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Discover PS.org's Framing and Tactical Assault Projects!
Political Cortex Launches
10/31/05

3... 2... 1... Blastoff!

Months in the making. Blood. Sweat. Tears.

But now we’re here and we are ready to ROCK!

Check out PoliticalCortex.com!!

But who are we? We’re Devilstower, Carnacki, Sdf, Bill Hare, Drew Johnston, mcjoan, SusanG, Bob Kendall, Frederick Clarkson, NYBri, Btyarbro, Georgia10, Pontificator, Dood Abides, Myself, and the soon-to-be Cortex community!

Together we will fight against the forces of evil, and injustice and for the progressive ideals of Jefferson, Adams, Paine, Madison, Allen, and Franklin.

These men founded a Progressive Nation. They were America ’s Founding Fathers -- a group of the staunchest progressives in our nation's history -- men of enlightenment, ardent supporters of church/state separation with a fervent passion for decentralization of power and freedom of expression. So too were the founding documents they authored and the principles by which they acted.

In recent years, many Americans have come to forget these facts. Political Cortex is here to remind them.

But we can’t do it alone. This will require the unified voice of millions. And as that voice grows throughout the web and across the nation, the Cortex will be here to offer new light and pioneering ways to augment that collective voice.

To start, we’ve created this community as a Democracy – where “One person = One Vote” actually applies. Where the Cortex community takes center stage on the front page garnering equal time and space with the Founding Cortex writers. And where higher thought and mutual respect will combine with a culture of independent, investigative journalism to present a new paradigm in online netroots media.

And if you’re wondering what makes us different from all the others, join the crowd. It was a primary consideration when we put this project together.

The good news is that we think we’ve differentiated ourselves in a way that will eventually augment and enhance the effectiveness of the growing voice of the progressive web.

First, we’ve implemented a “Blog Democracy” via a pioneering community editing and voting process unique to the political blogosphere.

Next, we’ve incorporated new and original features such as Keyword Tags, advanced diary voting, and “Quick Posting”.

Also, we’ve removed the community from the periphery and placed it center-stage on the front page.

And finally, we hope to foster a culture of journalistic Independence that inspires a new generation of bold truth-seekers.

Right now, all that’s just a lot of hot air. It’s time to put the proverbial money where our mouth is and make it happen. All it takes is a bit of passion, desire, and motivation -- Throw in a half ton of moxie, and your nearly there. But believe me, we assert these things with the greatest humility.

Oh, we truly believe it can be done -- But we can’t do it without you. We need to work together to turn vision into reality.

So please join us by creating a free Cortex Account right now! It only takes a few seconds, but the benefits will last a lifetime :)

Truly exciting times!

(Check out the list of features provided below the Recommended Reading to get a glimpse of how you can involve yourself as a proud member of the Cortex Community!)

 

Recommended Reading:

About :: (from which this post was shamelessly derived)

Primer :: This will get you started fast and easy – step-by-step

FAQ :: It’s big and it’s bold and it will answer many of your most arcane questions. Give it a try!

If you still have questions after digesting all this (or even before), by all means Contact us anytime!

 

Features

Political Cortex is structured around a community software platform called ‘Scoop’. Although you might have come across some very impressive Scoop sites in the past, you’ve never come across one quite like this. At the Cortex, we make you the star of the show. Sure, we have an extremely talented group of core writers. But one of the primary goals of the site is to give a much greater voice to the community – to make YOU the star.

At the Cortex, you’re not limited to posting comments or creating diaries as you are at most sites. Yes, we have those available to you as well, but then we take it a step further -- offering an entire spectrum of features that allow you to show-off your grand insights, observations, opinions, and analyses. In fact, the entire central column on the front page is dedicated exclusively to articles written by Cortex community members.

Blogocracy : Even more innovative is the Democratic nature by which the community’s front-page submissions are decided. In essence, you, the registered members of the Cortex Community, VOTE on which articles you think should be posted to the front page.

Rest assured, however, that Voting ‘Yay’ or ‘Nay’ is just the beginning. In brief, here are some of the things you can do as a registered user (Each of these will be explained in detail the FAQ):

Submit your Writing : You can submit your personally authored articles to the voting queue and possibly have your work displayed prominently on the front page.

Vote on Submissions : You can vote on others’ article submissions.

Enroll in Blogosphere Writing 101, 201, and 301 (advanced studies) : You can submit your articles and diaries to the ‘editing queue’ where you will receive the invaluable editorial feedback of the community. Yes they will criticize your work, but we cannot stress enough how valuable this process is for both ensuring top-quality writing on the front page AND serving as a training and proving ground for would-be progressive political journalists, writers, and bloggers. This is the place to go if you REALLY want to know what works when it comes to writing for the people.

