Saturday, November 17, 2007

Who knew ...

J.C. Christian was the President's speechwriter?

Saturday whorage

The next chapter of Thirty Days at Zeta is up at The Practical Press.

As always, let everybody know what you got in comments.

One paragraph ...

Via Atrios, posted without comment:

It is increasingly clear that by now that a severe U.S. recession is inevitable in next few months. Those of us who warned for the last 12 months about a combination of a worsening housing recession, a severe credit crunch and financial meltdown, high oil prices and a saving-less and debt-burdened consumers being on the ropes causing an economy-wide recession were repeatedly rebuffed the consensus view about a soft landing given the presumed resilience of the US consumer.


Friday, November 16, 2007

Are we smarter than 5th Graders?


cash advance

Great thanks to our pal Lambert for the link.

Veteran Outreach

Click to embiggen

House to telecoms: Fight your own lawsuits

Raw Story

Democrats scored a pair of victories Thursday in the battle to hold accountable telecommunications companies that allegedly assisted the Bush administration in its efforts to warrantlessly wiretap Americans.

The House late Thursday passed an update to a foreign surveillance law that did not include a Bush-requested provision granting legal immunity to the powerful telecoms. A Senate committee scored a similar win against immunity when it unexpectedly sent to the full Senate a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act revision that did not include immunity.

Activists who had fought to exclude the immunity provision last night cheered the dual victories, but none was ready to rest yet.

"It’s a huge victory," wrote Jane Hamsher at FireDogLake, "but just the beginning of the fight."

The article says that there are about 40 lawsuits pending against phone and Internet providers.

Maybe if these lawsuits cost them a few billion dollars, they'll think twice next time before violating the Constitution and breaking the law just because a criminal president tells them to and threatens them with the FCC and loss of contracts if they don't. Look for your phone and IP bills to go up.

Everything this criminal president does costs us - you and me - money, the Prick.

The American Sportsman

I have a special recipe for skeet, just for The Dick: delivered by a golf club and eaten raw.


[A big Brain welcome to Crooks and Liars readers]

I always have a section in the sidebar for animal rescue. Good organizations for you to donate to or adopt an animal needing a good home. Remember, between 2 and 3 million cats and dogs are euthanized every year.

The North Shore Animal League, along with the Humane Society of the United States, just accomplished a rescue of over 1100 dogs from a puppy mill in Virginia:


On November 8, 2007, North Shore Animal League America embarked on a rescue mission to help the HSUS save these endangered dogs, bringing as many of them to the safety of the League as possible. Preparing for a round trip journey of more than 1,100 miles, the League’s mobile units were packed up with the necessary provisions and ready to assess whatever conditions they were to encounter. When the League’s team of dedicated professionals arrived at the dismal destination, they worked diligently assisting with examinations, vaccinations, taking the dogs for walks, keeping them exercised, distributing feedings and keeping the chaos of hundreds of stressed dogs down to a minimum.


NSAL America has a special place in my heart. A Long Island organization located a few miles from where I work, I know first-hand the good work they do. Our Princess Shayna is a rescue and NSAL alumnus as well.

Pulling off a rescue of this size and magnitude puts a real strain on the resources so I'm making this appeal for donations on their behalf. I realize the economy is going to shit and the holidays are coming up, but even $10 will help [pass on a drink the next time you go out and you'll be able to swing it]. If you're considering a new addition to your household and you live in the NY/NJ/CT/PA area, why don't you check out some of the animals they have for adoption before buying one from a pet store that, chances are good, got their animals from a mill of the type NSAL and HSUS are trying to shut down.

If we can't help the creatures who give us so much joy, who rely on us to protect them, we really should examine our humanity.

And just a note: DO NOT GIVE DOGS AS CHRISTMAS PRESENTS UNLESS YOU KNOW THE POTENTIAL OWNER ACTUALLY WANTS ONE! Do you realize how many animals end up in shelters because a surprise gift of a puppy turns out to be too much of a commitment, or hassle, to those receiving it? Don't add to the fucking problem.

Estimates ...

Seems the only people who think invading Iran is a good idea are the neocons. Kevin Drum links to an article on the National Intelligence Estimate.

A National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran has been held up for more than a year in an effort to force the intelligence community to remove dissenting judgments on the Iranian nuclear programme, and thus make the document more supportive of U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney's militarily aggressive policy toward Iran, according to accounts of the process provided by participants to two former Central Intelligence Agency officers.

But this pressure on intelligence analysts, obviously instigated by Cheney himself, has not produced a draft estimate without those dissenting views, these sources say. The White House has now apparently decided to release the unsatisfactory draft NIE, but without making its key findings public.


Because I'd bet those 'key findings' probably say Cheney is fucking crazy and should be locked in a room with rubber wallpaper. As Kevin says:


Those are your choices. The NIE's key findings, which are normally released, are being withheld because (a) they contain dissents Dick Cheney doesn't like, or (b) because they might expose U.S. intelligence capabilities. If you choose (b), I have a subprime loan you might be interested in taking a look at.

I wonder, since the Chimp and Cheney have set the bar so low, will we ever get another government that doesn't lie, cheat, and fudge the facts to suit their political needs? Somehow, I don't put much faith in the Dems to give back some of the vast power amassed in the Executive over the past 7 years. If the whiny Rethugs have any use, it is that they might be able to force the Dems to return the power structure on Washington to where the Founders envisioned. You know they, even in a minority, wouldn't let a Dem president get away with half as much as the Spineless Ones did with the Chimp.

Just so you understand ...

TBogg has a photo essay up highlighting the difference between George W. Bush and what America really stands for.

Dear Barry Bonds,


SAN FRANCISCO - The home run king wasn’t home free after all.

Barry Bonds was indicted for perjury and obstruction of justice Thursday and could go to prison instead of the Hall of Fame for telling a federal grand jury he did not knowingly use performance-enhancing drugs.


Guilty or not, it'll be good to see this smug, cheating bastid squirm on the hot seat. Now if we could get indictments on the two assholes who've been fucking up this country, life would be good.

Quote of the Day


... Only bumper sticker slogans are allowed in American politic[s], which explains why George W. Bush has been president for seven long years ..

