Saturday, April 25, 2009

Watch this! Heh...

Normally I would put something like this at Fixer & Gordon, but this is just too funny and I had to share! I think you will be able to tell almost from the start how this is going to go. I suspect alcohol involvement.

The title of this is 'Prawdziwy kaskader'. 'Kaskader' is Polish for 'stunt men'. One wonders if the rider knew he was one when he let the clutch out...

I think if there's a moral to this story, it's "If you can't start it by yourself, don't ride it. But if you do, make sure there's video!"

Thanks to edzierzoniow.


Speaking of video, I wish we coulda seen the look on the guy's face when he came to three simultaneous "OH SHIT!" moments:

1) When he realized that the grand steaming pile of Polish home-brew under him was not going to turn*, and

2) Also that the throttle of said GSTPOPHB was STUCK!, and

3) His ride was about over and the corollary simultaneity of wondering just how badly it was going to end.

*Don't feel bad, buddy. Nobody coulda turned that thing. Heh.

There's a larger point to be made here as well. As I have said repeatedly, there is an element of politics in everything, and here's the point in that video:

Everybody the world over is pretty much the same as everybody else, even, maybe especially, gearhead bozos like us and those Polish dudes. I woulda felt right at home if I had been there with them when that bomb went off. If ever the people of the world realize this and stop hating each other, the true promise of humankind can commence. I'm not holding my breath.

Saturday Crazy Badass Biker Music Blogging

Thanks to flydguzmon.

Saturday Emmylou Blogging

Emmylou Harris, Kieran Kane, and Barry and Holly Tashian perform "When I Found You" with Mark O'Connor and Glenn Worf.

Thanks to BluegrasBanjoLover.

Today's How-To

If things go like we want and due process is applied to our war criminals, this is something we should all know how to do.

Then we need to figure out how long to make the rope so that:

1) Cheney's feet don't hit the ground. We wanta break his neck, not his ankles.
2) His neck snaps cleanly without tearing his head off. That would be bad form.

Then we put the noose just behind his left ear and let 'er drop. If we do it right, his feet will make a quarter turn to the right when he stops.

I'm hearing a lot of right-wing noise that going after these war criminals is 'retribution'. It is most certainly not. It is simply JUSTICE under the LAW.

Reclaiming America’s Soul

Today's 'must read' by Paul Krugman:

[...] We need to look forward, not backward, they say. No prosecutions, please; no investigations; we’re just too busy.

For the fact is that officials in the Bush administration instituted torture as a policy, misled the nation into a war they wanted to fight and, probably, tortured people in the attempt to extract “confessions” that would justify that war. And during the march to war, most of the political and media establishment looked the other way.

It’s hard, then, not to be cynical when some of the people who should have spoken out against what was happening, but didn’t, now declare that we should forget the whole era — for the sake of the country, of course.

Sorry, but what we really should do for the sake of the country is have investigations both of torture and of the march to war. These investigations should, where appropriate, be followed by prosecutions — not out of vindictiveness, but because this is a nation of laws.

We need to do this for the sake of our future. For this isn’t about looking backward, it’s about looking forward — because it’s about reclaiming America’s soul.


How sweet it is!

WEAR TV 3 (Pensacola - Mobile - Ft.Walton Beach)

PRAGUE (AP) -- Former Klan leader David Duke has been detained by police in the Czech Republic on suspicion of denying the Holocaust.

Duke went there at the invitation of neo-Nazis to promote the Czech translation of a book he wrote.

A police spokesman says the book includes a denial of the Holocaust.

The denial is a crime that is punishable by up to three years in Czech prisons.

He's all yours, my Czech brothers. Good on yas.

Holder Just Made Me a Promise

By David Swanson of

As Attorney General Eric Holder left an appropriations subcommittee hearing on Thursday I spoke loudly from the third row as he prepared to leave the room:

"We need a special prosecutor for torture, Mr. Attorney General. Americans like the rule of law. The rule of law for everybody."

He replied as he approached and walked by, surrounded by bodyguards:

"And you will be proud of your country."

I was joined by others in replying simultaneously:

"Yes, we want to be proud of our country. We're ready. No need to wait."

Holder knew exactly what it would take for me to be proud of my country, and he told me directly that I would be.

Will I? Time will tell.

Go read the rest, and when you come to this link, go read it too:

I just posted an excellent article the AG should read.

Here's a tease:

To: Reinhard Heydrich

From: Joseph Alstotter, Chief of Section of Legality

Re: Transportation

Date: February 1, 1942

You have asked the legal opinion of the Section of Legality on a matter related to transportation.

Quote of the Day


... It's quite clear that the only "rule of law" these people care about is one that says you can't lie about your sex life. Maybe if the Department of Justice could find a smoking blow job in the OLC we might get to the bottom of all this.


Off to start painting. Probably have an update from the house later.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Quote of the Day

Maru on the Bush torture regime:


I can't wait to see these ball-gargling smegma breathed fucktwits get what they deserve.
Hang the Nazi wannabe fuckers.


The two old guys (Gord and Grandpa Eddie) got me thinking about hanging and I remembered a song from the old Ren and Stimpy cartoon series (I used to watch it religiously). Couldn't find the one from the show, but this kid does it quite well:

From Ren and Stimpy - The Lord Loves A Hangin'


Oh, Lord loves a hangin'.
That's why He gave us necks.
It tightens up our vocal cords
And loosens up our pecs.

