Saturday, July 1, 2006

Arbeit macht frei

(AP) A Republican gubernatorial candidate's call for creation of a forced labor camp for illegal immigrants drew rebukes Friday from two GOP lawmakers, who labeled it a low point in the immigration debate.

Don Goldwater, nephew of the late Sen. Barry Goldwater, caused an international stir this week when EFE, a Mexican news service, quoted him as saying he wanted to hold undocumented immigrants in camps to use them "as labor in the construction of a wall and to clean the areas of the Arizona desert that they're polluting." [my em]



What more to say?

Tip o' the Brain to C&L

Get them out


Of course, the wingnuts will be all over this, pointing out that such "bad news" is hurting the morale of the troops. blah blah blah blah blah. What's hurting their morale is being left in a situation by a bunch of self-serving politicians who are enriching themselves and their buddies by running a "war of choice", with no cost to themselves, and no end in sight. [my em]


Jo Fish on the troops accused of raping an Iraqi woman and killing her family to cover it up. So long as our troops are there, more and more of this is going to happen.


It hits a bit closer to home for Lurch.


The 502d has a long proud history of combat, tough, hard, but not murderers of women and children. I was proud to wear the "crying crow" on my left shoulder. If I had to be there, I was thankful that I was with a unit that had some pride in its history, an esprit de corps. And later I proudly wore it on my right shoulder. I felt sick when I first hear about this story and now, knowing the 502d is involved, I just feel dirty.


Armchair Patriots

Good rant at Station Charon on the chickenhawks and their flag-burning charade. Damn near has 8x10 glossy photos with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one describing what each one was*.

They are the ones who are shouting the loudest for others to die in foreign lands, they are the ones waving the flag the most vigorously while undermining all that it is supposed to stand for. These are the Armchair Patriots, and they are legion. The insistence of the most vile of all, the Republican party, a group that has come to symbolize the darkest of all American traits to 'wave the bloody flag' and tar all others as disloyal and tresonous is a low point in our nation's history. This made it especially nice to see the party's failure to mount a successful effort to implement a constitutional ban on flag burning. "Old Glory" lost today" moaned Senate Republican Leader Bill Frist, his latest crusade to amend our governing document to include language denying rights to Americans beaten back by only one vote.

Senator Daniel Inouye of Hawaii gets it, a World War II veteran who lost an arm in service to his country said in regards to the Republican push for the amendment:

"Our country's unique because our dissidents have a voice....While I take offense at disrespect to the flag...I nonetheless believe it is my continued duty as a veteran, as an American citizen and as a United States senator to defend the constitutional right of protesters to use the flag in nonviolent speech."

Of course being a Democrat he is by that very association deemed `unpatriotic' and a `coward' in using the dastardly labeling of Frist, Karl Rove and the rest of the unscrupulous and yellow thugs who control the government, the media, the courts and by extension are the operators of the message machine that spits out the hateful swill that motivates the most reactionary and ignorant segments of the populace who represent their base. This anti-American political party could never carry the torch were it not for their deception and demagoguery in playing to the most base and vile instincts of the perennially angry. Like any good purveyor of tyranny enabling double speak and race baiting, they have a little something for everybody.

"Something for everybody" list follows. Go read.

*If you don't understand the reference, go get a note from your Mom saying you 're old enough to be here! And if it's signed "Epstein's Mom", kick rocks, kid!

What's that hissing noise?

For a light Saturday read, here's a quick, concise recent view of the housing bubble by Robert Reich:

America's housing bubble has not exactly burst. It's just sprung a leak the size of your average mortgage banker. What's clear is the boom is over. All across America, backlogs of unsold homes are long. Price increases are slowing. In some markets, home prices are actually dropping. I just bought a house in Berkeley, California, that I couldn't have afforded a year ago. I still can't afford it, but at least I'm breathing.

It's better that bubbles leak than burst. Gradual declines are always easier to manage than explosions. But the housing boom has been so large and important to the American economy over the past five years that even this slow leak will cause severe headaches.

One will be experienced by millions of households that had turned their growing home values into piggy banks to finance their continued consumption. That easy route to cash is just about gone. The inevitable result will be less consumption, which will mean fewer jobs.

A more immediate problem will arise for all the people making, financing, and selling houses. Here we're talking about a vast army of carpenters, plasterers, roofers, plumbers, electricians, mortgage bankers, home inspectors, real estate agents, architects, structural engineers and many more. According to Moddy's, housing-related employment has accounted for almost a quarter of the five million jobs that have appeared since 2003.

In other words, without the housing bubble, the American economy will lose a lot of its fizz. I don't like bubbles, but from a jobs standpoint this recovery has needed all the fizz it can get. Median wages have gone nowhere. The ranks of the long-term unemployed have been unusually high. The percent of the labor force with jobs is lower than in 2000. Housing has been one of the few bright spots in the economy.

All of which brings us to Ben Bernanke and his gang at the Federal Reserve Board Open Market Committee. They're determined to raise interest rates because they think the economy is too fizzy and still prone to inflation. I hope they listen carefully: The hissing sound they hear is air escaping the housing bubble. There's less fizz in the economy than they think. Raise interest rates, and the Fed raises the likelihood the economy will deflate.

Bush takes credit for "creating" all these jobs. I wonder if he'll take the credit for their loss? I doubt it.

None of this bothers me personally. My house is paid for, my equity line is paid up, and I have enough money in the bank to pay off my credit cards if I had to. It's one of the advantages of staying in one place for a long time, and probably the only advantage of getting to be a sweet, curmudgeonly Olde Farte (Lctp!*) such as I. It helps that real estate prices have increased by a factor of six in the last thirty years and we were able to use that to our advantage a few times. Having said that, if I had to buy it today, I couldn't afford the house I live in.

My advice to you youngsters who would like to have your own home is to wait a year or two until the bubble is pretty much deflated. There's going to be lots of foreclosures due to the free-wheeling mortgage deals that sucked in marginally qualified homebuyers, and you may find just what you want at a bargain price - or at least a manageable one. It should go without saying that it is better to buy and pay for your own place than to rent and pay for someone else's.

*Lurch coined that phrase!


The Saturday funnies are up at Bob Geiger's. I especially like the one with Adolf and Uncle Joe.

Friday, June 30, 2006

Quote of the Day


Why, oh why, is my blog starting to look like The Onion when I'm writing about real things?!

The Occupation of Iraqi Hearts and Minds

Go read this article at Truthdig. Long, but worth it.

Editor's note: Truthdig contributor Nir Rosen, an American reporter who has lived for the last three years in Iraq and who can pass as Middle Eastern, describes what it's like to live under the boot of a culturally callous - and sometimes criminal - occupying force in Iraq. "The occupation has been one vast extended crime against the Iraqi people, and most of it has occurred unnoticed by the American people and the media."

That's the first paragraph. Here's the last:

Imagine. The American occupation of Iraq has lasted over three years. The above stories are based on my two weeks with one unit in a small part of the country. Imagine how many Iraqi homes have been destroyed. How many families have been traumatized. How many men have disappeared into American military vehicles in the night. How many crimes have been committed against the Iraqi people every single day in the course of the normal operations of the occupation, when soldiers were merely doing their duty, when they were not angry or vengeful as in Haditha. Imagine what we have done to the Iraqi people, tortured by Saddam for years, then released from three decades of his bloody rule only to find their hope stolen from them and a new terror unleashed.

