Saturday, February 18, 2006

Roberts grows a ball?

Or is he tired of being the WH Spooge Bucket?

It looks like Pat Roberts, of all people, has pulled a fast one on the White House, and hung Mike DeWine out to dry at the same time. We were all gloomily berating the Senate GOP leadership yesterday for caving in to Dick Cheney and nixing a full congressional inquiry into the NSA spying programs after Shooter had pressured Roberts and others to kill any attempt to establish any congressional and judicial oversight of the administration's illegal domestic spying activities. It appeared that Roberts was on the verge of supporting a whitewash proposal by DeWine that would have killed off Arlen Specter's demands for FISA court review of the program.


The "new" healthcare reform

Ben has a great look (simple enough for people like me who count on fingers and toes to understand) at the Chimp's Health 'Savings' Accounts:


Allow Rory to raise a couple of points: "Low-cost" for whom? The insurance companies of course. This Health Savings Account (HSA) shit is high-deductible coverage. Some deductibles may be as high as $10,000, according to the AFL-CIO. The "consumer" also know[n] as "the fuckee" by the joint Insurance Industry/bushcheneygovernment/fascist/rapethepeople task force (IIBFRTF) pays the deductible out of his so-called health savings account. And it ain't free. The fuckee still gets to pay a premium.


Sorry for the light posting today but the Mrs. got in late last night and we got a buncha shit to do.

Dick him if he can't take a joke...

Dick jokes at AlterNet.

"But all kidding aside, and in fairness to Dick Cheney, every five years he has to shed innocent blood or he violates his deal with the devil." --Jimmy Kimmel

"If this story gets any bigger, pretty soon they're going to have to tell the president." --David Letterman

Oh, ever so many more! So sue me...

Simple is as Simple Does

Will Durst talks about Bush and warrantless wiretapping.

Your calls are important to us. For quality control and training purposes, the rest of your life will be monitored.

He's starting to make less sense than a polar bear sipping a sloe gin fizz on an escalator. Said he didn't want any interval standing in the way of fighting terrorism. Hello! George! Tutor time! Go ask Condoleezza; she went to school and actually studied. Have her tell you about the whole space-time continuum deal. How what happens afterwards doesn't affect the speed of what went on before. In other words, killing a chicken does not alter how many eggs it has laid in its lifetime. Might put a slight crimp in the number to be laid in the future, but the past tense is finite. Hell, you said it yourself. "The past is over." Its a reality thing. They may not have lived in the real world at Yale, but I'm pretty sure they talked about it.

And stop with the silly charge that the person who told the press about the program is the real bad guy. That they brought the plan to the attention of Al Qaida. Any terrorist who doesn't know that talking on an open, unencrypted line is on a fast track to 72 perfumed virgins and probably not trusted by the big turbans to do anything more important than run out to get the scorched coffee and day-old baklava. Kind of what you'd be doing if your dad hadn't make his bones with Reagan. Besides, we're never going to understand the mind of Al Qaida. These guys spell their name with a "Q," it's not followed by a "U." They play by rules we don't even understand.

I love that guy.

Getting His War On

In the left sidebar of the Brain is a rude-but-right-on comment by David Rees of mnftiu, creator of the strip "Get Your War On". L.A. City Beat has the first story I've seen about him.

Laughing at real-life horror like cluster-bombing Afghani children or floating bodies in New Orleans is bound to offend, and Get Your War On spares no one. The strip excoriates the Bush administration, the military, religious extremists of all stripes - it has the audacity to laugh at death itself - and exposes the apathy, fatigue, and bafflement experienced by almost every American. It has also become immensely popular, appearing exclusively in every issue of Rolling Stone and getting 25 million hits a year online.

If you're interested, go read. Readin' makes ya smart.

Don't count yer chickens...

I just watched the women's Olympic Snowboard Cross (see yesterday's post). All four gals were about as good as they get. Our U.S. rider, Lindsey Jacobelli, who is the current World Champion, got a good start, took the lead by the first turn, and put an incredible lead on the field of about three seconds (140 feet).

She had the race won a in walk when she did an incredible thing: she threw the race away. She was making the last jump and, being of 20 tender years of age and every bit as mature as that implies, took leave of her senses and did a show-off mid-air trick and crashed upon landing. To put this in some perspective, it's like having a straightaway-length lead at the Daytona 500 (which is this coming Sunday, by the way) and doing a burn-out donut between turn 4 and the finish line on the last lap and hitting the wall.

The Swiss rider, Tanja Frieden, who must have realized she had just been handed the Gold Medal, went on for the win. Miss Jacobelli got up and finished second for the Silver. If the other two riders hadn't had problems of their own and were way behind, she might not have.

Bob Costas interviewed Miss Jacobelli. I told Mrs. G the question he should ask her and, by gum, he did it - "What were you thinking?"

To her credit, the young lady fessed up and admitted getting all excited and screwing up.

That's more mature and honest than most of the people we post about here, and I congratulate her for her Silver Medal and being a good sport, which is, after all, one mark of a true champion.

She's young and has plenty of time to set the world on fire, but it must be agonizing for her to know that she beat herself out of a Gold Medal at the first-ever Olympic Snowboard Cross. Don't ask me how I know this, but nothing can deflate your ego like getting caught doing something stupid, moreso I'm sure when the whole world is watching! She'll be the better for it. I bet she never does that again.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Start swimming

Greenland's glaciers are melting into the sea twice as fast as previously believed, the result of a warming trend that renders obsolete predictions of how quickly Earth's oceans will rise over the next century, scientists said yesterday.

The new data come from satellite imagery and give fresh urgency to worries about the role of human activity in global warming. The Greenland data are mirrored by findings from Bolivia to the Himalayas, scientists said, noting that rising sea levels threaten widespread flooding and severe storm damage in low-lying areas worldwide.


So, are we gonna wait until we're hip-deep in water before we do something about global warming? I'm praying the Chimp's environmental policies don't poison the planet completely or destroy the weather systems before some folks with sense can stop it. We have to retake Congress this fall.

And by the way, Blogger sucks my big white ass today.

Gals with Balls...

Austin Chronicle

Driving 19th Street in Lubbock alongside the sprawling edifices of Texas Tech, the little tin-can car in front of me sported quite a bumper sticker: SORRY WE MISSED CHURCH, WE WERE BUSY/LEARNING WITCHCRAFT AND BECOMING LESBIANS.

That bumper sticker won't cost you in Los Angeles or Austin, but it takes rare nerve to paste those words on your tail in the Bible Belt. (Lubbock has, I am told, more churches per capita than any city anywhere.) The tin can had Texas plates, and any Texan knows that sticker won't be taken lightly around here. I had to see who was driving that car. I pulled up alongside. The driver and her passenger were women of about 18, maybe 20. They wore tractor hats or maybe baseball caps, with brims pulled backwards, and they were laughing. They didn't notice me salute them, and they couldn't know that I was thinking, Next to these kids, I'm a wuss.