Thursday, November 15, 2007

News from the front ...

From an email from Sen. Dodd's office:

... If needed Senator Dodd will filibuster any amendment seeking to add retroactive immunity to the underlying [FISA] bill. By filibustering, he will force the opposition to find 60 votes to pass the provision ...

God bless him.

The Economy

Swiped from Slate

Gitmo SOP Manual Leaked

At Invictus. Many links from there.

The Camp Delta document includes schematics of the camp, detailed checklists of what "comfort items" such as extra toilet paper can be given to detainees as rewards, six pages of instructions on how to process new detainees, instructions on how to psychologically manipulate prisoners, and rules for dealing with hunger strikes....

The Pentagon did not reply to a request for comment on the document.

So what else is new?

Kinky is as Kinky does...

Go have some fun and read this Truthdig interview with Kinky Friedman.

Kinky on Bush:

Friedman: Well, you know there are two kinds of people who wear cowboy hats: cowboys and assholes.

Yup. Or is it yep? I can never get that cowboy shit right...

Tell Pelosi: Put Impeachment back on the Table

This one calls for a little work on our part, but I'm going to do it.

Connie Talk

Nancy Pelosi has received a whole lot of criticism for continually repeating that impeachment is "off the table." Now, House Resolution 333 for the impeachment of Vice President Dick Cheney is off of the House floor, and has been sent instead to the Judiciary Committee for "further study."

Just as an aside, in the world of motorcycles a lot of us have learned how to say 'fuck you' in Japanese: "Ah, so, must study!".

This action, consistent with Pelosi's mantra that impeachment is "off the table," has many people angry. Pelosi did, however, provide us a small window: in reply to a question of impeachment, she stated that if she received 10,000 handwritten letters, she would proceed with it.

So, in this high-tech world, where we do everything possible to avoid manually writing out our correspondence - we shoot off e-mails, sign up for electronic banking, pay our bills through the computer, send in rebates electronically, write blogs instead of diaries - I'm asking you to do something a little old-fashioned.

Sit down with a pen and paper, and a stamped envelope, and write.

And don't put it off - the letters will be hand delivered to Pelosi's office in San Francisco before Thanksgiving, so have your letter mailed by Friday, November 16th.

The body of the letter they want us to write and the address to send it to - NOT Nancy Pelosi - is at the site. It's a pretty long letter. Watch your penmanship.

If we're not serious enough about impeachment to spend a little time risking writer's cramp, we're not serious enough about impeachment. Do it now, please.


The suggested letter was waaaay too long. I used the first, third, and last paragraphs. It fit on one page. Took about fifteen minutes.

Now to catch the outgoing mail. Hark! I think I hear his mule clip-clopping by...

Update zwei:

Not enough coverage, pro-impeachment Dem launches KucinichTV

Early Morning Jokes

Tony Peyser

The Justice Department wiretapping probe, shut down by President Bush, has been reopened. Attorney General Michael Mukasey will boldly side with Democrats, rabidly defy the White House and help bring down this criminal administration. (Sorry: I just went off my meds.)

In related news, President Bush promises to work with his new Attorney General to rebuild the Justice Department. This is kinda like Osama bin Laden showing up at Ground Zero to help construct new World Trade Towers.

Ain't it just so?

Beyond Mukasey's Confirmation

Elizabeth Holtzman

Though it failed to send his nomination the way of Robert Bork, attorney general nominee Michael Mukasey's evasiveness on the definition of torture has done something historic. It has made it unmistakably clear to mainstream observers that the president may be criminally liable for violating anti-torture laws. Criminal liability of this White House will have wider repercussions than Mr. Mukasey's confirmation. It will reverberate through his tenure as attorney general and beyond the end of the Bush administration.

We now know that the reason Mr. Mukasey refused to acknowledge that waterboarding meets the legal definition of torture, or at the very least cruel, degrading and inhuman treatment, clearly had nothing to do with not being briefed about the procedure. If he didn't know at the time of the Senate committee hearing, he certainly learned afterwards that the US had considered waterboarding criminal and prosecuted it for at least a century. The real reason, as mainstream news analysts now acknowledge, was that publicly admitting waterboarding is torture or cruel and inhuman would have put the president in jeopardy of criminal charges.

Still, holes remain in the legal barricades the Bush administration has tried to erect around itself. Even if immunity from prosecution under the War Crimes Act stands, it only applies through 2006, not for mistreatment of detainees after that. And the 1994 anti-torture law applies throughout.

As attorney general, Mr. Mukasey can try to plug these holes. He may shield President Bush and others from criminal liability; he may resist appointing an independent prosecutor to investigate White House actions. But he cannot, as the 2002 Gonzales memo recognized, tie the hands of future prosecutors. In lethal cases, our anti-torture laws have no statute of limitations. Sooner or later, those who violated US law will be held accountable to them, if not by Mukasey, then by some future AG.

There's hope yet that Bush and his fellow malfeasors will someday answer for their crimes. They don't call it "the long arm of the law" for nothing, but I'm not sure it can reach into Paraguay.

A thousand words ...

Pic stolen from the Existentialist Cowboy. Click to embiggen.

I stole this pic from EC while reading his insightful post about the warnings being sent by Russia and China to the Chimp to change his plans regarding Iraq:


China, likewise, warned America's rogue psychopath. As if to underscore the point, a Chinese submarine popped up --undetected --in the middle of a Pacific Ocean exercise. The Sub was said to be "dangerously close" to the USS Kitty Hawk, having slipped past a US "shield" of a dozen warships and two US subs. US brass are "dumbfounded"!

We can only speculate about US ability to detect "subs". One would have assumed advances since the making of the early 90's film --"The Hunt for Red October". Even so -- that China has a sub that slips so effortlessly, silently past vaunted US detection technology confirms that the sub was of advanced design and equipped with advanced stealth technology. Just recently, in the comments section, I stated that China had the ability to put a nuclear sub undetected just off the US East Coast. China exceeded my prediction. I had not expected to be confirmed so quickly by events.


