Saturday, July 21, 2007

The Logic of Impeachment

A 'must read' by Robert Parry:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has taken impeachment "off the table," in line with Official Washington's view that trying to oust George W. Bush and Dick Cheney would be an unpleasant waste of time. But there is emerging a compelling logic that an unprecedented dual impeachment might be vital to the future of the United States.

If some historic challenge is not made to the extraordinary assertions of power by President Bush and Vice President Cheney, the United States might lose its status as a democratic Republic based on a Constitution that adheres to the twin principles that no one is above the law and everyone is endowed with inalienable rights.

Bush is daring Congress to either mount a constitutional battle or submit to his will.

If Congress submits to that punk's will, any more than they already have, the Nation is lost. Period.

Even if impeachment didn't reach the ultimate goal of removing Bush and Cheney, it would put down a marker of congressional resistance to executive abuses.

The public would get the point, too.

Same theory as vigorous application of a 2x4 to a mule's head: sometimes ya gotta do what ya gotta do to get his attention.

In my neighborhood in Arlington, Virginia, lawn signs have sprung up reading simply "Impeach Him" or "Impeach Them Both." No one needs to say who the "him" and the "them" are.

From opinion polls, it's clear, too, that Americans across the country are furious with Bush and Cheney. Many recognize that Bush and Cheney represent an unparalleled threat to core American principles, such as the concept of inalienable rights.

These millions of Americans are searching for some courageous politicians willing to take the lead. Instead, the people get all-night Iraq War debates that go nowhere – and empty promises that, some day down the road, the Democrats will finally get serious.

What these citizens want is for the Democrats to stiffen their spines and finally declare, loudly and clearly, "Impeach the bastards."

Amen. Do not miss this one.

Mention the President, Lose a Case?

Law.com

Apparently President George W. Bush is now so unpopular that some lawyers believe the mere mention of his name in front of a jury could tip the scales against them.

Attorneys Michael P. Laffey and Robert P. DiDomenicis of Holsten & Associates in Media, Pa., are defending Upper Darby Township, Pa., in a civil rights suit brought by Harold Lischner, an 82-year-old doctor who claims he was falsely arrested for displaying an anti-war sign at a Bush campaign event in September 2003.

With the case set to go to trial on July 23, the defense lawyers recently filed a flurry of motions, including one that asked Eastern District of Pennsylvania Judge Gene E.K. Pratter to prohibit the plaintiff from mentioning Bush's name.

That bears repeating: They arrested an 82-year-old man for displaying an anti-war sign at a Bush campaign event.

Boy, there's some "law & order" for ya, huh? So much for exercise of First Amendment rights if the current occupant doesn't like it. At least Bush can't order "off with his head!"

Yet.

A final note: if you go read the article, drink some triple-caffeine Java and take a lunch. It was written by lawyers.

Laughing at us ...

I've been saying this for years. We are a nation of prudes.

Great thanks to Avedon Carol for the link.

Hillary's tits ...

Oh. My. God. Hillary showed some cleavage, the end of the world is upon us! She'd get my vote if she showed me her tits*.

...

I know its an exercise in futility to expect more from our media but, seriously, what's next? Barack Obama and his Peculiar Pigment? Yeesh.

...



Pic courtesy of WaPo. Click to embiggen.


*I know it's shallow, but I'm easy.

When whores collide ...

Another chapter of my novel The Fourth Estate is up at The Practical Press.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Bush to get it up the ass...

Us too. Bush is going in for a colonoscopy and The Dick will be president for a coupla hours. Fasten yer seat belts and watch yer six.

May I respectfully suggest that if they're gonna put any 'scopes up Bush where the Sun don't shine, they should go for the gusto and use the one from Arecibo. Guaranteed to put a smile on his face and ours too.

Update:

Mrs. G informs me that the space aliens who normally conduct probes of Bush actually had to return him so he could go get this one.

Hil on Pot - Well, Sorta

From Stop The Drug War:

Hillary Clinton continues to get the drug policy questions right:

During a visit to Manchester, New Hampshire on July 13, Len Epstein of Granite Staters for Medical Marijuana told the senator and presidential candidate: "Twelve states allow medical marijuana, but the Bush administrations continues to raid patients."

Clinton replied: "Yes, I know. It's terrible."

"Would you stop the federal raids?" Epstein asked.

"Yes, I will," she responded firmly.

Good for her. The "War On Some Drugs" is an expensive loser, particularly in the case of voter-approved medical marijuana.

This oughta get her the votes of many sick and forgetful people if they can get out of bed and remember why they did that...

More Impeachment Stuff

Go read this.

Ho Hum. Another GOP/Christianist/Hooker Deal

Pensito Review

President of the Christian Action League, 74, Is Arrested after Paying Hooker with Checks

Seventy-four? You'd think the old fucker would be content to get his rocks off the way most older Southern preachers do - from watching all the young boys and girls in their white shifts during full immersion baptisms down at the river...one hand holding them under and the other, well, you get the idea...

I don't know who's more stupid - him for paying with a check, or her for taking one.

Rev. Coy Privette, the president of the Christian Action League, a North Carolina ultraconservative Christian political organization based in Raleigh, has been arrested for soliciting prostitution

I don't want to say anything mean about this gal, who's no doubt doing doing whatever it takes to get by, but go take a look at her.

The Christian Action League is funded by the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, and it is affiliated with the ultra-rightwing American Family Association.

For over three decades, Privette has been one of the best known and most outrageous spokesmen for "family values" and Christian extreme right politics in North Carolina. In the 1970s, he was serving as minister at the North Kannapolis Baptist Church when he joined the tide of evangelicals entering politics that included the Moral Majority and Christian Coalition. He served in the N.C. Legislature from 1984 to 1992, and has been a member of the board of commissioners in Cabarrus County since 1998.

Ah, the usual suspects. It does my heart good to see yet another one of these 'family values' hypocrites get caught at it.

All the President’s Enablers

Paul Krugman, and also worth a click to see "Neocon Gold". No, Fixer, it ain't some kinda weed that weirds ya out...

In a coordinated public relations offensive, the White House is using reliably friendly pundits - amazingly, they still exist - to put out the word that President Bush is as upbeat and confident as ever. It might even be true.

What I don't understand is why we're supposed to consider Mr. Bush's continuing confidence a good thing.

Now Iraq is a bloody quagmire, Afghanistan is deteriorating and the Bush administration’s own National Intelligence Estimate admits, in effect, that thanks to Mr. Bush's poor leadership America is losing the struggle with Al Qaeda. Yet Mr. Bush remains confident.

