Saturday, August 13, 2005

Digby Has an Interesting Thought

From Hullabaloo:

I've been thinking for a while that we might be seeing the beginning of a new trend in American politics --- the anti-military right. Rush is calling marines "pukes," veterans are being called cowards and fakers, disabled vets are mocked for not having the right wounds or getting them in the right way, GOP hags are wearing cute little "purple heart" bandaids on their cheeks. People are selling busts of the president using his lack of combat experience as a selling point saying outright that physical courage is no longer particularly worthy of conservative approbation. Being a veteran buys you no credibility and no respect in today's Real Murika.

This is how they transform Chickenhawkery into a badge of courage.

Go Read


I like this guy.

Nope, No Politics Here

A fascinating story from Editor & Publisher:

'Wash Post' Hit For Sponsorship Of 'Freedom' March

The Washington Post has no plans to withdraw its co-sponsorship of a controversial Sept. 11 memorial walk being organized by the Department of Defense, according to Publisher Bo Jones. But, he said the paper would pull out if the event turns out to be some kind of pro-war or political march.

"This was part of the memorial of the 9/11 victims and an effort for veterans past and present and that is it," Jones said about the "Freedom Walk" slated for Sept. 11. "This has nothing to do with politics or the war or support of any political position."

Still, Jones added that the paper would withdraw support, which consists of providing public service advertising space in the paper, if the event turns partisan. "If I turns out to be a political event, we would disassociate ourselves from it," he said.

....But Rick Weiss, a Post science reporter and co-chair of the Washington Post unit of the Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild, noted the hypocrisy of the paper's involvement, since it bars reporters from participating in partisan events. "It is dismaying, to say the least, that I can be fired for participating in a peace march while my employer feels free to co-sponsor an event that so blatantly beats the drum of war," Weiss stated.

Weiss stressed that the guild had not taken a position on the issue, but planned to consider it during a leadership meeting on Monday.

John Pike, who has been a defense analyst in Washington for 25 years and runs, told Knight Ridder, referring to the Pentagon rally, "I've never heard of such a thing." Others worried that it would re-kindle attempts to link 9/11 to the war in Iraq.
Read the full story HERE.

This Should Make You Feel All Warm and Fuzzy

Group hopes to 'put the fear of God' in ACLU
Coalition working to educate churches, mobilize believers nationwide

The man behind an online effort to rein in the American Civil Liberties Union is taking his campaign to America's churches, hoping to mobilize millions of believers into taking a stand against the legal organization.

As WorldNetDaily reported, Nedd Kareiva's StopThe is dedicated to ending the ACLU's legal victories - from limiting activities of the Boy Scouts to promoting same-sex marriage.

The website exists for one purpose, Kareiva says - "to mobilize millions of God-fearing, patriotic Americans to stand up to the ACLU agenda, and consigning it to the ash heap of history (or exporting it to Communist regions)."

Now, the activist has begun a mailing campaign "to recruit pastors, church leaders and congregations to expose them to the ACLU's agenda. Just as the ACLU has 400,000 members, according to a recent article in the National Journal and another in the Washington Times, we are shooting for 1 million Stop the ACLU members," Kareiva writes.

On the website, Kareiva asks supporters to help him mail letters to churches across the nation. The form letter asks leaders and members "to visit the website and catch a vision of what we are doing."
Read the full story HERE.

Oy gevult

And these people are lecturing me about my moral values?

"I don't link to traitors."

Atrios certainly doesn't need me to stand up for him, but you bet your ass I'll defend Cindy Sheehan. I followed a link from Atrios and found this loser. This is why I don't go to wingnut sites at all. Makes me want to strangle somebody.

Update: 19:20:

More wingnuttia via Atrios. Do you believe this shit?

[. . .]

Obviously Sheehan's son, I forget his name at the moment, didn't die on purpose, and he may well have have had no control over the circumstances that let [sic] to his death.


In war, there are no excuses. You find a way to stay alive, whatever it takes - if you're a good soldier. Sheehan's son didn't do that. He paid the price. but he als[o] failed the mission and let down his buddies.

[. . .]

So every soldier, sailor, airman, or Marine who comes home in a bodybag is a failure? What are the wounded, 'partial failures' or just 'below average'? These are the people our kids are 'failing' for.


I've received a couple emails from people asking if I'm worried about coming afoul of Homeland Security or the FBI calling for an overthrow of Chimpy Inc. My answer:


Somebody want to bust me for speaking my mind, come get me. I'll have the 6 o'clock news waiting when you come to pick me up. I know far too many lawyers to go quietly; I'll have my say as you drag me off to Gitmo. As President Empty Sack, who isn't half the man I am, says, "Bring 'em on."

