Saturday, September 15, 2007

Rethug Club ...

Pic thanks to the Cheezburger. Click to embiggen.

Dr. Attaturk explains.

Our Nuremberg ...

EC writes what I feel:

Iraq is a crime scene --Bush's crime scene where the evidence against him is found. A war of naked aggression, what Bush did to Iraq is a capital crime under US Codes, prohibited by the Nuremberg Principles which loom like a specter over his criminal administration. Nuremberg remains the most effective and damning indictment of anyone who would hijack the apparatus of state to wage wars of aggression or to perpetrate mass murder and/or torture under the cover of a national sovereignty.


It's time for our own Nuremberg, whether they impeach Bush/Cheney or proffer charges once they're out of office, it could be our only hope to rehabilitate whatever credibility we might have left.

They write letters ...

Laury writes to the Chimp:

Dear Mr President (Bush)

Many of us citizens of the Middle East are fed up with the unbearable, crazy, absurd, ridiculous, bizarre situation in our region ...

You don't think everybody over there wants to blow themselves up for Allah, do you?


Us, Mr President are practical dreamers from every corner of the Middle East that are doing everything they can, and are using every mean[s] available to create some kind of a peaceful environment ...

As I've said before many times, after having lived on four continents, interacting with the locals, I've found one truism. People are more the same than different. They want the same things. Peace, security, a decent job, and more opportunities for their kids than they themselves were offered.

36 33

Think Progress

In his Iraq speech last night, President Bush took a moment to thank “the 36 nations who have troops on the ground in Iraq.” TPMmuckraker’s Spencer Ackerman has been counting coalition members with troops on the ground and has been able to find only 34 — many of whom have just a minor presence in Iraq. In his search, Ackerman discovered that the total is about to drop to 33: Next month, Iceland is pulling out its one lone soldier.

I'm glad he gets to go home, but it makes me wonder what the poor sonofabitch did to get sent to that shithole, and also just what the fuck Iceland thought one soldier could do to help. Maybe it was just to get subsidies from Bush for being part of the 'coalition'. I hope they kick some of it down to him. Fat chance.

A booty like a freshly-made bunk...

From The Gist about Condilieza Rice:

After she became secretary of state, she came to a party at Blacker's house, kicked off her shoes, and began dancing through the night to rock and and roll. Blacker, who is gay, wanted to show his partner how tight her behind is; he postulated that if he aimed a quarter at her butt, it would bounce off like a rocket. He was right. Rice, who was dancing, didn't realize what he had done until everyone began laughing hysterically. She was flattered -- and proud.

Makes me wonder if a pallet of quarters would bounce off Bush's head...

Iraq, deep in your bones

From deep inside an undisclosed location at the EssEffChron, Matk Morford with today's 'must read' about Iraq. It's so good I present it here in toto, and, no, that doesn't mean it's up Dorothy's dog's ass. More like up Bush's.

[A war that isn't really a war, the great humiliation that's ours forever. Is there any upside?]


[We are, of course, mostly fighting against ourselves.

It must be repeated every so often, just as a painful, necessary, ego-tweaking reminder: Iraq was never a war. Not really, not in any sense that mattered or that we could actually define and understand or to which we could truly submit ourselves or our national identity.

It never mattered how many little American flags appeared on how many bloated Chevy Avalanches, how many right-wing radio shows found a new reason to pule, how many furiously blindered uber-patriots happily ignored all the harsh words from all those naysaying generals or even all the "turncoat" anti-war Republicans and insisted we're really over there to fight some sort of great Islamic demon no one can actually see or locate or define but that we must, somehow, attempt to destroy -- even though doing so only seems to make the situation far, far worse.

There was never any coherent, justifiable heroic cause. Indeed, the truth about Iraq, as evidenced by Gen. David Petreaus' muted, bleak testimony before Congress just this week, is much more simple, nefarious, pathetic. Iraq is, was, and forever will be our very own massive strategic blunder, a failed land grab for position and power in a tinderbox region defined by furious instability and corruption and death.

It's the great unspoken subtext. Iraq has always been a war between our dueling national identities, a battle over how we are to move and breathe and behave in the new millennium. Are we really this violently paranoid bully, this rogue pre-emptive screw-em-all ideological war machine defined by the dystopian Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld vision of permanent, ongoing global conflict?

Or do we try, instead, to move forward and reinvent ourselves over and over again as the world's most commited, forceful peacekeeper, ever striving for balance and cooperation and tact, even in the face of hardship and fundamentalist rage, refusing to be taunted and dragged down lest we take the bait and lose our minds and engage in torture and misprision and ultraviolence and become little better, ideologically speaking, than our taunters? Have we already made our choice?

Because the truth is, we are well past the point of salvaging anything noble or honest from Bush's massive, historic debacle. We have only this brutal reality: Iraq is, and forever will be, one of the most extraordinary wastes in all of American history.

A waste of money. A waste of time. A stunning, almost unspeakable waste of life. A waste of resources and intellectual capital and a massive waste of national spirit. A waste of energy and hope and a giant squandering of any goodwill or empathy our former allies might've had for America in its post-9/11 state. Heard it all before? Sure you have.

