Saturday, December 10, 2005

Richard Pryor

Rest in peace, bro.



If you would like to have a surreal experience akin to the effects of downing ten shots of cheap tequila, tune in to FoxNews as they eulogize Richard Pryor. Apparently he invented dirty words. (It's going to come as a helluva surprise to Lenny Bruce --- not to mention Redd Foxx.) He rejected the comedy of the good comedian, Bill Cosby, and went down the "wrong path" that led us to where we are today with all this R rated badness. One of the commentators said that when he went on TV in the mid 70's he "wasn't ready for prime time." (Actually, prime time wasn't ready for him.) Another said that "every black comic owes him something."

(Is it possible that right wingers are all actually zombies who died sometime before the 60's and have been walking among us as the undead ever since then? I just don't know what else can explain their terminal cultural obtuseness.)


La escuela es muy estupido

This one pisses me off. Fuckin' Kansas again. From the WaPo:

KANSAS CITY, Kan., Dec. 8 -- Most of the time, 16-year-old Zach Rubio converses in clear, unaccented American teen-speak, a form of English in which the three most common words are "like," "whatever" and "totally." But Zach is also fluent in his dad's native language, Spanish -- and that's what got him suspended from school.

"It was, like, totally not in the classroom," the high school junior said, recalling the infraction. "We were in the, like, hall or whatever, on restroom break. This kid I know, he's like, 'Me prestas un dolar?' ['Will you lend me a dollar?'] Well, he asked in Spanish; it just seemed natural to answer that way. So I'm like, 'No problema.' "

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) made that point this summer when he vetoed a bill authorizing various academic subjects to be tested in Spanish in the state's public schools. "As an immigrant," the Austrian-born governor said, "I know the importance of mastering English as quickly and as comprehensively as possible."

Hispanic groups generally agree with that, but they emphasize the value of a multilingual citizenry. "A fully bilingual young man like Zach Rubio should be considered an asset to the community," (damn right! my em) said Janet Murguia, national president of La Raza.

Rubio, a U.S. citizen, credits U.S. immigration law for his decision to fight his son's suspension.

"You can't just walk in and become a citizen," he said. "They make you take this government test. I studied for that test, and I learned that in America, they can't punish you unless you violate a written policy."

"So I went to the principal and said, 'My son, he's not suspended for fighting, right? He's not suspended for disrespecting anyone. He's suspended for speaking Spanish in the hall?' So I asked her to show me the written policy about that. But they didn't have" one.

Rubio then called the superintendent of the Turner Unified School District, which operates the school. The district immediately rescinded Zach's suspension, local media reported. The superintendent did not respond to several requests to comment for this article.

Said Rubio: "I'm mainly doing this for other Mexican families, where the legal status is kind of shaky and they are afraid to speak up. Punished for speaking Spanish? Somebody has to stand up and say: This is wrong."

Of course it's wrong. It's Kansas. I wonder if they'd have suspended an Anglo kid for speaking Spanish in the hall. It's not only stupid, it's racist.

Let 'em just try to throw me out of Safeway for trying to converse in Spanish with mis amigos in the checkout line. Actually, the Mexicans would be the ones to get 'em to throw me out for butchering their language!

In truth, the vatos don't particularly want you to try to speak Spanish to 'em. They want you to speak English with 'em. They know that while your command of Spanish may benefit you socially, it probably won't get you a better job whereas the better they get at speaking English, their chances improve for a better paying job, if only to translate for the rest of the crew. These guys all have families to support, so this is important to them.

As a mechanic who occasionally works on bikes belonging to guys who speak about as good English as I speak Spanish, I'm very grateful for their kids who are perfectly bilingual. They are a big help: they want to make sure Tio Jose gets his puta moto fixed and doesn't get screwed by the gringo wrench because of a misunderstanding. I want to take care of those guys. They take you at your word, don't ask for a written estimate, pay cash, and don't need a receipt.

As a matter of fact, I have an auto mechanic friend whose parents waded into the U.S. about forty years ago. They got pretty rich in the chicken business and still don't speak English. My pal can switch from perfect Spanish to perfect English without even thinking about it. Anyway, he cleaned up around here in the auto repair biz because he was the only mechanic in town who spoke both languages.

One of the reasons we are starting to get behind in the world is that students everywhere are learning English, and our schools seem to think think there's no reason to teach Mandarin, Wu, Hindu, or other world languages. If folks can talk about how they're gonna screw you behind your back right in front of you, you're gonna get screwed without ever knowing how!

I think it benefits all of us to try to learn other languages and practice them wherever we can, even in the school hallway.

In Kansas and other backwards places, I guess they figure if English was good enough for Jesus Christ, it's good enough for anybody.



Dead heroes are supposed to come home with their coffins draped with the American flag -- greeted by a color guard.

But in reality, many are arriving as freight on commercial airliners -- stuffed in the belly of a plane with suitcases and other cargo. John Holley and his wife, Stacey, were stunned when they found out the body of their only child, Matthew, who died in Iraq last month, would be arriving at Lindbergh Field as freight.


I need a drink.

Thanks to Maru for the link.


Jo Fish has more:


You have to wonder what's happened to the whole Casualty Assistance Calls Officer program, that used to be sort of the province of local reserve units (now probably in Mess O'Potamia), and local active duty folks (if any). I'm sure that Dancing Donnie has found some local CheneyBurton affiliate to outsource it to, on no-bid basis of course, and they don't work evenings or weekends.


I'm shocked!

The Poles don't believe Condi*.

WARSAW, Poland -- Poland's prime minister said Saturday he has ordered an investigation into whether the CIA ran secret prisons for terror suspects in the country _ an allegation the government repeatedly has denied.


Don't believe all them Polack jokes, honey. Seems they got good bullshit detectors too. And it ain't just the Poles.