I write under the ever-flimsier protection of the First Amendment. They drive around a famously right-wing town daring anyone to say them nay.

It is the signature of our era that we live in a world so unstable that its limits may be tested merely by a bumper sticker - or, as in Europe and Islam right now, by a cartoon.

This a Hell of an op-ed on what our country and our world has - and will yet - become. Highly recommended reading.

Hit Refresh?

Normally, I don't much care for the WSJ Op-Ed page or this broad, but this one is kind of interesting, so I'll just hold my nose and do it.

The Dick Cheney shooting incident will, in a way, go away. And, in a way, not--ever. Some things stick. Gerry Ford had physically stumbled only once or twice in public when he became, officially, The Stumbler. Mr. Ford's stumbles seemed to underscore a certain lack of sure-footedness in his early policies and other decisions. The same with Jimmy Carter and the Killer Rabbit. At the time Mr. Carter told the story of a wild rabbit attacking his boat he had already come to be seen by half the country as weak and unlucky. Even bunnies took him on.

Same with Dick Cheney. He's been painted as the dark force of the administration, and now there's a mental picture to go with the reputation. Pull! Sorry, Harry! Pull!

George Bush, and so the men and women around him, will want the next Republican presidential nominee to continue the U.S. effort in, and commitment to, Iraq. To be a candidate who will continue his policy, and not pull the plug, and burrow through.

This person will not be Dick Cheney, who has already said he doesn't plan to run. So Mr. Bush may feel in time that he has reason to want to put in a new vice president in order to pick a successor who'll presumably have an edge in the primaries--he's the sitting vice president, and Republicans still respect primogeniture. They will tend to make the common-sense assumption that a guy who's been vice president for, say, a year and a half, is a guy who already knows the top job. Anyway, the new guy will get a honeymoon, which means he won't be fully hated by the time the 2008 primaries begin.

This new vice president would, however, have to be very popular in the party, or the party wouldn't buy it. Replacing Mr. Cheney would be chancy. The new veep would have to get through the Senate, which has at this point at least three likely contenders for the nomination, at least two of whom who would not, presumably, be amused.

Plus there's more quiet anti-administration feeling in the party than is generally acknowledged, and the president's men know it. A lot of people would find such a move too cute by half. The contenders already in line--and their supporters, donors, fans, staff and friends in the press--would resent it. Big time.

Of course, all this is exactly like the sort of thing people blue-skied about in 1992, when George H.W. Bush was in trouble and a lot of people urged him to hit refresh by dumping Dan Quayle. He didn't. George W. Bush loves to do what his father didn't.

Who would it be? Someone who's a strong supporter of Iraq, and, presumably, the Bush doctrine.

Who would that be? That's what I suspect the president's men are asking themselves. But silently.

Out loud would be better, but I'll take 'silent'. As long as they throw the Dark Lord overboard. Go read the rest.

My new favorite winter sport

No, not throttlin' up my snowthrower on a big powder day. Not any more.

We've been watching the Winter Olympic Games every night. We watch at least a little of each event, yes, even Curling. In a masterpiece of timing, they show that at bedtime. I go right to sleep watching that. Better than counting sheep, as that just gets me aroused...

But I digress. Last night was the first-ever Olympic Snowboard Cross. I hadn't seen this before, but now I'm a fan.

Most events are individuals or teams racing the clock one at a time. Snowboard Cross is four competitors racing each other down a 900-yard course with turns, jumps, and beatin' an' bangin'. Sorta like a quiet, dust-free Motocross. It's exciting to watch. The only way they could make it better is if they could figure out a way to get those things to go uphill so they could do ten laps! I'm hooked.

From Slate:

Shortly after the snowboard cross heats began, two different friends got in touch with me, unprovoked, just to say how much they were grooving on this new event. Indeed, it rocks. Close quarters bumping and maneuvering, crazy turns and jumps, and a new heat starting every two minutes or so. It's like roller derby on snow. This is a winter sport I can get stoked about - while luge, bobsleigh, and alpine skiing all suddenly feel outdated and lusterless. No doubt, snowboard cross is the breakout hit of Torino.

My only suggestion is that they should permit not just "incidental" contact, but also "violent, mean-spirited" contact. Also, weapons. Some of the boarders should be issued bicycle chains, while others get two-by-fours with nails sticking out. One guy should get a bazooka. Basically, I want it to look as much as possible like SSX Tricky - one of my all-time favorite video games.

The LATimes has a more newsworthy report on the event including a real good Photo Gallery.

Prior to Snowboard Cross, my all-time favorite, if fictional, event was the "Chinese Downhill" in Hot Dog: The Movie, sort of Porky's in the snow, which was filmed here and used a lot of my friends as extras. Some of 'em even paid me what they owed me for motorcycle repairs!

The women's Snowboard Cross is tonight. Check it out.

Friday Cattle Dog Blogging

Princess Shayna says George Bush is an environmental disaster in progress and worries for the green spaces where all her little furry friends live. "Somebody should pee on his leg," she was heard to say.

Thursday, February 16, 2006


Kreetcha [/NY accent] with a great cartoon.

Suck boy

Can Pat Roberts be any more of one?


Or, 224 to 4. I'm a fiscal conservative. That's why I became a Democrat.


And speaking of fiscal conservatism, enough is enough.


This is fourth time in three years that the Bush administration has asked for additional funds, and this time it is even higher than expected.

The $65 billion requested for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan is $2 billion higher than expected.


Time to pull a Grover Dicktwist and 'starve the beast'. Maybe a Dem Congress (even a blind squirrel can find an acorn once in a while) might be able to pull it off.

Gay Caballero & Cultural Progress Dept.

From Eclecticism comes the lyrics to Willie Nelson's new (well, recently released, anyway. It's been in the closet for 20 years.) song "Cowboys are Frequently, Secretly Fond of Each Other":

There's many a strange impulse out on the plains of West Texas;
There's many a young boy who feels things he can't comprehend.
Well a small town don't like it when somebody falls between sexes,
No, small town don't like it when a cowboy has feelings for men.

Well I believe in my soul that inside every man there's the feminine,
And inside every lady there's a deep manly voice loud and clear.
Well, a cowboy may brag about things that he's done with his women,
But the ones who brag loudest are the ones that are most likely queer.

Cowboys are frequently secretly fond of each other,
Say, what do you think all them saddles and boots was about?
And there's many a cowboy who don't understand
the way that he feels for his brother,
And inside every cowboy there's a lady that'd love to slip out.