Some scenes remain almost comical in their absurdity. Perhaps you saw that money, those enormous, ridiculous piles of American cash, the photos floating around of American soldiers guarding giant, shrink-wrapped pallets of U.S. currency known as "cashpaks," each reportedly containing about $1.6 million in stacks of $100 bills, all airlifted by the ton straight from the Federal Reserve and set down in the Iraqi sun like rotting fruit, small mountains of your tax dollars earmarked to buy off various warlords and pay for covert, unauthorized operations all over the Middle East in an attempt to buy our way into some sort of impossible, forced stability. Right.

Or maybe it's the bodies, the sheer waste of American flesh, not merely the thousands of U.S. dead or even the countless tens of thousands of dead Iraqi citizens but also the lesser-known horrors, like the epidemic of brain-damaged U.S. soldiers, thousands of them, so many that they're becoming their own category of study in medical textbooks given how they're beginning to exhibit combinations of trauma doctors have never seen before.

What a recruitment poster this is. Come fight in the American military. We're exhausted, overstretched, bewildered, have lowered our entrance barrier to accept D-grade students and former inmates, have almost zero idea what we're actually fighting for, and serve under a Commander in Chief who cares more about trying to shore up his wretched legacy than for the loss of American life. Oh and by the way, odds are extremely high you will return home permanently wounded, traumatized, or brain damaged. How very proud we are.

We all know the current reality: We are not safer. We are not better off in any measurable way. We are not stronger or more unified or prouder or more respected or healthier or wealthier or wiser and we have done exactly zero to stem the flood of radical Islam or the general outpouring of global disgust at what America has become under this president. This is our scar. This is our great American shame.

So, what do you do with it? Or with the prospect of still more weeks, months, even years of this dull slog of war? Because the fact is, as Petreaus' testimony essentially confirmed, we will be in Iraq at least through the (blessed) end of Bush's nightmare term, and likely well beyond, given how entrenched and ensnared our forces have become.

Perhaps we can take the long view, the wide view, the spiritual or karmic view, even, insofar as the short and linear view has become so stifling and deadly and useless. Perhaps this is the only way.

Because truly, many in the alternative set, the lightworkers and the gurus and the healers and the deep teachers, those who think outside the war room and beyond the bland academic platitudes, these people tend see Iraq, BushCo, the American right and all the sanctimonious bleakness surrounding them as merely the inky remnants of a passing disease, the last, vicious gasp of a dying ideology, the violent struggle of resistance that always erupts before any great cosmic shift.

Which is to say: The screeching of the Christian right, the shrill alarmism from cultural conservatives regarding everything from sex and drugs and music to gays and nipples and creationism, the rejection of science, the attacks on women's rights, the abuse of the environment, all the way up to the bleakest and ugliest manisfestation of all, a brutal and unwinnable war -- taken as a whole, these can, if you so choose, be seen as merely the embers of a hugely failed -- and yes, nearly extinct -- worldview.

Here is the hesitant optimism, the hint of the new, the tentative suggestion that all is not lost: By many measures, the worst of it is over. There really is light coming, a new awareness, a shift away from the bleakness and the rot and the wallowing in bland violence. Perhaps you can feel it. Or perhaps you need to be ready to feel it. Either way, it's there. You have but to do the most easy/difficult thing of all: you must look behind the veil, see the two dueling Americas, and make your choice.]

I'm 'hesitantly optimistic' about Iraq the same way I'm optimistic about the aftermath of a car crash: If we survive the impact, perhaps the injuries will heal over time. Maybe we'll just be crippled for life.

Housekeeping ...

I'm gonna be doing some major blogroll maintenance this weekend. If I haven't linked you and you feel it's an injustice or feel that I'm just a 'no short term memory pothead' and I forgot, drop me an email or leave a link in comments and I'll be happy to. Conservatives need not apply.

And while I'm maintaining, the Uniform of the Day will change to Woodland Digital for the fall.

Saturday whorage

The last chapter of my novel The Fourth Estate is up at The Practical Press. Please don't forget to vote on which story I should post next. Also, if you're interested, my previous story The Captains is still available.

Whore your own in comments if you wish.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Quote of the Day

Our pal Creature:


The president is not delusional, he is lying.

Why ...

Don't they listen to us? Or, The Beltway Three-Step. The Fabulous Mr. Greenwald has a great post up looking up our "blathering" punditocracy:


And on and on. Everything they said in unison was completely false. And they do not even have the defense that it was difficult back then to see that it was false. Go read what virtually every blogger was saying back in May and it was painfully obvious that the Establishment was both deceiving itself and deceiving the country yet again. What they fear and hate more than anything is withdrawal from Iraq because staying at least allows them to avoid their own Day of Reckoning: when they are forced to accept how disastrous was the war that they all enabled. [my em]


We know why the Chimp wants to drag this out. I just wonder why the press is helping him. Is it all about saving face? That went away a long time ago and the shit stains have become permanent.

Nice try ...

Click to see the whole strip. Great thanks to SP @ C&L for the link.

