Saturday, February 12, 2005

Not perfect but . . .

GAZA (Reuters) - Hamas promised on Saturday to maintain a de facto truce and, in a major policy change, not to retaliate immediately for any Israeli violence while it weighs Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas's ceasefire with Israel.

[. . .]

This is good news. While Hamas still isn't embracing the ceasefire, the guns are quiet for now.



Iraqi Insurgents Step Up Attacks After Elections

I thought the violence would wind down after the election? (palm slaps forehead) I guess they didn't change the excuse for this month yet.



Dean's In

If you're happy with that choice, reward good behavior.

For the record: I'm happy with the choice. We've set up a blogosphere-wide donation page, so show your support.

I'm happy.

And for the record: Blogger sucks wet monkey ass* again.

Update: 19:50:

Ezra makes a rational argument why you should be happy too.

*The words 'wet monkey ass' courtesy of Maru.

Divine qualifications

Looks like you have the right to worship as you long as it's "Almighty God". I wonder if North Carolina really considers Buhiddism unconstitutional?

[. . .]

Did you know that in some states, a belief in God is a requirement to hold public office? Rob's Blog.


Vietnam flashback via RelentlesslyOptimistic:

The number two Pentagon official said reducing American casualties in Iraq was more important than bringing US troops back home -- and pointed to the rising Iraqi death toll as evidence this strategy was working.

"I'm more concerned about bringing down our casualties than bringing down our numbers," Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz said in an interview with PBS television's "The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer" program. "And it is worth saying that since June 1, there have been more Iraqi police and military killed in action than Americans." [my emphasis]

[. . .]


We had to destroy the country in order to save it. Is there anyone who's not criminally insane over at the Pentagram?

Talking Points

Gillard has a bunch of 'em:

. . .See, there's a double standard here: anything the little racists say is cool. Jonah Goldberg and Rich Lowry can run the upscale race and reason rag known as the NRO and no one will ask if they go too far.

[. . .]

More below the fold . . .

Saturday Cattle Dog Blogging

The Princess in the yard. (Old pic)

Friday, February 11, 2005

Another good chuckle

If it weren't probably true. Rising Hegemon.

Get Kinky, Texas

As you have no doubt heard, Kinky Friedman, entertainer, raconteur, and mystery writer, is running for governor of Texas in an attempt to unseat Rick "Kneel In Awe At The Power Of My Hair" Perry and bring some sanity and spirituality to a corrupt state.

As leader of "Kinky Friedman and the Texas Jewboys", he is noted for such songs as "Asshole From El Paso" (I'm proud to be an asshole from El Paso) and lotsa others. He has churned out carefully crafted 18 mystery novels as well.

I have been a fan for thirty years since my buddy Steve of Storz Performance turned me on to him. Shameless plug for Steve.

Go visit Kinky's site. Click around. Be sure to visit his store. Here's a quote:
I'm a Jew, I'll hire good people.

“If elected, I would ask Willie Nelson to be the head of the Texas Rangers and Laura Bush to take charge of education in the state. I'd ask my Palestinian hairdresser, Farouk Shami, to be Texas ' ambassador to Israel . We've worked together to create Farouk & Friedman olive oil. The oil comes from the Holy land and all of the profits go to benefit Israeli and Palestinian children.”

C'mon, Texas, do the right thing for once. You owe us big time.

Straight from Kinky: "May the God of your choice bless you."

College Republicans

Republicans, in contrast to the Nazis, who actually trained the Hitler Jugend in military skills, appear to be interested only in teaching the “Red” Jugend how to exploit the serving men and women of the U.S. military.

[. . .]

Pudentilla's been on these assholes for the last three days (here, here, and here). It opened my eyes a little more.


Go see RJ over at Night Light.

Make your own

Gannon Implicated In Valerie Plame Leak

This shit just keeps getting better and better. From Kos:
This diary condenses the huge and detailed timeline laid out in the previous diary "Plame leak timeline II".

It lays the case for the leak of the classified 2002 CIA memo to Gannon.

This article is way long, but if you are interested, go read. You owe it to yourself.
In conclusion:

Jeff Gannon was planted by the administration to disseminate their talking points unfettered by any journalism ethics or investigation shortly after the Iraq war, when the failure to find WMDs was becoming apparent. He became incredibly useful in L'Affaire Plame to continue to push the dual stories that a) Plame's name was already common knowledge and therefore `outing' her was not a crime and b) to continue to help discredit the CIA and Wilson.

