The Watch

The Watch is concerned about the increasing pressure towards feudalism in the United States from corporations, social regressives, warmongers, and the media. We also are concerned with future history concerning our current times, as non-truths which are “widely reported” become the basis for completely false narratives.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

In Which Godwin's Law is Invoked

Nancy Pelosi is Making Sense Watch

What if Nancy Pelosi is right? We all know that Pelosi's arguments about "not having enough votes" to stop war funding is bogus. What she is implicitly saying is that she doesn't think it would be good for Congressional Democrats to stop war funding. Is she right? Most of the people here assume that if Congressional Democrats stopped war funding, the public would respond very positively, with approval ratings, money, etc.

But one thing that has proven true over and over again is that the Democrats cannot outsmart or stand up to the GOP's Outrage Machine. Anything fed into the Outrage Machine is used as a cudgel to exact ritual humiliation of the Democrats. They even have to apologize for speaking the truth! (See Durbin on the American Gulag, Stark on the President's amusement, etc.)

In order for ending war funding to be a good thing for congressional Democrats, they would have to do two things: cut the funds, and also outsmart the GOP's Outrage Machine. Since Nancy knows they could never pull off the second part, she knows that blocking war funding would be a bad thing for congressional Democrats. Thus she doesn't something which would be bad for herself.

See, it all makes sense. /sarcasm

Closing America Society Watch

Naomi Wolf has another interview about her book The End of America. Much of the content is similar to the talk I posted before, but it if you missed that, don’t miss this one. This is probably the most important subject for political action currently, the systematic closing of our society.

The GOP Fainting Couch Watch

Digby posts this essay entitled The Art of the Hissy Fit, which describes how the Democratic Party is controlled through Ritual Humiliation.

I first noticed the right's successful use of phony sanctimony and faux outrage back in the 90's when well-known conservative players like Gingrich and Livingston pretended to be offended at the president's extramarital affair and were repeatedly and tiresomely "upset" about fund-raising practices they all practiced themselves. The idea of these powerful and corrupt adulterers being personally upset by White House coffees and naughty sexual behavior was laughable.

But they did it, oh how they did it, and it often succeeded in changing the dialogue and tittilating the media into a frenzy of breathless tabloid coverage.

In fact, they became so good at the tactic that they now rely on it as their first choice to control the political dialogue when it becomes uncomfortable and put the Democrats on the defensive whenever they are winning the day. Perhaps the best example during the Bush years would be the completely cynical and over-the-top reaction to Senator Paul Wellstone's memorial rally in 2002 in the last couple of weeks leading up to the election.

On to Iran Watch

Flynt Leverett, who is in a position to know, tells us about the march to war with Iran, and how the US threw out many overtures for better relations with Iran six years ago.

The Wit and Wisdom of Dumbya Watch

One of the great things about having all of the government’s records behind walls of secrecy is that Bush can just lie about anything at all. A couple of days ago he made the false claim that we can either have torture or terrorist deaths. But, typical of Dim Son, he couldn’t even get his threats right:

In this new war, the enemy conspires in secret -- and often the only source of information on what the terrorists are planning is the terrorists themselves. So we established a program at the Central Intelligence Agency to question key terrorist leaders and operatives captured in the war on terror. This program has produced critical intelligence that has helped us stop a number of attacks -- including a plot to strike the U.S. Marine camp in Djibouti, a planned attack on the U.S. consulate in Karachi, a plot to hijack a passenger plane and fly it into Library Tower in Los Angeles, California, or a plot to fly passenger planes into Heathrow Airport and buildings into downtown London.

Despite the record of success, and despite the fact that our professionals use lawful techniques, the CIA program has come under renewed criticism in recent weeks. Those who oppose this vital tool in the war on terror need to answer a simple question: Which of the attacks I have just described would they prefer we had not stopped? Without this program, our intelligence community believes that al Qaeda and its allies would have succeeded in launching another attack against the American homeland. This CIA program has saved lives -- it is vital to the security of the American people.

Flying “passenger planes into Heathrow Airport”? That would sound scary, if hundreds of planes didn’t do that every day. Flying “buildings into downtown London”? Again, that would scare me if buildings could fly. Smarter figureheads, please.

Devil’s Dictionary Watch

H. L. Mencken, Baltimore Sun (26 July 1920):

When a candidate for public office faces the voters he does not face men of sense; he faces a mob of men whose chief distinguishing mark is the fact that they are quite incapable of weighing ideas, or even of comprehending any save the most elemental — men whose whole thinking is done in terms of emotion, and whose dominant emotion is dread of what they cannot understand. So confronted, the candidate must either bark with the pack or be lost... All the odds are on the man who is, intrinsically, the most devious and mediocre — the man who can most adeptly disperse the notion that his mind is a virtual vacuum.' The Presidency tends, year by year, to go to such men. As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.

Roy Zimmerman Watch

Mr. Zimmerman and his guitar will entertain you with his songs “Dick Cheney”, “Defenders of Marriage”, “The War on Terror”, and “Chickenhawk”. Wonderful stuff, served up by an exquisite musician. As a bonus, enjoy “Ted Haggard is Completely Heterosexual” which features the lyric “swallow the syllogism”.

Crystal Ball Watch

Here is Gore Vidal, in an interview from July 2002, gazing into the future:

Q: And yet Americans seem quite susceptible to a sort of jingoistic "enemy-of-the-month club" coming out of Washington. You say millions of Americans hate the federal government. But something like 75 percent of Americans say they support George W. Bush, especially on the issue of the war.

A: I hope you don't believe those figures. Don't you know how the polls are rigged? It's simple. After 9/11 the country was really shocked and terrified. (Bush) does a little war dance and talks about evil axis and all the countries he's going to go after. And how long it is all going to take, he says with a happy smile, because it means billions and trillions for the Pentagon and for his oil friends. And it means curtailing our liberties, so this is all very thrilling for him. He's right out there reacting, bombing Afghanistan. Well, he might as well have been bombing Denmark. Denmark had nothing to do with 9/11. And neither did Afghanistan, at least the Afghanis didn't.

So the question is still asked, are you standing tall with the president? Are you standing with him as he defends us?

Eventually, they will figure it out.

Q: They being who? The American people?

A: Yeah, the American people. They are asked these quick questions. Do you approve of him? Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. Oh yeah, he blew up all those funny-sounding cities over there.

That doesn't mean they like him. Mark my words. He will leave office the most unpopular president in history. The junta has done too much wreckage.

They were suspiciously very ready with the Patriot Act as soon as we were hit. Ready to lift habeas corpus, due process, the attorney-client privilege. They were ready. Which means they have already got their police state. Just take a plane anywhere today and you are in the hands of an arbitrary police state.

Q: Don't you want to have that kind of protection when you fly?

A: It's one thing to be careful, and we certainly want airplanes to be careful against terrorist attacks. But this is joy for them, for the federal government. Now they've got everybody, because everybody flies.


Anonymous lyonspotter said...

Nice assortment of topics. I have enjoyed reading your blog and your comments on DU. I have a video for you if you would like to watch and/or post it, titled "George W Bush Battles Jesus Christ":

It is high time we pry the Christian voter base from the deathly tight grip of neoconservative liars.


10/25/2007 5:35 PM  

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