Saturday, April 22, 2006

Foreign policy

There's a reason for diplomats other than going to parties. They know how to use a stiletto rather than opt for a bludgeon. They understand the consequences of our actions and choose a path that hopefully avoids creating pitfalls for us in the long run. Unfortunately, the Chimp considers Condi and John Bolton diplomats.


But in another setback to the Bush Administration, and showing their gratitude for what Bush just gave them for violating the NPT, India and Iran announced today that despite White House opposition, the two countries and Pakistan would work towards agreement on a major gas pipeline in June. The project would feed Iranian gas to India and forge close economic ties amongst the three countries.


Like Ahmed Chalabi and his band of thieves did to us with Iraq, we've been played again. These folks have been playing the game for 2000 years before anybody even thought of the New World. We're like the guy from the farm in Iowa getting suckered into a 3-card Monte game on the street in NYC.

Supporting the troops

'Jenna', 'Not-Jenna', Clueless, "Teledildonics". Hearing those words, I naturally think of Neil Shakespeare.

Death wish

I could sue somebody into oblivion for infringing on one of my copyrights. Imagine what George Lucas could do.

Thanks to Skippy.


Why don'tcha just enlist, you chickenshits?

Less is more...

If you're not reading Commander Huber on a regular basis, you should. You don't? Drop and give me 50! Seriously, on defense issues, there's no one better. He looks at what our military really needs (cuts right through the Rummy-speak) in language even a civilian can understand:


So here's my proposal. Start by cutting the Department of Defense Budget in half. Don't cut corners by chipping away at military veterans' benefits. Get rid of stuff, and quit making more of it. Dump at least two aircraft carriers and only produce one per decade, at most. Cut off funding for further procurement of Cold War dinosaurs like the F-22 fighter and the B-2 bomber. Bring along the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and make that the last of the manned combat aircraft. No new classes of submarines. The ones we have now are swift and silent enough. No new classes of naval surface combatants. If we didn't get it right with the Arleigh Burke missile destroyers, we never will. The tanks we have now are fine. You want them to burn less gas, give them new engines. If you want them more invulnerable, give them new armor.


Know what? The B-52s did the job in Vietnam and continue to complete the mission today, the youngest of them is 45 years old. Time to use some of the money we waste on defense to make this world a better place. And a note, follow the links at the bottom to his 'Next World Order' series. Excellent reading.

I'm with Karena...

We don't need to go backward:


I am going to tell him [John Kerry] not to expect my vote again ever. Oh, and Hillary too. And Dean, that includes you. Al Gore, sorry, babe, but that includes you too.

Much as I like Gore and Dean, we need a new face up there, not the same old, same old. May I suggest Russell Feingold?

Friday Cattle Dog Blogging

No Cattle Dog this week. I'm giving the Princess a break. Heh...

Slippery slopes

The Chimp's White House and the Republican Party have taken us down one:

Reading this interesting article in Forward about the potential consequences of bombing Iran's nuclear facilities (presuming we even know where they are) I am struck once again by the right's willingness to violate important taboos. (Some of you may not find this surprising considering their rather shocking public obsession with bestiality, but this goes beyond their usual bedroom hypocrisy.)


First, they declare that the taboo against wars of agression, formed in the blood of more than 70 million dead people in the 20th century's two world wars, is out. Not even a second glance at that taboo. They simply repackage it as "pre-emptive" war, changing the previous definition of troops gathering on the border to somebody some day might want to attack us so we must attack them first.


The Criminal-in-Chief, his minions in Congress, and the bought and paid for 'news media' are doing their damndest to desensitize us to their crimes. They want us to come to the point where they'll drop a nuke on someplace in Iran 'intelligence' tells them is a WMD site, and we'll all just shrug our shoulders, just as we did when they invaded Iraq.

We've set up camps in Eastern European nations for the sole purpose of torturing human beings, many innocent. We have secret courts in Guantanamo and American citizens are detained for years without charges filed. Shades of Hitler and Stalin but we just shrug our shoulders.

Once was a time when an American could say, 'no, my country would never do that', and be reasonably certain he was justified. Not saying we're angels, but Americans generally did the right thing. An allegation of torture (especially torture of innocents) would shock us all and we'd demand Congress get to the bottom of it. Now, as long as it doesn't confront our sheltered lives, we don't much give a shit.

We've given up a boatload of civil rights, enough so we should all be outraged, yet we just shrug and continue on, business as usual. Thirty-odd percent of us still support the people who are committing these crimes, willing to go along with whatever the government tells them.

'Be afraid', the regime says. 'There's a terrorist under every rock', they warn. And the chickenshits among us nod their heads and relinquish the last little bit of control they do have. 'They're keepin' us safe', the sheep say as they kiss of the last of their self-respect, of their dignity, goodbye in some sort of sacrifice to the Oracle of Fear.

Maybe it would be good for the United States to have its knees cut out. Something on the order of the Great Depression (something caused by this government's counterparts of that age) might be in order to make Americans realize how much we've lost, and to give us a taste of how others in the world have to struggle for the basic necessities. We've become too comfortable and the criminals of the Republican Party know it, and they're using it.

They know that as long as our comfort level can be reasonably maintained, we will allow them to do whatever they please. Had the debacle in New Orleans not happened (or FEMA's response been trouble-free) and had gas prices not steadily risen, do you think the Chimp would be looking at poll numbers as low as he's getting lately? He'd probably still be up around 60%.

Katrina showed us that the government doesn't give a shit about the average guy and the gas prices highlight the close relationship between the White House and the energy sector. These two events have done more to open people's eyes than any Downing Street Memos or Fitzgerald investigation or Cindy Sheehan or Richard Clarke or Joe Wilson or The Generals, or anyone else. Know why? Because these events intrude on our comfort zones.

All you comfortable people better get off your collective ass come November and run these bastids out, because once the takeover is complete, comfort will be something you harken back to, like the Good Old Days.

All you need to know...

About why oil prices are so high in 3 easy graphs.

Friday, April 21, 2006

We know Paris Hilton sucks but...

So does the corporation that shares her name:


Since October of 2003 Marty O'Brien and Hal Koster have been providing a free "Friday Night out on the Town" at Fran O'Briens Stadium Steak House for thousands of severely injured soldiers and marines who are recuperating nearby at Walter Reed Army Hospital and Bethesda Naval Medical Center. Hal, a Vietnam vet, and his partner Marty, have made it a policy to continue continue doing this ... UNTIL THE LAST SOLDIER WOUNDED IN THIS CONFLICT HAS GONE HOME FROM WALTER REED AND BETHESDA.

