Saturday, January 14, 2006

Chinese Herbs and Clampers

The news today is mostly folks lamenting the poor performance of the Demowussies at the confirmation hearings for Bush's judge, and rightly so, but it's boring. I think it's a done deal, a dirty deed done dirt cheap, so while I'm waiting for another shoe to drop I'll post something light for your Saturday amusement.

Me 'n the Mrs. just went to the P.O. to collect our mail. It's a whole mile away. On the way we passed our town's freshly remodelled old Chinese Herb Shop, the only remnant of the Chinese population that built the transcontinental railroad that Whitey didn't burn down in retaliation for 19th-century outsourcing.

On the way back, we passed a whole bunch of Clampers, easily identifiable by their red shirts and black hats and vests, on their way to today's civic dedication of the old landmark as retail space. These guys are kind of an institution around here. They like to drink and put up plaques at historical sites.

Just read the links for fun. Later.


Via Maru, an excellent post by Peter Daou:


This, then, is the reality: progressive bloggers and online activists - positioned on the front lines of a cold civil war - face a thankless and daunting task: battle the Bush administration and its legions of online and offline apologists, battle the so-called "liberal" media and its tireless weaving of pro-GOP narratives, battle the ineffectual Democratic leadership, and battle the demoralization and frustration that comes with a long, steep uphill struggle.


What did you expect?

LONGWOOD, Fla. Jan 13, 2006 - An eighth-grader was shot and wounded by a SWAT team officer in a school bathroom Friday after he pulled out a pellet gun that resembled a real weapon, authorities said.

He was shot after raising the gun at deputies. [my emphasis - Link via Skippy]


Please, please, please, no one yell 'police brutality'. One of the first things I learned about weapons is don't take it out unless you plan to use it. Don't point a pistol at someone unless you plan to kill them. Did you see the pellet gun the kid had? I dare anyone to tell it from the genuine article in the same situation. If I were the cop, the results would have been the same. He should be glad they didn't kill him.

Who cares?

MSNBC Breaking News

NBC: U.S. missiles target al-Qaida's No. 2 officer in Pakistan, sources say -
U.S. officials told NBC News on Friday that American airstrikes in Pakistan overnight Thursday were aimed at the No. 2 man in the al-Qaida terror organization - Ayman al Zawahri.

Okay, so? Do they really think this is gonna do something to the big picture? That's if it proves to be true. I mean, how many #3 guys have we killed? Look, kiddies, shiny things! Forget about all those scandals, look at this. When it comes to this administration, I believe nothing I hear and only half of what I see.


CNN is already backpedaling.

Friday, January 13, 2006

The Year of Living Dangerously

Somewhat related to my previous post, TomDispatch weighs in with a seven-course Tomgram.

War, Trials, Leakers, Investigations, Packed Courts, and a Constitutional Crisis

2006 is sure to be the year of living dangerously -- for the Bush administration and for the rest of us. In the wake of revelations of warrantless spying by the National Security Agency, we have already embarked on what looks distinctly like a constitutional crisis (which may not come to a full boil until 2007). In the meantime, the President, Vice President, Secretaries of Defense and State, various lesser officials, crony appointees, acolytes, legal advisors, leftover neocons, spy-masters, strategists, spin doctors, ideologues, lobbyists, Republican Party officials, and congressional backers are intent on packing the Supreme Court with supporters of an "obscure philosophy" of unfettered Presidential power called "the unitary executive theory" and then foisting a virtual cult of the imperial presidency on the country.

On the other hand, determined as this administration has been to impose its version of reality on us, the President faces a traffic jam of reality piling up in the environs of the White House. The question is: How long will the omniscient and dominatrix-style fantasies of Bushworld, ranging from "complete victory" in Iraq to non-existent constitutional powers to ignore Congress, the courts, and treaties of every sort, triumph over the realities of the world the rest of humanity inhabits. Will an unconstrained presidency continue to grow -- or not?

Here are just a few of the explosive areas where Bush v. Reality is likely to play out, generating roiling crises which could chase the President through the rest of this year. Keep in mind, this just accounts for the modestly predictable, not for the element of surprise which -- as with Ariel Sharon's recent stroke -- remains ever present.

