Saturday, May 7, 2005

"Healthy Forests"

Yeah, right.

May 5 (Bloomberg) -- The Bush administration issued rules today that could open up as many as 58.5 million acres of U.S. forestland to road building, logging, mining and other commercial purposes, clearing the last remnants of a ban imposed in 2001.

The U.S. Forest Service can begin allowing 34.3 million acres of national lands to be opened to road building as early as next week, and the rule gives state governors the option to request use for an additional 24.2 million acres. The Agriculture Department said states had 18 months to protest the changes.

[. . .]

"Mushroom clouds"

SEOUL — As North Korea accelerates the pace of its nuclear weapons program, the United States and its allies have limited options to prevent one of the world's poorest and most erratic nations from becoming a nuclear power.

[. . .]

I know I talk about this a lot, basically because the press has decided not to . . . until that little lunatic in North Korea does something to get their attention. I spent three years of my life in South Korea, not far from the DMZ. I love and respect the Korean people, and I look back on my time spent with them with fondess. It's an area rich in history and culture, and the last thing I want to see is this land become the blast point of the next regional conflict. They went through enough earlier this century.

More below the fold . . .

Weekend reading

Chapter 12 of Empires is up . . . for those who give a shit.

Thanks a lot

Now shut the fuck up. Via Skippy, vets write letters to our leaders:

my husband, ramey evans, jr. passed away a few weeks ago knowing what the government thought about him and his service in the korean war. he was denied enrollment because he had saved a little too much money to live on in his retirement years, along with his social security. it didn't matter that he had earned the right to have help with his medicine, he didn't get it. he put off going to the va for help because he would have to travel so far. . .

dear mrs. bush, i have written to your husband regarding this issue but also wanted to write you. given that you are a mother you will probably be more sympathetic to my particular situation and the impact that insufficient va funding has on it. i have 2 children, a 9 year-old daughter a a 15 month-old son. i have a service-connected disability, my back, and have had great difficulty in receiving treatment. the va doctors tell me things like "don't pick up your child". Iim sure you can realize that as a mother it is literally impossible not to pick up a baby. since an injury in january my back has been very bad. it took me until monday, may 2,05 to get the va to do a ct scan. this scan shows that i have a significant bulge on one of my discs. i believe that it has taken so long to get any progress on treatment because the va finds itself out of money. . .


Found this while rooting around over at Cmdr. Sue's place. Good links, good info, and pretty Cool Government.

Friday, May 6, 2005

Today's Wolcott

Found this gem in James Wolcott's post on George Galloway who got re-elected to Parliament in the UK and had a few things to say to Mr. Blair.
But at least in this country we're thrashing out vital issues in the meantime, such as steroids in sports, the of disposition of Terri Schiavo's feeding tube, if the Ten Commandments belong in every washroom, and whether or not convicted sex offenders should be forced to drive with pink license plates in the state of Ohio. We'll have those culture-war controversies all nice and tidy by the time the earth begins to bake and Bush has chain-sawed the last standing tree.

Sic 'em, Jimmy.

Kick rocks, ye sinners Democrats!

From DailyKos:
For those that thought that there has not been a full scale war lanched against liberals; for those who didn't take the radical right's promise to "eradicate liberals" seriously, I present to you, Exhibit A: East Waynesville Baptist Church has just kicked out all its Democratic members.

Yes. You read that right. If you didn't vote for Bush, you had to "repent your sin". And finally, they figured why deal with the liberal sinners at all..

Looks like the Retardiligious Right has learned something from gays: they're starting to come out of the closet.

Go read. Many links to reports on these nutjobs.

Bomb Scare

Just so you folks don't think us hicks up hyar in the hills are behind the times, I offer this from the Sierra Sun web site:
A suspected bomb at the downtown Truckee Amtrak station was determined to be a false alarm Thursday night, but not before the historic main street area was evacuated for several hours.

The discovery of a black leather brief case placed near a gas meter at the Amtrak depot on Truckee’s historic Commercial Row forced the evacuation of the area at about 5:15 p.m. and closed down the Union Pacific Railroad’s main route over the Sierra Nevada for approximately four hours.

After the Placer County Sheriff’s Office bomb squad reported to the scene at approximately 8 p.m., officers X-rayed the brief case and then fired a water cannon at it. The luggage failed to explode. Officers then opened the bag at about 9:15 p.m. to discover clothing items, according to Alex Terrazas, the Town of Truckee’s assistant to town manager.

“It’s better to be safe than sorry,” Terrazas said.

The discovery of the suspicious brief case came after Amtrak officials contacted the Town of Truckee earlier in the week during routine communications to be on the lookout for suspicious activity, Terrazas said.

