Saturday, January 19, 2008

What about John Edwards?

This is a hoot! I got it from Edwards08. Take note of who's doing the "live reaction". Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha!

The Nation Trembles

Do yourself a favor and go read Mark Morford:

Who's more terrifying to red states, smart Hillary or savvy Barack?

It's a stunning thing to watch. Right now, the various spurts of venom aimed at Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama from conservative pundits and politicos are, at best, scattershot and convulsive, with only MSNBC's Chris Matthews proving himself to be a consistent blowhard jackass in his relentless slamming of Hillary by claiming that she only made it this far due to adultery-survivor sympathy. Hey, Chris? 2001 called. It wants its puerile, sexist analysis back. Thank you.

Just go...

Nationalists Stirring in Iraq

The Nation

On January 13 an emerging Sunni-Shiite nationalist bloc in Iraq signed a groundbreaking agreement aimed at ending Iraq's civil war, blocking the privatization of Iraq's oil industry and checkmating the breakaway Kurdish state. It's a big step forward, and it could change the face of Iraqi politics in 2008.

My highlighted phrase is why Bush will vehemently oppose these Iraqis from charting their own destiny.

So far, the United States has continued to prop up Maliki's shaky regime, despite its growing unpopularity. US officials fear that if Maliki were to fall, the results would be unpredictable--especially in an election year. Besides, the nationalists would be far less likely than Maliki to sign the proposed long-term extension of the American presence in Iraq that Maliki and President Bush intend to ink by July.

I hope Maliki falls or is co-opted before then. Bush too, but that's even less likely.

[...] Even without US interference, it might still take a miracle for a stable Iraqi coalition to take root.

I think that's the understatement of the year, but they'll never know if they don't try. Bush's imperialistic delusions have failed miserably, and the U.S. should get out of their way and let the Iraqis give it their best shot. It's their country, after all, and one way or another their destiny is ultimately up to them. The sooner the better.

The problem with all this, of course, is that Bush will not leave Iraq without what he went there for. OIL. This is liable to get a lot uglier than it is now.

"The answer, my friend..."*


U.S. wind power grew 45 percent in 2007

Look for wind power to grow exponentially in '08. It's an election year, and what with the candidates and the pundits getting up to speed, hang onto something. I suggest a pair of these as well.

*Apologies to Bobby-poo Dylly-doo, as Mrs. G calls him.

"...the next year or two could be quite unpleasant"

Paul krugman on the economic recession we're being treated to by our financial whizzes and their Repug lapdogs. A 'must read'.

Mexico. Brazil. Argentina. Mexico, again. Thailand. Indonesia. Argentina, again.

And now, the United States.

The story has played itself out time and time again over the past 30 years. Global investors, disappointed with the returns they're getting, search for alternatives. They think they've found what they're looking for in some country or other, and money rushes in.

But eventually it becomes clear that the investment opportunity wasn't all it seemed to be, and the money rushes out again, with nasty consequences for the former financial favorite. That's the story of multiple financial crises in Latin America and Asia. And it's also the story of the U.S. combined housing and credit bubble. These days, we're playing the role usually assigned to third-world economies.

Oh swell...I get a visual of Laura as Evita...

The result, said Mr. Bernanke, was a "global saving glut": lots of money, all dressed up with nowhere to go.

In the end, most of that money went to the United States. Why? Because, said Mr. Bernanke, of the "depth and sophistication of the country's financial markets."

All of this was right, except for one thing: U.S. financial markets, it turns out, were characterized less by sophistication than by sophistry, which my dictionary defines as "a deliberately invalid argument displaying ingenuity in reasoning in the hope of deceiving someone." E.g., "Repackaging dubious loans into collateralized debt obligations creates a lot of perfectly safe, AAA assets that will never go bad."

In other words, the United States was not, in fact, uniquely well-suited to make use of the world's surplus funds. It was, instead, a place where large sums could be and were invested very badly. Directly or indirectly, capital flowing into America from global investors ended up financing a housing-and-credit bubble that has now burst, with painful consequences.

The real sin, both of the Fed and of the Bush administration, was the failure to exercise adult supervision over markets running wild.

It wasn't just Alan Greenspan's unwillingness to admit that there was anything more than a bit of "froth" in housing markets, or his refusal to do anything about subprime abuses. The fact is that as America's financial system has grown ever more complex, it has also outgrown the framework of banking regulations that used to protect us — yet instead of an attempt to update that framework, all we got were paeans to the wonders of free markets.

Right now, Mr. Bernanke is in crisis-management mode, trying to deal with the mess his predecessor left behind. I don't have any problems with his testimony yesterday, although I suspect that it's already too late to prevent a recession.

But let's hope that when the dust settles a bit, Mr. Bernanke takes the lead in talking about what needs to be done to fix a financial system gone very, very wrong.

When they get all done 'talking about' it and actually figure out how to fix unbridled greed, stupidity, and Repuglicant enablers, let me know.

Saturday whorage

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

Leave your own links in comments.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Question of the Day


... Would you buy a used economic policy from these men?

Pot, meet Kettle ...


Pauly's had it ...

And I don't think I can blame him. It looks like our dear friend, Jim Yeager (a.k.a Mimus Pauly) has decided to pack it in after close to four years (He opened up the Medley about the same time we did here). I hope it's not the case but we wish him all the best in whatever he decides to do. Good luck, pal.

The Hucktard and 'Christian Dominionism'

Go read Joe Conason on Huckabee:

Behind the happy, healthy, guitar-strumming campaign style that has so besotted the national press corps, Mike Huckabee looks like something considerably less charming -- a zealous proponent of the "biblical" reformation of every aspect of American society.

He later denied that he meant to suggest that God wants him in the White House. But his deliberate reference this week to conforming the law to "God's standards" sounds uncomfortably like the ideology sometimes known as "Christian dominionism" or "Christian reconstructionism," which declares that America, indeed every nation on earth, is meant to be governed by biblical law.

The looniest dominionists publicly insist that a pious government would inflict Old Testament punishments, including death, on blasphemers, pornographers, homosexuals, adulterers and even disobedient children. They constantly talk about their duty to institute biblical rule in the United States.

As a Southern Baptist preacher, does Huckabee accept that bizarre interpretation of Christian ethics? The answer is that he probably doesn't (or is too shrewd to say so if he does). But the clues to Huckabee's affinity for religious extremism have been lying in plain sight for a long time.