Fat chance! Fixer'd kill me. Go read.

The Bush Who Cried Wolf

Robert Dreyfuss at TomPaine:

The deteriorating international crisis over Iran is a direct result of the Bush's administration's ham-handed and mendacious Iraq policy.

Under normal circumstances - that is, under any previous U.S. administration - the battle over Iran's pugnacious effort in pursuit of nuclear technology would be amenable to a diplomatic solution. But, by insisting on a national security strategy of pre-emptive war, by illegally and unilaterally invading Iraq on false pretenses, and by hinting that the White House would tolerate an Israeli strike on Iran's nuclear plants, President Bush and Vice President Cheney have made a successful diplomatic resolution of the Iran crisis nearly impossible.

But the international community's justified fear that the United States is controlled by a war party seeking to attack Iran (my em) makes other states' diplomacy even harder.

Some Democrats - and even a fair number of moderate and libertarian Republicans - expect the November 2006 elections to take place against the backdrop of a failed occupation of Iraq. Instead, those same elections might take place in the midst of yet another crisis manufactured by the Bush administration.

Read it.

Bush and the Republicans have screwed the pooch so badly that the only way for them to stay in power is to manufacture even more fear in the electorate and then continue to lie at them, "The sky is falling! We're the only ones who can protect you!".

It may not work, but Bush is betting that since he's already successfully pussified a majority of American voters, it just might. The corruption, anti-civil-rights scandals, and the emerging knowledge of the constant abuse of presidential power have to be overshadowed by fear to take advantage of Americans' ADD. It's their only chance.

The Republicans should change their name to "The Permanent War Party".

A word of caution to Bush&Co: You've screwed the military up so bad, you'd better think twice before going to war with Iran. They're just liable to be able to kick our ass. You'll end up having to nuke 'em and that'll be the end of the world as we know it. I know you don't care: the rest of us will have to live with it but you'll be nice and safe.

A word of caution to Congress: If you let him get away with stealing your Constitutional authority to declare an illegal war again, you're even more cowardly than we think you are. Somebody has to rein Bush in quick while there's still a chance to save our nation and, short of a coup d'etat, you guys are it, God help us.

Bush's War on Drugs. And Seniors.


SACRAMENTO - California officials ordered emergency action Thursday to cover drug costs for 1 million elderly citizens, many of whom have been denied life-saving medications or charged exorbitant amounts because of glitches in the new federal prescription drug program.

The action by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's administration capped a day in which the Medicare prescription drug program - one of President Bush's signature domestic policy initiatives - came under sharp criticism from members of Congress and governors of both major political parties.

Critics said the program, which Bush has touted as the most significant advance in Medicare in 40 years, was fast becoming a public health emergency (my em). California officials said that as many as one-fifth of the 1 million elderly, poor or disabled state residents who were switched into the federal program on Jan. 1 could be wrongly denied their medications because of flaws in the program.

Well, that's one way to kill off a significant bloc of voters. And decrease Medicare and Social Security costs at the same time. Way to go, Georgie.

Friday Cattle Dog Blogging

Princess Shayna looking for her friend across the street to begin the afternoon bark-a-thon.

Missing it

Jo looks back, realizing we missed something:


It looks like we should have paid more attention to his Harvard MBA, which was seemingly worth about as much as the coveted "flight status" given him by the Air National Guard, but a much more reliable indicator of his performance, or lack thereof. His lack of ability to even run a small business on a turn-key basis with the amazing credentials of being a Harvard MBA should have been a big-ass warning sign. I know it got some play, but nowhere near what his alleged "military service" got. All his failed business ventures have foretold his skill in managing any enterprise without intervention of capital and cover-up by family and friends his whole life. Unfortunately in the case of Iraq, no one is going to come to his aid now or ever ... he's failed there and he owns it, even Poppy can't fix it for him now or ever.

I guess that we also should have realized he wasn't actually joking about the how much easier it would be to run the government if he was a Dictator.


An excellent post and very true.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Throw the bum out...

Elizabeth Holtzman, a former member of Congress who sat on the House Judiciary Committee during Nixon's impeachment reveals the whys, whens and hows of ousting president Bush. From The Nation. There's a one-long-page printable version at Truthout.