So if you are a horse theif
And guilty to the bone,
Go ahead and blame a friend
And you won't hang alone.

It may be hard to swaller,
But you'll be three feet taller.
It's a dandy way to entertain your friends.

You say you are a villain,
But can't abide by killin';
Go ahead a steal yourself a horse.

Oh, Lord loves a hangin'.
And so do we, by heck;
So get yerself a lasso
And decorate your neck.

Oh, we is awful ignorant
And uglier 'n sin;
So go ahead 'n cut us down
And hang us all again,

Hangin' that is. Swing a spell...

Dream Cruise. Dream On.

Got this from Bustednuckles.

[I was checking cruise lines because I heard the rates are very cheap right now.

I found a Somali cruise package that departs from Sawakin (in the Sudan ) and docks at Bagamoya (in Tanzania ).

The cost is a bit high @ 800 per person double occupancy but I didn’t find that offensive. What I found encouraging and enlightened is that the cruise is encouraging people to bring their 'High powered weapons' along on the cruise. If you don’t have weapons you can rent them right there on the boat. They claim to have a master blacksmith on board and will have reloading parties every afternoon. The cruise lasts from 4-8 days and nights and costs a maximum of $3200 per person double occupancy (4 days). All the boat does is sail up and down the coast of Somalia waiting to get hijacked by pirates. Here are some of the costs and claims associated with the package.

$800.00 US/per day double occupancy (4 day max billing)

M-16 full auto rental $ 25.00/day ammo at 100 rounds of 5.56 armor piercing ammo at 15.95

Ak-47 rifle @ No charge. ammo at 100 rounds of 7.62 Com block ball ammo at 14.95

Barrett M-107 .50 Cal sniper riffle rental 55.00/day ammo at 25 rounds 50 Cal armor piercing at 9.95

Crew members can double as spotters for 30.00 per hour (spotting scope included).

Jesus Christ---- they even offer RPG's at 75 bucks and 200 dollars for 3 standard loads

"Everyone gets use of free complimentary night vision equipment and coffee and snacks on the top deck from 7pm-6am."

Meals are not included but seem reasonable.

Most cruises offer a mini-bar... these gung ho entrepreneurs offer......... get this.....

"MOUNTED MINIGUN AVAILABLE @ 450.00 per 30 seconds of sustained fire"

Sign my arse up!

They advertise group rates and corporate discounts...... and even claim "FUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY"

They even offer a partial money back if not’s some text from the ad.

"We guarantee that you will experience at least two hijacking attempts by pirates or we will refund half your money back including gun rental charges and any unused ammo ( mini gun charges not included).. How can we guarantee you will experience a hijacking? We operate at 5 knots within 12 miles of the coast of Somalia . If an attempted Hijacking does not occur we will turn the boat around and cruise by at 4 knots. We will repeat this for up to 8 days making three passes a day along the entire length of Somalia . At night the boat is fully lit and bottle rockets are shot off at intervals and loud disco music beamed shore side to attract attention. Cabin space is limited so respond quickly. Reserve your package before Feb 29 and get 100 rounds of free tracer ammo in the caliber of your choice."

As if all that isn’t enough to whet your appetite, there were a few testimonials

“I got three confirmed kills on my last trip. I'LL never hunt big game in Africa again. I felt like the Komandant in Schindlers list!”---- Lars , Hamburg Germany

"Six attacks in 4 days was more than I expected. I bagged three pirates and my 12yr old son sank two rowboats with the minigun. PIRATES 0 -PASSENGERS-32! Well worth the trip. Just make sure your spotter speaks English"--- Ned, Salt Lake City , Utah USA

"I haven’t had this much fun since flying choppers in NAM . Don’t worry about getting shot by pirates as they never even got close to the ship with those weapons they use and their shitty aim--reminds me of a drunken 'juicer' door gunner we picked up from the motor pool back in Nam" --"chopper" Dan ----Toledo USA.

"Like ducks in a barrel. They turned the ship around and we saw them bleed and cry in the water like little girls. Saw one wounded pirate eaten by sharks--what a laugh riot!! This is a must do.--- Zeke-Minnahaw Springs Kentucky USA

Finally, someone had the common sense to cash in AND solve a major problem. These folks deserve a medal!]

It's a nice idea, but it's a gag. What tipped me off was the ammo prices - if you can get 50 rounds of .50 cal. ammo for $9.95, buy all you can get! Those things are three bucks a round and up most places, and why would you need armor-piercing rounds to shoot at people?

4 knots... making three passes a day along the entire length of Somalia

The Somalia coast is 3025km (1890 miles) long. Without even taking into account the difference between a nautical mile and a statute mile, it would take about 19 days to transit the length of the Somalia coast once at that speed.

Also, the Somali pirates operate hundreds of miles off their coast so as not to shit in their own nest. At 12 miles, you might get a boatload of kids tryin' ta sell ya T-shirts, but that's about it.

So I googled up 'pirate cruise sudan to tanzania' and got - the above story. Drat.

Nice try, boys. Next time ya wanta get my hopes up, do yer homework.

Precedents ...

