Saturday, December 30, 2006

Well, another year shot to Hell ...

Oy, what a year and I'm glad it's over*. Too much personal shit went on this year, too many friends and relatives (and my wife) with health issues, too much craziness at the shop, and too much in general.

We did, however, have a great vacation, Mrs. F got through her health issues without complication, and what can we say about the Election Day win. Hopefully, 2007 will bring a further curtailing of the Chimp's power and see our kids home from Iraq.

I hope 2007 is good for all our readers and commenters. Thanks for all you've done for us (as I've said in the past, without you the Brain would just be grafitti). We fought the good fight this year and scored a major victory. Celebrate safely, remind those who are close to you that you love them, and make a resolution to make a difference.

Happy New Year!

*The reason I'm putting this up now is that New Year's is a special holiday in the Fixer household, very hedonistic in terms of food, drink, and ... other stuff. Don't know if I'll have much coherent to say over the next couple days (though that would be assuming I've said something coherent over the past 2 1/2 years. Heh ...) See yas next year.

Saturday night's all right ...

To blogwhore. Chapter 12 of my novel The Captains is up at The Practical Press.

"...there's nothing else this president can get right."

Josh Marshall has a few thoughts about Saddam and Bush's failure in Iraq:

This whole endeavor, from the very start, has been about taking tawdry, cheap acts and dressing them up in a papier-mache grandeur -- phony victory celebrations, ersatz democratization, reconstruction headed up by toadies, con artists and grifters. And this is no different. Hanging Saddam is easy. It's a job, for once, that these folks can actually see through to completion. So this execution, ironically and pathetically, becomes a stand-in for the failures, incompetence and general betrayal of country on every other front that President Bush has brought us.

Marty Peretz, with some sort of projection, calls any attempt to rain on this parade "prissy and finicky." Myself, I just find it embarrassing. This is what we're reduced to, what the president has reduced us to. This is the best we can do. Hang Saddam Hussein because there's nothing else this president can get right.

Bush has always been good at executing people. What a talent.

Hanging's Too Good For Us

The three-year charade is over. Saddam Hussein is dead. The Rude One weighed in just prior to the Big Drop:

And once he hangs, as he will any time now, once he's videoed pissing himself while dangling from the noose, maybe even a close-up on his last hard-on, then it's time to go to work. Cut that fucker's head off his corpse and graft it onto George W. Bush's right shoulder, so that it rots away next to him just like Iraq, so the President can watch the decay every time he looks in the mirror and smell it constantly. Rip out Hussein's bones and shove them up the asses of Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice, Paul Wolfowitz, Bill Kristol, Michelle Malkin, and more and more - Saddam's got two hundred something bones, so line up a bunch of neocons and warmongering whores, bend 'em over, and give 'em a souvenir. Dry Saddam's organs and grind them into a powder and pour it into the water supply of the United States so we can each consume a little bit of the man who so drove our leaders crazy that they destroyed our economy, our military, our morality to topple him, yes, let us all drink that in, toasting the hanging of Saddam Hussein as a demonstration of what great and noble and righteous and merciful humans we are. Send his cock to Tony Blair so he can go fuck himself.

There's more.

I would like to study at that man's knee.

The witch is dead ...

Calling all wingnuts, Saddam is dead so now Iraq will turn into this great, shining, peaceful democracy on the hill. Congratulations, you were successful. Saddam will no longer be a threat to Middle East peace and all is right with the world.

So let's look back on 2006 and see all the good works you've wrought in the last year, since the eeeeeevil madman was captured:

1. The UN has to open a special branch just to keep track of the chaos and bloodshed, UNAMI.
2. Abovementioned branch cannot be run from your country.
3. The politicians who worked to put your country in this sorry state can no longer be found inside of, or anywhere near, its borders.
4. The only thing the US and Iran can agree about is the deteriorating state of your nation.
5. An 8-year war and 13-year blockade are looking like the country's 'Golden Years'.
6. Your country is purportedly 'selling' 2 million barrels of oil a day, but you are standing in line for 4 hours for black market gasoline for the generator.
7. For every 5 hours of no electricity, you get one hour of public electricity and then the government announces it's going to cut back on providing that hour.
8. Politicians who supported the war spend tv time debating whether it is 'sectarian bloodshed' or 'civil war'.
9. People consider themselves lucky if they can actually identify the corpse of the relative that's been missing for two weeks.

