Saturday, August 19, 2006

Bush Contemplates Rebirth of Dictatorship for Iraq

This may be a little tinfoil-hattish, but I'll believe almost anything about Bush and his evil little neocons these days.

The Progressive

There was a big clue planted at the bottom of the very long lead article in The New York Times of August 17.

The last three paragraphs of this story revealed that "senior administration officials...are considering alternatives other than democracy," according to a military expert who was just briefed at the White House.

Hmmm, "alternatives other than democracy."

My, what can those be?

Monarchy? Dictatorship?

The Bush Administration may be looking for an Iraqi Stroessner, or another, more reliable Saddam.

That may have been what Cheney and Rumsfeld had in mind all along. From the very beginning, they wanted to install in power Ahmad Chalabi and his groups of exiles roosting in the Iraqi National Congress, writes George Packer in his book The Assassin's Gate. When the situation in Iraq began to deteriorate, Cheney blamed those in the Administration who refused to go along with this plan.

"In the fall of 2003, Dick Cheney approached his colleague Colin Powell, stuck a finger in his chest, and said, 'If you hadn't opposed the INC and Chalabi, we wouldn't be in this mess,' " Packer reports.

Maybe Chalabi is waiting in the wings still - or some other Saddam wannabe.

Bush appears to be taking applications.

Gee, Georgie, you could have just left Saddam alone and saved us a Hell of a lot of trouble, death, destruction, and expense, let alone possibly irreparable damage to the United States' image, reputation, and moral standing in the world. Maybe even put real effort into fighting terrorists around the world instead of into imperialist neocon pipe-dreams. You evil, dumb, scaredy-cat, punk little motherfucker.

I wonder if he'll do an Emily Litella impression: "Never mind!"

November. Subpœna power. Impeachment. Fuck jail. Get a rope.

House Repuglicans Support Pentagon Stealing From Vets' Widows


A 1972 law created the Survivor Benefits Plan, a Department of Defense retirement income fund similar to a life insurance policy. The plan, in turn, pays benefits calculated according to a dead service member's rank and length of service.

In addition, widows of veterans who died of service-related causes receive monthly cash stipends from the Department of Veterans Affairs. Known as the Dependency and Indemnity Compensation stipend, it is currently $1,033 plus $257 for each child.

But under the law, which placed restrictions on the plan that it created, the payment to widows enrolled in the Survivor Benefits Plan is reduced, dollar for dollar, by the amount of the Dependency and Indemnity Compensation stipend.

For example, a widow who would be entitled to $1,000 from the Survivor Benefits Plan and the $1,033 Dependency and Indemnity stipend receives $1,033, not $2,033.

But widows and their supporters say that the Pentagon's opposition to a change in the law really stems from its cost, especially at a time of rising expenses for the war in Iraq.

Juan del Castillo, a retired Coast Guard commander who has been paying into the plan since 1972, accused the Pentagon of "stealing money from widows."

"They are financing their operation from money stolen from military widows," Mr. Castillo said. "They have been doing that since 1972."

This is very similar to the law that deducts disability payments from retired military personnel's pensions. Despicable cheap shit.

In other, unrelated news: tax cuts for the rich continue apace, as do subsidies for the poor little oil and pharmaceutical companies as well as the rising cost of a failed criminal occupation in Iraq. Screw widows and orphans.

On JonBenet

Aside from every news channel wasting all their time* on a ten year old murder case, listen to me. I don't give a damn who you are, you'd gladly confess to any crime in the U.S. (even if it came with a life sentence), than spend an hour in a Thai prison. Got it? Now can we get back to real news.

[*Link added after the fact.]


Pic stolen from Station Charon.
Clicken Sie das bild fur gross machen.


And speaking of the visual arts, Bob Geiger has the Saturday Cartoons up.

Daily Dave

I have to stop off at Mejias Headquarters on Monday afternoon after work to pick up some campaign materials. While I was there, I figured I'd drop off a list of questions for the candidate to answer about his position on subjects concerning the state of the nation, his plans once he gets to Washington, and on subjects of specific interest to NY-03. I'll also try to set up a live chat here as Election Day gets closer. If any of you have questions, feel free to leave them in comments or email them to me.


Help out via Dave for America

Donate via ActBlue

Do you live in NY-03?

Shut up

Please, you gullible Jesus freaks, stop seeing the Virgin Mary in every inanimate object you find. Listen, during the late Sixties and Seventies, I did more acid, mescaline, and other drugs than I can remember, and I never saw the shit you people do. And just an aside, the last sign you people found looked more like Mary's private parts than the Virgin Mother herself.

Let me 'splain something. Every coincidence is not a sign from God or some shit. You wonder how this country got so fucked up? These are the same people who swallowed the Rethug bullshit hook, line, and sinker. I tell ya what. You guys can have a nut looking for your signs and omens but stay out of government.


Lurch has more Christian fun. Jesus weeps.

Katrina Plus One Year

The Rude Pundit just got back from NOLA. Scroll 'n read 'n look at photos.

Someone give George Bush a God damn fucking civics lesson

By John in D.C. at Americablog, in toto 'cause I like it.

[I've had it with this idiot.

We've got the president of the fucking United States of America lecturing a US court of law that it's supposed to reach decisions NOT based on the rule of law, but on "the nature of the world we live in."

You God damn stupid fuck.

You have the nerve to claim Osama and the terrorists hate our democracy? They got nothing on you and your fellow "Republicans." Do you people even believe in freedom? Do you believe in the Bill of Rights? Do you believe in our Constitution? Do you fucking believe in anything other than your absolute power to do whatever the fuck you want like some two-bit communist dictator rather than the president of the greatest country on earth?

We live in a democracy, you incompetent ass - one that is quickly eroding because half the people of this country elected a moron to the presidency (twice) and now are so embarrassed by their vote that they refuse to stand up and demand an end to your idiotic reign of terror.

These are judges you're demeaning. American jurists. The people in charge of our laws. And you speak of them like they're nothing more than crap. You and your party have contempt for our entire system of jurisprudence, the entire system of checks and balances our democracy is based on, because you can't get your way 100% of the time. Well boo-fucking-hoo. We are a country of laws, you stupid stupid man.