And there's always somebody who says what the others just whisper,
And mostly that someone's the first one to get shot down dead.
So when you talk to a cowboy don't treat him like he was a sister,
You can't fuck with the lady that's sleepin' in each cowboy's head.

Cowboys are frequently secretly fond of each other,
What did you think all them saddles and boots was about?
And there's many a cowboy who don't understand
the way that he feels for his brother,
Inside every lady there's a cowboy that wants to slip out. And inside every
cowboy there's a lady that'd love to slip out.

The following lyrics (one verse and two versions of the chorus) aren't included in Willie's version, but are apparently in a version of this song that was recorded by the punk band Pansy Division.

Ten men for each woman was the rule way back when on the prairie,
And somehow those cowboys must have kept themselves warm late at night.
Cowboys are famous for getting riled up about fairies,
But I'll tell you the reason a big strong man gets so uptight:

Cowboys are frequently secretly fond of each other,
That's why they wear leather, and Levi's and belts buckled tight.
There's many a cowboy who don't understand
the way that he feels towards his brother,
There's many a cowboy who's more like a lady at night.

Cowboys are frequently secretly fond of each other,
Even though they take speed and drive pickups and shoot their big guns.
There's many a cowboy who don't understand
the way that he feels for his brother;
There's many a cowboy who keeps quiet about things he's done.

It's OK, guys. You can put your albums of show tunes out with the C&W now.

Onward Macho Killers

Two posts on hunting. This one by James Wolcott on Cheney's style of rich man's killing spree:

"This line of talk reveals a strange, even warped vision of authentic Americanism - one that ignores the fact that the huge majority of Americans live in cities or subdivisions, and hunt only for bargains on Playstations, flat screen TV's, and gasoline.

"It also gives a style of hunting that can charitably be described as shooting fish in a barrel with fine Italian shotguns far more old-fashioned American macho credit than it deserves, as if wealthy hunters driving Hummers around a private ranch to blast away at cage-raised 'prey' hold any fair comparison at all with the kind of tough, ready men of the outdoors..."

Rich guys pretending to be Jeremiah Johnson is one of the many fascimile editions of rawhide authenticity being successfully peddled in the media with no one willing to stop and say that inflicting unnecessary pain and suffering on animals should be a source of sin and shame, and that the decent thing to do would be to break Cheney's shotgun in two before anyone or anything else is harmed by his buffoonery.

And this one, courtesy of Cleek:

What got me thinking, though, was this: yes, I've done all that: I know all about guns and gun safety, hunting and being a big macho slayer of smaller animals. But these days I have zero interest in doing it again. I no longer think of the animals that I used to shoot as little animated targets; I realize that they have their lives to live, just as I have mine. That they don't know how to speak or type an email doesn't give me the moral authority to kill them as a way to boost and soothe my own ego. I'd rather feed squirrels and birds then kill them. I have absolutely no interest in killing a deer or a bear. And if ever offered, I'll politely decline the chance to shoot farm-raised birds. Yes, I'm sure it's a great challenge to hit a fast-moving bird from 100 feet, and I'm sure the VP takes great pride in the accomplishment; but beyond a test of hand-eye coordination that I can duplicate with a copy of Half Life 2, the point of killing birds eludes me. I don't need to stand on a pile of little corpses to feel like a man.

Those are my sentiments exactly. Some humans, on the other hand, are desperately in need of killin' and I would have no qualms about fulfilling that need.

On second thought, in the spirit of compassion for all living things, a coupla .44 Specials in the kneecaps would be much better.

Arrogance of Power part deux (just for today, of course), or, "Who's really in charge here?"

Editor & Publisher

While Vice President Cheney continues to catch flak for grossly mishandling the aftermath of the shooting in Texas last Saturday, it is amazing that, relatively speaking, his boss, President Bush, is not drawing just as much blame. True, Cheney deserves extra scrutiny for breaking several cardinal rules of hunting when he plugged Mr. Whittington, and for whatever else he may be hiding.

But as for the slow reporting of the incident - with a nod to Watergate we will call it "the 18 ½ hour gap" - why is the media dumping it mainly on Vice when perhaps it should be versa? Isn't the president in charge here?

Good question.

Hell no, he's not. Some of us knew that already.

But consider another possibility, which has the added benefit of also being an explanation for all of the above: that the story that Bush learned about Cheney's as gunman Saturday may not be true... that the president was among the millions of Americans that Cheney wanted to keep in the dark about this detail.

In any event, Bush is now trapped. If he'd admitted that no one woke him up to tell him, and that's why McClellan didn't know until Sunday morning, that would have painted a very troubling (though not fresh) picture of a disengaged #1 man who is actually, at best, #2. But at least it would suggest that Bush took action and ordered the story out when he did find out about it.

Yet in declaring that he did know about Cheney’s role at 8 p.m. Saturday - and did absolutely nothing to tell anyone about it - an even more disturbing, and perhaps sinister, picture of the true arrogance of power may emerge.

If all takes are a few shootings for the country at large to find out who's pullin' Bush's strings, and who feels free to tell him to get fucked in matters of national interest, and just who's spineless enough to let him get away with it, fire at will. Better yet, fire at Cheney.

An Arrogance of Power

Excellent editorial by David Ignatius in the wake of the Texas chainsaw massacree lawyer shoot.

Nobody died at Armstrong Ranch, but this incident reminds me a bit of Sen. Edward Kennedy's delay in informing Massachusetts authorities about his role in the fatal automobile accident at Chappaquiddick in 1969. That story, and dozens of others about the Kennedy family, illustrates how wealthy, powerful people can behave as if they are above the law. For my generation, the fall of Richard Nixon is the ultimate allegory about how power can corrupt and destroy. It begins not with venality but with a sense of God-given mission.

I would be inclined to leave Cheney to the mercy of Jon Stewart and Jay Leno if it weren't for other signs that this administration has jumped the tracks. What worries me most is the administration's misuse of intelligence information to advance its political agenda. For a country at war, this is truly dangerous.

Bush and Cheney are in the bunker. That's the only way I can make sense of their actions. They are steaming in a broth of daily intelligence reports that highlight the grim terrorist threats facing America. They have sworn blood oaths that they will defend the United States from its adversaries -- no matter what . They have blown past the usual rules and restraints into territory where few presidents have ventured -- a region where the president conducts warrantless wiretaps against Americans in violation of a federal statute, where he authorizes harsh interrogation methods that amount to torture.

When critics question the legality of the administration's actions, Bush and Cheney assert the commander in chief's power under Article II of the Constitution. When Congress passes a law forbidding torture, the White House appends a signing statement insisting that Article II -- the power of the commander in chief -- trumps everything else. When the administration's Republican friends suggest amending the wiretapping law to make its program legal, the administration refuses. Let's say it plainly: This is the arrogance of power, and it has gone too far in the Bush White House.