Finally, it has started. People have begun to speak of impeaching President George W. Bush - not in hushed whispers but openly, in newspapers, on the Internet, in ordinary conversations and even in Congress. As a former member of Congress who sat on the House Judiciary Committee during the impeachment proceedings against President Richard Nixon, I believe they are right to do so.

The framers of our Constitution feared executive power run amok and provided the remedy of impeachment to protect against it. While impeachment is a last resort, and must never be lightly undertaken (a principle ignored during the proceedings against President Bill Clinton), neither can Congress shirk its responsibility to use that tool to safeguard our democracy. No President can be permitted to commit high crimes and misdemeanors with impunity.

A President can commit no more serious crime against our democracy than lying to Congress and the American people to get them to support a military action or war. It is not just that it is cowardly and abhorrent to trick others into giving their lives for a nonexistent threat, or even that making false statements might in some circumstances be a crime. It is that the decision to go to war is the gravest decision a nation can make, and in a democracy the people and their elected representatives, when there is no imminent attack on the United States to repel, have the right to make it. Given that the consequences can be death for hundreds, thousands or tens of thousands of people - as well as the diversion of vast sums of money to the war effort - the fraud cannot be tolerated. That both Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon were guilty of misleading the nation into military action and neither was impeached for it makes it more, not less, important to hold Bush accountable.

It is imperative that a full investigation be undertaken of Bush's role in the systemic torture and abuse of detainees. Violating his oath of office, the Geneva Conventions and the War Crimes Act would constitute impeachable offenses.

As awful as Watergate was, after the vote on impeachment and the resignation of President Nixon, the nation felt a huge sense of relief. Impeachment is a tortuous process, but now that President Bush has thrown down the gauntlet and virtually dared Congress to stop him from violating the law, nothing less is necessary to protect our constitutional system and preserve our democracy.

There's a lot in betweenst all the quotes. She tamps his offenses into a neat brick. Read. Act.

More at ImpeachPAC. You'll want to bookmark this one.

You can strip search him, too...

Tell your Senators that Alito is simply unfit for the position of Supreme Court Justice.

Pussies, cowards, and wimps

All names I have for the Republican Party and their supporters. Know why? Because they are. I mean the higher ups know what's going on, but the party rank and file are a buncha scared cowards. I read somewhere 37% of Republicans would concede to have their civil rights taken away to keep us 'safe'. Cowards.

To all you big Repub men, my wife has more testicle than you do. Looking out from her office, coming up from the Subway, going to lunch with a client, guess what she sees? The smoking hole in the ground they used to call the World Trade Center. Would any of you Repub pussies go back to work directly across the street after 9/11? I doubt it.

You're the ones screaming for extraordinary powers for the government to 'protect' us. What about all them guns you and your NRA buddies have? Haven't you beat the 2nd Amendment to death, waving it in front us when we try to enact some sort of controls on whom can carry? Hey, you got all them guns, what are you afraid of? Oh yeah, you're afraid someone might shoot back. Big men you are. Anybody can shoot the shit out of beer cans and mow down a deer with an AR-15, but it takes something to look in the eyes of another man an kill him, takes more to hang around while the enemy is shooting at you.

I've noticed those who yell loudest are the biggest wimps. Instead of going on with your lives out there in Podunk, you scream for the police state the Chimp is trying to make from our once-great nation. Let me just give you a heads-up. When the tranformation is complete, they're gonna come for your guns too. Let me know if you have the balls to stand up to ATF agents who will surely come for your stuff, or are you going to say the same thing your senile former leader says? "From my cold dead hands." Know what? That's exactly what's gonna happen, because if you don't give up your shit they're gonna kill you and take it. Do you think they would take the chance of the population being armed?

Wake up, Repub pussies. Liberals ain't your enemy, your own people are. You'll learn that soon enough.

And BTW, Blondie speaks well on the subject also.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

The Third Wheel...

We've all heard about Governor Schwarzenegger doing a face-plant off his sidecar rig. Steve Lopez has a humorous editorial about it:

Who the heck has a motorcycle with a sidecar?

