Saturday, October 15, 2005

The Gulag of our time

Gary looks at the Amnesty International report and the demands for access at Gitmo.

Yeah, whatever

Steve Soto on that eight page steaming load of crap the New York Times unloaded on us. I lost interest a page in.

Hat tip: Wolcott


Susie has reaction from around Left Blogtopia (y!sctp!) along with a few of her own.

I'm on it

SASKATOON, Saskatchewan, Oct. 14 - Advocates for medical marijuana can take heart over the findings of two Canadian research teams.

A synthetic cannabinoid -- similar to the compounds found in marijuana, but substantially stronger -- causes the growth of new neurons and reduces anxiety and depression, investigators at the University of Saskatchewan here reported. [my em]

[. . .]

I expect to hear from Harvard or Yale presently. I think a nice Professor Emeritus of Weedology would be an acceptable position.

Great thanks to hairy fish nuts.


Cruising through Spudnik's site, I'm reminded* I wanted to blog about this. There's an aggregator called who collects blog posts from both sides. (They reference us a lot.) I use it to see how the Freepers react to certain subjects as opposed to what we (the Left) do without having to actually surf through the wingnut sites themselves.

*Short term memory loss


Neil Shakespeare:


"Dear Karl,

Enclosed find your target. Please turn around and pin this on your ass.

Love, Pat."


Wait until next year

I gotta do this. I'm pretty sure I could build a far better artillery piece than this clown. I wonder if they'd let me pack the pumpkins with a little black powder and a detonator? It'd be easier to see where they end up downrange. Heh. Now to con pursuade the Mrs to let me build one. She's got a problem with me having firearms.


I wrote about this the other day and Billmon takes up the cause:

[. . .]

But in addition to the Miers nomination, it also reminded me of one of the great ironies of Shrub's presidency: an administration that came to power determined to win maximum freedom of action in foreign policy by going it alone (or recruiting ad hoc coalitions that would submissively follow Washington's lead) has ended up virtually paralyzed by the consequences of its own hubris.

[. . .]

Conspiracy theories

I think Lambert puts his finger directly on it:

[. . .]

The Times hasn't mentioned the [White House Iraq Group] W.H.I.G. because they were part of the W.H.I.G. disinformation campaign. In Traitorgate, Valerie Plame was outed to protect that operation, because the Niger uranium story was one of the stories that W.H.I.G. planted. (Remember the crude forgery of mysterious provenance that the yellowcake story was based on?)

And the reason it seems like they were all in on it, is that they were all in on it. All the Kewl Kidz, and all the media whores. The whole Beltway 500 crowd is dirty. (Not you, Dan Froomkin, and not you, Walter Pincus.)

[. . .]

This is the most plausible explanation so far of why the press caved when it came to anything the Chimp did.


ReddHedd at Jane's also looks at the WHIG relating to the Agency. I touched on this the other day too.


Stolen from Atrios:

Reading Reddhead's walk down the yellowcake road I'm struck by something - exactly why was it so necessary to "get" Wilson? It can't simply be the simply be about the "sixteen words" in the SOTU speech. It must be what all that pointed to - where those obviously forged documents came from... [my em]

It's all coming together beautifully. (sniff)

Friday, October 14, 2005

Doing something

Something you might want to look into for your area. The local rock & roll station is trying to keep home heating oil prices down. Call it OPEC of Long Island.

Let's face it, home heating oil is going to take a toll on our finances this winter. Wouldn't it be great if you could get the cheapest rate on Long Island? Well that's what the Roger and JP Oil Cartel is trying to accomplish.

If you know someone who works, manages or owns an oil company big or small, that can give Long Islanders the lowest home heating oil price for the entire winter, we want to hear from you!

The oil company that can meet this goal, will become the official oil company of the Rock and Roll Morning Show, getting daily mentions on Roger and JP, potentially doubling your current customer base.

Think you can help us help you? Contact Roger and JP Oil Cartel here:

  • Check the current price of home heating oil here.

    Roger and JP Oil Cartel Motto
    Hey, If we're gonna get screwed, let's get screwed a little less.

    Arm twisting

    WASHINGTON - The White House is seeking the help of Republican activists in Iowa and New Hampshire to pressure GOP senators with presidential hopes to support Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers.

    [. . .]

    Remember the heady days when Repubs could run the Dems over with legislation? Heh, now they have to pressure their own people to support a nomination. How's it feel, bitches?

    Great thanks: Maru

    They get letters

    Operation Yellow Elephant.

    Now that it's safe, the media gets brave...

    Paul Krugman at True Blue Liberal.