More than a half-dozen investigations are under way into whether European countries may have hosted secret U.S.-run prisons in which al-Qaida suspects were allegedly tortured, and whether European airports and airspace were used for alleged CIA flights transporting prisoners to countries where torture is practiced.


Between Condi and John Bolton, we're making losing friends at a record pace.

UNITED NATIONS, Dec 8 (Reuters) - U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan defended his high commissioner for human rights on Thursday after U.S. ambassador John Bolton rebuked her for criticizing the U.S. stance on torture, a U.N. spokesman said.


*Hat tip: Laura Rozen

Nothing's safe any more...

From AlterNet:

Many of our favorite sex toys are made with decidedly unhealthy chemicals. Is it time to kick the toxins out of the sack?

So you're an Enlightened Green Consumer. You buy organic food and carry it home from the local market in string bags. Your coffee is shade-grown and fair-trade, your water's solar-heated, and your car is a hybrid. But what about the playthings you're using for grown-up fun between those organic cotton sheets -- how healthy and environmentally sensitive are they?

Queen thinks the lack of agreed-upon standards is a major problem. She and the staff at Good Vibrations have often had to fall back on marginally relevant regulations. "I remember trying in the early '90s to track down information on an oil used on beautiful hand-carved wooden dildos -- was it safe to put into the body?" she says. "The closest comparison we could find was the regulation governing wooden salad utensils!"

Choosing the most eco-correct erotic toy can seem fraught with compromises -- more akin to picking the most fuel-efficient automobile than buying a bunch of organic kale. With no government assessment or regulation on the immediate horizon, it's up to you, the consumer, to shop carefully and select a tool that's health-safe, fits your budget, and gets your rocks off. Meanwhile, pack up that old mystery-material toy and send it back to the manufacturer with a note that they can stick it where the sun don't shine.

I must be getting old. I remember when sex was safe and motorcycles were dangerous!

White House Report Card

Will Durst grades the Bush administration.


But this report was strictly focused on the Administration's response to 9/11; the Commission totally ignored other areas of the job. So, in the interest of a more informed nation, and a fully rebuked President, I'm here to do the rigorous work of finishing off the Bush Administration's Report Card.


Got us a new strategy for victory. Apparently our old strategy for victory was defective. You know what? Custer had a strategy for victory too.


Administration promotes most torture friendly atmosphere since William Shatner ended his singing career.


Would have been an F, but the main reason it is mostly Republicans caught taking bribes is because nobody wants to bribe a Democrat -- they can't get anything done.

There's more. Enjoy.

Good cartoons

Bob's got a bunch of 'em.

How isn't this a Draft?


The single mother from Medford has been unexpectedly pulled from the inactive Army reserve and ordered to report for active duty by Feb. 5.

As Christmas nears, Arndt, 43, is trying to sell the Medford home she says she will not be able to keep on an Army salary of approximately $60,000 a year, and is searching for someone to care for her 13-year-old son, Shane. She expects to train for an 18-month tour of duty that could take her to Iraq or Afghanistan.


And why aren't we drafting? I mean, for all of you who say 'stay the course', it's time to share the sacrifice. If we're forcing folks in their 40s to go to war, having to cause so much upheaval in their lives (this woman did her time), then it's time for the 20-somethings to do their part. Either start up the Draft or bring the troops home. The Army is broken and the Marines ain't far behind.

Hat tip: Green Knight


A clear, concise table of Republican scandal.

Thanks: Thomas Leavitt


Granny has another list.

I'm taking my toys

And going home.

Bush-administration officials privately threatened organizers of the U.N. Climate Change Conference, telling them that any chance there might've been for the United States to sign on to the Kyoto global-warming protocol would be scuttled if they allowed Bill Clinton to speak at the gathering today in Montreal, according to a source involved with the negotiations who spoke to New York Magazine on condition of anonymity.


The threat set in motion a flurry of frantic back-channel negotiations between conference organizers and aides to Bush and Clinton that lasted into the night on Thursday, and at one point Clinton flatly told his advisers that he was going to pull out and not deliver the speech, the source said.


And these are the people running this country. God, how far we have fallen. How much more petty can we get?

Link via Kevin Drum


The gist of Clinton's speech:


"I think it's crazy for us to play games with our children's future," Clinton said in a folksy speech before delegates that prompted a spirited ovation.

Alluding to Bush's rationale for the Iraq war as a bulwark against terrorism, Clinton said, "There is nowhere in the world where it is more important to apply the principle of precaution than in fighting climate change." Arguments that capping greenhouse gases would harm the economy, were "flat wrong," he said.


And of course, the wingnuts are having a complete hissy fit:


"It's astonishing to me that former President Clinton, the same President Clinton that refused to submit the Kyoto treaty to the United States Senate for ratification, today attacked President Bush," [Sen. James] Inhofe [R-Delusional] said.


Would the outcome have been any different if Clinton did submit Kyoto to a Repub-controlled Senate? Doubtful.

The stench of hypocrisy 12

Now, we know how the wingnuts like to wrap themselves in their own icons, the, 10 Commandments, the Bible, Christmas, stuff like that. Have we forgotten Judge Roy Moore so quickly? Well anyway, T. Rex takes a look at how the wingnuts...manage their sins.


Lust: Unlawful sexual desire, such as desiring sex with a person outside marriage.

This one is a no-brainer. The list of adulterers on the right is seemingly endless.


Greed: A desire to possess more than one has need or use for

The whole right-wing philosophy in America seems to be based on greed. Pro-corporation, pro-tax cuts for the rich, pro-anything is okay if it makes a profit.


Remember, people who live in glass houses shouldn't get stoned.

