Saturday, July 19, 2008

Portobello Belle

I've led kind of a sheltered life, but I think this song might have a dope reference or two in it. Definitely got that Limey gui-tar picker. Groooovy slide show, too.


To the Modulator, who's been showcasing our pets weekly 200 times!

Ode To Joy

Don't need no stinkin' Philharmonic Orchestra to play Beethoven...

Look in the thumbnails for the lady playin' it on a Tampon Pan Flute.

A tip o' the Brain to dulcimermonk.

Quote of the Day - Zwei

The Misfit:

... Maybe that is what Amtrak ought to call their printed schedules: "Time horizons." ...


Honorable mention to Dr. Attaturk:

Ol' Huggy is gonna be leaving a skid mark in the adult diaper when he hears about this one:


Yay M-A!

From the lovely Avedon:

Massachusetts is shaking off the lint that was Mitt Romney by getting rid of an old law no one had ever removed from the books (because it was obsolete), which Mitt had invoked to ban gay marriages. That law barred out of state couples from marrying in Massachusetts if their own state did not recognize their marriage, and was intended to prevent interracial couples coming to Massachusetts for marriages that were illegal in their home states.


Good on my northern neighbors. I just hope our Governor Paterson can strongarm our corrupt legislature here in NY to join the example MA and CA have set.

Saturday whorage

Saturday means another chapter of Birthright is up at The Practical Press.

Leave your links in comments.

Quote of the Day

TPM with video.

"...we won't let the Venezuelas, or the Nigerias, or the Saudi Arabias, or the Irans jerk us around by the gas nozzles the way they are doing it now." - Senator Craig (R-IDiot)

Larry, Larry, Larry...

Friday, July 18, 2008

Curmudgeonly Weenie Steppin'

Nicole Bell at Crooks & Liars:

In discussion of McCain’s painful fumbling over why health insurance covers Viagra but not birth control, The Situation Room panel of Wolf Blitzer, Gloria Borger, Stephen Hayes and Jack Cafferty debate the position between a rock and a hard place that McCain finds himself, eager to win over those feminist Clinton supporters but hesitant to speak out against that mainstay of the Republican platform: restricting women’s reproductive freedom.

Jack Cafferty: Viagra Is For A Medical Condition, Birth Control Is A “Lifestyle Choice”

Excuse me? I know that most men don’t have a huge well of knowledge on the workings of a woman’s body (any more than I completely understand all of your equipment), but I think that in absence of knowledge, it might be smarter to avoid definite declarations like that. Oral contraceptives are absolutely used to treat medical conditions:

Although they are most commonly prescribed to prevent pregnancy, birth control pills are also used to treat a variety of menstrual disorders including amenorrhea (absence of menstruation), dysmenorrhea (abnormally painful menstruation) and hypermenorrhea (abnormally Menstruation is the periodic shedding of the lining of the uterus, causing bloody vaginal discharge.heavy menstrual bleeding). They may also be prescribed to treat a number of other conditions, including polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), hirsutism (abnormal hair growth) and endometriosis. In addition, birth control pills may be taken to regulate irregular menstrual cycles and to help in the transitional period prior to menopause.

In addition to preventing pregnancy and treating various medical conditions, birth control pills also offer women a number of significant health benefits, including a decreased risk of colorectal, ovarian and endometrial cancers.

And since when is the life of a woman to be considered a “gray area” for negotiation? But there’s no gray area about a man’s desire to get it up, nor any consideration to the consequences of what happens when he can? Jack, you disappoint me.

I like Cafferty, but he must not have taken his blue pill 'cuz he damn sure stepped on his weenie about one of the great inequities in 'health care insurance'.

But then, he's just another old fart that refuses to accept Nature's take on aging. Does anybody think there might be a natural correlation between a slowing of the ability to get it up and menopause? Nature made sex fun so people'd do it to continue the species. She forgot to make it less fun after it no longer produces fruit, though. Heh.

To be fair, I see nothing wrong with covering Viagra and not birth control measures if the old men would stick to having sex with post-menopausal gals who are a lot of fun because they let their hair down a little once they can no longer get knocked up. Yeah, like that'll happen.

Speaking of 'producing fruit', Repug politicians, of course, should restrict themselves to adult males.

Fig-leaf Rationales Fall Away

Consortium News

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s call for a timetable on American troop withdrawals has touched off a dramatic change in the debate over the future U.S. engagement in Iraq – essentially, it marks a falling away of the fig-leaf rationales for the five-plus years of occupation.

When Cheney&Bush's fig leaf falls off, no photos please, thanks but no thanks. If I wanta see raisins I got a box of 'em in the cupboard.

The White House, the Pentagon and John McCain’s presidential campaign were caught off guard and fumbled their responses – in part because Maliki’s call for a timetable stripped away some of the more noble-sounding reasons for keeping U.S. troops in Iraq indefinitely, especially the defense of Iraqi sovereignty and the protection of its fledgling democracy.

