Saturday, July 16, 2005


Mr. Hawkins asks some questions.

Bush Family Tradition: Ducking Scandal

For some light weekend reading, I offer this from Consortiumnews:

If there is one trait that has followed the Bush family through generations of privilege, it is the ability to escape scandal - a skill that will be put to the test again over the leaking of the identity of an undercover CIA officer, apparently to get back at her husband for criticizing George W. Bush's case for invading Iraq.

Lotsa stuff about Rove, Neo-con strategy, Iran-Contra, and Bush family Nazi involvement.

But the quick dissipation of the Nazi financial scandal was only a portent of the Bush family's future. Unlike politicians of lower classes, the Bushes seemed to operate in a bubble impervious to accusations of impropriety.

That protective bubble has grown thicker over the decades with the emergence of a strong conservative news media that can be counted on to defend George W. Bush's interests regardless of the merits of his position.

Then more about Iraq, Novak, and Rove. Read. Enjoy. Seethe a little. One hopeful note:

Still, whether George W. Bush can match his father and grandfather in turning aside scandal is yet to be decided.

Prayers for Khalid


A sorry replacement

Pacific Views takes a look at that putz, Sen Norm Coleman (R-Suckboy), who filled Paul Wellstone's seat.

Hat tip: Avedon Carol

Free Haiti

I have been delinquent and remiss in not pointing you here earlier; CN Todd has been posting an excellent series on our doings in Haiti.

[. . .]

But why should we care? Because H.R. 611 would send millions of dollars in taxpayer money into the pocket of the regime of Gerard Latortue, the man who assumed the title of "Interim President" after Bush helped orchestrate the kidnapping and removal of Aristide in February 2004. And even now, Latortue's police force is carrying out a reign of terror in many of Haiti's poorest neighborhoods, working to eliminate many of Aristide's most loyal supporters.

No doubt, American's will want to know that their Congressmen want to send their tax dollars to help prop up this guy.

[. . .]

Role models

From USAToady via the Operation Yellow Elephant blog:

[. . .]

There's one more option that might make a difference, particularly among middle and upper-income Americans: Strong and sustained calls to service from the nation's political leaders, up to and including the commander-in-chief.

Last fall, Charles Moskos of Northwestern University, a prominent expert on military manpower, asked a group of recruiters what would most help them: tripling bonuses or enlisting presidential daughter Jenna Bush.

The recruiters' choice was unanimous: Jenna Bush.

[. . .]

If the First Fluffers aren't soldier material, why doesn't Chimpy at least have them working for the USO?


My weekly commentary is up at Pourquoi Pas.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Go fuck yourselves

That's basically what the Department of Homeland Security told all of us who live in big cities yesterday. You're granted an audience with the King.

Reason #1

Reason #1 to destroy Karl Rove.

Diplomacy in action

Via Pudentilla blogging at Skippy's:

BEIJING, Friday, July 15 - China should use nuclear weapons against the United States if the American military intervenes in any conflict over Taiwan, a senior Chinese military official said Thursday.

"If the Americans draw their missiles and position-guided ammunition on to the target zone on China's territory, I think we will have to respond with nuclear weapons," the official, Maj. Gen. Zhu Chenghu, said at an official briefing.

[. . .]

Good thing Condi went over there, huh? Idiots. The Chinese don't have to threaten us with nukes, they can just cash in all the paper they're holding.

Update: 14:50:

My man Dave Johnson is on this today too.

Buggery for renouncing "Southern Strategy"?

This is indeed getting better and better. TeeHee!

From Media Matters:

Limbaugh blasted Mehlman's renunciation of GOP racial tactics: "Republicans are going to go bend over and grab the ankles"

To which Mehlman, no stranger to bending over and grabbing his ankles, no doubt replied, while glancing back over his shoulder, "And your point is...?"

They're eating their own, and I think they're past the appetizer. Eat hearty, me buckos.

Just to be clear

. . . When Rove confirmed it or commented in any way, he broke the law.

[. . .]

That is the only talking point we need.

Plame Gets the "Gate"

From Editor & Publisher:

Today, July 15, 2005, may go down in history as the day when what has previously been known as the "Plame Affair" or "the CIA leak scandal" or even, lately "Miller/Cooper/Rove," finally gets that most coveted of scandal slugs: Plamegate.

And with the blockbuster reports today from The New York Times, the Associated Press, and the Washington Post detailing Karl Rove's conversation with Robert Novak, six days before he wrote his fateful outing column, we are suddenly into "what-did-the-president-know-and-when-did-he-know-it" territory.

Plamegate. It's about time. Think about it: We had a Liddy then and a Libby now. Though we should be happy that in 1972 Democratic headquarters was not located in a different, nearby, Washington, D.C. complex. Then we might have to call it PlameHoJo.
Who knows, we may even be ready for a re-make of one old early 1970s hit under a new title: "The Night They Rove Old Dubya Down."
Then there's this amusing (if plausible) comment by Congressional Quarterly's Craig Crawford today: "So, now we have leakers leaking the leak investigation. Fitzgerald might have to put the whole press corps in jail before it's over with...."

I posted some of the funny parts to make ya want to go read it, so go read it. This is just getting better and better!

$8M from RNC for Vote Fraud

From the Baltimore Chronicle:

Team Bush Paid Millions to Nathan Sproul - and Tried to Hide It
All the payments by the RNC to Sproul add up to a whopping $8,359,161. Where did all that money come from? Why did the RNC suppress their real expenditures? And what exactly did Sproul do for all that pay?

