Saturday, September 23, 2006

Bad intelligence

Let's just say that in my experience, pain can be used to glean information, good information, in the short term* - quick application of pain upon initial engagement in a one-time circumstance - on the battlefield to gain a tactical advantage. Long term interrogation using painful, humiliating methods becomes counterproductive quickly.

... Subjecting someone to pain and humiliation doesn't compel them to tell the truth; it compels them to say whatever will make the pain stop...

*Told ya I'm going to Hell.
Great thanks to Cabana Boy for the link.

Good news

Our wonderful, most excellent friends, MandT, whom we love so much, have resurrected the Adgita Diaries. It is a great day in Left Blogtopia (y!sctp!).


Dire Straits - Brothers in Arms

Last night I dreamt I was on a strange search-and-destroy mission (I have never been in real combat), don't know where exactly (some city, in that surreal way a place exists in dreams), but I was wearing a combat uniform including OTV, carrying a rifle, safety lever off. I was inside a building and went slowly into a shadowy, messy room where I saw the Dear Leader of a country cowering in a corner. He could not tell if I was male or female, and I was so tired and so afraid, taking deep, silent breaths. I approached him and put the tip of the barrel of my rifle right under his chin, poking his neck. He could not see my eyes but I looked into his and he was afraid too. I believe he thought I would kill him and I believe I knew that I could. What I did, though, was scream at him, "Say you're a war criminal! Say it! SAY IT!" All the while I was poking his neck with my rifle. Then he said, "I am a war criminal". I grabbed him by his shirt and jerked him up. Without another word spoken by either of us, I pushed him out of the room with my rifle, then out of the building, to where some of the others were. Every step out of the building I hated him intensely. We took him as a prisoner and I no longer paid him any attention. I woke up at that point absolutely terrified... He said he was a war criminal because I told him to say it, he feared that if he didn't I would kill him. I would not have. And he lived because I knew there would be a tomorrow when the object of my hate did not sit cringing before me and I would no longer legitmately be able to say to myself, it's either him or me.
2700 US deaths in Iraq today, more than 45.000 Iraqis. And who will be the last person tortured for a mistake?

How it's gonna work

Commander Huber has an excellent take on what the war in Iraq, and the probable attacks on Iran, have gotten us. Not much, but by golly we sure gave Iran what it wanted (Part 1 - Part 2):


Cheney's real problem is that he broke his promise to his big oil buddies by letting his pal Don Rumsfeld spray the Iraq situation into the fan. That gave China and its partners the opening they needed to crack the western world's control of the energy market. If Iran, with help from Russia and China, can develop a mature, independent nuclear energy industry, and if those three countries, along with Venezuela, can take over the energy sources for Asia, eastern Europe, the Middle East and South America, British Petroleum and Mobil Exxon will start going the way of Ford and General Motors.


In a nutshell, the goal of Realpolitik or "realistic foreign policy" is to strengthen your alliances, divide your enemies, and convince everybody else to stay out of the way. The Bush administration's pursuit of the neoconservative ideological policies has united our adversaries, pushed formerly non-aligned states into our adversaries' camp, and convinced former allies like the western European states to take a largely neutral position.

If we pull the trigger in Iran we'll shoot off another of our few remaining toes, and we won't have a friend left in the world but Israel. The senior military types who have been pushing back at the idea of attacking Iran understand this better than their civilian bosses, and that's a sad comment on contemporary America.


A great read for Saturday afternoon.

A thought ...

If Osama's really dead*, the result of Typhoid, I think that would be the ultimate justice. No martyrdom through Jihad, just a horrible, miserable existence in some cold, damp cave until the end.

You and I will settle up in Hell, motherfucker.


Just getting back from dinner and I hear the Saudis say bin Laden is still alive. What I said still goes. I'm gonna spend eternity with my hands around your throat.

From Hell's heart, I stab at thee; For hate's sake, I spit my last breath at thee.

You tried to kill my wife. I will never forget.

*Tip o' the Brain to Creature for the link.

I don't think he gets it

Let me first say, I love Steve Gilliard. I read him daily and value his insights, but I don't think he gets it with regard to this 'torture compromise'. It's not the fact it will be overturned by the courts, or the fact Rethugs are going to look as monstrous as they did during the Schaivo case, or that other messes will be their undoing, it's the fact we are having the debate at all.

Hel-lo, McFly?

This is America. We should not even be considering defining torture. It should not even be discussed with regard to becoming policy. Think about it, Americans are discussing whether torture should be excused.

This is America, Steve. It's about our honor, not about political expedience, and it's about time the Dems stood up and showed they had some.

Unity '08

Some of us and our readers have expressed a slight displeasure with the Democratic party as it now stands. I have no idea why (cough, cough).

Here's something you might be interested in: Unity '08 wants to put together a bi-partisan ticket for '08. Also see NOW on the subject. Check it out, see what you think, let us know.

Friday, September 22, 2006


Yes, all of God's energies are focused on a fucking speck.

Quote of the Day

The ever-sharp Lambert:

George Orwell would be proud of us.

Daily Dave

CQ Politics:


[Dave] Mejias' longshot bid is drawing increasing local and national attention: The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has listed the contest among its "emerging races," which party officials use to highlight contests they believe are becoming increasingly competitive.

He has a significant though not huge campaign treasury for a first-time House contender. And - perhaps most crucial to his hopes for cutting into King's apparent strong lead - he potentially could get help from the top of the party's ticket, with Democratic Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and the gubernatorial nominee, state Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, both prohibitive favorites to win their November contests.


Hil and Spitzer better cough up some scratch. King is the last Rethug holding national office on Long Island. Let's get his nasty ass out.

Learn about the candidate and volunteer - Dave for America

Contribute - Dave's ActBlue page.

Vote for Dave Mejias. Do you live in NY-03?


Peter King Watch has an interview with Imam Dr. Farouque Khan of the Long Island Islamic Center. It's enlightening how King's views have changed in this 'post 9/11 world'.

Cannon fodder and deck apes

NYT (Wow, 2 links for the Gray Lady today) via Holden:

WASHINGTON, Sept. 21 - Strains on the Army from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have become so severe that Army officials say they may be forced to make greater use of the National Guard to provide enough troops for overseas deployments.


An internal Army document that was provided to The New York Times notes that the demand for troops in Iraq and Afghanistan has greatly exceeded past projections that predicted earlier troop reductions. According to the document, the Army needs $66.1 billion to make up for all of its equipment shortfalls. Referring to the units that are to deploy next to Iraq and Afghanistan, or are in training, the document shows a large question mark to indicate their limited readiness.


To all those people who laughed when I said a draft is in the future. We might not have any other option in a little while. Well one, we can let the Army collapse. Stay the course. Good thing we got all these strategists and tacticians in charge.

Not only have we broken Iraq, we've just about broken the U.S. Army.


A bit of a tangent, but this struck me over at Montag's:

Yes, it is true. Our Dear Embattled Leader has now killed as many Americans in His Glorious Little Wars as Osama did on 9/11.

The only surprise will be what the surprise will be


In the past week, Karl Rove has been promising Republican insiders an "October surprise" to help win the November congressional elections.


Rove is not saying what the October surprise will be. Asked if he would elaborate and give his thinking about the coming elections, Rove told NewsMax that his take largely parallels what RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman said in a Sept. 5 NewsMax story.

As for the October Surprise, Rove said, "I'd rather let the balance [of plans for the elections] unroll on its own."

Please pardon me if I take a little 31-day break from blogging next month. It's hard to type with my eyes screwed shut, my asshole bunched up, and my fingers in my ears like a foot-tappin' Polish mine detector.

No angry letters, please. I'm half Polish.

The Road to Hell


I realize these rhetorical then-and-now comparisons are getting very old, but I can't stop -- probably because I have so many enraged memories of the asinine braying of conservative pseudo-humanitarians back in the days of Mission Accomplished, when the knee-jerk response to any question about the missing WMDs was: Would you have left Saddam in power?

It takes a rare combination of stupidity, incompetence and bone-headed arrogance to make Saddam's murderous regime look benign by comparison. But that's what the American reign of error in Iraq has managed to accomplish. Instead of an end to terror, Bush and his merry band of neocolonialists have unleashed a terror without end.

Even if Shrub's motives were as virtuous as his hagiographers insist, at what point do recklessness and fecklessness, and a petulant refusal to admit -- much less learn from -- even the most disastrous mistakes, become forms of evil in themselves?

Well, we all know what the road to hell is paved with. But it looks as if this one is going to go there via Tehran.

This is the first I've heard that imperialistic, christofascist, capitalistic, monarchical, one-party world rule are good intentions!

This esplain a lot...

...about the U.S./Pakistan 'relationship'. Go see 60 Minutes. Heh.

Praise the Lord and pass the waterboard...

