Saturday, June 7, 2008

Day off

I took the day off. Me'n Mrs. G rode our sleds up to Calpine to the Crew M.C.'s annual picnic, mostly to just go for a little ride. I'm a founding member of the Crew, but no longer active. I gotta get to more of their functions. I only knew about three people. Met some new folks, though.

The picnic was held on the lawn of the Sierra Valley Lodge. The Crew cooked lunch, burgers, potato salad, etc,. standard fare and very good. The owners of the lodge made the best baked beans I ever ate in my life. It was a secret old family recipe. I told the guy to at least fold a copy of it up in his will! They had a pretty good biker bar band on the deck called Trash Gordon, which I hope ain't some kinda omen!

It's a nice winding two-lane mountain road up to Calpine, and not much traffic, which was good because we're still in the break-in phase and didn't run much over 55MPH. Which was the speed limit anyway.

We had a nice day. Later.

Interlude ...

Atsuko Seta at the piano.



Ludwig van Beethoven - Für Elise

Saturday whorage

Late this week but construction began this weekend.

The first chapter of Birthright is up at The Practical Press.

Let us know what's happening at your place in comments.

Played for fools ...

I've been saying for years that Chimp & Co. are being played for fools by Mid-East leaders, who are far more savvy (hey, they got 5000 years of history under their belts) and shrewd than the neocons ever hoped to be:

WASHINGTON — Defense Department counterintelligence investigators suspected that Iranian exiles who provided dubious intelligence on Iraq and Iran to a small group of Pentagon officials might have "been used as agents of a foreign intelligence service ... to reach into and influence the highest levels of the U.S. government," a Senate Intelligence Committee report said Thursday.

A top aide to then-secretary of defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, however, shut down the 2003 investigation into the Pentagon officials' activities after only a month [no shit - F], and the Defense Department's top brass never followed up on the investigators' recommendation for a more thorough investigation, the Senate report said.

The revelation raises questions about whether Iran may have used a small cabal of officials in the Pentagon and in Vice President Dick Cheney's office to feed bogus intelligence on Iraq and Iran to senior policymakers in the Bush administration who were eager to oust the Iraqi dictator. [my em]

...


Let's see. They fed the gullible fools in the While House bogus info in the hopes of goading us into Iraq. What's happened since then? We've lost our moral compass, our military is bogged down and compromised (if not broken), and our economy is in the shitter.

I'd say 'mission accomplished'. It's time for this country to get a grip on reality and realize we lost this war not long after it started. The Iranians won. It's time to see it for what it is and come home.

And just a thought ...

The thing that bothers me about Barack and Hil both is that as soon as this race got sorted out, the first thing they did was run and kiss AIPAC ass.

...

And thanks to the convenient scheduling of a large and important conference on Israel, the presumptive nominee and the onetime Democratic front-runner, Sen. Hillary Clinton, would speak back to back in Washington, D.C., at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee policy conference.

...


I'm tired of Israel being treated like the 51st State when it does nothing but suck up billions of our tax dollars every year. Since when does any other foreign state have such an influence in U.S. policy? The day Israelis start paying taxes here is the day they should have a hand in shaping our foreign policy.

Get out ...

Seems everyone I know in Europe feel the same way their leaders do. The Chimp is going back there one last time:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - When President George W. Bush makes his final tour of European capitals next week, he can expect a less-than-fond farewell on a continent where leaders are already looking past him to his successor.

Behind the smiles and handshakes, there will be quiet relief among his European hosts who see an end to the Bush era as a chance for the next president to repair a U.S. image abroad that has been damaged by the Iraq war and other policies.

...


If we nail pin a $50 bill to his chest, will ya keep him? We don't want him back.

Great thanks to Maru for the link.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Obama: Lightworker?

Now that Senator Obama is our presumptive nominee, and just when the dishes and rolling pins and stuff have quit flyin' around the house at least to the point where I feel it's almost safe to take down the chicken wire that was protecting the pundits on our TV screen, Mark Morford kicks it up a notch.


Is Obama an enlightened being?
Spiritual wise ones say: This sure ain't no ordinary politician. You buying it?

Warning: If you are a rigid pragmatist/literalist, itchingly evangelical, a scowler, a doubter, a burned-out former '60s radical with no hope left, or are otherwise unable or unwilling to parse alternative New Age speak, click away right now, because you ain't gonna like this one little bit.