It seems anymore that the latest terror weapon is the well-placed laundry bag, cleverly designed to shut down the commerce of the nation. I wonder if "leaving a suitcase full of clothes where it scares the crap out of big, tough law enforcement types and causes them to massively over-react and make everybody leave Happy Hour and call bomb dogs from miles away" is: A) a felony; B) Chargeable to the owner for law enforcement expense; or C) Covered by Homeland Security funds?

If ya wanta see the bus & train station (Truckee Intermodal Transportation Terminal - TITT) that woulda been splinters if the clothes had gone off, see the Truckee Web Cam. If it's pointed at a gas station, try again later.

If I wanted 'em to evacuate anything I'da left my laundry inside. Whee-eww!

Global warming? Puh!

From RelentlesslyOptimistic:

Mark has some good links up too. Go there.

Pauly writes

To John Kerry:

[. . .]

Now, however, your website plans to run an ad in Tuesday's USA Today. And you're asking for donations. More money. Again. Lord, I don't understand...
Call me disrespectful, Senator, but I really don't think it's asking too much of you to, just one friggin' time, solicit Theresa for the necessary funds before you come panhandling to that portion of your 55 million plus still willing to lend you a goddamned ear. Precious few of us are sitting on family fortunes, in case you were unaware...

[. . .]

F-man's music

On the CD changer in my truck this week:

1. Showbiz Kids - Disc 1 - Steely Dan
2. Showbiz Kids - Disc 2 - Steely Dan
3. Back in the High Life - Steve Winwood
4. Joe's Garage - Vol. 1 - Frank Zappa
5. The Very Best of Van Morrison
6. Collected works for the Organ - J.S. Bach

A picture is worth . . .

Courtesy of Riggsveda @ Corrente.

Intelligent [cough] Design

From the Lady of the Lake:

[. . .]

The need of fundamentalists and others to have the details of the Bible accepted as empirical fact has always puzzled me. My minister Dad always used to say that if you can prove it, then it's no longer faith. Buddhists, for example, subject their faith to no such demands -- Buddhist teachers throughout the millennia have made up stories about the life of the Buddha to demonstrate their teachings. But Buddhists have a much more fluid notion of "reality" than the fundies, and nobody is going to take to the streets protesting the veracity of these stories, or lack thereof.

[. . .]

I give damn what people believe. If ya want to believe the Earth is flat and 6000 years old, have a nut. But don't force the state to teach my kid your bullshit. If you want your kid to learn this silliness, send him to a Christian school.

Update: 14:25:

Incertus has something related:

I swear to god, the next time someone tries to pull that "christianity is under attack in America" bullshit again, I'm gonna pop 'em right in the fucking mouth. You want to know just how much of a vise grip christianity has on the nuts of this nation? Check this story out.

Thursday, May 5, 2005

Support Our Troops...But not at our church

You'd think that most Southern Californians would know what a Marine looks like, being that Camp Pendleton is located here. But apparently not. Churchgoers in Rancho Cucamonga called the police on three Marines after they attended their church for the second time, thinking they were skinheads.

Note to Jesus: If you make an appearance at this church during your second coming, make sure your locks are long, boy, or you'll be cuffed and stuffed and driven downtown.

Dry, and with sandpaper too...

Thanks (I think) to John Howard via Shakespeare's Sister for this awful thought!

[Link is not work-safe - F-man]

The stench of hypocrisy 6

JJ at Big Brass Blog:

Well here it is! In my home town of Spokane WA, Republican, homophobe, Mayor Jim West has been using his office to lure boys.

[. . .]

The self-hating gays sicken me as much as the self-hating blacks. Anyone who allows themselves to be used as a tool to the detriment of their own interests turns my stomach.

On the De-lurking bandwagon

The Sister has a good idea:

Elise at After School Snack has declared this De-Lurking Week. So, if there are any silent but loyal Shakers out there, speak up, leave a comment, and reveal yourselves (if you dare)!

[. . .]

If you lurk through here, leave a comment today. Just say hi if you can't manage a sentence. Besides, I need some new people to bitch to. Just kiddin'.

Activist Judges Indeed!

From Paperwight's Fair Shot:
We continue the long, bruising slide toward a Republican Fundamentalist state. From the ABA Journal by way of ACSBlog:

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled a Virginia county can refuse to let a witch give the invocation at its meetings by limiting the privilege to clergy representing Judeo-Christian monotheism.

I guess this means our Santeria friends can quit gussyin' up them chickens in preparation for the City Council meeting.

