Note to Subtitleman: Get a proofreader, dude...
Saturday, March 8, 2008
As women throughout the world gather to observe International Women’s Day on this, the 100th anniversary of the New York City Bread and Roses March, they do so in the face of a seemingly intractable culture of impunity that enables increasingly horrendous acts of violence against women.
In Kenya, women are being gang-raped in refugee camps. In Afghanistan, young girls are forced into marriage. In Mexico and Guatemala women continue to disappear, the victims of brutal rapes and murder. In Iraq, women are being indiscriminately killed in the name of male honor. In the U.S. military, women are more likely to be assaulted by their fellow soldiers than by any enemy. The list, truly, is endless.
This must be a day when we name and acknowledge the atrocities that are daily perpetrated against women throughout the world. It must be a day to honor our strength and wisdom and renew our commitment to ending these assaults on our lives.
As you observe International Women’s Day, please hold a special place in your hear for women who will be gathering despite the grave danger of doing so, particularly the women in the Kandahar province of Afghanistan who are planning a march and the brave women celebrating in Iraq who tell us, “There will be no civil society without liberated women.”
With strength, with wisdom, with solidarity.
Well, there's certainly going to be no civilized society until we can do away with the horrific side effects of testosterone that make men feel the need to dominate.
Remember, 'macho' is a Spanish word for 'mule' with all the good sense and brains that suggests.
Rep. Rick Renzi, R-Ariz., allegedly defrauded dozens of pro-life organizations for hundreds of thousands of dollars to fund his first congressional bid, according to an analysis of the recent indictment against him, a state insurance claim and an interview with an insurance lawyer involved in the case.
Yup, the party of 'moral values' spits up another one. And I love the people who say McCain would be their second choice to Obama. Are you masochists? Are you that gullible? Are you that stupid?
Regardless of Hillary's baggage, her nasty campaign, anything you want to name, either Dem in the Presidency is better than McCain, period. We cannot take another four years of Republicans like this. America can't withstand it.
Eighty-two percent of the 2.4 million people displaced inside Iraq are women and young children under the age of 12. Many mothers have lost their husbands in the sectarian violence that has torn the nation apart. But in the face of adversity, they are proving to be true heroines.
These stories, collected by women’s organisations in Iraq ahead of International Women’s Day on March 8, give a rare insight into how Iraqi widows are helping their families survive while retaining their dignity in times of extreme suffering.
Our hands are permanently stained with these people's blood. Our faux Christians here like to talk a lot about sin. What we've done to Iraq is one of the biggest sins we, as a nation, have ever committed.
Friday, March 7, 2008
The arrest of notorious arms dealer Viktor Bout is apparently "fallout resulting from escalating tensions in South America," but the Los Angeles Times notes that the prospect of a public trial is complicated by his "controversial role in supplying the American military effort in Iraq," an aspect of his career that elicits surprise on NPR.
The title of the NPR post is, "Merchant of Death, Lord of War". The Bush administration is the largest arms dealer in the world and has no room to talk. They do have more guns and power than anybody else.
That's what they used to say about Al Capone, too.
1) Hillary Lieberman Clinton sided with McCain over Obama. My God Almighty! Has she lost her fuckin' mind?
2) Her stooge Wolfson invoking Obama as Ken Starr. That's a fuckin' minefield fulla exploding dog shit! Yeah, blowed-up and stinkin' is my idea of a day at the beach!
3) It's lookin' like the Clinton campaign actually did the Canuckistan NAFTA-gate deal themselves and some clown in the PM's office tried to pin it on Obama. It looks as well like it's backfiring right in her face.
4) The Rovian 3AM fearmongering. What a buncha shit. The White House operator who actually answers the phone will notify her supervisor who will call everybody on Earth to try to find somebody who can make the decision and has balls enough to actually wake the President. 3 AM? Shit, the way that joint works, the news'll probably get to the Prez during his, yes, it's lookin' like his is going to be the right word, second cup of coffee anyway. Just how fuckin' scared and stupid do you think we are anyway? Put it on hold, sister.
5) Making Obama blacker in an ad. That's just scummy racism. Clinton should just plain know better than that.
6) Claiming the delegates from MI and FL as-is. Go read what Brother Jack says about this one. This is a pistol and a 'must read'. Read the 'comments' too:
If Hillary Gets To Claim Michigan And Florida, Denver Will Burn
I'm gonna say this much. If she gets to claim those delegates as-is, it's over. If its thug politics you want, then that's cool, just let me know, because I can bring out the thug. You want to destroy my candidate with dirty politics? Fine. You want to hide behind "35 years of experience," go ahead.
But you do not get to fuck with my vote. Ya hear me!? YOU DO NOT.
I ain't the only one who's pissed-off.
C'mon Hil, knock off the cheap shit while we've still got an opposition party to try to get rid of the damn criminals in high office! Better yet, concede now. Too bad about yer supposed 'entitlement' to the Oval Office not workin' out as easy as it was supposed to, but it ain't about you, ya Sacred Cow, it's about whatever future this country's still got.
I will vote for Hillary in the increasingly unlikely event she gets the nomination, but now I will have to hold my nose.
A Talking Points Memo headline says, "Can The GOP Hold Onto Hastert's Old Seat?" Feel free to come up with your own scurrilous, off-color, innuendo-ridden punchline.