Potomac Pinocchio

Clicking won't help this time

A tip o' the Brain to Politics Plus.

Surge 'n Stab

Good name for a cocktail, huh? Paul Krugman with today's 'must read':

To understand what’s really happening in Iraq, follow the oil money, which already knows that the surge has failed.

Now here’s the thing: Ray L. Hunt, the chief executive and president of Hunt Oil, is a close political ally of Mr. Bush. More than that, Mr. Hunt is a member of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, a key oversight body.

Some commentators have expressed surprise at the fact that a businessman with very close ties to the White House is undermining U.S. policy. But that isn’t all that surprising, given this administration’s history. Remember, Halliburton was still signing business deals with Iran years after Mr. Bush declared Iran a member of the “axis of evil.”

No, what’s interesting about this deal is the fact that Mr. Hunt, thanks to his policy position, is presumably as well-informed about the actual state of affairs in Iraq as anyone in the business world can be. By putting his money into a deal with the Kurds, despite Baghdad’s disapproval, he’s essentially betting that the Iraqi government — which hasn’t met a single one of the major benchmarks Mr. Bush laid out in January — won’t get its act together. Indeed, he’s effectively betting against the survival of Iraq as a nation in any meaningful sense of the term.

The smart money, then, knows that the surge has failed, that the war is lost, and that Iraq is going the way of Yugoslavia. And I suspect that most people in the Bush administration — maybe even Mr. Bush himself — know this, too.

Shorter: Bush's bros are going around him and his failed policy to get theirs.

Here’s how I see it: At this point, Mr. Bush is looking forward to replaying the political aftermath of Vietnam, in which the right wing eventually achieved a rewriting of history that would have made George Orwell proud, convincing millions of Americans that our soldiers had victory in their grasp but were stabbed in the back by the peaceniks back home.

What all this means is that the next president, even as he or she tries to extricate us from Iraq — and prevent the country’s breakup from turning into a regional war — will have to deal with constant sniping from the people who lied us into an unnecessary war, then lost the war they started, but will never, ever, take responsibility for their failures.

Please read the rest. See also Dolchstoss Republicans.


Click to embiggen

This is why we'll never leave ...

Because you know we're only there for one reason:

BAGHDAD, Sept. 12 — A carefully constructed compromise on a draft law governing Iraq’s rich oil fields, agreed to in February after months of arduous talks among Iraqi political groups, appears to have collapsed. The apparent breakdown comes just as Congress and the White House are struggling to find evidence that there is progress toward reconciliation and a functioning government here.


Because, you know, the people of the region have seen how we've exploited them shared their oil for the last century. They've seen how our policies have empowered dictators and robber barons enlightened leaders to govern the region.


The oil law — which would govern how oil fields are developed and managed — is one of several benchmarks that the Bush administration has been pressing the Iraqis to meet as a sign that they are making headway toward creating an effective government.


Of course it's one of the demands benchmarks the Chimp has insisted on to assure Iraq is a 'democracy'. It's obvious as we see how big corporations suck the capital from our fleeting democracy make the standard of living in our model democracy so high.

Pay no attention to the demands for withdrawal. We're staying until we suck every drop of oil out from under the sand are assured the Iraqis have a working democracy so Halliburton, Exxon/Mobil the Iraqi people can experience how it feels to be fucked dry by the super rich who need more of our money to prolong their lifestyle the benefits of a democratic republic, just as we have over the past 6 years.

Fuck going home. The lives of our troops and innocent Iraqis mean nothing compared to the profits to be realized by stealing the oil are a small price to pay to assure an American hegemony freedom and democracy in the Middle East.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Petraeus tries to un-step on weenie...

An Offer He Couldn't Refuse?

Talking Points Memo:

Remember that unrehearsed flash of candor where Gen. Petraeus said he didn't know whether being in Iraq was making America safer? And then later he 'set the record straight'?

Joe Klein told Chris Matthews that he thought that during the recess in testimony Petraeus got an angry call from the White House telling him to set the record straight. Take a look ...

It sounds like this was an inference on Klein's part. But it sounds like a sound one.

No shit.

Holidays ...

Over to the in-laws for Rosh Hashanah. Happy New Year 5768.

Troop Reduction

Click to un-reduce

Via Slate.

The Ultimate GOP Scandal: Bush Caught In A 'Stall' With A Male Prostitute

Quit 'stalling'. Click it.

"Sounds like we'll be playing 'Taps' for a long, long time."

Can Rep. McHenry's Hostel for Strapping Young Republican Lads survive this?

Go read Jesus' General's letter to Mitch McConnell. Liquid alert.

I'm going to be blunt. By buying into the libislamunistfascist spin about Larry Craig being a homosexual, you are destroying the party's ability to retake the Senate for decades to come. Larry Craig is not a homosexual. He's told us that. He's just as heterosexual as you and Lindsey Graham. You shouldn't have tried to force him to resign. He deserved to be treated the same way you treated Sen. Vitter, who admitted to breaking the law by paying a harlot to change his diaper--that is to say, you should have given Sen. Craig your full support.

