Saturday, July 30, 2005

Scouts were as prepared for Jamboree as Bush was for Iraq: NOT!

It got quite a few Scouts killed, wounded, and sick too. Not as bad as Iraq of course, but pretty bad for a campout in Virginia. From the LATimes:

Their motto is: "Be prepared." But as the disaster-riddled National Boy Scout Jamboree carries on following five deaths and hundreds of heat-related illnesses, event planners from across the country are wondering just how prepared the Scouts were.
"It's the most safety-conscious, risk-averse organization I've ever met in my life -- there's a policy for everything," Rudden said. "That's why it's just surprising that this happened. I mean, it's just counterintuitive to all that you're trained. You can't explain it."

Dude, everybody makes mistakes. The trick is to have the clout to cover it up. Haven't you learned anything from the Chimp? We'd have never heard a thing about it if this had happened to the Hitler Youth.

I'm not Fonda Bush either, but I love the comparison...

I'm not going to go into what I think of Ms. Fonda. Suffice it to say that I'm a Vietnam-era Veteran. I saw this article in the LATimes, and after reading a post in a related vein at Adgita Diaries, thought to throw in my 2 Yuan.


Jane Fonda announced Monday that she's heading to Iraq for an anti-war tour in a bus powered by vegetable oil.

Note to Jane from an old mechanic: don't try to run it on straight hummus. It's too thick. Dilute it with oil. Or get way bigger fuel lines!
Doesn't Fonda ever learn? In 1972, after she visited Hanoi and accused U.S. leaders and POWs of war crimes, Fonda became America's most despised anti-war activist. Her Iraq jaunt will only give the hawks something new to snicker about.

But if Fonda learned little from her Vietnam escapades, the U.S. military learned many lessons from both the Vietnam War and the protests it generated.

Many in the armed forces felt bitterly undermined by Fonda's accusations and her cavalier attitude toward American POWs. Although the overwhelming majority of U.S. soldiers served honorably during our terrible war in Vietnam, the military has since come to accept that some of Fonda's points, while exaggerated, were not wholly unfounded.
To U.S. military leaders, one lesson of Fonda's escapades was that preventing war crimes is not only a matter of law and morality, but also crucial to preserving military morale and public support for the troops.
On Monday, Republican Sen. (and former JAG officer) Lindsey Graham released several 2003 memos from JAG Corps leaders to their civilian Defense Department bosses. Unlike the syntax-parsing drivel (my bold) from the Bush Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel - asserting that neither international law nor federal criminal law prohibited the president from authorizing interrogation techniques long viewed as torture - the JAG memos don't mince words.

Rives warned the general counsel's office at the Pentagon that "several of the more extreme interrogation techniques, on their face, amount to violations of domestic criminal law and the [Uniform Code of Military Justice]." His Navy JAG colleague, Rear Adm. Michael Lohr, wrote that at least one of the interrogation techniques suggested by the Justice Department "constitutes torture under both domestic and international law."

The Army's judge advocate general, Maj. Gen. Thomas Romig, said the Justice Department analysis could damage military "interests worldwide... putting our service personnel at far greater risk and vitiating many of the POW/detainee safeguards the U.S. has worked hard to establish over the past five decades."
Although the Bush administration silenced its JAG Corps critics, all their predictions are coming true: The administration's disregard for law has weakened support from allies, provided a propaganda boon to our enemies, and appears to be contributing to lowering the morale of U.S. troops in the field. The JAG Corps itself, which once attracted the best and brightest young military attorneys, has seen its applicant pool diminish substantially in recent years.

In the Vietnam War era, escapades such as Fonda's left American soldiers feeling bitterly undermined by some of their fellow citizens. It's a crying shame that this time around, those undermining the military are in the Bush adminstration (my bold).

From AdgitaDiaries:

Jane's upcoming Corn Oil Truck for Peace has done that for us. With one fell swoop, she has taken her magic wand of misstep and returned to the 60's in away that, without condescention, seems so quaint and charming that its hard to be hard about it.

My favorite line in either article:

You go Jane and please wear a kelvar vest. It's more than our American troops in Iraq are getting. And Barbarella: nail that SOB Duran-Duran Dubya for us along the way. You go girl.

Fonda's a lot older and smarter and richer now. Hopefully, she's wiser as well. Whether what she's doing is a good thing, well, that's not for me to say. I hope her actions don't prolong this war and lead to thousands of additional deaths like they did the last time she pulled this kinda stunt. I better not see a picture of her holding an RPG in the company of some grinning insurgents.

Note to M: If you would like a proofreader who can spell, I come cheap.

You really suck

Kathy at Liberty Street:

George W. Bush's job approval rating has fallen sharply again, to 44%, after two previous Gallup polls conducted this month had him at 49%. Also, Bush's favorable rating has dropped to 48%: the first time that rating has fallen below 50% since Gallup began tracking it in 1999.

[. . .]

If there's anything we all should have learned from the past decade, it's that "centrist" presidents only lead to far-right Republican presidents. And spare me the revolting calls for "unity." . . .

[. . .]

If you haven't dropped by Liberty Street, you should. Kathy's another great Jersey blogger in league with Froggy and Tami.

On gay rights

TCF has a thoughtful post about the future of gay rights here and elsewhere:

. . . It's not unreasonable to believe that it could be another fifty years before gays and lesbians are afforded the same rights as heteros. And then have wait for a court brave enough to buck the conservative social bigotry with a Brown vs. Board of Education style ruling.

It's difficult to be patient and wait for society to come to grips with its bigotry. Losing battle after battle in an effort to gain equality is a frustrating and exasperating exercise.

Inroads are being made outside of the United States.

[. . .]

Friday, July 29, 2005


From the Colorado Vets:

Halliburton announces 284 percent increase in war profits . . .

How much blood is on Cheney's hands?

Back to work.

The Twilight Zone

(Hoboken-WABC, July 29, 2005) - Dozens of believers in New Jersey are holding a vigil this morning near a statue that they say - came to life.

The Sacred Heart of Jesus statue is the centerpiece of a nativity scene outside the Jackson Street public housing complex in Hoboken.

Some witnesses say they saw the statue open its right eye, and turn its head toward the crowd.

Many call the event a miracle that could help rescue the neighborhood from problems like drugs and violence.

Words escape me . . .

Back to work.

I'm not here

I'm here, working on the new template. I'll be back tomorrow if my head doesn't explode.

DeLay Could Show Dillinger A Thing Or Two...

From Think Progress:

Tom DeLay thinks the federal treasury is his personal piggy bank. DeLay slipped "a $1.5 billion giveaway to the oil industry, Halliburton, and Sugar Land, Texas" into the energy bill.