Update: 16:40:

The reason I'm so manic about this today is because they released 15 hours of FDNY radio archive from Sept 11th yesterday. Once again I held my wife in my arms as she relived that day, debris and bodies falling from the Towers as she tried to make it to safety, seeing the carnage wrought by these terrorists. A lot of tears were shed yet again and now, 4 years later, the memories of these poor people have been corrupted by these criminals in Washington for personal gain, wealth, and popularity.

Moving on

From my post below. A guy I respect very much, CAFKIA from Meanderthal, got me thinking after reading his comment. Where are the officers? I've known a lot of good ones, guys who understand the meaning of honor and doing what's right. Do we have guys like that anymore? Is there anybody in the Pentagon anymore who has the nuts to say 'enough is enough'? Come on, I'd be senior enlisted now if I'd stayed in. That means the officers I served with, the lieutenants and captains, would now be of the flag ranks. Hello, are you there, or have you been corrupted by Washington? So here goes. A challenge if you will.

To: All officers of the United States Armed Forces of the staff and flag ranks.
Subject: Stand up.

Sirs and Madams,

How long will you be content to put up with the charade perpetuated by the leadership of this nation? How long will you sit back and watch your highly trained and motivated junior officers and enlisted troops being fed into the meat grinder of Iraq? How long will you sit by and watch these men and women who have absolutely no honor commit what is essentially the premeditated murder of your, and America's, best?

Did you not learn the meaning of honor and duty when you were in Little Officer's School, or have you been away so long you've forgotten the lessons taught there? Have you forgotten the meaning of being an officer?

You have a duty to your troops not to waste their lives. You have a duty to protect the Constitution. You have a duty to protect us, the civilians who cannot defend themselves against outside threats. What the Bush administration, and their enablers in Congress, have done is to make us less safe, torn up the Constitution and pissed on it, and wasted the lives of close to 2000 of our troops, not to mention the thousands maimed for nothing more than oil and the profit from it.

Is this what you are fighting for? Are oil and Halliburton good enough reasons to throw the lives of your troops away? Are you so afraid for your careers you are afraid to stand up for what is right and decent? If you are, you should resign your commissions immediately, for you are no better than mercenaries. You're worse, because you'll do it for military pay and not the hundreds of thousands Halliburton's mercs are getting paid in Iraq. That said, I offer you a challenge.

Get them out. Get them out by any means necessary. If it takes surrounding the Capitol and the White House with tanks and infantrymen, get them out. Get them out and make them stand trial for what they've done to your people, make them stand trial for what they've done to us, make them stand for all the senseless killing that's been done in the name of profit and ideology. Get them out and then we'll start anew, with a government of, by, and for the people. A government with strict rules regarding campaign finance and corporate influence. Get them out and we will support you as long as you abide by the Constitution. By golly, if you don't do it, eventually we will. You don't think they'll give up power, even if they are voted out, do you?

In closing, ladies and gentlemen, I ask you only to remember your duty to us, for we are the government, although it seems many of you have forgotten that.

Thank you,

The Fixer
An extremely pissed-off Air Force veteran.

Party on 9/11

As you know, it's been all over Left Blogtopia (y!sctp!) lately. Rummy's throwing a party to commemorate the deaths of 3000 of my friends and neighbors in Washington on Sept. 11. All I can say is that they're damn lucky they're not doing this in NYC. They'd have to deal with me. Motherfuckers. Eccentricity:

[. . .]

Well, I suppose that indirectly 9/11 has given them the upper hand like they haven't had for ages, but really! In principle, it's like celebrating the torching of the White House during the War of 1812 or the slaughter in Lawrence during the Civil War.

[. . .]

The Neocons might be rich, but they have all the class of guests on the Jerry Springer Show. They've got some inbred country music moron (probably Lee Greenwood) playing and I'm sure there will be a military parade of some sort, probably will look a lot like this:

Nothing like bringing your poll numbers up by marching across the graves of innocent Americans. Give me one good reason why the members of the Bush administration and the Republican members of Congress should not be strung up from the light poles on the Mall.

Allow me to be the first to call for an overthrow (armed or otherwise) of the government of the United States of America. Today, at 0630 on Saturday, 13 August 2005, I raise the flag of revolution against the 21st Century 'King' George and our so-called 'elected representatives'. You are all culpable for enabling this administration to destroy the nation I love. I want you all out; Democrat, Republican, Independent, and I want a new system put in place. One that does not pander to the folks with the most money.

Update: 14:55:

The inbred country music moron will be Clint Black. My apologies to Lee Greenwood. (Thanks to the Poorman)

Friday, August 12, 2005

Roll dem bones, niner come eleven

BradBlog has a whiff of a disturbing not-quite-a-conspiracy-yet theory, tying Mohammad Atta to Abramoff and thus to DeLay and Republicans, in my little pea brain anyway.