I understand that after hearing stories about Sen. Craig sucking anonymous little soldiers in restrooms across this great nation, it's easy to jump to the conclusion that he might be dancing with Dorothy. But think about it. Isn't it just as likely that this very heterosexual married man was looking for something his wife was unable to provide for him: a hot, throbbing slab of hard salami to swallow? We've all been there haven't we? We want something that our wives can't give, so we exercise our patriarchal privilege to get it elsewhere.

But now that you've adopted the Democratic frame that such behavior is homosexual in nature, you've jeopardized the careers of a lot of good, anti-homosexual politicians who are also rumored to be looking outside their marriage for a little sausage slurping action, good men like Sen. Lindsey Graham, Representatives David Dreier and Patrick McHenry, and even yourself.

Do we know if JC Christian is just Rude Pundit with his collar on backwards?

What all has Bush done in office you ask...

Go see the list of his accomplishments at Funny Cracker. It's longer than you might think, and it's good to see them all at once.

CentCom Speaks

Think Progress

In January, President Bush replaced Abizaid and Casey, who were “surge” skeptics, with Adm. William Fallon and Gen. David Petraeus. This week, Petraeus — in the first public hearings since taking on his new role — delivered his Iraq assessment to great media fanfare. But where was his boss, Admiral Fallon? Inter-Press Service suggests animosity between the two might be one reason for Fallon’s absence:

Fallon told Petraeus [in March] that he considered him to be “an ass-kissing little chickensh*t” and added, “I hate people like that”, the sources say. That remark reportedly came after Petraeus began the meeting by making remarks that Fallon interpreted as trying to ingratiate himself with a superior.

The Washington Post reported this weekend that there is an internal military debate, described as “Armageddon,” brewing between Petraeus and Fallon because the two men have “profoundly different views of the U.S. role in Iraq.”

It's rare to hear one Flag diss another one. I fuckin' love it! Go get 'em, Sailor!

In related news, rumor has it that Admiral Fallon will be transferred next week to command of the East River Garbage Scow Fleet...

Go read. Many links and quotes from Sen. Webb.

Spine, anyone?

Tristero looks at the Chimp's likely choice as the new AG nominee. Harry Reid is talking big, but personally, I think this nomination will follow the same script as the SCOTUS appointments:


Let me put it this way. While countrywide disgust with Bush, Bushism, and the low-brow pandering of Republican shtick is, perhaps, at an all-time high, one should never misunderestimate the Democrats' remarkable skill at pulling the rabbit of defeat out of the most victorious of hats (or something like that).


Indeed. One way or another, the next AG will be another in a line of thuggish, jackbooted, brownshirted, fascist administrators.

... If Olson is indeed the nominee, how he fares should be considered a decent harbinger for 2008. If they confirm him, hang on to that hat: It means that the top Dems have learned nothing and '08 is seriously up for grabs. But if the Dems can manage not merely to defeat Olson, but expose the extremism that he - and by extension, the Republican Party - embodies, well, that's a different story ...

T seems to have a bit of hope the Dems might be able to win one but if past performance is an indicator, I don't. Using the past as a guide, I think whoever gets the Chimp's nomination will be confirmed without much hubbub. I'm pretty much resigned to the status quo until the '08 elections are over.

[tinfoil hat]

By the way, you know when the next terror attack on U.S. soil will happen? In the time between Election and Inauguration Days next year. Think 'national emergency' and 'war powers'. Think President Cheney.

[/tinfoil hat]

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Idea for a 'Stocking Stuffers'!

Now, as I am considered 'in recovery' (12 years) I've not signed up for the local "Drinking Liberally" chapter. But look what the Idaho Falls chapter of 'Drinking Liberally' has come up with! There's even a little bit of a shop at Cafe Press. Coasters, doorhangers, etc. Whacha think?


Quote of the Day





Trench Warfare

John Ridley at HuffPo

The First World War was, of course, famous for trench warfare. A protracted stalemate rather than a series of decisive battles. The politicians and monarchs were mostly content to "let it bleed" rather than be innovate enough to bring the war to a military or diplomatic end.

We are once again in trench warfare.

Since the president's troop surge in Iraq began this past February, we have all waited like gimps in an infirmary for General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker to descend from Mount Iraq. Toting, we hoped, stone tablets with directives with which to lead us to the Promised Land.

No such luck.

Well, our men and women in uniform remain stuck in their trenches.

Petraeus says the 30,000 "surge" troops should stay in place until at least next July. Nearly 120,000 will remain in Iraq for the foreseeable future.

The foreseeable future being the next decade.

And the war goes on.

Settle in, folks. It's likely to be quite the wait before our Armistice day.

The First World War analogy is apt. That conflict was entirely unnecessary, a massive over-reaction to a single pistol shot.

It brought down empires and slaughtered an entire generation of young men. Over nothing. It also led directly to World War Two and what's going on in the Middle East today.

Got any ideas as to which 'empire' is going to fall this time? Over a buncha lies.

Imperial Autism


To grasp the Petraeus moment, you really have to re-imagine official Washington as a set of drunks behind the wheels of so many SUVs tearing down a well-populated city avenue -- and all of them are on their cell phones. They hardly notice the bodies bouncing off the fenders. For them, the world is Washington-centered; all interests that matter are American ones. Nothing else exists, not really. Think of this as a form of imperial autism and the Petraeus moment as the way in which the White House and official Washington have, for a brief time, blotted out the world.