It's not as much 'confidence' as it is denial and willful ignorance. Besides, since The Dick and God made him do it, it's impossible for everything, I say again every thing, he's done to be the biggest, costliest mistake in American history. It's not a mistake. He did it on purpose.

Yet while Mr. Bush no longer has many true believers, he still has plenty of enablers - people who understand the folly of his actions, but refuse to do anything to stop him.

That's kinda the mystery here - Bush is flat fuckin' wreckin' the joint and everybody stands on the sidelines wringin' their hands. Or actually applauding. That's not the way to stop him.

You can't stop the bastard with laws. He laughs at laws, holds them in contempt, has asserted that he is above them. And Congress still thinks they can use procedure and law to thwart him.

Bush and Cheney need to be physically restrained. Physically, as in forcibly remove them to a place of confinement where they can do no more harm, like on Law and Order. It's called "arrest". Then, and only then, can the law be used against them.

You know, at this point I think we need to stop blaming Mr. Bush for the mess we're in. He is what he always was, and everyone except a hard core of equally delusional loyalists knows it.

Yet Mr. Bush keeps doing damage because many people who understand how his folly is endangering the nation's security still refuse, out of political caution and careerism, to do anything about it.

I rarely disagree with Mr. Krugman, but of course we can blame Bush. No matter who advised him or how wrong-headed his approach or who helped him, he did it. There's plenty of blame to go around in this deal, of course. Congress and others have enabled these bastards to commit their crimes and destroy the Constitution, and even though it's happening openly and blatantly right in front of their eyes, they refuse to do what's necessary - in cowboy parlance "dab a loop on 'em".

Saddle up, boys. They got a head start, and yer gonna haveta ride hard, head 'em off and round 'em up. Do it near a tree for convenience' sake.

Hey, W! Bin Laden (Still) Determined to Strike in U.S.

MoDo

Squirming White House officials had to confront the fact yesterday that everything President Bush has been spouting the last six years about Al Qaeda being on the run, disrupted and weakened was just guff.

The administration's most thorough intelligence assessment since 9/11 is stark and dark. Two pages add up to one message: The Bushies blew it. Al Qaeda has exploded into a worldwide state of mind. Because of what’s going on with Iraq and Iran, Hezbollah may now "be more likely to consider" attacking us. Al Qaeda will try to "put operatives here" - (some news reports say a cell from Pakistan already is en route or has arrived) - and "acquire and employ chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear material in attacks."

W. swaggers about with his cowboy boots and gunslinger stance. But when talking about Waziristan last February, he explained that it was hard to round up the Taliban and Al Qaeda leaders there because: "This is wild country; this is wilder than the Wild West."

Yes, they shoot with real bullets up there, and they fly into buildings with real planes.

If W. were a real cowboy, instead of somebody who just plays one on TV, he would have cleaned up Dodge by now.

The Chimp's idea of "cleanin' up Dodge" is to clear the brush and the Hell with what's goin' on in the back room of the Long Branch. Besides, those fellows who are runnin' the crooked gambling and sex trade are no doubt on his payroll.

Rigged Game

For what it's worth, here's a quote from BuzzFlash about the judge who threw out the Wilsons' lawsuit:

From the Archives: This Was Our Headline on a Story Last Year by a Partisan Decision by the Same Bushevik Judge Who Threw Out the Valerie Plame Civil Lawsuit Against the Busheviks on Thursday. "As Bush plays games with the law, Judge Bates says it's OK for him to sign two different versions of same bill. Guess what, the judge was appointed by Bush and "As a District Court Judge, Bates dismissed the GAO's effort to learn with whom Cheney's energy task force conferred." Also, he was appointed by Rehnquist to the FISA Court. Does anyone smell a partisan hack judge here? Oh, Judge Bates also served as one of Ken Starr's merry pranksters. "Judge Bates was on detail as Deputy Independent Counsel for the Whitewater investigation from 1995 to mid-1997." Get the picture of a Bush loyalist who values partisanship over the Constitution? 8/13/06 Judge Bates spent two years working for Kenneth Starr and the Independent Counsel's office during the investigation into President Bill Clinton, specifically Deputy Independent Counsel under Ken Starr from September 1995 until leaving in March 1997.

You can't beat a rigged game by playing by the rules. IMNSHO the way to deal with a rigged game is with a Louisville Slugger, a length of old No. 530 motorcycle chain, a fence rail and some tar and feathers. Which is a metaphor for about 100,000 citizens on the White House lawn with pitchforks and scythes. Which is also a metaphor for whatever works to GET THOSE SONSABITCHES OUT NOW! Fair play, courtesy, and rules be damned. They don't use 'em, and it's past time to get rough with the bastards.

Let 'em have it ...



That house in Paris is looking better and better.

When I read that a judge has thrown out Joe and Valerie's suit against the administration, when I see the Rethugs still exerting control over Congress regardless of the public's demand for a change, when I see the news media still carrying the Chimp's water, I'm of a mind to throw up my hands, pack up the Mrs. and the dog and move to a place we love, where progressive ideas aren't considered part of the lunatic fringe.

The America I know and love is long dead, 7 years dead, and I get this feeling it's beyond resuscitation. Every federal agency and the courts have been corrupted, our civil rights have been abrogated (and you know we won't get 'em back anytime soon), and corporate interests make government policy. So what the fuck? How do we win?

I don't know. I don't see a solution.

Even a Dem President with a Dem majority in Congress gives me little hope because they follow the money the same way the Rethugs do. That's if we even get to elect a Dem because, as Gord noted yesterday, I doubt the Chimp and Cheney will want to leave when their term is up.

It's just so frustrating, I'm tempted to call the people who own the house pictured above and make 'em an offer they can't refuse for it. I'm tempted to say, 'let the Rethugs have America, they have to live in the shithole they've created' and pack it in.

Tempted, but there's still some fight left in this old dog. We'll make that decision in '09. Besides, if they're allowed to continue, the stench of America will eventually wash up on the Left Bank too.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

VA Secretary Jim Nicholson resigns

Think Progress. Links at site.

Veterans Affairs Secretary Jim Nicholson has resigned.

Nicholson's primary qualification for the VA job was serving as chairman of the Republican National Committee from 1997 to 2000, "raising close to $380 million for the 2000 cycle." In March, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) called for his resignation, noting that his appointment was purely political and looked "like a Brownie situation."

UPDATE: In February, Nicholson tried to downplay the number of injured veterans, claiming that "a lot of them come in for dental problems."

Dental problems. Yeah, IEDs, grinding your teeth for one fifteen month tour after another after another, or meth and alcohol abuse from PTSD will play Hell with your smile.