When columnist Robert Novak mentioned the event, he described Hotze as a leader of the "highly conservative Christian reconstructionist movement," a description that aptly encapsulates the ignorance of many mainstream journalists (and the aversion to unpleasant realities of many right-wing journalists). There is, of course, nothing "conservative" about reconstructionism, which demands a radical repression of liberty and the imposition of biblical law by "godly men."

'Godly men', huh? Sounds more like 'men who think they're God'. And want to make damn sure you think they are as well.

No fuckin' way.

Does Huckabee still believe that his narrow version of Christianity must dominate every detail of human existence in this country? He doesn't like to answer hard questions about the intersection of his faith and his politics, but it is long past time that somebody demanded a straight answer.

A straight answer from a Repug politician? Be easier to get a transfusion from a turnip.

Vegas Strippers Seek Right to Caucus at Their Workplace

Click to whatever

"After all, we get a lotta pole-sters in here, and caucus dances will only run you 20 bucks a pop."


"Now that's a caucus I can really support!" - Bill Clinton

Thanks, Don

Waffle-stompin' Hil


Intentionally or not, Hillary Clinton's campaign has found its most aggressive attack dog. His name is Bill.

You can go read it if you want, but I just wanted to make this point:

I never heard of a guy steppin' on his wife's weenie before, but the Big Dog's doin' a good job of it! Always breakin' new ground, that guy!

I got a sneakin' hunch that Hil might send Bill someplace different to campaign for her. Like Africa.

Adios, scumbag

Star-Tribune (Minneapolis-St. Paul)

PIERRE, S.D. -- Former state Rep. Ted Klaudt has been sentenced to 44 years in prison for raping two foster daughters by touching their breasts and genitals in phony examinations he said would help them sell their reproductive eggs.

Good. The main reason I even brought this up is because I had to do a google to find out the sleazeball's a Repuglican, you know, the party of christian, moral, and family values. For some reason, the newspaper didn't print his party affiliation even though inquiring minds want to know. Maybe they just assumed we'd know. Child molestation's kinda a Repug thing, after all.

Yuck-a! Yuck-a! Yuck-a!

Cleveland Leader

Was Yucca Mountain the Real Reason Kucinich Was Silenced by GE?

So why does this matter? Congressman Dennis Kucinich is the only Presidential contender to have voted against using the proposed site and General Electric, which owns NBC and MSNBC who ran the debate yesterday, didn't want his take on the whole mess that the United States Government is brewing.

So, was Kucinich not allowed to debate because he was a "fringe candidate" or was GE just afraid that he would dare speak the truth that will bring in major amounts of money for the corporation and, at the same time, risk the health of millions in the biggest growing metro area in the United States for years to come when the facility starts storing nuclear waste?

It's probably not the only reason, but it's certainly something to consider.

Click to make pic radiate outwards

This is only a matter of local interest in southern Nevada until you understand this nuclear waste shit is a) coming to a town near you, and b) going to be stored right near an increasingly large city on the edge of an earthquake-prone, volcano-heavy tectonic plate. Not to mention its proximity to Area 51 where space aliens could get aholt of it!

The only upside that I can see will be self-lighting hookers. Whee! They'll barely have to change the sign - to Lampshady Lady!

There's not much we can do about a), but I think it would be wiser to move the proposed site north and east, farther from the city and the seismically and vulcanologeously active zone. There's places out there where the birds fly upside-down because there's nothin' worth shittin' on.

He's a WAR CRIMINAL dammit!

After Downing Street has a really good summation of Bush&Cheney's High Crimes and Misdemeanors in the wake of McGovern calling for his Impeachment.

Are there grounds for impeachment under existing laws and treaties? Here is what Senator McGovern says about that: “Bush and Cheney are clearly guilty of numerous impeachable offenses. They have repeatedly violated the Constitution. They have transgressed national and international law. They have lied to the American people time after time. Their conduct and their barbaric policies have reduced our beloved country to a historic low in the eyes of people around the world. These are truly 'high crimes and misdemeanors,' to use the constitutional standard.”

Senator McGovern is correct. It would take a legion of international lawyers particularly adept in the art of twisting plain English to conclude otherwise.

It would help if we take that oily crew of sycophant corrupt brown-nosed so-called lawyers at the White House out and hang 'em before we start.

Thus, under the UN Charter, the United States is legally bound to respect the rules of war and peace that all states who are signatories to the treaty accept. These rules are unambiguous on these points: 1)aggression is always wrong; 2)aggression is a crime against international peace; 3)aggression gives rise to international responsibility; 4)nothing – political, economic, military or otherwise – can be a justification for aggression; 5) territorial acquisition or special advantage resulting from aggression is always unlawful

Of course, many Americans reject the authority of the United Nations despite the fact that the United States a) signed the treaty on June 26, 1945 and later ratified it; b) it has been in force since October 24, 1945, and the United States has never abrogated the treaty or withdrawn from the organization, which is headquartered in New York City. Still, die-hards will say (wrongly) that we cannot impeach a president on the basis of a treaty.

Question: Can President Bush be impeached under existing U.S. laws?

Answer: Yes. Under the War Crimes Act of 1996, US Code, Title 18, paragraph 2441, for one:

Many others as well.

The body of laws that define a war crime are the Geneva Conventions, a broader and older area of laws referred to as the Laws and Customs of War, and, in the case of the former Yugoslavia, the statutes of the International Criminal Tribunal in The Hague (ICTY). Article 147 of the Fourth Geneva Convention defines war crimes as: "Wil[l]ful killing, torture or inhuman treatment, including... wil[l]fully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health, unlawful deportation or transfer or unlawful confinement of a protected person, compelling a protected person to serve in the forces of a hostile power, or wil[l]fully depriving a protected person of the rights of fair and regular trial, ...taking of hostages and extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly." This, international lawyers say, is the basic definition of war crimes.

In sum, Senator McGovern's call for the impeachment of Bush and Cheney is entirely consistent with the United States Constitution, and with the treaties and law currently in force. Liberal democracies are measured above all by respect for constitutional norms and the rule of law. Laws are either enforced or they are mocked. To make a mockery of the U.S. Constitution and the laws of the land is to jeopardize everything generations of Americans built – and fought and died for. There is no greater threat to our “homeland security” than a president who does not respect the Constitution he swore to uphold.