Based on the evidence, I believe the 2002 CIA memo was leaked to Gannon when Novak became unusable and when the `mainstream' reporters with CIA contacts were not pushing the WH's preferred story line. They needed cover, and they got it.

These assholes are starting to trip all over their little dicks. We may need dual twelve-ropers. Whee!

Update: Democrats Want Investigation of Reporter Using Fake Name. NYTimes article.
The Democrats, Representatives John Conyers Jr. of Michigan and Louise M. Slaughter from Rochester, wrote yesterday to Patrick Fitzgerald, the independent prosecutor appointed in the Plame case, seeking an investigation into how the reporter, James D. Guckert, who used the name Jeff Gannon, had access to classified documents that revealed the identity of Ms. Plame.

Karl Frisch, a spokesman for Ms. Slaughter, said: "This is a guy who could not get credentialed by the House or the Senate press galleries, and yet managed to get into the White House and question the president" and have access to a top-secret document.

Incompetent tyrants

Jesse rants:

[. . .]

Guess what? When Democrats threaten their members to keep them in line, they're doing what they need to do to push forward their ideas. If Arlen Specter hadn't been threatened with what was essentially career destruction; if Tom DeLay wasn't called "The Hammer"; if Republicans didn't break Congressional rules left and right to make sure Democrats never ever win; if Social Security privatization wasn't a combination of some of the worst policy ideas ever proposed; if the Republican leadership wasn't a series of increasingly incompetent tyrants who would just as soon declare you a traitor as use you for a photo-op, then maybe this wouldn't be necessary.

[. . .]

The Media Should Be Ashamed Of Itself

Eric Alterman, in The Nation, blasts the media for it's unconscionable complicity in the crimes and malfeasance of the Bush administration.
The United States government is currently run by a group of people for whom verifiable truth holds no particular privilege over ideologically inspired nonsense. For members of the mainstream media, trying to maintain a sense of self-importance and solemnity and to keep the wing nuts from crowing for more scalps, this requires a series of stratagems to keep up the scripted charade, no matter how foolish it makes them look or feel while doing so.

The easiest of these stratagems is simply to stack the coverage with political partisans and give them free rein to spout GOP propaganda. That's what the cable news networks do, as Media Matters for America demonstrated. Consistent with cable inauguration coverage, for example, MSNBC offered viewers of its State of the Union commentary eleven right-wing pundits and just two Democrats or liberals in response.

The standard for this kind of contentless coverage is set, per usual, by the reporting of the New York Times. If the lead reporter of the newspaper of record can ditch the substance part, well then, so can everybody else. Reporter Todd Purdum marveled at Bush's "penchant for thinking big, or speaking grandly." He then referred to Bush's "first State of the Union address three years ago...he stunned the world with his denunciation of Iraq, Iran and North Korea as an 'axis of evil,' and his warning that he would 'not wait on events while dangers gather.'" Purdum failed to note what was obvious to any "reality based" observer: that the "axis" idea was logically incoherent, and the arguments vis-à-vis Iraq were based on evidence later deemed imaginary. Instead, Purdum explained that Bush "has long since proved both the extent, and the limits, of his ability to match his actions to his words," which is an awfully nice way of saying that the man is full of it.

It's hard to know in a post-truth society what anything means anymore, except more nonsense and lies, dutifully reported.

No Below The Fold on this one. I want you to go read the whole thing.

The Right whines that they are "victims" of the MSM. Yeah, right. Bush&Co. are "victims" of the biggest blow job in history. The American people are the real victims.

The Rapture Index

Jon Carroll of the Ess Eff Chronicle has a good take on a subject that has a lot of the phony christians all a-dither. I left out some, so go read.

Let us consider the Rapture Index. This is a real thing prepared by serious people. If it makes you laugh, you have not gotten the memo. You probably have not read any of the 12 volumes of the "Left Behind" series, the best-selling books in America today.

Those Left Behind are those who did not experience the Rapture, which is an instant in time when all the truly holy people are taken directly to heaven, leaving their clothes in small neat piles behind them. The rest of the ungodly losers are left to deal with natural disasters and wars and the armies of the Antichrist, after which they die in various colorful ways while the ranks of the saved watch with compassion tempered with an understandable sense of satisfaction.

