New Coup Math

Al points out the insanity involved in the Honduras coup regime's decision to cut ties with the OAS:

The Honduras coup’s behavior virtually assures that come Monday, the US government will define it as a “military coup,” triggering a cut off of US aid, joining the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, PetroCaribe, the UN and the rest of the world in withdrawing economic support for the coup regime. (The US had already put all funds on "pause" this week, so the boycott has already begun and merely awaits formal moves to become permanent.)

This is very significant because of Honduras’ annual $3.5 billion budget, $2.3 billion – 65 percent - comes from those foreign sources.

What's a couple of billion dollars when you're trying to defend the country's democracy from the depravations of its citizens?

Giordano speculates that the coup might try to fill the budget shortfall with money from a Cuban ex-pat network better known for arms dealing, drug pushing and occasional acts of terrorism.

In other words, there's a decent chance Honduras is on its way to becoming something closer to Somalia than Iran.

Welcome to Obama's first real foreign policy crisis.


Being teeveeless and innerwebsless at home for the moment, I missed this awesomely funny routine from the Glenn Beck Half-Sane Comedy Hour.

Heh heh. Another al Qaeda attack would be good for America. Top that one, Colbert!

You'll notice how Beck has it both ways too with his "Osama's not that stupid" remark. Either there'll be another attack because Obama is soft, or there won't be another another attack because Obama is soft. bin Laden is too smart to exploit our vulnerability because that would... errr... clue us in to our vulnerability. Or something. It's not really about the logic so much as making sure no matter what happens in reality, it fits into the Obamuslimarxist storyline.

The Growing Blogger Threat

Rany Jazayerli, Baseball Prospectus writer and blogger and longtime fan of the Royals, has been blacklisted by the club for pointing out that their track record on keeping their players healthy sucks and suggesting that they might want to do something about it.

Somewhere in DC, Dana Milbank is buying a Royals cap. Of course that assumes he doesn't own one already, since anybody still writing for the Washington Post clearly has no problem being associated with losing brands.

Yay Me

Patrick, one of Sully's elves, posted my letter (the one I put up below.)

June Travesties

39 different songs sung this month.

Question: how come whenever I ask a hot gal what they want to hear me sing, the answer is invariably 'Pearl Jam'... ?

  • Against the Wind - Bob Seger
  • America Fuck Yeah! - from Team America: World Police
  • Behind Closed Doors - Charlie Rich
  • Better Man - Pearl Jam
  • Bizarre Love Triangle - New Order
  • Boogie On Reggae Woman - Stevie Wonder
  • Breaking Us in Two - Joe Jackson
  • Brown Eyed Girl - Van Morrison
  • Buffalo Stance - Neneh Cherry
  • Electric Avenue - Eddy Grant
  • Even Flow - Pearl Jam
  • Everlong - Foo Fighters
  • Flathead - Fratellis
  • Go With The Flow - Queens of the Stone Age
  • Have I the Right - Honeycombs
  • Human Nature - Michael Jackson
  • Hungry Like the Wolf - Duran Duran (w/live band)
  • Hurt - Johnny Cash
  • Karma Police - Radiohead
  • Little Red Corvette - Prince
  • Mac the Knife - Bobby Darin
  • Maggie May - Rod Stewart (w/live band)
  • Miss You - Rolling Stones
  • Modern Love - David Bowie
  • Need You Tonight - INXS
  • Peace Train - Cat Stevens
  • Peg - Steely Dan
  • Revolution - Beatles
  • See You Again - Miley Cyrus
  • Senses Working Overtime - XTC
  • Set Adrift on Memory Bliss - PM Dawn
  • Skullcrusher Mountain - Jonathan Coulton
  • Slow Hands - Interpol
  • Street Spirit - Radiohead
  • Sunshine of Your Love - Cream (w/live band)
  • Tangled Up in Blue - Bob Dylan
  • The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance - Gene Pitney
  • Train in Vain - Clash
  • Whistle For the Choir - Fratellis

Meanwhile, Back In Honduras...

Two military battalions stationed along the north coast have turned against the coup, and the regime is cracking down on the independent press.

Certainly sounds like the actions of a group just trying to defend the Constitution, doesn't it? (insert eye roll here)

"It would be a terrible precedent if we start moving backwards into the era in which we are seeing military coups as a means of political transition rather than democratic elections," he added. "The region has made enormous progress over the last 20 years in establishing democratic traditions. ... We don't want to go back to a dark past."

I'm sure, just like on Iran, that merely being historically aware and completely right won't be enough for some people.

Huh, weird. I almost have this feeling of deja vu...

"Mark my words," the Democratic vice presidential nominee said at a Seattle fundraiser Sunday, "it will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy. The world is looking. We're about to elect a brilliant 47-year-old senator president of the United States of America. Remember I said it standing here if you don't remember anything else I said. Watch, we're gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy."