I can't really blame the troops. They've been put in a situation most of 'em haven't been trained for. They're exhausted, and more scared than they would ever admit, never knowing when or where an attack or explosion may come. They do what they've been trained to do, which is use overwhelming force. They want to come home alive, and I want them to as well. It's too bad this kind of shit happens, but the predictions that it would were ignored.

Bush and his handlers may have lost Iraq for us forever.

Countermajoritarian, No! Democracy forcing, Si!

A pretty good take on the Supremes' decision on Hamdan from Balkinization.

What the Court has done is not so much countermajoritarian as democracy forcing. It has limited the President by forcing him to go back to Congress to ask for more authority than he already has, and if Congress gives it to him, then the Court will not stand in his way. It is possible, of course, that with a Congress controlled by the Republicans, the President might get everything he wants. However this might be quite unpopular given the negative publicity currently swirling around our detention facilities at Guantanamo Bay. By forcing the President to ask for authorization, the Court does two things. First, it insists that both branches be on board with what the President wants to do. Second, it requires the President to ask for authority when passions have cooled somewhat, as opposed to right after 9/11, when Congress would likely have given him almost anything (except authorization for his NSA surveillance program, but let's not go there!). Third, by requiring the President to go to Congress for authorization, it gives Congress an opportunity and an excuse for oversight, something which it has heretofore been rather loathe to do on its own motion.

I repeat: nothing in Hamdan means that the President is constitutionally forbidden from doing what he wants to do. What the Court has done, rather is use the democratic process as a lever to discipline and constrain the President's possible overreaching. Given this Administration's history, that's not necessarily a bad thing.

This whole deal isn't really about the rights accorded to detainees or even the detention itself. It's about our own ideals and whether we live up to the things we profess to believe in, you know, little things like democracy and rule of law, or just pay them lip service. So far, it's just Bush's lips flappin'.

We need to rein Bush et al in (tossin' them out on their ass would be better) and SCOTUS' ruling has at least started a discussion. Boy, has it ever!

Much, much more lawyer-speak on this and other subjects of national importance here.

"Hi. My name's George and I'm an alcoholic potentate..."

Yahoo! Health via Truthdig

"Mr. Bush lives by the creed, 'Stay the Course!' But that course is disastrous on everything from the environment to health care to education to national security. He is like a drunk who insists on driving even as the passengers in the car scream, 'Stop! For God's sake, stop!' "

Parts 1 through 5 in the series "George Bush, alcoholic" here.

Impeachment? No. Impalement!

I might have posted this previously, but rather than look it up to see if I did, I'll just do it because I like it.

Will Durst

I don't know about you guys, but I am so sick and tired of these lying, thieving, holier-than-thou, rightwing, cruel, crude, rude, gauche, coarse, crass, cocky, corrupt, dishonest, debauched, degenerate, dissolute, swaggering, lawyer shooting, bullhorn shouting, infra-structure destroying, buck passing, hysterical, criminal, history defying, finger pointing, puppy stomping, roommate appointing, pretzel choking, collateral damaging, aspersion casting, wedding party bombing, clearcutting, torturing, jobs outsourcing, torture out-sourcing, election fixing, women's rights eradicating, Medicare cutting, uncouth, spiteful, boorish, vengeful, jingoistic, homophobic, xenophobic, xylophonic, racist, sexist, ageist, fascist, cashist, audaciously stupid, brazenly selfish, lethally ignorant, journalist purchasing, genocide ignoring, corporation kissing, poverty inducing, crooked, coercive, autocratic, primitive, uppity, high-handed, domineering, arrogant, inhuman, inhumane, inbred, inept, insipid, incapable, incompetent, ineffectual, insolent, insincere, know-it-all, snotty, pompous, contemptuous, supercilious, gutless, spineless, shameless, avaricious, noxious, poisonous, imperious, merciless, graceless, tactless, brutish, brutal, Karl Roving, backward thinking, persistent vegetative state grandstanding, nuclear option threatening, evolution denying, irony deprived, consciously depraved, conceited, perverted, peremptory invading, thirty-five day vacation taking, bribe soliciting, hellish, smarty pants, loudmouth, bullying, swell headed, ethics eluding, domestic spying, medical marijuana busting, Halliburtoning, narcissistic, undiplomatic, blustering, malevolent, demonizing, Duke Cunninghamming, hectoring, dry drunk, Muslim baiting, hurricane disregarding, oil company hugging, judge packing, science disputing, faith based advocating, armament selling, nonsense spewing, education ravaging, whiny, insane, unscrupulous, lily livered, greedy (exponential factor fifteen), fraudulent, delusional, CIA outing, redistricting, anybody who disagrees with them slandering, fact twisting, ally alienating, betraying, chickenhawk, sell out, quisling, god and flag waving, scare mongering, Cindy Sheehan libeling, smirking, bastardly, voting machine tampering, sociopathic, cowardly, treasonous, Constitution shredding, oppressive, vulgar, antagonistic, trust funding, nontipping, tyrannizing, peace hating, water and air and ground and media polluting (which is pretty much all the polluting you can get), deadly, traitorous, con man, swindling, pernicious, lethal, illegal, haughty, venomous, virulent, mephitic, egotistic, bloodthirsty, yellowbelly, hypocritical, Oedipal, did I say evil, I'm not sure if I said evil, because I want to make sure I say evil... EVIL, cretinous, slime buckets in the Bush Administration that I could just spit. Impeachment? Hell no. Impalement. Upon the sharp and righteous sword of the people's justice. Make it a curtain rod. Because it would hurt more.

Yes, political comic, writer, actor, radio talk show host Will Durst received a thesaurus for his birthday, but he didn't need it.

Non-tipping? How low can they go?!

Isn't that just the best one-sentence description of those clowns ever?

"We will see the burial of the empire of the eagle"

Greg Palast interviews Hugo Chavez at The Progressive, plus a little perspective on why Bush has refused his offer of $50-a-barrel oil.

But the ascendance of Venezuela within OPEC necessarily means the decline of the power of the House of Saud. And the Bush family wouldn't like that one bit. It comes down to "petro-dollars." When George W. ferried then-Crown Prince (now King) Abdullah of Saudi Arabia around the Crawford ranch in a golf cart it wasn't because America needs Arabian oil. The Saudis will always sell us their petroleum. What Bush needs is Saudi petro-dollars. Saudi Arabia has, over the past three decades, kindly recycled the cash sucked from the wallets of American SUV owners and sent much of the loot right back to New York to buy U.S. Treasury bills and other U.S. assets.

Chavez would put an end to all that. He'll sell us oil relatively cheaply - but intends to keep the petro-dollars in Latin America. Recently, Chavez withdrew $20 billion from the U.S. Federal Reserve and, at the same time, lent or committed a like sum to Argentina, Ecuador, and other Latin American nations.

Q: How do you respond to Bush's charge that you are destabilizing the region and interfering in the elections of other Latin American countries?

