Saturday, April 12, 2008

Heh ...

Even the Nazi bastid won't meet with the Chimp.

Touch Of Grey

This is dedicated to Bush and Cheney. I'll be "Grateful" when they're "Dead".

War Crimes Investigation Ahead?

Let's hope. From the NYT:

Reacting to an ABC News report that “Vice President Cheney, former National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Secretary of State Colin Powell, as well as CIA Director George Tenet and Attorney General John Ashcroft” “discussed and approved specific details of how high-value al Qaeda suspects would be interrogated by the Central Intelligence Agency,” The Atlantic’s Marc Ambinder says, “it remains one of those hidden secrets in Washington that a Democratic Justice Department is going to be very interested in figuring out whether there’s a case to be made that senior Bush Administration officials were guilty of war crimes.”

“Stories like these from ABC News,” Ambinder predicts, “will be as relevant a year from now as they are right now, perhaps even more so.”

Not only will it still be relevant, it will be easier to do once these war criminals are out from behind Bush's skirt AKA the now spurious and then non-existent claim of 'executive privilege'. It ain't called 'the long arm of the law' for nothing.

Some say the Dems won't pursue it out of fear of being seen to politicize the issue for their own partisan agenda. Turnabout is fair play, and we're talkin' about making an example out of WAR CRIMINALS to prevent them from being perpetrated in our name ever again.

I'm down wit' a little plain ol' payback as well, but that's just me.

Progressive Media's Next Mainstream Star

Good article about Rachel Maddow's well deserved rising popularity at AlterNet.

This quick-witted woman has shattered another glass ceiling and is taking her rightful place in the traditional boys' club of big-time politics.

[...] With her own rising radio show on Air America, coupled with regular appearances on MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann program, where she is often, oddly and excellently paired with Patrick Buchanan, this self-described "35-year-old, liberal, lesbian girl-who-looks-like-a-man" is on the brink of becoming progressive media's next mainstream breakout star. One significant measure of Maddow's new-found favor: the decision by MSNBC, effective next week, to hire her as a regular panelist on its newest nightly campaign program Race for the White House -- and to allow Air America to simulcast the 6 p.m. nightly program as the first hour of its own nightly Rachel Maddow show.

I'm a huge fan of this gal. She deserves whatever she can get, and we'll all be the better for it. Enjoy.

Lyin' can be good ...

Jonny Lang - Lie to Me

Another reason ...

We're gonna be in Iraq a while longer:


According to the most recent reports of their personal finances, 151 current members of Congress had between $78.7 million and $195.5 million invested in companies that received defense contracts of at least $5 million in 2006. In all, these companies received more than $275.6 billion from the government in 2006, or $755 million per day, according to, a website of the budget watchdog group OMB Watch.

In 2004, the first full year after the Iraq war began, Republican and Democratic lawmakers—both hawks and doves—had between $74.9 million and $161.3 million invested in companies under contract with the Department of Defense. [my em]


And you wonder why Congress has been toothless, even with a Dem majority. Be nice if our representatives put our interest before theirs for once.

Great thanks to Avedon for the link.

Saturday whorage

Back in the swing of things. Another chapter of Thirty Days at Zeta is up at The Practical Press.

Also, the crazy Jarhead (and our dear friend) Deuddersun has put a blog together of which I am proud to be a member of. The American Patriot Institute (see left sidebar) now has a home and all of the member veterans are contributors. Give 'em a look.

And cruise tips from Mrs. F over at our travel blog.

Anything you think we should know about? Leave your links in 'comments'.

Friday, April 11, 2008

See what I missed ...

Going into the military instead of college (not that it was my choice, heh ...):

PAHRUMP, Nev. - Nicki Amouri hands her camera to a friend, throws her arm over another and smiles wide as she leans in for a shot with the monument her class came to visit. It's a typical field trip memento — except that Amouri is in a brothel. The monument is a fluffy, queen-sized bed in a Western-themed party room reserved for VIPs and big spenders.

Amouri was one of a dozen Randolph College students who toured the Chicken Ranch, a legal bordello in the desert 60 miles outside Las Vegas. Thursday's class trip, which included seminars from the working girls, capped a course on American consumption and "the ideas that consume us."


Gotta love that higher education though the Air Force had a similar 'program'.

Quote of the Day - Zwei

From Raw Story via Capt. Fogg:

... "With each new revelation, it is beginning to look like the torture operation was managed and directed out of the White House," ACLU legislative director Caroline Fredrickson said ...

Listen, twits ...

Creature points up something that's been making me want to pull what little hair I have left right out:

I don't have a lot of time to flesh this thought out, but the other day I was sitting around a table with important folks at my job and John McCain came up. Much to my dismay the consensus was that, at a minimum, John McCain was a "principled" man (the same couldn't be said about Hillary, and they were unsure about Obama).

I wanted to scream, but the setting didn't allow. I did manage to mention McCain's free media pass and how he's been wrong about almost everything.


I too don't get how supposedly intelligent people still buy into the McCain myth. Didn't you idiots learn from that moron we have there now? Do you want more of this know-nothing, do-nothing horseshit? Come on, folks, get a grip. This also goes for Hil and Barack supporters who vow not to vote for the other. I'm gonna come and slap each and every one of you who votes for McCain instead of the Dem. Twits.

Protesting an O'Reilly Emmy

Boston's wingnuts are out of their fuckin' minds. Oh, sorry, that goes without saying.


Bill O'Reilly is set to receive a local Emmy award in Boston next month. But he won't, if a former fellow tabloid talker gets his way. According to the Boston Herald, Barry Nolan says O'Reilly is "a mental case," and doesn't deserve the award.

No shit. What he deserves is a ball gag and duct tape.

And it gets better. Nolan claims he will still attend the May 10 ceremony and, since his wife is out of town, he's invited Keith Olbermann as his date.