And every bit as important, maybe more so, a vice-president too.

It is so blatantly obvious that these criminals should be in jail, or under it, that I think Congress has abrogated its duties, as legislators and citizens both, by not locking them up.

Can't Buy Me Love*

While I was over at Atrios tryin' to figure out what "Big Shitpile" in Fixer's post refers to, I ran across this:

Call me cynical, but I'll be very surprised if the White House doesn't spend a few days telling the country everyone's gonna get an $800 check and then demand some bullshit in the bill which the Dems, frightened, will cave on...

Why $800? Is that the $300 from last time adjusted for inflation?

I believe the part about the Dems, frightened, cavin' in too.

Note to the Chimp: You can't buy my love with money**, asshole. There are some things even an ol' whore like me won't do. The exception would be if you give me back my portion of the $Trillion you've wasted on your criminal war, bring back the million or so dead, and reset the time to early November 2000, leave everybody's memory intact, and give everybody a do-over so they won't 'elect' your sorry ass in the first place and thus avoid all the ruinous shit you've pulled.

I still won't love you, or even like you, but I'll at least think maybe you're almost human. You can't do this thing, but yer buddy God can. Talk to Him. That Fucker owes us one if He told you to do the things you've done like you said He did.

*Apologies to Lennon and McCartney

**Apologies to Linda and Dusty too. I'm on a roll...

Quote of the Day - Zwei

D at LGM:


That's right. Jonah Goldberg is so goddamned dumb that he makes Michael "Throw a Country Against a Wall for Democracy's Sake" Ledeen seem like a reasonably bright person.

Head in the sand ...

An addendum to Gord's post below, C & L has this bit from the Today show. Matt Lauer interviewed Jim Cramer (the investment nut) and basically asked him why he didn't lie about the strength of the economy to his viewers:


In other words, STFU! Yea Matt, forget about the truth. Hell, it worked so well in the run up to the war in Iraq, didn’t it? Logic in Lying—stick your head in the sand. I hate to break it to Matt, but these NAFTA lovers lie on teevee day in and day out about the economy ...

We watch ABC News in the mornings from 4-5. Every day they have a 'business report' featuring some talking head from BusinessWeek or one of the big investment houses. Not a one of them over the past year (as all the writing was appearing on the wall saying a recession was imminent) voiced any worry about the subprime mess and the ramifications of it on broader markets, many actively cheering the real estate market as the enormity of the ARM readjustment fiasco was becoming apparent.

Big Shitpile (© Atrios) is the 800lb. gorilla in the room that everybody wanted to ignore. Many are still trying, but when you understand what's all involved, it's impossible to deny.

This 'economic stimulus package', once the lobbyists get done twisting arms, won't save us either (Remember the $300 you got in 2001-2? Remember what you did with it? Yeah, me neither). At this point, after years of denial, the only way to get it over with is to take our poison and hope we live through it.

Quote of the Day

Jon Carroll on the economy, among other things:

It's like when the Bush administration issues news releases saying how the economy is really doing a lot better than people think it is. "Whom are you going to believe, your president or the guy foreclosing on your house?"

Yeah, who ya gonna believe - me, or yer lyin' eyes?

Thursday, January 17, 2008

We're makin' progress ...

Turning Iraq into Afghanistan, which is also a dismal failure:

The cultivation of opium poppies whose product is turned into heroin is spreading rapidly across Iraq as farmers find they can no longer make a living through growing traditional crops.

Afghan with experience in planting poppies have been helping farmers switch to producing opium in fertile parts of Diyala province, once famous for its oranges and pomegranates, north- east of Baghdad.


Spreadin' our freedom and democracy far and wide, about 3 feet deep.

Great thanks to Maru for the link.

This is why ...

[A big Brain welcome to Shakes' readers.]

The Rethugs can win elections. A good part of the electorate thinks like this:


I once heard a caller on Rush say he only made $30,000 a year, but he was glad to see his wealthy boss get a big tax cut because it meant the company might do better and then he might get a raise. The 250 million dollar man told him he was brilliant for understanding how the economy is supposed to work. That's some brainwashing.


They've been brainwashing folks for the last 40 years to believe giving money to the rich will eventually reach them. For those who don't get it, the rich invest their money and get richer off it. Your money.

Quote of the Day

From a much longer Tomgram:

But folks, let's face it, despite the cosmetic acts of the President and his undertakers, America's Iraq is still a corpse.

Stinks to high heaven, too.

How to Rig an Election: Confessions of a Republican Operative


Allen Raymond worked inside Republican election circles for years, until he was convicted of illegally jamming telephone lines to Democratic Party offices on Election Day in 2002. After serving five months in jail, he and co-author Ian Spiegelman wrote How to Rig An Election, Confessions of a Republican Operative. The book details Raymond's rise in GOP campaign circles; the attitude, tactics and strategies used to win; and how the RNC asked his firm to jam Democratic phone lines, but would not defend him in court after Democrats fought back and pressed court charges. AlterNet's Steven Rosenfeld interviewed Raymond about his political education, GOP tactics and his take on the current presidential field.

ALTERNET: The title of your book is How to Rig an Election. Can elections be rigged?

RAYMOND:Sure. [...]


No shit...

Click to embiggen

George of Arabia

Greg Palast with today's 'must read':

Bend over, pull out your wallet and kiss your Abe ‘goodbye.’ The Lincolns have got to go - and so do the Hamiltons and Jacksons.

Those bills in your billfold aren’t yours anymore. The landlords of our currency - Citibank, the national treasury of China and the House of Saud - are foreclosing and evicting all Americans from the US economy.

Let’s begin by stating why Bush is not in Saudi Arabia. Bush ain’t there to promote ‘Democracy’ nor peace in Palestine, nor even war in Iran. And, despite what some pinhead from CNN stated, he sure as hell didn’t go to Riyadh to tell the Saudis to cut the price of oil.

What’s really behind Bush’s hajj to Riyadh is that America is in hock up to our knickers. The sub-prime mortgage market implosion, hitting a dozen banks with over $100 billion in losses, is just the tip of the debt-berg.

Bush needs the Saudis to charge us big bucks for oil. The Saudis can’t lend the US Treasury and Citibank hundreds of billions of US dollars unless they first get these US dollars from the US. The high price of oil is, in effect, a tax levied by Bush but collected by the oil industry and the Gulf kingdoms to fund our multi-trillion dollar governmental and private debt-load.