Chavez: Mr. Bush is an illegitimate President. In Florida, his brother Jeb deleted many black voters from the electoral registers. So this President is the result of a fraud. Not only that, he is also currently applying a dictatorship in the U.S. People can be put in jail without being charged. They tap phones without court orders. They check what books people take out of public libraries. They arrested Cindy Sheehan because of a T-shirt she was wearing demanding the return of the troops from Iraq. They abuse blacks and Latinos. And if we are going to talk about meddling in other countries, then the U.S. is the champion of meddling in other people's affairs. They invaded Guatemala, they overthrew Salvador Allende, invaded Panama and the Dominican Republic. They were involved in the coup d'etat in Argentina thirty years ago.

Q: Is the U.S. interfering in your elections here?

Chavez: They have interfered for 200 years. They have tried to prevent us from winning the elections, they supported the coup d'etat, they gave millions of dollars to the coup plotters, they supported the media, newspapers, outlaw movements, military intervention, and espionage. But here the empire is finished, and I believe that before the end of this century, it will be finished in the rest of the world. We will see the burial of the empire of the eagle.

Interesting stuff.

Friday Cattle Dog Blogging

I'm late for work so I put up another baby pic. I took this a couple hours after we brought her home from North Shore Animal League. She was just over 8 weeks old.

Shhhh ...

Don't tell me, I'm taping it while I'm at work and I'm gonna watch the match when I get home.


Germany wins after 90 minutes, 30 minutes of overtime, and penalty kicks! Oy, I didn't think my heart could take it.

Oh, Rudy?

Are you still planning to run for President in '08? Remember your big pal Bernie?

Former top cop Bernard Kerik is slated to stand before a Bronx judge today and admit to wrongfully accepting more than $200,000 in renovations to his home and failing to disclose a loan from a real estate developer.

Kerik has agreed to plead guilty to two misdemeanors and pay a fine, instead of facing a possible felony indictment, according to a source briefed on the matter.


You got too many skeletons in New York, pal. Time to leave quietly.

North Korea

I've been meaning to direct you to Lurch's place. He has links to photo essays about North Korea. During my handful of 'visits' across the DMZ (in the middle of the night, in the middle of nowhere), I never got to see the 'tourist sites', though I can vouch for the abject poverty in the countryside. Open sewage ditches are the norm and the infrastructure is crumbling, if any modernizing was done in the first place. I feel so badly for those poor people, under control of that insane midget. You know, I might have even supported a war to bring about 'regime change' and prevent NK from developing weapons of mass destruction.

Just think about that, ladies and germs. The third member of the 'Axis of Eeeeevil' has nukes (and the means to deliver them here), oppresses his people, and seeks to destabilize his region. Is it just me, or is the 'War Preznit' nothing more than a big fucking pussy?

Bed ... made

Blah3 via Pauly at Skippy's:

Dear Media,

I hope you all enjoy lying in that bed you've made.

All those years of making excuses for George W. Bush's ineptness, inadequacies, and illegalities have earned you absolutely nothing. You brushed aside his lack of experience and intellectual incuriosity in 1999 and 2000, mostly because you didn't like Al Gore. Your behavoir gave him a much better position from which to steal the 2000 election.

You bought the spin from Bush's minions, ignoring the crisis that was taking place in Florida after the election. You believed every lie they came up with, from 'The votes have been counted and re-counted and re-counted' to 'Al Gore is trying to steal the election,' and you decided that letting Bush take office (in the most literal sense possible) was 'best for the country.'

You papered over the fact that he was scared out of his mind on September 11, 2001 - to the point where he flew to Idaho to hide - in favor of painting him as a 'resolute leader.' You swallowed, hook, line, and sinker, every lie that came out of the White House in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq - in many cases embellishing the lies to make them sound more plausible.

You let the elite members of your profession use their positions as opinion-shapers to shove cooked intelligence down the throats of the American public. You placed that cooked intel on the front pages of every newspaper and magazine in the country, and you played that cooked intelligence at the top of every hour on your cable news outlets.

You never once asked, 'Where is Osama bin Laden?' [my ems]


As I've said about the press on many occasions, worry less about the blogs and a little more about the folks who want to put you out of a job.

Thursday, June 29, 2006


Are they gonna fuck my neighbors over they way they did to New Orleans?

(New York -WABC, June 29, 2006) - It's being called the worst flooding the east has seen in decades. More than 200,000 people are waiting for flood waters to recede so they can return home. The flooding in New York is now blamed for at least four deaths and $100 million in damage.

States of emergency remain in New York and New Jersey and FEMA is expected to tour upstate New York in the next two days.

Levees around vulnerable Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania held against the swollen Susquehanna River on Thursday, ending an evacuation order for 200,000, but other towns anxiously watched as rivers approached record crests that threatened to extend the misery from flooding that already has killed at least 13 people.


They're still taking stock of the damage and some rivers still haven't crested. I'm not too confident federal help will be there when these folks need it. Fortunately for us on Long Island, almost everything drains right off.

John Houseman Murtha

About Holy Joe, "You have to earn it". Feingold too.

The Neocon Battle for Media

Robert Parry, at ConsortiumNews, has an interesting take on the administration attacks on the NYTimes. Today's "must read".

Since the 1980s, when the neoconservatives burst onto the Washington scene, they have always understood the power that comes from controlling the flow of information that passes from the U.S. government to the news media and then to the American people.

This transmission of information through Washington was to these savvy neoconservatives what a key railroad junction was to Civil War generals, a strategic switching point to be captured and exploited.

For years, the Times' news pages had been the neocons' preferred conduit for fictitious stories about Iraq's nuclear weapons program as well as for criticism of Al Gore and other political challengers. During the war fever of 2002, Vice President Dick Cheney and national security adviser Condoleezza Rice loved to cite supportive stories in the Times, made even more convincing because the Times editorial page opposed the Iraq invasion.

However, following the humiliating discovery in 2003-2004 of how the nation's "newspaper of record" had been deceived about Iraq's WMD, Times news editors began to resist the administration's propaganda themes and even rebuff some White House demands for silence on terrorism-related stories.

After using the New York Times for years as a favorite propaganda vehicle, the administration may now be making the newspaper and its editors an example of what happens to journalists who stop toeing the line.

But the larger significance of the Times bashing is that it marks the opening of a decisive phase in the Bush administration's long campaign to lock in a revised version of the American constitutional system, in effect putting Bush's national security judgments beyond question and outside any meaningful oversight.

Meanwhile, Bush's neoconservative administration is tightening its grip on what information the American people get to see and hear.

Message to journalists: Now that you know what chumps you've been played for, and how ill-used you've been, fight these motherfuckers like all our lives depend on it, because they do. You've let 'em get away with their criminal takeover for years, been complicit in it. Show some balls and help get our country back by finally telling the truth which you should have been all along.

Play your cards right and you can help put these bastards behind bars where they belong. Maybe you'll even sleep better.

It's them or you. Your call.

White House NYT Bashers: Hypocrites

Well, DUH! From, not exactly a far left outfit:

Bush administration officials have been lining up to condemn The New York Times for revealing a program to track financial transactions as part of the war on terrorism. But if the Times' revelation about a program to monitor international exchanges is so damaging, why has the administration been chattering about efforts to monitor domestic transactions for nearly five years?

Shortly after the 9/11 attacks, many journalists - including this one - were briefed by U.S. Customs officials on Operation Green Quest, an effort to roll up terrorist financiers by monitoring, among other things, "suspicious" bank transfers and ancient money lending programs favored by people of Middle Eastern descent.