This oughta be good! Heh.

House greets new member

Think Progress

Yesterday, Jackie Speier was sworn in as Congress’s newest Democratic member from California, succeeding the deceased Tom Lantos. During her opening speech, Speier was loudly booed by House conservatives when she began speaking about Iraq. “The process to bring the troops home must begin immediately,” she said. “The President wants to stay the course, and a man who wants to replace him suggests we could be in Iraq for 100 years.” Watch it:

Hell of an opening speech, lady! Good on ya and fuck the Repugs.

MyDD has more on Speier.

Bleach Alert!

Naked German seniors star in post-9/11 Verdi opera

How to win the Iraq war debate against your dumb friends

I won that debate by tellin' 'em to take a hike. I like to hang around with folks who are only about as dumb as me. Dumber'n that is a waste of oxygen.

Scholars & Rogues

2) I’ve heard people say that being against Bush or Petraeus or the war in Iraq is equivalent to being against the troops. That’s like if I knew someone who repeatedly sent brave puppies out into traffic. I called that person an asshole for abusing the puppies and abusing their power. Then you accused me of being anti-puppy.

7) Lastly, President Bush is like a colorblind child with a Rubik’s Cube.

I think he's more like a kid with a box of matches in a fireworks factory. Unlike the colorblind kid with the Rubik's Cube, he knows exactly what he's doing.

It takes one to catch one

The other day, I called on the old hippies in Berzerkely to try and get John Yoo canned from UCB. Silly me, forgetting that demonstrations have to be so massive they slow the economy to a crawl to do any good, and Bush has already done that.

Some lawyers agree that Yoo should go:

A national lawyer's group is calling for former Justice Department lawyer John Yoo to be dismissed from his position at the University of California, Berkeley, Law School.

Yoo, who authored several controversial memos critics say authorized torture of suspected terrorists, is unfit to continue at the law school, know as Boalt Hall, according to the National Lawyers Guild.

"John Yoo's complicity in establishing the policy that led to the torture of prisoners constitutes a war crime under the US War Crimes Act," said National Lawyers Guild President Marjorie Cohn.

A press release from the Guild, which was founded in 1937 as a human rights bar organization, says Yoo's memos violate US law and establish an over-broad view of presidential powers.

I think it might stand a better chance of working if we set a lawyer to catch a lawyer, but I'd like to hear something out of the American Bar Association as a whole. Yoo's actions make the few lawyers with a conscience cringe at what this clown has done to the law with his Bush-serving memos.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers has invited Yoo to testify about his preparation of the controversial memos.

I hope he shows up in the same condition I've been 'invited' to court a coupla times - orange clothes and stainless steel bling from wrists to ankles. Keeps ya humble.

Note to Conyers: Don't forget to have him bring his shredder basket. We want our Constitution back.

All you need to know ...

About the BPetraeus/Crockof shiter testimony from Walt:


Well, Shitfire and Sweet Zombie Jesus, folks, I have "great potential" to be elected Pope - and I'm neither a priest nor a Catholic. These apparatchiks and their slimy enablers in the press keep telling us this, but they can't articulate a specific victory goal beyond nebulous shit like a "free Iraq."


The last paragraph of the post is a must.

Off to the shop. Thank god it's Friday. I'm not used to working. Heh ...

Moral, Family, Christian Values ...

Our pal UL:

In a typical display of time honored hypocrisy, God's Old Party, perennial defenders of wholesome Christian family values, has lobbied for extended bar hours during its five-day circle jerk in St. Paul later this summer.


Thing is, with all this extended drinking by the Rethugs at their convention, we'll probably get a spate of news stories documenting their bad behavior. Entertaining if nothing else.

These are the folks who have a problem with anyone else having fun, but can force a state to change their laws so they can have theirs. Imagine how they'd whine if the Dems pulled something like this.

Maybe, if they work on it, they can force states to do away with 'dry counties'.

Quote of the Day


The popular war preznit has regained his footing... oh, I'm sorry, Mr Broder, make that "Bush's approval rating has dropped to 'Easter Bunny believer' and 'UFO abduction survivor' adherent levels."


Thursday, April 10, 2008

What do you know ...

About John McCain? If you think he's a 'maverick' or a 'straight-talker', Nunya's got a list for ya to read:

1. John McCain voted against establishing a national holiday in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Now he says his position has "evolved," yet he's continued to oppose key civil rights laws.1
4 times against it

2. According to Bloomberg News, McCain is more hawkish than Bush on Iraq, Russia and China. Conservative columnist Pat Buchanan says McCain "will make Cheney look like Gandhi."2
100 years in Iraq
Bomb Iran

3. His reputation is built on his opposition to torture, but McCain voted against a bill to ban waterboarding, and then applauded President Bush for vetoing that ban.
More CCain hypocrisy

4. McCain opposes a woman's right to choose. He said, "I do not support Roe versus Wade. It should be overturned."
voting record


Ain't happening ...

For all of us who hope Chimp & Co. will face some sort of justice for their crimes, you can just about forget it:


And putting aside the purely legal obstacles to a prosecution for war crimes, there's also the political cost. Why would an Obama or Clinton Administration waste precious political capital early on with a politically divisive prosecution of former government officials? One can imagine the screaming of countless pundits arguing that the Democrats were trying to criminalize political disagreements about foreign policy. Such a prosecution would make politics extremely bitter and derail any chance for bipartisan cooperation on almost any significant issue. Obama or Clinton would rather get a health care bill passed, deal with the economy, or try to solve the Iraq mess, than have the first several years of their Administrations consumed by a prosecution for war crimes by officials in the Bush Administration.


Sounds about right to me.


Study: Lead-tainted marijuana poisoned users

Gee, I didn't even know they grew weed in China...