Well now, there's a 'Bleach Alert' if ever there was one! Never content to leave well enough alone, I ran across a map of IL-14. I was struck by two things - 1) It looks just like the county I live in, except they got I-39 instead of the spine of the Sierra Nevada, and 2) Anybody who can't make a, er, limp attempt at their own scurrilous, off-color, innuendo-ridden punchline AKA 'cheap joke' ain't tryin'!
...when bad things have happened to the economy over the past 20 years, guess who was in office?
20 years, shit! More like 80...
This video is courtesy of a Canuckistanian who goes by 'lewdite'. Heh.
The United States is to seek the extradition of fugitive Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, arrested in Bangkok and charged Thursday with conspiring to sell millions of dollars' worth of weapons.
Personally, I think this soulless scumbag would do better spending the rest of his life (whatever that amounts to) in a Thai jail.
CAYMAN ISLANDS - Kellogg Brown & Root, the nation's top Iraq war contractor and until last year a subsidiary of Halliburton Corp., has avoided paying hundreds of millions of dollars in federal Medicare and Social Security taxes by hiring workers through shell companies based in this tropical tax haven.
More than 21,000 people working for KBR in Iraq - including about 10,500 Americans - are listed as employees of two companies that exist in a computer file on the fourth floor of a building on a palm-studded boulevard here in the Caribbean. Neither company has an office or phone number in the Cayman Islands.
I gotta set up a shell company in the Caymans and make the Mrs. and me consultants to our respective professions. Have our bosses mail our checks to the shell company and they can pay us, thus obviating the need for us to pay U.S. taxes (let alone NYC and NYS taxes). Hell, I'll even buy a building and a phone to make it look really legit. Why should the filthy rich get all the breaks? Oh yeah, they're Republicans ...
Great thanks to Maru for the link.
Thursday, March 6, 2008
Anyway, after the appointment I decided to treat myself to lunch at a local pizza joint. I snuck up on 'em so they didn't have time to get the "all-you-can-eat-one-low-price" sign down. Heh.
I like to do that once in a great while. It's cheaper than buyin' a pizza, and every slice is different. I can always eat enough pizza to get my money's worth.
The 7th slice was a rare slice of life. While I was chowin' down, in walk three Marines and a high school kid. It was pretty obvious out here in the middle of effin' nowhere that these were recruiters with a
Two of the Jarheads sat at a table with the kid. The third Marine sat at a nearby table between the kid and the door. Heh. He's the one that went and ordered their lunch and took it to the table, so I think he was new and gettin' some OJT. They were wearing tanker jackets with no rank insignia, which means they weren't officers, but I could see from the blood stripes on their trousers that they were NCOs.
it's an indication of how the services are struggling to get warm bodies. Nobody ever bought me no fuckin' lunch before I signed on the dotted line! And not much of one afterward unless you count the bus station spaghetti, which was about all an issue meal ticket would cover.
Now, I wear a 'U.S. Marines' ball cap most of the time. This is both to express my pride of service and to give anybody who sees my bumper stickers and wants to call me a traitor time to rethink that a little. I was going to have to walk right past these guys to leave the restaurant. Should I say something? Should I not? I decided on a 'Semper Fi' as I went by just to be polite and that to be it.
My plans be damned. On my way out, the youngest Marine at the separate table saw my cover, rose to his feet and extended his hand, which I shook. I kinda thought he was going to drop me like a bad habit before I could holler "Run fer yer life!" to the recruit, but I beat him to it.
"I'll shove the kid off the edge for ya," I said in my best drill field whisper, "If he don't do it, he'll never know."
The Jarhead smiled at me and just said "Thank you".
Do I feel bad for saying something that might tip a kid into joining the Marine Corps in this time of a really bad war?
Hell no. Most of the Marines these days and hopefully from here on out are going to go to Afghanistan. That was the right war, so I'm in accord.
Besides, if a young man is going to join the Corps, nothing on Earth can stop him. If it could, they wouldn't want him. I wasn't the fool who sat that kid down with the recruiters. He was.
Best of luck, kid. We've all been where you're going. Maybe when you're an old fart like me, and still a Marine, you can pass it forward and screw over some other kid like I did to you. Trust me, you'll enjoy it.
And lest I forget, Semper Fi.
Well, well, well. Look at the snarling beast that’s threatening to rear its head this summer in Denver:
Still, the anonymous veteran in Perlstein’s post raises an interesting idea. I mean, rule of law is a wonderful thing, but it serves those who make the laws. What if people who have simply had enough of the same-old-same-old were to run amok at the DNC like they did in 1968?
It’s worth noting that the elites in both parties have collaborated, for the past seven years, on the greatest campaign of terror the US has seen since McCarthy. Yes, al Qaeda gave Americans a good goosing, but their impact was nothing compared to the resulting 24/7 fearfest visited on the citizenry by the Republican and Democratic parties ever since. A terrified public has been good for the elites because fear makes people manageable, malleable, herdable. In short, we’re in an era where the people are afraid and their leaders are not.
How’s that working out for you, America?
But hordes of angry rabble rampaging through the streets in protest, that would have to be at least a little scary, you’d think. And I wonder how a bit of genuine fear might impact the official actions of serial malfeasers (is that a word?) like Pelosi, Clinton, Reid, Reyes, and 99% of the Republican Party. Hard to say, but what are they going to do about it? Suspend habeas corpus? Conspire with their corporate allies to illegally wiretap the public? Start outing CIA agents? Invade nations that had nothing to do with 9/11?
