Saturday, August 27, 2005


[. . .]

A new Gallup Poll reflects further erosion in President George W. Bush's job approval rating, continuing the slow but steady decline evident throughout the year so far. The poll -- conducted Aug. 22-25 -- puts Bush's job approval rating at 40% and his disapproval rating at 56%. Both are the most negative ratings of the Bush administration. Bush's previous low point in approval was 44% (July 25-28, 2005) and his previous high point in disapproval was 53% (June 24-26, 2005).

[. . .]

At least one House of Congress is ours . . . if we play it right. Link via Oliver Willis.

Why do I feel so optimistic? It's going to cause us some pain (there's always a price), but there's a perfect economic shitstorm a-brewin' and it's gonna make landfall just about election time. Calculated Risk via my man Dave:

[. . .]

[Director, UCLA Anderson Forecast Dr. Edward E.] Leamer lays the blame squarely on the Federal Reserve for leaving interest rates too low for too long. Now, he says, we're not only heading for trouble in the housing sector, but in the auto industry - another market that got drunk on historically low rates.

[. . .]

As rates creep higher, consumers happily driving their new cars or living in their larger homes have no motivation to purchase additional ones. Since consumer spending drives two-thirds of our economy, when consumers close their wallets, the impact is far-reaching.

[. . .]

The Republicans own this, ladies and germs. Just like they own Iraq, they're the only ones to blame for the coming storm. The consequences combined with Chimpy's steadily falling numbers, they have nowhere to hide. It's gonna cause some economic upheaval to a buncha good folks who don't deserve it, but it's gonna break the GOP grip on the Congress. Once that happens, think Impeachment.

Yes, I know I said I was done for the night, but this is it . . . honest.


David was right, the dainty fonts were killing my eyes. Hope this is better for you other old farts too.

New York was not attacked

I know I've been a posting fool today but one more. It's a shame we fucked up the wingnuts' day on 9/11, but they've gotten their mileage out of it regardless. From the Green Knight:

[. . .]

I'm serious about this (well, sort of). The right has always been uneasy with the specifics of what happened on September 11, 2001, because the people who were killed, who were permanently injured, who lost loved ones, who rushed heriocally into danger to save their fellow human beings, were all New Yorkers. New Yorkers, like other blue-staters, aren't supposed to behave like that, according to the right-wing culture-war narrative. They're supposed to be effete, latte-drinking, Europhiliac, wine-sipping wimps who shriek and run at the first sign of danger.

The right absolutely hated the fact that New Yorkers proved their culture war narrative wrong. It would have been so much better if it had been red-staters that were attacked by terrorists and behaved heroically in response (which no doubt they would have). Annie sez this herself: "I think I'd rather have them trying to invade Mississippi or Georgia, Alabama." It was so thoughtless, really, of the Al Qaeda terrorists to make New Yorkers look good.

[. . .]


I've been posting on this for over a year. Via Maru:

While President George W. Bush travels around the country in a last-ditch effort to sell his Iraq war, White House aides scramble frantically behind the scenes to hide the dark mood of an increasingly angry leader who unleashes obscenity-filled outbursts at anyone who dares disagree with him.

"I'm not meeting with that goddamned bitch," Bush screamed at aides who suggested he meet with Cindy Sheehan, the war-protesting mother whose son died in Iraq. "She can go to hell as far as I'm concerned!"

[. . .]

White House insiders say Bush is growing increasingly bitter over mounting opposition to his war in Iraq. Polls show a vast majority of Americans now believe the war was a mistake and most doubt the President's honesty.

"Who gives a flying fuck what the polls say," he screamed at a recent strategy meeting. "I'm the President and I'll do whatever I goddamned please. They don't know shit."

[. . .]

I'm still debating the tinfoil hattishness of this. If it is true, the President should be removed from office.

The post also includes the observations of Dr. Justin Frank, whom I've posted about earlier. The confirmation of Bush's instability would explain a lot. I wish somebody would catch Condi giving Dubya a blowjob. It would be so much easier to get him out.

Bought and paid for

So who's minding the store? Via RJ Eskow:

CRAWFORD, Texas - President Bush played host to the White House press corps Thursday night for a private off-the-record dinner at his ranch.

[. . .]

The event was not held last year because of the busy campaign season. The invitations to the reporters were issued on the condition that they not discuss conversations at the event. [my emphasis]

Doesn't anyone have a clue how this looks? Does anyone know the meaning of perception and conflict of interest? I'm tired of the collegial relationship between the WH Press Corpse and the administration. Not when there are so many skeletons rattling around in so many closets. How do you trust a press corps who swears fealty to this corrupt administration for the price of a free meal?


[. . .]

"At the end of my career, I get to document the destruction of the species I've been documenting for 20 years," he lamented.

Such sentiments have become increasingly common in recent years among a growing number of marine biologists, who find themselves studying species in danger of disappearing. For years, many scientists and regulators believed the oceans were so vast there was little risk of marine species dying out. Now, some suspect the world is on the cusp of what Ellen Pikitch, executive director of the Pew Institute for Ocean Science, calls "a gathering wave of ocean extinctions."