Biden Punks Crocker, Blows Six Years Of Administration Policy All To Shit

From Air America Radio:

That was a very significant moment at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearings with Amb. Ryan Crocker and Gen. David Petraeus. Joe Biden asked Amb. Crocker where it would be better for American national security interests to eliminate Al Qaeda in Iraq or Al Qaeda along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. Crocker had nowhere to hide with that question.

Crocker, in an impossible political position -- give the correct answer and humiliate the Bush administration; give the administration's answer and look like a fool -- dodged as much as he could. Then Biden forced him down. Crocker: "I would therefore pick Al Qaeda on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border."

Game over.

Well, the game's over except for the lying and dying.

Every single argument that the Administration and their lapdogs like John McCain have made or are making break down after that answer. The Ambassdor to Iraq just admitted that Iraq is not the central front in the war on terror. He just admitted that the potential for Al Qaeda to gain a beachhead in Iraq should the United States withdraw is miniscule compared to the already-established beachhead along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. He admitted that the global fight against terror is currently misdirected.

And will be until the Mis-director-in-Chief and his Merry Band of Machiavellian Miscreants are gone.

Transcript at site.

What the Founding Fathers left out of the Constitution

Click to embiggen

"I keep thinking we should include something in the Constitution in case the people elect a fucking moron."

Yeah, ya blew that one.

The Can Of Iraq Is Officially Kicked Past 1.20.09

Dan Froomkin has a great roundup of what people are saying about the latest Semi-Annual Petraeus/Crocker Turd Polish and Friedman Unit Request. Many links.

Well, it's official. Getting out of Iraq is now exclusively the next president's problem.

That hasn't been in doubt for years.

They refused to acknowledge that reasonable people might disagree with them.

And, as they demonstrated yesterday and in their testimony last September, no matter what the situation on the ground, they are able to use it as an argument for staying the course.

They're under orders and thus not able to tell the truth, which is the overarching feature of Bush administration policy. When one lies, the other swears to it.

"But the bottom line was that there was no bottom line.

On ABC's World News, Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopoulous summed up yesterday's testimony this way:

Gibson: "George, did anything change today?"

Stephanopoulous: "Not much, Charlie. I think this was one, big exercise in kicking the can down the road."

MSNBC host Chris Matthews weighed in: "I didn't get anything out of it except that we're staying there indefinitely; there is no condition we can point to. Petraeus and Crocker never told us what to look for so we can know when we're getting close to the end of the tunnel. I was very dissatisfied by the hearings."

Yo, Tweety, listen up - if there is a light for the end of this tunnel, it will not be installed until 1.20.09, and nobody knows yet when it will be turned on.

"On the contrary, they cited the very problems that Bush created by his decision to invade Iraq -- an Al Qaeda presence and enhanced Iranian influence -- as requiring an indefinite U.S. military effort."

Not only will the War Criminal-in-Chief not admit defeat - and why should he, it ain't his ass going broke and getting shot at - but that pig-headed bastard won't admit his Dad is smarter than he is either.

Robert Scheer, writing in his syndicated opinion column, recalls the controversial " General Betray Us" ads run by last year: "By undercutting the widespread support for getting out of Iraq, Petraeus did indeed betray the American public, siding with an enormously unpopular president who wants to stay the course in Iraq for personal and political reasons that run contrary to genuine national security interests. Once again, the president is passing the buck to the uniformed military to justify continuing a ludicrous imperial adventure, and the good general has dutifully performed."

Watch Bush give Petraeus a Medal Of Honor before his term expires.

Here's the most disturbing part:

"Iran was the heart of the matter during Senate testimony on the war. With al-Qaeda on the run in Iraq, the Iranian threat has become the rationale for the mission, and also the explanation for our shortcomings. The Iranians are the reason we're bogged down in Iraq, and also the reason we can't pull out our troops. The mullahs in Tehran loom over the Iraq battlefield like a giant Catch-22."

Mission creep once more. Bush is the mission creep.

Much, much more.

"Hey, Fox?"

You'll be guarding the henhouse now ...

Mental Health ...

Yeah, I know mine's questionable, but then I'm not carrying a rifle in a war zone. Nicole at C & L found the report Petraeus used to justify the troops' morale as being good:

... Now, having said that, as there is actually something called "The Mental Health Assessment" which is done every year, the last one in the late fall, I believe it was. And after several years of a generalization of morale as going down, morale actually went up ...

But Nicole says:


Ah, there’s the rub. If you factor out the women, the NCOs and those who have done multiple tours of duty over several years, things are looking great! By the way, I admit I was never a math major, but that last sentence about the morale being close to double this year…well, that’s true if 7.4% was half of 13.1%. Either way, that’s only 1 out of every 7 troop members who consider their morale high. Is that something to celebrate? [my em]


Not to mention that senior enlisted and field officers are leaving as soon as the opportunity comes up. I wonder where McCain thinks he's gonna get the troops to continue this a "hundred years"?

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Teflon McCain ...

Stolen, in toto, from Mr. Philadelphia:

I do just wonder how much media bullying will be necessary before they decide that if they demand that Hillary Clinton release her tax returns, then maybe John McCain should too. I'm not going to hope that the Clinton rules - where each new disclosure automatically leads to demands for further disclosures - will apply, just that they at least require Huggy Bear to release the damn things.

Can McCain just get a pass on everything? Why do they even bother covering him but to give him basically free campaign publicity? As noted here and elsewhere earlier, we want to see the old codger's medical records too. You think they'd let Obama slide if there was a history of sickle cell in his family?

Gord's eyeball, she all feexed now

Backstory here and here.

Went in at 6:15 this morning and got my cataract removed. The last thing I remember is the gas passer, a large friendly gentleman from Estonia, plugging something into my IV. Woke up in the recovery room with everything said and done. My doc, Jeff "Shakes" Camp said it went just fine. Home by 10AM.