Spend, spend, spend

Washington - The House on Wednesday approved an $81.4 billion emergency spending package for combat and reconstruction in Iraq and Afghanistan, which would push the total cost of the wars beyond $300 billion.

By a 388-43 vote, the House gave President Bush most of the money he had requested, with strong support from both Republicans and Democrats. The Senate will consider its version in April.

The legislation is the fifth emergency spending plan Bush has sent to Congress for wars since the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. It provides $76.8 billion for defense-related expenses and, overall, is roughly $500 million less than the president's request. [my emphases]

[. . .]

But we have to cut taxes for the rich folks too. And we have to pass an energy bill that gives the oil companies billions in tax breaks. Yet we underfund No Child Left Behind by 24 Billion. I'm getting sick of carrying the water for these assholes.

Link via RDF.

New Republican message on Iraq?

Ah, zee truth, she may be starting to emerge. From the Sacramento News & Review:
Al Eaton was all set to toss Dan Lungren’s letter in the trash when he noticed something that amazed him. The Rio Vista resident already had no idea why Sacramento’s Republican congressman would be sending him a “reply” for “contacting” his office, given that Eaton had never written to him in the first place. But apparently, Lungren had something to say to the retired high-school teacher and liberal Democrat.

The letter, dated April 4, 2005, starts off by defending the Republican Congress’ push of House Resolution 6, energy legislation that allows drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). While critics say the oil in ANWR would last only six months, Lungren argues that it could last 25 years by being used to “supplement rather than replace our need for foreign oil.” (Congress passed the bill on April 21.)

But it’s what comes next that caught Eaton’s attention. While discussing the nation’s dependency on foreign oil, Lungren writes, “I feel quite strongly that as long as we have our military in the Middle East fighting so that we can continue to purchase oil from that region (my emphasis), we have an obligation to find alternatives to foreign oil. It is difficult to justify the death of even one soldier when we are not doing everything in our power to explore options for oil within our country.”

But was this really a slip in judgment or a sign that Republican leaders are shifting the rhetoric on Iraq one more time?

Ironically, polls are beginning to suggest the public may be psychologically prepared for a shift in rhetoric from the war on terrorism to a battle for oil. According to Editor & Publisher last week, the Gallup Poll shows that half of all Americans now say the Bush administration deliberately misled Americans about whether Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, a 20-percent increase from 2003.

Still, even if there is truth behind Lungren’s apparent rhetorical slip, not everyone is pleased to hear it. After hearing Lungren’s remarks, California Democratic Party spokesman Bob Mulholland characterized the letter as a “tragic” example of Republican hypocrisy.

“Lungren was a 220-pound football player that avoided serving in Vietnam by using a knee injury as an excuse not to go,” countered Mulholland. “He consistently avoided the military. Now that he gets to use it, it won’t be him or his kids that go overseas to die.”

There's many a slip 'twixt Iraq and the gas cap. For this congressman to let that language go out over his name shows that Bush's true reasons for committing us to this criminal war are getting closer to the surface every day. They can't hide it from us much longer at any rate and perhaps aren't trying as hard to do so. Good. Let's get it out in the open. And start building gallows frames on the White House lawn.


From Yahoo News:
The U.S. Army missed its April recruiting goal by a whopping 42 percent and the Army Reserve fell short by 37 percent, officials said on Tuesday, showing the depth of the military's wartime recruiting woes.

Military recruiters have said potential recruits and their parents were expressing wariness about enlisting during the Iraq war. They said improving civilian job opportunities also were affecting recruiting.

Yeah, right. Flippin' burgers is lookin' a lot better than becoming one yourself for no good reason, ain't it? Kids today must be smarter than I gave them credit for.

I have no doubt the Army will come up with some solution. Can you say "Stop Loss"? Can you say "Fixer 'n Gordon, fall in!"?

Cinco de Mayo

A short history of Cinco de Mayo (Note: Site is a trifle wingnutty, but not too bad):
The 5th of May is not Mexican Independence Day, but it should be! And Cinco de Mayo is not an American holiday, but it should be. Mexico declared its independence from mother Spain on midnight, the 15th of September, 1810. And it took 11 years before the first Spanish soldiers were told and forced to leave Mexico.

So, why Cinco de Mayo? And why should Americans savor this day as well? Because 4,000 Mexican soldiers smashed the French and traitor Mexican army of 8,000 at Puebla, Mexico, 100 miles east of Mexico City on the morning of May 5, 1862.

The day has become a marketing opportunity as well. Let's just say that the same folks who become Irish for St. Patrick's Day become Mexicans on Cinco de Mayo.

For those who indulge too mightily in the Spirit of Independence and wake up on Seis de Mayo feeling like they consumed the cactus in its unrefined form, here's a fine hangover remedy. If you survive the cure, you'll be OK.

