Saturday, November 12, 2005

Beatin' on the Chimp

Via my man Lurch at Main and Central:


Your piss-poor speech today - of all days - proves that you don't know jack shit about the military and the needs of men and women in uniform. You took a sacred occasion and turned it into a political soapbox to cover your chickenhawk ass. Fucking coward. [Link]


Bush pissed off a lot of veterans yesterday.

Jesus explodes . . .

. . . film at 11.

Let's get this straight

Yes, the Dems voted to give the Chimp a blank check. This doesn't make them complicit, just stupid and self-serving. If the Dem senators knew what Bush knew in '01 and '02, we would not be at war in Iraq. Period. Bush lied to us and to Congress.

The War in Iraq is a crime against Humanity and nothing the Repub spinmeisters say can change that. The responsibility for these crimes rests with the White House alone.

War Preznit

5 = number of draft deferrals cheney sought and obtained to avoid military service in vietnam

"i had other priorities in the sixties than military service." -
cheney's 1989 comment to the washington post

Pic and text from Jillian.

What, you don't still think the Chimp is running the show, do ya? How did we get to the point where a couple guys who did so much to avoid war when they actually might have to fight, were believed to be actually qualified to fight one now?

Friday, November 11, 2005

Veteran's Day

Friday Cattle Dog Blogging

I been chasing her around but the Princess wants no part of the camera today, so here's a pic from when she was about a year old.


Mary Mapes is the '60 Minutes' producer who was canned over Bush's TANG records. She also broke the Abu Ghraib story. Her site is Truth and Duty. Has some interesting stuff.

Girl Power

Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has claimed victory as the first woman to be elected president of Liberia - or anywhere in Africa.

With 91% of ballots counted, the "Iron Lady" as she is known, has won 59% of the vote leaving her rival, George Weah, trailing on 41%.


Congrats, Ms. Sirleaf. Maybe it's time for a lady Prez in the U.S. too.

A vet speaks to the Chimp


But there are many things a Commander-in-Chief must be to truly gain the respect and authority that such a designation merits - and you have shown none of those.


Those of us who have served in the military know the rigors of boot camp, the positive aspects of completing that introduction to true mental and physical discipline and the lifelong feeling of pride in successfully finishing those hard months. Many of us have also held a rifle, fired that weapon at another human, had bullets come at us and know what that truly means.

And no, Mr. President, it's not the toy-soldier, "bring-it-on" thrill that your protected, sheltered experience would lead you to believe. It is terrifying. You're scared to death, shoot at almost anything that moves and pray to whatever deity you worship that you see tomorrow. But you would have no way of knowing that - not even through the stories of the sycophants you are surrounded by, most of whom have never served a day in uniform in their lives.


I have nothing to add to this. Go read it.

Link via Blondie


The Rude One on the Chimp's Veterans Day message.


So, like, let's see if we've got this straight: Bush essentially stated that nothing will change for Americans because of our Iraqi venture. That wasn't off the cuff, that wasn't in answer to a question, that was his goddamned prepared speech. Yet, as he continues to say, we must stay the course. And that course would be to ensure that nothing changes for the United States, save the loss of thousands of lives, limbs, and minds, and, of course, our national identity and treasury. [my em]


The only thing Bush and Cheney did today was point up how cowardly they really are.


I was reading an LATimes article about the poll showing that Americans are startin' to wise up about the Chimp, and this paragraph got my attention, like right now!

"A lot of elected Republicans are running for the hills in the Northeast," said Connecticut GOP strategist Chris DePino after what he called "a waterfall of missteps" by Republicans. Bush and the GOP must return to their message that the United States has been safe from terrorism during his administration, DePino said. (my bold)

Are they rewriting history now so that 9/11 was on Clinton's watch? Rotten motherfuckers!

Dream Vacation

If you'd like to go for your next vacation somewhere slightly off the beaten path, read this.


Media Matters is all over Bill O'Lielly like a cheap suit. They report his response to the other day's Frisco election results:

O'REILLY: Hey, you know, if you want to ban military recruiting, fine, but I'm not going to give you another nickel of federal money. You know, if I'm the president of the United States, I walk right into Union Square, I set up my little presidential podium, and I say, "Listen, citizens of San Francisco, if you vote against military recruiting, you're not going to get another nickel in federal funds. Fine. You want to be your own country? Go right ahead."

And if Al Qaeda comes in here and blows you up, we're not going to do anything about it. We're going to say, look, every other place in America is off limits to you, except San Francisco. You want to blow up the Coit Tower? Go ahead.

The San Francisco Chronicle responds:

San Franciscans might be offended by this invitation, or perhaps even threatened, if more of them visited Coit Tower.

On a cool gray Thursday afternoon, the San Francisco landmark was filled, as usual, with tourists from Ohio, Texas and other states where TV's "The O'Reilly Factor" and its syndicated radio companion, "The Radio Factor," pull better ratings than in San Francisco.

When visitors were told of O'Reilly's remarks, several had the same question: "Why would he say that?"

The few locals found at the tower had another: "Who's Bill O'Reilly again?"
Board of, uh, Supervisors President Aaron Peskin, whose district includes Coit Tower, suggested that O'Reilly should get his head examined.

"It sounds like he's on the same medication Rush Limbaugh is addicted to, and he should go see a therapist," Peskin said.
Imagine if O'Reilly had read the plaque on the front of Coit Tower, which describes its benefactor and namesake, Lillie Hitchcock Coit, as a woman "who smoked cigars and often dressed as a man to gamble in North Beach saloons."

A progressive city indeed!

It's too bad O'Reilly never listens to anybody, including himself. His feelings might be hurt to find out the people he's threatening have never heard of him.

Shorten him, I say!

Needlenose comments on Turdblossom's PR counterspin.

When is "business as usual" worth a major PR push? When you're Karl Rove and your legal fate is still in the hands of special inquisitor prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, and you're tired of everyone in the West Wing muttering "Dead man walking" whenever you pass by.
There's another reason for the Rove happy-talk campaign -- the wingnut world has caught a glimpse of Dubya trying to run the country without anyone pulling his strings, and they're horrified.

Serves 'em right. They're not horrified by his criminally incompetent performance, just by the fact that he's fixin' to cost them elections and power. That'll be a good thing.

