How The Right Sells It

In MyDD :: Pelosi’s 100 Hours, kid oakland writes,

“If the GOP had a 100 Hours program they’d be selling it like it was going out of style.”

We hear this all the time, “the Republicans” are doing something and “the Democrats” are not. For example, here Republicans would be selling a “100 hours” plan, and Democrats aren’t.
Yes, but… Let’s examine the mechanism of that sell-job “the GOP” would be doing. First, it is not the Republican Party that does that sell-job. To me, this is a key point to understand if we’re going to work on countering the conservatives and bringing the public back to understanding and accepting progressive values and ideas and candidates. It is not the Republican Party. And when you understand this point, you understand that it is not the Democratic Party that is falling down on selling progressive ideas.

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Cute – Tells Me Nothing

I’m reading this thing at HP about their DLP HDTVs. Take a look at this too-cute passage:

What is resolution-doubling technology?
Resolution-doubling technology is an HP resolution-enhancement innovation that doubles digital projection displays without increasing the cost of the projector or television. It’s also called “wobulation.”
What is wobulation?
Wobulation is an HP resolution-enhancement innovation that doubles digital projection displays without increasing the cost of the projector or television. It’s also called “resolution-doubling technology.”

Couldn’t the writer have just said “I don’t know” and gone and ASKED someone what it is?

Why Iraq?

Richard Cohen writes why it was such a good thing to invade Iraq,

Saddam Hussein was a beast who had twice invaded his neighbors, had killed his own people with abandon and posed a threat — and not just a theoretical one — to Israel.

What does ANY of that have to do with America’s national security? It’s fine for him to think it’s a good thing to go over and kill several hundred thousand Iraqis because Saddam was a bad person, but what about the people in AMERICA’s military? Why should THEY be put at risk of death or injury for that reason? Is that what THEY signed up for?
This is one reason we need a draft — because it returns the PUBLIC to the discussion.

Today’s Housing Bubble Post – Flipper Nation

Episode 1: The First Flip

At Flipper Nation

It’s come to this

When is this going to stop? Iran is in the Axis of Evil. Syria isn’t quite, but they’re plenty bad. This is what Bush’s war has gained us: we’re now begging Iran and Syria for help.
And that’s the good plan, from the Baker Commission. The bad plan, from Bush, is an endless war against no enemy in particular.
People are always asking, “What better alternative do you offer?” But the first step is to admit that the war was wrong from the start, and Bush will never do that. Bush’s war is his whole life. There can be no improvement until he’s out of there.
For the sake of the country, his friends should ask him and Cheney to resign the way they asked Nixon to resign. Otherwise, they should both be impeached. (And shouldn’t it be the hawks who are pushing for Bush’s impeachment? From their point of view, if partnering with Syria and Iran isn’t utter failure, what would be?)
The people in politics and the media who got us into this mess should all put paper bags over their heads and sit in the back of the room forever. They should never be allowed to live this down. (Really, they should be horsewhipped in the public square. Maybe the Patriot Act has a provision allowing that.)
Help, Iran! Help, Syria! We need you!

9/11 Coverup

There’s evidence that toxic air at ground zero will lead to many deaths among those who worked on the cleanup. There were plans underway to use the autopsy process to monitor these deaths, but these plans have been squelched at the federal level (quite possibly because of pressure from NYC). In the aftermath of 9/11, both the DEQ and Mayor Giuliani assured us that there was no danger.

An effort to create standard autopsy guidelines that could document a link between toxic air at ground zero and deaths of 9/11 rescue workers has been abandoned by the federal government amid concerns the information collected could be misinterpreted…..Because autopsy results are often used in civil lawsuits, the results collected by the institute — while intended as a scientific study — could be used as a trial tool for lawyers and others with an “undeniable self-interest” in the cause of death, Prezant said.

H/T “Cosmic Fluke” in the comments.

How bad can it get?

I think that even we anti-war folk sometimes forget how bad the worst could be. But here’s mild-mannered, centrist Kevin Drum:

A year from now, we could end up in the middle of a full-blown civil war costing a thousand American lives a month. We could end up taking sides in a shooting war against Turkey, a NATO ally. We could end up fighting off an armed invasion from Iran. We could end up on the receiving of an oil embargo led by Saudi Arabia. Who knows?

There’s a real down side to putting an ignorant, mean-minded, superstitious bully in charge of the most powerful military the world has ever seen. After the fall of the USSR, the US was in a position of extraordinary power and influence. Bush treated this pre-eminence the way a naughty boy treats a plate marked “unbreakable” — he took it as a challenge. And sure enough, he succeeded in overplaying a very strong hand.
I still believe that there should be recriminations. When the shit hits the fan, all of the Republicans, media people, Christians, neocons, warbloggers, and operatives who gave us this disaster should be put on the spot, called to account, and sent off in disgrace.
But it’s very unlikely that that will happen.

Today’s Housing Bubble Post – Just getting The Message

The way information spreads … You and I follow the news, or you wouldn’t be reading this. But most people get their information in different ways.
For example, many people are only now finding out that house prices have stopped rising, and are falling. Like this one:

Sagging sales, appreciation proof housing boom over

,Over the summer, John Toole put his Woodland Hills home on the market for $1,695,000 and waited for a rush of prospective buyers.
And waited, and waited and waited.
So he offered a 15-day Hawaiian Islands cruise for two to the agent representing the buyer to stimulate some interest. And Toole waited some more.
He eventually slashed his asking price by $100,000. Nothing changed.
“It didn’t bring anybody around. Nothing. The market is absolutely dead,” Toole said. “I was amazed.” This story goes on to talk about the last price drop,

Starting in March 1992, the median price fell on an annual basis for 37 consecutive months. In November 1995, it dipped to $155,000, the low point in that down market, 36.7 percent below the old record high.

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Bird Flu Still A Threat

Luckily we made it through last year’s flu season without bird flu mutating into a form that can spread easily among humans. This bought us a year to study the disease. But it’s still out there and the season is beginning, and people are still catching it from direct contact with infected birds. More than half of the people who are reported with this disease are dying. So if it does mutate into a human-contagious it will be a disaster.
Indonesia reports two more human bird flu cases,

Indonesia has confirmed two new human cases of bird flu, with both victims alive and being treated in a Jakarta hospital, a health ministry official said on Monday.
Confirmation came from two tests, Dr. Muhammad Nadhirin, from the ministry’s national bird flu centre, told Reuters.
“The position is 74 cases, 55 of whom have died,” he said.

The boy died, Indonesia: Bird flu kills 2-year-old
There are vaccines in testing now. Let’s hope they are effective.