The world in which we live is one in which the town drunk thinks he's the king of the fucking world.

Osama bin Laden is a danger to be sure. But the greatest threat to our democracy is from George Bush and his genuflecting Republicans.]

Couldn'ta said it better myself, at least not so politely.

Ultimate electoral power really does belong to us

Geov Parrish on the real lesson of the Connecticut voter uprising that led to Ned lamont's victory:

That is why Lamont's victory, more than most underfunded Congressional challenges, scares the hell out of the permaclass running our nation's capitol. That small, incestuous circle jerk of legislators, lobbyists, think tanks, and corporate donors knows it can only be taken down in one way: by the will of the voters. And while come November incumbents of both parties will continue to have every advantage, we now know, each of us, in every state and Congressional district, that our local D.C.-business-as-usual hack can be beaten. If it doesn't happen this November (and, generally, it won't), there's plenty of time for 2008.

That's why all the hysteria, and hot air, from Beltway people who know better. It's not that they don't recognize that voters, properly motivated, can bring down this whole corrupt charade of corporate democracy; it's that they don't want you to recognize it. Because if you, which is to say we, understand that the ultimate electoral power really does belong to us, we're capable of ending a lot more than just the war in Iraq.

Let's do as much as we can this November and finish the job in '08.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Quote of the Day

Dr. Attaturk (Podiatrist to the Stars):

Does anyone doubt that after going literally 2 years without these sort of "high alert" warnings, suddenly ten weeks before the election they start off again.

Anybody want to predict when between mid-October and November 7, Osama will be suddenly showing up with his latest finger waving diatribe?

Abstinance works ...

Yeah right. Can we all agree, now, that abstinence-only sex ed DOES NOT WORK? Pam:

Sex Ed Changes At School With 65 Pregnant Teens. The failure of abstinence-only programs rears its ugly head again for an Ohio school board. "Education" like this can't be spun as a success when 13% of one high school's female students were knocked up last year.


Daily Dave

About Peter King's record on organized labor*:

Peter King's lifetime rating from the AFL-CIO stand at 35% - meaning that he votes against working families 65% of the time. In 2005, his rating plunged to a mere 20%, voting against the interests of working people 80% of the time. King's anti-labor stances include voting repeatedly against raising the minimum wage and supporting the Bush plan to privatize Social Security. He even supported the Labor Department giving a sweetheart deal to Wal-Mart, where Wal-Mart would receive an unprecedented 15 days notice before the Department would conduct any on-site investigations.

I know what it's like to work hard and pay taxes. I know what unions have done for the working people in this country, but guys like Peter King don't give a shit. He'll vote for giving tax breaks to Exxon/Mobil and Paris Hilton, but heaven forbid he helps out the folks who really need it.

It's time to get the Bush cronies out of Congress. King (R-Bigot**) is the last one on Long Island. Dave Mejias will represent Nassau County in the House and put an end to the rubber stamp Congress the Chimp has enjoyed.

I say it every day:

If you live on Long Island, volunteer.

If not, donate at ActBlue.

Vote Dem in November across the board.

*From the Aug. 16 Mejias campaign press release.
**Link thanks to PKW.
View map of NY-03 by clicking here.

Don't piss me off ...

To the wingnut troll [no link to his blog but you can find it through AOB's. I did.] who's decided to set up shop in the comments section of AOB's blog. You mess with AOB, you're gonna piss Gord and me off ... well you already have. Don't pick fights you have no chance of winning.

"Don't ask me to be consistent"


Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR) is vice-chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee - the committee whose official mission is "to elect more Democrats to the United States Senate." Yet, Pryor says he's supporting GOP-endorsed candidate Joe Lieberman (CT) against Democratic nominee Ned Lamont. He's supporting Lieberman at the very same time he acknowledges that Lieberman's continued parroting of RNC talking points is unacceptable. Pryor's public rationale? "Don't ask me to be consistent," he told a group in Arkansas. Right, I forgot - no one should ask Democratic U.S. Senators to be consistent...what were we thinking?

...and some people still wonder why the Democratic Party remains susceptible to GOP charges of flip-flopping and/or standing for nothing.

With this kind of "friend", who needs enemies? Get that sonofabitch outta there. Put someone in his place who will support Democrats, for fuck's sake. Supporting the official Repuglican candidate is absolutely unacceptable.

All the vicious dummies ain't in the administration...

Sometimes I run across stuff that is so bizarre that I feel compelled to share.


Westminster woman sues J.C. Penney after she and the dummy clash over a blouse.

"Attack of the Mannequins" might sound like a horror film title, but, for some shoppers, it could also be a documentary.

Diana Newton, 51, of Westminster sued the J.C. Penney Co. last month after she was allegedly thwacked on the head by a department store dummy.

"There are a slew of lawsuits like this," said mannequin manufacturer Barry Rosenberg, who joked that stores should run background checks on dummies before letting them mingle with shoppers.

Most of the cases involved mannequins toppling over onto customers, but an Indiana woman claimed she caught herpes from the lips of a CPR training dummy. She dropped her lawsuit against the American Red Cross in 2000 after further tests revealed that she didn't have the disease, according to news reports.

There's more. Go read.

Rule of Law: "No King George."

Here's a trifecta, or menage a trois if you prefer, you rascals, on the ruling on the criminal Bush's NSA surveillance.

The Nation

In ruling on Thursday that the Bush administration's warrantless surveillance program is unconstitutional and must be halted, U.S. district Judge Anna Diggs Taylor slammed the White House on several critical fronts.

Indeed. Go read.

She cites not only Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, but Clinton v. Jones, as well as several references to "that goddam piece of paper". And then:

She noted:

The Government appears to argue here that, pursuant to the penumbra of Constitutional language in Article II, and particularly because the President is designated Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy, he has been granted the inherent power to violate not only the laws of the Congress but the First and Fourth Amendments of the Constitution, itself.

