Saturday, March 25, 2006

Earn it

My posting is for shit today (the F-man's going Wifi and I'm setting up the network in the house), but I sumbled across this over at our pal MM's place:

...but for anyone who desires to wear a Marine Sniper shirt...first of all, join the Marine Corps...go through boot one of the highest qualifiers with a weapon...get recommended for Scout Sniper school...make it through...then...and only then...put the shirt on!

Seems Ben Domenech is getting schwacked for shit other than his plagarism. Shouldn'ta pissed off the Jarheads.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Dog Days

This might be my last post for a couple days. Mrs. G has been working overtime to find us a new dog. It worked. We gotta go to good ol' Burbank to pick up Tami (She was right on top when I linked. If not, scroll down. "Adoption Pending" is us) through the good graces of English Springer Rescue America. We had to apply to them as prospective adopters, and a local rep actually called (from three blocks away!) and interviewed me to deem our suitability. My part of the deal was to charm the britches, figuratively speaking of course, off the gals who make up the volunteers for this outfit. I still got it!

There were six applicants for this pup, but we got her because I'm pretty much retired and have the time to spend with her that she needs. We raised one from a puppy, but mostly we've adopted adults that didn't need too much parenting. This one does, and I'm up for it.

Anyway, I'll have mini-Hal with me so I'll probably be checking in, but this is a whirlwind trip and we want time for brief visits with a coupla old pals as well. I'll be ba-ack.

Remember: "Until there are none, Adopt one."

I don't know either...

After reading Fixer's thoughtful post, I started to leave a comment. Then it got way too long, so I transferred it to Word. Then I ran out of steam when my path started branching uncontrollably, so there it sits for now until I get my shit together to make something coherent out of it. Here's the first part:

[I have been sitting here for 30 minutes, outwardly calm and inwardly churning furiously, to get a grip on this subject in order to say something halfway intelligent. The more I think about it, the bigger and more complicated the problem seems, but I came up with a coupla thoughts. Kindly remember there are many books, plenty of minds (for good or ill), lotsa discussion on this, and so far no workable solution.

The illegal immigrants are the merest tip of the iceberg. It's the easiest part of the problem to solve. Seal the country off, the southern border first as by "illegals" we mean Mexicans and OTM Latinos primarily. Then, from Asians, Europeans, Africans, anybody from across any of the 7 seas, because illegals come from everywhere.

Find the ones who are here and send them home. Politely. It takes a desperate person to do what they did. Tell them to apply for legal immigration, that we will welcome them back. We need low cost labor to survive. Just f'rinstance, I eat a salad nearly every day, but I wouldn't if the guy who picked the lettuce made the average wage in this country, which is about $16/hr, because I wouldn't be able to afford it. We'd eat like Mexicans: rice and beans and maybe a scrawny-ass chicken once a week. By the way, the agriworkers make probably $8. Only the kids and women will work for minimum wage, like in fast food joints. In other occupations, the men won't work for less than $10-$12, or $100 per day.

Fine the crap out of people and firms that employ illegals. If they contracted to get illegals to break our laws and come here to work, triple the fines. I think this one's the big sticking point. It's a lot easier for the pols to dump on poor voiceless people than on their friends and contributors.

That was the easy part. Now we have to deal with the real problem: Wall Street, Capitalism, Big Corpora, Politics, and Greed. AKA the American Way.]

There's a lot more to this shit than meets the eye. It's been going on for a long time and is woven into the fabric of our society. I don't really know what to do about it, but nobody else does either. I know that whenever you have a hard choice to make, the right decision is usually the hardest one.

By the time I get the rest of the shit out of my head, you'll be able to get it from Amazon. In the meantime, I'll refer you to one of my posts on the subject from long ago.

I [heart] Jack Cafferty


JACK CAFFERTY, CNN ANCHOR: You know, I just have a question. I mean, part of the coverage, they don't like the coverage, maybe because we were sold a different ending to this story three years ago. We were told that we'd be embraced as conquering heroes, flower pedals strewn in the soldiers' paths, a unity government would be formed, everything would be rosy this -- three years after the fact, the troops would be home.

Well, it's not turning out that way. And if somebody came into New York City and blew up St. Patrick's Cathedral and in the resulting days they were finding 50 and 60 dead bodies a day on the streets of New York, you suppose the news media would cover it? You're damn right they would.

This is nonsense, it's the media's fault and the news isn't good in Iraq. The news isn't good in Iraq. There's violence in Iraq. People are found dead every day in the streets of Baghdad. This didn't turn out the way the politicians told us it would. And it's our fault? I beg to differ.


He's the only reason I watch that idiot Wolfie.

Thanks to Maru for the link.

Friday Cattle Dog Blogging

Shayna's not pleased with the old man. Heh...

"Mom, dad's got that flash thingy again."

The inmates are burning down the asylum...

E.J.Dionne Jr.

Is President Bush the leader of our government, or is he just a right-wing talk-show host?

The question comes to mind after Bush's news conference this week in which he sounded like someone who has no control over the government he is in charge of. His words were those of a pundit inveighing against the evils of bureaucrats.

"Obviously," said the critic in chief, "there are some times when government bureaucracies haven't responded the way we wanted them to, and like citizens, you know, I don't like that at all." Yes, and if you can't do something about it, who can?

The body of Mr. Dionne's article is about the 11,000 trailers that are rotting away in Hope, Arkansas instead of sheltering folks. Trailers we paid for that are going to waste. It's symbolic of Bush and the Republican approach to running this country. Running this country into the ground. Their corporate friends got the money, so I guess they're happy.

Hold on: The president of the United States runs the "big government" he's attacking. This is mysterious. If Bush's "good, hardworking people" aren't responsible for the problem, the villains of the piece must be alien creatures created by some strange beast called Big Government.

This episode is important because it is representative of a corrosive style of politics. Bush and many of his fellow Republicans have done a good business over the years running against the ills of Big Government. They are so much in the habit of trashing government that even when they are in charge of things -- remember, Republicans have controlled the White House and both houses of Congress for all but 18 months since 2001 -- they pretend they are not.

And when their own government fails, they turn around and use their incompetence to argue that government can never work anyway, so you might as well keep electing conservatives to have less government. It's an ideological Catch-22. Even their failures prove they are right.

