The Local Crank

Musings & Sardonic Commentary on Politics, Religion, Culture & Native American Issues. Bringing you the finest in radioactive screeds since 2002! "The Local Crank" newspaper column is distributed by Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc.

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Location: Cleburne, Texas, United States

Just a simple Cherokee trial lawyer, Barkman has been forcing his opinions on others in print since, for reasons that passeth understanding, he was an unsuccessful candidate for state representative in 2002. His philosophy: "If people had wanted me to be nice, they should've voted for me."

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Stupid White Man of the Week: Larry Niven

Apparently, it's not just the Ringworld that's unstable (and yes, that was a science fiction joke; deal with it):

"Niven said a good way to help hospitals stem financial losses is to spread rumors in Spanish within the Latino community that emergency rooms are killing patients in order to harvest their organs for transplants."

It gets worse. This power-tool is now part of an elite group of nerds advising the Department of Homeland Security. No, really.


Monday, April 28, 2008


To the disturbingly large number of you who say you'd rather vote for John McCain than any Democrat other than your first choice, I put it to you that such an action would be stupid on a cosmic scale.
Exhibit A: This man (who incidentally was one of the only 5 votes that counted in picking our current president) thinks it's perfectly okay for your government to torture you.
Thank you. You may now return to your regularly scheduled fratricidal bloodletting.

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Sunday, April 27, 2008

Politics & Religion

From the Washington Post, Texas now appears determined to argue that the FLDS Religion, in and of itself, is harmful to children and therefore warrants termination, a strategy that has failed miserably in Arizona and Utah. Now think about that a minute. Indians are used to this sort of attack; US Army fears of Wovoka and his Ghost Dance led to the assassination of Sitting Bull and the Wounded Knee Massacre. But what about the rest of the country? Do you really want the government deciding whether or not your religion is good or bad for your children? Think carefully before you answer. Again, I'm not arguing that child abusers shouldn't be punished. They should. But this kind of standard, having the government judge your religious beliefs, ought to scare Hell out of anybody.

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Saturday, April 26, 2008

Triple Standard?

The Delaware and the Shawnee have bitter experience with losing recognition and federal funds--at the hands of Chief Chad Smith and the Cherokee Nation. And in other Freedmen-related news, the National American Indian Housing Council is worried that the fight over the Freedmen in Congress could completely derail the NAHSDA.

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Friday, April 25, 2008

If You Love Jon McCain So Much...

...then why don't you marry him? The MSM continues their bizarre, unrequited and at times vaguely homoerotic love affair with John McCain.

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Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Latest from Eldorado

Grits and I have been arguing for some time that the warrant used to justify raiding YFZ Ranch had some problems. Apparently, we were right. In fact, it seems to me that the original warrant strains the "good faith exception" into "deliberate and willful ignorance," i.e., "we can confirm that Dale Barlow is a convicted sex offender but we were shocked, shocked and appalled to discover he was in Arizona at the time!" However, given the current climate in Texas criminal appellate law ("the only error is harmless error"), I'd say the chances are good this warrant would hold up, assuming we even get to the stage of holding criminal trials. Right now, we don't even have any alleged perpetrators named (other than Barlow, of course), much less any arrests. And, of course, the warrant is meaningless for purposes of removal, since DFPS doesn't need a warrant, valid or otherwise, to remove children.

And from the Common Room, excerpts from an interview with the Schleicher County Sheriff. This bit...

Mankin: That’s a big operation to put together in three days, surely law enforcement must have had a preliminary plan in place ready to deal with this kind of eventuality?

(Sheriff) Doran: Let’s just say that law enforcement was and is prepared to answer a cry for help at the YFZ Ranch.

...tends to confirm my suspicion that this was a law enforcement operation with a CPS removal attached, and not the other way around.

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Analyzing Pennsylvania

A good overview of the possible implications of Pennsylvania on the general election. The essential question boils down to this: is Obama's perceived weakness with white working class voters worse in terms of overall electability than the sheer visceral hatred Hillary Clinton engenders on the Right?
My thoughts? I tend to agree with the argument that since McCain's share of the national vote hasn't broken 45% no matter what has happened to either Clinton or Obama, it may well be that he has already peaked. If that's the case, barring a catastrophe between now and Denver, things should be okay for the forces of Good.