I'd fuckin' love to see '68 redux in Denver! Trouble is, there's no draft, no big societal change goin' on, no mass student movement against the war, nobody much against anything to speak of enough to get off their dead asses and go do it.
More's the pity. This country is in a lot more danger from within than it was back then.
Torrent in Colorado river is unleashed to aid fish
Yeah, right. Most of the 'fish' live or vacation in too-rapidly-expanding waterless Las Vegas.
What they need to do is dynamite (Fixer?) the Glen Canyon Dam. It never should have been built in the first place.
A revolution is justified! Since King John signed the Magna Carta, no monarch in our tradition has successfully assumed powers that are now claimed and assumed by the Bush/Cheney regime.
Bush could not have placed himself above the law without help from Republicans of all stripes as well as timely betrayals and sellouts by key Democrats. Without effective opposition, Bush-Cheney were able to assume a "unitary executive", a dubious doctrine without precedent in either American history or English Common Law to which we are heir. This Republican-birthed 'doctrine' --utter claptrap --places Bush above regulation, above oversight or supervision, above the decisions of the courts, including the Supreme Court, above laws passed by Congress, above responsibility to the people. It is treasonous on its face. Tragically, I don't hear the candidates talking about this. All I hear from the 'candidates' is eyewash, focus group approved monkey chatter, platitudes and bullshit!
These are reason enough to forever bar the GOP from positions of responsibility and that includes John McCain --the biggest political disappointment since Dan Quayle compared himself to JFK. Historically, revolutions are fought for considerably less than what is at stake now!
The piece is quite long and well worth a read.
Buckley was an astute observer of the human condition, despite keeping, shall we say, a certain polite distance from most of the poor humans who happen to find themselves stuck in that sometimes challenging condition. He was once asked by NPR’s Terry Gross whether being raised in European boarding schools and being a member of Yale’s notoriously elitist Skull and Bones Society hadn’t left Buckley a trifle, um, out of touch with real people (the hoi polloi, that is, as they’re referred to at the Club)? Au contraire!, he skillfully parried. Buckley did a lot of reading and therefore understood people quite well!
So well, indeed, that he came out in support of segregation during the era when the civil rights movement was the most important, the most consuming, political question of the day. So who do you think history will judge to have gotten this question right, eh? – Martin Luther King or Bill Buckley? One could say that Buckley’s position was just about the most spectacular example ever recorded of the missing of a historical train. There was Ol’ Bill (who actually didn’t even have the excuse then of being old), standing on the (whites only) platform, watching the Morality Express go whooshing by.
But then, wasn’t missing just such trains precisely the point of conservatism?
Sometimes they have only wanted to unravel a couple of decades worth of history, as when they oppose civil rights, women’s rights or environmentalism. Sometimes it is more on the order of a century, as when they seek to dismantle social safety net programs like Social Security and Medicare. Sometimes their handiwork goes back several centuries, as when they find First Amendment ideas such as separation of church and state to be troublesome, or when they object to that whole pesky checks-and-balances thing. But sometimes it is the work of an entire millennium they wish to unravel, as they rip up the inconvenient notions of democracy itself, expressed as far back as the Magna Carta.
So, how ‘bout it folks? Anybody here excited to return our society to the gleaming days of the twelfth century? Watch where you step in the street! I mean, um, the latrine. Well, what’s the difference, anyhow? And monarchy is really not so bad after all, you know – once you get used to it. It only has a bad name because it gets treated so unfairly by the liberal press. You know, like George W. Bush.
So let’s do it, huh?! Back we go!
All you nice Negroes out there, I’m afraid we’re going to need to ask you to use that other drinking fountain from now on. Sorry about that. Careful with your chains too, if you would please. And ladies, I think you remember your proper position in conservative society, do you not? That’s right. Take off your shoes – you won’t be needing them anymore. Now assume the position. Careers? Oh, that’s a laugh. Political equality? Such a comedian! Family planning? How’s your rhythm?
They say he died at his desk, about to write another essay. Maybe it was entitled “The Achievements of My Life As A Conservative”. And maybe it was sitting there staring at that very, very blank page that killed him.
The damage wrought by people who believed this man will be with us for generations.
Kinda like Christ and Muhammad, huh?
One day after the Disaster Monkey "warned OPEC" to pump more oil in order to bring prices down, oil prices reached a new record as OPEC "refused to increase its production, blaming mismanagement of the U.S. economy for high prices."
Thank you, Dumbass McSimpleton.
Now, let's see. Exxon/Mobil made what, $500 billion in profits last year? Somehow, I don't think it's the fault of OPEC that gas prices are so high. Do you?
Late for work ...
NEW YORK - Police have cordoned off a section of New York City's Times Square to investigate what witnesses describe as a small explosion.
Members of the police department's bomb squad and fire officials gathered early Thursday outside a military recruiting station with a large hole in the front window.
Okay, listen to me. This was not the work of al-Qaeda. This is some idiot, pissed off at the war, who's trying to make a statement. Nothing to see here, move along. Only thing is, this will fuck up the morning commute for about a half-million New Yorkers by the time the NYPD looks everything over.