Write Diaries : You can write ‘diaries’. They aren’t really diaries in the ‘dear diary’ sense of the word, they’re more like ‘journals’ in the ‘I keep a journal’ sense.

Recommend Other’s Diaries : You can ‘recommend’ others’ diaries and likewise have your diaries ‘recommended’ by others. ‘Recommends’ are another sort of community vote that can potentially ‘raise’ your diaries from the ‘Recent Diaries’ section to the more prominent ‘Recommended’ Diaries listing.

Breaking News and Quick Posts : You can write ‘Quick Posts’ for the ‘Nerve Center’. These are breaking news items and otherwise brief posts with only a touch of commentary, and an excerpt and a link to the story. No one will give you a hard time here if your post is ‘too short’. That’s what the ‘Quick post’ is for. It keeps the pulse of the political and breaking news world – the first place you should go when something is happening. That’s why we named this section the ‘Nerve Center’.

Post Comments : You can post comments in any story, diary, or quick post

Reply to Comments : You can reply to specific comments and the author of the original comment will be notified that you did.

Rate Comments : You can rate others comments based on what you feel they add to the conversation -- and your comments will be rated by others as well.

Become a ‘Trusted User’ : You can build up ‘Mojo’ and receive ‘Trusted User’ Status which essentially rewards you with a warm, fuzzy sense of communal respect. It also give you increased power to rate others’ comments more forcefully.

Mailing List – Newsletter : You can receive the ‘Cortex Digest’ Daily, Weekly, or Monthly via email. The newsletter delivers a summary of headlines and excerpts that appear on the Cortex front page to keep you up to date no matter where you are.

Identity : You get your own Username. Have you ever wanted to be ‘Superman’, ‘Mother Nature’, or ‘Hugh Jass’? Now’s your chance. Get ‘em while you can.

‘Hotlist’ Bookmarks : You can bookmark stories and check back to redress an ongoing discussion.

Subscribe : You can ‘subscribe’ to your favorite Cortex writers and receive alerts whenever they post something new.

Discussion Alerts : You can be alerted whenever someone responds to your comments, keeping you in the thick of any ongoing conversation.

So why not go register right now? It’ll only take a moment and the Cortex Community will welcome you with open arms!

 

Again, Welcome to Political Cortex!

Misc | Link


As Good As It Gets?

The Lewis Libby indictment is an overdue rein on the cowboys of the Bush administration. Finally, some accountability is demanded. Finally, the kneecapping suffered by anyone who publicly questions this White House is being revealed. Finally, a little slice of karma has plopped on the administration’s plate.

But let’s be realistic and face the hard fact that this is probably as far as earthly justice will go. Not only is the underlying crime of outing a covert CIA agent swept under the rug, but what lies at the heart of Libby’s criminal activities – an illegal war foisted on innocents through unprecedented, executive-branch con artistry – will likely go uninvestigated till George Bush and Dick Cheney are snug in retirement. Only historians will be left to unravel the monumental scamming allowed to proceed unimpeded and unpunished.

That’s the downside, and perhaps the only justice ever dished out to Dick and George will materialize in the form of their reincarnation as Iraqi children subjected to Air Force cluster bombs.

More...

Bush Administration | Link


Aiding and abetting
10/27/05

t is axiomatic that everyone looks good when things are going well. Dealing with high times isn’t a traumatic test of character, and therefore doesn’t reveal true character. It’s when things get tough that authentic personalities are exposed – and there can be no better example of this psychobabbling truism than today’s Republican Party in action.

With the White House’s upper echelon now in criminal jeopardy, we pause with wonder at how leading GOPers have scrambled, dissembled, backpedaled and raised hypocrisy to new and breathtaking heights. Perjury? Obstruction of justice? Pshaw. Mere misdemeanors, they say, little bumps in the political road that only hypercritical naysayers would condemn as serious.

Remember how, according to Republicans, the national sky was falling when Bill Clinton hit these same bumps? His perjurious ways – and over sex, mind you, not national security – were a bane on our national reputation, an intolerable blight on the presidency and demanding of the harshest punishment: impeachment.

But so much for that. It’s a new age.

More...

Republicans | Link


Michelle Malkin: Blithering Idiot
10/25/05

Malkin (an apologist for GOP racism) wants her more gullible readers (i.e. Republicans) to believe that Democrats buy the black vote, and points to campaign spending by Democrat Jon Corzine as evidence for her conspiracy theory.

Yes, I know, that's hysterical. With only 2% of African-Americans -- plus-or-minus 3.5% -- who approve of George W. Bush, Democrats don't really have to.