And that's just money paid to one outfit in pursuit of re-stealing the White House. Makes Nixon's little burglary to the same ends seem kinda quaint, huh?

Rove Two-fer

Two articles on the same page at Truthout. Read 'em both.

Daniel Schorr:

Let me remind you that the underlying issue in the Karl Rove controversy is not a leak, but a war and how America was misled into that war.

The role of Rove and associates added up to a small incident in a very large scandal - the effort to delude America into thinking it faced a threat dire enough to justify a war.

An editorial tying Rove to my other favorite sleazebag:

"It's widely known that Karl Rove has been pulling strings all over Washington for years, obviously not just in the case of the Plame leak," said Peter L. Kelley, manager of the Campaign for a Cleaner Congress.

"What is not widely known, however, is his close connection with Jack Abramoff, who is at the center of the lobbying scandal in which Washington is now embroiled. Rove let archconservative operatives like Grover Norquist call shots at the White House. And just this week, a Texas judge ruled that a former Rove lieutenant must face felony charges of money laundering for Tom DeLay's political operation.
"Could party leaders' abrupt about-face on the Plame case have anything to do with the other ethics scandals that have been grabbing headlines for months now?" said Kelley. "It seems there are more than a few bad apples in this barrel, and they don't like it that the public is starting to find out."

I got a little miffed at the last sentence. I'm certainly not starting to find out anything except details of the depth of their sleaze. Then I realized the writer wasn't talking about me. When all the people who bought their crap (see title of previous post), or from whom they thought they had hidden it, realize what fools the power people think they are, they're gonna be pissed. I've been on a perma-pissoff for years. I'm used to it. The awakening masses aren't. They're liable to react in a way that will not be be pleasing to the pols and their accomplices. Whee!

We can rule you just fine as long as your head's in the sand...

Now that the Catholic Church has come out against evolution, Frisco Jon has a few words on the subject of "faith".

You'd think, what with the whole sun-going-around-the-Earth thing, the church might be content to leave the details to the experts. But the idea of experts is outmoded. The scientific method is outdated. The new paradigm: Start from the conclusions and work backward. This is the age of faith or, as we called it last time, the Dark Ages (my emphasis).
Like many people, I am astonished by how the Bush administration can get away with this much incompetence for this long. I am surprised that it can continue to be callously indifferent to the needless deaths of soldiers and civilians in Iraq. I am surprised that it can blow the cover of a CIA secret operative and escape the consequences. I have this eerie alternative-universe feeling. I hear the "Twilight Zone" music. Didn't actions used to have consequences? When lies were exposed, didn't something happen?

Not in a little year we like to call -- 721.

Let's look at the upside for a minute. There will be plenty of cool new illuminated manuscripts; there will be exciting advances in distilled beverages; we will all get to own our own sheep. Plus, if there's a crusade, we'll be able to travel to foreign lands. The motto du jour: Our crazy people can beat their crazy people. We have faith.

I really don't care what god or gods people worship. It's the realm of the mysterious and the supernatural; go nuts. The list of great thinkers who were also great believers is long; there is nothing incompatible between the two. That is, until someone announces that all truths are known and all behaviors are judged and you are going to Paradise and you aren't.

Once upon a time, there were two American institutions I believed in: the Supreme Court and the voting process. Now I have serious questions about both because people of faith seem to be taking them over. Faith-based elections: First the results, then the counting. Faith-based judicial decisions: First the verdict, then the facts.

There seems to be a lovely little tea party going on down the block. There's a guy in a big hat, and a rabbit, and please, pay no attention to what the dormouse says. We have enough hallucinations already.

Gee, maybe if we have to re-invent the wheel, it'll have a more efficient shape this time.

The stench of hypocrisy 10

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-Clueless) 11 Dec 1998, at the beginning of the Clinton Impeachment hearings. WaPo:

[. . .]

Should he be impeached? Very quickly; the hardest decision I think I will ever make. Learning that the president lied to the grand jury about sex, I still believe that every president of the United States, regardless of the matter they called to testify about before a grand jury should testify truthfully and if they don't they should be subject to losing their job.

I believe that about Bill Clinton and I'll believe that about the next president. If it had been a Republican, I would have still believed that and I would hope that if a Republican person had done all this that some of us would've went (sic) over and told him, You need to leave office. I understand that the dilemma that all of us are in about that. His fate is in his own hands. [my emphases]

[. . .]

So, when ya makin' that trip up to 1600, you hypocritical piece of shit? Yeah, thought so.

[Hat tip: Digby]

Friday Cattle Dog Blogging

I hate that camera, dad!!!

Rove's America

[. . .]

What Mr. Rove understood, long before the rest of us, is that we're not living in the America of the past, where even partisans sometimes changed their views when faced with the facts. Instead, we're living in a country in which there is no longer such a thing as nonpolitical truth. In particular, there are now few, if any, limits to what conservative politicians can get away with: the faithful will follow the twists and turns of the party line with a loyalty that would have pleased the Comintern.

I first realized that we were living in Karl Rove's America during the 2000 presidential campaign, when George W. Bush began saying things about Social Security privatization and tax cuts that were simply false. At first, I thought the Bush campaign was making a big mistake - that these blatant falsehoods would be condemned by prominent Republican politicians and Republican economists, especially those who had spent years building reputations as advocates of fiscal responsibility. In fact, with hardly any exceptions they lined up to praise Mr. Bush's proposals.