Note: This is not the way to affect change. All it does is screw your neighbors.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates has called CENTCOM commander Adm. William Fallon “one of the best strategic thinkers in uniform today.” Fallon opposed the “surge” in Iraq and has consistently battled the Bush administration to avoid a confrontation with Iran, calling officials’ war-mongering “not helpful.” Privately, he has vowed that an attack on Iran “will not happen on my watch.”...
[W]ell-placed observers now say that it will come as no surprise if Fallon is relieved of his command before his time is up next spring, maybe as early as this summer, in favor of a commander the White House considers to be more pliable. If that were to happen, it may well mean that the president and vice-president intend to take military action against Iran before the end of this year and don’t want a commander standing in their way.
How else would they support War-boy McCain?
Digby looks at this too and thinks Fallon is critical to keeping us out of another illegal war. It's scary to think we're depending on a flag officer to prevent a war but I guess the Chimp didn't get around to cashiering all of the decent ones:
If the Republicans want to shoot the moon to win in November, this is the likliest course. Start a new war and rely on the "rally round the flag" effect. It's hard to imagine they could go to that well again, but never underestimate paranoia and the lure of patriotic grandeur and big ratings to push the country into temporary insanity.
And, as you all know, you can never underestimate the collective stupid of the American public.
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
Dear Potential Democratic Presidential Nominees:
In January 1941, at a time when the world was at war and the United States was more threatened than we had ever been in our history, FDR stood before the US Congress and hailed freedom from fear. That remains the paradigm of Democratic leadership in a threatening world.
When a politician looks at risks to our country and sees an opportunity for political exploitation, rather than an opportunity to rally the nation around our unified strength and fearlessness, that politician spits in the face of Democratic leadership and patriotic values.
If there's one thing we ought to have learned from the George W. Bush presidency, it's that there's a difference between Democrats and Republicans on whether the American people should be encouraged to cower in fear.
If you don't get that fundamental difference between Democratic values and Republican values right now? You shouldn't get the Democratic nomination for President. In fact, you probably should get the freak out of the Democratic party.
Your humble servant,
Melanie Morgan canned from KSFO
Morgan, 51, delivered her final broadcast there today after 14 years at the microphone, she says in a news release. KSFO owner Citadel Broadcasting decided not to renew her contract as part of the company’s announced across-the-board financial cost cutting.
I'll bet the skank sues for revealing her age! Heh.
The 'cost cutting' excuse is the corporate equivalent of 'wants to spend more time with her family'.
Go see what Spocko, the San Francisco blogger who’d convinced advertisers to pull their accounts from KSFO by reposting controversial sound clips from Morgan and her cohosts, has to say about Morgan’s layoff.
This a case where a little grassroots action against wingnut vitriol paid off. As long as yer bullshit's makin' money, you're gold. When it fucks with the bottom line, hit the bricks.
This does not make up for the loss of an actual journalist, and there's lots more hateful wingnut radio assholes, but it's something at least.
And it's not the candidates personally. I give a shit which one wins at this point. I just can't stand a couple more months of the pundits' drivel. We were watching Wolfie last night and Mrs. F said to me: "You know, none of those idiots (the pundits) seem to know what they're talking about."
"No shit," I reply. They were talking about the demographics, who'll vote for whom, and they were going on and on 'Black people - Obama, Latinos - Hillary, Women - mixed' and on and on. 'If this happens when and where, if A wins by a landslide and B does it in a squeaker ...'
I told the Mrs. I was hoping, one by one, the pundits' heads would explode, live on TV. Bill Schnieder, kablooey. Candy Crowley, kablooey. Dana Bash, kablooey. Saving, of course, The Beard for last, just as he's about to throw to Jack, big kablooey. I'da been sitting in front of the TV, clapping my hands, laughing maniacally.
I can't wait until it's over. I'm losing my fucking mind.
Addendum: We're watching McCain's acceptance speech and Mrs. F says "He looks like a pathetic old fool. He's just as bad as Bush."
I hope a lot of other people who aren't as 'politically wired' as bloggers see him that way too.
KKOB Radio afternoon drive time news anchor Laura MacCallum quit her job last Thursday after the station’s news director pulled her stories about alleged vote-buying efforts at the recent Bernalillo County Republican Party delegate nominating conventions.
But here’s the best part: one of the reasons cited by the station manager for not running the story is because it “would have been picked up by bloggers” and other news agencies if it was valid.
These are the same people who take their talking points from Drudge. The bright side is they're scared of us. I love it how, over the last decade, the media takes it upon themselves (with coaching from the Rethugs) to decide what we should see and what we don't.
Greenwald is thinking along the same lines:
Oh, absolutely. Nothing changes press behavior more than accusations that they're "in the tank" for someone. After all, it's only been eight short years since the national press corps fell in love with then-candidate George W. Bush, depicted him as the swaggering, friendly, regular, down-home American male with whom you'd want to have a beer -- unlike that pompous, annoying, boring liar, Al Gore.
Once they got him elected, they then proceeded to click their heels and loyally salute for the next several years or so in the presence of the manly Commander-in-Chief War Hero, as they unquestioningly marched behind him into Iraq, mindlessly trumpeting every word that came out of his mouth, too afraid (according to the NYT's Elisabeth Bumiller) even to ask him questions, and abdicating every basic journalistic duty to such an extent that they voluntarily inflicted on the country what Salon's Gary Kamiya called "one of the greatest collapses in the history of the American media."