Dozens of biologists believe the seas have reached a tipping point, with scores of species of ocean - dwelling fish, birds and mammals edging toward extinction. In the past 300 years, researchers have documented the global extinction of just 21 marine species - but 16 have occurred since 1972. [my emphasis]

[. . .]

Our planet is dying and only the powers that be in Washington refuse to acknowlege it. Read the whole post at the 12th Harmonic.

Have Nots


[. . .]

The administration and some political commentators seem genuinely puzzled by polls showing that Americans are unhappy about the economy. After all, they point out, numbers like the growth rate of G.D.P. look pretty good. So why aren't people cheering?

Some blame the negative halo effect of the Iraq debacle. Others complain that the news media aren't properly reporting good economic news. But when your numbers tell you that people should be feeling good, but they aren't, that means you're looking at the wrong numbers.

[. . .]

Some commentators dismiss concerns about gasoline prices, because those prices are still below previous peaks when you adjust for inflation. But that misses the point: Americans bought cars and made decisions about where to live when gas was $1.50 or less per gallon, and now suddenly find themselves paying $2.60 or more. That's a rude shock, which I estimate raises the typical family's expenses by more than $900 a year.

You may ask where economic growth is going, if it isn't showing up in wages. That's easy to answer: it's going to corporate profits, to rising health care costs and to a surge in the salaries and other compensation of executives. (Forbes reports that the combined compensation of the chief executives of America's 500 largest companies rose 54 percent last year.) [my emphases]

[. . .]

The 'Haves' and the 'Have Mores'. I believe the Chimp calls them his 'base'. Well, they've been doing very well.


Stirling Newberry at the Stakeholder:

[. . .]

Having given Bush the longest period of undivided government since Jimmy Carter, people expected results.

But results are exactly what this Congress has been in short supply of. For decades Republicans promised that if they got in charge, they could do more with less because of all of the Democratic "waste, fraud and abuse". Instead, under the undivided government of Bush, DeLay and Frist, budget deficits have ballooned, and billions have turned up missing or unaccounted for in Iraq. The Republican leadership promised a Congress that would be run like a business. However, it seems safe to say that if a business were run the way Congress is, it would be under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Republican Leadership learned a great deal from the dot com bubble, specifically how to keep ugly items off budget to make losses look less dire, and then masking the real size of the deficit by counting your Social Security money as if it were income taxes. Don't be fooled by "private accounts," what Bush, DeLay and Frist have really invested your money in is a dry hole in Iraq. What Bush did for Harken, he and the Republican leadership in Congress have done for America.

[. . .]

So let me ask a simple question, what has Congress done for you lately? They sent you a three hundred dollar check a few years ago, which turns out to have been borrowed, so even now you are paying it back.

[. . .]

The how is also important. It should be clear by now that the Republican way of doing something is hiring a bunch of their contributors to do it. "Pay to Play" is a good way to get bridges to nowhere, tunnels that leak and No Child Left with a Behind. It's also a good way to get a video poker vote counting system that can't be trusted.

[. . .]

Americans want to be sure that when America commits to a decision it is the right one, and that there hasn't been any cooking of the books or fixing the facts to get a rush to judgement.

The lesson is that if you elect a bunch of "yes men," don't be surprised when they can't say no to their cronies.

[. . .]

An excellent post. In effect, the Republican Party is an organized crime ring, nothing more and the press have been their enablers. It's time we showed them for what they really are. Great thanks to Jo Fish.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Well, I do love the smell of napalm...

Or maybe it's just helicopters, boat rides, crazy bastards and/with weaponry. Grenade launchers are way cool.

I have been called by that name many times...

Take the 45 question test. I went from Saddam Hussein to Albert Einstein just by answering more questions!

Ich bin ein Berliner

Hat tip: Jay at RUFNKM.

Of course it was the Germans

That's what my mom used to say about every cool innovation, like rockets. But the Krauts are pretty good with figuring shit out.

HELENA, Montana - Montana's governor wants to solve America's rising energy costs using a technology discovered in Germany 80 years ago that converts coal into gasoline, diesel and aviation fuel.

The Fischer-Tropsch technology, discovered by German researchers in 1923 and later used by the Nazis to convert coal into wartime fuels, was not economical as long as oil cost less than $30 a barrel.

[. . .]

Montana is "sitting on more energy than they have in the Middle East," [Gov. Brian] Schweitzer told Reuters in an interview this week.

"I am leading this country in this desire and demand to convert coal into gasoline, diesel and aviation fuel. We can do it in Montana for $1 per gallon," he said.

"We can do it cheaper than importing oil from the sheiks, dictators, rats and crooks that we're bringing it from right now." [my emphases]

[. . .]