On September 26, 2001, Associated Press writer Vickie Chachere reported that FBI agents probing Atta's connections had turned their attention to SunCruz casinos -- then owned by Abramoff:

SunCruz Casinos has turned over photographs and other documents to FBI investigators after employees said they recognized some of the men suspected in the terrorist attacks as customers... Names on the passenger list from a Sept. 5 cruise matched those of some of the hijackers...

Since Abramoff used SunCruz to provide services to Republicans (we may safely presume that the Super Bowl junket wasn't the only occasion), I'd very much like to see that September 5, 2001 passenger manifest. Who was on the boat with the terrorists?
The Toronto Star of September 20, 2002 reported that members of al Qaida were arrested in Buffalo, New York, for participation in a money laundering scheme centered at the Casino Niagara.

We have excellent reason to suspect that a similar scheme prompted Mohammed Atta to hop aboard Jack Abramoff's SunCruz ship.

If -- and based on the current state of evidence, we must stress the word "if" -- if further evidence links Mohammed Atta to G.O.P.-friendly shady operators, then many lingering questions may find an answer. Among those questions: Why was the ABLE DANGER team told to steer clear of Atta?

If the 9/11 killers were in any way associated with Abramoff, DeLay, or the Republicans, there is going to be a literal, well-deserved bloodbath. I'd like to see more investigation of this.


ABC News had a segment on this morning about Intelligent Design. The thing that got me was a statistic saying 45% of the American people believe God spat man on this Earth, fully formed, about 10,000 years ago. Nearly half of us. I'm sorry, I'm all for religious tolerance (I come from a long line of Roman Catholics) and respecting others' beliefs, but it is difficult to believe half of us are that stupid.

So, today shit changes. From now on, if anybody uses the word 'God' or 'the Good Lord' or any other euphimism to support their position, I'm gonna walk away. I refuse to argue with people who can't tell the difference between belief and scientific fact.

You are a bunch of fucking idiots, a waste of my good air, and deserve everything this administration will do to you. I am ashamed to call you my fellow Americans. In my book, you're the people who should be rounded up and put in camps, not to be tortured but to be educated. And you shouldn't be let out until you understand how the world really works. Because of you stupid motherfuckers, the nation you claim to love so much is going down the tubes.

And a special note to the people of Ohio, who seem to be the dumbest of the lot. Your young people are dying at an astounding rate in Iraq (more than any state in the union), I saw some of your sons' funerals on the news this morning, and most of you still support the criminals in the White House and this illegal war. Wake up, you stupid motherfuckers, because you're going from a national disgrace to national laughingstock. You're being used and you don't even realize it, morons.

When I read of the stupidity of my fellow Americans, it just makes me want to pack it in and move to Europe. You morons make me ashamed to be an American and I never, in my wildest dreams, thought that would happen.

Friday Cattle Dog Blogging

Princess Shayna.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Feel The Water Gettin' Warmer, Tommy Boy?

Since this doesn't directly involve or indict DeLay, I will only do the Modified Dance of Joy, i.e. with my pants on. From AP:

MIAMI - Lobbyist Jack Abramoff, a key figure in investigations involving House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, was indicted Thursday by a federal grand jury on fraud charges arising from a 2000 deal to buy casino boats.

The indictment, returned by a grand jury in Fort Lauderdale, charges that Abramoff and an associate, 36-year-old New York businessman Adam Kidan, used a fake wire transfer to defraud two lenders out of some $60 million to finance the deal for SunCruz Casinos.

Abramoff and Kidan are charged with five counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and mail fraud. Each count carries a penalty of up to 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

I think I know how you can get some of that time knocked off, Jackie me boy. The Federal prosecutor will no doubt run the plan by you. Sing loud when he tells you to.

More Cindy

Stolen from Grandpa Eddie:

Go read his post too.

Decency vs. Evil

R.J. Eskow at Night Light with a thoughtful piece on Mrs. Sheehan and the Evil she faces in our name:

Sound extreme? Maybe that's just because after so many years of radical conservatism (or pseudo-conservatism serving a class-warfare agenda), we've forgotten what decency looks like.

I doubt that Bush and his cabal have ever known decency, except as a weakness to be exploited in their bloodlust for power and wealth, and to Hell with everyone else.

Smearing Cindy

Here's an article at News Hounds, and another at Crooks and Liars, about Bill O'Ratturd's attempt to smear Mrs. Sheehan by trying to intimidate another Gold Star Mom, Mrs. Kesterson, into saying her son Eric died for a noble cause.

Also, track a lie through the wingnut media at Media Matters.

Shameless Local Promotion

I was reading the Los Angeles Times this morning, like I do every morning, and discovered that we grow stuff here besides Movie Stars!

Here's an article about the Kiwi, Prune, Egg, Garlic, Clam, Artichoke, Lemon, and Avocado Capitals. Horseradish and some others are mentioned as well, but nothing about the popular edible Cactus. Maybe that's in the Spanish language edition.