"I can give you at least four or five scenarios from where it might originate," Biden said, including the Middle East and Russia as possibilities, "and he's gonna need help. And the kind of help he's gonna need is, he's gonna need you - not financially to help him - we're gonna need you to use your influence, your influence within the community, to stand with him. Because it's not gonna be apparent initially, it's not gonna be apparent that we're right."

Oh that wacky Joe, always saying crazy shit.

Moving Day

So, I'm moving tomorrow. Things are getting boxed up. Fortunately I don't have any weeding out to do, that having been done before I got to my current (and soon to be ex-) digs.

Internet service may be interrupted for a bit, but I shouldn't be dark for long.

The bad thing about this is that I'm moving into an apartment building, which I do not like. Sterile, vanilla, cookie-cutter layouts are not my thing. Still, the view is great (15th floor, facing south towards the lake so you can just see a ribbon of water over all the condos) and there's a pool on the roof of the building (with, of course, an even better view) so there is some refuge for my soul when I'm feeling too angsty.

Letter-Writing Time!


Al's capable of defending himself, but he wasn't comparing the political situation in Honduras to that of Iran -- he was comparing the reactions of the people on the street in both countries to having their democratic rights stolen away by authoritarian power. The YouTube clip in particular, with a woman swiping in frustration at a line of soldiers as they go by (and the soldiers not reacting with anything like lethal violence) has direct echoes in footage we've seen from Tehran over the last two weeks.

As for the argument that Zelaya was the one engaging in the 'coup' (however 'soft') and that the military was just upholding the Constitution, it's pure nonsense -- unless you think there's something un-Constitutional about a non-binding referendum asking the people whether they wanted to hold a Constitutional Assembly down the road.

Trying to argue that what Zelaya was doing was un-Constitutional is like temperance defenders arguing that Congress passing a bill in 1933 calling for state conventions to ratify a new amendment abolishing the 18th was un-Constitutional. Zelaya was explicitly working within the system to change the Constitution; the Supreme Court just didn't like the changes he wanted to make, and tried to shut down the process before it even started.

If the military are just acting in the best interest of the people of Honduras, why were they so unwilling to see what the people of Honduras had to say about Zelaya's proposal... ?

All Is Right With the Universe

Brazil wins 3-2, and that's with a goal being disallowed because it was (incorrectly) ruled not to have crossed the line.

The Next Iran

Based on this I think Egypt moves to the head of the pack.

Figures released yesterday by the Information and Decision Support Center of Egypt's Council of Ministers paint a grim picture of the situation in Egypt. About 21% of work-eligible young Egyptians (29 years old and younger) cannot find a job. To put matters in perspective, the current unemployment rate in the U.S., during one of the country's worst economic recessions, is below 10%.
Hmm. Young population? Check. Young population hooked into the innerwebs? Check. Young population, hooked into the innerwebs, just sitting around with nothing to do but take to the streets given the right excuse? Check.

El-Shimy's conclusion is a little more ominous than mine though:

When 20 of every 100 young Egyptians spend most of their time hanging out at the local coffee shop, smoking shisha financed by the meager allowance their parents give them, they are unlikely to silently accept the probable transfer of power from Mubarak to his son. Additionally, they are likely to fall prey to all sorts of "isms" that tell them why the world is such a nasty and an unjust place.

Let's hope the Iranians of 2009 give them a better blueprint for change than the Iranians of 1979.

Honduran Coup Not Off To a Good Start

From the emergency session of the OAS:

This is a blow not to Honduras but to democracy in all of Latin American and a blow the the Inter-American Charter. This is a reality-- a reality that this body should condemn as unacceptable. This is an emergency, so we appreciate that the Sec. General (SG) is traveling tomorrow to Honduras. We call for the immediate return to democratic institutions, to convoke an extraordinary session of the General Assembly (GA), to defend institutions in Honduras. This is an act of brute force that disrupts democracy in a neighboring country. The Inter-American Charter (does not include force) but it gives us an arsenal of moral arms sufficient to restore democracy in Honduras.

This coup seems to be as poorly thought-out as Ahmadi's election fraud. The military rousted Pres. Zelaya out of his bed the morning of an election, and then instead of sitting on him until the coup was entrenched (or killing him) they just shipped him off to Costa Rica in his pyjamas.

Maybe they were hoping being seen in public in his PJs would undermine his legitimacy?

At any rate, they tried booting out a popular president with no support at all from the US, which is pretty dumb in and of itself, so the rest of the idiocy can't be that surprising.

What the Hell?

2-0 US over Brazil at the half in the Confederations Cup final.

That can't be right.

Three Bloodclots and a Blogger

Atrios got this up first, I think, and whether Milbank actually called Pitney a dick after the segment was done or not, the fact that it's even a plausible story just goes to show how much of a bloodclot Dana really is.

Just so I'm perfectly clear: there is no story here. The Beltway Bloodclots got pwned, and so their dander is up, and they're whining about 'collusion' because a blogger had access they didn't have. No, not to the White House -- to Iranians. Do you think an Iranian blogger was going to be emailing Milbank a question for the president? Not bloody likely.

Hell, the press conference would have been more informative if all the questions had come from Iranians via Nico.