UPDATE: Further analysis from Charlie Cook, who usually has a pretty well polished crystal ball.

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Quick Freedmen Update

Cong. Barney Frank, the powerful and well-connected Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, announced he will oppose a conference committee report on HR 2786 (the Native American Housing and Self-Determination Act) unless it contains the Freedmen Rider proposed by the Congressional Black Caucus. So far, all of Chief Smith's intensive lobbying hasn't come to much.

More coverage and thoughtful commentary by my Right Honourable Cherokee Colleague, EBW at Wampum.

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Stop the Madness!!

Oh when will all this wickedness end?
I'm not one of the Chicken Littles who think the protracted primary campaign is dooming the Democrats (it's not, polls reflect that it's not, and there are some benefits) but this endless slogging is frankly getting tiresome. At some point, somebody, somewhere is going to have to say to somebody: it's over.

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Monday, April 21, 2008

Bloggers on Eldorado Raid

Although I think Cicero lists them in his link farm, I'd like to single out Guy Murray at Messenger & Advocate, a Mormon blog, for his excellent coverage and thoughtful commentary on this issue. Also, Headmistress/Zoo-keeper over at the Common Room, a home schooling blog, who has been analyzing the case from the perspective of homeschoolers.

And to all you liberal hooligans who normally hang out here, both of these bloggers are nice people and rather conservative, so be on your best behavior; i.e., wipe your feet, say "please" and "thank you" and don't start calling people "fascist theocrats."

UPDATE: From Grits, so just how many kids are there, anyway?

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Today In History...

...Texian forces led by General Sam Houston (adopted son of Western Cherokee Chief Ooluntuskee, known to whites as John Jolly) defeat the Mexican Army under Santa Anna at the Battle of San Jacinto, capturing the erstwhile dictator and securing the independence of the Republic of Texas (1836)


Sunday, April 20, 2008

Racism Fatigue

Outstanding post from Racialicious, which not coincidentally follows my line of thinking.

The money quote:

'Some people, though, are still not only not getting it, but insisting that those of us who do get it are hypersensitive, overreacting, “looking for racism everywhere,” etc.–the usual, in other words. For the most part, I can just roll my eyes at that, because it’s all so familiar. Anything short of someone saying on national TV, “If you see a black man, you should shoot him in the face, and let me be perfectly clear that I mean you should shoot him in the face because he is black,” might not be racism after all, because some white people can’t see it. And if not all white people can see it, then the benefit of the doubt should automatically go to whomever made the racist statement/took the racist action/produced the racist image, not to the people identifying it as racist–because there is NOTHING WORSE IN THE WORLD than being a white person unfairly accused of racism! You lucky people of color have NO IDEA how horrible that is!'

H/T to Rob at Newspaper Rock


Saturday, April 19, 2008

Eldorado Round Up

My ideological evil twin brother, Cicero at Red State, has shown typical conservative thoroughness (no doubt due to the invisble hand of the free market, unencumbered by burdensome regulations) in providing a link farm on this developing story.

As for the removal being granted, no one who has experience with CPS cases is surprised. Typical Removal hearings are held so quickly (it used to be within 24 hours) that there is very rarely any reliable evidence for the judge to hang a ruling on. As a result, much like with applications for protective orders, judges tend to err on the side of caution, knowing that he or she will have several opportunities in the future to return the kids if the agency still hasn't managed to dredge up anything. In fact, in nearly ten years of CPS cases, I have only seen a judge deny a removal petition exactly once, and that was only after I (as ad litem for the children) demonstrated that the CPS caseworkers (who were from out of county and declined to even show up for the hearing) had committed perjury in their affidavits. In this case, the Removal hearing took longer to set up, but the sheer overwhelming numbers made it extremely difficult to get any straight answers, especially when CPS insists on calling "expert" witnesses who freely admit on cross-examination that everything they know about the case in general and the FLDS in particular comes from watching television. Stay tuned.

