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Well, everyone thinks I'm always too pessimistic ...

But I'm just hearing Rahm Emmanuel's "maiden" speech as the leader of the Dems' House campaign and it just confirms everything I've been saying ...

"We now begin the hard work of governing" ??? "We're going to reach across the partisan divide" ???


Will Rove / Bush / Cheney succeed in pinning their own failures on the Democratic House majority?

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Even in the -- in my view, still unlikely -- event the Dems actually get control of one or both houses of Congress,

they are still playing the Bush / Cheney game ... especially the Washington Dems, of which Howard Dean has sadly become one ...

They are operating within a framework of assumptions completely generated and monitored by the corporate / Christian alliance that has dominated American political and media life since the summer of 2000 ...

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We have often talked of the utter failure of the Bush / Cheney regime to confront political Islam in any way - largely out of fear of the reaction of its cognate American pals, the Christian right ...

To cover up his near-treasonous bungling, he and VP Richard "Dick" Cheney instead manufactured a completely non-existent "crisis" in Iraq, and, in order to create a situation where no-bid contracts with their buddies in Haliburton are "necessary," de-stabilize perhaps the most volatile part of the world: the Middle East / Persian Gulf region.

While all this time / money / energy / and emotion are focused on Iraq, meanwhile, the asleep-at-the-wheel clowns in the White House have allowed - right under our noses and in plain sight - the creation of an Islamist redoubt in the heart of the Gulf area in Somalia.

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One of the most important races in the Bay Area -- the Oakland mayoral struggle is equally interesting and key -- was the struggle for the 12th Asseembly District in San Francisco and northern San Mateo (Daly City, etc.).

The incumbent was accountant Fiona Ma, a protege of long-time Democratic power John Burton and the only Chinese American on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

Her challenger was Janet Reilly, wife of brilliant and controversial political consultant Clint Reilly, who not only ran positive ads EXCLUSIVELY, but also had the guts and brains to run on what should be the key domestic issue of ANY Democratic campaign: single payer health care.

In a perfect symbol of everything wrong with the Democratic party throughout the country, Ma ran a total identity politics / negative advertising television campaign that had some of the most disgusting spots I have ever seen on tv ...

Not to mention a shocking advertising total for both candidates of more than three million dollars -- and for a State Assembly race !!! Come on ... this is a ridiculous way to do politics ...

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Today IS the day of the California Democratic Primary, which is what occasions this comment about WHY our campaign is so necessary ...

Two outstanding candidates are vying today for the Democratic nomination to mix it up with the Governator, Arnold Schwarzenegger: Phil Angelides and Steve Westly.

Both of them are incredibly smart, talented and wealthy ;-) individuals, either one of whom would be a significant improvement over Arnold, except in the pure entertainment area, perhaps ...

And yet for the last several weeks, the airwaves here have been FILLED with the most vicious and nasty personal attacks on each other, taking tiny events from years ago and blowing them up as if they were crimes on a par with the unasked invasion and radical de-stabilization of another country and world region.

Whoever wins, all this is going to do is ease the "target research" burden of Arnold and the Republicans in the fall election, and create a lot of bad feeling between people who have no real beef with each other.

So why is our campaign necessary ???

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Posted previously at Grok Your World, by John Driscoll.

Washington Post: “Focusing on ‘Success’ in Iraq,” by Brent Scowcroft, January 16, 2006.

This is a placeholder post in the event that my colleague David Caploe should want to go into a little more detail and flesh things out a bit.

But the gist is that, once again, Grok Your World in general and David in particular have beaten the leading institutions of the mainstream media to the punch by a considerable margin.

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[Originally posted at Grok Your World by David Caploe on July 1, 2005.]

NY Times: “Next: Spielberg’s Biggest Gamble,” by David Halbfinger, July 1, 2005.

It was just like the moment I saw the story about the evangelical rock concert in Morocco: sometimes you simply cannot believe the things you’re reading.

And so it was when I saw that Steven Spielberg – the master of sentimental schmaltz and phony feeling, so successful in Hollywood he long ago lost touch with any authentic emotion (other than ambition) – started principal photography this week on a film about the murder of Israeli athletes by Black September militants at the 1972 Munich Olympics.

What is it about the Middle East that makes Americans think they can blunder into itwith no knowledge about either the past, or the mess they’re likely to createand think they’re somehow going to be able to escape without hurting themselves and those who love themnot to mention the people in that self-tortured part of the world.

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[Previously posted at Grok Your World by David Caploe.]

It’s so typical of the frighteningly muddled state of US discourse in general – and v-a-v Iraq in paticular – that people are incessantly repeating the inane line: “the presence of US troops is fueling the insurgency … so if they leave, the insurgency will start to die down” – a line taken by the ever-pathetic John Kerry …

This insight WAS true in, say, the first nine months of 2003 when the completely unnecessary and provocative presence of US troops in the first place certainly helped to CREATE the insurgency.

However, once the insurgency got started, the US troops no longer mattered as any “incitement” … the issues became much more specific to the power / legitimacy situation in Iraq, and developed a very powerful dynamic of their own. …

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Sun Nov 27, 2005 at 06:17 PM PST

Stop Glorifiying Murtha

by Grok Your World

[Previously posted at Grok Your World by David Caploe.]

It’s yet another sign of how weak / pathetic / disoriented the Democrats (and, yes, I do mean to include most Kossacks, both new and old) have become … how desperate they are for anyone at the national level to say something they want to hear … that they are cumming in their pants over John Murtha …

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[Previously posted at Grok Your World by David Caploe.]

Ever since the Cindy Sheehan vigil in Crawford, I’ve been disturbed by what seemed to me then – and increasingly so since – a “bring them home” stance on Iraq that is problematic in terms of BOTH the structural situation in the Middle East AND the likely political fall-out here …

the latter concern made all the more pressing in recent days by the ridiculously easy way the House GOP once again managed to manipulate the Dems with their “immediate withdrawal from Iraq” stunt.

Perhaps the best way to understand this approach is to begin with a brief comparison of Iraq and Vietnam, which have both radical similarities and major differences.

The biggest similarity is that these were both “wars of choice” – that is, the US was never attacked by either Iraq or Vietnam, but US politicians – for different, albeit equally fucked up, reasons – decided to commit huge resources of money / blood / time / emotion for conflicts that never had any need to exist in the first place.

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God, Robert Redford must TRULY be embarrassed he played Woodward in All The Presidents' Men ...

Because Redford, god bless him, still maintains an authentically 60s sensibility -- despite the Sundance Channel's DEEPLY misguided commitment to promoting Al Franken -- despite his wealth and power ...

Of course he's not perfect ... we've all heard the stories about he lets his less prestigious colleagues develop projects, and then swoop down and take them over if they turn out well and he's interested ...

But STILL ... he's nothing like Bob Woodward, who really should be fired from the Post, altho we all know that is MOST unlikely to happen ...

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Wed Nov 16, 2005 at 11:37 AM PST

Pincus Covered for Woodward

by Grok Your World

Should we have expected something bearing a closer resemblance to true journalistic principles from Pincus?

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