I touched on this briefly in my earlier post, but it's true: Torture is the christian way. From Balkinization:

"We must redefine how our lawful society treats those who have nothing but contempt for the law and rely on terrorizing the innocent to accomplish their objectives. The lines must be redrawn and then we must pursue these criminals as quickly and as aggressively as the law permits.

"And since this debate is, at its very core, about preserving the traditional value of prosecuting injustice and protecting the innocent, TVC will score this vote in both the House and the Senate. We encourage all of our supporters and affiliated churches to contact their elected representatives and let them know we support President Bush's efforts to update our methods of interrogating terrorist detainees in order to provide greater protection for our troops and the innocent."

It is strange--to put it politely--to see an avowedly Christian organization promote torture. Reverend Sheldon is correct that this debate is about preserving our traditional values, but he is on the wrong side.

Conservative Christian groups are a key block within the Republican political coalition, as everyone knows. If these groups took an agressive moral stance against torture, the Bush Administration might be given pause. The Traditional Values Coalition has chosen to do the opposite, throwing its weight behind torture, urging Christians to pressure their legislators to support toture.

This can't be right (although I'm not a Christian).

(And please don't characterize authorizing torture as a matter of "updating our methods"--that's scary doublespeak.)

He's right - it ain't right and it's scary. Since when did that matter to the christofascist wingnut agenda?

"Traditional values" my ass. You actual Christians out there: ain't you about outta cheeks to turn? Rise up and smite these bastards that are making you all look bad.

A Bad Bargain

A New York Times editorial, without blockquotes or comment.

[Here is a way to measure how seriously President Bush was willing to compromise on the military tribunals bill: Less than an hour after an agreement was announced yesterday with three leading Republican senators, the White House was already laying a path to wiggle out of its one real concession.

About the only thing that Senators John Warner, John McCain and Lindsey Graham had to show for their defiance was Mr. Bush's agreement to drop his insistence on allowing prosecutors of suspected terrorists to introduce classified evidence kept secret from the defendant. The White House agreed to abide by the rules of courts-martial, which bar secret evidence. (Although the administration's supporters continually claim this means giving classified information to terrorists, the rules actually provide for reviewing, editing and summarizing classified material. Evidence that cannot be safely declassified cannot be introduced.)

This is a critical point. As Senator Graham keeps noting, the United States would never stand for any other country's convicting an American citizen with undisclosed, secret evidence. So it seemed like a significant concession - until Stephen Hadley, the national security adviser, briefed reporters yesterday evening. He said that while the White House wants to honor this deal, the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Duncan Hunter, still wants to permit secret evidence and should certainly have his say. To accept this spin requires believing that Mr. Hunter, who railroaded Mr. Bush's original bill through his committee, is going to take any action not blessed by the White House.

On other issues, the three rebel senators achieved only modest improvements on the White House's original positions. They wanted to bar evidence obtained through coercion. Now, they have agreed to allow it if a judge finds it reliable (which coerced evidence hardly can be) and relevant to guilt or innocence. The way coercion is measured in the bill, even those protections would not apply to the prisoners at Guantánamo Bay.

The deal does next to nothing to stop the president from reinterpreting the Geneva Conventions. While the White House agreed to a list of "grave breaches" of the conventions that could be prosecuted as war crimes, it stipulated that the president could decide on his own what actions might be a lesser breach of the Geneva Conventions and what interrogation techniques he considered permissible. It's not clear how much the public will ultimately learn about those decisions. They will be contained in an executive order that is supposed to be made public, but Mr. Hadley reiterated that specific interrogation techniques will remain secret.

Even before the compromises began to emerge, the overall bill prepared by the three senators had fatal flaws. It allows the president to declare any foreigner, anywhere, an "illegal enemy combatant" using a dangerously broad definition, and detain him without any trial. It not only fails to deal with the fact that many of the Guantánamo detainees are not terrorists and will never be charged, but it also chokes off any judicial review.

The Democrats have largely stood silent and allowed the trio of Republicans to do the lifting. It's time for them to either try to fix this bill or delay it until after the election. The American people expect their leaders to clean up this mess without endangering U.S. troops, eviscerating American standards of justice, or further harming the nation's severely damaged reputation.]

OK, I lied. Sue me. One little comment:


The Great Cave-In

The Rude Pundit has it about right on the torture 'compromise'.

The fact that anyone thought for two seconds that we were watching honorable men confront the evil wrought by a president from their own party is a pathetic statement on just how debased politics has become in this country. If there can be actual celebratory jubilation over the brief stand taken by the Gutless Trio, then no one's been paying attention. For if John McCain actually gave a rat's ass about torture, then he would not have voted to confirm Alberto Gonzales or Samuel Alito. If Lindsey Graham gave a happy monkey fuck about the rights of detainees, then he wouldn't have authored an amendment limiting their rights of appeal. And Warner, despite his reputation as a moderate in some of his statements, almost always goes along with the herd, so, you know, fuck him, too. A real, genuine confrontation with the White House would have been to open hearings on the treatment of detainees, with subpoenas and possibly arrests. This was just legalistic wrangling over language.

In the final analysis, the compromise says that Bush gets to decide what is a "grave breach" of the Geneva Conventions, a government prosecutor gets to say what evidence a detainee and/or his attorney can see at trial, and the lights get turned back on at some godforsaken CIA dungeon in a remote area of Uzbekistan. Thank Christ we can finally get back to the goodly work of arresting people without charge, sending them to Syria, and looking away while they're kept in a coffin-sized space and beaten with metal cable.

But, really, and, c'mon, this was all a pretty dance for the cameras and the folks back home because of the inevitable signing statement that'll accompany the bill.

He's right. We've been suckered again. This whole deal has 'Rove' stamped on it.

The Chimp got to look tough on terrorists. He played to his base, which would let him roast slowly on a spit any little brown men who might come kill their punk asses in their beds. Torture is the Lord's work if it protects them from heathens and Liberal terrorist sympathizers, after all. Bush might have picked up a few others, as the polls seem to be showing.

McCain got to look like the 'maverick' he isn't. He may have started this honestly, or not, but somewhere along the way he was convinced somehow to back off, as were the other pols. He basically let Bush fuck him in the ass again: "It'll all be forgotten by '08. If you go along. Remember South Carolina and what we've proven we can do to you". Something like that.

The five former Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff who opposed Bush are on the right side of the torture deal, but they have no power.

Most of the American public like the high-minded idea of going along with morality and the Geneva Convention treaty we signed, but they really don't give a shit what Bush does to foreigners as long as they can drive their SUVs and continue consuming in safety. All they care about is that gas prices are going down.

They won't mind too much when Bush starts doing this to Americans either, for the same reasons. White Protestant Republicans will be exempt. They think. It'll be way too late to worry about it then.

November may be our last chance. Clean your rifles.

Buckle Up,It's Going to Be a Bumpy Ride

Grab a bev kids,this is going to take a few. Oh,and I'm going to curse like a sailor too,deal.

Comfy?Good.And so it begins....

To riff off of Fixer a bit and then veer off some, I HAVE HAD IT. I wish I could sue the GOP for alienation of affection. I liken it,in some ways,to some sexy young thing who seduces your spouse at work,it happens,alot,so it's not unusual. And then let's say your spouse,trying to make you the bad guy in all this,treats you like shit and becomes a complete asshole so YOU'LL end up having to be the one to initiate the divorce. Because the person you once loved became a cowardly,lying,cheating scumbag. And then,once you get sick of the bullshit and the abuse(and the lying,OMG,the lying),stand your ground and get the fuck out of there with some semblance of sanity and dignity left,your soon to be ex fights you right down to the last fucking cobweb you once owned together. Just to plunge the final knife into your heart. You see them actually ENJOYING it. Can you imagine? Well,in this case the GOP is the hot young love interest of the spouse,and the spouse is America. They took my country,that I once loved so very much(and still do,but what I loved about this place is pretty much gone,or at the very least gone into hiding),and turned it into everything I hate. And I'm fairly certain America hates me too. At least the part of America that "counts",you know,rich mostly white people. The ones that run things and have all the odds in their favor.

As if all this crininally insane and sadistic,vicious and evil "debate"about torture isn't enough, as if the insane,spittle flecked rabid insanity hurled at anything good and right and true doesn't do enough damage, I find myself with nowhere to escape.I'm surrounded by self centered,clueless idiots.

After I dropped Atilla the Fun off at school this morning,I headed out to the store,post office and assorted Friday morning errands. As I often do when I'm out and about,I notice people,and I pay attention to what's happening with the air,water,land and wildlife. What I see happening around here doesn't bode well for the future.