Bush is (mistakenly) touted as the "CEO president". His CEO style is like Ken Lay at Enron: who cares if you wreck the joint and hurt lots of people as long as you get the money? The difference is that Bush doesn't keep the money for himself as much as he uses it for his own demented ends and impoverishes us in the process.

I don't care much for Big Government either. One of the big Democratic failures was thinking that government could solve everything. It can't, but it has a huge role to play in the general tone of how our country operates. It can determine whether we glide smoothly along the rails or derail and end up in a huge smoking, tangled heap.

If we weren't all on the train with the government, I'd let 'em get the thing rollin' as fast as it could go and then blow up the rails in front of them. Problem is, they're doin' it themselves. They're in front drivin' the damn thing so they'll see it coming and jump off in plenty of time. They've all got nice soft places to land, padded with plenty of (our) money. The rest of us, most of us anyway, won't know what happened until after it jumps the tracks, and they don't want us to know because we might stop 'em from carryin' out their Death Ride to Glory.

They don't seem to like the train they're in charge of, so they're determined to stage the grandest train wreck of all time to prove that trains don't work.

Bush in particular, and Republicans in general, have to have their grubby little shithooks pried off America's throttle. We're clingin' to the rails by the sheerest of threads here, folks.

Please pardon the choo-choo metaphor. I got carried away with it.

I don't know

I don't know what the answer is to the illegal immigrant problem. I was reading this post by Pachacutec over at Jane's and it got me thinking. Being the child of immigrants (mom - Germany; dad - U.K.) who entered the U.S. legally, my knee-jerk reaction is to say, round all the illegals, including their kin and progeny, up and deport 'em. No questions asked, no quarter. Hey, my folks had to play the game and the bullshit politics to get into this country, they both got their citizenship, paid taxes, my dad served in the Army in Korea, and helped build this nation (my dad's company was a defense contractor and played a big part in the quest to reach the Moon and the research and development of most of Grumman's wonders). It galls me that people can just walk in here and expect to be integrated into our society without consequences. Not after my folks had to do shit the hard way.

That said, our relationship with the countries that lie to the south of us is a special one to say the least. For the better part of two centuries, U.S. policy in the Caribbean and South America has directly affected the people in question, mostly for the worse. I cannot blame them for wanting to come here so desperately and we do owe them something for fucking them with our little games on a regular basis.

We also use them as slave labor here and it chaps my ass these Big Agro corporations do not bear any of the pain in this equation. These people are being exploited for huge profits by big business after putting their lives on the line to cross the border. Were they not basically guaranteed jobs, most of these poor, desperate people would not attempt to make the trip.

I don't know what the answer is, but I do know it starts with removing the lure being dangled on this side of the border. Agribusiness has to feel grave discomfort for employing illegals. That's the first step. The next is reforming the labor laws the Republicans have gutted over the past decade. The next is enforcement of existing laws. Then the problem would become manageable. Then some sort of integration of those who've been here for decades. We have to do something soon, not just for the illegals' benefit, but for American workers who are being undercut thanks to our policies which have run wildly out of control. It is time for immigration reform, but I don't think any of the proposals on the table are the prescription.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

The Chicks

I love this band. I saw this earlier, but didn't decide to post it until I saw this reference at Atrios:

New tune from the band Christopher Hitchens called "fucking fat slags."

It's in answer to the bad treatment they got, and still get, for exercising, however mildly, their 1st Amendment duty to speak out just a little against a bad president. I disagree with Natalie though: I'm glad the sonofabitch is from Texas, instead of some worthwhile place.

Go listen. You too, Fixer, even though it's nominally 'Country'! Scroll down and you can read the lyrics and sing along the second through tenth times like I did.

Oh, and by the way, Hitchens can kiss my ass. No, wait, he might like that! Despite the fact that he obviously meets a lot of "fucking fat slags" when he's drinkin', he's just wrong. Besides, they're girls. I don't think he knows much about those.

Bush administration's own grim Iraq assessment

Chicago Tribune

Repeated suggestions by the White House and friendly commentators that the news media's selective displays of terrorist attacks in Iraq are warping American public opinion seem to belie several unclassified assessments of the situation produced by the U.S. government itself.

In fact, just two weeks ago the Bush administration publicly released a detailed report stating that "even a highly selective" inventory of the terrorist attacks inside Iraq "could scarcely reflect the broad dimension of the violence" there.

Here are some salient excerpts.

In Iraq, "A climate of extreme violence in which people were killed for political and other reasons continued."

"Insurgents and terrorists killed thousands of citizens ... Using intimidation and violence, they kidnapped and killed government officials and workers, common citizens, party activists participating in the electoral process, civil society activists, members of security forces, and members of the armed forces, as well as foreigners."

"Bombings, executions, killings, kidnappings, shootings, and intimidation were a daily occurrence throughout all regions and sectors of society. An illustrative list of these attacks, even a highly selective one, could scarcely reflect the broad dimension of the violence."

"Bombings took thousands of civilian lives across the country during the year."

"Former regime elements, local and foreign fighters, and terrorists waged guerrilla warfare and a terrorist campaign of violence impacting every aspect of life. Killings, kidnappings, torture, and intimidation were fueled by political grievances and ethnic and religious tensions and were supported by parts of the population."

"Insurgents and terrorists targeted anyone whose death or disappearance would advance their cause and, particularly, anyone suspected of being connected to government-affiliated security forces."

"All sectors of society suffered from the continued wave of kidnappings. Kidnappers often killed their victims despite the payment of ransom. The widespread nature of this phenomenon precluded reliable statistics."

In several important respects, this report contradicts the thesis of the current White House public relations campaign on Iraq - to convince Americans that the "reality" in Iraq is far better than the constant stream of bad news they see on their televisions every night.

If anything, the State Department's candid assessments would seem to indicate that things might be far worse than the press is currently able to report.

The State Department seems to know what's going on. Maybe if they told Bush it'd help. Nah, why bother? Lyin's like breathin' to him.

There's considerably more in the Trib article. Go read.

Supremes narrow police search power

Boston Globe

The Supreme Court narrowed police search powers yesterday, ruling that officers must have a warrant to look for evidence in a couple's home unless both of the partners present agree to let them in.

The ruling upholds a 2004 decision of the Georgia Supreme Court, but still makes a significant change in the law nationwide, because most other lower federal and state courts had said police could search with the consent of one of two adults living together.