If China had other plans, Kitty Hawk Group would now be an artificial reef. My great concern is the idiots running the show over here won't grasp the magnitude of the demonstration. Maybe if they'd stop watching 24, they'd understand that others who have a vested interest in the Middle East will not sit by and let us act unilaterally. They will protect their national interests, regardless of ours. The fact the Chinese can sneak a sub into the middle of a U.S. carrier group makes my ass pucker. It says they can take out any of our naval assets in the Pacific at will.

We got big problems. Off to work ...

Addendum: In light of this revelation, what do you think the Chinese would do if we came to Taiwan's defense if they decided to push the issue over the "rogue province"?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

So much for a nice safe job wipin' wings...

Stars and Stripes

Air Force to triple number of airmen helping Army, Marines in Iraq

BAGHDAD — More airmen will be doing soldier-type jobs in Iraq, and those that already are can expect to be deployed longer and more often than most in the Air Force.

The boost comes as the service continues to try and draw down the number of airmen in the ranks and many commands are struggling with smaller staffs.

Win-win! They can draw down the number of airmen to fill the self-drawing-down of the Army and Marine Corps! What 'troop shortage'? They got plenty of Airmen!

Working in an Army unit and within a different culture has been an adjustment for many of the airmen. Leadership style and living conditions are two of the biggest differences, Bosworth said.

“You’ve got airmen out there that are not used to getting screamed at by a command sergeant major,” he said.

Many of the initial differences have been smoothed out, however, and airmen are becoming accustomed to the environment.

Heh. It makes the Airmen sound like such delicate little things. Don't they have leather-lunged SMajes in the AF? I'll tell ya sometime how a Sergeant Major 'smoothes things out'! It ain't for the faint of heart!

Welcome to the military, Airmen. Sorry 'bout that...


If any of you Airmen out there get handed a funny-lookin' black plastic thingy that's wide at one end and skinny at the other, that's called a 'rifle'. The feed tray is on the bottom and is called a 'magazine'. Oh, and the 'keyboard' only has one button...

The roots of Rasta

Raw Story

An unprecedented year-long exhibition at the prestigious Smithsonian Institute aims to demystify the mystique of Rastafarism exploring the roots of what has become a global emerging religion.

And lest Fixer run right down to D.C. to check out the essence of Rastafarianism,

The exhibition however remains discreet on the Rastafarian use of cannabis, merely stating that "ganja is used for reasoning."

O, ya mon, de reasoning, he get h'up an' dance after a spliff de size of a Sousaphone...

De roots of Rasta? No mon, h'it's de leaves...

Republicans call for withdrawal of 'hidden cost of wars' report

Raw Story

Two Republican senators say Democrats can't do math.

Or not exactly. Senior Republicans on Congress' Joint Economic Committee, Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KN) and Rep. James Saxon (R-NJ) are calling on Democrats to retract a staff report alleging the hidden costs of the Iraq war could total more than $1.5 trillion.

In a joint statement issued to the Washington Post, the committee's Republicans called the report "another thinly veiled exercise in political hyperbole masquerading as academic research."

"Instead of dealing with the substance of this report, the White House is once again trying to deflect attention away from the blistering costs of this war in Iraq," he said.

Well, maybe the Dems can't do math, but the Repugs sure can. They're counting votes next November and their total is decreasing in direct proportion to the number of truthful reports that come out showing how much theft, waste, and different kinds of needless expense Bush's War is costing us.

The Repugs don't want to change their profligate ways, just shoot the messenger and burn the message.

Repug policy has always been to keep the public in the dark about what they're up to. It's all they got, and the chickens are coming home to roost.

And guess who gets to pay it off...

Click to inflate

Somebody please tear his arms off so he can't 'swipe' any more...

On Outrage

A Mark Morford 'must read':

Outrage fatigue? Get over it
Are you sick of being sick? Suffering way too much Bush-induced nausea? Well, tough

Outrage is rich with humanistic understanding. It is not some evangelical Christian parent "outraged" that her kid saw a woman's nipple on TV. It is not some right-wing Family Council "outraged" that someone put S&M outfits on Barbie, or that some art gallery is displaying Jesus as a woman, or that scientists dared to say that stem cell research does not equal abortion, or that the mayor isn't taking care of all the potholes and stray kitties. That's not outrage, that's reactionary whining.

True outrage, like Olbermann's, like (occasionally, hopefully) this column's, like what you should ideally be experiencing on a daily basis while Bush is in office, is honed and sharp and poignant. It contains a powerful sense of deeply informed decency, and therefore has a true feel for when that sense has been violated. Outrage has meat and substance and intellectual nourishment. It is actually healthy.

Smart, informed outrage engages you and fires your heart, your mind. It is fuel. It is the reason you claim you enjoy being an American, to question malevolent government actions and take a stand and demand accountability where there has, for the past seven years, been none. Bottom line: We simply cannot let them convince us, by way of an all-out assault on science, sex, love, et al, that the good fight just ain't worth fighting.

After all, the flying monkeys are far from done raiding the closet and stealing your babies and making a mockery of everything wise and calm and open-hearted people hold dear. And baby, if you ain't outraged about that, something is very wrong indeed.

I don't know if outrage at Bu$hCo is healthy or not, but I feel fine. I'd worry more about my health if I wasn't outraged. I'd worry that I was brain-dead like so many still are.

Speaking of foul mouths ...

Stolen in toto from our pal the CultureGhost:

As part of our regularly scheduled activities here at "The Guys From Area 51", I'd like to take this opportunity to welcome any of our government's monitoring agencies to our site. So if you are an employee of the CIA, FBI, DIA, NSA or other set of initials funded by our tax dollars and part of your job description entails you viewing this blog on a regular basis, well, FUCK YOU. Yes sir, that's a big FUCK YOU. And we're smiling when we say that!

P.S. We're screwing your wives when you're at the office.

We at the Brain endorse this public service message.

Off to work ...

Jesus drips ...

Not so much. (via)

Yes or no ...

Only "far-left wing crackpots" like Dennis Kucinich support impeachment? We'll say, Sadly, No!

Bye, Rudy ...