Rejoice, my brethren (and sisteren), for, yea verily, there is ever-so-much more Below The Fold.

A national embarrassment

Via 12thharmonic from the Herald-Sun:

EIGHT months before the September 11 attacks the White House's then counterterrorism adviser urged then national security adviser Condoleezza Rice to hold a high-level meeting on the al-Qaeda network, according to a memo made public today.

"We urgently need such a principals-level review on the al-Qaeda network," then White House counterterrorism adviser Richard Clarke wrote in the January 25, 2001 memo.

Mr Clarke, who left the White House in 2003, made headlines in the heat of the US presidential campaign last year when he accused the Bush White House of having ignored al-Qaeda's threats before September 11.

Mr Clarke testified before inquiry panels and in a book that Rice, his boss at the time, had been warned of the threat. Rice is now US Secretary of State.

However, Ms Rice wrote in a March 22, 2004 column in The Washington Post that "No al-Qaeda threat was turned over to the new administration".

[. . .]

So Condi lied. Duh.

[. . .]

The report by the 9/11 commission that investigated the suicide airliner attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon detailed 52 such warnings given to FAA leaders from April to Sept. 10, 2001, about the radical Islamic terrorist group and its leader, Osama bin Laden. [my emphasis]

[. . .]

The Bush administration is a collection of mass murderers and con men. A criminal enterprise if I ever saw one. I wonder if some District Attorney with nothing to lose would indict them all under the RICO Act. Kos has detail and documents.

A national disgrace

Truthout via RDF:

[. . .]

A comfortable middle-class lifestyle? Good education? Decent job? No safeguards there. Most of the medically bankrupt were middle-class homeowners who had been to college and had responsible jobs -- until illness struck.

As part of a research study at Harvard University, our researchers interviewed 1,771 Americans in bankruptcy courts across the country. To our surprise, half said that illness or medical bills drove them to bankruptcy. So each year, 2 million Americans -- those who file and their dependents -- face the double disaster of illness and bankruptcy.

But the bigger surprise was that three-quarters of the medically bankrupt had health insurance.

[. . .]

Now, I've lived in Europe long enough to see the good and bad of socialized medicine, and I'm not advocating it for this country, but something's gotta be done. The health care system in this country has to be revamped or we're gonna have a huge social crisis as treatments (new drugs and equipment) get more expensive every year. The profit equation has to be taken out or no one but the rich will be able to afford health care. With the good jobs steadily moving offshore and what's left turning into a Wal-Mart nation, too many people are being left behind. Those who have nothing will end up on public assistance and those who have will be wiped out thanks to inadequate coverage. This is a much more immediate problem than Social Security and it would be nice if our lawmakers realized that while they take campaign donations from Big Pharma and Wal-Mart.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Charles and Camilla

All I'll say is good for 'em. They were meant to be together from the get go. I hope they're happy.

Arrgh, Matey! Reefer The Poop! Poop The Reefer!

This one is too good to pass up. From Dana Larsen via AlterNet.
Popeye is one of the world's most well-known and beloved animated characters. Since his creation, the pipe-puffing Popeye has become a global phenomenon, with millions of kids heartily munching on spinach in the hopes that it will make them as strong as the legendary sailor-man.

Yet is the spinach which gives Popeye his super-strength really a metaphor for another magical herb? Have children around the world been adoring a hero who is really a heavy consumer of the forbidden weed – marijuana?

No Below The Fold on this one. Just go read. It'll make your day. I hope Dobson doesn't find out about this one.

Free Speech v. The Neighbors

This news article appeared on KCRA in Sacramento:

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Nestled in a quiet Sacramento neighborhood is a very loud political statement that is testing the very foundation of the right to free speech.

Hanging from a house in Land Park, a soldier's uniform in a noose dangles from a rooftop. The words "your tax dollars at work" are scrolled across the chest.

In a community full of patriotism, this view of the war in Iraq has not gone unnoticed.

More Below The Fold.

Vorsicht, die Untermenschen kommen*

[. . .]

White men should "run, not walk" to wed "racially conscious" white women and avoid being out-bred by non-whites. Latinos are "rising to take this country away from those who made it," the "Euroamericans." Muslims are "human hyenas" who "smell blood" and are "closing in" on their "weakened prey," meaning "the white race." Blacks, Coombs sneers, are "saintly victims who can do no wrong." Black solidarity and non-white immigration are imposing "racial revolution and decomposition" in America.