A shoutout to all the gang at Sierra Eye & Optical and Tahoe Forest Hospital. Terrific folks.

I am voluntarily keeping my eye shut right now because it's still dilated and feeling a little irritated, which is understandable since it was sliced open and its innards hoovered out, but I can look through it and it already works ten times better. No eye patch, but they issued me some hollywoods to keep dust and shit out of it.

It's about like getting a new windshield put on your car. One you can see out of. Me happy.

Congressional fellatio ...

I caught pieces of the hearing yesterday in between running dad-in-law around to get his shit squared away. Seemed like a gang blowjob to me. The Rude One musta thought so too:

Oh, yes, what wondrous fellatio is taking place on Capitol Hill right now where sainted General Petraeus is before the Senate Armed Services Committee for his hearing on "How I Haz Not Fucked Up Iraq." Yes, there's a chance Democrats may act like an opposition party and eviscerate the Bush administration, and the Rude Pundit'll deal with that tomorrow.

Instead, let's talk about the inevitable, that Petraeus will stand before the Republicans on the committee, unzip his fly, present his cock, and say, "Who's a-gonna suck it first?"


And that's the tame stuff. I heard some talking head on the teevee yesterday say "well, they can't grill Petreaus the way they would a 'political appointee'." Um, when have the Rethugs in Congress (Chuck Hagel excepted) done anything other than blow the Chimps 'appointees' when they testified before committee? Please ...

And by the way, Petraeus is a politcal appointee. All the others before him who actually tried to tell the truth were cashiered or forced to 'resign'.

Off to work ... for the first time in 2 1/2 weeks ... wonder if I remember how to fix a car? Heh ...

Athenae the masochist ...

She went and bought Dougie "The Dumbest Fucking Guy in the World" Feith's book, actually sat through reading it, and then reviewed it:


The book proceeds as a list, which I'll paraphrase here:

I was born.

I grew up.

Kind of.

I work at the Pentagon!

Old school liberals aren't pussies! They're hawks! Richard Perle is awesome!

Being a lawyer sucks.


I shook the president's hand! I was in a meeting! I wrote a policy paper! Rumsfeld listens to me! The president listens to me! Everybody listens to me!

The president didn't want to go to war, except that he did, and we didn't make him, except that we have enormous influence, which is impossible to resist.

I hate Seymour Hersh.

Colin Powell is an asshole.

The CIA sucks.


Acronyms. Operational details. Tom Clancy.


Whoa, war sucks.

Here's what Bush screwed up to make the war suck.

Let me teach you my ways, so that you might replicate my phenomenal successes.

The end.


As I remember Gord saying a while back, paraphrasing, this guy should be the first up against the wall when the revolution comes.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Mondegreen of the Day and More

Mrs. G was home for lunch and we were watching a pretty good group on Hardball discussing the Petraeus/Crocker turd-polishing session in terms of how solidly McCain has tethered himself to Bush policy on Iraq.

She said the following: "He's hooked his cart to the wrong horse."

Here's what I heard: "He's hooked his heart to the wrong whore."

They're both right, but I like mine best!

Senator Boxer asked Crocker something to the effect of, and I paraphrase from memory, "How come Ahmadinejad gives three days notice of his Iraq visit, got kisses and flowers, a parade down main street in an open car in broad daylight, and Bush has to sneak into Iraq like a thief in the night?"

Crocker stumbled all over himself without giving her much of an answer. She finally gave up. I think it's because the Iraqis know Bush started this whole deal but we're going to leave, be forced to leave perhaps, someday, but Iran will still be there.

Just as an aside, some protesters in the Senate room started acting up while she was asking her question. She hollered, "Hey, cool it!". They shut up, too. A Repug woulda called for security.

I love ya, Babs. If yer ever in town and lonely of an evening...

Senator Kennedy asked how come we're paying to reconstruct Iraq while Iraq is getting $Billions from oil and in fact has $30B in our banks, let alone how much in God knows where else. Crocker didn't give him much of an answer, but I can:

Because Bush is perfectly willing to impoverish the U.S. for generations by throwing borrowed money at his demented fantasy and the Iraqis are perfectly willing to let him. I don't blame them.

I hope Petraeus asks for multiple Friedman Units instead of just one at a time. It'll save him a lot of travel time.

Hillary's tin ear ...

Our pal Creature hits it on the head as to why Hil hasn't won this thing going away:


The fact that Penn is still talking to the press is just another sign that Hillary's ears are nearly as tin as the president she hopes to succeed.

The last home opener ...

At Shea Stadium. Next year, they'll be playing in their beautiful new stadium being built right next door. I've been a Met fan since I was a little kid, cutting school and taking the train to Shea since I can remember. A good portion of my summers were spent there growing up. I'll miss Shea like the old Brooklyn Dodger fans miss Ebbets Field.

Let's see them ...

The PoliticalCat is absolutely correct. John McCain should release his medical records:


Senator McCain, you're in your 70s. Your grandfather died young (61 years), your father died at the age of 70, relatively young also. You've had repeated bouts of a particularly lethal form of cancer:


Most certainly. My cousin Robert died when he was 29 from melanoma and I'd rather my President wasn't sequestered in Sloan Kettering (why would he go anywhere else?) when he should be running the country, let alone die suddenly and leave Condi in charge.


And what about mental functioning? Eight years of a dumbkopf in the highest position in the land — a man who can't string eight words into a correct sentence — is plenty enough. Every time we walk into a room and find ourselves thinking, "Now, what did I come here for?" we wonder if that's what is making McCain repeatedly confuse Sunni with Shi'a, and putting al Qaeda in training in Iran, and telling undoubtedly horrified Israelis that Purim is the Jewish version of fucking Halloween, wouldja believe? And we're decades younger than that old fart.


I forget things too, but that's because I'm a pothead. I ain't running for President. I'd like the President of the United States to be a bit more lucid than I am.