Saludos, Amigos.

Only in New York

(New York -WABC, May 4, 2005) — There are major changes tonight for the Freedom Tower. As we first reported at five, the state is tossing out the current design because of security concerns - and starting all over.

[. . .]

You're building the biggest live-fire target in history and you didn't think to consult the NYPD? Fucking idiots.


MSNBC Breaking News

Blasts outside U.K. consulate in NYC -
Two explosions were reported early Thursday outside the building that houses the British Consulate in New York, NBC affiliate WNBC-TV reported early Thursday. No injuries were reported.

And I just put my wife on a train to NYC. Is my ass puckered or what?

And as I sit here thinking: If they managed to get two devices in (hand grenades at this time) to the British Embassy, what's to stop 'em from getting a truck next to Empire State? Uh, hel-lo, McFly? Homeland Security? Anybody there?

I'll go one better

In fact, since I like to put my money where my mouth is, so to speak. (Not literaly, have you ever tasted money? Blech.) Anyway, I was thinking about my post yesterday and Gord's comment on the post:

When pigs fly. Hell, if they drafted those ying-yangs, they'd take their doctors with 'em to get out of it . . .

I'll go these warmongers one better. If Jonah Goldberg makes the attempt to enlist, so will I. I'll dust off my DD Form 214 and head down to the recruiters the same day. Regardless of the fact I already served this country for 8 years (6 active, 2 reserve), I'll go back if the man who said he'd serve (if he didn't have a family and a job) gave it his best shot. Come on, Jonah, let's sign up as buddies. Lotsa guys did it when I went in. If you go, I'll go with ya. And I even promise not to kill ya, even if the opportunity presents itself. If ya signed up, I'd have too much respect for you to want to snap your soft spine with my bare hands. So here's the deal. If Jonah goes, I'll go too. Whaddaya say, Lardass? Are ya man enough to take me up on it? Let me know.

Fearless Leader? Ha!

I got my new issue of Leatherneck: Magazine of the Marines in today's mail. I just had to share this letter to the editor in the Sound Off section from an eagle-eyed old salt, and the editor's response:

Why doesn't the Commandant trust his Marines?

I'm a bit embarrassed to ask this. In the March 2005 issue of Leatherneck, page 20 includes a photo of Company B marching in the Presidential Inaugural Parade. The Marines didn't have bolts in their M1 rifles. Nor did the color guard on page 21.

The rifles are not cleared with the bolts locked in the rear of the receivers; they are missing. The operating rod is forward and the follower is exposed.

What gives?

SgtMaj Thomas R. Jablonicky USMC (Ret)
Colby, Wis.

And the response:

Our readers don't miss a thing.The nation is at war and, consequently, security at the inauguration and related events was high. According to Lance Corporal Earnest J. Barnes, Public Affairs Office, Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C., the bolts were removed from the rifles carried by Marines in the inaugural parade for security purposes by order of the Secret Service. Gunnery Sergeant David Dunaway, USMC (Ret) of Shoreline, Wash., and Joseph Berthelot of Syracuse, N.Y., also took notice. - Sound Off Ed.

The other day I accused Tom DeLay of insulting a Marine, but this tops that by orders of magnitude. Bush has managed to insult every Marine that ever lived. If anybody had tried to get at the president, those Marines would have fallen all over themselves trying to protect his chickenshit ass, working rifles or no. What is the president afraid of? If he's afraid of his own Marines, he's doing more wrong than we ever thought.

How do you think those Marines must have felt, knowing their own Commander-in-Chief had so little faith in them that he took away their stock in trade lest they turn on him?

I got news for you, Chimp: If they'da wanted your ass dead, you'd be dead. Just be glad no one who really wishes you harm realized at the time that you had disarmed your ceremonial guard.

What a fuckin' coward. I have never liked him, but this time I'm ashamed of him.

Wednesday, May 4, 2005


Whether you made it to the four day Merlefest music festival in Wilkesboro NC or not, go read Cleek's excellent rundown on it.


Since recruiting is totally fucked . . . experiencing a downward trend, the Mighty Atrios makes a suggestion. Why don't that doughy load of santorum Jonah Golberg and the lot of the One-oh-worst Fighting Keyboarders head down to the local recruiting office and sign up? Your country needs you, boys and girls. Jonah, Instashithead, the Assrocket, Michelle 'The Business Girl' and the Big Schwanz, we're waiting for you to set the example. Call Faux News and have the cameras there when you take the oath. Your sacrifice should be an example to all those young kids with bright futures who are debating signing up. Come on, guys, repeat after me: "Over there, over there . . ."