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Thursday, April 17, 2008

Rick Perry to Menace State Again

Alleged Governor Perry (only slightly more popular than bird flu) makes official his threat to inflict another four years of arrogance, corruption, incompetence and boobery on an unsuspecting Texas in 2010.

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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

John McCain: The Elites' Populist

In what is sure to be a preview of the fall campaign, McCain trots out his long-abandoned "maverick" image to rail against "corporate welfare," and "extravagant salaries and severance deals" of corporate CEOs, when in reality his economic program is as pro-corporatist as anything Dubya ever proposed. And, of course, look for even more trotting out of various talking heads to denounce Obama as an "elitist," because he drinks orange juice. Or can't bowl. Or whatever.

UPDATE: Glenn Greenwald (after a lengthy defense of his latest book) outlines the sheer brass monkeys of a multi-millionaire like John McCain denouncing Obama (raised in modest circumstances by a single mother) as an "elitist," and, more importanly, why Democrats must fight back vociferously against GOP branding techniques.

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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Fiasco in Eldorado

From Grits for Breakfast, a comprehensive round-up of stories and issues surrounding CPS' raid on the FLDS compound in Schleicher County. The sheer level of incompetence displayed here by the State continues to flabbergast and enrage me. Who the hell was in charge of planning this disaster? Who signed off on warehousing babies in a 140 year old cavalry fort? Why did no one even bother to check if the guy named in the warrant was even in Texas (he wasn't; he's in prison in Arizona)? Why did CPS let some of the mothers go with their children (almost unheard of in a removal case), then strip them of their cell phones, and now kick them out (after they complained to the Governor) unless they have children under four? Did it not occur to anyone to see if there were even enough lawyers in a five-county radius to represent all these children (there aren't)? Did anyone check to see if it was feasible to have one district judge (responsible for five counties) shut down all her operations just to deal with one case? Once again, Texas state government shows it couldn't pour piss out of a boot if the instructions were printed on the heel.

UPDATE: Grits has more from today's hearings, including links to other coverage and other perspectives. Unsurprisingly, several aspects of the story that were conveniently linked to the media (such as accusation of wide-spread "child bride" arrangements) are coming up short of supporting evidence. The tragedy here is that the State's ham-handedness, and the flagrant scramble for publicity (by, among others, Greg Abbott, who really needs to stay off television until he learns at least the basics of the Texas Family Code) is liable to torpedo any criminal prosecutions of child abusers in this case.

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Monday, April 14, 2008

Senate to Attach Freedmen Rider

The US Senate is apparently poised to add a measure by the Congressional Black Caucus to cut housing funding to the Cherokee Nation if the Freedmen are disenrolled. Chief Chad Smith has been lobbying heavily against the proposal, which has already passed the House, an amendment to the reauthorization of the Native American Housing and Self-Determination Act. If the NAHSDA passes with the Freedmen rider, the pressure on the Cherokee Nation to reach some kind of settlement will increase dramatically. Unfortunately, I'm not sure there's a compromise left that both sides could sign off on. The Freedmen have a good case, legally and morally, that all Freedmen should remain as citizens. The Smith Administration has backed itself into a corner by refusing to even acknowledge that any of the Freedmen have a legitimate claim.

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Today In History...


"The death of democracy is not likely to be an assassination from ambush. It will be a slow extinction from apathy, indifference, and undernourishment."-- Robert M. Hutchins


Sunday, April 13, 2008

Elites Denounce Reality as "Elitist"

Oh, Good God. This is by far this stupidest thing yet ginned into a "-gate" in this whole stupid election cycle. Only in 2008 America could it be a greater scandal to refer to the fact that working class people are getting screwed than the actual fact that WORKING CLASS PEOPLE ARE GETTING SCREWED! Congratulations to Obama for having the presence of mind to not physically roll his eyes in response to questions about this "scandal."

UPDATE: Rural Pennsylvanians fail to be outraged by Obama's "elitism," no doubt to the chagrin of FOXNews.

UPDATE 2: The real insult to the working class? Decades of neglect by the elites. Meanwhile, carrying the RWHMMC hysteria to official shark-jumping levels, Bill Kristol declares Obama to be a Marxist. No, seriously. The Marxist Brothers: A Day at the Racist.

