Parallels

What do you immediately think of when you read this:

A top leader of the Gulf drug cartel was killed during a two-hour gun battle with Mexican security forces in the border city of Matamoros, authorities said.

Antonio Ezequiel Cardenas Guillen, known as “Tony Tormenta” or “Tony the Storm,” was killed in the shootout Friday, Mexican military officials said in a statement.

Something like this, maybe:

A recent drone strike in Pakistan’s tribal region killed one of al Qaeda’s top commanders, two Pakistani security officials told CNN Tuesday.

Sheikh Mohammad Fateh al Masri, described as the group’s senior operational commander, was killed in North Waziristan, one of the seven districts of the country’s volatile tribal region.

Only the names change, but the game goes on. Permanent war is permanent war.



The Chief Outcome of Permanent War is Permanent War

Just another Friedman Unit and then for sure we win:

An intense military campaign aimed at crippling the Taliban has so far failed to inflict more than fleeting setbacks on the insurgency or put meaningful pressure on its leaders to seek peace, according to U.S. military and intelligence officials citing the latest assessments of the war in Afghanistan.

Escalated airstrikes and special operations raids have disrupted Taliban movements and damaged local cells. But officials said that insurgents have been adept at absorbing the blows and that they appear confident that they can outlast an American troop buildup set to subside beginning next July.

“The insurgency seems to be maintaining its resilience,” said a senior Defense Department official involved in assessments of the war. Taliban elements have consistently shown an ability to “reestablish and rejuvenate,” often within days of routed by U.S. forces, the official said, adding that if there is a sign that momentum has shifted, “I don’t see it.”

My name is Yon Yonson, I come from Wisconsin. I work in a lumber yard there. Everyone that I meet when I walk down the street, says “Hello! What’s your name?” And I say: My name is Yon Yonson, I come from Wisconsin. I work in a lumber yard there. Everyone that I meet when I walk down the street, says “Hello! What’s your name?” And I say: My name is Yon Yonson, I come from Wisconsin. I work in a lumber yard there. Everyone that I meet when I walk down the street, says “Hello! What’s your name?” And I say: My name is Yon Yonson, I come from Wisconsin. I work in a lumber yard there. Everyone that I meet when I walk down the street, says “Hello! What’s your name?” And I say: My name is Yon Yonson, I come from Wisconsin. I work in a lumber yard there. Everyone that I meet when I walk down the street, says “Hello! What’s your name?” And I say: My name is Yon Yonson, I come from Wisconsin. I work in a lumber yard there. Everyone that I meet when I walk down the street, says “Hello! What’s your name?” And I say: My name is Yon Yonson, I come from Wisconsin. I work in a lumber yard there. Everyone that I meet when I walk down the street, says “Hello! What’s your name?” And I say: My name is Yon Yonson, I come from Wisconsin. I work in a lumber yard there. Everyone that I meet when I walk down the street, says “Hello! What’s your name?” And I say: My name is Yon Yonson, I come from Wisconsin. I work in a lumber yard there. Everyone that I meet when I walk down the street, says “Hello! What’s your name?” And I say: My name is Yon Yonson, I come from Wisconsin. I work in a lumber yard there. Everyone that I meet when I walk down the street, says “Hello! What’s your name?” And I say…



Lying Liars and the Lies They Tell

Here’s the ex-Baghdad bureau chief of the Post:

Donald Rumsfeld held a news conference at the Pentagon to say that U.S. press reports of killings—such as mine that estimated 1,300 dead in the immediate aftermath of the bombing, based on what I had seen at the morgue, interviews with Sunni survivors, UN and Iraq health officials—were calculated “exaggerated reporting.” […]

Thanks to Wikileaks, though, I now know the extent to which top American leaders lied, knowingly, to the American public, to American troops, and to the world, as the Iraq mission exploded.

The American troops, who were risking their lives on the ground, witnessed and documented it themselves.

Of course, none of this matters because it’s all in the past and Julian Assange said something stupid on Twitter.
(via)



“Yes, We Cannabis”

Al Giordano at The Field has a long, detailed, fascinating piece on generational demographics and its effect on American politics — “I Have Seen the Future of US Politics & Its Name is Prop 19“:

… SUSA titles its analysis, “Some Evidence That California’s Marijuana Tail is Wagging Barbara Boxer’s Dog; Voters Without Home Phones, Voters Focused on Decriminalization, May Tip Senate.” In sum, the pollsters have identified the key factor in Boxer’s contest vs. Republican Carly Fiorina, who leads narrowly with 46 percent over 44 percent for the incumbent. By looking separately at voters who only use cell phones, those who have both cell and home phones, and those only with home telephones, SUSA has found significant differences in the voting intentions of the cell phone-only citizens and the rest. It is no secret to young people (of all ages) who use cell phones exclusively that they are culturally distinct from land liners in ways that extend beyond hardware preferences.
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Nomadic, and on the move, more reliant on the Internet than the television for their news intake, they’re the future of the United States. And they’re also a lot more multi-racial – and more actively defy societal apartheids – than the rest of the population. OMG! Wait… wait… see that little light bulb popping on over our heads? By Jove, I think we get it! Those are the 2008 first time Obama voters, duh! And getting them to vote in the midterm elections is the biggest headache that the White House and the Democratic party has right now leading up to November 2…
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Interestingly enough, Boxer opposes Proposition 19. So does former and future Governor Jerry Brown… And when I see Attorney General Eric Holder and drug czar Gil Kerlikowske embarrass themselves with anti-Prop 19 posturing – given that the data shows that highly motivated Prop 19 supporters are the Democrats’ only ace left to save the California senate seat, and what that implies for the rest of the country in 2012 – I have to wonder aloud whether this is the usual fear-motivated political posturing on the part of these Democrats or a more calculated strategy to hope Prop 19 loses narrowly in order to have it on the ballot again two years from now and bring the new “swing voter” back to the ballot box again. If that is the hidden agenda, it is a risky one, not one that I would recommend, because if Prop 19 goes down this year there are going to be a lot of pissed off reform votes out there, some of whom remember when the words “tea party” had other connotations…
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The best case scenario for Democrats, however, is not that Prop 19 loses and comes up again in California in 2012, but to the contrary: If the historic Proposition 19 passes, the pundits and talking heads that generate the misnamed “conventional wisdom” in the Washington DC beltway will be falling all over each other to note that Prop 19 won and it pulled Boxer out of the fire with it. If coming out of Election Night, Prop 19 emerges with the sheen of a newly-minted winner, Democratic strategists will have little choice but to adopt a “50 state strategy” (especially in the 26 states – Maine, Massachusetts, and virtually everything west of the Mississippi River – that have citizen generated statewide ballot initiative processes), and go “all in” on legalizing, regulating and taxing marijuana, even if their politicians continue to balk at saying it aloud. And if you’re a Democratic (or Republican) politician that doesn’t yet see the writing on the wall, remember how most of you were wrong (or late) in your predictions two and three years ago, and that “Yes, We Can” means “Yes, We Cannabis,” too.

Go read the whole thing before you start arguing about the details — there’s a lot of solid numbers and information that I can’t do justice in a teaser here. I don’t have the background to judge whether Giordano is right about the Democrats’ possible Sekrit Plan, but he’s got an excellent record when it comes to predicting specific contests, largely because he’s been good about parsing the numbers rather than finger-to-the-winding Conventional Wisdom.



Such Conspiratorial Talk Should be Mocked

From the no shit department:

Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke have been widely praised for engineering the Wall Street bailouts, which avoided systemic chaos, and they’ll probably get more plaudits if the government recovers much of the $400 billion in loans it made to financial institutions.

However, while Paulson has been criticized, unfairly or not, because $12.9 billion of the bailout money went to Goldman, he’s drawn little scrutiny for what he did in his first 18 months in office, during the final frenzied stages of the housing bubble.

In his eight years as Goldman’s chief executive, Paulson had presided over the firm’s plunge into the business of buying up subprime mortgages to marginal borrowers and then repackaging them into securities, overseeing the firm’s huge positions in what became a fraud-infested market.

During Paulson’s first 15 months as the treasury secretary and chief presidential economic adviser, Goldman unloaded more than $30 billion in dicey residential mortgage securities to pension funds, foreign banks and other investors and became the only major Wall Street firm to dramatically cut its losses and exit the housing market safely. Goldman also racked up billions of dollars in profits by secretly betting on a downturn in home mortgage securities.

“No one was better positioned . . . than Mr. Paulson to understand exactly what the implications of his moving against the (housing) bubble would have been for Goldman Sachs, because he knew what the Goldman Sachs positions were,” said William Black, a former senior thrift regulator who delivered the harshest criticism of the former secretary.

Paulson “knew that if he acted the way he should, that would have burst the bubble. Then Goldman Sachs would have been left with a very substantial loss, and that would have been the end of bonuses at Goldman Sachs.”

Why, that’s just crazy talk you dirty fucking hippie. Everyone knows it is just crazy conspiratorial talk to suggest that Goldman Sachs was assisted by the fact that so many of her former employees are in high-ranking government jobs that she is jokingly referred to as Government Sachs. It’s just crazy talk to suggest that one reason Goldman is still thriving and her competitors like Lehman are dead and buried is because of her influence. It’s just conspiratorial nonsense to suggest that Goldman got all of her idiotic AIG bets paid off at 100 cents on the dollar because of government intervention. It’s just crazy to suggest the reason they never had to take a haircut on their idiocy was because of the role the Goldman boys played in Treasury and elsewhere.

Get out of here with your crazy conspiracies, you pinko commie traitor. Why do you hate capitalism? Everyone knows the real reason this worked out this way is because let’s face it- Goldman Sachs employees are just smarter and better than you. They earned those bonuses. They eat what they kill, remember.