I hadn't seen or heard about one since Boris Badenov and Natasha Fatale of "Rocky and Bullwinkle" fame. But there was Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger the other day, tooling along like an overgrown kid and not properly licensed, with his 12-year-old son in the sidecar.

Up in the hills of Brentwood, he kissed a car backing out of a driveway and ended up with a fat lip and stitches.

Geez, I got into trouble with my wife this week for buying our daughter a creampuff. Imagine if I'd sported her around town in a sidecar plowing into Volvos.

The Schwarzenegger administration trotted out some cockamamie story about him not needing a motorcycle license because the sidecar means he's exempt.

He's not. It's a motorcycle. I guess he figures he has 'Constitutional authority' to break the law.

No speaking for three days, the doctor told him after sewing his mouth.

"My wife said, 'Make it seven!' "

If you're up for it, I see us starting down a new path together. You on the Harley, me in the sidecar, smoking a couple of illegals the size of Cuban missiles.

License, officer? We don't have to show you no stinking license.

Note to Lopez: The back seat you're about to ride in ain't gonna be in no limo, and them 'illegal' fatties better be tobacco!

More about sidecars in The Fixer & Gordon.

OK then, you're ugly and yer mother dresses ya funny...

In his speech yesterday to a post of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (of which I am a Life Member), Bush denounced certain kinds of critics (of which I am a Life Member). Yahoo News.

Bush, who has faced a barrage of criticism over his handling of Iraq, said Americans know the difference between honest critics who question the way the war is being handled "and partisan critics who claim that we acted in Iraq because of oil, or because of Israel, or because we misled the American people."

Lemme see if I got this straight: It's OK to criticize and question what Bush did in Iraq, unless we criticize and question the actual reasons and what he actually did. If we do that, then we're traitors. Is that about it?

Please, Georgie, come to my house and call me a traitor to my face. Please. I'll even drag your unconscious body into the house before I call 911 invite you in for a cup of coffee.


Go read what a former State Department employee, who resigned in protest of Bush's foreign policy, has to say. From Press Action.

I think what the American public is increasingly discovering is that the current administration sees foreign policy as just one more way to mold American domestic opinion. The White House doesn't really distinguish between home and overseas propaganda, contrary to the spirit of the Smith-Mundt Act 1948, which prohibits the dissemination to domestic audiences of USG-produced or supported overseas information products.

There is a strong anti-propaganda tradition in the United States, so I don't think the American public will continue to accept what I've described as Bushprop. The Iraq mission, it has become all too clear, was not "accomplished" as the administration boasted. Indeed, it should never have been undertaken.

I'd like to see Bush and his whole bunch "undertaken". Someday. Then I'll piss on their graves.

The Alito Shuffle

Maureen Dowd weighs in on Alito at Donkey O.D.

About the judge's memory lapses, Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican, drolly noted, "And I hope you'll understand if any of us come before a court and we can't remember Abramoff, you'll tend to believe us."

You don't have to know the difference between horizontal and vertical stare decisis, or between emanations and penumbras, to see that the man who could take Sandra Day O'Connor's seat and yank back women's rights was, in a word, shifty.

Or in three words, shifty, sapless and sighing.

Judge Alito has supported imperial powers for the presidency, not strong checks and balances; he approved the strip search of a 10-year-old girl but is not probing too deeply into what the executive branch is doing. That's W.'s philosophy, too - a pre-emptive right to secretly do everything from war to torture to snooping.

Like the president, the judge loves baseball. Mr. Alito once vacationed at a fantasy baseball camp (O.K. fielder, hopeless hitter), wearing the red and white Phillies uniform. W. has spent five years in fantasyland on Iraq, on occasion donning military costumes.

His fingers in his ears, W. didn't want to hear that we had too few troops in Iraq - ignoring advice from Viceroy Paul Bremer and Gen. Eric Shinseki - or that the troops didn't have enough armor. But the president continues to fling blame outward. In a speech yesterday before the Veterans of Foreign Wars, he warned the Democrats that they should take care not to bring "comfort to our adversaries."

Judge Alito was evasive, disingenuous and deferential. He fits the Bush era like a baseball glove.

Problem is, if he gets confirmed, and it looks like he might, he will be on SCOTUS for many years after the "Bush era" is long gone. Gone, but not forgotten. A legacy of right-wing evil.