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Saturday, April 12, 2008

Column for 12 April, 2008

“Would your wealth or even all your mighty efforts sustain you so you would not be in distress?”
--Job 36:19

In the midst of all the extensive and vitally important media coverage of Barack Obama’s bowling score, Hillary Clinton’s courage under (imaginary) sniper fire and John McCain’s inability to remember even the most basic facts about the Middle East, there’s one thing you don’t hear about: the economy. True, you hear about the bursting of the housing bubble and arguments about whether or not we are in a recession (a “recession” is when my next-door neighbor loses his job; a “depression” is when I lose mine). And we have heard about the Bush Administration’s generous decision to drive the nation even further into a crippling debt of their own creation with a pittance of a tax rebate; in fact, the best line I heard on that issue was that if you spend your rebate in Wal-Mart, it will go to China; if you spend it buying a computer, it will go to Japan; and if you spend it on gas it will go to Saudi Arabia. Therefore, the only way to spend it on America would be to use it for beer, prostitutes or gambling at an Indian casino, the only businesses left in this country. No, the thing you don’t hear is that, slowly but steadily, the American economy is being dismantled from the inside out. Do a little experiment with me. Look around where you’re sitting at this exact moment and see if you can lay your hands on anything, anything at all, that was made in America. Go on. Give it a try. Give up? Closest thing I could find was a metal yardstick made in Ohio and out in the driveway, my truck made by union autoworkers in St. Louis. The fact is we are very rapidly approaching the point where nothing is “made in America.” Consider this: in 1950, 34% of American jobs were in the manufacturing sector and 59% were in the service sector. By 2002, only 13% remained in manufacturing while a whopping 82% were in services. The number of Americans working in business services (advertising, data processing, credit reporting, etc.) has risen from 656,000 in 1960 to 9,301,000 by 2002. American steel exports in 1969 were valued at $70.9 billion, representing 2.1% of total GDP. By 1998, it was down to $37.6 billion and a mere 0.4% of GDP. Just since January of 2005, when the US abolished quotas on textiles, the textile industry has lost 83,700 jobs, some 20.9% of its total. But that’s okay, right? Free trade and globalization advocates, including Bill Clinton and most of the Republicans, have assured us that these “old economy” jobs would be replaced by new, better and shinier “new economy” jobs in the “information sector.” Actually, you don’t hear nearly as much about the “information economy” since the dotcom bubble imploded. And while it is true that the overall unemployment rate remains relatively low, those high-paying “old economy” jobs where people actually made things, are being replaced by crappier, lower wage jobs. In terms of real wages (that is, adjusted for inflation), the average American has gone from making $302.52 per week in 1964 to $277.57 per week in 2004, and that’s after a brief period of rising wages in the mid to late 1990’s. Now consider this: the US trade deficit (the difference between what we export and what we import) hit a record high of $763.6 billion in 2006. And that national debt I mentioned? All $8.5 TRILLION of it? Every single dime accumulated under George W. Bush’s watch? Fully 25% of that is owned by foreign governments. So, can you still be an economic superpower if you don’t make anything and an increasing share of your of GDP consists of debt owned by other countries? What happens if those countries decide they don’t like us anymore? Remember the oil embargo of the 1970’s? Arab countries who sit on top of much of the world’s oil reserves got angry with America for refusing to allow them to eradicate the State of Israel, so they stopped selling to us. The US economy was hit hard as the price of gasoline skyrocketed and the government was forced to impose price controls and rationing. And we are much more dependent on the goodwill of other countries now than we were then. Worse yet, there are some signs we are approaching Peak Oil, the point at which the world hits maximum oil production (aided by the increasing demands of emerging economies like China and India). If that happens, gas prices won’t come down. Ever. Now, I don’t mean to suggest that American corporations are always worthy of protectionist trade policies; they aren’t. In particular, it’s hard to feel sorry for the automotive industry which grew fat, happy and lazy until it was eclipsed by better built, cheaper and more fuel efficient foreign models. However, the cries of the free trade warriors that free trade and globalization are inevitable and always good for America are starting to sound more and more like old communist propaganda about the triumph of Marxism and about as grounded in reality. Why is it that none of the major presidential candidates, now that John Edwards is out, will talk about this? Other than a few very mild tut-tuts about NAFTA from Clinton and Obama, and only then in states like Ohio and Pennsylvania that have suffered the most, the silence is deafening. If free trade and globalization are so great, why won’t any of the politicians even discuss them? How is the United States helped by lowering trade barriers that give us the choice between dismantling our environmental and worker protections or losing out to countries that don’t have them? Can we really retain our sovereignty if the only jobs available to our people are delivering pizzas and repairing computers made in China? Historically speaking, there is a name for countries that don’t make anything and whose economic fate is almost completely in the hands of others: a colony.