So, the Realpolitik rationales of extracting more Iraqi oil and countering Iran’s regional ambitions were growing more acute even as the notion of respecting the will of the Iraqi people – as well as the American public – was growing more tenuous.

On one side, there’s the Bush administration’s rhetoric about respecting Iraq’s sovereignty and valuing democracy. On the other, there is the desire of McCain’s neo-conservative advisors to separate the success of the “surge” from the prospect of troop withdrawals precisely to serve those long-obscured but now very real geo-strategic interests – oil and regional power.


The bottom line is that as the oil crisis intensifies and tensions remain with Iran, the fig leaf over U.S. policy – as justified by the Bush White House – will continue to float toward the ground.

This election could represent a watershed for the American Republic, what might be called a pivotal "Imperial Moment," when Americans will face a fateful choice about whether staying “East of Suez” is the mission they want for their nation’s future.

Let's hope that the scales have fallen off enough Americans' eyes that it isn't.

Jo Stafford 1917 - 2008

Now that I'm officially older than dirt, the folks I remember from my childhood are all moving on.


Stafford's solo career began with an inextricable link to the war. A favorite of American soldiers, she was told by a veteran of the Pacific that "the Japanese used to play your records on loudspeakers across from our foxholes so that we'd get homesick and surrender." Not surprisingly, servicemen affectionately referred to her as "GI Jo."

She did a lot of comedy as well. Check this out. Pretty good slide show too.

Gitmo Detainees' Lawyer Drops Trou For Justice

WSJ's Law Blog

David Remes, a Covington & Burling partner, lowered his pants on Monday at a conference in Yemen to demonstrate the treatment of the detainees at Guantanamo Bay.

Remes continued: “At the press conference in Yemen — this is a society where the rule of morality is so strict — I wanted to drive home the degree of humiliation that these searches cause by illustrating a typical body search. The physical abuse they can stand. The verbal abuse they can stand. But when the military punishes Muslim men by shaving off their beard, or by forcing them to disrobe — for a Muslim man that is a thousand times more cutting than a Westerner can imagine. And that’s what I was trying to dramatize. The reaction to what I did makes me very sad. I wish people paid as much attention to the suffering and torment in Guantanamo as they paid to the way I sought to dramatize it.”

The presentation of his, er, package musta wowed 'em in a strict modest environment like Yemen. It took some sack to do that, or at least we now know where he keeps his spare socks on those long trips.

Proposed George W. Bush Sewage Plant makes ballot

Raw Story

A measure seeking to commemorate President Bush's years in office by slapping his name on a San Francisco sewage plant has qualified for the November ballot.

The measure certified Thursday would rename the Oceanside Water Pollution Control Plant the George W. Bush Sewage Plant.

Supporters say the idea is to commemorate the mess they claim Bush has left behind by actions such as the war in Iraq.

Local Republicans say the plan stinks and they will oppose it.

This is getting better and better! The 'local Repugs' can oppose it all they want. Each one of them has a vote.

If the measure passes, I humbly suggest a green dual-use proposal that will save time and energy: make the Bush shit plant the site of his presidential library. His fans can then read, albeit slowly with lips a-movin', about all his accomplishments in a symbolically odiferous environment. They can then don swim fins and a snorkel and tour displays of all he has done to this country with his Reverse Midas Touch.


At Think Progress, this in 'comments' on the same subject:

Texas approves major new wind power project

The Texas Public Utility Commission, not to be outdone by San Francisco, plans to name the massive wind farm, The Bush Blows Project.

The comments are more entertaining than the actual ballot measure. Go have some fun.

Send Karl Rove to jail

Go sign this.

No one in this administration's top echelon is going to go to jail probably ever, and for damned sure not until the Chimp no longer has the power to pardon, but a little pressure never hurts and it'll make you feel better.

Stepping stones ...

Seems Cheney and the neocons won't be deterred:

The United States plans to build a military airport near the northern Iraqi town of Halabja, which borders Iran, Iraqi media reports.

Khadr Karim Mohammad, the mayor of Halajaba, speaking to Aswat al-Iraq news agency on Wednesday, explained how the construction would proceed.

He said the municipality has allocated an estimated 1500 acres of land east of the town for this purpose and provided the necessary maps for the major project.


The official also revealed that a number of US delegations have visited the region frequently since 2003,"They were studying the roads leading to Iran, under the pretext of providing services to the town," he elaborated.


What? You think they'd give up? These pukes have waited 40 years to be in a position of 'ultimate power', the 'leaders of the free world', and they won't bow to the will of the American people. They never cared what we thought to begin with. Wouldn't surprise me to see an attack on Iran, using Iraq as a jump-off point, before the election.