We also grow a very popular Herb that some say is our #1 cash crop. The National Park Service isn't very happy about the location of some of the big farms, either, but:

Oddly enough, public outcry has been remarkably muted.



My colleague BaltimoreLenore takes a look at Cindy and Casey Sheehan over at her blog.


Mark Shields via C & L:

[. . .]

As of this writing, 1,827 Americans have been killed in Iraq -- 1,686 of those deaths have occurred since President George W. Bush landed on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln under a banner proclaiming, "Mission Accomplished."

Military service in wartime is not a "job." Recruitment in peacetime mostly emphasizes the benefits of valuable training, college tuition, self-improvement, pay and adventure. Combat and casualties are not part of the pitch.

Not surprisingly, the overwhelming majority of enlistees come from the lower-middle-class and blue-collar families. The affluent stand above and apart from military service, especially from the enlisted ranks -- the privates and the sergeants, from whose ranks have come more than 90 percent of the casualties and fatalities. This class exemption from service and from sacrifice produces an ethical failure that a democratic and moral people cannot tolerate.

Moral logic tells us that when the nation legally goes to war, it is everybody's war and it must be everybody's risk. But the elite of the country seeks to make war little more than a spectator sport.

Citizens on the home front who do not have loved ones in the service are asked to pay no price, to bear no burden. The Bush administration does not even ask us to pick up the cost of the war, already in the hundreds of billions. That burden will be borne instead by our children. We, patriots, will keep our tax cuts. Do our leaders think so little of us that they are afraid to ask us to make any real sacrifice? [my emphasis]

[. . .]

They know support for the war would evaporate if the Chimp asked Jesuslanders to sacrifice. Their sons and daughters are one thing, because they're all going to Valhalla after they are killed in combat, but by golly, don't take their SUVs away from them.

Liberal Intolerance

Sometimes I get lucky and find somebody who says what I think better than I ever could. This one is 99.9+%. Nothing's perfect. By Mark Morford in the EssEffChron:

I get this a lot: Hey Mark, you nefarious and perverted liberal commie tofu-hugging sex-drunk San Francisco medical experiment gone wrong from the land of fruits and nuts (or some iteration thereof -- so cute, my hate mail can be), hey, I notice you love to ridicule those creepy Christian megachurches and you enjoy spanking wide-eyed Mormons and tweaking the litigious nipples of the cult of Scientology and you recoil at toxic Bush policy like a vegetarian recoils at undercooked veal.

And I can tell you think Dick Cheney is pretty much the devil in a defibrillator and that America is so desperately on the wrong track it might as well be North Korea, and you clearly tend to wince in savage karmic pain when looking down the rusty barrel of a welfare-happy red state and I just have one slightly nasty and pointed and cliched question for you -- Here it is: Where is your supposed progressive openness? Your liberal generosity of spirit? I thought you Lefties were all mushy and passive and live-and-let-live?

In other words, where is that famous so-called tolerance I thought all you wimpy libs were supposed to possess like some sort of gentle polyamorous smiling hug for the world?

I liked this one so much I wanted to save it. Please read the rest Below the Fold.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

It's all about the fucking

I don't read wingnut shit. It gets me homicidal. But John Lombard does. He reads Ben Shapiro's book (why I have no idea) and finds out it's all about the fucking . . . and school vouchers:

[. . .]

It offends Ben that people should be able to fuck without consequences. It strikes at the core of his moral being that these tarts should be able to get away with it. He wants to stamp out free fucking, he wants to put an end to this affront to his understanding of the moral order of the universe.

[. . .]

Isn't it amazing that all the bullshit still comes down to guys who are worried about the length of their pricks and and their obsession with making all the rest of us who aren't pay for it?

Actions Have Consequences...HooHah! Do They Ever!

Fixer did a post on safe driving the other day at The Fixer & Gordon. Well, here's one that I found at A Mockingbird's Medley on what can happen to you if you're asleep at the switch and cop an attitude about it. As Mimus Pauly says, listen and learn...

Caution! Swallow your drink and set the rest of it down a safe distance away first!

Bend over . . . once more

The insightful CN Todd:

Bad news for America's peasants and wage slaves today as corporate airline giant Delta announces it just cannot figure out how to make money any more. Not to worry, though, since Delta asked its peasant labor to take a $1 billion wage and benefit cut last year when faced with a similar crisis. Analysts predict that the airline may simply ask workers to take home even less.

[. . .]

Shut up, you assholes. Be glad you have a job. It's amazing the shit they get away with, never mind Halliburton, the double standard, everything, and the sheeple just go along with it. Bush is pissing on them, telling them it's raining, and they hold their heads to the sky and stick out their tongues. Good links over there too.

A Mom on Cindy

Don't miss this really good rant by An Angry Old Broad.

GWB is a pussy

That's what the Chemist says and I agree.

[. . .]