But the real demonstration that Mr. Rove understands American politics better than any pundit came after 9/11.

Every time I read a lament for the post-9/11 era of national unity, I wonder what people are talking about. On the issues I was watching, the Republicans' exploitation of the atrocity began while ground zero was still smoldering. [NYT]

[. . .]

I love Krugman because he doesn't care. He doesn't care what his bosses at the NYT think of him, nor anybody else. He calls 'em the way he sees 'em and lets the chips fall where they may.

Pic from Asia Times via Glen.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Where are they now?

T. Rex checks up on all those people you don't hear much about anymore.

Repub economics

From Roger Ailes the Good:

That sound coming from Las Vegas is the high-pitched whine of the Cash-Strapped Nevada Chickenhawk:

[. . .]

A microcosm of the nation's leadership.

You may be a redneck . . .

I was just out in the yard with the Monster and I noticed something. Looking at my vehicles, you'd think I was a Republican:

Democratic Veterans

Klipper at RUFNKM:

[. . .]

I was talking to my cousin yesterday. He's a fighter pilot in the U.S. Navy ... flies jets off boats ... lands jets on boats.
He's a college-educated, independent thinking, smart, young man.

[. . .]

He says that a lot of people in the Navy are getting worn out. They think this war has gone on long enough, etc.

Jim asks him if there are any Democrats in his navy. He answers that there's a few but they catch a lot of shit. He tells us how people argue and the people who aren't all about Bush are berated and treated like crap. [my emphasis]

[. . .]

Isn't that just great? I wonder if the Repubs have a political officer aboard each ship like the Soviets used to do? I can see how this happens though. The information about the war comes from the top in a basically insular community. This is related to Gord's post below, where the O-8s and O-9s are 'accentuating the positive' and it's filtering down through the ranks. Keep in mind, the flyboys have a completely different perspective of war than the grunts do. As I've said about many aspects of this 'war', we have a failure of leadership.

And You Never See His Lips Move...

I just love this line from Marshall Wittman via Mark A.R. Kleiman:

For Bush to get rid of Rove would be like Charlie McCarthy firing Edgar Bergen.

Also, go read Kleiman's post about how the Espionage Act may be the law that trips up Rove.

Honest, Officer, I Just Got A Few Stumps To Get Out...

It seems like there's no shortage of bomb-making ingredients in the U.S. How comforting. From ABC News:

From 2001 to 2004, more than 16,000 pounds of high explosives were stolen from construction sites and demolition companies, according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

Equally as alarming, more than 60,000 pounds of blasting agents like ammonium nitrate -- the same chemical used in the Oklahoma City bombing -- were stolen, as well.
The New York City Police Department created a special undercover unit to try find out how easy it would be to make a bomb.

"We've been able to go out and purchase the materials for a bomb, do it legally, and put it together and again detonate it," said New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.

Building the bomb was easy to do and cheap, he says.

Cheap and easy? A new career for Fixer, perhaps? (wink)

The Fake Optimism of Washington's Warriors

Norman Solomon on the public optimism and private pessimism of the Brass about Iraq. And more comparison to Vietnam.

In front of TV cameras, Pentagon officials do their best to make war sound wise and noble. Most of all, they lie.

Sometimes they do it with bold assertions, other times with intentionally tangled syntax. But those who give the orders that consign young soldiers to participation in horror must assure the folks back home that all the carnage is under control. The officials strive to project an aura of calm about the unspeakable; they mumble cliches about grief that cannot touch it.

For the most powerful war-makers in Washington, the most dangerous potential enemies are the citizens of the United States who might insist on an end to taxpayer subsidies for mass slaughter. To forestall such a calamity, officials proclaim endlessly that the war's worst days have passed and the future looks increasingly bright for the ravaged land and for the freedom-loving invaders whose invasion has ravaged it.
These kinds of statements may seem like mere pep talks or, in retrospect, miscalculations. But they're integral to the war-making process - continually speaking of light that's just over the horizon, while corpses pile up in grisly shadows alongside the lies that keep a war going on top of the lies that got it started.
Washington's warriors insist that Iraq is not Vietnam. Any geographer would certainly agree. But imperial wars share similar characteristics - including the profound fact that the people who live in a country are more committed to it than the invaders are. This war can't be won for reasons that have everything to do with why it's wrong. The occupiers are on the lowest moral ground. No amount of fake optimism in Washington can change such realities in Iraq.

The last paragraph applies here at home as well, I think. This time, however, the "occupiers" are the Bush administration, the Republican Congress, Big Corpora, and the christo-fascist whackjobs. Their "moral ground" is the lowest ever.

I am proud, but saddened, that this time WE get to be the Viet Cong.

Rove's War

From Sidney Blumenthal:

Rove is fighting his war as though it will be settled in a court of Washington pundits. Brandishing his formidable political weapons, he seeks to demonstrate his prowess once again. His corps of agents raises a din in which their voices drown out individual dissidents. His frantic massing of forces dominates the capital by winning the communications battle. Indeed, Rove may succeed momentarily in quelling the storm. But the stillness may be illusory. Before the prosecutor, Rove's arsenal is useless.
At one point, on CNN, Wolf Blitzer asked Mehlman if he had attended meetings at the White House on how to deal with Wilson. Suddenly, the voluble Mehlman constricted. "I don't recall those meetings occurring," he said. Has the prosecutor inquired about such meetings and their participants?