I got an aunt (sort of), old German who lives around the corner. She was my mom's best friend. Roman Catholic to the core and I respect her for it. Might not agree but she lives her faith. She doesn't curse or lie and if anybody's going to heaven, she is. She thinks Bush is an idiot too, by the way. Her faith gives her strength, not a shield. She doesn't use her faith to defend her actions, she lives her faith and no one questions them.

Friday, December 9, 2005


Pam does a wingnut.

Stupid Country with a Nobel laureate.

And Karlo hits close to home.

Friday Cattle Dog Blogging

"I hate that camera, dad!"

WTF is an 'ethics truce'?

Does that mean both sides abdicate their ethics and principles?

Since 1998, there has been an ethics "truce" in the House of Representatives, under the terms of which no member will file an ethics complaint against another member. Because outsiders are prohibited from filing complaints with the House ethics committee, this has effectively shut down the ethics process.


It would seem so. Motherfuckers...all of 'em.

Hat tip: Rising Hegemon

Thursday, December 8, 2005

Living will

Mrs. G sent me this in an e-mail today:

Subject: Living Will

A man and his wife were sitting in the living room and he said to her,

"Just so you know, I never want to live in a vegetative state, dependent on some machine and fluids from a bottle. If that ever happens, just pull the plug."

His wife got up, unplugged the TV and threw out all of his beer.

I hate when that happens!

Even the Inuit hate us

People living in the Arctic have filed a legal petition against the US government, saying its climate change policies violate human rights.

The Inuit Circumpolar Conference (ICC) claims the US is failing to control emissions of greenhouse gases, damaging livelihoods in the Arctic.

Its petition to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights demands that the US limits its emissions.


Is there anyplace on this planet we haven't fucked up?

My friend Scotty

Bob Geiger comes up with the one occasion to have WH Press Secretary Snot McClellan as a friend.

FuckingSupporting the Troops

Our pal Jo Fish shows what Congress means by 'tax relief'.

OK, so they gave themselves some cover by passing some tax relief for US boots on the ground in Iraq. How nice, well it's a 94.5 Billion dollar tax bill, so there must be a nice chunk of change for those troops stuck in that misbegotten hell-hole on the Tigris River, right? Right? Achtung, not so fast, Chuck-O...

Yup, those troops sure come in handy. At least as PR props for the Chimp and the Repub congressweasels.


I got a chuckle.

Insurgent Using Chemical Weapons-On Themselves?

via BoingBoing:

Insurgents Using Chem Weapons - On Themselves?

This has to be the most bizarre twist in the WMD saga yet. Insurgents in Iraq could very well have chemical weapons. And they may be using them - on themselves.
The story starts over a year ago with a Marine blogger in Iraq. On June 2nd 2004 "The Green Side" - we'll get back to the signficance of this source later - describes suicidal attacks by insurgents in Fallujah: "We could not understand why they kept coming but they did." The reason, it turned out, was drugs: "...these 'holy warriors' are taking drugs to get high before attacks. It true, as we pushed into the town in April many Marines came across drug paraphernalia (mostly heroin). Recently, we have gotten evidence of them using another drug BZ that makes them high and very aggressive."

BZ is not your typical substance of abuse. It's a hallucinogenic chemical weapon. This weird concept originated in the 1950's when "better living through chemistry" was a slogan to live by and warfare without blood was the goal.

The full article makes for some interesting reading.

Gonzo journalism lives...

A good article in Rolling Stone by Matt Taibbi on Republican shenanigans in Congress.

Thomas -- who besides having his fling with a Pharma lobbyist received $112,619 in campaign funds from the pharmaceutical industry in the 2004 cycle -- couldn't brook passage of a bill forbidding the state to pay for ED drugs.

In other words, Thomas couldn't vote without Viagra. If there is a better metaphor for the Republican troubles, I haven't heard it.

In a meeting last week, the conservative RSC showed the finale of The Bridge on the River Kwai to celebrate the defeat of the $230 million Alaskan "Bridge to Nowhere" pork project rammed into a highway bill over the summer. When the bridge over the Kwai exploded at the movie's end, the crowd of GOP congressmen cheered. Republicans, celebrating the death of a Republican bridge.

Could any Republican, much less 100 of them, have pulled a stunt like that in public a year ago?

No way. The party's over, George.

After you read that, and you should 'cuz it's a hoot, go read what the WaPo has to say about Taibbi.

Thompson, who committed suicide last February, invented the "gonzo" style in the 1970s by combining on-the-scene reporting, off-the-wall comedy and inventive invective. In the '80s, O'Rourke kept up the gonzo tradition from a conservative perspective. Both were gutsy guys: Thompson rode with the Hells Angels and O'Rourke traveled to various Third World war zones. Taibbi shows his guts by spending time with a group that's far more vicious and dangerous than bikers or guerrillas -- the United States Congress.

Of course, name-calling is easy and anybody can do it, even an Oxycontin-addled Rush Limbaugh. But Taibbi also exhibits a fairly sophisticated knowledge of the inner workings of Congress. Wonks will recognize the aptness of his description, in a story last August, of the House Rules Committee, the place where amendments go to die, as "perhaps the free world's outstanding bureaucratic abomination -- a tiny, airless closet deep in the labyrinth of the Capitol where some of the very meanest people on earth spend their days cleaning democracy like a fish."

Go have some fun.

Fake Iraq news? Truth must be grim

Clarence Page in The Buffalo News

When I heard that our government has secretly paid Iraqi reporters and newspapers to report good news about the war, it only made me wonder how bad the real news must be.

That's the trouble with pay-for-good-press schemes; the truth has a nagging little way of coming out, causing more damage than the chicanery gained.

As a former Army public information specialist, I'm hardly naive about the strategic uses of propaganda. But your propaganda is severely neutralized if people don't even believe you when you're telling the truth.

Trust in democracy requires a trust not only in the public's right to know the truth, but also an abiding faith in their baloney detectors. Truth inevitably comes out, in true democracies, and once you lose your credibility, it's hard to get it back. Just ask Armstrong Williams.