The world will still be there when if they ever sober up or run out of gas or hit a phone pole, but they're experts at ignoring reality. it's in their best interests, if not ours or the world's.

"...they stopped short of lying."


Petraeus, the commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, and his fellow witness, Ambassador Ryan Crocker, did their best all day and yesterday to put the most hopeful face on the grimness before them. But, to their credit, they stopped short of lying (my em).

Wow. That's something new for this administration. I bet Bush hopes it ain't catchin'.

Republican Sen. John McCain, one of the committee's more hawkish members, asked Crocker what degree of confidence he had that the leaders of the Iraqi government will take the steps toward political reconciliation that they've promised to take.

Crocker hesitated, then replied, "My level of confidence is under control."

That's a very understated way of saying "They'll reconcile when pigs fly".

In one sense, today's hearings dealt President George W. Bush a harsh blow. Many of the senators' questions dealt with strategic issues, which Petraeus and Crocker—through no fault of their own—could not really answer to anyone's full satisfaction. Even the vast majority of Republican senators at least cocked their eyebrows.

Nearly all the senators seemed to recognize that the few, much-vaunted successes—especially in Anbar province, where Sunni tribes have joined with U.S. forces to defeat al-Qaida terrorists—have little to do with the main issues of this war: sectarian violence between Sunnis and Shiites and the failure of the central government to mediate, much less settle, those conflicts. As Richard Lugar, the foreign relations committee's ranking Republican put it, "The progress may be beside the point." The U.S. troops may be "like a farmer planting crops on flood plains."

Bush is certainly providing enough fertilizer, but the deluge is coming.

Tell us what you've been told to tell us, General...

Click to inflate

"I don't know, actually."

p m carpenter

As it turned out, there was some educational value in Gen. David Petraeus' testimony before Congress and the American people after all.

It seems he doesn't believe in his mission.

When asked yesterday by Republican Sen. John Warner if all the expense in American lives and treasure is "making America safer" -- which is, of course, presupposed as the objective of any military mission -- the general first hummed, hawed and outright dodged the question by musing about his current focus on "achiev[ing] our objectives in Iraq."

Undeterred, the senator put it to the general again: But is it making America safer?

To which the general said: "Sir, I don't know, actually."

With that, Petraeus not only wandered off the reservation, he bolted. One could almost hear the sundry and panicked hearts being clutched in the White House. The mask was off their #1 guy; their p.r. extravaganza was now a bare-faced debacle.

The Nation

Did General David Petraeus today suggest that the war in Iraq may not make the United States safer?

Petraeus replied, "I don't know, actually. I have not sat down and sorted in my own mind."

Don't know? Is it possible that the war is not making the United States safer? Petraeus went on to note that he has "taken into account" the war's impact on the U.S. military and that it's his job to recommend to the president the best course for reaching "the objectives of the policy" in Iraq. Yet he did not say that the Iraq war is essential to the national security of the United States. Warner did not press the general any further on this point. The senator's time was up.

That was quite a statement from the fellow who is supposed to save Bush's war. He advocates pursuing Bush's course of action in Iraq but he cannot attest that this effort is crucial for America's safety. Is that being a good soldier?

If he's nothing else, General Petraeus is a good soldier. Soldiers follow orders, whether they like them or not, for good or for ill. Petraeus has been ordered to put lipstick on Bush's pig and he's doing it rather well.

When pressed, a good soldier will tell the truth, even when it puts a tiny crack in the propaganda he's been ordered to spew in support of his masters' delusions. A worse hack would have answered the question with a slightly different 'four words': "Of course it is!"

I've seen the massive rear fender on a Harley-Davidson fall off because a tiny, nearly invisible crack was left unchecked and allowed to propagate.

It remains to be seen what will happen because of Petraeus' comment, but some of the pundits have already picked it up and are trying to run with it. I can only imagine that the Chimp ain't none too happy about this and will do his best to 'stop-drill' it, something along the lines of, "The general fights wars and does my military bidding. I'll tell you when you're safe."

I hope the crack spreads and Bush's ass falls off and gets drop-kicked through the goalpost of truth.

I may have just set a new standard for mixed metaphors with a motorcycle/sports/Bush's ass one. Heh.

Location, location, location...

Mrs. F's company pays $2.6 mil per floor (they occupy the top two of the Merrill Lynch Building) per year in rent. Some of the rents in WTC were twice that. That's why we're gonna have the Freedom Tower soon enough. - Fixer in comments on yesterday's post

Anna Quindlen riffs on Fixer's comment:

It's all there at the construction site. Tourists peer through the fence, but it's hard to understand what they think they're seeing. Everything that once spoke of the magnitude of the events of September 11 is gone. As much as its jagged smoking ruins were once a symbol for unparalleled disaster, now its bland expanse is a symbol of how narrow and parsimonious the long-term response has been. It's business as usual there, except for one small section of the fence with a listing of the names of those who died in letters so small that you almost have to squint to read them. Remember how we said we would never forget them? We forgot them. If the spirit of the day had prevailed, the sense that this was a moment like no other and demanded a gesture in kind, someone would have had the guts to leave this national graveyard solemn, empty and still. Instead there is a sign there that says that the job now is "to recover the 10 million-sq. feet of commercial space lost in the attacks." How American. It's all about the real estate.