Off to work. I been fucking with Mrs. F's work computer again, since the poindexters in her IT department 'fixed' it yesterday. I got it half-assed working with her hooked up by hard line and having to do a buncha reboot bullshit with my home computers, modem, and router. At least it isn't locking everything out like yesterday.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Rats ... leaving ...

I'm a lifelong Republican - a supply-side conservative. I worked in the Reagan White House. I was the chief economist at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for five years. In 1994, I helped write the Republican Contract with America. I served on Bob Dole's presidential campaign team and was chief economist for Jack Kemp's Empower America.

This November, I'm voting for Barack Obama.

When I first made this decision, many colleagues were shocked. How could I support a candidate with a domestic policy platform that's antithetical to almost everything I believe in?

The answer is simple: Unjustified war and unconstitutional abridgment of individual rights vs. ill-conceived tax and economic policies - this is the difference between venial and mortal sins.


Good for Larry.

As if we didn't know ...

Michael O'Hanlon was a wanker.

Appeasing bastids ...

The US plans to establish a diplomatic presence in Tehran for the first time in 30 years as part of a remarkable turnaround in policy by President George Bush.

The Guardian has learned that an announcement will be made in the next month to establish a US interests section - a halfway house to setting up a full embassy. The move will see US diplomats stationed in the country.


Thank god they have Barry to go to for advice. Good. God. What a buncha assholes. By the time the consulate is open, the press'll spin it like it was the Chimp's (and McSame's) idea all along.

Thanks to Ol' Fez-head for the link.

McCain -- Taking on the Mantle of the 'Know Nothing' Party for 2008

A BuzzFlash News Analysis

George W. Bush has shamed many Americans with his incoherent and anti-intellectual approach to the presidency. Now here comes John McCain.

In 1854, an anti-immigrant, fiercely Protestant political party called the Know Nothings fielded one losing presidential candidate before many of their adherents folded into the newly forming Republican Party. Could it be that the Know Nothings are back, with John McCain at the top of their ticket?

John McCain doesn't know where he stands or how he's voted on birth control issues. He doesn't know that Czechoslovakia has been two separate countries since 1993. He doesn't know much about economics. But somehow he knows he's the best choice for president.
So in 2008 it comes down to choosing between the former president of the Harvard Law Review, who has a clearly powerful intellect and ability to learn quickly, or the guy who doesn't really understand the economy after decades of voting on legislation that deals with it, and whose knowledge base will likely deteriorate while in office.

Doctors insisted that President Reagan, despite serious debate, had not experienced early symptoms of Alzheimer's disease in the White House. The New York Times wrote:

Mr. Reagan had been portrayed by many pundits and political opponents as absent-minded, inattentive, incurious, even lazy. And his Presidency was marked by a succession of very public mental stumbles -- most notably his dismal performance in the first debate of the 1984 campaign, and his confused and forgetful accounting of his role in the Iran-Contra affair ...

If the doctors were right, then forgetting his role in a major foreign policy operation was just typical memory loss for a man in his seventies. If that's typical -- and McCain's behavior suggests it might be -- should we really be willing to accept it?

When we go to the polls in November, remember what eight years of choosing the guy we wanted to have a beer with over the guy we resented for being smarter than us has gotten us.

The problem with age-related memory loss is as nothing compared to the short memory of most Americans. Except maybe in cases like, "Bomb Iran? But, Your Presidentship Sir, we did that yesterday...."

The Repuglican'ts have kind of a selective memory problem at the best of times. They remember things as happening the way they were supposed to happen when they dreamt 'em up, as opposed to the usual disastrous way their schemes turn out. Hey, they'd remember it forever if a lobbyist's check bounced.

So tell me ...

How does getting shot down and the crap kicked out of you for years teach you "how to win wars"? I believe we lost that one.

Sex, drugs, and death

Under the heading of "I never thought I'd post about stupid shit like this but continue to amaze myself" comes an extensive Houston Press piece on door-to-door magazine salesmen. I hate solicitors. Note: most of the little bastards are too lazy to walk up my driveway. The ones that aren't run back down it. On the other hand, being of a spiritual nature, I let the Saints and the JDubs walk.

That kid at your door with a magazine order form will tell you a story -- part sad, part hopeful. The truth will be infinitely worse than you can imagine.

A customer is a "Jones." A sales pitch is a "spiel," and there are all kinds of spiels — a school-spiel, cancer-spiel, you name it. These lies are known as a dirty canvass, and they're quite successful. Of course, there are natural salespeople who don't have to dirty canvass and can write ten or 12 sales a day, but the agents who can't snow a Jones and who come back empty-handed are known as WABs, weak-ass bitches. A WAB occupies a stratum in the caste system right below circus freak and just above whore. No one wants to be a WAB, so sometimes you have to dirty ­canvass.