Reminds me of the time Suzuki had a rash of broken motorcycle frames. Afraid of lawsuits, they downplayed it and claimed it was an 'electrical problem'. When pressed, their rep said, in perfect Japanenglish, "Frame break, pull off spark prug wire, bike stop - erectrical probrem!"

Good riddance to another incompetent Repug crony.

It'll all be over in '09? Maybe not...

From Corrente:

So! The DFH types like us aren't the only ones to think this way. Former US Ambassador Dan Simpson writes for the Toledo Blade:

[...]

There is also the late-at-night, eerie concern that Mr. Bush has in his head some sort of scenario where, for reasons of national security - real or drummed up - the 2008 elections will have to be postponed and he will get to stay on.

My suspicions have at their base the feeling I have that, given their operating style now, this bunch will not leave the White House easily in 2009.


Nice to see this mainstreamed at last.

Because when the going gets tough, the tough get foily.

Because, really, when do monarchs ever surrender power?

I just checked the Dow. I'm rich! Prescience has paid off at last! Tinfoil hat stocks are up now that this has hit the MSM!

Don't worry - they'll leave the White House even if not right on time. Feet first, maybe, but they'll leave.

Media Putz of the Week

Media Putz:

William Kristol is living proof of how the American media has turned the concept of meritocracy upside its head and now puts chronic failures at the top of the pundit pyramid.

Kristol is the scion of leftists turned Neo-Cons. He has the East Coast pedigree that used to be a prerequisite for entrance into the neo-liberal ruling class. But somewhere, something went horribly wrong.

As the paid shill of Rupert Murdoch, who underwrites the Weekly Standard that Kristol "edits," Kristol has emerged as the favorite Neo-Con "expert spokesman" on the mainstream media. This is despite the reality that Kristol has a record of being a smiling booster of just about every failed "Masters of the Universe" foreign policy pursued by Bush and Cheney.

Lately, Kristol has been advocating the nuking of Iran when not doing the Sunday morning "news show" circuit, boasting about what a great job Bush is doing in Iraq. He's the kind of insider that the D.C. media establishment thinks of as a "nice guy" and "one of them."

That's just the intro. Specifics follow.

Which brings us to the specific recent reason for Kristol occupying the Media Putz hat this week: a July 15 column in the Washington Post that the Washington Post prominently promoted online with the teaser, "Weekly Standard Editor William Kristol will chart the remarkable -- and often ignored -- successes of the Bush administration."

Many BuzzFlash readers took note of this "Neo-Con in Wonderland" view of a presidency that has made us more vulnerable as a nation to external threats, at a grave cost in lives and hundreds of billions of dollars.

Then the winning nomination. Definitely worth the read.

I like these lines in the close:

Bill Kristol loves to be perceived as a player in the Bush White House, which is kind of like feeling macho because you hang out at the Gotti crime family's poker club.

With Kristol, you need a crowbar to separate the facts from the fiction, if you can find any facts in his endless, chipper blather. With columns like this one, you remind us how easy it is to separate journalism from the truth.

Hell yeah it's easy - all you have to be is deluded and lie a little. Well, OK, be really deluded and lie a lot.

Update:

Go read David Corn's rebuttal to Kristol's idiot op-ed:

Who knew Bill Kristol had such a flair for satire?

How else to read his piece for Outlook on Sunday, in which he declared, "George W. Bush's presidency will probably be a successful one"? Surely Kristol, the No. 1 cheerleader for the Iraq war, was mocking himself (and his neoconservative pals) for having been so mistaken about so much. But just in case his article was meant to be a serious stab at commentary, let's review Kristol's record as a prognosticator.

And review Kristol's prognostications he does! The word 'wrong' pops into mind a lot...

The Bush-Cheney years have been marked by ineptitude, miscalculation, and scandal. A successful presidency? Bush will be lucky if he gets a public elementary school in his adopted hometown of Crawford, Tex., named after him. He has placed this country in a hole. Yet Kristol, with shovel in hand, points to that hole and says, Trust me -- we're about to strike oil!

If it's true that history repeats first as tragedy and then as farce, Kristol has short-circuited the process and gone straight to parody. His Bush boosterism -- an act of self-justification -- would be amusing were it not for all the damage he has helped Bush to cause.

Perhaps there's a spot for Kristol right next to his idol Bush in a nice quiet Eastern European secret CIA prison. Or at The Hague.

Cheney Suppressed Evidence in California Energy Crisis

Quite a long piece at Truthout. If you're interested in this, you'll be interested in this. All the usual suspects, plus a few.

In-depth investigation shows how Vice President Dick Cheney pressured federal energy regulators to conceal evidence of widespread market manipulation by energy companies during the California electricity crisis in 2001.

Cheney had just been informed by his longtime friend Thomas Cruikshank, the man who handpicked the vice president to succeed him at Halliburton in the mid-1990s, that federal energy regulators were close to completing an investigation into allegations that Tulsa, Oklahoma-based Williams Companies and AES Corporation of Arlington, Virginia had created an artificial power shortage in California in April and May of 2000 by shutting down a power plant for more than two weeks.

This story is based on a two-month investigation into Cheney's energy task force; how the vice president pressured cabinet officials to conceal clear-cut evidence of market manipulation during California's energy crisis, and how that subsequently led Cheney to exert executive privilege when lawmakers called on him to turn over documents related to his meetings with energy industry officials who helped draft the National Energy Policy and also gamed California's power market. Truthout spoke with more than a dozen former officials from the Energy Department and FERC as well as current and former energy industry executives all of whom were involved in personal discussions with Cheney relating to the National Energy Policy.

"[We] started out Monday losing $3 million ... So, then we decided as a group that we were going to make it back up, so we turned like about almost every power plant off. It worked. Prices went back up. Made back about $4 million, actually more than that, $5 million," the Reliant trader says in a tape-recorded conversation on June 23, 2000.

Just one more reason The Dick should be in jail, along with a whole bunch of other people.

Bush is the one our founding fathers warned us about

Robert Scheer

George W. Bush is the imperial president that James Madison and other founders of this great republic warned us about. He lied the nation into precisely the "foreign entanglements" that George Washington feared would destroy the experiment in representative government, and he has championed a spurious notion of security over individual liberty, thus eschewing the alarms of Thomas Jefferson as to the deprivation of the inalienable rights of free citizens. But most important, he has used the sledgehammer of war to obliterate the separation of powers that James Madison enshrined in the U.S. Constitution.

[...] "The separation of the power of raising armies from the power of commanding them is intended to prevent the raising of armies for the sake of commanding them."