Ready? It goes likes this:

Barack Obama isn't really one of us. Not in the normal way, anyway.

Here's where it gets gooey. Many spiritually advanced people I know (not coweringly religious, mind you, but deeply spiritual) identify Obama as a Lightworker, that rare kind of attuned being who has the ability to lead us not merely to new foreign policies or health care plans or whatnot, but who can actually help usher in a new way of being on the planet, of relating and connecting and engaging with this bizarre earthly experiment. These kinds of people actually help us evolve. They are philosophers and peacemakers of a very high order, and they speak not just to reason or emotion, but to the soul.

Yep. Pretty gooey.

Please. I'm also certainly not saying he's perfect, that his presidency will be free of compromise, or slimy insiders, or great heaps of politics-as-usual. While Obama's certainly an entire universe away from George W. Bush in terms of quality, integrity, intelligence and overall inspirational energy, well, so is your dog. Hell, it isn't hard to stand far above and beyond the worst president in American history.

But there simply is no denying that extra kick. As one reader put it to me, in a way, it's not even about Obama, per se. There's a vast amount of positive energy swirling about that's been held back by the armies of BushCo darkness, and this energy has now found a conduit, a lightning rod, is now effortlessly self-organizing around Obama's candidacy. People and emotions and ideas of high and positive vibration are automatically draw to him. It's exactly like how Bush was a magnet for the low vibrational energies of fear and war and oppression and aggression, but, you know, completely reversed. And different. And far, far better.

Don't buy any of it? Think that's all a bunch of tofu-sucking New Agey bulls-- and Obama is really a dangerously elitist political salesman whose inexperience will lead us further into darkness because, when you're talking national politics, nothing, really, ever changes? I understand. I get it. I often believe it myself.

Not this time.

I think it is not tofu-sucking New Agey bulls-- to say that Obama is a better man than Bush. Hell, so is Pickles for puttin' up with his chimp ass.

As for the rest of the tofu-sucking New Agey bulls--, we will (hopefully) see. I'll be happy if Obama runs a non-criminal White House.

The beginning of the end ...

...

"Little by little the gray dawn comes up., but this time around, from the intensity of the aircraft and the cannon an idea springs to mind: landing! I get dressed hurriedly. I cross the garden, the men recognize me. In one of the foxholes in front of the house, I recognize one of the young men from the office; he has headphones on his ears, the telephone being removed there. Airplanes, cannon right on the coast, almost on us. I cross the road, run to the farm, come across Meltemps. 'Well!' I say, 'Is this it, this time?' 'Yes,' he says, 'I think so, and I'm really afraid we're in a sector that's being attacked; that's going to be something!' We're deafened by the airplanes, which make a never-ending round, very low; obviously what I thought were German airplanes are quite simply English ones, protecting the landing. Coming from the sea, a dense artificial cloud; its ominous and begins to be alarming; the first hiss over our heads. I feel cold; I'm agitated. I go home, dress more warmly, close the doors; I go get Bernice [a neighbor] to get into the trench, a quick bowl of milk, and we run - just in time! The shells hiss and explode continually.

...


6 June 1944; the beginning of the end for the Nazis.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Quote of the Day - Drei

Our pal UL:

Poised, as always for a political comeback, Broder's masturbatory fantasy, and lame duck Pretzelnitwit Tipsy O'Drinky surges all the way to 25% popularity proving once and for all that basically 25% of Americans are actually brain dead ...

Quote of the Day Zwei

From SPR:

It’s Official! Obama’s the Presumptive Nominee; McCain the Hump-tive Abominee

Heh.

Think about it, you pissed-off old white women...

Click to McBiggen

Quote of the Day

The Last Chance Democracy Cafe on what will happen to the Supremes if McCain is elected:

It ain’t just crying wolf when half the sheep have already been eaten. By then, it should be pretty clear to everyone how much is at stake.

Rights, meet shitter.

"...in fishnets and heels, dancing around a greased pole..."