Go read this one. It's got some cool pix 'n stuff.


Great thanks to the General.

Five minutes with . . .

Paul Krugman. Excellent interviews lately. See Gord's post on one with MoDo yesterday.


We finally reached a point where a lot of people are starting to acknowledge the obvious, which is that we were deliberately hyped into war, and a lot of defenses are coming up. People are still trying to pretend that nothing happened and it all made sense, and I felt that it was time to find a way to play how ridiculous that is.


Hat tip: Atrios


The Guerilla Women have Krugman's latest up as well. Ausgezeichnet!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

The Birthday Ball

[Moved up top in the spirit of interservice cooperation. Happy Birthday, ya damn Jarheads. New posts start below. - F-man]

Today is the 230th birthday of the United States Marine Corps. It got its start in 1775 at Tun Tavern in Philadelphia as the Continental Marines. I have no doubt that the 'signing bonus', aka 'bait', was free beer.

It is a day when Marines who have the opportunity will gather together at military bases, embassies, VFW and American Legion halls, Elks lodges, rented banquet rooms, back rooms of diners and bars, garages and living rooms, or wherever they can, wherever in the world they are, for the grand tradition of the "Birthday Ball".

Whatever the degree of pomp and circumstance available, the Birthday Ball is a tradition of ritual and remembrance. There will be food and drink. General LeJeune's 1921 Birthday Message may be read aloud, as may the 2005 Message from the present Commandant, General Hagee. At some point, there will be silence, a Chaplain may invoke The Marines Prayer, and heads will be bowed in remembrance of the thousands of Marines who have given their all for their country and their fellow Marines. I guarantee that tears will be shed.

The Crown Jewel of the Birthday Ball is the Cake-Cutting Ceremony. This is a ceremony which ritually bonds Marines of all generations, from the fighting tops of Old Ironsides to the front line in Afghanistan and Iraq. The Master of Ceremonies cuts the cake, and the first piece goes to the oldest Marine present. The second piece goes to the youngest. Thus is tribal continuity ensured, symbolically handed off from the older generation of Marines to the younger.

This ceremony can vary wildly from place to place.

At the Headquarters Officers' Ball in the International Ballroom of the Washington Hilton Towers Hotel in D.C., where the Evening Dress "B" makes the Dress Blues "A" look like so much burlap, the Commandant, accompanied by The President's Own Marine Band, resplendent in their red and gold uniforms, may cut the cake with a thousand-dollar Mameluke ceremonial sword, hand the first piece to an 85 year old retired General who fought in three wars, and the second to a 22 year old boot 2d Looie right out of Basic School.

In the VFW Halls and other places, the Marines' Hymn might come from a cassette in a boom box, but the Emcee will cut the cake, perhaps with a chrome bayonet. He may give the first piece to a 99 year old veteran of protecting the US Mail from train robbers, and the second piece to a 17 year old Private fresh out of boot camp whose 40 year old dad may have been the youngest last year.

Under a bridge somewhere, two homeless Jarheads with PTSD might split a short dog of muscatel and a Snickers bar. The first bite will go to the Vietnam vet, the second to the Gulf War man.

The last piece of Marine Corps Birthday Cake I had was at a ceremony in Arizona honoring a WWII Navajo Code Talker. I felt honored to have been there.

Most of the Cake-Cutting Ceremonies will fall somewhere in between my scenarios, of course, but here's the one I want you to think about:

On this night, somewhere in Western Iraq near the Syrian border, in a fighting hole with a tarp pulled over them so the light from the match used as a birthday candle won't show, two Marines, tired, dirty, smelly, maybe scared, cut a piece of MRE pound cake with a K-Bar fighting knife. The first piece goes to a 21 year old Corporal, the second to an 18 year old PFC. Even out on the sharp end, Marines will do this small thing in honor of those who have gone before, and each other.

This old Marine's thoughts are of those young Marines, stuck in the middle of nowhere on a mission they won't know much about until the books are written years from now. They probably don't give much of a shit about whether it's right or wrong. They go where they're told and do what they've been trained to do. They do their duty as they see it to do. They're Marines.

Semper Fi.

Shocking Statistic

From Cookie Christine:

President George W. Bush and the current administration have now borrowed more money from foreign governments and banks than the previous 42 U.S. presidents combined, which the Blue Dog Coalition in the House of Representatives called "astounding."

Throughout the first 224 years (1776-2000) of our nation's history, 42 U.S. presidents borrowed a combined $1.01 trillion from foreign governments and financial institutions according to the U.S. Treasury Department. In the past four years alone (2001-2005), the Bush Administration has borrowed a staggering $1.05 trillion.

They better watch it. Pretty soon that'll add up to real money.

This is the last one...Honest!*

The EssEffChron has a guest editorial by a former Marine, about whom it says:

Pete McCloskey, a farmer in Yolo County, was a Marine Reserve lieutenant colonel in 1967, the year he was elected to Congress from San Mateo County as the first Republican opposing the Vietnam War. During the Korean War, he was awarded the Navy Cross, Silver Star and two Purple Hearts.

I remember him as being a pretty good guy, for a Republican. Go see what he has to say.


Fucking Supporting the troops

Just in time for Veterans Day.

WASHINGTON, Nov. 10 /U.S. Newswire/ -- A proposal to end the long-standing practice of veterans groups addressing a joint session of the House and Senate Veterans' Affairs Committees is an insult to all who have fought, sacrificed and died to defend the Constitution, according to the Disabled American Veterans (DAV). And in a strongly worded letter to House Veterans' Affairs Committee Chairman Steve Buyer (R-Ind.), the DAV has urged him to continue the joint hearings as an invaluable tool in formulating public policy toward America's veterans.

Chairman Buyer recently announced that veterans service organizations will no longer have the opportunity to present testimony before a joint hearing of the House and Senate Veterans' Affairs Committees.


Use 'em and then silence 'em. The only troops the Repubs support are the ones fit enough to carry a rifle and die.

Great thanks (once again) to Jillian.

Daisy Cutter

A "daisy cutter" is a rather large, really violent garden tool, dropped from an airplane to clear brush. Or whole forests.