I live on a two lane road,in what used to be a mix of farm country(small farms) and older houses,built from the 50's to the 70's. Most of the farms are abandoned now,much of the land was allowed to go back to being forest and meadows long,long ago. Some of the little farms are still working farms,but they're smaller than they used to be.The land is either being sold off or allowed to return to it's wild state because of the cost to keep it producing. In the last 3 yrs or so,high dollar subdivisions have been eating away at these large pieces of acreage and now the traffic is a mess and we're losing huge old trees by the thousands. Long time residents here have been fighting road widening projects and development for years,but we always seem to lose in the end. Just in the last few days,another 750 acres of land has gone up for re-zoning, for more fucking subdivisions and strip malls and office buildings. My home,and many other of the older homes sit rather close to the road. If the road gets widened,we'll have four lanes at our front doors(which ain't legal,and god knows what the county will do to all of us to screw us out of our homes).

We fought this crap last year,the plans to widen the road were scrapped because of public pressure. BUT,that hasn't stopped the developers from proceeding anyway with building more and more shit,which will increase traffic even more,which means the road will HAVE to be widened anyway. All the resident's actions are really just postponing the inevitable. I'm wagering the pressure on us to sell for less than the property is worth will start within the next year and a half. If we don't sell and try to hang on,I'm afraid they'll just condemn the place and take it anyway. Fuck that,I'm not going into more debt to attorneys to fight this crap.

I'm seeing LOTS of dead wildlife on the side of the road now.Used to be you'd see the occasional family pet that got loose and killed by cars,or a 'possum or big old snake now and then,and rarely someone would hit a deer. Today I saw 5 dead racoons,an owl that had probably got hammered by an SUV and flung to the side of the road,a fox, and a small deer all recently killed,probably last night. All within a two mile stretch.

I have to get my family out of here. My husband is torn. He has a really good paying job,but it's come with an enormous price. Mostly that we never see him. And when he is here,he's not really "here". I'm about one step away from taking his fucking Treo thingy and that piece of crap Blackberry away from him, throw them into the driveway,along with his work laptop, and proceed to run over them repeatedly with my car.And then light the remains on fire. The job is trashing his health, and he doesn't take care of himself. I admire his drive,but he could take a job for less pay,I could get something part time,we could live in a smaller house,drive older cars,and we'd be just fine. In fact,we might actually be able to start saving some money for a change.

Like so many men,my husband's identity is tied to his success at work. And I'll admit,the money is nice(but we are in debt too-which is where lots of the income goes,mostly because the man is bad with money,long story),but I'd rather live on less in a less populated area. I don't know how you convince a workaholic that it's not failure if you don't die with the most toys. I'm seriously considering making an actual business presentation to him,using pie charts and graphs and shit to communicate to him in language he can relate to. I'm NOT kidding. He pays the idea lip service,but makes no move to change. I think he's scared,not just of failing,but of change itself. Besides,he gets tons of strokes for doing what he does; decent insurance,paid vacations, trips where all his expenses are paid,cash bonuses,and a decent yearly wage and notice from the CEOs. That IS alot to give up after working so hard to get it. I've checked all over the country,looking at job listings, looked at the base pay for what he does,and he'd be lucky to make 2/3 of what he does now. This is not going to be an easy sell.

Since it's obvious to me this economy is about to take a huge crap pretty soon(we cannot go on like this and I see no signs that anyone's getting a clue that could do something about it),I don't want to live anywhere near a big city or it's suburbs when that happens. With our rights being eroded,dissent being treated as criminal, a thoroughly corrupt government and business climate, and a gross sense of self importance and entitlement running rampant,when things head into the crapper in a big way,it's gonna be UG-LEE. I want no part of it. I want OUT.

Ack. This is getting to me too much. I actually started bawling in the grocery store this morning. Good thing the place wasn't crowded and no one saw me,I damned near embarassed myself.


Yes, I'm still pissed.

Wait, ladies and germs. You think this 'torture deal' (can you believe we're actually considering it, that we're actually having this conversation, in America) will just make life more difficult for the brown folks rounded up in the Middle East? Heh ... gullible fools.

Wait, ladies and germs. Wait until someone in government believes an American citizen has information on a terror group. Wait until they use this 'deal' to imprison them and torture the shit out of them.

Wait, ladies and germs. Wait until we start down this road and find we've slid down the slippery slope of the 'ends justifying the means'. Wait until 'terrorist-enablers' (read: anyone who doesn't agree with this administration's ideology) are deemed eligible for torture by the party in power.

If this doesn't bother you as much as it does me, you're a complete fucking idiot. Mark my words, the passage of this 'compromise bill' will be the event historians point to when they speak of the 'death of the American Way'.

We will have become nothing more than the worst of our enemies, nothing better than a tinhorn dictatorship, placed in league with the villians of history. We will be no better than Saddam, Khaddafi, Hitler, and Stalin. And all you apathetic, gullible fools have yourselves to blame.

I'm fortunate. I have the resources to get up and leave if it gets too bad. Most of the rest of you will have to live with it. But you made your beds. You listened to Fox 'News', accepted all the drivel from the government at face value, and you voted for the Moron in Chief ... twice. You said 'all politicians are crooks and it doesn't matter who's in charge' and you left it at that.

But you made your beds. Now that you've soiled them, have fun sleeping in your own shit. No one's gonna come to clean it up because no one out there wants to. From here on out it's gonna get worse.

Thanks to Diebold and the collective stupid of the American people, 2006 will close much as 2000, 2002, and 2004 did. 2 more years of a Rethug-led Congress and Executive will probably be the coup de grace for the America we once knew, the America I once pledged my life to protect.

I'd ask you to call your reps and yell and scream over this, but it won't matter. The game is rigged, the refs have been paid off, and we're just going through the motions. I plan to be somewhere like Paris or Sydney or Stuttgart in less than a decade and I can leave sooner if I have to. How many of you can say that? Enjoy your 21st Century America; you have no one to blame but yourselves.

I'm disgusted

So tell me, my fellow Americans:

How does it feel knowing that your government will pass laws permitting the violation of the Geneva Conventions against torture?

How does it feel knowing the taxes you pay from money you earned are going towards the salary of legally sanctioned torturers?

How does it feel knowing that the only political party with an organization large enough to stand in opposition to the American fascists in charge of this country's legislature and executive were actually boasting that they were not going to get involved in one of the most important moral debates of our time?

And how does it feel to have George W. Bush, that paragon of moral probity, mental stability, and well-informed intelligence, granted the legal right to determine what is and isn't torture?

I'll tell you how I feel. I am outraged and ashamed. [my em]


This was a chance for the Dems to grab the moral high ground but instead have once again been shown for the spineless weasels they are. I've had it with the lot of them.

Do I expect them to filibuster this? No, that would take courage and moral fortitude, and a smattering of leadership that the American people are longing for but will never get with this buncha pussies.

If the stakes weren't so high, I'd wash my hands of all of you. If the future of our nation wasn't hanging by a thread, I'd throw up my hands and give up. I'm tired of fighting for a team that doesn't want to win.

Congressional and Senate Democrats should be ashamed of themselves, hiding in the corners like rats, hoping to find a scrap or two overlooked by the Republican who owns the house. Never would they show their faces in the light, stand up to what amounts to the abdication of our core principles and taking another step toward turning this nation into Nazi Germany. You all disgust me.

And to John McCain, I wouldn't mind making you a new reservation at the Hanoi Hilton, you miserable piece of shit. You deserve everything the VC did to you, you morally corrupt, self-serving, comtemptible, reprehensible, lowlife worm. Read a book on Bushido and take the appropriate steps; that would be the only way you could earn respect in my eyes. You have no honor, don't even know the meaning of the word. Anything you did in the military, your imprisonment, has been disgraced by your actions. When I get there, I'm gonna make sure Lucifer has a special space reserved for you.

I'm beginning to feel, more and more, that the only way we can restore this nation is through revolution.


Jo Fish:

Buh-bye Democrats, nice job snatching defeat from the jaws of victory in the 2006 mid-term election cycle...

Is anybody in the Party gonna stand up to the leadership? [crickets]

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Quote of the Day


77% of terrist-enabling traitors from both parties say the rethug-led Congress sucks major monkey ass, should pack up their bags and go fuck themselves.

No argument here.

Daily Dave

An email from the Mejias Campaign today, reprinted in its entirety:

FARMINGDALE - The message is clear - Peter King is running scared. A Newsday article printed yesterday exposed Peter King's failed campaign strategy. In a campaign letter targeted, according to the article, "more to Jews than others," King criticized his opponent, Nassau County Legislator Dave Mejias, for taking campaign contributions from men King calls "radical" Muslim leaders on Long Island. The problem: federal records show King accepted thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from the same Muslim leaders. King's smear campaign has been thoroughly debunked in the press, and reveals that King will sink to new lows in order to protect his seat in Congress.

"Peter King has finally realized that he is in serious danger of losing his job in November," said Dave Mejias. "Like Republicans across the country, King has resorted to using Karl Rove's politics of hate to cover up his poor record in Congress. King uses his first mailing of the campaign to attack me, and wound up exposing himself as nothing but a hypocrite. Peter King owes an apology to every family that received that shameful letter."

