Saturday, November 4, 2006


I wish I could write like Ed:


I haven't seen or heard demagoguery on such a level since the last time that I watched 'Triumph of the Will' and the glazed look on the faces of the zombies in the audience was eerily similar to the normal looking Germans in what is widely hailed as the greatest propaganda film of all time. Bush's speech writers and image masters are now outdoing themselves and are starting to make Leni Riefenstahl and Paul Joseph Goebbels look like rank amateurs by comparison.


By Tuesday, that Liberal Hunting License might become a reality. Desperate men are dangerous men.

The Army Times editorial

Full text at Montag's. Gord alluded to this yesterday:


For two years, American sergeants, captains and majors training the Iraqis have told their bosses that Iraqi troops have no sense of national identity, are only in it for the money, don't show up for duty and cannot sustain themselves.

Meanwhile, colonels and generals have asked their bosses for more troops. Service chiefs have asked for more money.

And all along, Rumsfeld has assured us that things are well in hand.

Now, the president says he'll stick with Rumsfeld for the balance of his term in the White House.

This is a mistake.


No shit.

Programming note

Kenneth Quinnell and the Old White Lady have been gracious enough to rerun my novel The Captains over at The Practical Press. If you missed it when I ran it last year, here's another chance. I post a chapter on Saturday nights or Sunday mornings. Chapter 3 just went up.

WTF? - 2

Since all a lot of the Olde Fartes (y!lctp!) bitched about the black, how's the flag motif? We go back to the camo on Wednesday.

Eating their own

Vanity Fair:

As Iraq slips further into chaos, the war's neoconservative boosters have turned sharply on the Bush administration, charging that their grand designs have been undermined by White House incompetence. In a series of exclusive interviews, Richard Perle, Kenneth Adelman, David Frum, and others play the blame game with shocking frankness. Target No. 1: the president himself.


The above named men (and a few more I can think of) should be the first upon the gallows when the revolution comes.

Hat tip to C & L.

Why you should vote Dem

Commander Huber:


At the end of the day, we'll likely do something that combines John Murtha's proposal of redeploying to the periphery, focusing whatever troop strength we leave in-country in Baghdad, and a sea change in our diplomatic efforts with Iran and Syria. And the sooner that day comes, the better.

But that day won't come any time soon if we leave the elephants in charge of Congress next week. Neoconservative rule has already put America's ship of state bow down in a sand dune. Two more years of it, and the United States will have guaranteed its fate as a footnote in a Mandarin language history book. [my em]


We'll go back to the standard Uniform of the Day on Wednesday. The new look is to remind people how critical this election is.




While the two candidates disagree over the accuracy of a recent poll that shows them in a dead heat, the race is close enough to encourage Democratic supporters to reach into their pocketbooks. Mr. Mejias has raised more than $650,000, with roughly 75% coming from individuals.

The DCCC has taken note, adding Mr. Mejias to its Red to Blue program, which introduces congressional candidates to Democratic donors across the country. [my em]


As I was telling Froggy in comments on another "Dave" post, I've seen the grassroots following for Dave swell from just Mrs F and me attending his events to people stacked 5 deep and a city block long on the sidewalk on Thursday afternoon. Long Islanders are waking up.

Read the entire New York Sun article at PKW.

Learn about the candidate and volunteer - Dave for America

Contribute - Dave's ActBlue page.

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

Friday, November 3, 2006

Rumsfeld! Fall out!

Pensito Review

On MSNBC, Keith Olbermann is reporting that on Monday, the day before the midterm elections, editorials will run in the most influential military newspapers calling on President Bush to fire Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

The editorials will say they are giving voice to a silent majority of uniformed personnel who are are prohibited from speaking because of respect for the office of the presidency.

The editorials will run in Army Times, Air Force Times, Marine Corps Times and Navy Times, which are privately owned and not affiliated with government.

This is good and the timing is right for the election, but I doubt it will accomplish anything vis-a-vis getting rid of the senile evil old fool


Our pal Scout Prime emailed me yesterday about a story on PTSD and I meant to send you over there this morning. Do it now.

Some sad statistics and I worry we are creating a generation of folks who find just living day to day a real challenge.

139 - 1


... Amnesty International won a major victory today when a the UN passed a vote to draft resolution for a global Arms Trade Treaty to curtail the international weapons trade that fuels " conflict, poverty, and serious human rights violations." Amnesty International formed a Control Arms Trade alliance with individuals and other groups to persuade the UN to take these measures. The vote to draft the resolution was the first step, with 139 nations voting in favor, and only one nation voting against, the United States... [my em]

Because every household should have at least one Kalashnikov.

Laughable ...

A buncha reality-based vets refused to take a Rethug seriously. Good on 'em:

PALMETTO -- Republican Vern Buchanan was interrupted by laughter during a debate before a group of veterans Thursday when he insisted that the White House has a strategy for the war in Iraq.


Buchanan had objected to [Democrat Christine] Jennings' repeating her frequent charge that the Bush administration doesn't have a strategy for winning the war.

"But there is a strategy and it needs to be flexible," he said.

Some of the veterans started chuckling, and Buchanan had to stop speaking after telling them that he expected the White House would adopt a more flexible strategy.


They heard it before, pal. 40 years ago, and it means as much now as it did then.

Great thanks to Maru.

Bechtel bags bucks, boogies...

Paul Krugman

As Bechtel goes, so goes the whole reconstruction effort. Whatever our leaders may say about their determination to stay the course complete the mission, when it comes to rebuilding Iraq they've already cut and run. The $21 billion allocated for reconstruction over the last three years has been spent, much of it on security rather than its intended purpose, and there's no more money in the pipeline.

The failure of reconstruction in Iraq raises three questions. First, how much did that failure contribute to the overall failure of the war? Second, how was it that America, the great can-do nation, in this case couldn't and didn't? Finally, if we've given up on rebuilding Iraq, what are our troops dying for?

That's an easy one: they're dying for oil, capitalistic greed, imperialism, and Bush's ego.

Consider the symbolism of Iraq's new police academy, which Stuart Bowen, the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction, has called "the most essential civil security project in the country." It was built at a cost of $75 million by Parsons Corporation, which received a total of about $1 billion for Iraq reconstruction projects. But the academy was so badly built that feces and urine leak from the ceilings in the student barracks.

Think about it. We want the Iraqis to stand up so we can stand down. But if they do stand up, we'll dump excrement on their heads.

I think we have more in common with the Iraqis than we knew.

As for how this could have happened, that's easy: major contractors believed, correctly, that their political connections insulated them from accountability. Halliburton and other companies with huge Iraq contracts were basically in the same position as Donald Rumsfeld: they were so closely identified with President Bush and, especially, Vice President Cheney that firing or even disciplining them would have been seen as an admission of personal failure on the part of top elected officials.

As a result, the administration and its allies in Congress fought accountability all the way. Administration officials have made repeated backdoor efforts to close the office of Mr. Bowen, whose job is to oversee the use of reconstruction money. Just this past May, with the failed reconstruction already winding down, the White House arranged for the last $1.5 billion of reconstruction money to be placed outside Mr. Bowen's jurisdiction. And now, finally, Congress has passed a bill whose provisions include the complete elimination of his agency next October.

The bottom line is that those charged with rebuilding Iraq had no incentive to do the job right, so they didn't.

You can see, by the way, why a Democratic takeover of the House, if it happens next week, would be such a pivotal event: suddenly, committee chairmen with subpoena power would be in a position to investigate where all the Iraq money went.

You can bet your bottom dollar the administration doesn't want that to happen. They'd have to let a bunch of pot smokers out of prison to make room.

And we're not planning to do anything about it: the U.S.-led reconstruction effort in Iraq is basically over. I don't know whether the administration is afraid to ask U.S. voters for more money, or simply considers the situation hopeless. Either way, the United States has accepted defeat on reconstruction.

Since reconstruction is done with, and Bush's puppet Iraqi government now appears to be strong enough to tell U.S. troops what to do, all that's left is the dying.

Somebody please slant-drill into Iraq and siphon off all the oil so our men and women can come home.

Please go to the link and read the first comment.


Following up on my post from the Mejias press conference with Ambassador Joe Wilson yesterday. From the Mejias camp via email:

FARMINGDALE - Former Ambassador Joseph Wilson came to Long Island today to campaign with Nassau County Legislator Dave Mejias, Democratic candidate for Congress in New York's Third Congressional District. While on Long Island, Wilson and Mejias spoke to members of the press about the failures of Peter King and this Republican-controlled Congress to provide the necessary oversight their positions demand because of blind partisanship. Our country was mislead into a war with no end in sight, because Congressmen like Peter King were too busy vying for power instead of asking the tough questions. Now that King is Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, he is a reliable rubber stamp for George Bush, and has voted with the President 100% of the time on matters of Iraq.

"Peter King cares more about keeping his job than doing his job," said Mejias. "Our young men and women are fighting and dying in Iraq with no end in sight because Peter King and the Republican controlled Congress rubber stamped Bush's failed policies. King is President Bush's most ardent supporter; he votes lock step with President Bush and refuses to recognize the severity of the situation in Iraq. King recently said that downtown Baghdad is as safe as downtown Iraq, and stood by his statement that 95 percent of Iraq is secure and safe."