This troubled me when I heard it:

The same President who insists he has the authority to wiretap "enemies" without warrants, imprison "enemies" without hearings or lawyers or even notifying families, even torture "enemies," said today that YOU are an enemy.


There's tougher, more totalitarian language coming out of 1600 lately. When the leader of a nation begins to marginalize the folks who disagree with his policies, it shows one of two things. One, they're desperate and see the writing on the wall. Two, they already have enough control over the process they feel they are untouchable. Both scenarios worry me.

The first, because desperate men resort to desperate measures. The second, because it portends freedom and civil liberites will be further curtailed.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Father of 'Squiggly' turns 100

Yahoo News

GENEVA - LSD is an unlikely subject for a 100th birthday party. Yet the Swiss chemist who discovered the mind-altering drug and was its first human guinea pig is celebrating his centenary Wednesday — in good health and with plans to attend an international seminar on the hallucinogenic.

"I had wonderful visions," Albert Hofmann said, recalling his first accidental consumption of the drug.

"I sat down at home on the divan and started to dream," he told the Swiss television network SF DRS. "What I was thinking appeared in colors and in pictures. It lasted for a couple of hours and then it disappeared."

The United States banned LSD in 1966 and other countries followed suit.

Hofmann maintains that was unfair, arguing the drug was not addictive. He has repeatedly said the ban should be lifted so LSD can be used in medical research, and he took the drug himself — purportedly on an occasional basis and out of scientific interest — for several decades.

But he added a note of caution.

"The history of LSD to date amply demonstrates the catastrophic consequences that can ensue when its profound effect is misjudged and the substance is mistaken for a pleasure drug," he wrote.

Well, motorcycles were invented for transportation, too. Who knew going fast could be fun? Didn't take long to find that out either!

Happy Birthday, Al. Hey, you're melting...

DeLay's still calling the shots...into his own foot

From Fired Up America:

In an unusual piece of protocol, DeLay informs Hastert that he will be replacing Rep. Duke Cunningham on the House Appropriations Committee [1].

"I will also be reclaiming my seat on the Appropriations Committee when the second session of the 109th Congress convenes later this month."

Since when does a member tell the Speaker of the House which committees they will be assigned to? Is Tom DeLay still calling the shots in the House?

But more importantly, only in the GOP House Caucus would you replace a member of the Appropriations Committee who has pled guilty to accepting bribes for steering public moneys to favored business interests, with someone under the kind of ethical cloud that DeLay now finds himself under.

DeLay may be the worst person that was ever in Congress. His moral values and sense of priorities are truly evil, but there's nothing wrong with his balls. Either that, or he actually thinks he's gonna get out of this (long overdue) predicament. I guess delusion and denial are handy tools.

Even More Alito

Fixer's right: Alito is a dangerous sonofabitch. From the Boston Globe:

AT THIS moment in American history, it would be hard to find a worse Supreme Court nominee than Samuel A. Alito Jr. His ideology captures everything extremist about the Bush administration. If confirmed, Alito would serve as Bush's enabler. He would give Bush effective control of all three branches of government and the hard-right long-term dominance of the high court. His confirmation or rejection will depend on the gumption of the Senate Democratic leadership and independence of a few Republicans.

Oddly, while Alito favors an almost monarchic executive, he believes the federal government has limited powers to protect the health and safety of Americans or safeguard the environment. Alito and and his compatriots in the Federalist Society are critical of the Supreme Court's holding since 1937 that Congress, under the Constitution's commerce clause, may regulate to assure everything from a safe and healthy workplace to honest financial markets. According to University of Chicago professor Cass Sunstein and the watchdog group People for the American Way, Alito has written the largest number of dissents of any judge sitting on the conservative Third Circuit Court of Appeals, and over 90 percent of his dissents were more conservative than those of his colleagues.

With the Bush administration running roughshod over individual rights, Alito has tended to support prosecutors and corporations over individual citizens and employees, in cases involving civil liberties, civil rights, workplace rights, and reproductive freedom. In 1985, he wrote that he thought the Constitution ''does not protect the right to an abortion," flatly contradicting Roe v. Wade. And with corruption scandals festering in Washington, Alito conveniently forgot his pledge to recuse himself from cases in which he had a personal financial interest.