No shit, Sparky. Go read the rest.

One of those forests would look nice over by the oil wells, huh, Sheikh?

A few days ago, Fixer posted about Bush selling off National Forest and Park land. It's gettin' pretty close to home for me. I live smack dab in the middle of the Truckee District of the Tahoe National Forest. From my local fish wrapper paper, the Sierra Sun:

More than 2,000 acres of Tahoe National Forest land is on the chopping block, part of a list of 300,000 acres of federal land that could be sold to fund schools and roads in states across the nation.

A proposal to raise $800 million over the next five years, a reauthorization of the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-determination Act, was announced last week by the U.S. Forest Service. Rural counties hurt by reduced revenue from lower timber production would benefit from the land sales, which are slated to be up for adoption later this year.

Forest Service officials said they are considering the sale of parcels that are isolated or difficult to manage.

"These are not the crown jewels we are talking about," said Agriculture Undersecretary Mark Rey.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., called the plan "a terrible idea based on a misguided sense of priorities."

"I will do everything I can to defeat this effort," she said.

Not only is the Bush administration proposing to sell off public lands to help finance the president's budget, the move also won't sufficiently fund the rural schools program, which has helped California and other states, Feinstein said.

In 2005, California received $67.4 million from the act. Nevada County collected $770,856, according to the U.S. Forest Service Web site.

Although the Tahoe National Forest has sizable chunks of land on the proposed sale list, including several parcels just north of Truckee, the majority of the land that could be sold is in the northern reaches of the state.

The Plumas, Lassen and Klamath Forests hold 75 percent of the land on the list, said the Forest Service's Holguin.

California alone has eighteen National Forests and a shitpot full of National Parks, National Monuments, Historical Sites*, and Recreation and Wilderness Areas. 2000 acres (about three square miles) isn't much, and swapping out NF land for different purposes goes on all the time. Under 'normal' circumstances, it doesn't bother me very much. Sometimes it does, but that's for another time.

What bothers me about this latest sale proposal is that this particular administration works for the moneyed interests instead of us and I just flat don't trust 'em to do the right thing. I think their track record bears this out.

These seemingly small sales are just the camel's nose under the tent, so to speak.

*You sharp-eyed folks, ladies especially, check this one out just for fun.

Dems continue rapid-fire shooting into own foot


With a shove from party leaders, Iraq war veteran Paul Hackett abruptly quit a key Senate race in Ohio and further exposed a disconnect between the Democratic establishment and Internet-fueled challengers.

The political novice withdrew under intense pressure from party leaders in Washington, clearing the field for Rep. Sherrod Brown -- a 30-year veteran of Democratic politics with more than $2.5 million in the bank.

"Hackett brought credibility on the No. 1 issue facing the nation -- the war in Iraq," said Jon Soltz, an Iraq combat veteran and executive director of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America Political Action Committee. "The Democratic Party loses credibility on that issue because he is no longer running, and because they had a hand in his decision."

So it's the same old, same old once again. Business as usual.

One definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over, expecting different results. The Democrats in Ohio, or Washington, or both, must be insane as well as clueless.


Go read this highly apropos piece by Robert C. Koehler:

Two ghosts stalk the national Democratic Party in its pitiful, 21st century incarnation. One is George McGovern, who taught them that only Republican values matter in a national election. The other is Ralph Nader, who taught them who the real enemy is.

The present hamstrung state of the party is the result of its abject fear of these ghosts, which has given it a permanent moral stammer. A party that doesn't believe in itself is doomed to lose over and over, even if it represents the majority of the people and even - as Al Gore demonstrated in 2000 - when it gets the most votes.

As the Republicans of 2006 shoot themselves and otherwise self-destruct, the Democrats have a chance to make significant gains in this year's elections. All that's stopping them are their own ghosts.

Is he saying that whistling past the graveyard will keep you out of it? Fat chance.

Berchdesgarten in Phoenix

Found at Blondie's:

Arizonians came up with a bill to put flags in all Arizona school classrooms by 2007 because quite frankly, they don't think that people are patriotic enough or understand their heritage and American made flags in the classrooms will take care of that problem.


I wrote about this a year ago.

I remember my mother telling me about the year (August 1936) she returned to school after summer break to find Hitler's picture hanging in every classroom. She came home that day and told her mother (my grandmother), who dutifully marched up to the school with my mom the next morning. The conversation with the headmaster went something like this:


Liz makes the salient point:


I don't know... how about teaching American history in the schools? The constitution? Nah, that's ok, you don't have to be book smart to be patriotic.


You just have to be loyal to the end.

What would happen to me...

If I shot a friend in the face accidentally:

1. The cops would come immediately and take me away.

2. I would be poked, prodded, and sampled for any signs of alcohol or drug use.

3. Should I choose not to retain a lawyer, I would be interrogated for hours until I told the cops what they wanted to hear. If I do retain a lawyer, I would be arrested immediately, pending arraignment the next morning. (oh, it happened on the weekend? I'd be locked up until Monday morning.)

4. I would be charged with attempted murder and an extraordinary amount of bail would be levied.

5. My friends and family would be harassed and questioned until the DA could find enough speculation and innuendo to suggest I had some sort of motive for shooting my friend on purpose.

6. Corollary to #1 - should I choose to take my friend directly to the hospital and not call the cops, the Emergency Room staff would call them for me and I'd be arrested there. I'd be charged with additional counts for attempting to cover up my actions and obstruct their investigation.

Same circumstances, but I'd be in jail. The Vice President gets a pass and is still walking around free. What a country.

And just a note: If I would cop an attitude with the police like I'm doing them a favor talking to them, I'd get thrown the beating of my life. Don't see a mark on Ol' Dick.


What are they, a buncha pussies? When I arrived at Lackland AFB for basic training close to 26 years ago (next week, btw), I thought I was a tough guy. I was 17 and I knew everything. Two minutes after I got off the bus, Ssgt. Franklin was on my ass and didn't let up until I graduated. I finally realized I wasn't a tough guy, just a loudmouthed punk. He made me a good troop (and a good man) and after he was done with me, I was a tough guy. This is crap:

FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. -- New recruits used to be welcomed to boot camp here with the "shark attack." For decades, drill sergeants in wide-brim hats would swarm around the fresh-off-the-bus privates, shouting orders. Some rattled recruits would make mistakes. A few would cry.

Today, the Army is opting for a quieter approach. "I told my drill sergeants to stop the nonsense," says Col. Edward Daly, whose basic-training brigade graduates about 11,000 soldiers a year. Last fall, Col. Daly began meeting with all new recruits shortly after they arrive at boot camp to thank them. "We sincerely appreciate the fact that you swore an oath and got on a bus and did it in a time of war," he recently told an incoming class. "That's a big, big deal." He usually is accompanied by two male and two female soldiers, who can answer questions the recruits may have.