Former Ambassador Joseph Wilson gained national attention in July 2003 when he penned an opinion-editorial article in the New York Times questioning President Bush's rationale for going to war in Iraq. Shortly thereafter, Bush administration officials disclosed to the press that his wife, Valerie Plame, was a CIA officer who held non-official cover status. Wilson has been campaigning across America for various Congressional candidates and came to Long Island to lend support to Dave Mejias, who he calls the personification of the American success story.

"This is the most important election of my life, it is about restoring accountability in American Government and this can only be done with a Democratic majority in Congress," said former Ambassador Joseph Wilson. "The Republicans have marched lock step in every way behind George Bush and his White House minions sacrificing the Constitution of the United States on the altar of misplaced partisan loyalty."

At today's press conference Dave Mejias and Ambassador Wilson were joined by U.S. veterans Tom Cleere, Richard Wood, George Olenick, and Al Britvan. Tom Cleere, a former United States Army Captain and Iraq war veteran spoke at the event. "I served in Iraq and I can attest that Downtown Baghdad is not as safe as Downtown Manhattan, Peter King is out of touch with the realities in the Middle East. I have known Dave Mejias for many years, I am confident that Dave will better represent us in Congress because he knows about honor, commitment and the need to ask questions; all qualities that I learned about during my service in the Army."

While introducing Ambassador Wilson, Dave Mejias commended Wilson for his great service and unwavering dedication to our Country. "I greatly admire Joe Wilson's courage and determination," said Mejias. "It is no wonder he chose Dante Alighieri's quote 'The hottest places in Hell are reserved for those who, in times of great moral crisis, maintain their neutrality' from The Divine Comedy as the epigraph in his book The Politics of Truth." [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?


Yeah, ya gotta watch them terrists and the Axis of Eeeevil. They want to learn how to make a nuke. I wonder where they'll get the know-how? Why, from the U.S. government of course:

Last March, the federal government set up a Web site to make public a vast archive of Iraqi documents captured during the war. The Bush administration did so under pressure from Congressional Republicans who had said they hoped to "leverage the Internet" to find new evidence of the prewar dangers posed by Saddam Hussein.

But in recent weeks, the site has posted some documents that weapons experts say are a danger themselves: detailed accounts of Iraq's secret nuclear research before the 1991 Persian Gulf war. The documents, the experts say, constitute a basic guide to building an atom bomb. [my em]


God, what a buncha idiots running this country. 5 days left, ladies and germs. If you're a Dem, you'd better have your ass at the polls on Tuesday, goddammit.

*Do It Yourself. Tip o' the Brain to Digby for the link.

Thursday, November 2, 2006

November 7 May Be Point Of No Return

Robert Parry

In many ways, Election 2006 not only marks the last chance to exact some accountability from those responsible for the disastrous Iraq War and other failures, but it also represents a point of no return for a nation hurtling toward a future of endless warfare abroad and a new-age totalitarianism at home.

If Bush follows the pattern of 2002 and 2004, he will interpret a Republican victory on Nov. 7 as a mandate for pursuing and expanding his policies.

That would presumably please neoconservative activists and prominent Republicans, such as former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who have spoken eagerly about waging "World War III" against Islamic militants around the globe.

Since much of the "World War III" talk is tossed about in a cavalier fashion, it is not clear if its promoters have weighed the likely consequences of fighting a global conflict with many of the world's one billion Muslims. How the United States would muster the vast numbers of troops needed for such an endeavor has never been explained.

In his stump speeches, Bush agrees that Election 2006 represents a crucial turning point for the nation, although his warning is of the dire consequences from a Democratic victory.

On Oct. 30 in a speech in Statesboro, Georgia, Bush added, "However they put it, the Democrat approach in Iraq comes down to this: The terrorists win and America loses."

Despite the sometimes over-heated rhetoric, Election 2006 does come down to these fundamental questions:

Does the public's desire for more safety from terrorists trump the nation's historic commitment to constitutional liberties? Should the United States abandon its founding principles as a Republic where citizens possess "unalienable rights" and trade that in for a system where one man decides where to wage war and whom to imprison?

Is "World War III" between the United States and Islamic militants inevitable or should other alternatives be tried first aimed at reducing tensions and isolating the hard-core extremists?

Granted, these are difficult and complex issues for the U.S. press corps to explain. It's a lot easier to frame a story around John Kerry's joke.

But no American should go to the polls on Nov. 7 - whether voting Republican or Democratic - without recognizing what that vote will mean. The United States is at a dangerous crossroads. Indeed, it may be at a point of no return.

November 7th may be the salvation or the damnation of the United States for generations to come. It's our choice, depending on who counts the votes.

Go read this one.


These guys are smarter than Bush and his evil dwarves. They apparently got the joke even though it was botched.

Tourist Bounty


Iran is offering money to travel agents who can lure certain types of tourists to Iran, and the rate is double for bringing European and American travelers.

"Iran's Tourism Department will pay $20 for every American or European tourist that travel agents can bring," Mohammad Sharif Malekzadeh, deputy director of the Tourism and Cultural Heritage Organization, said Tuesday in a statement reported by the news agency IRNA. The statement also specified a $10 payment for luring Asian tourists.

Well, they're small.

"We do not have a problem with American people," Ahmadinejad said. "We oppose only the U.S. government's bullying and arrogance."

Hmmm. I got more of a problem with American people than he does. About 30% of 'em anyway. I totally agree about the government.

Last month, Iran offered to open its nuclear sites to foreign visitors as another incentive for visitors. Esfandiar Rahim-Masahai, head of the Tourism and Cultural Heritage Organization, said Ahmadinejad had ordered the move and that it was intended, in part, to convince the world that the nuclear program is peaceful.

I think, given who's in charge of our B-52s and Tomahawks, that I'd rather go to the zoo, thank you.

Despite Iran's diverse landscape and ancient historical sites, the effort to attract more foreign tourists has failed so far.

A ban on alcohol and a law that requires women to cover their hair have been powerful hindrances.

Iran also has insufficient hotels and tourist facilities around the country because of its isolation since the 1979 Islamic revolution.

Most tourists are Shiite Muslim pilgrims from the region who travel to religious sites.

This is just soundin' better and better, huh?

Malekzadeh said tourists can also apply for visas on the Internet to ease the process.

Boy, that'd settle your vacation plans! All expenses paid, free rides to and from the airport, accommodations to rival the finest in Teheran, warm breezes. Gitmo, here I come!

Dave Mejias and Joe Wilson

Just wow. Joe Wilson is amazing. The detail he keeps in his head, names, dates, places, and he spoke off the cuff for about 20 minutes. He and the candidate took turns slamming Peter King and George Bush and I had to stop myself from just yelling out 'you tell 'em, boys'. Ambassador Wilson spoke of Karl Rove and Scooter Libby as "toadies, lickspittles, and traitors".

We spoke for a few minutes afterward about his problems with the administration and the hassle they've had since his wife's outing at the hands of BoobBob Novak. He related that Peter King said it was "a good thing" Valerie Plame was outed. Their civil suit against the administration is moving forward; I hope they put the screws to 'em. He told me his problems were nothing compared to what our troops face in Iraq. I also wished him and his family well from the staff here at the Brain and he said he'd check us out.

Happily, Dave didn't drag my ass over to say anything this time (My prepared remarks posted here if you're interested.) and after the press conference, the candidate and the ambassador waded into the crowd outside Mejias Headquarters.

And a little 'inside baseball': I've been bugging Mr. Mejias about his wearing the same tie to every appearance. It's a beautiful red, white, and blue striped affair and he loves it. The first thing he says to me when I walk into the office today is, "look, Rich, I got a new tie!"

Learn about the candidate and volunteer - Dave for America

Contribute - Dave's ActBlue page.

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

Vote Flipping in Texas

From KFDM, Deep in the Heart of Texas:

Friday night, KFDM reported about people who had cast straight Democratic ticket ballots, but the touch-screen machines indicated they had voted a straight Republican ticket.

Saturday, KFDM spoke to another voter who says it's not just happening with straight ticket voting, he says it's happening on individual races as well, Jerry Stopher told us when he voted for a Democrat, the Republican's name was highlighted.

Stopher said, "There's something in these machines, in this equipment, that's showing Republican votes when you vote for Democrats, and I know Ms. Guidry's a nice lady, and she's working hard, but her theory that my fingernail was somehow over the Republican button is just unrealistic, my fingernail was not. The equipment is not working properly as far as I can tell."

Jefferson county clerk Carolyn Guidry says her office has checked the calibration of the machines and found no problems.

No problems at all. They're working just like they're supposed to.


From Cursor:

'Gay escort claims sex tryst with preacher' Ted Haggard, who heads 'America's Most Powerful Megachurch.'

*You figure it out.

Interview With A Small Planet

Go see this interview with Gore Vidal. He has a few words to say about nearly everything, such as Iraq, 9/11, the Bush coup d'etat and the state of the nation. He has a few choice words about the media as well.