Sweet Leaf

Since this is a subject near and dear to my heart. From Riggsveda:

Everyone from NPR to the Houston Chronicle is abuzz about the study, "The War on Marijuana; The Transformation of the War on Drugs in the 1990s", done by The Sentencing Project, which shows that a renewed focus on low-level marijuana users resulted in arrests rising from 28% to 45% of total drug arrests from 1992 to 2002. Of the rise in total drug arrests, 80% of the increase came from marijuana arrests of mostly small, recreational users. The price for this is high: the report estimates about $4 billion a year is spent on arresting and prosecution. Think of the health insurance or decent housing that could buy!

[. . .]

Ain't nobody ever overdosed on marijuana. Smoke too much, fall asleep. When they crack down on the potheads, somebody's trying to win votes.

Blue states

Still trying to find a link to a new Zogby poll that says 49% of New Jerseyans would vote for Jim McGreevey for Governor again if he decided to run. Only 6% said his gayness would put them off. I'd say that's pretty open minded of 'em. Good on yas.

Link here . . . finally.

Tuesday, May 3, 2005

Bookmark alert

The essential PSoTD has moved here. Change your bookmarks, goddammit.


It's long, but thoughtful and in depth. Pudentilla on Social Security.

Victory in Europe

This week is the sixtieth anniversary of the defeat of Hitler's Third Reich and there's no dearth of TV programming about it. The History Channel is having VE Week and there's stuff on the end of WWII all over the place. If you're a military history buff like myself, this week's the tall cotton, boys.

Since the demise of the Soviet Union there seems to be a lot of new footage, no doubt due to the fact that the German film was warehoused in Berlin in East Germany and has just lately become available. The Germans are inveterate documentarians and fine camera makers, and they filmed everything. There's quite a bit of Soviet footage as well. A lot of it is propaganda of course, on both sides, but there's a lot that isn't, and it's fascinating.

Last night was a coupla hours of the German invasion of Russia and the ensuing battle that killed millions. There were accounts by vets and citizens from both sides. There was a lot of footage of General Winter and graveyards, mostly German, although in the early days, Russian casualties, military and civilian both, far outnumbered those of the Germans. The tide turned, however, and we've been living with the results ever since.

There's more of this stuff tonight and the rest of the week. It's fascinating to me, but absolutely chilling and horrible in the scope of the human suffering on both sides. It's damn sure something to think about, not only for history's sake but in light of the warlike nature of certain modern leaders (hint, hint...).

Also, I found an interview in The Guardian with a German nurse in the last days in the Fuhrerbunker. I wonder if she had to take Hitler's temperature? Shudder!

The History channel also has an encyclopedic short history of WWII that can get you up to speed on all this stuff.

Move over, yuppie

See what happens when you lower the bar. It starts at the top. Missouri Mule:

I'm not sure when it happened but white trash is in. I just read it in a national magazine and all I could say was, "Well shit fire and save the matches."

You don't have to be Southern to be white trash, but it helps, mostly because Southerners know the beauty of potted meat and mayonnaise sandwich better than most. As a sort of on-the-bubble white trash girl myself (I've never, technically, had what car dealers describe as "bruised credit"). I'm feeling downright giddy. Why is white trash chic now? Maybe it's just natural backlash to decades of greed and consumption. Whatever the reason, there's much to learn and I can coach even the snobbiest of y'all on how to be WT.

[. . .]

I was giggling my ass off.

Get serious

If Bush were serious about compromise on SSI, he'd consider doing away with some of the tax cuts, especially the ones who benefit the least amount of people. From the most lovable rod . . . er, marsupial in Blogtopia (y!sctp!)*:

mainly, if awol is so concerned about social security shortfalls, he should repeal the tax cuts on the upper 1% of the wealthy in this country, and reinstate the entitlement tax.

(the tax formerly known as the "death tax," aka the inheritance tax. it's not a tax on the person who died. it's a tax on the greedy little heirs who think they are entitled to that estate without working for it. an entitlement tax.)

[. . .]

Update: 16:30:

Congrats to Skippy for being quoted on CNN's Inside the Blogs

*yes! skippy coined that phrase!

More on who knew what and when...

Congressman John Conyers (D-MI), obviously a regular reader of the Brain, is circulating a letter calling for a further inquiry into a secret U.S.-UK agreement to attack Iraq, no doubt due to recognizing the geschmokinge pistole (Damn! F-Man's got me brain-fartin' in Deutsche today) found in my posts here and here. From Raw Story.
In a statement, Conyers says he is disappointed the mainstream media has not touched the revelations.

