Saturday, September 1, 2007

Bloody twits ...

Of course he went public when he had a book to sell, but the Brit says what a lot of us knew before the shit hit the fan.

General Sir Mike Jackson, the head of the British Army during the invasion of Iraq, has launched a scathing attack on the United States for the way it handled the post-war administration of the country.

The former chief of the general staff said the approach taken by Donald Rumsfeld, the then US defence secretary, was "intellectually bankrupt", describing his claim that US forces "don't do nation-building" as "nonsensical".


Just an aside. Were I a general officer and a knight commander, I think I'd break down and use the formal 'Michael'.


His attack - the first time he has revealed the depth of his anger towards the US administration - highlights the deep-seated tension between the British command and the Pentagon during the build-up to and the aftermath of the Iraq campaign in 2003.


General Sir Mike, in the end, feels the invasion was legal but, being a Brit officer, if he didn't convince himself of it he'd already have swallowed the barrel of his pistol.

The invasion of Iraq was a war crime and everything that strems from it are additional counts.

Whore of the Week

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

Pimp your own in comments.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Quote of the Day

The Ranger:


Killing people in any way, shape or form is not sexy. It is destruction, the antithesis of any life-affirming activity which might be termed sexy.


I (heart) NY

Why I love my city:

Great thanks to Watertiger for the pic.

"Topmost meatball on a great steaming pile of Republican sex-scandal spaghetti"

Go see Rachel Maddow's GOP Hooker Scandal Countdown.

Ms. Maddow is not only an insightful, intelligent, well-spoken progressive commentator, she's also drop-dead gorgeous. Which brings me to my own question about sex:

Is it OK to jack off to a lesbian?


Go hear the audio of me'n Fixer's Mom Randi Rhodes riffing on the same subject.

The same question applies, only...

The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing

Go enjoy this interview with Will Durst:

Will Durst talks about his new show in Manhattan, getting flipped off by Olympia Dukakis, helping the terrorists win, necrophilia and other things liberals enjoy.

Katie Halper: Why do you hate America?

Will Durst: I'm not an America-hater, I'm an America-lover. Dissent is the ultimate patriotic act. Just like every liberal commie pinko weenie says.

Halper: Yeah. How does it feel being flipped off by a Democrat?

Durst: Well somebody's gotta do it. I feel like Dennis Miller.

I remember Dennis Miller. He used to be funny before he wet his pants over terrorists and went all wingnut. "Right-wing comedian" is an oxymoron. Any wingnut who's funny isn't trying to be. They're just 'morons', no 'oxy'.

It's funny because there was a time when you couldn't do jokes about Bush. Even though we were, starting on Jan. 21st, 2001. Then Sept. 11th happened, and you couldn't touch him. It was seen as unpatriotic; we were involved in a war. Then Katrina happened. And taking on Bush became fashionable, and now it's considered old hat. We had a window of 18 months for Christ's sake when it was OK. And then it was, "Oh no, Bush is low-hanging fruit," or, "Everybody bashes Bush." Fuck you! We haven't hit him hard enough, and we're gonna hit him until ... until he dies, OK, until he dies, and we'll keep hitting, and then that still won't be enough.

Halper: And then you'll have sex with him?

Durst: Exactly, goes back to the Schwarzenegger law.

Boy, Durst is one sick puppy. I like that.

Halper: We've really come full circle. Speaking of dead people and perverts, let's go back to the Democrats. My favorite part of the show, obviously, is when you focus on your Clintons, your Kerries, your Dukaki. More of your thoughts on them?

Durst: The Democrats seem more interested in getting re-elected than they are in changing anything for the better. When Gore ducked the Kansas Board of Education teaching intelligent design along with evolution and said, "Children should be exposed to varying theories," I just wanted to dick-slap him, I really did. And he would have had to have been very close, and I understand that. Not that I don't believe in Giselle the Mountain Sprite. She's from where all things flow. She's my goddess.

Much, much more.

'Brownshirt' Bush among top mass murderers of all time

So says former Reagan SecTreas Paul Craig Roberts. Via Raw Story:

President Bush's apparent plans for a preemptive nuclear strike on Iran will only add to the civilian death toll as a result of US intervention that has placed the president "high on the list of mass murders of all time," a former aide in President Ronald Reagan's administration known for strident anti-Bush rhetoric said Friday.

"Bush is too self-righteous to see the dark humor in his denunciations of Iran for threatening 'the security of nations everywhere' and of the Iraqi resistance for 'a vision that rejects tolerance, crushes all dissent, and justifies the murder of innocent men, women, and children in the pursuit of political power,'" writes Paul Craig Roberts, a former assistant secretary of the Treasury. "Those are precisely the words that most of the world applies to Bush and his Brownshirt administration."

[...] "For Bush, civilian casualties are a non-issue. Hegemony uber alles."

From the linked article in the quote, aptly titled "The War Criminal in the Living Room":

Whatever form of government Bush is operating under, it is far outside an accountable constitutional democratic government. Bush has transitioned America to caesarism, and even if Bush leaves office in January 2009, the powers he has accumulated in the executive will remain. Unless Bush and Cheney are impeached and convicted, there is no prospect of the US Congress and federal judiciary ever again being co-equal branches of government.

As we used to say in the '60s when imploring the truth, "tell it like it is, bro".

Note to Mr. Roberts: Have someone else taste your food and start your car for a while.

