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Cross-posted from Sing City Chronicles

Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Mousavi's film-maker spokesman to the west, says that Mousavi has been "ordered... to stay silent" by the Revolutionary Guard.

Anyone who still views this as Mousavi vs Ahmadinejad -- a group that apparently includes Ahmadi himself, and/or whoever's really in charge of his faction -- is deluding themselves. Hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people don't take to the streets to support one slightly less authoritarian politician over another. They do it because they want real change.

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Wed Apr 29, 2009 at 09:33 AM PDT

Bybee demonstrates his bad faith

by Anton Sirius

Cross-posted from Sing City Chronicles

I found this non-quote from "Justice" Bybee very informative:

Judge Bybee said he was issuing a statement following reports that he had regrets over his role in the memorandums, including an article in The Washington Post on Saturday to that effect. Given the widespread criticism of the memorandums, he said he would have done some things differently, like clarifying and sharpening the analysis of some of his answers to help the public better understand the basis for his conclusions.

Umm, dude! Weren't the memos already aimed at non-legal minds? Wasn't the entire point of the memos supposed to be to brief the non-lawyers in the Bush administration about the relevant legal issues?

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Tue Apr 28, 2009 at 11:05 AM PDT

I understand now

by Anton Sirius

Cross-posted from Sing City Chronicles.

I grew up reading Robert Anton Wilson, and one of the deepest lessons I learned from him was to try and be agnostic (or zetetic, if you prefer) about my perspective. In this world we call Real there is very rarely one 'right' way to look at anything, and having the ability to alter your perspective on an issue can be damn useful.

One perspective I was never able to wrap my head around, though, was that of the Zealot, perhaps because it was intuitively antithetical to RAW's multi-perspective approach. The Zealot does believe that they see things the One Right Way, after all. I've just never understood how, for instance, an anti-abortion Zealot professing to want to protect life could get themselves to a place where it made sense to them to kill a doctor.

I understand now.

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Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 08:36 AM PST

Gov. Blagojevich read my diary!

by Anton Sirius

My respect for this man, this bold wise leader, this healer, this hero to the common man, whose life is currently a Pearl Harbor-esque hell of unjust and unfounded accusations, continues to grow.

Gov. Blagojevich told Diane Sawyer on Good Morning America that he considered offering the vacant Illinois Senate seat to Oprah Winfrey.

"She seemed to be someone who had helped Barack Obama in a significant way to become president," Blagojevich said. Blagojevich added that "she had a much broader bully pulpit than a lot of senators."

There's only one place he could have gotten this brilliant idea: from the diary I wrote just before Christmas.

Governor, should you ever need further advice during this trying (cough) time in your life, I am now and always at your disposal.


Springfield (AP) - Sources inside the office of Illinois Lt. Governor Pat Quinn report that on Friday Quinn received a call from talk show host and entertainment icon Oprah Winfrey, indicating that should the lieutenant governor end up in a position where he can name President-elect Barack Obama's replacement to the Senate, she would like to be considered.

Reaction to the news was mostly positive from state and national Democrats. While some expressed reservations about her lack of legislative experience or any track record of campaigning for office, most were enthusiastic about Winfrey's brand name recognition, progressive politics and potential to be a fundraising titan.

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In the ongoing turgid drama on this site about the possible appointment of Caroline Kennedy as junior senator from New York, I got a fascinating response from The Man himself about the possibility of primarying Kennedy if she turns out to be a lousy senator:


when was the last time a Senator was primaried out?

And I think we can all assume that they haven't been so safe because they don't suck.

Color me stunned that the author of Crashing the Gate Taking on the System (I need to not diary when sleep-deprived...) would be expressing that viewpoint.


Could an incumbent Sen. Caroline Kennedy be primaried if necessary?

45%37 votes
54%45 votes

| 82 votes | Vote | Results

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Mon Oct 13, 2008 at 10:07 AM PDT

Bill Schneider's Apparent Racism?

by Anton Sirius

On CNN this afternoon, Bill Schneider took the Bradley Effect theory to a whole new level.

In talking about Ohio polling, he highlighted the following numbers:

Obama 49%
McCain 46%
Unsure 5%

and said that Obama couldn't feel secure in that lead because the number of 'unsure' voters was greater than his lead.

What was his rationale for suggesting 'unsure' voters might all break for McCain? The fact that very few African-American voters are unsure.

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One of the other sites I frequent is a sports-themed one. Nonetheless, in this election year, political talk is basically everywhere, so we've had some spirited Obama-McCain threads as well. (There's an interesting paper to be written on the way the political spectrum gets broken down among different sports over there as well -- the college basketball forum skews far harder left than the college football forum, for instance.)

The last couple of days, though, the comments from those who said they were backing McCain for economic reasons has shifted, as a result of exactly one thing: his 'yea' vote on the Senate bailout package.

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Sat Sep 27, 2008 at 06:43 PM PDT

Debate #1 scorecard and analysis

by Anton Sirius

Just for my own amusement, I'm going to break down the actual substance of last night's debate from the transcript, and try to decide who (if anybody) 'won' each of the eight sections: the bailout; the post-bailout economy; future spending; Iraq; Afghanistan; Iran; Russia; and terrorism.

I'm essentially going to score in three areas: substance, aggressiveness, and gaffes. Substance will be a reflection of who actually said anything substantial (whether I agree with it or not). Aggressiveness will be a reflection of who 'controlled' the debate at that point, who kept their opponent on the defensive, and who got in shots that actually drew blood. Gaffes will be a reflection of who said something stupid. I'll be using the traditional boxing scoring of a '10 point must' system; the winner gets 10, the loser gets 9 unless there was a knockout, in which case the loser might get 8 or even 7. A draw would be 10-10.

Keep in mind that my initial reaction to the debate as a whole was that Obama won, mainly due to McCain's awful tone and body language, but also due to the fact that Obama had the most memorable phrases and moments.

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I've always had a soft spot in my head heart for conspiracy theories. And I freely admit, this one's a doozy. But as the weight of what we're observing from the McCain campaign piles up I simply can't believe that a presidential run could be this inept, this dysfunctional by accident.

I have to believe, at this point, that history is repeating itself. Just as in 2000, McCain's presidential bid is being sunk by none other than that blight upon our collective unconscious, Karl Rove.

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Thu Sep 11, 2008 at 07:59 PM PDT

Confession Time (Poll)

by Anton Sirius

How many people actually knew what the Bush Doctrine was before tonight?

I didn't. Charlie Gibson asks me that question, under those circumstances, and I probably bob and weave the way Palin did too.


Did you know what the Bush Doctrine was before Palin's interview with Charlie Gibson?

28%79 votes
49%136 votes
11%33 votes
7%20 votes
2%8 votes

| 276 votes | Vote | Results

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Wed Sep 10, 2008 at 01:14 PM PDT

McCain: Making Them Famous

by Anton Sirius

One of the big applause lines in McCain's stump speech occurs when he threatens to veto bills laden with pork and call out those who ask for egregious earmarks: "You will know their names! I will make them famous!"

This is one pledge McCain has already shown signs of keeping, having done more than enough to make Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin famous. Alaska led the nation in per capita special project funding in 2008, getting over $500 per resident from Washington, and Palin's history of hiring lobbyists to score funds, of course, dates back to her time as mayor of Wasilla.

So given that it's apparent how McCain plans to "make them famous", let's take a look at who might find their way onto his cabinet...

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