But this Daisy Cutter is a blog by one of the commenters on my "Birthday Ball" post who has some moving things to say about our Marine Corps on its birthday. Go read.

By the way, if you think there's maybe too much Marine Corps intrusion today, well, the Japanese on Iwo Jima thought the same thing. Fat lotta good it did 'em! (winkin' smiley face)

Dover Beware

Via the Alternate Brain Mail Bag from J.G. Pat 'My Jesus is better than your Jesus' Robertson:

"I'd like to say to the good citizens of Dover. If there is a disaster in your area, don't turn to God, you just rejected Him from your city. And don't wonder why He hasn't helped you when problems begin, if they begin. I'm not saying they will, but if they do, just remember, you just voted God out of your city. And if that's the case, don't ask for His help because he might not be there."

I'm sure God needs this twit to get His message out.

Heads-up for MoDo fans

If you like Maureen Dowd, you'll like her interview with the Austin Chronicle.

Austin Chronicle: What's the bigger issue in journalism today - blogs, and their sometimes amateurish quality, or the cozy relationships some mainstream media reporters cultivate with their sources, as seen in the Judith Miller fiasco?

In fishing, that's called "setting the hook". Try and not go read it now! Ha!


An unusual, and welcome, bit of snark from Editor & Publisher:

Should George W. Bush Take a Cue from Judy Miller?

They both got into trouble over WMD and Valerie Plame. Surely, if he wishes, he could work out a severance package that would allow the president to receive a nice buyout package, a lucrative book deal, and a chance to publish a "Farewell Letter" in The New York Times.

Before he can profit from his misdeeds, I'd like to see him take a graduate course in clearing brush, so he'll be better prepared for retirement to his fake ranch. Along the roadside, chained to Rove, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Rice.

Molly tears 'em a new one...

Thank God for Molly Ivins and others like her. We need a lot more of 'em. She sounds off on Bush's torture policy.

Maybe I should try to get a grip -- after all, it's just this one administration that I had more cause than most to realize was full of inadequate people going in. And even at that, it seems to be mostly Vice President Cheney. And after all, we were badly frightened by 9-11, which was a horrible event. "Only" nine senators voted against the prohibition of "cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment of persons under custody or control the United States." Nine out of 100. Should we be proud? Should we cry?
Then I hear the familiar tinniness of the fake machismo I know so well from George W. Bush and all the other frat boys who never went to Vietnam and never got over the guilt.

"Sometimes you gotta play rough," said Dick Cheney. No shit, Dick? Now why don't you tell that to John McCain?
I grew up with all this pathetic Texas tough: Everybody here knows you can't make an omelet without breaking eggs; and this ain't beanbag; and I'll knock your jaw so far back, you'll scratch your throat with your front teeth; and I'm gonna cloud up and rain all over you; and I'm gonna open me a can of whup-ass ...

And that'll show 'em, won't it? Take some miserable human being alone and helpless in a cell, completely under your control, and torture him. Boy, that is some kind of manly, ain't it?
Why did we bother to beat the Soviet Union if we were just going to become it? Shame. Shame. Shame.

We should all be ashamed that these monsters are Americans.

Ethics 101

The NYTimes has a tongue-in-cheek Op-Ed about the White House Ethics classes.

"I'm glad you brought up the subject of oil. Let's suppose there was an energy-related company. And a high government official, say, used to work for it. Now let's say that his country - call it Country A - went to war against Country B. And the energy-related company then got a very lucrative contract to rebuild Country B. Now let's say that the high government official agitated - indeed, pushed - his government to invade Country B in the first place. Do you see any potential conflict there?"

"None at all."

"Anyone? Yes, Harriet?"

"The vice president is the second most brilliant person I have ever met, and if he says it's O.K. to pull out people's -"

"Harriet, we're not discussing whether someone is smart."

"Sorry. I withdraw."

"I'm out of here."

"Mr. Vice President, class is not over until I - what is it, Karl? I asked you to put away your Blackberry."

I think the best they can hope for is to teach their ethically challenged staff to act in an ethical manner as if they mean it so they can act like victims when they get caught. The real reason is a PR smokescreen, of course.

If it's good enough for Jesus

Mr. H has a post up explaining how the U.S. is using crucifixion as a method of 'intelligence gathering'.

Long Island Repubs

Steve Gillard has an excellent article on the changing situation here on the Island.


The shifting center of Long Island politics was underscored this week by a string of Democratic victories across the Island. In January, Democrats will simultaneously take control of Nassau and Suffolk Counties for what officials say is the first time. Both counties will still be run by Democratic county executives, and, thanks to the legislative seats that Democrats picked up in Suffolk County on Tuesday, Democrats will have a majority in both legislatures. The vaunted Republican machine of old is just a memory. [my em]


Dance of Joy

The lovely Jillian:


house leaders late wednesday abandoned an attempt to push through a hotly contested plan to open an alaskan wildlife refuge to oil drilling, fearing it would jeopardize approval of a sweeping budget bill thursday.


Yay!!!!!!! There are moderate Repubs out there.

Wednesday, November 9, 2005

Another one...

I just got this one off the postman's e-mule. Here's a petition from John Kerry (remember him?) to bring 20,000 troops home by Christmas.

Sign this

A letter from me to you about a letter from Senator Reid to Bush:

Dear Friend,

George Bush needs to lay out the facts about Iraq and his strategy to achieve military, political and economic success to bring our troops home. He needs to know this failure of leadership cannot continue.

Join me and tell George Bush: You can no longer mislead Congress and the American people. It's time for an Iraq success strategy that will bring our troops home. Join me by visiting:

I signed and you should too.


You know what to do. Do it.

Next week

I'll be taking next week off from blogging to get some stuff done before I go on vacation. Mostly, I have to get a couple more chapters of Empires up (no CAFKIA, you're not the only one who's buggering bugging me) and we have to work on alternate vacation plans because Paris is looking more and more iffy.

Back doors

Via the Alternate Brain Mail Bag:

Senate Republicans are holding a sham hearing today on the rising cost of gasoline and heating oil, rejecting Democratic efforts to force the oil company executives to testify under oath. Why are Republicans - who receive millions of dollars in campaign contributions from oil companies - flat-out refusing to force the executives to be sworn in? Why won't Senate Republicans demand the truth? What are Republicans and their executive donors trying to hide? [Link]

[. . .]