Interesting. Go read. Election year posturing and an attempt at intimidation. Basic Rove bullshit. More info about the fact that all this "secret" follow-the-money stuff has been a matter of public knowledge for almost five years is coming out all over the place as well.

One 'comment' reads simply "Hastert & "Loose Lips"?" I'm going to go bleach that visual out of my brain now.


Go read Wolcott.

Well, it's OK if you're trying to make money...


Did Cong. Tancredo (R-CO) burn an American flag for his book cover?

Kinda looks that way to me.

And even if he burned an image of an American flag to make the book cover, it's the same thing. Or is flag burning okay so long as the protesters have massive posters of US flags that they burn?

Another Republican "do as I say, not as I do" moment, huh?

Wyden sticks up for net neutrality

From Mr. Zuniga:

Ron Wyden announced this afternoon that he has placed a "hold" on the telecommunciations legislation just passed by the Commerce Committee until clear language is included in the legislation that prevents discrimination in Internet access.

Senator Wyden (bio) is a Democrat from Oregon. Go read excerpts from his floor statement. Sometimes, it's a good man that makes the difference. You might even want to thank him. You know how.

Never ask a cowgirl the size of her spread...

Following up on yesterday's post about Jim Webb fighting back at a swiftboating attack by G. Felix Allen, I couldn't resist this, and I promise to quit. Someday. Yahoo! News:

RICHMOND, Va. - Republican Sen. George Allen attacked his Democratic challenger's opposition to a flag-burning amendment, and James Webb retaliated by calling Allen a coward who sat out the Vietnam War "playing cowboy at a dude ranch in Nevada."

The news release by Allen's campaign said Webb's opposition to the amendment shows he is beholden to liberal Sens. John Kerry, Ted Kennedy and Charles Schumer, who all voted against the amendment.

Within hours, Webb lashed back, calling Allen's news release "weak-kneed attacks by cowards."

"People who live in glass dude ranches should not question the patriotism of real soldiers who fought and bled for this country on a real battlefield," Jarding said.

Webb left the Republican party over Bush's handling of the war in Iraq. He has written novels informed by his Vietnam experience and a recent non-fiction book "Born Fighting."

There's basically two kinds of ranches in Nevada. There's the kind that raises livestock for market. These are usually out in Shit's Creek somewhere. Wonderful places if you like peace and quiet and don't mind hard work for low pay. Some of them cater to vacationers (dudes) and harvest alfalfa.

Then there's the kind where the livestock is full growed when it wanders in off the range. At these, there's more action in the bunkhouse than in the ol' corral. These are usually a little closer to town. Wonderful places if you don't like peace and quiet and don't mind not real hard work for pretty good pay. These joints definitely cater to "dudes" and harvest them.

Here's one that is world famous and has had an HBO special about it. Here are some others, just in case you find yourself stuck out in the desert with nothing to do.

So what does all this have to do with politics in Virginia, you may well ask?

Which kind of ranch do you think Republicans from Back East would prefer to hang out at?

Ride 'em, cowboy!

Supreme Court Blocks Trials at Guantanamo


The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that President Bush overstepped his authority in ordering military war crimes trials for Guantanamo Bay detainees.

The ruling, a strong rebuke to the administration and its aggressive anti-terror policies, was written by Justice John Paul Stevens, who said the proposed trials were illegal under U.S. law and international Geneva conventions.

The ruling raises major questions about the legal status of about 450 men still being held at Guantanamo and exactly how, when and where the administration might pursue the charges against them.

It also seems likely to further fuel international criticism of the administration, including by many U.S. allies, for its handling of the terror war detainees at Guantanamo in Cuba, Abu Ghraib in Iraq and elsewhere.

"Trial by military commission raises separation-of-powers concerns of the highest order," Kennedy wrote in his separate opinion. "Concentration of power (in the executive branch) puts personal liberty in peril of arbitrary action by officials, an incursion the Constitution's three-part system is designed to avoid."

The court's ruling was a resounding loss for the Bush administration. Justices also rejected the administration's claim that the case should be thrown out on grounds that a new law stripped their authority to consider it.

It looks like Bush still doesn't quite have the Court stacked just the way he wants it. It isn't for lack of trying, but it appears that the law still matters to some of them. In this instance, anyway.

Watch the wingnuts climb the Gray Lady's frame for daring to print it.

It is with great regret ...

There's a radio station (WBAB) here on Long Island I've been listening to for 35 years. It's a rock and roll station and it provided the background music for my youth. I listen to them every morning on the way to work, decent (if corporate-programmed) music and timely traffic reports (on Long Island, these are a must).

So, it is with great regret I say I will not be listening anymore. WBAB has two morning idiots who've taken the station to depths I would never have expected from people attempting to do business in such a diverse area.

The two idiots I refer to are Roger & J.P., two cracker morons who think it's fun to disparage immigrants, mainly of the Latino pursuasion. These guys did a bit called 'Wetback Steakhouse' a take off of the Outback Steakhouse commercials.

Then, yesterday morning, I hear them basically repeat the Republican talking points on the flag burning amendment, shot down in Congress earlier in the week. J.P. actually had the balls to say that veterans in our wars fought and died for the flag itself.

Listen to me, you little shit. I put my ass on the line and it sure wasn't for a piece of fucking cloth. It was for the principles and foundation the flag represents. I've seen shit that would make J.P., let alone Roger, shit themselves and end up sucking their thumbs in the fetus position. I did my bit in the military to ensure the right of freedom of speech remains as the Founders intended, and burning the flag in protest is part of that.

It's just like the American Nazis or the Ku Klux Klan, whom I personally think should all be put up against the wall. If flag burning is banned, should their hate speech be banned too? Should Roger & J.P.'s anti-immigrant drivel be banned? Should whatever Ann Coulter says? I served this nation to protect all their rights, even the assholes who want to deny them to others.

Maybe Roger & J.P. are just under-informed, though Roger sounds as if he listens to Fox 'News' every free minute he gets, and not paid shills for the Republican Party (isn't Peter King the rep from the radio station's district?). Maybe they're just a couple stupid chicken shits? Who knows? But I can tell you this. WBAB, after over 35 years, will not be able to call me one of their listeners until these two jerkwads are on the unemployment line.

Dear New York Times,

An outstandingly on-the-mark rant from Athenae:


No, that's not me being hysterical. That's not me being unhinged. That's me taking a look at the day's news and saying well, if this isn't the logical conclusion to six years of Ann Coulter, Michael Savage, Glenn Beck, I don't know what is. If this isn't the ultimate expression of the attitude of Assrocket talking about the "Pulitzer Prize for felony murder" and his shit-shack being named Time's Blog of the Year, I don't know what is.

This is what happens when you ignore the warning signs. This is what happens when you hold yourself above the fight and pretend it's all too much for your tiny brains to handle. This is what happens when you don't dignify things with answers. This is what happens. You get called killers on the floor of the House.


