Monday, August 13, 2007

Give This Brain a Rest

In all the immediate punditry about Karl Rove's sudden resignation from the White House, I've heard commentators speculate over whether Rove will soon be advising one of the GOP's 2008 presidential contenders. This prospect seems absurd. George W. Bush is in the low to mid 20s in the polls. The next Republican presidential nominee will probably have a serious dilemma: how to distance himself from Bush. Sure, Rove still plays well with Republican primary voters. But when it's general election time, will the GOP candidate--whomever it is--want to be closely associated with the man known as "Bush's Brain"? As of now, Rove is more liability than asset. This is one brain a Republican contender can do without.

SMALL CHANGE. I just noticed that after Mitt Romney won the not-so-important Republican straw poll in Ames, Iowa, this past weekend, he said, "Today, the people of this great state sent a message to America, and that is that change begins in Iowa."

A question for the former Massachusetts governor: what "change" are you talking about? We've had a Republican president for two terms, and he has gotten the country stuck in an unpopular war in Iraq. You are a Republican and you support the war, so what "change" do you represent?

Posted by David Corn at August 13, 2007 03:40 PM


capt said...

Mr. David Corn,

"This is one brain a Republican contender can do without."

Unless the GOP candidate wants to win by stealing and suppressing votes.


carey said...

Sane minds would think so, Mr. Corn, that the current crop of Republican candidates would dismiss Rove's help as hindranace..

He's still a proven winner (cheater). They've shown us they'll do anything to win.

David B. Benson said...

Somehow Karl Rove reminds of

A Night on Bald Mountain...

capt said...

Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people. - John Adams

"...[W]e insist on the principle that no danger or crisis, foreign or domestic, will be solved by Americans surrendering more of their constitutional liberties, in the foolish hope that a bigger government will provide greater security." -- Larry P. Arnn (1952- ) President of Hillsdale College, MI


"19 terrorists in 6 weeks have been able to command 300 million North Americans to do away with the entirety of their civil liberties that took 700 years to advance from the Magna Carta onward. The terrorists have already won the political and ideological war with one terrorist act. It is mindboggling that we are that weak as a society." -- Rocco Galati lawyer for the Canadian Islamic Congress October, 2001


Fear is the foundation of most governments. - John Adams


Sovereignty over any foreign land is insecure.: Lucius Annaeus Seneca : 4 BC-65. Roman philosopher and playwright


Thanks ICH Newsletter!

Anonymous said...

In a bizarre way, Rove's departure is a bad thing for the world. Now, the only person guiding the Chimp is someone even more evil than Rove....Cheney.

We are bombing Iran for SURE now. Rove was into smearing Democrats, Cheney is into killing people. Rove is a criminal, Cheney is a war criminal.

Bob in North Dakota

capt said...

Karl Rove Is No Genius, He's a Failure

In the end, Karl Rove was wrong. Dramatically wrong. Running to the base worked in the short term, but might have killed the Republican Party in the long term. If there is going to be any permanent majority, it's going to be the Democrats, not the Republicans.

And who do the Republicans have to thank for that? Karl Rove. When asked about Rove's departure, John Edwards said, "Goodbye, good riddance." He might as well have been speaking for the whole Republican Party.

A permanent 51% majority? That is an idea so devoid of logic, it is amazing that anyone ever took it seriously. Even if you believed its underlying premise - which you definitely shouldn't have - the smallest demographic shift would undermine this "brilliant" strategy. There is nothing permanent about 51% in politics.


capt said...

Karl Rove, by What Measure Genius?

I never thought Karl Rove was a genius. Rove is not brilliant; he's ruthless. There is a difference. What makes Rove dangerous is he will take risks no one else will take. Risks are like straws on a camel's back: one too many and you and the camel are undone.

I was an avid observer of Al Gore's 2000 campaign. I even helped out a bit with web page maintenance during the 2000 Democratic Convention in Los Angeles. Rove and the full weight of corporate America and Jeb Bush and Ralph Nader threw everything they had at Gore. Gore won. He beat them all. I really respected him for that. In the end, after Gore had won in Florida, after the Florida Supreme court ruled the votes had to be recounted, then the five republican members of the US Supreme court actually intervened and shut the vote count down, and made Bush President. And everyone thought Rove was a genius.

I remember on September 10, 2001, NEWSWEEK ran a headline that read, "The Secret Vote that Made George W. Bush President". Bush's public approval rating was at 42 percent and falling. I forget what the article was about. The next day Osama bin Laden flew two commercial airliners filled with passengers into the World Trade Towers in Lower Manhattan, another into the Pentagon and a fourth into a field in Pennsylvania. Once the smoke had cleared, Bush cautiously returned to Washington, and suddenly he was a hero. And everyone thought Rove was a genius.