That is stunning. What is even more stunning is how their landlord, Hilton Hotel Corp., responded. Hilton served Fran O'Brien's with an eviction notice. Why? Hilton doesn't want to spend the money to provide equal access for disabled people.


It's all about the Benjamins.

Tell me again

How that fat bastid at Exxon/Mobil walks off with a half-billion dollar bonus and Exxon shows its best 1st Quarter profits ever and I'm looking at this?


It's us or them. At least those are the options Harry Reid is giving to Preznit Dicknose. Bob Geiger:

Senate Democrats are now hammering on George W. Bush to drop his lifelong loyalty to Big Oil by supporting a Senate bill that would work to eliminate gasoline price-gouging. With the family vacation season almost upon us, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and 15 Democratic Senators sent a letter to Bush this week asking for his support of S. 1735, a bill that would provide some degree of protection to consumers during any future oil crunches.


Hug a librarian

Froggy reminds us it's School Librarian Day.

The Great Revulsion

Heeeere's KRUGMAN!

"I have a vision -- maybe just a hope -- of a great revulsion: a moment in which the American people look at what is happening, realize how their good will and patriotism have been abused, and put a stop to this drive to destroy much of what is best in our country."

I wrote those words three years ago in the introduction to my column collection, "The Great Unraveling." It seemed a remote prospect at the time: Baghdad had just fallen to U.S. troops, and President Bush had a 70 percent approval rating.

Now the great revulsion has arrived. The latest Fox News poll puts Mr. Bush's approval at only 33 percent. According to the polling firm Survey USA, there are only four states in which significantly more people approve of Mr. Bush's performance than disapprove: Utah, Idaho, Wyoming and Nebraska. If we define red states as states where the public supports Mr. Bush, Red America now has a smaller population than New York City.

So what's left of the conservative agenda? Not much.

That's not a prediction for the midterm elections. The Democrats will almost surely make gains, but the electoral system is rigged against them. The fewer than eight million residents of what's left of Red America are represented by eight U.S. senators; the more than eight million residents of New York City have to share two senators with the rest of New York State.

And there is also, of course, the real prospect that Mr. Bush will change the subject by bombing Iran.

Still, in the long run it may not matter that much. If the Democrats do gain control of either house of Congress, and with it the ability to issue subpoenas, a succession of scandals will be revealed in the final years of the Bush administration. But even if the Republicans hang on to their ability to stonewall, it's hard to see how they can resurrect their agenda.

In retrospect, then, the 2004 election looks like the high-water mark of a conservative tide that is now receding.

Halle-fuckin'-lujah! I'm tired of treadin' water.

President Hu meets president "Huh?"

Dana Milbank

But he wasn't okay, not really. The protocol-obsessed Chinese leader suffered a day full of indignities -- some intentional, others just careless. The visit began with a slight when the official announcer said the band would play the "national anthem of the Republic of China" -- the official name of Taiwan. It continued when Vice President Cheney donned sunglasses for the ceremony, and again when Hu, attempting to leave the stage via the wrong staircase, was yanked back by his jacket. Hu looked down at his sleeve to see the president of the United States tugging at it as if redirecting an errant child.


Mr. Hu apparently no longer feels, as past Chinese leaders did, that he must come to the United States bearing gifts. And the Chinese, ever sensitive to questions of status, made clear they felt slighted by Mr. Bush's decision not to offer up a full state dinner for the leader of 1.3 billion people; instead, Mr. Hu got lunch.

And in return, Mr. Bush got vague promises that China would continue doing what it is already doing - at its own pace.

BBC News

"China can stop buying dollar-denominated bonds, increase buying of US products and gradually reduce its holdings of US bonds," he said.

In European trading, the US dollar fell against the euro, the British pound and the Japanese yen.

Dammit, Georgie, your protocol rocket scientists called Mr. Hu's country by the name of its enemy, diminished the importance of his visit, and stiffed the guy on dinner, and as a result the dollar's now worth fifty cents!

I think it begs the issue to even mention letting the Falun Gong lady in with a day pass. I believe in free speech, but that was ridiculous coming from an administration that is so good at closed, scripted meetings and ignoring protesters. Highly discourteous. If they planned it, and I don't doubt it for a minute, much worse.

Business as usual from this administration. These idiots couldn't throw a beer party in a brewery.

A tip 'o the Brain to Tennessee Guerilla Women.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Sing a Song

Our Fearless Leader has a somewhat limited songtrack on his I-Pod One. He likes country but any new sample lists he might download aren't likely to include tracks by The Dixie Chicks or Steve Earle. (I wonder if he accidentally downloaded Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm by Crashtest Dummies thinking it would be a sensitive and poetic ballad?) However, music as a mediator of values and ideologies is something our Dear Leader appreciates. Patriotic and religious songs have helped people to uphold their faith and national identity through the hardest times as we all know. In this spirit of community building the White House Easter Egg Roll 2006 was dedicated to the Katrina Children and to celebrate everything that has been accomplished in that hurricane-ravaged region, eggs were rolled and songs were sung. The Katrina Kids serenaded Dear Leader with a song dug from the depths of their young souls and experience, sung to the tune of Hey Look Me Over:
Our country's stood beside us
People have sent us aid.
Katrina could not stop us, our hopes will never fade.
Congress, Bush and FEMA
People across our land
Together have come to rebuild us and we join them hand-in-hand.
The Rude Pundit thinks this means that Dear Leader has just beat the old Soviet Union at its own game, as if Dear Leader was nothing more than the center of a cult of personality rather than the current chief executive the people of the United States vote for every four years. What should the Katrina Kids be singing anyway, This Land is Your Land or Glory, Glory Hallelujah? Or perhaps Row, Row, Row Your Boat?

You know you suck when...

-- your own propaganda news channel can only force a 33% approval rating. A new low for the lower-than-low president.


I'm giggling my motherfucking ass off.

Bush pardons Republican donor

The Carpetbagger Report

On the surface, Franchi's story seems fairly routine. He was convicted in 1983 of tax evasion, served two years' probation and paid a $20,000 fine, before completing eight hours of community service. This week, Franchi was one of 11 people to receive a rare Bush pardon.

As reader K.Z. noted, however, Franchi is also a generous Republican donor. Since Bush took office, Franchi has donated nearly $4,000 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

Given the way Republicans manufactured "pardongate," coupled by how unusual a Bush pardon is, isn't it worth exploring the question of impropriety here? The natural response would be that Franchi's $4,200 in Republican contributions isn't that much money by GOP standards, but isn't it possible that pardons are cheaper under Bush?