"The idea is to get rid of the anxiety and worry," Col. Daly says.


To borrow a phrase from our friend Jay, 'are you effin' kidding me'? It's time for Col. Daly to retire.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

I ask again...

Where is the NRA and why haven't they called Biggus Dickus on his irresponsible gun use?

The Rainbow Bridge

Someone sent me this when I lost my dog George:

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.
There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together.
There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.
The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....

Author unknown...

My sincere condolences to Gord and Mrs. G.

Spineless bastids


So it looks like the Judiciary Committee is going to do the big el-foldo on the NSA spying scandal and some Democrats in the congress are going to simply vote to make the Republicans make the president's illegal program legal and call it a day. Once again their losing strategists have misunderstood why Americans believe that they are weak on national security. Indeed, if they capitulate on this they will have reinforced that image much more than if they oppose it outright.


Once again, the Democratic Party is going to roll over and play dead. Watching that boob Bill Schneider at CNN just now, his report implied a lot of dissatisfied, angry voters out there. If the Dems would just show some real leadership, these folks would follow in droves and give them a true mandate. Instead, it's a half-assed, limp-wristed response as usual.

An attempt...

To make Gord smile. The great Molly Ivins:

Of course the jokes are flying all over Texas--what's the fine for shooting a lawyer?--and so forth. Dick-Cheney-shooting-Harry-Whittington is fraught, as they say, with irony. It's not as though the ground in Texas is littered with liberal Republicans.

I think the vice president winged the only one we've got.


So Long, Molly

Molly and Bridget
Click to embiggen

I'm very sad today and I'm really writing this for myself. Molly passed away yesterday evening.

We got her in '99 from Reno Animal Control. We think she was about 3 years old at the time, but we really don't know. Mrs. G stepped into her cell to introduce herself and Molly up and gave her a big sloppy kiss. That settled that! We took her home and gave her seven more years than she would have gotten otherwise.

Molly was large for the breed, English Springer Spaniel, slender all her life, drop-dead gorgeous, very athletic and was obsessed with tennis balls, sorta like a canine Serena Williams. She was the fastest thing on four feet, and when she caught up to a ball she would likely as not go ass over teakettle. Then she would bring it back and drop it at my feet, "let's go again, Daddy!". Some of the neighborhood kids called her a "stampede". She also loved to chase squirrels, to the point I cut the lower limbs off the pine tree in my front yard to keep her from climbing it. She never caught one and wouldn't have known what to do with it if she had.

She was very gentle and calm of demeanor when not playing ball. She was very trusting. You could do anything with her. She never once even play-nipped at anyone except other dogs. She wouldn't have hurt anything for the world. She was quiet and never barked very much. She was always ready to go for a ride in the pickup.

We had a lot of good times with her. She was member of the family.

A couple of months ago, she started having a little trouble getting into the pickup. We figured she had worn out her hind legs, as she had been diagnosed several years ago with mild hip dysplasia. She had slowed down chasing the ball a couple of years ago, so we just figured she was getting on in years like us. A few weeks ago she started leaving food in her bowl. By now she sometimes needed assistance to get to her feet, so we took her to the vet.

The vet noticed something we hadn't: her lower legs and feet were about twice normal size. The pictures showed an angel-hair-like bone growth, symptomatic of some internal problem. This turned out to be a huge tumor on her liver which had pushed her stomach out of the way. That was why she couldn't eat much. The doc said she didn't have long to live.

All we could do was give her a little extra attention and try to keep her comfortable. The doc sent us home with some steroid pills which helped. With them, she could get to her feet OK. I still threw the ball for her, but not very far. She sorta padded after it and brought it back. A couple of times tired her out.

This past Monday, she seemed better. She took a whole 3/8-mile walk with Mrs. G for the first time in weeks. She padded after the ball several times. She even kept me company out in the garage while I did a little mechanical work. In hindsight, it almost seems like she just wanted to get a normal day's activities in one last time.

Yesterday she refused food and water. She was more sluggish than normal. I knew this was serious and told Mrs. G to expect the worst. We knew we had to make The Decision pretty soon.

She saved us from having to make that decision. While Mrs. G was petting and talking to her, she simply exhaled and didn't inhale any more. She died like she lived, quietly, no fuss or bother. Mrs. G came and got me from the other room and I pronounced her at ten minutes to seven.

Molly's passing leaves a big hole in our lives. Even Bridget was looking around for Molly and seemed confused by her absence, even sad. We've gone through the loss before. We know to skip Denial, Anger, and Bargaining, and go right to Sorrow and Acceptance. It doesn't ever make it any easier. As Richard Petty said on Dale Earnhardt's passing, "It don't do no good to put a question mark on what the Lord done put a period on." Ungrammatical, but it makes the point.

When you make the decision to keep a dog, please bear in mind that this is the occasional price you have to pay for all the fun, and the unconditional love and trust they give. All they want is a home where they feel safe and wanted, food, love, and a little attention. They want to be wanted just like we do. They give it back tenfold.

We'll get over this, and in a few weeks, or a coupla months, we'll go rescue another one. It's for damn sure worth it.

Please forgive my babbling. If I'd waited a coupla days I probably wouldn't have written this, but today I had to.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Who's in charge here? 3

So who does Biggus Dickus answer to anyway?


Cernig points me to an Oxford Research Group report entitled Iran: Consequences of a War, which I will read tonight since Mrs. F will be in Charlotte until the end of the week (beats surfing for porn). The summary:

An air attack on Iran by Israeli or US forces would be aimed at setting back Iran's nuclear programme by at least five years. A ground offensive by the United States to terminate the regime is not feasible given other commitments in Iraq and Afghanistan, and would not be attempted. An air attack would involve the systematic destruction of research, development, support and training centres for nuclear and missile programmes and the killing of as many technically competent people as possible. A US attack, which would be larger than anything Israel could mount, would also involve comprehensive destruction of Iranian air defence capabilities and attacks designed to pre-empt Iranian retaliation. This would require destruction of Iranian Revolutionary Guard facilities close to Iraq and of regular or irregular naval forces that could disrupt Gulf oil transit routes.

Although US or Israeli attacks would severely damage Iranian nuclear and missile programmes, Iran would have many methods of responding in the months and years that followed. These would include disruption of Gulf oil production and exports, in spite of US attempts at pre-emption, systematic support for insurgents in Iraq, and encouragement to associates in Southern Lebanon to stage attacks on Israel. There would be considerable national unity in Iran in the face of military action by the United States or Israel, including a revitalised Revolutionary Guard.