Today is the first I heard of this. The Indian showed it to me in a trade paper over morning coffee. I'm gonna do more research (and yes, you treehuggers, I'm gonna find out how environmentally feasible this is) and I'll get back to you. At first blush, it seems promising. Yes, I know we need cleaner fuels, but we are rich in coal, and if gasoline and diesel can be extracted, it could cut our ties to Arab oil . . . and Pat Robertson can call back the hit on Hugo Chavez.

Does a box of hatpins come with it?

Grumpy Old Man has the line on the perfect Christmas present for your wingnut friends, if you still have any.


President Incompetent Fool's newest incompetent fool is already making trouble. Via Ol' Yella:

John Bolton, Washington's new ambassador to the United Nations, has called for wholesale changes to a draft document due to go before a UN summit next month aimed at reshaping the world body.

Mr Bolton, a long-standing UN critic who was given a temporary appointment by George Bush three weeks ago after the United States Senate failed to agree on his nomination, has proposed 750 amendments to the draft and called for immediate talks on them.

[. . .]

The Bolton amendments, published in the US press, seek to play down the emphasis given to alleviating poverty, and expunge all references to the millennium development goals, including the target for wealthy countries to donate at least 0.7 % of national income to the developing world. America currently gives less than 0.2% in such aid.

The changes would also scrap provisions in the draft calling for action against global warming, and remove endorsements of the international criminal court and the comprehensive test-ban treaty - both of which are opposed by the Bush administration.

[. . .]

Not only did we fuck up the U.S., we're gonna fuck up the world. Outrageous.

U.S., insurgents locked in stalemate in Anbar

Informative article at about what's going on in Western Iraq.

After repeated major combat offensives in Fallujah and Ramadi, and after losing hundreds of soldiers and Marines in Anbar during the past two years - including 75 since June 1 - many American officers and enlisted men assigned to Anbar have stopped talking about winning a military victory in Iraq's Sunni Muslim heartland. Instead, they're trying to hold on to a handful of population centers and hit smaller towns in a series of quick-strike operations designed to disrupt insurgent activities temporarily.

"I don't think of this in terms of winning," said Col. Stephen Davis, who commands a task force of about 5,000 Marines in an area of some 24,000 square miles in the western portion of Anbar. Instead, he said, his Marines are fighting a war of attrition.
Military officials now frequently compare the fight in Anbar to the Vietnam War, saying that guerrilla fighters, who blend back into the population, are trying to break the will of the American military - rather than defeat it outright - and to erode public support for the war back home.
Instead of referring to the enemy derisively as "terrorists" - as they used to - Marines and soldiers now give the insurgents a measure of respect by calling them "mujahedeen," an Arabic term meaning "holy warrior" that became popular during the Afghan guerrilla campaign against the Soviet Union.
The new Iraqi army has participated in all the Marines' recent sweeps in Anbar, in a limited way. While the Iraqi soldiers haven't thrown down their weapons and run, as they have in the past, many of them are still unable to operate without close U.S. supervision.

It looks like this stupid war is going nowhere fast, although that comes as no surprise. It's like WWI without the trenches. Just a lot of killing.

The Straight (?) Scoop

From an interview with Dan Savage, internationally-syndicated gay sex advice columnist, via AlterNet.

Given the ways in which various conservatives want to legislate the gay community, it seems hard to imagine voting for conservatives if you are gay. How do you respond to gay Republicans?

How do you respond to Republican women? Republican Hispanics? There are some people who are just deeply damaged. Look, I have some gay Republican friends who aren't crazy; I would count Andrew Sullivan among them, but he endorsed Kerry last time out. Not all gay Republicans are crazy or willing to lash themselves to the whale of George Bush.

You look at gay people and all studies show we drink more, we smoke more, we do more recreational drugs. Gay people are more likely to take extreme ill-advised sexual risks. There's a certain self-destructive streak that I don't think has anything to do with homosexuality per se, but has everything to do with the pain that gets wedged into your soul when you internalize the bad things you are told about being gay and punish yourself all your life.

I would add voting Republican when you're gay to that list, along with doing crystal meth and having sex with 40 guys in one weekend. They're both dumbass, self-destructive things to do. A certain number of people are stupid enough to off themselves.

He goes on to discuss conservatives' obsession with sex, hot conservative pundits, and "Spreading Santorum" (God help us all!). Enjoy.

Tonight on NOW

Via Truthout:

NOW reports on the real estate bubble and asks, is it about to burst?

The boom in real estate prices in America is being fueled in part by interest-only mortgages that are flooding the market with easy money for home buyers. Are these mortgages fabulous new financing tools that are helping more Americans buy homes, or are they a dangerous symptom of a housing bubble that is about to pop? On Friday, August 26, 2005 at 8:30 P.M. on PBS (check local listings), NOW travels to California, where housing prices are continuing to explode, to investigate the risks and benefits of new financing vehicles that are enticing buyers into bigger houses than they ever thought they could afford.


