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Sat May 16, 2009 at 02:32 PM PDT

The Conspiracy Theorist Label

by TocqueDeville

The conspiracy theorist label is the cleverest tool the conspirators have come up with to deter the people from investigating and questioning their (the people's) own government.

The truth is, the greatest threat to our national security is not an external foe, but the secrecy of our own government. Secrecy mis-justified by the claim that it is in the interest of national security. How convenient for the profiteers of the national security state.

The threat obtains in two fundamental ways: direct subversion of our constitution and the will of the people, and blowback.

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Sun May 10, 2009 at 11:20 AM PDT

Buying Brand Obama

by TocqueDeville

This is one of the most powerful and important essays I've ever read. Whith special thanks to Truthdig, I am posting it here in its entirety. Visit Truthdig to read more of Chris Hedges and other important works.

Buying Brand Obama
By Chris Hedges

Barack Obama is a brand. And the Obama brand is designed to make us feel good about our government while corporate overlords loot the Treasury, our elected officials continue to have their palms greased by armies of corporate lobbyists, our corporate media diverts us with gossip and trivia and our imperial wars expand in the Middle East. Brand Obama is about being happy consumers. We are entertained. We feel hopeful. We like our president. We believe he is like us. But like all branded products spun out from the manipulative world of corporate advertising, we are being duped into doing and supporting a lot of things that are not in our interest.

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I have a confession to make. I've been lying about global warming for years. You see, I have known for over a decade that we were long past the "tipping point" for preventing catastrophic climate change. But I also believed, and still do, that it is a moral imperative to act as though we have a chance, just in case the data is wrong. And so when people asked if there was anything we could do to prevent global warming, I would lie.

Because of my involvement with certain environmental organizations, I was exposed to the science of climate change pretty early. We didn't call it global warming back then. We called it the greenhouse effect. But the truth is, all the way back in the late 70s and early 80s, the facts about global warming were very well established (a very important point I'll get to in my next diary). And way back then, scientists, like modern day prophets, were already predicting what we're witnessing right now - extreme weather events, melting at the poles, droughts, fires and floods. It's almost spooky now, to remember back when these predictions were only abstract notions of a seemingly uncertain future. But facts they were then, just as they are now.

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Tue Apr 21, 2009 at 06:15 PM PDT

A Short Story

by TocqueDeville

Five teenagers are in a car. It's a dark, rainy, Friday night and the music is loud as they cruise along to their destination. They're heading to an old abandoned Mill on the far outskirts of town where they often go to drink beer and hang out. Tonight there will be a keg.

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For those who don't know, or don't want to know, the Obama Justice Department made a most disappointing move late last Friday - late so as to circumvent the press in what is called a Friday news dump - of claiming immunity for Bush officials who broke the law by illegally spying on Americans.

As Glenn Greenwald points out, this is not just a continuation of the dubious claims of the Bush administration, but an entirely new claim that even the Bush legal team didn't attempt.

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I contacted Bill Black this weekend in the midst of the flame up over his statements on Bill Moyers Journal that the Obama administration, just like the Bush administration before, is violating the law by not placing failed banks into receivership.

I told professor Black that he was under attack, being accused of lying no less, and that I wanted him to clarify specifically what section of the law the Obama admin was violating and how.

I wanted the Professor to clarify himself because I felt he was being slandered. The attacker, Daily Kos diarist Geekesque, went beyond claiming Black was merely incorrect and accused him of lying - presumably to get Obama.

I have known about Bill Black for a long time. He was instrumental in exposing the S&L scandal in the 1980s and is considered one of the foremost experts on financial regulation and white collar crime in the country. Here's a brief bio:

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I would rather not have to point this out. There are, after all, real problems going on. But it simply amazes me how so many in the media can be so utterly devoid of awareness.

By now, the story of Michelle Obama's reciprocal hand-on-the-back gesture has been reported about 99% more than it needed to be. Yet in all that coverage, in all that discussion, I have yet to see one commenter or babbling head acknowledge the most significant aspect of Ms. Obama's supposed faux pas: The First Lady sees herself as an equal with the Queen of England

It might be excusable to overlook this fact if it weren't so obvious and consistent with the First Lady's character. But I think it's the real story of the meeting of the Queen.

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Thu Mar 19, 2009 at 01:03 PM PDT

Obama Critics Just Like My Wife

by TocqueDeville

So about a year ago, I was watching TV. It was late at night and one of those information shows was on about how you can start your own alpaca farm. I never watch those things but this time, it just made sense. I suddenly had a vision: as the economy tanks, people are going to need a cheap source of wool. And not only that, if you believe in global warming, it's going to freeze in N. America - just like the movie - so people will need a lot of wool.

So I did it. I took the plunge, ordered two alpacas, and began my destiny to be an alpaca farmer. Well, needless to say, my wife wasn't too happy when the alpacas arrived. Especially when she realized I had spent our savings to buy them. "This is the stupidest thing I've ever heard of", she said.

But I knew it was the right thing to do. I told her to wait and see. We had a big fight.

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Sat Mar 07, 2009 at 10:30 PM PST

Gordon Brown's New World Order

by TocqueDeville

So an amazing little story was leaked out this week. Turns out that a lot of the taxpayer money going to AIG is actually going to save European banks. The implications that US taxpayers are bailing out the bank, Societe Generale, via proxy through AIG, cannot be something Mark Penn, one of AIG's new PR men, would have preferred got out.

But it also may explain the timing of Gordon Brown's visit last week.

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I've been waiting for a good time to bring this story to Daily Kos and, since it's CNBC day (or week hopefully), I figured now would be a good time.

By now, everyone should have heard about the ongoing war that CNBC is waging against the Obama administration and its plans revamp the economy. From it's constant anti-Obama propaganda and commentary to its shady PR stunt to manufacture a bogus uprising against Obama's mortgage plan, CNBC has been working overtime as a propaganda front against the Obama agenda.

And now, Jon Stewart has joined in for some good fun. But you haven't seen real fun until you've immersed yourself into the story of Deep Capture.

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Just when you thought you'd seen everything.

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Fri Feb 27, 2009 at 10:26 PM PST

Nate Silver Vs. Progressives

by TocqueDeville

Some of you may know that there's been a bit of a dust up lately between Nate Silver of 538 and David Sirota and, somewhat, Open Left's Chris Bowers. I have no interest in revisiting that drama.

But Silver did a post which has been pretty widely circulated, with a fair degree of applause, and I want to address it here. For this post is a most cleverly presented repackaging of an all too familiar attack against the progressive left, and it needs to be discarded.

Silver begins his post with a seemingly academic attempt to define progressivism into two distinct categories - "rational progressivism" and "radical progressivism". He even does a nice chart to organize each and their constituent characteristics into a neat dualism:

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