Just a question

Because it's bugging the shit out of me.

Why would anyone want to fuck* someone in a public toilet they just met there anonymously? I just don't get it. I wouldn't fuck someone I knew and wanted to fuck, in a stall of a public toilet. (Mile High Club gymnastics excepted. Heh ...) I don't see the turn on.

Late for work.

TGIF ...

*I am making the distinction between fucking and love-making. In a public toilet (or an aircraft restroom), you ain't making love.

The problem with Democrats ...

BooMan looks at why the Dems continue to roll over for the Chimp. Basically, they're still scared of the Rethugs:


Let me be really clear. If you are a member of Congress who has taken an oath to protect the Constitution, you better allow yourself to be voted out of office before you violate your oath. Being afraid of a fascist 30-second attack ad is no excuse.


If we don't primary some of these weak-kneed Democrats we'll deserve a reputation for having no stomach for a fight. The Republicans are a party of bedwetters, afraid of every dark person, every foreign langauage, every shadow. And, yet, these Blue Dog Democrats fall for it every time.


The Blue Dogs are just politically expedient Republicans in my book. Time to relegate them to the dustbin of history. Serving in Congress is not a career, it is a calling.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

"I'll have a large Devil's Combo, please"

Ad for a pizza joint in New Zealand:

So's this one that replaced it:

Pentagon Gives Up; Hands War Over to Bush


Mark it down. August 29, 2007. That’s the day the Pentagon announced it was done being responsible for Mr. Bush’s waste of lives, time, and money in Iraq. Tonight, the Defense Department has essentially told the President, "Thanks for the war, George, but it’s all you from here on out, buddy."

So much for the Petraeus Report. That’s the sound of America’s largest department collectively throwing its hands up in exasperation, shaking its head, and saying, "You deal with it, tough guy. We’re done with your asinine war. Have fun facing the American public."

Face the American public? He doesn't think he needs to and he wouldn't dare anyway even if the dim little bulb in his head comes on.

That bears repeating: The military commanders want to be able to distance themselves from Iraq strategy by making it clear that whatever course is followed is the president’s decision. This can be translated as: "Here, George. Hold this."

Miers. Bartlett. Rove. Gonzales. The Defense Department.
Commander Guy.

Fresh out of friends.

I hope the Chimp begins to understand that Cheney made him do the devil's work when the crow's nest he's standing in fills up with water.

New Orleans two years after

Greg Palast with today's 'must read':

"They wanted them poor n*ggers out of there and they ain't had no intention to allow it to be reopened to no poor n*ggers, you know? And that's just the bottom line."

We needed an answer to a weird, puzzling and horrific discovery. Among the miles and miles of devastated houses, rubble still there today in New Orleans, we found dry, beautiful homes. But their residents were told by guys dressed like Ninjas wearing "Blackwater" badges: "Try to go into your home and we'll arrest you."

These aren't just any homes. They are the public housing projects of the city; the Lafitte Houses and others. But unlike the cinder block monsters in the Bronx, these public units are beautiful townhouses, with wrought-iron porches and gardens right next to the tony French Quarter.

If you get the idea that I'm a little down on Blackwater today, you're right. I just read No True Glory by Bing West. It's an account of the first and second battles of Fallujah, which were started because of Blackwater employees who blundered into that city. They were killed, roasted, and hung from a bridge because of their own stupidity, but a lot of Marines died because of it.

They might think doing their mercenary 'security' thuggery inside the U.S. is easier, but there's going to be sad times ahead for them.

I wasn't naïve. I had a good idea what this scam was all about: 89,000 poor and working class families stuck in Homeland Security's trailer park gulag while their good homes were guarded against their return by mercenaries. Two decades ago, I worked for the Housing Authority of New Orleans. Even then, the plan was to evict poor folk out of this very valuable real estate. But it took the cover of a hurricane to do it.

Hurricane recovery is class war by other means. And in this war of the powerful against the powerless, Mr. Bush can rightly land his fighter plane in Louisiana and declare that, unlike the war in Iraq, it is, indeed, "Mission Accomplished."

Rotten motherfuckers, Bush and his enablers and cronies, every last one of them. They're going to get theirs, somehow, some way, some day.

Blackwater Air Force

Decline and Fall

As if having them run around Iraq like loose cannons wasn't bad enough, Blackwater is building an Air Force. Via Scholars & Rogues:

Security company Blackwater U.S.A. is buying Super Tucano light combat aircraft from the Brazilian manufacturer Embraer. These five ton, single engine, single seat aircraft are built for pilot training, but also perform quite well for counter-insurgency work.... The bubble canopy provides excellent visibility. This, coupled with its slow speed (versus jets), makes it an excellent ground attack aircraft.

Blackwater's been in negotiations with several state governments in the United States. Blackwater met recently with California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger about doing disaster response in California. They're opening up a new private military base in San Diego. Another one is in Mount Carroll, Illinois. They have applied for operating licenses in every coastal U.S. state.

That's right, folks: the U.S. military whose expenditures are almost half of the total military spending worldwide needs private military bases in the United States for some reason.

What might that reason be? Perhaps it has something to do with National Security Presidential Directive NSPD-51, which lays out exactly how the Executive Branch would run the entire government in the event of a "Catastrophic Emergency," which could be anything from a terrorist attack to the next Katrina, as far as the ambiguous wording of the directive is concerned:

Does the presently-scheduled '08 presidential election count as a "Catastrophic Emergency"?

