Ah yes, we've just completed the boring off-year political cycle, which means it's time for the billion dollar roller coaster ride that is the quadrennial US presidential contest.
Except that, thanks to the right-wing retards, all the excitement has been well and truly drained out of what used to be one of my favourite pastimes. Their race to the bottom, still unchecked, means that Hillary Rodham Clinton is your next Oval Office Occupant. How the fuck am I supposed to enjoy the ups and downs of what used to be way more of an "Any Given Sunday" situation when the results are so predictable?
"Bu...but...but", I hear you say.
Oh fine, I'll humour your delusional asses.
HILLARY CAN BE PRIMARIED FROM THE LEFT. "It happened before! Liberals aren't fond of hawks!" And who the fuck is gonna primary her? Biden? Warren? Cuomo? Don't make me laugh.
A LOT CAN HAPPEN IN 2 YEARS! Sure it can. But apart form the fact that that argument cuts all kinds of ways and is thus useless, the "something" that's going to need to happen for HRC not to be elected Prez is going to have to be Extinction-Level Event sized. You go ahead and count your black swans before they hatch, see what that gets you.
PEOPLE JUST DON'T LIKE HER. Well yeah, if you're Railgunner. Meanwhile, to ordinary people, she's just a high-visibility politician.
YEAH BUT $REPUBLICAN CONTENDER CAN TAKE HER! Really? Let's see who's currently in the lineup:
Rick Perry: Either he's burnishing his stock to improve his post-political career earnings, or one of his advisers thinks they've ironed out all those glitches that made him a laughingstock even to members of his own party. The only way he makes it past Super Tuesday is because he has a nice smile.
Scott Walker: The stunning thing about the Wisconsin Governor is that he's somehow managed to convince donors that winning over white people in a medium-size state as well as surviving a recall election makes him both unstoppable on the way to the White House, and secretly the most amazing potential president EVAR. I really hope he does run, watching the 'electability' bloom come off that rose will be fun to read about.
Jeb Bush: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. The base won't even touch him with a ten foot pole, and the general electorate, faced with two different versions of recycled crap, will always vote for the one they remember more fondly.
Chris Christie: Oooooh, a Republican even Democrats could vote for! Yeah, maybe 10 or 20 years ago. Anyway, forgetting the millions of problems that would hound a Christie run, I suspect his biggest will be he doesn't' have the stomach or the endurance to really go the distance. In fact, I think he's also smart enough to know not to run, which is sad, because he'd be the only one with any moderate cred, and non-crazy Republicans are already feeling pretty unloved these days.
Rand Paul: Never thought I'd see the day when a presidential candidate came along that would make Ron Paul look sane. I guess crazy is contagious.
Ted Cruz: Let's pretend for a minute that Ted isn't the poster child for everything that's wrong about the GOP these days, the US electorate will never overwhelmingly vote for a Canadian with a whiny voice.
Paul Ryan: Remember Sarah Palin? You don't? There you go.
Marco Rubio: Theoretically, he's almost perfect. And in a non-insane world, he would be the man to beat this cycle. And even then, a disciplined Clinton machine could still keep him 5 points away.
Someone wake me for 2024. maybe things will get interesting again.
Former Vice President Dick Cheney called a Senate panel's report on U.S. interrogation tactics during George W. Bush's administration is "deeply flawed" and a "terrible piece of work."
"The report's full of crap," he said in an interview with Fox News on Wednesday evening.
So how well versed is he on this "terrible piece of work"?
Cheney said he'd "seen parts of it. I read summaries of it."
Sounds familiar, there... His closing Bauer-ish remarks summarize his world pretty well:
He said he has no regrets about the tactics used after the Sept. 11, 2001, al Qaeda attacks.
"I think what needed to be done was done," Cheney said. "I think we were perfectly justified in doing it. And I'd do it again in a minute."