When they can say anything they want, why bother holding a fucking hearing to begin with?

Pucker up, Gannon...

Got this jewel from Travis:

A sign held high at the recent huge anti-Bush protest demonstration in Washington:





Bush el Libertador... Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha!

The Rootless Cosmopolitan has a good post on el Chimpo's recent trip to South America.

"Only a generation ago, this was a continent plagued by military dictatorship and civil war," Bush intoned in Brazil on Sunday. "Yet the people of this continent defied the dictators, and they claimed their liberty... Freedom is the gift of the Almighty to every man and woman in this world - and today this vision is the free consensus of a free Americas."

Right, and where was Washington? Many of the same leaders with whom Bush met at the summit were in prison, or buried their friends and colleagues murdered for their activism, and faced the constant threat of murder and torture for standing up to dictatorship. And in most instances, they were fighting dictators backed by the United States.

Chile's President Ricardo Lagos is a case in point: He was imprisoned by Washington's man, Pinochet. Yes, he wants a trade deal with the U.S. But you can hold the democracy lecture, thank you.

If ignorance is bliss, Dubya's a happy man.

8 Up, 8 Down

Here's the LATimes headline on our election results:

No, No, No, No, No, No, No, No

Two good articles in the same paper about how Ah-nold's plans to sell California didn't quite pan out, here and here. Some of it is pretty funny.

When he said he was going after the "Special Interests", I thought that was OK. Until he defined "Special Interests" as Teachers, Nurses, and Firefighters. Then, not so much.

He held the special election because, historically, voter turnout is low at special elections, most of the turnout is usually in favor of whatever scam is on the ballot. It's a time-honored trick. Didn't work this time.

The other propositions were pretty much corporate and fundie wedge bullshit as well, and they were rejected.

So, fifty-plus million dollars later, nothing changes. Zero. Nada. Zip-point-shit. Bupkis. Arnie, you should write a check for the full amount and give it to our state treasurer, next Governor Phil Angelides.

It mighta worked in Kansas, Muscle Boy, but not here.

Congratulations to the voters in the other states who did the right thing. It's a good start.


The CA Secretary of State's final returns.

And this, from Cursor:

At a Trader Vic's in the same hotel where Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger addressed supporters after all of his ballot proposals failed, "giddy nurses" reportedly "formed a conga line and danced around the room, singing, 'We're the mighty, mighty nurses.'"


Car stuff: Oil Change vs. Service at TF&G.

Oh Jeez

This is supposed to make me feel better?


Defending the military's treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, he [Bush administration shill/moron/Sen. Pat Roberts - R-Intelligent Design] added: "There are more senators and congressmen with ethics cases pending than there are problems with interrogation right now in Gitmo." [Link - not that I'm fond of Dana Milbank - my em]


Hat tip to the lovely Jane.

Opening skirmishes

Advantage us. A hearty congratulations to Jersey and Virginia Dems. Looks like you Callyfornia folks told the Gropinator where to shove his 'special election' initiatives too. The tide is changing. Next stop, control of Congress next year.

Tuesday, November 8, 2005

Kansas . . . again

TOPEKA, Kan. - Risking the kind of nationwide ridicule it faced six years ago, the Kansas Board of Education approved new public-school science standards Tuesday that cast doubt on the theory of evolution.

The 6-4 vote was a victory for "intelligent design" advocates who helped draft the standards. Intelligent design holds that the universe is so complex that it must have been created by a higher power.

[. . .]

In my youth I did every drug available. I never got this fucked up.

Great thanks to Mustang Sally for the link.

The stench of hypocrisy 11


In a startling display of hypocrisy that might just be followed by a speedy kharmic kick in the ass, Rep. John Hostettler (R-IN) has asked for federal aid for victims of the tornado in his district.

John Hostettler was one of the eleven republicans that voted against the relief bill for victims of hurricane Katrina.

[. . .]

The Repub motto, 'fuck everybody but me'.


NTodd (pilfered fully and completely):

The GOP mindset:

  • Leaking the identity of a CIA agent dealing with WMD proliferation = no big deal
  • Leaking the fact the US employs secret torture facilities around the world = Senate investigation
  • Ooooookay.

    Oh, the Horror!

    From BoingBoing:

    Sea-pirates chased off with sonic blasts

    My first thought, I swear, was that the ship played old Tiny Tim tunes at high volume. Then I thought, nah, no civilized person would use that on another human being, even in self defense. It's simply too horrible to contemplate. Besides, it might violate that quaint old Geneva Convention deal on torture. Who would ever stoop so low as that?

    Willie Pete and Napalm

    Looks like we might have been using it in Iraq.

    Ve know who you are...

    Capitol Hill Blue explains the dossiers compiled on U.S. citizens by means of the use of 'national security letters'. Verrrry interesting.

    Spurred by paranoia and aided by the USA Patriot Act, the Bush Administration has compiled dossiers on more than 10,000 Americans it considers political enemies and uses those files to wage war on those who disagree with its policies.
    Those on the list include former Ambassador Joseph Wilson and his wife, former covert CIA operative Valarie Plame, along with filmmaker and administration critic Michael Moore, Senators like California's Barbara Boxer, media figures like liberal writer Joe Conason and left-wing bloggers (mine) like Markos Moulitsas Zuniga (the Daily Kos).

    "If you want to know who's sleeping with whom, who drinks too much or has a fondness for nose candy, this is the place to find it," says another White House aide. "Karl (Rove) operates under the rule that if you fuck with us, we'll fuck you over."
    But worried White House insiders say the intelligence gathered by the Bush administration is far larger, more extensive and potentially more damaging than the excesses of previous occupants of the White House. Even worse, it dovetails into a pattern of spying on Americans that has become commonplace since Bush took office.

    "We're talking about Big Brother at its most extreme," says one White House staffer. "We know things about people that their spouses don't know and, if it becomes politically expedient, we will make sure the rest of the world knows."

    The White House press official did not respond to a request for an interview on this story and did not return phone calls seeking comment. (ed. note - DUH!)

