Saturday, August 12, 2006

More Blogiversary

Our dear friend and spiritual soul, Michael Hawkins, is celebrating his second. Please go over and wish him all the best.

More Dave

I introduced him to my fellow Long Islanders this morning. This afternoon he did an interview at FDL*:


"Peter King," Dave told me on the phone, "has forgotten where he comes from, He fights harder for the lobbyists on K Street than he does for the hard-working families on Main Street."


*Good links there by the way.

Liquid explosives ...

From our expert.

Stupid, stupid people 2


A comparison of peoples' views in 34 countries finds that the United States ranks near the bottom when it comes to public acceptance of evolution. Only Turkey ranked lower. [my em]

Used to be we aspired to be a nation of intellectuals, a nation of inventors and explorers. Now we're just a buncha brainwashed sheep. If we're gonna start rounding up groups of people in this country, we should take the Jesus freaks (I mean the guys in the pulpits) first. They've done more damage than all the terrorists combined.

Food For Thought

Headline at BuzzFlash:

Investigators are following the money trail in the bomb plot. If it leads back to the Bush family's friends in Saudi Arabia, don't expect any more news on the matter

I'm just sayin'...

A Convenient Threat

The Boston Globe

DICK CHENEY was certainly farsighted when he declared Wednesday that Ned Lamont's victory over Joe Lieberman would comfort "Al Qaeda types."

Voila! Only a day later, Al Qaeda was revealed as plotting to bring down 10 planes!

I thought that was a nice parody line -- until I picked up yesterday's Wall Street Journal. There, editorial page writer Daniel Henninger, in a column headed, "Democrats Knifed Lieberman on Eve of Airliner Plot," goes beyond parody.

The writer then goes on to ask and answer several questions, in this manner:

With hundreds of millions of ordinary Muslims increasingly disgusted and alienated by Bush's policy, can't we just settle this thing once and for all, with an Armageddon to take out Syria, Iran, Hezbollah, and Al Qaeda, in one fell swoop? (No!)

After more than five years of Bush's blundering grandiosity, a majority of Americans are increasingly skeptical of his policies. America has never faced anything like the hydra-headed threat of Islamist terrorism. Bush's entire performance, from assumption to execution, has placed America at greater risk. To say that is not to abet terrorism, and Bush's critics should be saying it loud and clear.

I am. I'm typing as loud as I can.

Bush staff wanted bomb-detect cash moved

Yahoo! News

WASHINGTON - While the British terror suspects were hatching their plot, the Bush administration was quietly seeking permission to divert $6 million that was supposed to be spent this year developing new homeland explosives detection technology.

The administration also was slow to start testing a new liquid explosives detector that the Japanese government provided to the United States earlier this year.

Rep. Peter DeFazio of Oregon, a senior Democrat on the Homeland Security Committee, said he urged the administration three years ago to buy electron scanners, like the ones used at London's airport to detect plastics that might be hidden beneath passenger clothes.

"It's been an ongoing frustration about their resistance to purchase off-the-shelf, state-of-the-art equipment that can meet these threats," he said.

The administration's most recent budget request also mystified lawmakers. It asked to take $6 million from Homeland S&T's 2006 budget that was supposed to be used to develop explosives detection technology and instead divert it to cover a budget shortfall in the Federal Protective Service, which provides security around government buildings.

Go read the rest. I'm sure you'll feel ever so much safer knowing how much effort the WH and DHS is putting in on your behalf.

Get out

One of our unhinged congressweasels here on Long Island is up for reelection this November and we have a chance to get his Rethug ass out. Dave Mejias is running against Peter King for NY-3, the district next to mine. Please help him out if you can. King is the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee and if you know all the hassles NY has had getting 9/11 money (rightfully due us), you know he's dropped the ball big time, and that is aside from being a Bush suck-boy.

If you live in NY-3, Dave Mejias is your guy. If you live on Long Island, consider volunteering to help his campaign (I'm giving them a call on Monday to see if they can put any of my *cough* talents to use). If you're not a Long Islander, consider sending Dave some scratch if you can.

Let's face it, Washington has let us down. Between the mess they made in Iraq and their failures at home, both the President and this Congress have proven that they aren't up to the job. ~ Dave Mejias

Friday, August 11, 2006

How to tell if you "took off" too fast

Your car will go from 0 to 60 in how many seconds???


Steve Soto:

What Bush bounce?...

33%. Eyes are opening in a big way.

Downwinders Derail 'Divine Strake' - for now

I actually thought a big non-nuclear explosion out in Middle of Nowhere NV would be OK. Even better if they put Fixer in charge! Boy, was I an idiot. Common Wonders 8/10/06

"Everyone in Utah can tell you a story - or take you to a cemetery and show you where loved ones are buried ..."

Alyson Heyrend, a spokesman for U.S. Rep. Jim Matheson, was talking about the experience of being a "downwinder," and she could have been speaking for residents of Nevada, Idaho, Montana and other places as well, where large segments of the population were exposed to fallout from U.S. nuclear testing over the years; suffered dire health consequences and the premture deaths of loved ones despite glib assurances from the government that they were in no danger; who have finally cried, loudly enough to disrupt, at least temporily, the government's oblivious, WMD-smitten agenda, "No more!"

Not to mention the deaths of John Wayne, Susan Hayward, and Agnes Moorhead, as well as an inordinately high number of other cast and crew members from the location shoot of The Conqueror.

But that was fifty years ago. What possible harm could conventional explosives do today?

Divine Strake would have ignited 700 tons of ammonium nitrate and fuel oil, sending up a 10,000-foot mushroom cloud, possibly stirring up radioactive dust at the Test Site and spewing an array of pollutants into the atmosphere: "two tons of cyanide compounds, 25 tons of particulates, a ton of hexachloroethane, a ton each of tetrachloroethylene and tetrachloromethane, a ton and a half of phosgene, nearly a ton of sulfur dioxide, more than 31 tons of carbon monoxide, seven tons of nitrogen oxides, nearly two tons of chloroform, and many other noxious compounds," according to environmental writer Valerie Brown, in an article published recently in the St. George (Utah) Spectrum.

I'm no chemist, but I recognize the names of stuff there that can fuck you up. Just f'rinstance, phosgene was a poison gas used in WWI, sulfur dioxide is the silent killer in oil refineries, chloroform is used by the bad guys in movies to knock out the heroine, and all them tetras, monos, and hexas can't be any good for you either.

Maybe, 61 years into the nuclear age, there's a new player in the game: those whose designated role was to be collateral damage. (my em)

There are those who say that was the Downwinders' role from the very start of atmospheric A-bomb testing way back when, described as "a low use segment of the population". They get no argument from me.

Mrs. G's niece and her husband and 16-year-old daughter just bought a vacation home in Washington UT, the idiots, exactly downwind from the Test Site. I don't want 'em breathing that shit. They're not 'collateral damage dummies' except to our insane WMD developers, nor is anybody else - or shouldn't be.

Did you know that India's first nuclear test explosion, in 1974, was code-named Smiling Buddha (mine)? A God complex exists at the level of national leadership that knows no religious or moral restraint. This is the arrogance the downwinders of Utah, Nevada and Idaho beat back this month, temporarily, perhaps, but on behalf of all humanity.

Good on 'em. The 'God complex' thing is all too prevalent today and needs to be beaten into the ground at every opportunity, along with the 'God complexed'.

For more info go to

Just as an afterthought, the linked article has a little surprise in it for you Hoosiers.

Reign of Error

When BuzzFlash says 'must, must read', I obey. After reading, I agree. Philly Daily News.

THESE PEOPLE have no shame. Their contempt for democracy is so great they will stop at nothing to undermine it. Their adherence to fundamentalist beliefs that blinds them to reality is frightening. They must be stopped.

And that's just the Republicans.

Let's start with Vice President Dick Cheney.

Yesterday, Cheney bashed those who voted for Democrat Ned Lamont in the Connecticut Senate primary, claiming that these votes would encourage "al Qaeda types" to think that "they can break the will of the American people."

The idea is that since 18-year incumbent Joe Lieberman lost based on his support for Iraq, Americans opposing the war are waving a white flag of surrender to terrorists.

This is stunningly ignorant logic, as well as annoyingly consistent with the Bush administration's fundamentalist myth that Iraq had ties to al Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden - a claim by now well-discounted, most notably by a presidential commission.

For Cheney - and other Republicans like GOP National Chairman Ken Mehlman - to suggest that those Americans are encouraging terrorism is reprehensible.

But the real terror is this: While our Vacationer- in-Chief and his vice president shut down dissent, and discourage questions about the way our government has directed our intelligence and military resources toward a single target in Iraq, we are no closer to understanding or dismantling the threat of al Qaeda.

Cheney's remarks underscore just how unsophisticated our understanding of terrorism is. We have no more understanding of the global forces at work that lead so many to want to bomb and destroy innocent lives than we did five years ago.

America's latest crisis is not what happened in Connecticut; it's what was going to happen in airplanes over the Atlantic.

The immoral and ridiculous claims coming out of the Bush administration's reign of error could ultimately be responsible for the kind of casualties that al Qaeda can only dream of.