After that, they swooned in unison over how manly and powerful the Leader was when he pranced around that aircraft carrier declaring -- five years ago -- that we had Won the War. They then spent the 2004 election season glorifying the Conquering War Hero while mocking his opponent as a wind-surfing, flip-flopping, French subversive loser and his running mate as a vain, hair-obsessed, effeminate weakling. The next few years were spent overlooking, justifying and dismissing away revelations that the President had tortured people, broken the law repeatedly, spied on Americans without warrants, promulgated theories of presidential omnipotence, sent detainees to other countries to be abused, and had his top officials repeatedly and transparently lie to Congress.
And on it goes for your 'liberal media'. By the time the Dem primary is settled, McCain will have been the one to fly CAP* for Jesus when he walked on the water and provided air cover for George Washington when he crossed the River Delaware.
*Combat Air Patrol
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
We are living in a uniquely teachable moment, one that has not occurred in a generation, where a Democratic candidate has the opportunity to remind people that all of the values and attributes of the United States that we consider good are liberal.
According to current political wisdom, John McCain is "controversial" among Republicans because he lacks true conservative credentials. His main offenses, ostensibly, are a smattering of domestic-policy positions that defy the GOP's Limbaugh-Hannity orthodoxy: He took a public stand against the Spanish Inquisition, he shared a room with Ted Kennedy for a few hours to fashion a failed immigration bill, he passed a roundly criticized campaign-finance-reform bill, he accidentally deemed the Bush tax cuts insane out loud before realizing that this was a political error.
...skanky bitch-whore Ann Coulter...
To me, though, what's strangest of all is how irrelevant such positions seem when it comes to McCain. For all of his supposed unreliability in the domestic arena, McCain may be even more crazy than the Republican mainstream on the issue that matters most of all: the war in Iraq and war in general. My guess is that Republican voters are not going to mind that McCain's candidacy might drive a stake through the heart of the weenie fascism of Rush and Hannity, once they figure out that the candidate is a solid bet to deliver them World War III. And that should scare the shit out of us all.
No matter how moderate McCain seems on domestic issues, on the issue of war he's stark raving mad. He's a wounded, crusading Ahab, and civilian command and diplomatic restraint are his Great White Whale. If he gets put in charge of a Middle Eastern war that is easily widened, it's whirlpool time for all of us.
That idea — the principle of fighting first, thinking later and never, ever saying sorry — is what matters most to conservatives, and John McCain may be its last line of defense. If he fights hard enough to save it, you can bet that even Ann Coulter will come around to supporting him.
The Repug bastards will support the Devil himself, and not for the first time either, to try and hang on to the power to ruin our country.
Good and extensive article in Vanity Fair about how Bush has compounded the Israel/Palestinian/Hamas/Fatah clusterfuck.
It’s “a tough situation,” Bush admitted. “I don’t know whether you can solve it in a year or not.” What Bush neglected to mention was his own role in creating this mess.
Vanity Fair has obtained confidential documents, since corroborated by sources in the U.S. and Palestine, which lay bare a covert initiative, approved by Bush and implemented by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Deputy National Security Adviser Elliott Abrams, to provoke a Palestinian civil war. The plan was for forces led by Dahlan, and armed with new weapons supplied at America’s behest, to give Fatah the muscle it needed to remove the democratically elected Hamas-led government from power. (The State Department declined to comment.)
Some sources call the scheme “Iran-contra 2.0,” recalling that Abrams was convicted (and later pardoned) for withholding information from Congress during the original Iran-contra scandal under President Reagan. There are echoes of other past misadventures as well: the C.I.A.’s 1953 ouster of an elected prime minister in Iran, which set the stage for the 1979 Islamic revolution there; the aborted 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion, which gave Fidel Castro an excuse to solidify his hold on Cuba; and the contemporary tragedy in Iraq.
“Everyone was against the elections,” Dahlan says. Everyone except Bush. “Bush decided, ‘I need an election. I want elections in the Palestinian Authority.’ Everyone is following him in the American administration, and everyone is nagging Abbas, telling him, ‘The president wants elections.’ Fine. For what purpose?”
The elections went forward as scheduled. On January 25, Hamas won 56 percent of the seats in the Legislative Council.
Few inside the U.S. administration had predicted the result, and there was no contingency plan to deal with it. “I’ve asked why nobody saw it coming,” Condoleezza Rice told reporters. “I don’t know anyone who wasn’t caught off guard by Hamas’s strong showing.”
“Everyone blamed everyone else,” says an official with the Department of Defense. “We sat there in the Pentagon and said, ‘Who the fuck recommended this?’ ”
Legal or not, arms shipments soon began to take place. In late December 2006, four Egyptian trucks passed through an Israeli-controlled crossing into Gaza, where their contents were handed over to Fatah. These included 2,000 Egyptian-made automatic rifles, 20,000 ammunition clips, and two million bullets. News of the shipment leaked, and Benjamin Ben-Eliezer, an Israeli Cabinet member, said on Israeli radio that the guns and ammunition would give Abbas “the ability to cope with those organizations which are trying to ruin everything”—namely, Hamas.
