Check out the two backup gui-tar pickers. I think one of 'em is Keith Richards.
Chuck Berry & Linda Ronstadt ~ Back In The U.S.A.
"Larry, I'll withraw my objections if Sanjay is prepared to film a segment where he shoots himself in the leg with an unregistered gun, and then seeks treatment under the 'health care plan' of an unemployed auto worker whose job has been shipped overseas."
Cindy Sheehan asked if I could record a 3-minute goodbye message to Bush and Cheney for her radio show, so I wrote down and read the following:
Never more than in this moment, George, have you been a uniter, not a divider. The joy at your departure is world-wide and wonderful. But I don't want to fully embrace it because I don't want this to be the last we see of you. When I was four years old I watched Richard Nixon leave, and that was just about the last we saw of him, and that is what brought us you. Instead, we should have had monthly reports of regret and repentance from Nixon's prison cell for 20 years. You yourself may have longer than 20 years to live, although with your boss we may have to hurry or invest in a heart transplant. My strongest wish, George, is to give you and Dick and Rummy and Condi and Yoo and Bybee and all the gang what you have denied to so many others: a fair trial.
Your stupid smirk and Cheney's nasty grimace will thankfully no longer be omnipresent, but the damage you have done will be much harder to remove, and if we do not punish you for it, it may be repeated and never undone. I wish you no ill. If letting you go drink and golf would impose a democratic rule of law on future officials, then that's what I would favor. As it happens, of course, that would only encourage people as mean and destructive as your brother Jeb, although not specifically Jeb, of course, since nobody with your last name will be able to win an election in this country for 50 years.
If you pretend to pardon the people who committed your crimes for you, we will challenge that absurdity in court, and we will pursue state, local, civil, foreign, and international prosecutions until you are behind bars.
Washington D.C. is going to look something like a colder version of New Orleans before you drowned it this month as millions of people get drunk on the delirium of seeing you drag your contemptible carcass out of town. Two events I plan to take part in illustrate the mood.
On January 19th, we're going to gather in DuPont Circle, march to the White House, and throw shoes and boots at you. Check out http://shoebush.org to see what we have planned.
On January 20th, we have a permit for an Arrest Bush demonstration on the sidewalk in front of the FBI building along Obama's inauguration parade route. We're going to be sending a clear message to your successor. Take a look at http://www.arrestbush2009.com
We've created nice warm sweatshirts that say Arrest Bush and Cheney, and people can go to http://afterdowningstreet.org to buy them. We'll be dressing for success, George, but without the flight suit, the aircraft carrier, or the bullshit.
You've lied to us for eight years, so the truth may not catch your attention, but this is the truth: we will not rest until you are convicted and incarcerated. (my em)
Is this the year? Is this the one where it all comes together and it all begins to make some sort of strangely cohesive sense, where you really begin to sink into warm pools of calm awareness laced with laughter and love and really healthy teeth, where you finally accomplish or at least begin all those lingering and latent projects you've been craving for so long, like learning to bake orgasmic homemade bread or creating that hyperliterate travel/sex blog or meditating at dawn, all while reminding yourself every single day to tell everyone around you how beautiful and important and luminous they are, and how grateful you are every moment just to be here, sharing space with them, touching the planet, feeling it all, entirely clothing optional?
Or was that last year? And this one can be summed up in two little words: "More Ambien"?
8. Organize sock drawer in armoire of fears
9. Stop and smell the roses
l0. Stop and smell the roses, and then lean in a little closer and actually lick one to see if it tastes like God or sex or marshmallow or merely pesticide and dirt
11. Realize I do not have to stop and smell the roses all the time because goddammit I have a metaphorical rose right there under my karmic nose at all times, and I merely need to acknowledge it and appreciate it now and then and maybe get a nice little bud vase to put it in. And hell, maybe I don't even like roses, and that's perfectly OK, roses are totally overrated and overexposed anyway, right? Like vitamin water? Like Scarlett Johannsen? Like that guy from Maroon 5? Now orchids. There's a flower for you. I mean, a good orchid makes your average rose look like a toothless hag at the prom, you know? Basically like comparing fine rum to a bottle of Two-Buck Chuck, am I right? No contest, really. Yes, gimme a suggestive, dangerous orchid any day over a pitiable, lumpy rose. But hang on -- can you really stop and smell the orchids? Do they even have much of a scent? Besides, orchids are pretty sexual, yonic, pornographic, even. Sort've makes you want to do more to them than merely smell them, you know what I mean? Wait, would they arrest you for that sort of thing? I bet they would. Bastards. Then again, as catchphrases go, I suppose "stop and hump the orchids" has a pretty lousy ring to it. Hideous bumper sticker, too. OK, so roses it is. They are sort've nice, to be honest. Beautiful, even. Sorry about what I said before. I was just being a shmuck. Hell, who doesn't love a nice bouquet of roses? No one, that's who.