My "baloney detector", a nicer word than I would have used, has been runnin' full bore with its overspeed shut-off wired open for five years. It's runnin' fine. I'm glad to see other folks' units comin' on line. It's past time.

DeLay Country, or not ...

I like the shit out of Paul Begala, and I don't get to see near enough of his stuff in print. Here's an article courtesy of TPM Cafe about his (and DeLay's) hometown of Sugar Land, Texas.

How fitting it would be if Sugar Land, a town which caught the attention of Steven Spielberg because of a big-hearted loser who broke out of prison, returned to the national spotlight 32 years later because of a hard-hearted bully who may be sent to prison.

Fitting indeed!

Navy vet remembers Pearl Harbor

This article in yesterday's EssEffChron is worth reading, but it's worth the trip just to see the photo of this old gent's battle station in USS Pennsylvania.


A 44-year-old U.S. citizen who claimed to have a bomb was killed by air marshals Wednesday at Miami International Airport, several sources told CNN.


I'll withold judgment until more facts are in but in these post-9/11 days, the last place you should fuck around is on an aircraft. Put it this way, if I were on a plane, with no Air Marshals present, and some guy starts yelling he's got a bomb, I'm gonna kill him myself, quickly with no questions asked. I don't care if he is bi-polar or whatever, if you can't get a grip, stay off the plane. This goes far beyond understanding of someone's problems, this is the safety of several hundred people in what is essentially a flying bomb. You don't get a second chance.

Wednesday, December 7, 2005

7 December 1941



Maybe the next car is gonna be a Honda. I'm seriously pissed.

Remember the Montreal Massacre

Via the Alternate Brain Mail Bag, Michael Stickings of The Reaction points me to this post by newest member of his excellent blog.

Take a moment today to remember that, 16 years ago, on December 6, 1989, a man walked into the Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal, and killed fourteen women in cold blood.


Remember that while our objective is equality, we have not yet reached that goal, but we must continue toward it. Remember that even in North America, women are not yet completely equal to men, though some may think otherwise...

I never knew about this, but in '89 I was living out of a coke spoon and Jack Daniel's bottle. A timely post considering the injustice playing out in Oregon this past week.


H.R. 550. Once again, don't let Diebold choose our representatives. If you haven't signed Rush Holt's petition, do it. All the details at the link.

Bush finds soul mate in Russia's bloody Beria

From The American Sentimentalist

Imagine if Lavrenty Pavlovich Beria gave a press conference. What would it sound like?

Beria, as you may remember, was head of Stalin's secret police during one of the most infamous periods in Soviet history, the Great Purge of 1938. As head of the NKVD, or Soviet secret police, he was responsible for carrying out a massive political repression that was nominally focused on a series of "enemies of the people," such as the intelligentsia, professionals and rich peasants. In reality, however, the bloody purge - and others Beria oversaw for Stalin in later years - were simply a means for Stalin to ruthlessly consolidate his power by vanquishing his political enemies through show trials, forced labor camps, torture and, when all else failed, murder.

So what would it sound like if in, say, 1938, Beria gave a press conference to detail how the Great Purge was going? Well, it would probably sound a lot like the press conference President Bush gave in the Oval Office of the White House, today, December 6th, 2005.

So you could imagine that, in a windowless room somewhere in the Kremlin in 1938 or so, with a half dozen terrified journalists hand-picked to ask Beria how the "Global War on Internal Terrorists" (GWOIT) was going, the bespectacled, balding interior minister, resplendent in his starched Red Army uniform, would likely say everything was coming along nicely, thank you. And, if one of those reporters was bold enough to ask about reports there were secret prisons buried somewhere in the basement of police headquarters, the answer would probably be something along the lines of "We don't discuss covert operations designed to protect the people." And, if the very brave reporter were to ask why people were being tortured in those prison cells, the answer might have been "We've got to take each threat seriously; we've got to stay on the offense."

Just like George Bush. Just like in 2005. Just like in the United States of America.

I have nothing to add to that.

Will the Lying Ever Stop?

Robert Parry in Consortium News

Having already destroyed the credibility of his first Secretary of State, George W. Bush has now eviscerated whatever trust the world might have placed in his second Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice.

Now, Rice has suffered a similar fate, appearing before European leaders and making assertions that were known to be lies as they passed her lips.

In a larger sense, however, Rice's torture denial - like Powell's earlier deceptive case for war - represents a longstanding approach to information by the neoconservatives who dominate Bush's foreign policy.

For decades, the neocons have followed the approach that when lacking the facts, simply lie. Then, count on your allies in the media to browbeat the doubters by impugning their patriotism. Also, recognize that America's weakened checks and balances will seldom hold you accountable. [See's "Neocon Amorality."]

Many Americans marvel at this chutzpah. But the answer to the mystery of this stunning arrogance is simple: Bush, Cheney and their surrogates judge that they can say whatever they want because this strategy has worked so often before.

They know the powerful right-wing media apparatus - from the Wall Street Journal editorial page to Fox News to AM talk radio to the multitude of conservative writers and commentators - will embrace virtually whatever comes out of the White House. Plus most mainstream journalists are so afraid of getting pegged with the "liberal" label that the worst that will happen is that the press will present competing versions of reality.

Most Democrats - terrified of some future 30-second attack ad - will search for some politically safe middle ground. For those few who still muster the courage to challenge the administration directly, they can expect a good tongue lashing from Cheney for their "reprehensible" behavior or Fox News diatribes for their lack of patriotism.

The danger from this national media predicament is that the Bush administration's "perception management" may work domestically in the near term to keep the American people in line, but the propaganda has declining value elsewhere in the world, especially in the Middle East where U.S. credibility is scraping the bottom.