    George W. Bush, I once wrote, "values loyalty above expertise" and may have "a preference for advisers whose personal fortunes are almost entirely bound up with his own." And he likes to surround himself with "obsequious courtiers."

    Lots of people are saying things like that these days. But those quotes are from a column published on Nov. 19, 2000.
    Right now, with the Bush administration in meltdown on multiple issues, we're hearing a lot about President Bush's personal failings. But what happened to the commanding figure of yore, the heroic leader in the war on terror? The answer, of course, is that the commanding figure never existed: Mr. Bush is the same man he always was. All the character flaws that are now fodder for late-night humor were fully visible, for those willing to see them, during the 2000 campaign.

    And President Bush the great leader is far from the only fictional character, bearing no resemblance to the real man, created by media images.
    And that makes it all too easy for coverage to be shaped by what reporters feel they can safely say, rather than what they actually think or know. Now that Mr. Bush's approval ratings are in the 30's, we're hearing about his coldness and bad temper, about how aides are afraid to tell him bad news. Does anyone think that journalists have only just discovered these personal characteristics?

    Let's be frank: the Bush administration has made brilliant use of journalistic careerism. Those who wrote puff pieces about Mr. Bush and those around him have been rewarded with career-boosting access. Those who raised questions about his character found themselves under personal attack from the administration's proxies. (Yes, I'm speaking in part from experience.) Only now, with Mr. Bush in desperate trouble, has the structure of rewards shifted.
    What we really need is political journalism based less on perceptions of personalities and more on actual facts. Schadenfreude aside, we should not be happy that stories about Mr. Bush's boldness have given way to stories analyzing his facial tics. Think, instead, about how different the world would be today if, during the 2000 campaign, reporting had focused on the candidates' fiscal policies instead of their wardrobes.

    I love Krugman. He's one of the few who have called it like they see it from the git-go. The other two brave ones are Maureen Dowd and Molly Ivins.

    It's easy to be fearless when there's no danger. It's the old "You get him down and I'll jump in" syndrome.

    The media seems to be doing OK right now, but they have a lot to make up for.


    As a mechanic, it's a subject near and dear to my heart. Proper lubrication is paramount. Or, as Frank Zappa says, 'keep it greasy so it go down easy'.


    Sort of:

    [. . .]

    Called "third country nationals" (TCN) in contractor's parlance, they hail largely from impoverished Asian countries such as the Philippines, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Pakistan, as well as from Turkey and countries in the Middle East. Once in Iraq, TCNs earn monthly salaries between $200 to $1,000 as truck drivers, construction workers, carpenters, warehousemen, laundry workers, cooks, accountants, beauticians, and similar blue-collar jobs.

    [. . .]

    Invisible Army of Cheap Labor

    Tens of thousands of such TNC laborers have helped set new records for the largest civilian workforce ever hired in support of a U.S. war. They are employed through complex layers of companies working in Iraq. At the top of the pyramid-shaped system is the U.S. government which assigned over $24 billion in contracts over the last two years. Just below that layer are the prime contractors like Halliburton and Bechtel. Below them are dozens of smaller subcontracting companies-- largely based in the Middle East --including PPI, First Kuwaiti Trading & Contracting and Alargan Trading of Kuwait, Gulf Catering, Saudi Trading & Construction Company of Saudi Arabia. Such companies, which recruit and employ the bulk of the foreign workers in Iraq, have experienced explosive growth since the invasion of Iraq by providing labor and services to the more high-profile prime contractors.

    This layered system not only cuts costs for the prime contractors, but also creates an untraceable trail of contracts that clouds the liability of companies and hinders comprehensive oversight by U.S. contract auditors. In April, the Government Accountability Office, an investigative arm of the U.S. Congress concluded that it is impossible to accurately estimate the total number of U.S. or foreign nationals working in Iraq.

    [. . .]

    This is just another way for Halliburton to make a bigger profit. It's also a dry run for what they have planned for this country. Cheap labor, low (or no) benifits, and a greater profit margin for the robber barons.

    Hat tip: Thomas Leavitt at STF.


    How long will the Times stake theirs on Judy 'Da Fluffa' Miller? Steve Gillard has an excellent treatise on what is happening, and will undoubtedly happen, to the Gray Lady's rep.

    [. . .]

    The staff of the New York Times is so frustrated at Miller and her bosses defense of her, they ran to Howie Kurtz to rat her out. At their rival newspaper. Normally, people would have closed ranks. Her collegues are after like she's fucking Frankenstein and they have torch and pitchfork licenses.

    [. . .]

    Et tu, Maggie?

    [. . .]