The sound and fury of Rove's defenders will soon subside. The last word, the only word that matters, will belong to the prosecutor. So far, he has said very, very little. Unlike the unprofessional, inexperienced and weak Ken Starr, he does not leak illegally to the press. But he has commented publicly on his understanding of the case. "This case," he said, "is not about a whistle-blower. It's about a potential retaliation against a whistle-blower."

This is a pretty good commentary on the whole deal. Go read. Magazine length, so take lunch. Funny how Mehlman and JimmyJeff crop up along with Rove like an unholy troika, ain't it?

Dean vs. Santorum proves media bias

From Sirotablog:

Last month when Howard Dean called the GOP a "pretty much a white Christian" party, the Beltway media went absolutely crazy. You couldn't turn on a television without hearing about it in some way, shape or form. Incredibly, though, the same can't be said for revelations that Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) blamed the Catholic church's child molestation scandal on Massachusetts/Boston liberalism.
This is sheer crazy talk from the #3 Republican in the U.S. Senate. And yet, beyond a few stories, it hasn't garnered nearly the same coverage as Dean's comments, which were, frankly, less inflammatory, and rooted in fact.
What we have here, however, is a media double standard. When a Democrat says something that pushes the envelope, it is a scandal. When a top Republican Senator makes an offensive statement worthy of an insane asylum patient, its barely news because the GOP is just expected to make crazy fringe comments like this. That's the media obstacle our side faces these days - and it is surely part of the reason why it is so difficult for Democrats to get their message out.

When the inmates are put in charge of the asylum, the sane people are looked at like they're crazy.

Scott McClellan ponders how to address the Rove investigation

Will Durst got aholt of this tape from McClellan on Bush's answering machine:

"Anyhow, boss: please, please, please tell me we're not going to run that stupid "he never mentioned her name" defense. I mean, c'mon. He did say Joe Wilson's WIFE worked for the CIA. Which unless the guy is the King of Bahrain or an Elder in the Mormon Church or an Eskimo or something sounds pretty definitive even to me. And unh, if you do talk to Mr. Rove about this, could you leave my name out of it? To be honest, the guy kind of gives me the heebie jeebies. Remember that time I spilled coffee on his lap, and everyone laughed? Later on he pushed me into my office and started screaming and all the doors and windows shut on their own and the air got dense and I swear his eyes turned all red and stuff and a bunch of papers on a chair burst into flames. They were just a pile of old Posts so it was no big deal, but still. "And I've been asking around, and I'm not the only one he creeps out. Cheney's chief of staff's head intern told my intern that she walked in on the Vice President and Mr. Rove in that big marble bathroom upstairs dancing around waving dead chicken carcasses and using the decapitated heads as finger puppets. And now she's got warts on her eyes, and I know you don't want to know anything unless you need to know, but this is stuff I think you need to know."

Will Durst truly hopes the President was just kidding about the hot tub thing with Robert Novack.



What's hockey?

Pay attention, idiots

The great Michael Hawkins:

The half that identifies with the Republican Party, the half that voted for W not once, but twice... the half that continues to bury its head in the sand, continues to watch Faux News, continues to champion O'Lielly and the Oxycontin Kid... the half that still thinks Saddam ordered the 9/11 attacks....'s time for that half of the country to wake up. What's happening with the Rove/Plame story is the tip of the iceburg, folks. For those who've remained purposely blind to the astounding level of corruption in this misAdministration need to read this:

[. . .]

Let's review

The lovely Jane has a review of the Plame case so far, replete with lotsa links. Go take a look. And just a note about the pic on Jane's post, I wish I was part of the ground crew. "What? The brakes released by themselves."


(CBS) President George W. Bush's approval ratings are now back to where they were before their post-9/11 meteoric increases. His overall approval rating and his rating on handling the economy are near the lowest marks of his presidency, and his rating on handling foreign policy is lower than ever before.

In addition to the declining overall job approval rating, confidence in the President's ability to handle the two major issues dominating his presidency -- the economy and international crises - has fallen, and is now more negative than positive. [my emphasis]

[. . .]

Great poll results on the page also. To wit:

Nation's economy is:

Yeah, thanks for that tax cut, Dicknose. Where did these people get their MBAs, Enron University? Shit, I'm just the dropout son of a small businessman and I could run a corporation better than these guys and still skim my share of profits off the top. I have a better grasp of economic principle anyway.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Before You Sign that Online Petition...

A few months back, I signed an online petition for the People for the American Way. I think I only put down my e-mail address and perhaps what state I live in, but since then, I've received non-stop e-mails, and tonight one of their phone solicitors called at 8:50 p.m. , wanting a $50 "donation."

If I can ever get them to stop bugging me, I'll think twice about participating in their petitions. Or anyone else's, for that matter.


The Sister takes apart the Repub talking points about Wilson and Plame:

[. . .]

TALKING POINT: Bob Novak used the word "operative" by accident and his sources did not say she was one.
FACT: This is false, after-the-fact spin from Novak.

TALKING POINT: Rove "was discouraging a reporter from writing a false story" based on Joe Wilson's "false premise" (that DCI Tenet or VP Cheney authorized his trip)
FACT: False. Moreover, Joe Wilson did not make such a claim before Rove exposed Valerie Plame's identity.

TALKING POINT: The Senate Intelligence Committee said that Valerie Plame was the one who set up Joe Wilson's trip.
FACT: False and false. (Also see here). (In fact, there is no consensus view that Valerie Plame even suggested that Wilson be sent on the trip.)

[. . .]

The woman is excellent, and she provides lotsa links too.