If the MPA is unaware of dirty canvassing, then its only other choice is to somehow believe that door-to-door companies are the country's single-biggest employer of college athletes in the marching band whose parents are dying of cancer and who are competing for a scholarship to study theater in London.

The thing about a Jones is, you never know what you're going to get. Some male Joneses will buy any crappy magazine from an agent showing enough cleavage. Some will invite you in for a joint. Some will slam the door in your face or sic their dog on you.

Funny, they didn't mention my favorite - an ass-load of rock salt from a 12-bore...

The Dark Side


Yesterday we spoke with The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer about "The Dark Side," her new book exploring the White House’s move to abusive interrogations after 9/11. Today, we have a bonus: The first chapter of the book. Enjoy.

'Enjoy' may not be exactly the right word, but enjoy.

Big Oil's Politicians' Big Lies

1 of 45 from Skytruth

Click to emlubeit

Think Progress, links at site.

To support the Big Oil agenda of increased offshore drilling, conservatives have been telling the American public that there weren’t any major spills caused by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita for an entire month. The following video shows Sen. McCain (R-AZ), Wall Street Journal writer Stephen Moore, Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA), Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne, McCain spokeswoman Nancy Pfotenhauer, former Sen. Trent Lott (R-MS), and Sen. McCain (again).

Watch it:

All of these people are polluter-funded, from McCain on down. As Idaho governor, Kempthorne served the interests of the energy industries that funded him. Nancy Pfotenhauer was the top D.C. lobbyist for the right-wing energy company Koch Industries, and Lott is now a lobbyist for Chevron, Shell, and the Edison Chouest Offshore drilling rig company. Stephen Moore, like Pfotenhauer, received his economics degree from George Mason University, before working at the Heritage Foundation and the Cato Institute, then founding the Club for Growth and the Free Enterprise Fund. George Mason, Heritage, and the Cato Institute are all funded by Koch money.

They appeared on CNN, CNN Headline News, Fox Business Network, Fox News, and MSNBC, but were never challenged for their false claims.

In addition, the hurricanes caused disastrous spills onshore throughout southeast Louisiana and the rest of the Gulf Coast as tanks, pipelines, refineries and other industrial facilities were destroyed, for a total of 595 different oil spills. The 9 million gallons reported spilled were comparable with the Exxon Valdez’s 10.8 million gallons, but unlike the Exxon Valdez, were distributed throughout Louisiana, Mississippi, and other Gulf Coast states, many in residential areas. The most massive spills included:

Many comments.

I guess the OCs are giving up on Iraq. Their bought-and-paid-for Chimp couldn't get the Iraqi oil for them so he and their congressional employees are trying to get them some closer to home.

The sickly ironic part is they probably don't even need the domestic offshore oil to turn a big profit. They probably get taxpayer subsidies for exploration and drilling like they do for everything else, not to mention tax deductions for all of our money they spend.

Just as an afterthought, there apparently were no oil spills from the Chinese oil rigs in the Florida Strait either.

No return beyond this point

The LATimes has a reader-photo series of Weird Warnings. Some of them sort of belabor a point like this one, and some of them are just weird.

Happy Birthday, Nicolette

Nicolette Larson, July 17, 1952 - December 16, 1997

She had better known songs, but I like this one.

Problems ...

Mrs. F's new work computer crashed my network and I just got it back up. Grrr ... Later.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Quote of the Day

A thought, as you ponder the Mid East mess:

... Russia has no reason to give up its good relations with Teheran. Iran is their direct land access route to the Gulf. For several reasons such access might be very useful in the future.


When our interests in the region begin to rub against the Russians', things could get much more complicated in a hurry. Unlike the Old Soviets, the 'New' Russia has money.

Bored Marine

Do not under any circumstances click on 'Bored Marines' without setting yer drink down first! There's only about 1000 of these.

Church Street Blues redux*

Midweek tired-of-politics silliness.

Back in March I posted Church Street Blues by Tony Rice. I said this:

This is from an old lesson tape. Lesson: Just play it like Tony does.

I would like to commend young Mr. Vrba for his wisdom in following my advice, and thank him for the 22,347 hits on the Brain it took him to learn it. Not bad for a kid who's waaaay east of Fixer and for whom English is not his first language. And no, Senator McCain, he is not in Czechoslovakia.

Go to the thumbnail all the way to the right after the video and see another European kid, with the unlikely name of Björn Cardenas, play the tune. The miracle of YouTube. The lesson tape is about twenty years older than either of these lads.

*Redux - Latin for 'came back and bit ya on the ass'.

A tip o' the Brain to eddiebreeg.

An Open Letter to Luis Moreno-Ocampo, Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court


Dear Chief Prosecutor,

Congratulations on your request for an arrest warrant for the president of Sudan. When the rule of law cannot be justly enforced within a nation, it must be enforced internationally. In that regard, I would like to recommend that you seek an arrest warrant for the president of my nation, the United States of America. I have read your letter of February 9, 2006, in which you decline to seek prosecution of George W. Bush, and I believe new evidence compels another review.