In the majority opinion, Justice David H. Souter said the consent of one partner is inadequate because of "widely shared social expectations" that adults living together each have veto power over who can enter their shared living space. That makes a warrantless search based on only one partner's consent "unreasonable" and, therefore, unconstitutional.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., writing his first dissent since joining the court, said the ruling's "cost" would be "great."

Why doesn't it surprise me that he is the dissenter over more personal freedom and protection from unreasonable law enforcement for Americans?

Just by agreeing to live with someone else, a co-tenant surrenders a good deal of the privacy that the Constitution's Fourth Amendment was designed to protect, Roberts said. "The majority's rule apparently forbids police from entering to assist with a domestic dispute if the abuser whose behavior prompted the request for police assistance objects," he wrote.

But Souter called that argument a "red herring," saying that police would still have legal authority to enter homes where one partner was truly in danger.

"This case has no bearing on the capacity of the police to protect domestic victims," Souter wrote. "No question has been raised, or reasonably could be, about the authority of the police to enter a dwelling to protect a resident from domestic violence; so long as they have good reason to believe such a threat exists. . . ."

Souter said Roberts was guilty of declaring that ''the centuries of special protection for the privacy of the home are over."

Souter's opinion was joined by Justices John Paul Stevens, Anthony M. Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Stephen G. Breyer.

The case arose out of a 2001 quarrel over child custody at the home of Janet and Scott Randolph in Americus, Ga. When officers arrived, she told them where they could find cocaine.

What this means to me is that that if the cops 'suspect' you of something and want to look in your sock drawer, and if they show up at your door on a day when you're not home and the ol' lady is pissed off at you, that she can't let them in without a warrant. Remember, 'mere suspicion' does not constitute probable cause. If they've got any semblance of the goods on you, they'll get a warrant and you're toast, but they won't get any more 'slop shots' because of this ruling. This is good.

If there's gunfire and screaming and yelling, or the fumes from your kitchen window are making birds fall out of the sky, they can come in your house just like they do now. This ruling is not designed to protect criminals, but rather to protect citizens from fishing expeditions.

I've had cops say to me, "I know you did it/are up to something."

To which I replied, "You may suspect it. You may even believe it, but you damn sure don't know it."

Wanting to lock me up on General Principles may have been a prudent desire on the part of the Po-leece at times, but they have to be able to prove there was enough reason to do it. Enough info to get a warrant is a good start. Cops are suspicious of us 'scumbags' (everybody but them) by nature and this ruling shortens the reins a little.

The Supremes have ruled in favor of more protection for our privacy under the Constitution, folks. That's what they're supposed to do. Good for them. For Now.

For more on the Fourth Amendment and Probable Cause, go here. It's good info to know.

Suite Jesus!

The Smoking Gun has the "Downtime Suite" requirements for an Under-a-rock Star:

After posting the performance contracts of artists like Bruce Springsteen, the Rolling Stones, and U2, The Smoking Gun has finally obtained the backstage demands of a real rock star. That's right, below you'll find a copy of Vice President Dick Cheney's standard "tour" rider.

And, of course, all the televisions need to be preset to the Fox News Channel (what, you thought he was a Lifetime devotee?).

Mrs. Cheney's H2O should be either Calistoga or, curiously, Perrier, a favored beverage of French terrorism appeasers.

So the "tuff" guy can't operate a thermostat or a TV remote by himself? Or is he just above it all? I'll bet he pisses in the sink anyway.

He should be glad I don't work at his hotel. Between the plugged-up plumbing, short-sheet job, TV permanently tuned to PBS, yellow ice, and the phone ringing every ten minutes all night long, I bet I'd have some fun!

Tell the Senate

Censure Bush on illegal wiretapping.

"We can put stirrups on the craps table..."

Please pardon that sarcastic title about a serious subject: the despicable South Dakota Forcible Birth Act. One woman is going to do something about it. From News

"When Governor Mike Rounds signed HB 1215 into law it effectively banned all abortions in the state with the exception that it did allow saving the mother's life. There were, however, no exceptions for victims of rape or incest. His actions, and the comments of State Senators like Bill Napoli of Rapid City, SD, set off a maelstrom of protests within the state.

Napoli suggested that if it was a case of "simple rape," there should be no thoughts of ending a pregnancy. Letters by the hundreds appeared in local newspapers, mostly written by women, challenging Napoli's description of rape as "simple." He has yet to explain satisfactorily what he meant by "simple rape."

The President of the Oglala Sioux Tribe on the Pine Ridge Reservation, Cecilia Fire Thunder, was incensed. A former nurse and healthcare giver she was very angry that a state body made up mostly of white males, would make such a stupid law against women.

"To me, it is now a question of sovereignty," she said to me last week. "I will personally establish a Planned Parenthood clinic on my own land which is within the boundaries of the Pine Ridge Reservation where the State of South Dakota has absolutely no jurisdiction."

Strong words from a very strong lady. I hope Ms. Fire Thunder challenges Gov. Rounds and the state legislators on this law that is an affront to all independent women."

I think the SD forced-birth law is, in and of itself, a damn fine definition of "simple rape". Kudos to Ms. Fire Thunder.

Time to stand up



But times have changed. The Republicans are being hoist on their own hubris and it's time to recognise that people are sick of their tired cant and want to hear from us again. Listening to George W. Bush's speeches for the last five years, particularly after 9/11, is like having someone sing "It's a small world after all" over and over and over again. It was bad the first time. Now it makes you want to stab your ears with a letter opener. The press, forced to listen more often than anyone else, seems to have reached its limit as well.

Make the argument, Dems. People are ready to listen.


As I said yesterday:


Note to Dems: Now is the time to shove the knife in and twist.

If you wait too long, you'll lose the opportunity. Even gridlock in Congress is better than what we have now.

And just an afterthought: I saw the ABC News profile of Tammy Duckworth last night. While I don't know her position on all the issues, her story is inspirational. She won the Dem nomination for the Illinois House seat held by Rethug Henry Hyde. We wish her, and Illinois progressives, all the best in November. If you like what she's about, help her out.


Shakes has the other side of the Duckworth story. The Dem leadership who has no idea of what the Dem base wants.