The Ridenhour Courage Prize

Ron Ridenhour is the soldier who broke the story of the My Lai massacre. An award named for him for excellence in journalism will become a lot harder to give away if Bill Moyers ever retires. He is the Last of the Best, today's Walter Cronkite, albeit without Cronkite's exposure or widespread recognition. Here is part of Mr. Moyers' recent acceptance speech:



Before his death I produced a documentary about him, and during our interview he told me the story of how he and his friend, Boots Cooper, were playing in the chicken house there in central Texas when they were about 12 years old. They spotted a chicken snake in the top tier of the nest, so close it looked like a boa constrictor. As John Henry told it, "All of our frontier courage drained out of our heels. Actually, it trickled down our overall legs. And Boots and I made a new door through the hen house." His momma came out to see what all of the fuss was about, and she said to Boots and John Henry, "Don't you know chicken snakes are harmless? They can't hurt you." Rubbing his forehead and his behind at the same time, Boots said, "Yes, Mrs. Faulk, I know, but they can scare you so bad you'll hurt yourself."

John Henry Faulk never forgot that lesson. I'm always ashamed when I do. Temptation to co-option is the original sin of journalism, and we're always finding fig leaves to cover it: economics, ideology, awe of authority, secrecy, the claims of empire. In the buildup to the invasion of Iraq we were reminded of what the late great reporter A.J. Liebling meant when he said the press is "the weak slat under the bed of democracy." The slat broke after the invasion and some strange bedfellows fell to the floor: establishment journalists, neo-con polemicists, beltway pundits, right-wing warmongers flying the skull and bones of the "balanced and fair brigade," administration flacks whose classified leaks were manufactured lies - all romping on the same mattress in the foreplay to disaster.

Five years, thousands of casualties, and hundreds of billion dollars later, most of the media co-conspirators caught in flagrante delicto are still prominent, still celebrated, and still holding forth with no more contrition than a weathercaster who made a wrong prediction as to the next day's temperature. The biblical injunction, "Go and sin no more," is the one we most frequently forget in the press. Collectively, we don't seem to learn that all it takes to transform an ordinary politician and a braying ass into the modern incarnation of Zeus and the oracle of Delphi is an oath on the Bible, a flag in the lapel, and the invocation of national security.

The rest of the speech is good as well. And, oh yeah, Bill Moyers is one of the few good things to ever come out of Texas, like Willie Nelson without the weed.

Note to journalism students: Listen to Moyers. Take his words to heart. Don't get to be complacent fat cats as you climb the ladder to success. Stay lean, stay focused on the mission: to dig out and disseminate the truth, corporate masters be damned, so that the media-compliant and -enabled disaster of the Bush years can never, say again never, be repeated. This country doesn't have any periods like that left in it.

Note to complacent fat cat corporate journalists: Same as above plus clean up your act and restart doing your jobs. You shoulder a lot of the blame for Bush's misdeeds and you have one helluva lot to make up for.

Repug Strategy

From one of the worst of the worst neocons, via The Ostroy Report:

Make no mistake: heading towards the general election in November, the Republican Party smells intense fear, and that fear will manifest itself into the dirtiest, ugliest, most divisive presidential election campaign in American history. The GOP's coming off of eight miserable, economically ravished, war-torn, scandal-plagued years of Bush/Cheney. Given the likelihood that Sen. Barack Obama--with his message of inspiration, hope and change--will eventually prevail in his protracted primary battle with Sen. Hillary Clinton, the reality is settling in that the junior Senator from Illinois could be the next occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania. Just ask neocon pundit William Kristol.

Read it.

Yoo Rotten Bastard

Truthdig. Comments here.

More shocking details are emerging from the 2003 81-page memo by former Justice Department senior lawyer John Yoo, who determined that the commander-in-chief can order poking out of eyes, slitting of body parts and throwing acid at prisoners, and none of that would constitute torture because it would not result in “death, organ failure or serious impairment of bodily functions.”

Yesterday I posted on Andrew Sullivan's statement that 'officials of this administration will be indicted for war crimes'.

I can't think of a better place to start than with Yoo. He certainly deserves it, and it might be just the ice-breaker we need.

Here's the part that gets me - Yoo is a law professor at the University of California at Berkeley. What's he teaching? How to cloak war crimes by plating them with bullshit legalese?

Berkeley! UCBerzerkely is probably the most liberal school on the planet, located in the most liberal city on the planet. The Free Speech Movement that kicked off the civic and social awakening of the '60s started there. The locals recently vociferously opposed the mere presence of Marine recruiters in their fair burg!* I'm not talkin' wimpy 'progressives', folks, I'm talkin' bomb throwin' left-of-Lenin radical bolsheviks here. In a hyperbolic way, of course.

How does that torture-enabling asshole keep his job?

C'mon you latte-drinkin', poetry-spoutin', free speech-'n-love lovin', banner-wavin', street-marchin' old hippies over there, yer fallin' down on the job (Sorry, 'job' is a dirty word to some of those folks). Get yer walkers fired up, get on the stick, two if need be, and get over to the campus. Recruit some of the youngsters, hell, they're yer grandkids, show some o' that '60s piss 'n vinegar and get this asshole fired!

* I think the reason the Corps had a recruiter in that anti-war bastion is because it was safer than putting him in neighboring Oakland. Heh.

Sir! By Your Command, Off The Cliff! Aye Aye, Sir!

Another good piece at Truthout:

Vietnam is key to McCain's thinking. Much to his credit, he has made his personal peace with the Vietnamese. But, in his military mind, he still thinks America could have and should have won our ill-advised adventure in Southeast Asia. How much further would he have escalated that incredibly bloody war had he been president? Who knows? But, given the widespread opposition to the war among Americans at the time, he would have had to destroy any pretense of constitutional rights on the home front. And for what? As most scholars now agree, no conceivable escalation would have defeated Vietnam's long-standing fight for independence from foreign rule, whether against the Chinese, the French or us.