We must first note that the Office of the Chief Executive has itself been created, with its powers, by the Constitution. There are no hereditary Kings in America and no powers not created by the Constitution. So all "inherent powers" must derive from that Constitution.

Once again, a court has told Bush that he is not all-powerful. He cannot create military tribunals on his own. He cannot detain American citizens as enemy combatants without affording them some elements of due process. Taylor's decision will probably be appealed by the Bush administration, and the case will wind its way toward the Supreme Court. But this decision reaffirms--and puts into practice--the bedrock principle that a president's power does not trump the workings of a republican government, even when it comes to war. Weeks before he took office in 2001, Bush quipped, "If this were a dictatorship, it'd be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I'm the dictator." Democracy, though, is not easy. And a commander in chief has to abide by the rules, as various courts have now ruled. The administration's King George approach to governance has taken another blow. But it's royally unlikely this president is going to accept the decision and give up his claim to the throne.

From the NYTimes:

The ruling eviscerated the absurd notion on which the administration's arguments have been based: that Congress authorized Mr. Bush to do whatever he thinks is necessary when it authorized the invasion of Afghanistan.

No sooner had this ruling been issued than Mr. Bush's loyalists in Congress, who have been searching for ways to give legal cover to an illegal spying program, began calling for new laws to overcome Judge Taylor's objections. Republicans quickly pointed out that Judge Taylor was appointed by President Jimmy Carter and that some of the many precedents she cited were written by liberal judges. These efforts to undermine Judge Taylor's arguments will undoubtedly continue while the White House appeals the decision, and the outcome in the conservative Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals is uncertain.

But for now, with a careful, thoroughly grounded opinion, one judge in Michigan has done what 535 members of Congress have so abysmally failed to do. She has reasserted the rule of law over a lawless administration and shown why issues of this kind belong within the constitutional process created more than two centuries ago to handle them.

Thirdly, here's the 44-page actual Court Decision. There may be a name or two in the list of plaintiffs that will surprise you.

I have, er, spoken, yeah, that's the word, many times to judges over the years, but I've never said this before: Ya done good, Judge Taylor. Thank you.

I will also thank in advance the judge who upholds this decision on appeal and hope I don't have to take it back. Whoever you are, do the right thing.

Bush may have as many as thirty counts against him of violating Federal laws. We only need a conviction on one.

Rubble Rousers

A little more from the Daily Show on Israel and Lebanon. Apparently, Hezbollah's reconstruction efforts are merely the prelude to bigger and better things. Is not to miss! From One Good Move.

Happy 6-0, Big Dog

Raw Story

Bill Clinton turns 60 on Saturday, but the celebration will only reach its climax with the Stones' performance on October 29 in Manhattan's Beacon Theatre - three days after Senator Hillary Clinton's 59th birthday.

Heh. I'm sure she's thrilled that got in there!

In many ways, it's typical of how the US baby boom generation is entering retirement - rockin', rollin', and still on the move without a thought of sitting in a rockin' chair. US President George W Bush turned 60 in July with less fanfare.

That's because he's an asshole.

But for Clinton, turning 60 is harder than it looks.

"I hate it, but it's true," Clinton said at the world AIDS conference in Toronto earlier this week. "For most of my workinglife, I was the youngest person doing what I was doing. Then one day I woke up and I was the oldest person in every room."

He's not alone. Welcome to the club, Bill. Happy Birthday.

Bush went to bed 59 and woke up 60. I bet Clinton'll go to bed 60. He's a much better example for us, in every way.

Typo Truth

Hepkitty's Litter Box caught this great typo, or perhaps not a typo. Read the fifth paragraph. The WH press secretary's name is sorta misspelled. Ha!

Party? What party?

It's time to write some letters asking a few Dem senators why they've turned their backs on their party and voters by continuing to support Holy Joe Lieberman. He's proven he's no Democrat. Remind them they can go the way of Lieberman in their next primary if they don't get on board. The days of Dems voting 'Republican-Lite' are over. If you want to vote for Repukes and DINOs, join the GOP. Contact info at the link.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Daily Dave

For today's Daily Dave, we send you to Peter King Watch. NY-03 used to be listed 'solid Republican'.


A formerly "safe" republican seat in an increasingly Democratic Long Island, is starting to tilt towards the Democrats.
King hasn't really campaigned for the past few election cycles, and it looks like that will have to change now. Mejias is making a real impact in a race that was long-thought to be a losing one for any Democrat.


Long Islanders of Nassau County, help Dave Mejias defeat Peter King in November. NY-03 can be ours. If you're not from the area, donate. It's in your best interest to toss Peter King.

See what you can do to help at Dave for America.

Donate at Dave's ActBlue page.

And just a note: If you're not registered to vote, get out and do it now.

Enron Wants Joe Too...

Molly Ivins on Lamont over Lieberman.

Wow. How little we realized that the fate of a single senator - especially such a whiny and sanctimonious one - meant everything to Osama bin. Must've pulled off his turban and danced around his cave when he got the news. The whole Al Qaeda bunch stayed up just to hear the late returns from Darien, Conn.

Meanwhile, back in Washington, The Hill newspaper reports that an Enron lobbyist (former aide to Joe Lieberman and money-raiser for him and convicted Republican Connecticut Gov. John Rowland, whom he describes as being "like-minded guys") is demanding that Democratic senators not campaign against Lieberman. When asking other professional influence-peddlers to contribute, he tells them to come back for Lieberman, saying, "Who knows what Lamont would be like?"

For example, Lamont might use his power to make sure the Enron investigation gets serious - a task that Lieberman, ranking Democrat on the Government Affairs Committee, has avoided. No surprise that the lobbyists and insiders want to keep their guy.

I'm sure the Enron investigation, if allowed to proceed, would end up going through the filing cabinets in both Cheney's and the Oval Offices.

November. Subpœna power. Impeachment. Jail.

Smart Dirty Money On Dems In November


Washington lobbying firms, trade associations and corporate offices are moving to hire more well-connected Democrats in response to rising prospects that the opposition party will wrest control of at least one chamber of Congress from Republicans in the November elections.