About 4 years ago, I offered to reenlist and go to Iraq if Jonah Goldberg did the same:


I'll go these warmongers one better. If Jonah Goldberg makes the attempt to enlist, so will I. I'll dust off my DD Form 214 and head down to the recruiters the same day. Regardless of the fact I already served this country for 8 years (6 active, 2 reserve), I'll go back if the man who said he'd serve (if he didn't have a family and a job) gave it his best shot. Come on, Jonah, let's sign up as buddies. Lotsa guys did it when I went in. If you go, I'll go with ya. And I even promise not to kill ya, even if the opportunity presents itself. If ya signed up, I'd have too much respect for you to want to snap your soft spine with my bare hands. So here's the deal. If Jonah goes, I'll go too. Whaddaya say, Lardass? Are ya man enough to take me up on it? Let me know.

So today, once again, I'll rise to the challenge. Last night, Keith Olbermann laid this out to Sean Hannity:


Olbermann: You'll do it for charity? For the troops families? I'll take you up on that Sean. For every second you last, $1000. Live or on tape provided other networks cameras are there. $1000 a second Sean because this is no game. This is serious stuff. Put your money where your mouth is, and your nose. And I'll double it when you admit you feared for your life. When you admit the horrible truth. Waterboarding, a symbol of the last administration, is torture.


If Sean Hannity actually has the balls to get waterboarded according to Keith's conditions, I'll match Keith's donation, dollar for dollar, though to the military charity of my choice.

There it is.


Since Hannity wussed out, I'll be spreading an extra $1000 to the military charities we already support this year ... in Sean's name.

Houston, We Have A Solution

Just so Grandpa Eddie can't accuse me of stealing this from him (big shit-eatin' grin), I customized it with a bullshit-brown border in honor of Texas' contribution to our nation. In every field other than music, of course.

Thanks to AndyCobbonUTube.

Torture and the Permanent Republican Majority

The Rude Pundit

But what doesn't come through immediately is the answer to a simple question: why? Why did the Bush administration commit and allow (and encourage, if not force others to commit) what are, seemingly without a doubt, treaty-busting crimes? Because, see, you read something like footnote 10 on page 2 and you come across this line: "According to Gonzales, the 'positive' consequences of setting aside the Third Geneva Convention include 'preserving flexibility' and 'substantially reduc[ing] the threat of domestic criminal prosecution under the War Crimes Act,'" and you realize that, whatever the motivation of the people involved, they didn't care. And they didn't care for a simple reason to answer that simple question: the Bush administration thought it was the beginning of an ascendant Republican reign and that they'd never be investigated (my em).

Look back at when all this shit went down. Karl Rove and others were talking about a permanent Republican majority. So, rather than go whole hog with blow torches and pliers, the Office of Legal Counsel pushed methods as far as they could go. In other words, as long as they could say, at the end of the day, that there was a line they would not cross, a Republican Congress wouldn't do jackshit to stop them. As John "I Teach Students" Yoo wrote in his March 14, 2003 memo, criminal laws would not apply to certain interrogations and the Justice Department could not therefore prosecute the interrogators. Again, you only say that if you think you're going to control the Justice Department for time immemorial.

Time's up.

Montana jail tries for detainees from Gitmo

Billings Gazette

Economic development officials in Hardin are looking at the soon-to-close detention facility in Guantanamo Bay as a possible fix for the jail sitting empty in Hardin.

Meanwhile, a 460-bed detention facility sits empty in Hardin. Built by Two Rivers Authority, the city's economic development arm, the facility was meant to bring economic development to Hardin by creating more than 100 high-paying jobs.

And bringing detainees to this area has happened before, Smith said. There were prisoner-of-war camps in Laurel during World War II. There were also internee camps in Missoula and near Powell, Wyo.

Offering a turnkey facility is practically a patriotic duty, Smith said.

For Smith and many in Hardin, that can't come soon enough. Smith said it is his job to "uncover every rock" to find ways to get the detention center operating. He knows there are options available, it's just a matter for finding them and seeking out contracts. People who don't like the idea of alleged enemy combatants coming to town can help, he said.

"To those who don't want it, help us find something so we can fill it," Smith said.

I wish these folks well in their efforts to fill what sounds like a very nice brand-new jail. If the Gitmo prisoners don't quite fill it, I have a suggestion:

There's gonna be a whole buncha new inmates from all this torture shit - Yoo, Bybee, Rice, Cheney, etc. I suggest they'd be a very good fit with the folks they wanted to torture.

One thing - be sure to put very high quality video cameras on the yard so we can watch them play together. Heh.

Cheney, Rice signed off on interrogation techniques


WASHINGTON — A newly declassified narrative of the Bush administration's advice to the CIA on harsh interrogations shows that the small group of Justice Department lawyers who wrote memos authorizing controversial interrogation techniques were operating not on their own but with direction from top administration officials, including then-Vice President Dick Cheney and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice.

Like, duh. By the way, there's nothing "controversial" about torture. It's illegal and a war crime. Period. No matter what the Repugs say.

Cheney couldn't be reached for comment. Rice, through an aide, declined to comment.

Their comments will be limited to the 5th Amendment from here on out.

While the senators deemed some of the legal analyses "deeply flawed," they said that criminalizing bad legal opinions "would have a deeply chilling effect on the ability of lawyers in any administration to provide their client — the U.S. government — with their best legal advice."