In 2004 the Bush campaign message was, "if you vote for John Kerry and the Democrats you are putting the country in danger ... it will help Osama bin Laden." And four days before the election, bin Laden released a video warning the American people they were not safe. On election day, the African-American voters in Ohio thought they could make a difference. That was before Katrina, before New Orleans and its people were left to die. Bush held possession of the White House. And everyone thought Rove was a genius.

Rove will not speak to Congress. If he cannot lie to Congress, and he cannot tell the truth to Congress, then he must remain silent. Even for a man who achieved all by taking risks, the risk is too great. Congress might ask if Rove directed US attorneys to use the power of the Justice department to strike back at or simply strike political opponents of the White House. And what would he say? What would a genius say?

The news broke today that Rove is retiring, and all the best publications said he was the Architect of the Republican domination. But they haven't asked the Republicans. The Republicans are scared and they're angry. They think their party is badly damaged. Perhaps they are right. So whom has Karl Rove helped? How long will it be before his friends understand what he has done? What will they do then?

I've always thought the geniuses where the quiet revolutionaries. The ones who changed things, but no one noticed. Did Rove change things, or just exploit what he found? There are better and brighter men and women than Karl Rove close at hand. The genius is hearing them.


capt said...

Chris Matthews' Creepy Frat Boy Antics

What is with Chris Matthews' preoccupation with the masculinity or lack thereof of the '08 candidates. Why is this boorish moron still on the air?

Once in a blue moon, Chris Matthews makes a coherent remotely intelligent point but the rest of the time he reduces himself to a childish fanboy for the likes of John McCain or Rudy Giuliani, or he is developing new ways to be condescending and sexist about either Hillary Clinton or to his own female co-hosts. The video to your right comes from Open Left, it's a compilation of some of Matthews' most obnoxious recent on-air antics. Check it out.


*****end of clip*****

Why is this boorish moron still on the air?

Because some people still watch him, ratings are king!


capt said...


Going down, down, down

How much cash will it take to prop up the worthless CDO's and such today? Another $3 billion?

How many more losses can the market handle?


capt said...

Escalation in Iraq by the numbers

Some day, we will undoubtedly discover that, in the term "surge" - as in US President George W Bush's "surge" plan (or "new way forward") announced to his nation in January - was the urge to avoid the language (and experience) of the Vietnam War era. As there were to be no "body bags" (or cameras to film them as the dead came home), as there were to be no "body counts" ("We have made a conscious effort not to be a body-count team" was the way Bush put it), as there were to be no "quagmires", nor the need to search for that "light at the end of the tunnel", so, surely, there were to be no "escalations".

The escalations of the Vietnam War era, which left more than 500,000 American soldiers and vast bases and massive air and
naval power in and around Vietnam (and Laos and Cambodia), had been thoroughly discredited. Each intensification in the delivery of troops, or simply in ever widening bombing campaigns, led only to more misery and death for the Vietnamese and disaster for the United States. And yet, not surprisingly, the US experience in Iraq - another attempted occupation of a foreign country and culture - has been like a heat-seeking missile heading for the still-burning US memories of Vietnam.

As historian Marilyn Young noted in early April 2003 with the invasion of Iraq barely under way: "In less than two weeks, a 30-year-old vocabulary is back: credibility gap, seek and destroy, hard to tell friend from foe, civilian interference in military affairs, the dominance of domestic politics, winning or, more often, losing hearts and minds." By August 2003, the Bush administration, of course, expected that only perhaps 30,000 US troops would be left in Iraq, garrisoned on vast "enduring" bases in a pacified country. So, in a sense, it has been a surge-athon ever since. By now, it's beyond time to call Bush's "new way forward" by its Vietnam War equivalent.

Admittedly, a "surge" does sound more comforting, less aggressive, less long-lasting, and somehow less harmful than an "escalation", but the fact is that we are six months into the newest escalation of US power in Iraq. It has deposited all-time high numbers of troops there as well, undoubtedly, as more planes and firepower in and around that country than at any moment since the invasion of 2003. Naturally enough, other "all-time highs" of the grimmest sort follow.

Next month, General David Petraeus, America's escalation commander in Iraq, and Ryan Crocker, its escalation ambassador there, will present their "progress report" to the US Congress. ("Progress" was another word much favored in US official pronouncements of the Vietnam War era.) The very name tells you more or less what to expect. The report has already been downgraded to a "snapshot" of an ongoing set of operations, which shouldn't be truly judged or seriously assessed until at least November, or perhaps early 2008, or ...


capt said...

Power Paper: Energy Storage by the Sheet

By surrounding carbon nanotubes with cellulose, researchers have devised a flexible, paper-thin power source

Could paper be the future of power in electronic gadgetry? Just as plastics unleashed a revolution in the manufacture of everyday materials, a new power source composed of cellulose, carbon nanotubes and a dash of liquid salts could revolutionize the energy behind gadgets from iPhones to pacemakers.