At some point, international credibility - or the lack of it - may emerge as a national security problem. In all likelihood, there will come a time when a truly dangerous threat to the United States will arise and will require a multilateral response.

If that happens, the American people might wish for a Secretary of State who is not viewed around the world as a liar.

Mr. Parry's article describes perfectly what happens when you let a bully have his way for a long time. You can still whip him, but instead of being able to do it with one punch at the outset, it might take a baseball bat. By that time, the damage has been done and will be much harder to fix.


For more on the administration's lies, go see The Village Voice.

Let me count the lies - the building blocks of Bush's 'democracy'

From the start of the Bush presidency in 2001, senior White House officials have been telling reporters, usually anonymously, that because journalists are reality based, they cannot understand or relate to the Bush administration, since it is pursuing a "bold," God-guided doctrine that intends to create its own reality. Iraq was clearly one of those bold ventures, and because the planning behind it was both flawed and unrealistic, the nation is now suffering psychologically and materially.

There is no compromise - or reality - in the "bold" Bush government. Only secrecy and prevarications.

Voice Of God Revealed To Be Cheney On Intercom

The Onion confirms what I've long suspected.

In a transcript of an intercom exchange recorded in March 2002, a voice positively identified as the vice president's identifies himself as "the Lord thy God" and promotes the invasion of Iraq, as well as the use of torture in prisoner interrogations.

"There's a lot of religious zeal in the West Wing," said a former White House staffer who spoke on the condition of anonymity. "It's possible that the vice president has taken advantage of that to fast-track certain administration objectives."

"I was very surprised by the president's slow response in New Orleans," political commentator Bill Kristol said. "The president told me that he was praying every day in his office, but had received no reply. I had no idea what he meant, but of course, it all makes sense now."

At the time of Katrina, Cheney was on a fly-fishing trip, from which he returned on Sept. 1.

"It's hard to tell the leader of the free world that he has been the butt of an elaborate and long-term ruse," a former staffer said. "Maybe it would be easier to take if it came from Cheney's God voice."

Read the rest. It's a hoot, and probably not all that far off the mark. I wish I could do satire like that. Hey, I just did!

Tuesday, December 6, 2005

He's even a bad liar

Huntsu at BlueJersey directs us to Paul Mulshine:


What bothers me is that of late his lies are so obvious that even the boobs can see through them. I allude, of course, to his recent attempts to placate his base with an alleged "crackdown" on illegal immigration.


And consider the Bush administration's push to grant driver's licenses to illegal aliens. If he's going to send home all those who are violating our immigration laws, why will the violators need driver's licenses?

I suspect that even the dimmest of the dim bulbs out there in the red states can see through this spin. But if my e-mail is any indication, many of them are still buying the spin on the Iraq war. Bush made a speech about that last week as well, this time in Annapolis. He somehow refrained from dressing up in that Navy flight suit again, but the speech was full of the usual lies and evasions that have followed since the unraveling of the mission his spin doctors once portrayed as accomplished.


Now, if only the Dems can get up this kind of rhetoric, they might actually win something next Fall.

More Ford

The plot thickens ...


My kinda bird ... on several levels.

So, is it OK to get a Wells Fargo loan to buy a Probe?

From the EssEffChron:

The conservative Christian group Focus on the Family has closed all its Wells Fargo accounts because the San Francisco bank contributed to a gay rights group that promised to use the funds to "fight ... the anti-gay industry."

Focus on the Family's move follows a recent spate of conservative boycotts and other actions against large companies that support gay and lesbian causes, including Walgreens drugstores and Kraft Foods Inc., both of which contributed to the Gay Games.

"We absolutely made a $50,000 grant to GLAAD, and we're absolutely proud of our support for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community," said Chris Hammond, spokesman for the banking giant, which gives about $2 million a year to gay and lesbian organizations.

I'm not a big fan of Wells Fargo Bank, but this time they done good.

It's gonna take more than money to keep ya outta jail this time, Bugs...

The Houston Chronicle story about the creep veep at DeLay's legal fundraiser.

Cheney missed the White House Christmas party, a celebrated Washington event, to attend DeLay's fundraiser, which attracted about 300 people.

Shit, he probably wasn't invited.

At least one protester infiltrated the event. Diane Wilson of the progressive women's group Code Pink said she paid only $50.

"I guess they needed people inside," she said. "You can get in pretty cheap. I didn't want to give too much."

She briefly disrupted Cheney's speech and rolled out a banner that reads: "Corrupt greed kills from Bhopal to Baghdad."

Wilson was promptly escorted out.

Meanwhile, 21 organizations, among them Veterans for Peace, the International Socialist Organization and Progressive Action Alliance, protested outside.

DeLay's camp said the demonstrators were not local, but planned professional protesters from as far away as San Francisco.

Like that would make a difference, even if it were true?

For a photo of Tommy headin' fer the Hot Tub with a coupla babes, go see Born at the Crest of the Empire.


What will DeLay's attorney say to him after Tommy tells him he's just run out of money?

"That's OK, Tom. We'll just change your plea to 'guilty'."

In certain hands, even the truth becomes a lie

On the theory that sometimes even a blind pig finds an acorn, here's a paragraph I like from Christopher Hitchens' article on the DoD "We'll pay you to print our bullshit" program. From Slate:

It is, anyway, not so much a matter of fooling people as of insulting them. The prostitute journalist is a familiar and well-understood figure in the Middle East, and Saddam Hussein's regime made lavish use of the buyability of the regional press. Now we, too, have hired that clapped-out old floozy, Miss Rosie Scenario, and sent her whoring through the streets. If there was one single thing that gave a certain grandeur to the change of regime in Baghdad, it was the reopening of the free press (with the Communist Party's paper the first one back on the streets just after the statue fell) and the profusion of satellite dishes, radio stations, and TV programs. There were some crass exceptions - Paul Bremer's decision to close Muqtada Sadr's paper being one of the stupidest and most calamitous decisions - but in general it was something to be proud of. Now any fool is entitled to say that a free Iraqi paper is a mouthpiece, and any killer is licensed to allege that a free Iraqi reporter is a mercenary. A fine day's work. Someone should be fired for it.