That last sentence perfectly describes the threat of what President Dwight Eisenhower, 165 years later, would describe as the "military-industrial complex," a permanent war economy feeding off a permanent state of insecurity. The collapse of the Soviet Union deprived the military profiteers and their handsomely rewarded cheerleaders in the government of a raison d’ĂȘtre for the massive war economy supposedly created in response to it. Fortunately for them, Bush found in the 9/11 attack an excuse to make war even more profitable and longer lasting. The Iraq war, which the president’s 9/11 Commission concluded never had anything to do with the terrorist assault, nonetheless has transferred many hundreds of billions in taxpayer dollars into the military economy. And when Congress seeks to exercise its power to control the budget, this president asserts that this will not govern his conduct of the war.

The problem is that the "state of war" in question here was an al-Qaida attack on the U.S. that had nothing whatsoever to do with Saddam Hussein's Iraq. Perhaps to spare Congress the embarrassment of formally declaring war against a nation that had not attacked America, Bush settled for a loosely worded resolution supporting his use of military power if Iraq failed to comply with U.N. mandates. This was justified by the White House as a means of strengthening the United Nations in holding Iraq accountable for its WMD arsenal, but as most of the world looked on in dismay, Bush invaded Iraq after U.N. inspectors on the ground discovered that Iraq had no WMD.

Bush betrayed Congress, which in turn betrayed the American people - just as Madison feared when he wrote: "Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it compromises and develops the germ of every other."

I wish that germ in the White House had never been developed.

Molly Ivins: Another reminder of what we lost with her

From her 16. January 2003 column in The Free Press
“I assume we can defeat Hussein without great cost to our side (God forgive me if that is hubris). The problem is what happens after we win. The country is 20 percent Kurd, 20 percent Sunni and 60 percent Shiite. Can you say, "Horrible three-way civil war?" And as George W. Bush himself once said, "Unrest in the Middle East causes unrest throughout the region."”

—Molly Ivins



Go read the whole thing, it is just one small example of how brilliant (and what a brillian writer) she was.

R.

Harry's new balls ...

You gotta hand it to Harry Reid for growing a set of nuts in the past week. Seems he likes them and wants to show 'em off.

Playing hard ball. Reid just pulled the Defense Authorization bill off the floor. If the GOP Senators want to continue filibustering meaningful Iraq legislation, Reid won't proceed.

...


Give 'em Hell, Harry, and don't back down.

Sorry ...

No circle jerk for the Rethugs:



Woulda made their day if this was a terrorist bomb.

Judy, Judy, Judy ...

She's a hero, you know? At least Lardass thinks so.

Matthews: Judy, you’re a hero to the press. You are a woman to be trusted with secrets and thank you for coming on.


Call me on the night a couple big guys in white suits come on and take Matthews away kicking and screaming in a straitjacket. Then I'll actually watch his show. What a fucking idiot.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Tell me ...

Why does the Senate hate the troops?

Senate Republicans scuttled a Democratic proposal ordering troop withdrawals from Iraq in a showdown Wednesday that capped an all-night debate on the war.

The 52-47 vote fell short of the 60 votes needed to cut off debate under Senate rules. It was a sound defeat for Democrats who say the U.S. military campaign, in its fifth year and requiring 158,000 troops, cannot tame the sectarian violence in Iraq.[..]


I've about had it with our elected officials, all of them. Though, as Nicole says:

It’s disappointing to say the least…however, now we have these Republicans (and honorary Republicans, like Joe Lieberman) on record ...


I suggest keeping a list of things about your reps that piss you off during their term so you remember just why you shouldn't reelect them in November.

BES

I've got this for sure. From The Smirking Chimp:

An intensive study of 1,000 randomly-selected Americans has yielded conclusive evidence of a heretofore unnoted contagion, an offshoot of Tourette's Syndrome doctors have labeled BES, or Bush Exasperation Syndrome. As first reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), symptoms of Bush Exasperation Syndrome include involuntary outbursts of projectile cursing whenever the name or image of President George W. Bush is flashed before sufferers of this malady. This catalytic image (or trigger) has produced bouts of explosive and uncontrollable profanity in well over half of those tested for the disease.

Preliminary studies reveal, however, that people with measurably low intelligence have an inexplicable immunity to this ailment thought to be linked to their DNA. Scientists have found an almost exact correlation between IQ and the degree of susceptibility to BES. The lower your IQ, the less likely it is that you will be infected.

That explains why I have such a virulent, aggressive case. Ahem.

Stuck in Senate all-nighter, Vitter orders in 'Chinese'’



"Officially, this will be noted in the Congressional Record as a 'closed-door session', on a 'joint resolution' to insert more 'pork', and to add 'spanking' privileges."

A tip o' the Brain to Don Davis.

Skooter Skates

Will Durst on Libby's pardon:

If Bush had explained that he wiped away the VP's right hand man's sentence of 30 months for perjury in federal court, because you can't send a man named Scooter to prison, I would have understood. But the excuse used was the sentence was "excessive." And we Americans who are just 19 months shy of serving our full 96 month sentence living under the fear mongering, torture outsourcing, and middle class eradication efforts of this Administration, can totally relate.

"Excessive." That's what he called it. This is the same guy who when running for governor of Texas actually said out loud in front of people with microphones sticking out of their hands that he wanted to "stiffen the death penalty." Stiffen the death penalty? What the hell does that mean? Was he going to apply it twice? Were doctors mandated not to rub alcohol on the point of insertion before lethal injections? Did he empanel a blue ribbon committee to figure out a way of how to dump the electric chair and wire up some bleachers?

But when it came to punishing his string puller's best friend, the President's compassion predictably welled up like a zit the morning of picture day in 8th grade. He did keep intact the other part of Mr. Libby's sentence; the $250,000 fine, but that didn't seem to pose much of a hardship, as the skedaddling scofflaw simply wrote a personal check for it. Don't feel too bad for him. I'm sure he'll be reimbursed by the Scooter Libby Defense Fund or as we are used to calling it: Halliburton.

Only too true.

What I learned from Bush

On Flickr



This girl got a lot of attention for this one. The sign reads:

What I learned from BUSH

1. Lying is O.K.
2. Cheating is O.K.
3. Torture is O.K.
4. Taking people's rights is O.K.
5. Neglecting the poor is O.K.
6. Being a religious hypocrite is O.K.
7. Killing is O.K.
8. Incompetence is O.K.
9. Cronyism is O.K.

Thank you, young lady. I am glad the youngsters have such a sterling role model. As you, not Bush.

Forcing The Issue

William Rivers Pitt

The Republican leadership has established hurdles and blockades, everything they can find to stop us from a vote that reflects the feelings of the American people. You know why? They're afraid of what the American people want. They're afraid the American people might prevail.