The news of Peter King's campaign of character assassination has provoked outrage. Rabbi Michael L. Kramer of Temple Judea in Massapequa said "Congressman Peter King's letter to his constituents, tying his opponent, Dave Mejias, to Islamic financial support when he has accepted even more money from the Islamic community is hypocritical, dishonest, and a political deceit." Additionally, today's editorial in Newsday calls King's strategy "an ugly attempt at guilt by association," and discredits King's disturbing accusations about local Muslim leaders. The last sentence of the editorial unmistakably illustrates King as the fraud he truly is, saying "for King to imply that Mejias is tainted for taking money from people whose money he himself also accepted is just plain hypocritical." [my ems]

Learn about the candidate and volunteer - Dave for America

Contribute - Dave's ActBlue page.

Vote for Dave Mejias. Do you live in NY-03?


The Long Island Press has an article on our man today too.

Charlie Brown Update

After a trans-county phone call (don't laugh - it's a hundred miles) to Col. Brown's campaign office, I was just paid a personal visit by his local rep, Espresso, a lovely young lady who also posts for Charlie at Kos. Here's a comment from her I found at Charlie's Kos diary:

Charlie we thank you for your service. And we thank Jan and your son who is still serving today.

As many of you know my sister was killed in the First Gulf War (or the First Bush War of Aggression as my family calls it), and I really want to see someone as my Congressman who has first hand knowledge of what it means and what it takes to send someones child to war.

Charlie is courageous, honest as the day is long, funny, smart as hell and a true patriot. Charlie did not take multiple deferments (as did Doolittle our current corrupt congresscritter) and served a total of 26 years because he believes in what the US is meant to stand for.

When we send Charlie to Congress in November, it will be a step forward for our country by taking a step back to our basic values of ethics, morality and common sense.

If you can, send him money, or if you live in or near his District (CA 04) put a bumper sticker on your car and a yard sign in your yard. It's time to take our country back!

I think I'm in good company.

I now have a sign in my yard and a spare for giving away, and a raft of bumperstickers including the rare and collectible "Dump Doolittle" one!

I also have a postage paid envelope (a 37¢ and a 2¢ stamp - this is grassroots!) to send Charlie a small (I'm not a Republican, after all!) donation.

She was out of badges to wear on my gimme caps. Waaaah! I'll get one...

According to Espresso, Charlie will be in my area on Oct. 14. I am now on her e-mail list as well as Charlie's, so I will be locally informed.

I'm starting to get involved and it feels good.

Charlie Brown for Congress

Maybe I'll switch to macaroni salad...


The bacterium that has sickened people across the nation and forced growers to destroy spinach crops is so pervasive in the Salinas Valley that virtually every waterway there violates national standards.

"There are many sources of water coming into the watershed, and I guarantee you that they all have generic E. coli," and many carry the deadly E. coli strain linked to food poisonings, said Christopher Rose, an environmental scientist at the state's Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board, which tests the region's waterways.

Monterey County's Salinas Valley is one of the world's most intensely farmed regions and a major supplier of lettuce and spinach to the nation. The current outbreak of food poisoning marks the 20th time since 1995 that the dangerous E. coli strain has been linked to lettuce or spinach.

The source of the pathogen has not yet been pinpointed, but tainted water is considered a likely culprit.

Many creeks and streams near the region's spinach fields, including the Salinas River, Gabilan Creek, Towne Creek, Tembladero Slough and Old Salinas River Estuary, are known to be carriers of the E. coli strain implicated in the food poisonings. When consumed, people experience cramping, diarrhea and, in severe cases, kidney failure.

Although the growers do not draw water from creeks to irrigate their fields, their crops could be tainted by runoff from nearby livestock operations or Central Coast urban areas.

I just had the awful thought that some Hindu somewhere has violated his dietary restrictions against beef, er, byproducts, yeah, that's it, by eating a salad.

Folks on the Central Coast are very nice, though.

Something to think about on your next trip to the salad bar. All of a sudden, the deep-fried county fair food (previous post) don't sound so bad after all. Krispy Kreme chicken sandwich, anyone?

No oil shortage... the L.A. County Fair.

The hungry and the curious follow the greasy, but alluring, scent of batter frying in hot oil to Charlie Boghosian's stand at the Los Angeles County Fair in Pomona.

When they arrive, the menu stops them in their tracks: deep-fried Twinkies, deep-friend Oreos, deep-fried avocados, deep-fried pickles, deep-fried olives and more.

Holy deep-fried coronary, Batman!

Go read. You don't wanta miss the Krispy Kreme chicken sandwich!

The tidal wave heading straight for the hall of mirrors

Today's 'must read'* from David Sirota:

There are times every now and again where you just have to step back and behold the absurdity of it all. You have to step back from the day-to-day trench wars and just marvel at how entrenched power really is in this, the country where we still cling to Horatio Alger fables or "anyone can grow up to be president" myths. What I find particularly fascinating is the intricacy and careful calibration of the propaganda system that holds this whole structure up. Like a hall of mirrors, our political debate is, in every way, designed to perpetuate the status quo. But no hall of mirrors can withstand the impact of a big enough tidal wave, which is why those inside the hall are freaking out.

What you see here, folks, is that all of it - the elections, the public policies, the future of the country - is one big joke to the people in power, and they are willing to lie, cheat and distort anything to protect the integrity of that joke they are so happily enjoying. They don't want anyone asking questions of them. They don't want anyone thinking they have a right to use democracy to change things. They are fat and happy and putting the pedal to the metal in their sleek sports car on the great American highway overpass - and anyone who tries to slow them down, run them off the road or make them just glance at the blight below gets the big, road-raged middle finger.

When I get up everyday at 5:30am to start working, it is still dark out. I read through the clips and digest the daily does (G's note: He must have dictated that. I think he means 'doz' as in 'dozen') of ever-more raw hatred coming from our nation's capital and directed at the majority of Americans. Then I try to have some breakfast without feeling totally demoralized. But as I look out on the darkness outside, I always remind myself of the famous parable: "It is always darkest before the dawn." Win or lose, November 7th isn't going to change everything. But win or lose, it's clear that things are already changing. The rising anger coming from the halls of power are a reflection of the establishment's deep understanding that change is coming. The screams from the angry pundits and the desperate politicians and the paying-to-play lobbyists are like the early warning sirens at a beach. And just over the horizon, they see that tidal wave coming.

In between those two quotes is a grand description of how the wheels are starting to come off the whole Repuglican criminal enterprise. The Repugs' reaction to seeing the writing on the wall signifying their coming demise reminds me of an old Marine Corps saying:

When in danger
Or in doubt,
Run in circles,
Scream and shout.

Hopefully, some of 'em will be able to "run in circles, scream and shout" for an hour every day in a nice concrete exercise yard. Heh.

* 'Must read' sounds kinda authoritarian. Please consider it shorthand for 'if you read this you'll be a better, more well-informed person who will become even more of a credit to the human race'.

George W. Bush and the inner punk

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Generally speaking, the more people tell you how tough they are, the harder they're working to convince themselves. George W. Bush is no exception. The president's authoritarian impulses, on display during an amazingly petulant Rose Garden press conference, so clearly derive from his own fundamental weakness of mind and character that it's become increasingly embarrassing to watch him perform. The more strenuously he struggles to hide his inner punk, the more clearly it emerges. Consider his childish response to NBC News' David Gregory's question about the administration's pre-election efforts to legalize torture. Bush's testy attitude toward the tall newsman he calls "Stretch" goes back a long way. After Gregory, covering a joint news conference in Paris in 2002, asked President Jacques Chirac a question in French, Bush sneered, "The guy memorizes four words and he plays like he's intercontinental." Last week he mockingly told Gregory, "You're looking beautiful, Dave."

There's no 'inner punk' to it. Bush is a punk. Period.

Please read the rest.

Suzanne Smith Update

I posted on the plight of Suzanne Smith a few days ago. A fast recap:

Suzanne Swift is a veteran of the Iraq war who is now held in custody at Fort Lewis, Washington. Swift had completed a tour of duty in Iraq, where she was sexually harassed and assaulted at the hands of three of her commanding officers - continuing over the course of her entire deployment. Her efforts to report her treatment were met with disrespect and dismissed. Finally, Swift suffered a breakdown due to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and went absent without leave. She was apprehended in Eugene, Oregon, in June 2006, and instead of seeing her rapists investigated, Swift herself is facing court martial and prison time.