Friday, April 11, 2008

Obama & Indian Country

Wampum points out a recent missed opportunity in Montana for Obama to hit an easy one out of the park when questioned about the Cobell Trust lawsuit. Obama's a smart guy; given the setting, how could he have not been at least briefed on this issue? A simple, "I fully support the rights of Native Americans who have suffered when the federal government failed to live up to its responsibilities," would've been great. Especially considering that the Bush Administration just responded with insults and mockery to the Cobell plaintiffs' offer to settle for, essentially, 50 cents on the dollar. Indian votes could be very important in states like Montana, North Dakota, Wisconsin, New Mexico and Colorado in a tight election. I'm just sayin'...

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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Okay, Help Me Out Here...

To the one-third of Hillary voters and one-quarter of Obama voters who say they'll vote for John McCain over the other Democrat:
Really? I mean, seriously? Do the math for me, here; you each support progressive candidates opposed to the Iraq War whose positions on most of the issues are virtually indistinguishable. Nevertheless, you'd rather give Dubya a third term than deign to vote for anyone other than your preferred nominee? You'd rather vote for the guy who has no problem keeping troops in Iraq for 100 years (or a million years)? The guy who thinks starting another pre-emptive war, this time with Iran, is a good topic for cracking jokes? A guy who lacks the political intestinal fortitude even to stand by his own immigration bill? A veteran who refuses to support other veterans? Really? That's who you want as President?
So, what's the deal? Are you nihilists? Political naifs? Or just incredibly immature?

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Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Today in History...



Tuesday, April 08, 2008

I Suppose I Should've Expected This...

Evidently, John Yoo's legal memorandum on the President's absolutely unfettered authority to torture children (but only if he thinks it's REALLY important) relies at least in part on the US Army's history of hunting down and summarily killing Indians who refused to be herded into concentration camps (reservations).

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Monday, April 07, 2008

"Liberal" Media Rush to Defend McCain...

...from vicious little girl. And also to point out that McCain's crazy preachers are "patriotic," unlike Obama's crazy preacher. Thanks for clearing that up, guys! I feel better.
Also, McCain is endorsed by someone else who doesn't really understand the economy all that much.

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Sunday, April 06, 2008

Diluting the King

The Mainstream Media, then and now, obfuscate Martin Luther King, Jr.'s true message and his complete legacy. In America, we have an ingrained habit of grinding down the sharp edges of our history, making it far more palatable and "mainstream." Thus, the Founding Fathers have been recast from Revolutionaries to, somehow, conservatives, in spite of their actual radicalism in overthrowing the fundamental basis of government (the Divine Right of Kings) for the preceding 1,000 years. The Civil War was for decades, and to a lesser extent even today, stripped of any racial context, to the extent that many still claim that the war had "nothing to do with slavery," which is akin to saying WWII had nothing to do with fascism. So it is with MLK, Jr. Now that he has been brought into the "mainstream" with a National Holiday, his radicalism and his message of economic freedom is muffled by the same media that taunted and ignored him while he lived.