Bill Maher chimes in on the housing bubble in the LATimes:

I don't want to say there's a housing bubble, but I had a refrigerator delivered this morning and a homeless guy offered me $3 million for the box.
And do you know who holds most of our national debt? Asians. The only thing standing between us and foreclosure is the fact that Angelina Jolie is holding most of their children.

But I digress. The point was about how supposedly intellectual, superior coastal elites are the ones dumping thousands into mortgages they can't afford, proving once and for all how much people will pay not to live in Kansas.
What don't Americans get about "you're only rich on paper?" If there's one thing that Republicans schooled in the ways of Wall Street have taught us, it's this: Don't spend money you don't have; spend money other people don't have.

Go read and have some fun.

Squandering our cred

I've said this for a while, though the Wingnut Right doesn't get it. The United States is the only society gullible enough to be swayed so completely by rhetoric. 51% of the populace swallowed all the bullshit Chimpy dished out and went along like sheep, mouthing whatever RNCFox News tells them to.

Other places aren't like this, though to the wingnuts, no other places count. Earth was put here by God for the United States to dominate and administer for the good of the United States. The Neocon dogma plays here (see 'gullability' above), but folks around the world judge us by our actions, not the RNC corporate line.


[. . .]

Ackerman breaks down all the reasons why Guantanamo is counterproductive to our national security as well as why it is an immoral, legal and strategic mistake of epic proportions. He very clearly shows how the administration's stubborn "my way or the highway" philosophy has put it at odds with virtually every other country and actually impeded the detention of dangerous people. It seems that the rest of the world isn't willing to throw its constitutions out the window to accomodate us just because we've thrown out ours. And the administration refuses to change anything, including our ineffectual torture techniques and endless detention policies. [my emphases]

[. . .]

Mission Accomplished. In five short years, we've gone from the Leader of the Free World to a pariah nation. Penthouse to the pavement in a historical blink of an eye.

Friday Cattle Dog Blogging

Princess Shayna

I'm gonna bury that camera in the yard, dad!!!!

Free Haiti

Sadly, or as an indictment of me, I do not know enough about the situation in Haiti. I have Haitian friends, but most came to this country decades ago and for one reason or another want to put that episode of their lives behind them. The Dominicans I know don't give much of a shit what happens across the border because they live relatively well and the less they know about Haiti, the better. Thankfully, CN Todd is on this like white on rice.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

That's it

Any last scintilla of respect I had for John McCain just went by the wayside. From that crazy broad Wonkette:

John McCain signs on with President Bush's plan to erect a bridge past the 19th century by endorsing the teaching of intelligent design in the nation's public schools. Schools should bring in "all points of view" regarding the origins of the human species, the Arizona senator said--which, we fear, is just the sort of opening Tom Cruise has been waiting for.

[. . .]

He should be wearing a 'Kick Me' sign.

Tony's payoff

The Mirror via Avedon Carol:

TONY Blair is expected to join one of the most exclusive groups of businessmen in the world after he leaves Downing Street.

The PM is being lined up for a highly lucrative position with the Carlyle Group - an American-based investment giant with strong links to the White House and the defence industry.

[. . .]

Another who's sold his soul to the Neocon Devil. Another who's got the blood of Iraq on his hands.

Sweet Dreams

From the Renegade.

Job disapproval

Bark Bark Woof Woof:

[. . .]

Thirty-six percent? Wow. That's as bad as Richard Nixon, right?

Wrong again, buffalo breath! Richard Nixon, in July 1973, at the same point in his presidency as Bush (the summer after his re-election) and at the height of the Watergate revelations (John Dean's testimony before the Ervin committee and the revelation of the White House tapes), was at 39%. In other words, Richard Nixon, one of the more charm-free occupants of the Oval Office, was three points ahead of President Bush.

[. . .]

Could it be the American people are beginning to open their eyes?

Good news

Via Grandpa Eddie concerning Gord's post last week:

AUSTIN, Texas A decorated Marine doesn't qualify as a Texas resident any more because of the time he spent serving in Iraq.

That's what Carl Basham says officials told him when he tried to enroll in Austin Community College.

[. . .]

Eddie has this today:

Former Marine Cpl. Carl Basham is a real Texan.

On Friday, Basham submitted "additional documents" to Austin Community College to meet requirements for a waiver for in-state tuition. Basham was granted in-state status.

The school previously denied Basham the cheaper tuition rate because he lived in Louisiana for a year before joining the military.

[. . .]

I love it when shit works out for somebody who deserves it.

More 'Stans'

As I've said many times before, Iraq would be far better off broken into 3 states (Shi'astan, Sunnistan, and Kurdistan) under a loose central government in Baghdad. This should have been the plan from the beginning, but then all they thought about was 'on to Baghdad'.

I said this at the beginning of the year. Had we any postwar planning, it would have been something worth serious consideration. From Brilliant at Breakfast (which has been missing from my daily blogroll for far too long and I will remedy that after work):

[. . .]

There is no Iraq. There's a country of warring factions cobbled together by the British almost 100 years ago that has been lying in wait like sprinters, waiting for the starting gun, so they could pounce at each other again.