You lowlife piece of shit. This should be good:


The controversial publisher - who was canned by News Corp.'s HarperCollins last year after she championed O.J. Simpson's alleged tell-all "If I Did It" - filed an explosive $100 million lawsuit Tuesday in which she accused Rupert Murdoch's global empire of smearing her to protect Rudy Giuliani's presidential bid.

The fiery editrix came out swinging in a 70-page suit, alleging that a News Corp. executive asked her to withhold damaging information about disgraced former Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik that could sabotage Giuliani's campaign.


Remember, she and Bernie Kerik were fucking in a Ground Zero apartment (supposedly to be used as a rest area for the rescuers) as NYPD, NYFD, and PAPD were digging with their hands in the pit below them in an effort to find their comrades. Nothing like a woman scorned. Can't wait to see what comes out of this.

Homeland Insecurity ...

And we're worried about the Mexicans? You know, maybe I'd be a little more supportive of the government's efforts to curtail the flow of illegal immigrants into the country if one could assume Homeland Security could actually do the job right. I'm a lot less concerned about poor people coming here for a job (living in a mainly Latin neighborhood, I come in contact with a number of illegals, all of whom work like dogs to take care of their families) than I am with spies and operatives coming here (from places other than Latin America) and infiltrating our law enforcement and intelligence agencies:

A former FBI special agent and CIA analyst pleaded guilty Tuesday to using her database access privileges to search for information on relatives suspected of having ties to a reputed terrorist group, and who fraudulently obtained U.S. citizenship.

In federal court in Detroit Tuesday, Lebanese national Nada Nadim Prouty, 37, pleaded guilty to secretly obtaining information about ongoing FBI national security investigations. She is suspected of passing it on to relatives suspected of having ties to Hezbollah, a group that the U.S. government has classified as a foreign terrorist organization.


In an embarrassing twist, the investigation has also uncovered that Prouty fraudulently obtained U.S. citizenship, admitting in court documents that she paid a man to marry her in 1990 so she could obtain citizenship after her student visa expired.


This country is becoming a big fucking joke.

And an addendum: Growing up, I used to hear a lot of Polish jokes (this neighborhood was a mix of German, Italian, and Polish back then), basically referring to how the Poles weren't that bright. (How did the Polack break his arm raking leaves? He fell out of the tree.) I'm sure people throughout the world are telling 'American jokes' now.

Addendum again: And if we do want to stop the illegal immigrant problem from Latin America, we only have to do something very simple. Fine any employer who gets caught using illegal labor $1 million per illegal. How much you wanna bet the flow across our southern border turns to a trickle overnight?

Fuck you!

According to the great and wonderful TRex, lefty bloggers and their potty mouths are the real downfall of civilization as we know it:


So let me get this straight, Mr. Prager. When I read your soulless drivel at Townhall, roll my eyes and say, “Goddamn, this asshole is a shitty writer!”, I am undermining society as you know it and hastening the downfall of “Judeo-Christian civilization”? Well, hot damn!


Indeed, my friend. After dealing with the 'right' for close to 4 years now, I've learned it's not what you say (lie, obfuscate, mislead) as long as you say it civilly. Oy gevult.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Easy, Harry ...

Don't get my hopes up. You know, because you always leave your balls at home when it counts.

WASHINGTON - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Tuesday that Democrats won't approve more money for the Iraq war this year unless President Bush agrees to begin bringing troops home.


But their remarks reflect an emerging Democratic strategy on the war: Force congressional Republicans and Bush to accept a timetable for troop withdrawals, or turn Pentagon accounting processes into a bureaucratic nightmare.


Somehow I don't see anything of import happening with this, but I could be wrong. I just wish, at this point, they didn't talk tough when they have no plans to follow through.

Thanks to Mr. Aravosis for the link.

Bushy 'n Mushy

Click to embiggen

Veterans Guest House

Most evenings, we watch KOLO News out of Reno to get the weather forecast and to see what criminals might be fleeing in our direction. Last night they did a piece on the Veterans Guest House near the Reno VA Hospital.

Their site wouldn't let me copy anything so you'll have to go see for yourself, but this is a smokin' good thing. Also see their blog.

The Reno VA Hospital serves northern Nevada and the rural eastern Sierra Nevada. Vets come from an amazingly large area to get outpatient treatment, and the Veterans Guest House has as one of its stated objectives that these Vets and their families won't have to sleep in their cars in the VA parking lot for weeks at a time. Not everyone can afford a motel room for an extended stay.

I'm glad someone thought enough to start up this Guest House. If the government can't or won't provide basic living amenities for Vets undergoing treatment, it falls to us to support those who do.

I'm going to send these folks some money. See if there's a similar facility near you and consider doing the same.

Veteran suicide rate is twice that of non-veterans

Please go see this appalling piece at Raw Story, with links and a disturbing video from this morning's The Early Show:

The problem of suicide among veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has recently been in the news, with the Department of Veteran Affairs promising to beef up its mental health services in response. Veterans of previous conflicts continue to have problems as well, and the VA has estimated that a total of 5000 suicides among veterans can be expected this year.

However, CBS News has now completed a five-month study of death records for 2004-05 which shows that the actual figures are "much higher" than those reported by the VA. Across the total US veteran population of 25 million, CBS found that suicide rates were more than twice as high as for non-veterans (according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide accounted for 32,439 deaths in 2004).

I have no doubt that somewhere in the bowels of this administration someone is thinking, if not saying, that "there's another Vet we don't have to provide services for".

Late ...

Don't know why, but Shayna had us up half the night and I'm running late. Read :

This by Shakes

This by Skippy

And this by PW

I'll see yas after work ...

Monday, November 12, 2007

A fine line ...

Related (it's a reach ... a long reach ... a very long reach), to my post this morning about the little dicks in the media. We got creative at the shop today.

Oh, the irony...

Ironic Times

Brazilian Supermodel Gisele Bundchen No Longer Accepting Payment in Dollars
Already stuck with several million in worthless currency.

I'll give her all the Euros she wants if she'll come over to my table. One at a time in her waistband...

You dirty old farts know what to do with this picture...with yer other hand. Ha! Fooled you!

Study: 1 Out of 4 Homeless Are Veterans
And we really appreciate their service.