Put it this way: if it were Clinton, wouldn't this be all over Fox News?

Bush knows ya gotta dance with the one whut brung ya.

Sensible Observations

Another of Mrs. G's e-mails. Sometimes I wonder what she does for all that money...

1) "When I die, I want to die like my grandfather--who died peacefully in his sleep. Not screaming like all the passengers in his car." --Author Unknown

2) Advice for the day: If you have a lot of tension and you get a headache, do what it says on the aspirin bottle: "Take two aspirin" and "Keep away from children." --Author Unknown

3) "Oh, you hate your job? Why didn't you say so? There's a support group for that. It's called EVERYBODY, and they meet at the bar." --Drew Carey

4) "The problem with the designated driver program, it's not a desirable job, but if you ever get sucked into doing it, have fun with it. At the end of the night, drop them off at the wrong house." --Jeff Foxworthy

5) "If a woman has to choose between catching a fly ball and saving an infant's life, she will choose to save the infant's life without even considering if there is a man on base." --Dave Barry

6) "Relationships are hard. It's like a full time job, and we should treat it like one. If your boyfriend or girlfriend wants to leave you, they should give you two weeks' notice. There should be severance pay, the day before they leave you, they should have to find you a temp." --Bob Ettinger

7) "My Mom said she learned how to swim when someone took her out in the lake and threw her off the boat. I said, 'Mom, they weren't trying to teach you how to swim.'" --Paula Poundstone

8) "A study in the Washington Post says that women have better verbal skills than men. I just want to say to the authors of that study: "Duh." --Conan O'Brien

9) "Why does Sea World have a seafood restaurant?? I'm halfway through my fish burger and I realize, Oh my God.... I could be eating a slow learner." --Lynda Montgomery

10) "I think that's how Chicago got started. Bunch of people in New York said, 'Gee, I'm enjoying the crime and the poverty, but it just isn't cold enough. Let's go west.'" --Richard Jeni

11) "If life were fair, Elvis would be alive and all the impersonators would be dead." --Johnny Carson

12) "Sometimes I think war is God's way of teaching us geography."--Paul Rodriguez

13) "My parents didn't want to move to Florida, but they turned sixty and that's the law." --Jerry Seinfeld

14) "Remember in elementary school, you were told that in case of fire you have to line up quietly in a single file line from smallest to tallest. What is the logic in that? What, do tall people burn slower?" --Warren Hutcherson

15) "Bigamy is having one wife/husband too many. Monogamy is the same." --Oscar Wilde

16) "Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress... But I repeat myself." --Mark Twain

17) "Our bombs are smarter than the average high school student. At least they can find Afghanistan." --A. Whitney Brown

18) "You can say any foolish thing to a dog, and the dog will give you a look that says, 'My God, you're right! I never would've thought of that!'" --Dave Barry

19) Do you know why they call it "PMS"? Because "Mad Cow Disease" was taken--Unknown, presumed deceased

20) "Everybody's got to believe in something. I believe I'll have another beer." -- W. C. Fields

Numbnuts's Nucular Nutzoidness

Robert Scheer

The quandary in which Bush finds himself regarding Iran's apparent quest for nuclear weapons is only the latest example in an astonishing series of national security blunders.

A once swaggering president, who so convincingly wielded a bullhorn and modeled a flight suit, now has assumed the pretzel pose of a supplicant attempting to cajole our old enemy in Tehran into dropping its nuclear ambitions while simultaneously initiating talks with Iran aimed at bailing us out in Iraq. After the fiasco of using the blunt instrument of military force to "democratize" Iraq, Bush now resorts to mild talk of U.N. sanctions on Iran, the very weapon he had derided in relation to quarantining Hussein. Bush's nutty nuclear braggadocio on Tuesday -- "all options are on the table" -- was a sign of weakness, not strength, hobbled as he is by various self-created impediments.

One is that he has lost the trust of Americans, foreign leaders and even many Republicans by lying about Iraq -- crying wolf, in essence -- and then fumbling the occupation. Another invasion would be a tough sell, both here and abroad.

Two, Iran is, as Republican Sen. Richard Lugar put it subtly, "part of the energy picture." In other words, it exports gobs of oil. U.S.-Iran tension already has sent crude prices above $70 a barrel. "I believe, for the moment, we ought to cool this one," Lugar warned the White House. "We need to make more headway diplomatically to be effective."

Three, the United States is highly dependent upon Iran-trained Shiite religious factions in Iraq for what is left of the tattered welcome mat Bush & Co. told us to expect when we came to overthrew Hussein. Key Iraqi Shiite leaders have stated they would support Iran in the event of a U.S. attack. Cozying up to the Shiite fundamentalists in Iraq is a bargain with the devil, born of weakness, the pattern for this president.

Robert Scheer is the co-author of The Five Biggest Lies Bush Told Us About Iraq. See more of Robert Scheer at TruthDig.


Just to take a little break on Bush-Bashin' Thursday, check out It's kinda like Google Earth, except when you type in your address, it tells you approximately how much your house is worth.

Just for fun, I typed in Fixer's address. It came back with "No information available in the Twilight Zone". Hmmm.

Steak night at deer camp

A letter to Georgie from a South Arkansas good ol' boy:

Hey George, I hate to have tell you this, son, but they're talking bad about you out at the deer camp. That's real bad. When you've lost the deer-camp-boys you're in big trouble around here.

George, they're a calling you a liar. Yep, they are. And if it's one thing they don't cotton to, it's a liar, George. They know liars; they've had liars for employees and dealt with liars in trying to do businesses. "Cain't' trust a liar" just about sums it up around here, George.

I guess it's partly cause we come from pioneer stock. Most of our people moved here from Tennessee and Alabama, and before that Georgia and the Carolinas and some from Virginia. We come from a long line of survivors, George. Only the survivors got this far. They survived by their wits and hard, honest work, with a little luck thrown in. Excuse' me for saying so, but they also learnt' real early how to separate the chicken salad from the chicken s****, George. (G's note: anybody who kin misspell a cuss word with asterisks is my kinda guy!) They watched out for what people did rather than pay too much attention to what they said. Their Grandpas taught em' that.

And, oh yea, these ol' boys, they really don't like being played for a fool when they've kindly given you the benefit of the doubt. On a scale of one to ten George, that's a ten.

Yep, when he loses the flannel-shirt-'n-.30-'06 boys, he's lost everybody who breathes even a little oxygen.