Memorable quote: "This is a curious country. We have more good writers than good readers."

The video is long, but it's the best 18 minutes you'll spend with your clothes on today.

I love it when the mighty falleth....with a CRASH.

Oh it's a good day in my world,mweeheehee...First,I get a totally awesome haircut at lunchtime that makes me look fucking fabulous,and then I read of the beginning of the end of one of Colorado Springs' evangelical leaders with ties to the White House. Meth AND Gay Hookers,what a prize package bonanza.

The reason I have it in for people like Pastor Ted is because what he does literally destroys families. My family has directly been ripped apart by this kind of disgusting hypocrisy and self-centered greed and hatred,so when one of these fucks is exposed for being the sorry excuse for a man he is,oh,it brings such joy and warmth into the cockles of my teeny little black liberal heart.

Make sure you read that first link on John's site to the Harper's article,pay attention to the homo-erotic artwork all over Ted's "church".

Look,it's simple. This warped brand of christianity HATES women. Healthy gay men don't hate women at all, repressed,controlling,misogynistic,hateful gay men do,especially when they have access to power of any sort. They parade around as hetero,but 9 times out of 10,they aren't remotely attracted to women,they're gay.Gay.Gay.Gay. Teh Gay! If they weren't so repressed,they probably wouldn't be so pervy and mean. They do a shitload of damage to every life they influence or touch, and for that reason,they have no choice but to crash and burn,eventually. But not before they do horrific damage. Unfortunately these days,far too many of them have been allowed into the Halls of Power,many times in stealth mode(how fitting for someone in the closet),where they sow more seeds of division and hatred. While making a fortune to boot.

So it's good,a very,very,very good thing,when one of them takes a header into an empty concrete swimming pool. Sadly,his wife and 5 kids will pay a heavy price,but they've been paying all along just by being around this venomous creature.

Personally,I'm doing a happy dance of joy. It would have been better if it had been one of Ted's very special Colorado Springs neighbors,James Dobson,but Ted's a good start. (and I know,call it my womanly intuition,that Daddy Dobson has some serious wicked ugly shit in his closet,I wish someone would come forward with some heinous dirt on that man,soon.I know it's there,beyond what we do know about him for certain)

Quote of the Day

From, of all people, Andrew Sullivan!

"This is not an election anymore, it's an intervention."


Great Prophet Two

Much saber-rattling and flexing of muscles in the Persian Gulf area. From Al Jazeera:

Iran has started military exercises in the Arabian gulf just days after six other nations, including the United States, held a series of exercises in the same area.

The television station said that the military manoeuvres, named Great Prophet Two, would last until November 11 and include drills in the gulf and Sea of Oman, and would be a show of defensive strength.

General Yahya Rahim Safavi, commander of the Revolutionary Guards, was quoted as saying: "The war games are aimed at demonstrating the deterrent power of the [Iranian Revolutionary] guards against possible threats."

Safavi said the drills were not a threat to Iran's neighbours.

"Our neighbours are our friends," he said. "The guards just want to prove that they ready to resist in any threatening situation."

The announcement came two days after US-led warships finished a two days of exercises in the gulf which were described by Iran as "adventurist".

Iran said the drills involving Australia, Bahrain, Britain, France, Italy and the US would not improve security in the waters of the gulf, through which about 20 per cent of the world's oil passes. It also called on gulf nations to set up their own regional security arrangements.

"Regional security arrangements" sounds to me like a warning to those gulf states allied with the U.S.

These are the country's third war games this year.

In August, Iranian armed forces held a cross country military exercise called Zolfaghar Blow to test new weapons and tactics against a potential enemy. The first stage of the Great Prophet war games was held in April.

"Potential enemy"? Who could that be?

"Cross-country military exercise"? Gee, what country could they possibly want to cross? I guess they want to make to make sure all their tanks and trucks run good in case they have to make a dash to Baghdad.

Read what a few experts have to say about "military options in Iran". You'll know more than Bush on the subject if you don't already.

Dare a crazy motherfucker like Ahmadinejad to do crazy shit, say by bombing his country, and we're likely to find out just how crazy he really is.

The Iranian army isn't very big, best guess about 350,000 troops and mostly draftees, but double that by combining them with Iraqi Shiite militias and all the Iraqi troops and police we've trained, who will turn on us in a minute because they have to live there after we're gone, and we may get to fight the kind of war we thought we would have with Saddam's army.

Only this time we'll get to do it with worn-out troops and equipment, and a 300 klick contested overland supply route from Kuwait to Baghdad, let alone to Anbar, etc. I think it will be all we can do to get our guys out of there. Read up on Dunkirk. Better yet, the German retreat from Russia, or the fighting withdrawal from the Chosin Reservoir. Those are all about defeated armies GTFO of places.

"Number Two" does not begin to describe what our "Great Prophet" Bush has gotten us into.

Not Better Late Than Never

Matt Taibbi climbs the News Establishment's frame over their part in Bush's Failed War and their current shift against it. Read this one.

Mass culture turns on the Republicans -- but why?

What's happening is that these talk-radio pit-vipers who for a decade or so had us all wondering, "How the fuck do these guys get away with this stuff?" are now no longer getting away with it -- there's now a mechanism in place in the national media that is poised to savage these guys for the same kinds of tactics that for the last ten years were mostly left to the likes of FAIR and Eric Alterman to bitch about.

Look, there's nothing mysterious about any of this. It's pretty obvious what's going on. We saw this same kind of cultural shift in 1968, after the Tet offensive (an analogy so obvious that even Tom Friedman saw it recently), when the American political establishment soured on the Vietnam War. Despite the conservative propaganda that for decades has insisted that it was the media that lost the war for us in Vietnam, in fact the media didn't turn on the Vietnam war effort until the war was already lost. And the reason the media soured on that war had nothing to do with it being wrong; it had to do with the post-Tet realization that the war was expensive, unwinnable and politically costly. America is reaching the same conclusion now about Iraq, and so, like Dave Letterman, a whole host of people who just a few years ago thought we "had to do something" are now backing off and repositioning themselves in an antiwar stance.

Well, that's putting it pretty fucking mildly, wouldn't you say? It's not that Iraq didn't make "as much sense" as Afghanistan -- it didn't make any sense, and anyone with half a brain could have seen that. And Letterman's subsequent reasoning -- that seeing one death turn into dozens and then hundreds and thousands made him reconsider the whole thing -- all that tells you is that this is a person who makes life-and-death decisions without considering the consequences. If the Iraq war was not ever going to be worth 3,000 American lives (and countless more Iraqi lives), then why the hell did we go in in the first place? If you make a decision to fight, you had better not be scared of blood. And if you're suddenly changing your mind about things after you lose a few teenage lives, you're a hundred times more guilty than the guys like Bush who are actually sticking to their guns about this war.

Because Bush and the rest of that crew sent young men to die for something they believed in, fucked-up as their reasoning might be and have been. But these shitheads in the political middle who are flip-flopping right now sentenced teenagers to death for the cause of expediency and careerism. There are young men coming home now without arms and legs because the Wolf Blitzers of the world were too afraid to lose their jobs or piss off advertisers bucking the war hysteria of the times. Remember, CNN and the rest of the networks did great business in the run-up to the war. They had artists cooking up fancy new "America's New War" graphics and they were selling lawn fertilizer and soda and male-enhancement drugs by the metric ton right up to the time when the Saddam statue came down. But the war isn't selling anymore; the war is a bummer. And so these guys are changing their minds.

This assault on the Republicans that's taking place in the national media right now is partially a reflection of national attitudes, but mostly a matter of internal housecleaning. The members of the Bush administration have proven to be incompetent managers of the American system, and so they are being removed. It's that simple. They screwed up a war that all of these people wanted, turned public opinion against the dumbed-down militarist politics that until recently was good business for everybody. And so they have to go. Mistake any of this for ideology or principle at your peril (my em).

I have no particular point to make other than "What's good for Big Business is good for Big Business".

I wonder how they're going to make money over the impending coverage they're going to have to do of our troops getting kicked out of Baghdad and having their asses handed to them all the way to Kuwait?

I'm sure they'll find a way. Everybody'll want to watch that.

Late ...

I'm running late, putting the finishing touches on some prepared remarks, just in case Dave decides I should say something this afternoon at the press conference with Ambassador Wilson. I'll be back afterward. Remember:

Learn about the candidate and volunteer - Dave for America

Contribute - Dave's ActBlue page.

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


Related morning reading.

Wednesday, November 1, 2006

Load 'em up, move 'em out ...

This sickens me:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Air Force is asking the Pentagon's leadership for a staggering $50 billion in emergency funding for fiscal 2007 -- an amount equal to nearly half its annual budget, defense analyst Loren Thompson of the Lexington Institute said on Tuesday.


Another source familiar with the Air Force plans said the extra funds would help pay to transport growing numbers of U.S. soldiers being killed and wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan. [my em]


What to say?

Tip o' the Brain to Maru.


First. Now I can tell you that Ambassador Joe Wilson will be campaigning with Dave Mejias tomorrow. I'll be attending a press conference with them in the afternoon in Farmingdale and of course I'll have details.