[...] I just can't help but see a mercenary force of palace guards looming in the not-too-distant future.

Go read the rest and the comments. Tinfoil hat recommended. Also see:

sapper - a Viet Cong or NVA commando, usually armed with explosives

If there's going to be a domestic civilian mercenary force in this country, there's going to have to be a civilian insurgency to deal with it. This time, we get to be the Viet Cong. Whoopee.

Stall tactic

Maybe we should all pamphleteer for Repug campaigns in this manner. Let's make sure they're printed on scratchy paper, though.


Go see this video of Craig from 1982. His shit's been covered up for thirty years.

Update II:


GOP To Move Internal Debate From Cloakroom To Bathroom

"Everyone knows that's where we take the real 'head-count' of our 'members'."


Update III:

"Little Britain" channels Larry Craig at Crooks & Liars. Also at YouTube.

"If you find my watch..."

Hypocrites on parade ...

They're all coming out to rationalize Larry Craig's behavior. The lovely Pam Spaulding (one of my favoritest bloggers by the way) documents:


First up, Jim Smith, editor of the Jacksonville-based Florida Baptist Witness:

"If someone's walk doesn't match their talk, of course it's relevant. But a politician's conduct "also has to be evaluated in light of other considerations, and we aren't electing saints here," Smith said. "All of us are fallen and subject to sin. We're not looking for perfection. But we do want integrity."


Hmmmm. Where was he during the hysterical impeachment of Bill Clinton?


My personal favorite comes from Ralph Reed, the former executive director of the Christian Coalition, associate of Jack Abramoff, and frequent talking head when the MSM wants a rep from the far right:

Let's be clear what voters of faith are saying. They're not saying that every single politician who professes a conservative viewpoint should live up to that standard. It's really the opposite. None of us are perfect, and we all fall short of God's grace. A lot of times that gets lost when someone's failing becomes politicized."


And was he saying "none of us are perfect" when the Rethugs were vilifying Clinton?

I think not.

People in glass houses shouldn't get stoned.


Keith Boykin has a good article up* on this very subject too:


If the Republicans were smart, they would get out of the business of serving as the nation's morality police once and for all. The only reason why the Monica Lewinsky scandal didn't kill Bill Clinton's political career is because he never pretended to be a saint in the first place. But any kind of scandal with the Republicans is going to be magnified until the party learns to stop lecturing adults about what they can and can't do in the privacy of their bedrooms.

Once society finally opens up and allows gays and lesbians the free expression to be themselves, then people like Craig won't have to go trolling the public restrooms looking for a hookup. [my em]


Thing is, if the Rethugs gave up being the morality police, they'd lose the evangelical crowd, and then they'd lose everything.

*Thanks to TerranceDC for the link.

Oh, okay ...

Yesterday I mentioned that the Chimp wants another $50bln for his failed war/occupation in Iraq. This morning I hear the GAO released a report that says (in effect) the money, like all the rest, will be tossed down a dry hole:

WASHINGTON -- Congressional auditors have determined that the Iraqi government has failed to meet a majority of political and military goals laid out by lawmakers to assess President Bush's Iraq war strategy, according to three officials familiar with the matter.

The Government Accountability Office, Congress' investigative arm, will report that at least 13 of the 18 benchmarks to measure success remain unfulfilled before a Sept. 15 deadline for the president to give a detailed accounting of the Iraq situation, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the report has not been made public.

They also said the Bush administration is preparing to play down the findings, by arguing that Congress ordered the GAO to use unfair "all or nothing" standards when compiling the document. [my em]


The propaganda is already coming in like the high tide and it'll get deeper when the White House Petraeus gives the surge report in a couple weeks.

All we're doing is throwing good money after bad, throwing good lives away. It's time to end it, period. No more money. No more lives. Nothing else for Cheney's plan of taking the Iraqis' oil.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Brain, F&G honored by USPS

Click for even Superer Heroes

Fixer, of course, is top row right. I'm 2d row left. Wordsmith is 2d row, 2d from the right. Jersey Guy and Bustednuckles, and our Illustrious Emeritæ can identify themselves, but in 'Nuck's case, I'm holdin' out for right next to the F-Man. Mechanic, you know.

Cross-posted at the other "Best Blog in the World".

Tongue, meet cheek.

Quote of the Day

J. Thomas Duffy at Michael's:

Beleaguered Republican Idaho Senator, Larry Craig, issued a statement this morning, following up on his "I am not gay" admission yesterday, indicating he will begin rehab treatment for "Restroom Leg Syndrome".


Ooga-booga!!!! ... revisited

UL, as usual, gets to the crux of the biscuit:


Conveniently ignoring reality, and any semblance of facts Presidunce Awol McFlightsuit warned a drunked up American Legion crowd that the Middle East faces an imminent danger of A Nookuleer Holocaust due to Iran's LEGAL pursuit of atomic energy. He also acknowledged in a garbled up collection of sentence fragments that it's perfectly alright for Pakistan, Israel, and India to have nookuleer toys because he is the deciderer.


Oh yeah. Be scared! Be afraid! Ahhhhhh! [hiding under bed]

What's another $50 bil ...

When you've squandered everything else:

President Bush plans to ask Congress next month for up to $50 billion in additional funding for the war in Iraq, a White House official said yesterday, a move that appears to reflect increasing administration confidence that it can fend off congressional calls for a rapid drawdown of U.S. forces.