Go read Lurch. Been there, and a lot of folks coming home will go down that road as well:


There are things a man can never forget, and there are things he wants to. When he wants to forget things he can't forget, it can create torment. Late at night those figures appear in front of us, morphing out from the dark wall of the room. Or maybe a suggestive mind thinks they are there. Does it matter? They inhabit my life as surely as if I could reach out, touch them, bum a smoke, offer a can of beans, or pass a canteen.


Only in New York

Or, Car 54, Where Are You?

(New York-AP, March 22, 2006) - It took a police helicopter and sharpshooters armed with tranquilizer guns to catch a wily coyote in Central Park Wednesday, and it took a few sightings and a couple of spirited chases before he was captured.


Thank God criminals are dumber than cops. Dealing with such a superior intellect had 'em stumped. Heh...

It's just another example of why I love living in NY. The only people who were fazed by a coyote in Central Park (look at a map of NYC and figure out how he got there from one of the upstate counties) were the ones who own little dogs who'd qualify as a meal for the wild animal. Everybody else took it right in stride.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


Read this:


3. Bush does what he feels like doing and he deeply resents being told, even politely, that he ought to do anything else. This is called a "sense of entitlement". Bush is a man who has never been anywhere and never done anything, and yet he has been flattered and cajoled into being president of the United States through his connections, all of whom thought they could use him for their own purposes. He has a surface charm that appeals to a certain type of American man, and he has used that charm to claim all sorts of perks, and then to fail at everything he has ever done. He did not complete his flight training, he failed at oil investing, he was a front man and a glad-hander as a baseball owner. As the Governor of Texas, he originated one educational program that turned out to be a debacle; as the President of the US, his policies have constituted one screw-up after another. You have stuck with him through all of this, made excuses for him, bailed him out. From his point of view, he is perfectly entitled by his own experience to a sense of entitlement. Why would he ever feel the need to reciprocate? He's never had to before this.


Great thanks to our pal Creature for the link.

I'm trying to be serious...

...really I am - well, a little bit, anyway - but it's hard when there's shit like this out there a mere click away:

BATSHITCRAZY, VA - On the third year anniversary of the Iraq war, the megalomaniac founder of the Washington Times Reverend Sun Myung Moon launched his new "Preemptive Warrior" magazine to help boost the sagging morale (and ever decreasing numbers) of "Bush Doctrine" supporters.

"Either you give us the goddamn oil, or we nuke your ass! That's the real Bush Doctrine message, isn't it?

If you will please excuse me now, I have to hold a mass divorce for that thousand couples I forced to marry last year," said Reverend Moon.

Go see. Be sure to scroll all the way down.

Lies, Prevarication, and Bullshit:

El Rude-o on Bush's Cleveland bullshitapalooza:

But, as ever, it's not the fact that Bush didn't answer the questions people in the Cleveland crowd asked; it's the way that he didn't answer. Right out of the gate, someone asked, "Do you believe this, that the war in Iraq and the rise of terrorism are signs of the apocalypse? And if not, why not?" Not once in his entire endless goddamn answer did Bush address what the Clevelander wanted to know, other than "The first I've heard of that, by the way. I guess I'm more of a practical fellow." And then blathering on about his job is to protect us, September 11th, and using "diplomacy" before the military.

If the Rude Pundit were an endtimer, waitin' fer that mighty apocalypse so's Jeeeezus can come on down on a dark cloud fartin' lightnin' to rapture some motherfuckers up to the Great Beyond, readin' the tea leaves fer any glitch in the system that'd say it's all about to go down, he'd be mighty pissed off at Bush's claim that he hadn't heard about it. Ain't that why endtimers voted for him? 'Cause he supposedly was in on the whole deal? And if you deny it, ain't you denyin' you some Jeeezus? And...oh, shit, the Rude Pundit's brain just can't fuckin' take that much rank stupidity from all sides.

Heh. For once, the pundits agreed that Bush's proper answer to that question should have simply, and without hesitation, been "No".

I mean, you have to know what was goin' on in his head: "Fuck this 'unscripted' shit! Unca Karl never would have let that asshole within a country mile of this shithole, let alone ask me that. What do I say? The ignorant christer bastards finally elected me. Took 'em two tries. Mighta been some corporate types ain't buyin' into that crap, tho'. Which bunch do I wanta piss off? I'll plead ignorance. They'll buy that. It works every time!

Boy, I hope tomorrow's better. I just hope that Old Ay-rab Thomas goes to the ball game we sent her tickets to."

I hope he keeps up these unscripted Q&As and press conferences, but I got a hunch they'll yank him back before he really puts his foot in his mouth or (gasp!) actually inadvertently tells the truth about something.

And don't let 'em make any slot machines either...

From Voter Action:

For Immediate Release: San Francisco, March 21, 2006 - A group of 24 California voters, including Dolores Huerta, social justice activist and co-founder of the United Farm Workers of America, announced at a news conference today that they have filed a lawsuit against California Secretary of State Bruce McPherson to nullify his "conditional" certification of the Diebold TSx electronic voting system and to block purchase or use of the TSx in California due to serious security, verifiability and disability access problems.

"A crisis is brewing in California when computerized slot machines used by gamblers in the state are more secure and auditable than the electronic voting systems used by California voters to decide the future direction of their government," said Lowell Finley, Esq., counsel for the plaintiffs and co-director of Voter Action. "Expert testing has confirmed that the Diebold system contains "interpreted" code --programming that is vulnerable to malicious hacking, and prohibited by the California Elections Code. The Diebold touch screen voting system is a severe security risk, and does not accommodate all disabled voters as required by law."

"California voters have the right to vote and to have their votes counted correctly. The last thing we need is to start using voting machines that deny access to disabled voters and create an unacceptable risk of fraud and vote manipulation," said John Eichhorst, co-counsel for the voter plaintiffs, and a partner with Howard, Rice, Nemerovski, Canady, Falk & Rabkin.

A spokesman for Diebold's law firm of Gonif, Swindle, and Finagle responded, "We will fight this tooth and nail with all the power for which we've paid Republican politicians and judges over the years. Besides, they're in the tank with voters and need us this November more than ever. There's no way they could win in California without cheating, and maybe not even then, but we have to try."
I made that up to see if you were really watching - G.

Voter Action,, is a project of the International Humanities Center with members across the country. Voter Action recently led successful litigation in New Mexico to block purchase and use of the types of voting machines that are most error prone and vulnerable to tampering. In addition to California, Voter Action is currently supporting similar efforts in New York, Pennsylvania and other states.