    Although Lady Thatcher remains a strong supporter of the decision to topple Saddam by invading Iraq, it is the first time she has questioned the basis for the war. Yesterday's Washington Post reported that when asked whether she would have invaded Iraq given the intelligence at the time, Lady Thatcher replied: "I was a scientist before I was a politician. And as a scientist I know you need facts, evidence and proof - and then you check, recheck and check again." [my em; Link]

    [. . .]

    In other words, 'how can you be so fucking stupid not to cover your tracks, you idiots'? I also think it was a slap at the unIntelligent Design idiots in the States.

    Great thanks to TBogg for the link.

    Friday Cattle Dog Blogging

    Princess Shayna says she's tired of the rain that's been inundating the NY Metro Area for the past week. "This weather isn't fit for a dog," she was heard to say.

    Thursday, October 13, 2005

    Quote of the Day


    Again, I say Wow. Bush is crumbling like a slice of Apple Brown Betty.

    Enjoy the crash, Republicans. Bed. Made. Lie.

    Talk dirty to me...


    A Texas prosecutor subpoenaed telephone records for the home phone of former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay and his political campaign Thursday.
    The subpoenas list telephone numbers, but not whom they belong to. They ask for information about the calls, voice mail service at the numbers and long distance calls made from or charged to the numbers.

    Hopefully, this will turn up some good conspiratorial dirt evidence against DeLay, but the dirty-ol'-man side of me wants to know about the 900 numbers.

    Like the popular country song says, "He drinks tequila, and she talks dirty in Spanish". If only!

    How the Republicans Let It Slip Away

    Another in today's "Republicans are going down the shitter" series, by David Ignatius.

    What's interesting is that most of these wounds are self-inflicted. They draw a picture of a party that, for all its seeming dominance, isn't prepared to be the nation's governing party. The hard right, which is the soul of the modern GOP, would rather be ideologically pure than successful. Governing requires making compromises and getting your hands dirty, but the conservative purists disdain those qualities. They swim for that beach with a fiercely misguided determination, and they demand that the other whales accompany them.
    What you sense now, as conservative and moderate Republicans alike take potshots at their president, is that the GOP is entering the post-Bush era. A war of succession has begun, cloaked in a war of principles. The cruelest aspect of Bush's predicament is that the conservatives are treating him with the same disdain they showed his father. What a denouement to the West Wing Oedipal drama: A son who did everything he could to avoid his father's humiliation by the conservative wing of the party is now under attack by the right himself.

    Principles are a fine thing, but a narrow, partisan definition of principle has led the Republicans to a dead end. Their inability to transcend their base and speak to the country as a whole is now painfully obvious. Like the Democrats in their years of decline, they are screaming at each other -- not realizing how far they have drifted from the mid-channel markers that have always led to open waters and defined success in American politics.

    Note to Republicans: If you really want to enter the "Post-Bush" era, GET RID OF THE SON OF A BITCH. You can come up later with some verbiage that'll make you out to be the fuckin' heroes that saved America. We'll believe you. Yeah, right.

    In the dumper

    Heh, the Chimp's approval ratings are down to 39%. From the Alternate Brain Mailbag, Think Progress has another statistic:

    ...A new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll finds that just 2 percent of African-Americans approve of his leadership...

    What I wanna know is how all these black preachers who sold their souls to Bush can face their congregations now?


    Pam elaborates on this as well.

    Conservative Crackup

    Howard Fineman

    President George W. Bush may have no military exit strategy for Iraq, but the "necons" who convinced him to go to war there have developed one of their own - a political one: Blame the Administration.

    Their neo-Wilsonian theory is correct, they insist, but the execution was botched by a Bush team that has turned out to be incompetent, crony-filled, corrupt, unimaginative and weak over a wide range of issues.

    The flight of the neocons - just read a recent Weekly Standard to see what I am talking about - is one of only many indications that the long-predicted "conservative crackup" is at hand.

    The "movement" - that began 50 years ago with the founding of Bill Buckley's National Review; that had its coming of age in the Reagan Years; that reached its zenith with Bush's victory in 2000 - is falling apart at the seams.

    'Bout fuckin' time, too. Go read the rest. Trust me (where have I heard that before?), you'll like it.

    10 Pledges to Demand from Democrats

    I'm more than a little leery about anything that even sounds like it resembles a "Contract with America" after the last time, given that politicians will sign anything that sounds good even though they know nobody will hold them accountable so they don't have to live up to it. This one from AlterNet sounds good anyway.