Bush is there to assure Abdullah that, unlike Dubai’s ports purchase debacle, there will be no political impediment to the Saudi’s buying up Citibank nor the isle of Manhattan.

It has been reported that the President’s Secret Service men traveling with him seemed embarrassed by the eye-popping loads of diamond and gold gifts which they have to carry back for President Bush. They need not feel they have taken too much from their hosts: Bush has assured Abdullah that the King can suck it back out through our gas tanks.

I have nothing to add other than Bush has sold our country down the river. And yes, that was a slavery reference.

Added twofer:

The last part of a Robert Scheer column on G ibn Bush:

With Bush’s imperial fantasy fading into dismal reality, our nation saddled with record debt, an immense trade gap and an American public that has seen through his “What, me worry?” con, the president has bizarrely sought validation through visiting the scene of his foreign policy crimes. [...]

[...] As an editorial in the Arab News, a Saudi English-language newspaper, put it on the occasion of Bush’s visit: “ ... no Palestinian, no Arab believes, he will, or can, deliver. ... Everything he touches turns to dust and ashes. Iraq, Afghanistan, maybe now even Iran.”

There they go again, worrying only about themselves. Didn’t Bush also touch New Orleans? What about Enron? Things have gotten so tough here that even Halliburton’s CEO moved his headquarters to Dubai. The bad news for the Saudis is that Bush broke the United States—but they own it.

Quote du Jour from Le Monde:

On n'impose pas sa loi à son créancier.

Well, OK, the translation is the last sentence in the editorial content at the bottom of this page.

Looks like the Saudis own Europe as well.

Former Congressman (R) Accused Of Helping Fund Terrorists


A former Republican congressman from Michigan who has dedicated himself to building ties between Christians and Muslims was indicted in federal court yesterday for alleged ties to an Islamic charity that sent money to suspected terrorists.

Mark D. Siljander, who served more than two terms in the House in the 1980s and later ran as a Republican candidate for the House from Northern Virginia, was charged with money laundering, obstruction of justice and conspiracy.

The indictment alleges that he lied to the FBI about his work on behalf of the Islamic American Relief Agency, which the Treasury Department designated as a terrorist organization in 2004.

After his first House election in 1981, Siljander said he thought he won because he often wore a "Jesus First" button and because "God wanted me in."

The charity, which was based in Columbia, Mo., allegedly paid Siljander $50,000 in March 2004 to lobby the Senate Finance Committee in an attempt to be kept off a list of terrorist organizations. Senate records indicate that Siljander has not been registered as a lobbyist since 1998.

According to the indictment, the money was stolen from the U.S. Agency for International Development, and Siljander lied to federal agents about his role.

Siljander's role in the case is more limited. He is not charged with a terrorism crime. Instead, the indictment alleges, Siljander worked with the group's leaders to conceal the source of stolen international aid money, which was transferred to accounts he controlled.

Just like a good christian Repug - in on the money end and to hell with where it came from or what they're up to as long as he gets paid.

Bush set the standard for this kind of behavior in aiding and abetting terrorists with his relationship with the Saudis. Terrorists the world over have done quite well during his regime.

Nuke the whales

In their neverending quest to fuck up everything they touch as they fight the 'War on Terra', they're gonna let the Navy ping the whales into submission.

Running late, see yas in the afternoon ...

Wednesday, January 16, 2008' fried chicken an' watermelon, too! Yowzah!

Click to engorge this worm

I'm surprised he didn't get in few more stereotypes for his racist bastard party. Like "tight pussy, loose shoes, an' a warm place to shit!" or "you kin always trust one o' them to steal more chain than he can swim with!". Those racist motherfuckers woulda loved it.

From Coffins to Coffers

Here's the last paragraph of a 'recommended read' by James Wolcott:

Which may explain the final sentences in the epilogue to Draper’s Dead Certain, where the author says that Bush had no intention of marking time until the last tick of his presidency. He’s going to go out with a bang. Once the “surge” strategy in Iraq pays off, “that big ball would be back in his hands again, and he would heave it long.” In Beltway gridiron lingo, this might be interpreted as signifying that Bush is going to drop back in the fourth quarter and hurl a long bomb downfield at Iran. If Bush feels he’s achieved a winning groove, what the hell, why not run up the score, despite the National Intelligence Estimate? Perhaps Bush’s post-presidential memoir should be titled From Coffins to Coffers, since he’s helped fill so many of both.

In an article about Suharto of Indonesia, a point was made that applies to Bush as well:

One Small Man Leaves a Million Corpses

And he's doing it in our name, damn him.

More Huckwit*

Pharyngula expands on Fixer's post:

Huckabee is a raving lunatic


We have a candidate who openly wants to make the US a religious state, and he's the frontrunner on the Republican side. There are a large number of people who want this demented fuckwit to run the country. And the pundits of the news media are sucking their thumbs and watching; here's what one commentator had to say:

Geist further noted of Huckabee that if "someone without his charm," said that, "he'd be dismissed as a crackpot, but he's Mike Huckabee and he's basically the front-runner."

Popularity excuses all affronts, I guess. Did your mother ever ask you, "If your friends jumped off a cliff, would you?"

I'm feeling a bit like I'm watching a whole country merrily running towards that cliff right now.

Note to lemmings: Flying's fun, and the fall won't hurt you. It's the sudden stop at the end, such as if we get this as-bad-as-the-half-wit-we-got-now-only-different clown as the next resident of the White House. .

*With a name like Huckabee, it's almost too easy. Thank you, Lord.

That explains it...

Raw Story

Huckabee spoke to MSNBC's Joe Scarborough from Columbia, SC, saying enthusiastically, "South Carolina's a great place for me. I mean, I know how to eat grits and speak the language. We even know how to talk about eating fried squirrel and stuff like that, so we're on the same wavelength."

"Mika, I bet you never did this," Huckabee went on, addressing Mika Brzezinski. "When I was in college, we used to take a popcorn popper, because that was the only thing they would let us use in the dorm, and we would fry squirrels in a popcorn popper in the dorm room."

"Ewwww," responded Scarborough, wincing. "Too much information!"

Visuals of exploding squirrels notwithstanding, Scarborough's sure a squeamish fuck. He missed the larger issue: Are Huckabee's End Times delusions caused by Mad Squirrel Disease?