However, despite whatever amount that Corzine has allegedly been spending on black churches, it pales in comparison to the amount the Bush Junta and the GOP-controlled Congress has lavished on black evangelicals:

...Bush officials will continue to ladle out millions through their faith-based programs to a handpicked core of top black church leaders. They've already announced a series of conferences that will be held in various cities starting in February to show black church leaders and community groups how to grab more of the faith initiative money. That will be more than enough to assure the active allegiance – or at minimum, the silence – of some black church leaders on those Bush domestic policies that wreak havoc on poor black communities.
So tell us again, Michelle: Who is buying the black vote?

Blowhards | Link


Harriet Miers' "Whitewater"
10/23/05

Bill Clinton and his administration were the targets of a series of politically-motivated investigations (read: "witchunts") that started with a real estate venture called "Whitewater."

A few years and over $60 million in taxpayer dollars later, the GOP used government printing presses to produce "The Whitewater Report," which mentioned "Whitewater" four times and found no wrongdoing -- but had 283 sexual references.

It looks like Miers has her own shady real estate deal, and it's a not as innocent as Clinton's turned out to be:

Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers collected more than 10 times the market value for a small slice of... land in a large Superfund pollution cleanup site in Dallas where the state wanted to build a highway off-ramp.

The windfall came after a judge who received thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from Miers' law firm appointed a close professional associate of Miers and an outspoken property-rights activist to the three-person panel that determined how much the state should pay.

...Mediation efforts in 2003 reduced the award from $106,915 to $80,915, but Miers, who controls the family’s interest in the land, hasn’t reimbursed the state for the $26,000 difference, even after Bush appointed her to the Supreme Court.

First she "forgets" to pay her dues to the Washington, D.C. and Texas bar associations, which suspends her license, then we discover unethical financial dealings between her law firm and Bush's 1998 gubernatorial re-election campaign that she (of course) failed to report on the Senate Judiciary Committee's questionnaire -- which was sent back to her for having "inadequate" and "insufficient" answers.

Bush has traded on his family's name and connections to get everything he has; it's obvious that Miers followed suit, using the Bush family name and her connection to George W. to get her sweetheart land deal.

Just another example of the Republican Party's cronyist Culture of Corruption.

Supreme Court/Judiciary | Link


Republican Noise Machine Busted
10/22/05

More White House propaganda and another arrow in the liberal media myth: Identical unsigned editorials are appearing on the op-ed pages of papers nationwide.

What is an unsigned editorial?

It's the official majority position of a newspaper's editorial board, usually written by the Editor-in-Chief. Instead, several papers owned by different companies have chosen to pass off the work of a right-wing hack named Sean Paige as their own -- which is called, in writing circles, plagiarism.

And the kicker?

...just this month, none other than Sean Paige penned an editorial slamming MoveOn.org members for sending "astroturf" letters to newspapers.
This is a massive scandal, perfectly illustrating the media's right-wing bias and the GOP's use of propaganda. It's also an issue that needs to be given the "DSM Treatment," because the Establishment Media won't cover it, otherwise.

Propaganda/Spin | Link


Cheney vs. Terrorists: Contest of the Ridiculous
10/12/05

Today, we're going to play a little game. It's been a really bad week for the Government, and they're scrambling like mad to cover their respective asses while simultaneously rolling out new terror info in an attempt to throw the media off the trail. The result is that some odd new stories have been coming to light. So here's what we'll do: I have two stories that have what I believe are unbelievable elements. I'll present them, and your objective is to figure out which one is the most deranged. A no-prize to anyone who guesses which story will be contradicted first.

Here we go: Story #1 and Story #2. Read through both, or just check out the synopsis.

THESIS:
#1 - The value of Cheney's stock options (mostly Halliburton) have gone up more than 3,000% over the past year.
#2 - An intercepted letter from al-Qaeda reveals the roots of a plan for Iraq.

THE RIDICULOUS PART:
#1 - Cheney claims he's giving all $8 million in profit to charity.
#2 - The letter was sent by al-Qaeda's #2 in Iraq.

THE OBVIOUS JOKE:
#1 - I hate to break it to Dick, but Lynne Cheney doesn't qualify as a "charity."
#2 - Either they have a lot of #2s or al-Qaeda's zombification project is really coming along.

THE REALLY CONVENIENT PART:
#1 - According to Cheney, his Halliburton stock doesn't constitute a financial interest in Halliburton. Yes, he's really arguing that.
#2 - Quote: "The aftermath of the collapse of American power in Vietnam - and how they ran and left their agents - is noteworthy. ... We must be ready starting now." How convenient - he's saying the exact same thing as the administration.