[. . .]

We can thank the British Empire for many of the problems we face today. Their arbitrary gerrymandering of nations under their control was made without regard to ethnic or racial issues. Earlier in the post, Jill quotes Marc Cooper (link at B at B):

. . .

Iraq - thanks to the British colonialists - was always a paper-thin, manufactured state. Only the leaden hand and the willing trigger finger of a tyrant like Hussein could hold the national state together.

. . .

We have neither the stomach or the national will to run Iraq a la Saddam. The neocons wouldn't mind, but the American people in general have had it with Iraq. We can't finish this job and, much as it pains me, I'd have to agree we should leave Iraq post haste. Yes, we should fix what we fuck up but lately I'm of the opinion we've fucked Iraq up too much for us to fix. The Iraqis will do this or they won't, it's up to them. We've given them enough 'help' and it's time to leave. Hopefully, the 3 new 'Stans' might evolve with as little bloodshed as possible.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Blogenlust's Guide to Wingnut Logic

[. . .]

The BJ Corollary:

Anything can be justified absent blow jobs. [matt]

Parallel to the BJ Corollary:

Blow jobs are worse than or equal to any bad act. [matt]

[. . .]

You gotta see this. Liquid Alert: Spit or swallow first.


Congressman Jim Leach (R, Iowa) has informed Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D, California) that he will co-sponsor her Resolution of Inquiry into Bush Administration communications with the U.K. about Iraq at the time of the Downing Street Memos . . .

Good news! Read the rest at . . . you know where.


A state Republican committeeman in the Poconos has been charged with molesting a teenage boy at an underage beer party in a Stroudsburg motel, police said Friday.

John R. Curtin, 20, of Stroud Township rented a room Monday afternoon at the Days Inn on Park Avenue and threw a beer party for several boys ages 13 to 17, Stroud Area Regional police said.

[. . .]

Gotta love them 'moral values' from the Party of God. Thanks: Maru.

Good God

E & P via Atrios:

NEW YORK The American Legion, which has 2.7 million members, has declared war on antiwar protestors, and the media could be next. Speaking at its national convention in Honolulu, the group's national commander called for an end to all "public protests" and "media events" against the war, constitutional protections be damned.

"The American Legion will stand against anyone and any group that would demoralize our troops, or worse, endanger their lives by encouraging terrorists to continue their cowardly attacks against freedom-loving peoples," Thomas Cadmus, national commander, told delegates at the group's national convention in Honolulu.

[. . .]

Bush's Brownshirts. Oy. And they're probably all armed too. Silly old men. Dangerous, but stupid. If you're a member and don't agree with this drivel, now's the time to become an ex-member.

Update: 19:00:

DemVet is far more articulate than I.

Dirty Tricksters

Go read how the Federalist Society and Young College Republicans operate, at Truthout.

I have spent the last seven years of my life working cheek-by-jowl next to members of the Federalist Society and the College Republicans. The Federalist Society is a law school student organization that began in the 1970s, and has "adult" chapters throughout the United States. According to the Washington Post and other news reports, its present secret membership lists contain those at the highest levels of the Bush Administration. [1] The same goes for College Republicans, the college campus organization that feeds into the Federalist Society.

Know your enemy.

But, it's un-American not to send more money to rich folks...

If you'd rather your gas money would go to help poor people than rich people, read this piece at Common Dreams:

Citgo is a U.S. refining and marketing firm that is a wholly owned subsidiary of Venezuela's state-owned oil company. Money you pay to Citgo goes primarily to Venezuela -- not Saudi Arabia or the Middle East. There are 14,000 Citgo gas stations in the US. By buying your gasoline at Citgo, you are contributing to the billions of dollars that Venezuela's democratic government is using to provide health care, literacy and education, and subsidized food for the majority of Venezuelans.

Instead of using government to help the rich and the corporate, as Bush does, Chavez is using the resources and oil revenue of his government to help the poor in Venezuela. A country with so much oil wealth shouldn't have 60 percent of its people living in poverty, earning less than $2 per day. With a mass movement behind him, Chavez is confronting poverty in Venezuela. That's why large majorities have consistently backed him in democratic elections. And why the Bush administration supported an attempted military coup in 2002 that sought to overthrow Chavez

I am going to get a Citgo credit card.

I don't care what anybody says about Chavez. I like him. Because of oil, he may actually be able to pull off what Fidel tried to do with sugar cane and cigars.

Find a Citgo station here.

He's running out of rationales

Joe Conason on Bush's latest, lamest, and hopefully last rationale for his war in Iraq:

As 'freedom' routine loses credibility, Bush uses war dead to justify war
Challenged to justify the war in Iraq by his critics -- and in particular by bereaved Gold Star mother Cindy Sheehan -- President George W. Bush has answered with logic that is almost perfectly circular. Speaking to the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Salt Lake City on Aug. 22, he explained that our troops must keep fighting and dying in order to justify the sacrifice of those who fought and died before them.