Next, Newsday gave their endorsement to Dave this morning. Listen to me: Two papers (NYT endorsement here) who share the highest circulation in the NY Metro Area endorsed Dave Mejias over a fourteen year incumbent. Got that?


Mejias supports a more pragmatic policy that would include tougher border security and employer sanctions, a guest-worker program and a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants already in the country. Mejias is the son of Hispanic immigrants. He overcame economic hardship to become a lawyer and a Nassau County legislator. He's been effective, for instance, by passing a tough county registration-and-notification law for sex offenders and a domestic worker bill of rights.

Mejias promises pragmatic solutions to the nation's problems, a refreshing change. Newsday endorses Mejias.

We're on the downhill run, ladies and germs. IT'S NOVEMBER.

Learn about the candidate and volunteer - Dave for America

Contribute - Dave's ActBlue page.

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

Dead Elephant

Go see Dead Elephant's click-and-print instant bumper stickers. You can make your own. I'd make one for Nov. 8th if I knew how. Mine would just say "GOT HIM!"

Election Night

Tentative as of now, but I'll probably be blogging from the Mejias party on Election Night. Stay tuned.

And another 'stay tuned'. They're trying to set up press conference for this week. Details are embargoed until it firms up, but knowing the particpants (yours truly included) it should be excellent. I'll let you all know where and when as soon as I can.

Kerry to Noise Machine: "F*CK YOU!"

Well, we're in the midst of a big brouhaha over Senator Kerry's remarks on Tuesday. Some Dems are saying he should STFU, some are saying it's his finest hour. My feeling is that he screwed up his lines a little and the Repugs jumped all over it. Fuck them. He made it good.

Here's what he was supposed to say:

A Kerry spokeswoman, Amy Brundage, said Kerry's prepared text had called for him to say: "Do you know where you end up if you don't study, if you aren't smart, if you're intellectually lazy? You end up getting us stuck in a war in Iraq. Just ask President Bush."

Makes perfect sense.

Here's what he said (same link as above):

He then said: "You know, education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don't, you get stuck in Iraq."

Did he bungle it? Hell, yes. The first time I heard it I had a flashback to the '60s: Stay in school and keep your 2S deferment or you're goin' to Vietnam. I didn't believe he said it, but then I heard it a bunch more times, and realized what he said wasn't exactly what he meant. It just came out of his mouth all wrong, terribly ambiguous.

Bush and his Repugs were all over it in a heartbeat. The media and the gasbags were too.

It might turn out to be a blessing in disguise that Kerry couldn't tell a joke if his life depended on it.

Here's Hoffmania:

The wingnut network has worked themselves into a lather over Kerry's remark. Again, they're trying to claim the mantle of being the true spokespeople for the troops. Make no mistake - they've glommed onto this like a pit bull. It's good to see Kerry not rolling over (even though he called it a "botched joke" - it was indeed a rap on Bush's policies, not the military). Someone must have grabbed him by the collar, slapped him silly and told him to stop being a pussy. Fortunately, he listened this time.

The bottom line: Most of America would absolutely agree with Kerry's observation. What the noise machine would like to do is to blur that fact by questioning a combat veteran's loyalty to the troops (SwiftBoating Part II, if you will). Coming to Kerry's defense is the other warhorse with a little experience in the matter, Max Cleland:

"John Kerry is a patriot who has fought tooth and nail for veterans ever since he came home from Vietnam. He has stood with his brothers in arms unlike this administration, which exploits our troops to make a political point and divide America," Cleland said in a statment.

The biggest saboteurs are right here in our own party, not having the guts to give their names:

"He has already cost us one election. The guy just needs to keep his mouth shut until after the election," a top Democratic strategist said Tuesday.

How about the geniuses on our side keep THEIR mouths shut if they can't muster up enough balls to agree with most of America on Iraq? Dear God, if the so-called strategists in our party are going to let the crackheads in the White House define what our people say and run with it as gospel truth, then hand in your goddamn voter registration cards and hit the bricks. We have no use for you.

Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld sent the troops in there without proper armor, with contaminated water, with expired food, with endless redeployments, and INITIALLY, sending them face-first into what was thought to be a pit of gasses, nukes and other WMDs - and they have the brass nutsacks to say KERRY don't support the troops?

Let's talk about THAT, Mr. Bush and Mr. Snow. Let's start saying THAT, Democratic "strategists." You useless dismal pricks.

UPDATE: Go here. See the transcript of today's press conference held by Kerry. You'll see EVERYTHING that the media will resolutely ignore in favor of Bush's prissy fake outrage.

If anyone thinks that a veteran, someone like me, who's been fighting my entire career to provide for veterans, to fight for their benefits, to help honor what their service is, if anybody thinks that a veteran would somehow criticize more than 140,000 troops serving in Iraq and not the president and his people who put them there, they're crazy.

It's just wrong. This is a classic GOP textbook Republican campaign tactic.

I'm sick and tired of a bunch of despicable Republicans who will not debate real policy, who won't take responsibility for their own mistakes, standing up and trying to make other people the butt of those mistakes.

I'm sick and tired of a whole bunch of Republican attacks, most of which come from people who never wore the uniform and never had the courage to stand up and go to war themselves.

Enough is enough. We're not going to stand for this. This policy is broken. And this president and his administration didn't do their homework. They didn't study what would happen in Iraq. They didn't study and listen to the people who were the experts and would have told them.

And they know that's what I was talking about yesterday. I'm not going to be lectured by a White House or by the likes of Rush Limbaugh who's taking a day off from mimicking and attacking Michael J. Fox, who's now going to try to attack me and lie about me and distort me.

No way. It disgusts me that a bunch of these Republican hacks who've never worn the uniform of our country are willing to lie about those who did.

It's over.

Powerful stuff. Too bad no one will have the balls to run it in their "liberal" newscasts.

I'm with Kerry on this one. He fucked up - just a little, nothing even really substantive - but when the Repugs got on him, he didn't play nice like they probably figured he would and show himself, and thus all Dems, as weak. They'da loved that. He did what he should have done two years ago. He hit back. Clinton showed us the way with Cwissy Wallace and now Kerry has done the same to Bush and his whole goddam bunch. It's about fuckin' time somebody did.

Get some, John! Ya done good. Maybe it'll help stiffen some Democratic spines that really need it.

It's even helpin' me! I feel like I'm almost ready to come out of my shell with an opinion once in a while.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

First Lady is stump broke...

Sierra Sun

First Lady to stump for Doolittle

First Lady Laura Bush will visit Northern California later this week to campaign for two GOP incumbents in hot re-election races, John Doolittle and Richard Pombo.

Her trip comes on the heels of a fundraising swing President Bush made for the two candidates at the beginning of October.

The first lady will appear at a get-out-the-vote rally for Doolittle on Thursday evening in Rocklin. She'll do a rally for Pombo in Pleasanton Friday morning.

The plans were confirmed Monday by the Doolittle and Pombo campaigns.

Doolittle is facing Democrat Charlie Brown and Pombo's opponent is Democrat Jerry McNerney. Both races have grown more competitive than expected as the national political environment shifts in Democrats' favor.

Both Pombo and Doolittle are stunk up by Abramoff's taint. I think those are the only two races in California that have been blessed by appearances from Bush, and now Laura.

"More competitive than expected" must mean Pombo and Doolittle are scared shitless enough to let the Bushes come to support them. Desperate men do desperate things. Heh.

Transparent Grid is keeping tabs on the races in CA-04 and CA-11.

Charlie Brown for Congress

Jerry McNerney for Congress

Say No To Pombo

Dump Doolittle

Benchmarks, deadlines, and ultimatums

Kreetcha sends us to this LA Times report:

WASHINGTON -- Growing numbers of American military officers have begun to privately question a key tenet of U.S. strategy in Iraq - that setting a hard deadline for troop reductions would strengthen the insurgency and undermine efforts to create a stable state.

The Iraqi government's refusal to take certain measures to reduce sectarian tensions between Sunni Arabs and the nation's Shiite Muslim majority has led these officers to conclude that Iraqis will not make difficult decisions unless they are pushed.


Din't the War Preznit say he listened to the commanders in the field?


At Steve Soto's:

... "I wouldn't let half of them feed my dog," 1st Lt. Floyd D. Estes Jr., a former head of the police transition team, said of the Iraqi police. "I just don't trust them." ...

A little fun Wolcott

James Wolcott's on a roll. His site is part of Vanity Fair now. From a coupla different posts, just for fun.

On Twin Peaks, Sherilyn Fenn suggested a pleasure trove of erotic possibilities by using her tongue to twist a cherry stem into a nifty knot. For the last week conservative pundits have been putting their tongues to similar agile use, sucking up to Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld as if wanting to get a few last gymnastic licks in before Speaker Pelosi is sworn in. [...]

Josh Marshall asks: What's Bob Corker's deal with Harold Ford's sex life?"

I believe I can answer that, having seen a few Douglas Sirk movies in my time.