If that was "their best legal advice", I hope they represent themselves at their trials. Heh.

Feel sumthin' tightening around yer neck, Dick Boy?

Mama Got Her Groove Back!

BradBlog, links at site:

Following a nearly two-month absence from the airwaves, Progressive radio talker Randi Rhodes is set to return, according to an announcement this afternoon from John Scott of San Francisco's Green960 (KKGN). She will be syndicated by Premiere Radio Networks as reported in a video-taped announcement just posted on the Green960 website.

Premiere is known for their national syndication of far-right talkers such as Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Dr. Laura and Glenn Beck. Rhodes, known by fans as the "Goddess of Progressive Talk", had formerly been with NovaM Radio, which folded when she left, and at Air America Radio prior to that...

In honor of this momentous occasion, I present Randi's theme song:

Rusty Warren ~ Bounce Yer Boobies

Thanks to joeyC619.

Personally ...

In light of this, I think we should build a new border fence just north (We'll keep the race track, thank you. Heh ...) of the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex.


In a new survey by Research 2000 for the liberal Daily Kos blog, Texas voters were asked whether the Lone Star State would be better off as an "independent nation" or as part of the United States.

Overall, more than six in ten chose the latter option. (No big surprise there.) But, among Republicans, 48 percent said it would be better for Texas if the state was an independent nation -- the same number who said they would prefer the state remain a part of the United States.

Just to reiterate: roughly half of all self-identified Texas Republicans in the Research 2000 poll said they would rather their state be an independent nation. [my em]



A) The Republicans are kicking up this sturm und drang to distract from the torture talk or:

2) The Republicans (especially in Texas) are that far gone that the only thing the base will respond to is breaking the union apart to get away from a black President.


C) Rick Perry can't actually believe this will keep him in the governor's chair.

Weren't these the same people who called us un-American and traitors for speaking out against the "war" in Iraq? Aren't they the ones who called us treasonous for criticizing Bush/Cheney policies? Good thing to see their allegiance to this country runs so deep.

I say, go and don't let the door hit ya in the ass. 'Texasland' will make a nice buffer between us and Mexico.

Great thanks to Oliver Willis for the link.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Aw, Christ ...

Could this be the Rethugs last stand (well, maybe the last until the torture trials start)? They're being whiny bitchez:

The right-wing crackpots have been in a frenzy over the nomination of Kathleen Sebelius as Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS). And, as we all now know, the right-wing crackpots are all that's left in the GOP. Today, GOP Senate Leader Mitch McConnell announced, in so many words, that on behalf of the extremists in his caucus, the Republicans are filibustering the nomination of Sebelius. [my em]


The American people, at this point, finally, see them as nothing more than babies. The word "filibuster" doesn't scare anybody anymore. If the Rethugs are trying to rebrand, they're doin' it wrong.

Shameless blogwhoring

If ya like Steve McQueen, The Great Escape, or Triumph motorcycles, please go see this.

Baba Whoey

Fixer sometimes gives me ideas. Or leads me astray. Whatever.

If this song sounds familiar, it's because it's on TV about ten times a day as the theme song for CSI:NY. I present it here because I'm queer for Melina Kanakaredes. Also Gary Sinise and Roger Daltrey, but I won't go into that...

The Who
Thanks to gawlerpete, Oz.

Real confessions, false confessions, mox nix. We're going to war.

There is soooo much stuff coming out in the wake of the release of the torture memos that it's getting a little hard to keep up with it. This is probably a good thing. I don't need to keep up to the minute with it as long as the folks who own the handcuffs, courts, jails, and gallows do.

One connection amongst several I've heard about the decision to 'legalize' the un-legalizable may be the most disturbing to me.

From a review of Jane Mayers' book, The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How The War on Terror Turned into a War on American Ideals:

[...] Impressed by the ability of the Communist regimes to force false confessions from prisoners at show trials in the 50's, the military had researched Communist torture programs in depth in order to train its soldiers to resist as much as possible through its Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape (SERE) program. In a diabolical twist, the C.I.A. and the military used the lessons of the SERE program to devise an affirmative program of torture designed to extract information from detainees. The fact that torture techniques had proved useful in the past primarily for forcing false confessions does not seem to have given the C.I.A. much pause. [...]

The SERE program was designed mainly, I think, to be as unpleasant as possible in order to motivate U.S. pilots who had to bail out over hostile territory to use every means to keep from getting caught by the enemy by giving them a taste of what it might be like if they did.

I think it's probably a good training program for its intended result, but it's neither here nor there when it comes to authorizing these techniques from the White House on down for general use.

We're not talking torture techniques here as much as we're talking about the rationalization for their use.

From McClatchy:

The Bush administration applied relentless pressure on interrogators to use harsh methods on detainees in part to find evidence of cooperation between al Qaida and the late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein's regime, according to a former senior U.S. intelligence official and a former Army psychiatrist.

Such information would've provided a foundation for one of former President George W. Bush's main arguments for invading Iraq in 2003. In fact, no evidence has ever been found of operational ties between Osama bin Laden's terrorist network and Saddam's regime.

Cut to the chase: The Bush administration, i.e. Cheney and his neocons, was looking for an al Qaeda/Saddam connection as perhaps the biggest reason/cover to start their criminal imperialistic war on Iraq. They needed a further selling point for something they had been planning since G.H.W. Bush wisely refused to march on Baghdad in '91.