Coombs describes herself as just "a freelance writer in Crofton, Maryland." But this is one writer who's a bit more well-positioned than she lets on.

Marian Kester Coombs is married to Francis Booth Coombs, managing editor of the hard-right newspaper The Washington Times. Fran Coombs has published at least 35 of his wife's news and opinion pieces for his paper, although his relationship to her is not acknowledged in her Times bylines.

[. . .]

From the Southern Poverty Law Center via Atrios.

Another part of the White House propaganda arm. Ms. Coombs also writes for other outstanding publications.

[. . .]

Most of Marian Coombs' especially inflammatory writings have appeared in white supremacist venues such as The Occidental Quarterly, which ran her glowing review of a book on "racially conscious" whites by Robert S. Griffin, a member of the neo-Nazi National Alliance. But the Times has published its share. [my emphasis]

[. . .]

The defense rests, your honor.

Update: Below the fold . . .

*Caution, here come the subhumans.


Go read the words to this Tom Lehrer song. They are as apropos today as they were in 1965. Via Are You Effin' Kiddin' Me?.
For might makes right,
And till they've seen the light,
They've got to be protected,
All their rights respected,
Till somebody we like can be elected.

I've been a Lehrer fan since the '50s , ever since I heard his lyric, "God made yer eyes/ to plagiarize!"

Amerika Erwache*

I couldn't resist. Stolen from the General.

*America Awaken, from the Nazi propaganda machine's 'Deutschland Erwache' campaign from the mid-30s.

No shit

MSNBC Breaking News

North Korea acknowledges it has nuclear weapons -
North Korea's government publicly acknowledged for the first time Thursday that it has nuclear arms, and said it is suspending participation in six-country talks aimed at getting it to abandon its nuclear ambitions.

I coulda told ya this 20 years ago, though it was classified then. That's why I was so pissed off about this WMD snipe hunt in Iraq. We knew the NKs had nukes all along. So what's the Chimp in Chief gonna do now? Part of the 'axis of evil' admits to having nukes. Are we gona bomb them into next week? Are we gonna get boots on the ground? Nah and the NKs know it. In fact, they're giving Bush the finger in a Castroesque show of defiance:

[. . .]

“We have wanted the six-party talks but we are compelled to suspend our participation in the talks for an indefinite period till we have recognized that there is justification for us to attend the talks,” the North said Thursday.

North Korea said it came to its decision because “the U.S. disclosed its attempt to topple the political system in (North Korea) at any cost, threatening it with a nuclear stick.”

[. . .]

Inept assholes. That's what is running our government.

Wednesday, February 9, 2005

Toot, Toot

Since I'm just screwing around today and blowing Me n' Fixer's collective horn (not easy when you're blushing at all the attention), here's one from the world's newest bush kangaroo:
Gordon of The Alternate Brain is the auspicious protege of an extremely demented muse -- I can prove it...

Good Lord, why can't I write like that?!

"READ THIS, TOO" UPDATE: I finally gathered enough courage to post my first entry under skippy. Can't seem to get a handle on that blockquote thing, though (like I said a few days ago, I hate blockquote -- hate it!)...

posted by Mimus Pauly

Hang in there, Pauly. It's a giant step for a small marsupial.

From Each According To His Abilities....

Shakey Sis made this comment after a post about Bill O'Leilly:
Oh, Lordy, me too. Whenever I see a picture of his fat Irish head, I just want to whack it with a shovel.

Figuratively, of course.

I'll leave the literal ass-whuppin' to Gordon and The Fixer. They'd no doubt be happy to alternate his brain for him.
Shakespeare's Sister

Hey, F-Man! They like us! They really, really like us!

The Ministry of Propaganda

Yup, I start ranting about the Nazis and something else happens to make me believe there will be jackbooted Thought Police in the streets before this is over. I am so glad this was exposed. From the website of another reality-based New Yorker:

More below the fold . . .

And while we're at it

Since my post seemed to strike a chord with people (I wonder why that is), and since I'm always telling folks that I'm waiting for my draft notice to come any day (I tell my boss that he and I are gonna be working in a motor pool in Kuwait), I thought I'd relay this little story.

More below the fold . . .

Reality-based budget

Not!!!! Glen at A Brooklyn Bridge points out a few things in Bush's new budget:

[. . .]

It assumes that all discretionary spending outside of military and domestic security - everything from paperclips to space shuttles - will be frozen for the next five years.