They work for us ...

TRex makes the case for term limits, which I heartily endorse:


Stevens and Lieberman and Craig are all pretty sterling arguments for senatorial term limits if you ask me. Letting those old farts moulder in place for thirty-plus years hasn’t done them or the nation any goddamn good at all, frankly. And if we can’t get term limits, can we at least get a minimum competency test? Ugly and old is fine for a Senate position, but I think we can all agree that “senile, belligerent, and delusional” should disqualify them from higher office.


Like I always say, elected office is a calling, not a career. To many of 'em lose touch with those whom they are supposed to be representing, protecting big campaign contributors at the expense of their constituency. 2 terms for Senators, 6 terms for Representatives should be the rule, not a pipe dream.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

3-Day Wait For Hallucinations

Raw Story

A new proposal from the mayor of Amsterdam is sure to be considered a bummer by certain visitors to the Dutch city: a three-day waiting period to buy hallucinogenic mushrooms.

Like, bummer, dude. Dutch heads gotta plan ahead now. Good luck.

Mayor Job Cohen wants to require the wait period to allow mushroom buyers to fully understand exactly what it is they are purchasing, ANP news agency reported Tuesday.

Yo, Job, they know.

I ate some of them things once at a bluegrass concert at San Diego Wild Animal Park. Rode on an elephant. It was way cool.

Then the sun went down and all the nocturnal animals, big cats mostly, started sounding off. That was really cool, but I had to keep reminding my friends that the animals weren't coming for them. Heh.

The 130-mile drive home afterwards must have been interesting. I don't remember. I was driving.

Bin Laden's Bobbed Black Beard Baffles Boob

Times of India

WASHINGTON: Osama bin Laden's beard seen in a new video tape featuring the Al-Qaeda supremo has baffled the top US spy.

It's hair growing out of his face, you fucking idiot.

September 11: What You "Ought Not To Know"

Greg Palast with today's 'must read':

On November 9, 2001, when you could still choke on the dust in the air near Ground Zero, BBC Television received a call in London from a top-level US intelligence agent. He was not happy. Shortly after George W. Bush took office, he told us reluctantly, the CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and the FBI, “were told to back off the Saudis.”

Before you jump to the wrong conclusion, let me tell you that we found no evidence — none, zero, no kidding — that George Bush knew about Al Qaeda’s plan to attack on September 11. Indeed, the grim joke at BBC is that anyone accusing George Bush of knowing anything at all must have solid evidence (my em). This is not a story of what George Bush knew but rather of his very-unfunny ignorance. And it was not stupidity, but policy: no asking Saudis uncomfortable questions about their paying off roving packs of killers, especially when those Saudis are so generous to Bush family businesses.

Yes, Bill Clinton was also a bit too tender toward the oil men of Arabia. But this you should know: In his last year in office, Clinton sent two delegations to the Gulf to suggest that the Royal family crack down on “charitable donations” from their kingdom to the guys who blew up our embassies.

But when a failed Texas oil man took over the White House in January 2001, demands on the Saudis to cut off terror funding simply stopped.

Why now this belated move on the bin Laden’s former operation? Why not right after the September 11 attack? This year’s FBI raid occurred just days after an Islamist terror assault in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Apparently, messin’ with the oil sheiks gets this Administration’s attention. Falling towers in New York are only for Republican convention photo ops.

The 199-I memo was passed to BBC television by the gumshoes at the National Security News Service in Washington. We authenticated it, added in our own sleuthing, then gave the FBI its say, expecting the usual, “It’s baloney, a fake.” But we didn’t get the usual response. Rather, FBI headquarters said, “There are lots of things the intelligence community knows and other people ought not to know.”

Ought not to know?

What else ought we not to know, Mr. President? And when are we supposed to forget it?

I'm angry enough at this that I dare not comment any further.

Bark, woof, whinny-whinny, neigh-neigh

Click for an even bigger pair of road apples

Here's what some folks are sayimg about General Petraeus' appearance before Congress:

Ray McGovern, a good one to read:

"Swear Him In"

That's all I said in the unusual silence on Monday afternoon as first aid was being administered to Gen. David Petraeus's microphone before he spoke before the House Armed Services and Foreign Affairs Committees.

It had dawned on me when House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton (D-Missouri) invited Gen. Petraeus to make his presentation, Skelton forgot to ask him to take the customary oath to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. I had no idea my suggestion would be enough to get me thrown out of he hearing.

TPM Election Central

Bottom line: The public appears to have decided that Petraeus won't tell them the truth about Iraq, that they want out of Iraq no matter what he says, and that the President won't change course in the wake of his testimony. Clever public.

Like it matters what us pissants think.