    Well, my drinkin' an' dopin' days are over. If I get to sleep with anybody besides Mrs. G, I'll tell! I think I missed being on Nixon's list due to youth and inexperience. I would be positively fuckin' proud if my pathetic ramblings got me on Bush's list. Maybe I'll call the FBI and turn myself in voluntarily. Oh, who am I tryin' to kid? They're regular readers of the Brain.

    An ugly story...

    By Carl Hiaasen of the Miami Herald:

    The glistening slime trail left by lobbyist Jack Abramoff leads to an infamous homicide scene in South Florida.

    And while the indicted bosom buddy of indicted Rep. Tom DeLay says he had nothing to do with the mob-style execution of casino fleet founder Gus Boulis, Abramoff probably wasn't turning cartwheels when three men were recently charged with murdering Boulis back in February 2001.
    Abramoff was coasting along nicely, ripping off the Indian tribes, until the SunCruz indictments last summer. Today his big-shot friends can't help him, and wouldn't if they could.

    Once a star and darling of congressional Republicans, Abramoff is now political poison. No more skybox parties or free Scottish golf vacations for the Speaker of the House. No more schmoozing with Ralph Reed and Grover Norquist.

    Indicted in Florida, under fire from McCain in Washington, Abramoff can now look forward to an upcoming mob-hit trial in which his once-golden name might be unflatteringly invoked.

    He could even be asked to testify, an event that would reduce his once-bulging Rolodex to the thickness of a library card.

    The players and politicians who are so desperately distancing themselves from Abramoff would prefer that we think of him as some small-time hustler, a fringe sleazeball who crawled out of the shadows.

    He wasn't. He was a big-league hustler and a mainstream sleazeball.

    And he was all theirs.

    I just love this shit.

    Yes, they lied.

    The title of this post is also the title and the last three words in a lengthy piece by William Rivers Pitt.

    Author's Note: I apologize in advance for the length of this essay. There is so much utter nonsense and outright disinformation flying around about Iraq right now that it takes 3,000 words to set things straight. Call this a fact-bomb, and put it to good use. - wrp
    Find a defender of the White House on your television these days, and you are likely to hear them blame Bill Clinton for Iraq. Yes, you read that right. The talking point du jour lately has focused on comments made by Clinton from the mid-to-late 1990s to the effect that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and was a threat. The pretzel logic here, of course, is straightforward: this Democratic president thought the stuff was there, and that justifies the claims made by the Bush crew over the last few years about Iraqi weapons.

    Let's take a deeper look at the facts. Right off the bat, it is safe to say that Clinton and his crew had every reason to believe Iraq was in possession of weapons of mass destruction during the 1990s. For one thing, they knew this because the previous two administrations - Reagan and Bush - actively assisted the Hussein regime in the development of these programs. In other words, we had the receipts.

    Flip to the end of the chapter, however, and you'll come across the pages being left out of the discussion by Bush's defenders. One, the stuff was destroyed by 1998, a fact that weapons inspections in 2003 could have easily established (and did establish, thanks to Bush's inspector, Dr. David Kay, who stated bluntly the stuff wasn't there, but only after the killing had begun). Two, Clinton did not invade Iraq and throw the United States into a ridiculous, endless, bloody quagmire. He managed to disarm Hussein without taking this disastrous step.

    In short, the contortions that defenders of Bush are going through to justify the invasion do not hold water. Further, evidence that the Bush administration lied with their bare faces hanging out to get this war is piling up in snowdrifts.

    Yes, they lied. It's time to quit using polite words like 'mislead', 'manipulate', and 'honest mistake'. There's nothing 'honest' about any of the administration's 'mistakes'. The bastards knew exactly what they were doing in starting this war. They had to lie to do it, so, yes, they lied.

    Cheney Regime - chock full o' Authors

    First there was Darth Cheney's wife, author of the Lesbian-Western "Sisters", now Scooter Libbey is out of the author closet with "The Apprentice" (which has not a thing to do with Donald Trump).

    "The Apprentice" seems to be representative of the GOP innner circle of moral on the outside (to the gullible evangelical "wackos") while being more depraved on the inside than most of the Left. Here's a few quotes from readers at Amazon:

    "Thank god this book is out of print."

    "Why is it necessary for "authors" to go to such lengths to shock the reader? Did the pornography in this book add to the plot? No. This guy gives Laurell K. Hamilton a run for her money in the porn without plot department."

    "Not as riveting as My Pet Goat, but just as much a looser."

    And my personal favorite:
    "Any review that omits the "10-year-old girl in a cage raped by a bear" is extremely disingenuous, as is the author. This is an illumination of a perverted mind. No wonder "Scooter" had/has no problem with bombing the youthful population of Iraq."

    I'm taking bets

    Whether Andrew Sullivan eventually swallows a gun, hangs himself, or goes the sleeping pill route. Pauly.

    To think about

    For all those people who still say we did something good in Iraq by getting rid of Saddam. Repeat after me.

    Wars of liberation arise from within, not without.

    Being it's Election Day I pose you this question. We all know how criminally bad Dubya and his underhanded enterprise are, right? What if another nation, Canada for instance [This is just an example. I love our Canadian brothers], decided we needed a 'regime change'? Would you welcome Canadian troops occupying our streets after deposing the Chimp; would you trust their motives for being here? Or would you rather we rose up, stormed the gates, and got rid of him ourselves?

    Today is when we start dismantling the Republican machine that's had this nation in its grip for 5 years. We either start the job now or eventually someone will do it for us. Yes, Mildred, it can happen here.

    Monday, November 7, 2005

    Finally! A petition actually worked!

    I got this e-mail from Wes Clark in response to this:

    Dear Gordon,

    I wanted to dash off a quick note to you with some exciting news. Today, we learned that the Ed Schultz Show will now be aired on Armed Forces Radio.

    Ed Schultz stated, "I would like to thank General Clark for his efforts to help bring the Ed Schultz Show to Armed Forces Radio Network. To have the support of one of the highest ranking military officers in the history of the country is an honor."

    And I want to thank you for your efforts. You sent over 25,000 letters to Members of Congress, and there is no doubt you helped make this happen. This is a tremendous victory for WesPAC grassroots.