Indeed. Look at all you've done for these people by ridding them of the tyrant, and now they should be even more ecstatic he is dead. Good job, wingnuts. Once again you've proven the Republicans are truly the ones equipped to run this nation and the world.

The 110th Congress will be seated in less than a week and not a minute too soon.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Quote of the Day

Commander Huber on the hanging of Saddam Hussein:

Stand by for things to go ape.

Things are looking up!

Brother Lurch comments on the lessening of his pessimism about the plans of this administration:

I used to figure Messers Bu$h, Cheney and their horse-holders had the most malign plans, and that there might well be a national emergency during the late Summer, 2008 that would require draconian measures, including a temporary suspension of the elections. I think the foreign policy circumstances are too dire now, and with a slight Democratic majority and what seems to be the majority of the Army with rifles in Iraq by then, I'm no longer that pessimistic. Let's face it - you can't impose martial law with an evangelized tactical Air Force.

Good point! Hallelujah!

Idiotic comment of the day


Five years after the Sept. 11 attacks, Osama bin Laden is still at large -- but that's not a failure of White House policy, says Frances Fragos Townsend. As she explained to CNN's White House correspondent Ed Henry last night:

HENRY: You know, going back to September 2001, the president said, dead or alive, we're going to get him. Still don't have him. I know you are saying there's successes on the war on terror, and there have been. That's a failure.

TOWNSEND: Well, I'm not sure -- it's a success that hasn't occurred yet. I don't know that I view that as a failure.

I feel a lot better now. I guess that little scene I've envisioned with Catherine Zeta-Jones, Charlize Theron, and me is a 'success that hasn't occurred yet' as well. Not a failure. Wow, that's a load off!

VA/DoD meet Gilgamesh

From BoingBoing:

In the vein of inappropriate/unexpected graphic adaptations of literature... my father, a psychiatrist with the Veterans Administration, alerted me to a new training video on the VA website that describes post-deployment health evaluation procedure... as an adaptation of GILGAMESH. What genius government employee came up with that one, eh?

There are some odd (though not necessarily helpful) synchronicities: Gilgamesh was the King of Uruk (now in Iraq). In the vid, his friend comes home from battle with Gulf War Syndrome (I'm guessing), and he with PTSD.

Go see. Takes about fifteen minutes.

One would think that health-care professionals wouldn't need silly shit like this to be advised as to how to diagnose things like PTSD or Gulf War Syndrome, but if it helps them get the message...

God help our Veterans.

" haff vays of making you..."

John Dean poses answers to the burning question:

What Should Congressional Democrats Do, When the Bush Administration Stonewalls Their Efforts To Undertake Oversight?

The site is "legal news and commentary", so pack a lunch and put on yer fishin' waders.

"We see a war coming on Capitol Hill," a well-connected Republican attorney based in Washington recently told me, as I reported in my last column on the subject. The clash is not surprising, because Vice President Dick Cheney -- who is at the center of many of the subjects the Democratic Congress will be investigating -- is strongly opposed to Congress's inquiring into these areas. He believes the power of the presidency is at stake. Accordingly, as I noted earlier, he has made it quite clear that he is not going to cooperate with these investigations.

Before the conflict develops, it might seem helpful to go over the rules of the game -- to appreciate who is on solid ground, who is on shaky ground, and why this is the case. But as it happens, there are no rules!