Will Durst on John McBush:

I'm a little worried about John McCain. Not simply because of that nasty looking marsupial pouch stapled to his upper neck, but because he seems determined to wrong-headedly barrel down a path more dangerous than slaloming downhill blindfolded on a black diamond course with barbed wire gates at night. Let me explain. A while back, the erstwhile Senator from Arizona scheduled a fundraiser featuring President Bush at the Convention Center in Phoenix. But a few Democrats who weren't distracted by the ugly alley fight going on behind their own garage raised a stink. So they threw the most exquisitely horrible epithet at the Senator they could think of--John McBush.

This insult and some like it proved to be the motivation to move McCain's intimate soiree to a private home in Phoenix. Lots of deep-pocketed big time potential donors were invited but strangely, not the media. I'm guessing he's a mite reluctant to have that part of the electorate known as The Undecided see him all tarted up in fishnets and heels, dancing around a greased pole in front of his big Crawford Sugar Daddy (Brain bleach! Quick! - G). And if that image excites you, seek therapy.

The problem is even though the two get along like a cobra and a mongoose, Mr. McCain is really broke and must suck at George Bush's silicone-enhanced money tit, but isn't all that anxious to have a record of it. Typical case of needing the cash, but not the photo-op. Just another politician who wants to have his cake with the rich green icing flowing down and eat it too. Stuck between a despised lunkhead and a barren bank account. Damned if he does and doomed if he don't. Can't live with the president and can't take a ball peen hammer to his head and crack him open like a piggy bank then get down on his knees and scoop up every single coin that falls to the floor even those that roll under the dresser.

The ball peen hammer to Bush's head is a grand idea. Sorta like an empty piñata though - fun to do but nothing inside.

Revealed: Secret plan to keep Iraq under US control

Patrick Cockburn in The Independent (UK)

Bush wants 50 military bases, control of Iraqi airspace and legal immunity for all American soldiers and contractors.

A secret deal being negotiated in Baghdad would perpetuate the American military occupation of Iraq indefinitely, regardless of the outcome of the US presidential election in November.

The terms of the impending deal, details of which have been leaked to The Independent, are likely to have an explosive political effect in Iraq. Iraqi officials fear that the accord, under which US troops would occupy permanent bases, conduct military operations, arrest Iraqis and enjoy immunity from Iraqi law, will destabilise Iraq's position in the Middle East and lay the basis for unending conflict in their country.

But the accord also threatens to provoke a political crisis in the US. President Bush wants to push it through by the end of next month so he can declare a military victory and claim his 2003 invasion has been vindicated. But by perpetuating the US presence in Iraq, the long-term settlement would undercut pledges by the Democratic presidential nominee, Barack Obama, to withdraw US troops if he is elected president in November.

Please read the rest of this.

Teach your children and grandchildren well. Teach 'em Arabic, marksmanship, and how to keep their heads down so they can have children and grandchildren whom they can teach these things to and so on and so on.

Damn Bush.

Update:

Think Progress

An Iraqi government official today said that a “July target for negotiating an agreement on future relations between Iraq and the United States is likely to be missed.” The AP reports:

U.S. and Iraqi officials began talks in March on twin agreements on the status of U.S. military forces in Iraq after 2008 and a strategic framework agreement that defines long-term bilateral ties. […]

“I don’t think that we can meet this date. There is a difference in viewpoints between Iraq and the U.S. I don’t think that time is enough to end this gap and to reach a joint understanding … Therefore, we are not committed to July as a deadline,” he told al-Arabiya television. […]

The talks have angered many Iraqis who suspect the United States, which led the 2003 invasion of Iraq and has around 155,000 troops in the country, of wanting to keep a permanent presence there.


Update - Spencer Ackerman also notes, "Now this is really starting to get interesting. Tomorrow at 2 p.m., for the first time, Congress is going to receive testimony from two Iraqi parliamentarians opposed to the impending Bush-Maliki long-term-occupation deal."

What's wrong with these Iraqis? Don't they know it's traditional, perhaps written in stone or the Bible, that imperialistic white people are entitled to dominate and enslave little brown people over natural resource wealth? Yeesh.

Maybe the Iraqis are starting to think for themselves. Good.

Dr. Fixer of Weedology ...

A private San Francisco area university dedicated to the study of the cannabis industry is giving a whole new meaning to higher education.

At Oaksterdam University -- so called after the nickname locals have given to Oakland -- students learn how to grow, harvest and cook marijuana, as well as dispense it to others.

The goal, say administrators, is to educate consumers about the benefits of the mind-altering plant and encourage graduates to start their own dispensaries in California, even though possession remains prohibited under federal law.