Yet, in their weakened condition, it's not clear that Republicans could muster the votes to go nuclear. Moderate Senate Republicans may just welcome a chance to distance themselves from Bush's extremism -- if Democrats lead. Alito epitomizes everything dangerous about George W. Bush (my em). Unlike Bush, he would not be gone in three years. With some leadership and profiles in courage, we may yet be spared an extremist high court.

"Leadership and profiles in courage". Yeah, if Hell had ice water...

Note to Dems: If you're ever gonna grow some sack, now's the time. In fairness, there's a few - Reid, Boxer, Pelosi, Kennedy, Dean et alia - but not nearly enough. A lot of 'em remind me of a guy who won't hit back when he's punched for fear of angering his opponent. I got news for ya - the way you deal with a bully, in this case the entire Republican mob, is to smack him as hard as you can and keep doing it until he's no longer a threat, just like in the schoolyard of yore. You're already gettin' your ass whipped - what have you got to lose? Everybody thinks you're a buncha pussies anyway, show 'em different.

Who knows, maybe you'll kick their ass a little and like the feeling. We got other problems you could deal with, you know, like saving this country from a buncha criminals.

More Alito

From Digby:


This is the same guy who wanted to keep women out of Princeton. Presumably, they wouldn't have "felt comfortable" there. But that's not what made that statement so revealing. It's this notion of smart and privileged people "behaving irresponsibly."

I think it's fairly certain that he's not talking about branding frat boys' asses or getting drunk and stealing Christmas Trees. He's talking about anti-war protestors, feminists etc. And like so many campus conservatives of that era, he sounds like he's still carrying around a boatload of resentment toward them.

Roberts apparently came out of all that unscathed. Confident in his own abilities and social prowess, he didn't appear to have this puny, pinched view of liberalism as a threat to decency and morality. (He may have it, but it didn't show --- or he was smart enough to hide it in his hearings.) Alito is one of those other guys. You know the ones: [my ems]


This guy will be dangerous if he makes it to SCOTUS.

Monday, January 9, 2006

Bush's Phony Photo-op

Tennessee Guerilla Women has MoDo's op-ed about Bush's fake meeting with former Secretataries of State and Cabinet members.

James Baker, Svengali and Sphinx, must have been thinking: "I told your dad not to let you in here. I could tell you how to get of Iraq in 10 minutes, but you're too under the sway of that nutball Cheney to listen."

It may seem disturbing at first, that with several hundreds of years' worth of foreign policy at his elbows, and a bloody, thorny mess in Iraq, Mr. Bush would devote mere moments to letting some fresh air into his House of Pain.

Sure, he has A.D.D. But he just spent six straight days mountain-biking and brush clearing in Crawford. He couldn't devote 60 minutes to getting our kids home rather than just a few for a "Message: I Care" photo-op faking sincerity?

"We all went into the bubble and came out," one of the wise men noted.

The only thing that would have made the photo even more utterly phony was the presence of that vintage warmonger, Henry the K.

I hope Ms. Dowd never gets the ass at me!

If there's a better reason not to confirm Alito, I haven't heard it...


Christian conservative leader Rev. Jerry Falwell said on Sunday that confirming Federal Appeals Court judge Samuel Alito to the U.S. Supreme Court would be the biggest victory for his constituency in three decades.

"In other words, the kind of jurist our founders hoped for to preserve the principals of our great country," Santorum said.

James Dobson of Focus on the Family told the audience that Alito's confirmation would mean the end of a Supreme Court that has imposed its will on the American people in deciding cases involving religion.

Rev. Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State said in a telephone interview that the rally on Sunday was more about power than justice.

"They want a judiciary system that lock, stock and barrel follows the religious doctrines of the Falwells and Dobsons of the world," Lynn said.

Falwell, Santorum, and Dobson are for Alito's confirmation. Filibuster? Hell, yes! If they get tired, just dress me like a Senator, crank my ass up, and lead me to the floor. I'll talk 'til they all fucking starve!