24. Write more while slightly drunk (see previous)
Ignoring sex education does not appear to be working very well. Bible studies and pretending as though sex doesn't happen with teens is not a policy. Wouldn't it be nice to see this Congress put an end to the silly abstinence programs that cost so much and deliver consistently bad results? Oh wait, we need to be fair to them too despite the facts.Mississippi now has the nation's highest teen pregnancy rate, displacing Texas and New Mexico for that lamentable title, according to a new federal report released Wednesday.
One of Amsterdam's most popular attractions among young adults, the Heineken Experience, has reopened after a year of renovations.
The new Experience updates its offerings with several high-tech exhibits targeting the YouTube generation.
For instance, visitors can perform karaoke of the cheesy Dutch classic song "Tulips from Amsterdam" against a backdrop of canals - and instantly send a video clip of the event by e-mail to their friends.
At the end of the tour comes - what else? - a bar stocked entirely with Heineken. As a gag, bartenders serve water to anybody who tries ordering a Bud.
From a certain perspective, one could argue that you have been the most successful president the country has ever seen. Think about it, because according to your definition of "success," it's true. You came into office looking to make your friends richer, and to fulfill as best you could your most overriding personal belief: that government is the problem, so government must be damaged and denuded to the point of impotence. Through your tax cuts and your two vastly expensive boondoggle wars, you made your friends rich. By unleashing Mr. Cheney and your other minions, you tore the Constitution to shreds and tatters. You have achieved both goals in smashing style, so from that certain perspective, you have triumphed.
Could you also, from the proper perspective, be considered our greatest president?
Perhaps, someday, if we make it so.
It will be in the best interests of many powerful people if we as a nation simply dismiss you and forget you ever happened. A lot of news media people want us to forget you, because in forgetting you, we would forget the media's vast complicity in your actions and misdeeds. A lot of rich people making new fortunes from war profiteering and defense contracts want us to forget they and you even exist, as it would make it possible for them to do it all again someday. A lot of politicians who stapled themselves to you would simply adore it if we forgot about you. The Republican Party would be forever in our debt if we forgot about you.
No. We will not forget you. We will remember.
We the people are going to save you from ignominious oblivion. We will remember. You could be the president who doomed America, the worst president of all time, but we must not, will not let that happen. You will be remembered differently, because we will hold the memory of you high, and behold you, and say, "Never, never, never again." We have tasted the soot and smelled the blood on the wind; we have seen how fragile our way of government is when placed in the hands of low men such as you, and because of that, you will be remembered for all time.
Your greatness will be defined by how we rise to overcome and undo what you have done. Your greatness will stand forever if we never, ever forget the hard, bitter lessons you taught us. We are responsible for this republic, for our Constitution, and for each other. We are our brother's keeper. You taught us that by becoming our Cain. You nearly slew us, but here we stand, and we defy the place in history you would relegate us to. We defy you, and by doing so, we rise.
Something like you must never again be allowed to happen to this country, and if we save ourselves by preventing you from ever happening again, your greatness is assured. You are the tallest of all possible warnings, and a promise all of us must solemnly and stalwartly keep. If we can damn you to the past, we will save our own future.
May you live forever, you son of a bitch.
Who is best describing this huge problem?
If you ask me, for damn sure
It's that savvy blogger over at firedoglake;
That would be Jane Hamsher.
Her basic point is so convincing; shouldn't
Senator Reid be a bit
Less angry with Burris & much more at that
Traitor from Connecticut?
A seventy-one year old dude who hasn't held office for 14 years, appointed by a crook, takes the Senate Majority Leader to the cleaners.
And now, we’re going through it too. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug on college campuses today. While this isn’t anything new, it’s still something to consider, especially when short-term effects of smoking include distorted perceptions, difficulty solving problems and complications with learning and memory.
But still, some of my classmates claim they can write more profound papers and engage in better conversations when high on marijuana. Others say they hit the pipe nearly every day and can still pull high GPAs. They say it’s just a phase.
On Tuesday afternoon El Paso Mayor John Cook vetoed a resolution unanimously passed by city council that would have asked the U.S. government to begin a serious debate on legalizing narcotics.
Earlier in the day city council passed a resolution, ration[aliz]ing that the best way to stop the drug wars in Juarez may be to legalize the drugs here in the United States. It was part of a larger resolution outlining several steps for the United States and Mexico to take in order to cut down on the number of murders between rival drug cartels. Last year more than 1,600 people were murdered in Juarez.