I get the feeling that, if the terrorists had succeeded in blowing up those aircraft, that Cheney and others would have been on Fake News ten minutes later, saying, "See what those Democrats did by voting for Lamont?"

They must go. November.

Finally, The Media Elite Admit the Truth About Themselves

David Sirota

[...] But this week following the primary defeat of Sen. Joe Lieberman by first-time candidate Ned Lamont, America is witnessing a good-old-fashioned watershed moment: the perfume is off, the restraint is removed, and the ugly, rancid, sweaty-lockerroom stench of truth is there for all of us commoners to waft. Sniff up, contain your dry heaving, and you will finally understand that all the talk of the Establishment's disdain for ordinary citizens is not just talk or conspiracy theory - it's very real, and very powerful.

Take, for instance, New York Times columnist David Brooks's piece yesterday - it is arguably the most brazen admission of elite disdain for democracy that has ever been printed in a major American newspaper. Before you dismiss that as hyperbole, read the third line of Brooks' piece:

"Polarized primary voters shouldn't be allowed to define the choices in American politics."

Yes, you read that correctly: According to one of the most prominent columnists in America, "voters shouldn't be allowed to define the choices in American politics." [...]

Gee, I guess it would be better left up to rich Republican operatives who know what's best for us ignorant piss-ants, huh? My ass.

It is no hyperbole to say that these elites hate democracy and democratic movements - they hate them so much they are willing to break the taboo and scream their hatred for democracy in the pages of the largest newspaper in the world. They hate ordinary people so much they are willing to fabricate storylines wholly unsupported by even a shred of fact. But thanks to the fact that democracy still exists in America and elections still happen here, their hatred is no longer the ideology that gets to govern unchallenged. This week in Connecticut we saw the first rumble. And come election day in November, that rumble is going to be an earthquake no matter how much the elites whine, cry and scream.

The 'elites' are really whinin', moanin', snivellin', complainin', bitchin', kvetchin', and generally not very happy that CT voters actually chose their own candidate, huh?

I liken Lamont's victory to a tiny crack in a motorcycle fender. Left unchecked, the fender will fall apart. The Repugs are tryin' their best to "stop drill" this one, but sometimes that doesn't work and the crack continues to spread until the fender breaks apart. Then you have to get a new fender. I think we're about to throw the Repug fender in the dumpster and install a brand new, bright shiny Dem one.

That won't be a permanent fix, though. We need to correct the underlying cause of the crack or it will swiftly return: the vibration caused by the corruption of Republican politics due to loose, worn out, and missing moral bearings.

I love making motorcycle analogies. I can fix those goddam things, like I wish I could fix politics.

Please read the rest of Mr. Sirota's post. It made me cackle with glee and I think it'll do the same for you.

Friday Cattle Dog Blogging

Princess Shayna is back and smells something fishy about the way the U.S. government is handling the reaction to this foiled British terror plot.

She also wants you to head over and wish her dad's pal Jo Fish a Happy Blogiversary.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Explode. Repeat.

Our pal Mimus Pauly brings up a good point in this post about Scotland Yard arresting the 'shampoo bombers' (©) in England:

1 -- Will Bunch compliments Scotland Yard, and states an infrequently-stated truth:

...Most of the big victories in "the war on terror" have been racked up by cops, not by soldiers. Why, it's almost as if terrorism is a law-enforcement problem -- and less of a threat when it's handled well in that fashion.

I think I remember the Repugs rakin' Kerry over the coals for saying that.

Whoever planned this latest terrorist caper knows exactly what he's doing and his timing is good. If he wants the Repugs to stay in power, and of course he does, he could not have handed them a better excuse for political fear-mongering this close to our elections. I wonder if his name is Qarl Al-Rovi?

Security Theater

[Since I'm in the middle of writing - you never know when inspiration hits - Mrs. F is filling in with a post this afternoon. Her first anywhere by the way. - Fixer]

The news today about the extra airport/TSA security bullshit has pissed me off enough to write my own post.

Early in 2005, Fixer and I were talking about the state of the ceiling between our living and dining rooms. It is sagging and after 40 + years of the house settling, it can't be fixed anymore. Trust me, he has put more plaster on the crack in the ceiling dividing the living room and dining room over the years than one would know existed. Anyway, we agreed the job could go another 12-18 months before it would be a big problem and Fixer offered to take me on vacation during 2006 stating we would celebrate my 45th birthday, then when we got back, we would begin construction, (which would include a complete re-design of the space).

Since I was basically offered any trip I wanted, I started my research of land and sea trips back in late January 2005. I have always been partial to cruising, having been on 25 cruises since August of 1983, and I really wanted to go on a cruise of the Mediterranean.

In May '05, I made a definite decision on the cruise I wanted to go on. The ship was not due to come into service until February 2006, but I figured the itinerary was so interesting it would be worth the wait.

Most of you will recall the scare I had at the beginning of the year. With the news, I had the feeling that we would not make the cruise and I would be requesting a refund. Fortunately, I am ok and the cruise is on. I can't wait!!

We are currently within 45 days of our departure date and I heard the news this morning about the added airport security. Now you will not be able to bring any carry on luggage, NOT EVEN A POCKETBOOK/PURSE??? Where the hell am I supposed to keep my Passport, Travelers Checks/money/charge cards, my airline tickets, camera, laptop, (a must for Fixer) and my jewelry, (a must for me on this cruise), without any carry on luggage. I also heard that you cannot bring anything liquid. Even nursing mothers will have to have their breast milk tasted before they can get on the plane!! I cannot believe this is just about to happen right before we are supposed to fly!! It seems like every time we are close to leaving on a long anticipated trip, the world gets a little crazier.

If I have to check everything, I want to be able to lock the damn suitcase up after I clear security with anything I desire to protect my valuables. Do you think the airline will assume responsibility for the theft of any of the above items?? Do you think my homeowner's insurance is going to want to hear that I left all of those things in an unlocked suitcase that is kept out of my sight?? I think not. I'll not only get screwed without being kissed, but I will lose some very valuable and sentimental things. Could you imagine if I wore all of the jewelry I intended to take? I'd never make it through the metal detector and I'd never leave it behind.

If you can let me know what has to be done to get the sanity back before we leave, I'm all ears!!

- Mrs. Fixer

[Maybe I can shove everything up my ass? - Fixer]

The Old Guy Talks To One Of The Crazy Guys

Mike Wallace interviews Amadeena Ahmadinag Ah'madinahed ah, fuck it the president of Iran. CBS News:

On what the "conducive conditions" would be for Iran to establish relations with the U.S., the president said, "Well, please look at the makeup of the American administration, the behavior of the American administration. See how they talk down to my nation. And this recent resolution passed about the nuclear issue, look at the wording. They have given us - presented us with a package which we are studying right now. We even gave them a date for our response. Ignoring that, they passed a resolution. They want to build an empire. And they don't want to live side-by-side in peace with other nations. The American government, sir, it is very clear to me they have to change their behavior and everything will be resolved. (George W. Bush) believes that his power emanates from his nuclear warhead arsenals. The time of the bomb is in the past, it's behind us. Today is the era of thoughts, dialogue and cultural exchanges."

The report will be broadcast on 60 Minutes this Sunday at 7 p.m. ET/PT.

If Bush and Ahmadinejad can both get on their meds at the same time, they should talk.

Off their meds, steel cage death match in speedos (shudder!) and leave the rest of us out of it. If they manage to kill each other, Bush will indeed have made the world a safer place.

"Take me to your leader - in that limo..."

Bob Herbert via Tennessee Guerilla Women, writing about Repuglican deceit and contempt for reg'lar Americans:

"If you landed here from Mars and looked at Congress's agenda," said Jared Bernstein, senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute in Washington, "you'd think that the problem in America is that rich people don't have enough money."

Ain't that the truth!

School Daze

School starts here on Monday,the 14th.Today was 7th grade orientation.Brand,spankin new multi million dollar building.Some observations upon getting back home from said orientation:

1) I don't care how huge the school building is in this county,the parking lots are insanely small and horrifically planned.This always causes pain in the ass traffic and parking issues every single time there's a school event.Even when they divide a single event up to occur at different times,for each grade.Such was the case today.Who is the moron who designs a school to hold 1500+ kids and staff and only designs parking for not even a third that many cars? In this case there's a series of small parking lots connected by a narrow road system,which of course is going to be lined with cars parked up and down from beginning to end so traffic can't flow both ways.There are going to be many days I'm driving Atilla the Fun to and from school because of various clubs and projects,plus my own volunteering,and I'm fully prepared to be in some sort of car accident with a big ass SUV before the school year is over.

2)I wasn't in this school for two seconds before I ran into people praying for the kiddies and the new building.Ok,I suppose that they mean well,as far as the thought goes.But methinks this could lead to more intrusions.I walk into the guidance office and the receptionist's desk has not one,not two,but three of those little Bible Verse O' the Day flip over book/sign dealies sitting on it.Ok,it is her desk,and she was very nice.Then we walk into the cafeteria,which was the info center for all the clubs and afterschool activities along with sign up sheets for parent volunteering duties(I chose the environmental committee and will probably help with the Builder's Club,which does community service stuff,like send care packages to Iraq and Afghanistan)and there are two christian school sponsored clubs.One for athletes,one for future christian homemakers.Quaint,eh? I haven't had the chance to look at the science curriculum yet,and I hope what I saw today has no bearing on which direction that class goes.I'll reserve judgement til then.