It is the grand jury's function not 'to enquire â¦ upon what foundation [the charge may be] denied,' or otherwise to try the suspect's defenses, but only to examine 'upon what foundation [the charge] is made' by the prosecutor. Respublica v. Shaffer, 1 Dall. 236 (O. T. Phila. 1788); see also F. Wharton, Criminal Pleading and Practice Â 360, pp. 248-249 (8th ed. 1880). As a consequence, neither in this country nor in England has the suspect under investigation by the grand jury ever been thought to have a right to testify or to have exculpatory evidence presented.
This was brought up in the light of the Ferguson grand jury hearing where the prosecutor notably went out of his way to bring up exculpatory evidence when the DA said:
And you must find probable cause to believe that Darren Wilson did not act in lawful self-defense and you must find probable cause to believe that Darren Wilson did not use lawful force in making an arrest. If you find those things, which is kind of like finding a negative, you cannot return an indictment on anything or true bill unless you find both of those things. Because both are complete defenses to any offense and they both have been raised in his, in the evidence.
It appears the DA, knowing that he was being asked to bite the hand that feeds him, decided to either discard legal precedent or to make up his own.
And if you're wondering who the liberal scum supreme court member was that made the earlier statement? That came from Antonin Scalia, in a 1992 case.
Really, he remained in office by a combination of
- A general lack of liberals in this country
- The far more dramatic threat that the other conservatives posed to the ability of us few remaining liberals who wanted to be able to continue to exist.
Hey liberals -- why do you care? According to you: they didn't build that, someone else made that happen.
- It was too much effort to type in their addresses after spending all my time at slashdot!
- There were just not enough of them!
- They just weren't disorganized enough!
- Some of them were too relevant to my actual life (or death)!
I'm glad slashdot is looking out for me. I look forward to making them my main site for shopping for the rest of eternity! Thankfully since I'm dead, I don't need food, water, or other things that poor mortals might consider to be "critical", I can just spend all my money (amazing how much life insurance I was able to get paid back to myself!) on the awesome that is sold at deals.slashdot.org!
And then I went further.
Now I'm going to tell you the rest:
The protests are nothing more than an attempt at a Reichstag fire, an effort to give Chairman Zero reason to declare martial law - for "social justice" (which of course, is not justice).
Any question of whether Chairman Zero was on the side of justice or mob rule was answered last night during his press conference. His body language and visible anger spoke volumes. He is on the side of the unruly howling mob (but, if you've been paying attention, you knew that already.)
Justice for Michael Brown?
He strongarm robbed a convenience store then assaulted a police officer. It's really a shame he wasn't able to survive his wounds, justice for him would have been 10 years in prison.
The need of a constantly expanding market for its products chases the bourgeoisie over the entire surface of the globe. It must nestle everywhere, settle everywhere, establish connexions everywhere.
The bourgeoisie has through its exploitation of the world market given a cosmopolitan character to production and consumption in every country. To the great chagrin of Reactionists, it has drawn from under the feet of industry the national ground on which it stood. All old-established national industries have been destroyed or are daily being destroyed. They are dislodged by new industries, whose introduction becomes a life and death question for all civilised nations, by industries that no longer work up indigenous raw material, but raw material drawn from the remotest zones; industries whose products are consumed, not only at home, but in every quarter of the globe. In place of the old wants, satisfied by the production of the country, we find new wants, requiring for their satisfaction the products of distant lands and climes. In place of the old local and national seclusion and self-sufficiency, we have intercourse in every direction, universal inter-dependence of nations. And as in material, so also in intellectual production. The intellectual creations of individual nations become common property. National one-sidedness and narrow-mindedness become more and more impossible, and from the numerous national and local literatures, there arises a world literature.
The bourgeoisie, by the rapid improvement of all instruments of production, by the immensely facilitated means of communication, draws all, even the most barbarian, nations into civilisation. The cheap prices of commodities are the heavy artillery with which it batters down all Chinese walls, with which it forces the barbariansâ(TM) intensely obstinate hatred of foreigners to capitulate. It compels all nations, on pain of extinction, to adopt the bourgeois mode of production; it compels them to introduce what it calls civilisation into their midst, i.e., to become bourgeois themselves. In one word, it creates a world after its own image.