They knew damn well that no such connection existed. They also knew from our experience with Chinese Communist brainwashing of American Prisoners Of War during the Korean War that such techniques were used primarily to obtain false confessions for political purposes.

A false confession of an al Qaeda/Saddam connection was as good as a real one for their purposes, and since a real one was impossible, THE ENTIRE TORTURE PROGRAM WAS DESIGNED TO OBTAIN FALSE CONFESSIONS SO THEY COULD LIE US INTO THEIR GODDAM WAR.

Just as an aside, if they'da waterboarded me six times a day for a month, I'da got a Hugo for the shit I'da made up!

In the end, of course, it didn't matter. The Cheney administration's full-court press on all fronts, mainly the lapdog media, kept the lid on the opposition and allowed them to start their criminal war anyway.

The administration knew that torture was notoriously poor at producing useful intelligence, but they continued it from Gitmo to Abu Ghraib and beyond and it turned out to be an extremely effective al Qaeda recruiting tool. The administration needed the perception of a strong al Qaeda to keep us pissin' our pants in fear and to maintain the illusion that they were 'keeping us safe' from a buncha illiterate goat humpers.

Cheney et al took a page out of the ChiCom handbook to help create the mess we're in today. They did a good job. They fucked everything up totally, and it will take generations to undo it, if undo it we ever can.

When it's Cheney's and his accomplices' turn to drop through the trap door, I once again volunteer to throw the lever. I will send them to Hell with a grin on my face as my duty to my country.

My everlasting gratitude to Blogger and Firefox. About two minutes prior to completion of this post, I experienced a quarter-second blink of a power outage here that shut off my computer. I didn't lose a thing.

Quote of the Day

Headline from Agence France-Presse via Maru:

Bush-era officials could face trial

The mirror ...

Digby says what I've been saying for years, albeit better. It's how the world sees us since Bush started down the Road of Endless Fuckups:


That using torture and endless imprisonment of innocent people are immoral and disgusting taboos that put the perpetrator in the same company as history's most evil villains is entirely unpersuasive to these people [Bush, Cheney, the Neocons, et. al.] --- they think that's a good thing. But even on a practical level that even a very average 9th grader should be able to understand, you would hope they could see that these people hurt the nation in ways that we'll be dealing with for decades --- we showed that America loses its head when attacked, overreacts, spends and then botches the whole thing so badly we don't know whether we are coming or going. We've shown that we are pants wetting, panic artists who will harm ourselves when frightened. And that is a weakness no powerful nation should ever allow the world to see. [my em]

Which allows me to segue into a little musical interlude:

From The Who's Tommy - Go To The Mirror!

One of the best things ...

Someone can say about me is that I'm honest. That's why this little deal from Tricia at Menopausal Stoners means more than the Koufax nomination we got a few years back:

Men, I have given you The Honest Weblog award. I know it's goofy, but I did it anyway just because I like you.

Thanks, darlin'. I might get around to listing 10 honest things about me later (I've only finished my first cup of coffee) but I appreciate you thinking of us. It does me good to know we have the respect of our fellow bloggers.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Mr. Toad's Wild Ride

While I'm glad we got all of the Repugs' crimes starting to come to light so forcefully that people may actually notice what we've known for years, I think we need a little light mid-week entertainment.

If ya squint a little, this could be called "Fixer and Gordon go motoring". Guess who's driving. Heh. He'll get me for this...

Thanks to krapivnik, Russia.

Blind no more

Stolen from YubaNet.

Cuddlin' With Evil

Mark Morford

Obama shakes hands with people we're supposed to hate. Are we all going to die?

Clearly this is not the way we're supposed to behave. Clearly this is not what we, as a formerly grumpy, petulant, first-world nation, expect from our president, from our attitude, from our typical chest-thumping, saber-rattling, kill-'em-all posture in the world.

See, what we do is, we stomp in. We huff and snort and make a portentous entrance full of cold swagger and terse, screw-you-if-you-disagree handshakes, ignoring the clammy mitts of those inflammatory commie jerks we don't like because they've called us icky names in the past but whose illegal narcotics we will gladly purchase by the megaton and whose oil we're going to go in and forcibly steal anyway ha ha sucker.

At such piffling events, we expect our president to do the usual macho dance, puff out his chest and shove our usual demands for compliance down everyone's throat, talk up military intervention and enrage those selfsame angry little countries even more by reiterating who's really in charge of this violent, overheated speck of a planet. Hey, it worked for Dubya, right? I mean, except for the global contempt and seething mistrust?

But then comes Obama. As usual, it appears he did not get the memo. He is clearly that most un-American of U.S. leaders, entirely dismissive of precedent and totally devoid of our characteristic bullying arrogance and openly disrespectful of How It's All Supposed To Go Down.

Naturally, all this articulate, respectful diplomacy means one of two things.

One: We are blindly kowtowing to all sorts of scummy, evil forces of the underworld and undermining America's godlike supremacy, and soon will be overrun by drug lords and baby rapists and fat, sweaty, cigar-chomping socialists who love to coddle baby-raping drug lords. This is known as the "Fox News angle." Also known as the "Hysteria Special," and also, simply, "The Limbaugh."

"Two" is simply too awful for the Repug bullies to consider. Enjoy.