Bob Corker is gay. He may not know it yet, he may never know it, he may go to his sarcophagus wrapped in denial, but his fascination with Ford's prowess and good looks gives him away, as does his political affiliation. All Republican political figures are gay, especially the men. When President Bush insists on kissing one bald head after another, the psychosexual symbolism speaks for itself. He's planting his lips on big uncircumcised Kojak peckers. When Rush Limbaugh packs his Viagra and jets off on a tropical jaunt with the guys, it's assumed there are saucy wenches awaiting him under the sultry palms, but I wonder--I wonder if it's cabana boys making the hammock sway under the moonlight. Republican women--those masochistic saints--are more like Joan Allen playing Pat Nixon under layers of frosting, their rigid smiles forged by years of living a lie with a man infatuated with other men and too timid to take out a subscription to Details magazine, lest he be exposed. The closet in which he dwells doubles as a panic room with a convenient minibar, so that if he ever stumbles or strays, he can blame it on the creme de menthe, not the burning yearning of his heart. Perhaps Corker has a special thing for black men, and can't get enough of that smooth and creamy Blair Underwood. There's no shame in that. Many a significant look has been exchanged in the locker room at half-time.

The only shame is that Harold Ford can't run for office without his Republican opponent, Karl Rove, and Ken Mehlman leching on him and taking turns at the keyhole. The South has made such progress, yet in affairs of the groin, it still has so far to go.

When I write stuff like that, Fixer says I need to get to town a little more often. Wolcott's in one of them fancy Manhattan neighborhoods already, so I guess it doesn't help!

Obligatory Halloween post/QotD


Wow-lucky kids. I never got any religious tracts when I was trick-or-treating. When we built our Halloween bonfires around which to dance in Satanic rituals, sometimes it took hours to find all the kindling.

Used to be the Jesus freaks were scared of 'Pagan holidays'. Now they feel they have the right to fuck them up too.



Dead Heat!

From the Mejias campaign via email:

"We are a week out from Election Day and this race is a statistical dead heat," said Mejias. "It can't be more clear, Peter King and the Republican controlled Congress have taken our country in the wrong direction and the people of New York's Third District want change. This race has picked up an incredible amount of momentum and I am heading into Election Day with a great amount of wind at my back."

The highlights of a Constituent Dynamics poll taken last week:

Dave Mejias leads in Suffolk County, Mejias 49% King 45%

Dave Mejias leads among Independent voters, Mejias 48% King 43%

President Bush received a 35% approval rating

Even my boss Harry, who's a staunch, life-long Republican, listened to Dave the other night and was impressed enough where he'll vote for Mejias instead of just sitting out the election. Harry's words: "I can see why you like this guy. He's got great ideas. Peter King's a fucking asshole." That's about the greatest endorsement Harry has ever given to anything. If Dave can sway the stubborn old man, he has a good chance of winning.

Dave for America

Do you live in NY-03? You do? Good, you'd better have your ass at the polls next Tuesday or I'll come get ya. We're a week out and I'm gonna be harping on this until we put it to bed.


Stolen fully and completely from PKW:

King says his internal polling has him up 23 points and that has been consistant for 7 months.
So what candidate up 23 points in a district gerrymandered for republicans drops half a million dollars on advertising the last two weeks of the campaign?
A candidate who is not confident that the 23 points is a real number.

Just in case...

Molly Ivins plans ahead:

So with the Bushies continuing their tailspin, it might be time to review the rules in case WE WIN in the upcoming midterm elections:

I realize for many Democrats it has been so long since we won, we have completely forgotten the etiquette. And I realize I'm taking a chance here -- there's nothing more dangerous than overconfidence -- but you have to practice for victory as well as defeat.

First rule: No gloating. Actually, there is gloating allowed, but only in the exclusive presence of other Democrats. Gloating in the face of Republicans is rude and unsportsmanlike, and just gives them one more thing to complain about. Also, remember there is a possibility there may be some Republicans on the civil service staff -- I have seen this when the R's win -- and it is really not good manners to watch them wailing around with their eyes brimming with tears.

Sorry, Molly. I for one want to rub their noses in it a little. I may have to buy an Ace bandage to support the elbow on my bird-flippin' arm. And as for laughin' at 'em while they cry - fuck manners. They'll get what they've been giving.

Second, I'm sure we will all be full of grand theories if Republicans lose and we win. Dems will be ready to be helpful, offer advice and sort of try to perk the R's up. I do not recommend this. It somehow never feels to me when R's are dumping truckloads of good advice on the D's that they are, actually, sincere about it.

Third, celebratory jigs, reels and renditions of "Danny Boy" are best limited to Irish bars.

Fourth, try to refrain from insulting Republicans en masse. A good start would be, "You know, it was mostly the ones under indictment that hurt you."

To which I would add: "and the ones who are gonna be".

I love Molly, but she's a party pooper. Let's hope we have a party for her to poop. In fact, let's make it so.

Wild Ride

Sorry, guys, the Mary Carey story was yesterday. David Sirota on what lies in store for the Democrats whether they win or lose next Tuesday. Today's 'must read'. Almost too many good quotes to choose from, but that won't stop me.

The situation is ready to explode. What the late Paul Wellstone called the "Democratic wing of the Democratic Party" is growing feisty. And progressives are increasingly in a position to flex their muscles thanks to a convergence of factors: the rise of Internet fundraising, the ascendancy of blog and vlog (video blog) media and the crushing economic forces that are radicalizing previously apolitical middle-class constituencies. These developments have exposed the Democratic establishment to the same kind of pressure that conservative grassroots activists have exerted on the Republican Party to great electoral success.

If they win

When the hangover from election night clears, a Democratic-controlled Congress will face a giant faultline between its senior members and its rank-and-file. The chairmen of key committees are among the most progressive lawmakers in Congress. Further, these are senior legislators who have been waiting for a chance at the majority for years--not rookies who will take up their gavels with no ideas about what they want to do. And they will be bolstered by the emerging progressive technological and grassroots infrastructure that provided the keys to mid-term victory.

If they lose

If circular firing squad competitions were an Olympic sport, Democrats' typical post-election behavior would make them gold medal contenders. This is a party that has a lot of practice blaming each other--and in particular, a lot of experience watching the conservative, Big Money wing of the party dishonestly stereotype progressives as the reason for electoral defeat.

It goes without saying that a Democratic victory in 2006 would be much better for progressives and the country as a whole. The fights and problems that will come with a win are the enviable troubles of political riches, rather than political poverty. But progressives must not be tricked by the usual Democratic Party propaganda that promises a utopia after the election. No matter what the outcome on November 7, a new fight begins on November 8.

Let's just win this fight against the Repugs for now. Once we get those bastards out of power, I hope the Dems can hold the internal mayhem down to a dull roar and actually get something done, like impeaching Bush and Cheney and throwing the current leadership of the DNC out.

I consider the DNC, the way it stands, to be a disruptive money-driven force, external and resistant to progressive politics. The 'Republican wing' of the Democratic Party if you will.

Texas tyrant stiffs autistic families

NY Daily News

It comes down now that a guy named Joe from Texas is blocking the Congress of the United States from helping to combat autism.

Republican Rep. Joe Barton, by dint of his chairmanship of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, has thus far been able to keep from the House floor a bill that unanimously passed the Senate and would deliver $900 million for research into this disease, which afflicts some 1.5 million Americans.

From Verse-Case Scenario by Tony Peyser:

Another reason this specific case
Is one people should keep an eye on?
Barton wouldn't even return calls
To famed reporter Sidney Zion.

Hastert wouldn't talk to Zion either
Which made me go a bit ballistic:
The GOP will protect child predators
But not children who are autistic.

The GOP know their demographics. Since they're the party of choice for child predators, they must figure the 'child predator' vote is more valuable to them than the 'autistic family' one.

It's "all about the children", after all.

Please, Nancy, put Impeachment back on the table

Walter C. Uhler

Were the United States still a shame-based country, as it was even when Henry Stimson wrote about Nuremberg, the criminals in the Bush administration who unleashed this whirlwind would resign and surrender themselves to the proper authorities, or commit suicide. But, America is not Japan and, as we already know, our officials possess neither character nor shame. Instead, they already are plotting to escape justice.

"Justice," for the crime of invading Iraq, already has been splendidly stipulated by the renowned conservative military historian, Martin van Creveld: "For misleading the American people, and launching the most foolish war since Emperor Augustus in 9 B.C. sent his legions into Germany and lost them, Bush deserves to be impeached and, once removed from office, put on trial along with the rest of the president's men. If convicted, they'll have plenty of time to mull over their sins."

But, in order to thwart justice, the Bush administration's "Plan A," is to win at least one house of Congress in November and, thus, stymie and delay investigations and impeachment proceedings. If "Plan A" fails, "Plan B" is to invade Iran.

Thus, the percentages offered by Middle East expert, William R. Polk, seem correct -- "at least a 10% chance of an American attack on Iran before the November 7 Congressional elections and about a 90% chance before the administration's end on 2008" [History News Network, 10/16/06] -- even if scaring Americans in order to ward off impeachment doesn't figure among his reasons.

And, thus, Congresswoman Pelosi, by taking impeachment off the table, you will have given the Bush administration an adequate substitute for "Plan A" while effectively removing any penalty for pursuing "Plan B."