Someone? Hmmm. Department of Defense. Lemme see...that would be Rumsfeld.

Ah-nold's an Ass Man

Go see this fun video at DevilDucky.

Bite me

All you militant non-smokers can just bite me. I'm all with not smoking in public and I understand about the health risks, but by golly, fuck you all and your attempts to regulate what I do in my own house.

"Dogs age almost seven times faster than us," Billings said, a junior majoring in psychology. "Secondhand smoke can cause problems fast. I take Jack (to the vet) frequently and he appears to be fine," Billings said. "But they don't do any specific tests to see early signs (of secondhand smoke)."

Let me explain something. If my dog breathing my second hand smoke is the worst thing that happens to her in her life, she's one lucky mongrel. My dog gets treated better than most of you treat your kids. If it weren't for us and the life we've given her, she would have gotten the needle as soon as her hip problems were diagnosed. This is just bullshit.

The facts are out there, and anyone who doesn't know cigarettes are dangerous at this point is probably one of the 51% who voted for the Chimp in '04. You know, I'm tired of people and their crusades, whatever they may be, when they try to regulate what I do in the privacy of my own home, whether it's smoking, sex, my religion, whatever. Worry more about your own lives and a little less about how I run mine and how I care for my dog. Fuck you all and your stupid game-playing.


Will someone please explain to the Secretary of ShoesState that diplomacy does not consist of lecturing people, whose cultures are far older than ours will ever be (or so it seems lately), that they should ignore what they see with their own eyes. Condi's in Europe.

(New York, December 6, 2005) - In remarks at the start of a five-day trip to Europe, the U.S. Secretary of State mischaracterized the U.S. government's "rendition" of terrorist suspects to make it appear lawful, Human Rights Watch said today. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the U.S. government had not transported detainees to other countries "for the purpose" of interrogation using torture, but she failed to mention that the United States has transported detainees to countries such as Egypt and Syria where it knows torture is commonplace. The Convention Against Torture, to which the United States is a party, outlaws such a practice.

Secretary Rice also failed to address a central concern of European governments: that the CIA has allegedly held detainees in secret locations in Europe.


This is a prime example of Chimp & Co. stupidity. The last place to have secret camps is in Europe but, like the rest of the moronic 51% of our population, they have no respect for the lessons of history.

Jesus H. Christ, have we forgotten about the other camps? It's only been sixty years, and they went by names like Auschwitz, Dachau, and Bergen Belsen. There are still many people in Europe who remember those times. Did Condi think the Euros would actually just sit back and say 'okay' when she says 'trust me'? Five years ago maybe, today they know better.

Those who don't learn from history's mistakes are doomed to repeat them.

Blogger sucks wet monkey ass

Reprinted in its entirety from Lambert, the Blogger's Curse:

O corporate weasels at blogger:

May a bloggers curse fall on your heads:

May you be vested, and may your stock tank. In your arrogance, may you have bought a ton of stock on margin using those same options as collateral, and may margin calls fall upon you. May that inane spinning clock plague your dreams. May your content be irretrievably corrupted. May your templates reveal source. May you lose posts. May you double post, nay triple, nay quadruple post. May you gaze at the friggin' dashboard and a spinning cursor until your eyes bleed. May you be plagued in your cubes with boils. May your bimmers be lemons. May your returns be "0%" in all your endeavours to the end of your days.

And he has a reasonable conclusion:

Fucking billion dollar corporation can't run a server farm...

I know I probably shouldn't bitch because it's free, but Jesus H. Christ, can't they get shit to work correctly? If I worked the way Blogger does, I'd be out of a job forthwith.

Monday, December 5, 2005

I shot a missile into the air...

In today's LATimes:

MOSCOW -- Russia has struck a deal to sell short-range, surface-to-air missiles to Iran, the defense minister said Monday, confirming reports that have raised concern in the United States and Israel.

Gee, Iran must be wise to something. I wonder who they'll be shooting short-range SAMs at?

Who'd they shoot the last SAMs at that Russia sold to somebody? Oh, I remember now...

Those things won't reach high-flyin' B-52s, but they'll do a righteous number on ground-attack aircraft and troop-carrying helicopters.

There's no more Hanoi Hilton, but there might soon be a Tehran TraveLodge.

Are you shitting me?

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is supporting new legislation to criminalize desecration of the United States flag _ though she still opposes a constitutional ban on flag attacks.


Now she's definitely not getting my vote for President.

The Revolt of the Generals

In an article somewhat related to my post below, Counterpunch lays out what's going on in the flag ranks, and what the Democrats better do in '06.

The immense significance of Rep John Murtha's November 17 speech calling for immediate withdrawal from Iraq is that it signals mutiny in the US senior officer corps, seeing the institution they lead as "broken, worn out" and "living hand to mouth", to use the biting words of their spokesman, John Murtha, as he reiterated on December his denunciation of Bush's destruction of the Army.

So the Four-Star Generals briefed Murtha and gave him the state-of-the-art data which made his speech so deadly, stinging the White House into panic-stricken and foolish denunciations of Murtha as a clone of Michael Moore.

It cannot have taken vice president Cheney, a former US Defense Secretary, more than a moment to scan Murtha's speech and realize the import of Murtha's speech as an announcement that the generals have had enough.