Two Kentucky doctors last month reported a possible link between eating squirrel brains and the rare and deadly human variety of mad-cow disease, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, thought to strike one person in 1 million, produces holes in the brain. Symptoms include loss of muscle control and dementia. It may take years, even decades, for symptoms to appear.

Ol' Huck's 'one in a million', that's for sure.

Quote of the Day

Tony Peyser

Mitt Romney won the Michigan primary. To celebrate, he handed out air fresheners to laid off auto workers living in their cars.

Very thoughtful of him. This time of year, you gotta keep the windows rolled up.

Ooh! It's a three-way!

David Sirota

For those of you who think the Democratic presidential nomination fight is just a two-way race between Obama and Clinton, check out this brand new poll from the Reno Gazette-Journal. Yup, that's right - it shows the Nevada caucus race a three-way, dead heat with John Edwards right in the mix.

The question we should ask is what the hostility and media blackout is really all about? I'd say the media's behavior is motivated by the same impulses that moves lobbyists to whine and cry to Reuters and self-important bloviators like O'Donnell to publicly burst a blood vessel on the Huffington Post - the people who have gotten used to the status quo are truly terrified by any candidates who they really believe will change things and threaten their power and status. Edwards is just such a candidate - one who threatens to muck up what the media and political elite want to be a race between two "nonthreatening," Wall Street-approved candidates. Obviously, it's a three-way race at this very moment - whether the Establishment likes that or not.

Let me conclude by saying I have no idea if the Gazette-Journal poll is accurate and/or whether Edwards will win Nevada (or any other state). Unlike most reporters, I don't spend my time covering the horse race, nor judging the candidates' viability only on the grounds of how much corporate cash they've been able to vacuum in. I spend my time trying to figure out which of these candidates represent the most fundamental form of change. One of the ways to judge that is to see who these candidates make uncomfortable. And by that measure, here's what I know: Edwards is generating hostility from precisely the kinds of people who are likely to be most averse to real, systemic change. And that speaks very well for the former senator from North Carolina.

Yes, it does.

The Reno Gazette-Urinal is usually a mouthpiece for the major casino interests that run Nevada.

The reason why ...

Huckabee should scare you:

The United States Constitution never uses the word "God" or makes mention of any religion, drawing its sole authority from "We the People." However, Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee thinks it's time to put an end to that.


Because Jesus rode up on his dinosaur and gave him the word:


"I have opponents in this race who do not want to change the Constitution," Huckabee told a Michigan audience on Monday. "But I believe it's a lot easier to change the Constitution than it would be to change the word of the living god. And that's what we need to do -- to amend the Constitution so it's in God's standards rather than try to change God's standards so it lines up with some contemporary view."


We've had seven years with a moron in the White House. Do we really want to replace him with this nut? Not that McCain or The Mittster are any better. McCain left the best part of himself (his honor) in Hanoi and Mitt never took a stand he couldn't weasel out of (he never knew the meaning of the word 'honor'), but Huck really believes his own bullshit.

And an addendum, Ted has a really good post up about how religion is getting in the way of democracy:


Can't we just let them all do a one-time, 30-second public display of how much they love and are devoted to their God and be done with it? Once that spectacle was over we could move on to the actual issues that face the human race. Things like nuclear proliferation, global warming, the mortgage crisis, the rapidly approaching feudal state that's being created by the perfect storm of decimating the social safety net while cutting the taxes of the rich.


I don't give a shit about your religion unless, like Huck, your goal is to make it the State Religion. I also have a problem with people, like Huck, who are obviously batshit crazy having the ability to 'push the button'.

Ya damn kids ...

Grumpy old men.

Bill Clinton = Ava Gardner?

Sounds good to me. Heh ...:


*Does this make Bill Clinton Ava Gardner? Strangely, I think it works.


Tuesday, January 15, 2008

"There are no international waters in the Straits of Hormuz"

War In Context on the further misadventures of Bush and The Battle Of Hormuz Strait.

[...] Even so, when Bush says “before its too late” to his Arab friends, most of them are probably taking comfort in completing that line with, “before its too late… for Bush to do anything about it.” He frets about only twelve months left on the clock — the rest of the world can’t wait for his term to end.

Witness the spectacle of an international “incident” that after a few days has devolved into a debate about a Filipino Monkey. The only comfort the White House can take from this drama is that the press never even noticed when the stage upon which it was set, came into question.

Iranian speedboats threatened US warships in international waters in the Straits of Hormuz. So far only one analyst — Kaveh L Afrasiabi, writing in Asia Times — has pointed out the most basic factual error in this account: there are no international waters in the Straits of Hormuz.

Let’s repeat that: there are no international waters in the Straits of Hormuz. The U.S. ships were in Iranian territorial waters exercising the “right of transit passage” afforded to them in international law by the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) which the United States has signed but which Congress has yet to ratify. This is why in the video of the incident, a U.S. naval officer can be heard saying, “I am engaged in transit passage in accordance with international law.”

Just one more fact about this incident conveniently left out of the public discourse in the administration's desperate longing to start another criminal, unnecessary war, damn Cheney's eyes.

Mitt Romney Defends Himself Against Allegations Of Tolerance

This is new, at least to me. The Onion News Network:

Mitt Romney Defends Himself Against Allegations Of Tolerance

John Edwards is pi$$ing off all the right people

Go read MyDD. Good video as well.

As the primary process continues, amidst the daily barrage of broadsides fired from one campaign onto another, it's worth remembering that John Edwards is still talking about real issues.

John Edwards' campaign isn't about him. It's about us. It's about taking back power from the wealthy elites who want to run this country and putting it in our hands. It's about finally taking on the corporations that dominate more and more of the American economy. It's about challenging the system.

And it's pissing off the all right people.

Hereinafter followeth a list and why they are pi$$ed off. You will recognize the names of many of the usual suspects. Just about everybody with a plutocratic perch to get knocked off of, and their gasbag enablers. Here's my favorite:

David Brooks has disliked John Edwards for a long time.

In 2004, Brooks raged (emphasis added)

The problem is that he talks about poverty in an obsolete way, which suggests he has learned nothing from the past 40 years. ... Edwards talks about poverty in economic terms.

This kind of talk is descended from Marxist theory, which holds that we live in the thrall of economic conditions. What the poor primarily need is more money, the theory goes.