With all due respect for the difficulty of your work, the case you have brought against the president of Sudan has followed quite different standards than those applied in your refusal to prosecute the president of the United States. In fact, you have refused to consider prosecution of George W. Bush because the United States is not a member of the International Criminal Court. But Sudan is also not a member of the International Criminal Court. Were you to consider the evidence of international crimes in Iraq as it exists today, and to consider the crimes committed on behalf of the president of the United States by members of the United States military and mercenaries employed by the United States, I believe you would find a case for prosecution that met the standards you applied, and applied well and admirably, to the president of Sudan.

I hope President Obama signs us up with the ICC. I'd like to see our war criminals in 'Orange'.

Totally Gay Happy Meals

Mark Morford, comments.

It is the end of the nutball Christian right. Here is your proof. To go

Somewhere in all this, a moral, a lesson. Perhaps a curious anecdote about how, in this country, it seems like every agenda, every stupid idea, every rancid fireball of ignorant religious fanaticism nevertheless gets its moment, its 15 minutes, its desperate shot at guiding the culture, just to see if it can, if there's something of value, if there's something to be learned.

And when it comes to the sad Christian nutballs, well, the lesson appears to be wildly obvious indeed: Avoid the sad Christian nutballs, now and forevermore. Hell, even God could've told you that.


Time for some campaignin'...


Send a JibJab Sendables® eCard Today!

A joke?

The Republican sense of humor:

Did you hear the one about the woman who is attacked on the street by a gorilla, beaten senseless, raped repeatedly and left to die? When she finally regains consciousness and tries to speak, her doctor leans over to hear her sigh contently and to feebly ask, "Where is that marvelous ape?"

Is this the kind of 'humor' we can expect from the man who wants to be President?

John McCain, caring about womens' issues one rape joke at a time.

Late today, see yas when I get home.


What he said:

The thing about the McCain rape joke is that it isn't just horrible because it's a a joke about a woman liking rape, it's about a woman who is explicitly beaten senseless until she becomes unconscious and raped and she enjoyed the experience.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Quote of the Day

Cindy McCain:

... Mrs. McCain believes that the only way to get around is by "small private plane."

Elitist much?

A goose for the sauced...


Oh please click!

One of the covers is a lot closer to the mark than the other one...


Take yer pick!

Click to gay up

Lotta good BBQ and military bases there too...

The Legacy of a Lunatic

In the post just below this one, I tried to summarize Bush's legacy in a short paragraph. Can't be done. There will be hundreds of books about it later after he's out of office and people start coming out from under rocks to tell what they know. For money. If they had any sense of patriotism, or even truth or common decency, they'd be screaming it from the rooftops as we speak. Metaphorically, of course. If you actually scream from rooftops, no matter the truth of your message, you get locked up. Don't ask me how I know this.

In the meantime, I found a pretty good summary of what his legacy will be. Here's some excerpts. The rest is Below The Fold, in toto and without comment, because I want this one to be handy.


Perhaps the most glaring reality of Bush’s presidency will be the fact that it was never a true presidency at all. The result of selection rather than election, it was marked not by sound strategy, but by stagecraft; not by purposeful action, but an endless array of photo-ops meant to capture merely an image of leadership in a constant attempt to obscure the truth that no such leadership ever existed.

While the smoke-and-mirrors experts continue to proffer their own creation – the man with the bullhorn in the wreckage of the Twin Towers, the man landing on an aircraft carrier declaring that the mission had been accomplished, the man sharing Thanksgiving dinner with his troops – the reality lurking behind the curtain is less than heroic or honorable: a lackadaisical fool reading a children’s book in the midst of mayhem, a smirking coward parading around in a flight-suit, a mindless, uncaring clown offering a plastic turkey to the men and women he was about to send to their deaths.

From the beginning, Bush surrounded himself with incompetent cronies, yes-men, and sycophants with a lust for influence, and handed out positions of power to people whose blind loyalty was the only measure of their suitability. Qualities like honesty and strength of character were never assessed, and were in fact an obvious hindrance for those who aspired to the inner circle.

A large part of Bush’s legacy will undoubtedly be his administration’s ability to spin the worst behavior into something noble, the most blatant lies into something too truthful to be questioned, the most heinous crimes into something heroic, all couched in language meant to divert the mind from reality, and the soul from guilt.

Even the once respected term moral Christian has been forever tarnished, having now been attributed to a torturer, a warmonger, a widow-maker, a non-repentant creator of orphans, of limbless soldiers, of multitudes of homeless, hungry, sick and dying people whose fate is of no concern to he who is not ignorant of, but blatantly dismissive of the very teachings he pretends to follow and revere.