Maureen Dowd weighs in on the same topic:

What twisted logic: with no W.M.D., no link to 9/11 and no democracy, now we have to keep killing people and have our kids killed because so many of our kids have been killed already? Talk about a vicious circle: the killing keeps justifying itself.

Lemme see if I understand this - more kids have to die in vain to honor the ones who have already died in vain so the Chimp won't have to admit they died in vain due to his mistakes and lies. Is that about right?

Making a Permanent Home in the 'Promised Land'

From Media Transparency:

Christian Right's piece of the "Promised Land"

"Israel offers evangelical Christians land near the Sea of Galilee in the hopes of solidifying their support and boosting tourism

After more than 30 years of organizing testimonial dinners for right wing Israeli politicians, handing out checks to Israeli charities, and forming alliances with conservative Jewish leaders and organizations to support Israel, Evangelical Christians may finally be getting a piece of the "Promised Land."

In a move geared toward solving Northern Israel's unemployment crisis, increasing tourism to the country, and solidifying relations with US Evangelical Christians, the Israeli government has offered 35 acres of land on the shore of the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) for development by Christian Evangelicals. The Israeli government is hopeful they will build a large conference center, complete with the requisite amenities, to attract hundreds of thousands of evangelical tourists from the US and other countries."

One quote from the article that really jumped out at me:

"Ari Marom, an Israeli official in charge of tourism marketing in the US, told the Financial Times. "The need and desire to strengthen our relationship with the evangelical community and encourage them to visit and support Israel not just from afar but up close, cuts across party lines.""

He may live on an iceberg but . . .

The guy in the fancy suit has got it nailed:

[. . .]

Israel is safer today than it has ever been in its entire existence. Yet, talking to my Israeli coworkers, reading the news from Israel, it seems that the Israeli people themselves haven't got the message, and indeed if you point this out and point out that maybe it's time that the United States quit propping up a failed welfare state in the Middle East by shipping them billions of dollars in aid, and instead force them to reform both economically and politically to live in the modern world rather than as a walled-off garrison state, you're immediately accused of being an anti-Semite who wants to exterminate Jews because everybody in the area hates Jews and wants to destroy Israel.

[. . .]

It's time we got the Israeli spies and provocateurs out of the U.S. government. It's time to rethink our pouring almost $5bn into the Israeli economy every year, especially when we're cutting funding to the VA and other worthy organizations.

Israel has nukes, ladies and gents, and they can damn well protect themselves in the region with that threat alone. I'm tired of fighting Israel's battles and wars while they turn into the Nazis they so despise and stand at our front door with their hands out.

[And you'll notice I didn't use the words 'Israeli' and 'Jew' interchangably as I have been apt to in the past. See, even an old dog can learn a new trick or two.]


Ann Coulter doesn't like New Yorkers. Fine with me, but don't question our courage:

She says of terrorists, "it's far preferable to fight them in the streets of Baghdad than in the streets of New York (where the residents would immediately surrender)."

Just the same way we surrendered on 9/11, right? I've lived all over the world and I've never met people who rise to the occasion better or faster than New Yorkers. The stories of heroism and courage on that day, not just by cops and firefighters but ordinary citizens (not to mention the heroic exploits and sacrifice from our own 'Fighting 69th' in Iraq and Afghanistan), are too numerous to mention. We'll fight in the streets if we have to and we'll win. I'm tired of skanks and whores talking down about the people in this very blue city. We were the ones attacked on 9/11 and we were the ones who survived and went on. It's assholes like this who use our pain when it suits them yet can put us down when it doesn't. Fuck the lot of them. [Though I wouldn't fuck Ann Coulter with a stolen dick.]

Hat tip: Atrios.

Update: 06:00:

Glen echoes my sentiments almost exactly. Shows ya how New Yorkers think. Don't fuck with us. We'll fuck your collective asses until you choke.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Balls 2

Nancy Pelosi's (D-Brass Ones) grown some. From an email I got from her today:

[. . .]

The answer is simple: We have a cover-up Congress.

Help Us End the Cover-Up Congress Now.

>From the beginning, the Bush White House has claimed the war in Iraq as their exclusive purview: neither Congress nor the American public had any right to criticize, question, or even know about poor pre-war planning.

Congressional Republicans followed in lockstep with the White House. Even as scandals erupted from every corner, they insisted that Congress provide no oversight, demand no answers, and continue writing blank checks for the Administration.

This is just a brief list of wartime scandals that are being covered up - and that a Democratic Congress would promptly get to the bottom of:

- Alleged manipulation of intelligence on Iraq by the White House.
- Allegations against Halliburton and other corporate schemers who appear to have cheated the American taxpayer.
- The role of top Administration officials in prisoner abuse from Abu Ghraib to Guantanamo Bay.
- The apparent diversion of resources from hunting Osama bin Laden to invading Iraq before notifying Congress.
- Misleading assessments of projected costs on veterans' benefits.
- The alleged exposure of a covert officer in retaliation for her husband's whistle blowing on White House intelligence manipulation.