- Senator Dick Durbin (D-Illinois)

The Bush administration has displayed absolutely no interest in heeding the wisdom of The First Law of Holes - when you're in a hole, stop digging - even as the circle of carnage widens and public support plummets to new and awe-inspiring lows. The original plan called for the establishment of a permanent American military presence in Iraq, and the bitter-enders in the White House mean to stay this course no matter what comes.

For now, they can do so. Bush and Cheney hold the Executive high ground, their lackeys control the military, and if they don't wish to withdraw from Iraq, any Congressional strategies for withdrawal are meaningless. The administration dictates policy, and they control the military. Further, any withdrawal legislation supported only by the Democratic majority will be undone by Bush's veto pen. No legislative solution can be successfully passed and protected from that veto until 67 senators all vote "Aye."

Before anyone can even begin to craft a plan for extracting us from this disaster, Bush and Cheney will have to be politically cornered, politically overwhelmed, and politically defeated. That defeat must begin in Congress. That is the punch behind the Reid-Levin amendment. That is the punch behind the next amendment to come, and the one after that, and the one after that.

If those 22 Republicans fail to heed the public's demands for much longer, the '08 midterms may well see many, most, or all of them defeated at the polls. The current one-vote Democratic majority in the Senate would be vastly increased, and would wield the kind of legislative power not seen in the Senate in many years. Such a muscular majority could dictate terms on Iraq, restoration of habeas corpus, the nomination of new justices to the United States Supreme Court, and those issues are just for starters.

If, on the other hand, enough of those 22 Republicans abandon Bush after facing repeated legislative salvos from the majority, bills mandating withdrawal from Iraq could then be crafted and passed; if the majority's seeming strategy bears fruit, a coalition of 67 senators will be the final result, holding enough votes to override any veto, enough votes to begin legislating an end to this war. The Bush administration would, at long last, be cornered and check-mated.

The showdown on Tuesday placed this choice before the GOP. More legislation is coming that will force the same choice upon them. The elections are coming, the public is not with them, and they are no longer sheltered by the media-inflated approval ratings of Mr. Bush and his war. They will be forced to vote time and again on Iraq, forced to defend their votes, and ultimately forced to campaign on those votes.

I think it's awful that those clowns put their careers ahead of doing what's right. Eventually, the ghastly thought that they may not get re-elected will force them to make the right decision for the wrong reasons, but they'll make it. Meanwhile, the needless dying and expense will continue.

Note to Dems: I hesitate to compare your political turkey slap to an actual fist fight, but you don't always win one of those with the first punch. The last election at least got you off your knees. Keep punching, kicking, biting until you prevail. If you quit, the bad guys win and we all lose. If you can't land a knockout punch, just wear 'em down.

It's not the way I want it, but it's the way it is. Dammit. As slow and ineffectual as things move on Capitol Hill, my money's on molasses in January.

For anyone who may have committed 'genre'

I thought our esteemed resident novelist might get a kick out of this, and also I already have a copy of "The Yiddish Policemen's Union" and it's next on my reading list. From Jon Carroll:

OK, this is really too wonderful to pass up. My friend Mary pointed it out to me, and to her goes all the glory. Background: Ursula K. Le Guin is of course a venerable, much-honored and utterly fabulous writer of science fiction. She's won a bunch of awards. She wrote the "Earthsea" series and a novel called "The Left Hand of Darkness," and a few dozen other books.

Quote from a Franklin review in Slate of "The Yiddish Policeman's Union:" "Michael Chabon has spent considerable energy trying to drag the decaying corpse of genre fiction out of the shallow grave where writers of serious literature abandoned it."

Le Guin, from her Web site: "Something woke her in the night. Was it steps she heard, coming up the stairs -- somebody in wet training shoes, climbing the stairs very slowly ... but who? And why wet shoes? It hadn't rained.

"There, again, the heavy, soggy sound. But it hadn't rained for weeks, it was only sultry, the air close, with a cloying hint of mildew or rot, sweet rot, like very old finiocchiona, or perhaps liverwurst gone green.

"There, again -- the slow, squelching, sucking steps, and the foul smell was stronger. Something was climbing her stairs, coming closer to her door. As she heard the click of heel bones that had broken through rotting flesh, she knew what it was. But it was dead, dead! God damn that Chabon, dragging it out of the grave where she and the other serious writers had buried it to save serious literature from its polluting touch, the horror of its blank, pustular face, the lifeless, meaningless glare of its decaying eyes!

"What did the fool think he was doing? Had he paid no attention at all to the endless rituals of the serious writers and their serious critics -- the formal expulsion ceremonies, the repeated anathemata, the stakes driven over and over through the heart, the vitriolic sneers, the endless, solemn dances on the grave? Did he not want to preserve the virginity of Yaddo? Had he not even understood the importance of the distinction between sci fi and counterfactual fiction?

There's lots more. Mr. Carroll closes with:

Them's writing, friends.

I agree.

Quote of the Day

via Think Progress:

“I challenge the President or whoever has us here for 15 months to ride alongside me. I’ll do another 15 months if he comes out here and rides along with me every day for 15 months. I’ll do 15 more months. They don’t even have to pay me extra.”

—A soldier on the ground in Baghdad

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Never argue with a woman ...

No shit. Mrs. F suggested I post this*. Who am I to argue?


Never Argue with a Woman...

One morning the husband returns after several hours of fishing and decides to take a nap. Although not familiar with the lake, the wife decides to take the boat out. She motors out a short distance, anchors, and reads her book.

Along comes a Game Warden in his boat. He pulls up alongside the woman and says, "Good morning, Ma'am. What are you doing?"

"Reading a book," she replies, (thinking, Isn't that obvious?)

"You're in a Restricted Fishing Area," he informs her.

"I'm sorry, officer, but I'm not fishing. I'm reading."

"Yes, but you have all the equipment. For all I know you could start at any moment. I'll have to take you in and write you up."

"If you do that, I'll have to charge you with sexual assault," says the woman.

"But I haven't even touched you," says the game warden.

"That's true, but you have all the equipment. For all I know you could start at any moment."

"Have a nice day ma'am," and he left.

MORAL: Never argue with a woman who reads. It's likely she can also think.

*And just to show how badly we've become hooked on technology, she emailed me this from across the room.

Take a break, troopers...

Another BuzzFlash guest contribution, by Charlie Jackson:

President Bush and the U.S. Congress plan to be on vacation throughout the month of August. The Iraqi parliament will leave town as well, according to White House spokesman Tony Snow.

When the heat is on (up to 130 degrees in Baghdad), why should anyone work? Therefore, all U.S. personnel currently serving in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are hereby encouraged to take August off too.