Please, scrap your bad idea of taking impeachment off the table. Although making the Bush administration lame ducks may be good enough for you, America's lost self-esteem and its lost honor around the world require much more - as does the need to prevent additional Bush administration crimes against the peace. It requires that we Americans "repair" to the standard to which we seek to hold everyone else.

What Wally said.

Unseemly Circus columnist Joe Galloway has a few thoughts about this administration:

This unseemly circus and its clowns in Congress can't go away fast enough and with enough dishonor and disgrace to suit the circumstances. Their place in America's history is secure: They will go down as the worst administration and the worst Congress we've ever had. Period.

They deserve to lose both the House and the Senate on Nov. 7, and the White House in 2008. They bullied their way into a war that they thought would be a slam-dunk and then so bungled things that the only superpower left in the world has been humbled and hobbled in a world that they've made more dangerous for us.

Thanks, guys. You've done a heckuva job. We won't forget it.

Those are the last three paragraphs. Go read the first twelve.

Florida gets early start on vote flipping. Duh.

Miami Herald

Several South Florida voters say the choices they touched on the electronic screens were not the ones that appeared on the review screen -- the final voting step.

Debra A. Reed voted with her boss on Wednesday at African-American Research Library and Cultural Center near Fort Lauderdale. Her vote went smoothly, but boss Gary Rudolf called her over to look at what was happening on his machine. He touched the screen for gubernatorial candidate Jim Davis, a Democrat, but the review screen repeatedly registered the Republican, Charlie Crist.

That's exactly the kind of problem that sends conspiracy theorists into high gear -- especially in South Florida, where a history of problems at the polls have made voters particularly skittish.

Interesting example, and there's a couple of others like it. I wonder how many times people chose the Repug candidate only to have the Dem come up? My bet is somewhere between zero and none.

House Races

Here's a Projection Map of quite a few House races, including those the Brain is particularly interested in. Click the dots.


House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer campaigning with Dave Mejias this weekend.

It's nice to see the Dem leadership making the campaign rounds with the candidate:

FARMINGDALE - Yesterday Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland visited New York's Third Congressional District in a show of support for Nassau County Legislator Dave Mejias, Democratic Candidate for Congress. During the visit, Hoyer and Mejias talked about the failures of Peter King and this Republican-controlled Congress to protect New York because of their refusal to provide necessary oversight. Because of these failures New York's homeland security funding was cut this year by 40%, Homeland Security contractors are unpunished when significant waste, abuse and mismanagement occurs, and the 9/11 Commission recommendations have not been fully implemented...

"This Republican-led 'cover-up Congress' has been complacent and complicit in rubber-stamping virtually everything the Bush Administration has asked for," said Hoyer. "We believe Dave Mejias is going to win. Americans want a change. Incumbents like Peter King offer only the status quo while Democratic challengers like Dave Mejias provide an opportunity to take our country in a new direction." [my ems]


You're damn right Dave is gonna win. Would have been nice to see the big shots from the party on Long Island a couple months ago but better late than never.

Learn about the candidate and volunteer - Dave for America

Contribute - Dave's ActBlue page.

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

Monday, October 30, 2006

"Do you want America to win in Iraq?"

The Abstract Factory

Apparently this is the latest sound-bite for Republicans trying to defend the Bush Administration --- see this Oct. 27 Lynne Cheney interview...

Well, right, but what is CNN doing running terrorist tapes of terrorists shooting Americans? I mean, I saw Duncan Hunter ask you a very good question and you didn't answer it. Do you want us to win?

...and O'Reilly in this Oct. 27 Letterman interview...

O'Reilly: But they don't want to hear about the bad world that we live in. It's an evil world that we live in. Let me ask you something. And this is a serious question. Do you want the United States to win in Iraq?

The clarion call has been sounded, the marching orders have been given, and all the little troopers across America are no doubt repeating this mindless sound bite --- "Do you want America to win?" --- even as we speak.

The proper sound-bite response to this sound bite is: Yes, and I want the Mets to win the World Series this year too. But that train has left the station, and we were not on board.

Bonus additional sound bite, in case you don't like that one: Yes, I want America to win. I also like puppies and apple pie. But none of those things has anything to do with continuing the war in Iraq.

The United States has already lost in Iraq, in the only sense that matters: we have failed disastrously in every single one of our war aims. The Bush administration's holding out because it cannot admit failure, and it knows that if it delays long enough then the next administration will come in and the failure can then be blamed on them. As long as America does not withdraw from Iraq under his watch, the President can continue to indulge in the delusion that history will judge him kindly. Or, in other words, the United States continues to spend untold blood and treasure, more or less, to protect George W. Bush's frail self-esteem. [...]

Georgie's 'self-esteem' is gonna get a lot frailer before this is over.

If anyone asks me that question, I feel like deckin' his ass and sayin', "Sure, but since we're not gonna, I thought I'd just go ahead and win that one."

We won the war part of the Iraq clusterfuck. It was easy. What we're losing is everything that came afterwards, and everything we had before.

That outcome was pre-ordained the day Bush committed treason and lied us into an unnecessary invasion of a nation that posed us no immediate threat. As bad and previously-un-American as that was, it was compounded and exacerbated by an order of magnitude by the incompetence of the Bush administration and by the subsequent piling-on of degradation after degradation of the Constitution, and lie upon lie, in the futile attempt to avoid having to admit their failures and answer for them.

What goes around, comes around, Bushie boy. Stand by for a ram.

Bursting Bubble Blues

My main money-mindin' man Paul Krugman:

Here are the five stages of housing grief:

1. Housing bubble? What housing bubble? "A national severe price distortion [in housing] seems most unlikely in the United States." (Alan Greenspan, October 2004)

2. "There's a little froth in this market," but "we don't perceive that there is a national bubble." (Alan Greenspan, May 2005)

3. Housing is slumping, but "despite what you hear from some of the Eeyores in the analytical community, a recession is not visible on the horizon." (Richard Fisher, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, August 2006)

4. Well, that was a lousy quarter, but "I feel good about the U.S. economy, I really do." (Henry Paulson, the Treasury secretary, last Friday)

5. Insert expletive here.

We've now reached stage 4. Will we move on to stage 5?

In case you're wondering, I don't blame the Bush administration for the latest bad economic numbers. If anyone is to blame for the current situation, it's Mr. Greenspan, who pooh-poohed warnings about an emerging bubble and did nothing to crack down on irresponsible lending.

Ah, but Paul, at whose direction? Are we forgetting that 'moneylenders' are major Repuglican contributors? Remember bankruptcy "reform"?

Still, the bad news will have political consequences. The Bush administration has been trying to shift attention away from the disaster in Iraq to an allegedly booming economy. That strategy wasn't working too well even when the headline numbers were good, because it never felt like a boom to most Americans. But now even the headline numbers have turned lousy.

And if that hurts the G.O.P. in next week's election, well, there's a certain poetic justice involved. The administration tried to claim undeserved credit for the positive effects of the housing boom, so why shouldn't it receive some blame for the negative effects of the housing bust?

I dunno. 'Cuz it was all Clinton's fault?

Please go read the rest.

Arming your executioner

NYT via Holden:


The answers came Sunday from the inspector general's office, which found major discrepancies in American military records on where thousands of 9-millimeter pistols and hundreds of assault rifles and other weapons have ended up. The American military did not even take the elementary step of recording the serial numbers of nearly half a million weapons provided to Iraqis, the inspector general found, making it impossible to track or identify any that might be in the wrong hands.

Exactly where untracked weapons could end up - and whether some have been used against American soldiers - were not examined in the report, although black-market arms dealers thrive on the streets of Baghdad, and official Iraq Army and police uniforms can easily be purchased as well, presumably because government shipments are intercepted or otherwise corrupted. [my em]


Let me tell you, from personal experience, that when we were arming Osama and his Mujaheddin in Afghanistan 20-some odd years ago, we knew exactly what we were giving them.

Simple logic

From Digby:

Let's say you have a problem. You have the choice of two people to solve the problem --- the one who caused the problem, refuses to admit it even is a problem and won't change anything even as the problem grows worse --- or the other one. Which do you choose?

That's the simple logic of this election.


Nice and neat.

Left, Hardly Ever Right, and Center

Blondesense Liz asks:

What do you think? Can we stand centrists- it's better than neocons, right?

Sliding down a railing coated with broken glass is better than neocons!

Of course we can stand centrists. Not right now, though, but I think it's where we should be.

I'll make a little analogy here. Any mechanic or electronics technician, well, the ones old enough to remember analog gauges and meters anyway, can tell you that a meter is most accurate in its mid-scale. Let's use a car's gas gauge as an example.

If you're like me, the needle spends most of its time somewhere near its center, neither all the way to the right (full of gas, like wingnuts), nor all the way to the left (runnin' on empty, like left-wing loonies). Although the needle occasionally goes all the way full-scale to the right, after a fill-up, and all the way to the left, just before an invigorating hike, usually it's somewhere between its extremes.

Do ya see where I'm goin' with this? I sometimes have issues where my stance puts me to the right of Sean Hannity, and other issues that put me far left of Michael Moore, but most of the time I'm somewhere in between.

