has called Pakistan "the right battlefield ... in the war on terrorism."

He supports Israeli aggression and apartheid. Obama has deserted previous support for two-state solution to Mid East situation and refuses to negotiate with Hamas.

He has supported Jerusalem as the capitol of Israel, saying "it must remain undivided."

He favors expanding the war in Afghanistan.

Although he claims to want to get out of Iraq, his top Iraq advisor wrote that America should keep between 60,000 and 80,000 troops in Iraq. Obama, in his appearances, blurred the difference between combat soldiers and other troops.

He indicated to Amy Goodman that he would leave 140,000 private contractors and mercenaries in Iraq because "we don't have the troops to replace them."

He has called Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez an enemy of the United States and urged sanctions against him.

He claimed "one of the things that I think George H.W. Bush doesn't get enough credit for was his foreign policy team and the way that he helped negotiate the end of the Cold War and prosecuted the Gulf War. That cost us $20 billion dollars. That's all it cost. It was extremely successful. I think there were a lot of very wise people."

He has hawkish foreign policy advisors who have been involved in past US misdeeds and failures. These include Zbigniew Brzezinski, Anthony Lake, General Merrill McPeak, and Dennis Ross.

It has been reported that he might well retain as secretary of defense Robert Gates who supports actions in violation of international law against countries merely suspected of being unwilling or unable to halt threats by militant groups.


Obama opposes gay marriage. He wouldn't have photo taken with San Francisco mayor because he was afraid it would seem that he supported gay marriage


Obama opposes single payer healthcare or Medicare for all.


Obama would expand the size of the military.

National Service

Obama favors a national service plan that appears to be in sync with one being promoted by a new coalition that would make national service mandatory by 2020, and with a bill requiring such mandatory national service introduced by Rep. Charles Rangel.

He announced in Colorado Springs last July, "We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we've set. We've got to have a civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded."

On another occasion he said, "It's also important that a president speaks to military service as an obligation not just of some, but of many. You know, I traveled, obviously, a lot over the last 19 months. And if you go to small towns, throughout the Midwest or the Southwest or the South, every town has tons of young people who are serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. That's not always the case in other parts of the country, in more urban centers. And I think it's important for the president to say, this is an important obligation. If we are going into war, then all of us go, not just some." Some have seen this as a call for reviving the draft.

He has attacked the exclusion of ROTC on some college campuses

Presidential crimes

Obama aggressively opposed impeachment actions against Bush. One of his key advisors, Cass Sunstein of the University of Chicago Law School, said prosecuting government officials risks a "cycle" of criminalizing public service.


Unlike his deferential treatment of right wing conservatives, Obama's treatment of the left has been dismissive to insulting. He dissed Nader for daring to run for president again. And he called the late Paul Wellstone "something of a gadfly"

Public Campaign Financing

Obama's retreat from public campaign financing has endangered the whole concept.

Social welfare

Obama wrote that conservatives and Bill Clinton were right to destroy social welfare,

Social Security

Early in the campaign, Obama said, "everything is on the table" with Social Security.


As things now stand, the election primarily represents the extremist center seizing power back from the extremist right. We have moved from the prospect of disasters to the relative comfort of mere crises.

Using the word 'extreme' alongside the term 'center' is no exaggeration. Nearly all major damage to the United States in recent years - a rare exception being 9/11 - has been the result of decisions made not by right or left but by the post partisan middle: Vietnam, Iraq, the assault on constitutional liberties, the huge damage to the environment, and the collapse of the economy - to name a few. Go back further in history and you'll find, for example, the KKK riddled with members of the establishment including - in Colorado - a future governor, senator and mayor after whom Denver's airport is named. The center, to which Obama pays such homage, has always been where most of the trouble lies.

The only thing that will make Obama the president pictured in the campaign fantasy is unapologetic, unswerving and unendingly pressure on him in a progressive and moral direction, for he will not go there on his own. But what, say, gave the New Deal its progressive nature was pressure from the left of a sort that simply doesn't exist today.

Above are listed nearly three dozen things that Obama supports or opposes with which no good liberal or progressive would agree. Unfortunately, what's out there now, however, looks more like a rock concert crowd or evangelical tent meeting than a determined and directed political constituency. Which isn't so surprising given how successful our system have been at getting people to accept sights, sounds, symbols and semiotics as substitutes for reality. Once again, it looks like we'll have to learn the hard way.

Sorry Kos, but it looks like it's NADER who's part of the reality-based community, not you.

But then, with the revelations coming from every direction that this presidency is not going to be what we all had hoped it would, I suppose Kos is feeling a little defensive about his role in helping the Democrats to elect another Wall Street sellout by making DKos a "Democratic Party" website and progressives be damned.

When progressives are damned, this whole planet is damned. So on behalf of the Naderites that I don't even belong to:

Fuck you Moulitas. And fuck your DLC supporters too.

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