The headline of this story tells you all you need to know about how the War On (Certain American Citizens Using Non-Pharmaceutical, Non-Alcoholic, Tobacco-Free) Drugs occupies a position in the public discourse that is considered unassailable. The City Council’s resolution just asks the federal government to debate drug legalization, and the headline reads: “Mayor Cook Saves City From Possible Embarrassment” - because nobody serious would ever question the Drug War! How embarrassing to have the gall to ask Senator Hutchinson to even think about investigating alternatives to spending $50 billion a year trying to stop people from using drugs!
... This has been about the most inauspicious beginning of any congress I've seen, a total embarrassment to the Senate Democrats, who've managed to make the House look like the more restrained, deliberative body ...
Eight years of bodies, dead, broken, mutilated, abused; eight years of ruined lives down countless drains; eight years of massive destruction to places from Baghdad to New Orleans where nothing of significance was ever rebuilt: all this was brought to us by a President, now leaving office without apology, who said the following in his first inaugural address: "I will live and lead by these principles: to advance my convictions with civility... to call for responsibility and try to live it as well."
He lived, however, by quite a different code. Destruction without responsibility, that's Bush's legacy, but who's counting now that the destruction mounts and the bodies begin to pile up here in the "homeland," in our own body count nation? The laid off, the pension-less, the homeless, the suicides -- imagine what that trillion dollars might have meant to them.
I know Caroline Kennedy. She’s smart, cultivated, serious and unpretentious. The Senate, shamefully sparse on profiles in courage during Dick Cheney’s reign of terror, would be lucky to get her.
So apparently Obama plans to appoint CNN’s Sanjay Gupta as Surgeon General. I don’t have a problem with Gupta’s qualifications. But I do remember his mugging of Michael Moore over Sicko. You don’t have to like Moore or his film; but Gupta specifically claimed that Moore “fudged his facts”, when the truth was that on every one of the allegedly fudged facts, Moore was actually right and CNN was wrong.
What bothered me about the incident was that it was what Digby would call Village behavior: Moore is an outsider, he’s uncouth, so he gets smeared as unreliable even though he actually got it right. It’s sort of a minor-league version of the way people who pointed out in real time that Bush was misleading us into war are to this day considered less “serious” than people who waited until it was fashionable to reach that conclusion. And appointing Gupta now, although it’s a small thing, is just another example of the lack of accountability that always seems to be the rule when you get things wrong in a socially acceptable way.
It seems to me that what is needed in a surgeon general is also someone who can make the case for, or at least someone who is supportive of, a reformed public health care system, given that this seems to be, as many of us hope it genuinely is, one of Obama's main policy priorities. But is Gupta an advocate of such reform? I have my doubts. As he exposed in his critique of Michael Moore's movie Sicko back in July 2007, he seems to be very much a part of, as well as a defender of, the status quo, namely, the corporatized health care system controlled by Big Pharma and the HMOs. As I put it then, he picked apart Moore's movie, avoided subjecting the existing system and/or Moore's critics to similar evaluation, and failed to address the most serious flaws of the American system, namely, the enormous costs even to those with insurance and the utter lack of insurance for millions." So is this really the man who should be the spokesman for public health in the United States?
What this says is that there’s a reasonable economic case for including a significant amount of tax cuts in the package, mainly in year one.
But the numbers being reported — 40 percent of the whole, two-year plan — sound high. And all the news reports say that the high tax-cut share is intended to assuage Republicans; what this presumably means is that this was the message the off-the-record Obamanauts were told to convey.
And that’s bad news.
Look, Republicans are not going to come on board. Make 40% of the package tax cuts, they’ll demand 100%. Then they’ll start the thing about how you can’t cut taxes on people who don’t pay taxes (with only income taxes counting, of course) and demand that the plan focus on the affluent. Then they’ll demand cuts in corporate taxes. And Mitch McConnell is already saying that state and local governments should get loans, not aid — which would undermine that part of the plan, too.
OK, maybe this is just a head fake from the Obama people — they think they can win the PR battle by making bipartisan noises, then accusing the GOP of being obstructionist. But I’m really worried that they’re sending off signals of weakness right from the beginning, and that they’re just going to embolden the opposition. [my ems]
Who the f*ck cares what DiFi and Rockefeller think at all about national intelligence? Both of these traitors have enabled every illegal thing that Bush has done these last eight years, ranging from the Geneva Convention war crimes and CIA interrogation and rendition policies, to the FISA gutting and domestic spying illegalities. Both have sat by, gotten briefings, and allowed it all to happen, and are just as guilty of treason as the administration is. And I'm now supposed to care that DiFi thinks that Panetta is a bad choice?