On to the Republicans' and Democrats' reactions:

Amid this potential debacle, the Republicans' only source of comfort is the truly incredible conduct of the Democrats. First came the Democrats' terrified reaction to Murtha, symbolized by Democratic minority leader Nancy Pelosi's cancellation of a press conference supporting Murtha. This prompted the Republicans to realize that the Democrats were ready to have their bluff called by the Republican- sponsored resolution calling for immediate withdrawal, for which only three Democrats voted, while so-called progressives like Kucinich and Sanders and Conyers ran for cover.

By late summer of 2006, when voters are deciding what they want their Senate and House to look like, if the Democrats have not caught up to public opinion to offer a tangible and quick exit from Iraq, the Republicans will retain control of both chambers of congress.

All that will be left in November is mush from Kerry, Hillary, Biden, Edwards - and Obama's - mouths.

There's an awful lot between all these quotes. You know what to do.

Jesus Joy

Go git ya some!


"One thing to keep the economy going is to have certainty in the tax code."

~ Chimpy today

Yeah, the certainty that his corporate butt buddies won't have to pay taxes if Bush gets his way.

Less Troops, More Profits

In Fixer's post yesterday on potential new SecDef Liebertwat, I made the following comment:

Who d'ya expect Bush to put in as SecDef - somebody that knows about the military? No, they want someone who can economize on troops and pad the pockets of the 'defense' industry.

Damn, I'm good!

This from today's Wall Street Journal:

Pentagon Weighs Personnel Cuts To Pay for Weapons

Nonetheless the shift is good news for the nation's major defense contractors, which appear to have dodged major cutbacks in big-ticket weapons purchases. The Air Force often has been on the defensive under Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, whose vision of transforming the military with weapons aimed at countering multiple threats, including terrorists, clashes with some of the service's big aircraft projects. Some of the savings realized through personnel cuts could be used to pay for programs to make the military more adept at fighting terrorists or defending the homeland from attack, defense officials say.

As budget season kicks into high gear and the war in Iraq continues, the Pentagon's calculus reflects its assessment of how to best deploy limited defense resources as well as the spiraling costs of keeping people in uniform. "It can take years for cuts in weapons programs to generate savings," said Loren Thomspon, who runs the Lexington Institute defense think tank in Arlington, Va., and who consults for defense companies. "Cutting people saves money immediately."

I think not sending the 'defense companies' a check might save a lot right now, but then, what do I know? I think perhaps that would alienate a lot of voters who work for them, let alone those fat lobbyist campaign contributions.

Remote-control aircraft? Automated warships? All fine and dandy, I got no problems there.

When they come up with a robotic trigger puller that knows how to use a bayonet and can actually defend this country if need be without bleeding (with no attendant medical cost) and dying, they'll be on to something.

For now, it sounds like they just want to fuck over combat troops in the pursuit of that good ol' government gravy.

Business as usual.

Feel safer?

Four years after 9/11 you'd better think again:


Added Lee Hamilton, the former Democratic vice chairman of the commission: "We believe that another attack will occur. It's not a question of if. We are not as well-prepared as we should be."

The five Republicans and five Democrats on the commission, whose recommendations are now promoted through a private group known as the 9/11 Public Discourse Project, conclude that the government deserves "more F's than A's" in responding to their 41 suggested changes. [my ems]


The only thing that's safer are the Bush cronies' profits.

On Ford . . . again

All I drive are Ford vehicles, 3 of 'em, and I wouldn't drive anything else. I also worked for Ford and I have a deep affection for the company, but they have to pay the price for their stupidity.

Pic courtesy of the General

On 'The War on Christmas'

My man eponymous says it beautifully:


You know, if you're offended by someone wishing you a "Happy Holidays" instead of a "Merry Christmas," it's time to take a look at your priorities...

Amen. Get over yourselves.

Vacation's over

It's 26 degrees out, snow on the ground, and you want me to go to work? I'm so not looking forward to working on cars this morning. Being that it snowed yesterday, I'll probably be out on road calls for the better part of the morning. Oy. Paris already seems like a distant memory.


Well, I made it through the first day and I still remember how to fix shit. One thing I noticed though. The guys I work with are getting uglier as the years go on.

Sunday, December 4, 2005


On these physicians and pharmacists who let their religious beliefs get in the way of their jobs. Sis, Pam, and John Howard say it just about right. John:

...If you have moral objections to dispensing legal medications to patients with a valid prescription, then pharmacy is not the line of work for you...


Tom Gilroy at HuffPo

Think, for one second, of all this administration has done. Has there been one thing that made you feel safer, that made you feel someone's in charge, that your rights and well-being were secure? Has there been one thing they've done that hasn't been a scandal of mismanagement, corruption or fraud? Has there been one thing - just one - that they've said that hasn't been an outright laughable lie?

That's what it feels like when your country's occupied.

Remember, these are people who have lied about everything and stolen everything in the public coffer that wasn't nailed down. They lied and sent young Americans to die in a uniform they themselves couldn't ever be bothered to put on.

This utter lack of certainty about your life is the absence of freedom. It's what happens when your country has been taken over by a hostile, occupying force. Nothing is safe. You government has been invaded by a cabal of thieves intent upon dismantling all you take for granted, all you've invested in, all you hold dear. That government Grover Norquist wants to drown in the bathtub? That's you.

But you, what are you gonna do? Cut and run? Or will you do what any patriot would do when they realize their family, their town, their kids, their schools, their banking system, their food, their water, their medicine, their transit system, their healthcare - their very way of life - is under siege?

Do what you know must be done before the next disaster strikes.

Impeach them.

This guy is way pissed and as articulate as I wish I could be. Go read the rest.


SECDEF Joementum.


H.R. 550. Sign Rush Holt's petition. Details at Froggy's.

Holiday Garden - New Orleans Style

Holiday gradens at your local mall are a cool thing to take your kids too. This one at a mall outside of New Orleans is full of holiday spirit - and a great sense of humor.