The prospect of partisan change in Congress has also altered the way lawmakers and their aides are thinking about jobs on K Street. Some Democrats who had been looking for work "downtown" have postponed their switch, thinking that they might want to experience being in the majority for a change, according to Eric Vautour, who leads the Washington office of Russell Reynolds Associates Inc., an executive search firm.

In addition, Vautour said, a sizable pool of Republicans -- including two lawmakers seeking reelection whom he declined to identify -- "are willing to talk about becoming a lobbyist or an association head" even before Election Day.

I think this news from the money men who dictate legislation makes a Dem victory official.

National Republican Party Officially Endorses Lieberman for Senate


Joe Lieberman is no longer the De Facto Republican nominee - he is officially the Republican Party-endorsed candidate for Senate in Connecticut. The GOP's motivation is obvious - they not only are rewarding Lieberman for regurgitating GOP talking points that attack Democrats as terrorist sympathizers, but should he win, they are making a move to get him to support a Republican for Senate leader. In the event that the Senate is very closely split after the 2006 election, a Lieberman vote for the GOP leader could keep control of the Senate in GOP hands.

From The Politicker:

This morning, a source at the National Republican Senatorial Committee confirmed in a phone interview that the party will not help Schlesinger or any other potential Republican candidate in Connecticut, and it now favors a Lieberman victory in November.

"We did a poll and there is no way any Republican we put out there can win, so we are just going to leave that one alone," said the NRSC source.

Instead, the NRSC is pulling for Lieberman over Ned Lamont, who rode an anti-war message to a victory in the Aug 8 primary.

"Most Republicans would agree that he'd clearly be a better choice than Lamont," said the source.

Fake Democrat Lieberman is acknowledged at last to have crawled up the elephant's ass - and Dumbo likes it! Lieberman is now officially a favored Repuglican butt-plug!

Damn, it's hard to type when I'm rolling around on the floor laughing! My side hurts.

Court strikes down warrantless wiretaps

Raw Story

U.S. District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor today ruled that the National Security Agency's warrantless wiretap program is unconstitutional, RAW STORY has learned.

The court has ruled that the program violates the rights to privacy, as well as free speech, and has ordered an immediate halt.


I think there might soon be some dervish-like spinning about Al Qaeda-supporting activist Federal judges. Stay tuned.

News Flash

Al-Qaeda has won the 'War on Terror'. Our pal Jo Fish sums it up nicely:

... Bin Laden and his bestest friend and protector, Mullah Omar have to be sitting back laughing their asses off over exploding hair gel and the utter paranoia they've induced in the West...

I mean, that's the goal of terror, isn't it? To turn a population into cowering chickenshits? Well, Osama can say 'mission accomplished'. Bush, Cheney, and the neocon cabal should be tried as accomplices and accessories.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Heh ...

Wanna hear Gord's sphincter tighten? Click here.

Daily Dave

In our Daily Dave post today, an unexpected pleasure. I got an email from Dave Mejias' Press Secretary, Gabby Adler, this afternoon.

The first is to introduce myself as Dave Mejias's Press Secretary; I officially came on staff yesterday and wanted to make sure you have my contact information. I greatly appreciate your offer to help the campaign and to inform your readers about Dave and his candidacy. I will add you to my contact list and I will send you press releases and other announcements. Please feel free to contact me at any time.

Her second reason for contacting me is to give some detail on the AFL-CIO endorsement at their convention Monday. Something I didn't know:

This is the first time the AFL-CIO has ever endorsed [Rep. Peter]King's (R-Bush Crony) opposition.*

About time they got the fact the Repukes ain't no friends of organized labor. We're pleased at the Brain to help Dave Mejias' campaign any way we can. How about you?

Volunteer and donate @ Dave for America.

Contribute via ActBlue.

Let's make Long Island completely blue.

*Press Release posted Below the Fold.

Camoose in Crawford

MoDo via Free Democracy:

Strangely enough, we find two famous men reading Albert Camus's "The Stranger" this summer.

One is Jean Girard, the villainous gay French race car driver hilariously played by Sacha Baron Cohen (a k a Ali G and Borat) - the sinuous rival to Will Ferrell's stocky Ricky Bobby in "Talladega Nights."

Girard, a jazz-loving, white-silk-scarf-wearing, America-disdaining Formula Un driver sponsored by Perrier, is so smooth he can sip macchiato from a china cup, smoke Gitanes and read "L'Etranger" behind the wheel and still lead the Nascar pack.

Frenchie contemptuously informs "cowboy" Bobby that America merely gave the world George Bush, Cheerios and the ThighMaster while France invented democracy, existentialism and the ménage à trois.

Mr. Bush's life has been premised on his confidence that he will always be insulated from the consequences and the cruelties of existence, unlike Meursault. W. or his people always work to change fate, whether it's an election or the Middle East.

"The Stranger" is about the emotionally detached Meursault, who makes a lot of bad decisions and pre-emptively kills an Arab in the sand. Get it? Camus's protagonist moves through an opaque, obscure and violent world that is indifferent to his beliefs and desires. Get it?

If there was ever a moment when this president could regard the unanticipated consequences of his actions, behold the world littered with the very opposite of what he intended for it and appreciate the gritty stoicism of the philosophy of absurdism, this is it. Iraq in civil war. Al Qaeda metastasizing and plotting. Hezbollah, Iran and Syria knitting closer, celebrating a "victory" in standing up to Israel, the U.S. and Britain, and mocking W.'s plan for a "new Middle East." The North Koreans luxuriating in their nuclear capability. Chávez becoming the new Castro on a global scale.

Maybe next the president should pick up Camus's other classic, "The Myth of Sisyphus." Was there ever a national enterprise more Sisyphean than the war in Iraq?

If there was ever a confirmation of Camus's sense of the absurdity of life, it's that the president is reading him.

Kinda beatnik shit for this dumbass ol' country fuck, but I think I "get it".

Consumer Prices Up, Factory Output Slows


WASHINGTON - Consumer inflation accelerated in July, reflecting a big jump in gasoline and other energy prices. In evidence that the economy is slowing, industrial output in July slipped to just half the June pace.