Army’s New $2.6 Billion Homeland Security Helicopters Overheat on Hot Days
Will be redeployed to combat Eskimo terrorists in snow storms.

Pakistan: Musharraf Cracks Down
Even considers suspending habeas corpus, conducting warrantless wiretaps, torture.

Conservative Authors of Smear Books Sue Their Conservative Publisher
Claim they're being cheated out of ill-gotten gains.

Enjoy your day.

It was all just an innocent mistake

Go read Paul Krugman on Reagan's racism and the Southern strategy. Unusually snarky for Mr. Krugman, and right on the money.

So there’s a campaign on to exonerate Ronald Reagan from the charge that he deliberately made use of Nixon’s Southern strategy. When he went to Philadelphia, Mississippi, in 1980, the town where the civil rights workers had been murdered, and declared that “I believe in states’ rights,” he didn’t mean to signal support for white racists. It was all just an innocent mistake.

Indeed, you do really have to feel sorry for Reagan. He just kept making those innocent mistakes.

Several accounts of Reagan's innocent mistakes follow. I don't feel a bit sorry for that bastard, either.

Poor Reagan. He just kept on making those innocent mistakes, again and again and again.

PS: It has been pointed out to me that Reagan opposed making Martin Luther King Day a national holiday, giving in only when Congress passed a law creating the holiday by a veto-proof majority. But he really didn’t mean to disrespect the civil rights movement - it was just an innocent mistake.

The Repugs just love that senile, now thankfully dead, old sonofabitch, and they'll keep making those innocent mistakes until there ain't a person of color allowed to vote.

UK Remembrance Day Parade Bans Wounded Iraq and Afghanistan Vets

The Guardian

Serving soldiers horrifically injured in the Iraq and Afghan conflicts have been refused permission to join today's main Remembrance Day parade, prompting angry accusations that the government is 'ashamed' to have them seen in public.

Jamie Cooper, 19, the youngest Briton seriously injured in Basra, had hoped to join the march past at the Cenotaph in Whitehall. He is one of a number of young soldiers recuperating from injuries suffered in Iraq and Afghanistan the Royal British Legion had wanted to include in Britain's centrepiece remembrance ceremony.

But Peter Cleminson, chairman of the Legion, later phoned 'apologetically'. Cooper added: 'He said that he wished he could have arranged for Jamie to take part, as well as some of the others who are recuperating at Headley Court. But he said that the government is in charge of the parade guidelines (my em), and the policy is that no serving soldiers can participate.

Send them to get shot up in service of a lie and when they do, don't let 'em be in the parade. Sounds familiar. Notice I didn't say "march in the parade". A lot of 'em can't.

This is kinda special:

The controversy came as the weekend's first remembrance events took place in the capital. The Queen led yesterday's Royal Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Festival Hall before an audience of veterans. Among them was 109-year-old Harry Patch, the last British man alive to have served in the trenches during the First World War, a unique living link with the carnage of Passchendaele (aka "Third Wipers"- G), a name synonymous with the mud and carnage of the conflict.

Speaking before the service, Patch, from Wells, Somerset, said: 'Today is not for me, it is for the countless millions who did not come home with their lives intact. They are the heroes.'

So if you die in Iraq or Afghanistan, you'll be remembered in this parade, but if you just got blown all to shit and survived, the Brit government doesn't want its citizens, sorry, subjects to see you and be reminded that their young men are sacrificing mind and body as lapdog to Bush's lies.

I hope the criminal Iraq clusterfuck is over soon enough that these Brit Vets get to be in the Remembrance Day Parade before they're as old as Mr. Patch.

Repuglipukes try to 'arrest' dissent

Dave from Queens at Kos has a interesting story:

Last night at Book Revue in Huntington, Sean Hannity's program director Phil Boyce (he of Promise Keepers, the wives submit or get hit group of the early 1990s) tried to have me arrested because he didn't like the question he thought I was going to ask Sean Hannity. Boyce called the cops on his cell phone, two policemen showed up, asked me to come with them, and a couple of hundred of Hannity sycophants cheered, clapped, and a few shouted arrest him as I walked toward the bookstore exit at the direction of the police officers. Full details will follow after the flip but the key points to remember are that no personnel of the book store ever asked me to leave while in the store, I behaved superbly and remained calm and cool at all times, and of course I committed no crimes.

An account of the incident follows.

Some additional thoughts.

First, there are instances where cops inject their personal biases, lose control, lie, etc... everyday in this country. In this instance the two Suffolk County police officers did a TERRIFIC and PROFESSIONAL job. They did their due diligence, kept their calm, ascertained the facts, figured out what was going on, and responded lawfully and professionally at all times.

Second, there is something very disturbing about people who would cheer and clap to have you arrested simply because they don't like your politics. But that's Hannity's America, it sure as hell ain't mine.

Nor mine, Dave.

Fourth, these cowards like Hannity, Boyce, and Levin can't handle debate and dissent. They operate in a world where they manipulate images, take sound bites out of context, cut people's mikes, keep informed voices off the airwaves, etc...

Fifth, the stupidity of these people like Phil Boyce amazes me. One, if you wanted somebody to leave, you probably could have gotten the store security or the store owner to get someone to leave. Two, you are a moron for calling the police on your own cell phone. If you're going to do that, you should have used a public store phone so as not to have the call traced to your records. Three, you'd be better served by having waited for me to ask whatever question I would have asked up close before taking action. Not too smart, pal.

Finally, this story needs to be told notwithstanding that I'm the subject matter of the story. The idea that leading conservative media voices would try to arrest a person simply over a question is appalling and unAmerican.

Appallingly unAmerican to be sure, but that's Repuglican policy.

Here, Georgie. You need these and we're not using 'em.

Got this one from our pal CAFKIA. An intriguing headline:

Democrats Hand Over Own Balls To President At White House Ceremony

by Guest Blogger Chris Edelson

In a Rose Garden ceremony this morning, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) formally handed over their balls to President George W. Bush.

"Recent actions make clear that we don't need these anymore," said Schumer as he handed over a small plastic bag containing his genitalia.

Sen. Feinstein echoed Schumer's words, bowing deferentially to the President and adding, "As a woman coming of age in the 1950s and 60s, it took me years of hard work to get and maintain these balls. But I'm more than willing to part with them now."