Be careful what you wish for ...

Baby Jane:


So if I understand this correctly -- and I'm pretty sure I do -- when the U.S. Government eavesdropped for years on American citizens with no warrants and in violation of the law, that was "both legal and necessary" as well as "essential to U.S. national security," and it was the "despicable" whistle-blowers (such as Thomas Tamm) who disclosed that crime and the newspapers which reported it who should have been criminally investigated, but not the lawbreaking government officials. But when the U.S. Government legally and with warrants eavesdrops on Jane Harman, that is an outrageous invasion of privacy and a violent assault on her rights as an American citizen, and full-scale investigations must be commenced immediately to get to the bottom of this abuse of power. Behold Jane Harman's overnight transformation from Very Serious Champion of the Lawless Surveillance State to shrill civil liberties extremist. [bold in orig - italics mine]


Time to go, Jane. Time for the rest of the Bush enablers on the Dem side to go too. While not all their fault, too many Dems caved without a fight during the Bush years and Harman was one of them, quite willing to kiss our rights goodbye until it hits home. Don't let the door hit yas in the ass.

Islanders ...

As most of the regulars here know, I'm a proud Long Islander. There are a lot of great things about this place. The ethnic diversity (the original Melting Pot), the hundreds of miles of world-class beaches, and a 40 minute drive (not at rush hour, however) to Times Square and all the culture of New York City. Not to mention a buncha great bloggers. Heh ...

That said, we have a boil on our collective ass and its name is Peter King. In '06, as most of you know, I did my damnedest to unseat him, backing the best candidate we've had to date, Dave Mejias. No such luck and the bastid is still there, presumably for life (last year's challenger was weak and financially overpowered by King).

King is an absolute moron, a conservative who toes the party line without wavering, and says shit that constantly embarrasses us. His latest verbal diarrhea is most distasteful and has no basis in fact.

As he heads upstate tonight to gauge support for a U.S. Senate run, Rep. Peter King said Sunday he has no plans to tone down his comments about Muslims and their cooperation with law enforcement -- a long-simmering issue that flared up again over the weekend.


In response to a Department of Homeland Security report about domestic right-wing extremism, King (R-Seaford) told MSNBC Friday that the department "has never put out a report talking about look out for mosques. Look out for Islamic terrorists in our country. Look out for the fact that very few Muslims come forward to cooperate with the police."


He's also made statements regarding the Nassau Country Police and FBI infiltration of our local mosques and intimated law enforcement has them under constant surveillance - something both agencies strongly deny.


The Seaford congressman, who is the ranking Republican member of the Homeland Security Committee, also said that "right now there are a number of mosques under surveillance by law enforcement agencies" on Long Island. He would not state which mosques or which law enforcement agencies, but said the surveillance has been going on for four or five years.


In the first place, Long Island's Islamic community is one of the most "well-behaved" demographics of any of the dozens inhabiting this big sandbar. I can't remember the last time (I've lived here for 38 years of my 47 year life) any trouble has been traced to our Islamic neighbors, yet Peter King makes a point of singling them out whenever he can. He creates an environment of fear for Nassau County's Muslims that should not be tolerated. The key is the term "Nassau County", the reddest in the NY Metro (NY, NJ, CT, PA) area and King's 'jihad' against the Muslim community plays with the base, mostly retirees who haven't made it to Florida or North Carolina.

One can only hope King runs for the Senate seat Kirsten Gillibrand has to defend next year, and losees. Prayers might be answered if a strong Dem can challenge his House seat during that time and our terminal boil can be lanced once and for all.

Most Long Islanders are proud of our racial, ethnic, and religious diversity and the great majority of us live together in peace and cooperation. Idiots like Peter King are dinosaurs and will soon be extinct. Not soon enough for me but the writing is on the wall.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Slow earth day

Thanks to YubaNet.

Also from YubaNet, if you like to look at the night sky, go read this:

Don't miss the Lyris Meteor Shower tonight and Venus disappearing behind the moon around 5 a.m. on Wednesday

On Wednesday morning, April 22nd, Earth will pass through a stream of comet dust, giving rise to the annual Lyrid meteor shower. At the same time, the crescent Moon and Venus will converge for a close encounter in the eastern sky. Viewed from some parts of the world, the Moon will pass directly in front of Venus, causing Venus to vanish.

Mucho mas.

Buh-Bye, Bybee

Think Progress, many links.

Last week, President Obama released four Bush-era legal memos authorizing torture. The earliest one, from 2002, was signed by Jay Bybee, then an Assistant Attorney General and now a federal judge on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. [...]

The 9th Circuit is the most liberal Court of Appeals in the country. Bybee was put on there to try to right-wing it on down some.

These techniques are illegal by U.S. statute and international treaty to which the U.S. is a signatory. Bybee attempted to give legal cover to illegal acts, and thus broke the ethical, professional, and legal standards that should govern lawyers. For this, Judge Jay Bybee should be impeached. Congress needs to assert some accountability for these heinous acts.

An impeachment hearing would require full answers from Bybee -- and would give the American people the answers they deserve. When Bush nominated Bybee in 2003, Congress had no knowledge of the full scope of Bybee's legalese somersaults to make torture appear legal. When asked, he refused to comment, citing executive privilege. Now we know how integral Bybee was to initiating Bush's years-long torture program.