Kudos to Voter Action for doing this. It's a start.

In my little town, we use a #2 pencil to vote with. Not very hackable.

White House Jumps the Shark

Andy Borowitz via Truthdig:

The recent woes besetting the Bush administration offer conclusive proof that the White House has finally jumped the shark, an expert in the field of jumping the shark said today.

Jumping the shark - a phrase referring to the phenomenon of a long-running television series suddenly becoming irretrievably bad - has never been used to explain the rapid deterioration of a presidency before.

But according to shark-jumping expert Jace Monteith, "The Bush administration is beginning to look like the fourth season of 'Saved by the Bell.' "

"If you were reading TV Guide and it said, 'This week, trouble ensues at the White House when the vice president shoots a man in the face,' you'd be like, oh, man, they're running out of ideas," Mr. Monteith says. "What are they going to do on next week's episode, give the ports away to Arabs?"

Mr. Monteith thinks that recent calls by Senate Republicans for President Bush to bring "new blood" into his administration are yet another ominous sign the White House has jumped the shark.

"That's something always done to make a show last for another season or so," Mr. Monteith says. "I don't know who the White House has in mind, but I hope it turns out better than Scrappy-Doo."

Usually, I'll just let you go there and read the comments for yourself, but this one I felt you should see:

I suggest that in the minds of the MSM addled America, Bush jumped the shark when he nominated his own "Leather Tuscadero" character, a swooning Harriet Miers.

Meanwhile "Pinky Tuscadero", er uh, wife Laura was touring the world telling us about fictional advances in womens rights.

Simultaneously the MSM has been feeding us "Jonie loves Chachi" world news as if everything is OK.

I feel like Ralph Malf...

Wheres the real Fonz when we need him?

Hey, Fixer, if you've got a leather jacket and a comb, I've got the Triumph...


I haven't been spending as much time blogging and watching the news in the last couple weeks since I've been playing husband and wife lately (not a complaint; in fact I enjoy taking care of the Mrs. for once. Usually she's the one nursing me after I've been punctured, broken, or torn off a body part).

So yesterday, all I see is Chimpy McFlightsuit on every channel, 'convincing' the American people he did the right thing going to Iraq. I'm not convinced, but I doubt anything he says could make me change my mind. The thing that stuck me though, more than any of the bullshit he was shoveling, was his body language.

He looked like a guy who knew he was wrong. Didja notice every time he looked down or away from the reporter he was addressing? This isn't just a difference in point of view, this is a man who knows exactly what the consequences of his actions and policies are, knows he's fucking his fellow Americans and is not trying to convince us his way is better, just trying to get us to accept his lies as fact. Trust me, being in the car business for the better part of my life, and the military for the rest, I've developed an extremely good bullshit detector.

Kudos to Ol' Helen Thomas by the way, whose question, "Why did you want to go to war in the first place?", elicited the most emotional response from Bush. Know why? Because she hit it squarely on the head. Bush wanted to go to war in Iraq and nothing would have deterred him. That's obvious.

Now, after five years of basically no real interaction outside of scripted, rehearsed GOP lovefests, why do you think they threw him out there yesterday? If you listen to CNN's Candy "Rubens would have loved me" Crowley, you'd think the Chimp's 'people' like him out there 'just like the 2000 campaign when he was so good'. But if you think so you'd be wrong. The Repubs are scared shitless because they know the American people won't believe their lies anymore and they are desperate. If they'd wanted him 'out there' so badly, he would have been. A lot. They know, if they lose control of the House and Senate in November (and they could, even if the Dems perform per tradition), the Chimp will be out of office by the following Fourth of July.

Note to Dems: Now is the time to shove the knife in and twist.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Flied Lice...

This is too funny fer words. Thanks, Cleek.

Smurfs or Snorks?

Go read what Riverbend has to say after three years of Bush's War in her country.

I don't think anyone imagined three years ago that things could be quite this bad today. The last few weeks have been ridden with tension. I'm so tired of it all - we're all tired.

Three years and the electricity is worse than ever. The security situation has gone from bad to worse. The country feels like it's on the brink of chaos once more - but a pre-planned, pre-fabricated chaos being led by religious militias and zealots.

My electricity's OK, but the rest sounds a lot like here, huh? Fundies are fundies, crescent or cross.

In the last weeks alone, thousands have died in senseless violence and the American and Iraqi army bomb Samarra as I write this. The sad thing isn't the air raid, which is one of hundreds of air raids we've seen in three years - it's the resignation in the people. They sit in their homes in Samarra because there's no where to go. Before, we'd get refugees in Baghdad and surrounding areas... Now, Baghdadis themselves are looking for ways out of the city... out of the country. The typical Iraqi dream has become to find some safe haven abroad.

Three years later and the nightmares of bombings and of shock and awe have evolved into another sort of nightmare. The difference between now and then was that three years ago, we were still worrying about material things - possessions, houses, cars, electricity, water, fuel... It's difficult to define what worries us most now. Even the most cynical war critics couldn't imagine the country being this bad three years after the war... Allah yistur min il rab3a (God protect us from the fourth year).

I think sometimes when we're denouncing Bush's War as lies, dead American troops, horrendous wasteful expense, and Neocon and Muslim ideology gone mad and out of control, we lose sight of the fact that there's actual normal human beings that are suffering way worse than we are because of it.

Taco Bell Nation

This article in the LATimes West Magazine isn't about politics, but I can politicize anything. Not a particularly complimentary piece, it still made me drain and refill my drool buckets several times. Have fun.

Let me describe the #3 plate at every local authentic Mexican restaurant 50 years ago. Imagine an oval, particularly thick ceramic plate being hustled over straight out of an oven, so hot it can only be delivered with a potholder and a warning to never, ever touch - it's a hot, hot plate each recipient, individually, will be told - that is set down a distance from the edge of the table so it won't burn chest hairs or whatever, and the clothes in between. The refried beans are gurgling, and the "Spanish" rice is reconstituting into its dry grain state, the peas and carrot chunks mutating away from the vegetable category, and the red sauce of the enchiladas is bubbling, the yellow and white cheese topping still sizzling from being on the verge of burning. Wait long enough so the plate can be handled. Then, go on, tip it sideways. Tip it upside down. Toss it to practice dexterity, letting it roll over and over, and catch it. Spin it on a finger like a top, food side down, or roll it on its edge across a long banquet table. Yes, the tablespoon of shredded iceberg lettuce and that thin, very thin slice of a too-green red tomato - colorful garnish - that nobody ever eats anyway, both of them wilted and dehydrated, will fall off. But the rest? Nope. It's a Mexican Frisbee!