And here's where he shows himself to be nothing more than a cowering little pussy: he won't even come out and face her [Cindy Sheehan]. He's her employee, right? He should face her.

[. . .]

I got no problems with cowards, as long as they act like cowards and everyone can see that. I got a problem with cowards who talk a big line but do nothing to back it up when push comes to shove. Cowards like that get people killed.

I got one of them who comes to the shop. All big talk, 'rah-rah bomb Iraq', 'rah-rah kill 'em all', 'they deserve to be tortured', shit like that. But look at this asshole crosseyed and he runs like a squealing little pig. He wouldn't come to the shop for a month because he was scared after reading a rant I wrote here giving Bush a warning. He was scared the guys in black Crown Victorias would come to get me and he didn't want to get swept up in the raid. The next time I saw him on the street, I spit on his shoes. Figured I'd give him an excuse to take a poke at me. Puh, he ran away. Fucking asshole.


My posting will be limited the next week and a half. Usually, we close the shop down for the middle 2 weeks in August, but this year we all had different vacation plans. This week and next, Indian is up in the Blue Ridge Mountains, camping with Mrs. Indian. As most of you know, I'm semi-retired and I work from 7 to 1. Leaves my afternoons free for blogging (among other things). This week and next though, I'll be working late to take up the Indian's slack. So bear with me and I'll be back in full rant mode as soon as Ol' Blanket Ass gets back.

Tuesday, August 9, 2005

Bush Vows To End U.S. Oil Dependence

This just in from The Onion:

WASHINGTON, DC - President Bush unveiled an aggressive initiative Monday that would make the U.S. free of petroleum dependence by the year 4920, less than three millennia from now.
Responding to reporters' questions, Bush admitted that our progeny could face challenges in pursuit of the goal, such as the earth's degrading orbit and eventual destruction of the moon by tidal force, or the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

"Our distant relations will have some hard work to do," Bush said. "But hard work is what built this nation, and I have every faith that they will succeed."

The proclamation comes on the heels of Bush's plans to pay off the national debt by the early 6300s, and win the war on terror by 7450.

I feel a lot better now. Gives me something to live for.

Sticker Shock over Shell Shock

From Truthout, on the VA's unconscionable treatment of Veterans:

The US government is reviewing 72,000 cases in which veterans have been diagnosed with severe post-traumatic stress disorder, claiming that misdiagnosis and fraud have inflated the numbers. Outraged vets say the plan is a callous attempt to cut the costs of an increasingly expensive war.
To outraged veterans groups, the review smacks of a convenient way to cut costs during an increasingly expensive war and reflects a reluctance by the department to take PTSD seriously. "The V.A. hopes to trim costs for existing war veterans and recently returning war veterans by targeting PTSD," says Steve Robinson, executive director of the National Gulf War Resource Center, a veterans advocacy organization in Silver Spring, Md. "This is a desperate and despicable move by an administration caught without a plan, the money, or the staff to care for our nation's wounded warriors."
What that boils down to, says Robinson, is that veterans caught in the V.A. review are going to have to prove they were hurt all over again. "If you had a claim granted during this time period, you better get out your [military records] and start calling your buddies for evidence of your combat exposure," he says.

Every month in the VFW magazine there are personal ads from Vets of WWII, Korea, and Vietnam seeking old service buddies to help them establish VA claims. I think the VA has caught up with Spanish-American War and WWI claims, because there aren't many ads from those Vets. I'm sure the VA hopes to catch up on claims from later conflicts in the same manner.

In June, the V.A. issued an order that would have made it more difficult to grant veterans 100 percent disability for PTSD by requiring further review of those cases before granting payments. It was rescinded a week later in the face of intense criticism from veterans groups, who wanted equal scrutiny on cases where the department decided to deny a PTSD claim.

"There are a lot of people out there who want to make some changes on the backs of veterans," says Smithson. "This is a really scary time."

A grateful nation speaks: "You did what we wanted you to do. We used you 'til you were useless to us. You suffered terribly. You should be very proud of your service and hold your head high. Now fuck off."

Reefer Madness

AlterNet's DrugReporter has a good article on The War On Some Drugs' continuing misdirection against marijuana. Many good, and some really stupid, comments as well.

"We're seeing an increasing number of organizations from all sides of the political spectrum starting to question these policies," explains Mirkin. "We've had reports just in the last six months or so from the Sentencing Project, which tends to be on the left side of the political spectrum, as well as the American Enterprise Institute and Citizens Against Government Waste, who are much more on the conservative side. But they are all essentially saying the same thing: This doesn't make sense. We're pouring money down a rat hole and very possibly doing more harm than good."

We could end all the anti-weed efforts in a New York minute if Sara Lee, HoHos, and Krispy Kreme would kick down some campaign contributions. Their stock would be through the roof with legalized pot.

Home, Home Out Of On The Range...