But this isn't a normal case of government pork. DeLay has completely dispensed with the democratic process. From a letter Rep. Henry Waxman just sent Speaker Dennis Hastert:

[The provision was inserted into the energy legislation after the conference was closed, so members of the conference committee had no opportunity to consider or reject this measure.]

The $1.5 billion won't be administered by the government [but] by a private consortium in DeLay's district:

Yes, DeLay's a scumbag, and now he's pretty much a thief as well. I think he sees the handwriting on the wall and is getting what he can before the hammer, you should pardon the pun, falls. Or maybe he doesn't see it, and is just making sure he greases his district prior to the next election. Either way, he should go to jail.

The Source Beyond Rove

Common Dreams puts Plamegate squarely in Condileeza Rice's lap. This is a long article with a lot of timeline.

"We don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud." It was September 2002, and then-National Security Advisor, now-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was fastening on CNN perhaps the most memorable and frightening single link in the Bush regime's chain of lies propagandizing the war on Iraq. Behind her carefully planted one-liner with its grim imagery was the whole larger hoax about Saddam Hussein possessing or about to acquire weapons of mass destruction, a deception as blatant and inflammatory as claims of the Iraqi dictator's ties to Al Qaeda.
And, of course, the larger issue beyond Plame is the Bush regime's Big Lie behind the invasion of Iraq, in which the phantom Nigerien yellowcake was an important malignant element. No government since World War II has more blatantly invented the pretext for waging a war of aggression. The Rove and Libby collusion only begins to peel away the layers of the crime. Rice is the next skein to be pulled.

Her manifest failures in the fateful months before 9/11 in meeting the principal responsibilities of the National Security Advisor - the sheer incompetence and shallowness that left so much intelligence uncoordinated, so much neglected or misunderstood - should have been enough to have run her from public office long ago, of course, were it not for her hold on this tragically flawed president, and her deplorable immunity amid the chronic political cowardice of both the Democrats and the media.

Now, however, her role in the Plame scandal cannot be ignored or excused. She alone among senior officials was knowing and complicitous at every successive stage of the great half-baked yellow cake fraud. She alone was the White House peer - and in national security matters the superior - to Rove and Libby, who never could have acted without her collusion in peddling Plame's identity. She as much as anyone had a stake in smearing Wilson by any and all means at hand. If Rove and Libby are to be held criminally or at least politically accountable for a breach of national security, our "mushroom cloud" secretary of state should certainly be in the dock with them.

I notice that since the shit hit the fan on this deal, she's been out of the country a lot.

If? No, when.

With the shortfalls in VA funding, the 1600 Crew not wanting to admit there's a problem and the piss-poor recruiting for the next wave of cannon-fodder for the Chickenhawk Neo-cons Excellent Adventure, you have to start wondering,

When's the D-R-A-F-T? . . .

Democratic Veteran. And when you're done with that post, go read this one.

Repub morphing

. . . I didn't leave the Republican Party, the Republican Party left me. And the nation is the poorer for it.

Go see the guy in the fancy suit.

Friday Cattle Dog Blogging

Cattle Dog in jail. Shayna in her kennel.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Trail's End

Amongst the 1000 or so WWII Vets who pass away each day, some are noteworthy in their uniqueness. From the Aug. 1 issue of Time:

DIED. CHARLES CHIBITTY, 83, last survivor of the Comanche code talkers who sent messages for the Allies during World War II; in Tulsa, Okla. "It's strange," said the war vet in 2002. "Growing up as a child I was forbidden to speak my native language at school. Later [it] helped win the war, and that makes me very proud."

Godspeed, Charles.

Support the troops Boy Scouts

BOWLING GREEN, Va. -- The Boy Scouts marched onto the field singing, plopping down in the grass to wait for President Bush. But hours later, the news that Bush couldn't make it was drowned out by sirens and shouts as hundreds fell ill because of the blistering heat.

About 300 people, most of them Scouts, suffered from dehydration, fatigue and lightheadedness Wednesday just days after four Scout leaders were killed at the national Jamboree while pitching a tent beneath a power line.

[. . .]

Nice. Left 'em twising in the wind for hours while you made up your mind, didja? Wasn't like you were heading across the country, was it? Didn't even have to fire up Air Force One. Could have done it with six Suburbans. I mean, regardless of what I said about them, they did lose 4 people earler in the week. Might have been nice for the (p)resident not to kick 'em in the ass when they were down.

Maybe Rumsfeld is in his "last throes"...

From the World Peace Herald:

The struggle against the Iraq insurgency passed a crucial tipping point Wednesday with the current prime minister calling for major U.S. troop withdrawals and the U.S. ground commander there acknowledging they will probably come next year.

The commander, however, made clear he did not expect the insurgency to have dropped by then significantly below its current level.
Yet even as things are, as one U.S. military analyst told UPI on condition of anonymity, "We're operating at the margins. We're running to stand still."
"We're not making forward progress," he said. "The insurgency has great untapped resources. The insurgency isn't defeated. It just isn't so. The overall trend is up."
"The ability of the insurgents to kill large numbers of Iraqis remains unimpaired," the respected military analyst cited above said. "They kill at all levels. They even kill washer-women working at U.S. bases. When they make a threat, they carry it out. Their ability to kill people is only increasing."
Nice goin', dipshit. Spin your way out of this one. I know you'll try.

It's the old one-two punch: Bush lies us into the wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong Secretary of Defense, whose masterful plan is about to lose. We shouldn't have been there in the first place.

I've said this all along: Fuck Iraq. That whole sand pit, and all the oil under it ain't worth the lives of our military personnel, who have been ill-used and poorly led in an imperialistic folly. The people who did this should be in jail.

This may not be popular, but I'm going to say it anyway: the sacrifice in blood and treasure has gone for naught. Our troops, irreplaceable human beings each and every one, have died in vain in the mis-service of an evil administration.

Roberts Nickname Contest

From Timothy Noah:

Earlier this week, I invited Slate readers to invent a nickname President Bush could give his Supreme Court nominee, John Roberts Jr., to show him who's boss. (Although everybody in Washington pretends that Bush's penchant for bestowing nicknames is boyishly endearing, in fact, as Garry Trudeau has observed, it's an ugly ritual of domination.) The reader entries were, as usual, very fine, but they revealed a tension in the exercise that hadn't occurred to me up front.
The finalists are:
3rd Runner-Up: Roeminator
(from reader Seth Chamberlain)

2nd Runner-Up: Ned Flanders
(from reader Alison Miller)

1st Runner-Up: Hoosier Daddy
(from an anonymous reader)

And the winner is ...