And where's the politics, you may well ask? Why, right here:

Taco Bell is to Mexican food what the Bush administration is to Leadership and ethical governance.

The GOP advantages in 2006

By the mighty Kos hisself:

The GOP is in trouble. The president is as popular as dirt at a Superfund site, its agenda has suffered at the hand of reality, Iraq is a disaster, they're about to start executing Christians in our "success story" Afghanistan, Congressional Republicans just raised the debt ceiling, again, movement conservatives are turning against the ideologues running the party, and special prosecutors and investigators are still sniffing around most of the party's and movement's top leadership.

Given the huge leads Dems garner in opinion polls and that Dem fundraising is keeping pace, if not exceeding, GOP efforts, it's time for HUGE gains in November, isn't it? Isn't it?

Maybe. It's an indictment of Democratic ineffectiveness that we can't take these huge GOP liabilities and turn them into sure-thing pickups in the fall. But the GOP still has a lot of things going for it.

Among what they got goin' for 'em are Scared Democrats, a Friendly Press, and Fear and Hate. Kos lines 'em out pretty good. Go read.

Senate To Legalize Watergate Break-In

From Opinions You Should Have

he Senate will vote next week to pass a bill that will retroactively declare the Watergate break-in to be legal.

"If President Nixon felt that spying on the Democratic National Committee headquarters was necessary, that's good enough for me," said Sen. Pat Roberts (R.-Kan.), who elaborated, "It's time for us to stop second-guessing our leaders."

The bill is the first of a number of laws that aims to ensure that the President can do no wrong. Other laws contemplated by the Senate specifically authorize the trading of arms for hostages, manipulating intelligence to make the case for war, misleading the American people, and the use of the word "strategery."

Democrats moved swiftly with an amendment making the truthfulness of grand jury testimony dependent on what the meaning of "is" is.

Republicans also plan to give the White House three "Free Passes" and two get-out-jail-free cards in case White House officials commit crimes before Congress has the opportunity to decriminalize them.

"I am satisfied that these bills increase Congressional oversight of the Executive Branch," said Sen. Olympia Snowe. "After all, we can't insulate the President from the consequences of his wrongdoing unless the President tells us what he is doing wrong."

I'm not even going to try to add to that...

The Mission really Was Accomplished...

Greg Palast

Bush Didn't Bungle Iraq, You Fools

On the third anniversary of the tanks rolling over Iraq's border, most of the 59 million Homer Simpsons who voted for Bush are beginning to doubt if his mission was accomplished.

But don't kid yourself -- Bush and his co-conspirator, Dick Cheney, accomplished exactly what they set out to do. In case you've forgotten what their real mission was, let me remind you of White House spokesman Ari Fleisher's original announcement, three years ago, launching of what he called,




O.I.L. How droll of them, how cute. Then, Karl Rove made the giggling boys in the White House change it to "OIF" -- Operation Iraqi Freedom. But the 101st Airborne wasn't sent to Basra to get its hands on Iraq's OIF.

And what did the USA want Iraq to do with Iraq's oil? The answer will surprise many of you: and it is uglier, more twisted, devilish and devious than anything imagined by the most conspiracy-addicted blogger.

Specifically, the system ordered up by the Bush cabal would keep a lid on Iraq's oil production -- limiting Iraq's oil pumping to the tight quota set by Saudi Arabia and the OPEC cartel.

There you have it. Yes, Bush went in for the oil -- not to get more of Iraq's oil, but to prevent Iraq producing too much of it.

t's Economics 101. The oil industry is run by a cartel, OPEC, and what economists call an "oligopoly" -- a tiny handful of operators who make more money when there's less oil, not more of it. So, every time the "insurgents" blow up a pipeline in Basra, every time Mad Mahmoud in Tehran threatens to cut supply, the price of oil leaps. And Dick and George just love it.

As per Plan Bush, Bahr Al-Ulum became Iraq's occupation oil minister; the conquered nation "enhanced its relationship with OPEC;" and the price of oil, from Clinton peace-time to Bush war-time, shot up 317%.

Please go read in between the quotes. I posted this so we won't lose sight of what's really going on. Always remember and never forget that this administration is all about getting your money into their friends' pockets. They don't care if they ruin us in the process, either. There's China and India waiting in the wings with 2.3 billion potential customers.

You what?

You're making how many million dollars a year to play a game and you refuse? For that money, if the manager says walk out to center field, stand on your head, and make sparks shoot out your ass, you do it. Get out, you spoiled, overpaid piece of shit.


Can you hear it? The new Repuke line: "If Dems get control of Congress in November, their only agenda is impeaching the President". You see what they're setting up, don't ya? Whiny ass baby Ken Mehlman was on Wolfie's last night pushing just that. Know why? They got nothing.

The Rethugs surely can't run on their record over the past 5 years, can they? The only thing they can do is get the Dems to say, 'no, impeachment isn't foremost on our minds', or get an unequivocal 'we're not going to impeach the President'. If the Dems past perfomance is any indicator, they should roll over shortly and come out on the record vowing not to impeach the Chimp. Wouldn't surprise me.

Me? I'd say 'you're damn straight we're gonna impeach him, first chance we get'. And then proceed to lay out the case why. And then promise to pursue criminal charges after he's tossed out of the White House. But you know what we'll get, don't ya?

The Dems'll say, 'oh, we're taking the high ground' or 'the country doesn't need an impeachment fight in time of war'. Fuck you, pussies. Groveling and sniveling in fear is not taking the high ground. Taking the high ground is getting sprayed with Repuke verbal diarrhea and standing up for what's right, regardless of the amount and intensity. See: "Feingold, Russell" if you're unsure how it's done. This means you Nancy Pelosi.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Do Little

If you're interested in big-time scandals like the Dukester's, go read about my very own congresscritter. Heh.

By the way, I just got an 8 1/2x11 lavishly printed cardboard campaign mailer from him outlining what he will do to illegal immigrants about illegal immigration. Strangely enough, there is no mention made of those who employ them and make them want to come here. Must be a printing error...