It’s not uncommon for Presidents to embellish their accomplishments upon leaving office, but George W. Bush, who will exit the White House leaving the country in the worst shape since Herbert Hoover, has gone a step further, moving past exaggeration into outright lying.
One of the surprising claims that stood out among the combined 90 pages of so-called accomplishments was the White House’s glowing assessment of Bush’s record on veterans’ issues. Bush claims he “provided unprecedented resources for veterans” over the past eight years and provided “the highest level of support for veterans in American history.”
The White House made these claims in the face of what former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld might have called a “known known” – that the treatment of veterans returning from deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan has been a national disgrace, highlighted most dramatically by the neglect and substandard care given wounded troops at Walter Reed and other military hospitals.
For his part, Bush stacked the VA with political cronies, such as former Republican National Committee chairman Jim Nicholson, who as VA Secretary defended a budget measure that sought major cuts in staffing for healthcare and at the Board of Veterans Appeals; slashed funding for nursing home care; and blocked four legislative measures aimed at streamlining the backlog of veterans benefits claims.
Bush's appointees also obstructed scientific research into the causes of Gulf War illnesses dating back 18 years to Operation Desert Storm and opposed medical research on treatment for 210,000 of those veterans.
As for funding, Bush proposed a 0.5 percent budget increase for the VA for fiscal year 2006, which amounted to a “cruel mockery” of Bush’s promises to do everything to support veterans and soldiers, Rep. Lane Evans, D-Illinois, said at the time.
Even after Nicholson’s resignation, the Department of Veterans Affairs continued to be buffeted by scandals, including a cover-up in an epidemic of veterans’ suicides and attempted suicides.
“Bush is the worst failure for our veterans since Hoover,” Sullivan said, expressing shock that the President “would shamefully continue his legacy of lies to the American people as he and his political cronies are forced to leave office on Jan. 20.”
"What kind of President pats himself on the back with 200,000 veterans sleeping homeless on the street every night?” Glantz said in an interview. “What kind of administration puts out self-congratulatory press releases while over 6,000 veterans commit suicide every year?
Yet, Bush’s White House is now hoping that its last-minute propaganda barrage will, if nothing else, cloud some of the memories about its failures and misjudgments. Bush’s critics, however, are not willing to so easily forget.
In justifying her vote to confirm Porter Goss as CIA director in 2004, Feinstein said, “I believe the President should have the prerogative to appoint who he wants to be the DCI, or for any other senior position, subject only to the requirement that the person be qualified for the job.” [...] (my em)
Epic-moral-fail. (Reference is to Kappas, but it fits. - G)
Leon Panetta may not have been working on intelligence case reports, but on this issue he's sterling. And if there is to be a CIA head, then let it be one that will let the professionals do their job, while putting a line in the sand they will NOT cross. Feinstein had no problem voting for pro-torture Attorney General Mike Mukaskey and pro-torture CIA head Porter Goss and both have by and large bought Bush's bullshit for 8 years running, but heaven forbid someone who will not run the CIA like a "24" episode be appointed.
When Al Franken decided to run for the Senate in Minnesota, it was as one type of crusade, to redeem the seat of Paul Wellstone, ripped away by Wellstone's death in a plane crash and then by Republican subterranean ratfuckers, who manipulated Wellstone's memorial into some kind of anti-American face fart. Franken, who has talked repeatedly about this as another kind of scar, went into the election to take down Norm Coleman, the slick as shit huckster who was elected over Walter Mondale, the Wellstone surrogate in 2002. There was redemption to be had, and someone with celebrity and name recognition and deep pockets was the person to do it.
What the election turned into was another kind of redemption for Democrats. 'Cause, see, when Franken didn't concede the tight race back in November, he finally stood up and said let's see what happens when you actually fight for all the votes cast. When he decided not to be a mensch, like Gore and Kerry did with their tails between their legs, he demonstrated that Democrats can get into the kind of bare knuckle fight that Republicans have challenged them to time and again. And win.
Asshole from El Paso
Awol von Bunnypants
aWol von Lazyass
Awol von Retard
Awol von Stupid
Dianne Feinstein is having a little public fit because she wasn't consulted about Panetta and had instructed the president-elect that he had to choose an "intelligence professional." Well, excuse me. When did Difi get a veto on cabinet appointments?
Peru to Sue Yale Over Artifacts
Demands its skull and bones back.
Yugo Ends Production
Leaves GM, Ford, Chrysler as only remaining makers of clunkers.