Attacking Iran as Cover

William Rivers Pitt on just why Bush might do something as insane as going to war with Iraq, and the ramifications.

The question must be put as directly as possible: what manner of maniac would undertake a path so fraught with peril and potential economic catastrophe? It is difficult to imagine a justification for any action that could envelop the United States in a military and economic conflict with Iraq, Iran, Syria and China simultaneously.

Unfortunately, all the dangers in the world are no match for the self-assurance of a bubble-encased zealot. What manner of maniac would undertake such a dangerous course? Look no further than 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

George W. Bush and his administration have consistently undertaken incredibly dangerous courses of action in order to garner political power on the home front. Recall the multiple terror threats lobbed out by the administration whenever damaging political news appeared in the media. More significantly, recall Iraq. Karl Rove, Bush's most senior advisor, notoriously told Republicans on the ballot during the 2002 midterms to "run on the war." The invasion of Iraq provided marvelous political cover for the GOP not only during those midterms, but during the 2004 Presidential election.

What kind of political cover would be gained from an attack on Iran, and from the diversion of attention to that attack? The answer lies in one now-familiar name: Jack Abramoff. The Abramoff scandal threatens to subsume all the hard-fought GOP gains in Congress, and the 2006 midterms are less than a year away.

Is any of this a probability? Logic says no, but logic seldom plays any part in modern American politics. All arguments that the Bush administration would be insane to attack Iran and risk a global conflagration for the sake of political cover run into one unavoidable truth.

They did it once already in Iraq.

Read the whole thing. A little tinfoil-hattish perhaps, but food for thought.


How's it going in Iraq?


A good post up at Loaded Mouth:


"Yet, in that era, I don't recall a legitimate movement to reduce Constitutional rights in order to increase public safety." Of course, in this era, we see the Constitution eroding before our very eyes, and those causing this damage all parrot the same reason: 9/11. But if times are relatively sedate now compared to the 60's and 70's, why should we let politicians tell us that our worries should destroy our rights?


Men at work

Shakes has this up, which made me think (you're welcome for the straight line):

Bush may be the president a thin majority of Americans would most like to have a beer with, but he doesn't want to have a beer with them. Time reports he and his closest cronies have never been especially fond of Tom DeLay's, uh, earthiness: "He may have had an unmatched grip on the House and Washington lobbyists, but DeLay is not the kind of guy - in background and temperament - the President feels comfortable with. Of the former exterminator, a Republican close to the President's inner circle says, 'They have always seen him as beneath them, more blue collar. He's seen as a useful servant, not someone you would want to vacation with.'"


You know, say what we will about DeLay but he knows what it's like to work for a living. Unlike Preznit Brush Clearer who has yet to put in an honest day's work in his life. For the Chimp to look down his nose at the Bug Man is laughable. Not saying much, but DeLay is twice the man Bush is. At least DeLay worked for what he achieved (rightly or wrongly), not had it all handed to him. It's why Bush is uncomfortable around DeLay, and others like him. He feels inadequate to an exterminator and all 'working men'.

And just another thought, for a couple guys who did their best to avoid military service, Bush and Cheney do love dressing up in military gear, don't they? You make the connection, I'll just say this; dressing up in green clothes doesn't make you a soldier.


Or, I's be da King:

When George Bush signed the defense appropriation bill containing John McCain's amendment removing torture and other human rights violations from the official repertoire of the armed forces, he added his own little amendment: "Unless I say otherwise." The vehicle through which he reserved the option to break the law is called a bill-signing statement, and as Knight Ridder's Ron Hutcheson revealed on Friday, the McCain bill was far from the first victim of the practice: Bush has used it some 500 times since taking office. [Link via Atrios]


Like Gord says: "...The Republicans must be crushed, torn to shreds like the Third Reich..."

The entire Republican Party is a criminal enterprise and should be put out of business. In my book, they're worse than Hamas in Palestine and Sinn Fein in Ireland. At least those organizations look after their own people.

Sunday, January 8, 2006

"Jist back up to this hyar stump, Honeybun..."

From MediaGirl:

"Pro-life" legislator likens women to cows

When Rep. Gordon Howie, R-Rapid City, mentioned cows and women in the same breaths at the Chamber of Commerce pre-legislative crackerbarrel last week, it didn't sit well with some of the folks who were there.