"Unfortunately, the mainstream media in the United States was too busy with wall-to-wall coverage of a "runaway bride" to cover a bombshell report out of the British newspapers."

Dear Mr. President:

We write because of troubling revelations in the Sunday London Times apparently confirming that the United States and Great Britain had secretly agreed to attack Iraq in the summer of 2002, well before the invasion and before you even sought Congressional authority to engage in military action. While various individuals have asserted this to be the case before, including Paul O'Neill, former U.S. Treasury Secretary, and Richard Clarke, a former National Security Council official, they have been previously dismissed by your Administration. However, when this story was divulged last weekend, Prime Minister Blair's representative claimed the document contained "nothing new." If the disclosure is accurate, it raises troubling new questions regarding the legal justifications for the war as well as the integrity of your own Administration.

The integrity of your own Administration. Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha! Yo, Johnny! That's a good one! Ha!

It's a good letter. Mr. Conyers asks direct questions, not that we're likely to get direct answers. Please go read it for yourself. This deal is far from over.

My old aunt

She always says, 'alles ist besser in Deutschland' [everything is better in Germany]. A little ethnocentric perhaps, but she's an old farm woman who lives in a little town, 4500 feet up in the Wasgau mountains. Some things are better, like their progressive attitude. For a culture that is over two millennia old, they're very open minded. Even my old aunt looks at Americans as prudish and reactionary and she's considered conservative by German standards. From the inimitable Dave Johnson:

Angry Bear compares the pensions given in different countries. In Luxembourg workers get 102% of ther average pay. In Austria, Hungary, Spain and Turkey you get 75%.

We get 36-38%.

In parts of Europe the workweek is 35 hours
. ("In 2001, France’s national planning agency found “indisputable” evidence that work-time reduction was creating vast numbers of new jobs, helping to bring unemployment down from 12.5 percent in 1997 to an eighteen-year low of 8.6 percent.")

[. . .]

Wishful thinking

Or rose colored Glasses. Only the Repubs thought it would turn out well. John:

[. . .]

According to the New York Times, Iraq's oil is flowing at a rate less than before the war, which means the American taxpayers have been covering all of the financial burden, including billions of dollars in unforeseen (if you're a blind ideologue, or a liar) expenses.

[. . .]


Shows where you're coming from. From the Farmer:

[. . .]

DONALD RUMSFELD: Well, I think when you say "that different," it's important to understand that you can - when the Germans transformed their armed forces into the Blitzkrieg, they transformed only about 5 or 10 percent of their force. Everything else was the same, but they transformed the way they used it, the connectivity between aircraft and forces on the ground, the concentration of it in a specific portion of the line, and it - one would not want to transform 100 percent of your forces. You only need to transform a portion. [my emphasis]

[. . .]

What have I been saying for the last year? Rummy wants to be the next Hermann Goering. The American Blitzkrieg in Iraq. Oy! Shows you how much history they understand. Hitler had the same problem, manpower. Why is it that when despots have a well equipped air force,they think they don't need ground troops? Hitler made that mistake [little Germany trying to occupy Europe, Africa, and Russia, a joke], and we're making it in the Mid East. Bush's folly will end like Hitler's, in defeat.

Monday, May 2, 2005

To do or not to do

Atrios says do nothing:

[. . .]

The only thing "to do" about Social Security is to improve its long run solvency. The only reasonable way to improve its long run solvency is to pre-fund the Trust Fund. But, we have a president running around claiming the trust fund is just a file cabinet, and a bunch of Republicans in Congress who agree. So, throwing more money into the "file cabinet" is just a way to throw more money at tax cuts for the rich. That is, in fact, what the president has told us.

[. . .]

Fifi knew, and "El Supremo" too...

The other day I posted this on Brit PM Tony "Fifi" Blair knowing ahead of time that the fix was in on crafting policy and intel to fit Bush's desire to invade Iraq.

Wolcott has more on this.

When you get back, click on this piece about the diplomatic reception our Chimp-in-Chief gave Hugo Chavez, or just go to JayDub's home page and read both.

Fuckups 2

Frenchie at Pouquoi Pas:

A Greek medical student at Bologna University who was surfing the web early on Sunday found that with two simple clicks of his computer mouse he could restore censored portions of a 43-page US military inquiry (pdf) into the killing of Italian agent, Nicola Calipari, November 2004, in Baghdad. [my emphasis]

[. . .]

I'm glad we're at the cutting edge of information security. I wonder how much more we've compromised without even knowing it. Yeesh. Read Frenchie's post and find out how we blamed the Italians for everything. Your inept fuckups government at work.


Why the fuck are we still hearing about this?