After all, there is general consensus that no matter what tactics are employed, the military, political, and economic situation in Iraq will remain unstable at best throughout the summer. Little progress can be made while the denizens of freedom and liberty are vacationing in Kennebunkport and Aqaba.

Even General Petreaus, sleeping in the air-conditioned comfort of the Republican Palace in the Green Zone deserves a break. Perhaps he and George Casey can share a game of cribbage while in Martha's Vineyard. After all, dissembling for an Administration divorced from reality must be hard work.

So, let's hear it for the troops. Instead of sending care packages with Baby Wipes® and Purel®, we should instead encourage a permanent vacation back home in the good ol' U.S.A. Take August off, then September, October, November, and December as well. How about a complete shutdown of the entire military for awhile?

Or perhaps our men and women in uniform should invite the beltway plutocrats and pundits to join them for a restful time in Baqouba or Sadr City. I am sure that after only a few hours, even advocates of realpolitik would decide it's time to "go home."

Everyone could use a holiday from war this August. Agreed?

Agreed. A permanent holiday. At the very least, our troops should hide 'n skate while the pols are goofing off in the vacation fleshpots of the world. The fighting and dying can continue very nicely without them.

Anti-taco movement in NOLA

LATimes

NEW ORLEANS — In the parking lot of a drive-thru daiquiri bar that sells frozen White Russians in plastic to-go cups, Fidel Sanchez is running an illegal enterprise that's too unwholesome to be tolerated, according to politicians here in suburban Jefferson Parish.

Sanchez is selling tacos out of a truck — and judging from the lunch-hour line outside Taqueria Sanchez el Sabrosito, many Louisianans have become fast fans of his flavorful carne al pastor and spicy pork chicharrones.

But not everyone is enamored of the newest cheap eats to captivate the Crescent City. Jefferson Parish politicians, who have long turned a blind eye to whites and blacks peddling shrimp out of pickup trucks and snow cones on the street, recently outlawed rolling Mexican-food kitchens, calling them an unwelcome reminder of what Hurricane Katrina brought. Soon, Sanchez will be run out of business.

Please read the rest.

For some of us from L.A., and no doubt elsewhere, the ubiquitous taco trucks are the gold standard of street eats. Those things are everywhere. The food is prepared fresh right on the truck, and the fare is orders of magnitude better than the little 'roach coaches' that sell packaged food.

My favorite is a fried egg and cheese torta (aka 'sandwich') with chorizo or al pastor. If you go with tacos, about three of 'em'll make a meal, all of different flavors if you choose, at about a buck and a quarter a pop. I leave the lengua and buche alone, but there are plenty of choices.

The taco rigs are cheap, fast, delicious, and they either come to you or are easy to find. They're real time-savers at lunch or break time.

There's an 'American Dream' element in play here as well. There used to be a taco truck here in my little mountain town. Its operators have parlayed it into two quite popular small sit-down restaurants. They've expanded their menu, of course, but the favoritos de troka are still on it. I think the truck's up on blocks somewhere just in case...

It's too bad that Louisiana pols are using this issue to strike back at an increasing Latino population. Times change.

Bill Moyers Puts Impeachment On the Media Table

A BuzzFlash guest contribution by Dave Lindorff. A quick summation of Bill Moyers' show on Impeachment of Bush and Cheney last Friday night.

Bill Moyers has put impeachment in the news and, in the process, shaming both the national media and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the rest of the Congressional leadership.

In his program, Bill Moyers Journal, Moyers and guests John Nichols, the Nation's Washington correspondent and author of The Genius of Impeachment and Bruce Fein, a former attorney in the Ronald Reagan Department of Justice, made it clear that the Bush/Cheney administration has gravely threatened the Constitution and the survival of tripartite, divided government.

Despite this one shortcoming, Moyers' program is a public shaming of the tawdry and shameless corporate media, which has ignored the exploding impeachment movement blossoming across the nation, pretending that it doesn't even exist, or that it is the province of a few leftist wackos.

It will be interesting to see what impact the powerful Moyers program has on the growing movement for impeachment, on how it is reported, and on the response in Congress.

While not watched by too many ordinary Americans, the program is influential among professional journalists and editors, and among liberals and progressives, who will be increasing their pressure on Democratic leaders to act.

Pelosi's efforts to block impeachment and keep it "off the table" will continue to look more and more pitiful and self-serving.

The Corporate Media is pretty good at ignoring stuff it doesn't like. The "I-word" movement has to get so big they can't ignore it. Same goes for Ms. Pelosi.

"...textbook denial of reality."

p m carpenter on Bill "Monkeys have taken over my keyboard and they're flying out my ass too!" Kristol's wretched cry for help:

[...] The poor man has enjoyed a rest from reality for some time now, but whoever still loves him should seek court-ordered observation. For his sad condition is peaking, with the acute now mercilessly peppering the chronic.

It was that bit of complete disconnect that made me realize Bill Kristol's train has forever left Sanity Depot. He has surpassed the "Go" of mere spin and entered that strange and self-destructive realm of utter fantasy. He's mad, I tell you -- quite mad.

Ridicule, Mr. Kristol? I think not. Perhaps a large vial of Thorazine.

Does Thorazine come in 5 gallon buckets? A coupla those oughta do it.

Empire of Stupidity

Tom Engelhardt

But why go on? Only in Washington would such a consistent record of woeful failure lead to "stalemate." Only in Washington would a group of officials with such a record still be able to set the basic ground rules for debate. No individual would go back to the lot that sold you a string of automotive lemons, or let the doctor who had repeatedly misdiagnosed your disease (and maybe killed your neighbor with an overdose of anesthetic), operate on you.

In relation to Iraq, the situation can be summed up this way: The greatest gamblers in our history rolled the dice for a long-desired invasion, based on a dream of dominating the oil heartlands of the planet. This vision of a Pax Americana planet was based on the vaunted ability of the highest-tech military anywhere to dominate all in its path. (Domestically, a high-tech, well-oiled, utterly disciplined Republican Party was to establish political and lobbying dominion - a Pax Republicana - over Washington and the nation for a generation or more to come). On both imagined dominions, as on everything else, they were wrong. They were, that is, wrong in their expectations at the planetary level, and they have been wrong at every lesser level ever since. It has proven to be a cavalcade of stupidity.

If you take just the situation in Iraq in six-month increments, starting with the taking of Baghdad in 2003, any reasonable assessment would conclude that the American position has weakened and the country grown more chaotic, dangerous, and murderous in each of them. There is no reason to believe that, under the ministrations of this President, this Vice-President, these officials, and this set of military commanders anything could possibly change for the better as long as we remain stuck on the idea of occupying Iraq.