Perhaps the most enduring part of any president’s legacy is the remembrance of their most obvious personal quality. In this instance, surely Bush will be best remembered for his arrogance – an arrogance born not of an overly-exuberant recognition of his own abilities or record of accomplishment, but merely reflective of a sense of entitlement to be praised for that which he never achieved, and rewarded with adulation and respect that was clearly never earned.

And the tales that will be told of Bush’s presidency will be rife with tragedy; tales of soldiers who died fighting not for freedom but profit, of cities left to drown amid apathy and incompetence, of corporations given free rein to exploit the vulnerabilities of a nation’s people, of an administration that plundered our treasury, saddled us with unconscionable debt, circumvented the rule of law, and left our Constitution in tatters.

Despite the best efforts of the revisionists, the spinmeisters, the propagandists, and those simply unwilling to admit that they were hoodwinked by an inept scoundrel and his attendant snake-oil salesmen, it is the truths of George W. Bush’s failed presidency that will be the basis of his legacy.

In light of that fact, Worst President Ever might be the kindest title that history eventually confers.

If I seem obssessed by that punk son of a bitch, it's only because I am frustrated by not being able to bitch-slap his head right off his shoulders.

Bush's legacy demands the head of bin Laden

Steve Weissman

If Osama bin Laden consciously set out to lure the United States into an ever-widening, never-ending and militarily unwinnable war, President George W. Bush is providing exactly the war the bearded one wanted. Start with Iraq, [...]

Move on to Iran, where the New Yorker's Sy Hersh has caught Washington sponsoring what can only be called terrorist attacks within the country, while Mr. Bush now tells the Israelis to go ahead with their preparations for possible aerial strikes against Tehran's nuclear enrichment and other facilities.

On to Afghanistan, where the CIA's hand-picked Hamid Karzai has predictably failed to become a viable national leader, mostly because his fellow Pashtun tribesmen see him for what he is - the Afghan face of a foreign military occupation. [...]

And so to Pakistan, where the Pentagon is systematically destabilizing the newly elected and highly fragile civilian government, as the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln and its task force sit menacingly off the Pakistani coast.

Allahu Akhbar! What more could bin Laden want?

Yeah, Bush makes me invoke the name of the Almighty as well.

Why, then, their suddenly renewed interest in finding bin Laden after so many years of letting him run free? The answer is both simple and shabby. During Mr. Bush's short stay in London in mid-June, the Sunday Times reported that he had ordered his troops to capture bin Laden before the administration leaves office as a way to secure the Bush legacy. "If he [Bush] can say he has killed Saddam Hussein and captured Bin Laden, he can claim to have left the world a safer place," the Sunday Times quoted one US intelligence source. "Bush is swinging for the fences in the hope of scoring a home run."

Is giving bin Laden the martyrdom he craves worth destroying civilian democracy and risking a civil war in Pakistan? To George W. Bush and the hyper-military John McCain, the question is hardly worth asking.

This may not be politically correct, but I hope bin Laden can avoid death or capture until after 1.20.09 so as to leave Bush's legacy at 100% - corporate running dog, shredder of the Constitution, neocon imperialist warmonger, borrower-and-spender enough to make U.S. a third-world country, an unbelievably incompetent politically motivated toady who gathered others of his ilk into positions of power, let-'em-eat-cake attitude toward the American people, destroyer of the economy, domestic and international felon many times over who ruined America's stature in the rest of the world possibly for generations if not permanently, and an arrogant, smirking little coward of a fascist bully, an international embarrassment to us all with his Ugly American buffoonery, and a constant incorrigible liar. I could think of lots more if I sat here long enough.

The one - I say again one - good thing he has done is to flush the Repuglican't party down the shitter for the next 20 years. Hopefully until his butcher's bill is paid, which could be a lot longer.

The 'Terrorist Army' ...

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. watch list of terrorism suspects has passed 1 million records, corresponding to about 400,000 people, and a leading civil rights group said on Monday the number was far too high to be effective.


President George W. Bush ordered in the current list in September 2003 as a way to wrap several growing terrorism watchlists into a single government database compiled and overseen by the FBI, through a Terrorist Screening Center.

Suspected terrorists or people believed to have links to terrorism are included on the list, which can be used by a wide range of government agencies in security screening. About 50,000 individuals are included on the Transportation Security Administration "no-fly" or "selectee" lists that subject them to travel bans, arrest or additional screening.


Personally, I'm surprised Mrs. F and I aren't on the list. We leave the country twice a year for two weeks at a clip and our passports fill up with entry/exit stamps before they expire. Thank God for Republican ineptitude or we'd get jacked up constantly.

The 'War on Terra' and the birth of 'Homeland Security' are just two more ways the Republicans pay off their donors. The Rethugs have done a great job of turning the U.S. government into a vehicle to allow the rich to get richer. "Government contracts" and "federal funding" are merely different names for "food stamps" and "welfare checks" for the wealthy at the expense of those who really need it. The spectre of terrorism enables no-bid contracts and little oversight. An ongoing war, half a world away, allows them to do it with little to no scrutiny.