Of course, there are precedents, and even U.S. Supreme Court rulings, in this area. But they have virtually no applicability when the contest involves Congress and the White House. Also, while forests have doubtless been consumed to publish copious learned treatises, essays, articles, and reports on this subject, at bottom, this is a matter not of law, but purely of politics. There is, however, evidence regarding this matter that can be drawn from history.

I'm glad he's a lawyer and not a dentist. He 'draws evidence from history' like a dentist would extract teeth through your ass, but he gets the job done, I think.

Thus, if the 110th Congress, controlled by the Democrats, fails to get the information it needs -- and the public wants -- about the workings of the Bush/Cheney presidency, it will not be because it does not have the tools with which to obtain that information. Rather, it will be because it lacks the will to use those tools.

When Congress plays hardball, it gets the information it wants from the president. The Congressional Reference Service (CRS) has prepared a complete manual on oversight, which they updated recently. In the manual, CRS has laid out all Congress needs to know to crack any stonewall Bush and Cheney may erect to block their oversight efforts.

Lou Fisher, one of the authors of the CRS manual, catalogued a number of the methods available to Congress in his essay: "Congressional Access To Information: Using Legislative Will And Leverage." Drawing on historical examples, Fisher shows that Congress has a host of tools, of various size and shape and depending on the situation, to "extract information from the President."

When it comes to ways to "extract information from the president", I lean towards the old burning bamboo slivers under the foreskin whilst the unit is clamped tightly in an ice-cold vise method, but then I'm old-fashioned.

This is good 'process' stuff and you should go familiarize yourself with it, but it makes no difference if one-ten ain't got the sack to do it. Pray for Congressional balls.

Park Service stifles godless liberal commie geologists

This one is pretty much just for laughs, although it's indicative of a trend we've noticed the last few years to downplay reality and facts in favor of ideological fantasy.

Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility

Grand Canyon National Park is not permitted to give an official estimate of the geologic age of its principal feature, due to pressure from Bush administration appointees. Despite promising a prompt review of its approval for a book claiming the Grand Canyon was created by Noah's flood rather than by geologic forces, more than three years later no review has ever been done and the book remains on sale at the park, according to documents released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER).

"In order to avoid offending religious fundamentalists, our National Park Service is under orders to suspend its belief in geology," stated PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch. "It is disconcerting that the official position of a national park as to the geologic age of the Grand Canyon is 'no comment.' "

In a letter released today, PEER urged the new Director of the National Park Service (NPS), Mary Bomar, to end the stalling tactics, remove the book from sale at the park and allow park interpretive rangers to honestly answer questions from the public about the geologic age of the Grand Canyon. PEER is also asking Director Bomar to approve a pamphlet, suppressed since 2002 by Bush appointees, providing guidance for rangers and other interpretive staff in making distinctions between science and religion when speaking to park visitors about geologic issues.

"As one park geologist said, this is equivalent of Yellowstone National Park selling a book entitled Geysers of Old Faithful: Nostrils of Satan," Ruch added, pointing to the fact that previous NPS leadership ignored strong protests from both its own scientists and leading geological societies against the agency approval of the creationist book. "We sincerely hope that the new Director of the Park Service now has the autonomy to do her job."

The funny part, to me, is the administration's continued pandering to an increasingly irrelevant group of prominent Repuglican fundie supporters by giving moral equivalence to what is essentially a Chick tract.

Everywhere you go in Grand Canyon National Park there are posters, plaques, signboards, etc. showing the various layers of the Canyon with their geologic age right next to them. The Park Service has been doing this shit for many years and it can't be undone by bureaucratic bias.

I found this and this in less than a minute, just f'rinstance.

6000 years, 550 million years, 5 billion years, mox nix. Makes no difference to the Creator, only to a buncha wingnut fundie idiots with access to your tax money.

Our government needs to get out of the slide to the Dark Ages in general, but this one's just funny in an unfunny kinda way.

See what I mean ...