The request -- which would come on top of about $460 billion in the fiscal 2008 defense budget and $147 billion in a pending supplemental bill to fund the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq -- is expected to be announced after congressional hearings scheduled for mid-September featuring the two top U.S. officials in Iraq. Army Gen. David H. Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker will assess the state of the war and the effect of the new strategy the U.S. military has pursued this year.


I'll give the Chimp this much. He's got chutzpah.

Link thanks to Steve Benen.

MSNBC, CNBC Refuse to Run Pro-War Ads

Good for them. The wingnuts are snivellin' big time about it, too. From Power Line:

Freedom of speech: at some of our cable networks, you can't even buy it! We'll follow up with any response that may be forthcoming from NBC.

I hope the 'response' from NBC is "stick your warmongering bullshit up your ass".

"A 'Bin Laden', Anyone?"

I've subscribed to the print Newsweek for years. Sometimes I'll go for months without seeing anything worthy enough for the Brain, but this week the rag is paying off like a slot machine.

Sometimes the print edition will fool ya. This article took up one-quarter of a page, including four photos. It was just a blurb, but I thought you folks'd like it. When I went online to snag it, it was greatly expanded. I think the MSM is startin' to catch on that the internets are a really good forum that doesn't involve the death of forests or much expense.

While some of us think a 'mixed drink' is when you take in some air with yer likker after ya pull the cork with yer teeth (or gums, as the case may be) and tilt the jug up on yer arm fer a good long pull, some o' them city slickers actually like their alkyhol cut with stuff. Go figure! I guess there's a libation for every palate just like there's an ass for every saddle.

Every major American military conflict has inspired a cocktail. What will be the signature drink of the Iraq War?

I'll give you my answer to that in a minute. Read on. The quotes are out order because I liked it better that way.

The idea of war-inspired watering may sound crass, but historically nothing whets America’s whistle quite like conflict. Artillery Punch and other hard punches emerged from the ashes of the Civil War. World War I inspired the French 75, a gin and champagne concoction used to toast fallen pilots, while World War II saw the emergence of the kamikaze shot, a hairy blend of vodka and triple sec mocking Japan's so-named suicidal flyers. Even the Korean and Vietnam Wars left their liquor legacies in the form of the Korean sling and napalm shot. “War and drinking have always been complimentary forces,” says Dale DeGroff, president of the Museum of the American Cocktail in New Orleans (Figures. Heh. - G)

The origins of war-themed drinks vary from cathartic expressions of outrage to mere jokes, like the WMD, delivered by bartender Mike Grubb at Schiller's Liquor Bar in New York’s Lower East Side. It arrives as an empty shot glass, mocking America’s pre-war intelligence that Saddam Hussein was hiding “weapons of mass destruction.” Price? “Thirty billion dollars,” says Grubb, putting a (low) figure on the cost of war. [...]

Professionally edited Web sites like Epicurious decline to list such creations, leaving them to other sites like, and personal sites. “While the Taliban is getting bombed, you should too!” writes one Washington-based writer on her Web site, introducing a long list of drinks, including The 'Thrax, The Osamalamadingdong, The Talibanana, Puff the Magic Turban and Take off Your Burqa. (As of earlier this month, she was still requesting recipes for Osama’s Mama and the Tali-BAM. The site promptly went offline after NEWSWEEK requested an interview.)

And the 'signature' drink from the Iraq clusterfuck? Just my opinion, but...

[...] Blood and Oil, a special black vodka and cranberry juice drink that underscores the notion that America is warring to defend energy interests [...]

I'm proud to say that one's from Sacramento.

I'll close this out with an old joke from the South Pacific Area in WWII.

A hospital ship gets a call from a battalion aid station ashore, "We got a case of beri-beri here. Whatta we do?"

"Send it to the Marines. They'll drink anything!"

Into Thin Air*

A looong article in Newsweek:

He's still out there. The hunt for bin Laden.

The common saying among intelligence and Special Ops officers is that all the thugs have been killed by now = but the smart guys have survived, and become smarter.

The Americans will not find top Qaeda leaders unless they can win the trust of local tribesmen who may know their whereabouts. Johnson, an Afghan expert, spent last February at Forward Operating Base Salerno near the Pakistan border, briefing commanders on the tribal custom of Pashtunwali. He says only about 5 percent of American troops in Afghanistan ever leave their bases—a statistic, he believes, that explains better than any other why Americans are struggling in the battle for intelligence. He says most soldiers in Afghanistan don't know simple phrases like "stop," "go," or "put your hands up." Americans continually make cultural blunders, like using canine units to search people's homes (dogs are considered unclean in Muslim culture). Meanwhile the Taliban works at winning the trust and confidence of villagers—or intimidating them. "They go into villages and say, 'The Americans have the watches but we have the time. We might not come back in a week or a year, but you bet your britches we'll eventually come back'," says Johnson.

A Dec. 27, 2001, video, nicknamed by analysts "the Gaunt Tape," shows a haggard-looking bin Laden, who seems to be unable to move his left arm. "But the doctors couldn't pinpoint any problems with his health," says Scheuer.

Shoulda had Frist look at it...

CIA analysts began calling bin Laden "Elvis" because he was here, there, but really nowhere.