Careful 'Gray Lady' your people might end up in Gitmo before we do.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006


I know I've been harping on getting Holy Joe out of his Connecticut Senate seat in favor of Ned Lamont and I've been completely neglecting our neighbor to the left. Probably because there are so many great PA bloggers out there, Atrios, PSoTD, and Ol' Froth being but a few (not that I'm dissing any Connecticut bloggers but I used to live there and I have an affinity for the place). If you've got some cash to spare, there's a guy named Joe Sestak who could use the help unseating Crazy Curt Weldon.

Dogs . . . again

The Old White Lady has a new kitty, go see a pic of the new member of the family, and we were talking about spaying and neutering. I realzed it's time to repost my 'responsible dog owner' rant that I wrote a couple years ago:

You know I'm a dog lover and so's the Mrs. So, naturally I got a problem with a lot of folks who own dogs. Listen to me, please.


The rest below the fold.

More Republican "Do as I say, not as I do..."

U.S. News & World Report

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) -- When Gov. Ernie Fletcher's day is over, he leaves his Capitol office, climbs into a Lincoln Town Car driven by a state trooper and returns to the Governor's Mansion - which is just across the street.

Meanwhile, his administration is encouraging Kentuckians to get out and walk more for their health.

Fletcher and his administration have been under fire for the past year. He is under indictment on charges of illegally hiring and firing employees on the basis of their political loyalty.

Julian Carroll, governor from 1974 to 1979, said it would take nearly as long to get into and out of a car as it would to walk from the mansion to the Capitol.

"It never occurred to me to do anything but walk," he said. "I can't ever remember an occasion when I did other than walk. For goodness sakes, it's only 500 feet or less."

And when it rained?

"I carried an umbrella," he said.

Perhaps Mr. Fletcher could ride to work in a sedan chair. That would create four jobs - five on rainy days: someone's got to carry the umbrella - and those four employees would get in fine shape carrying his lard ass around.

VA Senate candidate fights back at swiftboating

Jim Webb, my pick for the next Senator from Virginia, has been swiftboated by that puke Allen. Pensito Review posts on it and links to a good example of how to counterattack.

The campaign staff of Sen. George Allen of Virginia attempted to swiftboat the senator's Democratic opponent Jim Webb this week over the issue of flag burning. In stark contrast with the reaction by Sen. John Kerry to a similarly sleazy attack in the 2004 presidential campaign, Webb's staff has attacked back:

Webb, a former Republican, is a much decorated former Marine and was the Sec. of the Navy during the Reagan Administration. His adviser Steve Jarding responded:

George Felix Allen Jr. and his bush-league lapdog, Dick Wadhams, have not earned the right to challenge Jim Webb's position on free speech and flag burning. Jim Webb served and fought for our flag and what it stands for, while George Felix Allen Jr. chose to cut and run. When he and his disrespectful campaign puppets attack Jim Webb they are attacking every man and woman who served. Their comments are nothing more than weak-kneed attacks by cowards. George Felix Allen Jr. needs to apologize to Jim Webb and to all men and women who have served our nation.

Note to Dems: More of this!

Note to Dems: More of this!

The War Bush Said He Wanted

This is the most succinct, all-in-one-pile explanation of Bush's criminal war I've yet seen. OpEd News:

Of course Bush's stated purposes for the war were not his actual reasons. Beyond the obvious purpose of seizing Iraq's oil reserves, Saddam Hussein became an embarrassment for the US, which had supplied him with arms and technology through his twenty year reign. It's important to remember that during the Iran-Iraq conflict, the US played both ends against the middle, selling arms openly to Hussein while surreptitiously supplying arms to Iran in order to secure the release of American hostages and fund the illegal Contra war against the Sandinista government in Nicaragua. Hussein also wanted OPEC to raise the price of oil by cutting production, a move that was opposed by Kuwait, which continued to produce oil at high levels keeping the price low. Another reason was to gain a military foothold in the Middle East to try to quell the influence of Iran and Syria, cutting off aid and weapons supplied to the Palestinian group Hamas, and the Syrian group Hezbollah while insuring transport routes for oil imported from Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan to the Strait of Hormuz. And of course, war is always a great way to provide government contracts to corporations that feed our military, build the bases, and supposedly reconstruct the countries we destroy.

The American people want to know why their sons, daughters, husbands, wives, brothers and sisters in combat are being forced into the meat-grinder known as Iraq. The first candidates who confirm the electorate's well earned suspicions about the US presence in Iraq will be the new leadership our country so desperately needs.

The only way any of it is going to come out to the point of Bush&Co being held accountable is to elect Dems this November. The magic words are "Subpoena Power".

Bush Confused About Leaks

Larry Johnson

Bullshit alert! After watching George Bush and Dick Cheney weep and wail over the "damage" done by the New York Times for reporting that financial data is being dumped into the CIA as part of an effort to find terrorist networks, I kept waiting for Darryl Hannah to pop up and say, "Live, from New York, it's Saturday Night." Does George have Alzheimer's Disease? Has he forgotten that he used to love the New York Times? The only thing funnier is that most of the mainstream media is reporting the antics of these clowns as straight up news.

I guess Bush and Cheney decided that leaks to the New York Times were no longer kosher when their go to girl, Judith Miller, got canned. [...]

President Bush crying about "leaks" to the New York Times is like listening to former Hollywood Madam Heidi Fleiss complain about sexual promiscuity. Sorry George, we ain't buying your song and dance.

Prostitution is a much more honorable profession than Republican politics. The point of either one is to screw people for money, but at least hookers admit it. Moral values, you know.


Bob Geiger has a great article up about the man:


Despite Murtha's standing as a highly-decorated combat Veteran, who served in the U.S. Marine Corps for 37 years, it was off to the races for the right-wing smear machine. They immediately set upon Murtha, who just turned 74, for requesting moderation and a cautious course when risking the lives of our military men and women stationed in Iraq.

And who did most of the attacking? Conservative chickenhawks, who have never served a day in uniform in their lives, but who immediately began talking tough and accusing a man of Murtha's stature of running from a fight. [my ems]


Eternal Patrol

June 27, 2006 - Let us take you on a journey, to the quiet waters of the Gulf of Thailand. Two hundred feet below the surface, 100 miles from any port, Navy divers have examined what they believe is the wreck of the USS Lagarto.


God bless them all. Rest easy, boys.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Don't worry about us ...

All these journalists are paying too much attention to the lefty blogs and not enough to covering their own asses:

Are any big-media "journalists" reading this? In case you didn't understand the context of the current discussion, treason carries the death penalty. They're talking about killing you.



These things are all over Europe and the Mrs. and I have been saying for years they are great urban transportation. Every European city we've been to has specially marked parking spaces for them where other cars won't fit.

Media shills

Stupid, stupid people ...

Via Atrios

Like cranked-up weasels...

The Rude One:

Sometimes following Republican logic is a little like watching a ferret that just got into a meth stash. You're watchin' that twitchy fucker spin all over the place, and you wish that it'd just die already and get it over with instead of breaking all the glass in the apartment and bleeding and shitting everywhere.

Damn, he's good!

Texas guv race

From Cursor:

A Texas governor's race poll finds incumbent Gov. Rick Perry leading the pack -- and Independent candidate Kinky Friedman in second place.

Other polls (at Kinky's site) show him winning. This is gettin' good!

Geesh,I take a few hours off,and I miss all the fun

Everyone's favorite ewwwww-zing pustule 0'fun,Rush Limbaugh had a little run in with US Customs yesterday.....

