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Why we need a federal government

Gov. Martin O’Malley on Ron Paul wanting to get ride of FEMA:

Chris Clarke

“Why I’m not voting for Obama in 2012″

There are differences between the two parties. Despite the usual straw man, no one — except college students new to leftism and maybe Alexander Cockburn — ever really says there’s no difference between the parties except as the most shortened of shorthand. In point of fact, there’s as much difference between the parties as there is between clockwise and counterclockwise on a ratchet wrench turning a bolt. Turning rightward tightens the bolt. But you don’t want to break the handle by pushing too hard, so you relax and turn the handle back to the left. The wrench loosens a bit, if ineffectually — the bolt doesn’t move, but the pressure eases up. And then comes the next push to the right, tightening the bolt still further. Each cycle has its new status quo, its period of tightening up and release, and the result in the end? The leftward relaxation has merely made the rightward clampdown possible.

Democratic loyalists point out that if we don’t vote for their guy, the worse guy gets in. This is clearly true. But it also manifestly creates conditions by which the lesser evil will, over time, get more and more evil. We see this now in that we’re likely to be asked to vote for a man who has us involved in four concurrent wars, continues torture and rendition and denial of habeas corpus, offers up Medicare and Social Security for cuts as a compromise (another victory Bush could have only dreamed of), and would preside over the largest paving of the deserts in history — simply because his likely opponent is fucking batshit insane.

Go read the rest.

This and that down there via Pharyngula.

Siding with the atheists.

Stuart Varney, mocking atheists who are (those fools) preparing for the coming hurricane without praying.

The woman in the red dress says, “Prayer brings comfort to so many people.”

David Silverman: “So do drugs.”

Spiritual life aside, one can clearly see that there is nothing to Fox News but agenda. Sad, really.

“Rock and Roll.”

Irene wasn’t a complete dud in the Philly area. My basement is a mess. A river runs through it.

Wasn’t that a mighty storm

James Taylor:

Show business

What you see is not always what you get, as shown by the latest group of Wikileaks cables:

US embassy cables released by WikiLeaks on Wednesday and Thursday expose the close collaboration between the US government, top American politicians and Muammar Gaddafi, who Washington now insists must be hunted down and murdered.

Washington and its NATO allies are now determined to smash the Libyan regime, supposedly in the interests of “liberating” the Libyan people. That Gaddafi was until the beginning of this year viewed as a strategic, if somewhat unreliable, ally is clearly seen as an inconvenient truth.

The cables have been virtually blacked out by the corporate media, which has functioned as an embedded asset of NATO and the so-called rebel forces that it directs. It is hardly coincidental that the WikiLeaks posting of the cables was followed the next day by a combination of a massive denial of service attack and a US judge’s use of the Patriot Act to issue a sweeping “production order” or subpoena against the anti-secrecy organization’s California-based Domain Name Server, Dynadot.

The most damning of these cables memorializes an August 2009 meeting between Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and his son and national security adviser, Muatassim, with US Republican Senators John McCain (Arizona), Lindsey Graham (South Carolina), Susan Collins (Maine) and Connecticut “independent” Joe Lieberman.

McCain, the Republican presidential candidate in 2008, has in recent speeches denounced Gaddafi as “one of the most bloodthirsty dictators on Earth” and criticized the Obama administration for failing “to employ the full weight of our airpower” in effecting regime change in Libya.

In the meeting held just two years ago, however, McCain took the lead in currying favor with the Gaddafis. According to the embassy cable, he “assured” them that “the United States wanted to provide Libya with the equipment it needs for its security” and “pledged to see what he could do to move things forward in Congress.”

The cable continues to relate McCain’s remarks: “He encouraged Muatassim to keep in mind the long-term perspective of bilateral security engagement and to remember that small obstacles will emerge from time to time that can be overcome. He described the bilateral military relationship as strong and pointed to Libyan officer training at U.S. Command, Staff, and War colleges as some of the best programs for Libyan military participation.”


For Hungary!

No floods

Lady Gaga:

Eye of the hurricane

David Wilcox:


I didn’t know mouthwash was linked to oral cancer. Never used it, don’t think about it much — but they did give it to me in the hospital.

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