To carry the gas gauge analogy a step further, if you have enough money that your tank is always full, you get the feeling that you can go anywhere you want, and you needn't concern yourself with the poor slob who's sitting beside the road out of money and out of gas. That your gas money might have come from that same guy, or possibly your gas was given to you by the gas station, is not of concern either: you got it, he ain't got it, and that's the way it should be.

If you're the guy sittin' by the side of the road, you see it a little differently: "Geez, I can't go anywhere". When you see the guy whizzin' by on his way to wherever without so much as a glance at you, you might think, "I gave that guy five bucks for gas, but he's on his way to where he'll get a free tankful. Why can't he stop and siphon me off a gallon?" The world is against you, and you think you'll never get anywhere.

People who've never been stuck by the side of the road outta gas and broke will never understand, but folks who have are a lot more likely to stop and help: There but for the grace of a little gas money, sit I.

It's the same in politics. On the left, you have ideals, which are sometimes unrealistic. You strive for them anyway, hoping to do someone that needs it some good. If we'll all chip in, everybody will have enough gas to get where they need to go.

On the right, you have ideology, which is sometimes unrealistic. You strive for it anyway, thinking that needy people shouldn't be that way, and if they'll just buy you all the gas you want - not need - they can get themselves where they need to go, and if they can't, well, it's their own damn fault. You'll get there, and fuck them.

I think after reading my own words, my tank is less than half full. I've been told before that I'm a little short of a full tank. That's OK, I got enough.

To end my blathering about the gas gauge, the most accurate reading lies somewhere near the center, on either side, rather than all the way either way. The needle will go right, the needle will go left, but we can generally feel good when it's in between one-quarter and three-quarters.

To get back to Liz's question, it will be a great day when our nation can be be governed from the center. Right now we're in a deathgrip from the Far Right. We'll never break that grip by compromising with them. If we're nice, or even reasonable with them, we'll die.

We have to be aware that right now we're fighting for the breath, life, and soul of our country. We can use their own rules to fight them, of which there aren't any. Remember, a good fight is one which you walk, or crawl if need be, away from and your opponent doesn't.

Once we get loose from these evil Repugs and can get a few decent breaths, then we can work on a little compromise while they're recovering from their injuries, which I hope take a long time to heal in the prison ward. It'll give 'em time to think about the harm they've done and how they might act a little more decently in future..


November 7th.

This came out in one long sentence from my stream of unconsciousness. I could barely get it slowed down enough to put in some punctuation.

GOP Porn scandal spreads and widens...

Always plumbing new depths to bring you interesting political stuff, but never (cough) to appeal to prurient interest, here is Americablog's take on GOP contributions from the biggest industry in the San Fernando Valley.

Embiggen these, Big Boy!

You'll recall that late last night Josh Marshall reported that the national Republican party has repeatedly accepted donations from one of the top gay porn producers in the country. This story is relevant since the Republicans have been hitting Democrat Harold Ford in Tennessee with ads claiming he took donations from a Hollywood porn producer.

Now, as you might imagine, the Republicans will probably say they had no idea they were taking money from a man whose living is making films such as "Fire in the Hole", "Flesh and Boners", even a "Velvet Mafia" series. (Links at site. Made my typing finger blush. G)

But that excuse rings hollow when you consider that the GOP had no problem tarring Harold Ford with the same charge. But far more damning is the fact that the Republican party has a history of accepting money from the porn industry. It hasn't just happened before - the GOP openly welcomed porn money.

Case in point, my girl Mary Carey, who just last year gave $5,000 to the GOP, the GOP knew who she was, and they gladly accepted her money made from screwing guys on film. (Visit Mary Carey's Web site, but be warned, this link is not work-friendly, though Lynne Cheney might disagree.)

If you work at home like I do, it's almost too friendly, although I did discover a draft coming from under my desk...

Mary is one of the top female porn stars in America. She is the lead thespian in such movies as "Tit Happens," "Lesbian Big Boob Bangeroo" ("Eight kinky, nasty, big-titted, snatch-sucking, muff-diving, pussy-eating, horny sluts can't seem to get enough of that sweet cooch juice!"), and "Everybody Loves Big Boobies."

Sounds like a lotta thesping!

And before you say the Republicans had no idea they were taking a porn superstar's money, think again:

National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman Carl Forti admitted as much to the AP and said, "Their money was donated to the NRCC. The NRCC's job is to elect Republicans. We'll take that money and use it to elect more Republicans."

Yes, Mr. Reynold's top staffer on the NRCC knowingly, openly, and gladly, took money from one of the top porn stars in America. And he had no qualms doing it.

Now ask yourself again if the Republican party had no knowledge that they were taking money repeatedly from the the gay porn king of America? And then ask yourself why the Republicans seem more concerned about Democrats accepting porn money than the porn-lovers in their own midst. Answer: The GOP only pretends to care about religious right values. And so long as the religious right doesn't make the GOP pay a price for taking them for granted, the GOP will continue to cavort with gay porn kings.

And they'll even continue to take the money of a porn superstar who told me last year (and I have it on tape) that she wants to have a lesbian menage-a-trois with the Bush twins:

"Oh my God, his daughters! I'd LOVE to party with his daughters. I'd love to meet them. I totally want to have sex with them. You can write it the day after I leave here."

This ain't your daddy's Republican party.

It is, however, Jenna and Not Jenna's daddy's Republican party. They don't seem to care what their money is dripping with, but let the Democrats get some boobie and ballsack bucks, why, that's a sign American culture and family values are under Librul attack.

Republican porn money is good for America, but Democrat porn money means the terrorists are coming to kill you in your bed.

I have nothing in particular against adult porn, and politicians take money from whomever they can get it from (a whole 'nother subject under "what's wrong with American politics?"), but they oughta own up to it and not dish the other side for doing the same thing, if for no other reason than they oughta know it's going to backfire on 'em eventually. Like it's doing now.

Fuckin' hypocrites. Stupid ones. Nothing new. What's new is their 'base' might be catchin' on.

Gotta go see if Americablog's assignment editor takes "contributions"...

Oh I am SO doing this,today

What would the liberal blogosphere be without Crooks and Liars? Not as rich or well informed,that's for sure.

I simply Love this idea.

One lollipop and a stamp.(IMO,a baby's pacifier would work too,though you'd have to get a padded envelope and spend a bit more to send it) To piss off Sean Hannity and his hair. What a return on your investment. Tell all your friends. Don't forget to send it with love and smootchies from Crooks and Liars.

I've got bills and Netflix movies to drop at the post office today,might as well add in one more piece of mail.


I didn't sign up for that ...

Over hill, over dale
As we hit the dusty trail,
And the Caissons go rolling along.
In and out, hear them shout,
Counter march and right about,
And the Caissons go rolling along.

Then it's hi! hi! hee!
In the field artillery,
Shout out your numbers loud and strong,
For where e'er you go,
You will always know
That the Caissons go rolling along.


Yeah, well you're now an infantry troop. Same thing for air defense guys. [sarcasm] This should work out well. [/sarcasm]


The Army is moving soldiers from specialties such as artillery and air defense to high-demand roles: infantry, engineering, military police and intelligence, Special Forces, civil affairs and psychological operations, said Lt. Gen. Michael Rochelle, deputy chief of staff for Army personnel.

The Army has more soldiers deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan than the other services combined. It has sped up the realignment that started in 2001 and is expected to end in 2011, Rochelle said. [my em]


So, they think we're gonna be in Iraq another 5 years, huh? The Rethug victory strategy, endless war.

Mejias interview

I was gonna post this here but YouTube was acting stupid this morning. Peter King Watch has Dave's interview on Up Close with Diana Williams from our local ABC affiliate yesterday. Dave slams Peter King's poicies on just about everything, especially Homeland Security and illegal immigration, and puts forth his own solutions. If you haven't heard Dave Mejias speak, you owe it to yourself to watch this (about 10 mins.), especially if you're a Long Islander living in NY-03.


House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer has come out squarely behind Dave.


Hoyer, D-Md., is touting Democratic candidates around the country as part of his party's effort to gain 15 seats or more to win control of the House of Representatives. Election Day is Nov. 7.

In going after King, Hoyer and Mejias cited a Bush administration decision earlier this year that provoked widespread outrage among New Yorkers of all political stripes: a 40 percent cut in the amount of federal anti-terror grants to New York City and Washington, the two cities targeted in the Sept. 11 attacks.


And Peter King didn't say a word. Do you know who got our anti-terror funding restored? Yep, Hillary Clinton. Now tell me how the Republicans are "keepin' us safe".

And just a note to vets: Listen when Dave says, and I'm paraphrasing, "I'm not a military man, but I know enough to let the military fight the war". Dave wants us out of Iraq and he'll look out for our troops. He's listened to me, and other vets, when we spoke to him of the horrible funding cuts at the VA and for brain injury research, and he's pledged to help. Peter King talks a line, but he only cares about vets when it comes to gathering them around him for a photo op. Typical Republican coward like Chimpy McFlightsuit. Dave Mejias supports the troops, he doesn't give 'em lip service, and he knows the mission won't be accomplished until every last one of them is out of "Mess o' Potamia". (Credit - Jo Fish)

Rogues Gallery

Moderate rounded 'em all up. Even Scroff.