The Republicans rail against 'social programs' yet have built one for themselves. In the 21st Century, the U.S. government works for the rich. 'Terror' and 'Security' are merely phrases designed to force the rest of us into going along with it 'for our own good'. The Iraq Occupation makes certain we'll have enough enemies so they can keep up the illusion, same with the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. It is not in the interest of Big Business to end them. Without the threat of Death looming around every corner, Americans wouldn't let them get away with it.

Without big, bad enemies, there would be no need for the 'military-industrial complex', no need for 'Homeland Security', no need for the fear and paranoia that allows the government to waste our money on programs that are wasteful at best and totally ineffective at worst.

As my commanding officer said to me a little over 25 years ago: "Son, pray we always have the Soviet Union and the Communists to demonize. I'd hate to see what they'd do if they had to find another enemy to justify their existence."

It meant little to a 20 year old kid at the time but today I can appreciate what the Colonel was trying to tell me. I find it very hard to believe that if the threat the Soviet Union (let us remember, the Soviets had thousands of nuclear warheads pointed at us that could reach the continental U.S. in minutes) posed did not force us into this postmodern nightmare at the height of the Cold War, a couple guys in a cave can do it today. I can't believe we could extract intelligence agents and operators from behind the Iron Curtain 30 years ago, yet can't seem to locate and kill Osama bin Laden and his posse.

I posit that it is not in Wealthy America's interest to do so.

Great thanks to Mr. Petulant for the link.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Quote of the Day

The Rude Pundit:


Sweet jesus, it's so easy to just blithely go on with our lives, pushing the knowledge of what's right aside and telling ourselves, until we maybe even believe it, "I'm happy, I'm content, and nothing's to be gained by tearing shit apart." Except we know that the only way to go forward is to tear it apart and see what's left to build.

Indeed. It's time for some pain in order to make America be America again.

And by the way, it's Bastille Day. Maybe it's time for us to have one of them too ...

The stench of hypocrisy 18

The Misfit adds to the list:

... Yes indeed, another virulently anti-gay Republican politician is busted while having sex with another person of the same sex. This particular asswipe was outed by his own wife, who found him in the marital bed with one of his assistants.


As always, I ain't the one who gives a shit what two consenting adults do, but those who live in glass houses shouldn't get stoned.

On the cartoon ...

You know, the New Yorker one of Obama and his wife.

My two cents:

They have a right to print anything they want. It's still America ... mostly. That said, it's not funny and it's not thought-provoking. Satire? Maybe but it's a reach. It's certainly in bad taste. Big deal. The Rethugs have done worse.

There are bigger things to worry about than a magazine trying to drum up readership.

Don't call our shit 'Bush'!

Folks in Frisco are defending their shit plant from being named after Bush!

Think Progress

What we didn’t expect was that most of the opposition was coming from people who didn’t want to name anything. They just wanted to forget about the past eight years and move on or they felt that this is a facility that does something really quite useful and it would be inappropriate to put his name on it. […] If you get to the point where people are defending the sewage plant, that’s a sign that things have not gone so well.

Earlier in the segment, McConnell noted the logic behind the name change idea: A wastewater treatment plant’s “job is to clean up a mess and so in that respect we think it symbolizes what the country is going to embark on as [Bush] leaves office.”

Audio and many comments.

Recession-Plagued Nation Demands New Bubble To Invest In

WASHINGTON—A panel of top business leaders testified before Congress about the worsening recession Monday, demanding the government provide Americans with a new irresponsible and largely illusory economic bubble in which to invest.

"What America needs right now is not more talk and long-term strategy, but a concrete way to create more imaginary wealth in the very immediate future," said Thomas Jenkins, CFO of the Boston-area Jenkins Financial Group, a bubble-based investment firm. "We are in a crisis, and that crisis demands an unviable short-term solution."

The current economic woes, brought on by the collapse of the so-called "housing bubble," are considered the worst to hit investors since the equally untenable dot-com bubble burst in 2001. According to investment experts, now that the option of making millions of dollars in a short time with imaginary profits from bad real-estate deals has disappeared, the need for another spontaneous make-believe source of wealth has never been more urgent.

"The U.S. economy cannot survive on sound investments alone," Carlisle added.

[...] "At this point, bubbles are the only thing keeping us afloat."

And Bush is popping them with his tongue...*

I suspect a little satire here, but not much.

*Fart/bathtub reference.

Ah, to dream...

Click to embiggen

Can we start a pool to see which one will cheat the hangman like Goering did?

As Oil Firms Seek Drilling Access, Exports Set Record

CNBC with a 'recommended read'.