3)Met with the Special Ed lead teacher,she seems on top of mostly everything.But,Atilla is not going to be in small class settings for half his classes,something I was not informed of til today.I like a little advance notice,so does Atilla.Large groups are challenging for him,he has difficulty keeping still and will start decompensating into"weird"behavior(hiding on the floor under his desk,speaking and moving really fast,blurting out inappropriate or off topic comments,trying to grab and hold people,you get the idea),which sets him up to be rejected and/or picked on by his peers.Ok,it also doesn't help that I'm overprotective and sort of freaked out that my baby is fast turning into a young man.This is when it kinda sucks to be The Mom.Of course,the year will probably be more difficult for me than it is him,lol.

Repug Bullshit Goes Into High Gear

In the wake of Ned Lamont's primary victory, the RS3M* has hit the deck a-runnin', as if they knew the outcome ahead of time. Oh, I forgot - they're good at that...

Ostroy Report

Scared Repugs Ratchet Up the Terrorist Rhetoric in the Wake of Lamont's Victory. Get Ready for Some Serious Ugliness

Unable to regurgitate the old "fringe" rhetoric, they're quickly shifting the Swift Boat's gears back to the Iraq/bin laden/al Qaeda story. The "fight 'em over there so we don't have to fight 'em over here" bullshit. It worked like a charm in '04, and they're banking on Americans being fooled once again. The spin they'll be driving home for the next 2 1/2 months is that a pullout of Iraq will result in another 9/11-like attack here in the States. [..]

Think Progress

Tony Snow: A Vote For Lamont Is A Vote For Another 9/11

The Dark Lord

Sen. Joe Lieberman's loss to an anti-war upstart will only encourage Al Qaeda and other enemies of the U.S., Vice President Cheney said yesterday.

These bastards have their script in everybody's hands and everybody lined up in front of the media ready to spew at the first opportunity, don't they?

The flip side: BuzzFlash

Cheney Goes Into Deep Demagogue Mode: Claims Lieberman Loss is a Victory for al-Qaeda. Bin Laden Reportedly Wanted Bush and Cheney Re-elected Because They So Fecklessly Play Into His Hands. So Wouldn't That Make a Defeat for Lieberman a Defeat for al-Qaeda?

Again from Ostroy:

So there you have it. 2004 all over again. Iraq, Iraq, Iraq, terrorists, Iraq, terrorism, terrorism, Iraq, Iraq, terrorists, Iraq, terrorists, Iraq, terrorists, Iraq, terrorists, terrorists, get the picture. Only this time, most of the country is no longer falling for it (my em).

We can only hope.

On a related topic, after the capture of suspected terrorists in England, from Ostroy:

New Terror Alert: The Repuglican Homestretch Scare Campaign Begins

But make no mistake. Karl Rove, Ken Mehlman and the GOP terror thugs will pounce on this new overseas threat as their pivotal "Aha!" moment to scare the crap out of Americans in their new post-Lamont "Democrats are weak on defense and national security" homestretch campaign:

"See, we told ya so. We told ya that Osama bin Laden (remember him? the guy Bush "doesn't spend too much time on anymore?") was out there plotting to attack Americans. We told ya that that's why we need to "stay the course" in Iraq. To "fight 'em over there so we don't have to fight 'em here." We told ya these namby-pamby anti-war liberals wussies are wrong for America and will not keep us safe and secure like us brave old Repuglican chickenhawks. So we're tellin' ya again, voting for these liberal cowards will mean and end to the Iraq war, a win for Osama and the terrorists, and a new round of bloody murderous attacks here at home."

Anyone want to take bets on when the next U.S. terror alert occurs?

So there you have it. They're slimin' everyone who voted for Lamont, God bless 'em, and by extension everybody who votes for any Democrat as enablers of Bin-Forgotten, Al Qaeda, or any garden variety terrorist who happens along. In other words, they're calling 'em cowards, traitors, and terrorist sympathizers. Par for the Repug course.

This time, a lot more Americans know who the cowards and traitors are, as well as who created most of the new terrorists. If they don't, they at least know that the way things are going in the Iraq occupation is an indication of the Repugs' total incompetence, and Americans don't like to lose. They don't particularly like to be lied to either, especially when the lies cause the deaths of other Americans. They also don't like being spent into the poorhouse to enrich Big Biz.

Nobody likes being called unpatriotic, or worse, for exercising their rights as American voters, either.

The Repugs have succeeded with these tactics before, to the detriment of the world, but I think the scales have fallen from enough Americans' eyes that it won't work this time. It better not. If it does, we deserve to be called stupid.

*Repuglican Spin, Slime, & Smear Machine aka The Mighty Wurlitzer.

Progress in Texas

Houston Chronicle

Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay said Tuesday he will withdraw his name from the November ballot, leaving the Republican slot blank and opening up the race to a GOP write-in candidate.

His decision comes one day after the state Republican Party lost its legal battle to replace his name with another of its choosing.

Democratic nominee Nick Lampson has had all summer to campaign and has $2.1 million in the bank.

"The whole write-in theory is ludicrous," Austin political consultant Bill Miller said. "It is handing the seat to the Democrats. Republicans cannot win this seat with a write-in candidate, I don't care what name they write in."

Gosh, he says that like it's a bad thing. For that district to go Dem will be a damn fine payback.

Amish Vehicle Maintenance

I was updating my bookmarks and ran across this at Worldwide Sawdust:

[An Amish woman was driving her buggy to town when a highway patrol officer stopped her. "I'm not going to cite you," said the officer. "I just wanted to warn you that the reflector on the back of your buggy is broken and it could be dangerous."

"I thank thee," replied the Amish lady. "I shall have my husband repair it as soon as I return home."

"Also," said the officer, "I noticed one of your reins to your horse is wrapped around his testicles. Some people might consider this cruelty to animals so you should have your husband check that too."

"Again I thank thee. I shall have my husband check both when I get home."

True to her word when the Amish lady got home she told her husband about the broken reflector, and he said he would put a new one on immediately.

"Also," said the Amish woman, "the policeman said there was something wrong with the emergency brake."]

Ouch! That made my eyes cross just thinkin' of a sudden stop!

I couldn't resist adding this one from my (half) vast personal repertoire:

Q: What goes "clip-clop, clip-clop, BOOM! Clip-clop, clip-clop...?"

A: An Amish drive-by shooting.


Howard Dean via Atrios:


Lamont's courage and conviction on Iraq will make him a good Senator. But his positions on all the important issues -- on Iraq, but also balancing the budget, getting every American health insurance, and solving the energy crisis -- will make him a great Senator. These are not just the values of the Democratic Party, they are mainstream American values, and they are Ned Lamont's values.


It's nice to see the Dems aren't playing games with this. I sort of expected a lot of equivocation and fence-straddling when it came to supporting Lamont vis-a-vis a Lieberman Independent run. I guess the leadership is seeing the writing on the wall, and understanding it.

Stupid, stupid people

That would be us, collectively, as Americans. As if reelecting the Chimp wasn't enough, Shakes has more proof:

Thirty percent of Americans can't name the year that 9/11 happened.




And you wonder why the rest of the world looks at us like a buncha uneducated louts.

Wednesday, August 9, 2006

Reuters: Other Photos May Have Been Altered

San Francisco Chronicle.

Lieberman has the stink of loser on him

This is my last Loserman post. For today, anyway. This is gonna be with us for awhile. Go read The Rude One.

Lieberman lost because he was wrong, not because he was too principled or too "moderate" (whatever the fuck that means) or too Jewy or too any-fuckin-thing else anyone wants to come up with before admitting the truth. Lierberman lost because he was wrong, not because the mighty power of Left Blogsylvania smeared him or because Ned Lamont used his fortune to challenge Lieberman. Hell, Lieberman spent most of his time on the campaign trail reeling like a drunk man hit in the head with a Budweiser bottle, swinging and lashing out at phantoms, trying to portray Ned Lamont, a white bread millionaire, as some kind of crazed Bohemian.

Now Lieberman has the stink of loser on him. His concession speech was the last gasp of the man with cement shoes sinking into Long Island Sound, vowing impotent vengeance on those who did him in. Accusing someone of "partisan politics" in a party's primary is not unlike accusing a marathon runner of running a marathon. And sure, sure, Republicans and some Democrats will attempt to prop him up in his doomed "independent" run, but he's got no party machine behind him, only the hope that a three-term Senator can run as a heroic underdog rather than some pathetic figure who wasn't even good enough for his own party. Goddamn, it'll be sad. One hopes, desperately, that Bill Clinton'll show up on Lieberman's doorstep and get him to agree that the most noble thing is for a man to fall on his sword.

Lieberman lost because he was wrong, on the war, on indecency, on torture, on Social Security, and more, more, more. He lost not because he said he was right, but because he tried to say that wrong was right (my em).

Lieberman lost like so many others will, mostly Republican, because they hitched their wagons to George Bush's star and that fucker went supernova.

I have nothing to add to that, except I hope it's a trend.