The bourgeoisie has subjected the country to the rule of the towns. It has created enormous cities, has greatly increased the urban population as compared with the rural, and has thus rescued a considerable part of the population from the idiocy of rural life. Just as it has made the country dependent on the towns, so it has made barbarian and semi-barbarian countries dependent on the civilised ones, nations of peasants on nations of bourgeois, the East on the West.
The bourgeoisie keeps more and more doing away with the scattered state of the population, of the means of production, and of property. It has agglomerated population, centralised the means of production, and has concentrated property in a few hands. The necessary consequence of this was political centralisation. Independent, or but loosely connected provinces, with separate interests, laws, governments, and systems of taxation, became lumped together into one nation, with one government, one code of laws, one national class-interest, one frontier, and one customs-tariff.
The bourgeoisie, during its rule of scarce one hundred years, has created more massive and more colossal productive forces than have all preceding generations together. Subjection of Natureâ(TM)s forces to man, machinery, application of chemistry to industry and agriculture, steam-navigation, railways, electric telegraphs, clearing of whole continents for cultivation, canalisation of rivers, whole populations conjured out of the ground â" what earlier century had even a presentiment that such productive forces slumbered in the lap of social labour?
We see then: the means of production and of exchange, on whose foundation the bourgeoisie built itself up, were generated in feudal society. At a certain stage in the development of these means of production and of exchange, the conditions under which feudal society produced and exchanged, the feudal organisation of agriculture and manufacturing industry, in one word, the feudal relations of property became no longer compatible with the already developed productive forces; they became so many fetters. They had to be burst asunder; they were burst asunder.
Into their place stepped free competition, accompanied by a social and political constitution adapted in it, and the economic and political sway of the bourgeois class.
The paragraph I placed in bold in this section is a key component of communism that many people do not understand. This part may be confusing for people who were raised in the cold war mindset of "USSR==Communism==EVIL", as it shows plainly just how far from communism the USSR wandered once Lenin passed away (and some would argue even once Lenin took power).
It is critical to understand that while Communism is interested in the control of the means of production, it does not seek to lump all production into the hands of a single mega-state. Indeed here we see that Marx, Engels, and others saw that as being closer to a goal of the bourgeoisie. In fact, the very notion of the "red scare" or the "domino theory" that drove the cold war was itself immensely anti-communist.
A couple paragraphs prior the Communists actually paint the Bourgeoisie in the same light that the latter usually tried to shine towards the former:
It compels all nations, on pain of extinction, to adopt the bourgeois mode of production; it compels them to introduce what it calls civilisation into their midst, i.e., to become bourgeois themselves. In one word, it creates a world after its own image.
you have to be crazy to want to be president. And anyone who has seen pictures of this president or any of the former presidents can see the before and after. No matter how fit, no matter how young they are, they age pretty rapidly when you look at their hair any everything else involved with it.
He then went on to attack the politician who republicans assume to be the front-runner (and make second careers out of attacking):
Whether it's two years, six years or 20 years from now - because I think of Hillary Clinton. I could run 20 years from now and still be about the same age as the former Secretary of State is right now
So now Walker is trying to flip the age matter. When McCain ran against Obama, the GOP was telling us that seniority was an important and valuable thing and that one should vote for the older candidate. Now Walker is telling us that age is a bad thing. Thank you for the flip-flop, there.
On a bit of a tangent, if slashdot doesn't fix the message system here soon I will likely be reading this site a lot less often. I don't have time to search out replies to my comments on a regular basis, the front page did a great job of alerting me to them. Now that system is broken for the second time in as many weeks.
I also have not received any kind of email back from slashdot acknowledging the email I sent them last week when it was borked.
Then, I clicked here and my world was shattered.
"Their triumph that night was a tribute to all those who had lost their lives over the decades trying to escape to freedom. It was a testament to the brave service of generations of West Germans, Americans and our fellow allies who stood shoulder to shoulder through a long Cold War. And it was a reminder that walls of concrete and barbed wire are ultimately no match for the will of ordinary men and women who are determined to live free.
"Twenty five years later, we celebrate the progress that was made possible by the events of that November night. A united Germany plays a leading role in Europe and the world, and the United States is proud to count our German friends among our strongest allies.