    You hear it every day in Washington: "Democrats have no ideas, no programs, no deeply held beliefs, no lines in the sand they will not cross." The only discernible passion Democrats display is a passion to be in power again. But in power to do what? You tell me. I have no friggin idea, and I deeply suspect neither do they.

    That's why we need to force them to sign a contract with us this time. To put it bluntly, we don't trust them any longer. They've double-crossed at every major moment -- on war, on taxes, on the environment, on health care. They took or votes and our hopes and bargained them away to the enemy for the political equivalent of nylons, smokes and chocolate bars.

    So I took the points Bob listed in his article, "embellished" them and put them into the form of 10 contractual pledges Democrat candidates can and should embrace.

    Read the rest Below the Fold.

    What more to say?


    [. . .]

    Reading this account of a conference call with rat-faced, chinless GOP shill Ken Mehlman, it occurs to me that a miraculous thing has happened: apparently, not nominating a firebreathing lunatic who explicitly vows to overturn Roe v. Wade and roll back most New Deal legislation has caused rank-and-file conservatives to begin to doubt the word and/or judgment of the President (by the way, have fun battling the crazies like James Dobson and Pat Robertson on this one).

    Congratulations, it only took y'all about 4.75 years of wanton fiscal management, cronyism, broken promises, infantile happy-talk about foreign policy, multiple scandals involving members of the White House and Republican leadership, failure to utilize the veto, deepening debt, rampant corporate welfare, and unfulfilling lip service to your pet prejudices to drive that particular point home. Sorry you're abandoning a rotten, derelict ship of state at such a late point in time; most of us abandoned any hope of a financially sound country operating in any sane manner years ago.

    [. . .]

    All I can add is, in the future I hope people will use the 'Bush Era' as a lesson about how bad things can get when incompetents and crooks rule the roost. Unfortunately, I think it will get worse before it gets better. Desperate men resort to desperate measures, and I'm getting a whiff of desperation on the wind blowing north from D.C.


    WASHINGTON - The National Guard and Reserves are suffering a strikingly higher share of U.S. casualties in Iraq, their portion of total American military deaths nearly doubling since last year.

    [. . .]

    At least when I was in, everybody acknowleged the Guard and Reserves were the red-headed stepchildren of the active-duty military. They get hand me down equipment from the regulars and less training. Not taking anything away from them at all.

    I remember, a little over 20 years ago, the Air Force ran airfield security excercises for their Security Police and Mobile Aerial Port people. 11th Special Forces (U.S. Army) was the OPFOR (opposing force). I was attached to 59th APS at the time. A bunch of Reservists, 11th had us chasing them for a week, always a step ahead of us. They inflicted quite a bit of 'damage' on our position too. (Mostly our commander's fault in the way he deployed his assets.) Great troops. I'll never say anything bad about part-time soldiers.

    But isn't it the time, since we're using them in the same capacity as active duty troops, to give them front-line equipment and training? Whether the Pentagon admits it or not, the Guard and Reserves are still being shortchanged and it's showing up in their increased casualty count.

    Were the leadership not so incompetent, disregarding for a minute the fallacy of the war in Iraq to begin with, they would realize active duty troops and part-time soldiers are not interchangable and would not use them as game pieces of equal value. It is one of the underlying fundamental problems with our straetgy in Iraq.

    Jo Fish, from whom I stole the link, has more to say on the subject as well.

    Wednesday, October 12, 2005


    Via thinks up an intersting scenario.

    Pushing back

    Never fuck with the Agency:

    WASHINGTON - A newly released report published by the CIA rebukes the Bush administration for not paying enough attention to prewar intelligence that predicted the factional rivalries now threatening to split Iraq.

    Policymakers worried more about making the case for the war, particularly the claim that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, than planning for the aftermath, the report says. The report was written by a team of four former CIA analysts led by former deputy CIA director Richard Kerr.

    [. . .]

    Out one of our operators? Blame us for the WMD bullshit in Iraq? Oh no, fuck you!

    Hat tip: Chris T

    A little military humor

    After reading Fixer's post about Air Force Weenies and some lively comments thereon, I saw this in a book I'm reading, "Ambush Alley", about the 1stBn,2d Marines' fight in Nasiriya on the heels of Pvt. Lynch's capture.

    In the ever-friendly spirit of Inter-service Rivalry, here goes:

    "Three high-school friends meet up for a camping holiday a few months after they have joined up. The one who was in the Air Force says:

    "Boot Camp was horrible. They ran out of Diet Coke in the soda fountain.

    "The one from the Army says:

    "That's nothing. They made me sleep outside and it rained on me.

    "The one from the Marine Corps says nothing. He carries on lighting the fire with nothing but his dick."