Good piece, a 'recommended read' if you are interested in why we can't catch him.

Shorter: Risk aversion, bureaucratic bungling, U.S./Pakistan relations, intra-service squabbles ('Snake-eaters' v. Big Picture Straight Legs), and, oh yeah, Osama's in his Briar Patch wid his homies. No mention of the Bush and Saudi Royal Families, which is understandable given that Newsweek would like to continue publishing. I want them to as well - my subscription's paid up for another year.

*The 'thin air' of the Spin Ghars and Tora Bora should not be confused with the GOOD Thin Air of the Eastern Sierra.

Union Station Union

Idaho Statesman

A 40-year-old professional man with close ties to Republican officials told the Idaho Statesman he had oral sex with Sen. Larry Craig at Washington's Union Station, probably in 2004.

"Close ties". Heh. I think I know what kind of 'tie' they're talkin' about - the kind you break with a bucket of cold water. I wouldn't do that with dogs, but I sure would with Repugs.

Craig's public homophobia, screamed at high volume from the darkest of closets, definitely makes him a hypocritical cocksucker.


From BuzzFlash:

We are not making this up. Craig's first sentence at his news conference: "I want to thank everyone for coming out today.

Ya can't make this shit up! Only a Repug could be that clueless. You didn't hear that line on the MSM coverage either.


To quote our pal Cookie Jill, "we are all new orleaneans today."

Remember Katrina

Bush Fiddles While New Orleans Drowns

The caption at reads: "President George W. Bush shares a laugh with Myrtle Jones during a Conversation on Medicare Monday, Aug. 29, 2005, at the James L. Brulte Senior Center in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif."

Bush Fiddles While New Orleans Drowns

The caption at reads: "President George W. Bush joins Arizona Senator John McCain in a small celebration of McCain's 69th birthday Monday, Aug. 29, 2005, after the President's arrival at Luke Air Force Base near Phoenix. The President later spoke about Medicare to 400 guests at the Pueblo El Mirage RV Resort and Country Club in nearby El Mirage."

New Orleans - Aug 29. 2005

New Orleans, Lousiana, August 29, 2005


Cross-posted at

Credit for the New Orleans image to Wikimedia Commons

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Yeah, how come?

Diva asks:

Can somebody please tell me why so many of the neocon Bush-worshippers in the DOJ look like they came from central casting for parts in a film about the Gestapo?

Click to see.

I'm not braggin' ...

I'm draggin'. Heh ...

Great thanks to Blondie.

A Marine's view of "why we need a draft"

[A big welcome to the good people from Shakes' place. - F]

This is from Newsweek by a now-inactive reserve Marine combat Vet from 2d Bn, 2d Marines. I went to the Med in '65 with 2/2, so this is like one of my eas' coas' homies. He has a very narrow viewpoint of why we needed a draft as of 9/12/01, that if the sons and daughters of the elite had to go to Iraq, the services would have been better equipped with body armor, MRAPs, and the like. He's right as far as he goes, but I think he misses the larger point, that if the draft had been re-instituted back then, we never would have criminally invaded Iraq. It's OK for the peasants to die in aid of the bottom line, but not for the privileged, who, after all, need to be alive to rule.

I did like some of his points:

[...] Have no doubt: there is a distinct disdain for networked America among the fighting class of this country. When a politician would come on TV in the Camp Fallujah chow hall talking about Iraq, the rank-and-file reaction was always something like, “Well, I am blue-collar cannon fodder to this wealthy bureaucrat who never got shot at and whose kids aren’t here. But I know I am making America safer, so I’ll do my job anyway.” And they do, and have been for the last three and a half years, tragically underequipped but always willing to fight.

[...] But President Bush was determined to keep the lives of nonuniformed America—the wealthiest Americans, like himself—uninterrupted by the war. Consequently, we have a severe talent deficiency in the military, which the draft would remedy immediately. While America’s bravest are in the military, America’s brightest are not. Allow me to build a squad of the five brightest students from MIT and Caltech and promise them patrols on the highways connecting Baghdad and Fallujah, and I’ll bet that in six months they could render IED’s about as effective as a “Just Say No” campaign at a Grateful Dead show.

I don’t favor a Vietnam-style draft, where men like the current vice president could get five deferments. I am talking about a World War II draft, with the brothers and sons of future and former presidents answering the call (and, unfortunately, dying, as a Roosevelt and a Kennedy once did) on the front line. That is when the war effort is maximized. Quite simply, the military cannot be a faceless horde to those pulling the purse strings of our great economy.

He hit the nail right on the head with that last sentence. That's exactly what they are. Faceless and voiceless, as pawns must be.

If Bush's War, which we won early on by the way, and the subsequent occupation, which we're losing by the way, were really in defense of our country in a generational all-out global conflict like the Chimp lied about, instead of for oil, hegemony, and profit like it really is, the United States would have mobilized like WWII and every last swingin' dick (and the female equivalent, which I refuse to even think up a term for) would be sacrificing for the war effort, whether pullin' a trigger or figuring out how to be energy self-sufficient or rolling bandages or whatever.

We're supposed to go shopping, i.e. STFU and let the military industrial complex roll, putting future generations in debt whilst killing untold millions and further enriching the elite.

The Jarhead's right: we need a draft, better yet, an all-encompassing program of National Service. Everybody goes, nobody skates. Pull a trigger, build a bridge, comfort the afflicted, count widgets, here or abroad, PARTICIPATE in Democracy, learn and grow, and maybe we could prevent assholes like Cheney and Bush from pulling shit like this ever again.