Jay Bybee has neither the legal nor the moral authority to sit in judgment of others. Please sign our petition.

Sign by all means, but please go read the rest.

Obama open to Hill probe of harsh interrogations

P.M. Carpenter at the end of a pretty good analysis of the political side v. the legal:

He needs Pat Leahy or Dianne Feinstein or John Conyers or somebody to take the bloody heat off him. That's the wiser alternative -- have Congress investigate Bush's conspicuously criminal architects and have Justice follow up. Furthermore, I suspect that's the alternative that Obama has been begging for behind the scenes: for someone of a Congressional bent to force Justice's hand.

From AP via Raw Story one hour ago:

The Obama administration appears to be backpedaling a bit regarding torture probes of former Bush officials.

The Associated Press reports:

President Barack Obama is leaving the door to open to possible prosecution of Bush administration officials who devised harsh terrorism-era interrogation tactics.

[...] But he also said that it is up to the attorney general whether to prosecute Bush administration lawyers who wrote the memos approving these tactics.

Obama is feeling the pressure following the release of the bullshit boilerplate CYA and CIA torture memos and is starting to see the light: we gotta clean up our back trail before the road ahead means anything.

I understand his need for political cover. I don't care who instigates prosecutions, only that it gets done.

Scandal! Another handshake and bow from President Obama!

Just go see...

Quote of the Day

Paul Krugman

...I think I ought to say something about the torture memos — namely, that there is now no way to view the people who ruled us these past 8 years as anything but monsters.

For a Nobel Prize winner, you catch on kinda slow, Paulie.

Republicans Less Popular Than Venezuela

Open Left, links at site.

As part of my irregular series documenting unpopular stuff that is more popular than Republicans, (see Legalizing Marijuana more popular than Republicans, and Republicans less popular than China), new polling from CNN indicates that anti-American, oil-cartel, socialist block forming Venezuela is now viewed more favorably than the Republican Party.

"Next, we'd like to get your overall opinion of some people in the news. As I read each name, please say if you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of these people -- or if you have never heard of them. The Republican Party."

Favorable: 39%--54% Unfavorable

Overall, Venezuela comes out 42% favorable, 54% unfavorable in this poll, providing the country a slightly more positive rating than Republicans. China and Russia also easily outpace Republicans. Cuba, at 38% favorable, 61% unfavorable, isn't too far behind Republicans.

This has been another edition of "stuff more popular than Republicans."

Shit, I wouldn't doubt that sexually transmitted diseases are more popular than Repugs.

Oh. My. God!!!1!1!!!

Obama shook Chavez' hand!

Pic stolen from Maru.

The terrorists have won!

What, now we have to have an Outrage of the Week? Seems the Rethugs never got the moral of Chicken Little.


The Rude One:


Okay. So, like, if Obama was caught giving Chavez a hand job under the conference table, if Obama had been seen in the cloak room having seven minutes in heaven with Chavez, if Obama had been getting a reacharound while Chavez was giving him a Venezuelan pipeline treatment in his ass, we might, and that's "might," have something to talk about.


Monday, April 20, 2009

I used to sound like Peggy Noonan ...

Back when I was doing a lotta Quaaludes.

Thought for the Day

I gotta go move my truck because my buddy Marty's comin' over in a little bit to restore my plastic headlight lenses.

I'll leave ya for now with a thought on President Obama's progress up 'til now. This is the mantra of automotive and motorcycle Service Managers everywhere:

When you're up to your ass in alligators, it's hard to remember that your main objective was to drain the swamp.

The alligators, of course, are the customers and mechanics, or in Obama's case, Congress, the Repugs, and the Dead End Quarter.

I don't like everything he's doing, but I like most of it. With a couple of exceptions, I don't give a shit what he does. He's orders of magnitude better than what came before.

Quote of the Day

Meghan McCain

She summed up what she learned while campaigning for her father in three points:

"(1) Most of our nation wants our nation to succeed; (2) most people are ready to move on to the future, not live in the past; and (3) most of the old school Republicans are scared shitless of that future."

Mostly they're scared shitless of a future without them. No more power, no more gravy train. The dinosaurs may have been more cognizant of what was going on around them.

Thoughts on Pot vs. Alcohol from a Former Police Chief

BuzzFlash, with comments, and HuffPo

Over the past four years I've asked police officers throughout the U.S. (and in Canada) two questions. When's the last time you had to fight someone under the influence of marijuana? (I'm talking marijuana only, not pot plus a six-pack or a fifth of tequila.) My colleagues pause, they reflect. Their eyes widen as they realize that in their five or fifteen or thirty years on the job they have never had to fight a marijuana user. I then ask: When's the last time you had to fight a drunk? They look at their watches.


Oh, the irony...

Ironic Times

U.S. May Drop Key Condition For Iran Nuclear Talks
Conversion to Christianity.

U.S. Normalizes Relations With Cuba
Move prompted by our desperate need for old American car parts.

CIA Torturers Won’t Be Prosecuted
Freeing up justice system for crackdown on illegal parking.

New Drug Czar More Progressive Than Previous Ones
If roach clip tie clasp is any indication.

Standup comedian Ron White told a story on TV last night about how he got busted in Florida for having 3/4 of a gram of weed. Said he thinks their priorities might be a little misplaced. I paraphrase:

"Shit, folks, this was Florida. They had ta drive past three meth labs and a dead hooker to get to me!"