"We place value on life in South Dakota, and even with a mother cow, as soon as you can demonstrate she is pregnant, an even higher value is placed just because she is pregnant," Howie said.

No, he says it like he means it. I'm sure he believes women are more valuable than cows. But his meaning comes through loud and clear: Women are heifers and the government is the rancher.


Watch out after 'the change', gals. You might end up as hamburger.

The Wiretappers That Couldn't Shoot Straight

Daddy Frank on wiretapping, secrecy, the presidential power grab, and blame-shifting.

That the White House's over-the-top outrage about the Times scoop is a smokescreen contrived to cover up something else is only confirmed by Dick Cheney's disingenuousness. In last week's oration at a right-wing think tank, he defended warrant-free wiretapping by saying it could have prevented the 9/11 attacks. Really? Not with this administration in charge. On 9/10 the N.S.A. (lawfully) intercepted messages in Arabic saying, "The match is about to begin," and, "Tomorrow is zero hour." You know the rest. Like all the chatter our government picked up during the president's excellent brush-clearing Crawford vacation of 2001, it was relegated to manana; the N.S.A. didn't rouse itself to translate those warnings until 9/12.

Given that the reporters on the Times story, James Risen and Eric Lichtblau, wrote that nearly a dozen current and former officials had served as their sources, there may be more leaks to come, and not just to The Times. Sooner or later we'll find out what the White House is really so defensive about.

If the Bush administration did indeed eavesdrop on American journalists and political opponents (Ms. Amanpour's husband, Jamie Rubin, was a foreign policy adviser to the Kerry campaign), it's deja Watergate all over again. But even now we can see that there's another, simpler - and distinctly Bushian - motive at play here, hiding in plain sight.

That motive is not, as many liberals would have it, a simple ideological crusade to gut the Bill of Rights. Real conservatives, after all, are opposed to Big Brother; even the staunch Bush ally Grover Norquist has criticized the N.S.A.'s overreaching. The highest priority for the Karl Rove-driven presidency is instead to preserve its own power at all costs. With this gang, political victory and the propaganda needed to secure it always trump principles, even conservative principles, let alone the truth. Whenever the White House most vociferously attacks the press, you can be sure its No. 1 motive is to deflect attention from embarrassing revelations about its incompetence and failures.

Much more. A good Sunday read, and it's free.

The Battle for Florida

Not that I know anything about the mechanics of the voting process and statistical analysis makes my eyes roll back in my head, but Susie directs us to a sober interview with a guy who actually does study the stuff. He makes some good observations:


Unfortunately, the history of democracy is that leadership philosophy is eroded as the competition between elites becomes more intense. That's what happened with Athenian democracy; that's what happened in the Roman Republic. So you look at our system today; you see our elites doing it, and you know we're in big trouble. It's in my lifetime that this has happened, that elites have begun to put winning ahead everything else, ahead of truth and country.

When Watergate was prosecuted, there were Republicans in Congress that were after Nixon. They thought what he was doing was unconscionable, and today that's not the case. Today, Democrats stick with Democrats, and Republicans stick with Republicans. They don't care what their party leaders have done. Just in my lifetime, I've seen this civic culture go from something that's respectful of democracy to something that is manipulative of it. The problem is if you let this go uncorrected, the Democrats are going to do something worse later, and then the Republicans. It's just an arms race almost, and it will just tend to degenerate.


More fun

'How to become a Republican' via Julien.

More lies

From Mustang Bobby. Heh.

Screwing the seniors

The Medicare Drug Plan is working so well:

We have come to the end of the first week under Bush's medicare drug plan. I'm sure you remember this plan, it's the one that DeLay strong-armed through the house. It's also the same plan that allows the pharmaceuticals to charge the higest prices to seniors, negotiations for lower prices will not and cannot take place. It is the Bush administrations way of killing off the eldery. And what has happened this first week hopefully will change very quickly.


Impeachment rally


A bill of indictment will be delivered to the White House in Washington, DC on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2006 at 1:30PM charging the President of the United States and other named individuals in his administration with war crimes and crimes against humanity.


Go see Ed for details.