Saturday, September 23, 2006

Smart Little Jabs at the Bubble 

The rough transcript of tomorrow's Fox News Sunday interview with Bill Clinton is a must-read. One of my favorite moments:

WJC: What did I do? I worked hard to try and kill him. I authorized a finding for the CIA to kill him. We contracted with people to kill him. I got closer to killing him than anybody has gotten since. And if I were still president we’d have more than 20,000 troops there trying to kill him. Now I never criticized President Bush and I don’t think this is useful. But you know we do have a government that think Afghanistan is 1/7 as important as Iraq. And you ask me about terror and Al Qaeda with that sort of dismissive theme when all you have to do is read Richard Clarke’s book to look at what we did in a comprehensive systematic way to try to protect the country against terror. And you’ve got that little smirk on your face. It looks like you’re so clever…

CW: [Laughs]

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Odds, Anyone? 

Back in May I predicted that the Democrats--still under the purview of the Democratic Establishment Suicide Machine (DESM)--would fail to "take back" either chamber of congress in November. While I don't stand by my claim from, I believe, an even earlier post, that they will actually LOSE seats, I still stand by the no-takeback claim. And I stand by the prediciton that the election will be determined to have hinged upon "security" and "marriage." Though perhaps for "marriage" you may have to substitute "Mexicans." Same deal, mostly.

As for torture, it's obvious that Americans are pro-torture, and I expect this "issue" will play in the Republicans' favor, as long as they can emphasize that, as minions of President Bush, the National High Priest of 9/11, they might continue to secure blood sacrifice for the people.

In any case, we might as well skip the election altogether and go straight to Joe Klein's "postmortem," which will extend the discussion of how [see Kevin Baker's article in the latest Harper's] we might cultivate a renewed "authenticity" among Democrats--an authenticity that might lead them out of the "political wilderness" in which they've found themselves wandering.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

"And it smells of sulfur still today..." 

From the New York Times:

President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela bitterly and sarcastically assailed President Bush before the United Nations General Assembly today, portraying Mr. Bush as “the devil” who thinks he is “the owner of the world.”

“Yesterday, the devil came here,” Mr. Chávez said, alluding to Mr. Bush’s appearance before the General Assembly on Tuesday. “Right here. Right here. And it smells of sulfur still today, this table that I am now standing in front of.”

Then Mr. Chávez made the sign of the cross, brought his hands together as if in prayer and glanced toward the ceiling.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Negative 13 

This too is happening:

Today, there are over 2 million people incarcerated in the U.S., more than any other industrialized country. They are disproportionately African-American and Latino. The nation's prison industry now employees nearly three quarters of a million people, more than any Fortune 500 corporation, other than General Motors. Mushrooming construction has turned the industry into the main employer in scores of depressed cities and towns. A host of firms are profiting from private prisons, prison labor and services like transportation, farming and manufacturing.


For the tycoons who have invested in the prison industry, it has been like finding a pot of gold. They don't have to worry about strikes or paying unemployment, health or worker's comp insurance, vacation or comp time. All of their workers are full time, and never arrive late or are absent because of family problems; moreover, if prisoners refuse to work, they are moved to disciplinary housing and lose canteen privileges. Most importantly, they lose "good time" credit that reduces their sentence.


Prison analysts say contract prison labor is poised to become one of America's most important growth industries. Many of these prisoners are serving time for non-violent crimes. With the use of tough-on-crime mandatory sentencing laws, the prison population is bursting at the seams. Some experts believe that the number of people locked up in the U.S. could double in the next 10 years. According to Prison Watch, the expansion of the number of prisoners will not only increase the pool of prison labor available for commercial profit, but also will help pay the costs of incarceration.


Federal law prohibits domestic commerce in prison-made goods unless inmates are paid "prevailing wages" but because the law doesn't apply to exports, prison officials routinely market to foreign customers.

While your attention was elsewhere the 13th Amendment to the Constitution was repealed.

Sweet sweet Slavery. How did we ever live without you?

The best part of the article though is this quote from a man named Tony Matos:

"Guards still keep watch, the capitalists still profit -- the critics and supporters still debate. But in the end, I get a skill, a few coins and a ray of hope and dignity."

Without reading the article, see if you can tell from the quote alone whether Mr. Matos sleeps inside or outside of a building that is labeled with the words "Correctional Facility".


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