"We have a paper battery, supercapacitor and battery-supercapacitor hybrid device that could be used in a variety of energy storage applications," says biological and chemical engineer Robert Linhardt of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (R.P.I.) in Troy, N.Y., who helped lead the team that made the discovery. "These devices are lightweight and flexible and are primarily composed of cellulose paper—an environmentally friendly and biocompatible material."

A collaboration between three labs at R.P.I.—biopolymers, nanotubes and electronics—the power paper works by using cellulose to separate aligned carbon nanotubes functioning as electrodes. The nanotubes are grown and the cellulose is dissolved in an electrolyte—in a regular battery (sulfuric) acid is used, but in this case a room-temperature ionic liquid (otherwise known as a liquid salt)—is poured around it. After drying, a thin sheet of "nanocomposite paper" is left that "can be rolled up, twisted or bent to any curvature," the researchers write in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA.


*****end of clip*****

Pulp fiction?


Gerald said...

Lou Dobbs is going to talk about more toy recalls from China. If China had a brain, they would have products to agree with American standards and they would control the business market.

The Dow Jones is going down but the rich need not fear because the Bush regime will reimburse them for their losses. His Fourth Reich will make certain that the rich will never lose any money.

Gerald said...

Finding the Sacred Within

Carl McColman, author of Spirituality: Where Body and Soul Encounter the Sacred suggests that “to foster…wonder and openness and an awareness of the Sacred” we ought to:

Pray or meditate daily

Engage in spiritual reading and study

Join a healthy faith community

Engage in a personal improvement program

Honor some form of Sabbath

Maintain a sense of humor

Relate charitably to the needy

Interact with persons from other traditions

As McColman writes, spirituality involves a choice: “to live life out of wonder rather than self-protection…to be open to belief in God…to nurture a relationship with God…to engage in community building, peacemaking and sacrifice.”

Our steps are made firm by the Lord…the Lord holds us by the hand. (Psalm 37:23,24)

Guide my relationship with You, Holy Trinity, one God.

capt said...

"The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy: that is the search for a superior moral justification for
selfishness." : John Kenneth Galbraith

The strongest passions and most dangerous weaknesses of the human breast; ambition, avarice, vanity, the honorable or venal love of fame, are all in conspiracy against the desire and duty of peace: James Madison

"The enemy aggressor is always pursuing a course of larceny, murder, rapine and barbarism. We are always moving forward with high mission, a destiny imposed by the Deity to regenerate our victims while incidentally capturing their markets, to civilise savage and senile and paranoid peoples while blundering accidentally into their oil wells.": John Flynn, 1944

We're not a democracy. It's a terrible misunderstanding and a slander to the idea of democracy to call us that. In reality, we're a plutocracy: a government by the wealthy." : Ramsey Clark, former U.S. Attorney General

"Of all forms of tyranny the least attractive and the most vulgar is the tyranny of mere wealth, the tyranny of plutocracy" : John Pierpont Morgan


Thanks ICH Newsletter!

capt said...

Bush's lethal legacy: more executions

The US already kills more of its prisoners than almost any other country. Now the White House plans to cut the right of appeal of death row inmates...

The Bush administration is preparing to speed up the executions of criminals who are on death row across the United States, in effect, cutting out several layers of appeals in the federal courts so that prisoners can be "fast-tracked" to their deaths.

With less than 18 months to go to secure a presidential legacy, President Bush has turned to an issue he has specialised in since approving a record number of executions while Governor of Texas.

The US Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales - Mr Bush's top legal adviser during the spree of executions in Texas in the 1990s - is putting finishing touches to regulations, inspired by recent anti-terrorism legislation, that would allow states to turn to the Justice Department, instead of the federal courts, as a key arbiter in deciding whether prisoners live or die.

The US is already among the top six countries worldwide in terms of the numbers of its own citizens that it puts to death. Fifty-two Americans were executed last year and thousands await their fate on death row.

In some instances, prisoners would have significantly less time to file federal appeals, and the appeals courts significantly less time to respond. On the question of whether defendants received adequate representation at trial - a key issue in many cases, especially in southern states with no formal public defender system - the Attorney General would be the sole decision-maker.


Gerald said...

Rising above Adversity

Liz Murray grew up with cocaine-addicted parents. There were always drugs, but never any food.

By age 15, her mother had died of AIDS, her father was on the streets and so was she. But she was accepted at Humanities Preparatory Academy, a public high school, took a double course load and studied in a stairwell.

Despite being homeless, forced to sleep and study in the subway, Murray did extraordinarily well in high school. She applied for a $12,000-a- year New York Times college scholarship and at 19 became a Harvard University undergrad.

