Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Conflict Inside Iran, Calif Takes Hostage To Solve Budget, Senate Races That Buck And Bennet

John Farmer
Dana Milbank
Jamsheed Choksy

Rolling Stone Interview With Barack Obama:
Jan Wenner
"The Republicans released their 'Pledge to America.' It's 21 pages of phony charts and bad ideas. Sarah Palin got a copy, and she said, 'How am I supposed to fit all this crap on my hand?'" — Bill Maher

"The Democrats, these pussies, are unbelievable. They are giving up on their tax cut for the middle class until after the election. They have the worst salesmen in the world. They could not talk Lindsay Lohan into a rum and coke." — Bill Maher

"President Obama's approval rating dropped again. Things are so bad, Muslims are accusing him of being Christian." – Jay Leno

"Sarah Palin was considering running for president, until she heard it was a four-year deal." –David Letterman

Some very interesting pundit pieces linked above, all on different subjects. John Farmer's (this has to be the most obvious fake name ever...) piece on the conclusions of the recent Homeland Security committee meeting, and the resulting project set up by the Justice Department: "Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting Initiative. Federal, state and local law enforcement officials have set up “fusion centers” for the program in about a dozen cities, including Boston, Chicago and Houston, where reports of suspicious activities made by citizens and the local police are collected and analyzed for disturbing patterns." Proving that now we are all Arizonians... The best article I have read explaining what is going on with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is Jamsheed Choksy's piece in World Politics Review. You can make up your own mind if Iran would be better off without its clerics ruling over the political scene, or if getting rid of them will lead to a military dictatorship, spearheaded by Ahmadinejad and the Revolutionary Guard, or if the RG will get rid of Ahmadinejad after he has served his purpose...

Inside Iran, it is pretty chaotic. Students returning to the universities were welcomed by invading members of the basij, who refused to let girls enter if their faces weren't properly covered or if boys wore short-sleeved shirts. If students protested, they were beaten up. I wonder if the schools advertised the beatings as part of their new, state approved curriculum... Also, two newspapers that were seen to be too supportive of the reform mindset, were made to go out of business. The courts claimed that they were guilty of: "insulting the country's officials and some which are contrary to public morals." The Revolutionary Guards would like to take the public morals clauses out of the courts and just be able to beat the shit out of people and jail them on their whims...

One reason you don't hear much about Afghan heroin production is that it has taken back seat to furnishing American troops with hashish. Karzai's brother can make more money selling hashish to the CIA, its mercenary troops, and the American military, all who use it to de-stress in a dangerous 24/7 situation. And, if LBJ will forgive me, they maybe corrupt sons'obitches, but they are our corrupt sons'obitches...(brownie points if you know which leader and country LBJ was originally referring).

It seems the state of California, with its rampant budget deficit and 13% unemployment rate, may have found a way out. Come November they might legalize marijuana, bringing in even larger amounts of tax money. If they get a head start (sic), they may even end up legally producing for the rest of the country, along with Colorado. Another sure form of income will be from the extortion money it gets sending Hollywood actors to jail. Linsey Lohan was sentenced to another 30 days in jail, then let out on a $300,000 bail. Soon, they will not even bother with arresting them for a crime, just go down the list alphabetically and escort them to the pokey... I think the court was inspired by Iran releasing their hostage for $500,000 bail. It worked out so well for them that now Iran will release the two male hikers for another $500,000 each, and they may start kidnapping more Americans from other Gulf states to be held for ransom... Besides, its easier for the LA cops to pick up some Hollywood actor, to be held for hostage, than Iranian intelligence scouring the hotels in Dubai...

Politico counts Colorado's Senate race as one of the five most important to watch. Of course, #1 is Nevada, with Harry Reid being challenged by Fruit Loop Sharron Angle... I watched the first debate between Ken buck and Michael Bennet, and felt that Bennet won the overall debate, asking several questions of Ken that Ken chose to ignore. If you get a chance to see the other televised debates, they promise to be pretty good ones, if you like your debates civil and without histrionics.

All bets are off though, during the debates between candidate for governor. Why Tom Tancredo is waging war against Dan Maes and not against the front-runner John Hickenlooper defies all rational thought. Then, Tom is out there in his own universe, much like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is. Both people make statements meant to inflame and not jibing with reality. Tancredo's supporters are also some of the meanest and aggressive people we have in Colorado. I wonder if he shipped them in from other states, sucking them up like bottom-feeders from the muck...

Back on topic, here's what Politico has to say about the Senate race:  Remember when Democrats were giddy at the prospect of running against tea party candidate Ken Buck?

At first, they had good reason. The county district attorney has called Social Security “horrible, bad policy,” advocated eliminating the Department of Education and, most recently, said homosexuality was a “lifestyle choice,” views that might seem at odds with the electorate in a state that delivered Obama a 9-point victory in 2008. Yet Buck has proved to be a formidable opponent in a year when concerns are more focused on pocketbook issues and is not easily pigeonholed as an extremist.

Appointed Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet is a White House favorite for his measured approach to issues, but that backing hasn’t been an enormous asset for a political newcomer largely defined by his votes with an unpopular administration. While Bennet wants to drag Buck into a debate about social issues and sharp-edged ideology, Buck is one tea partier who has been able to steer a message and, as a result, maintain a small polling advantage.

“Bennet’s insistence on pushing social issues says a great deal about how his team gauges the issue environment. They know if this election is about jobs, the economy and government spending, Buck wins,” said Rob Witwer, a former GOP state representative and author of “The Blueprint: How the Democrats Won Colorado.”

Latest poll: Buck, 49 percent; Bennet, 44 percent. CNN/Time, Sept. 17-21.

Why it’s still close: Buck’s ability to drive an economic message since his upset primary victory, coupled with general unfamiliarity with Bennet, has made this trending-blue state a battleground this year.

What to watch: Outside of primary voters and party activists, both Bennet and Buck are relatively new quantities. As the incumbent, Bennet needs to give voters a stark reason to swim against the tide.

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