Schumer and Feinstein decided to formalize their relationship with the White House after breaking with members of their own party in a vote to confirm Judge Michael B. Mukasey for the post of Attorney General, despite his sanction of torture and his apparent contempt for the rule of law.

In a show of support, Republican Arlen Spector handed over his own testes in a tribute to what he acknoweldged was his "talk-tough, do-nothing" policy. "I wholeheartedly endorse the actions of these Democrats in rolling over like a cheap date after a bottle of Ripple," he remarked.

Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) also attended today's ceremony, although he had already turned in his balls in late 2001.

Leading experts were not surprised by the ceremony. "After the Democrats took control of Congress last fall, most people assumed they would move swiftly to confront a deeply unpopular President, engaged in a deeply unpopular war, and embroiled in a deeply unpopular assault on our most profoundly held Constitutional values," said Prof. P.E. Gordon of the Kennedy School of Government. "But that hasn't been the case."

Prof. Gordon explained the Democrats' logic. "They don't want to change the status quo because they want to get elected in 2008 so they can change the status quo."

He smiled. "That's what they said in 2006, too."

Obviously, the Dems haven't realized yet that even a slight majority isn't a minority and they don't have to be scared anymore. We'll see if this changes when they have an overwhelming majority come next November. If they're still rabbit-scared then, we're sunk.

Gee, I bet that hurts

President Bush visited injured veterans at a rehab center in San Antonio. It's kind of like a drunk driver showing up with flowers in the hospital room of people he ran over.

I'm sure he'd say something compassionate, too, like "Yer damn lucky my tires was wore out or them tread marks in ya'd be a lot deeper!"

From Early Morning Jokes

Little Dicks ...

Digby has an epiphany, though it's surprising it took her so long to realize it.


But what did surprise me --- and I guess I'm just a fool for not having realized it before --- is that so many of these men in the media seem to have such severe psychological issues in this sphere. Tucker and Matthews and many of their guests are personally offended that a woman would appeal directly to other women for votes, as if that's undemocratic and unfair. And they get extremely bent out of shape when their sexist attitudes are challenged.


Now, I'm not one to comment on manliness. Being a man, I feel pretty manly but my view is subjective. I do know one thing though, an intelligent, competent, independent, self-assured woman turns me on. I've probably said it before here, but one of the things I treasure most about Mrs. F is the fact she's wanted to be with me for the past 17 years, not because she needed to. Were I to be struck dead by a lightning bolt as I walk out the door this morning, she would go on, sad (I hope, heh ...) but she would not suffer financially or professionally.

I know a lot of guys who won't work for a female boss and who cannot deal with a woman who seems more educated, or has more common sense, than they do. It is somehow an affront to their masculinity. I also hear the words "stupid fucking cunt" a lot when describing self-assured women they come in contact with, the default position. As if the woman has some nerve actually knowing what she wants and making a decision without her man's (be it father, husband, boyfriend, son, or brother) input and approval.

Maybe it's feelings of inadequacy on the mens' part? I don't know because I've been accused (more than once) of having an ego that would make God insecure. Personally, I've worked for males and females and on balance, I'd rather work for a female. The women I've worked for always seemed more willing to differing points of view and weigh them more objectively than men.

Now, I work in a predominantly male profession but I'm sure it works the same way in the news media and in other businesses too. Mrs. F has been called a "castrating bitch" more times than I can count. I laugh, she wears it as a badge of honor to the point of having a "testicle collection" (a jar with alcohol and a few raisins) on display. The fact we have a competent woman (regardless of how you feel about Hillary, she wouldn't have made it so far professionally had she not been competent) running for the Presidency is doing the same thing to the "Old Boys Club" in the media women like my wife have done in their respective industries.

While Hillary isn't my first choice, it would be a breath of fresh air to have a woman running this country. It is long past due. Unfortunately, if she does win, she'll have to put up with all the little dicks who can't deal with such an affront to their "masculinity".

So, to all the men who have problems with women in positions of authority, I have a few words of advice: Grow the fuck up. It ain't the size of your cock that counts, it's how you use it.

American Terrorism ...

There's no such thing, right? I mean, Tim McVeigh was a dissident, right? The Anthrax Guy was just making a political statement, right? That guy they finally caught who bombed the Olympics and abortion clinics was just exercising his right to free speech, right?

Um, no:


But this shit is never called terrorism. Terrorism has been redefined by the Bush administration (and their cult of crusading neocon minions) to mean "swarthy Muslim people blowing up things we actually do or pretend to care about," to the exclusion of "white Christians threatening and intimidating people we don't really like, anyway, doing things with which we don't agree."


The 'War on Terror' starts at home. If some left-wing group would start advocating killing folks like Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, and the TV preachers who rip off their congregations, they'd be wearing orange jumpsuits in Gitmo.

Figures ...

By talking to people a few minutes, I can tell if they watch Fox Noise or not. Like mindless automatons, they repeat all the stupid shit they hear there. That usually ends the conversation with me saying "talk to me after you stop watching Fox News".

That said, seems Zogby and the Norman Lear Center decided to quantify people's political stand vis a vis their TV watching habits. No surprise here:


People with red taste think a lot of entertainment programming is in bad taste and doesn't reflect their values. They think that fictional TV shows and movies are politically biased. They don't like a lot of things on TV, but their two favorite channels are Fox and Fox News ...

The only thing that did surprise me was the people who rail against the "politically-correct liberals" are the most PC of the bunch. Hypocrites all.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

As a Veteran.....

Without going into the judgmental specifics, I was 'required' to go into the military because my parents used the thousands of dollars I had saved for college by working summer farm labors jobs, as well as a factory job one summer. By my logic at the time, I figured at the very least I would have a trade (x-ray technician) plus have the availability of the G.I. Bill for college. And, that's what I got.

I got more of course. We all have great stories about the camaraderie, the drinking, the drugging, the spit-shined shoes, and all that shit you learned in basic. Something today reminded me we had a class in topography; that's not something I often remember. When I enlisted the Vietnam War had just been declared 'over.' It officially ended two years after my enlistment. I had 'call' the day Nixon resigned. We watched it on TV in the ER with a set we'd taken from an empty room off the Surgery floor. It was the middle of the night where we were. We didn't care; we still cheered.