When this whole Duke Lacrosse Team rape case came up, I cautioned bloggers not to jump the gun until all the facts were in. Sex crime allegations, even if proven false, can haunt someone forever. A lot of people had a lot to say about these boys back then, two of them from my area, and now I hear nothing. Now these boys will have this stigma follow them throughout their lives. I believe quite a few of us owe them an apology, not silence, especially since the District Attorney who filed the case is now up against an ethics charge.

I hope the D.A. and Duke University get their asses sued off.

You know you suck when ...

You poll lower than the Devil ... by a lot.


Gord's post yesterday quoted that dipshit and paragon of morality and decency Bill Bennett:

You're a former President Mr. Ford, show a little more decency to the incumbent who is in a very, very tough place and trying to do the right may recall those days and positions yourself.

Yeah, you know, like St. Ronnie of Ray Gun.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

The Silence of Section 60

Please go read this.

Do the 'decent thing' now that you're dead, president Ford

Normally I wouldn't post anything from Bill Bennett, but this one takes the fuckin' cake! From the Nat'l Review:

Since "decency" seems to be the watchword of the day and the consensus modifier for Jerry Ford (a view with which I generally concur), may I nevertheless be permitted to ask this: just how decent, how courageous, is what Jerry Ford did with Bob Woodward? He slams Bush & Cheney to Woodward in 2004, but asks Woodward not to print the interview until he's dead. If he felt so strongly about his words having a derogatory affect, how about telling Woodward not to run the interview until after Bush & Cheney are out of office? The effect of what Ford did is to protect himself, ensuring he can't be asked by others about his critiques, ensuring that there can be no dialogue. The way Ford does it with Woodward, he doesn't have to defend himself...he simply drops it into Bob Woodward's tape recorder and let's the bomb go off when fully out of range, himself. This is not courage, this is not decent. The manly or more decent options are these: 1. Say it to Bush's or Cheney's face and allow them and us to engage the point while you're around, or 2. Far more decently, say nothing critical of Bush will be on the record until his presidency is over. There's a 3. Don't say anything critical of George Bush to Bob Woodward at all.

You're a former President Mr. Ford, show a little more decency to the incumbent who is in a very, very tough place and trying to do the right may recall those days and positions yourself.

Un. Fucking. Believable.

I just couldn't resist...

Ain't it the truth!

Envision World Peace

Pic courtesy of Cute Overload.

Anything is possible if you work hard enough at it.

You see why ...

I'm not on the "Gerry Ford was a good man and a good President" bandwagon. He was just another for whom the 'good of America' placed a distant second next to the 'good of the Party':

Former president Gerald R. Ford said in an embargoed interview in July 2004 that the Iraq war was not justified. "I don't think I would have gone to war," he said a little more than a year after President Bush launched the invasion advocated and carried out by prominent veterans of Ford's own administration.


How well do you think the Chimp would have fared had the former President allowed this interview to be released at the time it was given? I believe we would be referring to 'President Kerry' at this point.

Do yourself a favor and read Froggy's obit too.

Tip o' the Brain to Atrios.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Oh! The Irony Horror!

Ironic Times

New Warning Issued About Obesity
To folding chair manufacturers.


Iraq War Costing U.S. $2 Billion a Week
That's "only about seven bucks per person,' says White House.

Bush to Expand Military
To fight all our new enemies.

Pelosi and Conyers -- Smarter than Impeachment-

Good alternative scenario from Rob Kall. Today's 'must read'.

A lot of people are angry with Nancy Pelosi and John Conyers because they say impeachment is not on the table. I say "thank goodness."

You see, I'm in a hurry. I want to see the big cleanup in Washington happen much faster-- including showing Cheney and Bush the door, and maybe, the prison yard. Pelosi and Conyers are doing things exactly right and they have a better chance of my goal-- removal of Bush and Cheney from office-- than if they were going the impeachment route.