I think you'll like the winner.

He needs a break. Destroying a nation is hard work...

William Rivers Pitt follows up on Fixer's post:

Imagine you're the CEO of a company. The last several major decisions you've made have gotten a large number of your employees killed. The company you're working with overseas is taking a beating in its infrastructure. The customers you tried to entice with your product are arriving in morgues by the busload.

Several of your executives are about to get nailed to the shed for obstruction of justice and perjury, while words like "Treason" are whispered behind cupped hands. Your company is hemorrhaging cash from every pore, and your big plan for the future has turned out to be the largest threat to the continued existence of the business to come down the pike in a few generations.

Yeah. I guess I'd want a vacation, too.

Have a good time, Georgie. Don't worry about us, like I have to tell you that! Relax. Do some serious drinkin' and ride your bike a lot.

Top Ten George W. Bush Solutions For Global Warming

From CBS, The Late Show with David Letterman:

10. NASA mission to turn down the sun's thermostat

9. Federal subsidies to boost production of Cool Ranch Doritos

8. Fast track Rumsfeld's "Colonize Neptune" proposal

7. Convene Blue-Ribbon Committee to explore innovative ways of ignoring the problem

6. Let Hillary worry about it when she takes over

5. I dunno---tax cuts for the rich?

4. Give the boys at Halliburton 90-billion dollar contract to patch hole in ozone

3. Switch to celsius so scorching 98 becomes frosty 37

2. Keep plenty of Bud on ice

1. Invade Antarctica

These are so close to Bush's way of thinking, it's scary.

More NASA clusterfuck

SPACE CENTER, Houston Jul 28, 2005 - In a numbing setback sure to set off a national debate over the future of the space program, NASA has grounded all future shuttle flights because of a large chunk of foam that broke off Discovery's fuel tank in hauntingly similar fashion to Columbia's doomed mission.

[. . .]

Will the NASA leadership please report to the Department of Duh.

[. . .]

"Call it luck or whatever, it didn't harm the orbiter," Parsons said. If the foam had broken away earlier in flight when the atmosphere is thicker, increasing the acceleration and likelihood of impact it could have caused catastrophic damage to Discovery.

[. . .]

Luck???!!!! You're putting 7 lives and a $15 billion spacecraft at risk and you're relying on luck? I don't do iffy repairs on a $5000 dollar car and send it out, praying for luck it doesn't break. What the fuck are you people thinking?

[. . .]

"We think that would have been really bad, so it's not acceptable," said Parsons' deputy, Wayne Hale.

[. . .]

Ya think, Dickface?

[. . .]

The loss of such a large chunk of debris, a vexing problem NASA thought had been fixed, shattered the euphoria from Tuesday's shuttle launch, the first in 2 1/2 years. The redesign of the fuel tank was the focal point of the space agency's $1 billion-plus effort to make the 20-year-old space shuttles safer to fly following the 2003 Columbia tragedy. [my emphases]

[. . .]

If we lose another shuttle and crew, I want all the NASA managers rounded up, tried for murder, and sent to jail. Fucking engineers. This spacecraft was designed 35 years ago and has been flying for 20, and you myopic motherfuckers still don't know how it works. Maybe it's time to get the guys in ties and pocket protectors out of the Agency and put a guy up there who actually knows how shit works in the real world, not just on paper. Me, for instance. And I'll do the job for a third of what you're paying the current asshole.


Rereading this, it reminds me of an engineer story from when I worked for Ford. We had a bunch of NYPD window vans (Econoline 250s) that would mysteriously burst into flames (about a dozen of 'em). Well, we weren't allowed to look at them until the 'big guys' from Dearborn got there. They looked and looked, wondering what could be causing the fires. They checked the fuel system, all the lubricants, everything flammable. After a week, they're still scratching their heads. Meanwhile, the NYPD has a thousand vans that are effectively 'grounded'.

The other Motorsport guy and I ask to look things over. 'Fine, if you must,' they say. We look over the wrecks and then call the 105th Precinct up the street to bring down an 'uncharred' version. We run it up, drive it around (there's another story in that too, heh), and then let it sit and idle in the yard. About 15 minutes later, we see smoke coming from under the thing. Approaching with a fire extinguisher, we shut it off and jack it up where it sits.

Seems the NYPD had Ford undercoat the damn things. What Ford didn't plan on is the cops letting them sit and idle all fucking day. Summer for A/C, winter for heat. The catalytic converter (in the exhaust) got really hot when idling for so long, melted the undercoating above it, causing it to drip on the converter. Enough undecoating and heat and you gots a fire. It took us another week and 4 demonstrations to convince the 'big guys' this was the problem. 'It doesn't happen on the Crown Victorias,' was their answer.

The difference between engineers and mechanics. Mechanics gotta work on the shit the engineers design. If an engineer's calculations say something can't happen, they refuse to believe it can, regarless of what their eyes tell them.


You need to know about John Robets, courtesy of Lambert (here and here).

. . . My goodness! Who would have thought? I mean, besides those nasty liberal bloggers.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Brit Cops Talking Points On Shooting An Innocent Man

From This Old Brit via Wolcott:

The text that follows is not my work. Nor is it the work of anyone I know. It "virtually" came into my hands just an hour or so ago - though it is always possible I was led to it.

Therefore ..........

No source[s]. No email nor snail mail addresse[s]. No link[s]. No secret locations. No conditions of anonimity. No copyright. No clues. No endorsements. No denials. No comments.

Go read. Sounds like they got Republicans writing their shit, too. Good site.

Jesus Loves the Little Children, but Smirky Doesn't

From the Associated Press:

Children aren't faring very well in an annual report on their well-being. The Annie E. Casey Foundation says 500,000 more American children were living in poverty in 2003 than in 2000.

There are 13 million children in depressed conditions. In addition, the percentage of low-birthweight babies increased and infant mortality was up for the first time in 40 years. The study also finds an increase in families where no parent has a full-time job and a rise in the teen death rate. Four million children are living with parents who haven't held a job in the previous year. That's an increase of 1 million since the start of the decade.

There were some improvements, though. The child death rate was down, as were the teen birth rate and the high school dropout rate.

A news release said that child well-being had rapid and sustained growth during the 1990s (when Clinton was in office), but it has slowed (during Smirky McFlightsuit's tenure).

New Hampshire, Vermont, and Minnesota (all latte-drinking, Volvo-driving blue states, I believe) rank highest when all indicators were compared, and Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi (all family-values red states) rank the lowest.

Italics and snarky editorial comments are mine.