As Liz Murray said on visiting Harvard University with her high school, “Why can’t this be mine if I really want it?”

That attitude is what we each need if we are to become all we can be; if we are to become more fully our truest selves.

The Lord…has saved my life from every adversity. (1 Kings 1:29)

Abba, parenting well is the most important job on earth. Support all parents, especially those who are struggling.

Gerald said...

Let Us Pray

They have different names in different churches – prayer chains, prayer trees, prayer ministry, ministry of praise – but the work is the same. Volunteers pray for anyone who asks.

Many church ministries need people to help in a very active way, but, by its nature, even those confined to home can pray.

“I started in this when I was in my late 20s and had three little kids,” says Lora Shoen, the prayer tree coordinator for St. Raphael parish in Rockville, Maryland. “This is a wonderful way for people to participate who can’t come in and volunteer.
They’re doing something important.”

Absolutely anyone can ask for and receive prayers. Confidentiality is key. Shoen, a cancer survivor who welcomed prayers, adds, “We have a parish of believers. That’s how we help each other.”

Pray for your neighbors, for all who need God’s strength and blessings.

Father, hallowed be your Name. Your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone indebted to us. And do not bring us to the time of trial. (Luke 11:2-4)

Spirit of Faith, help me pray for the good of all Your people.

Gerald said...

Decline and Fall

Gerald said...

Pinkerton also recalled the words of Richard Perle, the most obnoxiously aggressive defender of our crazed foreign policy, who took us further down the road to immoderate greatness by declaring, in the wake of 9/11: "This is total war. If we just let our vision of the world go forth … our children will sing great songs about us years from now."

Yes, great songs about bankruptcy, arrogance, and how pride goeth before a fall: anthems of faded imperial glory, ballads bemoaning an overweening hubris, and tragic elegies to a legacy of liberty betrayed.

Gerald said...

US Blames Iran

Gerald said...

When a top U.S. commander in Iraq reported last week that attacks by Shi'ite militias with links to Iran had risen to 73 percent of all July attacks that had killed or wounded U.S. forces in Baghdad, he claimed it was because of an effort by Iran to oust the United States from Iraq, referring to "intelligence reports" of a "surge" in Iranian assistance.

But the obvious reason for the rise in Shi'ite-related U.S. casualties – ignored in U.S. media coverage of Lt. Gen. Raymond Odierno's charge – is that the Mahdi Army of Moqtada al-Sadr was defending itself against a rising tempo of attacks by U.S. forces at the same time attacks by al-Qaeda forces had fallen.


Gerald said...

Wolfie tried to censor World Bank on climate chage

capt said...

Quantum Ferrofluid: A Bose-Einstein Condensate of Tiny Magnets

Tiny magnetic atoms of chromium display superfluidity—and the possibility of exotic quantum phases

It has long been known that—contrary to the common sense notion that like charges repel—electrons in solids tend to pair up at low temperatures to conduct electricity without heating the wire, a phenomenon known as superconductivity.

Superconductivity is utilized, among other things, to create high magnetic fields in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines. The phenomenon involves the condensation of a group of bosons—particles such as the paired electrons—that dance together synchronously in the same quantum state. Known as a Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC), this unique state of matter is unlike the familiar solids, liquids or gases and can be used to make atomic lasers and more precise atomic clocks. Last week, a team of physicists led by Thierry Lahaye at the University of Stuttgart in Germany reported in Nature that they had created a BEC of chromium atoms that interact like tiny magnets over essentially infinite distances. In doing so, the atoms can form exotic states of matter impossible with traditional interactions—such as solids that flow better than liquids and atoms that arrange themselves like squares on a chessboard.


*****end of clip*****

Amazing. (cool picture too)


capt said...

Petraeus Report will be written by the White House

Like we already didn’t know this. Many Generals are taking to the airwaves these days paving the yellow brick road, but somehow the cable newsies and the Wise old Men have missed this one:

Despite Bush’s repeated statements that the report will reflect evaluations by Petraeus and Ryan Crocker, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, administration officials said it would actually be written by the White House, with inputs from officials throughout the government.


capt said...

Attack of the Killer Robots

Robot warriors have already seen action in Iraq, and the US Army plans to replace one-third of its armored vehicles and weapons with robots by 2015. These killing machines may one day come equipped with an artificial conscience -- even to the extent of disobeying immoral orders.

The US Army's latest recruits are 1 meter (about 3 feet) tall, wear desert camouflage and are armed with black M249 machine guns. They also move on caterpillar tracks and -- thanks to five camera eyes -- can even see in the dark.

The fearless fighters are three robot soldiers who, unnoticed by the general public, were deployed in Iraq in mid-June, charged with hunting down insurgents. As if guided by an unseen hand, they hone in on their targets and fire at them with their machine guns. It's the future of war -- and it's already here.


capt said...

New Thread