Now if this was you or me,our asses would have been in jail for doctor shopping and having someone buy illegal hillbilly heroin for us.But I'm sure this is all just a big misunderstanding,really.

So,Rush was coming back from the Dominican Republic,eh? Just to be clear,I'm not implying anything here,but it is a rather curious situation.Viagra and a known sex trade destination? Nah,has to be a big old coinky dink,surely. Though it admittedly reminds me of Tom Delay's many visits to the Mariana Islands. But surely Tom had no clue whatsoever about all that stuff,because after all,he's a family values kinda guy....

And to steal a line from Driftglass,You can be a good American,or you can be a Republican,but you can't be both,not anymore.

Oh,and if there's any doubt,it's illegal to be using prescription drugs not prescribed to you.Penalties for that probably depend on the drug in question(controlled narcotics vs something like Viagra),but the doctor responsible can be in deep shit no matter what the drug in question is.At the very least their medical license could be in jeopardy.

This could also screw up Mr Happy Pant's previous plea deal.He does have one of Florida's best defense attorney's on his payroll,so he could skate,but judges tend to not take kindly to offenders who ignore their plea argeements.

What we are ...

Our good friend Lurch looks at georgia10's observations of the press and the way they regard us. A really good read and a couple paragraphs struck me:


We have always been here, of course. The only difference is that the internet has allowed us to meet in a 21st century public square of sorts. And yeah, like people do when they get together for change, we (gasp!) organize and we (holy shit!) debate strategy. We argue. We support each other. We raise money. We spend money. We make miracles happen, and we make mistakes. And, unlike the Republican base, we do this all publicly. Our debate is online, naked and raw. Millions attend our town hall meetings, and each participant speaks out in her own unique (and yeah, usually anonymous) voice.

I suppose it's only natural that when presented with something so unconventional, the media have tried to understand it in conventional terms. The fundamental flaw in the media's discovery of the Democratic base though is that they presume that the same traits they have observed in the Republican base apply equally to us as well. Thus, we have seen the effort to shove our movement into the jello-mold form of the Republican grassroots movement that has dominated politics thus far. [my ems]


The basic difference between us and the Right is we think for ourselves and develop our own opinons, and those opinions are welcomed. And if you'll notice, almost all of us have comments sections.

Too bad, so sad ...

uh oh, roger ailes is mad at the entire faux news network, because apparently they're losing viewers...

You can only piss on people for so long before they figure out it's not raining.


"If it talks like George W. Bush and acts like George W. Bush, it's certainly not a Connecticut Democrat."

Ned's new ad.

Thanks: C&L

Monday, June 26, 2006


Thanks to Mary at Left Coaster, I got this nifty new utility from Under the 'Complaint Department' header in the left sidebar, you'll see a form to help you find your senators and reps contact info easily. There's also an 'issues' menu so you can search that way too. Did I also mention the 'contact the media' feature? Well ... what are you waiting for? Start bitching!!!

"The enemy is bullshit"

Orcinus discusses the relationship between traditional journalists and bloggers in "An open letter to my fellow journalists". A 'must read' IMNSHO.

I understand a little of the resentment. A lot of bloggers seem to want to take short-cuts, touting information without double-checking it first. They want to claim they do what we do, but they don't adhere to basic journalistic rules at times. It feels like they haven't paid their journalistic dues.

Some of it also has to do with the realization, I think, that most bloggers are also our most avid consumers; they're the people who actually read what we write. There are fewer and fewer of them these days, and so we ought to appreciate their input.

But it turns out that our readers aren't the docile recipients of our collected wisdom that we long assumed they were. It turns out that they examine what we write critically, and now are capable of letting us know it; sometimes even rudely so. Who'da thunk?

The "liberal media bias" charge played a fundamental role in transforming American newsrooms, at a time when most were already facing shrinking budgets and tighter newsholes. What was most disappointing, really, was the way that the people running those newsrooms failed to realize that they were being played for fools the whole time.

It was more than apparent to many of us that the charge of "liberal media bias" was being made by people for whom any deviation from their political agenda constituted "liberalism" -- including simple critiques that demonstrated the factual falsity of their claims. Yet pieces like my analysis of the media storyline about Al Gore were generally ignored; writers who undermined the accepted script were treated as though we were the ones with a bias problem.

Conservatives, as their own work has made plain, have no interest in facts if they run counter to their own arguments; their idea of "journalism" is simply right-wing propaganda, pure and simple. Anything else is evidence of "liberal bias." This tendency to ignore and occlude opposing arguments reveals an important trait in the ideological makeup of movement conservatives: they assume that because their own approach to "journalism" is so grotesquely unbalanced that, of course, everyone else must operate the same way too. They can't understand journalistic balance because they're to busy projecting their own ideological bias onto everyone else.

You know, one of those other hoary old journalistic adages I've always tried to adhere to is Lars-Erik Nelson's warning:

"The enemy isn't conservatism. The enemy isn't liberalism. The enemy is bullshit."

At some point, journalists are going to have to come to terms with the reality that the bullshit, in the past 10 years and more, has not been an even-steven thing, where liberals are just as prone to it as conservatives -- though most "fair and balanced" journalists like to pretend that this is so.

No, the reality is that in that time, the levels of unmitigated bullshit flowing from the many founts of, er, wisdom on the right has been ceaseless, programmatic, and deliberately aimed at overwhelming the press. That's not to say that the left doesn't peddle bullshit still, nor that every jot and tittle emanating from the right is a falsehoood. But the proportionate level of bullshit from the right is so overwhelming as to render any quibbles almost negligible.

The press is drowning in it, as Lapdogs demonstrates on every page. And the blogosphere, believe it or not, has the potential to be a lifeline.

Cultivating a working relationship with bloggers, instead of viewing them as adversaries, would be in every journalist's best interests. They can be useful resources as sounding boards, and they can also be helpful in disseminating those news bits that don't quite make it into your stories.

We'll see, over the coming year, whether or not I wind up rejoining your ranks. Even if I don't, I'm still holding out hope that there are still enough of you out there who remember what journalism is supposed to be about. People who have had enough, have seen the credibility of their industry reach record lows, and want to do something about it. People ready to stand up, call bullshit what it is and damn the consequences.

In the end, it's what this work has always been about. Time to get back to it.

I have nothing to add except that I think Mr. Neiwert is right on the money. I hope the traditional journalists read it.

Feingold on Press the Meat

Here's part of the transcript. Video at Crooks and Liars.

MR. RUSSERT: You went further in GQ magazine that's coming out this week, "Problem is, George Bush has committed a more clearly impeachable offense than Clinton or even Nixon ever did." George Bush committed a more impeachable offense than Richard Nixon?

SEN. FEINGOLD: Oh, I think so. I mean, you could debate that if you want. But I think the claim - and although Nixon made some, some similar claims, the extreme claim that under Article 2 of the Constitution the president can make up whatever laws he wants is one of the greatest threats to our system of government. I even heard George Will describe it as monarchical at one point. So I do think it is the greatest threat to our republic.

You know, when the founders wrote the words "high crimes and misdemeanors," they weren't particularly interested in, in break-ins at the Watergate Plaza or, or, or presidential personal misconduct. What they wanted was a different system of government than they had, had under King George III. And that's what this is all about. The president is asserting claims that have, frankly, I don't think ever been made in the history of this country.