Ms. Smith has now been in the stockade 103 days awaiting court-martial. Sara Rich reports:

First about Suzanne. Her mental health is declining. She has had two write-ups (counselings/official reprimands) in the past few weeks for being late in the mornings for formation. She is having a hard time waking up because her anxiety and depression are getting so bad. She is having trouble sleeping and bad dreams when she does sleep, so waking up early is just brutal for her. She is still doing office work, filing police reports. She is being allowed to come to Eugene every other week to meet with Dr. Schwartz, her psychologist. She has seen him only 6 times in the past 101 days. It is really hard for her to go back to Ft. Lewis and it breaks my heart every time she leaves, because I know she is beyond miserable up there and being re-traumatized by them daily. With the increasing media attention, Suzanne has been getting more and more silent, yet solid, support from other active women in the military. This gives us great hope that we are helping effect change for them, as well as validating women veteran' experiences and working to create new hope for the future safety of young women who hope to serve their country without fear of harassment and abuse someday.

Please continue to make calls and write letters on Suzanne's behalf. There are easy forms and all the numbers and addresses on the web site. It is very easy to use. Also, please feel free to post or forward this email to other sites/lists. I want to spread the word so we can increase the numbers of supporters for Suzanne. Thank you!!!

Most of all please visualize Suzanne's case being resolved with integrity, and justice being served. Suzanne deserves a timely resolution to this nightmare that they have created for her and many other women in the military.

Please go see Free Suzanne. Their motto is "Stop 'Command Rape' ". Do whatever you can.

The officers who sexually abused this soldier and drove her over the hill to escape need to be stripped of their rank, cashiered from OUR military, and tossed in the brig with the enlisted criminals.

Ms. Smith needs to have her desertion charge dismissed and her rights as a Veteran carved in stone so she can get help from the VA. She's going to need it for a long time.

Ms. Smith is a victim of Bush's Criminal War just as surely as if she had got blown up by an IED.


I say it all the time. The Left has all the funny,artistic,creative people. You can't be creative and sharp with a giant stick up your ass and a chip the size of Texas on your shoulder. The best writers tend to be lefties, the funniest smartasses too. And so(soft drumroll please)....

Ladies and Gentlemen,I present to you.....

The Adventures of Dr. Zero and The Pink Petulance


Love it or hate it, Autumn in New York is awesome when both the Mets and Yankees clinch their divisions. You think there's partisanship is Congress? Hang around in NY for the next month. Hopefully my Mets (Been a fan for 40 years) won't snatch defeat from the jaws of victory (Been a fan for 40 years). The buzz of a Subway Series is already in the air.

And just an aside: Call me a cynical, jaded New Yorker but I still hold my breath as I watch the space shuttle land. Fucking awesome. Now I'm dizzy ...

Song parodies

It's one of our favorite pastimes at the shop (though I wouldn't reprint any of them here for taste's sake). Well the CultureGhost has a great one this morning, using one of my favorite songs and mocking one of our biggest assholes.

Pauly asks

Which one would you vote for?

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The way my mind works ...

Leave me alone, you feminists, but I was just thinking. Do ya think Bill got a little from Laura? And wouldn't that be a great way to stick it to the Chimp? Okay, now I'll switch back to 'enlightened male mode'.

Daily Dave

Blondie's taking it today.

Quote of the Day


No, Mr. Chavez-Bush isn't the devil. I've seen the devil's work. He's competent.

Maybe it's just me...

...but have you noticed lately that Ahmadinejad is sounding more sane and calm, while Bush is sounding less sane and more whiny, if such a thing is poossible?

Maybe they swapped their meds. Or their pharmacist has a sense of humor.

CA House race no race at all

Wall Street Journal

MONTEREY, Calif. -- It's a red-hot election year, with control of Congress at stake, and this political reporter has come to the state with a whopping 53 of the 435 U.S. House seats. That's one-eighth of the congressional total and 21 more seats than the next biggest state, Texas. So why do the seagulls over Monterey Bay seem to be screaming in reproach?

Because it's less than eight weeks until Election Day Nov. 7, and not a single one of those 53 congressional contests is competitive enough to merit a busy correspondent's attention.

In a year of anti-Republican and anti-incumbent fever, that fact stands as a testament to the completeness of California's bipartisan gerrymandering. The mapping of political lines for partisan advantage after each decennial census may have originated back east with Massachusetts Gov. Elbridge Gerry 194 years ago, but it has been perfected here on the West Coast.

Also on that long-shot list is the suburban Sacramento district represented for 16 years by Rep. John Doolittle; he and his wife have been implicated in the scandal involving convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff. This week the Sacramento Bee newspaper endorsed Democratic challenger Charlie Brown, a former Air Force pilot in Vietnam and the first Persian Gulf war, saying, "Doolittle is emblematic of what's wrong in Washington." It takes a big scandal to turn a safe seat like Mr. Doolittle's into one the opposition party can seize, but often even that isn't enough -- as Republicans' retention of the former Cunningham seat shows.

Last year, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger called on voters to approve an initiative that would leave the redistricting of state and federal districts to a nonpartisan commission of retired judges. Mr. Panetta, who supported the proposal, says the Governator told him that rarely do the state legislative leaders of both parties come to his office at the same time, but on this one "they walked in together and said, 'You cannot put this initiative forward.'" Mr. Schwarzenegger told Mr. Panetta, "When that happened, I knew it was the right thing to do."

But the ballot initiative, like redistricting itself, was "the one area where bipartisanship prevailed -- both Republicans and Democrats opposed it," Mr. Panetta recalls. A bipartisan bankroll financed the media campaign against the initiative, and it was easily defeated. Which helps explain why a national reporter visiting here now is watching seagulls instead of candidates.

The Democratic seats are safe, too, but what it all means is that any real change has been engineered out by both sides. It does show, however, that bi-partisan cooperation is possible, if only to protect each other's jobs. It really sucks.

If politicians would put that much effort into actually working for their employers, and by that I mean the ones who voted for them instead of the ones who give them money and tell them what to do, the nation would be in a lot better shape. Fat chance.

Before you enlist

This is the best all-purpose video (14:31) I've seen about what's been done to and by our military, and what it's become, and why no one should want to go at this time.

The military did pretty much the same chickenshit stuff back in my day, but the difference is that while the Vietnam War was bad, it wasn't anywhere near as illegitimate as this Iraq clusterfuck.

Oooh Baby! Clear my brush!

I just thought this might appeal to your prurient interest. From Sideways Mencken:

Things are getting bad for President Bush. Even Peggy Noonan seems to be having her doubts. For the uninitiated, Peggy Noonan's spent the last six years responding to every Bush appearance by rolling over, waving her paws in the air and wetting herself in an orgy of submissiveness.

Nice way to try and spin your slavish devotion, Peg. It's all about his shiver-my-loins "determination." Sweetie, Bush is "determined" in much the same way that a person in a persistent vegetative state is "determined." Lack of thought, lack of analysis, lack of adaptation, that's not determination so much as a flatline on the old EEG.

"Burn your brand into me," Peggy said huskily, drawing him close. "I'm yours, mark me with your hot brand." The rough leather of his chaps against her naked thighs made her insides churn. She pressed her mouth to his ear and in a fierce, urgent whisper said, "Clear my brush. Clear my brush now."

Gee, I hope he doesn't use a chainsaw! Then again...


What they increasingly sense is that he's one thing or the other. And this is not a pleasant thing to sense. The stakes are so high. If you woke most Americans up at 3:00 in the morning and said, "Tell me, looking back, what would you have liked in an American president after 9/11?" most of them would answer, "I was just hoping for a good man who did moderately good things." Who caught Osama, cleaned out Afghanistan, made it proof of the possibility of change and of the price to be paid by those who choose terror as a tactic. Not this historical drama queen, this good witch or bad.

Peggy Noonan just called Bush a drama queen, folks. He's toast!

Go read the rest.

Why Bob Ney Needs To Be Punished,Besides Jail

I've got an idea,one that should be applied to every dirty,rotten,greedy,vain,criminal,disgusting politician who does nothing to help his or her constituency.

Once the jail time is over and done,there should be a car waiting to pick up the newly freed former politician. The car will then take them to the poorest part of their former district,call attention to them,and then leave them with 10 dollars in cash and nothing more. They then have to figure out how to live,in that area(they'll be tracked by some sort of GPS type gizmo)with the people they were supposed to be representing, for no less than 5 yrs. Let's call it The Fresh Start Plan For Criminal Politicians.

For Bob Ney(R-Nefarious Piece of Crap),I do believe this drop off location would be the area where my grandparents got married, my parents grew up,where I was born,and where my daughter and grandbabies live now. Oh,and as Ney enters The Fresh Start Plan,I get to snatch that ridiculous toupee off his head before he's dropped off to start the program.

That place where I was born used to be lovely farm country and stunningly beautiful forests(alot of the forest is still there,thank heavens),though the process of industrialization had begun before I was born. But family farms were still running,and industry had provided lots of jobs without being totally intrusive. Very few family farms remain today,the last of the larger ones went under in the 1980's,as the auto and steel industries also began to go to rust.