...


Dear Oakland University,

Please advise me concerning the date of the ceremony bestowing upon me an honorary doctorate. Thank you.

Regards,

Fixer

PS: Late for work. See yas ...

Thanks to Maru for the link.

Change McSame ...

Nuff said:

If elected president, Senator John McCain would reserve the right to run his own warrantless wiretapping program against Americans, based on the theory that the president's wartime powers trump federal criminal statutes and court oversight, according to a statement released by his campaign Monday.

McCain's new tack towards the Bush administration's theory of executive power comes some 10 days after a McCain surrogate stated, incorrectly it seems, that the senator wanted hearings into telecom companies' cooperation with President Bush's warrantless wiretapping program, before he'd support giving those companies retroactive legal immunity. [my em]

...

What DD should have said ...

Our pal Skippy wrote a letter to Dunkin' Donuts about the Rachel Ray/scarf horseshit and got a reply, a lame one, so PhysioProf rewrote it a bit. Heh ...:

... what they would have responded with if they were honest.

Now get to work ...

Dday has a job for Senator Obama now that he's got the nom:

I congratulate Barack Obama on his primary win and think he has the opportunity to bring forward meaningful change in America. In fact, he can start today. He can go to the well of the Senate and demand that the party he now leads not authorize new powers to spy on Americans and immunize corporations who broke the law with their illegal spying in the first place.

...


Because the Dems are about to cave ... again:

...

The House Intelligence Committee’s top Democrat disclosed late Tuesday that he is ready to accept a Republican-brokered deal to rewrite the nation’s electronic surveillance laws, signaling that a long-running congressional impasse could soon be coming to an end.

...


No, that is completely unacceptable.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Election '08

Interestingly enough, this month's Leatherneck magazine depicted how it's going to go...



I needn't tell you which side's which.

Art is "Marines At Belleau Wood" by Frank E. Schoonover.

CA-04 Update

[A big welcome to Sideshow readers. - F]

Yesterday was election day around here. I'll cut to the chase: Charlie Brown won by a landslide and will run against Tom McClintock in November.

When we got to the polling place, Mrs. G took her paper ballot and disappeared into one of the high-tech cardboard-and-trash-bag booths.

i didn't get off so easy. One of the poll workers spotted me as an obvious sucker cutting-edge type guy and asked if I would care to, er, volunteer to try out their new electronic digital high-zoot voting machine. Here's the dialogue:

Me: "Did Diebold have anything to do with that thing?"

Him: "No. You'll be wanting a Democratic ballot, right?"

Heh. Right.

The machine was way cool, but I was so dazzled I didn't get the brand name. It was like sitting under an instrument flying hood in a biplane. It had a little wheel you turned to make your choices on a screen, which changed after each 'enter'. At the end, a paper backup scrolled into a window. I then got to approve my choices or not, and then it thanked me warmly.

It only took me about twice as long to vote that way as it took Mrs. G with her #2 pencil. Ah, the progress of man.

Update:

More at AmericanRiverCanyon. Click 'there's more...' at the bottom of his posts.

Gotta go now and prepare my new 49-state motorcycle for an attempt at getting a California title in place of an Oregon one. There's a little innocent trickery involved on my part due to a stupid California law. If it works, I'll post about it at F & G in a coupla days. If it doesn't work, I don't know when I'll be able to post...

DMV twice in one week. Yeesh. Later.

Update 2:

My motorbike now has its very own California title and license plate, and I didn't have to outrun anybody. Let's just say for now that my faith turned out to be well-founded in the supposition that the DMV lady, a very nice person by the way, is not an expert on much earlier English motorcycle odometers than came on the sled. I actually was concerned that she might wonder what a 150MPH speedo was doing on an 80MPH motorcycle. More later.

The Ten Things Republicans Should Never Say to Democrats

Welcome to Pottersville

10) “Why Can’t You Reach Across the Aisle and Work With Us In a Bipartisan Fashion Like Joe Lieberman?”

OK, first off, Lieberman is no more a Democrat than Richard Viguerie. Lieberman is like a faux punk rocker who wears clip-on body jewelry. He’s the embedded mole in the Senate sent to us from the Knesset and the Likud party. Caucusing with the Democrats while voting with you maniacs at every opportunity up to the point of publicly endorsing John McCain is so openly hypocritical that I’m amazed members of both parties don’t throw this simpering, skeletal cocksucker a boot camp blanket party.