    This is also great news for the members of our military and their families. Armed Forces Radio honoring their promise to air the Ed Schultz Show will ensure greater political balance in their programming.

    Finally, General Clark will be appearing on the Ed Schultz Show today at 5:30pm ET. For more information about your area visit

    Thank you again for your efforts. You made a difference.


    Catherine Grunden
    Executive Director
    WesPAC -- Securing America's Future

    So keep signing petitions, folks. A small victory is still a victory.

    Election Day

    Tomorrow. I don't give a shit if there are only local races up, go vote goddammit. You Dems in Jersey and Virginia better have your butts on line for those governors races. I'll be watching.


    Dirty tricks in both races. (Here and here.)

    Katrina revisited

    Begala on Wolf:

    "Instead of President Bush flying directly to a Republican event [fundraiser for Kilgore in VA], he should be flying to Indiana where 25 of his countrymen just died . . ."

    My dear Paul, compassion ain't in that conservative's playbook. He just doesn't get it.

    Sorry, no link.

    Watch your backs

    From the wonderful Dave Johnson:

    I stopped using the signoff phrase "Watch Your Backs" for a while, after the Senate "Gang of 14" saved the filibuster. I felt that was a turning point is the Christian Right's attempts to take over, and relaxed. I am starting to think I might have been wrong.

    For one thing, the investigations closing in on White House, Congressional and "conservative movement" corruption are backing the right-wing leadership into a corner. I don't think we should underestimate what this crowd is capable of -- like committing aggressive war, for example. [my bold]

    [. . .]

    Best to err on the side of paranoia when dealing with the Repubs.

    Good news, bad news...

    Bob Herbert

    The good news:

    The coalition of the clueless that launched the tragically misguided war in Iraq is in complete disarray.

    Dick Cheney is simultaneously running from questions about his role in the Valerie Wilson affair and fighting like mad to block any measure that would outlaw torture by the C.I.A. His former top aide, Scooter Libby, one of the original Iraq war zealots, is now an accused felon who is seldom seen in public unaccompanied by defense counsel.

    Donald Rumsfeld, the high-strutting, high-profile defense secretary who was supposed to win this war in a walk, is suddenly on the down-low. There are people in the witness protection program who are easier to find than Rummy.

    As for the president, he went all the way to South America to get away from the Washington heat. But even within the luxurious confines of Air Force One, Mr. Bush found that he couldn't escape the increasingly corrosive effect of the fiascos plaguing his administration.

    The bad news:

    The fact that Mr. Bush is struggling in his own political purgatory (for the sin of incompetence) is bad news for the soldiers in Iraq, where the suffering and dying continues unabated. The administration that was so anxious to throw scores of thousands of healthy young Americans into the flames of war, now has no idea how to get them out.
    The war? There's no plan for the war. The architects of this war had no idea what they were getting into, and they are just as clueless now. The war just goes on and on, which is not just tragic - it's criminal.
    If the American public could see the carnage in Iraq the way television viewers saw the agony of New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, this war would be over. A solution would be found. Imagine watching a couple of soldiers in flames, screaming, as they attempt to escape the burning wreckage of a vehicle hit by a roadside bomb or a rocket-propelled grenade.

    For all the talk, neither the administration nor the public has taken the reality of this war seriously enough to do something about it. If the sons and daughters of the privileged were fighting it, we'd be out of Iraq soon enough. But they're not fighting it.

    Another damn good argument for a draft. If the privileged rich well-connected kids had to fight this dumb-shit imperial war, maybe they'll think twice about sending kids to do the Devil's* hellish work when they get in power.

    *Guess who

    More ineptitude

    "Before, I sold water, flowers, shoes, cars - but not weapons. We didn't know anything about weapons."
    -- Ziad Cattan, former used-car dealer, handpicked by our government to buy military equipment for [I]raqi soldiers, and who -- big surprise -- is unqualified and corrupt.

    Psst. Hey, you? Yeah, you. Wanna be a general? No problem.

    The collective stupid of the Bush administration is boundless. Go see Pam.

    Health Care

    Paul Krugman on health care:

    The funny thing is that the solution - national health insurance, available to everyone - is obvious. But to see the obvious we'll have to overcome pride - the unwarranted belief that America has nothing to learn from other countries - and prejudice - the equally unwarranted belief, driven by ideology, that private insurance is more efficient than public insurance.

    Don't forget the antediluvian capitalist profit motive, Paul.

    Why does American medicine cost so much yet achieve so little? Unlike other advanced countries, we treat access to health care as a privilege rather than a right. And this attitude turns out to be inefficient as well as cruel.

    The U.S. system is much more bureaucratic, with much higher administrative costs, than those of other countries, because private insurers and other players work hard at trying not to pay for medical care. And our fragmented system is unable to bargain with drug companies and other suppliers for lower prices.
    The economic and moral case for health care reform in America, reform that would make us less different from other advanced countries, is overwhelming. One of these days we'll realize that our semiprivatized system isn't just unfair, it's far less efficient than a straightforward system of guaranteed health insurance.

    Unfortunately, the moral value and common sense of providing health care to all, from all, takes second place to Big Pharma and Big Insurance's bottom line, and until we make them see the light and quit sending Big Money to politicians, it's unlikely to change.

    The Italian Job

    I wish the title of this post had something to do with a date with Sophia Loren or a religious experience on a fast red Ducati, but it's about the forged Niger documents. Josh Marshall and The Left Coaster are all over it like a cheap suit. Mama mia, those are some spicy meats-a-balls-a!

    Antiwar Sermon Brings IRS Warning

    See, there's christians and then there's Christians. Small 'c' christians can do and say what they want. Actual Christians better keep their yaps shut or else. From the LATimes.

    The Internal Revenue Service has warned one of Southern California's largest and most liberal churches that it is at risk of losing its tax-exempt status because of an antiwar sermon two days before the 2004 presidential election.

    You can read the sermon here.

    In his own voice, Regas said: "The religious right has drowned out everyone else. Now the faith of Jesus has come to be known as pro-rich, pro-war and pro-American.... I'm not pro-abortion, but pro-choice. There is something vicious and violent about coercing a woman to carry to term an unwanted child."