As we will hear this week, General Petraeus understands the importance of political and ideological forces far better than does McCain. Petraeus has even publicly scolded Iraqi politicians for not working harder to reconcile their differences. Still, he will not give up the counterproductive military fight. Like McCain, the Princeton-educated general stands steadfast in his refusal to see the obvious. No matter how cleverly we apply our overwhelming force, foreign occupation breeds its own opposition in Iraq just as it did in Vietnam.

A note here - In his heart of hearts, General Petraeus may know the occupation of Iraq is hopeless, but he is a career military man with a mindset that follows orders and would never admit defeat. It matters not that his orders come from political bosses in a losing election year, he will fight to the death of every man in his command against all odds.

Except for the 'election year' and 'political bosses' part, sounds a lot like General Custer.

This is a lesson the gung-ho military mind cannot seem to grasp, which is why Americans would do well to look elsewhere for a president.

So which is worse - a fake military man like we've got now who started a war to show how macho he isn't, or a real one from a lost war of long ago who never got over it and will throw the nation overboard to try to 'win' this one?

It's like asking a condemned man whether he would prefer the gas chamber or the electric chair. The outcome will be the same.

Remember, they're all liars, every goddam one of 'em

William Rivers Pitt

No one is such a liar as the indignant man. - Friedrich Nietzsche

George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Condoleezza Rice, along with a slew of administration underlings and a revolving-door cavalcade of brass hats from the Pentagon, have been making claims regarding Iraq for many years now.

Followed by over twenty examples punctuated by "they lied", "liar", or just plain "wrong" and he left out tons of 'em.

Remember: they lie. They all lie, from the top man down to the bottom. If their lips are moving, a lie is unfolding. If they say water is wet, get into the shower to make sure.

They lie.


End of file.

There weren't any lies from McCain. Perhaps he deserves his own special category, that of "Quixotically Demented Delusional Throwback Who Is Pissin' On Our Legs And Tellin' Us It's Rainin'".

This should be good ...

Condi wants to be McCain's Veep:


She's uniquely qualified! Let's see: she's a pro-choice ... uhhhh.... she never anticipated that terrists would fly airplanes into US skyscrapers, she was a champion cheerleader for Bush and the war in Iraq, she wrote an editorial for the New York Times back in 2002 entitled Why We Know Iraq Is Lying, she warned the world about Saddam's "smoking mushroom clouds," compared US commitment in Iraq to the Civil War...

It just gets better. And, related to my post below, how many Dems will like McCain more because he'd have a BLACK WOMAN as his #2? Look, he's liberal!!!!1!!!!1!eleventy-one*!!

*Credit: Maru.

Exactly right ...

For a while now, I've cautioned against too much optimism about the Dems' chances in November. Were the candidates to be judged on equal merits, I would say the Dem candidate would be a shoo-in compared to McCain. Thing is, we have the Democratic Party added to the mix and that's like leaving the door wide open for failure.


The article says there is at least one big Hillary donor who doesn't want to spend money for the party unless Clinton's the nominee. And I have also heard that Obama donors don't want to fund any efforts that will be construed as "negative" for fear it will blow back on his campaign. Whatever the reasons, and I suspect it's complicated, this is the stupidest damned thing I've heard yet. It's almost as if the Democrats want to lose.

I don't care which candidate they are supporting in the primary, taking on John McCain will benefit their candidate if he or she wins. Surely they are all maxed out by now, so this is the logical place to put their money either way.

All of this might make some sense if McCain didn't have this ridiculously cozy relationship with the press that's been solid as a rock for more than a decade. He is going to be terribly difficult to redefine. It will take everything they have to do it. And if they don't do it, he could very well win this thing even if he is as old as Methuselah and has the campaign style of a pet rock.


Maybe the Hillary and Obama supporters should stop the swipes at each other and look at the big picture. It doesn't matter who wins the nom if they're just gonna give the race away to McCain and the Rethugs.

Think about it, twits, because this is the mindset a lot of Dem voters have:


I was talking to a staunchly liberal friend of mine over the week-end who told me that he really didn't worry about the primary because if the party is damaged and McCain wins, it will probably be ok. The reason: he's not stupid like Bush or crazy like Cheney. After I picked up my brains from the floor and put them back in my head, still reeling from the explosion, I tried to explain how that was wrong. It was pulling teeth and I don't think I succeeded. He just likes the guy and doesn't believe he's really capable of being as bad as Bush because he "thinks for himself" and isn't a GOP lackey.


I can't believe people still swallow this shit.

Listen to me. McCain is a moron and the best part of him ran down a drain in the Hanoi Hilton. There is nothing good (he's a hypocrite, panderer, and adulterer), nothing heroic about John McCain. He was a cowboy fighter pilot who got himself shot down because he refused to follow procedure. He had the bad luck to get himself captured and he spent the war in jail. While I abhor his treatment at the hands of the Vietnamese, none of his experiences made him qualified to run a country (I would even propose his experiences make him less qualified), let alone a war.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Quote of the Day

I think I'll ease back into this. Holden Caulfield:

Ah, The Two Most Beautiful Words In The English Language: "Yes, Helen"

61% of Historians Rate the Bush Presidency Worst

History News Network

In an informal survey of 109 professional historians conducted over a three-week period through the History News Network, 98.2 percent assessed the presidency of Mr. Bush to be a failure while 1.8 percent classified it as a success.

That sounds like about 2 out 109 historians with no sense of history.