One key response from Iran would be a determination to reconstruct a nuclear programme and develop it rapidly into a nuclear weapons capability, with this accompanied by withdrawal from the Non-Proliferation Treaty. This would require further attacks. A military operation against Iran would not, therefore, be a short-term matter but would set in motion a complex and long-lasting confrontation. It follows that military action should be firmly ruled out and alternative strategies developed. [my em]

My ass is sore...

From getting screwed. This via the lovely Avedon Carol:

WASHINGTON, Feb. 13 - The federal government is on the verge of one of the biggest giveaways of oil and gas in American history, worth an estimated $7 billion over five years.

New projections, buried in the Interior Department's just-published budget plan, anticipate that the government will let companies pump about $65 billion worth of oil and natural gas from federal territory over the next five years without paying any royalties to the government.

Based on the administration figures, the government will give up more than $7 billion in payments between now and 2011. The companies are expected to get the largess, known as royalty relief, even though the administration assumes that oil prices will remain above $50 a barrel throughout that period.


Exxon/Mobil made $36bn in profits last year and the government gives 'em $7bn more? Is this fucking Bizarro World or what?

War profiteering

Katrina Vanden Heuvel has a great idea:


What Sixty Minutes' important expose also reveals is the vital need for an independent war profiteering commission which would investigate the multi-billion dollar, unaccounted for, expenditures in the Iraq war and publish a report for public distribution that includes tough recommendations for legislative action and, if found, criminal action . It would be modeled on the Truman Commission, which then-Senator Harry Truman chaired during World War II to expose and eliminate waste, mismanagement, and corruption, and consist of a group of dedicated, visible current and former public servants--Democrats, Republicans, Independents--committed to examining the financial and military transactions related to the Iraqi war effort... [my em]

Sorry, beautiful, but until the Repubs in Congress are shown the door, this ain't never gonna happen.

Don't bag a Republican; they're too hard to clean

From the Austin American-Statesman

Which makes me wonder. For deer, hunters put out deer corn. When your quarry is a Republican, what do you put out? Piles of cash?

Now about this business of hunting Republicans. I don't know why Cheney would want to bag one of his own kind. Republicans are hard to gut and clean, and you can't find anybody to process them, except maybe Ronnie Earle. Besides, it looks funny to have something dressed in an $800 suit from Capra & Cavelli strapped to the hood of your truck.

Oh well, I wouldn't want a Republican for my den anyway, or any other taxidermied critter, come to think of it. I find it disturbing that when the job is done, only a small percentage of the mount is the actual animal.

In the case of a Republican mount, I imagine the only authentic parts left would be the wallet and the riding lawn mower.

This whole deal is the only shooting incident I've ever heard of that could be even remotely considered funny, but it is. It's a good thing no actual human beings were involved.


Maybe it's not so funny. LATimes:

The 78-year-old lawyer who was shot by Vice President Dick Cheney in a hunting accident has some birdshot lodged in his heart and he had "a minor heart attack" Tuesday morning, hospital officials said.

So it's gone from a "few" pellets "lodged in his skin" to "as many as 150" and at least one made it to his heart.

Go Emily!

Now that Michelle Kwan has had her 'vanity moment' and is on her way home, the girl who should have gone in the first place will join the team. Long Island native Emily Hughes will take Kwan's place in the rotation and we wish her the best. Her sister made us proud four years ago.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Just a warning to those who will have actual personal contact with me today. Mrs. F is in Charlotte, you figure it out. Happy Valentine's, darling. Wish you were home.

Also, Happy Valentine's Day to the wonderful women of Left Blogtopia (y!sctp!). Fuck you guys, this ain't 'Brokeback Blogger'. Heh...

Your tax dollars at work

Let's say your job is making Bush and the Republicans [l]ook good to the public. What's it going to cost?


Dave blogs the new GAO report showing how much the Chimp spends on PR to cover up his ineptitude. Oy!

Monday, February 13, 2006

Not ready for Prime Time

WASHINGTON, Feb. 12 - House Republicans plan to issue a blistering report on Wednesday that says the Bush administration delayed the evacuation of thousands of New Orleans residents by failing to act quickly on early reports that the levees had broken during Hurricane Katrina.


"If this is what happens when we have advance warning, we shudder to imagine the consequences when we do not," the draft says, referring to the potential for a terror attack. "Four and a half years after 9/11, America is still not ready for prime time." [my em]



Getting closer to Election Day, ain't it? Looks like some of the Repubs are beginning damage control and CYA.

The Dark Lord

Does not speak with mere mortals.

Fun with Dick 'n Guns

Boy howdy, that non-shootin' Cheney's fuck-up is all over the blogosphere like a cheap suit! It's hard to find something that ain't been posted, but I figgered I better try. I wouldn't wanta get left out, after all! Here goes:

Whittington's lucky Cheney left his usual no-chance-of-a-miss usual fowling piece at home.

See if you can shoot like Dick.

Al Franken

Over the weekend, Vice President Dick Cheney shot a man in Texas. Asked why he shot the man, the Vice President said, "Just to watch him die."

Now, I imagine that Cheney and the President have hunted together. What would have happened if Cheney had shot the President? I think if he shot Bush this way, Bush isn't 78 and he's in pretty good shape, and he's kinda macho. I think he would've gotten up and shot Cheney back. And I think they would've started blasting each other like in a Tarrantino movie.

Ah, the stuff of dreams...

Actually, Georgie probably would have ran home and told his mom. Bar'd have ate some lead 'n powder and shot Cheney with a hail of bullets out her ass.

That's probably enough, huh?

No. 232

This week's Top 10 Conservative Idiots. My favorite is No. 8.

Ironic Times

Go see this just for fun.

Parks for sale

Let's not let 'em get away with this:

"Is selling off Bitterroot National Forest or the Sierra National Forest or Yellowstone National Park a good idea? No, not in general," said Under Secretary Mark Rey. "But I challenge these people who are engaging in this flowery rhetoric ... to take a hard look at these specific parcels and tell me they belong in national forest ownership."


They need cash to finance Iraq and they see easy money here.

Shoot me once...

I won't belabor this anymore, since Nina did such a good job last night, but a couple quotes from Jane struck me. This:


Update: Taylor wonders if the NRA is going to call Dick on his deplorable hunting protocol or thoroughly embarrass themselves in front of their membership by giving him a free pass. Interesting dilemma.

And this:


As Puppethead points out, "Cheney doesn't hunt. He goes to game farms and kills animals. It's similar to Bush's 'fishing' that involves heavily stocking the lake/pond/whatever for Bush. No sportsmanship at all (what a surprise)."


Rich old drunken farts blasting away at Tweety in a birdcage and thinking they're all butch. Yeah let's hear the one about how you're the big white bwana hunter again, Dick.

I know little girls in kindergarten with more stones than that.