Every American - Republican, Democrat or Independent - deserves answers to these questions. It would seem that the Republicans will do everything they can to keep the truth from us.

[. . .]

It's about time somebody's calling them out. Good on her and I hope she starts cracking the whip. A nice picture comes to mind . . .


Yes, I fucked around with the look a little. Comments, good or bad, solicited. Here at the Brain, we strive for the best blogging environment for all. [cough, cough]

And while I'm at it, has anyone else had problems with Blogrolling lately?


Why does this decorated veteran hate America?

President Dicknose made a speech last night* calling Cindy Sheehan a traitor:

DONNELLY, Idaho (AP) - President George W. Bush charged Tuesday that antiwar protesters like Cindy Sheehan who want troops brought home immediately do not represent the views of most U.S. military families and are "advocating a policy that would weaken the United States."

[. . .]

Link via Maru.

*[Correction: the Idaho speech was today. The pic above is from the Salt Lake speech last night. - F-man]

It's the christian thing to do...


Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson called on Monday for the assassination of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, calling him a "terrific danger" to the United States.

I can think of a lot of people a lot closer to home that are a "terrific danger" to the United States, but I want them to at least have a show trial before we hang 'em. I guess I'm not a good enough christian. Thank you, Lord.

Child support

I've been saying this to anyone who tells me 'America supports the world'. No, America supports Egypt and Israel (who do you think is paying for the Gaza pullout perchance?), everybody else can go fuck themselves. The United States is the least charitable of any of the industrialized nations. From the Tart (I prefer the British pronounciation 'taht' as in 'you little tart'.):

Total US international aid is around .21% GNP- still among the lowest ratios of all donor nations . . .

But we can spend $200bn on Iraq and how much on 'Strategic Missile Defense'. All those big promises made at Gleneagles have gone by the wayside it seems:

[. . .]

The G8 agreed to increase aid from rich countries by $48bn a year by 2010. When Tony Blair announced this to parliament, he said that "in addition ... we agreed to cancel 100% of the multilateral debts" of the most indebted countries. He also stated that aid would come with no conditions attached. These were big claims, all of which can now be shown to be false. [my emphasis]

[. . .]

So stop saying we're giving all our money away. We're not, we're wasting it making a mess of the world.

Special note to Bono of U2: I love ya, man, but you're an asshole if you ever take a conciliatory stand toward President Dicknose the way you did in Scotland this year. Bush and Blair played you for a fool.

Monday, August 22, 2005


Tell me they're not gonna reinstate the Draft.

The Dems don't have a plan

Bullshit. Some do. I meant to blog on Russ Feingold's (D-WI) appearance on Press the Meat yesterday but alas, that too fell through the cracks (told ya we were having fun this weekend). Frederick Maryland at Demagogue:

[. . .]

If Dec. 31 of next year isn't enough time for U.S. troops to do the job that Bush believes they're able to do in Iraq, then Republicans should please say so. And Democrats should welcome the opportunity to force GOP leaders to come clean on this.

Let Republicans criticize Feingold's plan. Let them tell the American people that one full year and four months is not enough time for the Pentagon to adequately train Iraqi police and soldiers. (The Pentagon has already been at it for roughly two years.) That kind of attack on Feingold is likely to backfire, exhausting what little patience the public still has for the Iraqi military occupation.

[. . .]

Read it.

Democrat role models

Somebody better put this guy on a leadership committee or two. He's got the right idea.

Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson called for "the biggest demonstration this state has ever seen" to protest President Bush's appearance Monday before a national veterans convention.
"This administration has been disastrous to the country," Anderson said Friday. "If people could organize and speak out in an effective manner from the reddest state in the country, that would garner a lot of attention."
In an e-mail Wednesday to about 10 activist leaders, the maverick mayor of Utah's capital called for a diverse demonstration to greet Bush when he speaks to the Veterans of Foreign Wars at the Salt Palace Convention Center. The mayor plans to join the protesters.

[. . .]

Mayor Anderson is a Democrat with spine. I hope some of you take the fucking hint.

Hat tip: King of Zembla.


Go to Church.

For this

We've sacrificed nearly 2000 lives and all our credibility. WaPo via Atrios:

[. . .]

Washington has been pushing hard to stick to a timeline on government-building that would allow for a significant troop withdrawal as soon as early next spring.

Key provisions of the draft would formalize an already autonomous Kurdish state in the north, under a federal system. The rest of the country also would be allowed to form federal systems -- opening the way for the demand by the dominant Shiite Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq [sounds awful Iranian, don't it? - F-man] to create a southern Shiite sub-state out of up to half of Iraq's 18 regions.

Sunnis and others say such a state would be under heavy influence from neighboring, Shiite-ruled Iran. [my emphases}

[. . .]

Yes, Cindy Sheehan and all you other Gold Star Mothers, your children died to create an Iranian puppet state out of a nation who threatened us not one iota. Your President is a murderer.