They're not too crazy about all the new and proposed gas wells in prime huntin' country in Colorado, Wyoming, and a coupla other Western states, either.

Worst president Ever

Today's must-read, from Rolling Stone.

George W. Bush's presidency appears headed for colossal historical disgrace. Barring a cataclysmic event on the order of the terrorist attacks of September 11th, after which the public might rally around the White House once again, there seems to be little the administration can do to avoid being ranked on the lowest tier of U.S. presidents. And that may be the best-case scenario. Many historians are now wondering whether Bush, in fact, will be remembered as the very worst president in all of American history.

Calamitous presidents, faced with enormous difficulties -- Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, Hoover and now Bush -- have divided the nation, governed erratically and left the nation worse off. In each case, different factors contributed to the failure: disastrous domestic policies, foreign-policy blunders and military setbacks, executive misconduct, crises of credibility and public trust. Bush, however, is one of the rarities in presidential history: He has not only stumbled badly in every one of these key areas, he has also displayed a weakness common among the greatest presidential failures -- an unswerving adherence to a simplistic ideology that abjures deviation from dogma as heresy, thus preventing any pragmatic adjustment to changing realities. Repeatedly, Bush has undone himself, a failing revealed in each major area of presidential performance.

Wordy bastards, these historians. Wade through it. It's worth it.

Divine Strake

Wish I could be there. I know, most of you say 'how horrible', a bigger way to kill people, and I agree. But I love blowing shit up. If I could get the time off to see them light this sucker up I'd be there. I'll let 'em blow these things off all day, as long as no one gets hurt.

Damned liberal media

Why can't they show good news? Oh, you mean like this?

A new poll of leaders of Iraqi women's-rights groups finds that women were treated better and their civil rights were more secure under deposed President Saddam Hussein than under the faltering and increasingly sectarian U.S.-installed government.

This is doubly troubling. It's troubling first because the Bush administration used the issue of women to justify its now widely criticized invasion of Iraq in part by promising to improve the situation of women.

It's troubling second because the administration has issued news releases, held public meetings and tried to gain media attention (as well as U.S. public support) for all the "good" it's supposedly doing the women of Iraq via this invasion.


Yeah, so how's that 'hearts and minds' thing going? Thought so. Oh well, at least Afghanistan is going well, right?

KABUL, Afghanistan - A massive explosion believed to have been caused by a rocket shook the Afghan capital late Wednesday near the U.S. Embassy compound, wounding an Afghan security contractor, officials said.


Well, maybe not. Oh yeah, the opium poppy crop will be bigger this year than ever, that means heroin prices should go down here, right?

THE Capital faces being hit by an influx of cheap and dangerously pure heroin following a bumper opium crop in Afghanistan, drug experts warned today.



Thanks to Maru for the directions.

Oh yeah!!!!

Thermite (video 3:51). Big boom...heh...

Note: Unfortunately, I am not one of the guys in the video.

Very great thanks to PZ Myers.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


Why is there a picture of President Bush consorting with an admitted terrorist sympathizer floating around? Why are they consorting in the first place?

Hail Mary

Mark Morford at

It's just like playing blackjack in Vegas.

Invariably, sitting right next to you is some guy, eyes shifty and body twitchy and making weird sounds with his mouth and smelling vaguely of sawdust and horse manure and dead dreams, with a huge pile of chips he is quickly turning into a very small pile of chips.


He then does what every miserable, lunkheaded gambler does at this point: In a fit of alcoholic rage and demonic encouragement, he says, "Screw it" -- and digs into his pocket, pulls out his last remaining crumpled $1,000 bill and slaps it down on the table in one big final gesture meant to turn his fortunes around all at once, damn the wife at home and forget a decent meal and forget every ironclad rule of gambling because damn it the gods owe him and he's long overdue for a change in fortune. Yes. Right. Sure he is.

Sure enough, the lug loses his big Hail Mary bet. He is broke. He cannot believe it. He curses the table, curses the whore cards, swears at the dealer for not treating him better, slams the rest of his drink and his face contorts and his hands shake and he stumbles off into the night, railing against his lousy luck, the gods, all of humanity. Same ol' situation, happening all over Vegas. And, of course, Washington, D.C.


This is what puckers my sphincter more than anything; that the Chimp might also get desperate and say 'fuck it' and push the button. Scares the livin' shit out of me.

Tip o' the Brain to Brilliant at Breakfast.

Welcome to the Brain

To all the readers coming over from The Daou Report. Take a look around and please feel free to commment if you like. We hope you make the Brain a regular stop.


And I've been remiss in welcoming folks from Ned Lamont's blog. Ned's the guy who's gonna have Joe-mentum's job come November.

Ain't nobody that nuts


In all seriousness, I think the real story here continues to be that things are so bad at the White House, the level of denial and secrets to be kept, the self-bamboozlement and bad-faith so profound, that they just can't manage to bring in any new blood.


I sure as hell wouldn't want to walk into what must be a complete mess at the White House. Josh Marshall via Atrios.

More on White House "shakeup"

A letter from Bush to his daughters. Heh.

McClellan resigns, Rove retreats

WaPo complete with short video.

Karl Rove, the president's most influential adviser and a dominant force in the Bush administration since its beginning, surrendered key policy responsibilities today while press secretary Scott McClellan announced his resignation.

New WH Chief of Staff Bolten appears to be undertaking the Herculean task of metaphorically cleaning out the Augean stables. Unlike Hercules, he also has to fill them back up, but that should be easy: there's plenty of horseshit locally available.


Political Wire:

Having secured White House press secretary Scott McClellan's resignation, new White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten "has offered Fox News Channel anchor Tony Snow the job of White House press secretary," the D.C. Examiner reports.

The Hotline says other possible candidates may be Rob Nichols, Dan Bartlett, Torie Clarke, Dan Senor, Brian Jones and Ron Bonjean.

Well, we want more transparency in the White House, and I see through all of them.

Re-update: (No, I didn't ship over!)

weighs in:

I'm betting Senor will get the job... but not much.

He has blurbs on the whys and why-nots of each of them.


Attytood nails it:

White House introduces new press secretary: Meet "Beltway Bob"

Just go see!

The Lesson of the Oklahoma City Bombing

I'm not going to link to articles or information about this event,pretty much everyone who follows American current events knows what happened on April 19, 1995.If you don't,Google it fer chrissakes.