Wonkette chimes in on Mrs. Sheehan's sun-filled Summer vacation:

Does anybody remember why it is that Bush went to Crawford for four weeks? Scott McClellan brushed off detractors with this folksy argument:

Spending time outside of Washington always gives the president a fresh perspective of what's on the minds of the American people. It's a time, really, for him to shed the coat and tie and meet with folks out in the heartland and hear what's on their minds.

Hey, that's funny, there's someone just outside the ranch who'd love see him!

I think the "folks" Bush meets with "out in the heartland" are the same big contributors and other assorted snakes that he meets with in DC. Apparently, ordinary citizens (Mrs. Sheehan is anything but ordinary!) aren't allowed within five miles of Der Fuhrer His Majesty. I think he's scared of his adoring public, let alone the traitors who disagree with him, and is staying out of rifle range.

If you've got a few minutes, Technorati has one or two more articles on Mrs. Sheehan's situation.

Martial Law

Forget the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, the Pentagon already has plans to use the military in case of domestic terrorist attack.

From Newshounds (August 9th):
"Don't Let a Little Thing Like "The Law" Get in the Way

Here's a little tidbit from yesterday's (8/8) FNL that should make everyone sit up & pay attention.

At 12:03pm (EDT) Greg Kelly reported on the US military planning a "domestic military response" in case of a terror attack in the US. Kelly said such duties could include "crowd control" & coping with the aftermath of a WMD attack. He also noted that the Pentagon is in a "delicate position" because they are "by law prevented from" doing this, but the Pentagon believes it "could be used on orders from" POTUS & it "may have to take charge of" certain crisis duties."

[Bold emphasis mine - BaltLen]

And from the Washington Post-via Truthout (august 8th):
War Plans Drafted to Counter Terror Attacks in US

" Colorado Springs - The U.S. military has devised its first-ever war plans for guarding against and responding to terrorist attacks in the United States, envisioning 15 potential crisis scenarios and anticipating several simultaneous strikes around the country, according to officers who drafted the plans.

...The Pentagon's new homeland defense strategy, issued in June, emphasized in boldface type that "domestic security is primarily a civilian law enforcement function." Still, it noted the possibility that ground troops might be sent into action on U.S. soil to counter security threats and deal with major emergencies. "
[Bold emphasis mine again - BaltLen]

Does everyone feel comfy now?

More Cindy

At her Kos Diary:

. . . Why do the right wing media so assiduously scrutinize the words of a grief filled mother and ignore the words of a lying president?

[. . .]

Go read it all. Thanks to the Roo for the link.

Last throes

WASHINGTON - Anticipating a new burst of insurgent violence, the Pentagon plans to expand the U.S. force in Iraq to improve security for a planned October referendum and a December election.

Although much public attention has been focused recently on the prospect of reducing U.S. forces next spring and summer, defense officials foresee the likelihood of first increasing troop levels.

[. . .]

"The units that are there have been told to expect that," he said. "It's possible that your planned rotation dates back to the U.S. will be affected by the need to keep a higher level for a longer period of time. They understand that."

[. . .]

Pack your wrenches, Gord. You and I are gonna be fixing Humvees soon.

How'd you like to be a local commander and have tell your people their tours have been extended again? About now, I'd be sleeping with one eye open. (Hat tip: The Farmer)

Monday, August 8, 2005

We Can't Make It Here Any More...

Good lyric posted by Dread Pirate Roberts.

Vietnam Vet with a cardboard sign
Sitting there by the left turn line
Flag on the wheelchair flapping in the breeze
One leg missing, both hands free
No one's paying much mind to him
The V.A. budget's stretched so thin
And there's more comin' home from the Mideast war
We can't make it here anymore

And much more.


Kos via DemVet:

Cindy Sheehan phoned me from Texas a few minutes ago to say that she's been informed that beginning Thursday, she and her companions will be considered a threat to national security and will be arrested. Coincidentally, Thursday is the day that Rice and Rumsfeld visit the ranch, and Friday is a fundraiser event for the haves and the have mores. Cindy said that she and others plan to be arrested.

All of you who've been saying Bush and his henchmen aren't Nazis can go fuck yourselves.

Steamy, Sweaty Testosterone in Brown Shirts...

Rick Mercier opines in the Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star:

SOMEBODY PLEASE tell me I'm not the only one who saw the coverage of the Boy Scout Jamboree arena show Sunday night and thought: Yikes, that's a bit too much like some of the scary weirdness that torments me in my sleep.

I mean, isn't there something nightmarish about our misleader swooping down on a steaming pit of sweat and testosterone and whipping a throng of brown-shirted youths into a nationalistic frenzy?

And what's not surreal about the author of an unnecessary, costly, and wholly counterproductive war claiming that his policies are "laying the foundations of peace for decades to come"?
The extravaganza featuring our commander in chief felt especially creepy coming on the heels of a weeklong effort by the military to turn the jamboree into one big recruitment fair.