One statement amongst several:

“George Bush has combined mediocrity with malevolent policies and has thus seriously damaged the welfare and standing of the United States,” wrote one of the historians, echoing the assessments of many of his professional colleagues. “Bush does only two things well,” said one of the most distinguished historians. “He knows how to make the very rich very much richer, and he has an amazing talent for f**king up everything else he even approaches. His administration has been the most reckless, dangerous, irresponsible, mendacious, arrogant, self-righteous, incompetent, and deeply corrupt one in all of American history.”

I've said almost the exact same things many times without even knowing I'm a historian. Damn, I'm good!

Note to self: Calm down, self. It don't take no rocket scientist to realize the truth about Bush, just functioning eyes and ears hooked to a minimal brain. Which you've got.

Impressions ...

Back from running around. Shayna's home too so our little fambly is back together once again. Yay!

So, I'm back from vacation. A beautiful two week cruise on Queen Mary 2, a Panama Canal transit, and great ports of call, but there was one thing that struck me more than any other.

The Queen is one of the biggest cruise ships plying the seas; couple thousand crew, couple thousand passengers. Among the crew there are over 50 different nationalities from every continent. Among the passengers, the range was just as great. The three major religions, as well as a good portion of the minor ones, were also represented among our demographic. Guess what? We all got along.

Yeah, I know, the Russians can be obnoxious, the Chinese can be rude, the Japanese and Germans act superior, the English are, well ... English, and I personally know of four Americans who probably got on some peoples' nerves. Heh ... My point is, we were all commingled at the Golden Lion or the Chart Room until the wee hours with one band or another, or just karaoke and you know what we did? We sang. We sang the songs of our parents and grandparents, of war, of love, and of good times and we all sang with one another. We were all in the same boat, so to speak. Whether it be folks who have more money than I could amass in ten lifetimes or folks who saved for years to take this 'cruise of a lifetime', it didn't matter. We were all the same, enjoying each others' company.

Some of us couldn't communicate well but it didn't matter. We got the point across. We met people who shared different opinions and experiences, Indian Sikhs, Muslims from Dubai, Catholics from Italy, Baptists from America, Israeli Jews, and at least four atheists I know of. And we all enjoyed each others' company. It was amazing.

And on Saturday night, our last night aboard, as we sat in the Chart Room with Joe and Annie and a few couples of other nationalities, Mrs. F turned to me and said, "I wish we could bottle what we have here and spray it all over the world. Imagine what it would be like if we could all get along like this all the time?" Amen, sister.


And, as always at the end of the trip, there are a few people I have to thank. First and foremost, Gord and the staff here for holding down the fort. Also, thanks to all the readers for coming along with us in spirit. Next, to Dr. Melinda Grove and her staff at Glen Animal Hospital. Without the excellent care they give Shayna while we're away our trips would never be possible. Also, to Commodore Werner and the officers and crew of Queen Mary 2. The ship is run with the usual British precision and attention to detail. And lastly to my in-laws, who put Mrs. F's mind at ease enough, and encouraged her, to take this trip, regardless of mom-in-law's condition, whatever the outcome. It proved to be the worst case, but after the last eight months of caring for mom-in-law since she was diagnosed as terminal, this rest was sorely needed. We could continue on even after we got the news.

It's good to be home and I'll be back tomorrow once I take a couple laps around Blogtopia and catch up what's going on. I think I was able to relax better not being in touch.

And just an aside: This is our 10,000th post. We're prolific, to say the least.

Sir! Chuck E. Cheese, Aye-Aye Sir!

St.Petersurg Times/

Apparently, long service in the military makes you an expert on kooky fun-houses. The company behind childrens' restaurant chain Chuck E. Cheese picked retired four-star Gen. Tommy Franks to help them expand their brand.

Heh. I'da thought fer sure that with a name like 'Franks' he'da went with Der Wienerschnitzel.

Keep 'em broke and they'll re-enlist

Crooks and Liars

McCain’s mouthpiece, Lindsey Graham went on Face the Nation and used every talking point to support the war in Iraq, but can’t come up with an explanation why McCain will not support Webb’s new GI benefits Bill. It’s for the welfare of our troops that have been ordered into this nightmare situation in the middle east, and as strong war advocates, you’d think McCain and Graham would be first on the list of the Senator’s who have signed to show how committed they are to our troops. Graham has a lot of words to say about everything else and goes off topic because he doesn’t have a good answer. Supporting the troops is nothing but a talking point for McCain and Graham it would appear.

Keeping the troops in the military is more like it.

WEBB: Yes. Well, there are too many people in the Pentagon who are seeing a good GI bill as affecting retention rather than rewarding service, and we need to get those — politics aside, we need to get to those issues to help our troops.

GRAHAM: We want a wining outcome in Iraq so that when we do leave, we’re going to leave behind a country that’s part of the solution, not the problem. That is why people reenlist. That is why I support this new strategy. The old strategy was failing. The new strategy is producing results, and I hope we’ll stay with it.

WEBB: I’ve got to take 30 seconds to respond to what Lindsey said, because I can’t let that hang out there. You know, people don’t reenlist because of the war in Iraq. People reenlist because they love their country and they have family traditions and they love to soldier. And they’ll fight in Iraq, they’ll fight in Afghanistan, or they’ll serve anywhere they are called upon to serve.

Some guys are natural-born soldiers. Most are not. The 100-year Criminal Occupation of Iraq requires the warmongers to keep a certain amount of soldiers in service through re-enlistment since first time enlistment is understandably way down.

If the soldiers think they've got a shot at some higher education in return for their service, a chance to elevate themselves from the socioeconomic underclass, or just plain poverty and no hope of a better life that drove them into the service in the first place, they'll get out and do it when their enlistments expire. Or after their stop-loss shanghai jobs run out, if ever.

I think McCain and Graham are more interested in supporting troop levels than the troops themselves. After all, they've got more wars they plan to start.