The Big Lie

From TPMCafe via Are You Effin' Kidding Me:

The misinformation being spread in the media about the Plame affair is alarming and damaging to the longterm security interests of the United States. Republicans' talking points are trying to savage Joe Wilson and, by implication, his wife, Valerie Plame as liars. That is the truly big lie.
A few of my classmates, and Valerie was one of these, became a non-official cover officer. That meant she agreed to operate overseas without the protection of a diplomatic passport. If caught in that status she would have been executed.
At the end of the day, Joe Wilson was right. There were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. It was the Bush Administration that pushed that lie and because of that lie Americans are dying. Shame on those who continue to slander Joe Wilson while giving Bush and his pack of liars a pass. That's the true outrage.

I hope it's getting hard for the Bush misadministration to keep their lies straight. It's a lot to remember.

5 years ago

[. . .]

I was a congressman when another man of integrity lived in the White House. I saw a president restore America's confidence, and prepare the foundation for victory in the cold war. I saw how one man's will can set the nation on a new course. I learned the meaning of leadership from President Ronald Reagan.

[. . .]

I have been in the company of leaders. I know what it takes. And I see in our nominee the qualities of mind and spirit our nation needs, and our history demands. Big changes are coming to Washington. To serve with this man, in this cause, is a chance I would not miss. This country has given me so much opportunity.

[. . .]

We can restore the ideals of honesty and honor that must be a part of our national life, if our children are to thrive. When I look at the administration now in Washington, I am dismayed by opportunities squandered. Saddened by what might have been, but never was. These have been years of prosperity in our land, but little purpose in the White House. Bill Clinton vowed not long ago to hold onto power "until the last hour of the last day." That is his right. But, my friends, that last hour is coming. That last day is near. The wheel has turned. And it is time. It is time for them to go.

George W. Bush will repair what has been damaged. He is a man without pretense and without cynicism. A man of principle, a man of honor. On the first hour of the first day he will restore decency and integrity to the Oval Office. He will show us that national leaders can be true to their word and that they can get things done by reaching across the partisan aisle, and working with political opponents in good faith and common purpose. I know he'll do these things, because for the last five years I've watched him do them in Texas.

[. . .] - Dick 'Dick' Cheney, August 2, 2000

If they wouldn't have done so much damage, this would actually be funny.

Great thanks to Pauly for the link.

Skippy reminder

He only needs 20,000 more!

Failing Up From The Best Leak Ever

Man alive, there is so much shit out there today about Rove that I simply couldn't decide what to point you at, so I'm going with my fallback source: The Daily Show. This show will be repeated tonight after today's show in case you missed it. I paraphrase:

"President Bush's biggest problem in this deal is how to sufficiently reward Karl Rove.

"George Tenet manipulated intelligence that allowed Bush us to commit us to a fraudulent war. Bush awarded him the Medal Of Freedom.

"Condileeza Rice missed the point of a memo that flatly stated Osama bin Laden wanted to attack on U.S. soil. Bush promoted her to Secretary of State.

"For this latest bungle, can there be any doubt that we are about to see Chief Justice Karl Rove?"

A note to the Media: Yes, I know you have been frustrated by this administration's lying, dissembling, mis- and dis-information, distractions, diversions, and general all-around malfeasance. No, I don't blame you a bit for climbing their frame now that you finally have a golden opportunity for payback. Keep it up.

My point, however, is that you have allowed, even promoted, the current state of affairs for at least the last five years by fellating the White House and taking their bullshit at face value. What you're doing now is fine, but where were you when we needed you?

Don't break your arm patting yourself on the back for finally doing your job for a little while.

Willie's Reggae

On the cultural front, from Yahoo! News:

No, you're not smoking something--the cover of Willie Nelson's new reggae album comes in two separate versions: regular and Wal-Mart.

The cover art of Countryman, released Tuesday, features green marijuana leaves over a red and yellow background and looks similar to a large pack of rolling papers.

However, for those looking to snap up the CD at Wal-Mart's famously rolled back prices, the cover features a palm tree in place of the offending leaves, a change made by Universal Music Group Nashville out of deference to the retailing giant's strict guidelines with regards to lyrics and packaging.

Willie doing Reggae? There must have been enough smoke pouring out of the recording studio that passers-by thought a new Pope had been elected.

I know which version I'm getting. Fuck Wal-Mart.

Legally wrong

. . . Am I alone in regularly being stunned that a group of men who claim such moral clarity must now muddy discussion with terms like "legally wrong?" . . .

No you're not, my friend.

Go read the Heretik.

And by the way, Blogger sucks wet monkey ass today.

Demon seed

Democratic Veteran:

[. . .]

All we have done is sow the seeds for one of the longest civil wars in the middle east, whose violence will be exported around the world thanks to the megalomania of Beloved Leader and the Neo-Cons. I wonder if Mommy and Poppy Bush are impressed with Junior yet? . . .

When you boil it down, we have taken a country that was essentially stable and contained and turned it into a Goddamn mess over a little kid's inferiority complex.

Health care . . . socialized 2

Our esteemed colleague and friend David at 42 just had an experience with the German health care system:

. . . So yeah my first experience with socialized medicine was hugely positive. I'm not sure how the German system compares to the rest of western Europe (and I've heard very good things about the French system and not so great ones about the UK's NHS) but next time some ignant asshole bitches to me about how bad a national health care system is he's gonna get a fat lip.

We're gonna need something done here soon or none of us will be able to afford to get sick.