But I guess it's fitting that this president would be flown in to wrap up the recruiting blitz. It's thanks to him that the military is in such desperate need of warm bodies.

And there's always more democracy-spreading to be done. It's no secret that some of the ideologues who whisper in the president's ear subscribe to the notion that "everyone wants to go to Baghdad - real men want to go to Tehran."
Likewise, when Bush said Americans could count on the Eagle Scout who runs the Pentagon to "be prepared," everyone was obliged to overlook the fact that U.S. forces were anything but prepared as they headed into combat in Iraq. Thanks to the Eagle Scout, there weren't enough troops, or enough armored vehicles, or enough dependable flak jackets. Thousands of dead and maimed Americans are the result of his preparations.

Some of these Boy Scouts are eleven years old. They've raised the enlistment age almost to the point where I've got a choice of being a Soldier or a Wal-Mart greeter. I wonder when they'll feel the need to lower it, perhaps offering High School scholarships as a recruiting aid?

New Democrats in the Making

From the Binghamton(NY) Press & Sun Bulletin, quoting Paul Hackett of Ohio:

At the same time, he spoke of Marines and soldiers still in Iraq as "young Democrats in the making." If he's right about that, then Bush and Cheney and the rest of those neocon liars who raved about weapons of mass destruction and a "cakewalk" invasion are going to find themselves in trouble if and when those young fighters come home.

Hackett also said he is ready to return to Iraq if called upon, which appeared to confound Goodman. She apparently doesn't understand Marines.

As for Schmidt, she is fortunate that the election was held the day before rather than the day after those 14 Ohio Marines died in Iraq.

But how many more of those brave men and women need to die before an indifferent public wakes up and demands a workable end to what's happening there, and not just empty slogans coming from an empty head.

In my opinion, the only way the deaths of our troops will not have been in vain is if they piss Americans off enough that Republicans and Neo-conmen will never, ever, take over this country again.

It was bound to happen sooner or later...

From Editor & Publisher:

It was bound to happen sooner or later, and in what newspapers in Kentucky are calling a first, one American has killed another in a dispute over the Iraq war.

It happened at Floyd County flea market on Thursday, when two friends, who were firearms vendors there, drew guns after quarreling about the war. Douglas Moore, 65, of Martin, who backs the war, shot and killed Harold Wayne Smith, 56, of Manchester, who opposed it, according to investigators.

Moore was released without being charged after he convinced police he had acted in self-defense. A grand jury may yet hear evidence in the case.

I wonder if they'd have released the anti-war guy if he had prevailed?

This quickly escalated into an argument, then to a scuffle, and finally both men drew pistols outside a snack shed. The dead man was apparently just a little slower in firing (my bold). Witnesses said he stood for about five seconds before toppling on the walkway.

The moral of this story is crystal clear: The first one to clear leather and fire wins. Work on your fast draw.

Piece of shit

MSNBC Breaking News

NASA postpones shuttle landing. -
Discovery astronauts ordered to delay landing until Tuesday due to weather concerns.

Well they're postponing the landing because there are clouds in the area. Let's see, it can't get wet, it can't take a hit from a piece of foam, it regularly loses said foam, and you're sending it into space? I wouldn't go around the block in it if it were a car. Tell me why we should risk the lives of our best and brightest in a piece of shit like this? I'd rather travel to the space station in a '56 Buick, shot out of a cannon.

ANWR and the Energy Bill

John is on the ramifications of the Repubs' Energy Bill:

[. . .]

If it were really about reducing our dependency on foreign oil, we'd be a hell of a lot more serious about reducing our dependency on oil, period. For instance, there wouldn't even be a debate about making SUVs more efficient, because they already would have been.

Unfortunately, the reality is that this Administration has long opposed efforts to curtail our consumption of oil. A recent example is another provision left out of the Energy Bill:

[. . .]

Peter Jennings

1938 - 2005

Happy trails, my man. They don't make 'em like you anymore.

Sunday, August 7, 2005

Good God

My man Dave:

I swear this is for real. The wingnuts are blaming the Clintons for the leak of a CIA agent's identity . . .

Words fail me . . .

This Monkey's Kung Fu is Very Strong...

Go see what Kung Fu Monkey has to say about the president and unintelligent design. Recommended.

I'm not going to rehash the whole ridiculousness of Intelligent Design, or as it's more commonly known: "Creationism Trying to Look Serious By, Say, Squinting -- Like Denise Richards Playing the Nuclear Weapons Expert In That Bond Movie". My pal Orac has all the necessary links. If you don't understand that there's absolutely no contradiction between believing in God and evolution, then frankly I'm not going to waste the time trying to jam a rhetorical screwdriver into your pineal gland's butterfly valve and crank up the air flow. Nor will I trot out another version of I Miss Republicans, although I suspect that a fair number of people out there are pretty rattled, as it's become the number one entry page to this blog over the last day.