[. . .]

It includes no spending for the war in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2006. Those costs are now running about $5 billion a month and are likely to continue at some level in the 2006 fiscal year and beyond.

[. . .]

Discretionary spending frozen . . . for 5 years . . . Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha! We're talking about the U.S. Congress here right? Well, I needed a good laugh before dealing with the traffic on the Long Island Expressway.

Tuesday, February 8, 2005

Cautious optimism

SHARM EL SHEIK, Egypt - In a crucial step heralded as a fresh start to peacemaking, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas promised Tuesday to halt all acts of violence and agreed to meet again soon to tackle the tougher issues that for decades have blocked the road to peace.

[. . .]

Hamas isn't completely on board and the radical Jews are . . . well . . . the radical Jews, but this is still good news.

Doing nothing

Via 12thharmonic:

…The question for the citizen is simply this; when is it no longer acceptable to “do nothing”?

[. . .]

The calculated savaging of civil liberties and the stunning assault on human rights proves without any doubt the President has abandoned any pretense of honoring his sworn obligation to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States”. . . [my emphasis]

They learned it in the schools

I remember my mother telling me about the year (August 1936) she returned to school after summer break to find Hitler's picture hanging in every classroom. She came home that day and told her mother (my grandmother), who dutifully marched up to the school with my mom the next morning. The conversation with the headmaster went something like this:

More below the fold . . .

More Truths

If you have not read Juan Cole's essay tearing Jonah Goldberg a new one, as linked to in Fixer's post, do so now and come back after.

Wasn't that good? I wish people would do that kind of shit on TV so the Retard Right who support this war might see it. I liked this e-mail to Goldberg by the father of a Marine:
Dear Mr. Goldberg,

Here's a compromise to your dilemma as to whether to get your ass into the killing zone (more accurately, the be killed, be shot, or be blown up zone). Go to the nearest Veterans Hospital you can find, go up to some soldier or Marine who lost a limb in Iraq because his reserve or National Guard unit wasn't equipped with body armor or armored vehicles, and explain to him why we had to go to war in Iraq on March 20, 2003, and why we couldn't (a) wait to see if actual evidence of WMD's ever surfaced, and (b) wait until our military was properly equipped for the war.

By the way, I'm one of those parents who had to go shopping at home to send essential items to my son's Marine Corps Reserve Unit. And I, like most intelligent people with more than an ounce of common sense, knew without a shadow of a doubt that there was no military threat to the U.S. from Iraq, imminent or otherwise, when this war was launched.

Jim Finkelstein

Unfortunately, there are too many clowns like Goldberg who blindly support this criminal intimidation administration and not enough guys like Cole. Actually, there are plenty of them, but it's the wrong guys who get the mainstream access.

Hard-Core Moral Values

ABC News has this on hard-core porn distributors and who they donate money to. It should come as no surprise.
While its previous owners considered adult entertainment "immoral," Adelphia Communications Corp., the country's fifth-largest cable television provider, last week became the first to offer hard-core adult films on pay-per-view to its subscribers.

While the corporations generate millions in profits from providing adult content, their political contributions are often given to those elected, in no small part, because of their stance on "moral values."

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Comcast Cable has given millions in political donations since 1998. The national Republican Party committees are its biggest organizational recipient, with donations totaling $851,000. President Bush is its biggest individual recipient with $109,000 in donations (my emphasis).

Adelphia has given $166,000 to Republican committees, $17,000 to conservative Rep. John Peterson, R-Pa., and $12,000 to Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., one of the most conservative members of the Senate.

Conservative activist Donna Rice Hughes, president of the anti-porn group Enough Is Enough, calls these corporations "white-collar pornographers." She says politicians who espouse "family values" should refuse their donations.

Refuse donations? Are you out of your mind, lady? These are Republicans!

I don't care what folks watch. None of my business. That's not the problem. The problem is high level hypocrisy, and it is rampant and widespread among those who deign to tell us what our 'moral values' should be.

Yowzah, Cap'n Georgie, Sir

The Black Commentator has this article on why so-called 'Black leaders' are supporting Bush's moral values' at the expense of their own people's best interests.
The corporate-Republican onslaught against the Black Political Consensus, conceived in the war rooms of rightwing think tanks a decade ago, is in full fury. Massively financed by, first private, and now public dollars, the campaign to create the perception of an alternative, conservative Black “leadership” is on the march in all regions of the nation, sowing confusion and alarm among authentic African American political formations. As expected, the corporate media certified that the 22 bought-and-paid-for ministers and corporate front persons showcased at the White House last week were, indeed, “Black leaders.”