    If the Marine Corps taught me nothing else, to this day I know how to ring a doorbell with my arms full!

    Raucous laughter

    That must be what's happening in Damascus right now:

    [. . .]

    Bush also repeated U.S. warnings to Syria that it should do more to stop foreign fighters from crossing its border into Iraq.

    [. . .]

    Yo, Dicknose, you don't have the troops to warn Syria about anything. You're barely keeping Iraq together.

    [. . .]

    Bush underscored warnings given last month to Syria by Zalmay Khalilzad, the U.S. ambassador to Baghdad, who said "patience is running out with Syria" for failing to stop foreign fighters from crossing over into Iraq.

    [. . .]

    Whatcha gonna do, bleed on me?

    Do the Neocons actually believe anyone takes them seriously? Mark my words, if the Chimp goes after Syria, or Iran for that matter, shit's gonna start blowing up over here on a regular basis. Hopefully the scandals and future indictments neuter these assholes so they can't take 'pre-emptive action' anywhere else.

    Let's hear it for the "I" word...

    After Downing Street

    Poll: Americans Favor Bush's Impeachment If He Lied about Iraq

    The poll was conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs, the highly-regarded non-partisan polling company. The poll interviewed 1,001 U.S. adults on October 6-9.

    The poll found that 50% agreed with the statement:

    "If President Bush did not tell the truth about his reasons for going to war with Iraq, Congress should consider holding him accountable by impeaching him."
    "The results of this poll are truly astonishing," said co-founder Bob Fertik. "Bush's record-low approval ratings tell just half of the story, which is how much Americans oppose Bush's policies on Iraq and other issues. But this poll tells the other half of the story - that a solid plurality of Americans want Congress to consider removing Bush from the White House."

    Duck-walkin' in chains he should be removed from the White House! With every camera in the world present.
    The strong support for impeachment found in this poll is especially surprising because the views of impeachment supporters are entirely absent from the broadcast and print media, and can only be found on the Internet and in street protests, including the large anti-war rally in Washington on September 24.

    Go read this one. Let's hope this starts something.

    You da man, Jane!

    Imagine my surprise when I saw our gal Jane in a headline on my Yahoo homepage! She and her henchman ReddHedd are burnin' up the wires with their fine analyses of the whole Traitorgate deal over at Firedoglake. I'm damn glad the world is noticing!

    Bush's Gusher Finally Came In...

    Comedian Harry Shearer said the other day that "Bush spent his whole life drillin' dry holes. Looks like he finally found his gusher in Harriet Miers." I've got way too much class to wonder about how dry her...

    Anyway, Uniongrrl asks the burning question, "Is it just me? Or is Maureen Dowd having WAAAAAAY too much fun with the Harriet Miers' nomination?"

    Since there is no breathtaking Miers judicial record to pore over, I was eager to read more breathless Miers missives to a president she describes as the most brilliant man she has ever met. How could I get the notes from the White House, given how opposed Mr. Bush is to leaks? I called Scooter and Karl and they sent the secret documents right over.

    August 2001 "Thank you so much for letting me bundle up and drag away the brush that you cut down today. And if I might add, Sir, I've never seen a man wield the nippers so judiciously. It was awesome! You are the best brush cutter ever!!"

    January 2003 "Just a quick note to say how cool it is that you picked Brownie to head FEMA. There's nothing like having someone you know and trust in a top job. Your gut is the best judge ever!!"

    April 2004 "There is no other president who would have had the courage to allow torture, dude! (It's only too bad that Abu Ghraib rules out Alberto's chances of getting on the Supreme Court.) You are the best torturer ever!! xo, H."

    October 2005 "How can I thank you, Sir? I never, ever expected the Supreme Court. Phat! I hope Clarence doesn't make me watch 'Debbie Does Dallas' again. That movie is so anti-Texas! I miss you already!!

    MoDo's a hoot! Go read the rest.

    We're movin' to Jersey

    BlueJersey that is:

    [. . .]

    Over at the LIVE blog and over my radio I hardly believed it. Both candidates were asked about medical marijuana by a caller and both said they were FOR IT!

    [. . .]

    Perp walks

    To initiate a war of aggression, therefore, is not only an international crime, it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole. ... If certain acts in violation of treaties are crimes, they are crimes whether the United States does them or whether Germany does them, and we are not prepared to lay down a rule of criminal conduct against others which we would not be willing to have invoked against us.

    Click for graphic.

    Hat tip: The King

    Tuesday, October 11, 2005


    While war and disaster are bad for most people, they have been a financial windfall for those with ties to Halliburton.