    When you go into the voting booth, Regas told the congregation, "take with you all that you know about Jesus, the peacemaker. Take all that Jesus means to you. Then vote your deepest values."

    Moral values are a choice, and choices have consequences. I guess actual 'moral values' about what's right and what's wrong don't count for much if they differ from the phony moral values that support Bush&Co.

    To be fair (Damn, I hate that!), the IRS has gone after wingnut churches too, but the rules seem to be a bit more lax for them. They have to take out a full-page ad or put up a billboard telling folks how to vote or something like that before they get a "repent or pay" letter.


    Tomorrow is a Big Deal special election here in California. If you're interested in reading a progressive, or even an an occasionally even-handed, look at what Ah-nold and his corporate henchmen are up to, go see this article in AlterNet and then go to L.A. City Beat and click your ass off. Have fun.

    "Things is goin' fuckin' (hic) shwell..."

    In the midst of a piece by John Kelley entitled

    Watch That Pea: What the administration is doing while you're watching Scooter & Sammy

    which you should all go read, there was this jewel:

    Bush is most likely an untreated alcoholic who is either actively drinking or on a dry drunk. Alcoholics in this position resort to megalomania as long as they have the resources to maintain their illusion, and presidents have a lot of resources for self delusion at their disposal. When they become overwhelmed by the consequences of their actions they resort to blame, rage and destructive actions. Cheney, Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz on the other hand are hard-core ideologues who are willing to sacrifice any number of people to execute their plans for world domination.

    They're willing to sacrifice Bush, too. He's nothing. Just give him a bottle of his favorite poison. He'll go away and they can continue their agenda.

    Just once, I'd like to see them forget to sober him up. Right before the State Of The Union speech.

    Gay Cowboys?

    Ain't no such thing.


    Shakes, blogging at Ezra's:

    I really dislike John McCain. It's not just his politics, which are enough to make me dislike him as a probable presidential candidate, but it's who he is, which make me dislike him as a person, too. Watching him campaign for Bush during the last election, after his wife and child had been targets of the Rovian smear machine, was enough to make me puke. That he showed up on The Daily Show making wink-wink nudge-nudge comments about Bush, designed to bolster his image among liberals as The Republican You Can Like, in spite of his decision to campaign with his arm across the president's shoulders, was enough to convince me this snake oil huckster was as disingenuous and dangerous a specimen as the one we've got in the White House now.


    I used to respect McCain. Now I just think he's a waste of my good air.

    Is there a SEAL team handy?

    I got a job for 'em. From the Poor Man:

    It's only six months until the National Review Rhine River Charter Cruise, and I couldn't be more excited! For only $8,000+, you and a guest will get to explore the culture, history, beauty and romance of Olde Europe by day, and then retire to the ship's lounge for an evening of staving off seasickness while some visibly intoxicated lickshit from The Cornhole tell you how horrible it all is...

    Having been on the Rhine quite a few times I could point out many spots on the river affording excellent fields of fire with ample cover positions. Take an Air Force TACP troop with 'em and they can call air in too.

    Sunday, November 6, 2005

    More truths

    Democratic Veteran:


    Note to chickenhawks and Yellow Elephants everywhere: when we start losing 13 year E-7's because you're fucking them over, it's time for you all to step in an show your country some love, besides just "fighting those wars of ideas" from mommy's basement surrounded by empty bags of cheesy snax and cola.


    And for you civilians, senior enlisteds are what makes the military work. Ask any officer.

    Avast Matey, my ass! Joke's on you, fool!

    I heard about the pirates goin' after a cruise ship in the IO off Somalia. I think it's kinda funny, as nobody got hurt. Firing RPGs at a ship that big is about like firing a BB gun at a Hummer. What were those fools thinking? That a huge ship was gonna heave to and give up a world of riches?

    That area, from Africa all the way to Indonesia and beyond, is famous for pirate activity. The Seabourn Cruise Line representative says they "have adequate equipment to repel boarders". I hope it's more than cutlasses and belaying pins.

    Here's my foolproof plan to put a screechin' halt to this shit: During WWs I & II, the Germans had 'Q' ships that looked like merchantmen, but when they got pulled over by a sub or light patrol craft, the sides dropped away and there was a world of Kriegsmarine firepower ready to rock n' roll on 'em.

    A cruise ship wouldn't need 5-inch guns, and it wouldn't take up much space. A naval architect could work out the details and someone could train the gunners, etc. I think one or two cabins on either side would do the trick: when confronted by evildoers, the side of the cabin would hinge down to expose, oh, I don't know, a Quad .50 or a 25mm Bushmaster or 30mm Chain Gun or something similar. Maybe a Harpoon ASM for bigger vessels. I think that would get the message across even to khat-inspired miscreants in their last moments.

    Heck, they could sell "pirate cruises" where they go out lookin' for 'em. For a little extra, you get to pull the trigger on 'em yourself! I'd go.

    Now, if they had one of those cruises up the Potomac....

    Where were your balls when we needed 'em?

    From Rich Miles:

    Those of us who opposed the near-election, then Supreme Court installation, then God forbid the RE-election of George W. Bush, have known at least the basic outlines of what is being said against Bush these days for at least 5 years, so the only part of the recent revelations that come as a surprise is the sheer brazen balls of these people, and the clarity of the perfidy they've perpetrated on America. Many in the blogosphere, and even a few in the MSM, have been saying things like this, with different details, for the entire time W has been on the national political radar, and some have suffered grievously for their efforts - witness Joseph Wilson, Valerie Plame (who did not herself ever do anything to harm the Bush administration), Gen. Eric Shinseki, Richard Clarke, Paul O'Neill, and a host of others recently documented by Nick Turse of
    So my question to these Bush-bashers-come-lately is: where the hell were you people when we needed you?

    In the year 2004, those of us working our butts off to get Bush canned stood by and watched as pure lies, gross innuendo, delegated attack politics, guilt by alleged but never proven association, and religious-cum-patriotic posturing scuttled our man Kerry (with a little help from the man himself, it must be said), and caused the weak-minded, the magical thinkers, and the venal to re-elect the most corrupt president in American history because the filth came too fast and furious for anyone to counter, and most of our national news voices didn't really even try.
    We knew. We tried to tell you. Almost everything we feared would happen in a second Bush term has come to pass, just as many of us predicted it would. And you weren't listening, and so your sudden epiphanies mean nothing to us.