That's the logic of recent history. If you prefer the logic of dreams and of an empire of stupidity, then do stick with the present "stalemate."

Otherwise, it would make more sense to play an opposite's game with whatever positions the President and his officials take. Your odds on being right are guaranteed to be phenomenally high. Why, in fact, listen to them for one more second? Why be forced to look back and say "Wrong again!" one more time?

"The logic of dreams and an empire of stupity" sums up Bush/Cheney and their remaining supporters rather well, I think. It's too bad there's going to be so much misery and woe undoing what they've done.

Hallelujah Harry!

Harry Reid grows a set:

"I would like to inform the Republican leadership and all my colleagues that we have no intention of backing down," said Reid this afternoon.


Finally.

Off to the shop ...

Monday, July 16, 2007

Quote of the Day

Via Skippy (because I refuse to link to the original piece), a commenter on Bill Kristol's latest dumbass screed in WaPo.

will someone tell the real mr. kristol that the monkeys have stolen his computer again and are posting utter nonsense in his name?

NCOs dwindling

LATimes

They had been skilled helicopter technicians with the 82nd Airborne Division and, not yet 30, just the sort of noncommissioned officers needed to train the 65,000 new soldiers President Bush has ordered to expand the short-handed force over the next six years.

But the Ashbys are among the midcareer leaders the Army is having the most trouble holding on to — those torn between finishing a fight and raising a family. In this case, the Army lost twice: Bradford Ashby left in October, his wife the year before, because they didn't want to watch the children they plan to have grow up on video.

Having flown in some of the world's ricketiest helicopters (H-34s), it scares me to death thinking about our guys flying around in ancient, sand-worn rigs maintained by PFCs right out of Chopper Fixin' School...

Military experts are concerned that the years of combat waged by a scaled-down Army are contributing to an erosion of wisdom and experience.

'S true. I know the Corps took years to recover from the discharge of this Corporal of Marines...(cough)

The Pentagon had years of peace to rebuild after Vietnam, and it did, producing an NCO corps considered a model to the world. But replacing lost experience in wartime is much more difficult, akin to fixing an airplane while it's flying.

This is actually pretty serious. Inexperience leads to mistakes, whether with a wrench or a Squad Automatic Weapon. Mistakes mean the deaths of the wrong people.

During Vietnam, the Army had an "Instant NCO" program, also called "Shake 'n Bake", to make Corporals and Sergeants quickly out of guys right out of recruit training. I don't think the Marine Corps had a formal program, but they promoted people a lot faster than before. You can put all the stripes you want to on someone's sleeve, and good, motivated soldiers though they may be, there is no substitute for experience.

Wisdom as an NCO comes from making most of your mistakes before you get put in charge so you can show your troops what not to do. You can keep some of them from making the same mistakes you did.

Bush's War & Occupation are breaking our military faster and faster as each day goes by. Should we ever need it for an actual war to defend our country instead of a criminal unnecessary war of choice for oil, we may find ourselves in big trouble.

Make another movie, Mr. Moore...

Blog You Like A Hurricane sends an open letter to Michael Moore: Make a movie about the American Lamestream Mainstream Media.



You have done it with corporate corruption, gun violence, terrorism and health care. Do it for something you're obviously passionate about and that is just as dangerous, if not more: the gross misinformation and manipulation of public opinion by the mainstream American media.

Help us escape from this infotainment garbage. America deserves better.

I heartily agree, but I think Mr. Moore will not be showing up on our TVs promoting it. Heh.

Bush runs White House with sports metaphors

From MSNBC, but BuzzFlash says it better:

Bush runs White House with sports metaphors. How about "I paid for the referees [federal judges and the corporate media] and I expect them to stay bought as we run out the clock."

Oh, the irony...

Ironic Times

Musharraf Has Captured More Al Qaeda Than Any Other Country, Says U.S.
Several were in his Cabinet.

Cuba: Boatload of Americans Detained After Treacherous Voyage From Florida
Tell authorities they were seeking "better health care."

One Quarter of Top Positions at DHS Remain Unfilled
White House blames shortage of cronies.

New Drug Curbs Craving for Alcohol, Cigarettes
It will be marketed under the brand name Dulsvil®.

Current Tour De France Heralded as Steroid-Free
But race may take two months to finish.

Could you imagine?

As the regulars here know, Mrs. F and I are are avid cruisers. Could you imagine if we somehow ended up aboard this ship of fools?

A good investigative journalist, if needed, can hide aboard a cruise full of white supremacists and manage not only to escape without punching someone and thereby blowing their cover, but also get out with one hell of a story. That is exactly what Johann Hari did when he joined the National Review cruise and their motley of hate ...


Somehow, were I there, I think a lot of people would be swimming. No hiding involved. Heh ...

New Girl in Town Gets Settled With Hubby

From yesterday's N.Y. Times
“There must be a reason NBC chose to lavish an hour of prime time tonight on "Victoria Beckham: Coming to America."” . . . ad nauseum*


WHO THE FUCK CARES??????????????

ahhhhhhhhhhh, got that off my chest.

*No I will not link this and thus perpetuate this crap, there are folks dying every day because of a maniac in the White House and this is what the networks give time to? Pardon me while I barf.

R.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

First Amendment?

Not so much:

After a myriad of stories about people being excluded from events where the President is speaking, now we know that the White House had a policy manual on just how to do so.

Called the "Presidential Advance Manual," this 103-page document from the Office of Presidential Advance lays out the parameters for how to handle protesters at events.

...

In another section, entitled "Preparing for Demonstrators," the document makes clear that the intention is to deprive protesters of the right to be seen or heard by the President: "As always, work with the Secret Service and have them ask the local police department to designate a protest area where demonstrators can be placed, preferably not in view of the event site or motorcade route."

The document also recommends drowning out protesters or blocking their signs by using what it calls "rally squads." It states: "These squads should be instructed always to look for demonstrators. The rally squad's task is to use their signs and banners as shields between the demonstrators and the main press platform. If the demonstrators are yelling, rally squads can begin and lead supportive chants to drown out the protestors (USA!, USA!, USA!). As a last resort, security should remove the demonstrators from the event site."

The document offered advice on how to recruit members for such squads: "The rally squads can include, but are not limited to, college/young republican organizations, local athletic teams, and fraternities/sororities." [my ems]

...


Far be it for the President to have to gaze upon the Great Unwashed.

Thanks to Maru for the link.

You wanna bomb something? - revisited

Fuck Iran, fuck the Paks, bomb Saudi:

BAGHDAD — Although Bush administration officials have frequently lashed out at Syria and Iran, accusing it of helping insurgents and militias here, the largest number of foreign fighters and suicide bombers in Iraq come from a third neighbor, Saudi Arabia, according to a senior U.S. military officer and Iraqi lawmakers.