The military I was part of it was very diverse. Many were drafted, some were volunteers, as were the women most certainly where we got stuck in something called the WAC, an extension of those women afore us - WAAC; it assimilated into the regular Army in 1978. There didn't seem to be any paucity of opinions. There was the gamut from gung-ho, taps on their heels to people who barely knew which insignia went where. I just figured it was a reflection of life elsewhere.

All in all after leaving the military except for the using the G.I. Bill to get through college, I spent little time thinking or paying attention to what was going in the military. In the mid-1990s I got a job with the VA hospital here. While employed there in the process of dealing with others who were coming to the hospital for the drug/alcohol treatment program, I realized that I was certainly drinking as much as if not more than those entering treatment. Which meant - if they were considered alcoholic, fucking druggies - thennn.....

I inquired about entering the program at our VA. As it was geared primarily for male veterans I was referred to a woman at the Vets Center in town. She was wonderful. She knew of a specific program for women at a VA hospital in Ohio. Once I was accepted, then all I had to do was come up with transportation to and from Ohio. How much of a coincidence was it that my income tax refund would be enough to cover a plane ticket to & from Ohio? And - when it looked as though my refund may not get to me in time, the senator's office who helped was none other than Mr. Wide Stance himself.

The night before I reported to the hospital, I smoked a joint that I had managed to smuggle cross country on the airplane and drank a 6-pack of some Ohio beer with a cool name for ole' times sake and as a fitting send-off.

The women's program was 30 days. It entailed a place to stay with three meals a day. We attended group therapy twice daily, individual sessions once or twice a week. There were others types of therapy - occupational, physical, and art therapies. We learned about ourselves and each other, our addictions, and what it was going to take to stay sober. Some folks focused on memorizing the Big Book; I focused on worrying over how the fuck I was going to live without being bored since I couldn't drink or drug any longer. However, I also knew that nothing would get any better or change if I didn't change it. I also knew I couldn't return to home after a mere 30 days (it was closer to 45) because I knew the first time I walked into an Albertson's I'd head straight for the beer freezer.

On the referral of the those who ran women's program, I applied to another program - 'Recovery Skills Program' (RSP) - which was co-ed.' It was a 3-month program of initially more of the same for me. Group therapy twice daily, individual therapy once or twice a week; and other kinds of therapy to fill in the time. Due to some time lag with the next cycle starting . . . . yadda ya - I ended up waiting another three months before the next cycle of RSP. In the interim, I lived in a homeless shelter for women (for 2-1/2 months) and spent my days at the VA, attending outpatient group therapy, etc. Finally into RSP for 3 months and more therapy. Then RSP concluded and as I was essentially homeless I stayed at the Domiciliary at the VA for a few months. And again I continued to attend group therapy, individual therapy, and other stuff. All in all from the time I entered the women's program until the time I left the Domiciliary, 11 months had elapsed. Eleven months of fucking therapy!

While at the Dom, I got a job at a local hospital, part-time. I eventually managed to get into a three-quarter house for women, eventually got an apartment, and eventually started college again to finish my degree while employed full-time. All the while I continued to attend outpatient group therapy twice a week with an individual session thrown in on one of those days. It all concluded just over three years from the time I had entered the women's program.

That was 12 years ago. I'm still sober.

When I talk about my sobriety, I never fail to start out how very fortunate I am in being a veteran because as a result of that, I was able to get the therapy I needed, truly - truly.

I wish the same for every veteran as well. I really do.

- VA - Women

Rest In Peace, My Brothers

All Enemies, Foreign and Domestic

The following was written by a Veteran for Veterans Day 2004:

"I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God."

Millions have spoken these or similar words upon enlistment in the Armed Forces of the United States. Most were US citizens, but many were not. Many were volunteers, while others were draftees. Most were men, but many were women. Since the founding of the Continental Army in 1775, the United States military has drawn on people of every race, cultural heritage, religion, and sex to serve the nation in providing for the "common defense". I am one of these millions, and although it has been sixteen years since I first spoke the words of the oath of enlistment, they have stayed with me.

As a veteran, I must take a closer look at this oath that I have held near my heart for so long. Of the three parts of the soldier's oath, obedience to the President is third, placing it in the lowest priority in my mind. Next, being only one of three parts of the oath, the greater weight is obviously given to the Constitution. Finally, unlike the other two parts of the oath, the section requiring obedience to the President is tucked inside a clause about adherence to military regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice, the only part of the oath specifically about the troop's conduct during the period of enlistment. This appears to be a deliberate tie into the military service of the new recruit, thus the one part of the oath that ends with the term of enlistment. From these, I see my marching orders written on the wall.

My first allegiance is to The Constitution of the United States; my first duty is to protect it from all enemies, foreign and domestic; and my vow of obedience to the President of the United States expired in 1993.

Therefore, I stand today opposed to my President, and the anti-American, un-Constitutional, unpatriotic Administration for which he serves as figurehead. I will do my part to voice my opposition, educate the populace, diligently support my political causes, and work with others to restore American freedoms to their former glory.

As a soldier, I made a promise. As a veteran, I will carry that promise with me to the end of my days.

Sean T Lewis
Disabled American Veteran
Persian Gulf War I
Portland, Oregon

Thank you, Mr. Lewis. It is even more true and relevant today than it was three years ago.

Our military, our treasury, all expended, wasted, in service of a lie. We're losing in Iraq and things are deteriorating elsewhere - everywhere - as well.

Thanks a great steaming pile, George. Happy Veterans Day.

The Coup at Home

Daddy Frank

So what if America’s chief law enforcement official won’t say that waterboarding is illegal? A state of emergency is a state of emergency. You’re either willing to sacrifice principles to head off the next ticking bomb, or you’re with the terrorists. Constitutional corners were cut in Washington in impressive synchronicity with General Musharraf’s crackdown in Islamabad.