Secondly, any naïve attempt to reach across your side of the aisle will only result in getting pulled over into your turf whereby any poor, uninitiated naif will get mercilessly rogered and shagged to the point of fatal anal hemorrhaging. It’s notable that Republicans only call for bipartisanship when they’re down on one or (as in the case of Larry Craig and Mark Foley) both knees.

Nine more, ending with:

1) “Why Do You Hate America?”

Ooh, not a good choice.

Not a good choice at all. That one's likely to get a Repug punched. On second thought, they shou;d go ahead and ask me.

History ...



Pic thanks to Watertiger. Click to embiggen.


150 years ago, these two people would have been property. 60 years ago, these two people were not allowed to serve their country. 45 years ago, they probably wouldn't have been allowed to vote.

Today, they have the ability to become the First Couple of the United States of America.

It's about fucking time.

Gotta take the Mrs. to the airport and then I'm off to work. See yas later.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Quote of the Day

Creature:

A black man is about to be the Democratic nominee for the president of the United States. That's pretty cool.


Yes indeed, my friend.

Nothin' a .30-'06 can't fix...

Hey, Conyers!

Click to empiggen

Oh, the irony...

I missed doing this yesterday because I was infatuated by riding my new motorbike around without the element of fear of getting it towed because I didn't have a license. I'm over that for a few minutes. Heh.

Ironic Times

U.S. Secretly Planning Attack on Iran
According to Pentagon press release.

CIA: Al Qaeda Nearly Defeated
Warns: if we defeat terrorism, the terrorists win.

Audit: Of $8.2 Billion in Iraq Defense Contracts, $7.7 Billion Unaccounted For
Contractors cite “don't ask, don't tell.”

Shuttle Delivers New Toilet To Space Station
And some magazines.

Gov’t Home Price Index Posts Largest Drop in 17-Year History
Cardboard box price index hits 17-year high.

Saudi Arabia Rejected Bush's Request to Boost Oil Output
Granted Cheney's request to do nothing.

Reports: Inflation Up, Home Prices Down, Health Care Costs Rising, Consumer Confidence Falling, Housing Foreclosures Soar, Prices Plunge
Stocks finish higher for week.

And isn't that really what it's all about?

And as a pæan to my creaky generation:

Woodstock Museum Opens
Features wide doorways, wheelchair ramps, strategically placed oxygen stations.


What, no geriatrics-trained EMTs? Harrumph!

So al-Qa'ida's defeated, eh? Go tell it to the marines

The Independent (UK):

Last week the head of the CIA claimed it was winning the battle. Nonsense, argues Robert Fisk. The extremists in the Middle East are growing stronger

Six thousand dead in Afghanistan, tens of thousands dead in Iraq, a suicide bombing a day in Mesopotamia, the highest level of suicides ever in the US military – the Arab press wisely ran this story head to head with Hayden's boasts – and permanent US bases in Iraq after 31 December. And we've won?

Am I alone in finding this stuff infantile to the point of madness? As long as there is injustice in the Middle East, al-Qa'ida will win. As long as we have 22 times as many Western forces in the Muslim world as we did at the time of the Crusades – my calculations are pretty accurate – we are going to be at war with Muslims. The hell-disaster of the Middle East is now spread across Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Gaza, even Lebanon. And we are winning?

Because al-Qa'ida is a way of thinking, not an army. It feeds on pain and fear and cruelty – our cruelty and oppression – and as long as we continue to dominate the Muslim world with our Apache helicopters and our tanks and our Humvees and our artillery and bombs and our "friendly" dictators, so will al-Qa'ida continue.

Does Mike Hayden read this stuff? Or is he, like most of Washington, so frightened of Israel that he wouldn't say boo to a goose? Doesn't the CIA realise – or imagine – that as long as we allow the Middle East to fester under a cloak of injustice, al-Qa'ida will continue? Why are our forces – and this is a question I was asked in Baghdad – in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Jordan, Turkey, Egypt, Algeria (yes, US special forces have a base near Tamanraset), Bahrain, Kuwait, Yemen, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Tajikistan? (Yes again, French bomber pilots are based at Dushanbe to fly "close air support" for our lads in Afghanistan.)