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Saturday, April 05, 2008

Column for 6 April, 2008

“’I have seen these people,’ the Lord said to Moses, ‘and they are a stiff-necked people.’”
--Exodus 32:9

Last Saturday, live at the Don Smith Performing Arts Center in beautiful Cleburne, Texas, unreported by the media, a remarkable thing happened: the Johnson County Democratic Party had a record turnout for the county convention and everything went pretty smoothly, all things considered. Now, bear in mind that “smoothly” for Democrats usually means “no fist fights and no one called the cops,” but still, after the mainstream media widely predicted “Chaos in Texas,” the convention went off, again for Democrats, like a well-oiled machine. Typically, trying to organize notoriously ornery Texas Democrats is akin to trying to herd cats with a fire hose. Put any two Democrats, like any two Southern Baptists, in the same room together and they will instantly split into at least three factions. On Saturday, delegates from the precinct conventions began arriving by 8:00AM. A dozen folding tables, all manned by volunteers, registered them and confirmed their credentials. Some of the precincts hadn’t turned in all (or in one memorable case, any) of their information; these folks were all referred to the Credentials Committee, where all the hitches were more or less ironed out. True, there were several hours of waiting around while the committees figured out how many delegates had signed in for Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama, but any well-attended political convention tends to involve a lot of “hurry up and wait.” As it developed, Clinton carried Johnson County by about 70% to Obama’s 30%. Contrary to expectations, most of the new faces (and the overwhelming majority of the delegates had never before attended a county convention) were there for Clinton, though there were of course some motivated by Obama as well. Fears of a Republican takeover at the behest of Rush “Oxycontin” Limbaugh seem to have been groundless. A major newspaper from the urban colossus to our north and east analyzed the statewide vote to see how many voters had merely checked off their presidential preference and ignored the rest of the ballot, on the theory that Republican infiltrators would be unlikely to care about the nominee for Court of Criminal Appeals or Railroad Commission. More than 80% of voters in counties heavily carried by Clinton went on to vote in the US Senate race; only 71% of the voters in the counties heavily carried by Obama did likewise. This suggests that Obama voters, who tend to skew younger than average, were motivated mostly by him and not a general enthusiasm for the Democratic Party as a whole; this also suggests that Rick Noriega has his work cut out for him in persuading these new voters to pay attention to his race against the singularly inept John Cornyn in November. And it suggests that Rush, Ann Coulter and all the rest of the Right Wing Howler Monkey Media Chorus (RWHMMC) have absolutely no influence on the electoral process whatsoever, if they ever did in the first place. For some unknown reason, I was chosen as permanent chairman of the convention. The difficult work was in choosing delegates to the June 5 State Democratic Convention in Austin. In normal years, when Johnson County Democrats could comfortably meet in the backseat of someone’s car, state delegates were whoever bothered to show up. And even then, we usually had to call ten people to fill out our allotment. This year, we had ten people for every delegate slot. After some intense wrangling in the precincts, 36 delegates and 36 alternates were duly selected and a handful of resolutions, dealing with topics from embryonic stem-cell research to the Iraq War, were debated and passed. The whole thing was over by 4:00PM, thanks to the convention defeating a motion to break for lunch. Sure, that seems like a long time but remember, these are Democrats we’re talking about; we’ve spent more hours than that arguing about adopting Robert’s Rules of Order. Now, some might ascribe all this political efficiency to my deft skills at the podium, but in all modesty, I have to say it was due to the fact that, some good-natured ribbing aside, there was no conflict between the Clinton and Obama camps. The more hysterical members of the Mainstream Media have been openly predicting disaster, chaos and ruin for the Democrats in November if the primary season goes on even one day more. I disagree. First, let’s put some things in perspective; hyperbole from both camps aside, this is not, I repeat not, the nastiest political fight in Democratic Party history. Not even close. You want nasty? Mister, I worked on the 1990 Ann Richards/Mark White/Jim Mattox primary. Compared to that, this is an election for president of the chess club. That’s another reason I don’t buy polls saying up to a quarter of Obama or Clinton supporters would vote for John McCain if their candidate doesn’t get the nomination. Hogwash. Second, consider what the situation would be like if Obama or Clinton had wrapped up the nomination months ago, the way it usually works. No one would care about the Texas primary, or the Ohio or Pennsylvania primaries, either. All those millions of new Democrats wouldn’t be brought into the process until the Fall, if ever. Third, by pounding on each other, Clinton and Obama are leveling criticisms that would otherwise not have come out until sprung on an unsuspecting public by Karl Rove. For Obama supporters, when would you prefer the Jeremiah Wright story to have emerged? Now? Or August? For Clinton supporters, when would you rather have had her make that embarrassing comment about dodging snipers in Bosnia? Fourth, while John McCain is certainly popular on a personal level, he has leeched himself onto the most unpopular President since Richard Nixon and the most unpopular policies of that unpopular President. While large majorities of Americans say the country is on the wrong track and they want a President who will go in a different direction, McCain is promising a third term for George W. Bush, only worse. As one Republican put it, McCain offers more war and less jobs. In many respects, he threatens to out-Bush Bush, stating he will keep troops in Iraq for a hundred years and tastelessly joking about “bomb bomb bomb bomb bomb”-ing Iran, when he isn’t making howling gaffes on foreign policy, his supposed strong suite. On the domestic front, McCain is busily running away from his own immigration bill and proposing to do absolutely nothing about the deepening economic slump. So, no, the sky is not falling. The Democrats haven’t blown it. Not yet anyway. And it was a great convention.