At this point, the Republicans, about fifteen or sixteen of those in the senate, particularly ones up for re-election in 2008, will take a walk-- not a phone call, not e-mail-- a walk, to the oval office. They will inform the president that he must resign to save the Republican party from implosive destruction. They will tell him that to save the Republican party they are willing to join with the Democrats to impeach him out of office. They will instruct him to do the right thing for the country and save it the trauma, mostly at the expense of the Republicans, of a horrible impeachment, which is inevitable, since the most revelations about testimony and evidence on Bush has brought his ratings down to less than 20% approval rating.

Bush will, in his attempt to negotiate, ask for either no criminal sentence or a minimal one. The Dems should not let him off scott free. Bush should do time in jail and he should be fined Billions. That's right. Billions. Not only that, he should be banned from profitting from his presidency and includes making any speeches or consulting as a lobbyist. Send him to his ranch to clear brush.

With any luck, he'll soon be clearing other people's brush. For minimum wage.

Bottom line-- I am quite comfortable that impeachment is off the table. Impeachment did not bring down Nixon. Hearings and investigations did. I am fine with all the people advocating for hearings. Their pressure will motivate the Conyers and Waxmans in congress to do their investigations, knowing they are on the same page as the griping impeachment advocates. I am confident that Pelosi, Conyers, Waxman and enough other members of congress want Bush out as much as we do. They just know that there's a better way and they're executing that strategy.

So, if you've been castigating and berating Pelosi and Conyers, don't get hung up on the "I" word. It's the "O" word that's important and what we really want anyway. No, not orgasm. That will come afterward. THe "O" stands for OUT. We want them out and there is no doubt in my mind that Pelosi and Conyers have every plan to do what it takes to help the Republicans figure out that they have no choice but to force both Bush AND Cheney out. Come January 2008 there's a great chance we will be dealing with the "C" and "A" words-- cleanup and appointments. These will be exciting times.

Damn, it's drafty in here with my pants around my ankles!

Oh, Boy! Another Bush War!

International Herald Tribune

NAIROBI: Undeterred by the horrors and setbacks in Iraq, Afghanistan and Lebanon, the Bush administration has opened another battlefront in the Muslim world. With full U.S. backing and military training, at least 15,000 Ethiopian troops have entered Somalia in an illegal war of aggression against the Union of Islamic Courts, which controls almost the entire south of the country.

As with Iraq in 2003, the United States has cast this as a war to curtail terrorism, but its real goal is to obtain a direct foothold in a highly strategic region by establishing a client regime there. The Horn of Africa is newly oil-rich (my em), and lies just miles from Saudi Arabia, overlooking the daily passage of large numbers of oil tankers and warships through the Red Sea. General John Abizaid, the current U.S. military chief of the Iraq war, was in Ethiopia this month, and President Hu Jintao of China visited Kenya, Sudan and Ethiopia earlier this year to pursue oil and trade agreements.

Since 1993, there had been no Security Council interest in sending peacekeepers to Somalia, but as peace and order took hold, a multilateral force was suddenly deemed necessary - because it was the Islamic Courts Union that had brought about this stability. Astonishingly, the Islamists had succeeded in defeating the warlords primarily through rallying people to their side by creating law and order through the application of Shariah law, which Somalis universally practice.

The transitional government, on the other hand, is dominated by the warlords and terrorists who drove out American forces in 1993. Organized in Kenya by U.S. regional allies, it is so completely devoid of internal support that it has turned to Somalia's arch- enemy, Ethiopia, for assistance.

Go read the rest of the article.

It appears as if we can train the military of one country enough to invade another country a lot faster than we can train Iraqis to maintain control of their own country. Which Bush doesn't really want them to anyway, because we might have to leave all that oil in the hands of its (gasp!) owners.

I guess Muslim law and order in a country isn't near as good as U.S.-imposed chaos. Especially with all that oil up for grabs.


Houston Chronicle

WASHINGTON - The U.S. signaled its support Tuesday for Ethiopia's offensive in Somalia, calling it a response to "aggression" by Islamists who since the summer have been consolidating power in the country.