Jaberi pauses. He spent the night before our interview awake and in hiding, fearful of Israeli air strikes. “You know,” he says, “since the takeover, we’ve been trying to enter the brains of Bush and Rice, to figure out their mentality. We can only conclude that having Hamas in control serves their overall strategy, because their policy was so crazy otherwise.”
It is impossible to say for sure whether the outcome in Gaza would have been any better—for the Palestinian people, for the Israelis, and for America’s allies in Fatah—if the Bush administration had pursued a different policy. One thing, however, seems certain: it could not be any worse.
"It could not be any worse". Bush's legacy.
...I appreciate the fact that you really snatched defeat out of the jaws of those who are trying to defeat us in Iraq.
-President George W. Bush, to Army Lieutenant General Ray Odierno
I read that as "we don't need nobody to defeat us - we can do it ourselves without any outside help".
With the Chimp in charge, it's a slam dunk. For real this time.
Video of the imbecile if you can stand it, and comments here.
As Hillary Clinton battles to keep her presidential bid alive, she may be getting help from an unlikely source: conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh.
Needless to say, the pill-head, festering boil on the ass of America has his own reasons why, none of which are helpful to Dems.
I want Hillary to stay in this…this is too good a soap opera," Limbaugh told fellow conservative talk-show host Laura Ingraham on Fox News Friday. He reiterated the comments on his Monday show and replayed the exchange with Ingram.
There is a special place in Hell for Lintball and his cronies.
Now I'm going to work.
... I didn’t think Tweety would give the Hagee story a mention. He brought up the name of Farrakhan numerous times when he talked about Obama and was all over Hillary today, but still silence on Hagee ...
Yeah, Chris can't get the words past McCain's balls. All the pundits are showing their true colors now that the general election race is getting closer. Can't upset the Rethug money machine, can we?
Howie "The Whore" Kurtz gets in on the suckfest:
So according to Kurtz, the media has given "scant attention" to the Obama/Farrakhan matter even though Obama has never had anything to do with Farrakhan, and "little pickup" to the fact that Obama met once (ten years ago) with two Chicago law professors who were Weather Underground members 40 years ago. But the most beloved media figure in decades, John McCain, this week openly embraces one of the most extreme haters in the country, says how "honored" and "proud" he is to have his endorsement, and that still hasn't made Howie Kurtz's column.
They're all lined up to kiss the prom queen ... so to speak.
Off to work.
Monday, March 3, 2008
A particular USMC sniper was really good at his job, because he had devised an interesting method for drawing insurgents out into range.
He would yell out some insult at the enemy and when someone stood up to reply, Bang! One less insurgent!
After every mission his company commander would ask him, 'How many insurgents have you shot today?'
One particular day when asked about the number killed, he reported 'Five killed and I let one go.'
'Let one go?' roared the company commander. 'What do you mean, you let one go?'
'Well, I got myself dug in and yelled out 'Osama is a Homo!' This big insurgent popped up and yelled 'Bush is a bastard!'
'I just couldn't bring myself to shoot a fellow Democrat.'
Yep - Unity!
Click to emlargendepetulantsmirkin'
On the bill it says, "What used to cost 50 cents now costs two bucks thanks to asswipe. In addition, two also matches his IQ!"
What struck me as particularly funny is that the $2 bill is known to us old farts as the 'whorehouse bill' because that's what basic services in such time-honored establishments used to cost. It takes a platinum credit card to get laid these days.
Thanks, Georgie, for making the cost of everything go up. If there was ever the perfect denomination bill to put your smirkin' mug on, it's the 'whorehouse bill'.
In yesterday's news conference, President Bush sharply attacked Sen. Barack Obama's (D-IL) argument that the president "should never fear to negotiate" with America's enemies. Bush told reporters:
It will send a discouraging message to those who wonder whether America will continue to work for the freedom of prisoners. It will give great status to those who have suppressed human rights and human dignity. [...]
Sitting down at the table, having your picture taken with a tyrant such as Raul Castro, for example, lends the status of the office and the status of our country to him. He gains a lot from it by saying, look at me, I'm now recognized by the President of the United States.
Perhaps Bush forgot all the times that he sat down and had his picture taken with leaders of questionable human rights credentials:
I guess it's different if he poses with 'leaders of questionable human rights credentials' that he's paying to be his 'friends'.
Not only does Bush talk outta both sides of his mouth and out his ass, he also talks outta his neck.
What. An. Asshole.
In his effort to curry favor with conservative Republican activists, John McCain has worked hard to cuddle up to Religious Right leaders. But voters should know who exactly he’s been courting.
I just love the sexual references! McCain has obviously adopted a, er, wider stance in his efforts to get the christofascist ragged fringe
This week McCain campaigned with Rod Parsley, founder and president of “The Center for Moral Clarity” and leader of the right-wing “Patriot Pastors” (a church based campaign that was infamous for referring to political opponents as “secular jihadists,” the “forces of darkness,” and the “hordes of hell.”)
Just yesterday, he accepted the support of John Hagee, founder of “Christians United For Israel” and a vocal supporter of preemptive, religious war with Iran.
Rod Parsley, whom McCain has called a “spiritual guide” has in the past:
Called hate crimes legislation a “deceptive ploy of [the] liberal, homosexual agenda.”