Tony Peyser

Let’s frame this in a way
That’s easy to remember:
What the general means is
Spring is the new September.

Eugene Robinson

The next six months in Iraq are crucial -- and always will be. [...]

That's pretty much it. Petraeus is selling a product he has a stake in, and doing a damn good job of it. He will get Bush And His Iraq Clusterfuck another Friedman Unit per his orders to that effect, and, oh yeah, Super-Size it. FUs are getting longer so they don't have to do this song and dance every six months. Once more oughta do it for Bush's term.

The concern that comes to mind is this: as these reports get rosier and rosier, what if Bush thinks that he's the only one who can get the oil carry out the Iraq 'mission' (as in missionary), that no succeeding Repuglicant president can do it, and for damn sure no Democrat ever could, and just decides to stay King until he can do it? He can't, of course.

We're in Iraq full force until at least 1/09. Period. The best we can hope for is that Bush and Cheney die before then.

Counterpoint ...

To JG's "Then", my "Now". The Towers would be directly behind the World Financial Center in this view. By the way, Mrs. F's office is on the top floor of the building with the dome.

Taken from MS Noordam. Click to embiggen.

May they rest in peace ... sooner rather than later.


Yesterday, in front of Congress, we saw the American people, the troops, and the Constitution betrayed by the commanding general in Iraq. I won't bother picking apart what he said, the lies he spread, but suffice it to say the truth never entered the room yesterday. Glenn Greenwald says it best:


It is actually amazing to watch media coverage of Gen. Petraeus' testimony depict him as though he has just risen from the apolitical ether as the objective and trustworthy source with regard to the war. The White House is desperate for that image to be maintained because the nation no longer trusts George Bush or Dick Cheney or other Republican office-holders, precisely because they have heard from those individuals over the last several years countless assurances of "progress," only for events repeatedly to prove those claims to be untrue.


On this sixth anniversary of September 11th, nothing has changed. We are not safer, our government still lies to us, and thousands of Americans are still being killed and maimed.

The sad part is we will be stuck with this until at least January 2009.


New York State of Mind
Click image to view larger version.


Cross posted at: Jersey Guy

Monday, September 10, 2007

The 'Surge Report'

Dog and Pony Show courtesy of FDL.

Quote of the Day and then some...

From Think Progress, a comment on the post about David Brooks trying to associate bin Laden with Liberals:

From Bush to Brooks, Osama bin Laden knows how to play his useful idiots.

Note to Brooks et al: OBL's a lot more symbiotically useful to you wingnuts than he is to us, which is why you haven't pursued him like you should have. You're the ones who turned his sucker punch on us into an excuse to abrogate the Constitution and plunge the United States into international criminality. Go fuck yourself. And that Texas mule you rode in on.


Robert Parry

Just as Sylvester and Tweety Bird achieved lasting Hollywood fame from their comical cartoon chases, the less amusing duo of George W. Bush and Osama bin Laden continue to benefit each other by reviving their long-distance rivalry, one posturing against the other in a way that helps them both.

“The vast majority of you [Americans] want it [the Iraq War] stopped,” bin Laden said. “Thus you elected the Democratic Party for this purpose, but the Democrats haven't made a move worth mentioning.”

That means if the Democrats do renew their efforts toward forcing American troop withdrawals, Bush and his supporters can simply accuse the Democrats of following bin Laden’s orders or playing into bin Laden’s hands.

The reality may be the opposite, but a few Republican floor speeches and a couple of well-placed op-eds should be enough to spook the already nervous Democrats.

In other words, any similarity in language between bin Laden and what many Americans say in common conversations will be used to discredit them. They will become bin Laden’s fellow travelers.

All the better to get Bush and bin Laden what they both really want: a prolonged war in Iraq – and possibly a U.S. attack on the Shiite government of Iran.

There you have it.

Janis Martin 1940-2007


Janis Martin, a teenage rockabilly sensation of the 1950s who was billed as "the female Elvis," died Sept. 3 of cancer at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C. She was 67.

I was pretty young way back then, but I liked Rockabilly. Still do. I probably heard her sing, but I was never really conscious of Ms. Martin until recently, when I saw a TV show about "The Women of Rockabilly". This gal was a pistol.

You can hear her and some of the other Rockabilly gals of that era here. Man, them broads got some pipes!

Read more about her here.

Left-wing brain, Right-wing...brain?

According to this article in the LATimes, apparently wingnuts do have a large organic mass in their brain housing groups, even if its only function is to hold their ears apart.

In a simple experiment reported todayin the journal Nature Neuroscience, scientists at New York University and UCLA show that political orientation is related to differences in how the brain processes information.

Previous psychological studies have found that conservatives tend to be more structured and persistent in their judgments whereas liberals are more open to new experiences. The latest study found those traits are not confined to political situations but also influence everyday decisions.

The results show "there are two cognitive styles -- a liberal style and a conservative style," said UCLA neurologist Dr. Marco Iacoboni, who was not connected to the latest research.

Analyzing the data, Sulloway said liberals were 4.9 times as likely as conservatives to show activity in the brain circuits (coulda ended that sentence right there - G) that deal with conflicts, and 2.2 times as likely to score in the top half of the distribution for accuracy.