Same goes for the Chimp dressing up in a flight suit and doing his 'Mission Accomplished' act. Little boys who get to 'play' at being men. Just a hint from a real man (I have references), you guys look like bigger wimps every day.


And just a question. Do you really think Vice President Fudd did this 'accidentally'? Personally, I have my doubts, but I gave up believing anything that comes out of 1600 a long time ago.


Heh... Now I'm done. I gotta get to work.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

It's a quail, it's a WMD, it's my pal...

The bloggers are piling up on this one and this time Dick Cheney is at the bottom of the pile-up. Yes, Darth Cheney apparently emerged from his cave for a while over the weekend and peppered a crony with birdshot:

"Vice President Dick Cheney accidentally shot a prominent Austin lawyer while the two men were on a quail hunting expedition in South Texas on Saturday, firing shotgun pellets at the man while trying to aim for a bird, his spokeswoman confirmed today. Mr. Cheney, a practiced hunter, sprayed the lawyer, Harry Whittington, with shotgun pellets on an outing on the Armstrong ranch in South Texas. Mr. Whittington, 78, was flown by helicopter to Corpus Christi Memorial Hospital, where he was listed in stable condition today, according to Michele Trevino, a hospital spokeswoman..."

I do send get well wishes to Mr Whittington, who was shot yesterday, although the news didn't come out until later today. Hmmmm. Perhaps out of concern for the family the Veep was waiting to see if Mr Whittington would survive the blast. But we can comfort ourselves knowing that our Veep was at Mr Whittington's hospital bed, and when the guy at the wrong end of the Veep's gun came to, the Veep's smiling countenance was the first thing he saw. That would have one on one's feet in no time, possibly just to run for cover. I can only pray that some poor slob at the WH hasn't been pulled from Bible study or Evensong just to prepare spin for tomorrow's news, or perhaps a diversionary tactic will be employed instead, e.g. we're going to have to attack the Falklands, instead of "Everybody run, the vice-president's got a gun" (thanks, Julie Brown)!

Here are some of the bloggers giving the Veep something he deserves, contempt and ridicule:

10 reasons

Now don't blame Cheney

What's that you said about Kerry, Mr Cheney?

Those wascally libawuls

Why wait so long to tell us?

Bwana Cheney

tons-o-fun posts (haven't read yet but I'm sure they're worth it)

Shootin' Arns...

OK, I guess you libruls got me to change my mind. Even the Gun Guys (an anti-gun-spin site) don't think it's a good idea for me to have a Barrett Light .50 (although Mr. Barrett disagrees). They're for lazy people anyway. Who wants to stay a mile away from the action when you can get right up close? If I wanted to do that, I'd just build IEDs and phone it in.

Besides, what really tore it was when this old infantry type found out how much 13kg is in pounds. Fuck luggin' that thing around! Besides, it ain't got a bayonet lug...

So...what to do? What to do?

I've never really trusted those little Mattel thingies they give the GIs these days. In the early days they killed as many Americans as they did NVA, mostly due to some fool fuckin' up the ammo for corporate cost-cutting purposes. It was quite a scandal when it finally came out. A little too late for a lot of dead American boys, but, hey, who cares? That's the bottom line thing at work that has made America what it is today. Their parents should be proud their boys died to save two cents a round. Or less.

The Army also realizes that the M16 has been the issue service rifle for forty years (which must set some kind of record [?]) so they're looking to upgrade to something new, better, and with more stopping power. For some reason, the modern military doesn't think having the enemy soldier impaled on a bayonet just past the muzzle is much of an option anymore. Wimps.

The same company (go see the opening video!) that makes the .50 also makes the M468, which is available as an M16 conversion or a complete weapon. It uses a 6.8mm cartridge that is larger than the current 5.56mm. Looks to me like it'll do the trick. I hope they get it to the troops in Iraq soon, say in the next 15-20 years.

That's fine for the troops, but the damn thing costs $1600 for the conversion and I don't have an M16 to convert. For the $2700 the whole rifle costs I could get a good used old pickup, an old BSA motorcycle, and an old hooker and go to Canada.

When I was a lad, I toted an M14. Absolutely Fabulous! (Speaking of old hookers, heh!) They were only $175 back in my day, but no surplus ones have ever been offered and the modern M1A variant is, again, too expensive. Also, they're finished way too nice to do what grunt use would do to 'em.

The M1A1's a whole different deal. I'd take one of these in a heartbeat, but they're damn hard to come by. Illegal, too.

Considered by many to be the finest infantry weapon in history is the Browning Automatic Rifle. Clyde Barrow, of 'Bonnie & Clyde' fame, used one of these with two magazines welded together for more ammo capacity. He knew about the good stuff: he always stole Ford V8s too, and even wrote a letter to Henry Ford saying so. Heh. Oh yeah, the cops knew about BARs too. All the holes in his death car were made with them. Hoist by his own .30-06, so to speak. But I digress. Availability, weight, and cost put this one out of reach as well.

So what do us po' boys do? All we want is to get our country back. Shouldn't need fancy stuff just to do a little thing like that. We'll get more modern stuff as we go: the old owners won't need 'em anymore.

Stick with the old tried 'n true, I say. Two pretty fair options as I see it.

First, the .30 caliber M1 carbine. Light, thus easy to carry, cheap enough at around $200 or so, commercially available and ammo at any sporting goods store. The drawback is a slight lack of stopping power, but if you put about ten fast ones into center of mass, even with a bulletproof vest the target will get the wind knocked out of him and you can just go up close and personal and club the shit out of him like a baby seal.

My favorite is the M1 Garand. All us old guys like this one. High-powered 'Big Iron', like a 650 Triumph dirt bike. Cheap enough at $300-$500. They had these at Longs Drugs a coupla years back, and there was no waiting period since it's an 'antique'. An antique Chinese-refurbished 'Good' to 'Very Good' shooter. .30-06 as well, probably the most common hunting round in the U.S. so ammo is everywhere. If there's a bulletproof vest that can stop this round, the shock of impact will probably liquefy all the internal organs anyway.

This rifle also won a World War for Democracy. Maybe it can do it again, like an old cavalry horse when it hears the bugle. Part of a tribute to the M1:

I would give a month's salary to know where this rifle has been, and to know the men who carried it into battle. I often sit in the chair and drift back in time, and ponder what this particular weapon could have been through. I dream of how it may have endured the sand and heat at the Kasserine Pass in Tunisia. This rifle may have fought its way up through Sicily and Italy, or maybe across that English Channel and through those French hedgerows in the summer of 1944. It may have frozen in the Ardennes Forest during the Battle of the Bulge, or maybe even witnessed General Patton urinate in Germany's Rhine River as he crossed it, showing the Hunn, (as he called them) what he thought of their natural border.