D broke down too. Heh ... Still waitin' for Lurch.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Semper Shazam!

All us Olde Fartes (Lctp) have been having fun posting our old o-fish-ul service photos. Well, Scroff's balkin' at doin' it, so I went and found his. H'yar 'tis:

It's probably not all that far from the truth. For every Chesty Puller or "Manila John" Basilone in the Corps, there's about 10,000 of us Gomer Pyles.

As promised ...

More Mejias press conference photos here. Now I ask you, looking like I do, would you have me standing next to you if you were running for Congress? Personally, I'd make me stand as far away from the cameras as possible.

And, via PKW, an open letter to Peter King.

James Webb's Navy Cross

Bush thinks he's Sgt. Rock in his little fantasy world in which he has never been in danger, but James Webb did it for real, with real blood. His own. Go read his Navy Cross citation at the Hampton Roads Pilot.

Here's a 'comment' after the article:

Webb served as a Marine in Vietnam where he was awarded a Navy Cross, Silver Star, two Bronze Stars, and two Purple Hearts. He served as counsel to the House Committee on Veterans Affairs, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs, and Secretary of the Navy. Sen. Allen has never served in the military. According to an independent evaluation by the Retired Enlisted Association, Allen supported their interests 0% of the time in 2004. According to another independent evaluation by the Disabled American Veterans, Allen supported their interests 0% of the time in 2004 and 50% of the time in 2005. On the basis of this objective information, I trust that military personnel, veterans, and their families will be able to decide which candidate will best represent them in the Senate.

I hope so.

"You called me a what?"

Will Durst

So even the President has agreed that the phrase "stay the course" is a dirty word. And to all the Republicans candidates whom he seduced into repeating that phrase often enough to be used for opposition election ads, it won't be long before the phrase "George Bush" is also a dirty word. And I envision a day not too far in the future when just mentioning the President's name on the radio will result in getting hit by the FCC with a $350,000 fine... for obscenity.

I hope it's retroactive. Heh.

On Infallable Victims

Ann Coulter did it to the Jersey Girls. Rush did it to Michael J Fox. It's a tried and true tactic, not only do they blame the victim and blatantly call them liars(and tell lies about them), they completely shred the victim's experience and discount it. And for some fucked up reason,it works,at least enough to plant seeds of doubt.

While victims of any tragedy are not infallable,their perceptions and experiences are indeed of worth. While not perfect,those who have gone through trauma and lived to tell the tale are indeed among the first people we should listen to. Who better to tell you what something feels like than one who has had that experience? Would you see a podiatrist for a brain tumor? Of course not,you'd want someone who had actually had the experience and treated brain tumors,or you would if you had any sense at all. Wingnuts and authoratarian bootlickers have no concept of cause and effect,which if you think about it,makes them especially NOT qualified to run their yaps. This is especially glaring in these troubled times with them giving military advice and warmongering when they haven't spent one second in uniform.

Coulter,in her attacks on the Jersey Girls,made up some nonsense about their husbands getting ready to divorce them anyway. She said those men's deaths were a delight for those widows who are now rich as a result of their speaking out and demanding answers. This is coming from someone who has never married or been in a long term relationship with anyone,who has never had a hand in raising a family. Coulter lost NOTHING on 9/11. I'd go as far as to say that Coulter is the one who got rich off 9/11,using it as a springboard to write more books,make more TV experiences, find more paid speaking gigs, she,who lost nothing in the wake of 9/11. Except some more of her mind that is.

If you've never been in a car accident,you can't know what it's like.

If you've never cooked a gourmet meal,you can't tell a gourmet chef they're doing it wrong.

If you've never raised a child you cannot tell someone else how. Ok,you can,but any parent with half a brain would tell you to STFU.

If you've never worked on cars, you'd be the last person anyone would take auto repair advice from.

Experiences matter. The people who have those experiences matter even more.

This sort of dismissal happens to poor people alot in our country. People who have never been poor pontificate and cluck at great length about what causes poverty,how to fix it(or really,how to blame the poor and not lift a finger to solve the problems that allow poverty to flourish. If we had the political and national will to end poverty we could. The answers are right under our noses.), and of course there's the old"just pull yourself up by the bootstraps and shut up". Which would be fine if you had boots. But what if you have no boots,no way to get boots,and no way to get to the boot seller? And if you've never been poor,don't talk to poor people and do nothing to help them,how in the hell are you qualified to "solve" that problem? The short answer is,you're not. And this is the heart of many problems this Nation has,not just poverty.

Our schools are a mess,but does anyone ever ask the kids,their parents and the teachers what sort of things might work to fix what's broken? Nope. Instead,school systems hire "consultants"who rarely if ever have set foot in a public school classroom,at least not since they were kids. Many of these folks spent their school years in private schools, explain to me how the hell THAT makes any sense. Is it any wonder then,that by the time kids reach middle school that many of them are bored out of their ever loving minds?

When civic leaders talk about "cleaning up" a particular area of their city(code for the ghetto),do they enter those communities and talk to the people who live there? Do they ask the people living hand to mouth in those places what would make their lives better? Not so much.

Consider the plethora of child rearing"experts" in the marketplace today. It's rare to hear any one ask them what credentials they have,besides some sort of degree. Yes,an education is important,but so are the experiences of mothers and fathers and families and children. They live this stuff,every single day. I'd trust an experienced,successful mother's advice over a self proclaimed expert any day of the week.

As many of you know,I have an autistic child. We're lucky,my son has defied the odds and is not the "average" one thinks of when the word "autism" is used. When he was much younger,I knew something was wrong,but had no idea that's what I was dealing with. And so began a LONG journey to various doctors,psychiatrists,psychologists,neurologists,speech therapists,physical therapists,and hundreds of hours of my own research into autism. Had I listened to all those experts and discounted my own experiences,here's a small sampling of what might have been:

1) Insitutionalizing my child. I was told he'd never speak,read,or write. The most I could hope for was a silent child incapable of love or emotion. So,"to be fair to him" I should lock him away in a mental institution.

2)Medicating my child. With the anti-schizophrenic drug Risperdal. To be fair,some severely autistic children have used this drug with success,but in my son's case,the autism is not that severe,and the use of this drug would have harmed him. This diagnosis came after 20 minutes in a psychiatrist's office,on the first(and in this case,last.And this woman charges 250 dollars an hour for her "expertise"AND she doesn't take insurance)visit. I also had to deal with an idiotic elementary school principal who tried like hell for three years to badger me into putting my son on Ritalin(our pediatrician,who gives out Ritalin like candy,told me this drug in particular would most likely result in my son becoming violent and hyperactive and he would not prescribe it to him). I finally stomped into her office one afternoon and told her if she didn't knock it the fuck off I was going to an attorney and the local media. Which wouldn't have been pretty considering her hubby works as an executive for Big Pharma. The subject never came up again. I often wonder how many parents she bullied into medicating children who didn't need to be.

3)Placing my son in a school for the mentally retarded. My son is not mentally retarded,he's autistic. Big difference. Needless to say,I walked out of that particular specialist's office while he was in mid sentence. If anything,had I listened to this guy,my son would have not recieved what he needed to learn,because he's not mentally retarded.

My final encounter with"specialists" happened when my son was about to enter second grade. On the way into the office,my son looked up at me and asked,"Mommy,am I going to die?Am I sick?". I told him no,but his brain works different than most people's and we just needed to find out the best way to work with that. He replied"well,I HATE these dumb doctors,because they talk about me like I'm not even there,and treat me like I'm sick.I'm not sick,I'm not stupid,and I hate them". We never made it out of the parking lot,we turned around and went home. I realized that I had made a big error, I had not asked my son what he needed,what his world looked like,how he felt and how he saw and experienced things. In my quest to do the best thing I could for him,I had left him out of the process entirely. The progress made after that day was amazing,and while we have many miles to go, I realized ALL the progress we had made since he was born came from my research,my trial and error,my work with him on his speech and language skills,my 24/7 presence and my relentless search for answers. It wasn't the experts,it was me and my son,hand in hand walking through this wilderness alone that did it. Today he's an avid reader,talks a mile a minute,is a budding artist,and extremely bright and outgoing. He lags behind his peers socially and emotionally,but other than that,you can't even tell he's autistic unless you spend alot of time with him. That's no accident,it was work and years of uphill struggle. And my work pales in comparison to his. He's one of the bravest kids I know,and it's me who is blessed by his presence,not the other way around. Being his Mother is not my right,it's a privledge and a commitment.

So,while I may not be infallable(nor is my son),that does not,in any way invalidate our experiences. I'd also never in a million years presume I could tell any parent of an autistic child what they should do because every autistic person is different. But what I can offer is our personal experience,our insight,as part of the big picture. Infallable? Oh hell no,but valid? You bet your ass it is. And I'll be happy to kick ass and take names with anyone who dares to dismiss my journey who has never been there and never will be.

Fuck anyone who thinks otherwise.