Based on the results, he said, liberals could be expected to more readily accept new social, scientific or religious ideas.

Harumph. I coulda told 'em that.

Karl Rove Spotted in Paraguay

Evan Essence

After mysteriously disappearing from public sight 2 days ago, Karl Rove has succeeded in eluding angry Democratic Congressional leaders, and flocks of bloggers with cell phone cameras. Now, there have been 3 spottings of Rove in a remote part of Paraguay.

It has been widely reported on the Internet, that George Bush purchased 99,000 acres of land in Paraguay shortly before last Fall's election, which swept away Rove's dream of a permanent Republican majority in Congress. Paraguay is in a region of the World which is traditionally safe for War Criminals.

I just had to post this to show that there's someone else out there as goofy as I am.

"Bring it on" ... revisited

We saw what happened the last time the Chimp decided to wave his weenie around and dare the 'terrists' to "bring it on". Seems it's time for some bravado again though, once again, I doubt we're prepared for the consequences:


I assume they thought this was very clever, having a blond American woman [Fran Townsend] insult bin Laden's manhood. (She might as well have held her thumb and forefinger up like she was measuring an inch while she said it.) I'll bet Bush snorted and snickered all afternoon. But sadly, it's probably true that some of bin Laden's followers are just as insecure about their manhood as Townsend's boss is and some poor schmoe in Afghanistan or Iraq or somewhere else willpay the ultimate price for her little taunt.


Sunday, September 9, 2007

Culture of Corruption

Bill Clinton, William Jefferson, Bill Clinton, William Jefferson, Bill Cli ...

Froggy links to a list of all the Rethugs in trouble.

... The list is long and very interesting. The list contains about 200 of 'em.


The Surge Is working

Click it

As the Iraqis Stand Down, We’ll Stand Up

Daddy Frank nails it. Today's 'must read':

It will be all 9/11 all the time this week, as the White House yet again synchronizes its drumbeating for the Iraq war with the anniversary of an attack that had nothing to do with Iraq. Ignore that fog and focus instead on another date whose anniversary passed yesterday without notice: Sept. 8, 2002. What happened on that Sunday five years ago is the Rosetta Stone for the administration's latest scam.

That was the morning when the Bush White House officially rolled out its fraudulent case for the war. [...]

What followed was an epic propaganda onslaught of distorted intelligence, fake news, credulous and erroneous reporting by bona fide journalists, presidential playacting and Congressional fecklessness. Much of it had been plotted that summer of 2002 by the then-secret White House Iraq Group (WHIG), a small task force of administration brass charged with the Iraq con job.

Today the spirit of WHIG lives. In the stay-the-surge propaganda offensive that crests with this week's Congressional testimony of Gen. David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker, history is repeating itself in almost every particular. Even the specter of imminent "nuclear holocaust" has been rebooted in President Bush's arsenal of rhetorical scare tactics.

As always with this White House, telegenic artificial realities are paramount. Exhibit A, of course, was last weekend's precisely timed "surprise" presidential junket: Mr. Bush took the measure of success "on the ground here in Anbar" (as he put it) without ever leaving a heavily fortified American base.

When the line separating spin from reality is so effectively blurred, the White House's propaganda mission has once more been accomplished. No wonder President Bush is cocky again. Stopping in Sydney for the economic summit after last weekend's photo op in Iraq, he reportedly told Australia's deputy prime minister that "we're kicking ass." This war has now gone on so long that perhaps he has forgotten the price our troops paid the last time he taunted our adversaries to bring it on, some four years and 3,500 American military fatalities ago.

Prople will continue to die for lies, spin, and propaganda for another 17 months. It's Bush's way, paying the world back for being such an inadequate, cowardly little man. God damn him.

This year ...

It's even more disgraceful. In addition to playing 9/11 for all it's worth for another year, now the memory of those who died that day will be further defiled by General "Baghdad Bob" Petraeus' "Surge Report", telling Congress how absolutely swimmingly it's going in Iraq.

It's bad enough the cable and broadcast networks will spend another day with nothing but programming from Ground Zero, once more using the corpses of innocents to further their ratings race, to further the agenda of the White House, to get Americans pissed off enough at 'the ragheads', to get Congress distracted enough, so 'business as usual' remains in Iraq.

Most Americans believe nothing will change and anything Petraeus says will be scripted by the White House. It's time to stop looking to the past and look to our future and that, my friends, is very bleak. Things have to be fixed in a big way and repeating "everything changed after 9/11" ain't gonna do it.

The exploitation of 9/11, on every level, is only stagnating this nation. The deaths of 3000 of my friends and neighbors have been exploited for everything from an illegal war in Iraq, to the obfuscation of our civil rights. I'm tired of it. Mark the day, let the dead rest in peace, and stop using it to coerce the American people to do things they know are wrong.

It's time for the Dems in Congress to stand up, call bullshit on Petraeus, and say it's time to change course now, not in a year, not in five, not in ten. September 11th was a black day in our history, let us not allow it to be the milestone historians will point to and say "this was the beginning of the end of the United States of America".