The Labor Department reported Wednesday that its closely watched Consumer Price Index rose by 0.4 percent last month, double the 0.2 percent increase in June. While energy costs had fallen in June, they rose by 2.9 percent last month, the biggest increase in three months.

Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve reported that output at the nation's factories, mines and utilities increased by 0.4 percent last month, just half of the 0.8 percent gain in June.

Core inflation, which excludes food and energy, slowed in July, rising by just 0.2 percent after four straight months of 0.3 percent gains. This slowdown, which was helped by a 1.2 percent drop in clothing prices, was likely to encourage officials at the Federal Reserve, who are counting on a slowing economy to reduce inflation pressures.

Gee, I'm glad to see that the bag of T-shirts I bought last month helped things out.

The rise in industrial production was the slowest since no gain at all in May. Output at manufacturing industries edged up a tiny 0.1 percent, but this weakness was offset by stronger gains in other sectors of the economy.

Output at the nation's utilities shot up by 2 percent in July, reflecting higher production at electric utilities in response to warmer-than-normal temperatures. Output at the nation's mines, a category that also includes oil and gas production, rose 0.8 percent in July, reflecting increased demand for domestic energy supplies.

Gains for the oil companies? Go figure. Global warming been bery, bery good to dem. Thanks, Chimp, and to the big Dick on your shoulder as well. Thanks for everything. You bastards.

"Gibson's in rehab and Youkilis is at first base!"

Go see this video of Dennis Leary as guest announcer at a Red Sox game. This may be the funniest thing you see all day! Larger image at Deadspin and Bad Idea Blue Jeans.

So, Osama walks into a bar...

Greg Palast

So, Osama Walks into This Bar, See? and Bush says, "Whad'l'ya have, pardner?" and Osama says...

But wait a minute. I'd better shut my mouth. The sign here in the airport says, "Security is no joking matter." But if security's no joking matter, why does this guy dressed in a high-school marching band outfit tell me to dump my Frappuccino and take off my shoes? All I can say is, Thank the Lord the "shoe bomber" didn't carry Semtex in his underpants.

I'm going to tell you something which is straight-up heresy: America is not under attack by terrorists. There is no WAR on terror because, except for one day five years ago, al Qaeda has pretty much left us alone.

That's because Osama got what he wanted. There's no mystery about what Al Qaeda was after. Like everyone from the Girl Scouts to Bono, Osama put his wish on his web site. He had a single demand: "Crusaders out of the land of the two Holy Places." To translate: get US troops out of Saudi Arabia.

And George Bush gave it to him. On April 29, 2003, two days before landing on the aircraft carrier Lincoln, our self-described "War President" quietly put out a notice that he was withdrawing our troops from Saudi soil. In other words, our cowering cowboy gave in whimpering to Osama's demand.

The press took no note. They were all wiggie over Bush's waddling around the carrier deck in a disco-aged jump suit announcing, "MISSION ACCOMPLISHED." But it wasn't America's mission that was accomplished, it was Osama's.

War on Terror is class war by other means -- to keep you from asking for real protection from true menace, the landlords of our nation give you fake protection from manufactured dangers. And they remind you to be afraid every time you fly to see Aunt Millie and have to give up your hemorrhoid ointment to the underpaid guy in the bell-hop suit with a security badge.

Oh, hey, you never got the punch line.

So, Osama Walks into This Bar, See? and Bush says, "Whad'l'ya have, pardner?" and Osama says, "Well, George, what are you serving today?" and Bush says, "Fear," and Osama shouts, "Fear for everybody!" and George pours it on for the crowd. Then the presidential bartender says, "Hey, who's buying?" and Osama points a thumb at the crowd sucking down their brew. "They are," he says. And the two of them share a quiet laugh.

I have no comment.

How they win ...

Of course, the Rethugs can't win on the issues, not after 6 years of incompetence and corruption. This is how they hedge their bets*:

After votes were suppressed in Florida and Ohio during the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections, Salon warns that four additional states could see voters prevented from casting ballots, with the greatest impact felt by Democratic candidates.


And when all else fails, leave us not forget about the ace in the hole.

*Tip o' the Brain to Blondie.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


Big time.

Thanks to Avedon Carol.

Keepin us safer

Gord posted on this the other day. Seems they've been diverting more funds than originally thought:


Cathleen A. Berrick, director of the Government Accountability Office's homeland security and justice division, told a Senate committee in February 2005 that the Transportation Security Administration, part of the federal Department of Homeland Security, redirected more than half of the $110 million it had for research and development in 2003 to pay for the personnel costs of screeners, delaying research in areas including detecting liquid explosives. It has continued to redirect some research and development money, she said today. [my em]


Where it's due.

Is accountability the new black? Probably not, but it's nice to see it in action.

Goin' to the ...

Impurity Ball* ... creepy wingnuts.

*Apologies to Uriah Heep, Three Dog Night, et. al.

Dell to Issue Battery Recall


Dell Inc., the world's largest computer maker, acknowledged Monday that it would recall 4.1 million notebook computer batteries because they can overheat and sometimes catch fire. It would be the largest recall in the history of the consumer electronics industry.

Dell's action will affect batteries in its notebooks sold between April 2004 and July 18, 2006. That includes 2.7 million battery packs sold in the U.S. and 1.4 million abroad.

The following notebook computers shipped between April 2004 and last month: Dell Latitude D410, D500, D505, D510, D520, D600, D610, D620, D800, D810.

Dell Inspiron 500m, 510m, 600m, 700m, 710m, 6000, 6400, 8500, 8600, 9100, 9200, 9300, 9400, E1505, E1705.

Dell Precision M20, M60, M70, M90.

XPS, XPS Gen2, XPS M170 and XPS M1710.

The batteries also were sold separately for $60 to $180, including to customers on service calls. Dell said the notebooks could be safely used on an AC adapter if the battery is removed first.