McCain On Indian Issues

Another campaign heard from. No real promises here, just bragging on his record. Whatever else one might think about the Senator from Arizona, he does have a relatively good record (compared to the average white Republican member of Congress) with regard to Indian Country.

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What Is It About the Federal Government...


Friday, April 04, 2008

Today In History...



Thursday, April 03, 2008

Bowling for Votes

For the record, I don't give a load of flaming dingo's kidneys whether or not the next President of the United States can bowl a good frame. Or play Choctaw Rules stickball, for that matter. Nor do I care if he (or she) is someone I could sit down and have a beer with. I'd actually prefer a President who I am comfortably certain is smarter than me. For a change. Letting Obama go bowling was a classic amateur's mistake; never let your candidate do something in public he or she isn't good at. If your candidate is a city-slicker, for example, don't try to get him to milk a cow for the cameras. And if your man hasn't touched a bowling ball in 30 years, don't saunter into an ally in some misguided attempt to show the locals you are "one of them." You run the risk of looking condescending; though it seems uniquely American that our candidates "put on airs" by trying to seem LESS smart, LESS educated and LESS rich than they actually are. However, Obama has handled the criticism well; Americans love candidates with a self-deprecating sense of humor. And his poll numbers (particularly the 70% result for "shares the values of Americans") remain encouraging. Obama has been refreshing in his refusal to "dumb down" his image in order to appeal to voters; he should stick with that. I think the country's had enough of urban cowboys to last us awhile.

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Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Shorter John Yoo:

"Clearly, the original intent of the Founding Fathers was to invest the President of the United States with the unfettered authority to torture children. If he decides it's in the national interest, of course."

UPDATE: Doug Feith re: assholes. Takes one to know one. To put it crudely.

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A New Great Depression?

No, of course not; this isn't even officially a RE-cession yet. This article, however, draws some disturbing statistical parallels in income inequality and laissez-faire government policies. And the author doesn't even get into what I think is the greatest danger to the US economy; the evisceration of the manufacturing sector in the name of global "free" trade. I still maintain you cannot be an economic superpower if you don't make anything and all your jobs involve repairing things made in other countries or delivering pizza.

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Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Here Is Wisdom

"The justification for taking lands from Indian people has always been that the needs and requirements of civilized people had to come first. Settlers arriving on these shores saw a virtual paradise untouched by the works of man. They drooled at the prospect of developing the land according to their own dictates. Thus a policy of genocide was advocated that would clear the land of the original inhabitants to make way for towns, cities, farms, factories, and highways. This was progress.
"Even today Indian people hold their land at the sufferance of the non-Indian. The typical white attitude is that Indians can have land as long as whites have no use for it. When it becomes useful, then it naturally follows that the land must be taken by whites to put to a better use."

--Vine Deloria, Jr. (Standing Rock Sioux), 1970


Wal-Mart: The Focus of Evil In the Modern World, Part 2

Wal-Mart caves, thanks to, among others, Keith Olbermann.
Wal-Mart, however, and until further notice, still sucks.
UPDATE: Glenn Beck, still a clueless asshole.

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