We are moving toward a consensus on how to address the diverse problems that cause poverty. But when you go out on the campaign trail, you find politicians spreading polarizing disinformation. Edwards is right to talk about poverty, but by resorting to crude, populist rhetoric, he is leading in the wrong direction.

Imagine that! Talking about poverty in economic terms! Why, that commie whippersnapper's liable to upset the apple cart talkin' like that!

He's got them scared -- not so much about him personally, but about the ideas he's talking about.

That's why we fight.

You'll enjoy the rest.


More from Firedoglake:

The Polls You Won’t Hear Much About

2) John Edwards is by far the Democrats' strongest candidate in the general election. He is the only one who is not beaten outright by any Republican candidate: He ties with Giuliani at 44% each, but easily beats McCain, Thompson, Romney, and Huckabee, the latter two by double-digit margins.

The upshot of all this: If Hillary's the Democratic nominee, we could very easily lose to any likely GOP nominee. If Obama's the nominee, he does OK so long as he doesn't face McCain. But if Edwards is the nominee, we're sitting pretty. Which, I suspect, is one reason why Big Media hates John Edwards so much and does everything it can to destroy him. (Speaking of which: KingOneEye at DailyKos pointed out this morning how the NYT is ignoring a key result of its own poll on the race -- namely, that as more people get to know him, Edwards' favorability rating keeps going up.)

Many 'comments' as well.

Think again, oil boy ...

FORT MONROE, Va. — The Iraqi defense minister said Monday that his nation would not be able to take full responsibility for its internal security until 2012, nor be able on its own to defend Iraq’s borders from external threat until at least 2018.


I'm sorry, but I don't want U.S. troops there now. I certainly will not support a candidate who envisions an American presence in Iraq past 2009. Yes, we owe the Iraqis much for the damage we've done to them, but we'd better figure out another way to 'ensure their security' than with American troops on the ground.

Peace in the Valley

I'm glad both campaigns have decided not to go down this long and dirty road.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Oh, the irony...

Ironic Times

Iran Will Buy Advanced Russian Antiaircraft System
Putin thanks the United States.

Declassified Documents Reveal 1964 Gulf of Tonkin Incident Never Happened
Administration rushes to have documents reclassified.

Michael Bloomberg Named 44th President of the United States
Transaction involves mostly cash, some stock options.

Celebrity Rehab” a Hit With Viewers
Producers have no trouble selling spinoff, “Off the Wagon.”

I think I actually watched a coupla minutes of that by mistake last night, thinking it was a serious show about people trying to get sober. I changed the channel after the rehab folks took away Mary Carey's dildo! Some entertaining scenes of celebs drunk on their ass, though.

Administration Unveils Plan for National Identity Card
If you've got one (above) you can go anywhere without being hassled.

Have a nice day.

I just couldn't resist...

Click to embiggen


Actually, the mouseboat is off the starboard bow, not the beam. Mox nix. What does a political humorist landlubber know anyway?

The End of the Road for George W. Bush

Chris Hedges on the Chimp's eight-day Mideast photo-op:

The Gilbert and Sullivan charade of statesmanship played out by George W. Bush and his enabler, Condoleezza Rice, as they wander the Middle East is a fitting end to seven years of misrule. Despots stripped of power are transformed from monsters into buffoons. And this is the metamorphosis that is eating away at the Bush presidency.

Hey, metamorphosis, eat faster, dammit!

He may yet rise again to torment us with an attack on Iran, condemning more innocents to slaughter. He and his cigar-smoking soul mate Ehud Olmert would like to go out with one more flash of mayhem and violence. But even this will not ultimately save him. Bush will soon be reduced to the cipher he once was, left to spend the rest of his life trying to salvage a legacy of shame and deceit. In a just world he would be put on trial, if not by the International Criminal Court of Justice then by the U.S. Congress. He would be forced to face up to his lies and wars of aggression. But the moral rot that infects the nation has seeped into the bowels of the legislative as well as the executive branch.

World leaders, including those whom Bush desperately wants to intimidate, now dismiss him. Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said a few days ago that relations with the United States are of “no benefit to the Iranian nation. The day such relations are of benefit, I will be the first one to approve of that.”

The agenda of the Bush White House is exposed as irrelevant, myopic and counterproductive. Most Arab countries are in open defiance of Washington and are actively reaching out to Iran.

Nice goin', Georgie. The plus side is, this is one you can claim all the credit for.

It is the end of the road for George Bush. The world takes less and less notice of him. He strutted and swaggered across the stage. He bellowed and raged. He plundered and murdered. And now he wants to be anointed as a peacemaker. His presidency, like his life, has been a tragic waste. But he at least he has a life. There are tens of thousands of mute graves in Gaza, Lebanon, Iraq and Afghanistan that stand as stark testaments to his true legacy. If he wants to redeem his time in office he should kneel before one and ask for forgiveness.

The phrase "The End Of The Road" has a special meaning out here in California. We have a lot of homeless people in Santa Monica and San Francisco because both cities are literally at "the end of the road". I hope those folks get out of their circumstances somehow, but I hope Bush ends up, and deservedly so, homeless, broke, and drunk and crazy.

Better yet, I'd like to see him at The End Of His Rope.


All I need to give ya is this headline:

‘Uniformed’ Robber Hauls $325k From DC Bank — Across the Street From FBI HQ

The bank robbers never woulda tried that across the street from a donut shop!

Maybe if the FBI had paid their phone bill, the bank folks coulda called...

On second thought, it ain't all that funny. Mrs. G works for a bank in the same building as the local fuzz shop. Across the hall is closer than across the street, but it gets ya to thinkin'...

While we're fighting amongst ourselves, the enemy may be getting away...

Go read Daddy Frank on Clinton v. Obama.

Mr. Obama’s grudging “You’re likable enough, Hillary” made him look like “an ex-husband that was turning over the alimony check,” [...]

[...] As we reopen the gender wars, let’s not forget that it’s 2008, not 1968. There are actually some men who are offended by sexist male behavior too. Or by the female misogyny exemplified by the South Carolina woman who asked John McCain in November, “How do we beat the bitch?”