The Bureau of Rush's Butt

Looks like today is comedy Monday, but of course always with a message. Geov Parrish interviews Al Franken about Air America, political talk radio, and, of course, Rush's brain butt.

Satan's Filibuster

Lemme hear a "Hallelujah" fer Will Durst and what "Justice Sunday" meant to him.
Hey, you crazy faithful, how 'bout a hand for the Doctor Senator Reverend Indian Chief Bill Frist. Could that guy sweet talk the chrome off the bumper of a '57 Ford or what?

Go read. It's funny and maybe hits a little too close for comfort.

The "Old Ay-rab" Speaks

For a pretty good take on the media's collective failure to hold the Bush administration accountable for its actions, go read what Helen Thomas has to say.


I was up late listening to someone critque one of my books so I woke up late this morning. More posting this afternoon. Thanks Cmdr. Sue. Ha!

Sunday, May 1, 2005

Open Letter to DeLay

There's been a lot in tne news and the blogs about you and your sleazeball associates, the ones who paid illegally for your "fact-finding" trips to $800 a night hotels and fancy golf courses, your christo-fascist bully-boy strong-arm demeanor, and your total lack of ethics when it comes to changing the rules so you won't have to answer for any of it. Kid stuff. You finally did something even worse and it pissed me off so bad I can't see straight and I'm going to tell you about it.

I was watching the news and saw you following Bush down the stairs of Flyin' SUV One upon your return from kissin' Prince Raghead's ass down in Texas. At the bottom of the ladder stood a young Sergeant of Marines who, as custom and regulations require, rendered a hand salute to his Commander-in-Chief. Bush returned the salute, also required. I'm not crazy about that, but he is the Commander-in-Chief and thus in that Marine's chain of command. I can live with that.

Here's what pissed me off: YOU then saluted this Marine your own damn self just like your little tin-pot leader! And a half-assed excuse for a salute at that. You fucking dickhead. You ain't a pimple on a Marine's ass, or even that of a Doggie, a Squid, or an Air Force Weenie! You've never done a damn thing in your miserable, worthless life to rate the privilege of returning a Marine NCO's salute, or that of a fuckin' Private for that matter! If that Sergeant wasn't imbued with solid Marine discipline, he'd have been entirely justified to knock you on your ass for insulting him. It insulted me too.

Knock off the cheap shit, Tommy, me boy-o. Some of us notice this shit. Some of us who aren't afraid of you have outgrown the discipline and would just love to knock you on your ass if we got the chance. If my prayers are answered it will come to pass.

Laura rocked, sorta...

For our big Saturday night blow-out, me 'n Mrs. G watched the White House correspondents Association dinner on C-Span. What's that you say? Get a life? No thanks. Been there, done that. It sucks. Anyway, it was fair ta middlin' light entertainment. The WHCA gives scholarships, so that's good. That annual dinner is supposed to be the hottest ticket in D.C. They need to get a life. From the WaPo:
The president takes the podium in the ballroom and begins to tell a joke about cows.

"Not that old joke!" cries a heckler at the head table. Who turns out to be the first lady. She gestures for her husband to take his seat. "I've been attending these dinners for years, just quietly sitting there," Mrs. Bush says. "Now I've got a few things to say."

"I'm proud of George," she told the ballroom. "He's learned a lot about ranching since that first year he tried to milk a horse." Pause. "It was a male horse." Pandemonium ensued in a room filled with tough acts to follow.

"At 9 p.m. Mr. Excitement here is asleep and I'm watching 'Desperate Housewives.' Ladies and gentlemen, I'm a desperate housewife!"

The first lady on her in-laws: "First prize is a three-day vacation with the Bush family. Second prize is 10 days."

Here's the joke the WaPo didn't print.

Mrs. Bush says, "One night, I, Lynne, Condi, and Karen snuck out and went to Chippendale's. We weren't going to tell, but Ruth Ginsberg and Sandra Day O'Connor saw us there. As a result of that evening, Lynne Cheney's got a new Secret Service nickname: Dollar Bill!"

Cedric the Entertainer was good, but he really couldn't top her. His best stuff was about Condi, something like, "There's two of 'em. ya know There's Connie who is smart, talks well, and tries to be a diplomat. Then there's Deleeza, who sits around with her hair up, in a wore out bathrobe, suckin' on a forty and watchin' BET."

Go read. There's a lot of stuff about celebs that's really important to the conduct of the White House Correspondents. Yeesh.

Big time

Congrats to our esteemed colleague South Knox Bubba, who's just recorded his millionth visitor. He's one of the first blogs I found when I started and it's where I met my partners Gordon and KR. All the best from the crew at the Brain for your continued success.