Tuesday, a day after an Ethiopian jet strafed the airport in the Somali capital of Mogadishu, the State Department issued internal guidance to staff members, instructing officials to play down the invasion in public statements.

"Should the press focus on the role of Ethiopia inside Somalia," read a copy of the guidelines given to The New York Times by a U.S. official here, "emphasize that this is a distraction from the issue of dialogue between the TFIs and Islamic courts."

TFI is an abbreviation for the weak transitional government in Somalia.

"The press must not be allowed to make this about Ethiopia, or Ethiopia violating the territorial integrity of Somalia," the guidance said.

Truth is not Bush administration policy.

Fridge Magnet Review

If you are seeking a mate with values of honesty, sensitivity, compassion -- and a person who is not a hypocrite, the choice is easy.

Don't marry a Republican, at least not a Republican elected official.

There might be some camp followers of the GOP with values of decency, but then they're dumb, because if they can't see that their party leaders and President are the anithesis of moral and ethical decision making, then they have a rock for a brain.

So, this cartoon magnet makes it clear. It's hard for an honest, moral person to love a Republican.

It's important to maintain your moral standards -- and your dignity.

It's okay to have a meaningless fling with a Republican - and the ones who champion monogamy appear to be the biggest bed hoppers -- just don't marry one.

You can get one at BuzzFlash.

If you're already married to a Repug, God help you, and remember, it's still illegal to murder them in their beds. For a while yet, anyway. The Dixie Chicks have some advice that might help.

Helping the Poor, the British Way

Paul Krugman

It's the season for charitable giving. And far too many Americans, particularly children, need that charity.

Scenes of a devastated New Orleans reminded us that many of our fellow citizens remain poor, four decades after L.B.J. declared war on poverty. But I'm not sure whether people understand how little progress we've made. In 1969, fewer than one in every seven American children lived below the poverty line. Last year, although the country was far wealthier, more than one in every six American children were poor.

And there's no excuse for our lack of progress. Just look at what the British government has accomplished over the last decade.

Just look.

What are the lessons to be learned from across the pond?

First, government truly can be a force for good. Decades of propaganda have conditioned many Americans to assume that government is always incompetent - and the current administration has done its best to turn that into a self-fulfilling prophecy. But the Blair years have shown that a government that seriously tries to reduce poverty can achieve a lot.

Second, it really helps to have politicians who are serious about governing, rather than devoting themselves entirely to amassing power and rewarding cronies.

While researching this article, I was startled by the sheer rationality of British policy discussion, as compared with the cynical posturing that passes for policy discourse in George Bush's America. Instead of making grandiose promises that are quickly forgotten - like Mr. Bush's promise of "bold action" to confront poverty after Hurricane Katrina - British Labor politicians propose specific policies with well-defined goals. And when actual results fall short of those goals, they face the facts rather than trying to suppress them and sliming the critics.

The moral of my Christmas story is that fighting poverty isn't easy, but it can be done. Giving in to cynicism and accepting the persistence of widespread poverty even as the rich get ever richer is a choice that our politicians have made. And we should be ashamed of that choice.

Damn right we should be ashamed of the decisions our politicians, in the richest country on Earth, have made. I guess they feel it's better to let people starve, and pander to rich contributors, than to do the right things and be labeled "socialists". Or worse, real Christians.

364 Shopping Days 'Til Christmas...

I'm ba-ack. I hope everybody had a nice enough Christmas that they aren't stressed-out worse than before.

The only thing that gets to me is the driving. Due to the timing of Christmas this year, Northern California moved south and Southern California moved north all at the same time. Probably a good thing. If one end of the state had got all bunched up we'da probably had a big tilt and flung everybody into the ocean. Hmmm...on second thought....