So let's wring our hands and get our panties in a wad about abortion and gay adoption, never mind that the children already here aren't faring so well and their parents can't find work.

Oh, the other one!

Connected on MSNBC asked for comments for a piece on North Korea. I sent 'em this:

I think a pipsqueak head of government, second in a dynasty, who drinks too much, has delusions of grandeur, and possesses nuclear weapons is a clear danger to the United States. I don't think much of Kim Jong-Il, either.

For some reason, they didn't use it. Must have been too many submissions.

Where Republican talking points go to die

John has the best take on the Happy Harpies at the DLC.

[. . .]

If Democrats learned anything from the 2004 election, it's that they have to stand for something in addition to not being Republicans. It is the fundamental lesson we need to take from that election, and the problem I have with the DLC, and the centrist movement in general, is that they've failed to understand this basic and vital point.

[. . .]

And don't forget to see Gary's treatise over at Dave Johnson's place.

. . . It's time for the DLC to disband and rejoin the Democratic party.

Heh . . .

Go see Attaturk.

I want to have Jane's children

This is why:

[. . .]

Dig it, Tucker: it doesn't matter what kind of heinous ass-raping, fratricidal racist thug you are, if you profess faith in Jesus Christ your name is already on the guest list at the pearly gates, and there it will stay, no matter what you do in this life. That is why Preznit Never Responsible can do enough blow to deviate the septum of a rhinoceros and still be beloved by Christo Fascists everywhere.

[. . . ]

Yeah, who's your mommy, Tucker?

On the 'To Do' list

Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) has introduced an amendment to the Defense Authorization Bill that would require Armed Forces Radio to provide balanced political programming, and establish an ombudsman position.

A total of over 64 hours per week of AFVN broadcasting consists of rightwing vocal vomit, with the likes of Rush "Dope Addict Pimple Ass Chickenhawk Professional Blowhard Fourth-Wife Family Values" Limbaugh spewing and endless stream of invective against the left in this country -- there is no counterbalancing programming, nor is there any solid requirement for it. [my emphases]

[. . .]

Farnsworth has links on his page.

Rove's Love Life

I hope you turned your head before you puked! If you didn't, wipe off your screen and keyboard and go see this jewel from Lakshmi Chaudhry at AlterNet:

Danger: speculation about Turd Blossom's sex life ahead.
While just the very thought of Turd Blossom's sex life is likely to permanently dampen the libido, Radar Online's got this scoop on a possible extramarital dalliance:

Go read it for yourself. Far be it from me to gossip.

From I love Karl Rove comes this account of Rove's relationship with the Press:

Ooops - must flutter! I just heard my Wudgyblop's knees pop, so he must have been squatting down in the kitchen to see if his special nut-chunked brownie logs were steaming warm and ready for the press folks to swallow. He's even so thoughtful that he handed me some cellophane to keep Ms. Miller's portion nice 'n fresh for her daily care package while she's on her vacation! What a generous Globblegorp!

I know that stuff's not too important, but I'm in an impish mood, having just finished several cups of Freedom Roast from my new Alternate Brain coffee cup. Go get your own and you'll see what I'm talkin' about.


Head guy: Wow, we got it up there.

Other guy: Yeah, now we have to check for damage from the shit falling off.

Is it because I fix things for a living, or does anybody else have a problem with this?

[. . .]

A 1 1/2-inch-wide bit of tile captured on camera appeared to fly off the shuttless belly, on the edge of a door that encloses the nose landing gear. It was not clear if the tile had been struck by anything. Pieces of tile, which protect the shuttle from searing heat on return to Earth, have been lost on past flights without preventing a safe homecoming. [my emphasis]

[. . .]

If an inch and a half piece of tile can critically damage the fucking thing, why the fuck is it flying? Especially since little shit falls off the thing constantly on takeoff.

Remember Baghdad Bob?

Pic courtesy of the always funny and irreverent Via at Church of the Front Porch.

Call me a bastard

But I'm supposed to feel bad for these guys?

BOWLING GREEN, Va. - They were deeply devoted to the Boy Scouts, traveling thousands of miles to the woods of northern Virginia for 10 fun-filled days of fishing, archery and storytelling beside the campfire. One of their first tasks: Set up a large tent.

But the task went terribly awry when they lost control of a giant tent pole and it hit some nearby power lines, killing four Scout leaders as horrified youngsters looked on, said Bill Haines, a Scout executive in Alaska. [my emphasis]

[. . .]

Now, I don't know about you, but I was a Boy Scout (until they threw me out, but that was another story). I learned (before our first campout) that before you pitched a tent, you checked for any obstructions above, anything that might fall (branches, rocks, etc.) on you overnight, shit like that. Didn't anybody check? Look up and say, 'wow, will the center pole clear the wires?' or 'hey, there's wires, how tall is this tent?'. Nah. Leave us to just stick that pole right up there and . . . zzzzt! Idiots. If there's any consolation, these guys won't be imparting their obviously vast 'knowlege of the outdoors' to anyone else's kids. Who knows what these guys would fuck up out in the backcountry?

"Oh yes, son, go pet the big kitty cat."

Morons. Call it throwing the skimmer in the gene pool.


Don't have a link yet, but NY Governor George Pataki (R-Media Whore) announced he will not seek reelection for Governor in order to prepare for a Presidential bid in 2008. I hope he does. There are enough skeletons in closets here in NY that would take him down quickly. This is a win-win for us, taking at least one strong (moneyed) opponent out of Elliot Spitzer's (D-Ethics and Principle) way in the governor's race. More later probably.


No, I'm not plugging my new book. This is the real thing.

You can't buy the Pensacola News Journal at Wal-Mart anymore.

The store ordered us off their property, told us to come pick up our newspaper racks and clear out.

So we did.

A few people called last week, some even wrote letters to the editor, and wanted to know why they couldn't buy the newspaper at Wal-Mart in the days after Hurricane Dennis.

Some managers at Wal-Mart didn't appreciate a column Mark O'Brien wrote last month about the downside of the cheap prices that Sam Walton's empire has brought to America. We all pay a little less, and sometimes a lot less, at the grocery store and department store because of Mr. Walton, the founder of Wal-Mart.

[. . .]

I might understand it if Wal-Mart said I ought to fire Mark because what he said wasn't accurate. But that isn't the case. Mark accurately reported that there are 10,000 children of Wal-Mart employees in a health-care program that is costing Georgia taxpayers nearly $10 million a year.

Shouldn't we talk about that?

When we stop listening to people on the other side of the fence, when we try to silence and even punish people for thinking differently than we do and raising facts and figures we don't like, well, we won't be red, white and blue anymore.