That's sort of in the middle of a terrific rant. Don't miss it.

Down, Down, Down, In A Burnin' Ring O' Fire

Go see Newsweek's latest poll numbers. Bush keeps dropping. I'll be happy when he drops through the gallows floor.

The myths of Hiroshima

This editorial in the LATimes knocks some big holes in the mythology surrounding the decision to use the atomic bomb on Japan.

Americans were also told that use of the bombs "led to the immediate surrender of Japan and made unnecessary the planned invasion of the Japanese home islands." But it's not that straightforward. As Tsuyoshi Hasegawa has shown definitively in his new book, "Racing the Enemy" - and many other historians have long argued - it was the Soviet Union's entry into the Pacific war on Aug. 8, two days after the Hiroshima bombing, that provided the final "shock" that led to Japan's capitulation. (my bold)
The bomb was dropped, as J. Robert Oppenheimer, scientific director of the Manhattan Project, said in November 1945, on "an essentially defeated enemy." President Truman and his closest advisor, Secretary of State James Byrnes, quite plainly used it primarily to prevent the Soviets from sharing in the occupation of Japan. And they used it on Aug. 6 even though they had agreed among themselves as they returned home from the Potsdam Conference on Aug. 3 that the Japanese were looking for peace.

There are other reasons we used the bomb, but you have to look kinda deep (foreign documentaries on The History Channel at 3AM) to find 'em:

Justification for the $2,000,000,000 (with a "B") expense.

Plain old-fashioned Revenge, served hot.

Because we could.

Not to justify it, but kindly remember that the Japs killed more civilians at Nanking with bullets and bayonets than were killed with the two A-bombs, not to mention their atrocities elsewhere.

I think it's fortunate for Germany that they surrendered before the bomb was ready, although we may not have used it on them because they didn't sneak-attack us, and they're white. They certainly committed atrocities that dwarfed Japan's.

It points to competence, your honor

This via Roger Ailes the Good:

A White House council on volunteerism said Friday it's taking another look at how the President's Call to Service Award -- accompanied by a laudatory letter from President Bush -- was issued to Stanley "Tookie" Williams, a California Death Row inmate who has written a series of books warning young people against the gang life.

A spokesman for the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation said that neither the council nor Bush had any way of knowing that the person they were honoring was a condemned multiple murderer. [my emphasis]

[. . .]

Personally, if the guy is trying to redeem his worthless ass by helping kids from Death Row, more power to him. But this shows the kind of idiots who are running the show at 1600. I'm sure it would only have taken a Google search to figure out what this guy was about. It's the same way they planned for Iraq. Chimpy Inc has brought superficiality to an art form.

Update: 12:50:

I did a Google search just to see. Here's his homepage.

Go get him

I love this woman. Reminds me of my mom . . . only younger . . . and still alive.

CRAWFORD, Texas (AP) -- The angry mother [Cindy Sheehan] of a fallen U.S. soldier staged a protest near President Bush's ranch Saturday, demanding an accounting from Bush of how he has conducted the war in Iraq.

[. . .]

She said she decided to come to Crawford a few days ago after Bush said that fallen U.S. troops had died for a noble cause and that the mission must be completed.

"I want to ask the president, `Why did you kill my son? What did my son die for?" she said, her voice cracking with emotion. "Last week, you said my son died for a noble cause' and I want to ask him what that noble cause is?"

[. . .]

My mom was a tough broad too, and refused to take shit from anybody. I'm glad at least one news service covered this.

Via Cabana Boy.

This is what we're dealing with

Me a year ago (give or take):

[. . .]

You know, I write spy novels and some science fiction. The reason I bring this up is not to peddle books, but to make an observation. Bush & Co's actions sound like the plot of a fucking spy novel. It's as if they're taking literary license with the war, the way I would when I ask my audience to suspend their belief in the flow of time and the details. (If writers didn't, novels would be SO long and boring, and filled with minutiae, that no one would want to read them.) But wars don't proceed like novels do. The president is not an omnipotent being, like a writer, who can mold the world so the outcome is in his favor. War, and running a country, involves minutiae on a biblical scale and all the details have to be addressed BEFORE war is declared. It's as if Bush thinks the world works like a TV show or a pulp fiction novel.

Newsweek [link over there] via Attaturk today:

...the White House can at least feel reassured by FX itself, which is part of the Fox TV empire. One of the favorite shows among White House aides has been "24," the Kiefer Sutherland counterterrorism cliffhanger drama. White House aides regularly swap stories about their favorite Sutherland shoot-outs with foreign agents, terrorists and generally bad guys. "Over There" may be a different beast, but it probably appeals to the same crowd. [my emphasis]

Running a country is NOT a fucking TV show, you idiots.