In the days since, the coup in Pakistan has been almost universally condemned as the climactic death knell for Bush foreign policy, the epitome of White House hypocrisy and incompetence. But that’s not exactly news. It’s been apparent for years that America was suicidal to go to war in Iraq, a country with no tie to 9/11 and no weapons of mass destruction, while showering billions of dollars on Pakistan, where terrorists and nuclear weapons proliferate under the protection of a con man who serves as a host to Osama bin Laden.

But there’s another moral to draw from the Musharraf story, and it has to do with domestic policy, not foreign. The Pakistan mess, as The New York Times editorial page aptly named it, is not just another blot on our image abroad and another instance of our mismanagement of the war on Al Qaeda and the Taliban. It also casts a harsh light on the mess we have at home in America, a stain that will not be so easily eradicated.

In the six years of compromising our principles since 9/11, our democracy has so steadily been defined down that it now can resemble the supposedly aspiring democracies we’ve propped up in places like Islamabad. Time has taken its toll. We’ve become inured to democracy-lite. That’s why a Mukasey can be elevated to power with bipartisan support and we barely shrug.

Even if Mr. Bush had the guts to condemn General Musharraf, there is no longer any moral high ground left for him to stand on. Quite the contrary. Rather than set a democratic example, our president has instead served as a model of unconstitutional behavior, eagerly emulated by his Pakistani acolyte.

Take the Musharraf assault on human-rights lawyers. Our president would not be so unsubtle as to jail them en masse. But earlier this year a senior Pentagon official, since departed, threatened America’s major white-shoe law firms by implying that corporate clients should fire any firm whose partners volunteer to defend detainees in Guantánamo and elsewhere. For its part, Alberto Gonzales’s Justice Department did not round up independent-minded United States attorneys and toss them in prison. It merely purged them without cause to serve Karl Rove’s political agenda.

Tipping his hat in appreciation of Mr. Bush’s example, General Musharraf justified his dismantling of Pakistan’s Supreme Court with language mimicking the president’s diatribes against activist judges. The Pakistani leader further echoed Mr. Bush by expressing a kinship with Abraham Lincoln, citing Lincoln’s Civil War suspension of a prisoner’s fundamental legal right to a hearing in court, habeas corpus, as a precedent for his own excesses. (That’s like praising F.D.R. for setting up internment camps.) Actually, the Bush administration has outdone both Lincoln and Musharraf on this score: Last January, Mr. Gonzales testified before Congress that “there is no express grant of habeas in the Constitution.”

To believe that this corruption will simply evaporate when the Bush presidency is done is to underestimate the permanent erosion inflicted over the past six years. What was once shocking and unacceptable in America has now been internalized as the new normal.

Wrong track is a euphemism. We are a people in clinical depression. Americans know that the ideals that once set our nation apart from the world have been vandalized, and no matter which party they belong to, they do not see a restoration anytime soon.

Please read the rest.

Shows you why ...

I don't pay any attention to the Weblog Awards, I don't care how hard Skippy tries to get me to. Our pal Froggy, who also blogs over at Skippy's, hit's it right on the head.

... The blog that finished last was David Neiwert's Orcinus ...

The defense rests ...

Veterans Day

The Marine Corps is 232 years old. The Army and Navy and Coast Guard have also served this nation for several centuries, yet the Air Force is not much older than I am, relatively speaking.

Millions of U.S. citizens (and non-citizens) have worn the uniform of one or the other after hearing the calling to serve (some of us at the point of a gun, but that's irrelevant when the balloon goes up). From cooks to fighter pilots, secretaries to snake eaters, they did what they felt was necessary to protect this nation. In peacetime and war, they were ready for the call. Many performed their service without threat from outside, without fear of having to make the ultimate sacrifice for their nation. Others made (and keep making) that sacrifice not long after they enter the service of the nation.

Over the years, veterans have been held in reverence yet they've also been treated with disdain. At times like the ones we're living through now, the symbolism vets embody has been elevated to near god-like status. The powers-that-be however, only see those serving, let alone those who've served previously, as numbers on a ledger. Veterans today are only exalted when they are helping a politician make a point or to curry favor with a constituency. "Support the Troops" has become nothing more than a cynical catchphrase.

To casually commit these dedicated souls to the furtherance of greed and imperialism is unconscionable. Our armed services, and the people who staff them, are here for the defense of this country, not as a conquering and occupying army in league with the Roman Legions. The United States was supposed to have given up its imperial ambitions over a century ago, yet today our military occupies a foreign nation that did not threaten, let alone attack us. They are being used as targets for an insurgency instead of guardians of our civil liberties against foreign invaders.

Today, we are in the process of supplanting our military with a private army of mercenaries. Those in charge must realize the difficulty of forcing those who serve this nation honorably to follow the illegal orders of an illegitimate regime. The value of our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines is being diminished by those who will do anything for a dollar. By those who will kill for profit and whose allegiances are determined by the highest bidder.

If we are to honor our veterans on this day, this day on which one of the most horrific wars in human history ended, we must show them the proper respect. We must act (not say but act) as if every veteran's life is sacred. That because they are willing to lay down their lives for our freedoms doesn't mean those lives should be squandered frivolously. The lives of infantrymen are no less valuable than those of the flag officers who command them. They are not pawns, to be moved on a board just because one has the power to. They are here to defend us. They are here to assure the United States remains a sovereign, democratic nation.

If we are to honor our veterans this day, they should come home from Iraq yesterday. For us to truly honor our veterans, we should give proper care to those who've left parts of their body and mind on the battlefield after they come home. For us to pay them proper respect, we should put the little flags away and actually do something to help those who have given more than this country could ever repay. For us to give this veteran some peace when he thinks of his brothers and sisters who have fought and died, who have lost their minds, who sit in VA hospitals waiting for the end to finally come, we must hold those who use our veterans to enhance their ego and wealth accountable.

On this Veterans Day, this veteran demands the illegitimate regime at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue be removed, arrested, and brought to trial. Nothing else will suffice in the attempt to wash the blood of Iraq from our hands. Until we return to the America I and millions of other vets swore to defend, the souls who fought and died will not rest easy. It is time to put an end to this insult and sacrilege and it's time for our military to return to the job they were meant to do.