Chavez is no shrinking violet...

Hugo Chavez, the President of Venezuela and more probably democratically elected than Bush, has a few things to say about him:

"You are a donkey, Mr. Bush," said Chavez, speaking in English on his weekly Sunday broadcast.

"You're an alcoholic Mr. Danger, or rather, you're a drunkard," Chavez said, referring to Bush by a nickname he frequently uses to describe the U.S. president.

For once, I wish he had spoken in Spanish because I fear there might have been something lost in his translation. The word asno can mean ass, donkey, or jackass. Mulo or macho can be taken as "mule-headed". The feminine mula is a slang term for "prostitute". Burro, of course, is the gender-neutral offspring of a horse and a mule, and I've seen his parents. Oh, Hell, I guess they all fit.

He's dead on about the other one: Borracho is a lot better fit than alcoholico. Bush is more a stumble-bum drunk than an addict. Ain't we the lucky ones?

"Stop whinin'! Ya wanta grow up to be a sissy like Bush?"

From The Toronto Star, eh?

Remember the whiny, insecure kid in nursery school, the one who always thought everyone was out to get him, and was always running to the teacher with complaints? Chances are he grew up to be a conservative.

At least, he did if he was one of 95 kids from the Berkeley area that social scientists have been tracking for the last 20 years. The confident, resilient, self-reliant kids mostly grew up to be liberals.

Block admits in his paper that liberal Berkeley is not representative of the whole country (G's note: It's known locally as "Berserkeley"). But within his sample, he says, the results hold. He reasons that insecure kids look for the reassurance provided by tradition and authority, and find it in conservative politics. The more confident kids are eager to explore alternatives to the way things are, and find liberal politics more congenial.

In a society that values self-confidence and out-goingness, it's a mostly flattering picture for liberals. It also runs contrary to the American stereotype of wimpy liberals and strong conservatives.

Of course, if you're studying the psychology of politics, you shouldn't be surprised to get a political reaction. Similar work by John T. Jost of Stanford and colleagues in 2003 drew a political backlash. The researchers reviewed 44 years worth of studies into the psychology of conservatism, and concluded that people who are dogmatic, fearful, intolerant of ambiguity and uncertainty, and who crave order and structure are more likely to gravitate to conservatism. Critics branded it the "conservatives are crazy" study and accused the authors of a political bias.

In these times, simply telling the truth or callin' 'em like ya see 'em is considered "political bias".

Programming note

Jane has moved. Adjust accordingly.

What I see...

I know our efforts here are directed toward the tactical. Any strategy we have vaguely has Bush out of the White House and Dem (or progressive) control of Congress. So this morning I'd like to share a bit of what I see for America and the world once we get this nation back on track.

First, domestically, universal health care. Fortunately, the Mrs. recent hospitalization and subsequent treatment didn't wipe us out (thanks to decent insurance and financial stabilty). A good portion of Americans aren't as lucky as we are and are one hospitalization away from financial ruin. This has to be made part of the Democratic platform before '08.

Second, I foresee Peace. I want to live in a world where peace is the norm and wars are only fought in self-defense. I want to see peace and prosperity develop throughout the world, not at the point of a gun but as a result of socio-economics packages that actually do work.

I want the guy on the street, anywhere in the world, to have what we have. I've lived on four continents and hung out with the locals at every occasion. Know what I found? The average guy in Korea, or France, or Turkey, or in Iraq wants the same things Joe Six-pack in the U.S. wants. He wants to work for a living, he wants his family to be safe in their homes and on the street, and he wants his kids to have better lives than he had. If we could do that throughout the world, there would be no need to fight a 'War on Terror'. We could accomplish this, we are in the best position to do that.

I want to see cheap energy. Not cheap oil, a new power source. If the demand for oil evaporated, most of our terror problems would be solved, or the people in the oil producing states would solve them or be cut loose from the international community.

Cheap energy will also bring the Third World into the First World, and that must be done before we can move forward. The gap between the 'haves' and 'have-nots' is getting bigger by the day and that can only lead to more war, death, and destruction. We've seen what people who have no hope for a future are capable of doing. Unless we want an endless war against terror, we have to give the people of the world a better future than the 'martyr's death' promised by the radical Imams. When the promise of Paradise becomes more appealing than life itself, there will always be someone ready to kill themselves, and others, for the cause.

And eventually, probably not in my lifetime, I would like to see global governance. The Earth united under one flag (not the Stars and Stripes) together as one diverse People, looking outward as Columbus looked westward from the Spanish shores. It's time to move on, become explorers once again and conquer the next place where there 'be dragons and dangerous beasts'.

We have the beginnings of it with the U.N. and we have to build on that foundation. We have to realize we are all part of the human family and the sooner we understand that, the better off we'll be. That is the reason for America. God's Plan if you will for all you religious folks. America is the modern Ark, a vessel to a better place, not a place in itself. God has given us an obligation, not to marginalize people who are different but to bring all who are more alike than different into a global family. America is merely the embryo of what could develop throughout the world, not the end of an evolutionary process. It's time to get on with the job God gave us instead of stagnating in the past for that will surely be our downfall.

Sunday, March 19, 2006


The Patriot Act board game. Heh...

The Feingold Effect

Jane sez:


If you're fighting a war you intend to win, you never. Ever. Say. That. Ever. So when token Democrats like Eleanor Clift step up and say Feingold's actions help the GOP, it can only be reflective of what Digby articulates so well: individuals (not the party) who have decided their lives will be made easier if they just stop resisting, lie back and learn to enjoy being throttled. Russ Feingold's fight -- our fight -- makes it uncomfortable for them to do that. Is there any other reason why they should be oh so much more exasperated with our exasperation than with, say, the President himself?


Feingold's actions are not helping the GOP, it's scaring them shitless. An excellent post about what Russ' censure resolution does do for the GOP and it's time the Dems woke to the fact before they fuck up the opportunity they've been given.

"If we all do our parts..."