Timmeh tried like the dickens to undermine Senator Feingold. Feingold stayed calm, cool, and collected and didn't rise to the bait.

Senator Feingold is a good man, and while I don't think he has a chance at the presidential nomination, we need him, and more like him, to carry the fight for the very soul of our nation out from under the Republican rock into the light where reg'lar folks can see the truth and help make the Repubs shrivel up and die.

Oh, the irony...

Ironic Times

Should an enemy launch a dummy warhead whose tracking data has already been programmed into our computers, we might be able to shoot it down, depending on the weather.

Bush Compares Iraq War to Hungary Uprising in 1956
Compares coalition forces to, er, Soviet troops.

Reader's Digest Reports New York Most Polite, Courteous City in World
New Yorkers add if you don't agree with report, you know where you can stick it.

Gonzales: Terror Plot Foiled in "Earliest Stages"
Just before conception.

Bush Creates World's Largest Marine Sanctuary in Pacific
Apparently, check from bottom trawling fleets arrived too late.

Many more. I highly recommend going to see the picture of what Brazil came out on top of at the World Cup. Wow.

Born in the U.S.A.

Crooks and Liars has video of Bruce Springsteen on Conan O'Brien's show singing "Bring 'Em Home" from his new album "We Shall Overcome:The Seeger Sessions". Written during the Vietnam War, it applies to today's Iraq clusterfuck as well. It's about as straightforward an occupation protest song as it can get. I'm ordering it up.

Fiddles and banjos? Springsteen? That don't hurt neither!

Git some, Boss!


According to "The songs of the Seeger sessions" site, "Bring 'Em Home" is on his "Seeger Sessions Tour" (NYT review) but not the CD. I'm a fan of all the Seegers as well as The Boss, so I'm getting it anyway.

Democracy in chains

Greg Palast in The Guardian

Don't kid yourself: the Republican party's decision yesterday to "delay" the renewal of the Voting Rights Act has not a darn thing to do with objections of the Republican's white sheets caucus.

Complaints by a couple of good ol' boys to legislation have never stopped the GOP leadership from rolling over dissenters.

This is a strategic stall that is meant to decriminalise the Republican party's new game of challenging voters of colour by the hundreds of thousands.

In the 2004 presidential race, the GOP ran a massive, multi-state, multimillion-dollar operation to challenge the legitimacy of black, Hispanic and Native American voters. The methods used breached the Voting Rights Act, and while the Bush administration's civil rights division grinned and looked the other way, civil rights lawyers began circling, preparing to sue to stop the violations of the act before the 2008 race.

So Republicans have promised to no longer break the law - not by going legit but by eliminating the law.

The act was passed in 1965 after the Ku Klux Klan and other upright citizens found they could use procedural tricks - "literacy tests", poll taxes and more - to block citizens of colour from casting ballots.

The Republicans target black folk not because they don't like the colour of their skin; they don't like the colour of their vote: Democrat. For that reason, the GOP included on its hit list Jewish retirement homes in Florida. Apparently, the GOP was also gunning for the Elderly of Zion.

These so-called "fraudulent" voters, in fact, were not fraudulent at all. Page after page, as we have previously reported, are black soldiers sent overseas. The Bush campaign used their absence from their US homes to accuse them of voting from false addresses.

Republicans argue that the racial voting games and the threats of the white-hooded Klansmen that kept African-Americans from the ballot box before the 1965 passage of the Voting Rights Act no longer threaten black voters.

That's true. When I look over the "caging lists" and the "scrub sheets", it's clear to me that the GOP has traded in white sheets for spreadsheets.

Those of us who are old enough to remember the '60s and the Civil Rights Movement, Dr. King, desegregation of schools, the elimination of Jim Crow laws, the Voting Rights Act, and the resistance of white Southerners (and, to be fair, many others) to doing the Right Thing (moral values) , from police oppression to murder, are absolutely appalled at the "delay" in renewing this act.

A lot of pain and sacrifice on the part of many correct-thinking, fair-minded, truly moral Americans is about to go up in smoke at the hands of the Republican criminal elite.

Palast is right: racism is still with us, but it's no longer strictly about color. Now it's about retaining power at all costs. The Republicans need all the help they can get. They know every dirty trick in the book and are in a position at this time to use them with impunity.

This is just another in a long list of reasons to throw 'em out in the street come November.

Please read the rest of the article.

Third Party?

[Read this in light of the two posts directly below.]

My friend Bulldog:


My point to all of this is that bloggers are a very politically aware group; even those who do nothing more than read the blogs. A healthy distrust of the spoon-fed news we see on TV is good. Blogs tend to serve as alternate media sources with varying degrees of readership and knowledge on the issues. Personally, I don't think there is anything stopping us bloggers transitioning from talking about the issues and policies to deciding the issues and policies.

So what do you think? Do you think a Bloggers Party is in order? [my em]

So, what do you think? Do we really need the Dems (I'm thinking long-term here, not the '06 - '08 elections)? After all, we, painting with a broad brush, are probably more progressive than anybody but Dean and Feingold. Why not a Blogger Party? At least, an American Progressive Party? Should we say 'fuck the Dems' and create a party that's 'more lefter', where competency, integrity, and ethics, as well as the betterment of all Americans are the major planks of the party platform?

I'd seriously like to explore this and I hope some of you who know the nuts and bolts of going about creating a political party (or at least running one) will comment. If you're gonna tell me it can't be done, I want to know why. Email me if you're going to write a Master's thesis. - Fixer

The gloves come off ...

Or, 'rolling stones and moss'. Stolen fully and completely from my pal Lambert:

I have the feeling that the pebble that started the avalanche that will be 2006-2008 went down the mountainside sometime in the last six months, and that alia iacta est - Though we don't know what the outcome is, yet, the forces that will bring it about already have huge momentum, and all of us are riding the rocks down the mountain.

It's going to be a very interesting couple of years, not least because we're going to have to gut the press to win. As the ginned up controversy on Kos indicates.


What in Hell is wrong with leading Democrats? I'm especially surprised at Dick Durbin, whom I like. I caught him on Little George yesterday before the World Cup games started. C&L has the skinny:


Durbin: I'm going to support Joe Lieberman and I hope he wins the Democratic primary and I'm going to support him in every way that I can even though we disagree on the war. We have a much different point of view, but I know Joe Lieberman and I've worked with him for a number of years and I think he's a good member of our caucus and should be re-elected.

Stephanopoulos: So if he loses the primary and runs as an Independent you'll still support him?

Durbin: I'm going to support Joe Lieberman in the Democratic primary and I'm confident, I hope that the voters...

Stephanopoulos: ...but that's not what I asked...

Durbin: I know it isn't...I'm not going to accept your premise because I think he's going to end up with the Democratic nomination.


I tell ya what. You Dems who aren't up for reelection in Fall can afford to run off at the mouth but remember this, I, and probably most of Left Blogtopia (y!sctp!), will not forget. If Holy Joe loses the primary to Ned Lamont, you guys better be prepared to back Ned or we'll find a Ned Lamont in your state or district to support. Don't think this is an aberration. We've had it with Republican-lite. Warn your buddy Schumer too. The crap he's been spouting lately ain't gonna fly for long.