Vets' Brains Not Important, Congress Says

USA Today

Congress appears ready to slash funding for the research and treatment of brain injuries caused by bomb blasts, an injury that military scientists describe as a signature wound of the Iraq war (my em).

House and Senate versions of the 2007 Defense appropriation bill contain $7 million for the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center - half of what the center received last fiscal year.

Proponents of increased funding say they are shocked to see cuts in the treatment of bomb blast injuries in the midst of a war.

"Honestly, they would have loved to have funded it, but there were just so many priorities," says Jenny Manley, spokeswoman for the Senate Appropriations Committee. "They didn't have any flexibility in such a tight fiscal year."

"Tight fiscal year"? I guess giving away our money to Big Corpora, throwing it away on an an immoral, illegal war, and tax cuts for the rich take precedence over our obligation to the Vets who are suffering as a result of their patriotism being used so badly by this administration. You'd think they could find a chump change $7M. Bush's vacation probably costs more than that.

Goddammit, I hate these bastards.

Nazifying the Geneva Conventions

Raw Story's a gold mine today.

The Bush administration has drafted amendments to a war crimes law that would eliminate the risk of prosecution for political appointees, CIA officers and former military personnel for humiliating or degrading war prisoners, according to U.S. officials and a copy of the amendments.

The amendments would narrow the reach of the War Crimes Act, which now states in general terms that Americans can be prosecuted in federal criminal courts for violations of "Common Article 3" of the Geneva Conventions, which the United States ratified in 1949.

The risk of possible prosecution of officials, CIA officers and former service personnel over alleged rough treatment of prisoners arises because the Bush administration, from January 2002 until June, maintained that the Geneva Conventions' protections did not apply to prisoners captured in Afghanistan.

As a result, the government authorized interrogations using methods that U.S. military lawyers have testified were in violation of Common Article 3; it also created a system of military courts not specifically authorized by Congress, which denied defendants many routine due process rights.

But Corn, the Army's former legal expert, said that Common Article 3 was, according to its written history, "left deliberately vague because efforts to define it would invariably lead to wrongdoers identifying 'exceptions,' and because the meaning was plain -- treat people like humans and not animals or objects." Eugene R. Fidell, president of the nonprofit National Institute of Military Justice, said that laws governing military conduct are filled with broadly described prohibitions that are nonetheless enforceable, including "dereliction of duty," "maltreatment" and "conduct unbecoming an officer."

Retired Rear Adm. John D. Hutson, the Navy's top uniformed lawyer from 1997 to 2000 and now dean of the Franklin Pierce Law Center, said his view is "don't trust the motives of any lawyer who changes a statutory provision that is short, clear, and to the point and replaces it with something that is much longer, more complicated, and includes exceptions within exceptions."

I never thought I'd see the day when the President of the United States would commit war crimes, permit, even encourage others to commit war crimes, get his Attorney General to say war crimes are OK, try to convince the public that war crimes are on their behalf and in their best interests, all the while knowing they're committing illegal acts, and only when all of a sudden there may be a shift of power in Congress, try to make war crimes legal so they all can't be prosecuted.

They'll all be divin' for the exits come November. Jail for the lot of 'em, I say.

Then there's that pesky Nuremburg War Crimes Trials decision about illegally invading another country. We'll get to that later, I hope.

Sorry about the capital 'P' on 'President'. I wasn't talking about Bush, just being theoretical, hoping for the day when we have a real elected President again.


Billmon says:

This is like letting John Gotti rewrite the RICO statute.

Almost exactly like that.

"We need ya, Joey"

Raw Story

Karl Rove, a close advisor to the President, has expressed interest in assisting Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman in retaining his seat, despite a loss in the Democratic Primary last night, ABC News has reported.

Rove was, according to the report, acting on behalf of President Bush.

This is a tricky dance for Lieberman. He needs to figure out a way to get the benefits of Bush support -- some votes from loyal Republicans -- without turning off the independents and moderate Democrats he needs to win. The safest course may be a polite "thanks but no thanks" to the White House offer.

Loserman's reply will probably be something like, "NOOOO! Just send money."

The Radical Center

A good editorial on why Lieberman lost in the Noo Yawk Times:

The rebellion against Mr. Lieberman was actually an uprising by that rare phenomenon, irate moderates. They are the voters who have been unnerved over the last few years as the country has seemed to be galloping in a deeply unmoderate direction. A war that began at the president's choosing has degenerated into a desperate, bloody mess that has turned much of the world against the United States. The administration's contempt for international agreements, Congressional prerogatives and the authority of the courts has undermined the rule of law abroad and at home.

Yet while all this has been happening, the political discussion in Washington has become a captive of the Bush agenda. Traditional beliefs like every person’s right to a day in court, or the conviction that America should not start wars it does not know how to win, wind up being portrayed as extreme. The middle becomes a place where senators struggle to get the president to volunteer to obey the law when the mood strikes him. Attempting to regain the real center becomes a radical alternative.

Lemme 'splain what happened yesterday in mechanics' terms: For almost six years, our country hasn't been runnin' right. It has deteriorated to the point that it's sputterin' and backfirin' and just not fun to ride around on. Matter of fact, it's embarassing to be seen on. Some of us noticed it right away, but most of us let it degrade to the point that it's now so obvious that it's runnin' so badly that it can't be ignored any longer and something has to be done. The diagnosis is pretty simple: Indifference, lack of maintenance, and constant abuse by the guys who hold the handlebars, whose motto seems to be "win or crash" as if it were their ride and theirs alone.

It's in the shop and up on the lift, finally.

What happened yesterday in Connecticut was the first rusty, frozen nut got broke loose, with a big screech. It's the very beginning of a complete overhaul.

Navel gazing

I rarely write about blogging and bloggers because, even though I've been blogging for over 2 years, I still don't get it. Well I do, but it's hard to wrap my head around the fact we're at a time in our history congruous to the days of our nation's founding, a time that would cause so much anti-government sentiment to come bubbling up to the surface, when people were so emboldened to make their voices heard. Until this administration came to power, I was never an activist, never felt inclined to confront our leaders with their mistakes and corruption. Now it feels as if it were my duty, defending my nation as I did on active duty. No, I'm not equating blogging with military service by any stretch of the imagination - trust me, sitting here in my office ranting and raving bears zero similiarity to getting shot at - but as last night's election shows, we on the Left are doing a good thing, the right thing, and we are representing the views of the majority of the American public. Yet, you wouldn't know it from our press coverage.


Gord and AOB echoed my sentiments, so there's no point in me adding my $.02. What I will say is that the Dems are falling in line behind Ned. Hillary is the first, from C&L:

A check from Hillary Clinton's HILLPAC is being cut to Ned Lamont for five thousand dollars. She's the first one to be counted on and make good on her promise to support the winner of the Connecticut primary.

Do the rest of you Beltway Dems have to be dragged, kicking and screaming, to support Ned, or will you step up and do the right thing for your party and country? Think about it, won't you? Because, after last night, it's our party again and you too can go the way of Holy Joe. The 'insurgents' have indeed won.


Rain Bo in comments alerts us to the fact Evan Bayh has also thrown his support to Lamont.

How about shooting off an email of thanks to these two senators for doing the right thing.

Tuesday, August 8, 2006

Lamont Wins!!!

One brick in the wall down,lots more to go.

Now,this should inspire more of the same.Progressives,Liberals,even you supposedly moderate Dems,take note.It's ok to be "the opposition",if you're smart about it.We WANT you to oppose this bullshit.Snap out of it.

I love the smell of Democracy on a summer evening,don't you?

Thank you, CT Dems

Ned Lamont won the Connecticut Democratic primary. Good. Thanks go to the 52% of CT Dems who voted for him. You other 48% got 'til November to see the light, and I'm sure you will.

One point that struck me kinda funny was that after winning by four points, Mr. Lamont gave his acceptance speech (a good one, by the way) at the Four Points Hotel. Note to Ned: try and find a Forty Points Hotel by November!

What's-his-name is still going to run as an independent. Adios, Joe. Don't hit yerself in the ass with the door on yer way out.

Military theme park proposed

Once again, "military intelligence" proves to be an oxymoron. WaPo

The possibility of adding what county officials call a military theme park arises as about 22,000 employees prepare to be transferred to Fort Belvoir in the next five years because of the federal base realignment and closure recommendations, designed to save $49 billion nationwide.

The Army is considering the entertainment venue to help offset the cost of the $300 million museum, which a spokesman said is scheduled to open in 2013. No federal funds are being sought for the museum, but Fairfax has donated $240,000.

A Florida developer has submitted an unsolicited proposal for a military theme park that would include the "Chateau Belvoir" hotel and an entertainment district with bars like the "1st Division Lounge" and several "4D" rides.

"You can command the latest M-1 tank, feel the rush of a paratrooper freefall, fly a Cobra Gunship or defend your B-17 as a waist gunner," according to the proposal by Universal City Property Management III of Orlando. The company has no connection to NBC-Universal, which owns Universal Studios, a spokeswoman said yesterday.

Those things all sound like fun, but I'd add a few for a more authentic military experience:

Walk ten miles from your luxury accomodations in the rain. Sit in a rain-filled fightin' hole in a leaky poncho for about three days with no sleep, eatin' C-rations (or MREs*) that you pick back up out of the mud where you just know some other grunt took a leak, with an itchy butthole caused by not enough toilet paper, while listening to your rifle rust. That's all there is to it. Then, walk ten miles back.