Today, Republicans offer corrupt ministers billions on condition that they dramatically break from the historical Black Political Consensus and, hopefully, crack the fragile Democratic coalition. The homosexual “threat” is a smokescreen for treachery. For every outraged Black preacher howling that he’s giving up on the Democrats because of the gays, there is a check or the promise of a check.

And maybe a visit to the White House.

Un-PC, and please forgive me, but everybody knows dat dem darkies want to go see if the massa's house really has gold toilets.


Just adding this before I go out the door. Juan Cole slaps Doughboy Goldberg around some more (good for the weasel bastid), but the paragraph that got me was this:

[. . .]

I don't think there is anything at all unpatriotic about a young man opposing a war and declining to enlist. But a young man (and this applies to W. and Cheney too) who mouths off strongly about the desirability of a war is a coward and a hypocrite if he does not go to fight it.

[. . .]

This should be one of Life's underlying truths. Maybe we wouldn't have so many wars.


Sister directed me here in 'comments'. You should read it too.


[. . .]

As good liberals, we want to believe in human perfectibility; sometimes, I think, because we want so much to make things right, we believe that anything can be made right. But I'm afraid human nature, as revealed through history, is against us (the Holocaust; Pol Pot; the Irish potato famine, "Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees"). That's our problem of evil: we want to believe that evil is not real.

But conservatives—or should I say "conservatives"—believe so strongly that they are good, that they fall into the trap of believing that only others can be evil ("evil doers"). In fact, Christianity teaches that evil is an inherent part of the human condition; all of us are capable of; this is called original sin. That is the conservative's problem of evil: They want to believe that evil is only real in others (compare Winger Projection Syndrome.)

[. . .]

An outstanding essay by Lambert at Corrente. Go read while I'm at work.

Monday, February 7, 2005

I know it's early

But I'm happy:

SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt (Reuters) - Israel and the Palestinians will announce a formal cease-fire to halt four years of bloodshed when their leaders meet for a landmark summit in Egypt on Tuesday, both sides said on Monday.

Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas are to meet in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh for the highest-level meeting between the sides since a Palestinian uprising broke out in 2000.

[. . .]

The best I'll let myself hope for is that they stop killing each other. Things have taken an interesting turn since the Palestinian elections and it looks like Abbas is serious about keeping the factions under control. Let's hope Hamas actually does want what's best for their people as they've been saying for as long as I can remember.

Free Press

That's a laugh. From Matt Yglesias:

Yet another in a depressing continuing series. Josh Marshall notes that the Republican National Committee is now threatening legal action against media outlets and independent advocacy groups who criticize the president. The RNC, as I trust I needn't point out, is, at this point, rather intimately connected to the state apparatus of this fine nation of ours. Now to be fair, in Russia they prefer to silence critics with legal action unrelated to the substance of the criticism. Trying to make use of libel and slander laws to shield political leaders from criticism is more the sort of thing you see in Singapore or Jordan. Still, the basic point should, I think, be clear. But libertarians need no longer worry about President Bush -- after all, all of this is being done for the sake of gutting Social Security!

[. . .]

And you know there are judges out there who'll rule in favor of these idiots. Don't say I didn't warn ya. Repeat after me, "Deutschland űber Alles!"

Fuck. . . support the troops


WASHINGTON, Feb. 6 - President Bush's budget would more than double the co-payment charged to many veterans for prescription drugs and would require some to pay a new fee of $250 a year for the privilege of using government health care, administration officials said Sunday.

[. . .]

Veterans groups attacked the proposals. Richard B. Fuller, legislative director of the Paralyzed Veterans of America, said: "The proposed increase in health spending is not sufficient at a time when the number of patients is increasing and there has been a huge increase in health care costs. It will not cover the need. The enrollment fee is a health care tax, designed to raise revenue and to discourage people from enrolling."

Mr. Fuller added that the budget would force veterans hospitals and clinics to limit services. "We are already seeing an increase in waiting lists, even for some Iraq veterans," he said.

[. . .]

That's Chimpy Inc.'s approach to everything. Use 'em up, throw 'em away.