Clueless John

Crooks and Liars

McCain once again demonstrates that he’s no straightalker when it comes to the issues that are most important to this country. He makes sure to get the whole Basra/ceasefire incident completely backwards which only undermines his credibility as a foreign policy man. Is he even following the fighting in Iraq? It was Maliki that went to Iran and then asked Sadr to broker a ceasefire.

Olbermann: …that Sadr had only called for the ceasefire after members of Maliki’s government asked Sadr to do so in a during a secret trip to meet with Sadr in Iran.—making McCain wrong about the facts on his signature issue, making Sadr not Maliki the victor in this conflict by McCain’s own reasoning. And making Iran and not McCain and not the US the mediator of choice for Iraq’s two top Shi’a factions. The Maliki government and the Sadrists.

'Foreign policy expert' my ass. He's a warmongering propagandist on the wrong side like the rest of the neocon Repugs.

The Real Final ‘Straw’ That Broke Mark Penn’s Back

"I proposed a commercial in which Hillary was able to stay alert at 3AM...due to the new Colombia trade deal."

Everything to date about how come Penn got his double-dealing conflict-of-interested money-grubbin' criminal ass canned by both Colombia and Clinton here.

I wonder if this will be the straw that breaks Hillary's back as well.

Thanks, Don

Andrew Sullivan: Bush Administration Officials Will Be 'Indicted For War Crimes'

HuffPo, video and links.

Media coverage of the disclosure of the "torture memo" authored by Bush Justice Department official John C. Yoo has been mostly a deafening silence. But on this morning's Chris Matthews' show, someone finally fired a shot. As we mentioned in this morning's liveblog, credit goes to The Atlantic's Andrew Sullivan, for taking the opportunity to ensure that this matter got out into the televised discourse somehow.

SULLIVAN: The latest revelations on the torture front show the memo from John Yoo...means that Don Rumsfeld, David Addington and John Yoo should not leave the United States any time soon. They will be, at some point, indicted for war crimes.

The moment came during a segment on Matthews' show where the panel is invited to "tell him something he doesn't know," though this might be more accurately termed, "something he doesn't know he should talk about." Matthews is hardly alone. [...]

That's a bombshell, but the trick, of course, is to get the media to talk about it instead of how Obama bowls and eats chocolate.

A tip o' the Brain to Andrew Sullivan for saying out loud, where it was at least heard by some, what we've been calling for for years.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Sunday Crazy Redneck Music Blogging

Ha! Thought I fergot, din'tcha? You ain't gettin' off that easy. This is dedicated to Commodore Werner for his amazing shiphandling in turning the equally amazing QM2 360° in basically her own length.

Note to Fixer: There's a reference towards the end of this song that you will like. ;)

Vacation's over ...

I'll have a few closing thoughts on the experience tomorrow, when I'm not so fried but I wanted to get a couple more pics up.

More on the history of Cunard Line and a few more samples of the maritime art displayed aboard the Queen.

The details of a maneuver you wouldn't think the big girl was capable of.

The reason I was out there to begin with.

Some more shots around the ship.

We have some legal stuff to do with dad-in-law tomorrow and have to get Shayna from the vet in the morning. Hopefully, I'll be unpacked by then as well. I'll be back tomorrow afternoon.

As always, great thanks to my pardner Gordon (thanks to the commenters for keeping the old man in line. Heh ...) for keeping a lid on the place and JG for lending his wisdom to the mix while I was gone.

Welcome Home, Fixer!

Re-Enlistment Blues

Merle Travis plays, while Burt Lancaster accurately portrays the essence of the U.S. serviceman. In peacetime anyway. In wartime, of course, they're all darlings and you're a traitor to say otherwise.

McCain on Iraq akin to Wile E. Coyote

Daddy Frank on McCain and his senior dementia about the recent civil/Iran proxy war battle in Basra and Iraq in general. A 'must read':

Everything else Mr. McCain has to say about Iraq is more troubling, and I don’t mean just his recent serial gaffe conflating Shiite Iran and Sunni Qaeda. The sum total of his public record suggests that he could well prolong the war for another century — not because he’s the crazed militarist portrayed by Democrats, but through sheer inertia, bad judgment and blundering.

So far his bizarre pronouncements have been drowned out by the Democrats’ din. They’ve also been underplayed by a press that coddles Ol’ Man Straight Talk and that rarely looks more deeply into the “surge is success” propaganda than it did into Mr. Bush’s announcement of the end of “major combat operations” five years ago. The electorate doesn’t want to hear much anyway about a war it long ago soundly rejected.

[...] Mr. Maliki’s move against Mr. Sadr in Basra, done without even consulting Iraq’s “democratically elected” Parliament, was an attempt to take out his opponent by force rather than wait for the October provincial elections.

“We’re succeeding,” Mr. McCain said after his last trip to Iraq. “I don’t care what anybody says.” Again, it’s the last sentence that’s accurate. When General Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker testify before Congress again this week — against the backdrop of a million-Iraqi, anti-American protest called by Mr. Sadr — Mr. McCain will ram home all this “success” no matter the facts.

The difference between the Democrats and Mr. McCain going forward is clear enough: They want to find a way out of the morass, however provisional and imperfect, and he equates staying the disastrous course with patriotism. Mr. McCain’s doomed promise of military “victory” in Iraq is akin to Wile E. Coyote’s perpetual pursuit of the Road Runner, with much higher carnage. This isn’t patriotism. As the old saying goes, doing the same thing over and over again and hoping you’ll get a different result is the definition of insanity.

Maybe McCain just has to be reminded every day of everything. We've already had a president with Alzheimer's. We damn sure don't need another one.

Home ...

Home again. Tried to blog yesterday but everybody was using the intarwebs aboard ship and the connection sucked. We're gonna head out to see dad-in-law and spend some time with him this afternoon, but I'll be putting up a few posts later from the trip. It always seems the time away is too short but it's always nice to come back to my home. It's why they call it home, ain't it?