Everybody makes mistakes, but 90% of the drivers do OK, and the remainder are about equally split between people who are so damned important that traffic laws and the laws of physics and common courtesy just don't apply to them and fuck you, and of graduates of Mrs. Fujimoto's Live Bait, Sushi, 'Ichi Ban' Driving School And Oban Society. Their motto is, "Just off boat? Got Rexus SUV? Never Drive Befo'? No Probrem! Teach Drive Onry Take Ten Minutes!". I'm absolutely amazed at the number of people who can't see over the steering wheel. Anyway, driving half the length of this state is tiring, but only if you pay attention to what you're doing, and to what a whole lotta folks around you oughta be doing but ain't, I guess. It's a lot easier in a modern pickup than on a motorcycle, though. I don't give it 100% in the truck - I back off and listen to the stereo with 1%.

The last fifty miles home were after dark, rain and snow, immense amount of traffic, nose-to-tail city drivers. I've posted about this before, but there were no incidents, just scarier'n shit for me. We got to watch one guy learn a little about driving on a snow-covered Interstate on the uphill stretch just before Donner Summit (7239'). I have no idea what prompted it, but his headlights went from straight ahead to about 7 o'clock and then back around to about 5 o'clock. Twice. In traffic. His lights stayed in a tight arc and the rear of the car did all the swinging. He didn't quite spin it, and he didn't hit anything, but I bet the inside of that car didn't smell very good. If he even noticed.

I was pretty much off the internets. Our motel doesn't have its own WiFi, and though there's a wireless signal there that my computer picked up, it didn't work very well. Due to a strange combination of available phone cables, the only way I could have sat at the desk and done dial-up was to stretch all the cords so tight I could have plucked them and sent a musical greeting. Sitting on the bed and doing this shit doesn't work for me. So, to all you folks who have told me to "shut up" - Merry Christmas!

The family get-together was a different bunch to some extent. Since my sister-in-law doesn't feel like doing it anymore, she passed the duty to her eldest daughter and there's more than one family in attendance now. It was fun. Also fun is watching Eldest Daughter learn to cook at age 45...

Different folks brought covered dishes. Eldest Daughter's mother-in-law makes the best green bean casserole I've ever had, and Daughter No. 2's husband makes the deadliest mashed potatoes. I think the recipe goes something like "one smashed potato...two pounds of butter...second smashed potato...three kinds of cheese, one pound each. Serve. Dial 911." I eschewed the third helping of those because I felt the first two wrapping themselves around my heart!

Mrs. G volunteered me to bring dessert, so I'm Pie Czar. I get 'em from Coco's in Pismo Beach. Easy. Got one too many and had to bring it home. Darn...

One of the best moves Mrs. G's family has made in recent years is for the adults not to exchange gifts. We all like this program. There's only two little kids and a teenager to get stuff for, and it saves a lot of hassle and expense.

All the holiday bullshit is over for another year, and I'm damn glad of it. I like to visit Mrs. G's family, but twice a year one month apart is crazy. Could somebody please look into if there's some Pagan celebration around the other solstice we could move Christmas to?

Culling the herd ...

Our long national nightmare is over.

No, it was just begun with Watergate. Our long national nightmare will be over when the Republican Party no longer exists.

See you in Hell.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Your tax dollars at work

First, hope all of you lived through Christmas with a minumum of hassle. Personally, the thought of going to work today is abhorrent but we gotta do the deal.

Anyway. Seems the Chimp pissed away $2bln, that's right, billion of your dollars earmarked for Hurricane Katrina aid. Why isn't this man in jail already?

Investigations have revealed the Bush Administration wasted more than $2 billion of the money allocated for Katrina, the Associated Press reports today. Much of this waste is the result of lucrative contracts awarded with little or no competition [my em]...

Monday, December 25, 2006

O Tannenbaum

A bit of my heritage. I always loved it in the original German.

The legendary Vienna Boy's Chior

O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum,
wie treu sind deine Blätter!
Du grünst nicht nur
zur Sommerzeit,
Nein auch im Winter, wenn es schneit.
O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum,
wie treu sind deine Blätter!

O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum!
Du kannst mir sehr gefallen!
Wie oft hat nicht zur Weihnachtszeit
Ein Baum von dir mich hoch erfreut!
O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum!
Du kannst mir sehr gefallen!