I have one of the affected units, lucky me. I knew about the recall, but not the details, a coupla days ago, but I chanced across Dell's recall website this morning, and ordered a replacement. It only took a coupla minutes. Here it is:

If you think you've got one, go to the site and check. Do it now. There's enough of these things out there that they might run short of replacement batteries about ten minutes after less eagle-eyed folks than me, if there are any, find out about this.

Liberal Jihad

This Modern World.

Defeatism and attacks on the Commander-in-Chief during a time of war

Read the quotes, then go see Glenn Greenwald. You ain't gonna believe who's sayin' that shit! Heehee!

So, it turns out the lofty anti-terrorism rhetoric of Bush was little more than what some speech writer wrote to be read from a screen. . . . The man has looked over his head for much of his second term. Now, it's becoming more clear just how far. This will embolden the opposition in Iraq and could lead ultimately to the destruction of Israel.

Our war President has turned out to be a disgrace. At this point in world history, the Islamofascists look like they deserve to win. In fact, they might.

Over at NRO's corner, John Podhoretz contends that this would mean the end of the Olmert government. I'm tempted to suggest that our government, having seemingly lost its will to oppose (or even to let others oppose) our deadliest enemies, deserves the same fate.

What happened was one of the biggest failures of leadership in Presidential history. Bush supporters will claim that Bush was done in by a liberal media and the ferocious hatred of liberals and leftwingers, but that is one of the things true leadership is all about: Managing and overcoming opposition in order to achieve the necessary goals - in this case, the destruction of world Islamist terrorism and the regimes that support it.

Bush turned out to be singularly ill-equipped for this task, both by skill and by temperament. His public relations management was curiously hesitant and badly timed, and, of course, his inabilty to speak effectively in public was a gigantic handicap. His temperament, it eventually became clear, was hesitant, overly calculating, timid, and "compassionate."

Compassion has its place, but not in warfighting. The Bush we know would not have pulled the trigger on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. He abdicated the hard decisions in favor of political maneuvering and meaningless gestures.

These are the assholes that actually liked Bush! They are certainly quick to turn on him when he proves (to them) that he's a weak little chickenshit. The rest of us have known that for years. It's fun to see 'em sayin' it in print!

Hey, you neocon pussies - Think you can do better a better job? Well, go draw a pack and rifle and get the fuck to it! We'll neither miss you nor mourn you.

No stomach for that? I didn't think so. Wanta really get back at Bush for lettin' you down?

Vote Democratic in November, bitches. It'll be all the rage.


I forgot to say that these batshit crazy morons have come to the correct conclusions for all the wrong reasons, but that's better than if they didn't at all. The Chimp fell for their bullshit because that's what got him installed in office. They should have known that he's never succeeded at anything in life and never will, even with his name, his money, and lotsa help. The only thing he's inadvertently accomplished, if it can be called that, is the beginning and middle of the ruination of the United States. Bush is basically a fuckin' loser and he's taking us all down with him, damn his eyes. The neocons and Bush will get what's coming to them both if there's any justice in the world at all. It won't be very pleasant for them, but I'll dig the shit out of it.

Reasons why both Israel and Hezbollah have declared victory.

Go see this video at The Young Turks. Makes as much sense as any of that Middle East shit, and more than what our Bungler-in-Chief is saying.

"We are da Webanese, da mighty, mighty Webanese!"*

This is just so you know who's available to stand between the IDF and Hezbollah 'til the Blue Helmets or, hopefully, La Legion Etrangere get there, should they be crazy enough to try and maybe why they haven't. It'd be like your local Neighborhood Watch tryin' to stop a gang fight between the Hell's Angels and the Bandidos. Raw Story:

UN Security Council Resolution 1701 passed over the weekend calls for the Lebanese army to contribute to security in the south of the country. But this army is considered weak, and sceptics doubt the loyality of the force in the eventuality of conflict with Hezbollah.

The London-based Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) puts the total strength at 72,000, while other experts estimate only 40,000 soldiers. Lebanon spent the equivalent of 530 million dollars on its military in 2005.

That's $7360 - $13,250 per man. Pay (ha!), food, bullets, the light bill, etc. Not very much left over for emergencies, doesn't sound like. Gas and spare tires'd knock the defense budget into a cocked hat.

The army has 310 obsolete tanks of Russian and US make.

I suspect a possible parts interchangeability problem. Inventory, too.

There is scarcely any anti-aircraft capability, and there are only 540 artillery pieces.

I'll betcha if they looked around a little, they could augment their arsenal with a buncha Katyushas...nah, those are probably guarded by a coupla Hezbollah M.P.s who wouldn't let 'em have them.

The airforce is small, with total personnel amounting to just 1,000. It has six Hawker fighter-bombers and a couple of dozen helicopters.

Ohmigod, that's not even enough helos for one for each General! They don't stand a chance! On the bright side, however, Fixer'd be a whole squadron all by hisself!

Resolution 1559 of 2004 called for Lebanon to bring its entire territory, including the south, under the control of the central government and for the militias to be disarmed.

The government and the army failed to meet the demand, leaving the southern border region to Hezbollah.

Those resolutions are just silly. I hope it made the UN feel better.

There are also doubts regarding the army's composition. Western observers believe that half the soldiers are Shiites, the same community from which Hezbollah's fighters are drawn.

Arab experts also do not believe that the Lebanese forces would act against the highly rated Hezbollah forces, which the Israelis themselves have not defeated, in an emergency.

"Arab experts", huh? Hey, it ain't rocket science. Seems to me that possibly a good percentage of Lebanese forces are Hezbollah forces. I think it might be an eye-opener to see how many Lebanese soldiers failed to show up for work during the recent(and future) conflict.

The Lebanese Army is outnumbered, outgunned, and probably not too motivated. They don't want to confront Hezbollah, and a buncha Hadassah ladies could kick their ass.

I think Lebanon's screwed.

*When the U.S. Marines were in the 'Root in the early '80s, that's the jibe they'd sing as the Lebanese Army would go past their positions. Not very respectful, but tough young guys aren't when they don't feel any respect is called for.