And as long as we have stretched this iron curtain across the Middle East, we will be at war and al-Qa'ida will be at war with us. This new iron curtain, by the way, starts up in Greenland and stretches down through Britain and Germany, through Bosnia and Greece to Turkey. What is it for? What's on the other side? Russia. China. India.

These are questions we do not ask; certainly they're not the kind of questions that The Washington Post would dare to put to Mike and his chums at the CIA. Yes, we huff and we puff about democracy and freedom and human rights, though we give little enough of them to the Muslim world. For the kind of freedom they want – the kind of freedom that allows outfits like al-Qa'ida to flourish – is freedom from "us". And this, I fear, we do not intend to give them.

Mike Hayman may think the Muslim world is "pushing back" al-Qa'ida's "form of Islam", but I doubt it. Indeed, I rather suspect al-Qa'ida is growing stronger. Mike says they're defeated in Iraq and Saudi Arabia. But are they defeated in London? And Bali? And in New York and Washington?

Not exactly similar, but similar enough to the Vietcong, skinny little guys with AK47s, and the Afghans who defeated the British with handmade copies of bolt-action Lee-Enfields, and many others throughout the years, al Qaeda's got a few things goin' for 'em, rightly or wrongly, that no modern firepower-based army can ever defeat - they've got a fire in the belly born of religious fanaticism and social oppression to rid themslves of exploitation by outsiders and their own regimes that are fueled by it.

They can peck away at the biggest army and cause it to lose its will to continue. It doesn't matter if it takes a hundred years. They are where they are and will be there long after we leave. Which we eventually will.

We might as well GTFO. As long as oppressive regimes are in place, many of whom even sponsor aQ as long as they terrorize elsewhere, the conditions that cause things like aQ will let 'em percolate along in perpetuity just fine without us.

And just as an afterthought, thank the stars for foreign news media that's not afraid of their corporate masters or a failing oppressive regime here at home.

John McCain: A legacy of being wrong

VirginiaDem at Kos has tamped McCain's shit into a nice brick:

It's seems like we've got a narrative building folks. John McCain is trumpeting his experience, but it seems like all he's done in this campaign is highlight how many times he's shown a lapse in judgment and a failure to understand the facts. And about serious subjects like Iraq, the economy, ethics, and his own damn words.

Wrong judgment, wrong facts.

The following is a list compiled just with a few minutes of web searching. If you know of others, add them in the comments.

Loooong list, many links, handily compiled in one place for reference should you require such.

Bush: Mad Mullah of the Movies

Tom Englehardt has a few words on Bush's immaturity, perhaps turning into real insanity in the face of failure, that got us into the mess we're in. He has a few for Nixon and Reagan too. A 'recommended read'.

So, in a historic moment almost four decades ago, a desperate president suddenly found it strategically advisable to present himself to his enemies as a potential nation slaughterer, a world incinerator (and his aides were privately ready to think of him as such); the leader of what was then commonly termed "the Free World," that is, was considering revealing himself as a mad emperor, a veritable Ming the Merciless.

Skip ahead these several decades and, presidentially, things have only gotten stranger. After all, we now have a president who has openly, even eagerly, faced the world as the Commander-in-Chief of Enhanced Interrogation Techniques, Extraordinary Rendition, and Offshore Imprisonment; a Vice President who appeared openly on Capitol Hill to lobby against a bill banning torture; and key cabinet members who, from a White House conference room, micromanaged torture, down to specific techniques in specific cases. Talk about Ming the Merciless.

In all this, you can sense a man in his own bubble world, engrossed in, and satisfied with, his own performance - both as actor and, as in childhood, audience. What Gen. Ricardo Sanchez has added to this is the picture of a man who, even in 2004, was already dreaming Vietnam disaster ("This Vietnam stuff... We can't send that message."); who, perhaps sensing that his blockbuster was busting, like Richard Nixon before him, proved willing to mix the white-hat and black-hat codes of his movie childhood in remarkable ways. Under the strain of a failing war, in private and among his top officials, he didn't hesitate to take on that "guru" role and rally his closest followers with a call to kill, kill, kill!