When I was in school(back in prehistoric times)we learned something when it came to America:
We are too powerful to be taken down by outside forces.Mostly because we have a bad ass military,and Americans were known to have each other's backs during a crisis.We also happened to be rather innovative and smart.The thing we,as citizens,have a duty to do is to keep destructive forces from taking over FROM WITHIN.Or you get precisely what we have now,criminally insane and greedy people in charge of the government and those that cheer them on.The Founding Fathers were not stupid men,despite their many asshole-ish tendencies.Being powerful guys themselves,they knew how easy it would be for that power to be abused.Hence all those checks and balances,a few common sense hard and steadfast rules,with a sort of open ended understanding that this system would be able to progress forward.To adapt to the needs of a growing Superpower while keeping the general population fairly well off and Free.Or that's the gist of the whole enterprise that we call America,you get the idea.

I think the whole damned country is suffering from PTSD.So many of us have suffered traumas,often violent ones at the hands of another human being.I figure that has one of two outcomes for a person.Someone either remains Damaged(which festers into bad,very bad,things)or they work very hard towards Healing(which mostly results in compassion,empathy,a desire for peace and a wanting to do good).This is a fairly universal experience,trauma of some sort and the resulting road back.Maybe it's not so much a good vs evil thing we have going on here,but a Healing People vs Damaged People battle?Is it emotional and violent physical trauma that is the cause of evil? And if that's the case,should we not be devoting time and massive resources towards stopping violence,suffering and abuse?

For America's reputation and trustworthiness to be restored,I firmly believe a kind of national reckoning,nurtured BY our so called"leadership"at the federal level,HAS to happen.We'll never be seen as"good"again by the world,or by ourselves until we do.And we can multi task here,it's not like the country has to come to a grinding halt while we work on this.

Of course,this is just my opinion,I could be wrong.What do you think? We have a fair portion of our citizenry who are addicted to hate,and it's officially out of control.How do you reign that in? I just think that we have to face our own cultural/societal flaws and try to rectify them as best we can before we go bossing the rest of the planet around.Our corporations also mimic this type of cold,calculating hatred,think about it.Or maybe I'm just a hopeless bleeding heart liberal,lol.

Sorry for blathering,this seems a bit disjointed perhaps. Something has to be the impetus for violence,that's a learned thing.Babies aren't born evil and mean.You just don't decide for no reason to set off a bomb that kills 168 people,something bad has to happen before a person can go there,right? Why is it that America seems to have so many walking wounded who act out in heinous ways?

Duck and cover

I lived in Connecticut for 18 months, a beautiful state with decent folks who make me proud to call them 'neighbor'. I'm even more proud of them now that Joe-mentum is on the run.


Joe Lieberman is clearly dragging Dubya around like a ball and chain. He's not his usual hawkish self answering questions about the Iran and the critique of the 6 generals, he's avoiding the entire state of Connecticut and he has refused to debate Ned Lamont. The black smoke rising from the Lieberman campaign has turned the national media toward looking at Ned with much closer scrutiny. Says Paul Bass of the New Haven Independent: [my em]


Joe, you're their senator. You have to go home sometime. Bwa-ha-ha-ha! If you kiss the Rethugs' ass a little more, maybe they'll let you run on their ticket. To paraphrase and butcher Lloyd Bentsen's words, you're no Lowell Weicker. Heh, fucking turncoat idiot.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Don't forget to wipe...

Rumsfeld is getting desperate. Good.

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld predicted Monday that calls from retired generals for him to step down would fade away, and he dismissed the criticism as a standard part of the history of American combat since the Revolutionary War.

"This, too, will pass," Mr. Rumsfeld said during an interview with Rush Limbaugh, the conservative nationally syndicated radio host.

To which BuzzFlash replies:

Message to Mr. Master of the Universe: We are not talking about a bowel movement here. We are talking about thousands upon thousands of lives lost, thousands more wounded, billions of dollars of our money spent wastefully, and a military that thinks you don't know what the Hell you are doing -- along with the blessed ignorance of Bush and Cheney.

No, Donald, this too will NOT pass. It's called incompetence, arrogance, and abysmal, utter failure.

How's it feel bein' a big No. 2, Stinky Rummy?

Choosing up sides...

Asia Times

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), which maintained it had no plans for expansion, is now changing course. Mongolia, Iran, India and Pakistan, which previously had observer status, will become full members. SCO's decision to welcome Iran into its fold constitutes a political statement. Conceivably, SCO would now proceed to adopt a common position on the Iran nuclear issue at its summit meeting June 15.

The SCO, an Intergovernmental organization whose working languages are Chinese and Russian, was founded in Shanghai on June 15, 2001 by China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgystan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The SCO's change of heart appears set to involve the organization in Iran's nuclear battle and other ongoing regional issues with the United States.

The SCO's enlargement move, in this regional context, would frustrate the entire US strategy. Ironically, the SCO would be expanding into South Asia and the Gulf region, while "bypassing" Afghanistan.

This at a time when the North Atlantic Treaty Organization is stepping up its presence in Afghanistan. (General James L Jones, supreme allied commander Europe, said recently that NATO would assume control of Afghanistan by August.)

So far NATO has ignored SCO. But NATO contingents in Afghanistan would shortly be "surrounded" by SCO member countries. NATO would face a dilemma.

If it recognizes that SCO has a habitation and a name (in Central Asia, South Asia and the Gulf), then, what about NATO's claim as the sole viable global security arbiter in the 21st century? NATO would then be hard-pressed to explain the raison d'etre of its expansion into the territories of the former Soviet Union.

I have no opinion on this yet, but it seems as if the sides are being drawn up due to the emergence of Asia as a bloc of power. Also, they need to band together to resist Bush's idiocy. I don't blame them.

Oh for Chrissake....

I have another busy afternoon of garden work ahead of me here,but I had to stop in and direct your attention to this madness...

"DIVINE STRAKE is one of several "DIVINE" efforts under the Hard and Deeply Buried Target Defeat (HDBTD) program. DIVINE WARHAWK consists of deep underground operational tunnel facility defeat demonstrations using advanced weapons at the White Sands Missile Range. DIVINE HELCAT was a 2004 reconstitution exercise to determine reconstitution time for the C3I tunnel facility at Nevada Test Site (NTS). Also in 2004 planning began for DIVINE HATES, which is a WMD production and storage tunnel complex functional defeat effort. "

Divine HATES?Are you freaking KIDDING ME?

Enough of this Messianic,exceptionalistic and just plain criminally insane bullshit.They need to be spending money and time taking care of our service men and women,how about Project Divine Get the Troops Some Body Armor That's Not Defective? Project Divine Give the Troops Proper Mental Health Care? How about Divine PEACE?Oh never mind.I do know I'm not amused,in the slightest by this "cleverness".