That's why Mark still has a job and you can't buy a Pensacola News Journal at Wal-Mart anymore.

That's what we have here. The big corporations have their fingers in every part of the government, thanks to their Republican enablers, and they believe they can control information the way the Chimp administration does. Unfortunately, they've been getting away with it. Unfortunately, many people have to shop at Wal-Mart because, thanks to the power big business has usurped over the past 5 years, workers are treated like chattel instead of vital cogs in the wheel.

Hat tip: Skippy via Kos.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005


WASHINGTON (AP) - The Senate put off until fall completing a $491 billion defense bill in order to act this week on the National Rifle Association's top priority: shielding gun manufacturers and dealers from liability suits stemming from gun crimes.

On a 66-32 test vote Tuesday, the Senate indicated there's plenty of support for Republican leaders' determination to pass the gun bill before lawmakers leave at the end of this week for a monthlong vacation.

"The only reason it is coming to the floor, in a time of war to interrupt the debate on the Defense Authorization bill is that members are feeling pressure form the gun lobby," said Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I.

[. . .]

Okay, I'm all for the 2nd Amendment, but it's time to rein in the NRA. It's time to rein in a lot of the lobbying efforts on both sides. Do you realize how fucked up this is? The U.S. Senate put off debate on financing our military under pressure from lobbyists. This is fucking Bizarro World. Hat tip: Pissed Off Patricia at Blondie's.


Via 12th Harmonic and Crooks and Liars, a video of Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Big Brass Balls) giving Sen Bill Frist (R-Bleeding Asshole) a slapdown.

I hope he calls me that...

For a little light reading, go see what O'Lielly is up to, at News Hounds:
Comment: Has Bill O'Reilly lost his mind completely? Will Fox News allow this to continue? First off, let's talk plainly.Bill O'Reilly is calling people traitors not "terrorist helpers" and he is doing this on national television. The audacity of this act is beyond belief. Bill O'Reilly actually believes that he is entitled to do this to other people.

I suppose he and Michelle Malkin will be discussing plans for internment camps for "terrorist helpers" Your fate is in Bill O'Reilly's hands.

It might look a little funny when I have to climb up on a milk crate to bitch-slap that punk, but I'm always willing to look foolish for a good cause.

And Organize Some More...

I guess I got a theme today. If we're talkin' about organizing unions, we should look at Wal-Mart as the modern-day equivalent of the coal mines of the 1920's, minus the machine guns. So far, anyway. From The New Republic:
When Wal-Mart became a major blip on labor's radar screen in the early '90s, the obvious answer was, of course, to organize. But organizing retail is different from organizing, say, a factory. Even large stores require much less capital than industrial plants, a fact that allows Wal-Mart to easily shutter upstart stores or departments (in 2000, for example, when the ufcw organized the meat-cutting department of a Texas store, Wal-Mart closed its meat-cutting departments nationwide two weeks later). Not that many stores have ever gotten to that point. Wal-Mart--which is the nation's largest private employer and the world's largest company (with annual revenue that exceeds the GDP of Sweden)--trains its managers in anti-union tactics and, as a last resort, even dispatches anti-union response teams. "Straight-up organizing in this country is difficult enough under the law," says one ufcw representative. "And, when you're going up against a nation-state company (my bold), it doesn't behoove you to go after one store at a time."
With both sides pursuing Washington strategies--and with Washington politicos starting to take notice--it's almost a foregone conclusion that Wal-Mart will become an issue in the next elections. For one thing, as Kerry found last year, the company makes a great stand-in for the issues that many Democrats want to focus on: Health care, wages, and offshore outsourcing. "They will be held up as bad guys in '06 on particular issues," says Jennifer Palmieri, a 2004 presidential campaign veteran now with the Center for American Progress. "They're Democrats' best talking point on why we need more progressive policy."
Finally, the company's newfound Washington presence, ironically, could end up hurting it politically. With most of Wal-Mart's lobbyists coming from Republican ranks--and more than 80 percent of its contributions going to the GOP--Democrats will have an easy time linking their opponents to Wal-Mart's misdeeds. "All the money in the world isn't going to change the facts," says Blank. "It's their business decisions that are coming back to haunt them."

Where's Winnie when we need him? Well, dead, the slacker, but I can hear his whisky-voice: "We will fight them in the parking lot. We will fight them in the personal grooming products aisle..."


Molly Ivins cuts through the shit on the split-up of the AFL-CIO:

Organized labor is weak, but unorganized labor is a hell of a lot weaker. That's what's splitting the AFL-CIO. You may think this is none of your beeswax, but if you work in this country, you owe labor, big time. And I'm talking to you, white-collar worker.

This is not about the old stuff -- 40-hour workweek, unemployment insurance, health benefits, safety regs, etc. This is about right now, today. The money that controls this administration is out to screw you -- it's your pension on the line, your salary on the line and your job on the line. If your company can replace you cheaper, you are gone, buddy. And this administration is pushing jobs overseas just as fast as it can.
The larger result can be seen in the whole picture of stagnant wages, frozen minimum wage, corporate gains against labor on every front. It won't stop -- the Bush administration is in a fight to the death against labor. They even intervened to block a California law that says employers cannot use taxpayer money to run anti-union campaigns in the workplace. How do you like them apples, middle-class taxpayer
The AFL also points out that at least a few of the CWC unions are fairly mobbed up, which has the disadvantage of being probably true, but unprovable.

Unions figured out a long time ago that Republicans are perfectly happy to let the mob issue fester in order to discredit labor -- their despicable efforts to undermine reform in the Teamsters Union will not be forgotten.

Both sides are slugging hard in this fight but are still talking and negotiating, too -- they realize a split can only weaken labor in the short run. This is not so much a left-versus-right fight as it's old strategy versus new -- restructuring labor in ways that make more sense for a de-industrializing economy. Pretty much everyone who supports labor has friends on both sides. I'm supporting Stern and the CWC because the AFL is way too much about protecting turf.

The old unions did some great work in their day. They came up through pain and bloodshed. We owe them a lot, but they got complacent and top-heavy, and more and more irrelevant. Perhaps it's time for a new approach to the modern set of problems.

The Democrats have a chance to get a fresh start with Labor, too, if they're smart enough. Ya listenin', Howie?


Mrs. F wants to know why the media whores in New York (Mayor Bloomberg, Gov. Pataki) have to use her building every time they make an announcement. The Wintergarden in the World Financial Center is a beautiful place, but thousands of people work there and it makes getting to and from a bitch with NYPD Hercules and NYSP Special Response Teams crawling over everything.