The ghosts of American soldiers
wander the streets of Balad by night,
unsure of their way home, exhausted,
the desert wind blowing trash
down the narrow alleys as a voice
sounds from the minaret, a soulfull call
reminding them how alone they are,
how lost. And the Iraqi dead,
they watch in silence from rooftops
as date palms line the shore in silhouette,
leaning toward Mecca when the dawn wind blows.
Brian Turner

1 May 2003 Chimpy McFlightsuit declared the Iraq invasion launched 20 March 2003 to be a Mission Accomplished in the long war on terror: "The battle of Iraq is one victory in a war on terror that began on September 11, 2001, and still goes on", he said. But it wasn't supposed to be going on in Iraq any more. Major combat operations there were supposed to be over and the victory belonged to him. Maybe Fearless Leader was already planning to move east from Baghdad to Tehran in his endless war on terror. Osama bin Laden, who planned and organised the 9/11 attacks, remains free to this day and vows that he won't be captured alive. With Dear Leader leading the offensive I guess bin Laden doesn't have to worry about that happening because this preznit is more focused on his pre-emptive invasion terruh doctrine; despite the utter disaster in Iraq he has reaffirmed his authority to launch a pre-emptive war against countries he deems a threat.

As of today 2318 soldiers have been killed. More than 30,000 Iraqis have been killed. Almost 17,000 troops have been wounded. How many purple hearts have been awarded? (And how many repubs will slap a purple heart bandage on their bods to belittle the Fighting Dems?) Horrible abuses have been perpetrated by Coalition forces and Iraqi fighters. War is a brutal business and without strong leadership the ugliest of the ugly rise to the top. Leadership in Iraq? Despite the preznit and his band of pirates' denials, Iraq is "in the middle of a civil war", says Alawi. Murtha stated the case to his colleagues in the House:
Situation on the Ground
CLAIM: Over the past several months, Administration officials have argued that the situation in Iraq was improving. Recently, General Peter Pace, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, noted on "Meet the Press" [Sunday, March 5, 2006] that the situation in Iraq was going "very, very well."
Since the last week in February 2006, sectarian violence and death has reached new heights. In the past few weeks alone, over a thousand Iraqi civilians have been killed in the violence
FACT: Electricity production remains below pre-war levels. Baghdad received an average of 6.4 hours of electricity per day. Oil production was at 1.77 million barrels per day, some 30% below pre-war production rates. [Iraq Weekly Status Report of March 1, 2006 from the U.S.State Department]
The number of incidents per week have tripled since one year ago [summary of classified information provided by the Central Intelligence Agency]
Unemployment ranges from 30-60% nation-wide. In Anbar Province -- the epicenter of the insurgency -- unemployment reaches 90%. [summary of estimates by the State Department and U.S. intelligence agencies]
And the only leading this preznit is doing is to take us all down the path of destruction. It's too early for us to say Mission Accomplished, but let's get out the vote for the midterm elections this year. Here are some great candidates who need our support (your state, your vote, your voice):
Fighting Dems
Band of Brothers
Fighting Dems on AirAmerica
Act Blue
Progressive Patriots
Blue Force

"If we do our parts, believe it, we'll be the ones left standing. Here endeth the lesson". Buffy

Theme music for the 3rd anniversary of BushCo's Blunder:
Modest Mouse: Bury me with it
Suicidal Tendencies: Institutionalised
Shriekback: All lined up
No Doubt: Trapped in a box
Green Day: American Idiot
Steve Earl: John Walker's Blues
White Stripes: Seven nation army
Kris Kristoferson: Don't let the bastards get you down
Billy Bragg: Which side are you on?
Dead Kennedys: Holiday in Cambodia
big bonus track that sums it all up: Eric Burdon and the Animals: We got to get out of this place [salute to Gordon]

"Bushevism" is now officially declared a cult

Pensito Review

In an editorial up this morning headlined,"BuzzFlash Now Officially Declares Bushevism a Cult," the editors of one of the most widely read liberal websites write:

Let's face it, there are only three segments left to the much-vaunted GOP Base: the corporate profiteers who wouldn't care if Satan was president, as long as they got their pockets lined with taxpayer funded no-bid contracts; the Stepford Evangelicals; and the Bush cultists...

After all, what is a cult? It's a movement that is comprised of people who believe in a leader contrary to reality and the harm that the person does them.

That sounds like people who support Bush alright, except for the corporate profiteers (who will always be hanging around for the money, no matter who is in power.)

Last December, I had the same thought. It came to me while watching a glassy-eyed Ken Mehlman, the closeted gay chairman of the Republican Party, reciting GOP talking points on television. He reminded me of glassy-eyed defenders of the Unification Church back in the day when they were called "Moonies" - before they began publishing the rightwing Washington Times newspaper.

In Is Bush Worship a Cult, I posted a list of the traits that experts use to define a cult. Here it is again:

Long list follows. Go see.

I don't know about mind-altering practices or the preoccupation with bringing in new members but the rest of it is an uncanny description of the cabal that is running our country.

Yes, it is.

The real reason Bush will attack Iran

Even though Chris Matthews and Pat Buchanan get my blood boilin' from time to time, I still watch 'em. Occasionally, they say something significant. Media Matters has a transcript and video clip.

Summary: On Hardball, Chris Matthews, Dana Milbank, and Pat Buchanan discussed what they agreed were the likely political benefits to President Bush and congressional Republicans if he were to launch a pre-emptive war against Iran.

Short version: A "rallying effect" and the November elections.

Three years on

So, we're here again. Another anniversary of this misbegotten war. In a couple months, we'll be celebrating the anniversary of that great day when our 'war president' touched down on the deck of an aircraft carrier and said 'mission accomplished'. Thing is, I don't know what more I can say that I haven't already.

This nation was led into this war under false pretenses. We were lied to and that makes the occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C. a murderer. There is the blood of over 2300 American souls on his hands for that alone. There are also 60 - 100,000 Iraqis who have lost their lives for a lie.

This war has also enriched many corporations, most who have strong ties to this administration. They have been allowed to loot our treasury and pay no penalty. They are worse than traitors, more like graverobbers, counting their loot as military families struggle to pay bills and and attempt to make up for the absence of a loved one.

The only people this war serves are the bloodthirsty and the profiteers, the ideologues and the fanatics. We've destroyed a nation that was no threat and we've destroyed our credibility as a nation of principle. Over the last five years, the world has seen the worst of this nation, hopefully not our true character. It is time to get the warmongers out and this November we can begin that process with the Congress. Neither our nation, or our military, can stand another three years of war in Iraq.

Bill Beutel

They don't make newsmen like him anymore. Since I can remember, he came into my house at 6 every day and gave us the world. He was like a trusted uncle and he'll be missed.