I need to go play in the dirt before I lose my mind,lol.WTF is WRONG with people? I don't scare too easily,but I'm scared folks,to my core.I'm not liking it much either.Maybe I oughta skip planting stuff and just dig a bunker.

Recipe for Holy War: Add two nut jobs and stir

Beth Quinn editorializes:

All right. I'm now officially scared.

Having just read Seymour Hersh's article about Bush's Iran plan, it appears that we no longer have a case of the good guys versus the bad guys.

What we have here is the bad guy versus the bad guy - two madmen playing an international game of chicken, ratcheting up the rhetoric to appeal to their fundamentalist followers.

There's no doubt that Iran's president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is mad in the head. In fact, it might help you remember his name if you pronounce it "Ah'm mad in ee head." (my em)

In last week's New Yorker magazine, Hersh provided a detailed look at Bush's response to Ah'm Mad In Ee Head. According to Hersh's sources, Bush wants Ah'm Mad In Ee Head to defy U.N. demands to quit playing with uranium.

You know why? Because our own madman wants to trot out one of our own nukes and bomb Iran's madman out of business - along with a few hundred thousand other Iranians, of course.

As one congressman told Hersh, "The most worrisome thing is that Bush has a messianic vision." Bush is waging a holy war. He's on a crusade. And so is Ah'm Mad In Ee Head.

One nut-job fundamentalist Christian plus one nut-job fundamentalist Muslim equals one nut-job Holy War.

So now I'm officially scared. On their own, Bush and Ah'm Mad In Ee Head are frightening enough. Working together, these two could create the Perfect Storm.

I think that's it in a nutshell.

Senate hearings on Bush...Now

Carl Bernstein calls for Senate hearings on Bush and frames it in relation to -what else?- Watergate. Long, but worth a read.

Raising the worse-than-Watergate question and demanding unequivocally that Congress seek to answer it is, in fact, overdue and more than justified by ample evidence stacked up from Baghdad back to New Orleans and, of increasing relevance, inside a special prosecutor's office in downtown Washington.

The first fundamental question that needs to be answered by and about the president, the vice president, and their political and national-security aides, from Donald Rumsfeld to Condoleezza Rice, to Karl Rove, to Michael Chertoff, to Colin Powell, to George Tenet, to Paul Wolfowitz, to Andrew Card (and a dozen others), is whether lying, disinformation, misinformation, and manipulation of information have been a basic matter of policy—used to overwhelm dissent; to hide troublesome truths and inconvenient data from the press, public, and Congress; and to defend the president and his actions when he and they have gone awry or utterly failed.

The calculations of politicians about their electoral futures should pale in comparison to the urgency of examining perhaps the most disastrous five years of decision-making of any modern American presidency.

It took the Senate Watergate Committee less than six months to do its essential work. When Sam Ervin's gavel fell to close the first phase of public televised hearings on August 7, 1973, the basic facts of Nixon's conspiracy - and the White House horrors - were engraved on the nation's consciousness. The testimony of the president's men themselves - under oath and motivated perhaps in part by a real threat of being charged with perjury - left little doubt about what happened in a criminal and unconstitutional presidency.

There was understandable reluctance in the Congress to begin a serious investigation of the Nixon presidency. Then there came a time when it was unavoidable. That time in the Bush presidency has arrived.

It's good to see that half the pair that brought down Nixon is still in the fight.

And so it begins

They're trying to do to the generals what they did to John Kerry. I got news for 'em, these guys are a lot tougher than John Kerry ever was. They're not running for office and have distinguished records going back 30 - 40 years; they wouldn't be wearing stars if they didn't.

It's one thing when you're a rich kid feeling his youthful oats to go off to war for a few years, it's another when you're talking about men (and hopefully a few women will join them) who've made warfighting their business. Shit like this won't fly:

...The piece goes on to criticize General Zinni because he never even fought in the Iraq war...

As if Zinni's not fighting in this particular war would disqualify him from speaking on the subject. As if! The lovely Karena makes this point well:

...It is hard to claim that Zinni knows not what he speaks of seeing how he is a four star General with 39 years in the Marines and an expertise in the Middle East...

And how many wars have the Swift boaters and Yellow Elephants fought? Karena goes on to say the generals are to blame for Rummy's failure in Iraq because:


The opinion piece claims that the problems should be blamed on the Generals because they went against Rummy's wishes and failed to advance in Baghdad aggressively and pushed back against Rummy's desire to go into Fallujah sooner. What happened to Rummy's repeated claims that he listens to and trusts the Generals on the ground and will give them more troops if they ask for them, but things are going so swimmingly well, what with picking up all the rose petals and candies, they hardly need more troops.


Ever think these guys know Rummy's big plans are pure Machiavellian fantasy? General Shinseki said we needed a quarter to half million troops on the ground before the balloon went up on this misbegotten adventure.

Swift boating the generals won't work. These men have proven their expertise and have unassailable records. These are men whom others willingly follow into battle, something the Rethugs know nothing about. An exercise in futility for the Rethugs and it might well come back to bite them in the ass. One can dream.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Iran for Dummies

Easy to understand primmer on U.S. diplomatic engagement with Iran.

Hat tip: Linkmeister


Don't tell anybody, but this old rock and roller is gonna get the new Dixie Chicks album, if for nothing else but on principle.

Toxic Bush

No, not Ann Coulter! Not this time, anyway. From HuffPo:

Tony Blair has canceled an upcoming trip to America to avoid being photographed with Bush. The prime minister was scheduled to visit the US this spring for meetings with the president, but the trip was called off after Blair decided that being photographed with Bush would be too toxic for his image.

Let's see...Berlusconi out, Blair camera-shy with the Chimp...No more allies, Georgie! Things are looking up!

More 'General'

I've had the opportunity to serve under some good generals in my time, I was in awe of Norma 'Ma' Brown, whom I'd gotten to know personally (no, get your minds out of the gutter) while at cross-training before heading to SAC, and there were 3 or 4 others.

Richard Holbrooke is a man who's known his share of flag officers and is a level headed Foreign Service officer. So far, he has the best take on what all these generals coming forward really means:


These generals are not newly minted doves or covert Democrats. (In fact, one of the main reasons this public explosion did not happen earlier was probably concern by the generals that they would seem to be taking sides in domestic politics.) They are career men, each with more than 30 years in service, who swore after Vietnam that, as Colin Powell wrote in his memoirs, "when our turn came to call the shots, we would not quietly acquiesce in half-hearted warfare for half-baked reasons." Yet, as Newbold admits, it happened again. In the public comments of the retired generals one can hear a faint sense of guilt that, having been taught as young officers that the Vietnam-era generals failed to stand up to Defense Secretary Robert McNamara and President Lyndon Johnson, they did the same thing.