Maybe all we'd have to do with the MRAPs would be to charge the batteries once in a while.

Nasty Old Queens

TRex takes umbrage with the GOP closet:

Can we please as a culture agree stop pretending that Republicans aren’t a bunch of effete pussies? Bill Frist? Hello? He makes Ru Paul look like Dog the Bounty Hunter.


How many more of them will have to get arrested soliciting sex in public toilets before people finally cop to the fact that Republicans are a bunch of nasty old wealthy queens who cheat on their wives with other men and who can’t under any circumstances be trusted around teenage boys?


You know it seems to me the Republican Party has become the Catholic Church. A haven for pedophiles and deviants.

Now, don't misunderstand me. There's nothing wrong with gays, gay sex, or anything else. Love is love and manifests itself in many different ways. I'm all for 'make love not war' regardless of the sex of the couples. I give a shit what you do as long as it's done by consenting adults.

What I do have a problem with is the hypocrisy and denial, the lies and deception, on the part of Republicans and conservatives to vilify the gays at every turn, yet engage in the practices themselves.

What I do have a problem with is fucked up old men with serious problems preying on youngsters and getting away with it because their party helps them cover it up. It seems to me these clowns all gravitate to conservative organizations such as the churches and political parties who preach about 'morals' and 'values'.

I left the Republican Party 20 years ago, and the Catholic Church longer ago than that, because of the hypocrisy and lies, because of the self-serving 'morality' and the 'it's okay if we do it' attitude.

As with the Catholic priests, we've been subjected to story after story of Republican sex scandal and pedophilia for the past few years. How long will it be before the nation understands those who preach loudest about 'morals' and 'values' are the ones who disregard their own statements so casually.

Republican 'morals' and 'values' are merely tools they use to manipulate the general public. It's time we held them to the standards they demand everyone else follow. I've said many times, the Republican party is a criminal organization, robbing the public for the benefit of the filthy rich and a safe haven for deviants to practice their sick craft and avoid discovery.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Going to the dogs ...

Pilfered from our pal 42:

Click to embiggen

Pro-Life ... yeah ...

If you're gonna have a baby, you might wanna move. As Digby says:


I don't know why these Republicans aren't embarrassed that their great country ranks lower than every developed country in the world [in infant mortality] except Latvia, but they aren't. But then, they just lie, don't they? ...

Read the post and then wonder why we don't have a universal health care plan. Like Iraq, it's all about the bucks, but this time it's Big Pharma and Big Hospital who are raking it in.

Standing O ...

(AP) A call by Puerto Rico's governor for a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq earned a standing ovation from a conference of more than 4,000 National Guardsmen.

Gov. Anibal Acevedo Vila said Saturday that the U.S. administration has "no new strategy and no signs of success" and that prolonging the war would needlessly put guardsmen in harm's way.


Offered without comment.

Link thanks to Logan.

The Motor City Madman: Just Another Dickwad Chickenhawk Draft Dodger

I'm forced by way of disclaimer to say that I used to kind of like Ted Nugent. I knew he was a wingnut, but I liked his stand on the 2d Amendment and the fact that he eats what he kills. I don't do it myself, but I think hunting is fine.

That said, fuck him.

NewsHounds, who gallantly watch FIXED"News" so we don't have to, takes those brave warriors Nugent and Hannity apart.

Since we've been discussing Ted Nugent lately, this seemed a good time to bring up Nugent's draft dodging. It's well known that Nugent claims to have gone to great lengths to flunk his Draft Board physical. What's not so well-known is that he got a student deferment at the same time he was touring with his rock band, putting in an average of 300 shows a year. How was he going to school and touring that much at the same time?

The Herald also noted that Nugent’s efforts to avoid the draft make President Bush look like a war hero.

(Nugent claims) that 30 days before his Draft Board Physical, he stopped all forms of personal hygiene. The last 10 days he ingested nothing but junk food and Pepsi, and a week before his physical, he stopped using the bathroom altogether, virtually living inside his pants caked with excrement and urine. That spectacle won Nugent a deferment.

That takes the fuckin' cake - shittin' yer pants for the draft physical so you won't have to shit yer pants in combat. All he would have ever had to do was play his guitar for Special Service shows. Oh, yeah, the money wouldn't have been as good...

What a fuckin' hypocritical fucktard wingnut asshole, runnin' his mouth about killing people the Repugs don't like. I hope he eats a bad skunk.

In the Twilight of His Deployment

The Washington Note:

I just came across this blog of an American military guy that the Pentagon has not yet shut down called "Army of Dude."

A Sunni insurgent group we've been battling for months, responsible for the death of my friend and numerous attacks, agreed to fight Al Qaeda alongside us. Since then, they've grown into a much more organized, lethal force. They use this organization to steal cars and intimidate and torture the local population, or anyone they accuse of being linked to Al Qaeda. The Gestapo of the 21st century, sanctioned by the United States Army.

This occupation, this money pit, this smorgasbord of superfluous aggression is getting more hopeless and dismal by the second. It's maddening to think that more than a year's worth of blood, sweat and tears will lead to little more than a pat on the back and a hideously redundant speech from someone who did none of the bleeding, sweating or crying.