    An analysis released today by the Office of Senator Frank R. Lautenberg reveals that Vice President Cheney's Halliburton stock options have increased in value 3,281 percent in one year... [my em; Link*]

    I don't know about you, but they didn't even kiss me first. Oh yeah, that was the $300 tax rebate. That will surely pay my heating costs this winter, you motherfuckers.

    *From the Alternate Brain mailbag

    I'm dyin' here

    Oh this is so good. I haven't laughed so hard in a while. Ha-ha! Via AMERICAblog via Oliver Willis.


    Lafayette debris removal company: Wanted to bid on debris removal, but debris removal contract was put up for bid on a web page only mentioned to Bush cronies.

    Go see the guy on the iceberg.

    Air Force weenies

    This should be good:

    Straining to find ground troops to maintain its force levels in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Pentagon has begun deploying thousands of Air Force personnel to combat zones in new jobs as interrogators, prison sentries and gunners on supply trucks.

    [. . .]

    Individual branches have spent decades carving out unique roles within the U.S. military, and Air Force officials insist that the redeployment of its personnel is temporary. Nonetheless, the reassignments come as another sign that the Pentagon is struggling to meet the demands of what military officials have begun calling "the long war."

    [. . .]

    I wonder what Abu Ghraib-esque shenanigans will go on after they send these new 'interrogators' out, after what amounts to a crash course at Huachuca, and tell them to "make 'em talk". Knowing the Air Force as I do, they'll probably fuck the prisoners to death

    [. . .]

    The changes within the Air Force, even if temporary, run counter to Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld's overall vision of the military as a lighter, faster and more lethal force that relies on technology and efficiency to accomplish national security goals more quickly.

    [. . .]

    Fucking Rummy's vision. Rummy don't know enough to have a vision or he wouldn't have gotten us into this stupid fucking war to begin with.

    Hat tip: Wanker Scott


    Via The Hawk comes this delightful prediction of what the Celestial Sphere has in store for the Chimp. Seems to be coming true as we speak.

    Life's little pleasures...

    Go see Tom Tomorrow. Let's enjoy it while we can!

    We're winning

    MSNBC Breaking News

    Taliban rebels ambush police convoy, kill 19 officers, Afghan officials say

    Yeah, right. One question. 4 years later, why is there anyone who identifies themselves as 'Taliban' still alive in Afghanistan?


    I'd like to highlight a couple blogs because of the outstanding photography on 'em. I stop by 'em both usually once a day as a little breath of fresh air in between political tsurrus. Both are Rocky Top Brigaders I met through the mentor of this blog, South Knox Bubba.

    The first is Cleek. Mr. C has an excellent eye and Tricksey is one of the most beautiful cats I have ever seen. This from a dog person. He doesn't only photograph his cat, but has breathtaking shots of just about everything. Psst, a few more of the beautiful Mrs. C if you would.

    The second is Dope on the Slope. A Tenneseean who now lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn with his lovely lady. Another with a great eye who's given me a whole new perspective on . . . fucking Brooklyn. He also blogs with that crazy old squid CAFKIA over at Meanderthal.

    Stop by them both.


    Ol' Farnsworth has one:

    ...Sign the Buzzflash petition and demand that the Bush offspring enlist, or else bring the troops home...

    I couldn't resist

    Stolen shamelessly from Mr. H.

    Monday, October 10, 2005

    Fixer & Gordon - You're Tagged

    Anyone else want to join? Here's mine:

    Name five of your idiosyncrasies:

    1. I am generally sloppy. By this I mean that if the house doesn't look like it walked out of Better Homes and Gardens - I don't get too bent.
    2. I cannot stand clutter. Keeping in mind #1 above, if things get so sloppy that I'm stubbing my toe, navigating around piles of stuff, or slipping on a magazine and ending up on my butt - then I get cranky. So the house may not be perfect - but you will not see any of the aforementioned examples.
    3. Books have to be in the bookcase in alphabetical order, period. Or else I get irritated.
    4. I don't liked to be talked to when I get home from work. Just give me 3 minutes please - before you start to dump all of the trials and tribulations of the day on me. Three minutes won't hurt - honest.
    5. If my night table looks cluttered and sloppy - leave it alone. It's my clutter. It's my slop. Feel free, however, to take the dirty dishes to the kitchen if you feel so inclined.

    So that's my little list. Now I'm tagging Hibiscusroto, and The Alternate Brain.


    How do you define it? Pauly's got a survey.