Great thanks to Middle Earth Journal for the link.

Short Spring

The other day, I posted that Spring had done sprung here locally. Boy, talk about I shoulda kept my trap shut!

When I went to bed Saturday night, my deck and my driveway and the cars were completely free of snow. My roof was a day or so from being snow-free. The snowpack was receding all over the 'hood and water was flowing everywhere on its way to the Truckee River on its journey to end up flushing toilets in Reno. This morning there is 20" of fresh snow, two feet in some spots. Back to square one.

I went out about noon yesterday to clear the first foot of snow off my driveway. Being as it's nominally Spring, the snow was pretty heavy stuff. I'm used to wet snow clogging the snowthrower's discharge chute, but this stuff clogged the augur blades about every fifty feet. I usually stick a motorcycle tire iron in my boot with which to clear clogs, and it got a workout. I had to shovel the snow to break up the pack so the machine would clear it. A job that normally takes me 45 minutes took two hours, but I got 'er done.

By the way, if you've ever seen a pine tree unload a bunch of wet, heavy snow, let me know what it looks like. When they go, you can hear 'em all over the neighborhood, but when one of 'em does it anywhere near me, I'm usually under it. The first little bit goes, causing the branches to spring upwards, dislodging more snow, over and over. Sometimes I'm standing in an absolute wet cold whiteout for several seconds. Some of it always goes down my neck or my waistband, no matter what I'm wearing it finds a way in. Brrr. I just hunker down and cuss!

Just as I finished up, my next-door neighbor Bill came chugging down his driveway with his little sneezer of a Honda. I waited in the street, both to chat and to tell him his augur was clogged up, which it was. Honda actually provides a factory stick to clear clogs. No wonder them Asians are winnin', they're smart little fuckers. Bill gave me the hot scoop, which was that the Town had laid off the plow drivers, so we probably wouldn't have to worry about berms in our driveways. That was good news: I'd rather drive in a foot of snow than clear a berm.

I went back in the house, whereupon a snowplow promptly went by and bermed us in. I guess one of the plow guys has a phone. Bill stood his ground in front of his driveway and glared at the guy. He didn't get a berm. Seems I have all the luck!

Mrs. G told me that Toni had called, wanting to know how come I hadn't got her moped goin' yet. They had a laugh, and then Toni admitted the snowstorm was all her fault for bringing the moped over. I asked Mrs. G to call her back and tell her that I didn't mind working on it in a cold garage in a snowstorm, but that it'd cost extra.

I went back out and cleared the berm. It was about 5 feet wide, 2 feet deep, and the length of my two-car-wide driveway. That shit was really wet and packed, but it clogged up the chute this time like it's supposed to. Tire iron and shovel time again. Took an hour.

I cleared the snow off Mrs. G's pickup at 8PM, and another 6 inches off it this morning. Later this morning I gotta go run my snowthrowers again, the 8-horse and the "cordless" one with the long handle.

I don't mind a bit. Sometimes the bill comes due fer livin' in these beautiful mountains and ya gotta cough it up. Won't be too bad, the Sun is shining right now and I hope it holds. Yesterday, I got soaked to the skin, used up a dryerload of flannel shirts and sweatshirts in the course of 3 hours, and today I'll be out there at 40 degrees in a T-shirt and Hollywoods worrying about getting an even tan.

How's your Spring goin'?


Had anybody at State or in the White House known what they were doing, we would have made overtures to the new Hamas government in Palestine. Now it seems the Iranians have filled the leadership vacuum:

TEHRAN (AFP) - Palestinian militant leaders have rallied behind Iran, vowing to resist pressure to recognise Israel and supporting the Islamic republic in its stand-off with the West over its nuclear programme.


He is also seeking Iranian funds to fill the gap left by the suspension of US and European aid to the Palestinian Authority. In a previous visit to Tehran, he declared his group formed a "united front" with Iran against Israel.

Meshaal repeated his view that is "is immoral and inhumane to collectively punish a nation which practises democracy." [my em]

Another wasted opportunity for the Bush administration. That's all the last five years have been. A complete waste.

Rummy replaced!!!!

The new SecDef.


I'm watching CNN and I see video of a Marine compound under attack. Do we still think things are going well when the insurgents are getting bold enough to bring the fight to the Marines?

Refining our aim


...I'll betcha anything there are guys from my old combat control unit already there, scouting out targets; refining the aim so to speak...


...Current and former American military and intelligence officials said that Air Force planning groups are drawing up lists of targets, and teams of American combat troops have been ordered into Iran, under cover, to collect targeting data and to establish contact with anti-government ethnic-minority groups...

More evolution

I love these cool timelines the most excellent PZ Myers digs up.

The Detail

When I left SOCOM (AF Special Operations Command) and went to SAC (Strategic Air Command), I volunteered for the base honor guard (SAC duty sucked and I took the opportunity to go TDY every chance I got). In two years I buried a lot of military, mostly of the older, retired variety, due the honors for prior service. The ones that got me though, were the active duty funerals, guys taken before their time leaving young wives and young children behind. It used to break my heart.

That said, our pal CAFKIA sent us this article (long but worth it) about the folks who pull the notification detail in the USMC. For those who can't grasp the secondary and ancillary consequences of war, let alone an illegal one:


Each door is different.

Some are ornately carved hardwood, some are hollow aluminum. Some are protected by elaborate security systems, some by loose screen doors.

During the past year, the 40-year-old Marine major in the white gloves has stood at the front doors of homes in three states, preparing to deliver the message no family wants to hear.

It is a job he never asked for and one for which he received no training. There are no set rules, only impersonal guidelines. It is a mission without weapons.


There have been close to 2400 notifications, every branch of the service is represented among the dead, since this war began. It's about time we said 'no more'.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

If you lived in this house,

you'd be home now, at least as far as FEMA is concerned. A house don't need no stinkin' structure and foundation; a community don't need no basic comforts of civilization like food, water, sanitation, schools, medical care, roads, jobs, communication, a sense of the future... Hell, if it floods again maybe that "habitable home" in this picture here can be converted to a houseboat and do double duty.