W.'s Head in the Sand

By Maureen Dowd

The Bush warriors are so deluded, they're even faking their fakery.

The National Strategy for Victory must have come from the same P.R. genius who gave President Top Gun the "Mission Accomplished" banner about 48 hours before the first counterinsurgency war of the 21st century broke out in Iraq.

See Fixer's post.

You have to admire Scott McClellan, the president's spokesman. He kept a straight face when he called the US "a leader when it comes to promoting and advocating a free and independent media around the world." He added, "We've made our views very clear when it comes to freedom of the press."

Exceedingly clear. The Bushies don't believe in it. They disdain the whole democratic system of checks and balances.

At the Naval Academy, President Bush talked about how well the Iraqi security forces were fighting. He claimed that 40 Iraqi battalions were taking the lead in the fight against insurgents, and that in the battle of Tal Afar this year, "the assault was primarily led by Iraqi security forces - 11 Iraqi battalions backed by 5 coalition battalions providing support."

Anderson Cooper of CNN swiftly produced Time's Baghdad bureau chief, Michael Ware, who was embedded with the US military during the entire Tal Afar battle. "With the greatest respect to the president, that's completely wrong," Mr. Ware said, adding: "I was with Iraqi units right there on the front line as they were battling with al Qaeda. They were not leading."

He also told Mr. Cooper: "I have had a very senior officer here in Baghdad say to me that there's never going to be a point where these guys will be able to stand up against the insurgency on their own."

Mr. Ware recalled that in a battle two weeks ago, he saw an Iraqi security officer put down his weapon and curl up into a ball when he was under attack. "I have seen that on - on many, many occasions," he said.

Curling up in a ball. Good National Strategy for Victory

I musta missed that "curling up in a ball" shit in my infantry training. They taught us to keep our heads down and try not to get hurt, but to keep the rifle's muzzle pointed at the enemy, and that's hard to do from the fetal position. Maybe it's something new.

As my memory kicks in a little, we actually were taught how to "curl up in a ball" with our backs to the enemy in one particular situation: when you have to use a hand grenade at short range, like twenty feet.

We also believed in ourselves, our buddies, and -believe it or not- our country. If not for those things, curling up in a ball is probably a good tactic to avoid dying for something you don't believe in.

We need to get the fuck out of Iraq and let the Iraqis decide for themselves what to believe in or not, and what they themselves feel is worth fighting, and dying, for. I think a forced democracy probably ain't it.


Winter showed up at my door this morning.


Mrs. F just called from Atlanta to say it's 68 down there. Thanks, darling.

The Death Penalty . . . revisited

Since I started a ruckus with my smartass post last night, let's take it one further, even at the risk of the Secret Service giving me a cavity search. A question.

Suppose George W. Bush (and associates) is impeached, faces trial, and is found guilty of all the crimes we here in Left Blogtopia (y!sctp!*) accuse him of (humor me please). Pretty severe stuff, right? Remember, we're talking about the premeditated murder of over 2100 U.S. troops, and the conspiracy to commit those murders. Do we demand the death penalty for him?

We do have a federal death penalty available.

*yes! skippy coined that phrase!

You guys are an enlightened bunch. Most of you would demand jail time, though specify hard time. I also like the idea of turning him over to the International Court as a capital-building move with the rest of the world. I gather stringing his rotting corpse up in the Rotunda of the Capitol and leaving it there as an example to others who'd contemplate similar crimes is sorta out of the question, huh?

25 years

I was in a barracks room at Hurlburt Field in Florida when I heard the news. He wrote the soundtrack for the better part of my youth.

It has been twenty-five years, and it can still stop your mind.

It had been a good night. John Lennon had just finished making music with his wife, Yoko Ono, that he regarded as some of the best music of his life, and his judgment wasn't off the mark. He had also learned, just a bit earlier, that his and Ono's album Double Fantasy -- the first collection with new music from Lennon in five years, following a mysterious sabbatical -- had gone gold that day. Now he and Ono were on their way back home from the studio to see their son, Sean, the five-year-old whom Lennon had devoted himself to more than to his career. Their car pulled up to the Manhattan apartment building where they lived, the Dakota, and Lennon got out. It was a balmy night, for December. He moved to the Dakota's entrance, then he heard a voice call his name.


Another one

Paris - Although it is one of the most turbulent moral issues of the day, homosexual marriages and other forms of same-sex partnerships are gaining acceptance around the world.

Britain this month will become the fifth country to allow gay "marriages" on roughly the same basis as heterosexual marriages. [my em]


Good news. Hey, you Christo-fascists, didn't Jesus preach love above all else? Let's get with the program.

Shoot me now

People need lives. Although it's probably a better choice than Cu ...Condi.


This, however, looks like a pretty good idea.

Hat tip: PSoTD

God don't need a press secretary

The irrepressable Molly Ivins, one of the best things to ever come out of Texas:


Quite a few people have been mishearing the Lord lately. The Rev. Pat Robertson thinks the Lord told the people of Dover, Pa., they shouldn't ask for His help anymore because they elected a school board Robertson doesn't like. And Rep. Richard Baker of Louisiana said right after Hurricane Katrina that "we finally cleaned up public housing in New Orleans. We couldn't do it, but God did it."


Great thanks: Old White Lady


Or, Yet Another Bush Lie.


My colleague Bulldog over at Main and Central interviews a GI just back from Iraq. A good read.


8. Is there a feeling among the troops on the ground over there that the administration really cares about them? How do 'stop-loss' orders and the unwillingness of folks to enlist affect morale, if at all?
V: The troops on the ground don't feel like the Administration cares at all. The stop loss doesn't affect the troops in a sense of doing the job ... it affects them in the sense of re-enlistments and the willingness of assisting on recruiting.


It's an honest assessment of what's going on over there.

You're in it with us

So shut the fuck up.

Hat tip: JC Christian