Could it be they're still wrapping themselves in the cloak of 9/11? Have you seen Bloomberg's campaign commercials yet? Meanwhile, they still can't agree on a plan to replace the Towers or the way to memorialize our friends and neighbors who gave their lives that horrible day. A little more substance, a little less flash, you rat bastids.


Long but excellent post on apologetic Democrats (DLC) and what patriotism really is. Digby:

[. . .]

Furthermore, it's entirely possible that at least some Democrats realize that al Qaeda isn't something you can just "dismantle" with a ripping good show of military might because it's morphed into a constantly changing, moving concept, rather than a single entity you can "end." And while terrorism is scary and we need to do all we can to protect people from it, it is not any more threatening than Leonid Bresznev potentially getting into a pissing match or losing control of his military or any other thing that could have resulted in an accidental nuclear exchange during the cold war. We lived for many years under an unimaginable threat (still do, actually) and we managed to keep our heads for the most part and not turn ourselves inside out over it. This threat of terrorism is real and it's important, but we simply have to stop overreacting like we did with Iraq or we really are going to turn it into the existential threat these people seem to desire so fervently.

[. . .]

Bon Voyage . . . again

My post a week ago.

[. . .]

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.

Good luck and Godspeed, boys and girls. Come back safely.

Update: 13:55:

Harry brought a TV in and we watched the launch. Beautiful as always. Good to see nothing broke.

Double standards


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The state suspended the licenses of two church-affiliated day care centers where children allegedly were sexually molested, forced to eat worms and pick each other's noses during employee-led games of "Truth or Dare."

[. . .]

RJ Eskow:

[. . .]

I will say what I always say in these cases, which is: Can you imagine what the Christian Right would do and say if these centers were run by Muslims? Or, God forbid, Wiccans? They would start another Jesus Jihad. Neocons like Daniel Pipes would tell us this is why we're in the Middle East and need to reform Islam at the point of a gun. TV evangelists would explain why Wiccans can't have civil rights. But because the monsters in question are Christian, there will be a thundering silence, just as there has been over the Catholic priests:

[. . .]

It's amazing how much Jesus will forgive when the Republicans stumble and how hard he is on the rest of us. Sadly, the Republicans and the Christian Right have turned Jesus into their own 'Frankenstein's Monster'.

Monday, July 25, 2005


The Angry Old Broad writes an open letter to gay Republicans:

[. . .]

We here on the Liberal side,for the most part honestly don't care if you're gay.In fact,we actually think you can be gay and Christian(or whatever religion you care to embrace),gay and a great parent,gay and a great teacher, writer, journalist, politician, or anything else you want to be.Imagine,feeling fairly comfortable and embraced by a fairly large group of people,think of the lightening of your personal stress load.Now,I won't say that there's no prejudice or homophobia on the Left,we're not immune to that.But we social liberals for the most part would honestly end up embracing you if you could be open to letting us and stop buying into the RNC talking points.Come on,I know you've seen this homophobia on the Right,admit it,just to yourself for a few minutes.No one else has to know.

[. . .]


Church of the Front Porch.

Same old song and dance

My man Dave Johnson:

Following the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Republicans responded by validating the bombers' complaints. They launched hearings blaming the government for the fire at the Waco Davidian cult compound and the shootings at Ruby Ridge.

They're at it again. . .

I don't think it would be a good idea for the Repubs to piss off the Agency any more than they already have with the Plame affair. Being that Prosecutor Fitzgerald has been tight-lipped (by law) and secretive, the Agency might be sending evidence of Rove's (and the rest of their) misdeeds to him under the table. Don't forget, CIA had to eat a lot of crow after Wilson's exposure of Chimpy's bullshit. 'Intelligence failures' I think the term was. If the Repubs are gonna blame the Agency for the Plame incident, expect a lot of closet doors to be opened before it's over.

All Quiet on the Home Front, and Some Soldiers Are Asking Why

Jockstraps aside, I think my theme today may be on the order of "Why We Support The Troops, But We Don't Actually Want To Do Anything Ourselves Because It Might Be Inconvenient To Our Fat-ass Lifestyle And To The Politicians Who Depend On Our Votes, If Not What We Care About". From the NYTimes.

The Bush administration's rallying call that America is a nation at war is increasingly ringing hollow to men and women in uniform, who argue in frustration that America is not a nation at war, but a nation with only its military at war.

From bases in Iraq and across the United States to the Pentagon and the military's war colleges, officers and enlisted personnel quietly raise a question for political leaders: if America is truly on a war footing, why is so little sacrifice asked of the nation at large?

There is no serious talk of a draft to share the burden of fighting across the broad citizenry, and neither Republicans nor Democrats are pressing for a tax increase to force Americans to cover the $5 billion a month in costs from Iraq, Afghanistan and new counterterrorism missions.
"Nobody in America is asked to sacrifice, except us," said one officer just back from a yearlong tour in Iraq, voicing a frustration now drawing the attention of academic specialists in military sociology.
"For most Americans," said an officer with a year's experience in Iraq, "their role in the war on terror is limited to the slight inconvenience of arriving at the airport a few hours early."

David C. Hendrickson, a scholar on foreign policy and the presidency at Colorado College, said, "Bush understands that the support of the public for war - especially the war in Iraq - is conditioned on demanding little of the public."
The public wants very much to support the troops" in Iraq, he said. "But it doesn't really believe in the mission. Most consider it a war of choice, and a majority - although a thin one - thinks it was the wrong choice."

Most Americans support the military, he said, and "feel like there is somebody out there taking care of the job."

"They say, 'I'm going to support those people, I believe in those people and God bless those people,' " he said. "By doing that, they can wash their hands of it."

As I've said before, it is not to the advantage of the Bush cabal for folks to give much thought to this criminal war. They might raise questions that would upset the apple cart. The questions are being asked anyway, but not by the people who would be embarassed to admit they've been chumped by Bush.

Too many people are content to let our troops die and hope it all works out, and, if it doesn't, it's no skin off their ass. When they find out the truth, that their silence and tacit approval enabled and exacerbated the whole deal, I hope they carry guilt to the grave.

The decline and fall of the athletic supporter

Go read this article in Slate to learn more than you ever wanted to know about this subject:

If you're a guy of a certain age, chances are you wouldn't think of hitting the gym without a jockstrap. For the uninitiated, the item known more formally as an "athletic supporter" consists of an elasticized waistband and leg straps connected to a pouch that holds the testicles close to the body. You women can think of it as a sports bra for a guy's balls.

Being of a "certain age", and also being a mechanic, I use stainless steel safety wire and duct tape.