    They Eat Their Young, and I'm Laughing My Ass Off

    Ann Coulter (who I will not directly link to) says it all:

    "I eagerly await the announcement of President Bush's real nominee to the Supreme Court. If the president meant Harriet Miers seriously, I have to assume Bush wants to go back to Crawford and let Dick Cheney run the country.

    Unfortunately for Bush, he could nominate his Scottish terrier Barney, and some conservatives would rush to defend him, claiming to be in possession of secret information convincing them that the pooch is a true conservative and listing Barney's many virtues — loyalty, courage, never jumps on the furniture ... "

    This is freakin' hilarious.

    Same old, same old

    The Dems are shooting themselves in the foot again.

    The War on Terra

    Yeah, this could happen.

    Not good

    Auto parts supplier Delphi Corp became the largest auto firm in US history to declare bankruptcy when it announced it was seeking Chapter 11 protection for its US divisions.

    While Delphi and its former parent company, General Motors, insisted that there would be no supply interruptions, the move is certain to reverberate across the industry.

    [. . .]

    This is not good from where I sit. Even though I bitch about Delphi's (and GM's) quality and their downhill spiral since 1973, this opens the door for even less dependable manufacturers. I'm of the 'Better The Devil You Know' school. Not only that, but GM talks bullshit when they say there'll be no interruptions.

    [. . .]

    Delphi may be the largest, but it is not the first US supplier to seek bankruptcy protection as a result of stiff competition from abroad and shrinking demand for American cars.

    It employs some 185,000 workers, including 35,000 in the United States. [Link]

    [. . .]

    You know there will be layoffs, and while current year manufacture might not be affected. God help them if they have to retool a part thanks to recall. I remember in '92 (not long after Ford bought control of Mazda) the Probes of that year (built by Mazda) had a bad run of vehicle speed sensors. They started going bad a couple months in (December '91 -January '92) and the recall began shortly after. Some cars were inoperative for months until capacity could catch up with demand.

    Also something to ponder, the American taxpayer will probably have to pick up the tab for Delphi's pension commitment.

    [. . .]

    Delphi, which lost $4.8 billion last year, said that the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. (PBGC) could take over the company's pension obligations, but the federal agency might not guarantee the full amount. For a retiree under age 65, the maximum benefit is $1,710.51 per month or $20,526.12 per year, an amount lower than the typical payout to Delphi workers.

    [. . .]

    This could be the beginning of the end of GM. Look for Buick and Pontiac to go the way of the Oldsmobile shortly, probably within 5 years.

    [Cross-posted at TF&G]

    Fucking fish

    The irrepressable scientist, PZ Myers worries for the wingnuts' health, being so tight-assed and all . . .

    [. . .]

    Wasn't that beautiful and fun? I suspect my fish are also happier and better adjusted than any gang of repressed Puritans you can find.

    [. . .]

    It's also a good marker. When my fish stop having sex every day, I know that they are feeling stressed or ill or exhausted or aren't getting their proper nutrition...

    Pussies or Tools?

    You decide:

    [. . .]

    But what is really troubling about this story, aside from the chutzpah of someone like Freeh accusing anyone else of going easy on the Saudis, is the agenda shown by CBS News in going after Clinton on this story, given that they were ready to air this story tonight without a rebuttal and without talking to anyone who was at the meeting in question. You see, CBS News was ready to air this story tonight on Freeh's claims, when it turns out that Freeh himself wasn't even at the meeting wherein he claims that Clinton asked the Saudis for a contribution and went easy on them regarding the Khobar Towers bombing. And worse yet, Mike Wallace was told that there were at least five people who attended the meeting who could dispute Freeh's allegations, and he was also told that Freeh wasn't even at the meeting himself. Yet Wallace, "60 Minutes", and CBS News were ready to put the smear on Clinton tonight anyway. [my em]

    [. . .]

    There was a time when I respected CBS News. It was a long time ago.

    Hat tip: Atrios

    Sunday, October 9, 2005

    Advice for Dems

    Driftglass via the Church:

    [. . .]

    And he [NBC's Chris Matthews] signs off crabbing that the Dems aren't offering a better choice. Iraq has been a disaster of Clancy proportions, and is quickly spiraling into the Biblical, and Matthews wants to carp that the Dems aren't stepping up and taking one in the teeth to give the country an alternative.

    [. . .]

    Now that every quibble has turned out to be the ugly truth, and every Republican tout has turned out to be lies and treason, Quisling Press hacks like Matthews would be well-advised to Shut The Fuck Up about nagging Democrats about what we should and should not do.

    [. . .]

    I wanted to blog about this in the morning, but I had this dull ache at the base of my skull.