*MRE = Meals Rejected by Ethiopians.

Don a 40-pound pack that makes you 16 inches thick and low crawl a hundred feet under 15-inch high barbed wire while the ride attendant, costumed as a short-timer PFC who's laughing like a fiend the whole time, tries to blow the excess off your back with a .30-caliber machine gun that ain't tied down too good. Hint: use your shirt buttons to dig down an inch.

Board a WWII attack transport ship and steam around in circles for three days due to a broken rudder. You and a thousand or so of your closest friends will be thrilled at going past the same sea turtle twenty times. You will eat a luxurious breakfast and immediately get in line for a luxurious lunch, etc. Your luxury accomodations will consist of a narrow bunk, one of bunks stacked five high. If you're lucky, you'll be in the top one where you won't be in the way of anybody above you who tries to add to the puke smell in your 200-man windowless up-and-down, back-and-forth movin' suite. You will exit this ride by climbing over the side and descending a cargo net, with a pack and rifle, into a small flat-bottomed boat that rises and falls on the sea swell. Hint: try to time your graceful descent so you don't get caught in the sag of the net between the boat and the ship as the boat rises, or let go too soon and fall ten feet into the boat as it falls. Hint No. 2: If you miss the boat and partake of the 'water feature', ditch the pack and rifle! and watch where you come up.

Climb into a genuine antique H-34 helicopter, just like a Marine in the '60s did. Be the last one in so you can sit facing the open door, or "hatch". The pack and rifle, necessary to get the full enjoyment of these rides, will prevent you from donning the life preserver or fastening the seat belt. You won't be able to lean back, as that's a pressure-operated escape hatch, so keep your eye on the ride attendant, aka the "crew chief", who sits across the helo from you next to the hatch. He is tied in securely, so make your best grab at him if an unforeseen sudden exit from the ride appears imminent, such as during an unexpected steep right bank. Hint: when you enter or exit this ride, you will be at sling arms as you will need both hands to get on or off. Make sure the muzzle of your rifle does not get caught in the top of the hatch, so you don't fall on your back on the unpadded sill halfway in and halfway out of the aircraft.

Stand in line in your underwear for 12 "shots" administered by very professional medical corpsmen. Watch as they crank up their air-operated shot guns to max pressure. Lift your arm after the shot and watch the blood drip down your side. Watch the corpsman grin.

That's enough for now. I encourage our readers to add their own ideas for "rides" that further present the "military experience".

Champagne and Xanax

David Sirota looks at four possible outcomes in today's Democratic primary in Connecticut.

1. Lieberman wins by more than 10 points: Champagne purchases in Washington, D.C. skyrocket, as the professional Democratic Party apparatus (ie. consultants, Hill staffers, think tankers, etc.) collectively celebrates the perception that they still do not have to worry at all about small-d democracy threatening their cushy lifestyles. [...]

2. Lieberman barely wins (less than 10 points): Again, champagne purchases in the Beltway are high, and Rothenberg, Roberts, Kagan, Beinart and the DLC crowd begin calling all of their reporter friends telling them in coded language that this means that ordinary voters still - thankfully - have no say in their own political process. [...]

3. Lamont ekes out a win (less than 4 points): Xanax and Prozac fly off the shelves of DC pharmacies, as the Democratic Party Establishment goes into a depression because it realizes it no longer gets to give orders from Mt. Olympus. [...]

4. Lamont wins big (by more than 5 points): Again, Xanax and Prozac fly off the shelves of DC pharmacies, though this time so does Immodium, because the Democratic Party elites get so scared, they collectively and uncontrollably begin soiling their pants. [...]

Gee, thanks for that visual, Dave! Heehee. That would be my pick.

Here's the deal folks: No matter what the outcome tomorrow - and I sure am hoping Lamont wins - we should all remember that last point: the fact that Ned Lamont and the progressive movement have mounted such a serious challenge to an entrenched incumbent with such a massive corporate-backed warchest is a HUGE ACCOMPLISHMENT. In the course of just a few months, a guy who has never run for office took on one of the most well-funded, insulated politicians in America, who used all of his clout and cashed in all of his favors to get other Big Time members of the Establishment to help him. If Ned gets within 15 points of Lieberman, it is a display of real strength, and it is a major step forward in our movement.

Remember - movements take time. If Ned loses, the media and Democratic "strategists" will put out all sorts of stories patting themselves on the back and pretending that nothing serious really happened. The louder their claims like that, the more we should all know that we've already won a big battle - no matter what the outcome tomorrow. Again, it is crucially, crucially important for everyone to do whatever they can tomorrow to get as many votes out for Lamont - but don't forget what we've already accomplished: it's no small feat.

Mr. Lamont has accomplished a truly bi-partisan achievement: he's got both Republicans and Democrats shittin' 'n gittin', and on notice that things are going to change. Dinosaurs, meet Meteor.

James Baker puts Bush's Iraq policy into rehab

Washington Monthly

Amid the highly charged political infighting in Washington over what to do in Iraq, you might be excused for not noticing that a bipartisan commission quietly started work last spring with a mandate to help the Bush administration rethink its policy toward the war. Of course, anything labeled "bipartisan commission" seems almost guaranteed to be ignored by a highly partisan White House that is notoriously hostile to outside advice and famously devoted to "staying the course." But what makes this particular commission hard to dismiss is that it is led by perhaps the one man who might be able to break through the tight phalanx of senior officials who advise the president and filter his information. That person is the former secretary of state, Republican insider, and consigliere of the Bush family, James A. Baker III.

Since March, Baker, backed by a team of experienced national-security hands, has been busily at work trying to devise a fresh set of policies to help the president chart a new course in--or, perhaps, to get the hell out of--Iraq. But as with all things involving James Baker, there's a deeper political agenda at work as well. "Baker is primarily motivated by his desire to avoid a war at home--that things will fall apart not on the battlefield but at home. So he wants a ceasefire in American politics," a member of one of the commission's working groups told me. Specifically, he said, if the Democrats win back one or both houses of Congress in November, they would unleash a series of investigative hearings on Iraq, the war on terrorism, and civil liberties that could fatally weaken the administration and remove the last props of political support for the war, setting the stage for a potential Republican electoral disaster in 2008. "I guess there are people in the [Republican] party, on the Hill and in the White House, who see a political train wreck coming, and they've called in Baker to try to reroute the train."

As in everything the Republicans do, it's about the upcoming elections - staying in power and out of jail. If they have to try to convince the Chimp to change his policy, or, more likely, to change his talking points to give the appearance of a change on Iraq a little, so be it.

In any case, the Iraq Study Group won't issue its report until some time early in 2007. In a recent speech, according to a member of the task force, Baker said that to do something before the November 2006 elections would inevitably politicize the report, something that Baker desperately wants to avoid.

But with each passing day, the country is closer to the train wreck that Baker and others are said to fear. In the end, avoiding it might ride on the ability of Jim Baker to persuade the president that it's time to declare victory and exit.

"The object of our policy has to be to get our little white asses out of there as soon as possible," (my em) another working-group participant told me. To do that, he said, Baker must confront the president "like the way a family confronts an alcoholic. You bring everyone in, and you say, 'Look, my friend, it's time to change.'"

It's exactly confronting an alcoholic, one who's drunk on power, a (possibly) dry drunk* who doesn't have enough brain cells left to think for himself, who relies on deeply flawed advice from drinkin' buddies like Rove and Cheney, who got him in power in the first place. And no doubt remind him of it often, as in "we're the only ones who could have gotten a loser like you into the White House, and you goddam near lost a rigged election despite our efforts. You do what we tell you to do and shut the fuck up."

I'm all for it if saner, more realistic Republicans can get Bush to change his mind about Iraq. I think they're shovelin' shit against the tide, but if they get enough of 'em shoveling fast enough...

On the other hand, our nation's only real hope is the November elections so it suits me just fine if they just go ahead and have their train wreck. Whatever it takes to get rid of these bastards.

Don't get me wrong. I want to see our troops get out of Iraq as soon as possible, but I got a sneakin' hunch not much is going to happen on that front before November.

*Counterpunch, 10/11/02. Re-read this article about Bush if you haven't lately:

Dry drunk is a slang term used by members and supporters of Alcoholics Anonymous and substance abuse counselors to describe the recovering alcoholic who is no longer drinking, one who is dry, but whose thinking is clouded. Such an individual is said to be dry but not truly sober. Such an individual tends to go to extremes.

To summarize, George W. Bush manifests all the classic patterns of what alcoholics in recovery call "the dry drunk." His behavior is consistent with barely noticeable but meaningful brain damage brought on by years of heavy drinking and possible cocaine use.

Barely noticeable? Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha!

See also "President Wet Brain".

Why the Lamont Campaign is important

I have some mixed feelings about alot of people from outside of any state coming in to work for state level campaigns. One,you run the risk of resentment from the people who actually live,work and vote in that state. Two,we've seen how the GOP does this(Brooks Brothers Riot anyone?Lieberman supporters at a certain Lamont campaign appearance quite recently?),and abuses the privledge. Three,if you don't handle this sort of thing correctly,you will alienate people,they won't just resent it,they'll loathe it.