O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum!
Dein Kleid will mich
was lehren:
Die Hoffnung und Beständigkeit
Gibt Trost und Kraft
zu jeder Zeit.
O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum!
Das soll dein Kleid
mich lehren.

And an aside, we'll be spending Christmas with my family in Germany next year. Of course I'm gonna blog about it.

The America I love

Cenk Uygur nails it:


I love the America that built, or I should say enhanced and sold, this great tradition of Christmas. I love the America that is open and kind. I love the America that gives presents.

I love the America that built the United Nations. And the America that carried out the most magnanimous act since Saladin gave King Richard his horse back - the Marshall Plan. The America that rebuilt its worst enemies into its best allies. That's a country that is a brilliant and shining example to the world.


For Christmas next year, I want that America back.


5 Catholics
4 Jews
1 Hindu
1 Infidel
All my American nephews and nieces
And Mrs. F's wingnut brother who was on good behavior


All the best!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Happy Holidays

There,I said it. Hopefully it made another teeny little capillary in Bill O'Reilly's fevered little brain go *pop!*. Holidays is short for Holy Days,and bite me if you wanna fight about it. Find a freaking hobby for crying out loud.

My wish this Holy Day Season is that you gather with family and friends and leave having not killed or maimed any of them. May you not be presented with an eyesore of a gift or your mother showing adorable pictures of your potty training,for the 20th year in a row. May you steer clear of drunken uncles and crazy wingnut parents chirping and TVs turned to FOX News. May your idiotic brother in law learn to keep his trap shut this year,and may your sister tell him to STFU if he forgets.

May someone offer to help with the dishes after the holiday feast,take out the trash,and tidy the messes.

May the children go to bed early.

And when it's all said and done,may we all be safe,sound,well,loved,and otherwise content. For that will give us the courage and strength to rage against the machine and break it's gears. May your voice be heard,may your challenges be well met and may you forever remember that it's pretty much always a bad idea to leave shrimp out of the fridge for too long,or to light up a joint in church.

And may 2007 be the year things begin to turn this Big Blue Marble around to the side of the good guys for a change.

Love and Holiday Smootchies,

How it'll work ...

If you're waiting for a D-Day or Iwo Jima type 'surge' of troops in Eye-Rack, forget it. Brother Lurch explains how it'll go:

Firstly, as most people who pay attention now understand, it won't be a surge. Troops scheduled to rotate back to the US for rest, refit, replenishment, and a chance to see their families won't. Troops scheduled to return to Iraq after their planned 12 to 18 months at home will be sent earlier. Sorry troops, too bad families, wives, children, mothers, fathers; sometimes sacrifices have to be made in order to maintain the fiction that we're doing something reputable in Iraq. And what's more important? Your family's happiness or Mr Bu$h's reputation?


We are the world

And while you're stuffing your faces and your greedy little urchins are ripping open their presents, maybe you could see fit to pass a couple bucks out to folks who have never known the spirit of this holiday:

Save the Children

World Vision

Save Darfur

Grameen Foundation*

*Thanks AOB!


Creature got me with this one. 5 stories about me, 4 true, one false:

1. For a few years after I got out the military, I was a bodyguard for a transsexual dancer/stripper.

2. While in the military, I supplied Osama bin Laden and his Mujaheddin with weapons.

3. Also in the military, Naples, Italy: I was nearly shot and killed by an outraged woman who was bent on killing my roommate. Fortunately she was unsucessful.

4. I dated Pat Benatar when we were both in high school on Long Island.

5. My engines took 1st, 3rd, and 4th at the original 'Mustang Shootout' at Englishtown Raceway, New Jersey.

The first one who picks the false statement gets a prize. Maybe a signed copy of one of my books?

And just a BTW, all of the factual statements can be verified via the archives of this blog. Yeah, I know there are 2 1/2 years worth of archives. Heh ...