Daily Dave

The NY State AFL-CIO endorsements came out at their convention yesterday:

U.S. Congress

1. Tim Bishop (D); 2. Steve J. Israel (D,I,WF); 3. Dave Mejias (D/WF); 4. Carolyn McCarthy (D); 5. Gary L. Ackerman (D); 6. No Endorsement; 7. Joseph Crowley (D); 8. Jerrold Nadler (D); 9. Anthony Weiner (D); 10. No Endorsement 11. Carl Andrews (D); 12. Nydia M. Velazquez (D); 13. Stephen Harrison (D); 14. Carolyn B. Maloney (D); 15. Charles B. Rangel (D); 16. Jose E. Serrano (D); 17. Eliot L. Engel (D, L, WF); 18. Nita M. Lowey (D); 19. John Hall (D); 20. Kirsten Gillibrand (D/I/WF); 21. Michael R. McNulty (D); 22. Maurice Hinchey (D,I,WF); 23. John McHugh (R); 24. Mike Arcuri (D/I/WF); 25. Dan Maffei (D/WF); 26. Jack Davis, Jr. (D/I/WF); 27. Brian M. Higgins (D); 28. Louise M. Slaughter (D); 29. Eric Massa (D/WF)

Add this to Dave's other big endorsements.

Dave for America

Dave's ActBlue page

Give or volunteer today.

Monday, August 14, 2006

We Can't Make It Here Anymore

Take a 7:03 break and go watch this video.

Circular Logic

The Internet Weekly Report. Heh.


I directed you to Scout Prime's video series this morning. This afternoon I send you to R. Neal at Facing South*:


The article says police in Orleans and Jefferson Parish are answering more calls for domestic violence, drinking, and fights than before Katrina. According to the article, "Involuntary commitments to mental hospitals are up from last year, and suicides in Orleans Parish have tripled since Katrina."

Mental health experts say it will only get worse, and that the approaching one-year anniversary of Katrina "will spark new feelings of loss and more emotional and physical stress." Unfortunately the city isn't equipped to deal with it:


*There are some of us here who love him dearly and still refer to him affectionately as South Knox Bubba.

Temper Tantrums at Big Money's Democratic Party Embassy

Go read David Sirota tear the DLC a new asshole.

Put another way, the DLC making itself out to be the innocent, virtuous, shoestring underdog is like billionaire Warren Buffet telling people with a straight face that he is applying for food stamps.

Moreover, even if you accept Kilgore's lie that the official DLC organization itself has been just some infinitesimally small gnat barely making the supposedly Evil Liberal Colossus twitch, it's clear that DLC-ism has intensely afflicted the Democratic Party for the last 10 to 15 years - and with horrible electoral consequences. That DLC-ism's fundamental tenets preach that Democrats should 1) never frontally challenge moneyed power; 2) unquestioningly embrace Washington's distorted definition of national security "strength" as being a politician willing to indiscriminately bomb/invade foreign lands regardless of how that weakens U.S. security; and 3) deliberately distort the concept of "centrism" to make it mean "well outside the mainstream of American public opinion."

That this DLC-ism is being handily rejected by more and more Democrats at the very same time Democrats are surging in the polls clearly makes the staff at the DLC very frightened. They know people are figuring out that Democrats are making political gains BECAUSE they are finally rejecting DLC-ism, and starting to push a far more populist agenda - and one that is at the actual "center" of American public opinion, not the distorted faux "center" of the Washington Beltway. This agenda is scary to the powers that be because it doesn't rely on the official approval of a bunch of Washington lobbyists, corporate lawyers and unprincipled insiders sitting around a conference table at places like the Washington Court Hotel, the DLC's D.C. offices, or the DLC's highly-touted "national conversations" that are, of course, officially "not open to the public."

Many links, quite a few to Sirota, strange as that may seem. (Smiley face)

Daily Dave

Just a reminder to Long Islanders, especially those in Nassau County (NY-03). If you're as fed up with that wingnut Peter King as the rest of us, give Dave Mejias a hand by volunteering. Remember what we did for Ned in CT, lets do it on Long Island too. And those of you from afar, you too can help.

I'll be back after a shower and dinner.


Got this from Cornfield Jane's comment at Badtux, the Bad Penguin Joke Penguin:

[Mother Superior called all the Nuns together one evening and said to them:

"I must tell you all something. We have a case of Gonorrhea in the convent."

"Thank God," said an elderly Nun at the back. "I'm so sick of Chardonnay."]


Bushoviks Rushed Terror Arrests For P.R. Gain

The Tattered Coat

A new report from NBC News claims that Bush Administration officials pressured the British to arrest the London terrorists a week before British surveillance work was complete (via TPM via commenter Suzy). The attack, according to the report, was not imminent.

This goes way beyond what we understood previously - that the Bush Administration knew about the arrests ahead of time, and timed a PR offensive against the Democrats around it.

It turns out that it was the other way around: the Bush Administration orchestrated the timing of the arrests to coordinate them with the PR offensive, which attacked Democrats after Ned Lamont's victory in the Connecticut primary.

For the GOP, the short term political importance of getting the Lamont victory, and the developing sense that America had fully turned against the Iraq War, off the news was reason enough to disrupt an active terror investigation. The disruption hurt the legal case against the terrorists - it will be much harder to convict them without passports or airline tickets. The GOP was so insistent on the timing that they threatened to "render" the lead suspect if the British did not comply with their wishes.

The Republicans, in other words, once again played politics with national security, and hurt anti-terrorism efforts as they did so.

They cannot be trusted to protect us from the threat of terrorism because - to paraphrase The Downing Street Memo - they fix terror investigations around smear campaigns.

Feel safer now? How does it make you feel to know that our so-called president and his RS3M interfered with an ongoing active foreign police investigation that may have produced even better results in order to counter the results of an actual legitimate election they couldn't control? The fuckers had this in the works in case Lieberman lost, and sprang it as soon as the results were in. To the detriment of everybody but themselves.

I thought I was about as pissed-off at Bush and his Band of Lying Criminal Bastards as I could get.

I was wrong.

If this doesn't help voters see the light and change the balance of Congress in November, Americans are brain-dead.

Go read. Many links.