Bon Voyage

The shuttle Discovery takes off today and I wish the astronauts aboard her a safe an productive voyage. As regular readers know, I take time every so often to bash NASA. They need it. It's become a joke.

Now, people who know me know I am one of space exploration's biggest advocates. I believe the future of Humanity lies among the stars. Space to us is like the Atlantic Ocean to Columbus. We stand here on the shore, gazing up at the opportunities that await us, just out of our grasp. The fact we are sending our people up in 35 year old crap spacecraft is equivalent to sending our kids to Iraq in unarmored Humvees.

Yes, folks, the shuttles and their systems were designed over 3 decades ago. We've lost two crews already and it's only a matter of time until we lose another now that we'll begin regular rotations again.

Think about this. We're sending people who are willing to take the risk to explore the most forbidding environment, up in craft that are so delicate, a piece of fucking foam or a stiff wind can damage them critcally. WTF? This is space you idiots. Scrap these fucking things and build something that'll hold together if it gets hit by a fucking bus.

Our astronauts are willing to do the hard, dirty work of giving mankind a presence in the heavens, the least we can do is give them dependable equipment. It's time to redefine NASA's priorities. It's time to streamline their mission so they can devote their time and resources to either manned flight or unmanned probes. It's time to remove the top-heavy management structure of the agency and purge the entrenched bureaucracy.

By God, ladies and gents, we've been doing this for almost half a century. By now we should have bases on the Moon and Mars, and mining operations in the Asteroid Belt. What are we doing instead? Watching and praying the fucking thing will make it to the Station and back. This is a joke and unconscionable.

Good luck to the crew of STS-114, my heart and my dreams go with you. I pray the people who make the decisions to fly have your best interest, not the political expediency of getting the thing into space, in mind.

Update: 14:00:

MSNBC Breaking News

NASA says current weather may delay shuttle launch. More to come... -

Ooops, something else broke. As of 2 PM it's scrubbed. Piece of shit.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Just sad . . .

I saw this at Gillard's yesterday and meant to blog it:

TULSA, Okla., July 8 - The Laura Dester Shelter here is licensed for 38 children, but at times in the past months it has housed 90, forcing siblings to double up in cots. It is supposed to be a 24-hour stopping point between troubled homes and foster care, but with foster homes backed up, children are staying weeks and sometimes months, making it more orphanage than shelter, a cacophony of need.

[. . .]

This is a problem methamphetamine has made, a scene increasingly familiar across the country as the number of foster children rises rapidly in states hit hard by the drug, the overwhelming number of them, officials say, taken from parents who were using or making methamphetamine.

[. . .]

Back when I was hooked on coke I tried some of this shit (anything for a buzz) and I can't describe what it did to my mind and body. This is worse than just about any drug because it's cheap to make and so highly addictive. Aside from giving the finger to the conservatives who always point to New York's junkies as a byproduct of our 'liberal lifestyle of sin', this is mostly a rural problem where treatment centers are farther apart and not as readily available as in big cities. Something has to be done about this before Rural America loses several generations to this insidious chemical.

This one will piss you off...

Fixer and I have gone on at some length about how poorly our combat troops, and I include every last one of 'em in Iraq as "combat" troops since they're all in needless peril, are treated once they're no longer able to pull a trigger or fix a tank or whatever. The Tacoma News Tribune tells of how they are almost forcibly discharged before their medical needs are met by the regime that put them in harm's way.

The day before his 22nd birthday, a bomb hanging from a tree along a road near Fallujah exploded above Rory Dunn's Humvee.
Dunn's forehead was crushed from ear to ear, leaving his brain exposed. His right eye was destroyed by shrapnel; the left eye nearly so. His hearing was severely damaged.
Yet, even as Dunn fought to overcome his traumatic brain injury and other wounds, his mother, Cynthia Lefever, fought the Army to ensure her son continued to receive critical care from Army specialists. Lefever said the Army tried to pressure her son into accepting a discharge before he was ready - pressure other severely wounded soldiers say they've experienced, too.

Lefever and other critics say the Army's medical system, particularly Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington, D.C., has been overwhelmed by the number of wounded returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. They accuse the Army of attempting to discharge wounded soldiers before their essential medical needs are met and transfer them to Veterans Affairs medical facilities.

"The Army tried to get rid of him," Lefever said. "It was immoral and unethical. The Army owes these kids."
Soldiers are discharged if they no longer can "adequately perform" their assigned duties and have received "optimum medical care," Garvey said. The process is subjective and can last months or more than year, he said, but soldiers are informed of their rights and can appeal.
Veterans organizations say they are aware that the military medical system is stretched.

"It's obvious when you go to Walter Reed," said Cathy Wiblemo, the American Legion's deputy director for health care. "They are running out of room."
"The Army's medical bills are going up, and it's encroaching on other things they have to pay for," she said.

Running out of room? "Other things" they have to pay for? WHAT THE FUCK? There ain't a goddam thing more important for the military to provide space for or pay for than properly treating soldiers that were injured in this criminal war.

Please go read this article. If it doesn't blow your blood pressure out your ears, go read it again.

A Parse Too Far

Needlenose has his bayonet-like proboscis stuck right in McLiellan's ass. He has a good all-purpose post on what the WH has said v. what it implied on the Plame case, and how the chickens may be coming home to roost.

Both Sen. Reid and the press are steamrolling right over the Bushites' finely crafted distinction of what Rove et al. were "involved" in -- what the meaning of "this" is, you might say -- defining the term by the misimpression McClellan intended to give instead of the legalistic definition he had hoped to fall back on.