Sunday, June 25, 2006


And with the World Cup going on and getting the Mrs. from LaGuardia yesterday, I completely forgot about directing you to the weekend funnies.

Bob Geiger, as usual.

And the Burned Over District, a bonus.

Swiftboating Murtha 2

Bob Geiger:

You're going to be hearing a lot in the coming days and weeks about the ramped-up attacks on Congressman John Murtha (D-PA) for his vocal opposition to the Bush administration's actions with the Iraq war.


Now meet Amanda Doss. She's one of those people and is about to put up a web site called which, based on her known alliances with the kings of the bottom feeders, the Swift Boat Liars, will attempt to smear a fine man like John Murtha -- and other Veterans, like me, as well -- with new and improved levels of low-rent attacks.


Indeed. It's time to Swiftboat 'em right back.


More Murtha. Article* about his speech at Florida International University's Biscayne Bay Campus.

*Link via memeorandum.

Pet Expo '06

Click to embiggen. Mrs. G hopes you won't!

Picture shows Mrs. G making Bridget, the older of our two dirt dogs, presentable enough to meet other dogs. I think she does this by trading the dirt back and forth between them until it evaporates. I'll find out. I'm next.

Yesterday was the 4th annual Pet Expo put on by the Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe. They are dedicated to rescuing and adopting dogs and cats. Cats? Oh, well, they're God's little critters too, I guess...the "cat people" had a trailer and some adoptable cats there as well. The theme was "Get Happy!" Happy is an adoptable Aussie Shepherd mix that has lived his whole life so far in HSTT's kennel. Breaking news on Happy!

They had way too many adoptable dogs there. I hope some of 'em found a home. Remember: "Until there are none, adopt one."

We went for the fourth straight year. The event was held at Truckee River Regional Park, which is three blocks from our house. Every Wednesday(free) and occasional other nights(pay through the nose), we can hear the concerts loud and clear from our deck, but I digress...

It's not a huge event, but for a small town like this it was just fine. We checked out all the vendors, actually joined HSTT which we've supported in various ways for years, loaded up on doggie swag, and generally enjoyed watching our pups interact with dozens of other dogs and quite a few kids. We saw some old friends and met some new ones. Sandra of Ace K-9 Academy, our little Tami's personal trainer, had a booth, as well as Laurie from Gateway Pets, our preferred pet emporium.

We took the pups down to the Truckee River, which borders the park, so they could get wet and cool off. It was hot for around here, about 82F. They liked it.

While all this was going on, I had an actual moment of brilliant thought: we humans, as a race, would be a lot humbler and much wiser if we had to undergo the doggie greeting ritual. Seems like it'd be hard to be uppity after you've had your nose up someone's ass literally and not just figuratively. We'd be more careful who we hung around with, that's fer sure!

All in all, a fine Saturday morning.

VA Barred From Publicizing Offer to Vets


A federal judge temporarily has barred the government from publicizing its free credit monitoring offer to veterans whose personal data was stolen and wants to see if they might get a better federal offer.

Lawyers who have filed a class-action lawsuit on behalf of the 26.5 million veterans and active-duty troops affected contend that accepting the government's offer could jeopardize their chance of winning more money in the privacy suit.

The suit seeks free monitoring and other credit protection for an indefinite period as well as $1,000 in damages for each person -- or up to $26.5 billion total -- in what has become one of the nation's largest information security breaches.

Last week, the department announced its plan to offer free monitoring for a year to millions of veterans and nearly all active-duty military troops whose names, birthdates and Social Security numbers were stolen May 3 from a VA data analyst's home in suburban Maryland.

But in court papers, lawyers for veterans said the VA's deal was "incomplete and misleading." The VA must make clear whether veterans who take the government deal will have to give up their rights in court to a potentially larger payout, lawyer Marc Mezibov wrote.

A spokesman for the VA did not have an immediate comment Sunday.

For veterans suspecting identity theft: or 1-800-FED-INFO

I don't know quite what to make of this, but my first impression, cynical as always, is that the VA is taking the lead in trying to clean up after their idiot employee and a bunch of lawyers are looking out for their own profit by trying to stop them from doing it. I could be wrong, of course.

Nobody's yet told me not to publicize it.


I finally took the time to do some long-overdue maintenance on our step-child blog Fixer & Gordon. I'm soliciting opinions and comments regarding normal folks being able to read it. Leave comments there please.

Who's going?

I know I got my A-ticket to Hell punched years ago. It's just a matter of depth at this point.

Old Wong's

It was a place just outside of Osan, South Korea, not far from the DMZ. Only the locals, and some of the GIs who 'consorted' with the locals [mainly us Air Force weenies with some recon Marines and Army 7th Cav.], patronized Old Wong. When I saw this at the Old White Lady's place, it immediately brought me back there.


Our pal Scout Prime brings us this quote:


"In my personal opinion, I think you should have done much, much faster. It should be much better than what I have seen today," said Samsook Boonyabancha.


Who is this person and what are they talking about? You'd be surprised ... maybe.

*Third World America


Okay, I'm tired of all the blather about the 'discourse' from the 'crazy Left'. "It's full of invective." "No one participates in 'reasoned discourse'." I got one word for ya.


The time for reasoned, polite discourse was over when Bush and Cheney began their crusade to become Dictator and Regent. You want intelligent discourse? Save it for when this government is functioning properly again. Save it for the policy meetings that happen when true lawmakers, not rubber stamps, are running the Congress and occupy the White House.

Another thing people point to is the 'disarray' on the Left. Fuck them too. The Left is the realm of progressivity and that means many ideas swirl around constantly. That's what happens when there is a true Big Tent. I would not belong to a group who toed the 'party line' unflinchingly like a bunch of automatons. That is the great thing about our side, the wide and varied opinions about the path our nation should follow.

The discourse directed at the Republicans, and Democrats who give them cover, should be harsh. This group of people have done more to set this country back over the last fifteen years, let alone the last five, and should be called out. There is a reason the Left, and everyone else, should be angry. These people have returned us to the 19th Century, when railroad barons and industrialists ran this country to exploit the underclasses and enrich themselves.

Bush haters? You bet. In fact, I'll go farther and say I'm proud to be a Republican hater. I'm not going to be touchy-feely and 'reasoned' when I see what they've done to the nation I, and several million others over the past 230 years, put my ass on the line for. I sure as Hell am not going to be 'reasoned' when I see my brothers and sisters under arms being used as cannon fodder to continue an occupation while Republican campaign contributors get rich on the spoils and my tax dollars.

I'm fucking tired of this horseshit. I want them all out. The Repukes, Dems like Joe Lieberman, all of 'em and the time for politeness and niceties is long gone. I'm tired of the propaganda being shoveled at me like the high tide returning to the Bay of Fundy, and I'm tired of the puppets in the press enabling it. Yes, I'm going to call them all out, loudly, harshly, and my discourse will be full of invective because these people have perpetrated crimes against the American people and most of you out there have let it happen. Maybe I might get your attention before November.


How can you reason with this?

And just an aside, neither Kos and Atrios, nor the Townhouse email group (yes, I'm a member), nor anyone else, tells me what to say. I'd tell 'em all to suck my ass if they tried.

[Links updated]