Now,having said all that, as an outsider,even if Ned loses today,all is not lost.This is bigger than just Ned getting the Dem nomination in this primary.

The Lamont Campaign shows you what can happen when regular citizens get involved.And THAT is the larger lesson to take away from this.People are hungry,no,starving for a politician who will listen to them and address their needs.It's got little to do with the war,the war is just one aspect of the big picture.Lieberman is being backed by the GOP,Fox pundits,and he barely spends any time with his constituency.If Lamont hadn't been giving Joe a run for his money do you think for a second he'd be stumping around CT?Hardly.And that's the ONLY reason why he's in political trouble now,he forgot why he was elected in the first place.He forgot what his party stands for.He also forgot that it's The People who decide,not him,even if one of his bestest buddies is The Decider.To scold people for exercising their rights as citizens of this country and to act as though he's entitled to that Senate seat just because he's the incumbant isn't only arrogant,it's an insult to the people of CT.

The Lamont"machine"has been around for what?6 months?Lieberman has had 18 yrs to put his together.The progressive and people powered campaign Lamont has run hasn't had to resort to lies and dirty tricks,they don't treat CT voters like they're stupid and have no business participating in their Democracy,they opened their arms and included as many people as they could.This is why the pundits and GOP spokesmodels are wetting their expensive pants.Because if this thing,this participation in Democracy catches on,what has happened in CT will begin repeating itself all over the country.And if that happens,the pundits will look more idiotic than they do now(hard to imagine ain't it?).It's simple really,they know an informed and intelligent public is their biggest threat,it boils down to being about THEM,when in fact,it's not about them at all.

The Lamont Campaign,for all it's newness,has handled lies and the opposition's harassment with grace,and they've been focused on keeping the attention on real issues effecting the country.The voters in CT have seen all this stuff up close and personal,something the punditry and GOP party itself has ignored as they pontificate about the Dems having their own"civil war",or the"insurgency"of"radical liberals".What's with these people and their war imagry?Everything is war,war,war,all the time.People are weary of this crap.

In short,there's alot of lessons from how Team Lamont has run this whole deal.Lessons that could apply to ANY campaign anyplace in America.Lessons we are slowly remembering all across the country.People used to do this sort of thing,way back when,before we got too spoiled and comfortable,cocky even,thinking that politics is something far removed from our daily lives,and that "someone else"will take care of things and all will be well because this is America.We've learned,especially since 2000,that this sort of thinking leads to massive corruption,war profiteering,and needless death and suffering.That message hasn't been lost on everyone.

So,even if Ned were to lose today(and for the record,I think he's gonna win),all is not lost.The Lamont Campaign shows us how it's done,that there's room for adjustment as you go along,and mostly,that the voters matter most,not the politicians.

Much of this race in CT reminds me of Paul Wellstone and how he worked with the people he represented.Paul never forgot who he worked for,and never turned a blind eye to what was happening in his home state.He cared about what happened to his constituents,the farmer struggling not to lose the family farm,the single parent working two jobs to support a family,the worker who lost a job to outsourcing.It's why the people of Minnesota loved the man.This isn't rocket science.I miss Paul,terribly.

Lamont comes from money(BIG money,robber baron money,as in JP Morgan.Which makes his compassion all the more remarkable really.Money allows people to consider themselves better than everyone else.See also Bush,George W for a contrast),but he doesn't act like he does.He has genuine empathy and compassion for people,and it shows in how he conducts himself.That's hard to fake.It also drives wingnuts out of their minds.Since they don't give a flying load of monkey shit about anyone but themselves,they figure genuine concern for others is simply not real,it's faked because that's what they do.Fake it,and not very well I might add.It's arrested adolescence that's sinking the GOP ship.The whole world doesn't revolve around you,and not everyone is a failed attempt at being you,THIS is what the GOP and all their little minions will never understand.It also will be the ultimate downfall of today's brand of conservativism,which,as more and more people finally see,isn't conservative and certainly not liberal.It's greedy and insane,heartless and hateful,you can't hide that forever.

The big money will fight this people powered movement with all they have.The more power the people get,the bigger the hammer that will be used to try and crush them.It'll get alot uglier than what we've seen happen in CT.You see,for those in Power,the power can only flow one way-Up.Any challenge to that will be squelched by ANY means deemed necessary.The bigger the threat,the bigger the hammer.I say this not to frighten you,but to prepare you.It's something we ignore at our own peril.The GOP has"war rooms"(again with the war imagry,ick) and a slick,well oiled machine with lots and lots of training and practice.Progressives on the other hand have to work harder and smarter,where it counts,on the ground,often without much media support to get the word out.That's why the numbers of people involved matter so much.The more people involved,the better the chances of success and the easier it is to ferret out liars.It's truly the only way to fight the powers that be.And it's going to take decades to undo the damage and wrestle that power back into The People's hands. That's also why this little primary in a little state means so much.

So buck up kids,we have a long road ahead.Just remember,Lamont's win or loss today is about possibilities,and what is possible when citizens stop sitting on their hands,roll up their sleeves and get to work.We may not always win,but the closer we get to winning,the more we learn about how to do it well.

V for Vendetta

I rented this yesterday,and wow.If you haven't seen it,you oughta.There's some very striking points in the movie that relate to what's happening now(one party rule anyone?).I liked the ending,but I won't spoil it for you.

Also on my movie menu for this week are:

All the President's Men(read the book years ago,never saw the movie)

The People Vs Larry Flynt(saw it when it first came out,decided to watch it again)

The Big Buy:How Tom Delay Stole Congress

Seen any good movies lately?

And just a note

For all you people still pissed at me [and have stopped linking to us] for crawling up Israel's ass over this whole Lebanon thing. Look, what's that going in the mail today? Could it be my yearly donation to the Israeli Ambulance Service? Why, yes it is. Now shut the fuck up.


It's Primary Day in Connecticut. If you're a registered Dem in CT, it's time to step up and send Holy Joe on vacation. This is the beginning of a change that will hopefully carry through to November, but it won't happen if Lieberman stands for another term. Ned Lamont needs every vote and if you really do want change you'll have to get out and cast your ballot.

Ned on Ned.

Ned on the Issues.

Ned's blog.

Polls open in an hour [0600]. Get off your ass and get to it, dammit.

Monday, August 7, 2006

Repub "Legalize Weed" scam to register voters

Here's a scam that may be coming to a venue near you. From the Central Valley page of the S.F.Bay Area IMC.

The attractive young woman says to me, "would you sign our petition to legalize marijuana?" I don't have to think twice and say "sure, where do I sign?" That is when it got interesting. She says, "Do you have your ID with you?" "Well, yes I do, but what does that have to do with..." I say as she responds with "oh, we just have to verify your ID." Thinking that this has something to do with making sure they have valid names for a ballot initiative I comply.

As I'm filling out my name and address on the petition I notice that the young lady is filling out a very official looking form. Probably just the ballot initiative form, I think to myself. Then, she says "is it OK if I register you as a Republican?" "What?!?" I say "yes, I do mind! What are you doing?" She says that if I register Republican she will get an extra 10 cents. But, I complain, "I don't want to re-register." She explains that this is just to update the records for the County Clerks office. I repeat that "I do not want or need to update my records." I am repeatedly told that it is OK and that they just want to update my voter registration records. She also tells me that she is working for the Republican party, being paid hourly, and that the ploy about the "10 cent bonus" was not accurate.

This Republican party employee goes on to tell me that she is there to attract people to the table that is set up in Fresno's Courthouse Park, and that the legalize marijuana petition is just a prop. She confirmed that there is no ballot initiative to legalize marijuana. She said that the petition will be given to an elected official in Sacramento. I have my doubts about that.

No doubt in my mind. The "elected official" is probably the Sheriff of Sacramento County or the District Attorney.

At this point in the conversation, she called over her "boss" who was talking with someone a short distance away. I introduced myself as the editor of the Community Alliance newspaper and said I was interested in writing a story about the petition campaign and their registering people with the Republican party. I guess that wasn't the right approach to get him to open up to me. The "boss" gave me no information. He even refused to give me a copy of the marijuana legalization petition I had just signed.

Later that day I called Victor Salazar, the Fresno County Clerk. Salazar said that the process sounded deceptive and that I might want to call the Secretary of State fraud investigation unit. I called the number for the fraud investigation unit repeatedly today. Apparently, nobody was in the office today and all I got was an answering machine. I will continue to call.

I also went back to Courthouse Park today to see the Republican Party project was again in full operation. They seemed to have different approaches to different groups. To white men that looked like they might be attorneys, they asked if they were registered to vote. When Latinos walked by they would throw out the legalize marijuana angle.

A copy of a really lame - even for a phony - petition follows, along with a photo and some comments.

They're trying all kinds of tricks like this. Signing petitions for ballot initiatives is a good thing, but make damn sure what you sign.

Curmudgeons, Unite!

Give Jack Cafferty a Show by signing the petition.