Not one to make a right-wing supporter feel left out, McCain said, “I am very proud to have Pastor John Hagee’s support.” Hagee has:
Several, but one I've never heard of before:
Claimed that George Washington designed the Great Seal of the United States to include a hidden menorah in the eagle’s tail feathers.
There's such a thing as 'just plain crazy', and then there's 'batshit crazy'. McCain sure knows how to pick 'em.
“For a man the media loves to call a maverick, McCain sure spends a lot of time holding hands with the Religious Right,” said People For the American Way Political Director Mary Jean Collins. “McCain’s embracing Parsley and Hagee is a sign that either he’s changed his mind about what constitutes an ‘agent of intolerance’ or he’s decided that a little extremism in pursuit of power is no vice.”
I think McCain knows he's going to lose, and is hoping against hope that he can pull it out of his ass if he gets enough lunatic fringies on his side.
It's a damning indication of how poorly things have gone for the United States during its five-year misadventure in Iraq that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad can drive in broad daylight though this war-ravaged city and spend the night at the presidential palace, but George W. Bush can't.
Nearly 4,000 American soldiers have died since the war began in 2003, but Iraq's U.S.-backed government warmly welcomed Washington's No. 1 enemy with flowers and a band.
Yesterday's visit was even more significant given the acrimonious history between Iran and Iraq, which fought a long and bloody war from 1980 to 1988 that left upwards of a million people dead and saw the first battlefield use of chemical weapons since the First World War. The United States backed Iraq, which was ruled at the time by Saddam Hussein, with weapons and money during the war.
"If people in Washington are surprised [at the reception for Mr. Ahmadinejad] it's because they didn't understand what they were getting into."
Sometimes I wonder if Bush, Cheney, et al realize deep down just how badly they done fucked up and just won't admit it.
Pentagon: When Surge Ends, There Will Be 8,000 More U.S. Troops Than Before
After all have been withdrawn, there will be 50,000 left.
Bush: We're Not in Recession
Cites strong yacht sales
Report: 1 in 100 American Adults in Jail
Everyone else under house arrest.
Vatican Exhibit Reveals Secrets of Spanish Inquisition
Apparently it began with illegal eavesdropping.
The FISC is a classically Kafka-esque court that operates in total secrecy. Only the Government, and nobody else, is permitted to attend, participate, and make arguments. Only the Government is permitted to access or know about the decisions issued by that court. Rather than the judges being assigned randomly and therefore fairly, they are hand-picked by the Chief Justice (who has been a GOP-appointee since FISA was enacted) and are uniformly the types of judges who evince great deference to the Government. As a result, the FISA court has been notorious for decades for mindlessly rubber-stamping every single Government request to eavesdrop on whomever they want. Just look at this chart (h/t Arthur Silber) for the full, absurd picture.
Yet now, embracing this secret, one-sided, slavishly pro-government court defines the outermost liberal or "pro-civil-liberty" view permitted in our public discourse. And indeed, as reports of imminent (and entirely predictable) House Democratic capitulation on the FISA bill emerge, the FISA court is now actually deemed by the establishment to be too far to the Left -- too much of a restraint on our increasingly omnipotent surveillance state. Anyone who believes that we should at the very least have those extremely minimal -- really just symbolic -- limitations on our Government's ability to spy on us in secret is now a far Leftist.
Hey, if you're not guilty, you've got nothing to hide, right? Unless you're one of those Islamocommiehomobabykilling-ist progressives. See, Joe McCarthy was a genius!
McCain was, in fact, a prisoner of war for around five-and-a-half years, during which time he was tortured repeatedly. Referring to his time in captivity, Steinem said with bewilderment, "I mean, hello? This is supposed to be a qualification to be president? I don't think so."
Steinem’s broader argument was that the media and the political world are too admiring of militarism in all its guises.
"I am so grateful that she [Clinton] hasn’t been trained to kill anybody. And she probably didn’t even play war games as a kid. It's a great relief from Bush in his jump suit and from Kerry saluting."
I'll say this though, putting Bush's (or McCain's) military record up against Kerry's and both come up lacking.
Shit, if being able kill somebody is a qualification for being President, I'm in. The US government spent a lot of your money teaching me how to kill people quickly and efficiently, and that makes me ready for the Presidency? Who knew? Anybody got a couple hundred million I can borrow?
I think I'm gonna redecorate the Oval Office. That carpet has got to go. Heh ...
Sunday, March 2, 2008
Top officials from the US-supported Iraqi government welcomed Ahmadinejad with hugs and kisses on a trip that opens a new phase between former enemies which fought a bitter war in the 1980s.
The televised lovefest was enough to give supporters of US President George W. Bush a seizure.
Bitchin'! I get this warm fuzzy visual of 'em going stiff as a board and doing a perfect heel pivot straight back 90° into the supine position. One bounce, tops. Ahhh...
After a red-carpet welcome at President Jalal Talabani's Baghdad residence, Ahmadinejad travelled to the heart of the US presence in Iraq -- the Green Zone citadel -- for talks with Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.
Whaddya wanta bet the local mortar- and rocket men got the day off in honor of the visit?
At Maliki's office, Ahmadinejad took a verbal swipe at Bush, who on Saturday accused him of "exporting terror".
Ahmadinejad's response: "Bush cannot solve US problems in the region by accusing others. Gone is the era of accusations. The Iraqi nation does not want the US.