Texas Governor Expresses Sympathy for Secessionists
Because it worked so well last time.

It's worth another try.

Same old ...

Same old.

While I was doing wallpaper yesterday I had Little George's Hair on as background noise (it was either that or Whore-me Kurtz) and who does he have on but John "The Tan" Boner Boehner.

Seems the Rethuglican climate change policy is the same as their economic policy and the same as their energy policy. That is, clearly stated, to do nothing (if they could work tax cuts for the rich into it without sounding completely unhinged they probably would). No matter what the Dems put forth, the only answer is "no".

As the storms get worse and more frequent every year, as the temperature swings get more pronounced, the Party of No continues to keep their heads in the sand. Or at least that's what it looks like. In reality, they are working overtime to hold on to all the entitlements the rich and big business accrued over the last 30 years.

To us thinking folks, it looks like they got nothing. No plan for anything. But you must keep in mind that they don't want a "plan". A plan would mean they'd have to admit there is something wrong with their policies, something in need of change. At this point, they have what they want. The rich get richer and multinational companies have no rules. Change would destroy all that.

So, ladies and germs, don't expect any plans coming forth from the GOP in the near future and don't expect any cooperation from them on pending legislation if it has to do with changing the status quo. At this point, after most Americans have awakened from their 8 year stupor, the only appeal the Republicans have is to their base -- the American jihadi, white supremacist crazies and the big business community who supports the party financially. Any 'change' in the party line would lose them as well. It's not that they're bankrupt of ideas, it's that they're afraid of new ideas for it would render them completely irrelevant.


Addendum: And while we're discussing what was said on This Week, Dday has a good post up about the moral equivalency White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel spreads around regarding torture investigations.


Never mind the moral backflips you have to make to let people off the hook for torture. Never mind the fact that the interrogators did not even follow the guidelines and meager safeguards set out in the OLC memos - Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded 183 times in one month. Let's put all of that aside for a second. Rahm Emanuel is calling on the President and the Justice Department to willingly break the law.


As Olbermann said last week, we must prosecute those who broke U.S. and international law, no matter how distasteful it seems now. We will never reclaim our standing in the world if we let these people escape punishment.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sunday Great White North Way Down South Music Blogging

This is a pretty song and a good video shot in NOLA. Disclaimer, from another video of this song with a history of this Canuckistanian group:

Formed in Vancouver, British Columbia, The Be Good Tanyas first played together at tree planting camps in British Columbia.

Planting trees? Wes' Coas'? COMMIE ALERT! Heh.

The Be Good Tanyas ~ The Littlest Birds

Thanks to NettWerkMusic.

Twit(ter)s From Texas

I'm sure Governor Goodhair's 'secesh' remarks are just about played out, but one more reference to it won't hurt.

Gail Collins, NYT

Have you ever noticed that the states where anti-tax sentiment is strongest are frequently the same states that get way more back from the federal government than they send in? Alaska gets $1.84 for every tax dollar it sends to Washington, which is a rate of return even Bernard Madoff never pretended to achieve. Yet there they were in Ketchikan waving “Taxed Enough Already!” signs and demanding an end to federal spending.

Also, have you noticed how places that pride themselves on being superpatriotic seem to have the most people who want to abandon the country entirely and set up shop on their own?

And how, by the way, can you stand at a rally waving the American flag while yelling “Secede”? It’s like an employer handing out “worker of the week” certificates to employees who just learned that he was moving the plant to Mexico.

The big mystery here is why the tax-protest crowds were behaving as if the world was coming to an end when all Obama’s infant presidency has done is lower taxes for a vast majority of the public. And why people like Perry seem to feel compelled to egg them on.

The answer is that what’s left of the Republican Party is intent on cutting off the knees of the administration before it actually manages to fulfill any campaign promises on reducing the huge economic gap between the top 5 percent of the country and the rest of the populace. In pursuit of that mission, fortune favors the hysterical and rewards politicians who behave like gerbils that just bit into an electric wire.

We don’t want to blame all Texans for the high jinks in Austin. It’s a state full of lovely people, three-fourths of whom, according to a recent Rasmussen Reports poll, have no desire whatsoever to secede from the United States.

But Perry really understands how that other quarter feels.

The Dead End Quarter (y!Fctp*).

*Yes! Fixer coined that phrase.

Lone Star Blues

Every time I get pissed off at some Texas asshole like Governor Goodhair or Karl Rove or Tom DeLay or George Dubya and want the whole goddam shithole to float out to sea and go fuck with Venezuela or someplace, eventually I remember that there are things about Texas I like. I must be getting soft in my old age, but I think we have to keep the place. Sigh. Below are a coupla examples. For every ten, or fifty, or a hundred thousand like the assholes mentioned above, if we're lucky we'll get a couple like these who shine like pearls in a mountain of rotten oysters.

Nanci Griffith (Seguin TX) ~ Simple Life

Recorded at Celtic Connections 2009 Glasgow, Scotland. featuring - Jerry Douglas - dobro Aly Bain -fiddle Todd Parks -bass

Thanks to tomtscotland.

Tish Hinojosa (San Antonio) ~ By The Rio Grande

Thanks to BONAMANTE13 who is even older than I am!