About 45% of all foreign militants targeting U.S. troops and Iraqi civilians and security forces are from Saudi Arabia; 15% are from Syria and Lebanon; and 10% are from North Africa, according to official U.S. military figures made available to The Times by the senior officer. Nearly half of the 135 foreigners in U.S. detention facilities in Iraq are Saudis, he said.

...

He said 50% of all Saudi fighters in Iraq come here as suicide bombers. In the last six months, such bombings have killed or injured 4,000 Iraqis.

The situation has left the U.S. military in the awkward position of battling an enemy whose top source of foreign fighters is a key ally that at best has not been able to prevent its citizens from undertaking bloody attacks in Iraq, and at worst shares complicity in sending extremists to commit attacks against U.S. forces, Iraqi civilians and the Shiite-led government in Baghdad. [my ems]

...


Another ally who is selling us out. Leave us remember 15 of the 19 9/11 Jihadis were Saudi. These fuckers are playing us for assholes. The House of Saud has corrupted the U.S. political system as much as AIPAC has.

Big tip o' the Brain to our pal Lambert.

Good question ...

From the Ranger:

...

All patriotic Americans claim that they support the troops, and appreciate the service rendered by our fellow citizens (suckers?) But why then do so few businesses then not offer some token of appreciation, like a military discount?

Many of my local businesses and restaurants give discounts to police and firefighters, but nada to soldiers.


...


Ah, but that would cut into the bottom line, wouldn't it? Besides, the military doesn't come running when somebody tries to rob your business or when it's on fire, do they? What return on your investment would you get?

Ron Paul warns of staged terror attack

The only Repuglicant presidential candidate who's worth a shit, tells the truth sometimes, and thus is considered crazy and has a snowball's chance in Hell of ever getting the nomination, Ron Paul has a warning:

Republican presidential candidate, Rep. Ron Paul, said the country is in "great danger" of the U.S. government staging a terrorist attack or a Gulf of Tonkin style provocation, as the war in Iraq continues to deteriorate.

The Texas congressman offered no specifics nor mentioned President Bush by name, but he clearly insinuated that the administration would not be above staging an incident to revive flagging support.

This administration will do anything in the attempt to maintain its monarchical grip on power, and now that folks are starting to catch on, their desperation is starting to show. Desperate times call for desperate measures. I would put nothing past them.

Michael Moore is fat!

And he also writes letters. This one to CNN:

Dear CNN,

Well, the week is over -- and still no apology, no retraction, no correction of your glaring mistakes.

I bet you thought my dust-up with Wolf Blitzer was just a cool ratings coup, that you really wouldn't have to correct the false statements you made about "Sicko." I bet you thought I was just going to go quietly away.

Think again. I'm about to become your worst nightmare. 'Cause I ain't ever going away. Not until you set the record straight, and apologize to your viewers. "The Most Trusted Name in News?" I think it's safe to say you can retire that slogan.

...


No shit, Mikey. That slogan is on par with "fair and balanced".

...

Clearly, no one is keeping you honest, so I guess I'm going to have to do that job, too. $1.5 billion is spent each year by the drug companies on ads on CNN and the other four networks. I'm sure that has nothing to do with any of this. After all, if someone gave me $1.5 billion, I have to admit, I might say a kind word or two about them. Who wouldn't?!

...


Yup, gotta pay those bills. I can't wait to see what ol' Mike digs up. Can you say "Wolfie and Me"?

...

P.S. If you also want to apologize for not doing your job at the start of the Iraq War, I'm sure most Americans would be very happy to accept your apology. You and the other networks were willing partners with Bush, flying flags all over the TV screens and never asking the hard questions that you should have asked. You might have prevented a war. You might have saved the lives of those 3,610 soldiers who are no longer with us. Instead, you blew air kisses at a commander in chief who clearly was making it all up. Millions of us knew that -- why didn't you? I think you did. And, in my opinion, that makes you responsible for this war ...


But Mikey's fat, so you shouldn't listen to him.

For those of you who, like I did, watched Fahrenheit 9/11, what if any of his predictions in that film didn't come to pass?

Cowboy

A masterpiece from Sara Robinson over at Group News Blog (Gilly's successors):

My dad, who died five years ago Wednesday, was a cowboy. A real one, complete with beat-up Stetson and muddy ropers and a Ford pickup and an ancient blanket-lined Levi's jean jacket that smelled of manure, leather, horse sweat, and tobacco -- the distinctive aroma of all cowboys, the one that's rubbed so deep into their sunburned hides that it doesn't come out no matter how long they spend in the shower or how much Old Spice they try to mask it with. Dad's been on my mind a lot this week -- well, Dad, Jefferson, and George W. Bush.

. . . snip . . .

And when we're finally clear on what a cowboy is and is not, it'll be all too clear to everyone that George Bush is not. He's just a two-bit drugstore shitkicker in a too-big hat, rough in the saddle and mean as a rattler on a hot day to boot. He's a little boy playing dress-up: fighter pilot, baseball player, astronaut, Commander-in-Chief, cowboy. Most people know he's a pathetic wannabee when he's playing the first four roles; but not enough of us understand what a fraud he is when he's wearing that cowboy persona, too.

We all know they way he's lied, swindled, and squandered away our national honor, our last bits of frayed trust in our government, and our Constitution. But most of us don't realize that he's also made off with one of our deepest and best national archetypes as well, single-handedly turning "cowboy" into a bigger epithet of scorn than "dude" ever was. It's past time to stop pissing away the honor of that noble legacy by letting this rube claim it for his own. We need to hunt him down and get it back, just like we need to get the White House and the truth and our self-respect back. Because the day we lose our love for cowboys -- the real kind, like Dad -- is a day we lose something essential to the American character, something we're going to miss desperately as we try to meet and master the next stage of our future.


Go read. This one is too good to miss!

R.

Let's go!

BAGHDAD - Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki shrugged off U.S. doubts of his government's military and political progress on Saturday, saying Iraqi forces are capable and American troops can leave "any time they want."

...


Fine, let's go.

We know the Iraqi people, most of them, want to kill us and now al-Maliki says he don't need us. What are we staying for? Oh yeah, the oil.

Great thanks to John Amato for the link.

Life During Wartime . . .

. . . as only the Talking Heads could describe it:



Hat tip to: Grace at The Phoenix Effect

R.

Quote of the Day

“Not one more dollar, and not one more recruit. Not for a puppet government that can’t be bothered to care about their own damned country.”

Blue Girl



Hat tip to Larry Johnson