As I stroke it, I feel the dents in the stock and wonder what caused them. Was it concertina wire somewhere on the Siegfried Line, or was it a tank-trap at Omaha Beach? I wonder if an American GI fell dead over it, or if it spilled Nazi blood.

I think you can take that a little too far...

I fondle this weapon so much I had to give it a girls name!

Dude! "This is my rifle, THIS is my gun..."

I'll leave ya with a final thought:

"We shot the Krag at San Juan Hill*,
The Ought-three at Verdun,
The M1 when there was killing to do,
The Carbine just for fun..."

Have fun with all the links. This post was tongue-in-cheek and I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did writing and researching it.

*Special for CAFKIA.

Smoking Dutch Cleanser

In line with my theme today of Bush&Co lying, arrogance, incompetence, and dysfunctionality, I present Maureen Dowd at ToppleBush:

Vice President Dick Cheney bitterly complains that national security leaks are endangering America. Unless, of course, he's doing the leaking, tapping Scooter Libby to reveal national security information to punish a political critic.

President Bush says he will not talk about specific security threats to America. Unless, of course, he needs to talk about a specific threat to Los Angeles to confuse the public and gain some cheap political advantage.

The White House says it has done everything possible to protect the homeland. Unless, of course, it hasn't. Then it can lie to hide the callous portrait of Incurious George in Crawford as New Orleans drowned.

The attorney general can claim that torture and warrantless wiretapping are legal, and can mislead Congress. Unless, of course, enough Republicans stand up and say, as Arlen Specter told The Washington Post, that if that lickspittle lawyer thinks all this is legal, "he's smoking Dutch Cleanser."

The president doesn't know the Indian Taker Jack Abramoff. Unless, of course, W. has met with him a dozen times, invited him to Crawford and joked with him about his kids.

The Bushies can continue to claim that the invasion of Iraq was justified because Saddam was a threat to our security. Unless, of course, he wasn't, and the Cheney cabal was simply abusing the trust of Americans to push a wild-eyed political scheme.

At the Bush White House, the mere evocation of the word "terror" justifies breaking any law, contravening any convention, despoiling any ideal, electing any Republican and brushing off any failure to govern.

She's just gettin' wound up. Read the rest.

If I was smokin' anything that made me do that kind o' shit, I think I'd have a word with my dealer...

The Trust Gap Chasm


We can't think of a president who has gone to the American people more often than George W. Bush has to ask them to forget about things like democracy, judicial process and the balance of powers — and just trust him. We also can't think of a president who has deserved that trust less.

This has been a central flaw of Mr. Bush's presidency for a long time. But last week produced a flood of evidence that vividly drove home the point.

A short list follows. Short? Yeah, it's only an editorial.

Like many other administrations before it, this one sometimes dissembles clumsily to avoid embarrassment. (We now know, for example, that the White House did not tell the truth about when it learned the levees in New Orleans had failed.) Spin-as-usual is one thing. Striking at the civil liberties, due process and balance of powers that are the heart of American democracy is another.

'Bout time, Times.

Great White Father Speak With Forked Tongue...

First photos of Bush and Abramoff.

Darwin Day

Happy Birthday, my man! Fuck them Jesus freaks.

Andrew Sullivan is a Liberal

An excellent post by Glenn Greenwald.


What it takes to make someone a "conservative" in Bozell's eyes is the same as what is required in the eyes of all Bush followers -- a willingness to support Bush's actions because they are the actions of George Bush.


People who self-identify as "conservatives" and have always been considered to be conservatives become liberal heathens the moment they dissent, even on the most non-ideological grounds, from a Bush decree. That's because "conservatism" is now a term used to describe personal loyalty to the leader (just as "liberal" is used to describe disloyalty to that leader), and no longer refers to a set of beliefs about government.


The real, non-Jesus freak conservatives better open their eyes soon, before they end up in Gitmo with the rest of us.

Army or Gitmo?

Seems like those are my choices:

Corrente found out, via the Chicago Tribune, that the government of the United States is playing war games, only the enemy they are preparing for isn't foreign, it's us:

The government concluded its "Cyber Storm" wargame Friday, its biggest-ever exercise to test how it would respond to devastating attacks over the Internet from anti-globalization activists, underground hackers and bloggers.




Of course bloggers, we are the modern day agitators, the Thomas Paines and Benjamin Franklins, and we are the biggest danger to the Repubs' power. Since I have skills the military can use, I'll probably get drafted after the attack on Iran, or I'll be arrested just before and sent to Gitmo with the rest of my colleagues from Left Blogtopia (y!sctp!)


We'll see the balloon going up on an Iran operation soon.

Strategists at the Pentagon are drawing up plans for devastating bombing raids backed by submarine-launched ballistic missile attacks against Iran's nuclear sites as a "last resort" to block Teheran's efforts to develop an atomic bomb.

Central Command and Strategic Command planners are identifying targets, assessing weapon-loads and working on logistics for an operation, the Sunday Telegraph has learnt.


"This is more than just the standard military contingency assessment," said a senior Pentagon adviser. "This has taken on much greater urgency in recent months."


They see how bad the Chimp's approval ratings are and they see their chances of losing a majority of Congress in November becoming more of a reality every day. They know they can play the 'war preznit' meme and the morons in this country will fall in line. This will definitely happen before Election Day. Mark my words.

The ramifications of an attack in Iran will manifest themselves almost immediately in the form of higher fuel costs. Prepare for more terror attacks for the long term too, for as much as the Chimp talks about keeping us safe, a safe, peaceful America is the last thing he wants. It gives the American sheep too much time to think about how badly he's fucked things up.

I figure my draft notice should be showing up about this time next year.

A tip o' the Brain to John Emerson, whose post on this subject you really should read.


Started out as flurries last night at 5pm. I wake up at 5 this morning and there's a foot of snow on the ground. Oy! There is an upside though. The Mrs' flight to Charlotte was canceled for 6 this morning and she's sitting here next to me watching the news. They hope to get her out by 6 tonight, but we should get 6-8 more inches by the time it stops. Lovely. These are the days I'm in love with the Explorer and it's ability to get through just about anything.

Update 0930:

The weather twit says it's gonna keep going until this afternoon; 20" here in Suffolk County. They canceled the Mrs' flight again and Delta Airlines assures her they'll get her out tomorrow night. Maybe...

We need more rope

Jane introduces us to another Brownshirt who should swing with the rest of 'em when it all comes down:


This is a woman who is the author of some of the most despicable and destructive memes the GOP has used to both artificially prop itself up and decimate the Democrats through endless repetition in the mighty Wurlitzer. She's had her skeevy hands on some of the most foul dirty tricks ever perpetuated by the modern Rethugs. She's a high-level GOP operative. She's best buds with Kate O'Beirne. What else can you say.


And Jane goes on to say a lot more about this vile piece of shit.