While the U.S. oil industry wants access to more federal lands to help reduce reliance on foreign suppliers, U.S.-based companies are shipping record amounts of gasoline and diesel fuel to other countries.

The surge in exports appears to contradict the pleas from the U.S. oil industry and the Bush administration for Congress to open more offshore waters and Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling.

"We can help alleviate shortages by drilling for oil and gas in our own country," President Bush told reporters this week. "We have got the opportunity to find more crude oil here at home."

U.S. consumers are paying record prices for gasoline and diesel fuel, which the Bush administration blames in part on tight supplies.

While the administration argues that more supplies would help to bring down prices, U.S exports of diesel fuel in April averaged 387,000 barrels per day, up almost seven-fold from 59,000 barrels a day in the same month a year earlier.

It isn't for our benefit Bush wants to open up new drilling. It's so his oil cronies will have more to sell everywhere. And for healthier currencies than the dollar.

We will, of course, continue to be screwed and Bush will continue to lie and blame the Democrats.

Yes, we have to change our energy consumption habits. Yes, we must develop other sources of energy. Yes, we need to get rid of oil men in power so we can get a sane energy policy.

And yes, we will continue to pay through the nose. The bottom line is the bottom line.

Moral waivers ...

Or, Scraping the Bottom of the Barrel. Via Avedon, the Army is taking anyone they can get:


A yearlong examination of military and civilian records by The Sacramento Bee involving hundreds of troops who entered the services since the Iraq war began identified 120 cases of people whose backgrounds should have raised the suspicions of military recruiters, including felony convitions and serious drug, alcohol or mental health problems.

Of those, 70 later were involved in controversial or criminal incidents in Iraq.


The 70 were among the tens of thousands of military personnel recruited or retained as the armed services, entering the sixth year of the Iraq war, lowered educational, age and moral standards and granted a growing number of waivers to applicants whose backgrounds previously would have barred them from serving.


That's it. Take violent, anti-social offenders, hand them a rifle, and tell 'em it's okay to kill brown folks. And we wonder when shit like Abu Graib happens, or when they come home and commit violent crimes against American citizens.

These clowns shouldn't be allowed to possess a BB gun, let alone be put in a war zone, and is a testament to how badly the situation in Iraq has crippled our military. The latest line from the White House this weekend is that there will be "a drawdown" of troops from Iraq, but that's only to send them to Afghanistan because we don't have the reserves to fill in the gaps (though Afghanistan was treated like the red-headed step-child from Day One) our half-assed commitment created.

Cdr. Huber:

... The Bush spin machine was quick to declare that the administration is considering increasing the pace of the pullout from Iraq (as if they were actually considering "pulling out" in the first place), not as a reaction to Maliki's invitation to pack sand, or because the force is collapsing from the deployment tempo, but because the extra troops are needed in Afghanistan.


The real moral waiver came when the U.S. Congress gave these assholes carte blanche to start this war and continue to fund it into its sixth year. Unfortunately, the way things are going, any grip we get on Morality is a long time coming. As long as insane foreign policy is considered mainstream, we will continue to field a military made up of convicts, gang bangers, and low lifes. Atrocities will continue and American credibility will continue to circle the bowl.

John McCain wants to stay in Iraq forever? Answer me this. Where is he gonna get the troops? Or is he just gonna empty out the prisons?

Cross-posted at API.

The reason why ...

You should vote for Barry regardless of his moron FISA vote:


The Senate has shown they will confirm a doorstop if the president wants them to. There are no Teddy Kennedy's who will lead the charge against another Bork. This is one reason why I'll vote for Obama enthusiastically. A President McCain will throw the wingnut zealots the most reactionary, federalist society hack he can find, like bloody bloody meat to a piranha tank. He doesn't care about anything but paying off his rich friends and making war. Whatever our problems might be with Obama we know that he won't do that.


That goes especially for the Hillary people who are still holding a grudge (though I believe the number of Hillary supporters who'll vote for McCain is a lot less than the media makes it out to be).

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Where's Waldo Turdblossom?

Following up on Friday's post, Rove has been found. Check it out at NotionsCapital.

Karl Rove is roving the beaches of the Crimea, not the committee rooms of Congress. Andrew Malcolm of the Los Angeles Times reached the former White House Senior Svengali by cell phone in the Eastern European resort to ask for his reaction to the death of Tony Snow.

Ukraine does not have an extradition treaty with the US, according to the Congressional Research Service, and ”Contempt of Congress” may not be a crime in the Crimea. At least we don’t have to worry about Mr. Rove obtaining undue influence over the Crimean president — there isn’t one. The Head of State of Crimea is the President of Ukraine (Viktor Yushchenko).

Karl may be checking out the employment possibilities, thinking his particular Machiavellian talent would be well suited to their kind of politics. I hope he gets the job. What he doesn't know about politics in that region is that they're likely to kill him. I hope he likes soup.