A confused pep talk indeed. Even if Bush is still exhorting his top officials not to "blink," Americans should. After all, there are almost eight months left to his presidency, and a man of such stunning immaturity, who confuses fantasy with real life, and is given to outbursts of challenge, bluster, and bloodlust should be taken seriously. Nixon's "mad mullah" stayed private until transcripts of the Watergate tapes and memoirs started coming out. For us, the question remains, will this President be able to take a final turn on-screen before his term ends, playing the "mad mullah" in relation to Iran?

Bush is like a spiteful little kid who never learned what "no" means who'll break a toy so no one else can play with it. The only reality that matters is his twisted image of himself and fuck everybody else.

Help me to understand this ...

Our good pal Pissed Off Patricia talks about this today:

Americans, are you so angry at Senator Clinton’s possible loss of the Democratic nomination that you are willing to vote for Senator McCain? Are you so angry that you are willing to punish your daughters’ and granddaughters’ by being responsible for the loss of their freedom to choice? That freedom of choice could and most likely will be taken away if Senator McCain becomes our next president.

...


And so does our friend Avedon from across the pond:

...

I gotta admit, I didn't get the "I'll vote for McCain!" thing when it was Obama supporters saying it, and I get it even less now that it's Clinton supporters saying it. I can easily understand the reasons progressives have for particularly disliking Obama or Clinton, but I don't get why they would dislike one of them so much that they'd rather completely forget how much better they still both are than McCain. Yes, they've both done things that are destructive, but jeez. I mean, McCain has no actual progressive policies, and several policies that are even worse than BushCheney's. And we need people to want to go to the polls and vote a straight Democratic ticket in November - not merely because we want a Democratic president, but because we want to win all those down-ticket races - and that just doesn't happen unless people have some enthusiasm for voting for the top of the ticket. Coattails, we need coattails a whole lot. (But if you can't bring yourself to vote for Obama, at least don't vote for McCain or stay home - vote for the other Dems on the ballot, and vote for Cynthia and Matt for pres.)

...


You all better get over yourselves real quick or nothing will get better and you'll be stuck with another asshole for 4 years. I was ready to leave in '04. If McCain wins in November, this blog will be run from somewhere in Paris or the Alsace before 2012. This isn't the America I put my ass on the line for and I've about had it with the whole situation. If you want to spend your lives supporting corporate interests as your rights get pissed away, go right ahead. Quit being babies and do what's best for the nation and future generations. It ain't about you.

Although, it would be nice to meet Avedon for tea in Cardiff or lunch at Gordon's near Charing Cross Station on a regular basis. Off to work ...

Appeasement ...

Via Maru, most believe the American President should appease our enemies just like that traitor to the realm Neville Chamberlain engage in diplomacy with hostile governments:

PRINCETON, NJ -- Large majorities of Democrats and independents, and even about half of Republicans, believe the president of the United States should meet with the leaders of countries that are considered enemies of the United States. Overall, 67% of Americans say this kind of diplomacy is a good idea.

...


What? No more "bring it on"?

The score ...

Dr. Fez-head tallies up the costs in Iraq so far:

CASUALTIES:

_Confirmed U.S. military deaths as of May 2008: at least 4,085.

_Confirmed U.S. military wounded (hostile) as of May 30, 2008: 30,143.

_Confirmed U.S. military wounded (non-hostile, using medical air transport) as of May 3, 2008: 32,248...

Assassinated Iraqi academics: 371.

_Journalists killed on assignment as of June 2, 2008: 127.

...

Afghanistan's fucked too ...

The NATO commander in Afghanistan says he needs more troops ... lots more:

No, that's not a typo. The outgoing US commander of NATO troops in Afghanistan says it would require 400,000 troops to secure that country.

...

Gen Dan McNeill is one of the straight-shooters of the US military, he says what he means and says it when it needs said. Four hundred thousand troops. As opposed to the less than 200,000 sent to Iraq for the Surge.

...

Monday, June 2, 2008

See yas ...

The Diggers are outta there:

...

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd was swept into office in November largely on the promise that he would bring home the country’s 550 combat troops by the middle of 2008, saying the Iraq deployment has made Australia more of a target for terrorism.

U.S. President George W. Bush said in March that he understood the decision and it would not harm bilateral relations.

The Australians had "successfully accomplished their mission" and their contributions "assisted in the stabilization and development of Iraq," U.S. military spokesman Col. Bill Buckner said in a statement.

...