As industry moved in,and more and more people were dependant on that for income,people also moved away from "old fashioned"things like huge single family victory garden holdovers(my grandparents and many of their neighbors were children during the Depression,and vowed never to not have access to food again),root cellars,home preservation of food,neighborhood food exchanges("I'll trade you some of my potatoes,corn and tomatoes for part of one of your cows when you make meat out of them") and community co-operation.

When all those big industries finally abandoned the area(a drawn out,rather painful process)families and the small towns where they live were completely devastated.People who had pretty much always had decent(mostly union) blue collar jobs had NOTHING once those jobs left. And being at least a one to two hour drive from a major city meant being stuck in a place far away from any decent job prospects. A few of the factories are still around and running on the cheap,mostly til the remaining older workers are gone,and then those places will be nothing more than empty buildings sitting on parking lots with tall weeds breaking thru the concrete,joining the other abandoned factories from companies like Goodyear,Mead Paper,and something called Carborundum(which killed people from crap in the air,industrial diamond dust to be precise). And we won't even talk about the toxic shit dumps some of these places left behind that are just sitting there today,unattended. Goodyear dumped benzine there(I was also in a fire at that plant,where open containers of benzine were being used near a heat source,part of why I got laid off permanently.How no one got hurt or killed that day is nothing short of amazing),I saw it happen,so heaven only knows what else sits on just that site.

I left my birthplace for a shot at a better job when my job at the Goodyear factory ended,I was 21.I tried moving to a bigger city an hour away,working retail management,which sucked,I couldn't live and support myself,let alone raise a baby that would soon be a reality, on that kind of money.I decided to follow my parents to GA,stay with them for awhile(a nightmare) and start over. That Goodyear plant sits empty over 25 yrs later,though I hear that the front offices are being used for some sort of menial community service program and the occasional parenting class.

The generation after mine,today in their 20's,live in abject poverty.Many have never held more than a minimum wage job,if that.A whole generation,who are now having babies of their own,who have never worked and have no hope of working and no means to leave. Meth has moved in and taken a tremendous toll,and to be frank,all there is for young people to do is party and fuck.Or get into trouble. There's nothing but a Super WalMart(of course,which shut down damned near any remaining local businesses except the bars),a rinky dink Blockbuster,a few fast food places,bars and liquor stores,a few churches,a simply shameful school system,and a teen pregnancy epidemic. Think Appalachia,which isn't too far a drive from my birthplace. Hope and Opportunity is a rare commodity in this place,and political and business interests are directly responsible for that.

But meanwhile,back at the ranch,Bob Ney never felt a thing or visited the area even once that I know of. I imagine the only politicians there are local,and the little cabal of Republican operatives that control the election process(my daughter and her friends,poor white people,all had issues with voting in 2004,including intimidation).

It's more than just the bribes,or the gifts or the money grubbing greed that needs to be punished. Political corruption is a direct cause of human suffering. Callous disregard for the people you are supposed to be representing should be considered treason,in my not so very kind opinion.


Our pal Lambert:

Whenever I want to baseline the country's Bad Craziness, I check out the Rapture Index, your "prophetic speedometer of end-time activity":

You gotta wonder ...

What Ol' Joe-mentum has on them. Two posts from Jane over at FDL make me think that either the the top people of the AFL-CIO and NARAL are just stubborn, are on a payroll, or are butt buddies of Leiberman.



[AFL-CIO's John] Olsen faced strong opposition within his own union for supporting Joe, and now that Joe has left the party many within the AFL-CIO - including AFSCME, which recently endorsed Lamont - have been putting pressure on the leadership to abandon its unnatural love of Lieberman and back Lamont. Olsen told the NYT yesterday that they won't, however.




Local Connecticut NARAL head Carolyn Treiss is well aware of the limitations of Joe Lieberman and his positions with regard to reproductive rights - his comment telling rape victims to take a "short ride" if they want emergency contraception was no doubt one of the factors (along with his critical cloture vote for the ragingly anti-choice Samuel Alito) that led her to buck the national organization and vote for Ned Lamont when she was a delegate to the CT Democratic Convention in May of this year. She then went on to join Conncticut Choice Voice, an organization of pro-choice women supporting Ned Lamont and vigorously opposing Joe Lieberman for the lipservice he pays to women's issues that he quickly abandons whenever it's crunch time.

Nancy Keenan, on the other hand, went out of her way to defy local Connecticut choice groups and give the national NARAL endorsement to Lieberman.


So why, in these two organizations, powerful ones, have the leadership stubbornly refused to follow the rank and file's wishes? Call me a cynic, but if there were money or favors behind this, I wouldn't be surprised.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

If Thomas Paine Were Here

A BuzzFlash guest contribution by Brent Budowsky. Today's 'must read'.

Thomas Paine and his fellow traitor to the Crown and champion of democracy George Washington must be standing at the Gates of heaven and pounding the table while they call down to us with outrage about what we do.

Never before in the history of the Republic have the politics of fear been used so ignobly to put our freedoms under basic attack.

Never before in the history of the Republic have those freedoms been surrendered so casually, so fearfully, so timidly and so meekly by a society that so easily forgets about the rivers of blood of American heroes who died to give us what we so casually, so fearfully, so timidly and so meekly surrender today.

But I will tell you this: I will be damned if I will surrender even one of my rights, even one of your rights, even one of America's first principles, for somebody else's politics, or somebody else's fear. And I do not believe you would either.

I do not refer to what might happen. I refer to the freedoms that have already been surrendered, largely without a fight, though I propose that those who cannot decide whether voting is worth the effort, consider what these people would do if there is another terrorist attack, a prospect that would make George Washington tremble with anger and make Tom Paine pound his fist with rage.

George Washington crossed the Delaware with troops risking death in a river frozen with ice on a Christmas Eve, rallying them to courage, on behalf of a banner of freedom that they hoped, and prayed, and fought to make timeless.

George Bush implores our people to be afraid, and wants people to think: we may not be comfortable with a President who claims the unilateral power to abrogate the Bill of Rights and violate Federal Law at will with a signing statement, but he makes us feel a little bit safer, so it's ok. And so it happened.

Ski's just gettin' warmed up. Go read.

Coverin' ass

Bob Herbert via Live Journal

It seemed that the only people the president wasn't fighting with were the Democrats, who have gone into a coma, and the yahoos who never had much of a problem with such matters as torture and detention without trial.

As Marvin Gaye once sang, "What's going on?"

The people at the top are getting scared, that's what's going on. The fog of secrecy is lifting, and the Bush administration is frightened to death that it will eventually have to pay a heavy price for the human rights abuses it has ordered or condoned in its so-called war on terror.

The Supreme Court has ruled that the Geneva Conventions apply to the prisoners seized by the administration, which means that abusing those prisoners - as so many have said for so long - is unquestionably illegal. And there is also the possibility that the Democrats, if they ever wake up, may take control of at least one house of Congress, giving them the kind of subpoena power and oversight that makes the administration tremble.

The reason President Bush has been trying so frantically to get Congressional passage of his plan to interrogate and try terror suspects is that he needs its contorted interpretations of the law to keep important cases from falling apart, and to cover the collective keisters of higher-ups who may have authorized or condoned war crimes.

The people who would have to worry, if war crimes were found to have been committed, would be those at the top of the command structure who crafted policies that were illegal and ordered them carried out - or who turned a blind eye to atrocities.

Cheney, Rumsfeld, Bush, Gonzales, and on and on.

Since there's only so much rope, I propose we create a compound in the Mojave Desert for the many who will be awaiting the approaching 'final stretch'. They can be housed in FEMA trailers left over from Katrina. Not fancy, but very expensive digs. If the outgassing from the trailers' construction materials, or the heat, or the cold, or the sanitary facilities, or the food (I suggest leftover C-rations), or the rattlesnakes or boredom don't kill 'em, there'll always be the end of a rope. Eventually. Something for them to live for.


"The Senate must not pardon President Bush for breaking the law by illegally wiretapping innocent Americans. Instead, Congress should be holding him accountable."

Go. Do.

Torture? ¡No! Justice? ¡Si!


Since the White House says what it's doing isn't torture, they need to set up a demonstration. Take someone like Karl Rove or Ken Mehlman, and apply some of those techniques. Do it on live TV (although no nakedness from either..ick). I wonder what kind of confessions could be wrangled from those two after a little waterboarding. Their boss says it's not torture.

Where do I pre-order the DVD?

Daddy Frank on the phone about Bush

Check out a clip from Frank Rich's interview with The Young Turks, or watch the full interview.