"Six years ago there was no terrorism in our region. As soon as strangers (the Americans) put their foot in the region, the terrorists came here," he said.
One mouthy little fuck lippin' off at another. Ahmadinejad's righter than Bush, though.
Joost Hiltermann, a Middle East analyst with the International Crisis Group, said the Iranians were profiting from the US presence in Iraq.
"The Iranians were very happy that the regime of Saddam Hussein was removed," said Hiltermann. "They were just not happy that it was done by the Americans."
Yet for all the rhetoric, if the US forces went home, Iran would have to fill the security void. "For all practical purposes they want the Americans to stay, they just don't want them to succeed," Hiltermann said.
Well, Bush is big help to Iran here. He'll have the U.S. stay, and we'll succeed when pigs fly.
(Juan) Cole instead sees US complaints against Iran as part of a game of influence over the leading Iraqi players. "I see the whole thing as a jealous girlfriend story," he said.
The Iraqis know that the US presence is "here today, gone tomorrow," Hiltermann said, while their relationship with Iran has been "forged by history and geography, and will be forever".
'Gone tomorrow' is fine with me. The Iraqis'll settle their problems a lot quicker if their phony government's ATM leaves. Might be a lotta hash get settled in the process. So be it. Let 'em get after it.
I'd still like to see Bush and Ahmadinejad do a 'two men enter, one man leave' steel cage deal in speedos. Ha!
(02-29) 17:35 PST SAN FRANCISCO -- A federal judge in San Francisco who had ordered the shutdown of a whistle-blowers' Web site where private bank documents were posted changed his mind Friday, conceding his original ruling might not have been constitutional.
I guess the judge would rather reverse himself than have the state court of appeals do it.
As he announced his ruling, White observed that he was encountering "a definite disconnect between the evolution of our constitutional jurisprudence and modern technology."
Thanks for pullin' yer head outta yer ass, Your Honor. Bright out here in the 21st century ain't it?
The video is from the PBS documentary "The Women Of Rockabilly", but a good bit of the b&w TV is from Town Hall Party, which was on live from Long Beach*, California, for years. When I was a kid, I'd stay up after the parental units retired and sneak downstairs and watch it. I might have seen this live.
*In my research, I discovered a discrepancy. The sources say it was done in Compton. I remember it as being from Long Beach. Mox nix. The two towns aren't very far apart. I'd like to see 'em do a show like this from Compton these days! Heh.
One of the featured artists who was a big influence on Ms. Jackson is the late Rose Maddox. I met her several years ago at a bluegrass festival and told her that I used to watch her on THP. She looked me right in the eye and said, "That was a helluva long time ago!". Yep.
Prepare to be entertained and ed-joo-kay-ted. Enjoy.
When high-ranking U.S. officials sneak into Iraq they wear flak jackets, there is no advance notice and the trips are rushed and cloaked in secrecy, but when
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejadthe second coming of Hitler visits as he did today his trip and itinerary are announced well in advance and he is greeted with flowers, pomp and ceremony.
Yeah, so how's that war thing working out?
Right now, deep in the GOP dungeons, they're planning their racist, disgraceful assault. Whatever will it be?
No, the problem for GOP strategists is not how to inflame the troglodytic, Limbaugh/Coulter-grade sects of the party who, assuming Obama goes the distance, are already hugely terrified of the notion of a black liberal president, given how he'll surely be a slippery slope straight to gay marriage and rampant lesbianism in schools and hourly shriekings to Allah as everyone's forced to give up their guns and drive a hybrid moped to the tofu store.
Ooh! Mopeds and tofu! At my age, anything that even makes it seem as if time has slowed to a crawl might be a help. I might not live any longer, but it'll sure feel like it...
Which leaves us with the one true hot button, the ugly issue everyone expects: race. This is the card the right will have to play very, very carefully, as the slightest slip-up in demonizing Obama's skin color and playing to America's nastiest, deep-set racist tendencies will offend millions and only make Republicans look like the party of old, white, sexist, racist, classist warmongering men they very much are.
Because here's the thing: When they stole two elections for Bush, the brutal, homophobic conservative machine was tightly organized, had focus, mountains of cash, Karl Rove, the backing of a very nefarious, deeply inbred team of ultra-wealthy war hawks hell-bent on taking over the nation and ruling with a flaccid peni- ... er, iron fist. But now, this monstrous machinery has collapsed, failed, fractured into so many warring factions. There is much foment. There is enormous discord. Iraq is a disaster. Amid the smoking wreckage, McCain stumbles.
And hence, it's almost a sure bet that the remnants of Bush's Republican machine, mangled and disgraced though it is, will still struggle mightily to find a hugely shameful, pitiful pathway toward playing on Middle America's darkest fears. All puns, unfortunately, intended.
Please read the rest.
That's all this is about. The telecoms don't want the amnesty. The overriding goal is to shut down these lawsuits and, most important, eliminate the discovery phase so that the full extent of Administration lawbreaking is permanently hidden. This is about burying the evidence, as every single action by the White House since the Democratic takeover of Congress has been. Bush may have a soft spot in his heart for his corporate buddies, but he's really not interested in indemnifying them. He's interested in immunity for himself.
Indeed, because the telecom execs will fall back on the 'Nuremberg Defense'. "We were just following orders ... his orders," as they all point to the Chimp.