More than 8000 families were evacuated to Houston after Katrina hit and Fearless Leader immediately flew down to survey the devastation, suffering, damage and pain, and then immediately mobilised federal, state and local resources to start to repair and rebuild... nah-h-h-h, that was LBJ when Hurricane Betsy hit that area some 40 years ago. Well, our FEMA has begun to notify the evacuee families in Houston that federal assistance would be ending because FEMA decided to sign off their homes as officially habitable. While FEMA apparently can't be bothered to coordinate any real effort to monitor and update agencies during this massive rebuilding effort, The Houston Chronicle actually sent professionals to New Orleans to assess some of the "habitable homes":

A team from Houston's Hurricane Housing Task Force, however, conducted a spot check of 43 New Orleans homes deemed "habitable" by FEMA and found 70 percent unfit for occupancy, White said Friday after a briefing by the team.

"Some of our worst fears were realized," White said. "Many of these notices were simply in error. The vast majority of the structures we inspected were not habitable by any standard."

The Houston team found 13 homes habitable and 30 uninhabitable, White said.

I have resurrected some of these Katrina issues this Easter Sunday because I went to Mississippi a few weeks ago to help in the clean-up effort. I spent a week just taking orders and doing grunt work (I'm so used to it), knocking down dry wall, picking up slats and shingles, scooping up piles of rotting wood and tree branches, general filth, books, appliances and god knows what else, moving broken pipes and car tyres, and viewed nothing but devastation and sealed buildings for as far as I could see. No families, no people there other than us and other volunteer teams. I wonder now if a few of the piles of wood we didn't get to might now be "FEMA-ready" for move-in immediate occupancy! Hey, I guess those evacuee homeowners will have a little while to get their homes up to code (without any federal assistance, of course) after they relocate from Houston or if they just can't manage to do, as the "safety of the individual homeowner and community demands", their homes will just have to be condemned as being unsafe I suppose, and the counties will just have to take over the condemned land and sell to some developer who can afford to rebuild according to code. That Catch-22 is sure some catch!

After leaving Mississippi and jumping back into my quotidian life with its own struggles I felt I had 2 hearts beating in me, one for my own life but also one for the people whose lives I have somehow borne wittness to, who have lost everything, every. thing., yet it looks like there are always more straws to put onto that camel's back... I hope this post doesn't seem too depressing and that it's alright to post something like this here (I waited a while to submerge some of my raw anger before interacting with anyone here). I know we can't all make this stop by running down there to rebuild and make things all better. We need the right troops, the National Gaurd currently doing duty in da 'Raq to come back and help rebuild here too. As for the concerns about rebuilding, I have done some research there. Short rebuild strategy: turn the project over to the Danes.

Also, scout_prime at First Draft has been reporting on Katrina and its after-shocks for 6 months. Today she posted a slide show prepared recently by Jose Fernandez after his trip there. Watch when you get the chance.

And yo, Fearless Leader, to quote Buffy, "A black eye heals, [BushBoy], but cowardice has an unlimited shelf-life".


I'd like you to give a big welcome to a long winded good friend who'll be joining the staff here at the Brain. You all know the Angry Old Broad.

3 years

So, the 'Iran Plan' has been on the books for 3 years.



I now know I wrongfully placed my faith and trust in a presidential administration hopelessly mired in incompetence, hubris and a lack of accountability. It planned a war based on false intelligence and unrealistic assumptions. It has strategically surrendered the condition of victory in Iraq to people who do not share our vision, values or interests. The Bush administration has proven successful at only one thing in Iraq - painting us into a corner with no feasible exit.



Link courtesy of C&L.


Summer uniform. Which is, by the way, the new USMC Digital Desert camo. Happy Easter, Passover, whatever. I'm going to eat, drink, and be merry at my Italian sister-in-law's house.

Done deal...again



The problem, which I'm sure Clarke and Simon fully understand, is that there isn't going to be a congressional resolution this time - in fact I'd be very surprised if the administration gives the leadership of either party more than 24 hours notice before the bombing begins. No marketing campaigns, no debates, no arms twisted in the Oval Office. Just a fait accompli. (That's French for: "Choke on it, suckers." [my em]


No shit. There ain't gonna be any dicking around with the U.N. or Congress. The balloon is gonna go up and the cruise missiles are gonna fly and then will be the first time we hear about it. I'll betcha anything there are guys from my old combat control unit already there, scouting out targets; refining the aim so to speak. This will only amount to a big fucking mess if we don't stop them.

Great thanks to Dr. Attaturk for the link.

Better than The Onion

That would be the great Neil Shakespeare:

Scotty McClellan is now resorting to the 'He's ain't heavy. He's just retarded!' gambit in defense of the president.

"It's not his fault that he's so stupid," said McClellan. "I demand an apology! And don't use that word 'stupid' like I just did. The president, as we all know, is 'mentally challenged'. He doesn't know anything about what's going on around him. He is completely innocent.


He understands...

Gilliard does anyway:

Generals are like other people, except with a finely tuned sense of risk assessment. The idea that it's six generals calling for Rumsfeld to quit is comical. Asshats like Powerline and Red State don't know shit about this subject. They know what they are told and little more.


Despite liberal fears of the Republican nature of the US officer corps, the reality is that it hardly any different than any other large group of executives. What sets them apart is that to reach general, you have to have at least a masters, and a doctorate doesn't hurt. Which means that they are the most educated group of executives in the US.

And many of them have degrees from Georgetown Foriegn Service, Johns Hopkins, Princeton, Harvard, the same as their peers in State and DOD. So when they talk about policy, it it's from education.

But what they are is apolitical. Most may vote one way or the other, but they don't seek any role in American politics. For generals to attack a sitting SecDef means they think there is a crisis in the military and it will harm its future capabilities. Because speaking out about civilian leadership is something the Army itself doesn't tolerate. Douglas McArthur, Edwin Walker and John Singlaub all lost their jobs by attacking the civilian leadership.


The right, which doesn't know dick about this, think it's a few generals. It isn't. This is the opinion of the magament class of the Army and Marines, they're just using retirees to make the point that active duty soldiers can't. But this will only get worse. Rumors of resignations are in the air and if that happens, Bush will be forced into a hole. You do not want your generals threatening the civilian staff, but when you have an incompetent SecDef, you can't watch people die and the army being destroyed.


This is the way it is, precisely what the 'pundits' and 'warbloggers' don't get. The fact the generals are speaking out at all is a big thing. Take the time to read the whole article, especially those who haven't experienced military service, and you'll see what we vets did as soon as General Zinni started critcizing this misbegotten war.


Pauly treats this well too, a must-read.