I love my country the same way I love my kids. I know my children aren't angels, and I love them,flaws and all. And when the flaws end up hurting others or are just plain nasty,I don't spare my kids the consequences of their actions. Because I love them. I know that if I don't stop the rotten behavior,not only could it hurt someone else, it will make my kid into a monster. Which isn't good for the kid either. Same goes for my feelings about America. Though if I had to choose between my country and my family, my kids and grandkids would come first. I am oftentimes their only advocate(or at the very least,their primary advocate),and it's a commitment I proudly honor the best I can. It's kind of funny, the things I want and work for,for them,by extension are also good for the country overall. It just works out that way. I can't see me having to choose between my kids and my country unless my kids did something truly heinous,and even then, there's NOTHING either of my kids or any of my grandkids could do that would make me abandon them entirely. I think it's entirely possible to love someone and allow them to feel the consequences for their actions. I can also be angry with someone I love(not to be confused with being abusive)and still adore them and love them fiercely.One could argue that I might not get so upset with them if I didn't care so much(in a healthy way,I don't need to control things so much that I fly into a rage if things don't go my way,trying to scare people into bending to my will).

Conservatives today are pretty much very unable to grasp basic concepts like Cause and Effect,what real multitasking is(ask a mom about that one.I've been known to cook dinner,talk on the phone-for bidness,not yakking-,and tend to laundry whilst holding a baby on my hip),that you can love someone or your country without them being your narrow definition of"perfect", and mostly,they've just become the people who brought you"Fuck Everybody But Me"as their trademarked credo.

I'm not speaking about actual good old fashioned conservatism here either. Barry Goldwater style folks,who while sometimes more than a bit uptight,are frugal,fair,and not too brutal in what they feel is Government's role in our lives. Those are Conservatives I can sit down and have enlightening discourse with,without fighting and lying and shouting being a part of things. And chances are,even as a Proud Liberal,we'd find we agree on more stuff than not. But these days,Goldwater style folks are considered downright liberal. Welcome to the club,it must really be confusing as hell these days to hold healthy conservative values and politics,you don't feel like you belong anywhere,do you? Well,come on in and have a seat,I'll make some coffee or grab you a beer. Now you get how us Liberal types have been feeling for quite some time. We can't defend this crap anymore, and if you're willing to admit your party is nothing more than a massive critical enterprise and want to work with us to help stop it, I welcome you.

It's not a big secret that I hate large megacorporations(for many,many,many reasons). Whether or not they are run by evil people depends on your definition of evil I guess, but whatever the various intents behind these giant monsters,the RESULTS do end up being pretty nasty. The road to Hell being paved with Good Intentions and all that. Though to be honest,I do think alot of CEO and big shareholder types are indeed nasty pieces of work,almost without exception.

Case in Point:
War Profiteering.

If you're of a mind to follow along here,there's quite alot of video/documentary(and a few text pages) in the following links,but I think it's important to look at this stuff to understand the depths to which Justice is going to have to reach to effect real change for the better. Anything else is just band aids and postponing the inevitable destruction of not just this country,but the entire planet. I don' t think I'm being melodramatic either.

Keep in mind also that our system allows much of this to happen(not to mention that any actual rules/laws that are in place are violated without enforcement anyway)by making politics almost entirely about money and personal enrichment. And many of the people who profit quite a bit are also in charge of key areas in government at all levels. Therefore they have no incentive to do a damned thing to change it. We're kidding ourselves if we think elected officials give a rat's ass about us. There are rare gems like Paul Wellstone, but they are few and far between(and are too often either taken from us too soon,drummed out of office,become jaded and corruptable,or quit in disgust).


War Is A Racket

Dwight D Eisenhower's Farewell Address to the Nation

Why We Fight

War is Sell

Iraq's Missing Billions

Iraq For Sale

See a pattern here? And remember,this is nothing new,it's just grown and morphed and changed over the last few centuries into something that now threatens to engulf the entire planet. And this doesn't even take into account for the massive environmental damage done by these companies and all the sickness and pain this madness causes.

We can't figure out how to stop this if we don't know what's going on. It's deep,scary deep.

Quote of the Day

Via Jo Fish:

I'm just as frustrated as many Americans are that Saddam Hussein still lives. I think we ought to keep the pressure on him. I will tell you this: If we catch him developing weapons of mass destruction in any way, shape or form, I'll deal with that in a way that he won't like. ~ George W. Bush

Guess when the Chimp said this?

February 16, 2000

The invasion of Iraq was planned long before the idiot even thought about running for the Presidency and 9/11 was the key to its implementation. Discuss.

Assessing the threat

Via our pal 42, I found this ed in The Week:


Perhaps it's time to re-evaluate the al Qaida threat, said Youssef Ibrahim in The New York Sun. The organization may be capable of occasional bombing strikes on Western civilians, but it's a small, grubby group of fanatics blinded by its own ideology. These few thousand men do not pose "an existential danger to the world." When they fought the Soviets in Afghanistan, they "lost every battle they ever engaged in." Their previous bombings - the World Trade Center in 1993, U.S. embassies in Africa in 1998, the USS Cole in 2000 - were "more pugnacious than crippling." Only the grotesquely successful assault of Sept. 11 made al Qaida seem like a menace to Western civilization itself. It's now clear that it is not, said John Tierney in The New York Times. Compared with the Nazis, who had the world's most powerful military, and the Soviet Union, which had the ability to incinerate every square inch of the U.S. in a matter of minutes, al Qaida's terrorists are "a minor problem." It may sound flip to say so, but the fact is that more Americans have died in bathtubs over the past five years than have died in al Qaida attacks. [my ems]


The current administration in the United States is a far bigger threat to Western Civilization that Osama ever was. Al Qaeda is a gift from Allah to the Chimp and the military-industrial complex.

Monday, September 18, 2006

A final word about Ann Richards

Please go read the late Former Governor Richards' Speech to the Democratic National Convention in '88. She got it just a teeny bit wrong, but it will show you what kind of lady she was.

Buenas noches, mis amigos!

I am delighted to be here with you this evening because after listening to George Bush all these years, I figured you needed to know what a real Texas accent sounds like.

A tip o' the Brain to Sumo.

Dodge City

NBC Baghdad Blog via Dr. Attaturk (Podiatrist to the Stars):


Here, a Facilities Protection Service officer examined the paperwork granting us permission to film at the complex. The Facilities Protection Service (FPS) is a guard force that works for each ministry; since the Ministry of Health is run by a supporter of Muqtada al-Sadr, the Ministry of Health Facilities Protection Service is known to be thoroughly infiltrated by militiamen from Sadr's Mahdi Army.

The FPS officer glanced at my paperwork, told me to leave my crew at the checkpoint and to follow him inside. There I met with a commander of the morgue's FPS platoon, a short man dressed in civilian clothes. He made a phone call to a higher-ranking official and said it was okay for us to film.

As I was walking back outside, gunfire erupted all around us. It turns out the Ministry of Health FPS had gotten into a firefight with nearby FPS officers from the Ministry of Electricity, which is not run by a al-Sadr supporter. Unfortunately, my crew was caught in the middle.

Firefight at the morgue
With bullets crackling overhead, I yelled at my crew to run towards me and take cover behind a concrete barricade. The Ministry of Health FPS also took cover behind our barricade and continued to fire at the Electricity FPS officers about 100 feet away.

One of the Health FPS officers near us was furiously firing a PKC machinegun and yelling, "I will kill every one of them. I will kill every one of those Sunni bastards."


How is this not a civil war? Not only the press, but our troops are caught in the middle of this shit every day. We caused this ladies and germs. Iraq under Saddam and his psycho sons was a stable nation. As long as you stayed out of the way, you could live a relatively normal life. If the War in Iraq and the subsequent occupation is not a war crime, the Nazis were chior boys.

'Til her daddy takes the Abrams away...

Stolen with glee and verbatim from Brother Lurch of Main and Central:

What happens when you have the following?

1. Soldiers with too much time on their hands.

2. Soldiers with audio-video equipment

3. Soldiers with a great sense of humor......

It may be too late, but Liquid Alert!

Charlie Brown Update

Charlie Brown is the Democratic candidate for the House of Representatives from CA-04. I'm on his list, and ergo, so are you. Here are his latest press clips:

In this week's clips:

1. The Sacramento Bee endorsed Charlie Brown for Congress on Sunday, September 17th.

2. A Poll was released earlier in the week showing the 4th CD race between Brown and Doolittle is now a dead heat. And when positives are read about each candidate, Charlie Brown surges to a 9 point lead.

3. The Doolittle camp has acknowledged they are in trouble, announcing President Bush will be visiting the 4th CD on October 3rd to help raise money for Doolittle.

4. Brown launches, a website devoted to the truth on John Doolittle's support for the Abramoff linked government of the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands---which tolerates widespread abuses like forced abortions, sex slavery, and sweatshop labor, Doolittle has known about the abuses for more than 10 years, and instead of doing something about them, has championed the cause of using U.S. tax dollars to fund the corrupt CNMI government. Jack Abramoff referred to him as the U.S. Territory's "hero."

5. The Group Republicans for Charlie Brown has formally launched - citing Charlie's strong record on national security, fiscal discipline, and leading with integrity as reasons for their support.