I can't express how many emails I've received in the last week from people identifying themselves as "liberals" (and, overwhelmingly, American Jews); telling me that they agree with my views in almost all areas other than Israel; and then self-righteously insisting that I imagine what it's like to live in Southern Israel with incoming rocket fire from Hamas, as though that will change my views on the Israel/Gaza war. Obviously, it's not difficult to imagine the understandable rage that Israelis feel when learning of another attack on Israeli civilians, in exactly the way that American rage over the 9/11 attacks was understandable. But just as that American anger didn't justify anything and everything that followed, the fact that there are indefensible attacks on Israeli civilians doesn't render the (far more lethal) attacks on Gaza either wise or just -- as numerous Jewish residents of Sderot themselves are courageously arguing in opposing the Israeli attack.
More to the point: for those who insist that others put themselves in the position of a resident of Sderot -- as though that will, by itself, prove the justifiability of the Israeli attack -- the idea literally never occurs to them that they ought to imagine what it's like to live under foreign occupation for 4 decades (and, despite the 2005 "withdrawal from Gaza," Israel continues to occupy and expand its settlements on Palestinian land and to control and severely restrict many key aspects of Gazan life). No thought is given to what it is like, what emotions it generates, what horrible acts start to appear justifiable, when you have a hostile foreign army control your borders and airspace and internal affairs for 40 years, one which builds walls around you, imposes the most intensely humiliating conditions on your daily life, blockades your land so that you're barred from exiting and prevented from accessing basic nutrition and medical needs for your children to the point where a substantial portion of the underage population suffers from stunted growth.
If you see Palestinians as something less than civilized human beings: as "barbarians" -- just as if you see Americans as infidels warring with God or Jews as sub-human rats -- then it naturally follows that civilian deaths are irrelevant, perhaps even something to cheer. For people who think that way, arguments about "proportionality" won't even begin to resonate -- such concepts can't even be understood -- because the core premise, that excessive civilian deaths are horrible and should be avoided at all costs, isn't accepted. Why should a superior, civilized, peaceful society allow the welfare of violent, hateful barbarians to interfere with its objectives? How can the deaths or suffering of thousands of barbarians ever be weighed against the death of even a single civilized person?
So many of these conflicts -- one might say almost all of them -- end up shaped by the same virtually universal deficiency: excessive tribalistic identification (i.e.: the group with which I was trained to identify is right and good and just and my group's enemy is bad and wrong and violent), which causes people to view the world only from the perspective of their side, to believe that X is good when they do it and evil when it's done to them. X can be torture, or the killing of civilians in order to "send a message" (i.e., Terrorism), or invading and occupying other people's land, or using massive lethal force against defenseless populations, or seeing one's own side as composed of real humans and the other side as sub-human, evil barbarians. As George Orwell wrote in Notes on Nationalism -- with perfect prescience to today's endless conflicts ... [ems in original]
As a lifelong supporter of Israel, I long admired the state for its tenacity, its refusal to contemplate surrender or nonexistence, its bravery in the face of daunting odds. But there is a huge difference between fighting the remnants of the great Turkish empire and an assault upon a defenseless civilian population when you have the best army and armaments that the contents of the American Treasury can buy.
The joke was on us. Iraq burned, New Orleans flooded, and Bush remained oblivious to each and every pratfall on his watch. Americans essentially stopped listening to him after Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, but he still doesn’t grasp the finality of their defection. Lately he’s promised not to steal the spotlight from Barack Obama once he’s in retirement — as if he could do so by any act short of running naked through downtown Dallas. The latest CNN poll finds that only one-third of his fellow citizens want him to play a post-presidency role in public life.
This document is the literary correlative to "Mission Accomplished." Bush kept America safe (provided his presidency began Sept. 12, 2001). He gave America record economic growth (provided his presidency ended December 2007). He vanquished all the leading Qaeda terrorists (if you don’t count the leaders bin Laden and al-Zawahri). He gave Afghanistan a thriving "market economy" (if you count its skyrocketing opium trade) and a "democratically elected president" (presiding over one of the world’s most corrupt governments). He supported elections in Pakistan (after propping up Pervez Musharraf past the point of no return). He "led the world in providing food aid and natural disaster relief" (if you leave out Brownie and Katrina).
AND THE HORSE
THEY RODE IN ON!
(apologies to the late Cleavon Little, and Mel Brooks)
[...] Back in 2002, the better class of commentator sniffed at the naiveté of "No Blood for Oil" - the chant of anti-war demonstrations around the country. But blood for oil may not be the worst of it. The worst, in the war's subdued and sorry denouement, may prove to be blood for no oil.