Why neocons loves them some Lieberman

Today's 'must read'. Glenn Greenwald

But the most noteworthy aspect of Kristol's column is what comes next, when Kristol plans Lieberman's post-Senate career:

There is a political opportunity for the Bush administration if the Democrats reject Lieberman. If he's then unable to win as an independent in November, he would make a fine secretary of defense for the remainder of the Bush years. . . . Is it too fanciful to speculate about a 2008 GOP ticket of McCain-Lieberman, or Giuliani Lieberman, or Romney-Lieberman, or Allen-Lieberman, or Gingrich-Lieberman? Perhaps. But a reinvigorated governing and war-fighting Republican party is surely an achievable goal. And a necessary one.

So, one of the most extreme neoconservative ideologues in the country not only supports Lieberman's candidacy, but appears to have Lieberman as his first choice for Defense Secretary -- the holy grail for war-loving neoconservatives -- and even for Vice President (alongside the likes of Newt Gingrich, George Allen or Mitt Romney).

The love which right-wing extremists have for Joe Lieberman isn't based on the fact that he's a "centrist." If Lieberman were a "centrist," extremists would not care about him. They would not be vigorously urging his re-election, or praising his potential appointment as Bush Defense Secretary, or touting him as a Vice-Presidential running mate for George Allen. They do that because he is one of them -- a neoconservative extremist who is with them on virtually every major issue of the day.

The United States is on the brink of extreme disaster in the Middle East, both in Iraq (where we have no viable exit strategy despite the rapid collapse of that country) and elsewhere (where we are poised to repeat the same mistakes on a much greater scale). And all of that has been used to justify unprecedented abridgments of basic liberties at home. The policies which brought us to this point were championed -- and still are championed -- by the Joe Liebermans and Bill Kristols and their neoconservative comrades. Where one stands on those issues is, far and away, the most important determinant of one's political character, and any residual doubts about where Lieberman fits on the political spectrum are fully resolved by reading Bill Kristol's full-scale defense and embrace of his candidacy.

Based on the discussion in comments, and even Gingrich's comments, there is another notable aspect to this race which is accounting for so much of the intensity on both sides -- the complete failure to demonize Ned Lamont as some sort of radical, subversive, Vietnam-era pacifist.

A Lamont victory -- indeed, Lamont himself -- provides a very visceral illustration of just how mainstream anti-war (and anti-neoconservative) sentiments are, which is a significant factor as to why a Lieberman victory has become so important for neoconservatives.

Lieberman - and anyone associated with the neocons - must go. Now. The future of the world, not just our country, is at stake.

The beginning of a return to near-sanity must begin tomorrow in Connecticut.

One Ring To Rule Them

Juan Cole has some disturbing thoughts on the "Peak Oil Theory" of why we're promoting the Israel-Lebanon war.

It doesn't make any sense.

Moreover, the Lebanese government elected last year was pro-American! Why risk causing it to fall by hitting the whole country so hard?

I've had a message from a European reader that leads me to consider a Peak Oil Theory of the US-Israeli war on Lebanon (and by proxy on Iran). I say, "consider" the "theory" because this is a thought experiment. I put it on the table to see if it can be knocked down, the way you would preliminary hypotheses in a science experiment.

The presentation got kind of freaky then. He said the US government wanted to stop state-controlled Iranian or Chinese (or Indian) companies from controlling the oil. JFR says the US Government is convinced that this battle will decide the future of the world. It sounded like he was talking about 'the one ring' in lord of the rings. he who controls Iran controls them all.'

China and India could get Iran, and Iran could get Lebanon, and as non-OPEC energy production decreases, the US and Israel could find themselves out in the cold on the energy front.

It may be that that hawks are thinking this way: Destroy Lebanon, and destroy Hizbullah, and you reduce Iran's strategic depth. Destroy the Iranian nuclear program and you leave it helpless and vulnerable to having done to it what the Israelis did to Lebanon. You leave it vulnerable to regime change, and a dragooning of Iran back into the US sphere of influence, denying it to China and assuring its 500 tcf of natural gas to US corporations. You also politically reorient the entire Gulf, with both Saddam and Khamenei gone, toward the United States. Voila, you avoid peak oil problems in the US until a technological fix can be found, and you avoid a situation where China and India have special access to Iran and the Gulf.

The second American Century ensues. The "New Middle East" means the "American Middle East."

And it all starts with the destruction of Lebanon.

More wars to come, in this scenario, since hitting Lebanon was like hitting a politician's bodyguard. You don't kill a bodyguard just to kill the bodyguard. It is phase I of a bigger operation.

If the theory is even remotely correct, then global warming is not the only danger in continuing to rely so heavily on hydrocarbons for energy. Green energy--wind, sun, geothermal-- is all around us and does not require any wars to obtain it. Indeed, if we had spent as much on alternative energy research as we have already spent on the Iraq War, we'd be much closer to affordable solar. A choice lies ahead: hydrocarbons, a 20 foot rise in sea level, and a praetorian state. Or we could go green and maybe keep our republic and tame militarism.

"Taming militarism" is the key. As long as there is megabucksandpower in oil, it will be very, very difficult. The above is today's recommended read.


The Last Chance Democracy Cafe

Could Bush and the neoconservatives really be that cruel - destroying an entire country as nothing more than a chess move in the Great Game? Real men and women and, of course, real children too - lots of them - their lives spent as part of a Machiavellian scheme that is sure in the end to blow up in our faces anyway, just like everything else these would-be Churchills touch.

This would be so much crueler than even Iraq; the same pattern of lies, to be sure, but at least in Iraq they could claim to be trying to bring a better life to the Iraqis, even if that was never the actual goal. But how is Lebanon supposed to benefit from this? Where’s its supposed payoff for having its infrastructure (and citizens) blown to hell?

Could the neocons really be that cruel?

And if they are, when does bad policy at last become something more than bad policy? When does it become a crime? (my em)

It has already become a crime. The question is, when do they get held accountable for it? It better be soon.

A tip o' the Brain to Lurch for making me aware of this.

The Spy Who Shagged Us

Go see this video: The Story Of How The Neocons Were Duped By An Iranian Spy That Led Our Country Into The Iraq War And A Warning That The Same Fanatics Are Aiming For Additional Targets.

When you get done watching that, here's a link to Seeds of Doubt referred to at the end. A little lighter fare, like the pickle in a sandwich.

Also see Iran: The Next War by James Bamford at Rolling Stone.

The shift in official policy has thrilled former members of the cabal. To them, the war in Lebanon represents the final step in their plan to turn Iran into the next Iraq. Ledeen, writing in the National Review on July 13th, could hardly restrain himself. "Faster, please," he urged the White House, arguing that the war should now be taken over by the U.S. military and expanded across the entire region. "The only way we are going to win this war is to bring down those regimes in Tehran and Damascus, and they are not going to fall as a result of fighting between their terrorist proxies in Gaza and Lebanon on the one hand, and Israel on the other. Only the United States can accomplish it," he conclude

The neocons allowed themselves to be cornholed to get what they wanted. They passed it along and the United States is the one with the sore asshole. Watch out. They're fixin' to do it again. It'll be almost as easy this time if our heads are still in the sand.

November. Impeachment. Hangings. Many, many hangings. Send Bush and his neocons to Hell where they belong.

"The country's great debate is in their hands. "

Taylor Marsh on tomorrow's Connecticut senatorial primary:

It's really simple. The people of Connecticut, through the candidacy and voice of Ned Lamont, have found a way to stand up and push back. They're doing it with their voices, their blogs and on Tuesday they will be doing it with their votes. But they're not simply doing it for themselves. It's for all of us, every American who has had it with George W. Bush, the rubber stamping Republican incompetence, the Democrats who still can't say this war was wrong, and everyone in between who refuses to change course and do it now. Mind you, it's heartbreaking to think of withdrawal and the aftermath of this defeat. But the time has come for this great nation to admit her mistakes, make amends and begin repairing the incomprehensible losses this war of choice has cost. Unfortunately for Joe Lieberman, he is one of the mistakes we are attempting to make right, because he didn't have the courage to do it for himself.

Many of us have been behind the people of Connecticut and Ned Lamont, with blogs like DailyKos, MyDD and Firedoglake, as well as many local Connecticut blogs, leading the way, but we've all been behind this anti Iraq war whoop meant to get the job done because the politicians refused to correct the course themselves. We've tried to give the people of Connecticut whatever national megaphone we can to raise the entire country's collective voice about the Iraq war, so the voters and Ned Lamont would know they were not alone. That even though it was their state and their Senate seat we all had a stake in this shot. A shot to stop this war of choice in its tracks; a war that has plunged this country and the people of the Middle East into a political hurricane of uncertainty and carnage that has worldwide implications that could last for decades.

There are many issues, but life and death comes first. It's represented in the Iraq war. Connecticut is America this week. The country's great debate is in their hands.


This day in history

Geov Parrish at Working For Change

8/7/1960: Fidel Castro announces plans to nationalize all U.S. holdings in Cuba. U.S. takes the moral high ground, begins its non-stop campaign to assassinate him.

1964: After a reported U.S. confrontation with North Vietnamese forces that, it was later discovered, never occurred, Congress nearly unanimously passes the Gulf of Tonkin resolution, authorizing the President to use "all necessary steps" to "win" the war in Vietnam.

1990: President George H.W. Bush (and former CIA head) orders deployment of U.S. troops to Saudi Arabia and the Gulf region.