Updates below the fold . . .

Collective stupid

I told you, my tolerance for stupid evaporated a long time ago. I meant to blog on this over the weekend, but it fell through the cracks. (Actually, the Mrs. and I were having fun this weekend and I forgot.) Digby:

Mary Fowler, 54, Housekeeper

Why do you think gas prices are so high?

From what I've read, they say it's because of the Iraq war. I've also read about alternatives to gas and even automobiles that use alternatives, but for some reason, the big oil companies bought up the patents for that, so it's not just the Iraq war and it's not President Bush's fault. He gets blamed for everything, but it's not his fault. It's just greed from other people. I feel like the president is doing everything he can to help.

[. . .]

So you believe we're acting as peacemakers in Iraq?

Yes and we're protecting the innocent. Muslims want to rule the world. They want to take over the whole world. That's their evil purpose.

[. . .]

Where do you get your information about the war?

The Bible and the 700 Club. I also listen to preachers who know what's going on. Pat Robertson.

[. . .]

What does it mean to be a Republican?

Republicans pick the people who believe like we do.

You mean believe in the Bible?

Yes and godly principles. If we kick god out, we'll be like other countries that have AIDS, sickness and poverty. God created the earth, he created the rules and he knows what's best for everybody.

Unfortunately, we have AIDS, sickness and poverty in this country.

Yes, because we allow homosexuality.

You blame homosexuality for AIDS, sickness and poverty?

Well, sometimes people are innocent. This nation is in trouble. The ACLU are run by communists and funded by communists. What does that tell you? They want to take god away from us.

[. . .]

I'm sorry, but Ms. Fowler and everyone else who thinks the same way are a buncha idiots. This is the 21st Century, you fucking assholes. Wake up and smell the coffee. My German may be coming out, but you people shouldn't be allowed to breed; you're far too stupid. President Miserable Failure shouldn't be a role model to you, he should be a warning.


Kevin Drum has a post up "Can we win in Iraq?" Maurinsky answers:

[. . .]

It's a trick question, Kevin Drum. We lost the war before a single bomb was dropped. We lost the war when Congress voted to give the incompetent Bush administration authority to invade. (The American people lost in a much larger sense when the 2000 election was stolen.)

Absolutely positively, my dear. America lost big time 5 years ago and the losing continues.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Home boys . . . redux

Good article in The Lone Star Iconoclast via Maru:

[. . .]

Why didn't you stop for five minutes on your way back to the ranch Friday to answer Cindy Sheehan's questions? You made time for a fund-raiser, time to throw the first pitch at a baseball game, time to meet with foreign heads of government - but no time to meet with and answer the questions of a mother whose son was killed in Iraq?

This is what "war presidents" do. There is no vacation from reality.

[. . .]

The Iconoclast is Chimpy's hometown paper. You know, even the biggest bastards around here are treated better by the local papers. Tells ya something, don't it?

Burkas are a small price to pay for democracy

Go read today's posts by James Wolcott.

You Mowed Down His Cross

A powerful letter from 1st Sergeant Perry Jeffries, USArmy Retired, to the dildo who took down the memorial crosses of his friends at Camp Casey. No quotes, just read it.

The Swift Boating of Cindy Sheehan

Frank (Pop) Rich lays it on the RS3M* for its despicable campaign against Mrs. Sheehan:

But this time the Swift Boating failed, utterly, and that failure is yet another revealing historical marker in this summer's collapse of political support for the Iraq war.
The public knows that what matters this time is Casey Sheehan's story, not the mother who symbolizes it. Cindy Sheehan's bashers, you'll notice, almost never tell her son's story. They are afraid to go there because this young man's life and death encapsulate not just the noble intentions of those who went to fight this war but also the hubris, incompetence and recklessness of those who gave the marching orders.
THIS summer in Crawford, the White House went to this playbook once too often. When Mr. Bush's motorcade left a grieving mother in the dust to speed on to a fund-raiser, that was one fat-cat party too far. The strategy of fighting a war without shared national sacrifice has at last backfired, just as the strategy of Swift Boating the war's critics has reached its Waterloo before Patrick Fitzgerald's grand jury in Washington. The 24/7 cable and Web attack dogs can keep on sliming Cindy Sheehan. The president can keep trying to ration the photos of flag-draped caskets. But this White House no longer has any more control over the insurgency at home than it does over the one in Iraq.

Be sure to read this one.

*RS3M - Republican Spin, Slime, and Smear Machine

Home boys

The fourth kid from my town died in Iraq this week. I went to school with their parents.

[. . .]

Ruiz, whose 11-month tour of duty was scheduled to end in September, was killed Monday when he was hit by small arms fire in Mosul. His family has made tentative plans for a wake and funeral near the Washington Heights home of his wife Alexa, but they have not scheduled a date yet.

Ruiz is one of 18 soldiers from Long Island who have been killed in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the fourth graduate of Brentwood High School [F-man's almer mater] to become a casualty.

[. . .]

Murdering bastids.