    More light reading

    E.J. Dionne via the Green Knight:

    Now we know: President Bush's supporters are prepared to be thoroughly hypocritical when it comes to religion. They'll play religion up or down, whichever helps them most in a political fight.

    [. . .]

    Let's be clear: It is pro-administration conservatives, not those terrible liberals, who are making an issue of Miers's evangelical faith. Liberals are not opposing Miers because she is an evangelical. Conservatives are telling their friends to support Miers because she is an evangelical.

    There is, however, some good news. A significant number of conservatives are outraged over the administration's look-at-her-faith campaign. I was first tipped off to the White House's pious strategy earlier this week by a prominent conservative who is very sympathetic to people of faith but angry at what he sees as the misuse of religion in the Miers battle. [my em]

    [. . .]

    As Gord said below, maybe some of the Kool-Aid is wearing off.

    A little light Sunday reading...

    Frank Rich

    To understand why the right is rebelling against Harriet Miers, don't waste time boning up on her glory days with the Texas Lottery Commission. The real story in this dust-up is not the Supreme Court candidate, but the man who picked her. The Miers nomination, whatever its fate, will be remembered as the flashpoint when the faith-based Bush base finally started to lose faith in our propaganda president and join the apostate American majority.
    Like most Bush fictions, the latest are driven less by ideology than by a desire to hide incompetence. But there's a self-destructive impulse at work as well. "The best way to get the news is from objective sources," the president told Brit Hume of Fox News two years ago. "And the most objective sources I have are people on my staff who tell me what's happening in the world." Thus does the White House compound the sin of substituting propaganda for effective action by falling for the same spin it showers on the public.

    Beware of leaders who drink their own Kool-Aid. The most distressing aspect of Mr. Bush's press conference last week was less his lies and half-truths than the abundant evidence that he is as out of touch as Custer was on the way to Little Bighorn. The president seemed genuinely shocked that anyone could doubt his claim that his friend is the best-qualified candidate for the highest court. Mr. Bush also seemed unaware that it was Republicans who were leading the attack on Ms. Miers. "The decision as to whether or not there will be a fight is up to the Democrats," he said, confusing his antagonists this time much as he has Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden.
    The administration's strategy for covering up embarrassing realities with fiction reached its purest expression two weeks ago when both Laura Bush and Karen Hughes were recruited to star in propagandistic television "reality" shows. In the first lady's case, this was literally so: she was dispatched to Biloxi to appear in an episode of ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition." The thinking seems to be that if Mrs. Bush helps one family on a hit reality series, perhaps no one will notice the reality that no-bid contracts and ineptitude have kept hundreds of thousands of other hurricane victims homeless indefinitely while taxpayers foot the bill for unused trailers and cruise ships.

    Ms. Hughes took her act on the road in the Middle East. There she conducted a culturally tone-deaf "listening tour" in which she read her lines from briefing papers and tried to win hearts and minds by posing with little Arab kids as if they were interchangeable with the little black kids in Mr. Bush's "compassionate conservative" photo ops back home. She didn't seem to know that this stunt wouldn't even fly on Fox News anymore, let alone Al Jazeera.

    This Saturday is supposed to bring new victories on both these troubled fronts: Oct. 15 is the day that Iraqis vote on their constitution and the day that the president set as a deadline for all hurricane victims to be moved out of shelters. Chances are that the number of Americans who still have faith that the light is at the end of either of these tunnels is identical to the number who believe Harriet Miers is the second coming of Antonin Scalia and that Tom Cruise has found true love.

    I hope what Daddy Frank is gettin' at is that the Kool-aid may be starting to wear off from at least a portion of the folks who voted for the Numbskull-in-Chief. Or maybe it's that there's only so much Denial before people start to realize what they've done and have to puke.

    It's not a bad dream, folks. It's real. Very real. It's a weak president presided over by a corporate/criminal organization.


    Some of you might notice the shield from 16th Special Operations Squadron has disappeared to be replaced with the AF Combat Control Patch in the right sidebar. I was hotlinking the pic from the Air Force website and they changed their layout. I had a pic of the combat control patch in my files so I uploaded it. No big deal but I know somebody's gonna ask.

    Where are they now?

    Remember Osama bin Forgotten? I bet you forgot about this guy too, President No WMD.

    Yesterday's excuses

    Mrs. F and yours truly were at the wedding of our oldest and closest friends' oldest daughter. (Say it a couple times, it works) Needless to say, we had far too much fun. It was wonderful, though I feel a bit old, because I've known these kids all their lives. An excellent coincidence, the wedding was held at the country club that's 2 blocks from my house. The car found its way home by itself.

    Pics below the fold.