How to Hack a Diebold Voting Machine

Video at HuffPo. Easier than changing a vacuum cleaner belt or clearing a jammed shredder. And, oh yeah, if these machines can't print a paper copy, what are the 'printer power' pins for?

Oh I know precisely how to fix this problem,really fast.

Before you come back to comment,please read all the links in Amanda's post. There's alot to go through there,and there's some good stuff in the comments(I have a feeling this one is going to generate alot of discussion on feminist blogs,rightly so,so the comments may go nuts )

I'm no prude,but I do have boundries that are comfortable for me.That comfort zone has changed many times over the years.When I was young,I was alot wilder than I am now. I believe it's perfectly normal and ok to be sexual and have some fun with that,but be careful and be smart,it's a zoo out there,in more ways than one.

Girls Gone Wild is different,it's not fun,and I spotted it early in,just from the commercials. Maybe it's because I have a daughter close to the age of the young women who have made this douchebag wealthy(along with a little group of his pals) and my Mom Radar went off like a motherfucker seeing these commercials. Then I started hearing little stories about general assholery among the men present at these filmings and frankly it makes me fucking sick.

As Amanda points out,there are plenty of young women who enjoy being exhibitionists,and if that's their thing,I say go girl,but remember,it really is a zoo out there.Be smart,be safe,and have a blast.Just know that you cannot control every situation you'll run into,don't ever think you do,because that will get you hurt or dead eventually.

What I am about to say will initially seem to run counter to any notion of me being a feminist. And Women,especially Mothers of young women of the GGW age also need to be confronting this issue.However,because this particular enterprise has at it's very heart a deep hatred of women,any female resistance or confrontation to these fucking creepy scumbags won't be taken seriously and won't put the fear of god into the men responsible for this shit.We need men to step up with us. This needs to be shut down. (and note,I do not feel this way about porn in general,there's an element to GGW that differs from what someone like Larry Flynt does.Larry doesn't hate women.)

I just get the feeling that a few dozen really pissed off fathers,older brothers,uncles and boyfriends showing up at Spring Breaks,various resorts and bars on the beach,confronting these assholes and putting a barrier between them and their prey(and make no mistake,there's a HUGE preditory element to this,and it's open,blatant and cheered on.That's very scary to me as a female person)would put a stop to it.Stalk the bastards and have a group show up every place they show their faces.Kind of a Patriot Guard type thing.Run the fuckers out of town and let the kids party without this crap in their midst.

You know,it also does our young men no good at all to allow this kind of shit to go unchecked.Yes,I know these are young adults,and they're gonna screw like bunnies,and that's pretty much none of Mom and Dad's beeswax.Throw in alcohol(and other stuff that shows up at parties),large groups and all those dynamics and people will get hurt.It's pretty inevitable.Teaching guys that this is ok,and seeing guys get away with it and get rich off it is not really going to serve these young men well in the event that they actually do want to have healthy relationships with women at some point.Being an asshole shouldn't be a quality to earn admiration,or a free pass.GGW is abusive,and really,this is something tangible that could be confronted and stopped. Not just out of a protective instinct towards the young women involved,but the young men too. The business communuity should not be allowing these people into their venues either.If I owned a bar or resort,the second I saw these assholes show up they'd be gone.

Does this make me a meddling old biddy? I just know that if this phenomenon had been around when I was that age,all my male relatives and family friends wouldn't have put up with it(and the women I grew up around would have made damn sure the men knew about it if they didn't).There would have been a line of formidable men wielding ax handles to deal with these guys.Most of the men I grew up around would have been appalled that these guys were showing up where young people gather to party and preying on females and they wouldn't have been scared to confront it.

Besides,there's enough GGW footage to splice and re-splice together"collections"to create more weatlth than most people dare to see in a lifetime.If the now rich owners of this franchise went totally out of bidness tommorrow,no one's gonna suffer much.Where's the backlash?

Did ya miss me?

First of all,Bellsouth blows giant iguana weenies(little iguana weenies too).Our DSL connection went down Saturday,and just try to talk to a live human being at that company,jeebus.I spent many hours of my life I'll never get back waiting on hold(92 minutes the last time),or talking to a guy who I simply could not communicate with effectively(when I did talk to a live human,it was the same guy every time,what are the odds?).That part's probably my fault mostly,because I'm sitting here staring at this electrical box thingy in the garage trying to explain to him how all this crap is hooked up.Turns out the problem wasn't in our house,but at some main box/connection/cable down the street.

It's amazing what you can accomplish when you're not on the internets,lol. Yesterday me and the kiddo went through his room and cleared out a massive amount of old books,toys and clothes.Then we prepped the room to be painted.When he was little,I painted the room to look like he was sitting in the middle of the solar system,surrounded by planets and stars on a midnight blue backround.But(as he reminds me all the time)he's about to become a teenager(cue scary music now),so it's time for some updating.We're going with a skateboard dude/graffiti theme this time around.Or chinese dragons,he's still deciding.

Anyhoo,if I happen to disappear for a day or two again,blame Bellsouth.I really need to find another internet provider.


A reminder to our Connecticut Democratic friends and neighbors. Tomorrow is Primary Day. It's time to stop talking about how great Ned Lamont will be for Connecticut and the nation and step up to the voting booth. For all your CT primary news, go see the great bloggers at My Left Nutmeg.

Joe must go!

From the man himself:

I am running for the US Senate because we deserve a Senator who will stand up for Connecticut and stand up for our progressive democratic values. Rather than spending hundreds of millions of dollars a day in Iraq, it is time for America to refocus on issues back home: fixing our health care system, upgrading our schools, and rebuilding our aging infrastructure. We will start winning in Iraq as the Iraqis take control of their own destiny, just as America has to start investing again in our own future.

I would have led the opposition to Judge Samuel Alito's nomination to the Supreme Court, which may soon be considering the South Dakota law which outlaws a woman's right to choose even in the case of rape and incest. I will push for energy conservation and efficiency standards as the best means to energy independence and a cleaner environment.

In other words, I am running to be your Democratic Senator.

Sunday, August 6, 2006

'Insurgency' in CT

Think Progress. Warning: Neut alert! Video if you can stand watching him.

This morning on Fox News, Newt Gingrich claimed there is a "legitimate insurgency in Connecticut, which needs to be met head on," made up of people who say Iraq "is so hard, it is so frightening, it's so painful, can't we come home and hide?" Gingrich said that if the "insurgency" wins, "it will be the beginning of extraordinarily important period in American politics, and in American history."

No, Neutie boy, it's not because it's hard, or frightening, or painful, although it is certainly all of those. It's because it's imperialistic, illegal, an expensive waste of blood and treasure, wrong-headed, futile, and un-American.

Run home and hide? Not from the likes of you and your neocon wingnut coward friends, motherfucker. You gotta bring some to get some, so bring it on! All most of you people have to bring is your big fat mouth. Frankly, I don't much care whether I take you on in the voting booth with a #2 pencil or the parking lot of Wal-Mart with a fuckin' jack handle. I'm sick of you bastards. We'll see who runs and hides.

To this 'insurgent', the "important period in American politics and history" will be the one where we get rid of this criminal fascist imperialist insane administration and start the hard, frightening, and painful resuscitation and rehabilitation of democracy in our nation.

At the time I saw this, there were 246 comments. Here's the first one:

No longer "traitors" for asking legitimate questions, we are now describing Americans as insurgents? That seems to move beyond shrill name calling to a more serious accusation. Is this "insurgency" to be crushed by tanks as well...? A frightening prospect in a country that is led by a group whose only response to an enemy is brute, physical violence.

One more 'reason why' to add to Fixer's "States' Rights" post.

Stick it

Check out these bumper stickers 'n stuff. I like the 'Coexist' one. Enter code ALT for 5% off.

Assault on the Head

I was reading an interesting post about Soldier's videos from Iraq at MediaShift when I ran across this one. Don't miss it!

I changed the title of this post from 'Snuffy Films' cuz I figured folks might not know what a 'Snuffy' is and think I had linked to a video depicting murder.

Don't despair, Joe - Help is on the way!

According to this article at The Nation, Lieberman has the crooked politician/evil crazy bitch/neocon warmonger vote sewed up. It must be a great comfort to him. Heh.

He's also got Republicans calling for him to switch sides if he loses the primary. I think that would be a mere formality.

"States' Rights"

It's a term the Rethugs like to bandy about when they are advocating teaching creationism in the schools, or denying a woman's right to choose, or denying civil rights to a portion of the population. Seems they don't give a shit about states' rights when it's inconvenient for them.

CHARLESTON, S.C. -- The nation's governors are closing ranks in opposition to a proposal in Congress that would let the president take control of the National Guard in emergencies without consent of governors.


The measure would remove the currently required consent of governors for the federalization of the Guard, which is shared between the individual states and the federal government.


I don't have to explain why they want to do this, do I?

Huge tip o' the Brain to Peter of Lone Tree.

Mercenaries ... revisited

As regular readers know, I have zero respect for 'private' soldiers. I don't care whether they live or die. When you sell your allegiances to the highest bidder, you relinquish any honor you might have had to begin with. Matt, blogging at FDL, has a great post up about what really goes on over there. 'Private' security companies are nothing more than havens for psychopaths who enjoy killing.