Sweet, isn't it? That game of implying more than they were technically stating worked just fine when Dubya and his hacks were trying to link Iraq and the September 11th terrorist attacks. But it's backfiring now.

I hope the whole WH lie machine ends up with everything a chicken could possibly do all over their face.

Yank it

I said a long time ago that we should yank Zell Miller's party memberhsip card. Today via the lovely Jill (buy her cookies) blogging at Skippy's (remember the million hits by tomorrow):

[. . .]

When this nationally famous figure left the governor's office in 1999, he pocketed more than $60,000 in taxpayer funds earmarked for entertainment and other expenses at the Governor's Mansion, WSB-TV investigative reporter Dale Cardwell revealed last week.

Miller also picked up a check for more than $20,000 for "unused leave"-a sum to which he was not entitled as a constitutional officer, Cardwell also reported.

At first blush, such stuff may sound shockingly sleazy. Bear with us. Miller has an explanation, contained in prepared statements issued through his attorney.

In essence, Miller says that he was technically eligible to take the mansion money as his own because no one said he could not. "When I retired from state government, I received only what I was advised was legal, ethical and traditional," his statement read, citing an attorney general's official opinion from 1969. [Link]

[. . .]

Miserable, deceitful old bastid. I wish he would have challenged me to a duel instead of that fat moron Matthews.

Karl Rove must be destroyed!

The Rude Pundit is starting a series (his time is short today so he's posting in segments) on why the pasty-faced weasel should be DESTROYED!

It is time to destroy Karl Rove - that fat fuck must bear the burden of his sins against this nation as surely as a tail-chasing, abusive cocksman must die alone, diseased, and despised. Rove must be dragged out in public and his pants must be yanked down so we can all laugh at the tiny dick and bean-like balls of this so-called fearsome presence. In the old days, they used to draw and quarter fuckers like Rove, who would, for personal vendetta and political expediency, sell out the good of the nation. But, fuck, horses are a burden these days, so let's tie Rove's limbs to four news vans, each driven by a member of the so-long cowed Washington press corps, and let 'er rip. Metaphorically, of course. Of course.

Heh, go back later to check for updates.

Repub Al-Qaeda

Bush: 'You're my base, heh heh.'

Pudentilla: . . . Perhaps Karen Hughes and the Dark Lord have figured out that "the base" (does anyone find it ironic that this translates to "al-quaeda" in Arabic?) secretly thrills to hear such uncouth trash talk in the midst of Britain's travails ("the Brits are fine as allies, but we'll toss them to the sharks if it means we can be safe on our fat keesters at home"). . .[my emphasis]

Just sayin' . . .

Monday, July 11, 2005



Heh . . .


Diamonds and Rhinestones

Perhaps when one is born, we have little settings in our heads. These little settings are capable of holding either diamonds or rhinestones. Which is placed in the settings is one's own determination.

Some are curious and they seek answers. They want to educate themselves and determine what they believe to be right and wrong, fair and unfair. They learn, they read, and they listen. They may follow others' paths, but they come to their own conclusions based on experience and knowledge. These people place as many diamonds in their settings as they possibly can. They are seekers of nothing but the real thing, the diamonds.

[. . .]

An excellent and insightful post by Pissed Off Patricia. Light blogging for me today, work-related injury.

Everything you need to know about blogs

This guy needs: anger management, Xanax, blood pressure monitoring, a dog, and to get laid. Via South Knox Bubba.

He's also a mite full o' hisself. Be sure to click on his home page at the bottom of his rant, or go here.

Coincidence, or...?

This is absolutely incredible. Thanks, Granny.

A consultancy agency with government and police connections was running an exercise for an unnamed company that revolved around the London Underground being bombed at the exact same times and locations as happened in real life on the morning of July 7th.

Apparently, this isn't the first time something like this has happened. Go read.

Boy President in a Failed World?

From TomDispatch (take a lunch):

Let's face it. George Bush likes dress-up. What a video game is to a teenager, the Presidency seems to be to this man. It's a free pass to the movies with him playing that brave warrior part. All in all, I'm afraid to say, it must be fun. When he so cavalierly said, "Bring 'em on," he was surely simply carried away by the spirit of the game. What it wasn't, of course, was the statement of a mature human being, an adult.
If you'll excuse another image, it was as if our child leaders had taken off, ridden directly into someone else's neighborhood, seen a wasp's nest, promptly stomped on it, and then stood around praising themselves and waiting to be stung.
The sad thing is that the truth is relatively simple. What people using terror in the fashion of London are quite capable of doing is killing and maiming randomly and in large numbers - and perhaps in the process revealing to us both how fragile and how strong our world actually is. What they are completely incapable of doing, no matter what George Bush says, is taking our liberties and freedoms away. They can't take anything away. Only we can do that (my emphasis).

Engelhardt's a little windy, but he makes good points.

Clinton on Bush

Sentor Clinton nailed Bush pretty good during a speech at the Aspen Ideas Festival (see Whiskey Bar) according to the Grand Junction (CO) Sentinel:

"I sometimes feel that Alfred E. Neuman is in charge in Washington," Clinton said referring to the freckle-faced Mad magazine character. She drew a laugh from crowd when she described Bush's attitude toward tough issues with Neuman's catchphrase: "What, me worry?"

More like Chucky with nuclear weapons, I think.

Clearing his brain...

To see a picture of Rove plotting his next move, go here.