The Enemy of My Enemy of My Enemy of My Enemy...

Fourteen months into this deployment and things are taking a turn for the surreal.

Throughout Mosul and Baghdad, we were fighting what could best described as an insurgent cocktail: parts of Islamic State of Iraq, Al Sadr's Mahdi Army, 1920 Revolution Brigade and simple, pissed off farmers. Shia and Sunni. Organized militias and rag tags. All they had in common was a shared goal: a total withdraw of occupational forces.

Many links at site. One pissed-off G.I. with a laptop is worth more than all the TV gasbags put together.

The Great Iraq Swindle

I got a twofer for ya. First, from Rolling Stone, a lotta quotes, but it's a long article.

How Bush Allowed an Army of For-Profit Contractors to Invade the U.S. Treasury

How is it done? How do you screw the taxpayer for millions, get away with it and then ride off into the sunset with one middle finger extended, the other wrapped around a chilled martini? Ask Earnest O. Robbins -- he knows all about being a successful contractor in Iraq.

[...] So you take your twenty-minute ride in from the suburbs, sit down before the learned gentlemen of the committee and promptly get asked by an irritatingly eager Maryland congressman named Chris Van Hollen how you managed to spend $72 million on a pile of shit.

You blink. Fuck if you know. "I have some conjecture, but that's all it would be" is your deadpan answer.

The room twitters in amazement. It's hard not to applaud the balls of a man who walks into Congress short $72 million in taxpayer money and offers to guess where it all might have gone.

[...] Is it ­really possible to bilk American taxpayers for repainted forklifts stolen from Iraqi Airways and claim that you were just following orders? It is, when your commander in chief is George W. Bush.

In short, some $8.8 billion of the $12 billion proved impossible to find. "Who in their right mind would send 360 tons of cash into a war zone?" asked Rep. Henry Waxman, chairman of the House Oversight Committee. "But that's exactly what our government did."

[...] When things went wrong, KBR simply scrapped expensive gear: The company dumped 50,000 pounds of nails in the desert because they were too short, and left the Army no choice but to set fire to a supply truck that had a flat tire. "They did not have the proper wrench to change the tire," an Iraq vet named Richard Murphy told investigators, "so the decision was made to torch the truck."

In perhaps the ultimate example of military capitalism, KBR reportedly ran convoys of empty trucks back and forth across the insurgent-laden desert, pointlessly risking the lives of soldiers and drivers so the company could charge the taxpayer for its phantom deliveries. Truckers for KBR, knowing full well that the trips were bullshit, derisively referred to their cargo as "sailboat fuel."

[...] "People are scared stiff."

They were scared stiff in Iraq, too, and for good reason. When civilian employees complained about looting or other improprieties, contractors sometimes threatened to throw them outside the gates of their bases -- a life-threatening situation for any American. [..]

You know the old adage: You don't pay a hooker to spend the night, you pay her to leave in the morning. That maxim also applies to civilian workers in Iraq. A soldier is a citizen with rights, a man to be treated with honor and respect as a protector of us all; if one loses a limb, you've got to take care of him, in theory for his whole life. But a mercenary is just another piece of equipment you can bill to the taxpayer: If one is hurt on the job, you can just throw it away and buy another one. [...]

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the story of the Iraq War in a nutshell. In the history of balls, the world has never seen anything like the private contractors George W. Bush summoned to serve in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Collectively, they are the final, polished result of 231 years of natural selection in the crucible of American capitalism: a bureaucrat class capable of stealing the same dollar twice -- once from the taxpayer and once from a veteran in a wheelchair.

[...] If catastrophic failure is worth billions, where's the incentive to deliver success? There's no profit in patriotism, no cost-plus angle on common decency. [...]

The second part of the twofer is at DailyKos and lays the blame for all the swindling and profiteering right on the doorstep of...oh, take a wild guess:

[...] Cheney is behind most if not all of the war profiteering. [...]

I'm sure that comes as no surprise. Much more at Kos, but it's mostly just details. And Cheney's lies. I hope I'm still alive when that sonofabitch gets his, even if he's not.

Bush, Cheney, and their henchmen the 'contractors' AKA 'thieves' have seen their perfect chance to get billions in free money with no accountability. Hell, it ain't even real money! It's all 'Made in China' and we just borrowed it anyway. Why, it won't even have to get paid back for a long time, and the taxpayers who will have to do so are still in grade school or the womb. They'll have to read history to find out why their taxes are so high and the U.S. is so poor, and NCLB will keep a lid on that readin' shit! They won't have a fuckin' clue.

Hasta la bye-bye, Pendejo

Gonzales resigns.

Congress still has a week of vacation. Watch for an interim appointment of Michael Chertoff as AG.

She's beautiful ...

Until she opens her mouth. This is the easiest way for a beautiful woman to turn me off in record time. I couldn't sit through dinner with this girl.

Why don't they have contests for intelligent women? Please leave the pitchforks and torches at home. No, I don't believe beauty and intelligence are mutually exclusive. I married Mrs. F, didn't I? [So there is no misunderstanding, Mrs. F is intelligent and beautiful. Whew ...]

Off to the shop ...

"You are clear to level the building."

For all you folks who think war is clean, cut and dry. This is camera footage from an AC-130 gunship over a camp in Afghanistan. I've seen their destructive capability from this angle before, but back in my time, we would have been camped out somewhere, directing the gunners' fire on the targets.