Uniform Sacrifice

In an NYTimes op-ed very much related to my previous post, David Douglas Duncan, a WWII Marine combat photographer, who also covered the Korean and Vietnam wars for Life magazine, weighs in.

Today - I have no idea whether he survived or perished - I find him wrong. His "tomorrow" is dead, whether he is or not. His tomorrow and mine were born in an America that has now almost vanished. During our widely separated but shared wartime years, we were led by presidents of Olympian eloquence (Roosevelt during World War II) and almost brutal bluntness (Truman during the Korean War), yet, on their own terms, they spoke with clarity, conviction and honesty about our national threats, challenges, sacrifices. And the price of peace was high.
Today, in Iraq, where nearly every dawn is lacerated by mounting carnage - local and foreign - American troops are hemorrhaging among the wounded and the dead, pawns in an unspeakable farce, for the United States of America is not at war.

Only 135,000 men and women in American uniform are fighting - volunteers, members of the National Guard, reservists. There is no draft. No threat of a uniform hangs over the citizens of a nation of nearly 300 million who, in polls, support the invasion of a remote country upon whom our government would pin guilt of 9/11 ... and then attack. An invasion that was ordered by an expertly trained but combat-innocent fighter pilot and a draft-deferred character with "other priorities" during the Vietnam War.

Meanwhile, perhaps one crucial question was omitted from those polls: "Is any member of your family uniformed and in Baghdad?"

In case you missed my point in these two posts, I'll spell it out: A draft might not have prevented this fucking war, but if Americans saw the possibility of themselves or their sons and daughters having to fight and die for our imperialist criminal regime and their grandiose plans for oil and hegemony, it just might have.

When (not "if") I am elected President For Life And Grand Poobah Of All He Surveys, Americans will have no concerns about whether or not they will serve. They will most definitely serve in one fashion or another, and our Nation will be a better place for it. "How did you serve?" will be the introductory question, and we will be a real community of citizens.

Citizenship and Service

David M. Kennedy opines in today's NYTimes about the discontinuity of citizenship and a sense of duty. Many Americans seem to actually believe that freedom is free, and that service in the military can be left to "others". Fixer and I agree that some kind of National Service would be a Good Thing and Mr. Kennedy seems to be catching up to us.

The life of a robust democratic society should be strenuous; it should make demands on its citizens when they are asked to engage with issues of life and death. The "revolution in military affairs" has made obsolete the kind of huge army that fought World War II, but a universal duty to service - perhaps in the form of a lottery, or of compulsory national service with military duty as one option among several - would at least ensure that the civilian and military sectors do not become dangerously separate spheres. War is too important to be left either to the generals or the politicians. It must be the people's business.

I am reminded of the difference between commitment and involvement. Take, f'rinstance a plate of ham 'n eggs: The chicken is involved, but the pig is committed.

In the phony criminal war in Iraq that was made possible largely because of the lack of involvement, largely by design for political ends, of the American people - I hesitate to call them citizens, the only ones with their bacon committed are our volunteer troops. For now.


A question for all of our loyal readers I'd like some feedback on. Hell, anybody who wants to answer can. Since my book Technocracy is now on its way to bookstores, I can ponder this here without giving too much away. The underlying premise of my epic series of pulp fiction is the eventual move to a world government under the guise of the U.N. (or something like it). So, my question is:

Do you envision the world (we're talking 50 years in the future or more) eventually becoming a united planet with one government, or do you think it will still be a conglomeration of close to 200-odd different political entities? And a corollary question: Do you think a single planetary government would be a good thing?

That's it. I'm sure it won't strain your brains. Thanks.

And just a little elaboration here. I'm wondering if my fellow informed (if you're reading this, you're obviously not getting what you want from the news media) people are thinking long term. I hear very little anymore about the direction the country (the world) is headed, and where people believe we will be in a half-century or a century.

I can't remember, I can't recall

Our new SCOTUS nominee:

[. . .]

And remember John Roberts's eminently parseable denial that he had "no recollection" of belonging to The Federalist Society, the uber-winger front organization whose "elves" worked with Linda Tripp, White Feather's Mom, and Ken Starr to overthrow Clinton . . .

Ahh, but through the magic of Google, Lambert finds:

[. . .]

It gets better. Not only did Roberts, um, forget that he was in the Federalist Society's Leadership Directory, he forgot that he was on the Steering Committee:

Roberts is one of 19 steering committee members listed in the directory, which was provided to The Post by Alfred F. Ross, president of the Institute for Democracy Studies in New York, a liberal group that has published reports critical of the society.

Federalist Society Executive Vice President Leonard A. Leo said that either he or another official of the organization recruited Roberts for the committee. Roberts's task was to serve "as a point of contact within the firm to let people know what is going on" with the organization.

[. . .]

So, for all you folks who thought (p)resident Leaky Sphincter was putting up a consensus candidate, think again. There's too much going on beneath the surface for this guy to be confirmed. I hope the Dems have some balls in committee and ask real questions instead of that collegial bullshit they always fall back on. Hey, congressweasels, the rules have changed. Get with the program. Deeds speak louder than rhetoric. Do something about this instead of shrugging your shoulders and giving him a pass. Everything Chimpy does is for politcal gain and, by allowing the Roberts confirmation, you're only screwing yourselves (and the rest of us). Much, much more at Corrente.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

The Iran War Buildup

Info from Truthout:

This record is worth revisiting because of the many parallels to the current situation. Just as Bush gave ambiguous signals about his intentions regarding Iraq in 2002 - denying that a decision had been made to invade but never ruling it out - so, today, he is giving similar signals with respect to Iran. "This notion that the United States is getting ready to attack Iran is simply ridiculous," Bush declared in Belgium on February 22. He then added: "Having said that, all options are on the table." And, just as Bush's 2002 denials of an intent to invade Iraq were accompanied by intense preparations for just such an outcome, so, today, one can detect similar preparations for an attack on Iran.

There are also indications that the CIA and SOF officials have met with Iranian opposition forces - in particular, the Mujaheddin-e Khalq (MEK) - to discuss their possible involvement in commando raids inside Iran or a full-scale proxy war. In one such report, Newsweek disclosed in February that the Bush Administration "is seeking to cull useful MEK members as operatives for use against Tehran." (Although the MEK is listed on the State Department's roster of terrorist groups, its forces are "gently treated" by the American troops guarding their compound in eastern Iraq, Newsweek revealed.)

Given the immense stress now being placed on US ground forces in Iraq, it is likely that the Pentagon's favored plan for military action in Iran involves some combination of airstrikes and the use of proxy forces like the MEK. But even a small-scale assault of this sort is likely to provoke retaliatory action by Iran - possibly entailing missile strikes on oil tankers in the Persian Gulf or covert aid to the insurgency in Iraq. This being the case, CENTCOM would also have to develop plans for a wide range of escalatory moves.