...And You Get Your Own Humvee, Too!

No little flu bug is going to prevent me from bringing you the latest news that you can't live without. The NY Daily News has two stories on female G.I. mud wrestling in Iraq. Here and here.
In front of a cheering male audience, two young women wearing only bras and panties throw themselves into a mud-filled plastic kiddie pool and roll around in a wild wrestling match.

A young blond lifts her T-shirt to expose her breasts. A brunette turns her back to the camera and exposes her thong undies.

Photos of a wild Oct. 30 party at the camp show women soldiers baring their breasts to male onlookers, and other female G.I.s clad only in bras and panties wrestling and cavorting in a mud-filled plastic pool as men cheer, leer and snap pictures.

It looks like the Army is trying new ways to stimulate recruitment, nez pas?

Get well soon

Ol' Gord is under the weather with the flu. Hope you feel better soon, pardner.

Sunday, February 6, 2005


Kevin Drum:

THE SOCIAL SECURITY CON GAME....If there's any single area where conservatives have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams, it's in convincing the populace that government sucks. Sure, they got a great kickstart from Vietnam and Watergate, but it was decades of railing against waste and fraud and incompetence that finally won the day for them. [my emphasis]

[. . .]

Ain't it the truth. That's what I don't get about the average Joe Republican. He's one of those guys who's supposed to hate big government, hate deficit spending, hate nation-building. Yet, with all that, he voted for Bush and is proud of it. How the average Republican guy on the street (as opposed to the ones feeding at the government trough) can convince himself to look the other way as Chimpy runs up the deficit, increases the size of the federal government to record levels, and undertakes this nation-building folly in Iraq is incomprehensible to me. How can 51% of this country refuse to see the obvious? Quoting the Sister: . . .

More below the fold . . .

[I'm trying something here with the 'More below the fold' link. Part of my quest to make the Brain easier to read. I'm gonna try keep the size of the posts on the front page small, so readers can scan over more posts without having to scroll forever to get through the long posts to see what's below. I'm only gonna post the first paragraph of really long posts here and link to the rest. This is just in the testing phase. If it works out well, I'll get my partners in on it too. As always, comments are solicited. BTW comments to the posts will stay on this page - the F-man]

'Tort reform'

From DavidNYC blogging at Kos:

In a little-noticed move this week, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted, by a 13-5 margin, to approve the purposefully mis-named "Class Action Fairness Act" (PDF). (Three Democrats joined all ten Republicans.) What does this bill do, and why is it so harmful?

The CAFA requires that most class-action lawsuits be brought in federal, rather than state, court. On first blush, this might sound like a good idea: If you've got a truly national case with lots of plaintiffs from around the country, then your intuition might tell you the suit should proceed in federal court. And that's precisely what the bill's sponsors want you to believe.

The problem is this: The federal courts are already over-burdened and under-funded. This bill would force cases from fifty different state systems - which can better share the burden - into one jammed-up federal system. The delays for class actions would be enormous - long enough, quite probably, to serve as a deterrent to bringing worthy claims.

[. . .]

Yup, think 'Clear Skies', 'Healthy Forests', and 'No Child Left Behind'.

Oy gevult

Rummy's making the rounds of the talking heads this morning. Seen the war criminal on Little George and Russert. Now, I've known my share of bullshit artists, pretty good at it myself, but I have never seen anybody talk a line like he does. Yeesh.

Note: Watch MTP and sit through Rummy's shit for the first 30 minutes just to see the interview with Teddy Kennedy afterward. He's got some good ideas.

Update: 15:45:

Blondie dissects
the war criminal.

So true

From the General:

[. . .]

It's amazing how much things have changed. Four years ago, a man couldn't admit to his love for violence. Now, we have pastors who tell us to watch gladiator movies because "God designed men to be dangerous," Marine generals who joyfully proclaim their love for shooting brown people, and sixteen-year old Christian columnists who defend them.

[. . .]

Now I'm a dangerous dude, fuck with me and find out, but I don't like throwing somebody a beating. Haven't done it in over 15 years, closer to 20. I don't like violence, I've seen too much of it. Unfortunately, those who get off on it are now in positions of power and it's fucking scary.

The Constitution

Another good one via Encino Man:

They keep talking about drafting a Constitution for Iraq. Why don't we just give them ours? It was written by a lot of really smart guys, it's worked for over 200 years...

...and we're not using it anymore.