    I agree with the writer's sentiment, but I disagree with his last sentence somewhat. I'm glad the pundits have recovered somewhat from the effects of the Kool-aid and finally overcome their fear enough to speak out. Better late than never, I guess.

    I'm gonna go out on a limb here. Please give this some consideration before you send me hate mail and start beating me about the head and shoulders with inflated pig bladders and such.

    I'm glad Bush finally got elected.

    Look, (he says, crawling somewhat fearfully out of his bunker in an undisclosed location), the big original sin was the rigged election in 2000, which the Chimp almost lost anyway. His backup was in place and his SC(R*)OTUS did their job and installed him. They probably wish they hadn't had to, but that was their job and they did it. *Republican.

    By then it was too late. The neocons and christo-fascists had seized the prize.

    Then they set about undoing this country. They got a gift on 9/11. Whether they bought it for themselves or not is a whole 'nuther matter, but it let 'em speed-shift their plans for U.S. hegemony into high gear and stuff their foot into the fuel pump.

    We all know the results: steal from the poor, give to the rich, trap our military in Iraq with no plans to get them out. Probably with plans to keep them there forever. Rule the world, etc.

    The saving grace for us is that these bastards, besides being blinded by their evil ideologies, are so incompetent they couldn't throw a beer party in a brewery. The arrogance of them thinking they own the joint once and for all and can do whatever they want doesn't hurt us in the long run either.

    If John Kerry had been elected, and he may actually have been, he would have inherited the whole mess. The Democrats were so disjointed that, given the Republican-controlled Congress, he would not have been able to fix all of Bush's fuckups in his allotted four year term and the country would have elected another fucking Republican in '08. The Dems would never have recovered and America would have truly gone down the shitter under a permanent Republican regime.

    With Bush's election, the Repubs have been handed enough rope to hang themselves. They could only keep up the snow job for so long. Stuff we all knew, and stuff that has been leaking out a little at a time for years, have bubbled up through the stinking mess and are making this criminal administration smell bad enough that people are actually beginning to notice. Witness the latest presidential popularity polls. I wonder how many voters regret their choice. I wonder how many would admit it.

    It doesn't hurt even a little bit that the cabal is steppin' on each other's weenies and throwin' each other overboard. Whee! It's sure fun to watch!

    There have been many voices crying in the wilderness about the Bush cabal, but by and large, nobody but us political junkies took any notice. I think one of the unsung journalistic heroes, probably unwitting, in the unraveling of the Repubs, is (G holds revolver to own head to force finger to do this) Bob Novak. The 'Douchebag for Liberty' gave voice to Joe Wilson, an actual hero, and the outcry gave rise to another hero, Patrick Fitzgerald. Right now, Tina Turner's "We Don't Need Another Hero" is running through my head. Sorry, Honey, but fuckin' A we do!

    'Hero' may be too strong a term, but now that the Repub freak show is on the run a little, more and more of the heretofore meek people in the MSM and Congress are emerging, cautiously and tentatively, to throw rocks at their former masters' backs. The political heroes, Boxer, Pelosi, Reid, and others, who have been throwing rocks at their front for some time with little effect are finally getting some support. Let's hope it's a trend.

    If the trend keeps up, particularly indictments, public trials, and -please, God- convictions, perhaps an impeachment, the public-at-large may finally take its head out of its collective ass and see this cabal for what it is. Once they do, they'll be so pissed off at being duped, lied to, and played for the suckers they are, though they'll never admit it out loud, that there won't be another Big Business And War At The Expense Of Everybody But The Elite Republican administration for a generation, maybe two, until memory does its stuff and everybody forgets. Then it can start over for all I care. I'll be long gone.

    Personally, I'm still hoping for a huge White House play-for-pay homosexual scandal to come out, so to speak. That'd really blow the lid off! Heh! I guess one of them WH pogues gettin' his lid blown off is what I'm talkin' about!

    The U.S.A. can get over this. We must or America ends. It will be hard, but we can do it starting with the next election. If we fail to correct it then, shame on us: we're stupid and deserve whatever we get. As Robert Redford said to Michael J. Pollard in "Little Fauss and Big Halsey", "Once is cool. Twice is queer."

    Dogs . . . again

    Just watching GMA and another Pit Bull kills kid story is on. No link yet, but they did the story in July too. It's time for me to dig up this old standby and post it again too...

    [ Moved below the fold for brevity. ]


    I have an engagement I have to attend on the Upper West Side today. Guess what I'll have to navigate around (and mass transit isn't an option). Of all the days to be in Manhattan . . .

    If CNN has a news flash "Long Island man takes out 5000 runners with SUV", you'll know who it was.

    The War on Christmas

    Or, how the majority is being marginalized. World O'Crap looks at John Gibson's new roll of toilet paper new book.


    Yeah, as we will learn shortly from Mr. Gibson, "Eighty-four percent of the country self identifies as Christian" -- and that 84% is feeling increasingly marginalized and shunted aside, poor dears.


    It's the way they do everything, play the victim. The War on Christmas began when the corporations (read: Chimpy's base) turned it into an orgy of consumption that begins in October and ends in February. Ya think Jesus would want his birthday celebrated as we do?


    From the Heretik:


    THE WORLD IS NOT AS SIMPLE as George Bush would like it. While he has demonized Chavez, other leaders to the south know he is no angel either. As the continent shares a dominant Hispanic tongue, Bush the man will need to contend with its different accents.


    How to make a terrorist

    Now, if I were this kid, I would make it my life's mission to kill as many Americans as possible. Can you blame him?

    Hat tip: Atrios

    Holy men

    Yeah, right.

    (CBS 13) RIPON A congregation has lost faith in their pastor, after he sold their church without telling them, and scammed them out of more than half of a million dollars.

    A for sale sign never went up in front of the First Congregational Church in Ripon. Local police say the pastor peddled it on the sly and was spending the proceeds on big ticket items. It's no doubt an understatement to say church members are shocked.

    [. . .]

    Gotta love them 'moral values'.

    Thanks to POP at Blondie's.