Look out, California, here he comes!

I'm going to DMV this morning and see if satisfying the legal requirements and standing in line are enough to get me a driver's license.

If that works, I'm going to take my new motorbike for a spin and drive legally for the first time in six years.

Later.

Update:

Success! Two hours in line and 25 minutes of written tests, thumb print, vision test and plenty of paying, and I'm legit!

And, yes, I'm an eye and organ donor. Anyone who gets my eyes has hit the jackpot, and as far as my other original equipment, if ya ain't got a muffler or a water pump, an old worn out rusty one is better than nothing.

I'm goin' ridin'. Legally. See ya.

Good memories ...

The Chief remembers Guantanamo Bay fondly, but that was before 9/11:

Gitmo, to me, is, perhaps, similar to a relationship one has with a (former) significant other, in that your memories of that time are sweet and positive, but today the relationship, if there really is one, is negative.

...

For about an 18 month period, Early Spring 1961 to late Summer 1962, I was in and out of Gitmo many, many times on two different Navy ships. The first ship was a WW2 Sumner class destroyer. I was a third class Electronics Technician, ET3 in Navy speak who maintained radars and equipment associated with Combat Information Center or CIC. I also stood underway watches in CIC. The height of my proficiency was the ability to radar navigate out of Gitmo harbor.

...

Bad memories ...

The great billmon of the now-defunct Whiskey Bar once (well ... more than once) characterized the Iraq War as "Vietnam on crack," because the same shit was happening, just a lot faster and crazier. It seems we've arrived at 1967 and things are going swimmingly.

I don't get it ...

All day Saturday, I had to sit through the excruciating minutiae and whining of the DNC committee meeting while CNN showed every painful detail. By the time I switched over to the Beeb, I was under the assumption Barack was the presumptive winner. So why is Hil acting like she didn't get the memo?

Now, I voted for Hil in the NY primary but jeez, the writing's on the wall. Let's wrap this up already and focus the party's (and the media's) attention on McSame. Hil's acting like a spoiled child, still wanting to play the game, even though it's over, is very off-putting. It's time to go back to representing the people of New York (and I will be more than happy to help get her reelected).

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Right Now


Quote of the Day

The Rude One:

...

Are you goddamn kidding that two of the news networks are gonna spend a good chunk of the day on a hearing of the fuckin' Rules Committee of the DNC? Christ, give us a smoke-filled back room, please.

...


It's good to know a little about the process but really ...

McCain’s McClellan McNightmare

Daddy Frank lays it on 'em:

THEY thought they were being so slick. When the McCain campaign abruptly moved last Tuesday’s fund-raiser with President Bush from the Phoenix Convention Center to a private home, it was the next best thing to sending the loathed lame duck into the witness protection program.
...

The two men’s furtive encounter on the Phoenix airport tarmac, as captured by a shaky, inaudible long shot on FoxNews.com, could have been culled from a surveillance video.

Americans don’t like being lied to by their leaders, especially if there are casualties involved and especially if there’s no accountability. We view it as a crime story (my em), and we won’t be satisfied until there’s a resolution.

Amen to that, Pop!

That’s why the original sin of the war’s conception remains a political flash point, however much we tune out Iraq as it grinds on today. Even a figure as puny as Mr. McClellan can ignite it. The Democrats portray Mr. McCain as offering a third Bush term, but it’s a third term of the war that’s his bigger problem. Even if he locks the president away in a private home, the war will keep seeping under the door, like the blood in “Sweeney Todd.”

[...] Mr. McCain is hoping that the “liberal media” will once again be complicit enablers. We’ll see. He’s also counting on the press to let him blur his record by accentuating his subsequent criticism of the war’s execution — as if the war’s execution (also criticized by countless Democrats), not its conception, was the fatal error.

The 'press' will never let us know they made an error of moral judgment in their complicity about this criminal war, but they damn sure know they did. If they suddenly start doing their job it's tacit, if not implicit, admission of same. I'll not hold my breath.

As F. Scott Fitzgerald would have it, we will be borne back ceaselessly into the past. Or so we will be as long as Americans continue to die in Iraq and as long as politicians like Mr. Bush, Mr. McCain and Mrs. Clinton refuse to accept responsibility for their roles, major and minor, in abetting this national tragedy.

As usual, I agree with our Pop. Please read the rest.