THE PART I COMPLETELY MADE UP, BUT WOULD FIT ANYWAY:
#1 - Cheney: "Even if I was connected to Halliburton - which I'm not - it's not like they would have given me that much money. Now, if you'll excuse me, Lynne and I are going airplane shopping."
#2 - Zarqawi: "Also, we must be wary not to further inflame the passions of the Great Devil Bush, for he will surely smite us with his unswerving courage and honor, unlike that cowardly John Kerry who would surely have handed us the reigns of power. Also, Michael Moore is fat."

RELATIVE GOODNESS AS DICTATED BY THE GERMATRICULATOR:
#1 - 68%
#2 - 66%

Media | Link


The gruesome overview
10/03/05

For the Bush administration, Iraq is no longer a democratic test tube, or tabula rasa for geopolitical mapmakers, or even a Rovian opportunity to whip injured nationalism into a vengeful froth. It is way beyond that. Iraq has become, instead, nothing more than the administration’s tar baby of Hobson’s choices, Catch 22s, vicious cycles, and proverbial rocks and hard places amidst the desert.

The one bright spot is that Iraq as an immediate problem could very well be thrown out along with Bush’s other fetid bathwaters in 2008. The dark side, however, is that this criminal war has made an international rogue of the United States and the self-made image will linger in the world’s mind for years to come. Furthermore, the neocon Bushies who were intent on flexing America’s muscle to intimidate global girlie-men have instead shown (once again) that raw military power is a 98-pound, counterinsurgent weakling. Indeed, Bush’s excellent Iraq adventure has been an inspiration to the bin Ladens and Zarqawis everywhere waiting to kick sand in our face.

More...

Iraq | Link


The GOP’s elephant in the room
09/30/05

Jeff Jacoby, the Boston Globe’s resident conservative, doesn’t usually get it. Most of his columns - reality-based disconnects of Heritage Foundation fantasies and talking-point drafts for the Limbaugh crowd - leave the thoughtful reader either slackjawed or in stitches. But on Wednesday he actually got it, and perhaps the only thing that rendered readers slackjawed this time around was how “it” could take so damn long to occur.

Mr. Jacoby, it seems, just discovered that present-day, self-ballyhooed conservatives - specifically, those in Congress and the White House - aren’t … well, conservative. In what must have been a etymological epiphany, it came to Jacoby that “conservative” comes from “conserve,” as in to fiscally conserve, and his lads in power aren’t doing anything of the sort.

I don’t know if it was his keen, investigative skills or the endless stream of kids-in-the-candy-store headlines for five years that tipped him off, but whichever it was, he’s hot on the story. And just plain hot. He feels betrayed.

More...

Republicans | Link


The president’s funk could be bad news
09/28/05

I once heard the actor James Cagney reminisce with eloquent brevity about his hard-drinking father. By the time of the younger Cagney’s adolescence, pop, he said, had swilled himself into that psychological vortex of “a good man going downhill fast.”

Most liberals would redact the “good” from that character sketch to describe George W. Bush’s current and personal state of affairs, but even conservatives and their more right-wing and militant brethren privately concur these days with the “going downhill fast” part. Never has a fall from presidential grace occurred with such rapidity and conspicuousness.

Katrina and Rita were huge stories in their own right, of course, but the latter took on a unique hugeness only because it followed the former’s hugeness being simultaneously overshadowed by the huger hugeness of Bush’s incompetence in responding. Political fallout, not nature’s, became Katrina’s primary narrative, and a political eulogy became its color commentary. Bush’s swagger swiftly devolved to feigned humility, then abject supplication. He desperately needs voters to cut him some slack, and the man who claims not to care about polling numbers is now willing to say or do anything to bump them up.

More...

George W. Bush | Link


Recent Posts
  • Political Cortex Launches
  • As Good As It Gets?
  • Aiding and abetting
  • Michelle Malkin: Blithering Idiot
  • Harriet Miers' "Whitewater"
  • Republican Noise Machine Busted
  • Cheney vs. Terrorists: Contest of the Ridiculous
  • The gruesome overview
  • The GOP’s elephant in the room
  • The president’s funk could be bad news
  • Now for something completely different
  • The Friday Evening Political Test
  • Right answers, wrong questions
  • Return to the Borders
  • Abbott and Costello Meet Reality
  • Rich beyond opinion
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  • Conservatism’s favorite fallacy
  • Demagoguing failure
  • Da Grate Communikator
  • Indulging George
  • It’s the National Security, Stupid
  • Cognitive Dissonance on the Right
  • Our re-inflatable president
  • The Queen Mother Speaks!

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