Unitarian Jihad

Frisco Jon seems to have gotten an e-mail from a new group. They may be on to something.

Greetings to the Imprisoned Citizens of the United States! Too long has your attention been waylaid by the bright baubles of extremist thought. Too long have fundamentalist yahoos of all religions (except Buddhism -- 14-5 vote, no abstentions, fundamentalism subcommittee) made your head hurt. Too long have you been buffeted by angry people who think that God talks to them. You have a right to your moderation! You have the power to be calm! We will use the IED of truth to explode the SUV of dogmatic expression!
We are Unitarian Jihad, and our motto is: "Sincerity is not enough." We have heard from enough sincere people to last a lifetime already. Just because you believe it's true doesn't make it true. Just because your motives are pure doesn't mean you are not doing harm. Get a dog, or comfort someone in a nursing home, or just feed the birds in the park. Play basketball. Lighten up. The world is not out to get you, except in the sense that the world is out to get everyone.

Go read this one. It's fun.

Goodbye, Boy Genius

From Freiheit und Wissen:

[. . .]

The fact that it came from the White House proves once again just how vindictive President Bush and company are - given that blowing the CIA cover for Plame was meant as payback for her husband contesting the administration's story that Saddam was trying to buy uranium from Niger. It also fits the overall picture that Bush's administration was hell-bent on going to war at all costs.

[. . .]

I am cautiously optimistic this will finally lead to Chimpy Inc's undoing. The Sister also tells us Rep John Conyers is on the White House over this too:

It's official. I'm announcing my endorsement of Congressman Conyers for the 2008 presidential race.

Because he's the only one who's earning our votes:

[. . .]

Sunday, July 10, 2005

The Bloggers Anonymous badge of honor

"If, as you live your life, you find yourself mentally composing blog entries about it, post this exact same sentence in your weblog."
From a post today at It's Morning Somewhere.


Have you heard of the WTI? I hadn't, until a little while ago while I was reading "Lest We Forget; These Were Blair's Bombs" in Truthout, and came across a couple of sentences that perked up my inner ears:

Over the past two weeks, the contrast between the coverage of the G8, its marches and pop concerts, and another "global" event has been striking. The World Tribunal on Iraq in Istanbul has had virtually no coverage, yet the evidence it has produced, the most damning to date, has been the silent spectre at the Geldoff extravaganzas.

The tribunal is a serious international public inquiry into the invasion and occupation, the kind governments dare not hold. Its expert, eyewitness testimonies, said the author Arundathi Roy, a tribunal jury member, "demonstrate that even those of us who have tried to follow the war closely are not aware of a fraction of the horrors that have been unleashed in Iraq." The most shocking was given by Dahr Jamail, one of the best un-embedded reporters working in Iraq.

The key words, to me, are "virtually no coverage". I haven't heard a thing about this in the LMSM, which means they are doing their job, as usual: blowing Georgie by filtering out that pesky "rest of the world" stuff that might hurt our woolly little heads and make Fearless Leader look bad. Who cares what everybody else thinks anyway? Nuthin' but a bunch o' damn furriner commies anyhow.

I did a little clickin' around and found out that this WTI has had meetings in about fifteen cities worldwide, including two in New York. New York? Isn't that in the United States? So we're not even hearing about this deal when it's goin' on in Fixer's back yard? Amazing.

I suggest you take a few minutes and go click around the World Tribunal on Iraq site. Bookmark it. It's pretty extensive. Then go read Code Pink's posts.

Let me know what you think.

Rove is a TRAITOR!

The Sister says so:


Oliver Willis:

[. . .]

On a personal note, I'm sick of these guys. Sick of all of them. Sick of the apologists in government, the media, and among the chattering classes. Sick of these people not giving a damn about dead civilians. Sick of the Republicans crapping on the American people. Sick of George Bush appeasing terrorists and doing nothing - nothing - to prevent terror attacks. Sick of having to wonder if the subway train I'm on is going to blow up, or if some yahoo will smash a plane into the White House a block and a half away from where I work, yet the President, his party and his apologists don't give a damn because they've got a "mandate". A mandate for immorality.

Go read the whole thing.

Exactly right


You want to fight terrorism? You want to hit the Arab world where it really lives and deliver a crippling blow to terrorism from which it will never, ever recover again?

Start a National Energy Race. Challenge the American people to come up with an alternative to fossil fuels the way Kennedy challenged the American people to fly to the moon. It took less than ten years from the start to the completion of that challenge. If the American people were challenged to come up with a clean energy solution, they could finish that challenge in less than ten years too.

[. . .]

Opening ANWR won't do shit, nor will clogging up the Gulf of Mexico with offshore platforms. A viable, alternative energy source is the only way to go. As long as we have to kiss OPEC ass (and support the corrupt regimes of the 'Oil Kings') we will never be free of the scourge of terrorism.

A little whoring: I dealt with this subject in Lightning Crashes, purely fiction but something to think about.

Short excerpt below the fold . . .

Fucking Supporting the troops

[. . .]

The VA is one the place in the DOD that, for all his overheated rhetoric, Bush has failed to adequately fund, in part thanks to his appointee, VA head James Nicholson, who failed to ask for money he knew the agency needed. In fact, the treatment of returning injured soldiers has been one of the great shameful chapters of the horror novel that has been the Bush administration. Most interesting, Democrats in Congress saw the shortfalls coming this past spring and tried to get additional funding included, which Bush and the Republicans both refused to pass.

[. . .]

Read the rest here and get angry.