As you can imagine, being caught in the middle of this on the ground is no pleasant experience [It don't happen like the movies or TV. The guy who gets knocked down in the middle of the road from the vehicle explosions is most certainly dead. You'd be amazed what shrapnel can do and where it can go. Your TV hero would have survived it without a scratch]. Now, I'm not making a judgment of whether these guys are innocent or not, but, as you can see, from a Spectre sitting up there doing pylon turns around the target, it's pretty difficult to tell good from bad. It's pretty hard to tell good from bad a hundred yards away, at night, on the ground.

It's why I get so incensed when people take war, and going to war, so lightly. People die, mostly in horrible ways, and it's just too difficult to tell combatants from innocents. As all you vets know, intelligence is far from infallible. If you're going to go to war, you'd better be doing it for the right reasons.

We're running the same kind of operations in Iraq, a war we shouldn't be in at all and the collateral damage is piling up. Too many innocents have been injured or killed in our fight against the 'insurgency' over there. A 500lb bomb or 155mm HE shell can't tell good from bad either.

It's time to end this occupation of Iraq and turn our attention back to the people who killed 3000 of my friends and neighbors, whether they be in Afghanistan or Pakistan. The next time someone declares 'mission accomplished', they'd better have Osama's head on a pike.

Great thanks to Siun @ FDL for the vid.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

It was all about the show ...

At least for the generals it was. I ran across this mindset when I was in (I touch on it a bit in Special Operations), but while the Chimp and Cheney were figuring out a good excuse to attack Iraq, the generals had their own reasons for going.


The American effort to chase bin Laden into this forbidding realm was hobbled and clumsy from the start. While the terrain required deep local knowledge and small units, career officers in the U.S. military have long been wary of the Special Operations Forces best suited to the task. In the view of the regular military, such "snake eaters" have tended to be troublesome, resistant to spit-and-polish discipline and rulebooks. Rather than send the snake eaters to poke around mountain caves and mud-walled compounds, the U.S. military wanted to fight on a grander stage, where it could show off its mobility and firepower. To the civilian bosses at the Pentagon and the eager-to-please top brass, Iraq was a much better target. By invading Iraq, the United States would give the Islamists—and the wider world—an unforgettable lesson in American power. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich was on Rumsfeld's Defense Policy Board and, at the time, a close confidant of the SecDef. In November 2001, Gingrich told a NEWSWEEK reporter, "There's a feeling we've got to do something that counts—and bombing caves is not something that counts."


The American people don't want to hear about guys crawling around at night and killing silently. They wanna see shit blow up.

Hey, if ya got all them good toys, might as well use 'em, right? When I was with SAC, all the B-52 and missile guys were just drooling for WW 3, for the Russians to "push the button" so we could send the Minutemen and bombers to Moscow.

It's that whole self-fulfilling, military-industrial complex thing Ike warned us about.


This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence -- economic, political, even spiritual -- is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the militaryindustrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.


The more cool shit you give the military, the more they want to use it. It's even worse when politicians (Cheney) are the ones making money from the war.

As long as Bush is in power, bin Laden will walk free and the Iraqi Occupation will endure.

Thanks to Atrios for the Newsweek link.

Note: Sorry I ain't been around much the last couple days, but homeowner shit at the Fixer hacienda and over at the in-laws has kept me running this weekend. Back to normal (heh ...) form tomorrow.

A Tale of a Princely Færie

I most gleefully swiped this from Brother Lurch. Enjoy!

And so in the Elder Days it came to pass that a son was born unto a wealthy future King, who desired that his beloved progeny be kept safe from the ravages of the world. With food aplenty and lodging fair, the young lad spent his idyllic days making merry mischief, and many an amphibious toadling saw his wrath. Thereafter, the chump change of the once and future King’s youth was spent in idle pleasures prevalent of that time, pleasures of the nose and of the liver, and he didst merry-make in the darker dens and taverns that dotted the territories claimed by the King.

Yea, verily and forsooth an' shit! Go read the rest.

"If You F**k Things Up You Can No Longer Be An Expert"

Go watch this video. I may have to get HBO just so I can watch Bill Maher.

The Enemy Within

Scott Ritter cuts Cheney a new one:

“The vice president is the single greatest threat to American and international security in the world today. Not Osama Bin Laden. Not the ghost of Saddam Hussein. Not Ahmadinejad or Kim Jung Il. Not al-Qaida, the Taliban, or Jose Padilla himself. Not even George W. Bush can lay claim to this title. It is Dick Cheney's alone. Operating in a never-never land of constitutional ambiguity which exists between the office of the president and the Congress of the United States, Cheney's office has made its impact felt on the policies of the United States of America as had no vice president's office before him. Granted unprecedented oversight over national security and foreign policy by executive order in early 2001, many months prior to the terror attacks of 9/11, Cheney has single-handedly steered America away from being a nation among nations (albeit superior), operating (roughly) in accordance with the rule of law, and toward its present manifestation as the new Rome, a decadent imperial power bent on global domination whatever the cost.”

The man is not bashful. He is saying here what need to be shouted from the rooftops of the MSM. It would be nice if we had one Presidential candidate that would talk like this. I guess Gravel and Kucinich come close, but they know they stand no chance of being elected. Someone at the front of the field might really stand out if they would start talking like this.

In any case, read the whole thing »here«; guaranteed to make your blood boil.