Praying for Peace in the Middle East

From OpEd News:

[A female CNN journalist heard about a very old Jewish man who had been going to the Western Wall to pray, twice a day, every day, for a long, long time. So she went to check it out.

She went to the Western Wall and there he was walking slowly up to the holy site. She watched him pray and after about 45 minutes, when he turned to leave, using a cane in a very slow fashion , she approached him for an interview.

"I'm Rebecca Smith from CNN. Sir, how long have you been coming to the Western Wall and praying?"

"For about 60 years."

"60 years! That's amazing! What do you pray for?"

"I pray for peace between the Christians, Jews and the Muslims. I pray for all the hatred to stop and I pray for all our children to grow up in safety and friendship."

"How do you feel after doing this for 60 years?"

"Like I'm talking to a fuckin' wall."]

Almost a year ...

Since Katrina. Scout Prime is beginning a video series called The Great Deluge:

As the 1 year anniversary of The Great Deluge approaches I will be offering a look back at the year. Here is the first part of a video of Tom & Jen telling their story of what happened to them after the levees broke. It was taped in March when I was in NOLA.


A year ago, an American city was almost destroyed, it might as well have been bombed, and those on the ground are still feeling the effects. Another in a long list of Bush failures over the past six years. We've spent so much in Iraq, on tax cuts for the wealthy, and outright corruption, yet we can't afford to make our own citizens whole. It's just another reminder to the poor, ethnic, or non-Christian that this government doesn't give a shit if you live or die.

Quote of the Day



We call it Wingnut Welfare for a reason. Reich Wing Affirmative Action. It's an intricate web of familial and corporate connections dating back more than a hundred years, and without which Ann Coulter would be hard pressed to find a job that didn't involve a meth-lab, a corner lamp-post, and a public defender.


Sunday, August 13, 2006

Call me cynical ...

But I really don't think this cease-fire is gonna work.

This* is why:

New York - The US government was closely involved in the planning of Israel's military operations against Islamic militant group Hezbollah even before the July 12 kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers, The New Yorker magazine reported in its latest issue. [my em]


Born to Fail.

*Great thanks to Attaturk for the link.

I wish he'd run ...

And I wish the American people were enlightened enough to elect Russ Feingold as our next President:

Well, I like Joe Lieberman, but I support Ned Lamont. Because Joe is showing with that regrettable statement that he doesn't get it. He doesn't get it. The fact is that we were attacked on 9/11 by Al Qaeda and its affiliates and its sympathizers, not by Saddam Hussein. And unfortunately Senator Lieberman has supported the Bush Administration's disastrous strategic approach of getting us stuck in Iraq instead of focusing on those who attacked us. [my em]

And while you're at C&L, check out this clip of Howard Dean coming out in defense of Ned Lamont. [Updated] Atrios has the transcript if you don't like video.

I don't know...

How there are such a thing as 'moderates' anymore with such a poisoned political discourse in this country.


What say you? Are 'moderates' under ideological assault? Or, do we even HAVE any moderates in politics today? Are such assertions as I've presented above indications of wisdom, or of naivete?


More Depleted Uranium

I've written about this a few times (here, here, and here). Today, Blondie relates the story of her neighbor who just passed away from symptoms he's had since Gulf 1.

... My radioactive next door neighbor died 2 months ago after being mysteriously ill since he served in GWI. His bodily functions shut down one by one since he returned. It was amazing that he lasted so long, but his quality of life was never the same after serving his country. It sucked...

This will traumatize a generation of vets the way Agent Orange did to the Vietnam guys.

Quote of the Day

Commander Huber:

If Iraq is the "central front" in the "war" on terror, why are the terrorists we're hearing about now come from Canada, Britain and the U.S.A.?

Like we need another blogroll ...

But I created a community site for stuff not necessarily political. Member blogs would be linked by this badge:

Click on the badge for details. If you're interested in adding your blog, send me an email.

Are you a bigot?

If you voted for or supported Ned Lamont, Peter King says you are. Dave Mejias' talks about that at dKos:


Still, Peter King doesn't think he's in danger to the same fate as Lieberman. You know why? Because, he says, "fortunately, [his district] is not composed of the left-wing bigots who went after Joe Lieberman."

So, if you supported Ned Lamont, Peter King thinks you're a bigot. If you are against the failed policies of the Bush administration, Peter King thinks you're a bigot. If you think America needs a change in leadership, Peter King thinks you're a bigot.


Support Dave in his race to unseat King in NY-03 (What's so bad about Peter King? Click here to find out).

Dave's ActBlue page here.

Dave for America.

Even my dog ...

Was suspicious of the timing. So was everybody who stopped by here. Well it seems, after all these years of being treated like mushrooms*, our bullshit detectors are tuned to maximum sensitivity**:

LONDON - NBC News has learned that U.S. and British authorities had a significant disagreement over when to move in on the suspects in the alleged plot to bring down trans-Atlantic airliners bound for the United States.

A senior British official knowledgeable about the case said British police were planning to continue to run surveillance for at least another week to try to obtain more evidence, while American officials pressured them to arrest the suspects sooner. The official spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the case.

In contrast to previous reports, the official suggested an attack was not imminent, saying the suspects had not yet purchased any airline tickets. In fact, some did not even have passports. [my ems]


You know, one thing I hate more than anything is when people try to manipulate me, especially when it's done by people who think they're smarter than I am. AOB said in comments on another post, and I agree, they've been playing this game for so long that when the shit is really about to hit the fan, nobody will pay attention. Their Chicken Littles are coming home to roost.

*Kept in the dark and fed bullshit.
**Thanks to C&L for the link.


Glenn Greenwald. Tangential to this, but it seems the Brits can follow the law of their land and still keep their people safe.

... Being able to eavesdrop only with warrants did not prevent British law enforcement from stopping these terrorist attacks. It is baffling, to put it mildly, why defenders of Bush's illegal eavesdropping would think that any of this bolsters their defense that warrantless eavesdropping is necessary... [my em]

So Instashithead and all the other wingnut morons*** can suck my hairy white ass.

***Tip o' the Brain to Atrios.