Repeating what was said at the outset, there is no evidence that President Bush has already made the decision to attack Iran. But there are many indications that planning for such a move is well under way - and if the record of Iraq (and other wars) teaches us anything, it is that such planning, once commenced, is very hard to turn around. Hence, we should not wait until after relations with Iran have reached the crisis point to advise against US military action. We should begin acting now, before the march to war becomes irreversible.

I just hope the wording of the bill passed by Congress that Bush misused to go to war in Iraq does not permit him to invade Iran without asking for further permission to do so.

Uncle Sam is ashamed

Colorado Vets.

Shouldering the burden

Carla, blogging at In Search Of Utopia:

[. . .]

The Bush Administration has been painfully aware that the support for the Iraq War has been a mile wide and an inch deep. The moment there's a draft or a substantial tax increase to cover the costs, they knew support would erode. Unfortunately, the Bush Administration vastly underestimated everything else about the Iraq invastion and occupation as well.

[. . .]

The troops see they're the only ones making a sacrifice while the Yellow Republicans have their 'Keggers for Kevlar'. With the rate morale is dropping over there, if I were a squad or platoon level officer, I'd do all I could to keep the enlisteds happy. If things don't improve by next year, I sure as hell wouldn't turn my back on 'em.

What Border? And Kinky's Plan

Illegal immigrants are a godsend to Business, large and small alike. They work for less than Americans will and thus hold down wages for the rest of us as well. They don't complain, in English anyway, because they're criminals and are afraid of jail or deportation. They are exploitable, expendable, and fully interchangeable, like spark plugs. They're damn handy to have around when you need a little rented manpower around the ranch, too. Bush knows all this, trust me, but he is nothing if not expert at talking out of both sides of his mouth. Or as we say out West here, talkin' out the side of his neck.

From the LATimes:

PRESIDENT BUSH HAS been talking for five years, somewhat halfheartedly, about the need to overhaul the nation's immigration laws. The clock is running out. The president needs to make the issue a priority now or the opportunity will have been lost and the former border governor will have failed to resolve the nation's unhealthy immigration policy. The current system combines a failure to control the borders with an insistence on treating needed immigrant workers as criminals.

Kinky Friedman has a sure-fire, dirt-cheap plan that would stop people crossing our southern border right now. I know there are three other borders, but the Mexican one is the one that gets all the air time. His plan only includes the Texas portion of the border, but we could expand on that easily. Here it is:

Kinky will split the border evenly amongst five Mexican generals. He'll put a million (or whatever) dollars in the bank for each one them annually, to be collected by them after one year.

For every illegal alien that gets past them, deduct five thousand dollars from their payoff. I guarantee an instant end to undocumented Latinos.

Simple, ain't it?

If you're in Texas, be sure to vote for Kinky for Governor next year.

Exactly right

On the mistaken shooting of a 'terrorist' by London police. JRH:

. . . We need to find some real legitimate ways to fight terrorism instead of being guided by fear, because in the long run, that will just make things worse.

Indeed. Much as people of the Right flavor say the Left wants to coddle terrorists, the causes of terror have to be addressed in order to stop it. Turning our major cities into armed camps won't do it.

Update: 13:15:

Kevin Hayden looks at this too:

[. . .]

They're not sure whether it's gagging librarians or keeping Cat Stevens out of the country that's keeping us safe, but they'd favor cactus enemas if someone said that's what prevents it. "The proof's in the pudding," they insist. But they'd give away the bowl and spoon for that pudding.

[. . .]

Just a bitch

To my fellow denizens of Left Blogtopia (y!sctp!),

All I'll say is this: At the least, if it's glaringly obvious you (you know who you are) got a story from one of my blog partners here, give them a little credit. It's a matter of respect and courtesy. That is all.

- The Fixer

No I don't

The CultureGhost:

[. . .]

Yeah, a whole bunch believe The Bible is 100% true. The Earth is only 10,000 or so years old. More people can identify the last winner of "American Idol" than know their CongressCreature.
So all in all it's a bad idea to ask a majority of Americans what they think because, really, do you want to know?

[. . .]

Yes, ladies and gents, the rumors circulating around 'the rest of the world' are true. We are a nation of idiots.

More ineptitude

Billmon has a few things to say about the Dem fuckups (my take yesterday) vis a vis Karen 'Manly Yes, But I Like It Too' Hughes:

[. . .]

No biggie. Hughes, a prime architect of the White House's Iraq invasion propaganda blitz, was only fingered in The New York Times today as one of the several thousand White House officials called to testify in front of Patrick Fitzgerald's grand jury. Not enough for any of the Dems to justify getting up in the morning, I guess.

This is like the little scene after the outfielder and the second baseman let the ball drop between them:

"I thought you had it!" "I thought you had it!"

Or, as Think Progress aptly titles its post: Excuse me, but do you ENJOY being in the minority??

Apparently so. It beats working for a living, anyway.

All this would be bad enough, but Think Progress (which really should get some kind of public service award for trying to help the poor, pitiful Dems) goes on to describe the love letter that Joe Biden submitted in lieu of a personal appearance:

[. . .]

Which begets the question:

. . . I had been under the misimpression that Biden was preparing to run for president as a Democrat . . .

Somebody better take Ol' Joe out behind the woodshed. He certainly won't get my vote for President. WTF, Joe? Does MBNA have their arm that far up your ass?



PRESIDENT BUSH'S new Supreme Court nominee was a historic first after all: the first to be announced on TV dead center in prime time, smack in the cross hairs of "I Want to Be a Hilton." It was also one of the hastiest court announcements in memory, abruptly sprung a week ahead of the White House's original timetable. The agenda of this rushed showmanship - to change the subject in Washington - could not have been more naked. But the president would have had to nominate Bill Clinton to change this subject.

[. . .]

Only 36 hours after the John Roberts unveiling, The Washington Post nudged him aside to second position on its front page. Leading the paper instead was a scoop concerning a State Department memo circulated the week before the outing of Joseph Wilson's wife, the C.I.A. officer Valerie Plame, in literally the loftiest reaches of the Bush administration - on Air Force One. The memo, The Post reported, marked the paragraph containing information about Ms. Plame with an S for secret. So much for the cover story that no one knew that her identity was covert. [my emphasis]

[. . .]

A good Sunday morning read to warm you up for the Sunday funnies on the tube.

[*A while back, TCF called Gord and me the twin sons of Frank Rich and Randi Rhodes.]