6. John Doolittle has the 2nd worst record on veterans' issues in the House during the 109th Congress. Even though he votes himself a pay raise every year, and sends out taxpayer funded campaign mailers, Doolittle says it's too expensive to provide our troops with the support they've earned and deserve.

Charlie's Latest Blog: Intelligence and the Last Name on the Vietnam Wall.

And much, much more.

Full Clips are attached. (They're available at his site's Media Center - G)

Todd A. Stenhouse
Communications Director
Brown for Congress
P.O. Box 4506
Auburn, CA 95604-4506
(916) 455-6640--direct
(916) 397-1131--mobile

Back to Gordon. Charlie has yet to plan anything for my area. This is understandable in light of the fact that 90% of the voters are where he is and not where I am, but it'd be nice if he came up here to show the flag, like a gunboat going up the Yangtze.


From Wayne's Whirled!:

There is already clarity in the...Geneva Convention, and the McCain Amendment. What the Bush administration wants is to introduce vagueness to get away with exactly the same barabarism they have deploying illegally for the past five years. They must be stopped. And eventually, they must be prosecuted for war crimes.

Quote is from that cute little bald-headed Andrew Sullivan on the occasion of the preznit's "Give me what I want or I'll let them kill you in your beds" speech from the Rose Garden. Oh, dearie me!

Webb kicks Allen's ass on Press the Meat

That title may lead you to believe I'm just a smidgen biased. Ya caught me.

Here's a WaPo article on yesterday's debate between highly decorated Marine combat Vet and former SecNav Jim Webb and George Allen (R(acist)-VA) on Meet the Press. Transcript.

Shorter: Webb knew his shit and gave forthright answers. Allen knew Repug talking points and successfully dodged giving direct answers.

Shorter still: "Semper Fi" good. "Macaca" bad.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Fire Lookouts

Just an interesting article on Forest Service fire lookouts in the LATimes.

The one nearest to me, less than ten miles, is Martis Peak Lookout. I've been up there many times. The view is fabulous. The lake in the 'General View South' is Lake Tahoe. On a clear day, increasingly rare, you can see Mt. Shasta, 150 miles to the north. That site says the road is paved, but I've never seen that. They must have paved it pretty recently, but they've done that to a lot of the old dirt roads in the woods around here. It used to be a pretty good dirt bike road, but old Judge Wilson's wife used to summer up there lookin' for smoke, and he would drag his 24-foot trailer up there behind a Cadillac! I think he made the third rut with his oil pan...

Also see the view from Verdi Peak Lookout. The road is I-80 heading east towards Reno. The structure in the lower right is a casino/gas station/blanket-ass smoke shop.

Oh, what the hell, one more: Sardine Peak Lookout.

Just for fun, check out the Tahoe and Toiyabe National Forests. My back yard.

I like it up here in the mountains.

Governator will sign Hang-Up-And-Drive Bill


California will become the fourth state in the country to ban motorists from holding cellphones while driving under legislation Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced he will sign into law today.

It's a good start, but doesn't address the real problem:

Though the only official opponent of the bill was the Sprint-Nextel cellular phone company, several lawmakers argued that the act of conversing - not of holding a phone - is the real distraction to drivers.

They also argued that children, the radio, pets, hamburgers and sodas are all as likely to divert drivers' attention as cellphones.

They left out the danger of gettin' some skull at 80 per. Talk about distractions! Let alone the thought of what's gonna get bit off in the accident... Heehee!

This won't affect Ah-nold's supporters too much. those Escalades and Navigators have hands-free phones. When they crash into you, they'll get off the hook like they always do.

Go read the rest. Pictures and video, too.

Daily Dave*

Back from the Mejias press conference this afternoon. Being an agitator as opposed to a journalist, I didn't know what to expect. We showed up early (the Mrs. accompanied me) and hung around waiting for the candidate. Personally, I figured he'd show up with an entourage but instead I spotted him coming up the sidewalk alone, stopping to say hello to one of Nassau County's finest who was there to keep things orderly. It was easy duty for the cop.

He said hello to us, and to the big shots from the Long Island environmental community, and then, in the shadow of one of Nassau County's dirtiest Superfund sites, laid out the ways Peter King has failed Long Island in the environmental arena.

  • Peter King voted against increasing funding for the Superfund, jeopardizing the cleanup of hundreds of toxic sites.

  • King supported funding cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency.

  • King voted to allow offshore drilling for natural gas.

  • King voted to shield gas companies from lawsuits involving MTBE that's infiltrating Long Island's groundwater.

  • King voted to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas drilling.

  • And then the candidate told us about his accomplishments ...

  • Ban on Arsenic Treated Wood

  • Fighting the Expansion of Republic Airport

  • Solar Panel Sales Tax Exemptions

  • Hybrid Car Sales Exemption

  • ... Among a host of others before the environmentalists took their turns praising the candidate and giving their endorsements.

    After the press conference Mr. Mejias spoke to the Mrs. and me for a few minutes, explaining that on his watch, the miserable eyesore across the street would be nothing but a bad memory. Of course, I got the Mrs. to take an obligatory snap of Mr. Mejias and me.

    I'm the one on the left. Heh ...

    And I should add, Mr. Mejias, in his speech, managed to link Peter King and the Chimp at every opportunity. Good man.

    Learn about the candidate and volunteer - Dave for America

    Contribute - Dave's ActBlue page.

    Vote for Dave Mejias. Do you live in NY-03?

    *Press conference edition.
    Yes, I know about the dates on the pics. I was dicking with my camera and reset them accidentally. Sue me. Click the pics to embiggen.


    BuzzFlash is inviting comments on the nature of Rove's October Surprise.

    So, let's put this one out to BuzzFlash readers.

    Can you predict the October surprise?

    Is Osama going to suddenly be "captured" in a pre-arranged "daring raid," which will turn out to be staged, because the Busheviks have had him in custody for sometime, just waiting for the midterms?

    Or will there be another October surprise?

    Let us know your thoughts.

    Some of the thoughts:

    I've maintained for several years now that Osama's hanging out at the family compound in Saudi, drinking Margaritas and shooting the breeze with Poppy Bush, getting his feet (or some other part of his body) rubbed by a white slave girl from L.A.---and waiting for his next cameo as the "Phantom Menace". Osama was C.I.A. from the get-go (1979), and you don't just "retire" from the firm when you're THAT important. If they "catch" him, they'll retire him to someplace comfortable and out of the way of prying eyes, with a gold watch for honored service. The Cheney Oil Boyz and Al-Queda are part and parcel of the same team---a team that (at least on the "American" side) acts like a bunch of macho adolescent boys who've just found Daddy's gun in the closet to play with, and who are too pig-headed and stupid to pour piss out of a boot from the instructions on the heel---or care that this planet is coming to pieces climatically, economically, and energy-wise. They think they'll wreck it and then pick up the pieces----well, the law of unintended consequences is kicking in big-time, and we are ALL paying the price! Dangerous goddamn fool chimpanzees with nukes---makes me ashamed of my nationality.

    Is there any other reason why the entire area over Cheney's ranch was made a no fly zone? Osama and friends likely are holed up there, guests of our VP, waiting to make appearances as necessary to ensure Repuglican victory.

    An October surprise isn't really necessary. The Diebold voting machines are pre set at the factory.

    Many more. Enjoy.

    Top Ten Worst

    Go see Cenk Uygur's list of the Top Ten Worst People in the Bush Administration, with commentary.

    You know this list is hideous when John Ashcroft can't crack the Top Ten. John Bolton would finish in the top two of almost any other "worst person" list. But this is a murderer's row of incompetents, fool, knaves, and - in the immortal words of the president - evil-doers.

    There is nothing George Bush won't do to cover up his own insecurities. The man has been an abject failure in every aspect of his life. He was terrible at school. He was cowardly in the face of battle. He destroyed every business he ran. And he knows it.

    But he buries it deep down inside. He puts on his fake swagger and pretends he earned his place in the world. He was born as American royalty and he thinks he built the empire. He has had everything handed to him and smashed it to pieces.

    What is important to him is that he appears powerful and that he wins. What are not important are the consequences of his decisions. The reason we had no post-war plan for Iraq is the same reason Bush had no post-election strategy for governing - because he does not care to govern.

    He wants the ticker tape parade, the landing on the aircraft carrier, the hero's welcome. Then what happens afterward is none of his concern. He can't be bothered.

    So, I have come to develop a loathing for him. If you want to accuse me of hating George Bush, go right ahead. Guilty as charged. If a man is this indifferent to the people whose lives hang in the balance based on his actions, I think he is a terrible person. If you don't hate him, you're not paying attention.

    Congratulations, George W. Bush. You have done what seemed impossible, become less likable than Dick Cheney. You should be proud, you win!

    They're all less popular with me than dog shit in my Vibram soles. Mr. Uygur uncorks his true feelings elsewhere in his piece as well. Go read.