And so an exciting and healthy mano-a-mano battle for the Democratic presidential nomination is finally on. (The biggest losers in New Hampshire’s primary, no one need be reminded, were pollsters and the press.) But if Mrs. Clinton prompted many to give her candidacy a fresh look in the New Hampshire stretch, her victory speech was, to skeptics like myself, a step back. When she talked about how “the process” prompted her to find her “own voice,” I had to ask the same question Clinton fans ask of Mr. Obama: where’s the beef? Though her campaign gave Madeleine Albright and Wesley Clark the hook and replaced them with a backdrop of youthful eye candy on Tuesday night, Mrs. Clinton soon retreated into the same old pro forma Clinton talking points, nominally updated from the 1990s.

Pops gave me an awful visual there of Madeleine Albright, whom I adore, flying offstage headfirst with her feet about three feet off the deck. No similar vision of Clark. He wears pants...

In the nightmare scenario for their party, they could both fail or take each other out or self-destruct, inducing the public to settle for a Republican who can somehow persuade voters that he’s the change agent by default. It behooves Democrats to notice that Mr. McCain’s brand as a straight-talking rebel is so strong that even those voters in the New Hampshire G.O.P. primary who don’t like Mr. Bush or the Iraq war gave him most of their votes despite his outspoken support of both.

Isn't there a third fellow in the Democratic race? Oh, I remember now - John Edwards, maybe the only southern white man I could live with as President.

Early Morning Jokes. Jokes. Riiight...

Tony Peyser

President Bush claims Iran threatens global security and the world must join together to confront them before they remain peaceful and ruin his whole friggin' legacy.


Blackwater immediately repaired and repainted trucks used in the 2007 Baghdad shooting that left 17 Iraqis dead, making it difficult to determine if enemy gunfire provoked the now infamous attack. Blackwater chief executive Erik Prince said, "The only thing we did wrong was not kill all the eyewitnesses and every relative of the victims. For that, I apologize to all my stockholders."


Twins in England who were separated at birth got married without knowing they were brother and sister. In America, there's a name for people like this: Huckabee supporters.

Race is an increasingly big issue now that the campaigns are out of mostly white Iowa and New Hampshire. A recent photo of Hillary in South Carolina had her surrounded by black men. It looked like a scene from "Mandingo: The Later Years."

Jenna Bush visited Peru on behalf of a UN program for children's assistance. Asked by a local reporter what she knew about the South American nation, Jenna admitted, "Only that my Dad used to do a lot of blow from here."

On Saturday, 900 New Yorkers stripped down to their underwear for the 7th Annual No Pants Subway Ride. In related news, GOP Sen. Larry Craig fired three staffers for not telling him in advance about the event.

The God-Given Right of White and Grumbles from the Grave*

Here's some excerpts from the BuzzFlash Editor's Blog about 'race':

As far as race, we wrote an editorial in 2007 entitled "From Little Rock to Baghdad." In it we reflected on a visit to Little Rock, the pernicious legacy of the Confederacy, and how that connected to the war in Iraq.

We then went on to connect the "white male entitlement" mindset of the Confederacy to the War in Iraq and the fierce anti-Clinton hatred among a large contingent of white men:

Why would a white Southern male betray his race and gender and voluntarily abandon "white entitlement"? White male entitlement is the ultimate affirmative action program. In fact the entire system of slavery was an affirmative action society and economy run for the benefit of a white power base. Just look at Bush. The man would be lucky to get a job cleaning out stables if he didn't have the ultimate white male entitlement "pedigree."

And so it is with Cheney, who relentlessly utters the mantra of "victory" and "honor" lying ahead of us in Iraq, because a white man can't "lose" to men and women of color -- and non-Christians to boot.

This is the definition of "victory" in the end for Bush and Cheney: white men -- whatever their personal deficiencies -- can't lose. It is just not allowed.

But when you owned a plantation in the days of slavery, you weren't accountable to anyone but yourself -- and if a black slave got uppity, you just lashed or hung him.

A white man never lost. That is the heritage mindset of Cheney and Bush.

Personally, I take it a step further: We're all niggas to those bastards, pawns to be exploited in their evil game, the sources of blood and money in their quest for world domination.

In the same article are some quotes from the dear departed Molly Ivins, whose book "Bill of Wrongs" I'm currently reading.

Which brings us to the late Molly Ivins, who we had the pleasure to interview on BuzzFlash. In 2006, she wrote a column simply entitled: "I Will Not Support Hillary Clinton for President." Here it is:

What kind of courage does it take, for mercy's sake? The majority of the American people (55 percent) think the war in Iraq is a mistake and that we should get out. The majority (65 percent) of the American people want single-payer health care and are willing to pay more taxes to get it. The majority (86 percent) of the American people favor raising the minimum wage. The majority of the American people (60 percent) favor repealing Bush's tax cuts, or at least those that go only to the rich. The majority (66 percent) wants to reduce the deficit not by cutting domestic spending, but by reducing Pentagon spending or raising taxes.

The majority (77 percent) thinks we should do "whatever it takes" to protect the environment. The majority (87 percent) thinks big oil companies are gouging consumers and would support a windfall profits tax. That is the center, you fools. WHO ARE YOU AFRAID OF?

Do it all, go long, go for public campaign financing for Congress. I'm serious as a stroke about this -- that is the only reform that will work, and you know it, as well as everyone else who's ever studied this. Do all the goo-goo stuff everybody has made fun of all these years: embrace redistricting reform, electoral reform, House rules changes, the whole package. Put up, or shut up. Own this issue, or let Jack Abramoff politics continue to run your town.

Bush, Cheney and Co. will continue to play the patriotic bully card just as long as you let them. I've said it before: War brings out the patriotic bullies. In World War I, they went around kicking dachshunds on the grounds that dachshunds were "German dogs." They did not, however, go around kicking German shepherds. The MINUTE someone impugns your patriotism for opposing this war, turn on them like a snarling dog (my em) and explain what loving your country really means. That, or you could just piss on them elegantly (or not so elegantly - G), as Rep. John Murtha did. Or eviscerate them with wit (look up Mark Twain on the war in the Philippines). Or point out the latest in the endless "string of bad news."

Do not sit there cowering and pretending the only way to win is as Republican-lite. If the Washington-based party can't get up and fight, we'll find someone who can.

Much more, and I don't have much to add. Molly said it all.

*Apologies to Robert Heinlein.

Royalty of the Seas ...