Pot calls Kettle Black

On the theory that "Irony is where you find it", here's a good one from the WaPo:
North Korea Labels Bush a 'Dictator'

North Korea lashed out at President Bush yesterday for comments he made about the country's leader, Kim Jong Il, at a news conference Thursday, asserting that the North Korean nuclear impasse will never be resolved while Bush remains in office.

Bush is "a half-baked man in terms of morality and a philistine whom we can never deal with," (couldn'ta said it better myself-G) a Foreign Ministry spokesman said, according to the official Korean Central News Agency. The statement described Bush as the "world's dictator," who as president had "turned the world into a sea of blood."

"We can no longer tolerate and wait for a shift in the [U.S.] policy," the North Korean statement concluded. "Quite just is the path chosen by us, and we will proceed straight and square along that path."

Sounds like the "Twin Kims", Jong Il and Bush, are reading out of the same playbook, huh?
Kim is considered almost a deity in his country, and the North Korean statement said it could not ignore such "slandering and cursing remarks." The statement noted that "no one can expect to hear reasonable words from Bush, once a cowboy at a ranch in Texas. His remarks often stun audiences as they reveal his utter ignorance."

The last sentence makes up for the previous one, in my opinion. Bush has never had to work as hard as the cowboys I've known, and, as my dad used to say "wouldn't know a steer from a heifer twenty feet away." He'da been out on his ass and ridin' the grub line. He's like the Cartwright boys on Bonanza: Daddy owned the joint and the help did all the work so the kids had the time and money to get in all the trouble they wanted knowin' Pa would bail 'em out. Ah, them furriners think we're all cowboys anyway.

As far as pissin' contests go, my dictator's got bigger bombs than your dictator! Neener-fuckin'-neener!

Lock up your daughters

The Wingnuts aren't happy with marginalizing gays. They're going for your daughter now.

Update: Something related from Granny.

New York, just like I pictured it*

I'd like to welcome my new neighbor (sort of) to New York. John at Blogenlust just moved into a GREAT neighborhood (Greenwich Village) from S.F. Now, repeat after me. "Ahm a Noo Yawka". That's it, you can do it.

*Hat tip to Richard Pryor

Now what?

Developing . . .

SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea needs to conduct a test to see if the vast sums it spent to develop atomic weapons have produced a working bomb, analysts say, but the political fall-out from such a blast could paralyze its already crippled economy.

The nuclear card overwhelms all other cards the reclusive state possesses. Six-party talks aimed at ending its nuclear ambitions have been stalled for almost a year, but that did not stop Pyongyang from boasting in February it had nuclear weapons.

[. . .]

Breaking, as of 07:05 EDT. Reports coming in that NK just launched a missile over the Sea of Japan. More as it comes in.

Good thing we made sure Saddam didn't have WMD. Inept assholes.

Update: 10:10:

Finally found a link:

TOKYO - The U.S. military informed Japan that North Korea may have fired a short-range missile toward the Sea of Japan on Sunday morning, Kyodo News service and national broadcaster NHK reported.

The reports quoted unidentified government sources as saying that the U.S. military informed Japan’s Defense Agency of the possible missile launch. The government was attempting to confirm the information, the reports said.

[. . .]

Regulars know that I don't promote my books on the blog. But this time it's a special occasion. I wrote Special Operations in '98 and it was published in '02. All I have to say is: I TOLD YOU SO!

Is it getting warm?

From the King:

The end of oil may not be the largest problem we have to face in the next few decades. New research indicates that, when it comes to the impact of climate change on worldwide food production, the most pessimistic forecasts to date are not pessimistic enough:

[. . .]

Blair knew facts were shaped around desire for war

Went to see Sis's post about The Fixer & Gordon's birthday and stole this right out of her "Comments". From The Independent via John of Trust me, you have no idea how much I hate Bush -- and Dick isn't that great, either, which is Down Under. Thanks, mate.

Tony Blair had resolved to send British troops into action alongside US forces eight months before the Iraq War began, despite a clear warning from the Foreign Office that the conflict could be illegal.

A damning minute leaked to a Sunday newspaper reveals that in July 2002, a few weeks after meeting George Bush at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, Mr Blair summoned his closest aides for what amounted to a council of war. The minute reveals the head of British intelligence reported that President Bush had firmly made up his mind to invade Iraq and overthrow Saddam Hussein, adding that "the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy" (my emphasis).

I think we all know that. I hope these papers can prove it. They're fixin' to have elections in the UK in a few days and this could be some "Swift Boat Liars"-type shit. Be skeptical, but stay tuned.