A cruiser's wet dream. Cunard Line's 3 Queens, Elizabeth 2, Mary 2, and Victoria met off Liberty Island last night. Were it not a work day today, we would have gone to Mrs. F's office last night to watch the festivities. Too bad. That said, we'll be aboard Mary in a couple months, taking you with us to the Panama Canal and back.

Cross-posted at Worlds.

The Social Security 'problem' ...

Repeat after me: There - is - no - Social Security - problem. Dave Johnson explains, even through his questionable spelling ... heh:



1) Social Security and Medicare are not "welfare."
2) Social Security is not the problem. The problemis that the government owe money to Social Security. Reagan and then the Bushes borrowed money from the fund to give tax cuts to the rich, and now the fund wants sime of it back. (Clinton was paying it back.)


Remember Al Gore's 'lock box' that everybody had fun with? Yeah, well, if we wouldn't borrow from Peter to pay Paul, we wouldn't be worrying about the 'Social Security problem'. Maybe, if we didn't give everything to the rich and mortgage our future on a war for oil, we could actually overhaul the SSI program to give people enough to actually live on once they retire.

Truthfully, when the Mrs. and I put our retirement plan together about a decade ago, we didn't even factor Social Security into it. We went under the assumption that the politicians would have dismantled the last vestige of the New Deal by the time we were eligible to receive anything.

Just a question. If they do get rid of SSI, will I get a refund of all the money the Mrs. and I paid into it over the years? Just askin'.

Lazy niggaz ...

And 5-man African Roundball. I was wondering when the racist attacks on Obama by supposedly 'mainstream' commentators would begin. True to form, Karl Rove leads off. Amato takes a look:

... What imagery does that conjure up for you? Oh, the days of playing some hoops with his posse and working on his slam dunk ...

... Rove couldn’t help himself and had to bring in the “lazy effect” to describe Obama. Don’t vote for him because he’s soooo “lazy”—just like all minorities. Did he say Obama had a fence around his heart” somewhere in the op-ed? ...

The GOP of the 21st Century; racists, crooks, thieves, and liars.

Sunday, January 13, 2008


And I'm not talking about the Rethug primary in Michigan. I guess I got at theme going today, but it's nice to see the big automakers are finally getting the message:

DETROIT - Hybrids, advanced diesels and green alternatives are pushing aside the traditional displays of speed and chrome at this week's Detroit auto show, a nod to a new fuel-efficient reality for car makers.


"The No. 1 rule of auto shows is to not get lured in by the hype because a lot of it could be concept cars," said David Friedman, research director at the Union of Concerned Scientists' Clean Vehicle Program.

"But I do think that at least early signs are that this auto show may be different from the past and it may actually be giving a real good glimpse for some of the consumers of what might be out on the road in the next few years," he said. [my em]

People have been seeing the extremes in weather over the past few years (and the dramatic increase in the price of gas, and everything else) and they're screaming for good, fuel-efficient vehicles. Maybe this time the Americans might get in ahead of the curve.

Surfers Threaten 'The American Way'


PRINCETON BY THE SEA, CALIF. -- -- Mavericks, a rock-studded, once-secret surf spot named after a dog, looked for all the world Saturday like the Super Bowl of big wave riding as thousands of people streamed to this fishing hamlet to see two dozen surfers challenge one of the world's most dangerous breaks.

The event was broadcast on a large-screen TV at the beach with a ride-by-ride announcer, including instant replays, and at the Giants baseball stadium by the bay in San Francisco.

As the contestants took breathtaking drops and carved long lines across thundering waves, the area just to the south of them looked like McCovey Cove when Giants slugger Barry Bonds was chasing the all-time home run record. In addition to a flotilla of 50 party boats, there were several kayaks, spectator surfboards and a Coast Guard cutter.

Organizers said 250,000 people watched the contest on a Web cast and more than 1,000 paid to view it on the big screen at AT&T Park in San Francisco.

At the end of the day, the contestants chose the experience over money. "The sun was shining; there was no wind and plenty of swell. You could ask for nothing more," said the winner, Greg Long of San Clemente, who received $30,000.

"As we paddled out for the finals and were sitting there, we decided we would take the first through sixth-place money [$57,000] and divide it," he said. "The camaraderie was beyond anything I had experienced."

Not only is $57 large chump change for 1st through 6th place in a competition watched by 300,000 spectators, then the damn commie surfers decide amongst themselves to split the money!

I used to be a surfer, and I understand this sentiment, but the kind of idealism that puts love of the sport over love of money could ruin the runaway greed capitalism of sports, a microcosm of runaway greed all across corporate America!

And the reason that would be a bad idea is.......?

"There will be a signed peace treaty by the time I leave office."

We've been party to the widespread conjecture that The Chimp may not honor 20 January 2009 as his last day in office. In this article by Walter C. Uhler there's just the teensiest hint that propels said conjecture forward. A 'recommended read'.

Thus, with blood on his hands and with the need to appear relevant - while Americans flock to the polls to select a candidate, any candidate, to replace their disgraceful butcher of Baghdad - Bush meets with Palestinian Authority President Abbas and predicts: "There will be a signed peace treaty by the time I leave office." What an idiot!

Such words, alone, make you realize that Bush's prediction -- "There will be a signed peace treaty by the time I leave office." -- is pure bullshit. Bullshit that ranks right up there with "Mission Accomplished," and "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job."

If Bush follows the law, and he's got a great record on that, about the Constitutional (another great record) limit to his term of office, that would be absolutely true, and I hope it is, Mr. Uhler, but maybe that idiot is hinting that he knows something you don't. If it takes 40 years to get 'a signed peace treaty' and Bush is planning to stay in office until he's a little over a hundred years old, this could turn out to be the case.

Green China

Yes, they're still the biggest polluter but it's a good step forward:

BEIJING - Declaring war on the "white pollution" choking its cities, farms and waterways, China is banning free plastic shopping bags and calling for a return to the cloth bags of old — steps largely welcomed by merchants and shoppers on Wednesday.


As Chris (from whom I stole the link) says:


I never quite understand the right wing hostility to getting rid of plastic bags. You would think that people were asking them to turn in their best friend or something. Oh right...they're made from oil, I forgot.

And mechanics hate 'em because they get stuck on the exhaust when people run over 'em on the road and turn into a gooey mess. Have some of that shit drip on your skin (sorta like napalm without the fire, you can't get it off before it burns ya) and you'll hate 'em too, trust me.